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    Default [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah


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    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2012-02-24 at 09:36 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Miscellaneous Data
    Total Creatures with an Intelligence 3+: 268,435,455**
    ** = This total does not count the aazlai, dvernin, gnolls, kobolds, lizardfolk, pahari, sabi, or other mortal races.

    Table 3-1: Sentient Population by Race
    {table=head]Race|Population|Percentage
    Houri|144,966,000|54%
    Deva|45,634,000|17%
    Common Deva|21,475,000|8%
    Lesser Deva|13,422,000|5%
    Asurana Deva|5,369,000|2%
    Rudrana Deva|2,691,000|1%
    Mitrana Deva|1,340,000|0.5%
    Demon|29,527,000|11%
    Half-Genie|24,159,000|9%
    Devil|13,421,000|5%
    Human|5,378,000|2%
    Genie|2,683,000|1%
    Rakshasa|2,665,000|1%[/table]

    The Mists of Najmah

    The world of Najmah is a mysterious place, full of bizarre happenings & magical events. Much of this is caused by the fact that the sun never rises here; the land is always dark, & the sky is full of stars. But another major factor contributing to the unknowable enigma of the Plane of Night is a strange multihued mist that pervades the air, land, & water in this dark & exotic land.

    Also known as kuuhaa, the mists of Najmah are everywhere. They widely vary in thickness from region to region, from mile to mile, & from day to day. On some days, the air is clear & virtually mist-free; at other times, the mist is as thick as the deepest fog. It seems as if no spell, such as a gust of wind or an obscuring mist, can influence when the mist comes & goes, although legends tell of a lost artifact that was able to direct its flow.

    The mists are sometimes merely a murky fog, something to hamper vision & annoy travelers. But the mists can also alter reality, changing the flow of time & space. Potent magical effects are sometimes created by kuuhaa, as well, which can pose a danger to creatures in the area. Wise residents of Najmah learn the signs of impending mist events, & are prepared for them.

    Mist Mechanics
    At the start of each day on Najmah, roll d% & consult the following table to determine the behavior of the mist that day.

    Table 3-2: Mist Activity
    {table=head]d%|Behavior
    01-25|No Mist
    26-50|Light Mist
    51-60|Moderate Mist
    61-70|Thick Mist
    71-80|Thick Mist + Morning Mist Event
    81-90|Thick Mist + Afternoon Mist Event
    91-95|Thick Mist + 2 Mist Events
    96-98|Thick Mist + 3 Mist Events
    99-100|Thick Mist + 4 Mist Events[/table]
    • No Mist: The skies are clear, & there is normal visibility.
    • Light Mist: The mist obscures all sight, including darkvision, beyond 400’. A creature 400’ away has concealment (attacks have a 20% miss chance). Creatures farther away have total concealment (50% miss chance, and the attacker cannot use sight to locate the target).
    • Moderate Mist: The mist obscures all sight, including darkvision, beyond 100’. A creature 100’ away has concealment (attacks have a 20% miss chance). Creatures farther away have total concealment (50% miss chance, and the attacker cannot use sight to locate the target).
    • Thick Mist: The mist obscures all sight, including darkvision, beyond 25’. A creature 25’ away has concealment (attacks have a 20% miss chance). Creatures farther away have total concealment (50% miss chance, and the attacker cannot use sight to locate the target).
    • Morning Mist Event: There will be a mist event in the morning (1AM-noon). Roll 1d12 to determine in what hour the event takes place.
    • Afternoon Mist Event: There will be a mist event in the afternoon (1PM-midnight). Roll 1d12 to determine in what hour the event takes place.
    • 2 Mist Events: There will be 2 mist events: one in the morning (1AM-noon), & one in the afternoon (1PM-midnight). Roll 1d12 to determine in what hour each event takes place.
    • 3 Mist Events: There will be 3 mist events: one in the early morning (1AM-8AM), one in the midday (9AM-4PM), & one in the evening (5PM-midnight). Roll 1d8 to determine in what hour each event takes place.
    • 4 Mist Events: There will be 4 mist events: one in the early morning (1AM-6AM), one in the late morning (7AM-noon), one in the afternoon (1PM-6PM), & one in the evening (7PM-midnight). Roll 1d6 to determine in what hour each event takes place.

    Regional Variations
    Certain regions have more or less mist activity than others. Adjust the mist activity roll above according to following guidelines:
    • Agni: +10 (maximum 95).
    • Atma: -30 (minimum 1).
    • Bhangah Jungle: -10 (minimum 1).
    • Chitraka: -40 (minimum 1), except in the mist lanes (no adjustment).
    • Goraksah Marsh: +20 (maximum 100).
    • Hima: No adjustment.
    • Kshaya: +10 (maximum 100).
    • Padam: No adjustment.
    • Prana: -50 (minimum 1).
    • Sergala: +10 (maximum 100).

    Mist Events
    If there is a mist event during the course of the day, then roll d20 & consult the following chart. A mist event usually lasts for 1d12 minutes. A creature with an Intelligence 12+ can make a Knowledge (Nature) check versus DC15. By every point by which the creature beats the DC, they receive a 1 minute warning of an impending mist event.

    Table 3-3: Mist Events
    {table=head]d20|Effect
    1|Frozen Time
    2|Slowed Time
    3|Accelerated Time
    4|Negated Gravity
    5|Weakened Gravity
    6|Strengthened Gravity
    7|Impeded Magic
    8|Enhanced Magic
    9|No Magic
    10|Wild Magic
    11|Fire Unleashed
    12|Lightning Unleashed
    13|Ice Unleashed
    14|Acid Fog
    15|Fog Cloud
    16|Mind Fog
    17|Obscuring Mist
    18|Solid Fog
    19|Stinking Cloud
    20|Roll Twice[/table]
    • Frozen Time: During this period, time is stopped in the entire area. For every creature within the area, no time is perceived to have passed. All ongoing actions & damage is suspended until this period passes. Interactions between creatures or objects on the inside of the area & those on the outside are impossible, as anything entering the area is frozen at the border. Once this period passes, time proceeds normally, & all ongoing actions & damage resumes.
    • Slowed Time: During this period, time moves more slowly in the area than it does outside of it. Swift & immediate actions now take a standard action to complete. Standard & move actions take a full round to complete. Full round actions take 2 rounds to complete. All effects with a given duration have that duration doubled, while any ongoing damage effect has its damage reduced by 50% (IE halved). Gravity is unaffected, so falling damage & damage from falling objects is treated normally. Free actions are unaffected by this effect.
    • Accelerated Time: During this period, time moves more quickly in the area than it does outside of it. Swift & immediate actions now take a free action to complete (although they can only be used twice per round). Standard & move actions take a swift action to complete. Full round actions take a standard action to complete. All effects with a given duration have that duration halved, while any ongoing damage effect has its damage increased by 200% (IE doubled). Gravity is unaffected, so falling damage & damage from falling objects is treated normally. Free actions are unaffected by this effect.
    • Negated Gravity: During this period, gravity is completely negated. All creatures & objects are considered weightless. The carrying capacity for creatures is changed: now, creatures can carry a single object up to 1 size category larger than they are, 2 objects up to the same size category that they are, 4 objects up to 1 size category smaller than they are, etc. Creatures can also lift or drag objects up to 2 size categories larger than they are. Walking, running, & jumping are not possible, but all creatures can fly (with perfect maneuverability) at a speed equal to half their land speed (unless they could fly already, in which case, their flight speed is increased by 50%, & their maneuverability becomes perfect). All DCs for Climb checks are reduced to 0. Speed penalties for wearing armor are negated. Range increments for thrown or projectile weapons are now infinite, but damage is reduced by 1 point per normal range increment. Falling damage & damage from falling objects is negated, as well.
    • Weakened Gravity: The gravity is reduced in the area by 50%. This, of course, reduces the effective weight of creatures & objects by half, as well. The carrying capacity (as well as the lifting & dragging weights) for creatures is doubled. Jumping distances are doubled as well, & all DCs for Climb checks are reduced by 10. Speed penalties for wearing armor are reduced by 5’. Range increments for thrown or projectile weapons are doubled. Falling damage & damage from falling objects is reduced by half, as well (calculate normal damage amounts, & then cut in half).
    • Strengthened Gravity: The gravity is increased in the area by 200%. This, of course, doubles the effective weight of creatures & objects, as well. The carrying capacity (as well as the lifting & dragging weights) for creatures is reduced by half. Jumping distances are reduced by half as well, & all DCs for Climb checks are increased by 10. Speed penalties for wearing armor are increased by 5’. Range increments for thrown or projectile weapons are reduced by half. Falling damage & damage from falling objects is doubled, as well (calculate normal damage amounts, & then multiply it by 2).
    • Impeded Magic: The caster level of a spell or spell-like ability cast during this time is reduced by 50%. For magical or supernatural effects with no caster level given, reduce the range, the damage, or the duration (roll 1d3 or choose one) by 50%.
    • Enhanced Magic: The caster level of a spell or spell-like ability cast during this time is increased by 50%. For magical or supernatural effects with no caster level given, increase the range, the damage, or the duration (roll 1d3 or choose one) by 50%.
    • No Magic: The use of magical spells or spell-like abilities is impossible during this period. Supernatural abilities are also suppressed, but extraordinary abilities are unaffected. Magic items, such as magically-enhanced weapons & armor, continue to function normally.
    • Wild Magic: During this time, consult the wild magic chart whenever a spell or spell-like ability is cast. Do not make a check; this effect occurs automatically, regardless of caster level or spell level.
    • Fire Unleashed: Tiny flames spontaneously flare in random parts of the mist in a flickering display of pyrotechnics. All creatures & objects in the area take 1 point of fire damage per round. Flammable objects do not normally catch fire during this period.
    • Lightning Unleashed: Electrical arcs spontaneously course through random parts of the mist in a flickering display of static discharge. All creatures & objects in the area take 1 point of electricity damage per round.
    • Ice Unleashed: Crystalline ice spontaneously forms in random parts of the mist in a freezing display of extreme cold. All creatures & objects in the area take 1 point of cold damage per round. Liquids do not normally freeze during this period.
    • Acid Fog: An effect identical to the acid fog spell fills the area.
    • Fog Cloud: An effect identical to the fog cloud spell fills the area.
    • Mind Fog: An effect identical to the mind fog spell fills the area.
    • Obscuring Mist: An effect identical to the obscuring mist spell fills the area.
    • Solid Fog: An effect identical to the solid fog spell fills the area.
    • Stinking Cloud: An effect identical to the stinking cloud spell fills the area.
    • Roll Twice: Roll again with two d20s, then combine both effects. If the two effects cancel each other out, then nothing happens.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-06-11 at 11:23 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Maps


    Pictured: A thumbnail (12.5%) of the lands surrounding the Speckled Sea, on the world of Najmah. Click on the image to be linked directly to the full-sized map (4,925×4,925 pixels) hosted on DeviantArt.

    Map Key
    • Text in dark green is a settlement.
    • Text in dark brown is another location, such as an adventuring site, a geographical feature, or a region.
    • Settlements in yellow are major cities.
    • Settlements in gray are lesser towns & villages.
    • Settlements in red are former towns that are uninhabited &/or in ruins.
    • Every settlement larger than a thorp has a name.
    • Locations with a star on them are prominent locales (IE something that I have a lengthy description for).
    • The scale is in the lower-left corner, opposite the compass rose.

    Other Maps


    Pictured: A thumbnail (12.5%) of the lands surrounding the Speckled Sea without labels. Click on the image to be linked directly to the full-sized map (4,925×4,925 pixels) hosted on DeviantArt.


    Pictured: A thumbnail (12.5%) of the entire planet of Najmah. Click on the image to be linked directly to the full-sized map (3,000×2,000 pixels) hosted on DeviantArt.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Location Tables

