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Etarra, a brick city of squat red walls and square bastions[1] is a major trade city built across the Mathorn Pass in Daon Ramon, Rathain. Five trade roads leave this city and span the principality of Rathain. The northeastern road connecting Etarra to East Ward crosses the low country, and is subject to impassable mud during late summer rains.

The outer gates of Etarra overlooked a steep slope, the city itself wedged across the gap between the Mathorns' eastern foothills and a west-jutting spur of the Skyshiels. Accessed by five roads, the approach from Daon Ramon was a switched-back conglomeration of mud bricks and shoring that broadened the original pack trail enough for the passage of wagons.[2]

The lifestyle of the Etarrans is thick with intrigue -- the city is described as a place where children are urged to select their playmates based on the importance of the parents, and are often sent out visiting with instructions to keep an ear out for word of other parents' affairs. This city was built after the uprising, so the Etarrans do not necessarily recall the truths behind crown rule. It is governed by a Governors' Council headed by the Lord Governor Supreme, and is the policy maker for all of the North in the absence of crown rule. Other political positions include the First City Alderman and the City Seneschal. Each quarter of the city also has its own alderman.


  • There are many inns in the city, including the Goose Quill and the Red Cockerel.
  • Mention is made of a shanty district and a poor quarter (also referred to as the back district) where warehouses and the horse knackers are located.
  • Council Hall: The building where the Governors' Council convenes. It contains a gilt chair atop a high dais for the Lord Governor Supreme.
  • High Street: The location of fashionable dress shops.
  • Market Square: The central selling point for finished goods.
  • Simshane's House of Exotic Delights can be found among the oldest, trade-quarter tenements.
  • South Ward Armory: The building containing spare weapons stores.

Role in the Story

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the serise.

Curse of the Mistwraith

Third Age 5638: Before the planned coronation, Arithon and the party arrive by way of the southern gate, and the ceremony for his Right of Succession is held in a nearby courtyard. Arithon's illusion of a ship for beggar children takes place in the poor quarter. While preparing for the coronation, Traithe prevents Gnudsog and his deputies from raiding the south ward armory.

Ships of Merior

Third Age 5644: After the Battle of Strakewood, the city of Etarra militarizes, with apple harvests stacked in barrels to discourage pilfering. A maze of supply tents and officers' quarters take over the hayfields nearest the walls, with a permanent war camp established around the city. When Lysaer goes to restore Avenor, it is partially funded by the Etarran treasury.

Third Age 5646: By the time Lysaer returns to Etarra, Avenor's war camp is considered to be a bottomless drain on the treasury.

Grand Conspiracy

Third Age 5667: Lysaer is ratified as the Mayor of Etarra. Etarra becomes the eastern seat of the Alliance. The surrounding vales are stripped of trees, and massive walls of warded Elssine stone surround the city. The walls are surrounded with makeshift soldier encampments, armor shacks, and whore's cribs.

Peril's Gate

Third Age 5670: When Lysaer tracks Arithon to Daon Ramon Barrens, the army out of Etarra forms the northern border of his cordon. After Arithon binds the Lanes in Rathain into harmony, the gold in the Etarran treasury runs molten.

Traitor's Knot

Third Age 5671: Arithon travels to Etarra to help the Fellowship purge the Gray Kralovir cult before they can entrench themselves. His actions lead to the decimation of Etarra's ranking authority and the disenfranchisement of the sunwheel priests.

Initiate's Trial

Third Age 5688: As Mayor of Etarra, Lysaer creates a treaty with Barach s'Valerient, bringing stable peace to the clans in Rathain. Only clansmen found raiding outside of the free wilds are subject to execution, and then only after trial. This policy has the side effect of increasing clan numbers over several generations.

Third Age 5923: Governance of Etarra is abruptly handed over to the True Sect after the Light's Hope reveals to Lysaer that Arithon is loose in Tysan. Daliana theorizes that a second Koriani fetch was used to trigger the curse and lead to this decision.

Through Dakar's intervention, Lysaer returns to Etarra in time to salvage Daliana's fate. He interrupts Daliana's trial, surrounded by an aura of light that he has not projected for over two centuries. After exposing the True Sect conspiracy to use him as a curse-driven figurehead, the prince evicts the True Sect from Etarra. Lysaer's decision to raise light draws worship from the masses.

After a change in resonance on a planetary scale, the populace's fear leads to the reinstatement of True Sect rule there in Lysaer's absence.


  • The drink of choice in Etarra is gin. After a round of tavern visits, Dakar confirms his opinion that Etarrans brew terrible ale.
  • Etarrans brand captive clansmen to mark them for criminal labor.


  1. © Janny Wurts, Curse of the Mistwraith, p. 339 (US-Hardback)
  2. © Janny Wurts, Curse of the Mistwraith, p. 346 (US-Hardback)