Saltmarsh Settlement in The Azure Sea | World Anvil


A map of Saltmarsh.
Saltmarsh is a non-descript fishing village on the western shores of The Azure Sea.   Years ago it was part of the Cerulean Empire, but ever since the end of the Great Pelagic War it has been a fiercely independent town. Without the protection of the empire however piracy and banditry began to flourish. Saltmarsh and similar towns kept to fishing, content to maintain a low profile and avoid Imperial entanglements. Decades ago, the pirates who prowled the waters off Saltmarsh grew strong enough to create their own realm, a loose confederacy known as the Hold of the Sea Princes. With the rise of that nation came increased raids on Saltmarsh and its neighbours.   Saltmarsh's roughly five thousand residents are predominantly human, with a relatively new dwarven mining contingent of about two hundred workers that forms the largest non-human faction in town. Elves and halflings draw no special notice, since the Darwood hosts an elf enclave and a few halfling villagers are tucked in the hills and farms around town.   Saltmarsh might be encrusted in sea salt and reek of rotting fish guts, but there is gold aplenty in the coffers of its citizens. For more than a century, the ships of Saltmarsh have worked the rich fishing grounds along the coast. Trade ships from near and far have been using the docks to unload their goods, and lately more ships have come to call as the dwarven mining operation grows. The town's relative proximity to the shipping lane of Trent's Channel has aided this growth. Smuggling has also been rumoured to have long been a profitable business here.   More folk in town work in the fishing industry than any other, and it has been the backbone of Saltmarsh for generations. The wealthier families own their own boats, while less well-to-do folk hire out to work as deckhands. The docks of Saltmarsh are the beating heart of the town. The fishing trade and related commerce that keep the town alive are based here.   The Saltmarsh Town Council serves to organise the town's defences, trade policies and other needs of the community at large.  

Notable Features and Buildings

Crabber's Cove
Just east of Saltmarsh docks, built along the shores of a secluded bay, are a handful of buildings known collectively as Crabber's Cove. The buildings are badly weathered, and were abandoned by the residents of Saltmarsh years ago.   The Empty Net
Partially supported by stilts driven into the harbour water, this rickety tavern is purportedly a haven for smugglers, mercenaries, assassins and even pirates.   Fishmongers' Plants
The large fish-processing buildings at the centre of the docks reek of prosperity (and fish). All are engaged in salting or brining the catch brought in by the fleet.   Green Market
Located on the west bank of the Kingfisher River, the market is a strip of open land that is the place for everything that isn't fish, salt, or nautical wares. It market stretches among a dozen stalls down to Sharkfin Bridge.   Sages Tower
This three-story tower stretches up from a low plateau on the west side of the town, and is set amongst low trees and a neat garden.   Saltmarsh Barracks and Jail
Built on a low hill, the fortified barracks also serve as the jail. The jail is used to hold prisoners with sentences of up to a year, but those facing longer terms or sentenced to hard labour are transferred to the prison at Seaton.   Saltmarsh Council Hall
This large brick building contains the offices of the town council. The hall is built from sturdy stone from the nearby cliffs and a variety of hardwoods. A wooden sign depicting a net filled with fish hangs above the double doors leading into the hall. In front of the hall stands a sturdy but weather-beaten platform and gallows.   Saltmarsh Watchtower
This 60-foot-tall tower was the first defensive building of Saltmarsh, and it still serves as an armoury and lookout as well as the official base oft he town guard.   Sea Grove of Atroa
Open to the air and set in a grove outside the town, the sea-grove is a gathering place for seagulls, sailors, and swamp folk, as well as an information market for traders and trappers.   Sharkfin Bridge
This single large bridge spans the Kingfisher River. There are shops and homes along its length. The bridge predates the village and is large enough for laden carts to pass two abreast.   The Snapping Line
This popular inn and tavern is built from the planks and hulls of half a dozen decommissioned fishing ships. Its decor is predictably nautical in theme. The smell of fish has never been completely scrubbed from its walls.   Temple of Procan
A large stone building on the east side of town, the temple is hung with old fishing nets and lobster baskets. Small bowls at the door contain provender offered by the town's populace in honour of the sea god Procan.   Weekly Market
Built around the first well dug for the fishers in the early days of the town is a large market square where merchants of all descriptions gather every Starday to sell their wares. Initially established to sell fish, the market has grown to include a wide variety of goods. The centre area of the square contains a dozen long tables where shoppers can eat communally.   The Wicker Goat
Bearing the dubious honour of being the oldest tavern in Saltmarsh, the Wicker Goat is a two-story building that has sleeping quarters for rent on the upper floor.  

Travel Distances

All distances are approximate and via the shortest possible routes, which might not always be practical. Where a travel distance is not shown there is no connecting route possible (e.g. there is no road or waterway that links the places).

Cover image: Settlement by Unknown


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