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The Emirates of Ylaruam

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Map of Ylaruam


This is a desert land, all blazing sun, rolling dunes, and widely separated oases, similar in appearance and culture to medieval Arabia. In recent centuries, the Thyatians and Alphatians have come to Ylaruam to conquer; they moved in from the south and the north and fought in the center, their wars going on for decades until the Ylari people threw them out.


The Sultan (Emperor) of the city of Ylaruam, a direct descendant of Al-Kalim, is the titular ruler of the nation, but he does not have absolute power; his Grand Vizier wields considerable influence, as do the individual emirs (Kings), maliks (dukes), beys (counts), and sheiks (viscounts).


The Alasiyan culture which is dominant in Ylaruam is as harsh as the desert that spawned it. The Ylari greatly admire the desert warrior, the turbaned hero with his flashing scimitar and noble desert steed.

  Magic use is forbidden here; magic-users and elves are hunted down, tried, and executed when their presence becomes known. On the other hand, clerics are venerated in this land.

  The Ylari follow the philosophies of Al-Kalim, a warrior and teacher who died (or embarked on a Path to Immortality) a century ago. His dream was of the Desert Garden, all the desert lands of Ylaruam transformed by work and cooperation into the greenest and fairest of lands; when the Ylari need something to unite them, they use the words of Al-Kalim.

  Though the clans and tribes of Ylaruam often war with one another, they willingly forget their differences to band against foreign invaders, but just as willingly renew their internal struggles once the invasion is thrown back.

City Map of Ylaruam


The capital of the Emirates has a population (counting surrounding farmlands) of 20,000, about one-tenth the population of all the Emirates. It is a trade city, through which passes much of the agricultural bounty of the land: herd-beasts of the desert nomads, grains of the farmlands, fabricated goods of the renowned craftsmen of Ylaruam.

Adventuring Opportunities:

Adventures in the Emirates can include repelling Thyatian invaders from the south, grueling trips through the desert, exploring ancient ruins (dating from a time when some of the most sterile desert areas were lush and green), and conducting negotiations between the emirs of this nation and the rulers of surrounding lands.


Player's Guide

What Everyone Knows About the Emirates


Tavern Rumors From Neighboring Lands


The People: "The people of Ylaruam hate outsiders. None of them speak any civilized tongues, and if they do, they pretend they don't. They're hot-tempered and always fighting among themselves. They dress funny,

all wrapped up in these long robes and headdresses, which they wear even in the hot sun. They live in the desert in tents, though some live in crude brick houses in the cities.

"They all ride camels and horses, and great horses they are, mind you, and they're pretty sharp traders, They aren't very civilized since they live outside all the time, and they haven't got any princes, lords, or nobles like we have, just tribal chiefs."

The Land: "It's one big desert. There is nothing but sand, sandstorms, and rocks. I can't imagine how anyone could live there."

Ylaruam: "That's the city in the desert where the Sultan or Emir or something lives. There are some tall, pointed spires covered with gold, they say, and there's a university full of scientists and lawyers."

Other Towns: "Tameronikas is a nice port and has lots of foreigners. Abbashan is a big oasis full of exceptionally nasty people."

How to Get Rich and Famous: "Ride camels on long caravans. Look for lamps with djinni in them. Find magic carpets in the desert, and rings and efreeti in chests in ruins. Get sorcerers to find hidden treasure, then trick them out of their share."

Hot Tips: "The government is hiring mercenaries and irregulars to suppress goblins and giants from Altan Tepes."

"There's plenty of caravan and expedition escort work around. Check around in taverns for merchants,"

From Conversations With a Veteran Adventurer


The People: "Most are honest and honorable. When they give their word, they mean to keep it. They are extremely religious, always praying and quoting Al-Kalim, their hero and prophet. Debating fine points of law and ethics is a pleasant pastime for them. They have little trust or respect for Unbelievers and foreigners, and from what I've seen of the world, with some justice."

"As a people they're most touchy about honor, and quick with a sword when you offend it. Most citizens are armed and quite skilled with weapons, and are happy to use them,

The soldiery is first-rate. They are disciplined, well-trained, and fiercely loyal."

The Land: "It's warm and pleasant along the eastern coast, arid hot and dry in the central desert and highlands. Learn native ways, and there's little danger from the weather, except during violent storms. The nation is safe if you stick to caravan routes and towns,

but its wilderness regions are among the most dangerous in the world. There are few humans, but plenty of monsters and otherworldly horrors. Stay away from Nithia unless you like trouble."

Ylaruam: "It's comfortable for foreigners. Plenty of merchants and government officials are hiring experienced adventurers. Information and scholarship are plentiful if you know where and how to look,"

Other Towns: "In Parsa local Makistani tribesmen live in hut-and-tent towns; they're like Ethengars, only cheerful and pleasant. They are more hospitable and easy-going with strangers than desert people. Tameronikas is pretty much like coastal towns around the world. At Ctesiphon and Cinsa-Men-Noo the locals cater to travelers and adventurers. There's plenty of wilderness escort and expedition work, and outfitters and guides are available for all types of expeditions,"

How to Get Rich and Famous: "The conservative route is to start off in caravan or expedition escort work. Build a reputation, get connected to nobles or rich merchants, earn the respect and gratitude of a ruler, and win a dominion,

"The dangerous way is to hunt treasure and exotic creatures in the wilderness, but it's hard to judge the risks, and you're a long way from help if you get in trouble. "If you don't care about money, but do want to tame the wilderness and punish evil, there's plenty to do in the wilderness, and you'll quickly earn the respect of the locals."

Hot Tips: "Do not lie or break an oath. Even if the locals don't kill you for it, they'll never deal with you again.

"Once you've got a reputation as a tough adventurer, there's plenty of work. The best native fighters, magic-users, and clerics are in the military so locals routinely hire reliable foreigners as mercenaries, guards, for missions into the wilderness, or for rough stuff. Sit around the taverns and keep your ears open, or make contacts in the Vouchery of the Provinces who'll send tips your way.

