Keymouth Settlement in The Azure Sea | World Anvil


Capital of the Cerulean Empire.
Keymouth is a large city on the western shores of The Azure Sea and is the capital of the Cerulean Empire.   It is a hub of trade, and home to more than fifteen thousand souls; a bastion of civilization, known as the City of a Thousand Bridges, though one faded and beyond it's finest days. This can be seen in the broken bridge of Teraknian's Arch that spans the busy harbour, and in the faded glory of the city's three lighthouses.   The city is comprised of several natural islands which have had broad canals cut into them. These canals are the true highways of the city, and are busy with sea craft of various sizes at all hours of the day. Keymouth itself is governed by a group of seven noble families called the Cerulean Senate, each representing one of the city’s seven districts.   Keymouth is, in every way, a city of industry. All seven districts feature large arrays of shops ranging from simple groceries to specialized buildings like potion shops, dagger sellers, exotic pet shops, and magic item bazaars. There is little that cannot be purchased openly somewhere in Keymouth with the exception of hard drugs, dangerous monsters, slaves, and other criminal services. Someone who seeks illegal wares can still find them for sale in the city’s seedier sections, but this generally requires knowledge of the city’s numerous black markets.   The city was founded around 5,200 AtD by Emperor Francus Jehen. The fledgling empire was based here, and the large natural port was a good base for the powerful Imperial Navy.   The weather is surprisingly temperate in Keymouth. The waters of Trent's Channel carry warmth from the hotter climes of the east, and they end just outside of the city's port. Consequently the city has a microclimate that is warm and humid, with palm tress and exotic birds common sights.  

The Seven Districts of Keymouth

The seven districts of Keymouth each have their own distinct flavour and atmosphere, despite remaining a definite part of the same huge settlement. Each district is governed by a lord of the Cerulean Senate and has their own garrison of guards.  
Azure District

Azure District is Keymouth's true waterfront. Consisting of two sections, Azure District also houses the majority of the city’s slums and lower-class citizens, although they aren’t quite as desperate a catch as those forced to live in Shadowshore.   The western section of Azure District is primarily concerned with the city’s internal waterways, while the eastern section is home to the city’s booming whaling industry. Azure District’s representative nobles are the Kellanis. The family has held the post of harbour master for many generations, although rumour holds that old Heldrath Kellani is getting on in years and none of her children particularly want the job when she passes on.  
Champion's District

Champion’s District towers over Keymouth's western skyline atop a large, walled plateau; a district of soldiers, gladiators, mercenaries, and warriors who follow in the footsteps of the the old Emperor Teraknian Jehen, who was said to be a mighty warrior of Kord.   Champion’s District has a not-so-friendly relationship with the Noble District, and its citizens see themselves as the true and rightful leaders of the city. Champion’s District’s representative nobles are the Lorchesters, old blood who have been established in Keymouth nearly from the city’s foundation.  
Cudgel District

Cudgel District is primarily a residential district of the city. Due to the vigilance of the local watch here it is also the safest district in the city. Many humanoid races such as Dwarves, Gnomes, and Halflings make their homes here.   Cudgel District’s representative nobles are the Taskerhills. Although they’re hardly the oldest noble family in Keymouth, the Taskerhills are easily the richest. Their ownership of the Thunder Lumber Mills has ensured a constant inflow of profit for hundreds of years.  
Merchant District

Keymouth's heart, and perhaps even its soul, is lodged firmly in Merchant District. The first district most visitors reach, it’s often the only one they need ever explore. Merchant District shops sell just about any type of goods imaginable.   Merchant District’s representative nobility are the Arabanis. Lady Anwyn Arabani is an eccentric noblewoman, but she is quite popular with the citizens of the district, as she goes above and beyond to ensure the people of Merchant District have fair representation in the Cerulean Senate.  
Noble District

The Noble District of Keymouth has traditionally been thought of as the city’s ruling district, even though Castle Teraknian isn’t technically a part of the district. The other districts increasingly view the Noble District as a place of decadence and vanity. Today, the citizens of Noble District spend too much time bickering with those of Champion's District and trying to organize their district into a self-sustaining society.   Noble District’s representative nobility is the Lidu family, one of the oldest noble families in the city.  

