Hardcastle was a small city strategically built at the crossroads of three major caravan routes.
Founded in the days of the Kingdom of Peleveria, Hardcastle had no reigning lord until Frego Cordwell arrived. Frego was a caravan master from Chondath who decided taking over the town would be more lucrative and involve less road time. After taking over he managed to convince several businesses to set up in Hardcastle to cater to the caravan traffic along the roads. He hired a number of former business associates, in an attempt to ensure some measure of loyalty, to provide all the usual town services, including law enforcement. Frego borrowed the idea from the Durpari people, who he had dealt with on his travels in the past. This allowed Frego to administer the usage fees without having to worry about any of the logistics involved in actually providing the services.
Sitting on one of the only roads linking the Great Rift, Unther, and the Vilhon Reach, Hardcastle quickly became a hub for trade. After Unther was invaded by Mulhorand, the people living in Hardcastle expected trade from that region to dry up, but quite the opposite occurred. Traffic from Unther instead increased as their need for goods, mostly weapons, food, and healing magic, sky-rocketed.