Stoneport is the northernmost, and largest port city in the Circle. It is known for being a very open melting pot where people from around the world can trade goods. It is also the south end of the Road to Stone, the northern headquarters of the Foriegn Affairs Council, and well as the world headquarters for the joint-operated Pirate Corps.
It is built into and around the cliffs surrounding the western strait which connects the Gulf of Embrace to the Gulf of Open Arms and the wider ocean, and is the location of a massive naval structure built over that connection. It was originally built as a military base in the early Preclassical era, and has never stopped serving that purpose, though it is more a pirate fortress now than it is an actual outpost of the Technocracy's military.
Initial construction Edit
Stoneport was originally built as a small military base to prevent naval factions from sailing unaccosted into the gulf, and as an eventual hub for ships sailing to the outside world. The location was chosen after naval expeditions had returned with maps of the two gulfs showing that it was the larger of two entrances to an enclosed body of water. Being situated in a defensible inlet, it was always planned to be the northmost military city of the kingdom. This was at a time when the Shining Kingdom was first developing its naval capabilities, and its construction pre-dated large-scale Woag activity in the area, assuming that some other power would originally find it.
Early Expansion Edit
When the trade routes to the nearby Stone Kingdom became more solidified, it became a common practice to sail goods across the gulf, making Stoneport a major trade hub, prompting rapid expansion and development. The weakly defended gap between the two halves of the city was closed off with a pair of several-kilometer long barriers, and a shipyard was built within the enclosed area.
When the Woag first came across the city, they believed it to be a very cleverly built trading post; they had little to no interaction with the people who'd built it, and did not know anything about the events going on at the time. At that time, the still forming Circle was embroiled in the middle of the First Goran War, and the city was on alert for potential attacks. When the Woag rushed the fort, weapons drawn, the defenders thought they were Goran, and immediately opened fire with the defensive artillery, which included the recently-developed Scatter-Ballista. The Woag immediately retreated.
The next time Woag showed up, after the war had ended, they attempted a less hostile approach, and ended up trading goods which the Encircled assumed had been made in their new trading partner's homeland, not realizing they'd been stolen from the newly established Family Hearth.
Pirate Corps Edit
With the early Classical Era seeing an increase in international relations, several Immortal nations got together to form the joint-operated Pirate Corps. The Circle, delighted to be involved in any cooperative effort, immediately offered to construct additions to the fast-growing trade city of Stoneport, which would turn it into a major outpost. Being the faction which poured the most resources into the project, Stoneport quickly became the largest pirate fortress in the entire group.
Continued Expansion Edit
With the gradual addition of a larger shipyard, the stone walls which stretch to both ends, and the massive gates which are set between them, Stoneport became the iconic cliff-like city it is today. As time went on, the coastal barricades were extended along the shore to accommodate more protected land, which was filled with homes, farms, and new infrastructure. By the end of the Classical Era, Stoneport was one of the most developed cities in the Circle.
Stoneport Slaughter Edit
It was in this period that the Tallet Empire began to see the Circle as a serious threat to their power. In what would become one of their greatest blunders in history, the Tallet made the same mistake the Woag had made centuries prior, and a faction within the Tallet Legion attempted to take the city. Having vastly underestimated the city's defensive capabilities, the attacking force was unilaterally defeated in what is known as The Stoneport Slaughter.
Great War Edit
During the Great War, Stoneport was left relatively safe. Very little warfare was going on in the gulfs, and the city's defensive capabilities deterred anyone from sending forces to attack it. The most major involvement happened when the city was used for the staging of the disasterous attack on the Family Hearth which ended with the accidental burning of a massive library.
Today, Stoneport is a bustling trade and military hub, and remains the capital of the Pirate Corps. The city itself is shaped like a large X, with the walls making up the sides, and the landlocked portions being filled with farmland.
Stoneport looks like a large cliff face from a distance, being built into and between two seaside cliffs. The harbor, shipyard, and canals are located on top of where the natural isthmus used to be.
Sea Walls Edit
The walls of the city are really a reinforced natural cliffside.
Beneath these walls, there are large, constructed inlets, built with arching tops and covered by steel grates, which lead to a network of water tunnels running beneath the city. This helps to prevent the tidal pressure from causing undue wear to the walls, provides water for the desalinization plants, uses tidal energy to turn Lektrik-power generating machines, and the caves serve as the source of cool air which is used for the city's ventilation system.
The largest harbor in the Eastern Block is set in what used to be a natural isthmus, dredged deeper by construction, protected from fast tides and storms by two massive stone walls on both sides, with massive steel gates to allow travel in and out.
Inner City Edit
The dense areas of Stoneport dig down into the cliffs and build up above them with the excavated stone. Some buildings can stretch several stories above the excavated street level, and there tend to be bridges between them for quick travel.
Ventillation System Edit
Beneath the city there is a series of caves filled with tide-cycling seawater. This underground water is much colder than the outside air, and so is used for an internal cooling system which continues to baffle travelers. The concept is simple: large towers funnel wind down through holes which lead under the city, which increases the pressure in the caves. Vents elsewhere in the caves lead up inside the buildings, where the air is used to cool and ventilate the indoor areas.
Lektrik Power Network Edit
There is also a rudimentary Lektrik power network, which illuminates the streets at night, indoor areas during all hours, provides colorful lighting for signs, and assists the ventilation system on days without wind. The primary source of this Lektrik energy is machines beneath the city powered by tides, and this system is, of course, subject to periodic supply-failures, and occasionally sections will go for long periods without repair due to resource strain, but that's what candles are for. Half of the point of the technology being there in the first point is simply to give the world a taste of what Ironspire can do with a bit of copper.
East Side Edit
The east side was the location of the original military base, most of which is now the headquarters of the Pirate Corps.
West Side Edit
The west side is the larger side, and contains one of the largest offices of the Technocracy's Foreign Affairs Council, where relations with the nations along the Road to Stone are maintained.
As one walks further from the massive harbor, they pass through the gate of one of the inner walls, outside of which the buildings begin to thin. Residential areas line the cliffside, and farmland stretches across the growing divide. Eventually, another long defensive wall, built more recently, marks the edge of the city proper, and outside the ornate steel gates lie farmlands and individual houses.
On the east side, this ends up being the beginning of a long series of sparse fishing towns which line the gulf. On the west, the massive Road to Stone begins, and after a day's ride, the border of the Outer Circle is marked by a single military outpost along the road.
Stoneport is a melting pot, where people from all over the seafaring world, from the Ebony Island to the Woaglands, come together to trade, compete, and make merry with each other. It is enforced neutral ground between factions, and has seen several fued-ending negotiations in its forums.
As the city is a pirate fortress, the Pirate Corps engage in a large amount of shenanigans within the city, often starting drunken parties in bars which cater to them and the tourists. Pirate shows are also a very common thing in the harbor, as pirates will often rehearse their acts there, giving free showings to anyone nearby. Joining the pirate corps is a very common thing for the young and adventurous, and a large number of pirates retire in the city once they're done serving.
The manufactured accent which the pirates imitate has become a normal accent in the city, and most people begin to pick it up naturally as they live there. Children born in the city often have a less extreme version of that accent, developed by constant imitation of the pirates among youths.
Stoneport also holds a large number of games, and holds world tournaments for sports including wrestling, cage fighting, swordfighting, Quartex, and MilCard year-round. Competing in these tournaments offers large rewards and medals, and placing high is considered a prestigious victory. A common high-placer in the mental games is Checkmate the Thinker, who is the current head tactician for the Unbounded Forces.