This is a world that exists in the gray shades of morality. Pure good and evil are impossible to identify, and conceptions of morality widely differ from viewpoint to viewpoint. One man's colony is another man's slave empire. In this world, Glammer is known by all, loved by some, hated by others, and obeyed by many.
Glammer, the city, is the capital of both the nation and the Empire of the same name. The nation includes, and is bounded, by the Continental Wall cliff at the south, below which drop is the Great Plain; the Turndrop Mountains on the west, beyond which is the ocean; the grasslands to the north, beyond which is the Northern Wood; and the cliffs overlooking the Glammer Sea to the east. Within its bounds also lay the city of Glammer at the southeast, on the edge of both the Wall and the Sea, fertile farmland and pastures spreading west of the city, and the Dornelyan Forest past that. Several other cities lay with the bounds. The nation is relatively tranquil at the time being.
The Empire includes portions of the Dwarven Mountain Spine, the Opium Mountain Isle and the Spice Islands in the Broken Sea, the Northern Goblin Colonies, portions of the Southern Goblin Continent and Troll Country (much more tenuous and disputed than in the rest of the Empire), and the Middle Desert Peninsula (in name only). Violence is a constant fact in these colonies, to differing degrees depending on location and current events. Racial class, subjugation, and warfare are widespread.
Glammer City is nominally ruled by King Phillip and His Council, but true power increasingly lies in the hands of the three noble Houses, House Tune, House Calles, and especially in the last century House Sand. The Houses rose to power through their widespread global trading, and are essentially the architects of the Empire. In somewhat equal to lesser contention with the other Houses until lately, House Sand increased its wealth and power dramatically with their lead in colonization of the Dwarven Mountains on the home continent and the Goblin Lands to the east, and the exploitation of coal resources in both lands.
While firmly medieval (in all other aspects this world is medieval), the city and nation are currently undergoing an industrial steam-driven revolution. While still expensive, messy, slow, crude, and inefficient, light mechanization is coming to this city, including limited rail transportation and steamboats to the colonies. The city itself is slowly becoming wrapped in a layer of coal-smog.
Meanwhile, House Sand is becoming the dominant power in the world. It is ruled internally by two increasingly competing bodies, the Inheritors Council, which goes by birth rank, and the Directors of Trade and Foreign Lands, which positions are determined based on merit, money, lands, and influence. John Farsand is lowranking in the Inheritors, 147th in line for House succession, but is a much more powerful trader and landowner in the Directors.
The city is, by its new nature as the center of global trade, a worldly, cosmopolitan city. It is common to see in the city humans (the vastly dominant race), dwarves, elves, halflings, gnomes, various halfbreeds, goblins, and troll-slaves. Other exotic races also may be seen, but much less commonly. Racial mistrust remains high, especially between humans and the humanoids. Racial violence here is much less common than in the colonies, but occasionally breaks out, even if only sporadically and isolated. The goblins are especially mistrusted, but due to their importance as semi-independent traders, they are a powerful and secure faction.
Areas of Glammer city include Lowtown, the district below the Wall on the Great Plain itself, including the docks (generally a rough, bohemian district); the Steps (a switchback road leading up the Wall's cliff face to the city proper, facilitating trade travel to the docks and the southern continental colonies and independent cities and nations; the Houses (main buildings on the Plaza); Glammer Palace; the temple district; the goblin market and Troll-slavehouse; Pinktown (any vice you want or need); uptown residences and the Promenade (wealthy residential neighborhoods); the Mages' College (an independent organization, large but with no political aspirations (and tolerated only as long as they remain out of politics)); as well as Jordan College and Library, the center of worldwide knowledge. Below the city, below the Wall, lies the Great Plain, home to the Grass Elves.
Glammer is currently planning the Wild Jubilee, a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of Wild's War. Terner Wild, a Grass Elf Chief, in that war united the clans in a particularly bloody fight against Glammer, seized the roads that travel south to Arnadarna, the gnomish city, and lands beyond, as well as roads leading to the Dwarvish Mountains. After years of fighting and untold deaths, a truce was agreed upon, leaving control of the roads to Glammer, with a half-mile wide tract on either side, beyond which lay a fence. It is a capital offence for either side to cross these borders. In exchange, Glammer, and the Houses, agree not to trespass or otherwise threaten the Great Plain. Surely, there is a financial incentive for the elves, as well. Meanwhile, travel and trade are as normal. The only lasting physical remnant of the war is Wild's Scar, a deep and wide protective Moat at the southern border of Glammer's Lowtown, built as a last protective measure. Glammer ends at the Wild Scar, and the lands beyond are elvin.
Lately, the expansion of colonial efforts into goblin lands has been taking a turn for the worse. Casualties are up, and Glammer is becoming increasingly concerned.