Saga of Jaraah
Zahedan was an established southern kingdom before the arrival of the Claacos. It lay to the north of Sob-Rooz. Though Sob-Rooz was the first power to encounter the Claacos, Zahedan was the first to fall. When the Last Exodus from Sob-Rooz passed through the collapsing Zahedan kingdom in 4078 after the death of Nagud IV (see Emperors of Sob-Rooz), the Zahedans fled along with them. Though some settled in New Sob-Rooz, most struck west once they reached the Shomaal to establish New Azakh on the western coast. The royal family of Zahedan did not survive the trek. Various forms of government were tried, but New Azakh was a cesspool of political infighting as nobody was strong enough to establish himself or any system on a permanent basis. This state of affairs persisted until 4164 when the Templars of Khoob established the current Protectorate as an emergency measure in response to the appearance of the Claacos along the southern border of the Shomaal.
The Zahedanian Protectorate is home to the High Temple of Khoob located in Bash. As such, although there is no state religion, Zahedan as a whole is extremely orderly, and has very little crime, as compared to the other kingdoms and empires in Jaraah. The leader of the Zahedanian Protectorate is selected by the Light of Khoob, supposedly, through the guidance of Khoob himself. Upon the death of the current leader of Zahedan, the Light of Khoob goes into 10 days of meditation. After these 10 days of meditation, the Light of Khoob will emerge with the name, and other details (most notably, location) of the next Protector of Zahedan, and a party is dispatched with all haste to recruit the new Protector. Typically, this will be someone who resides in Zahedan proper, although, this has not always been the case. In one notable case, the Protector of Zahedan was residing in the vicinity near the Thermal Caves. This almost caused a great schism, as the Order of Khoob was not sure how the Kingdom of Zahedan would take to being ruled by a gnome, and some even went so far as to accuse the Light of Khoob to have been corrupted. Fortunately, Khoob, in his infinite wisdom did not actually select a gnome, but selected Barbach, a hardy, but (at the time, uncivilized) gentleman who proved to excel both at military tactics and administration. The Protector of Zahedan is given wide ranging powers, including overall command of the Zahedanian armies (but not Paladins), and oversight of all lay matters. Due to Khoob’s guidance, all of the Zahedanian rulers have been enlightened, and able.
The current Protector of Zahedan is Bahrnard. Like all prior Protectors, he is skilled at military tactics and administration. In a significant departure from the norm, Bahrnard has unusual affinity with Dreva, the current Light of Khoob – despite no training with the Knights of Khoob. This often brings him in conflict with Dawnbringer Yolem, as they often disagree on the appropriate military approach to matters, and with his skill, Protector Bahrnard likes to push the envelope on what the Knights of Khoob can and should do. Protector Bahrnard’s understanding of the Light, and military tactics have made him more proactive than the typical Protector and it has indeed put a strain on the Knight of Khoob’s resources to support the activities that the Protector has in mind. The Knights of Khoob are required to do all they can to support the Zahedanian Protectorate, both for practical, political, and historical reasons. However, they are not formally subordinate to the Protector. Bahrnard is regarded as a strict, but merciful ruler, much the same way as Dawnbringer Yolem, but they have slightly different goals – One serves the light, whereas the other serves Zahedan.