A great city by the standards of the small towns and feudal states of the Nentir Vale, Sarthel is wealthy but decadent and corrupt. The city is known for its metalworkers, especially its jewelers and silversmiths. The western reaches of the Draco Serrata are rich in copper and silver, providing ample material for the smelters. The Blackfall Vale produces grain, olives, oranges, and other crops that grow well in arid environments. The dry grassland surrounding the city is good cattle country; beef, cheese, and leather are plentiful. Sarthel imports wood, textiles, and raw materials.
Population: Roughly 15,000 people live in Sarthel, with more in outlying villages and farmlands along the Blackfall Vale. About two-thirds of the population is human. Dwarves, halflings, and tieflings are the most numerous nonhumans, and each congregate in different districts.
Government: Sarthel is ostensibly ruled by a Council of Lords, a body consisting of about twenty hereditary nobles. The council appoints a High Seneschal as the leading civic official, who runs the city’s daily affairs. Currently, the human mage Klaran Meitor currently holds the scepter of the High Seneschal. He is an intimidating figure: a scowling lean, balding man with a stiff black beard peppered with silver and gray. Klaran was appointed to his position ten years ago, and to date he has successfully ignored all but direct orders from the Council of Lords, keeping the city running better than it has in decades.
Defense: A strong wall forms a half-ring around the city; Lake Sarn guards the rest. Sarthel has a small standing army of about 200 cavalry and 800 foot soldiers, but the noble families command scores of mercenaries and loyal guards.