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About this City Journal

Looking at Tolkar's Holle Bay at the start of the industrial revolution to today

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Situated south of Holle Oberwasser the community of Reichlichacker was founded in 1852. Translated to Bountiful Fields, religious settlers established their community along the southern roads of the HO farming areas of the south bank of the Holle River. Establishing first their church then the locality and farms the community has strong differences from their brethren to the north. Following religious ideals to their own sect the forests are considered rather sacred and farms are established in open meadows contoured around the tree lines.

Initially the community is roughly 500 strong, but by 1855 demand for food by other cities in the region and by the shipping industry via Holle Oberwasser the population swells and farms are constructed in other meadows to the south. Though the original settlement features a clustered community and generous housing plots, future developments are spread out and housing plots are small affairs.

Unlike Holle Oberwasser or other cities in the region, Reichlichacker lacks a military police force and instead the community, all of whom belong to the church bow to the religious authority, under which all civil actions are performed. By 1860 the population is steady at 1,940 and the authority ceases writing permits for construction on February 23rd, 1860.


In 1845 the real growth of the Vaterland area is at Skrzyzowanie Zelaza. If it was not for the iron industry here the Vaterland region today would likely be as it was then. The population boom from 5,068 (1845) to 12,973 in 1860 is remarkable. However the growth is driven by two factors: ethnicity and industry.

Industrialization plays the first major role in the growth of this city. Industrialization throughout the nation of Jeffland is critical to the growth here, though today S. Zelaza is one of the primary mining centers of the nation, at the time ore production was rather small in comparison to other areas in Jeffland. It is however the industrial need for iron ore that becomes the catalyst for growth and as a young nation demands more iron S. Zelaza has an edge over their competitors - race.

One must remember that while the nation is beyond it's first generations nationally there is still a resentment over Damzlo allegiances during the revolution. S. Zelaza became an mecca for those of Damzlo decent, even an inspiration at the opportunities in a new country at equality of wealth and lifestyle. This mass immigration to the city provides a cheap labor source to fuel the demands of the iron industry.

In 1848 the SZ Rail Line is established to move material from the northern mines to the smelts and docks. This provides further boom to the industry and the port front becomes crowded with ships looking to drive the ore up the coast and up the Holle River. As people flood into the city limits the construction industry prospers as well as new homes are constructed. The older two acre park lots are abandoned in favor of single acre housing as cheap as can be built. In 1853 the SZ Line establishes passenger services as well to move people to the factories.


The 1850's however are an interesting time for S. Zelaza as a blue collar city. Suffering under the new rules of Jefflandies Citizenship, and with ethnic Damzlos ostracized from the military service needed for citizenship S. Zelaza has an astonishing 1:250 average ratio during the 1850's of citizens to residents (being the non-citizens). Many of the companies founded to mine, refine, transport or otherwise provide city services are owned by Steiners outside the city. One of the most interesting examples of this dynamic is the treatment of the forest in which Pawel Wojcik fought and died in. As county and company planners being primarily of Steiner decent had no issues constructing road and rail lines through the forest. Still, city zoning officials and even construction bosses denied real estate permits and the like for forested land.


(The forest where Pawel Wojcik fought and died)

The issue became so hotly contested that in 1858 the city commissioned and built the Artur Wojcik Memorial, though further west of the forest in an area of low class housing and effectively named for the wrong individual. Still, ethnic tensions were not well quelled here. The military, responsible for all police actions, attempted to establish an ethnic Damzlo unit to police the city but corruption along ethnic lines further distressed public safety. Lacking a credible police force and based on local accounts it can be assumed that on average one in two people were assaulted every year.


(Picture of the Artur Wojcik Memorial)

However, this is not to suggest that the 1850's were a dark period in Skrzyzowanie Zelaza's history. In fact, S. Zelaza is one of the first Jefflandies cities to establish a civic railway system, and though not tied into the national system boasted roughly 10 times more track than the Chupilo line or any other national rail line into the Vaterland region. Another civic bright spot was Artur Dom (Artur Hall) which began construction in 1856 and was completed in 1859, housing civic offices and the Military Police Authority.


In rare fashion, Skalisty Brzegu (SB) having initially been established as the county seat witnessed a different revolution from those of the other cities of Vaterland at the time. In 1846 the Chupilo Line was extended down the Dorouthea peninsula (on which the city is located at the southern tip) and SB became the first city in the region to be connected by rail to a major rail network.


(A look at the Chupilo Line c.1863)

This accomplishment however is not as vaunted as it may initially appear. This addition brought the local population up to roughly 90 people. The railway however would eventually become an important beacon of growth for the city. It would seem that Skalisty Brzegu's future would rely once again on Skrzyzowanie Zelaza (S. Zelaza) where with the peace the iron mining and smelting sections boomed. Such economic growth attracted the attention of many would-be entrepreneurs. Ethnicity had played a large role in the Jefflandies Revolution, such that citizenship under the new constitution required military service in the correct military during the revolution. With so many of the ethnic Damzlo having served under the Sians during the war few could command the loans and required permits to open enterprise.

Thus, citizens with Steiner ethnicity saw opportunity in opening factories and trade ventures in S.Zelaza but these same situations lead to dangerous conditions. Even the Jefflandies Army was hesitant to station troops in the city, in 1849 an attempt at an all Damzlo police unit being created but the situation worsened as corruption was rampant along the same ethnic lines. Thus, Skalisty Brzegu became their safe haven, connected to the rail networks for higher enterprise and family. One entrepreneur by the name of Dirks Duncker remarked in a letter to his sister, "Brzegu is a wondrous place, here I have ever comfort as back home [in St. Jeffrey] but when people there see the address on correspondence they assume we are in the wild of savages, a place of danger and adventure."

