the capital of Khababar, situated at a large inlet on the coast. It is ruled by the Horator of Khababar and his Vizier. A naval powerhouse entrenched on Mifob's southern Coast, the city of Uzrush is famous for its peerless engineering and towering harbor walls— unbreached by both foreign aggression and the unstoppable strength of the ocean’s mightiest winds. Ukthar dominate Uzrush, though they makeup just less than half of the populace and are ultimately outnumbered by the other peoples residing within the city. Ukthar are credited as the builders of Uzrush, and the ships and architecture of the city are unique in Mifob. Despite the city styling itself as a meritocracy, Ukthar also hold most of the important merchant businesses and political positions of power. This is largely due to the length of time they’ve spent establishing themselves within the city, as Ukthar have been present since Uzrush was founded over 2,000 years ago. Uzrush has long functioned as the major trade hub between Mifob and Saskhij thanks to its welcoming markets and its unmatched efforts at hunting down the pirate ships that plague its ocean trade routes. Yet, while Uzrush once maintained pragmatic neutrality to ensure the flow of trade, it recently chose to throw in with the politics of other nations and now faces the price of its actions. The Saolish Empire has contracted since Augustia's increased presence in Khababari coastal waters. Today the absence of Saolish warships has encouraged pirate captains raid the oceans, often looting Uzrush's trading partners out on the high seas. Khababarr’s ships now find themselves fighting to keep Uzrush’s bay and oceans free of piracy and safe for visiting merchants. Xibeihu Gou and Khababar share common interests in keeping colonizers and foreign interests out of both states. However, the alliance was signed hastily by Xibeihu under duress and the terms are heavily lopsided in favor of Khababar. As the nation of Xibeihu grows, so does resentment at the terms in these agreements, and Xibeihu Gou’s people protest about how unbalanced the deals are and push for renegotiation. Khababar has yet to give in to these pressures. Uzrush’s merchants pride themselves on selling quality goods at a fair price, ensuring that the crafters and workers who provide the goods receive fair payment in compensation. Ironically, this policy earned Uzrush most of its enemies. Pirates, colonists, and unscrupulous trading companies much prefer the shipment of dirt-cheap raw materials in exchange for a few spare coppers, shoddy textiles, and poorly-crated alcohol and Uzrush has so far served as a major cap on these aspirations. Saskij nations such as Saol have attempted to treat with Khababar and negotiate agreements to form a trading embassy in the city yet these efforts have consistently been plagued with bad luck, so far sabotaging any progress. If Uzrush’s government knows anything more about these misfortunes, none have managed to prove it. Uzrush likewise refuses to allow slaver ships into its ports, even going so far to ban ships that are known to be part of the flesh trade even if they’re not carrying slaves. While the response to this has been outrage from some quarters, there is often little recourse for the slighted merchants beyond dashing themselves up on the might of Uzrush’s impenetrable seawalls.