"If you're going to freelance, stay conservative or carefully research your objective. Seek out reliable informants and pay them well.

"The natives are superstitious. They do have some pretty odd stories about the uninhabited regions. They are not sissies. If they are nervous about something, it's worth being careful:'

As Told by a Young Desert Nomad


The People: "Desert folks are obviously tougher, more honorable and fearless, than house-dwellers. City folk are liars and cowards, they can't ride or fight, and would die in a minute in the desert. Foreigners are just as bad, though it's said that some are better than others. Friendly tribesmen are always welcome in our tents. Bandits, thieves, and murderers deserve to bleed to death in the desert."

The Land: "Respect the desert, and the desert is your friend. The desert only kills fools, but it is easy to be a fool during the sand storms.

"Our familiar pasturage and traditional tent grounds are usually quite safe, We are not cowards, but there are places in the desert and the hills where only fools go, full of monsters, evil sorcerers, and powerful spirits.

"The villages are interesting places, especially during summer camp at market time, though the local people and merchants are sneaky and greedy,"

Ylaruam: "They say it is beautiful. It's full of liars and merchants, but the Sultan's palace and university are hundreds of feet tall and decorated with gold and jewels. The Sultan's gaming fields are said to be carpets of living grass, and the tournaments of the Military Orders are said to be quite fine. I would love to ride with the Sultan's guard, and someday my chief will give me armor and weapons so I can go to Ylaruam and become a Knight of the Lance."

Other Towns: "Kirkuk is quite big with many stone buildings and several tall towers, and very busy, with a market day twice a week. Our tribe camps there during the summer with other friendly tribes and we have games and feasts and trade our spare horses and camels so we can buy the weapons and coffee we need for the winter,

"Abbashan is a city like Ylaruam, but Father says men are not soft and corrupt in Abbashan like they are in Ylaruam. In Abbashan they are quite strict with the heathens and greedy merchants,"

How to Get Rich and Famous: "I want to ride with a raiding pany so I can prove that I am a warrior. Then my chief will give me armor and weapons and I will go to Ylaruam and become a soldier.

"Or perhaps my chief might let me go with the Secretary on a ride into the Empty Places. That way I'll become famous for my deeds and the Secretary will introduce me to the Sultan, who'll make me a faris so I can ride around the land and punish the wicked and unfaithful."

Hot Tips: "They say one may be paid for riding with scholars and miners into the hills. Some men from my tribe went to cities and villages to find such work, and they returned with fine weapons and expensive horses and great tales to tell.

"There are stories of young boys who open trapdoors in the desert and who find beautiful princesses and magical rings and fierce demons. I'm not sure about these tales, but they must be true; else, how would men imagine them?

"Sometimes in difficult times men from our tribe ride into the desert to hunt fearsome beasts. Then those who live go to towns and sell the beasts to sorcerers and scholars."

As Told by the Younger Partner of a Merchant Caravan Outfitted in Ylaruam


The People: "The people of the coastal plain live comfortable and peaceful lives, and fine cloths and spices sell well there, though the peasants and poor folk of Nithia suffer under their squabbling and cruel chiefs.

"The desert nomads are usually polite and formal, but you must take care not to offend them. They are good markets for coffee and weapons, but they only buy while encamped for the summer.

"The cities and towns of the Emirates are all good markets for fine crafts and imported luxuries (except Abbashan, where they frown on luxury and frivolity). The poor folk are devout and orderly, and the nobles and craftsmen are sturdy Defenders of the Faith and free with their purses.

"The pony-folk of the northwest may seem fierce and war-like, but they are really playful and light-hearted as children. Their needs are modest, and their lands plentiful. They are nowhere near as touchy as the desert people, but they are rather uncouth and uninterested in conversation and bargaining, though great fans of fantastic stories of wizards and heroes.

"It is fashionable to say that men of other lands are without honor or virtue, but I have seen for myself. The Unbeliever hardly values his word, and though I have seen the splendid temples of his numerous powerful and fearsome gods, I have seen few at worship therein. Nowhere have I seen the common piety and daily reverence of the least of the True Believers."

The Land: "It is dry, but the people live well. The coastal region grows fruit and vegetables in abundance, and the plains of the Ust-Urt Valley yield excellent crops of grain. The wadis and oases provide pasture for the nomad herds and vegetables to supplement the abundant meats and cheeses of the nomad herders.

"I've been north and south along the coast, and over the mountains to Darokin, Specularum, Thyatis, and Dengar, and nowhere have I seen a happier, better-fed nation."

Ylaruam: "Certainly smaller than Thyatis and Specularum, but not less grand, and more civilized in many ways. The markets of Ylaruam are twice the size of those of Specularum and Thyatis, and the skill ofYlaruam's craftsmen is second to none.

"There are poor folk in Ylaruam, but they are far less desperate than the wretched poor in the slums of the other cities of the world. The Eternal University is one of the finest in the world, and scholars may be seen lecturing or discoursing in plazas and gardens throughout the city. And the Sultan's palace and the

Vouchery District is splendid with its colorful mosaics, fountains, gardens, and the magnificent Great Throne Room with the great arched ceiling."

Other Towns: "Parsa is a comfortable caravan stop, but not a veryprofitable market; the Makistani prefer their ponies over our magnificent stallions, and their pony-hair blankets and tents over our fine silk and wool fabrics.

Ctesiphon is a nasty spot, but has lots of money from the local mining projects. Cinsa-Men-Noo is the nicest town in Nithia, not that it is much of a distinction, and a good market in summer when the nomads are encamped.

Surra-Man-Raa is a disgrace. The Sultan should take a couple of divisions and clear that place up once and for all. I certainly won't trade there. Tameronikas is a lovely climate, lots of quality imported goods, and keen traders to deal with. It is always a challenge, but

always profitable. Abbashan is a clean enough town, but an unprofitable market for anything but coffee, weapons, and fine horses."

