Taurog the Iron
Fifth son of a minor Khan called Ulu Begh who ruled far to the east, Tahu Rog’s rise to power is one shrouded by myth and legend. Destined at birth to be nothing more than a minor military or religious leader, each of his older brothers died in failed military campaigns, ill-conceived honor duels, or accident, until Tahu Rog found himself the sole male heir to his father’s kingdom. A popular prince, he was regarded as the most favorable of the six children of Ulu Begh, being skilled in traditional warrior’s skills of swordplay, horsemanship, and archery, as well as a noted engineer, mathmetician, and poet. As Prince, he granted patronage to many artists and even bestowed royal station upon those he favored most. He lobbied his father and the chieftans for expansion of the Khanate’s irrigation and infrastructure, and by the time his father fell ill and died on another poorly-planned military campaign against the scattered tribes of Outremer, Khan Ulu Tahu Rog assumed his role easily, without protest, and amongst much acclaim from the masses.
The years following his ascention saw numerous local tribes come into his fold, and soon the Ulu Khanate stretched nearly to the Black Sea to the north and to the Outremer’s coast to the west. Tahu Rog was renowned as a fierce and effective general, who sowed fear and panic into his enemies as easily as he inspired his own soldiers to daring acts of bravery. Like Emperor Gaius of a millenium prior, he won the loyalty of local chiefs by granting them station in his budding empire, and put his growing horde to work repairing the damage done to Outremer by the Golden Horde centuries ago. All the while his reputation as a patron of the arts never failed, and as his renown grew, so too did his invitation of artists to his court stretch ever further west, until it was inevitable that the Ilostrian Empire could ignore this growing threat no longer.
Khan Ulu Tahu Rog Irom, called Taurog the Iron in the West, for his unwavering ability on the battlefield and his mettle in diplomacy as well, is a being more of legend than fact to the Imperial lands. Rumored to stand nearly twice the height of an average hobgoblin and said to wield a Hobbe cavalry sabre in each great hand, little truth about the man is known. Wild speculation surrounds his true nature, as well as conflicting reports of his mercy or lack thereof upon the battlefield. His detractors tell lurid tales of pyramids of his enemies’ severed heads burned in sacrifice to devils before each battle, while his proponents insist he is a wise and scholastic ruler, dedicated to the expansion of Eastern art, culture, and society, bringing civilization to the scattered and monstrous tribes of Outremer.
While the truth likely lies somewhere in between, it is a fact that the Khan has extended overtures of peace and even alliance to the Emperor, even as his vast armies now menace the borders of one of Ilos’s oldest allies — the Nebkan elves.