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Jalmeray

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Jalmeray
Jalmeray
(Nation)
Titles Kingdom of the Impossible
Alignment Chaotic neutral
Capital Niswan
Ruler Thakur Kharswan
Government Colonial Princely State
Demonym Jalmeri
Adjective Jalmeri
Languages Vudrani
Religions Irori, Nethys, various Vudran religions

Source: The Inner Sea World Guide, pg(s). 84-86

Jalmeray (pronounced JAHL-meh-ray)[1] is a large island-nation in the Obari Ocean off the coast of Nex. For the past 2,000 years, it has been ruled by Vudran nobles as the westernmost of that land's so-called "Impossible Kingdoms" of Vudra.[2]

History

Little is known of the island before it was claimed by the archmage Nex in 253 AR. Even after Nex's conquest, there is little written of the island, except that it was a place of incredible natural beauty. It is known to have been inhabited at the time of the Nexian take-over, but almost nothing is known about their customs. Jalmeray only starts receiving any real mention after it becomes home to its most famous visitor.[3][4]

Visit of Khiben-Sald

In 563 AR, the legendary maharaja of Vudra, Khiben-Sald, visited the Inner Sea region at the head of a fleet of 101 exotic Vudran ships. Khiben-Sald's first port of call was the Nexian capital of Quantium, and in short order he became a firm favourite of Nex's court. At the time, hardly anyone in Avistan or Garund had ever seen a Vudrani before. Soon after his arrival, the archmage Nex granted Khiben-Sald dominion over the neighbouring island of Jalmeray. For a decade, Khiben-Sald and his travelling court erected temples and monuments on the island using bound genies to help in their construction. Vudran culture (particularly its art and dress) made a lasting impression on Nexian during this time as well, as more Vudran merchants, prophets, and explorers began appearing in greater numbers.[3][2]

Khiben-Sald was intrigued by the island's indigenous inhabitants, but gave them an option: serve him or leave. Most chose exile and relocated to the nearby island of Kaina Katakha. The maharajah largely left them in peace there, but treated the island an his personal preserve of exotic natives.[4]

Rule of the Arclords

After staying for a decade, Khiben-Sald and his considerable entourage departed Jalmeray, leaving behind numerous buildings, monuments, and bound genies. Shortly thereafter in 576 AR, the archmage Nex vanished. Nex's disappearance led to infighting within his realm, which triggered the next migration to the island. One of the factions that was vying for the leadership of the now rulerless nation of Nex were the Arclords. Unfortunately they failed and earned exile for their effort several centuries later. Many of the Arclords chose Jalmeray as their new home, settling on the beautiful island. The Arclords hoped to be able to influence events in their nearby homeland, and either tried to modify the wonders left behind by Khiben-Sald or, more often than not, simply sealed them up and ignored them.[3][2]

The Arclords were much less charitable to the remaining indigenous inhabitants of Jalmeray, most of whom lived on the island of Kaina Katakha. They considered them trespassers and wiped them out, reducing the small island to ash and rubble.[4] During this time, Jalmeray also repulsed an attack from Qadira.[5]

Vudrani return

In 2822 AR, the Vudrani returned, their exotic ships arriving in huge numbers at the port of Niswan on Jalmeray's western coast. The Vudrani who arrived claimed to be descendants of the legendary Maharaja Khiben-Sald, and despite the improbability of this (it had been over two thousand years since Khiben-Sald had visited) these rajahs produced legitimate genealogies to support their claims. Surprised at what had become of the island of Jalmeray and the strange people they found squatting on it, the Vudrani politely asked the Arclords to vacate the island. When the Arclords refused, the Vudrani had to resort to more dramatic methods.[3][6] Along with the Ashawar Lancers,[7] the Vudrani summoned up an army of marids, genies with power of the element of water, who battered the island with relentless storms that sank all but one of the Arclords' boats. Thoroughly defeated, the Arclords abandoned Jalmeray to the Vudrani who set about opening the sealed monuments and reviving its guardians. Jalmeray has remained under the control of their descendants ever since.[3][6] Aside from yet another ill-conceived attack from Qadira, Jalmeray has remained a relatively peaceful nation.[8]

