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…
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…
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…
- The Lost Prince – in which we first meet Batu.
- Home Fleet – the Delhren vard gives Batu an ultimatum.
The Claiming of Shamasai
- Refurbished – in which we first meet Shaltok, the Ghar.
- Questions – Shaltok is given an impossible task by Commander Karg – on the planet Shamasai
- Bait – we find out why Batu has come to this dusty world with the Ma’Req
- Storm and a Curious World – Shaltok and the Ma’Req Ceahray are injured; Batu, well…
- Shaltok’s Sheep, Pyrrhic Success and Abominable Tech – Shaltok fights an unconventional battle
- Aftermath – Shaltok, Batu and the Ma’Req deal with the results of the strange battle
- Field Promotion – Shaltok is faced with some awkward questions and a challenge from a Slavemaster
- Deductions – An injured Batu, Baray (aha!) and Ceahray try to work out what is going on.
- Underground, Overground
- 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
- In Heads Up: Baray meets a Mandarin, whilst in exile, Batu and Baray are contacted by a Concord Intelligence Mandarin, NuHu Jai Galeyous (seen later in The Dronescourge Returns) over an uncomfortable turn of events in the Chryseis system. A meeting is arranged in which the events leading to The Chryseis Shard are revealed and in which Batu plays a vital role…
Events prior to The Dronescourge Returns
Batu 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.
- City of Exile Part I – City of Triumph. Shaltok guides his ship back into the Shamasai system and finds some prey
- City of Exile Part II – T.O.R. 563. Batu’s ship encounters a vast, ancient TOR, now refitted by the Ghar!
- City of Exile Part III – Outcast. Shaltok is declared Outcast by the machinations of Dramak and Karg.
- City of Exile Part IV – Capture. Batu and Baray manage to spy on Shaltok and Dramak whilst incarcerated.
- City of Exile Part V – Takeover. Shaltok finds his giant ship adrift when the Rebel Commander Foornyn appears.
- City of Exile Part VI – Infiltration. Batu frees his crew, infiltrates the TOR and offers Shaltok some assistance in exchange for the release of his ship.
- City of Exile Part VII – Retaliation. With help from Batu and the terrifying Shamasai Drone, Shaltok exacts some revenge on Dramak and Foornyn.
- City of Exile Part VIII – Ghar Exiles. Shaltok releases Batu and Baray and now an enemy of the Rebels and Empire, declares himself, his crew and his ship Exiles from the Ghar.
There is a datafile on the City of Exile, TOR 563.