Port Nyanzaru[note 1]) was a port in northern Chult that was an Amnian colony until at least 1479 DR,[1] but gained independence sometime in the late 1480s DR.[3] It was the major trading center for all of Chult.[4]


The small port city was located on the Bay of Chult at the mouth of the River Soshenstar.[4]


By 1479 DR, Amn controlled all mercantile activities in the city, and people unaffiliated with a trading company were forced to live in shantytowns outside the walls.[1]

Sometime in the late 1480s or early 1490s DR, the city won its independence from Amn due to the influence of a consortium of Chultan traders backed by the Triceratops Society. With help from the Society, the traders then rose to the title of merchant princes and ruled the city in a council where each had equal vote. Goldenthrone was the seat of governance for the merchant princes.[3]

By the late 1480s or early 1490s DR, the seven merchant princes of Port Nyanzaru were:[3]


A wide variety of both mundane and exotic goods could be found in Port Nyanzaru. The majority of foreign trade within the city took place in the Grand Souk. Traders from up and down the Sword Coast came to this market to buy timber, spices, medicines concocted from jungle plants, dinosaur skulls and claws, iron, tiger pelts, carved ivory, Batiri and grung handiwork, colored feathers, tropical fruit, monkeys, plesiosaur meat, and all the other riches of Chult.[3]

In the city's jewel market, the rich supply of jewels dug out of Chult's mines were bought and sold, but many other rare luxury items were also traded here.[3]

The residents of Port Nyanzaru shopped for their daily needs at the Red Bazaar. These included locally produced meat, vegetables, tropical fruit, tej, light tropical clothing, insect repellent, rain catchers, and other household goods. The buyers and sellers in the Red Bazaar were predominantly locals.[3]

The merchant princes of Nyanzaru had specific monopolies on all merchandise sold in the city. Individuals in need of gear or supplies had to deal through these individuals directly or their consortiums indirectly. The only alternative was to resort to the black markets in Malar's Throat or Tiryki Anchorage.[3]


The port was protected by a high stone wall[1] and designed with defense as a priority, due to the many pirates in the waters of the Shining Sea.[4] The city's defensive walls and towers were topped with colorful awnings to shield guards from the sun and rain. Like other structures in Port Nyanzaru, the walls were decorated with colorful paintings of geometric designs, animals, and mythic figures.[3]


Port Nyanzaru Map

A map showing Port Nyanzaru.


The city was defined by four steep hills. The westernmost hill, called Temple Hill because it was home to the temple of Savras, was completely walled off from lower ground. A wide stone bridge crossed on arched columns from Temple Hill to Throne Hill, site of Goldenthrone. A second bridge connected Throne Hill to the southern slopes, site of several merchant princes' villas. East of the harbor, the Hall of Gold gleamed atop the city's tallest hill, Mount Sibasa, which was connected by bridge to the neighboring Ykhvazi Hill (pronounced yick-ul-WAHzee), site of the Grand Coliseum. Steep, stepped streets and terraces surrounded each hill. Outside the main walls were three slums: the Old City to the southwest, where many buildings were remnants of older, pyramidal construction; Malar's Throat to the south, where buildings clung to the walls of a lush canyon spanned by rope bridges; and Tiryki Anchorage to the southeast, where explorers and river folk gathered.[3]

Wards and DistrictsEdit

The walled portion of the city was roughly separated into three wards.[3]

Merchant's Ward
The western half of the city was called the Merchants' Ward because it was the site of the Grand Souk and because many of the merchant princes' villas were there. In general, this was the upper-class section of the city. The majority of the city's merchants and traders actually lived and worked in the Market Ward. [3]
Harbor Ward
Port Nyanzaru's harbor could accommodate ships of all sizes. The enclosed eastern portion of the harbor was reserved for the use of the merchant princes, but the rest of the docks were available for use by any ship. [3]
Market Ward
The Market Ward was where most of Port Nyanzaru's regular shops were located and where most of its tradesfolk, merchants, and other middle-class residents lived and worked. [3]

Additionally, three districts lay outside the city's walls. About half the city's population lived crowded together outside the walls, where they were always exposed to sudden attacks by carnivores or undead.[3]

