(Medium Kingdom) -- The city states of Shem lie between the ambitions
and the malignant arcane power of Stygia. The western Shemish states
form a loose knit nation with Asgalun as their tiller head. The eastern
Shemish states stand in alliance with each other and also with western
Shem creating a friendly eastern border. The Shemish Asshuri and the
famous Shemish archers make Shem's armies very strong. Through
mercenary service in over a dozen Kingdoms of the western world the
Shemish generals have learned well the art of war.
Know, Lord of the blue beard, thou art a true son of Shem, thy lineage
untainted and counted from the days of the beginning. Long ago, thy
fathers migrated west through the burning sands of the Naked Desert to
our beloved meadowland between the Kothic Hills and the mighty Styx
river. In that distant age there was war to the north as the evil
empire of Acheron marched to subjugate ancient Ophir. To the south,
Stygia strove in great slaughter with a mysterious pre-human race. Our
way was clear between these warring nations and so we migrated west.
Many of thy forefathers traveled as far as the Zingg Valley to settle
in a land which would one day come to be known as the kingdom of
Zingara. The two thousand years following the original journey to the
lands we now call our home became increasingly harsh as first mighty
Acheron came to conquer us, and then, while Hyborian warriors began to
press Acheron in the north, malevolent Stygia sent her wizards and
bright legions of soldiers to rule over us. At the hands of these
oppressors we learned to build in stone and began to settle in crude
villages; we grazed our cattle and sheep, as well as planting and
tending wine vineyards. Five hundred years after the final collapse of
Acheron under the weight of the Hyborian tribes, the newly founded
kingdom of Koth swept south to overrun our Stygian masters and take the
yoke of our bondage up into their own hands.
Under the gentler rule of these Kothic masters, our people learned the
higher arts of civilization, castle building, trade, administration,
and warfare. Fighting alongside Kothic armies in countless battles
against the twice-cursed Stygians, our fierce Asshuri
warriors soon began to gain fame across the Hyborian world. The next
one thousand years saw the development of Shem as we know it today.
Asgalun became the center of government. In the Kyros region the making
of wine became a high art. In Erul, weapons-making and trade has become
highly advanced. In Akkharia, farming and manufacturing are at the
fore, while at ancient Shushan (the former center of Stygian
administration), international trade has grown to great import. Our
sister state sof Shumir, Nippr, Sabatea, and Akbitana are all important
trade sites and allies but they are too independent to be relied upon
in times of war. The Zuagir and Kharamun tribes of the eastern deserts
are also sons of Shem, although there is little love lost between thy
people and those homeless vagabonds of the eastern reaches.
During the last one thousand years we have thrown off the hated yoke of
slavery. Koth has withdrawn her armies north to the flaming
mountains in the face of our growing power and the burning desire
within us for freedom and greatness! We will never be enslaved again.
Our Asshuri warriors and Shemish archers are now legendary in the
world, eagerly hired by most kingdoms as a bulwalk for their armies.
Perhaps now we move into a time when we shall be the rulers rather than
the ruled? Only thou can say, my Leige. Heed well now my words and I
will report to thee on the present state of thy new kingdom.