Alazarim Trade Confederacy

Within the borders of the Alazarim Trade Confederacy, civilization manages to grip the land with a reasonable approximation of order. Cities within the Confederacy are under a sacred bond to help each other in times of need, but this bond has many loopholes, and so it is sometimes ignored or downplayed, unless it is financially useful to assist another city. However, because of the financial interdependence of the major cities of the Trade Confederacy, this makes it quite likely that each city does indeed help its neighbors, out of self-interest. Culturally, the Alazarim (as those within the Trade Confederacy are usually called by others) are highly mercantile, and aggressive though fair in their dealings. There are a few pirates and smugglers in their midst, but these are a minority, and are not actively pursued so long as they behave themselves on land and do not disrupt trade too terribly.

Major Races: Humans, halflings, beastfolk, dwarves, gnomes.

Government: Trade confederacy / Various (by city).

Nation Alignment: Neutral.

Major Cities:
Red City: Named for its red walls of fired and reinforced clay, which serves as the primary building material, this northeasternmost city is also the chiefmost in the Alazarim Trade Confederacy, coming as close to being the capital of the place as is possible. This city is a tolerant melting pot of cultures, though the prevailing culture of Crescent is the most dominant. It is ruled by a council called "The Seven Sons and Daughters," composed of the hereditary leaders of the seven tribes that originally founded the city and the Confederacy. These leaders are called "papa" or "father" when male, or "mama" and "mother" if female, and refer to others within the city as their sons and daughters. The city itself regards these seven as its children, and the city is known to have a living spirit, which can manifest as a Spirit of the Land to defend the Red City, and can even grant clerical spells to its worshipers (Community, Travel, and Water domains, any alignment allowed as long as they work for the city's best interests), though only as long as its clerics remain within the confines of the Alazarim Trade Confederacy - the moment they step outside of its boundaries, their spellcasting ability instantly ceases. This living city is noted for being the home of many powerful clerics, many of whom draw power from the Red City itself, and several potent wizards who do a brisk business creating magic items, making it not uncommon to see all manner of wonders in use.

Blackwell: A trade city that borders the Firelands and the Silent Sands, being just inside the edge of the Alazarim Trade Confederacy, this city is built upon what was once a great jungle, when, ages in the past, Crescent was still connected to Hydra. Now it is the site of some of the most abundant oil springs on Therafim. Presently, this oil is traded as a source of fuel, and as a base for creating a variety of different alchemical products, including tanglefoot bags and alchemist's fire. Blackwell, thus, is a place where many alchemists are known to gather, as well as some very shrewd and even ruthless traders. Almost every citizen is expected to be able to fight at a moment's notice, however, because of the constant danger of raiders from the many nomadic tribes, who see it as no sin to kill and steal when they live in a land that has so little. Blackwell is forced to import most of its food, and is forced to ration water during about half of the year, though it is able to survive with a few very deep water wells found outside the tainting influence of the many oil springs.

Glitter Ridge: This is a heavily-fortified mining town set along the edge of the Sunset Range, which hacks out a living from those mountains, producing many minerals, especially precious gems, and most especially diamonds. Mithril is also relatively more abundant here, and closer to the surface than usual. Glitter Ridge is one of the few settlements on Crescent that has attracted dwarven settlers, as well as a substantial gnomish minority. Most precious materials found here are transported to Blackwell, where skilled artisans work them into better shapes, and then transport them north to Red City for shipment to the rest of the world, or to the Firelands, and the wealth of Anubast.

Bahgraihb: The furthest east of all cities on the continent of Crescent, Bahgraib is actually located on the large island off the tip of the northeastern coast of Crescent. Most of the island, named Valisar, is half-wild subtropical forest, though it is also rich in spices and other natural products, even moreso than most places on the Crescent mainland. Because of its situation and its resources, Bahgraihb is a major port city for ships about to make the big jumpoff to Avalon City, Summer Country and the Isle of the Mighty, or coming from those locations. Despite its central location, however, the Sultan of Bahgraihb keeps his city small in size, and relatively easy to manage because of this, as well as keeping his realm in harmony with nature. This means that Bahgraihb is not fabulously wealthy, despite its ideal location, but its people tend to be happier and healthier than in more commercial regions.

Some notes on cultural views follows:

Alazarim, Culture