    Table 3-4: Najmai Settlements
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    {table=head]Name|Pronunciation|Meaning|Alias/Title|Population|Size|GP Limit|Coordinates|Alignment
    Aabadii|ah-BAH-dee|--|--|435|Village|200gp|U17|Neutral Evil
    Aabhaa|AH-bah|Splendor, Shining Like Gold|--|1,351|Small Town|800gp|K13|Lawful Good
    Aabiisah|ah-BEE-sah|--|--|88|Hamlet|100gp|B9|Chaotic Evil
    Aachir|AH-cheer|--|--|607|Village|200gp|A19|Lawful Evil
    Aadara|ah-DAR-ah|Respect|--|1,814|Small Town|800gp|L6|Chaotic Good
    Aadhyah|ah-DEE-ah|Wealthy|--|95|Hamlet|100gp|O5|Chaotic Good
    Aadhyaatmikam|ah-DEE-aht-MIK-ahm|Supernatural|--|520|Village|200gp|I15|Lawful Good
    Aadii|AH-dee|Enlighten|--|106|Hamlet|100gp|Q6|Chaotic Good
    Aaghir|AH-gear|--|--|111|Hamlet|100gp|S4|Chaotic Good
    Aambasah|ahm-BAH-sah|--|--|844|Village|200gp|L22|Lawful Good
    Aanila|ah-NEE-lah|Wind|--|956|Small Town|800gp|T14|Neutral Evil
    Aapah|AH-pah|Water|--|2,428|Large Town|3,000gp|Y10|True Neutral
    Aapya|ah-PEE-ah|Watery|--|1,138|Small Town|800gp|V12|Lawful Good
    Aashi|AH-shee|--|--|390|Hamlet|100gp|U12|Neutral Good
    Aasura|ah-SHOO-rah|Infernal|--|788|Village|200gp|A17|Lawful Evil
    Aatapa|ah-TAH-pah|Heat|--|129|Hamlet|100gp|Q21|Chaotic Neutral
    Abhichaara|AH-bee-CHAH-rah|Black Magic|--|1,520|Small Town|800gp|B9|Chaotic Evil
    Adhaaru|ah-DAR-oo|--|--|134|Hamlet|100gp|Q5|Chaotic Good
    Adri|AH-dree|Stone, Rock, Mountain|--|142|Hamlet|100gp|T20|Lawful Good
    Ahbhar|AH-bar|--|--|1,968|Small Town|800gp|U16|Chaotic Evil
    Ahivaar|ah-HEE-var|--|--|470|Village|200gp|N24|Chaotic Good
    Ahimsa|ah-HEEM-sah|Not Harmful|Tranquility|20,072|Large City|40,000gp|T13|Chaotic Neutral
    Ahmed|AH-med|--|--|897|Village|200gp|L23|Chaotic Neutral
    Ahpasit|ah-PAH-sit|--|--|626|Village|200gp|O22|Neutral Good
    Akah|AH-kah|--|Missing Settlement #1||???|???|???|???
    Ala-Addin|AH-lah AH-din|--|--|157|Hamlet|100gp|O23|True Neutral
    Al-Asnam|AHL OSS-nahm|--|--|586|Village|200gp|R22|Chaotic Neutral
    Aliba|ah-LEE-bah|--|--|3,383|Large Town|3,000gp|T20|Lawful Neutral
    Ambhasaa|ahm-BAH-sah|By the Water|--|702|Village|200gp|ZZ10*|Lawful Good
    Ambu|AHM-boo|Water|--|163|Hamlet|100gp|W10|True Neutral
    Amrtam|AHM-er-TOM|Nectar of Everlasting Life|--|383|Hamlet|100gp|I12|Lawful Good
    An-Aya|AHN AH-yah|Misfortune, Adversity|--|170|Hamlet|100gp|B19|Lawful Evil
    Andhakaara|AHN-dah-KAR-ah|Darkness|--|4,905|Large Town|3,000gp|B10|Chaotic Evil
    Andya|ahn-DEE-ah|--|--|642|Village|200gp|T20|Lawful Good
    Angaros|ONG-ah-ros|Imperial Courier (Persian)|--|22,903|Large City|40,000gp|Q5|Chaotic Good
    Anilah|ah-NEE-lah|Wind, Air|--|545|Village|200gp|S13|Chaotic Neutral
    Anjiila|ahn-JEE-lah|--|--|1,693|Small Town|800gp|J15|Lawful Good
    Antala|ahn-TAH-lah|--|--|377|Hamlet|100gp|U6|Neutral Good
    Apaaya|ah-PAH-yah|Calamity, Loss, Destruction|--|2,646|Large Town|3,000gp|C8|Chaotic Evil
    Apsu|AHP-soo|In Water|--|818|Village|200gp|V9|Lawful Evil
    Aranyam|ah-RAHN-yahm|Forest, Jungle|--|182|Hamlet|100gp|T21|Lawful Evil
    Arya|AR-yah|Noble, Honorable|--|1,709|Small Town|800gp|R5|Chaotic Good
    Asaadhu|ah-SAH-doo|Evil, Wicked|--|1,282|Small Town|800gp|A8|Chaotic Evil
    Asanam|AH-sah-NOM|Seat|City of the Dead|31|RUIN|40gp|Q17|Chaotic Neutral
    Ashma|AHSH-mah|Stone|--|194|Hamlet|100gp|U19|Chaotic Neutral
    Ashubham|ah-SHOO-bahm|Evil|--|4,710|Large Town|3,000gp|B17|Lawful Evil
    Asrij|AHS-rij|Blood|--|1,077|Small Town|800gp|D7|Chaotic Evil
    Asura|ah-SHOO-rah|Devil|--|451|Village|200gp|D15|Lawful Evil
    Asuu|AH-soo|Hate|--|1,445|Small Town|800gp|B8|Chaotic Evil
    Attaf|AH-tahf|--|--|729|Village|200gp|U19|True Neutral
    Atyushna|aht-YOOSH-nah|Very Hot|--|365|Hamlet|100gp|P21|Lawful Neutral
    Avajval|ah-VAHJ-vahl|To Set on Fire|--|754|Village|200gp|O22|Neutral Evil
    Avani|ah-VAH-nee|River|--|681|Village|200gp|X11|True Neutral
    Avatarana|ah-VAH-tah-RAH-nah|Descent|--|872|Village|200gp|J13|Lawful Good
    Ayurveda|AH-yoor-VAY-dah|Knowledge of Life|--|1,528|Small Town|800gp|M4|Chaotic Good
    Ayus|ae-YOOS|Life|City of Light|62,520|Metropolis|100,000gp|K14|Lawful Good
    Azariah|AH-zar-EYE-ah|--|--|419|Village|200gp|P24|Lawful Neutral
    Baavarii|bah-VAR-ee|--|--|208|Hamlet|100gp|U18|Neutral Good
    Babhar|BAH-bar|--|--|2,271|Large Town|3,000gp|A18|Lawful Evil
    Badhnati|bahd-NAH-tee|Binds|--|351|Hamlet|100gp|B18|Lawful Evil
    Badoura|bah-DOOR-ah|--|--|571|Village|200gp|N23|Chaotic Neutral
    Balakri|bah-LAK-ree|--|--|216|Hamlet|100gp|M3|Chaotic Good
    Balivara|BAH-lee-VAR-ah|--|--|229|Hamlet|100gp|M20|Lawful Neutral
    Bedhu|BED-oo|--|--|513|Village|200gp|T18|Neutral Evil
    Bhaaruga|bah-ROO-gah|--|--|830|Village|200gp|Q4|Chaotic Good
    Bhachi|BAH-chee|--|--|3,594|Large Town|3,000gp|T14|Neutral Evil
    Bhadhir|BAH-deer|--|--|404|Village|200gp|L4|Chaotic Good
    Bhadhur|BAH-door|--|--|4,029|Large Town|3,000gp|T10|Neutral Good
    Bhadra|BAH-drah|Blessed, Fortunate|--|3,152|Large Town|3,000gp|N6|Chaotic Good
    Bhakti|BAHK-tee|Devotion, Loyalty|--|1,135|Small Town|800gp|M6|Chaotic Good
    Bhasmasaat|BAHS-mah-SAHT|To Burn to Ashes|--|1,695|Small Town|800gp|P20|Lawful Good
    Bhavana|bah-VAH-nah|Home, House, Palace|--|1,322|Small Town|800gp|Q5|Chaotic Good
    Bhiima|BEE-mah|Terrible, Dreadful|--|679|Village|200gp|B8|Chaotic Evil
    Bhiiti|BEE-tee|Fear|--|1,269|Small Town|800gp|B17|Lawful Evil
    Bhuuta|BOO-tah|Spirit|--|791|Village|200gp|K14|Lawful Good
    Bindhii|BIN-dee|--|--|1,002|Small Town|800gp|T20|Neutral Good
    Bisnagar|BISS-nah-GAR|--|--|344|Hamlet|100gp|P23|True Neutral
    Brahma|BRAH-mah|Priest|--|232|Hamlet|100gp|J13|Lawful Good
    Brahaat|brah-HOT|--|--|338|Hamlet|100gp|T12|Lawful Good
    Buduu|BOO-doo|--|--|245|Hamlet|100gp|U18|Lawful Good
    Chaasam|chah-SAHM|--|--|863|Village|200gp|U17|Chaotic Neutral
    Chadya|chah-DEE-ah|--|--|259|Hamlet|100gp|T18|Chaotic Evil
    Chakra|CHAHK-rah|--|--|658|Village|200gp|X10|Lawful Good
    Chalabhi|chah-LAH-bee|--|--|1,690|Small Town|800gp|A16|Lawful Evil
    Chalahsati|CHAH-lah-SAH-tee|--|--|931|Small Town|800gp|U13|Lawful Good
    Chaam|CHAHM|--|--|266|Hamlet|100gp|M23|Neutral Good
    Chidhu|CHID-oo|--|--|271|Hamlet|100gp|T12|Neutral Good
    Chiturgah|chit-OOR-gah|--|--|323|Hamlet|100gp|T21|Lawful Good
    Chumanas|choo-MAH-nahs|--|--|280|Hamlet|100gp|N4|Chaotic Good
    Chuura|CHOOR-ah|--|--|1,792|Small Town|800gp|T9|Lawful Good
    Daalhur|dah-LOOR|--|--|1,849|Small Town|800gp|V17|Neutral Evil
    Daasa|DAH-sah|Demon, Fiend|--|3,192|Large Town|3,000gp|AA8*|Chaotic Evil
    Daasa|DAH-sah|Slave, Servant|--|297|Hamlet|100gp|AA18*|Lawful Evil
    Daava|DAH-vah|Conflagration|--|767|Village|200gp|R20|Lawful Good
    Dabhu|DAH-boo|--|--|930|Small Town|800gp|S18|Lawful Neutral
    Dabuu|DAH-boo|--|--|319|Hamlet|100gp|S20|Lawful Evil
    Dah|DAH|To Burn|--|86|Hamlet|100gp|R21|Chaotic Neutral
    Dashara|dah-SHAR-ah|--|--|2,423|Large Town|3,000gp|N20|True Neutral
    Dauraatmya|dar-AHT-mee-AH|Wickedness, Evil|--|305|Hamlet|100gp|D15|Lawful Evil
    Deshah|DESH-ah|--|--|142|Hamlet|100gp|U13|True Neutral
    Devaan|DEV-ahn|Demigods|--|214|Hamlet|100gp|J15|Lawful Good
    Devadaru|DAY-vah-DAR-oo|Tree|--|287|Hamlet|100gp|X16|Lawful Good
    Devibad|DEV-i-BAHD|Place of the Divine|--|2,075|Large Town|3,000gp|I13|Lawful Good
    Dhaajimah|DAHJ-i-MAH|--|--|371|Hamlet|100gp|N3|Chaotic Good
    Dhaaraa|DAR-ah|Rain|--|110|Hamlet|100gp|Z11|Neutral Evil
    Dharma|DAR-mah|Law/Justice|--|18,851|Large City|40,000gp|S17|Lawful Neutral
    Dharsi|DAR-see|--|--|508|Village|200gp|N21|Neutral Evil
    Dhemaan|deh-MAHN|--|--|4,544|Large Town|3,000gp|AA7*|Chaotic Evil
    Dhii|DEE|--|--|1,122|Small Town|800gp|V10|Neutral Good
    Dhuha|DOO-hah|--|--|2,768|Large Town|3,000gp|S13|Lawful Neutral
    Dhumah|DOO-mah|Smoke|--|961|Small Town|800gp|S14|True Neutral
    Dhyana|dee-AH-nah|Meditation|--|333|Hamlet|100gp|M5|Chaotic Good
    Duban|DOO-bahn|--|--|396|Hamlet|100gp|C15|Lawful Evil
    Duhshiila|doo-SHEE-lah|Bad-Tempered|--|127|Hamlet|100gp|A19|Lawful Evil
    Dukhanda|doo-KAHN-dah|Hot Iron|--|1,650|Small Town|800gp|S21|Neutral Good
    Duraatman|door-AHT-mahn|Vile|--|482|Village|200gp|B10|Chaotic Evil
    Durita|door-EE-tah|Sin|--|3,881|Large Town|3,000gp|C16|Lawful Evil
    Dusharah|doo-SHAR-ah|--|--|557|Village|200gp|R23|Neutral Evil
    Duuga|DOO-gah|--|--|193|Hamlet|100gp|O21|True Neutral
    Dviipah|deh-VEE-pah|Island|--|1,905|Small Town|800gp|T19|Chaotic Good
    Dyabaal|DEE-ah-BALL|--|--|304|Hamlet|100gp|B17|Lawful Evil
    Dyar|DEE-ar|--|--|368|Hamlet|100gp|S19|Lawful Good
    Gaaluur|gah-LOOR|--|--|158|Hamlet|100gp|AA7*|Chaotic Evil
    Galandha|gah-LAHN-dah|--|--|182|Hamlet|100gp|T13|Chaotic Neutral
    Gampala|gahm-PAH-lah|--|--|326|Hamlet|100gp|M21|Neutral Good
    Gandhalanda|GAHN-dah-LAHN-dah|--|--|389|Hamlet|100gp|M5|Chaotic Good
    Ganesh|gah-NESH|--|--|103|Hamlet|100gp|L5|Chaotic Good
    Ganjya|GAHN-jee-YAH|Made of Hemp|--|175|Hamlet|100gp|W15|True Neutral
    Ghaal|GAHL|--|--|272|Hamlet|100gp|S18|Chaotic Good
    Ghabu|GAH-boo|--|--|94|Hamlet|100gp|S22|Neutral Good
    Ghandira|gahn-DEE-rah|--|--|1,345|Small Town|800gp|N23|Lawful Neutral
    Ghantikal|GAHN-tee-kahl|Crocodile|--|9,795|Small City|15,000gp|U15|True Neutral
    Gharyana|gar-YAH-nah|--|--|634|Village|200gp|U9|True Neutral
    Ghish|GISH|--|--|740|Village|200gp|S14|Lawful Neutral
    Ghora|GOR-ah|Awful, Horrible|--|821|Village|200gp|C8|Chaotic Evil
    Ghulai|GOO-lie|--|--|423|Village|200gp|B16|Lawful Evil
    Ghuru|GOO-roo|Teacher|--|693|Village|200gp|Q5|Chaotic Good
    Giri|GEAR-ee|Mountain|--|207|Hamlet|100gp|R22|Lawful Evil
    Gita|GEE-tah|Song|City of Song|28,207|Metropolis|100,000gp|M21|Chaotic Good
    Guluvaar|GOO-loo-VAR|--|--|131|Hamlet|100gp|U17|Lawful Good
    Guuvi|GOO-vee|--|--|4,236|Large Town|3,000gp|R19|Neutral Evil
    Haajma|HAHJ-mah|--|--|2,919|Large Town|3,000gp|U18|Lawful Neutral
    Habhi|HAH-bee|--|--|539|Village|200gp|S18|Lawful Neutral
    Hadhuura|hah-DOO-rah|--|--|775|Village|200gp|N4|Chaotic Good
    Halaashi|hah-LAH-shee|--|--|349|Hamlet|100gp|T9|Chaotic Evil
    Hazarafsan|hah-ZAR-ahf-SAHN|--|--|1,727|Small Town|800gp|P24|True Neutral
    Hiijaya|hee-JAY-ah|--|--|291|Hamlet|100gp|R13|Chaotic Evil
    Hidhara|hih-DAR-ah|--|--|169|Hamlet|100gp|R20|Lawful Evil
    Hirad|heer-AHD|--|--|228|Hamlet|100gp|A18|Lawful Evil
    Hrada|her-RAH-dah|Lake, Pool|--|315|Hamlet|100gp|V17|Neutral Evil
    Hrakha|her-RAH-kah|--|--|1,351|Small Town|800gp|AA8*|Chaotic Evil
    Hudhii|HOO-dee|--|--|496|Village|200gp|M21|Lawful Evil
    Ibhiru|ih-BEER-oo|--|--|805|Village|200gp|O5|Chaotic Good
    Idharya|ih-DAR-yah|--|--|733|Village|200gp|U16|Chaotic Evil
    Iibha|IB-ah|--|--|945|Small Town|800gp|R23|Chaotic Evil
    Iikhu|ICK-oo|--|--|230|Hamlet|100gp|AA7*|Chaotic Evil
    Iiti|IT-ee|Plague|--|358|Hamlet|100gp|B8|Chaotic Evil
    Ilakti|ill-AHK-tee|--|--|256|Hamlet|100gp|T18|True Neutral
    Indra|IN-drah|God of Rain & Thunder|--|615|Village|200gp|W12|Chaotic Good
    Ishkalah|ish-KAH-lah|--|--|260|Hamlet|100gp|S14|Chaotic Good
    Ishtah|ISH-tah|--|--|92|Hamlet|100gp|N21|Lawful Good
    Jaakhar|jah-KAR|--|--|341|Hamlet|100gp|AA6*|Chaotic Evil
    Jada|JAH-dah|Cold, Frozen|--|156|Hamlet|100gp|B17|Lawful Evil
    Jadrah|JAH-drah|--|--|3,307|Large Town|3,000gp|O4|Chaotic Good
    Jaina|jah-EE-nah|Concerning the Saints|--|190|Hamlet|100gp|R4|Chaotic Good
    Jakhad|jah-KAHD|--|--|562|Village|200gp|B10|Chaotic Evil
    Jakhudha|jah-KOO-dah|--|--|448|Village|200gp|U14|Chaotic Evil
    Jala|JAH-lah|Water|--|1,783|Small Town|800gp|Z10|Lawful Evil
    Jalaashaya|JAH-lah-SHAY-ah|Lake, Pond|--|856|Village|200gp|V18|True Neutral
    Jalapaatah|JAH-lah-PAH-tah|Waterfall|--|271|Hamlet|100gp|X12|Lawful Evil
    Jambaa|JAHM-bah|--|--|1,498|Small Town|800gp|T16|Chaotic Evil
    Janadhira|JAH-nah-DEER-ah|--|--|322|Hamlet|100gp|Q23|Lawful Evil
    Jangala|john-GAH-lah|Arid|--|394|Hamlet|100gp|S19|Chaotic Good
    Jashkii|JOSH-kee|--|--|1,260|Small Town|800gp|M21|Lawful Evil
    Jedii|JED-ee|--|--|144|Hamlet|100gp|O21|Chaotic Evil
    Jhahg|JOG|--|--|466|Village|200gp|S19|Chaotic Evil
    Jhin|JIN|--|--|248|Hamlet|100gp|T14|Chaotic Good
    Jilakh|jill-AHK|--|--|388|Hamlet|100gp|AA9*|Chaotic Evil
    Julamsha|joo-LAHM-shah|--|--|179|Hamlet|100gp|V9|Chaotic Evil
    Jutas|JOO-toss|Twisted Hair|--|594|Village|200gp|B9|Chaotic Evil
    Jvala|jah-VAH-lah|Flame|--|81|Hamlet|100gp|R21|Neutral Evil
    Kaadhatka|kah-DAHT-kah|--|--|265|Hamlet|100gp|P3|Chaotic Good
    Kaardama|kar-DAH-mah|Made of Mud|--|660|Village|200gp|T19|Lawful Neutral
    Kaarmana|kar-MAH-nah|Sorcery, Witchcraft|--|4,650|Large Town|3,000gp|L6|Chaotic Good
    Kama|KAH-mah|Desire|--|107|Hamlet|100gp|N6|Chaotic Good
    Kapi|KAH-pee|--|--|237|Hamlet|100gp|Q20|Neutral Evil
    Kardha|KAR-dah|--|--|298|Hamlet|100gp|N22|Chaotic Evil
    Karman|KAR-mahn|Work, Fate|--|123|Hamlet|100gp|W11|True Neutral
    Kassim|kah-SIM|--|--|367|Hamlet|100gp|B15|Lawful Evil
    Kemii|keh-MEE|--|--|310|Hamlet|100gp|U10|Lawful Good
    Ketu|keh-TOO|Time & Fate|--|1,869|Small Town|800gp|O5|Chaotic Good
    Khaal|KAHL|--|--|115|Hamlet|100gp|B7|Chaotic Evil
    Khadhi|kah-DEE|--|Missing Settlement #2||???|???|???|???
    Khanda|KAHN-dah|Violent, Cruel|--|716|Village|200gp|C7|Chaotic Evil
    Khatva|KAHT-vah|Couch|--|202|Hamlet|100gp|W15|Chaotic Good
    Khimpur|KIM-poor|--|--|889|Village|200gp|R19|Chaotic Neutral
    Khlar|kah-LAR|--|--|336|Hamlet|100gp|B11|Chaotic Evil
    Khosrau|kos-RAH-oo|--|--|1,648|Small Town|800gp|M24|Neutral Good
    Khumir|koo-MEER|--|--|138|Hamlet|100gp|A9|Chaotic Evil
    Kiila|KEE-lah|--|--|1,659|Small Town|800gp|T17|Neutral Good
    Kradhi|KRAH-dee|--|--|186|Hamlet|100gp|O23|True Neutral
    Krait|KRATE|A Snake|--|521|Village|200gp|A6|Chaotic Evil
    Krimiga|krih-MEE-gah|Crimson, Carmine|--|229|Hamlet|100gp|D6|Chaotic Evil
    Krosah|KRO-sah|Call, Shout|--|4,148|Large Town|3,000gp|R5|Chaotic Good
    Krotahru|kro-TAH-roo|--|--|304|Hamlet|100gp|S23|Neutral Evil
    Kshatra|kah-SHAH-trah|Power, Might|--|2,907|Large Town|3,000gp|K15|Lawful Good
    Kshayana|kah-SHAH-yah-NAH|Tranquil Water|--|3,455|Large Town|3,000gp|U12|Chaotic Good
    Kulyaa|KOOL-yah|Canal|--|213|Hamlet|100gp|Y11|Lawful Evil
    Laamii|LAH-mee|--|--|160|Hamlet|100gp|ZZ10*|Chaotic Good
    Laashka|LAHSH-kah|--|--|379|Hamlet|100gp|T16|Chaotic Neutral
    Ladri|LAH-dree|--|--|866|Village|200gp|S20|Lawful Good
    Lakhtar|LOCK-tar|--|--|786|Village|200gp|A9|Chaotic Evil
    Laksha|LOCK-shah|Lacquer|--|353|Hamlet|100gp|B8|Chaotic Evil
    Lamirajan|lah-MEER-ah-JAHN|--|--|254|Hamlet|100gp|Q4|Chaotic Good
    Lashmi|LAHSH-mee|--|--|285|Hamlet|100gp|X11|Chaotic Neutral
    Lavana|lah-VAH-nah|Briny, Brackish|--|117|Hamlet|100gp|Y11|Lawful Neutral
    Lavash|lah-VAHSH|--|--|190|Hamlet|100gp|A16|Lawful Evil
    Lhaduu|lah-DOO|--|--|1,536|Small Town|800gp|N20|Chaotic Neutral
    Liikha|LEE-kah|--|--|415|Village|200gp|N21|Lawful Good
    Lomabhar|LOW-mah-BAR|--|--|346|Hamlet|100gp|R21|Lawful Neutral
    Lost City, The|--|--|--|19|RUIN|40gp|X14|Chaotic Neutral
    Lotam|low-TAHM|Loot, Booty|--|633|Village|200gp|A7|Chaotic Evil
    Luudhamar|LOO-dah-MAR|--|--|235|Hamlet|100gp|U14|Lawful Neutral
    Maaliira|mah-LEER-ah|--|--|1,118|Small Town|800gp|W11|Lawful Good
    Maayaa|MAH-yah|Magic, Knowledge, Illusion|--|1,687|Small Town|800gp|I15|Lawful Good
    Madaal|mah-DAHL|--|--|691|Village|200gp|W10|Chaotic Evil
    Madanas|mah-DAH-nahs|Love|City of the Citadel|11,348|Small City|15,000gp|L5|Lawful Good
    Maharajan|MAH-hah-RAH-jahn|Great King|--|434|Village|200gp|C17|Lawful Evil
    Maharishi|MAH-hah-REE-shee|Great Sage|--|154|Hamlet|100gp|P20|Chaotic Neutral
    Mahatman|mah-HAHT-mahn|Great Soul|--|572|Village|200gp|Q5|Chaotic Good
    Mahii|MAH-hee|The World|--|308|Hamlet|100gp|J12|Lawful Good
    Mandala|mahn-DAH-lah|Disc, Circle|--|1,142|Small Town|800gp|L5|Chaotic Good
    Mantri|MAHN-tree|Advisor, Councilor|--|4,393|Large Town|3,000gp|Q6|Chaotic Good
    Manturak|mahn-TOOR-ahk|--|--|392|Hamlet|100gp|L4|Chaotic Good
    Marajani|MAR-ah-JAH-nee|--|--|1,398|Small Town|800gp|N22|Neutral Evil
    Marakata|MAR-ah-KAH-tah|Emerald|--|256|Hamlet|100gp|R19|Lawful Evil
    Marita|mah-REE-tah|--|--|851|Village|200gp|A18|Lawful Evil
    Markata|mar-KAH-tah|Ape|--|99|Hamlet|100gp|W11|Chaotic Neutral
    Marubhuumih|MAR-oo-BOO-mee|Desert, Barren Land|--|713|Village|200gp|T19|Lawful Neutral
    Marut|mar-OOT|Storm Gods|--|762|Village|200gp|T13|Lawful Good
    Mashurya|MAH-shoo-REE-ah|--|--|667|Village|200gp|V13|Lawful Evil
    Mayaar|mah-YAR|--|--|337|Hamlet|100gp|S16|Lawful Neutral
    Miinaa|MEE-nah|--|--|384|Hamlet|100gp|ZZ10*|Lawful Good
    Midnah|MID-nah|--|--|224|Hamlet|100gp|L23|Chaotic Evil
    Mitrah|MIH-trah|Friend|--|85|Hamlet|100gp|P4|Chaotic Good
    Moghi|MOE-gee|--|--|1,328|Small Town|800gp|P4|Chaotic Good
    Mratkah|mer-AHT-kah|--|--|169|Hamlet|100gp|R23|Neutral Evil
    Mrittika|mer-EET-ick-AH|Mud, Earth|--|361|Hamlet|100gp|T19|Chaotic Good
    Mustazi|moo-STAH-zee|--|--|209|Hamlet|100gp|M23|Lawful Neutral
    Muubhita|moo-BEE-tah|--|--|479|Village|200gp|O20|Chaotic Good
    Naadila|nah-DEE-lah|--|--|1,578|Small Town|800gp|S16|Chaotic Evil
    Nadi|nah-DEE|River|--|140|Hamlet|100gp|V13|True Neutral
    Naharatma|NAH-hah-RAHT-mah|--|--|804|Village|200gp|Q21|Neutral Evil
    Naihara|nai-HAR-ah|Mist, Fog|--|544|Village|200gp|T12|Lawful Neutral
    Namaste|nah-MOSS-tay|Bowing to You|--|30,966|Metropolis|100,000gp|S18|Lawful Neutral
    Narangas|nah-WRONG-gahs|Orange Tree|--|289|Hamlet|100gp|S10|Lawful Evil
    Narii|NAR-ee|--|--|757|Village|200gp|Z10|Lawful Good
    Nashka|NAHSH-kah|--|--|126|Hamlet|100gp|W11|True Neutral
    Niilaj|nil-LAHJ|--|--|322|Hamlet|100gp|M23|Neutral Good
    Nila|NEE-lah|Dark Blue|--|16,743|Large City|40,000gp|P20|True Neutral
    Nilaar|nil-LAR|--|--|268|Hamlet|100gp|X10|Lawful Neutral
    Nimah|NEE-mah|--|--|212|Hamlet|100gp|N22|Lawful Neutral
    Nimbah|NIM-bah|Tree|--|353|Hamlet|100gp|V16|Neutral Good
    Nimnagaa|nim-NAH-gah|River|--|1,197|Small Town|800gp|V15|Neutral Evil
    Nirvana|ner-VAH-nah|Extinction, Ending, Paradise|--|1,023|Small Town|800gp|I13|Lawful Good
    Nuraashi|ner-RAH-shee|--|--|616|Village|200gp|S17|Lawful Neutral
    Nuwas|NOO-ahs|--|--|102|Hamlet|100gp|AA17*|Lawful Evil
    Nyaalu|nah-YAH-loo|--|--|882|Village|200gp|U15|Lawful Neutral
    Nyavala|NEE-ah-VAH-lah|--|--|273|Hamlet|100gp|R5|Chaotic Good
    Paadikh|pah-****|--|--|133|Hamlet|100gp|N5|Chaotic Good
    Paakti|PAHK-tee|--|--|597|Village|200gp|T17|Lawful Evil
    Paavana|pah-VAH-nah|Purifying, Holy|--|181|Hamlet|100gp|I14|Lawful Good
    Padme|PAHD-may|--|--|315|Hamlet|100gp|T18|Chaotic Evil
    Pahsah|PAH-sah|--|--|178|Hamlet|100gp|R19|Neutral Good
    Paravi|pah-RAH-vee|--|--|493|Village|200gp|P21|Lawful Neutral
    Pargan|PAR-gahn|--|--|442|Village|200gp|T21|True Neutral
    Parishanda|PAR-ih-SHAHN-dah|Valley|--|675|Village|200gp|S21|Neutral Evil
    Parizade|PAR-ih-ZAH-day|--|--|370|Hamlet|100gp|N24|Lawful Good
    Parjanyah|par-JAHN-yah|Rain|--|294|Hamlet|100gp|Y10|Lawful Neutral
    Parnam|par-NAHM|--|--|1,765|Small Town|800gp|M22|Lawful Evil
    Pavana|pah-VAH-nah|Breeze|--|835|Village|200gp|S14|Chaotic Evil
    Pilaam|pil-LAHM|--|--|247|Hamlet|100gp|U11|Neutral Good
    Pishaad|pih-SHAHD|--|--|739|Village|200gp|S17|Neutral Evil
    Praakhu|PRAH-koo|--|--|166|Hamlet|100gp|A7|Chaotic Evil
    Prajandha|prah-JAHN-dah|--|--|4,664|Large Town|3,000gp|M22|Chaotic Good
    Prakanda|prah-KAHN-dah|Violent, Fierce, Terrible|--|556|Village|200gp|C9|Chaotic Evil
    Purabha|poor-RAH-bah|--|--|640|Village|200gp|I14|Lawful Good
    Puram|POOR-ahm|City|City of Mud|23,690|Large City|40,000gp|T11|True Neutral
    Puram|POOR-ahm|City|--|2,239|Large Town|3,000gp|T17|Neutral Good
    Puranah|poor-AH-nah|Ancient, Former|--|8,441|Small City|15,000gp|Q14|Chaotic Good
    Qaadhura|kah-DOOR-ah|--|--|239|Hamlet|100gp|N5|Chaotic Good
    Qarabah|kah-RAH-bah|Large Flagon (Persian)|City of Stars|26,656|Metropolis|100,000gp|O5|Neutral Good
    Raajir|rah-JEER|--|--|334|Hamlet|100gp|L22|Chaotic Good
    Raashmir|RAHSH-meer|--|--|458|Village|200gp|V11|Chaotic Neutral
    Rabhi|RAH-bee|--|--|382|Hamlet|100gp|N21|Lawful Neutral
    Radhul|rah-DOOL|--|--|720|Village|200gp|S16|True Neutral
    Ragah|RAH-gah|Melodic Mode|--|518|Village|200gp|S5|Chaotic Good
    Rajagni|rah-JAHG-nee|--|--|1,423|Small Town|800gp|N4|Chaotic Good
    Rajan|RAH-jahn|King|--|896|Village|200gp|N5|Chaotic Good
    Ramah|RAH-mah|Pretty|--|819|Village|200gp|L5|Chaotic Good
    Ranii|RAH-nee|--|--|93|Hamlet|100gp|I14|Lawful Good
    Rasharkanda|RAH-shar-KAHN-dah|--|--|217|Hamlet|100gp|T16|True Neutral
    Rashid|rah-SHEED|--|--|363|Hamlet|100gp|A18|Lawful Evil
    Rimanah|rih-MAH-nah|--|--|3,581|Large Town|3,000gp|Q23|Chaotic Evil
    Riilam|ril-LAHM|--|--|145|Hamlet|100gp|Y9|Neutral Good
    Rushli|ROOSH-lee|--|--|771|Village|200gp|AA7*|Chaotic Evil
    Ruuj|ROOJ|--|--|309|Hamlet|100gp|A17|Lawful Evil
    Saadhalman|sah-DAHL-mahn|--|--|200|Hamlet|100gp|M4|Chaotic Good
    Saaj|SAHJ|--|--|395|Hamlet|100gp|T10|Chaotic Neutral
    Saasana|sah-SAH-nah|Punisher|--|118|Hamlet|100gp|C16|Lawful Evil
    Saavur|sah-VOOR|--|--|258|Hamlet|100gp|AA8*|Chaotic Evil
    Sabibhad|SAH-bih-BAHD|--|--|2,872|Large Town|3,000gp|T16|Chaotic Neutral
    Sadhuma|sah-DOO-mah|Veiled in Smoke|--|1,054|Small Town|800gp|T13|True Neutral
    S’ahjman|sah AHJ-mahn|--|--|1,560|Small Town|800gp|P22|Lawful Neutral
    S’aila|sah AY-lah|Made of Stone|--|352|Hamlet|100gp|S20|Chaotic Evil
    Samadhi|sah-MAH-dee|Putting Together|City of Plenty|33,894|Metropolis|100,000gp|R19|Lawful Good
    Samsara|sahm-SAR-ah|Passing Through|--|1,359|Small Town|800gp|U14|Chaotic Good
    Sangha|SAHN-gah|A Community of Monks/Nuns|--|129|Hamlet|100gp|S5|Chaotic Good
    Sanipriya|SAH-nih-PREE-ah|Sapphire|--|274|Hamlet|100gp|R20|Neutral Good
    Saraji|sah-RAH-jee|--|--|505|Village|200gp|N20|Chaotic Evil
    Saritaa|sah-REE-tah|River|--|688|Village|200gp|W15|Lawful Neutral
    Sassanid|sah-SAH-nid|--|--|407|Village|200gp|M6|Chaotic Good
    Satah|SAH-tah|--|--|1,186|Small Town|800gp|P20|Chaotic Neutral
    Satyagraha|SAHT-yah-GRAH-hah|Insisting on Truth|--|530|Village|200gp|M22|Lawful Neutral
    Sendbad|SEND-bahd|--|--|311|Hamlet|100gp|U19|Chaotic Neutral
    Shahryar|SHAH-ree-AR|--|--|629|Village|200gp|A17|Lawful Evil
    Shakhir|shah-KEER|--|--|174|Hamlet|100gp|A7|Chaotic Evil
    Shamiir|shah-MEER|--|--|80|Hamlet|100gp|U14|Lawful Evil
    Shar|SHAR|--|--|243|Hamlet|100gp|L23|Chaotic Neutral
    Shavi|shah-VEE|--|--|794|Village|200gp|AA6*|Chaotic Evil
    Shiita|SHEE-tah|Cold|--|1,685|Small Town|800gp|B18|Lawful Evil
    Shilaa|SHEE-lah|Stone|--|1,470|Small Town|800gp|S20|Lawful Neutral
    Shirin|SHEER-in|--|--|848|Village|200gp|P22|Lawful Evil
    Shiva|SHEE-vah|--|--|327|Hamlet|100gp|N24|Neutral Good
    Shubha|SHOO-bah|--|--|481|Village|200gp|S13|Lawful Good
    Siik|SEEK|Drizzle, Sprinkle|--|920|Small Town|800gp|Y10|Lawful Neutral
    Siisanah|see-SAH-nah|--|--|137|Hamlet|100gp|L22|Lawful Good
    S’ikha|sah ICK-ah|Serpent Demon|--|908|Small Town|800gp|A9|Chaotic Evil
    Siksati|sick-SAH-tee|Studies, Learning|--|288|Hamlet|100gp|P4|Chaotic Good
    Simhapuram|SIM-hah-POOR-ahm|City of Lions|--|4,016|Large Town|3,000gp|Q19|Neutral Evil
    Simsim|SIM-sim|--|--|870|Village|200gp|M23|Lawful Neutral
    Sirngaveram|seern-GAH-ver-AHM|Body of a Horn|City of Contracts|45,408|Metropolis|100,000gp|A17|Lawful Evil
    S’ita|sah EE-tah|Cold|--|185|Hamlet|100gp|C16|Lawful Evil
    Sivah|SIV-ah|Gracious|--|708|Village|200gp|R6|Chaotic Good
    S’oka|sah OH-kah|Burning, Scorching|--|262|Hamlet|100gp|O21|Chaotic Evil
    Sramanas|srah-MAH-nahs|Monk, Shaman|--|602|Village|200gp|R4|Chaotic Good
    Sravanti|srah-VAHN-tee|River|--|654|Village|200gp|V15|Lawful Neutral
    Srikhar|srih-KAR|--|--|290|Hamlet|100gp|B10|Chaotic Evil
    Sruuka|SROO-kah|--|--|101|Hamlet|100gp|C8|Chaotic Evil
    Sthaga|sah-THAH-gah|Scoundrel|--|191|Hamlet|100gp|D7|Chaotic Evil
    Stharukh|sah-THAR-ook|--|--|589|Village|200gp|AA7*|Chaotic Evil
    Sujan|SOO-jahn|--|--|426|Village|200gp|M4|Chaotic Good
    Sulvari|sool-VAR-ee|Sulfur|--|226|Hamlet|100gp|B17|Lawful Evil
    Sutra|SOO-trah|Rule|--|745|Village|200gp|B16|Lawful Evil
    Suur|SOOR|--|--|152|Hamlet|100gp|AA7*|Chaotic Evil
    Svami|sah-VAH-mee|Master|--|376|Hamlet|100gp|C17|Lawful Evil
    Taabhulsim|tah-BOOL-sim|--|--|563|Village|200gp|M5|Chaotic Good
    Taakhma|TAHK-mah|--|--|345|Hamlet|100gp|U11|Chaotic Evil
    Taarukha|tah-ROO-kah|--|--|161|Hamlet|100gp|V15|Chaotic Good
    Takahi|tah-KAH-hee|--|--|460|Village|200gp|P20|Chaotic Evil
    Talapattram|TAH-lah-PAH-trahm|Tree|--|823|Village|200gp|V17|Neutral Good
    Tambhari|tahm-BAR-ee|--|--|210|Hamlet|100gp|S17|Lawful Good
    Tapas|TAH-pahs|Warmth, Heat|--|421|Village|200gp|R22|Chaotic Evil
    Taragya|tah-RAHG-yah|--|--|282|Hamlet|100gp|O22|Neutral Good
    Taranga|tah-WRONG-gah|Wave|--|595|Village|200gp|Y9|Neutral Evil
    Tigma|TIG-mah|Pointed, Sharp|--|1,054|Small Town|800gp|C15|Lawful Evil
    Tiivra|TEE-vrah|Violent, Intense|--|1,018|Small Town|800gp|A6|Chaotic Evil
    Tilah|TEE-lah|Plant|--|393|Hamlet|100gp|V18|Neutral Evil
    Tishuura|tih-SHOOR-ah|--|--|130|Hamlet|100gp|M21|Chaotic Neutral
    Tushhaara|too-SHAH-rah|Ice, Snow|--|762|Village|200gp|A19|Lawful Evil
    Ubhalah|oo-BAH-lah|--|--|252|Hamlet|100gp|M4|Chaotic Good
    Udhal|OO-dahl|--|--|1,281|Small Town|800gp|A17|Lawful Evil
    Umar|OO-mar|--|--|1,898|Small Town|800gp|T11|Lawful Neutral
    Upala|oo-PAH-lah|Stone, Jewel|City of Iron|6,356|Small City|15,000gp|R23|True Neutral
    Upura|oo-POOR-ah|--|--|3,720|Large Town|3,000gp|O23|Chaotic Evil
    Urashni|oo-RAHSH-nee|--|--|331|Hamlet|100gp|S21|Chaotic Evil
    Urii|OO-ree|--|--|112|Hamlet|100gp|T18|Chaotic Good
    Urjitam|OOR-jit-AHM|Glorious|--|699|Village|200gp|J14|Lawful Good
    Ushna|OOSH-nah|--|--|965|Small Town|800gp|AA6*|Chaotic Evil
    Ushtra|OOSH-trah|Camel|--|850|Village|200gp|S20|Lawful Good
    Usraatman|oo-SRAHT-mahn|--|--|196|Hamlet|100gp|N20|Lawful Neutral
    Uvaal|OO-vahl|--|--|748|Village|200gp|U16|Lawful Good
    Vaal|VAHL|--|--|488|Village|200gp|AA7*|Chaotic Evil
    Vaashmi|VAHSH-mee|--|--|611|Village|200gp|O4|Chaotic Good
    Vaayu|VAH-yoo|Lord of Winds|--|581|Village|200gp|T14|True Neutral
    Vakhmaat|VAHK-maht|--|--|381|Hamlet|100gp|B10|Chaotic Evil
    Valmar|VAHL-mar|--|--|4,401|Large Town|3,000gp|A9|Chaotic Evil
    Vanija|VAN-ee-JAH|Merchant|--|14,915|Large City|40,000gp|U17|Lawful Neutral
    Varah|VAR-ah|--|--|267|Hamlet|100gp|T17|Chaotic Evil
    Varuna|vah-ROO-nah|Lord of Oceans|--|3,997|Large Town|3,000gp|W11|Chaotic Evil
    Varyah|vah-REE-ah|--|--|826|Village|200gp|N21|Neutral Good
    Vashti|VAHSH-tee|--|--|705|Village|200gp|U12|Chaotic Neutral
    Vatingana|VAH-teen-GAH-nah|Eggplant|The Shrinking City|5,882|Small City|15,000gp|W15|Chaotic Neutral
    Veda|VAY-dah|Holy Book|--|96|Hamlet|100gp|M6|Chaotic Good
    Viduu|VEE-doo|--|--|1,644|Small Town|800gp|S19|True Neutral
    Viighuba|vee-GOO-bah|--|--|303|Hamlet|100gp|U16|Lawful Good
    Vimana|vee-MAH-nah|Plane, Sanctum Santorum|--|656|Village|200gp|T10|Lawful Good
    Vindhya|VIN-dee-AH|--|--|360|Hamlet|100gp|T20|Chaotic Evil
    Vishka|VISH-kah|--|--|590|Village|200gp|A8|Chaotic Evil
    Vramar|vrah-MAR|--|--|143|Hamlet|100gp|O24|Lawful Good
    Vriit|VREET|--|--|221|Hamlet|100gp|P20|Chaotic Good
    Vritra|VREE-trah|Snake-Demon|--|356|Hamlet|100gp|A9|Chaotic Evil
    Vuraasi|voo-RAH-see|--|--|84|Hamlet|100gp|A8|Chaotic Evil
    Yaagha|YAH-gah|--|--|872|Village|200gp|N3|Chaotic Good
    Yadhal|yah-DAHL|--|--|2,042|Large Town|3,000gp|U16|Chaotic Evil
    Yaga|YAH-gah|--|--|700|Village|200gp|U11|True Neutral
    Yashka|YAHSH-kah|--|--|691|Village|200gp|M23|Neutral Evil
    Yogas|YO-gahs|Yoke, Union|--|402|Village|200gp|N5|Chaotic Good
    Yordha|YOR-dah|--|--|234|Hamlet|100gp|Q24|Chaotic Evil
    Yunan|YOO-nahn|--|--|318|Hamlet|100gp|N23|Chaotic Evil
    Yurana|yoo-RAH-nah|--|--|177|Hamlet|100gp|T16|Chaotic Evil
    Zaynab|ZAY-nahb|--|--|347|Hamlet|100gp|P22|Chaotic Good
    Zuman|ZOO-mahn|--|--|105|Hamlet|100gp|AA18*|Lawful Evil
    Zumurrud|ZOO-mer-RUDE|--|--|249|Hamlet|100gp|L23|Neutral Evil
    Zurayk|zoo-RAKE|--|--|983|Small Town|800gp|A19|Lawful Evil[/table]


