|Ruler||Jhad Maquiren Hassal|
|Demographics||Human (Padashani) 87%, Human (Anquaran) 5%, Human (Juenta) 4%, Mandalar 2%, Human (Southern) 1%, Other 1%|
|Languages||Padashi 88%, Quaryn 7%, Mandalar 3%, Other 2%|
|Nationality||The Great Padashan Empire|
|National Colors||Tan and black|
|Year Founded||790 CY|
|Natural Resources||Iron ore, copper, sandstone, gold, precious stones, marble, camels, nupar oxen, hamalka|
|Manufactured Goods||Metal goods, weapons, armor, pottery, woven rugs, tapestries, es, tea, coffee, herbs, dates, almonds, figs, olives, garlic, potatoes, palm trees, upine trees|
|Government Type||Imperial Autocracy|
|Government Stability||Very Stable|
|Enemies||None (see below)|
|Walled||Yes. Inner and outer stone curtain wall.|
|Technology Level||Middle Ages|
|Primary Religion||Hramish (Official State Religion)|
|Climate||Temperate to subtropical|
|Terrain||Arid rocky hills and highlands|
|Province||Imperial Province of Karoush|
The city of Qazadeen is the capital of the Karoush province in the southeastern part of the Great Padashan Empire. It is situated at the edge of the mineral rich Fekwar Hills. The city is built directly on top of the headwaters of the East Nupar River which springs forth from a karst spring. As the Nupar River is an important part of the Hramish faith, Qazadeen and its central temple hold a unique position in the faith. The region is also blessed by extensive mineral resources. Mining is conducted in the central hills and the processing of ore and metal craft forms the backbone of the economy.
Qazadeen sits at the very end of the Great East Coast Road, a major trade road that runs north and south between Qazadeen and the capital city of Aramanda.
Karoush was once a proud kingdom with a rich culture and strong military. As the Padashan Empire conquered other kingdoms and expanded its border southward, the Kingdom of Karoush prepared for war. When war finally came, some two and a half centuries ago, the Empire was surprised at the level of resistance. This war was not merely fought for territory or politics. This war was fueled by religious fervor. The Nupar River is both an important natural resource and significant component of the Hramish faith. As such, the Empire demanded the very source of that river fall under its control. Numerous battles were fought. One Karoushi noble family, the Hassals, sided with the empire. The War of the River raged from three brutal years before superior imperial forces finally crushed the Karoush militia. The empire executed the Karoush royal family and put the patriach of the Hassal family on the throne as the new jhad (provincial governor)... one loyal to the empire. Though it has been two hundred years, family stories and folklore of the brutality of that war have been passed down. Bitter feelings linger still and political tensions between the people of the Karoush province and the empire are strained.
The city of Qazadeen and the entire province of Karoush is ruled over by the Jhad Maquiren Hassal. He is a descendant of the Hassal family line which has maintained control of Qazadeen for two centuries. The Jhad is supported by a number of other noble families who have been bought off by the empire. The Jhad controls the military and, with imperial support, maintains a tight grip on the city and province.
Royal Palace of the Jhad
The royal palace of Qazadeen is the residence of Jhad Maquiren Hassal. The Jhad's family, servants, guards and many advisors all call the palace home. In total, some 170 people live here.
A formal tribunal system oversees all legal matters in Qazadeen. This consists of seven courts and dozens of judges who adjudicate on everything from business disputes to criminal cases. Very serious matters are sometimes brought before the Jhad himself.
The dominant religion in Qazadeen is the same as all other provinces throughout the empire, the Hramish faith. There are numerous shrines and temples to Hram throughout the city. The most important temple sits over the karst spring from which the Nupar River originates.
