"The jewel of the burning wastes, the pearl
of the sun, the Heart of the World, fair Aramanda, unmatched in beauty,
boundless in splendor."
- Oltarid Porata, Herald of House Porata, Aukaria
|Ruler||His Imperial Majesty, Heir to the Soverign Light, Holder of the Sacred Star Sceptre, Light of the Dome of Heaven, the Emperor Sovlang|
|Demographics||Human (Padashi) 39%, Human (Anquar) 19%, Human (Ithrian Southern) 10%, Magrakian 7%, Orc 5%, Ogre 4%, Alakubu (Fire Isles) 4%, Esthari 3%, Aswanar 3%, Secambru 2%, Sybrenar 2%, Other 2%|
|Languages||Padashi 80%, Quaryn 10%, Southern 5%, Other 5%|
|Nationality||The Great Padashan Empire|
|National Colors||Tan and black|
|Year Founded||312 CY|
|Natural Resources||Sandstone, copper, rubies, marble, silk, precious stones, orichalcum, cotton, rice, wheat, lamb, goats, camels, river oxen, llamas, tea, coffee, herbs, dates, almonds, figs, olives, garlic, potatoes, palm trees, upine trees|
|Manufactured Goods and Major Exports||Stone carvings, silk textiles and clothing, fine jewelry, pottery, woven rugs, various fruits, casmian wine and tapestries|
|Government Type||Imperial Autocracy|
|Government Stability||Very Stable|
|Enemies||Anquar, Borderlands, Secambru|
|Walled||Yes. Stone curtain wall.|
|Technology Level||Middle Ages|
|Primary Religion||Hramish (Official State Religion)|
|Climate||Temperate to subtropical|
|Terrain||Coastal beaches and grasslands and arid sparsely forested hills surrounding the city, desert|
Aramanda is the capital city of the Great Padashan Empire and one of the largest cities on the continent of Qeshir. Aramanda is said by many to be the most civilized, most beautiful, most powerful city in all the world. This is a city of majestic towers, gleaming domes, universities and libraries. The bustling harbor sees merchant ships from many distant nations and their cargos fill the great market square every month. Aramanda is a shining example of Padashan magic, art, science and culture. While much of the nation is burning sands and arid rocky badlands, the citizens of Aramanda walk among verdant gardens and bubbling fountains.
Aramanda is home to the great Dome of Eternity which houses the legendary Oracle, the artifact that had allowed the empire to grow to its full potential. Aramanda is the pinnacle of Padashan architecture. Most great buildings are crowned with at least one central dome, which is often topped off by a spire, sometimes flying a banner. The greatest imperial buildings often have several domes. Brickwork often involves different types of stone interwoven for a checkered or patterned look.
The city of Aramanda was built beginning in 694 CY. It was a planned city and was designed, from the layout of he streets and parks to the tallest spire of the Dome of Eternity, as an imperial capital city. It took a century and a half to complete the initial phase of the city including most of the government buildings. Aramanda has expanded slowly as the empire around it has.
The palace of Aramanda is a city unto itself. This immense palatial estate has hundreds of rooms, courtyards, bridges, balconies and gardens. A number of garrisons and fortresses are connected to the main palace. It is difficult to call the palace a mere "building". It is more of an architectural complex spanning an entire section of the city. Some 7,000 people live and work in the palace
The Dome of Heaven
The main throne room of the emperor is an immense circular chamber 340 meters across (1,115 feet). It is the heart of the Imperial Palace. The dome-shaped roof of this cavernous throne room is called Dome of Heaven. This architectural wonder was created through ingenious structural design and magical enhancement. The interior of the dome is tiled with 2.5 million gold tiles which catch and reflect light. On special occasions, the Dome of Heaven will be enchanted to show breathtaking skies, clouds or astronomical events. This is done purely for aesthetics and to impress visitors.
Near the center of the city, connected to the imperial palace grounds, is a building known as the Dome of Eternity. As its name suggests, this building is crowned by a huge dome. Within this beautiful, ornate building is the Oracle. The Oracle is an artifact of the nation - a powerful machine of iron and gears, pistons and crystal rods. It is powered by magic, fueled by the energy of Drellis. This enchanted machine is intelligent and self-aware. At the heart of the machine is a series of lenses, which are positioned by means of the gears and pistons. When operated, the various lenses and filters align and become the "Eye of the Oracle" through which the future may be glimpsed. The leaders of Padashan consult the Oracle to see the future, witness the past, spy on enemies and find the answers to their questions. It is because of the Oracle that Padashan has become so powerful.