(96% Human , 2% Dwarves , 1% Halfling, 1% other)
Life in UzrushDay-to-day life in Uzrush exists to accommodate its heavily mercantile focus and the vast amount of business being conducted on a day-to-day basis. Farmers, fishermen, dock workers, and bakers rise before the sun to prepare for a day’s work. Uzrush is calmest just before dawn. By mid-morning, the streets are filled with people. Pedestrians are expected to greet each other for the first time of the day individually as a sign of respect. This makes greetings take much longer than in other cultures. Most in Uzrush start their day with a cup of tea, of which there are numerous flavors to choose from, but lemongrass is the most common. Residents then typically purchase a quick meal on their way to work, stopping at any number of stalls, depending on what cuisine strikes their fancy. Outsiders compare the people of Uzrush to tireless constructs while working, and tease that when not working, they appear to have no concept of time. Those with a free moment sometimes tidy up shrines to minor gods and spirits to increase their luck. Priests of Uzrush strive to keep even the smallest of shrines to the most menial of deities in working condition, respecting the importance they have on everyday aspects of city life. Those who don’t respect Mifob's traditions and cultures are known to run into unexplained bad luck and quickly become ostracized within the community unless they rectify the situation. The people of Uzrush tend to keep to a routine, walking the same path every day, stopping by the same collection of shops, visiting with the same groups of friends and acquaintances. Their routes aren’t dictated by efficiency but by those they care about and the shrines that most resonate with them. Younger generations might claim not to think about which paths they take during the day, but most rarely stray from their usual route except for emergencies. Uzrush is a city of possibilities and sometimes routine is the only way to prevent feeling overwhelmed. These routes also provide the older generation ample time to gossip with one another, catch up on how families have grown, changed, and overall strengthen bonds within the community. Evenings wind down in shifts, as the children head home to help with chores after a long day of school or honing their skills with a mentor. They’re followed soon after by many of the city’s early risers. Once the sun sets, however, most adults who aren’t still working opt to socialize in taverns, lounges, or open balconies for drinks and food with their friends. Uzrush slows down after dinner with a deep stillness settling over the city by the dead of night. Many conversations turn into tales, telling of evil spirits, haunted buildings, and vile magics as companions take turns regaling one another with stories they’ve likely heard in some form dozens of times. Legends of curses, blights, and wickedness that seem silly during the day loom over the city at night. Once all the stories are over, most slowly wind their way home in groups, keeping an eye out for anything lingering in the shadows. Sometimes a lone scream pierces the quiet city night—though whether it comes from a prank, overwrought mind, or true danger, none can tell. Most won’t dwell on such matters, lest they draw the attention of any less than benevolent entities whose stories they just told. For the citizens of Uzrush, birth, marriage, and death are the three most important celebrations. Generous gifts are exchanged for all and many rituals and blessings are requested from the gods to ensure a bountiful life or a peaceful crossing. To foreigners, a Khababari funeral and wake may come across as more joyous occasions than birth, which stems from a collective desire to see their dead off without regrets, so they won’t linger. The tales of the departed and how they lived their life may go on for days, depending on their position within the community, with every person who personally knew them expected to pay respects, even if only briefly. Due to their fast-paced businesses and constantly shifting markets, holidays in Uzrush are much more regimented than in the outlying villages. Elders and priests consult with each other and search for signs in nature before suggesting when and where a holiday will be celebrated. When Uzrush decides to cut loose, the whole city transforms into a colorful, riotous musical feast. Festivals typically begin as smaller events in the outer villages before working their way inwards toward the city proper. As the party draws closer, its crowds grow larger and larger in a glorious procession to the actual festival in the city, which lasts for just over a week. Many Uzrush ships time their return from long voyages just to make sure their crew can attend these events. Every trading company and large business in the city is responsible for funding some part of the many ceremonies, feasts, and concerts, assignments which are delegated by the city council and fiercely competed over. From start to finish, the lights of the city never fade during the festival, and music and dancers can be found on every corner.
