In the tranquil center of the Middle Sea, there is a small island surrounded by muddy beaches, sandbars, and silt shallows. The isle is barren and horseshoe-shaped, and would be otherwise unremarkable if it weren’t for the massive, gold-and-jewel encrusted, palace crouched atop it. The mud beaches of the island are the site of a large marina, usually full to capacity with ships even in the worst of weather, and a sizable community has grown between the palace and the marina. The community is composed of seven full-sized bazaars and three districts of houses. In the bazaars, goods from all over Creation can be found, from such standard goods as the ever-present mudfruit and maize, to esoteric items such as Xoct’s Sauce, Atosian metals, alkahest, and even trained Tyrant Lizards. One bazaar is a massive slave market, and even the most rarely obtained slaves can be found here. The town is unremarkable, much like one would find in any half-affluent trading city. The real draw, however, is not these amazing bazaars, nor the staggering amount of goods and money that change hands on a minute-to-minute basis here, it is the palace, known as the Palace de Crustaciano. The massive thing looks as if it were built from a jeweled golden and silver coral reef. A great set of stairs leads up to the always-open doors of the place. Within, a massive hall stretches off into a distance that the island that it sits on simply could not contain, and it is, obviously, a magical space. Within this jewelled hall, the floor, walls, and ceiling are much like the exterior of the building. They are a coral reef in which every coral, every plant, every fish is jewelled and of precious metals. There is no water, and the fish swim through the air. Within this coral treasure hall, there is a bazaar that beats every bazaar outside, and which has everything they have and more. If one is to take the staggering task of reaching the end of this place, one would come to the home of the Merchant Crustaciano himself. Within, the massive, crab-like entity runs the entire island and all the bazaars below. He is assisted in his administration by Runs-Like-Deer, a former forest barbarian who is his freed slave, and Shadowleap, a fey that joined Crustaciano out of the pure chaos and mercurial-ness of her faerie soul. The crab-man runs his city purely because he loves trade, and loves to see it conducted. He keeps the city closely policed, and has a strict code of laws posted at the docks in gold and silver that say:
"THE LAWS OF THE ISLE:
I. Thou shalt not obstruct trade
II. Thou shalt not seize property without reimbursement
III. Thou shalt remain civil and non-violent
THESE ARE THE LAWS. KNOW THEM WELL."
USES FOR THIS SETTING:
-If the PCs need a strange or bizzare item.
-If the PCs are searching for a rare relic that is out on the open market.
-If one of the PCs has been pressed into slavery.