A Freeman's Guide to Verivaltus
So you want to visit the disappointment of the whole world? Well, some say that Verivaltus isn't what it used to be. They'd not be wrong. Even so, if you can get past all the disease, destitution, lack of compassion for sentient life, and avoid getting murdered or kidnapped, there's a certain appeal to a place like Verivaltus. Always changing, she is.
At a Glance
Verivaltus is, first and foremost, a massive military base. A giant conglomerate of boats, skiffs, galleons, corvettes, and destroyers that have been connected to one another by wooden and raaktium walkways, forming the world's largest launchpad for pirate activity. From a distance, the city looks like a hodgepodge of random vessels slapped together with no rhyme or reason. This is of course, the view of everyone besides native Valtans. Once you have seen the city, seen its workings, you can see the poetry behind its motion. Admittedly it is raunchy lowbrow poetry, but poetry nonetheless. The city is run by a group of monstrously wealthy trade barons that either founded, funded or killed the original founders and funders of Vathar, the Worldship. They cut corners wherever they can to ensure the continuation of their robustly privileged way of life. This comes almost exclusively at the expense of the massive population of slaves. You might feel bad for them, but whispers abound that the cut-knuckles are starting something of a coup themselves. Probably just a rumor, but you never know. Just steer clear of the poorer spokes of the 'valt, you wouldn't be the first tourist to find themselves in debt to one of the local pickpocket guilds.
What You SeeRafts conjoin boats of various sizes. Walkways are nailed in between decks that pass over the waterlogged and floating raftways underneath. In the lower walkways, hulls of defunct ships have been carved out to form storefronts where purveyors loudly advertise brightly colored fish, green and red silks, and even a sword bigger than your sister's. The Valtans like to say, "If it can be bought, it can be bought in Verivaltus." In this, they might be correct. Whatever you're looking for, you just need an abundance of coin, and a lack of moral scruples. Whether you need rare, one-of-a-kind cooking ingredients from the fluorescent curtained Galley district, a too generous certainly no-strings-attached loan from the gilded rims of ships from the Goldwharf, or companionship for a few nights from the red lamps in Meatspoke, Verivaltus has what ails you.
Getting to VerivaltusVerivaltus was once an open bordered research vessel named Vathar, but with a changing of the guard has come a new set of expectations and access rights. Getting access to the exclusive markets onboard entails paying a steep fine and giving up one's privacy while in the markets via a temporary magical brand. I'll tell you something that the trade barons want to keep secret though: those brands are magnets for fraudulent activity. It's a sign that says "I haven't been here before, please rob me blind." As befits the world's largest black market, there are less legal means of booking passage on Verivaltus that circumvent this built-in hazing ritual. The trade off is safety. If you're not newmarked, and you're not a slave, and you're definitely not a citizen, as far as the government is concerned, you don't exist, and therefore have no rights. The best solution is to procure a direct invitation from the Wheel of Command, but you'd have to be somebody important for one of the trade barons to write you, and let's face it, if you were important, you wouldn't be reading this. You can always apply for a temporary travel pass for business purposes, you just need to know a merchant that's accredited aboard Verivaltus willing to be listed as a reference. Most of them are willing to vouch for someone with coin or willing to perform a comparable service. It is worth noting though that a popular scam is to lure newcomers to Verivaltus under pretense and then refuse to provide reference. This can sometimes lead to situations of unintended slavery or a stint in the prizefighting rings. I always just make sure to work with trustworthy people. That seems to be effective.
Getting Around VerivaltusDistricts of Verivaltus In the pirate owned international tradehub of Verivaltus, the pleasure yacht of a prominent slaver and leader of the city has been set on fire, with him still inside. Your party has just arrived in the floating city, and all wait with anticipation to see whether you will light the sparks of revolution, or callously snuff out the last embers of hope. Possible paths
- The party is contracted to hunt down the slave responsible for assassinating Slave Captain Ranesh.
- The party finds their way to the Red Spoke, where rigged prizefights occur daily
- The party uses some secondhand enchantments to descend beneath Verivaltus to recover the contents of a sunken banker's skiff.