An outsider’s view

This large, airy city is one of the richest places on Tellene, or so I hear. Why, you should see its busy market – packed with exotic goods from lands even I’ve never heard of! I’m sure much smuggling occurs here, but it’s not obvious.

An insider’s view

Zoa is a wonderful place to live – our climate is warm, our market contains goods from all over Tellene, and our military is strong. What’s that? Yes, the people of the ‘small town’ district – those dwarves and gnomes – have been a little noisy lately. They claim that the council is forcing them to sell their goods for more money, or something like that. It sounds silly to me – complaining that you want to make less money. Still, we welcome all races, as long as they come here with good intentions.

Zoa from the bay


The free population of Zoa includes 37,400 humans of Reanaarian descent, 3,000 dwarves (about 2,000 of which are refugees from Irontop), 2,800 gnomes, 1,600 high elves, 500 wood elves from the Fautee Forest, 2,000 half-elves, and about 2,100 halflings. An uncounted number of slaves augment this population, but since they don’t pay taxes, serve in the militia or have any income to spend, they don’t count for any practical purposes.

The city-state of Zoa claims as its governed lands all the lands and oceans for 100 miles from its walls. The human settlements within this range self-govern, although they generally acquiesce to most demands Zoa makes, if she makes them loudly enough and often enough. The nonhuman settlements usually ignore Zoan decrees unless a marine regiment delivers them. Scholars estimate the number of humans, elves, gnomes and halflings in this region to exceed 50,000.

Because the city draws traders, sailors and pilgrims from across Tellene, Zoa houses a large and widely variable number of foreign residents at any given time. This number ranges from a low of about 2,000 during winter to a peak of as many as 10,000 between Renewal and Replanting.

The majority of these transient merchants stay in inns or boarding homes in the Artisan or Market Districts, although it’s common practice to house a ship’s crew in the cheaper Dregs. Some of them also work for foreign merchant houses that maintain a small barracks for ship crews in Zoa.

A very small number stay on their ship. These few are usually exiles from the city or notorious criminals from elsewhere. Some stay on board for punishment for their actions en route.

At a Glance

Zoan architecture

The city is known for its large, airy wooden buildings. Even most dwarves bow to local custom; they too live in spacious homes with many rooms and wide open windows. The temperate weather allows for shutterless windows in most seasons, with a thin sealskin curtain (seals live on the islands south of the Zoan peninsula) pulled across the window during the rare summer rains.

Artistically, the Lighthouse is a symbol for Zoa, an identifying feature of the landscape. It appears in paintings and theatre backdrops across Tellene. The audiences know that a port city with lighthouses sets the stage for action in Zoa.

source: Bones of the Dead Eleven

Places of interest

Districts descriptions


Located in the Reanaaria Bay


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