The Shavanir Desert in the south of Pendor is the D'Shar Principalities, consisting of dozens of separate tribes united under their current leader, Kadan Bahadur Khan.
The D'Shar were originally mercenaries imported to Pendor by the Baccus Empire to defend against bandits and raiders. Their natural tendencies quickly asserted themselves, spawning a large number of outlaw groups who plague the Principalities.
They are a fierce people, stiff with pride, who once were entirely nomadic, herding their flocks from pasture to pasture in search of grazing. Many of the former mercenaries settled in what began as trading centers and became the towns of Torbah, Nal Tar and Ishkoman. Singal, of course, while technically part of the D'Shar Principalities, is a law unto itself, a festering boil on the backside of the D'Shar kingdom.
Though settled now, the D'Shar remain at heart a free-roving people and there is much contention within the D'Shar Principalities over whether or not the D'Shar have abandoned their traditional way of life, to its detriment and at a cost to their fighting abilities.
Blood feuds are the chief sport amongst all the D'Shar, as they tend to take offense easily at nearly everything. They generally ignore Kadan Bahadur Khan's orders to cease and desist, as a blood feud is not finished until everyone on the opposing side is dead. Blood feuds can go on for ten generations, with each generation eagerly embracing the feuds of its ancestors.
D'Shar take multiple wives and prefer raiding other factions' caravans to trading. They have solid infantry and strong archers. Fortunately, they field some of the best non noble cavalry in Pendor.
Players may have the misconception that the D’Shar’s only stands out in horse archery — either a comparison of unit statistics or a field test would suggest otherwise. In truth, the faction is well rounded, nearly as balanced as the Empire. Their powerful, relentless strikes leave enemies constantly staggered, crippling their ability to counterattack before they proceed to get cut down entirely. To put it simply, the D'Shar are good in everything. Their only real weakness is a lack of truly heavy units - their heaviest footmen and horsemen can be outmuscled by the heaviest infantry and cavalry of other factions. That's not a bad weakness to have, though. They also have a slight tendency to lack shields, making them more vulnerable to ranged.
If it has the word Ghazi in their name, that soldier is good. The D'Shar really don't have a weak element in their troop tree, and this overall strength makes the D'Shar a solid pick. Thus, players will typically use D’Shar archery (both on horse and on foot) with their Hornbows and Ghazi Arrows to serve as distraction and a source of sustained damage, while their infantry will clean up the remaining foes. D'Shar foot archers and horse archers are equally skilled and equipped, and their infantry might be the strongest part of the faction.
The noble cavalry are doubly effective both as a mounted archer as well as a solid melee choice. They are always equipped with either Assassin Throwing Knives or Hornbows and Superior D'Shar Arrows, which gives the units great flexibility. Having the D'Shar Windriders as well as the Scorpion Assassins in D'Shar territory gives both their horsemen and infantry a great boost as well.
The greatest strength of the D'Shar is mobility. The best way to counter them is to control the high ground on a steep incline. This turns their army into a walking slogging mass and invites a proper punishment from your own ranged units.
Minor factions within their territory
Singalians are often seen around Singal, they are not against the the D'Shar, but with it, meaning they will side up with D'Shar lords if there's a Fierdsvain invasion for example. However, in times of peace, these will not allow caravans to reach Singal, damaging its Prosperity. They have armies, patrols and one unique spawn, Burilgi the Usurper.
These will be all around most of the D'Shar territory, they will focus on attacking the D'Shar in hopes to destroy it. When the D'Shar Principalities fall, they will leave the D'Shar territory and start spawning in the Kingdom of Sarleon, but only to fight the Heretics that plague that land. They have armies, warbands, patrols and one unique spawn, Holy Inquisitor Rasmus Devatica.
These are very common to see them from Sher Quila to Torbah, and around Torbah. They are always small patrols that unless a few group up, they can't even take caravans. They will attack villager parties with swift attacks and then run away once a lord tries to take them down. They have no armies nor unique spawns, just patrols.
The D'Shar Principalities have 3 orders established in their kingdom: the D'Shar Windriders (always in Torbah and 20% chance in Nal Tar), the first elite knighthood order associated with the faction, they can be seen as an improved version of the D'Shar Ghazi Stalkers (though in v3.9.3 windriders have quite a low chance to spawn with bows). The second being the Scorpion Assassins (always in Ishkoman), footmen that are especially deadly with their throwing knives, when out of ammo, they stand out in short range fights, like sieges, and finally the Order of Eventide (always in Singal), feared black knights that hate everything.
Windriders are the factional order of the D'Shar Principalities, meaning that a D'Shar Windrider is trained occasionally to every lord with the D'Shar culture. Kalandar Khan has D'Shar Dustriders as his household troop. Kadan Bahadur Khan has Windriders as his household troop.
