Varas The gate to the Underlands

The Harbor City of Varas

The city of Varas, the great trade harbour also called the Gate to the Underlands, lies at the mouth of the Murnogh River on a fertile plain surrounded by grandiose mountain ranges. The city itself extends on the coast of a fertile island in the estuary, around a citadel built on a small promontory called the Zha'y'n (golden horn), a headland separated from the coast by a stretch of calm and fishy waters. The city main feature are the miles of warehouses along the beaches of the bay comprised between the Northern bank of the Murnogh River and Zha'y'n itself. Once the capital of the Amu Dari kings, it was notorious for its wealth and luxury. In Republican times, the city continued to thrive with commerce and culture. It is the main market not only for thorntangle wood and onyx, gold and gemstones mined in the mountain ranges of the Underlands desert, but also the Empire largest supplier of salt and bitumen, found in aboundance along the southern coast. The city safety is assured by its formidable citadel and first-class arsenal, which can renew the material and equipment for a large army, and embraces a large weapons factory, renown alchemical laboratories, armouries, harness, carriage, saddlery and tent factories, and even a small fortified shipyard. In addition it possess also great store-houses, stables and accomodations for several thousand troops all within its formidable walls. Under the protection of the Citadel garrison the city has developed a thriving community of goldsmiths and jewellers, and has become a major trading hub and the operational center for many rich merchants and bankers who swell the ranks of the emerging class of Barons.
If the city itself is very well protected the same is not true for the hundreds of small hamlets where the goods that are traded in Varas are produced. Especially along the coast the largest of these communities are often fortified in an attempt to protect themselves from raids, but smaller villages rarely can afford the cost of substantial defences and are regularly targeted by pirates and marauders of all sorts.

From the Imperial Archives:
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