The free city of Long Reach was founded in year 1242 of the Aster Empire. In 1333yi the Great Change happened, and the empire fell. The smaller and weaker Kingdom of Aster was established in its place. Wanting to maintain its influence, but cut expenses, it declared Long Reach a free city, charged with protecting the area in the name of the kingdom (as well as collecting a tithe/tax for the kingdom).
Over the next century, people flocked to the free city to escape the internal and external wars of the old empire. The city tripled in size and population, while the old empire fractured and became a patchwork of city-states, baronies, and wild-lands. Of the old kingdom the City-State of Aster remains the largest and most powerful, but is nearly matched by neighboring powers. The free-city of Long Reach has long since stopped sending its tithe to Aster.
The city has expanded its walls twice, and the city is still growing (with buildings outside the walls. It is surrounded on two sides by rivers. To the north and south are rich farmland. To the northwest lies the Amberwood, home to (city? nation?) of elves. To the east is the Vandermont mountain range and the dwarvish kingdome of Vanderholt. Nearby quarries and mines provide additional resources to the free city.