Novarask was founded by refugees from the Empire del'Nord in the year 1609* [209SA]. Until the year 1625* [225SA] they were repeatedly attacked by the Rhuselska. Under the direction of Avang Ironfist, who lived from 1597 - 1699* [197-299SA], they built The Crystal City (1621 - 1624* [221-224SA]) to repel their attackers.
NOTE - * Dates marked with an sterisk are in the calendar of the Empire del'Nord. Substract 1400 to get the reference year in the Salaq calendar.
Avang Ironfist was a natural magician, mage and blood relative of the northern emperors (a second cousin). His power, and the city that he designed and help fashion, filled the Rhuselska with dread. After they lost hundreds of warriors in futile attacks on it they withdrew into the waste and left Novarask to itself.
Gradually, after some 30 years, the barbarians came to the city to trade. In the year 1665* [265SA] Avang issued the edicts of purity forbidding non - Novarischi within the walls of The Crystal City. In the year 1672* [272SA] he ordered the building of a lesser city for the comfort of barbarians and traders who chose to visit Novarask.
In the last years of his life Avang became a senile megalomaniac. He declared himself to be the Emperor of the North (1696* [296SA]), renamed Novarask the Empire del'Nord and began to whip his subjects (all 3,000 of them) into a fighting force for the conquest of the world. In the year 1699* [299SA], just before his scheduled invasion of the tundra, he was assassinated by his apprentices.
Avang was succeeded by a ruling council. In the first years of their reign they modified the traditions of del'Nord to minimize the danger of another conqueror rising in Novarask and began a new calendar to mark the passing of Avang Ironfist. Since these changes were instituted, Novarask has become a stable center of mystic power. They have a peaceful culture and little love for the outside world.
The Novarischi population resident in The Crystal City, is 6,000. The population in The Lesser City is 5,000. Tribesmen who have chosen to live in the area, number 14,000. The total population of the nation is 25,000.
Novarask has no standing army. The Crystal City has 1,200 militia (the entire adult male population). About 5% of them are magic - users. The Lesser City is controlled by 400 constables. The other areas of the "nation" are wild lands where the strong rule as they will.
The Lesser City relies on trade goods from The Crystal City and furs brought in from the tundra. The goods are sold to Djani merchants who visit the area yearly. (All of the Djani traders are under oath not to reveal the location of Novarask to anyone except, on their deathbed, their heir.)
The religion of The Lesser City varies with the individual. No religious worship exists in The Crystal City. They are a community of wizards and craftsmen dedicated to mastering the powers, not worshipping them.
Residents of The Crystal City are convinced of their superiority over all other humans. They are intelligent, suave, eloquent and condescendingly arrogant. They treat non - Novarischi as lesser creatures or benighted children. For their own good, to prevent them from being dazzled by the wonders within, outsiders are forbidden from viewing the arcane magnificence of The Crystal City.
The Lesser City is a polyglot of mixed cultures. Its citizens are chiefly concerned with personal survival. They tend to be conniving and unpredictable. Except for the rule of the constables, The Lesser City is a total anarchy.
The "wild - landers" are simple barbarians. See the Rhuselska.
The absolute monarchs of The Crystal City are the Council of Five (the five most powerful wizards in the city). Each member rules until he is displaced, in magical combat, by a more powerful wizard or until he dies. Crime is rare in The Crystal City. The penalty for any crime is banishment from the city for life, a fate worse than death for a Novarischi.
The Lesser City is governed by its lord Constable. He is a well - paid, senior artisan from The Crystal City. He selects the most amoral an/or intelligent killers in The Lesser City as constables. Backed by this force, he rules with an iron hand. By Novarischi custom, the "children" can do as they wish as long as they do not interfere with the Crystal city or cause trouble. If they do, the penalty is death. The only crime in this city is attracting the attention of the constables to yourself. Anyone who does so is either killed or made a constable, depending on his competence as a killer and the attitude of the Lord Constable.
IMPORTANT - The person of the Lord Constable is sacrosanct. The penalty for harming his is death. As an example, in the year 1064, a barbarian killed the Lord Constable. The felon was tracked down by the Council of Five. Somewhere in The Crystal City, his soul still screams in agony.
The Rhuselska and Yapanza trade in Novarask.
None. To most nations Novarask is a foolish legend. Many scholars, who believe in its existence, have spent a lifetime searching for it. It is thought to be the repository of all knowledge.
NOTE - The values in parentheses are used by dwellers in The Lesser City.
Axes, Heavy Swords, Polearms
like the Ghiamem, the Novarischi are descended from the Empire del'Nord. They are light - haired and heavily - built.
In the calendar of the Empire del'Nord, the current year is 2500. After the assassination of Avang Ironfist, his successors made every effort to excise the traditions of the Empire del'Nord from the land (to avert the rise of future conquerors in the city). Part of this effort was the creation of a new calendar, dating from the death of Avang. It is the year 801 by this calendar.