"Ahast. Our little Valen fiefdom at the center of our emirate. A plantation does not make a state."Ahast is a town and sheikhdom to the west of Deidad, and one of Deidad's major subject towns. A strange looking town, Ahast is a relatively small settlement overlooking the sea, dominated by the sheikh's palace. If not for its ostentatious seat of government, Ahast looks entirely out of place as one of Deidad's direct subjects, as the other towns bound to the Emirate are richer in industry and population. Effectively the administrative centre of a giant olive field, the office of sheikh in Ahast has been held by the House of el-Iqbal for many generations now. Though having an assembly, Ahast is remarkably stratified and effectively has a single center of power and influence. The el-Iqbal and their associate houses that control the fields have consistently returned the sheikh to power. While the Deidadi side-eye the sheikh and consider the state of Ahast to be a cautionary tale, Ahast has never failed to deliver taxes and tariffs to the Emirate. Thus the sheikh and the house of el-Iqbal have been left to their own devices in their town and its surrounding fields. Dark rumors abound of Ahast, and its population can effectively be divided into the owners of the plantations and those that work on them. It is known that the House of el-Iqbal frequently hires mercenaries and private security for unknown purposes.
Industry & Trade
The lands around Ahast are home to some of the richest olive plantations in the entire union, and almost all of it is owned by the House of el-Iqbal or their close allies. Though good farmland as well, Ahast is only barely self-sufficient for basic grains. The el-Iqbali who have ruled the area for generations have sought to turn as much of the land over to olives as possible, driving out subsistence farmers in the process. This monopolistic control has made the House of el-Iqbal very rich, and largely choked out other industry as the ruling sheikh pursued policies to increase olive production to the exclusion of all else. Ahast is the largest olive producer in the United Runberi Emirates, and its ruling house has even bought out plantations outside their borders, increasing their influence on the market even further.