Port Damali

Port Damali
Official map of Port Damali and nearby features, by Deven Rue from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount.[art 2]
Also known as
  • Damali
  • Jewel of the Coast
Geographical information
PlaneMaterial Plane
WorldExandria
ContinentWildemount
RegionMenagerie Coast
Historical dates
Establishedc. 400 PD[1]
Society
Leader titleMarquis
LeaderOlesya Lapidus
AffiliationClovis Concord
Population82,110 (835 PD)
Demographics
Notable locations
Districts
  • Larboard Light
  • Gilded Esplanade
  • Crescents
  • Beaded Alley
  • Tumbledowns
Points of interest

Port Damali, founded as simply Damali, is the largest city on the Menagerie Coast and one of the eight city-states of the Clovis Concord. It is located among a cluster of hills where the Tyodan River meets the Lucidian Ocean. Established around 400 PD through a diplomatic agreement between Marquesian explorers and Ki'Nau leaders, it is the original Marquesian colony in the Coast. It later became one of founding cities of the Concord and, eventually, the nation's unofficial capital. Nicknamed the Jewel of the Coast, Port Damali is characterized as a lively, colorful, multicultural place that attracts travelers from across Exandria. However, for all its lavishness, its outer wards are dense slums.

The city is home to a massive port and a skyport, the only in Wildemount. These established Port Damali as a central city for commerce and as global hub between the continents of Exandria. However, its strong connection with the Myriad, which is deeply embedded in its guilds, has also enabled an equally successful criminal underworld. Nearly all local commerce is influenced by the Myriad, and Exandria's slave trade is centered in the city. Enforcement of the law is often lax, creating a reputation that "most anything is legal" in Port Damali.

Port Damali is the hometown of player characters Fjord, Calianna Mordsson, and Twiggy, and Taryon Darrington moved here after the events of Campaign 1. It is also where non-player characters Delilah and Sylas Briarwood and Anna Ripley initially fled to after their escapes from the Dwendalian Empire.

Description[edit | edit source]

Port Damali, the largest city on Wildemount's west coast, is located on a series of leveled hills where the Tyodan River meets the Lucidian Ocean. It is surrounded by farmsteads, and tents and ramshackle houses stand at its outer edge. The five interior wards of the city are connected by the Prism Path, a set of winding roads made of smooth, multicolored stones collected from the Lucidian Ocean.[2]

As a major hub of trade and travel built around a massive port, Port Damali is an energetic center of commerce and culture, earning it the nickname the Jewel of the Menagerie Coast.[3][2] The opulent inner city contrasts with the squalor of the outer wards, despite the latter's best efforts to add color. The city's cultural diversity is reflected in a dizzying array of architecture, ranging from historical styles to thatched homes or clay domes in the Tumbledowns. It is a busy city at the center of a series of trade routes by land, sea, and sky to transport goods throughout Wildemount and Exandria, and the constant visitors have ensured the city is full of inns, taverns, and underground markets.[2]

Until 835 PD, many businesses were heated and powered by steam-powered engines beneath the streets. For decades, the system was powered by an imprisoned marid, unknown to most of the city's residents. The marid was freed after the Mighty Nein freed another marid in Nicodranas. The engines were powered by druids and mages as Marquis Lapidus searched for another energy source or a replacement for the engines.[2]

Points of interest[edit | edit source]

  • Driftwood Asylum, orphanage located on a beach. Fjord was raised here.
  • Exalted Collection Auction House, located in the Gilded Esplanade. It is a "grandiose, if gaudy" building. Items and buyers from across Exandria make their way here; it's rumored to be visited by those from the Outer Planes when especially powerful artifacts are at auction. It is managed by Lord Gabriel Rymmer, and his influential family receives a portion of all sales.[4][2]
  • Library of the Cobalt Soul[5]
  • Pearl Shrine, temple dedicated to Avandra in the Crescents[2]
  • Skyport, located in the Gilded Esplanade and the only one in Wildemount.[2] It occasionally receives skyships from Marquet and Tal'Dorei,[2] and many skyships from Emon arrive via a stopover at Whitestone.[6]
  • Sunfall Sanctuary, temple dedicated to Pelor in the Crescents[2]

Interior wards[edit | edit source]

