|Age:||79 (at time of death)|
- "Anshar's a harsh king, not willing to admit his mistakes...even when he's at fault...both in mind and body."
- —Malakhia d'Zarnagon to Haruko Mizushima about Anshar
King Anshar the Wealthy was the ruler of Barjassil prior to the War of the Andain in the First Age. He had bad blood with the Band of the Fox, particularly Haruko Mizushima who had stolen his most valuable possessions, the Dragon Diamond and Crown Princess Xezbeth, from the palace. He was mostly a puppet king who was influenced by the Court of Judges until he eventually asked Kagetsu I to annex Barjassil with Ancient Maar Sul so that the corrupt Court and the treacherous Captain Gilgamesh would not subjugate the kingdom and the people of Barjassil could live in prosperity under the Andain's guidance. Anshar was slain by the vengeful Gilgamesh shortly afterwards, but the legacy of Barjassil itself and its people survived thanks to its annexation with Maar Sul.
- "Anshar, even if he's getting old and is mainly a figurehead, still has some authority here in Barjassil."
- —Arlen Finian about Anshar
Anshar reigned as the King of Barjassil in the First Age, ruling one half of the Land of the Living while King Kagetsu I ruled the other half from Ancient Maar Sul. He had a big treasure chamber filled with all sorts of mystic valuables like the Dragon Diamond, and his riches made people call him Anshar the Wealthy.
Although Anshar was technically the authority figure in his libetarian kingdom, much of the power actually lay in the corrupt and manipulative Court of Judges who essentially pushed Anshar into the role of a puppet king slowly but surely. Anshar was aware of this manipulation, however, but didn't dare to oppose the court directly because he knew how influential the judges were. Thus the palace court ended up in a balance of terror between the king and the judges, both factions wanting to make the other bow to them, which led to all sorts of intrigue.
One day Anshar met a mysterious visitor in his court. The man called himself the Oracle and offered his services and gift of foresight to the king. After Anshar saw how well versed the Oracle, Malakhia d'Zarnagon, was with magic, how cunning a mind he possessed and how he seemed to be able to predict the future to an extent, he decided to take the Oracle in. He hoped to use this new acquaintance to better solidify his position as ruler, and he soon came to view the Oracle as a trustworthy advisor on matters of state.
During his reign, Anshar had several wives. However, he showed sings of impotency and couldn't impregnate a woman, but he was either oblivious to the fact, refused to acknowledge it or believed that his wives had cursed him with bad seed. As a result he executed whoever he had as wives at the time in case the women didn't bear him an heir within a year as not getting pregnant was a sure sign of being a witch in his view.
As Anshar grew older, he became more desperate than ever to have an heir; he needed to continue his bloodline but if he didn't produce an heir, the Court of Judges could simply take over and abolish the monarchy altogether after his death by claiming that the gods had cursed the monarchy and thus the court would be better fit to rule. Whateve happened, Anshar didn't want his ancestors' throne fall into the hands of schemers.
In Love and WarEdit
Heir of DeceitEdit
- "A queen's life is filled with responsibilities, not only state-wise but also in the bed chamber. Our king is getting older, and he has...well, problems."
- —Malakhia d'Zarnagon to Haruko Mizushima about Anshar
Anshar visited the downtown of Barjassil's capital from his castle to look for the most beautiful woman in his kingdom to become his next wife after he'd executed the previous one for not giving him an heir. He came across a beautiful 18-year-old named Haruko Mizushima and was smitten by her instantly. He took Haruko to his palace and announced that they'd be married in a grand ceremony soon; he believed that the more beautiful a woman was, the more likely she was to provide him with an heir, and Haruko had been the most beautiful woman he'd set his eyes on so far.
While Haruko stayed in the palace, Anshar assigned Gilgamesh, the Captain of the Royal Guard, to watch over her. Little did the king know at the time that he was being deceived by all the people closest to him. Anshar's infatuation with Haruko had been no accident; Haruko was actually a rogue who had deliberately enchanted Anshar with her magic in order to get into his palace to steal the valuable Dragon Diamond from his vault. The Oracle the king so trusted was also up to no good, seeking to manipulate the king for his own ends, and eventually had a secret affair with Haruko which resulted in Haruko getting pregnant. Even Gilgamesh plotted behind the king's back, hoping to one day have enough political and military influence to stage a coup and execute both Anshar and the Court of Judges while becoming the tyrant of all of Barjassil.
When Anshar learned that Haruko had become pregnant, he rejoiced. He believed that the child was his and that Barjassil could finally have the heir it needed and the schemes of the Court of Judges could at least be postponed now that they couldn't abolish the monarchy thanks to Haruko's pregnancy. Haruko gave birth to a beautiful, green-haired baby girl whom the court named Crown Princess Xezbeth after a suggestion from the Oracle even though Haruko had had another name in mind for her daughter initially.
