The Orcs of Bakuria:
What eventually became the Bakuri was once the people of the Zagros Mountains, in Assyria.
Two years after they had met with the desert people, the discovered a new home. Baghdad the people had once called it, but they renamed it to reflect themselves. Bakuria, the Jeweled Heart of the Desert. The sand traders helped them repair and rebuild, with contracts signed that would help them regain the money spent. This lead to the creation of the first guild, the Traders Guild. After the building and having to be a ruler, something he had never wanted, Alquam, the first Warrior Sage and protector of his people disappeared into the sands to find his own state of peace. He had wrote very specific instructions for how to guide his people to the Council of Elders, a paper that has never been seen by someone who is not a member of the council, and even wrote his own book that he entitled Philosophies of the Bakuri, which developed tenets of living, honor, and ethics for his people. While not every person possesses a copy, the statues and artworks around the city incorporate some if not all of these tenets.
At this present day, the Bakuri are many things. Some are traders that travel the Northern and Southern Trade road with many wares. Many live in Bakuria, in one of the many guild districts, and for the families of the council and those that train to be warrior sages, they live in the inner city, surrounded by walls that hold fourteen gates. Thirteen of the gates have carvings of the face of a member of the first council, while the main gate, known as the Gate of Protection, four statues of Alquam in all of his glory stand in the arch, looking out in all directions over his people. It is open to outsiders and trade, as the Bakuri look to foster relationships with others in peace and prosperity. They look to bring in more people, wanting them to stay, to help rebuild the areas that are still in ruin, to join the armies, the guard, to protect a place they would call home. Slaves that have escaped their masters are able to apply for sanctuary and citizenship, and usually it is granted for them. A master that arrives in Bakuria looking for what he would call property would be sorely disappointed.
All Bakrui have a place in society, and there is a guild for everything. The Thieves Guild, The Guard Guild, The Bakers Guild, The Assassins Guild... if there is a job title involved, there is a guild for it. The Council of Elders, the ruling body of the Bakuri people, encourage this. They believe it fosters community and companionship, and that if they have any problems with a guild member, they can work with the guild leaders to rectify that. Their history has enabled the Caravan Guards guild, while not the most powerful in Bakuri, to be a highly respected one, almost on par with scholars as the same respect of the Alquami. This has lead to some resentment from the younger Alquami to the Caravan Guards, who they view as mere mercenaries. And the Guilds have their own ideas for power and control, and the battles they fight are in the back alleys and shadows, for to bring such conflict out in the open is be known as leaving Alquam's path. Alliances are forged, guild leaders rise and fall in a day, but you will never see it happen in the public eye of the harsh sun of the desert city.
Many peoples from across the world have immigrated to Bakuri. They are accepted, but are looked at as outcasts if they do not adopt the Philosophies of the Bakuri. Many have wondered at how long the Bakuri can last, but they appear to be thriving, and with new blood arriving to the city all the time, they may very well thrive for centuries. Upon arrival, mercenaries, trades or craftsmen, all that would work in the city must register with their prospective guilds. If they do not, then they do not find work. No citizen will hire, commission, or buy something if they are not also supported by a guild.
The Bakuri wear flowing, light colored clothes and head coverings to combat the desert heat they live in, and many of their homes are made of a cool stone that helps fight the heat inside. The Warrior Sages, or the Alquami as they are called, wear blue and green robes to state their role and status in life. The Heart Guard, the personal bodyguards of the Council and the chambers in which they reside and considered the greatest of the Warrior Sages, strong in body, mind, and soul, look no different than other Alquami, except for the red sash they wear around their middles. It signifies the heart of Alquam, and the love he had for his people. They protect the Council of Elders, and the Council of Elders protects the people, therefore protecting the heart of what all Bakuri are. An Alquami that falsely wears the red sash of the Heart Guard is stripped of his weapons and exiled from their ranks, branded for their deceit so that all that look on them may know that they are a criminal.
The City: [Two Parts, the Round City and the Outer City]
The Round City:
The inner city of Bakuria. Some affectionately call it 'The Heart of the Rose', and compare the rest of the city that has grown around it to the rose's petals. It houses the homes of the official guilds masters, the council of thirteen, and the headquarters and training barracks of the Alquami. It is carefully watered and maintained, a small legion of gardeners keeping it beautiful. Water mages, the only time that they are respected and put to us, make sure that the trees and greenery stays well hydrated. The inner city is a tiny oasis amidst the desert, the water features glinting like sapphires under the hot desert sun. The four main walkways are lined with red date trees brought from Tian Xia, providing shade and fresh fruit to the walking Elders and their retinues. Pavilions are often set up in the shade, and Baruk Elders and Guild Heads politely smoke from hookah's while discussing their affairs.
The four pathways lead up from the four main gates, directly to the main building, which was at one time the palace of the leaders of the ancient city. This is where the guild heads meet to discuss new treaties and trade agreements, where the council meets to discuss the affairs of the city. It also houses the Wizards Registry, and one of the largest libraries in the city. It contains much ancient knowledge from before the resettlement of the city, the trade agreements, the cities trade ebb and flows, and the Citizen's Genealogy. A large group of scrolls, the family trees are carefully transcribed and added to with every marriage, death, and birth. A new citizen of the city must report to the library for their own scroll to be started. The head librarian, while not officially a powerful position, is well listened to and his advice is regarded by many as the end all of an argument or predicament. To work in the library is considered a great honor, and applicants are screened more carefully than those who would join the Alquami.
The inner city is a jeweled paradise, but underneath the beauty, it's also a dark place. The 'dark guilds' officially have no home there, just like they are not officially considered guilds, but their masters are always there. Stalking the hallways in some cases, boldly striding through in a whirl of silks and perfumes in others. The Guild Masters are always looking for advantage and how to advance themselves, the polite pavilion conversations just a farce. The beauty maintained so carefully to impress is just a pretty pain over the ugliness that hides there. There is more truth to the city in it's petals that in the roses heart.
The Council of Elders is the leading group for the Baruk. Ten members that hail from the Baruk people, warrior sages, and philosophers, the other three, two are elected from the people, and the final is a traditional position held by a member of the Sand Trader tribes that the Baruk were assisted by when they first became free. The council rules over laws, policy, trade agreements, and regulates what is brought in for trade. So far, the only thing they have outlawed is the buying and selling of slaves. A citizen can petition the Council in times of great personal duress for advice, for much of the Council is also considered to be the most learned on the Philosophies, as some of the 13 members were often in the company of Alquam in the last years before his disappearance.
Okay, so we're building the Orcish city of Baruk. This is going to involve structure of the local economics, the guild system, festivals, city districts, civil unrest in the city, city tensions amongst the people, what have you. I'm going to leave this as an open thread so that anyone can bring a lot of what they want to use as world dev and then we'll see about incorporating it.
Some of it can be found here, but keep in my mind that this document/post may also change as we further develop this area/city.
Some of the ideas we've discussed so far include-
[*] The importance of water in the society
[*] The Council of 13
[*] Some local flora and fauna that is specific to the area
[*] At least one festival
[*] The Mage's District, and the general distrust of mages, but not outright hatred of magic users
[*] Local clashes with nomadic tribes.
I'm going to start write ups and posting them in this thread as a post a piece, and feel free to add anything that you want to add and we'll see about working it in.
For discussion and development of the world of Pal Tahrenor
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