The town of Lower Darby (where you are all from) is on the ''wrong'' side of the river from the much more prosperous town of Darby. Lower Darby is held in rather low esteem by Darby. Lower Darby's only real revenue producing ''crop'' is peat. So, the town is rather poor and run down. The peat bogs lie along the river. The town of Lower Darby is nestled between these peat bogs, the river and hills.
The racial stock of Lower Darby is mixed. Mostly common men, but some high men and also remnants of an original population. Darby itself is mostly high men and virtually no mixing with the original population. Yep, it's a racist sort of thing.
Anyway, you have all decided to meet at your favorite watering hole the Pig and Thistle, to talk about your recent studies and to generally stress out about your final defense. This final defense is in essence your graduation. Sort of like a graduate degree, where you are supposed to make an original contribution to your chosen field.
What you do know is that Lower Darby is paying your way - chiefly due to the foresight of one city council member: Nasolon. The council hopes that you will bring this new learning and your considerable skills to the task of bringing Lower Darby out from under the boot of Darby. Nasolon has told you that he believes that Lower Darby wasn't always the backwater town it is now, but he only has his gut feelings.