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Almasad is a port city located on the coast of Ibal.

General Information

Almasad is a bustling port city fanning out on either side of the Ziron. Though it isn't Ibal's capital, it is marvelous anyway, filled with sandstone monuments and gleaming pillars of limestone. The river itself is too wide for bridges, and barges cross it instead. The city's cothon is even greather than the one in Ascal - the circular docks for the navy are a city itself, walled and patrolled by sailors in water silks.

Raised causeways ridge the city, carrying both freshwater and travelers through the many sectors of Almasad. The limestone gleams white under the sun, bright as a shooting star. Palatial compounds, citadels, and paved plazas run along either side of the riverbank, patterned in soft yellow, green, and bright blue. A royal palace sits on the only hill, surrounded by sandstone walls and towers tipped in winking silver. It looks down on the Ziron. Statues of ancient kings flank the river, taller than a cathedral spire, their faces worn by the ages.

Just like Ibal as a whole, Almasad is simply alive. Different parts of the riverbank crowd with boats or splashing children or the knobbled form of a crocodile. Long-necked white birds flap overhead, hunting shining copper fish. People travel the causeways on foot or carriage or horseback, fading into the distance in every direction. Almasad is said to be a balm on the senses. The air is sweet, perfumed by the lotus gardens adorning the Ziron. Music drifts through the streets, from performers in their plazas or private homes along the river. And the water itself runs clean, not like the fetid canals of Queen Erida's capital.

The city has three prisons: one on the water, the cells half flooded at high tide, with crocodiles tearing at the bars; one on the outskirts, between the city and the dunes, the cells open to the sun, so that prisoners burned and blistered within hours of captivity, the third - named Taltora - is buried beneath the citadel fortress of the city's central garrison, its cells dark and cool and sepulchral, secure as a tomb.