Askamar is divided into nine Courts (or kingdoms), each ruled by one of the Esu Ankaykari. You can read an introduction to the Courts below, or follow the links for more detailed information about each Court’s lands, history and the characters who serve there.
The Courts of the Inner Lands
The Court of Veskansare is ruled by Lady Ruzenathra. She favours servants who are fierce and proud, and the finest warriors have long been drawn to her side. The Veskansareans are known for engaging in savage duels, and they regard the weak with scorn. Most servants of the other courts look upon them with fear and awe.
The Court of Zaresnar is ruled by Lord Daskesurul. He is an ambitious ruler who wants his court to be known for its cultural and intellectual achievements as well as its strength. He favours servants who are clever, skilled in art and feirce in battle, but he also expects utter obedience. Hierarchy is strictly enforced in Zaresnar, and there are severe penalties for breaking Daskesurul’s laws. This causes tensions within his court, as the higher-ranking Nayusuru do not make meek servants.
The Court of Burshnar is ruled by Lord Naskremari. It is regarded as a solemn place. The Burshnarans spend much of their time duelling and honing their combat skills. Although Naskremari has commanded the allegiance 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 solely in order to impress his allies and rivals.
The Courts of the Middle Lands
The Court of Ebzazire is ruled by Lord Tassedehami. His enemies claim that it is an unruly, uncultured place, for he does not care much for etiquette, and he allows his servants to hold their own opinions. Tassedehami believes in individuality and self-expression, and values his followers for their loyalty rather than their skills. Others may call him a weak ruler, but he believes that those Esu who rule through fear are fools.
The Court of Thasenare is ruled by Lord Yazelern, and is known for its poetry, music and lavish banquets. Beauty and etiquette are highly valued by the Thasenareans, but so is knowledge. They like to hold gatherings where they recite verses, read historical books, sing, dance and play music. The other Esu consider the Court of Thasenare frivolous, but they still enjoy visiting.
The Court of Imbire is ruled by Lady Saroparel, and is renowned for its elaborate rituals, intrigues and rules of etiquette. The Imbireans believe that the purpose of life is to obtain perfection, and they continually strive for elegance in their movements, words and manner. Every statement should be poetic, every gesture graceful, and all people should know their place.
The Courts of the Outer Reaches
The Court of Barezeth is ruled by Lady Liralian. It famed for its reformist ideals, which some consider enlightened and others regard as a threat to the hierarchy. Some remark that the lives of the Barezethans seem dull, for Liralian dislikes ‘frivolity’ and seldom holds banquets. However, her servants can speak their minds without fear of punishment – unlike most Nayusuru. They believe that they lead purposeful existences, and enjoy more freedom and self-respect than most.
The Court of Zepzaris has a fearsome reputiton, for its ruler Mormariul is considered insane. She encourages her servants to compete for her favour, and loves to be entertained with duels, music and singing. She considers the lives of mortals more interesting and meaningful than the existences of the Ankaykari, and so her servants compose poems about human kings, warlords and wizards, creating art to commemorate epic events both real and imagined.
The Court of Nezruthar is ruled by Lord Takanepi. It 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.