The Oracle was created many centuries ago by Shargorath, the greatest Padashani wizard of all time. When activated, the gears align the lenses and the great dome overhead opens like a flower allowing the sunlight to flood the chamber. The light of Drellis is required to power this machine and it will only function during a Drellis dominant phase. In a thundering mechanical voice, the Oracle will ask "What counsel is sought?". The Oracle can then be questioned and visions will be shown in the great Eye.
The Dome of Eternity and the Oracle are both kept under very heavy guard. This great device is the pride of the Padashan Empire and the rules of Padashan will do anything to protect it.
The Imperial Guard is a force of 27,000 well trained city soldiers that keep Aramanda safe. These men are divided up into battalions each with a specific function. There is the Harbor Guard that apprehends criminals, monitors boat traffic and such. The City Guard patrol the streets and alleys of Aramanda in groups of four. The Imperial Palace Guard patrols the palace and protects the Emperor.
No one, other than the Imperial Guard, may carry a weapon in the presence of the emperor. This law is strictly enforced. A special detachment of the Imperial City Guard serves as the Emperor's personal bodyguards. He will typically have at least six to eight of these highly trained and heavily armed men with him at any time.
The Hramakan is the name of the main temple complex and headquarters of the Hramish faith. The Hramakan is actually 14 separate temples in a large campus complex located in the south end of the city. It is walled and is a veritable city unto itself. It has its own police force, it's own laws, it's own fortifications. Some 700 priests call it home and they are attended by over 2000 soldiers, servants, guards and advisors.
The Main Market Square
The Main Market of Padashan is a section of the city with 16 raised stone brick covered pedestals of varying sizes. Each is 20 foot tall, flat on top and dozens of yards on a side. Steps on all sides lead up to it with wide ramps for allowing wagons and carts access. The market square sits right next to the harbor. Each stone pedestal is dedicated to a different type of trade and barter:foods, wine, weapons, armor, livestock, gems and jewelry, magic, silk, pottery, rugs, alchemy and so on.
During Market Day, which is held once each month, the pedestals are filled with tents, carts and crowds of buyers and sellers. Many transactions take place on the steps of the pedestals.
The University of Padashan
The University of Padashan is a huge government sponsored institute of higher learning which serves thousands of students. The University is comprised of seventeen separate colleges within. It teaches a broad spectrum of disciplines including astronomy, physics, mathematics, science, geometry, etc. Has over 500 teachers and over 10,000 students. The campus is 90 acres. The current Grand Khan greatly favors education and is attempting to usher in an Age of Enlightenment for Padashan.
Sovlang the Radiant, The Emperor
The emperor rules over a court of opulence and decadence far removed from the commoners of his realm. He has fourteen wives, countless concubines, forty seven children, three brothers and three sisters. His brothers, sisters and several of his wives hold various political offices which give them some modicum of control in the political sector. The Emperor is a young man of twenty seven years with a keen mind and iron willed discipline. He is a driven man dedicating to his perfecting himself and his empire. He studies with scholars, spars with swordmasters and debates with theologians. He is likewise dedicated to his empire, dreaming of conquering all barbaric "outlands" and uniting all realms in a harmonious world of peace.
Harand ibn Falashed ibn Mahoun, Supreme Military Leader
Harand is the supreme military leader of the Padashan Imperial Armed Forces. All generals answer to him and he answers to the Emperor.
Samat ibn Kirathi, High Priest of the Hramish Faith
Samat Kirathi is the High Priest of the Hramish Faith. He can always be found at the Hramakan being attended by dozens of servants and priests. He holds mass once each day.
Prakash Mulchadani, Grand Vizier, Chief Advisor to the Emperor
Prakash Mulchadani is the chief advisor to the Emperor. He is cunning, wise and ruthless. He has great influence in the court and commands jealous respect from most of the nobles. He is a sorcerer of great repute. He lived for some years in Vaulstav and studied with several Vaullian masters. He is well known throughout the Empire.
Xantriss Kuban ibn Velkanus, Chief Magistrate
Lord Xantriss is the chief legal authority of the Empire. He runs all the prisons and oversees the city's judges. He makes monthly reports to the Emperor. Formerly, a great military commander and well known warrior, Xantriss was injured and forced him to retire. He is cunning administrator and ruthless overlord. Padashan prisons have a reputation for being particularly harsh and Xantriss is directly responsible for their character.
Zepor ibn al-Mahtar, Royal Court Composer
A talented musician and composer of all the official music for the court. Zepor is a favorite of the emperor and enjoys a great deal of fame and popularity.
