An Eastern nation south of the Vilayet Sea, Iranistan was one of Turan’s strongest rivals, and had grown rich on trade with Vendhya to its east and the Black Kingdoms to its west. Its capital, glittering Anshan, was presided over by a king called a Shah and was far-famed for its cultivated court, its splendid woven carpets, and exotic delicacies, such as the pistache nut.
The Ilbar Mountains, a western extension of the Himelian range, extended into Iranistan, and the Ilbarsi hillmen who inhabited the towns in these mountains were nominally subject to the Iranistani government, though they were openly rebellious, owing their true allegiance only to their own personal chiefs and overlords. The Iranistani were a short, stout, broad-shouldered people. They had light brown skins, blue or brown eyes, and steely-blue hair (much like the Shemites, to whom they were distantly related).
The Iranistani people were divided into a myriad of tribes banded together against the threat of Turan. Although this common enemy gave the kingdom some strength, the varying origins of the Iranistani made the kingdom fractious. Each tribe had ancestral lands which they had held for millennia. These lands were not tremendously valuable, nor were they extensive, but they represented the tribes’ independent spirits. “Let the king rule in Anshan,” one tribal leader said. “These lands are ours.”
Iranistan did not have a formal legal system. Minor infractions were resolved by the tribal leader, without recourse to “national” courts. In more significant cases, the king’s word was theoretically absolute, but a tribe who disagreed with the king simply withdrew to its ancestral lands and ignored his directives. Depending upon the monarch and his state of mind, such withdrawals were viewed either as the right of the independent tribe, or as willful disobedience and treason. The former response usually allowed for resolution of the dispute, while the latter quickly involved Iranistan’s soldiers in putting down the “insurrection,” further weakening the teetering nation.
The Iranistani gods comprised a myriad of tribal deities and heroes mixed with ancient sects of Hyborian or Vendhyan gods. There was no “state religion” in Iranistan; the temple district of the capital Anshan was a confusing maze of tiny hut-shrines beside huge stone temples. The strength of a given cult was directly tied to the associated tribe’s favor with the king. Drujistan, the land of demons, was a wild and barren region of black rock in the southern Ilbar Mountains where an undead ghoul king once built Yanaidar, a haunted, ruined city.
One cult within the borders of Drujistan was the Yezmites, or the Sons of Yezm. This cult had its roots in the pre-Cataclysmic Society of the Hidden Ones, a sect of assassins who used their dreaded Flame Knives to sway the destiny of empires. Yezmite assassins were blamed for the deaths of King Yildiz of Turan, King Satish of Vendhya (father of Bhunda Chand and the Devi (Queen) Yasmina) and Kobad Shah of Iranistan. Their acts were marked by the stealth of their assassins and the poisoned daggers they used. The Yezmites’ daggers had blades shaped like a many-tongued flame. The Yezmites’ religious beliefs allowed them to take life and offer the assassinated person as a sacrifice if the murder was done according to proper rituals.
Iranistani names would be similar to those of the Afghuli / Himelian tribesmen: Examples (male): Yar Afzal, Yateli. Suggestions: Ahmad, Asad, Dost, Faiz, Mohan, Shujah and Zemar for male characters, Anahita, Faryaal, Ghezal, Maryam and Samirah for female characters.