How to Get Rich and Famous: "Buy coffee, spices, textiles, and expensive household crafts in Darokin, Karameikos, or Thyatis. Sell high in Tameronikas, or better yet, ship across the caravan routes and sell at twice the price in Ylaruam, or three times the price in a rural market. Buy the best horses from the nomads, the best rugs and pottery from rural craftsmen and weapons, glass, and jewelry from urban craftsmen, and export them. Then invest your money in mining or an import/export firm.

"Get to know the right people, get a well permit, get a charter from an emir for a new dominion, and build yourself a comfortable country estate. Support wilderness expeditions because sooner or later one may uncover some treasure or ancient artifact, and your fortune is made."

Hot Tips: "To earn your stake, dig around at the Vouchery of the Provinces. Those fellows know all about the hidden treasures of the wilderness, and are eager to con you into chasing after them. Provinces will put you in touch with other rough-and-ready entrepreneurs, and may have suggestions for backers to touch for investment capital.

"Mining metals and precious stones is the wealth of the future. As the northern and southern highlands are cleared of savages and monsters, they will become among the richest mineral deposits in the world."

Creating Ylari Characters


Use the following charts to design characters with distinctive Ylari flavor. The chart listings are meant to be suggestive, not restrictive; improvise freely in the spirit of the given listings, drawing on your knowledge of fantasy literature and Near East cultures.


1. Select a name and residential tag.

The most important detail about a character is his name. Whatever a character knows, he always at least knows his name, and expects others to remember it and to address him politely by it. His name also contains the name of his father, Suleiman AI-Kalim, or Urabi-ibn-Selim ("ibn" or "al" means "offspring of'). In a land where family obligations are cherished, the name of your father is an important detail.

Right after the name, the most important thing about a Ylari is his place and his cultural background. If a Ylari is a nomad, he moves around, and is not strongly identified with any place, therefore his tribe is his most important identification. If a Ylari is settled, his region, village, or town name is most important. When a Ylari introduces himself, he often adds his residential tag after his name. For example, Thhiral -Anouar of the Qahtan, or Jaffar-ibn-Mehmet of Hedjazi. If you meet someone where he lives, he omits the residential tag in his introduction. It's assumed he's a native if he doesn't state otherwise.


2. Select a cultural background and spiritual alignment.

The most common cultural backgrounds are Alasiyan and Makistani, with some Thyatin, Alphatian, Nithian, and other cultures of the D&D world. All but a few Ylari are Followers of AI-Kalim and the Eternal Truth

and of lawful alignment.

The only sizable minority religions are foreign alignments in the cities and the outlawed chaotic Magian Nithian religion. Another sizable minority has no spiritual commitment, though, for social reasons, most at least pretend to be True Believers. These uncommitted may be of any alignment.

If you need a chaotic character, insanity is a good excuse. A neutral is probably either an indifferent Believer or an unbeliever pretending to be a Believer.

When a character introduces himself, he seldom mentions that he is a True Believer. In the Emirate that's a given. Ifamong foreigners and heathens, he may proudly announce that he is among the Faithful.


3. Select a physical hook and nickname.

A good way to make an NPC distinctive is to give him a special physical feature or action. A nickname also helps to make an NPC unique and memorable. The Physical Tag and Nickname charts are obviously incomplete; use them as examples, and devise your own physical tags and nicknames.



(* indicates female names)

Abdallah, Abdullah, Abdul, Abu, Ahmed, Ahmad, Aicha', Aladdin, Ali, Alia', Aman, Amar, Amin, Amineh', Anouar, Azeezeh', Aziz, Baba, Babrak, Bechir, Besma', Buzurg, Chukri, Daood, Djamal, Dunya', Farah', Farid, Farouk, Fatima', Faysal, Fuad, Habib, Hafez, Haroon, Hassan, Hosni, Hossein, Hussain, Ibrahim, Idris, Ismail, Jaffar, Jamila', Jullana', Karim, Khader, Khalid, Leilah', Mahmud, Mansour, Maroof, Mehmet, Mizra', Mohammed, Muhammed, Muammar, Mujibur, Muktar, Mussa, Mustafa, Myriam', Nadir, Najib,

Naomi', Nasir, Nasser, Nazar, Nizar, Nizam, Nuri, Omar, Orner, Rachid, Radija', Ramman, Ravi, Rezah, Ruhollah, Saddam, Said, Selim, Sheherazad, Sharif, Sherif, Sinbad, Suleiman, Tahir, Tarik, Urabi, Walid, Yasir, Yasser, Yasimina' ,Jusif, Zia, Zumurrud'.



Ylari Tribe Chart

Awaliq, Awamir, Abidah, Amalisah, Asir, Awamir, Awazim, Anazah, Amarat, Bal-Ubayd, Batahirah, Bayt Kathir, Bayt Yamani, Bani Yas, Buqum, Bani Kab, Bani Hajir, Bani Atiyah, Bani Sakhr, Dayyin, Dahm, Duru, Dawasir, Dhafir, Ghamid, Gani Khalid, Harb, Hutaym, Huwaytat, Humum, Harasis, Hudhayl, Ifar, Janabah, Juhaynah, Mahrah, Manahil, Manasir, Murrah, Muntafiq, Nu'aym, Qahtan, Qara, Ruwalah, Rashayidah, Rashid, Shararat, Sulabah, Shammar, Subay, Shihuh, Suhul, Shahran, Sayar, Ujman, Utaybah, Yam, Yafi, Wahibah, Wayilah, Zahran.



