In Fenstre's far north is the artificial harbour of Deepwater. Deepwater is a great gouge out of the principal island. It is one hundred yards wide at its mouth but it forms a wide oval two km long and half a km wide and is sixty feet deep, hence its name. It was built as a harbour originally and has served that purpose for millennia.
Deepwater and trade coming into it is controlled by the Orstrey Deepwater Cartel, an organisation paid to administer this task. Being the only safe harbour of any size for miles, most sailors look forward to berthing in the Deepwater for a few extra coins. Two lighthouses stand on either point; Whidge's and Fhuril's, east and west respectively. Deepwater sits in the district of Fenstre known as Northmer. Here dwell characters both fair and foul.
Most of the population who are employed here work for the wharves or the Cartel. Others are timber-getters, fishers, hunters, carpenters, hawkers, prostitutes, sages, quacks and food vendors. The current chief of the Cartel is Lord Myrr, a man not affiliated to any of the five septs. He is considered gentry by the Society and entitled to attend patron convocations. His home is a palatial mansion backing on the Cartel's main godowns themselves. Antemery would never find it; like all true Societors, Myrr's abode is concealed by shrubbery and climbing plants as well as pieces of masonry and twisting pathways. Most homes owned by the gentry are like this, though the camouflage never hinders the view out, or hasty exits. That is another aspect of Ydrys's credo; conceal but do not blind yourself. Most Societor's have arranged their homes and views like this.
Onarka has his home here. He is a timber cutter and carpenter and operates his yards hard up against the palisades on the Flamistead Scrub. Most of the timber he obtains is floated down-river from Ardnes and Argyre and here he crafts articles of wood, as well as planks and building materials. He is an aloof man with only attention and time for his trade.
A Flamistead makes her home here; the feisty and desirable Zuleina. She is Baron Silvius Flamistead's youngest child. Zuleina is a brewer and a cooper. She has invested a fair deal of Flamistead coin in this industry and so far has sold her drinks far and wide. The ale isn't popular in Fenstre itself although her barrels compensate. Zuleina the person is an attractive woman in her mid-twenties. She shows the fiery traits of the Flamisteads and her reach goes far. She is not above dealing in a vengeful fashion with those who slight her in dire ways. Glimehail runs the Northmer Shipwrights. He can drydock up to six Fairge-going clippers for repairs and his services are hugely in demand. He is the only major shipwright on the Fairge coast, the nearest one being Hlan on the far coast of Luwedne.
He also builds dugouts, pirogues, gondolas and scows for canal use. Glimehail is a De Florio and is cousin to Yone on Tweenport. The shipwright business is the De Florio sept's last major commercial affair.
An odd character makes his home here. Littleplay of the Money is his moniker though his true name he keeps to himself. He is a young antemer who allegedly inherited a vast estate, sold the lot and travelled to Fenstre for adventure. He is blonde and fair, which sets him apart from the bronzed to brown Societors. He is also quite a handsome lad. He speaks heavily accented Gartha and is believed to be from Orrstentwaan in far off Roze, beyond the Khuior Desert. Littleplay himself does not tell.
He is tolerated as a joke and a dandy by most of Northmer, although his exotic appearance and mannerisms, as well as his lucre, make him an object of desire for some of Northmer's young women. Despite his wealth and apparent vulnerability, he employs strong-arms and pays well. To date, he has gone unmolested. Despite his seeming effete ways, Littleplay evinces a wise and knowing air to those who make his lasting acquaintance.
Another odd denizen of Northmer, though less foreign, is Oxonia. She is a reputed Dyne. She is a lush woman, raven haired and full chested, in her early thirties. She does not dally and whispers foretellings to those who pay for them. She plies her trade of fortune telling with great success, mainly from dockhands who ogle at her strong womanhood. The Geriarchs have her under watch for her alleged Dyne links.
The western edge of Fenstre is jungle. North of Hesper Creek it is known as the Flamistead Scrub, south, it is called Southmer Scrub. A road follows the Orstrey River down the coast until it comes to the Flamistead Estate. Baron Silvius Flamistead lives here and his family has done for millennia. Originally, they were asked to guard the Port Diales causeway and they have dwelt by the Port Diales road ever since. The Port Diales road is just south over Hesper Creek but the Flamistead's and the city militia exact tolls and tariff out of all travellers entering Fenstre by this remarkable route. The Orstrey River here is three kilometres wide, yet the causeway forms a bridge seventy feet in height over it until it reaches the mainland where it becomes the famed elevated road leading through the mangroves and swamps to Port Diales.
Silvius Flamistead maintains a large plantation walled off by a palisade. Like other families, he keeps his own soldiery which he employs to carry out deeds as he sees fit. He is a ruthless, cold and vile man who keeps slaves on his plantations. The slaves he finds on the streets of Fenstre and abroad, usually vagrant and vagabond youths.
Slavery is outlawed in Fenstre though the Geriarchs turn a blind eye to it. In addition, the issue does not really concern them as Fenstre often profits from the arrangement.
