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Esterhold

by Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies

Razud - Alphatia, self-determination, independence, courage, strength, authority
Utnapishtim - Survival, justice, travel protection of the living
Brissard - Domination, slavery, oppression, intrigue
Rathanos - Fire, energy, power, male supremacy, pride
Eternal General - War, battle, discipline, loyalty, victory, soldiers and mercenaries
Ninfangle - Rakasta, battle, bravery, hunting, adventure, travel
Alphaks - Destroy Alphatia and the Alphatians, hate, vengeance, massacre
Notes:
1. Esterhold is a largely deserted but rich in minerals peninsula, which protrudes westwards on the western coast of Skothar. It is bathed on three-quarters by the sea (the Bay of Thorin to the north, the Alphatian Sea to the west, the Sea of Zamara to the south), and the only point in which it borders with the mainland is to the east, where it touches the Jennite Hills in the southern part and the Mountain of Thorin in the northern part. Esterhold is inhabited by a majority of Jennites, slaves of the Alphatian minority who invaded and conquered the region in 200 BC. Esterhold is considered by the Alphatians one of the more undeveloped territories together with Norwold (the two extremes of the Alphatian Empire), and is divided into two kingdoms, Blackrock and Verdan, ruled in a despotic way by Mage Kings faithful before to their own interests and then to the imperial crown. One of the more profitable trades of Esterhold is that of slavery, given that half of the slaves that circulate on Alphatian territory were from here. For this the cult of Brissard, patron of slavery and intrigue, is extremely popular among the Alphatians of these colonies (also among the commoners), who consider the Jennites as beasts of burden and wreak on of them every type of stress and of intolerance. This naturally makes the Jennites even more rebellious and nervous, and a large part of slaves exist that were able to free themselves with their strength and that now live in the wild areas, or by the border with Jen, organised an armed resistance and continued assaults on the Alphatian citadels, with the hope of forcing back the overseas invaders.
2. The Alphatians that chose to also occupy themselves with their spiritual side for the majority worship Razud, who also gains worshippers among the humanoids and some Jennite slaves (given that he is the patron of self-determination). From the colonists are also many who follow the cult of Brissard, which contributes to keep order and the sense of superiority of the Alphatian colonists, while the Eternal General is popular among the soldiers and mercenaries of every race that infest the land of Esterhold, including the humanoids.
3. The Jennite rebels are for the most followers of Rathanos, patron of the Jennites in general, of supremacy and freedom. The majority of the slaves instead follow the cult of Utnapishtim, seen as patron of justice and survival, the one who brings liberation among the slaves and liberty. Given that the cult doesnít seem aggressive, the Alphatians havenít made a lot in order to hinder the proliferation, preferring instead to fight the more violent one of Rathanos. Among the Jennites furthermore there are many converts to the cult of Alphaks, Immortal devoted to the destruction of the Alphatians, whose clerics often succeed in transforming the fight for independence into a pretext for bringing death and shedding of blood among the Alphatians, immolating its own followers for the glory of the Immortal.
4. Ninfangle is adored by the pardasta rakasta that live in the wild areas on the border with the Alphatian and Jennite settlements. The pardasta had learnt to doubt the humans by the arrival of the Alphatians and now they tend to keep clear of their areas, for fear of ending up as slaves or of being destroyed by the whim of some archmage.