These are the recruiting patrons all lords and walled fiefs attached to the D'Shar culture will follow (ordered by tier):
- 1-2 D'Shar Tribesman
- 2-3 D'Shar Hunter
- 2-5 D'Shar Conscript
- 0-0 D'Shar Horseman
- 2-5 D'Shar Desert Fighter (was 4-6 before 3.9)
- 2-4 D'Shar Raider
- 0-0 D'Shar Reaver
- 4-10 D'Shar Warrior (was 2-6 before 3.9)
- 5-10 D'Shar Desert Hunter
- 0-0 D'Shar Ghazi Dervish
- 3-5 D'Shar Ghazi Spearman (was 1-3 before 3.9)
- 0-0 D'Shar Ghazi Marksman
- 5-9 D'Shar Ghazi Stalker (was 1-2 before 3.9)
- 3-5 D'Shar Ghazi Reaver (was 1-3 before 3.9)
- 1-2 D'Shar Nobleman
- 3-5 D'Shar Noble Rider (was 1-4 before 3.9)
- 3-5 D'Shar Noble Cavalry (was 1-2 before 3.9)
- 0-1 D'Shar Windrider
|3rd||D'Shar Conscript||D'Shar Horseman|
|4th||D'Shar Desert Fighter||D'Shar Raider||D'Shar Reaver|
|5th||D'Shar Warrior||D'Shar Desert Hunter|
|6th||D'Shar Ghazi Dervish||D'Shar Ghazi Spearman||D'Shar Ghazi Marksman||D'Shar Ghazi Stalker||D'Shar Ghazi Reaver|
You may also see D'Shar Djaha Archers, who spawn only in D'Shar armies. They are a special unit and not on any troop tree.
|2nd||D'Shar Noble Raider|
|3rd||D'Shar Noble Cavalry|
The D'Shar Principalities have 20 lords, these being:
- Caliph Hamid
- Caliph Tahir
- Caliph Bahman
- Mansour Bey
- Quingit Bey
- Haji Nabi Bey
- Rafik Bey
- Kaivan Khan
- Faridar Khan
- Kalandar Khan
- Farhad Khan
- Jehangir Khan
- Lord Schaday
- Zahir Khan
- Lord Ikram
- Jandras Khan
- Haji Cyrus Khan
- Amin Jan Khan
- Ardeshir Khan
- Jamshid Khan
There are 4 cities within this kingdom, these being:
6 castles protect this kingdom, these being:
There were stories of the Jatu tribesmen and their flight from the Empire and General Oasar, becoming nomads in the Eastern prairies of Pendor. There are the detailed accounts of the Order of the Lion, a knighthood order of Pendor, and their history and their betrayal by one of their own which had the order declared outlaw for years until their redemption under the current King of Sarleon.
Chapters were dedicated to the D'Shar, a nomadic peoples who are evolving into a military and economic force only to find that their own worst enemy is themselves. Just as fascinating was the references to the encounters with the ancient Noldor and their powerful weapons and enchantments that changed the life of more than one adventurer. I was especially drawn to the story of Madigan, a wandering mystic who prophesied the coming of a hero who would unite the lords of the Pendor and reunite the old kingdom. His saga touched me as a hero himself, trying to speak the truth and being condemned to death for his beliefs.
Actually, along the Shavanir Desert is the Principality of D'Shar made of dozens of separate individual tribes. At the height of the founding of the Kingdom of Pendor several tribes supported the peace and prosperity that the Kings of Pendor offered them for a treaty of peace.
The peace turned into an alliance and these tribes began trading with the Northern Kingdoms. The makeshift tents and stalls that they set up in the plains of D'Shar over several generations became small-fortified towns and villages. No longer were they nomadic, but settled down, built homes and planted crops. Their prosperity quickly propelled these tribes into prominence in the D'Shar plains.
Yet, those tribes who were staunchly tied to the old ways, remain nomadic and have rejected the 'city dwellers' completely. Recently they have reverted to raiding the many caravans coming into and out of these towns. This has caused a great deal of tension between the cities and the tribal nomads closer to the great desert.
Commentary on the D'Shar
"There's nothing like a wedding to bring out the best of a good blood feud." -Haji Kalandar Khan, D'Shar Lord
"We will grind those barbarian savages to a pulp beneath the heel of Sarleon." -Lord Andre of Sarleon
"They are nothing but fornicating camel-rapers. The Fierdsvain will show them what real rape is!" -Fierdsvain Huscarl
"The only thing worth a denar that comes from the D'Shar Principalities is spice." -Guild Master of Ravenstern
"A battlefield littered with D'Shar carcasses is the most delightful sight! It almost equals a pack of dead Noldor for sheer aesthetic pleasure." -Empire Legionnaire
"Once, a scholar told me those D'Shar wimps were cousins to the Jatu. I killed him for the insult." -Jatu Mercenary
Here's a video overviewing the D'Shar Principalities faction's most notable lords, factional knighthood order and their elite troops: