Allasha, (Fehrdani: Allasha, Kandian: All'akash), is one of the five provinces of metropolitan Snefaldia. The provincial capital is Korsahad.
Climate & Geography
Allasha is very hot and windy, with little vegetation except in the far east districts, where the land begins to descend into the fertile Dayan Basin, and in the northeast where the deciduous zone of the Sring Issa begins. The east and southern areas are dry and rocky butting against the Saard and the Zogor Range, while north and central Allasha is dominated by desert along the Velnar Mountains.
There are no major rivers or lakes in Allasha, although the northeastern turns to dry savannah and there are oases dotted around the landscape. Pardaki Gorge marks the site of an ancient river that once ran through Allasha, and there is evidence that the region was once as lush and green as Dayan. Unlike the Saard, which bisects the country perfectly, this ancient river (which has been dubbed the "Taaru") appears to have branched hundreds of times into small, Amazonian rivers, which survive today as sandy gorges and depressions in the south.
The first major civilizations arose in Allasha roughly 5000 kya when nomadic pastoralists settled in west Allasha at the foot of the Zogor mountains, close to an ancient river which supplied the entire region. The earliest recorded city was at Walad in the west. Walad was originally a mudbrick city, but was later expanded in Zogor stone, beginning the Terangal building cycle.
Roughly one hundred other cities of varying size have been identified as being from the Terangal period, built out of the same strong Zogor stone and involving elaborate water systems. Little is known about ancient Allashan society- also called "Taaru Culture" after the ancient river- but the architecture indicates a high sophistication- many buildings have carved artwork and their functions have been divined.
Sometime in 500BCE, an earthquake shook the Zogor range and caused the Taaru to dry up. The Pardaki Gorge, which to this day only has a trickle of water running through it, was drained, and the streams and rivers that crossed Allasha dried up. The Taaru civilizations were devastated, and by 400BCE the ancient cities had been abandoned.
Around 300BCE horse-riding nomads entered Allasha from the west, driving the remnants of the Taaru peoples out and conquering the region. The tribes settled onto the land, moving about searching for water and supplies, eventually establishing population centers at oases and other lush areas.
Researchers are unsure if the tribes absorbed the remnants of the Taaru civilization, but the stone cities remained empty, and were treated as mysterious or magical by the new inhabitants. The first written records of Allasha appear in 23CE, when the city of Kand was founded in the northeast, and Korsahad in the west-central region.
Kand and Korsahad
Kand and Korsahad began as small cult centers, but as the population expanded and farming techniques adapted to the harsh landscape they grew in importance. Several major dialects of the common Allashan language family developed, with one centered around Korsahad, one around Kand, and a third around the Mashaan. From 200-400 CE the number of cities expanded to capitalize no only on trade from the east, but on water resources being discovered in the sandy countryside.
In 565 CE the priestly leadership of Kand, which had become a religious center, attacked the city of Mashaan, conquering the rich trade center and imposing the Kandian dialect on the area. Feeling threatened, the lords of Korsahad went to war against the cities supporting Kand, a war that lasted until 615 CE. Exhausted, the Kandians broke the conflict and abandoned Mashaan and it's environs, leaving the ascendant Korsahadis to rule larger swaths of Allasha.
By 770, however, the Korsahad hegemony had contracted, with independent trade cities like Mashaan and Suwanda in the east and south growing in size and strength. In 805 the Kandians chose a new high priest, the young and vibrant Nagash. He spent the next five years expanding Kand's hold by influencing the King, training armies and rebuilding the city's and countryside's defense. The rocky terrain of the countryside was filled with forts and mined for stone, and the city itself was transfixed by a religious fervor supported by the new king's policies.
In 809, Nagas seized control of the city in the name of the gods after the sudden death of the King, and in 810 he went to war. Seizing the cities of Fahd and Shewda in quick succession, he settled in for a siege of Mashaan and in six months had captured it. A religious zealot, he ordered the city-gods of the defeated enemies carried back to the temples of Kand with due reverence, and imposed the Kandian dialect once more on the conquered cities. Using the riches of the trade routes controlled by Mashaan and Fahd, he embarked on massive building and expansion programs, building huge temples and public boulevards while his armies conquered.
By 815, Nagas moved against the Korsahadi hegemony and the central Allashan cities allied with them. He conquered the border metropolis of Gushabend in the summer of that year, and threatened the Korsahadis by raiding the towns of Qufyna and Suwanda. The political rulers of the central region took notice and went to battle multiple times against the eastern ruler's threat, fighting sporadically until 825, but the Korsahadis could not dislodge Naga's forces from the exterior- and neither could Nagas penetrate further.
In 830 Zubat of Korsahad led an army through the wilderness to threaten the interior of Kand's realm, settling into a siege of Mashaan itself. An unlucky arrow killed Zubat and the chances of taking the city, but Nagas- conducting rituals at Gushabend- arrived a day too late to destroy the army of Korsahad. Realizing the border was undefended, he dispatched emissaries to sue for peace, which resulted in a ten-year suspension of hostilities. King Adan of Korsahad feared the machinations of Nagas, and the priest-king wanted time to consolidate, but after seven years without a move on either side the western city relaxed and Nagas made his move.
Choosing the unaligned northern city of Shaffaya as his target, he marched quickly and forced it to submit. With the famous horsemen of the city in his army, he reduced the fertile Wabd valley and used the agricultural base to supply his army. Turning west, he fostered discontent between Suwanda and Quffyna, then invaded the former in mock "support" of the king of Quffyna- who he quickly betrayed and killed.
Sporadic skirmished brought nothing until 843, when a Kandian army was defeated at Mahhabiya Oasis, preparing to transport city-gods from recently conquered towns to Kand. Nagas, who was in the capital, wasn't present to prevent the defeat and the Korsahadi army captured the entire pantheon. Orchestrating a ransom, Nagas married his daughter to the King of Korsahad. Realizing he could gain little more with force, he orchestrated marriage alliances and population transplants within his realm, leaving the kingdom to his son Rim-Sin.
In 1355, the first Aatem Nal missionaries arrived in Allasha and quickly gained a foothold as secular dispensers of knowledge. In the north, old religious oligarchs were ousted by a new class of civil leaders who applied Aatem Nal ideas. Unlike Dayan and Sring Issa, however, the Central Council never held direct control over the Allashan cities.
Despite the influence of Aatem Nal, wars between the cities began to occur as secular leaders established dynastic lines and sought greater control over the sparse resources in the region. Allashan forms of Endiri, which had developed prior to the Dayaniram, were solidified and a syncretistic movement ocurred which linked the city-gods of Allasha to each other and to Snefaldia at large, providing sheikhs and other leaders justification to "unite" Allasha.
In 1396 the Christian community of Taxilha, largely Orthodox Christians in communion with Constantinople, were forced by city leaders to leave, and migrated into southern Allasha. The fractious political atmosphere in the south allowed them to established a kingdom, and in 1405 had established control over a wide swath of the south. King Ioannes I Stratiotikos strengthened the state, and it remained independent until 1575, when the northern Aatem Nal rulers conquered it.
One faction finally won out against the others in 1575, and the Akayids of Korsahad seize control over the major cities of Allasha and established a centralized Kingdom. Trade routes were normalized, and government offices were standardized in all cities. A census was taken and attempts to define the borders were made. Akaya Rezi, an arsath who had studied in Korsahad, was confirmed as King of Allasha by the Tuhran Bel, and promoted Aatem Nal alongside the native polytheism. With the support of Aatem Nal's leaders and the re-establishment of trade to the west, the Akayid Dynasty was cemented as the legitimate ruling power of the region.
Unlike in Sring Issa and Dayan, where the multitude of local elites and competing aristocrats led to political fragmentation, Allasha remained united and efficient through the 17th century. In the Segovan period, Allashans were given a special dispensation that allowed the King's treasury to keep all taxes and tariffs from the western overland trade, unlike the other dominions that comprised the Segovan which had to submit a percentage of tithe to Serasarda. In 1770, however, King Zintura the Akayid died without having named an heir, leaving twenty-three male and female relatives with a close claim to the throne. A War of Succession was sparked, tearing the region apart and disrupting the overland trade which had been so lucrative; the wealthy treasury which the Akayids had amassed was pilfered and squandered by the claimants in a bid to secure support from Sring Issa, Dayan, and Neer Dal.
The War of Succession resulted in the end of a united kingdom of Allasha, and in 1778 the last conflicts were concluded after Serasarda intervened with the King of Isaardlang to broker a peace dividing the region into a bevy of independent city-states along ethnic lines; the main divisions being the Fehrdani and Kandians, and in the south the predominantly Christian areas in Zakkur and Melkida. These kindgoms dispatched representatives to the Segovan. The Akayid Dynasty continued to reign in Korsahad, with control over the west and southwestern portions of the region.
Time of Troubles
In the Five War Century, the patchwork arrangement of petty kingdoms grew untenable in the face of growing republican sentiment, and one by one the princely states began to create elected parliaments and assemblys, or were overthrown. The stabilizing influence of Aatem Nal disappeared as its hierarchy dealt with its own internal problems. In 1850 the King of Kand, Kormatta III, was crowned and immediately began to solidify his control over the eastern half of Allasha in opposition to the Akayids in the east; his policies of disbanding and executing parliaments earned him a place as one of the "Four Anti-Progressive Monarchs." He attempted to conclude a marriage arrangement with the Akayids, which ultimately failed, and he earned the enmity of Zakkur and Melkida for his belligerence.