The Mark of Tyranny
“Kneel and bear witness to the will of your god!” High Moon Priest, at the start of any of Tectuktitlay’s public audiences
A city in the north of Athas, Draj is ruled by the sorcerer-king Tectuktitlay. The city is dominated by step-pyramids and giant temples to Tectuktitlay, and there are carvings of his image and the image of Athas’s two moons everywhere.
Draj is also home to House Tsalaxa, which maintains a large compound a short distance from the city gates. Tectuktitlay grants the House near total freedom in their dealings and what they do inside their compound, as long as they acknowledge him as their god and assist him in neccesary matters.
Tectuktitlay is the most strict with his enforcing of his status of godhood. Enforced daily prayers and masses are the norm for citizens, with dissenters being sacrificed on the nearest temple altar to Tectuktitlay. His templars are called Moon Priests, and enforce his laws with a brutal glee.
The city of Draj is unlike many of the other cities of Athas, in that it is not dominated by districts. There is the area of the populace, called the Gift, as Tectuktitlay grants them the right to live near their god, and then there is the walled section where Tectuktitlay’s palace, his extensive menagerie, and the two largest temples reside. While there are no distinct districts, there are still a number of locations of note.
- The Temple of the Father and the Master – This is the name Tectuktitlay has given his palace, a gargantuan step-pyramid with numerous entrances and levels. At the top of the pyramid sits Tectuktitlay’s throne, where he watches the combat below. It is rumored that the pyramid is riddled with the most dangerous traps the world has ever known.
- The Palace of Gladiatorial Combat – This is the arena of the city, located at the base of the Temple of the Father and the Master. Gladiators are given rather lush quarters, certainly deserving of the title palace, if they win. However, fights in this arena are significantly more brutal, and if the loser is not killed, it is common for Tectuktitlay to rip out both of their hearts, and cast them back into the arena.
- The Menagerie – Tectuktitlay prides himself on his godhood, and keeps some of the most dangerous creatures in Athas in his menagerie, as a symbol of his strength. Citizens are allowed free entry, provided they are stout of heart and faith.
- The Flower War Field – A large open clearing in front of the gate to the temples of Ral and Guthay, this place is used for civic celebrations, tournaments, markets, and anything else that needs a lot of room but wants the security of being in the city.
- House of the Mind – If any of Tuctuktitlay’s supporters show signs of psionic power, they are quickly whisked away to the House of the Mind, to be tested. If they pass, they are ushered into the ranks of the Initiates of the Moon, those in training to become Templars.