The Empty Waste
The Country of Falak
The people of Falak were all nomadic people in the southern part of Alyssia prior to the War of the Heavens and the following catachlysm. The area was arid, but livable for smaller, nomadic tribes. Following the War of the Heavens and the Great Cataclysm, when the continent of Alyssia was split into three pieces, they remained in the Southern Continent instead of fleeing to Balrul as most other common races did.
After the Great Cataclysm, two changes shaped what was now the Southern Continent. First, the climate and environment changed dramatically. Most of the area became desolate desert, much more harsh and barren than the prior arid conditions. However, in two separate regions, large and vibrant springs found their way to the surface, creating lush areas capable of sustaining large numbers of inhabitants. Second, vast underground chambers were created that would later make this region one of the wealthiest in Alyssia.
Many of the former nomadic people chose to settle the land around the large sources of water, foregoing their previous nomadic lifestyle. After time, the cities of Dunya and Furat were established around the largest water sources. Originally, they were competing settlements ruled by Sultans. Several autonomous communities also developed near Dunya and Furat, again centering around sources of water.
Some of the nomads chose to continue their nomadic way of life, despite the harsh conditions of the desert. These people became known as the Badawi, or Desert Dwellers. They viewed those who settled in the cities with contempt, believing they had abandoned the traditions of their fathers. They became a proud people who glorified their heritage.
After a period of time, Kadir Jariq, a powerful sultan of Dunya proclaimed himself Malik. He conquered Furat and the other autonomous towns that surrounded the two cities. After unifying the settled communities, he attempted to subjugate the Badawi tribes, but was unsuccessful. Instead his vast and powerful forces met their doom in the desert, unable to survive the unforgiving environment. Malik Kadir Jariq himself never returned from the desert, having been poisoned by a trusted servant.
His son, Bina Jariq, faced a desperate situation. With the death of his father and the almost complete annihilation of his father's army, the former Sultans began to rebel. Wisely, Bina Jariq showed great wisdom and abandoned his father's quest for a completely unified Falak. Instead, he concentrated upon coalescing the different cities into one country. He rejected the title of Malik, instead choosing the term Emir and awarded loyal sultans with additional lands and powers. He also allowed the Badawi to operate autonomously, basically choosing to ignore their presence in the desert.
The Falak created by Emir Bina Jariq is very close to the Falak that exists this day.
The rulers of Falak are known by the title of Emir (Prince). The term Malik (King) has been reserved for someone who rules over the citizens of the cities within Falak AND the nomadic tribes. These nomadic tribes are ruled by Sheiks and currently do not swear allegiance to the Emir. They will be discussed later.
In recent history, the rulers of Falak ruled simply by right of birth and were essentially nothing more than politicians. They did not adventure or lead their armies in battle or engage in any type of combat. The worst of these leaders was Emir Akmal Tariq who embraced the god Malum and required the citizens of Falak to worship this evil deity. He sided with Valburn in the Second War of the Heavens against the country of Celedon. However, his brother, Faiz Tariq, rebelled and overthrew Emir Akmal Tariq during the war. His first act as Emir was to outlaw the worship of Malum. Under Faiz’s leadership, Falak changed sides in the war and fought against Valburn and their allies. Falak played an important role in the final battle which saw the defeat of Valburn. Since that time, the rulers have adventured as the emirs of old.
The current Emir, Nasib Tariq, is known as a fair and wise leader. He is known for his renovations of the Furat library and his growth of the silk trade. Like most of Falak, he is an avid worshipper of Ferian and has constructed numerous fountains to honor this beautiful goddess. He is known to be a ranger and is at home in the desert as he is in the city.
Emir Nasib Tariq's most notable achievement was winning the war with Celedon. King Blackwood, the king of Celedon accused Falak of atrocities that eventually turned out to be conducted by Celedon themselves. The armies of Celedon invaded Falak led by King Blackwood himself. On Andurtine 17, 1068, Emir Nasib Tariq personally led the forces of Falak and soundly defeated the forces of Celedon, capturing King Blackwood and the majority of his army.
