Born in 143 PN, Manath was destined early to power. His mother was a high priestess of Hylarr and served as an adviser to the Witch-Queen, while his father was a commander of fifty for the Shadow King's elite chariot forces. Manath was born with an aptitude for magic and is said to have summoned his first outsider when he was only nine years old. Manath spent much time in the temples of the city of Murdamiya as he grew up and developed a deep devotion to Hylarr. Manath lived in Murdamiya until the summer of 23 PN.
At the still-young age of 120, Manath left Mudamiya for Morag to train as one of the Beastmasters. His skill and power at summoning creatures from the planes had grown, but it was in Morag that it became his true calling. He swiftly rose through the ranks, besting all of his peers and many of his superiors by summoning strange and unusual creatures that none had ever seen. He caught the eye of Sejaan Et and, by 16 PN, became the warlord's right hand. It was from Et that Manath was taught tactics and troop command, as well as governorship and politics in the cutthroat Murmanityed Empire.
In 12 PN, Nagul came to Morag and was introduced to Manath. A camaraderie and mutual respect was borne between the two men, each respecting the others skill and position. By this time, Manath had been promoted to the rank of field general and had proven his worth a dozen times over in wars against the local minotaur tribes. However, it was not Manath's tactical ability (excellent though it was) that had intrigued Nagul, but the incredible chitinous creature that never seemed to be far from the younger man's side. Manath remained in Morag until open war had broken out with the Northern Kingdoms in 2 TC.
War in the Northern Kingdoms
As the first battles were being fought in Spaartha, word was sent to Morag that Manath was to lead a legion of Morag troops into battle. He fielded a large army of conscripts, mostly, as Sejaan Et was given the regulars and the beastmasters. However, Manath lead his conscripts well and won many battles, and lost several battles with a minimum of casualties. As the war raged, Manath's fallen conscripts were slowly replaced by companies of veteran troops that survived the dissolution of less well managed legions.
By 17 TC, Nagul's legions were sweeping across the Northern Kingdoms, and Manath along with them. When Nagul took Perdaith, Manath's troops were responsible for holding the city. Manath's chitinous creature, an outsider he called an "eidolon", terrorized the city and was slain many times by the pockets of rebels that hid in the catacombs. However, each time the creature was downed, it seemed to come back better prepared for those that attacked it. Legends of the "hellshrecke" remain to this day in Perdaith.
When Aruthien I, Aiur, Alhandro and Aranor had joined forces and retook Perdaith, Manath retreated with his general. It was a fighting retreat to Nagul's tower on the Plain of Lances, where the forces of the south were finally broken. Manath and his legion fought valiantly, but they were decimated and Manath only escaped capture by fleeing to the lower planes.
Fall and Rise of an Empire
Manath's whereabouts between 10 TC and 47 TC are unknown. Many speculate that he spent some or all of that time in the realm of Hylarr herself, even dining at her table. What is known is that in 47 TC Manath emerged with the Crown of Shadows and several wraiths to take the Tombs of Geth as his own city. It was here that Manath began his first alliances with the undead lords from around Murmanityed.
Over the next century, Manath - backed by wraiths, outsiders and now undead - developed the Tombs into a mighty city, rivaling Morag in economic and military power. As much of the Empire began to falter in its twilight, the Tombs remained strong. When the last Shadow King was slain in 178 TC, the Empire of Murmanityed was no more. They city-states fought for dominance, but the ascension of Manath was almost a foregone conclusion.
He had already allied himself with Goron Ru and the city of Phet-Ray, the most powerful contender for the crown, and he swiftly destroyed or subdued the others. It took less than a decade for his legions - filled with conscripts, undead, regulars, mercenaries and outsiders - to sweep across the south and realign them under the Crown of Shadows. Morag and Phet-Ray were the first cities to join the new empire. Gozon was the last of the city-states to fall under Manath's rule, with the help of the undead warlord Arkon Tep.
In 182 TC, the Veil first appeared and covered the Empire. By 190 TC, everything under the control of Manath was clouded by the Veil. The first that was seen from him since then was when his legions marched over the border in 196 TC.
Notable Followers and Allies
Goron Ru, lich necromancer of Phet Ray
Arkon Tep, graveknight warlord of Gozon
Fhey, a Flen Sorceress
Geoffrey, a Half-Elven Bard
Leria Ashbow, an Elven Ranger
Morestes, a Storm Giant