Althier, the Jewel of the Sands

One of the major trading hubs of Southern Andromeda. Around 300 years ago, it was one of the greatest empires in the south, but it has since languished into a single city-state, only a shadow of it’s former glory. In recent years, the city has struggled even more with increased piracy and raiding on trade, resource depletion, and overall poor leadership.

People
Primarily Human (80%), with smatterings of Elves/Half-Elves (8%), Halflings (7%), and Dwarves (5%). Due to increasing tension with the Dragonborn, they are very rarely found in Althier.
Divisions between the rich and the poor are stark. Most people are quite poor and dispossessed. Some have even turned to selling themselves into slavery, just to find a place to get any sort of regular food. Heavy taxes and corrupt officials keep most in a state of effective, and in some cases literal, slavery or serfdom, while short supplies keep prices of food and essentials artificially inflated. Most people struggle as farmers or laborers in commercial or extractive work. Mages and those supporting the Council are often the most wealthy, keeping a monopoly on magic and magical artifacts.

Industry
Althier once traded in all manner of silks, gems, refined wood, and glassware; it was a hub of commerce throughout the whole of southern Andromeda. Now, in a stalled economy turned towards Magecraft, the city primarily produces it’s legendary glassware, fish oil, and the occasional gem. Commerce proves increasingly difficult thanks to pirates and raiders, though the city’s upper class is more focused on spending money on pet projects.
Resources have also begun to completely deplete. Food surpluses are exceedingly rare and nearby forests (limited though they were to begin with) have been completely logged. Nearby hills have been thoroughly mined of gold and silver, though gems are occasionally still mined. Conditions are terrible and miners die frequently.
Because of the self-centered nature of the city’s mageocracy, magic items are hoarded and can almost only be purchased through the black market. The Council actively covets magical items, producing them within their own circles and trying to prevent magic from leaving into the hands of others.

Government
Althier was formerly a despotic empire in it’s glory days, but the government was overthrown 60 years ago and replaced by the Council of Magi. The Council is extremely withdrawn and does not take an active role in their surroundings.

Religion
With the dominance of magic, most temples must fund themselves and are generaly small. Most prefer to keep their own local shrines, primarily to the gods of the Sun, the Farm (for better harvest), the Sea, and the City.

Politics
For almost the entirety of its glory days, Althier was in a constant state of conflict with its neighbor, the Dragonborn nation of Kanjiir, either in cold or hot war. Currently, due to receeding borders, hostilities have been reduced to posturing, for now. Forts in the Dragon Pillars watch each other, and it is postulated that a return to the Lukanta Basin may be the next front.
To the South, the city of Tremia, once owned by Althier, remains staunchly independant and preys upon Althierian shipping. Without wood or financial backing, the Althierian Navy cannot contain the pirates.

Notables
-The Archmage: The head of the Council of Mages.
-Emir Sheerzah: The mayor of Althier.
-Captain Ibna: Captain of the guard in Althier.
-Yorick the Fence: Possibly the only accepted thief in Althier.

Althier, the Jewel of the Sands

Kingmaker: the Lukanta Basin Frodiddly