The Chains of Exaltation
The island city of Wu-Jian rises from the sea between the Blessed Isle and the West. As a nexus for traffic from across the West, this teeming metropolis is one of the busiest blue water ports in Creation—and among the most lawless.
What little of Wu-Jian that’s not rocky and steep consists of walled Dynastic enclaves, while the majority of the city remains a morass of massively overcrowded slums. Houses and shops pile one atop the other, doors accessible only through exterior stairways and catwalks, in towers that lean together drunkenly to cast the streets beneath in shadow. Alleyways wholly enclosed by centuries of construction are pitch-dark but for lamps and torches. Ancient suspension bridges extend the city to subsidiary islets off the coast, themselves hives of urban overgrowth.
There is little the Realm can do to police the slums. Officials only dare visit the most open areas such as the waterfront, and even then they travel in groups. In the rest of the city, the law is what the strong and the clever will. Here everything is for sale and anything can be taken. Pickpockets and cutpurses roam the seething marketplaces where almost any goods imaginable can be found; gangsters draw knives on sharpers in gambling halls; the owners of brothels and drug dens roll drunken sailors for pocket change. Abandoned structures host all manner of squatters, from beggars and pilgrims to outcaste sorcerers, demon worshippers, spies from the Undersea, cannibal mutants, soul-hungry Fair Folk, or even the Anathema.