Gods Strewn Across the Walls.
To its inhabitants, the Westlands are known as El’aptos. People from El’aptos will refer to themselves by what city they come from (someone from Eliyas will call themselves an Eliyassian)
The Desert continent west of Norn is sparsely populated except for a few cities and towns along river ways and the coast. However to the adventurer, the ancient ruins and cities of a forgotten civilization are of particular interest. Very little contact exists between the people of Norn and the Westlands as the thanes of the past often considered the coastal cities as ripe for raiding.
El’aptos is a very mercantile and xenophobic culture which relies heavily on the use of slaves. Centuries of being raided by longships from Norn have caused Westlanders to view all foreigners with suspicion and often hostility. While trade with foreigners is often lucrative, historically the cities of the Westlands have remained closed to outsiders. In recent years this mentality has been put to the test with the arrival of refugees from Norn. Squalor and overcrowding in the only remaining city of Eliyas has increased tensions between the refugees and the native Westlanders.
It is said that the traders of El’aptos could sell a broadsword to a pacifist, such is their silver tongue. Indeed the highest respected profession in the Westlands is that of the merchant, for with money comes power. The city of Eliyas is home to the Emerald Bank of El’aptos: a money lending institution which has lasted for centuries. It has funded numerous wars and started just as many when their debtors refuse to pay back their loans. They maintain a fearsome cadre of warriors, known as the Bank Wardens, who ensure timely payment.
Another key element of Westland life is slavery. Half of all Westlanders are slaves who tend the land, toil in the mines, tend to the great estates or fight in the arenas. In the Westlands a slave is seen as an asset: something which can be bought and sold. Despite this, all slaves must be paid a wage and be provided with living space and food. Should a slave accumulate enough wealth they can purchase their freedom for the low price of 100gp. Indeed, many slaves dream of joining the Nemod Adventuring Company, who employ slaves as adventurers and send them out to the dangerous ancient temples and dungeons. These Slave Adventurers (Slads) are the best paid slaves in all of El’aptos.
With the recovery of the Eye of Ra by the Eliyas resistance and the actions of its bearer, Khalid Alhars, much of the turmoil which threatened to engulf the city of Eliyas has been extinguished. Using his new found powers he created new city walls out of the desert itself which provided greater living room. By bringing great rainfall, farmland production increased twenty fold. Through wielding the desert itself as a living weapon, the plagues of undead were removed from the continent. Although it will be only a matter of time before the ire of Dale Godkiller returns to the Westlands, the people at the meantime rejoice and continue on with a renewed vigor. A week of celebration, known as Khalidas, was implemented in order to give thanks to the adventurer and to Ra himself.
In the ancient times, the Westlands were a single unified kingdom ruled under by the Pharaohs, However as the centuries continued the rule of the kingdom was eroded and the Westlands split into several independent cities which were ruled under their own systems of governance. In The Free city of Eliyas, The Council of 18 see to the leadership of the people. There are 18 members on the council, each coming from a grand dynastic house. Position on the Council is passed down through the family lines of the 18 Houses.