The West Echer Coast is a lightly populated expanse of land, colonized by Athalin. The landscape is much more mountainous than the Central and East Echer coasts. The mountains are cut by three wide rifts, the Dale of Pellion, the Exoria Valley, and the Valley of Casria.
Sites and Features
The port town of Asten is located where the Lageos River falls into the sea of Dal in the Dale of Pelion. Though established as a port, the town of Asten relies more heavily on overland trade with Illyra and Dossa than on sea trade. The nearby lands of the Dale of Pelion offer mediocre agricultural value. However, in the waters north of Asten, extending from the many peninsulas of that land lie vast underwater reefs, plentiful with fish. These fishing grounds extend as far as the western edge of the Commonwealth of Illyra; however, the farther fishing boats sail from Asten, the more susceptible they are to sea dangers and Dalish pirates. Fortunately, the reefs offer a good deal of protection for the small fishing boats, as large pirate ships would run aground in the shallow waters of the reefs. Some fishermen take a land route north from Asten through the Dale of Pelion to a location on the Dugnis peninsula where boats are kept on the shores of Esita Bay, in order to fish those waters. However, the economy of Asten relies heaviest on that of the rich ores mined from the mountains surrounding the town. These are traded primarily with Illyra for grain and timber but are sometimes also grudgingly traded with maritime merchants from Dallaros when the haul is impassible durring the winter. The Pelion mountains north of Asten are rich in both copper and tin, as well as having an appreciable amount of silver as well. The Gomeo mountains to the south are also rich in iron and lead, and have scattered deposits of gems such as beryls and emeralds. The great Esitan mountains further east likely contain rich deposits of minerals as well, but as of yet mining operations have not spread this far. The pirates that sail the waters between the sea of Dal and the West Echer Sea make trade through this route to Illyra impossible for the simple merchants of West Echer. The overland route to Illyra is much safer, and more importantly far more reliable for merchants, especially for those not dealing in perishables. However, navigating the Lageos Canyon up into the Exoria Valley is a rough and mountainous road. For three short passages, the Lageos River delves into underground caverns and emerges farther down on the other side of the mountains. Travellers must choose between following the river underground, or trekking over the high mountain ridges.
Located near the point where the Lageos River drains out of the Exoria Valley, Dossa marks the southern terminus of the great stretch of road known as the Haul. The small town of Dossa is surrounded by the most fertile land in West Echer, though this claim is not nearly as boastful as it would be in other regions. The land is also not suitable for growing grain, instead, the orchards and vineyards of Dossa produce the bulk of fruits and wine for the region of West and Central Echer. The farmers of Dossa also guard the secret of making Dossa cheese; a favourite among the settlers of Echer.
The Haul is the name commonly given to the long section of trade route between Illyra and Dossa, through the Galex Forest, over the high pass of Numen and down the Exoria Valley to Dossa. The Exoria Valley is a wide rift in the mountains extending from the source of the Lageos River south of Dossa until the pass of Numen. Many smaller valleys, canyons, and gulches open up into the Exoria Valley along the length of the Haul. Many small tribes of Gnolls and Flinds inhabit the Exoria Valley, especially in and around the ruins of the ancient cities that once dotted this great valley. Trade caravans running the Haul so far have had minimal losses in encounters with the tribes, though this threat remains a concern for the trade business in West Echer. Much of the route of the Haul follows the dry bed of an ancient river, which once ran southwards to join the Lageos at Dossa. What happened to cause the river to dry remains a mystery. Whether the source of the river ran dry, or the river was somehow deserted, remains unknown. Without the Exoria River to irrigate the valley, the Haul will likely remain unsettled, unless a new source of water can be found.
Burris is a small town in the Galix Forest, southwest of the Commonwealth of Illyra. It is located on a small lake bearing the same name, a source of freshwater fish for its residents. The town has become an important stopover for many traders and travellers who march the Haul between Dossa and Illyra. Not being a farming community, it was not annexed by Illyra; however, its citizens debate whether or not to voluntarily join the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth of Illyra
Illyra is a thriving city, likely the most prosperous of all the cities of Esher. Huge verdant fields keep the city well supplied with food, which can be traded at a good rate to the neighbouring regions. Illyra has no defensive infrastructure and a relatively modest complement of watch and soldiers. The formidable might of the city springs from an alliance with the ancient gold wyrm Aurisivex who openly allies with the town in exchange for an annual tribute. In 8208 MR, with the dragon’s aid, the town of Illyra annexed most of the outlying farming thorps to form the Commonwealth of Illyra. The stated reason for the conquest was a response to the growing threat posed by the Ludimarites. However, the move had the more immediate effect of nearly creating a complete monopoly on grain in the region. Few of the outlying villages put up much of a fight against the overwhelming force of Illyra, and after over a decade most villagers would fight to remain in the commonwealth. The elimination of competition in the region has led to greater returns for the farmers, and the taxation imposed by the commonwealth is considered by most to be a minor inconvenience when balanced against the protection membership provides. Commonwealth soldiers patrol the western plains to ward against local monsters and brigands.
Since the annexation, the central town of Illyra has become the de facto capital of Echer, as it trades everywhere else, and rumour holds that the leaders in Kathir and Asten are discussing formalizing the arrangement for mutual defense and the regulation of trade. Such a treaty would form an Echerean nation. The Illyrans recognize certain benefits of such a course but have delayed as they hope to maintain sovereignty over their lucrative trading ability.
The Villages of Vorago and Scobis
Vorago and Scobis are two coastal hamlets in the Illyran Commonwealth. Both are fishing and agricultural communities; roughly half of the population of each earns their livelihood fishing, the other half operating farms on the fields located on the ridge behind the hamlets. The fishermen of Vorago and Scobis generally fish around the banks and reefs west of Vorago, and in Trucis sound. Both of these settlements prosper under the rule of Illyra which provides soldiers to the town, who prove very economical for the modest level of taxation.
Casria is massive mountain to the south of Illyra, likely the tallest in all Echer. The mountain is sounded to the south and to the east by the Casria River Valley. The valley is reputed to contain numerous stone blocks of unknown purpose and origin. The valley is also reputed to be haunted and few Echerians are willing to explore this area.
Isle of Deuro
Located in the West Echer Sea, north of Illyra, the isle of Deuro forms the western border of the Gulf of Kathir. The small fishing town of Utinam is located on this island, making it the only Island of the Echer Coast colonised by Athalin. Its resources include fish, timber, and copper ores from the hills in the north of the island.
Utinam is a small town located on the eastern shores of the Isle of Deuro. Utinam trades with the towns of Illyra and Kathir but, unlike these two towns, is not a large enough port to attract ships from Nilport or Oreon across the West Echer Sea. Utinam petitioned Illyra for membership in their commonwealth shortly after the annexation and was welcomed with open arms.
This page is written by Chris Johnston and Tim Green