The Esu Ankaykari

The Esu are the most powerful of the Ankaykari. They are known as the ‘Nine Rulers of the Realm’, for each presides over a Court, commanding the allegiance of the weaker Nayusuru Ankaykari. Many Esu also rule over vast territories in Udaris. However, while this increases their prestige, it is the strength of their Askamaran Court that determines their standing.

Most Esu have two Nayusuru servants. The more powerful have three, while those who have none are regarded with scorn. It is exceedingly rare for an Esu to retain the loyalty of more than three Nayusuru, as larger courts are torn apart by quarrels over status.

The Esu seek to surround themselves with many servants, which is another sign of their pride and folly. The ideal court is composed of an Esu and two Nayusuru. Such courts bring stability to the realm, and are obviously meant to be, for there are exactly twice as many Nayusuru as Esu. Such courts can also be considered ideal because two Nayusuru in alliance are able to balance the power of an Esu.

~ THE CITADEL OF THE MIND (anon.)

Esu Power-struggles

The Esu often speak of order and harmony, but their pride makes it hard for them  to live together peacefully – whenever two meet, some form of power-struggle invariably ensues. Even those who are friends compete for status in countless subtle ways.

Most dream of uniting the Nine Courts under their rule and being declared sovereign. Although all Esu are proud and ambitious, they may choose to become the vassal of another because they admire them or because they need protection from their enemies.

During times of war, Esu try to force their rivals to yield by storming their Citadels. Those who continue to defy them are often harshly punished, but it has been argued that power which is founded on oppression cannot last.

While Esu are traditionally seen as fierce, stubborn and haughty, some now embrace the ideals of compromise and respect for others, believing these are the keys to harmony. They say that the balance of power between rulers and the ruled should not be too extreme or the hierarchy will collapse. Even those who scorn such words cannot deny that few sovereignties have endured for long.

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An epic fantasy saga