Esselrhai Settlement in Jewels of Lockhinge | World Anvil

Esselrhai (ess-ell-RHAI)

Along one of the most remote coasts in Greymantle Marsh, a bustling Lizardfolk village tangles in amongst the formidable cliffs and rocky formations of the shoreline. Though very few have seen the settlement in person, most denizens of the marshlands have at least heard its name.   Journals and liturature mention a fabled settlement where the normally cagey and nomadic Lizardfolk have settled into a permanent village that is generations-old and prospering. In the bright, multifarious chaos of Lockhinge City's markets, the occasional cluster of Lizardfolk decorated with distinctive paints can be glimpsed on their rafts or protecting space around a blanket amongst the other stalls, selling exotic goods that can be acquired nowhere else. Esselrhai may be inaccessible in a physical sense, but its influence is far-reaching.


The population is almost entirely made up of S'sillaiah Lizardfolk, with a scattering of Lizardfolk of other varieties who are either passing through or partnered into the clan.


Various matters within the clan are managed by individuals or informal groups, but the current matriarch of the clan makes the final ruling on all major decisions, with her two mates serving as secondary leaders. They help in carrying out tasks that she delegates, managing smaller areas of the clan themselves, and serving as primary leader in her absence. The title is not hereditary, but passed on when the matriarch decides to elect someone to take her position. In the case of a dishonored or missing matriarch, the duty of choosing a new leader is passed on to the secondary leaders or the body of the clan itself.

Industry & Trade

The S'sillaiah are well-known for their crafts and unique materials, which are traded all around the marshlands and beyond. Because of their ability to navigate land, sea, and many of the treacherous features of the swamp that others cannot, they have access to a host of unique resources. These resources are traded to other settlements in both their raw forms and as skillfully-crafted final products.   The most well-known S'sillaiah crafts to come from Esselrhai are pigments, medicines, and unique arts and crafts--such as dry-good containers made from Mudwing Leather.


While most Lizardfolk clans prefer to live in smaller, more nomadic bands, Esselrhai is one of the few settled Lizardfolk villages in Greymantle Marsh. The settlement consists of both permanent and temporary structures spread out across land, cliff face, barrier islands, and near-shore ocean. The most impressive feature of the settlement are the array of underwater constructions, including fisheries, gardens, and storage structures.


Visitors are uncommon in Esselrhai, as the village prefers to send out representitives rather than allowing others in, but those who are allowed in are treated well. Visitors and other new arrivals to the village are encouraged to stay in the central district, which is the rare stretch of dry, solid land that the village was built around. This is where the central fires burn and temporary structures are free to move around. Many individual tent-style homes are found here, as well as stations for bartering during market times. This is where much of the cooking and other use of fire is carried out, as well as all public functions and celebrations.   The landward way into the village is controlled by the presence of great cliff walls. Inside the village, these cliffs are just as treacherous as they are on the outside, but the denizens of the village have found ways to navigate and build into them. These cliff districts contain permanent homes, small workshops, and protected ritual and storage areas.   The seaward side of the village consists of temporary structures on the shoreline, underwater structures and work areas, and structures on the rocky barrier islands off the coast, all dedicated to harvesting, processing, and crafting.
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