The western desert holds the neutral trading village of Ul-Bakak (pop 900), the home town of Mr. Picklecoppter of the Night Shade’s Heroes and the only stable point of contact between the desert folk and the rest of the Flanaess. Even travel to this peaceful place is dangerous, however, for the pass to the nearby town of Hardby is largely controlled by the Tareg, a hostile and suspicious folk, even by Bright Desert standards.
Little more than a permanent collection of tents, this nomad trading villiage stands at the foot of three craggy hill at the end of Hardby Pass. The settlement grew around a now well-guarded spring, and is a holy spot for Suel and Flan nomads, as well as Abbor-Alz hillfolk. Ul Bakak claims neutrality in Rary’s fight to subdue the region, and the Traitor alllows its people this illusion because of its trade with Hardby. Despite strict instructions from Greyhawk, the despotrix of Hardby personally (though secretly) authorizes trade with Rary’s go-betweens in the neutral village of Ul Bakak.