Although relatively small, Shadowshore is perhaps the most notorious of Keymouth's districts. This strip of land nestled in the shadow of Champion's District has long been a haven for thieves, thugs, and criminals of all kind. Generally, the only people who live here are those poor enough that their homes hold no attraction to thieves or those who can ably protect their property by wit or muscle.   The city watch has all but given up on Shadowshore, and as long as nothing particularly destructive arises from the district (such as fires or riots) they generally leave it to govern itself.   The representative noble of Shadowshore changes more often than any other, as the post is traditionally held by the family (or even the individual) strong enough to protect it from his enemies. Currently, the holder of this title is Emil Dracktus.  

Like Cudgel District, Sunrise is a primarily residential district of the city. Yet the citizens of Sunrise are generally a bit better-off than their neighbours, in no small part due to the fact that many of them have stakes in the numerous plantations and farms that dot the region surrounding the city.   Sunrise’s representative noble family is the Knowlern family. Unlike the nobles of the other districts, the Knowlerns are Elves. Lord Aniphastus Knowlern and his family have taken the preservation of the region’s wildlands to heart, and the foundation of Sunrise’s Standing Stone Park is one of their proudest achievements. Despite their heritage and the events of the Great Pelagic War, the Knowlern's are looked on fondly by the populace.  

Notable Features and Buildings

Alinara's Vixens
Alinara's Vixens is a large gambling and gaming hall in the Shadowshore District of the city. It is the proverbial hive of scum and villainy full of ne'er-do-wells looking to make quick coin by fair means, and more often, by foul. It is a garish building decorated with peeling gold paint for those who enjoy high stakes games of chance and danger. The structure is covered in rain barrels of all shapes and sizes; a safety mechanism against fire in the largely wooden building.   Ancestor Island
An island in the centre of the city that is used as a graveyard by the inhabitants. It is on this island that the city's founder, Francus Jehen, was slain by the black dragon Zelkarune.   Arabani Manor
Arabani Manor is a large manor that sits on an island north of the Merchant District. It is home to Lady Anwyn Arabani and her extended family and is said to house many strange works of art.   The Artists' Shrine
This ostentatious shrine in the Noble District is dedicated to an aspect of the elven god Corellon Larethian. This may seem strange considering the relatively recent history between the Empire and the Elves, but this aspect of the god is more associated with the arts. The shrine takes the form of an amphitheatre, where priests read poetry and hold sermons as plays for the masses.   Azure Cathedral
The Azure Cathedral is a temple in the Noble District dedicated to the gods of the sea. Celestian, Deep Sashelas, Procan, and Sekolah are all honoured here. Parts of the interior of the cathedral are under the ocean waters, allowing worshippers to immerse themselves in the brine as they pray. The cathedral is presided over by High Trident Abeline Nerovarco.   Cartographers' Guild of Keymouth
The Cartographers' Guild of Keymouth is one of the oldest professional guilds in the world, having been formed almost 500 years ago. The role of the Guild within the Cerulean Empire has changed somewhat since its inception. It now serves several functions including the mapping of unexplored regions to the east of The Azure Sea, the study and anthropology of other cultures, and as scouts for the Imperial Navy.   Castle Teraknian
One of the oldest structures in the city, Castle Teraknian is a fortified manor house that sits on an island in the main harbour of the city. It is home to the Cerulean Emperor. The castle is an imposing structure with seven looming towers built of large blocks of grey stone.   The Catapulter
This large, raucous tavern in the Champion's District is a single storey, stone-walled building, with a reinforced wooden door. A small dragon's skull hangs over the hearth. Accommodations consist of a single large room with wooden cots. The common room is usually full of off-duty guards, soldiers and adventurers engaged in a series of games such as darts, arm-wrestling, and so on. The Catapulter is infamous for supposedly having a door that occasionally utters portentous and cryptic prophecies when people walk through it. Most think this is due to the imaginations of drunken patrons.   Cathedral of Pholtus
This huge building of white stone stands in the Merchant District of the city. The gleaming structure is precisely symmetrical and lit day and night. Services to the god of law and order include many brightly burning candles, long sermons and choruses of the worshippers' anthem, "O Blinding Light".   Champion's Corner Stable
This large, well-kept stable is a marketplace for mounts, and supplies Zelkarune's Horns with beasts of burden and transport for their business. It is run by an old, half-blind Halfling called Bertulf Longfoot, a veteran of the Cerulean Army.   Church of Lendor
