Territory of Al-Alus
The Territory of Al-Alus is a powerful nation in Farah’deen, despite lacking a large military or impressive bevy of resources. Instead, their value and strength is derived from their inhabitants, the Qadir, who made their new homeland in the region after the Great Storm tore down the Sariyd Empire they once ruled. Their technological developments are impressive, and unlike the Khaneh Qadir of the south, they share it with others (namely the Regalian Empire) in return for special and useful resources. Additionally, unlike the Ardualnaar Qadir, the Al-Alusians do not war with all and merely defend their territory from incursion. With the dormancy of the Songaskian Masaya though, Al-Alus may be entering a new chapter, but for now all they can do is wait and see if such dormancy is permanent, or only temporary.
Al-Alus comes from Faraddi, the native tongue of the Qadir, and is a reference back to the city-state of Alus-Alzahra that occupied the most land in the region before the Great Storm, which was itself named for their nation’s founder, Alus. The Qadir of the Almina Peninsula often consider themselves to be “of Alus” because of their reliance on the structures built by Alus-Alzahra, especially the capital city of Alus-Ahadara.
Al-Alus was formed in the wake of the Great Storm that had rolled across Farah’deen at the behest of the Black Desert Dragons. Those Qadir who survived the collapse of the Sariyd Empire often tried to flee, but some stayed put in the ruins of their former lives. On the Almina Peninsula, there were scant remains of the Sariyd Empire who had not yet expanded their power out into that region. Instead, several polities and minor states had existed and thrived in the region but now, in the wake of the Great Storm, most were destroyed. However, there came salvation in the group of Qadir found to their south based out of what would later become Mooriye. From them guidance came, and ideas on a new way of living also emerged, with Qadir across the peninsula grouping together, finding and renovating ruins, and beginning to set up the structures later known as Hadrityas. However, unlike those Qadir to the south, who soon radicalized, the Qadir of the north sought to move ahead in life rather than become obsessed with the past like the future Khaneh Qadir were becoming. Additionally, while the people of Mooriye were growing into a powerful force that could protect the Qadir of what was rapidly expanding out into a new homeland, raids from the fledgling navy of the Songaskian Masaya convinced the Qadir of the necessity of greater unity. However, in their new way of life separated out across several dozen Hadrityas across the entire region, and thanks to the effect of the Great Storm, they sought to preserve themselves through division. Thus, they created a federation made up of all the Hadrityas within their territory and drafted a document declaring their union.
In the years following this choice, Al-Alus entered into trade deals with the Khaneh, but also with Califaera, and also located allies beyond desert shores in the form of the Regalian Empire. Keen to learn more about the Qadir, but also to contain the Songaskian Masaya which was slowing rising as a known threat in Aloria, the Regalian Empire began to supply military knowledge and supplies for the Al-Alusians to defend themselves, which was needed thanks to the surging navy of the Masaya. Fortunately, many Hadrityas were built inland, and those on the coast were intensively fortified and few in number, forcing the Songaskians to seek a land invasion as the best alternative. However, the now developed Khaneh presented too great a threat to the Masaya’s plans, and simple raids were all that could be conducted across the border. By 300 AC, Al-Alus was powerful state thanks to its wealth, largely in technology, and because of its location, allowing Regalian vessels to dock in its scant ports to conduct trade, or rest while on their military patrols. However, war eventually came to the nation in the form of the First Songaskian War. Al-Alus was assaulted, but with some Regalian support and due to repeated Khaneh offensives against the Songaskian supply lines, the region was spared destruction. Then came the Bone Horror Crisis, but thanks to their Soul Essence-based technology, the Qadir of Al-Alus killed the largest hordes of Bone Horrors that threatened them within a matter of weeks. Ever since then, the nation has been quiet, working politically with the Regalian Empire to try and get better terms than it once had. With the fall of the Songaskian Masaya as a Regalian threat, the Empire’s military ships and supplies no longer grace the ports of the nation. Only their traders remain, and so their importance has been somewhat eroded. Despite that, the Al-Alusians do not mind, for they are happy in knowing that they are free Qadir, carrying on the new way of Qadir life.
