Taris
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Population: 270,912

Located on the southern shores of the Lake of Dreams, Taris represents an unofficial gateway to the Desert of Thunder. Despite not being part of their territory, the dragons of that realm keep close watch on that city and have a large number of agents there, for the city is home to one of the biggest markets for unusual magic items, spells, and art objects - many of which were stolen from their original owners.

As the dragons are interested in all of these, they use Taris as a way of acquiring them unofficially without making it look as if they officially condone or commission thefts of items from other countries. Furthermore, keeping this market outside their territory ensures that no single dragon controls the market, which would be an intolerable situation for the others. Naturally, other nations have their own agents here as well who constantly search for unusual magic that might give them an advantage. All this makes for brisk business and a lot of money changing hands.

The laws of the city are relatively relaxed when compared to most other cities. As long as a visitor doesn't disturb the peace, no one will care where he comes from, what he does here, or what kinds of crimes he has committed elsewhere. As a result, all kinds of activities that might be considered illegal or immoral elsewhere - gambling, prostitution, even pit fights and other blood sports - are common here. The city is ruled by the so-called "Three Masks" - so named because they always cover their faces with masks when they appear in public, and their true identities are unknown (though much speculated upon).

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