Bandar-e Saghi

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Bandar-e Saghi
Nation: Constancia
Population: 7,029 (1669)
Predominant language: Babkhi, Constancian (administrative)

Main roads:
Major districts:

Current mayor: Aniketos Pachis (De facto. Temp.)
Map versions:

Bandar-e Saghi, a port in the Varaz province of Constancia, originally occupied and settled by Raspurid forces during the Second Euran War. The site of the present port was captured by Raspur with the intent of securing access to the sea and to provide an anchorage for the gunboats of the nascent Raspurid navy - with the establishment of the Constantinian protectorate over Raspur in 1668 this requirement was forgone and the port subsequently languished in the shadow of better established Nivardom.

Town Chronicles

Journal of Aniketos Pachis

  • 11.IX.1669: The following persons have been noted as resident in the settlement as of this date, having been brought to the town square, such as it is, and marked into the tax register – 1 Raspurid gendarme, 2 clerks, 1 hērbad (Zurvanite rite), 1 tavern-keeper / harbour master, 14 women of negotiable virtue, 1 tea dancer, 1 sergeant & 40 Constancian Home Guard, 242 Zinijbari fishermen, 480 Norashti farmers, 1 carpenter, 1 blacksmith, 1,010 housewives, 1,732 female youths (ages 0-12), 1,371 male youths (ages 0-12), 1 elder, 9 degenerates, 1 imbecile. Addressed the assembly to impress upon them the nature of their obligations towards the Imperial State. They did not seem overly impressed. Will send for translator in the morning. Taken room in tavern - offered fish broth and hardtack for supper. Settlement does not appear to hold out much in the way of promise. Drink variety limited. Sour wine or Twogo Beer.
  • 12.IX.1669: 3,103 children, and no school. Practically Shirerithian. The nearest qualified medical practitioner is in Nivardom. The newspaper in the tavern appears to be Mbasanan. A red brick "Tower of Silence", set on a shallow mound half a kilometre to the south of the town, is attended by soaring swirls of vultures. It appears to be the most well frequented public amenity in the entire settlement.
  • 13.IX.1669: The Raspurids once intended this settlement to serve as their main entrepôt and as a rival to fabled Nivardom and the Bassarid occupied harbours further east along the coast. So much for that.
  • 14.IX.1669: The tavern-keeper, the priest, and the local gendarme, each having hitherto assumed that they were in charge of the settlement, were displeased when notified of the need to hold elections for office of mayor. The Home Guard sergeant merely scoffed and went back to filling his tobacco pipe. The elections will be held on the 20th day of next month, with the formal announcement being made by proclamation on the 20th of this month - allowing four days for the registry of candidates and then a few weeks for whatever hustling and cajoling will pass for electioneering in this scummy hole.
  • 18.IX.1669: 2,000 Iteran PoW's escorted by 120 Raspurid gendarmes have arrived by barge from Nivardom. The pier is too small and the waters too shallow as to permit the barge to dock, so the wretches were thrown into the muck and made to wade ashore, all the while under the watchful rifles of the gendarmerie on the barge and the waiting detachment of Home Guard lined up along the beach. Fishing boats have been sent out to held transfer the police and their equipment from the barge to the town. The locals turned out to watch the spectacle and made an occasion of it by pelting the bedraggled and mud splattered prisoners. Sharpened sticks and cudgels have been issued to those local lads willing to assist in guarding the prisoners while they clear the ground on the portion of wasteland outside the town that will become the work camp.
  • 19.IX.1669: A letter arrives. It appears that I am to be the Superintendent of Works for the port, reporting to the Civil Administrator for the Protectorate. This will at least cut out the awkward business of having to make sense of the neo-Babkhan who somehow remains notionally in charge of the wider province. I have sent a note back asking for a radio and a suitably qualified operator, which might speed up the rate of communications appreciably.
  • 20.IX.1669:
    • Another letter arrives, unrelated to the first, written on expensive paper with an ESB letterhead but unsigned. Purports to be from the "Office of the Resident" in Nivardom. Some nonsense about "tropical red clay deposits" - am I supposed to be a mineralogist now?
    • Found a flea on my jacket.
    • Announcement of elections made before disinterested crowd of onlookers assembled on the patch of dirt before the Fire Temple. The priest watched proceedings expressionless occasionally stroking the curled ringlets of his beard. The tavern-keeper, more puffed up than usual, immediately announced his intention to stand for office. Muted applause and a ragged cheer by some of his more debased regulars. The tavern-keeper looked momentarily disconcerted at the lack of enthusiasm before recovering his wits and announcing free drinks for whoever attends his first campaign meeting. This earned something more appreciatively substantive by way of a cheer. I must confess to harbouring certain doubts concerning the health of democratic traditions in this part of the world.
  • 21.IX.1669:
    • There are now 1,993 Iteran labourers fit for duty. One perished during the night and six others remain stricken in their sleeping pits. Copious vomiting. Food to be withheld until they next present themselves at work parade. Water to be made available but flasks are not to be shared with other prisoners.
