>First, the family of Eriol-unit is listed as
>controlling the sultanate. What would their ethnic
>and cultural background be?
They are Lunars. Since they came to power in 6/44, their certification occurs in Celestinus's reign and so I hazard their emperor-worship cult is based upon him and their style-of-rule will mirror Celestinus's own rule ("Celestinus abhorred public commotion, and sought hard for Order", "Celestinus kept to himself, except to appear in his imperial box during games, which he loved above all else", and he apparently had a choir singing to him while he was in bed). Since they are reviving the Matrimonial Tribute, the cult of Hwarin Dalthippa will be prominent among them.
You could invent an exotic origin for them (Darsenites, Darjiinians, Pelandans, Rinliddi etc) and give them further attributes based on that.
>Second, what was the name of the clan that controlled
>it before then (ie, before the dart war wiped them
>out)? And was this family the direct descendants of
>Hwarin Dalthippa and Ingkot Axe-and-a-half?
The first recorded clan are the Virishi who perished in Artifex's reign between 5/43 (1506 ST) and 6/5 (1522 ST). They are denounced as robber barons. Since it looks like they ruled Sylila when Sheng dominated the rest of the Heartlands (Sylila and Carmania were relatively untouched by Sheng despite their opposition), it looks to me that their real sin was bickering with Artifex over taxes.
Since the Errio-Units don't come to power until 6/44 (1561 ST), there's demonstrably another clan between them and the Virishi, but we don't know who it is. This clan suffered the cessation of the Matrimonial Tribute as a result of the formation of the Lunar Provinces (circa 1555 ST) and unwilling to cut back its extravagant expenditures was exterminated by the Errio-Units.
The Virishi are probably not the original ruling clan of Sylila. When they took power is unknown. The original clan was said to have lost two members in the Battle of Falling Hills (1362 ST) and so I hazard that it was severely weakened then. IMO the Virishi would have seized power between then and the battle of Quintus Vale in 1374, in which the Sylilans are noted as allying with the Tarshites against the nomads.
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