Tales of the Adventure
The Kingdom of Khosh
The Kingdom of Khosh is a small state situated along the caravan routes far to the west of the three kingdoms in the deserts of the Tark Basin near the western terminus of the trade routes.
It is a new nation made up of once nomadic people who lived in the general area. Its geopolitical position along the trade routes has made it wealthy and allowed a small people to exude greater power than would have otherwise.
They have a long history but not much in the way of high culture or technology, however they have a great thirst and ability to absorb and learn from the kingdoms around them.
The city of Khosh is a shimmering glory in the sands, a walled city surrounding a great oasis with irrigation channels flowing into the abundant fields surrounding it, the city is full of great palaces, temples, granaries and houses of scholarship and learning. The city is twenty day march from the nearest oasis giving it a great protection. When attacked the city cuts the water to the irrigation channels, without water the sieging armies cannot remain long.
Besides this they hold a number of smaller oasis garrisons nearby which gives them a stranglehold on the east-west trade, from which they extract duties making themselves wealthy.
At the western end of the caravan route is the Empire of the Xi, a massive military and cultural colossus, bent on expansion and control of their neighbors. The Xi and the Khosh are often at war, but being so overextended from home and due to the Khosh people’s great horse skills, the Xi have a hard time defeating them.
Provided they pay duties to nations they pass the caravans themselves are generally immune to the warring for strategic control along the trade routes. Due to the immense wealth they grant to every nation they trade with, it’s in everyone’s interest to keep the flow of trade moving. However they do suffer from the constant threat of bandits and paid mercenaries (sometimes supported by rival nations), and thus need to be heavily guarded and seek refuge in the walled garrisons along the way, paying for protection.
Khosh lies far to the west of Dredena separated by a number of other kingdoms and two ranges of mountains.
Rabinagath Bador travel notes.
An excerpt from the Bador family’s scroll of the caravan-serai.
The caravan routes stretch from the south Western land of Qi across the belt of the world to the far northern lands of the Three Kingdoms. Contained in this book are the known details of the world according to the general knowledge of the Khosh people and the specific knowledge known only to our family. This book is the life blood of our family, it’s secrets are to be guarded, each member of the family is required to memorise it if full and to add to it any known details upon their return home.
The general route of the canravan-serai.
The Caravan-serai have two branches, one leads to the southern continent of rains the other travels through the Khosh basin to the land of Qi. The two of them junction in mountain kingdoms af Al-Balk.
From the Qi city of Zhainqi the western terminus it is a one month journey to the land of Khosh. The lands between once belonged to a variety of people’s but all have now been swallowed by the Qi.
Our land of Khosh is made up of five outposts and our capital. Surrounding this are thirteen oasis guarded by fortifications and taxed by us.
From Khosh one must cross the dry basin for fifteen days before arriving in Sarum-la an ally of our people. It has two cities, six oasis and a great and verdant valley. It lies on the footsteps of the plateau of snows.
From Sarum-la one must climb to dizzying heights along the edge of the plateau, this journey cannot be passed for 5 months of the year and even at other times is dangerous and filled with bandits.
Thirteen days from Sarum-la one descends into the valleys of Al-Balk. Al-Balk is composed of sixteen cities and thirteen valleys it extends its power over a number of people’s on the southern spur of the trad routes and north east towards the world belt. The kings of Balk are a noble and wise people, their land praises knowledge above all else, except perhaps trade. Their people have aided ours much in building our cities and defence from the Qi.
From here to the world belt is under their domain but made up of a number of people’s who pay tribute to them and for the most part rule independently.
It is a one month journey from Al-Balk to Fennel-ri the city at the base of the Belt mountains. However, if one wishes it one can load their entire caravan upon barges upon the canals here and reach near to Fennel-ri within ten days.
Fennel-ri lies in the constant plume of the greatest of waterfalls on this earth. Known locally as the Cascades of Heaven. A great feet of engineering has created a system of lifts that can bring an entire caravan a thousand cubits up to the cliffs at the top of the falls.
From the top of the cliff one can see 200li to the south, one can see the massive irrigation systems created by the falls. Legend says the falls were man made and transformed the land here from desert into fertile fields.
Upon the cliffs one is already a third of the way up the belt mountains. From here the crossing is fourteen days passing the lake of the rift, the great lake sitting atop the Belt which feeds the falls below.
This lake marks the division of the world into North and South, from here the stars and seasons are reversed and navigation methods must be altered, in the north this is done by a stationary star that from the belt can be seen lying on the horizon. From the south this is done by finding the star axis between the secret constellations.
On the other side of the lake which is skirted along the southern shore by a road with forty eight bridges lies the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Zarran. The people who stoke the sacred fire.
The ancient capital Zar-ban-Taloth on the northern side of the lake is now only a centre of religion, it is said the founder of Zarran fetched the sacred fire from the bottom of the rift twelve thousands years before when the lake was a deep rift filled with fire. Since then the priests of Zarran have kept the sacred fire continuously burning in its many temples. The nation’s of Zarran and Al-Balk are at peace and trade flows well between these lands.
The new capital of Zarran, Sistral, is sixteen days trek down the slopes of the northern face of the belt and upon the grassy plane of horses.
Zarran is the largest Kingdom on the routes except possibly for Qi, of which we know nothing of its extent. It stretches forty days past the capital to the edges of the Sea of sands. The routes between are well supplied with way stations for the caravans and the locals are kind and open minded peoples. The faces of many children here have Khosh features. The Caliphate of Drudenia once ruled parts of this land but long ago retreated back to the sands.
Once one enteres the Sea of Sands one is dependent on the Caliph’s goodwill for survival. The desert is trackless and only the Caliph’s sand pilots can guide one between its watering holes. His taxes are tremendous to those he dislikes and maintaining good relations is essential for profitability. Fortunetly the Caliph’s tastes in exotics are beyond imagination, and he is easily tempted by wares from abroad.
Once in dresden it is a few weeks journey either to Tandesea of Faroushia where we end our routes and turn back around.
This is the concise description of the Caravan-serai known to the people of Khosh.