Mestanir

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Mestanir is a barony of the Turamzzyrian Empire.

Crest

  • A gold crown in a circle of white on a field of red

"Such is the might of the Church of Koar in Mestanir, its banner was adopted by a previous baron several centuries ago. The saying, "The Patriarch's whisper is the Edict of Mestanir," originated from this relationship with the rulers of Mestanir and the Church of Koar. Due to the tacit consent given by the Church for the takeover of the barony by Jantalar, that relationship may well be more strained than usual. However, given the prominence of important pilgrimage sites and the sheer number of church clergy, it is unlikely to remain such for long."

— Culoney of Hendor, The Crests of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Geography

"Mestanir is a mountainous region of land north of the Sea of Fire. There are few rivers on the surface and little farmland, but the region is geologically rich with underground water and ranges of richly veined and gemmed mountains and hills. Mestanir is the home of several very important religious sites, such as the Fist of Koar and the Crown of Koar. Citizens of the Empire make regular pilgrimages to these holy sites, and the Church of Koar is a powerful presence in the region, overseeing the region from Everwatch Tower just outside the city.

This small barony was known for its rogue spellcasters; witches, warlocks, and hedgewizards who long practiced their magics outside of the watchful eye of the Hall of Mages. These unconventional magic users have secretly taught their arcane lore to young practitioners over the years, and it was this crime that led to the fall of Mestanir. Using the "rampant disregard of imperial law" as justification for invading, Jantalarian troops, bolstered by the dreadful Mandis Crystal, conquered Mestanir and annexed the barony into Jantalar in 5092.

In the year 5103, Baron Lerep Hochstib failed in his conquest of taking the Barony of Vornavis and the northwestern wilds, including Wehnimer's Landing, and the Mandis Crystal in Mestanir was destroyed. Reconstruction of the Barony of Mestanir began under the guidance of confidants and advisors of Emperor Aurmont Anodheles and the interim ruler of Jantalar, Delpinuria Hochstib, sister to the deceased Baron.

With her investiture as ruler of Jantalar in 5107, Baroness Hochstib relinquished Jantalar's claim on Mestanir. Shortly afterwards, Emperor Anodheles named Baron Seurdyn Moraughton Chydenar ruler of the renewed Barony of Mestanir.

With the influence of Baron Chydenar's wife, Lady Sionwryn, a daughter of a prominent Mestanir hedgewizard family, the spellcasting community of Mestanir slowly begun to accept the registration of all wizards and sorcerers mandated by the Hall of Mages.

Mestanir (city) is the capital city of the territory of Mestanir. The city is nestled between two mountain ranges. It is a temperate region, buffered on either side by the terrain. Mestanir was founded in 4883 near the Crown of Koar.

The breweries of Mestanir are renowned for their splendid honey meads and brown ales."

— Deinirius Antroydes, A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Customs

"Mestanir abounds with tales of legendary mages and their astonishing feats, though capriciousness seems to be a common theme. The wizard known as Blacksnake appears frequently as a cautionary figure. As the story goes, one day he came across a farmer carting hay, and begged a fork-load of it for his pony. The farmer refused and continued on down the hill. Hardly a moment later the farmer's horses fell to their knees and could not be roused by any means. The farmer pleaded with Blacksnake to undo the spell, but for a time he refused. When at last he felt that the farmer had been punished enough, Blacksnake allowed the horses to stand and the farmer gave him as much hay as he desired."

— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Religion

"From Mestanir to Jantalar stretches a devout band of faith for the God King Koar. While all in view of the Everwatch Tower provide the strongest support of the Church outside of Tamzyrr, the forces of Jantalar have done much to spread faith. It is not to say that the Jantalarian expansion was without controversy. Rumors have spread that the Prelate of Jantalar, who had accompanied the Baron Hochstib in his conquests, had turned to darker arts to assist the baron. Needless to say, it was Koar’s hand, or fist rather, which played a role in the defeat of that province’s forces in Mestanir. Koar’s Fist has since been restored to its position of prominence in that city. Of Koar's Crown, located not far from Everwatch Tower, the Jantalarian occupation did not affect it. Pilgrims continue to flock to its base, to walk its circumference three times, and to light prayer lanterns that float away into the night."