    Table 3-5: Najmai Locations
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Name|Pronunciation|Meaning|Coordinates
    Aagya Island|ah-GEE-ah|Command|T18
    Aaraya River|ah-RAY-ah|Noble|Q5
    Agniparvata|ahg-NEE-par-VAH-tah|Volcano|Q23
    Anala|ah-NAH-lah|Fire|R22
    Bhakti Temple|BAHK-tee|Loyalty|U11
    Bhuubhrit|BOO-brit|Mountain|P26
    Black River|--|--|S23
    Blasted Plains|--|--|D14
    Blessed Hill|--|--|T22
    Blue River|--|--|V17
    Burning Plains|--|--|P23
    Canyon of Light|--|--|Y16
    Chasm of Memory|--|--|S25
    Chaturastrah Lake|CHAH-toor-AHS-trah|Square|C11
    Crying Fields|--|--|A7
    Crystal Bridge|--|--|U19
    Dakshina Peninsula|dock-SHIN-ah|South|R5
    Death’s Gate|--|--|U21
    Destiny’s Road|--|--|V15
    Dhatturah|dah-TOUR-ah|Flowering Plant|W16
    Disharmony|--|--|C8
    Divan Temple|dee-VAHN|Place of Assembly (Persian)|T9
    Dream’s Palace|--|--|R8
    Everrain Forest|--|--|V12
    Flower River|--|--|W16
    Fogwood|--|--|V14
    Forest of Steam|--|--|Q21
    Forest of Tigers|--|--|S25
    Forge of Souls|--|--|P25
    Forgotten River|--|--|S26
    Fortune Falls|--|--|Y13
    Gaayati Peninsula|gah-YAH-tee|To Sing|N20
    God’s Crypt|--|--|L24
    Goldenwood|--|--|P4
    Grave of Lords|--|--|R21
    Gulf of Svaryana|sah-VAR-yah-NAH|Golden Vessel|T15
    Harmony River|--|--|O4
    Hills of Silence|--|--|Y18
    Hollow Hill|--|--|W12
    Holy Fields|--|--|U25
    Hordespawn Island|--|--|K5
    Icewall|--|--|D13
    Jagat-Nathas|jah-GOT NAH-thahs|Lord of the World|J14
    Jumping River|--|--|V13
    Karsha Temple|KAR-shah|A Weight of Gold or Silver|S14
    Karsha Temple|kar-SHAH-kah|Farmer|U11
    Lake of Tears|--|--|A19
    Lightning Woods|--|--|U13
    Lion Hall|--|--|S16
    Longflow River|--|--|Q3
    Love River|--|--|U17
    Melancholy Mire|--|--|Y12
    Mirror River|--|--|N5
    Misty River|--|--|T13
    Moksha Temple|MOCK-shah|Liberation from the Cycle of Death & Rebirth|J14
    Muddy River|--|--|R20
    Nazir Island|nah-ZEER|--|Q17
    North River|--|--|O22
    Northwood|--|--|M4
    Nyaaya Island|nah-YAH-yah|Law|T17
    Parvata|par-VAH-tah|Mountain|O24
    Plains of Woe|--|--|A11
    Prayu-Njaano Peninsula|PRAH-yoo nah-JAH-noe|Combined|S19
    Raaga Peninsula|RAH-gah|Love|P20
    Rainwood Forest|--|--|V16
    Red River (Raktanadii)|--|--|W15
    Rig Temple|REEG|Praise|S5
    Rishi Temple|REE-shee|Sage|Q20
    Sacred Grove|--|--|X19
    Samgraama-Bhuumi|sahm-GRAH-mah BOO-mee|Battleground|B12
    Sattva Temple|SAHT-vah|Truth|N22
    Sayuaru River|SAH-yoo-AH-roo|--|Q5
    Sea of Golden Flames|--|--|W20
    Sea of Suffering|--|--|B7
    Serpent Hills|--|--|R25
    Shining Forest|--|--|N3
    Shining Tower|--|--|U12
    Shrieking Plains|--|--|B11
    Silvery Field|--|--|N6
    Sindhu Valley|SIN-doo|River|V14
    Sorrowfield|--|--|C14
    South River|--|--|S4
    Spring of Renewal|--|--|X14
    Steaming River|--|--|S22
    Starspring Falls|--|--|X12
    Stony River|--|--|P21
    Summerwood|--|--|O23
    Temple of Love|--|--|R4
    Tigerhold|--|--|M25
    Udiichii Peninsula|oo-DEE-chee|North|L5
    Utterblack Spires|--|--|K25
    Valley of Regret|--|--|B15
    Wailing Tomb|--|--|Z16
    White River|--|--|X12
    White Wastes|--|--|B14
    Wild River|--|--|Z11
    Wildwood|--|--|W16
    Winding River|--|--|Y11
    Winefields|--|--|U18[/table]
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-06-11 at 11:35 PM.

