Pikvar is a thriving port city, sheltered by islands from harsher weather on the eastern coast of the largest land mass of Aelan.
For all the time that locals can remember, the city has been ruled by a council of nobles. They are known officially as the Pikvaren Council for the Promotion of Trade and Common Interests, but common parlance knows them just as "The Council". 200 years ago, the city was barely a town but increased trade with halfling and dragonborn cities has made the city expand in some very troubling ways. The Council is now a petty money-driven circle with only a few of the original nobles remaining. A power struggle has already been lost and it is certain to any with an ear to the ground that the new money nobles run the show.
The largest export of the city is imported goods, as the city makes most of its money as a stopover for sea trade to progress inland by caravan (and vice versa). It also does a striking amount of illicit business, which supplies its dock areas with many thugs and ne'er-do-wells. The racial makeup of the city is fairly mixed, but majority dwarven with minorities of half-elves, dragonborn, and human. Yet even considering that census, many visitors of different races, even the occasional yuan-ti can be seen from time to time.
The council has a small private guard force that tend to patrol areas frequented by the council. There is a small (and quite unofficial) volunteer guard unit that patrols the other areas. They are supported by donations from shopkeepers and traders who hope to keep the crime down enough to still make a profit. The city relies on its sheltered location for security; it has no outside security at all (no city walls, moats, etc). The one well paid position in the city outside of councilmember is import/export tax collector. Usually a pair of collectors work together: one "numbers man" and one "sword man", determining the "fair" tax and enforcing its collection by sword point if necessary.
Vael Raskinn hails from this city.