Carthica, City of Tales. It’s said that every story in the stars gets its start here, and scholars, pilgrims, and adventurers frequent the twisting streets, searching for legends or the path to join them. Many travelers join the local guilds upon arrival, seeking their protection and information while they remain in the city. Others declare themselves freelancers, working for guilds, merchants, or anyone else seeking swords for hire. A small number remains unaffiliated, though, and chooses to avoid the politics and rivalries of the city entirely. For some, this involves ignoring the laws, too.
No matter what choice they make, though, every traveler is forced to learn the ways the city changes by day, or even by hour. Sudden festivals begin at dawn, only for the tents to go down with the sun, while merchants are known to pack up their goods and stalls without warning to relocate elsewhere within the storied walls. The random nature of the city always confuses newcomers at first, but they rapidly catch on, and, strangely, those that stay longer than a few weeks learn to accept, and occasionally even predict the chaos.
Lately, that chaos has only increased. The guild militias and city watch have been busy training and recruiting as word of a war between the city’s neighbors has spread through the city. The council, meanwhile, has asked for aid from the freelancers and the unaffiliated, sending them to find wayward conscripts or the encroaching armies. At any rate, the Carthicans are prepared for any threat. The people may be nervous, but they know that any story worth hearing has conflict, and they’re willing to fight to tell the next tale.