Urd is situated on the southern coast of the central-eastern Analogis peninsula. It is located in the northern part of the Tropic Zone. It in the eastern portion of the Kalmk desert. The terrain around it is mostly rocky, barren desert. The flora in Urd are minimal, restricted to those plants that can be found along the banks of the Nak River. Urd is built along the Nak River, which defends the western border of the city. The ocean is about 30 km due south of Urd. The climate in Urd is hot and dry. Rainstorms are torrential but extremely rare in Urd. Almost all water in the city comes from the Nak River. It is not an exaggeration to say that Urd would not exist without the Nak River. Urd is found to the south of Kardi.
The Grand High Priest of Nak rules the city-state of Urd in a life-long theocratic dictatorship. The Grand High Priest has absolute power and rules by divine mandate. The Grand High Priest is advised by the Elder Priests of Nak, which is a council of five senior priests nominated and elected by the temple population. They hold their positions for life, unless they are dismissed by the Grand High Priest. The Grand High Priest is selected by oracle. The oracle is an adolescent virgin male, replaced every five years by the Elder Priests, who is intoxicated with hallucinogenic herbs and drugs and put into a trance. The allegedly prophetic whisperings of the oracle are interpreted by the Elder Priests of Nak, supposedly revealing the identity of the new Grand High Priest when the previous one dies. This oracle's supposed prophetic abilities are also used to find other oracles and to guide diplomatic and political activities in and outside of Urd.
The current and first Grand High Priest is Nak-Ur, whose name means "Son of Nak." Nak-Ur is the founder of the organized Nakki religion. He appeared from the desert in 16 AU and declared himself to be a prophet blessed by Nak, sent to rule the world of men in the name of Nak. His authority was made legitimate by the Elder Priests of Nak, and he was formally inducted as the ruler of the city of Urd and the surrounding villages and hamlets. One of his most notable policies was the institution of a crude writing system in Urd in 22 AU. It consisted of little more than a tally system for government purposes, but it rapidly took hold and streamlined bureaucratic processes enormously. In 33 AU he declared that all adult men must be prepared to bear arms in the name of Nak or suffer charges of heresy and collaboration with Kalmk. This clever move made him both the religious and military leader of Urd, and created the first militia known to human civilization. Nak-Ur is also notable for his shrewd policy of taxing the surrounding villages more heavily than the city of Urd, keeping the bulk of his citizenry happy and unaware of the brutal taxation and oppression occurring outside of the city.
Urdite society is known for being incredibly divisive. Men hold a disproportionate amount of power over women. Only men can become oracles or priests of Nak. Kalmk, the antagonist in Nakkish religion, is portrayed as a female. Women are considered to be treacherous and lustful. Women are not considered as members of the militia and are considered to be the possessions of their fathers or, if married, their husbands. That being said, rape is considered one of the most heinous crimes in Urdite society, and the punishment handed down by the priests of Nak is almost always a gruesome execution. Women are notably much safer in Urd than in the less civilized world at large.
Boys and girls are considered to reach adulthood at age fourteen in Urdite society. An Urdite girl of good health and good standing is likely to be married off by age sixteen. An unmarried women older than twenty is considered to be impure and as such are not likely to be married for the rest of their lives. The most common profession for such a girl is temple prostitution. Sex outside of marriage is considered a heinous sin, though curiously, it is not considered sinful when with a prostitute of the temple. Men, as the physical laborers of society, are culturally thought of as warriors, with strong bodies and tactical minds. Men can lead any profession, and the most honorable become temple guards, who risk their lives in service of Nak.
Life in Urd focuses around work; agriculture and water-gathering are the two most important things to survival in the Kalmk desert. Farmers and craftsmen are considered to be very honorable, by their efforts keeping the whole of the city alive. Merchants, by contrast, are considered to be tolerated scum, men who make a living without working. Women are not allowed to be merchants in Urdite society, nor are they allowed to work with stone or take religious office. Women are regulated to working with textiles and clay.
The Temple Guard of Urd has traditionally held a force of about a tenth of the population of Urd. The sling is the most commonly recognized weapon of Urd, and is used, in conjunction with stone knives, by the Temple Guard. The Temple Guard answers to the Grand High Priest of Nak and to the lesser authority of the Elder Priests of Nak. Urd also has a mandatory conscription law in place in the event of war, established by Nak-Ur in 33 AU, where all males fourteen and older are outfitted with weapons and put under the command of the Temple Guard. Though they lack military discipline, the Temple Guard of Nak are fearless, as their religion demands of them according to the. To turn and run from an enemy was to turn one's back to Nak and condemn themselves to an afterlife wandering the desert without water, eternally suffering of dehydration and sunstroke. The Temple Guard was the first military force to make organized use of projectile weapons, launching volleys of stones at their enemies that decimated foes prior to melee engagement.
Urd was founded in 0 AU. It was pulled together by the warlord Dalkh, who unified the villages surrounding the first temple of Nak.