Day 10. My fellow sabakeers are showing signs of dehydration, exhaustion and desperation. However, we must persevere. We vastly underestimated travel times and the heat here. Our last oasis was 5 days ago, and if we don't reach the next one soon, we will be in serious trouble. I have explained to my companions that those mistakes were unavoidable, as we are the first sabakeers. I still have faith in this mission, the emperor wants us to succeed. - Exploring the Southern Desert: Expedition 1, S. Eien
Sabakeers have to be proficient in several languages, be physically fit and most importantly, be loyal to the empire. Knowledge of trade and religion is a must. As a sabakeer, it's important to be strong of will and be trained at least in basic combat, to be able to endure the hardships of the desert. Depending on their role in the group, knowledge of medicine, magic or resources are a must.
The most renowned sabakeers are those succeeding on multiple expeditions. Once you have shown your capacities, you are assigned a group of your own, who you have to lead to their objective.
Payment & Reimbursement
Depending in the amount of succesful expeditions as a leader, a part of the goods acquired on the expedition are given to you, with the more expeditions under your belt the higher that share is. For regular sabakeers, expenses are paid while on the mission and their family receives monatery compensation should they perish, although that amount is often barely enough to survive for a week.
Expedition leaders are often seen as heroes and statues are erected for them in their home towns.
Sabakeers fulfill a variety of roles. They are send on expeditions to the Southern Desert and have to spread religious word, trade in goods or explore and map the area.
Becoming a sabakeer is considered a good opportunity to escape the poverty among the common population, as it provides a decent salary and income is stable. Because of this, many sabakeers are former peasants, although people from higher social classes also join their ranks, often in a pursuit of fame and glory.
The profession started when the first empire funded expedition ever was sent into the Southern Desert, lead by S. Eien in 480 aA. He is regarded as the first sabakeer and he popularised the term in his diary, which he published after the expedition.
Standard equipment includes a tent, rations, some currency, weapons and a notebook. Often trade goods are also carried by the expedition.
Dangers & Hazards
Being a sabakeers is highly dangerous, as only about 30% survive their first expedition. Many die because of attacks by animals or monsters in the desert, from dehydration or just go mad from exhaustion and despair.