The Seven Cities
The Seven Cities of Mokiir
Southeast from New Cormorell, occupying the semi-arid lands between the Gandoran Mountains to the west and the Smoking Wastes to the east, lie the Seven Cities of Mokiir: D’kath, Azeth, Darakor, M’ziir, Okorian, Arkassin, and Shek’zur.
Until the summer of 101 RA, each of the seven was, at least nominally, a fully autonomous city-state ruled over by a tiefling monarch (Kazzar). While each of the cities was independent, they remained bound by common a history and belief in the superiority of tieflings as the master race of Namalcia. As such, while skirmishes and political machinations are common between cities, any of the seven has always been likely to come to the aid of any other against any external threat.
In the the summer and fall of 101 RA, the King of Azeth, Isra’Asiel Az’Aziil, declared himself High King (Kaz’Kazzar) of all seven Cities. He was not the first Kazzar to attempt this, but he was the first to succeed. Isra’Asiel, dubbed The Blood King by parties unknown, conquered six of the seven Cities within half a year, faster than anyone thought possible and before the other monarchs were able to rally a meaningfully unified defense. By the end of that year, all the Cities but Darakor were unified under the Blood King. The following spring the armies of unified Mokiir laid siege to Darakor, followed by an uneasy, temporary truce called as winter approached at the end of 102 RA.
Now, while each of the six unified Mokiiran Cities is ruled by a Kazzar, each Kazzar owes fealty to the Blood King, Kaz’Kazzar Isra’Asiel. Each Kazzar can trace her or his lineage to one of the original thirteen Nephalim, or elder bloodlines of Adrideor. In the Seven Cities, if one cannot claim lineage derived from one of the original thirteen, one cannot become a monarch. More, only tieflings can be nobles, or own land. That is not to say that all tieflings are nobles, only that all nobles are tieflings.
The old allied-enemies model of the independent Cities gave rise to an unusually robust guild system, with individual guilds keeping chapter houses in most or all of the city states. Trade between the Cities, out into the Silverlands, and across the Smoking Wastes and Throkkan Mountains into Karystra and beyond is vital to the well being of not only Mokiir, but all of the Blessed Lands, and, before the Blood King’s conquest, It was often said that The Kazzar may rule the Seven Cities, but the guilds rule Mokiir.
Most powerful of the guilds is the deceptively named Shepherds’ Guild, whose members act as guards, arbiters, and guides for nearly all trade in, to, and from the Seven Cities. It is expensive to operate a business or trade with official Shepherd sanction, so smuggling is common in the Seven Cities, as is black market trade, particularly in the poorest neighborhoods and districts.
The success of the Shepherds’ Guild is tied directly to the extreme hazards of travel in the region. Goblinoid tribes hold sway over most of the Gandoran Tribelands and Mountains, as well as the Smoking Wastes to the east. Trade between the Cities as well as that leaving the region is nearly always beset by goblinoid bandits, and encounters with more dangerous creatures are not uncommon. Before and after the Blood King’s conquest, the Shepherds have maintained a monopoly on the enforcement and protection of trade and commerce throughout Mokiir. Many believe that the guild is closely aligned with the church of Tulvar, god of civilization and commerce. This idea is encouraged by the apparent alliance between the Blood King and the Shepherds and the simultaneous increase in the influence and popularity of the Tulvaran church.
Slavery is normal and common in the Seven Cities, and each has a slave market. The most common slaves are goblins, followed by halflings, humans, hobgoblins, and bugbears, in that order. Teiflings are never slaves and cannot be sold. Dwarves are rarely made slaves.
The Seven Cities of Mokiir are, in alphabetical order:
A mountain mining town in the southwest of Mokiir, its denizens are considered rough and rustic by the standards of the rest of the Seven Cities. The Kazzar of Akrassin is the bluff and unrefined (for a tiefling) Morol’Kalar Az’Zakarl.
The wealthiest of the Seven Cities lies in the northwest and stands lord over the Great Road to New Cormorell. This center of trade is also the seat of the Aziil bloodline, and Isra’Asiel, the Kaz’Kazzar of Mokiir since 101 RA.
Straddling a great crag in the Grey Peak Mountains, Darakor is the largest and arguably most powerful of the Seven Cities. Originally built by the dwarves, it is now the seat of the recently widowed Queen Ren’Raatha Az’Ebbezuur, who claims to be a direct decedent of Queen Eleanor Ebbetar, first of the Blooded of Adrideor. At the end of 102 RA, Darakor was the only City not under control of the Blood King of Azeth.
The northernmost of the Seven Cities, D’Kath is known for being the seat of the Mokiiran Mage’s Guild, and, moreso than any other City, its problems with wyverns, undead, and other monsters. The Kazzar of D’Kath, Luvar’Sulaziin Az’Kathaz, is known for her unusual (for a tiefling) devotion to the god Tulvar; her supposedly completely pure bloodline; and her advanced age, being the only Kazzar to have held her throne since before The Blighting 100 years ago.
Still marginally the smallest of the Seven Cities, M’Ziir has seen substantial grown since the Blood King’s conquest, and remains a major trade hub. The prestige M’Ziir garners for being home to the Shepherds’ Guild headquarters is only increased by the Kaz’Kazzar’s choice to quarter fully half of his army there during the winter months and, one assumes, during peacetime if such ever occurs. The Kazzar of M’Ziir, An’Ikaal Az’Guzuur, took the throne when the Mad King Thuz’Ur was killed by a fiend of his own summoning during a populace uprising spurred by the arrival of the Blood King’s armies.
Known also as the City of Pits, this harsh desert city sits at the very edge of the Smoking Wastes and is known for it’s extraordinarily deadly soldiers and warriors. This reputation is well earned, and is likely explained both by the constant threat posed by creatures from the Wastes, and by the city’s four great gladiatorial arenas. Even their Kazzar, Amzar’Omaz Az’Aggari was a gladiatorial champion, and the city is, in many ways, run by the legendary Waaz Ora’adz or Fight Clubs of Okorian.
Perhaps the most bleak of the Seven Cities, Shek’zur is built over Kazzar Mara’Zarek Az’Zoran’s subterranean castle: The Underkeep. The City’s populace is known for their paranoia and extreme respect for the Kazzar’s Law. The eyes of The Underkeep are everywhere.