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Azir

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Azir
Locator Azir.png
by User: Otto didact
Ethnicity Makabaki
Capital Azimir
Ruled by Prime Aqasix Yanagawn the First
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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Azir is a kingdom in south-west Roshar.[1] Its capital is Azimir.[1] The people and language of Azir are both called the Azish.

Geography and Ecology[edit]

During the Silver Kingdoms era, it was part of Makabakam[2], the largest of the Silver Kingdoms. Azir is the largest such nation that was formerly Makabakam and Azir borders Yulay, Desh, Yezier, Emul and Tashikk.[1]

Azir is suggested to be warmer than Alethkar, but cooler than Iri.[3] It was even known as far as Azir that if you were sick, King Taravangian of Kharbranth would take you in.[4]

The Azish have a legend about truthberry jam, a preserve made from an Azish fruit, which says that those who consume the berries speak only the truth until the next sunset. The berries themselves are harmless, but the leaves and stalks of truthberry plants can be burned, which makes people intoxicated and euphoric. Shallan Davar remarks to Kabsal that they should be called birthberries due to the fact of intoxication.[5]

Notable Places

History[edit]

Not much is known about the history of Azir. Many centuries ago, Sadees the Sunmaker conquered Azir, killing ten percent of the population. Sadees rationalized this act by claiming the Azish were uncivilized for not using eye color as a basis for their social hierarchy.[6] In some areas, Sadees ordered a certain number of executions a day. In others he declared all men with hair at a certain length to be executed.[7] Prime Aqasix Snoxil was the emperor during the conquest of Sadees. Snoxil's finger has been preserved as a relic.[6]

Azir is known to have very few Soulcasting Fabrials, the most famous of which has the ability to Soulcast bronze.[6] Many buildings in Azimir have bronze domes. The palace of the emperor even has decorative soulcast bronze trees.[8]

The capital, Azimir, has an Oathgate in the Grand Market, which was reopened by Lift during Dalinar Kholin's visit to Azir.[6]

Politics[edit]

Member states[edit]

The Azish Empire, despite its name, is closer in nature to a confederacy of states. It's composed of nine member countries: Tashikk, Yezier, Emul, Steen, Alm, Desh, Marat, Tukar and Azir itself. While all those nations consider the Prime Aqasix to be their emperor, other than Azir, they are subject in name only. However, leaders of nations within the Empire cannot marry without the Prime's permission, and the states themselves typically follow Azir's lead when dealing with international politics. Historically, Tashikk and Yezier are the closest to the Azish throne.[9]

Government[edit]

The Azish government is a bureaucracy, composed of several levels of scribes. One may join the public servant caste by a written exam; though the test is nominally open to all citizens, the requirements for passing mean that most positions are taken by people whose social status is already high, as they're the only ones capable of affording sufficient education.[10]

The highest-ranking members of the government, other than the Prime Aqasix, are the viziers. They serve as advisors to the Prime, with enough political pull to force their decisions on them, and are responsible for selecting a new Prime following the death of the previous one. Their high status and broad knowledge mean the next Prime will often be one of their number, as they can make their applications most convincing.[11]

The Prime Aqasix[edit]

The elected ruler of the Azish Empire bears the title of the Prime Aqasix. Their symbol of power is a traditional hat with sweeping sides called the Imperial Yuanazixin.[12]

The Azish believe that they are never without a Prime. When a Prime dies, the election of a new one is considered as a search for the person who is, and always has been, a Prime. Any person, except for the scions, can apply for the position; however, the process requires many forms and essays, which are reviewed by viziers. The Azish pride themselves on this method, as it avoids succession wars.[8]

The Prime is considered to belong to the public. Citizens can enter a lottery to watch the Prime sleep, eat, and perform other daily tasks. They can also collect and keep relics from the Prime, such as a nail clipping or a strand of hair.[8]

When the Prime issues a mandate to the public, citizens have one month to make their grievances known before being forced to comply. These grievances are often displayed as logical arguments and protests.[6]

Culture[edit]

A folio page of Azish male public servant fashion from Liafor by Dan dos Santos

The Azish social hierarchy is based on education and elevation through the bureaucratic governmental system. Viziers and scribes are among the highest ranking members of society. Scribes are stratified by level and then circle.[12] The pattern on one's clothing indicates rank within the bureaucracy.[12] Regular citizens who are not members of the government are known as discrete.[8]

Peoples[edit]

Azish people are described as being short and dark-skinned, deep brown, but not true black like some parshmen.[13][14][15] Not all dark-skinned peoples are Azish, however.[14] The Azish people have a smooth accent, like the Emuli.[16] They are peaceful, and prefer education to war. However, in battle they use bows and spears. Most of the Worldsinger population is Azish.

Religion[edit]

Many Azish worship Yaezir, or Jezrien. The other Heralds are known as Kadasixes.[17] Scions are religious clerics who travel the kingdom bestowing blessings.[8] Some scions are also involved with the bureaucracy.

Clothing[edit]

The Azish are known for wearing vibrant, colorful clothing. They are usually seen in robes or cloth wraps. Each article of clothing has a traditional Azish pattern on it. Azish fashion styles have been heavily influenced by male civil servant outfits.[18]

Social norms[edit]

In contrast to Vorin countries of the East, the Azish do not seem to practice the division between sexes. Women do not wear safehands, and men and women can be seen in both military and political positions without any indication that such is unusual.[19][11] However, also in contrast to Vorin states, the Azish have somewhat stricter views on relationships. In a homosexual couple, one member is expected to apply for "social reassignment", and should thereafter behave - and be treated as - a member of the opposite gender.[20][10]

Notable Azish[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • The Azish view of homosexuality is based on middle-ages Indian society, wherein the gay person would be "socially reassigned" and be expected to exist and act as the opposite gender.[20]
  • The Azish government is partially based on the Chinese Confucian system.[22]

Notes[edit]

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