Khalida consists of most of the known land south and west of the Hoshanna Sea, known for its largely arid climate and multitude of territories. Though much of Khalida is indeed dry and desert-like, there are also more green and fertile areas, including those surrounding freswhater lakes, rivers, oases, and the floodplains along the great Eazim River.
In recent years the late Emperor Imran led a campaign to conquer and unite much of Khalida, but the short-lived Imrani Empire fractured back into several independent territories when the Emperor pushed his campaign beyond Khalida and was killed in the neighboring land of Alba, northeast of the Hoshanna Sea. Three of Imran's generals now have staked their own claims as Emperor, contending with one another over the title and territories, while other territories have reclaimed their independence and fiercely resist any further attempts at forced unification.
According to ancient records, the lands of Khalida were lush and full of life during the Age of Lanterns. When the Sun was placed in the sky by the Mother Goddess in a desperate attempt to end the War of Hosts and prevent the extinction of mankind, however, the intense heat of the sun began scorching the land below it as it crossed the sky, resulting in the barren deserts that make up much of modern-day Khalida. Ruins of settlements that became unviable and deserted in the arid conditions are a common fascination for contemporary historians, scholars, and treasure-hunters.
Territories & Realms
While not complete, here is a list of some of the more notable territories and realms found in Khalida:
Homeland of the late Emperor Imran, Aanum-El-Akbet is a large territory with a strong military and abundant resources, and is the largest remnant of the Imrani Empire, consisting of several smaller unified territories. Emperor Kadir, war general of the late Emperor Imran and named imperial successor, has made no secret of his intentions to use his forces to re-unify the Empire in the name of unity and peace, though these efforts are stifled by conflicts with Kadir's once-fellow war generals whom resented his being named successor to the Empire and struck out on their own with their own portions of the imperial forces. Reunification efforts are also resisted by the Coalition of Free Peoples, a loose alliance of independent Khalidan countries that have pledged to work together in order to prevent another forced unification of territories.
- Ruler: Nissa the Prophetess
- Politics: Independent, allied with the Imrani Empire
Known as the Birthplace of Man, many legends describe Abrahin as the place where mankind came to be, first placed there by the Goddess. The territory is home to many temples and one of Khalida's largest libraries in which many ancient texts and artifacts are housed. The territory has been frequently claimed and taken over by various peoples in the past, but is currently independent. One of the Khalidan territories Imran never tried to conquer, the late Emperor stated it was sacred land beyond the claim of any earthly empire. During his campaign Imran did, however, remove the existing leadership and rather forcefully suggest a religious leader take up the governing of the Birthplace of Man, leading to Nissa the Prophetess governing affairs in the territory.
A fragment of the shattered Imrani Empire, the Amadan Empire consists of a number of unified territories now ruled by Empress Nesu, once a general of the late Emperor Imran. Empress Nesu was the most pious of Imran's generals, and is credited with convincing the late Emperor to proclaim the Holy Land of Abrahin's forever independence from any empire during his military campaign, as well as influencing the decision to name the oasis of Nve-Selun as a free resource to all people. Some see Nesu as the weakest of the three generals of Imran remaining in power due to her willingness to compromise and seeming preference for diplomacy over warfare, though these qualities also win her the support of many of the people whom are tired of the constant fighting and wish to see the people united not by force of arms, but by common purpose and the united desire for peace and welfare for all Khalidan peoples under the guidance of the Goddess.
With access to both the Hoshanna Sea and the ocean, Fahrar is a wealthy territory thriving on trade. Upon the death of Emperor Imran and subsequent shattering of his empire, one of the late emperor's generals briefly ruled Fahrar, only to be assassinated by unidentified agents. It was then that the wealthy and well-loved merchant prince Harith proclaimed his desire to step in as ruler, buying off the majority of the remaining local imperial military forces. The people of Fahrar are now more determined than ever to remain free and independent, stepping up their military programs and having founded the Coalition of Free Peoples to unify allies against any further would-be conquerers of Khalida.
