General Zarko
The bloody history of General Zarko Mu-Adrak

Zarko served Lord Molari from Endra province. At the height of the great war years, Lord Molari carved out a kingdom for himself. He conquered Endra province, and proclaimed himself ruler of the whole Middle Kingdom.

General Zarko. Size=57.3K Zarko was charged with the conquest of the Western province of Pesra, while Molari continued his pacification of Endra. Pesra province is populated by a diminutive race of people known as the Ying. Ying are generally looked down upon by the taller and finer-boned Jilani people of Endra province.

The Conquest of Pesra

The Pesra campaign started well. Zarko’s army marched on Pesra city and took it within two weeks. There was minimal loss of life. Lord Bordo, who had ruled Pesra as his own personal fiefdom for the previous five years, was put to death. Thus Zarko ended his corrupt rule, and there was much rejoicing.

Bordo’s defeated men were pursued Westwards. Lawlessness was rife in Pesra, and Zarko’s army was kept very busy suppressing banditry and spreading Lord Molari’s rule into the surrounding towns and villages.

Before the year was out, Zarko’s men controlled about a third of Pesra province, including Pesra city. Three legions, half the army were engaged in hunting down Bordo’s men in the Western hills, where they were being succored by Ying villagers.


The following Spring, disaster struck Molari’s armies back in Endra. Four of his best legions were wiped out by the dark soldiors of Mad Lord Alishak. Molari ordered Zarko to send three legions to the Capital to bolster his defences.

Stripped of half his men, Zarko could do little but hold his ground. Operations against Bordo’s men ceased, and banditry began to become a problem once again.

The Slaughter of Karnak

That Summer Bordo’s men, lead by the young Bordo, made a pact with Ying tribesmen, and with their help began marching East on Zarko’s lands. They made initial gains, as Zarko’s troops were thinly spread chasing bandits.

Zarko’s response was to order two of his legions to regroup on Pesra town. Only a single legion was left to keep the peace in the countryside. They were formed into warbands and given special powers to suppress banditry and dissent. Villages suspected of harbouring bandits were destroyed, often burned.

Zarko’s remaining two legions met the advancing Bordo, and fought an inconclusive battle. Bordo withdrew to the town of Karnak. That night Zarko’s army used magic to approach Karnak without being observed. Aware that an assault on the walled town would be suicide, Zarko ordered it burned. The town’s thatched rooves were tinder-dry in the Summer heat and the fire quickly spread.

All Yings fleeing the burning town were slaughtered by Zarko’s troops, whilst Jilani survivors were imprisoned and tortured. Those who confessed to supporting Bordo were hanged. Young Bordo himself managed to flee the carnage, along with some of his men.

Zarko Wastes Pesra

Zarko then marched West pursuing the young Bordo. He slaughtered and burned Ying villages and towns as he went. Ultimately Bordo was captured and killed - but Zarko’s obsession had driven his dwindling army deep into Ying territory. It took a month of desperate fighting for them to flee back East through the devastated Ying lands.

Meanwhile, Lord Molari’s defences had been crushed, and the armies of Lord Kamalan were sweeping into Pesra. Zarko’s exhausted legions were met by Kamalan’s fresh troops, and destroyed.

Genaral Zarko is a character from a rôleplaying game The King’s Men run by Samuel Haldane.
Character concept and artwork by Alex.
© Copyright Alex Tingle, 1997.

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