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    Continents

    Kshaya
    Sentient Population: ~144,955,000

    The western continent is a serene land of quiet woods & empty fields, even more peaceful than the rest of Najmah. It is mostly devoid of the strange & powerful creatures that stalk the wilderness in between towns elsewhere. In fact, the long stretches of land between settlements here are some of the most solemn & empty on the Plane of Night. The continent is called Kshaya (k’SHAH-yah), & unlike most other regions, it was never ruled by a region-spanning nation.

    Kshaya is mostly populated by houris, with a significant minority of devas, & more than a few humans, as well. They mostly worship Satkriyaa (an alias for Akasha), although Bhagya (Adimas), Bhishaj (Pashati), the Peacemaker (Sidaru), & the Treewalker (Umaj) are all represented in some capacity. The people here are more tolerant of diversity than those of other lands, so making any generalizations about their habits & traditions is difficult. Seemingly every possible practice & philosophy can be seen somewhere here, if one looks hard enough.

    One of the only unifying aspects of Kshayan life is their affinity for urban life, even more so than in other regions. Almost nobody lives outside of the cities & villages here, so much so that the space between is mostly uncharted. This custom tends to reinforce itself, with a fear of the unknown leading to an aversion of the unknown, which in turn leads to more fear, repeating the cycle. The wilderness here is largely a mystery, made even more so by the weird mist that covers most of the continent.

    Vaatavaari
    Sentient Population: ~7,315,000

    The southern continent is a place of windswept fields & thick rainforests, stormy hills & cascading waterfalls, whistling woods & rushing rivers. Most often called Vaatavaari (VAH-tah-VAH-ree), its houri name, this land was once the home of the genie-folk of the djinni & the marids. Before the Pactspell, there were several genie-dominated kingdoms, the most notable being the Caliphate of Atma. But the Great Calamity, scoured the land, sweeping away the genies & their political domains with them.

    The people left behind (mostly half-genies & sabi here) eventually recovered, & they were able to reclaim & rebuilt most of the settlements that were emptied by the Pactspell. But like the people of Dharaanala to the east, the survivors in Vaatavaari left the rural areas behind, flocking to the shelter of the emptied towns & villages. They fled the lands between the urban centers, & they rarely venture far beyond the roads between to this day. They fear the wild things that roam the wilderness, & they trade tales of those who foolishly wandered off, never to return.

    The lands of Vaatavaari are beautiful & varied, from the dense Bhangah Jungle to the rain-soaked Goraksah Marsh, from the lush Sindhu Valley to the deadly Lightning Woods. Many wonders await those reckless enough to leave the cities behind & explore the forgotten wilderness. Legends tell of many astonishing sites, such as the Wailing Tomb, the Canyon of Light, the Lost City, the Fogwood Forest, & the Hollow Hill. Many today believe that these stories are mere myths, & brave or reliable guides are hard to come by, but others say that the time for cowering in the well-trod paths of their ancestors has past, & that they need valiant voyagers to blaze new trails & see what lies beyond the horizon.

    Dharaanala
    Sentient Population: ~14,160,000

    The eastern continent is a land of earth & fire, forests & mountains, magic & mystery. It has gone by many names in its long history, but its most common name in modern records is Dharaanala (DAR-ah-NAH-lah), which is a houri designation. Once dominated by the genie-folk of the dao & the efreeti, the Great Calamity wiped those two races away, leaving their lands nearly empty & changing the east-lands forever.

    The dao lived mostly in the hilly, bucolic land of Padam, while the efreet were concentrated in the torrid, mountainous realms of Agni. The two genie races fought & made peace many times over the ages, but the Great Calamity solved their differences with tragic finality. Some genie-folk were spared the devastation of the Pactspell, like the half-genies, the sabi, & the janni, but the forest-covered lands of Dharaanala were largely emptied of people by the sudden disappearance of nearly every pureblooded genie. Those who survived were drawn to the relative safety of the empty settlements, & their descendents still avoid the wild lands beyond the city limits. It took centuries to recover from this rapturous event, & the days of the great genie kingdoms will never be seen again.

    The continent of Dharaanala has not lost its magic or mystery, however. It is still a strange & wondrous place, with many unexplored locales & unexplained phenomena. Marvels & dangers such as the Steaming River, the Forge of Souls, the Chasm of Memory, & the Holy Fields draw explorers & opportunists from all over the world (& beyond), but few ever return from such excursions. It is said that the continent is connected to an even larger land mass further east, & that this mythical land is even more bizarre & perilous than the deadliest volcano on Dharaanala.

    Nidhanandha
    Sentient Population: ~53,686,000

    The northern continent is mostly an inhospitable wasteland, & those less-harsh areas are claimed by powerful beings that are even more unwelcoming than the land itself. Known as Nidhanandha (NID-ah-NAHN-dah, which means “death & darkness”) to the houris, the southern reaches are mostly covered in salt flats, tapering to an icy tundra in the north. The western half of this bitter continent is a nightmarish landscape of anguish & cruelty known as Sergala. Almost entirely populated by various breeds of demons, Sergala is a ruined, shattered land is littered with decaying corpses & broken buildings.

    The demonic hordes of Sergala are waging an endless war with the devils of the Hima Sovereignty, which dominates the eastern coasts of the continent. This oppressive dictatorship is ruled by the malicious & calculating Empress Tamaskama, who plots to first wipe the demons off the face of Najmah, & then to conquer the world from her secured territory. The devils of Hima live in fear of those above them & contempt for those below them, held in check by their constant war with the demons of the west.

    Between these two brutal lands is a vast salt plain, a dry flat desert of rocky salt formations & sandy dunes of dust. Known as the White Wastes, these wind-scoured badlands are made even more hellish by the forces of Sergala & Hima, which wage their protracted war among the crystalline spikes & blasted craters here. Thousands of miles of trenches have been carved into the barren soil, & battles are staged somewhere in this frigid no-man’s-land every few days. Neither side has made any major gains or losses in ages, & the war is expected to last indefinitely, adding even more carnage & death to a land that has never truly known life.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2012-02-16 at 11:31 PM.

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    Settlements

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    Ahimsa
    Population: 20,072 (large city)
    Demographics: 44% deva, 23% sabi, 13% half-genie, 9% houri, 7% human, 4% others
    Government: Constitutional monarchy
    Notable Religions: Bhagya (Adimas), Shaanti (Sidaru)
    Main Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
    Notable Neighbors: Aanila, Jhin, Marut, Vaayu

    Situated on the banks of the cascading Misty River, Ahimsa (ah-HEEM-sah) is a beautiful city of art, music, & magic. In the northern reaches of the dangerous Lightning Woods, the city is an island of calm in a chaotic & deadly forest. It is one of the more influential cities of Atma, but it is known not for its political power, but for its hospitality & spectacular culture.

    Sometimes simply called Tranquility, Ahimsa is a relatively-peaceful city, considering its location. Although the storms of the Lightning Woods are not as powerful in its northern reaches, the earliest attempts to build the city all failed miserably because of the furious lightning storms. It was not until the devas who desired its construction invited djinn to assist them that the city was realized. Using their elemental powers over wind, the djinn stalled the storms while the city was built. They could not hold it forever, though, so great deva & houri wizards were contracted to build the city magically. As such, is architecture is brilliantly unique, with spires rising up at improbable angles & each building perfectly original. More extravagant than any other building is the Palace of Mists, the royal dwelling that also serves as a town hall, where audiences with the ruling family are held.

    Today, the lightning storms are held off by a strange contraption invented & maintained by an even stranger wizard. Going by the name of Upazaa Mayati (Chaotic Good, Wizard 13), the half-djinn mage maintains his weather machine constantly, protecting the city from the vicious storms outside. He uses the Misty River to generate a sphere of liquid energy, which absorbs the roiling fury of the passing storms & deflects it into the ground. Mayati is given much respect by the people of Ahimsa, & though he is meek & somewhat antisocial, no one in the city would ever get the chance to lay so much as a finger upon him before a score of guards would be upon them.

    The people of Ahimsa are tolerant & very hospitable. Their inns take in weary travelers from the storms, feed them, & play them pleasant music. The most well-known taverns of the city are the Thunderstruck, which lies right at the edge of the city, & the Falls Cafe, which sits on the shore of the Misty River & is perpetually sheathed in rainbows. The city is predominantly inhabited by devas, though not by a significant margin, & many djinn-blooded folk live here as well, enjoying the luxurious city their ancestors helped build & protect. As with many cities, there are also some houris here, as well as a smattering of mortal races & other residents of Najmah.

    The city’s love of magic & skilled musicians is complemented by the predominant faith of the city, which is the worship of Bhagya (known on Siraaj as Adimas). Bhagya’s temple lies across the square from the Palace of Mists, & though not quite as large, the ever-shifting illusions that cover it are certainly a sight to behold. Slightly further from the Palace lies the temple of Shaanti (Sidaru), who, though not quite as popular with the general public as Bhagya, is given respect by all for his dominion over death, a not-uncommon thing for a people living in the Lightning Woods. The Sidarite priests also perform more state functions, such as coronations, than the clergy of Bhagya.

    Renowned for its art, music, & magic, those three things form the primary exports of Ahimsa. It imports most of its food from the smaller towns & cities to the north, where the caravan trip through the Lightning Woods is much shorter than for those coming from the south. They fetch all of their water from the cascading Misty River, whose water is carried from on high in the walls via several aqueducts to cisterns across the city, a recent innovation & a marvel of magical engineering.

    Ahimsa is currently ruled by Queen La-Fahtii Aarashumaq, the direct descendant of King Rumakhan Aarashumaq, the original founder of the city. The deva queen is a benevolent monarch, & the city has prospered under her rule. Her largest concern at this time is Upazaa Mayati’s old age. The wizard who protects the city is growing forgetful with age, & his assistants must constantly remind him of simple things. She fears that with his growing mental degradation, the city may again fall prey to the deadly storms. She seeks one who can perform the mage’s job, & she wishes to find a replacement as soon as she can, before it is too late.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-06-12 at 01:15 AM.

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    Angaros
    Population: 22,903 (large city)
    Demographics: 62% houri, 17% sabi, 11% deva, 6% half-genie, 3% human, 1% others
    Government: Imperial republic
    Notable Religions: Bhagya (Adimas), Dakhiel (Daq), Bhishaj (Pashati), Qalima (Zaia)
    Main Alignment: Chaotic Good
    Notable Neighbors: Aadii, Bhavana, Mahatman, Mantri

    In a valley at the center of the Dakshina Peninsula, in southern Kshaya, lies the city of Angaros (AHN-gah-rohss), nestled among the trees. Two rivers flow directly through the middle of the city, perpendicular to one another. The first, the wide, lazy Aaraya, flows to the sea in the east, from run-off in the west of southern Kshaya. The other, the swift-flowing Sayuaru, flows to the east as well, but turns to the south just north of Angaros, meeting the Aaraya in the city at a nearly right angle. It continues southwest toward Rig Temple, where it too becomes one with the sea.

    The city is constructed around not only the two rivers, but around a strange wild magic phenomenon called the Sky Ring. It is a column of magical energy stretching invisibly into the sky, where the laws of gravitation are reversed & things float up into the starry sky of the Plane of Night. The two rivers meet in this column, & as the Sayuaru flows more swiftly than its counterpart, the Aaraya arches far above the Sayuaru in the air, & the two never physically meet. A piece of land underneath both of the temporarily airborne rivers is filled with anchored ropes so that those wishing to study the Sky Rings magic do not simply float away into the night sky.

    Angaros was originally commissioned by the Church of Bhishaj (known as Pashati on Siraaj) to honor the majestic intersection of the two rivers. Since then, the church has long since passed official control of the city’s affairs to the Grand Duke’s line & their Imperial Guard. The city is known to be tolerant & hospitable, & many come from all around Najmah to see for themselves the wonders of the gravity-defying rivers & the Sky Ring. Rafting the rivers is a popular “sport” in the region, & those that successfully & safely raft the Sayuaru through the Sky Ring are held in high esteem by the local people. The sport is an excellent way for foreigners to earn the respect of the people of Angaros, & make inroads or contacts in the city.

    The predominant faith of the city is, as it always has been, Bhishaj. Her temples border the Sky Ring at each of the points where the rivers touch land, & special rope bridges carry the faithful from one section to another through the Sky Ring, under the arching waters of the two rivers. The only way to access the Sky Ring is through the Church of the River Goddess, & so the Church of Bhagya here is very friendly with that of Bhishaj, as his worshippers are always eager to study the chaotic arcana responsible for the city’s natural wonder. The Church of the Third Way has a small presence here, though only the royal family & their imperial guard worship Dakhiel. There is a small shrine to Qalima here as well, but it was established predominantly as a place of last prayers for those who plan to commit suicide in the Sky Ring, hoping to meet the World Serpent in their ascent. None seeking Qalima’s enlightenment in this fashion have ever returned.

    The current leader of Angaros is Grand Duke Meshtu Vaakhan, a houri. However, his imperial power is mostly superficial, as the High Priestess of Bhishaj, the couatl Ruta Marta, is the figure in the city with the most power, even though she ceded her official political power to the duchy many years ago. The two have never been at odds before, however, so the void in the city’s allegiances has no effect on its current governance. Certain members of the local merchant guild wish to have the two quarrel over control of the city, & if their machinations are allowed to continue, the cheery, hospitable city-state could take on a much darker tone.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:34 PM.

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    Asanam
    Population: Unknown (thorp); formerly 46,074 (metropolis)
    Demographics: Unknown
    Government: Tribal anarchy; formerly imperial magocracy
    State Religion: None
    Main Alignment: Chaotic Neutral; formerly Lawful Neutral
    Notable Neighbors: None

    On the island of Nazir, north of Namaste & west of Rishi Temple, lies the necropolis of Asanam (ah-sah-NAHM). The ruined capital of the Empire of Admaja, it was partially transported to the Plane of Night by the Pactspell, known as the Great Calamity on Najmah. It is a dead city of devastated buildings, raving madmen, wild magic, & wrathful undead. Settlers on the island give the grave-city a wide berth, while explorers & looters face its many perils, lured by the promise of relics & treasure, seldom to be seen again.

    The Admajai Empire fancied itself to be enlightened, a benevolent autocracy bringing peace, prosperity, & culture to the war-torn & backward continent of Al-Marqaz (now commonly known as Admaja). They sought to unite the entire known world under its banner, guiding barbarous savages & oppressed serfs within their borders with wisdom & technical knowledge. The empire may have been an expansionist dictatorship, but it was one that seemed genuinely concerned with the betterment of its subjects. Before it became a true empire, it was a small island kingdom off the eastern shore of the continent, until an ambitious king named Zazir declared himself emperor of all that he saw.

    Within a few hundred years, they controlled almost half of the continent, & were using their technology & sophistication to transform the land into a better place for all people. But a cabal of archmages, led by the wizard Dermanaske, attempted to merge the two planes of the Kamala together into a unified super-reality, in order to bring about a golden age of permanent prosperity. Instead, they accidently created the Great Calamity, a cataclysm which utterly destroyed the empire, annihilating its island capital & killing millions across the continent.

    The city was once a sprawling multilayered metropolis, a glory to behold & a place of endless wonders; it has been said that the streets were paved with gold, that the fountains poured wine as well as water, & that every building sparkled with jewels & shone with lustrous orichalcum. Evidence of the beautiful architecture is everywhere, though nearly all of the buildings above one story tall were rent from the ground in the implosion, & most of those that remained were felled by the violent aftershocks. The ruins now provide anchors for ivy plants, along with all manner of other bushes & weeds native to both Najmah & Siraaj. Animals from both planes roam the mists, & they are hunted by the madmen, archaeologists, & explorers of the island; although more oft than not, it is the animals that hunt the people.

    In the very center of the blasted city, where the mists are thickest, & the veil between the worlds is thinnest, there lies a shattered circle with 12 obsidian disks all around it, as wide as a man is tall. Columns of roiling magical energy that stretch up to the sky emanate from eleven of these disks, & touching any of them means instant, irredeemable annihilation of body & soul. The twelfth column is silent & empty, etched with unreadable glyphs that seem to change when one isn’t looking. In the center of the ritual circle is Aowa’s Cairn, a tombstone written by the last archmagus, who was not present for the Great Calamity.

    The island has no centralized government or religion, as there is no one here to establish any order or tradition. Most of the people living here have gradually been driven mad by the hallucinatory mists or the chaotic planar flux. But those brave, foolhardy few who explore the island often worship Bhagya (Adimas) & Vayu (Waharim), & some of their camps have a small shrine or a clergyman. The temple of Akasha, run by Aowa before the Great Calamity, is now one of the only buildings that remains standing. It is sometimes visited by the madmen, some of whom claim to have seen an old man walking into the temple & talking with a brilliant light, but none of their crazed ramblings can be confirmed.

