Ishmarians are known for their deep tanned skin. This trait is from their ancestors’ years of living in the desert. The shade of the skin varies person to person. Some even have pale skin, but they are usually from other parts of Abode. Hair and eye colors of every type are found, though blonde and black are most common. The fashion varies, because as a port city they get people from different cultures. So if a person favors the look of say someone from Port Passage they will take on that look as their own. However, the main look of the desert grab includes a loose robe, loose pants, and a turban with a veil across the face.
The Birth Of A Nation
Thousands upon thousands of years ago a small nomadic tribe wandered the desert. They followed a powerful figure they called Mesardee, Vengeful God. Upon their spring trek (1894 years after they found Mesardee) they came to a large gap in the massive cliffs that they followed. We they traveled into the gap they walked into a large valley filled with lush vegetation. The far end of the valley opened up into the wide ocean. Their God saw that it was good and they made the valley their permanent home. They saw no reason to continue traveling the desert, with plenty of food all around them.
3000 Years After Settled - The humans have advanced enough that a small village of mud and hide huts sprung up around their God. He allowed them to pick a leader to make all their decisions. The man they picked Grunma. He was most likely chosen for the number of wives he had. During this time society was based on barter and dowries were important, often paid with animals and crafted items. This made Grunma a very rich man in the eyes of the tribe. It's not clear if this was the beginning of the Sharon family, but the scholars do not believe so. The leader ordered his people to build a shrine to their God. It was inferior to the Great Altar built eons later but it served its purpose.
When Grunma passed on into the land of immortality, a great battled started in the family. Though Grunma's son Firston was the heir to the village, his many brothers had other ideas. Almost all were power hungry. So a battle raged until all but one son was left, the cunning Tru'Ma. He was an unfair and conniving leader ... many fell before him for no other crime then looking at him wrong. His rule was ended not too long after it started by an angry mob of his followers.
Truson took his father's place, and was a better leader. And so it went on and on. Often brother killed brother and even their family. In fact, the early writings suggest that when a leader was killed the one following had the dead man's family sacrificed to the God. Mesardee loved the squabbling and often set it off with a well-placed rumor.
4600 Years After Settled - This violent display of succession continued and almost rooted itself as a tradition. About this time their God started to preach to them about the evil things done to him. How he was dishonored by a group of evil Spirits. Mesardee was regaining his one lost memory. Stories developed from the teachings. Mothers told their children if they were not good the Demons would take their souls and minds. This was also the time Ishmar started developing sturdy crafts and exploring the sea.
4723 Years After Settled - A band of Nomads appear and start telling stories about pointed ear demons that fought fiercely. The God was very interested in this and asked the band to show a search party were they saw the elves. The party armed heavily surprised a group of demons. Many were killed upon the spot, but one beauty of a demon was brought back to the city to show the God. Many of the humans could not understand how such a lovely creature could be evil. Mesardee wove a lie and added a touch of the Gaze, telling them that the beauty was to lure the unexpected fool. The demon cried out, but the language was strange. Now convinced they dragged the demon to the altar. There the God split open its chest and pulled out a beating heart. This single act drove the God fully over the edge into madness; however, his followers didn't see it as madness, but glee over the defeat of a foe and traitor. It was a turning point for the village. Encounters were few from then on, but they continued to comb the desert for more Demons.
6000 Years After Settled - Village’s advancement continued, it was now a small town. Many young men wanted to enlist in the armed ranks of the (now called) High Lord's army. Others found the call to join the religious ranks. There were very few priests, but they had a strong influence. Then a big battle came about when a small army of Demons attacked the town. One Demon in particular stands out in song and story, the Snake Demon. His fierceness in battle was awe-inspiring. Many a story says "The Snake Demon towered over the largest of men. With a might sweep of his great sword, he mowed down many a good fighter. He cut a path up to the Great High Lord Cessan. Cessan however, did not cower before the Demon, but looked the creature straight in the eye. With a voice that caused a hush to fall the Great Cessan said. ' You do not frighten me beast. Go back to your festering lair!' The creature let out a mighty roar and plunged his sword into Cessan's chest. Oh woe the hero fell." Though it's known now that Cessan ran away screaming from the little elf and took the blow in the back. Both sides lost lots of lives, though the Demons lost the most. A good number of them were sacrifices at the altar by the God.
