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 Mankind: The Theocracy of Sabbaht

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PostSubject: Mankind: The Theocracy of Sabbaht   Sat May 16, 2015 6:51 pm





SABBAHT


Often looked at with disdain by the other kingdoms of men, the far-flung land of Sabbaht is considered the edge of the world - and the brink of humanity. Many of the opinions of Sabbaht originate from its ancestor, Stygia. Stygia was a magocracy that established incredible power in the ancient world; it fell when the mage lords were cast down by a powerful religious faction. Sabbaht is a land of mystery and power, where careful hands deal in the elite classes that form the fundament of the temple. The deserts of the land guard secret oases, sparse grasslands, and scrubland where animals graze and predators hunt.

The people there are impulsive, cunning, and dutiful. The land is hard and arid, but it boasts exotic goods that it hoards at the end of trade. Its military is considerable, but its own industry is run off of slave labor. It is the epitome of magical scholarship within mankind, answering only to the tenants of its state religion. The religious power in Sabbaht is the worship of Sep, the elder serpent. He is an Aordean god, and the state exists to serve his machinations, in hopes of his benediction. The horrors of elder Stygia are innumerable, and though many are glad that in recent history it has been abolished… many should worry how little has changed.

The Theocracy denies all claims of human sacrifice, blood rites, and divine usurpation - by themselves intentionally or by proxy through Sep. This keeps them tenuously perched between shunned and being reviled. Sabbaht makes no illusions of its slave trade, preaching that as their own evil, and that all men have their own. This paves the way for the greatest of their crimes. Their slaves are vast in number, considerable portions of their owns citizenry condemned to slavery at times when the economy will not allow otherwise. Slaves may be acted upon in any way as their master sees fit, and are not considered wholly the same as a free man. As such, many atrocities are committed upon slaves, and no nation can oblige to act without both violating terms of honesty, and terms of social understanding. For while Sabbaht has slaves, its free men live better than most other lands. Since they are not capturing slaves from neighboring countries, what are they doing besides accumulating slaves that already exist? Surely the trade will die out, if all other men abandon the practice? It is a twisted game that Sabbaht plays.

The people of Sabbaht are among the most magically inclined in all of humanity, and their people are said to be endowed with an innate affiliation with two particular schools of their culture. The study of life-giving… and life taking… as well as one of the most fearsome primal forces, Lightning.




HISTORY


Nothing in history can tell of the origins of Sabbaht. The only references to those people who decided in the dawn of civilization to trek far across the desert, along the Sea of the Sun, are in ancient remnants left to the desert. Depictions of a lightning spider, known as Kstensidi and believed to be their ancient god. All things fail to explain them, until we finally reach the end of their journey. These people would found one of the most ancient powers known to man, the far-flung kingdom of Stygia.

These people would arrive in their location, and set into revel as well fervor. They had been delivered to a place of power, strong with magic, and they had built the capital of their ancient empire atop of it. Calling this place Thebithur, it would be one of the most ancient cities in all of the world. From this spot they would form their magocracy, a society in which magical power delivers the ability to rule. It would be a shadowy place, the ground watered with blood, the air crackling with mystical power.

For thousands of years, Stygia would sit on the edge of the world, tempting those with powerful sorcery, keeping rulers awake at night. "Gods and demons tread lightly in Stygia" was a popular saying for those who traveled too and from. The countryside would be attended by commoners who lived reasonably well, while slaves toiled and served brutal masters. Those without magical ability obeyed those that did, and wealth that these magisters commanded. Stygia exported rare things, and imported much the same. All mages wanting for the pristine elemental stones, delicate tomes of lore, and all sorts of things that could only be found in Stygia.

Eventually, seemingly overnight, the magocracy would be overwhelmed, and cast down. As Bacharium did fall, so too did Sabbaht rise.

Founded by arch-magisters of the old magocracy, they attested to have found true power in the worship of their divine. Sep, the elder serpent. These mages flocked from the ancient capital to a place not too far. There they are said to have found the resting place of Sep, and atop of that they did build their greatest city. Marvelous and grand as Thebithur, so too was this new city. Ankhami-Sep, the Great Place of Sep. All bows before the majesty of the great temple, wherein the air crackles with magical powers, and the greatest arch-mages devoted to Sep gather to appease him and bask in his sleeping presence.

Modern Sabbaht is much the same as it has been in the near millenium of its existence. Distant from most of the world, it scorns their gods and their worship. It scorns their inferior studies of magic, and scoffs their trivial pursuits of attempting further advancing science than what it currently is. Air-pressure weaponry largely being seen as inferior to their masterful works of magery, the land of Sabbaht is as mystical and powerful as it has ever been.

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