Just as everything looked to turn out well in the kingdom, the Oracle approached Anshar and informed him that Haruko had been cheating on the king for a long time and that she was in fact a member of the Band of the Fox, a gang of outlaws who had been planning to steal the Dragon Diamond and had sent Haruko to infiltrate the castle and get into the king's good graces for that exact purpose. After listening to the Oracle and looking at the irrefutable evidence he'd provided (which conveniently didn't mention that Anshar wasn't the real father of the princess), Anshar grew angry. The king had been deceived by the beautiful girl who had turned out to be a cunning enchantress who had been toying with his feelings. Before the king's guards could imprison her, Haruko managed to flee from the castle, but she wasn't able to take her daughter with her.
Anshar placed the Crown Princess under guard should Haruko return, and in the meantime he ordered Gilgamesh to send his men to search for Haruko and the rest of the Band of the Fox so that they could be brought to justice. Gilgamesh, being thrilled at the idea of chasing an elusive group of cunning thieves, did as the king ordered, although unbeknownst to Anshar he had other motives too: by this time Gilgamesh had also become smitten by Haruko and now wanted her as his own no matter the cost.
As time passed and Gilgamesh's men looked for clues of the whereabouts of the eve-elusive Haruko, Anshar became more and more paranoid. He let the Oracle teach and raise Princess Xezbeth, unaware of the dark ideas which the Oracle was secretly planting into the girl's mind.
- "By the Decree of His Majesty Anshar the Wealthy, it is hereby known that the Enchantress of the Spring is a Thief and a Harlot and has stolen our fair Princess and His Majesty's most valuable Treasures after she had bewitched His Majesty and his Royal Guards with her foul Magick. For these transgressions against the Crown and the Law of the Judges, the Enchantress and her Accomplices are to be arrested on sight and the Princess is to be returned to His Majesty safely. The reward for any Citizen or Peasant who succeeds in this task shall be a thousand Aurens, a bag full of Radiant Gems, and a Noble Rank of the Highest Order."
- —Arrest warrant for Haruko Mizushima issued by Anshar
Five years after her initial escape from the castle, Haruko returned to Barjassil and stole both Princess Xezbeth and the Dragon Diamond before fleeing from the castle again with help from her accomplice, the rogue Katsutoshi Kobayashi. Anshar was furious at his troops having failed to capture the Enchantress and ordered Gilgamesh to begin a real manhunt for the elusive rogue: no longer would mere bounties on her head be sufficient, this time the royal guard would do everything in its power to track down and bring back the Princess, in whom lay the future of the kingdom, and punish the Band of the Fox for its crimes in the most severe manner possible.
Anshar knew that he was getting older and older, and unless Xezbeth was returned in time, he might die before she could ascend to the throne, and then the Court of Judges could finally take over the kingdom legally without having to lift a finger. This would be Anshar's last chance to save the kingdom and his bloodline, and he knew he was playing with high stakes for the sake of his kingdom and its future. Ironically the king didn't realize that Xezbeth didn't have any of his blood in her whatsoever as she was actually the child of Haruko and the Oracle. This ironically meant that whatever future the kingdom had if she came to power would thus only be founded on lies.
Gilgamesh led his hunting group, which included the Oracle, after Haruko and her outlaw friends while Anshar focused on politics and did his best to keep the Court of Judges from overruling his decisions. The fate of Barjassil now lay on Xezbeth's shoulders, and he hoped the captain of the guard would bring the Princess back safely.
Gilgamesh did eventually return with one of the outlaws, Koschei Dravaris, who was revealed to have betrayed Haruko and the rest of his companions to become a noble and thus ensured the demise of the Band of the Fox. Anshar rewarded the ambitious thief with the title of a duke for his services to his country but also learned the horrible truth when Gilgamesh gave his report: the Oracle, the Dragon Diamond and the Crown Princess had all vanished without a trace, which led the king to the conclusion that the Oracle had been playing him all along and used the pretext of the hunt to grab both the diamond and the heir to the throne.
The only solace to the increasingly paranoid Anshar was that both Haruko and Katsutoshi had met their end during the battle according to Gilgamesh's report, although he didn't know that Gilgamesh was actually lying: the two thieves had in fact been sealed into magic crystals, and Gilgamesh hoped to locate the crystals and Haruko and someday claim her as his wife. Gilgamesh had also deliberately put the blame on the events of the battle on the Oracle's shoulers after the man had vanished, hoping to discredit him in the king's eyes while becoming more important himself and rise in the hierarchy of the court.
Last Days of BarjassilEdit
The Court of Judges reacted to the news of Gilgamesh's expedition as Anshar had expected: they believed their victory was now imminent because Anshar had become too old to father a child anymore, and he had lost his sole heir into the wild. Anshar was getting desperate over the following weeks and tried to devise a way to subvert this development and find a way to outsmart the judges in their complex political game.
