The Citadel of Hashim
The Citadel of Hashim
The Citadel of Hashim, or quite simply Hashim, stands to the north of Shallal and the West of Q’Roth. It once was known as a paragon of knightly virtues and to this day is still famed for the Lancers of Hashim. However in the last few decades the burden of time had destroyed those values and wealthy merchants The Oligarchs took over the most feared of which is the Kromarch who rules from the Citadel. The qualities of the Lancers of old have gone and although they are still militarised they are now little better than the thuggish slavers that they once ran down in the deserts surrounding the region.
The Citadel itself is an ancient structure, standing up a steep hill built over catacombs of which access to is closely guarded and fiercely protected. None know who built The Citadel for the structure itself appears a mix of Human, Dwarven and Elven design but over the centuries the city has sprang up around it. Whilst it was once only known as “The Citadel” more and more people are now calling it “The Palace of the Kromarch”. A natural lake runs from the base of the hill which feeds the city most of its water but with the demands of the lancers and the large population water shortages are frequent.
Hashim itself currently competes with Shallal for trade, what you can’t buy or is considered illegal further down the coast in Shallal is regularly seen on sale in the markets. Taxes in recent years have been reduced on merchants, so long as they have purchased the correct papers, to compete with the “City at the centre of the World”. Three grand roads lead out of the city; The Slave road to the west (formerly known as The Spice road), The Steed road to the south and The Silk road to the north.
The slave trade, since the Kromarc seized power, has gone from non-existent to the cities primary trade, the hardy stock of the local desert tribes making for excellent labourers. Slaves themselves are branded at the base of the neck on sale with a mark of ownership. The Lancers of Hashim in recent years have even been known to range as far south as the villages that fall under Shallal’s aegis raiding and slaving. What The Council must think is unknown but rumours of war brewing in the region are frequent. The outer regions of Hashim’s regime are poorly defended but The Lancers keep a close guard on the natural springs and oasis in the region. It would be a long hard march through the desert for any army raised in Shallal to lay siege to The Citadel itself without these resources, even if they were to travel along The Steed road, the quickest route to Hashim.
To the north are the great hives where much of the silk produce sold in the grand markets is farmed. Giant silk worms are bred and their produce harvested. In recent years spawnings have become sickly and the slave trade has overtaken it.
Hashim is also famed for its steeds, whilst they were once traded for with the desert tribes in recent years the Lancers now take what they want, when they want. The stench that comes from the Steed gate is generally appalling and many people traverse it with perfumed masks
Hashim itself has undergone drastic reconstruction in recent years with the coming of the Oligarchs. Where once most of the citizenry lived within the walls houses have been purchased and demolished and grand palaces erected in emulation of The Citadel. Only the very rich and the lancers live within the walls now although there are several inns and taverns within the walls which visiting merchants frequently patronise whilst rooms are expensive, they are of exquisite luxury. A shanty town as sprung up outside the walls because of this and many citizens now begrudge the Oligarchs despite the wealth brought to the city. Taxes are hard on them but many say “Tis better a to be a beggar in Hashim than a rich man anywhere else” whether this is true or not is a matter of conjecture.
In the western outer regions of the regime taxes are harsh on villages and those not paying are likely to see themselves sold as slaves. A resistance movement known as “The Children of Sand” is known to look to free slaves and in the last year with the decline of the Lancers has won a few victories causing more of the Lancers resources that guard the southern regions near to Shallal to be diverted to hunting them down. They have managed to evade the Lancers so far but it is seen as only a matter of time until they are crushed.
Points of Interest
El-Hime is the only port town in the region. It has a high walled harbour which has been its defence from attack by the sea. Smugglers dread the watchtowers that extend several miles down the coast away from the Wyvern delta.
Al-Hash is the southernmost settlement in Hashim along the Steed road. To the west is fertile and has good grazing towards the Himen lowlands. The lancers traditionally use this as a base of operations and stabling for their initiates and trainees and guarding the southern marches.
A small fortified settlement which guards the source of the river Alsh which feeds the Himen lowlands.
The Desert of Hashim
The western Desert of Hashim extends many miles to the north, east and south. The Steed road extends through its most southern parts eventually meeting with Shallals lands
The Himen Halflings claimed this land as their own when The Oligarchs took Hashim, The Oligarchs scoffed at this but were soon frustrated by the Halflings persistence and knowledge of the area. Riding on Dire Hares they fight a guerrilla war through the long grasses of this region against The Lancers.
The Dari Wastes
A harsh plateaued area with very little natural water. There are many spires and ruins in the region hinting at a lost civilisation. Griffons are very common in this region roosting in the spires and rock formations.
The Legion of Azek is based in these northern mountainous regions. Whilst they are mainly mercenaries & raiders they are known for their treachery and are likely to take coin from both sides of a conflict.
An elite group of Lancers mounted on Griffons guard the conjunction of the River Wyvern. It’s spire overhangs a wide gorge. Atop the spire you can see for many miles to Hashim in the south west and Azeks territory in the north east. It is said that a single man could hold the sheltered bridge that leads across the gorge to the spire. Many ballista and catapult also guard the passage and several assaults by Azek have been turned away in recent years by the Griffon lancers.
The Worm that Turned
Once a purple worm larger than any seen before burrowed through Hashim. How it was eventually turned to stone has long been lost (Most assume that a wizard did it) but it is now a bleak and desolate prison, and those who enter do not leave.
The River Wyvern
The River Wyvern is a long, treacherous river which supplies most of the water to Hashim. Most of the southern part is fairly gentle after it reaches the confluence at Griffon’s spire but the twin tails of it are brutally rough and prone to either bouts of extreme drought or unexplained flooding. It reaches the sea at the Wyvern Delta and the lands between there and Hashim are used for farming.
The Devils Shell
A many mile long, many layered series of canyons which is the source of the Wyvern. If you look at parts of it from a certain angle it looks like a devil mercilessly leering.
The Silken Spires
Great silk worm hives exist in the North which have been cultivated for centuries. It is this trade which saw Hashim gain most of its original wealth. Recent worm spawnings have become sickly threatening this important trade.