Humble Almahdi, Thief and Beggar
Humble Almahdi is a likeble and charismatic beggar with a quick wit and a silver tongue. He is talkative, funny and fluent in several languages. He is a slender man and not at all physically intimidating. He is clever and street smart, but somewhat cowardly. Almahdi is not a native Padashani, but rather a Juenta from the Juenta Kingdoms to the south, specifically the city-state of Herota. He fled there after stealing treasure and a valuable sceptre from the King of Herota years ago. He sold the loot, fled to the north and began living off the money in Aramanda. He is a wanted man in the Juenta Kingdoms and has been living in self-imposed exile ever since. After years of living like a king, he exhausted the money. Having blown his entire fortune through extravagant living, he believes the gods have "taught him a valuable lesson" and now considers himself "humbled", hence the name. In truth, he's not that humble, but quite the braggart. He now makes a meager living as a thief, beggar and occasional information broker. Humble Almahdi knows dozens of thieves in Aramanda and has had dealings with several different thieves' guilds. Humble Almahdi has a way with people. He has talked himself out of trouble hundreds of times. He also has a knack for getting people to divulge secrets. Because of this, he often sells information for a few coins. He usually knows what is going on around the city and is an excellent information source. Humble Almahdi occasionally travels to other towns around the Empire.
Aramanda is an ancient city with deep rooted traditions and a rich culture. The streets and plazas are crowded with hundreds. The women wear loose fitting, brightly colored wraps while the men wore loos ankle length robes that utton up the front and sport high, decorative collars. Most of the men are bearded and many wear turbans and head wraps. The young women often wear clothing that bears the midriff.
One important social activity centers around the hookah pipe. The hookah is a large glass bottle with flexible hoses used for smoking various hallucinogenic herbs and plants. Each smoker uses a pipe and all the smokers sit in a circle about the central hookah. Only men may smoke in a hookah circle. Many taverns and social halls have small private dens specifically for hookah pipe smoking. The hookah is often used during important business meetings.
Another important aspect of this nation is the tea ceremony. Very formal. Upon making an introduction, formal agreement, etc.
In the Padashan Empire, it is considered bad luck to own something that was last in the possession of one who was murdered.
The City Library
This stone building towers above the streets below. It is twelve stores tall with a trio of domes surrounding a high central dome. It is restricted to nobles and scholars. This immense library receives excellent funding as the reigning dynasty has a taste for science and education.
The Aramanda Amphitheatre is the largest in the world. This immense open-roofed stone oval has tiered seating which can accommodate 200,000 citizens. The building itself is almost half a mile wide.
The South Gate
The Main Gates of the city of Aramanda face south, toward the empire. Almost all roads in the empire eventually merge into this one main road which comes from the south and enters through this gate. The South Gate is a wonder to behold. Carved from sandstone, it stands 60 meters tall (196 feet) and is quite decorative in design. The gates themselves are iron covered in copper plating which is polished daily. These gates gleam in the sunlight.
The architecture consists of tall glittering minarets, huge domes and graceful archways. The buildings are built of sandstone blocks, fire glazed mudbricks and trimmed with colorful ceramic tiles. Buildings are often adorned in color and decorative embellishments. Flower filled gardens and exotic tropical trees at yet more color to the beautiful city.
Roads and Transportation
The major roads in Aramanda are paved with tight fitting stones and the smaller roads are dry, hard packed dirt. Because of the arid climate, the city tends to be dusty.
Aramanda has a basic postal service available to anyone who can afford it. It functions as a dedicated courier service that will hand deliver any package or letter anywhere in the city. It has a reputation for absolute reliability as couriers are well armed and armored and bear the symbol of the royal palace. Attacking a royal courier is punishable by death. The service is expensive and almost all members of this service are wealth merchants or guild houses. Few others can afford the monthly fee of 5 gold pieces plus the 1 silver piece per delivery.
Aramanda has huge flaming smoking torches (iron baskets filled with fuel) that hang from a chain supported from iron arms that just out from the corners of many buildings. They burn all night and are refilled and lit each evening. They are maintained by the Imperial Guard. However, most smaller side streets and alleys have no such illumination and those areas are extremely dark at night.
The Nupar River provides the city with abundant fresh water and a means of waste management for the sewer system. Several businesses draw river water and purify it with solar distilleries. This distilled water is sold to several guild houses and wealthy nobles in the city.
A very good sewer system services the palace, university and a few other government and military buildings. Street side gutters serve most other sections of the city which connect to the main sewer. This sewer system empties directly into the Nupar River system.
