There are only about six and a half thousand people living in Maard city. It is a well organised, disciplined and tidy place. It is clean, safe from criminals and a pleasant place to wander around during the day. However there is a constant feeling of oppression and fear from the locals - basically because they are oppressed and controlled by the ruling system.
Maard is the centre of the Wildlands psionic power. The leader of the country, self-styled Prince Farquhar, is a well known telepath and has gathered together a cadre of telepaths under his control, known simply as the Thought Guard. These purple robed fellows wander the streets along with the standard city watch, and are posted at strategic gates through the city. The city watch ask many searching questions of the people passing these gates, or anyone they are suspicious of, and the Thought Guard are always nearby, openly probing the people's minds to see what they are thinking and to find out if they are up to no good. People are regularly taken away for further questioning, and although most are returned to their homes, all refuse to talk of what happened to them at that time. The city is a walled affair, with a lesser number of lower class districts than would be typical for a city of its size. This means that the overall standard of living of the populace is quite high. However this is clearly balanced by the repressive nature of the regime. There are a few areas of the city which have grown up outside the city walls but these are still patrolled by the city guard and the Thought Police. The Slaves Quarter is where the map faces are kept - away from the rest of the city. This is also the place where slaves are bought and sold. Maard also has a law that if you do not have enough money to buy a night in an inn, nor a home to go to, then you are considered a vagabond and will be picked up by the city guards and taken to the slave pens. If you are not ransomed within three days by some external force (a friend, family member, etc), then you will be sold as a slave at the next market. These markets are held in the slave district. Religion is outlawed in the state of Maard and there are no known temples or shrines in the city. There maybe some underground temples in existance but given the repressive nature of the state and the Thought Guard this is unlikely. Anyone openly wearing religious symbols in the state of Maard will be arrested and taken for "questioning". Any clerics using religious symbols to call upon their god's power will be forcably restrained and removed for intense questioning. It is unlikely they will survive such questioning. Note that religion in this context includes the worship of the god Hex, the god of magic, so wizards and sorcerors cannot openly ply their trades here either. This state is basically a non magical state, except for psionics, which is under the control of the Thought Guard. No normal citizens of the state, nor outsiders, can use any form of magic, including psionics, without risk of interment and worse. The city of Maard operates under a strict curfew at night, as part of the control under which the populace lives. Those breaking the curfew are typically taken off for questioning by the Thought Guard. Many are subsequently sold as slaves. It is permitted to ride the city sponsored carriages through the streets at night, so there is a social life after dark but the streets are not a place for people to walk, and personal transport through the streets at night is not allowed. The city has the Wildland's only offical prison. This is a huge complex where people are taken for questioning and where people are kept if they are deemed to be a risk to the state. It is well guarded by the city watch and members of the Thought Guard. The only well known person in the city of Maard is Prince Farquhar. Other important people must include the head of the Thought Guard but no one knows who that is. Many believe it is probably the Prince himself and that he is responsible for personally interrogating important prisoners.