Each ward is located at a slightly different elevation.[2]

  • The Beaded Alley is a market district located between the Crescents and the Tumbledowns. General commerce and trade within the city is housed here, and the district contains both new and old businesses. It is also full of bards and performers, lending the busy district "an air of lively irreverence". It is named after the decorative strings of streamers and beads hung over each intersection.[2]
  • The Crescents is an affluent residential district located at the center of the city. Families of the local competing guilds and well-connected nobility trying to be near politics or the Gilded Esplanade live here. The Pearl Shrine and the Sunfall Sanctuary are also located in the Crescents. It is named after seven large, moon-shaped statues gifted to the city by the Alkamar family at its founding.[2]
  • The Gilded Esplanade, located between the Crescents and the Larboard Light, is the district most associated with Port Damali. It is an extravagant and "sparkling" district full of prestigious artists and performers, various recurring festivities, and markets selling expensive goods and high-end global imports. The Exalted Collection Auction House and Skyport are located here.[2] The ward has over one hundred market stalls.[7]
  • The Larboard Light is the harbor located in the south of the city. It is a massive, upscale port that is "as lavish as docks come" and sees dozens of ships and many visitors to the city daily. The marquis' office is found at the northern end.[2]
  • The Tumbledowns is a residential district in the northern part of the city. It also contains some smaller temples. Most homes here are cramped and are built in different styles, including clay domes, thatched huts, and wooden shacks. The district has "a pleasant patchwork atmosphere even in the more run-down regions" through the combination of the Prism Path and the variety of Exandrian cultures represented by the varied architectural styles.[2]

Map[edit | edit source]

Official map of Port Damali, by Deven Rue from the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 73.[art 3]

Society[edit | edit source]

Culture[edit | edit source]

Port Damali is characterized as a lively, colorful, multicultural place that attracts travelers from across Exandria whose cultures combine to create the local society. Many temples to the Prime Deities are found here, notably the Pearl Shrine to Avandra and Sunfall Sanctuary to Pelor, as well as notable, hidden shrines to the Betrayer Gods.[2]

Government and crime[edit | edit source]

Like other cities in the Clovis Concord, Port Damali is governed by a marquis. The marquis in 835 PD was Olesya Lapidus,[8] who works with the other marquises to keep the Concord independent from the control of the Dwendalian Empire. The city is a center of naval power, as a quarter of the Clovis Concord's fleet (nearly one hundred warships) is concentrated near the city. Most business is overseen by a series of powerful guilds.[2]

However, Port Damali is infamous for its lax enforcement of the law, which is easily bought like any other good; even access to Lapidus can be purchased. Port Damali is a "pivotal nexus" for the Myriad. Many key members of local commerce are either members of the Myriad or in debt to it, allowing the Myriad to control most elements of the city. The Myriad is also deeply embedded in law enforcement, so crime is often allowed to flourish and illegal goods and services are easily found. With heavy control from the Myriad, the city is also the center of Exandria's slave trade.[2] All this has cultivated a reputation that "most anything is legal" in Port Damali,[9] and this "roiling underbelly of crime, murder, and corruption" is often said to be regrettable but necessary.[2]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

As the unofficial capital of the Clovis Concord, Port Damali has the largest population on the coast at 82,110 by the year 835 PD. It is fairly diverse, with only 51% of the population being human. Halflings make up 16% and elves make up 15% with other races making up 18%.[2]

Notable people[edit | edit source]

