Maybe not locations per se, but Merchant Houses and the intrigue they get into maybe great to explore.
If i recall correctly, Balic has three instead of one major house (Tomblador, Reese and Wavir?). Players could be from any of those, a spy for one or have an own secret agenda.
A nice campagn theme could be getting contacts and building influence for oneself and for one house. A secret agenda could be gathering info on all the Veiled Alliances or Elven tribes. Either to sell or oppose them or to aid or even unite them.
A nice variation of a character tree is having a main character and minions. Every few sessies or every location a player can make a new character, usually one in deep trouble. If that character survives the player can keep it as contact in that location or send it on missions or so. Some NPC’s may also be obtained as contacts that way. This allows for some deadly combat where you as a DM don’t have to worry about keeping players alive. Maybe some cloak and dagger backstabbing?
In addition the players can trade, selling and picking up bargains. I’d start with Silt Skimmer and go on a siltfaring adventure. Maybe face off some pirates slave tribe, trade with North and South Ledopolis and up to the end of the silt tongue. If successful the Silt Skimmer can unload it’s cargo on a caravan (with a huge Howdah iirc it’s called?). It could also be damaged or even lost, helping the dwarves or even or the slaves.
Altaruk is run by the three Balic Merchant Houses, but depending on the timeline may be overrun by Tyrians. Maybe have a bloody tradewar with the Tyr traders (Vordon?), or have that Merchant House collapse without the support of Kalak. Could even recruit agents of that House. This independent village is the ideal homebase from which to travel to all corners of the map.