Drow nobility and necromancers in vast cities beneath the desert.
Races: Drow are the dominant race of Zibala, and had their origin here. Zibalans are also the leading breeders of beastfolk, and use them as slaves almost exclusively. Drow with Autumnlander blood are relatively common, and bring glory to their houses. Some wayang and fetchlings live on the edges of society.
Languages: Seba is the national language. Hamatu and Kohav are spoken as well, and even Supernal by priestesses.
Names: The given name, chosen by the mother, is followed by their surnames: Family-dri-House, dri meaning ‘of’. A man joins his wife’s house on marriage and takes her house name, but keeps his mother’s family name, however their children inherit the mother’s family and house names. Bastards are adopted into their mother’s house.
- Seba male names: Azhar, Basit, Jabril, Zakaria
- Seba female names: Hazna, Fikriyya, Kalida, Nazli
Religion: Zibalan worship sets the mysterious Queen as lady of the dark half of the year, saying she is the Star-Queen ascendant. Queen worship is very esoteric, with ceremonies open only to noble women. Common worship favors the fiend gods: the Keeper, the Guide, the Knight, and the Sifter. The other Seals have shrines in places of their concerns, but far fewer than the fiend gods do. Women are encouraged to become religious leaders, or at least keep their families active in the temple.
Geography: The sandy deserts of Zibala are said to have once been much greener, in the 1st and 2nd Ages, but- according to legend- when the Star-Queen vanished she took with her the fertility of the land. Now plant life is only really found around the Vein River and on magical worked farms.
Government: Zibala once had a Star-Queen, but the last of her line vanished in the 3rd Age. In the wake of this departure, the noble houses under her, after a brief scrabbling war for dominance, settled into a mostly stable balance. Zibalans are keenly aware of their family’s and house’s rank, and their own rank within their family. Women rank higher than men of the same age, elders above those younger, and nobles above commoners. Foreigners are usually treated civilly, but non-drow have no rights in Zibala.
Magic: Magic, especially necromancy, permeates Zibalan society: it builds and sustains their cities, grows their food, and provides most of their entertainment and infrastructure. Priestly and oracular magic, practiced almost exclusively by women, is the most common and most valued kind of magic. The traditional schools of wizardry are practiced mostly by men. One or two students are apprenticed by elder mages in long, often grueling training and secretive ceremonies. Zibalan mages use vellum scrolls, but more popular by far are spell tattoos.
Food: Zibalan food is somewhat ascetic and very spicy. Drow vary between fast and feast days, with many small portions in thin strips in chunks on sticks, for dipping, and as sushi. Their crops are few- millet, wheat and flax- and thrive best around rivers or with magical help, so most of the Zibalan diet is meat, fish, and dairy. Root vegetables and spices are grown underground, along with fungi harvested from middens. Foods prepared by preservation (jerky and beer) or specialized rot (cheese) are popular. Most fruits and vegetables are imported, but olives and dates are grown locally.