Ninshabur was once a great and powerful empire, constantly expanding, until disaster struck in the form of the Tarrasque. Its previously grand structures are now little more than dust-choked ruins, and its people are now only wandering ghosts.
Ninshabur was ruled by kings, but it was militaristic otherwise. Each city was a fortress, and phalanxes were trained in warfare to conquer the weaker nations to the west. The rulers were aggressive, backed by a pantheon of proud, warlike gods who have since been lost to history, just as its people have.
According to epic poems and historical records from the middle of the Age of Destiny, Ninshabur extended its phalanxes of warriors all the way to Ancient Osirion, and the states that became present-day Taldor. Destruction came to the once-great empire, however, when the Tarrasque came forth from the neighboring Pit of Gormuz. Some of the souls who were slaughtered there are restless, haunting the ancient cities and the plains that once provided their food. Explorers and settlers have avoided the center of Ninshabur's ancient civilization, in fear of the Pit and, equally, the legends surrounding the temples and ruins.
The Pathfinder Society thrives on old tales of treasure and danger, and four of their chronicles include details on the exploits of such figures as Durvin Gest in the ruined cities, vaults, and temples. Most notably, Gest infiltrated the treasure-temple complex known as Tabsagal, the vault of the countless riches of Ninshabur's kings.
About three centuries ago, clerics of Namzaruum claimed the ruin of Ezida on the Castrovin Sea for the center of their religion. Their caliph, who controls the imams proselytizing in the Windswept Wastes, lives in a temple in the largest ziggurat of this city.
Little is definitively known about the culture of Ninshabur, other than that they were an aggressive, blustery people. They worshiped a pantheon of deities of matching temperaments, who were venerated in many temples throughout the ancient cities. Such creatures as shedu, lamassu, gorgons, and sphinxes were important in the culture, and are depicted in statues and carvings. The rulers of Ninshabur sent their armies outwards to conquer other realms, with a distinctive military formation known as the phalanx being central in the campaigns.
Ninshabur sits on the southwest coast of the Castrovin Sea, the first and most powerful of the originlands. Though once an elaborate canal network irrigated the fields of the nation, now the dust has reclaimed its own and only hardy grasses grow on the plains where once there were farms. Ninshabur is adjacent to the Pit of Gormuz, which ultimately spawned the horror that left its monolithic cities in ruins. Its center was east of Qadira, and south of central Casmaron.
On the south coast of the Castrovin Sea, the ruin of the city Ezida serves as the base for the imams who preach to the tribes of the Windswept Wastes.
People and Descendants
The only true people of Ninshabur are the ghosts who wander on the farmland between the great cities. The prophets of Namzaruum keep some of the traditions of the civilization alive, but much of it is contaminated by other cultures.
The Ninshabur were far-reaching, soldiers taking wives from the natives in the outer states. Perhaps the highest concentration of Ninshabur descendants is in Qadira, though Taldans inherited some of their dusky skin from Ninshabur ancestors. Sprinklings of Ninshabur blood exist throughout Absalom, Andoran, Cheliax, Galt, Isger, Nex, Qadira, Osirion, and Taldor. The entire southern coast of the Castrovin Sea has Ninshabur heritage, as does the Windswept Wastes and the Inner Sea.