"' Vun Kyey, Rusa, yht Cimdyhy! "
The Sultanate of Dashari is a sizeable northern Aphelian citystate situated at the southwestern border of the Tejeha Sands, encroaching on the Great Gulf Plain. Known throughout the continent for its unique and fearsome warriors, merciless warfare, and near-hostile isolationism, it is the subject of many myths of varying credibility. It is the military and, to a lesser extent, cultural and economic dominator of northern Aphelion as well as an emerging continental power.
|Political and cultural details|
Zetashari, Northern Aphelian
Dashari, Dasharian (informal)
Authoritarian matriarchal theocratic sultanate under a military dictatorship
Iron Sultana (real name unknown), incumbent
Emerald, Gold Nugget, Obsidian Nugget
The Protectorate of Alcyon
Dashari is located at the border between the Tejeha Sands the Great Gulf Plain. The Tejeha Sands are the southernmost expanse of the Northern Aphelian Desert, and are infamous throughout the world for their extreme temperatures, hostile life, marvelous natural features, and religious sites.
Although the sands are practically devoid of plant life, there is a notable growth of acacia trees surrounding the city, and there seems to be a story passed down through generations of Dashari that tells of how a famous alchemist bought the rare saplings with him centuries ago and donated them to a previous Sultana either as a gesture of goodwill or to repay a favor.
The city itself is located just north of a small region known as the Kyeyan Springs, a series of small lakes and ponds that together act as a center of agriculture and a source of irrigation for the town proper. They are considered a holy site by the inhabitants of the desert.
The sultanate is also in close proximity to the Aphelian Gulf; however, it is notable that its inhabitants have next to no activity in its waters, opting instead to trade through its protectorates.
The roots of Dashari people and their culture go back in time to the Great Desynchronization, after which Northern Aphelion and Southern Kilran separated, rendering Northern Aphelion a generally inhospitable array of deserts and savannas.
The hardy denizens of the sands, once dependent on continental trade with the prosperous city-states of Kilran, were cleft from the world at large and forced into self-sufficiency. The Alzharq, as they became known to the few who knew of them, evolved over the next millennia into a loose and militaristic alliance of tribes spanning the entirety of the northeastern continental expanse. Complex communal agricultural areas, undisturbed isolationism, and a worship of the land became some of the defining traits of the culture.
The Alzharq also became a mystifying culture due to their matriarchal system, which was made logical as a result of an ancient biological anomaly that made the women of the region significantly taller, stronger, and sturdier than any other known human, as well as somewhat more aggressive. Despite this, the tribal system remained mostly equitable within.
Within the alliance, two tribes known as the Dazhi and Zystra became the leading powers.
Alongside their human development came many technological breakthroughs focused on mathematics and the sciences, albeit most were intended to bolster the Alzharq as a military power. These included redstone weaponry and mining equipment as well as the usage of obsidian tools, usable only by Alzharq women as a result of their incredible weight. The seemingly endless obsidian reserves deep in the desert bowels became an attractive prospect to a few foolhardy adventurers of the Alzharq Invincible Age.
At the start of the 5th millennia, the Alzharq culture had reached a critical point. Having covered every inch of the deserts for centuries, a great minority within the alliance's ranks, concentrated in the Zystra house, sought to expand and conquer the continent at large. The slight majority in the adamantly opposed Dazhi house sought to instead unite the tribes under one flag and concentrate their power in the northern sands rather than run themselves thin over Aphelion. Lengthy debate in the Knyht Luihlem, their grand council, proved itself fruitless. After a year of tension, the Glorious War, known in modern culture as Dra Lejem Fyn, burst into being.
The nearly year-long war would veritably raze the desert. Cold in some periods but blazing in most, the conflict would see the death of countless young women and some unfortunate civilians as the tribes vengefully tore one another to shreds. As 4,000 AD drew to a close, the Dazhi had pierced to the heart of the Zystral sands, and the tribe's great matriarch Lymmuic the Ruthless died a martyr's death in her own palace.
As the smoke cleared and the survivors grieved, Zicelda the Brave, leader of the Dazhi house, enacted the greatest changes in the people's history. The power of royalty was severely curtailed, and combat to the death was instituted as the means of ascension to the Obsidian Throne, effective immediately. The change was intended to keep rulers shackled to the will of the populace under threat of death. With mass support from the bereft populace, the tribes were unified under the name of Dashari, a portmanteau of Dazhi and Alzharq. Although the new nation would call itself a sultanate, this was more so out of religious belief than respect for monarchy.
The people returned to ruling the sands, but now lived under the creed of internal improvement rather than hostile expansion. Even so, Dashari proved itself the continent's leading superpower for centuries to come. Zicelda, known now as the Golden Sultana, died of old age around 4040, and elected to be buried next to Lymmuic to symbolize the fledgling city-state's unconditional union.
Over the next few centuries, Dashari would grow exponentially in wealth and power, and symbols of power such as its colosseum and grand palace would come into being. The arid sands became a hidden oasis of peace and prosperity, guarded heavily by the Sultanate's invincible and mystifying warriors. On a fateful day c. 4250 AD, a ship of rebellious skilled oceanic slaves ran aground in the shores east of Dashari with no casualties besides their would-be masters. Immediately alarmed yet curious to see many humans of a similar shade, the warrior regiment in the area bloodlessly quarantined the shores and protected the visitors while offering the most educated of them an opportunity to represent them at the grand palace.
