War of the Burning Sands
Hamanu the Golden Lion boasts with good reason. Urik is a powerful city-state in the Tablelands with teeming armies, enormous walls, bustling commerce, and wise sages, governed in an orderly framework established by the self-styled King of the World. Urik’s legions have never met defeat, and Hamanu has never run from battle. Any decision of importance made in Athas must consider the wishes of Urik’s sorcerer-king.
Urik is highly organized and militarized. A variety of laws contained in the lengthy document known as Hamanu’s Code govern commerce and taxes, specify holidays, set standards for construction and artistry, and dictate family arrangements such as weddings, care for elders, and funerals. Templars test Urikite children and assign them to the vocations for which they are most suited. The city aspires to be a meritocracy, but hidden webs of patronage and influence secure important posts and stations for people with the right connections.
Although Urik seems stable and well-ordered, it is every bit as oppressive as any other city-state—perhaps more so, thanks to the number and efficiency of Hamanu’s Templars. In recent weeks, the fall of Kalak of Tyr has upset Hamanu’s delicate balance by proving that sorcerer-kings who rule for centuries might be mortal after all. Hamanu believes that he has nothing to fear from his subjects, but he knows that Urik’s fortunes depend on trade with other cities and other within them. Thus, Hamanu’s Templars keep a close eye—some say a war-hungry one—on developments in the Free City and pay for a multitude of spies across Athas.