Sogadar • 16 July, 2020
If you know;
You will answer.
If you don't know;
Be still, be still.
- Sogad Creation Myth
Sogadar • 22 July, 2020
The Moharid invented death, so the saying goes; for their race are certainly old enough to be the first to have done so. Dwelling west amongst the rivers and pillars of their fallen empires, they bear the epitaph "Father of Dust" to reflect their age and claim as the founders of the first empires.
The most obvious inspiration for Sogadar is Greater Iran, from the Scythians and the Achaemenids all through to the Safavids and the Durrani Empire. More specifically though, I try to draw inspiration from Afghanistan and the Caucasus a lot more than most parts of greater Iran, since Sogadar's geography is a lot more similar to those two than it is with Iran or Mesopotamia. I also draw a bit of inspiration from bronze age Greece in some of my architecture, just so that it won't look like Agrabah. Some of the stories I write also have some parallels to the Iliad, but I don't lean too heavily on the Greek influences for the most part.
Despite all these influences though, I usually develop the culture in Sogadar by looking at the Veh and how that would influence Sogad society. The Veh itself was inspired by Epicureanism, but I sort of put on a Sufi and Buddhist filter on it so that the difference between philosophy and religion is a lot more vague and blurry. I wanted to make a society that was alien, like societies in the bronze age tend to feel when you look at them, and one that didn't follow a religion that could be easily fit into a box like Polytheism and Monotheism.
The final big inspiration that I have to give credit to is Orientalist art and romanticism. I wanted Sogadar to carry an atmosphere where outsiders might misjudge it as a decadent and seductive land filled with immoral backwards people who live on top of the crumbling half-forgotten ruins of an irrelevant golden age. Afghanistan was called The Graveyard of Empires, and I wanted Sogadar to match that title.
Sogadar • 19 July, 2020
Boveza is a smoothie-like beer commonly drank as a subtitute for meals by those in a rush due to its filling nature and low alcoholic content. Its more alcoholic variant known as Doveza has a thicker porridge-like consitency that is served in large stationary pots shared between multiple individuals and is drank through a special filtered straw to avoid ingesting the bitter fermented cereal and yeast that sits at the bottom of the pot.
Sogadar • 20 July, 2020
The royal game of hide-and-seek is often played by nobles and princes in Sogadar. A player chosen or volunteering as the prey would have a days head start to hide ahead of the group before the rest of the hunters would follow suit the next day to try and find them. A single game would often last for days and the playing area could be as big as an entire region. As well as a useful game to teach princes to track and hunt for game and their enemies alike, many would be heirs and political enemies have been assassinated in this game when they find themselves cut down instead of being caught when they are found.
Moharikhar • 24 July, 2020
The imperial title of Hadod, which simply meant Blacksmith, has remained dormant since the splintering of the sixth Moharid dynasty centuries ago. As such, rulers in Moharikhar often go by the title Tarpalli instead, which originally meant "attendant of the lord" or simply; Governor.
Sogadar • 9th June, 2021
While coffee came from the south in Mehraq, its popularity has grown in upper Sogad that coffee houses have begun to be established to serve the common folk as a sobering alternative to wine.
It has become so popular that raiders and travellers on the march will carry almost always carry a pouch of coffee beans, brewing the coffee with a brewing pipe so that they are able to drink atop their horses on the go without ever having to stop for one.
Sogadar • 31 May, 2021
The term Saka used to denote a clan chosen to become war-leader of a tribal confederation. Initially, this position was chosen democratically by tribal leaders of the confederation after the passing of every Saka. This position however has since evolved to become hereditary - with the survival of the heir during the period of fratricides following the death of a Saka standing in as a form of tribal consensus and support amongst the confederation.
Sogadar • 27th May, 2021
Although Sogadar remains illiterate and write nothing down of their history and poetry, they use a system of numbers to calculate and record transactions and tributes. In recent times however, these numbers have been adopted to sparingly write down mystical utterences and verses said to carry supernatural powers behind the numerical value given to each syllable.
Sogadar • 19th May, 2021
Shehrengiz are a counter-cultural movement, often made up of the sons and daughters of nobility, who roam the streets of Shahristan in search of thrills. They carry weapons openly in their hands and fashion themselves in the style of the Sea-Peoples; wearing the oversize shirts of the Kohese as long flowing robes, going clean shaven and braided, and staining their lips with a concotion of red ochre and bad-wine. They are a public nuisance, often robbing and killing with impunity, and their name simply means "City-Thrillers".
Sogadar • 15th May, 2021
The House of Earthly Delights is an opulent structure located in the island complex of Gozsaplavi in Shahristan. It sits across from the White Palace and the Gardens of the Four Winds, acting as a bath house, steam garden, banquet hall, and temple all in one. Here the Sakas of Shahristan indulge their most distinguished guest in, and - during the annual festival of Tophah - piously host banquets attended by musicians, dancers, and poets contesting their talent and skills in their respective arts to the drinking and merriment of all who are privelaged to be invited to attend.
Sogadar • 14th May, 2021
There are no roads in Sogadar. Paving highways is an expensive and vain effort in a hostile landscape whose inhabitants have grown accustomed to migrating and travelling by way of their herds. The closest infrastructure that could pass as a road instead are the Towers - landmarks that guide travellers down the Seawalk in the north and along the Saltway further south. Although these towers are garrisoned and some of them fortified, the Sogad do not take responsibility of building the towers and they remain half buried symbols of a forgotten age, haunted by the spirits and ghosts of old that most do not dare to enter them and opt to instead build watchtowers and outposts in their shadows.
Sogadar • 13th May, 2021
The annual festival of Trophah occurs during the spring equinox on the eve of the planting and migration season in the region of Bakhlavh. It is at this time that the whole of Shahristan piously descends into revelry and indulgence, turning the city and the surrounding countryside into the site of the biggest party in all of Sogadar.
Sogadar • 11th May, 2021
To the average visitor, the Sogad appear as deeply superstitious atheists for their lack of priests and sacred texts or rituals of votive offerings to the deities whom they call their "Patrons." Their houses of worships are located in brothels and taverns, in the potters wheel and instruments. To the Sogad, the moments of pleasure are the purest forms of worship.
Sogadar • 10 May, 2021
The Palace of Ambassadors is a massive open air courtyard used to house foreign dignitaries and their merchants in Shahristan. It is the principal market of the city, and for most foreigners barred from ever leaving it: The only view of the city they will ever get to see. Here, merchants and envoys from across the Sybjyr and beyond hawk their wares in shops that wrap around the verdant gardens and fountains of the court, rubbing shoulders with one another in lavishly decorated coffee houses or stuffy steam gardens. It is, essentially, a city in itself and is most often nicknamed "The Seraglio of the World."