The city of Arashin, hub of the Abzan Houses, is hemmed in and protected by the colossal sandstone walls of Mer-Ek Fortress. Within the fortress is the First Tree, the sacred tree of the Abzan, which grows on a hilltop within the fortress.

When Anafenza holds court under the First Tree, the gates of Mer-Ek are sealed. No safer place exists in all of Tarkir.