Etarra

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Etarra, a brick city of squat red walls and square bastions[1] is a major trade city built across the Mathorn Pass in Daon Ramon, Rathain. Five trade roads leave this city and span the principality of Rathain.

The outer gates of Etarra overlooked a steep slope, the city itself wedged across the gap between the Mathorns' eastern foothills and a west-jutting spur of the Skyshiels. Accessed by five roads, the approach from Daon Ramon was a switched-back conglomeration of mud bricks and shoring that broadened the original pack trail enough for the passage of wagons.[2]

This city was built after the uprising, so its inhabitants do not necessarily recall the truths behind crown rule. It is governed by a Governors' Council headed by the Lord Governor Supreme, and is the policy maker for all of the North in the absence of crown rule. Other political positions include the First City Alderman and the City Seneschal. Each quarter of the city also has its own alderman.

The lifestyle of the Etarrans is thick with intrigue -- the city is described as a place where children are urged to select their playmates based on the importance of the parents, and are often sent out visiting with instructions to keep an ear out for word of other parents' affairs.

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Ships of Merior.

After the Battle of Strakewood, the city of Etarra militarizes, with apple harvests stacked in barrels to discourage pilfering. A maze of supply tents and officers' quarters take over the hayfields nearest the walls, with a permanent war camp established around the city.

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Traitor's Knot.

Once Lysaer has become the mayor of the city, Etarra becomes the eastern seat of the Alliance. The surrounding vales are stripped of trees, and massive walls of warded Elssine stone surround the city. The walls are surrounded with makeshift soldier encampments, armor shacks, and whore's cribs.

Layout

  • Mention is made of a shanty district and a poor quarter (also referred to as the back district) where warehouses and the horse knackers are located.
  • The council hall is where the Governors' Council convenes. It contains a gilt chair atop a high dais for the Lord Governor Supreme.
  • The south ward armory contains spare weapons stores.
  • The northeastern road connecting Etarra to East Ward crosses the low country, and is subject to impassable mud during late summer rains.
  • Simshane's House of Exotic Delights can be found among the oldest, trade-quarter tenements.

Role in the Story

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the serise.

Curse of the Mistwraith

  • Before the planned coronation, Arithon and the party arrive by way of the southern gate, and the ceremony for his Right of Succession is held in a nearby courtyard. While preparing for the coronation, Traithe prevents Gnudsog and his deputies from raiding the south ward armory.

Ships of Merior

  • When Lysaer goes to restore Avenor, it is partially funded by the Etarran treasury. By the time Lysaer returns to Etarra in Third Age 5645, Avenor's war camp is considered to be a bottomless drain on the treasury.

Peril's Gate

Traitor's Knot

  • Arithon travels to Etarra to help the Fellowship purge the Gray Kralovir cult before they can entrench themselves. His actions lead to the decimation of Etarra's ranking authority and the disenfranchisement of the sunwheel priests.

Trivia

  • The drink of choice in Etarra is gin. After a round of tavern visits, Dakar confirms his opinion that Etarrans brew terrible ale.
  • Arithon's illusion of a ship for beggar children takes place in the poor quarter of Etarra.
  • Etarrans brand captive clansmen to mark them for criminal labor.

References

  1. © Janny Wurts, Curse of the Mistwraith, p. 339 (US-Hardback)
  2. © Janny Wurts, Curse of the Mistwraith, p. 346 (US-Hardback)