Volume Two: Places of Note
Edited by Effie-Jei Ju-Kulza, Savant at Large
Built upon the the ruins of an Ayleid city, Stormhold is a quiet fortress-town in the nothwestern part of Black Marsh. In the frontier region of Storm Forest, between Blackwood and the northern jungles, the city is relatively isolated. Here the Mages Guild and Imperial governorship are most influential, located away from criminal activity, hostile tribes, and greedy Archeins. However, recently the peaceful life of Stormhold was briefly interrupted by the Blackwood Company, but this threat was promptly dealt with. Stormhold is where Imperial culture and administration have taken root best in the Province.
The largest city in the western area of the province, Gideon seems both Cyrodiilic and Argonian. Right on the Cyrodiil-Black Marsh border, the city recieves much trade. However, though wealthy, much of the wealth is held by the Imperial governor, wealthy traders and plantation-owners, and the Archeins. The city is rotten with squalor yet also inhabited by the very wealthy. Rumor has it that a Sithis cult makes its base here, and certainly feuds amongst the nobles allow assassins to thrive.
Soulrest would be a very Argonian city if it were not for the Khajiit. Interestingly this city began as an Argonian village fortified against pirate raids. Gradually Khajiit traders and hirelings have found their way here and now form a large minority in the city. There is a reasonably large port here and resources from the Marsh are shipped to Elsweyr and Cyrodiil via the Topal Isles shipping lanes from Soulrest's bustling docks. Soulrest is definitely not rest for a weary soul. Rather, if one is looking for gang wars, bar fights, smuggling, and crime this is the perfect haven for such villany.
This is a heavily fortified prison-city, built upon the ruins of a Lilmothiit settlement. Thick rammed earth walls protect the citadel from outside and the Rose Prison, a large tower, prevents criminals from coming out. Accounts that the worst of criminals are exported to Blackrose are not unfounded. This city also recieves the few mining yields of Black Marsh and produces weapons for the Royal Court and the Archeins.
This is the officially unrecognised capital of Black Marsh, built on the ancient ruins of the Lilmothiit capitol. Here officials of the Imperial Governor, Archeins and the Royal Clan meet. Within this large and well fortified city are districts separating rich and poor, where shadowy agents and stern guards that watch the streets. Built in a bizarre mixture of Imperial and traditional Argonian architecture, it is a beautiful yet horrifying city, large and yet stifling. Built-in canals provide easy public transportation around the city, but do not use these for the purposes of crime, for dreugh, crocodiles, or other aquatic predators are often released into the canals to prevent smugglers and criminals from hiding there. This city is firmly under the Royal Court's control and this can be clearly seen, and though the people here live relatively well, they pay for it with constant surveillance.
This was once a fishing village of Velothi, which grew through trade with Kothringi living futher inland. Those Kothringi are now dead from the epidemic which also devastated Archon, but the settlement has been regenerated since the Khnaten Flu to become a major port. It serves more as a hostel for travelers and a stop for ships than a proper city, more like a large outpost. It is also a trading centre for the coastal Argonian tribes.
This was once the pride of the Cantemiric Velothi, and is still full of their architecture to this day. Interestingly it still maintains a large Dunmer population, despite becoming more cosmopolitan. Although its role as the main port of the East Coast has now been usurped by Tear, this is still an important centre of regional trade, where goods from southern Morrowind are traded for the lumber and exotic foods of Black Marsh. In the old days, slaves were captured from the surrounding lands, brought to Thorn, then marched overland to the great markets in Tear. It is said that to this day an underground slave-trade still exists.
The mysterious Lost City of the Argonians, Helstrom is believed by many to be little more than a myth. If it does exist, then it is the only known city of the People of the Root, and no non-Argonian has ever been there in living memory. Legend has it that the city is submerged between the marsh and the roots of giant Hist trees under and upon which the city is built, and also that it can only be revealed by using the fabled Eye of Argonia. However no reliable information can be gleaned, though an Imperial expedition to set up a fort and Imperial village within the region Helstrom is reputed to lie in was initiated long ago. Even though an arena and estate were erected, the entire settlement disappeared in mysterious circumstances within ten years.