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Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab state in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula.

OverviewEdit

Geographically isolated, Arabia is surrounded by three bodies of water, harsh terrain and an unforgiving desert. The Arabian regions have remained an unyielding enigma to all explorers and conquerors, defying explanation for its place of power throughout the millennia.

As a country, however, Saudi Arabia emerged in 1932 as a monarchy ruled by the Sa'ud family. With the discovery of oil in Arabia's Gulf region, the nation began its climb up the ladder of global status. Currently Saudi Arabia is an honored member of OPEC and one of the richest nations in the world.

Population estimates range between six to nine million people, including two million foreigners. Because Saudi Arabia does not issue tourist visas, entry is gained through official business, Islamic pilgrimage, special dispensation by the Arabian courts, or by sneaking into the country. Saudi currency is known as the riyal.

Ashirra rule over Saudi Arabia is divided into four provinces. Though it does not constitute a province, Riyadh is an independent city ruled by the Ashirra Malak, Abdul Rahmann, to whom the shaykhes offer their allegiance. In everyone of these regions, the Ashirra are plagued by a strange supernatural phenomenon known as the Keening, although it is strongest in the vicinity of Mecca and Medina.

Western ProvinceEdit

The Hejaz region is ruled by Shaykhe Tarique and his childer. With exception of the port city of Jeddah, which is open to all Ashirra, the Hajj do not permit the entry of any Kindred except for themselves into the cities of Mecca and Medina (at any rate, the sheer concentrated True Faith would drive most Ashirra screaming from the cities). This province is anti-West in its political views, though Tarique tries to deal only with religious issues. Mecca and Medina are the primary centers of Islamic faith (along with the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem). When all prayers are made, the worshiper must face Mecca.

Central ProvinceEdit

The Nafud and Nejd regions are ruled by Shaykhe Khaled, who tends to remain fairly neutral in his political objectives. This area boasts little in comparison to the Eastern and Western Provinces, but Khaled's support of the bedouin Wah'Sheen has earned him a good deal of respect. Politically and economically, however, the middle regions of Arabia do not have a great deal to offer.

Eastern ProvinceEdit

The Al-Hasa region is ruled by the Hijazi Shaykhe Muhammad, who has come under fire for his treaty with the Setites. Were he not the progeny of the Ashirra Malak of Arabia, his power would surely have been usurped by now. The Al-Hasa is regarded as the richest and the most pro-Western region of the country. It holds the renowned "Arab Formation" oil fields and is the most rapidly industrializing region of Arabia.

Al-Hasa houses a number of foreign "oil towns," including the tri-cities of Damman, Al-Khubar, and Dhahran. These three cities (located within 45 minutes of one another) form an important nexus in Ashirra politics and life. Between them can be found the Dhahran International Airport, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (a well-regarded institution), an American Air Force base, the U.S. Embassy, the Dhahran General Hospital (which boast state-of-the-art medical equipment) and the King Abdul Aziz Seaport. The King Fahd Causeway (a highway across Gulf waters to Bahrain) is an hour drive for people interested in nightclubbing (alcohol and dance clubs are illegal in Arabia, but not in Bahrain). The Causeway serves as one of the easier ways to sneak into Arabia.

However, Ashirra in the Eastern Province do not even have to go to Bahrain to acquire victims. Many of the more decadent Ashirra make their homes here, and they have established an underground nightclub here with the eager cooperation of the Setites. The nameless establishment is highly illegal, and if Abdul Rahmann knew of its presence, he would undoubtedly call for Blood Hunts on the offending vampires. Only a few humans and ghouls know of the club; the rest of the mortal "patrons" are victims/slaves (often Western women) supplied by the Setites. Here, Ashirra indulge their natures and play all manner of depraved games with their prey.

Southern ProvinceEdit

Also known as the Rhub'al Khali ("Empty Quarter"), the Southern Province holds a desert whose antiquity predates the written word. The Empty Quarter is also the greatest mystery of Arabia and is regarded as both an enigma and a place of ill portent. It is a desert that hides the lost city of Wabar (a tribal legend of a place of such evil that Allah smote it, resulting in the Rhub'al Khali). Here, say the Wah'Sheen, the very sand is host to an elemental spirit that defends the desert with unbridled ferocity by constantly shifting the fluid dunes and burying whatever enters. Few who have ventured into this region have returned.

The shaykhedom of this desolate region was given to Bandar, another progeny of the Ashirra Malak, as a sign of his displeasure with his errant childe. The "Ruler over Nothing" soon surprised everyone by gaining the blessing of Zayyat and his bedouin brood in addition to surviving within the Rhub'al Khali. He is now feared for his anti-Western views and political ambition.

ReferencesEdit

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