The Lands of the Aznari
The rainforests are the home of many exotic plants and animals, trade goods such as furs, scented wood, drugs, spices and pigments are coveted all over the Inner Sea. In addition, the fertile soil combined with the warm and wet weather allows to grow three crops a year, but most of what is grown and hunted is consumed by the vast Aznari population and never traded.
Most of the major cities like Aznapam or Xathapalpa are on the coast, but inland cities like Loth or Xototili are hardly any smaller. Aznari cities are vast - even a small city has easily the population of a major Inner Sea capital like Sabia, and Xathapalpa might easily be among the largest cities in the world. Yet most of an Aznari city are small the small adobe buildings of the common population, and only the centers are monumental temple buildings.
Centuries ago, the Aznari were tribes of warriors, and under the leadership of a near-godlike azla-sapa conquered all the inland tribes up to the Black Mountains. The prisoners made were put to work on the gigantic pyramids erected to worship their chief gods, Tecotecumo and Ishaishaol, and uncounted other prisoners were sacrificed by the priests, the xaltoc. But the years have mellowed the spirit of the Aznari, and these days there is no central power, just the sapa of each major city, and this allowed the Eloran Empire to declare the Aznari lands a protectorate. Of course, in truth the Elorans govern little more than the coastal cities, and few have ever ventured even as far as the major inland centers like Govindur or Annapur.
To the never-ending vexation of the Elorans, the Aznari do not use money in any form. Instead, each is assigned to work on communal tasks or to fill communal storage houses, and from the ocoli, little stone tokens, they receive from that, the Aznari are entitled to take goods out of the stores, or receive a meal or an evening of drink anywhere. The administrative work behind this allocation of goods and tasks is performed by the xaltoc, who control the information flow all across the lands and hence hold the real power. The Elorans have yet to grasp the potential of an organization which can from one day to the next assign several thousand workers to road-maintenance and a few days later back to hunting as the xaltoc can.
There is more than one secret buried in the deep caverns of the pyramids, and close to the cliff, there are ruined cities in which the inhabitants worshipped their strange gods before the Aznari tribes conquered their lands and established the rule of the twin gods.
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