Immediately moved by the oceanics' story, the Sultana and her advisors offered the group a stay on the Aphelian shore with some materials to begin construction of a port. In what was a legendary and unpredictable move on the Dashari side, the Sultana also promised the new Aphelians permanent protection under the Obsidian Throne with the sole condition of being their eyes, ears, and profit seekers at sea. The oceanic representative, known humorously yet respectfully in Dashari history as Ryhtcusa, agreed. The Protectorate of Alcyon was born, and with the Sultanate's cannons on its decks, the mythical Free Oceanic Fleet came to dominate the Western Avunian Ocean in the following decades, in the process providing a glimpse of the outside world to the reclusive tribe.
It is speculation that the Dashari also came to use Moiros, then sparsely populated, as a trading outpost and pseudo-colony. Alcyon itself became an eternal ally and popular tourist destination for the once-isolated people. The peculiar Dashari also became a subject of oceanic mythology as Alcyon sailors returned to Voshe and spread their tale.
Their newfound prosperity would once more be put to the test, however, beginning that same century. During the Hundred Year Darkness draped over Aquila by the tyrannical and genocidal Makrozoia, the citystate became a target of the Nightmare Legion, which planned to drain it of its wealth and life and corrupt its towering warriors into loyal servants. Makrozoia dispatched a hardened Legion general, Zorro, with a large regiment to conquer Aphelion from the north down.
As Zorro was en route, a mysterious alchemist calling himself Reidon appeared mysteriously in Dashari, and requested an audience with its Sultana, Jymeyhd. He attempted to warn the council of the imminent existential threat to the Sultanate, but its leaders, placing little weight on military advice from a man, cast him out from the sands. Mere hours later, eldritch abominations began rising from the ground all throughout the desert, summoned by the black-leather-clad Zorro, marking the beginning of the Dune War. The general began a scorched earth campaign throughout Aphelion, salting the earth and razing all settlements. Initially, the powerful Dashari military was more than enough to hinder the dispersed forces, but as the fight concentrated more and more on Dashari, morale began to plummet.
Reidon, who had quickly become a beloved chief advisor to the Sultana herself, taught the army and townspeople the nature of the demons as well as anti-magic measures and wartime chemistry. With the help of the Ancient Science, the Sultanate began to turn the tides of war until it took an especially cruel and insulting turn. Zorro, not one to lose in the face of Makrozoia, used black magicks to tap into the anger of the earth and call on the power of the warriors of antiquity lost in the Glorious War. Now facing an undead army equal in strength to their own as well as mounting casualties, it became apparent to Reidon and Jymeyhd that the opposition would have to be slain at the head.
Zorro had, until that point, been practically invisible to the denizens of the desert. As he operated from the dark bowels of the Zystral sands, a large-scale encroachment at the time was deemed out of the question. Reidon made the Sultana a bold proposal; to disguise themselves with alchemy to assassinate Zorro at the source of his power, Lymmuic's Tomb. The hardened warrior accepted, and the two set out under the ominous cover of night to a site in the far southern sands thoroughly tainted with evil. Slipping into the old tomb under the cover of invisibility, the two made their way into the otherworldly and frightening sarcophagus, where they found a waiting Zorro flanked by two towering undead guards.
Dashari legend says that Reidon bravely dueled the agile and taunting Zorro while Jymeyhd attempted to dispatch the two ghastly warriors. The Sultana eventually defeated the two warriors of antiquity with great effort, but Reidon was no match for the superior fighter Zorro, and was bought to his knees. The Legion general, hateful as he was mischievous, prepared to behead the alchemist, but was brutally impaled from behind by Jymeyhd's obsidian greatsword as he was oblivious. The general's eyes went white, and as copious amounts of dark energy left his body, the Sultana managed quickly to shield them both from the ensuing dark explosion. The tomb's inner sanctum began to cave in, and the alchemist picked up the only remain of Zorro, a black half-mask, before being carried to safety by the matriarch.
Zorro was spitefully named "Sutekh" by the Dashari; a word roughly translating to "bastard".
Upon exiting the tomb, the duo noticed that the eternal night placed on Aphelion had given way to a bright sun, and returned to the grand palace with mixed anxiety and optimism. As they walked down the great road, Jymeyhd was welcomed by heartfelt cheers while the alchemist was greeted by the warriors' lecherous squeals and gazes. As the desert became quiet once more, the mysterious man bade farewell to the Sultana while promising to repay her for saving his life.
A few days later, an ender chest filled with exotic and seemingly magical bright saplings appeared in the palace treasury, with a note:
"Vun cyjehk so meva." - E.D
As the sands settled and the Hundred Year Darkness came to an end worldwide, Dashari continued its expansionary trend, continuing to dominate northern Aphelion and the western Avunian ocean through its loyal protectorate, albeit not without continuing to attract the attention of ambitious and mostly single mythchasers. The people continue to protect their beloved land with their lives, now with an intense hatred of black magic.
The city-state continued to develop technologically and culturally throughout the following centuries, and contributed covertly to the Aphelian Theater of the Aether War almost 500 years later. In modern times, with the rise of Dreiton in the south, it continues to practice its semi-rigid isolationism and deep suspicion of foreigners while simultaneously being deeply curious about the outside world and longing for deeper connections with it.
It remains to be determined whether the hardened and stunning desert matriarchy can coexist with a hungry empire very different from it.
Economy and Trade
Military Structure and Defense