People of UzrushThe people of Uzrush value trade and pragmatism, but this seemingly mercenary nature belies their strong sense of pride. Their city is a wealthy and powerful one, in which citizens respect and enjoy the importance their status as a major market grants them. At the same time, Uzrush values freedom, fairness, and independence, and no respectable Uzrushi resident would ever compromise on these issues, not even for money. Pirates and slavers are scum to be hunted down, not traded with, no matter the high profits of their ill-gotten goods. Likewise, Uzrush has no interest in allowing foreign powers—especially those who have proven violent or exploitative—to gain a foothold in the city. As Uzrush’s lifeblood, marketplaces are sacrosanct, and Uzrush’s distinct market guards patrol the streets to keep them that way. Clad in black and scarlet uniforms and openly carrying weapons, these guards nonetheless usually go without armor in order to show their confidence in the city’s peaceful norms. When violence appears to loom on the horizon, the guards don lightweight armor made of ceramic plates and distinctive ceramic helmets, carved with patterned eye-slits that confuse foes as to where a warrior is looking. However, such a sight is incredibly rare, as most would-be aggressors have learned that Uzrush is not a military power to be trifled with. Religion in Uzrush tends to follow the same pragmatism displayed in other aspects of its residents’ lives. The responsibility of performing prayers and rituals falls almost exclusively to the priests of Uzrush, as citizens tell priests their concerns or desires, and then go about their day while the priests entreat the gods on their behalf. Uzrush’s working-class attire stems from the importance of fishing to the city’s livelihood. Loose hats resembling umbrellas and designed to keep the sun off the face and eyes are a common feature on bright days. Clothing is often reinforced with reeds or other flexible materials to allow airflow in sweltering weather. Fishermen often decorate their hats with fish-shaped ornaments designed to show off their skill or even represent a person’s largest catch. And most ubiquitous of all is the fisher’s Gaff, a hooked staff that is used to haul in large fish. Citizens of every social class can be seen carrying symbolic versions of the tool. For those who are not fishers, the gaffs are altered to better represent their profession. Farmers carry plow-shaped hooks, though they almost never use them for that purpose. Priests carry symbolically broken gaffs to demonstrate their humility. The Senghor navy wield large, vicious gaffs closer to halberds, perfect for spearing an opponent on a pitching deck or cutting the lines of a speedy pirate clipper. Patterns are important in Senghor. The patterns on a person’s clothing may tell everything from their profession, social class, and family, to what wares they offer at the marketplace. Market patterns tend to be simple and prominently displayed, such as on the hem of an outfit. They commonly include the sprout and root-like patterns for a produce seller, a stylized fish on a line pattern for a fishmonger, the round marks for a potter, and decorative lines to denote a weaver. Family and class patterns have more variance, but often resemble crashing waves and sea fairing scenes, ranging from simple to ornate. Given the prominence of such patterns, it’s no surprise that the people of Uzrush hold weavers in high esteem. In addition to colorful clothing, many weavers supplement their income by crafting rugs, which are in high demand in homes and businesses across the city. Being a naval center of trade, Uzrush’s people greatly respect shipbuilders as well. Pottery workers—whose durable, lightweight ceramics serve as storage vessels, ship plating, and personal armor—are a vital part of the city’s industry. Sadly, though fishers and farmers are the twin forces keeping the city fed, they’re rarely as lauded by fellow citizens. Instead, the city-state’s merchant class and diplomats are regarded as the forces who keep Uzrush’s economy and lifeblood flowing, and these power brokers and dealmakers constitute the upper class within the city.
Uzrushi buildings use similar patterns to their weaving to display the structure’s family or occupation. A building in Uzrush is usually either a market house or a residential house. Market houses, as the name suggests, are built for commerce and stand much taller in order to provide more room for storage. All the city’s buildings are designed with storms in mind, so the symbolic pattern is always displayed high above the city’s flood line. Most people use their upper levels for storage to prevent water damage and some have chimneys that lead out onto roof patios for when the city floods. Rather than fight the waves and winds of a hurricane, the oblong buildings are designed to route rushing water around them, guiding the flood through the streets and back out to sea. Houses are laid out in a diagonal grid to encourage water to flow through them. During the seasonal holiday known as the Hurricane Harvest, nets are strung between the houses in order to catch the thousands of fish forced through the city by the storms. Uzrushi artistic tradition springs, in part, from its citizens’ pragmatism. A system of pillars in the city helps to break down the flow of water between structures, slowing erosion and wear on the city walls. Higher areas have more sculptural statuary, often bearing depictions of fish. Market areas and mid-level neighborhoods feature pillars and statues designed more for utility than beauty; market houses will often connect rope lines to the top of these statues to create cloth tent ceilings over their wares.
- Dawn Pass
- Fisher's Quarter
- Greenheart Park
- Horator's Palace
- Ocean Dock Market
- Pashar's Plaza
- Paydaf's Components
- Pearl Row
- Weapons/ Armor- Uzrushi Armor is fitted with Armor Latches.