— Worship in the Turamzzyrian Empire

Organizations

Red Brigade

"The Red Brigade is one of the newest faces to the ranks of provincial armies, having only officially formed in the year 5114. After the coordinated multi-region strikes against the Turamzzyrian Empire by the dark summoner Elithain Cross and his monster allies, Baron Chydenar of Mestanir sought to create a new faction within his military arm that was primarily designed to help provide simple protection for citizens, escort supply caravans, and provide defense for refugees when rumors of monster hordes sweeping into the Barony had surfaced. Able to be spotted by their sweeping red capes, the Red Brigade became a growing force of reassurance for many imperial citizens within Mestanir. While more seasoned soldiers and groups set off to meet the enemy hordes face-to-face on the battlefield, the Red Brigade took up the torch at home, working to patrol the streets, some farmlands, and overall work at keeping the peace during times of uncertainty.

While their passion for the innocent and their loyalty to House Chydenar and the Sun Throne was fierce, their experience in battle was not. So it was that the Red Brigade almost suffered annihilation in late 5114 when a host of demonic chimera took to the skies over the capitol of Mestanir, laying waste to hundreds of miles of farmlands and over two thirds of the entire city. Brave adventurers from Wehnimer's Landing, Vornavis, the Order of Voln, and other allies helped in Mestanir's time of need and aided in securing refugees far away from Mestanir, but were only able to help a small fraction of the overall population.

Before, during, and after the chimera assault, the Red Brigade, despite their inexperience, did indeed find bravery that day in the face of carnage. They suffered heavy casualties, but their sacrifices permitted hundreds of Mestaniri men, women, and children to escape the capital before it was nearly destroyed. None in Mestanir question the courage or have forgotten the sacrifice of the members of the Red Brigade that died during the war, and many of the fallen were knighted posthumously, lending further honor to their legacy and the names of their family. In fact, since the beginning of rebuilding once more in Mestanir, Baron Chydenar has hand-selected certain surviving members of the Red Brigade to become his new appointed house guards, claiming their loyalty in the face of all odds is unmatched.

Their symbol is of a gold shield on a field of red."

— Lord Brieson Cassle of Highmount, Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Crown Trade Council

"The Crown Trade Council can date their very beginnings back to 4883, when the small northern town of Mestanir was founded near a range of mountains called the Crown of Koar, a very popular and powerful religious site. The Council began small early on, consisting of only four merchants who had gained some initial wealth and notoriety in Mestanir's early years. They sought to capitalize on the frequent pilgrimages that Koar followers made to the area every year, when they visited such holy places like the Crown of Koar. For years their influence and reach expanded, as did the number of members and merchants within the union council. Using their position, the Council worked to help influence economic policies and even construction development near the capital of Mestanir and other outlining areas, to help promote a welcoming environment to those travelers passing through.

But over time Mestanir became well known for its practitioners of arcane arts, many whom did not willfully adhere to the registration laws within the Hall of Mages. Such a reputation eventually began to hurt business, and some historians speculate that the crafty leaders of the Crown Trade Council actually sought to undermine the magical community of Mestanir and were frequently aiding the military officers of Baron Lerep Hochstib, months before he launched his invasion of the barony. Despite their rumored meddling, Jantalar's initial invasion was easily thwarted as the might of the magic users within Mestanir overpowered the Jantalarians with devastating spells. Ever the opportunists, the Crown Trade Council tried to secretly support both sides, one side of their mouth spoke unity with the people of Mestanir, while the other side whispered secrets to Jantalar.

After Jantalar's failed attacks, they returned later employing Mandis Crystals, dangerous artifacts that drained mana from their surroundings, essentially making magic users powerless. The results were catastrophic. Victory easily fell into Jantalar's hands, and many of the magic users were executed or expelled, with only a few pockets of illegal magic users going underground to secretly pursue their craft. However, after Baron Hochstib's takeover, the pilgrimages of Koar's devout followers were still permitted in the region, and the Crown Trade Council was surprisingly left alone, free to conduct their business as usual. That fact alone was all the evidence some historians needed to prove that the Crown Trade Council was involved with Jantalar's occupation efforts. In 5103, Baron Hochstib was killed after an unsuccessful takeover of Wehnimer's Landing, and subsequently his oppressive reign ended there. Years later, in 5107, Emperor Aurmont Anodheles invested Lerep Hochstib's sister, Delphinuria, as the new Baroness of Jantalar. The Baroness, very much unlike her brother, took great strides to make amends and renounced Jantalar's claim to Mestanir, finally freeing them to reclaim their land and barony.