The Jasmine League is a thieves guild founded by a trio of female thieves and one that is only open to women. Homeless girls are recruited off the streets at a young age and taught to live fiercely and freely. Through education, training and a nurturing environment these girls are turned into skilled rogues that take back what they are owed from a male dominated world. Some of these women train as assassins and rule the night.
Tundi ibn Kunarth
|Tavern - Run by a small, wiry man with bulging eyes and short, curly dark brown hair. Tundi is very talkative and will regal a customer with stories, jokes and general chit-chat. He is well known and well liked in the city. He runs this small tavern with the help of three beautiful sisters that he once saved from a bandit leader who had kidnapped them. Although all three have turned down marriage proposals from him, they agreed to stay with him and help run his tavern. In the four years they have been with him, they have charmed many of the locals with their beauty and managed to help this tavern become very profitable.|
|Inn of the Last League
Bramathal ibn Suranga
|Inn/Tavern - This large establishment has a huge central drinking hall, 40 rooms for rent, 3 large common rooms, private meeting halls, private stables and a staff of 15. It is run by Bramathal ibn Suranga, a intelligent businessman with a long, luxurious black beard, piercing black eyes and a brilliant blue turban. The Inn of the Last League is a very popular establishment and fills with rowdy crowds every night. The bar is tended by twin sisters that drive the crowd to frenzied lust with their bar-top dancing. Rumors say each girl takes 2 men into her bed each night. Other rumors claim that the sisters are not in terested in any man and prefer the affections of her sister. Still more rumors state the two are witches and feast on men's souls. In any case, they are quite an attraction and have made this tavern one of the most famous in the city.|
|The Jade Tiger
Jasad ibn Marat
|Tavern - Run by Jasad, a strong headed, argumentative business woman. The patrons of this tavern are kept in line by a huge black man from the padashan interior. His name is Jamal ibn Forush and he breaks up any fights that occur and keeps the peace.|
|Tavern - Run by a poor man named Peshwar and his son Karachi and daughter Maleena. This small establishment is large, but run down. Peshwar struggles to keep his tavern out of the hands of debtors. The food here is very good. There are three small rooms for rent in the back. Maleena, a beautiful young woman, attracts the eye of many patrons. Her brother makes sure that none of the patrons become too "friendly" with her.|
Order of the Orchid
|Social Club - The Order of the Orchid is a social club for the social elite of the Padashan Empire. The wealthiest of Padashan nobles join this fashionable social club for 250 gold pieces a month. The Order of the Orchid is very exclusive and membership is hard won. New members join by invitation only. Social status, wealth, nobility and career all play a part in the interview process. Less than 1 in 10,000 people meets the stringent requirements. Currently, there are 742 members. Most of them live in Aramanda. Members can enjoy massage, a dip in the communal bath, orgies, etc. Banquets, feasts, orgies and parties are common. This society has several establishments scattered throughout the city. Meetings are also held at the homes of high ranking members. The Order of the Orchid is a wealthy group and they are rumored to be intertwined with several underworld organizations in Padashan. It is likely that the respectable members of this guild are also masters of various nefarious guilds.|
|House of the Red
Harumyn ibn Odan
|Opium Den - The House of the Red Bell is a social club of sorts which serves food, drink and has many small, private rooms for indulging in all many of herbal intoxication. A variety of hallucinogenic herbs may be purchased here. Kivodal is the rarest and most expensive drug available here. The clientele is generally upper class. All many of business dealings are made behind close doors here. The House of the Red Bell has many connections with the Jasmine League and other underworld organizations.|
|Junk Shop - A slim, attractive young dark haired woman (about 23 years old) who fashions a variety of odds and ends out of junk that she collects and repairs herself. She also buys and sells trinkets, curios and exotic items. She is poor, but has a knack for finding bargains that just need a little fixing. This tiny shop is in disrepair and very run down. It's only standing due to her skills at carpentry. Nina is an orphan. She lives alone here in a small apartment above the store. Her father was imprisoned for crimes against the empire years ago and died in prison. She harbors a deep resentment for the social elite of the city. In general, she has great disdain for anyone with wealth, but will go out of her way to help the poor.|
|House of Orchids
Isara and Kamara
|Apothecary - A large and well established apothecary which is run by a pair of twin sisters. They learned horticulture, gardening and herbalism from their grandfather who died years ago.|
Brystana ibn Furlan
