The Maard Uplands are a large rolling expanse of fertile hills. The particaular nature of the soil here and their precise distance from the salty air of the sea seems to combine to make this the perfect location for growing wines. Maard Uplands wines are probably the best in the whole of western Rodinia and are well known through all the Wildlands and beyond.
The hills themselves are populated with many farms and vineyards but they are under constant threat from the giants who roam this area. The western hills particularly are dotted with caves and those caves are often full of giant kin. Ogres and hill giants abound in this area, making it a particularly dangerous part of the Wildlands. The further west one goes in the hills the more giants one encounters and the bigger they tend to be. Fortunately the most fertile lands are on the eastern slopes of the hills so the people here live in constant fear of their huge neighbours. Fortunately it seems that the giants are most happy raiding west, down into the Alley in search of food, rather than heading east into the vineyards, although of course giants are definitely not uncommon anywhere in the hills.
The Thought Guard are rarely seen in the Uplands and as such it is a relatively free place to live in this state. The farmers here are very close, looking after one another in their extended family of grape and grain growers.
The Maard officials charge a fairly hefty tax on Uplands wine which is brought into the city for selling and as such there is a fairly lucrative and thriving business in smuggling the wines out of the state - often across country to Pembrose where the people have a great taste for Uplands vintages.