Capital City; Population 23,500 (as of 1491 DR) Tantras is Vesperin’s capital city, though its population is significantly smaller than that of its neighbors, Calaunt and Raven’s Bluff. The city is the seat of Vesperin’s government and is home to the Golden Lords, a council of highly powerful and influential merchants. The Golden Lords rule as an oligarchy, ensuring that most of the wealth made in Vesperin somehow makes its way into Tantras. Wealth and influence determine one’s standing as a Golden Lord, so the council changes in number and in roster as fortunes are made and lost. Society. Most of the population is wealthy. Trade consortiums and far-reaching merchant houses have their headquarters within the city walls. The cost of living is incredibly high, but due to the vast fortunes of the city’s residents, even the middle class lives just below the cusp of wealth. A lower class does exist in the city, mostly indentured servants who live far below the middle class’s standard of living.
Everyone within the city walls—whether resident or visitor—Is expected to adhere to the populace’s culture of diplomacy and decorum. Tantrans are formal and polite with folks in civil society whom they might otherwise kill in the wilds. Appearance. The city’s riches are discernibly reflected in its people and architecture. The average citizen wears the finest clothing and jewelry (in stark contrast to the ragged uniform of the indentured servants that tend to them). Gilded carriages ply between manors and estates decorated by rare woods and precious metals. Gold and silver are exchanged openly, and purchases are made with little thought or concern. Development. Lately, the Golden Lords have been growing more and more distant from the people and the world at large. They are becoming complacent, delegating power to subordinates and insulating themselves from their duties as rulers while they lavish themselves in opulent pursuits. This is causing dissatisfaction among the various powers within Tantras. Whispers of revolution are circulating. In the innermost circles of the most politically active merchant houses, hushed conversations speak of a sole Golden Lord who is vying to snatch the rulership out from under the other Golden Lords.