Rhukadh is the largest and oldest zughru nation. With a higher basic level of technology than any other nation in Kalyr, it’s the only instance of anything approaching an industrial economy. Rhukadh is currently at war with the kandar cities of Filgeth and Calbeyn over a long running border dispute.
Although known as the City Beneath the Mountains, Rhukadh rules the whole area bounded by the old Kavarnak road in the north and the ruins of Kavarnak itself to the east. The borders to the south and west are less well defined. The entire area is extremely mountainous. About half the population lives underground. The capital, Rhukadh city itself, lies deep within the mountain. It spreads over a wide area, with a low population density merging into other nearby cities. Other smaller cities such as Kulkthu, Lurkst, Nagasni, Voskil, Kurtu and Garsenn are partly underground and partly on the surface. Most larger cities are linked by the combined railway and canal network centred on Rhukadh city. There are also many small communities scattered over the whole area, many of which are very remote.
While kandar cities have powerful guilds, the zughru of Rhukadh have a guild system dominates all aspects of society. There is no currency, goods and services are bartered between the guilds, and essentials such as food and housing are distributed by the guilds themselves. Everything is extremely bureaucratic The war, while it does constitute a drain on the economy, gets blamed for all shortages which are really the result of bureaucratic inefficiency. The ordinary zughru in the tunnels are starting to complain, but the rumbles of discontent are being ignored by those higher up. Few zughru have any contact with other races, and many of those living underground have never seen daylight.
The heads of the various guilds form the collective government of Rhukadh. Power struggles within the guilds are commonplace, but open disputes between guilds are extremely rare. The current head of the Administrator’s Guild, and effective leader of Rhukadh, is Khazurutag, who has held the post for fifteen years. He is challenged by at least three rivals. He has a reputation for ruthlessness. Other significant figures are Aghrutu, the warlike head of the Warriors, the scheming Zuzir of the Transport Guild, and the rather impulsive Nagzutu of the Artificers The biggest political issue is the war with the kandar. This occupies much of the time for many guild heads, as well as diverting many resources and people. The area being fought over is a barren and useless wasteland, but it’s the principle which counts.
Adventuring in Rhukadh
Rhukadh is a totalitarian bureaucracy gone mad, and outsiders will find it a bewildering place to navigate. Since there’s a lot of physical diversity amongst the zughru race, adventurers who somehow stumble into Rhukadh’s tunnels may find that zughru do not recognise them as members of a different race, and attempt to assimilate them into their own guild system.