During most of the year the nomads of the Bushlands wander in small groups, seeking pasture for their animals and food for themselves, over a vast area. But during the coldest three months of the year they come together for warmth and to trade with each other and pool supplies if things get really cold.
Outside Canvas City is a wooden wall of stakes that is seven feet tall.Horses will not charge such a wall,and nor will any dangerous animals on the plains, and it also keeps out the troublesome who break the rules and the downright dangerous. Half a mile away downwind are the latrines where people must go to releave themselves.
Within the city the tents are spaced in blocks with streets running between them like a military camp.At the centre are stalls where the trading is done and a central firepit sunk into a whole in the ground.Whilst normally the nomads have no need for police, in the city it is different with so many strangers all crammed together, so the Tent Police, who wear blue armbands and headbands and carry clubs,keep order, and make sure that all but the guards who take turns to man the walls hand their weapons in to a central point.
Criminals are beaten and expelled from the city, and murderers are burnt alive in the firepit, but in practise there is very little crime, and only about one murder every decade.Partly this is because there is very little difference between rich and poor amongst the nomads.
Near the centre of the city is a great gong of brass that takes three people to ring it-this is for use in the most dire emergency should they come under attack, and summons a great Brass Dragon from his hills to the west.
Since they have been feeding this dragon with a tenth of their flocks for decades, he has a personal intrest in keeping his “tenants” alive.So far they have never had to use the gong.