Gawaris Desert
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"'You wish to see Khadeen, the Holy City, despite being an unbeliever?' The eyes of the efreet pierced me to my very soul, no doubt guessing my hidden agenda. 'Very well. I shall do so - if you are willing to pay the price…' "
- Sir George Sparrowfield: A Pilgrimage to Secret Places, Avane Street Publishing (1398)

Capital:
Population: 14,663,250 (humans 53%, gnomes 15%, goblins 12%, hobgoblins 8%, dwarves 7%, halflings 3%, elves 1%)
Government: Usually monarchy in the cities, tribal in the desert
Imports:
Exports:

This large desert region is divided in half by the mighty Marif river, which turns the central region into an extremely fertile valley prone to flooding. There is a similar contrast between the people who live here - outside the large and bustling cities built along the river and a few oasis, fierce nomads hold sway who mostly survive by raiding caravans and each other.

The region has long been relatively free of strife and prospered under the enlightened rule of the Caliphs, who combined religious and temporal authority. But sixty years ago, a succession crisis was combined with religious differences between the northern and southern populations, and a civil war erupted that ravaged many areas. When the two sides became too exhausted to fight on, a third party appeared on the scene - radical secularists who want to recreate the region in the image of more western lands and who receive covert support from the League of Armach.

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Industries

Life and Society

Government and Politics

Groups and Organizations

Religion

Most people who live in the Gawaris Desert eschew the worship of the multitudes of gods found in other regions, and they also do not have the organized clerics gifted with divine spells found elsewhere - the closest they have are their judges, who are skilled in interpreting their religious lore. Instead they worship a being they refer to as the "Divine One", "All-Father", and a large number of similar honorifics, an all-powerful entity that according to them created the world and everything in it. They do so according to the guidelines written down in the "Book of Testimony", a tome written down by a human now only referred to as "The Prophet", and which remains the basis of all their laws to this day. The gods known in other regions are to the believers of this faith nothing more than false spirits whose sole purpose is to lead weak humans astray.

Noteworthy among the religious strictures is the requirement of three daily prayers at their temples, or masiqs, and their scripture claims that as long as the faithful pray there, they will not suffer from diseases and other ailments until it is their time to end their life on the material plane. And indeed, few people who adhere to the faith seem to fall ill and barring accidents, most seem to live to a rife old age. Some western observers have speculated that the mosques are a unusual variant of nexus towers, but never within the earshot of the faithful…

Those who don't keep to the strictures and skip the prayer routines, however, can become ill, which causes others to shun them as unfaithful. Many rich sinners keep contact to clerics of the outlawed deities, who offer to cure their diseases for them in exchange for money and protection from the authorities.

Important NPCs

Major Geographical Features

Important Towns and Cities

Important Sites

Regional History

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

This is basically 1001 Nights territory, with an equivalent of Sunni-Shiite conflicts thrown in, as well as attempts of modernization by a third faction.

Obviously, I will have to add a lot more detail…

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