The Montier river winds its way down from the Trollsaw mountains in the North, across hundreds of miles of pastoral farmland before it joins up with its far feistier cousin, the Wyfoam. In their confluence lies one of the more impressive rapids on the continent….
Long ago, a man named Franklin built a farmhouse adjacent to the rapids and began ferrying people and wagons across. At first glance, building a ferry in the midst of a rapids might seem foolish, but Franklin made just as much coin selling off pieces of ships and cargo that collected in the area as he did from ferrying, so it worked out quite well for him. Over the decades, a bit of a village started to grow up around the area, and Franklin’s ferry was born.
At some point, an enterprising mayor of the village whose name has been lost to history came up with the ingenious idea of building docks above and below the rapids, and moving cargo between them. Soon the village became a town with bustling docks, warehouses, taverns and inns servicing river sailors hauling cargo down the river. The ferry was eventually replaced with a bridge, but the focus of the town is definitely the docks and the commerce generated by them. The residents of the town decided to put up a wall at some point, keeping themselves within it and the docks and warehouses within their own enclosed areas. In retrospect, this seems like a very wise decision, as it allows the chaos to be separated from the people of the town. Guards get more and more cautious about whom they allow to enter the main part of town as night approaches, and eventually the gates are actually locked and barred every evening.
The upriver sailors are a very disciplined group. They come from farm stock, after all, and are used to a hard day’s labor for a good wage. When they stay in Franklin’s Ferry, they normally head to the Wheat and Rye Tavern to sample Chef Andre’s delectable soups and stews, always served with a side of fresh bread. Chef Andre is a relatively recent arrival to the town, and is very serious about food. He is very enamored by the upriver folk, and feels like he’s cooking for the right kind of people.
The downriver sailors are a whole different breed, and the difference is clear when you head down to the lower part of town. Late night brawls are common, spilling out from the door and even the windows of the Drunken Harlot tavern. The proprietor, Fergus Greybeard is a grizzled, one-eyed dwarf that doesn’t care at all what happens in his establishment, as long as nothing gets damaged. But just to keep things on the up and up, every once in a while he pulls his wicked battle axe off the wall and introduces the business end of it to his patrons.
The porters that carry goods between the upriver and downriver side of town are their own interesting lot. They’ve organized into somewhat of a labor union and have a decent amount of power in town politics. The arrangement suits them well because they often end up as the odd group out when it comes to the upriver folk, the downriver lot and the townies.