|The Enclave > Known Roads > Polt|
|An Ancient Name of Uncertain Provenance|
Home to a small community of fisherfolk, Polt is one of the Four Isles off the Enclave coast at the Watch of Trees - close enough to shore for isle folk to see clifftop lantern lights lit by the mysterious Ammanene on clear nights, far enough that the cliffs are indistinct on hazy summer days. There is little on Polt to interest traders and wealthy fisher folk who sail between Cael and Port; the folk of the isle are poor and insular. They keep to themselves for the most part, and make their own way to the Enclave coast when they have need of supplies that cannot be taken from the Unending Sea.
The other nearby isles of the Four - Alna, Jont and Mappan - are rocky and uninhabited, visible from the highest rocks of Polt on a clear day. The names of the Four Isles are all of very ancient origin. These were strange names even in the generations of the old Ammand, names from folk other than the common Ammander stock, their meaning long forgotten by mortals.
The shallow, rock-strewn sea beneath the Watch of Trees and between the Four Isles is rich in spined eel and crawcrab, but only for patient fishers and shallow-beamed boats. The large, angry red crawcrabs caught by the fisherfolk of Polt are inedible, but possessed of a shell hard enough for many uses.
|Watchtower of the Fisher Priest|
The broad, low Watchtower of gray isle stone stands atop the highest rocks of Polt. It is a fortress in miniature, built in a strange style and weathered by uncounted storms. It might date back to the generations of seafaring Magi and their first exploration of the Enclave coast, but no mortal folk could say for sure.
The lowest floor of the tower is a vaulted shrine to the Fisher in Darkness, and has been for many generations. The stone interior is overtaken with arches made of old driftwood and the large shells of Four Isle crawcrabs. The present priest, Tarnas, is a lone and mysterious man; he rarely leaves the Watchtower and seems not to want for company. Tarnas seldom speaks to the fisher folk of Polt. They know little of the priest or his past, but provide for him in the traditional manner - younger folk carry packaged provisions up the steep path to the tower and leave them in the shrine, under the gaze of the statue of the Fisher.
Tarnas came to Polt ten years ago, arriving alone in small boat that he has not touched since, just as reclusive then as he is now. There was no priest on Polt in those seasons; the Watchtower had been empty a generation, the shrine poorly kept by the fisher folk and the upper floors a home to seabirds. For all Tarnas' strangeness, the folk of Polt are pleased that a priest of the Fisher dwells in the Watchtower once more.
|Wizardry of Three Fingers|
The smiling, three-fingered men came to Polt in their boats of strangers' metal two generations ago after a great summer storm, or so the old folk of the isle claim. They traded, threw one of their kind overboard, and sailed away to the Farthest Sea. That castaway three-fingered man struggled ashore, raging against all who would help him; he half-slew ten before the fisherfolk drove him off with spear and ax.
To hear the old folk of Polt tell the tale, the three-fingered man was larger and stronger in those first days. He roamed the isle for half a season, terrifying folk while calling strange wizardry down from the sky and up from the water. As winter drew close, the white-haired priest of the time stood up to the three-fingered man in the name of the Fisher, forcing him away from Polt to call up his strange wizardry on Jont and the other lesser Isles.
The fisher folk of Polt saw only glimpses of the three-fingered man after that; he became a gaunt and tattered figure haunting the lesser of the Four Isles. The years passed slowly until, one summer day, the three-fingered man rowed back to Polt in a boat of gray isle stone, wearing a cloak of seabird feathers. He bore brightly polished gifts of carved rock and raged no more - nor did he call forth terrifying wizardry. In the seasons since, the three-fingered man has become a favored member of the small fishing community, for all that he speaks and understands little of the Ammander tongue. He dwells in one of the oldest stone cottages in the lee of the isle, carving tools and ornaments to trade with the village folk.
|Master Fisher's Hall|
Like the Watchtower, the Master Fisher's Hall is an old, old building of great gray stones and beams brought by boat from the Enclave coast. It stands alone above the shoreline on the far side of the isle from the fisherfolk cottages, facing out to the wind and the Unending Sea. Seabirds build their nests in the lee of the Hall, beneath faded islemarks painted by Magi-blooded fishers in seasons gone by.
The Hall stands empty save for the few times the folk of Polt gather together - to resolve disputes, or when the Unending Sea claims one of their number. On those days, fisherfolk look to the guidance of the Master Fisher, elected for the occasion by acclaim or vote of the elders of the isle.
|Seeking Tales of the Emerald Company|
Aye, I rode with Arith to take my ax against the Neth and White Trespassers. It's been many winters since I heard those names spoken; a fair way you've sailed just to disturb the isle folk and ask me that.
A fisher of the Four Isles I was when young, and a fisher of Four Isles I am once more. There is all there is, and all Creation beyond Polt remains beyond Polt. I don't tell tales of the old Company, no, so best you take yourselves and your spears back to Hebsen's merchant vessel and sail away to whence you came. Leave the folk here in peace.
I won't ask who sent you to the Four Isles, but tell them there are no axmen of the Emerald Company on Polt, aye, and never there were.