(* means an administrative province under

Vouchery of Provinces)

Ust-Urt Valley,The Dead Places (desolate areas of Nithia), Northern Highlands', North Coast (Nithian coastal plain), Middle Coast (Abbashani coastal plain), Abbashan Oasis, Great Salt Basin (vast desolate salt lake)', Great Alasiyan Basin (The Empty Quarter- Rub AI-Khali)', Ylaruam Oasis, Valley of Death (salt basin west of Ylaruam)', Southwestern Highlands', Southeastern Highlands',

Piedmont (Nicostenian Uplands), Southern Coast (Nicostenian

coastal plain),

For other geographical reference tags ,characters may also

refer to the nearest town or village, or to nearby roads and

caravan routes.



(capitals indicate capital of the emirate)

Emirate of Alasiya: YLARUAM,Kuznetz, Deraan, Sulba, Telal Kebir, Hedjazi.

Emirate of Makistan: PARSA,Warqa, Anram, Uruk.

Emirate of Nithia: SURRA-MAN-RAA, Cinsa-Men-Noo.

Emirate of Abbashan: ABBASHAN, Fabia,Jaboor.

Emirate of Nicostenia: TAMERONIKAS,Cubis.

Emirate of Dythestenia: CTESIPHON.


The following town/village names may be scattered around on detailed topographical maps:]auf, laymor, layma, Wahj, Muscat, Dubai, Abu Dubai, Doha, Salwaw, Jubayl, Qaysumah, Nuayriyah, Urayirah, Mubbaraz, Hofuf, Udayliyyah, Haradh, Mishab, Ras al Khafqi, Ras Thnnurah, Abu Hadryah, ZiIfi, Ghat, Ruywaydah, Shaqra, Diriyah, DiJam, Hillah, Layla, Hariq, Salamiyyah, Attawiyyah, Turayr, Harlithah, Ha'iJ, Unayzah, Dawarlimi, Kasamin, Bishah, Baljurshi, Kahmis Mushayr, Abha, Dils, Kiyat, Ulan, Lith, Aflf, Ulah, Umm Lajj, Duba, Rasal Qasbah, Haql.



 Alasiyani, Makistani, Nithian, Thyatian, Alphatian, other D&D nationalities and races.



 Eternal Truth (lawful), Magian Fire-Worshipper (chaotic, outlawed, and evil), no spiritual alignment, foreign religion.



Distinctive Feature

 hunchback, leather skin, deep tan, lily skin, pony tail (Makistani), lizard boots, blue eyes (rare among Alasiyani), scowl, dark complexion (Nithian), face-like-the-moon (great beauty, round and clear-faced), acne-scarred, scraggly forelock, many rings on fingers, embroidered headband (affectation), skinny, double-chin, far lips, hawk nose, wide nose, buck reeth, big ears, balding, full-beard (nomads-town folk shave); facial scar, noble brow (level, dark eyebrows), stiff knuckle (sword scar), voice(loud, soft, foreign accent, high or low pitched), body (far, thin, muscular, long armed, tall, short)


Distinctive Gesture, Phrase, or Interest

coughs (nomad sandstorm lungs), whistles tunelessly, always rubbing nose, fidgets with beard, chews lip, never looks straight in eye, haughty address, rude (rare among Ylari, sign of power or malevolence), drinks too much coffee, chatters all the rime, obsessed with horse racing, rug expert (family trade)




(Best if based on distinctive feature, gesture, phrase, or interest. Could also refer to famous incident or other reason for renown or infamy.)


The Butcher (admiring martial ruthlessness, or condemning for cruelty), BlackHand (cruel), the Poet (ironic-lousy and prolific poet), Desert Quail (sweet singer), Half-Heart (coward in battle), the Devout, Tale-Teller, the Traveler (scholar), the Strange One (quiet sorcerer), the Northerner (dark Nithian) , Winter

Rat (tough), Water Bag (always thirsty), the Generous, the Sworder of Vengeance, the Just, the Cheerless (always pessimistic)


To devise other nicknames, think about the Ylari social and personal virtues. One obsessed with a particular virtue might be known for it- "the Trust Worthy", for example. Or consider the character's occupation- "the Caravaner" or "the Swordsman" or "the Spell-Monger."



Riding Checks


Roll the character's riding rating or less on 3d6 to succeed in an action. A character's riding rating is his dexterity modified by the following bonuses or penalties:


Bonuses and Penalties (Cumulative)

Dwarf: -4

Halfling: - 2

Level 1-4: -1

Level 10+: + 1

Military Cavalry Training: + 1

According to character biography or DM discretion.

Most D&D game nations have sizable cavalry units. Assume that any fighter or elf has a 50% chance of having had cavalry experience, that any clerics have a 5% chance, and that a magic-user or thief has a 1% chance.

Born in Saddle: + 2

Makistani, Alasiyani, Ethengar, or other nomadic cultural background at DM discretion


Staging: A riding check is appropriate whenever characters perform actions on horseback when poor horsemanship might interfere with success. For example:

.when meleeing

.when firing a missile

.when casting a spell

.when the mount is traveling at full speed (penalties for poor terrain and terrified mount are appropriate)

.when executing a difficult maneuver (striking a ball with a polo mallet, grabbing an object while riding past it at full speed, handing off a baton)


If the character fails the riding check, he fails in his action. In combat, this usually means a blow or a missile missed its mark, or a spell is ruined. In addition, if the horse is moving, the character may have fallen off; roll 3d6 equal to or less than dexterity (no bonuses or penalties) to stay on the mount.

In riding contests or games, characters may make opposed riding rating rolls to determine which character succeeds in a contested action. The character with the highest 3d6 roll (plus or minus penalties) who still passes the riding check is the winner.

For example, Nadir the Nomad, a 5th level fighter of the Ifar tribe with a dexterity of 14 is playing polo with Muktar Khan, chief of the Amarat tribe and a 12th level fighter with a dexterity of 17 and with cavalry training. Each charges and swings at the ball.

Nadir is "born-in-the-saddle" for a + 2 bonus and a riding rating of 16. Muktar is also "born-in-the-saddle," and has additional bonuses of + 1 for military training and a + 1 for over 10th level, for a riding rating of 21. Nadir rolls a 12. He needs a 16or less to succeed his riding check, so he succeeds. Muktar

rolls a 7. He needs a 21 or less to succeed in his

riding check, so he succeeds.

