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Accadian Archipelago

author:  Andrew Bragg

Population

Approximately 3,000,000

Pantheon

Sumerian

Government

The Accadian Archipelago is ruled by a council of 8 Antediluvians. They each represent one of the primary city states of the region, and have been around for thousands of years. They are referred to as antediluvians because they were some of the few people who survived the great flood which engulfed the land that eventually became Panakos. They allow each city state to have its own governor, a “Lugal”, but the major political decisions (war, taxes, and infrastructure) are determined by the Council of 8. Each city also has a high priest “Ensi” who looks after the cities’ temples and religious affairs.

The primary source of law for citizens is the Code of Ur-Nammu. The Code is a set of laws which set up an "If-then" logic format for punishing crimes. Hammurabi is thought to have stolen the codex and made it his own. Fines are levied against offenses, as opposed to Hammurabis "Eye for an Eye" mandate, as it is more practical to have the offenders capable of performing their duties. There are, however, 4 capital offenses for which the punishment is death; Murder, Rape, Adultery, and Robbery.

History

The Sumerian and Accadian civilizations are separated by the Straight of Akkad. The Accadian city states are on the main island and the Sumerians are on the skinny island to the northeast. Both groups have 4 Antediluvian representatives so as to prevent any one group getting more powerful than the other. All decisions made require a majority ruling.

The two civilizations have differing opinions on the metaphysics of the world and have thus, separated into two schools of thought. The Sumerians have a more philosophical bent and believe the gods have a more hands on approach with the world and how it functions and have thus developed a much closer relationship with the Gods. This is represented by them having significantly more divine spell casters as well as a wonderful Divine Academy in Eridu. The Accadians, on the other hand, believe that man has more of a say in how the world works. They tend to favor the arcane disciplines and rely more on technology. The Arcane College in Uruk is second to none and scholars from all over the world come to study under the Accadian tutelage.

The Accadians are the more aggressive of the cultures and tend to push for war, violence, and expansion far more than their relatives to the north. The Sumerians are particularly complacent, but they will fight if the feel they are threatened. The Academy, in particular, believes that students should witness battle firsthand so as to be aware of the atrocities and to be competent in restoring people’s wounds as well as their faith. The Accadians are primarily responsible for the continued war against the Gilganesians, citing religious justification, but some argue that greed plays a large part due to the wealth and natural resources available in the Gilganesian Islands.

Geography

The largest island is the namesake of the Archipelago. It is primarily a savannah. The river of life flows intermittently along the center of this island, disappearing in places, and reappearing miles away, and it is from this river that civilization has managed to flourish. The people have managed to divert the river into hundreds of canals which they use for irrigation, travel, and trade between cities.

The island of Sumer, to the northeast of Accadia is mostly rocky hills and mountains with a deep layer of limestone which provides for natural aquifers that the natives exploit. In fact, all of the cities on the island are built around these natural wells.

The southernmost island is known as Gidia. It is named after the souls of the dead. This is where the entrance to the underworld lies, however no one goes there out of reverence to the dead. It is engulfed in unnatural darkness at all times. Sailors navigating from the east and south use it as a navigational landmark, but dare not get close.

The northernmost island is mostly grass and scrubland. The lizardmen have a name for it, but most people just refer to it in various derogatory colloquialisms of lizard people.

Flora and Fauna

The main island is a vast savannah which many surprising creatures call home, including ancient dinosaurs. How they came to survive and even thrive there is a mystery. There are also many tribes of Gnolls and Jann who live there. As the two beings are of diametrically opposed alignments and creeds, they are constantly at war with each other. In fact, both of their rites of passages involve the killing, maiming, or otherwise inhibiting the members of the opposing race.

Sumer is a much harsher place to live, and, as such, is far more deadly. There are tribes of sphinxes vying over territory in the hills. Giant scorpions are not uncommon in the craggy wastes. Travelers seeking refuge in caves at night must be wary, as tales of Death Worms luring animals into their maws do not go unheeded in the large cities. Typical desert creatures are par for the course.

No one knows if there is anything “living” on Gidia. None have been brave enough to find out.

The northernmost island is home to tribes of Lizardfolk who prey on merchant vessels travelling between the Jade Isles and Gilganesia. For this reason, the Accadians let them stay as long as they don’t attack Accadian vessels and occasionally assist in the Great War with Gilganesia.

Anthropology

Cities on Accadia are typically located on top of cement-like hills known as Tells, which consists of the remnants of old buildings, which have deteriorated over time. The cities are located on vast flood plains, so these hills of old versions of the same cities give them distinct defensive advantages. Cities are surrounded by fields of various crops that are interwoven with intricate irrigation canals that are maintained year round.

Ghosts are called Gidim and are revered by the populace of Accadia. The ghost of a person is created at the time of death, and maintains the demeanor of the person who died. The ghost then has to travel to the underworld and be received by the court of princes, "Anunnaki". The ghosts make offerings to the court and are then told the rules of the underworld, and given a role to perform. In order to keep the ghosts happy, family members have to provide offerings to the ghosts, often consisting of food and drink. If a ghost becomes irritable it becomes able to interact with the material world and cause illnesses and ailments among those it interacts with.

Cities

Eridu

Population 75,000

Capital city of the archipelago and home to the Antidiluvians. It is said to be the oldest city in Panakos. Located on the western shore in the middle of the tip of Sumer, It has been built upon thousands of years of previous buildings and therefore, has many hidden passages and ruins to explore. It is said that loads of ancient artifacts have been lost in the ruins, some of which even belong to the Gods themselves. The most famous attraction is the Divine Academy where divine casters and the spiritual gather to learn about the gods. It is also home of the temple to Enki as well, the “Abzu” or “House of the Aquifer”, which was built on top of the giant aquifer under the city which provides freshwater for the city and surrounding areas.

Uruk

Population 80,000

Uruk is governed by Gilganesh, who has taken a leave of absence to go on a quest based on a dream he had. He hasn't been seen for years. He is rumored to be wandering the countryside in search of Hunbaba. Uruk is divided into 2 sections; The Kullaba District - devoted to Utu, was built on a terrace and houses the temple to Utu as well as the Arcane College. The Eanna District is dedicated to Innana and is the industrial district, housing the workshops and the open air market. Instead of roads, travel consists of a system of canals that have been diverted from the river.