The Widow Harun
One of the nine realms of The Tuigan Empire, Ulgarth is the nation on the eastern shore of The Golden Water, across the bay from The Shining Lands. Not truly a part of Faerun or Kara-Tur, Ulgarth is considered the gateway to The Utter East.
The people of Ulgarth are of several groups, primarily Ulgarthan. The ancestors of the Ulgarthan people were a number of warlike hill tribes living in the mountains and dry hills of Thommar around the beginning of Dalereckoning. These people began to expand into the surrounding area, by raiding Durpar and crossing Ulgarth to attack The Utter East. In the area of modern-day Ulgarth their numbers and influence gradually increased until they had largely replaced the top social classes in the patchwork of princely states ruled by Mar that then existed. By 1002 this conquest was complete and a kingdom of Ulgarth was formed, which put an end to the raids from Thommar. That land, however, remained wild and lawless, with the tribes living much as they always had. These hill people were called upon periodically as armies or mercenaries, and the rulers of Ulgarth were always careful to keep their chiefs on a payroll, but over time the settled Ulgarthan people of the south began to adopt the ways of their Mar subjects. Today, the area is somewhat mixed. Ulgarthan genes and appearance predominate in the landed castes, while most Mar are farmers. There are also decent numbers of Durpari and even a few Midani from Zakhara found in business. Finally, the Yak Men are secretly influential here as they are further south.
Ulgarth is a feudal kingdom based on the dominance of a warrior aristocracy over a settled class of farmers. The land is very rich from both its well-developed agriculture and traditional industries such as goldsmithing and gem-cutting. Many bizarre customs and religions flourish here because of the strange influences from nearby.
In 1414 Ulgarth became important to The Tuigan Empire when Mongke conquered Durpar. The ferocity of his conquest, coming so soon after that of Veldorn, convinced Drasna Bluemantle, then King of Ulgarth, that the Tuigan power had to be appeased. Thinking Mongke just another barbarian, the king offered him one of his daughters in marriage, a tactic that had worked for him before. But he underestimated Mongke and was completely unaware of the ambition of Shatila, the proferred bride. Within a year the infant Drasna had been born and his mother was busy eliminating her rivals at court. Drasna Bluemantle was dead by 1417, possibly poisoned by another of his daughters, but by then the young Drasna was the only remaining male heir. The boy became king with his father as regent.
Mongke’s takeover was effective because the Tuigan warrior was well-liked by the Ulgarthan warriors who served Drasna Bluemantle. They shared a nomadic background and a belief in ferocity. These men rose up and assassinated many of the satraps and regional governors who would have made trouble for Mongke, and in addition they summoned large numbers of their kin from the mountains of Thommar onto the plains, where their presence persuaded any remaining fence-sitters that the regency was legal. With his hold secure but large numbers of restless hillmen on his hands, Mongke did not allow any grass to grow on his forces. Raids on The Utter East, led by the Ulgarthan tribesmen and the banner units of monsters from Veldorn, began in 1418 and continued every year after that.
Ulgarth also expanded northward. In 1423, in the first instance of one of The Nine Noyan directly attacking another, Mongke seized the valley of Solon from Sheik Ar-Rabi, whose desert nomads were holding it as part of the realm of Raurin. In addition, after 1426 Mongke’s Hyena tribe in The Shaar now began to support his father Batu in the emerging struggle for control of The Tuigan March. These events make Ulgarth the most active and most dangerous of all the nine realms.
Ulgarth is covered more extensively in the Forgotten Realms source materials. Please consult these if you wish to learn more.