The city of L'p'nth was founded in the year 3000KA [200SA] by cultists from Katai. From 3000 - 3090KA [200-290SA] they worked to subjugate the barbarians in the area. With the conquest of the final tribe the first Insatiable Mistress was crowned. During her reign (3074 - 3100KA [274-300SA]), the Code of Nobility and the Sacred Rites of Blood became law.
In the reign of Ch'b'r (Chaibor, 3100 - 3146KA [300-346SA]) the rule of the royal priestesses became a feature of the nation. The Military Code defined the obligations of the army, a precise civil code imposed duties on all citizens and the Great Temple of Ashura was completed (3113KA [313SA]) in the city of L'p'nth. Under Ch'b'r, the nation expanded to the west. She subjugated the desert tribes (3118 - 3139KA [318-339SA]) and built the city of B'z'b' (Baizouba) in the year 3141KA [341SA].
During the next two reigns (3146 - 3220KA [346-420SA]) L'p'nth founded the city of L'd'm' (Lidaema) at the foot of Mt. H'ss'r (Heissur), near the ruins of an ancient city (3172KA [372SA]). In the year 3196KA [396SA] the nation celebrated the arrival of a new era (a calendrical event that happens every 198 years on L'p'nth's calendar) by sacrificing 10,000 captives to Ashura in a two-day festival, i.e., about one person killed, every 20 seconds, for 48 hours.
NOTE - L'p'nth's calendar is divided into fourteen 14-year cycles. Each group of 14 cycles has a beginning year and an ending year. Each year, cycle, month and day is named after a deity in the Court of Ashura. The total length is termed an era. It is a period of 198 years. The Celebration of Blood is held in the end of each era to celebrate the progress made and to insure the arrival of a new era (by feeding the insatiable lust of Ashura and her court). The current year by L'p'nth terms is the year of Lemashtu in the cycle of Princess Naamah of the first era of Molikan.
Following the Celebration of Blood (3196KA [396SA]) the Insatiable Mistress ordered the desert tribes to raid the southern plains. In the year 3206KA [406SA] the nation founded K'p'ch' (Keupacha) and the raiders entered the Cerulean Empire. In the war that followed the tribes were shattered by the Ceruleans. Forty percent of their number were slain. The remainder were driven north or enslaved. The southern debacle ended the nation's expansion for almost 200 years. To fuel the Celebration of Blood in 3394KA [594SA] L'p'nth drove into the western mountains and badlands, making major gains. At the end of this advance (3389 - 3395KA [589-595SA]) the city of S'ph'nth (Sophainth) was founded. For the next 160 years the nation consolidated her gains and waited.
In the year 3591KA [791SA] L'p'nth invaded Katai and was repulsed. When they tried again (3592KA [792SA]) their army was shattered. Following this defeat L'p'nth raided the eastern steppes to gain the captives necessary for the Celebration of Blood (3592KA [792SA]).
In the year 3761KA [961SA] L'p'nth was attacked by Marentia and the city of S'ph'nth was sacked. In the war that followed (3761 - 3765KA [961-965SA]) the Marentians were driven out of L'p'nth. For the next twelve years, L'p'nth built her army and planned a major campaign in the west. In the year 3778KA [978SA] she invaded Marentia and Ba'rual. This war was a mobile bloodbath. In the year 3790KA [990SA], L'p'nth's army was broken on the gates of Cholchara. In the same year, the Celebration of Blood was held and peace returned to the area.
Since the great war with Marentia, L'p'nth has begun a diplomatic effort to gain control of the steppes and has formed a tributary alliance with the Noya'Bova. (A large number of these tribesmen have been converted to the worship of Ashura.)
NOTE - As a prostelitizing nation L'p'nth is concerned with conquest and conversion. Her next celebration is in the year 3988KA [1188SA]. If history serves, she will make her next attack sometime within 20 years of this date-to begin collecting victims.
NOTE - The city of B'z'b' is missing from the maps. It can be found on map 19. On this map a brown road heads straight NE for five hexes. B'z'b is in the fifth hex from the map edge.
The capital of the nation is L'p'nth (27,000). Its other cities are L'd'm' (31,000), K'p'ch' (17,000), B'z'b' (14,000) and S'ph'nth (11,000). The total population of the nation is 600,000 including the Qa'indi (25,000) and Ra'indi (20,000) tribes who can field 9,000 warriors.
L'p'nth's army, excluding barbarians, is divided into two groups. The Blood Guard is an elite force led by eunuchs of the royal blood. It contains 2,000 footmen with polearms and 1,000 with heavy crossbows and axes. Members of this corp are armored in chainmail. L'p'nth's main army is called the Host. It contains 12,000 footmen and 4,000 cavalry. It can levy an additional force of 9,000 barbarians and 20,000 militia for major wars. The total strength of L'p'nth's armed forces is 48,000 men.
