- "Refuge is not a city so much as it is a cluster of vagabonds, held together by awe of the Lady of the Lake. There are no laws here, save for her whims, and those she inflicts only rarely. The Kingdom Under seems to consider Refuge a protectorate, though they have no real presence on the premises, and I should not need to remind you of Lady Ranger’s infamous ties to the Calamities. The Consortium must tread lightly. This is the woman who once hunted the Wild Hunt for sport, and she has not grown meeker with the passing of years."
- ―Varrus Ipsimos, agent for the Consortium
Located within the Waning Woods, Refuge is an independent city ruled by Hye Su, the Ranger of the Calamities, also known as the Lady of the Lake. It's most notable for being a polity which doesn't fall along the cultural divides of Good and Evil.
Refuge resides in a heavily forested area south of Callow and to the west of the city of Mercantis. The Waning Woods are believed to be very dangerous, described as "even more of a death trap than the Wasteland." It's the only known place in Calernia that maintains a gate to Arcadia - the land of the fae. This is potentially what makes the woods so dangerous, however it does mean many of Ranger's pupils have a good understanding of Fae and Arcadia.
Little is known about the history of the city. Presumably it existed in some fashion before Ranger became its ruler, however it only gained notoriety afterwards.
The only rule in Refuge is: "Whatever the Lady says goes". While it might be tempting to view Ranger as a ruthless dictator, it's actually far from truth. In reality, she takes a very lax stance with regards to rules, imposing them infrequently. Archer sums it up neatly:
“It’s not how Refuge works. The Lady of the Lake’s not a queen, Cat, she’s just… the woman with the biggest stick, I guess. We learned from her, but we’re not like an army or anything. We do whatever we want.”
Despite being an independent polity, Refuge isn't completely isolated from the outside world. It's considered to be a protectorate of the Kingdom Under, even though Dwarves don't like to make commitments to the surface world. It also maintains diplomatic contact with the Tower, though the exact means of it are unknown, since scrying would be intercepted by the Wild Hunt. Notably, Refuge had to pay reparations in the form of loaning Archer to the Tower, due to Hunter's involvement in the Callowan civil war.
Despite Ranger being a half-elf, the Golden Bloom does not involve itself with the affairs of her realm.
Ranger has had numerous students throughout the history of refuge. The exact requirements of becoming her pupil are unknown, though it's notable that when William of Greenbury asked to be taught swordsmanship, she refused, though she did allow him to use the Arcadia gates to train.
Her students tend to have neutral Names as many inherit her philosophy. Archer is a perfect example as her driving motivation is to live life to the fullest, with no concerns of Good or Evil. She trains villains and heroes both. It's implied all of her students are powerful, with Hunter being the weakest by far. Her students have killed each other before.
We've seen six Named associated with Refuge, though more have been mentioned. They are: