THE VILLAGE OF AESTRHRAN

DESCRIPTION - LOCATION - PEOPLE - CLIMATE
FLORA - FAUNA - RESOURCES - MYTH/LORE - HISTORY

This village of Aesthran (meaning lit. in the ancient Glandorian tongue "Riverbank Settlement"), not to be confused with the even tinier Aesthran Station by the way, lies in the western rainshadow of the Mithral Mountains. It has managed to establish itself as not only a fishing community by netting the mithanjor minnow's irregular spawning runs on the Olantani and the Nekoma, but represents a regular stop for travelers going to, or returning from the Crazy Woman Pass through the Mithral Mountains. The dainty fish bulge the fine-meshed nets almost to breaking several times a year; some are sold or devoured fresh immediately but the bulk are dried or smoked for transport elsewhere. The once small hamlet has grown to a healthy population of roughly 300 to 400 permanent residents who offer the frequent travelers passing through en route to the Mithral Mountains, comfortable lodgings at their own inn known as "The Mithral Minnow".

Description. The fish-netting village of Aesthran is merely a collection of homes and small buildings along either sides of the Olantani River. The southern portion of the village is more densely populated as it was the first area to be established and also runs along the Mad-Path, the only route that leads up to Crazy Woman Pass, one of the most used paths to cross the Mithral Mountains. Because of the significance of this pass, the village of Aesthran does receive a fair share of visitors who are on their way through the pass.

This has given cause for to open up an inn, "The Mithral Minnow", which is filled up almost daily as most travelers stop in Aesthran to lodge for the evening as it is the only settlement before reaching the Mithral Mountains and the Crazy Woman Pass. All of the houses on the southern shore are built facing the road, backing onto the Olantani where there are masses of netting equipment scattered and placed all along the shoreline. This is because trapping schools of the mithanjor minnow is the only real purpose and source of economic development for the village, aside from the one inn that is provided to traders, travelers and anyone else passing through the area.

The houses are very plain, often consisting of only three rooms. These being one bedroom for the parents, a second for the children, followed by an all-purpose room that would include a kitchen accompanied by a table where dinner would be served as well as a few chairs and a fire place where the family can relax after a long days work, netting the mithanjor minnow.

If it were not for the path to Crazy Woman Pass being right past Aesthran, there would be very few travelers who would volunteer to come to visit the village that struggles to exist on its minnow-netting industry. The land itself is plain as well; Aesthran, located just south of the Traeren Lowlands is relatively flat and boring in terms of landscape. There is a sparse collection of trees including areas that seem to be entirely barren. Along the banks of the Olantani, there are collections of bushes and other small plants, but nothing that is overly pleasing to the eye. Return to the top


Location. Aesthran sits on either side of the Olantani River, just west of the Mithral Mountains. It is situated on the Mad-Path, which winds up into the Mountains and Crazy Woman Pass. To the north of the village lie the Traeren Lowlands and to the south is the town of Kachran, whereas further west the Olantani eventually meets with the Nekoma and the very large Mashdai. Return to the top

People. Essentially the entire population of Aesthran is of Avennorian descent. The close-knit population is about 300 to 400 residents and varies erratically. Despite how close the families are, they are also very competitive when it comes to their professions as each families bounty from the Olantani River is theirs to trade and utilize. So, contrary to what one would expect, the mithanjor minnow industry in the village of Aesthran is a competitive, and sometimes violent industry to be a part of.

Families, generally consisting of between 6 or 7 members, are in a sense, businesses. The mother of the household would deal with the supplies of the business - nets, pails, bait, whatever the specific family uses to capture their daily bounty. The youngest children, that are under 7 years of age, would help the mother with this. The other children would do most of the actual netting whereas the father of the family would handle the sale and trading of the minnows. By whatever means were available to him, he would venture south to the town of Kachran or he would set up a trading post of his own along the street of Aesthran. Many families operate by selling their catches to traders who either venture directly through Aesthran, or at the marketplace in Kachran. Autumn is particularly busy for the Aesthranians as they need to accumulate as much money and resources to last them through the winter - as winter brings an abrupt halt to the netting of mithanjor minnows.

Many families try and find work in the surrounding area, essentially becoming workers-for-hire for the extent of the winter season. However, the ability to find work is stagnant making acquiring enough resources to last through the winter a very essential part of Aesthran life.

There is also a family that runs "The Mithral Minnow"; however the attraction of the Inn was brought to Aesthran from an outside citizen who discovered the necessity and business potential for an inn on the way to or from Crazy Woman Pass. The inn was officially opened in 1277 a.S. on the 5th of the Singing Bird, a date which - due to the discrepancies in regards to when the first people settled along the Olantani - has also been dubbed the official date of Aesthran's inception.

The actual founding of the "Mithral Minnow" came as a result of a young trader by the name of Daimen Athsinth. Coming from Kachran, he received a tip on a different route to take in order to bypass the
Mithral Mountains. He took the advice and made his way towards Mad-Path and the Crazy Woman Pass. However, on his way, he passed through Aesthran - or more precisely - what would become Aesthran. He was able to acquire lodgings from a kind family for the night, but decided that this pass would be an invaluable asset, and with Aesthran lying directly on the road and the only rest before reaching the mountains, it would be the ideal location to establish an inn, a place where nightly lodgings, good food and a warm fire would be only a few sans away. His venture across the Mithral Mountains was delayed as he made the proper arrangements with the family that offered him lodgings. Daimen, of course, would not stay and operate the Inn, his trade franchise was far too successful. However, he would financially support the family and have them run the inn.

Currently, the well-known Innkeeper of "The Mithral Minnow" is Paeter Wilibald. He's a jolly Avennorian who has been said to be more interested in hearing their stories than providing them with service and preparing their accommodations. Nevertheless, he is a very well liked individual amongst the residents of Aesthran as well as the travelers who venture through the small Manthrian village. He is, undoubtedly, Aesthran's only and largest celebrity.

As for a type of village government, there is a very informal form of a town council that only comes together when the village has a global issue that affects them all. Disputes in the past have been an excess of competition and violence between families regarding netting territory. Return to the top

Climate. The village of Aesthran is tucked neatly behind the Mithral Mountains, thus shielding the village from a lot of rain that would come inland from the coastline. Gusts of wind come sweeping down over the mountain ranges and can have a noticeable effect upon the small fishing community.

Overall, Aesthran hosts a very moderate climate with hot summers that can at times reach uncomfortable temperatures, but generally Aesthran is a comfortable village year-round. Autumn is cool, comfortable and is most likely, in the minds of the residents of Aesthran, the most comfortable season of the year. During the winter months, the temperature drops a little further and fishing becomes impossible as the mithanjor minnow moves to find warmer waters as the Olantani River is a cooler river, spawning directly from the Mithral Mountains and the flow is generally a result of melting ice caps or snow upon the peaks of the mountains. Return to the top

Flora. Aesthran doesn’t have the largest variety of plants, but some do include the Jeshanna lily that grows along the moist banks of the Olantani River; the meldarapple tree; and of course the lotann flower, which seems to grow just about anywhere. Return to the top

Fauna. Of course, the most notable member of fauna in Aesthran is the mithanjor minnow that flourishes in the Olantani River. Field mice are very common throughout Aesthran and round the banks of the Olantani, flourishing in the Traeren Lowlands just north of the village. Also tarep rabbits are a common sight among the residents of Aesthran. Some prieta deer have also been known to travel across the Traeren Lowlands, in addition to the Sarvonian white deer.

Various other species of mammals, generally small, live near and around Aesthran. There are no animals or predators that would cause problems for the residents. Return to the top

Resources. The Olantani River is rather barren with the exception of the mithanjor minnow, really the only resource that Aesthran offers to the rest of Manthria. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. The story of how Aesthran came to be is varied throughout the village. One of the most popular stories, as told by one of the regulars at "The Mithral Minnow" goes as follows:

The Path of Destiny. I suppose it would be best to start from the beginning. As the story is most commonly told; around 1176 a.S. there was a young by the name of Arian Taveras (or something like that). Either way, he was stranded in the Mithral Mountains, freezing and near death when he came across a pathway leading down the side of the Mountains. He would later discover that this was Crazy Woman Pass, the pathway that would eventually lead to be the main reason for travelers to pass through his village. Anyway, as he reached the bottom he made his way to the Olantani River where he quickly plunged in for a drink. And as he was staring into the water Baveras appeared before him to give him words from Seyella, the Goddess of Destiny. "Arian, within this River lays a bounty of fish, a resource that only the dwarves know about. A community here could prosper and harvest this resource. It is you who must establish this community, Aesthran" - and at that Baveras and the words from Seyella were gone, leaving Arian to put his own destiny into motion as told by the gods.

Where Arian settled for a drink on the Olantani the place eventually turned out to be the very centre of the village as it is now. In the centre of all the houses found can find a fountain with a statue on it, depicting the goddess Baveras with Arian, or what he is assumed to look like, on one knee, his head bowed to the goddess who came to him and revealed his destiny.

Of course, this is a popular story throughout Aesthran as it seems to imply that the village of Aesthran is blessed by Baveras and Seyella, which could be why it is so popular. However, outside Aesthran it is believed that a man by the name of Arian Aesthran did find that the mithanjor minnow was a worthwhile resource to harvest and eventually a village was established around his profession. Return to the top

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THE AGE OF DISCOVERY
(YEARS 1.144 A.S. - 1.440 A.S.)
1.176 Foundations of Aesthran
The first homes, as well as the mythical encounter with Baveras by Arian Taveras, is believed to have occured in the year 1176 a.S.
  

1.277 "The Mithral Minnow" Inn
With financial support of Daimen Athsinth, the "Mithral Minnow" inn is established and thus the village of Aesthran officially comes into being. Growing from the increase in visitors, Aesthran becomes known for more than the mithanjor minnow.

THE AGE OF HAVOC
(YEARS 1.440 A.S. - 1.540 A.S.)
1.473 Northern Expansion Begins
Changing Winds. A expansion to the north begins in an effort to keep Aesthran localized to one area of the Olantani rather than expanding further and further down the southern shore. The Aesthran Bridge begins construction of a wooden bridge that spans a narrow area of the river.
Northern Expansion Complete
Burning Heavens. Just before the transition into autumn and winter, the Aesthran Bridge is completed and shortly afterwards, the constructions of new homes on the northern shore begin.
THE TIME OF REUNION
(YEARS 1.540 A.S. - TODAY)
1.543 The Aesthran Fire
5th of Fallen Leaf. The village of Aesthran has reached a peak of 550 residents when suddenly one of the larger homes in the centre of the stretch of houses goes up in flames. The fire rages on for nearly an entire day before the citizens of Aesthran are able to douse the inferno. Once the fiery chaos has been subdued, 46 houses have been damaged or destroyed entirely. The houses on the northern shore of the Olantani are the only homes not damaged considerably. Aesthran has not recovered entirely since then, many families neglecting to rebuild and simply leaving the hamlet in search of a new home.

It is rumoured that with the competition for minnow catching rising, the initial fire might have been started by a family in order to try and get rid of a rival family. However, these are merely rumours that seem to fit the tough competition between families in Aesthran.
  

1.544 The Aesthran Station
Burning Heavens. Possibly due to the fire, or due to the ongoing expansion of the hamlet itself, a few families who have dwelt within the hamlet for generations, break off from the main hamlet and move further upriver, hoping to find a richer fishing ground and return back to the old ways that have been put in place by Arian Aesthran and the words given to him by the Goddess Baveras. They dwell in what has become known as Aesthran Station, a small settlement located further up the Olantani River.

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 Date of last edit 22nd Passing Clouds 1666 a.S.

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