NAME: Isfahan (i.e. the Glorious Satrapy of Isfahan)
POPULATION: 8 million (~800,000 in the City of Isfahan, plus 7 million rural)
LOCATION: Criticorum
GOVERNMENT: Officially a Satrapy controlled by the Al-Malik. Functionally a League controlled area which pays taxes to the Al-Malik.
MAIN EXPORTS: Ocean products, high technology ocean vessels, ceramic art
MAIN IMPORTS: fishing and agricultural equipment

The Satrapy of Isfahan is not a particularly prosperous area of Criticorum, but neither is it impoverished. In the main it is self-sufficient, exporting little and needing little by way of imports. Ostensibly under the control of the al-Malik, the ruling noble family of the area has long since turned over direct control of virtually all day-to-day functions of the Satrapy to the League, which in turn provides the nobles with money via leases on properties and taxation of the population. Presence of the al-Malik nobility within the Satrapy is small, and mostly confined to a single extensive estate on the coast to the East of the city of Isfahan, where the Emir, Shereen Gull al-Malik resides with her extended family and hereditary retainers. The manors of Baronets and Knights may be found thinly scattered throughout the Satrapy as well.

In rural portions of the Satrapy, government functions are provided by the Merchant League. The hand of the League rests lightly on most villages, with a local Reeve overseeing taxation and government functions, and crafters being required to register with the League as Yeomen or members of local guilds such as the glaziers.

Ethnically, Isfahan contains a high proportion of off-worlders. Roughly 10% of the population are refugees from planets conquered by the Symbiots, including Daishan. Though formerly members of House Masseri, these refugees (mostly rural farmers from Daishan who escaped the fall of their planet in poorly maintained ships) swore allegiance to House al-Malik in exchange for a grant of land. Now they are primarily rural farmers who raise millirice and dates. ==> As long as not threatened with recapture, some may have sympathies left for House Masseri. Check for support.

The Muster requires universal conscription for one year upon reaching the age of 18, but the vast majority so conscripted are simply formed into labor gangs and spend their time building irrigation canals, repairing bridges, and maintaining the infrastructure of the Satrapy (such as it is). Following one year of service individuals are formed into local militia units, which may be given additional training or not at the behest of their local League representative, and they may be called up to active service in case of emergencies until their 41st birthday, at which time they receive a small stipend for the remainder of their lives. ==> Why no massive troop levies for the Symbiont War? Would this offend the al-Malik or the Satrapy?

The city of Isfahan is a community of approximately 800,000 and is the major seaport along the southern shores of the Tabaristan Sea. The population is primarily Orthodox, but with small communities of Amaltheans and Eskatonics as well.

The most powerful guild in the city is the Fisherman's Guild, which operates the city government and oversees the ocean port. Originally a small, local cooperative of fisherman, the Fisherman's Guild was instrumental in brokering the lease of much of the Satrapy by the Merchant League, and was rewarded for their efforts with League membership, control of Isfahan, and a high tech fishing fleet. They subcontract out to the Muster for police and fire services, as well as for some labor at the port.

Traditionally, the Fisherman's Guild has had a very progressive (some might suggest Republican) attitude towards their position in Isfahan. They have until recently been extremely accepting of Yeoman fishermen (individuals who were members of the League, but not members of the Fisherman's Guild - in short, independents) and even non-guild fishermen in outlying areas of the Satrapy. This has changed within the last five years however, and tensions have increased greatly between the Guild and outsiders, eventually resulting in the Fisherman's Guild declaring large areas of ocean off-limits to non-Guild fishing vessels and hiring Muster mercenaries to enforce their decree. There are reports of Muster vessels firing upon non-Guild vessels. ==> Guild issue — Ask NeVaga to check

Just to the West of Isfahan lies Fort Al-Helaleya, formerly an al-Malik facility now leased by the Muster. The large facility (506 km2) is used as a major Muster training base, with a primary focus on amphibious assault and orbital drop deployment. Between permanent staff and trainees rotating through, the base has a population of around 100,000 at any given time. Numerous Muster units also call Fort Al-Helaleya home.

