Cinquedea has been compared to an upright dagger thrust into the Tegarra Bay. Its towers loom high over the water, and narrow streets and canals wind their way through the crowded ground between city wall and waterline. The surrounding lands are not particularly fertile, and the Tega River is not fully navigable all the way up to Canteria, but Cinquedea has become prosperous as its business in sea trade has picked up. It is not a vital stop along the coastline. Some captains prefer to take their ships directly from Raspian to Forspada, a habit the locals would dearly love to change.
Visitors sometimes find that Cinquedea takes some getting used to. Its streets can be fairly narrow, and the shadows are long. Canals crisscross the city in places, particularly in the district locally called the Veins. It’s considered a sign of status locally to live farther from the ground, and the city thus bristles with slender, high buildings frequently connected by a cobweb of high catwalks. The wealthy district of Diadem is home to particularly tall and somewhat intimidating towers, including the four connected towers that make up the Prince’s home of Grandspires.
While some would say the city has a bad reputation, locals hotly deny it’s the case. It’s in the best interests of many that visitors be allowed to conduct their business in peace and safety here, so that they may return again and again, elevating Cinquedea’s prosperity. Yet the Rasennan propensity for feuds is strong here, and a number of ruthless criminals make this place their home. It might be fairly said that Cinquedea is comparatively safe for visitors, but those who live here have good reason to keep one eye open at all times.
Silverbank: The larger portion of the artisan and manufacturing district of Cinquedea, located on the east bank of the Tega River.
Copperbank: The smaller, less affluent section of the artisan and manufacturing district, on the west bank of the Tega.
The Veins: The canal-riddled bayfront district, where the majority of ship trade takes place.
The Narrows: The poorer portion of the city, squeezed between the Veins and the northern wall.
Templeguard: Home to Cinquedea’s more opulent temples and shrines, as well as the homes of those families not quite wealthy enough to own towers in Diadem. The most respected sword schools in the city have their home here.
Diadem: The wealthiest portion of Cinquedea, where the elite families build ever-taller towers to outdo one another. Home to the Prince’s seat of Grandspires.
The Stiletto: An island in the bay, connected to Diadem by two large bridges. The Stiletto is home to a military fortification overlooking the harbor on the north shore, and to the infamous Vindessari Prison on its southern spar.
The Avenues of Silence: A large portion of high-rising land overlooking the bay, set aside for tombs and burial sites. The Cinquedeans created this necropolis in imitation of Raspian City’s famed Sorrowgarden.
The stereotype of Inviccian piety is that the average individual is prone to put on enough of a public show of devotion to be viewed as an upstanding citizen, and then not bother with gods, saints, angels or devils one jot more. Cinquedeans are a diverse lot, and not all adhere to this stereotype. But it’s true that most temples are more beautiful landmarks and social gathering places than guiding principles in the mind and soul of the city.
The most lavish and influential temple is the House of the Prosperous, a majestic edifice to Jaulckem, god of wealth. The distinctive Temple of the Twin Blessings is divided into two churches, one dedicated to Urvan the Lawgiver, the other to Taltikka the Queen of Fortunes. Shrines to the rest of the pantheon fill the Templeguard district, with the exception of the Sea’s Foundation — this temple to Qullon stands prominently in the Veins.
The two most powerful houses in Cinquedea are the Avicca, a house of traders, bankers and moneylenders, and the Pulsciri, who rose from humble origins and made their fortune in sea trade. These two are locked in a bitter rivalry. The Avicca look down upon the “jumped-up fishmongers” as unworthy of their status, and the Pulsciri condemn the “pretentious usurers” as rotten to their core.
Other Houses with some presence in Cinquedea include the Iluni (who own the Eveningstones estate), Rovino, Barcamir and Crisandor. Members of each of the Sorcerous Houses have been enticed to make their homes in the city; Inviccian princes have often coveted the prestige of having one of the Sorcerous Houses make their seat in the principality, and have indulged in many intrigues in pursuit of this goal.
Notable Inns and Taverns
Cinquedeans love their drinking establishments. They love good wine and strong spirits, and they love the gossip that clouds the local taverns.
The Resplendence, a particularly fine Diadem inn where Cinquedeans and visiting dignitaries go to be seen.
The Hanged Rake, a Silverbank tavern and inn of modest reputation. Known to be a good place to find wines and food that represent principalities outside Invicci.
The Hilt and Pommel, a Templeguard tavern catering to a mercenary and blade clientele.
The Venting Spleen, a Templeguard tavern popular with students of rhetoric. Debates and boasting contests are a common form of entertainment.
The Bridemaid’s Tear, a Copperbank tavern known for its particularly potent spirits. A place where the sorrowful go to drink themselves into oblivion in peace.
The Glowing Poker, an inn and tavern in Copperbank that offers reasonable quality for reasonable prices. Menu incorporates a touch of the rustic.
The Lucky Gorget, a tavern and gambling house in the Veins.
The Last Glass, a Silverbank tavern and inn with a deliberately somber decor.
The Rose in Jade, a luxurious inn/pleasure house in Templeguard.