Riven Fantasy - Port Blacksand
Blacksand is built at the point where the Catfish River meets the Western Ocean upon the ruins of a much larger ancient city called Carsepolis, which itself dates back to 1408 OT but was destroyed in 1999 OT/1 AC and abandoned. In around 121 AC, the ruined docks of Carsepolis began to be used as shelter for pirates and brigands. It gradually became a thriving community. In 171 AC Prince Olaf Twohorse proclaimed himself leader of Blacksands Town and under his leadership walls were constructed and the city began to take shape. In 201 AC the pirate Daggerface deposed Prince Olaf but died in 202 AC at the hands of Jonjo Ruby in a knife fight. Ruby herself was poisoned three months later by a jealous suitor. Port Blacksand was leaderless for two years until Marak Greysteel, a mighty northern barbarian chieftain, seized power in 204 AC. In 211 AC Baron Illios Valentis deposed Greysteel. Under him trade was encouraged and Blacksand grew prosperous. In 219 AC Valentis established the city militia under his brother, Drakna.
Port Blacksand by night
In 252 AC, the bold pirate captain Azzur stormed Blacksand, blockading it by sea with a pirate armada, and also assaulting the city walls with mercenaries. His job was made easier by the poisoning of Drakna, the head of the militia. Valentis was hanged from the highest tower of his palace, which was later torn down. In 254 AC, Lord Azzur's new palace, which to this day dominates the Port Blacksand skyline, was completed, and since then he has rarely left it. The Blacksand City Guard were formed from the remnants of the city militia and strengthened by the inclusion of Ogres and Trolls. They are loyal to Azzur and ruthlessly impose his laws.
Port Blacksand sits at the point where the Catfish River meets the Western Ocean. It is the home of many pirates, thieves and brigands, and is divided into a number of Districts:
- Harbour District
- Garden District
- Execution Hill
- Fish Market District
- Temple District
- The Noose
- Merchant District
and outside of all districts:
The architecture favours overhanging upper storeys and many strange decorative follies like towers, bridges and interconnecting passages above the ground. The buildings of Blacksand are painted many colours and most shops have signs indicating their trade hanging outside. The streets are unclean, covered in mud and droppings. Back streets in the older parts of the town tend to be cobbled and some of them are stepped. Each district, with the exception of the Garden District, has its own City Guard detachment and blockhouse.
The impromptu taxes imposed by Azzur frustrate his citizens but they pay. Blacksand continues to prosper and its markets thrive.
Blacksand is a complicated city politically. Although ostensibly ruled by Lord Azzur and his City Guard there are a great many powerful factions which pull the city this way and that. These include the Guild of Thieves and the infamous Kobassi brothers.