Exalted: Tales of the Dreaming Sea
Known as the Nighted City, Champoor exists under the constant veil of the goddess Tenepeshu and the Court of Secrets. It is nominally ruled by the satrap Ophris Yanath though anyone within the city knows that those favored by the gods of the Court are the true authority within the shadowed streets.
The Many Burroughs of Champoor
Champoor’s infamous blue lantern district hosts some of the oldest and most well known pleasures houses, gambling parlors, and opiuim dens in the Southeast. The Grand Madame, Nahjoma runs this part of the city and keeps out anyone who’s bad for business.
The worst slums in all of Champoor; found in the darkest, most run down part of the city. Disease and illness run rampant here due to the poor conditions. The people of Blackwater are watched over over by the Fahr Fara and his clan, a family of rat-men who’ve resided in Blackwater for as along as any can remember.
Catta is where Champoor’s laborers, craftsmen, and other semi-honest workers tend to reside. Catta is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and has become very crowded; it’s maze like streets are difficult even for natives of the city to navigate. Few folks start trouble in Catta due to it’s thriving underground martial arts scene. It’s even said First Impulse Style, Creation’s most infamous street fighting art, was created in the back alleys of Catta.
Only ever really acknowledge by those who live in Blackwater, Dredge is an rancid-smelling stretch of mire and muck that was despoiled centuries ago by the arrival of some creature that has burrowed deep beneath it. All manner of stories have arisen about this beast known most common as Gu Khuwa. One such legend claims that Gu Khuwa swallowed a beautiful goddess and her hatred and misery over being imprisoned in this awful beast is what has ruined the land.
Unlike the western gate of Champoor which sees many visitors, Eastgate sees much less traffic and has drawn no real interest from the Guild given how busy they just across the city. As such Eastgate has become a trap to milk every last dinar it can from witless travelers. Its streets are littered with bottom-barrel taverns, cheap gambling houses, and low-rent brothels. Most other Champoori look down on those who run such establishments, believing that cheating naïve travelers is miserably petty and done only by those who can only get by praying on the simple and the weak.
This northwestern corner of the city is where those only visiting the Nighted City stay – at least if they’re wise. It is probably the safest area in Champoor as Tenepeshu’s veil is its thinnest here leaving this area of the city cast in perpetual early evening. This burrough is owned and operated almost entirely by The Guild and those loyal to its enterprise.
Is the only thing resembling a temple district in the city. Forgotten and abandoned shrines that are falling apart line the streets of this neighborhood. Only a few remain active, used by priests of the Court of Secrets to offer prayers to the true rules of the city. Several of the city’s oldest manses exist here but have been long sealed away by ancient magics. Beneath this district is also an elaborate series of catacombs used to store the dead who pay the high fees to be buried properly in Champoor that they may hold on to their wealth in the Underworld.
This neighborhood is caught in a perpetual turf war between a dozen or so gangs, guilds, mercenary companies and other criminal organizations who want to control it. Throughout Champoor’s history one group or another has always risen to top to ‘rule’ Ivory Dagger but they almost always wind up with a knife in the back eventually and things return to bloodshed and distrust. Currently Vicious Maw of Iron and his Thrice-Cursed Jackal Clan control the most turf in Ivory Dagger, having killed most of their competition. However Vicious Maw is rumored to have a debt to Thali Kama for this victory that he can’t afford to repay.
Is a largely abandoned slum. Despite it being near Blackwater even the desperate poor won’t travel into Jatuh’s Price without good reason. The story goes that it bares an awful curse laid upon it by the Court of Secrets to punish one known as Jatuh who dared to defy their will. It is said Jatuh stole something of divine importance from Tenepeshu’s court and it has never been found. Rumor has it that it is hidden somewhere in Jatuh’s Price and that Jatuh himself still roams its streets – unable to die until he returns what was taken. Those who enter this neighborhood rarely return. Only the insane, the abhorred, and the hopeless live there as no normal light can pierce the darkness of its streets.
