Braka, part five

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They reached the first of their planned destinations a day later. It was the port where ships from Keen had once landed their wares before raiders made shipping all but impossible.

Harbend saw stone walls rising higher than any of the rooftops inside, and they had to pass through the gates before he could see any of the houses. The town was smaller than he expected. For all the important trade once passing through it was very little more than a harbor with some houses attached to it. Two, maybe three thousand souls made this place their home, and only if he included the surrounding farms. Harbend couldn't imagine why anyone even bothered with walling an over-sized village like this.

He looked at the harbor. It lacked the defenses of Keen's ports, but he couldn't see any signs of damage. The raiders apparently didn't sail here, but why should they? With no ships coming from Keen it was of no use for anyone but the sea hunters, and from the size of the town there couldn't been enough of them to justify warships to come here. Gods! If he didn't know it was here all traders to Braka sailed there wasn't anything justifying anyone sailing here.

That was one more reason to continue with the caravans. That and the people living on the Sea of Grass. An unexpected bonus, and they were closer to Keen than Braka. Close enough to swell any caravan going to Braka with traders from Ri Khi and Erkateren who didn't want to be away from home for too long. Those added wagons would pay for the extra escort needed for climbing the mountains, maybe even for setting up a smaller roadhouse on the Sea of Grass. That would make the mountain pass as safe as it would ever get.

Harbend would like that to happen. Every roadhouse away from the main roads eventually gave birth to a small town, and they all served as hubs for hunters, travelers and of course traders. One built on the plains would become something of a port if given enough time. It could happen during his own lifetime. He smiled at the thought. It would be something to be remembered for. The indirect founder of an important trading town.

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