City of Sensay
Welcome to the Wandering Teakettle!
The City of Sensay, formally known as the Yellow City, has a diverse culture, beautiful architecture, all are treated fairly, or at least that is how I would brand this place for tourists. The diversity is apparent, but even a quick visit and you would pick up on the strict social order that is in no way balanced or fair.
It never fails to impress a visitor to Sensay that its citizens are by turns the wealthiest, most refined, and most educated people in all the world, yet at the same time capable of the most malicious cruelties and licentious depravities. Like all those whose societies are ancient and rich, they are also cynical and filled with restless melancholy.
The most singular feature, which strikes any visitor upon arrival, is the strict hierarchical stratification, which all inhabitants obey without question.
In the highest strata are the slug-people, the race who built the city’s first buildings, founded its great civilization, and who have lived there since, they say, the dawn of time. They alone are permitted to own fixed property, to import and export goods, and to attend many of the city’s libraries, archives and freely attend the wizard colleges. They are a pompous and effete people, fascinated by clothes and fashions and the decoration of their own appearances, though they love learning and study and pursuits scientific, aesthetic and sorcerous.
Almost as highly regarded are Wizards of any race. There are magic schools in Sensay, and one of the first things those professors will point out is that this kingdom was once a Magocracy, or ruled by a council of wizards. A fact that only adds to the superiority complex found at the Mage’s Guild where they only accept wizards or Slug people as members. Slug people are more likely to grant land permits to wizards to own fixed property for a set of time, because they find wizards interesting and generally enjoy their company. However, the same is not true for all casters in this social disbursement.
Below the slug-people and wizards are all the other races, who are themselves separated into castes. Some are warriors in private employ (for there is no public military in Sensay). Other people are shopkeepers or sailors, some fight for money or sell their services as masseuses or massage therapists (there is rumor that slug people get more fulfillment from these services and encourage its practice throughout the city). This same working caste is where one could equate sorcerers who are respected for having magic but not seen as equal to wizards. The lowest rank among free people is called the ulufo, the people who herd giant cockroaches in the darkest alleyways. Although ulufo are a lower lower class, it is still the highest status that a half-orc could hope for.
Cockroaches herded by these people eat the city’s litter and are in turn eaten by their herders, a sight which can be seen on any street corner around the docks and the river side. The scent of the roasting insects is subtle among the streets and resembles a hint of chestnut. It is not the worst or best smell to find in the city.
Lowest of all are the crab-people, who live outside the city in the mangroves and the rocks called the Topaz Islands, and along with half-orc and hobgoblin, are not permitted to enter the city proper except with papers or in servitude. Crab-people are unintelligent things, but strong and tough, and they are sometimes forced to do manual labor or simple tasks, on pain of death or torture and for scant reward. They are undoubtedly unfortunate and pathetic beings, very meek of character, though the people of the city think of them as the reincarnated souls of criminals and breakers of taboo, and deserving of their miserable lot. They do not generally have names, though those in employment are often daubed with paint to signify who is their master.
The people of Sensay are many and varied, but they are united in their love of three things: opium, knowledge, and tea.