Artax IV and the Zhaporian Missive Document in The Ashlands | World Anvil

Artax IV and the Zhaporian Missive

Perhaps the most famous surviving letters from the height of Imperial power, if indeed something so dubious can be said to survive.
~Emberhold commentary

"Emperor Artax, Herald of Eternal Dawn, King of the Four Quarters, King of the Lands, King of Kings and Emperor of Emperors, Protector of the Faithful, Sovereign of all peoples from the rising to the setting sun, here by this proclamation command the Zhaporian tribes and all folk of the plains to submit to my rule, whereupon your lives and homes shall be safe beneath my aegis, and none shall make you afraid.
- Proclaimed this the 12th day of Summer in the 10th year of Artax, fourth of that name."

"To the Demon of Estragos [sic], Artaxya the Lizard King,
Come to us by land or by air. Bring us your sons as fit fertilizer for the grasses of Zhaporia. Enrich our fields with your corpses and enhance the grazing of our herds. Or think better of it, and remain in your stone houses romancing your overgrown lizards.
- We know not the date, nor your calendar. Shirdal knows the moon and the change of the seasons. But the day is the same here as it is over there, and so for all this, kiss our arse.

Historical Details


Artax IV is the Emperor best known to the Zhaporians, primarily for his attempts to eradicate them and his sponsorship of the efforts to hunt the Shirdal into extinction. His wars against the Zhaporians are the subject of many tales and songs among that people, some tragic, some mocking and ribald.

The veracity of an exchange of letters between Artax and an unnamed Zhaporian Hetman cannot be confirmed. No such document survives in its original form and most of the Imperial records of the Zhaporian wars have been lost. The Zhaporians keep the story alive as part of their culture and eagerly repeat the tale.


The exchange between the Empire and the Zhaporians remains a source of pride among the plainsfolk even in this darkening age. Imperial remnants such as the Northern Command dismiss that any such letters were written.
by MidJourney
Artax IV, from a painting in the Emberhold.
by MidJourney
Late Imperial painting showing an orcish Hetman composing the famous replay.


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