Despite the changing of rulership over the many decades, the Crown Trade Council has ever remained an influential force in the region, swift on their feet and able to take advantage of every opportunity as it arose. Most recently, in 5114, when entire swathes of land and towns were destroyed in the barony, including two thirds of the capital, the Crown Trade Council saw heavy losses in their warehouses and staff, but ultimately came forth from the disaster still in a powerful position. Despite the setback, the Council continues to grow, always scanning the horizon for their next big profit.

Their symbol is of a silver coin before a golden crown on a field of red."

— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Elders of the Everwatch Tower

"The Everwatch Tower is an old fortified stronghold that is just outside the city of Mestanir, its creation and its members dedicated to the worship of Koar and the expansion and protection of that religion. Mestanir itself is home to many holy sites, including the Fist of Koar and the Crown of Koar. The Everwatch Tower stands as an ever present guiding light and watchful eye in the region, providing both a safeguard and warning against enemies of the God King Koar.

In the lands between Mestanir and Jantalar, the worship of Koar is very prominent, and even conflicts among imperials and other noble lords have left places such as the Everwatch Tower untouched, for none sought to invoke the wrath of the Arkati King. To that end, the highest ranking clergy members of the order, called the Elders of the Everwatch Tower, do not often take action in the squabbles of imperial lords and their conflicts, unless dictated otherwise by the Patriarch of the Church of Koar. The Elders are comprised of devout followers of Koar with unquestionable loyalty to the Church, and in turn, the Turamzzyrian Empire. Often it is from the Everwatch Tower that holy men are selected to serve in new capacities, such as a prelate of a provincial region, or even respected positions within the First or Second Watchers.

But the Everwatch Tower, despite its preference to remain uninvolved in imperial politics, is anything but complacent in regards to the ever growing battle between forces of Liabo and Lornon. The Everwatch Tower, contrary to its namesake, is actually a massive fortress that some say holds more dwarven workmanship than human, but none in the Church will admit it. The stronghold houses hundreds of highly trained warriors, all with a fervor for Koar and spreading his light, all while defending against the forces of darkness. While the Order of Voln is established with the primary purpose of battling the undead scourge of the world, the Everwatch Tower's purpose is to keep at bay the evil that can at times run rampant in the world, all while ushering in the truth of Koar's Light.

The Elders of the Everwatch Tower understand that peace and light are not always accomplished, or sustained, with gentle words and a hand of mercy. The members of the Tower are educated and trained to embody the message that darkness often responds only to force, and more often deserves justice, not compassion. So the Everwatch Tower stands, always a powerful, stabilizing presence in the northern area of the Empire, and never hesitant to mobilize against the opposing forces of Koar's Light.

Their symbol is a white keep on a field of gold."

— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Outlaws

Hedgewizards of Mestanir

"The northern town of Mestanir was founded in 4883 near a powerful religious site known as the Crown of Koar, which would become a great beacon for many pilgrimages over the years. By 4897, Mestanir not only became a well-known Barony for its holy followers of Koar, but it also became a hotbed for practitioners of the arcane arts. The Hedgewizards of Mestanir came into existence around this time, and are less-structured than any organization within the Turamzzyrian Empire. In fact, the Hedgewizard title itself is most often used by those not of Mestanir, or of town officials, who condemn the unregistered wizards and sorcerers. Centuries before 4565, after the destruction of Toullaire, Empress Verranna passed a law requiring mandatory registration of all wizards and sorcerers within the Empire. As Mestanir came into existence and its magical population grew, many refused to go along with the centuries-old law. In fact, it was the lax requirements in Mestanir and lack of persecution that caused the practitioners of the arcane to grow to such numbers in Mestanir. They had truly found a community that allowed them to be free of imperial judgment for their magic.

The Hedgewizards, as they are labeled by others, existed in small pockets, or even sometimes independent of one another. Some were noblemen by day and summoners by night. Some were more blatant with their magic, displaying it in the open, always in defiance of the registration laws and always undisturbed by Mestaniri officials. So while the collective group of Hedgewizards were viewed as outlaws because of their failure to register, they were in truth more rebellious than criminal. That was not always the case, though, as some more unsavory mages and sorcerers came to Mestanir to dabble in dark magic, but they were more of an exception to the norm. However, in 5092, after the Northern Sentinel Earl Wierlund of Hendor died, Baron Hochstib of Jantalar attacked Mestanir and moved his invading forces into the region.

