Population: 40,000 (20% Human – Jhaamic, 80% Human – Mulan)
The Akanul is home to one of the last pockets of true Jhaamic blood (on the western shore of the Akanamere) in what is known as the Blade Kingdoms, these settlements provide a small contribution to the defence of the region with the rest coming from the descendants of Ass-Uraqn’s freedom fighters.
Ruler: King Hippartes, “Blood of Ass-Uraqn” (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Warrior 12)
Akanax was supposedly the site of Ass-Uraqn’s muster before his march against the Warlord Morgraun the Banedrinker (a war that Ass-Uraqn lost) and has been the muster site for every army formed by the cities of the Akanul for the last 500 years.
Akanax is a tent city sprawled along the eastern edge of the Akanamer, composed of numerous tents, huts, and barns that can be hastily erected and dismantled at a moments notice. The “city” itself is divided into numerous districts with each district housing the soldiers from the different cities of the Akanul. The districts and their occupants move with regularity as the internal squabbles of the Akanul cities turn into petty skirmishes and their levy soldiers have to be separated. Many outsiders believe this behaviour of constantly shifting defences to be a strategy to keep enemies off guard but is more a survival tactic for the city.
At the centre of the city is a fortified hillock that is the home to King Hippartes, ruler of Akanax and commander of the army of the Akanul.
Life and Society
Akanax is a military encampment and as a result life in this city is run with military precision. At dawn everyone wakes up and performs the daily ablutions before the soldiers march off to train, drill, and patrol, while the soldier’s families run the businesses that keep the city in existence.
Unlike most other cities in the realms, the vast majority of non military jobs are performed by women (and in some rare cases the elderly) who fetch water, make clothes, sow and harvest crops, fish, run shops, even smith weapons. Those men unable to fight (elderly or infirm) assist in these tasks, and likewise those women wishing to enlist in the army are welcome to do so (although this is not a route often chosen).
The soldiers train hard at sunrise and sunset, but during highsun they perform the basic cleaning tasks often left to slaves or commoners in other cities, as a result Akanax is one of the cleanest settlements in Faerun, with its dirt streets swept free of dust and its whitewashed wooden huts and canvas tents scrubbed clean of marks and mould.
Akanax is governed by King Hippartes who wields the ultimate authority in Akanax, however it has not always been thus, and there are many who plot against the King to return Akanax to the old ways.
Council of Hands: Until 10 years ago Akanax was ruled by the Council of Hands, a council filled with representatives from each of the settlements in the Akanul that contributes levies to Akanax and the defence of the region.
The council was dissolved by the soldiers after Akanax surrendered to Soorenar following a disastrous war 10 years ago, the soldiers then elected Hippartes to be their leader. The council still persists today but operates only in an advisory capacity to the King and has limited powers to make policy.
Akanax is one of the most well defended cities on Toril because at least half of its 40,000 strong population are trained soldiers. Most of the time half the army is away on patrol or engaged in a war against one of the other cities of Chessenta, but that still leaves an armed presence 10,000 strong to defend the city.
Despite this defensive capability, Akanax is vulnerable to attack because of its location; it has no natural geography that aids in its defence (such as a river or cliffs), and manufactured defences are limited to sunken ditches and stake walls. These limited defences make the city vulnerable to being surrounded but also make it easy for the defenders to sally forth in any direction to break a siege. The greatest defence available to the city however is that it is an entirely mobile settlement, if forewarned about an attack then almost every building can be dismantled within a few hours and moved up or down the coast of the Akanamere to confuse attackers.
As well as being the defensive hub of the Akanul region, the city is also the most easily accessed and well known settlement of the region, and because of this it is the place most often visited by merchants from other cities in Chessenta (and beyond). Almost all the goods of the Akanul pass through Akanax on its way to Soorenar and Luthcheq, traders gather daily outside the city (few outsiders are permitted inside the city without permission and escort).
The Church of Hoar: Akanax is one of many sites that Ass-Uraqn used as a secret hideaway during his resistance against Gil-Geamesq’s rule. Following Ass-Uraqn’s disappearance and supposed ascension to true godhood, a new church was born in Mourktar founded by the survivors of Ass-Uraqn’s resistance movement and by followers of a god of vengeance known as Ahorz (whose worship was brought by migrants from the Shoon lands centuries before).
The Church of Hoar is result of this fusion of Ass-Uraqn and Ahorz, and it has claimed a number of places used by Ass-Uraqn as holy sites for Hoar. The Thunderous Hand of Vengeance is one such site and is one of the few stone buildings in Akanax, built atop Assuran’s Tor (the hillock in the centre of Akanax) which is used by the Council of the Hand and King Hippartes to govern Akanax.
Priests of the Thunder Hand hold high ranking positions in the army and many members of the Council of the Hand are also senior priests at the Thunderous Hand of Vengeance.
Assuran’s Tor: When Ass-Uraqn spent centuries hiding amid the wildlands of Akanu, fighting a guerrilla war against the rule of Unther, this hillock was rumoured to be one of his most secure hideaways. There is little to distinguish this hill from any of the other hills spreading north from the Maerthwatch but this does not stop locals of Akanax from coming to this hill every morning to present offerings at the Thunderous Hand of Vengeance.
Thunderous Hand of Vengeance: Sitting atop Assuran’s Tor is a modest stone temple known as the Thunderous Hand of Vengeance. It is built in the style of towered, fortified buildings that is common in Tethyr and named in honour of the god to which it is dedicated as well as the peculiar acoustics associated with it that give any loudly spoken word a thunderous resonance that carries it down the hill to the rest of Akanax below.
Hidden beneath the Thunderous Hand of Vengeance is not a secret base of Ass-Uraqn, but it does hide a narrow single man tunnel that leads to a nest of tunnels that lie beneath the Maerthwatch and were the secret to Ass-Uraqn’s success in his guerrilla war.