A sleepy little city between a swamp and an ocean built in defiance of its inhospitable conditions

Driftwood is situated on the eastern edge of Nethrandil in the unnamed swamps that keep that region in a constant state of humidity and moisture. The dampness keeps the ground from being as solid as one would expect for a city to be built on top of it, but Driftwood was specially engineered by cooperation between humans and dwarves to withstand the elements in special defiance against them.

Early History

When Emberhall was young, as young as the humans that built it, a group of humans who were quite pleased with what they had built there set out to start a new city. This time they would tame a land that no one thought would be tamed. This nameless group of human builders was led by a man named Simmon Tolde. In order to begin construction of this new city the first order of business was to fight off the giants and ogres that lived there. Tolde gathered a small armada of humans and dwarves to clear out the swamp. It was no easy task, but after several months the deed was done and they set to work developing new construction methods that could withstand the ever-shifting ground of the wetlands.

The lead dwarvish engineer, Darvin Moortish, imagined specially-made stilts made of stone that dug deep into the earth, taking root farther below the surface than even the marsh could reach. After a year of construction, families began moving in and trade started taking place. Natural resources abounded in the swamp, but Driftwood would soon become well-known for its distilleries and artificiaries. 

The Wrath of the Hag

It would soon become known that in order to secure the area, Simmon Tolde, in his hubris, had made a deal with a hag that lived nearby. She had promised a spell of protection against the elements in exchange for the next child that was born to him. Since he never expected to have another child, he thought it was a great deal. What he didn't know was that a woman he had loved was already pregnant. This woman's name was Delilah Fairwood. When she discovered the details of this deal, she kept her pregnancy a secret from Simmon and secreted away their child. A year later, the hag approached Simmon looking to collect. When Simmon insisted that he didn't have a child, the hag was furious. She undid her magical protections and sent an army of ogres into Driftwood. They killed Simmon and destroyed half of the city before the city's militia was able to defeat them. After the battle, the city was left to the elements. Darvin Moortish was left to rebuild and make the city stronger than it had been before.

The Storm of Sorcerors

Several years after the wrath of the hag, Driftwood established itself as a formidable power in Nethrandil. Trade was strong and the city was recognized across Cronus as a place where people of all kinds were welcome to come and practice their craft. Soon wizards, sorcerers, and artificers started gathering as Driftwood was one of only a few places where such practices were both legal and welcome. For some time, Driftwood was an ideal location for experimentations in weather magic. Such experimentations were usually confined to a few wizard towers and off-shore facilities where they could be contained, but on one fateful day, one of those experiments went out of control, lost containment and a hurricane of heretofore unknown proportions ripped through Driftwood, destroying most of the city and claiming hundreds of lives. Some of the sorcerers responsible for this experiment dedicated their lives to helping rebuild afterward, but a few ran away from such responsibility in shame. After this event, magical experimentation became less and less popular in Driftwood while mechanical experimentation continued to grow slowly.

The Clockwork Revolution

As mechanical and technological demand continued growing, Driftwood welcomed those who were skilled in such crafts. The Whent family was a proud human family that pioneered many artificial innovations over the years. The mechanical clock, horseless carriages, arcane lighting, cooling systems, all these wonders can be traced back to Whent Industries. And Whent Industries was proud to be headquartered in Driftwood. Some insist that the only reason Whent established themselves in Driftwood was because the land was cheap, but Whent has never given any official statement on the matter. Whatever the case may be, Whent began a Clockwork Revolution in Driftwood that saw many up-and-coming artificers trek to their murky shores to set up shop and create their own innovations. For a time, Driftwood was the premiere place to go for technological innovation.

Crime and Punishment

With the population boom of the Clockwork Revolution also came a rise in crime. The Crimson Dagger became a well-known syndicate in the underworld of Driftwood. Members of this crime ring often claim that the rest of the world has given up on them, so they have no choice but to take what they need by force. They insist that Whent Industries has a choke-hold on the government of Driftwood, squeezing every last available penny out of their coffers for their own selfish gain. Whent denies these claims, of course, but that doesn't stop the Crimson Dagger from collecting "protection" from smaller shops and cafes as they see fit. The Green Guard, a law enforcement group that was established along with the city, grew in this time to combat the Crimson Dagger. The Green Guard and the Crimson Dagger often clash, sometimes in the streets, sometimes in the back alleys and the dark, hidden places around Driftwood.

Recent History

Today Driftwood stands as a unique human city that prides itself on innovation and defiance against the natural elements. While Whent Industries has taken up the bulk of the economy, there are still a few smaller shops that take pride in their goods and services and while crime does exist, it seems to be on a downward tick at the moment. Driftwood has seen its share of troubles, for sure, but the future for the sleepy swamp city seems bright.

Travel by Gondola

Driftwood is also unique in its implementation of a gondola system to travel the many rivers and streams that make up its streets. Roughly 60 people are employed as gondoliers and they help the citizens get from point A to point B every single day. Citizens of Driftwood rarely find the need to own a carriage or a horse unless they make regular trips out of town. There are also bridges and walkways surrounding the buildings and city blocks so that, if they choose, people can walk to their destination. But you won't find a much more peaceful mode of transportation than by Driftwood gondola.

Login to leave a comment.