Zombies in History
The Edge of the World
Persia used to be a great empire which stretched across a vast expanse of land from the wilds of India to the Mediterranean. The empire has seen its borders grow and shrink many times throughout its long history, including being utterly conquered by Alexander over a thousand years ago. The empire has bounced back from this defeat and for a time appeared as though it would rise to its former glory. However it was not to be as a new religion in the west was born. The new religion spawned its own empire which ate away not only at Persian borders, but also the long standing Persian faith of Zoroastrianism.
Persia is ruled by an emperor, but most of the governing is handled by a council consisting of priests, Magi, and wizards. The priests dictate most policy with the advising of the Magi, a group of seers who predict the future based upon the movement of stars, the flights of birds, et cetera. The wizards are largely a subset of the priests, often chosen more for their piety than for their talents.
In Persia the highest position anyone can hope to achieve is being a member of the ruling council. While the majority of the council is made up of priests, Magi, and wizards from noble families, it is not uncommon for non nobles to become council members. Because of this Persia is home to many more wizards and priests than most other cultures. While the average Persian wizard or priest is no more powerful than the average wizard or priest elsewhere, the sheer number of them means that Persia has many more powerful wizards than most other societies.
Since Persia has been a civilized region since time immemorial, there are virtually no members of the more tribal professions such as druids, mystics, and barbarians.
A land that is a continent unto itself; a land of gods, demons, spirits, and beasts. Indian culture is ancient, as old as that of China or Persia. However unlike China or Persia, Indian culture was never unified under a single rule and as such never existed as an empire. Though portions of India were conquered by Alexander and later Persia, these foreigners were unable to maintain a foothold in the land for long.
One can find literally anything in India. Traveling across India one might find themselves in a highly civilized region with incredibly sophisticated cities, complete with grand palaces and majestic temples one day, the next they might be deep in the heart of an immense jungle, with no sign of civilization for miles about. Still the next they might find themselves in some grand isolated monastery, high in the mountains. As they kept traveling they would no doubt run across vast plateaus, barren deserts, and virtually every other kind of terrain that exists.
India is made up of innumerable small states with an almost inconceivable system of alliances, feuds, and tribute. Many of these alliances have a religious subtext. As a land with literally thousands of gods, it is not hard to image that almost anything can be holy. Indeed many rulers and heroes in this region claim to themselves to be divine, tracing their lineage back to one or another deity.
Tradition is king in India, and nothing can break it. A rigid caste system dictates everything about ones life from the day they are born. Complex mythologies cause mighty states to swear fealty to obviously weaker states. To do otherwise would bring about ruin. There are uncountable numbers of legends about monsters, heroes, demons, and gods residing in the more isolated regions of India, be it mountain, desert, or jungle.
India as a whole does not produce a great deal of excess of any particular class, nor does it produce especially skillful members of any particular class. In individual states however it is possible to find extremely skillful members of any class. Some classes are very similar to those in other regions, for example Indian wizards are reasonably similar to other wizards. Other classes are quite different, namely Indian druids and rangers. Unlike druids and rangers in other parts of the world who often have some interaction with civilization and are still quite human; Indian druids and rangers often live their entire lives in the wilds, being more beast than man. If one should run across a druid or ranger in the wilderness of India it would not be surprising if they did not know how to speak any human tongue.
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