The Crescent Sea
Tearnyn is the Capital city of Tearn and sits at the head of the Great Tearn Canal, the Heartflow. In reality, the Heartflow Proper starts about three miles inland as the early component that flows throughout Tearnyn stems from one of the lakes east of Tearnyn, the Purelake. This lake was co-opted due to its positioning and they dug eastward into Tearn’s tunnel system. However, many citizens who live in the centre of Tearnyn use the canals that it breaks down into, like a sort of urban river delta, linked by bridges and separated by man-made and directed canals that ferry traffic. Tearnyn has spread beyond its central delta and as such, much of residential Tearnyn lies upon more ordinary flagstone roads separating the ancient buildings.
Tearnyn holds an advantageous seat for a multitude of reasons. It is the political heart of the Great Republic of Tearn, as the Senate convenes within it to represent its various Cantons, from the grand sister cities of Tearnyn and Riverhead down to the northern and southern hamlets. The various departments that make up Tearn’s bureaucracy generally have their head offices within its walls, from the Tearnian Peaceguard and State Military to the Departments of Commerce and Immigration. It is also the home of some of the greatest magical and scholarly minds north of Marak, come to study everything from the ancient histories of Tearnyn to the mysterious appearances of newcomers to its flagstone streets. Its universities may not be as ostentatious or well-known as the grand academies of Marak, but they are respectably capable, though perhaps dependent on newcomers hesitant to stray from the city they arrived in.
The only thing Tearnyn citizens love boasting more about than their multiculturalism and inclusive ethic is their economic prosperity and the strength that its markets hold, halls of commerce that lie amidst the canals. Most notable is the fresh produce that is produced north of the Heartflow and ferried along it to be sold along the coast after stopping in Tearnyn and Riverhead respectively. However, in exchange for these bounties, the Tearn Merchants bring back all sorts of goods from the world that they travel to, should they be so lucky as to avoid unwanted attention.
Tearnyn itself has roughly three components. The delta, the coast and the outer ring. Within the delta, commerce and government dominate the canals. Merchants and vendors stick to the city if possible, especially those hesitant to ride upon the waves, lest they be attacked. As such, many ply their wares from boat or one of the delta’s island marketplaces. A few of the nicer, more luxurious hospitality services manage to afford rental costs aboard on the delta, catering to wealthy diplomats/government officials, the rich, merchants or travelers.
As the city of Tearnyn owns these properties, the Government has a heavy presence, in order to reassure merchants on the west coast and direct travelers and immigrants. The Peaceguard in particular makes themselves very evident, wearing rich blue cloaks and wearing steel armor with burnished gold highlighting.
They are trained to spot newcomers, speaking unusual accents or languages and directing or escorting them to the various Offices of Immigration scattered throughout the city, but clustered in the delta. Usually these offices will provide a translator, introductory information to the world and a counselor to assist those with more severe amnesiac symptoms. When the newcomers are comfortable with their knowledge, the Office of Immigration will also arrange travel and possible employment. They are hesitant to export talent, but won’t detain any but the obviously dangerous. They will provide transport to its borders to the neighbouring nations, Marak and Altara, or on-board the nautical vessel.
The ancient, man-made constructions of the delta are sinking, resulting in a few areas of the city that are underwater, with new stories built over them. Who knows what secrets to the mysteries of the world lie just beneath the feet of the people of Tearnyn.
The government of Tearn is large and relatively powerful, sculpting its very country to become economically powerful, giving advantageous rental positions to favoured companies and merchants within the delta of Tearnyn. While the Republic has no explict aristocracy, the former noble families still hold wealth and power in the form of land and favourable positions in Government.
The ‘Coast’ of Tearnyn is actually more synonymous with the area of the mainland that surrounds the delta and along the Crescent Sea. This area is where most goods are actually stored for sale in the delta and before departure into the Crescent Sea. A savvy shopper can usually find a wide selection of goods within the Coast section as well, as rental prices aren’t as competitive or dependent on friends in government. The Coast area is fairly residential, as few can afford to live in the delta full-time. Hospitals, schools/universities and most other standard forms of government operate here as well. There are a few rivers that flow into the delta for easy watertaxi access. The Peaceguard patrol firmly here as well, and Offices of Immigration are available for newcomers. Simple and clear signage is available for the whole city, designed with easy images to be as accessible as possible for interlopers. Here in the coast is where visitors will find the most variation in hospitality quality, with restaurants, inns, taverns and hotels that cater to the middle-class residents, rather than the luxurious delta visitors.
The streets here are more indicative of the typical city, with winding back alleys and crowded thoroughfares, where carriages squeeze between crowds of people at rush hour. There are a few districts here that are notable, such as the Red Quarter, a good-sized component of the city where the population is mostly Tiefling. The stores, restaurants and Peaceguard in this area are majority Tieflings to accommodate. There are a few neighbourhoods that are predominantly Aasimar, but they are less geographically centred, being less prone to discrimination. Good sized portions of the government and Peaceguard in Tearnyn are Aasimar as well.
Outside of the Coast is the Outer Ring, a large area that represents the receding rural territories of Tearnyn. The Outer RIng encompasses the start of the Heartflow and the Purelake at its mouth, a reasonably sized fresh-water lake that flows out through the Tearnyn River and Delta. Outer Ringers usually work in the workshops and factories that sell to the Inner Tearnyn and out through its ports to the rest of the world. A few work in the farms and ranches close to the city that technically fall with the Tearnyn city boundaries, but the majority are craftsmen. Those who live in the Outer Ring around the Purelake, known as Purelakers, are usually fishermen who sell down the river into Tearnyn. The slums that encircle the Purelake markets and fisheries are home to the mine workers who work down in the Heartflow. The Heartflow itself makes use of the vast tunnel network that extends into mainland Tearn. While the Heartflow itself is rigorously patrolled and kept safe by the Peaceguard, the tunnels beyond become treacherous.
Some of the more vicious underdark races dwell within those tunnels, but they normally stay further out, with the civilized ones plying their trades as guides or businessmen to the miners, even owning their own mines. However, it is the legends of ratfolk in the tunnels that most fear, potentially endless swarms that dwell within their warrens to attack unwary merchants or miners. However, they rarely venture so close to Tearnyn itself.