Name Type Description
Fjord PC Merchant sailor aboard the now-sunken Tide's Breath, later member of the Mighty Nein
Taryon Darrington PC Writer and husband of Lawrence,[10] member of Vox Machina
Calianna Mordsson PC Former captive member of the Cult of the Caustic Heart, later ally of the Mighty Nein
Twiggy PC Former captive inside a local auction house, later ally of the Mighty Nein
Bor'Dor Dog'Son PC Son of a woman blessed by Melora, fled the city after his family was killed. Later joined the Ruby Vanguard.[11]
Dr. Anna Ripley NPC Fugitive from the Dwendalian Empire,[12] moved on to Whitestone
Delilah and Sylas Briarwood NPC Fugitives from the Dwendalian Empire,[13] moved on to Whitestone
Sir Cadigan NPC Twiggy's captor and former owner of the Heirloom Sphere[14]
Chessia Wakiam NPC Popular elven singer, dancer, and member of the Myriad[15]
Master Duasad Keef NPC Member of the Golden Grin[16]
Duos Sabado NPC Current leader of the Golden Chain mercenary group, son of its founder Quan[2]
Father Dwondaff Pierce NPC Dwarven head of the Pearl Shrine and contact of the Gentleman, a Myriad boss. He is described as scraggly in the face and well dressed.[17]
Lord Gabriel Rymmer NPC Manager of the Exalted Collection Auction House and of the influential Rymmer family[2]
Hektor NPC Blacksmith
Lawrence NPC Husband of Taryon Darrington, lived here after his banishment from Deastok,[18] returned again with Taryon years later[10]
Marquis Olesya Lapidus NPC Marquis of the city as of 835 PD[8]
Quan Sabado NPC Founder of the Golden Chain mercenary group[2]
Sabian NPC Childhood acquaintance of Fjord, saboteur of Tide's Breath, now living in Darktow as a member of the Revelry
Cirisa NPC Leader of the Cult of the Caustic Heart
Vandran NPC Originally from Stilben, former Revelry pirate and captain of the now-sunken Tide's Breath merchant ship
Dr. Waldorf Perifeather NPC Halfling healer who uses his access to affluent patients afflicted with rare diseases to act as an information broker for the Myriad. Often travels between the city and Zadash.[15]

History[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Damali, later called Port Damali, was founded as an outpost in about 400 PD after a diplomatic agreement between an expedition of Marquesian explorers, who desperately needed supplies, and Ki'Nau leaders, who accepted trade items of gold, spices, and silks. This made it the first Marquesian colony in the Menagerie Coast. Marquesian settlements flourished throughout the Coast in a "tentative" peace with the Ki'Nau people in the years after. Conversely, Uk'otoa, who protected and was worshiped by the Ki'Nau, wished for the Marquesians to worship him as well; he was sealed beneath the Lucidian Ocean shortly after Damali was founded.[1]

When J'mon Sa Ord came to power, Damali and the other cities took opportunity to petition J'mon for independence. Eventually, the demand was granted. In about 435 PD, Port Damali became one of the founding city-states of the Clovis Concord,[1] and in time, it rose to become the nation's unofficial capital.[19]

The city rose to become a center of trade and commerce both globally and on Wildemount, capital of free trade outside the Dwendalian Empire.[2] Expeditions that later founded Whitestone and the Wanderman Assembly originated in Port Damali.[20][21]

Port Damali has been led by multiple generations of the Lapidus family, who rose to prominence when they began maintaining a privateer fleet.[2] Their protection of the city has seen consecutive members of the family as marquis of Port Damali, latest of whom is Olesya Lapidus.[22]

Before Campaign 2[edit | edit source]

Vandran, a Revelry captain and warlock of Uk'otoa, left the Revelry after his boatswain and fellow warlock Avantika attempted to sacrifice him to Uk'otoa following a divergence in views about their patron. He fled to Port Damali with a Cloven Crystal and maintained a low profile there for a time before rebuilding his life. He sold the crystal at auction in the city and used the money to purchase the Tide's Breath.[23] He captained the Tide's Breath as a merchant vessel with Port Damali as home port.[24]

Shortly before the events of Campaign 2, Fjord and Jester Lavorre briefly met in Port Damali shortly before the Tide's Breath left port there.[25] On the Tide's Breath's return trip, it was sabotaged by Sabian and sunk over the Diver's Grave. Sabian returned to Port Damali to raid Vandran's warehouse with Fjord arriving at the warehouse soon after.[26][27] Because Fjord's survival of the sinking was met with suspicion,[28] Fjord left the city and pursued Jester to the next town over.[29][30]

Campaign 2: The Mighty Nein[edit | edit source]