The Canal Society, as a nation, do not practice the act of marriage. Flamistead is married under some traditional sept tenet. He is a tall, red-haired and bearded muscled man in his mid forties. The red hair is a rarity among the dark haired and dusky Societors and he's the butt of many jokes as to his parentage, though never to his face. He has cold blue eyes and can bore through most people with his flinty stare. There is a great rivalry between Flamistead and Trowheald.
South of Hesper Creek is the Southmer Scrub. Virince is a small enclave out in the scrub away from the city proper. It is not strictly a district. Virince operates one small wharf that cannot handle anything larger than a wherry but is renown as an entry point into Fenstre for contraband and smuggled goods. Virince is essentially an enclave for antemery misfits. Most of them are expatriate Darkenti down from far Corovan. They are a mystic group, wearing only blue colours and with a shock of matted blue hair. They are sculptors and artists and their work is in demand by the more cultured members of the Society. A palisade surrounds Virince. One road leads to Fenstre through Southmer, another, more of a track, wends north through the jungle to the Port Diales road.
Both the Flamistead and the Southmer scrubs are home to an enormous array of creatures harmless, indifferent and dangerous. Among the dangerous are a multitude of snakes, caimans, crocodiles and more exotic semi-intelligent creatures such as kateans, bunes, kerrips, fideals, natsaws and huitts.
Kateans are an ophidian humanoid that weaves a skein made from mangrove fibres and ensnares victims with those. They are not above catching a lone human and devouring them. However, they fear human retribution and will not catch anyone while there are witnesses.
Bunes, or correctly, dromaeosaurids, are an odylic experiment turned wild. They are humanoid, scaled reptilians standing about four feet tall. Whereas kateans look like snakes on two legs, bunes are smaller and resemble lizards more. They are tribal and dangerous in numbers. Societors often go on organised hunts for bunes, as they are a delicacy. Kerrips are a hirsute pig-like creature with ten legs. They are fearless and will attack anything near their nests.
As a kerrip's flesh is rank, they are not hunted for food. Fideals are another odylic-bred disaster. They are a small, pallid humanoid with gills. They resemble small girls with boyish peaked faces. They are intelligent and can speak with humans.
All resemblance to humans ends there. They are oviparous, have poisoned spurs on their toes, their spittle is alkaline. Their most feared attack is their speed. They can move blindingly fast in small bursts. They have been known to clamber over the side of a canoe, cut the throat of one man, steal a baby for food and spit in the face of the mother all in the space of seconds.
When captured and taken out of water, they become morose and eventually dehydrate. They have small lungs and can only live out of water for a full day. Some men capture them for bizarre erotic practices.
Fideals have been known to swim in Fenstre's canals and surface to peer in wonder at the goings-on of the Society, though not often as the water occasionally poisons them.
Natsaws are a bizarre cross between a cat and a spider. They dwell in the canopy of the high jungle where they spin webs of incredible durability. They catch birds and other creatures and will attack a human if provoked. They are the size of a small dog. Physically, the natsaw is a bristly orb with twelve jointed arms ending in soft prehensile hands. Six beady eyes survey the world about them.
The huitt is a ferocious creature. It is a long, sinuous lizard, ten legged with a huge toothy maw. They move in sinister bursts and can swallow children whole. They used to predate in the Flamistead Scrub, but have nearly been hunted down to extinction. Huitt's are a sick greenish colour, and they grow to eighteen feet in length. The precise reasons are not known why the Society has left its western verge untouched. Other pieces of scrub on the main island are the Northmer Scrub, just east of the Deepwater and the Hired Skull Scrub that lies south of Lake Village, north of Ipty and east of The Middle. There is also a small tract of jungle in Eastmer just south of Lower Ipty.
Reverting back to Flamistead Scrub, there is a protrusion into its eastern flank. This segment is walled off by a wooden palisade and is known as the Westmer Community. Westmer Community was carved from the Flamistead Scrub only after thousands of years of dawdling. It is a sure sign of the dislike of change the Society has.
Westmer Community is reached by either a road branching through the Flamistead Scrub, given the drab appellation of Forest Road, or from the Waterway across the Upward Bridge from Westmer Island in Waterway, or from Cormon Bridge further north. Westmer, as it is more commonly known, is the poorest district in Fenstre. The true indigents of Fenstre dwell here in muck, mud, straw huts and filth. A lot of them are antemery refugees from internecine activity elsewhere. There are quite a few Inforagers, Thads and Dialesians here, all misplaced due to upheavals in their own lands.
The ones that have coin move to Aloysius Point near Ipty. The Geriarchs, while espousing xenophobia as a religious trait, do not want to stifle trade by ejecting these people, hence, this enclave was finally constructed. There are no structures of repute here and Societors do not venture here ordinarily, save to predate upon the only too-willing whores they find there. There is a small shrine to the goddess Mniops here.
The region is patrolled heavily by the city militia. Its main income generation is vice and prostitution.
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