The Lost Continent
The walled city of Walsh towers over miles of sloping farmlands. It’s summer and dozens of carts bursting with produce are creaking and rumbling through the towering gates into the agora where market day is in full swing. Past the fragrant, open stalls of fruit and vegetables (some obviously magically cultivated) the buildings become stone and the streets are all tiled and engraved—not meant for vehicle traffic, designed for the slipper-shod feet of wealthy men with serious purposes. Outside one building a wooden sign is painted with crossed silver swords on a shield flanked by crimson, the insignia of Redhawk Arms mercenary company. . .
The city of Walsh sits on six large hills that are surrounded by rich agricultural farms. The population has spilled out of the walled city proper and new houses and buildings are springing up in neighborhoods that grow outside the nearly impenetrable walls. Walsh, because of its rich agricultural fields, is looked upon as a prize by many of the nobles and plantation lords in Areen. Because of this Walsh is heavily armed and defended. Scouting parties are a common sight outside of the city near the Areen border. Nearly every citizen has some simple arms and armor in their house and the crack Mercenary Corps of the city are constantly fighting a battle of intelligence with Areen spies.
While Walsh does follow the very free form nature of the Garic Federation, their proximity to Areen causes them to be a bit more watchful of those that come into its walls. Areen citizens that flee to Walsh are usually met with warmth, but are carefully observed by one group or another until they assimilate.
Certain groups within Walsh are actively involved in disrupting the large slave trade in Areen, much of which is centered in the city of Clostin. This loose group of advocates, military operators, mercenaries, and merchants is known as the Circle of the Broken Shackle; many of their members are well-known in Walsh and several serve on the Mayor’s advisory council. They have been known to do everything from buy slaves in order to bring them to Walsh and free them, to actually engaging in covert (and unofficial) military strikes against slave trade caravans. The Circle is suspected in the deaths of several key slave traders in the Areen City of Clostin. Though the deaths appeared to be natural, many in Areen believe there are Circle Assassins moving through their city. It is unknown how much truth is behind these rumors and the Circle itself vehemently denies any allegations of incursions into Areen’s borders. The city council of Walsh considers any actions of its citizens not inside the city’s borders to be outside its jurisdiction and has turned a blind eye to the Circle’s activities.
With the exception of agriculture Walsh is most renown for its battle colleges and martial monasteries; the schools teach various styles and philosophies of combat and their graduates are known to be some of the most competent and complete warriors in Urda. Individuals from many places come to Walsh to study the martial arts and lore of these schools, the exceptions being Lumen and Areen. While refugees and expatriates are welcome, no citizens of either are accepted into the schools. The battle colleges feed many of their graduates and current students into the flourishing Garic mercenary trade. Several prominent mercenary companies are based in Walsh, the three largest being The Black Mountain Co., Redhawk Arms Co., and Sable Wolf Solutions.