|Proper Name||The Great Padashan Empire|
|Ruler||His Most Exalted Imperial Magnificence, Heir to the Soverign Light, Holder of the Sacred Star Sceptre, Light of the Dome of Heaven, Guardian of the Oracle, the Emperor Sovlang, the Brilliant, Incomparable Champion of the Dunes|
|Population Density||20 people
per square kilometer
(53 people per square mile)
|Demographics||Human (Padashi) 40%, Human (Anquar) 15%, Human (Ithrian Southern) 10%, Magrakian 7%, Orc 5%, Ogre 4%, Alakubu 4%, Eshtari 3%, Aswanar 3%, Sybrenar 2%, Mandalar 2%, Hurkyte 2%, Urtas 1%, Other 1%|
|Languages||Padashi 75%, Quaryn 10%, Southern 5%, Secambru 5%, Other 5%|
|Capital City||Aramanda (Population: 241,700)|
|National Colors||Tan and black.|
|Year Founded||312 CY|
|Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods||Sandstone, copper, rubies, marble, silk, precious stones, orichalcum, cotton, rice, wheat, lamb, goats, camels, river oxen, llamas, pottery, woven rugs and tapestries, tea, coffee, herbs, dates, almonds, figs, garlic, potatoes|
|Government Type||Imperial Autocracy|
|Government Stability||Very stable|
|Enemies||Anquar, Aswanar, The Border Clans, Secambru|
|Technology Level||Middle Ages|
|Primary Religion||Hramish (Official State religion).|
|Total Land Area||
1,043,300 square kilometers
(402,800 square miles)
|Terrain||Deserts and oases, hills and grasslands, rocky badlands|
Padashan is a massive, sprawling empire which dominates central Qeshir. This vast land is saturated with religious fervor, deep rooted tradition. It is ruled by a single family, a dynasty, which has absolute control. Now in the eleventh dynasty. Much of the population lives in small farming villages along the great Nupar River Valley or one of its tributaries. Nomadic herders roam the vast dry regions of the interior. Slavery is widely practiced in throughout the Padashan Empire. Most are primitive foreigners (aswanar, eshtari, etc) or are financially indebted. Slaves are usually well treated.
Varied. The empire covers a lot of area. Several different borders. Most of the Padashan Empire has a hot, arid climate and poor soil which makes large scale farming difficult. The Empire is also poor in timber, but has good mineral resources. The central province of the Padashan Empire is Nalihar, the coastal northern region where the capital city is found. Nalihar has a mild climate, excellent soil, good stone quarries, some timber and good mineral wealth. The province of Nalihar also conducts extensive irrigation which improves farming.
The interior of the Padashan Empire is vast and dry with poor soil. Little farming is conducted her as most of the land supports only hardy grasses and scrub brush. These large barren regions are collectively known as the Drylands.
The Nupar River is extremely important to the Empire. Most of the Padashan population lives in tiny villages that lie along the course of this mighty river or one of its tributaries.
Camels, sheep and goats are the most common beasts of burden and food animals in Padashan. Emus and llamas are found in the higher elevations. River oxen are found in the lowlands, but are used mainly for labor rather than food. Horses are found in the broad grasslands and are raised by the wealthy as steeds. The dryer regions are infested with beetles and scorpions.
While the Great War raged across the continent of Ithria, many tribes and small kingdoms of Qeshir fought petty wars amid the ruined world. Shargorath, the greatest wizard of Qeshir, had spent a long career studying the magic and texts of the Alliance Mage Lords. He was responsible for the creation of many great magical items in Qeshir and had served many nobles and kings. However, his greatest work lay ahead of him.
In 285 CY, Shargorath, now an old man, allied himself with Prince Pelladar of the Kingdom of Samakith, a small but prosperous kingdom in north central Qeshir. Prince Pelladar and Shargorath found that they were in agreement on many political and philosophical ideas. They both agreed that the best way to end the many small wars of the lands was to unite the kingdoms under a strong central ruler, while allowing the various kingdoms to maintain their unique cultural identity as allied provinces. Shargorath had, for years, worked on the design of a magical machine that could bring about such change. However, the means to finance such research and construction were staggering. Prince Pelladar agreed to fund the project if it could be used to bring about their vision of the future and so it was agreed.
