The Widow Harun
The Demonwar is the name given to a series of regional conflicts that convulsed The Eastern Realms primarily between 1382 and 1398, though the roots of the war go back to 1372. Jebe Khan and his companions were some of the most important figures in the conflict.
Early Signs of Trouble
In 1372, four powerful demons of chaos from an alternate cosmos forced their way into Faerun, using unknown magics, arriving somewhere in The Eastern Realms. Each in their own way, they set about subverting Faerun to chaos, hoping thereby to destroy the indigenous gods by withering away their followings. One went to Mulhorand, another to Unther, a third to Rethild, and the fourth to The Endless Waste.
In Unther throughout 1372, the demon first caused a volcanic eruption that buried The Citadel of Black Ash, removing what was left of that nation’s military and religious leadership and seizing personal control of the Untheric forces stranded there. Next the demon subverted a paladin named Richelieu and assisted him in leading a religious revival in Messemprar, which soon reignited full-scale war between resurgent Untheric armies and their long-time Mulhorandi occupiers.
In Mulhorand, meanwhile, a second demon had begun to establish a cult of seduction that critically weakened the southernmost barony of that land. The Mulhorandi Baron, under the sway of the demon, rebelled against the Pharaoh. The third demon began to establish a cult of disease centered on Rethild, using various vile creatures to spread its rotting pandemic up into The Shaar and elsewhere.
By this time, Jebe Khan and his ordu had arrived in Murghom and begun to adventure in the service of a local magistrate there. These errands took them across the border into Thay and later to Rethild and elsewhere. In the swamps they briefly tangled with the demon cult, revealing its existence but not stopping its activities. Two Ogres who would eventually become Loyal Noyan were freed from slavery in the swamp during this adventure.
Back in the north, the now larger ordu accepted work as mercenaries against the rebel Baron. The Tuigan shocked the Mulhorandi with their savagery, attacking not only the Baron’s forces but also the ‘rebel’ civilian population, destroying villages, farms, roads, and anything else in their path. Between the Mulhorandi army and the Tuigan riders, the Barony was laid waste. Soon the castle also fell, and the rebellion was put down. Jebe Khan expected at this time to be given some of the lands he had conquered, but the Pharaoh believed it was too early for this.
Investigation of the castle revealed the influence of the demon, but the creature itself escaped and made its way into Thay, where civil war had broken out in 1375. It would not be until 1382 that this demon resurfaced.
In Unther the demon’s armies continued to tangle with the Mulhorandi, and the Tuigan joined this war in earnest. Jebe Khan hoped that his service here would be enough to earn a grant of land from the Pharaoh, and he was correct. In 1380 the Untheric forces were finally encircled and smashed at the Battle of The Green Lands, and the resultant negotiations resulted in the creation of The Tuigan March and Rurikan, followed by two years of peace.
The Conflict Escalates
In 1382 a number of paladins of law from an alternate cosmos, having spent many years trying to pursue the demons into Faerun, finally succeeded. These warriors appeared with a small but lethally destructive and absolutely unrelenting force and began to hunt for demon influence, which they soon found in plenty.
The demon of Unther had not been defeated, only forced from the field with the promise of single combat against Jebe Khan in 1398. Its partner in Thay now reappeared, having gained control of a hitherto-insignificant provincial official named Thulgrim. Using this man the demon first manipulated and then crushed the various factions in the civil war, forcing Szass Tam to enter hiding and making Thulgrim a dictator. The Thayan forces attacked Mulhorand, now aided by the paladins, and war raged for years.
Elsewhere, the demon of Rethild was having great success in spreading its disease cult into The Shaar. After destroying the demon of Thay, the paladins turned their attention to this threat, but they had to cross The Tuigan March in order to reach their enemy. Not being skilled in diplomacy, the alien crusaders came to blows with a local werewolf clan and managed to offend Jebe Khan. War nearly resulted, but the Khan was persuaded to back down by his companions Amairgen, Ansgar, Gur, and Rurik. The combined force then continued south and destroyed the demon of Rethild.
The demon of The Endless Waste had begun to breed a new race of mutant berserkers who were wiping out Tuigan camps on the steppe. Jebe Khan briefly tangled with this threat, then retired to Raurin to train for his duel with the last remaining demon while the paladins mopped up resistance. The Khan was in the desert from 1393-1398, while the war was winding down in the world outside. The last demon, its presence in Faerun now dependent only on the promised duel, stood alone by the time the Khan emerged.
The battle between Jebe Khan and the demon took place on the plain below Demonblood Dam in 1398 and became the basis of an enduring cult of personality around the Khan and his family. At the end of the fight, the demon had been nailed to the masonry of the spillway by the shaft of Jebe Khan’s lance. The stain of its green blood on the stones is recreated every year by dumping a cauldron of green paint over the face of the dam, as part of celebrations there commemorating the event.
With the demons destroyed, the paladins returned to their own dimension and life resumed a semblance of normality in Thay, Mulhorand, Rethild and The Endless Waste. Few in The Western Realms ever learned of this great war, though it seems likely that without Jebe Khan and the paladins there would have been little to prevent demonic influence from sweeping over the continent. The Tuigan, however, will never forget, especially since they have the shrine of Demonblood Dam to remind them of their sacrifices and those of their Khan.