Wolves on Watch
Hesse, Scharnhorst continent, New Dusseldorf
Hesse, Scharnhorst continent. The city of Hesse is relatively unspecialised. Taming the continent took priority at the time, so other than being well furnished to support local agriculture and colonisation, the city lacks any current specialisation. The people of Hesse see it differently, they view themselves as rugged pioneers, colonists and country folk.
Unlike the other port cities on New Dusseldorf, the bay of Hesse is filled with many small islands, and the shore of the bay is marsh and swamp. Many larger islands are located off the coast from the bay. The seaward side of the city is constructed on posts and elevated platforms and walkways. Long heavy duty piers are constructed across the marshes and smaller islands to the larger ones, large enough for small and most medium vessels to pass under but not the larger intercontinental vessels. This was the third best site on Scharnhorst continent, however.
The geography of the bay necessitates using the outer islands as the main ports for larger ships, with medium draft and smaller ships able to pass through them to the smaller islands beyond. Only hovercraft or the smallest boats are able to reach or pass the marsh zone. Initially this left Hesse with a problematic and inefficient port, before the piers and outer island ports were finished. Supplies had to be shipped from temporary ports on the outer island through to the base camp and construction site on the mainland beyond the marsh line.
Since the construction of the larger infrastructure, and utilising the many islands, Hesse has had the advantage of a much greater effective coastline than it would have with a conventional coastline. Most residents compare the shipping traffic of Hesse to peak hour road traffic. Swarms of small fishing vessels, water taxis, and even floating eateries ply the bay and surrounding waters. Medium sized vessels, particularly tugs for the larger vessels and construction related boats, are a constant factor as well. Larger intercontinental vessels usually remain outside the bay proper on the outer islands. The outermost of these shield the inner ones, rendering the area only semi-exposed, which is less than ideal.
A recent trend has been to use submarine ports, in an attempt to bypass the often rough surface conditions, particularly during storms. These ports are currently few in number, but the largest is capable of catering to the largest submarines, which formerly had to either surface to dock or use smaller cargo submarines to unload. There appears to be a growing interest and investment in this direction, and some proposals to develop large scale sea floor aquaculture projects. These would be deep sea efforts not the normal shallow water aquaculture projects close to shore.
Due to the marshy coastline, rather than hugging the coast the land-side portion of Hesse, it has grown deeper inland using more stable terrain. Some consider it two separate settlements, the land-side city and the network of platforms and port-islands and the coastal infrastructure and land-transport.
Hesse has no noteworthy area of industrial specialisation, possibly the difficulties of the cities port have led to this trend. Some have suggested that the bay has led to much higher levels of smaller vessels and small scale operations rather than larger aquaculture projects. The other commonly proposed direction is development of submarine manufacturing, submerged ports for submarines on the outer islands and deep sea aquaculture projects.