    More common than the living are the walking dead. Vampires, liches, wights, mummies, & less-identifiable undead roam the debris-strewn streets, hunting for living prey among the wreckage. The cause of the undead isn’t clear; some say that they are the former citizens of Asanam, while others claim that they came later, called here from both worlds for some purpose. What is agreed upon by all is that they hate the living with a relentless passion, & that they will attack on sight.

    The imperial palace is shrouded by thick crackling mists, constantly shifting between Siraaj & Najmah. Anything that lives within its gilded halls is petrified when the citadel shifts to Siraaj, frozen until it returns to Najmah. The opposite is true for the undead, however; they are frozen upon shifting to Najmah, but are free upon their return to Siraaj. The palace’s appearance frequently changes as well, sometimes looking like just another pile of fallen rubble, while at other times appearing as immaculate & glorious as it did before the cataclysm, decorated with jewels & orichalcum.

    It is said that the last Emperor of Admaja, Emperor Jalil III, still sits upon the Throne of Adamant, wailing & keening, forced to nightly relive the destruction of his empire. Those who speak of his anguish say that someone must put him to rest, but there are none that possess the courage to brave the palace, lest they risk the maddening mists, the hateful undead, or the petrifying shifts in reality. Though his torment is endless, the perpetrators of the Great Calamity, the archmagi, have no doubt suffered far worse fates.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2012-02-16 at 11:32 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Ayus
    Population: 62,520 (metropolis)
    Demographics: 68% deva, 12% houri, 9% sabi, 6% half-genie, 3% human, 2% others
    Government: Theocratic democracy
    State Religion: the Peacemaker (Sidaru)
    Main Alignment: Lawful Good
    Notable Neighbors: Aabhaa, Bhuuta, Brahma, Urjitam

    On the southernmost tip of the great mountainous isle of Prana, Ayus (ae-YOOS) shines like a star that has fallen to earth, a brilliant beacon in the eternal night. The City of Light has stood for thousands of years, since well before the counting of years, & tales tell of the city withstanding the tumult of the earliest days, when the God War shook the foundations of heaven earth alike. It is the most heavily populated city on Najmah, & indeed it is the largest city in the entire Kamala, a bustling nexus of life & creativity that is like no other place in either realm.

    Ayus rests upon the edge of a sheer cliff overlooking a deep bay of icy water. Many narrow stairways have been carved into the stratified cliff face, descending to the waters of the Speckled Sea over 500 feet below. Behind the city is a dense forest of forbidding trees, beyond which are the renowned mountains of Prana, including the most famous of all, Jagat-Nathas the Ur-Mountain, which is visible from the city’s edge, over 300 miles away. The city itself is awe-inspiring in its architecture, with most of the geometrically-perfect buildings made of black marble accented with tiles of glowing quartz, & there are innumerable towers & obelisks, especially in the center of town, near the grand temple.

    The most striking feature of the city’s layout is the White Sphinx, an immense statue of Sih Daroga, which sits upon a tiny island in the bay. The island is little more than a tapering pillar of rock, its rock face so steep that seemingly nothing could be built upon it. But the White Sphinx rests atop the spear-like isle all the same, his wings outstretched & his mouth wide open, as if to let out a roar that would shake the heavens themselves. The enormous marble sculpture was built in the earliest days of the city’s history, commissioned by the then-young church of the Peacemaker, despite Sih Daroga’s own objections. The White Sphinx has weathered the many centuries well, but it shows signs of its great age: its mane is worn & smooth, its neck & paws are cracked, & it is missing several feathers on its fragile-looking wings.

    It is an open secret that there is a portal to Siraaj nearby; it is located on a couple miles north of the city’s edge, in a particularly thick patch of woods known as the Chaayaavana (“Shadow-Wood”) Forest. This portal leads to the foothills of the Sathan Range, about 100 miles to the northwest of the city of Alaqur. It is one of the Seven Paths of Darkness, & is the only one that is fully controlled by the devas, most of the others being in the hands of the rakshasas. The devas use the portal sparingly, only keeping it open when they need to send someone or something across the Twilight Road, as the divide between Siraaj & Najmah is commonly known.

    Over two thirds of Ayus’ population is a deva of some sort, & of those, over half are what is known as common devas (Aasimar). There are less than a thousand greater devas in the city, the rest being lesser devas (Half-Celestials). The remainder of the city’s populace is made up of a diverse amalgam of houris, genie-folk, & just about any other race that can be imagined; even some members of the Siraajai races live here, & a few creatures defy easy identification. The neighborhoods are mostly integrated, after millennia of intermixing & cordial relations, & with the exception of the devils’ enclave, there are no racially exclusive districts.

    Considering the fact that the city’s government is run by the Church of the Obelisk, Sidarite iconography & symbolism is everywhere here, & the city is visited by Sih Daroga once a year, is should not be surprising that the vast majority of the citizens worship Sih Daroga in some way or another. There are countless temples & shrines dedicated to the Chronicler of Doom, & Sidarite dogma pervades the local culture. There are a few rare individuals who practice other faiths (mainly Dakhiel, Lammali, & Qalima), & they are accepted by the mainstream populace, but these nonbelievers are a fringe minority, largely irrelevant to the city’s spirit as a whole.

    The local government of Ayus is virtually synonymous with the church, & the ultimate leader of both is the high priest, Brahmarsi Etash Suniyama (Lawful Good, Cleric 14/Paladin 3/Hierophant 3). He is the 44th brahmarsi in the city’s history, & has held the position since the death of his predecessor, Ambika Simhii, 18 years ago. Simhii, who was the high priestess for over a century, led the city through several crises (mostly demonic incursions) with wisdom & dignity, & was much loved by the citizens. Even though he has served as the high priest for almost two decades, & was a respected figure of the church for many years before that, he is still seen as green & untested. This may soon change, as evidence has recently surfaced that Simhii’s death may have been caused by the devils, which threatens to end the fragile truce between them & the devas; such a political disaster could drag the city into open warfare with the Hima Sovereignty, the devils’ mighty nation in the north.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:39 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Dharma
    Population: 18,851 (large city)
    Demographics: 36% half-genie, 25% sabi, 15% gnoll, 10% houri, 8% deva, 6% others
    Government: Authoritarian monarchy
    Notable Religions: Udyama (Qirus), Shaanti (Sidaru), Vayu (Waharim)
    Main Alignment: Lawful Neutral
    Notable Neighbors: Mayaar, Paakti, Tambhari

    On Nyaaya Island, north of Vanija & Vaatavaari, there is a busy coastal port city, one that is buzzing with constant activity. One of the three Sister Cities (which include Namaste & Vanija), the bustling town of Dharma (DAR-mah) is growing faster than either of its urban siblings, & may one day soon be the largest of them. People from all over the southern hemisphere come to experience the city’s vibrancy, from Agni in the east to Kshaya in the west, & many have decided to stay, becoming a part of that inimitable energy.

    Despite all the hustle & bustle of its citizens, Dharma is an orderly city, one with a culture of strong traditions & regimented customs. The city moves like a well-oiled machine, with every resident & visitor moving in an intricate dance, as if choreographed by an unseen force. While one might expect that all the different voices would create a cacophony of chaos, the net result is surprisingly harmonious. The reasons for this are unknown, but various scholars throughout the years have proposed differing theories, including divine intervention, magical compulsion, diabolic influence, & a metaphysical nexus of organizing force.

    For such a dynamic city, Dharma is surprisingly very religious. Iconic symbols of various gods are everywhere, spiritual festivals are regularly held in the city squares, & there are many observed holidays. The citizens devoutly worship one of three deities: Udyama, Sih Daroga, or Vayu. They consider one’s god of choice to be more important than one’s race, age, gender, or virtually any other personal trait. Practitioners of other religions are tolerated, of course, but these three churches dominate the local culture, & there is no sign of any change in the future. The churches of Udyama, Sih Daroga, & Vayu vie with one another for power & influence, even coming to the brink of civil war in years past. The tensions have subsided somewhat in the current generation, but the divisions & prejudices are still there, lying just beneath the surface.

    Like the other Sister Cities, Dharma relies on trade & commerce for most of its activity & prosperity. But unlike its urban counterparts, it has recently been extending its influence & scope into the interior of the island, building roads, logging camps, & mining outposts. This has given the city the resources that it needs to expand rapidly, building houses, ships, & metal-works with surprising speed & quality. This has worried the other cities in the region, as much of these metal-works include weapons & armor.

    Much of the credit for maintaining the peace, prosperity, & order that Dharma enjoys is given to its longtime ruler, King Kratu the Great (Lawful Neutral, Aristocrat 2/Fighter 6). The half-marid son of Kratu the Lesser, the current monarch is a stern sovereign, one who has passed many strict edicts over the years & is commonly believed to be the source of the city’s lawful bent. Under his leadership, the city has grown, prospered, & expanded, extending its influence to control the nearby towns & villages. This is all part of Kratu’s long-term plans, which is ultimately to found a mighty nation with Dharma as his capital. He is secretly consolidating his power base & building a functional army, which he will use to invade & annex neighboring islands until he is ready to take the mainland, forming a new empire in the south for the first time in over 350 years.

    Dharma’s usually-lively spirit has been stymied as of late, though, due to the presence of a mysterious killer on the loose. Known only as the Fell Drake, the anonymous murderer has killed 13 people in the last two years, & it seems as if the death toll is accelerating, as the time between slayings has steadily decreased. The Fell Drake has killed every victim with a knife through the heart, mutilating the corpse afterward. The brutality of the killings has shocked the entire city, which is normally quite peaceful for such an active town. The citizens are fearful, & there is a great pressure among the local authorities (going all the way up to King Kratu himself) to discover the identity of the Fell Drake & stop the murders.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:41 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Ghantikal
    Population: 9,795 (small city); formerly 39,079 (metropolis)
    Demographics: 48% houri, 31% lizardfolk, 12% half-genie, 5% deva, 2% human, 2% others
    Government: Constitutional republic
    Notable Religions: Aspiration/Fact/Legend (The Darshan), Dakhiel (Daq), Shaanti (Sidaru)
    Main Alignment: True Neutral
    Notable Neighbors: Nyaalu, Samsara, Sravanti

    Near the southern coast of the Gulf of Svaryana, between Nyaaya Island & the region of Atma, there is a decaying city, a once-shining metropolis that has long since been tarnished & dulled by time. It is an ancient city, founded thousands of years ago as a neutral waypoint & meeting ground for genies of all elements. Known as Ghantikal (GAHN-tee-kahl), this city was at one time the capital of a short-lived pan-genie empire, but millennia of hardship & strife have taken their toll, & this once-proud city is now a mere shadow of its former glory.

    Ghantikal may have been founded by the genies, but their numbers were steadily decreasing here even before the Great Calamity swallowed the rest of them up. Today, the city is known mostly as a haven for lizardfolk & their houris. The neighboring lands are populated mostly by half-genies of all elements, but relations between the races here are cooperative, if not always completely cordial.

    Ghantikal is a city caught in a spiraling cycle of decline, from which it seemingly cannot escape. Urban leaders, both past & present, have tried many things to reverse the downward trend, but every effort so far has failed. Almost three-quarters of the city’s buildings now lie vacant, the streets are cracked & uneven, the city’s fountains no longer work, & the gilded statues have been stripped bare & vandalized, leaving only the weathered stonework.

    There are many signs of Ghantikal’s past greatness, reminders of an opulence & grandeur that today’s citizens can only wistfully dream about. The potholed streets are made from textured Saritan marble, the municipal buildings are covered with faded murals, & every window is fitted with thick Agnian glass. The houses are all spacious & sturdy, resilient to the ravages of time & neglect. Everywhere, one can see spectacular art & fabulous architecture, making the entire city looking like a lavish mausoleum.

    Most striking of all, though, are the impressive sky-castles, fantastic palaces & towers that are suspended above the city on invisible fields of magical force. These world-famous engineering marvels are tethered to the ground by hemp ropes & wire cables, & some of them are connected to one another by long pedestrian bridges. The flying buildings are mostly stationary, swaying only slightly in the breeze, & are usually between 100’ & 1,000’ above the ground.

    While they appear from a distance to be just as majestic as they did in Ghantikal’s prime, the sky-castles are suffering from neglect, just as the earthbound buildings are. Most of them are abandoned empty husks, stripped of all valuables ages ago by looters & thieves. Even the inhabited ones are poorly maintained, & they are dilapidated as a result. Some of them have even fallen down in recent years, their levitation magic failing suddenly & catastrophically, crushing the buildings below. Several dozen of the floating palaces remain, although only about a third (roughly 30) of them are occupied, the rest being mere vacant shells.

    In addition to the rest of Ghantikal’s many economic & social problems, it seems as if the city has been targeted by some mysterious force that it stealing entire houses. In the past few months, several buildings have simply vanished into thin air, magically disappearing without a trace. Houses which have stood here for centuries are vanishing at an average rate of two per month for almost half a year now, & the locals are becoming increasingly frightened by the crisis. The destination of the buildings is unknown, as is the cause of their disappearance. No party has taken responsibility for the thefts, & while no one has been harmed yet (most of the buildings have been unoccupied), the citizens are demanding that the city senate stop this situation immediately & decisively.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:41 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Gita
    Population: 28,207 (metropolis)
    Demographics: 81% houri, 9% sabi, 6% half-genie, 2% deva, 1% human, 1% others
    Government: Democratic theocracy
    Notable Religions: Bhagya (Adimas), Bhishaj (Pashati)
    Main Alignment: Chaotic Good
    Notable Neighbors: Gampala, Varyah

    On Gaayati Peninsula, on the northwestern edge of Dharaanala, there is a major houri city, a beautiful town built upon the large, flat-topped Gandharva Hill. The architecture here is breathtaking, with tall columns, expansive bridges, multi-leveled plazas, & buttressed towers. This romantic place, which is known by the simple name of Gita (GEE-tah), has been recounted in stories, songs, & poems for millennia.

    Gita is widely known as the City of Song for its vibrant musical culture & long history of great musicians & composers. Performers can be found on almost every street corner, in the public halls, & in the crowded amphitheaters. Artists from all over the world travel here frequently, as do diviners, priests, & scholars. They come to be inspired by the city, to learn from it & to channel its unique energy. Bards of all varieties have come here since time immemorial, & many have never left, choosing instead to stay & become a part of the urban chorus.

    The artists here are inspired not only by the city’s great beauty, but by the many tragedies that have occurred in the city’s tumultuous past. The city was invaded by the devils of Hima on at least four separate occasions in its history, one of which was a decade-long occupation over a thousand years ago. After the Pactspell, the devil attacks ceased, but the Great Calamity left the entire area devastated, & it took decades to recover from that disaster. It once fought (& lost) a war with the Agnian khanates, it has been attacked by rakshasas several times, & it is the victim of semi-regular earthquakes, the most recent of which was just over a decade ago. All these hardships have bred a flexible, resilient people, a populace that relies on their art (& each other) to pull through & live for a better tomorrow.

    Gita was originally founded over 2,000 years ago by dao & djinn settlers from the south, who came north in search of empty lands & fertile soil. They found Gandharva Hill, a strategically strong location from which they could see the surrounding land for miles in all directions, from the rolling hills & far-off forests in the south to the Speckled Sea in the north. They contentedly settled here, & used the ample resources to build a great city, one that would draw visitors & immigrants from as far off as Padam & Atma. From the earliest days, the city was alive with music, which helped the citizens cope when the Himans came from across the sea to pay a visit…

    There are many famous performers that call Gita home, & most of those were born & raised here, steeped in the lyrical culture. While none are quite as famous as Kanti of Samadhi, there are several contemporaries that rival her brilliance. There are the Sisters of Fate, the great poet Anand Jai Raagapati (Chaotic Neutral, Bard 4/Expert 3), the Moksha Orchestra, & the beloved singer-songstress Priya Kirtana (Neutral Good, Bard 6). In nights long past, there was also such luminaries as Vyasa Vaani Kundalini, the Bhajan Brothers, the poet-saint Leela Kinnara, & the influential group Apasvari. While most of their songs & poems pertained to the subject of love, there were many that pertained to politics, religion, & the beauty of the natural & the supernatural worlds.

    There are many poems & songs about the city itself, but Gita’s official anthem is “Nyak Sopaanamala,” an ode to the city’s most remarkable landmark. In the heart of a city, in the very center of Gandharva Hill’s plateau, there is a gigantic spiral stairway that leads downward into the deepest darkness. Where it ends is unknown, as everyone who has descended the stairway has either returned without reaching the bottom, or never returned at all. People go down the stairs to explore it all the time, but if anything is at the bottom, it has never come up in recorded history.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2012-02-16 at 11:46 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Madanas
    Population: 11,348 (small city)
    Demographics: 68% houri, 14% deva, 8% sabi, 5% half-genie, 3% human, 2% others
    Government: Autocratic republic
    Notable Religions: Dakhiel (Daq), Qalima (Zaia), Shaanti (Sidaru)
    Main Alignment: Lawful Good
    Notable Neighbors: Aadara, Ganesh, Ramah

    On the Udiichii Peninsula, in northern Kshaya, there is a fortress-like city built upon the edge of a steep cliff side. This urban stronghold is heavily fortified, protected from attack in all directions. Were it not so well defended, it is unlikely that the City of the Citadel, as it has come to be known, would exist here at all. It is a beloved bastion of the houris, & it is for that reason that the city is named Madanas (MAH-dah-nahss), which means “love” in the houri tongue.

    The thick walls, strategic towers, & other defenses of Madanas are intended to repel raids from demons & rakshasas, which occur here every few years or so. They come without warning, burning fields & slaughtering outlying villages, before crashing upon the city’s battlements. Those that fly (or can teleport) pose a greater challenge, but the city’s deva population is used to dealing with invaders of that nature, & can dispatch them quickly. The entire populace has been honed to a sharp edge by the frequent attacks, & they are pragmatic & sturdy as a result.

    The cause of these incursions is one of proximity. The northern tip of Kshaya is closer to Sergala, the demons’ homeland, than any other civilized region (the Hima Sovereignty notwithstanding), so they are able to hop from island to island, moving along the far-stretched archipelago that tenuously bridges the two continents. As for the rakshasas, they control a portal to Siraaj nearby, less than 200 miles due east of the city, & so they often attempt to secure the surrounding area. The frequency & tenacity of these assaults inhibits growth in the area, discouraging tourism & preventing houri settlers from expanding their nominal territory here, but the citizens of Madanas are a hardy lot, & are not so easily deterred.

    Madanas is guarded primarily by their strong walls & advantageous terrain, but these are not their only defenses. One of the latest & most potent defensive measures is actually a giant statue of an elephant, called the Gaja Palaka (AKA Sharma’s Elephant), which is positioned just outside of the city at the bottom of the northern cliffs. The enormous sculpture is made of adamantine-plated steel, & decorated with platinum, gold, & jewels. The elephant comes to life to defend against demonic attacks when the braziers atop each perimeter tower are lit; the statue’s sapphire eyes burn with the same blue flame as the lamps. The animated sculpture is nearly indestructible, shielded from harm by a magical force field, & it can fire jets of intense heat or cold. It can only be defeated if all of the braziers are extinguished, which has never been accomplished in the 38 years of its existence.

    The Gaja Palaka was created almost four decades ago by a team of mages & engineers headed by the captain of the city’s defenses, Sharma Apramatta (Lawful Good, Paladin 6). The half-dao was newly appointed to the role of Madanas’ chief defender at the time, & he was concerned that the city’s current protections would be inadequate in the future, since the demons & the rakshasas were evolving their tactics over time. Worried that he would fail his city & his predecessors, Sharma gathered a group of the city’s best minds to devise a radical approach to the problem, & the colossal elephantine statue (which has come to be the mascot of Madanas) was the eventual result.

