Foremost of the states that border the Southern Sea, Cazalay was the center of power in the region for centuries before being annexed by the Ayanian Empire. Even today its cultural influence is tremendous. Countless political, artistic, religious, and philosophical movements spring from the itinerant poets, prophets, playwrights, and lunatics that hurl their opinions from every dusty corner of the twisting cobblestone streets in the capital city. And just as thinkers and artists in other lands echo the style and panache of their Cazalayan counterparts, so to are the smiths of Cazalay widely emulated but rarely matched—steel and weapons from the city's forges are much prized for their strength and flexibility, and can be easily recognized by the distinctive rippling patterns in the metal.

Curiously, Cazalay has been spared the worst of the Harrowing. No monstrous beasts have sprung from the shadows, no plague has left villages empty and hollow in its wake. There has been no flood, no fire. People do go missing, disappearing into thin air for all the evidence their passage leaves behind, and harvests have been as poor in Cazalay as anywhere else. On balance, though, one would assume that Cazalay would be inundated with refugees from other, less fortunate areas. Such is far from the case, though. Travelers (those that do not simply vanish, at any rate) often report a pervasive sense of unease that permeates their stays. A sense of being watched, of their measure being taken. A sense that the relaxed, prosaic life of the province hides some ponderous weight. That the people of the land meandering through their lives are little more than insects slowly being trapped in amber.

This omnipresent, gnawing dread has driven more than one would-be immigrant stark raving mad. Some such wretches rant about whispers following them, while others claim that some sort of vast conspiracy is at play, or that the demons of hell stalk the land unseen and unacknowledged or hidden in human guises.

Markadios Belouk serves as the Satrap of Cazalay, and his government is widely regarded as tolerable, if somewhat ineffectual. It is generally believed that Cazalay remains 'safe' due to some remnant of divine providence rather than any great force of arms.

The people of Cazalay favor simple, comfortable clothing, with white or near-white tops and black skirts or pants. Tunics are another prominent feature of local dress, as are colorful vests and hair adornments including wood or metal combs, circlets, and bands.