Circumire, Town by the Reef
Circumire, a suburbian blotch of sirine, fishermen, and oyster farmers, is where the adventure begins.
Circumire’s name is derived from circum—“around,” plus ire, “to go,” meaning, “to go around”—and this is because the local reef was once believed to be haunted, so travelers were advised “to go around it.”
But during a hurricane, a few desperate pilgrims hid in the caverns near the reef, and nothing ill came upon them; rather, it was Circumire’s reef and cavern system that saved their lives, providing shelter, truffles, and glowworm silk.
So they settled, with thatched homes and walkways slowly rising to life to maintain access to fishing in future rainy seasons. A village was born, then a minimalist port, and now Circumire, Town by the Reef, welcomes rafters and small boats on a daily basis, wanderers moving between the City of Aquaster and the Blue Leaf Inn.
Blue Leaf Inn
A marvelous stop on the way to the Southern Gate, Blue Leaf Inn is a three-story bath house with twilight balconies for second-floor guests, torchlit porches for first-floor guests, and mermaid sorceresses on the high-rise—and high-rise rooms can only be booked with platinum pieces, so there’s no reason to worry about commoners mucking up the atmosphere.
Guests should come hungry so they can dine on Blue Leaf Inn’s cosmically famous, horse-rich menu, including the nightmare steaks, hippocampus chop, and unicorn tail-hair—which is ethically farmed with herb-fed fields and, in the unicorn’s case, regular grooming.
The baths belong on everyone’s bucket list. Choose from three women’s baths—inspired after water, fire, and starlight—or peruse one of the two men’s baths, which are earth- and air-themed. Regardless of which bath you visit, you’ll have the chance to see the blue-leaf maples, which have shaded the premises for more than three hundred years.
City of Aquaster
If you’re instead headed for the North Gate, it’s impossible to avoid the metropolis stretching from the icy coasts into the rain forests: Aquaster, the only interstellar market in Waterscape.
Aquaster is equally known for its psionic library and intellectual gurus as its organized pickpockets and forbidden craftsmen. Because the different neighbors are marbled within one another, it’s common for wealthier visitors to hire a bodyguard, which can range from 1gp to handfuls of platinum per day.
Make sure to visit Aquaster’s souvenir shop. You won’t be disappointed.