The Fekwar Hills are blessed by extensive mineral resources. Gold, copper, silver, zinc, iron ore, sulfur and marble are all mined here. In addition, the Fekwar Hills also produce precious and semi-precious stones including high quality emeralds, lapis lazuli, red garnets and rubies. Several mining towns operate more than sixty mines in the surrounding hills. Extensive cave systems have been found in the hills and many have been exploited by mining operations. Much of the raw material is brought to Qazadeen for smelting and processing. Because of the abundance of raw ore, Qazadeen has a long history as a major smithing center. Numerous metal working shops and black smiths operate in the city producing a large amount of weapons, armor and other metal goods. Qazadeen is now one of the chief suppliers of arms and armor for the Padashan Empire. Frequent caravans carry metal crafted goods north to the Empire and other caravans arrive from the north carrying foods, textiles, spices and various luxuries.
Growing crops in this dry region is difficult and water from the river is used in extensive irrigation of fields. Even so, as Qazadeen has grown, it has become dependent on imported foodstuffs.
The citizens of Qazadeen have a reputation for being strong willed, quick to anger and good with a blade. As many of the citizens in the region are miners, smiths and soldiers, this reputation is not entirely undeserved.
The Karoush Mining Consortium
An economic guild comprised of 16 small mining operations that work in conjunction to share resources, set market prices and regulate competition. The Mining Consortium is the most powerful economic force in the region aside from the Jhad and the royal family.
Order of the Silver Crescent
The Order of the Silver Crescent is an economic guild of bankers. It functions has a currency exchange market, money lender and bank. It mints the local coin for the jhad. It also dabbles in acquisition, appraisal and selling of fine art and jewelry. Many of the precious stones from the mines pass through this guild house for appraisal. Most of the noble families of Qazadeen have vast sums tied up in the Order. The Order has several dozen security guards on its payroll.
Tower of the Magi
The Tower of the Magi is one of the tallest towers in the city. It is home to a small wizard's guild run by Imak Tieblan, the Jhad's former vizier. There are only a handful of wizards in Qazadeen and all of them are members of this guild. Imak is the only wizard in the city with any significant power and most of the guild members are under his tutelage, seeking to further their skills. The guild also takes on new apprentices from time to time. The tower has a good library and several magical and alchemical laboratories. They also sell a few potions and charms to those with enough coin. Currently, this guild has six full time members, nine apprentices in training and a staff of eleven.
Hall of Brotherhood
The Brotherhood is a guild and union that serves the common laborers of the city through shared resources, political protection and so forth. Even indentured servants and slaves derive some benefit from Brotherhood.
Agrarian Guild Hall
This guild is an economic union of all the independent farmers and free land owners.
The Slavers' Guild
This is the local branch office of the imperial slaver's guild.
Foundations and City Walls
Qazadeen is built at the edge of the Fekwar Hills, on a sloping hillside. The city is tiered in several areas. Qazadeen has two city walls that divide the city into an inner, mid and outer city. Each wall is twenty meters high with thirty meter towers every quarter kilometer or so.
Roads and Plazas
While the roads leading up to the city are as dry and dusty as the flatlands around them, the roads within the city are cobblestoned and well maintained. Most of the city is sandstone brick and mortar. There are several large stone tiled plazas in Qazadeen that serve as market squares. Each is dedicated to a specific market: metal goods, slaves, food, livestock and so forth. During Market Day, which is held once each month, the plazas are crowded with buyers and sellers from the nearby towns and villages.
Like every Padashani city on the river, the city of Qazadeen has a pair of complex sewer systems, one on either side of the river. These twin sewer systems are filled with water taken from the river, but they are completely isolated from the river. Because of this physical separation, it is impossible for sewage to contaminate the river. The sewer systems carry waste water through a series of tunnels away from the city and discharge it out into the drylands. This keeps the city reasonably sanitary. Various important buildings in the city have direct connections to the sewer system. Street side gutters serve most other sections of the city which connect to the main sewer. Out in the drylands, the discharge pipes appear as low stone bunkers. A variety of plants grow in the damp ground where the water is discharged, creating a foul smelling miniature oasis. The discharge pipes are blocked by iron gates to prevent entry. Likewise, there are numerous iron gates throughout the sewer system to prevent an enemy from gaining access to the city through the sewers.
The major streets are illuminated at night by huge iron lanterns filled with oil 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 city corps. However, most smaller side streets and alleys have no such illumination and those areas are extremely dark at night.
