Al-Zaluma Settlement in Rolara | World Anvil

Al-Zaluma (/al-zaˈluːmə/; "al-zah-LOO-mah")

Navigating the labyrinthine streets of Al-Zaluma, I felt the weight of history and tradition in every step. Here, cobblestones were not enchanted; they were worn smooth by the passage of countless devoted feet. Above, the spires reached skyward, not in a display of arcane prowess, but as fingers pointing devoutly to Alessandra, the Sun Deity who bathed the city in her golden light.   In the marketplace, the air was thick with the aroma of spices and incense offered in tribute to Alessandra. Merchants peddled their wares with a fervor that could only be described as religious. Potions and gemstones were conspicuously absent; in their place were intricate sun amulets and scrolls of Alessandrian hymns. The Zalumans moved with a grace that spoke not of arcane mysteries, but of a profound spiritual depth. Their eyes met mine with a blend of curiosity and caution—a caution born of a culture that has learned to question the unfamiliar.   Pausing beside a sunlit canal, its waters shimmering in the natural light of the setting sun, I felt a moment of profound clarity. This was a city that drew its strength not from the arcane, but from something far more potent: faith. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the city seemed to hold its breath, as if sharing a collective moment of reverence for the deity that defined them.   As the first stars of the evening made their appearance, I found myself whispering a prayer to Alessandra. Not a prayer for Magic or miracles, but a simple prayer of gratitude for the beauty and complexity of this sun-kissed city. With a newfound sense of respect for Al-Zaluma and its people, I made my way back to my lodgings, my soul enriched by the city's unique blend of devotion and resilience.


Primarily a Human settlement, the city's demographics are a reflection of its deeply ingrained beliefs and cultural norms. While the docks may seem like a melting pot, the illusion shatters upon closer inspection. Strict regulations govern the presence of foreigners, especially non-humans, who are often met with disdain and suspicion.   Venture into the Merchant District, and one encounters another layer of exclusivity. Peddling goods and services here requires an expensive license, a barrier that effectively filters out those deemed undesirable. This district, though bustling with commerce, is a walled garden, accessible only to those who can afford the price of admission.   However, the city's attitudes are not merely confined to issues of race and commerce. Magic, that mysterious force that binds the universe, is also subject to the city's prejudices. Any arcane or miraculous act not attributed to Alessandra, the Sun Goddess, is reviled. Her Sword Eolande, known in Tatharia as Sol Invictus, is considered the only legitimate source of divine intervention. It is as if the heavens themselves have been sliced open to allow only her holy light to shine through.   In Al-Zaluma, the air is thick with more than just the desert heat; it is heavy with the weight of unspoken rules and hidden judgments. The city's demographics are not just numbers; they are a living, breathing testament to its collective beliefs and biases. It is a city that invites you to adapt, to question, and perhaps, to challenge the very norms that define it.


Al-Zaluma stands as a theocratic monarchy under the aegis of the Grand Caliph and Sultanate of Al-Essan, who serves dual roles as both the political and religious leader of the city. Governance is a family affair, with the royal lineage and their appointed officials wielding the reins of power. Intertwined with this political structure is a religious hierarchy that significantly influences decision-making, reflecting the city's deep-rooted Alessandran faith.  

Legal System

  The laws governing Al-Zaluma are predominantly derived from the teachings of the Alessandran faith. Enforcement of these laws falls under the jurisdiction of a triad: the military, the police force, and religious officials. While the legal system generally upholds the principles of fairness and justice, instances of corruption and bias have marred its reputation in the past.  


  Financial sustenance of the city is secured through a multifaceted taxation system. Tariffs, property taxes, and sales taxes constitute the primary revenue streams. These funds are judiciously allocated to sustain the military, finance public works projects, and maintain the city's infrastructure.  

Administrative Divisions

  Al-Zaluma is compartmentalized into various districts, each governed by its local administration. Representatives from these districts serve as intermediaries between the populace and the royal family. Oversight of these districts is executed by officials appointed directly by the royal lineage, ensuring a centralized chain of command.  

Stability and Challenges

  While the government of Al-Zaluma is relatively stable, it is not without its fissures. Occasional uprisings and challenges to the ruling family's authority have emerged, primarily from marginalized minorities or groups advocating for greater autonomy.  

External Focus and Internal Shortcomings

  Interestingly, the Caliphate's focus is largely external, aiming to expand its influence beyond the city's walls. This outward orientation has led to a somewhat lackluster internal security apparatus. The city's guards, though tasked with maintaining order, are often criticized for their lack of effectiveness and susceptibility to corruption.


