The Casanovan District (5e Environment)
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The City of Casanova
Casanova (Ka•sa•no•va) is the capital of Beachblush, the largest city by population at about 60 000 residents, and second largest by size. It boarders the country's Southern ocean and has distinct architecture, full of bright colors, and usually composed of stone, which is, more often than not, rendered and dyed in bright colors, especially in the richer areas. The terrain has been terra-formed into two flat rings: the outer ring, which houses a majority of the shops, manufactories and abodes for the poor, and the inner ring, which houses a selection of the more wealthy restaurants, the housing for the rich, and the Royal Castle, which stands on the northernmost point section of the inner ring. The city also has a river which runs through the middle, called the Unificador river, splitting the city into two semi-circle shaped pieces.
The public transportation system is well designed, with long, underground boats designed to transport up to 12 people at a time through the intricate canals below the city that are piloted by a water bender at the back, who controls and shifts the currents to steer. These underground gondolas are known as "the waterways" and are built directly at sea level, to naturally provide water.
The two rings of the city are divided by a river flowing out into the sea that acts as a dividing point of the city. Casanova is therefore split into a total of four districts, the East and West outer rings, and the East and West inner rings. Although there are exceptions, the bulk of the commercial and industrial buildings are on the west side, while houses, as well as certain restaurants, inns and taverns are in the East. The River curves around the royal palace, which is located directly in between East and West rings, and is the northernmost building in the inner ring, with a view of the northern outer ring and surrounding farmland and terrain.
As far as broad strokes are concerned, real estate for all buildings become more expensive inside the inner circle, because of it's proximity to the palace, and beyond that, the closer one is to the center of the city, as it represents the most convenient location to live/trade.
The Light Bowl: A tavern run by an older, female Earth Genasi called Trefern Pennywink. Costs 3 SP a night. The Precious Voyage Pub: The Precious Voyage Pub is a coastal pub and inn that caters to sailors making port for a while, it serves a lot of seafood dishes and oceanic drinks. It costs 5 SP a night. The Grumpy Curtain Decorators: The Grumpy Curtain is a furniture retail and on-site interior design company, they sell everything from basic stools to high end, imported rugs. Run by a couple, Esther and Meryl Kipling, an elderly human and middle aged elf, Esther manages furniture, and Meryl does the decorating. A Wrench in the Works: A shop selling all manner of mechanical devices, from weapons to trinkets, run by a young male Fire Genasi, Gaemon Kibbleson, from Docacea. It's a new shop, but it is building a good reputation for quality mechanical work, repairs are also offered. The Dapper Ghost: A tailor's shop run by a middle aged female High Elf of unusual humility, soft spoken and fast working, hers is one of the older shops in Casanova, and has a fantastic reputation. The Early Pepper: A bizarre take on the Dwarven bar, selling non-alcoholic drinks to help its clients wake up in the morning, while the drinks aren't known to be particularly pleasant, they wake the customers up and keep them up. Run by veterans, the elderly Dwarven husbands, Dmitri and Marvin Stormbringer, known to be quick to anger but overall pleasant people who fought in the civil war against the previous king. The Praying Plum: A refilling station for clergymen of all faiths, offering authentic holy water, various beads, and materials for rituals. Run by Mother Nonogon Genady of the Red Unicorn faith, a young Wood Elf who recently took over the business from her late father. Hunter's Delight: A hunter's shop that sells equipment used for hunting all manner of creatures, has a deal with Elathazar the Inquisitive to provide certain enchanted equipment at a slightly reduced cost. Run by a young, well-dressed Sky Tiefling called Sekaf Yel.
The people of Casanova are for the most part diligent and kind-hearted, with a reputation of working hard to play hard. Most of the crime in the city is performed on an individual basis, with thieves, pickpockets, and drug dealers being an unfortunate reality to those in the city. In the years after the Kings death, criminals took advantage of the resulting chaos and, like all of the cities in the country, pushed it to the brink of collapse, in the last few years however, the King Santiago and his council have been able to turn their attention to the crime in the city, and have been lowering it steadily.
