Stalwart, the City of Rich Pleasures, sits on the northern branch of the Divalok River. Among all the Seven Cities, Stalwart occupies an interesting position. To the south are three heavily defended cities (Bullwark, Malekia, and Crosstreams). To the west is Andarr, a mighty naval power. To the east are Red Gate and Dormiria which act as a barrier against Brekon's intrustion. Because of the great protection offered by these cities over land and by sea, Stalwart needs to put almost no resources into defending itself. In fact, the city has no walls to speak of.
When a city does not need to spend large resources to defend itself, and when the river running through a city is not deep enough for large ships, the atmosphere is not good for the business of commerce. Consequently, Stalwart does not have a large port and does not see much ship traffic. This tends to make the goods in the city a little more expensive than elsewhere, and that often makes the city attract a higher class crowd, because many of the goods that do make it in are of very special quality.
This combination of factors over the years has turned the city into a sort of playground for the wealthy and adventurous. In Stalwart, the theatre and music may not be as beautiful as in the bardic districts of Crosstreams, but the sheer number of establishments is magnificent to behold. A noble with enough cash in Stalwart can attend to any kind of vice or pleasure he or she wishes. There's gambling, high class prostitution, the finest wines and perfumes, and any other kind of luxury imaginable.
Residents in Stalwart tend to have a lot of money compared to commoners in other cities and live in opulence. The entire city looks as if it is one large noble district peppered with carpeted inns and taverns.
Naturally, this makes the place a good meeting site for nobles of the other cities who often congregate there to discuss business in comfort. Even nobles from as far away as M'Chek are often found there relaxing or using the city as a meeting point to negotiate with far away counterparts over marriage deals and treaties. For nobles at war, Stalwart has even been used as a place to reconcile or engage in diplomacy. The noble families in charge of the city have recognized this and tried to stay neutral in all outsider matters in order to foster this atmosphere.
The population in the city has no dominant racial type, though it possesses a high proportion of gnomes who tend to be one of the only "more serious-minded" folk among the other races in the city.