Due to the lack of natural defenses, Al-Zaluma has focused heavily on constructing various forms of infrastructure to protect its inhabitants and wealth. The city is encircled by a massive stone wall that stands at least 20 feet high and is fortified with towers and gatehouses at regular intervals. The wall is also equipped with various defensive features, including arrow slits, murder holes, and boiling oil cauldrons.   The city's primary entrance is a large gatehouse located at the end of the main road leading into the city. The gatehouse is heavily fortified and is protected by a detachment of guards at all times. There are also several smaller gates located along the walls that allow for easy access to the city's surrounding areas.   In addition to the wall, the city also boasts a sophisticated system of moats and waterways that help to further protect its inhabitants. These water features not only serve as a defensive barrier but also aid in the irrigation of the city's crops and gardens.   To enhance the city's defenses even further, several towers have been constructed throughout the city, providing additional vantage points for guards and archers. Finally, a number of raised bridges span the city's waterways, allowing for quick and easy access to different parts of the city while also serving as chokepoints that can be easily defended in times of crisis.

Industry & Trade

The economy of Al-Zaluma is primarily based on trade and commerce, with the settlement serving as a hub for goods moving between the various regions of the continent. The most important imports to the city are luxury goods, spices, and textiles, while the primary exports include precious metals, gemstones, and finished goods produced by local artisans.   The city is also known for its skilled craftsmen, who produce a variety of goods including pottery, textiles, metalwork, and woodworking. The artisans often work in specialized neighborhoods such as Al-Tujjar and Al-Nabat, where they can sell their wares to both locals and visiting merchants.   Agriculture is also an important part of the local economy, with the fertile lands around the settlement producing a variety of crops such as wheat, barley, and olives. Many farmers bring their produce to the bustling Suk Al-Balad market to sell to merchants and locals.   In addition to trade and agriculture, Al-Zaluma is also home to several stone quarries that employ a significant number of workers. These quarries provide sandstone and laterite, which are used in construction projects throughout the region.   Overall, the diverse economy of Al-Zaluma keeps the settlement afloat, with each industry and trade playing a crucial role in sustaining the city and its people.



  In Al-Zaluma, the very streets themselves are a testament to divine intervention and arcane mastery. The primary roadways are constructed from blessed cobblestones, which emanate a gentle blue luminescence as night falls. This ethereal glow serves as a beacon, guiding travelers through the labyrinthine passages of the city. Each cobblestone is imbued with a divine prayer that activates at dawn, repairing any wear and tear and ensuring the road's enduring smoothness. Moreover, these hallowed pathways are anathema to undead, fiends, and fey, who find themselves unable to tread upon them.  


  A marvel of both engineering and alchemy, Al-Zaluma's irrigation system is a sight to behold. Canals and water-wheels crisscross the landscape, but what truly sets this system apart is its source—the sea. To counteract the salinity, a specialized potion is introduced into the water just before it nourishes the crops or quenches the thirst of the city's inhabitants. This alchemical solution transforms what would otherwise be a hindrance into a life-giving resource, embodying the city's knack for turning challenges into opportunities.  


  Beyond its enchanted roads, Al-Zaluma offers an array of fantastical transportation options that captivate the imagination and expedite travel. Flying carpets soar through the skies, providing not only a swift means of transit but also unparalleled vistas of the city below. Chariots, drawn by winged creatures of various species, offer another airborne alternative, adding a touch of grandeur to the experience. These magical modes of transportation are not mere novelties; they are integral components of the city's infrastructure, facilitating efficient movement while offering a glimpse into a world where the extraordinary is commonplace.



  Type: Shanty Town
Population: 12,295
Primary Building Style: Clay Lined Fiber
Aesthetics: Functional
Cleanliness: Filthy
Upkeep: Shabby   Ah, Asharis, the beating heart of Al-Zaluma where life thrives amidst chaos and squalor. Here, the streets are narrow canyons between towering edifices of clay-lined fiber. A cacophony of voices fills the air—merchants haggling, children laughing, beggars pleading. Yet, Asharis is more than just a den of poverty and desperation; it's the lifeblood of the city's economy, a bustling marketplace where dreams are bought and sold.  


