– "I am not sure why people are romantizising this town at the edge of the world so much. It is filled with criminals, mud, and insects; it is unbearably humid and hot and the uncivilized natives do not even want us there."
– "But think of the adventure, the opportunities, and the exotic life!"
The Port of Gems is a colony under the official dominion of Baradolia
settled at the south-western edge of Eni-Rathras
. It is considered the political center of the territory of Rathram
, although this is highly contested by the nations of Ethoressi
as well as the natives of Rathram
themselves. For a while, the Port of Gems was meant to be the port towards the unknown regions south of Eni-Rathras
Most of the settlement is spread around the mouth of the Grenasnal River
and the islands in Grenna's Bay
. On the main land are both the fortified port and the walled inner city, the governer's residences as well as their associates. Several smaller sattelite settlements are widely spread throughout the Grenasnal Valley
, usually close to the many Zezzu
farms, logging camps and several mining operations.
The failed Outpost
Think of all the adventure and expeditions that set out from here! The mysteries of the south!
Originally the Southward Port
was simply an outpost for expeditions by Baradolia into the unknown south seas. Ships and Crews were to restock here before they embark into one of many expeditions, that would unlock the mysteries that lie beyond the Oceanus Rathras
. However, none of these expeditions returned and after a while, the scholars of Baradolia concluded that another World's Great Barrier exists somewhere in the ocean and further efforts for expeditions were halted.
After this, the importance and novelty of the Colony declined drastically, and it was almost forgotten.
This whole settlement only exists because the high nobles in Baradolia needed a place to ship off their unwanted!
After the originally envisioned expeditions further south all failed completely, the Southward Port was almost forgotten for a while. The colony was later developed into the Port of Redemption, a place to ship off unwanted prisoners, thought of by a particularly nasty regent of Baradolia.
Decades later, some Conflict with Keandra made the trade with Corekor and Thiem through the Ethorial Sea improbable. It was then that a southern route for trade was proposed with the effect to surprisingly develop into an economically viable trading post. After discovering rich sources of several types of jewels, including blue and clear Kinegems
, the settlement began to really flourish. The prisoners were put to work in the many mines and logging camps to earn their freedom in a fair way that benefited both them and their country greatly. More recently the Colony has gained even more sources of income through the rising need for Coal (in this case Charcoal
) and Cobalt
Today, the colony has become mostly econimically independent from regular shipments out of Trandit
and other Baradolian
port cities. This was largely accelerated by having to deal with several pirate attackes out of the Independent Isles of Bren
, the discovery of a landroute by Gunnar Rundthorn
opening up trade possibilities with Ethoressi
, and the discovery and subsequent export of some potent and exotic plants like Zezzu
along with a lot of highly fertile land within the jungle.
The strong economic situation the Port of Gems found itself in has led to several diplomatic spouts with Baradolia, as the originally unwanted population would prefer to see themselves as independent from the greedy origin.
Points of Interest
The City has become rich off the spirit of Adventure and grandiose trading! Naturally, this is well shown through the cities monuments!
The Merchant's Quarter was the original quarter for the prison warden and their families as well as some bold traders hoping to finance the expeditions to the south. Due to early conflicts with the natives, the city was hastily fortified. Today, the wall around the quarter, the Merchant's Perch, featuring a unique architectural style, is even known in Baradolia.
In the middle of Trader's Luck
one can find a statue of Gunnar Rundthorn
, the famous explorer and author who found a landroute to the Port of Gems. Rundthorm never saw this monument to him, as his ship was captured by Pirates of the Golden Privateers
when he tried to attend the opening ceremony.
And if you walk past these monuments you will find yourself i the company of scum busy with consuming Zezzu or being criminals...
In the center of the Zezzu Fields, one can find a large, hollow Zezzu
tree surrounded by colorful tents. Within the tree is a famous lounge where those with enough coin can enjoy Zezzu in most variants, as tea, eating, smoking and even as more extravagant stimulants. For those with smaller purses, one can find many cheaper and unofficial pleasures in the surrounding tents.
Corazan Island features surprisingly steep cliffs for this biome, a contributing factor to selecting this as the place for a prison. Even today, this serves as housing for those people that have to work off some kind of debt in the colony, which demands them taking a ferry to the mainland each day - and paying for it, of course.
All of this just contributes to the fact that the Port of Gems is a unique jewel in the world!
Since many copper loadstones with too low a proportion of Cobalt
for refinement are washed ashore in Cobaltwash
, a local mint uses the Copper-Cobalt mixtures to mint the coinage of the region. This mint and it's not so secret underground vault have to be constantly guarded by a magically gifted person, as it turned out that heating this alloy can build up some magically charged atmosphere in the direct vicinity. The official Minted Guardian has his own living arrangements directly across the mint.
Once a year, the governor holds a public ball. Since no free person may be refused entry and there is often some free food, the crowd has become so large they could not safely fit into the Governor's Palace
. To this end, the governor personally owns a large storage hall in the harbor, named the Festival's Storage. Over the years it had been decorated by enthusiastic townfolks with imagery, some of them being dangerously crass towards the Baradolian royal family. Constant efforts to remove these images have been fruitless and effectively been given up.