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Nithia (Kingdom of)

Location: Hollow World, continent of Iciria, southern hemisphere, eastern reaches.
Area: 687,277 sq. mi.
Population: 4,000,000, including 350,000 in the capital of Tarthis.
Languages: Nithian, Neathar.
Coinage: Eye (gp), hawk (sp), beetle (cp).
Taxes: 25% income tax, 5% salt tax (sale tax) on water.
Government Type: Monarchy, but all Kings and Queens must be clerics.
Industries: Agriculture (Nithia has abundant growing seasons; it produces enough grain to feed the nation and have surplus for trade), gold mining.
Important Figures: Pharaoh Ramose IV (human, male, Pr15 of Rathanos), Queen Tafiri (human, female, Pr12 of Pflarr) [Ed. Note: Current information seems to indicate that Tafiri is now dead and that the following people have attained positions of importance: Queen Senkha (human, female, M12/Pr4 of Rathanos), King Al-Belak (human, male, T12), Djemun (human, female, T15), Vizier of Internal Security Nikita-Ahmed (human, female, F18), King Khnemet-urt (human, male, Pr9 of Pflarr), and Permon (human, male, C8, the only non-specialty priest in Rathanos' clergy).].
Flora and Fauna: Among the many monsters and animals are animal herds (oxen, horses, sheep, goats), giant ants, rock baboons, bandits, giant (scarab) beetles, camels, carrion crawlers, lions, dragons, efreet, gargantuans, gargoyles, gelatinous cubes, ghouls, gnolls, liches, giant lizards, manscorpions, mummies, purple worms, rats, rocs, flame salamanders, scorpions, skeletons, snakes, sphinxes, living statues, stirges, and zombies.
Description: by Claransa the Seer, during her visit in AC 1006. Note that only parts deemed important for you the reader were taken, and sections have been edited, deleted, and even rearranged from their previous order for brevity and/or clarity. If you would like to read more, I recommend purchasing a copy of "Claransa's Travels."

"After the long talk with Trubiyar [A Jennite friend Claransa met on her travels. Ed.] about the lands surrounding the plains of his people, I decided that Nithia would be the next place for me to visit. The story of how the land was once green, but then the sun came crashing into it and turned it into a desert is one that any mage or sage in mythology and history cannot ignore. It seems that after the area became a desert, a civilisation of dark-skinned people called the Nithians appeared just as mysteriously."

"They apparently have huge stone monuments, most of which are used to entomb their dead as well as all his living relatives. Could this be another sacrificial culture similar to the Azcans I visited... well, way back. With these never ending days, I have lost all track of time."

"It was agreed then, and the next day the two of us set off toward the land of Trubiyar's enemies. I hope that he will keep his word and behave while there, as the last thing I need is to be caught in the middle of a racial war."

The Land

"The land of Nithia is a bleak and scorched place. Despite the eternal red sun being in the exact same position as it is for anywhere else within the Hollow World, the climate here is tremendously warmer that just several miles west. The sky is completely clear of clouds, and I doubt is has rained here in days...err sleeps.

Vegetation is practically non-existent, but there is more to this desert than just sand. There are several rocky outcroppings, forming walls and canyons, as well as badlands and barren broken lands. Exposed rocks have been eroded by hundreds and thousands of years of wind and sand, taking unique and sometimes interesting shapes."

"The farmlands and grasslands surround us now. It seems we are but a march away from the famous River Nithia which apparently cuts the kingdom of Nithia in two. This large river is the source of all life for the Nithians, as well as everything else that lives in this desert."

"It seems that along the shores of this huge river, a normal, agriculture-sustaining land is available for the peasants and slaves to work on. Despite their claim to the vast area of desert beyond, here lies the true nation of Nithia."

"Tarthis is built on the banks of the River Nithia, right where the first division of the huge delta takes place. The city has a sun-dried brick wall surrounding it, ample defence in case of an attack from the neighbouring Jennites or Tanagoro.

"Most dwellings are also made with the same mud bricks, as well as the occasional stone, and thatched roofs. The rich, however, live in huge stone palaces with giant statues of sphinxes or their Immortals everywhere."

"I find it truly impressive that such a primitive culture has mastered such techniques of irrigation. The fact that water can be attained from various wells within the city, as well as a sewer system to take care of the refuse and waste is a clear sign of excellent scholars, engineers, and leadership."

The People

"Like all the other cultures I've encountered so far, the Nithians are rather unique in their customs and habits."

"The commoner among the Nithians wears a simple loin cloth or a sleeveless linen dress if female. Some unfortunate slaves wear nothing at all but a belt. The upper classes, including the priests, wear more or less the same garments, just with better fabric and brighter colours. They also wear an immense amount of gold and jewellery, of which the Nithians have managed to create various interesting specimens. I have acquired one of their bracelets, which I think I shall keep."

"The Pharaoh of the Nithians is always a cleric, and is considered by the people to be an actual Immortal avatar of the Immortal in question.

The religion also holds power elsewhere, as they are responsible for collecting the taxes and performing the death rights upon the burial of the dead. In fact, it is believed that the truly faithful to the Immortals will one day return among the living, hence the fact that they perform special ceremonies to keep their bodies intact and the burial of their belongings with them."

"The rich of Nithia build gigantic pyramids whose only purpose is to serve as their tomb once they are dead. Apparently, this helps achieve a greater place in the afterlife and hence improves the chances of returning to the living on the "great day" to come. Once dead, the rich man is buried with everything he holds dear, from his valuables to his relatives and favourite slaves. In fact, most consider it an Honor to be buried alive in such pyramids with their master. Of a peculiar note, they also store food in the pyramid, so that the souls will not starve on their journey into the afterlife."

Don't Miss

"The one building that I truly miss, having been forced to leave Tarthis, is the Library of Mysteries. This huge stone building is filled with ancient scrolls and books that must date back for at least 3 or 4 thousand years. So much could be learned from extensive studies of the information that might be within the halls of the library. Rumours abound that some of them are even magical and show the secrets to great power.

One thing that amazes me, however, is the similarities between the Nithians and the Alphatian Thothians back on the Isle of Dawn. Even their language is very similar. I cannot help but wonder if the Thothians and Nithians are somehow related."

"The Great Pyramid housing the tomb of Rasiris, stands just over 500 feet into the air. The structure appears a bright white under the sun as a layer of white limestone covers the blocks of granite the actually make it up. And that is just one pyramid here in the Necropolis of Tarthis, burial ground of the Pharaohs."

"When I was told that anything could be found in the Grand Marketplace, for a price, I didn't believe him. Now I can see the truth in Trubiyar's words. This huge, open-air market, must cover several hundred square feet and have merchant stalls or tents everywhere. Various merchants from other cultures seem almost welcome here, selling their goods just like any Nithian merchant.

Another commodity that can be bought here at the Grand Marketplace is information. Apparently, word gets around quickly in the hand of the right people, and, with the proper contacts, which can all be found in the marketplace, one can also be privileged with the information, for a price, of course."