"A bustling capital city, full of crime and fortune; It's honestly the strangest place I've ever been to. One minute you're a slave because you're an elf, the next you're winning it big at a gambling house." - Nevitus Vielborn, former elven slave
- Stonefist wasn't derived from anything overly fancy. It serves as a symbol, more than a name to the people who live in it. The unison between dwarves and humans. Stone coming from the dwarves vast mining and forging skills. Fist coming from the humans military supperiority.
Dating back thousands of years, the city of Stonefist has always held strong against against invaders and adversaries. However it's past is baked in bloodshed and destruction. The city has not been and will never be completely peaceful. Power and responsibility have shifted time and time again as each new rule brings forth a lust for either more power, wealth, or land. The city was founded by a small group of humans and dwarves bent on unifying and purifying the two races. A staple rule in the kingdom is that it is always ruled by one human and one dwarf, married or not, male or female. It matters not. After several hundred years the kingdom grew and prospered. At first they didn't allow any outsiders in, but eventualy this changed to allow for trade to be easier. Once they begun letting outsiders in it was decreed that slaves were fair game. Any non-human or dwarf could become a slave, turning the city into a dangerous place for those who weren't traders. Slaves were useful to the higher ups because they could build and fortify the cities without pay. Slaves became so common that society came to accept it and many people had slaves. From craftsmen to miners and ordinary people to rulers. It was so commonplace that nobody questioned it. Of course the slaves didn't like it and the nation as a whole got a lot of flak from the other more tolerant nations. The results caused a lot of blood to be shed and examples to be had. Slaves often tried to escape and nothing sets an example better than killing off and making an example out of people who don't do as they are told.
Some slaves even tried to revolt in the earlier days. Some suceeded and escaped, never to be seen again. The guards were horribly undertrained and not cheap to employ either resulting in many deaths for several decades. The higher ups then decided to employ former inmates and convicts as their guard. The results were stupendous because they could be paid less and had experience fighting already, and if they were killed so few cared it wasn't important. Using their new military they sought to create a kingdom powerful enough to rule their entire realm. They sent forces out to fight and take land. Eventually they stopped their conquering as they became low on resources and slowly sank into a depression. After several years of a depression they emerged out successful, though their land only inhabited what they currently show on the map.
People within the city were trying against eachother, between people who wanted slavery and people who didn't. Eventually people who didn't want slaves left and moved into the neighbor nations so that they could not have to deal with it. Eventually many of the people who went on to do that started the theives guild as a front for an organization that is trying to free the slaves in Stonefist.
The culture of Stonefist is a mixture of pompous, mysterious, and sketchy. People are often nice to others but tend to expect things in return, usually in the form of money. The city is built on backend deals and some corruption. Every turn through the city can lead to a new adventure as the atmosphere changes so much from street to street. One minute you're walking down a peaceful home road and the next everyone is in an all out brawl.
The civilians often turn a blind eye to their surroundings. They tend to go with the flow and not cause trouble, as trouble tends to lead to the ones in charge taking care of business. The dwarfs of the city don't particularly like elves either, but that being said, they are willing to negotiate in times of need. The dwarves in the city are excellent craftsmen and can create pretty much anything if given enough time. The dwarves are responsible for the creation of the legendary weapons that exist, as they use the Aegis fur to create it.
The city folk love to gamble, they practically live for it. Many people often end up losing the majority of their money in the many underground gambling rings with the end result of them becoming slaves or forced into mining for the city. The mines in Asteil are large and span below much of the nation. Many ores are pulled out of the ground every year and it's used to create goods to be used in the city and sent to the other cities as well.
Like every society there is a social structure here within the city.
Kings and Queens
The laws of Stonefist dictate that there must always be one human and one dwarf in charge of the city at any given time. This law is absolute and can not be changed. The king and queens are in charge of the entire kingdom of Asteil.
City officials covers a large variety of people. From people in the city hall to the head miners to the elite guards, city officials hold power just below the rulers. They keep the order within their own organizations and provide diplomatic relationships between the other nations.
Traders, people who make coin by peddling goods for a living between different places. Merchants are responsible for bringing in goods from other places.
People of the craft, from making common household utensils to legendary weapons, they make everything work. Researchers study materials and experiment and then the craftsmen make it.
The backbone of society, they gather, hunt, and farm and keep civilization together by providing sustenance to everyone.
Random people, common folk. They range from simple shop workers to underground gambling kings.
Anyone else is a slave. Everyone has slaves in the city, it's rare and practically unaccepted that someone is against slavery in the city.
The primary religion is following the god of war, Verus. They also somewhat believe in the god of the hunt and goddess of the craft, but to a far lesser extent. Verus, in turn provides the people with good fortune in times of conflict, that he has sometimes created.