Nibenay has been affected by the monumental happenings of recent months, for the Shadow King has changed his approach to ruling the masses and dealing with the neighboring city‐states. Like Hamanu and Lalali‐Puy, Nibenay (who shares the same name as his domain), is well aware of King Kalak's death in Tyr. In the wake of the sorcerer-king's defeat at mere slaves, Nibenay realized it was time to reconsider how best to rule his city, for the time for change had come.
The city‐state of Nibenay is located east of Tyr at the northern tip of the Crescent Forest. It has also thus far been spared from Tyr‐storms and the growing unrest spreading throughout the Tablelands. If the Shadow King has his way, none of these problems will ever reach his domain.
Life and SocietyEdit
Though there have been no major changes to life in Nibenay, enough strange occurrences have been worked into the routine to put a different spin on the city‐state. For example, average citizens and even powerful nobles never expected to see the Shadow King, let alone attend one of his courts. Now the Shadow King regularly makes public appearances and shows an active concern for his community. This doesn’t mean that life is any harder or easier than it’s always been. It’s just different. If a citizen or visitor breaks a law and can’t afford to bribe a templar, then that citizen or visitor is still going to end up in Nibenay’s slave pens.
The other major change is the city’s outlook on matters of a martial nature. The Shadow King and his templars seem to be concentrating much of their efforts on bolstering Nibenay’s military might. The army regularly practices in the arena and patrols of the surrounding countryside have increased dramatically. In addition, free citizens and nobles have been ordered to serve in Nibenay’s defense. Templars are busy organizing them into part‐time militias and regimenting training sessions. What the Shadow King is truly concerned about, besides the unrest and upheaval that seems to be spreading throughout the Tablelands, are the rumors claiming that Dregoth has returned. Nibenay knows how powerful the sorcerer‐king of Giustenal was. Dregoth was second only to the Dragon in power. If Dregoth and his city have somehow come back from the dead, Nibenay wants to be prepared. After all, Nibenay’s city‐state is one of the closest to the ruins of ancient Giustenal, and he has no intention of losing his domain to a rival that was destroyed two millennia ago.
Government and PoliticsEdit
The sorcerer‐king Nibenay used to stay behind the scenes. He was called the Shadow King because he rarely left Naggaramakam, his walled subcity. His templars, who are all female, ran the city with skill and great care. Now, however, the Shadow King has become more prominent. In the past, the average free citizen could hope to see King Nibenay once or perhaps twice in an entire lifetime. Since the time of Kalak's death, Nibenay has taken a more active role. He still allows his templars to deal with the daily business of government, but now Nibenay has turned his attention away from the mysterious scholarly pursuits that once occupied his time to hold court for the city’s nobles and free citizens.
Nibenay’s military might was never a question, but it also was never a major concern of the Shadow King. Now he actively seeks to understand his forces and looks for ways to improve their might and readiness. While the city used to appear to be secure in its own position, it now seems to be gearing up to battle an enemy that only the Shadow King knows about. The problem is that the enemy is change, and no army that Nibenay raises will be able to stop its relentless tide.
In the wake of all this upheaval, Nibenay’s nobles continue to care for and maintain the bubbling springs that surround the city. They don’t know what to make of the Shadow King’s sudden interest in the business of the city, but many of them are seeking ways to improve their own positions by getting closer to their once‐elusive king.
House Shom is thought to be the oldest merchant house operating in the Tyr region. For centuries the house amassed great wealth through aggressive trading. However, now the House is seen as passive and decadent. The Shom family members are almost never seen in public and have little to do with the daily business of the house. Instead the family members live decadent lives in their palaces, engaging in expensive parties and balls. The running of the trading house is left to the house agents. Most of the agents place their interests ahead of House Shom’s interests, and there is much infighting between them. This has lead to a decline in the House’s prospects over the past few decades. Only the house’s immense wealth has saved it from an untimely collapse. House Shom is known to use non‐human guards on its caravans and as raiders against other merchant houses, including thri‐kreen packs and belgoi tribes. The house is currently ruled by Temmnya Shom. Her younger brother, Jebea Shom has begun a reform movement to straighten out the family’s problems, but his popularity threatens Temmnya’s position. She has contemplated disposing of him if she can do so without her involvement being discovered by other family members.
The Sky Singers elf tribe maintains a permanent market in the Hill District of Nibenay. It is the only known instance of a permanent Elven market. The market is filled with goods of all kinds from the rare to the common. The Sky Singers have a reputation of offering quality products that were not stolen from their previous owners, unlike most Elven tribes. While the tribe numbers over 3,000 members, much of the time the elves are off wandering, leaving only a dozen or so elves to tend the marketplace. But when the tribe returns, the Sky Singers’ market takes on a festive atmosphere.
The Veiled AllianceEdit
Nibenay’s Alliance has an utter hatred of defilers. This has led to a rare commodity beneath Athas’ crimson sun‐idealism. The Alliance does what it can to protect wizards who use preserving magic from the eyes of the templars. The Alliance doesn’t feel it can oppose the Shadow King directly, so it directs its activities against lesser defilers. Thagya Phon leads the Nibenese Alliance, though his health has begun to fail him in recent years. He has two goals he wishes to accomplish before he dies: He longs to discover what Nibenay’s scholar slaves have been working on in the Naggaramakam, and he has a dream of mounting the Shadow King’s head on the obsidian pedestal that rises from the floor of his spartan quarters.
