Altara (al-TAH-rah; /æɫˈtɑːɹɑ/) is a country located in the south-central part of the Westlands.
The sign of Altara is two golden leopards on a field checked four-by-four in red and blue.
Altara was founded during the War of the Hundred Years, unified by a founder named Maddin. Like Murandy, the rulers of Altara never ruled more than a small amount of territory around the capital city with the remaining nobles acting autonomously, and only held the nation together out of fear of being absorbed by their neighbors.
In 957 NE, the Children of the Light took advantage of this division to invade Altara. They were opposed by Altara, Murandy and Illian. Eventually they were pushed back, and the war became known as the Whitecloak War.
Recently the Seanchan conquered Ebou Dar and the southern part of Altara. They allowed Queen Tylin to remain on the Throne of the Winds, however, Tylin was found bound and dismembered underneath her bed. Her son Beslan has taken the throne with the blessing of the Seanchan occupying force.
The ruling body of Altara is a monarch, with the seat of power called the Throne of the Winds. The throne is currently held by Beslan Mitsobar. The throne is located in the Tarasin Palace in the capital, Ebou Dar. Shortly before Beslan became king, Ebou Dar and the southern part of Altara were conquered by the Seanchan. They allowed the then-current queen, Beslan's mother Tylin, to remain on the Throne of the Winds. However, Tylin was killed by a gholam.
Before Beslan's coronation, he secretly opposed the Seanchan occupation. After the death of Empress Radhanan and the deposing of High Lady Suroth, Beslan is offered clemency for his rebellion by Tuon, the Daughter of the Nine Moons, who believes that, although misguided, Beslan had the best interests of his people at heart. Beslan accepts her offer, re-swears his oaths, and is raised to the High Blood.
Outside Ebou Dar, the country's inhabitants tend to associate themselves with a particular town or lord rather than the nation as a whole, and only one House has ever ruled the country for four generations. After Beslan is raised to the High Blood, however, Tuon promises to secure Altara for him, granting him absolute rule over the country.
Women in Altara are dominant, especially in Ebou Dar. In many situations an Altaran woman has the right to kill a man unquestioned. Knives and swords are an important part of Altaran life. Both men and women fight duels over trivial disputes, often with fatal results. Altaran women carry marriage knives, which serve both as a formal way to broadcast marital status (its color and decorations describe marital and motherly status), and an easy method of disciplining their men.
Seemingly a retreat for women, there was a farm located several miles northeast of Ebou Dar and north of the Rhannon Hills. In actuality, it was run by and was a refuge for the Kin, a group of runaways and novices cast out of the White Tower. This farm was destroyed when an unsuccessful attempt to unweave a gateway caused an explosion wiping out everything in its surroundings.
With its Mediterranean-esque culture and divided society, many consider Altara as having been inspired by Italy around the 16th Century.
- Ebou Dar (capital)
- Ionin Spring
- Nor Chasen
- Runnien Crossing
- So Eban
- So Habor
- So Tehar
Abayan · Aldeshar · Balasun · Basharande · Caembarin · Dal Calain · Darmovan · Dhowlan · Elan Dapor · Elsalam · Esandara · Farashelle · Fergansea · Hamarea · Ileande · Indrahar · Kharendor · Khodomar · Masenashar · Moreina · Nerevan · Oburun · Oman Dashar · Rhamdashar · Roemalle · Shandalle · Shiota · Talmour · Tova
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