States of Light
The only things produced in any abundance in the sparse scrublands surrounding Ulan Bator are grass and horses. Fortunately, those horses are by far the best in the known world, and the herds that roam the scrublands are enough to keep regular caravans arriving with goods from every other city state. In particular, Eulyptus serves as a middleman for ore and foreign foodstuffs.
While most adult citizens of Ulan Bator are capable combatants, the military is hampered by the inability of the horse tribes to accept outside direction. That being said, if they were to face a strong external threat it is likely the tribes would unite at least long enough to repel invaders before scattering again.
The horse tribes have strong mystical traditions that prevent their otherwise superstitious natures from completely shunning magic. In particular there is a thriving underground arcane society run by a large tribe of tieflings in the area.
Legend tells of the million-horse army once wielded by the Sorcerer King. The members of that fabled army were said to have been drawn from the finest human and elven horsemen in the world. When the last empire collapsed, the remnants of that army settled in the southwest, where Ulan Bator now stands.
Despite the geographic obstacles, Ulan Bator and Mergut maintain a yearly competitive festival. The cities alternate hosting the festival which revolves around wrestling and long distance running. The fact that the goliaths of Mergut have such an incredible advantage in such contests seems to do nothing but spur the Batorians to greater efforts.
Other than at festival times, the citizens of Ulan Bator are highly suspicious of outsiders, and visitors are advised to make frequent displays of non-aggression. Laws of hospitality in Ulan Bator are observed even more adamantly than the other city states so visitors that have the opportunity to break bread and drink alcohol with the horse tribes can guarantee at least one day’s safe passage for themselves.
A census (or anything approaching one) would be impossible with an itinerant culture like Ulan Bator, but the city and region have approximately 7200 people, primarily human and half-elven.