|Native Heritages||Sirdabi, Razmani, Tessouare, Salawi|
Raziya is the easternmost of the Sirdabi Caliphate's Idiri provinces, situated in the northeast corner of the continent. It is home to the cosmopolitan port city of Omrazir, the provincial capital and one of the great cities of the caliphate, and is a major center of commerce as well as learning and faith. Although both the weather and terrain may often be unforgiving, there are great opportunities to be seized and mysteries to discover for those with a sense of adventure.
Geography & Climate
Raziya is an extremely rugged land, with much of the province consisting of tall steep-sided massifs carved through with deep canyons and ravines. The interior plateau receives little rain and sees strong extremes of temperature, besides being largely unfavorable for agriculture. As a result most of the population is confined to the more hospitable coastal regions, particularly along the Adelantean shore that forms the province's northern border. Although this part of Raziya is plagued by storms and fog during the winter months, this season brings welcome precipitation which, along with the milder climate overall, sustains farming and arboriculture upon the north coast. In contrast, the land along the Gulf of Adwa to the east drops so sharply into the sea that little terrain is available for cultivation, and most of the rain in this area falls further south and on the far side of the Gulf, watering the province of Marzum instead and leaving the Raziyan city of El Gedz reliant on grain and produce imported from elsewhere in the caliphate.
However harsh the landscape of the interior is, it does still support a scattered population as well as trade routes that link the two coasts to one another and to the province of Zalawi to the south. Although far less traveled in modern times than in the days of the Marzum Despotate that restricted travel through the Gulf, the Sharizaar Road and the Oyster Road are still important routes for the transport of regional goods such as dates, shellfish, semiprecious stones, and aromatics like frankincense and ishmarila sap. The River Tamrasset, while running largely below ground for much of its course through the center of the province, still lies close enough to the surface to provide water for sophisticated Razmani irrigation agriculture. Having cut through the heart of the great Sharizaar Massif in ancient times, the river is also responsible for forming the canyons into which numerous small Razmani settlements are carved, along with much of the southern city of Alheri.
The Razmani are the native people of Raziya and can be found throughout the province. Despite their ancestors being the original founders of Omrazir, the largest center of Razmani population is now the city of Alheri in the south, though smaller settlements may be found scattered throughout the Sharizaar and Tamrasset massifs. Sirdabi and Tessouare are also widespread in Raziya, along with numerous Salawi residing along the coasts. Most Sirdabi are found in the cities and towns of the province, or farming land in the Sidi Mircasset Oasis. The Tessouare, for their part, have long shared Raziya with the Razmani, and are found as nomadic pastoralists, farmers on the Plain of Storms, and longtime residents of villages such as Soubeg and Orabi. Sirdabi and Salawi mingle in the fishing village of El Gedz, while the latter also usually represent the best sailors, sea captains, and shipbuilders in any other town along the entire coast. Omrazir itself has a populace that represents not just the peoples of the entire Sirdabi Caliphate, but much of the known world.
The economy of Raziya largely depends on its role in channeling goods from across the continent of Idiri to the Ruleskan portions of the caliphate, and vice versa. Nearly all of these goods pass through the coastal metropolis of Omrazir, which is one of the great port cities not just of the caliphate but of the entire Adelantean basin. Countless merchants of both vast and modest means headquarter their diverse business operations in Omrazir, from there sponsoring ships that ply the Adelantean and the Sea of Salaah, and caravans that travel across the Idiri continent. The province is especially important as a conduit for trade with the Izendi Highlands, and both ports and local markets are filled with the Milombo people's fine wooden sculptures and masks, as well as musical instruments, bows, and raw tropical wood.
The province also exports a number of important domestic products. These include black pearls and indigo dye from al-Sakhna, oysters and kholabin from El Gedz, ishmarila sap from the coastal cliffs, and turquoise, razmanite, and copper from the interior. Good linen cloth, both dyed and plain, and high quality papyrus and paper are local craft industries that have a widespread market. Having only limited arable available for growing foodstuffs, Raziya imports most of its grain and produce, predominantly from the neighboring province of Amunat. It does however have a thriving olive and date industry, with Sidi Mircasset dates being prized for their unique, almost peppery tang that accentuates their sweetness.
Raziya is a land where many faiths come together, sometimes merging seamlessly and at other times colliding into open -- though seldom violent -- conflict. As part of the Sirdabi Caliphate and its community of the faithful, the province's official religion is Azadi, and in fact the faith has sunk deep roots here. It was to the city of Omrazir that the Prophet Azad's first wife Adwa fled at the outbreak of the Women's War, when the succession of the leader of the faithful fell into dispute following the prophet's death, and it was in Raziya where she found both sanctuary and suffering. Owing to the conviction and intelligence with which Adwa preached the Song of God to the people of Omrazir, it became the only major city to join the young caliphate by the free will of the majority of the people, rather than through conquest or the acceptance of a passionate but small minority. For these reasons Omrazir has a special place within the Azadi faith, and is the second most important pilgrimage destination to the faithful.
The land that now forms the province of Raziya has older gods and traditions than Azadi, however. Omrazir has always been considered the favored city of the goddess Nirzali, who is widely worshiped throughout Idiri. While the Temple of Storms is the most prominent place of worship dedicated to her, other smaller shrines may be found around the province, particularly along the coasts. Due to the great importance of both Nirzali and Adwa in the traditions of Raziya, the two figures have become conflated in many ways, with pagan worshipers conceiving of Adwa as a mortal yet divinely touched manifestation of the goddess, and many Azadi worshipers generously choose to believe that the pagans' reverence for Nirzali and her consort Nthandu reflects a muddled but sincere respect for Adwa and her husband Azad, the great Prophet. Thus while ample frictions exist between the two religions and occasional outbursts of mutual hostility are not unknown, for the most part the chief faiths of Raziya manage to coexist peaceably if not always cordially.
Deeper into the interior of the plateau, still other traditions linger -- belief in spirits of various kinds is common, and there are rumored to even be followers still of the old gods of the land, the Children of Dawn and Dusk.
Cities & Towns
- Omrazir: The provincial capital, and one of the great centers of commerce and learning of the Sirdabi Caliphate.
- Al-Sakhna: The port of Omrazir, with a proud history and independent spirit of its own.
- Alheri: A bustling Razmani trading entrepot, carved out of the canyons of the south Rassi Plateau.
- El Gedz: A small but prosperous fishing village on the Gulf coast.
- Orabi: A scrappy little outpost near the edge of the Rassi Plateau, in the shadow of the Sharizaar Massif.
- Soubeg: A Tessouare village on the Old Coast Road to Kneph-Nabhet.