Firsport is the largest city in the Lastlands. Inasmuch as there is a capital of the Lastlands, Firsport is it. Certainly, Firsport does not have direct political or military control of the rest of the Lastlands, but the general consensus of those living in the Lastlands is that Firsport is the most important city in the region. It is the largest center for trade, the major cultural touchstone, the largest intellectual hub, and generally considered neutral territory for any groups in conflict across the Lastlands. In addition, it has the largest population of any city by far (around 250,000) and one of the few standing professional militaries in the Lastlands, the Guardsmen.
The city is located at the place where the Llobreg river meets the sea at Sand Firth (in fact, some sages trace its name to a corruption of “Firth Port”). It is divided into three main districts, based on where that section of the city is in relation to the Firth: the East District, the West District, and the North District.
The East District is considered the trades district. It is full of the shops of skilled craftsmen and laborers and their houses. It tends to be slightly staid and stuffy, which little exciting happening. It is full of moderately-sized houses with walled gardens. On the counterpoint, it is a well-maintained and pleasant place to work and live, by and large. There are persistent rumors that skills craftsmen of a distinctly different sort – accomplished thieves and spies – often make their home in the East District, though little crime happens in this part of Firsport. It is also home to many of them temples and Philosopher Cult meeting halls in Firsport (though the West and North district do each have some).
The West District is the rougher part of town. Gangs and small thieves’ guilds are endemic to the West District. The docks are more rough and tumble than elsewhere in the city and the population live mostly in small, cheap wooden buildings. A lot of less successful craftsmen, those in less lucrative jobs (such as day-laborers) or those down on their luck find themselves squeezed into the shanty-towns of the West District, with their muddy, sewage-fouled streets. The dock district here is a den of smugglers and knife-fights. The biggest slave market in the Lastlands, called the Block, is just a handful of streets from the West Docks.
One reason these two parts of the city can be so different and separate is because it can be difficult to get between them. There is no bridge across Sand Firth that links the two sections of the city – it is simply too far. There is a large public ferry traditionally provided by the Autokrator that runs twice each morning, afternoon, and night, but it can only carry a fraction of the people who wish to cross each day. Most people who need to get across the Firth hire one of the pole barges or small boats in the Firth to take them across (which can be like taking your life in your hands, depending on how heavy the water traffic is any given day).
The North District is the wealthiest and most exclusive district in the Lastlands. The buildings are generally made from stone or ironwood and are often quite ornate. Firsport’s wealthy and successful live here. The Autokrator’s (currently Autokrateira’s) residence sits at the edge of the Firth here, looking out over the water, with a private garden measuring several square acres. Much of the rest of the district is taken up with similar, if less luxurious, residences and the luxury shops that serve the Lastlands’ wealthy. Most arcane libraries and other resources are located in this part of the city. The tiny, luxurious harbor (mainly reserved for use by the sleek watercrafts of the wealthy) is highlighted by the two iridescent Apparati of Kwalish which famously saved Firsport from an attack by an army of sahuagin nearly 450 years ago. In addition, the North District exists on both sides of the Llobreg River and contains three bridges that span the river to connect the eastern and western sides of the district.
The Guardsmen, who are tasked with protecting the city, have two different cadres – The Gate and The Sword. The Guardsmen of the Gate are basically a city watch. They work to keep peace and order in Firsport (though not necessarily justice, as any resident of the West District can tell you). They also double as defenders against outside attack, though there hasn’t been an outside attack on Firsport in centuries.
The other cadre – the Guardsmen of the Sword – are a military organization, meant to exercise the will of the Autokrateira in the rest of the Lastlands. The most recently major conflict they fought in was the Horde war against the orcs, a century ago. Since then, they have not been involved in another widespread conflict.
However, a previous Autokrator, Bant, hated how expensive it was to equip, train, and employ and army, so he started offsetting the cost by hiring them out as mercenaries. It became a This practice has been continued ever since and Guardsmen of the Sword are a common site around the Lastlands. The current Autokrateira, Manin, has made even more extensive use of this practice than her predecessors, and, while the size of the Sword cadre has doubled under her leadership, very few of these fighters are in Firsport at any one time. Other towns find them a mixed blessing – they are absolutely better and more effective against real problems than a town militia would be, but they also project Firsport’s power wherever they go and tend to bring other settlements under the Autokrateira’s direct influence.
Firsport is technically ruled by a council. Each district gets to choose a Councilor through direct voting. The Autokrator is supposedly only involved in dealing with matters than affect all the districts, like defense, and exterior relations. However, the Autokrator has had nearly complete power for the last three or three and a half centuries and the other Councilors are little more than advisors.