Hanmer is the largest city in all of the SouthLands. It is second in importance within Kellan to Morelenas, serving as an important center for trade and diplomacy. Its location, along the banks of the Hanaelon River and at the crossing of two main trade routes, the King's Road and Harper's Trail, makes it an ideal place for such things. It was also the site of one of the most famous battles of the Wars of Arin.
Hanmer is the oldest settlement in central Kellan, its history dating back perhaps even before the beginning of the Third Civilization. Its location at a westward bend in the south-flowing Hanaelon made it a prime location for shipping goods downriver, and it quickly grew into an important trade center. For centuries, it has brought together Humans from the south, Dwarves from the north, Elves from the east and Karis from the west to buy and sell their wares, conduct political negotiations, and generally coexist in peace.
Hanmer was one of the first cities to join the White Alliance in the early years of the Wars of Arin. Its lord at the time, Agorn Milsley, was neither a military man nor a diplomat but a merchant, and thus was quite pleased to be offered an alliance that would protect his city. It has been a member of the Alliance ever since.
Hanmer is home to the largest outdoor marketplace in the Lanad -- a marketplace that, unlike any other, is open at all hours of the day or night due to the installation of light globes in key spots among the many tents, booths, stalls, and carts. It is said that, if it exists on Ardrana, it can be found here, or someone will find it for you. The centerpiece of the marketplace is a large amphitheatre, where plays are presented nightly (weather permitting), around which are announcement boards at which anything may be posted free of charge.
Hanmer is home to a military garrison of the White Alliance, numbering 1,000 soldiers. It is commanded by Captain Dorstaff, who ascended to that rank upon Lanthana's retirement two years ago. Although it is a member of the Alliance, it is considered a free city in that people of all races are welcome under normal circumstances. This garrison is located near the center of the city, on the western side of the marketplace.
The city is walled on three sides, the exception being the east side, where there are a series of docks facing the Hanaelon River. There are three gates in the walls, one in the north, one in the south, and one in the west. The northern gate is considered the main gate and is generally left open, while the southern and western gates are closed from dusk to dawn. There is a bridge across Harper's Trail that also leads into the city.
The current mayor of Hanmer, as well as the Duchess of the region named for the city, is Lanthana Hanaestor, the former captain of the city garrison. This oddity came about after Agorn Milsley's grandson, Duke Tesan, attempted to convince the city's leaders to support Mirdael Hanaestor's departure from the White Alliance. When his gambit failed, Tesan abruptly resigned his title and went into self-imposed exile in Byngh. In a surprising move, Lukus the Blue granted Lanthana -- who was already the mayor -- the title of Duchess as well.
Currently, due to Lanthana's somewhat advanced age, there is much speculation regarding her successor. Although she shows no signs of slowing down -- she still travels to Morelenas twice a year for meetings of the White Council, so she technically holds three positions -- it is expected that she will retire from at least one of her duties in the near future. Still, no one name has caught the city's fancy as a favorite.