One of the few settlements in Far Reach with any kind of prosperity that is not affiliated with one of the three major factions vying for control of the country, Helm’s Watch owes both its growth and its independence to its proximity to Kaz Dorn roughly 60 miles north and the Ashiel Forest approximately 60 miles east. Both dwarves and elves find it far more practical to trade for goods they want but can’t acquire themselves than to settle for substandard alternatives.
The elves bring fine quality silks, textiles, lumber and herbal remedies for trade while the dwarves bring masterfully cut gemstones and well wrought iron and steel. A large lake thirty miles west of Helm’s Watch itself provides ideal irrigation for the sprawling farmlands that have arisen, allowing the town itself to bring a wide variety of livestock and produce to the bargaining table. Between Helm’s Watch, Ashiel and Kaz Dorn, the people in the surrounding areas are able to eke out a living in relative comfort with access to all of the necessities for life.
Of course being such an attractive neutral proposition has it’s own problems. Many a budding warlord has cast a covetous eye in the direction of Helm’s Watch but almost all have been deterred by the realisation that any battle to take control of it would see intervention from both the dwarves and the elves, who see the town as an important cog in their respective machines.
Fortunately for Helm’s Watch, the warlord who does rule over the town and surrounding areas is not particularly ambitious, and is happy to live in relative comfort while levying only relatively light taxation upon the inhabitants. He keeps only a somewhat small standing army whic predominantly guards his own estate, and leaves the town to govern itself trusting a small local militia and the assortment of adventuring parties who make the town their base of operations to keep the peace.