Climate/biome: City. Independence proper has a rather harsh climate, being so far south, but member city-states vary.
Area: Very small
Population density: Extreme
Common Inhabitants: Humans, orcs, equitarn, rahbe, realm
Uncommon Inhabitants: Kobolds, abilen, elves
Rare Inhabitants: Eladrin, shar
As the location of the rahbe undercity, Independence proper is home to the only significant population of felbraug in Alm.
Founded by Parosean refugees who wanted no part in the Establishing War, Independence is a neutral city-state—or more accurately, an alliance of independent cities.
Its capital city (Independence proper) is situated on the island around which the Three Kingdoms are arranged, and serves as an important neutral ground between Aurion, Tenebrae and Kalyvas. Thanks to the treaty that ended the Establishing War, it also owns all of the waterways separating the nations, making it a powerful force for keeping the Three Kingdoms in check.
At its best, Independence is land of visionaries and an invaluable mediator of outside disputes. At its worst, it is a nation of wealthy war profiteers, happy to watch the unlucky drown in their own dreams.
At first, Independence consisted only of the island which serves as it capital city. In the rumbling before the Establishing War, a significant number of Parosean refugees wanted nothing to do with the looming conflict, and so they outright abandoned the nation of Novelis. Their refuge was a large island off the coast of Novelis, which they believed uninhabited.
Remarkably, they instead found the home of the rahbe, sealed beneath the island’s surface by some ancient enchantment. Having unintentionally broken their seal, the refugees found the rahbe to be intelligent and curious—and surprisingly welcoming. After some amiable negotiations, the rahbe agreed to allow the newcomers residence on the surface, as long as their homes remained undamaged beneath.
Thus Independence was formed—but for better or worse, its role in the Establishing War was not over. As the nearest accessible neutral ground to Novelis, both secular and church forces began to rely on it to sustain their armies. Its stance of neutrality quickly pivoted to opportunism, and as the war escalated, Independence grew wealthy. The fracturing of the secular forces only further increased Independence’s value.
Today, Independence is second only to Ashar in its variety and volume of trade. Ever welcoming to self-styled entreprenuers, it is always open to new ideas; its modern form is a sprawl of unconventional planning and architecture ranging from the visionary to the catastrophic. However, would-be business moguls are wise to be on their guard. As the locals say, the gutters of Independence are also filled with millionaires.