It was then that something unexpected happened: Gilgamesh apparently went insane, finally revealing his dark ambitions to overthrow the king and the court and become the sole ruler of Barjassil. Strange, dark and terrifying magical power oozed from his body as he lay waste to the judges who tried to stop his reckless path of destruction through the capital, which left hundreds of people dead. Anshar realized that even the captain he had trusted had ended up becoming a traitor too just like Haruko and the Oracle had been. He had no friends; he was only surrounded by enemies no matter where he looked.
Anshar was worried by the bloody power struggle between the Court of Judges and Gilgamesh and realized that no matter which of the two won, Barjassil and its people would suffer. He discovered that there was still one way to save what was left of his crumbling kingdom even though, ironically, that too would in a way bring about the end of Barjassil as a kingdom. Yet it was the least of three evils in the king's mind, so he went about to put his final act as a king in motion to save what could still be saved. Even if he had lost everything, at least he could ensure that his legacy would survive through the ages.
With these gloomy yet somewhat hopeful thoughts in mind, Anshar approached King Kagetsu I and asked Maar Sul to annex Barjassil. He explained to Kagetsu that after he had lost his sole heir Princess Xezbeth, he feared that either the psychopathic Gilgamesh or the scheming Court of Judges would bring ruin to the kingdom and his people. Kagetsu, moved by the king's last act, accepted Anshar's terms, and the annexation was successful. As a result, Maar Sul brought its Andain forces to end the violence in Barjassil, and the remaining judges and Gilgamesh's followers were subjugated.
Gilgamesh, angered by Maar Sul's interference and how big a part Anshar's double dealings had played in it to squash his attempted coup, tracked down and slew Anshar, thus ending the king's bloodline and the monarchy of Barjassil once and for all.
Although the monarchy of Barjassil had died with Anshar, Barjassil itself survived as part of Maar Sul after the Andain defeated Gilgamesh and the annexation was finalized. Much of the former kingdom's culture would live on in tablets which survived in several ancient libraries, and fragments of its culture and the deeds of Anshar and his predecessors would be recorded although much of what was known about Anshar himself ended up falling into obscurity as the ages passed and facts turned into legends and myths.
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- King of Barjassil
- His title.
A stern, grey-bearded man with blue eyes. He was clad in expensive yellow clothes.
Personality and TraitsEdit
In a way Anshar was both gullible and cunning at the same time; he knew the threat posed by the Court of Judges and opposed it subtly, but at the same time he failed to see betrayal from the very people close to him whom he trusted the most. He stubbornly believed that it was the fault of his wives that he wasn't able to produce an heir even though the fault lay solely on himself. He was ruthless yet pragmatic most of the time and in his final years he managed to swallow his pride enough to act on the best interests of his people by asking his kingdom to be annexed to save it from total destruction at the hands of power-hungry warlords. He was also rather greedy, which is why he hoarded all his wealth and saw his valuables as his "children".
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
In his youth he was a good swordsman but as he got older, his skills got rusty and his body became more frail. When faced by the wrath of Gilgamesh, he could do little stop him from killing him as Gilgamesh was at the height of his power whereas he was an old man at the time.
Anshar saw Gilgamesh as a proud, ruthless warrior who would do his bidding. He realized too late that Gilgamesh had been plotting to usurp power and not by peaceful means, and in the end the threat posed by Gilgamesh and his immense, unleashed powers were enough to sway the elderly Anshar to finally negotiate a treaty of annexation with Kagetsu I to save what was left of Barjassil.
Anshar fell head over heels for Haruko whom he saw as the most beautiful woman he'd ever laid his eyes on. He was even more thrilled when Haruko got pregnant after their marriage, and he believed the birth of the princess would ensure that Anshar's line would continue. When he found out that Haruko had only been using him to steal his treasures and that she'd been having affairs with other people while being married to him, he became furious and put a bounty on her head. To add insult to injury, Haruko later stole the princess from the palace, which finally made Anshar send a team led by Gilgamesh and the Oracle after her to retrieve the child who meant everything to him and his kingdom. Haruko only saw Anshar as a means to an end, and became even more hostile towards him when he saw how violently he lashed out after having learned that she'd deceived him all along.
Anshar knew Malakhia best as the mysterious Oracle who offered him sound advice time and time again. He trusted in the Oracle's counsel and didn't realize he was playing behind his back by having an affair with Haruko and then using the Crown Princess for his own ends. By the time Gilgamesh revealed half-truths about the Oracle's schemes, Anshar could hardly believe that his trusted advisor could've been acting against the kingdom's best interests all along.
Anshar loved Crown Princess Xezbeth who he believed was his daughter even though the girl had actually been the result of a secret affair between Haruko and Malakhia and was only a pawn in the latter's elaborate scheme. He put a lot of weight on her small shoulders as he saw that the future of the kingdom depended on her, and she seemed to follow his orders dutifully enough even if she ended up somewhat spoiled by his care. When he heard that the princess had been kidnapped, it acted as a catalyst to send Gilgamesh and the Oracle after her, which led to several tragic events in several people's lives which would resonate even millennia later.