Ebou Dar is the capital city of Altara, located on the southern coast, straddling the River Eldar. The city is built around a large bay, with the river dividing it in two. One side contains the palaces, homes and shops of the upper and middle classes, the other, known as Rahad, is home of the lower classes in the Ebou Dar society.
Ebou Dar was originally built in the years following the Breaking as Barashta, the capital of Eharon, one of the Ten Nations. Barashta was destroyed during the southern-most thrust of the Shadowspawn armies during the Trolloc Wars. It was subsequently rebuilt and expanded west of the river. The city became the capital city of Shiota during the Free Years, and was later captured by the false Dragon Guaire Amalasan during the War of the Second Dragon. Artur Hawkwing took it in turn a few years later. Ebou Dar’s role in the affairs of Hawkwing’s Empire is unknown, although it is possible some of the ships for Hawkwing’s planned invasion of either Seanchan or Shara were assembled there. Ebou Dar survived the War of the Hundred Years, but the nation that came into existence around it, Altara, only came to regard Ebou Dar as its largest city and port, not its capital. As a result, the ruling lord or lady of Ebou Dar, although styling themselves “King” or “Queen”, found that their writ did not extend far from the city walls. Queen Tylin claims that no house has ruled Ebou Dar for more than two generations of rulers. In 1000 NE the city was captured by a combined naval assault, ground attack (via troops landed outside the walls and directly into the harbour) and aerial landing by the forces of the Seanchan Empire. The city fell in a matter of hours, and now serves the Seanchan as one of their primary holdings on this continent.
Ebou Dar is a beautiful city with pale white buildings and plenty of canals. Transportation is easy on the passenger canal boats as well as on the broad streets and bridges. Large buildings and palaces are scattered throughout the city, the palaces richly decorated with tall spires or domes in the shapes of turnips or pears, emblazoned with bands of crimson, blue and gold. The city is surrounded by a very thick white wall, which has three main gates, the Moldaine Gate, the Three Towers Gate and the Dal Eira Gate, as well as several minor ones. Throughout the city paved squares are very common, often contining a fountain bubbling water, a large statue, or both. Out of these squares, the Mol Hara square is by far the largest. At its center stands a statue of a woman with one arm raised as to point toward the sea. One entire side of the Mol Hara square is dominated by the gleaming white Tarasin palace, home of the current ruler of Altara.
On the other side of the River Eldar lies Rahad, the area of Ebou Dar where the less fortunate in life make their living. The streets in Rahad are often narrow alleys, with buildings standing as high as five or six stories above the ground. The streets are filled with the refuse of the inhabitants. Rahad is no doubt a very dangerous place. Not only are duels very frequent, some adversaries do not even bother with the formalities and simply stab their victims in the back.