Haven is a planar metropolis located on the edges of the Arcas region in the Astral Plane. Built upon the surface of a genius loci (see Sidebar), the city was founded by the mercane merchant Mordak.
Haven acts as a trading port for all who travel to the Astral Plane. Here, dragons, devils, genies and angels wander the streets of the city’s Market District, searching for items that can’t be found anywhere else in the multiverse. Meanwhile, in the Travel District, astral ship captains barter with tieflings, dromites, and xill over the cost of passage aboard one of their legendary astral carracks.
It is said that if it can’t be found in Haven, then it can’t be found anywhere. This is almost literally true. Haven is a center of extraplanar trade and just about anything one is seeking- whether it be goods, riches, magic, or adventure- can be found somewhere within the city’s borders.
Haven is a fairly cosmopolitan city, and just about every intelligent race in the known multiverse has walked through its streets at one time or another. Because of this, Haven is one of the most welcoming cities to all creatures across the planes. But woe to those who try to steal from the city’s merchants, for while the atmosphere here may be friendly, there is always the ever present threat of the genius loci, who may decide, at any time, to attack and consume anyone who disrupts the normal flow of commerce in the city.
Haven (Planar Metropolis): Nonstandard; AL LN; Population 28,000; 300,000 gp limit; Assets 420,000,000 gp*; Mixed (35% human, 20% mercane, 10% planetouched [aasimars, tieflings, etc.], 35% other).
Authority Figure: Mordak (LN male mercane, aristocrat 12/expert 8).
A genius loci is a colossal ooze that was first described in the Epic Level Handbook as a section of semi-intelligent landscape with the power to emulate the sentience of any creature it enslaves. The city of Haven is actually a part of the genius loci upon which it was founded, with each building simply an extension of the creature’s body. Because of this, the genius loci can use temple columns, doorways, windows, and other structures to attack those it perceives as enemies.
As far as the genius loci is concerned, ‘enemies’ might include thieves, ruffians, monstrous creatures, anyone attacking a mercane within the city borders, or anything that disturbs the regular flow of commerce in the city. Of course, the genius loci has its own agendas and cannot always be trusted to be consistent in its ‘punishment’ of such individuals. Nevertheless, the ever-present threat of literally being devoured by the city keeps many would be criminals in check while traveling the city streets.
The genius loci of Haven has chosen Mordak, the city’s founder, as its slave; a relationship that has proved beneficial to both parties. In the case of Mordak, the mercane merchant has become a highly respected, and extraordinarily powerful merchant in mercane society. In exchange for this prestige, Mordak ensures that the genius loci is provided with a steady supply of food in the form of livestock and other trade goods.
Arriving in the City
The city of Haven is a hive of activity, its streets bustling with all manner of races from worlds across the planes- selling wares, trading secrets, offering services, and seeking advice from both enemy and ally alike. How the PCs arrive in the city is unlikely to matter, for even if they appear in the center of town by means of a spell as flashy and ostentatious as gate, it is unlikely that any of the passersby will take notice, as such events are commonplace in Haven.
The city is divided into several districts- the Commerce District, Market District, Magic District, Tavern District, Travel District, and Temple District- all of which radiate out from the central, Guild District, which governs all trade in the city. The guilds are run by the mercanes, who defer to the city’s founder, Mordak, who in turn, is subject to the will of the city’s genius loci.
The city of Haven is patrolled by a modest detail of well trained, heavily armed guards. These guards, known as the Haven Sentinels, maintain the peace in Haven, and help ward off any outside threats.