The Land of Al-Madinah
History of Ash-Akkad
The Fields of Akkadia have always been an important source of food. It started out as a key area for the nomads to follow the herd. In the distant past the goddess Aya appeared to a herder named Ilu. She showed him the way to plant seeds and harvest grain. A small city quickly grew around the fields.
As the city grew it attracted different tribes to the land. This caused strife and challenges as new arrivals fought for access to land and irrigation. The borders grew and squalor and poverty took over.
One day the rains began. And they did not cease. The Apsu burst its banks and most of the city was lost. Corpses dotted the landscape and spoiled the waters. The crops were destroyed and the survivors were facing impending starvation. The people of Akkadia were facing impending doom. Whispers were spreading through the stragglers left behind of a prophet that could lead the people to a path of salvation.
The soldiers had been burning corpses to stave off plague. It was reputed that after one of the corpses was burned it reformed itself and came back to life. It was said that it was as if fire burned inside his eyes. The reborn prophet brought fire from the sky to cleanse the land of the waters and the plague. He decreed that all those that were foreign brought the displeasure of the sun god. The native people rallied around him. He was the embodiment of Bel-Sarra the god of fire and the sun and he brought a message of righteousness. The people needed to burn off their filth. He created the new rituals of fire scarring to prove devotion to Bel-Sarra.
The people of Akkadia fervently followed the prophet and set about burning down the neighbouring villages in tribute to the sun. They enslaved the survivors and rebuilt Akkadia in the name of Bel-Sarra. The conquest along the Apsu was immense, villages were wiped from existence and the power of Akkadia grew in their destruction. The fire in the prophet burned out quickly. After a few years his body had burned into a husk.
The priests of Bel-Sarra took to running in his place. But in that time the harvests had been strong and a new power class had grown in the city, the merchants had become vastly wealthy. The merchants had been able to muster their own militias and opposed the control of the city by the priests. A brief civil war broke out. Ultimately, the militia of the merchants won and they seized control of Akkadia.
The city prospered under their rule. It set up peaceful trading agreements with distant cities. They produced more food than had ever been produced anywhere in the land.
The merchants of Akkadia grew fat and greedy. They hungered for ever greater wealth. The people of the city grew poorer as the merchants demanded larger taxes and levies. Unrest and discontent was bubbling away under the civility of peace.
The soldiers and militias of the city grew ever more corrupt.
Neighbouring cities took advantage and launched a series of raids. They burned Akkadian crops and starved the citizens. In the face if impending doom the people turned on the soldiers and the merchants. Fighting broke out in the streets and the raiders invaded. The city walls were breached and the plundering began.
Men were killed defending their homes, children were butchered in their beds and the women were raped in their homes.
In the ruination of Akkadia Bel-Sarra intervened. The sun burned brighter than it had ever been. A mighty beam of light came down from the sky and burned the city. Wood caught fire, flesh was melted from bone and even the earth cracked. The earth heaved so much in the onslaught of the god’s umbrage that buildings were swallowed whole. The only building to be left untouched was the temple at the heart of the city.
The raiders fled in terror. The priests ushered in a new period of peace. No longer did they see fit to rule alone, but nor were the merchants to be in charge. A new power sharing agreement was brokered. The Elder Council was codified, no more would the city be ruled by any one person or faction. Nobles, priests and merchants would have a place at the Council to determine the governance of the city. The city was renamed as Ash-Akkad.
Under the guidance of the Elder Council Ash-Akkad has grown in power and wealth more than Akkadia ever did. The city is the pinnacle of achievement in the land. Great monuments have been constructed in honour of the gods and citizens of note and greatness. Vast walls were constructed to defend the city from future raids. Trade routes were reopened, this time on terms far more favourable to Ash-Akkad.
Wise people, prophets and merchants alike flock to this great city. This is a city built on hardship and history. Lessons have been learned and recorded in the library. The Elder Council now guides the people with wisdom and humility.