Sahwyn — mainland port of the Pearl City of Ganador

Alright people, this is Sahwyn Island! It is the northernmost island in the estuary of the mighty Celwyr river, one of the sixteen islands making up the Pearl City of Ganador. For a map of the entire city, be sure to check out this one I made back in 2017.

 

Officially, Ganador is just a regular, fairly large city with no special status. However, being by far the largest city in the Free Lands of Gaendyr, it is considered by many the de facto capital. It is also the informal HQ of the massively powerful trade federation named the Ganadorian Hansa. Its location smack dab in the middle of the estuary of probably the biggest river in that part of the world has given it that double honour. Even though from a distance Ganador looks like a fruit ripe for the picking, known to be one of the wealthiest places in Aran & Ilan, it is notoriously hard to invade. Ganador has fallen in the past, twice even, but on neither occasion did the invaders succeed in securing it and using it for their own devices. Too many are the narrow passageways and too easily defensible the bridges, too hardy are the folk of Ganador for a regular army to ever truly conquer it, even with the harbours pounded into rubble and the shipyards burning. And it has learned. After the last defeat, Ganador began a construction project of epic proportions. Much of the remaining wealth of the city was sunk in defensive structures, most of them hidden below the waters: spike walls that can be raised to just below the waterline, minefields, etc. These were supplemented with an enormous upgrade of the Hansa navy into probably the largest privately owned navy in the known world. And on top of that, the estuary is riddled with sandbars, shallows and artificial reefs that will rip open any ship that doesn't know the way past them. Vessels coming anywhere near the city are now forced to moor at a floating pilot station, where they can take a pilot onboard who will guide them safely through the underwater maze.

Sahwyn, shown here, is only a smallish, peripheral island compared to the main cluster in the southwest, but it boasts a few map-worthy features. First and foremost, it is one of the two "mainland ports" (islands with a ferry connection to the mainland), hence the Customs & Immigration building and the Quarantine Hall for those deemed too ill (or too lice-ridden) to be allowed access to the city proper. Also, its western coastline boasts no less than two harbours deep enough for ocean-going ships (only accessible with the help of a Hansa pilot, obviously). And in the east the island borders on a bay only navigable by shallow-draft boats. Most families in Ganador own a dinghy, especially those living on the water's edge, and there are plenty of ferries going between Ganador's islands too, all of them free of charge.

 

All in all I had a ton of fun with this map, and cramming it full of detail was probably the best part. Some labels are pretty suggestive (I love "the Lost and Merry", which I imagine to be an opium den or something equally seedy), others are just plain silly ("Muspi Morel" is just the placeholder text "Lorem Ipsum" written backwards), and there are tons that I hope will incite your wildest imaginations.

 

Me personally I would love to arrive onboard a ferry from the Gaendyr mainland, be whisked through Registration by a corruptible clerk, spend the morning in the Guilded Heart visiting my master's trade contacts and having a quick bite at a stall on St Harlow's Market before getting a few suits made at Astr's. Then in the evening I would have a delicious bite in the Pig & Rooster, spend most of my wage in the grubby tavern the Want and the Cure and suddenly wake up oblivious to what happened, nursing a massive headache onboard a dinghy rowed by a crimp who allegedly recruited me for the row benches of a Hansa galley. Ahhh, the adventure! 


Caenwyr Cartography  —  pieter.rottiers@gmail.com

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