  Type: Slum
Population: 3,931
Primary Building Style: Clay Lined Fiber
Aesthetics: Rough
Cleanliness: Dirty
Upkeep: Shabby   In Badiyas, the air is thick with the scent of sweat and toil. The buildings, though crumbling, stand as monuments to the resilience of those who call this place home. Despite the hardships, a sense of community thrives. Music and laughter fill the air as the people of Badiyas dance away their troubles, if only for a moment.  

Suk Al-Balad

  Type: Market
Population: 906
Primary Building Style: Brick
Secondary Building Styles: Clay Lined Fiber
Aesthetics: Normal
Cleanliness: Orderly
Upkeep: Impeccable   Suk Al-Balad is a symphony of sights, sounds, and scents. Merchants from distant lands display their exotic wares, each stall a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Yet, beneath the market's vibrant exterior lies a well-oiled machine. Every vendor has their place, every product its designated spot. It's a place of commerce, yes, but also one of cultural exchange.  

Bir Al-Bahr

  Type: Docks
Population: 1,165
Primary Building Style: Adobe
Secondary Building Styles: Sun Dried Bricks
Aesthetics: Normal
Cleanliness: Tidy
Upkeep: Neglected   Bir Al-Bahr, the gateway to Al-Zaluma, where ships from distant shores unload their precious cargo. The air is tinged with salt and freedom, but also with the unspoken rules that govern who may set foot on this sacred soil.  


  Here, in Al-Tujjar, commerce is not just a livelihood; it's an art form. The district is a labyrinth of shops and bazaars, each a world unto itself. The air is thick with the scent of spices and the chime of coin, a testament to the district's commercial prowess.  


  Al-Amara is the seat of power, where the Grand Caliph holds court. The district is a tapestry of architectural marvels, each building a monument to the city's grandeur. It's a place of learning and governance, the intellectual and administrative heart of Al-Zaluma.  


  In Al-Nabat, wealth and opulence are not just evident; they are celebrated. The district is a paradise for the city's elite, a place where luxury is not just a privilege, but a way of life.


Al-Zaluma boasts abundant natural resources, including stone quarries that provide the city with a reliable source of building materials. The sandstone quarry, operated by a team of 224 workers, is known for producing high-quality stone that is prized for its durability and aesthetic appeal. Meanwhile, the laterite quarry employs 161 workers who extract and shape this soft, reddish stone that is commonly used for construction and decoration in the region.   In addition to these quarries, the city is also home to several other valuable assets, such as fertile farmland, lush forests, and mineral-rich mountains. These resources provide the basis for Al-Zaluma's economy and support the city's various industries, including agriculture, lumber, and mining. The city's strategic location along key trade routes also contributes to its wealth and prosperity, allowing it to establish valuable trade relationships with neighboring regions and beyond.

Guilds and Factions

Al-Zaluma is home to various guilds and factions, each playing a crucial role in the settlement's political and economic landscape.  
Merchant Guild
  The Merchant Guild of Al-Zaluma is one of the most influential organizations in the city. It is comprised of wealthy and powerful merchants who control much of the trade in and out of the settlement. The Guild maintains close ties with the ruling Caliphate of Al-Essan and plays a significant role in the local economy.  
Craftsmen's Guild
  The Craftsmen's Guild is a prominent organization representing skilled laborers and craftsmen in Al-Zaluma. Its members include blacksmiths, carpenters, masons, and other artisans. The Guild provides training and support to its members and plays a key role in maintaining the quality of craftsmanship in the settlement.  
Dockworker's Union
  The Dockworker's Union is a powerful organization that represents the interests of the workers in the Bir Al-Bahr docks. Its members include laborers, sailors, and other seafarers who work in the bustling port of Al-Zaluma. The Union has been known to cause disruptions in trade and shipping if their demands are not met.  
Religious Orders
  There are various religious orders and sects that operate in Al-Zaluma, including the followers of the faith of Alessandra, the Puma Serpent worshippers of the Al-Tabaxi, and other cults and religious groups. These organizations play a significant role in the social and cultural fabric of the settlement, and their influence extends to the political sphere as well.  
Thieves' Guild
  The Thieves' Guild is a notorious organization of criminals and rogues who operate in the shadows of Al-Zaluma. They are known for their skillful thefts and daring heists, and their activities often create problems for the other guilds and factions in the settlement. Despite their outlaw status, the Thieves' Guild is a well-organized and highly effective group that has managed to evade the authorities for many years.


