Amman

Amman

Overview

Amman once dominated nearly all of the civilized world and even some of the uncivilized corners of Arrasia. Defeated by the armies of Fandor and the rise of Karnish, their nation was split and the power of their gods diminished. Largely impoverished from the unending war with its neighbors and the trade blockades put in place by Karnish, Amman-mon, as it was renamed, dwindled and would have surely become a relic of the past until the rise of Zykerathox to the throne of Herophet saw the new master once again call upon their ancient allies on Arrasia, supplying them with infernal armies to once again march again their enemies. Amman has risen from it's slumbers and thrown off it's shackles and is once more on the rise, rallying under the banner of the old Amman flag.

Despite this change in direction, the ruling Yanmet dynasty still oversee a poverty stricken nation that can ill afford the expense of warring on so many fronts. Poverty, disease and death are now commonplace within the towns and cities and while the population remains large, it has been in steady decline since their fall from power several centuries prior. But the concerns of the people are not the concerns of the Emperor and his thoughts are now fixed on seeing Amman once again rise to it's preeminant position. The role of the people are the same as they have always been for over a thousand years, as soldiers, workers and slave, with only a few of the most skilful or most brutal able to make a life for themselves as members of the ruling elite.

The fertile lands remian largely neglected and in a poor state of disrepair. Disease and illness are rife and life is hard. Without the resources to both make war on their enemies as well as police their own nation, the lands have become bad, populated with bandits and evil humanoids. Small communities are often ruled by the iron hand of the their most powerful citizen. Torture, execution and murder are a way of life and civil strife within these communities common, as warlords fight for dominance, power and pride.

The arrival of Zykerathox's infernal armies, however, has seen the fortunes of the ruling elite turnaround and where once the warlords ignored them, fear of torture and death has forced their hand and the Emperor has once again taken control of his nation. For all their obvious decline, the armies of Amman have always been well regarded by their foes and now even more so. At war with all their neighbours, their resources are stretched, but it is to Amman-dur that their attention is really turned, as they seek to unify their old nation and expel Karnish once and for all from their lands. Unfortunately, with so many of their forces required elsewhere, this is something that as yet remians out of their reach.

Despite tha land and sea blockades that for so long strangled their economy, Amman nonetheless managed some trade with a few northern kingdoms. However, it is their feared privateers that have - and continue to - add much needed funds to their coffers, with trade ships boarded and captured and removed to Amman ports. This has become by far and away the most profitable concern for Amman and essential to the upkeep of their army. The privateers have a reputation for daring, skill and savagery and are a much-feared sight in The Straights of Karnish, The Great Sea, The Enchanted Bay and the Sea of Guardians.

Significant Trade Export

Bronze: Once the largest producer of bronze in Arrasia, with armor and weapons being manufactured night and day. Although those days are long since gone, Amman nonetheless still produces large amounts of quality bronze, though now containers and trinkets are produced instead of armor.

Copper Ore: Copper has always been mined extensively in Amman and many communities have grown up around the industry. In ancient days, this was a vital source for the production of bronze weapons and armor, but is now used more for coinage and trinkets, though it is still used for the production of bronze.

Iron Ore: The north of Amman is rich in iron ore deposits, especially around the Phat Downs. However, mining in that region is difficult, with the dwarves making regular sorties against mining settlements. Nonetheless, considerable amounts are still mined.

Precious Stones: Azurite, bloodstone, malachite, onyx, quartz, sard and sardonyx are all found throughout Amman. Bloodstone and onyx in particular are highly prized and are sculpted into exquisite pieces of jewelry.

Tin: A common commodity in Amman, tin is primarily used as an alloy for bronze, which is still produced in large quantities in Amman.

Brief History

In the ancient days, as the War of Chaos raged throughout Arrasia, Yad-Mon unified the peoples of the Yad-Yamman tribes after five brutal wars under the banner of Hakkan and the nation of Amman emerged. With Sárat, the greatest nation of its age, having already fallen victim to the military prowess of Yad-Mon, so their neighbors followed. However, it was not until the reign of Emperor Duam II that saw much of Arrasia fall to Amman, when Abu-Taq, the greatest and most renown of all Amman generals, led his armies to victory and Amman to glory.

So began the years of terror that saw the evil nation of Amman become the most powerful nation in the history of Arrasia, with an empire that stretched from Vidor to Urgolia and Karnish to Teschenia. It stood the test of time for a thousand years and only the remotest communities remained untouched. Their rule was brutal. War and slavery were at the heart of their political ethos and torture and execution common practice to maintain discipline.

Born out of the flames of conflict, the brutal empire knew no other way and they made war with all those that would not bow to them. In the north, they warred with Norvsond, though were defeated, and with the elves of Hir'vassäEduth. In the east they made war upon the Urgolians and in the south the free cities all fell to them.

