The Aerie of Nabiu (/ɛɹi ʌv nʌbi:u/ (Nabari: /d͡ʒˈɜ di: nʌbi:u/))
ⲒⲈⲢ ⲆⲒ ⲚⲀⲂⲒⲬ
The Aerie of Nabiu is a small and densely populated state located on the southeastern Nabari Plateau. Most of its original territory has been overrun by Aarumite tribes in the past few centuries leaving behind a rump state that is largely dependent upon protection from Cyrenica to secure its remaining territories from further incursions. The Aerie of Nabiu was founded relatively recently consisting largely of refugees fleeing from the expansion of the Feloran Empire into their ancestral homes to the northwest of Qua'adar. The Aerie of Nabiu posseses a relatively strong agricultural sector thanks in large part to the large workforce it relies on, and some of the Aerie's organizations possess archaic and arcane knowledge but lack industrial capability and maintain a small and relatively weak army, relying on Cyrenica to provide those things for it. The Aerie of Nabiu is governed in the traditional ways of the birdfolk, with a Council of Elders who are generally appointed to their position through seniority, representing the eldest members of their local constituencies. This sometimes includes High Yamuti, who have retained their intelligence past death and reanimation and can serve on the council for, at times, a century before decay eventually takes them. Social organization is, functionally, high localized however, and the Elder Council provides primarily guidance for the local aeries. Uniquely, Nabiu is one of the few states in the known world to be accepting of the undead, utilizing special, highly guarded processes to create undead creatures that lack the antipathy towards life that is typical of undead beings. Those who also retain their intelligence often become highly sought after experts in their fields. There is however an ethnic and racial caste system that places those who fly above those who don't with the non-aerial kenku being treated as near slaves by their flying kin. The Nabari peoples are expert agriculturalists being able to utilize resources that others cannot, and have adapted to vertical agriculture, building sizable terraced fields and gardens to best make use of their local terrain. Nabari magic is also quite potent and mysterious, with the birdfolk adopting techniques that are not seen outside their own lands. The manufacturing capacity of the land is limited, as there is a dearth of natural resources, and comparatively few skilled craftspeople living in the lands, and as a result, the Aerie of Nabiu generally trades food for manufactured goods from its more industrialized neighbors.
The culture of the Aerie of Nabiu is incredibly diverse with influences not only from multiple ethnic groups, but from multiple sentient races that are considered core to the nation's culture. There is however an uneven power dynamic between the ethnic groups, with Qwarshi remaining by far the most powerful culture and the one that bears cultural hegemony. Aarui culture is a close second, with the Owlin dominated group being seen as venerable scholars. Cenki culture on the other hand is subordinated to the dominant culture, and Cenki peoples are treated as an underclass at best, or a servile race at worst. Since the arrival of the Aarumites and the increasing scarcity of arable land, Cenki repression has actively increased and many kenku actively enslaved by the Qwarshi, or sold away to other slaver states, which has caused more still to flee the region for greener pastures.
The Aerie of Nabiu is a relatively recent newcomer to the international stage. When vast numbers of Birdfolk arrived from the southeast, having lost their ancestral homes to the Felorans and their Hadar allies the Qwarshi and Cenki arrived in the Nabari Plateau in numbers. Bringing with them only limited resources, and entering a vast and relatively exhausted land, they found themselves beseeching the rulers of the land, the Cyrenic Kingdom for assistance. The Kingdom of Cyrenica, still weakened from decades of war with Volgeberg, granted the birdfolk large swathes of the Nabari Plateau in exchange for food imports, which the birdfolk formed into the Aerie of Nabiu shortly thereafter. In the early years of the Aerie, things remained relatively peaceful and stable as the birdfolk set about building up an impressive agricultural base on the generally desolate plateau. It increased this capability when a major influx of Owlin peoples arrived from the Elemental Air Plane and were welcomed by the Qwarshi Aarakocra. The first and most dangerous test of the Aerie of Nabiu was the arrival of the Aarumites from the Terruk steppes. These peoples, nomadic and with a bloody past, swept into the region and often raided the prosperous farms that they could reach on the plains. Conflict between the Aarumites and the Aerie of Nabiu and their protectors, the Kingdom of Cyrenica was bloody and saw the defeat of the Nabari and Cyrenians, the latter retreating into the mountains and the Nabari being confined to a single relatively small area of Nabaria, with their armies destroyed, and made wholly dependent on the protection of their benefactors going forward. The Aerie survived however, and reconstructed itself, if in a weakened state.
Demography and Population
In the Aerie of Nabiu is known to have population of roughly 451,200, with the population relatively thinly spread. Roughly ten percent of the population resides in urban areas, most of which live in medium sized towns, with less only about two percent of the population living within the Aerie's only city. Most of the population lives in villages, that though unusually large on average, are still decidedly rural settlements. The largest settlement, and its only city, is its capital Qawash which has a population of roughly 9,500 peoples. Besides Qawash, there are no proper cities, though there are a few major towns within the Aerie. These in include Alari with 7,200 residents, Quvi with 6,200 residents, and Istar with a population of 5,150. A few smaller towns also exist, rounding out the urban population centers. Most of Nabiu's population centers are clustered in the south, particularly in the foothills of the Odric mountains, and more people flee there from the wide open steppe and away from Aarumite raids. The Aerie of Nabiu is predominantly populated by the Qwarshi, most of whom belong are Aarakocra, though with fairly extensive numbers of Owlin and Kenku who have adopted the culture. The second largest group are Cenki ethnics, who are primarily Kenku with relatively few non-Kenku adopters of the Cenki culture. The Aurai ethnic group, mostly of the Owlin race are the smallest recognized ethnicity. Aside from birdfolk, there are a handful of other peoples, predominantly dwarves, humans, and half-orcs, who reside in the Aerie's territories. The birdfolk ethnic groups tend to be fairly fluid, as they are closely culturally linked and as a result many members of each race change their cultural affiliation on a somewhat regular basis.
The Aerie of Nabiu is a comparatively small nation, with only 86,102 square kilometers of territory, with relatively similar distances between its eastern and western, and northern and southern frontiers. Most of the territory is on the Nabari Plateau, though the most densely settled portion, and that which is deemed the most important culturally lies in the northern foothills of the Odric Mountains. There are no major watersheds in the region, with the closest being the head of the Ilos which lies in neighboring Cyrenica, with most water being locked in glaciers, or in smaller watersheds. The Aerie of Nabiu has a semi-arid, warm summer continental climate throughout most of its territories gradually moving towards an increasingly cold, mountainous climate in its south. The lands are usually poorly suited to agriculture, however, the Nabari have proven exceptionally talented horticulturalists mananging to scrape together a functional network of aqueducts and wells to pull ground water and glacial water into the lowlands in order to produce food.
The Aerie of Nabiu maintains no standing army, relying on rallying militias in times of need. Thanks to the relatively frequent raids into Nabari territory, many Nabari can be considered rather skilled warriors. The Nabari can, at times rely on exceptionally skilled martial artists from the Temple of Alash and the Elemental Temple of Fire whose skill in using their own bodies as weapons is equal to virtually any in the known world. Nabari warriors are generally relatively lightly armed, and virtually without access to armor. Most Nabari utilize their flight to their advantage, and compensate for light equipment, by fighting as skirmishers using bows, javelins, and other ranged weapons to destroy foes before them can come to grips with the Nabari.
Nabari society is, in some ways quite advanced. They possess a strong gift for architecture, and build some truly impressive constructs in the few instances they deem it to be required, and are excellent horticulturalists. However, even after a millennium on the material plane, they have struggled somewhat to adapt to a planet with plentiful mineral resources. As such metalwork and metalcraft, aside from certain areas is quite crude, relatively speaking. One particularly rare area in which the Nabari excel is in the art of magic, despite lacking any major formalized academies there are an unusually high number of spellcasters in the Aerie, and they are some of the few people in the known world that can create undead without tapping into the cosmic necrotic force.
The birdfolk generally collectively hold on to the scraps of an ancient religion hailing from their lost homelands in the Elemental Plane of Air, the worship of Alash. A mythical figure from the distant past, Alash is said to have been the greater liberator of the birdfolk from an ancient foe hailing from another plane of water. This faith is extremely loose, and many smaller cults dedicated to Alash exist, though general principles laid out include placing a high emphasis on making the most of life, and building stronger communities. It is said that Alash gifted the closely guarded secret of the Yamutid, the ability to raise the dead into a state of hallowed undeath, and one of the only means to create undead beings hospitable to life.
The Aerie of Nabiu has relatively limited relations with the outside world, the Nabari state is largely isolationist in outlook, seeking to maintain its distance from others as their historical predecessors did when the birdfolk elected to flee from the Felorans and their clients instead of fighting back. The only states that the Aerie of Nabiu maintains any formal relations with are the Aeillan successor states, which trade with the Nabari, and its protector the Kingdom of Cyrenica. Some efforts have been made to reach out to the powers in the west, but thus far formal relations have been established with one. The Nabari are threatened by the Aarumites and the Terruk-Mal, both of which raid into Nabari territory regularly, and as a result great hostility on the part of the Nabari who have been victimized by these raids.
Agriculture & Industry
The Aerie of Nabiu is a highly agriculturalized society, moreso even than the standard in the known world, with even the states few urban centers possessing extensive agricultural sectors. In this area, the Nabari are exceptional, utilizing surprisingly advanced construction techniques, improvements upon Cyrenean designs to build impressive aqueducts from the mountains to the steppe, and advanced irrigation networks to produce far more agricultural goods than would be expected of the comparatively desolate Nabari Plateau. Conversely, the Aerie of Nabiu's industrial base is virtually nonexistent, with Nabari peoples largely responsible for crafting only important cultural goods. Most tools are produced more easily in Cyrenica and traded for with food exports. This is a result of the specifics of the protectorship of the Kingdom of Cyrenica, as well as the simple fact that the tools produced by Cyrenic smiths, even those mass produced in manufactories, are of significantly higher quality than the handiwork of the majority of Nabari craftsfolk.
Trade & Transport
The Aerie of Nabiu has relatively limited infrastructure. Aside from the aqueduct system which is first rate, it is quite basic as well. As most people living in the Aerie of Nabiu, and those with the strongest voices are capable of flying without mechanical assistance there is little need for a developed road network, and there are no major waterways that can be used to trade. As a result most trade is conducted straight over the mountains with teams of Aarakocra pusing their own abilities and erecting crude gliders to transport cargo into Cyrenica, its primary trade partner, or to Aeilla, its other major trading partner. Nabari goods markets are relatively basic and limited with almost all of Nabari production is basic food, with few manufactured goods produced for sale on the open market rather than on commission.
Nabari infrastructure is well crafted, and indeed some of the best organized in the world, at least in areas of concern to the Nabari peoples. The movement of water from sparse, or underground sources is a truly impressive operation within Nabari borders with wells and aqueducts turning normally fairly barren plateau into arable farmland. Aside from this infrastructure, Nabari constructions are, despite their quality sparse. Most notable however, is that many settlements are built vertically into mountains to better defend them.
Cyrenic Denarius, Cyrenic Ducatus, Cyrenic Aureus (for international trade only)