Emperor Veshir I

King Emperor Veshir

If we would measure sapients by the repercussions of their lives, then, certainly, Veshir was by far the greatest elf this august planet has ever produced. If, however, we should measure sapients by the content of their character, then I must remark that I have known maggots of a higher station.
— A professor at the University of Nustei
  Emperor Veshir I remains a subject of much controversy even into the modern day, nearly five thousand years after his death. He is the forefather of Veshiri itself, having founded the empire that would go on to one day unite the world. He was also a warlord, and many accounts both contemporary and modern accused him of numerous war crimes.   The most infamous occasion was his siege of Lidaidi and the following ransack of the Golden Palace, in which he had his soldiers surround the palace so none could escape, and put every sapient inside to the sword, regardless of age or occupation. Only two might have successfully fled, the Queen's maid and infant son, though their fate remains unknown to this day. In addition, any in Lidaidi who did not immediately denounce the Queen and praise Veshir as the new Emperor were seized by his forces, with many vanishing and gruesome examples being made of a select few.   Veshir built a new palace for himself on a different mountain from the previous dynasty's, using captive and forced labor - including captive architects and artisans brought from other nations - at a scale previously unprecedented.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Veshir was incredibly - and unusually - healthy throughout his life, declining only in the last few years before his death.

Body Features

He was of medium skin tone, firmly in the center of ranges present in his new empire.

Apparel & Accessories

Veshir favored rich and heavily decorated fabrics and, after seizing the throne, never wore the same outfit twice.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Born in an outlying province of the Kodiri Empire early in the year 1,706 of the Dawn Era, as the Great Plague was picking up speed, Veshir grew up in a dying world. The King Emperor Dimesemada did little to help the common folk, instead retreating into solitude, wearing heavy clothing and only speaking to outsiders through specially designed screens, even as his people died in droves. By the King Emperor's death in the year 1,659 of the Dawn Era, when Veshir was merely forty seven, a fourth of the populace of the Kodiri Empire had perished, many of Veshir's family members among them.   Dimesemada was much reviled by the time he died, by Veshir no least, and, worse, he left no experienced heirs, the plague having reached into the heart of the palace itself. Only a distant cousin of his, Hiwumoko, survived, due to having lived high in the cold mountains, past where the plague could thrive. Hiwumoko turned out to have none of the skills necessary to guide a nation especially through such troubled times, and fumbled on numerous occasions, fomenting further anger in the populace.  

A Rise to Power

  Veshir, being a young genius, quickly found himself in the company of those attempting to do for their own communities what the crown would or could not, a hodge podge of farmers, disgruntled soldiers, builders, and the occasional radical academic. While some remained honorable, many of those groups would turn into gangs no better than the imperial soldiers and tax collectors, demanding obedience and exorbitant payment from the people they claimed to help - often more than the populace could afford to give.   Veshir rose quickly in the early gangs, despite his youth, his natural brutality and keen mind setting him apart. The gangs remained mostly beneath official notice, until the Kodiri Empire formally fractured in the year 1,488 of the Dawn Era, when three of Kodiri's nine provinces declared succession. Another five followed in the next months, leaving the throne in control of only the central province.   Veshir and other gang leaders seized the opportunity, carving out territories amidst the chaos, making warlords of themselves. Many of the would-be warlords fell in the coming years and decades, as the political landscape shifted constantly over the brutal civil war that followed.   Veshir held onto power, sometimes by the skin of his teeth, and managed to fairly quickly establish a city-state consisting of one of his home province's larger cities and a significant portion of the surrounding countryside. Whenever a nearby warlord fell, Veshir would evaluate the situation, and if he perceived weakness, he would sweep in and seize as much land as he could.  

The Makings of Peace

  A hundred and seventy nine years after the initial succession, in the year 1,309 of the Dawn Era, the war ended with the death of Queen Empress Hiwumoko on the battlefield. Her daughter Queen Maiqa immediately sued for peace, declaring herself Queen of only the central province and inviting the leaders of the other sides - and the more established warlords, including Veshir himself - to her palace to negotiate terms and acknowledge their claims. The once grand Empire was in tattered ruins, and the leaders of the provinces were glad to see an end to a hopeless war.   Veshir remained quiet throughout the summit, watching how Maiqa deftly navigated the demands of her peers. She struck a careful balance between making concessions that would disadvantage her people and positions that would anger her neighbors - a dance Veshir viewed as a sign of weakness.  

The Fall of an Era

  For the next forty two years peace reigned, and the region slowly rebuilt itself. But Veshir resented the lack of opportunities, and the sudden halt to his meteoric rise, and he spread rumors attacking the lineage of Kodir and the character of the Queen, sounding out potential allies. In 1,267, civil war broke out - not between Veshir and Kodiri, but rather between a patsy of his and the former empire.   Veshir watched and waited over the next fourteen years as Kodiri weakened itself, finally sweeping in with his army in the early days of the year 1,253 of the Dawn Era, laying siege to the capital of Lidaidi in short order. He ordered his men to launch disease-ridden corpses over the walls, to spread pestilence and - most importantly - unrest, to the horror of the international community, in whose memories the Great Plague was still fresh.   After several months, Veshir finally breached the walls of the Golden Palace itself, he and his men slaying all that moved within and stealing away many of the valuables, destroying what they could not steal. To Veshir's rage, two of the palace inhabitants may have escaped - a maid along with the infant prince. It is said he had the messenger who brought him the news executed, along with the guards along the paths the maid may have fled by.  

