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Port Blightby Irving Galvez from Threshold Magazine issue 25
“Home sweet home. Nothing like taking a cold beer after being day out on the swamp. My small kingdom growing slowly but with control.”
Mirko Novalicov Diary
Port Blight was founded in 988 AC originally as a retirement home for an ex-pirate. Mirko Novalicov devoted part of his life to amassing fortunes and enemies, so he now chooses to live in an inhospitable place. At first, he lived with only 10 members of his crew. Hard-to-action he felt softened in their new home and decided to start exploring the swamp. His first trips were to the areas near the Achelos River, where he discovered the burned village of Gorica, the village of Korat and the dangerous Island of Rosentos, where he lost two companions.
From there the party eventually met the Gator Men, a warrior race that controlled much of the swamp. And with this, the doors were opened to meetings with the Troglodytes and the Cay-men, with whom they had rubbed at first since they also traded in the swamp. And finally, he contacted the Lizardmen.
Mirko opted to remain neutral against all humanoids and this earned him respect and ease of commercial throughout the swamp. Faced with this new challenge, Mirko built the first dock to house his riverboat and built warehouses to store goods.
Eight years ago, Mirko found a drifting raft in the swamp carrying people who were escaping Fort Doom and decided to offer them a place to call home. Luckily for the ex-pirate, most of them were farmers and there was also a woodworker. With the farmers came new possibilities to trade and the carpenter began to build more structures within what he called his territory.
One day a Minrothad pirate ship appeared, it had sustained great damage as it had been attacked by Five Shires ships. Mirko offered them help and the pirates offered goods they had on their ship in exchange. The captain was so grateful he promised Mirko that he would inform other colleagues that they could sell their products and trade there. Mirko built a bigger dock and seeing that it was no longer just a house, he decided to name the place Port Blight. Over time the port grew, and illegal trade flourished. He agreed on a trading pact with the Caymen so that everyone traded in different products and thus brought benefits to the whole swamp.
Gradually more refugees arrived from Fort Doom, and the place began to attract attention from the Black Eagle Baron. He sent a scout to investigate, but because he did not bring back any alarming news and having noticed that illegally obtained things could be sold there, the Baron chooses not to concern himself with Mirko’s port.
With the growth of the port came new problems, Mirko felt that it was becoming a focus of attention. He decided to limit the arrival of new settlers. He made a law where only those people who have craft skills could become residents of the port. Others were only given asylum for a while and then they had to find a new place. Recently Mirko contacted his old friend Yasen of the village of Luln, he is a good black/armor/weaponsmith, and with these skills, Mirko plans to start selling weapons in the swamp taking advantage of all the existing conflicts.
(Pop. 65 humans and sometimes other Swamp Folks)
Port Blight is fortified with palisade walls. It has 6 watchtowers that completely protect all the surroundings. It has 3 entrances:, by foot to east and west, and by water south (the docks).
The population is made up of craftsmen, farmers, fishermen, and port workers. There is a small tavern named “Croc Nest Tavern” (food, drinks, and rooms), a leatherworking shop, an alchemist’s shop and there is a small carpentry/shipbuilder workshop that also repairs ships. There are several farms outside the palisades.
It is common to see Caymen or Gator Men at times, but never lizardmen.
The port consists of 2 docks, one small normally occupied by the “Flaky Pearl” (Mirko’s riverboat), and a bigger one for merchant/pirate ships. Near the dock, there is a warehouse that also functions as a general store.
1.- The watchtowers and rooms of the guards.
2.- Mirko´s house.
3.- Croc Nest Tavern
4.- Leather Working Shop.
5.- Potion Shop.
6.- The Carpentry.
7.- The Warehouse
8.- Big dock.
9.- Mirko´s Dock.
Note: The rest of the buildings are homes.
Mirko is the judge at the port. What he says is taken as a resolution to any arguments. There have not been problems but normally Mirko tries to hear both sides and attempts to reach a mutual agreement. If there is a severe crime it means that you are expelled from the community. He only enforces some rules which he calls “The Golden Rules”, that arewritten on one of his house walls.
The Golden Rules
1.- My community is my space; I respect the space of others.
2.- I won’t do things that I don't want someone to do them to me.
3.- If my community is in danger, I must be willing to die for it.
4.- My work is fundamental to community development so there is no time to waste.
5.- If I see anything wrong, I must warn immediately.
For people or humanoids that are visitors, the only rule that prevails is good behavior at the Port. Guards will say to sailors what you have in your ship is your problem but slavering inside Port Bright is prohibited. Also, outsiders cannot enter the port with weapons, they must leave them at the ship or in the watchtowers.
Trade activity is the primary source of income in Port Blight. Most of the revenue comes from trade in the port and in the swamp. Apart from this activity, on a smaller scale is the production of food and fishing, activities that are primarily to feed the community.
The guards keep order in the port and are the military force to defend it. The army consists of 16 archers and 5 fighters. But Mirko trains every citizen to use a weapon in case the community is in danger all men and women are capable offighting.
Known NPC of Port Blight
Mirko was 10 years old when he escaped, hidden in a ship, from Fort Doom. He made his way to the Minrothad Guilds where he learnt merchant skills and traveled on a pirate ship for a time. Over time he became a skillful pirate and bought his own ship. He sailed through the Sea of Dread gaining a reputation as a feared pirate but usually spared the lives of those who did not join him. Sometimes he was known to attack ships with slaves to free them, just because he always remembered where he came from.
After living a while as a pirate, Mirko returned to Karameikos but he was soon hunted for his past, which always followed him wherever he was going. He could not find peace in any civilized part of Karameikos so he founded Port Blight, a small settlement located in Blight Swamp, near the Five Shires in the Gulf of Halag.
He is a 10th level Chaotic fighter, skilled in sword (STR 16, INT 13, WIS 9, DEX 10, CON 16 and CHA 13) and has merchant skills. This man is opportunistic. While swamp folks look at him with respect, he normally does what brings him more money. Mirko is known to sell information if the correct price is spoken.
Mirko´s second-n-command. Jadranko was born in Specularum, he became a sailor on a merchant ship but after working years on that ship, he resigned and went to live in Minrothad City. There he met Mirko and became his friend; he became part of his crew and after his captain retired, he decided to stay with him at Port Blight.
Jadranko is the leader of the militia at the port, and when Mirko goes away to trade, he stays in charge at the port. He also trains the residents on how to use weapons.
Wilburn is a human from Minrothad, he was also part of Mirko´s crew. He oversees the operations of the port and the warehouse.
Vlado lived most of his life at Fort Doom, one night he escaped with his family on a raft he built there. After rowing several days, he was found by Miko and was taken to Port Blight. He was a carpenter, so he started to work with Mirko helping him with the construction of several houses. Now he is the port carpenter and also repairs ships.
Brother of Vlado, he usually works as the tavern keeper at the “Croc Nest Tavern”. He is also skilled in woodworking so when needed he goes to work with his brother.