Basil Zariyatam ( Unknown ; 1140-1150 HC ) was a Vos commander and strategist. He is renown for being the Vos general during the Brecht colonization wars and the only Vos who was bestowed the title of Tsarevic.

[top]Early life

Little to nothing is known about Basil Zariyatam. All that is known is that he was a fighter of formidable strength, but it was not what the Vos consider a traditional leader. A trader who'd travelled to Brechtür and the Khinasi lands, Basil Zariyatam (silver-tongue) often felt like an outsider among his own people. Certainly, his people did not feel comfortable around him.

[top]The Tsarevic

In 1137 HC, the Free League of Brechtür begun conquering the eastern regions of the Overlook, deeming them "uninhabited". The Vos retreated before them, finding themselves unable to stop armies so large with their traditional "overrun and occupy" tactics.

Between the end of 1139 and the spring of 1140 HC, one day, maybe during a war council with several tribes, Basil decided to seize leadership by standing up against the tsarevos who defied him. He slew the first few in fine, brutal Vos fashion, but spared the next challengers on condition that they would march under his banner against the Brechts. This is when the tsarevos started to call him Tsarevic, or over-warlord.

[top]The token strategy

Basil's plan was to use the Brecht's greed against them. He wanted the tsarevos to pose a token defense against the league and lure them deep inside Vosgaard, so that the Vos could use their true weapon, the cruelty of Vosgaard's winter. He was planning to form a new kind of unit, the kaerevesk, who would give the upper hand when fighting in frozen ground.

But the tsarevos deemed his plan dishonourable, and Basil understood that this time they would prefer death over dishonour. He found a way to make this honorable thanks to Pesepola (negotiator), true name unknown. She offered the help of the winter witches, worshippers of the goddess of cold Kriesha, in exchange for recognition among the Vos people. Basil accepted, and persuaded an high priest of Belinik to form the Temple of Might, the first temple to worship both Belinik and Kriesha. The new religion heavily supported Basil's plan, however he did have to fight some more battles against the tsarevos before they joined his ranks again.

The plan worked: by winter 1140 HC the League's army was near the shores of frozen Lake Ladan and was struggling to keep itself together, due to the nobles' bickering about land division. The Battle of Lake Ladan saw Basil, and Vosgaard altogether, victorious.


Brecht historians argue about Basil's ultimate fate. Some say he died during the Battle of Lake Ladan. Other say that he died during the counter-invasion that followed the defeat (and dismantle) of the Brecht League. A third recounting tells that Basil was killed by the tsarevos themselves, as he did not wanted the counter-invasion, but was planning on enforcing the borders and start to forge a "Vos empire" of his own. All three stories have in common that Basil is killed by his own people.

Recently, another legend about his death has come to light. Rather than placing the blame for their hero's death on the tsarevos, the focus is shifted towards the Temple of Might. Due to the tsarevic's success, many more orders of the temple sprang up throughout the land, and this shifted Belinik's predominance over Kriesha. Some say those priests unwilling to serve two masters exacted cruel revenge upon Vosgaard's greatest hero.


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