David Gemmell Wiki
David Gemmell Wiki
Nadir we, Youth-born, blood-letters, axe-wielders, victors still.

– the Nadir War Chant

The Nadir were an ethnic group of nomadic tribespeople that dwelt in the vast and barren steppe region of the main continent of the world. Made up of several tribes, the Nadir shared a common culture, including shamanistic rites and the belief in a Uniter.

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The Nadir were founded by a Chiatze nobleman named Oshikai Demon-Bane who led his people from their homeland to the wastelands which later became known as the Nadir steppes. It was at this point that Oshikai gave them a new name "Nadir" meaning "cross roads of death." After Oshikai's death the Nadir splintered into dozens of separate tribes and were oppressed by the Gothir for centuries. The main hope of the Nadir during this period was that one day a "Uniter" would rally the separate tribes together and crush their enemies.

The path leading to the time of the Uniter was set in motion during the events of "Waylander II: In the Realm of the Wolf", in which the Wolfshead tribe, then prophesized to be the origin of the line of the Uniter, successfully survived a Gothir attempt to annihilate them. In the book "The Legend of Deathwalker" Druss assists a band of five Nadir tribes, led by a young "Wolfshead" named Okai, in the defense of Oshikai's tomb against an army of Gothir soldiers. After the successful defense and unknown to Druss, Okai takes the name Ulric and becomes The Uniter prophesised for centuries. Over the next two decades Ulric conquers the Gothir and a number of other northern nations. He eventually turns his attention to the lands of the Drenai.

During the events of "Legend", Druss helps to defend the fortress of Dros Delnoch against Ulric and his 500,000 strong army. Though Druss dies during the defence, the Drenai, with the help of 3000 Sathuli, hold the fortress and prevent Nadir entry into Drenai lands. The battle ends when Ulric is forced to return home to put down a rebellion by his nephew. Ulric leaves behind his standard (this emphasizes that he will return). However, during his invasion of the Ventrian Empire he collapses and dies of a "heart spasm."

His son Jongir Khan leads a second invasion of Drenai lands which is also repelled. Terms of the peace treaty demand Jongir's daughter weds the Earl of Bronze's youngest son. The child Tenaka Khan was born through this marriage. Years later, during the events of "The King Beyond the Gate", Tenaka returns to the Nadir to take the Khan quest and upon winning, leads a Wolfshead army to save the Drenai rebels fighting against the mad Emperor Ceska. Following victory and as promised, he leads his army back out of the defenceless lands, but promises to return to fulfill the Nadir destiny. He spends a decade or two uniting the Nadir and then, across many lands and campaigns, Tenaka completes the domination denied Ulric, revealing himself to be truly the prophesied Uniter, conquering the southern nations and suffering only one defeat to "the ghosts yet to be" . He finally dies when poisoned by his eldest son Jungir.

Jungir became Khan and had his brothers killed, siring twins with a Gothir slave woman, though he died before they were born at Bel-Azar, killed by a Gothir boy who was possessed by the spirit of Tenaka Khan. After the death of Jungir Khan one of his sons was taken by the shaman Asta Khan to be the new Khan of the Nadir. The other twin was smuggled away and led the Drenai to freedom against his brother in the War of the Twins. The final fate of the Nadir Empire is not known, but it can be surmised from the penultimate - chronologically speaking - novel Winter Warriors, that the Drenai twin won the war and the Nadir empire fell. This is based on the fact that the Drenai had reestablished a kingdom and set off on a path of conquest which brought them to Ventria for the events of that novel.