"Blue sky, white sand, crystal waters. Where
else in all the world does such beauty grapple for the eye's favor."
- Illarius Sark, Vaullian Ambassador.
|Proper Name||The Tribes of the Eshtar|
|Demographics||Eshtari 95%, Other 5%|
|Languages||Eshtari 95%, Other 5%|
|Year Founded||821 CY|
|Currency||Trade and barter.|
|Natural Resources||Upine trees, coconuts, mangos, bananas, pineapples, figs, white sandstone, copper, jaguars, elephants, parrots and other tropical fauna.|
|Manufactured Goods and Major Exports||Upine timber, fruit, quarried sandstone blocks and copper jewelry.|
|Enemies||Sybren Imperium, Chaddamar Theocracy|
|Approximate Land Area||1,500,000 square kilometers|
|Terrain||Coastal Forest and Hills|
Eshtar is an idyllic, tropical paradise of white sand beaches, broad grasslands and breathtaking sandstone cliffs. In the book “Songs of Dreams Past” by the noted Chaddamarrian poet Lugan Jaro, Eshtar is described as "a land of gleaming copper and white stone where eshtari sing songs beneath the endless upine". It is home to a primitive society of farmers and fishermen that live in harmony with nature and each other.
Esthar is home to many spectacular cliffs of white sandstone, especially along the coast. This particular variety of sandstone is soft and easy to carve, but hardens with exposure and becomes fairly weather resistant. The eshtari mine this stone in great quantities and use it in the construction of their homes and temples. Usually the central plaza in an eshtari village will be cobbled with this stone. Because the stone is porous it serves as an excellent reservoir for ground water. The esthari take advantage of the numerous springs at the base of the cliffs to obtain their fresh water. Because the sandstone acts as a natural filter, the water is very pure.
The lands of Eshtar are very metal poor. There is almost no iron in the region (at least none that is easily accessible). However, there is an abundance of copper which the eshtari mine.
Esthar is on the south western coast of Aggradar. Eshtar is mostly coastal grasslands and rolling hills. Eshtari is swept by seasonal storms each spring. It has warm, dry summers and autumns and cool rainy winters. Eshtar is bordered on the east by the forest of Mael Ix Drablin (the "storming forest") and the Daemyr Mountains. There are several volcanoes in the mountainous areas to the east and west of Eshtar.
Due to the tropical climate, Eshtar is blessed with a wide variety of tropical fruits and plants. Oranges, bananas, mangos, coconuts, pineapples, bamboo, palm trees, upine trees and fig trees are found in abundance.
Notable fauna of this region includes the dreaded dragon eel which hunts along the coast, the eshtarin monkey and the tulari parrot hawk. Parrots, orangutans, gibbons, vine snakes, lions, wild boar and wild dogs are all common here. Elephants are native to this region and are used as beasts of burden and steeds.
The eshtarin jaguar is a lean feline about 20 inches tall at the shoulder and 45 pounds. These slim, muscular cats have tan coats. They are highly intelligent and trainable. Eshtarin jaguars are a common site in any eshtari village and will often accompany eshtari hunters when they go out. Some are even trained to herd game animals to the hunters. Eshtarin jaguars are favored by Aukarian nobles.
For many centuries, Eshtar existed as a peaceful primitive tribal society with limited contact with other parts of Aggradar. When the Kytohan Empire rose to power, the chieftains and priests of were courted by diplomats and Eshtar was “conquered” without a single drop of blood shed. The empire annexed the lands which became the “Imperial Province of Eshtar”. The empire demanded an annual tax which was supplied in the form of tropical fruits, exotic animals and finely crafted copper items. The empire also demanded that the eshtari fight in imperial wars and so the eshtari developed the Jau’Ryn warriors (see below).
When the world storm struck and the lands were razed, the Empire collapsed. The eshtari struggled to survive during what they called the “Great Hunger”. The upine tree , however, proved remarkably resistant to the effects of the world storm and it prospered. Because of this, the fruit became a staple in the diet of the eshtari and allowed their culture to survive. It is because of this that the upine tree has become such a symbol of the eshtari people and so entwined with their religion.
In the centuries since, the eshtari have reverted back to their pre-imperial ways. They still live as peaceful farmers and fishers. Their Jau’Ryn warriors have refined their fighting styles. Their craftsmen have honed their metal and stone work. Still, in many ways, the eshtari are still quite primitive when compared with the rest of the wide world.
