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SZEKESH (Land of)
Location: Continent of Brun, western side of the Endworld Line, south of Hyborea. WB
Area: 10,430 sq. mi. (27,014 sq. km.).
Population: 8,000 (95% Djikarti gnomes).
Coinage: Drake (pp), ink (gp), sue (sp), jul (cp).
Government Type: Anarchy.
Taxes: No system of taxation exists in Szekesh.
Industries: Agriculture (mostly potatoes), farming (reindeer, goats, sheep).
Important Figures: Wyrht (General of the Blessed of Szek, gnome, male, F8/T12).
Flora and Fauna: Many plants and animals naturally resident of a northern, mountainous realm may be found here. In the scattered secluded valleys and meadows of the region can be found isolated juniper shrubs, evergreens, and hardy grasses. Much of the country is too rugged to support much in the way of plant life, and one may easily find various species of moss and lichen clinging to the mountainsides. In terms of animal life, herds of mountain goats may be found in the southern valleys, and reindeer are known to pass through the region during their migrations. The more dangerous creatures include frost giants, ice wolves, and scattered yeti tribes. Rumour has it that a particularly large, and reclusive, white dragon has her lair in one of the tallest mountains of the region, though no one has found its location.
Further Reading: None.
Description by Giulio diSergio-Orsini.
The Djikarti live in small villages made of stone houses or carved in the mountains, and the people are equally divided between the ones which live underground and the ones above. There are only two major settlements in the land: Hrektizaga and Fort Swaag. Hrektizaga is the capital and only city of the nation. It is home to 1,200 Djikarti gnomes, 300 humans, and the Academy of Ice Sciences. Fort Swaag is the military centre, where 1,000 well-equipped Blessed of Szek gnomes patrol the southern mountains.
The Djikarti gnomes are a merry, anarchical gnomish sub-race. They have no king or organized associations, and the only institution they have is the small army of Blessed of Szek in Fort Swaag. Djikarti are apparently unrelated to other Mystaran specimens. Their love for chaos has made them a fierce enemy of the Closed Society, but friendly towards most other people of the Klagorst region, although they do not understand the humans' apparent need for order. Djikarti are free spirits that can be found anywhere in Klagorst; many are adventurers or mercenaries, and they have often volunteered in armies that tried to cause the downfall of tyrants and despots in the Heartlands. This makes Szekesh a good place to visit. The gnomes are hospitable and friendly, but unfortunately their chaotic nature results in the absence of the concept of property. Many Djikarti are in this respect equal to thieves, and it is incomprehensible to them, that when they travel in Klagorst, they are often charged of thievery. Perhaps the fact that they do not feel the least respect for any institution makes any form of understanding or agreement with this otherwise pleasant race all the more difficult.
According to their traditions, the gnomes arrived in the region of Szekesh around AC 150, guided by their Immortal Szek, Patron of Freedom. The gnomes tell that they once witnessed the decline and self-destruction of an ancient society, and decided therefore to avoid any social organisation thereafter. Unfortunately, this decision weakened their race, and exposed them to the aggression of their neighbours, so Szek led His protégées to a new land that eventually became Szekesh. The Djikarti faced few problems, because there were no other civilised races in the vicinity; or so they believed, because Djikarti scouts eventually discovered the hydrax at the north around AC 230. The two races have never liked each other, but never came to war because of the isolationistic nature of the hydrax and the peaceful and disorganised nature of the Djikarti.
The major threat to the Djikarti came much later. First, around AC 430, the Stygians began to invade from the south, and nearly conquered all the land. Facing a troglodyte-dictated truce without the possibility of defending themselves, other than with sparse guerrilla activities, the Djikarti would probably have faced a destiny of slavery. Amazingly, a new race arrived from the east, succeeding in the impossible task of crossing the mountains: it was the varkhas, who attacked the troglodytes and freed the country from the invaders (AC 434-437). Even if, at first, the Djikarti feared that the varkhas were simply going to be new oppressors, they left Szekesh when the last troglodyte did so, then departed southwards to forge their kingdom, Gournzee. After that, the Djikarti lived free, but decided to organise a stable military force, guided mostly by Blessed of Szek, self-styled crusaders of Szek, who are born with an innate sense of lawfulness. These are the police and military of the country, but are also not at all oppressive, and although they differ greatly in behaviour and mannerisms from their other kin, they know that they were born for the sole purpose of ensuring a completely free way of life for the Djikarti.
When the Visneskayan and Brasovian humans came from southeast, and attempted to take over the country, the Blessed of Szek managed to oust the aggressive human settlers, and founded Fort Swaag to discourage future invasions, but did not face any more trouble.
Szekesh is a very good country to visit if you are an anarchist, but otherwise it can be a frustrating experience, maybe more so than the Land of the Closed Society, outside Hrektizaga. In this city lives a small community of humans, and the Djikarti who live here try to cope with the needs of order other races have... so there one may enjoy a near-paradise of semi-anarchy, even if most Djikarti feel that the city's atmosphere is too restrictive to them!