The Western Islands
The main human population both in the islands and in the desert coasts are the Mazikeen. They have lived on the islands for a thousand years and each island has its own dialect. The islanders are goat herders and farmers. They have straight black hair, long faces and brown skin. Among them only women can become sorcerers.
Mazikeen villages are usually on an easily defensible hill above an area of irrigated fields. The centre of the village has a large fortified granary surrounded by two or three story adobe houses. Gardens and fruit trees are grown near the village in terraced gardens or around a stream or water source below the village. These are privately owned but the irrigation system, the pastures around the village and any grain fields are communally owned and maintained. The village fountain or water source is a women only social space. Regular democratic (but men only) village meetings are held in an assembly space or building in the centre of the village. The village men spend most of their free time socialising in this area. The men elect an official called the Amin who runs the meetings with the help of the elders. The meetings administer the communal property and any other village issues and can vote to send all the men to work on communal labour projects. They have the power to fine villagers for offences ranging from insulting people, rude language, and theft and fighting. The most serious crimes are punished by excommunication, where the rest of the village will literally refuse to speak to or have dealings with such a person and their family in anyway.
Weekly markets are held outside the village on a crossroads. That way strangers have no excuse to enter the village proper. The market is usually for men only.
Mazikeen religion is centred on the tombs of famous or noble ancestors. Often a shrine is built next to a group of these tombs and this sacred space is where markets and other public or inter tribal events are held. A family of hereditary priests lives near the shrine and they are responsible for mediating disputes between villages and clans. The priests are usually men and on the islands they are almost always devoted to Amenzu the Voyager.