Dźike was a colony of Remnava, one of the two cities in the Dark Lands. It was founded to secure a steady supply of salt and black salt from the nearby mines. Formally it is still a colony, but its independence has grown recently, especially since the Śiukeźul plague spread through the city. Dźike is a small town, even when compared with the size of the settlements in the Dark Lands. Though no one wants to admit it, the city exists only because of the black salt mines.
Since the Remnavian government organised and financed Dźike's foundation, they ruled the city at first. Any law and taxation would apply in Dźike as it did in Remnava. However, the decline of the cities gave it much room for slowly slipping out of Remnava control. Nowadays, the Salt Trading Company, an organization born in the city itself, controls it completely. They make sure to make customised trade offers to Remnava to avoid conflicts.
Dźike benefits from an advantageous geographical position. Mountains surround it on three sides, and a steep, narrow road descends on the open one towards the plain underneath. Building on the ruins of an ancient city (presumably from the time before the Dark Swan), colonists used most of its ruined infrastructure. They rebuilt three wooden walls on the road to the city, each complete with solid iron gates, so that even if an invader was able to surpass one of them, there would still be two more. The city has a secure water source from a pond in a nearby cave and maintains abundant food stockpiles. At first glance, it might seem like the inhabitants fear an invasion. The city is deemed impossible to conquer without a prolonged siege, but the principal purpose of the defences is different. They are meant to block demons or deter them from attacking. Cities in the Dark Lands are not safe places. The inhabitants tend to fight among themselves for resources, even backstabbing friends or selling them as slaves for the mines. The only reason to live in a city, Dźike included, is to be protected from the outside world.
Guilds and Factions
Founded to manage the nearby (black) salt mines, the Salt Trading Company is the most powerful organization in the settlement and probably the most solid ruling one in whole Rojgrasz. They successfully stole control over the city from Remnava and sustained trading in the most dangerous region on Nys. Someone says the Swan's Army is also present in the city, but there has been no proof yet.
Dźike was founded with the official intent of exploiting a nearby salt mine. Salt is a necessary item to preserve food for an extended period, but it is quite rare in the Dark Lands. Whilst most of the smaller villages do not need salt since they only gather slightly more than they need, in larger cities it is a much-sought resource. Mining salt is a cumbersome activity, dangerous for health, often lethal after a short time. Salt Miners are looked down and undervalued, even though they are the very reason Dźike exists. Beyond ordinary salt, a secret section of the mines contains black salt. The Trading Company describes it as a luxury salt and says to export it to the Arkadhian New Empire. While it is not false, black salt is also a key component in several magical rituals and concoctions, especially the more... peculiar ones. It is highly valued among less scrupulous mages. Many people claim the colonists knew about the black salt and that it was the real reason to found the city. Some go as far as to say the Shadow Court commissioned the foundation through the Swan's Army, to ensure a secure trade route for the resource.