The Islands of Gold
The Isle of Sasserine is a little off the beaten track, and the Dragonmarked Houses have little presence in the city.
The port used to do a respectable trade with Khorvaire, Aerenel and Sarlona but the Sea Princes intentionally isolated it and as a result there is no airship docking tower in Sasserine, no speaking stone station, and no outpost of House Orien. The island is in crisis as a result.
During the the Last War, as chaos gripped Khorvaire, an alliance of Lhazaar Princes seized Sasserine and claimed it as a new principality. Sasserine suffered under their rule for almost a century, until 995 yk, when all of the Sea Princes of Sasserine were killed. An action for which nobody has yet taken credit.
Since then, Sasserine has been an independent realm, ruled by the "Dawn Council".
The people of Sasserine revere the Sovereign of Light and Darkness, depicted by two-faced statues dotted around the city. One face, made of white marble, depicts a man while the other is a woman chiseled from dark stone or obsidian. The Sovereign is said to be the source of all magic and privy to all secret knowledge. Priests of the Sovereign Host typically characterize her as a blending of Aureon and the Shadow, which is a patronizing enough theological observation that the faithful are thoroughly sick of hearing it. Members of more traditional organizations are scattered through the city as well.
It’s possible to see many traces of old Sarlona in the Lhazaar Principalities, and this is especially true in the case of Sasserine. While Common is the primary language of the land, a significant number of people speak an old dialect of Riedran, sometimes blending the two languages together. The original settlers brought a root crop called sepse from Sarlona, which is a staple of Sasserine cuisine; the island is one of the only places this is found outside of the old Lamechan lowlands. From the style of harpoons used by Sasserine whalers to the design of the ships they sail, there are many small touches that set Sasserine apart from the people of the mainland and the Lhazaars to the north.
The Docks: The docks and Merchant’s Quarter of Sasserine are the true beating heart of the city. While there’s never any official trade with Argonnessen or the dragons that rule it, a variety of smuggled goods do make their way to Sasserine’s port to be sold for wildly inflated prices. Ships traveling to or from Sarlona do also on occasion make their way to the port, although they often bypass it to journey straight to Q’barra which has bred some small resentment among the population.
The Arena: The Sasserine Arena, established by the Sea Princes, is famous throughout the region as a wild spectacle and a show that’s well worth the journey. Fights in the arena comprise two main groups, honor duels fought between nobles and the professional matches staged by well-paid gladiators. Both are popular, and fights are rarely to the death; the arena keeps an excellent medical staff on hand to help patch up the wounded.