The Isle of Taken
At just six leagues from east to west and two leagues north to south, Taken is far from impressive. However the four thousand foot edifice of Meindir Gydaynis or Taken Mountain at the eastern end marks the island out for many, many leagues on a fine day.
Taken is the home of the Taken Line, a line that runs horizontally around the globe of Dirt and takes in lands such as Redust on The Prelates and Cosenta on Bind.
The origins of this small, strange land are unknown, but it seems to be the north-eastern end of a range of undersea mountains and shallows that extends as far as the treacherous Shallow Sea, though aside from the sandbanks of that region, Taken is the only land above water.
The seas around the island are very difficult to navigate and the waters to the immediate south and west are seen as some of the most dangerous and unpredictable on the known oceans of Dirt. Indeed, the entire southwestern quadrant of the Yonder sea is avoided by deep water vessels.
Navigation by boat is normally restricted to the north of the Taken Line.
No country lays claim to Taken and even in distant history, it has never been in the possession of any of the large empires. In recent times, the island has been shared between the dragons and humans; the dragons meeting at the Neuath on the mountain and the humans focused around Taken Town, the tiny trading town at the western end of the island.
The island has a small permanent population, predominantly human, who live in the small hamlets scattered over the hilly plain or the town, and a handful of dragons who look after the Neuath.
The Catre Sarad, the place of meeting, and the Neuath are built on a natural promontory almost halfway up the side of the mountain that has been excavated out further to create a large horseshoe shaped area. The Neuath, the halls, are a series of huge meeting halls built against the mountain face that have been used as a point of mutual meeting by the dragon peoples for millennia.
It is thought that the original buildings and the huge plaza, the catre sarad, was constructed more than twelve thousand years ago, though the large halls appear to have been rebuilt several times over the years.
The largest of the meeting halls is vast, with a large domed roof that can accommodate up to a hundred great dragons. Many of the smaller meeting rooms can only contain five or ten, though these are still of notable size.
Taken Town and Villages
Though no bigger than many of the larger fishing villages of Bind and The Prelates, Taken Town is still very much a town and serves the small community on the island. The harbour has deep enough water to accommodate large trading vessels on the outer wall and medium sized craft at the inner piers.
Although most trade around the Yonder Sea is coastal trade, some few traders will take the direct route from the ports in bind like Tool and Port Lesende to the ports of Wead-Wodder, Axen and those in Mudlands and Haifen. Though of no great quantity, this trade is sufficient to make Taken Town a prosperous small port and there are several businesses along the sea front and around the small square to serve this passing trade well.
The town is ancient and has changed little in thousands of years. The weather around the island is unpredictable and the buildings are all constructed from the dark stone of the mountain with thick walls, heavy slate roofs and small windows.
Travel inland a little way and it becomes a different world. The gently rolling hills protect the farming community from the worst of the storms and the houses here are of lighter build, often painted white or made from red brick. Most of the small rural communities are just five or six families, mostly farmers, though there are a handful of taverns and artisan workers such as blacksmiths.
Although there are small woodlands on this part of the island, most of the forest is confined to the foothills and around the base of the mountains.