With funding from the prince, Shargorath began on his greatest work... the crowning achievement of a long and illustrious career. It took him another 22 years and several trips to Ithria to further his knowledge of Alliance magic. In the year 307 CY, he completed his work and the great Oracle was turned on for the first time.
Prince Pelladar, now King Pelladar, promoted Shargorath to the position of grand vizier and personal advisor. Shargorath was the only person able to understand the complex workings of the great machine. The great Oracle allowed the Kingdom of Samakith to win critical battles and defeat kingdoms many times larger. In 312 CY, King Pelladar appointed himself Emperor Pelladar and the Samakith dynasty and the Great Padashan Empire were born.
The emperors of Padashan have used the powers of the Oracle for centuries now and helped shape the Empire with it. It is because of the Oracle that Padashan has become so powerful.
Shargorath died in 344 CY. Before he died, he trained several apprentices in the use and functioning of the great Oracle. However, it did not pass on the knowledge of Huridian nor the secrets of Alliance magic. It is believed that Shargorath was the last wizard in the Padashan Empire to possess the awesome power of Alliance magic.
When Emperor Parsang built the great capital city of Aramanda in 694 CY, he also ordered the construction of the Dome of Eternity and ordered that the great Oracle be moved to the Dome. It took almost a full year and the cooperative work of 20 wizards to disassemble, transport and reassemble the Oracle. All of this was conducted under the supervision of the greatest wizard of Parsang's court, a sorcerer named Imanubral.
In hindsight, it has become apparent that the Oracle never functioned quite as well after its relocation to the Dome of Eternity. It is possible that something was assembled incorrectly or that some lenses were out of alignment. It could also be that something has been lost in the translation of Shargorath's knowledge as it has been passed down from generation to generation. Perhaps current wizards simply lack the power to use it correctly. In any case, the machine has never functioned since the move as well as it did when it was first constructed and operated by Shargorath. The Oracle is still very useful to the empire, but it's influence is less in modern times than it was when Shargorath and King Pelladar first used it to build an empire.
The Oracle still functions to this day. It is consulted at least once each Drellis cycle. During the last 200 years, the Padashan Empire has used the Oracle to keep an eye on King Dalmoran. Many in Padashan believe that the day will come when the Kingdom of Anquar will send vast armies against the Empire and they trust that the Oracle will grant them foreknowledge of such events.
Throughout it's existence, the Padashan Empire has been ruled by a series of dynasties. They have been 10 dynasties to date. Each dynasty is a single family which rules with absolute power. The family dynasty is ruled by the eldest male who holds the title of Emperor. He then passes out political offices to family members. A dynasty usually lasts until the current reigning emperor is overthrown and voluntarily passes the throne to a new Emperor of a different bloodline.
|Pre-Dynasty||000-0312||The first three centuries after the World Storm were a time of political and cultural upheaval. Chaos raged across much of Qeshir as clans, tribes, towns and small kingdoms fought wars even while they were preyed upon by roving bandits and horrible monsters. It was a struggle to survive the cataclysmic changes of the world.|
|Samakith||0312-0765||The first dynasty, the rule of the Samakith family, brought about the initial unification of the empire. This founding of the empire is tied to the construction of the great Oracle. Under the rule of Emperor Parsang, the capital city was founded along with the Dome of Eternity and the relocation of the Oracle.|
|Akedaman||0765-1035||Rule of the empire passed to General Tufal Akedaman who focused on solidifying the empire and expanding it. Many of the rules and protocols of the Imperial Court were established during the Akedaman dynasty.|
|Alyra||1035-1497||The Alyra dynasty was first ruled by a former general who focused on strengthening the military. Many of his descendants followed his example.|
|Gatana||1497-1521||A short lived dynasty known for excessive waste, conflict between warring religious factions, heavy taxation, government corruption and an increased slave trade.|
|Ikiya||1521-1787||A two century dynasty known for scholarly pursuits and scientific advancement|
|Halkath||1787- 1845||The Halkath dynasty was torn by a major civil war between two ruling noble families.|
|Galorawan||1845-2106||The Galorawan family won the civil war of the last dynasty, thus gaining control of the empire. They continued expansion and growth of Padashan.|
|Tahanolath||2106-2374||Known for an eccentric (some say mad) line of emperors that established many harsh laws that were later repealed.|
|Lecinar||2374-2518||Began by a brutal warlord who led an aggressive military campaign against bordering nations. Greatly increased the slave trade and used conscripted soldiers to fight wars.|
|Hatanalan||2518-||Current reigning dynasty. Somewhat more compassionate than predecessor.|
Officers of the Padashan Imperial Court
The primary function of the Padashan Imperial Court is to carry out the day to day orders of the Emperor and manifest his words into a functioning system of laws. Members of the Court typically reside at the Palace with the Imperial Family and are entitled to a great deal of respect from the common populace as they are considered direct representatives of imperial authority.