The Mighty Nein briefly visited Port Damali at its Cobalt Soul archive in "Between the Lines" (2x78) using a Teleportation Circle linking it to the Rexxentrum archive. However, because their unannounced arrival was shortly after an attack on the Zadash archive, they were met by an older archivist and heavily armed zhelezo, who anxiously shot Jester with crossbows when she began casting Enhance Ability. After the archivist confirmed the party was indeed traveling with an expositor of the archive, Beauregard Lionett, they were allowed passage back to Zadash. However, they were banned from the Port Damali archive.[31] The ban was lifted some time later.[32]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", pp. 17–18. Chapter 1: The Story of Wildemount. "Wildemount After the Calamity: The Menagerie Coast".
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", pp. 71–74. Chapter 3: Wildemount Gazetteer. "Menagerie Coast: Port Damali".
  3. "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 1:45:21.
  4. "The Stowaway" (2x45) at 48:24.
  5. "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 3:43:05.
  6. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 3: "Tal'Dorei Gazetteer", p. 138.
  7. Deven Rue (@DevenRue) on Twitter: "Fun facts about the Port Damali map: There are over 100 market stalls in The Gilded Esplanade. It has the largest palette library of any map I've ever made. We changed the design from 3 hills to a 3 tiered cascading hill to create it's current layout. This gave the Tumbledowns name even more meaning. It also allowed for the cool water feature of the canals throughout the city. Blown up you can see the streets are cobblestone & individual garden patches. (yes, I am that obsessed with details)" (December 12, 2021). (backup link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 "A Storm of Memories" (2x46) at 26:06.
  9. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 99.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 6: "Allies and Adversaries of Tal'Dorei", p. 272.
  11. "A Haunted Past" (3x63) at 2:28:44.
  12. "Talks Machina Special #3: Critical Role Campaign 1 Wrap-up" (TMSx03) from 49:40 through 50:05.
  13. "Talks Machina Special #3: Critical Role Campaign 1 Wrap-up" (TMSx03) from 49:15 through 50:05.
  14. "The Stowaway" (2x45) at 46:58. See also 1:41:55 to 1:43:00.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 46. Chapter 2: Factions and societies. "The Myriad: Figures of Interest".
  16. "A Dance of Deception" (3x13) at 2:38:06.
  17. "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 1:45:23.
  18. "The Chapter Closes" (1x115) at 3:51:58.
  19. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 67. Chapter 3: Wildemount Gazetteer. "Menagerie Coast: Nicodranas".
  20. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 2: "Allegiances of Tal'Dorei", p. 50.
  21. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 159. Chapter 3: Wildemount Gazetteer. "Distant Lands of Exandria".
  22. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 44. Chapter 2: Factions and Societies. "Clovis Concord: Figures of Interest".
  23. "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 6:05:41.
  24. "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 2:49:37. Fjord says that Vandran kept a storehouse in Port Damali and cites his rank on the crew as reason he could access the building. The butcher next to the storehouse states he saw no others of the crew return, suggesting the crew works in the area often enough to be recognized.
  25. Jester and Fjord say they met in Port Damali in "A Show of Scrutiny" (2x02) at 1:16:52, and he says he saw her multiple times in the city in "The Ruby and the Sapphire" (2x33) at 56:00. Per "Emerald City Comic Con (Day 2)" from 2:03:35 through 2:04:56, Jester then left for the next town, and after receiving his warlock pact, Fjord remembered Jester cast magic and pursued her there. This suggests they first met before he received his abilities, thus before the sinking, and that Fjord was in Port Damali shortly before the shipwreck.
  26. "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) from 2:49:15 through 2:52:50.
  27. "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) from 23:08 through 27:30.
  28. "The Ruby and the Sapphire" (2x33) at 2:38:55.
  29. Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham explained the pre-stream meeting of Fjord and Jester at Emerald City Comic Con, 2018-03-02. "Emerald City Comic Con (Day 2) | Wil Wheaton, Firefly, and Felicia Day | SYFY WIRE" from 2:02:38 through 2:04:56.
  30. "A Show of Scrutiny" (2x02) from 1:16:53 through 1:17:05.
  31. 31.0 31.1 "Between the Lines" (2x78) from 3:42:20 through 3:49:21.
  32. "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84) at 2:23:40.

Art:

  1. Official art of Port Damali, by Selina Espiritu and Diana Sousa from The Mighty Nein Origins: Fjord Stone. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Official map of Port Damali and nearby features, by Deven Rue from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount. This file is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  3. Official map of Port Damali, by Deven Rue from the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 73. This file is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.