Angst, “The City of Thieves”
Known commonly as the City of Thieves, Angst boasts a reputation as the single worst place in all of Arawyn. The city is teeming with cut-throats, low-lifes, and pirates, none of whom fear the dangers of the legal system (or what little remains of it). What once stood as a beautiful sister city to the noble state of Faust, now lays crumbled under economic duress. The grand structures rot away while brothels, bordellos and seedy taverns crop up across the cityscape. Few noble houses associate themselves with the city anymore, but for those who do, it can be assured they hold some stake in the black market dealings that are known to exist.
Faust, “The City of Poison”
The city of Poison, as it is now known, was built in 543 in the inlet directly north of where Angst would eventually be built. The city of Faust became known as the city of Nobles thanks to the inordinate number of wealthy families which moved from Septufas to found the city during the initial expansions of Coast Haven. However great the city may have seemed for all its delightful architecture, art and the delightful canals which were built to run through the city, the nobles of the city were renown for their greed. In 647, it is said that one of the more powerful houses made a pact with a demon to try and gain an advantage in the constant political turmoil that plagues this city. This brought on a small war between the noble houses and left the political situations their on eggshells for generations, and now, much of the political dealing of the city are done with a poison dripping dagger rather than sweet diplomatic honeyed words.
Built in 758 by the Estaro household, Bordertown has served Coast Haven well as a trade post for land and sea travel between the Kormyrian kingdom and Coast Haven. Bordertown features one of the largest trading posts within Coast Haven, processing and managing all land and sea traffic coming down the Anteries coast and through the Frameth valley which extends between the two nations.
The pride and economic center of Coast Haven. It is said that all roads of the east lead to Septufas. The first built of the Coast Havenite cities, this particularly robust city houses the esteemed Catrazza School of Soldiery and their great Arena, the Caldera DiGata. Many of the finest swashbucklers in all of Arrawyn were trained within the school’s halls and their name has been attributed to many great heroes of the past 180 years. Aside from the Catrazza school, the city also boasts quite a few noble houses who lead the city towards greater and greater economic heights, often advising the other cities in their trade negations to the outside world.
Lieghyre, “The Jewel of the Light”
The bells from the Cathedral of Light in Lieghyre’s central square ring out every hour. The Guiding Light Mission is found with it’s many cloistered monks and dedicated servants working to manage the daunting task of bringing the good word of Valos to the rest of the world. The city, controlled by the pious Quito family, was built as the port sister city to Septufas, who is her primary trade partner. The city, of course, also is the launch point for many of the Valosian missionary projects around the world, thanks to the generous donation of 5 ships and the land for the cathedral given by Regina Quito in 932. The city stands as one of the few port cities with good reputations along the Coast Haven coastline.
Coast Haven is a melting pot of trade and business. Each of the city states within the kingdom all build on the bustling trade routes and merchant houses or guilds that constantly bring in goods and gold. Some say it has a more diverse lifestyle than that of the barony of Travance. The people rely heavily on the import and export of goods to create a meaningful life.
Many Coast Havenites view the oceans as the most important thing. It is more important than any land, and so they tend to prefer anything that gets them off land and onto water.
The kingdom celebrates two major holidays:
Noche de Avivamiento
This holiday, celebrated in the month of August, though the night seems to differ for each of the cities and even some families, depending on the region. On this night, people celebrate the Ma’khet, dressing in caricature fashions of them to show praise. This began from the myth of when Papa Oute had passed on into the afterlife believed to be gone from this world forever. The other Ma’khet began the celebration upon his return from his demise, praising him as Prince of the Crossroads.
La Victoria de Valiente
In the year 1062, the C.H.S. Valiant set out to sea along with several others in the armada to seek and destroy pirate activity on the Anteries Trade Union shipping lanes. What they encountered was a trap laid by merchant houses of Khitan that decimated the fleet. It was by the determination of the Valiant and her crew under the leadership of Commodore Jorge Velasquez that they returned home, having won against the Khitanese. While the holiday itself is on March 23rd, the whole month is often used to celebrate the heroic efforts of Commodore Velasquez.
Many within the city states of Coast Haven do not worship the traditional divine gods, but rather spirits known as the Ma’khet. While the preachers of the Guiding Light Mission have tried to convert the people of Coast Haven toward the light of Valos and the gods of light, the majority of the population still revere and pay homage to the Ma’khet (Psychopomps to others in the northern regions). The Ma’khet were revered as “Guides of the Soul” who would, when called upon, aid in all facets of life. Each one held dominion over different facets of the lives of mortals. Simple prayer and offerings to the spirit guides are common enough in the city states, but few go further into the practice of summoning them via shamanistic and more widely recognized druidic rites.
The Ma’khet themselves have been believed to wield the primal elements of Arawyn - from which they were created - and influence a great many actions within the world. It is possible that hundreds could exist, though none are worshipped to a greater extent than the Ounagk family of Ma’khet.
