Pentos is a large port city, more populous than Astapor on Slaver's Bay. Located closest of all the Free Cities to King's Landing in Westeros, Pentos is one of the westernmost of the Free Cities. The city lies on the Bay of Pentos off the narrow sea, with the Flatlands and Velvet Hills to the east.
Even though Pentos has massive, high walls, it is often regarded as the most vulnerable of the Free Cities. The city has many square brick towers. Most of the roofing is done in tiles. Pentos has walled estates, such as manses belonging to Magister Illyrio Mopatis and Khal Drogo. The Sunrise Gate allows the traveller to exit the city to the east, in the direction of the Rhoyne. The fastest way to Volantis from Pentos is by sea.
The faith of R'hllor is practiced in Pentos. A large red temple is located in the city, and the red priests are known to sing and light their night fires.
Like the Braavosi, and Lysene, Pentoshi are great lovers of song, and generous with those who please them. Some of their men dye, oil, and fork their beards. Pentos has a much higher population than Astapor.Bastard Valyrian is spoken in Pentos.
Pentos is a city where wealth equals power, ruled over by a prince with a council of rich magisters. The prince has a mostly ceremonial function, however, while the magisters rule. The prince, who is chosen from forty families, presides chiefly over balls and feasts. He is carried from place to place in a rich palanquin with a handsome guard. Each new year he deflowers two maidens, the maid of the sea and the maid of the fields, to ensure prosperity on land and sea. If there is famine or war is lost, the magisters sacrifice the prince and slit his throat to appease the gods, then choose a new prince.
Slavery was heavily practiced for most of Pentoshi history, but Braavos imposed abolition after several wars. Pentoshi ships flout these laws, however, by running Lysene or Myrish banners when challenged. Pentos is full of "free bond servants", who are collared and branded like slaves in Lys, Myr, or Tyrosh. Although they are free men and women by law, the cost of their food, clothing, and shelter is higher than the value of their service and they become indebted to their masters.
The Pentoshi are involved in trade, with ships daily passing forth between Pentos and King's Landing across the narrow sea in Westeros. One such galley is the Storm Dancer.Teeming bazaars can be found in Pentos as well.
Slavery has been forbidden in Pentos since its last war with Braavos. Nonetheless, there are many servants that are slaves in all but name.
The square brick towers are controlled by the spice traders of Pentos, who send off their ships to distant locations to trade for saffron and peppers. The poorer population of Pentos, however, struggles, and many become performers, training as singers or tumblers, for multiple generations, perfecting their art.