- Ruler: Shamiyr, Prince of Shadows
- Politics: Independent, part of the Coalition of Free Peoples (despite a history of conflict with Iqbail over trade agreements and land claims)
The people of the barren deserts of Hajar are secretive, fiercely independent, and enjoy a fearsome reputation. They rely on hidden refuges and secret knowledge of water sources throughout the desert to withstand invaders, and employ guerilla warfare to great effect during conflicts. How they survive in the barren desert is puzzling, though it is well-known that they import large quantities of food by trading valuable spices, minerals, and jewelry in return. Legends tell of vast piles of treasure hidden away in secret troves throughout the desert, tempting treasure-hunters to explore the region, though such expeditions rarely return. Other rumors speculate that the people of Hajar forsook the Goddess long ago, instead entering into the service of a powerful Daemon.
Iqbail is relatively green and fertile compared to the rest of mostly-arid Khalida. Iqbail has developed excellent agricultural technology (particularly irrigation techniques), and exports large amounts of food to other territories. Like Fahrar, Iqbail was briefly ruled by one of Imran's generals after the emperor's death and shattering of the Empire until the general was assassinated by unknown agents. Vashtiy, whom had stepped down to prevent the destruction of her land and people when Imran's forces arrived and began burning and raiding, then reclaimed her seat as ruler of Iqbail, largely supported by the people. Vashtiy eagerly joined the Coalition of Free Peoples in defiance of any further attempts at forcing Iqbail unwillingly into unity with other peoples. Many other territories are friendly with Iqbail, trading for the abundant foods grown in the fertile land's farms and flood plains along the great Eazim River.
Midyam is a land said to be cursed. Once a lush, green expanse of jungle and wetland riddled with countless pools of clear water, many battles were fought here between Khalidan worshippers of the Goddess and Zereshite servants of an Archdaemon. As the daemon fueled the occult practices of the Zereshites during the increasingly desparate conflict against the Goddess and her people, power and life was drawn from the surroundings, eventually leaving the land completely barren. The Zereshites abandoned the territory long ago, and various hardy Khalidans now make their home in Midyam, a territory officially claimed by the Imrani Empire despite its distance from other Imrani territories. While some live in Midyam by birth or by choice, the region is also a popular place to dump exiles from other territories. The Imrani Empire maintains some watchposts and strongholds to keep an eye on the Zereshite border, assignment to these posts often being given out as a form of punishment.
- Ruler: Midhat the Wise
- Politics: Independent
A small territory of largely pacifistic people, the inhabitants of Nve-Selun wish to see an end to the conflicts between the Khalidan peoples. Many inhabitants of the oasis town have moved there out of protest after suffering from war and violence in their homelands. Being at a vital water supply post along a major trade route, they have many opportunities to preach their messages of peace to those passing through. The tiny territory was founded during Imran's compaign, when claim to the oasis was highly contested and sparked many battles over the valuable resource in the surrounding desert. After one particularly bloody battle leaving few survivors, Midhat arrived to preach peace to the surviving Imrani captain. Moved by the woman's fervent desire for peace, the captain convinced Emperor Imran to proclaim the oasis a resource available to all, regardless of faction or political affiliation, as a symbol of the unity and peace he hoped to achieve by uniting all people under one empire. The scant remaining imperial forces withdrew, save for the captain and a few soldiers, whom resigned to stay with Midhat and help ensure peace was maintained at Nve-Selun. In the years since, a small community has sprung up around the oasis and the pure waters and food grown there continue to be given freely to all who need them.
A fragment of the shattered Imrani Empire, the Ramahan Empire consists of a number of unified territories now ruled by Emperor Ghalib, once a general of the late Emperor Imran. While his tactics and command of military forces are nigh legendary, Ghalib is less known for his personal skills, and more than once his no-nonsense attitude and refusal to mince words or make sentimental allowances have gotten him into unnecessary conflicts. Many of Ghalib's supporters wish to see the Khalidan peoples united in a rigid and orderly military fashion, and there are no doubt some that simply believe the general to be the clear victor due to his superior command skills.