Baron Gibde (The Dead Hand)
Often seen wearing long coat and dishevelled clothing covered in dirt, Baron Gibde holds influence over the passage from life to death, animals, and storms. His symbol is that of a setting sun upon the horizon and his favored color is orange. Some regard him as a ferryman of sorts from one life into the next and call to him at funerals to ensure safe passage for their fallen loved ones. Offerings of coin and salt water are given during the setting of the sun for his blessings, usually in hopes of fair weather for the morning.
Baron Kurouk (The Criminal)
Baron Kurouk is the Ma’khet of scoundrels and weddings. His favored color is a vibrant blue and he favors rodents such as rats and moles. A villain in his own right, the Baron is a cruel being that acts upon his greed, stealing from others for himself. His symbol is a chest bound in chains and offerings of wine and wooden figurines are set out for him, either to ward off his dastardly gaze or direct it elsewhere.
Papa Oute (Prince of the Crossroads)
Known to most mortal kind as the Prince of the Crossroads because he is often the first and last spirit invoked in any ceremony to communicate with the Ma’khet. He stands before the doorway to the spirits and it is he who grants permission for the invokers to reach the others. As well, he is regarded as a trickster spirit as well, often playing pranks on other Ma’khet and mortal kind alike. He appears as an old man with a crutch and straw hat. He is the spirit of travelers and wanderers, pranks, and libraries. His symbol is that of a door wreathed in flowers and above all things, he holds dogs most sacred. Offerings of springtime flowers and tobacco are common when invoking his name.
Papa H’sa (The Old Man)
He is recognized as a short, dark, skeletal man with a high hat on his head, and a love of fruit. Papa H’sa is the spirit of death, luxury, and bargaining. He is invoked most commonly in times of illness or hard economic duress, in hopes that he would turn the crisis into favorable tidings. He rarely ever turns away the prayers of children, and more often favors them over the prayers of older mortals. His symbol is of a bowl with a single gold coin inside and favors the color yellow. Offerings of apples and rum are placed at the doorstep of one’s house to ward off death and sickness.
Maman Erzu (Lady Love)
Erzu is the spirit of love, beauty, jewelry, and dancing. She wears three rings at all times, one for each of her perished lovers, Agwe: Spirit of the Seas, Damballa: Spirit of the Skies and Ogoun: Spirit of the Hunt, each of whom were slain in battle during the prophetic climax. Her symbol is a heart, her colors are pink, white, and gold, and her favorite offerings include jewelry, perfume, sweet cakes and liqueurs. Coquettish and very fond of beauty and finery, Erzu is femininity and compassion embodied, yet she also has a darker side; she is seen as jealous and spoiled and within some Ma’khet circles is considered to be lazy. Many pay homage to her in hopes of a more successful romantic life, or to bring misery upon another’s romantic endeavors.
Maman Izani (Lady Luck)
Izani, presides over fortune, luck, crafting, and all creatures of the sea. She’s whimsical and obscene, but never rude to those who call on her. Her favored colors are silver, green, and red and her symbol is a set of dice encircled by an eel. She is the mistress to which all those who bank on chance for a lucrative life pay reverence to. She tends to favor those who have lost more than those who have gained. Many provide her offerings of poetry, song, and furs in an effort to turn their luck around.
Little Kalfu (The Red Son)
Kalfu is one of the twin sons of Erzu along with Carlifore, Spirit of Peace, slain by the prophecy. He is often envisioned as a young man; his color is red and he favors rum infused with sulfur. He allows the crossing of bad luck, deliberate destruction, misfortune and injustices as well as give consolation and help to those with personal issues. Kalfu was believed to be a demon because of his ferocious nature. Warriors often provide offerings in the form of smoked meats and bloodied bandages wrapped in tree leaves. His symbol is the hilted half of a broken sword piercing a hand. He is revered by warriors and brutish types, who seek his blessings for victory in battle.
Coast Haven is first and foremost a trade nation. Rarely do they deal with landlocked nations because they primarily use their extensive navy and port cities to import and export. Because of the diverse nature of the people who live there, they hold very little contempt for most kingdoms. Everyone has money and goods, so the merchant houses who control Coast Haven do not care too much for where it comes from.
On Kormyrian Relations
The establishment of Bordertown in the late 750s allowed for tensions between Kormyre and Coast Haven to be eased. Before then, the Kormyrian government saw Coast Haven as a dangerous host to pirates and ruffians who were interrupting their trade with the Isle’s of Rinn’Quinell Nurbonis. However, the Estaro family saw the wisdom in creating a joint venture city to the north and since then have had strong economic ties with the Tarthan shipping guild, one of the largest trade guilds of the Kormyrian kingdom. While there are still suspicions that Coast Haven does not do enough to stop piracy, accusations of them supporting it have faded.
