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May 06 2013 -
A Visit to Darashia
arashia, the white pearl of caliph Kazzan's desert kingdom, is located on the northern part of the Daramian continent.

History

The continent of Darama, which was named after its hero Daraman, is an exotic and fascinating place full of mystery and charm. Wrapped in ancient legends and myths, this continent still holds many secrets. Also, Darama offers spectacular landscapes from steaming jungles in the west, across rugged mountains in the centre, to arid deserts and lush oases in the east.

While the northern desert region, also known as The Devourer, may seem harsh and barren at first glance, the sheer endless sand dunes hide an oasis that allowed people to settle there. Darashia's history is closely intertwined with the life and work of Daraman. While some see him as a mere spiritual leader, others worship him as a holy prophet, and others again consider him a devious lunatic. In any case, this controversial man certainly left his mark on the continent.

Not much is known about Daraman's origin and early life. He was a man of strong convictions who surrendered all material belongings in pursuit of a simple, yet spiritual life leading to ascension. He is said to have travelled the world of Tibia on his pilgrimage, learning all kinds of ancient secrets. Through his wisdom and knowledge, he gathered numerous faithful followers who abandoned luxury and greed just like their spiritual father. They considered him a holy man, sent by the gods to enlighten people, and to show them how to purify their heart and soul so that they may ascend to heaven to become celestial beings.
The power of self-control, meditation, and contemplation obviously filled Daraman and his followers with such an inner strength and unyielding resolve that they embraced the searing heat of the desert as part of their promised land. So it came to pass that the city of Darashia was founded around an oasis with fresh water springs right in the Devourer desert.

Kha'labal

If the legends are to be believed, Kha'labal, the south-eastern part of Darama, once was an unspoiled place with lush forests, fertile land, and cool, clear waters. The gods gave this precious gift to Banor, the divine leader of the early humans, and the young race began to flourish there. The first human settlement Ankrahmun still speaks of the glory of the architectural wonders that were built by these settlers. Yet, after years of bliss and harmony, darkness found its way into Kha'labal. Ravaging orcs and Urgith's undead servants plunged the land into chaos and war, poisoning the hearts of many a man. With the spiritual guidance of Daraman, Banor and the pharaoh of Ankrahmun built a strong human army. Courageously, they faced the evil hordes and managed to keep them at bay.
When the mighty djinns entered the battle scene and gained the upper hand against humans, it was Daraman again who turned the tides by sparking civil war among this race. In the course of the djinn war, the Marid formed an alliance with Banor, while the Efreet joined forces with necromancers from Drefia. The eventual victory of the human-djinn alliance was overshadowed by an Efreet act of desperation: a cataclysm. The Efreet unleashed a raging magic inferno which engulfed Kha'labal and turned the thriving place into a desert wasteland. According to the Kha'labal Chronicles, Banor and most of the human survivors left the scorching heat after these events, and set out on a long journey to find a new home, their conquest of Tibia began.



Unsurprisingly, Daraman's philosophy influenced the city and its inhabitants more than anything or anyone else. Some sceptics may have even considered the newly-found community a haven for fanatics and zealots. Whatever the case may be, there are hardly any reliable historical sources that provide an accurate and impartial account of the events in which Daraman played a crucial role. Apparently, both the Chronicles of Daraman and the Kha'labal Chronicles were written by followers of Daraman according to their own personal beliefs and values, and what they felt is best for their people. There are a few historical sources from other parts of the Tibian world which are more reliable, and they contradict the chronology and validity of events in the aforementioned chronicles. Therefore, Daraman's involvement in the djinn war is shrouded in mythical legends, and our readers are advised to approach the following stories about Daraman with a critical and questioning mind.

