The economic center of the Padash region. Adjacent to an inland freshwater sea and a river that flows from there to the ocean. Natural barriers shield Ostpadash from the river's seasonal floods, and the flood plains left behind are large and fertile enough to supply grain for much of the southern continent.
Ostpadash has a reputation as a large but essentially boring city. Other than grain, it produces little of interest, and is culturally somewhat staid and conservative. However, a recent upswing in crime within the city, bandits in the countryside, and refugees from the northeast has unsettled the local Obelisk garrison, long used as a dumping ground for sub-par troops.
The Bantine Sea lies just north-west of Ostpadash and stretches from there to the Andrical mountain range to the west and the Whitehollow range to the north. The Bantine River meanders from there all the way south to the ocean through farms and agricultural villages.
Over the river and to the west lie a multitude of minor Imperial settlements but little true civilization. The [[Shasahat Desert] in the northeast and the Denrom mountains to the west are significant barriers to travel. Past the Denrom range, accessible via a few moderately treacherous passes, is the neighboring region of Istagat.
With easy travel in some directions and, charitably, "fucking nothing" in some directions, there are large swaths of land that are fairly near Ostpadash that see almost no traffic from respectable travelers. Only a day or two off the Bantine River, and one is likely to find overgrown coniferous forests, jagged cliffs, white water streams, and terrain that is just not suitable for speedy overland travel. Things that go bump in the night prefer to keep to away from the city, where the night is longer people aren't walking around with fire and steel looking to bump back. For those that are interested, these forests, cliffs, and rivers are littered with old artifacts and rare finds. If you know where to look, you could pass an old fort, the rubble of a homesteaders stake, and a looming cave all within a few miles of each other. Or you might go for days and find nothing but pine cones and trout.
Ostipadash is one of the rare cities that nearly lives up to its own claims of a healthy civic culture. While self governance is somewhat non-existent in the formal areas of government like law enforcement and taxing, the community has an active hand in the informal areas of government. A collection of traditions and rules have been built up to handle many of the day to day squabbles that arise.
For example, the punishment for any common trespass or assault must be approved of by a jury of disinterested adults agreed upon by both parties. Women can wed with the blessing of either their father or two older female relatives. Common gardens are tended to by small clusters of families, and it is considered a pretty significant breach of decorum to pick food for your own family. You instead harvest for the other families, and they for your family. Weekly town-hall style meetings are usually held in any structure large enough to hold three families arguing over what to do with a failing well.
Anonymous charity, and more often sort-of anonymous oh-you-caught-me charity is expected. There's a saying that "No one starves in Ostpadash, unless everyone starves in Ostpadash." For the most part, it's true.
Someone, sometime in the early days of Ostpadash figured out how to build stable, cheap, multi-story buildings, and Ostpadash has been suffering for it ever since. Instead of expanding horizontally, most buildings have a small, narrow footprint and expand vertically. Nearly every row of buildings looks like it has been squashed together with its neighbors. Store-fronts are small and easy to miss, allies are long and dark, and Lord Emperor help two fat men that want to get past each other in restaurant.
One side effect of this architecture is that most buildings have two or more purposes. It's not uncommon to see a warehouse or stable on the first floor, with living quarters or a butcher shop on the second floor. Most roofs are flat and have accessible living space, either by trap door on the top floor or an external ladder. You can find gardens, picnic tables, and even the occasional chicken coop on most roofs.
Fifty years ago, Ostpadash population was stable, mostly human, and made up of the same two dozen or so large families. Some of the families dug in the dirt. Some of the families made tools for people who dig in the dirt. Some of the families took money from people who dug in the dirt. Few people came or went. Fathers taught their sons the family business, grew old, and their sons took over. Mothers taught their daughters how to keep a home, grew old, and married their daughters off to some other father's son.
Due to economic and social forces unknown, or perhaps sinister machinations of the Empire!, Ostpadash has seen an influx of new blood. New humans with new skin colors and new family names. New non-humans. New craftsmen. New ideas. New diseases. New ideas about who it is that should be digging in the dirt and who it is that should be taking money away from those who dig in the dirt. New foods.
With this influx, Ostpadash is a city grappling with change. The grappling is very slow, and little talked about in public, as is the Ostpadash way. But late at night around dying fires, or early in the morning at wash parties, the old Ostpadashi worry the city they know is changing. Sure, it was a good idea to put a handle at the top of a spade and why didn't we ever think of that. And yes, the market for meat and dairy is stronger than it was before. But maybe it's not so safe to go walking down blind allies in the middle of the night with a pocket full of coppers and too drunk to see straight.
The new residents don't have much to talk about. They set up their shop or sell out their labor in a market that seem a little more prosperous than they are used to. Like mostly sticks to like, with little enclaves of Eastern Hordites here and a warren of dwarves there. Mostly though, business tends to draw a community together, old and new.