Mestanir was able to withstand Jantalar's initial invasions as their so-called Hedgewizards easily overwhelmed the attackers with mass spells of destruction, and witch hunters assigned to Jantalar were too few to overcome the number of defenders. Having recently ascended to the Sun Throne, Empress Mynal'lyanna supported Baron Hochstib's efforts against Mestanir and permitted him the use of Mandis Crystals, which are dreadful artifacts that nullify magic in an area. With the power of the Mandis Crystals, Baron Hochstib and his army easily conquered the small Barony of Mestanir.

After the successful occupation, Baron Hochstib expelled all mages from Mestanir, and gruesomely put to death those who did not comply. Because there was no active registration of magic users in the region, there was little the Baron had to work from in regards to weeding out the Hedgewizards. So while many practitioners of the arcane flee or die in defiance, many cling to the shadows, ever watchful as they live double lives while keeping up appearances and then practicing their magic in secret. So it was, for many years following, it was in the shadows alone that magic occurred, save for the small number of those who surrendered to Jantalar and registered with the Hall of Mages. Of those, their lives were a constant struggle, for the Jantalarian occupiers despised them, and the townspeople were taught to fear them.

In 5107, years after Baron Hochstib was killed, his sister Baroness Delphinuria was instated as the new ruler of Jantalar by Emperor Aurmont Anodheles. In the Baroness' first act, she announced a writ of relinquishment that renounced Jantalar's claim on Mestanir and restored its powers, privileges, and property. It wasn't much longer until Emperor Aurmont Anodheles appointed an old friend, Seurdyn Chydenar, as the new Baron of Mestanir. It is rumored that Seurdyn himself was actually an activist among a group of hedgewizards during Jantalar's control, and such speculation was born out of his close ties to the Nesbithes, a prominent hedgewizard family. Once Jantalarian forces had been expelled from Mestanir, years before the area truly became free again, Seurdyn Chydenar had married Sionwryn, the eldest Nesbithe daughter. After his investiture ceremony, Baron Chydenar spoke of the importance of the Barony's future, and that to ensure its success, the days of secret spellcasting must be over. He expressed his desire to slowly ease the spellcasting community into registration with the Hall of Mages, and with his wife Lady Sionwryn and her family beside him, he predicted it would be a success.

In truth, the Wizard Baron, as he is sometimes referred to, was correct in his prediction. His having long suffered under the oppression of Jantalar made many spellcasters in Mestanir, those who were hiding and those who have returned, appreciate the new rulership and feel a sort of kinship with a man who understands their art. Many wizards and sorcerers have now registered with the Hall of Mages, and the numbers remain steady year after year. However, it is still known, but rarely discussed, amongst those who still practice in the shadows of Mestanir who refuse to bend to the overreaching hand of the Hall of Mages and will stop at nothing to keep at least what they deem their freedom of magic."

— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Arcane Eyes

"In the capital city of Mestanir, magic was heavily restricted by decree of the Hall of Mages, and so it was only natural that an underground movement of rogue spellcasters who practiced and taught their art outside the observant rule of the Empire sparked to life. Many subversive groups flourished in the shadows, one of them being a wealthy group of summoners called the Arcane Eyes. Many of the notable members of the Eyes were influential and wealthy nobles and merchants within Mestanir who knew full-well that their passion for the dark arts would lead to their imprisonment or execution. So during the days, they spent their time in the affairs of politics and entertainment, and at night, they retreated to their extravagant manors and the evil secrets of their magic. They spent countless decades perfecting their summoning art, whether it was calling forth demons to bend to their will, or breathing life into golem minions. It was only a matter of time until their sight went beyond Mestanir and, in time, beyond the Empire. Small groups of the Arcane Eyes began to form in many nations and cities from Ta'Illistim to River's Rest.

Many of the branches of the Arcane Eyes were diversified in their minor objectives, but overall their major goal remained the same: power. They did not desire to overthrow rulers and wear crowns of gold, but instead they sought to use their power to manipulate, influence, and further their own knowledge.

During this time, a powerful summoner by the name of Sebasation Stone,who also dabbled in dark magic, was gaining influence among his noble peers. His power and wisdom was seemingly unmatched, but his philosophy troubled many of the founders. Having originated in Mestanir, most of the founders had at least a loose devotion to Koar. So it did not bode well when Sebasation Stone began to sway minds into believing that great power lied beyond the Arkati. He took time to remind the others that in an age long ago, the Arkati themselves were servants to the Drakes. Even their idol Koar was rumored to be the last living Drake.

Despite the truth of Sebasation’s words regarding Koar, he was still seen as a heretic among his brethren. So it was that Sebasation’s secret rival, Elithain Cross, hatched a plan to end Sebasation. Elithain convinced his daughter Madelyne to seduce Sebasation’s son, Grishom, and get close enough to murder Sebasation.

