Welcome to Airspur!
None who have seen it can think of Airspur without envisioning its heights. Its sun-baked streets wind switchback paths down the bright cliffs, its steep stairs cut nearly vertical ascents between buildings, and its suspension bridges arc between earthmotes high overhead. Titanic pillars of stone rise from the sea to the level of the land above, and gleaming elemental spires hang with crystalline clarity all throughout Airspur.
Those fortunate enough to have visited also remember Airspur as a city of colours and lights. The yellow cliffs tower above an astonishingly blue part of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Cobalt and golden roofs set off pale sandstone structures with gaily painted doors and shutters. Genasi of different hues—each tattooed with glowing lines—promenade in vivid fashions and glittering jewellery. Monolithic crystals, the elemental spires that drift in the air, refract the sun’s light during the hot and lazy days and shed coloured glows over vibrant nights of wine and dance.
It’s no wonder many consider Airspur the most beautiful city in all Faerûn, nor do they question how it earned its moniker as the Brightest of the Fallen Stars.
You find yourselves in a dark, dirty and damp market square at the edge of the district of Darkled Depths farthest from the docks. It’s not the best introduction to Airspur, of course, but you’re neither genasi or Airspur natives and you have already experienced many instances of the not-so-subtle forms of discrimination that can be applied in Airspur when you’re in neither category.
You notice that where you are is shadowed by cliffs and a low-hanging earthmote, so the dripping neighbourhood known as the Darkled Depths gets little direct sunlight and is the industrial hub of the city. The earthmote above it wells with water that flows over its sides, and a cliff top stream falls down toward the bay. The genasi harness the force of both of these sources of water to fill aqueducts and power mills. Due to the noise, shadows, and dampness, the Darkled Depths serves as home to some of Airspur’s poorest citizens. Many non-genasi live in and around this area due to subtle pressures of prejudice and suspicion that you have also already experienced during your short stay in the city.
The market square has been relatively quiet today. It seems goblin or dragonborn bandits (or both) have slowed some of the trade that normally enters the city by land, and pirates of the Crimson Fleet have slowed trade that otherwise has come by sea. It seems that there is much dissatisfaction amongst the natives of the city because of the feeling that the Four Stewards, who together with Queen Cyndra form the government of Airspur and Akanûl, have not done enough to ensure that business returns to normal. Interestingly, it is the Stewards who are blamed and not the queen. Rumours about corruption in the ranks of the Stewards can be heard from time-to-time but it’s something that the natives do not want to discuss with outsiders.
Just as you are considering how quiet the market really is, an Airstepper messenger gently lands in the centre of the marketplace from his signature skipping flight above and across the rooftops of the district. A black metal box large enough to hold a dagger is secured to his chest and, as he lands, he scans the faces in the crowd no doubt looking for the one whom he has been hired to deliver a package or message to. He stops looking as soon as he notices a heavily robed half-orc with a large iron-capped tusk protruding from his lower jaw. As he cries out, “It’s Irontusk!”, a dwarf standing near an empty cart quickly removes a loaded crossbow from its hiding place and skewers the messenger with a crossbow bolt. And so the the campaign begins in medias res ....