Sasserine (Large City): Conventional; AL NG; Population 15,650; 40,000 gp limit; Assets 31,300,000 gp; Mixed (77% human, 6% half-elf, 5% halfling, 4% gnome, 4% dwarf, 2% elf, 1% half-orc, 1% other).
The City of Sasserine is perched on the edge of the known world, the last stop before the endless expanse of the Amedio Jungle. It is a hub of trade, and home to more than fifteen thousand souls, a bastion of civilization in a realm haunted by piracy, disease, violent weather, and monsters.
Sasserine is located at the westenmost edge of the Amedio Jungle, nestled in a sheltered harbor. Most travelers come to Sasserine via ship, as overland routes are fraught with peril. From the sea, Sasserine isn’t much to look at; two rugged cliffs of stone jut from the coastline, their faces home to seahawks and gulls but little else. Then a vast rent in the cliff slides into view, its summit crowned by the shattered remnants of an immense stone bridge. Sailing between the slowly eroding pylons that once supported the bridge above, a visitor passes from the open sea into a thriving harbor of commerce, whaling, and intrigue. Certainly the smell of the city is breathtaking – a tremendous riot of exotic spices, smoke, humanity, and sewage that assaults the senses. Perfumes and scented candles are popular commodities in Sasserine.
Sasserine is split into seven distinct districts, each with its own personality. These districts are separated by inner walls, by networks of canals or rivers, or simply by age. Friendly competition between the districts is common, especially during festivals, yet the citizens of Sasserine do not hesitate to come to each other’s aid. Perched at the edge of civilization, Sasserine is (and always has been) often the target of assault from land and sea; pirates of the Crimson Fleet, the navy of the Scarlet Brotherhood, the frog-like bullywugs of the surrounding marshland, and even gangs of ogres and giants from the nearby mountains keep the city on constant alert, yet to date the fiercely proud city has fallen to the enemy only once, and even then only through the act of the cities most notorious traitor.
The city was founded over 700 years ago, in the year –124 cy by pilgrims from the north. This group was led by a visionary cleric of Wee Jas named Sasserine who died on the island now known as Ancestor Island in the heroic act of defending the pilgrims from a black dragon named Zelkarune. Sasserine’s lover, a man named Teraknian, founded the city in her honor. Over the next several centuries the city experienced phenomenal growth, during which a line of rulers descended from Teraknian ruled Sasserine in conjunction with advice from the churches of Wee Jas and Kord. In the year of 480 cy, Lord Mayor Orren Teraknian ruled the city—a rule that allowed for no shades of gray. For the first time in centuries, the church of Wee Jas was stripped of its power as fabricated charges of devil-worshiping saw to the arrest, imprisonment, and even execution of its faithful. Just as Orren’s rule became unbearable, a great fleet of ships arrived—epresentatives of the Hold of the Sea Princes to the north. Promising an end to Orren’s cruel rule, the invaders were aided in their assault on the city from within as the citizens rose up in rebellion. Orren Teraknian was overthrown and the Sea Princes claimed Sasserine as their own. Over the century to come, Sasserine’s resources were savaged. The Sea Princes kept Sasserine a secret from the rest of the world, hoping to hide the valuable port from invaders by destroying any references to it they could find. Spies infiltrated cartographer guilds and libraries throughout the world, altering maps and sea charts with magic. Ship captains who knew the route to the city were bought off or murdered. Sasserine suff ered in these 100 years, but the underlying spirit of her citizens did not die. Their prayers were finally answered in 584 cy, when the Scarlet Brotherhood assassinated nearly all of the Sea Princes. The resulting turmoil threw Sasserine into chaos. Without the support of their homeland, the leaders of the city were overthrown in a fortnight. In the decade since their freedom, the people of Sasserine have rebuilt their city with astonishing success.