On Bedouin Relations
The Bedouins of the Dunes of Amon’zad have made a pact with the city states of Coast Haven to create the city of Selimport. Trade is strong with their merchant neighbors and the Coast Haven trade industry heavily relies on their Bedouin counterparts for over-land trade and travel, since, to this date, the Coast Havenites have only really specialized in the finer arts of seafaring.
On Khitanese Relations
The Empires of Khitan all sit very poorly with Coast Haven, because they stand as the rival nation of sea-bound trade. Often these two nations attempt to disrupt trade coming from the other and hijack goods to sell as their own. No open declarations of war have come about since the just before the Demon Wars, but it is apparent that no peace of any kind will ever be met by these two nations any time in the near future.
Queen Luiza de la Borrasca
Current queen of the City-States of Coast Haven. She resides within Septufas in the castle where many of the heads of the merchant houses regularly do dealings. She has reigned for nearly three decades since her coronation in 1188. She is often revered in the more civilized cities, but in the twin Cities of Faust and Angst, she is openly spoken about with venomous tones. It is unclear if this is a guise to protect her name or if they truly do not support her rule. This fact has always remained unclear for good reason.
Current head of the Estaro merchant family. He is noted as less reputable than his predecessors. Rumors have spread throughout the merchant houses that Hector has made deals with some of the more prominent pirates on the sea to ensure his own trade is successful while others suffer.
Current head of the Quito merchant family. He regularly works with the church of valos within Lieghyre to spread the word of the Light everywhere that his trade routes take his business. It is unclear if this is a front for criminal activity or if the church funds the family, but it is apparent that not all of the money the family has comes from the business conducted on the seas.
Captain Arsenio Herrera
Captain Herrera is known across the trade lanes more commonly as “Ironheart”. More than stealing goods from others, he deals in slavery. His name comes from his policy of no survivors and no deals. His compassion for the laws of the sea and his fellow sailors are cold as iron, so much so that he has even sold his own men into slavery just to make more money. Those who work under him aren't always there of their own free will, but those who are seem to keep up with his ruthlessness.
Fross is truly one of the most vile and twisted pirates who sail the seas. He has been rumored for years to have delved into dark powers and villainous deals. He has done everything short of selling his soul, or so it's said. He has had run ins with heroes before, narrowly escaping every time. Very little is known about this pirate and his crew, but it is known that to cross him ensures death. The only one worse to cross would be his wife.
If there is anything Tempest is known for, it is the raucous and wild parties she throws. Wherever she sails, there will be a story to tell of the events that unfold. Her drinking is legendary, her name causes men to loose coin faster than they can cry her name. Charlotte Tempest is a storm that rolls into port and leaves everyone broke and cheerful. As a privateer of the Coast Haven Navy, she regularly deals with the political leaders of nations, most commonly the Kormyrian Armada.
Long ago was a great beast; a monstrous sea creature referred to as a Leviathan by its size, but as Triton in name. Triton was a primal spirit of nature who swam the seas, capable of swallowing ships whole and leaving no trace of survivors. Rarely would anyone ever see Triton and live to tell the tale, but few returned to port from shipwreck with stories of a magnificent sea monster that was both awe inspiring and terrifying all the same.
It was said that any ships what sunk to the bottom of the ocean would belong to Triton, as no one should ever be foolish enough to delve down to salvage scrap from the sea floor. Any who did were noted to be lost at sea and never seen again.
In time, the bottom of the ocean came to be known as Triton’s Shipyard, as any ship that sunk would remain there as his possession, along with all the treasures and crewmen aboard.
Antoinette, the Anteries Siren
Antoinette, for most of her life was a siren in servitude of of a vicious and evil queen, Agatha D’Delour. After her release, she took back to the seas where she belonged, only to slowly rebuild her strength, though in new ways. She claimed a ship that has since been dubbed “The Siren’s Song” to carry wayward sailors who give themselves to her or beg for life after a shipwreck. In recent years, she is only ever spoken of in hushed tones among sailors and given the title of Sea Witch. She herself has deemed herself Queen of the Anteries and lays claim to all the treasure and souls that become lost at sea. She bargains and deals in the lives and treasures of all who call the sea their home and only the unluckiest ever find themselves dealing with her.
This is more commonly known as “the Black Spot”. This curse is reserved almost exclusively for those who commit the most heinous of crimes at sea. Few know where it comes from or who marks these wayward sailors, but it is very clear that anyone with the mark is guaranteed to meet their end soon. Some have managed to escape the curse, but almost always at a very grave price.
Madeline Carver, the Spirit Thief
Many decades ago lived a young girl who always snuck away at night against her parents wishes. Unfortunately for her, this didn't go well and she was kidnapped and officially declared dead.
As the story goes, in her captivity she prayed to any who would listen and the God of death, Galmachis, answered, giving her the key to her salvation, but at the price of serving him for eternity. Nowadays, the tale of Madeline Carver is told to children to make sure they stay in bed and be good or else the Spirit Thief will steal their souls away! Some say they see the young girl still wandering the streets of some Coast Haven cities, looking for wayward children to steal away.