Saturday, April 14, 2012

April A-Z: Kashamash


The independent, island state of Kashamash began as a port of trade, penal colony for the Caliphate of Byzhanistanium that once ruled over half of Zhuul. When Byzhanistanium crumbled, the region fell into a brutal civil war, known only for reasons lost to antiquity as the War of Nine Goats, that reduced the capital of Byzhan to ruin and disrupted the lucrative trade routes that had been the life’s blood of the caliphate.

As the war raged on the continent, Kashamash was largely removed from the fighting and many of the Emirs and Sheiks began transferring their money to the island where it remained under the personal protection of Sheik Sh’ek, who had once been chief vizier to the Caliph. Of course, Sheik Sh’ek charged a reasonable fee for his services and soon grew quite rich. When the port city of Antiquita burned, taking with it the Caliphate’s remaining fleet of ships, Kashamash declared itself a fully independent city state and opened its ports, and Bank Houses to anyone.

Since then the island has become a thriving port entered around the only city also known as Kashamash. Traders from across Nood and beyond congregate here and the city is dominated by the vast marketplaces where no goods are considered forbidden if price is no object. The city is open to anyone and things are kept peaceful by the Sheik’s red-caped soldiers that can be found throughout the city, though it is said that the real police work is done by a network of spies and informants known as the Red Whispers, who’s ears can hear all the way to Cleopolis and the shore of the Misplaced Continent.

Beyond the city, a few of the richer inhabitants have palatial homes or plantations though arable land is sparse and covered in thick jungles. A tribe of cannibalistic halflings known as the Babu once roamed the island, but are now found mainly in the volcanic cliffs around the island’s isolated north coast. There is a region in the city known as Little Babu which is popular for tourists looking for shrunken heads, rare feathers and other jungle treasures. Those that brave the local takeaway shop do so at their own risk.

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