7375 Years After Settled - The people start to wonder about their God. He looked like a Demon, so perhaps he was one and was using his demonic power to mess with their heads. Wary of this Mesardee appointed the first Lord High Priest. He then disappeared from the sight of humans, using the Lord High Priest as his puppet. Many followers who remembered what he looked like started to disappear slowly from the public eye. A belief cropped up that the High Priest was granted immortality the same time he started to wear the masks of the God. The “Game” was still played in the royal family, and commoners would make bets on who would be successful and how long they would rule. At this time a young man come to light, a powerful man with great influence. He won the “Game” and started a seventy-year rule. To protect his position he drew up a law that made more then one wife taboo. This cut the amount of children by ...well, a significant amount.11100 Years After Settled - Mesardee is no longer remembered for having ever been among them, except as a God. The “Game” has fizzled out and looked upon as barbaric. Ishmar is now a small thriving city and the priesthood has established itself within it. The Altar is now replaced by a giant structure that towers over all buildings.
16250 Years After Settled - The Sharon Family is a common name and they are known for their powerful leaders. A slave caravan reported to the Lord High Priest that they had found the lair of the Demons. Mesardee was ecstatic with glee and his joyful laughter rung through the halls of the newly built temple. The Lord High Priest ordered the High Lord to send a vast army to kill the Demons. At this time the Sharons were also known for being loyal to the God. So the High Lord gathered a large army, filled with mercenaries as well as his own troops. They descended on the unexpecting Demons and slaughtered the whole group in cold blood.
As the High Lord walked through the encampment he was hit with the feeling of unease. He stopped by the dead figures of two demons. A male and female as he could tell. He crouched down and moved the female and gasped. Her stomach bulged in the familiar roundness of a woman with child. They were not unlike himself. It changed his thinking and that of his family. Maybe fifty years later the rumors of the Resistance started to circulate through the city as the God's sacrifices were sometimes stolen from him.
Ishmar in the Present - The rule was in the hands of a promising young Lord, Crysmar Sharon. Under the watchful eye of Santhony, the Knight Commander, he grew into one of the best Lords the city has ever had. When he was 20 he was wed to a noble’s daughter, Matlin. She wasn't particularly pretty, but he loved her just the same. For 15 years they tried to have a child, but Matlin remained barren.
Then came an event that would change the House of Sharon’s destiny forever. The Priests were excited about a special sacrifice, a childbearing demon. Crysmar was forced to go watch, while Matlin stayed behind. During the sacrifice the Resistance saved the child, who was freshly cut from its mother. A riot flared up and the High Lord was spirited off to safety. Upon returning to the keep he beheld a shock. Matlin held the wee infant in her arms. They vowed to protect the child and make it their own. On top of that, the High Lord took up leadership of the Resistance. The Spirit child brought the family good luck for within the next 10 years they were blessed with three children of their own. However, the last birth proved too much for the then frail woman and she passed away.
Life was pretty straightforward after that, until the children were adults. The Resistance got wind that a Spirit was awaiting sacrifice in the temple. They saved the Spirit and found out she was the leader of a surviving band of Spirits. Crysmar and the Spirit sealed a deal to help each other over throw the Priests. Unfortunately, Crysmar was poisoned shortly afterwards and leadership and the promise he made the Spirit Chieftess were thrust into a shock Aldris' hands, the eldest son. This is where the story of now begins.
Sharon: The Ruling Family
The Sharon family has been around for as long as time remembers. It's not known where the line started, but they have produced nothing, but the best rulers of the desert city-state. The golden sand tiger represents the strength of the family, reared and ready to take on the enemy. Their Motto: "For the People, For Mesardee" ... has recently been shrunk to "For the People".
Sharon Family CrestMap Of Ishmar
This map will give you a good idea of what the town looks like and it's set up. One day I hope to have a more detailed map of the Sharon Keep, but that could be a VERY long time.
Some of the Towns Under Ishmar's Rule
Yet to Come ...