Brightwater: Ten Random Things

I thought I’d blather some about people and places and things I love in Rothganar, so today I’m gonna go on at anyone who’s still reading. Here are ten things on the city of Brightwater, which I haven’t set anything in yet or really written publicly about, but that I like to imagine because… just because.

  1. Think Venice meets New Orleans meets Orlando. I put Brightwater in the messy, swampy Semoulian delta. It’s full of tiny islands and stuff. There are tons of bridges from one island to another, and some really nice beaches on the mainland. The water sparkles at sunrise and after sunset.
  2. After the fall of magic, there are a lot of issues plaguing Brightwater, mostly due to climate, silty ground, and pollution. Even stone buildings soften and crumble in the humidity and heat; historic landmarks sink or fall. The harbor is brown with effluvia, but still sparkles — just not from fairies any longer.
  3. Brightwater is presently at war with Lightsbridge, the nearest neighboring city-state. Admittedly, they’re often at war; they hate each other like Hatfields and McCoys. This time, the bone of contention is exclusive trading rights with the Monmouth Islands, a small chain a little way south of Brightwater itself.
  4. The main segment of the population, as well as the rulership, is human, but as a port city, Brightwater is fairly cosmopolitan. The native people, from whom the name “Semoulian” is derived, are few and far between, and have been for millennia. The Semoul, a race of sentient lizard-people, are more insular with every passing year, wishing in general only to be left alone.
  5. Official name: The Kingdom of Brightwater and the Islands
  6. There’s no official language, but most people speak the Traders’ Tongue, plus Deltese, the local language. The Semoula language is a dead one, primarily pursued by scholars. Although there is a movement to resurrect it, along with the distant history of Brightwater, it hasn’t gained much traction.
  7. Brightwater celebrates the Vigil of Longnight with an all-night dance party and parade. The tradition of exchanging a kiss at dawn is said to have originated here.
  8. Before the fall of magic, Brightwater was a center of the arts, especially painting, sculpture, dance, and theater. However, afterward, many artists disdained the humidity of the place for what it did to their work, and moved elsewhere.
  9. The current King of Brightwater, Angelo, is first of his name and seventh of the Bruglio Dynasty. He has no children except his two-year-old heir, Orazio, and is unmarried since the death of his Queen, Celeste of Dreamport, in childbirth.
  10. Most humans living in Brightwater worship Elemer and Cerama, the Lovers, and the Lovespeakers’ order has been based here for seven hundred years, but perhaps the most popular goddess is Dareen, goddess of the sea. The Semoul have their own religious practice, which they rarely share with outsiders.

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