23rd Century Universe Wiki
Capital Sǎrthîon
Religion Sǎrîshǔ-worship
Languages Sarthîn, Trade Standard
Government Rule by God-King (de jure)

Regency (de facto)

Leader Sǎrîshǔ (de jure)

Unknown regent (de facto)

Sǎrthîon (Imperial Tarsin: Sǎrtǔnîon, the Gleaming Land) emerged from the Beacon Cataclysm unlike most other Tarsin worlds: in triumph and strength rather than in fear and doubt. Indeed, strength would be a defining feature of the people of Sǎrthîon, even in the early years of the Empire. The Sǎrthîm were as proud as their kin elsewhere, and in the beginning, served the same gods, fought in the same wars, and relied upon on the same great works of elder days. But darkness entered Sǎrthîon, and the Gleaming Ones went astray.


The world known as Sǎrthîon was settled long before the end of the elder days. The first men to reach it were amazed at the planet they had found, for much of it had been turned to glassy crystal by some fiery bombardment long ago. They landed in a region at its daybreak, and in their eyes, all things became glittering and gleaming. So was Sǎrthîon named, and the Sǎrthîm believed themselves to be blessed.

Dawn of Discontent[]

The Beacon Cataclysm came upon them, and the Undying servants who once obeyed their every whim turned against them, as they did everywhere else. But the Sǎrthîm were quick thinkers, and threw their entire people into battle against the Undying. The cost of victory was high, but their pride would allow nothing less than total victory, even if they had to use the enemy’s own devices against them. After the dust settled, the race that emerged from the Cataclysm was one of warriors and sorcerers of unmatched power and cunning, most loyal to the ideals of the elder days of all men. When Tarsis came upon them, the Sǎrthîm knelt and received a king’s crown, but there was no love between the two kindreds. But at least, for the time, there was no hate either. Niren-Sǔl, the zaian Prophet, greatly mistrusted the Sǎrthîm. He believed their love of machines and sorcery would lead them to a wretched fate if there was no guiding force. To them he sent the great zaian crafter Dôl-Nasîr, but the Sǎrthîm refused to heed him. With the seclusion of the zaian for many ages, any restraining voice they might have had was gone, and the Sǎrthîm learned ever-darker arts.

Even the Emperor of Tarsis became concerned with the growing discontent of the Sǎrthîm. Their quest for power, wealth, and glory had struck fear in their neighbors, and those realms turned to their lord and master for aid. Emperor Shǎr-Sârishôs IV sent envoys to Sǎrthîon requesting their King to come before the Throne to explain himself, but the proud Shǔr-Ǔkhôrôs I of Sǎrthîon sent them back, daring the Emperor to take his kingly sceptre if he so could. So did Sǎrthîon leave the Tarsin realms, and the Tarsins were loath to fight those they still thought their equal kin. Free of the Imperial yoke, they could act as they pleased, without fear of the Emperor’s retribution. The Sǎrthîm delved deep into the forbidden sorceries, but did not yet dare to create their own Undying servants, nor fuse man with machine.

Lord of Traitors[]

For many years, the Sǎrthîm rarely bothered with the Empire. But then came the dark days, when Emperor Sîn-Ǔshurôs VIII was deceived by the one called Hâlumǎr, and in his arrogance, released the Undying and many demons from their prison. Hâlumǎr and the Undying turned on him, and slew him, and for five hundred years made their war on the Tarsin kingdoms. They called upon the Sǎrthîm to aid them many times, believing them to still consider themselves one race among mankind, but the King of Sǎrthîon hardened his heart, and turned away. In the five hundred and fifteenth year of that age, when all lights had been extinguished, the Savior of the World came, and he would lead the mortal races to their ultimate victory. Hâlumǎr’s demons and the Undying fled, and legend has it that it was one among them that came to Sǎrthîon, seeking sanctuary. The King allowed him entry, Sǎrîshǔ he named himself, Friend of Light.