- Luxury Goods
- Magic Items
- Ships - Uzrush is known for highly-advanced naval ships; these unique vessels are instantly recognizable. Common fishing boats include the Uzrush “lute” and “cook pot”—sleek ships with rounded roofs that serve as shelter or living space. The most common ship spotted on the high seas is the “hook pipe,” a pirate-hunting vessel armed with blades to cut sails and heavy harpoons to catch other ships; the shape of these ships allows them to turn on a dime when pursuing a target. The most feared and fearsome of Uzrush’s ships is the massive “war drum,” a heavily armored dreadnought weighed down by cannons and other deadly weaponry. Uzrushi ships are also known to carry “teapots”— small emergency vessels built to be stormproof. Teapots are equipped with large balloons that act as a buoy and keep the vessel from sinking.
Guilds and Factions
- Golgalthum- massive might is sometimes called upon to augment the city walls.
- Mother Necessity- also commonly appears in religious depictions, though she is associated with fire and ceramics more than metal and gears.
- Manael- somewhat oddly to outsiders, is venerated as a god of wealth, as wealth is seen as the means to provide security for one’s family and community.
- Ocean's Temple- Uzrush's largest temple, where Senad is asked to guide sailors safely via the sun, stars, and currents.
- Shanōrz ông- is asked to guide sailors safely via the sun, stars, and currents.
- Taura- is asked to guide sailors safely via the sun, stars, and currents.
The Merchant Families of UzrushThe wealthiest families of Uzrush are also the three most influential members of the Uzrush council. Collectively, they have a controlling investment in all major trade goods in demand by nations in Mifob, Saskhij, and beyond. Their influence effectively makes the council a body of three factions aligned with these families—and their squabbles.
Prominent BusinessesEmissaries from the most prominent business interests in the city make up the government council of Uzrush. The following are those merchants and establishments with the wealth and scope to have a say in Uzrush’s future.
- Adolloah Porters- Though hardly glamorous work, the city of Uzrush would be paralyzed without Adolloah (N male dwarf herder 10) and his fleet of oxen haulers. The haulers move cargo to and from the ports of Uzrush, disseminating goods throughout the many market neighborhoods. They also move freight around the city and to areas beyond it. People have nicknamed Adolloah the ‘Ox Whisperer’ for the incredible feats the dwarf has been able to coax from his oxen.
- Bostin's Lost and Found
- Drill Lodge
- Malabi Trade Company- Trade blockades and ship throttling pose real hurdles to the economy of Uzrush. When cargo must be moved, no matter what, people see Jilla Malabi. An uncrowned economic monarch within the city, Jilla has a hand in almost every shipment that comes in and out of Uzrush’s docks. The Malabi Trade Company, founded by Jilla, has brokered transactions to ensure delivery of goods past the pirate blockades and the Uzrushi navy. The company also trades in precious gems, ores from across the Mifob, and valuable imports. Jilla uses a vast network of favors and promises to grease the wheels of commerce. Lucky customers only have to pay for her services with coin. Her favors, on the other hand, are usually steep and carry some risk, but most consider them worth it, as she has yet to fail at getting cargo moved through the red tape.
- Makan's Exports For the wealthy, getting authentic and rare goods from the Mifob is a matter of how much and if they can get into a Rovian auction. For every other visitor hoping to claim a slice of the Mifobi mystique, there’s Makan’s Exports. Although the place is considered a tourist trap by most Uzrushi locals, none can remember a day when the modest shop hadn’t occupied its cramped corner of the markets. Makan Noori (CN male human souvenir salesman 4), though a friendly eccentric, is barely tolerated by other local merchants. He lures in new customers by claiming only those with a discerning eye will be able to find exactly what they need. Baubles, talismans, and curios only cover the shortlist of possibilities within.
- Mangy Gnoll
- Mixing Mingle
- Port's Nest
- Uzrushi Shipwright Guild
- Rat Swarm
Uzrush- Settlement 8