Both of my Parsantium campaigns began in the boat town of Flotsam in Parsantium’s Dock Ward. My adventure Whispers of the Dark Daeva takes place here too.
Flotsam, a town built from boats of every size and shape, bobs on the water at the eastern end of the Old Docks. This floating community consists of around 70 vessels, joined together by a confusing network of gangplanks and rope bridges, and is inhabited by some of the city’s poorest citizens: those who cannot afford the rent on a tenement apartment but can just about manage the cost of a cabin in a houseboat. Most of these folk are Sampurans, although many halflings live here too, paying rent to the retired fishermen and other locals who own the boats.
Flotsam is completely afloat and it’s possible for the residents to get everything they need without setting foot on dry land, since the boat-town contains shops, temples and even a pub, the Fat Grouper. The layout of Flotsam changes frequently as some of the houseboats double up as fishing vessels, heading out into the channel each morning. When they return in the evening, they often end up somewhere different from where they started. Long-time residents are used to this but the constant reshuffling of the boats often baffles newcomers. Once a year, in late summer, the Festival of Flowers, honouring the Sapta Sindhu, is celebrated in Flotsam, drawing visitors from across the whole Old Quarter.
Most of the people living here work as longshoremen, in warehouses or on the fishing boats. Fish naturally forms a big part of the Flotsam diet and the smell of grilling sea bass and grouper pervades the evening air. As well as a market selling fish (of course!) and other foodstuffs like flour, rice and vegetables, Flotsam’s shops and services include a bait and tackle shop, a basket weaver, a netmaker, a ropemaker and several carpenters and boat builders.
Here’s the map I created for my campaign, but don’t forget that Flotsam’s configuration changes frequently.
- The Fat Grouper, tavern
- Floating Temple of the Sapta Sindhu
- Dorna’s Hearth
- Fishermen’s market
- Bait & tackle shop
- Netmaker’s shop
- Baskerweaver’s shop
- Mendel Stormrite, halfling carpenter & shipwright
- Ropemaker’s shop
- Jarwyn, old dwarf carpenter & shipwright
- The Water Boys, orphan gang
- Jagadamba, the Witch of Flotsam
- Home of Mangesh, dockworker
- The Black Dolphin’s Wake, tavern
- Bilal’s Blades, arms & armour shop
- Harold’s Hole, adventuring equipment & other gear
Download a free preview of Parsantium: City at the Crossroads to find out more.
Main image by Jonathan Roberts