Bones of the Dead Eleven
4,800 Reanaarian humans and 200 half-elves and elves.
At a Glance
The town of Saaniema is dwarfed by the massive stonework foundation on the Island of Ucea to the east. The shadows of towering unfinished stoneworks and crumbling walls cloak Saaniema in the early morning before the sun climbs over the ruins. The people are friendly enough in a condescending way. They are proud of their brief pass in front of the eyes of the world and Saaniema’s widely recognized name (see Special Notes, below). Strangers and their coins are always welcome, although the young men test braggarts with challenges to wrestling matches, and rudeness from foreigners is not tolerated.
Saaniema’s government for a time was a Zoan-imposed martial law, and then a republic, with the initial leaders chosen from farmers and ranchers around the city. These leaders wrote a charter for government and presented it to the Zoan military governor, who approved it and withdrew his troops.
The government is an assembly of landowners, artisans and merchants who form the real power behind a weak count. Count Eilan has tried to gain a power base by donating to the temples, hiring a weak mercenary force (the eighteen-man strong Ox-jaw Company), and negotiating trade agreements with Aasaer and Irontop. The Assembly vetoed the trade agreement with Irontop because they fear Kalamaran expansion, and Eilan’s other plans suffer from limited funding, since the Count’s lands are barely self-sufficient.
Saaniema, like hundreds of Reanaarese cities, derives most of its food and resources from the bay. Local crops include rye, wheat, and weevily cotton. Husbandmen raise ponies, scrawny goats, chickens and foul-tempered hogs (domesticated only recently). The city’s “cash crop” is shrimp, which they haul in during late spring, summer, and early fall. During cooler months, hungry sea monsters make voyages to the shrimps’ richest feeding grounds too dangerous. During the right months, a lucky shrimper might earn enough to feed his family for years. An unlucky shrimper might feed a family of sea lions for minutes.
Saaniema is the last bastion of a brief empire, the only such militaristic expansion in recorded history on this coast of the bay. In 430 YND (249 IR), at the height of pirate activity, a wizard named Bezian created several unique spells for the purpose of driving them out. Inspired, several local towns agreed to pool their militias under Bezian’s leadership to defeat the pirates.
Bezian and the combined soldiers were wildly successful. Filled with the taste of power, Bezian asked the soldiers to pledge loyalty to him, established a huge fortress on the Island of Ucea and began dominating the towns around him by force. After two years of campaigning, a storm giant squashed his army and the empire collapsed into the fragmented villages the area has always supported.