Both have successful riding checks so both stay on their horses. But Nadir hits the ball because his roll is higher than Muktar's.

If only one had succeeded, he would have hit the ball; the other would have had to check to see if he fell off his mount. If both were successful, and rolled the same number, the rider with the higher rating should succeed. If both ratings and rolls are identical, something dramatic should happen; maybe the ball shoots straight up in the air, or both mallets shatter,

or the riders get tangled in each other while the ball is trampled by the mounts' hooves.

Since horsemanship is an important part of Emirate culture, each PC should compute and record his riding rating on his character sheet, and the DM should often list the riding rating among an NPC's important statistics.


Travel Rates


Use standard movement rates with adjustments for terrain in normal encounters.

However, standard movement rates are not appropriate for desert or caravan mounted travel, since they do not consider problems of feeding mounts (foraging delays or encumbrance of carried fodder) or of pacing creatures in hot weather.

Use the following guidelines for travel along roads or caravan tracks:


1. With superior riding horses, a small group lightly encumbered can travel 32 miles a day.


2. With riding horses, a small group lightly encumbered can travel 32 miles a day.


3. With any mount other than riding horses (draft or war horses, mules, camels, ox-carts) or on foot, a typical caravan, infantry unit, or party of adventurers loaded down with gear may travel 12 miles a day.


Forced marches may apply at DM discretion. Foraging and hunting along caravans routes or roads is impossible.

When not on a road or caravan track, reduce these rates by . When off roads or tracks in wilderness desert and uplands terrain, reduce these rates by , except with camels reduce the rate only .


Heat Exhaustion and Lack of Water


This topic is much too complicated for a realistic treatment that is easy to use in a game; however, the following procedures are adequate.

For every hour a character travels in the heat of the day without adequate water or while wearing metal armor, the character temporarily loses a point of constitution. If the character is both armored and short on water, two points are lost.

After the points are subtracted, the player rolls 3d6. If the result is greater than the current constitution, the character collapses and cannot be revived until he awakens in Id4 turns.

Thereafter he may resume travel, but continues to lose constitution and the player must roll 3d6 against his character's current constitution each hour. When the character's current constitution reaches zero, the character does not awaken and will die within Id4


When a character experiences reduced constitution, such as when performing any activity (for example, if in combat, casting a spell, or using a thieving skill) the player must roll 3d6 against his character's constitution or the action fails. This reflects the distraction and debilitation of heat exhaustion and thirst.


Optional Combat-in-Hot-Sun Rule: A character fights normally for a number of combat rounds equal to his armor class (i.e., in leather armor for seven rounds; in plate and shield for two rounds). Thereafter he temporarily loses a point of constitution per round, and makes constitution checks to use abilities and to avoid collapsing as outlined in the procedure above. This adds a dramatic touch to desert fighting, but is a bit involved for regular use, and makes heavy armor a real liability. Save it for small combats or duels when the sun just "happens" to be real hot. Remember, you control the weather and the timing of most combat encounters. The weather is cool, or the enemy attacks in the early morning or evening, as you desire.


Staging: Unless the characters are normally foolish or completely ignorant, assume they have the common sense to carry plenty of water in the desert, and when they insist on wearing armor as they travel, demonstrate the constitution loss procedure as an instructional experience.

It would not be nice of you to arrange an attack of a brigands to coincide with the characters' first experience with heat exhaustion.

 Demonstrate this procedure in an otherwise unthreatening situation, and if is hoped they will learn their lesson.

Then you can save this procedure for an emergency situation where they've gotten lost or the bad guys have dumped them in the desert without food or water.


Experience Point Awards for Role Playing Points of Honor


In the chapter concerning Social Structure it was recommended that you awarded experience points to PCs who honor their social and personal obligations. Here are two suggestions for judging these awards:

Honor Challenges: When you plan an adventure, add encounters and problems that specifically challenge the honor of the player characters. Think of this "honor challenge" as though it were a monster with which you were going to confront the characters. When you plan the honor challenge, jot down a description of the situation and the personal or social dilemma it presents. Then consider how the PC may respond and how many XP the PC should receive if he resolves or mishandles the problem.

For example, a PC sees a ragged hunchback perched on his doorstep. The hunchback is begging for money. If the PC gives him money, the PC gets 1 XP per gp. If the PC brings him in, shares food and lodging, and

listens to his story the PC gets 50XP and a hot tip about a magical treasure in story form. If the PC delivers an impromptu speech to a crowd about the evils of vagrancy as the PC beats the hunchback, roll 2d6, add the charisma bonus, and consider the speech for other bonuses. If the result is 9 or more, the crowd cheers and the story becomes local gossip, and the PC gets 100XP.If the result is 8 or less, the crowd is sympathetic with the hunchback and attacks the PC, who loses 200 XP.

The last response doesn't deal with charity. Players will often see things differently than you do; don't be surprised if they see a different moral dilemma than you do.

When assigning an XP value for responses, consider that each honor challenge XP award should be no more than 1/100 of the difference between the XP for the PC's current character level and the XP needed for the next level is as listed on the character class experience tables. Also consider that honor challenge

XP awards should not exceed the XP awards normally given for defeating monsters appropriate to the character's level.

For other examples of honor challenges, see NPCs, Encounters, Adventures, and the Village of Kirkuk.


Honor Points: A simpler method of awarding honor XP points is to wait until the end of an adventure. If a character has been particularly honorable, award a 5% bonus to experience points. If the character has been

particularly dishonorable, subtract 5% of the experience points. Stage this as a reflection of the ruler or patron's praise or condemnation of a PC's performance, or as the state of his reputation when the story of his adventure is known.



