Almost entirely desert-bound, the meager portion of bulk of Stygia’s fertile land hugs the river Styx, the longest in the known world, as it wends its way due east only to snake suddenly south toward the dark jungles of Punt and the Black Kingdoms. The greater of Stygia’s old cities also hug the banks of the life-giving Styx, though the waters are often only welcome to natives.
Stygia’s deserts are harsh and unforgiving, largely uninhabited, and are dotted with runs of dynasties of rulers long since forgotten or erased by their successors, as well as the remnants of what was the dread empire of Acheron. Most of Stygia’s food comes from trade with northern Shem or the southern lands, through they also do business with Argosseans who dare the pirate-infested waters for the wealth of this serpent-haunted kingdom.
More than a few merchants sell off their goods along the banks of the Styx itself, preferring to lose a sliver of profit than a pound of flesh. Distaste for outsiders is the worst in Khemi, where great serpents, Set’s own sons, roam the streets at night claiming what victims they wish. Only foolish outlanders venture onto the streets of Khemi after dark. Like Acheron before her, the coils of the Stygian empire are forged in sorcery and Set worship. Rule by King Ctesphon exists only at the largesse of Set’s priesthood, though they are so thoroughly corrupted by the Outer Dark that their ability to rule is effectively limited.
The Stygian army is powerful, largely made up of lowly slaves serving the highborn generals. Charioteers race across the hard-baked desert, raining arrows upon their foemen. Of late, Stygia has not cast its eye beyond the Styx, instead maintaining a defensive posture against encroaching Turan. However, the hieroglyphs of Set’s temples speak of long histories peppered with many periods of Stygian expansion. If the ancient empire does not now seek to conquer beyond its borders, it is only a matter of time before they do.