|Nations and States|
|Full Name||Asha States|
|Regional Languages||See Asha|
Each of the Asha States occupies a particular place in their small corner of the world. Some are grand, expansive and powerful, while others are minor. While many of them are disconnected from one another, they are still allies at the end of the day, and have rarely gone to war with each other. Instead, they have been forced to turn back outside forces intent on taking what they possess, and have gained strength in recent years as the Regalian Empire grows more intent on better tying the Ashal Isles into their sphere of influence.
The Queendom of Bestaal is the only Asha State remaining on mainland Daendroc, located between several of the region’s Ailor states amidst the ruins of Altalar cities. It exists here due to an ancient promise between Asha warriors. At the end of The Great Journey, when the Asha gathered at the last remaining Dewamenet Gateway, a group promised to stay behind, and to guide further Asha home while also defending those fleeing in front of them from any harm. So, while thousands formed the first Living Metal bridge, these warriors led by future Queen Mankhu-amun held the barren lands around them, and fended off early Altalar and Ailor offensives intent on destroying the Asha. By 30 AC, the Queendom had emerged, and rather than leave, the populace remained where they were, forever guarding the ceremonial gateway to the rest of their people. Today, the region remains poor and generally isolated, but also one of the most diverse Asha regions in Aloria. By necessity, Ailor, Altalar, Avanthar and others were allowed to live within the region so long as they were peaceful, or at least deferential to the Asha. This number has grown, and so the racial minorities of the area are substantially higher than other Asha States. The region is also still a monarchy, ruled today by the warrior queen Sekhnehettem II, great-granddaughter of the illustrious Mankhu-amun. As a result of staying behind , the Asha of the region never gained the same kind of access to their ancient technology as their neighbors, and so Bestaal remains one of the poorest Asha States. The cities in the region are, as mentioned earlier, all built from the ruins of Altalar settlements, with the lone example of old Asha architecture existing in the form of the colossal Dewamenet Gateway, sitting on a span of cliffs on the nation’s coastline and surrounded by other ancient fragments of the Dewamenet Empire.
Azzol is the smallest Asha Queendom both in landmass and population, located in the middle of all the other Asha States, and serving as a religious capital. Rumored to house the way for those with good Kharma to enter the golden desert upon death, the capital is essentially one giant necropolis, serving as a massive temple for the dead, where the Asha Fleets deliver their coffins of the departed who were lost at sea to be processed and buried in the necropolis mastaba, or tomb houses. A notable group within this state is the mortuary cult, The Sefakhem, whose duty it is to prepare the remains and burial rites of the fallen Asha who are delivered to them. While the trust in this cult is middling, as some would consider them to be religious zealots that practice a dead faith with a ritual that nobody believes actually exists, they are still respected for the services they provide, as many still believe that their rituals are essential in ensuring that the departed are able to pass on to paradise. While most of these rituals are kept private within the cult, it is known that the mortuary cultists practice a form of mummification on the remains, embalming the bodies before wrapping them in linen. Outside of the cult, Azzol is ruled over by Queen Azsamakh III, whose chief duty is to maintain the security of the various temples dotting her lands. Each smaller city is built on a grid style plan, with the primary temple in the center. Closest to the temple are communal areas, where leisure activities and minor bartering takes place. Further away from the center are residential dwellings, which receive fresh water from the Mewer Pyramids via expensive waterway networks that make the Regalian Sewers appear primitive in construction. Despite being so close to the necropolis mastabas, the Asha citizens of Azzol are very comfortable living next to the deceased, and consider it an honor to be living so close to the gateways to the golden desert.
Ssil is one of the more significant Asha nations, as unlike others, it is dominated by the Rakhet subrace, a group rare everywhere else in Aloria. Ssil was one of the first landmasses of the Ashal Islands settled, and while the group that would go on to form the Queendom of Bestaal was trusted, a second line of defense was desired. Among the travelers of The Great Journey, there was the Kaz Caravan, a group of all Rakhet led by a male Asha of the Mew Clade. He and his group volunteered to settle Ssil, and transform it into a fortress upon which would break the slaving vessels and armies of their enemies. A considerable portion of Rakhet joined him from outside his Caravan, along with a number of others from the other subraces, and so King Kazhotep I came to rule over Ssil. As the decades wore on, his words proved true, and the military of Ssil grew powerful, as did its naval strength. While never equal to that of a major Fleet, Ssil’s three minor Fleets soon came to dominate the region’s waters, causing frequent clashes between Ssil and the nearby Ailor nations of Massif and Basqlierra. These conflicts, collectively called (offensively by the Ailor) the “Cat Scratch Conflicts,” eventually petered out after 290 AC, when the Regalian Navy entered the region in force and the Empire itself began to court the Asha States. Ssil still sabre-rattles from time to time, and its vessels are sometimes viewed more as pirates than defenders by the people of these Ailor countries, but overall, Ssil keeps its eyes turned south, toward the silent coastline of northern Teled Methen. A monarchy still ruled by the descendants of Kazhotep I, currently represented by Kazhotep IV, governs Ssil, and the regional population is fiercely Asha, only possessing one Fair-Port at the gentle insistence of other rulers at the College of Mother’s Hands. The region has also retained its high number of Rakhet Asha, with many being of the Mew Clade like their much respected leaders.
Pharah is a Major Nation, of extreme importance to the Asha as the leading nation politically and geographically, with the largest population of all Asha States. Their wealth is also enormous, and they have proven a powerful force in regional politics for decades. To learn more about the nation, click HERE.