Their inaction when the fate of the World hung by a thread earned the Sǎrthîm great mistrust from the Tarsins, just as the distant Vasîv’s inaction had. But in the following years, Sǎrîshǔ taught the Sǎrthîm craft and sorceries they could not have imagined. Just as Hâlumǎr had deceived Sîn-Ǔshurôs, Sǎrîshǔ worked his way into the closest counsel of King Semri-Sheber, Chain-Breaker as the Sǎrthîm would soon call him. Sǎrîshǔ drove the Sǎrthîm into an ever greater lust for power, wealth, and glory; bringing them to honor strength and freedom above all else. Only freedom from all constraints and morality would bring true power to the Sǎrthîm. It was their destiny to rule over the subhuman filth that feared inevitable progress, to stamp down on the weak and unworthy. They would try to infect the Sǎrthîm with the New Faith’s notions of compassion and justice, but these were zaian lies, spread out of jealousy of mankind’s true potential. Only their race was still free from that contagion, but even that might not last forever. King Semri-Sheber asked Sǎrîshǔ how he might attain the power to stop this, and Sǎrîshǔ told him.

It was not a century after the Salvation of the World when word came to the Emperor of Tarsis that Semri-Sheber, his life long-extended by sorcery, had broken the ancient ban on merging man and machine, which until now no mortal man had ever done, as Hâlumǎr was not counted among them. Only the forces of evil could be at work here. The Emperor called his folk to war, and they attacked Sǎrthîon. The Sǎrthîm had only just begun their entry into augmentation, and could not hold against the Tarsins. Semri-Sheber was killed in battle, and their hope faltered, but Sǎrîshǔ came forth in all his brilliant power, and destroyed the Tarsins, killing their zaian himself. In that hour, the Sǎrthîm named him a god, and bowed before Sǎrîshǔ, just as planned by the wicked demon.

Height of Power[]

Seeing that Sǎrthîon was protected by one of Hâlumǎr’s greatest captains, the Tarsins did not try to strike again. They still had much to rebuild and repopulate, and could ill-afford another war even close to the scale of the Salvation. So Sǎrthîon was left alone. But the Tarsins did not forget the demon Sǎrîshǔ, and refused to call him Friend of Light. Instead they named him Azîrtǔshar, Lord of Traitors, as that's what the Sǎrthîm had become to mankind.

For many centuries, Sǎrthîon was ruled directly by Âzîrtǔshǎr, and as the Tarsins recovered from the dark days, that threat did not go unchallenged. Many times did the new fleets of Tarsis go forth to do battle with the Sǎrthîm, but they could never win any fruitful victories. The power of Sǎrthîon grew, and its shadow spread deep into the lost realms. Many of the savage barbarians who dwelt in that region, whose forefathers had fought against Hâlumǎr, now bowed down before Âzîrtǔshǎr and his Sǎrthîm. Seeing the riches and power their lord had brought them, the Sǎrthîm worshipped him as a god-king. While Âzîrtǔshǎr ruled Sǎrthîon, there was nothing that could stop them.

As his servants did his bidding across the World, Âzîrtǔshǎr plotted in secret to fulfill the purpose of his predecessor, Hâlumǎr. The legend of the half-machine creature who had brought about Hâlumǎr’s downfall was known to Âzîrtǔshǎr; and he did not strive to control his pawns by force alone. Only those who were truly loyal to him would receive his gift, and they were far better servants despite being far fewer in number. But try as he might, Âzîrtǔshǎr could not make any device of his own that could fulfill their original mission.

And if he had come close, his studies were cut short, for in that hour a zaian came. Dôl-Nasîr had returned, seeing the world he had once tried to turn from its dark path fall under a deep shadow. In the end, it was not a fleet or army that drove Âzîrtǔshǎr out of his stronghold, but Dôl-Nasîr, who came alone and in secret. Dôl-Nasîr met his end, and Âzîrtǔshǎr was not seen again on Sǎrthîon. The loss of their god-king was greatly distressing to the Sǎrthîm, but they resolved to carry on as he had taught them, and they await his return to this day.

