Sindoon - Oligarchy
- Parent: Northern Niadris
- Population: 10,025,000
- Religions: Benevolence & Way of the Creator
- Settlements: Hargast & Sindoon (city)
- Imports: coal, lumber, ore, silk, spices
- Exports: cheese, citrus fruits, coffee dates, figs fruits, fish, honey, nuts, olives, poppies, seafood, wool
- Languages: Kronduuran, Trade Common
Sindoon is located on the eastern coast of Niadris, stretching nearly 1,800 miles from Stonehollow in the south all the way to Griffon Flight in the north, and inland to the base of the Demonspawn Mountains. Despite this large area of land, most of it is unsettled wilderness with the citizenry clustered along the coast. The nation is best known as the birthplace of the Shan'Del, and it remains the seat of their power still.
Climate, Flora, and Fauna
Much of Sindoon enjoys a mild subtropical climate marked by a long, dry summer and a short, wet, and mild winter with temperatures rarely exceeding 85° in the summer or dipping below freezing in the winter. Inland, and to the north, temperatures cool somewhat and a brief fall and spring season emerge.
The long, dry summers mean that plants need to be able to survive with little precipitation. Forests tend towards pines and cyprus with a smattering of deciduous trees such as oaks. Scrubland is plentiful. The rugged landscape supports animals that can thrive without much grazing land such as goats, sheep, jackrabbits, and jackals.
Despite common misconceptions that the Shan'Del rule Sindoon, the nation is actually an oligarchy, governed by a body called the Ahmkor. Long ago, the Ahmkor was appointed by the Shan'Del, and theoretically, they remain answerable to the magi, but what real interaction exists between the two groups is difficult to know. The Ahmkor transformed Sindoon from a city-state into the nation it is today. They respect the Shan'Del, implement strict laws regarding magic, and make no attempt to apply their laws to Shan'Del.
Sindoon is characterized by:
- A strict legal code
- Little tolerance for unrest
- Heavy regulations on magic
The Legal Code
The laws of Sindoon are created by the Ahmkor, and enforced by their armies. Anyone that crosses the law will face justice, though not in a court of law. Every guardsman is empowered to mete out justice, overseen by a special rank of soldier called "Advocates" who will, at their discretion, hear arguments brought by law breakers. No law is enforceable against the Shan'Del or their appointed agents. Generally, the Ahmkor strive for a fair and just system.
Nobles and Artisans
In most large cities of Sindoon, the Ahmkor further delegates administrative duties to either a noble, in smaller towns, or to powerful artisan guilds in the cities. These guilds form a council that handles local laws and regulations, which are then enforced by the Ahmkor. As the Shan'Del are not subject to the laws of the Ahmkor, the Ahmkor is not subject to the laws of nobles or artisans.
There are five classes of people in Sindoon: the Shan'Del, the Ahmkor, hereditary nobles, merchants, and commoners.
- The Shan'Del, and their agents, stand at the top of the system. They live outside, and above, the law of the land. As everything in Sindoon is the de facto property of the Shan'Del, including the citizens, this is simply accepted as fact.
- Below the Shan'Del are the Ahmkor, the ruling elite. This caste includes the men and women that serve in the armies, although the further down the ranks from the Ahmkor one sits, the less the prestige.
- The third class are hereditary nobles, some that no longer hold legal claim to land. By Ahmkor decree CXVII-d, all landholding within Sindoon were forfeited to the Ahmkor. Most nobles retained their titles and control of their lands, though now under the rule of the Ahmkor and with few special privileges remaining.
- Next are the artisans, their families, and their agents. Recognized as a vehicle of Sindoon's might, this skilled working class enjoys special treatment under the law. A burgeoning mercantile class has begun to emerge in the artisan caste.
- Finally are the common folk, which can be further divided into three categories: city dwellers, country folk, and exiles. City dwellers and country folk often look down on one another and both equally despise the exiled, who consist of the diseased, unwell, or cast out.
Many Ahmkor soldiers, having been born of common stock who then worked hard to earn a place in the army, resent the noble class. These soldiers use their influence and power to make life difficult for hereditary nobles.
Sindoon tends to be split evenly between adherents to the Way of the Creator and Benevolence. A scattered few still pray to the old gods or other faiths but these become less with each passing generation.