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Boat-Dwellers of the Silver Stream

My children were born on this boat. I was born on my father's boat. I was born poor, but I'd rather rot on my boat than live on that stinking Faren slum of a city!
— A Fisherman
  The Boat-Dwellers are a poor cast of fishermen, living around the huge Faren cities by the Silver Stream. They do not own any land-based residences, but live permanently in their boats on the river. Most of them are Zeribians.    


Provided services

We fish all the day. By the mercy of Idûrfeš our catch is plentiful! In the evening we bring the catch to the market. Then we gather together on an islet like this one here. We meet other families, cook the food on the camp fire. We sleep 'till morn and wake up early. It' s simple and good!
— A Fisherman


The families can make and repair their own fishing nets but the string is traded for. They also trade for fishing hooks and spear heads, bread and vegetables as well as fabric. The boats require a lot of work and expertice to build, so they are purchased from Zeribian craftsmen.  


Zeribian boats have everything their inhabitants need. Even the smaller boats are quite seaworthy and the bigger ones can make weeks' travel without touching ground.   The boats usually consist of a main hull and a stabilising outrigger that are connected by a deck. The underside of the deck can be used for storage, or even sleeping or cover from the rain if it's big enough. The smaller ones often have a small cover on the deck. Despite the large deck size, the boats are very light, and can be carried if necessary. The boats are powered by a single triangular sail, but can also be paddled when necessary.    
by John Webber (public domain)
Zeribian family on their boat  

Dangers & Hazards

We live here, summer and winter. My daughter often cries about being too cold. It's still too cold even with blankets. Children can't bear the cold. They often get sick. But this is our life.
— A Fisherman
  Living on the river without proper shelter means being very suspectible to the weather. The winter nights can get very cold compared to the Eastern Islands, and it's made even worse by the constant rain. The biggest risk however is poor catch, which will mean that the family can't trade for bread or any other supplies.   For the first months the newborn babies are in a danger of falling from the boat and drowning. Luckily the Zeribians usually learn how to swim before running!


Career Progression

The children grown on boats won't have any education or experience of any land-based professions, unlike in traditional villages where usually only the boys would become fishermen and the girls would learn gathering and handicrafts. The children are very unlikely to adopt any terrestial professions. The most likely other carreer options are paid rower on a war or trade ship, or a shipmaker.


Social Status

They are outcasts with no legal rights in the cities. Despite that, many of the fishermen are quite proud of their profession.


Zeribians first arrived around Silford in bigger numbers after they conquered Der Fem Island in the early 9th century, and were able to establish direct trade relationships with the Continent . The leaders of the expeditions were noble traders, but the commoners soon realised the rich fishing potential on the river. The fishermen first settled in the villages near Silford. Living in the city itself was never very attractive to the fishermen, who could only have afforded a place in the slums, that were smelly and dirty for Zeribians, who were used to living in more loosely built cities.   The number of immigrants caused unrest in the local fishermen and other suspicious Westerners. In responce the Silford city established heavy taxation on the Zeribians to discourage them from staying. The taxation makes living expences too high for many already poor fishermen. Therefore permanent living on boats has become the best option for many families. They live unsettled lives, and avoid the government officials the best they can.
Agricultural / Fishing / Forestry
Anchoring one's boat inside the city borders without permission is illegal, but the authorities can't do anything about boats staying further away.
Related Locations
by Teinesavaii (Wikipedia)
The basic structure of a Zeribian boat, before the deck is attached  
by Tuisku
A successfull fisherman

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