The city is built upon a partially submerged river valley with numerous islands. Because of this, the city is mostly accessed via large bridges that span most of the islands. The ocean moderates the temperature so that the air is pleasantly warm in the summer and chilly in the winter.
The king and his court live in an expansive palace built on the central island, Royal Isle, while the dauphin lives in a smaller palace on an nearby island. There are no bridges to these islands; they can only be accessed by riverboats, which are banned in the city except for a small route where trading ships may go. The rest of the nobility lives in Emerald Isle, which is connected to the rest of the city via a heavily-guarded bridge.
Zarubad’s all-female priesthood serves the Green Lady, also known as the Fairy Goddess, or Feanara. The priestesses live in another island known as Convent Isle. There lies numerous shrines, living quarters, and — towering above it all — the Lady’s Cathedral, a massive building that took 40 years to complete. The rest of the population lives in destitute poverty.
The poor work in the docks, clean out sewage, and perform manual labor. Most elves—all, by law, slaves—work in the country, but there are a handful who work in Zarubad. These lower classes always live in the shadow of the stark-white Royal Palace and can see it through the sprawl of low-lying hovels, shanties, and shops. They are held in check by the nobility-backed guards, who are well armed and armored and highly trained. In times of war, these lower classes are compelled to serve as footmen under the supervision of more powerful Knights of the Realm. The constant work, terrible living conditions, and dismissive treatment have made some of these laborers whisper the word “revolution,” but right now it is only a whisper, not a reality.
Outside the city limits lies a small walled area where the ratlings live. They are not permitted to enter Zarubad. North of the river lies a heavily-wooded region where the king hunts and has a summer estate.