Elithain’s plan took months to come to fruition, as the naïve and noble Grishom eventually fell madly in love with Madelyne and became enraptured with her, never thinking for an instant that she had ulterior motives. It was late one evening when Madelyne, who had earned passage into the Stone’s inner sanctum, confronted Sebasation while tending to his garden of sirenflowers. Not suspecting his son’s lover, Sebasation was murdered with surprise in his eyes. His death was not silent, and Grishom was soon there and bore witness to his father's murderer, clutching the bloody dagger in her hand. Fully enraged, Grishom attacked Madelyne. They struggled, and in the end, Grishom disarmed her and killed her with the same bloodstained weapon.

Unfortunately, Grishom's mind was shattered and was unable to handle the burden of his loss. Seeing no harm in Sebasation's death, the elders of the Arcane Eyes defended Elithain, and in fact, helped to frame Grishom for the murder of both his father and Madelyne. Supporters of Grishom's father quickly came to his side, and a full conflict was about to escalate when another outside force struck Mestanir.

In the year 5092, Baron Hochstib of Jantalar launched an invasion into the barony of Mestanir and conquered the land, annexing Mestanir, its capital, and other cities into its control. During this time, facing the alarming Mandis Crystals, many of the members of the Arcane Eyes fled the city and barony of Mestanir, regrouping and merging with many of the smaller branches throughout Elanthia. It was the Jantalar invasion that kept the Arcane Eyes from dragging their conflict into the streets, but it did not keep them from breaking off into two different schools of thought. In 5107, Baron Hochstib was killed and Emperor Aurmont Anodheles appointed his sister, Lady Delphinuria, as Baroness. Upon the change of rulership, the Baroness relinquished Jantalar’s control over Mestanir, and they were once more their own barony.

It was not long after that the small force of Arcane Eyes, still in Mestanir, began to increase in both size and influence once more, especially in light of the new Baron of Mestanir declaring an open mind to a variety of arts of magic. The faction of the Arcane Eyes were old supporters of Sebasation Stone, so it was no large feat for his son Grishom to rise in the ranks.

But living in the shadow of a legend was not easy for Grishom, on top of his already fractured mind. So Grishom sought to achieve fame and power that outdid those before him. It was then Grishom discovered many of his father's old rituals and possessions, among them a large chunk of the ever-chaotic urnon.

Using his father's musings, which had been untested, Grishom began to seduce women to fall in love with him, and in the end, he would murder them before conducting a ritual to channel their spirits to power his magical creations. Knowing the irony of his situation, and that now Grishom was perpetrating the very betrayal of love that had happened to him, he sought to find some comfort by being selective in his victims. Madelyne, his father’s murderer, had black hair and emerald eyes. So too, were all of Grishom's victims.

Years passed and Grishom's attempts at creating a perfect golem, one to serve and destroy at whim, continued to fail. His peers began to speculate whether to continue their support or not. Finally, Grishom came to the desperate opinion that in order to gain any control over the urnon, he would need a very significant sacrifice.

Grishom, along with some of his fellow summoners, orchestrated a massive human sacrifice of women, imbuing their spirits into the urnon block. The dark ritual was successful from a creation perspective, and soon the urnon began to calm and take on the form of a featureless woman. However, still chaotic in nature, they were unable to control the urnon golem and it turned on them, striking out in fear and even killing some of the summoners present before escaping into the night.

Losing face among the Arcane Eyes, Grishom had squandered an incredible amount of influence and power. Not only had his magical creation escaped, but it had cost the lives of other summoners, as well. Seeking to regain his greatest construction, Grishom enlisted two of his old allies, the summoners Albright and Raznel.

Albright and Raznel set off on the golem’s trail, following her for nearly two years. Meanwhile, Grishom Stone began to build his presence elsewhere by purchasing an island on Mist Harbor and funding the renovations of the Bathhouse and Museum in Wehnimer’s Landing. Little did Grishom know that his urnon golem, with no memories of her past, and now believing she was a human named Mirayam, would arrive in Wehnimer’s Landing and forever alter the city's course.

In present day, the Arcane Eyes are all but a scattered group of individuals, their power and influence seeming to have waned over the recent years of being hunted down and conflicts arising from internal unrest. Time will surely tell if this organization's activity and membership ever returns to its once former glory.

Their symbol is of a silver eye."

— Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire
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