Aksambul: The Queen Widow
Outer Aksambul. The villages and small towns on the Periphery of the Aksambul City-state are unified under the same political rights as those within the city. Outer Aksambul, the most sparsely populated sector of the city, supply the city of Aksambul with grain, vegetables, and are the principal suppliers of lumber. While the rural citizens, known as the “kind-folk”, do not have enough labor or land to supply the city with all of her needs for food, Outer Aksambul serves a principal role by providing food exclusively for the poor. The city of Aksambul provides payments directly to the villages, so that the city can distribute food in the poorest parts of town, alleviating concerns of a return to the days of the Famine Riots. The Kind-Folk are predominantly human.
Outer Aksambul is divided into 3 Farthings – The Frontier, The Midlands, and the Hinterlands. All together, there are about 30 different villages, including the 5 shantytowns that hug the outside walls of Aksambul. There is one principle town, Road Town, which houses the Council House for all Chiefs to attend. Amongst the Council, they elect two alderman. Each Chief is the leader of their clan, with clans principally organizing along economic activity, and are distributed throughout the region. Each clan determines chief leadership differently, though they all tend to follow the tradition of sons carrying on the clan name, and women adopting the clan of their husbands. Dowries play an important part of clan and family relationships, and are often the principal cause of discordance amongst the kind-folk.
The villages and their militias also provide a buffer zone between the city and the chaotic elements in the wilds outside of the city. The City’s army must dedicate most of its attention to protecting entrances into the underdark, as well as to have a strong reserve in the event that a jealous imperial power decides to invade. The Village Militias handle most of the “frontier problems”, where villages must fend of sporadic goblin, gnoll, or orc incursions. The village folk also serve as a buffer between the cities has already choked merchant squares and the legions of junk merchants that would overwhelm the local markets. Junk merchants often just travel the roads between the villages, peddling their wares, allowing the more lucrative trade stalls to be filled with merchants carrying valuable wares.
Life in the villages is rough, poor, and is often forced to only interact with the very worst that the city can offer. Wealthy upper Aksambullers often try to force families off their land, seeking to replace the kind-folk’s family land with a spice plantation. The middle-class Aksambullers always try to buy the kind-folk’s wares at a much-undervalued price. Aksambul’s poor tend to always try to rob, mug, or cheat the kind-folk, assuming them dull and naïve. For the kind-folk, the city is the beautiful place that always sends you home in a box. The Kind-folk see the city as a place of corruption and prosperity, and are suspicious of the city-folk. The Kind-folk, however suspicious, will always welcome a traveler, however, and take pride in their gentle and respectful demeanor. The Kind-Folk are also one of the few peoples of the city-state that actually still follow the traditions of clans. Clan affiliation is extremely important for the kind-folk, and for this reason tend to foster strong friendships with dwarves.
Within the city, the Kind-folk are considered to be ignorant, backwards, and dumb – though harmless. Many scoff at the fact that Outer Aksambul is even awarded citizenship, and few even know that the kind-folk are even part of the city’s history or vital to its survival. The kind-folk are their invisible citizens, though are usually a source of attention when a kind-folk surprisingly developed a desire to visit the city. The Kind-folk dress in traditional Aksambul clothing, with a prominent sash of symbolic color, a dark vest, white tunic, and tan cotton trousers. Much of the armor and weaponry used by the Kind-folk are old fashioned, and many city-folk balk at these militiamen as they go into battle wearing armor that fell out of fashioned nearly 3 generations ago. Because of their adherence for the Clan system, the Kogan Citadel serves as a patron to the Kind-Folk, and within the Forum, the Outer-Aksambul Alderman always vote in line with the Kogan Citadel.
Deran. Deran is the newest part of the city, and is located west of the Grand Canal. Deran is the principal economic sector of Aksambul, and is dominated by large warehouses, inns, brothels, and foreign part of the city. Deran is where most foreign merchants conduct trade, and Deran is where many foreign laborers mingle as they load and unload goods on to their vessels. The permanent population in Deran is decidedly lower middle class, and is mostly comprised of humans, halflings, and half-elves. Deran, with it’s heavy foreign presence, is the least traditional of the city, and is the least segregated part of the city.