The Territory of Al-Alus is a federation of loosely united Qadir-led Hadrityas, each operating semi-independently of each other in control of an Almuh, equal in concept to a province. Each Hadritya in the union is generally singular, and their control of the surrounding territory is largely ceremonial as little of the dry terrain is inhabited. These city-state-styled regions are bound together by the Assembly, a semi-democratic body that meets every five months in the elected capital of Alus-Ahadara for a period of one full month. At this event, Khtybs, or “Speakers” make up those who assemble, with at most three members from each of the sixty-three Hadrityas that make up the territorial union able to attend, though most only send one or two. At the Assembly, diplomatic matters are considered, as are other national affairs of state, but it is also a chance for the various representatives of each Hadritya to meet and discuss internal matters, mainly of trade or of technology. The Assembly technically doesn’t have a leader, but the Supreme Councillor of Alus-Ahadara (generally an elected position given by those on the city’s elder council that lasts only for the length of time the Assembly meets) provides bureaucratic order, notes on the various sessions, as well as accommodations for over half of the delegates within the vast State Compound built within the walls of Alus-Ahadara. When votes are held in the Assembly, all of the Khtybs of a Hadritya must be in agreement or else they lose the ability to vote on that topic. Gridlock has been extremely rare within the Assembly, largely thanks to their united ideals and shared fears.
List of Rulers
- 156 AC to Present - The Assembly of Alus
Al-Alus follows the same system of laws as the Hadrityas who make it up, which is also one of the few things of the ancient Sariyd that are retained to this day. Despite its age, their law texts have displayed a remarkable pliancy and before-their-time thinking that has resulted in Regalia labeling them as “liberal”. They do not persecute forms of sexuality (though they do emphasize privacy) and both sexes have equal rights in all legal cases. However, there are some interesting quirks in their legal system due to their ideas on the soul. Qadir courts are not like Regalian ones as the Qadir have no judges, defenders, or prosecutors. Instead, the Qadir appoint three from their Hadritya’s council of elders to sit on the trial, with those accused brought before them to be questioned. Rather than proceed purely on a case by case basis, Qadir courts function off of three different levels or “Mustawas” of punishment for certain actions. The lowest level is Daw, or “light” known to involve things like petty theft, damage of simple property, or general contract disputes. These are normally met by fines and service to the Hadritya. Then comes Thaqil, the “heavy” crimes, such as murder, adultery, and the malicious destruction of machines. Here, heavy fines, long-term community service, and short term imprisonment occur. The worst punishment level, however, is Latalmus. This level includes acts such as willingly colluding with Songaskians to enslave others, worship of the Void, or other similar horrendous crimes. In such cases, the “court” would consult with their records to see precedents set by past rulings, very rarely if ever diverging from them. If they do so, the three elders who run the courtroom must produce an extensive document detailing why they have chosen to go against the past. This document is not a means of defending themselves, however, and exists solely to be passed down for future cases (though any Qadir may look at it to personally understand their ruling). Latalmus punishments are extensive long prison sentences, a permanent exiling from all Qadir places, or outright execution. An added punishment is that, theoretically, no one may collect or use the guilty party’s Soul Essence. To do so threatens to forever corrupt and contaminate a machine powered by this soul with darkness. In addition, to use this untouchable’s Soul Essence would mean they have been brought back into the fold of the Qadir, something forbidden by the nature of their exile.
Al-Alus has a very complicated series of arrangements with various world and local powers. Within Farah’deen, they count Hadravia and Mooriye as their allies, though the Khaneh Qadir of Mooriye are somewhat concerning for the mainline Qadir of Al-Alus. Despite this, all three trade in technological knowledge (though Mooriye are far more conservative in what they reveal), as well as whatever foodstuffs or unique materials might be needed or asked from each group. Then, there is the Songaskian Masaya and its allies of Malifant and Saruhanna. Al-Alus has long had a problematic relationship with the Songaskians for obvious reasons, but especially thanks to the repeated attempts by the Songaskians to pursue their goal of uniting all of Farah’deen under the rightful worship of the sun. The Almina Peninsula stands in the way of that goal though, but in recent years, especially in the wake of the Second Songaskian War, there is generally peace between the two groups. The Masaya is devoted fully to rebuilding itself, and Al-Alus is fine to let it do so. Beyond Farah’deen, Al-Alus has a strained but generally positive relationship with Califaera, the war-like Qadir found there considered by some Al-Alusians to be barbaric and a regression rather than an evolution of Qadir cultural values. Despite this, they do still trade with the nation and keep a negative view of nearby Harron due to their antagonisms against Califaera. Finally, there are the wider nations of Aloria, specifically the Regalian Empire and those beneath its banner. The Regalians have long been keenly interested in acquiring Qadir weapons knowledge for themselves, and in the past several decades, extensive trade between the two groups occurred with the Al-Alusians receiving special materials and substances to experiment within their machines, military equipment to help them defend themselves, and more. However, in the wake of the Second Songaskian War and the resulting dormancy of the Masaya, the Regalian Empire appears to have generally cooled their opinion on the importance of the Qadir. The Qadir themselves have also cooled a fair bit, leaving the Crown Alliance during the Anglian Mist Crisis and remaining out of it until today. The Territory of Al-Alus is still an ally of Regalia, make no mistake, but the intense activity between the two has slowly dwindled, with most of the trade between the two now coming from private rather than state enterprises of Regalia to the scattered few ports of the Territory.
