GHOUL (Gaunth's House of Unwanted Lifeforms)
Gaunth's House Of Unwanted Lifeforms started as a city in Meribor, on the north-western corner of the Vaxian Continent only a few miles from Victory City GHOUL like Victory City, is entirely underground, occupying the tunnels of what used to be Ghuundagor Over time it became something much more.
Here live the beings that heed Gaunth's Call: werewolves and Vampires of all clans, Ghosts and Wraiths and ghouls and all sorts of Undead For as long as they had a mind to call their own, and a craving for dignity and a life free from oppression and prejudice, they have gathered here. During the time of the Vaxian Empire there were decrees all counted as 'abominations' to the Empire were to be carted here, but many came voluntary. With the ousting of the Vaxian Empire by the Shi Inkahan Empire this enforced relocation policy is no longer in effect, though those suffering from the conditions such as vampirism or werebeastism may be recommended to go to GHOUL to help them learn how to deal and live with their conditions.
After the Orc War and the founding of Victory City, Gaunth claimed the land of Ghuundagor and sent out a call to all the outcasts of the world: come to GHOUL, where you will be safe and accepted. GHOUL was originally allowed to exist because they are the world's only source of Gwyne a highly addictive substance (and this is still basically true). There were some early crises, including Coriander Jamas and his LanCorian Clan (before Jamas was killed and Aureant became Coriander of his Clan), Coriander Don Julian, and The Alchemist harassing GHOUL. Currently, GHOUL is embroiled in a war with the Followers of Light a religion based in Iskrania that worships Kosmo and believes all "evil" must be eradicated.
GHOUL has a queen, the toddler Queen Anne, and her mother, Lilyanne, serves as a temporary regent until she comes of age. However, the Ruling Council Of GHOUL does the majority of of the actual ruling.
The city has relatively good relations with most foreign nations, due to their control of the Gwyne trade and their alliance with the Vaxian Empire, which levies a 10% tax on all Gwyne. Moreover, most nations, instead of killing their werewolves, vampires, and other undesirables on sight, will now ship them to GHOUL, where they can have a relatively happy and productive life.
Most crimes in GHOUL are punished by imprisonment in either the Cellar or the Institution. Few things are illegal in GHOUL. Those things that are illegal include assault, murder, theft, high treason, and cursing someone against their will (unless it's the only way to save their life).
Trials in GHOUL are overseen by a Bench of an odd number between 3 and 27 jurors, serving as both judge and jury, with the number of jurors depending on the seriousness of the offense. Jurors are semi-randomly selected from among the Ruling Council members, Apostles, Knights Protector, Captains in the Militia, and wealthy or otherwise prominent citizens. Trials tend to hinge strongly on mental competence and sincere repentance rather than mere guilt, and rarely rely heavily on precedent. For large Benches and serious offenses, the court will not convict if there is a unanimous vote, on the grounds that it implies the accused has no advocate among the jurors.
GHOUL's treaty with the Vaxian Empire establishes GHOUL as a semi-independent state. GHOUL has sovereign jurisdiction over its own internal affairs, but all profits from the gwyne trade are taxed by the Empire at a 10% rate. GHOUL is prohibited from intervening in the internal affairs of any other nation, and it is under Vaxia's protection. All abominations and undesirables that are judged unsuitable for life in the Empire are deported to GHOUL. Saffron Brax is the Ambassador from the Empire to GHOUL.
GHOUL's treaty with Shi Inkahan Empire prohibits GHOUL from interfering with Shi Inkahan's war against Vaxia, and it guarantees GHOUL sovereign jurisdiction over all of Meribor not controlled by Vaxia. Shi Inkahan's Ambassador to GHOUL is Shi Ajai.
Two main groups guard GHOUL: the volunteer GHOUL Militia which guards the city in general and fights the war in Iskrania; and a smaller but better-trained Nethar army, consisting of professional soldiers and warslaves who guard Paras’kezrai and help train the Militia. The University also trains some sorcerers, who enter service in the Militia.