Burshnar is one of the nine ‘kingdoms’ of Askamar. It lies in the Inner Lands of the realm and is ruled by Lord Naskremari.
Burshnar is a land of rugged mountains and lush, shadowy forests roamed by bizarre creatures. Its valleys are alive with rustling leaves, gurgling streams and mysterious chirps, croaks and screeches. Glimmering mists swirl amongst the trees, lianas twine around boughs and feathery mosses cover rocks and fallen branches.
The river Xaskkar wells up among Burshnar’s peaks and tumbles through the leafy gullies, cascading over cliffs and forming a thundering waterfall before it flows into Lake Gesphire. Further north, the land becomes less verdant, until the forests give way to the dusty mountains of Kebreth, which stand on the Veskansarean border.
The Court of Burshnar
he Court of Burshnar is regarded as a solemn place. The Burshnarans spend much of their time duelling and honing their combat skills. Although Naskremari has commanded the alleigance of several fine musicians, painters and dancers down the millennia, he does not have much appreciation of the arts. When he does hold banquets, it is soley in order to impress his allies and rivals.
Duty, obedience and skill in battle are the qualities that Naskremari most values in his Nayusuru servants. He can be harsh towards those who fail him and will tolerate no hint of defiance, for he thinks that this is how an Esu should be. Naskremari believes that the ‘strength’ of his rule is all that keeps his court safe from his Esu rivals.
Naskremari’s servants often find him cold, arrogant and unreasonable. However, they are grateful for his fearless leadership and protection during times of war. Much of their time is spend honing their fighting skills and helping him to oversee his mundane empire.
Naskremari treats Xessuralen with far more respect than his other servants. Not only is she one of the greatest warriors in the realm, but he always considered her noble, steadfast and wise. However, he refused to accept her advice when it came to the ruling of his court, for he feared looking weak in front of the other Esu.
In the end, Xessuralen gave her allegiance to Lady Liralian, declaring that Naskremari was too ‘unenlightened’ to deserve her loyalty. Naskremari’s honor would not allow him to declare war on Liralian, for he had agreed to uphold the Truce of Elanthar, but he always hoped that Xessuralen would chose to return to him when the truce ended. For years he brooded over her ‘treachery’, but beneath it all, he felt wounded.
Esephrul’s Citadel was conquered by Naskremari during one of Askamar’s many wars, and he has served the Lord of Burshnar ever since.
While Xessuralen commands Naskremari’s mortal armies, Esephrul helps to govern his empire. He also has some skill as a healer. However, he hates battle and is constantly dismayed by Naskremari’s lack of diplomacy.
Esephrul finds Naskremari a difficult ruler, for the Lord of Burshnar never seems to appreciate his efforts and is constantly expecting him to fight duels, but he has never considered leaving. He feels great loyalty to the court itself, and while Naskremari often criticizes him, there are times when he seems grateful for his help, especially when he needs someone to tend his wounds.
Tarissarul used to serve Lord Daskesurul, who thought very highly of her. However, Naskremari demanded the allegiance of one of his old enemy’s servants once he became Soveriegn of Janzaris, and Tarissarul offered to go. Daskesurul considered it an act of noble self-sacrifice, since Naskremari would be too ‘stupid’ to appreciate her worth, but she saw many benefits in serving the Sovereign.
Naskremari is not so easily manipulated as Daskesurul, and Tarissarul inwardly winces every time he insults one of his allies, but she appreciates his strength in battle. He defends her Citadel, and she does whatever she can to advance his interests through her subtle political maneuverings.
Naskremari does not always seem to recognize Tarissarul’s value, either as an adviser or as an artist, but that does not matter to her as long as the Court of Burshnar remains strong.