City of Floods
The key to understanding Farholde is water. Almost every structure in the city of Farholde is built on one of nine hills. In fact, its old Iraen name is actually Cannoch Naoi (pronounced Can-nock Noi as in noise) which means literally Nine Hills. The reason for this arrangement is simple – Farholde floods.
Almost every year in the spring, Lake Scardynn, brimming with mountain runoff, overflows its banks and floods Farholde. These floods are usually predictable and brief. They have never in memory crested any of the nine hills. These floods are a boon for Farholde. They deposit rich lake sediment all over the delta plane and create rich arable land for the growing season. No one in Farholde worries about leaving fields fallow or fortifying their soil. The mighty Scardynn handles all such labor. But these floods also mean if you build a structure beneath thefloodline, you had better be prepared for it to be underwater for at least two weeks a year.
Besides agriculture and the garrison, Farholde has another important industry – fishing. Though the sea is rough and dangerous and few bother to fish its open waters, Lake Scardynn is deep and densely populated with salmon, sea cat and umberscale. Even the occasional sturgeon is caught and both their meat and caviar are prized delicacies. The prize every captain dreams of catching though is the rare giant crayfish. No one knows why these monsters sometimes appear or why they grow gigantic, but specimens longer than seven feet have been captured in Lake Scardynn. The creatures are dangerous and more than one over-ambitious young fisherman has lost an arm to the beasts. But when one is brought back to town, buyers pay premium coin for delicious giant cray-steaks that barely fit on dinner plates. Grilled and served with melted butter there is no greater delicacy.
The quays where the fishing boats dock are stout stone affairs designed to survive weeks underwater. They jut out in to the delta all along the southern bank. The northern bank has only one – a broad military quay where soldiers and supplies are unloaded to provision the Castle Hamorhall. Usually the quay is home to dozens of war galleys and supply barges, but now they are all gone transporting their troops to the eastern front.