Veneta rises up from the ocean, as one massive bide stone surrounded by a large city filled with Ordan glass. The people of Veneta have lived there since the time before the masked lords and arrived after the demise of the Vrolua, an ancient race of giants. The Telruin established the city of Veneta before the invasion of the Silveisean Suzerain in 1673 CE. They have always been simple fisherfolk, biding their time until the end of each day under the two suns that course through the sky. They have not always been under the rule of the Queen of the Sunlen Kingdom, having instead a host of rulers throughout the ages. Veneta is built upon the mud and sands of the Venetan Peninsula, on the continent of Bheid. It lies north of Harnhold and Nen Province. Veneta acts as the capital of the Sunlen Kingdom. The delta that wraps about Veneta is the city's greatest defense system. The sands are difficult for enemies to traverse on foot or horse. Part of the settlement's original bulwark still stands to this day, having never been breached. This area of Veneta holds the city's oldest buildings and the closest ties to the ancestral Telruin that founded the city. To the Venetan, a day may look like, rising early to prep the boat in the harbor, setting up for a breakfast of salted fish and hot bread, going about their daily prayers, eating a quick lunch while at sea, fishing until the suns set, and then returning to harbor. Those that visit Veneta for the first time would marvel at the glazed blackened bricks that make up the construction of most of the city's buildings. In the center of the city, the Grand Mausoleum which houses the bones of the kings and queens of the Sunlen Kingdom, as well as their enemies, sits like a lion on a mound surrounded by the branches of the River Lan. However, for the ruler of Veneta, the Queen of the Sunlen Kingdom, the ruler of half of Bheid, a day in her life is fraught with nightmares and visions brought on by the massive bide stone that rests outside of city's walls.
Predominately comprised of fisherfolk, the city of Veneta has few other major professions. There are iron workers, net weavers, and other specialized fields but most support the fisherfolk. The city is comprised of several ethnic groups, Telruin being the majority. There are also Silveiseans, Alyric, and Olnic populations.
Veneta falls under the direct power and authority of the Silveisean Suzerainty, nevertheless, there is a de facto ruler, the Queen of Sunlen. All taxation of the settlement is routed out to the Silveiseans while the day to day rule over the settlement falls to the Queen.
The city is walled and has repeatedly defended itself by using the river to its advantage. The river splits the city into two halves and each comes with their own defense system. The southern half of the city is protected by an ancient bulwark that has never fallen, while the northern half of the city makes use of a network of raised bridges which make travel for any opposition difficult.
Industry & Trade
Fishing is the main trade in Veneta. Most important exports are stockfish and fish oil. The manufacture of fish oil is a serious business. Imports are Ordan glass and Silveisean silks.
In the middle of the city there is a grand mausoleum that acts as a place of learning as well as a place to bury the dead. A large domed observatory allows for viewings of the night sky. Many lessons are handed down by the Quris (special priests of a religion called the Abidement) of this temple.
To a first time visitor of the city of Veneta, the district of Clearhorn is the most accessible. Friendly and open to tourists this district has clean streets, plenty of trade, and a host of entertaining acts that won't fleece a person. Out of Clearhorn, and into other districts, like Shadice, the city becomes more of a bewilderment of gnarled alleyways. It's not dangerous here but traversing through this area takes a quick mind and for the uninitiated, a map. Beyond that are the Ratdocks, Lost Crossing, Quick Arbor, and the South Ward. The Ratdocks hold all of the fishing ships and it's mainly fisherfolk that roam in and out of this area. Lost Crossing is a series of bridges that have no waterway below them. They remain here in case of flooding from the delta and at one time they each provided passage over the ever changing waters of the River Lan. Quick Arbor is a district situated under a grove of shady Algren trees which grow naturally here. The people that live in this district make up the aristocracy of Veneta. Finally, the South Ward is the place where most of the fisherfolk choose to live. The smell of drying stockfish wafts from the beach.
Although the fisherfolk remain poor, their main source of income, their stockfish are sought after around the world for their portability on ships that wish to sail along the treacherous waterways of Prominence.
Guilds and Factions
The factions at play in the city of Veneta are the Fisherfolk, the Masked Lords, the Silveisean Overseers, and the Royal Palace. The Fisherfolk hold the least amount of power, but there's is the oldest recognized authority within the city. They are a superstitious lot and are easily controlled. However, they hold the majority within the city and a move from the fisherfolk is never ignored because of this fact. The Masked Lords each have holdings outside of the city proper, nevertheless when they are summoned to the city they carry with them the power that they wield at home. They hold the most power over the Fisherfolk, because the lords adhere to an old religious practice that predates that of the Silveisean's Abidement which most fisherfolk still observe. The Silveisean Overseers hold absolute power over the Queen of the Sunlen Kingdom. They make up the smallest group at play on the board of factions as there are only two overseers. The Royal Palace, includes the Queen and the Queen's Personal Guard. The Queen holds sway over the masked lords but not over the Overseers.
The Telruin discovered the delta after the Vrolua met their eventual demise. Being the first tribe of peoples to land in the region, they built a small settlement and took to a way of life that still persists to this day.
Points of interest
The Grand Mausoleum serves as a center of learning, a place to inter the dead, and an observatory for the night sky. It's impossible to visit Veneta without going to see the technological wonders nestled inside of the building. One of the continent's oldest libraries can be found within. At the base of the mausoleum, the bones of giants, being too large for any individual to move on their own, rest at the base of the large stair that leads to the entrance.
The homes are all made of a special glazed black brick and exhibit thick timber frames often made from the surrounding driftwood. The Mausoleum is a imposing cylindrical building with domed architecture throughout, including its famous open air domed observatory. The streets are covered in sand but cobbled.
There is abundant fresh water that moves through the city from the River Lan. To the North West of the city's walls, the bide stone, for which the city is well known, acts as a natural barrier from winds and rains coming in from the coast. The river, in older days, was allowed to meander through the original settlement, and so there are oxbow lakes and ponds dotted throughout the city.
Plentiful cod when the season holds up well. The bide stone is often exploited for ritualistic purposes.