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Crossing the Volaga - River Settlementsby AllanP
I’ve just been back to look at the Specularum map in GAZ1; in particular at the river section. I’d been focussing too much on the city and it wasn’t until I revisited the original map that I realised that I’d forgotten about the other small settlements on both sides of the river near Specularum
Outside the city walls, in addition to the Traders’ Corridor, there are 5 further “settlements” on the banks of the river – I’ve labelled them A to E on the map.
(A) seems far enough away from Readers’ Corridor to be a separate entity;
(B) is more or less opposite Traders’ Corridor;
(C) south of the Sea Gate seems at least half the size of Traders’ Corridor; you can’t see it on my scanned copy, but on the original there is a grey mark on the city wall behind this area that appears to signify a postern gate giving access to/from the Church District;
(D)is small and isol;ated;
(E) is almost half the size of Traders’ Corridor and again (if you use a magnifying glass on the original) has a mark indicating a postern gate access to/from the South End “extension”.
Of course I’m now wondering what these settlements represent. One thought that crossed my mind is that there is a some form of ferry crossing here – maybe between the northern end of Traders’ Corridor and (B) on the river’s east bank? Given that a large part of the Estate of Marilenev lies on the east side of the river, I imagine there might be need for some crossing near Specularum. The river width here is about 1800 feet. There might a limited water-borne crossing here for some activities although other endeavours would require travelling north up the Duke’s Road to a a narrower(?) or bridged(?) crossing point.
It’s not clear how far it is between Specularum and Krakatos; the GAZ1 8-mile hex map suggest it could be between 8 and 24 miles. In 1000AC Krakatos is in ruins. According to Jeff Grubb’s article in Dragon #207 “The Magic of Karameikos”,Krakatos itself was a pile of tumbled stone long before the first Thyatian invasion and is believed to date back to the days of the beastmen.
andThe ruins of Krakatos are situated on a rocky bluff overlooking the Highreach River, just north of where the Eastron Road crosses that flow.
I wonder what form this “crossing” takes – is it a ferry, ford or bridge? As it is at the end of the Eastron Road, the major route from Rugalov that continues east into Thyaris, it would seem this might be the prime route between Specularum and that part of the Marilenev Estate on the eastern side of the Highreach (Volaga) River.
Is it reasonable to assume another reason for Traders’ Corridor is to provide the western end of a ferry across the Volaga for certain passage to/from the Marilenev Estate while other traffic goes north and crosses below Krakatos?