Name of Nation:
The Usharid SultanateSpecies:
HumansCulture and Society:
Fierce lands breed a fierce people, or so the saying goes. It was true for a thousand different peoples through history and it was true for the Usharids. The Desert Fathers and other learned folk speak of the first Usharids being created out of the desert sand by Abtum, the Spirit of the Desert and the one and only god of the Usharid tribes.
Abtum gave the people a strict set of rules to his children. Rules to ensure that the tribes would give Him and His physical body (the desert) the deserved respect. And to ensure that the tribes lived in righteousness and piety. As any proper man should.
And so the tribes lived for eons. Respecting the holy places, honoring elders and the Desert Fathers, giving God His deserved offerings and prayers whilst striking down heretics and apostates with extreme prejudice. Living according to the means the land afforded them and ensuring that no foreign taint would take root upon the billowing dunes.
That system worked smoothly for who knows how many thousand years. All around the desert empires rose and fell, races grew powerful and withered all the while the Usharid tribes lived as their ancestors, taking whatever changes the outside world threw at them in stride. Adopting whatever they thought was useful and shunning the supposedly superfluous. Fighting whoever sought to impose their will upon their lands and occasionally venturing beyond the sand dunes for plunder and loot, either as raiders or mercenaries.
The conquest of Hijark broke this placid equilibrium. Suddenly, the Usharids were not only an unified people, but they had also expanded beyond their original homeland, finding themselves ruling over a large amount of settled people, the Hijarkis. The Usharids changed, or were changed by their new circumstances.
The modern Usharid Sultanate is still a land in flux. As the new generations grow knowing nothing of the old days of Hijark or the tribal confederations save what they learn from their elders.
The Usharids still make up most of the ruling elite. But instead of silken tents, they now inhabit perfumed palaces and countryside estates. Many of them even having Hijarki blood themselves, on account of Jibal’s policy of intermarriage. These children grew into an increasingly mixed culture. That although still calls itself Usharid and pays homage to Abtum and his scriptures, also has undeniably been impacted by their new wealthier and settled lifestyle.
The Hijarkis experienced their own share of changes imposed by their new overlords. Though the framework many of the old Kingdom’s institutions and organizations survived the Usharid conquest, many others didn’t or were irreparably damaged. Old mage guilds were suppressed and hunted down for resisting the Usharid invasion. Many temples, shrines and libraries were looted and razed during the invasion itself and in the suppression of the many rebellions that followed while the old warrior aristocracy that ruled Hijark was gutted. Meanwhile, cities and the coastal plains were filled with bands of Usharid tribesmen, eager to leave behind the harsh dunes for an easier life on the coast. But even then, this influx of tribesmen wasn’t enough to replace the native Hijarkis, who to this day still make up the majority of the Sultanate’s population.
The remnants of the Hijarki warrior aristocracy still cling to whatever power they managed to preserve. Mostly by ingratiating themselves with their new overlords and working within the new system. A far cry from the heights of their power in the previous centuries. Not only have they been subjugated by a new, stronger force but now they also need to compete with a new, growing class of bureaucrats and government officials raised from Hijarki and mixed race burghers and merchants. Who have become vital to the running of the Sultanate.
And last, but not least, there are those Usharids who still inhabit their ancestral homeland. Being either too poor and lacking the political and blood connections to earn themselves estates in Hijarki lands or simply choosing to remain in the desert for one reason or the other. Some of these chieftains look to the developments in the Sultanate with some concern, for they too can see how their ancestral desert has fallen behind, relegated to a backwater within the very nation that carries its name. Ruled by their supposed kin, who grows increasingly foreign with each passing generation. Distancing itself from the land and ways that originally gave them the strength to seize the lofty palaces and green fields they now lord over. Still, these men are few, and yet lacking the power to do much besides grumbling and whispering to those of their coastal kin who still stubbornly cling to their ancestral ways.History:
The Usharid Sultanate is a young nation, specially by the standards of the region. Surrounded by nations and empires who can claim long centuries or even millennia of history, the Sultanate’s less than two centuries certainly pale in comparison.
The Sultanate’s tale with a blood feud, as many tales in the desert are won’t to do. When Ali ibn Tariq of the Lazash tribe gutted Zaffura bint Hassam of the Rubyat tribe in the middle of Aqquba Oasis’ bazaar because the trader supposedly sold him spoiled meat. The Rubyats, understandably, were incensed by the murder, and claimed that Ali had killed Zaffura to avoid paying his large debt to her.
