Characters of Cimmeria: Shardamar I and II

Shardamar I

Shardamar the First was the last powerful king of Gazeara. He inherited the throne from his father and weathered the difficulties of royal leadership better than most. Shardamar used pervasive divination magic to control his citizens and deflect attacks on the crown before they occurred. External threats were not so easily managed. Gazeara was briefly conquered by the Amazons and only freed due to the eldritch might of King Aeëtes of Colchis. In the end Shardamar left his kingdom better of than when he found it, but he failed to raise a competent successor. Shardamar the Second’s inept rule would lead to the end of monarchy in Gazeara.

King Shardamar the First succeeded his father to the throne of Gazeara and was soon beset by problems caused by a viscous group of thieves. Burglaries, robberies, and murders sky-rocketed while rhe town guard were unable to apprehend the criminals. To find the evil cabal Shardamar worked with the wizards of Greshen Dale to install scrying dweomers throughout Gazeara. These dweomers helped catch the criminals. Within a few years the gang of thieves in Gazeara was wiped out. The people celebrated King Shardamar’s success, but the scrying dweomers remained even after the thieves’ execution.

It wasn’t long before King Shardamar began using the scrying dweomers to spy on political enemies in his court. He gathered compromising information on them and used it to eliminate them as threats to his power. Additionally he used the scrying dweomers in a scheme to acquire more personal real estate within the city. The citizens protested but were dispersed by the town guard.

The consolidation of land ownership in King Shardamar’s hands drive the citizens of Gazeara into revolt. They were tired of the raised prices and inability to operate any business without a visit from the king’s aggressive tax collectors. The revolt was dealt with by a platoon of mercenaries hired from Phoenix. The mercenaries stayed in town to protect King Shardamar. This standing drive the rebels underground to use less overt methods of removing Shardamar from power. Unfortunately those attempts also failed. King Shardamar discovered the rebels with the scrying dweomers and had them arrested. His control over the city became absolute.

King Shardamar’s dictatorship was disrupted by the invasion of the Amazon Queen Idanthyrsia. She sought not just to extract tribute from Western Cimmeria, but to rule it outright. Queen Idanthyrsia personally led the strike against Cecilia and Makotako. Cecilia capitulated quickly. Makotako resisted and Idanthyrsia besieged the city. King Shardamar came to relieve his cousin with the army of Gazeara. Queen Idanthyrsia led the Amazons to engage both armies in battle and soundly defeated both. She personally slew King Cordant of Makotako. Idanthyrsia forced Shardamar to swear fealty to the Amazons and placed a subordinate as military governor of Makotako.

After her victory against Shardamar, Queen Idanthyrsia turned the Amazon war horde against the Xorian Kingdom. King Gigontaya of Xoria had made an alliance with King Aeëtes of Colchis. The two armies stood together against the Amazons. The battle between the two forces resulted in the deaths of Idanthyrsia and Gigontaya. In the peace negotiations Makotako and Gazeara were set free.

King Shardamar the First lived for another twenty-five years after the Amazons’ defeat. His son, Shardamar the Second was born during this time. The King neglected to train his son in statecraft. Instead he focused his time on scheming to claim his cousin’s throne in Makotako. The scrying dweomers remained and Shardamar’s control over the city continued in the same draconian fashion.

Shardamar II

When King Shardamar the First died of old age King Shardamar the Second ascended to the Gazearan throne. The citizens hoped their new king would cease using the scrying dweomers to concentrate power and wealth in himself. Sadly, King Shardamar the Second followed in the steps of his father.

King Shardamar the Second used the accumulated wealth of the city to fund a great monument in front of the royla palace. The Great Fire was built by a group of mages from Greshen Dale. Fed up with the king’s excesses, Leopold Anigama led a revolt and deposed Shardamar II. The royal family was executed in the Great Fire. Anigama shared out the vast treasure of the royal family to the common people. He openly seemed to be reversing the Shardamars’ policies of oppression. In private Anigama continued to use the scrying dweomers available to the leader of Gazeara.

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