Chapter 24: A brief history of the Iksar

Understanding a species requires an understanding of its history. This parchment discusses the main turning points of the great Iksar Empire, from her rise of imperial power to her fall into darkness.

The Shissar

No one knows where they came from or how long they were in power, but historians have no doubt that the great empire of the Shissar was powerful indeed. Quite possibly shaping much of Norrath's culture and planting the seeds of much that exists today. They were devastating and vile, torturing souls for no other reason than their own pleasure and driving the largest slave army ever built to the brink of death and starvation.

Their monuments are rare, for the Shissar paid little homage to their god, Cazic Thule. Only two great stone hands protruding from the swamp of Innothule show their acknowledgment of the diety. As their power grew, so did their vanity. They renounced Cazic Thule and proclaimed themselves walking gods upon Norrath. They drove the Iksar slaves harder then ever and brought the lizard-people to the brink of extinction.

Freedom of the Green Mist

Then came the Green Mist. Unknown in origin, many believe it to be a plague engineered by the fiendish alchamists of Cazic Thule in his poisoned plane of Fear. A tool of revenge against his lost children, it was released upon Norrath seeking out the Shissar alone among the enormous slave population. The Shissar's whip wielding hands fell and soon the slave races found themselves without masters. The Shissar had been wiped off the face of Norrath forever and freedom was given to a race that had known nothing but torment.

For many years the Iksar wandered Kunark, seeking shelter and food. They began to form small packs, which formed larger tribes. After six decades, these tribes numbered five - the Kunzar, the Obulus, the Jarsath, the Kylong and the Nathsar. Feuds and skirmishes between the five tribes tore much of Kunark apart. Some shaman of the Iksar tapped into the powers of their original master, the god Cazic Thule, and their power grew. Others began delving into the darker arts left behind by the Shissar and others practiced hand to hand combat as an art.

Than one stepped outside of the tribes, stronger and smarter than all the others. He alone held the power to unite them, and unite them he did. The young warrior of the Kunzar, Venril Sathir, knew the key to uniting the tribes. He taught them patriotism. For only in the love of their species, the love of their society as Iksar united, would they be able to unite. And thus the empire was born.

Emperor Venril Sathir

Venril Sathir's empire grew quickly. Great monuments were built, embedding a great pride in all the Iksar and inspiring fear in all those who would oppose the huge empire. Cities of grand scale were built by the Iksar's goblin and giant slaves. Venril Sathir wed the eldest daughter of the Obulus wizards, Druzilla, and together they built the greatest empire ever known.

But Sathir was not sated. Discovering a dark tome of necromancy, said to be one of the original texts left from the Shissar, Venril Sathir began a ritual to grant him immortality. Knowing of this dark corruption, Venril's eldest son, Rile Sathir, interrupted the dark ritual and destroyed the body of Venril Sathir, burying all evidence in the tomb of Charasis.

Emperor Rile Sathir

Soon after being crowned, Rile Sathir continued to open the Iksar nation to prosperity. While Venril used the honor of the Iksar as a weapon, Rile used the water. Under his command, a great navy was built, larger than any Norrath has ever seen since. Led by Rile's weaponsmaster, Vlzk Irontail, the navy knew no dangers and no bounds. The Iksar became the richest nation upon all of Norrath. Rile's land army was as formidable as his navy and he soon built a massive slave army of goblins and giants. Only one race was left unruled on Kunark - the dragons.

The Ring of Scale, an ancient order of great dragons upon Kunark, understood the threat of this growing empire and their leader, Jaled Dar, acted upon it. They sent fourth an agent of Scale, one known for his viscousness and ruthless nature. While the Iksar empire was large, the great circle of wyrms knew only one agent would be required. Swooping out of the great caverns of Veeshan's Peaks flew the powerful green dragon, Trakanon.