While crime in highly populated areas like Casanova is still an issue, it is slowly regaining order, order that recently, is being disrupted by a small percentage of the people in the area fall into one of two groups of organized crime, two powerful gangs who were able to unite the various individuals or small groups under cohesive banners:
Los Dragones: A group of powerful mafia that have worked their way up the food chain by selling drugs, information brokering, pickpocketing and hired hits. However, they also have a strict moral code, not to sell anything to anybody under their race's age of minority, and that any non-gang individuals injured, killed or affected by gang activities be compensated in the best way possible. They are lead by the reclusive, "Geco". They are the closest to honorable thieves in the city, but honor can only take people so far, and while civilians are rarely the targets of any large scale attacks, they can often be caught up in the crossfire in gang wars, which can sometimes rage for multiple days.
Plaga de Cinco Dedos: Colloquially called the Cincos, are a deranged and violent group of thieves, murderers and lunatics that are only barely organized enough to form a gang, the lynchpin in their operation is Takeya (tah•kay•ah) a former mercenary with the charisma and charm of a bard, and the violent streak of a Barbarian. Known for torturing whoever she feels like and bribing whoever is most convenient at the time, this Water Genasi is feared throughout the city. Recently, however, Takeya has stopped appearing in public, and rumours of an early death, illness or injury are beginning to work their way through the city, and causing tension and in-fighting in the gang itself.
Business, Exports and Reputation
Casanova is primarily famous for its business in the fishing and agricultural industries, the country is the world's largest exporter of fish, with 34% of seafood having Casanovan origin. The local guards known as, the Halcoñeros are highly trained and highly disciplined (a bi-product of centuries of dictators), making them a very formidable guard by any standards.
The King of the country (who was born and lives in Casanova) is Luca Santiago, who's castle is located in the northern inner ring, has gained a reputation for being fiercely driven to improve his nation, and for trying to find peace in what has been a chaotic and unpredictable time for his country. However, Santiago was also the one who killed his father, while this ended the dictatorship that the country had been known for, it also sparked rumours that Santiago may be unhinged or potentially violent, with some rumours even going so far as to say that he's a serial killer.
Being the former capital of a dictatorial country, Casanova has a reputation for being militaristic, oppressive and grim, with a very prominent hierarchy of power. However, the King has been working to adjust this, and slowly but surely, people are slowly beginning to change their opinions of the city to something much more positive.
Notable Casanovan NPCs
King Luca Santiago: A tall, tanned half-wood elf, half high-elf with brown eyes and hair. Limber with a dark complexion and often clad in green or yellow robes. The King is kind-natured and understanding, but can also be firm in his punishment and stubborn. He succeeded the throne from his father, who was a tyrannical and largely disdained ruler. Santiago has made it his mission to improve the county he rules over and the people in it. An ideal monarchy, the King has gained a fair amount of respect from nearly everyone, including, to a degree, the local gangs, who he has recently begun to try and remove.
Takeya: The Water Genasi leader of the Plaga de Cinco Dedos, Takeya is young, ruthless and unhinged, often acting on impulse. Her gang, though composed of a vast array of different criminals, always fall in line however due to Takeya's merciless punishment of those who displease her. However, she is very good to the people on her side, offering wealth, power and people to those who swear allegiance to her. It's rumoured that she never forgets the birthdays of gang members. Recently however, she has stopped appearing in public, and despite the Plaga insisting that she is okay, rumours are starting to spread.
Geco: Geco is a rare example of a goblin with integrity, honor and character, warped though they may be. The 45 year old leader of Los Dragones, Geco is surprisingly kind and level-headed, much to the surprise of many who meet him. Although his natural Goblin hunger for power can still occasionally get the better of him, he does his best to remember that he got to where he is through thinking logically about his path to success. His particular brand of honor and loyalty are very black and white, and while those he likes and those loyal to him are often granted riches, supplies and power, his punishment of those he deems traitorous or problematic is often swift, brutal and painful.
Elathazar the Inquisitive: A local artificer who does contract work for a few businesses in the city. She is an eladrin of middle age, and a slim build. While she doesn't leave her tower often, choosing to send her autonomous servant on errand runs, the few people who are permitted into her abode are met with a generally happy, inquisitive individual. She is mostly kind-hearted, but decades spent sheltered in her tower mean that her social skills are somewhat lacking, and she has a tendency to speak without thinking. She will forge enchanted items for players, if they are able to convince her to let them in her tower (cost still applies).
