The Kostaddi have long resented being ruled by Dara Happans and others, but have rarely been good at remaining independent. They joined Sheng Seleris willingly in the 1300s-1400s, so now they are ruled by the Khan of Khans, Rhaffa, of the Sable Nation, who demands very heavy tributes, a third of all income and harvests and production. Those who complain soon learn the fifty-eight sacred tortures of the Sable faith. Clan Khans collect the taxes and pay a cut to the Khan of Khans; they are often not very good at sticking to 1/3rd, given many aren't very literate.
The Sable Riders are antelope riding nomads who mainly live off their herds and the massive tributes they receive. They are especially fond of cheeses and usually spend a fair chunk of the tribute on Imtherite cheese. They are kin to the Sable tribe of Prax. Men hunt, fight, and herd. Women do domestic tasks and craftwork.
The Kostaddi are farmers and artisans, living in family farms and small towns and cities. They worship Gerendetho the Great Billy Goat (Beast, Mastery) and his wife Senkana, the Barley Mother (Fertility, Plant). They are a practical, hard-working folk who would like to govern themselves but seem doomed never to succeed in it.
Dara Happans live in the Oslir river valley, using Kostaddi slaves and serfs to grow cash crops. Being subject to the Sable Riders enrages them but they know they can't fight the whole empire. It has led them to an unusual degree of tolerance of the Kostaddi and their own peasants, recognizing the need for allies.
- Alkoth (32,000): Ruled by the Three Kings appointed by Shargash himself, this city pays tribute but no Sable Rider ever enters it and leaves alive; they announce a tribute payment, the Khan doesn't question it and no one ends up an undead slave forever. Except the ones already roaming the streets. Alkoth is full of portals to the Underworld, the dead roam the streets and life here is extremely strange by any standard. Most Dara Happans stay away. Traditionally, when Dara Happa goes to war, the signal is that drums beat here and are heard in every city. The rulers of the city are known as the Three Kings. The Red King commands outside relations, including war. The Green King rules within the walls and is high priest of Alkor, the city's god. And the Black King wanders the streets, sharing mystical revelations with all and acting out in strange, prophetic ways. Sometimes he just kills people; this guarantees them a good rebirth in their next life.
- Alshahar (11,000, once 30,000): This is the old Kostaddi capital, now used for adminstrative purposes by Lunar officials; the Khan visits here twice a year to sign forms and collect his cut of the tributes. Much of the city is abandoned and crumbling and overrun; some parts even seem to have monsters living there. A group of lunarized trolls live in part of the Crumble and are supposed to keep the monsters in check.
- Devli (14,000): This town is the head of the district of Sanken, where a third of the population follows Yelm Illuminated through the hero Sankendavu, who taught 'We are all Yelm' to those of pure Dara Happen descent. This obliterated the normal distinction between the Yelm-worshipping elites and the Lodril-worshiping peasantry. It also conveyed a strong sense of responsibility for the less fortunate; the Yelmites here seek to prove themselves and earn their abilities through service to others and to Yelm and believe in noblesse oblige. They have often been the cutting edge of change in Dara Happan culture.
- Hungertown (15,000): This town flourishes despite the heavy tribute exacted because it then usually gets most of its tribute back and often other people's tribute by providing the many vices not available on the Hungry Plateau to the Sable Riders, who come here to drink, sleep with prostitutes, attend plays, take drugs, drink more, sleep with more prostitutes, etc. Casinos, whorehouses, dance halls, bars, inns, and things which combine two or more of the above can be found basically everywhere in the city. The Temple of Uleria is large and very prosperous.
- Hungry Lake: Located on the northeastern corner of the Hungry Plateau. Two rivers flow into it and one flows out, the Hungry River, which eventually runs to the Oslir; Hungry Falls can only be boated down with magic, unless you are suicidal, but there is a long switch-back road down the side of the plateau by the falls, which small boats can be carried on if you're really determined. Hungry Lake flourishes with fish and gets lots of rain; the whole area is much greener than the rest of the plateau. A special group of slaves, known as the Lake People, dwell on the lake, paying a tribute of fish to the Great Khan and being 'owned' by him; in practice, he never sees them and his agents see them once a month; they sail on houseboats built with the timber from the northern and eastern shores. There are perhaps as many as 15,000 Lake People for the fishing is very rich, due to their worship of the Lake Goddess. The deeper parts of the lake are rumored to have merpeople at the bottom, but if this is true, no one has proved it. The Goddess Kalava (Water, Beast-Fish) dwells at the bottom of the chasm, according to the Lake People, having survived the Great Darkness by hiding there. At times, fish of monstrous size are caught in the deep waters; the Great Khan is always excited to get them and rewards the catcher generously; a few times, this has led to internecine violence among the Lake People to take control of a catch. Roughly once a decade, a whale *somehow* shows up here. A few people think there is a tunnel to the Underworld at the bottom through which rarely caught creatures arrive.
- Hungry Plateau (100,000): This leans gently northeast and the northeast corner gets a lot more rain. Rain elsewhere washes back into the Hungry Lake, by whose shores sits the Great Tent of the Khan of Khans, his home when not roaming the plateau. The Sable Riders are much larger in number than the plateau can support by itself. But tribute enables a high lifestyle and more Sable Riders. They can field 20,000 warriors if need be, of which about 3,000 are very high quality. The Khan can also call upon forces raised from the non-Sable populace but their loyalty is generally suspect. The campsites on the map are basically permanent campsites of the Khans who serve the Great Khan, with some timber buildings from the wood which grows around Hungry Lake. The Great Khan's camp is located in the furthest east campsite, as it is a very secure location. Some of his predecessors built stone palaces, which brought down magical curses on them, so he sticks to a timber and silk construction which is close enough to a traditional tent to avoid divine retribution. It also has docks for the Lake People to bring their tribute.
- Lagash (31,000, once 50,000): A once proud city of the Dara Happans, Lagash is slowly crumbling under the impact of the Sable Riders as its wealth tends to be copiously harvested. Twice the city has revolted and been slaughtered. Now everything is just a little tattered and everyone goes through the motions of life without much joy or ambition. Anyone who succeeds either flees the area or gets robbed by the Sable Riders, or so they see it. An increasing number of people are converting to the Lunar Way or joining lunatic cults in a desperate quest for hope.
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