No one considers Harbor Approach hip. Or, at least they didn’t until Tano Ghezzo started buying up the place and transforming it.
When people say “Harbor Approach,” they mean Eversink’s warehouse and boatbuilding district. This dirty warren of wharves and docks is best known for its lovely fishy aroma. Arguably the most “island on a lagoon” part of the island on the lagoon, Harbor Approach is home to Eversink’s storied fish markets, the endless goods warehouses, annoyed foremen, government officials, and the tax collectors. Harbor Approach is also home to the Arsenal, Eversink’s Naval boatbuilding, mustering, and supply depot. Rumor has it — an enterprising adventurer can find the best seafood restaurants in Eversink down in Harbor Approach.
What it isn’t is swank.
The Swankiest Place to Be
Tano Ghezzo made his fortune in salt. Salt is not a sexy business, but it’s a profitable one with the right contacts and sailing at the right times. Food perishes without salt. Doctors prescribe it for what ails you from heartburn to eczema. People bathe in salt. It’s a good business, salt.
It’s a pretty boring one. And Tano Ghezzo does not like to do bored. He likes to do rich. So he took his salt fortune and plowed it into a cluster of warehouses that came up on the market for sale (although not a surprise to Tano, for reasons involving long and sharp knives and the application of a bag of ready cash.) Warehouses don’t often come up on the market in Eversink. The land is so scarce in Eversink some families pass their warehouses down from father to son through the generations. But these came up, and Tano bought them in cash.
Then, he tore them down. He hired a crew, and he built the most beautiful luxury townhouses where the warehouses once stood. He built a high metal fence around the townhouses, decorated them with the highest-end landscaping, paid armed mercenaries to keep out the hoi polloi, and then put them up for lease to the up-and-coming rich as the New Alderhall.
“For those who the dying snobs in Alderhall shun,” went the pitch, “but are rich enough to afford Alderhall luxury, come to New Alderhall! Where we are building a new paradise on Eversink.”
Tano rented to anyone who could pay his exorbitant prices. And they sold! Yes, they sold because Tano only built a few units where the old warehouses once stood, and now they were rare, new, expensive, and very exclusive.
Next up was to buy more warehouses to expand. But, again, no one wants to sell their warehouses in Harbor Approach. The land is scarce, warehouse space hard to come by, and everyone needs space to load or unload their trade. The families don’t want to sell out because warehouses are their lifelines to the sea. And the guilds and companies don’t want to sell because that’s how they operate.
But, in Tano’s mind, everything is for sale in Eversink, one way or the other. Maybe he’s the ultimate disciple of Denari, the final incarnation of a man who understands that everything in Eversink has a price and everyone wants to sell. It takes a little blackmail, a few threats, a little torture, even a little murder to get his point across that he’s a man with cash, and he’s ready to buy – at rock bottom prices.
Meanwhile, as Tano buys up warehouse space, tears it down, and builds new warehouses for the newly rich who want to live like those in Alderhall in their enclosed private enclave (now with restaurants and shopping!), warehouse space is getting scarce. Those who need to do business in Eversink are running out of room to load and unload their goods. There’s talk now of ejecting people from their homes in Sag Harbor to build new warehouses down there, but that means Eversink will flood with homeless. Angry fights break out among the nobles, the companies, the guilds, and the military around storage and shipments right in the streets.
And if anyone attacks Eversink while the ships cannot adequately prepare and load out, well, the City is, in a word, screwed.
Mercanti Tano Ghezzo, Homebuilder and Visionary
Confident, Greedy, Persuasive
Defense – Health: Hit Threshold 3, Health 1
Defense – Morale: Morale Threshold 2, Grit 2 (entitled), Morale 9
Offense – Sway: +2; Damage Modifier +2 (unshakable confidence)
Abilities: Malus 15
Special Abilities: Allies (cost – 3), Flashback (cost – 5), Summon (cost – 3, Thugs)
Misc: Alertness Modifier +1
Refresh Tokens: 3
Description: Tano Ghezzo is a standard Mercanti with a massive bank account. What he brings to the table are his connections. He ran quite a bit with the Eversink underworld when he was into salt. Salt can be a dirty business, and he did a little body smuggling in his time to help out a newly found friend or two for some cash and a pile of later favors. He can call in a set of thugs or an assassin or two as needed to protect his financial interests. He’s also a meticulous planner — he always has some plan up his sleeve or some idea hatching.
He’s only interested in money, and his entire plan is to move from very rich to fabulously rich with a string of real estate development deals.
Villainous Plot Seeds
- Undercutting the Guild’s Business: The Shipwrights Guild of Eversink has hired the PCs to look into a problem they have. A dark cloaked figure started approaching their members recently, offering to trade a fortune for the deed to one of their warehouses. After universally turning the dark figure down, the figure is back, turning up the heat with threats and violence. Now, one of the shipwrights is missing, nowhere to be found. The others are terrified to go to the warehouse to load badly needed ship goods onto the trade ships leaving for the season. The PCs must get to the bottom of this!
- A Fire at New Alderhall: A fire broke out at New Alderhall! Was it just the side effect of a clumsy drunken party? Was someone tricked out of their land wanting to get revenge? Or was it another developer muscling in on Tana’s territory and pulling the same act around developing Harbor Approach? Or all three? All anyone knows is that fires on Eversink are dire indeed. One stormy wind and the whole city will burn down. The Watch wants the PCs to get to the bottom of the fire, figure out if it was arson, and track down the perpetrator in the twisty maze of Harbor Approach warehouses!
- Ousting the Poor: With the pressure on Harbor Approach, business owners are getting creative around where to house their goods as they come off the boat. Loss of space forces the business owners to go down to Sag Harbor, where the people who work on the docks live. The current plan is to buy up the townhouses, apartments, shops, stores, and lean-tos and fill their goods. And by “buy,” they mean “hand over a tiny nominal amount of cash and throw the current resident’s possessions into the street.” The PCs get involved when a friend, a loved one, or even themselves are handed a small bag of cash and then forcibly thrown out into the street. Will the PCs save the day and Sag Harbor?
Disclaimer: These posts are unaffiliated with official canonical posts or printed materials about Sword of the Serpentine. “Swords of the Serpentine” is (TM) Pelgrane Press. For more information on Eversink, visit the Pelgrane website.