The art of storytelling is popular in the Emirates. Stories are told to entertain and to edify, and dramatic and eloquent storytellers are often honored by their hosts with gifts and praise. Sultans have been known to make a storyteller a vizier on the spot after hearing a story that particularly pleased them.

The following procedures help the DM judge storytelling in role-playing adventures.

Storytelling Rating: A character's storytelling rating is computed using the following formula:

Int + Wis + Cha + Character Level =

Storytelling Rating


Telling the Tale: To tell a tale, a character

rolls 3d6, adds it to his storyteller rating, and

compares it with the Storytelling Chart.




Score                       Story Quality                          Audience Response

100                          masterpiece                             unforgettable experience; teller reckoned a saint (+4 reaction); treated as kin and excessive gift


90                            remarkable                               audience deeply moved; teller reckoned a wise man (+3 reaction); friendship offered and great gift


80                            pleasurable                              audience enthusiastic; earns great respect (+ 2 reaction); generous hospitality and large gift


70                            interesting                               audience attentive and cordial; earns respect (+ 1 on reactions) and a small gift

60                            tedious                                    audience bored but polite; social duties met; hospitality extended


50 or less                 shameful                                  audience offended; hospitality withdrawn; lose 1% of current XP


Bonuses and Penalties:                                                                          Story Extension: If story was interesting or

+ 5                           if based on true character experience                      better, the storyteller may choose to Extend

His Story.

+ 5                           if illustrates a moral lesson clearly                          Roll 3d6. If the result is greater than the

applicable to current circumstances                        intelligence of the audience (average intelligence

if a group of listeners), the story automatically

+ 1 to + 10              if enhanced with magical effects                             becomes "boring," and the storyteller loses

(i.e., charm, poetic incantation,                               whatever benefits he earned with his first roll. If

visual and auditory effects, etc.)                             result is less than or equal to the intelligence of

the audience, the storyteller may re-roll the 3d6

-1 to - 10                                 if audience is initially hostile                                  for his original storytelling roll.

(if storyteller is foreigner, or                                   This is obviously useful when the first roll

audience is captor, enemy, evil                               was low, or when the importance of the occasion

efreeti, etc.)                                                             and audience justifies a little risk-taking.


Dervishes (Desert Druids)


The term "dervish" is often misused by foreigners, as indicated by the misleading entry for "dervishes" listed under "Men," page 53, Expert Rule Book. The "dervishes" listed there are probably no more than a typical Alasiyan nomadic tribe.


The dervishes ate holy hermits, True Believers following the Way of the Scholar as they live solitary lives of contemplation and physical devotion in the desert wildernesses of the Emirates. Also known as desert druids, these holy men live in caves, crude shelters, or tents in remote regions. Dervishes are revered by desert nomads, who aid in providing the holy hermits with food and shelter needs.

In contemplation they strive to achieve a mystical oneness with nature by studying and participating in the tranquility and majesty of the desert wilderness. They patiently observe and commune with the animals and plants of the desert, and at higher levels of the discipline, they may even communicate with the elemental forces of the desert such as the wind, the sand, the stone, the sun, and the miraculous inspiration of water.

Their physical devotions, a discipline of strenuous ritual exercises, are their prayers to the Eternal Truth. Acrobatic and athletic, these devotions produce men of remarkable durability and stamina. They dash barefoot through the desert, acrossthe dunes, and over

rocky mountains. They juggle rocks, lift great stones, and twirl like tops in the heat of the noonday sun or in the chill of evening.

Dervishes have withdrawn to the desert wilderness to escape the distractions of commerce with other men, and they avoid becoming involved in the affairs of men. Visitors to the wilderness are considered uninvited guests; if they are polite, not disruptive or demanding, and gone quickly, they are not offensive.

However, as followers of the Eternal1futh, the dervishes are still bound by the principle of concern for the welfare of their fellow man. Dervishes are generally extremely restrained and judgmental in their expression of this concern. The foolish and arrogant may be left to their own devices when stranded in the desert; the wise and respectful should not need aid.

Dervishes are pacifistic in philosophy; they carry no weapons, wear no armor, and learn no combat skills. They seldom interfere in violent conflicts, though their superb physical conditioning gives them advantages when forced to fight. Their spells are primarily intended to facilitate their study and observation of nature, though some are useful for self-defense.

Staging: Desert Druids are special NPC clerics for the Ylaruam campaign setting. They differ from standard clerics in several ways. Their constitution scores are 13-18 (ld6 + 12). Their saving throws are as dwarves. They generally refuse to use weapons or

armor, though there is no reason why they could not use them if they so chose. Dervishes fight as thieves of similar level. Their spells, a mixture of clerical, druidical, and special spells, are specially adapted to their life in the desert.



The following spells may be learned and cast as with normal cleric spells. The total number of spells usable in one day does not change. Dervishes have no restrictions against the use of reversible spells.

The Dervish has the same abilities as the cleric. For example, they can turn undead as a cleric of the same level. The DM may allow the use cure light wound spells on special occasions.



1. Detect Magic (cleric, BP 26)

2. Detect Water (special, GAZ2)

3. Faerie Fire (druid, CMP 14)

4. Locate (druid, CMP 14)

5. Predict Weather (druid, CMP 15)



1. Hold Person (cleric, EXR 5)

2. Obscure (druid, CMP 15; instead of a misty vapor, a dust devil is formed; all other effects identical)

3. Snake Charm (cleric, EXR6)

4. Speak with Animals (cleric, EXR 6)

5. Truthtelling (special, GAZ2)



1. Call Lightning (druid, CMP 15)

2. Growth of Animal (cleric, EXR 6)

3. Hold Animal (druid, CMP 15)

4. Know Destiny (special, GAZ2)

5. Shift Sand (special)

Range: 30'

Duration: 6 rounds + 1 round per level of the caster

Effect: Moves 25 cubic feet of sand per round


This spell causes sand to flow like water, but at the bidding of the caster. It can be used to excavate a ruin, open a passage, uncover an object, or tunnel an emergency shelter. If the flowing sand is directed at a human or monster, it causes no more inconvenience than would a similar flow of water (i.e., the equivalent

of standing in a small stream).

