Chapter Two: The Shape of Port Verge

As a small city, Port Verge offers a very local way of life for Vergers and visitors alike. However, life is much more chaotic in the port town than it's size might suggest. Daily life often echoes the diplomatic balances of Prince Kolberkon with alliances and agreements shaping life from rich merchants in the Upper City to the beggars of the Reaches. The population of Port Verge may be largely transient, but that does not mean that it is completely formless.

Upper City

Population: Mostly human with some half-elves and dwarves.
Character: Rustic formality, rich merchants attempting to remove all sign of the rough trading backgrounds that led to their current fortunes.
Businesses Shipping offices, cartographers, apothecaries, exotic goods, magic shops, dragonmarked services.
Key Personalities: Prince Kolberkon (Kolberkon Keep), Gen Artul (House of Calm Waters), Lord Qen-tass (House of Calm Waters), Naevos d'Lyrandar (Stormbringer's Tower), High Priest Rannut (The Bonehouse).


Sunset Square

Even in the Upper City, the roads of Port Verge are usually dirt crossed in places by paving stones for pedestrians to cross during periods when they are too muddy to walk. Surrounding the Prince's stronghold, however, is a wide plaza of reddish-orange sandstone from Q'barra that serves as a meeting place and informal market for the port's wealthy residents. Sunset Square is usually busy and filled with colorful characters from all over Eberron, even at night when it is one of the few parts of Port Verge that is reliably well-lit. Different parts of the port town have traditions from the locals' homelands or from local events, but a good number feature parades which lead through the city and up to Sunset Square for a climactic fanfare.

The Teeth

Jutting from the top of the bluff are large pieces of raw stone that have been called the Teeth as long as anyone remembers. In the past they served as the bounds for a marketplace, foundations for the walls of a watch station, and a temple to the gods. When the city was destroyed during the Galifar-Lhazaarite war, the temple was leveled as well. In it's place stood only ruins until Prince Kolberkon ordered them be used for a new great project.
Three gladiatorial arenas stand around the rocky Teeth. The Fang is small and limited to one-on-one fights, often desperate matches between debtors hoping to reverse their fortunes. Opposite it is the low-profiled Throat, a building of deceivingly simple design. The arena floor is constructed as a maze, with walls thick enough to contain the fighters but low enough to afford the audience a view. Many of the games held in the Throat are beast matches with several gladiators facing a dangerous creature let loose in the maze. In such matches, fatalities are high but the walls are still constructed so that they can be repositioned between days of gaming so that no one has an advantage. The third arena, the largest by far, is the Maw which is the only one large enough for team matches. It is also the arena where high-profile matches are held with visiting fighters.
Once a year, Prince Kolberkon seeks to attract international visitors with a reenactment of a famous battle from the past. The practice started during the Last War as a way for those outside the Five Nations to feel a part of the action to the west. It was these games that initially led to Port Verge's growth into a true city, and the battles reenacted quickly changed to more ancient conflicts as the Prince found that citizens from the Five Nations were not amused by fights they had lived through. Even aside from the Great Events of the Prince, the games are the biggest commodity produced in the port. It is said that Port Verge, despite the trade that flows in and out, produces only violence.

