“I am Kintargo’s lord-mayor, yet Kintargo is not my city. Nor is it Cheliax’s city. Kintargo belongs to no one person, but to all who live here and make it the greatest city in Cheliax. We call it the Silver City not only for the gleaming waters of the Yolubilis, but for its purity. Kintargo is unique in the nation of Cheliax in this way. We are not the nation’s largest city, nor its strongest. We may not have Westcrown’s history, Ostenso’s naval superiority, Corentyn’s trade dominance, or Egorian’s power, but nor do we have Westcrown’s decay, Ostenso’s violence, Corentyn’s slaves, or Egorian’s damnations. Kintargo is our own, and as Cayden Cailean is my witness, I intend to do all that I can to ensure our silver shall never tarnish under Thrune’s touch!”
Lord-Mayor Jilia Bainilus,
two days before she vanished
Kintargo stands apart from Cheliax as a city of sedition and silver, separated from its nation by the rugged Menador Mountains as surely as by a wide gulf of culture. The city has long been known as a haven for artists, particularly composers, directors, and musicians eager to expand on Cheliax’s operatic traditions.
As a result, the city is a favorite of many noble families as a place to spend time away from the entanglements of governmental duties, and Kintargo’s citizens and leaders have become experts at riding the thin line between being loyal Chelish citizens and independent-minded libertarians.
During its years under Thrune law, Kintargo has maintained closer ties to the culture, people, and wealth of Varisian cities such as Korvosa and Magnimar than to Chelish cities such as Corentyn or Egorian. Most Kintargans choke to call themselves subjects of anything but their many-splendored city. They spend the warm, humid summers quietly tolerating being ruled by whatever distant capital insists they owe fealty, then spend the long, cold, rainy winters openly fantasizing about rebellion. Yet until today, the need for outright rebellion has never seemed worth the cost in blood.
It’s a small coastal plain wedged between mountains and a very cold ocean, so the weather doesn’t get too hot in the summers, but winters get pretty cold. It’s cloudy almost all the time thanks to the ocean winds and nearby mountains, and almost every day is marked by thick fog and light drizzle. The precipitation is mild enough that most locals make do with wool cloaks and coats instead—umbrellas are a sign of visitors, and are quickly torn apart by the ocean winds. Thunderstorms and blizzards are extremely rare, but so are sunny days.
Mold and mildew are the biggest enemies for homeowners, and most houses and businesses use cedar shavings or charcoal to try and manage humidity and musty smells. Food is plentiful thanks to the ocean and fertile, rain-soaked plains, but also spoils quickly thanks to the climate, so much of the city’s traditional cuisine involves more salt, vinegar, or alcohol than other parts of Cheliax, and bread is less of a staple than rice and grains.
The city itself is pretty hilly, and lower streets (especially Old Kintargo and Redroof) tend to flood in the rainier winter months.