Cansae straddles the Nabor River where it flows into the Aper Sound. The Nabor is a thin, fast moving river which spills out into the Sound a mere two score or so miles from its source in the foothills of the Aratas Mountains. Three bridges cross the Nabor in the city and each is constructed so as to be able to be raised up to allow high masted ships to pass below – although these days the only ships making this journey are the ships tasked with carrying building stone to the city from the quarries of the Aratas hills.
The majority of the buildings of Cansae are formed from the stunning ruby-red bricks quarried in the Aratas hills near the source of the Nabor. These rocks are cut out of the hillside and loaded onto barges and shipped down river overnight to the city where they are used in the construction of most of the city buildings.
Cansae is one of the oldest cities in the Empire. Founded back in the days of the beginning of the Rainbow Empire, the discovery of the unusual red bricks here caused the head of the local ruling house to name his house the Ruby House, and to build his palace out of this amazing rock. Incredibly the supplies of ‘ruby-rock’ as it is known locally have not yet been depleted, even though an entire city has been built from it. The quarries of the Aratas hills are now nearly expended though.
The districts of Cansae have developed over many years and the city appears to have no real plan or layout. Perhaps it did at one stage but it is so old that any original plan has now been lost and engineers and architects tend to just build wherever they can find spare land. Fortunately the Cansae Plains are vast and there is no real restriction on the size the city could grow.
Cansae is the capital of the Head of Ursum and still the centre of power for House Ruby. The Dragon, Ignatius Ruby, current overlord of the house makes his home in the Dragon Fortress which sits surrounded by warehouses, inns, residential houses and shops in a haphazard collection of styles and structures. The Fortress overlooks the harbour and approach to the city by sea along the Aper Sound. The red dragon standard of the Ruby House flies from the flag poles atop the palace and on all significant buildings in the city. Well, all significant buildings bar one.
The city has one new and notable addition. The Guild of Master Merchants and Sea Farers have set up their base here. The mysterious Trade Lords have gone against everything the city stands for and built a huge Guild Hall out of white marble, transported at great cost from the mountains of Manabas. This stark white monolith stands like a single tooth in a full red mouth. It is testament to the power the Trade Lords now wield that the Dragon did nothing to stop them building this complete contrast to the rest of the city. The Guild standard of a fox sat atop a set of merchant scales hangs from the flag pole on this building.
Cansae’s location on the southern side of the Head makes it difficult to get to and yet it maintains its position as a major trade hub, probably in no small part due to the influence of the Trade Lords. Guild ships are often seen sailing up and down the Aper Sound on their way into or out of port. The people of Cansae are interested in the latest fashions from Lucar, the jewellery from Selkie and other more exotic goods from the further parts of the empire and beyond. In exchange Cansae is rich in simple food stuffs which grow in abundance on the plains outside the city. Typically Guild ships load up with grains, rice and fruits when they leave the city to their next port of call.
Places of Interest
The Dragon Fortress is the seat of power of the ruler of the Ruby House. Built from the stunning 'ruby-rock', quarried from the nearby Aratas Mountains this palace overlooks the Aper Sound to the south west.
The Guild Hall is the base of the mysterious Trade Lords, the rulers of the Guild of Master Merchants and Sea Farers. It is the only building in the city made of white marble which was shipped here from Manabas at huge expense. The standard of a fox sat atop a merchant's scales hangs from the flagpole and the Guild Hall itself is a sumptuous display of wealth and oppulance.