Located atop a long stretch of black basalt cliffs, at the southern terminus of the Traveler’s Road is the town of Wallport; the filthy, stunted twin of Whitewall, lacking any stability and seeming at least as dirty and chaotic as any other city in the Threshold. Life in Wallport is frequently made tolerable only through heavy use of alcohol and other intoxicants.
Wallport is largely populated by those who fled Whitewall (or been exiled). Its population is just under 2,000 people. Of these, 1,800 are men who make a living loading and unloading the ships that come here to trade with Whitewall, though some are smugglers, port officials or prostitutes. Goods are brought up from the docks along the steep (often slippery) stone stairs or via an elaborate block-and-tackle system to the warehouses.
The few women citizens of Wallport are officials, prostitutes, physicians, appraisers and a few hardened dock workers. The population shrinks by several suicides every year as dock workers get too old and too tired to keep doing what they’ve spent their life doing but don’t have anything to show for the scars, the fatigue and the interminable ache in their backs and shoulders.
This port town is surrounded by walls exactly like Whitewall’s, only smaller. Much of the space within Wallport’s walls is taken up with sturdy stone warehouses but built between, on top of and behind the warehouse buildings are wooden shacks that operate as bordellos, saloons, opium dens, flophouses and similar establishments.
In the First Age, even through the end of the Shogunate, goods were raised and lowered using Essence fueled Artifacts. Though those Artifacts are still in place, they don’t work, and no one in Wallport currently knows how to power, operate or repair them.
Though Wallport has been a town in its own right since the First Age, this town perpetually has the feel of a frontier town. For its younger citizens, Wallport is a place for immaturity and excess, a place of lawlessness and criminal misadventures and, often, a place for those who can’t imagine a future for themselves. For its older citizens, Wallport is a place of nihilism, despair and bottoming out.
The local constabulary, while technically a garrison of Whitewall’s guardians, tends to be so lazy. All but the most extreme crimes go uninvestigated and unpunished. The one exception to this rule is theft. Anything that impairs, impedes or threatens trade with Whitewall is dealt with quickly and harshly by a garrison of five dissolute Dragon-Blooded guardians. Though they’re lazy, they’re well-trained, and they work together as a team. None of these Terrestrial Exalts is Fire-aspected, as the danger to the warehouses is considered too serious.
Wallport would have grown more, and probably outstripped Whitewall long ago, if it had a better harbor. The entire stretch of coastline located south of Whitewall is relatively hostile to any sort of large-scale port community. The harbor in Wallport is large enough for four good-sized boats to dock at any one time, or more vessels of a smaller size. During the busy spring and summer months, ships may have to anchor in the choppy, siaka infested seas outside the harbor while boats are loaded and unloaded, and, depending on the cargo, that can take between two and 12 hours. Wallporters long ago stopped keeping track of the number of vessels that have sunk under such circumstances.
As part of the trade agreement with Whitewall, the Realm navy sends in a contingent of Water-aspected Dragon-Blooded once or twice a year to bring up anything of value from these rotting hulks and cut down masts that could pose a threat to navigation.
There is one other reason Wallport hasn’t grown: it stinks. Enormous pipes run under the Traveler’s Road carrying away excess water from the hot spring and wastewater from Whitewall's public baths, as well as all of Whitewall’s sewage, and spits them into the ocean in a noisome outpouring of filth just half a mile west of the harbor. When the wind blows in off the ocean (as it often does), the entire town of Wallport is awash with the stench of sewage. During the summer months in particular, the smell is overpowering.
In the First Age, this outflow was transformed by Essence effects into pure, fragrant water over the course of its 700-mile journey south; where the water plunged into the ocean, the water resembled nothing so much as a beautiful waterfall. That hasn’t been the case since the Great Contagion, unfortunately.
Founded in the First Age, Wallport’s sole function is to provide a place for the loading and unloading of ships conducting business with Whitewall.