Swords and Deviltry in Lankhmar
Geography and Trade
Lankhmar sits at the center of the world and dominates the world in matters of trade. From the Eight Cities comes lumber and coal; traders from the Cold Waste bring furs and ice peppers. Caravans from Ilthmar and Sarheenmar carry iron, copper, and tin; ships from Klesh bring strange and exotic fruits. Mingols trade in horseflesh, the Dwarves in weapons and wrought steel. The Dragon-men of the Parched Mountains bring gems, gold, and sorcery; the Horned Men of Horborixen deliver silk. Ships from beyond the Outer Sea bring cotton and linen along with their wizardry. And from their subterranean realm, the Lords of Quarmall send their mercenary might and endless thirst for battle.
Vast riches pour into Lankhmar in return for Lankhmar’s great treasure—grain, the vegetable gold. The fertile lowlands between Lankhmar and Earth’s End produce more food that any other realm in Nehwon. Grain barges ply the seas to all ports, and caravans by all roads. Lankhmar’s food traders travel safely through all of Nehwon, and brigands are dealt with mercilessly. No realm will suffer a Lankhmart grain merchant to come to any harm. The displeasure of Lankhmar means starvation. This is the source of Lankhmar’s wealth and power.
As the center of world commerce, Lankhmar is home to all manner of secrets, conspiracies, cabals, collusions, plots, machinations, and intrigues. Extortion, blackmail, and shady deals are a way of life for many. The wheels of Lankhmar society are liberally greased with coin and ill-gotten favors. The prominent players in Lankhmar politics are the Overlord, the Council of Nine, and the Oligarchy. Ostensibly formed to balance and counter each other, these three groups are supposed to rule equally, but in effect the Overlord rules and receives token approval from the other two bodies.