Deep below the earth, in a series of long, hollow caverns stretching beneath the Black Marches, there is a great underground city that seems to glow like thousands of colorful fireflies from a distance. Tall, black metal spires rise up toward the cavern ceilings. Distinct auras of evil magic emanating from the city and an unearthly hush hint at the sinister nature of the place.
Kal'tazaka is a both a free merchant city and a tyranny all at once. Powerful races of the underworld - dark elves, minotaur, orcs, dark dwarves - congregate here, bartering for goods, mercenaries, and slaves. From this city, other underground settlements are raided, and sometimes the overworld itself is not beyond the influence of the beings that dwell in Kal'tazaka. It is a dangerous place to live in, immediately violent to trespassers and beings of the overworld, and trade here is prone to violent outbursts that are swiftly dealt with by the Kal'tazakan Elite.
While the ruling population consists of those overlord races - dark elves, minotaur, orcs and dark dwarves -, there is actually a very sizable slave population as well. Indeed, many goblinoids and svirfneblin are kept as slaves along with members of other races, all of whome are forced to breed with whomsoever their masters desire in order to produce the best possible drudges. Criminals, too, are often thrown in with the slaves if they aren't executed and are unable to bribe the authorities.
Faction warfare often causes strife in the various districts of the city. Such warfare is usually kept quiet, as nobody wishes to earn the ire of the High Wizard and the Council, the city's rulers, and it is generally known that so long as someone can kill their enemy in a quiet fashion with no witnesses, their crime will be ignored and go without investigation.
Soon to come.
The Kal'tazaka Council and its High Wizard are the rulers of Kal'tazaka, having established it centuries ago. They are tyrants, but they allow their subjects and their visitors enough rights to encourage trade. Indeed, compared to other cities in the underworld, Kal'tazaka is a beacon of opportunity, a truly free market. Thus, the Council rules with a carefully placed iron fist, stamping out only those problems which need to be while allowing the citizenry to deal with their own petty squabbles.
Clan Korgoth is the strongest of the orc clans to reside in the city, so strong that it commands its own cadre of minotaur warriors bred to be its elite guards over generations. They provide Kal'tazaka's Council with strong mercenary troops and in return are allowed to impress a number of good fighting candidates into their ranks every ten years.
Clan Shatterhand is one of the wealthiest organizations in the city and is famous for the skill of its leaders: Dark dwarven nobles who can kill armed combatants using only their bare hands. The Shatterhand clan is led by Agnar Shatterhand, a dwarf who can boast, in earnest, of having wrestled an Umber Hulk to death. They deal mostly in metal, precious ores and slaves, and also have their own Thieves' Guild.
House Us'tanin is a dark elven noble family from another city. While not based in Kal'tazaka, it has its hands deep in the political intrigue of the city and plays many lesser families like puppets. They are highly religious - fanatical, in fact -, and have little patience for the "lesser" races that occupy the city.
Soon to come.