Government

In theory, Jalmeray is ruled by an undisputed monarch, Kharswan, the Thakur of Jalmeray. In fact, the Thakur's power is limited to as far as his voice can carry. The country is actually ruled by the noble families, powerful mystics, and mighty masters of the island's monasteries, known as the Maurya-Rahm. These influential people oversee the day to day running of the country, while the Thakur tends to spend his days writing poetry, attending to his harem of wives, and pitting his advisors against one another to prevent any one of them from becoming too powerful.[9][6]

Foreign relations

Except for a number of unsuccessful invasion attempts by Qadira, Jalmeray has had generally peaceful relations with its neighbors, even its more notorious ones such as Geb and Katapesh.[10][8][11] The Aspis Consortium has also been trying to expand its trade in Jalmeray lately.[12]

Geography

Jalmeray is first and foremost an island nation surrounded by the warm waters of the Obari Ocean, which has helped its inhabitants maintain their unique culture. The island itself is historically described as a place of incredible natural beauty, something only enhanced by the vast array of elemental creatures brought by the Vudrani to help shape the island to their needs. Now the island is renowned across all of the known world for the splendid sights that can be seen nowhere else—except perhaps in distant Vudra itself.[3]

The exact climate of the island seems to vary widely from area to area, perhaps as a consequence of the elemental creatures that reside there. Niswan is beset by cold winds and even sometimes snow,[3] while a few hundred miles away, the northern tip of Jalmeray is covered in verdant mountainous forests.[13]

Inhabitants

Jalmeray is unique in all of the Inner Sea region for being the only nation where Vudrani are the dominant ethnicity, and Vudrani the dominant language.[14] Being the Inner Sea's only link to the legendary Kingdoms of the Impossible, Jalmeri have a unique mystique.[3]

Religion

The religions that dominate Jalmeray are also unique. While Irori has many worshipers across the region, his religion is at its strongest on the island,[3] along with the worship of the thousand other deities of Vudra.[15]

Holidays

The best known Jalmeri holiday is Admani Upastuti, celebrated in Lamashan, which marks the founding of Jalmeray of a Vudran colony.[16]

Martial arts

The inhabitants of Jalmeray include an unusually high number of monks, and the island is home to dozens of monastic orders.[6] The prowess of their martial artists is renowned across continents, and the three Houses of Perfection (the Monastery of Untwisting Iron, the Monastery of Unfolding Wind and the Monastery of Unblinking Flame) are the most sought-after monasteries of the Inner Sea region. To qualify for training at one of the Houses of Perfection, the potential applicant must complete daunting entrance trials, such as racing a djinni that is as swift as the wind, wrestling a stony shaitan, and outwitting a cunning efreeti. The many who fail to pass these rigorous tests but still show potential can find training at one of the lesser centers of martial learning on the island, while those who show no aptitude for the martial arts are politely asked to leave Jalmeray—once—after which they are forced to leave. The few who are accepted are pushed to develop physical perfection combined with mental and spiritual balance and an unusual form of magic gleaned from the opened mind. Members of the three greatest monasteries are renowned and respected throughout the Inner Sea region, even if they are not fully understood or trusted. Parents of wealth and power from across the region sometimes send their children to Jalmeray to be trained by the martial arts masters. These students often form strong bonds with the people of the island nation that transcend the worldly concerns of their parents.[6] The monks of these monasteries compete with one another in a tournament known for its grueling challenges called the Challenge of Sky and Heaven.[9]

Other races

In addition to humans, Jalmeray is also home to many tieflings, mostly of rakshasa descent. Jalmeri tieflings are treated as an under-class of untouchables forced to work jobs the humans consider beneath them, such as cleaning sewage. They are viewed as unclean, and most Jalmeri humans will not eat food that was touched by tieflings. The luckiest of these tieflings disguise themselves with magic provided by their fiendish progenitors.[17]

References

  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 246. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 86. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 84. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 88. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  5. Brian Cortijo. (2009). Qadira, Gateway to the East, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-180-0
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 87. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  7. Owen K.C. Stephens. (2008). Guide to Absalom, p. 55. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-141-1
  8. 8.0 8.1 Brian Cortijo. (2009). Qadira, Gateway to the East, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-180-0
  9. 9.0 9.1 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 85. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  10. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 75. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  11. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 91. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  12. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 263. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  13. Craig Shackleton. (2009). Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible, p. 1. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
  14. Matt Goodall. (2011). Cult of the Ebon Destroyers, p. 2. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
  15. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 155. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  16. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 249. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  17. Hal Maclean and Colin McComb. (2012). Blood of Fiends, p. 8-9. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-423-8