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Bay and harbor of modern-day Wiftalne
Bay and harbor of modern-day Wiftalne
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Wiftalne (pronunciation: //) is a village in Gfiewistan in the state of Slakkariew. Despite only having few permanent residents these days, Wiftalne remains important as a starting point for recreational and scientific trips to the sea as well as a center of archeology and historical research, due to having been an important center of long-distance trade in the 10th and 11th centuries.



In prehistoric times, in 10th and 11th centuries, Wiftalne was the biggest trading port in the region, attracting even more merchants than Slakkariew, the seat of the most influential local chiefdom, but at the time still more of a village than town. Wiftalne benefitted from being located outside the inner bay, and so was much closer to the neighboring chiefdoms in modern-day Mermelia, as well as conveniently on the route that led to Atruozan lands. As a result, it was frequently visited by ships and merchants, leading residents to become relatively affluent and accumulating a great deal of knowledge on boat-building and weapon-making.

This was used to develop boats and ships that could withstand the often far rougher waves and weather of the Dark Sea much better than the type that was common in Slakkariew, which was mostly used for short-distance traveling across the bay and in coastal waters in general. While not confirmed, various theories propose that inhabitants of Wiftalne managed to reach remote islands to the south and west, if not even the mainland on the other side of the Dark Sea. In any case, these boats further increased the volume of trade in the town further and the riches soon began to rival even those of the Slakkariewian chief.

It wasn’t long before the residents began to be subject to ever increasing taxes and other payments, which were used among other things to build what is now known as the Bay Castle as well as many more buildings in the old town of Slakkariew. But the traders in Wiftalne soon began to evade the tribute and tolls imposed on them, by leaving the harbor at night and returning one of the following nights, and then hiding their goods in hidden basements of their houses, tunnels, or simply holes in the earth covered with a few stones. The largest and most elaborate ones also were places of clandestine trade. Open markets continued to take place in broad daylight, but those were mostly for show and those foreign merchants not aware of the night-time trading.

However, after some years, the secret of the town was discovered, likely by officials on a visit accidentally stumbling across a secret market. The chief of Slakkariew was notified and soon warriors laid siege to the town that was still refusing to pay taxes. After several weeks and a blockade of the port, Wiftalne surrendered and much of the population was arrested for rebellion or simply smuggling. Ships and remaining goods were confiscated and brought to the seat of the chiefdom. With a decimated population, little to offer and stuck on land (a ban on shipbuilding was enforced by a garrison) trade declined and the town lost its importance.








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