South of Isfahan lies a starport. The facility is not extensive, but it does handle some civil offworld traffic, as well as some of the traffic from Fort Al-Helaleya.

The Church

The Cathedral of Saint Wahid the Fisherman draws large crowds, and many members of the local fishing guilds give small portions of their catch to the Cathedral for distribution to the city's poor in the hope of receiving Saint Wahid's blessing. Saint Wahid was a native of Isfahan, who supposedly was able to calm the seas and guide fish to the nets of fishermen with the blessings of the Pancreator.

There is a small, but active Amalthean community throughout the Satrapy. Practicing Amalthean healers are required to register with the Guild of Physikers, but they are not otherwise restricted from practicing as on many planets with a strong League presence. ==> Check for support.

Isfahan itself contains a semi-independent "Eskatonic Quarter", home to a longstanding community of mystic sufis who have rights of self-rule granted to them by the ruling al-Malik. The Eskatonic Quarter is home to the city's bazaar, and is known as the place to go to get hard-to-find or offworld items. ==> This must be Lina's shopping spot, also useful for NeVaga.

The Noble Houses

The Emir of Isfahan, Shereen Gull al-Malik is a wealthy matron uninterested in supervising or maintaining her family's lands. As with all the Emirs for the past several generations, she is far more concerned with obscure matters of philosophy, theology, and art. Her family's extensive estates are largely self-contained and are a noted place for the intelligentsia of the high ranking al-Malik to gather.

Lower ranking nobles of House al-Malik (mostly Baronets and Knights) have some manor houses and small estates scattered throughout the Satrapy, but generally exercise little power outside of their own personal properties.
==> We have no al-Malik friends, but check for vassals who might resent the Emir? or the League?

Merchant League

As mentioned above, League control of Isfahan is almost total, though they pay proper deference to the al-Malik. The Muster provides police and militia training, Reeves run many of the day to day aspects of government, and Guild law is generally enforced on the overall population.

The Muster has the single greatest presence in Isfahan at Fort Al-Helaleya, but many of the Muster members there are transients shipped in to undergo training and then shipped out again. More influential is the Fishermen's Guild, which runs the government of the city of Isfahan and has strong interests in the starport, the seaport, and most of the coastal communities within the Satrapy. It is the Fisherman's Guild which is ultimately responsible for payment of taxes to tha al-Malik, and the Fisherman's Guild representative chairs the Guild Council for the area.

As might be expected, the Charioteers have controlling interest in the starport, and take a cut of all the imports and exports that pass through it. The Engineers oversee a high-tech marine construction facility along the waterfront (the only real heavy industry in the Satrapy).

The one League guild not officially represented on Isfahan is the Scravers Guild. The dominance of the Muster in the area means that labor jobs go to them, and they have worked to keep the Scravers from establishing an official presence. There is an agreement in place allowing individual Scravers to be employed under the auspices of the Muster without paying additional guild fees, but there is no Scraver representation on the Guild Council, and no Scraver offices within Isfahan. Occasional "informal" Scraver operations do pop up in the area from time to time (gambling rings, smuggling operations, and unsanctioned salvage operations). ==> That's got to rankle. Possible allies? Ask NeVaga to identify the unofficial head of the Scravers.

I'll save a bit of time and effort here — there is no unofficial head of the Scravers. NeVaga can find a few Associates doing work for the Muster, and maybe a Genin or two, but the Muster has pretty much pushed the Scravers out of Isfahan. Both organizations compete for labor and security contracts, and here the Muster has pretty much won out. If Ne'Vaga wants to travel to other parts of Criticorum such as Acheon or Tabarast, she can certainly find Scraver representation there who might be able to give her more details on what the deal is in Isfahan.


There are an estimated 20,000 Ukari living in the Satrapy, the great majority of them in the city of Isfahan itself. Of these approximately 2,000 work for the Muster, 10,000 operate as free Ukar and are members of local guilds, and 8,000 are slaves. Prejudice against Ukar remains high in the area due to atrocities committed against the civilian population by al-Malik allied Ukar during the planet's occupation by the Decados during the Emperor Wars.