Old City
Three ancient, vine-covered ziggurats towered above this crumbling ward. The whole district was a juxtaposition of ancient and decaying (but still occupied) stone structures interspersed with flimsy new huts and longhouses of bamboo and thatch. The Old City was run down but it wasn't a slum or a haven for thieves. Most of the residents were lower-class laborers or struggling artisans who couldn't afford the higher rents of homes inside the city walls.[3]
Malar’s Throat
This region outside the city walls is Port Nyanzaru's slum district. Two sheer, jungle-draped ridges flanked a deep ravine. Ramshackle buildings clung to the sides of the ridges, each structure seemingly built atop the lower one's roof.[3]
Tiryki Anchorage
This district east of the city was populated by animal trainers, river folk, explorers who need inexpensive lodging, and other rough-and-tumble sorts. Smugglers preferred the unregulated docks of the anchorage over the policed and inspected docks of the harbor, despite the shortage of dock workers and beast-powered cranes to assist in loading and unloading. Unlike Malar's Throat and the Old City. Tiryki Anchorage had no fortified temple or ancient stone ziggurats where residents could take shelter against undead or carnivores.[3]


The primordial Ubtao was a central figure in Port Nyanzaru's religion until he disappeared some time around the turn of the 14th century DR. With Ubtao gone, the Chultans turned to other deities, Including ones introduced to them by missionaries from distant civilizations. Waukeen, a goddess of trade, was revered by Port Nyanzaru's many merchants. Other deities with shrines in the city included Gond, Savras, Sune, and Tymora. Besides spreading word of their deities, however, too many foreign missionaries also exploited the Chultans and their land for profit, which led to many conflicts. The temples and shrines persisted, but after the city gained independence, most of the clergy was replaced by native Chultans. Foreign clerics who proselytized too energetically weren't welcomed in Port Nyanzaru.[3]


Dinosaur Race

A race through the streets of Port Nyanzaru.

Dinosaur RacesEdit

The city was famous for its weekly dinosaur races through the streets. Dinosaurs were painted in bright designs, and their riders tried to steer them along a course that wound around the harbor and the city's four hills. Spectators were seldom injured, but it was a dangerous sport for the dinosaurs and their riders. A typical race day had three races: one for four legged beasts, one for two-legged beasts, and one no-holds-barred "unchained" race. Many of the dinosaurs involved were juveniles, since fully grown versions could be too large and too difficult for riders to manage. The dinosaurs were stoutly muzzled and had their claws and horns blunted in all but the unchained race. The four-legged race was dominated by young ankylosauruses and triceratopses, but dimetrodons had also done well when paired with Small riders. Most competitors in the two-legged race were hadrosauruses and deinonychuses (again with Small riders). The unchained race saw racers on anything, including young allosauruses and very young tyrannosauruses.[3]


While unconfirmed, it was thought that the harbormaster in control in the late 14th century DR paid tribute to a powerful dragon turtle living in the Bay of Chult. In exchange for this monthly pay, the dragon turtle kept all other sea monsters from harming the port and hindering trade.[4]


Port Nyanzaru was inhabited largely by humans of chultan descent. A few tabaxi lived in the city, working as minstrels or guides out of Port Nyanzaru. Chultan Shield dwarves lived in the port, including albino dwarves. Yuan-Ti spies resided in Port Nyanzaru, keeping a wary eye on the merchant princes, would-be treasure hunters, and adventurers.[3]

Medium and Large dinosaurs were used as beasts of burden to haul two-wheeled carts, to hoist heavy loads on cranes, and to tow boats along the canals. Dinosaurs competed in weekly races through the streets. These brightly painted racing dinosaurs were fast, vicious, and barely under their riders' control.[3]

Notable InhabitantsEdit


The Triceratops Society was very active in Port Nyranzaru, controlling the unloading and loading of all cargo at the docks. They kept tabs on all visitors coming ashore, especially if a visitor was suspected of being a mage or carrying magical items. If the visitor headed off into the jungle, the Society would send agents to notify the surrounding villages.[4]



  1. The spelling is "Nyanzaru" in all written sources until Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide but is spelled "Nyranzaru" on the map that came with Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. In Tomb of Annihilation the city is again spelled "Nyanzaru", which implies that "Nyranzaru" was simply a misspelling.



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