The city-state of Ushart is still dominated by the powerful merchants who have taken to styling themselves as lords and rulers on equal par with any tribal chieftain among the tribes of the Serpent Riders. Proud of their new statu as as the rulers of one of the most thriving commercial centers in existence,they have taken on the formal titles of ''Lords of the Seas'', deliberate reference to their long term hope of one day expanding their city out to dominate the tribes that live on the islands situated off the east of Tarrod. For now however,they are content to simply accumulate as much wealth as they can from peaceful trade.
There are five Lords of the Seas,all told and they are led by their leader,Ushart,the great man for whom their city is named so. On him is conferred the rank of Master of Trade,a designation that gives him total control of regulating the trade that keeps flowing in to fill the coffers of Ushart. Nevertheless,he is not truly a king but merely first among equals. Every time an important decision is to be made, he has to summon his confederates and obtain their permission in order to push forward with anything. And should they decided to veto his plan, he cannot override that decision on their part and must accept it with good grace. Moreover,he is also expected to split the profits equally among the other five,reserving for himself but a slightly higher share of the profits. Auditors put in place by his fellow ruling merchants se to it that attempt to rob them out for their rightful share is made,something that to his credit he has never done,knowing that to succumb to sheer greed would mean endangering everything and his colleagues have worked so hard to establish.
Administration of the city is split among the Lords,with each ruling the part of the city he desires as his own. The power and control they have over the people under their jurisdiction is absolute,and should they decided to seize a beautiful woman who catches their eye and imprision them their harem or put to death someone accused of besmirching their honor,nothing can be done to prevent it. For all their stern rule though,the people are careful not to protest it,thankful to enjoy the riches that they currently do. Their success was made possible only by the shrewd stewardship of the lords and they do not wish to endanger that by agitating against their rulers.
As stated earlier,Ushart has begun to flex its muscles. The original force of warriors they brought with them,had been increased substantially with the steady influx of men on the run from their own tribes and foreign mercenaries from Caladin eager to sell their skills for gold from Tarrod. Divided into five commands,each one is led by one of the Lords, with overall authority given to Lord Ushart himself.
These forces have begun to make inroads into places that had never seen a human in the entire history of Tarrod previously. The soldiers are sometimes dispatched to aid the slavers in their brutal endeavors and more frequently,on missions to secure rivers and streams rich in gold ore. These little trips in the soggy interior of Tarrod,have quite naturally,brought them into frequent violent contact with the natives. Armies of Brave People ,shocked and appalled by the enslavement of their kin, have attacked these hated dry lander ''demons'' with bestial ferocity,often slithering from the dark waters of Tarrod when the soldiers least expect it, giving them a great edge against the foes armed with superior weapons and tactics. But the greatest threat by far,has been posed by the Lurdi that have taken with great relish to feeding on the tasty, soft flesh of these new comers. Finding them sweeter than even Eshal flesh, these little monsters have been known to ambush entire units and strip them to the bone,earning them a rather dire reputation among the men serving in the army of Ushart, even battled hardened Calan mercenaries that have fought in bloody campaigns against Ogre insurgents back in their homeland. The land of Tarrod,as the soldiers of Ushart are beginning to learn, is far from being cowed. If they ever seek to master its savage inhabitants,they must be prepared to make the waters run red with their blood..