From Labyrinthe Wiki
|Craftenguilder||Mar'Eth Tremens of Tsu-Ling|
|Living Legend||Rivan Trakand|
|Moon Catcher||Ma Tremens|
Port Miere, The City of Smugglers, has the distinction of being the only Imperial City that is not on the main land. Port Miere refers in name to both the Island on which it sits as well as the city that nestles up against the Xathrean Ocean.
It was only during the last days of Amora’s reign that Port Miere really achieved the status it now enjoys. Not a very large settlement by any means the Port was built when the Isle of which it is a part (called by adventurers the ‘Isle of dread’) was the scene of a great many conflicts. These conflicts mainly took the form of attackers from other planes of reality as the isle was central to a very thin area of Primus. This is seemingly no longer the case and the natural harbour that was used by the hired adventurers became populated by the traders who were attracted to the regular customer base and those adventurers who settled here. Two Noble houses added their weight to the settlement as both House Trakand and House Darkeye moved here. In recent years it has been Riven Trakland, in the post of Governor, who has made the small settlement a place of great significance to the naval potential of the Empire.
Port Miere Basic Background
The History of Port Miere
The only Imperial City not to be found on the mainland, Port Miere sits tenaciously on the western edge of the Island that has formerly been known as Pelys, Long Rock and the Gravid Isle but is more commonly known by its typically mercenary label of the ’Isle of Dread’. Sitting determinedly in the shadow of the large Port that has been built within the Isle’s natural harbour the city is one of the smallest settlements within the Empire and newcomers are often surprised when first they alight on the quayside to see how small the city seems to be in comparison to its impressively large and well built harbour.
Built on the slopes that descend towards the bay, Port Miere is a sturdy city in which most of the buildings were built some years ago of a thick stone brought from quarries further inland and which now cannot apparently be found. Cresting the city is the settlements Citadel, a fortress about which the other buildings cluster in a loose curve. The design of the streets once channelled the incessant rain into the harbour but now, as a result of the Port construction instead floods northwards into the Marshes – the poorest part of the city where the houses of the single street are raised on rotting stilts above the muddy sludge below.
The People and the Land of Port Miere
The city makes its way through three primary industries – fish, handicrafts and smuggling. The former very much serves the city but of late, with the repair of the city-owned salt mines this looks set to expand to a larger market. The ferocity of the winter storms has long seen the people retreat to their homes for the season and it is here that they work upon wood and stone craft of surprising delicacy - much in demand from the traders who call come the spring. Indeed, the Sloop-Traders often use Port Miere as their base since it is traditionally more lax than elsewhere regarding taxation – a combination of this and the cultural smuggling tradition has lead over the years to the point where the Governor does not even to seek to stop something that clearly gives the citizens so much pleasure.
The people of Port Miere may initially seem to be surly (even rude) to outsiders but it is easy to win both their hearts and loyalty by the simple expedient of doing good and sticking around. Once such faith is given the citizens will befriend the character for life – seemingly adopting such a person into the extended families that thrive in the settlement. Mierians place great stock by friendship and if this is betrayed the transgressor will find himself shunned not just by those who were his former friends but the city as a whole. The population is small enough and close enough that word spreads and traitors despised such that taverns will close, stalls shut and people cross the road if the character comes in sight. It is these traits that have lead to Rivan Trakand becoming something of an icon to the city. Considered as something akin to a wayward brother or son throughout the city, the people have a genuine appreciation for Rivan and his Council – those that stick around, obviously…
In appearance the people are as mixed a bunch as could be found anywhere for despite the rather close relationships the decreasing number of separate families enjoy the more widely scattered traits of their ancestors have not been muddied together. Tall, short, blond, dark or even ginger, the people of the Port are a varied bunch beneath the dark clothes they favour – often thickly tarred against the weather.
Gathered about the small, coastal city are the scrubby estates owned by the local Nobility. Though long cultivated and well cared for such estates are thin, hard things indeed and they end abruptly at established boundaries. Thereafter lies what is estimated to be more than nine-tenths of the Isle and even those villages that cluster close to the estates are dirty, mean affairs where the rural folk carve out a living in primitive salt mines or guarding bony herds. The difference between the urban and rural communities is nowhere so stark as it is in and about Port Miere. Once beyond the city the people live in static, yet tribal, groups who pay only lip service to loyalty and taxation and claim to be have been on the Island long before the first people came to establish Port Miere itself.
