(image credit to Alex Ruiz)
The port is located in the southeastern region of Genesaris and south of the Cold Mountains. The city is 204 square miles with a population of 98,526 residents. Caelum is tucked away in an inlet which provides mountainous protection from the north, west, and south-west. Being located in such a position, there is no easy way to enter the port except by sea, or traversing the cold mountains southern border near the larger cove with the Cavern of Blades at its innermost peak. The Eastern approach to the divided city is easily accessible, clear waters that recede in intensity as ships reach the north and south borders of the cove.
Port Caelum is divided in orientation, the cove separating two different ways of life by its calm waters. The southwest edge of the sea is populated by a modern style of people and buildings, with magitek and a more simple approach to the style and way of lives. The north border of the sea is enriched with an oriental view, with more Japanese style buildings. This divide in populace melds together the closer inland the waters reach until the Northwest Point of the Port meets together, intermingling the two cultures.
Being located at the base of the Cold Mountains as well as next to the Sea, the air tends to stay around 60 – 65 degrees even in high summer. With the ocean directly to the east, Port Caelum is often battered with high winds with opportunity for hurricane conditions to arise. During the winter the Port is near impossible to reach by land or sea, the cove likely to freeze leaving thick ice in the path of the ships wanting to port. This is possible to avoid, although it's not advised to try to reach the port without a fortified vessel.
Flora and Fauna
Port Caelum is known for a handful of mythical and rare creatures in addition to minimal plant life. Being on the coast, sailors have told tales of the Charybdis which is a monster that swallows fisherman's boats whole. It resides well off the coast, however, no one is certain in really exists because any that do encounter it never return. That isn't the only creature to roam the Port's waters. Selkies, seals that can take human form on land, reside in the water in addition to Kelpies that are shape-shifting spirits. Most take on the form of a horse, however, some can take the appearance of a human much like the Selkies. On land, Sylphs are in abundance, tiny air spirits that light up the night and float like stars. One of the more notable creatures is the Zhenniao which is also known as the Zhen bird. The birds are blue for the most part, their bellies purple with green tipped feathers. Their beaks are bright red and they have long necks. The Zhen birds are notoriously poisonous and they acquire the poisonous attributes with their diet of vipers. The Zhen birds live on the mountainside and don't bother with people. They aren't an aggressive animal, however, they are hunted for their feathers which are used to extract poison that is often used to carry out assassinations.
Port Caelum is a melting pot that homes humans, yokai, and other creatures. Prior to Akako’s arrival, the port primarily housed humans. Upon establishing her rule, yokai from all across Valucre relocated to reside within the port where the rumored Yokai Queen ruled. While most are welcoming to all walks of life, there are still those that are less adaptable and trusting of their fellow citizens.
Currency from every part of Valucre is accepted and can be converted to Genesarian coin. There are several financial institutions throughout the port city to convert currency. The shops that are port-side often accept any sort of currency, but further inland Genesarian coin will be necessary to purchase goods or the imperial alhm that is often used in Umbra. The exception is during the annual Hanami Festival where every store and shop will accept foreign currency.
The Caelum Port: The port is an extravagant sight, with several dozen docks with cargo-ready access.
The Akari Estate: At the northwestern point of the port, the daiyokai’s residence is stationed where the two halves of the port meet. Her estate represents both sides of the port, the structure influenced by traditional oriental and modern homes. It is more of a mansion than a palace, however, it is well guarded by yokai hand-selected by Akako. The estate is surrounded by a stylized stone wall and closed off by wooden gates. Within the walls, there is a path that leads to the residence and other paths that veer off to the many manicured gardens that surround the structure.
The Capital: A government structure near the base of the mountains where official meetings are held to discuss economy, statutes, and various other matters that relate to the well-being of the people.
Twisted Sister: A popular pub near the port where fishermen and seafarers often go to grab a pint of locally brewed hops. Known for seasonal craft ales and lagers that are high-quality and affordable. The pub is also known for hosting local musicians during the weekends and open-mic throughout the week. They primarily search fresh seafood dishes and sides, however, they do also serve house salad and burgers for those not fond of fish.
The Labyrinth Caves: Located at the base of the mountains there are several mouths to the Labyrinth Caves. It is unknown if they were man-made or otherwise. What is known is each path eventually crosses another path. Beneath the mountains, it is incredibly easy to become disoriented and lost. There is a rumor that there is something that lives deep beneath the mountains, but there has been no proof of this. Perhaps it is just a story parents tell children to keep them away from the caves.
The Scarlet Region is comprised of Port Caelum and the waters surrounding ten miles, as well as Predators Keep in Terrenus. These territories are run beneath the rule of Red Yusuke, Queen of the Region.
Port Caelum also falls under the Carmine Dominion. The current emperor, Rafael M. Bartolome V, is recognized at the monarch.
The Keep military forces have relocated a small number, adding 1,000 military to the Port as a local police force. These soldiers are practiced military men and women, ranging from psions to wizards to regular humans practiced in many forms of weaponry and combat. Akako has recruited an additional 1,214 individuals to the local military number with a large number of those individuals being yokai and others with abilities.
Education in Port Caelum is brought to high regard, with one Academy of various arts located in the center of the two cultures. The University, sponsored by Xartia Pendragon, is also in construction which is advertising classes in arcane arts, yokai physiology, and a variety of other electives.
Animal Propulsion: Whether ridden by themselves or attached to a cabby. The maintenance and upkeep of a living transport make this a largely inefficient form of inner city travel, but because a large percentage of a given city's population is travelers from abroad, a lot of infrastructures still supports this form of travel.
Mechanical Propulsion: Powered by magical crystals known as Exlata, airships are the most popular form of travel. For a small fee, most can ride on a large airship that flies to and from various cities. All megacities and most smaller cities have stations, bays, and areas where airships are able to land. Almost all airships carry weaponry and shields to protect against air pirates.
For travel by sea, basic sea-ships are used, which vary in size and carry weapons for protection against sea pirates.
Currently, Spellcycles have been created, similar to motorcycles with a futuristic/steampunk design. Powered by the magical crystals Exalta, these are expensive rides and can only be bought in Joran City and straight from Antigone Isles, the home of their creation.
Magical Propulsion: Inter-city travel is served primarily by smaller airships and Crossroads. Crossroads are generally gateways that provide instant travel throughout a city and often to and from cities. Crossroads are keyed to certain areas and the side effect is nothing more than mild disorientation that passes quickly. Guarded by soldiers, Crossroads are cheap, easy, and effective to transporting goods and civilians alike. Sometimes, magical creatures pass through from realms beyond, in which case the soldiers must deal with them. Generally, however, the Crossroads are kept safe and steady.
Akako Akari: An ancient creature of untold origin, Akako was requested to rule the Port city on behalf of the Scarlet Queen. The demoness is known for her firm and unwavering loyalty to those in her care. She is respected by most and feared by some given her age and the unknown scope of her abilities. While she isn’t ambitious in a normal sense, she aims to bring the people of Port Caelum good fortune. Akako is still a mystery and for the most part, not a well-known figure on the Genesarian stage of politics, but she has friends in high places.