|Head of State||Sultan Yahya IV|
Origins & History
Qarsythe is an ancient city, known to some as the City of Sorcery or the City of Marvels. The domain capital’s mighty walls enclose wonders of art and architecture made possible by powerful magical enchantments. Long ago it was the second-largest city after Amas’kyaa itself. Since the catastrophe, it has become the largest, acquired a reputation as a cultural center, and attracted scholars, philosophers, and wizards from great distances. As its reputation grew, the sorcerers’ community formed the Arcanist Guild to advance the study of magic. The guild grew increasingly influential in the city's politics, economy, and military. The Sultans of Qarsythe became dependent upon the Arcanist Guild (sometimes unwillingly so), and the master of the guild has traditionally been the Sultan's Grand Vizier for so long that there is no longer any other title for the office.
Over the years, Qarsythe conquered several of its neighbors, becoming the largest and most powerful domain. Nonetheless, desertification made the new territories less valuable over time. Two of the Sultans attempted land grabs to gain access to fertile land and ports but were unsuccessful. As the desert encroached on Qarsythe and its dependent lands, the Arcanist Guild built weather-altering elemental wells throughout the capital and some larger satellites to keep the area artificially cool and fecund.
The source of the city's strength and wealth may be its greatest peril, however through overuse of magic. Irregularities in plants, animals, and even the people of Qarsythe have been known for years. These anomalies have recently grown more severe, now causing birth defects and even an increase in the number of stillborn offspring born to man and beast alike. In the past two years, unnatural storms have struck the city, bringing such calamities as boiling hot rain that turns to steam as soon as it strikes the ground, and hailstones with live maggots inside. The Arcanist Guild has dispatched emissaries to the far corners of the world to search for answers and avert a looming crisis.
Qarsythe is a Sultanate. The Sultan had been a virtual figurehead for so long that there was surprisingly little controversy when Sultan Hamza III joined the Arcanist Guild in the year 197 and technically became the subordinate of his Grand Vizier. Since then, the demonstration of sorcerous power has become a requisite for ascending the throne, and the last nine sultans have belonged to the Arcanist Guild.
Layout & Architecture
Laws & Customs
As Qarsythe has long attracted visitors from foreign lands, the people of the city are remarkably diverse in appearance. Most residents favor loose, flowing layers of light fabrics in their mode of dress, and wizards favor bold colors and rich adornments to display their status. The people of Qarsythe always wear masks when in public, usually of cloth. Many families have distinctive patterns of embroidery and beading to adorn masks, which functions similarly to a system of heraldry.
Groups of Interest
The Arcanist Guild is the biggest magical authority in Najjir and the true political power of Qarsythe. Their libraries house definitive treatises on almost all areas of magic. Their top focus is elementalism, and senior guild officers tend to specialize in the command of a single element. The only type of magic they do not condone is diabolism.
Shammash al-Hazraa is a rebel faction that has been a thorn in the Arcanists’ side for decades. They practice forbidden demonology, using it as a tool to strike against the Arcanists from the shadows. Shammash diabolists hide among the general populace the rest of the time. Their true motives are unknown.