The Imperial Court tends every need of the Imperial Family and surrounds them with servants. At the same time, the Imperial Court influences the nation by maintaining the Emperor’s schedule and advising and counseling him on economic, social and military matters. All legislation and official documents pass through the Imperial Court before reaching the Emperor with very few exceptions.
Imperial Grand Vizier
The Imperial Grand Vizier is the highest ranking and most trusted personal advisor to the Emperor himself. Serving the Grand Vizier is a number of lesser advisors and Imperial Stewards.
This official is responsible for maintaining an accurate records pertaining the Empire’s population and wealth – including the annual census, immigration and emigration, a breakdown of all demographics and the status of all capital, fortifications, buildings, cities, towns and other permanent structures.
The Imperial Magus advises the Emperor on matters of arcane and the occult. He maintains an accurate record of powerful magic items in the employ of the Empire, conducts research for the Emperor and sometimes teaches magic to members of the Imperial Family.
The Imperial Chronicler is the keeper of the Imperial Archives, a vast collection of literature and historical artifacts. He is responsible for all museums and libraries in the Empire. The Chronicler researches and records important events of the day and compiles them in order to maintain the Annals of the Padashan Empire, a detailed historical record of the nation. These annals are a matter of public record and open to all citizens.
Imperial Master Scholar
The Imperial Master Scholar is the head of the imperial scholars. It is the duty of this office to ensure that educational institutions are maintained for the advancement of the nobles of the empire. This office also appoints the heads of all such schools and academies. The Imperial Master Scholar works closely with the Imperial Archivist and Chronicler.
This individual is the Voice of the Court. He is an orator and often gives speeches to the Imperial Court and other assembled nobles. The Imperial Speaker also serves as the Emperors personal secretary, greeting foreign dignitaries, drafting documents and traveling to distant lands as an imperial envoy of the Emperor.
Imperial Lord Marshal
The Imperial Lord Marshal oversees the military of the Padashan Empire. He rules over a number of Marshals, each of whom commands one of the Imperial armies. The Lord Marshal and his armies oversee the security and defense of the entire Empire.
The Imperial Treasurer manages the Imperial Treasury and maintains an accurate account of the empire’s wealth. He works closely with the Imperial Registrar. The Treasurer is the Emperor’s primary financial advisor and wields great influence with regards to where money is spent.
Imperial Chief Magistrate
This official sits in judgment of Padashani Imperial Law. Usually, he oversees the legal actions of the imperial provinces and on special occasions, will be called upon to adjudicate cases brought before the Imperial Court. Finally, the Imperial Magistrate advises the Emperor in legal matters and is often consulted in the creation of new laws.
The Stewards are the low ranking members of the Imperial Court. They serve as messengers, envoys and general assistants to the higher ranking officers of the Court. The Imperial Court typically employs many dozens of Stewards. Each officer of the court has a small staff of Stewards serving him.
Each village is ruled by a rather informal gathering of clan elders. The clan elders arbitrate disagreements of all kinds - disputes between family members, criminal acts and the like. The clan elders even give opinions on farming techniques, the repayment of debts and religious obligations.
The Imperial Armed Forces of Padashan consist of six groups - the Aramandan City Guard, the Palace Guard, the Emperor's Personal Guard, the Imperial Navy, the Imperial Heavy Guard (mounted cavalry) and the Imperial Land Guard (common soldiers). Some 240,000 soldiers make up the combined Imperial Forces. In addition, each province, town and village maintains a local militia.
Most Padashan soldiers wield scimitars and studded leather armor. Archers use light recurve bows. Officers wear tunics over light chainmail and wield scimitars like their men.
The Emperor loves to go on long hunting trips. He is so wealthy that he has had a series of small castles built specifically for the hunting party to stay in during the journey. When not being used for hunting forays, these castles serve as garrisons and military outposts.
