The zurnas shrieked and the drums thumped as the dancers stepped from the back room into the main chamber, the bell-chimes at their hips and wrists ringing rhythmically. They whirled between the low tables with practiced grace. Each dancer was draped in jewelry and dressed in multiple layers of silk, some scandalously transparent, their midsections bare to reveal each woman’s tattoos. Adnan was surprised to see a pair of humans among them, and said as much to his companions.

“Those two? Local girls, but they’re very new,” said Tahir, his partner in the gem trade. “Some of their breed actually come from these parts instead of the mainland. You can tell because they don’t wipe themselves with their hands or cast longing gazes at the mules.” This got a few laughs. He waved them quiet after taking another sip of his wine. “I saw them two, maybe three weeks past, the day before I left for the south island. They’re quite good, though I think they’re too short and too flat and that those smashed-in baby-faces of theirs are a bit unnerving. It takes all kinds of people to make a world, I suppose.”

“Indeed it does. The one with the feathers in her hair looks promising,” said Adnan. The others at his table groaned and called him a pelt-lover, a flesh-eater, a dog-kisser, and similar things, all of which he waved off. “You laugh as I used to laugh,” he said, “but if you ever have to spend a lonely night in a foreign port, you can learn to appreciate their special charms.” This inspired another round of jeers and good-natured insults; his friends had known of his unnatural tastes for quite a while, but considered it their duty to mock him for them whenever possible. Adnan had yet to dissuade them from doing so. They suspected he enjoyed the attention.

The human girl he’d pointed out swished nearer to them, the gold ring in her nose bright against her spice-colored skin. She was tattooed like a cityborn woman, schools of stylized fish swimming across her arms and sides, although her hair-feathers were an oddly mainlander touch. He briefly wondered if one of her parents had been a sailor. As she passed in front of him Adnan tugged on her forearm, pulling her into his lap where he curled one hand around her waist. The dancer regarded him with interest.

“Hello, lovely little one,” he purred, flashing her his best smile. “I’ve been watching you this evening. Such fine movements! You look like Kaloro has gladly inspired your days a few times, eh?” He winked and made a gesture with his free hand. She looked puzzled for a moment, then scowled and struck him soundly across the face, wriggling free of his grip. Adnan’s companions whooped riotously as she jingled towards the other side of the room, keeping as much distance between herself and them as possible. He rubbed his sore jaw approvingly.

“I’ll be feeling that one for a week. Let’s not let that sour the mood, boys. Next round’s on me?” They laughed and toasted him, and the music played on.


Liidhaga is the largest city in the Moorva region; its population consists of a majority of dhaja residents. Several minority groups, including Yddr expatriates, have formed enclaves within the city, particularly in the remains of Old Liidhaga, which has come to be known as Lowercity. As a port town, Liidhaga is home to much of the world's shipbuilding trade, as well as the hub of imports and exports.

The architecture of Liidhaga features extensive stonework similar to the ruins of Harappa, the wats of Southeast Asia, and some ancient Greek designs. Heavy use of tile and reliefs is prevalent.

Liidhaga is situated on the west side of a large swampy area on Moorva, bounded by a river on the west and the ocean to the north and east. Plains and hills stretch to the south of the city limits; like much of the rest of Moorva, these are home to diverse agricultural products. Sheep and goats are common livestock, and crops include olives, grapes, and other staples of the real-world Mediterranean countries.

The city is divided up into several districts, namely Lime, Harbor, Lowercity, and the financial district. Streets are named based on their benefactors or primary interests, and are marked by banners and obelisks. An aqueduct supplies much of the city with fresh water.

Liidhaga is home to a massive population of scholars; the city is perhaps the most educated remaining in the world. The Great Library of Liidhaga is a common destination for seekers of knowledge or explorers trying to sell exotic bits of lore.

Oh, and they like curry in Liidhaga. Kebab, too.

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