New Wathis
“Speak when it is wise, listen when it is not.”- Telran proverb.

Capital: Wathisia
Settlements: Culbit (10,000), The Holy City of Da’mulus (6,000), Jul’mase (12,000), Wathisia (100,000)
Ruler: Senmi El Eshiun, Queen of the Seven Veils, Empress of the Nine Tribes, Keeper of the Sacred Telran, Daughter to the True People, and Mother to the World
Government: Matriarchal monarchy
Races: Elemental-kin, Enigmon, Human, Living Ghoul, Ratfolk, Zendiqi
Faiths: Elementali Lords (all), Rajuk Amon-Gore, Shankhil
Resources: Linen, oil, perfumes, spices
Languages: Aquan, Auran, Common, Ignan, Necril, Old Porphyran, Terran
Border Conditions: None

History
The southern Desert of Siwath was once contiguous across the southern strand of the continent, unbroken in its hot expanse. Here, the genie overlords held sway from the early dawn of time, their original stronghold. The Epic of Galgulesh tells of the Kingdom of M’harret, whose very cities were lifted from the sands of the Siwath and floated over the scorching desert at the whim of the Djinn Lord Qarryn, fueled by the sacrificed lives of hundreds of slaves. Within the ruined Tomb of Tanghu, the Epic tells of the titanic monoliths the Genie Lords raised in their likeness, to watch over the expansive burial cities where the Djinlord’s followers were entombed, so that they could continue to serve after death.

The word for ‘tomb’ in Auran is “tel ran”, and so the living people that survived the depredations of M’harret, and served both the living and the dead took on that name for themselves.
It was into this world that Senmi El Sioban was born, during the perihelion of a full solar eclipse. A daughter of the black sun, Sioban was pale and beautiful beyond words. Her exotic beauty soon caught the attention of the Efreeti Firelord Mal’eket, and he came to claim her, putting her parents to ash for the sin of weeping at her leaving. Sioban’s life was no longer hers, if it had even been, for those who served the Firelord never did so for long.

Then The Calling came to pass, and the NewGod Wars erupted across Porphyra. The Siwath was thrown into turmoil, as the Elemental Lords’ power was now challenged by the coming of the gods and the Genie Kings’ hold on their realms began to falter. The watch-towers over the Tel Ran were shattered and buried, and the people beneath wondered if that were better for them, or worse. During a climactic battle over the Furnace Palace of Mal’eket, the Firelord’s forces clashed with those of the New Gods. A winged aasimar crashed through the ruby skylight above the Efreeti’s harem, its amethystine armor emblazoned with the key and the doorway. A Fire Guard salamander followed, it’s elemental heat and rage setting the rich furnishings ablaze. As the creature raised its molten spear to finish the celestial knight, a cold spike thrust through its throat from behind, and it shuddered and collapsed. Laying beyond the dead Guard, Sioban had fallen, blistered and burned. The aasimar crawled to her broken body, and placed his hand on her chest as the light of his divine form faded.

After the battle had passed, the Palace lay in ruins, its Lord another ruin within. Sioban awoke to find her body whole, and a single purple medallion on her chest- bearing the sigil of a key upon a moon, and the outline of a man in shadow. There was no sign of the winged knight, and death lay all around her. She felt a nagging voice calling her to the east, and so she went. Three weeks she walked - when she thirsted, she found water, when she wearied, shade found her, until she found a cave in the Teeth of Calinsur, the great range stretching to the northern shores of Porphyra. Oddly, the cave possessed a door with a puzzle lock, matching the key that she wore, and she entered. What passed within has not been recorded, passed only down through the royal family. When Sioban returned from the deep desert, she began to gather her scattered people, and led them to throw off the chains of the Genie Lords, and gain some independence from their supposedly benevolent liberators - and to carve from the edge of the Siwath a state of their own.

Current Events
New Wathis is not the most verdant of lands, but it provides the last respite before the scorching maw of the desert. Nestled into the rough foothills and stream valleys, New Wathis holds many expansive cities, with their white-washed walls, marbled plazas and hanging gardens offering a memory of the once-paradise. However, all that glisters is not gold. Though the secular, matriarchal rule of New Wathis is not openly opposed, there are those that would welcome a return to the Elemental rule of old. Though many temples abound, the gods that are worshiped there are not clear, or are “family temples”, not seeming to be dedicated to any New God at all. Many still, on the equinoxes and solstices, see the offerings made as of old, tracing the rituals back to the days of the Genies.

Additionally, merchant guilds and trading houses hold sway over entire cities, controlling the flax fields of Jul’mase, the shipping of Cul’bit, and the subsidized transport to the Holy City. All of this is under the direct eye of the Mother of the True People, and it is said that anything is available in Wathisia if one but have the coin.

Other remnants of the old have crept into the urban underbelly of New Wathis as well. Ratfolk and living ghouls, said to be the servants of the Mad Dancer Rajuk, are known to prowl the gutters and twisted sewer mazes of even the Holy City. And, if one chooses to see, markings and graffiti abound, claiming territory in the name of the secret societies of the shadow kingdoms.

Settlements
The major settlements of New Wathis are:

  • Cul’bit is the busiest port on the Lost Sea, and has the economic clout to prove it. It is home to the largest number of Merchant Guild Houses and is the economic powerhouse of New Wathis. One had best not brag of the wealth of Blix while in its streets.
  • Da’mulus, known as the Holy City rather ironically, as its holiness is relevant specifically to those who engage in elemental cultism. All that staves off a purge from the north is the presence of the Doorway Cathedral of Shankhil, and a plucky band of diplomat-Khilites that try to keep the peace and suppress the more backward rituals of the temple-ridden city.
  • Jul’mase was one of the largest cities of the old days, largely intact, and has an expansive urban sprawl. It is also the seat of political power as well, being home to the oldest families, including the current ruler who is a direct descendant of Sioban the First.
  • Wathisia is the capital of New Wathis, more compact than Jul’mase but being ten times the population in its irrigated towers. It is one of the newest cities in the region, built with northern contributions to house the defeated minions of the Elemental Lords. It is the heart of the kingdom, both physically and metaphorically.

Intrigues

  • Rumor speaks of a child walking out of the deep desert alone, into Jul’mase, during a sandstorm. She spoke of the return of the Elemental Lords, and the reclaiming of the ancient ways, before being spirited away by the living ghouls of the sewers.
  • Caravans to the Holy City are being raided – nothing particularly new - except that nothing is being taken, and the mark of the Dark Mistress, whoever that might be, is left at each site.
  • There’s a run on spices in Cul’bit, and prices are rising by the hour! Securing a wagonload of s’abarih from the southern desert and getting to the port before the full moon could make a quick party’s fortune.

See Also