Key Locations

The Bonehouse: Though the main temple of the Blood of Vol in Port Verge is called the Shrine of Promise, an epithet set with dark garnets above the door, it is known locally as the Bonehouse because of the grim decorations on the building's front wall. Skeletal gargoyles are set in the second-story eaves of the shrine and wrecked metal keels of ships form a sort of palisade between the building itself and the street in front. Among Blood-worshiping sailors, it is customary to place a token of those lost at sea on the front steps of the Bonehouse so the bleak architecture is usually augmented further by a collection of odds and ends lying on the ground as if a host of people had just been swept over the bluffs of the Upper City and into the sea. The keels serve a similar function as captains whose ships prove unsalvageable sometimes give the keels to the shrine in remembrance. Many sailors believe that ships have souls and personalities and Seeker captains can come to see their vessels as extensions of their own selves. Even though metal keels can be sold for a healthy sum, having a part of yourself so near a holy site must certainly help Seeker captains in their quest for personal divinity.
House of Calm Waters: Though there are no official "embassies" in Port Verge, the nation of Riedra has the closest thing in the luxurious town house known as the House of Calm Waters. Officially, this building is the home of Lord Qen-tass and a private residence, but the Inspired lord who handles nearly all of the shipping traffic coming from Riedra and who wields a great deal of authority even across the Lhazaar Sea in his homeland. Of course, the true role of the House of Calm Waters is more than a trading hub. Lord Qen-tass's major domo, an unassuming man named Gen Artul
Kolberkon Keep: Prince Kolberkon's keep is tall and imposing, though any who have been to the great cities of the Five Nations would likely consider it a provincial fortress. It's walls are made of the same russet stone that lines the Sunset Square below and it's towers watch over the city like vigilant sentinels. Inside, however, is where the most intimidating chamber in the complex can be found. The Prince's audience chamber is not an open place and many in the city tremble at the thought of being called to it. Visiting dignitaries are usually met in the square out front or the open colonnade ringing the courtyard: Prince Kolberkon knows that he is a pirate prince and he is determined to play the part. No one is called to his windowless audience chamber unless the prince wishes to terrify them.
Stormbringer's Tower: Despite its name, Stormbringer's Tower is actually only two stories tall with wings to each side. As the local headquarters of House Lyrandar, the building is nicely finished as well and it stands by the bluff which looks down on the harbor. Many who seek out the Lyrandar offices expect an airship tower, but the name is much older than even the house's possession of the building. Some in the port whisper that the "Stormbringer" whose name graces the building is not Lyran or the kraken on House Lyrandar's seal, but the tempestuous Devourer from the Dark Six. If so, one wonders what dark history the building has seen to give it such a name and how careful House Lyrandar is about prying into such matters.

Lower City

Population: A complex mix with notable populations of shifters and half-elves.
Character: Rowdy and simple. Depending on the street, buildings are welcoming, intimidating, or abandoned.
Businesses Taverns, supply shops, inquisitive services, mercenaries, inns.
Key Personalities: Alshec Crooknose (Bilge Market), Meyanis Cleareyes (The Laughing Crow), Vyssil (Bilge Market).

The Lower City is filled with those who do not have the means to buy their way into the Upper City, which lies across the Jaust River which flows from the the interior of Questor Island. It is a transient area in every sense with merchants living their own long enough to secure a more prestigious residence on the bluff, sailors renting a room for a few short months before shipping back out, and travelers on their way between locations and forced to wait on ships to take them there. Some people live most of their lives in the Lower City of Port Verge tending to taverns, inns, and supply stores, but one gets the distinct impression they are not happy about it.

The Bilge Market

The Lower City features a number of open-air markets where travelers can get a wide variety of goods, but the best market in the city is not readily visible. Under the cobblestone streets of the Lower City are wide sewer tunnels, some of the last remnants of ancient Questor. Though Port Verge does use them, the sewers are far too large for the city as it exists today. Smugglers have long made use of this and set up meeting locations on the dry walkways next to the sluggish sewer water. When he came to power, Prince Kolberkon secured alliances with some of the criminal leaders in the city by announcing he would turn a blind eye to one of them. The Bilge Market is located on the eastern edge of the Lower City, near the boundary of the Reaches and it is the best place to buy contraband in Port Verge. The Direshark patrols purposely avoid it and in return the Prince gets a percentage of the protection money that the Bilge Market organizers charge their clients. Truly illegal and dangerous materials must still be bought in shady alleyways (the Prince has to keep some order in his city) but for adventurers needing quick access to poisons, fenced items, or stolen secrets, the Bilge Market is the place to go.

The Wharfs

The Wharfs of Port Verge are not large but they are essential to the life of the city. Ships arrive and depart at all hours to destinations in Khorvaire, Aerenal, and even Sarlona. Ship captains charge fairly typical rates for travel, knowing they are watched by the Diresharks who are fellow sailors and know exactly what things are supposed to cost. During the winter season, which in Port Verge can last from Rhaan to Eyre, fares creep up alongside the risk of storms on the sea. From the month of Vult to Therendor only the truly desperate or driven will venture into the icy waters of the northern Lhazaar Sea and boats that remain in Port Verge during this season will lower numerous anchors and secure themselves as temporary floating residences, protected from the wind and icebergs by the enclosing arm of the bluffs which create the harbor.
Whatever the season, few captains in Port Verge will carry anyone under the Prince's Mark. When someone crosses Prince Kolberkon, his Diresharks circulate through the docks with sketches of the offenders signed with the Prince's personal seal. Disregarding the Prince's Mark can lead to exile from the port and few captains with regular business in Port Verge will sacrifice their livelihood for desperate travelers under the Mark unless the gold is extraordinary.

