A bustling port town of ten thousand people, Highgate is nestled in a narrow pass between the Northwall Range and the Mantle Peaks. The town is a major shipping port for trade goods coming down from North Neck and exported rice heading outward into the Isles. The rocky land around the city itself is but little good for farming, and most of the city's food supply comes from further south in the plains. The town retains its trade prominence chiefly because it's the sole good port on the whole north shore of the island.

Placed as it is between two mountain ranges, it's also often harried by goblinoid raiders and human bandits. The city itself is sturdily walled, and the City Watch garrison posted there sees more action in a given span than those of Xian and Tien Lung combined. Those watch lieutenants marked for further advancement invariably spend at least one tour of duty in the Highgate garrison to season them. The trade caravans travelling to and from the plains to the south commonly go under heavy Watch escort, but even so, no one is terribly surprised to hear of some grain wagons or trading mules vanishing midroute.

Most of the citizens of Highgate are either sailors, merchants, or those who live by them. The wharfside dives and seedy knocking shops of the harbor streets are notorious for their shabby virtues, and the city is widely counted the grayest, ugliest settlement on the Ektau coast. The city is more cosmopolitan than many, however, with a steady stream of traders from all over the archipelago arriving and departing at all hours. Not all of them are overly concerned with propriety, either— while smuggling is harshly penalized, there's always a captain willing to dodge the excise tax on his goods by pulling into some rocky inlet out of sight of the city. Every so often a well-placed local goblinoid tribe will find themselves blessed by such instincts of cupidity.

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