The Padashan Empire has a strong and vibrant economy that spans the spectrum of goods. Primary exports include tea, coffee, herbs, sandstone, woven textiles, camels, llamas and emus. Also, wheat, barley, dates, citrus fruits and copper.
The Padashan Empire levies import and export tariffs, port taxes and sales tax to generate revenues. Each province pays a land tax and population tax to Aramanda each year.
Because of water scarcity, agriculture is limited to coastal regions and the Nupar river valley. In the interior, where water is scarce, water itself is a valuable commodity and is used a great deal in trade and barter.
Padashan nobles, both men and women, wear facial makeup and eyeliner. This is true in all regions of the Padashan Empire.
Many Padashani drink tea in a somewhat formal tea ceremony. It is tradition to pour out a few drops of the beverage before taking the first sip. This is only done when drinking outside - in a garden, in the desert, etc. This is to honor the parched desert with a drink before partaking.
In Padashan, to openly admire an object or possession is to obligate the owner to give it to you. Too much praise can lead to awkward social situations. This varies with the size/value of the object. The more valuable an object is, the more lavish praise would be required before any obligation would occur. This also depends on the social status of the two people involved. A poor man is more obligated to give to an admiring wealthy man. However, the wealthy consider it poor taste to obligate the poor to them. Also, while the poor may exchange common items in this way (a basket, a camel, etc), the wealthy exchange much more valuable items (a jewel, a horse, a sword, a daughter). Arranged marriages often begin this way. Almost all marriages in Padashan are arranged between fathers.
The Nupar River Valley
A sizeable portion of the Padashan population live along the Nubar River Valley and they are known as Nuparians. The Nuparians dwell in mud-brick homes with dirt floors and thick walls that insulate against the afternoon heat. Flat roofs, exposed to the northern evening breezes, serve as cool sleeping quarters as well as storage areas. Wealthier families may have a second or even third floor to their house. Most villagers keep animals in pens or coops and fertilize their fields with the droppings and use the animals for food. After a day of tending the fields or working crafts, most return to home for the evening meal. The women with jars balanced on their heads make the trek to the community well, and children with donkeys haul the precious liquid in clay urns. In extended families, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all feel clan obligations, and these ties unite them in good times and bad. If an individual's crops fail, all relatives contribute from their own supplies. If an animal is fatally injured, they will slaughter it and each family within the clan will buy a portion, thus sharing the meat and contributing to the cost of replacing the animal.
Nuparian villages are closely knit, celebrating births and marriages with village-wide festivals and rituals that always include the river. A newborn child is washed in the river. A bride and groom bath separately in the river on the eve of their marriage, then again at dawn, together. The dead are burned and the ashes given to the river. Sacrificial gifts are offered to the river with prayers for fair weather or blessings.
Wandering throughout the dry lands, nomads continually search for fresh grazing for their camels and goats and water for their families. These nomads return annually to various locations in their territory where the land and water can sustain them for the season. Little in the desert escapes the nomad's eye. He knows where and when he can find water and whether it's just brackish or toxic; shrubs tell him when it last rained and how much. Signs left in the sand proclaim who has been there before him, when, the directions from which they came and departed, the size of their flocks, and perhaps even the ages of their camels. Desert nomads navigate by the stars, familiar landmarks, and stone markers left on a previous trek. They travel light, leaving caches hanging in trees. Other travelers, if in need, are welcome to the food and water but are bound not to touch the remaining articles.
Throughout the desolate Drylands, there are "desert inns". These are small, well fortified waystations that function much like an inn. These desert inns are situated along common routes used by the nomads. They are usually run by a single proprietor and his family. The bunker consists of a number of rooms in a circle around a central open courtyard. Such circular layouts are usually two stories tall. There is a central fire pit for cooking food. The rooms are unfurnished and bare, often with just a sandy floor. Most have a stout wooden door with a wooden bar lock, but no true lock. Horses and camels typically sleep with the guests in the room. Rooms are simply swept out between guests. The central courtyard fills with travelers. It is a very social atmosphere. Travelers are expected to be social and mingle with other travelers. To share the cooking fire is considered social. To stay in one's room is considered rude. One room is the main office. These desert inns fly a yellow flag when they have vacancy. This allows travelers to see at a great distance if there are rooms available.
