Iest is located on the Feld River, where the Chesmi River and the Oesis River meet the Feld River. It is central to the Feldwar States. East of the Red Marches, west of the lands ruled by Khaidoge the Ungovernable, north of Palnu and Onliu, and south of the Hsifan Khanate.
The city of Iest is divided into two sections, lower Iest, and "upper" or "greater Iest". Greater Iest is located on a flat plain on the top of a conical mountain. This mountain is the remains of the Black Tower of ancient times. The upper and lower cities are connected both by a spiral roadway, and by several long staircases. One of these staircases is over 1324 steps high. (27, p.1) The mountain is carved with skulls and demon heads, which are first seen in issue 31, p.15. Iest is somewhat decadent. Red Sophia speaks of "selling her old chain mail bikinis to perverts in Iest..." (10, p.15).
The Iestan legislature consists of 113 elected representatives (101 after 1413), headed by a Prime Minister. This Prime Minister is elected by the legislature, and must receive a simple majority of the votes. This election is apparently held every four years (42, pgs.7, 14).
In the 1413 election, the votes were allocated, not to single influential politicians, but proportionally by the number of votes each candidate received in a general, republican election. See The True History of the 1413 Election for more details.
Districts of Iest
- Iest and Suburbs: An Electoral district of Iest with 19 votes. It consists of the area south and west of the Feld River that is not part of Greater Iest or Lower Iest. 6 votes each are assigned to Oldham, Harbourside, and Nelson with the remaining vote going to East Chapel
- The Docks and Area: Six votes go to the Docks, two votes to B'arn, and one vote each to Grace and Dunham.
- Grace District: 15 votes go to Good Abbey located on the intersection of Sepran Road and Grace Road. Flanked to the west by Fort Grace, Fort Hartin and Fort Redemption.
- Lower Iest: 5 votes total, with one vote to each of the five Boroughs: Borough of T'Agath, Borough of Harne, Borough of Mann, Borough of Kiel and Borough of Mercer.
- Northbell: All five votes go to Storm'send Manor located on The Oldcastle Road.
- Oldcastle: All ten votes go to Newcastle, located at the end of Oldcastle Road.
- Blakely: All twelve votes go to Blakely, birthplace of the first Prime Minister of Iest.
- Parmoor: Has four votes, with three votes going to Fort Tory and one vote going to Fort Cleese. Also has Fort Palin, Fort Dead Parrot, Fort Trof, Fort Frot, Fort Torte and Fort Grit.
- Garrison: Has seven votes, with six going to Fort Chesmi and one going to Fort Garrison. Also has Fort Gort, Fort Hermes and Fort Iran.
Destruction of Iest
The destruction of Iest occurred after Cerebus' and Cirin's Ascension. The city was devastated when a convulsion shook the bedrock between the Chesmi and the Oesis Rivers that opened a chasm miles north of the city that then filled in with water from No Man's Sea creating a large lake. The lake is called Dead Salt Lake, and there are a series of locks called the Dead Salt Locks that connect the Dead Salt Lake to the Feld River (Chasing Scott commentary by Dave Sim in Going Home).
One of the near by areas is called Northbelle Park (seen on page 358 of Going Home). Unknown what connection this site has to the previous Northbell district of Iest.
Dave Speaks about Iest
"The merchant class is very much like today's corporations. More and more of Iest's assets are in the hands of the Import-Export traders. Consequently, although the Iestan crown is worth less because the government is printing paper to represent gold it doesn't have, a larger and larger share is staying with the middleman, who, being a cautious sort (which is how he's managed to stay afloat) raises his prices while paying his suppliers less. As his taxes are increased to service a larger and larger government debt, he raises prices even higher as everyone competes to stay ahead of inflation. Because he is determining the flow of money on the basis of his business instincts, we see the first instances of investment money being drawn to certain city-states with pro-business policies (i.e. Palnu -- "Gouge the people and we'll back you to the hilt.") and repelled by city-states with anti-business policies (i.e. Iest with the Inquisition burning wealthy merchants as heretics). The money supply dries up. . .bread costs twelve times as much as it did last week. . . .rents skyrocket, the value of the currency goes down because no one wants it. The business people who stay behind to operate the black market are all buying Palnan currency so they don't get overwhelmed as things go from bad to worse. Rare antiques, gold rings, objets d'art are traded for bread and soup, and are sold elsewhere in preferred funds -- Palan, T'Capmin, etc. when times are tough, the big fish just get bigger as they devour more fish."
Issue 56, in Aardvark Comment
"Women are not permitted to vote, but Grace District has been run by a Hereditary Matriarchy for hundreds of years. They are left alone, by the Eastern Church, in exchange for not actively proselitizing (sic) within the borders of the Iestan city-state. They were a major factor in the Cirinist rebellion in Upper Felda, though.
RM: How do you pronounce "Iest", anyway? "East"? "Yest"? "Yayst"? "Ice-st"?
Dave: Ee-est. Sometimes Ee-yest. The ones from the Lower City tend toward the latter pronunciation.