Menas as a whole is an uncivilised country given most of it is open desert populated by horrible monsters and hardy nomads. The cities are really what the outside world think of as Menas, particularly Akhet the capital. It is renowned for its mercantile endeavours and banking. The cities are run by merchant families or former merchants who have retired into nobility. The cities are not good places to be if you are a foreigner, if you have no money. The trade quarters are friendly enough to visiting merchants, but the other parts of the cities are usually off limits for their own protection.
Menas respects all religions, races and cultures (as any keen trading nation would), though followers of Scathlock (as the god of Movement rather than Thieves) and Domain (god of travel) are common. The Eastern border of Menas also boasts one of the largest Sil Tek temples (Death) in the Known Lands on the cliffs of Shen-Asheer. The religion has a good deal of political influence in the country.
The banking city of Ahket is a rich oasis in the middle of a blazing hot desert. Very little is known about the origins of the city. It is rumoured that a powerful sorcerer created the city forcing the stone itself to rise from beneath the sand (It has recently been found out that King Suleiman created the city). Life in the city is thriving. There are many banks in the city and these contain treasures from all over the world (not just the known world). However, one of the things that draws the merchants to the city is the fact that nothing has ever been stolen from the vaults of Ahket. As an added deterrent to any would be thief, the penalty for theft in Ahket is death. The city is primarily run by numerous wealthy and powerful families. The city is unofficially split into districts, each of these districts is controlled by one of the ruling families and due to their business deals, they do not like trespassers.
The closest oasis/settlement to Ahket is Lemuria a 10 day WALK across open blazing hot desert. These are closely followed by Charnak which is 13 days away and Marabia which is 19 days away.
To the south of the land there is a region that is talked about in hushed voices. Many traders actively avoid the area and those who do ply their wares are of strong will. It is said that near the centre of this land is one of the largest temples dedicated to the followers of the Void.
It is from this area that a group of assassins called Darkling Mask. It is said that if this group has been hired to kill you, you might as well hang yourself to save them a journey. They are very expensive to hire but as far as anyone knows, they have never failed a contract yet. Some contracts have been known to last decades and be ‘passed down’ to apprentices until the ‘kill’ has been completed. However, if the victim kills the assassin, no further contract will be made by the group against that person for at least 10 years. This is out of respect to the ‘target’ that has thwarted one of the Darkling Mask.