Nezruthar is one of the nine Esu ‘kingdoms’ of Askamar. It lies in the bitterly cold Outer Reaches of the realm and is ruled by Lord Takanepi.
Ice covers the barren mountains and plains of Nezruthar. Humans consider the land so bleak that they call Takanepi the Lord of Desolation. To the north are the dark mountains of Vathrenura and the frozen lake of Erenrah. Farther south, the Plains of Ice spread down to the sea.
Forests of rare lurethun trees grow in Nezruthar’s valleys, only flowering during Askamar’s summers and appearing dead the rest of the time. During the long years of Askamar’s winter, Nezruthar is lashed by blizzards and buried beneath snow.
The Court of Nezruthar
akanepi’s Court is regarded as a mysterious place. Visitors find it dreary, though it was once known for its fine musicians. Takanepi generally dislikes the company of other Esu. He seldom holds banquets or invites guests to his Citadel, and he has no concern for court etiquette.
Takanepi values servants for their grace and serenity rather than their skill in battle. No fighting is permitted within his halls, and those who displease him are simply banished from his presence.
If a Nayusuru does not care to follow Takanepi then he is content to let them join another court — an attitude he considers enlightened, but which many others find incomprehensible.
For a long time Takanepi’s only Nayusuru servant has been Yephasure. He had the allegiance of Vusashare and Olemnashial long ago, but Vusashare was captured in battle by Daskesurul and Olemnashial chose to join the Court of Thasenare.
As Mormariul began her descent into insanity, Takanepi hoped to gain the allegiance of Quenezarea, for he saw that she was sorely mistreated, but she would not consider forsaking her ruler.
Takanepi and Yephasure are very close. She has always been at his side, listening to his weary complaints about the other Esu, soothing his unhappiness, whispering advice and subtly working to protect their court.
Takanepi knows Yephasure better than anyone else, and there is no one who understands him nearly as well as her.
Yephasure weaves many plans that she does not always share with Takanepi, and she does not always choose to obey his wishes, but he trusts her utterly. Most other Esu would be shocked if they beheld her lack of humility, but Takanepi does not care for conventional ideas about the hierarchy. He feels that is wrong for the Esu to impose their will upon the weaker Nayusuru.