In addition to the Ukar, there is a small (2-300) community of Obun living in the Eskatonic Quarter of the city.

Important Personages

Emir Shereen Gull al-Malik — as mentioned above, the titular ruler of the Satrapy of Isfahan. In truth she has little interest in or control of day to day (or even year to year) functions within the Satrapy.

Baronet Qays al-Malik — senior al-Malik representative in the city of Isfahan. He is largely a functionary of the Emir, who makes sure that the League pays the appropriate taxes. He has a moderate sized manor house just outside the city.

Sir Yazeed Keddah — Imperial representative to the Satrapy. A minor functionary representing the Emperor, he has an office at the Starport which is widely rumored to be an Imperial Eye front. Keddah himself comes off as bored and somewhat bitter, and seems to consider his assignment here something or a demotion or slight.

Colonel Indrit Zhuzhumi — commander of Fort Al-Helaleya and leader in charge of all Muster operations within al-Malik space. Colonel Zhuzhumi is a tough, no-nonsense man in his late '50s, and saw frontline combat on numerous worlds during the Emperor Wars, as well as against the Vuldrok. He is a member of the Muster High Command, and makes frequent trips to Bannockburn because of it.

For clarification — Bannockburn is the closest thing there is to a Muster-owned planet in the Known Worlds. It is the seat of the Muster's power and where the High Command of the guild most often meets. Yep, I know that, it's just a possible tie-in for future story arcs. I like to tie the story with long-running connections, like (dare I say it?) in 7th Sea.

Major Mochizuki Danuwa — second in command of Fort Al-Helaleya and Colonel Zhuzhumi's aide. Frequently in command of the base when Colonel Zhuzhumi is off-planet on Muster business. Major Mochizuki is a career staff officer, and handles many of the civilian Muster contracts in Isfahan. She is considered by most to be far more genial than Colonel Zhuzhumi, but less efficient.

Chief Morgan Wells — overseer of the Isfahan slave market, he also supervises the work of underlings who provide gangs of slaves for local labor. Wells is not loved in the Muster, but he has a lot of money. His estate in Isfahan is bigger than that of Baronet Qays, and considerably better guarded. As slavemasters go he not one of the worst, since he appears to take no personal delight in tormenting his slaves, but he treats them as nothing more than a commodity — which may be worse.

Fleet-Master Alejandro Astentzio — head of the Fisherman's Guild and governor of the city of Isfahan. Astentzio is young for the job, having gained the position only five years ago. He is considerably more pragmatic and businesslike than his predecessors, and has promised to usher in a new era of prosperity for the Guild. Astentzio is widely considered to be the driving force behind the Guild and Muster harassment of Yeoman and independent fishermen in the area.

Yeoman Vetsera Erduvilinformal head of the Yeoman fishermen of Isfahan. She owns a small fleet of fishing vessels, and took over as the representative of the Yeomen after the death of her husband 9 years ago in a storm. ==> Possble ally?

Bishop Lonzo Jonadab — leading Church representative in Isfahan, and head of the Cathedral of Saint Wahid. Over 90 years old and frail, but with a sharp mind, he tends to keep the Church out of major political fights in the area.

Illuminatus Quisma Ranga — leader of the Eskatonic community in Isfahan. A noted Eschatologist and sufi, she preaches that these are the end times, and that all must seek enlightenment and purification. She is most notable outside of her community for leading her followers in long, trancelike dance meditations which can sometimes last for days. She is well known and well-liked within the Eskatonic community, but outside of it she is seen as being something of a cracked egg.

Oblate Ranasinghe Senhead of the small Amalthean community within the Satrapy, Sen runs a small clinic in the poor section of Isfahan which doubles as the main office for coordinating the efforts of Amalthean healers (mostly lay members) throughout the area. Sen is a conscientious man, also known for his love of poetry ant philosophy. Though of common birth he is an occasional visitor to the estate of the Emir. ==> Possble ally?

Manager Jalla Sivver — a mid-level Muster operative in charge of the Muster roustabouts in the dock area and starport. By virtue of his rank he is also informally considered to be one of the leaders of the Ukar community in Isfahan. ==> Possble ally?

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