In the long ages since, Sǎrthîon’s power has waned and waxed and waned again, most recently waxing by their defeat of the Thôvis Crusade. Their lightning-quick raids continue, taking slaves and resources from their Tarsin foe; and only mutual hate remains between the two kindreds.


Even from the Tarsin perspective, Âzîrtǔshǎr was not wholly evil, as Hâlumǎr was. The Undying had been built to serve mankind, in distant ages long ago, and some remnant of that ancient purpose persisted. The Sǎrthîm were not plunged into chaos and ruin as the mortal races had been during Hâlumǎr’s dominion, but rather shaped into a new order as Âzîrtǔshǎr wished. He completed their transformation into the force of terror and fury the Tarsins know so well today, and bestowed his gifts on those servants who pleased him. Those who did not strive to serve their lord to the full extent of their abilities were left in peace, though they had to contend with each other. Even among those Sǎrthîm who did not go on raids or to wars, there was deceit and scheming, so that one individual might overcome another. Only the strongest reached the top, and the weakest languished and perished. The unworthy were sacrificed in his name, so that their failures would in the end magnify his own glory. And Âzîrtǔshǎr thought it good.

Though the departure of Âzîrtǔshǎr was a shock, the Sǎrthîm did not immediately grow softer in heart. They have kept up their sacrifices of the weakest and most defenseless among them, and their augmentations and sorceries; but their society is no longer dedicated to the sole purpose of working their power over the World. It is possible to live what an Earthman might consider an almost normal live among the Sǎrthîm, the presence of rampant cybernetic, slavery, and codified rule of “might makes right” excepted. It is a much freer society than even Earth’s; if one desires something, one can have it, if they wish to make it possible. And being human at heart, despite their worship of a demon, some distinction of right and wrong has returned to the Sǎrthîm, warped and twisted as it is.

Raider Clans[]

While the Sǎrthîm on their homeworld and colonies have become a slightly more relaxed lot, some Sǎrthîm still hold true to the same values Âzîrtǔshǎr taught them long ago. About a thousand years ago, these groups saw their own culture going "soft" on the weak and unworthy, and left their homes behind to live the true Sǎrthîm life. These Sǎrthîm became the ancestors of today's raider clans. The raider clans are not organized around blood ties, but are rather more like interstellar gangs. Anyone can join them, born of the Sǎrthîm or not. Some even take non-humans into their ranks. Raiders are easily identified by their quite literally sharper appearance, often sacrificing practicality for intimidation and shock value, and sacrificing armor for speed. They take trophies of every kind imaginable, and will leave "gifts" for their enemies after they depart.

There are over three dozen confirmed raider clans, but there are thought to be a hundred or more throughout the entire portion of the lost realms that was once Tarsin ruled. Each one has its own traditions and methods of operation, but all are united by two aspects: disgust towards the weak, and hatred toward the Tarsin Empire. Human sacrifice has become an activity for the old or crippled wishing to please their absent master one last time on Sǎrthîon proper, but the raider clans actively take captives for the sole purpose of offering up to Âzîrtǔshǎr. They also engage in slavery, both for their own benefits and pleasures, and to sell to their brethren and other barbarians. The raider clans engage in unending war against the Coalition, and often attack Tarsin border worlds.


With their god-king’s throne vacant, a regent has held power in the realm of Sǎrthîon. Regents come and go, sometimes quickly, and each one is reliant upon their own strength and reputation to get anything done. Some regents can force the Sǎrthîm into major actions, such as during the Thôvis Crusade; others can do little at all but keep some form of order, while individual war-bands of Sǎrthîm go as they will in conjunction with raider clans, as is the current situation.

See also[]