The Court Away From Court
There has been a city on this site for centuries. Cultures/ societies have come and gone, but the city site remains as it is a crossroads. Those gone by have left their marks upon the city. The city has grown and fallen numerous times. The last time, it was nearly destroyed, yet a few pieces remain.
It seems odd to a number of travellers that several towns and cities along The Marches have small neighborhoods with the same name. "The Royal Majesty’s Most Beautiful Road" linked all the various town and villages in the Marches. The road is not gone, but only these remnants remain.
Given the Calderonians (The Griffon riders of the floating city), the Lyran skyskips, the Dragon Confederation representives, and others, there is a great deal of flying around the region. Here is where they “dock” in the city.
The Shield District is the old Orcen Mercenary Quarter. It is called the Shield District because Orcen always carried their shields. In terms of buildings, it looks the same as the rest of the town, perhaps a bit more run down. The signs are both in Orcen and the Local tongue. The only differences are The Pits.
It looks like a cook's book. It is a cook's book. It is also where the cook, who happened to be a master spy, encoded all his secrets and contacts. The book has innocently fallen into your group's hands. Everyone wants it, and many are not subtle or peaceful in their attempts.