Ruler: Sarvamest Hestaephian, Mayor
Government: Representative Republic
Primary Races: Human, Lizardfolk
Primary Language: Imperial Common
Regional Bonus: Of Such Things are Crowns Forged - Consumed by the dreams of Hestaephian, the people of Whisthaven will stop at nothing to see that his designs come to fruition, giving you a +2 racial bonus to Handle Animal and Intimidate.
Regional Feat:Rot and Bile
A powerful mercantile city-state that has managed to secure a foothold in Malivorm, despite the omnipresent dangers of the Green Wastes. Having made peace with the lizardfolk of those depthless swamps, their ruler the ‘Mad Mayor’ Hestaephian controls the world’s only supply of the mysterious metal ‘celesteel’ that surpasses even adamantine in potency, in addition to cornering the market on many exotic trade goods from the lizardfolk. His monopoly is protected by his people’s training of the deadly sea wyverns, which they use for their mounted cavalry.
Though the port areas of the city are open to all trade, it is surrounded by daunting fortifications that keep out all but the most determined of tourists. Of those who make it through, many conflicting tales are told. The city-proper is a marvelous contrast of deep history and driving innovation, centered on a military of disturbing size and skill, with massive dry-docked arks that look to be floating rookeries for sky-darkening fleets of wyverns. Poverty is rare and unemployment unknown, with the unskilled being conscripted into government work gangs or the military as their talents warrant, while undesirable social elements are often placed into the merchant-marine with a tacit understanding that they will depart at a convenient foreign port.
While humans make up almost three-quarters of Whisthaven's population, most of the other 40,000 residents are lizardfolk who have immigrated fromMalivorm, deep in the Green Wastes. They are integrated into all levels of society and seem to face none of the racism common in many other human-dominated areas. Indeed, Hestaephian's right-hand woman is the powerful lizardwoman wizardess Ixcala Three-Stones.
Like the rest of the Circle States of which it is technically a member, Whisthaven was born during the great age of human expansion known as the Diamond Times. The last of the great city-states to be founded, its establishment in AG 379 is considered the end of its epoch and signals the rise of the Western nations--centered around Xain--for the next two-and-a-half centuries.
Small at first, it was little more than a trading post that allowed dwarven metals and elven woodcrafts to be exchanged for trinkets and luxuries from the insular lizardfolk of Malivorm. For centuries Whisthaven grew slowly, their foundations solid and their needs simple. Lacking in the rampant drive many of the other Circle States seemed addicted to, they avoided the wild shifts in fortune that plagued their sister-cities, trading it for slow but steady growth throughout the years.
All of that changed in Tower Age 1216, with the election of Sarvamest Hestaephian. The eldest son of one of the city's oldest, richest, and most respected families, Sarvamest had shown little interest in power or leadership until his thirtieth year, when he shocked the entire city by throwing his fortune behind a campaign to be elected Mayor. It was a close-run thing, but the merchant-prince was able to motivate everyone he met, charging them with a passionate energy that none of his opponents could rival. Since then, he has spent the last forty years spreading that passion through the entire city, to the point that his last two elections have seen him run unopposed despite some fears that his health is failing due to advanced age.
As one of the Circle States, Whisthaven enjoys complicated relations with the other city-states ringing the Stormcradle, though it is mitigated somewhat by the near-universal acknowledgment that in addition to being the largest city-state, they are also the most powerful. Most countries dealing with Whisthaven do so more to use the city-state as a go-between with the uncommunicative Malivorm than out of any desire to deal with Hestaephian or his ilk.
The Ascendancy has even voiced some concerns about Whisthaven's militancy, given that their proximity and the tides through the Stormcradle would make an attack on the Heartlands rather easy. Being close allies, the elves' concerns have left factions within theEmpire concerned as well.