Economy of Raspur
Exploiting the chaos that enveloped central Eura in the wake of the Euran War the clans and families of the Raspur Khanate moved to aggressively seize control of the network of caravans that crisscrossed the harsh desert and steppe like conditions of the continental interior carrying valuable and rare cargo and goods between the scattered and sparsely populated settlements that clustered around the ruined cities and those oases where safe drinking water could be found.
The single largest economic actor in the Raspuri economy is the House of Osman GmbH, a limited liability company whose members are protected against being held for the company's debts on account of their familial relationship with the ruling family. The controlling member of the company is Isabella Osmania, a Sxiro-Natopian dual-national and widower of the former head of the Shirerithian branch of the House of Osman.
The Raspuri are infamous for offering "protection" to travellers venturing into the ungoverned territories of the Euran territory, whether travelling east to west or north to south. It goes without saying that the thing they are offering protection from most frequently is themselves. Fees can vary wildly in accordance with the caprices of the protectors, sometimes being as little as a token gift or modest payment or sometimes amounting to a full-scale hostage taking with extortionate ransom demands.
The prudent will, before venturing upon a journey, hire middlemen to establish contact with the Raspur Khanate, so as to receive, for a fee naturally, the Khan's blessing for their endeavour and a letter of introduction and safe-conduct issued under his warrant as a firman or decree. Those bearing a firman sealed by the Khan himself will at least have the assurance that the sovereign's wrath will fall severely upon any of his subject who harm one who is under the protection of the Raspuri state.
It is, however, still ill-advised for comely travellers, of either sex, to travel upon the dismal roads and caravan trails of the Euran interior, for the Raspuri pay little heed to the firmans, or passports and letters of safe-conduct even of the Khan himself, if they chance upon one whom they desire and wish to snatch up and carry away as an adornment for their own harem.
Oil production and smuggling is one of the major revenue makers for the Raspur Khanate. Oil extracted from fields controlled by the Khanate is mainly distributed within its territory but also smuggled to surrounding states.
Aside from petrol distillates, most oil recovered from salvaged wells tend to be of heavy grade and low quality, mostly suitable as a power source for the banks of generators that constitute the Khanate's main network of power stations.
Production from the Raspuri oil fields tend to average out at 40,000 barrels per day, generating a revenue of 1.5 million Shirerithian Erb per day, with the smuggled oil frequently being sold at below market value.
Oil exports pass through a number of independent merchants, so-called petrol-wallahs and self-employed cargo haulers. The deplorable, in many cases non-existent, nature of the road infrastructure of inner Eura, away from the governed spaces, tends to act as a limiting factor on the quantities that can be transported.
Slavery is deeply rooted in the culture of the Raspur Khanate and plays a significant part in the ethnographic hierarchy of its society.
Slave status has been passed down in the Raspur Khanate for generations, dating back to the Babkhan era. The descendants of Mondesians slaves, imported from southern Apollonia, now live in central Eura as 'bandaka' or serfs. Slavery of adults and children in the Raspur Khanate primarily takes the form of chattel slavery, where the slaves and their descendants are the full property of their masters. Slaves may be bought and sold, rented out and given away as gifts. Slavery is prevalent throughout the entirety of the country but in urban areas more care is given to disguising the slaves as domestic servants or hired help. In the rural districts and out on the arid steppes such pleasant fictions are seldom observed.
Female slaves are especially sought, both for domestic work, for harems and for the breeding farms where new cohorts birthed each year. Female slaves, once their use for pleasure or procreation has ended, are usually assigned to domestic chores such as caring for children and household task, but they may also be expected to tend to the ubiquitous herds of scraggly Euran sheep. As may be expected in this set-up, female slaves are frequently, bordering on incessantly, subject to sexual assault by their masters. Long-lived masters have been known to enjoy successive generations of the same slave families in this fashion.
Slaves are typically uneducated, seldom accorded much more regard than might be given to livestock, indeed their living quarters are broadly comparable. Although physical coercion, arbitrary violence and constant surveillance is an inevitable part of the daily reality faced by slaves, there are also significant cultural and religious taboos that keep the slaves in their allotted place. To question slavery is deemed to be questioning Zurvanism, the state religion, itself.
The Raspuri, in addition to their penchant for land-piracy, also indulge in slave raids on neighbouring settlements. Fair-skinned Constancian women are especially prized and receive good prices, sometimes as much as 250,000 Shirerithian Erb for a specimen in prime condition. Passian women on the other-hand sell for considerably less.
Raspur also prides itself on its burgeoning market for catamites and eunuchs.
Raspuri slave-traders crisscross the Euran continent in search of new human cargo to snatch up. Recently, a long-distance raid to the west was carried out against Mbasana, a Kumaranchi state established close to the ruins of Bushahr.
In 1651 AN (August 2017), 53% of the non-pharmaceutical-grade opiates on the unregulated Euran markets originated in Raspuri territory. This amounted to an export value of about 1.5 billion Shirerithian Erb, with a quarter being earned by opium farmers and the rest going to Raspuri officials, brigands, paramilitaries, and drug traffickers. The trade was severely impacted by the outbreak of Alexandrian Flu in Luthoria which depopulated that province. Along with many communities of the Euran interior, the Raspuri were obliged to quarantine themselves for 40 days as a precaution against infection, causing a shortage and then a glut of supply as smuggling routes were re-orientated towards the lawless Constancian colony of Nivardom.
The main growing areas are under the protection of semi-autonomous clans in the south-eastern districts of Raspur, where long neglected irrigation networks had been brought back into working order by Sarhang Naik, the guardian of a functioning borehole and pumping station that has tapped into the Zjandarian sandstone aquifer system, which contains an estimated 150,000 km3 of groundwater.
The smuggling routes to Alexandrian Luthoria were formerly controlled by the Durrani brothers, Yaser and Rostam. However with the outbreak of the Alexandrian Flu on the Euran continent, the brothers, along with their families and dependants were put to death by the Khanate's security forces and their bodies incinerated to break the potential chain of infection.
The trade now falls under the control of the Darzi Clan who have obtained formal recognition as caravan guardians, escorting the convoys of illicit cargo overland from Raspur to Nivardom.
The harvesting of opium poppies and their subsequent processing is labour intensive and relies on both child and slave labour in order to harvest these flowers from the irrigated fields surrounded on each side by hard-baked mudbrick walls.