States of Light
Shibi Mal Tan
The hobgoblin ruling class of Shibi Mal Tan consider money and discussions of commerce to be undignified. Matters of trade are dealt with via trusted slaves drawn from the masses of non-hobgoblins that live in the city.
Shibi Mal Tan’s strongest trading partner is Eulyptus, with whom a thriving slave trade exists despite decrees to the contrary from Salerno. Goliath slaves from the mountainous city of Mergut are particularly sought after.
The last remaining great road connects Shibi Mal Tan to the northern city of Hofveld. Long-standing grudges simmer constantly behind any dealings between the two cities, but neither side desires open conflict and the road makes trade too convenient to ignore.
A strong defensive force comprised almost exclusively of skraelings (half-hobgoblins) protects the city and a cadre of elite warmages can bolster the regular troops if necessary. It has been many years since the Iron Overlord’s forces could truly threaten any of the other cities, but they are more than capable of punitive raids and the threat of their magical power demands that the other cities deal cautiously with them.
Magic is more prevalent in Shibi Mal Tan than in any of the other city states. The ruling classes are even known to harness magical power to accomplish mundane tasks. Of particular interest at the moment is access to the ancient rituals said to have been harnessed by the first Iron Overlord to conjure the city from the sands.
The City of Black Roses (approximate translation of Shibi Mal Tan into common) was established a thousand years ago. The site was chosen by the first Iron Overlord in the chaotic days after the collapse of the last great empire. Few trustworthy records exist of that time, but it is thought that the first Iron Overlord was among those who witnessed the final moments of the last Sorcerer King.
Citizenship in Shibi Mal Tan is based on heredity. Only hobgoblins can be full citizens and even skraelings are limited to military occupations. All other races are considered slaves, whether they currently acknowledge ownership or not. The Iron Overlord and his council occasionally grant passes to non-hobgoblin outsiders that allow free passage through the city.