Despite the many uprisings and revolts that threatened to bring about the fall of Amman, it was not until the Second Eppen War that Amman was to suffer a catastrophic defeat. During that battle, the Aslah Sassa rose from the seas and sent the mighty Amman fleet and its army of men to the bottom of the sea, which saw Eppen victorious in the Battle of Jala. The defeat planted the seeds for the fall of Amman, as it later allowed Fandor to land his army on Amman land unchallenged.

The fall of the Amman empire brought much joy to Arrasia, which saw trade, wealth and freedom emerge from the dark centuries. Amman was all but destroyed by Karnish and her allies and only the menace of Hith, which forced the withdrawal of Karnish's offensive capability, helped secure their borders. However, Amman was spliced into several regions, with Karnish reinstating the provinces of Amman-dur, Amman-Yarad, Yad-Kozluc, Yad-Jamon and Yad-Uthet under the Karnish flag, leaving what remianed of Amman a shadow of its former self. During this period, Amman declared itself under its old flag and renamed itself Amman-Mon, as an act of both defiance and hope.

Amman-Mon was riven by internal strife, poverty and disease. The population declined and their once glorious armies were a pale reflection of their former self. War with their enemies remained a constant, draining the already depleted Treasury coffers. Despite this, Amman-Mon endured and the rise of Zykerathox to the throne of Herophet saw him call upon the old alliance between Herophet and Amman. This alliance was quickly embraced, and with their armies reinforced with those from Herophet, while those of their enemies were weakened from their wars, the flag of Amman was once again raised and their armies readied for war. Already Amman has reclaimed some of the land that fall to Karnish, but war with the elves of The Endless Forest and their powerful neighbours have seen them forced to direct their attention elsewhere.

The Major Towns and Cities

Abu-Abar: (pop: 65,000) Abu-Abar emerged as the capital of Amman-Mon after the fall of Aym-J'zeer to Karnish and remains the seat of political power in Amman, as well as being w here the Emperor now resides. The city is an ostentatious affair, like all the great cities of Amman, with thoroughfares lined with monuments and statues, vast buildings with intricate facades and columns and the Towers of Hakkan visible everywhere. However, behind this lay the shanty towns and web of buildings for the majority of the population, who mostly live in filth and squalor. The city itself remains a constant target to the elves of The Endless Forest and the vast walls and military towers are continually maintained and improved, at great cost. Much of the access to the city comes via the Syramassa River.

Dy'Attenus: (pop: 45,000) This large naval port is home to much of the Amman navy as well as the privateers who raid the merchant shipping lanes. Ever since the destruction of their navy in The Second Eppen War, Amman has neither had the money or inclination to rebuild it to its former glory and Dy'Attenus has fallen into poverty and chaos. Criminal gangs who control the privateer trade now control much of the city, with the officials and military more often than not gang members themselves. Much of the trade that used to pass through Dy'Attenus has since been removed to the far less chaotic city of Am-Amoeth and much of the city is now consumed in poverty. Disease, illness and death are commonplace and rats have made their homes in the filth-lined streets and the once beautiful facades and thoroughfares have lost their luster.

Hagora: (pop: 40,000) Situated less than fifty miles from the Amu Phat Downs, Hagora suffers from regular attacks from the forces of Syrámä. However, having been for so long under Karnish rule, under the armies of Amman rose and reclaimed them, the city's defenses are considerably better than in much of the rest of Amman, with a huge stone wall with defensive towers dotted throughout it's length. Thoroughfares lined with extraordinary statues and date palms cross the city, along which magnificent buildings cast their shadow. However, poverty here is rife and behind the grandiosity of Hagora the filth and slums make up much of the rest of the city, where criminals control the black markets and illegal political organizations hide from the authorities with ease. Though dilapidated, the Towers of Hakkan still dominate the skyline of Hagora and their power and presence have increased dramatically since Hagora fell back under Amman rule.

Am-Amoeth: (pop: 30,000) Of the remaining trade that passes into and out of Amman, mostly it passes through Am-Amoeth. It is home to many of the wealthiest people, with even the Emperor himself having a home here. The city is kept largely clean and even the peasant and slave quarters offer more space and a better standard of living than in any of the other cities of comparable size in Amman. Magnificent and hugely ornamental Towers of Hakkan dominate the skyline and the city is usually alive with bazaars, markets and all manner of street entertainment.

Thetmadore: (pop: 23,000) Historically a significant trading post on the banks of the Syramassa River, Thetmador's status rose considerably while under Karnish rule. With much wealth passing through it, it has become home to many merchants who use its links with the river to their advantage. It is well defended, with substantial defensive walls and a significant castle, both completed under the rule of Karnish, with the waterways defnded with ballista's lining the walls. The city is much like the other ancient cities of Amman, with the real poverty of the city hidden by the grandiose buildings of the rich and powerful, with beautifully lined thoroughfares, ornate statues and Towers of Hakkan all reminiscent of past glories. It is busy and lively, with the streets filled with bazaars and street merchants, who have maintained their presence here, and their wealth, despite the wars.