The two tribes soon took the issue to the dunes, as usual. This little spat would’ve been just one among many in the Usharid’s long story of inter tribal warfare if not for the fact that the Lazash tribe, smaller and poorer than their foes by a considerable margin, called upon the help of their kinsmen of the Turraq tribe. At the time led by young Salman Ibn Ayyub.
Salman, eager to make a name for himself among the tribes of the desert, eschewed the traditional tactics of endless skirmishing among the sands and ritual combat between champions to instead strike directly at the Rubyat’s camps and the oasis where they sought shelter, usually held as neutral ground in Usharid culture. Winning the war with great displays of tactical acumen and personal bravery, but also committing a terrible taboo in the eyes of the other Usharid tribes. Salman had been too aggressive, too bloodthirsty in his campaign, a small blood feud was not enough justification to eschew the traditional ways of fighting. To burn homes and disrupt the sacredness of the oasis settlements and neutral grounds.
Still, Salman’s victory earned him some prestige and respect from other tribes. Enough to garner him some allies for more campaigns against other tribes. Age old enemies of the Turraqs or merely convenient targets. In the span of a few years, Salman had managed to establish a sizable tribal confederation with him and his tribes at its head. Such organizations weren’t unheard of in Usharid history. After all, it only took an ambitious warlord of foreign threat to unite at least some of the tribes. The difference between Salman and those previous warlords, however, was that Salman flaunted the ancient customs and traditions of the tribes. Not only when it came to warfare but religion too. Abandoning the proper worship of Abtum for the faith of Ishareth and going as far as declaring that he would spread his “True Faith” to all the corners of the Usharid realm.
That was the final straw for many who until then had stayed out of Salman’s way out of fear or apathy. Conquering warlords came and went in the desert, but apostasy could not be tolerated. This new coalition rallied under Umar Ibn Ali, chief of the Raidus tribe.
Umar was neither the wealthiest nor the strongest of the chieftains who rose up to challenge Salman. But he was a pious man leading a notoriously pious tribe. His strict observance of Abtum’s commandments made him the natural choice for their leader. And thus, he was named Caliph, commander of the faithful, by the Desert Fathers.
The religious nature of the conflict sapped Salman’s strength. Many of his allies and subjects refused to fight by his side or even defected to Umar’s army. The Desert Fathers, the only organized order of mages in the Usharid lands, also pledged their full support towards Umar’s cause. Still, Salman was a commander of unmatched skill at the time, and his own warriors were mighty veterans, experienced and ruthless fighters.
The Salmanid Apostasy lasted around 6 years. As able commander the Apostate was, he proved himself unable to defeat the powerful coalition in detail before it could fully mobilize its forces against him. Salman himself died at the end of the fourth year of the war, alongside with most of his army. With the rest of the conflict being spent chasing down the last dregs of his partisans and kin, purging them with grievous prejudice and destroying every last trace of the foreign religion upon the Usharid lands.
Umar himself would not live long to enjoy the prestige and adoration of having had purged the Apostates root and stem, but his firstborn, Jibal would do so spectacularly. Wielding the disparate alliance first into a loose confederation and gradually bringing all the tribes under his wing. The culmination of Jibal’s work came with the conquest of Hijark.
Realizing that in due time, every tribal confederation was prone to splintering, Jibal knew that if his work were to outlive him, the Usharid tribes would need to evolve beyond their current means. They would need institutions and structure. And most importantly, outside threats to keep the tribesmen united. And so, with that in mind, Jibal turned his eyes to the Kingdom of Hijark. A prosperous settled realm that controlled the fertile lands hugging the coastline southern of the Usharid desert.
Provoking the settled realm into war by incessant raiding and harassment of caravans, Jibal gained the outside threat necessary to rally the desert warriors. And so the great Usharid horde stormed south, giving battle to the mercenaries and levies of Hijark and breaking them in seven great battles over the course of three years. And thus, at the dawn of the fourth year of the conflict, Jibal Ibn Umar al-Raidus was declared Sultan, by the jubilant Desert Fathers over the burn ruins of Hijark chief city. And thus the Usharid Sultanate was born.
Jibal spent the next two decades of his life tirelessly working to turn the loose tribal confederation he ruled into a proper, “modern” realm. Work that more often than not involved coopting already existing Hijarki structures and institutions.Territorial Claims:Economy:Army:Navy:Traits:Foreign Relations:Rolls:
Land Area: 11
Land Fertility: 3 (+4) = 7
Development: 12 (swapped with Magical Reserves): 16
Land Power: 19 (+1) = 20
Naval Power: 13
Magical Reserves: 16 (swapped with development) : 12
Magical Sophistication: 8Other: