Estorium is a jungle kingdom south of the Inner Sea. Having long been abandoned after a war against the illithids, it has recently been reclaimed by the sorceress Vyrellis, who seeks to restore it to its former glory. Estorium has a particular focus on magic users of all kinds.
Life and Society
The vast majority of the ancient Estorians freed by Vyrellis are humans, with a significant number of tieflings being included in their number as well. The rest of Estorium's population is made up of a melting pot of all other races, drawn to Estorium by a culture that embraces magic in all its forms. The people of Estorium spoke Ancient Estorian, a language that for several centuries was known almost exclusively by scholars and shardminds. With the return of many mages imprisoned since the old empire, the language had made a significant resurgence. Estorians typically wear light and airy clothing due to the hot and humid climate, and it is not uncommon for some to forgo clothing entirely on particularly hot days; there is no nudity taboo in Estorium. Only the most foolish of Estorians, however, would venture into the jungle unclothed. What clothing is worn is designed to retain neither heat nor moisture and is often highly decorated, emphasizing form over function.
Before the fall of Estorium, the primary religion in the empire was the worship of Boccob. Other deities with the magic domain, such as Wee Jas and Nalindra, were also common, and evidence has been found for the existence of at least one cult dedicated to Vecna. While non-magic deities were occasionally worshiped, none had strong followings or dedicated temples. Little has changed in this regard since Estorium's rebirth, with Ioun and Nalindra being the most commonly-worshiped deities. The Raven Queen has a not-insignificant following as well.
Estorium was a predominantly human empire that stretched across much of the southern continent. Seven hundred years ago, their empire was devastated by a surprise attack by the mind flayer empire of the underdark. Unable to achieve victory against the mind flayers' powerful psionic powers, Estorium's mages studied the mind flayers and ultimately created living psionic constructs called shardminds. With the help of the shardminds, they were eventually able to turn the tide and defeat the mind flayers. Unfortunately, their own once-grand empire lay in ruins; it was estimated that perhaps only ten percent of the population survived. The mages knew that the mind flayers would someday return, and so they placed the shardminds into hibernation until such a time as they were needed once more. They also created artifacts that could grant psionic abilities to the surface races, who lacked such powers. Most of the survivors then sailed north, across the sea, and settled in the towns and cities untouched by the war.
For several hundred years, the ruins of Estorium remained largely untouched and were reclaimed by the wilds. All but the most dedicated of adventurers avoided Estorium; most who ventured within were never seen again. Those who did return confirmed sightings of aberrations such as grell, large natural beasts, and a few scattered reports of wyverns. There were also rumors that some cities had become inhabited by orium dragons.
In the year 2959, the wizard Tephra opened a portal to the Far Realm within the ruins of Estorium's former capital of Derenath. As a result of the actions undertaken by various adventurers to close this portal, the Estorian sorceress Vyrellis was freed from imprisonment. Seeing an opportunity to finally rule Estorium, she sought out and freed countless other Estorian mages from the timeless magical prisons their brethren had locked them within; after securing pledges of loyalty to her as their queen, she claimed much of Estorium for herself. She relinquished only the western reaches, granting them to Leardon Sunflare in exchange for mutual aid in defeating Tephra and offical recognition of her own claim.
Vyrellis invited spellcasters of all varieties and from all across Syra to become citizens of Estorium, promising support in whatever forms of magical research they sought to undertake.
Estorium is ruled by Sorceress-Queen Vyrellis, who wields absolute power. She is generally considered to be a fair rule, though she is notoriously harsh towards her enemies. Vyrellis is advised by the Council of Magi, made up of eight spellcasters considered to be at the pinnacle of their art:
- Barra Deepstone, Grand Magistrix of Abjuration. A female dwarf from the Deepiron Clan of The Teeth, Barra revolutionized the magical wards employed by her clan but was dissatisfied with their relationship with Yung Shai.
- Shora-kai, Grand Magister of Conjuration. An air genasi who once served as the right hand of a powerful djinn in the Elemental Chaos. When his master was defeated by a rival, Shora-kai fled to the Material Plane to avoid being killed or enslaved.
- Naram, Grand Magister of Divination. Naram was the first shardmind created by Voran during the Illithid War, and would eventually go on to found the Order of the Topaz Crusaders to battle against invasions from the Far Realm.
- Illuvia Nettlebark, Grand Magistrix of Enchantment. A powerful eladrin wizard from the city of Astrazalian in the Feywild, she grew frustrated at the lack of recognition for her talent by the city's nobility.
- Gond Twiddlefoot, Grand Magister of Evocation. Formerly a gnomish adventurer of great renown. Rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated.
- Olin'istar, Grand Magistrix of Illusion. The name means "secret illusion" in Elven; her true identity is a mystery, and she appears entirely concealed whenever she makes an appearance. It is said that only Vyrellis knows who she truly is.
- Nerathis, Grand Magister of Necromancy. A lich who lived in Estorium before the Illithid War, Nerathis also serves as ambassador to Palmheart.
- Ferrin, Grand Magister of Transmutation. A human scholar with an unknown background, his eyes show wisdom and power well beyond his years. Rumors abound as to what his true form is.
Though a vast number of cities existed in Estorium prior to the Illithid War, only two have thus far been rebuilt and repopulated: Mindrath, which serves as Estorium's capital, and Corethar. A small port city called Vyrellian has also been established along the shore of the Inner Sea. All three cities are linked by magical portals.