Esotar Settlement in Axora | World Anvil


Esotar has been a symbol of many things since its inception seven hundred years ago: refuge, community, desperation... survival. However, the one overriding tenet of its existence is hope
— Umbrin Nilswan - Aldenian Historian


Esotar is a city situated on the now separated Eastern portion of the continent of Aldenia. It was split off from the mainland by the great Earthquake Dragon Mohzall during The Cataclysm War. After it was initially formed as an enterprise in peacekeeping between Humans and Orcs, the city which drew in individuals belonging to bestial races, particularly those typically distrusted by wider society such as Kobolds.


Originally, there was a 'Minister' for both Orc and Human at the very top, with other positions below scattered between the two races. Nowadays, with a much wider spread of races and reduced Human presence in comparison, the city is ruled by a council of representatives of each of the main races present in the city. As such, there is a representative for Orcs, Humans, Goblins, Kobolds, Bugbears, Feldeni and Avedeni.


Due to the origins being a collaboration between Orcs and Humans, the architecture of Esotar generally takes inspiration from both cultures. The more advanced building techniques combined with the natural look of Orcish buildings mean that the vast majority of Esotar resembles the Orc capital of Mundas but with sturdier, more insulating materials. Esotar was a city that experienced rapid growth in the years after its founding and each expansion with each wave of people created a somewhat haphazard organisation to road and district placement. Also, as Esotar became home to more and more races with their cultures in tow, their influences became known on the architecture of the city.

Geography & Climate

The surrounding area, as with the majority of northeastern Aldenia, is primarily made up of rolling hills and patches of deciduous forest. Following its separation and seemingly due to the constantly churning seas around the island trapping warmer winds within, the Eastern Island's climate is noticeably warmer than it was prior to the War.


Due to the fertile lands around the city, Esotar has always managed to sustain itself with produce farmed locally to the city. Standard crops such as potato, barley and wheat along with other vegetables and grains form the majority of what was grown around Esotar. Post-Cataclysm War, with the small shift in climate, more exotic fruit not normally able to withstand the colder winters of Aldenia were then able to be grown on the Isle.



Esotar was formed in 121 BCE as a joint effort between Humans and Orcs to live together in harmony. In the years prior, more moderately thinking leader rose into the respective positions of power on both sides. Gorran Lothrun became King of the Humans in 128BCE and Ozzad the Loyal claimed the Chieftainship of the Orcs two years later. Before their stewardship, the relationship between Orcs and Humans was fractious and often developed into conflict. Orc society in particular frequently shifts between peace-seeking and warmongering. Whilst a leader who wishes for peace is in power, those whose hearts are set on violence and domination grow restless and eventually band together and attempt to overthrow the Chieftain, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.   However, in this rare instance, both Humans and Orcs were being led by individuals of a similar mind. In the years that followed Ozzad's ascension, peace talks began between the two factions. Out of the outcomes of the talks was a proposition to found a joint settlement in the as of yet unpopulated northeast corner of Alenia. Esotar was officially founded in 121 BCE. The name 'Esotar' itself is formed from the Olde Tongue word 'Es' and Orcish word 'Tar'. Directly translating, Esotar means 'Eastern Home'.


Esotar began with around 400 inhabitants, split evenly between Orc and Human. Over the next few years, that number grew as more of each race joined in with the effort. The additions following the initial settling were far more heavily weighted towards Orcs. As word spread of this venture, Esotar became home for individuals of so-called 'monstrous' races such as Kobolds, Bugbears, Goblins, Hobgoblins and so on. By the time the Cataclysm War broke out in 9 BCE, Humans were by far the minority in Esotar. Esotar had become a haven for all kinds of marginalised races and whilst technically the settlements fell within the boundaries of what was considered Human territory, Esotar was allowed to govern itself.

