riverfront district, primarily human commercial
The Balsam district is the primary shipping and commercial transport center of Valenci, and houses most of the cities warehouses, and almost all of the commercial docks. It is dominated by bluffs along east border of district, upon which a series of old forts sit. Valenci used to rest between this ridge and the one the palace now sits on, but has grown larger than its initial cradle. Balsam abuts Warsok, but because of the steepness of the cliffs on the rear side of the ridge, travelers have to go around (through Otik) to get there.
The majority residents and businesses of Balsam are human, though huge numbers of demi and subhumans work the docks an surrounding warehouses. This has created an odd dynamic, where the highlands are fairly racist (even by Korpesh terms), and even have a human-supremacist gang, Llewestain, that call this area home. The lower areas around the docks and river are much more diverse, and are claimed by Coughing Up Cats, a colorful gang made up of sailors and dockhands. As one might imagine, tensions between the two groups run high, though Cats has the upper hand in terms of manpower, and tends to keep Llewestain relegated to the highlands. Stuck in between these two groups is another gang, The Sickers. More beggars and opportunistic thieves and thugs than an organized group, their only requirement for joining is that the prospective member be willing to pull their own weight…and be ill. Sickers do not have a staked out area, and instead wander where they can find work, food, and things not nailed down.
Balsam is patrolled by the Valenci City Watch, though nearly every guardsman there is on the take to some group or another, and smuggling and crime runs rampant.
The warehouse section of this district has been increasingly dangerous since and explosion first destroyed the warehouse here a few weeks ago, to the point where residents treat it as a no-man’s-land after dark, and do everything in their power to avoid being caught here. The Cult of the Burning Star was operating out of this area, and the murder bushes were also located in this vicinity. Whether these things are all that has caused the spike in dangerous activity remains to be seen.
Even more recently, the Cult of the Burning Star tried to set fire to the entire district. Although the fires were brought under control with the help of the City Watch, the Banded Castle, Coughing Up Cats, and several citizens, huge amounts of property damage and loss of life remains. While the Cult has been smashed and it’s leaders killed before they could immolate even more of the district, the Lifebringer was tragically lost in the fighting. She returned to life, with your help, and has been aiding greatly with the repairs to the devastated warehouse district.
The SIckers have found a strange place in the center of the burned out area from the whole burning star thing. It is a glossy, obsidian-like area in the middle of a small crater. Frighteningly, if someone touches it, they are slowly disintegrated. Even more frighteningly, it is growing. Slowly, but still…
Examining it magically showed it had very strong destruction magic and moderate necromancy
Places of Note:
- Amaya and Aneko Shrine – a decently sized shrine frequented by sailors and riverwalkers both before and after a journey. The statue of Aneko in the shrine is constantly shrouded, in mourning for her imprisoned status. The Lifebringer was killed in the fighting, and the Shrine is currently without a priestess.
- Maelsh Shrine – a small shrine located next to Amaya and Aneko’s shrine. Sailors and merchants frequently pray there for a little luck before a journey.
- Vikon Clinic – A small clinic tucked in the dock area, primarily serves the rowdy sailors and dockhands that work the area
- The Banded Castle An Arcane College housed in an old crumbling fort on the headlands above the docks. The magics used in it’s preservation cause slowly rippling bands of light to roll up the walls of the fort. Focuses on combat magic. Also home to The Banded Eagles
- Riverwalker’s Guildhouse – Despite the power the guild holds (and the opulance of some of their further afield guildhouses), this large hall is fairly sedate. Serves as a counting house and warehouse for guild business, as well as provides accommodations for members passing through Valenci
- Cartwright’s Guildhouse – This enormous two story building houses a repair an storage garage for several carts, wagons and coaches on the first floor, and business offices on the second.
- The Cleaners Offices – Located near the edge of the dock warehouses, this relatively small and somewhat dingy building serves as the accounting and business center for the Cleaners, as well as a recruiting center for those down on their luck enough to seek employment with them
- The Docks
- Assorted warehouses, including the Kalb family holdings/business
- The Gin Joint – A sailor’s bar near the dockfronts known for…well, being a dingy sailor’s bar
- Unidentified Meat on a Stick Stand – Semimobile stand selling unidentified meat on a stick and somewhat unidentified tuber on a stick. Strangely tasty food. has been closed since Amil lost his daughter in the night of fire.
- Less-Shady Bob’s Pawn-o-Rama – a now defunct pawn shop of minor repute
- The Shit Hole – for when you absolutely, positively need to get plastered, and don’t care what the alcohol tastes like or how many bugs are in it, as long as you can forget your troubles.