- Government Type: City-States
- Symbol: Waning Crescent & Caduceus
- Major Races: Cosmopolitan
- Capital: None
The deserts of Dahabu are almost entirely unsettled save for the city-states scattered around its landscape. Dangerous and almost entirely uninhabited, the creatures that can make their home in the abandoned towers and ancient elven ruins in the desert should be feared. Glistening off in the distance, the abandoned ruins can climb almost as high as the mountains. The few humanoids that settle in this desert are either wandering, nomadic rondos or brutal warlords that hunt and rob whoever they can find. As dangerous as the hot sun is, it becomes even more dangerous at nightfall as deadly predators roam. Dahabu is loosely based on the real-world countries of Egypt and Turkey.
The majority of Dahabu is part of the Aihtaraq Desert, an unending sea of vast sand dunes. The majority of Golden Age ruins are located here, yet to be uncovered. In the north is the Crescent of Aset, a fertile oasis in the otherwise hostile climate and home to several city-states, as well as the Twin Ranges region, where an abundance of natural resources is found. In the southeast is the Al-Kharshi Bay, Dahabu's gate to the outside world. It has become a popular destination for Ruefang researchers to visit, stock up, and hire guides and protection before conducting research in the ruins of Dahabu.
On the southeastern coast of Dahabu is the Al-Kharshi Bay, which features many small fishing villages and bazaars to purchase goods in the towns of the Kharshi Collective.
Hidden and buried in the sands of Dahabu may be an untold number of resources and riches. However, the travelling troubadours of Cahyali mainly tell of Milphite Crystals, a rare magical resource found in towering ruins. Rumor states that, many centuries ago, when the calamity that stripped Dahabu Elves of souls happened and turned Dahabu into a desert wasteland, the souls of the elves themselves crystallized with the sands to form these crystals. Whether or not the rumor is true, no one knows. Most people covet these crystals for their magical properties, but those who risk their lives venturing into the Dahabi deserts seldom return.
Despite the vastly differing governments of the city-states, a few laws have been observed to be constant between all of them, albeit with differing punishments.
- Theft: Varying from a short incarceration to cutting off the thief’s hands.
- Open worship of demons, eldritch beings, or fey entities: Ranging from unpunished, to fined, to executed (Abydos only).
- Ownership of another intelligent humanoid creature: Ranging from long incarceration, to exile, to execution.
- Assault: Incarceration.
- Murder and rape: Incarceration or execution, depending on the degree.
- Treason: Execution or exile.
Leviathan has a distinct pirates' code of laws:
For more information on the history and culture of Dahabu, follow this link: Dahabu History & Overview
The national flag of Dahabu. Though each city-state has its own heraldry, this flag is known to represent the entire region.
Cities of Dahabu
The city-states of Dahabu tower above the desert, shining jewels of alabaster and a testament to the resilience of mortals in even the most hostile of environments.
Soko, Oasis of Man: Soko is perhaps the oldest remaining city on Dahabu, and had served as the imperial capital before the Day of Solar Wrath. Many of the outside city states consider Soko a place of both brains and brawn, but without any semblance of tact or charm. Modern day Soko is a bit stuck in the past and obsessed with its own history. As of late, they have been ruled by warrior-pharaohs who claim divine right not only over the city, but over the continent. They are a militaristic city, hoping to restore Dahabu to its former glory despite the clear impossibility of the task given that the rest of the world, and Dahabu itself, has moved on.
- Kiben: Upstream from Soko, where the River Aset begins to form a delta, is the town of Kiben. This town exists under Soko control, and concerns itself mostly with farming, fishing, and acting as a port town to the northern waters of Cahyali. Over the past few centuries, Kiben has traded hands from Soko to Tasarazi and back again multiple times.
Leviathan, Maw of Pirates Floating in the bay, a towering city built out of the shambled together parts of hundreds of ships stands Leviathan. It is a floating pirate city the size of a small island, resembling a absolutely massive wooden ship, with dozens upon dozens of masts and sails, and a gaping maw that it uses to reel in unfortunate ships and strip them apart to add to the city. Very rarely, separate cells of the Dahabu, Buyuk Vahsi, and Nahrūl Cerulean Moon factions will choose to have a meeting on Leviathan.
The Kharshi Collective: An organization made up of several towns across the coast of the Al-Kharshi Bay, involved in trade with Ruefang and Ulos. Though it holds little power relative to Leviathan just off the coast, the Kharshi Collective acts as a check to Leviathan's ambitions and effectively keeps the pirates who run it from expanding further inland. Towns within the Collective include the villages of Amactus, Envaruna, and Syraea, among others.
