Denizyer Settlement in Ulskandar | World Anvil


Unless you have a particular interest in industrialised fishing, I would not recommend a visit to the town of Denizyer. Nothing is less appealing than the thought of trekking for days across the vast expanse of the Sonsuz Desert, only to be greeted by the overwhelming stench of dead and drying fish and a town where drinking water is almost as valuable as gold. Regardless of how thirsty you are, I would recommend drinking nothing but wine there. Not because the wine available there is particularly good, but only because the very drinking water of Denizyer seems to be tainted by the taste of fish….
Extract from Maximilian Hoherberg von Zottehal’s History of the Known World.   Situated in the south-west of the Sultanate of Fashaddon, on the shores of the Safir Sea, the town of Denizyer is known for one thing and one thing only, the production of fish and fish products. The town’s fishing fleets ply the waters of the surrounding sea, and produce and supply fish products that are shipped out to the rest of the Sultanate, and occasionally beyond. At its best, preserved fish from Denizyer is regarded as a true delicacy, at its worst even the most succulent piece of fish that is landed in the town can be turned into a piece of salty cardboard.


As Denizyer is a town whose main industry is fishing, the vast majority of those that live and work there are in the lower income bracket, and principally work for a living either in the fishing crews of others, or working in the fish processing areas of the town. Given that there is a reasonably large population in Denizyer, there is also a solid middle class, who own and run most of the services for the settlement, merchants, non-fishing related crafts and trades etc. The town also has a small percentage, less than 10% who would be judged to be in the highest income bracket, and the equivalent in the town of an upper class. Most of the people in this last category have made their money either through being intimately involved in the town’s governmental system, or through managing the fishery activities of Denizyer. The vast majority of fishing vessels in the town are owned by members of the upper class, who run them as small fleets.   In terms of the racial composition of the population, the majority of the population are made up of Half-Orcs and Humans. As there are so many ships in Denizyer, there is also a strong community of Gnomes, who natural technical adeptness makes them ideal craftsmen for the mending and maintenance of the shipping. Members of other sapient species are seen in the town, but in far fewer numbers.


Like all larger, or strategically important communities in the Sultanate of Fashaddon, the town of Denizyer is governed by a Vizier, who has been appointed by the Sultan’s administration to manage the running of the settlement, and ensure that it continues to contribute taxes and goods towards the Sultan’s coffers. The Vizier is supported by a team of Lesser Viziers, most of whom are recruited from amongst the local population, and who are all based in offices within Denizyer Keep. In addition, because of Denizyer’s strategic importance as the heart of the Fashaddonite fishing industry, there is a specially appointed Deputy-Vizier, who is officially appointed by the Sultan’s administration, but with heavy guidance from the town’s Vizier, and who is tasked solely with ensuring that the fishing industry remains stable and profitable.


The defence of Denizyer is provided by the large keep that dominates the island portion of the town. This keep is not only designed to be a defensive structure, with artillery large and powerful enough to protect both the approach to the town by both sea and land, but is also acts as the main garrison and holds the offices of town officials, including that of Denizyer’s Vizier. One driver behind having the town’s main fortification on Denizyer’s island, rather than on the mainland, is not just to give it extra protection from attack, but is also to make it a more effective deterrent against pirates, in particular the Red Hawk Corsairs that regularly stalk the waters of the Safir Sea.   In addition, the outskirts of the landward side of the town are protected by several guard and observation towers, each of which can act as mini garrison and forts in the event of an attack on the town.


The vast majority of Denizyer’s infrastructure is geared towards the fishing industry that is the raison d’être for the town’s existence. The mainland shoreline of the town, along with all of the water front space of the town’s island is put aside for wharfs and berthing spaces for fishing ships, bar one small section on Denizyer’s island, in the shadow of the Keep that is set aside for military shipping. Associated with these waterfront areas on the mainland are a network of drying, pickling and preserving sheds and warehouses, and it is these facilities that give the whole town its characteristically ‘fishy’ stench.   Further away from the harbour side, the skyline of Denizyer is dominated by several large, stone tanks that are regularly whitewashed, and that are designed to collect rainwater and then store it away from the desert sun. These tanks, coupled with the network of natural springs that are scattered across the town act as the water supply for its inhabitants, as Denizyer is not connected to the Tarcan Aqueduct system, as it is too far over to the west of the country to be close enough to the existing aqueduct infrastructure.   In terms of its transport infrastructure, the a well-constructed stone bridge, wide enough for two carts or wagons to pass abreast has been built to connect Denizyer island to the mainland, and the bridge itself is tall enough to allow smaller ships beneath its arches. The town itself is connected to the road network that leads directly to the capital of the Sultanate of Fashaddon, Vaháyer, and also links on to the other major settlements in the Sonsuz Desert. This not only facilitates the moving of Denizyer’s seafood produce into the interior of the country, but also allows for the transport of vital agricultural produce, crops in particular that cannot be grown in the town or its hinterland.


The town of Denizyer is located in a wide, spreading bay, with part of the town being situated on an island just off the coast, that sits slightly off centre from the bay, slightly more towards the west. Both the island and the bay have gently sloping, sandy beaches all across the area of the town’s waterfront, making them ideal for the drawing up of the numerous fishing ships that use Denizyer as their home port. In addition, the waters of the Safir Sea remain quite deep, all the way up to the shoreline, meaning that larger boats are able to ply the waters in and around the harbour with ease.   In terms of its terrestrial geography, the island part of the town is essentially one small hill that slopes down from its apex, which has been flattened to accommodate the building of the town’s fort, down to the surrounding waters. However the slope is not steep enough to provide any hindrance to building. On the mainland part of Denizyer, the town slopes gently down to the Safir Sea, though parts of the town have been built on artificially created terraces, to ease construction, and also to provide more level space for building.   The outskirts of the town have little hinterland before the Sonsuz Desert proper begins, and as the town is not connected to the Tarcan Aqueduct, and the natural springs in the area are not large enough to support industrial level agricultural activity, there is little farming that goes on in the town or the surrounding countryside.
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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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