The City ReservoirEdit
The Shadow King had this enormous stone cistern constructed centuries ago to supply the city with water in the event of a siege. The top of the reservoir is covered by a lush garden maintained by the templars.
The coliseum rises above the dilapidated buildings in a rundown part of the city. The size of the arena is immense, taking up four city blocks and rising six stories high. It is an ancient building and it is said that not even the Shadow King knows when the coliseum was built or by whom. Elaborate carvings and etchings cover the coliseum’s stonework. The square shaped arena floor stretches almost a quarter of a mile across.
Monasteries of the Exalted Path and of the Serene BlissEdit
NIbenay contains two monastic orders: The Monastery of the Exalted Path and the Monastery of the Serene Bliss. The Exalted Path is an all-male monastic order that teaches a strict dogma of discipline and acceptance of authority. It is led by Grandmaster Malkaz De'Mao, formerly Grandmaster Thong Nal, and is the largest academy for psionic study in Nibenay. The Serene Bliss is the all-female counterpart to the Exalted Path and is led by the abbess Au Treng. Monks of both orders are treated with great respect by Nibenese citizens.
The Naggaramakam is a walled, forbidden inner city where the sorcerer‐king Nibenay lives with his templar‐wives. Only templars are allowed to enter and leave the Naggaramakam. While slaves are permitted to be brought into the subcity, once inside they may never leave. No free citizen is ever granted access to the Naggaramakam. The sorcerer‐king’s palace is said to be carved into a stone relief of the Shadow King with dancing women, representing his templar‐wives, strung together as if they were his hair.
The Omnipotent ReceiversEdit
A line of large statues of sorcerer‐king Nibenay stand on each side of the main road leading to the city. The statues are called the Omnipotent Receivers as it is believed that King Nibenay sees all that the statues see.
The Plain of Burning WaterEdit
The city of Nibenay is situated on the border of a large area of hot springs. Called the Plain of Burning Water, it is the source from which all citizens receive their daily water rations. Each noble house owns at least one of the hot springs which is one of the main sources of wealth for the nobility.
Sage’s Square is the largest open area inside of the city. The grand emporiums of all the dynastic merchant houses are located around the square and are the center of trade in Nibenay, where almost anything can be purchased. The square was named Sage’s Square because scholars and sages use to gather under the shadow of the huge agafari trees that grew in the square, and debate philosophy. This tradition ended only a few years ago when a renegade defiler, fleeing the templars, defiled the trees. King Nibenay had the dead trees removed from the square and ordered that no other trees be planted in order to remind the public of of the danger of renegade defilers.
The School of AugursEdit
Next to the Monastery of the Exalted Path, the School of Augurs is the second largest school for psionic instruction in Nibenay. The head master is a dwarf named Djef, who developed a scheme to help support the school by hiring out its students to transfer telepathic messages and to teleport‐deliver small parcels.
Exalted Path monks tend to look down their noses at Augur students, thinking them undisciplined and crass. This has caused a rivalry between the two academies, though neither have engaged in open hostilities to one another.
Cromlin (Hamlet, 150)Edit
The trading village of Cromlin sits on the shores of the Silt Sea, northeast of Nibenay. House Shom runs the village, though House M’ke has a sizable operation as well. Together they handle the vast majority of trade from the north, as traders attempt to bypass the chaos of Raam. Cromlin traders use silt skimmers to navigate the silt shoals, keeping the trade route to Break Shore open. The shoal navigators of Cromlin are in high demand, for they are among the select few who can lead silt skimmers along the buried paths. Cromlin is a wild place, full of people who are too untamable to live in the cities. Thieves of all sorts reside in the village. Silt pirates use it as a haven and other scoundrels and restless souls are drawn to its sandy shores. Master trader Hurdel Crost and his agents turn a blind eye towards shady characters as long as they remain to do business in his village.
Salt View (Small Village, 550)Edit
Nestled in the Mekillot Mountains, Salt View is a chaotic sprawl of tents and buildings located within a large cavern on the mountain’s eastern face. Ex‐slaves of all races fill the community. The tribe originally practiced raiding as its primary occupation, but today it is known for a lavish form of storytelling called theater. Salt View’s traveling theater troupes are welcome across the Tyr Region, though they present themselves as free merchants from the independent House Fyra (a cover for Salt View activities). The troupes perform for caravans, at oasis villages, and even in the city‐states of Tyr, Nibenay, and Balic.
Vavrek (Thorp, 200)Edit
Vavrek is typical of the small farming villages located throughout the Fertile Crescent. The village is located southwest of Nibenay within sight of the Crescent Forest. The villagers grow vegetables, mostly soybeans. The land the village is built on is owned by the Koelse noble family, to which the villagers must pay rent. The village is administered by a templar‐wife of Nibenay named Sonyalah.