The Aberdeen College of the Performing Arts
Casanova is home to one of the finest arts colleges in the world, its students are taught all manner of different techniques ranging from musicality to acting to the fine Arts. In addition, those gifted with arcane abilities who attend the school are also taught new ways to channel their energy into their abilities. Those who spend even a few months in the college have been said to have their abilities expanded tenfold.
The Aberdeen College has a strong reputations for turning out some of the most renowned bards, minstrels and actors of the last few years. While arts as a medium are struggling to gain mainstream appeal as a potential career path to those in Beachblush, those who are interested are lucky to have such a fine college in their country.
Some are surprised that Beachblush would have an arts college at all, given its conservative history, and usually it wouldn't, but for the last few hundred years and until just under two decades ago, the college had been producing artists specifically for the crown. Given what might be called a "high turnover rate", the erratic Kings and Queens of Beachblush often had need of new entertainers. Despite the lack of job security, however, the glory and gold, not to mention the shoulders of all kinds that one gets to rub with in such a high position, meant that positions were always filled. The college now has a much higher student count, in the mid 400s split between near all different art forms, and students are required to take a test to be granted entry, but what the test is, or whether it's even the same for all students, is something that has never made it to the public.
The Casanovan Royal Guard
The term "Royal Guard" in Casanova refers to the city watch, the guardians of peace and enforcers of the law in the city, not just the specific guards assigned to protecting the Crown. The Royal Guard were, before the current king, a violent, authoritarian force to be reckoned with, after the new king took over, he made sure that they were trained not to kill every starving father who stole a loaf of bread for his family, but instead to try and understand the situations that lead to the crime, and find a solution that doesn't involve bloodshed. This isn't to say that they're any weaker than before, however, the King has survived multiple assassination attempts and attacks from those who would see the more violent history of Beachblush return.
The Royal Guard are highly trained to the extent that it's said their swordsmen can cut the wings off of a fly without killing it, the pike wielders can piece a bag of sand and lift it above their heads without spilling a grain, and the archers can shoot between the plates of an armored suit and sever it's straps from two-hundred paces without harming the person wearing it. While these are likely hyperbole, it goes to show the intense training that the Royal Guard go through, and the faith that the city puts in them. The downside to this is that the criminals who do operate in the city are usually smart, brave or strong enough to match.
The Royal Guard, and are required to undergo both combat training for the immediate apprehension of high-risk criminals, as well as social and de-escalation training if a non-violent solution is deemed possible. Their uniform consists of a thick plate armor, over which a red, quilted surcoat with sleeves that extend to the elbows, fastened with both laces down the middle, and a belt that doubles as a holster for different items that may be required. They also have a brown half cape that covers the left arm unless brushed back, and a highly structured cap for general patrols, which can be swapped out for a highly polished helmet similar to a Coppergate helmet for combat situations, their is a clip on the belt to hold whichever head gear is not in use at the time. This is only a general pattern of clothing, and the specific outfits will be catered for the weapon being used.
114 years old, 425 people
Bleach Water is almost on the line between the Centralian and Casanovan boarders, and as such, it's culture has been heavily influenced by both. After the boarders between the districts were lifted, Bleach Water was the first new settlement to be created, and it was decided it would be a blend of both districts, taking the architecture from Casanova, and the signature white stone from Central, making it look like a "bleached" version of a Casanovan town.
The Mayor of the town is a young Half-Elf called Juan Savannah. He is sociable and laid back, and often seen as a very approachable Mayor, however he doesn't often fit in with the other Governmental bodies.
348 years old, 1500 people
Carlyle is the result of strong currents flowing from the southern sea, which carved a creak down up the country, and created a bountiful source of inland water. The heat from the southern front is also funneled through, giving the town a localised more tropical atmosphere.
The Mayor of Carlyle is Alejandro Quinn, an elderly human man who until recently was hateful of foreigners and missing a leg, but an experienced adventurer from Gangala, Greater Illromov was able to bring it back using magic, which eased his opinion considerably.
