Over a century ago, the nomadic Shainu plundered Darshu in a swift raid across the kingdom. The Shainu were quelled, but paranoid seized the queen and she ordered defenses be built on Darshu's northern border. The Shainu never did return, and after the queen's son came to power, the northern border was no longer a focus. Today, most of these forts have been abandoned, but the fortress town of Marshaing continues to thrive.
Jutting from the arid Kranai Mountain range, Marshaing is surrounded by a thick stone and mortar wall, worn over the years by wind and sun. The town's single gate is wide, a rough hewn door made from timber protecting the interior. Parapets have been built every thirty yards or so across the wall, though only a few are manned. The center of the town is the garrison, a broad and squat mortar building that houses Darshu troops. Homespun houses and small shoppes, many of which are simply discarded army tents, surround the garrison in an orderly grid pattern. The dry, dusty streets do not bustle with excitement as Charshemish's might, but the townsfolk go about their business steadily and quietly, with an air of militant discipline. Swift winds whip across the citadel, causing tents to flap loudly and rhythmic. The clash of metal and the shout of orders can be heard just outside the gate, coming from the military proving ground on the outskirts.
Because assignments to Marshaing are usually long, soldiers are allowed to bring their families. Thus, there are more women and children than one might expect at an army outpost. Newly arrived families quickly adapt to Marshaing's military rule and find themselves living a spartan lifestyle. These families make up about half of Marshaing's population; most of the rest are soldiers. Merchants and outfitters who hold business in Marshaing most be cleared by the military and are therefore very reputable and offer quality goods; those who make the sojourn from Darhu's interior can find excellent bargains. The generals have also established Marshaing as a training center, and all Darshu recruits are processed and trained at the outpost. The army officially governs the town, and any disturbances or crimes are resolved in martial court. Trials are usually swift and punishments severe, but trials rarely occur: the presence of a soldier on every corner tends to curb any would-be troublemakers.