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Free City of Centrum

Many seek their fortunes in dungeons or conquest. They overlook the bounties that are possible in the diligent and unapologetic cultivation of trade.
— Vovray Lastra, Centrum Scholar

Overview

  Centrum is a merchant city located on Visus Island which lies in the Occulus Sea. By being located towards the center of the inner sea of the Quassus Continent, Centrum found itself in a unique position: as a center of sea trade for that region. Many sailors and merchants in the past used the island as a convenient resting point during their long voyages across the sea. The island also acted as a harbor for many sailing vessels that otherwise would have been at the mercy of storms.   Perhaps the most important factor, the one that allowed the city to gain its freedom from its former power, is its central location. As it is nearly equidistant to all people's on the continent, nearly every kind of good found its way to and from the island. This has had the predictable result of funneling wealth into the island thereby giving rise to a powerful city council and city guard. The Centrum Director's Council and its guard eventually leveraged their wealth to purchase the city's freedom. The Free City-State of Centrum has acted as its own independent sovereign power since.

 
The continent's central market trades far more than goods and services. Every piece of news, newly drawn plans, distant rumors, even your secrets can be purchased there for the right price. Yes, even my secrets can be bought if you know who to ask.
— Wallis, Wizard of the Occulus Sea
 

Valuable Insights

  As the key node for travel, trade, and diplomacy throughout our recent history, Centrum is therefore the garden for rumors and insights into the surrounding lives of the Quassus Continent. It is said that having an ear to the ground here is to have an ear to the ground for the world. The local umbrella term for rumors, foresights, and knowledge in the free city is "insight."   One cannot access these insights for free, nor are insights necessarily cheap. Good insight always carries a price in Centrum; the more valuable the insight the more expensive it is to acquire. As for how the residents of the city were able to acquire insight themselves, most won't tell.   The Centrum Director's Council especially will not reveal their vast spy networks, nor will they sell what they know for meager rates. As for how much the Directors know? One cannot say for certain since the Directors will not act on every single insight they possess.

Government

The Centrum Director's Council is the governing body of Centrum. They own most of the native businesses to the city, and have established minority and majority interests in other businesses around Quassus. The city itself is independent from other countries and is officially recognized as the Free City of Centrum.  

Defences

There aren't too many ships that are flying Centrum's colors. Don't let that fool you into thinking the city doesn't have large fleet. The Directors have bought the good will of many sailors, including yours truly.
— Geoff, Privateer
    The city employs the usual defensive measures as most cities with wealth to spare: A surrounding wall, some guard towers to support those walls, and even a trench to supplement the walls. Many consider these measures to be more for show than to actually be used in a siege. As such the walls were designed to be more ornate than functional; a further display of the wealth that pervades the city.   The real defense line is the body of water that surrounds the island, the Occulus Sea. No army can cross en mass, and no bridge can be built to traverse the distance. No arrow nor bolt nor stone can be thrown far enough to reach the city's walls. That leaves only two avenues of approach: the air and the sea. There are not enough people who are capable of flight, which leaves the sea as the only practical measure to engage in siege tactics.   But Centrum has bought itself a navy comprised of the most powerful vessels built since the Collapse, and it has drawn up contracts with many privateers that need to make a living on the high seas of the Occulus. In effect, Centrum owns the largest collection of ships of any power on the continent, all are prepared to defend the city for a not insignificant reward. This formidable defensive force has deterred many thoughts of conquering the city.  

Infrastructure

Centrum may be able to renovate itself time and time again, but one wonders for how long they can do so before getting tired or going broke.
— Marda Seafoot, Fisherman
  Much of the Centrum's infrastructure is a hdge-podge of old and new techniques that have been crafted by generations of Centrum architects and stone masons. Several city districts have been razed and reconstructed to be newer, cleaner, and more affluent. Centrum undergoes periods of reconstruction more frequently than other cities. The city can afford these expensive infrastructure efforts.   The city also employs novel storm draining techniques along its major roads, most of which is still under construction. These drains are based on Ancient designs. The idea is that these drains will ensure drier streets during rainy days as well as offering a run-off for detritus. The end point for the drains are the caves that lie underneath Visus island.  

Assets

Revas Marina Market

  Known by many as the Beating Heart of Centrum, the Revas Marina Market market is the largest of its kind anywhere on the continent. It makes up an entire city district, and it is immediately adjacent to the city's main marina. This advantageous position allows many merchants to unload goods, immediately trade those goods, and then load other kinds of goods onto their ships all without having to navigate city streets.   One can find almost anything in the Revas Market: food, silverware, jewelry, fish, crystals, and even potions. This center of activity is so important to the functioning and reputation of the city that the city employs the majority of its guard to monitor activity. With so much moving in and out of the market and the activity almost always bordering on chaos, the risk of theft, trafficking, and other criminal acts is always high. Even with the presence of guards, the most unscrupulous and savvy of thieves can always profit.   Widespread and organized thievery is a prominent issue that the Centrum Director's Council has long sought to solve. Some thefts have were so large or happened so often that entire businesses had no choice but to declare bankruptcy, to say nothing of cost cutting measures other businesses must employ in order to claw back lost revenue. One of these measures is in the firing of workers. Security has been increasing over the years, but now many merchantmen claim the restrictive measures employed by guards have stifled trade activity.