This neighborhood was taken over by the Prasad when they claimed rulership of Champoor. While the noble Prasadi keep their estates in Solemn other Prasadi loyal to their empire who reside in the Nighted City call this burrough their own. Kamthari clings to is culture identity and has not integrated well. Native Prasadi find the Champoori untrustworthy, drab, and dangerous while natives of the city find them loud, careless and arrogant. While tensions between the Prasad and the people of Champoor have mostly faded in the century since the empire took over, the wounds of the past haven’t healed entirely and no place is that more apparent than in Kamthari.
This large island off the coast of the Blackwater docks is home to an ancient lighthouse used to guide ships safely into the harbors of the Nighted City. Sometime in the last hundred years it came to be ruled over by a sorceress called Nisadha and her family of pale-skinned ‘children’. Nisadha allows the island to be used for trade purposes between those who want to do business without entering into Champoor proper. This often done by those who don’t wish to get their throat-slit in the night but still have wares they need to bring into or get out of the city. Nisadha tolerates no unwarranted violence on her isle and it is said any who break her rules are bound into her service.
The former heart of the city this neighborhood was where the old aristocracy of Champoor once held power before the Prasad empire took an interest in the city and outed them from political relevance. The oldest families of Champoor have grown very miserable as their coffers have grown shallow and many have abandoned the city or indebted themselves to the Prasadi. Yet a few houses remain as stubborn as ever and willing to do whatever it takes to reclaim what they’ve lost.
The Pallid Garden
A sprawling garden that surrounds an ancient, powerful manse known as the Weeping Bodhissatva for the large, black jade statue of meditating holy woman at the center of the gardens. This statue cries a stream of tears that flow through a series of marble ducts through the garden, magically maintaining it without allowing it to grow out of control. Despite the magic nature of these tears, all the flowers of the garden only bloom in faded colors and many bloom in beautiful patterns of pale white throughout the neighborhood. The garden is watched over by an order of serpentine creatures, known only as the Caretakers. They keep people away from the manse and many believe they are guardians created specific to protect it.
The neighborhood in which the city’s offices, courts, and the like can be found. This is where the current satrap conducts most of the official business, such as entertaining visiting dignitaries, in his palatial estate in the heart of the neighborhood. Those wealthy enough to afford household guards and the like live in this part of the city, often after moving from being small time criminals to the lords of sprawling criminal empires. In recent years however the Prasad have come to control most of Solemn and ensure people can conduct ‘legitimate’ business there by employing mercenary guilds as soldiers and guards. Many noble Prasadi have taken up residence here to support the satrap for now and be available to replace him when he dies.
The Veiled Market
One of the oldest marketplaces in Creation, the Veiled Market is also its largest black market. Almost anything can be bought or sold there, if one is willing to pay the price. The Veiled Market is controlled by Gilded Siyavi a master of illicit business and only those willing to pay a proper price find their way beyond the gates into the market proper. Rumors persist of an ‘emerald market’ that exists within the Veiled Market, trafficking in the most secretive and dangerous of goods. It may even be hidden in the Underworld or a godly Demesne, if it exists at all. Certainly if it does exist, one could buy entrance for the right price from Gilded Siyavi.
Other Locations of Note
This hidden isle is the spiritual demesne of Tenepeshu and the meeting place of the Court of Secrets. Only those invited by the gods of the court can find their way to it. It is from Naungana that the dragon goddesses’ veil is cast over the area, cloaking Champoor in eternal night. There are stories of hidden passages in the darkest parts of the city that lead on to Naungana. It might explain how the gods of the court move through the city so effortlessly when they choose to do so at all.
The Palace of Black Flame
This ancient, opulent manse was reclaimed by the chosen of the Prasad when they ascended to power in Champoor. Before their arrival, it remained sealed and dormant. It now serves as the estate of the satrap of Champoor and refuge for the Prasad should things ever turn ugly within the Nighted City. Many believe it was the opening of the Palace of Black Flame that caused Tenepeshu and the Court of Secrets to not get involved in the overthrowing of the old aristocracy.