Rivers, deserts, and demi-gods
- Along the great rivers that run through the deserts are nine city-states, each with its own demi-god.
In addition to the flat roofed, mud brick houses there are five story temples in the center of every district dedicated to the city's god where farmers bring their tribute of grain and priests turn it into beer.
Below the grain silo temple/breweries are taverns and below each tavern are cool rooms for the beer.
Within each tavern there will be always be a band of grave robbers and mercenaries for hire, they only work in other cities since their primary patron is their city's governing deity.
Brigands, cutthroats, exiles, whatever their past, one demi-gods enemy is another's ally.
Commoners are thrown in the river when they die and feed the ever present crocodiles. The wealthy maintain ornate family crypts and bury all the deceased will need in the afterlife within.
Each city-states gods strength waxes and wanes with the number of worshipers. Their power also is tied to the city, with each mile outside the walls making the god weaker and weaker until they are mortal.
Only those buried within the city's walls enjoy the afterlife. Among the commoners cultists of the crocodile god are common, when discovered they are fed to one of his many children.
The river and surrounding marshes are home to dire crocodiles, giant frogs and poisonous snakes. In the arid plains are giant flightless carnivorous birds that prey upon the herds of small antelopes and any foolish enough to travel there.
The endless sand dunes hide the oasis necropolises of ancient priest-kings who ruled before the time of the demi-gods.