The Plateaus range from 1/2 mile to 1 mile across and there are six plateaus in total. The lower plateaus are homesteads for those that travel into the underdark to mine or hunt while the two upper twin plateaus are the seat of commerce and the home to a large market place where creatures of all type come to peddle their wares, seek information or gather goods before heading into the unknown. Magic is common for sale here and the artificers here have managed to protect those that dwell here from natural and unnatural disasters alike with magical protections and retractable bridges, yes even the land bridges are magically retractable at this point in time.
At the time this abyss was discovered it was filled with nasty creatures that time had forgotten which lived off the aquatic life that swims in the watery depths below.
Upon his return from his solo adventure Dargain met up with the friends he had lost and told them of the place he had found. Due to its location he figured it could be a goldmine of commerce for those traveling below ground but it would require trusted partners, skilled traders and strong but fair rulership. With friends and hired laborers, Dargain and company cleaned things up. The subterranian terradactills were captured and trained (and are now a popular form of transportation). Once the main passage (first entrance) was fortified, the first bridges where built. The fish below were dubbed glutton gulper for the way they ate all in their paths. They are large predatory fish that thrive on all matter of aquatic life that is washed into this large underground basin. They provide a great food source as well as scrimshaw and oil. The meat is very bland but allows for various different tastes depending on preparation. It has the consistency of ostrich and is a great source of protein. The bones can be made into a variety of carved trinckets, jewelry and needles for working with leather of hide. The oil is not flammable therefore making an ideal cooking aid or lubricant. Amidst the depths are a few strange form of plant life, the northern shore is a good source of mushrooms and strange mosses grow just above and below water level on the jagged rocky walls and bases of the plateaus
Five seats exist and from these seats so they rule. The rulership of this place is based solely on guilds and one appointed official known as The Speaker of the Steppes. Each guild has a representative and the guilds are as follows: The Mage Guild, Merchant Guild, Laborers Guild, Adventurer Guild. The Speaker has the following options when it comes to passing a law or finalizing a judgment. He may favor one side in the case of a tie or give his vote to the people. In the second case the anonymous votes from the people are tallied and the outcome goes to the side with the most votes.
Mage Guild - need I explain, ok all things magic. Some rivalry with the merchants. Visiting mages may conduct business with the Mage Guild or as a Merchant but few are foolish enough not to conduct business with the Mage Guild.
Merchant Guild - Controls commerce, deeds for shops and collecting merchant taxes. All merchants pay taxes. Visiting merchants have two options, they may pay up front or pay at the end provided they have something for collateral.
Laborers Guild - All forms of laborers may join the guild if they so wish. Benefits gained are often worth joining and laborers pay dues but not taxes.
Adventurers Guild - In order to join and reap the benefits you must serve as militia for 2 years. The militia revolves so no one person is ever on active duty throughout the entire year. Normally you serve 3 months on 3 months off etc. They benefit by the guilds backing by getting better supplies to start. They may also choose to sell unneeded magic and treasure to the guild instead of selling in the market square where they’d have to pay taxes. Granted the money gained at the market could be better but the guild always gives fair market value especially for magic that can be used in the Steppes defense.