Chapter One: Life in Port Verge

Why Come to Port Verge?

Port Verge may be a small town on a windswept island on the margin of the civilized world but it has many reasons to attract adventurers. Even among the pirate ports of the Lhazaar Principalities, Port Verge stands out as a unique destination for expeditions.

An Independent City

All the ports in the Lhazaar Principalities won their freedom from the rule of the Five Nations during the Last War. Many exchanged the heavy rules of Galifar, however, for the petty rules of local princes. Prince Kolberkon does not rule with such an iron hand, at least on the surface, and so trade in Port Verge is more free even than other parts of the Principalities. Visitors are not advised to act too recklessly, but at least they could open a base of operations in the city without securing a writ of approval from the prince, a luxury which does not exist in Regalport for example. Even the prince does decide to strongly enforce his will on the town, this can work in favor of an adventuring group. A prince who works through clandestine operations has need for agents who cannot be easily linked to him, and most adventuring groups would gladly fill this role.

Gateway to the East

Port Verge is not the only port with voyages heading to the exotic continent of Sarlona but it is one with great opportunities. Prince Kolberkon has begun commissioning more ships to Syrkarn and Riedra to trade with the now-peaceful Five Nations and opportunities abound for those willing to make the trip across the Bitter Sea.
Voyages from Sarlona to Port Verge are hardly new, however, as evidenced by the large immigrant population in the Reaches. For those without the time or inclination, this area is a way to reach the distant eastern continent without leaving Khorvaire. Riedran is commonly spoken in the streets in favor of the Common tongue and immigrants from Syrkarn and Tashana Tundra live here as well as the more common Adaran refugees and Riedran immigrants. These less-represented nations are difficult to access for most in Khorvaire and any wishing to make in-roads in either Syrkarn or Tashana could do worse than to start in the streets of Port Verge.

A Trade Crossroads

In addition to foreign people and cultures, Port Verge is an excellent place to find trade items from all over Eberron. With the relatively recent upswing in trade through the port, fortunes move quickly in the port city. The war served as an impetus for House Lyrandar to establish a presence in the city and use that presence to undermine House Orien across Khorvaire. With the war over, though, and the Treaty of Thronehold signed, that impetus may disappear and House Lyrandar may see the expense of maintaining an enclave in Port Verge unnecessary. If this were to happen, the economy of the port would crumble and there are many figures in the city who would do a lot to ensure that doesn't happen. Some may wish to blackmail House Lyrandar, others to rekindle some kind of conflict which would find ready allies in Karrnath. "Change breeds opportunity," as the Mror_Holds Mrorian saying goes, and adventurers are always the first to take advantage of opportunity.

History of Port Verge

The Voyage of Lhazaar

Before the arrival of humans to Khorvaire, the islands of the Lhazaar Principalities were populated by isolated colonies of dwarves and orcs. These groups warred constantly so that neither was ever in a position to control the waters of Eel Bay, though several settlements remained more or less constant through the raids. One of the dwarven settlements was on the site of modern Port Verge whose name has been lost to time. When Lhazaar arrived with her ships of refugees, they reportedly settled on the southernmost islands first and moved north only slowly. As they did so, they found life on the more frigid islands to be very demanding and quickly allied themselves with the dwarves for survival. Together they drove all of the orc tribes from Questor Island and built a new settlement. Between the dwarves' stoneworking and the humans' ship skills, the small settlement grew into a fortified port that controlled the northern waters.

The Conquests of Karrn and Galifar

Over the next nearly fifteen hundred years, humanity spread over Khorvaire. The fortunes of the small town at the tip of Questor Island waxed and waned with climate, trade routes, and war. The township, called Questor now, continued to be an amalgam of dwarves and humans, though relationships were not as genial as they were at the founding. Humans became the wealthier class in the colony and the dwarves began to resent it. When a riot by dwarven inhabitants nearly destroyed the seafront, the human leadership decided to take action. As Karrn launched his campaign against the Mror Holds, the humans of Questor betrayed their neighbors and turned over many of the dwarves in the settlement to the Conqueror as prisoners of war. The act was unconscionable and nearly all the remaining dwarves left the island, taking their treasures with them or hiding them in ruins farther inland.
Centuries later, when the Kingdom of Galifar was united, the settlement of Questor was still weakened by hostilities with the dwarves, their one-time allies, and by trade wars with Lhazaar settlements farther south. Like the rest of Lhazaar, Questor saw no reason to acquiesce to the power of distant Galifar and continued to support pirate raids throughout the northern coast. It became the first example of why such acquiescence was necessary, however, when the Galifarn armada sailed along the Karrnathi coast to attack it in 28 YK. Questor might have survived even several months of sieges but Galifar's ships were helped by local dwarves, still angry at past betrayals, and other Lhazaarites, who foolishly thought that Galifar would turn around once his point was made. The week-long destruction of Questor by strong magical spells marked the start of the Galifar-Lhazaar War but also marked the end of occupation on the site for several centuries to come. The smoking ruins of Questor cooled quickly and, as the rest of the Principalities yielded to the growing might of Galifar, became covered in ice and forgotten.

Building Port Verge

For centuries, the frozen ruins of Questor lay abandoned to the elements, what few buildings remained slowly tumbling into the sea. Occassionally, pirate groups would establish a base of operations on the site but they would eventually be run out by Galifaran warships or rival groups. Finally, in 526 YK a Karrnathi noble named Faeron ir'Jaust claimed the crumbling ruins and built a manor on them overlooking the Lhazaar Sea. Ir'Jaust gained permission from the king in Thronehold to rule the location as an outpost of the nation of Karrnath, a valuable trading post on the eastern coast linking the government in Korth to the easternmost extension of its holdings. The settlement grew and its purpose became complicated by the inevitable piracy which seeps into everything in the Principalities and the heir to Faeron ir'Jaust fell to trusting the wrong person. Baeru Kolberkon, a lieutenant in the guards of House ir'Jaust, conspired to ruin his employers and then stepped in to claim the position when they fell. Rather than lose the valuable Port Verge, the prince in Korth decided to acknowledge the new lord and gain his allegiance. Styling himself Lord Kolberkon, the former soldier set about turning Port Verge from a trading outpost into a self-sufficient city which he passed onto his heirs who have ruled the city in all the centuries since.

The Last War

Trade routes from Argonessen, Sarlona, and even Stormreach in Xen'drik run through Port Verge before heading to the northern coastline of Khorvaire. Before the Last War these routes were less important, but during that conflict shipments across the interior of the continent became severely curtailed even with House Orien's best efforts to keep them open. Trade became so prosperous along the eastern Khorvairian coast, much more suitable than the wild western coast, that the usual routes had to be redrawn to accomodate them. At the turning point of the voyage north, and as the last resupplying point for many days' sailing west to Karrnath and Aundair, Port Verge became indispensable and it continues to be so to this day.

Port Verge: City of Sharks
Geography Upper CityLower CityThe Reaches
Power Groups Prince KolberkonThe Blood of VolHouse LyrandarRiedran EnclaveElder AmaussuVyssil
Life in the City Why Come to Port Verge?History of Port Verge

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