It is said that Daraman was captured by djinns while meditating in the desert. Despite being tortured by them with malicious devices and inconceivable methods, he endured all the horrendous pain with dignity, and his will could not be broken. As Malor, the cruellest of all djinns, was about to strike him down with his scimitar, Gabel, the djinn leader, intervened. Gabel was intrigued by Daraman's fearlessness and self-control. As Daraman told him of the unparalleled pain of the soul and the fear of life, Gabel's interest was caught once and for all.
Numerous deep conversations between the two of them followed, and so Gabel became Daraman's disciple over time. The blue djinn followed the example of their leader, and also became devout students of Daraman's teachings. Yet, Malor eyed this whole development with great anger and resentment, and the green djinn shared his hatred. Eventually, Malor headed an insurrection against Gabel. His plan to kill Gabel failed, though, and the blue djinn hungered for revenge. A long-lasting, relentless civil war between the blue-skinned Marid and the green-skinned Efreet ensued. Whether unintentional or not, Daraman had stoked a fire of controversy and hate among the djinn race that last until this very day.

Be that as it may, most of Daraman's followers believe that his mind and soul finally reached perfection at some point in time allowing him to ascend to heaven and watch over Darama from above. From a historical perspective, he simply disappeared eventually without a clear trace.

Darashia Today

Koshei the Deathless

At some point in time, a mysterious, secretive man who went by the name of Koshei appeared in Darashia. While living there, he spent much of his time in Drefia and in the Devourer desert where he even built a tower all by himself. This gave birth to several rumours about his profession and his whole person. Most of them hint at an involvement of dark forces, death magic, and an amulet of great power. One day, Koshei vanished never to be seen again. However, some say that his threatening voice and evil laughter still echo through the remains of his tower in the desert, and that his soul may still be bound to this place.


In contrast to the majestic pyramid city Ankrahmun, Darashia was built by Daraman and the first pilgrims to reflect the simplicity and inward focus prevalent in their way of life. Even though these values became somewhat diluted over time due to the numerous temptations of luxury and convenience, the city is still a very spiritual place with many devout followers of Daraman's teachings.

Darashians are friendly people known for their hospitality and diligence. Also, many skilled artisans make a living there by creating beautiful hand-made products that are highly sought after. So it is not only Darashia's accessibility from almost any other city in Tibia that has helped to preserve its status as the cultural and spiritual centre of Darama. Unsurprisingly, adventurers flock to Darashia which makes it the city with the third lowest average vacancy rate in Tibia.

The city has been ruled as a caliphate by the Gadral family for many years now, with caliph Kazzan being the current head of the city. Kazzan is considered a wise and just ruler by most citizens. There are some slight controversies over Darashia's most famous and lucrative product, though: The supreme sandwasp-honey, also referred to as "liquid gold". It is said to have rejuvenating and magical properties not found in other types of honey. Much to the disapproval of numerous citizens, the caliph is quite adamant in keeping the aggressive sandwasps close to the city in order to maintain his control of the honey production. Every once in a while, the dangerous insects attack the city and poison their prey with deadly venom.

Darashia is surrounded by the Devourer desert. Poisonous creatures such as scorpions, pesky scavengers such as hyaenas, and hostile nomads are roaming the sand dunes and adjacent mountains. North-east of Darashia, a dark pyramid harbours ancient secrets. Daraman forbade his followers to enter this building, allegedly to prevent their souls from getting corrupted. While the black pyramid is occupied by minotaurs nowadays, some explorers believe that it was originally built by bonelords.
Located to the west of Darashia, across the mountain range called Plague Spike, lie the haunted ruins of Drefia, a dangerous place full of undead creatures and evil cultists. Rumour has it that it was a Thaian colony once that became corrupted by necromancers of the Brotherhood of Bones. On top of a mountain in Drefia, the hermit Samir leads a lonely existence to repent for his sins as the assassin he once was.
Below the mountain pass that separates the Devourer desert and the Kha'labal, travellers may run into Muhadib Lisan al-Gaib and his nomad tribe who see themselves as the true sons of Daraman.
Occasionally, you may come across Casper in a cave north of Darashia. The rhyming jester is often looking for people who are willing to join the witty and challenging trials of Kurik.
During the days at the end of October and beginning of November, a giant pumpkin is said to haunt the desert city in order to strike terror into the heart of those who witness this ghastly sight.
For all these reasons, adventurers are well-advised to always keep in mind that the heat is not the only danger lurking in the desert.

