Saturday, January 14, 2023

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States - Week 2

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States 

Compiling week 2 of the project, comprised of 7 settlements and/or sites of the City-State of Ceannar as shown below.



Jan 8th 2023 

  • Number: 8 

  • Name: Overlook, Capital of Ceannnar 

  • Location: In the center of the Flattop Hills of Ceannar. 

  • Population (approx.): 14,700 

  • Brief:  The Ceannar People of this City-State pre-date the Ta’arnan Empire and primarily make their homes in the eastern two-thirds of this realm. Originally built as the People’s permanent winter home, Overlook started as a small keep on a large mesa in the center of the Flattop Hills, which run south to north across the eastern half of Ceannar. As the People grew, their home, eventually named Overlook, grew in size to cover most of the mesa. In 73 FC, after defeating the remaining Ta’arnan Legions on the plains to the west, Baroness Eldest Ceannar raised the flag of the City-State above the central citadel, declaring Overlook the capital of the new Barony.  

  • Geography: The Flattop Hills run north to south across Ceannar. Overlook covers a large mesa roughly halfway along the range. The primary defenses of the city are an encircling wall along the edge of the hill and the 100-to-200-foot steep rise of the mesa itself. Within the outer walls, additional walls divide the city into in wards either held by various allied Peoples or dedicated to specific functions (industry, businesses, churches, tenements, etc.). A second rise, in the center of the hill, lifts Ceannar Castle into view. The Castle features outer and inner walls with a dry moat in between, numerous towers and a taller central citadel home to the current royal family.  



Jan 9th 2023 

  • Number: 9 

  • Name: Pearl City 

  • Location: Southwest corner of Ceannar along the Pearl Bay 

  • Population (approx.): 3,400 

  • Brief:  Home to one of the wealthiest Peoples of Ceannar, the Penin, Pearl City, named for its primary export of Pearls, carefully mined from sites throughout the Pearl Bay, has slowly grown from a small fishing village to town to a city built on and around an arc of tall limestone karst formations. Pearl City and the Penin have remained carefully insulated from past depredations of the Ta’arnan Empire by their wealth (frequently bribing any and all who might oppose or harm them) and carefully compartmented knowledge of the methods to find the precious pearls in the waters to the south. (There is definitely magic involved as the waters do not easily surrender their riches.) 

  • Geography: Southwest Ceannar features a large triangular body of water, Red Water Bay, isolated from the oceans further south by a line of islands. Northeast of Red Water Bay is a second circular inlet, Pearl Bay, surrounded by rows of limestone karst jutting from the waters and shores. The locals, both Kin and animal, frequently make their homes on top of or within the rocky spires which are typically 150 to 300 feet tall and narrow. Pearl City occupies a half-dozen adjacent towers, surrounded by a curtain wall from the water’s edge, upper levels connected by a variety of stone and wooden bridges. Stone from the interior has been used over the years to build up structures on the peaks and at ground level. 



Jan 10th 2023 

  • Number: 10 

  • Name: East Point Light 

  • Location: Easternmost point of Ceannar 

  • Population (approx.): 12 

  • Brief: Some version of a lighthouse has existed at East Point since the founding of the Ta’arna Empire and perhaps longer. It is rumored that the first lighthouse fell into the ocean when the cliff collapsed in an earthquake. The replacement structure, a single stone tower, was upgraded and modified by Decree during the Empire’s reign over six centuries ago. East Point Light is run by the Navigators and Sailors Guilds, but repairs are usually funded by the City-State.  

  • Geography: East Point Light, standing upon a rocky outcropping about 100 feet (30 meters) above the rocky shores and the ocean, is now comprised of a single large and tall tower about 150 feet (45 meters) high. It is accompanied by several outbuildings including a residence, guest house and several storage sheds. East Point Light is supplied by nearby villages. Current residents consist of two families including the lightkeeper herself and a weather finding priest who endeavors to predict upcoming storms to warn the locals and the Guilds. 



Jan 11th 2023 Number: 11 

  • Name: The Haunted Spires 
    Location: Where the Flattop Hills meet the Ocean on Ceannar's Southern Shore 
    Population (approx.): None known (surface) but others rumored (undersea) 
    Brief: Millennia ago, where the Flattop Hills meet the ocean, the action of sea, storm and tide carved the hills into sharp cliffs and narrow spires. Centuries that wear and tear exposed something Corrupt to the surface world. Its influence caused Wind and Earth to conspire to drive sailing vessels into the crushing and cutting embrace of the rocks just below the surface of the sea. Sun-bleached bone and wind-worn wood covers the narrow stone shores in a blanket of death and debris. Navigators and Sailors give the coast a wide berth for it is said that the spirits of the dead remain at their posts and creatures of the subsurface prey upon any survivors in the choppy waters. Those aquatic Kin worship some Dark Mask of Storm and Death. 

