The Land of Al-Madinah
History of Rasheik
The city of Rasheik has a fairly modest beginning. The Barrens in the south western deserts are a dry and unforgiving place. Part of the nomadic trade routes ran through a small oasis called the Well of Ea. Over time a community developed around the well.
Due to severe droughts in the region there was a mass migration of nomads and refugees that arrived at the well. This caused great conflict with the original settlers taking offense at the sacrilege and lack of respect provided by the new tribes. A leader by the name of Haban arose among the refugees. He met with the existing rulers of the well to discuss a solution to share the well. He arrived at the meeting and the council did not go well. The rulers treated him with contempt and refused to listen to his concerns. He was forced to bow his head in prayer to his young god, Shem. Shem granted him the insight of what was needed. He drew his khopesh and beheaded the leaders. He grabbed their heads and hung them from his banner.
The refugees incited by Haban’s courage ran rampant through the city and attacked the locals. After three days of conflict the refugees were the dominant power of the well. They invited the remnants of the original tribes to a meeting and accepted the surrender of the locals. Haban was crowned the new king of Ea.
Haman’s descendants ruled as the kings and queens of Ea for a number of generations. His first sons carried on with his martial ways and did not accept disrespect from anyone. It was traditional for his sons to take a number of wives from the daughters of the noble classes. Over time the ruling elite became complacent and inbred. The descendants of Haban became involved in petty squabbling among themselves and the other nobles. They no longer ruled with the control that had previously been known.
The last known descendant of Haban was Hea-Dur. He was known for his small frame and vulture features. He was an unpopular ruler and renowned for his petty vendettas and short temper.
During Hea-Dur’s reign a new religion sprung up in the region. It started in the desert wastes on the edge of the barrens. It then worked its way into mainstream life little by little from there. People started worshiping the old god Kirrus. Whispers started to spread among the people of Ea that Shem ahd abandoned them and that he had adopted the desert dwellers and the disciples of Kirrus instead.
Hea-Dur laughed off these rumours as nonsense. He did this to his peril. Over time the high priests of Shem started losing faith. Some of them started worshiping Kirrus in secret. This became wider spread until a few scale revolt took place. With the priests of Shem dividing into competing factions of Kissur and Shem.
A new high priest rose in the ranks of the followers of Kirrus. He began preaching the new gospel, that Kirrus was Shem and the Shem was Kirrus. He was viewed by many as a blasphemer but his powers were unquestionable. He was wielding the powers of both gods. He could disempower any priest that questioned him – stripping them of any gifts they were endowed with at will. His name was Rasheik.
Rasheik reordered the priesthood around himself. He appointed himself as High Priest and revealed the true name of his god, Kir-Shem, the god of War. He rallied the people of Ea and began a period of conquest, plundering the barrens and the south west deserts. He razed any city they encountered to the ground and left scores of nomad villages barren.
As cities and people fell the powers of Kir-Shem and Rasheik grew. The city of Ea grew. Kir-Shem revealed the veins of iron to his people and the time of construction grew. He even permitted the arrival of other lesser gods into his lands. As long as they were subservient to his might.
With his new found potency Rasheik built a preeminent symbol of his might: the Obsidian Tower. His legendary palace from where he could rule his empire.
Since those days his lust for conquest has diminished; Rasheik has settled back into ruling his kingdom and leaves the conquest and savagery of war to the priesthood of Kir-Shem. His cruelty was then directed at the existing ruling class. He executed the first born of each noble family. The savagery exacted on the old rulers was relentless. After killing their young Rasheik had the patriarchs lined up in the slavery pits and skinned alive. He made the slaves do the skinning and freed any slave that agreed to take up the role. The peasants loved him. It also said that he built a throne from the bones of Hea-Dur and kept the soul of the old king in his skull, which he set into a staff.
The nobles in Rasheik have never recovered from the brutality. The city is notable in this regard. The ruling class is almost entirely populated by the Templars, the servants of Rasheik. They fulfill the bureaucratic, executive and legislative roles of the city.
To this day the nobles of the other cities still fear Rasheik and prefer not to make formal visits if they can avoid it.