The Rod of Seven Parts
Marsember (the City of Spices) is a metropolis and the busiest port in Cormyr, situated on the west bank of the mouth of the Starwater River. It is based upon trade and lays on sandy islands in swampy terrain, making use of canals that double as open sewers, often causing a stench problem in warm periods, but preventing the water from freezing during the cold periods. Open areas of solid ground are a rarity here. Population tops out at about 46,000 souls. Marsember is often shrouded in mist.
Inhabitants of Marsember are known as Marsembians or rarely Marsembans.
The individual islands making up much of Marsember have many local names. Amongst them are Sarmran Isle, also knows as Fishgut Rock, and Antanmaran’s Isle, whose shape led to thename “the prow”.
The main trade in Marsember is spices (giving it the alternate name “City of Spices”) and the local merchant companies travel great distances to acquire these substances.
The fish trade is also large, with fish being caught in the Lake of Dragons.
The port is a builder of ships and Maerun Stoutbold has a large shipbuilding facility here. The Six Coffers Market Priakos is based here as well. Mustard produced in the uplands of Cormyr is exported in Marsember. Furniture with curved edges and coiled legs, the Marsembian style, and perfumes, are all produced here.
One of the grandest edifices to Lathander, Morningmist Hall, is found in Marsember.
Ildool is the crown’s representative, but he has yet to distinguish himself. Complaints about hime, including charges of skimming tax funds, fill libraries of scrolls. Even though the local Harpers keep Ildool fairly honest, he is widely distrusted. Much of the true management of the city is in the hands of Bledrin Scoril, Ildool’s herald, and Kyler Blackbone, a War Wizard, as well as the Harpers.
Another important official in Marsember is Ayesunder Truesilver, who is Warden of the Port. He is responsible for seeing to the safety of the 12-ship detachment of the Imperial Navy based in Marsember. He also commands a garrison of 3,000 Purple Dragons, who have been specially trained to work in Marsember’s environment.
The sandy islands on which Marsember is built are all connected with bridges, but transport via skiff is common, and they serve as status symbols.
It is common to wear boots covering the entire leg as well as cloaks and gloves. Dancing is a popular leisure activity.
A popular drink in Marsembian taverns is a harsh ale named “Harborbottom”.
A festival to celebrate the breaking of the ice after the cold season. The first ship into the port does not have to pay docking fees for the rest of the year, so this is a hotly contested prize. The celebration lasts a full day and the following night.
An annual celebration of the slaying of a huge dragon turtle that lived in the mouth of the Starwater River and posed a great threat. The creature’s shell covers a ceiling in the King’s Tower.
Places of Interest
King’s Tower (The seat of power and home to the garrison.)
The Drowned Sailors Society
The Masked Merfolk
Inns and Taverns
The Barrelstone Inn
The Cloven Shield
The Drowning Flagon
The Old Oak
The Roaring Griffon
The Tankard of Eels
Starwater Keep (The naval base and drydock.)
Haelithtorntowers Mansion (Home of Ambruar)
Stormwinds Towers (Home of Szwentil)
The Platter of Plenty
The Wight on a Waterdragon
The net of Pearls