The city known as "Crossroads", or "The Crossroads", is located almost centrally in Caudala, and acts as a central hub between the two major cities of Rest and Bastion - and indeed all other cities and most satellite villages and civilisation in the region. It has always been considered 'neutral ground', and this is far more true than most realise.
During the years of Exile, the Crossroads was a place of chaos and mercantile business. The city grew as wealthy and well-defended individuals or groups moved in and took control of regions spreading out from the central hub, and soon the city had become a collection of quarters each ruled by its own faction - each with its own laws, guards and specialities. Several times a group has tried to unite the city under their rule, but none have succeeded for more than three months.
Thus, despite the city's reputation for being a truly marvellous merchant city, where nearly any type of good imaginable could be located and purchased, those who move away from the main roads may find themselves in considerable trouble, and without any hope of law or protection to turn to. The bright, shining and bustling in the central roads is a sharp contrast to the dark and dangerous backstreets, where most of the industry takes place, often manned by those foolish enough to walk down an alley without sufficient protection and who are oft never seen again - and also where the private wars between the quarters are held.
However, for the most part, those who stick to the main roads are safe from anything but cutpurses. However, with the new rule now brought from the Empire Aeterna, once more the region is being brought under the hold of a single individual, and time will tell whether Madelyn Cunith will be able to hold the city together.
Bastion Quarter - Held by the warriors of Bastion and representing the interests of the warriors of eastern Caudala.
Rest Quarter - Held by the diplomats of Rest and representing the interests of the people of western Caudala.
Meeting Quarter - A small region to the north of the city, dealing in rooms for private meetings and all the luxuries thereof.
Mercenary's Quarter - A large region to the southeast of the city, dealing in all matters of war and its craft - training, hiring, equipping, and ordering of anything from a small personal guard to a small squadron.
Ranger's Quarter - A base within the city for the Ranger Divisions of Exile, this is a small but heavily defended area rarely visited by outsiders.
Living Quarter - A large region to the south of the city dealing mainly with simple day-to-day needs - food, repairs, tools and signs, as well as much of the raw materials used by many other quarters in their production.
Luxuries Quarter - A region to the north of the city, this region deals in both the luxuries such as fine clothes, jewelry, exotic foods and spices, and other trappings of the rich, and the slave market.
Smaller regions exist but usually pay protection money to one or more of the greater quarters. No central magic quarter exists in the region, but mages ply their trade in all of the above regions, both openly and beneath the notice of the commons.
After the Invasion
Crossroads had little in the way of a standing army, or any form of protection past that required to hold out bandits. The different quarters put up some resistance to the Aeternan invasion, but for the most part Crossroads fell quickly and simply to the invading forces. The military within the city held the region in an iron fist for some time, but since the magistrate arrived, the majority of Aeternan soldiers have left the city.
The magistrate is using economic and political might in place of military, or more accurately to obtain military might. Almost the entire Mercenary quarter armed force is currently under Aeternan command after considerable monetary outlay, with fast promotion and hefty rewards on offer for those who help secure Aeternan interests - and a quick and unpleasant death promised for any who work against them. Many of the warriors of other regions, their own numbers depleted after the battle for the city, defected to join this army, leaving Aeterna in charge of well over half the military might available in the city even without their own military to back it up.
Of course, how loyal this army might remain to them in the future is yet to be seen…