Cressus is the southernmost city on the northern peninsula. Situated near the Cressian Oasis, there is a sufficient water supply to sustain the city. Surplus water is still imported from Shem, and then traded to the lands of Kosh in the south.
Cressus lies near the edge of The Great Sand Sea and is plagued by regular sand storms. Outlying villages near the city are also subject to raids from the nomadic orcs of The Burning land to the southeast, although they rarely venture so far north.
The city itself is walked and features mostly simple sandstone architecture. The wealthier district is dominated by large palaces with towers topped with brass minurats that shine in the sun. The wealthy traders of Cressus trade lumber, food and water from the north for precious metals and gems from the Emerald Coast beyond Koth.
The government of Cressus consists of a council of the wealthiest merchants in the city called the Circle of Gold. Each of the twelve merchant princes controls their own private army. There is no organized military if the city itself, and the council must work together to police and defend their interests. Corruption is rampant within the government, and quarrels between the merchant princes often lead to small civil conflicts.
Most of the common people live in a maze of small homes clustered around the outside of the city walls. Most of the poor barely survive, and while work inside the city would afford them a better life many cannot afford the tax simply to pass through the gates.