The Whitefire Chronicles
Findar – The Free Lands
Findar is the second largest land mass in the world, but it lacks many of the advantages that its neighbors like Methalia and Shulnar enjoy. Findar's geography is dotted with deserts and badlands, with the Great Sand Sea taking up almost a fifth of the continent's total area. The remaining arable land is therefor highly prized by those participating in the Findari tradition of Free Warfare.
Free Warfare is an odd and complicated system, but stems from the most basic of Findari beliefs – that an individual's right to freedom of choice is absolute, so long as it does not deny the same freedom to others. Most Findari nations are called “Freeholds', and are ruled by those who call themselves “Warleaders”. The warleaders collect taxes from all of the villages within their region that fly their flag, and they station garrisons near each of those cities to protect it from other Warleaders.
You may notice the use of “near” and not “in”. This is because of Free Warfare. By choosing not to be warriors, the villages essentially opt out of the combat. This means garrisons that oversee a city are put up outside of town, so that other War-parties who want to invade the city do not attack the city, but rather the garrison. The warriors fight the warriors, leaving the civilians out of it. In fact, it's not uncommon for villages to come out and watch engagements between the garrison and potential invaders, cheering on whichever side they want to see ruling the region. This makes the armies of Findar not only warriors, but also strange celebrities. Well-liked warrior develop a following of their own, and charismatic fighters often become crowd favourites, invited to patronize local businesses and gifted with clothing and delicious foods by their supporters.
This is a fine gift indeed; food is also central to Findari culture. The giving of food is seen as a very generous gift and the wasting of food is considered a great sin because of the age-old tales of how little food was given to the common people back in the days of the Fae regime.
Primarily a trade city, Gulbenhelm is sometimes called the City of Freedom, since it was here that the last Fae stronghold in Findar fell. Since then, it has gained a reputation as something of a party town, making it an international destination for the wealthy and the artistic.
The birthplace of the Findari Resistance against the Fae, this city was renamed for the great oorkish hero Hadra the Mighty. Most Findari mercenary companies have their offices here, including Whitefire Company. The city is also famous for its annual sports and cooking competitions, which draw competitors from as far away as Farothe.
The Shimmering City lies at the very edge of the Great Sand Sea, serving as a refuge for travellers and a trading post for nomads. The city is ruled by a Warleader Dynasty of the house of Kulaf, who have held the city since the Fae War ended almost three hundred years ago.