The esthari have a very simple system of government based on an ancient patriarchal tradition. Most eshtari live in small villages that are little more than extended families or groups of families. Each village will have at least one elder who guides the town and makes decisions.
There are six communities large enough to be called towns. Each town is the political, social and cultural center of that region. The towns are where farmers bring their produce to sell, where the festivals are held and so forth. Each town is ruled by a council of elders who make the laws, settle disputes and command by the Jau’Ryn warriors who enforce the laws.
Like the government, the legal system is ancient and steeped in tradition. Any dispute or crime that cannot be resolved by a village elder is brought before the council of elders. The elders decision is carried out/enforced by the Jau’Ryn warriors.
The term “Jau’Ryn” means “purity” in the eshtari language. The Jau/Ryn warriors are a form of elite soldier. The Jau’Ryn wield bladed staves, wear engraved copper armor and fight with a style of martial arts unique to the eshtari. Besides being trained in combat, the Jau’Ryn are virtuous, noble, honorable and brave. They are, in many ways, considered to be the paragons of eshtari, who value honesty and hard work. The Jau’Ryn are also loosely tied to the worship of Valadahaj as they mediate, pray and serve the priests and elders. The Jau’Ryn have many duties and functions. They enforce the laws in the towns and throughout the land. They serve the priests and elders as bodyguards, enforcers and soldiers. They defend the eshtari homelands from invasion and hunt down criminals.
It is tradition to that any Jau’Ryn warrior can expect free lodging and a free meal from any eshtari family throughout the lands.
The Esthari are frequently raided by tribes from the Fire Isles who come in long boats dressed in war paint and led by fierce shamans who wear masks. The Jau’Ryn warriors fight together against such raids.
Most eshtari are either farmers or fishermen who make their living off the land and sea. Other eshtari work as miners or craftsmen. The towns are host to great markets where people meet and mingle to sell and haggle.
In Eshtar, copper is seen as a symbol of wealth and affluence. Noble eshtari often show off their wealth be wearing copper jewelry, copper weapons and even copper breast plates. Although there is no official coin of the region, copper is often shaped into crude rings and traded by weight.
There is little formal economy in the lands of eshtari beyond local needs and local products. Trade and barter is conducted in most places and copper rings serve as the only real money here, although foreign coins are sometimes traded as well based on their weight and metal value.
Iron weapons and armor are greatly coveted here and will fetch high prices. Although paradoxically, wearing iron armor or wielding iron weapons is considered flamboyant and arrogant by the eshtari and such items are usually not carried openly. Instead, wealthy eshtari will keep iron items at home. This prejudice against wearing iron openly does not extend to foreigners. It is an eshtari oddity.
By longboat and caravan, the eshtari do trade with Magrakia, Vaul and some of the more peaceful tribes of the Fire Isles. It is not uncommon to see humans, Magrakians, Vaullians and even more distant races in the towns at market.
The eshtari people are known for a tranquil lifestyle and easygoing manner. They are a joyful people who tend toward optimism, but are also renowned for honesty and simplicity. Generally speaking, the eshtari dislike complexity and rules or restrictions of any kind. They are greatly offended at the idea of one being taking advantage of or profiting off another and are opposed to slavery. To the eshtari, all are equal. The eshtari have a very unhurried pace and a carefree attitude toward most things. It is easy to make an eshtari laugh, but very difficult to make one angry. Stress is almost unknown to them.
Eshtaria has a great festival once each year… the Upine-Kar. This celebration travels around to all the towns in the course of one month.
The eshtari are not particularly adept at magic. Most eshtari lack the discipline needed for the scholarly pursuit of magic. It has been suggested that their carefree and easygoing manner prevents them from harnessing the mental fortitude and deep study required to master magic. Perhaps this is true, as there are only a handful of sorcerers among the eshtari. These rare few gifted eshtari pass down their magical knowledge exclusively from master to apprentice. There are no great magical academies in Eshtar and no laws pertaining to magic. If one seeks great spells of power and potent items of arcane lore, one need seek elsewhere. Such things are not found among the eshtari.
The eshtari do not generally produce great wizards. But Ubatli is a well known sorcerer who lives alone in a crumbling tower high on the sandstone cliffs overlooking the town of Abadan. He is a recluise, having no apprentices and rarely receiving visitors.
Saurkin Red Eye
Captain of the Guard in Saralla. Considered by many to be the greatest Jau'Ryn warrior in Eshtar. He is often called "the Red Eye" due to the color of a battle scarred eye.