Located in the Cudgel District this temple to the Prince of Time has a single large tower with a huge bell atop that sounds out the hours in heavy tones. Elderly priests recite long litanies in the apse surrounded by effigies of various time-keeping devices - hourglasses, sundials, chronometers and the like.   Church of Moradin
In the Cudgel District of Keymouth stands the church of the All-father, carved from black stone that was imported from Koldor's Hold centuries ago. At the centre of the church is a large forge of intricate design that burns constantly.   The Dawnhouse
This tall temple, in Sunrise, is dedicated to Pelor. Huge windows let the light flood in through detailed stained glass, washing the floor and walls inside with a myriad of colours. From the outside the bright yellow and white walls are almost blinding to look at.   Dawn Market
Dawn Market operates during daylight hours only, and is the primary source for food, firewood, and other necessities to the citizens of Sunrise. It is well stocked with produce from the many farms and plantations around the city.   Dracktus Manor
Set behind high stone walls topped with viscous spikes in Shadowshore, this dour manor is not a welcoming place. It is home to the district representative Emil Dracktus. The populace tends to avoid this place and averts their gaze when they pass.   Dwarven Embassy
The Dwarven Embassy is located Champion's District. A relatively new structure, Ambassador Dhonir Graystone resides here. It is in large part due to his work that the trade between the Cerulean Empire and the Koldor Dwarf Clans is flourishing.   East Market
The vendors of East Market, in the Azure District, hawk seafood, whale oil, ambergris, and scrimshaw art. It is renowned for one trade in particular however. The trade of exotic animals is a lucrative (and often dangerous) facet of the market. Most of these creatures are destined for lives in the north as pets, but a few of them are more dangerous.   The Empty Grave
A large tavern in the Azure District, this single storey stone-walled building, has a large fenced yard behind with tables set up for drinkers. Accommodations consist of wooden cots near the hearth. The inn was rebuilt recently after a devastating fire.   Fifteen Horses and a Mule
A large tavern in the Merchant District, the Mule is a two-storey half-timbered building, with a white tile roof and finely-crafted tables and chairs. Accommodations consist of several large rooms with beds and woollen mattresses. There is a small travellers shrine to the side.   Garl's Shrine
This shrine in Cudgel District is an unassuming building apart from the domed roof. Inside a set of steep stairs leads to a series of caves with walls carved with effigies of Garl Glittergold and studded with gold nuggets, where the priests laugh gaily as they go about their devotions.   Harbour Market
The major open market of the Merchant District, this collection of brightly-coloured tents and bazaars sells general goods, imported goods, food, and entertainment. Harbour Market remains busy at all hours of the day and night, although at its peak during lunch hours.   High Market of Keymouth
The High Market is where the truly exotic or expensive merchants come to hawk their wares to the Keymouth's elite in the Noble District. General goods, exotic wares, jewellery, and occasionally even magical trinkets can be found here. The stalls close at dusk to be replaced by various entertainers.   House of Kord
The oldest building in the Champion's District is dedicated to the god of athletics, sports, brawling, strength, and courage. Made of black basalt, this cathedral's spires reach nearly 150 feet into the sky in places. Inside it resembles an arena filled with practice spaces and galleries where combat can be observed. It also has baths, gymnasiums, trophy halls, and many, many statues of Kord.   Kellani Manor
This large, walled complex in the Azure District the manor of the Kellani family. Heldrath Kellani, the district representative lives here. At first glance it seems a well-tended building with neat gardens.   Keymouth Arena
Keymouth Arena, in the Champion's District, is one of the more popular entertainment venues in the city. Fights are scheduled at minimum once per week by an organization of mercenaries, hunters, and explorers known as Zelkarune's Horns. Fights in the Keymouth Arena are generally not to the death, but are often used to settle debts or conflicts between people or organisations. At other times, Zelkarune's Horns sponsor what are known as Dragon Challenges, in which local heroes and mercenaries fight against dangerous creatures.   Keymouth Opera House
Often featuring dancers trained in the Telvanta Academy and entertainers from as far away as Coaria, events at the Keymouth Opera House in the Noble District rarely pass by without making a huge scene. This large white stone building stands at the edge of the High Market of Keymouth, with great blazing braziers standing outside.   Keymouth University
The University is the centre of higher learning in Keymouth. Established three hundred years ago in the Noble District, this educational institution has long attracted the foremost sages and scholars of the Cerulean Empire. Unfortunately, a shrinking budget, along with a few faculty scandals, have somewhat damaged its long-standing prestige.   Knowlern Manor