Key Locations

The Blackpads: This band of feral and grimy shifters knows every corner of Port Verge, above ground and below, even passages into buildings that the owners themselves are ignorant of. They are especially disdainful of Karrnathi and outright hostile to Thranes, even for shifters. Rumors say they are connected to some criminal gang known as the Saverne in Fairhaven, though the connection must be loose at best.
Crooknose's Raft: Alshec Crooknose is a thick-set half-orc with a badly broken nose, a master purveyor of poisons who reportedly gets stock from the Scaled Folk of Q'barra. Crooknose sells his wares from a small skiff that he somehow maneuvers through the pipes to the Bilge Market which can usually only be found in the spring and summer. Despite growing up in the Lhazaar Principalities, Crooknose hates the cold and so heads south for Q'barra before it can get to cold. The few years he has been stuck in the city over the winter, Alshec Crooknose has nearly killed several men in bar fights which can be blamed mostly on his black moods.
The Laughing Crow: When a ship is coming into Port Verge, one can usually tell the veteran sailors from the first-timers by who is talking about the Laughing Crow. This tavern has stood in Port Verge practically since the city was built, and it has had only one owner through all that time. Meyanis Cleareyes is an ancient eladrin, one of the very few living in Port Verge, and he is welcoming as ice and compliant as ironwood with long, wispy white hair. He is straight-backed despite his many decades and a fair tavern-keeper with a calm and safe atmosphere. Many of the patrons are afraid of Meyanis and avoid causing trouble in case they should fall under some ancient fey curse. Just as many, however, come to the bar specifically to witness the small enchantments and sorceries said to fill the place. Two years ago, many sailors say they saw another eladrin, dressed in shimmering blue armor that they swore was made of ice, arrive out of the night at the door of the Laughing Crow. He said nothing but gave some sealed envelope to Meyanis before disappearing once again. Since that time, the normally vigilant Meyanis has become withdrawn and distracted by thought, which of course only fuels speculation about the mysterious eladrin's intent.
Vyssil's Tent: The mysterious dark-haired Vyssil is acknowledged to be the best secret-seller in the port and she makes her home year-round these days in the Bilge Market. Her abode is a collection of tents and canvases strung into a surprisingly large area built into an alcove in the sewer walls of the Market. Vyssil is attended by a number of half-elf lackeys, including Roe Farwynd whom many suspect is a daughter or cousin from the preferential treatment she receives from Vyssil. Other people from around Port Verge frequently visit as well, including some well-off merchants who try to disguise their identities when they come to the Bilge Market.

The Reaches

Population: Poor and drunk humans, dwarfs, half-orcs, and goblins with some shifters and kalashtar.
Character: The muddy streets are frozen in the winter when residents struggle simply to survive. In the small confines of Adartown things are more orderly, but poverty still abounds.
Businesses Tanneries, lower-end fish markets, rough taverns, specialty Sarlonan markets.
Key Personalities: Elder Amassau (Adartown).

While Port Verge is smaller than the ancient city of Questor on which it is built, the easternmost portions of it were built on land that was deemed too marshy for construction by the dwarves of Questor. In the modern age, only the desperate have sought to build their homes here and so this shantytown sprawls out from the Lower City like a discarded rag. Drifters from throughout the Principalities might end up in the Reaches and once they are stuck here it is difficult to break free. Others purposefully choose to call this place home, hiding from some crime or retribution elsewhere in the world.


The kalashtar and humans of Adartown are among those residents who live in the Reaches by choice. Oppressed by the Inspired in their home nation of Adar, these foreigners have sought to make a new place for themselves here. The area now called Adartown is barely ten years old but already it is strikingly different from the rest of the Reaches and not only because of the Adaran design of the scattered permanent structures. A small but attractive temple of the Path of Light stands in the center of the district, newly decorated with slender minarets topped with faceted crystals that bathe the surrounding streets with a soft blue light that bathes through the day and night. Many living near the boundaries of Adartown have complained about headaches in the months since the minarets were erected but the Adarans seem immensely proud of them, even reverential.
Adartown is also home to a population of Syrks who prefer the Adarans to the strange Khorvairians, or perhaps the stink, in the rest of the Reaches. Though neither group has a formal leadership, their senses of community are stronger than steel and both respect the sagacious Adaran deva named Elder Amassau and turn to him with any important issues.

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

Leave Comments Below

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License