The Shattered World
The brain child of an eccentric land baron, Northport occupies the three northernmost islands in The Archipelago. Conceived to usurp Sukhumi’s role as the dominant port in the region — and thus take a large slice of the taxes and tariffs that come with large-scale trade — the city is split into three separate areas:
- Upper Northport: The northern island of the trio, it features a large port protected by a fortified seawall which protects both against foul weather and potential attack. The area is dominated by the dock and trade districts, however it also features several upper-class residential areas.
- Middle Northport: The middle island, this is the political seat of Northport, home to the city’s government and public buildings, as well as middle-class residential neighborhoods. The periphery of Middle Northport is home to densely-packed low-class residential neighborhoods.
- Lower Northport: The southern island, it is almost a mirror-image of Upper Northport, dominated by dock and trade districts. Lower Northport however also features a large — but under-utilized — industrial district, another idea of the city’s founder that he believes will give it an edge over Sukhumi.
To facilitate trade into and out of the region — one of Sukhumi’s biggest roles, and one that is complicated in Northport by the relatively vast distance between the city’s northern and southern ports — Northport features an innovative transportation system that consists of several over-sized wagons with small, steel wheels, linked together and pulled by a pair of powerful constructs over iron rails; the entire caravan is capable of moving more than 3 tons of cargo from one end of Northport to the other with remarkable speed. Two of these railed caravans are in operation, timed so that each is unloading/loading at the opposite docks at the same time. The bridges these rails cross are quite wide, providing ample room for other traffic as well along the major north-south thoroughfare.
Travelers’ first impressions of Northport are shaped by an obvious show of wealth: both of the ports are watched over by several watch towers sitting atop floating motes of earth ripped from the ground below them and linked together and to the seawalls by rope bridges. One of these towers, however, fell into the sea when its mote was struck by the mast of a ship being tossed about in a storm, killing the guards while the falling rubble sunk the ship and killed most of its crew; since then, the floating watchtowers have not been manned, lest more souls be lost, and in fact there are plans to remove them altogether.
The current leader of Northport is the Lord Baron Von Portly (nee James Gustav), founder of Northport, and rumored to be somewhat insane.