Al-Alus is unique as a nation, given that it actually lacks a national military and has no military command hierarchy to support warfare. Instead, each Hadritya in the Territory is in control of its own forces and all exist within a pact of mutual defense, requiring that forces from other Hadrityas come to the aid of any in danger. However, another unique feature of the nation’s military is that it is not made up of armies, but defenders. Al-Alus is not an offensively focused nation and instead ensures that their Hadrityas are heavily defended as bastions of their knowledge and technology. Their technology is also what helps them in their defense, as the Al-Alusians focus on ranged weapons to use when attacking from afar from atop fortified positions. Many of these weapons are surprisingly unadvanced but are complex in how they can be folded up and transported, and also due to their ease of use. When engaging in close combat, though they avoid it, the defenders of Al-Alus are extremely spirited, defending their land with all their strength. The nation has a non-existent navy, instead only possessing a merchant fleet for trade with other nations. Additionally, it is the Hadrityas of the south and of the coastline that are the most fortified structures in Al-Alus, hell-bent on protecting the interior.
The Territory of Al-Alus has a fairly poor economy thanks to the limited materials that can be traded between people. The arid region lacks wood, water, and varied useful animal life in abundance, and so what little exists is often kept close to the Hadrityas so heavily dependent on them. However, where there is plenty or abundance, it is often near the coastline, where the ocean water provides ample fishing grounds, while also allowing easier access to normally archaic, if not submerged, rivers. It is also on the coastline that trade with the outside world is most commonly conducted, the materials reaching the ports and being traded within the Hadrityas found there before being sent inland by those on their Time of Tajul. The most common external materials traded inland are bulk metals or unique machine pieces, often coming from the Regalian Empire who in return receive technology themselves, or the Qadir clockworkers to help them develop desired technology. The caravan traders then take the supplies across the region inland, in a ripple effect, where the arrival of new supplies allows for others to be traded elsewhere. This trading conducted by those within the caravans is often one of bartering, while larger transactions have come to be dependent on the Regal. While foreign currency, due to their long-held economic ties to the Empire, it has grown to become immensely important.
Al-Alus is almost completely dedicated to the Esrah Alwattah, the concept of constructing an artificial god. Within the heart of most Hadrityas of Al-Alus, an Almuttaq sits and performs its duty of cryptically advising those who come before it. As they are mainline Qadir, the Al-Alusians also possess the full range of beliefs and concepts of the Esrah Alwattah faith. Those who are not of the faith are extremely few and are the rare outsiders who mostly populate the port cities and the capital. Their faiths are respected, and a single proper Unionist chapel can be found within Alus-Ahadara, though no other faith has such a privilege.
Al-Alus is a complicated state as each Hadritya within its union has its own flag or identifying symbol, these being hung within the Assembly at the start of each new session. However, the Territory does still have a unifying symbol, that being a six-toothed cog of brown or copper brown sitting on a field of yellow bordered by blue on the top and two sides, though the bottom lacks such a border. This is thought to represent the Almina Peninsula, surrounded by water, while the cog on the yellow is symbolic of the nation of clockwork engineers surviving in the desert.
- Some of the most notable Hadrityas in Al-Alus beyond the capital of Alus-Ahadara are Burjja Tharwah, Makan Alma, Burj Aldiqa, Kokab-Parna and Maeqil Alsulta.