The Language of Falak:
The language of Falak is known as Southern Common, which is very different from Common as it is spoken in the north. Although someone who speaks Common may understand snatches of words or even a phrase or two, they would never be able to communicate fully. Southern Common is more accurately called Ancient Common, as it reflects the common language before the Great Cataclysm. Ironically, a dialect of this language is also spoken by the barbarian tribes found in the northern wildlands. This is because the barbarians, like the Falakians, did not flee to Balrul as the rest of the common races did. Finally, the Elven and Dwarven kingdoms, found in Dalphine and Grinadier respectively, speak Southern Common as well, although these kingdoms have transitioned to modern Common and speak both easily. The merchants and many of the educated individuals in Falak speak Common as well as their native language of Southern Common.
Economy of Falak:
Falak is rich in gems and silks. Large caverns exist throughout Falak, and these caverns house the Night Worm, a worm that lives underground and spins a cocoon when it turns into the Cave Moth. The material from the cocoon is then used to make the finest silk in all of Alyssia. Additionally, these same caves hold a vast fortune of gems. Rumor tells of these caves reaching all the way into the underdark. Nevertheless, these two goods are the primary export for Falak and have helped to make Falak one of the wealthiest countries in Alyssia.
Cities of Falak:
There are only two major cities in Falak: Dunya and Furat. Both cities are built around large springs that create a verdant area over 50 miles in diameter. This provides ample area for several cities and room for cultivation. As a result, each major city has 5 smaller cities surrounding them. Both cities are beautiful with large manses built around beautiful pools.
The capital, Dunya, is a coastal city and is a thriving trade center. The busy harbor provides shelter to hundreds of ships, most hailing from the islands. The docks are organized and busy round the clock. The Emir's palace is a beautiful place to behold and is considered one of the true wonders of Alyssia. Water is abundant and one section of the city has canals instead of streets.
Dunya is situated along the Springs of Kalomar, which even form the river of Kalomar which empties into the sea. Surrounding Dunya are the cities of Ashdod, Jeddah, Harmah, Khobar and Oran. Ashdod and Jeddah are also on the coast and boast small harbors of their own. Dunya has a population of 50,000 people and the smaller surrounding communities range in size from 2,000 to 5,000.
The Sultans' Road leads from Dunya to Furat through the Ochre Flatlands. Furat is very similar to Dunya, but is smaller and doesn't have a port. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful city with grand domed buildings and grand, arched entries that mark Falakian architecture. Furat's main claim to fame is the Furat Library. This ancient library has manuscripts predating the Great Cataclysm. The librarians of Furat are treated with great honor and it is a highly sought after position. Additionally, possibly due to the pride in the library, knowledge is revered in the city of Furat.
Furat is situated in the middle of a series of springs known as the Sintra Springs. This provides an abundant supply of water to the region. Furat is much warmer than Dunya, primarily because it does not enjoy the benefit of the coastal air, but the heat is not overly burdensome and during the summer months, the population makes great use of the community pools. Furat has a population of 30,000 and is surrounded by 5 smaller towns named Sintra (where the origin of the Sintra Springs is found), Sidon, Al' Arish, Qatif and Kufa. These towns' population ranges from 1,000 to 4,000.
Furat is also the location where the Grand Cavern is located. This cavern produces almost 80% of the silk and 75% of the gems. The Grand Cavern is responsible for the economy of Furat and Falak in general.
Other Items of Note:
Since the people of Falak never fled Alyssia, they have a better knowledge of Ancient History than those whose ancestors came back during the re-colonization. For this reason, the library in Furat is considered to be one of the best on Ancient History and even rivals that of the library in the Dwarven realm of Rengar. Most of what is known regarding the War of the Heavens is contained in this library.
The horses of Dunya are renowned in all of Alyssia and are occasionally made available to foreigners, although usually some kind of service to Falak is required to become eligible to purchase these steeds.
The flag of Falak is a large sun. When Royalty is present, stars are added above the sun. The star formation would identify the specific royal member. The highest ranking member is always the only one identified.