    Madanas has been a besieged city for most of its history, & some would question why the houris & other locals bother maintaining their presence here against such implacable foes. The simple truth is that the citizens here truly love their city, which has much to offer, & they wouldn’t give it up for anything, even at the possible cost of their lives. Madanas has a gigantic sports coliseum, in which competitive matches are played every week, & are regularly attended by thousands of people. The city also boasts the largest cathedral on Najmah, a grand temple dedicated to Qalima known as the Circle of the World. And one of the most prestigious magic colleges, the Academy of Arcane Arts (the Vihaara Maayaakalaa) is here as well. The city has a lot of things worth saving, & so its continued existence is the highest priority of the average citizen, despite the sometimes-discouraging odds.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:44 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Namaste
    Population: 30,966 (metropolis)
    Demographics: 34% half-genie, 29% sabi, 18% deva, 11% houri, 5% kobold, 3% others
    Government: Autocratic oligarchy
    Notable Religions: Lammali (Limalia), Udyama (Qirus), Shaanti (Sidaru), Vayu (Waharim)
    Main Alignment: Lawful Neutral
    Notable Neighbors: Chadya, Ghaal, Habhi, Urii

    On Aagya Island, east of Dharma & west of Padam, is the largest of the three Sister Cities (which include Dharma & Vanija). A busy port town known as Namaste (nah-MOSS-tay), the city is alive with the salty scents of ocean spray & sweat-beaded skin. As the largest commercial trade hub in the region, the city serves as a port of call for people of every variety, from emissaries to vagabonds, from merchants to mercenaries, from soldiers to pilgrims.

    Namaste is a restless, evolving city, one where there is constantly new construction going on, & a wondrous new marvel is always debuting. The city was founded in a narrow valley with steep hills on either side, making its modern profile crowded & tight-fitting. The crescent-shaped harbor is packed with sailors & merchants hurriedly going about their daily business, even in the “middle” of the “night.” The ships are docked by teams of rowers, their cargo is unloaded & sold, the sailors partake of the many relaxing entertainments that the city offers, a new cargo is procured & loaded, & the ships leave again, bound for a new destination.

    Another unique feature of Namaste is its many densely-packed towers. Because of the shortage of available space, the residents here have built upward, erecting some of the tallest towers in the world. The city’s center is a vertical maze of spires, each connected to one another on multiple levels by footbridges & sky-tunnels. From the shadowy street level, the ever-night sky is mostly blocked by these monolithic buildings, which creates the impression of being deep underground, which some find to be deeply unsettling.

    The citizens of Namaste can easily find solace in the arms of religion, as it is a major temple city for both Udyama & Vayu. The churches of Lammali & Sih Daroga also have strong representation here, but the Udyamans & Vayans are clearly dominant. There are tiny shrines on almost every street corner dedicated to one god or another, & each church has its own temple-spire. While the city’s government is largely secular, religion factors into the local politics more than many would admit.

    Namaste is governed by a group of aristocrats representing the city’s most powerful families, somewhat similar to the system of government in Nila. The Blue Council, as the local ruling body is known, is more dictatorial than Nila’s committee of elected representatives, & the council’s seven members serve for life, if they so choose. Most of the members are descendants of the city’s most prominent founders, but the most notable member is one of the newest, a merchant prince named Bhima Kaaliman (Lawful Evil, Rogue 7). As ruthless as he is charming, this half-djinn plans to use his vast wealth & his newfound political power to go after his archenemy, Prasad Jyotis Ksitipa of Vanija, who he blames for the death of his parents.

    The Blue Council has noticed that one of the other Sister Cities, Dharma, has been rapidly growing, as well as developing its military. The council members fear that this may lead to an attack from Dharma one day, so they are attempting to bolster Namaste’s defenses, but without much luck. The city’s coffers are perennially low, & the citizens are strongly opposed to additional taxes, so the city militia is underfunded & poorly trained. The council is growing increasingly anxious about the situation, & they may be preparing for some drastic measure to ensure the safety of their city.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:45 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Nila
    Population: 16,743 (large city)
    Demographics: 30% half-genie, 22% sabi, 19% houri, 13% deva, 10% human, 6% others
    Government: Oligarchy
    Notable Religions: Aspiration/Fact/Legend (The Darshan), Dakhiel (Daq), Lammali (Limalia)
    Main Alignment: True Neutral
    Notable Neighbors: Vriit

    On the tip of the Raaga Peninsula, on the west coast of Dharaanala, there is a city that has slipped into the Speckled Sea. Its buildings are either on top of the tiny islands that make up the scarce dry land or are jutting directly out of the shallow lagoon that surrounds the city. The residents here move about by walking across long bridges or paddling small boats along the many canals & straits. This is the city of Nila (NEE-lah), a marvel of pride & perseverance, of adversity & architecture, of rebuilding & romance.

    Nila wasn’t always falling into the ocean; it was once a fairly unremarkable city, a normal port town not unlike Samadhi or Namaste. It was founded in a hilly lowland at the end of the Raaga Peninsula, in a shallow bay. But the city was flooded during the Great Calamity, when the lagoon surrounding the bay was breeched by a tsunami, allowing the Speckled Sea to fill the low-lying basin. It is now partly underwater, stretching across many small islands & partially-submerged buildings. The tsunami killed many of the locals, who were already depopulated due to the Pactspell, so it seemed as if the city was doomed.

    Nila survived the flood, however, due in large part to the tenacity of its survivors & the preservation of their most valuable assets. The flood drowned out the low-lying houses & submerged the cobbled streets, but the highlands (which contained the majority of the city’s wealthy elite) were virtually untouched. Many buildings in the city had multiple floors & strong stone foundations (thanks to a tradition of sound dao-built construction), so the upper stories were still livable. Today, the city has largely recovered from its traumatic past, & while its face & character may have changed, the local culture is as vibrant as ever, & population is even greater than it was before the flood.

    The backbone of Nila’s economy has always been trade, & that fact hasn’t changed. Galleys & freighters row into the city’s shallow bay from the Sister Cities, Puram, & elsewhere, laden with cargo, & just as many ships leave on a daily basis. The locals either work on the docks, tending to the ships & their cargo, or they go inland & extract stone or metal from the various quarries & mines on the peninsula, which are sold & exported all over Najmah. A recent-yet-growing industry for the city is that of tourism, as visitors from as far as Prana & Kshaya are drawn to the city to see its beautiful canals & bridges.

    Other than those canals & bridges, Nila’s most notable landmark is the Iron Angel, a 10’ metal sculpture which appears at various points across the city. While a tourist might assume that they are several identical statues, the Iron Angel is actually a single figure that is in many places simultaneously. This superposition is achieved via a series of magical gateways created by the statue’s original sculptor, an artist named Muurtikaara who lived over 700 years ago. Some savvy citizens actually use the Iron Angel’s portals to quickly move around the city by standing on the statue’s platform for a moment & then jumping off again. This can be a disorienting experience, however, as the superposition can easily overload one’s senses, so the practice is not for the feint of heart.

    Nila is run by a council of representatives from the city’s nine noble houses, which dominate the local politics; nearly everyone in the city is aligned to one of the houses, & one’s house affiliation factors into just about every social interaction. The most prominent council member is Sankara Jagdish Lobhin (True Neutral, Aristocrat 1/Wizard 7), the ambitious & dynamic leader of House Jagdish. Sankara wants to abolish the council, eliminate the house system, & see the city become a khanate, as it was centuries ago before the rise of the houses. To do this, he is seeking means of undermining the other houses & consolidating power, which has caused Sankara to ally himself with a shadowy cabal of sorcerers known only as the Shaarduula, who may have an agenda of their own.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2012-02-16 at 11:50 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Puram
    Population: 23,690 (large city); formerly 27,706 (metropolis)
    Demographics: 37% sabi, 24% half-genie, 16% houri, 12% deva, 7% human, 4% others
    Government: Democracy
    Notable Religions: Aspiration/Fact/Legend (The Darshan), Dakhiel (Daq), Lammali (Limalia), Shaanti (Sidaru)
    Main Alignment: True Neutral
    Notable Neighbors: Brahaat, Umar

    On the tip of the Karshaka Peninsula, on the northwestern end of Vaatavaari, there is a dark, crowded, filthy city, a forsaken place that few would visit & fewer still would dwell. Derisively known as the City of Mud, its proper name is Puram (poor-AHM), which in the local dialect of the Houri tongue means simply “City.” Here the rain pours down more often than not, flooding from the Speckled Sea is not uncommon, & cliff walls that gird the city to the south periodically give way to mudslides, adding to the city’s many woes.

    It is a poor town, with cracked walls, leaking roofs, & garbage-strewn streets. There are few social services, with only a token police force & no organized militia, & as a result it is one of the only cities on Najmah with a high crime rate. Merchant ships mostly avoid the city’s moldering harbor, & tourism is completely unheard of here. The city’s leaders are seen as corrupt &/or incompetent, & the city council is often voted out of office en masse. The citizens live in near-poverty, & in their desperation they are crying out for any solace from their bleak lives.

    Puram was not always the luckless city that it is today. Before the Great Calamity, it was a fairly pleasant place, albeit a rainy one. Founded by marid settlers from Dviipah Island in the west, the city’s architecture was designed to withstand the area’s frequent storms. But during the Great Calamity, the city was struck by a tsunami, the sheer force of which nearly destroyed the city & killed almost half of it citizens. The survivors rebuilt, & life when on, but the city never fully recovered from the disaster.

    In recent years, Puram has added to its misfortunes with the outbreak of the Mantramugdha Plague. This dreaded disease has spread throughout the region, afflicting thousands, & its origins were in the towns & villages just south of the city. The plague is one of the few diseases that can affect outsiders, so its victims include genie-kin, houris, & even devas of all varieties. Those who have been infected are unable to cast spells or use any supernatural ability, which greatly hampers them in their daily lives & leaves them vulnerable to the many magically-enhanced creatures on Najmah. While curing an individual is a simple matter for healers with the proper spells, they have had only limited success in treating the plague as a whole.

    One of the most vocal advocates for Puram is one of the priestesses of Lammali, Rati Kheda (Neutral Good, Cleric 5). She is passionate about her hometown, & wants to restore the city to its long-past glory. The masabi priestess has attempted to clean up the city’s dirty streets, feed the hungry residents, & improve the sagging trade industry, all with little success. She won’t give up on her beloved (& beleaguered) city, but she is quickly running out of ideas for how to improve its seemingly-cursed lot.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:47 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Puranah
    Population: 8,441 (small city); formerly 37,315 (metropolis)
    Demographics: 51% half-genie, 27% sabi, 14% houri, 6% deva, 1% pahari, 1% others
    Government: Dynastic monarchy
    Notable Religions: Bhagya (Adimas), Lammali (Limalia)
    Main Alignment: Chaotic Good
    Notable Neighbors: None

    Deep in the center of the Speckled Sea, hundreds of miles from the nearest settlement, lies a lone gem of a city, a wondrous center of life sparkling in the abyss. Located far off the northern coast of Atma, the city of Puranah (poor-AH-nah) was the first of many waypoints on the long journey from Vaatavaari to the great island of Prana. The Jewel of the Deep, as the city is sometimes called, was built thousands of years ago upon a wide flat plateau, over 1,500 feet below the surface. On every side, the edges of this plateau overlook an almost-unfathomable depth, a black chasm that nothing ever returns from.

    Puranah was constructed by the marids, who ruled the city from its founding all the way up to the Great Calamity, when they almost completely vanished overnight. Prior to the catastrophe, the marids made up over two-thirds of the population; now, only a handful of them remain, & their numbers are steadily dwindling. In their absence, the city was thrown into a period of chaos, however brief. In the wake of this crisis, the half-marids arose as the predominant race, followed by the masabi. While the city has mostly recovered, signs of the pre-Calamity days still abound, faded reminders of a lost era.

    The city was once a remote outpost of the marid kingdoms of the south. Today, Puranah thrives as an independent commercial & political hub, a central nexus for pilgrims, traders, explorers, wanderers, & diplomats. Trade & traffic move through here with surprising speed & regularity, considering the city’s undersea location. The secret to this is simple: any vessel that enters the sea directly above the city is drawn down through a column of breathable water to a docking area at the edge of the plateau, & a second column will take vessels back to the surface in a similar manner. These two columns of magical water were built by the city’s founders as a way of connecting more easily with the world above the waves, & are a marvel of arcane engineering.

    The twin columns are by far not the only wonders that Puranah has to offer visitors; the city is truly an awesome sight, & has well earned its title as the Jewel of the Deep. Most of the buildings are towers made of the native coral, with bright shades of every color imaginable & a growing, evolving layout. The countless windows are sheets of dazzling crystal, usually tinted either a bright yellow, pink, or teal. Most impressive of all are the domes, great spheres & hemispheres of latticed coral, covered with hundreds of windows & filled with magically-conjured air. Some of these spheres are suspended above the plateau by pillars of coral & connected by bridges & causeways, creating an otherworldly cityscape. All of this is lit from within & without by thousands of lamps, usually made of permanent dancing lights spells, which make the entire city sparkle & shine like a treasure chest brimming with gems.

    Despite being deep underwater, Puranah is not safe from the effects of the kuuhaa mists, as they pervade the ocean as easily as they permeate the sky. A major conduit of the reality-altering mists runs just a hundred miles or so north of the city, & mist events are a common occurrence here. Most of the time, the mists just make the water murkier than usual, but a mist event can disrupt traffic & wreak havoc on the lives of the citizens, if it is the wrong kind.

    The citizens of Puranah acknowledge Lammali’s power over the ocean, & thus the city itself, but the character of the city is better represented by its worship of Bhagya. The Lord of Finery is revered as the master of invention, magic, & fabrication, so a majority of the populace worships him, especially those with genie blood in their veins. The temple of Bhagya is an inverted ziggurat near the center of the city, not far from Lammali’s largest shrine, which is in the form of a massive coiled sea serpent.

    Puranah’s politics are dominated by three powerful factions, which have been locked in a stalemate for hundreds of years now. The city’s government is officially ruled by the Sapphire Dynasty, an unbroken line of succession that dates back to the earliest days of the settlement, although the royal family only has a nominal hold on the reins of power; the current shah is Manujendra Zanipriya (Chaotic Neutral, Sorcerer 8), a megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur & a mad plan to bring the city to the surface. The Church of Bhagya is the second power, one that has the hearts & minds of the citizens firmly in hand, as it possesses a near-monopoly on the religious & social affairs of the city; the high priestess is an enigmatic figure known only as The Veil (Neutral Good, Cleric 12/Pharaoh 1). The final faction is an alliance of guilds & unions called the League of Craftwrights, which controls the commercial & manufacturing industries; the current executor of the League is a pahari named Ulmahran (Lawful Evil, Rogue 10), who is plotting to form an alliance with Manujendra, with the eventual goal of ousting the Bhagya-worshippers & supplanting them with a cabal dedicated to Lammali.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:47 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Qarabah
    Population: 26,656 (metropolis)
    Demographics: 42% houri, 22% sabi, 15% half-genie, 11% deva, 6% human, 4% others
    Government: Meritocratic republic
    Notable Religions: Dakhiel (Daq), Lammali (Limalia), Bhishaj (Pashati), Qalima (Zaia)
    Main Alignment: Neutral Good
    Notable Neighbors: Bhadra, Ketu, Rajan

    On the eastern coast of Kshaya, on the north edge of the Gulf of Svapna, there is a great shining city, sparkling in the reflected light of the stars. It is the largest city on the entire continent, a bustling trade hub where oared barges bearing cargo & people come from Prana & Vaatavaari daily, & just as many boats leave laden with Kshayan goods. The city’s proper name is Qarabah (kah-RAH-bah), but it is known by residents & visitors alike as the City of Stars.

    Qarabah’s most famous export is its wine, which is of exquisite quality. To the west of the city are verdant fields & lush rolling hills, all covered with vineyards as far as the eye can see. The grape-fields are tended meticulously, & the vintners here take great care to ensure that Qarabai wine is deserving of its reputation as the best in the world. While the wine is usually served somewhat fresh, only days or weeks after its initial vintage, some of the larger producers hold onto small caches of older wines from decades (or even centuries) past, & these are some of the most valuable commodities available on Najmah, worth far more than mere gold or jewels.

    Part of the reason that the grapes here grow so well is the fact that the vinyards, like the city itself, are well-lit, which is a rare thing on the twilight world of Najmah. Scattered all over the area are thousands of small glowing orbs, which are known to the locals as the Lower Stars. These orbs are between 1’ to 10’ wide, & the hover about 50’-600’ over the land, swaying gently in the wind but never straying too far from their designated spots. They glow with a blinding light, covering the city & its surrounding area (including the vinyards) with bright illumination, as if the city were always in the daylight of Siraaj.

    Qarabah is a very prosperous city, where riches can be made & few if any of its citizens are poor, & they have the Lower Stars to thank for their fortune. The heatless light can be seen for hundreds of miles making it the perfect beacon for travelers, & the local vegetation thrives in the bright light, unlike the dark-accustomed flora elsewhere. No one is certain who made the orbs, or exactly why, but while the history & purpose of the Lower Stars are uncertain & hotly debated, the benefits that they grant to the city are undisputed. While visitors find the orbs to be a strange & unsettling departure from the familiar shadows blanketing the rest of Najmah, the locals consider the constant light to be a blessing.

    Recently though, there is a growing concern that someone or something has been stealing the Lower Stars. Some groups, who make it their business to keep track of the orbs, insist that their numbers, which have been relatively constant for centuries, are suddenly decreasing at a rate of one or two disappearances a week. These numbers are unverified, & other organizations refute the phenomena, claiming that the orbs are not vanishing at all, & that the alarmists are just stirring up trouble. The city government is uncertain as to what is going on, but they have promised to investigate the matter, & to deal with the cause, if any.

    The houri in charge of the ongoing investigation is Nanda Madiraa (Chaotic Good, Fighter 4) the chief of Qarabah’s law enforcement division, the Blackwings. His father is the owner of Madiraa Vinyards, one of the largest wine producers in the region. He rejected the family business, opting instead to become one of the city’s guardsmen. He worked his way up the ranks with his dedication & integrity, eventually becoming the Master of the Guard. He is skeptical about the case, believing it to be the imaginings of a panicky fringe element, but he has vowed to get to the bottom of things, & he is the first to admit that he’s been wrong before.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:48 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Samadhi
    Population: 33,894 (metropolis)
    Demographics: 32% half-genie, 23% sabi, 17% deva, 12% houri, 9% human, 7% others
    Government: Constitutional democracy
    Notable Religions: Lammali (Limalia), Shaanti (Sidaru), Vayu (Waharim)
    Main Alignment: Lawful Good
    Notable Neighbors: Hidhara, Khimpur, Simhapuram

    On the western coast of Dharaanala, just north of Prayu-Njaano Peninsula, there is a sprawling city, one of the largest & most populated on Najmah. Originally build upon a high scenic hill overlooking the ocean (the now-famous Mount Milana), the city grew & spread to cover the neighboring countryside, turning outer-city buildings into inner-city buildings, farmland into houses, & forests into farms. This expansive metropolis is known as Samadhi (sah-MAH-dee), the City of Plenty.

    Samadhi was not always as prosperous as it is today; it has been attacked by devils several times throughout its history, it once fought a war with the efreeti of Agni, & the Earthquake of Zaanti leveled most of the buildings, killing many people. But the city has always recovered quickly from its losses, bolstered by its strong allies (such as Nila & the three Sister Cities), its diverse natural resources, & its spirit of cooperation & community. Although it suffered through the Great Calamity just as much as any other settlement, the city was able to rebound, becoming larger & more successful than ever before.