Situated in Sunrise, Knowlern Manor is a beautiful estate with well-tended gardens and orchards. It is owned by the Knowlern family of Elves, and their patriarch, Lord Aniphastus Knowlern, is the district representative to the Cerulean Senate.   Kord's Market
This large market in the Champion's District sells general goods, weapons, armour, and metalwork. The stalls are open from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, when the traders take on commissions to work on throughout the rest of the day.   Lidu Manor
The Lord of Lidu manor, Worrin Lidu, and representative of the Noble District, whilst good-hearted, has grown too soft in his advancing years to be an effective leader, or so the citizens believe. The manor is a grand half-timbered building, with a white tile roof.   Lorchester Manor
The Champion's District's representative nobles are the Lorchesters, old blood who have been established in the city nearly from the it’s foundation. Neldrak Lorchester is the family's current leader. The large manor is a grand old building of red bricks made from the clay of the red soil of the Gatimar River.   Low Market
Low Market is the lesser of Cudgel District's markets. Little goes on here save for the sale of food, firewood , and miscellaneous tools. The stalls are only open during the daytime.   Meravanchi Manor
Whispers of the extremes to which the Meravanchis have gone in their notorious parties have always given the taverns of Keymouth something to talk about. The family’s interests run to the decadent and extreme ends of entertainment. Situated in the Noble District, strange sounds can often be heard coming from behind the low stone walls of the manor.   The Painted Hare
The Painted Hare in Cudgel District, is a two-storey building of stone walls, with a large cellar. Accommodations consist of several small rooms with wooden cots and wooden cots near the hearth. The tavern has it's own brewery attached, and the ale it produces, Painted Buck, is well-liked throughout the Empire.   Parrot Island
Parrot Island is a large, unoccupied island in the centre of Keymouth, just south of Shadowshore. It derives its name from the exotic birds that live in the thick growth of trees on the island.   The Pearl and Parrot
The Pearl and Parrot is a large timber and brick building, with a slate roof. Situated near the High Market of Keymouth in the Azure District, It is fancifully decorated, and brightly lit by glowing gemstones set into the ceiling. Two large macaws sit in cages near the bar. Accommodations consist of several large rooms with beds and woollen mattresses.   Procan's Sanctuary
This large cathedral in the Noble District is dedicated to the Storm Lord Procan. Built from a rare blue coral from the seas around Coaria, sunlight filters through the warped blue glass windows of the cathedral giving the impression of an underwater grotto.   The Rasp
This inn, in Cudgel District, is a grand timber and brick building, with a tiled mosaic floor. Accommodations consist of several large rooms with beds and feather mattresses. A large private bathhouse is available to guests.   The Restless Lion
The large inn on the edge of the Dawn Market in Sunrise is a large stone-walled building, with finely-crafted tables and chairs. It was once a manor house, and has a collection of old Imperial artwork. Accommodations consist of several large rooms with beds and woollen mattresses.   The Scarlet Spire
The Scarlet Spire is the tomb of Emperor Francus Jehen, the founder of the city of Keymouth, and can be found at the centre of Ancestor Island within the city. This fifty foot crystalline tower is one of the city's most beloved landmarks.   The Shivering Cat
This tavern in Sunrise is split over two levels, with food and drink served in a large ground floor area and with fairly large bedrooms on the floor above. The tavern has its own stables, which are average size and look exceptionally secure. In the tavern, the staff are entirely professional and have been trained to speak several languages.   Shrine of Kelanen
Located in the Champion's District, this small temple to the god of swords is always busy. From dawn to dusk the priests of Kelanen practice their sword skills assiduously and spend much of their time teaching others.   Shrine of Quorlinn
This large wooden building in Shadowshore is built from wood and has many shuttered windows. Kenku priests guard the door, and only approved members of the flock are permitted entry. From the outside there is nothing noteworthy about the place other than its size.   Shrine of Ralishaz
The Shrine of Ralishaz is to be found in the Merchant District. Many of the citizens avoid this place and mutter protective curses as they pass by. Discordant, random notes of music can often be heard issues from it's cracked windows. The doors are made from broken mirror shards.   Shrine of Yondalla
In the south-west of the city, in the Cudgel District, this small shrine to the god of the Halflings stands out from the other buildings nearby as it is covered in a layer of thick, wild turf. The smells of freshly baked bread issue from the open windows.   The Six Swords
