the inner perimeter

By tradition, the wall separating the town of Timberport from the larger city is called the inner perimeter. According to legend, the name comes from older and forgotten legend about the fall of the city, and it’s widely believed that the wall existed when history began. Since then, it’s been moved outward in sections as Timberporters have cleared more land for cultivation — man not wanting to live on fish alone. (Given the absurd scale of Imperial construction, the modern population of Timberport could easily be housed in a single building inside the town’s original perimeter. In fact, many of the town’s rooms go unused several months out of the year, as they’re too hard to heat with the limited wood available.)

It’s (relatively) easy to move the inner perimeter outward because of its construction: its primary strength lies in the Imperial construction of its constituent buildings, which serve as towers and strongpoints in the wall. First, a new set of such buildings is designated for inclusion. Because buildings in Timberport tend to align on a grid, this is usually pretty straightforward. Second, a new gate is installed in the wall between buildings, opening onto the area to be newly-enclosed. Third, the doors and windows in the face of the buildings newly desginated as part of the wall are barred with Imperial steel. Finally, woven-steel fences are used to connect the buildings. (The fencing usually comes from the old wall of the last expansion, but newly-harvested sections are regularly added to the stock.) While the fences by themselves won’t (and don’t) keep serious predators away, they keep them at bay long enough to get safely inside the old walls. Like the new ones, those walls are strengthened by the rock cleared from between the buildings. At some point, as the new walls become stronger, it starts to make sense to start tearing down the old walls and use them to reinforce the new ones. That’s the most dangerous part of the operation, so the whole town pitches in to finish it quickly. After they do, the new area can be lived in — if the fields are ready. Additional stone removed from the fields, unless particularly well-suited for wall-building, is dumped behind the barred windows and doors. There’s plenty of room, and you might was well reinforce what’s now the weakest part of the defenses.

Each building in the wall has a ‘permanent camp’ marked by the guards, usually the highest fully-enclosed area. Simple symbols on the walls mark different areas — bunks, latrines, kitchen, archery positions — and the paths between them, so a position can be competently defended immediately upon arrival. Rarely is more required of the militia than good aim with a bow; of those other occasions, however, very little is said.

the inner perimeter

Ruins of Timberport _Quinn