Dark Days in Sion
Tan-skinned desert dwellers from the huge continent of Akhenaten. These people are usually dark-haired and slim of build. Men average 5’8” in height. Eye color is typically dark for men, but varies more among women. It is considered uncouth for a married woman to dress revealingly in public. Traditionally, married women wear shawls over their hair.
Vibrant and social, Akhenatens treat friends and neighbors like an extended family. They enjoy social gatherings, sharing food and drink, arts and music. But they are also deeply religious and devoted to their patron god Ishvar. Foreigners are treated respectfully, but not as equals in all things. Foreigners are not allowed to enter a mosque, step foot in a holy place, speak directly to a King, or spend time alone with an Akhenaten women.
Akhenatens enjoy a great variety of food and drink, but they are famous for a traditional drink of eastern Akhenaten called Tejj. A spiced honeyed wine, made from the berries of a rare desert shrub, flavored with exotic spices. Tejj is kept in a round fat-bottomed bottle called a Berelle, shaped to enhance its aromatic properties. It’s flavor is very sweet, masking its strong alcohol content making it easy to drink too much.
Akhenaten; Verbal and Written. Akhenaten is an ancient language revered for poetic beauty and lovely form. Sharing the continent with such a large variety of cultures and races makes Akhenatens natural linguists. Most of them can also speak common and usually another language besides.
Ancient History – 3,500 years ago
Ancient Akhenatens were largely tribal and nomadic. They were some of the first to create a written language, study the constellations and develop healing drugs. They were also deeply religious, believing in a single supreme god called Ishvar, referring to themselves as The Faithful of Ishvar. The great variety of landscape on their huge continent meant that a large variety of distinct cultures had a chance to thrive.
Sammara – 2,500 years ago
The region known as Sammara was established in a fertile river valley in the center of Akhenaten 2,500 years ago. Its people were the first to invent irrigation, dams and the use of aqueducts. As the result of the skill involved in farming in Sammara, farmers did not depend on slaves to complete the work for them.
Among the rivers and streams the Sammaran people built the first cities along with irrigation canals which were separated by vast stretches of open desert where the ancient nomadic tribes roamed. Communication among the isolated cities was difficult, and at times dangerous. Thus, each Sammaran city became a city-state, with its own king. At times a king would try and conquer and unify the region and as a result the early political history of Sammara is one of constant warfare.
Ishvaran Horde – 2,000 years ago
The Ishvaran Horde formed from the ancient nomadic tribes that roamed Akhenaten. They gathered around a holy man, a prophet named Al-Malik who spoke for Ishvar. He led them against the Sammaran kings and infidels who dared to consider themselves equal to the Faithful of Ishvar.
Theocracy of Al-Malik – 1,950 years ago
After the sacking of Sammara and subsequent death of Al-Malik, a theocracy was formed in his name. Though lacking in individual rights, the Al-Maliki culture was rich in art, literature and music. Scornful of outsiders, the Theocracy of Al-Malik was never a powerhouse for trade though it was very rich in wealth and resources.
Kingdom of Nefer – 1,450 years ago.
Al-Maliki warriors were able to hold back encroachment by outsiders into Sammara for centuries, but the promise of greater rights, freedom and opportunity among the Neferese led to an outpouring of refugees. This encouraged King Nefer to invade and occupy Sammara. The war for Sammara was long and bloody. It was the last territory King Nefer conquered in his lifetime, which remains a part of the Kingdom of Nefer to this day.