The Seven Cities
Okorian, the City of Pits, is renowned for it’s gladiatorial arenas and, concomitantly, the quality of it’s warriors. It is also the City with the fewest tieflings, and the least rigid power structure. Rather than a city watch, the streets of Okorian are policed by sanctioned street gangs comprised of gladiators. These waaz ora’adz or “battle clubs,” each control one of the City’s districts.
Okorian is called the City of Pits not only because of it’s famous fighting pits, but also because of it’s oubliettes. Ten to twenty foot deep holes dot the city’s streets, often and especially at major intersections. These oubliettes are used by the waaz ora’adz as threats, punishments, and holding cells. It is also quite normal to see Okoran citizens of all sorts pushing each other into the pits as part of a fight, prank, or punishment. While occasionally an oubliette will have spikes, beasts, or other nasty surprises at the bottom, for the most part they are simple rectangular pits shored up with masonry.
To say that Okorian is rough and tumble would be an understatement. It would be reasonable to describe the City as near-chaos held loosely in check by one part respect for prowess in battle and one part threat of force. It helps that, by law, the only people legally allowed to own bows or crossbows are the nobility, Shepherds, and the king’s Royal Guard.
Despite being known for it’s warriors, arenas and chaotic culture, the life’s blood of Okorian is trade. The City of Pits sits near the lowest and most passable part of the Eastern Bluff overlooking the Smoking Wastes. Since the Blood Wars, the road through the Wastes has been the primary (though still extremely dangerous) trade route between the Blessed Lands and the lands east of the Great Plains. As such, most caravans and merchants who do business in the east pass through Okorian. If it weren’t for it’s inhospitable surroundings and deeply raucous zeitgeist, Okorian would likely be a much larger and more prosperous city. The Omaz family seems to like the City the way it is.
The king of Okorian is the hulking Amzar’Omaz Az’Aggari. Amzar towers over most tieflings, standing nearly seven feet tall and is legendary for his ongoing offer to publicly wrestle any man who challenges him. It is said that he once defeated an ogre in such a challenge. It is also broadly rumored that the king’s taste for naked wrestling is not a warrior’s appetite at work.
King Amzar is taciturn and seldom gives speeches or appears in public except in the arena. Lake any successful Okoran politician, the King earned the respect of his people, and keeps it, by fighting in the pits. King Amzar established his martial prowess during his father’s rule, but has continued to make an annual appearance in the King’s Arena. Each year, on Duermach, he accepts a challenge (chosen by lot as there are always several) , to single combat. He has sworn that anyone who defeats him will receive a lifetime exemption from taxes. King Amzar has never been defeated in one of these contests, and has reigned for nearly 25 years.
Okorian’s king lives in the center of the city in a fortress called Aggarinak
Okorian is one of the oldest of the Seven Cities, having begun as a trading outpost for the Adridran empire sometime in the middle of The Blood Wars. As the Blood Wars continued, trade routes across the Throkkan Mountains grew increasingly dangerous and, over time, the route through the Smoking Wastes became the most well-traveled.
Okorian was also the first of the Seven Cities to throw off the yoke of Khalipanofax. Several decades before The Redemption, an uprising of gladiators razed the Jade Queen’s temple in the center of the town. The great arena now known as the King’s Pit was built over the cleared ground where the temple once stood, and where the sorcerer priests of Khalipanofax were executed by dismemberment. By Hand.
It was in response to this uprising that then-king Vokur’Omaz, grandfather to King Amzar, founded the Waaz Ora’adz and adopted the current political structure.
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