    Samadhi has always been a very cosmopolitan city, with nearly all of the races of Najmah living together in relative harmony. Much of this comparative peace can be attributed to the urban layout; unlike most cities of its size, which are crowded & tightly packed, this metropolis is widespread & spacious, with a lot of open land between each of the buildings. Even before the Pactspell, there were more half-genies than purebloods, so the populace wasn’t nearly as depleted as other settlements in the genie-lands when they all vanished. Nowadays, the city is larger than ever before, & there are half-genies (mostly half-dao & half-efreet), sabi of all varieties, common devas, houris, mortal races, & even an enclave of devils, which are closely watched by their neighbors. Other than the devils’ enclave, most of the neighborhoods here are fairly integrated, with most people living side by side with members of other races.

    The citizens of Samadhi worship a number of different gods, most prominently Lammali, Sih Daroga, & Vayu. While at one time, the church of Vayu was dominant over all other faiths, this has not been the case for decades; today, he is just one voice among many. One Vayan practice that has remained strong & spread to local practitioners of other religions is the custom of daily meditation. Residents here meditate quite often, focusing their mental energy by reflecting upon their inner thoughts, opening their minds to the divinity within themselves, regardless of faith. Nearly every home or public building in the city has a chamber where one can sit & contemplate, & many streets have small covered benches for such a purpose, as well (most of which are former Vayan shrines that have been secularized).

    The most notable feature of the Samadhi skyline is an enormous statue of a man, his bearded chin in his hand & his eyes staring out into the Speckled Sea. Called the Dreaming Man, the statue is 80’ tall, made of solid gray stone, & is clad in flowing windswept robes. He was built about 500 years ago on the outskirts of town by a half-dao artist named Taksati, who did so because he thought that Samadhi needed a distinctive landmark like other major Najmai cities have. The Dreaming Man was originally at the edge of town, but the city has spread greatly in the past five centuries, & now it is near the city’s center; today, the statue is surrounded by houses & other buildings, with even a narrow street running between his gigantic feet. The identity of the Dreaming Man is unknown, but many suspect that it is either Vayu himself (the Vayan church denies this, & rejects idolatry) or Taksati’s father, whose appearance is unknown. People sometimes claim to see the stature blink, or even move his arms, but this is largely dismissed as an amusing myth.

    Samadhi has had a number of famous figures in its long history: politicians, theologians, artists, & scholars. Perhaps the most famed of all is the city’s most recent celebrity, Kanti Nalini Shobhana (Chaotic Neutral, Bard 7), a houri most commonly known as simply Kanti. For over ten years, her voice has captivated audiences & filled stadiums all across Dharaanala, from Gita in the farthest north to Padam in the utter south. She has performed for khans & caliphs, nobles & lay-folk, small venues & packed pavilions. Her songs are sung by children, adults, & even the elderly, renowned for their elegance & beauty. Her talent all but guaranteed her an illustrious career, but the event that catapulted her from mere stardom to the status of full-blown living legend was an incident about five years ago. A rapidly-escalating conflict was brewing between her hometown of Samadhi & the khanates of Agni, & she was able to end the hostilities with a well-timed performance in Upala, during which she not only sang sublimely, but she debuted several new songs, most of which were appeals for peace. The audience (which included many Agnian leaders) wept as they applauded her, & war was averted.

    Lately though, Kanti has all but disappeared, to the dismay of her many adoring fans. She has only performed once in the past six months, & she is hardly ever seen in public. Her representatives claim that she has been ill, & her few sightings seem to confirm that: her skin is pale, her gait is shaky, & her voice is weak. The reason for her supposed illness is unknown, & there is no sign of her recovering soon. Her fans are distraught, & there is wild speculation about the cause of her maladies; some say that she has been cursed by a crazed admirer, while others blame Agnian warmongers for her condition. There are even rumors that Kanti has actually died or fled the city, & that her representatives have hired a double to impersonate her, stalling the discovery of the truth. There are many parties who would pay good money to know what is really going on with the legendary singer, but the mystery stubbornly remains unsolved.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2012-02-16 at 11:53 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Sirngaveram
    Population: 45,408 (metropolis)
    Demographics: 73% devil, 15% human, 6% sabi, 3% half-genie, 2% genie, 1% others
    Government: Totalitarian imperial dictatorship
    State Religion: Rajani (Sunya)
    Main Alignment: Lawful Evil
    Notable Neighbors: Ashubham, Badhnati, Jada, Ruuj, Udhal

    Lying on the southern coast of Hima at the stop of a chasm-like fjord off of Nhozkur Bay is the devil city of Sirngaveram (seern-GAH-ver-AHM). As the capital of the Hima Sovereignty, & the devils’ civilization in general, the city is a sprawling metropolis. Called the City of Contracts by some circles, the clever devils that inhabit this city are always making & breaking deals, vying for power in the ranks of Hima’s totalitarian government. The city draws its water from the narrow fjord below, & also uses the convenient drop for some of their more efficient methods of torture & execution. Bodies are collected from the base of the great cliff regularly, & the easiest way in the city to make someone disappear is to simply have them dropped, provided of course they cannot fly (leading to the common phrase “Any wing can be clipped”). Its buildings use sharp, angular & regimented architecture, & it can become confusing to navigate due to the sameness of all the smaller buildings.

    Sirngaveram has stood as the capital of Hima for as long as Hima has existed. Founded by no one devil in particular, the city slowly built up to the metropolis it is today over many years. Originally the location was occupied by the tower of the great devil sorcerer Bhuraakhan, but it was so central & accessible to all of Hima that devils began to settle there in droves. Bhuraakhan opted to make the best of things, knowing that many devils more powerful than he were among the ranks of the flock. His position as grand vizier of Sirngaveram has outlived the succession of countless emperors, & he remains (both magically & politically) one of the most powerful devils in the city.

    In its current state, Sirngaveram has never been more prosperous. Trade from all over Hima drives its economy, & goods arrive & leave from its perilous harbor every day. Though it is known for a few commodities & resources, most of them insignificant, The City of Contracts is known for just that. Its biggest export is deals & negotiations, the signing & oversight of treaties & forms, the registration of merchants’ guilds & the legal sale of mortal slaves. They also manage pacts of a magical nature, granting mortals infernal power in exchange for the promise of the individual’s soul.

    The metropolis is populated predominantly by devils, & the richer individuals are almost entirely devils, though there are some notable efreeti & half-efreeti in the city’s power structure as well. Most non-efreet genies live in Sirngaveram enslaved, their raw elemental power tied into lamps, rods, tomes & other expensive but mundane objects. The humans of the city mostly endure some kind of slavery, from physical labor to the purchase & sale of their very souls. Human & genie-blooded warlocks have the potential to gain some power in the city for their relatively short lifetime, but the cost of their soul is a heavy one.

    The devils predominantly worship Rajani, the Lord of Night, though few outside the clergy give any real reverence to the state religion except out of custom & to maintain face. In truth, most devils have little time for gods, seeing worship as a distraction from the more important things in life, such as the acquisition of wealth & influence. As a result, devils in the lower castes of Sirngaveram’s society are more religious that their noble counterparts, as they have little chance of ever gaining any real power.

    The city’s underbelly is darker than the inside of an ammut’s maw. Bartering of lives, corpses & souls is conducted primarily away from the city’s society, in the complex maze of tunnels that run below it, draining sewage into the fjord & giving access to important maintenance areas. The underground is largely unmapped, & the easiest methods of accessing it are by the many drainage holes that dot the cliff face below the city. Many things can be procured in the underground that one cannot find in them markets of Sirngaveram; for example, everything from deadly toxins to recreational drugs & practically every known chemical compound in between can be procured in the tunnels.

    The current chancellor of Sirngaveram is a dangerously cunning archdevil named Shaa’rokhan. He is a powerful warrior, the innate magic & powerful body granted to him by his archdevil status further augmented through careful & constant training. Politically, no single individual rivals his power in the city, though the aforementioned sorcerer Bhuraakhan comes close. Shaa’rokhan answers only to the Empress Tamaskama, the supreme leader of the Hima Sovereignty.

    The only organization to rival his power politically is the Fateweavers, a committee of devils who represent the interests of the devils across Najmah & even on Siraaj. The Fateweavers are also in charge of representing the devils at the Pit of Fate, & the devils who offer deals to the souls there are appointed by the ruling board of the Fateweavers, & reevaluated & replaced regularly. Lately, the Fateweavers have become bolder, sometimes working in direct opposition of the chancellor or his grand vizier, especially through their warlocks on Siraaj.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-11-29 at 02:32 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Upala
    Population: 6,356 (small city); formerly 41,140 (metropolis)
    Demographics: 51% half-genie, 16% sabi, 13% deva, 9% human, 7% houri, 4% others
    Government: Constitutional oligarchy
    Notable Religions: Aspiration/Fact/Legend (The Darshan), Dakhiel (Daq)
    Main Alignment: True Neutral
    Notable Neighbors: Dusharah, Giri, Janadhira

    In the steamy foothills of the great fiery mountain Anala, in southern Agni, there is a city that gleams in the starlight like a cooling forge-fire. Known as the City of Iron, its black walls are accented with bronze, brass, & gold, a sign of the city’s great wealth, at least in years past. Its proper name is Upala (oo-PAH-lah), & it has a long & storied history, one of war, fire, blood, & glory.

    Upala was the largest of the efreeti khanates, making it the de facto capital of the former nation of Agni. Local legends date the time of the city’s founding to the very beginning of the world, when it is said that the Creator (often assumed to refer to Dakhiel, although the Darshan are sometimes cast in this role, depending on the teller) made Anala as His forge, & wrought all the other lands from the stone & metal that He unearthed here. The myth continues to say that the city itself was first formed as a great piece of hot slag fell from the forge & tumbled down to its current spot, & that the city’s foundations were cut from this single ember by the very first efreeti.

    Upala’s position as the largest & most powerful khanate has meant that the city experienced a nearly-constant state of war for nearly 4,000 years, from the earliest days of recorded history, all the way up to Great Calamity. It fought with other nearby khanates (such as Dukhanda, Iibha, Rimanah, & Upura), it allied with its neighbors against Padam & the coastal states, & it fought with its fellow khanates once again. This continuous warfare forged a hardy, independent people, who eschew aesthetics in favor of that which is most practical, & who are ready for action at a moment’s notice.

    Upala is a city with a proud warrior tradition, & it has always been well-prepared for battle & siege. The fire that courses through efreeti veins gives the city a searing passion, one that often burns anyone nearby when tensions boil over. The city’s many smelters turn the local iron into high-grade steel, which is forged into weapons & armor of exceptional quality & copious quantity. But since the Great Calamity wiped out nearly all of the efreeti, the city’s demeanor & culture have changed somewhat. Now, the citizens are less apt to declare war, & more willing to hang up their swords for a time. While they still do battle from time to time, & the people are as blunt & bellicose as ever, the city is not constantly embroiled in armed conflict as it once was.

    This no-nonsense attitude is reflected in Upala’s design & architecture, which is simple, functional, & with few frills or artistic embellishments of any sort. The buildings are all low to ground, with thick walls, few windows, & open doorways. Its streets are as straight & regular as the hilly geography will allow, nearly everything is built out of stone or metal, & the outer walls are tall & strong enough to make the city impenetrable from the ground. Despite the city’s great material wealth, however, its people live simply, without unnecessary ostentation.

    Upala’s riches come from the many mines that the citizens own & operate in the surrounding countryside. There are opal mines in the south, iron mines in the northeast, & mines for precious metals in the northwest. The local residents have put these mines to good use, digging out untold tons of raw ore over the years, processing it in smelters & refineries, smithing the refined goods, & shipping them off for sale elsewhere. Merchants are always coming & going here, hauling out materials or products to far-off lands & bringing back coins or notes of credit.

    Upala is run by a council of 12 elected nobles, representing each of the city’s districts. Only nobles from the major houses can be elected to the council, & most of the city’s politics revolve around maneuvering within & between these long-standing institutions. The city was once ruled directly by a khan, who oversaw all aspects of government, held absolute power, & passed his authority to one of his heirs. This dynasty, which stretched back to the mythic origins of the city, lasted until shortly after the Great Calamity, when the last khan, Jvalana XIII, left no heirs behind. His title was passed to a distant relative, but the real power was given over to a group of local lords, who seized the opportunity to make great changes in the city’s government. The nebulous assembly of noblemen would evolve into a formal governing council, & the nominal khanate soon became an oligarchic republic, with the current khan nothing but a ceremonial figurehead.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:53 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Vanija
    Population: 14,915 (large city)
    Demographics: 39% sabi, 24% half-genie, 15% deva, 9% human, 8% houri, 5% others
    Government: Authoritarian republic
    Notable Religions: Udyama (Qirus), Shaanti (Sidaru), Vayu (Waharim)
    Main Alignment: Lawful Neutral
    Notable Neighbors: Ahbhar, Guluvaar, Yurana

    Just off the northern coasts of Vaatavaari, on Nyaaya Island, there is a great port city. Known as Vanija (vah-NEE-jah), this seaport is the smallest of the three Sister Cities (which include Dharma & Namaste), & it is also the youngest, having been founded in the wake of the Great Calamity. It was founded by refugees from Atma in the west & Padam in the east, who fled the imperiled genie-held lands elsewhere for the relative safety of the islands. In the three & a half centuries since the disaster, the city has grown & prospered, which is often attributed to the city’s strict discipline, along with a strong tradition of law & order.

    Vanija is nestled between high cliffs, which form a natural ring of defense. In fact, the entire city is built upon an array of terraced cliffs cascading from the island’s high plateau down to the white sandy beaches. Each small neighborhood or district is on its own separate terrace, which is anywhere between 5’ to 30’ higher or lower than its neighboring terraces. These terraces are connected with each other in a number of ways, including wooden ladders, rope bridges, & stairs that have been carved into the cliff-side.

    For its size, Vanija is a very densely populated city, with many people packed together in the limited available space. Some of the buildings hang over the cliff sides, & most people live in multi-family towers which rise above the higher terraces. This crowding would quickly lead to public discontent, civil unrest, & high crime, were not for the city’s extensive & authoritarian system of laws, which have (so far) kept the populace in check.

    It has been said that Vanija has the most laws of any city on Najmah, barring the devil-lands of Hima, & there is some truth to that statement. The city has many, many laws regulating & controlling the actions of its citizens, & the penalties for violating any of them tend to be rather severe (this is one of the only settlements on Najmah that authorizes capital punishment, even though it is reserved for the most grievous of offenses). This tradition of restrictive laws & harsh sentences has led to a disciplined, conformist citizenry, one that obeys the letter of the law, if not always the spirit.

    An example of this is the flourishing commercial trade in Vanija, which relies on the city’s defensive terrain, central location, & ample natural resources. Many of the locals are involved in the industry of trade, which is as heavily taxed & regulated as any other; the city was even founded by a merchant prince, who is today known only as King Siikaa. The merchants of Vanija are well-versed in the intricate particulars of local law, & are adept at taking advantage of ambiguous phrasing, fine print details, obscure provisions, circumstantial exemptions, & loopholes in order to profit within the sometimes-tight legal boundaries.

    One such merchant is the illustrious half-dao trader, Prasad Jyotis Ksitipa (True Neutral, Expert 1/Rogue 5), who is as clever as he is merciless. Prasad was the founder of the Pact Union, a successful commercial guild that he started here in Vanija over twenty years ago. The Pact Union has since grown & spread to nearby cities, like Dharma & Ghantikal, but he has recently left the guild & once again become an independent merchant prince. He has done this with the ambition to build a monopoly on the trade in Vanija, which was the original purpose of the guild, although it later democratized beyond his control. The Pact Union opposes his maneuvers to take over the industry, as they rightly fear that he will undermine their profits & destabilize the trade throughout the region.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:54 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Vatingana
    Population: 5,882 (small city); formerly 21,728 (large city)
    Demographics: 53% half-genie, 16% sabi, 13% human, 9% houri, 7% deva, 2% others
    Government: Democratic meritocracy
    Notable Religions: Bhagya (Adimas), Lammali (Limalia), Qalima (Zaia), the Treewalker (Umaj)
    Main Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
    Notable Neighbors: Khatva, Nimnagaa, Saritaa

    Nestled in a protected valley near the northeastern edge of the Bhangah Jungle, there is a beautiful city made of white stone. This valley was cut by Raktanadii, the mighty Red River, which flows through here on its way to the Gulf of Svaryana in the north. The Shrinking City, as it is sometimes called because of the resurgent rain forest, is properly known as Vatingana (VAH-teen-GAH-nah). The surrounding hills, combined with the encroaching jungle, make this secluded area feel even more isolated.

    Vatingana was originally built by the dao of the Bhangah Jungle as an outpost almost a thousand years ago (some 600 years before the Great Calamity). They expertly crafted the city from great marble blocks, which they quarried from the Saritaa mines to the south. For a time, the city flourished, prospering from the river traffic & the trade that came with it. The population grew steadily, & the city’s skyline became famous for its floating towers, which were made in the style of the sky-castles of Ghantikal.

    But the Great Calamity brought about a massive change in Vatingana, one that most would deem quite negative. The dao, who made up over nearly three-quarters of the citizenry, almost all disappeared overnight, along with all the other full-blooded genies. This brought the city to its knees, & for a time, there was serious doubt as to whether it could recover, or if it was doomed to become a ghost town, abandoned to the jungle’s constant re-growth.

    Vatingana did survive, as enough of its citizens remained to allow it a modest recovery. But even three & a half centuries after the Great Calamity, the city is still a shadow of its former self. Over half of the city’s buildings are still empty, left to crumble as the jungle reclaims what was once its domain. Vines creep through windows & over walls, while trees grow in-between the broken street tiles & wild animals forage & nest in the abandoned buildings. This decay is most pronounced at the city’s edge, so the center of town is largely untouched by the decline. But even there, the marble is worn & cracked, the frescos are faded, the statues are dull, & the people are weary.

    The most notable sign of Vatingana’s decline are the floating towers themselves, which were once a symbol of the city’s prosperity. These miniature castles-in-the-sky are now mostly empty, forsaken even by those citizen who can fly. They are all old & crumbling, as the last one was built almost four hundred years ago. Several have floated away as their tethers snapped, or fallen apart as the levitation magic that kept them aloft failed. Over the centuries, vines from the jungle have crept up the ropes tethering the floating towers in place; the ropes have long since rotted away, but the vines remain, much like the towers themselves. Of the over three dozen that originally dominated the skies above the city, only nine remain, & even some of those are unstable.

    While most of the people in Vatingana doubt that anything can be done to restore the city to its past glory, there are a few dedicated citizens who refuse to give up, & are striving to make a difference. One such figure is the current prime minister, Suman Lipika Pandita (Chaotic Good, Wizard 5/Alchemist 2), who is passionate about revitalizing the city. Recently, while combing through the ruins of a small library at the city’s edge, the prime minister discovered some pre-Calamity tomes, which spoke of a World of Light. After studying the tomes in secret, he has become convinced that in order to save his city, he must find a way to access this World of Light. Ever since then, he has been pouring nearly all of his energy into achieving that goal, no matter what the cost.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2011-07-12 at 02:55 PM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Regions

    Agni
    On Dharaanala, northeast of Padam, there is a cluster of tall mountains, surrounded by hot dense jungles, which both make travel slow & difficult. The region is named Agni (AHG-nee), after the nation that once stood here, before the Pactspell. Many of the mountains are actually semi-active volcanoes; that fact, combined with the oppressive heat of the steaming rain forest, gives this area the apt sobriquet of the Land of Fire.

    Hidden within the forbidding jungle & high mountain peaks are many secrets, both wondrous & terrifying. Some remote parts of Agni are said to fade into the fiery deserts of Siraaj, while rumors persist of ancient efreeti weapons buried in lava-carved vaults. Many of the explorers who search for such marvels as the Forge of Souls, the Chasm of Memory, or the Burning Plains never return, & those that do often bring back tales of horror & death.

