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Regional Map: Issus River Delta (draft)by Geoff Gander
Just putting something down while I refine my thoughts. The lined areas constitute the urbanised portions of Isshum, beyond which are fields, surrounded by a defensive wall. The lines poking out of some of the islands are massive stone piers. Working on scale, but to give you an idea, each pier would be about 1/4 mile long.
Some notes follow:
The other three lined areas are urbanised regions - essentially satellite villages/towns of Isshum. They would have a lot of warehouses, stables, and slave pens for "excess capacity", and during important celebrations in the city, visitors could find lodging in one of the many inns (especially in Kethesh) if they don't want to hunt for accommodation inside the walls.
Ithkarum (pop. 6,000) does double duty as a supplementary port. Veteran foreign traders prefer docking here because the fees are lower (and the officials are easier to bribe), and the locals tend to be more open-minded (they won't alert the authorities if slaves are quietly loaded without any export papers). Some of the locals also worship the Immortals. Foreign spies may operate safe houses here.
Aressh (pop. 1,500) is basically a glorified stockyard for slaves. Rows of barracks, each housing about 200 slaves awaiting final sale. Overall, a very miserable place to visit, but the place does boast a few inns for travellers from the north.
Kethesh (pop. 3,500) sees the most travellers, as the town is basically a giant crossroads. Here visitors may find inns, gambling dens, arenas, drug lounges, and other things to tempt any fancy. Some travellers to Isshum stop here and forget to continue their journey, as the freewheeling spirit of the town keeps them from moving on. Some high-caste dissidents hold parties here.
I will be drawing up a more detailed map of Isshum's downtown (including the arena), but that will only cover a small part of the city. I thought I'd draw up the regional map to give a feel for how the area looks - DMs can flesh out the rest of Isshum if they want. Unless I find time to do it all....