Sanwic Settlement in Ulskandar | World Anvil


The town of Sanwic is the first major settlement that one will encounter when entering the Kingdom of Dazscor and Aramore from the north east, and is the last one that people will see before travelling further north to either the area of the Mountain Principalities, or the Kingdom of Kjörnsholm. Its position means that it is a hub for trade in the north of Turoza, and the passing merchant caravans moving to and from the Joint Kingdom are the town’s main source of income.


As a town that relies heavily on inter-kingdom trade, Sanwic has quite a diverse demography in terms of the species resident there, and at any one time, you could expect to find representatives from the vast majority of sapient species in Ulskandar. The core demographic of those that are permanently resident in the town are Humans, Dwarves, Half-Elves and Half-Orcs, though there are, of course representatives of other species resident in the town on a more regular basis.   In terms of the wealth of the people resident in the town, Sanwic has a substantial population of wealthy merchants, who make their money buying and selling from the passing trading caravans, and there is a core of old-town residents who have made themselves wealthy as landowners and landlords over those that live in the new-town beyond the city walls. The vast majority of Sanwic’s population make a reasonable living working to provide services to the passing caravans, and many whose permanent residence is in the town will spend long periods away working as porters or guards to the merchant caravans.


Because of Sanwic’s strategic position as the main exit and entry point of land based trade between the Joint Kingdom and the Mountain Principalities and to a lesser extent the Kingdom of Kjörnsholm the town is run by a Burgomaster, an official that is directly appointed by the royal court at Karpella, and who is then responsible for the governing of the town and the appointment of Sanwic’s various officials and officers, who ensure that the day-to-day activities are taken care of.


As the town of Sanwic has expanded quite quickly since it’s defences were first constructed, only part of the settlement is protected by a physical defensive network. Sanwic’s old-town is surrounded by a curtain wall, whereas the new-town that sprawls out from the external foot of the curtain wall is not protected, by physical defences, though it is patrolled by the town-guard. The curtain wall of the old-town was originally a solid entity, but it has since been adapted on its western side, so that part of the wall is now a large arch, beneath which flows the large pond that provides most of the drinking water for the town. Within the old-town, the central defensive point is Sanwic barracks, a building whose primary purpose is to house the town-guard, but which has been converted into a keep of sorts, and now has defensive ramparts and facilities for the holding of prisoners and confiscated merchandise.   In terms of defenders, Sanwic has a garrison of around 600 regular soldiers, who alongside their duties of defending the town and acting as a policing force, also form the core of the border inspection force that checks goods incoming into the Kingdom of Dazscor and Aramore for tax and legal purposes. When acting in this latter capacity, they are allowed to impound or confiscate goods as they see fit, provided they do so under the guise of protecting the interests of the Kingdom.


Sanwic is split in terms of its infrastructure between what is available within the walls of the old-town, and outside them in the new-town. The old-town is by far the most up-market of the two areas, and its narrow streets have been built out of a pleasing yellow sandstone, and are regularly broken up with communal areas and gardens, which are often frequented by the more well-to-do members of Sanwic society. There are amenities that were designed specifically for the old-town, when it was the community in it is entirety, such as shops, small markets (which now tend to be focused on specific items rather than being more generic), along with the municipal buildings of the town, such as the Town Hall and the community’s main temple, dedicated to Njördr Prices in the old-town tend to be much higher than in the new, and those that live there are highly likely to be members of the upper middle and upper classes.   Conversely, the new-town is a much more vibrant, some would say archaic place than the more refined old-town, and its streets tend to be wider and longer, and have been designed to accommodate the wagons and carts of the trading caravans that pass through the town. The majority of the buildings in the new-town are built out of brick or wood, as opposed to the stone of the old-town, and they come in all shapes and sizes as those who originally settled beyond the walls of the old-town had carte-blanche to construct whatever they liked, though this has since become more regulated. Unlike the small, quaint, bespoke markets of the old-town, the new-town is dominated by a single large market area, where both its residents and any merchants passing through can find whatever it is that they were looking for (within reason). The outskirts of the new-town are dominated all around by inspection points, where trading caravans entering the Kingdom of Dazscor and Aramore can be searched and taxed appropriately, and also by holding compounds, where merchants can choose to park up their caravans for the night, for a fee, in a place that is relatively speaking meant to be safer than the surrounding countryside. The presence of so many merchants, traders and their caravan guards in Sanwic’s new-town means that there are far more entertainment establishments than in the old-town, and also that prices tend to be cheaper. There is also a temple dedicated to Bragi, whose presence reflects the preponderance of drinking establishments and the larger presence of criminal elements in the new-town. Many of Sanwic’s resident merchants and traders will choose to have premises in the new-town, where they can conduct their business with the traders, whose movements are somewhat restricted to the new-town, but will choose to live in the old-town, amongst the town’s more refined inhabitants.   The town is well connected both to the rest of Dazscor and Aramore and the Kingdom of Kjörnsholm and the area of the Mountain Principalities to the north by road, and there is a direct road connection between Sanwic and the  capital of the Joint Kingdom, Karpella.


The town is situated on predominantly flat land, in sight of the Felsspitze Lowlands on the other side of the Wildwasser River, with the peaks of the Felsspitze Mountains proper visible on the horizon to the north-east. In order to facilitate the much larger volume of people that pass through the town, the area in the centre of the town, where there was once a naturally occurring spring and small stream that flowed down to the Wildwasser River, has been excavated to form a large pond, that acts as the main source of water. The creation of this pond has meant that part of the old-town’s defensive wall has been altered into an extended arch, rather than a solid wall, so that the pond can be accessed from the old-town.
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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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