    The land of Agni was populated predominantly by efreeti, half-efreeti, & narsabi; in fact, the name for the efreeti in their own tongue is still Agnarya. The events of the Pactspell, though, emptied the realm, as most of the efreeti crossed over into Siraaj. The khanates collapsed into chaos, & now, over 350 years later, centralized government doesn’t extend beyond a local level. Like many people on Najmah (especially the remaining genies), the former Agnarya live almost exclusively in the towns & cities, leaving the lands in-between nearly empty.

    Atma
    On the northern tip of Vaatavaari is a rectangular peninsula, mostly covered by wind-swept plains in the north & a storm-blasted forest in the south. Unlike the surrounding regions (& despite its temperate latitude), it is a cold place, with long winters & cool summers, where the flat terrain allows harsh weather to blow over the countryside with frightful speed. Most people cluster together in the towns & villages for protection (& warmth), so the fields & woodlands in between are sparsely populated.

    This land is known as the Soul of the World, for the deep-rooted pagan traditions that most people have here. The region’s proper name is Atma (AHT-mah), & its strong faith is now invested in Vayu (Waharim) & Bhishaj (Pashati), although Hagalvethr (under the name Jamadab) & his divine kin are also worshipped in places. Despite the conversion to monotheism, the people here still hold onto the customs of their earlier beliefs, including the use of animal sacrifices & fasting to appease the spirits of nature.

    Atma was named for the caliphate that existed here hundreds of years ago, before the Pactspell. It was populated predominantly by djinni, along with their hybrid offspring, the half-djinn & the hawasabi. The caliphs ruled this peninsula & its neighboring lands for thousands of years, from before the time when devas brought the gift of written language to the southern lands. But the Pactspell took most of the djinn, including Atma’s leaders, which caused the caliphate to fall into barbarism for a brief time. The area has since rebounded as a loose collection of unaligned settlements, but many who live here hope to one day breathe life into this land once more, restoring it to its former glory.

    Bhangah Jungle

    Most of Vaatavaari is dominated by a thick, dense rainforest, with a towering canopy of interlocking trees & pitch-dark underbrush. This sprawling woodland extends for hundreds upon hundreds of miles, covering the land in a thick cloak of green shadows. Known as the Bhangah Jungle (BAHN-gah), it is surrounded by several peripheral forests, such as the Fogwood, the Rainwood Forest, & the Wildwood, which could be considered merely extensions of the central jungle.

    Much warmer than Atma to the north, the Bhangah is hot & humid all year round, with misty vapors wafting off the trees. The treetops overlap in many places, casting deep shadows over the already-dim forest floor, & the undergrowth is sometimes impenetrably thick, blocking even the most determined explorer. Unsurprising for an area so remote & inaccessible, the forest hides many secrets. Ancient artifacts are said to be buried under vines & branches, portals to distant lands are thought to be tucked away in isolated grottos, & strange altered creatures are rumored to guard an entire lost city. Whatever truths the jungle might conceal, there is little doubt that there are many wonders (& dangers) left to be uncovered.

    Part of the reason that there is so much mystery surrounding the Bhangah Jungle is the fact that not many people live here now. Even before the Pactspell, the population (which was mostly djinn- & dao-folk) was fairly sparse. Now, the rain forest has few visitors, & even fewer permanent residents. Those that do dwell here are mostly houris, along with some humans & sabi. They are simple folk, who inhabit small family clans, hunt with bows & slings, & mostly worship Bhishaj (Pashati) & the Treewalker (Umaj). They don’t trust foreigners, & will often hide from them, adding to mystique of the mighty jungle.

    Chitraka

    Roughly one full half of the surface of Najmah is covered by seas & oceans, & almost all of these bodies of water are connected with one another. The nexus of most of these waters is a central ocean called Chitraka (chee-TRAH-kah), which is mostly devoid of the eerie mists that pervade much of the Plane of Night. Also known as the Speckled Sea, it borders most of the well-known regions of Najmah, including Hima, Prana, Atma, Kshaya, & Sergala.

    Chitraka is called the Speckled Sea for its mirror-like waters, which easily reflect the stars in the ever-night sky above. The jet-black sea is so serene that people traveling over it often say that it looks like one is flying in an infinite star-dappled sky. One interesting sight to those who brave the vast ocean is a phenomenon called the Mist Lanes; these are strange areas where the reality-altering mists of other parts of the world flow through the normally-mist-free waters. These concentrated conduits can wreak havoc on passing vessels, which contributes to the lack of ocean-faring ships on Najmah.

    Every race that lives on the Plane of Night can be found on the shores of the great Chitraka, with the possible exception of the marids & their kin, who mostly reside beneath the waves. The coastal folk often worship Lammali, with either Bhishaj or Shaanti as popular alternatives. The waters of the Speckled Sea are frequently said to have calming properties, & even gazing upon the tranquil waters is enough to give one a sense of peace & well-being. Many also feel a pang of melancholy, as well, as if the spirits of every drowned soul & lost ship were calling from the depths.

    Goraksah Marsh

    On Vaatavaari, southwest of the Bhangah Jungle, the fields & woods give way to peat bogs & wild fens. There are few hills or other highlands to rise above this swampy, rain-battered area. The Goraksah (goh-ROCK-sah) Marsh, as it is commonly known, is so flat & low-lying that parts of it are actually below sea level, & are unsurprisingly prone to flooding. Ancient myths tell of this land once being dry, & even filled with people, but those days are long past, if they ever were at all.

    The great marsh is populated predominantly by houris & marids, although half-marids & masabi make up a significant minority of the people living in the wetlands. They make their living growing rice in vast water-logged paddies, as well as herding swamp-adapted cattle. Most of them worship Lammali or Bhishaj, although the Treewalker is certainly not unknown here. Regardless of faith, the locals of the Goraksah are hardy & independent, as well as less urban than most other people on Najmah. Unlike elsewhere, some of them will live outside of towns & villages, choosing instead to gather in rural clans & semi-nomadic tribes.

    The marsh itself is an untamed & mysterious place, a mostly-uncharted land of shifting terrain & dangerous beasts. The thick vegetation & heavy rains deter most explorers, but those who persevere can find great treasures. Long ago, a great djinn magus traveled here to conduct his research in private. He was never seen again, but a popular legend says that his sanctum & his magical relics still remain in some secret grove, just waiting to be found.

    Hima
    In the far north, on the other side of the Speckled Sea, there is a forbidding land, a place where houri, genie, & deva fear to go. It is a region ruled by the devils, who, unlike other creatures of Najmah, have banded together to form a singular despotic empire, which threatens to conquer the world. This realm is commonly known as Hima (HEE-mah), & to most of the people of Najmah, it is a land of slavery, pain, & death.

    Hima means “snow” in the tongue of the houris, because the region looks like an arctic region of glaciers & permafrost when seen from afar. Up close, the land’s true nature is revealed: it is actually the southern tip of a vast salt flat, where thick crystalline deposits of salt cover the barren soil, sapping the land of life & water. It truly is a cold place, but it is more like a frigid desert than an ice-coated tundra. The bizarre mists of Najmah are thick here, & as a result, the land, air, & water here do strange & unusual things at times.

    As this is the home of the devils, there are few other races to be found here. Humans & houris make up a small minority, but those are almost all slaves to the ruling devil-folk. The devils’ empire, the Hima Sovereignty (or Hymha ’Phletheron in their own tongue), are held in check by their bitter, endless war with the demons of nearby Sergala. They mostly worship Rajani, although Lammali & even Pak Shahara have some adherents; it is rare to find anyone in Hima who is particularly pious, however.

    Padam
    On the southwest tip of Dharaanala, just north of the Sea of Golden Flames, there is a large peninsula that nearly touches the southern lands. It is a peaceful & tamed land of rolling fields, rocky hills, old forests, & sandy shores. This land is called Padam (pah-DAHM), & unlike in other regions, the people here have a deep connection to the soil & its bounty.

    Populated predominantly by dao & their offspring, such as half-dao & tarisabi, Padam has a long agricultural tradition. Even though most people live in towns & villages, they still live a mostly-rural life: leaving their settlements shortly after moonrise, working in the fields for hours at a time, & returning as Chandra sets. This area is considered the breadbasket of the southern & eastern lands, as it grows crops that supply both continents.

    The people here are simple, strong, & kind, like Padam itself. They’ve been working this land for untold centuries, & as such, they have a tendency to do things the way that they have always done them, without variation or deviance. They worship Lammali, Bhishaj, & the Treewalker, with a piety & devotion that surprises most non-genies. This region produces more druids & rangers than any other place on Najmah, the urban nature of other genie-folk mostly precludes those vocations.

    Prana
    In the near-center of the Speckled Sea is a large island, dominated by icy mountains. A cold & daunting place, this isle almost crackles with spiritual energy. Although the mists of Najmah are quite thin here (the Mist Lanes steer away from the island’s southern coasts), the region experiences all of the space- & time-altering effects of the deepest mist. This mystical land is known as Prana (PRAH-nah), although it is often called simply the Cradle of Life.

    Prana is predominantly populated by devas, but with a large houri minority. The worship of the Peacemaker is strong here, & although other faiths are accepted, very few followers of other deities (mostly Qalima & Satkriyaa) can be found here. Many Sidarite holy sites can be found here, such as Moksha Temple, the Three Gates, & the Ur-Mountain, Jagat-Nathas. Most houris are reborn high in the mountains near Moksha; they rely upon the Sidarites to guide them & educate them about their new world.

    The island of Prana has been attacked repeatedly by demons over its long history, as they coveted the Three Gates, or at least would revel in its destruction. Their means of arriving on the island are not known with any certainty, but many theories exist, from the mundane to the magical. The devas here are vigilant in their defense of the region, & service in the shore guard is mandatory for all citizens. The strange distortions in time & space here affect the defenders & attackers alike, & no one can say for sure when the next shift in reality will come, or what changes it will bring.

    Sergala

    In the northern lands of Nidhanandha, not far from the devil-empire of Hima, there is a hellish landscape of casual brutality & endless suffering. The air is acrid with the stench of death & rot, & the land is a blasted wasteland, dotted with shattered monuments & broken bodies. It has been held by the demons since time immemorial, & they have ravaged the land with impunity. As a result, the bones of their slaughter are littered everywhere, with corpses lying about in various states of decay & the ruins of stone buildings scattered across the bleak countryside. This thrice-cursed region, in which the howls & screams of killer & victim alike pierce the sky, is called Sergala (sair-GAH-lah).

    Sergala is populated almost exclusively by demons of various types, which wage a vicious eternal war with the devils of Hima to the east. This war has turned cold since the Pactspell touched both of the twin worlds, largely due to the truce brokered between the devas & the devils, which drastically altered the balance of power. The demons of Sergala will try (& indeed have tried) anything to break up the truce, so that they can resume the war & vanquish their hated enemies.

    Due to relentless hunting, almost no fauna survive here anymore, but those few creatures that do survive (mostly dragons, gorgons, chimerae, sphinxes, hydras, & a few samandar) are as quick & sharp as an arrow. Demons tend not to join forces unless forced to by a greater power, so they can only successfully hunt creatures less powerful than they are alone. Because of the lack of prey, the bloodthirsty demons have been known to cannibalize their brethren, & some even seem to prefer this practice. They eat dretches & quasits often, but more powerful demons generally don’t hunt each other, unless they are starving or wish to slay a specific individual.

    Despite the overwhelming depravity & reckless carnage inherent in their nature, the demons of Sergala do gather in semi-permanent groups, although they seem to destroy their settlements almost as often as they build them. Demonic “villages” tend to be lawless places, where violence is commonplace & the strong only control the weak within their grasp. They are naturally attracted to power, so they will gather around a powerful individual & serve it, at least as long as the leader retains its power. The central power holds the best territory & demands the most tribute, while all the lesser demons around the leader obey in the hopes of garnering favor.

    This means that they usually live in many small clusters, with only a few large towns built around a marilith or a balor, & very few cities, which are based around an unstable cabal or an established cult. Most demons see some benefit to living this way, even if such settlements only provide a convenient hunting ground. Some settlements are comparatively stable, while others are transient, moving with the whims of their leaders. A master demon may suddenly decide to stage a raid on the Pit of Fate to gather more souls & followers, or assemble a strike force to assault a deva settlement, or trek eastward to attack the devils. Life in a demonic settlement can therefore be just as random & violent as life in the desolate wilderness of Sergala.

    While almost every other race in the Kamala worships some divine being or pantheon, the demons are almost completely secular. They have no true place in the cycle of death & rebirth, & their primary concern is the acquisition of souls. They need souls to become more powerful & more numerous, but unlike the devils, the genies, & other such peoples, the demons simply have no means of obtaining souls. The demons can only acquire new souls by stealing them from the Pit of Fate.

    There are some demons that revere Johoum, who gathered a horde of followers (including the equally-estimable Nathar) & left for a campaign of ruin & slaughter on Siraaj over 1,400 years ago. His former sphere of influence is a darkened wasteland, bleak even by Sergala’s poor standards. The void of power is tangible, with nightshades, devourers & darker terrors lurk there, formed by Johoum’s evil puissance & left hollow in his absence. The only god with a substantial following among the demons, though, is Maqur, under the name Pak Shahara.

    As a race of atheists, it is very uncharacteristic for the demons to build temples or shrines, but there are always exceptions with these embodiments of chaos. There is a massive ziggurat dedicated to Nathar, & Johoum’s cult once built an equally-immense pyramid, which has long since been abandoned. Martuakh’s small sect has also carved a cyclopean pit in his honor, spiraling deep into the earth like a twisting maw of some titanic beast. And, like many places on Siraaj, Maqur has many small shrines scattered about, often disguised as old ruins or forgotten pagan shrines.
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2012-02-17 at 12:04 AM.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Bhakti Temple

    Southwest of Atma, on the Karshaka Peninsula, there is a small clearing in an otherwise-thick wooded area. The woods are locally known as the Starless Forest, for the interlocking foliage blocks nearly all the light, leaving the forest floor as black as a lightless cave. But in the grassy clearing, a holy place made of glowing white stone shines into the ever-dark sky, & it is known as Bhakti (BAHK-tee) Temple.

    Dedicated to Johoum (which the local worshippers don’t know was actually a demon prince), Bhakti Temple is a low, wide fortress of a building. A large circular temple with an open-air plaza in the center, it somewhat resembles Johoum’s symbol when viewed from above. The outer stone shines with the shimmering light of a torch, a beacon seen for miles around, while the inner halls have a fainter, gentler glow. The light’s intensity is controlled by the temple’s clerics, who can dim it to almost nothing on the outside (or completely off on the inside), or increase the glow to a blinding degree on the inside (which can actually burn things on the outside) for a short time.

    The inner plaza is used for most of the temple’s major services, including disciplinary rituals. Once a year, on the summer solstice, the temple shifts to Siraaj for a brief time, usually around noon. During this period, the clergy holds its most sacred rites, basking in the glorious sunlight for the only time of the entire year. Since the last solstice ceremony, the High Imam has been behaving in a strange, erratic manner, far different from his normal calm, aloof self.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Crystal Bridge

    Between Padam & Vaatavaari, there is a narrow strait, barely five miles wide in parts. It connects the waters of the Sea of Golden Flames to the island-choked waters of the north, while separating the woodland of Padam from the farms & fields of the west. Crossing this channel is an impossibly-long bridge, made of sparkling translucent gemstones, most of which are truly massive in size. This landmark, build long ago by some unknown hand, is known simply as the Crystal Bridge, & it is world famous for being one of the greatest marvels of Najmah, which is saying quite a bit.

    The Crystal Bridge is composed of countless precious stones, tightly fitted together & mortared by some unseen force. The jewels are of every conceivable sort: sapphires & emeralds, rubies & topazes, diamonds & opals. Crystals of the same type tend to be grouped together, although there are always exceptions, & some people claim that the seemingly-random arrangement belies an intricate & inscrutable pattern or message. They range in size from tiny tooth-sized gems to immense crystals larger than elephants, & the average size is about a foot or two in diameter.

    This magnificent structure attracts tourists & pilgrims from all over the world. Despite the somewhat-empty nature of non-urban genie lands, hundreds of people cross the bridge every day; some on business, but many just to say that they have been here & seen this wonder. Unsurprisingly, many people attempt to take some of the jewels with them, but the crystals are held fast, & anyone who tries is blasted by a wave of magical force emanating from the bridge itself. No one has ever been able to successfully take a gemstone from the bridge, but that doesn’t seem to deter people from trying time & again.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Dhatturah

    Deep within a tranquil, nameless woodland between the Rainwood Forest & the Wildwood, there is an enormous flowering plant. Larger than any tree or creature in the entire world, the gigantic flower is worshiped as a paragon of life, & is attended by druids from all over the continent. Every year, hundreds of people make a pilgrimage to see the Dhatturah (dah-TOUR-ah), the Blossom of the World.

    The Dhatturah usually looks like a green-barked tree of massive proportions, twisting over 120’ into the air & towering over the local trees. Wide canopy-like leaves sprout from the central stalk at regular intervals, & it is capped by a great spherical bulb, the color of which changes over time, randomly becoming red, yellow, blue, or violet with each changing season. The mighty flower only blooms once every nine years, releasing glowing pollen that cures the sick & heals the wounded. If a grain of pollen touches the ground, it will immediately blossom into a shimmering luminescent flower, which will live for just a single day.

    The Dhatturah has been growing here for as long as there have been people to witness its greatness, & has been as large as it is now since time immemorial. It is said that it was planted here by Bhishaj (Pashati) herself, & it is sacred to her. Several other faiths (such as those of Bhagya, Dakhiel, Shaanti, & Udyama) hold the Blossom of the World is great regard as well, but none so much as the church of Bhishaj. Despite the constant attention, though, the plant seems to be suffering as of late; several roots have begun to wither, & it is suspected that they were deliberately poisoned. The cause of this mysterious wilting is an issue for great concern, & even greater speculation.

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    Default Re: [Hourglass of Zihaja] Chapter 3: The World of Najmah

    Divan Temple

    On the island of Dviipah, off the western coast of Vaatavaari, there is an ancient crumbling temple dedicated to Bhagya (Adimas). Older than Bhagya’s faith itself, Divan (dee-VAHN) Temple was once devoted to a pagan god of the marids, which has long since been forgotten. Most of the old statuary has been replaced by Bhagya’s symbols, such as the Knowing Eye, the Falling Feather, & the Golden Trapezoid, but some idols of a shark-like woman still remain in some seldom-used corners.

    The layout of the complex is confusing, as it was added onto over time with new wings & expanded halls. The color & shape of the building seems to change periodically, shifting subtly when nobody is looking. It would be easy to get lost in the ever-changing corridors, & many have done so over the years; nowadays, a cleric called the Adhikaarin (“warden”) is always on duty to guide the faithful & retrieve those who have gone astray, a metaphor which is not lost on the other clerics. The worshippers believe that the clergy are responsible for the seemingly-random alterations, but they deny it, claiming it is the will of Bhagya alone that transforms his sacred space.

    As could be expected of the lord of magic & master of study, Divan Temple holds the oldest & most extensive library in the world, a truly massive collection of tomes from throughout the ages, written by some of the most brilliant & notable minds of recorded history (& even beyond). Nearly half of all the many chambers of the temple are filled with shelves upon shelves of books, scrolls, & clay tablets, & every member of the clergy has a writing desk in their room, so that each of them may copy, translate, & transcribe the various volumes. Church doctrine forbids that the collection be organized, so many of the scholar-clerics have memorized the contents of a room, so that a particular work can be more easily found when needed. Recently though, several of the most learned scholar-clerics have disappeared, & there is evidence that they were forcibly taken by some unknown agent.

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