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Some thoughts about Upper and Lower Slagovichby happylarry
Always been a settlement in this area - originally this was 'lower Slagovich', that is a smallish town (sometimes bigger) based on the coast about 1 mile S of 'upper Slagovich' (there is still a settlement here - this is the town referred to in X6).
The topography of the land is important. Lower Slagovich was one of the few places along the coast with a sufficiently sized and accessible cove - chalk cliffs stretch along this area, and Slagovich is also protected by the shape of the bay
(compare Grabana to the north, a fishing village, with a small unprotected harbour, or Kastr to the south, which although it has a small port, is really a trading stop - last stop before the Konumtali savannah)
Lower Slagovich then is one of the few places where there is a break in the cliffs. Once a thriving port, since the development of upper Slagovich, it has become a fishing port. Upper Slagovich sits on top of the cliff - making it easily defensible - and of course boasts its unique port facility.
Approaching Slagovich, as one rounds the bay and passed lower Slagovich (and there really is no reason to stop here), the impressive cliff face and entrance to the underwater moorings come into view. The cliff here is approximately 400' high, and the entrance to the cavern is 150'. The cavern entrance is clearly not natural - it forms a horseshoe shape above the water, and huge carved runes can be seen surrounding the entrance.
A chain is generally placed across the entrance of the cavern, and all ships will be boarded by the Slagovian pilots. Ships will then be guided into the cavern. Once entering the cavern, boats travel around 1000', before taking one of the dozen of more moorings in the cavern - which is itself around 500' in diameter (it is nearly a perfect circle, and again many features are clearly not natural).
In the centre of the cavern - which will be carefully avoided by the Slagovian pilots - is a 100' diameter area of swirling water. In its 'at rest' state this water forms a slow moving whirlpool. However one the waters are activated, they rise swiftly the 400+' from sea level to the upper city. Those watching inside the cavern will see a large waterspout which remains miraculously constant.
The waterspout can be maintained for as long at the mages operating the crystal chamber of Slagovich (more later) desire - however, once ships have travelled up the spout, they are swiftly moved into one of the four? Dock areas which radiate out from it. These dock areas are then swiftly sealed, before the waterspout is 'deactivated'
In times of war, Slagovian pilots have been known to allow ships up to upper Slagovich, before deactivating the waterspout without closing the dock gates - with predictable effect.