SHEM

SHEM (Medium Kingdom) -- The city states of Shem lie between the ambitions of Koth 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.

NATIONAL HISTORY

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.


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