256 years old, 7130 people
Named by the discoverer of the area, Quinlan Faras (tiefling), Almost was named because it was "almost" near the ocean. This odd positioning was chosen when Quinlan's group was attacked on their way to establishing a new oceanside settlement. A group of Gnolls took the group by surprise, killing few, injuring more, and stealing almost all. With nowhere near enough supplies to return to their starting point of Carlyle or to make it to their ideal location, Quinlan made the decision to immediately halt progress and use what remaining supplies they had to establish a temporary medical base. While the injured members were being treated, Quinlan and the remaining healthy members of his crew found themselves having to build new locations for storage, temporary housing and other purposes. By the time the injured travelers had healed, the settlement was essentially already in place a day and a half of travel on foot before it was supposed to be. The King, Matías Santiago, ordered Quinlan and his group of "traitorous gnolls" to be executed for disobeying his orders, but the newly healed and armed travelers protested, and were able to hold off eleven waves of enemy soldiers sent to collect them, until the King begrudgingly 'allowed' them to keep their town. As the town expanded, their focus on healing maintained throughout its development, with the original healing hut positioned directly in the middle of the town so that all it's residents can be equally in reach of treatment. The town has also attracted a large number of healers, many of whom are highly skilled, and houses a very prestigious Medical University called "the Quinlan Faras School of Aid". Today, likely owing to both the mighty efforts of Quinlan's original group, and the high number of healers in the city, folk tales about Almost's healers have run rampant, with some claiming that they can heal any ailment, and others saying that they have tinctures to enhance their citizens' strength a hundredfold, that lie in storage, waiting for a new tyrant to try and take over the town.
The current leader of almost is a wood elf in her late fourth century called "Wensith Charming", or Wenzie to her friends. She was a close friend of Quinlan and among those who were injured in the original attack, it was his expressed wish that she take over after his passing. Although she didn't want to be a leader at the time, she has stepped up and become a very respected member of the community.
The town is home to most of the shops and amenities that one would expect from a large-ish settlement, general shops, restaurants, taverns, inns, and of course, hospitals. In addition to these, the town is also home to an alchemist's shop, which sells all manner of potions and a fair selection of spell components. Run by a young, beautiful wood elf named Mysah Whitetree, the shop is called the "Notion of Potions", and has been attracting quite a bit of attention from the larger world in recent years.
The Statue of Quinlan Faras: A bronze statue of the founder of the town, Quinlan Faras. About fifteen feet tall, and posed to look like he is helping a nameless civilian off of the ground after falling, representative of the healing capabilities of the town.
The Bridge of Thither: A massive bridge that starts at the western edge of the town, and extends to the sea, where Almost was originally going to be founded. The bridge is made of grey stone about fifteen feet wide, and has a small guard on each side, about two feet tall, also made of the same stone. The bridge takes about two days to cross on foot, and those who cover it are welcomed with a beachside inn at the end, built on the exact coordinates that Almost was meant to be (See The Red Candle). The bridge serves many purposes, it makes a popular tourist destination, and a common camping ground for those willing to venture a bit off of the bridge itself (although a small lodge known as Quinlan's Rest is present at the half-way point, it has no food, but it does have a fire-place, and 20 beds), it's main purpose is to make delivering supplies easier to the mainland, so it's common to see travelers, merchants, and deliverymen on their way to the main town.
The Red Candle: Originally this was just the name of a warehouse and transportation hub, built by Quinlan to keep the original purpose of the town going, but after a time, a few other buildings popped up around it, and now when people hear the Red Candle they usually think of the Inn that was set up a few years after, initially to house the sailors that needed to take a break while their cargo was being set up for delivery. The name "Red Candle" was picked because during the evenings, the sun setting on the horizon colors the entire sky red. The Tavern was specifically built with large windows on the west to allow for as much of this light in as possible. The tavern itself serves a wide variety of seafood, and also has a selection of rums, ports and beers. It's owned by a halfling called Malva Foothill, who does all of the cooking and bartending, the waiting, cleaning and other assorted tasks are handled by a team of twenty unseen servants. While the food is always delicious, and the beds always clean, people who have been to the tavern occasionally report strange occurrences, like the layout of the rooms feeling completely different, and the sunset lasting longer than it should. Despite these few curious happenings, the Red Candle area has a very good reputation, and is favorable among the sailors and merchants who travel the area. On top of the warehouse and the tavern, the Red Candle is also home to a dock and a fairly sizeable garden and vegetable farm. (Despite the distance between the two locations, the Red Candle is still considered a part of Almost.)
