Batu and Baray make regular appearances in the fiction of Tim Bancroft – thanks to Tim for letting us use them – and they formed a key element of the BtGoA v1 Chryseis Shard supplement and the events leading up to the return of the Virai.
Prince Batu is a young scion of the ruling Tsulmar clan of the Freeborn House Delhren. Having misspent his youth upon the kind of frivolous and indulgent activities felt necessary to a princeling of the blood, the ruler of House Delhren and leader of the Tsulmar clan, Vard Ordaichen, decided to put the young wastrel to good use. So it was that without anything by way of practical experience, and the very necessary encouragement of his assigned bodyguards, Batu was dispatched upon an exploratory mission to the newly discovered world of Delhren VI, also known as Shamasai (see The Claiming of Shamasai).
Since then Prince Batu’s life has changed beyond his comprehension. Indeed, it has changed even beyond the comprehension of the physicians and technicians of House Delhren. The expedition to Delhren VI was exposed to a mutant form of bio-agent, a spore of gestalt sentience, capable of absorbing living matter and synthesising with other nanite-intelligences. Many of the expedition were killed, but Prince Batu was saved thanks to his aristocratic grade personal shard. The shard’s nanite cloud merged with the bio-agent within Batu’s body to form a kind of synthesis: a bionanospore. The result is an uncertain and dangerous balance with which comes awesome, if barely controllable, powers.
Batu has undergone a number of adventures after trying to keep his head down. He has been kidnapped by an Isorian secret agent and held captive by a Senatexis, only to find his Shamasai shard take over the NuHu’s nano-buddy and convert it to Batu’s – or the Shamasai shard’s – use (see Freeborn and Family). He has also been called up by the Concord to deal with an experimental Isorian, plague nanospore – one which had grown out of control (see Plaguespore).
At the time of the events of the Chryseis Shard, Batu had taken to self-imposed exile together with his bodyguard, Commander Baray Tsulmari, and a contingent
of once pressed, now mercenary, feral warriors from the planet Tamala. His unique personal shard – a unique synthesis of Freeborn nano-technology and mutant bio-spore – has grown even more powerful by absorbing the other nano-intelligences encountered by Batu during his adventures.
Exactly what this means for Batu is uncertain: it is possible the synthesis will eventually break down and overcome him, in which case Batu could find himself the puppet of a strange and hostile shard. Only by placing himself in exile can he ensure the safety of his own people – and possibly himself as well. He even tried to ignore the call of NuHu Jai Galeyous when she tried to recruit him for the Chryseis expedition (see Batu Meets a Mandarin), but when the Vard of the Delhren asked Batu to undertake yet another mission, Batu could not refuse. After all, faced with a rogue shard of unknown power, who better than Batu Delhren to investigate – a man already reckoned by many a dangerous rogue shard in his own right!
Batu commanded a multi-house fleet to Chryseis aboard his ship, Shamasai
Dust of the Delhren, commanded by Baray Tsulmari, the last of his bodyguard from Shamasai. There, he was attacked by, then befriended by, the Concord and formed an alliance to seek and destroy the Chryseis Locus on Chryseis 3. Unfortunately, their plans were foiled by a chaotic series of battles between the Concord, Senatex, Ghar Empire, Ghar Rebels and Algoryn, and the Chryseis Shard escaped – though none now know of its whereabouts.
Batu and Baray had brief contact with TOR 563 but Batu is now in voluntary exile somewhere in the Norther Determinate or Northern Interface. His business dealings at home are now in the hands of his trusted majordomo, the Boromite Dirag.
It’s not until you have uncontrolled power that you realise just how much of aPrince Batu Delhren
dual-edged sword it really is. Does the Chryseis Shard yet understand how uncontrolled it has now become?
Batu Delhren’s meld nano-drone draws energy from internal fuel rods, but can also draw upon the environment, converting matter directly into power. In extreme cases where vast amounts of power are required quickly, the drone will leech matter from anything nearby, including Batu’s own body mass. Fortunately for Batu such occasions are rare, but constant loss of tissue leaves him physically weakened and can even endanger his life if the shard comprising of Prince Batu and a nano-drone feels itself threatened.
Batu’s reduced Strength and Resist stats reflect this strange semi-parasitic relationship. However, these drawbacks are more than made up for by the presence of his own personal nano-drone, a bio-machine which forms a single shard together with Batu himself much in the same way a NuHu is bonded with their nano-symbiote. The drone constantly generates a nanosphere on which it can transport Batu, should he so wish.
The main difference is that it is not Batu who typically attacks but his Shamasai Shard nano-symbiote: in either case, it is just as if a single model is attacking or shooting.
The Prince of the Delhren is accompanied by his bodyguard, Commander Baray Tsulmari, who is a highly capable soldier and leader, with stats that are better than those of Batu himself. This means the two function as a very effective team.
Stats: Prince Batu Delhren & Commander Baray Tsulmari
Rather than give (yet another!) Freeborn unit entry, we recommended Batu is regarded as a Renegade NuHu in a Freeborn Vardosi force or a Rogue NuHu in a Freeborn Rogue NuHu force, but with a Co of 8, rather than the NuHu’s 9 or 10: the unit cost should be 16pts for either. Whilst he does not carry a NuHu Stave, the Shamasai symbiote effectively has the same capabilities so assume he has a NuHu Stave in addition to his Zantu plasma pistol (which is as a normal plasma pistol but gives +1 Acc on a Fire order). Batu is Unique.
Batu is likely to be accompanied by Tamalair ferals, vardanari and either naturalised Tamalair crew (domari) or the crew of his own vessel, the Shamasai Dust. A force containing either Batu or Baray may not contain Misgenic Rejects.
Baray can be used on her own as a Senior Captain in a Fleet Command squad. She can also be an additional member of Batu’s NuHu squad, using the Senior Captain’s stats and weapons at +5 points. She is Unique.
Batu and Baray’s storyline can be found here.
It’s not me you want to be afraid of, and it’s not really the Prince, either. But his drone and that Shamasai Shard is deadly. So I’m warning you now: don’t just be afraid of Batu’s rogue shard, be very scared indeed.Commander Baray Tsulmari
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