A New Dynasty

  Veshir almost immediately declared himself Emperor of a new nation after Queen Maiqa's death. He banned mourning for those fallen, and began construction on a new palace, meant to out shadow even the Golden Palace itself, with a far more opulent exterior and the best architects he could bribe or capture.   Over the next one hundred and forty years he waged war against his neighbors, pushing the borders of the new Veshiri Empire ever outward.   Three years before his death he fell ill. He entrusted his empire to his daughter - the only of his children remaining, after he had fallen into paranoia about the others - who brought in the best doctors she could find to tend to her ailing father. She shared his temperament by all accounts, and brought the Veshiri Empire to heights that surpassed even Kodiri before it, setting the stage for her children and grandchildren, who would be the ones to unite the world under one banner for the first time in history.

Education

Veshir received very little education at home, as his family died when he was young, and most of his education in the gangs that formed was in brutality. Indeed, a rumor arose that he had learned slaves to read and write for him, for unlike his predecessors he was illiterate.

Employment

Veshir was initially employed in the lower rungs of a gang in his province, perhaps as a runner of messages or a laborer, or some other menial task. When the gang came into conflict with others, he proved to be a vicious fighter and naturally skilled leader, which saw him moved to 'security,' or enforcement of the gang's demands.   Veshir chaffed under another's rule, and spread a whisper campaign against the gang's leadership, culminating in a coup in which one of Veshir's fellows killed the leaders and seized power for herself. Veshir immediately denounced her, and lead a counter-coup ostensibly in the name of the original leader - but putting himself and his most loyal in charge.   Veshir remained a gang leader, providing protection to the local populace (at a price), until the fragmentation of the Kodiri Empire when he saw his chance for more. He organized his people - who on his insistence were already unusually well-trained - and started expanding, declaring himself a warlord.   He started holding no more than rural territory, but did eventually seize a moderately sized city, placing him as one of the better established petty rulers of the region.

Accomplishments & Achievements

Veshir is most widely known for assassinating Queen Maiqa, ransacking the Golden Palace, and establishing a new dynasty in the ashes of the old.

Mental Trauma

Veshir's paranoia ruled his life, and is of unknown origin, though the deaths of his family as a child and the harsh life of the gangs are frequently cited as possibilities.

Intellectual Characteristics

He was cruel, cold, and intensely paranoid by most accounts. Veshir, however, must be noted as incredibly clever, able to perceive the currents of the world and react several steps ahead of most opponents.

Morality & Philosophy

Veshir believed that the strong ruled the weak, and that the conqueror had the right of the earth. No trespass was too great.

Personality Characteristics

Motivation

He wanted desperately to be the strongest in all of history, and to have no rival to his power in the world.

Social

Family Ties

His birth family died when he was young, and their names are not recorded. He had most of his wives and children executed out of paranoia, except a single daughter who would become his successor.

Religious Views

Veshir believed in the gods - and resented them for ruling over the lives of mortals.

Social Aptitude

He was noted for being talented at manipulating people, especially crowds, but after extended acquaintance his cruelty would shine through.

Hobbies & Pets

He is often credited with introducing blood sports into the region, importing them from the northern continent, though it's unclear if this is true or not.

Relationships

Emperor Veshir I

Enemy (Vital)

Towards Queen Maiqa

-5

Subversive


Queen Maiqa

Enemy (Vital)

Towards Emperor Veshir I

-3

Honest


History

Veshir and Maiqa first met soon after her coronation, when she called a peace summit consisting of all the leaders of what had once been the territory of the Kodiri Empire. Veshir reacted with disdain towards Maiqa's efforts for peace, and later waged war on and slew her.

Life
-1706 - -1110 (Died 596 years old)
Sexuality
Specifics are unknown, though he took a succession of women as wives - having many executed for suspected treason.
Gender Identity
Male, he/him
Eyes
Black and round
Hair
Black and long, worn initially in a low ponytail and then loose but adorned
Known Languages
Veshir spoke few languages, learning only the tongue of his home province and somewhat the tongue of the central Kodiri nation. Unlike many of the previous dynasty, he refused to learn foreign tongues to converse with ambassadors, and would not speak with any who hadn't learned his birth language, which he made the official language of governance.

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
9 Jul, 2018 21:18

Veshir certainly seems like a product of his time and upbringing. The people of his empire, when looking back on history, how do they consider the acts he performed? Is he seen as a tyrant, a savior, a hero, or as someone that had to do what was needed given the circumstances? Very interesting article and certainly leaves me wanting to learn more about the world. Well done!

9 Jul, 2018 21:41

Thanks so much!   He's seen as an extremely complicated figure - there's a lot of polarization between "he was necessary" or even "he was a hero" and "he was a marauding warlord," with a couple of brave historians arguing maybe he was both. There's currently a revival of interest in and nostalgia for the Kodiri Empire, and a *lot* of Kodiri nationalists basically never dropped the issue, so he's recently started going from public perception of "wait I think I learned about him in grade school or something, he's the beginning of our great nation right" to "destroyer of what we could have had" (partially as public opinion's shifted away from solely praising the nation)

9 Jul, 2018 21:37

I crossed paths with the Golden Palace earlier and thought there was a rich lore that it was drawing upon, so I'm even more glad to have landed on this article. The level of detail and thought put into this is incredible.

9 Jul, 2018 21:48

Thank you so much!

9 Jul, 2018 21:42

I find it really interesting that he seems to be a fairly complicated person, neither a fully evil emperor or national savior. I appreciate that.

9 Jul, 2018 21:51

Thanks! Yeah, leaders, especially long-term ones, who managed to be solely terrible are a bit of a historical anomaly and I wanted to show that here - Veshir was far from kind, and the people being conquered by him didn't appreciate it, but he *did* set the stage for the beginning of a stable world-spanning empire with zero warfare and a lot less general suffering than ages past

9 Jul, 2018 21:57

That is a really good point, definitely. They wouldn't last very long otherwise. And yeah, can definitely see how his influence or legacy can be incredibly complex that way.