The city guard of Qazadeen is divided up into different brigades that all have a common uniform. Each has a badge unique to the brigade. Different brigades specialize in different things. Functions include patroling the city streets, patrolling the local region and villages, guarding caravans, performing police functions, abducting criminals, supporting the tribunal, investigating crimes and so forth. Some of the more well known brigades are the Sand Wolves, the Scorpions, the Lotus Legion, the Vipers and the Sandrunners.
The Ward Keep
The Ward Keep is the main military garrison and houses the city militia which patrols the city streets, mans the city walls, patrols the roads of the province and renders aid to the towns of the region as needed.
The Bellowguard is the largest and most powerful crime cartel in the city. It is ruled by Chief Kalrotus. It specializes in smuggling raw iron ore and finished metal goods out of Qazadeen and selling them to other provinces. However, the Bellowguard also dabbles in common thieving, robbery, assassination, spying and information brokering.
The East Nupar River
The East Nupar River starts here in Qazadeen from a karst. In fact, the Temple of Hram is built upon the spring. The Nupar River is a part of the Hramish religion and is considered sacred. The river is the source of all life. To pollute it with sewage would be a great offense to Hram. No city anywhere along the course of the river dumps sewage or trash into it. Even bathing in the river is forbidden. Instead, water is taken from the river and used in the city – for drinking, cooking, bathing and to feed the sewer system, which is separate and never connects to the river. There are two separate sewer systems, one on each side of the river and each system discharges out in the drylands, away from the city.
Because the entire Karoush province has relatively few trees, an alternative source of fuel must be used. For this reason, oil, specifically whale oil, is imported from the Juenta Kingdoms by caravan. Whale oil is used in forges, furnaces, cooking stoves and lanterns. This is true for the city of Qazadeen and all towns and villages in the province. Lumber is also purchased and brought up from the lands to the south, although whale oil is generally prefered by both cooks and blacksmiths in Qazadeen. It is cheaper and burns cleanly.
Jhad Maquiren Hassal
The provincial governor of Karoush and ruler of Qazadeen. Jahd Maquieren is an weasly little man who adorns himself in bright colors and jewels. Although shrewd and clever, he is paranoid, arrogant and quick to anger.
Vumaru Sulis, Grand Vizier, Chief Advisor to the Jhad
A tall man with a bald head and dark skin. He has a steel gaze that never flickers. Vumaru is intelligent and cunning. He is an expert manipulator and can easily sway the weak willed through nothing more than words. He successfully convinced the Jhad to dismiss Imak Tieblan as his Chief Advisor and managed to take over the role for himself. Vumaru dislikes Imak and always seems to be scheming against him.
Yita, High Priest of Hram and Leader of the Hram Temple
An obese man with very little hair left. He jealously guards his position and the authority of the temple and the faith as an independent force not subject to the crown or empire. This had led to no end of friction between the church and the Jhad. He is served by a corps of lesser priests and servants who do the daily work and tend to the poor and needy.
Jhamad Darmok, City Militia Commander and Lord of the Ward Keep
Jhamad Darmok is the supremere military authority in the city. He commands the Ward Keep and all of the brigades of the city guard. He is an imposing figure. Standing more than two meters tall, he is decorated by hundreds of tattoos and is easily recognized by the tangle of blonde dyed dreadlocks that cascade down his back.
Imak is a slender man with caramel skin and curly dark hair. He has a short beard and wears simple robes. Imak is the former chief advisor to the Jhad. After being dismissed as advisor, he founded the Magi group, built the Tower of the Magi and devoted himself to magical research. Imak is, by far, the most talented wizard in the city. The Jhad still occasionally calls upon Imak for advice in magical matters. Such meetings always seem to infuriate Vumaru.
