The seas to the north of the Eastern Darklands are perilous and filled with danger. Most vessels stick close to the well charted, and guarded, shipping lanes, where the risks are greatly reduced. Few vessels will risk venturing out in to the deeper, unpatrolled waters - even the most seasoned Nocturnian Sea Captain will speak in hushed tones when talking of the ancient beasts that lie hidden within the deep cold waters in this part of the world. For those hoping to reduce the time at sea by travelling along a more direct route closer to the coast, the dangers of uncharted reefs and unpredicatble storms and currents dragging ships against the sheer cliff faces are ever present. Even the versatile Kaliphlinian Merchantmen find difficulty in negotiating these currents, and the jagged rocks would tear a hole in the hull of even the mightiest Avalonian Frigate. The only sailors bold, or reckless, enough to risk such perils are Mitgardian mariners. Their longboats and longships lie shallow in the water, reducing the risk of damage by reef, and their manouverability by use of both sail and oar power gives them an advantage when negotiating the currents. While Mitgardia does not endorse the infrequent raids in to the lands of Nocturnus conducted by some of the rogue elements of her lands, the raids have been a source of diplomatic tension between the two empires. For this reason, watch towers were set up along the Old Coast Road between Nocturnus and Mitgardia. These watchtowers allow the guards to report on the movement of vessels outside of the normal trading lanes, and to allow local villages time to take precautionary measures should a raid be suspected.
The watchtowers also serve as a place for legitimate traders and travellers, from all empires, to rest and resupply when traversing the Old Coast Road.
The following is an example of one of the watchtowers built along the imposing northern cliff face of the Nocturnian coast.
Further images via Flickr
Edited by Evil Stu, 27 November 2011 - 10:07 AM.