Where “Port Kar” (Lower Svago) meets “Ar” (Upper Svago)
Svago is a small island out of the way of major trading routes on the wider Thassa. Never much considered by seafarers, who tend to prefer the more direct routes to Cos and Tyros. It is a forgotten little gem, much out of the way of those that roam Gor for profit.
Since time immemorial people have lived on Svago, that much is clear. There is evidence on the island of now long gone inhabitants in stone and occasional carvings but no oral history survives. Perhaps only the name remained as the island was always called that: Svago. Some say it signifies the feeling of safety and carefree relaxation the harbour offers, others are sure it is a local and ancient word for the Olive tree found in the upper grove.
The small but safe natural harbour had always attracted fishing folk who over time built a village around the natural harbour that affords so much protection from the rough weather and wild seas. Fishing to keep their families alive they became expert boat builders too using timbers from the island abundant olive trees.
The salty spray, the sounds of sea birds, the rocks still catching out every dark wave only affording a mere rimple to reach the inside of the harbour like a long reaching hand stretching in but now without the once mighty power it possessed. Thassa’s air is fresh and revitalising.
Over the ages, other colourful folk from vastly varied backgrounds came to settle in the village, some landed here by shipwrecking, others by an adventurous mind, but all set on making Svago home.
Bakers, butchers and fishmongers ply their trade. Tanning houses and leather workers followed and seamstresses opened up shop. Shepherds engaging in verr husbandry were more noticeable high up in the hills, these men would often talk about engraved stones on the hills but no one would take real notice as surely no profit was to be gained from a mere stone. Men and women worked together just to survive much like in far frozen Torvaldsland, survival utmost on their mind. Survival of the fittest often meant survival of the strongest, fair or no. That was when the lower city was the only settlement on the Isle of Svago, much Port Kar like in essence: wild and unpredictable. Make no mistakes, their descendants still live in the lower city, some even have been able to hide in fancy caste colours but their old Svago heart is very much alive.
A slave house opened their doors training and selling slaves to those able to afford them. Their stock coming from imports mainly, voluntary or not. And so a much frequented tavern was established to satisfy the hard working men. Some slaves in the tavern rough as fish guts, some clearly destined for higher slave's duties, if only they were sought for by men and women of standing.
The fishing village expanded and became a small scale trading post with a Harbour Master/ Trader of jetsam and flotsam and a veritable Inn. Because of its climate and the distance from the unsatisfying mainland, Svago attracted people much disgruntled with whatever they sought to leave behind. But wherever they came from, they were all on the lookout to eke out a more simple existence in the Svago sun.
When the Bernard family moved to the neighbouring island, the once head of the family Dren Bernard started travelling to the village on the Island of Svago and spend much time there exploring it. It was him who talked to the locals, who explored the mountain ranges and the entrance to the tunnels found at the back of the village in the man-build fortified wall that surrounds the natural harbour and village from the West. He marked out where he saw in his mind’s eye a place for High Castes to come to the Island and find a place to live in relative peace supported by and in support of the Low caste village below.
Tovas the builder was engaged who set out the upper city in the upper Olive grove, like a painter would starts on a cleared canvas with for a most creative creating brush-strokes. Unhindered by the need to allow for low caste areas with the exception of the necessary financiers and moneylenders and of course the purveyors of a proper morning’s black wine. The ambience of Ar without the big city feel.
Men of Gor have long memories and from their previous cities, the Bernards remembered names of Strong Leaders, one always does when one meets them. Men of Gorean substance who know how to lead with consideration, give direction with positive intent and who know how to delegate and engage their caste members in the many of workings needed. With these caste leaders found the High castes are represented well and a High Council can be found to administer both the lower and upper Svago.
With the inspiration the olive trees on the Isle, a stirring banner was woven, a proud crest painted. Svago has started it second incarnation as a fully fledged City of Gor.