Barvenham

Port Barvenham sits on the northern coast of the Earldoms, against the calm waters of Foldren’s Cove, leading out into the deeps of Kerel Bay, at the point where the water gets deepest quickest. It acts as an ideal harbour, and much of the city is moored ships and barges with gangplanks in between. The young city is broken into three district; the docks district, the guild ward and the castle ward. The docks stretch out into the water on pontoons and houseboats for nearly half of the harbour, and there is even a large southern wind-breaker permanently moored amongst the smaller barges. Along the original line of the old docks ale-houses, brothels and warehouses have sprung up to fill the old fisherman’s houses, and many have been cobbled roughly together to create larger and larger spaces. Lierkist sailors and serfs looking to make a life for themselves as free oarsmen throng the streets, which are rough and unruly. The guards here are drawn from the ranks of local Lierkist sailors, given rank and power by order of Pieter Tolbren himself. He seems very keen to keep employing sailors, and more often than not when a ship comes to Barvenham it stays. The house barges in the harbour serve as homes for savvy traders who realize that they can avoid paying rent or Tolbren’s horrendous taxes with the one time purchase of a barge home, but many small coasters serve as homes to the sailor population of the city.

Region: Ahlonia, The Earldoms, Earldom of Barven
Total Population: 9,350 approx.
Demographics:
Government:
Wealth:
Tech. Level: 6
Major Industry:
Major Religions:

Further inland the city spreads back into a deep valley between two towering blocks of headland. Barvenham is unwalled and the houses spread along the main street that runs along the base of the valley, then twists up the hills at the cove’s rear. Back from the waterfront and along the main road, where goods from the wharves and merchant caravans meet is a huge open market boardered by permanent shops with room for four or five entire caravans to be unpacked and trading at a time and where the monthly market day is held when the freeman shop-owners trade with merchant caravans. In the winter market days do not take place and the sailors tend to travel south and home so the city’s population plummets.

Back from the market square towards the steep sides of the valley freeman houses sprawl haphazardly on patches of level ground. These small buildings are stone based with wattle and dorb upper storeys and thatched roves and low, broad eaves. Cottage homes often have small vegetable or herb gardens and roads tend to be dirt. Up the slopes of the valley the sprawling single level manor houses of Earl’s family and the summer homes of the local steaders sit on terraced properties on the hillside overlooking sheltered orchards. Atop the highest point of the headland sits Barven Keep, a tall structure of dark grey stone protected on all sides but one by the raging sea and hemmed by a broad curtain wall at the lowest approaches. It overlooks the entire valley in which Barvenham shelters.

Locations of Interest


Location name
description

Notable Groups and Individuals


Silas Gorm, Doge of Barvenham
The new Doge of the city is a foreigner, a former shipmaster from Ebrin called Silas appointed by Tolbren only a couple of years ago. Silas uses a band of very large roughians to keep the peace in Barvenham, and thus far it has worked more as a deterrent than anything else after the first few examples were made. Silas is a man with a brutal reputation, most of which he probably made up and had circulated himself. He runs the city with an even, if heavy hand and his main proviso seems to be to keep Barvenham’s citizens wealthy and her docks full. Despite having the vocabulary common to most sailors he is approachable if one doesn’t mind his blatant and totally intentional lack of respect and unashamed arrogance.