Once the spell duration has ended, the sand behaves normally, flowing naturally with gravity. If the sand is thoroughly wetted first (create water spell or equivalent), the shifted sand may retain its shape until the sand dries which is one day, or at the DM's discretion.



1. Charm Animal (as magic spell charm monster, EXR 13; however, only normal or giant forms of animal, including mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, may be affected; intelligent animals and fantastic creatures are not affected)

2. Create Water (cleric, EXR 7)

3. Neutralize Poison (cleric, EXR8)

4. Speak with Plants (cleric, EXR8)

5. Summon Animals (druid, MP 5)


1. Commune (cleric, EXR 8)

2. Conjure Elemental (magic user, EXR 14)

3. Control Winds (druid, CMP 16; in a sand desert, this spell creates the equivalent of a small sandstorm in the area of effect; all normal creatures are blinded)

4. Pass-Wall (magic user EXR 15)

5. Quest (cleric, EXR 9)



1. Anti-Animal Shell (druid, CMP 16)

2. Find the Path (cleric, EXP 9)

3. Speak with Monsters (cleric, EXP 9)

4. Summon Weather (druid, CMP 16)

5. Word of Recall (cleric, EXP 9)



1. Creeping Doom (druid, CMP 16)

2. Earthquake (cleric, CMP 13)

3. Holy Word (cleric, CMP 13)

4. Survival (cleric, MP 3)

5. Weather Control (magic user, CMP 21)


Example: Saddam the Aged, of the Dead Places. Former soldier, one eye destroyed by scimitar slash. Keen senses and communion with nature, speaks with birds and beasts, lives near a cursed ruin proscribed by Al-Kalim and the Ylari government. Always pauses for five or ten seconds to consider before replying to a question. Visited once by a messenger of the Immortals who warned of a great evil in the ruin, and prophesying that someone shall come one day to lay the evil to rest. His magical Staff of the Desert is charged with an variety of dervish clerical spells.


Courtesy Tips for Foreigners in the Emirates


A Nicostenian merchant briefing his newly arrived

Thyatin cousin on the eve of his first cross-Emirates caravan:


"When we meet with our customers, they first offer us coffee. Good coffee, generally. No business spoken yet-the coffee sharing is a formal version of a religious water-sharing ritual. Praise the coffee and drink three cups. Less suggests the coffee is inferior; more suggests lack of restraint.

"Eat with the fingers of your right hand, never your left hand. Do not offer your left hand to another. Emphatically wash your right hand before and after a meal. At meals, people of all social statuses mingle together, a token of equality and brotherhood; do not be surprised if the host is as cordial to his servants and porters as he is to you.

"In meetings, do not be hasty in pressing forth your business; hosts struggle to avoid abruptness and excessive briskness in both social and business life. Those in authority wish to appear accessible and cordial to all, so don't be surprised if other persons are present during important exchanges. Conversations

may overlap in a very confusing fashion at times.

"Traditional dress is preferred-none of those flashy things you brought with you from Thyatis. Keep your head covered indoors. Not to be well-dressed is unacceptable. It reflects lack of respect for your host and careless personal habits.

"If you can't speak the truth, don't speak at all. Don't chatter unless you know what you are talking about; you are held responsible for your judgment on even trivial matters like the weather and the proper conduct of children.

"You can't learn their language right away, but you can show respect by learning the common greetings and responses."



Greeting                                                  Response

Peace be upon you.                 And upon you peace.


Good morning.                        Morning of light.


Good evening.                         Evening of light.


How are you?                         Well, praise be to the Immortal Ones.


Farewell, in the Immortals.     In the care of the care

of the True Ones.


Staging the Nahmeh

Peoples of the Emirates like to quote from the Nahmeh when supporting moral arguments or philosophical observations, or when making polite conversations. Offering apt quotations is a sin of piety, scholarship, wisdom, and judgment.

Since the Nahmeh doesn't really exist, it is hard for players and DM to quote from it as player and non player characters. Instead, here is a strategy for presenting quotes as though they were from the Nahmeh.

Make a list of your own favorite quotations. Check reference books like Bartlett's Quotations and use familiar sayings from your own reading and speech. Consider topics like nature, justice, honor, faith, trust, service to your fellow man, warfare, and family. Review the "Society in the Emirates" section as a guide to the moral and religious topics Al-Kalim might have discussed.

Now review your list of quotes and adapt them to the Ylari culture. For example, instead of "Observe the lilies of the field, they neither spin or weave... ," choose a hardy desert plant such as the acacia, and adapt the quote to "Observe the flowering acacia..."

Keep this list handy. Select a few favorite quotes for each player character and non player character to become familiar dialog tags for each personality.

Here are some examples of quotes from the Nahmeh created in this fashion:

"We must be the candles that burn so that others might have light." (From Al-Kalim commentary on soldiers defending the Faith on the battlefield.)

"If friendship is a diamond, then troubles are a diamond mine." (An admonishment to consider misfortune a confirming test of friendship. )

"The enemies of our enemies are not necessarily our friends." (A diplomatic saying.)

"If such may befall the mighty efreeti, then our own misfortunes are light." (From the Parable of the Cuckolded Efreet.)

"There is no power but in the Immortals."

"Before the Dark Minister of the Graveyard, all joy seems fleeting, and the day is a tedious prelude to a dark and restless night."

"Do not rail against the condition of man. Would you rather be a dog or a donkey? Accept what is given, and cease your grumbling."

"Al-Kalim has said, 'The stranger must be succored in times of need."

"Wealth does not avail before the Terminator of Earthly Delights."

"If it were engraved upon the corner of the eye with a needle, it would serve as a lesson to those who would be wise."




