One of the city-states that is part of the core of the Paynim Empire. The Paynim city-states are all ruled by wizards (or in one case, by a house of vampiric nobility).
Mardras is one of the few Paynim city-states where the ruler truly has the interests of his citizens at heart. It doesn't seem that way to outsiders, though, since he is a powerful necromancer and lays claim to the corpse of any deceased citizen. All citizens live lives of privilege and luxury, served by the dead, and will one day come to serve others as they have been served.
The ruler of Mardras, Choma vel Dilmun, is fairly young as Paynim rulers go, being only in his first century of age. Not being able to access youth spells, he is preparing to become a lich, the better to provide his people with the comfort they have come to expect. He is hoping to do so before his failing body gives out.
The legions of Mardras are mainly animated skeletons and a few zombies, but other undead are found in the armies, as well. Spectral commanders and mummies are notable here. There is quite a lot of tension between Mardras and several other Paynim city-states, in part because the citizens of the other cities look to the inhabitants of Mardras with envy. Choma is wary of these problems, and is trying to defuse the tension by offering trade subsidies to allied city-states. This has so far had little effect on the problems, however.