Free City of Desheart Organization in Kelbonnar | World Anvil

Free City of Desheart

Lying deep in the mires and bogs of the Destra Wetlands, the Free City of Desheart is a city-state that has risen from being little more than a smuggler’s camp to the nerve centre of all illicit trading activity in the north of the continent of Euristan. Life in the Free City is brutal and chaotic, with there being little law and order, other than that which the largest factions in the nation bring themselves and foist on others. However, to view Desheart as a nation of petty thieves and brigands would be do grossly underestimate them. Whilst an outside observer may think that the city-state is constantly on the verge of tearing itself apart, those who would threaten it will quickly find that nothing unites the squabbling factions and interest groups of Desheart faster than an external threat.


The Free-city of Desheart has never been formally founded as a geopolitical entity, rather it organically grew from the camp of smugglers, who sought to use the natural protection of the Destra Wetlands to shield and conceal their smuggling activities within the Empire of Turelion and more broadly across northern Euristan. As these smugglers grew more and more successful, others made the treacherous journey through the wetlands to join them, eventually turning the camp into a more formalised village, then a town and now a small city.   Whilst many over the years have tried to control the population of the Free-City, no one has ever attempted to declare themselves to be the ruler of Desheart as a nation, and no one has ever attempted to get the other geopolitical entities of Kelbonnar to recognise the Free-city as an equal. Instead, the idea of Desheart being a nation state has grown up as part of the romanticising of it (generally by those who have never been there) being a nation of thieves, where one can do as one wishes without having to call anyone master.   In reality, there is little to be romanticised about the Free-City of Desheart. It is informally held together as an entity by the largest of the criminal organisations and cartels who have set up a base there, who operate on the general premise that if everyone else keeps out of everyone else’s business they can all live side by side. This means that from time to time, bitter and bloody conflicts rip through the city-state, fuelled by one crime group or another trying to gain the upper hand in Desheart.   There is no single point of power or control, no legislative body or assembly in the Free-City of Desheart. Little that happens in there is for any sense of a collective good, and the very few things of that nature that do take place in the city-state are agreed and driven by the most powerful of the criminal organisations present there.  

Factions with a Presence in the Free-City of Desheart

  Almost every criminal organisation, syndicate, gang or cartel that operates beyond a purely local level in Kelbonnar has a presence within the Free-City of Desheart.   The White Fangs, Scarlets and Kelrik Pirates all have a presence in Desheart, which they generally use as a staging post for their operation and safe haven within northern Euristan. The Drow nation Kar-Dun also has a presence in the city-state and they operate what is said to be the largest slave market in the whole of the surface of northern Kelbonnar from there.   The largest external faction with a presence in the Free-City are the Black Waves Smugglers, who are naturally attracted to this hub of what the locals like to term, ‘free trade’.   However, despite their presence there, none of these factions are regarded as being the main players within the political landscape of the Free-City. Desheart’s politics are so unpredictable and violent that each one of the above organisations would have to devote enormous resources to bring Desheart to the point where they could say with confidence (but never absolute certainty) that they were in control. Instead, these entities prefer to leave the squabbles of who is the biggest player within Desheart to other, more localised factions, confident that their reputations and the threats of the severe reprisals their global operations could bring will keep people from crossing them.


As a, so-called nation of thieves, the Free-City of Desheart is strongly libertarian in its outlook, with the overriding sense amongst all its inhabitants that one can do whatever one likes, as long as one is prepared to live with the consequences of their actions.   This means that there is no formal system of crime or punishment and people can do as they please, though just as everyone is free to undertake whatever action they desire, everyone is able to deal out whatever justice they see fit as well and it is the threat of repercussions that stops people from killing, maiming, or worse at will.   Almost everyone in the Free-City is a member of one of the criminal organisations that exists within Desheart as they provide protection, or at least the promise of avenging actions should something happen to one of their members. The city of Desheart is one of the only places on Kelbonnar’s surface where one can see people openly bearing the marks and sigils of criminal organisations, in the obvious hope that their allegiances may make those who might wish them harm think twice before acting.   To be a resident of the Free-City and not belong to a criminal organisation is regarded as a very strange thing indeed.

Demography and Population

People of all species and ethnicities can be found within the Free-City of Desheart and the city of Desheart is melting pot of cultures from all over Kelbonnar.   As it is a place where fortunes can be made and lost incredibly quickly, it is virtually impossible to give any formal statistics as to the socio-economic make-up of its inhabitants.


Whilst no formal territorial claim has ever been made by the city-state’s inhabitants, The Free-City of Desheart is said to control the city of Desheart itself and its surrounding hinterland within the Destra Wetlands only.


The city-state has no formalised military force, instead relying on the factions that make up the Free-City coming together to defend it in the unlikely event that it is directly assaulted.   That is not to say that there are not military like forces within Desheart. The brutal reality of living within Desheart means that each faction has a standing band of guards and enforcers, which for the largest of the factions can rival the size of units within the Empire of Turelion.


As a nation with no restrictions the Free-City of Desheart is a bastion of freedom of worship, though in many respects this is not necessarily a good thing. Whilst worshippers of all of the Divines can be found here, the nature of the city-state’s origins and most of inhabitants means that Divines regarded as being darker in character such as Venstariss, Fokrella, Zasgrall, Inthanata and even Hisshfind strong beds of worshippers here.   As well as this, other, non-Celestial powers are worshipped freely in Desheart, and there are a number of Devilish and Demonic cults active within the city of Desheart.

Foreign Relations

The Free-City of Desheart has no formal diplomatic ties with any of Kelbonnar’s other geopolitical entities, and it is almost universally regarded as a menace by Kelbonnar’s other nations.   The Empire of Turelion in particular finds the city-state to be quite the anathema and over their shared history several military expeditions have been launched unsuccessfully to try and destroy Desheart by Turelion’s Emperors. Fortunately for the Free-City, the harsh and confusing landscape of the Destra Wetlands has thwarted all of these invading forces and it has been over a century since the last Turelite attempt to wipe the city-state off the map.

Agriculture & Industry

Little formal industry takes place on a national level within the Free-City of Desheart, but the factions that make up the city-state engage in all kinds of smaller scale industrial activities, too many to list here.   Some agriculture even takes place within the hinterland of the city of Desheart, but the inhospitable nature of the Destra Wetlands to most crops means that not nearly enough food is produced to feed the city-state’s population, and most of what is consumed has to be imported in.


Education is a word with little meaning for most of the inhabitants of the Free-City of Desheart. There are no formal schools at any level within the city-state, and those that do receive education there either do so through the medium of an already educated family member or friend, or through a private tutor who will have been paid a fortune to convince them to live in such a dangerous place.
Founding Date
Geopolitical, Free City
Economic System
Mixed economy
Controlled Territories

Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


Please Login in order to comment!