The Six Swords tavern in the Champion's District has three small rooms in the back for travellers to sleep and a large area to the side of the building to serve food and drink. The food here is superb, but the owner has a strong dislike of any visiting bards playing any music over dinner, giving the place a dour atmosphere. There is a small shrine to Hextor at the back.   The Skinned Man
A modest half-timbered building in Shadowshore, the Skinned Man is a low rent tavern with a small hedged yard and roughly hewn wooden tables and benches. A fake Kraken skull hangs over the hearth. Accommodations consist of several hammocks in the common room. This is an exceedingly rough establishment, full of dark corners and malicious whispers.   The Sleigh Ride
The Sleigh Ride on Whale Street in the Azure District is the city's largest, and only official, brothel. A large building of stone walls, with a slate roof, the Ride provides clean services with attentiveness and discretion. Rumour has it that the Emperor himself used to attend this place.   Standing Stone Park
A large park in the city that has been lovingly tended by the citizens of Sunrise for many years. The park has been allowed to grow in a natural way, and when wandering its groves it is easy for one to forget that they are in the largest civilized city west of the Sea.   Taskerhill Manor
This beautiful manor house, constructed from many different exotic woods, stands in the Cudgel District. The Taskerhill family has owned and operated Thunder Lumber Mills for centuries. Led by a proud and eloquent man named Kalmadar Taskerhill, the Taskerhills have represented the Cudgel District well for many years.   Telvanta Academy
This prestigious dance school in the Merchant District is famed throughout the Cerulean Territories. It is a place of high fashion and socialites who set the trends for the lords and ladies of the Noble District.   Temple of Zilchus
Appropriately standing between Gold and Silver streets in the Merchant District, the temple of Zilchus. Over the huge double doorway a mural is painted depicting a pair of hands holding a money bag. Behind the walls are several stalls where professionals give different services; scribing letters of transfer, preparing trading documents and contracts, overseeing legal notes, and the like.   Teraknian's Arch
Teraknian's Arch is the remains of a great bridge that connected the Champion's District to the Noble District. It has lain in ruined, broken pieces since the Great Pelagic War, and has not been rebuilt in order to serve as a reminder as to how close the Empire came to being defeated.   The Ticklish Ogre
This tavern in the Merchant District is known for its good baths. It is a three-story clay building with a good reputation. The owner, an old gnomish woman, is an ex-adventurer and loves to regale her guests with tales of her younger days, especially the Tale of the Ticklish Ogre.   Thunderhall Auction House This large ornate mansion in the Noble District is home to the Thunderhall Auction. On select days of the year valuable collectors' items from the Empires past are auctioned to the highest bidders and the nobility of the city gathers to watch.   Thunder Lumber Mills
Owned by the Taskerhill family, this lumberyard processes all of the wood that comes through Keymouth. Trees logged from the nearby Fearwyd Weald are sent by canal to the shallow bay surrounding this location. These logs are pulled from the waters, dried, cut, and then exported on barges to the north, where the lumber is loaded onto visiting trade vessels.   Toregson Manor
Toregson Manor in the Champion's District is a large, walled house and gardens. The Toregsons are at odds with another of the Champion's District noble families, the Lorchesters. Rumour holds that the source of the conflict between the Lorchesters and the Toregsons has something to do with the Smith’s Guild.   Vanderboren Manor
Vanderboren Manor in the Merchant District is a finely constructed manor house of antique design. It is home to a house of minor nobility in the city. The young leader of the family was recently pushed into the limelight when her parents sadly perished in a fire and her brother has vanished from the public eye, leaving her to tend to her estate’s needs all on her own.   West Market
West Market in the Cudgel District sells general goods, lumber, and especially livestock, which can be heard braying from quite some distance away. It is one of the busiest markets in the city and is bustling all day until the stalls close at dusk.   Zelkarune's Hall
Zelkarune's Hall in the Champion's District serves two main functions. The large red brick building and grounds is home to a museum of the Keymouth Arena, with gardens dotted with statuary to famous gladiators. It also also the base of the mercenary guild Zelkarune's Horns.  

Travel Distances

All distances are approximate and via the shortest possible routes, which might not always be practical. Where a travel distance is not shown there is no connecting route possible (e.g. there is no road or waterway that links the places).

Keymouth by Ben Wootten

Founding Date
52nd Century AtD
Large city
ca. 15,600
Location under
Ruling/Owning Rank
Owning Organization
Characters in Location

Cover image: Teraknian's Arch by Ben Wootten


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