The Batu and Baray Storyline

Batu Delhren and Commander Baray feature in The Chryseis Shard and they and Shaltok feature in The Dronescourge Returns. Here, though, is the fiction by Tim Bancroft from which these engaging characters sprung…

Prince Batu Delhren is the heir to the throne of House Delhren, a Freeborn House operating in the Determinate. His uncle, the vard, considers him an indolent dilletante, a ne’er-do-well whose only real interest is wine and his chain of dives, gambling houses and clubs in Moralon Downport, the capital of Delhren III-2 (Delhren III being the house’s home system). But Vard Ordaichen has hopes for his nephew, and tries to involve him in the business of the house, even giving him a bodyguard in the shape of a troop of well-trained vardanari.

Batu has other ideas…

Collected Anthology

The collected stories are available as an anthology download in .mobi or .epub format (Kindle or other e-reader) from the webstore.  The anthology also includes an extra novella about how Batu came to acquire the Tamalair…

Batu Baray Anthology Banner

The Claiming of Shamasai

Prince Batu Delhren follows a lead he was given by a rogue Concord scout. A new gate leads to an deserted planet, Shamasai, one on which there were extremely ancient remains. Here, Batu encounters a Ghar Empire force under the command of a loyal Ghar, Shaltok 12-41-9.

It was first serialised in the Warlord Games newsletter and the individual episodes are all on the Nexus. However, to help them be read in the order they were meant to be read, we thought we’d pull them together. Also added in is a prologue, two episodes never seen before but which introduce us to Batu and his house…


  1. The Lost Prince – in which we first meet Batu.
  2. Home Fleet – the Delhren vard gives Batu an ultimatum.

The Claiming of Shamasai

  1. Refurbished – in which we first meet Shaltok, the Ghar.
  2. Questions – Shaltok is given an impossible task by Commander Karg – on the planet Shamasai
  3. Bait – we find out why Batu has come to this dusty world with the Ma’Req
  4. Storm and a Curious World – Shaltok and the Ma’Req Ceahray are injured; Batu, well…
  5. Shaltok’s Sheep, Pyrrhic Success and Abominable Tech – Shaltok fights an unconventional battle
  6. Aftermath – Shaltok, Batu and the Ma’Req deal with the results of the strange battle
  7. Field Promotion – Shaltok is faced with some awkward questions and a challenge from a Slavemaster
  8. Deductions – An injured Batu, Baray (aha!) and Ceahray try to work out what is going on.
  9. Underground, Overground  
  10. Staking Claims – including the previous Epilogue: Batu and Shaltok both retreive something from the wreckage of Shamasai

Batu Meets the Sitai

Still unaware of the threat of the Shamasai Shard, Batu’s uncle (the vard) orders Batu to accompany an entity called the Raya, a NuHu, on a diplomatic or trade-research mission to the SITAI, in a remote, newly-connected system. Here, his Freeborn shard implants and Shamasai Shard nanospore were corrupted and integrated. This is narrated in ‘Batu meets the SITAI’ in the Open Signal anthology.


A short while later, he is sent to investigate the disappearance of a Concord colony on Tanchen.

  • Plaguespore Part I – Batu is ordered to investigate the disturbing disappearance of a Concord colony
  • Plaguespore Part II – Further details are uncovered of a devastating new threat to the Concord: the Plaguespore
  • Plaguespore Part III – Batu and Baray uncover some sinister truths about the Plaguespore and suspect a military mind is behind it all
  • Plaguespore Part IV – The pair interrogate the colony survivors and travel to the surface to investigate
  • Plaguespore Part V – The Plaguespore attacks, and Batu’s Shamasai Shard is forced to respond. Batu earns the enmity of the Isorians.

Freeborn and Family

An all-in-one PDF or eBook, Freeborn and Family occurs shortly after the events in Plaguespore and tells the story of how Batu finally found his nanodrone at the hand of a less-than-helpful Isorian scientist. We have it in rich PDF and in zipped Kindle (mobi) and ePub with cover for you to download.

Heads Up: Baray meets a Mandarin

Events prior to The Dronescourge Returns

The Dronescourge Returns coverBatu becomes embroiled in the events leading up to The Dronescourge returns when he once more encounters  the Ghar Shaltok, though this time he helps the otherwise loyal Ghar Commander become renegade, an Exile from his kind. And a list of characters can be found here.

There is a datafile on the City of Exile, TOR 563.

Background on the Vardos Delhren

There is an article on the Delhren on the Nexus and an overview of the house’s ranks and titles.