City of Shal'd
The City of Shal’d has been occupied as long as records exist. A millennia ago the city while smaller was mostly elven with a smaller human population. A millennia ago the great exodus began where suddenly almost all the elves left seemingly overnight. If the elves ever told the humans why, the knowledge has been lost to the modern generations.
The city still is touched by the elvish heritage, with its influence infused into the architecture and the green spaces throughout the center of the city. It is also present in the worship of the faceless god and on their tongues for they still speak a dialect of the elvish language.
While it has been conquered several times since the great exodus, the city had never stayed occupied for long. The mountainous surroundings make it difficult to move men over land and keep them supplied. The nearest safe harbors are many leagues away, making transport by water difficult to orchestrate. Of course being the only safe port for many leagues around has also made the city an important trade stop as well as an appealing target.
The rule of Shal’d has mostly been mostly hereditary, with the current family having been in power for the past four centuries. Most of the leaders have been women, with a few notable exceptions. While there have been some leaders who have looked outwards and towards expansion, the city state lacks in both the raw materials and population necessary to do anything, and much of the surrounding terrain precludes anything much more than small farming villages.
One century ago, Shal’d surrendered without battle to five divisions of the Othonian army, and became a province of their country. Because of the peaceful surrender the local government was not sacked. Being the furthest province from the capital, the local government by necessity had more leeway to do what was needed to be done.
As long as the capital got what they wanted the local government was given more leeway. To be honest, it was as much intentional as there were wars and other things to distract the country. The primary things that were expected of Shal’d were significant taxes and a free port of call for their military and merchants.
Indeed the pressure to perform was so high that even the Orthonian advisors did not always toe the line. For a city state that trade was the biggest source of income, denying trade the capital might find objectionable was not necessarily in the best interests if they wanted to keep their heads. So the port was open to ships that itd might otherwise not be for an extra docking fee.
Early on there were two rebellions, which stemmed from the remnants of the local army and their partisans. They were never happy as their commanders believed they could hold against the outside force. However, for the last fifty years things have been quiet and generally peaceful. Shal’d became a quiet backwater that never really received too much attention.
That is until the third rebellion and the second great exodus.