Massacre of Kustan

open.png The Pernai Alliance (a rough association of tribes) attacked Kustan and burned it to the ground. The continued difficulties between the Corani Empire. It was the first town lost by the Corani Empire that was never retaken, never rebuilt. The tribesmen that destroyed the area did not settle it either. Instead they lined the main road north with the heads of the dead Corani soldiers and citizenry. It’s believed their heads are still visible on stakes, only occasionally replaced by the head of a new tresspasser.

Tales of the massacre are still common fodder with which the Rethemi to terrify their children.

* The known tale *

Sylud the scholar, the tenth Corani Emperor, was a learned an intellectual ruler who encouraged scholarly pursuits throughout his reign. He also patronized archaeological expeditions to various ancient sites. In 475, Mahlades of Peldan received a charter from Sylud to excavate the Kustan barrows in the hope of finding the resting place of Kemlar the Guide.

Mahlades was a somewha t unlovely character, even considering tnat he was a covert priest of Morgath. Mahlades believed that Kemlar the Guide had possessed several enchanted artifacts, possibly of Earthmaster origin, and that these were likely buried with him. It is probable that Mahlades intended to keep these artifacts for himself
rather than turn them over to the Imperium, as required by the terms of his charter. In any event, he assembled an expedition of "archaeologists. all of whom just happened to be Morgathian acolytes, and arrived at Kustan in the autumn of 476 to begin his search.

Mahlades had no idea which of the hundreds of barrows might hold Kemlar’s remains, and several attempts to elicit that information from captive Kuborans failed when the prisoners died under torture. Frustrated, Mahlades began his search at random, excavating barrow after barrow, not always carefully, amid growing Kuboran unrest. After months of effort, he had nothing to show for the work except a dozen wagon loads of normal Kuboran grave goods.

Mahlades grave-robbing coincided with the rise of Nebran, warchief of the Aranaki Kubora, who had gradually united the squabbling Kubora tribes under his leadership. Nebran’s goal was to drive out the hated Corani invaders, and the unrest caused by Mahlades’ desecration of the sacred tombs was the spark needed for rebellion.

In the summer of 477, the Kubora fell on the Corani fort, and although warchief Nebran died in the assault, the garrison was massacred to a man. Mahlades fate was far less pleasant; he and his assistants were taken alive and suffered grisly and painful deaths, tortured alive atop one of the many barrows they had desecrated. It is said that Mahlade’s shade haunts Kustan, still seeking the barrow of Kemlar the Guide.


Taken from HarnPlayer, Common Knowledge section, BARROWS OF KUSTAN article.

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