Pujar is a very respected and talented herbalist and alchemist who lives in the city of Qazadeen in the Padashan Empire. He is also an accomplished wizard. Pujar is a soft-spoken elderly man with a white beard and long white hair that falls down his back in an elaborate braid. While he is capable of a variety of spells, his true passion is alchemy and herbalism. He is skilled at making a vast array of potions and is especially well versed in poisons, antidotes and healing potions. People from all over the Karoush province seek him out to cure their various ills and ailments. Pujar is named after the town of Pujar on the Isle of Kasadem, where he was born.
|The Desert Wolf Tavern
Petrin and Parlak
|Tavern - This small tavern is adorned with more than a dozen pelts and mounted heads and other hunting trophies. Above the main bar is the head and belt of an enormous canine creature. The tavern is run by two brothers, Petrin and Parlak, and their families. The pelts came from Petrin who is a former hunter. Petrin is a tall and handsome older man who now walks with a limp, boasts several scars and has a wild hunting tale to go with each. He is charismatic, charming and enthralls bar patrons with his stories. His brother, Parlak, is short and fat with a quiet demeanor, but a cheerful smile. Parlak does the cooking and brews a house ale. Between them they have six daughters who serve, cook and clean.|
|The River's Edge Tavern
Isara and Kamara
|Tavern - This tavern boasts an enormous outdoor balcony that hangs over the edge of the river on stilts. River boats often pull up to the balcony to purchase food and drinks. The lively tavern is owned and operated by a pair of identical twin sisters and their brother who inherited it from their grandfather. Isara is the younger and fairer of the two who flirts and dances often with patrons. Kamara is the elder and more aloof sister who handles the bookkeeping and taxes and such. Their brother, Haddran, tends bar, serves as bouncer and makes sure no patron bismirches the honor of his sisters. (Although Isara will sometimes sneak a lover into a bed). Their uncle, Amako, cooks while Haddran's five children help serve and clean. Haddran is known to hang out with ruffians and will occasionally allow a bandit or thief to hide out here while the authorities are looking for him.|
Tavern - Bellor's Brewhouse is a large and bustling tavern. It is owned and operated by Bellor, a stout bearded Padashani with a likeable face and a charming smile. The story of how he acquired the wealth to build this establishment is one that is often retold around the bar. Bellor fought in a small mercenary group as a young man, working for the empire in various campaigns. During one campaign to put down a rebellion, his company along with mercenaries and soldiers laid siege to the castle. While on patrol one night, Bellor stumbled upon a trio of men sneaking out of the castle with several large bags. The three men attacked, swinging cleavers and kitchen knives. Bellor bested them. When the last of them fell dead, he checked to see what it was they were carrying out of the castle. To his surprise, the bags contained a fortune in cinnamon and other spices. He loaded the bags onto a cart and fled the siege. Though severely wounded, he eventually managed to reach the city of Qazadeen and and sell the spices for more money than he had ever dreamed. He settled in Qazadeen, took a wife and built this tavern. Though his wife died years ago, he now has seven children and four employees who help run the place. True to the tavern name, Bellor has developed a talent for brewing over the years. He even has a popular cinnamon flavored ale that he brews in honor of the lucky wealth he found so long ago. Bellor's Brewhouse is popular with city guards, mercenaries and soldiers. Wrestling matches are held in a "brawl pit" once a week and the betting around these matches is lively. Anyone may join in the brawling competitions and perhaps earn a few coins. This tavern is also known for several immense hookahs built into certain tables where regulars will smoke a variety of tobaccos. Hookah smoking is so popular here that there is a constant haze in the tavern. Between the tobacco smoke and cinnamon ale, you can smell this place before you walk through the front door.
