Midnight at the Oasis
Draj is not a nice place to visit. Violence and conflict are its highest ideals, and warriors are held in the highest esteem. Soldiers commonly spar with their counterparts in Raam, and slavers capture those who wander the Road of Kings and raid villages to replace those lost in labor or sacrifice.
The sorceror-king of Draj is Tectuktitlay, who insists that he be worshipped as a god. Calling himself the Father of Life, Tectuktitlay’s image is seen everywhere in Draj — on banners, paintings, the sides of buildings, and statues. Whether his people actually believe he is divine, he is worshipped regardless — worship strongly enforced by his moon priests.
Techtuktitlay particularly enjoys blood sport and sacrifice, and he has been known to sacrifice many slaves in pursuit of his power, their hearts cut from their chest to honor him. Slaves do not enjoy long lives in Draj.
The city is unfriendly to outsiders. It’s surrounded by a muddy ditch and thus only accessible by a single bridge. Further, because of Tectuktitlay’s jealous nature, the citizens are mostly insular and distrustful of outsiders.
Draj is similar in style to stereotypical Aztec/Central American cultures. Despite its bloodthirsty reputation, the city actually is an agricultural powerhouse, and it’s also one of the biggest cities in Athas, second only to Raam.