|Trading Post and General Store - Brystana is a tall. bony woman with a particularly homely face. While not the most attractive woman, she is quite friendly and is always willing to help a customer find the right piece of equipment. Her store is filled with a wide spectrum of goods and equipment. She trades and sells for her goods and almost anything can be found here. If she doesn't have it in her store, she often knows where to get it. Brystana knows most of the thieves, fences and junk dealers in Padashan. She runs this shop with the help of a grum named Fender, a reformed thief with a knack for jewelry. There is more to this shop owner than meets the eye. Brystana labors under a curse. Once a beautiful woman, she rejected the advances of Vander, a padashan wizard who loved her. Angered by her repeated rejections, he declared that if he could not enjoy her beauty, no one would. He worked a powerful spell and cursed her with ugliness. The focus of this spell was a magical rose which he fashioned of jade and copper. The only way for her to undo the curse is to find the rose and destroy it. However, the wizard was killed by an angry warlord and his tower was looted five years ago. all of his treasures, including the rose of Brystana's curse, which the wizard had kept under lock and key, were stolen. Brystana has been searching for the rose ever since. Brystana uses her store as a way to search for the rose. Actually, it was only after the tower was looted and the rose was lost that she opened her store and named it after the object of her search. Thousands of odds and ends pass through her shop every year and she studies them all. She searches not only for the rose, but any item bearing the sigil of Vander. She attends market square every day. She hopes that some day, she will find the rose.|
Ibram ibn Kamara
|Copper Smith - Ibram is a short man with a beard braided into three long tails, adorned with copper rings. He wears a thick bronze breastplate and much copper jewelry. He is a walking advertisement for his store. Ibram is a very skilled smith, but specializes in working copper. He lives and works alone in his shop.|
|The Golden Glyph
Ratana ibn Halim
|Library - Ratana is distantly related to the current ruling dynasty and enjoys some government funding in maintaining this library. Ratana is a soft-spoken, well-mannered and likeable young man. He enjoys games of skills, especially the vaullian game of porulue which was introduced to him by some of his vaullian patrons. Unknown to most, Ratana is an addict of quaking herb (kivodal). He has been asking for more and more funding from the imperial palace to cover his addiction.|
|The Dusty Loaf
Makan ibn Danath
|Bakery - Makan is a huge man with a grey beard and a very deep, rumbling voice. He stinks of wine and garlic and loves both in large quantities. Despite his unkempt appearance and disdain for clean clothes, he runs the best bakery in the city. Not the largest, but certainly the one with the best bread. His small bakery is run by himself, his wife and his son. He also has three daughters who are the jewels of his eye.|
|Potter - Run by a man who fled Anquar years ago after his wife was accused of crimes against the state and executed. Karn spends his time working in his shop leading a very quiet life. He seems to wish to forget the past.|
|Krov's House of Thunder
|Blacksmith - Run by a Krov who is a very rare mixed breed - part human, part ogre, part secambru. This giant of a man stands 2.5 meters tall (8' 3") and weighs almost 230 kg (507 pounds). He clearly has some ogrish and some secambru blood in him. He is a very muscled man with a mane of unkempty brown hair, black eyes and a square jaw. He uses his tremendous strength to forge thick armor, enormous blades and other large metal items. He is, without a doubt, the strongest man in the whole city.|
|Old Barag's House of
Potions and Charms
Barag ibn Ugrat
|Magic Shoppe - Barag is not the most powerful sorcerer in the city of Aramanda, but he is certainly a well known and well respected man. His handsome face is framed in a short, but thick grey beard and a wild mop of unkempt grey hair. A keen intelligence shines in his grey eyes and his friendly smile. Barag is a man of both magic and science. He believes that both are useful tools. Therefore, he is just as likely to be outside studying rocks or conducting an experiment as he is to be found in his lab studying a spellbook. In his workshop, he brews potions, creates magical charms, wards against evil and that sort of thing. If commissioned to do so, he can work on more powerful arcana - enchanted swords and such. He also dabbles in carpentry, leather work, iron smelting and forging and a dozen other crafts. His small shop is a three story stone building where he lives and works with three apprentices.|
|The Pirate's Plunder
|Brewery - Run by Ahman Deshandrus, a man of mixed birth - born to a Padashan mother and a Mercian father. A former pirate and bandit, he has given up his criminal ways, but only after a long and illustrious career. From the haul from his last big job, he purchased a run down mill and converted it into a brewery and pub which serves some of the finest ale in the city of Aramanda. This establishment is perched on sandstone cliff overlooking the waters of the bay and provides marvelous views.|
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.