    • Discussions with the carpenter. He is more than willing to assist provided that we pay up front and provide timber and labour. The workers, I assured him, would be available, and offered at letter of credit to cover the purchase of timber. He regarded it dubiously and suggested that he would need to see the plans before he could provide an estimate of costs. I will need to discuss with the gendarme Sotvan (captain), but for now the carpenter will be kept on a retainer. It is slightly unfortunate that the work has begun without the conception of what it is about having been fully fleshed out first, but such is the way of things. It is better, most assuredly, that something be seen to be done. The matter will resolve itself, one way or another.
  • 22.IX.1669:
    • Latrines. These will now need to be dug away from the sleeping and eating areas.
    • Life is proving impossible without decent coffee. Aside from piss poor wine and weak beer all that they drink around here is a mixed-spice tea that is as brackish as the water it is brewed in.
  • 23.IX.1669:
    • Burning and itching where burning and itching ought not to occur. I have concerns about continuing to frequent the tavern.
    • This afternoon an aircraft painted in aquamarine, a flying boat to judge by the odd fuselage and underwing protrusions, appeared from the north-east and overflew the town. The Home Guard spilled out onto the street and, optimistically, pointed their rifles skywards but no attack ensued. The flying boat circled twice and then disappeared off to the south-west, following the coastline towards Nivardom. Forty-five minutes later the flying boat was observed to reappear, following the middle course of the Gulf of Zinjibar and flying parallel to the coast relative to our position. I have put the gendarme on a fishing boat to Nivardom to make report of the sighting. No doubt they are aware already but this might at least remind them that this outpost exists.
    • One of the housewives approached me with the proposition to establish a school house for the feral swine that infest the streets (my words, not hers). She can apparently write in the Babkhi and Natopian script and owns a basic primer on mathematics. If it would help keep those of the pests who are too young to work out of trouble then I am in favour. I therefore willingly offered a letter of credit for the enterprise. She seemed disappointed but accepted the note regardless. I worry that the suspicion that I do not possess a strong-box of government gold is taking hold amongst the residents. The purchasing power of government credit will need to be demonstrated to them.
    • On the upside, no-one has attempted to rob me yet. Over-charged, certainly, but not outright stolen from me as of the present moment.
    • Enough of the tavern. I think it is time to buy or rent a property, although these look dismal also.
    • Another letter received enquiring about red clay - for the love of god, why? Scrawled a reply on the back of the note that they are welcome to come and dig for it if they are so certain that there is any here to be had.
  • 24.IX.1669:
    • The Iterans have been set to work digging a ditch to separate that portion of the town which faces onto the common pastures from the wasteland, scrub and open hill country to the east. With the heaped earth we shall make a beam set behind the ditch into which shall be set sharpened stakes pointing outwards. This may at least deter the more halfhearted species of bandit from presuming that they can merely walk into the town.
    • The Home Guard were out on the diminutive pier this afternoon, conducting drill and testing the condition of their rifles by firing off a few rounds apiece, which had the effect of startling the seagulls. I do not feel any especial confidence that this bunch would be able to repel the onslaught of a drunken Mbasani hooker, let alone a full blown Bassarid raid.
    • Chanced upon the Zurvanite priest watching the performance of the Home Guard, seemingly as unawed as myself. Somewhat reticent as is his want, he made the usual show of Babkhi civility, and returned my acknowledgement with a somewhat ritualised formal greeting and then regarded me in silence. Feeling suddenly on the spot I, to my surprise, found myself proposing that the volunteers presently supervising the Iteran labourers be formalised into an auxiliary police squad. He seemed to consider it for a moment before remarking that a neighbourhood watch had existed in the town for some years already out of necessity, before adding that some gesture of official support would no doubt be appreciated even if it were a modest stipend and a few pistols.

Zīj-i Saghi

On the 22nd day of Mordad in the present year [1669] the Superintendent of Works departed for Nivardom to attend a conference and to continue his medical treatment for the various aliments whose symptoms first manifested soon after his arrival in our midst. May the blessed and assured judgement of all-seeing Zurvan be praised for delivering us, even for a moment, of this inept foreigner. May the Veyish barbarians be forever accursed and may their rule over the beloved and rightly guided soon be brought to an end that is - for them - an inescapable calamity. The lands of the sacred flame shall be scoured with the blood of the unbelieving whilst the blessed rejoice and recite the holiest prayers of purification. The flames do not lie.