 
There aren't a lot of excuses for getting lost on the Occulus Sea. The Lucet Lighthouse is a bright and and ever present beacon!
— Marda Seafoot, Fisherman

Lucet Lighthouse

  Perhaps as much of a statement as it is a necessity, the Lucet Lighthouse is a monumental achievement in engineering and construction. The Lucet stands at 375ft (114m), and from this height it shines a beam of light that can be seen from nearly anywhere on the Occulus Sea.   Unlike traditional lighthouses, the Lucet utilizes special magics as a light source as opposed to an open flame. The magics that power this light source make it as noticable during the day as it is during the night. They say one standing on the outer continental shores of the Occulus Sea can find it on the horizon. The exact spells and techniques used to light and maintain the Lucet light source is a guarded secret known only to a select few mages who live within the tower's walls. The color of Lucet's light is a distinctive greenish-blue.   Only a few have seen the interior of the lighthouse. As it is important to the safety of ships navigating near the island, Centrum's government have taken its security very seriously. There are always guards patrolling the base of the lighthouse, and that is after the defensive wall.        

Geography

While Centrum holds one of the most fortunate positions in the world, it is unfortunately a position that is increasingly fighting back. I fear that Visus will only get more desperate as the city grows.
— Vovray Lastra, Centrum Scholar
    The city of Centrum resides on Visus Island, which has rocky shores and tall cliffs that define most of the shoreline. Lying at the feet of the cliffs are white sands that are only visible during low tide. Various kinds of treasure can be found washing upon these sands, which has many scavengers looking to make that one big find.   There are several caves that have been carved into the cliff faces either through time or as a result of the calamities of the Great Collapse. Many of these caves are believed to have paths leading to the island's underground cave system.   On the surface of the island is the city of Centrum, which covers the western tip of the island. Also on the surface is the Viridi Woods, which dominates the rest of the island. Efforts to expand the city outward have been disrupted due to the forest's increasing aggression. The aggression is a relatively recent phenomena.   Theories abound as to the origin of the persistent fog. Perhaps there is an Ancient ruin that has recently begun to expend its remaining pre-collapse arcane energy. Perhaps a fey being seeks to defend the wood. Centrum's Directors have organized and sent expeditions into the Viridi Wood to determine the cause of the strange phenomenon, but they either return empty handed and frightened, or they never return at all. This has led the council to impose restrictions on traveling into the wood, and especially on harvesting it for lumber.   Due to a lack of space for farmland, and the lack of variety the soil can support, it is necessary for the city to import most of its food from outlying settlements to feed its large and growing population. Farms can be found outside the city, as well as on Parva Soror (an island to the east of Visus). These farms largely produce export crops.  





All artwork is by starfarertheta unless otherwise stated.

Maps

  • Visus Island
    A central trading point and the location of the Free City of Centrum.
Founding Date
901AGC
Alternative Name(s)
The Eye of the Continent, Merchant City of Centrum
Type
City
Population
~93000
Inhabitant Demonym
Centrists
Location under
Owning Organization



 

Independence

    Centrum itself was established in 901AGC as a trade outpost. It did not become a city until 1042AGC. It later established the Free City-State of Centrum in 1191AGC when it bought its independence from the Principality of Avistar.


 

Demographics

  • Humans (30%)
  • Elves (10%)
  • Dwarves (30%)
  • Gnomes (10%)
  • Halflings (5%)
  • Half-Orcs (5%)
  • Tieflings (1%)
  • Other (9%)
 

Other Assets

 
  • Marina
  • Ports
  • Anchorage
  • Arenas
  • Libraries
  • Blacksmiths
  • Armorers
  • Bakeries
  • Stone Mason Shops
  • Alchemist Shops
  • Prestidigitation School
  • Taverns
  • Inns
  • Bathhouses
  • Trinket Stores
  • Silversmith Shops
  • Lighthouses



Industry & Trade

  • Armorers
  • Blacksmiths
  • Culinary Cooking
  • Entertainment & "entertainment"
  • Lumber
  • Sable Fiber
  • Shipbuilding
  • Stone mason guilds



 

Guilds & Factions

 
  • The Archivists Guild 
  • Stonecunning Guild
  • Ship Constructors Guild
  • Ship Masters Guild
  • Master Artisans
  • Masters of the Iron Guild
  • The Sable Fiber Weavers
  • Prestidigitators of the Sea
   

Note(s) from the Archivists:

  Stop by the Archivists Guild and talk a while if you come to visit Centrum. There is much we could learn from each other. - Archivist Taenya Naïlo    We have cookies! - Archivist Enna 

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