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    See Ull…and Die! Part 2
    Posted on Tue, May 16, 2006 by Dongul
    mortellan writes "Most Worthy Elders (May Mouqol bring you prosperity) herein is the second part of my survey of the contemptible land of Ull. This half of my document focuses mainly on the southern towns of Ull and some notes regarding the trails of Ull. As one travels farther south you will notice the increasing use of turbans among the Uli. Pay attention to how they wear their turbans for sometimes this may be the only way to distinguish one warband from another. Knowing this could prolong your life.

    Your humble servant –Farid Ibn Bayazid, Appraiser of Merit.

    By mortellan

    15) Qilak Khanate of Semust (Small semi-nomadic)
    This small Uli town is built on the ruins of an ancient Oeridian village. Semust serves a channel for many black market items going to and from the north. With an amicable relationship with Kurukand, Qilak Khan (Rog3/ Ftr1) enjoys wealth beyond those in his khanate which he often spends in Kester betting on fights.

    16) Durgai Khanate of Okkand (Medium semi-nomadic)
    -The Tamers (Small slaver band): 300 (Uli), 200 (Orc); Raiment: Tan turbans wrapped about a tall helm; Armament: Footmen (Heavy mace, Whip, Polearm, Longbow). The Tamers work almost exclusively for Durgai Khan (Ftr6) to find slaves to work in his Ulsprue silver mines. Most of these laborers are drawn from the mountains as well in the form of orcs, ogres and the odd giant or two. It is also not uncommon to see halflings among the slave pool in specialized roles.

    17) Ahmud Khanate of Yorod (Small settled)
    The southerly town of Yorod is a bygone remnant of the age when Oerids claimed the land. Now the only Oeridians here are the Yorodhi hillmen captured by slaver bands that use the town as a staging area. Cut off from Ull’s main trails, an earthen rampart is the only defense for Yorod, which regularly sees counter-raids by the willful hillmen.

    -Ahmud’s Net (Small slaver band): 400 (Uli); Raiment: Tan turbans and ochre sash; Armament: Footmen (Polearms, Mancatcher, Heavy mace, Whips, Nets). This fearless group of slavers works directly for the khan of Yorod, capturing slaves and transporting them to Kester. Their secondary duty of defending their town from counter-attacks and slave breakouts has led to dwindling numbers.

    -The Skullbreakers (Small slaver band): 250 (Uli); Raiment: Dented helms and Ochre shields; Armament: Mixed (Camel, Clubs, Heavy mace, Nets). This band of roughnecks uses Yorod as a base to zealously launch raids into the southern hills and capture Yorodhi alive with their bludgeoning weapons. They are quite popular with the pitmasters of Kester for their fine slave lots.

    -Abd Incabul (Small warband): 250 (Uli); Raiment: Solid black turban around helm, dark green aba; Armament: Lt Cavalry (Lt Warhorse, Scimitar, Lance). These fearsome riders are ignored by most other warbands while their wrath is turned south. Their main agenda is the eradication of holy men in the cause of their deity, Incabulos. Understandably they spend a lot of time in the Dry Steppes stalking Paynim dervishes and servants of the new Mahdi of the Steppes.

    18) Jalhir Khanate of Kurukand (Large semi-nomadic)
    The sprawling town of Kurukand is a smaller version of Ulakand to the north but no less successful. The population of this town at the height of winter is 5000. Kurukand enjoys trade passing through it on route to Kester as well as maintaining nearby slave worked copper mines belonging to Jalhir Khan (F7).

    The Undefeated (Large warband): 4000 (Uli); Raiment: Dark green & Black turbans intertwined with ends tucked in; Armament: Footmen (Heavy mace, Polearm, Longbow). This arrogant warband seemingly has free reign to wander from Kurukand to Semust and even farther north into Umighak khanate territory. Their fabled history of success dating back to the Brazen Horde has earned them the respect of most tribal leaders.

    19) The Khanate of Kester (Large settled)
    Kester sits at the crossroads between the Dry Steppes and more fertile plains to the north as a hub of trade both legal and illegal. Kester is remarkably large for the region where it was founded. The population fluctuates seasonally from 6000 in the unbearable summer to 10,000 in the winter, averaging out to 8600 the rest of the year. While technically still a khanate under the rule of Ulakand’s royal family, little fealty is actually shown to the Orakhan as no one truly rules the town. A semblance of order is maintained by a balance of free trade, the threat of violence and Kester’s own brand of gladiatorial entertainment. If anyone truly rules Kester it is the wealthy Pit Masters, who run both the lucrative slave markets and the popular fighting pits.

