Sedera Kingdom: History and Rumors
One of the oldest surviving kingdoms in the world of Layonara, Sedera has had a monarchy since just after the Great Cataclysm. It is only recently that evidence has come to light for the rest of the world regarding what the Sederans knew already: Sedera rose from the ashes of another great culture. The Ruins of the Keeper holds many secrets still, but a group of adventurers uncovered some of the past of that massive, ancient city. Most Sederans can trace their blood to Zxar, and the royalty usually have a trace of the elven blood that marked the rulers of the river city.
What is modern Sedera has been in existence since the year 15. While their recorded history is spotty (or secreted), the poems, parables, and tales of great Sederans and their deeds are still told. From them, we can interpret what happened.
A child's bedtime tale told by the Abt gives an indication of the beginnings of the kingdom:
Buri, the dune cat, was a hungry beast and hunted for tasty children to eat. He was a clever one. The people of the great river city tried to make their tall stone prisons as they remembered. But this told Buri where to go, and he snuck around at night and looked for the 'trees of rock' that said a morsel was inside, ready to be gobbled up. One by one he ate the little ones, and the mothers wailed but did not know what to do. The guards could not catch him so silent were his big padded feet. The trappers could not catch him, so quick was he. Buri grew fat and sleek.
Then, one day a band of men as pale as shiivii sand came, with eyes the color of oasis water and wild hair like Zvava the zsamral. They wore furs and where the furs had not covered they were as red as palm root ink. Still, they were strong and had survived from their green place to the rock-prison. They told stories of how their land was sky-rock now. They told of their ways. One of them, a boy just old enough to learn the scimtari, asked why the women were gathered around a burial place and crying. He was told that another little one had been stolen in the night by Buri. He wondered aloud why the people stayed when moving was better.
The grown ones of the town asked him what he meant. He said that his people moved all the time, seeing new places, hunting new game, and staying ahead of things that would hurt them. The grown ones looked at the city they had stolen from the rocks of the old, shabby from the dust winds that blew every day. They asked the pale folk to show them how to move ahead of the winds and hungry things, and one woman stepped forward to lead. But hers is another story.
Later, Buri came slinking around, sniffing for a meal. But all he found was empty stone boxes. The people were gone, packed onto huge braying zsamrals and tough horned ahglax. Buri growled and yowled and snuffled and found a trail, but the new tribe moved again and again. Buri followed them around and around but could not catch the clever Abt, and finally, the sands swallowed him up. But if you listen, sometimes his angry roars carry on the winds of the sandstorms.
Today, the Abt still travel the desert. Called the Camel City or Thzay Zsamral in their language, the massive tent city often breaks into smaller groups of 2,000 or less to minimize impact on the oases. While a good number of Sederans have once again taken to life in a stationary place, the Abt are still the tribe of Sedera, and still the traditional seat of the jnaar. After the mixing of the northern tribe with the peoples of Zxar, the now nomadic tribe began their wanderings. Many felt then that the jnaar should be seated in a permanent place, but to stay with the Abt was more important in those early years, and it became tradition for the ruler of Sedera to travel with different host families of Abt. That tradition has come down to today, and many outsiders have no idea that Sedera has a jnaar at all as he is never in one place very long. For the most part, the Sederans don't correct that misinterpretation.
There are four major Standing Cities: Audira, Megath, Sandstone, and Sloren, as well as numerous giant encampments. Bandit camps exist as well, but only a foolish bandit or one with great power behind him would attack an Abt caravan, surrounded as they are by armed and battle-trained warriors mounted on zreass.