The Queendom of Kharkoor is the lustrous epicentre of the logging market of the Asha people and sister nation to Nakhoor, both sitting at some of the furthest points away from the Daendroc coastline. The Great Journey that began after the fall of the Allorn Empire saw some Asha take to the oceans and found great peace with this adventurous lifestyle. But their lifestyle was treacherous, dangerous and most of all, damaging to their vessels. While initially rather quiet as a region, Kharkoor’s unusual technology in growing tremendous trees soon brought Corsairs to their shores in droves, to seek out lumber to repair their vessels. To fulfill this niche, Queen Hakshesh II oversaw the construction of grand jungle-like tree nurseries, which could grow trees from saplings at an accelerated rate and supply the ever-expanding Corsair fleets with building and repair material. Their rivers were diverted and used to irrigate these grand projects, while their machines were further fine-tuned to enhance the existing process. Today, under the auspices of Queen Nefw I, Kharkhoor is still famously flush with green, filled with exotic flora, vines and huge trees that are used creatively in the architecture of the land. The larger, older trees are used as the foundation columns for homes, apartments, markets, and trading posts. The majority of the land is populated by Merew, the Asha subrace most suited to this type of environment. The primary religious view there emphasizes the Baskarr’s depiction as a jungle cat who prowls and thrives in the thick vegetation. The region is also well known for its extensive shipyards and repair facilities, which carpet the coastline and render service to all Corsairs in need, and even foreign vessels (so long as that facility is within a Fair-Port).
The Kingdom of Nakhoor is called the Life-Forge Kingdom, and for good reason: it is quite literally the lifeblood of the other kingdoms of the Asha people, as it is the epicentre of the Living Metal irrigation infrastructure relied upon by all other Asha states. Because it has the ability to remotely shut off the Living Metal irrigations of all other states, the Kingdom has supreme relevance. In fact, unity among the Asha is impossible largely due to the widespread fear that Nakhoor could fall into the wrong hands, causing a drastic shift in power among the Asha states. It is also a major contributing factor to the lack of internal conflict. The nation was established after The Great Journey, when traveling Asha discovered the remnants of the ancient control mechanisms there. Much of it had been decimated and worn by age, but with the Asha’s unique powers, the gears began to turn, and the state emerged around the lynchpin controls of the Asha’s Race’s future. Over the next several decades the settlers continued to discover their ancestral technologies and the importance of Nakhoor, finding it at the centre of the Living Metal infrastructure throughout the land and working to fully reactivate the machines known as the “Mothers Life.” Debate about who among the Asha had the best claim to Nakhoor, due to its importance, began in earnest, ultimately resulting in a brief war. It was eventually decided that the region belonged to those who found it, and declared that no outside nation was to have influence over it. Nakhoor is best known today for its towering pyramids that span out evenly from the capital city, a mix of sandstone and chrome-like inlay with a polished tip, delivering Living Metal to each Kingdom in all directions. Nakhoor has a largely flat landscape, which has made it easy to lay down the infrastructure and restore the region’s pyramids. The major population of the state are the Nefer, known for their intelligence and ability to lead, and are ruled by King Sekti III.
The Corsair Fleets are formally part of the Asha States, even if many outsiders would see a host of ships and watercraft as unfitting to properly constitute a state. Yet for the Asha, it is perfectly logical, and one must admit the sheer size, scope, and technology of the three major Fleets is enough to warrant at least consideration of the Race’s reasoning.
- Medes Corsair Fleet: The Medes Corsair Fleet is mostly active around Songaskian and Hadravian waters, though it frequently takes an annual trip back to the Asha States for supplies and religious festivities. The Medes Corsair Fleet has become largely adept at coastal raiding instead of boarding, feeling right at home in the desert sands of Farah’deen. Rather than having a single leader, the fleet is led by two Senef Asha lovers, Lady Saalamun and Lady Vasnaf.
- Sefetjew Fleet: The Sefetjew Corsair Fleet is most commonly known for Commander Kahnef (commonly also called Kahn among Ailor), or the “Demon Claw” as he was called by his victims. The Sefetjew Corsair Fleet is extremely hostile to all foreign entities and still frequently engages in military conflict with the Regalian Fleet if they find the prey easy enough. They continue to raid Ithania, Kilarallis and Daenshore, and occasionally venture to Etosil. Unlike commonly assumed, the Sefejtew is in fact not led by Commander Kahnef, but by Lord Maswuhotep.
- Kheni-Hetef Fleet: The Kheni-Hetef Fleet was once a Corsair Fleet, but has largely become more pacified due to their agricultural shift. The Kheni-Hetef discovered a way to use Living Metal to purify and irrigate with seawater, allowing them to build floating farms and thus rear livestock on the seas. The inclusion of Mai-Allar into their fleet due to numerous trips to Hadar diversified their society, and even Dwarves joined them for the curiosity of Living Metal and their expeditions to faraway lands discovering new materials. The Kheni-Hetef Fleet moves around a lot, but usually anchors in the north of Hadar to remain in close proximity to the Mai-Allar underwater communities. The Kheni-Hetef Fleet is ruled by Lord Ammunakhonet, who is rumored to be four hundred years old, and covered in whipping scars from his time as an Altalar slave, his face permanently covered with a feline mask. He is so frail that he has to be carried around by his bodyguards, but still wields immense authority and respect.