In Brief: The Chain Ferry is a floating hamlet suspended in the middle of the rivers’ confluence.
Politics: Associated with Jovvox. Population: 5 gnomes and 20 halflings in residence at any one time.
Leader: Captain Jaig
There is an old Ferry Station on the north bank of the river, but the few remaining buildings look old, empty and uncared for – doors and windows are missing, roofs are falling in and there are graffiti (drawing, signs and words, in both draconic and common ) on some walls. The one exception is a round hut down by the quayside that looks as if someone has been keeping it up, there is a doorway (but no door), a couple of small slit windows that let a bit of light in and a hard packed floor – but nothing else. A sign on the outside says “For our Customers’ Comfort”. The quay itself seems to be in a reasonable condition – although like the hut, the building styles don’t seem consistent.
Out in the river, there is a sizable raft – built up at one end with a ramshackle series of mismatched cabins and decks - make a home for the residential crew. Passengers and livestock travel on the flat bed of the Ferry/Raft Right at the top is a roof garden - with plants in baskets and troughs overflowing down towards the water. There are even sconces to hold night-time torches, and it looks like it can be lit up like a Christmas tree if its occupants choose. An everlasting torch burns like a beacon from the top-most deck.
Aboard the ferry you can see a few Halflings tending to the plants, clambering across the structures or just fishing from the sides of the raft. However, the captain is a Female Gnome with bright blue hair and pale green skin called Jaig. She negotiates a fee starting off at 1gp per head (Person or animal - wagons etc not accepted) to travel on her wondrous river crossing machine. However, she might reduce the price especially if she is offered anything she finds interesting/ different, as part of the price.
The raft is armed with four Large Heavy repeating crossbows, on the upper decks, which have seats and are mounted on gimbals (Like a WWII AA gun). They can cover the decks and the shore stations – Each has a crew of two Halflings who are skilled in their use. Rumour has it they have exploding bolts that they will use in an emergency
Using a clever system of ropes, chains and pulleys, the ferry-raft can be hauled up to the Northern Shore of the Little Sellen / Shrike where thre main ferry station is. When the ropes are released they drift down into the middle of the Little Sellen and the use large steering rudders to use the current to carry them to either the eastern or western bank of the Little Sellen. On each bank, there are similar quays to the one you embarked from.
Food: The rooftop garden grows a small number of edible flowers, fruits and vegetables. Halfling scouts often spend some time ashore foraging and looking for small game. However, rod fishing from the raft is the main source of food.
People: The gnomes are generally inventors or students, while many the halflings have ‘moved on’ from slavery in Cheliax. About half of the halflings (mainly fishermen, carpenters and scouts) have made their permanent home here, the others are taking a break before they move on. Apart from Jaig, the gnomes change regularly too. Once a project is finished they will go somewhere else to play / experiment.