A small city or large town, Chepdale was founded approximately 150 years ago by human merchants who wanted to trade with the elves of Tavarinor. It managed to remain outside the Empire, and the Merchants’ Guild runs things even today. Trade is rising steadily, and with it goes the prosperity and population of Chepdale.

The town is a lively, bustling trading hub, divided roughly into four districts: The Residential District (where the wealthy live, walled off from the rest of the inhabitants), the Trade District (with the Great Market, a few smaller ones, shops and lots of warehouses), the Civic District (with the temples to Yanna and Tilaus, the town hall, and the barracks for the city guard and the army), and the rest (primarily residential areas for those without he wealth to live in the Residential District).

Inhabitants are humans in the main, with one of the world’s biggest concentrations of half-elves (perhaps one in two hundred people). But most races have representatives in Chepdale, even some of the more loathed types such as gnomes and half-orcs. The mining, smelting and smith work is done primarily by dwarves from the Coldstone Clan, who come from nearby Fort Drycliff.
Nearly all people work directly or indirectly for the merchants or their guild; porters, warehouse workers, caravan staff, house servants and various entertainers make up the better part of the urban population. Even the city guard is paid directly by the Merchants’ Guild, with a work focus to match.

The area immediately around Chepdale is fairly safe, enough that the rural population is two or three times that of the urban (which is quite few for a human city, which usually has 90% or more of the population outside the city wall). Sheep are the most common herd animal, from which the town takes its name. Chepdale manages to be self-supplying with food most years, as the area is very fertile, but sometimes food needs to be imported from Longstrand.
Since the weather in Nan Mehtar is so unpredictable (hail in particular is common all year) the best foodstuffs to grow here tend to be potatoes, turnips and root vegetables. Tough local varieties of rye and barley are less common, but profitable if they survive to yield well.

Chepdale exists for the trade between Tavarinor and human lands. Wares such as elven woodcrafts, fine textiles, herbs, wines and silverwork fetch very high prices, and the trade route goes through Chepdale to the great harbours of Longstrand to the east of Nan Mehtar.
The trade between Fort Drycliff and Tavarinor is protected from state interference by law, and so there is much less profit from that, but it does contribute to Chepdale’s prosperity.
The production of wool, leather and foodstuffs is also important in trade, much of it going to Fort Drycliff and a little to Tavarinor.

Interior safety is taken care of by the city guard, which patrols the streets and deals with crime. While their main focus is on those who pay their wages, the merchants, it would be bad for business to have riots and unchecked crime. As such they do a mostly adequate job for the rest of the town.

Safety from outside trouble is provided by the army, the Chepdale Regulars. Though a fairly small force of about 300, they are well trained and equipped, and generally quite able to keep raiders out of the protected rural areas by patrolling vigorously. They keep three outposts at critical areas, and cooperate well with elven scouts and dwarven patrols. They also have agreements with the Longstrand contingent of soldiers in the old Imperial Fort, guarding the road to Longstrand.