Arlun: (pop: 22,500) Situated in the relative safety of the interior of Amman, away from the border with Syrámä and Amman-dur and far enough south from The Endless Forest to not suffer from the effects of the war there, Arlun has expanded greatly over the years. Divided distinctly into two, the center of Arlun is the old town and this is reflected in the architecture, flamboyance and the poverty it hides, with the Towers of Hakkan a visible symbol of the past. However, outside of the old walls, a new city had grown, more open and less ostentatious. The architecture remains Amman, but the buildings reflect the modern times, with less money to be spent on grand projects. The Towers of Hakkan are noticeable more by scarcity and the poor quarters are filled with less filth and suffer less from disease.

Organizations

Black Hands of Hakkan
During the height of the Amman empire, the Black Hands of Hakkan ranked amongst the most powerful in Arrasia, with the Pontifex of the Black Hand even more powerful than the emperor himself. The Black Hands of Hakkan were fanatical priests who had dedicated themselves entirely to Hakkan and his evil ways and who built the Towers of Hakkan in dedication to him. These towers were dark spiritual centers where the Black Hands carried out their secret and sinister activities and which continue to dominate the cities and towns of Amman to this day. Those that have now fallen under Karnish rule have been closed and fallen into disrepair and the Black Hands of Hakkan outlawed, though in many places they have secretly re-entered their old towers, though only in small numbers. In Amman, they continue to play a significant role in society and are still greatly feared. The Towers of Hakkan could once be found nearly all over Arrasia, though nearly all have since been demolished. However, some still remain and can be found in the strangest and most unexpected places.

Since the destruction of Hakkan, the Black Hands of Hakkan have been dedicated to finding a way to see him rise from Paradorn, where the spirit's of the dead Aslah wander, and reclaim his rightful place in Herophet. Many switched their allegiance to Zykerathox, who sat as the Steward of Herophet until his rise to power, when he claimed the throne as his own, and the Black Hands now see him as the true heir to Hakkan. It is Zykerathox who now hears the prayers of the Black Hands of Hakkan and it is in him that they now put their faith, and once more their power is on the rise. Outside of Amman, they actively work against the interests of Karnish and are at the heart of nearly all insurgents working against Karnish rule. The Black Hands of Hakkan have their hands tattooed into intricate arcane black patterns as part of the initiation, which gives the impression that they're hands are entirely black.

Fa-jeyp
The once mighty horsed archers of Amman, famed and feared throughout Arrasia, remain at the heart of the Amman military and seen their numbers greatly increased in recent years. However, their impact is not what it once was, with the arrival of heavy plate clad knights on horseback reducing their impact on the battlefield.

Dal-Jeyp
The Dal-jeyp were once the most feared force in Arrasia and their presence on a battlefield was often decisive. Their ability to maintain order in the ranks both during and after a charge is legendry and the tales of their successes long. However, the Dal-jeyp is no longer the force it once was, for too long underfunded and resourced. But the Emporer has once again turned his eye to this ancient fighting force and has begun the process of equiping them with more heavy armor, which is being reflected by their impact on the battlefield, where they are once more becomming a feared opponent at the heart of the Amman military.

Privateers of Amman
All around The Straights of Karnish, The Great Sea, The Enchanted Bay and the Sea of Guardians, the privateers of Amman are the marauders of the seas, attacking the merchant vessels and returning with their ill-gotten gains to the coastal cities of Amman, where they are sold at a high price. Ruthless and daring, the sight of a privateer's ship on the horizon turns the blood of even the most seasoned sailor cold, for they show no mercy and know no fear. Mostly, they return to the ancient port of Dy'Attenus, where they are as equally powerful and feared as they are on the seas, with the different gangs vying for political control of a corrupt and filthy city.

Important Personages

Emperor Shahir XII: The Emperor of Amman once ruled most of the known world, but was reduced to little more than a figurehead under the banner of Amman-Mon, no longer in control of even his own country. All that has changed since the rise of Zykerathox and the emporer once more reigns as the supreme power over his people, even if not over Arrasia. Emperor Shahir XII is so old that some say he has the blood of the Aslah running through his veins, others that he maintains his life through unnatural treaties with foul creatures. He has seen the stock of Amman rise during his long reign and his hopes are now firmly fixed on seeing former glories recaptured. He has cast his power over the land, asserting his authority through fear and murder and the tribal lords and gamng masters all now greatly fear him, where for so long they despised him.

Pontifex of the Black Hand: Once the most powerful individual in Arrasia, who could commune with Hakkan himself, the Pontifex is the head of the Black Hands of Hakkan, who are were dedicated to the rise of Hakkan from Paradorn and the destruction of Karnish. The rise of Zykerathox has seen their allegiences shift, as many reagrd him as Hakkan's natural heir. However, there are some that regard this as trechery and a schism has developed between the two opposing ideologies. The Black hands now control a vast network of insurgents who fight against Karnish interests and they maintain a secret presence in most of the major towns and cities in those areas that have fallen into Karnish hands.


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