This bucolic village, set on the edge of a large lake is one of the oldest settlements in Garresh. It was founded nearly 700 years ago and in the centuries following its founding it has prospered, suffered, been destroyed and rebuilt and served as the hub of the Ravenswood Prefecture. It is rich in resources and situated on fertile farmland. It is on the borders of Garresh but still cleaves to Garreshian tradition. In the past, relations with the wood elves of the Wild Plains were more peaceful, but as the settlement has grown so have tensions.
Bryden’s Ferry is primarily a fishing town. It trades in salted and dried fish, pearls from the lake, and in shells. The fertile farmlands often produce a surplus and grains, cereals, and various foodstuffs often find their way to Maribor. There is a type of rose that is the color of blood spilled at midnight that grows in the gardens and on the hill just beyond the borders of town that grows nowhere else in Garresh. It is said to have sprung from droplets of Bryden’s blood. Every year, in late summer, when Bryden died, the roses weep their petals onto the ground and bloom no more until the following spring.
The people of Bryden’s Ferry are wary of kithrix and goblin/ogre kin. They have long been attacked by their uncivilized neighbors on the Wild Plains. They are more likely to talk with wood elves before attacking as relations in the past (though less of late) have been peaceful and because the wood elves have been willing to trade useful goods. One of the favorite jokes told by the people of Bryden’s Ferry involves a Kithrix who loses a fight because he was distracted by the glowing red sands on the lakeshore.
Dania and Nenteth have almost no following in the town of Bryden’s Ferry. Their worship is associated with the Kithrix and wood elves, though some foresters and druids keep the “old ways” and honor those ancients. Aranayan has a pervasive and zealous following in the town, almost to the exclusion of all others.
Lake Aes’aelor (Blackmire Lake to the locals), named for the most beautiful and cunning daughter of an ancient wood-elven queen, is the primary source of wealth for Bryden’s Ferry. Legend has it that one of the Prefects of Ravenswood fell in love with Aes’aelor and strung a necklace of the multicolored pearls found in the oysters in the lake as a love token for the elven maiden. Their love was short-lived for they were found murdered on the shore, slain by unknown assailants or wild beasts. The sands on the beach of Lake Aes’aelor glow red at dusk in the waning light of the sun, an eternal reminder of the two lovers who died upon those sands.
Bryden’s Ferry has a long tradition of producing fine and brave warriors. Being so close to the Wild Plains and Hazon has led many young people to take up a sword or bow in defense of their homelands. It was renamed in honor of one such brave soul, Bryden, after his heroic sacrifice.
The poet Maelon lived in Bryden’s Ferry before being captured and enslaved by the Hazon Empire. His poetry is well-loved by the people of Garresh and Hazon. Below is one of his most famous works:
The bees drone in the dappled sunlight
as the flowers grow and the birds take flight.
Yet the golden rays and delicate petals
Are crude and rough compared to you.
The soft music of the lake lapping at its shore
and the red sands gleam as day is no more.
Neither the moon, nor the stars in the tapestry of the sky
Nor the pearls beneath the waves can compare.
You are the sun, and moon, and stars.
Your smile and delicate laugh are the flowers and music
that bring me joy.
No mask can hide the light in your eyes.
For I am yours and you are mine.
Eternity and time, beloved, thou art mine.