Wednesday, 23 April 2014

S is for Suiddock

For the past 18 posts of the A-to-Z challenge I've variously mentioned the great Ward of Suiddock. Well, it is finally time to explain that reference.

Whilst the first thing anyone sees when entering Marienburg by boat is, undoubtedly Rijker's Isle, the first place any visitor, coming by boat or carriage, is Suiddock. Sitting in the dead centre of the city, and run through by the Bruynwater Canal, the largest and deepest canal which allows even sea-going ships, Suiddock is often considered the true heart of Marienburg.

Normally I don't add pictures to my A-to-Z posts.
But I freakin' love maps.
Due to the accessibility of the Bruynwater, and the central nature of the three islands (from west to east; Riddra, Stoessel and Luydenhoek), Suiddock enjoys the attentions of every level of Marienburg's citizenry. It boasts the patronage of the upper class merchants come to the Wasteland Import-Export Exchange, the middle class working for institutions such as the Pilots' and Seamen's Guild, the lower class who make up the ranks of the Stevedores & Teamster's Guild, and even clergy come to pay their respects at the Church of St. Olovold and the Orphanage of St. Rutha. Truly, Suiddock is Marienburg.

It's not just the three islands, though - the Ward also encompasses Hightower Isle, which connects onto the richer northern parts of the city, as well as the southern bank of the Bruynwater. Each side of the canal is crammed full of wharves, shops, warehouses, whore houses, drinking holes, tanneries, workshops, tailors, brewers, butchers, and really anything that could benefit from the patronage of sailors. Here, Theophilius Graveland and the Black Caps attempt to maintain order, but really the show is run by Adalbert Henschmann.

But, whatever your vice, virtue, want or need is, Suiddock and her delightful people will be able to cater. If you want some smoking herbs from far-flung Cathay, just visit Venk Kataswaran and his Dreaming House (more on him when we get to 'V'). If you need a stiff drink, visit Ishmael Boorsevelt at the Pelican's Perch (just don't mention his wooden leg!). And if you fancy a fine night out with a bit of murder...

What's that? Oh, you haven't heard? Well - they say that at night, out of the fog, comes rowing a small little ferry which will take hapless travellers home. The man who sits at the helm is a kindly fellow, with handsome features and a nervous shyness. He's obviously harmless...whilst the light is on him. When the light lowers, the keen-eyed will notice a change just before he hacked your head from your shoulders to join his shelf. For the poor young man has no one to talk to, and sooner or later the heads stop whispering back. When that happens, it's time for a new friend.

Yes indeed - Suiddock is a fine place to find yourself. Just make sure no one else finds you there first...