  • Geography: The Haunted Spires are a section of coastline about 50 to 60 miles long (80 to 100 km). The land is generally uninhabitable being barren angular rock and stone, frequently lashed by unnatural gales exploding from the sea to the south. Flora and fauna avoid the shores, rarely coming within 5 miles (8 km) of the water. There are no known settlements in the area and the coast road detours well inland in a great arc. But rumor of riches in the wrecks does call the foolhardy adventurer, thief or wrecker to their likely doom. 



Jan 12th 2023 

  • Number: 12 

  • Name: Buccaneer’s Arc 

  • Location: Northwest coast of Ceannar on the Staplefish Bay 

  • Population (approx.): 200-400 (varies wildly) 

  • Brief: The coast of Ceannar features a number of island chains, both long and short. The islands north of the border between Ceannar and Noldrune form a lesser known, infrequently patrolled and sparse inhabited archipelago. Thus, over the years since the fall of Ta’arna, it has become home to a variety of ne'er-do-wells both land and sea based, earning the sobriquet Buccaneer’s Arc. Hidden settlements near quiet coves are home to infamous pirates and famous buccaneers, sometimes the same person depending on the flag they fly and the alliances they keep. 

  • Geography:  The Buccaneer’s Arc is a semi-circle of islands forming the border between the Lesser Staplefish Bay to the south and west and the greater (and much larger) Staplefish Bay to the north. Most of the hidden harbors can be found along the eastern coasts facing the greater waters. Merchant and Naval vessels traverse one main channel, avoided by the pirates, to ports of the smaller bay. The islands are wind-swept, scrub covered and relatively flat compared to the great Karst spires of the southern coast. 



Jan 13th 2023 

  • Number: 13 

  • Name: Missing Settlements 

  • Location: Recent maps say they were on the north coast of Ceannar on Staplefish Bay 

  • Population (approx.): Was 300-500 per Settlement, now no known survivors 

  • Brief: The coasts of Ceannar are home to hundreds of small fishing villages on the waters and farming settlements a day or two’s travel inland. Natural events, as expected, cause towns and villages to either move or be abandoned over the course of time. But recently, two or perhaps three small thorps, along of the cliffs of the north shores of Ceannar, have simply vanished. Travelers report very little debris surrounding where it appears a huge chunk of the stone and earth, hundreds of yards wide, has been scooped away, taking with it the village; buildings, people, animals and all. 

  • Geography:  The coast of this region of Ceannar features cliffs running from 50 (30m) to 150 feet (90m) above the waters below. A typical village is usually atop the cliff, insulated from tides and storms, with paths or stairs leading to docks or beached vessels. Where the settlements rested, a vast semi-circular section of cliff has vanished. Minimal debris can be seen on the beaches below, leading to many questions about what exactly happened. To date no witnesses have been found and no explanation is forthcoming. 


Jan 14th 2023 

  • Number: 14 

  • Name: Orchard Hills 

  • Location: Southern slopes of the hills in the northwest corner of Ceannar near the border with Noldrune 

  • Population (approx.):  numerous villages of 100-300 persons 

  • Brief:  Orchard Hills is home to a variety of farming communities tending to many acres of orchards spread across the southern slopes of the western hills of Ceannar. The area produces a number of fruits such as grapes and apples, and attendant derivative products such as ciders and wines. A number of roads lead south from the hills to trading towns along the central roads of the City-States. The region is rich in produce and was subject to a notable struggle between Ceannar and Noldrune during the early days of the City-States. Eventually Ceannar prevailed and the border was set further west on a north-south line between Red Water Bay in the south and the Lesser Staplefish Bay in the north. 

  • Geography:  Orchard Hills is a section of a large spur of the Tuton Maug which runs from Noldrune, near the source of the Lanumag River, west north west along the coast into Ceannar, eventually petering out. The southern slopes are insulated from the ill-effects of any fierce weather off of the Staplefish Bay but enjoy goodly rainfall throughout the year.  


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