ABBASHANI: citizens of the Emirate of Abbashan or the city of Abbashan (see foldout map)


AC: after crowning (of first Emperor of Thyatis)


ALASIYANI: citizens of the Emirate of Alasiya; original desert nomadic peoples of the Emirates (see fold-out map)


ALPHATIANS: citizens of Empire of Alphatia; Ylari citizens descended from Alphatian colonists


ARROW, ORDER OF THE: military religious order of mounted archers of the True Faith


ATABEG: Ylari noble equivalent of a duke (often governors of provinces and large cities)


BC: before crowning (of first Emperor of Thyatis)


BEY, BEG: Ylari noble equivalent of a count


CALIPH: political head of the Emirates; sultan (a religious term, literally "defender of the faith")


CHECHIA: cylindrical headgear made of cloth


CHIEF: tribal leader; equivalent to a baron (also QADI)


D&D GAMEWORLD: place where all the gazetteers are set


DESERT ROSE, ORDER OF THE: high status honorary military religious order of soldiers, clerics, and magic users of the True Faith


DREAM OF JUSTICE AND HONOR: principle proposed by AI-Kalim whereby each man undertakes to do justice and honor to his fellow man and the Immortals, and expects the same in return; unifying theme in Ylari politics


DREAM OF THE DESERTGARDEN: AIKalim's vision; cultivation of Emirates' deserts made possible by magical and technological development of water resources


DYTHESTENIANS: citizens of the Emirate of Dythestenia (see fold-out map)


EMIR: king; political head of an emirate


EMIRATES (of Ylaruam): the nation, as natives refer to it


FAHTMAH: woman


FARID: AI-Kalim's companion and adviser


FARIS: itinerant noble knight of the True Faith (equivalent of a paladin)


FELLAH: peasant


HAZAR: settled Ylari tribal peoples descended from desert nomads (literally "house-dwellers" )


KIN FACTION: religious and political faction dominant in the Emirate of Abbashan; supports tracing descent from AI-Kalim through AI-Kalim's personal ancestors


KOUGLAR: curved dagger


MACE, ORDEROF THE: military religious order of clerics of the True Faith


MAKISTANI: citizens of the Emirate of Makistan; nomadic peoples descended from Ethengar settlers in northwestern Emirates (see fold-out map)


MALIK: a minor king; equivalent to a duke


MUFTI: sheriff, chief of police


MUHTASIB: inspector of markets and trade; minor government official


NAHMEH: the sacred book of the Eternal Truth (literally "the word") composed by Al Kalim and his companion Farid; revered and studied by True Believers


NICOSTENIANS: citizens of the Emirate of Nicostenia (see fold-out map)


PASHA: king (also EMIR)

PIKE, ORDER OF THE: military religious order of select foot soldiers of the True Faith


PRECEPTORS, COUNCIL OF: governing and advisory body to the sultan


PRINCE: general term referring to any noble ruler


QADI: tribal leader (also CHIEF, QAID, KADI)


QAHWA: dark strong coffee


RELIGIOUS ORDERS: military religious orders of select warriors of the True Faith


SHEIK: chief of chiefs; equivalent to a viscount


SPELL, ORDER OF THE: military religious order of magic users of the True Faith


SULEIMAN AL-KALIM: founder of the religion of the Eternal Truth; father of the Emirates; archetypal hero and leader of the Ylari.


SULTAN: religious and political head of the Emirates; descendant of AI-Kalim through election of the Council of Preceptors


SUQ: market, bazaar


THE ETERNAL TRUTH: the dominant religion of the Emirates, founded on the teachings of AI-Kalim (also THE FAITH, THE WAY) THE WAY: see the ETERNAL TRUTH


THYATIANS: citizens of Empire of Thyatis; Ylari citizens descended from Alphatian colonists


TRUE BELIEVERS: followers of the Eternal Truth, the Ylari religion founded in the teachings of AI-Kalim as presented in the Nahmeh (also TRUE BELIEVERS,FOLLOWERSOF THE WAY, DEFENDERSOF THE FAITH)


SEA OF DAWN: sea to the east of the Emirates


VOUCHERY: government bureau


YATAGHAN: large double-edged scimitar

YLARI: adjective form of Ylaruam; citizens of the Emirates


YLARUAM: the capital city of the Emirate of Alasiya; 'Ylaruam' when referring to the nation is common usage among foreigners; also YLARUAM OF THE GLITTERING SPIRES (see fold-out map)





Rabi al Awwal

Rabi al Thani

]umada'i Awwal

]umada'i Thani





Dhu'l-Hijjah .

The Mystaran Year

Months of the Year




Rabi al Awwal

Rabi al Thani*

Jumada’l Awwal

Jumada’l Thani







*First day of year celebrated


Days of the Week

Yaum al-ahad

Yaum al-athnen

Yaum at-talit

Yaum al-arba

Yaum al-hamis

Yaum al-jum’at

Yaum as-sabt

Known World Economics



The Emirates of Ylaruam:

Individual residents of the Emirates pay a monthly tax. The rate varies with social status: peasants and beggars pay 1 cp per month, nomad herdsmen and most townsfolk pay 1 sp, merchants and craftsmen pay 1 gp, sheiks and other nobles pay 10 gp.  Foreigners and unbelievers (those who do not follow the Way of Al-Kalim) pay double the monthly tax. Sales tax is 10% on all sales. Penalties for tax evasion include fines, confiscation of property, flogging, and imprisonment. Citizens claiming extreme poverty or misfortune may have their tax reduced. Foreigners who claim poverty are given one year to earn enough money to pay all taxes owed or they must leave the Emirates.




















Basic Metal Values: 1 gp = 2 ep = 10 sp = 100 cp; 5 gp = 1 pp


Currency Exchange Fees


Currency                  Fee

Ylaruam:                          15%



Major Imports and Exports






Tea & coffee, tobacco, mounts

Oil, semiprecious stones, fine porcelain, citrus fruit

Exporting superb desert-bred steeds is punishable by death