The Cities of Shem
The land of Shem is divided between independent city-states and semi-nomadic villages in the hill country. The city dwellers and the villagers share a culture, but see each other as different (and better) than the other. The city-states wield power through trade and fight each other constantly with alliances forming and breaking all the time.
A small city-state of 12 000 people in the northern central Shem.
It is ruled by king Simashattar II.
It is ancient, with gloomy streets and high towers. The temple of Yadar have a monopoly on burying the dead in their catacombs under the city streets. Only the masked priests are allowed access, but sometimes grave robbers make their way into the tunnels.
A major trading city of 33 000 people under the control of the Turanians in the eastern Shem.
Ruled by Khadim Bey, a Turanian noble.
Was founded on a large oasis half a millenia ago. A central hub of caravan routes rivaled by Zamboula, which also has fallen under the power of Turan. Unwalled except for the tall walls of the palace. Mostly a maze of winding streets among flat-roofed one or two storied houses. The nobles and merchants surround their mansions with walls of their own.
- Main exports: Camel hides & fur, wine, camels, spices and gems
- Main imports: Common metals and rare furs
City of 16 000 people in the southernmost corner of Shem, close to the haunted mountains of Drujistan, outside of the influence of the Turanians.
The city is ruled by a suffocating bureaucracy. The incompetent bureaucrats are often swayed by the leaders of the numerous temples in the city.
The city is pantheistic in the truest sense and any kind of religion is permitted in the city, even including demon-worship. Central to the city are the grand bazaar and the ornamental lake facing it.
- Main exports: Grain, animals, coffee, cloth, glassware, mounts, gold, ivory, semiprecious stones and gems
- Main imports: Arms & armor, books, silk