Arrida consists of a mainland and a peninsula. The city of Al Shabah is located at the tip of the peninsula. In the west lies the Endless Ocean, with the Southwest Islands south of the peninsula. In the north is the Constant Sea. Arrida is connected to Toscano by a small stroke of land. In the north-west is the Sea of Rostov, and in the east Arrida is connected to the Temujai Empire by a stroke of land. In the south lies the Impassable Desert.
Almost all of the country is desert, and is dangerous to enter, partially because the Ranger's Northseekers do not work due to the large iron deposits, as well as a general lack of food and water. There are however, two series of wells in the desert, separated by the Red Hills: the wells of Khor-Abash and the wells of Orr-Sann. The capital, Mararoc, is the home of the Emrikir and the government, and lies at the root of the peninsula. The largest port is Al Shabah, ruled by the Wakir Seley el'then.
Not much is known about the history of Arrida, other than the fact that they invented coffee (Kafay) and the low-alcohol drink arikiki. In the past, raids by Skandians and Tualaghi occurred frequently. However, after the events of Erak’s Ransom, the Tualaghi have been disbanded and there seems to be friendly relations with Skandia moving forward.
Arridi greet others with what is called the traditional desert greeting, wherein one touches their right hand to their lips, then forehead, then lips again. The gesture comes from an old tribal saying: “We will eat. We will consider. We will talk.” It is customary to return the gesture.
Arridi: The majority. They generally live in the cities, towns and villages at the coast. They are said to be the most efficient fighting force in the world, with the possible exception of the Temujai.
Bedullin: The proud nomadic tribes, led by Aseikh's, which can generally be identified by the yellow and white headscarves they wear.
Tualaghi: Blue-scarved bandits who plunder cities and torture their captives. Their only allegiance is to money and greed.
In the Ranger’s Apprentice series, the only religion mentioned is that of the Tualaghi. The Tualaghi are called the Forgotten of God, and Yusal admits that he doesn’t “pretend to know God’s will”. When it comes to the desert, Arridis follow the Word of the Law, which states what one should do in the desert, such as leaving a man with water.
More information is given in the Brotherband series. In Soccoro, a city on the north-western coast of Arrida, it is mentioned that the inhabitants worship three main gods: Hahmet (god of war), Jahmet (god of love), and Kaif (god of good harvests, fair weather, business success, and family matters). It is also stated that they have demigods, such as Ikbar. Later in the series, the Herons and Gilan come into contact with the Scorpion cult, who worship Imrika, the Scorpion goddess of death and destruction. It is said to have been based on a warped religious system.
The Arrdi religion does not allow consumption of alcohol, with the notable exception of arikiki. It is for this reason that the drink is very popular, being drunk by even young Arridis.
The Arridi government bears much resemblance to that of the Araluen government. They have a supreme ruler, the emrikir (the equivalent of the king), and multiple smaller, local leaders, known as wakirs (similar to barons). The Emrikir mainly has power over the coastal regions and some cities in the desert. The vast desert is controlled by the Bedullin and the Tualaghi. Arrida is divided into multiple provinces of varying importance and size. This can dictate which wakirs have more power or a senior level.
However, contrary to most customs, the Arridi succession is through the matriarchal, or mother's, line, not the male line. All taxes that are received in a given province are stored in the regional capital's khadif (town center) until they are relocated to Mararoc, the capital of Arrida. Via a secret message, the emrikir will dispatch an armed caravan a few times a year when the coffers at the local khadif become dangerously full.
Little is known of the Arridi before the time of Erak's Ransom, though Araluen has had some dealings with them before, as Halt, when preparing to leave for Arrida, was briefed with information only a year old. Notably, many Wakirs and officials are said to be on a constant lookout for bribes, and thus would be easily influenced by foreign interests and outsiders.
Foreign Relations Edit
It is unknown to what degree Arrida has foreign relations. They are members of the Silisian Council, so they do exchange seals with other nations, including Araluen, and have a substantial amount of trading done in their ports, some of which may or may not be Araluen merchants. They also have a treaty with Araluen, thought it is unknown to what degree this treaty is. Despite a recent raid, they seem to have normalized relations with Skandia.
Although Arrida is part of the Silisian Council, it has a separate character script to the other countries, meaning that contact and transactions are limited.
They are often at war, not with other nations, but with the Tualaghi that also inhabit Arrida. The Tualaghi often raid their towns and then escape out into the desert. The Arridi have in the past had dealing and alliances with the Bedullin, nomadic tribes that also inhabit the deserts Arrida, since they both have a common interest in the defeat of the Tualaghi.
The Arridi military is based mostly on horsemen, as large groups of infantry cannot cross the desert which makes up most of Arrida. All forces used by the Arridi are lightly armed and armored. They rely on agility and fast cuts and slashes, not brute force or power. The knight is non-existent in the Arridi military as their armor would be impossible to wear in the desert climate. Infantry in the Arridi military wear metal studded leather jerkins, which allow for protection and flexibility at the same time. A simple acorn shaped helmet is worn and interwoven steel plates hang down to cover the back of the Arridi warrior's neck. Standard weapons used by the infantry are a lightweight saber and a bow. The cavalrymen carry a similar arsenal of weapons with the addition of a slender lance which they can also use when dismounted. According to Halt, the Arridi are the most effective fighting force in the world, rivaled only by the vicious Temujai, and according to Horace they have the Skandians as rivals as well.
- The Arridi are based on Eastern cultures such in Northern Africa as well as Arabia.
- The Bedullin are the equivalent of the modern day Bedouin tribes. The Bedullin's name also resembles the name Bedouin.