"Southron" is a broad term used by Achaeans to refer to nearly all people who dwell in the South, specifically referring to south of the Achaean Empire. It encompasses the peoples of Kemhet, Deshret, and Parsanshar, each of whom have their own distinct cultures and pantheons of gods.
Most all Southron people have darker skin than their northern neighbors, with dark brown or black eyes and hair, but their appearances can still vary greatly. The people of Kemhet, for instance, have straighter hair and more severe features than those of Deshret, while those of Parsanshar are known for their brighter eyes and, sometimes, lighter skin tones.
The people of Kemhet are a proud and ancient civilization. They often mingle with the Achaeans on their northern border, and the current pharaoh was actually born in Achaean lands just north of the Kemheti border. The people of Kemhet build vast cities and great pyramids, with enormous temples to their gods. They are led by a pharaoh, who rules over numerous lands. Although the Achaean Empire, Northrim, and other lands are not free of slave labor, much of Kemhet's glory was built on the whip-scarred backs of slaves. The nobles of Kemhet live high and well, while the slaves are worked hard and die young. Kemhet is perhaps most famous for its few high priests, individuals of immense power who bear many mysterious abilities granted by their gods.
Deshret is a land of rich merchant cities and wandering nomads - some honorable and ascetic, others cutthroat brigands. The cities are scattered and divided, ruled by local sultans, while the numerous nomadic tribes are led by elder shiekhs. Some merchants play both sides of society, wandering from city to city at risk of being attacked by brigands, in order to evade local governments and attempt to make as much gold as possible. The slave trade is one of the most prosperous trades of Deshret, as they sell slaves to Kemhet in particular.
Parsanshar is the mightiest of all the Southron lands, a vast empire ruled by the King of Kings. The Parsansharian Empire is even larger than the Achaean Empire to the far north, encompassing vast tracts of land and enormous deserts. The Parsansharians are great warriors, conquerors, and merchants - they are enormously wealthy, and it is said that their traders know secret paths to the mysterious Far East. Parsansharian goods are highly sought after across the entire realm.
Kemhet and DeshretEdit
The gods of Kemhet - which are also worshiped by the people of Deshret, though some of them worship the Parsanshar religion instead - are sometimes referred to as the Old Kingdom, because the Kemheti believe them to be far older than most other gods, perhaps from the days of the Titans. Most are closely associated with beasts, often being depicted as beastfolk. Others are closely associated with death and the Underworld, such as Anubis, Osiris, and Isis. The major gods include Ra, the falcon god of the sun; Geb, the ram god of earth; Hathor, the goddess of motherhood, often associated with cows; Horus, also associated with falcons, god of war and protection; Khepri, scarab god of rebirth, after whom the Khepridnir are named; Isis, goddess of magic, fertility, and the scorned, often associated with cats; Osiris, god of the afterlife; Anubis, wolf god of death and guardian of the dead; Thoth, ibis god of wisdom; Set, god of chaos and the desert, depicted as various animals in a chaotic and unknown manner; and the foul demonic Apophis. There are many minor gods as well.
The religion of Parsanshar is based upon duality. They have only two deities that they worship: Ormazd, god of light, and Ahriman, god of darkness. All good, including life itself, comes from Ormazd, while all evil and death comes from Ahriman. Ahriman is the lord of all Shadow magic, and Shadow magic itself springs from his realm of Shadow, the Yawning Void in which he dwells. Ormazd lives in Ahura, the Realm of Pure Light, dwelling above many other gods worshiped by men.