Amol-Kalit is a fractious land. Many governments are ephemeral at best, as they constantly collapse or are disposed of in coups, wars, and revolutions.
The seven large cities of Amol-Kalit tend to hold the highest concentrations of political power. They are ruled independently of one another and tend to extend their influence some distance beyond their city walls - generally to surrounding agricultural and mining settlements, plus a handful of forts. The rulers of these cities adopt any number of titles, though among the most popular are Emir, Sultan, or King. The cities vary wildly in how they govern themselves, and it’s said no two are exactly alike.
On the outskirts of these cities are various smaller, independent settlements. They hold precious little economic, military, or political power on their own. Mostly they serve as game pieces for the myriad of warlords, bandit ringleaders, and other would-be conquerors who are constantly vying for control of the region. Rulers of these settlements - the peaceful ones, anyway - are typically called Sheikhs. Towns typically try to align themselves with the larger cities for protection. Yet the cities are all too frequently shown to be unreliable suzerains at best. Towns change allegiance far more frequently than the cities.
Nomadic tribes of a variety of species make their home among the dunes and the badlands. Many nomads try to avoid the politics of the cities, but some are known to trade with them.
, predictably, have come to be the dominant population in Amol-Kalit. They reproduce far faster than their neighbors, and are far more zealous in expanding population centers. Humans from Amol-Kalit are typically referred to as Kaliti, though this is mostly a term of convenience. There are many different human cultures and traditions in Amol-Kalit - Kaliti is merely a catchall term. A human from the lands controlled by the city of Ragash may prefer to be identified as Ragashan, for example.
The nomadic tribes that keep to the outskirts of civilization in Amol-Kalit are predominantly comprised of Sand Elves. Aside from the Kaliti itself, they are the most popularly known inhabitants of the region.
Beyond the humans and Elves of Amol-Kalit, there are minor populations of lesser-known races. Some have integrated successfully with the humans and live as equals in cities and towns. Others prefer more remote climes, existing solely as scavengers and nomads. Humanoids with the features of lizards, serpents, scarabs, scorpions, and lions are among the most frequently spoken of.
Religion in Amol-Kalit is dominated by the Annunaki Pantheon
. Though they arrived with the humans, many of Amol-Kalit’ minor populations have also taken (at least partially) to worshiping the Annunaki Pantheon. The Annunaki are known for being fairly active in the affairs of mortals, striving constantly against one another to win worshipers and bestowing powerful favors on their champions.
Minor populations, such as the Sand Elves, keep to their own theology and pantheons. But compared to the Annunaki Pantheon, their prevalence in the region of Amol-Kalit is remarkably limited.
Little remains known of Amol-Kalit’s history prior to the human migrations. Sand Elves are theorized to have dominated the region thousands of years ago, a story supported in the folklore of various non-human populations. These tales describe the Sand Elves as either brutal slavers, ruthlessly subjugating the other minor populations... Or benevolent peacekeepers, resolving conflicts diplomatically and spreading prosperity. What remains consistent is that the Sand Elves were then ruled by a series of Pharaohs, and that they worshiped a formless, genderless deity known as Abtatu.
What caused the decline of the civilization can only speculated at. Internal turmoil, plague, or slave revolt all seem likely, given the separate oral traditions encountered. Most scholars surmise it must have been all three. Some legends
speak of Sand Elves holding concert with dangerous "outsiders" who inevitably brought ruin. Regardless, by the time humans arrived in Amol-Kalit, the Sand Elves had already been living as nomads for hundreds of years prior to the human migrations - either ignorant of their past, or fearful to speak it. The oral traditions of the Sand Elves themselves never make any mention of their supposedly glorious past. As far as they go say, the Sand Elves have always been nomads, and nomads they shall remain.
When the first humans arrived in Amol-Kalit many centuries ago, they quickly adapted to the harsh environment. Their quick grasp of agriculture enabled them to tame the fertile floodplains and sustain a large population. It was around this time that the Annunaki Pantheon first appeared and began to compete for worshipers among both the human and non-human populations. Whatever proto-religions the migrating humans brought with them were quickly eclipsed and supplanted.
It was not long after the cities were settled and large that the first wars began. While war and conflict was a grim inevitability everywhere else, for the people of Amol-Kalit it became a constant - practically a way of life. Though there are occasional periods of peace - and of unity against outside invaders, Amol-Kalit has never been united under one government. It has never known a true or lasting peace and, at this rate, it likely never will.