436 years old, 2750 people
Fort Lola was established by the monarch 5 kings ago, the King of that time named it after his newly born daughter. It was originally a defense outpost, but as the guards began to adjust to their new lives, a town was built around the original structure. Given that almost everyone in the original town was a guard, the traditions of combat training are still taught in the local school.
The town's main standout point are : The Hermit's Bazaar, where all kinds of traders from the country come to sell their wares, the Bazaar is held every Trejdes and typically attracts over 1000 people weekly.
The Fort Lola University of the Arcane: The Fort Lola University of the Arcane is a highly reputable university that is known throughout all of Beachblush. It is known for its high rate of accomplished graduates, and it's headmaster, Jeremiah Cromwell, a High-Elf who is wise, good natured and energetic, and known to buck the trends of Elfdom.
The current Mayor of the town is Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" O'Neill, a stern elderly man trained in an array of combat techniques, and although he has a gruff exterior, he has a soft spot for dogs, and owns 3.
4 years old, 74 people (all goblin)
4 years ago, the King was ambushed by goblins, as an attempt to overthrow him. Instead, King Santiago suggested that he make one of them the executive-vice-King of their own town, the goblins agreed, and Turnow's Keep was created. Although the degree of stability that it has afforded has been shocking to everyone. Now that this group has formed a real civilization, goblin attacks have gone down exponentially.
Turnow is the leader of Turnow's Keep, he is easily distracted and forgetful, but somewhat good natured, and very good at deboning and cooking rats. His best friend and "co-King" is his sister, Wonrut.
In the four years since the town has been running, the goblins have developed a knack for fermenting food as a way of preservation, as well as somehow being able to reliably pick world class mushrooms, but whenever asked about the secret for their foraging, they simply say that it's a "goblin trade secret"
None of the buildings in Turnow's keep have bathrooms instead their is a large "town outhouse" of sorts that serves as the lavatory for the entire town.
3300 years old, 4060 people
Firehouse Grove is one of the oldest surviving settlements in Beachblush, it was hidden from the former King, "Lucio the Tyrant" by the Tiger's Den, an allegedly magical jungle, during his attempt to destroying all the settlements in his country to rebuild them in his ideals. Many of the houses in Firehouse Grove are constructed with still living trees around them, the people of the town try to disturb the jungle as little as possible, and in return, the jungle keeps them safe. The people there are notoriously kind and generous. The town is also home to the largest druidic circle in the country, the Circle of Concealing Vines, who tend to the naturalistic aspects of the town and give spiritual guidance to townsfolk and travelers alike.
Firehouse Grove has a council of eight druidic leaders, one for each five hundred of the civilians (approximately), the Council of Eight meet regularly to discuss the town and how to improve it. It is the safest town in the country, in stark contrast to the many dangers of the Tiger's Den.
Nobody knows how old, nobody knows how many people
The pixie race are a shy people, so shy that until recently, Pixie Hollow was little more than a traveler's rumor. However, 2 years ago, a particularly curious pixie was found by someone in Almost and followed back to its hideout, a civilization in the trees of the Blooming Acres boardering Turnow's Keep.
As soon as anybody tries to get close and make contact however, the lights of the city go out, and everything goes quiet. A traveling merchant known as Stumpy O'Cley claims to have not only known of the town for decades but to have visited it on several occasions, these claims cannot be verified however.
112 years old, unknown population
Matìas' Honor is a walled fortress of aggressively dictatorial people who seek to dispose of the current King and expand into an empire, they are highly paranoid and sceptical of travellers, so much so that only a few people have ever been inside. Those who go in often leave swiftly.
The leader is a humanoid in robes known as The Apostle, they rule with an iron grip, and are said to employ tactics like torture and slavery to get what they want. Every now and then, a body drifts down the current to Casanova that is expected to be from Matìas' Honor.
112 years old, 643 people
Traveller's Way is a recommended stopping point for those newly arriving in Beachblush. It has good quality inns, fine food, and finer people. It is mostly run by a gentle group of Firbolg, but other races are also more than welcome.
Unfortunately, the town's easy-going nature has led some people to take advantage of their people's hospitality, and a gang known as the Onyx Sword Clan have been demanding protection money from the villagers recently, threatening violence if their demands aren't met. While nothing major has come of it yet, tensions are beginning to rise.
