Morton Settlement in Challaria | World Anvil


The capital of the Moran Duchy , Morton sits on the north bank of upper reaches of the Durran River close to the foothills of the Moran Mountains. It marks the upper limit for navigation by trading vessels capable of sea voyages with significant cargo and is graced with extensive dock facilities and vibrant markets.


Morton has a population of some 8,000 who are predominantly of Mor origin, some other Morivian groups are represented, largely among the merchant classes. Others may from time to time be found there, though those of Taru extraction are not widely welcomed. The Monkin have no obvious presence but may occasionally be encountered, especially in respect of the metal and jewellry trades.   As the capital of the Duchy, Morton has a significant number of wealthy landowners and aristocrats resident (or at least with residences) in the town, and the Tithars are required to maintain residences, often acting as "internal embassies" for their regions. These are mostly found on Duke's Square itself.   The administrative and bureaucratic classes tend to congregate in the area between the Scribehall and the Ducal Palace; the workers of the dock areas are (insurprisingly) to be found close to the docs, with the leather workers and butchers found on the riverside district downstream of the dock.   The town's population has been growing steadily over the last few decades, driven by the increase in trade and industry and the population as a whole is rather younger than the Duchy average as a combination of the effects of the migration of young people to the town.


Though the Duke is undoubtedly the embodyment of the government of Morton, for he is also its Tithar, the day to day operation of the city fallw to the Berman. The Berman acts as chair to the town council, comprising the Aldermen representing the wards and districts of the town. Each ward is supposed to maintain order within its bounds and maintain the roads and the alderman may delegate som of his powers and responsibilities to a number of deputies.   The lowest level of government within the town is the Pledge to which every household belongs and which does much of the day to day maintenance of order and civil society.


The majority of the town is defended by a substantial wall which extends round the landward boundaries, with a major road running the perimeter just inside the walls to provide for communications along the line as well as the use of the first buildings as a further defence. The exception to this is the newly emergent area of Outer Morton, across the River Storrow from the main town - here the boundary is marked by an earthen rampart but no walls. These have been a plan for "the next few years" for the last few decades for the perceived threats to the Duchy have not been significant and the extension of the wall is seen more as a matter of civic pride than of practical defence - for now.   The northern side of the town is protected primarily by the river, with spurs of the wall running back along the banks a short distance. There are no bridges across the Durran at Morton so these do not form a weakness.   The development of the town can be traced by the series of perimeter roads spreading out from the epicenter of Duke's Square - originally the castle courtyard with some of the original, or at least ancient castle buildings forming the heart of the city. While originally defensive these are now far enough from the boundaries to be of little practical use in times of siege or assault.

Industry & Trade

Trade is the mainstay of Morton with the docks lining the southern bank of the river and supplying the bulk goods market held on the Strand. Other market areas are to be found dealing with livestock, manufactured goods and foodstuffs as well as the usual array of retal options to be found in towns. The area between the Strand and Duke's Square is dominated by the warehouses of the trading families of the town.   Industrial activity is focused on leatherwork, pottery and metalwork, with materials for the later supplied by the growing mining activities in the Moran Mountains near Morton. The town's position on the river affords easy options for the export of its wares and the proximity of Firestone deposits reduces the demand for timber to fuel the fires and furnaces.


The river provides for many industrial and human needs, with the water supply augmented by the Storrow and the Taw Rill, both of which have been intercepted above the town to provide a piped water supply to the wealthy and to public tapstands. The management of the waste products of the town has been a significant challenge over the years and a limitation on the size of the town - for settlements of Morton's size or industrial activity were not envisaged when the Treaty of Durranmouth put practical limits on the use of the river for waste disposal (see sidebar).   Water power is used with mills in both the Tanneries section and Outer Morton as well as along the Storrow but the needs of navigation on both rivers limit the efficiency of these. Those on the Taw Rill are less contrained so this forms the core of the metalworking industry.   Administrative infrastructure is found in the Treasury and Scribehall (formerly the Keep and Great Hall respectively of the Duke's castle) and on the palace complex, supported by freelance scriveners and lawyers.

Guilds and Factions

Morton has a long history of Guild activity, though many of the functions have now been pulled together under combined bodies. This is most apparent in the case of Guilds Care which provides sustenance to infirm members of the towns guilds and any orphans they might leave behind as well as providing medical care.   For professional and trade matters however they remain separate and often at odds with one another, though the tendency to merge and amalgamate has helped reduce some of these tensions. Notable guilds include:
The Porters - dealing in all aspects of transport by land (ie the carrying of goods) the porters are of three types: foot porters who carry their loads on their backs to navigate the narrow and constricted byways of the town, pack-men who carry goods by pack animals and the carters (who use carts). The latter two groups also deal in transport of goods to towns lacking in river communications.
The Boatmen - dealing with transport by the river they control the dock facilities and licensing of all boats used for trade, hire and so on. Many merchants and trading vessels based at other towns on the river will have a membership of the guild or retain a guildsman to act as their local agent to avoid the guild’s rather steep mooring and lading charges.
The Masons - covering the construction trade the Mason’s guild is a source of much confusion to newcomers as it includes all aspects of the building trades.
The Merchants - Dealing with trade and commerce the Merchant’s Guild manages the markets within the town. Whilst many small traders are members, membership is required for those who deal wholesale rather than retail.


  • Morton
    Using layers for landmarks, districts etc.
ca 8,000
Characters in Location

Water Quality and the Treaty of Durranmouth

The importance of the river as a source of usable water was a key consideration of the Treaty - indeed it is a fundamental part of the balance of rights and obligations which means that this document has remained effective for approaching a millenium. The downstream towns allow for free trade and navigation, the upstream do not impede the flow of the river or destroy use usefulness ofits water. To this end a simple requirement was included that the ruler of ech town (in the case of Morton, the Duke) must drink water daily taken a mile below the limits of their town. It may be filtered through cloth to remove sediment but not boiled or treated in any other way.   Several Dukes have suffered badly from tainted water so these provisions are taken seriously. The Gongsters have responsibility for the water supply and waste treatment for the town.

The Wards of Morton

With Morton having expanded in a series of phases defined by its growing walls the following is an approximately chronological list of the wards and districts of the town.

First Phase

The Strand

Second Phase


Third Phase


Fourth Phase

Palace Ward

Fifth Phase

Outer Morton
The Tanneries

Articles under Morton

  • 9235

    Waste Treatment at Morton
    Technological achievement

    Proper waste management introduced at Morton. The current organisations and infrastructer put in place and operational.

    Additional timelines
  • 9383

    The Great Flood of '03
    Disaster / Destruction

    Which destroyed much of the north bank and resulted in the creation of Wharfare and The Tanneries when the area was redeveloped.


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