The Frozen Land
In times past, Port Monroe was a bustling port city on the west coast of Tannis. It owned its success to two factors. One, it had a large harbor that protected any ships at anchorage from the fury of the Malvost Deep. This centrally located safe harbor made it ideal for the loading and unloading of goods from around Tannis. Second, the large forests around Port Monroe provided ample material for local shipwrights to demonstrate their craft. Thus, many of the ships running the coast were constructed in the port.
One of the major imports through Port Monroe was spices. The merchants of the city, working with shipping companies, were able to secure much of the spice trade from the south and east and use the port as a gateway for those commodities in the west. This more than anything else grew the wealth of the city and was key to its success.
One of the founding families and driving forces behind securing the spice trade was the Monroe family. Hunsinger Monroe sailed to the major seaports around Tannis and personally secured the first contracts, exclusive ones at that, to bring the exotic products to the western shores. Hunsiger’s consortium brought the spice. With the spice came other goods; exotic woods, silk, and finished products. Though there was little love for Hunsinger due to his use of strong arm tactics, there was no doubt he was key to bringing the little town from obscurity to the major trading city that it became. To show their respect, and to get the Monroe’s off their back, the ruling council renamed the city Port Monroe in honor of Hunsinger’s legacy.
And the Ice Cometh
As with much of the world, the encroaching ice impacted Port Monroe harshly. If it was just the ice, the citizens of the city would barely have noticed. However, the downfall of Tolerand Empire was a major blow to local economy. Worse was to come. The great sages of Port Monroe said it was due to the lengthening winter that the Malvost Ocean grew dangerous. Storms, somewhat predictable, became more frequent and far more terrible than any could remember. Each year, the storms raged with strength unseen and each year more ships would be lost.
North of the city, only one bastion, Saranoch, remained on the coast. All other ports, villages, cities and towns succumbed to the snow and ice or the rage of the sea. South and east, the great cities were gone. All that remained were small towns and fishing villages and those were falling prey to wandering bands of the goblinoid races or man gone to banditry.
The trading fleets of Port Monroe, started to dwindle. Losses due to savage seas and mighty storms could not be replaced as the revenue from trade dwindled. Within a score of years of the beginning of the ice, the fleet was down to a third its size. Today, only a dozen ships ply the coasts of Tannis seeking what little trade there is offered.
- Monroe Civic Building – the governmental seat where Port Monroe’s ruling council presides.
- Warehouse District – the great warehouses of the port which now lay mostly derelict.
- The Docks – adjacent to the Warehouse District, the mighty stone piers serviced hundreds of ships a day at its peak.
- Guilds – There are seven major guilds in the city.
o Merchants and Bankers Guild
o Captains and Seamans Association
o Teamsters and Longshoremen Guild
o Farmers and Cattlemen League
o Guild of Soldiery
o Mage’s Society
o Entertainers League
Places in the Port
- Athenaeum – Synod’s government building on Beacon Street. Built on the old Monroe Civic Building, it houses the offices of the Synod, the bureaucracy and the Synod’s guard force. Under it is the prison cells.
- Warehouse District – pretty much abandoned and fallen into disrepair. It is dangerous at night.
- The Docks – adjacent to the Warehouse District, it is not a place to wander alone at night. This area used to be able to service twelve moored ships and another dozen or so in the harbor.
- Spinnaker’s Hostelry. This is an inn on Narwhale Avenue and the last remaining inn still open in Port Monroe. Nautically themed, it was once a mid to upper class place, now is rundown and in poor shape.
- Sturgeon’s Eye, a tavern down by the docks owned by a halfing, Bit Maplecrest. A favorite of visiting sailors. Not in good repair. Plenty of rooms available.