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Estanil is a rarity in the lands of Semphar, a town built almost entirely of wood. it is small burg, enclosed by a wooden stockade on three sides, the water of the Gbor Nor bounding the fourth. Centered around a small harbor, the town’s heart is a collection of sawmills along the banks of the River Estan and wooden piers nearby. Spreading out from these is a dense maze of log houses, most two stories high. Beyond the stockade are smaller cabins of poor workmen and farmers.

For its size, the town of Estanil is a bustling place. Located at the mouth of the River Estan, the town is a major trade center for lumber. The wood is floated downstream from the Shalhoond to the sawmills and docks of Estanil. Here it is cut, treated, and shipped to other ports on the Gbor Nor. Some is even shipped as far as Manetho.

Estanil is a rough town, filled with independent minded characters. So near to the Shalhoond, it has a greater than normal proportion of elves and goblin-kind. These live uneasily in different sections of the town. Riots (or extremely large brawls) involving 50 to 100 belligerents on a side sometimes break out between the two groups. It is only with great difficulty that open warfare between the two groups is suppressed.

Estanil sits on the border to Semphar, and the Phi rules the town only with great difficulty. He maintains a garrison of 5,000 men in the only stone building of the town, but most of these are actively patrolling and scouting the border or are busy keeping the peace between the elves and goblin-kind. Normally there are only 1,000 men present at any given time in the town. To command them, the Phi has appointed an amir, Abui Fiydah, but his power is limited.

Although the amir has the power to issue orders in the name of the Phi, he can seldom defy the will of the Council of Loggers. This group, a trade guild, is made up of the owners of the mills and the companies of loggers that work in the Shalhoond. Using the threats of strikes, embargoes, and even secession, they are able to limit the amir’s authority. Should they cease their work, Semphar’s only source of building timber would be closed down and Hallstatt would control the lumber trade of the region. Since Semphar needs lumber for its ships, the Council has a very effective tool in its possession.

Of course, the Council does not always get its way. In the past, Phis, tired of Estanil’s highhandedness, have crushed the Council. More than once the town has been burned to the ground and the citizens slain in bloody massacres. This is the Phi’s ultimate threat and it is the only one that keeps the Council from proclaiming its own independence. Vie

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