Rising next to the vivid turquoise waters of Lake Kymarris, Trocar's sandstone spires blaze crimson in the sunlight, like a great fire on the beach. Protected by the black cliffs known as the Stormguards that rise in a jagged wall behind the city, and by a series of high walls built of massive sandstone blocks, Trocar stands as the southernmost outpost of civilization, a defense against the wild barbarians of the Shagornan desert.
The majority of Trocarans are big, swarthy, hawk-featured humans. Redheads are not uncommon. Because its trade-based economy brings in a lot of foreigners, the city has a substantial non-human element that includes elves, the catlike people of the Pride, and the flying elithan.
A caravan trail leads west through the canyon lands and the forest to the mysterious city of Xochithlan. Another goes around the lake and northeast across the plains to the free city-state of Rocanis. The most-traveled road, the Selwin Trace, runs northwest along the River Selwin to Jhans. There is even an old trail leading south, although the cities that once thrived beyond the Shagornan have long since fallen into ruins. The merchants of Trocar enjoy a thriving trade in ivory, jade, rubies, non-human crafts--and, to an extent, slaves. Slave traders are not popular in Trocar, and are often attacked by adventurers looking for quick cash.
Trocar's King Samir, a giant of a man with a wild red mane and a temper to match, is a former general who recently seized the throne in a savage coup. He has just arranged for Trocar to join the Delarquan Federation on very favorable terms, bypassing the ten year probationary term. He managed to usurp the lion's share of the tariff on the lucrative trade route that runs through Jhans, Jhelum, and Sibikhas. He even won a seat on the First Tier (the most powerful committee in the Crown Council of the Federation). The agreement was sealed by Samir's marriage to Princess Talissen of Mordant. As part of the pact, Trocar is required to build an arena to train elite warriors for use in future wars against enemies of the Delarquan Federation.
Gladiators in Trocar's Talissen Memorial Arena are, for the most part, free citizens, though the standard contract does give their managers certain proprietary rights (such as the right to order their warriors to fight in the Dark Arena). Their training includes weekly military drills with officers from the Royal Army. In times of war, all gladiators will immediately be drafted.
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