"Approaching from the sea, you make out the busy skyline of the great city of Curieux. Even in the light of the midday, you find it difficult to find any sort of gap between the numerous buildings. From the ports, a cacophony of bell chimes, horns, and yelling sailors breaks through the sound of crashing waves to reach your ears at deck.
In the distance, as if to complement Curieux’s liveliness, a crystalline bridge to the west of the city softly emanates the colors of a rainbow, connecting an isle to the west to the city proper. Upon what seems to be little more than an oversized, forested rock stands a singular stone tower that, for as high as it reaches the sky and dwarfing in height even the structures of Curieux, does not seem to cast a shadow on the city itself.
At long last, your ship docks at the ports of Curieux, which prove as grandiose as one would expect from such a massive settlement. Ships, as large as the streets themselves rest farther down, and the docks teem with non-stop activity of seamen, traders, travelers, and the like. As you step further away from the vessel, the city looms ahead. Rooftops of wood seem to line the city line closer to the docks, though upon further inspection, you begin to make out the stone spires, as if the buildings and homes around them had been built around smaller castles and other fortifications."
Humans and half-elves account for over seventy-five percent of Curieux's populations. After them, elves, gnomes, and dragonborn for another twenty percent. The remaining five-percent accounts for halflings and more exotic humanoid-races.
About one-tenth of Curieux's population is comprised of the nobility, including the royal family. Afterwards, the intelligentsia and a wealthy middle class make up over a third of the city's people. The rest of the population includes commoners and laborers.
As the capital of Conais, Curieux is the political heart of the kingdom. The royal family, specifically the king, holds absolute say over the laws of the kingdom. However, the rulers of Daramond has employed the services of scholars, businessmen, and other intellectuals to draft laws and legislation to be approved by the king, with the opinions and counsel of the high Conaisan nobility.
The city of Curieux is surrounded by a massive stone wall. Official entrance into the city is done through checkpoints. Due to the proximity of the Arcane Society, the city also possesses magical defenses to an unknown extent.
Curieux's arguably greatest products are the minds of its denizens. A cultural metropolis, the city serves as the intellectual capital of the continent. Artists, writers, and other such creators may find the best opportunities in Curieux. The city also boasts some of the most esteemed academies in Varia.
Curieux also thrives as a major seaside port. It sees a bulk of the trade on the southwestern coast. The city also sees a significant fishing trade.
Curieux is a city divided into four quarters: the Aizur Quarter (more commonly referred to as the "Mystic Quarter"), the Azure Quarter, the Trade Quarter (or the "Trades"), and the Common Quarter (or the "Commons").
On the east end of the city, a majority of the land has been reserved for the royal family's estates, including the Chateau de Curieux.
The Curieux shipyards span most of the city's developed sections touching upon the coast.
Curieux also possesses a sewer system, though access to it is limited to the local government and parties granted their permission.
The Isle of Faen, while considered a part of Curieux, has existed since before the city's establishment. The massive monolith that is the Grand Arcaneum along with the wonder that is the Prismatic Bridge are the work of First Era mages.
Guilds and Factions
The Arcane Society's main headquarters is located on the Isle of Faen which is considered to be in Curieux's city limits. While the Society does not directly affect the city's politics, its presence brings substantial amounts of tourism and business as individuals travel to the city to reach the Arcaneum.
Curieux has also maintained an open door policy to religions seeking to establish followings or places of worship within its walls, though such establishments are not exempt from taxation for property within the city. By far the largest temples or churches in Curieux belong the followings of Avalon, Erevea, Faenorias, and Aizur.
Curieux was founded around 1100 3E by the order of House Conas and experienced a golden age for the majority of the family's rule. As the crown continuously changed hands within the nobility, the city's general atmosphere took to reflecting the state of the royal family.
With the succession of House Daramond to the throne, Curieux began to once again resemble its self from the era of rule under the Conas family. Even when the country had a brief stint in opposing the Rysmarckian conquest, the city remained physically unscathed, though its economy suffered from the backlash of soured trade deals and the closing of routes. The decline continued well until King Edgar I ascended to the throne in 5490 3E. Keeping his promise made during his coronation, King Edgar has since focused on Curieux's growth as a center of culture in Varia.
While a majority of Curieux's building are made of wood, numerous stone castle-like structures dot the city. These places mark the points of expansion of the city over the centuries.
Curieux's coastline touches both the Hanalian Ocean to the west and the Southern Seas to the south.