|The Broken Tooth Tavern
|Tavern - This tavern's namesake is a strange and ornate wooden idol that stands over the door. Several of the idol's teeth have been broken out. This tavern is run by Gratha the Grumpy, a retired thief. The regulars here are a seedy and shifty lot of ruffians and rogues. In actuality, this small tavern is a front for the Bellowguard, the dominant thieves guild in Qazadeen. The Bellowguard operates a tunnel that runs under the wall from the inner city and emerges in the basement of this establishment, hidden beneath a secret door.|
|The Belching Bandit
|Tavern - This tavern is owned by Farzad, a huge man with an immense belly and a deep voice. He wears his hair in long tangled dreadlocks adorned with gems and jewelry and metal pieces woven into the strands. He dresses in a colorful array of robes and parangs. Rumors suggest he was thrown out of the Bellowguard long ago, though most can only speculate as to the reason. He later founded his own underworld guild known as the Sand Vipers. Over the years, he slowly and meticulously built the organization into a small criminal empire which is now second only to the Bellowguard. He has many dozens of thieves, assassins, bandits, spies and other common ruffians working for him on a wide spectrum of criminal activities. The Belching Bandit tavern is their base of operations and front. Farzad can always be found here. He leaves the daily running of the tavern to henchmen and employees. Farzad himself is usually in a back room, drinking and smoking and surrounded by exotic beauties as he conducts business. Among those who know, it is whispered that Farzad is a master of alchemy (and poisons in particular) and that many unexplained deaths can be attributed to him. Farzad always does seem to have an impressive array of poisons, drugs, potions and other alchemy at the ready and is willing to sell items for the right price. This is the place to go for an exotic toxin, a potent love potion, an expensive herb or a rare ingredient. Farzad is fond of wine and tobacco and it is most likely that the name of this tavern refers to him.|
|The Crown Sparrow
|Inn - The Crown Sparrow is a large, upper-class inn which caters to visiting dignitaries, imperial officials, wealthy caravan merchants, high ranking Hramish priests and anyone else with sufficient coin. It's great hall is a cavernous chamber dominated at one end by an immense and decorative fireplace. The other end has a two story statue and fountain worked into the wall. Numerous balconies overlook the great hall while a stage provides a place for musicians and actors to perform. It has 85 private rooms which go for 2 gold per night, a dozen suites which go for 8 gold per night and six "imperial" suites for 25 gold pieces per night. A wide variety of services can be purchased here - lavish feasts, perfumed baths, hot oil massages, private messengers and so forth. Nothing here is cheap. The Crown Sparrow has a small mercenary security force to overlook the inn and ensure the profits are kept safe. Likewise, a vast host of servants, cooks, stablemen, maids, guards and common laborers keep the place running. The Crown Sparrow is owned and operated by the Magrassi Family, a wealthy noble family with ties to severla noble families in Aramanda.|
|The Vanquished Vizier Inn
|Inn - There can be no doubt that this establishment is named for Imak Tieblan, the former vizier to the jhad and now the leader of the wizards' guild. The innkeeper here, Samokhar, is a good friend of Imak and the two often meet for drinks. The Vanquished Vizier is a modest inn with clean rooms and good food. All are welcome here. Samokhar is a failed wizard, a former student of Imak's.|
|Inn - This tall and very old inn has six floors. The proprietor is Rasul Leth. This establishment has been in the Leth family for generations. it has rooms of every size, including many small private conference rooms. Rasul's grandfather maintained an aviary on the roof which likely influenced the name of the inn. To this day, desert crows, brushhawks and other local birds congregate on the roof in large numbers.|
|Inn - A large, aging inn near the east gate through which caravans from the mining towns come in to the city. It is frequented by miners, caravan guards, laborers and a miscellany of ruffians and thugs. The place is generally dirty and drafty, but it's cheap.|
|The Sellsword's Reward
|Inn - Zandishar is a heavily scarred man of mixed heritage and a grim disposition. He rode into Qazadeen one day years ago with a sack full of gold, a beautiful woman at his side and a half dozen wounds. The two of them bought a plot of land, built the inn and settled into a quiet life as husband and wife innkeepers. No one really knows what the story is behind their unusual arrival. One thing for sure is that Zandishar is very good with a sword. No doubt the name of the inn refers to him and some former life as a mercenary. This inn is a bit run down and the rooms are small, but they are clean and the food is decent. This inn accepts anyone who can pay, regadless of race, religion or background. Zandishar has been known to grant a free room to those in desperate need.|
