Independent City


Who Rules: King Ess'hon Qir-ela (CG, Séshell Male, F19) is of a race of humanoid lizards who are tailless, black scaled, and most closely resemble humans who are merely covered in scales. Despite the often deserved and evil reputation of much of the é race King Qir-ela is a fair and competent ruler who is well respected by the local populace.

Who Really Rules: Lady Jaxa (CN, Séshell Female, W17/T18) used to be known as Ajax and was once a male. A girdle of sex change resulted in Ajax becoming Jaxa. Very few people know of her former persona, and she will occasionally transform herself back into Ajax as a disguise. The king longs after Jaxa and she uses this, and blackmail, to run the city from behind the scenes. Jaxa also spends a lot of time creating new sand and sound-based spells. She also recently crossed a local plant with Evards Black Tentacles, creating a new, truly unique life form.

Population: 33,600 (68% human, 22% Séshell, 5% dwarf, 4% halfling, 1% mixed other races).

Major Products: Trade, onyx, desert ski ships, camels, preserved meats, barrels, waterskins, Blackbrew beer, and Scale Breath, a robust, brown colored liquor that is made from fermented lizard meat and which is loathed by the local Séshell population.

Armed Forces: 2,750 (700 conventional cavalry of varying types, 300 camel troops, 500 light infantry, 250 archers, 250 artillerists, 250 halfling slingers, 250 dwarven shock troops, and a force of 250 desert commandos who are all Séshell). Salusa also maintains a small fleet of 5 scout ships mounted on metal skates.

Notable Mages: Pepper (LN, Human Female, W17) is a black skinned lady who is often overlooked because of her plain looks and very small size (4' 11", and 90 lbs.). Her violent temper and loud voice, however, make people take notice of her. She loves to roam the desert looking for inspiration and when she finds it, she goes running back to town to turn out some new magic item or spell.

Raaz of Biarre (CE, Séshell Male, W15) is ambitious, greedy, and hires out as an assassin. He longs for the chance to take on the King, but he knows that he isn't powerful enough to take him or Jaxa on, let alone both of them together. If there is enough money involved, he will not hesitate to take out his employer.

Dianus Moonshadow (LG, Séshell Female, W12) offers free spell casting for those who are in need. Through her effort alone she has cast enough continual light spells to light most of the major streets in Salusa. She also creates adventurer aids with her business partner, Gilligut Softfoot.

Notable Churches: Eldath, Tymora, Mysta, Tempus, Helm, and Azuth.

Notable Rogues' and Thieves' Guilds: Lady Jaxa secretly runs the local guild, The Hand of Justice. She still actively practices thieving in far off towns, but she will also help train novices or act as a lookout if one of her thieves comes up with an interesting scheme. She keeps the guild on the small side and any unwelcome visitors who make a nuisance of themselves will often find themselves teleported far away, often to another planet. She accomplishes this by lying to them and letting them join the guild and she then selects them to accompany her on a special mission. She then abandons them.

Equipment Shops: Full, and desert gear is readily available.

Adventurers' Quarters: The Wine Oasis is the most popular inn for adventurers. It is also where most employers go when they need to hire some adventuresome individuals. The Painted Harlequin is also popular, but it is more upscale and frowns upon active recruiting on the premises.

Important Characters: Gilligut Softfoot (CG, Halfling Female, T12) is not a member of the local guide as he no longer practices the art of thievery. Jaxa is aware of this and lets him be. Along with his partner, Dianus Moonshadow, he creates all sorts of gadgets and unique items for adventurers. Most people say that he is really a gnome trapped in a halfling's body. Gilligut seems to think this a bit of an insult because most of his items work. He lets it go, though, as its good for business.

Vloss the Curious (LN, Human Male, P14) is an expert on humanoids, and he claims that the race of Séshell are not from anywhere on this planet. All the Séshell deny this and claim to come from the Great Desert Anauroch far the North, a claim that no one has been able to substantiate. Vloss spends nearly all of his time delving into their mystery, pausing only long enough to answer the questions of those with money.

Selith the Muse (NG, Human Female, P10) is a Priestess of Sune. She spends her days administering aid to the needy and her nights being a muse to any artists who catch her fancy. She is a skilled appraiser of artwork and is also a renowned art dealer. She owns galleries in Salusa, DeVirn, and Oslin.

Important Features in Town: Salusa is a sqaure city with fairly impressive, yet very old walls. A new wall has already been started just beyond the existing wall, but it is only 10% complete, and won't be done for a couple more years. This new wall will add an additional 15% of living area to the city. When it is complete, then the inner wall will either be torn down or rebuilt.

Often being the first real city people come to while crossing the Black Desert, the city has a lot of fountains and palm trees to give it a friendly atmosphere. Beneath this image, though, is a city that is often unfriendly, and at times downright deadly. The Séshell seem to have brought political intrigue to new heights (or depths, depending on your point of view).

Local Lore: Séshell bandits have started to become a bit of a problem out in the desert. Their natural ability to "swim" through sand like it is water gives them a great advantage. The king is constantly hiring out adventurers to try to root out the bandits. A Séshell lich also lives somewhere south of the city and currently raising an army that is becoming a big threat to the trade routes and the city itself. This army seems to have a large number of drow amongst its ranks and some believe that the drow are the real threat and the lich is just a pawn. No one really knows and a lot of adventurers have disappeared out in the desert.

The Black Desert is so named because its sand is all black. This creates some truly brutal temperatures during the summer days, but it has the added advantage of making the nights not so cold. Some truly unique creatures have adapted to the this truly unique desert.


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