Lake Duchies of Eshlien

Regions of Enelis


Lake Duchies of Eshlien

Lakeside Eshmar Mercantile Oligarchy

Banner: Three golden triangle on a blue and white striped flag.

Capital: Ashara (18,900)
Notable Settlements: Tortumael (8,340), Thoron (5210), Aendritum (3210), Numen (2430), Morkod (2030), and some smaller market towns.
Ruler: Grand Duke Havethir Forserin
Government: Mercantile oligarchy of merchant houses.
Military: Weak. Defensive only. Holds 28 defensive fortifications.
Languages: Nomen (Common), Elven, Dwarven.
Religion:  Eastern pantheon, Elven pantheon.
Primary Exports:  Jewelry, merchants, metal crafts, coins.

Detailed Map of the Eastern Coasts



The lands of Eshlien have always been an intermediary between the humans of the eastern coasts and the Dwarves of Kalavar, and the Elves of Enaarvis. Long ago, after the fall of the Star Elves, humans came to dwell along the Moon Lake. As they expanded westward, they came into conflict with their Elven neighbors. As the forest was thinned, the Elves would often retaliate, driving the humans back eastward. This policy seemed to be limited, however, as the humans greatly out-populated the Elves. Over time, the Ethmar Elves of the river valleys would comingle with the humans of the region. As the centuries went by, nearly every person living along the Moon Lake had a mixed Elven and human heritage.

These “half-elves”, or Eshmar (meaning “people of the lake”), became a society of their own, blending human and Elven customs into a unique culture. The Eshmar are masters of diplomacy, and were even able to negotiate their own succession from the Nomen Empire in -585 G.R. without warfare. As the years went by, trade with their neighbors greatly decreased and Eshlien fell into dark times.  It wasn’t until after the Demon-Wars of Enaarvis (123 G.R.) and the Last War, that the region of Eshlien began to prosper again. The Elves of Enaarvis had become less insular, and trade was again flourishing along the eastern coasts. Thus many powerful mercantile families grew during this time, creating vast trade networks connecting the Elves, Dwarves, and humans once again. These networks eventually reached across the known world.

In 348 G.R., an alliance of the mercantile houses took control of the region as the Dukes of Eshlien. These ruling families were devoted to a new philosophy called the Golden Principles of Three, which glorified the acquisition of wealth, promoted trade, and created a hierarchy based on monetary value. This philosophy would come to govern the Lake Duchies as the Dukes of Eshlien imposed this order upon the land with their power and influence.


Eshlien is formally governed by the Golden Alliance, a legislative body composed of representatives from each of the major mercantile houses in the nation. The most prominent houses are: House Ariana of Ashara, House Aeynore of Ashara, House Tashandor of Ashara, House Rholindel of Tortumael, House Torbalar of Tortumael, House Norxina of Thoron, , House Binala of Aendritum, House Zumdan of Morkod, and House Leozana of Numen.  Over time, which houses were considered worthy of the Golden Alliance has varied, with some houses mutually destroyed (economically speaking) by opposing houses. There is constant intrigue and in-fighting among the houses as they all vie for total control of trade and power in Eshlien.  The executive leader is the Grand Duke, voted into office by the Golden Alliance members. Traditionally, this role has belonged to House Ariana, the largest and most prosperous merchant house.  However, Havethir of the small House Forserin has been voted into office by an unusual collaboration by the many lesser houses trying to weaken House Ariana.  However, some speculate that House Ariana was behind the move the whole time as part of some unforeseen plot.


The military of Eshlien is rather weak. The mercantile houses each have their own private armies of mercenaries. Each mercantile house (based on size), is required to provide garrison troops for the city militias and defensive fortifications. These armies, however, are usually quite disorganized ,as they also work as agents for their employing merchant house. Corruption and abuse of power is rampant throughout Eshlien. Actual defense of nation is largely secured by negotiated treaties and contracts with their neighbors (Enaarvis, Kalavar, Astonia, Verland). Problems in Eshlien are usually solved by money. Smaller threats, like dragons, jotuns, or wandering orc warbands, are usually put under bounty, allowing the flux of mercenaries and adventurers to deal with these threats.


Trade is rampant in Eshlien. It is sometimes considered the trade capital of the eastern coasts.  While Hopesdawn has the best markets, Eshlien is where the owners and controllers of those markets dwell. The trade houses of Eshlien go back as far as the Nomen Empire. The trader networks of the Ariana Consortium (House Ariana’s mercantile company) reach into nearly every market on the face of Ularin and into the Selicean Seas. The other mercantile families also boast vast trade networks. While many nations mint their own coins, the golden coins of Eshlien are found throughout the known world.


The culture of Eshlien is where free capitalism bleeds into a religious fervor. The Golden Principles of Three guides everyday life in Eshlien, causing the best and worst outcomes of free-market politics. While people are legally free to do almost anything money can buy (outside of slavery), the markets are so dominated by the monopolies of the mercantile houses that low-ranking individuals have little choice but to offer their time and labor to one of these enterprises. Therefore, there are stark class differences and a clear ranking hierarchy based on one’s status within a mercantile house guild. The poor are promised promotions and rank based on hard work, but often one finds that those with charm and guile are more likely to rise in rank than those of honest ambition.

People from Eshlien are quite diplomatic and charming, but also masters of deception, guile, and intrigue. They are often adept at living a public, seemingly friendly life, while privately scheming their way to economic success.


The cities of Eshlien are a hotbed of intrigue between the mercantile houses.  The often hire adventurers and mercenaries to handle dangers and monsters that threaten their trade caravans. They even frequently hire thieves and assasins to disrupt their rival houses in their vie for economic power.  An adventurer can make a lot of money working in Eshlien, but they should always be wary of their employer and their employer’s rivals.

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