Gerult is a large city in and of itself but it also acts as a city-state governing and protecting the surrounding territories. These territories contain mostly small communities that work to gather the raw materials that supply Gerult’s traders and craftsmen. It’s geography shelters three of its sides by rugged mountain ranges inhabited by several evil races and dangerous creatures. The rest is bordered by ocean. No other city really arose in the area, though ruins exist of past cities that didn’t fare as well.
|Red Dot: Gerult
Green Dot: Adventure School
Gerult’s people are healthy due to its strong agriculture of grains, beans, fruit, and livestock. Much of the land around the mountains is heavily forested supplying the city with good hardwoods. The mountains are rich in resources as well and those areas the city has managed to keep protected have valuable mines. The mountains also have occasional volcanic activity.
The closer a community is to the mountains the more risk it’s in of being attacked by evil races (goblins, gnolls, orcs, giants, etc.).
Gerult is mostly free-market. It’s a huge city ruled by a council of elders that has evolved significantly over time. Council seats are both elected and appointed. Some represent districts within Gerult, some represent outlying areas (like certain larger communities and Adventure School), and a few represent guilds or interests. New seats are occasionally added and typically they’re added two at a time. One is elected and the other is appointed. Appointed seats are generally assigned from the current seat holder to a successor. Many of the seats are inherited, but not always. When an appointment can’t be made, the seat is filled by by a vote of the council members.
There’re various types of nobility in Gerult. Most consists of the wealthiest merchant families who generally are extremely powerful. There’s not so much a ruling class as there is powerful government officials. Councilmen are very powerful people and typically come from merchant families as well so have vast resources. Councilmen are also highly compensated. Below the council are the various positions held by those appointed to posts by the council (city guard, sanitation, taxation, army, etc.) and these positions grant power and boons of their own. There’re also many different religions in Gerult as there are many deities in the world. Temples tend to do well for themselves and are often quite powerful simply because gods really do exist and the people know that those priests representing their religions are truly arbiters of their god’s will. If they were not they’d be struck down. Corrupt priests are rare (unless it’s a priest whose aligned with a corrupt god or something) but deception is possible if the priest is extremely well trained and powerful. The various guilds based within the city also have a great deal of power within their realms of influence.
Land is freely owned and purchased as opposed to being held by the state or nobility. Land not owned by a person or group is considered to be state-owned by default, except wilderness. It’s usually a good idea to know an area pretty well before deciding to build permanent residence, especially in wilderness. The countryside is littered with abandoned homesteads where a loan farmer and their family thought they’d make a go of it on their own.