Rise and Fall of Valencia
Geographical name: Nisira Desert (Nuh – sai – ra)
Name of citizens: Nisiran (Ne – sai – ren)
Government: A collection of tribes currently led by Sikkar al-’Ummid, Chosen of the Prophet
Real Wolrd Inspiration: Islamic Empire/Turks, with a little bit of India
“We are the guiding light on this world.”
A long time ago the Nisiran people were scattered tribes concerned only with fighting one another, then came their religion. It is said their Prophet was born of the desert wind and was an incarnation of fire, and that He told his people of the Truth. He united the tribes with his words and trained them to fight, creating a sacred unit known as the Flamekin which was composed only of the greatest and most devout of warriors. These Flamekin were said to have ascended beyond humans and became incarnations of fire.
There are still Nisiran warriors who follow the path of the Revnant, eschewing all material comforts and seeking only perfection in combat. They hope to be the first Flamekin in generations, to resurrect the legend and unite the tribes once again.
Since the Prophet’s death, there has been a major division in Nisira, stemming from a succession struggle. Two Caliphates, the Khayri and Imran, claim to be the rightful successors to the Prophet. The Khayri Caliphate to the east remains divided and trapped within the harsh deserts of Nisira, while the Imran Caliphate has found nicer climes in the north west where it has been allowed to flourish and grow. While both remain powerful in their own right, the settlement in the west has allowed for a more contemporary standing army to be formed and for more time to be spent on studies, allowing for more military advancements. The Imran Caliphate was the one to develop black powder, allowing for the invention of guns and cannons, and guarded the secret closely. Unfortunately for them, the Confederacy of Jenaro got their hands on it, and the two nations have since been at odds with one another, but Jenaro’s navy is now completely unrivaled.
“Let no more blood be spilled amongst kin!”
Nisiran society differs from tribe to tribe, but those under Sikkar follow a strict set of rules that are guided by honour. There are no real communities as the Nisiran desert is an inhospitable place and tribes must keep moving, but there are temporary settlements to guard vital water and small agricultural areas. Therein lies the problem with Sikkar’s united tribes: there’s simply too many to sustain in any given area.
To make up for this, Sikkar wages a raiding-type of warfare against the Torosii, taking what supplies they can from undefended farms and villages. Given that the Nisirans developed this type of war in their early tribal stages they are quite good at it, and to this point the Torosii have yet to find an effective counter measure against it. While the Torosii cavalry is used to running down opponents, they cannot compete against Nisiran mounted archers in the desert, nor do they know of any vital settlements to strike at and end the threat.
The Imran Caliphate has benefited in some ways from its settlement. While its people are no longer hardened to survive in any climate, their culture has flourished and a new golden age for them has been ushered in. With many mercenaries to do the majority of the fighting for them, the people of the Imran Caliphate has expanded its scholarly pursuits. Aside from the obvious military advancements, they have also improved upon irrigation and construction techniques (though the Aurelians are still unrivaled as industrial engineers). Many of their Madrasahs have swelled with scholars the world over and their major cities hold regular debates. Even literacy amongst the lower classes has advanced, making their religion that much more personal.
“Nisira does not allow for fancy hats and capes.”
Nisirans are darker skinned, their tones ranging from a cinnamon brown to a deep tanned look. Nisirans are generally the same height as Aurelians, but tend toward lean musculature because many lack access to copious amounts of food.
Their clothing is voluminous and baggy to combat extended exposure to the sun, and their colouration is generally quite drab. Chieftans, entertainers, and priests will sometimes dye their clothing to be more vibrant, but their colours will always be associated with the desert and with fire. Revenants are easily identified by their worn-in weapon, torn clothes, and the swirling tattoos that cover their entire bodies.
“Where there used to be but one flame, now there is but many embers.”
The Nisiran religion believes in the One True God, and seeks to spread his Truth to unbelievers. This makes it very easy for Nisiran commanders to recruit fresh troops, as any believer (man or woman) is eager to serve and be rewarded in the afterlife. While their followers may be fanatical, Nisiran priests are scholarly and well respected for their intelligence, often fulfilling important roles in society as judges and administrators.
Since the death of the Prophet, however, the Nisiran religion has splintered immensely and various tribes follow various tenets which are sometimes at odds with one another. Thus, the unifying force in the past is now the greatest obstacle to overcome.
The Flame of Truth: The most popular lead by Sikkar al-’Ummid
The Desert Wind: A more radical sect believing in exclusive adherence to the Laws passed down from the Prophet.
The Law Givers: Perhaps the most radical of sects, members live in secret amongst given tribes and assassinate those they believe to be a threat to their sect.