There is a saying in the East—”All roads lead to Maraq.” The westernmost possession of the Ayanian Empire, Maraq is a beacon to the faithful of the Church Columnar and draws countless pilgrims every year. The city is an unparalleled hub of trade and commerce (sitting at the junction of three major caravan routes), and is considered to be the gateway to the western Demesnes. Between the charity and service of the pilgrims, and the tithes, tariffs, and taxes from the markets, Maraq has been a wealthy city for generations, and the expensive, verdigrised brass rooves of the buildings dominate the skyline. The Harrowing has taken a heavy toll on the city, and while the plagues decimated the ranks of the nobility, commoners are far more concerned about the surge in the number and severity of demonic possessions in and around the poorer districts—there are dozens of accounts of people found wandering the wastes around Maraq in various states of the affliction, and dozens more of bloodbaths and acts of depravity perpetrated in boarding houses, taverns, and tenements by those under infernal tenure. Thankfully, such incidents have thus far remained removed from the city's legendary markets, and the endless streams of trade goods and commodities continue apace. Maraqians tend to favor looser clothing in warm colors, with the soldiery often found in predominantly brown uniforms with considerable red adornments.

Points of Interest:

Saint Precia's Redoubt: Also referred to as “Saint Precia's Durance,” or simply “the Durance,” Saint Precia's Redoubt is a self contained fortress situated in the heart of the city. During the Schism, when Gaudanus and the Exodist forces opened the city gates and attempted to surrender Maraq to their compatriots from the Demesnes, the Loyalists retreated to the Redoubt under the command of Keryke Precia. Under Precia's watchful eye (and with her considerable tactical acumen), the Durance weathered all attempts to breach its walls, and indeed, held out until the Imperial Legion arrived to render aid, a sequence of events which eventually lead to Precia's canonization. Today, the Durance serves as the seat of Yustician Caldanus, Praetor of the Western Marches.

The Hunter's Market: Also called the “Southern Market,” “Day Market,” or “Summerstall,” the Hunter's Market opens at dawn and closes at dusk, and it is said that between those times you can find anything you can imagine that can be bought with honest coin. Rare spices, fine furs, exquisite gems—all these and thousands more are proudly displayed by merchants and tradesfolk in stalls and shops, in tents and on carts. True to its namesake, the Hunter's Market also carries an unmatched selection of weaponry, from Cazalayan blades to flintlocks from Vessingen.

The Weaver's Market: Known as the “Northern Market,” “Night Market,” or “Monsieur's Circus,” the Weaver's Market typically opens at dusk and closes at dawn. Beneath the light from guttering torches and strange alchemical lanterns, those pursuing less-than-legal professions ply their trades and purchase their tools. Forbidden textiles (those subject to sumptuary decrees), poisons, and narcotics can all be purchased in quantity, as can services of dubious moral standing. Assassins, strayed philosophers, and spies gravitate towards the Weaver's Market like flies to spoiling meat.