Songs of Varen
Ebos is the largest city for hundreds of miles, a port capital known to some as the Spired City for its many stone peaks which house the city senate (composed of merchant guild representatives and the nobility). Its sigil is the albatross across an open sea, representing guidance amid freedom. It is no secret that this city is practically run by the merchant’s guild. This is a very diverse city, governed mainly by humans, but elves, halflings, gnomes, dwarves, and even half-orcs and bronze dragonborn (the Danar) have representation in the senate.
The city is divided into major districts: the Central District, the Harbor District, the Residential District, the Trade District, and the Temple District.
The Central District
This area is the second largest of Ebos’ districts, only surpassed by the gargantuan Harbor District. This district houses the senate in its characteristic stone spires which pierce the clouds. The seat of government, known as Council Tower, is gated off from outsiders and magically protected to protect government officials from unpleasant visits by thieves, magical and mundane, in the unpleasant hours of the night. This district also holds banks and other such non-artisan businesses. There are a few monasteries here, particularly the older ones that were developed before the Temple District developed. A small congregation of arcane researchers gather here too, in the Fivefold Corner, the only area of the city where all magic is permitted (though practitioners still require a permit).
The Harbor District
This area is the most iconic, gritty, and magnificent (or repugnant, depending upon whom you ask) district in Ebos. The smell of fresh fish mingles with the aroma of horse droppings and spiced rum to create a truly memorable olfactory experience. The fish market here is widely regarded as the best in the world, and the fishermen know it. Taverns are found on almost every corner. Beggars are common and belligerent, and con artists and bar fights are ample. One of the local delicacies of this district is steamed ochre jelly.
The Residential District
This area alone is larger than most other cities alone, and is essentially a self-contained city itself. There is a little bit of everything here, though by no means the center of attention in Ebos. Some of the nicer inns are located here, as well as a few artisans whose practices do not have the backing of the city’s influential merchant guild. These include alchemists such as the Pevadii halfling known as Hevad.
The Trade District
This district is the true seat of power in Ebos. The merchant’s guild known as the Trade Alliance largely dictates which businesses and types of trades flourish here, and which fail. There are rumors that a thieves’ guild of thugs, pickpockets, and unsanctioned magic-users works underground in this district and has many safe houses and sympathizers throughout this district and the Residential District, though the pile of evidence is thin and unconvincing; while a few bands of thieves likely gather in some of the inns of Ebos, the conspiracy that they have a guild so interconnected is laughable by most citizens. This district is home to successful and influential artisans in crafts such as blacksmithing, tailoring, gem cutting, carpentry, herbalism, cartography, wagon design and transport engineering, bookbinding, locksmithing, and innumerable others. Artisan activities unsupported by the Trade Alliance last for only a few months in this district if they even manage to make it here at all. Alchemy, apothecary, and enchanting are the prominent examples of crafts clearly distrusted or otherwise unsupported by the guild.
The Temple District
The newest of the districts, this district is the smallest of the five, and the farthest from the center of the city, located in the farming outskirts a few miles from the center of the city. Monks live here in solitude and in small communities with shared values. It is the cleanest and quietest of the districts. A small circular temple dedicated to the Elven religion known as Synsenn is located at the northernmost reaches of this district, amid a field of flowers. These monks and priests work as florists and hold public ceremonies during important astrological events. A sprawling farm-monastery of Caenir’s Bearers populates the majority of this district. Traveling Bearers visit periodically, especially during the solstices, coming to the monastery in long progressions, carrying candles adorned with a broken eye sigil. The elusive Feathered Oracle is said to visit every decade for Caenir’s Passing.
Guilds and Other Factions
The Trade Alliance: The most influential merchant guild in the city. Most artisans are members, as are many members of the city’s council. The guild covers the practices of masons, jewelers, tanners, fishermen, bakers, and more. This guild is jointly led by Tey Thanos (female high elf) and Turin Senathor (male human).
The Purple Rose: A rival guild of the Trade Alliance, the Purple Rose is a guild protecting the interests of apothecaries and alchemists. While this guild has a presence in Ebos, its membership is dwindling as its members leave Ebos to try their trade elsewhere; the Trade Alliance is too powerful for many of these artisans to get a foothold even with the support of this guild. This guild is housed by an extremely strong-willed dwarf named Alloy Achorjaw.