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Chapter 10 - Northport

Vlad believes that Northport ought to have been called Westport:

[Northport] ought to have been called Westport (Phoenix, Chapter 2)

Presumably because it is located on the west coast, per Steve:

Northport is on the west coast, but faces north, if that makes sense, because the west coast curves inward there.

In Orca, Vlad travels to Endra's home and from there to Reega's, neither of whom live in Northport proper:

Endra ... lived high on Vantage Hill, overlooking a little town called Harper on the outskirts of Northport. It was ... only an hour's walk [from Northport City Hall] (Orca, Chapter 6)

Reega lived on a hill ... called Winteroak, which was on the northern edge of Northport, overlooking the Kanefthali River Valley. It was quite a hike [from Endra's place] (Orca, Chapter 6)

Vantage Hill and Winteroak might be two of the three hills that surround Northport:

[Northport]'s a funny town--sort of a miniature Adrilankha, the way it's built in the center of those three hills the way Adrilankha is built between the cliffs, and both of them jutting up against the sea. (Orca, Chapter 2)

The third is probably Shroud Hill:

Fyre's Building ... was at the edge of Shroud Hill, which means it was almost out of town, and it was high enough so that it had a nice view. (Orca, Chapter 2)

All three hills are described in terms that suggest they are either within the city limits, or border the city directly, so I think these hills are insignificant at the scale I'm working with here. Nonetheless, locating them can help make sense of the terrain around Northport, which Vlad describes thusly:

This is a funny part of the world ... The landscape, I mean. Maybe it's because we're so far north of the equator, or because the Kanefthali Mountains start only a few hundred miles away ... you can walk from the east side of Northport to the west, or from hills overlooking the docks straight north, and you'll have four completely different landscapes. I mean, along the coast, it might as well be Adrilankha--you've got the same kind of ugly red cliffs ... just a little ways to the east you have these prairies that look like the area around Castle Black and west of Dzur Mountain ... and the country around Endra's is all rocky and hard and pretty in the same way the southern tip of Suntra is pretty--unforgiving but attractive, anyway. So you head north, along the river to where Reega lives, and it's like the big forests to the east of Dzur Mountain, almost jungle. (Orca, Chapter 6)

Vlad says Winteroak is on the northern edge of Northport, north of Vantage Hill (which is therefore south of Northport). In fact, he claims Winteroak can be reached by heading straight north of the docks, but Steve says Northport "faces" north, which in this context almost certainly means there is water to the north, I tend to trust Steve more than Vlad, so I think Winteroak is probably along the northeastern edge of Northport, with water directly north.

Vlad indicates there are "big forests" near Reega/Winteroak, which puts them to the northeast of Northport. Due east are prairies, and south is "rocky and hard." When Vlad speaks of the coast, he seems to think it is to the west of Northport ("along the coast ... just a little ways to the east you have these prairies"), but Steve puts it to the north, so I'm not sure if there is only water to the north, or if there is water to the north and west. I compromised, and put water to the north and northwest.

Since the Kanefthali Mountains are located near the northwestern coast of a continent that exists in the northern hemisphere (see Vlad's comment about the equator above), my guess is that the general climate somewhat resembles the northwest of the United States or the British Isles (that is, warmer and wetter than the east coast at the same latitude, with the predominant winds blowing eastward, carrying water from the ocean to the mountains to the east).

There is probably a rain shadow on the eastern side of the Kanefthali mountains, so the Kanefthali River is probably formed by rains on the western side of the mountain (meaning the river runs along the western foothills). I guessed it started right around the middle of the range, near Mount Kana, and from there ran south and then mostly west back into the "short stretch of sea" mentioned before, with Northport built its mouth.

Finally, Paarfi tells us that to get from Candletown to Northport by ship, you have to go "around the corner."

His intention was to arrange for a ship to be built, refurbished or commandeered ... then filled with goods and sent to Candletown [reload] and to sail from there "around the corner" (as sailors call it) to Northport. (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 28)

Since Northport and Candletown are both coastal, there is probably a projection to the west between them, and Northport is located on the north side of it. This projection probably contains an angle that is sharp enough to inspire sailors to refer to it as a "corner."


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Copyright © 2011 Bryan Newell, unless otherwise noted.