“The desert finds you out. Within its embrace, you will know the kind of man you truly are.”
– Prince Septumar of Arrakesh
A majority of Uzir is a vast desert of undulating sand dunes and the occasional oasis. Its sparse vegetation would make it seem a foolhardy place to live in, yet the Uzirans have long adapted to this arid wilderness. Uzir has made its fortune in the jewel trade, mining them in bulk from the Southern Mountains and running trade caravans all across the continent. The Uzirans rely on these trade lines to help their people thrive.
Due to its lack of natural barriers, Uzir was easily invaded by the Scorched Army during the Great War. The Uzirans initially put up a resistance, but faced with overwhelming force they soon melted away into the desert, where they conducted their version of guerilla warfare. Try as they might, the Scorched Army could not completely eradicate Uzir light cavalry, who moved through the desert like sailors on the sea. And though they took one city after another, they never succeeded in conquering the Uzir capital of Arrakesh.
Uzirian cities are largely built around on an oasis. Arrakesh, however, built beside a mountain, on the skeletal remains of an ancient behemoth. Its horned skull forms the palace, its ribs the ivory towers, and its spine the encircling walls. Such an engineering feat took centuries to finish given the bones’ diamond-like hardness, but it paid off well in the end, with the invaders failing to break through the adamantine walls.
Uzir is often called the Land of Monuments for its many shrines, statues, and temples dedicated to the Spirits. The Uzirans can shape their environment with ease. They can easily craft sandstone into buildings and monuments of fantastic shapes. They built pyramids, spiraling towers, domes of sandstone and granite. Undoubtedly their greatest crowning achievement is the Red Citadel, a sprawling temple complex dedicated to their patron Spirit, Shalomar, the Burning Lady.
Shamed by their losses in the war, the Uzirans have honed their warriors to fight against another incursion. But they did not expect a threat to come from within.
There has been much concern about Shalomar’s capricious behavior. Rumors swirl that she had gone insane, or has succumbed to the corruption of the Black Shard. The Burning Lady was prone to speaking to her people often, making pronouncement on how they must shun foreigners and keep tight watch on their borders.
Her change in personality given rise to the Cult of the Crimson Hand, who worship Shalomar’s new, darker side. The Crimson Hand seeks to overthrow the current Caliphate and establish a Province free from the influences of both Everia and the Scorched Lands. Already their minions had orchestrated the deaths of more than a few foreigners. All visitors to Uzir are urged to remain vigilant.