Some notable businesses in town are The Little Book Nook: A tavern that is lined with books for its patrons to read while eating and sleeping, it also serves as the town's library. The Furious Falchion: A weapons shop that sells new melee weapons, they offer weapons trading, and will occasionally get a minor enchanted weapon in stock being so close to the capital. Owned by a firbolg who goes by OJ. The Overgrown Hazlenut: A herbalist's shop run by a drow lady who gives a different name to each customer. She has a stock of fresh and dried plants, as well as a section of arcane herbs for those who need a bit of extra kick. One of these arcane plants gives of a light purple mist, and those who find their constitution weak often leave the shop having completely forgotten their visit, as the mist has affected their memory.
The Mayor of Traveller's Way is Jeremiah Sol, an Illromovan Firbolg who moved after the boarders were lifted to try and help ease the transition for the country, he is tall, even by Firbolg standards, and calm to the point that it's said he has a relaxing aura about him.
Temperature and Weather
Sitting at the Southern quarter of the country, in the path of a warm front of air coming from the Southwest, the Casanovan district of Y'alathar is much warmer than it would be based on pure geography. The summers can reach highs of 40 degrees and the winters can reach lows of 5 degrees in a typical year. Casanova receives regular rain, most often and severely in the spring. While the capital city was intentionally built in a location that gets slightly less rain, it gets more humid the further West that one travels in the district, and in the Tiger's Den.
The shores of the Southern portion of the country are filled with beaches of red sand, some only 15 feet across and others that take days to walk the length of. These beaches led the people of old (specifically the Qu'Dah) to view it as a physical manifestation of the Goddess Nature giving vitality to the land, as they were like veins of blood coursing throughout the lands, giving strength to the Country and its people (this is the reason for the name "Beachblush"). Since the dictatorship, however, some people view the beaches as emblematic of the blood that was shed in the name of power. Some druidic circles have made the beaches their home, and still tend to the beaches as part of nature's domain.
It is theorized that the famous Blooming Acres forest has grown to be so massive because of a combination of the climate and the native Pixies, who may have accelerated the growth of the area. To the Southeast of the country, in the "Right Prong" of Beachblush, a large Jungle known as the Tiger's Den resides. It stretches from just below Carlyle, curving outwardly to the left of Casanova. Throughout the entire Southern region of the country, Tropical fruits are often grown on the farms, and the prices of fruits like bananas, mangoes, durians, pineapples and pomegranate are often lower in the all towns and cities in the region except Turnow's Keep, where the 'Merchants' will usually just charge whatever they feel like.
The terrain can be broadly categorized into Jungle and Mountain areas, the mountains are sheer, craggy and full of caves, many of which are home to bandits, ogres or other ne'er do wells. While the Jungle is lush, humid and supports a dangerous ecosystem of such terrors as Tigers, Quippers, Giant Crocodiles and hundreds more beasts waiting to pounce on the unwary traveler.
Features of the Land
The Tiger's Den
The Tiger's Den is a massive Jungle that lines the left side of the right prong of Beachblush. It is known for the rumors about its wealth of herbs and plants that are said to be able to cure everything from impotence to missing legs but so far, very few people have been able to get far enough into the jungle to be able to properly harvest them, as mere feet away from the carefully carved out paths through trees, the jungle becomes a hostile environment to battle any tundra or desert. The Tiger's Den is home to a special breed of tigers that only live in that area: the Blood Cat, a fearsome, horned, red and white tiger, with the size of a horse, the stealth of a panther, and the blood-lust of Vampire. While no-one knows exactly how the Blood Cats came to be, the leading theory is that the goddess Disgust caused a vile mutation in the blood of normal tigers, transforming them into the horrific beasts they are today.
The Blooming Acres
The Blooming Acres are a forest of massive, ancient trees located to the South of the country on the left prong of Beachblush. Each massive tree can be as tall as 75 meters, with most of them standing around 50 meters. The forest has been the center of all manner of rumours and speculation. Many of them surrounding the elusive Pixie civilization of Pixie Hollow. Animals like foxes and bears are commonplace aboveground, but the litany of caves running below the forest house far more dangerous monsters.