The nomads band into small, tightly knit tribes, and their leaders, picked for their wisdom and judgment. The nomads are proud that their culture relies on honor and tradition, rather than rules and magistrates. To the nomads, hospitality is expected. Anyone, even a stranger, can consider themselves a guest of a nomad for at least a day and a night. A pot for tea or coffee is always on for either kinsman or stranger. In exchange for food and drink, a host expects conversation and news of the world. Nomads occasionally venture to the nearest village or town to exchange news and barter - trading rugs, cheese, milk, goats, and camels for cloth, jewelry, flour, rice, tea, sugar, and coffee.
In Padashan, magic is seen as a wondrous tool for the betterment of the empire. There are several large and prestigious academies devoted to the arcane arts that produce many dozens of skilled wizards each year. The very best go on to serve the empire directly in the military or at the Padashan Imperial Court in Aramanda. Wizards of various specialties and skill levels can be found throughout the empire.
One important social activity centers around the hookah pipe. The hookah is a large glass bottle with flexible hoses used for smoking various hallucinogenic herbs and plants. Each smoker uses a pipe and all the smokers sit in a circle about the central hookah. Only men may smoke in a hookah circle. Many taverns and social halls have small private dens specifically for hookah pipe smoking. The hookah is often used during important business meetings.
Another important aspect of this nation is the tea ceremony. Very formal. Upon making an introduction, formal agreement, etc.
Very popular game is sarushda. A game played with long, thin plaques or tiles. A bit like cards. Each card has a glyph and a picture and a certain value. Cards include the Lady, the Knight, the Dragon, the Tree, the Silver Dagger, the Shadow, the Cloud and so on.
Snake charming is an ancient tradition common to the Padashan Empire practiced primarily at festivals.
Music in the Padashan culture is important and central in religious and secular activities. There is no formal musical notation system in Padashan. Rather, songs and skills are passed down through the generations in a form of "aural" tradition. Common musical instruments include lyres, harps, flutes, pipes, primitive horns, drums and cymbals. Padashi music is based largely on variation and improvisation of and upon a central theme. The central theme is usually built up with drums and lyres. On this framework, the performers build a sequence of unharmonized melodies, varying the original rhythm and improvising new ones.
A performance of traditional Padashan music involves a great deal of interaction between the listeners and the performers. In Padashan, it is considered proper to clap, sing along, dance and make requests for the performer to repeat sections of the piece, even during the performance. A ten minute song may turn into a half hour celebration of drums and dance as the musicians repeat and embellish the central theme. A silent audience is seen by many musicians as disapproving while a responsive audience is rewarded.
Most Padashan meals are quite spicy and laden with garlic and herbs. Most meals include meat, salad, bread and rice. The padashani eat with bread rather than knives and forks, tearing the round loaf into finger-sized portions and dipping them into the serving dishes. They also eat many finger foods.
Meats are largely grilled or roasted, whole or minced, with lamb and chicken predominating. Although Padashan does have a common species of oxen, they are used for plowing fields more than for beef. Game birds including quail, pigeon, pheasant, goose and duck are served grilled. Along the coast, fish is added to the diet. Perch and tuna being the most common.
The basic bread of Padashan is dunsha - a dense, unleavened bread made from course ground whole wheat. Rice is a universal constant. Usually this is a mix of short white mild race with longer brown, nutty tasting rice. Some dishes include a pasta made from rice based flour.
Salads are a mix of chopped tomato, coriander, mint, haspat peppers and onions, coated with garlic oil. Fava beans are eaten either stewed or mashed with garlic. These are usually eaten with diced or grated hokora - a mild white cheese made from goat or lamb milk.
The most common evening meal for the working class is avrama which is a mixture of potatoes and cabbage stewed with tomatoes and garlic.
Another popular Padashan dish is ayasha which is the shredded meat of a desert lizard soaked in a very hot spicy sauce (made from the fermented liquid of the horsetail mushroom). Warriors test their bravery by eating this dish.
Sweets are eaten at the end of every meal. This includes dates, figs, honey coated almonds and sugared orange wedges.
