The Free City of Obelisk is a very peculiar place. It's one of the few cities in the world, that was built on the ruins of an Elder settlement. Until this day it remains unknown whether the site used to be a city or a temple complex of which the famous Obelisk was part.
The beginnings of the City's history are somewhat hazy. Because of the fear of the Obelisk, the fertile land lying in it's shadow remained unclaimed for a long time after the Fall. None of the surrounding kingdoms wanted to take it, as it was said to be cursed.
However, as the trade between the new kingdoms intensified, it became clear that the old Elder roads could handle more traffic and are faster than the new paths. Soon a small group of traders decided to take the risk and lead their caravan near the Obelisk. This granted them an advantage over other traders, however their joy didn't las long.
After few trips near the Obelisk, their secret was spilt by some drunk caravan guards. Others started thinking of taking their rout, however most of them lost their enthusiasm when only one person returned from the original caravans next voyage. This nameless man claimed that the traders felt over confident with their success and decided to break their rule of not spending the night in the shadow of the Obelisk. The man who lived to tell the story died soon afterward.
Some years later, emerged a man with a plan. He wanted to be wealthy and powerful and he knew how to do it. He sold all his possessions to buy equipment and hire people for his journey. The aim was to build a settlement near the Obelisk, where the caravans could safely spend the night. He knew the venture was risky, but succeeding would mean securing a profitable monopoly. And since his wife and children had passed away, he had nothing to loose.
He succeeded in establishing a small stronghold. At first it was just a palisade with a bunch of tents inside. But with time, the settlement grew. First a watchtower was built, than a wooden house for the leader. When the leader was dying, the outpost was already more than a hundred people strong. However, since he died childless, a problem arose, who should be the next leader...
By the decision of all the dwellers, the 9 remaining members of the original, founding expedition would choose the next head of the village. This is how the tradition, that the council of the 9 oldest trader families chooses the next head of the city, came into being.
This is the legend of how the Free City of Obelisk was founded.
Today the City is ruled by the 33rd of the elected leaders, one who took the title of the Magistrate. The agglomeration is one of the larger human settlements and perhaps the most famous place throughout the know lands.
It attracts all kinds of adventurers, traders artist and anyone who dreams of fame and fortune. It is said that the Obelisk Market is the largest trading place in the world and offers any item known to man, be it silks of the far east, frost steel from the far north, or illegal spells and powders from the south.
The Free State is also infamous for it's organized crime, drug trafficking, slavery, but most of all - religious cults and Elder past. The Obelisk attracts all kinds of zealots, flagellants and future sect leaders. Many new comers, who became charmed by one of the new orders, ended their lives sold to slavers.
The fact that the City is built on the old Elder ruins is also not easily forgotten. Although during the day, the traffic on the streets creates the illusion that the city is twice as populated, few are bold enough to roam the streets by night for in the Obelisk City a lone traveler can easily disappear, suffering a fate far worse than life in chains...