Thuria and Beyond
Xerchanas the God King
God King of Anshan
Xerchanas (born 965 YT) is the self-styled God King of Anshan. Xerchanas is a terrifyingly imposing figure, a muscled giant standing over 8 feet tall and adorned with fabulous gold ornaments, many of which are attached to his body by piercings. His entire body is completely hairless and his face is always elaborately painted.
Xerchanas ascended the Anshani throne in 990 YT following the death of his father Emperor Darshanas in battle. Darshanas had yearned for Anshan to become a true empire. Having Anshani territory westwards towards the Mountains of Gold, subjugating numerous tribes along the way, Darshanas had undertaken the far more daunting tasks of riding north to take on the Turanian and Hrykanian peoples on either short of the Vilayet Sea. Turanian resistance to the Anshani invaders was especially stiff and it was a Turanian arrow that slew Emperor Darshanas. Driven mad by grief for his father, Prince Xerchanas was susceptible to the wiles of Yarhina, a ruthless Yuetshi assassin and with considerable influence in his father’s court. Yarhina convinced the suggestible prince that he was destined to be a God. So Xerchanas allowed Yarhina to summon the Red Necromancers, Anshan’s most powerful cult of sorcerers and demonologists, and have them devise a ritual designed to confer unearthly power upon him. The ritual took place in Delhurmir, the Red Necromancers’ stronghold in a remote part of the Ilbars Mountains. The grieving prince was wrapped in gauze soaked in powerful potions and then cast out into the sands of the southern Kharamun Desert without food or water. Guided by the spells of the Necromancers, the delirious prince stumbled into a remote cave – a site suffused with powerful, ancient and evil magic. Xerchanas plunged himself into the deep pool of water inside the cave, emerging from the water transformed spiritually and physically. The once normal-sized prince grew to his current huge size, his eyes black and his body inhumanly smooth and glabrous. Yarhina’s plan had worked perfectly. His physical transformation convinced Xerchanas that he had indeed become both divine and immortal. But he did not suspect that he was now entirely in the power of the Red Necromancers, led by the undead Szass Tam.
The bargain hatched between Yarhina and Szass Tam was along the following lines – the Red Necromancers will add unholy and arcane power to the growing military might of Anshan, creating undead and magical beasts to be used as weapons of war, thereby assisting Yarhina in her ambition to create a fighting force able to devastate hated Turan; in exchange, the power of the Red Necromancers has greatly increased in the Empire of Anshan. Szass Tam and his associates can do as they wish without opposition in Anshanar and the other cities of the realm. The Imperial court itself is fully in their power, all the most powerful advisers and officials having been assassinated or banished by Yarhina when she was plotting to ensure that she alone would have influence over Emperor Xerchanas.
Considering himself divine, Xerchanas has forbidden the worship of all other gods. In recent years, all the existing temples in Anshanar have either been demolished or converted to shrines of the God King.