The nation of Rahadoum (pronounced rah-ha-DOOM) in northwestern Garund is unusual in that it is the only nation known to have forbidden the practice of any and all religions.
The region now known as Rahadoum was the site of the first human kingdom to establish itself after the devastation of Earthfall. The Jistka Imperium was formed in -4120 AR and soon came to dominate northern Garund and even some neighbouring areas of Avistan.
Ancient Osirion itself eventually went into decline, and the region split into a number of different city states. These states came to revere Nethys and Norgorber.
During the third millennium of the Age of Enthronement the faith of Sarenrae began to spread across northern Garund. When it arrived in this north western corner it came into conflict with the two previously established religions. The result was the Oath Wars, a long and bloody religious conflict that inflicted untold devastation on the region.
Then, in 2555 AR, the folk of Azir put an end to the religious conflict in their city by the simple expedient of burning down all the temples and banishing all clerics from their territory. A new philosophy was introduced to replace religion; it came to be known as the Laws of Man. The Laws of Man spread quickly across the region. The other city states likewise abolished religion, swore to uphold the new Laws, and were welcomed into what became the nation of Rahadoum.
Since then, all forms of religion remain banned in Rahadoum. This has brought peace from religious conflict, but a number of problems over the centuries has led to dark mutterings that the gods are punishing the people of Rahadoum for their impiety. Plague has broken out in Azir and Botosani three times in the last five hundred years, and the desert is threatening to devour the once lush city of Manaket.
The country’s borders have remained stable ever since, apart from the loss of the northern province of Kharijite to Cheliax during the Everwar.
Rahadoum is an arid desert nation on the north-western corner of Garund. The Path of Salt leads eastwards from the Cheliax controlled area south of the Arch of Aroden to the port city of Manaket. East of Manaket is the Bika-Rano Isle.
To the south of the country, the Napsune Mountains form the border with the Sodden Lands and also stretch northwards into the country’s interior. East of the Napsune Mountains, the Barrier Wall marks the border with the Mwangi Expanse.
The Uta River rises in the Napsune Mountains and flows north east to the border with Thuvia, before heading north west into the Inner Sea.
Along the west coast there are a number of islands. The largest are Phahalen Island, the Jagged Reach and (largest of all) Nuat.
One of the country’s longest rivers, the Winding Way flows westwards from the Napsune Mountains, past the mysterious area of marsh and forest known as the Eternal Oasis. It merges with the Jodin River, and flows past Azir, the nation’s capital city, into the Arcadian Ocean.
However, the north western-most tip of the nation, the province of Kharijite has been occupied by the nation of Cheliax since the Everwar.
The Kingdom of Man is ruled by a council of elders comprised of representatives from every major settlement and nomadic group. Overseeing the council, the Keeper of the First Law is elected from within the council and serves for a five-year term. Keepers are rarely re-elected and the resulting lack of institutional memory leads other nations to see Rahadoum as somewhat fickle, often waiting out the terms of a Keeper they find difficult to deal with.
The current Keeper, Malduoni is an exception to this, as he is currently serving his second term of office.
The seat of government is Azir, the nation’s largest city. The rulers and citizens of Rahadoum continue to follow the Laws of Man, written by Kalim Onaku in 2555 AR, which strictly prohibit religion of any kind within the borders of the land. The government’s primary military and peacekeeping force, especially with respect to the quelling of religious cults, speech and paraphernalia, is the Pure Legion.
Relations are poor with neighbouring Thuvia, due to that country’s large number of worshippers of Sarenrae (arguably the religion responsible for causing the Oath Wars). Relations with Osirion might be expected to be strained for the same reason, but in fact both nations see the benefits of being good neighbours to one another, and pragmatism has won out over religious differences.
To the south, Rahadoum has little interest in the wilds of the Mwangi Expanse, and its shipping suffers at the hands of Shackles pirates.
The country’s other neighbours—the hurricane-blasted Sodden Lands, devil-dominated Cheliax and the religious assassins of Mediogalti Island—are seen as a vindication of Rahadoum’s decision to ban religion.