Dyvers, City of Sails, once the regional capital of the Great Kingdom on the shores of the Nyr Dyv, but now owes its economic survival to its rival to the east, Greyhawk. When the king of Furyuondy moved his capital to Willip, he shifted trade away from Dyvers. Then Greyhawk coffers swelled with treasure from the Cairns and with it new markets opened up. Yet the expansionist policies of Oligarchy, talk of "reuniting" Dyvers (which is a free domain) with Furyondy and the threat of goblinoids from the no so distant Pomarj have made the merchants of the city nervous to say the least.
Now they have a new leader, Larissa Hunter. An able army commander with a fierce patriotic streak she had taken every opportunity to push back against the Oligarchy. While Greyhawk ignores these slights, the patriotic fervor within the walls of Dyvers grows, making Larissa that much more popular with the common folk while making the minor nobles and merchants nervous. Rumors spread about finding someone more pliable, but Larissa is as good as administrator as she is a leader on the field. She plans to build a series of castles on the edges of Dyver's territory as a bulwark against invasion. She plans to pay for them by hiking the taxes of trade goods flowing through the road from Greyhawk. The plan brings comfort to the masses, as well as employment, but the merchants don't want a trade war on their hands and fear that the import taxes are only the beginning.
The first castle lies east of the town of Maraven, astride the main land route from Greyhawk to Dyvers. It is under the command of Lady Agustina of Hardby, who claims to be the legitimate successor to the Despotrix (traditional leaders of the town of Hardby). This is another calculated move by Larissa to raise Greyhakw hackles as Agustina's claims clashes directly with Greyhawk's own. Loss of Hardby to Dyvers would hurt Greyhawk standing in the Wild Coast as well as trade on the Selitan. The fact that Larissa has given such an important post to a political rival of Greyhawk has not gone unnoticed by the members of the Oligarchy (or the ruling Gentry of Dyvers) although Nerof Gasgal has more important things to worry about at the moment.