Doza by Night
In the aftermath of the elemental attack, the isolated nature of Calisson Cove made it a natural haven for refugees. Survivors of a dozen shattered nations made their way to the secluded shore. Relatively safe from the chaos gripping the rest of the continent, these emigrants laid the foundations for what would one day become the greatest city on Thron.
As one of the first societies to emerge from the elemental attack, Doza had a major advantage in the Heartsea region. By 400 PA, the beginnings of an empire were being forged along the coastlines and throughout the islands of the great inner sea. At this time, the Orikan Empire was advancing west, bringing dozens of struggling kingdoms under its reign. The sudden collapse of the Orikan central leadership spared Doza from annihilation, but its expansion was halted.
Over the centuries, the power of the Heartsea Empire waxed and waned. During this time, Doza was the seat of power from which the monarch ruled. Eventually, the economic and political cost of maintaining and securing such a vast territory became too great. The Empire dissolved into a confederation of free cities, presided over by a council of representatives. The monarchy remains in Doza, but is largely symbolic at this point.
From its very beginnings, Doza has been a melting pot. Unlike most cities on Thorcadia, which tend to be racial enclaves, dozens of races live side by side in Doza. Humans are the most numerous, but only by a slight margin. Virtually every society on the planet (and beyond) is represented in some way. Food, art, language, and culture from around Thron can be found here; and often blend in ways seen nowhere else.
Magic plays a large role in the prosperity of Doza. For reasons unknown, the area is a hotspot for arcane energies. Practitioners of magic are drawn to the city by the promise of greater power. Four separate magical academies are located in Doza, and many of Thron’s most powerful wizards call the city home. Spells and enchanted objects that would be considered unimaginable wonders anywhere else are practically commonplace on Doza’s streets.
From a military perspective, Doza is very well defended. The city is surrounded on three sides by the Iceshield mountains. On the fourth side is Calisson Cove, which can be accessed by only a single inlet. Ships passing through this waterway are flanked by high cliffs on both sides, which are riddled with weapon emplacements. Doza’s royal navy dwarfs any other fleet on the Heartsea, and all of her warships have at least one battlemage among the crew. Should the need arise, Doza could even field significant air power.
Commerce is the lifeblood of Doza. At first glance, its remote location would appear to make the city a terrible location for a trade hub. However, its unique situation makes it ideal for certain business opportunities that are not immediately obvious. Beneath the cliffs that surround Doza are a network of lava tubes and natural caverns. These passageways eventually connect with some of the largest settlements in the underdark. There is a strong demand for surface goods in the realm below, and subterranean traders offer merchandise that is hard to find anywhere else in Thorcadia. Doza is also known for its trade with the outer planes. The high number of powerful spellcasters in the city make regular transactions with outsiders a feasible business plan. At various times throughout history, Doza has even established trade outposts beneath the surface of the Heartsea. Many aquatic races live in these waters, though normal relations were badly damaged in recent years by the cult of the Deep Titan.
Beneath all of the glamor, however, there is danger. While the multitudes go about their daily business, countless factions vie for power behind the scenes. Criminal organizations battle for control of the streets. Merchant lords seek any means to eliminate their competitors. Secret societies transact with dark powers. Meanwhile, an ultra-rich elite class lives entirely above the law. There are even rumors of powerful entities who have ruled Doza from the shadows since its inception.