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Jelkhara was founded by merchants and started off as a an entrenched settlement that worked as a safe-haven for traveling caravans. The merchants who founded Jelkhara had first entrenched themselves as a desperate measure to defend themselves from raiders and mercenaries sent after them by major merchant guilds who had sought to rid themselves of the potential competition.
The merchants were succesful in fending off the guild mercenaries.
They built the "first" city on the money earned from acting as a safe-haven for caravans, merchants and travelers, but as time went by they continued to build more and more and more cities on top of each other instead of expanding width-wise. eventually the city started resembling that of a large spiral tower.
(i will make a a few more piqs on the subject)