Currents of Madness
The Kingdom of Isteroth
By far the largest nation in Valcia Isteroth is a broad land that spreads itself from the Eris Wilderness in the south to the Gragarin Desert. Isteroth is dominated by large expanses of sand and desolation with a few magnificent cities clustered near the rare bodies of water. The land by and large is worthless but has become surprisingly valuable as a source of gems and spices. In addition certain areas, such as the Caeras Valley, have become known thanks to specialty goods, such as coffee, which come out of them. But the land is by and large very harsh and unforgiving and many have found death a companion in the seemingly endless sand dunes.
Hemmed in on its east by the coast Isteroth borders both the Bay of Narliss and the Eleryn Sea. The bay is mostly unused since the Spies War with Theikon but the Sea has proven a near endless source of wealth through trade. To the west lie the uncrossable Gragarin Desert and the equally dangerous Alturin Mountains. These areas are generally devoid of life, though a few hardy individuals and families eek out a living amidst complete desolation.
In Isteroth the Sultan rules over all. He has absolute power in every way. All legislation is passed by him or one of his advisors (who are added, released, or decapitated at whim) and he is perhaps the single most powerful man in the entirety of Valcia. From the Seat of Sealing in the capitol of Orius the Sultan handles all affairs of state and diplomacy. The soldiers obey him and generals kneel in his presence. But despite their great power the Sultans are rarely cruel and tend to be more on the orderly-yet-humane side. At least, they used to be.
The current Sultan is Alev Kirmizi, also known as the Red Sultan. Upon coming to power ten years ago the Red Sultan was confronted by a group of advisors, generals, and confidants who proposed a series of alterations to permit a more distributed power as opposed to the centralized form which concentrated all power within the city of Orius. Without a second thought the Sultan had his guards open up the groups throats and famously told the guards to “Leave them to the rats.” Not content the Red Sultan then put an end to the families of all involved to ensure they would never take revenge and sniffed out the officers still loyal to the dead generals, ensuring they and their families were treated similarly.
Nowadays the streets are patrolled by guards in crimson tunics and cloaks and people fear even to think of rebellion. The Red Sultan rules the land with an iron fist and no one has crossed him… yet.
The people of Isteroth are generally formed into four classes. The lowest are the miners or those who toil many hours in the burning sun refining spices. Next come soldiers, a powerful who are infamous for their ferocity and are sometimes even borrowed by Isteroths allies to put down rebellions and fight in wars. Next come the traders, those who sell and buy merchandise and drive the economy of Isteroth with their dealings. These citizens are high on the totem pole thanks to the countries complete reliance on trade for necessary supplies such as crops and raw iron. Finally, at the very top, lie the Royal Family and their advisors. The Royals are treated almost as gods and have every possible opulence and privilege anyone could hope for. Their advisors fill and important role and are viewed just below their masters as far as rank and file are concerned and their abilities should never be underestimated.
The people of Isteroth are generally a boisterous, happy bunch who enjoy good music, good food, and good fun. They are also a pragmatic people when it comes to dealing with money and trading and somewhat distrustful of strangers. But if one can get past the mild fear and distrust the Isteron can prove very valuable allies.