Primer: The Neath, the Sixth City, the Floating Market

The Neath is many things. It's a cavern, the size of a continent. Some say it's the belly of an ancient dragon, others that it's a punishment for ancient sin. Whatever the truth, it's home – and has been for as long as even the gods can remember. Part of the Neath is the Neathsea, a vast saltwater lake that stretches on further than anyone knows. There is no sun in the Neath, no stars to guide a sailor's way. False-light shifts in the cave's ceiling dimly, but those lights don't stay in one place for very long. In the Neath, most light is artificial and man-made. 

The Sixth City was once the capital city of a vast top-side empire, but is now home to the Floating Market. Deep. Dark. Expensive. Marvelous. Here you can find everything from immortality to fine mushroom wine. They call it the Sixth City because, it's said, it's not the first city to be built around the Floating Market. Bricks from older cities still turn up, now and then. Very few wish to consider the possibility of any coming after.

The Floating Market, older than the Sixth City, perhaps older than the Neath itself, is usually thought of as a single entity. Women call it 'he'; men call it 'she'. The Masters of the Market style themselves as 'Mr', but no one really thinks they’re actually men. Located at the heart of the Sixth City in the Neath, some say it's the skull of some long-dead god. That doesn't sound very likely, although it would explain the dreams. The Market deals in many things, from more common items like clothing or weapons to the more intangible such as secrets and souls. Love stories are a particularly treasured commodity.

Primer: The Neath, the Sixth City, the Floating Market

The Neath melarith