    -Followers of Zhabask (Medium warband): 2000 (Uli), 100 (Halfling); Raiment: White & Black turbans intertwined with ends hanging loose; Armament: Footmen (Polearm, Heavy mace, Longbow, Sling). Among the largest mercenary warbands in Kester, the Followers of Zhabask specialize in protecting foreign merchant caravans. They do their job well and are zealous at proving their worth to employers. Their Halfling slingers are infamous across the southern steppes.

    -Thevun’s Gang (Medium warband): 2000 (Uli), 200 (Orc/ Half-orc); Raiment: White & Black turbans intertwined with ends tucked in; Armament: Footmen (Polearm, Heavy mace, Scimitar). Thevun’s Gang is considered the main rivals of Zhabask’s Followers for valuable caravan guard assignments. Their penchant for intimidation and harassment to get merchant contracts is well known.
    -The Scourges (Small slaver band): 300 (Uli); Raiment: Black and Red turbans intertwined with ends tucked in; Armament: Mixed (Camel, Mancatcher, Heavy mace, Whips, Nets).This band of slavers is much maligned by Yorodhi and southern Paynim alike. Their captures find their way back to the pits of Kester more often than most slaving bands.

    -The Fingers of Ralishaz (Small slaver band): 250 (Uli); Raiment: Unknown; Armament: Footmen (varies). Thought to be a well coordinated street gang by most or simply thuggish beggars by others, the Fingers of Ralishaz are so intermixed in Kester society that they are invisible. The Fingers rarely strike outside town where they have no power and their brand of slaving consists mainly of high-risk kidnappings and ransoming. Understandably this band has made many enemies especially among the Mouqollad Consortium, local khans and Kester’s elitist Pit Masters.

    20) Ongusk Khanate (Medium semi-nomadic)
    -The Grey Host (Medium warband): 1000 (Orc, half-orc, orog, etc); Raiment: Ash covered hair and faces; Armament: Footmen (Polearm, Heavy mace, Greatclub, Scimitar). This warband lives on the fringes of the Ulsprue’s western face, preying on any unwary travelers in their territory. This warband is on good terms with many highland ogre tribes, and the ogre-blooded Ongusk Khan (Bar12). Naturally the Grey Host is at odds with no few slaver bands who view them as choice stock for the fighting pits of Kester.

    Trails of Ull

    These trails mark the most used trade routes cutting through Ull. The elements and nature prevent these trails from being permanent and in most cases local guides are still needed to ensure caravans don’t wander into undesirable parts.

    A) Wadi Khijar Trail
    The Wadi Khijar Valley runs from the Dry Steppes to the Dramidj Ocean. Some trade with Antalotol and the Far Baklunish West arrives from this direction. Once past the shadow of the Ulsprues there is little sign of the trail until Ulakand.
    B) Ceshra Trail
    This trail is the most worn and frequently used by northern caravans. It is said this trail was blazed by the same intrepid merchant caravans that first had an audience with the distant Shah of the Waters.
    C) Barrier Trail
    This is a secondary route to the north that follows the Barrier Peaks then along the rugged Banner Hills and into Ket. Most caravans brave this direction to avoid Ulakand on their way to Ull’s southern towns.
    D) Ulzha Trail
    This way is heavily traversed by both foreign caravans and Uli nomads. Its utility however is often complicated by sudden redundant forks, side paths and warband ambushes.
    E) The Dust Road
    This path starts in the trade town of Kester to the escarpment separating Ull from the Dry Steppes. A well worn trail winds down from the cliff and then strikes out into the empty aridness of the steppes where it soon vanishes altogether.

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    Re: See Ull…and Die! Part 2 (Score: 1)
    by Wolfsire on Tue, May 16, 2006
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    Very nice follow-up.  Can't wait to see the map. 


    You have put together an awesome collection of Ull articles.



    Please keep them coming.

    Re: See Ull…and Die! Part 2 (Score: 1)
    by Woesinger on Fri, May 19, 2006
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    Very nice, Mortellan! I like the free-wheeling, dusty, tribal feel.

    What's the guiding principle of the Protectors of Ulakhand, aside from protecting the city? Are they regarded as sacred in some way? My question is, I guess, despite being subservient, why are they tolerated by the Orakhan and his private army? The situation in Ulakhand strikes me as ripe for a major clash (which is cool for adventure hooks of course!).

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