The Minaria Campaign
Kingdom of Shucassam
The mighty Kingdom of Shucassam was once an empire that not only occupied its present location but also expanded to the south for many leagues. During that period the capital city moved on several occasions but its present capital, the city of Adeese, has always remained a prominent force during those times. Adeese is a magnificient city of gold domes and minarets and its temples and palaces are some of the most impressive in the known world. The Empire eventually collapsed when the desert known as The Desert of Desolation became too large and inhospitable for the realm to operate as one.
The Shucassites are from a different racial stock from the other nations of eastern Minaria, resembling people from a Earth middle-eastern culture in racial appearance and dress. They share some of the same gods that are worshipped throughout this part of the world but focus more on the deities that have influenced and shaped Shu culture. Religion is large focus for everyday life and some of the most revered people of the realm are the War Priests that lead many of the Shucassite armies. Seen as a warlike nation with a strong standing army, powerful commanders and wizards geared to war the Shucassites have long suffered entanglement with the nations across the Great River. In reality the Shucassites are an enlightened people with a strong and diverse culture who have through the ages sought to expand into wilderness stretches but were rebuked during the Crusades. This has formed enmity between Shucassam and those nations to the east (such as Mivior and Hothior) and many of the campaigns of war that the Shucassites now launch themselves upon are in retribution for the aggression that has always been shown towards them. This all said and done the Shucassites do thrive off war and it was the formation of Mivior (and Miviors consequent interference in the fight of succession for the Shucassite throne) that caused them to launch a new attack on the eastern nations and the beginning of the greatest of wars, the War of Divine Right. Thankfully they were defeated but most believe there will be a time that they will renew their attacks.
Shucassam is one of the wealthiest nations in Minaria and contrary to popular belief the common man does benefit from it. Sanitation exists in most towns and cities; education is available to many; many of the churches have wise clerics that guide and heal the populace; aqueducts serve freshwater to the larger communities; and the large army protects against bandits, humanoids, giants, dragons and other fell beasts that come out of the mountains and deserts. Unfortunately people are flocking to the cities to find their fortunes forcing overcrowding which leads to disease epidemics, crime and poverty.
As with Mivior the culture is fairly advanced although no interest has been shown in technology with most interest lying in magic, planar travel, genie control and summoning, civil engineering (the greatest of all human built bridges can be found in Shucassam), architecture, and jewellery. Several different types of specialist wizards are associated with Shucassam and these include elementalists, war mages, demonists, genie-binders and dimension-walkers.
Adventurers from much of eastern Minaria see Shucassam as a hotbed of adventure. The Desert of Desolation holds many ruins, fantastical monsters, and great and ancient treasures while the Mountain Wall is known for dungeons and cities of monsters and humanoids. The overcrowded cities of Shucassam offer much reward for those who search for it with many factions hiring outsiders to help with various tasks; some of them unsavoury and some that are not. The western sections of the realm are known for desert raiders (many of which serve Shucassam during times of war), humanoid clans, monsters, and mythical beasts (such as sphinxes, genies and blue dragons and drakes).
Genies play a large part in Shucassite society. Some are bound, forced into servitude, while others are free-willed, lending their wisdom to those worthy of it. It is not uncommon to find an institution run by a genie or to have a great leader accompanied by one. These beings are subtle and playful and see the Shucassites worthy of their attention and as most entertaining. The free-willed genie do not approve of the binding of their kind but will not interfere if one of them is foolish enough to be enslaved, although the total mistreatment of a genie is deemed unacceptable behaviour by both Shucassites and genie alike. What the objective of the genie-kind is in involving themselves with the affairs of humans is anyone’s guess but more than likely it is just a fascinating hobby.