So, you can call it the Himyarite Kingdom, the Homerite Kingdom (kinda like that one better) or Himyar, but what we’re talking about is a Judeo-Christian kingdom or empire in Yemen, just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from the pre-Islamic Arabs in the north (“Men, Nomads” is covered), the Egyptians and Ethiopians across the Red Sea, the Romans to the north, Persia just across the Persian Gulf and near much-storied Baghdad and India (and their martial artists - so we have monks covered) across the Indian Ocean.
Himyar was established round about 110 BC, with a capital at Zafar (Sana’a). The kingdom of Sheba (you might have heard of it) was conquered in 25 BC, Qataban in 200 AD and Hadhramaut in 300 CE. Himyar remained dominant until 525 AD.
Because Himyar is a Christian state, it makes a great base of operations for clerics. Allow all the pagans, be they Arabs, Egyptians or Romans, to use druids but save the clerics for the Judeo-Christians. The Israelites and Ethiopians would probably also use clerics. This could make for an interesting ancient zombie apocalypse campaign, with only a few peoples having access to clerical turning – perhaps the Roman conquest of Egypt has awakened the entombed pharaohs, who are now, as mummy lords, leading armies of the undead all over the world.
Demihumans – what about the elves and dwarves and halflings? Well, you can either distribute them throughout and not worry about whether they belong there, or you could replace them in name only. The elves are replaced by the jinn, the doughty halflings by the amazons (Themiscyra is just north in Asia Minor, after all) and the dwarves by the wondrous blemyes (no heads, faces in chests) who apparently live along the coast on the Africa side of the Red Sea!
Armor and Weapons
Most of the fantasy standards would be available in a campaign like this, with the exception of platemail (though perhaps the mirror armor of India would suffice) and maybe some of the later European pole arms.
Landscapes and Sights
“Look, Sahib, there is the way to Ubar. It was great in treasure, with date gardens and a fort of red silver. It now lies beneath the sands of the Ramlat Shu’ait.”
So, what is there to explore and plunder in this region? Well, the mega-dungeon known as Irem of the Pillars is lurking somewhere in the Arab sands (remember, this is fantasy Irem, it doesn’t have to be the ruins of Ubar – maybe Ubar is another mega-dungeon) and not far from this fabled site of God’s vengeance one finds Lovecraft’s Nameless City.
Over sixteen megalithic standing stones were found on the coast of Tihamah – no doubt they are involved in some sort of dimensional portal, a thin bastion against an invasion from Hell, Asgard, the Mind Flayers of Dimension X or the femazons of Venus.
The Wabar Craters – what created them? Was it something from the mysterious rogue planet Nibiru? Did it burrow into the sands? Is it dining on the King of Baghdad’s caravan as we speak – the one that was carrying his daughter south to be married to the King of Himyar?
|Imagine if the astral devas looked like cherubs mounted on lions|