Balit the Mad
An exiled murderer who was banished from Eshtar. He lives alone on a small island just off the coast. It is said he murdered seven people in one night. The son of an elder, he was banished rather than put to death.
|Saralla||18,500||Although Estharia has no official capital city, Saralla is the largest town and serves as an unofficial cultural center. Primarily a fishing town. It boasts a large harbor and a small shipyard (producing the lean longboats that the eshtari are known for). It is also some of the most beautiful coastline in the world.|
|Viladi||17,700||Considered, by many, to be the religious center of Eshtar. This town is home to a temple to Valadahaj and a brotherhood of Valadahajan priests|
|Umpal||15,200||Closest to the border with Magrakia and serves as the portal to Magrakia. Caravans are always coming and going through this town and out through the main road. The magrakians maintain a trading post here in Duchye.|
|Abadan||13,500||A quiet town known for bright fields of flowers and many orchards. Also known for a yearly flower festival. It is also home to Ubatli, a reclusive eshtari sorcerer who dwells alone in a tower high on the cliffs overlooking the town. Also home to the ruins of a former Kytohan stronghold.|
|Duchye||11,600||A major fishing and mining town that lies at the end of a long, narrow and winding bay that is surrounded by towering cliffs on either side. According to legend, a Kytohan ship sank somewhere within this maze of jagged stone and towering cliff. Supposedly, its hold was filled with imperial gold. Many tall tales surround the lost shipwreck including various coloful curses and such. Many have searched for the shipwreck. As far as it's known, none have ever found it. This area suffers from pirate attacks, raids from the Fire Isles and the occasional dragon eel.|
|Iachi||10,500||A small fishing town on the east coast of the bay. Known for excellent crabbing and oyster beds. Also known for a smalll site of Kytohan ruins nearby.|
|Soren||8,200||Closest town to the border with Vaul and a major trade center. Caravans are often coming and going through Soren on their way to, or back from, the nation of Vaul. As would be expected, several vaullians call this town home.|
Auvanen, Nellosh, Scar Field, Shaudri, Three Stones
Eshtar has a network of broad roads of hard packed dirt covered with sand. Many of its towns lie on the coast and so many boats and small ships criss cross the bay between towns every day.
The journey from Soren to Otta (in Vaul) is easier done by ship as the land route cuts through the dense forest of Mael Ix Drablin and takes many weeks on foot or horse. It is virtually impossible to get a wagon or cart through the Mael Ix Drablin. Guetar the Mad, a magrakian merchant, took a group of three wagons on this route in order to win a bet. The bet was that he could get from Otta to Soren by going through the forest and making it before the Esthari celebrated Upine Day (a little less than six months time). Guetar failed spectacularly and lost the bet. It took him 459 days to complete the journey and he only had one wagon with him at the end. He also lost several men along the way. Guetar is the only person ever to attempt to take wagons on this long and difficult forest route. It's not impossible, but nearly so.
Likewise, the journey between Ducheye and Osk (in Magrakor) is a difficult journey. There are no roads and extremely rugged mountains cover more than 90% of the journey. It is, again, far easier to make the journey by ship.
For more information, see the Travel and Distance page.
|Typical Travel Time|
|Umpal to Saralla||Dirt Road or Sea||183 km||8 days||6 days||4||2|
|Saralla to Abadan||Dirt Road||257 km||11 days||9 days||5|
|Saralla to Viladi - by road||Dirt Road or Sea||371 km||16 days||12 days||7||4|
|Viladi - Soren||Dirt Road or Sea||626 km||27 days||20 days||12||9|
|Umpal - Iachi||Dirt Road or Sea||406 km||18 days||13 days||8||4|
|Iachi - Ducheye||Dirt Road or Sea||418 km||18 days||14 days||8||8|
|Abadan - Soren||Dirt Road||678 km||29 days||22 days||13|
|Iachi - Viladi||Sea||161 km||2|
|Umpal - Ducheye - western road||Dirt Road||863 km||37 days||28 days||16|
|Soren - Otta (Vaul)||Dense Forest or Sea||1,606 km||81 days||459 days||73||44|
|Ducheye - Vilati||Sea||685 km||7|
|Ducheye - Soren||Sea||1,187 km||12|
|Saralla - Iachi||Sea||254 km||3|
|Ducheye - Osk (Magrakor)||Rugged Mountains or Sea||1,800 km (land)
|240 days||343 days||66||39|
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.