Population: 4,000 (Human-Mulan)
Ssintar is the headquarters of the Esba’Tahar (Battalion) of the west, under the control of Ul’Aen (High Lord) Sin-Gudea who is also the general of the western army.
Ssintar is a military settlement, established during the reign of Gil-Geamesq purely to cement his power within the realm by ensuring an army would always be nearby to deal with any threats to Gil-Geamesq and Unthalass.
Lord Gudea is a harsh but fair ruler, however, he will not accept slaves in the city and as a result Ssintar is one of the few places in Unther where people can prosper through hard work.
Ruler: Sin-Gudea (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Warrior 8)
Ssintar was established with the sole purpose of cementing Gil-Geamesq’s power in Unther. The official story is that the headquarters of Gil-Geamesq’s new model army would be established in Ssintar to ward off invasions from the elves of the Methwood. With a loyal general in command of a thousand masate, and only a few days march away from Unthalass, Gil-Geamesq was able to cow the strongest An-Ular houses and the other godkings into accepting his rule.
The town is built around a hill, atop which sits a stone fort (not nearly as impressive as the fortresses of Unther’s First Age, but still very functional). The town is full of buildings equipped for smiths, carpenters, masons, and fletchers, although most are empty and unused in the current age of Unther.
As well as manufacturing a significant proportion of weapons and armour of Unther, Ssintar also acts as a waystop for caravans to and from Dalath (heading to Unthalass or Messemprar), and so Ssintar has more than a few inns and other services that deal with the caravan traffic en-route and will even cater to adventurers.
Ul’Aen Sin-Gudea is regarded as tough, and definitely the fairest of Gil-Geamesq’s lords, but he is still utterly loyal to the God-King and the law.
Life and Society
Life in Ssintar is hard, just as it is everywhere in Unther, but here a Mulan can work hard and survive without fear of punishment from the whims of the God-King as long as he follows the law and is loyal to Unther.
As a military town, the whole settlement runs like clockwork. At sunrise everyone wakes to the sound of the huge bronze bells that awaken the masate and the rest of the populace, working hard all day maintaining the fort, the armaments, the apparel, the banners, cleaning the streets, gathering food, and all the other tasks Gudea demands to keep the fort and it’s masate in perfect condition. Once dusk arrives and the masate come off duty, the local services then work to provide the recreation activities.
Many of the masate live and have families in Ssintar, and it is those family members that provide the services which keeps the economy of Ssintar running (unlike other Untheric settlements where the economy is slowly grinding to a halt).
Ssintar is a military town ruled by one of the High Lords of Unther, who is also the Tahaen (warlord) of the western battalion. Lord Sin-Gudea has the loyalty of 1,000 experienced masate at his command who regard him as far better than other generals in Unther’s army (he will at least only flog them for insubordination rather than to be cruel), there is little room for politics in Ssintar as Lord SinGudea’s rule is absolute (when he is around).
Who Really Rules: Lord Sin-Gudea is the absolute ruler of Ssintar, his every command is obeyed, and the Code of E-Nlil is supreme in Ssintar. None dare challenge Sin-Gudea because of the loyalty the masate feel towards him, none have any wish to challenge him either, although he harshly punishes (to the letter of the law) those who commit crimes, he is a far more lenient lord than any other in Unther and his replacement could be far more petty and cruel.
When Sin-Gudea is absent from Ssintar; attending court in Unther – which he does for about 3 months of the year, Ssintar is ruled by his seconds, a trio of deputies who are less law abiding than their superior. During this time of Sin-Gudea’s absence, Ssintar becomes home to gambling dens, prostitution rings, illegal worship, drug factories, and other manner of non-permanent illicit activities that can be disbanded in advance of Sin-Gudea’s return. The locals do not report such activities to the general because they are often complicit in the activities (particularly the prostitution rings) and because the economy benefits greatly from them.
