Ziathi skyline at night
Ziathi (Kavahiri Zyaŧi, /zjaθi/ ; Adzamasi Źīþi, /ʝiðɪ/) is a a large city in northern Tabiqa and the capital of the Kasingadh province. It is built in part over the ruins of Khulfa, the capital of the historic Kavahiri Kingdom, and which briefly served as the administrative seat of the Holy Adzamian Empire, before its rapid and violent decline. In recent decades it has become known as a tourist destination due to its iconic and innovative architecture.
Ziathi comes from Kavahiri zya "water" and aŧi "clear, pure", referring to its location near freshwater lakes, rivers, and springs.
Ziathi, originally Khulfa, is relatively near the site of the earliest human remains known on Sahar, which were discovered north of the Kasingadh lakes in Ebo Nganagam. There is evidence that the site has been inhabited at least irregularly since prehistory.
The Kavahiri Kingdom, which is recorded since BCE 980 before falling to the Adzamasi Empire in CE 341, was mainly situated in the Kasingadh lakes region, and Khulfa served as its capital. The city was prosperous, and its centre blocks were fortified; it received additional protection from the bordering water features as well as some cliffs.
Khulfa remained a long-lasting holdout against the Adzamic conquest of Kasingadh, with its King Ḋuvir refusing to surrender to the invading forces. In 341, after two years of siege, a cadre of wealthy merchants, lesser nobility and commoners usurped Ḋuvir, handed him over to the empire, and formally surrendered the city. Ḋuvir was held captive until his eventual death in 356, and many members of the royal family and court were deposed, exiled, or executed. However, the rebellion was ultimately successful, ensuring an end to the siege and a peaceful transition of power.
Khulfa's pre-siege population has been variably cited as anywhere between ten and twenty thousand; by the end of the siege it had been reduced to under six thousand, through deaths in battle, famine, and desertion. However, it flourished after its annexation, taking in a new population of mixed peoples from all over the empire, and surpassing its original population by 380.
Due to its size and strategic location, Khulfa became of great importance to the Adzamic Empire and, in 644, it became the capital of the new Holy Adzamian Empire, which had overthrown the Adzamic Empire six years earlier. By this point it was one of the most populous cities in the ancient world with well over sixty thousand people, was well-connected by roads and riverways to all corners of the empire, and was on its way to becoming the most important city on the continent.
Unfortunately, due to its tyrannical rule, the new theocratic empire was not long-lived; rebellions began across all parts, and it rapidly lost land, wealth, and citizens. In 923, Khulfa was sacked and razed to the ground by an army of rebellious locals and TBD, marking the end of the Adzamasi Empires.
After the destruction of Khulfa and the fall of the Holy Adzamian Empire, the locale lay largely abandoned for several hundred years.
Since the formation of Tabiqa, Ziathi has enjoyed an economic boom, followed by a population explosion.
Ziathi has over two million inhabitants. The capital of Kasingadh, the province with the highest concentration of Kavahiri people in Tabiqa, Ziathi has more Kavahiri than any other large city in the country; however they do not make up a majority of the city's population.