Monday, April 4, 2011

A is for Almodad, the Jewel of the Desert

Yes, I am aware this is an anachronistic picture.  No, I don't care.

Almodad, the Jewel of the Desert, is one of the six great city states which were founded after the Great Deluge.  It's glittering spires and golden domes can be seen for miles, and it is said that even the men of Uz are jealous of the quality of their architecture and the excellence of their craftsmanship.

The traveler who arrives in this fabulous city will not only be assaulted by its colorful vistas but also its myriad of smells.  Almodad is one of the largest trading cities in the Desert of Demons and - likely - the world as a whole.  Any manner of spices, dye, textiles, foodstuffs, drinks, weapons, armor, dyes, textiles, slaves, or any other sorts of goods may be found in its raucous markets.  This excludes items possessing magical properties, though even they might be attained if one knows the right person.

In fact, knowing the right people is very important in Almodad.  Little can be done without the approval of the king, but since the king of Almodad is a notorious recluse one must work through other channels in order to meet their ends.  Almodad has a powerful bureaucracy that all but controls the Crown.  This bureaucracy is largely staffed by priests of various sorts, though secular scholars, nobles, and warriors also  have a hand in organizing and running Almodad's byzantine system of government.

The God of the Almodites is Kothar, the Opener of the Way, the Key and the Gate.  He is a god of the forge, craftsmen, merchants, thieves, male magicians, and scholars.  He is a distant god, but he does seem to impart his favor on a select few.  His favored weapon is the khopesh, which his fanatics forge within a great furnace in the temple itself.  He supposedly hates women of all sorts, but often Almodites capture the women of other cities to involve them in strange rites that make them the bride of Kothar.  Why the female citizens of Almodad are not used for this purpose is a mystery to all but the most wizened priests in the temple.

Despite it's focus on Kothar, most of the gods of the Desert of Demons have temples in Almodad.  Even Mot, the One Who Pulls Into His Gullet, is represented.  Few other cities possess a temple to Mot, and no cult of Mot is more active than the one present in Almodad.  Moloch, Dagon, and the other usual sorts also have their own shrines or petty temples.  The only exception is Lilit, whose worship is outlawed and punishable by death.  Still there are rumors that even the Mistress of the Night now has a small following in the Gleaming City.

Almodad's military is notoriously weak.  They are a city of traders and masons, not warriors.  Though many Almodites fight in the wars it wages, most troops the city uses are mercenaries of various sorts.  It is particularly fond of using Thulians, whose hatred of women rivals their own.  Many point to this as the reason they were so recently defeated by the warrior women of Jerah, but the Thulians have been effective in their other wars.

Adventure is common in Almodad, as it is everywhere in the Desert of Demons.  Its internal politics are rife with intrigue. Its incense shrouded alleys are filled with mystery.  It even possess an underground network of tunnels, mazes, and chambers.  While it pales in comparison in both size and antiquity to Uz, the First City of Men, it possess a grandeur which cannot be toppled.


I know I'm a bit late on the A-Z thing.  The reasons for that are explained in my earlier post. However Mike's comment and my wife's enjoyment of the setting convinced me to continue work on Uz and it's surroundings.  I'll try to squeeze in some Nightwick Abbey/Dark Country material, but those posts will be in addition to my A-Z posts on Uz.


  1. Oh, I like this very much. I'm going to file this one away for future reference in my world-hopping game. Thanks!

  2. Glad you've decided to continue with Uz. Fantastic post, very inspiring.

  3. I'm goingto echo the encouragment/relief regarding Uz; I love both Uz and Utagrit(sp?), I find that neither makes the other redundant in the least, and in fact I can't get enough Fortean ancient semitic swords & sorcery fantasy!

  4. I'm with the monkey, great post, and great picture!