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Achasveros

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Country:Achasveros
Settled:.
Government:Pharaoh - Nesebwedjt the Conqueror
Population:100,000 (90% Jardoun)
Demonym:Achasvereran
Economy
Major industries:edible fungi, mining, Old Kingdom salvage, husbandry
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The Jardoun undercity of Achasveros, the "Throne-Cavern of the Pharoah", sprawls underneath Abydos in all directions. It boasts innumerable mines, burrows, warrens, and farms, with a massive series of tunnels linking them all together. The rare outsiders who enter warn of the very real danger of becoming lost and trapped in the labyrinthine passages, as only members of the city know the intricacies of their layout.

The center of the city hosts Sekhmet's Will, a network of passages and stairways that connect the undercity's cavern to the surface. Used to haul cargo from the surface and quickly move people to it, this engineering marvel and bureaucratic nightmare is housed in massive stone pillars that span the height of the cavern. The majority of the city's population lives in warrens and burrows branching out from this central cavern. The Jardoun pharaoh Nesebwedjt the Conqueror rules the city from his palatial burrow in the cavern's north side, where he is attended to by an army of scribes, priests, generals, concubines, and merchants, an impromptu bureaucracy housed in the palace's outbuildings and "gardens" spanning the length of the cavern walls. The rest of the cavern consists of the smaller estates of the Jardoun nobility, but none are as large as the Pharaoh's.

The city is forever expanding as the Jardoun continue to dig and burrow. As the city grew, the Jardoun began working the earth for resources, digging mines into the earth's core and building tunnels to the surface so they can loot the remains of Abydos for raw material and treasures. The city's smiths work the metal of the forges to fashion tools and weapons to continue the quest to dig. This whole endeavor is supported by underground farms, where Jardoun use water and soil to grow edible fungi. These fungal farms make up a large part of the food in the city, although the Jardoun supplement their diet with breeding populations of giant beetles, giant earthworms, and rats, as well as the occasional delicacy from the surface. The Jardoun also use the beetles and earthworms as beasts of burden, using the latter to dig the surface layers of the earth to create more farms and to probe cracks where they can't reach, and using the former to quarry stone, haul cargo, and defend the city. Some of the rats in the city are used as rudimentary waste disposal, as messengers, and as watchful eyes to monitor all that goes on.

The Jardoun carved Achashveros out of solid rock at the behest of Sekhmet II, a 9th-dynasty pharaoh who commanded that the Jardoun extend the length of his empire into the very earth. The Jardoun, eager to please their god-king, began with vigor, colonizing in all directions. When the flood that wiped out Abydos hit, the Jardoun were prepared and managed to divert most of the water. Unfortunately, this caused many of the western and northern passages in the undercity to become flooded, drowning the area and wiping out many of the Jardoun in the city. The Jardoun waited for word from the pharaoh when the flood hit, but when no message came after weeks of waiting, they sent scouts into the world above. When the scouts returned, telling of the destruction of Abydos and the chaos after the fall of the pharaohs, the lord of the city, Hotenkharam I, declared himself the only true successor of the will of the Pharaohs and the sire of the 14th Dynasty. He seized control of the city and commanded that the Jardoun recover, expand, and continue their quest to dominate the earth, so they could rise and conquer the South for the Pharaohs again.

Although the city is constantly growing, it is not without purpose. The Jardoun's efforts have been tightly focused in two primary goals: to connect Achashveros to the other great undercities so that the 14th Dynasty can expand its reign, and to drive the Obon out of Dor Oozfor. Diggers work night and day to connect Achashveros to the Jardoun undercity under Quarach, although progress is slow-going, due to the water from the floods that must still be removed. The Jardoun have also been waging a territorial war with the Obon for several generations, although the cyclopes have proven to be quite tenacious. Some attempts have been made to reclaim the areas of the city destroyed by the flood, but it has so far proven largely impossible.

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