By Ryan St.
Denayir is the city of Cheneth, god of Trade. This is a city of endless canals, fine craftsmanship, free trade, beautiful veiled concubines, and great intrigue.
The people of Denayir consider themselves lucky, but not blessed: Cheneth is consistent and even-handed, sometimes even just. Those who help the God prosper prosper with him – those that don't, don't.
Denayir’s style of government is typical for the region: Noblemen are called nobles of the xth order, with the highest being second order nobles, and the lowest being seventh (although few are actually so low, the majority of low nobles are fifth order). Nobles of the first order are called Councillors instead, and meet with the Sovereign to advise him in making laws and war. In truth, these are largely administrative bodies through which Cheneth expresses his desires to the noblemen.
The real governance of the city is performed by the priests, who collect taxes, see to public works, maintain the Canals and the temples, and oversee trade disputes in accordance with the Sovereign’s instructions. Priests have considerable power due to their connection with Cheneth’s spirit legion, the Chehakka. Those who die in Denayir find they must one barter with a boatman to be taken to a lenient judge. One’s family may have bartered (via donations to the templars) with the judge on your behalf. In life your good (that is, civic-minded) works are counted in your favor when determining where your soul will go.
The corruption of the priests is held in check by the wealth of merchants and the power of nobles, both of whom are usually vindicated when bringing a guilty – and relatively isolated – Priest before his superiors. Those who are not so isolated are far more difficult to touch, but a priest sufficiently powerful to turn merchants and nobles against him may find himself before the Sovereign. Priests who line their own pockets too greedily – and are caught – can expect excruciating punishment (both in this life, and the next).
Denayir’s ethnic makeup is again typical for the region: Gams primarily make up noble and militant classes, with just a few Houn households in the mix. More Houns than Gams make up the priesthood. Houns are the majority in the Freemen and Merchant classes, with some Gams, Dacs, and Kardi also in the mix (in fact, Denayir is one of the best places for a Kardi, since wealth is elevated). Slaves are the standard mix of races, with Kardi being most heavily represented. Slave-soldiers have a considerable number of Gams, however, descended from a faction of nobles that tried to usurp Cheneth almost a century ago.
The paradox of Denayir is that it has few taxes, but is the wealthiest of the cities on the Halcyon Sea (though Isra may be more wealthy).
In on sense, Denayir is the least challenged of all the cities. Cheneth’s city is wealthy, powerful, well-defended, and has strong political and economic ties to almost every other city. This, of course, is also its greatest weakness – as the first among equals, Denayir is the obvious concern for the other Living Gods (and is watched closely by the Abross, as we know from the Pilgrim's Prophecy). Between this concern and his freedom of its market, Denayir is pratically swarmed with other cities' spies.