NOTE - Legend states that L'p'nth uses vampires and other supernatural creatures, who serve the Insatiable Mistress and the priestesses, in her army. It is a fact that soldiers of Marentia said that they fought such creatures during the war with L'p'nth.
L'p'nth is a dry and barren land. Her major products are salt and copper. She imports food, textiles and other metals through the Cerulean Empire or the black market. In general, L'p'nth is a poor nation that is shunned by its neighbors.
L'p'nth serves the Court of Lilith. Her faith is fanatical, ecstatic and bloody. A sub-cult in the land worship Slidranth and is working to overthrow Lilith's followers.
Citizens of L'p'nth are venal, perverse, narcissistic and amoral. They are unable to feel guilt for any action that benefits them. When threatened or frightened, the average citizen will do anything to save himself.
When acting en masse for religious reasons, citizens of L'p'nth are different. They become fanatics with no regard for personal safety. The faith stresses that those who die in its service win everlasting pleasure in the gardens of Ashura. In a perverse way, soldiers feel that death benefits them by replacing the pain of mortal existence with a life of eternal pleasure. The survivors of a battle are often depressed, envious of the dead and anxious to fight again.
L'p'nth is a theocratic matriarchy. Females of the royal line are trained as priestesses. The eldest of them is the Insatiable Mistress. Males of the royal line are castrated at birth and raised as soldiers. They command the Blood Guard and the army as a whole during a war. In L'p'nth all responsible posts, except for army command, are held by women. Men have limited access to power and few rights once they obtain it.
Two justice systems operate in this land. Females are punished severely for crimes against other women. The penalties are fines, temple servitude and death. They are rarely punished for crimes committed against a freeman. At worst they are fined.
Males are subject to punishment for any crime. Common punishments are mutilation (usually castration), slavery, imprisonment, death, ritual sacrifice, death by slow torture and, for crimes against women of the royal blood, death with an eternal curse laid on the felon's soul.
L'p'nth is not a man's world. Parties without a woman who speaks the language must be very careful. The slightest mistake can be fatal for men. To achieve any status in this land a man must be well-born, wealthy or the favored concubine of a powerful woman.
L'p'nth has an alliance with the Noya'Bova. They plan to use this tribe to conquer the steppes when the time is right.
Marentia is L'p'nth's major enemy. The nation is hated by Katai, Bhamotin, most of the Zen'da tribes and, to a lesser extent, the Cerulean Empire.
Maces, Spears, Javelins
The people of L'p'nth merge Katai with the local barbarian stock. Only the elite retain a Katai appearance. The other citizens are almost indistinguishable from the locals, i.e., the people who lived here before the Katai exiles arrived.
Lance, Swords and Daggers
Syrians, Middle Eastern Arabs
These tribes use leather armor and bucklers in battle. They rarely use helmets. Their common wear is flowing robes, with concealing face cloths, dyed in yellow or brown.
L'p'nth's calendar is also used by the Noya'Bova. It records the celestial cycles of Ashura. Each 198-year era has 14 14-year cycles, a beginning year (the year of ease) and an ending year (the year of the savage feast). All units in the calendar, from the era down to the hour of the day, are named for gods, goddesses and forces that serve Ashura. Of the fourteen great names, only Ashura, Princess Naamah, Lemashtu and Molikan are, in truth, gods. The others are demi-gods and great demons in the service of one of the four gods above. Their names are Sier (the bloody duchess), Zarana (soul-shaker), Driana Proban (the perpetual servant), Shevold (the irresistible), Sanqui (the drinking sword), Blaras (the black count), Melin (the skulker), Marslan (the insatiable), Ti'van (lady in the shadows) and Mou'lan Kri'gair (the prophet). Lemashtu, Zarana, Driana Proban, Sanqui, Blaras, Melin and Marslan are the Seven Dukes. Ti'van is the consort of Molikan, Sier is a consort of Lemashtu and the Queen of the Lamia, Shevold is a Duchess of the Succubi and Mou'lan Kri'gair is a handmaiden of Ashura-the intermediary of man with her mistress. (As female deities, these four are favored over the Seven Dukes in state worship.)
NOTE - Mou'lan Kri'gair was the leader and founder of the cult of Ashura. Under the subtle leadership of this Imperial courtesan, it had a permanent impact on the land of Katai and nearly overthrew an emerging dynasty. She was a brilliant woman wholly committed to the service of her chosen mistress-Ashura.