Alaris lies on the Southern coast of the Dasharan continent. It was previously part of the Dasharan Commonwealth but following The Bone Wars in 1113 and Dashar’s collapse the southern Dasharan cities were cut off by impassable deserts.
For mutual protection and due to thier shared culture many of these abandoned cities united under the name of Alaris, an ancient Dashar word roughly meaning ‘orphans’. They have since formed a unique and distinct culture, far more extroverted and dynamic than Dashar. They are skilled sailors, rivalling even Yelnihas captains and an annual sailing race is held between the Yelnihas isles and Alaris’s capital city in which many humans and halflings take part.
Their hard origins has bred a fierce patriotism and sense of independance into Alarisians, this had caused them to resist any attempts by Kondar and the Capitavirate to undermine thier rule. Tensions between Alaris and Kondar had risen dramtically since 2506 when Yelnihas formally signed an alliance between themselves and Kondar but during a series of invasions by a hobgoblin horde, and with significant urging from Yelnihas, five Kondaran legions landed in Alaris to bolster the beleagered Alaris army. However, following the defeat of the hobgoblins ouside the walls of the ancient Dashar fortress Nurieth, the Kondaran legions refused to leave claiming to be a ‘peacekeeping force’. Discussions between Queen Arali
a and the legion commanders quickly broke down and rogue elements of the Alaris military attacked the Kondaran soldiers. The legions reacted quickly and seized a number of coastal fortifications, war between Kondar and Alaris is declared. More legions are dispatched from Kondar and, despite the Alaris navy’s efforts, land reinforcements to begin a land campaign. The campaign in Alaris is currently slow, due to the almost fanatical resistance of the Alaran population and the Alaris navy’s efforts to prevent reinforcements and supplies reaching the outnumbered Kondaran legions. The Capitavirate is currently pressuring Yelnihas to send thier navy to help protect the Kondaran ships but thus far the halflings have stalled, not wishing to bring Kondar’s powerful legions to thier own shores but unwilling to betray thier historic friend and ally.
Alaris is a warm country with vast deserts to the north and rolling undulating plains to the south. The Capital, Nurieth sits at the centre nestled in a protective mountain range from which spring a dozen mighty rivers which flow through the land. The east and west coasts are edged with tall cliffs home to many seabirds and are powerful natural naval defences. Where the rivers meet the sea however, wide flat deltas are created which are ripe with warm marshes and jungles. The coastal towns set up at these locations have large docks to tend to the Alarisian navy.
Fish thrive in the tropical waters, and Alaris is particularly well known for it’s predatory fish; the Skiller fish. Known to attack swimmers and small boats in the shallows, this fish has been driven away from the coastline due to being fished extensively for meat and for safety. Skiller fish have, as a result, become a delicacy in much of Alaris and only the best fisherman are still able to hunt them down and kill them. Many fishermen adorn huge Skiller teeth as a mark of skill and sea prowess, some have been known to decorate ships with the rib cages and jaws. Skillers often grow to up to 18ft most commonly reaching around 10 feet before capture. Due to their vast size huge gatherings are held when they are hauled in and the villages nearby all lend their ovens to help cook the vast quantity of meat for the party, which can last several days. Tradition dictates that the eyes are eaten, one by the fisherman’s family the other by someone of high standing within the town.
The centre of the nation, surrounding Nurieth, the capital is quite cosmopolitan with the latest in world fashions and trends being adhered to. The outlying towns however, particularly those in the plains and deserts retain a sense of tirbalism and rarely get visits from the ‘new country’. The coastal towns, particularly the bohemian Freeport on the south-western coast have managed to resist this cultural quagmire and have moved with the times to be more like Nurieth.
Since leaving Dashar’s rule, the Alarisian people have retained their connection to magic and the arcane, particularly favoring the conjuring of Genies, Divs, Elementals and Asuras or the use of fire magic. This connection has spawned a handful of powerful noble houses where sorcery and fire runs hot in their veins. Many of these houses are Ifrit, Dashans or Suli. Commoners are generally Human, but a lot of Half-Elves and Halflings live in the cities of Alaris. Out in the tribal lands, Half-Orcs are more common as well as rare Hobgoblins who have left the harsh rule of their empire in the deserts.
In order to resist the Capitavirate‘s economic prowess, Alaris has had to develop a strong economy of its own. The merchants of Alaris are renowned for their skill at haggling and have been attributed the supernatural ability ’gold scent’- for the way they sniff out a bargain. Powerful merchants often make use of Marids and Efreeti genies to watch over important deals and examine expensive goods before purchasing. One of the darker sides of this economic strength however, is that slavery is still legal in Alaris. No-one is proud of this fact, especially the Royal Family but it has been necessary to keep up with Kondar‘s fortunes. Treating a slave badly however is seen as terrible bad sport and persistent offenders are stripped of their ’license to enslave’.
The Queen’s Royal guard are the elite defenders of the realm, armed with powerful scimitars, falcatas, dao or temple swords and ornamental red carapace armour with golden filigree.
Alarisians can be quite fiery (some say its the connection to Genies) and passionate about anything from their favourite food to the state of the country’s politics. Alarisians talk loud and fast in their native tongue of Qadi (a derivation of Dasharan Elven with Ignan and Goblin influence) which consists of lots of hard consonants and swirling tongue-and-throat vowels.
The official religion of the nation is Pelor, the Sun God but other deities are popular in the cities of Alaris particularly St. Cuthbert, Kord, Olidammara and The Lady. Out in the tribal lands, Wee Jas is revered along with Farlaghan and Besmara along the coast. Some of the older tribes venerate genie lords and elemental spirit totems but the practice is frowned upon by cosmopolitan Alarisians.