The City of Umam
Umam is the largest population center on the northern peninsula of the midland sea. The area inside the Walls of Umam includes some 700 hectares lying on the northern bank of the River Black inhabited by some 50,000 people, most of them descended from Maldisi peoples who settled the river valley 10,000 years ago. It is located, as the image below shows, some 35 kilometers inland out of the mouth of the River Black.
According to myth Umam was founded by the legendary king Alam 1500 years ago when he came down to Earth and saw that the people were without law or guidance, and this myth of the city being founded by a lawgiver demigod is prominent in its monumental architecture and its painting, with frescoes of Alam overseeing various works of construction found throughout the city’s walls. Indeed Alam is also considered the patron of masons and architects and mythologically oversees every significant work of construction within the city.
The historical reality of the foundation of Umam is not far from the mythological one, incidentally. The religious figure of Alam is, in a way, a religious merging of a series of prehistoric kings of the Malasami Dynasty, of which little record remains. The Malasami family in this period ruled over a number of bands of ethnically maldisi seminomadic pastoralists until, for reasons lost to time immemorial, they erected Castle Black, at the time little more than a mudbrick towerhouse by the river. As the years passed Castle Black became a site of economic and social importance and, as all such sites, became an attractive site of habitation for artisans, tradesmen, scribes, men at arms and so on. A mere couple of centuries after the erection of Castle Black the nascent Umam had a thousand inhabitants and already boasted at least two temples, one baths, two distinct sporting grounds and a gallows.
Decline of the Malasami (400 to 425)Main Article: End of the Malasami Dynasty
As the city grew, the Malasami pattern of governance that had been so successful at ruling over seminomadic bands of goat herders and seasonal farmers proved incapable of staying in power over this new thing: a city. By 417 after the founding of Umam [AF] the city was home to over nine thousand individuals and the regime had deteriorated to the point of outright riots, during one of which the last Malasami king was murdered by a mob of potters aggravated by religiously inspired trade restrictions. The following decade was punctuated by violent conflict between factions of formerly informal authorities (similar to what we would now call criminal syndicates or street gangs) vying for control over the city. After rioting brought about by a variety of economic, religious and social factors the last of the Malasami kings to occupy the Throne, Dornte I, was defenestrated by an angry mob. A highly detailed, if factually dubious account of this period of struggle can be found in A Time of Heroes, an epic poem by lyricist Asurmanil that spans from the fall of the Malasami to the struggles of the first Consul of the Umam Republic, Her Excellency Amuran Arsasi.
The Republican Period (425 to 622)
Arsasi rose to power as a conciliatory but harsh figure. The Arsasian model of governance, which we might dub as republicanism, emphasized practicality, secularism, a very strong hand and a focus on prosperity. during the 27 years of her reign her administration funded many great works such as roads and the black river bridge near Umam.
The following consuls more or less continued this pattern, expanding the local road network, building Bridge Tower as a detention center and developing an institutional framework to support and consolidate governance in the region. Umam came to become a center of learning, mathematics and culture during the republican period up until the early 620ies, when the city was conquered by ( this part intentionally left blank until someone else builds some other relevant polity in the region. The idea here is that an external force conquered Umam to begin a period of foreign occupation that lasted for a while: want to conquer this fine city of Umam? you can do it now!
The Republican Wars (622 to 627)
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Foreign Rule (627 to 814)
Sakdatas, the kingdom of The Gwópfas
and a major rival of the Republic, had been building its strength for some time in the West. To "display [her] strength," Queen Tssikyofom invaded Umam shortly after the resolution of the Republican Wars, when its army was exhausted and treasury spent, but still struggled for five years to subdue the countryside and then capture the city.
A queendom forced on the city was rejected by the city's inhabitants after a year, so a compliant native, Danudor I, was put in its place. His wife, a cousin of Queen Tssikyofom named Tshun, was selected for him, and so the dynasty was referred to as the Tshuneans in official documents. Danudor's descendants would also marry Sadakan brides while claiming to be "true Umamites." This practice only ended at the end of the regime, when Tasikofomo I divorced his Sadakan wife and married an Umamite noblewoman in an effort to legitimize himself during the unrest that preceded Sardamin's final march on the city.
The Sardamin Restoration (814 to the present day <887>)
73 years ago, or 814 years after the founding of Umam, King Hasane Sardamin, the first of the Sardamin kings who rule over the city to this day stormed the city and defeated the puppet government instituted at 627 by (whoever it was that conquered it). <content shall go here>
Notable Features of the City
stuff and things and words will go here. Notably, purple walls, the historically relevant watchtowers of umam, Castle Black, the bridge, the various forts around the city, many of them built by the foreign occupation forces, the baths, temples and libraries scattered throughout the city and its nice parks with stone tablets full of scenes from Umam's mythology. Also, there are no less than eighteen distinct markets in the city.