Nobility: As a military settlement, strictly controlled by Ul’Aen Sin-Gudea, the petty squabbling noble houses are not permitted a presence within Ssintar (not that Sin-Gudea has the power to forbid them access, but he often quotes there is no room for any further buildings within the walls). There are members from a variety of noble houses within Ssintar, but Sin-Gudea expects his masate to put their brothers in arms first, above the rivalries of any family they might have.
Ssintar is one of the most well defended settlements in Unther (except for Unthalass and Messemprar).
The entire town is surrounded by a strong stone wall 8 ft in height that rings the entire base of the hill and is manned by 100 masate at all times day and night. Atop the hill is the stone fort capable of holding the entire population of the town and enough provisions to last a year long siege.
Sin-Gudea demands that patrols are mounted in a days ride around the settlement day and night. Four 20 man patrols roam 30 miles on the four compass points and back again. A further two 30 man patrols travel along the Angrani (Mountain Road) between Dalath and Unthalass to keep the area free of bandits and monsters.
All masate of the Esba’Tahar of the West are equipped in the standard manner of Unther, with Amitu (shield, Eshadak (bronze stabbing sword), 3 Hitir (bronze javelin), and Pederu (bronze splint mail).
Ssintar trades mostly in ore and weapons. Metal ores come into Ssintar from Dalath or from Unthalass (which would have originally come from Dalath anyway). It is fashioned into metal and then into weapons, armour, and tools which are exported to the rest of Unther. Most of the manufactured goods are kept for Sin-Gudea’s army but there is always enough surplus to send to market in Unthalass.
Ssintar imports most of its foodstuffs, as the soil around Ssintar is poor for growing crops or rearing livestock. Luxuries are few in Ssintar, Sin-Gudea does not approve of luxuries as he feels it makes men soft.
Services make a brisk trade in Ssintar, providing for the caravan traffic and for any passing travelers (which are few and usually adventurers). There are shops; mostly wheelwrights and blacksmiths who specialize in servicing the caravans, but who can provide repairs to other equipment and even be contracted for new items (although the quality is often mediocre at best). The best weaponsmiths and armourers are always busy repairing armaments for the soldiers on orders of Sin-Gudea (it will cost a high price to gain their services).
There are a number of inns in Ssintar, usually of poor quality as they deal only with caravan masters. Festhalls are largely unknown as Sin-Gudea disapproves of pleasure houses, but he does allow the soldiers off duty during the evening to venture into the town for a drink or two (although any trouble results in restriction of these privileges).
As unlicensed magic is forbidden in Unther, and Sin-Gudea restricts the presence of the noble houses (the only ones licensed to have magic practitioners), there are no official magic users in Ssintar.
Sin-Gudea adheres strictly to the Code of E-Nlil, and to some of the more long lasting edicts of Gil-Geamesq. Only those religions endorsed by the state are allowed in Ssintar. There are shrines to Gil-Geamesq, Ish-Tarri, and Ram-Manu in the fort (Ram-Manu’s being the most prominent), and in Ssintar itself there are numerous simple shrines that are unnamed and that Sin-Gudea ignores as long as nobody brings them to his personal attention. These unnamed shrines are dedicated to the old gods, and many in Ssintar practice the old ways (especially when Sin-Gudea is absent from the town).
Ul’Aen Sin-Gudea (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Warrior 8): Sin-Gudea is one of the most powerful men in Unther, he is one of the High Lords of Unther, and one of the Warlords of Unther’s army. Sin-Gudea has no desire for power, his loyalty, ability, and straight-talking have seen him gain much favour with Gil-Geamesq. Sin-Gudea will never betray Gil-Geamesq because he is completely loyal to Unther.
The Fort: Rather uninspiringly named, this fortification is rather mundane by any standards except for its cleanliness and maintenance. Sin-Gudea is strict in ensuring that the fort is 100% operational at all times and has his masate and the local populace expend great effort in maintaining it.
The Chimaera’s Spines: This is one of the Grey Chimaera brand of inns founded by Esh-Nin-T Jehokim.