Sambar is the Gnomish capital of Lantan. It is primarily subterranean, though not the hobbit houses of some Halflings, nor the vast halls and mines of the Dwarves. Rather, Sambar is composed of massive curved towers set deep into the ground, of which only a small proportion is visible above the surface. These towers are connected by “bridges” beneath the ground – a network of paths that form a kind of subterranean mirror of the elven tree cities told of in tales, connected by rope bridges.
Since most industrial and commercial traffic occurs beneath the ground, the surface of Sambar consists of miles of immaculate gardens and orchards surrounding the tops of the Gnomish towers, which rise from the ground as cream-coloured spikes above the treetops.
The Gnomes favour relatively enclosed spaces – generally the floors of the towers, which are largest in their centres, are divided into relatively small rooms. The centre of each tower is devoted to transport up and down through the tower. In addition to a shallow smooth winding path suitable for carts and feet, numerous elevators provide relatively fast and easy transport which is used for travelling up and down many floors at a time. These elevators have been constructed ingeniously to allow several elevators to operate on a single line, with each line of elevators changing direction eight times each day. The lines move continuously, but the elevator carts themselves can stop at a floor for long enough to allow passengers on and off.
The upper floors of each tower primarily consist of housing, rooms in the lower floors are bought or hired for storage, while the middle floors are used for trade and administration. Sambar lives on trade, and as such has a thriving middle class – larger in proportion than any other known city. The extremely rich tend to be those who have worked hard, and they continue to work hard until they retire, just as most others. The poor tend towards the outer areas of the city, or the surrounding farmlands, and generally are involved with food production and animal care.
All wealth brought into the city (though not that which is left on ships) is taxed 10 percent, as is any wealth that would be taken from the city (e.g. from selling trade goods). Part of these proceeds are used to fund the local government and law enforcement agencies, and part is given to the church. Citizens are not standardly taxed (except on bringing/taking wealth as others) as there is enough trade, and a small enough government, that domestic taxes are unnecessary.
Sambar has a population of around 30,000, consisting of around 79% Gnome, 10% Human, 5% Dwarf, 4% Elf, 1% Halling, and 1% are other races.
Magic is not particularly common in Lantan, and while wizards are accepted, sorcerers are generally sneered at as being unsophisticated and uneducated. Druids are extremely uncommon in Sambar, but are generally respected. Most are involved with keeping the city’s gardens, orchards and groves maintained. There are effectively no rangers, monks or barbarians in the city, apart from those that come in aboard ships. Clerics are reasonably common – most are of Gond and are involved with maintenance and construction of the towers, and are also heavily involved with the various crafting guilds.
There are two city walls in Sambar – the inner wall is extremely old, and a lot smaller than the outer wall. Both walls are tall above ground, but also extend a long way beneath the ground, meaning that the inner wall forms a barrier between the buildings outside and the buildings inside. Bridges between such towers are few, and are located at or below the centre of the towers.