The Apocalypse of Yesterday
“Shalom, traveler. May Azael guide your way.”
The Kingdom of Ahaba lies in between Skyre of the West and the Holy Dragon Empire of the East, and it has always been a land of merchants. Ahaba was always a melting pot of cultures from all across the continent although its rulers themselves were strict about their racial purity. These rulers each represented one of the major people of Ahaba: Humans, Gnomes, Giants, Goblinkind, Elves, and the Thri-Kreen. Although these races were not always in peaceful relations, the council of their rulers was an ancient tradition which was unaffected by the petty wars of its participants. The deserts of Ahaba needed to be represented by an united front, lest they be integrated in the surrounding lands by would-be conquerors. While each race was free to worship other gods, their rulers were bound to Azael for it was the goat-headed god who ensured the peace of the land because of an ancient pact.
Ahaba is a sandy desert dotted by rocky outcrops. Its southernmost parts become mountains which hide occasional pockets of rocky wasteland, until they finally descend into the Sea of Haze. Two great rivers, both of which flow into the Sea of Haze form the natural borders of the land: the Serpent in the East, between Ahaba and the Holy Dragon Empire and the Nagas in the West, between Ahaba and Skyre. Each is surrounded by more fertile lands, inhabited primarily by humans and gnomes on Nagas’s side and by elves on the Serpent’s side. In the North, the deserts of Ahaba slowly turn into savannahs which slowly turn into Karakas.
The god of the sun may have blessed Ahaba with peace but his patronage is a two-edged sword. The dry desert only tastes rain sporadically, and these downpours are not even annual. While the people living by the rivers may subsist on those waters which flow from mostly from more fertile lands, the rest of Ahaba must rely on magic to salvage its citizens. Luckily, the blesses of Azael have always been masters of the art, and the need borne of necessity has fueled these masters to ever greater heights.
The major races which inhabit the lands of Ahaba are Humans, Gnomes, Giants, Goblins, Elves and Thri-Kreen. While a multitude of lesser races, particularly planetouched, halfbreeds and the descendants of foreign merchants, also inhabit the lands, only these races have been granted a place in the sacred council of rulers. More cosmopolitan races have individual cultures to call their own – each has adapted to the melting pot -mentality which defines the image most foreigners have of Ahaba. However, there exist exceptions, even among the major races. These more cosmopolitan races include certain breeds of giants but particularly the majority of the elves, gnomes and humans of Ahaba.
Other than these citizens of the sprawling metropolises which dot important trade routes, there exist mostly nomads and certain more reclusive cultures. The nomadic races include the Thri-Kreen and most goblinoids. Certain tribes of the other races also belong in this category, and while halflings are a minority in Ahaba, a few of their their caravans traverse across the desert.
More reclusive inhabitants of Ahaba include the greater giants which inhabit the mountains to the South as well as certain proud sub-species of elves and gnomes. Few also dare enter the strongholds of more organized goblinoids such as hobgoblins, and their homes tend to not lie on major trade routes in any case. If anything, these settlements may also be found near the mountain range of the South, and they provide the country with an influx of necessary minerals and building materials, mostly stone.