Al-Zaluma boasts a history as expansive as the desert sands that surround it. Initially founded by nomadic tribes captivated by the region's natural resources, the settlement burgeoned into a vital nexus for trade and commerce.   In its nascent years, Al-Zaluma was a luminary in the realms of learning and culture. Scholars and artists journeyed from distant lands to contribute to the city's intellectual wealth. The libraries and museums of Al-Zaluma were not the original repositories of this wisdom, however. The city inherited its status as a beacon of enlightenment from its predecessor, also named Al-Zaluma. This ancient city, now submerged and renamed Corallion by its Sea Elf inhabitants, was the original seat of the Caliphate. When the Caliphate relocated, it carried with it the legacy of this submerged city, ensuring that the new Al-Zaluma would continue to be a center of knowledge and culture.   As the years unfurled, Al-Zaluma found itself ensnared in a web of political strife. Factions vied for control, leading to the degradation of its once-great institutions. Yet, the city's mercantile spirit remained unbroken, continuing to lure traders from far and wide.   The Caliphate, in a bid to extend its influence, began to sponsor the Holy Order of Alessandra in crusades against entities it deemed malevolent. Myths began to circulate, suggesting that the original Al-Zaluma had not sunk but had been willingly ceded to the Sea Elves, who transformed it into Corallion. These myths served to further mystify the city's already enigmatic history, adding layers of complexity that scholars continue to unravel.   Today, Al-Zaluma stands as a bustling metropolis, its streets a kaleidoscope of global goods and its populace a testament to hospitality. Despite the myriad challenges that have beset it, Al-Zaluma endures as a paragon of Human resilience and ingenuity, its history a mirror reflecting both its triumphs and tribulations.

Points of interest

Al-Manarah War Memorial

Located 3.30 miles northeast of Al-Zaluma, the Al-Manarah War Memorial commemorates the heroic soldiers who died fighting against the ancient and powerful Dragon. The memorial features a towering obelisk of polished granite that shines like a beacon in the sun, surrounded by meticulously maintained gardens and fountains. It's said that at sunset, the obelisk casts a shadow in the shape of a dragon, a haunting reminder of the epic battle that took place.  

Al-Majhool Insect Mounds

Located 8.20 miles southwest of Al-Zaluma, the Al-Majhool Insect Mounds are a natural wonder that attracts adventurers and researchers alike. These mounds are made by giant ants that have built a complex network of tunnels and chambers, and the air around them is thick with the scent of honey and nectar. But beware, for the ants are fiercely territorial and will not hesitate to defend their home.  

Al-Qadim City Ruins

Located 5.17 miles southeast of Al-Zaluma, the Al-Qadim City Ruins are a haunting reminder of the ancient civilization that once thrived in this region. The ruins are a sprawling maze of crumbling walls, towering pillars, and forgotten chambers, overgrown with vines and moss. Adventurers who brave these ruins may find treasures and artifacts from a bygone era, but they must also contend with traps and dangers left behind by the long-dead inhabitants.


Given the cultural and historical significance of Al-Zaluma, many tourists visit the city to explore its unique architecture, taste its exotic cuisine, and experience its vibrant markets. History buffs are particularly drawn to the city's numerous landmarks and ruins, such as the ancient fortresses and the old city walls. Foodies enjoy trying the local cuisine, which is known for its blend of Arab and African flavors, with fragrant spices and herbs. Shoppers flock to the bustling bazaars and souks to buy traditional textiles, jewelry, and handicrafts.   Tourists can find accommodation in a range of hotels and inns in the city, from budget-friendly options to luxury hotels. The more adventurous travelers may choose to stay in one of the traditional riads, which are often located in the heart of the city's old quarter and offer an authentic taste of Al-Zaluman culture.   Overall, tourism in Al-Zaluma is an essential part of the city's economy, and its unique blend of history, culture, and cuisine makes it a popular destination for travelers from around the world.


Al-Zaluma is a city of grandeur and wonder, with an eclectic mix of stone buildings, clay lined fiber structures, brick buildings, adobe homes, and sun-dried brick buildings. The architectural style is a fusion of Arabian and Persian influences, with ornate designs and intricate carvings adorning the buildings. Towers and minarets rise above the city, with grand domes and arches adding to the stunning skyline.   In the heart of the city lies the Grand Mosque, a breathtaking structure with white marble pillars and delicate Gold accents. The palace of the Grand Caliph and Sultanate of Al-Essan is equally magnificent, with grand halls and marble floors. The city's marketplace, known as the Bazaar, is a bustling hub of activity and commerce, with merchants selling everything from spices and textiles to exotic beasts and magical trinkets.   The city is surrounded by lush gardens and parks, with fountains and pools providing respite from the hot desert sun. The irrigation system in Al-Zaluma is truly remarkable, with water flowing through cobblestone channels that Weave their way through the city. The basin irrigation system ensures that the crops are always bountiful, and the streets remain green and lush.   Despite the city's grandeur, it is impeccably tidy and well-kept, with regular cleaning crews ensuring that the streets and buildings remain pristine. The citizens of Al-Zaluma take great pride in their city and work hard to maintain its beauty and splendor.


