Chapter 1 - The Early Arabs The Ghaba is the vast forest that dominates the current Arabian homeland, and it is dotted with numerous hills. To the east, the forest dissolves into a semi-desertic region, known as the Ahmar Hills. In spite of the fertility of the Ahmar, with the Rizq river offering some fertile farming grounds thanks to it's yearly floodings, the unpredictable weather and flooding patterns, and the Rizq river itself only being able to support a small population, it is a harsh area to live on. To the south, the forest shifts into a warmer jungle, and to the north and west, it is surrounded by the sea, whose calm shores allow for ships from across the world to come trade. The Arabs hail from the Ahmar Hills, and began migrating westward in the 8th millenium B.C, and would settle in what would become their homeland a thousand years later. They would call their new homeland Jamila, as they considered it a beautiful place. It was filled with fruits and fish aplenty, the local Walawd river offered fertility, and it was located next to the Fir penninsula, named after its abundant populations of native elephants. By the end of the seventh millenium B.C, the first semi-permanent settlements began to arise in Jamila. The biggest village in this region was known as Mecca, and it would later come to dominate the region as well as the whole Arabic world, but for now, the only features that made it stand out from the rest of the villages were the Great Council of Elders, which was a council visited by all the Arab chieftains for religious matters. Surrounded by this council was the Kaaba, a local shrine that stored a rock that was considered a gift from the gods and thus revered by Arabs, who visited this shrine every winter and summer solstice and performed great celebrations. Among these early Arabic settlers, there were also groups of dauntless explorers that began to dive further inland. In these early days, the tribesmen they met were mostly friendly, and sent out large gifts towards the cities of Arabia, which would further encourage explorers. For millennia, these explorers will continue their adventures, mapping out vast areas of the continent, until the final days of the fourth millennium B.C, as Arab explorers were consistently caught in inter-tribal wars as nomadic populations continued to move. From the fifth millennium B.C onwards, The Arab peoples started meeting with more advanced groups of peoples, the first of whom were the Japanese, then the Khmer, who had developed an organized religion by this point, and the Persians. As it would be revealed later on, excepting the Khmer, most of these groups lived far away from the Ghaba. By the middle of the 4th millennium B.C, permanent settlements dominated the Jamila region, Mecca once again being the largest among these settlements. Population growth continued to generate bands of tribes who explored the world, and it also began to generate groups of people who wanted to live in the areas that the explorers mapped as fertile. It was not until centuries later when these groups would be large enough to warrant a safe migration, and after decades of travel, they settled on the Sakhri peninsula. The peninsula seemed like a perfect place to settle, with vast formations of valuable rocks they could mine and send to the Jamila, as well as elephants and packs of deer, the latter beyond the small canal that divided the penninsula from the continent. The central settlement of the Sakhri was the city of Medina, and it's power would grow to rival that of Mecca.