The Territory of the Desert People


Vasae'an travelers in the southlands, at least the few brave enough to venture onto the sands, call the desert endless. Looking out over the dunes, the desert seems to stretch on forever beneath the sky, trackless and perplexing. It has no mercy on those who do not know it. But the People of the Desert cross the sands without fear. They know where the wells are to be found, the means of navigation, and how to read the moods of the desert - very well-guarded secrets.

Partially it is these secrets that make the People of the Desert so valuable to Vasae'an trade interests. Across the vast stretch of the desert stands the Inland Sea, the shores of which are rich in many products - spices and dyes chiefly, though also rare fish and cephalopods, shells, flowering plants for the gardens of the City of Light, perfumes, pets (such as birds captured for their song), and most importantly salt. The People of the Desert act as guides across the desert for caravans, but also trade in these products themselves at the Night Markets in the City of Light. They control the greatest market for these products, because the journey across the desert is so dangerous and few caravan-owners are willing to risk their investment.

The People of the Desert are also known for their unparalleled weaving. Their carpets and tapestries are prized highly, and their cloths are of peerless quality. As a result of this market, the People of the Desert are also renowned for the excellence of their dyes. The Night Markets practically glow with the products of the People of the Desert’s weavers. Owning a carpet or tapestry made in the desert of the south is considered a symbol of wealth, so the Trade Guild ships many hold-loads of textile materials west to the Capital every year.

Additionally, no people are more skilled in the art of reading the night sky than the People of the Desert. It is their primary means of navigation across the vast desert. Their Star-Charters are renowned the world over for the accuracy of their star-charts, used mostly by mariners. The instruments with which they make these charts are also highly sought-after - telescopes being the most commonly used. The secret of their creation is almost as well-guarded as the locations of the desert wells.

Overall, the People of the Desert and the Vasae'ans share a cordial relationship. There has never been an armed conflict between the two peoples, and both share a mutual respect. Representatives of the People of the Desert are in constant negotiations with the princes of the Vasae'ans to ensure the territory and trade agreements between them are honored, and modified as needed. Representatives of the People of the Desert also sit in on the princes' deliberations involving laws that might impact their people.