Prior to the Great Southern Rebellion in Bhustan the majority of Bhustan Kailla trade was done by caravans, often entrusted to Bhustani nomads who passed through anyways, but also to Kaillan organizations.
Amidst this, the northern border of Kailla developed several mercantile cities, a well maintained and well guarded road system, and several small forts used to maintain bandit hunting forces and protect caravans. These included the cities of Annai, Mi, and Sheyve, the fortresses Annai and Li, and the Mi Caravan Fields.
Once the Great Southern Rebellion started, Kailla increased troop numbers at the fortresses, commissioning war machines from Mi. The cities converted to industrial centers, and suffered minimally from a decrease in trade, with relatively few moving away. That lasted until the end of the war, once Southern Bhustan was established as the group of political entitities it is hostilities died down to minor raids and land grabs between the Bhustan military and the independant factions in Southern Bhustan war goods vanished. The Bhustan Kailla trade route was lost, and trade moved entirely to ships. The border towns began to suffer, and people began leaving in unprecedented numbers.
Kailla has maintained a heavily militarized area due to instability in southern Bhustan, but military related industry in the towns no longer exists. Many of them are completely abandoned, forming proper ghost towns, but others are in a sadder state. Squatters have taken up some buildings, the cities are in disrepair, and without any leadership the populated ones are under the control of gangs, and that only if they managed to avoid being taken as a hideout for outright brigands.
Further complicating matters is the eclectic mix of demographics within the occupied cities. Petty criminals on the run are situated right next to the poor who simply could never move away. Rebel fighters from the varying failed uprisings hide next to bandits that they would be working on eradicating had they succeeded in their coups. Refugees from southern Bhustan and Sindri nomads caught on the wrong side of the border have settled here, and tensions are perpetually strained, with violence a daily reality. Ocassionally the military will make a symbolic gesture and attack these towns, attempting to appear that they are cracking down on crime. They tend to be indiscriminate in these, ocassionally calling in extremely heavy weaponry if any of the groups in the city fight back.