Wastes of Simoon
“These praying beggars invade us? How can this dirty rabble face the beautiful host of the Paradise of Simoon?” – Zafiq Al-Reyahk, last Sheik of Old Simoon

Capital: Korech the Vortex
Settlements: Ashyim (2,500) Four (1,000), Korech (8,000), Nomad City of Zyran (2,000)
Rulers: Aal’arba’aa Wathkur (The Four who Remember)
Government: Tribal council
Races: Elemental-kin, Enigmon, Human, Zendiqi
Faiths: Elemental Lords
Resources: Glass, obsidian, relics, seafood
Languages: Old Porphyran, Aquan, Auran, Ignan, Terran
Border Conditions: None

History
The Paradise of Simoon once covered all of the eastern hemisphere of Porphyra: from the high peaks of Adamah, now called the Birdman Mountains, to the Boundless oceans of Mayim; from the firelands of Aish, to the windswept plains of Ruach. There the domains touched, and the elemental children traded with one another, sharing in the bounty of paradise under the watchful eyes of the Four Who Are the Foundation, the Elemental Lords. Ranging freely, carrying the word of The Four across the domains, were the children of Zendiq. To hear it said by the bearded historians, Porphyra never knew another such golden age—all shattered with the arrival of the New Gods.

When the NewGods War was over, the paradise had become a wasteland, fully two-thirds of it usurped by invading territories, or wrested from elemental control and settled by the victors. The domains were blasted by magic, their borders redrawn, their elements mixed by chaotic forces. The peaks of Adamah were seized by Ithreia’s winged forces, Gerana’s Middle Kingdoms separating all with vast armies, and Ferrakus himself, flush from opening Creeper’s Rift, ignited the fires of Aish to burn them to the Crumbs they are today, melting the sands and the waters of Mayim into the Glass Sea, that glimmering flow of magical crystal and sand. The Four left a final gift before their exile: the city of Korech, at the nexus of the elemental chaos of the region. The survivors and their descendants call it the Vortex, for all elements swirl around it—summon-bound elementals in a dance of ancient adoration.

The Wastes of Simoon still hold beauty unequaled in Porphyra, but it is a savage beauty that only the strong can enjoy. So while the New Gods may have claimed and mangled the rest of Porphyra, the people of Simoon still make their obeisance, and await the return of the Four Who Are the Foundation, for then Porphyra will be as it used to be, once more.

Current Events
Simoon is not quite a unified country, as others are. In remembrance of the four domains of old, modern Simoon exists as four distinct peoples eking out a living in as much balance as they can muster. The elemental-kin of Korech, with a good smattering of Landed humans, stands as the center of urban civilization; the Zendiqi roam the sands and occasionally convene to form the Nomad City of Zyran; the Sailors of the Glass Sea of Ashyim (Baha’ar Ha-Ashyim) guard the liquid crystal ways and the secret to Simooni glass in their eponymous town; and the Zephyri mystics who commune with the elements, holding their sacred relics at the town of Arba - in common, Four.

Each of these groups sends a representative to Korech for a year where they become the Four Who Remember, charged with administering the land to the benefit of the majority. The identity of the Four Who Remember is kept secret during their tenure, and after the sole allowable term, their identities are revealed. All decisions must pass by majority vote; if a tie sits for more than four months, all members are executed and a new council summoned. The current Aal’arba’aa Wathkur have been locked in a tie for the past three months. This is the longest tie in recent history and the people of Korech are starting to get antsy about it. No council has been executed in at least a hundred years—and the source of the impasse is unknown.

To the east Korech is bound by the endless sands wherein the Zendiqi roam and the Zephyri wander. The sands stretch, hot and unforgiving, to the Crumbs of Aish and the border with The Ghadab. Cyclopean sandworms believed by the Simooni to be guardians sent by the Elemental Lords to guard their children, swim through the sands to the edge of the Glass Sea, emerging to punish those who have angered the Four. Of late, the Zendiqi have begun to amass in the empty north, to push at the borders of New Porphyra. Some believe they are getting ready to pay back the invaders of Porphyra for the defeat suffered by their ancestors centuries before.

To the west, Korech is bound by the Glass Sea of Ashyim, said to be bottomless and home to wondrous creatures of living glass. The Baha’ri guard the secrets of the Ashyim: they craft Simooni glass, said to be nigh indestructible when shaped, wield magic that puts the glass waters at their command, and travel to trade lands on their bizarre Mirrorships. As the only Simooni who have continuous contact with the outside world, the Baha’ar are the eyes and ears of Simoon, trading information as readily as they trade glass. Likewise, they are always in danger, as their secrets are coveted by many.

Zephyri mystics wander the depths of the wastes to hone their minds and bodies, hoping to commune with the Four Who Are the Foundation. In surviving the desert, they develop their skills and achieve great power over the elements. Some are even said to ride the huge and fearsome desert sandworms as the Zendiqi ride camels. Though few in number, the Zephyri are valued and feared across Simoon, for they stand for an earlier, more rugged and savage age, where the elements were chaos unleashed, a thought that doesn’t mesh very well with many who have grown accustomed to the civility of modern life.

Settlements
The major settlements in the Wastes of Simoon are:

  • Korech stands as proud as any city in Porphyra, home to thousands of ifrit, sylph, oread and even a few landbound undine. Its architects emphasized compact utility, while showcasing towers, tunnels, fire vents and cascades to honor the Four. In its center is the Tower of the Four, where the Aal’arba’aa Wathkur live and hold court for their tenure.
  • The Nomad City of Zyran is a model of modularity; composed of thousands of colorful tents, it bursts from the sands overnight and stretches for mile. The Zendiqi convene Zyran from two to four times and year, for trade and socialization. Important issues are discussed by the camel-lords, marriages sealed, and grudges settled. When all is done, Zyran disappears like a mirage until the next time.

Intrigues

  • According to a scroll found by the PCs on a dead guard, the stalemate within the Tower of the Four regards trade with the rest of Porphyra. Addressed to a Baha’ar sylph named Yrmah, will the PCs get wrapped up in Korech politics?
  • Zyran has popped up a half-day’s ride from the walls of Korech, gathering a large number of Zendiqi hordes. The central occasion is a marriage between a Zendiqi princess and an ifrit merchant-prince… That is, until the father of the bride turns up dead in an alley, burnt to death. The Four hastily recruit adventurers to find out the facts and prevent war.
  • A colossal sandworm has been spotted near Ashyim, a previously worm-free territory. The Zephyri pronounce it a judgment on the free-trading Baha’ri, and those glass-sea traders are hiring infidels to destroy the creature before the ‘prophecy’ can come true.

See Also