For the past few days I've been doing some exploratory writing on The Serial.
It occurred to me that I need to bring the exotic locale of Awarshawa more vividly into the story from the get-go. I've been reading some period spy mysteries, and yes, often the "exotic location the spies are from" is only mentioned and never visited. Still, I think in a story in a fictional setting - especially one which will NOT be heavy on the exposition and world building - it's important to introduce places and people via vivid example.
It's like the movies. There's an old bit of screenwriter's wisdom that says you should avoid using phone calls in a script as much as possible. Always find a way to get the characters face to face so they can have an interesting interaction. It doesn't need to make sense, it only needs to be vivid.
It goes back to "Show, Don't Tell" - the golden rule of writing.
So the story is going to start with an episode/chapter called "Escape from Awarshawa" in which the hapless Walter Fitzboddle manages to get out of that war torn country with a valuable object... though not with his hat, or cufflinks.