Al-Zaluma is located on an eolian landform, a sandy plain that meets the coastal marine landscape of the Great Lake. The settlement sits at an elevation of 0-558 feet above sea level, just 2.05 miles from the lake's shores.  
The Great Lake
This vast body of fresh water stretches out for miles, its depths reaching down 279 feet. The lake teems with life, including giant catfish and pearl-bearing clams that can only be found in these waters. The lake is navigable, and its crystal-clear surface reflects the vibrant colors of the surrounding flora and fauna.  
The Dunes of Ishtar
To the east of Al-Zaluma, the dunes of Ishtar rise and fall like an ocean of sand, shifting with the winds and home to a variety of desert creatures such as giant scorpions and sand serpents. Some say that deep within the dunes, there are ancient ruins that hold secrets of a lost civilization.  
The Wailing Oasis
To the west lies the Wailing Oasis, a small but lush patch of green in the midst of the desert. The water here is said to have magical properties, and some pilgrims come from far and wide to drink from it. But beware, for the oasis is also home to dangerous water serpents and other deadly creatures that lurk in the shadows.  
The Bay of the Seven Sisters
South of Al-Zaluma, the Bay of the Seven Sisters juts out into the Great Lake. The bay is home to seven towering rock formations that rise up from the water like ancient guardians. Each rock is said to be named after one of the seven sisters who founded the city, and they are considered sacred by the local people.  
The Black Sands
North of the settlement, the shoreline is made up of black sand that shimmers like onyx in the sun. Legend has it that this sand is cursed, and that those who venture too far into its depths will never return. Nevertheless, many brave adventurers come here in search of rare black pearls that can be found in the nearby coves.


In a tropical desert climate like Al-Zaluma's, temperatures remain hot year-round, with an average annual temperature of 84F. The climate is characterized by two seasons: a dry season and a wet season, with an average annual precipitation of 14.65 inches. Prevailing winds blow from the northeast to the southwest. The dry season is typically longer than the wet season, and during this time, there is little to no rainfall. The wet season usually lasts a few months and brings heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. The climate may be unpredictable, and sandstorms may occur, causing significant problems for travelers and residents.

Natural Resources

Natural Resources

  • Stones: Al-Zaluma is rich in igneous basalt and sedimentary laterite and sandstone, which are often used in the construction of strongholds, towers, and other fortifications throughout the land.
  • Ores: The settlement is also known for its abundant cinnabar and beryllium deposits, coveted by blacksmiths and jewelers for their unique properties.
  • Grains: The warm seasons of Al-Zaluma yield a bountiful harvest of exotic grains like fonio, amaranth, and millet, providing a vital source of nourishment for the people and livestock.
  • Vegetables: The fertile soil of Al-Zaluma also nurtures an array of root vegetables like potatoes and marrows like cucumbers, which are enjoyed by the inhabitants and travelers alike.
  • Flora and Fauna

  • Livestock: Sheep are the primary source of wool and meat in Al-Zaluma, renowned for their woolly coats and hardy nature in the harsh desert landscape.
  • Prey: The surrounding wilderness is home to an array of creatures, including mice, wild rabbits, addax, and oryx, providing hunters with a challenge and a means of sustenance.
  • Predators: Gila monsters, with their venomous bite and tough scales, roam the arid landscape, preying on smaller creatures and posing a threat to unwary travelers.
  • Aquatic: The nearby Great Lake teems with catfish and clams, a valuable source of protein for those who make their living on the water.
  • Plants: The feather reed grass, with its long, elegant fronds, is often used in ornamental displays and woven into baskets and other handicrafts. The blueberry bush, with its sweet, juicy fruit, is a favorite among foragers and provides a much-needed burst of flavor in the often-sparse desert cuisine.
  • Type
    Large city
    Related Ethnicities
    Inhabitant Demonym
    Location under
    Ruling/Owning Rank
    Owning Organization
    Related Tradition (Primary)
    Related Professions
    Related Materials

    Articles under Al-Zaluma


    Please Login in order to comment!