Ishmaic Confederacy

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The Ishmaic Confederacy, widly known as the Land of the Seven Winds, is a small nation that lies to the west of the Empire, that of the Ishmaic Confederacy.

The history of Ishma is a colourful one, but since IM948 when The Banished first arrived in Ishma further generations have been born. Even now the third youthful generation of the Banished are shaping the society of the Ishmaic Confederation.

Large numbers of small social or family groups ('Hetyan') roam the vast sands of Ishma - each being associated to one of the larger Clan's that form the Confederacy. These groups either live in contentment or aspire to Clanship themselves.

Both are possible and should one of the Hetyan gain enough reputation and/or power they could theoretically rise to command a place in the Confederacy councils.

The land controlled by the Confederacy is vast - especially for the number of people who live there. For the most part desert, it is interspersed with small ranges of rocky hills or the occasionally rare watering hole.

But this is far from the entirety of the continent itself. The numbers and the assembled power of the Banished was enough to see off the attempts of the Athfanal to enslave them as they did with the first-comers and they have been able to hold the wastes that they call their own – but expansion has so far not been possible.

Ishmaic Law is unusual, especially to those of the Empire

An impasse exists - the Ishmaic's raid into the central Athfash Ban Mir and the Afthanal foray into Ishma. The resources of the fertile Afthash are of course valuable but the Ishmaic's perform their raids for glory or indeed excitement as much as for the booty they can gain. What lies to the west of the Afthash Ban Mir is not known.

Each of the Clans maintains goats as the standard domestic animal, mostly for milk and it's by-products but such animals as far from the only life in the sands. A large array of lizard life exists - ranging from the small Bootvipers right up to the immense Sandwhales that live almost entirely beneath the ground and have to be tempted to the surface in order to be killed amd eaten.

Varieties of plant life flourish in areas where either deep water can be found by their long roots or in places where their own unique make-up can flourish. The normal (and indeed not so normal) plants and animals can be found in more detail in the gazeteer section later.

Water and salt are more important than food - the former is subsidised by the green wizards that abound in the Confederacy, more than half of the magical power of the Confederacy comes from this element.

Those who show the talent for magic at an early age are allowed to choose their master and the colour they follow - since water is obviously paramount most choose the green path. The earth wizards soon developed a spell to convert sand to salt and the basics of life were established.

The goats of the Confederacy are far larger than the kind found in the Empire - most large enough to act as pack animals. Over their tough hides they grow a wiry fleece which can be woven into the cloth used by the people of Ishma. The people travel in their Hetyans from place to place, moving on routes established years ago between patches of the tough doggrass upon which the goats feed then moving on in order to allow that patch to regrow.

Trading is performed primarily at Galahbhad and in times of extreme shortage a Hetyan group will trade it's children for what it needs with other Hetyan's where they will be brought up as their own. The original Hetyan survives and the children grow up in their new family.

Everyone in the Hetyan group are expected to be able to fight - only wizards and pregnant women are exempted from the continual guarding ands hunting parties. The extreme scarcity of metal has made armour of such material extinct and the commonest weapon is the Glaive – a short, heavy bladed sword that is used as both tool and weapon by all but the purest wizards.

It should be noted that no natural deposits of metal have been found on the continent and that which does exist was brought by the Banished with them when they fled the Empire. This shortage has become a symbol of survival for the Ishmaic’s – they own what metal is due their status and will have nothing to do with personal wealth beyond this.

Labrynthian merchants arriving with a cargo of metal swords would find such a bounty untouched by the arrogant Clans for metal is won or fair traded with merchants of their own nation – not bartered with outsiders.

The richer Hetyan - those pre-eminent in their clan, have more metal and have more elaborate weaponry, swords such as those seen in the Empire are common amongst the Galahbhad who have stronger links with the outside world and the Salahman who are gifted with metal by the other Clan's for their continual conflict with the Athfanal. Cooking pots and skillets are valued highly and amongst the Hetyan the tinker smiths are extremely important, their work has often being a good, tradeable resource.

Metal armour is a sign of weakness and one which the Ishmaic’s sneer at when they see the chainmail of the Empire.

Within the first five years of the founding of the Confederacy alternatives were found. The strains of large lizards of Ishma and especially the strong hides and ribs of the Sandwhales provided the materials needed.

Many of the Ishmaic people own weapons carved from bone that is treated by the pathfinders for resilience and flexibility.

Goat and lizard leather provides light, strong armour and the Galahbhad Clan are taught to care for the special laminates that they use for protection. These laminates are the finest armour in the Confederacy and arguably the best known armour on Primus that does not involve metal in its construction.

The last and most common resource is glass - glass is used for arrow heads and the Buldajn use it to make weapons when acting openly. The Ishmaic's have learnt to be skilled in the arts of glass-crafting, so much so that even cooking trays are made from the material.

Glass ornamentation is common and many of the common tools and devices of civilisation are crafted from the many-coloured glass in the Confederacy.

Other pages of interest on this subject

Ishmaic Titles and Rank

Ishmaic Clans

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