Hafenstadt is a cold water seaport on the Eissalzmeer Sea, in the northwestern corner of the Grand Duchy just outside of the Nentir Vale. Though often blocked by sea ice in the winter months, Hafenstadt still serves as a critical trading hub for the largely landlocked Grand Duchy due to it being the only deep water sea port along the rocky northwestern coast. Because of the harsh winters and sea ice, Hafenstadt captains must often take their ships south for the winter months to anchor off one of the few small shallow harbor sea towns and bring their crews ashore by longboat.
Hafenstadt is ruled by the Lordbürgermeister (Lord Mayor) whose impressive title belies the actual power held. The true power and influence is wielded by the “Handelslords” (roughly: Merchant Lords) who are the economic lifeblood of the city. In the warmer months, the city population doubles in size as the Merchant Houses take advantage of the trading window, bringing a steady supply of trade goods, sailors, and dock hands to town. In the winter, the city feels like a ghost town as most of the ship crews and dock workers head south, along with the wealthier Merchant Lords, leaving the poorer citizens to endure the harsh winters. The bustling sea port transforms into a sleepy fishing village.
Hafenstadt citizens harbor pride in the fact that the town was never conquered by the Horned King, and played an integral part in the defense of Threshold during the “Last Siege”. Hafenstadt is often unofficially quipped as being “the Savior of Threshold.” While this is technically true, Hafenstadt was not taken mostly due to its remoteness. Additionally, the resupplies to Threshold were important during the siege, Threshold was not conquered by the Horned King due to other extenuating circumstances.