A World Too Small for Giants
Hufara. The land of desert. The vast, never ending dunes that stretch across the vast majority of this southeastern province dominate every aspect of life in Hufara, from the architecture to the music to the speech of its inhabitants. Low buildings built of dried clay and stone, most painted white to reflect the harsh glare of the sun, make up the skyline of the cities. People walk along the streets dressed in light, loose fabrics. Most of the garments are white under the dust, but some of the more affluent citizens adopt brightly dyed versions of the same clothing. Jewelry is worn by every Hufaran that can afford it; earrings, necklaces, and bangles clink and glint on every ear, throat, and wrist. Those that can’t afford gold can easily get their hands on copper or even tin versions, so it’s rare to see an unadorned Hufaran. The air is thick with the scent of perfumes and heavily spiced meats.
While it is physically the largest province of the Varenel Empire, it is also the most sparsely peopled. Population centers are clustered around ports, rivers, and mines, connected by roads in varying states of upkeep stretching over vast swaths of arid scrubland and desert. It is difficult to find fully accurate maps of the province, as boom towns constantly crop up and turn to ghost towns with the discovery and exhaustion of new mineral veins.
While many mines dry up as fast as they can be built, there are several that have filled Hufaran coffers for centuries. Most of these are controlled by the dwarven House Bergmann, and while House Bergmann begrudgingly pledges loyalty to Hufara, the sheer amount of gold pouring out of the mines makes them a major political player in the region. The Varenel Empire misses the steady stream of dwarven gold, and it courts House Bergmann relentlessly to regain their favor now that the war has put an end to tributes from the province.
Hufarans are by and large devout worshipers of the sun god Harik, and the two daily calls to worship (at dawn and dusk) ring out over nearly every city in the province. While Hufara certainly has wealth to rival that of Patruna, its distance means that it lacks many of the amenities of the more central provinces, especially in the more remote towns and cities. Most of the citizens live comfortably above the poverty line, but the boom towns especially attract swarms of desperate prospectors and beggars. The amount of mineral wealth the province has access to, along with the distance from Arlago, and the opportunity to seize bitterly contested lands from Erynie all made it a popular choice for Hufara to join with the other rebelling provinces.
Places of Hufara:
Kebir—The provincial capitol, Kebir sits on a peninsula between the Nahara river and the Belurie Sea, making it an ideal port both for provincial and national trade. Almost all imports come in through Kebir, and it enjoys many foreign amenities that are difficult to find elsewhere in the province.
Common Hufaran Phrases:
“Sun Stroke!” An expletive equivalent to “damn.”
“Bring an extra waterskin.” Fortune favors the prepared.
“Too much sun withers the rose.” There can be too much of a good thing.
“That’s sand in the teeth.” That’s an annoyance, in the context of something persistent and unceasing.
“A salty lip brings Harik’s favor.” Working hard, especially out in the hot sun, is time well spent.