The city is located near the former border between Amidonia and the Elfrieden Kingdom, on the eastern side of Amidonian region.
Van is large city comparable to Parnam in scale but instead of civilian and economic activities the city was planned as a foothold during an invasion of Elfrieden and a frontline base to defend against possible Elfrieden invasions. Thus the roads of city were built as a labyrinth to confuse invaders while fortified mansions of the nobles built higher than that of commoner in various parts of the city are to be used as fortresses to attack the invaders. The castle is situated at the center of the city. This layout is considered to be inefficient and puts a huge burden on the economy and the city's inhabitants.
After its annexation the city is undergoing re-planning to allow more space for economic and civilian activities.
Since it was ruled under a dictatorship, the people of Van, and mostly the citizens of Amidonia, were in a state of constant oppression, fear, poverty and starvation. Due to the constant food shortages, failing economy, lack of basic freedoms, and propaganda of hatred toward Elfrieden, the populace of Van were living in extremely poor conditions. The average citizen were dressed in drab, unappealing clothing and women were looked down upon if they wore flashy, colorful garb. The nation possessed only one Jewel Voice Broadcast Orb, and it was only used once a year as propaganda and remind the citizens of the hatred toward Elfrieden and the loss of their territory. Missing the yearly announcement was seen as a capital crime and even the old and sick were forced to attend.
The status quo changed after Amidonia lost the One Week War and Van became occupied by Elfrieden forces. Initially fearing that the men would be conscripted into the Elfrieden military and the women and children would be enslaved, the people of Van were surprised to be given emergency food aid, freedom to express themselves artistically, and even given entertainment from the Jewel Voice Broadcast System. As a result, the city underwent what was termed as a 'renaissance' period as the citizens were given a taste of freedoms that were previously denied to them under the rule of Gaius Amidonia. With emergency food aid and new ideas, came new businesses and improvements to the economy. Women were no longer restricted and fashion began to grow. The arts were embraced with the introduction of the Lorelei programs. The Jewel Voice Broadcasts were also viewed by other cities and regions in Amidonia as culture began to spread.
These changes in both attitude and ideas would play a pivotal role in the future once the occupation of Van ended. The new ruler of Amidonia, Julius Amidonia, would suddenly gain the animosity of the citizens as he attempted to erase all Elfrieden influences and return to the previous status quo. He forbade the viewing of the Royal Jewel Broadcast programs and destroyed all forms of cultural revolutions. After getting a taste of freedom, the citizens were unwilling to go back to the way things were. This became especially difficult for Julius as the nobles saw him as an inexperienced and incompetent ruler. Approximately one month after Van was given back to Amidonia, revolts and uprisings began to appear across the entire country. A very large rebellion appeared in the northwest sector, urging Julius to lead an army to that area to put it down.
The citizens of Van took that opportunity to revolt and announce their allegiance to Elfrieden. This in turn, gave Kazuya Souma just cause to re-occupy the city again. Julius was eventually forced into exile, thereby leaving Van and the rest of Amidonia to be annexed by Elfrieden, which then became the Kingdom of Freidonia.