|Burning Sands Trade Emporium
|Trade Store - A general store and trading post. Deals in a wide variety of goods - weapons, armor, animals, vehicles, textiles, foodstuffs, tools and much more. They are as likely to trade and barter goods and services as take coins.|
|The Three Palms Society
Isara and Kamara
|Social Club - The Three Palms society is an exclusive social club for the social elite of Qazadeen. Noble families and wealthy merchants comprise the majority of the club's membership. It's wealthy clients are assured strict privacy here, as only members are allowed in. Banquets, balls and the like are the typical type of event, althrough smaller groups sometimes indulge in more unseemly appetites.|
|House of Iron
|Blacksmith - There are many blacksmiths and metalworkers in Qazadeen, but Hagajhi claims to be the best. This slender, bearded old man is half Juenta and half Padashani. He works with and trains three young apprentices, who help him run the place. Hagajhi is a master of metal working. He specializes in armor, but can fashion almost anything made of metal.|
|Metalworking Shoppe - The Iron Square is actually a joint operation - six separate blacksmiths and their shops surrounded a single square plaza. These six work together, sharing raw material, training, swapping apprentices and so forth. They function as a single business entity. Each smith has his own specialty. Mayzar, a bald headed, bearded, dark skinned Padashani, is the oldest of them and speaks for the group.|
|Angmar's Exotic Aromatics
|Apothecary's Shop - A small medical herbal shop run by an old woman named Angmar. She is quite skilled and alchemy, herbalism and healing. Some say she is a witch that can brew poisons and love potions. Once per month, she shuts down her shop for a few days and travels into the wilds to gather ingredients.|
|Bodan's Marvelous Bows
|Bowyer/Fletcher Shop - A small shop that specializes in bows. It is run by a two brothers, both in their forties. Bodan makes bows while his older brother, Jamat, makes arrows. They are assisted by Bodan's son, Eimer. As wood is rare and valuable in this region, Bodan's bows are fairly expensive. Some bows are fashioned from other materials, such as horn. Jamat is friends with a member of the Tower of the Magi and tries to procure enchanted arrows to sell whenever he can.|
|The Golden Grain Bakery
|Bakery - This huge bakery is run by a man named Hadi. Once a street urchin and child thief, he stumbled upon a stroke of good luck and a small fortune which enabled him to change his life. He now runs this bakery. He looks out for orphans, street kids and other poor wretches. He lets some sleep here, hide here and feeds them stale biscuits and other scraps. A dozen young street kids that he trusts help him run the place. He tries to keep them on the right side of the law, though most of them are pickpockets and thieves. Hadi is charismatic and likeable. He knows most of the thieves in town and is on good terms with most of them..|
|The Blazing Brazier
|Apothecary's Shop - Shapor Kadad is a fat and bitter old man. A failed wizard, he found a talent in alchemy. He spends his days brewing a variety of potions, poisons, healing salves, charms, sleep aids and the like. If one spends time around him, they will hear Shapor mutterering to himself. If one listens, the ramblings suggest a romance, a betrayal and revenge by poison. He is generally an introverted and peculiar man with few friends. Despite his lack of social skills, it cannot be denied that Shapor is an extremely good alchemist and an expert on poisons and antidotes. The shop itself is cluttered, filthy and decrepit. He lives here with several dogs, cats and other critters. If one can abide Shapor's colorful ramblings, his generally creepy nature and the stench, this is the place to buy a powerful potion or an exotic poison.|
|Sandor's Fine Steel
|Swordsmith - Sandor stands out a bit because he is half Anquaran, half Juenta. He doesn't speak of his past much, but the local gossip is that he was the bastard child of a Anquaran nobleman and a Juenta slave woman and is now wanted in Anquar for murder. His life in Qazadeen is one of self imposed exile. In any case, he seems to have settled into a good life here. He is a skilled metalworker who specializes in bladed weapons. He has crafted a number of fine sabres, scimitars and other long blades on commission for a variety of officers and nobles in the city. Sandor lives and works here with three young apprentices. Sandor's prices are higher than most, but the quality of his blades can't be beat. If an Aquaran walks into the store, Sandor will stay in the back and let one of his apprentices handle the customer.|
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.