Hathan bel-Kor (approx. 2 AS - 67 AS) was the first of the Veshyaar, and the founder of the great religion of Tharan. He has left a powerful legacy in the political, religious, economic and military spheres of life, especially across the southern continent and parts of Torthalon. The writings he left behind formSalarashara.
While other Veshyaar have come to guide the faithful, as bel-Kor promised, he remains the most beloved figure of the religion and the culture it inspired.
Birth and Early LifeEdit
Hathan was born in a small village a few days' travel from the old city of Unbyr, in the land of Ashar, two years after Alindor's collapse. It is said that the sky was marked by a sign of his coming--a star that exploded and glowed with the light of a second sun in the middle of the night--although it was unknown what the star marked at the time. By all account his early life was a simple one, as he tended to the flocks and small business of his family. His village, Bekura, was close enough to Unbyr that he would travel there every few months to trade for supplies and sell the wares of his family. During this time he gained a greater understanding of the wider world of many of the miseries that it contained--the divide between rich and poor; slavery; illness; suffering.
In his early teens he married a young woman from his village, Asama bel-Kora. She soon became pregnant with their first born, but both mother and child died in childbirth in 18 AS. Hathan did not remarry at that time, but mourned his first wife for an uncommonly long time.
As an adult, Hathan took a far larger role in the running of his family business, and in some of the affairs of his village. He became friends with some of the members of a local Mardukim clan, gaining a love of the drier and more barren surroundings they preferred. He remained unmarried, much to the chagrin of his parents
Around 30 AS he became lost in the barren and arid hills in the northwest of Lathandurya. In the incredible heat of the broken land, he wandered for days until he was out of food, and his water gone. Resolute, he continued on, determined to survive, until he could barely move. Broken, dejected, and ready to surrender, he sank to his knees. At that moment, a brightly colored bird unlike any he'd ever seen before landed on a rock next to him, chirping merrily. Curious, and hopeful, he followed the small bird as it flitted from rock to rock. Soon, the air moistened, and soon after that he came upon a spring bubbling up through the rocksHathan gratefully fell to his knees, drinking deeply. After he had saited his thirst he fell into a deep sleep in the shade of a geat rock. When he woke a tree had sprouted beside the spring, laden with fruit. Amazed and fearful, Hathan slowly ate his fill, drank some more, and filled his skins. As he sat in the shade of the tree, contemplating his mysterious fortune, he heard a soft, female voice calling his name. He answered hesitantly, and it urged him to follow it, towards the north. He followed it for a time, marking his way back to the spring, until he found the entrance of a cave, which the voice bade him enter.
Inside the cave, its dark and coolness welcome relief from the furnace outside, he beheld a glowing light. It was bright enough, he later recalled, to erase all detail, but did not hurt his eyes. And the voice of Ulaan spoke to him from out of the brightness, and he entered a great vision, for how long none can say.
When the vision ended Hathan was a changed man. He stood tall and proud, with a sense of purpose and strength about him that had not been there before. Ulaan, the One God, had spoken to him directly, revealing his will, and the path for the faithful to take. The words of Ulaan were burned into his memory, letter by letter, and he recalled them, and the divine instructions, with perfect clarity. More, he knew perfectly his way home, and back to his village in Ashar he went.
The change in Hathan was obvious to his people, and he soon gained a reputation for fair judgment, wisdom and compassion. At this time he began to gradually teach the way of Ulaan, converting first his family and then his neighbours to the new faith. Always a pragmatic people, the folk of Ashar saw the wisdom and guidance of the new faith, as its small community prospered through collective effort and shared purpose. Hathan wrote down the words of UIaan, and added to these writings throughout his life as other visions came, and his commentaries grew. Undder his leadership the small communiy blossomed, and began to grow, encompasing other tribal groups in the region.
The faith did not spread unopposed. Resistance rose from other religious groups, or from economic or political interests tied to them. Tharan does not teach that other gods are not to be venerated, however, simply that Ulaan is suprerme among them. When the fledgling Tharan community was attacked, it met military force with military force. Diplomacy with diplomacy, honor with honor. Hathan's foreign policy was essentially dictated by a doctrine of responding in kind. As a leader of the community, both spiritually and temporally, Hathan sought to avoid war and bloodshed, although when given no other choice he did not shy away from them.
While the lands under the influence of Tharan grew, Hathan emphasised the rights of other religions to exist, alongside his own, but required that subject people engage in the charitable works required of all Tharani.
Bel-Kor's reputation for wisdom and justice spread, and he was soon called upon as an arbitrator of disputes, and lent his services as a diplomat and mediator for local political disputes. His reputation enhanced that of the religion he taught, as did the continued revelations he received from Ulaan until the day of his death.
By the end of his life, Hathan had brought hundreds of thousands into the faith of Tharan, which had spread across all of Ashar, throughout Lathandurya, and north towards Koorym.
Death and BurialEdit
Bel-Kor died on 28th day of the month of Quickens, in 67 AS, peacefully. His prophetic career had occupied more than half his life, and he had lived to see it grow to an extent he could never have imagined. From simple beginnings as a shepherd boy he had come to be known as a respected mediator, prophet of the Highest God, leader of millions, and beloved figure.
His house in Unbyr was torn down, and he was entombed on the spot. Over his grave a temple and resplendent green dome were erected--the Dome of the Emerald Sun. A marble flagged courtyard surrounds his tomb, into which is inlaid a great image on the sun, centered on the tomb itself.
Bel-Kor's greatest legacy is, of course, Tharan itself. The religion is followed by millions across a wide range of lands and cultures. It dominates across the southern continent of Arenar and into Adel-sir. The culture it has inspired is dynamic, artistic and growing still. As the state religion of the Ashuran Empire the religion has been widely spread about across the southern and equatorial regions of the world.
Through the melekareh, the obligations upon each Tharani adherent, the community is bound together by shared ritual, practice and belief.
Bel-Kor is remembered as the greatest of all Prophets; those veshyaar that followed him are held in a high and noble light, but Hathan is primer inter pares and the only one considered to be the Friend of Ulaan.