During the Cataclysm War

The majority of the Orcish population remained spread across the Mundas Basin in the north (northwest of Esotar), with only one notable settlement, simply known as Mundas. Mundas is where the Chieftain and associated leaders of Orcs resided. In 9 BCE, the Orc who became known as Drakk the Brutal, successful challenged and won the Chieftainship of Orc-kind. Drakk was severely anti-human and anti-every other race in general. Drakk himself would eventually tolerate eight non-Orc individuals when he was recruited by Astrona Emberwild into The Council of Nine; the evil group instigating The Cataclysm War. This change of leadership caused those Orcs who still preferred peace over violence to seek refuge elsewhere, the majority of which ended up in Esotar.   Despite the reborn conflict between Orcs and their nearest neighbours, Esotar was left alone by the war itself. However, sadly it did not escape the war unscathed. In the final months, The Council of Nine released Mohzall, the Earthquake Dragon. Mohzall's only focus was on destruction. Attempts to level the Dracaran city of Vox Dracon were unfruitful due to their superior air defence capability. Frustrated, Mohzall turned south. The island of Soloon became the first major victim. Unfortunately, the Earthquake Dragon's appetite for destruction is endless. Mohzall next success was splitting off the eastern portion of the continent entirely, Esotar with it. Whilst not directly the line of fire, Esotar was rocked by the resulting tremors as the whole portion was shifted further east. Esotar was left, not in ruins, but not too far from it.


Esotar was stranded. A literal sea now separated Esotar from the main continent. The island as a whole is now simply referred to as The Eastern Isle. Worse still, the waters surrounding the Eastern Isle are seemingly permanently impassable by ship. They are a constant churning chaotic barrier. This meant sending aid and resources was practically impossible. Esotar was not built with a teleportation circle. As such, only those skilled with the highest level of teleportation ability were capable of easily passing between the mainland and Esotar. Those races capable of flight attempted the crossing with varied success. The stormy waters seemingly extending the air above also.   As a result, Esotar was forced to rebuild largely on its own, using the resources of the now-island around it. Naturally, this took a fair bit longer than settlements on the mainland, but by the time Jansen Billowblock invented his wondrous Cloudrunner nearly forty years ago, Esotar was nearly fully repaired. The Cloudrunner has been a major boon in allowing rapid repairs of the remaining damage as the magical skyship allows of easy passage between Dawnstone and Esotar. Whilst, naturally, the skyship does have limited capacity, any volume of trade and resources passing to Esotar is a large improvement over the nothing they had before.   Today, Esotar stands a mostly self-sufficient city-state. The land, whilst still technically owned by the Humans, is in no way governed by anyone outside Esotar's walls and widely regarded as belonging to them now.
Location under


  • 52% Orc
  • 16% Human
  • 8% Half-Orc
  • 24% Other Races - Mostly Goblin, Kobold, Bugbear and other bestial races

A Guide for Dungeon Delvers & Dragon Slayers

Feldeni - Tabaxi
Avedeni - Aarakocra
Dracaran - Dragonborn

Current Representatives

Orc - Brug
Human - Amak Olson
Goblin - Vuura
Kobold - Makroo
Bugbear - An'hek
Feldeni - Drifting Cloud (Cloud)
Avedeni - Cekarr
Header by Claudio Testa


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14 Jul, 2019 23:49

I found the story of this city very interesting, but the writing made it hard to follow at times. I'll use the summary as an example of things I found missing (in bold) from the sentences:   "Esotar is a city situated on the now separated Eastern portion of the continent of Aldenia. It was split off from the mainland by the great Earthquake Dragon Mohzall during The Cataclysm War. The city was initially formed as an enterprise in peacekeeping between Humans and Orcs, it was a city which drew in individuals belonging to bestial races, particularly those typically distrusted by wider society such as Kobolds."   Mohzall, the Earthquake Dragon: is that also Vox Dracon? And if not, what is a Vox Dracon?   I really liked that you added the current representatives, I think maybe a quote or two (either in the article or sidebar) would help flesh out the personalities, and it would give you a chance to discuss other aspects of the city. For example, while you talk about the reconstruction, you say nothing of the citizens living there, and how did their daily lives change after the earthquake. It could be interesting to hear about it.

15 Jul, 2019 00:51

Thanks & corrected. I think the sentence makes it clear Vox Dracon is a location (for how can it be levelled otherwise?) but you're right that it needs a little more detail there. Amended to include that Vox Dracon is the Dracaran/Dragonborn capital.   Since this exists as part of what is essentially a Wiki for my D&D world, the articles are designed for me/my readers and are therefore written as a list of facts. As such, things like quotes I don't really think about when writing these. It's definitely something I need to think about more in terms of articles, thanks.

15 Jul, 2019 07:38

Makes sense, I guess I'm just used to reviewing a bit less "Wikipedia" style articles, but if this is what works for you while you GM, that's all you need :)

15 Jul, 2019 01:18

Notes: Proof-read and word cropping MCGatta covered a lot of my questions Lots of vague information, good for facts along the sidebar (why was Drakk elected into the council?)   The article's got a good length, and a lot of the sentences don't feel like they take on an unnecessary drawl. With some spellchecking, the article could definitely be a good foundation article. With that said, MCGatta above me covered a lot of the questions that actually popped into my mind, so I'll leave those notes there.   But something I would stress personally is word-cropping. A lot of the time, we as writers think adding a fancy and descriptive word in the middle of the sentence would be a great addition. But more times than not, readers enjoy reading statements that are direct and paint a clear picture. Fancy filler words often end up blurring the image of the sentence. For example, under "Geography and Climate," you say:  

The surrounding area, as with the majority of current and former northeastern Aldenia is primarily made up of rolling hills and patches of deciduous forest.
  There's a lot of words here that could be removed, here's my suggestion for an updated one.   "The surrounding area, along with Aldenia's northeast, makes up two things: rolling hills and patches of deciduous forests."   Another suggestion includes using the sidebar, because its often a great place to provide descriptions of stuff in the main body that would otherwise appear vague. For instance, Drakk doesn't sound like a friendly guy. In fact, he sounds like a criminal. So why was he elected into the council? A small story in the sidebar could do wonders in answering this!   Hope this was all helpful! Have a great summer camp!

~ Tristan
15 Jul, 2019 01:43

The Council of Nine are the bad guys, so Drakk has the resumé... I have added a bit to the sentence to make that clearer to first-time readers as looking back at it, the alignment isn't clear immediately.   The sidebar will be filled with related articles from the past once I have successfully proofed all the images and credited them accordingly as I am not sure which have/haven't yet. I don't want to accidentally put an image, even as an article preview, in a Summer Camp article. Sadly, I haven't written in a long while so I haven't gotten around to this before Summer Camp. I will probably sort that out at the end sometime.   In regards to the bit you've quoted, I've just simply taken out 'current and former' (and added the wayward closing comma) and I think that fixes it. Rolling hills and forest make up Aldenia's northeast, not the other way around as you have it in your suggestion. That said, this is one of those instances where DM brain was in force and I was writing as thoroughly as Dungeon Master me would want the facts, so it can occasionally suffer from looks like padding as a result.   You too :)

15 Jul, 2019 04:30

I enjoyed this as story setup quite a bit. The Cataclysm cutting off the region and allowing it to go its own way a while is an interesting set of story hooks. The thing that takes me out of the moment is the balance of races and the balance of representation on the council. I wonder how the common Orc on the Street feels about orcs representing half the population but only having 1/7 of the power on the council. Perhaps it is my own dim view of human nature, and these orcs are better people than that, but it seems like an orc faction would have taken over by now to me.   There's a lot here, and some of it at the beginning is confusing, because you're introducing a lot of lore at once, but that's also something I am coming to expect from world building articles. Maybe a few more notes like "the Cataclysm War (as discussed below)" would help, especially on things that don't have links out.   Thanks for posting this, enjoyed it!

15 Jul, 2019 11:33

Thanks, despite the fact it's the major incident in relatively recent history, I haven't written the Cataclysm War article yet - it will be this year's conflict prompt. It will be linked out in time :)   As for the Orcs, these are all Orcs descended from those who preferred peace, so they're not the aggressive lot. That said, you do raise a valid point - I may have 'overpercentaged' them a bit, but they still are the dominant race in Esotar. So, proportionally, they aren't represented, you're right there. It's a living world and who knows what the political tension will be like if my players ever reach the city.