Population: 2,000 (100% Human – Mulan), plus 2,000 slaves (100% Human – Mulan), every regular inhabitant of Mishtan is a priest in service to one of the many churches in Mulhorand, and a Mulan of noble birth. There is a regular slave population (all of whom are Mulan), but none are permitted to reside in the settlement for more than 10 consecutive days. During the Flood Season this settlement can swell to over 30,000 slaves drafted in to construct tombs for recently departed incarnations and important members of state.
Ruler: None. Mishtan is not a real settlement in terms of a working economy, it exists purely to serve the priests who administers to the City of the Dead.
Mishtan is known as the Gateway to the Land of the Dead. It sits at the mouth of a valley into the southern edge of the Dragonsword Mountains, the entry to which is sealed by a wall over 80 ft high, and Mishtan is built around the outside of the wall.
Mishtan is a religious settlement, its inhabitants are almost entirely priests in service to the various churches of Mulhorand, these priests attend to the Kamubalt (Land of the Dead) beyond the wall; watching the tombs, organizing maintenance, dealing with infestations, etc.
Life and Society
Life in Mishtan is strictly regimented, all the priests of Mishtan attend to their daily rituals in their dedicated temples, they also rigidly attend to the Land of the Dead beyond the wall, organizing and leading slave gangs to patrol and maintain the sacred tombs and root out any infestations of monsters, tomb robbers, or undead.
There are no inns or shops in Mishtan, anything the priests need is brought by barge to the town. Visitors are not allowed unless authorized by the Pharaoh, Vizier, one of the Divine Precepts, or the ranking high priest of a church of Mulhorand.
Slaves attend to the needs of the priest, performing the manual labour required. They are housed in Mishtan for a tenday, before being rotated out for a replacement from. These slaves are in service to a particular church and replacements are provided by that church (although ultimately all slaves are currently rented from the Church of Horus-Re). This rotation and replacement is to prevent slaves from getting complacent and being tempted to loot from the sacred Land of the Dead.
Politics in Mishtan is fairly low due to the lack of economy in the settlement, and the lack of advancement opportunities. There is no Fenkh-Ab (minor precept) of Mishtan, the running of the settlement is left largely up to the individual priests in the town and the churches to which they belong.
The churches largely cooperate to patrol the Land of the Dead, and organize their own gangs to maintain the tombs and temples for individuals important to their church; although all cooperate to maintain the tombs of the Pharaoh.
Who Really Rules: In theory the ultimate authority for Mishtan resides with Fakh-Ab Temis Qhalthoun (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Magic User 7), a respected priest of Osiris who oversees the region; including Klondor, Surbroar, Ulzel, and Mishtan. Temis prefers to obey the hierarchy of Mulhorand and delegates rule of the city to the minor precepts in charge. In reality the most senior priests of the temples in Mishtan collaborate to rule the settlement of Mishtan, with major decisions decided by a vote of the council.
As a city with a population composed primarily of dead people, Mishtan has little of strategic value to make it worth conquering. Mishtan itself has no walls around it and no visible armed force to defend it.
Mishtan however contains much in the way of buried treasures and artefacts from the last few thousand years of Mulhorand’s existence. This veritable hoard of wealth and magic requires some form of protection from the multitude of greedy and desperate individuals that seek to plunder it.
The slaves of Mishtan are not well trained or armed (it is not clever or desired to train and arm slaves for combat), but the clubs and staves of 2,000 odd slaves do well enough to detain most tomb robbers.
The priests themselves are all well armed and trained and capable of defending against all but the most dangerous of individuals, but the true strength of Mishtan is hidden in plain sight, for among the priesthood are over 200 Abetlaren (divine minions). These divine minions are perfect examples of human physique, fast, strong, resilient, and further enhanced by the magic of Mulhorand, they are fanatically loyal and lethal in combat, prepared to die on the orders of any priest.
Together the slaves, priests, and divine minions defend Mishtan and patrol the Land of the Dead, however the Kamubalt is by no means defenceless, it is said that those who plunder the tombs unleash a curse that causes the dead to rise again and slaughter the thieves (and later requiring the priests of Mishtan to put them down). There are also creatures of animated flesh (not undead, but more like golems), and the tombs of the ancient pharaohs are said to be defended by the infamous gem golems (a magic now lost to the Mulhorandi).