Most of the Isle is a fickle, changing place where it is not uncommon for the common folk to become lost – or else wander for days amongst depressing, muddy countryside and seemingly perpetual rain only to find oneself scant miles from journeys start. Adventurers will of course tend to find more adventure than that – but according to the people of Port Miere that is exactly what they are for.
Why Mercenaries Adventure in Port Miere
The Island itself offers enough employment for adventurers that there are those who have managed to settle in the city and yet still continue in their chosen, often violent, career. A good place to establish roots due to the people’s support once they get to know the mercenary (not to mention the grulls such a person can boast) the innards of the Isle itself can be the source of most anything a mercenary wants. Once a person either develops the skill to find the right paths or knows a decent guide to such the Isle seems to be able to offer just what each mercenary is looking for. Whether they wish to defend a village from evil-hearted Things, follow the trail of treasure or simply explore the Island this is often the place to find it. Often though the tales of adventure in Port Miere have a twist in their tail.
It is no secret that the Isle is the closest place in the Empire to the Mittlenacht and the further a traveller goes from the city the more likely he is to find the unusual, the strange and (being Port Miere) the damp. It has all the advantages of discovery that can be had from the Baronies without all the being burnt that can often attend those with pointed ears. With the shifting mists of the ‘Nacht ever present it is in fact hard to travel too far without being harassed by strange faeries, twisted crones or elemental nastiness. All often seem to be threaded together with a common theme and even as in the Baronies once a person has entered the ‘Nacht the quickest way back out is often to follow the story to its conclusion (for good or ill) rather than struggle and fight against the events that will otherwise overtake and overwhelm the feckless travellers.
Modern Port Miere
Driving Back The Mittlenacht
In the years between IM1004 (when the above was written) and IM1011 the 'nacht which plagued the city and surrounding villages so much in it's earlier years was pushed back and controlled. Largely via the actions of Nexus, who was on the council at that time, and Mar'Eth, navigable pathways were established between the various rural settlements and the city. At one point a huge cathedral to Primal Sunlight towered over the city holding back the tides of the 'nacht and meaning that the sun never truely set below the horizon, dipping low such that the city never plunged into true darkness. However since the Final Dawn that marked the End of IM1013 the Cathedral is but a glass ruin.
Looking over the bay and out into the mists beyond rises a towering lighthouse which is said to be visible even within the mittlenacht deeps, guiding lost travellers safely home.
Port Miere, by virtue of Amoran rites and rituals acts as the sink for all the entropy (ritual waste) of the Empire. Indeed Lord Inquisitor Nexus built a series of strange stone horns that sit over the docks and when sounded appear to drag such forth and excrete it safely off into the surrounding mittlenacht.
Notable Rural Settlements
Curn's Grasp, the seat of power of The Forge sits to the north of Miere through the mittlenacht. Various other small villages are dotted around Miere, each connected by well trodden pathways which breach the otherwise all encompassing 'nacht.
In IM1010 Port Miere was invaded by the forces of The Spiter who held the city for a short time before being driven out by the combined might of the Empire's helds and direct mercenary action. As of IM1011 Miere is back in the Empire's hands. See The Battle of Port Miere
There is, of course, far more that's happened since IM1004; the bitter fueds between Stadtus Mordenkeinan and Lord Inquisitor Nexus, the building and submerging of the Morden's Hell Gate, the incidents surrounding Pa Tremens, the rise of Jake as his successor; smuggling 'don' and pirate captain all, and more besides.
The Port Miere Council
The nature of Port Miere has meant that the council has adapted somewhat from the more normal Imperial council. Its distance from Halgar and the seems to have acted with some sympathetic link such that it is distant from Imperial Law with even some of dubious legal definition sitting upon the council... It is lead by the city’s founder, Rivan Trakand.
- ↑ Alan Morgan, The Companion Issue 6 Vol 2 Feb 2004