Karsuli is the southern-most city state in Valterra. Historically, it was the Karsulae, the capital of the imperial province of the same name; though, after being sacked early in the first century after the fall, the city was rebuilt on the more defensible piece of land in the fork of the river. It is mostly plains and rolling downs, with rich soil, and has been agricultural land since the Empire claimed it a thousand years ago. The climate is coastal-temperate with only moderate temperature variations. It has four seasons, with warm (but not hot) wet summers (average 72°F) and cool (but not cold) wet winters (average 50°F).
Karsuli is governed by a council consisting of guild heads and wealthy landowners (called Senti). Laws are passed under a complicated system where every council-member’s vote is weighed according to the net taxes paid by their guild or share-croppers in the last quarter. Normal citizens can ‘vote with their feet,’ though, as there are no injunctions against moving from area to area, and some Senti offer incentives to do just that- and bring more tax revenues to their area.
It maintains both a standing army and a citizen lifetime-militia, and every citizen is required to spend at least two years in the army (unpaid, except for room and board, equipment is issued and turned back in.) Despite it’s strong military presence, Karsuli’s military is nearly entirely defensive. It claims some of the very best farmland and growing seasons on the continent, a fact that does not escape it’s neighbors’ notice. In the last 25 years it has repelled no less than three major invasions and several other minor incursions. The invasions might have gone differently, but so far all of the attackers have seemed loathe to destroy the very resource they covet, the land.
Economically, most of it’s citizenry is rural and involved in it’s rich agricultural development. There are no major cities except for Karsuli itself- only farming villages and markets. The common farmer is a sharecropper on land owned by a noble or guild, but their lots aren’t generally harsh, as the land is very rich. Despite it’s fertility, the population is not large enough to develop all of it’s land, and land lies fallow all over the city-state. This is why the Senti can offer incentives to move. All of Karsuli’s trade guilds are based in the city itself, with outlying branches and a tradition of traveling ‘journeymen’ throughout the region. It also has a branch of the merchant clan Maresin in an enclave just outside the city walls- on the beach.
Politically, it currently maintains peaceful ties with Railê and Tingus, neutral with South Urba, and maintains an uneasy cease-fire with Sarpen. With the Gadi Hills, diplomacy figures in a great part to what tribes are currently on the border- raiding is a given. Most of the army serves at least six months on the Gadi/Karsuli border, and most people get a skirmish or two under their belts.
Demographically, Karsuli is ~75% Human (mostly sharecroppers), 10% Fae (primarily guildsmen and landowners), 5% Half-elven (varies according to parents), 5% Halfling (primarily guildsmen), and the remaining 5% is a variety of others, who fill diverse roles according to their nature and inclinations. It’s total population probably approaches about 130,000, of which only ten thousand or so are urban.