Ruler: Kapral Mal’vennik Firebane
Carved from the westernmost reaches of Q’barra, Z’ar Shehad is an attempt at creating a new empire of dragonborn to rival the ancient, mostly-forgotten domain that predated the arrival of man. Though relatively few in number, the Z’ar Shehadi are known for their fierceness in battle, their unwillingness to submit, and their steadfast resolve. They have been locked in a constant war with Valenar for over two decades, but the recent rise of Mal’vennik Firebane to the position of Kapral is believed by many to signal an impending victory.
Before man came to Khorvaire, the race of dragonborn built a great empire in the jungles of Q’barra, conquering other inhabitants and building great monuments and settlements. For reasons unknown, the empire collapsed, leaving ruins and dozens of scattered civilized dragonborn, warring internally and sometimes resorting to savagery.
A blue-scaled dragonborn named Mishva Garodya Stormhorn of the Stormhorn Clan — based out of western Q’barra — sought to bring back glory to the dragonborn after participating as a mercenary in the Last War and traveling the continent in its wake. She built a castle to act as a base, calling it Castle Garodya, and invited all dragonborn willing to take up a cause greater than their clan to come.
Many did, although the flow was slow at first. In 1001 YK, the Poison Dusk, a huge gathering of demon-worshiping lizardfolk and other jungle creatures, came into conflict against Mishva’s dragonborn, but were repelled with the aid of Zil’dejin Firebane and the Eclipse Collective. This incident, coupled with another related incident in which Harkaj Flamebrow — a prominent dragonborn known among the various clans of the east — was also revealed to be a demon worshiper drew dragonborn from all across the jungle and greater Khorvaire to gather under Mishva’s banner. With this, she decided to formalize their domain, calling it Z’ar Shehad: Draconic for “New Empire.”
Mishva signed a treaty with King Sebastes of New Galifar, solidifying her claim on western Q’barra and ensuring little interference from humans. She also formed an alliance with her lover Zil’dejin, and came up with a plan to unite her people and Eros by conquering Valenar. Her dragonborn have been locked into conflict with them since, in a battle that has risen and fallen much over the years, and has claimed the life of Mishva herself, allowing her second son by Zil’dejin, Mal’vennik, to assume the role of Kapral (emperor). Many believe that, like his father, he will display a great talent for the ways of war and shift the great stalemate in Z’ar Shehad’s favour.
Culture & Society
Little is really known of the old dragonborn empire, and dragonborn have changed much since its collapse, so Mishva knew it would be futile to try and recreate its culture. Instead, she attempted to create a harmonious cultural identity that could be inclusive of clans while also including them in something larger. So far, this has proven highly successful, and even long-feuding clans have checked their rivalries at the door when becoming citizens of Z’ar Shehad. Clan loyalty still forms the backbone of the “empire,” however, and Mishva held to the notion that Z’ar Shehad should be a mosaic built from the different clans.
Z’ar Shehad has many ties to the more traditional dragonborn to the east, and Mishva even attempted to enter the Ka’rhashan ritual war once, which would have given her control over the dragonborn’s holiest city. She lost, and did not make another attempt, but Mal’vennik has expressed a desire to participate as soon as the next one comes around in three years.