Beverages include a variety of fruit juices and very watered down wines. Coffee grows in Padashan and a variety of brewed coffee drinks are popular. Gramash is a very thick, potent form of coffee that is brewed and steeped for hours. it is very strong and heavily flavored. It is sometimes spiced with mint leaves. Gramash is often served at business meetings, where it is shared. A host always shares the same cup with his guest, to allay suspicions of the drink being poisoned. This is because, due to its very strong flavor, it is easy to poison Gramash.
Number of Meals Per Day
The people of the Padashan Empire eat two meals a day. The first is called mishra which translates as "starting". Starting is taken in the morning and serves to fuel the body and prepare it for the workday ahead. It is usually eaten within 2 hours after sunrise. Starting is a more intimate or personal meal, often eaten alone or with a spouse. The second meal is called osnar which means "ending". Ending is taken in the evening and is much larger, often consisting of three or more courses. Ending is a more social event and is taken with the entire family, along with any friends or guests who might be staying with the family. Ending serves as a marker between the work day and the rest of the day. It signifies the closing of business. The time after ending is for relaxation and family.
Sovlang the Radiant, The Emperor
The emperor rules over a court of opulence and decadence far removed from the commoners of his realm. He has fourteen wives, countless concubines, forty seven children, three brothers and three sisters. His brothers, sisters and several of his wives hold various political offices which give them some modicum of control in the political sector.
Harand ibn Falashed ibn Mahoun, Lord Marshall
Harand is the supreme military leader of the Padashan Imperial Armed Forces. All marshalls answer to him and he answers to the Emperor.
Samat Kirathi, High Priest of the Hramish Faith
Head religious leader of the Hramish Faith.
Prakash Mulchadani, Grand Vizier, Chief Advisor to the Emperor
Prakash Mulchadani is the chief advisor to the Emperor. He is cunning, wise and ruthless. He has great influence in the court and commands jealous respect from most of the nobles. He is a sorcerer of great repute. He lived for some years in Vaulstav and studied with several Vaullian masters. He is well known throughout the Empire.
Xantriss Kuban ibn Velkanus, Chief Magistrate - Runs the prison, etc.
Chief legal authority in the Empire. Also runs all the prisons. Answers directly to the Emperor. Formerly, a great military commander and well known warrior. Injury forced him to retire. He is ruthless. Padashan prisons have a repurtation for being particularly harsh.
General Keritlan ibn Joreg, Marshall of the Western Forces
Charged with conquering the Border Tribes.
General Asar ibn Makesh, Marshall of the Eastern Forces
Charged with conquering Secambru, the Wind Plains, etc. A great rivalry exists between General Asar and General Keritlan.
|Maslen||48,500||Unilijar||Situated where the two rivers merge into one great river. That's the highest point that major river barges can be taken.|
|Almad||32,700||Raleban||Major port city. Ship building. Trading point for ships from Ithria.|
|Kamusat||27,200||Nohabar||Another major trade center and naval center. But for Aggradar trade and war. Currently, most directly involved with the threat from Sybrenar warships.|
|Bahamatra||18,500||Afferad||Major desert town. Culturally pure. Proud of its heritage. And of conquering the desert.|
|Ikemar||12,600||Adalijan||Major military town. Conducts raids against the Border Clans and guards the border.|
|Hassan||9,700||Iciral||Highest point on the river that any barge can travel. Shallow water further up stream. Unnavigable except to tiny rafts. Major military town which oversees the newly conquered Broadlands.|
|Visaal||6,300||Hidoratha||Responsible for protecting the Bay of Arratan from Sybrenar warships. also, this is the town from which expeditions heading into the Ahtabi Desert set out from. Visaal also has to protect the Empire from the various monsters coming down from the Fekwar Hills.|
Abokoth, Adysh, Aklam's Lament, Alaewyn, Ardolath, Arrakoth, Aribar, Braliric, Brokath, Caardolath, Chilihan, Crenakath, Dahar, Darotem,Edelabar, Farennor, Galimas, Gauli, Gutlan, Halidan, Hare, Ibirakith, Jerelannor, Jilimar, Kedirabar, Korenad, Larohar, Legelanyth, Mirelath, Nydiral, Ocilin, Ollanyth, Pirekoth, Quagomar, Roalin, Sevejin, Sodus, Thohanid, Tagobyn, Tareseth, Tunad, Umalin, Unomand, Virewan, Vunad
This website was last updated November 1, 2015. Copyright 1990-2015 David M. Roomes.