A Rising Tide
Lowtown is the oldest part of Marinburgh, being the site of the fishing village that the city grew out from centuries ago. Here we find the debtors prison, and the slave blocks. Here we also find the old Cathedral of the Saviour, abandoned by the clergy and become a flesh market. The first keep, in the south of the neighborhood, long ago burnt down and was replaced with the homes of wealthy merchants who had made their fortunes in those early days. Now, these are homes of some of the lesser nobility — families of great names, but little gold, who cannot afford to move to the western bank.
Grove is the newest of the formal neighborhoods, having been conceived of by the most recent Red Duke’s great grandfather. This tactically minded Duke (known as The Shepherd, to the people) realized that Marinburgh was quite vulnerable in a seige — although it had a port, and fish, it lacked other food resources. And so, The Shepherd conspired to build a farming village inside the walls of the city. Where his plan was for stone walls, the reality has become a bit different. However the great wooden palisade is quite intimidating and provides greater comfort to the farmers than they would ever receive anywhere else.
The Grove is split into three areas: the east and west banks of the river Farol, and a separately walled neighborhood to the north on the shore of the Bay of Princes. The warehouses of the trade guilds line the river shore, while fields and orchards fill the remainder. The northern segment sports a second harbor for fishing boats, and farms more dedicated to sheep and chickens than barley and apples.
Between the halves of the Grove, outside the Palisade, is the Wayward; a huge inn and stables for travellers. The wayward is known throughout Anhalt for cleanliness, good food and a lack of towns guards.
When Louria fell, there were a tremendous number of refugees coming from the shattered province of Auvergne. Most didn’t make it to Marinburgh, choosing to stop in Vonista, or Damelleon to the south.
In Marinburgh they were refused entry, resulting in a squatteres camp forming beyond the palisades. Over the last five decades the Red Dukes have accepted that this neighborhood will likely remain.
The Warren, as its name implies, is a twisting labyrinth of buildings and narrow pathways. Here are the poor, and the labourers. Here is where you do not want to be at night, alone.
Maybe you can spot the taverns, and gambling dens. The back alleys where fights are bet on. Maybe fortune teller’s row, and the brothels it hides?
South of the Silverton district is Silverton-On-The-Farol, a neighborhood of craftsmen, and tradespeople dependent on the flow of goods along the river. It is a quiet neighborhood, formed in the first wave of immigration following the fall of Auvern. Once-thatched houses are slowly being replaced by brick or stone; roads are turning to cobble, after years of being mud tracks. It is a neighborhood of bakers, smiths and coopers.
A decade back, with fears of rising crime due being near the Warren, the neighborhood instituted a volunteer militia. The Red Duke was more than happy to let this occur, since it meant fewer guards on the payroll of the city coffers. Now it is a source of pride for Silverton-On-The-Farol, with different blocks having different uniforms — usually designed around the craftspeople of that area. The Bakers Brigade is especially comical, but they take their jobs seriously.
Mont Saen Abbey
To the west, along the shore and up the cliffs, is Mont Saen Abbey. Founded two centuries ago, when the priesthood of Safayah moved from the safety of Marinburgh, to a tiny village of twenty souls. The claim was that Safayah had provided the Bishop a vision of a great abbey rising above the cliffs, built by his hands. The truth is probably closer to seeking distance from the intrigues of the nobles.
Two centuries ago, the village of Saen was a short ride to the west of Marinburgh. Now, Mont Saen Abbey is really a new locus of growth alongside Marinburgh. True, the two town centers are still separate, with fields and farms in between, but the main road is paved and the traffic has attracted businesses and townsfolk. The road is now lined with brick buildings, in some places two or three deep. Behind those, though, stretch farmer’s fields.
The Abbey itself sits at the top of the cliffs, with clustered stone buildings fanning out around. During the great storms when Louria Fell, a section of the cliffs were washed away. This caused great damage to the abbey, and destroyed the nave of the cathedral. The church has repaired what it could, and services continue in the shell.
Marinburgh is a coast town, with fleets of fishing boats heading out with the dawn. Traders, with bright sails, come from all corners of the Golden Sea. When boats fail, or new boats are commissioned, it is to Port Neresheim that merchants travel.
Port Neresheim is the seat of the Ajdallan priesthood, and is where their client guilds make their headquarters. It is a bustling place, just over an hour by horse to the east of Marinburgh.
The road to Neresheim is not so well developed as the one to Mont Saen, but then Neresheim is farther away.
The Abbey at Neresheim sits amongst the fens to the west of Marinburgh, where the Farol river once made its delta before being dredged for the canal. In summer the air is thick of insects and humidity, while winter allows for sports such as skating amongst the ponds.