Considering themselves no less civilized than their northern compatriots of the west and no less ancient than the peoples of the mysterious east, the people of the south form a disparate group of cultures. They are, however, uniformly older than the kingdoms of the Westerners, and typically more focused on commerce and trade than their northern neighbors. Sporting mostly arid and tropical climes, the south is a land of mystery and a land of magic, where primordial forces that have been lurking since before the fall of Atlantis still move about restlessly in the shadows.
The Sons of Shem control the western arm of the mighty desert of Turan, crisscrossing it with their caravan routes and acting as a sort of entry point to the greater south. Though dominated by such a desolate expanse, it is a largely peopled nation that dwell mostly in walled city-states such as Uruk, its sister city Eruk, and Shushan. Culturally, these city-states vary greatly though each has its own patron deity taken from the Shemtish canon. The desert is troubled by numerous bandits and raiders, and while Shem breeds capable warriors, the commercially-minded city-states often rely upon mercenaries both foreign and domestic to man their walls and protect their caravan routes.
The country of Stygia is an aberration, even among its peers. It is a land of intense xenophobia -- foreigners are not allowed beyond the confines of the harbor district of Khemi, its largest city. Ruled by a powerful cadre of sorcerers known as the Black Ring, Stygians are a largely mysterious people. Their noble class act as capable warriors and erudite scholars, though rarely do they travel abroad in pursuit of their quest for knowledge.
South of Stygia, the Black Kingdoms sprawl in all of their mystery. Dotted with ancient cities dating to the time before the great cataclysm, the Black Kingdoms are peopled by fierce, warlike tribesman. Barbarians, not entirely dissimilar from the Cimmerians, Aesir, and Vanir, the people of the Black Kingdoms (largely called Kushites) have been forged into capable warriors by the perilous nature of their environment. It is said that there is little sickness south of Stygia, due to the terrifying nature of its pathogens and parasites which kill with such speed and efficiency that there is little time for them to spread.
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