Videha is the large capitol city of the moderate-sized Kingdom of Mithila. Mithila was, once, one of the major vassal-states to Ayodhya and the Eternal Solar Empire. After the Godswar, however, Mithila split off, and is now the largest and closest rival to its former Imperial overlord.
Videha is built on both banks of the Great River nearly halfway between the Dawn Sea and the Bright Sea. It lies adjacent to the Thar Desert and is a major trade center not only along the river, but for the desert caravans that endlessly cross the sandy wastes.
Videha is ruled by Janaka the Philosopher-King and his Council of the Wise. Although Janaka holds honorary status as a priest of Sarasvati, he holds himself aloof from that goddess's official priesthood, choosing to rule as a secular monarch. Nevertheless, with The Whorl's largest university and center of learning, as well as its largest wizard's college, the worship of Sarasvati is a very popular one in both Videha and Mithila as a whole.
Students come from across the Whorl to study in Videha, where the boundaries of the scientific and magical arts are being constantly tested and pushed. Although Mithila's army is relatively small, it remains reasonably safe from its more aggressive neighbors due to magical and technological superiority. There are official controls in place to limit the spread of technologies and magic outside Mithila in order to maintain this advantage, and those who would study here are bound by oaths and an instilled culture of elitism and loyalty in order to prevent proliferation of Videha's secrets. The Wizard's College of Mithila, in particular, is very careful about who gets to learn certain high-power spells and often seeks to impose limits or regulations on when or where they can be cast.
Mithila is an open society. Members of all races and all faiths are welcome so long as they set aside conflict and pursue knowledge and wisdom. Violent offenses are far less tolerated, and are often punished with imprisonment or exile. Non-violent offenses are generally punished leniently and wisely so long as the offender makes a good-faith effort to make the victim whole.