A medium sized caravel style cargo ship was coming to port at Highbridge. It had sailed up the Greenwater River that created the southern border of Messinar. South of there was the Great Marsh, a land where people hid and monsters lurked. It is known that the black dragons make the marsh their home and it is rumored that a sentient sub-humanoid race of lizard people live there too. No one has ever seen these lizard men outside of the marsh, so it is unlikely they truly exist.
Highbridge was the last speck of civilization and the gateway to the swampy wilderness. People escaping the law or society are said to have set up small villages or single dwellings on the fringes of the great swamp. It is not likely any people live in the center, for they would surely end up as dragon fodder or the victim of any number of swamp creatures or even the swamp itself.
Highbridge was about halfway up the Greenwater River and the bridge for which it is named connects Messinar to the wilderness where the border separates from the river. Greenwater continues north while the border heads west following the edge of the Great Marsh. Messinar essentially claimed the area of land across the river from their border many years ago and of course there was no one to dispute such a claim. Now Messinar controls both rivers whose sources begin near the only southern pass through the Barrier Mountains. This will be a boon as trade with Gotodonia increases. The pass at Aehus Mons is closed in winter and is only a foot path at it's peak near the now ruined Monks town. Further north in Exador is the widest and most used pass. It is a high valley pass that is open all year and is the main source of income for landlocked Exador.
The southern pass in Messinar is too high to be open to normal traffic in the cold season and is usually impassable for two or so months. This has been a long standing issue between Exador and Messinar. Two highway rivers flow by or through Exador. The long and broad Coldriver sets the border between Exador, Messinar and the elven land Talana. Messinar wanted control over that river as well, but the elves would not allow anyone to exert a control over this waterway. It is free for all three countries. It's source is in the southern and high mountains of the Dragon Valley and makes a straight line all the way to the sea.
The other river, Stony River, starts in the Barrier Mountains and eventually turns north to meet with the Coldriver. Where it bends is the trade city Woodshire, on the north bank and part of Exador. Goods from the Exador Pass come through here and tolls, tithes and taxes are all applied and added to Exador's coffers for passage into Messinar. This is after a passage fee is collected at the mountain pass. To avoid this, some merchants choose to take the Coldriver to the sea and sail the coast to one of Messinar's ports. This can add weeks to the trip and the cost can sometimes be the same or worse. The outflow current from the River Messinar can make for a rough trip across it's mouth when trying to get to Messinia as well. With the arrival of Tabor Jael, the town of Newport is being greatly expanded and fitted as a major shipping port. Additionally Jael is using his own funds to help establish a port on the coast, just south of where the Coldriver empties into the sea. Tensions between Exador and Messinar may increase as a result. The elves of Talana are watching this closely and are a bit alarmed at the Emperor of Gotodonia building a port so close to their own borders.
The ship arriving today in Highbridge carried typical cargo and one extra passenger.
Thanks for looking and I'm uploading an updated map if anyone wants to actually see the places I'm referencing in the narrative. All the architecture were freebies from rodluc or captain marlowe.
Nov 3, 2011 11:07:39 pmby brewgirlca Online Now! Homepage »
I was going to suggest that right about now a map would be a great idea. I followed the entire narrative as I am want to do but it is still a bit much.
I thought I had wandered into Odilies gallery by mistake, so fine a job did you do of the atmospherics and water works. You are getting very darn good in Vue my friend.