Mariam Ahmad

is creating Sarzameen - a decolonized South Asian fantasy setting

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This will be the only tier available in the near future as I manage my spoons. Think of it as a monthly tip jar to support me on my journey as a TRPG writer/streamer/podcaster. See pinned post for more information.
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About Mariam Ahmad


This is my current big project. My artistic baby, my Robindroshongeet, my epic. It's been the bulk of my focus since summer 2017, the twinkle in my eye for much longer.

UPDATE: This is also the patreon page for The Musafirs podcast as of October 2019.

What is Sarzameen?

It's my attempt at writing a TTRPG fantasy campaign setting that sets desi/South Asians at its centre, without the voyeuristic Eurocentric POV lens that regards it as an exotic curiosity. What if we were never colonized, never forced to conform to Eurocentric standards, never pillaged of all our resources and natural wealth? What if magic and fantastical beings existed in it, but from folktales that came from the same continent?

Those are the questions I hope I can answer while writing this setting. But the TL;DR version is: It's a fantastical, fictional, alternate reality based roughly in the medieval period of South Asia.

While I am trying to pull from my own culture and cultural experiences, I cannot speak for all desis/South Asians, and a lot of my work on this setting involves A LOT of research that looks past colonizer history (especially for cultures that I'm not as familiar with). That being said, I am human, and I will make mistakes. I hope I can do my best to minimize harm to those vulnerable, and try to move forward in a way that does so. 

I am also not trying to be 'historically accurate' in a way that punches down. While I want to touch upon intolerance and bigotry, that is not the default attitude in this world. Ultimately, we are playing make-believe, and it is nice to sit down at a table and not have to go with cis-het-Eurocentric-default. There's literature out there that shows attitudes in South Asia that were fluid and diverse before Victorian morals were enforced. So this setting will be queer AF. 

Who are you?

I'm Mariam Ahmad, and I'm figuring that out. So far, I know I'm:
  • non-binary (they/them), bi and pan, and in a very happy marriage with my spouse.
  • a lover of all things cats (and the proud mama of two kitties)
  • GM for The Musafirs podcast
  • a freelance content editor and writer.
  • an artist. I draw and paint sometimes. 
  • sometimes helping people out with website and/or graphic designing for money.
  • having mental health issues. I have anxiety/depression, C-PTSD (I am not going to name my trauma for you), and during the colder months, SAD *shaking fists at my warmer weather genes* 

Why should I be your patron?

  • If you're interested in a decolonized, non-Eurocentric campaign setting, that's why.
  • If you want to help out a queer PoC artist pay bills.

That said, I know what its like to be 'just enough' broke (I'm in that awkward phase of not worrying about basic needs like a roof or food, but no money for much else), and in a single-income household, I want to feel like a contributing member, which is tricky as a freelancer with mental health issues that has no hustle.

So here's my deal: If you are able, you can give me money so that I can continue my projects. It will be a big mental boost, and I might be able to be self-sufficient for my own work instead of dipping into our shared household income (which will be a BIG BOOST to my mental health/stress reduction). Further down the road, I may even be able to afford collabs/commissions and pay them - that would be awesome sauce.

In return, I'll share what I've been up to, and you'll have first access to anything I publish. This will also be a great way for me to get into the habit of regular deadlines and milestones to help combat the perfectionist cycle of creation depression and analysis paralysis. Getting feedback from those passionate about this project will also help with the isolation feelings I get from hyper-focusing in my creative bubble. 

Thank you for whatever you decide to pledge to. Every little bit helps and I'm eternally grateful for every warm wish I receive. If you are unable to pledge but want to help, please share this page. Even if you don't pledge or help, thank you for reading until the end.

Patreon Cover Photo illustrated by Juan Ochoa.
$31.12 of $35 per month
At $35 per month, I will be able to afford an internet upload speed upgrade that will allow me to add new streaming options towards my projects.
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