Of all the people of the Empire, the Katarsi are perhaps the most mysterious. Not externally, as their social institutions, buildings, and laws follow more or less sensible outlines, but, internally, the mind of a Katarsi is a mysterious thing for an outsider to try to understand.

The Katarsi have a very old culture stretching back thousands of years. Their history (including a fair bit of myth and legend) is deeply embedded in all of their art, literature, plays, and public ceremony. Much of this history, myth and legend revolves around a concept known as the Estrisan, or Eternal Dreaming. Although many people consider the Estrisan a sort of 'dream world' where Katarsi sages congregate during their meditations, it is much more than a place: it is also a state of mind where anything can happen; including travel to other worlds. The Katarsi are mysterious to outsiders because so much of their culture takes place outside of ordinary time and space, during dreams, in visions, and through the manifestation of the Estrisan in the waking world in the form of illusions conjured by talented Estrani.

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