Pride Goes Before
Chanos has four ports. The River Port has wide berths for the troop transports and barges that ply the river. Pearl port is smaller, and mostly for the wealthy to keep their private yachts and launches. The Sea port is administered by the Merchant Marine and House V’neef. Recently, a deal was brokered between Ragara, Nellens, Tepet, an V’neef, and the port is being expanded. This poses a threat to House Peleps, who maintains the Air Fleet at, surprise, Air Port on a land grant on the Western Shore. While it is technically for the Navy, Peleps often allows large trade ships to unload cargo and resupply at their port. This garners them a great deal of revenue. If the Sea port in Chanos becomes large enough, that could change rapidly.
The three ports in Chanos are each administered by their own portsmaster. In order to control the immense volume of traffic flowing into and out of the city, launching or docking without a permit is strictly forbidden.
There are two main markets in Chanos, the Sea Market and the River Market. They are, surprise, associated with the ports of the same name. All slave auctions, however, occur in the Ring, by order of the Prefect.
The Sea Market
The Sea Market is a large, square plaza of cobblestone upon which rest hundreds of stalls, tents, and stages. On its edges are warehouses and shops. The Sea Market specializes in two things. First, it has exotic goods not common to the Realm, such as fruits and raw materials. Second, it’s the unofficial gathering place for merchants, mercenaries, ship captains, or anyone else looking for hire, especially if they aren’t native to the Realm.
This also means that, in practice, smuggled goods are often bought and sold here. The trick is knowing who to talk to, and how.
The River Market
The River Market has four smaller plazas, each separated by a few lines of shops. Each plaza and the buildings around it specialize in different goods.
The first is reserved for the Dynasts, or those directly in their service. Even Patricians are not allowed in without a seal from a Chosen. The finest foods, cloth, weapons, armor, and luxury goods come here. It’s also a prime location to negotiate a large transaction, like ordering three hundred suits of armor for your personal Wing of estate guards.
The second square is not exclusive, but still skewed towards luxury and higher quality items. It attracts mostly Patricians and particularly wealthy citizens, though many Dynasts also visit when they want to browse.
The third square is reserved by Prefect decree for banking and commodities exchange. Most major trade and financial concerns have offices here, including the Guild. Of note is that while goods can be purchased in lots directly at the Sea Market, the exchange of the commodity in letters of marque and such must be conducted here. This odd bit of bureaucracy is designed to centralize major financial transactions, making easier for various government authorities to monitor. It also has created a cottage industry in people who buy at the Sea Market, break the items into letters of marque at the banks, and then trade them in the 3rd square. Those who specialize in working the markets are called brokers.
The fourth square is for common goods for the common folk. Not everyone shops here, of course. Mostly, the shopkeepers of the city come here to buy food, clothing, and other products they then resell at the various smaller markets throughout town.
Named for a famous Iselsi Admiral, the Myresh Beacon rises from the outermost Pearl. Forty yards tall, and built of one solid piece of essence-crafted stone, the Beacon and its trademark orange light are the last thing departing ships see, and the first welcome they get on their way home.
The light itself is generated by thousands of glowing orange pearls, found in a cove Demesne miles from Chanos. The light is reflected and concentrated by an elaborate system of mirrors. Harvesting the pearls in the cove is strictly forbidden, as they have to replaced every few centuries.
The Beacon is something of a tourist attraction. Many visitors to the Blessed Isle make a point of visiting the Beacon to marvel at its size and the distinctiveness of its design.
The Formidable Splendid Bastion
At the center of Chanos stands this Shogunate-era fortress. Its walls have a slight outward curve, designed to deflect the fire of powerful First Age weapons. The walls are made of ceramic mixed with Jade powder, and supported with the gigantic ribs of an ancient, monstrous creature.
The interior of the fortress as been renovated extensively. Offices have replaced barracks, the training yard is now packed with a warren of buildings, and the area around the fortress is no better. The normally precise, forward looking urban planning of the Realm was shredded by the exigencies of Creation’s largest military. Construction continues to this day.
Located at the border of the Old City, Iroh’s Teahouse is not particularly impressive. The wide, squat building is made of wood in a city mostly built of stone. Its low, peaked roof is not particularly defensible, and one might wonder why it hasn’t been ordered demolished.
The reason, simply put, is Iroh’s Teahouse has fans. Generals, Thousand Scales bureaucrats, ancient and powerful Dragon-Blooded of many Houses, and many others, all frequent the Teahouse. There are many reasons for this. First, it has over a dozen private rooms with wards on the walls, preventing eavesdropping. Second, it makes really, really good tea. Some claim it’s the best tea outside of the Imperial Palace. Some claim it’s better than the tea in the Imperial Palace, but do so quietly.
There are many other businesses around the establishment that specifically cater to this clientele, and all the people spying on the clientele. This means Iroh District, as it is informally called, is a natural clearing house for information, illicit goods, and bespoke goods.
Fort of the First Legion — Mela’s Roost
Typical of the military posts in the Ring, Mela’s Roost is the home of the First Legion. Established early, it is a monstrous grant of land, easily several thousand acres. Each Dragon of troops has its own set of barracks, mess halls, an training yards, a luxury afforded few Legions.
The buildings are all spare, stone structures. Even the officers’ quarters and the Lord’s mansion are quite spartan by the standards of the Legions. Despite this, being a member of the First is a much sought after honor.
The Imperial City is protected by the Empress’ Guard. That leaves Chanos, and the Northern boundary of the Realm, defended by the First. The First only accepts top-tier enlisted and officers. No Threshold recruits, and no paid commissions are accepted. Influential Dragon-Blooded, who are accustomed to purchasing commissions, or using their clout to dictate the placement of their progeny, find Jade, favors and threats are useless when it comes to influencing this Legion.
Dragons of the First are often deployed throughout the Realm, but at least two are on station at all times. The current General of the First is Ashlen, the Stonelash, an Outcaste.