It was said that a great storm destroyed the armada of Rile Sathir, but other historians know differently. Standing from the bow of his greatest warship, Rile pondered the strange messages his network of sages had given him, feelings of terror and confusion from the other ships of his armada. He looked out over the great sea into the vast waves of the storm around him. In the distance, a great wave traveled in the wrong direction and at its crest flew the enormous Trakanon. Giant arrows the size of trees were fired from the ballista of Rile's ship, tearing through the leathery wings of the huge beast. Trakanon flew only a few feet above the ship and crashed down onto Rile's sister ship, breaking the hull in half with its great claws. Balls of fire and storms of electricity raked over the dragon but Trakanon was relentless. He turned and breathed a great cloud of acidic gas upon the ship's deck, killing scores of the crew instantly.

Rile watched as his weaponsmaster, Vlzk Irontail, leapt onto the back of the powerful wyrm and crushed the beast's ribs with a great swing of his steel tail. Twisting too fast to see, Trakanon plucked off the heroic Iksar and bit him in half. With the grin of a thousand teeth, Trakanon leapt onto Rile's own ship and faced the soon-dead emperor of the Iksar.

The battle was quick but its scale enormous. In the great battle, Rile Sathir's armada was sunk and Rile himself was lost at sea. While single handedly destroying the largest navy of Norrath's history, Trakanon himself was mortally wounded and crawled into a deep cave to prepare to die.

Emperor Atrebe Sathir

Rile's eldest son, Atrebe Sathir, unprepared for his inheritance to the empire, drew upon the dark powers of the Shissar legends and magiks for his source of power. Buried deep in his labs along with the greatest Iksar alchemists, he began experiments in breeding. His first result was a race of dragon-like soldiers called the Sarnak, powerful warriors and spellcasters used as fodder for his army. His second more successful breed was a great flying mount called Sokokar, a cross-breed of froglok and dragon. With this powerful new weapon, Atrebe builds an air force of winged knights, able to battle with the dragons of the sky.

A great fifty four year war breaks out between Atrebe's armies and the Ring of Scale. Great devastation fell upon Kunark as drakes and wurms scorch the earth and tear apart the once great cities. In a final great battle, high above Cabilis, Atrebe himself battles the queen of Scale, Jaled Dar herself. In the greatest display of magic ever seen by mortals, the two embraced in combat, both destroying themselves in a huge column of fire over a mile wide. All that remained of the battle was the great crater known as the Field of Bone and the skull of Jaled-Dar, fallen leader of the Ring of Scale.

The Fall of the Empire

With no heir to the throne and much of their military in waste, the Iksar once again found themselves fragmented. The rebellious slave armies of goblins, giants and Sarnak broke apart the mighty empire, sending the bulk of the Iksar people to the port city of Cabilis.

From a poisoned grave, the once great agent of Scale, Trakanon, arose. His soul had been stripped from the rotting husk of his body, a price he paid for vengeance against the Iksar. The Ring of Scale, now led by Phara-Dar turned the dead dragon away, marking him a traitor for his descent into the dark arts but with the aid of the freed Froglok slaves, Trakanon destroyed the last sorcerers of Sebilis and claimed the ancient city as his own lair.

Sathir the Lich King

Rumors spread that the legendary emperor of the Iksar, Venril Sathir, had returned from the dead, his attempt at immortality partially successful. He raised a powerful army of lycanthropic warriors, the Drolvargs, and overtook the feeble forces that held the fortress of the wizard Karnor. Sathir's bride, Druzilla, was buried along with her servants and protectors in the tomb of the once great city of Charasis. It was said the howls of the damned could be heard throughout the canyons, giving it the name Howling Stones to adventurers who crossed its path.

Today, the Iksar continue to rebuild their once great empire one day at a time. Few know of the motivation of the lich-king Venril Sathir or his budding army of werewolves. Few know of the City of Mist or of Cabilis, and few know what the dracholiche Trakanon desires. It is rich hunting for the mighty adventurer and rich lore for the historians who dare to explore the ancient and lucrative ruins. Though of dubious morality, little can argue with the might of the once great Iksar empire.