Blood Of Heroes
The Desert Kingdoms
Calling the collection of cities, towns, and oasis’s the “Desert Kingdoms” is something of a stretch. While it is true that there are dozens of self-declared “nations,” most are little more than a dozen or so loosely affiliated towns. There are a few notable exceptions, especially King Onyx Jaguar’s dominion.
Politics: There is no one ruler of the Desert Kingdoms, if you travel four cities in about any direction, you’ll pass from one ruler’s domain to another. They have formed a loose coalition and advisor body to serve the interests of all the Kingdoms. Each kingdom in the basin has a proportional say in the organization and its interests are largely economic. King Onyx Jaguar is the body’s official representative and spokesperson and he tends to speak for all the Kingdoms in most official capacities. Many of the other kingdoms resent this, but he has the best trained and organized army and its threat, or that of his “Weapons” tends to solve those sorts of problems. Most of the Kingdoms are small and have little interest beyond the occasional raid on one’s neighbors or the latest caravan. No war has ever drawn more than three or four kingdoms into battle.
Economics: The majority of the consumable goods produced are the result of subsistence level farming and small scale herding. The soil’s quality and the general lack of moisture make anything more complex than that infeasible. The mountainous areas of the basin walls contain many different valuable minerals, though extracting them tends to be difficult. In addition, a number of valuable artifacts have been found beneath the desert floor in abandoned cities and caverns. Some villages rely on patronage by explorers in order to survive. Ox and camel driven caravans are the life blood of the region. Until Onyx Jaguar established himself as King, there was no set route or organized carvaning system. Now regular routes and deliveries have been organized and many more villages are able to survive and thrive.
Demographics: Mixed. Humans are the dominate species, but not by a significant margin. Refugees from every corner of the world have settled here and bred, attitude and demeanor count for more than race here.
History: There have always been settlements and villages in the Desert basin. Traditionally it has been the refuge for outlaws and free spirits unable to follow the rules of their homelands. However the land was harsh and until recently there were never enough supplies to support many people. Ghost settlements scattered the land and the threat of monsters was constant. When the Dark Lord’s influence began to extend, monster attacks became more frequent and savage, destroying some of the longest occupied settlements. With the arrival of Onyx Jaguar and regular caravans, many of the abandoned settlements have been repopulated and new ones have formed. The population of the basin is growing slowly but steadily. The prehistory of the area is unknown though there are many rumors about how the land must have looked. There are a number of ancient settlements buried underneath the sand and many wondrous treasures have been found over the years. It is likely that the basin was once fertile or perhaps even underwater but the signs that could confirm this have long since faded.
Geography The geography of the desert kingdoms can be summed up as “dry.” Hemmed in on all asides by high, foreboding peaks, very little moisture makes its way into the massive basin in which the Kingdoms reside. While much of the area is in fact desert, there are many oasis and large swaths of grassland.
The northern parts of the basin are known for their wide, dusty grasslands. That grass tends to ignite easily and set acres of land on fire for days or weeks. Giving rise to the name “the Sea of Fire.”
The eastern half of the desert is the most barren and desolate portion. The sand is pure white and only the most hardy of creatures live on the surface. Underneath the surface, however, the land is teeming with life, all of which doing their damned best to kill everything else.
The western portion of the basin is populated by many small lakes and oasis. Circles of green can be seen from the sky; tiny islands of life in the desert.
The southern portion of the basin is the most arable as the high mountains fade into rolling foothills. While not as fertile as the Allied nations, many farming communities and homesteads have cropped up in this region. Amaranth, the western most city of the allied nations has a strong presence here and has laid claim to a significant portion of the southern basin. They have not, as of yet, taken any move against the settlers and villages that have cropped up in the area.