Sights

Darashia can be reached from almost every other city in Tibia. For a city tour, we recommend you to travel by ship. As you closely approach Darashia's harbour (1) by boat, you can see the shimmering heat haze rising from the desert ground. It is quite an intriguing sight.
In order to help you acclimatise yourself, and to quench your thirst, use the wall fountain with delicious fresh water outside Darashia's villa (2). This prestigious building is highly sought after so if you think about moving to Darashia, you will most likely have to be content with admiring it from outside.

Head south from the harbour to grab a bite to eat in Miraia's tavern Enlightened Oasis (3). It is a wonderful place to spend time watching the waves and feeling the light sea breeze in your hair. Should the heat wear you down sooner or later, the adjacent beach is a good place to stop for a quick splash.
In order to continue your city tour, walk to the west, passing by two enormous guildhalls (4). If you have brought a mount with you, you may want to treat it to some food and water in the stable (5) at the end of the road. Walk northwards to find the Bath of Dreams (6). This public bath is another great opportunity to relax after a long day, and its pool and sauna offer you all the comfort you need.
Right across the street, one of Darashia's most impressive sights has probably caught your interest already: the Muhaydin (7). You may want to store your luggage in the basement of this sacred tower before climbing to its top. Make sure to enjoy the breathtaking view across the desert. The priest Kasmir, a chosen of Daraman, spends his days there in solitude and meditation, but he does not mind sharing some of his insights with curious minds. If you feel like becoming a child of Darashia after this experience, you can also find a portal of citizenship in the tower.
Leaving the Muhaydin behind, head north to reach a huge bazaar (8) full of small, locally owned shops. This place is bustling with activity most of the day. Adventurers with a penchant for risk and danger may be up for a slight detour. The sand wasp tower (9) allows you to get a closer look at how these poisonous insects live. Still, we strongly recommend you not to disturb or tease them, or steal their precious honeycombs.
Facts about present day Darashia
  • Approximately 1.2% of all Tibians reside in Darashia nowadays.
  • Only 21% of the Darashians are female.
  • Daraman's teachings obviously do not praise marriage since only 1.8% of all inhabitants are married.
  • The average level of those who reside in Darashia is 37 - in comparison: the average level in Carlin is around 21; in Thais 26; in Yalahar 77.
  • As in most other cities, the main vocation in Darashia is the knight with around 31%. With only 20%, paladins are the least represented vocation.
  • 27% of all Darashians are druids, 22% have chosen the sorcerer vocation.
  • In comparison to Ab'dendriel, for example, where only about 4% of all inhabitants are promoted, around 38% of all Darashians are of a higher rank.

The prominent building next to wasp tower is the palace (10) of caliph Kazzan. It is a stunning building with a picturesque inner garden. The whole palace is stuffed with exotic valuables to marvel at. Besides caliph Kazzan himself, you can meet a few members of his household staff in the palace: The caliph's weapon master Razan, for example, or his astrologer Shalmar. Muzir, the grandwezir of the caliph, does not only take care of the caliph's immense fortune but also offers his services to ordinary mortals.
Let us head south-east from the palace to examine the architectural design of the city more thoroughly (11). In Darashia, you mainly find buildings with several, rather spacious flats sharing an interior garden or courtyard with each other. White gleaming stone walls are adorned with beautiful ornaments, and impressive curved archways invite you into the cool courtyards to escape the heat. Wall fountains are to be found all around the city to refresh people. Still, the heaps of sand and the dry earth constantly remind you of the scorching desert climate.
Mind the flying carpet passage service (12) on your way back to the harbour. If you have a pilot license to prove that you have mastered the art of flying, Chemar Ibn Kalith is willing to sell you a flying carpet for a pretty sum. Otherwise, you have to put up with him as your pilot. In order to buy a last-minute souvenir, the furniture store below the magic carpet may have something suitable in store for you. Before hopping aboard your ship again, pay your respect to some of Darashia's prestigious families by visiting their burial vaults in the Eternal Catacombs (13).

Enjoy your stay in Darashia!
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