The nature of Hyrkania and its people varies wildly depending on who you ask to tell you the tale. The people of Khitai, arguably the nation to get the shortest end of the stick, will speak of them with nothing but disdain, for Hyrkania is an entire nation of bloodthirsty marauders who take and take until there is nothing left, slaughtering women and children in their path. On the other side of the Vilayet, you’ll hear venom in Turan’s words when their former kin are mentioned; Believed to be directionless savages who have yet to see the beauty and power in a united, spanning empire and fortified walls to protect it.
The culture of Iranistan is one of art, family, honour, hospitality and fatalism. Its people are barbaric and nomadic, divided into a myriad of tribes which are banded together against threats when necessary, whilst these common threats can provide the kingdom with strength, the varying origins of the Iranistani make the kingdom fractious. Most Iranistani are familiar with horses and camels from an early age, using them for travel and food. The nomadic lifestyle of the Iranistani people sees many of them favouring tents instead of houses. However, their villages are often comprised of mud brick houses which are surrounded by a low wall, although the wealthier among them will have stone walled homes.
The life of the Desert Nomads of Shem is a complex one, with many a tall tale spun about them. Propaganda for the most part, for the Aquilonians tell tales of their debauchery and horror to scare their children, their cousins in the city-states demean them and say they are nought but simple-minded raiders whose honour begets them, and the Stygians think nothing of them other than them being base barbarians. In reality, the Desert Shemites are a nomadic people whose refutation of civilisation has turned them into a hardy people bound by the strict honour code of the Sunnah. Honour. Revenge. Shame. The Sunnah is life, and it is death.
The trading kingdoms of the meadow Shemites are renowned throughout the world. The premier trade hub in the western part of the world, and most accessible to the continent of Hyboria. Renowned for their odd superstition, too. Their inability to use straight blades for using a straight blade is an insult to the gods, their adoration of gold, jewellery, earrings and necklaces which makes their hearts soar. With a pantheon of dark and odd gods, who demand literal sacrifice in their names. It is land formed and shaped by religion, fear, and insecurity.
Stygian society is organised in a strict class system, that heavily depends on ones heritage, and will appear racist to outsiders and insiders alike, yet it is not impossible for people of different racial backgrounds to move up to the highest ranks of the aristocracy. But it is extremely rare. The highest caste, the royalty and nobility in Stygia, is comprised of tall people with black hair and fair skin, who can trace their heritage back to the original inhabitants of Stygia, the alien giant kings, and the serpent people. This group has little to no responsibilities within Stygian society, yet the structures of it keep them supplied with vast riches and slaves, which lets them live a decadent life, free of worry if they so choose. Their word is considered important, to the rest of Stygian society, despite they themselves rarely holding positions of power within the bureaucracy or cults.
The Ghulistani and the other hillmen who dwell within the lands of Ghulistan are seen as the ultimate peace-keepers, maintaining a distance between the lands of Turan, Hyrkanian and Vendhya acting as a buffer in the middle of the three powerful Kingdoms. The inhabitants themselves however, are far from peaceful, distancing themselves from the more civilised behaviours, making fun of those they deem as weak and foolish. The Himelian Mountains are separated into different regions with the main one being Ghulistan and the South-Western region being called Afghulistan.
The Splendour of the East and Mistress of the Vilayet Sea, the Empire of Turan is fiercely proud of its Hyrkanian heritage. Turan is probably the wealthiest realm west of Khitai, with the possible exception of Vendhya. The Turanian Empire is built upon the foundation of a large Hyrkanian force that swept out of the east on their horses. The kingdom boasts a large, powerful navy and several large commercial cities like Khotosun, Sultanapur, Zamboula, Shahpur, Akhlat, Khawarizm and of course Aghrapur not only the most glorious and teeming city, extending from the sea to far inland but the heart and capital of the Turanian Empire. These cities encircle the western shore of the great inland sea of the Vilayet.
Spider-haunted Zamora is a mysterious nation of thieves, kidnappers, extortionists, prostitutes and sorcerers. Small villages boast white hedge witches and the larger cities have powerful priests that work such potent magic that even the king fears them. Zamorians, as a race, tend toward dark complexions with dark eyes and black hair. Pale skin is considered beautiful and healthy and is seen as a symbol of wealth and breeding. Although Zamorians are dark skinned by nature, the working classes have the darkest skin from spending the most time outdoors.