Abydos, The Holy City: Abydos is the most religion-fueled city on Dahabu, by far. While the everyday residents are not necessarily fanatics, the holy nature of the city brings in many tourists on pilgrimages from across Cahyali. A few even hail from Jaern. As a theocracy, the city is ruled by priesthoods and all priests within its walls are treated with the utmost respect, save for Vormaxians and Zepherinites, who are acknowledged but not venerated, Almarians - which are afforded the same disdain here as they are in most of Dahabu, and Tenebrians, who are arrested on the spot for demon worship.
Tasarazi, Citadel of War: Built almost entirely from stone, Tasarazi is as tough as they come. The walls are tough. The warriors are tough. The people are tough. Life in Tasarazi is tough. Tasarazi is ruled not by a pharaoh, but by a sultan. This sultan claims they are very different from the pharaoh of Soko, that they clearly are not a monarch. Tasarazi is a city heavily focused on its military, and is the birthplace of the warriors' School of the Wolverine known across Cahyali.
Aksahin, Mountainborne Haven: Aksahin resides in the northern Daglik range. Specifically, the city is built from the hollow remains of a mountain that rises above the clouds. The city is shaped distinctly like an inverted cone suspended within the peaks, with the shape giving shade to much of the city and lands below. Given this conical shape, many avians find it easy to fly there. An oddly high number of Eufalconi and Spheniscines live in Aksahin for such an arid climate. Aksahin is ruled by a democratically elected triumvirate.
Sivvum, The Great Forge: Approaching the southern range, one may begin to worry about the massive smoking volcano surrounding a large, walled city. Fortunately, this is not a volcano, merely a massive forge the size of the steppes themselves. No one knows how the forge came to be, giving it the name The Forge of the Gods. It has both the ability to make stronger variations of common metals like iron or steel, and the ability to forge any common weapon. Sivvum is a direct democracy, appointing a group of leaders every five years.
- Ekcasai: Ekcasai is a town located just outside Sivvum's walls, on the opposite side of the Yasamak River. The two settlements have existed for nearly the same amount of time, with Ekcasai never being absorbed into Sivvum rule due to the strong presence of the Dahabu Delvers' Guild within the town. It has unofficially become one of the main hubs of the Guild within the Twin Ranges region, and Sivvum seems content to let the town be for now.
Water & Vibrance
Dahabu is not an easy place to live, even within the city-states. City leaders are cutthroat, always feuding with their advisers and nobles, and the life of the poor is brutal. Water is a precious resource, given that the River Aset dries up partially during the summer months. Given its necessity for all life, water is almost as precious as gold when it comes to trade.
Most Dahabi are expected to be able to fend for their lives, whether it be from thieves in the streets or wild beasts in the wastelands. Only about 20% of Dahabu citizens are literate, with most simply having no need to learn to read. This has given rise to a rich tradition of oral and musical storytelling. Scholars write these folktales down when they can.
Dahabu dress is very colorful, adorned with a variety of dyes, textures, and patterns. The bustling cities are full of life and color despite the bleak world outside their walls, and some religious buildings are truly awe-inspiring with their geometric designs and rich shades. In Dahabu, black is considered a color of abundance and good; as rich soil and the cool night sky is black. On the other hand, white, the color of bleached bone and raging sunlight, is often considered a color of mourning or evil.
Religion & Magic
The roots of Cahyali religion trace themselves back to ancient Dahabu. The names of the gods known worldwide are Dahabu names; it was here that worship of the gods was first codified and organized into priesthoods. In the modern era, the gods are seen in equal measure good and evil, and are considered by many to simply be greater beings whose favor can be earned through devotion. Some city-states have more emphasis and power given to priesthoods and the divine, while some operate in more secular spheres. The most highly venerated gods are Aset, Anpu, and Peregrinus.
Dahabu has come a long way from its past as a superpower built on mastery of magic, but magic remains a large part of Dahabi society. Mages are at the top of the pecking order in every city-state, and most chieftains of nomadic tribes have some aptitude in magic, whether it be elemental, divine, psionic, or spiritual.
Witch-Queen's Gambit is a popular card game, reportedly created by the last Pharaoh of the Empire. It plays somewhat similarly to the game of poker, played in Western Cahyali.