Such was the pull to Citizens such as Duncker that by 1855 the population of Skalisty Brzegu had risen from 77 to 1755. Perhaps a better idea of the rapid growth would be to observe the train schedule: in 1847 rail travel was by request to the city, by 1855 there was an express to Chuplio, with a regular daily rail service from all five stations in SB.




In 1845 Holle Oberwasser (HO) had a population of 2,968 people of mostly Steiner background. As maritime trade began to increase steadily through the Holle River Valley and overseas via the Vaterland Bay the importance of HO rose as well. The city began to take on a rather low reputation as a final stop for desperate sailors, but by 1850 a new market emerged economically.

HO began to see a rise in large farming plantations as ships setting to sea looked for cheaper food stocks which could be found there. Between 1850 and 1860 the population of HO doubled to 5,838 (by 1860 census) though only about 1,000 were Citizens under the new Jefflandies system of citizenship whereby military service was required to gain rights as a voting member of society along with other benefits of office.

Interestingly the agricultural transition took place in an unusual place, across the Holle River, though historians have speculated that this shift had largely to do with ethnic tensions and that as migrating Steiners arrived in the Vaterland region they wanted a physical boundary from the Damzlo masses to the north. Regardless a ferry system connected the two parts of the city, though often ships would dock on the south harbor to take on food stocks and keep their crews from the brothels of the northern side.


(Farms on the south bank of the Holle River, c.1858)


Setting the Scene

Still 'Jeffland' the modern day area of Tolkar known as the "Holle Bay" area started rather small, with just 8,113 residents by Military Census in 1845. While the region had played very little in history prior to this point it would forever be an important part of the future nation. In fact, it stood as one of the last bastions of earlier Tolkaren cultural separation.

Prior to the Jefflandies revolution of 1801, small settlements of the Damzlo peoples occupied the region and were the sole inhabitants until 1623 and the arrival of Steiner traders established Holle Oberwasser at the mouth of the Holle River (for which the name literally meant "Holle's Mouth"). During this time Sian princes rule over swaths of the peninsula and the Bay Area falls under the historical rule of the Seat of Chupilo to the north. Traders from Holle Oberwasser begin to work with local farmers and peasants to mine ore, silver and rarely gold from the mountains under rather harsh conditions.

These conditions eventually lead to several riots under which the Sian Monarchy establishes ethnically Tolkaren Sub-Knights to take charge of the region. The ruling prince however worried to give control to a Steiner Knight names Aegidius Hoyer to the Seat, but in the same decree orders him to establish himself from a small Damzlo fishing village by the name of Skalisty Brzegu (1634). This decision allowed for two things to take place. First, Hoyer would be unable to garner popular support from the locals and mount a rebellion as other Sub-Knights had in other areas. This was particularly important because the nature of the bay created an issue as the mountains created a natural choke point that had been the otherwise important factor in which the area had not been settled. It was for this reason as well that Skalisty Brzegu had been selected because it was connected along the coast road to Chupilo and could easily be reached by Sian troops.

The choke however caused the same problems for Hoyer who had to traverse over 8km of bay to reach the middle island and cross the channel there as well to reach the popular settlements where trouble was often found. After repeated attempts to move his seat to Holle Oberwasser, Hoyer knighted under himself an unlikely candidate to maintain order over the ethnic Damzlo peoples in the bay area. In 1645 a local mining boss by the name of Artur Wojcik was made a baron of the Hoyer lands, though in secret as the Sians had forbidden the Sub-Knights to establish lesser lords. Artur had been a strong candidate in that his mother had been of Steiner decent and once in power his crew of miners quickly established order with violence.

Wojcik was no fool though, and he established a central township under his own name, located in current day Skrzyzowanie Zelaza. The city quickly bristled as a source of commerce with the residents of Holle Oberwasser and the population swelled to nearly 400 residents, almost three times that of any of the other established towns in the bay area. This lead to a period of prosperity and relative peace that would survive until events away from the bay area would echo.

In 1650 when the Sian Kingdom collapsed the bay area might as well have been oblivious to the changing of hands that other lands suffered through. It wasn't until the Sian Baron of Chupilo levied a tax against the residents of the bay area that problems arose in 1651. Unlike most regions of the Tolkaren Peninsula, the bay area lacked a strong truly Tolkaren authority. When the Elch-Liga was established in 1652 Aegidius Hoyer had been denied membership because he lacked any real power in his seat - Skalisty Brzegu had a population of less than 50 people, over half of which were Hoyer's personal servants. As such, as the Sian Baron of Chupilo was threatened by other League lords Artur Wojcik took advantage of the situation by establishing his own militia. In 1653 when Hoyer lost control troops loyal to the Baron marched south to put him and his collaborators to death. They failed facing heavy fighting in the coastal choke near "Wojcik" and set a second attempt by sea under the leadership of Hoyer (who had been threatened to solve the insurrection or die trying). Waiting for winter conditions to subside however in the Spring of 1654 the Baron of Chupilo was overthrown.

The overthrow left Hoyer with nearly 300 troops now loyal to him, for which he pledged allegiance to Wilhelm Kaeseberg who had conqured Chupilo. However the insurrection had yet to be delt with and another Tolkaren Knight by the name of Rudolf Silzner had claimed lands along the Holle River, which included Holle Oberwasser. As both knights were members of Elke-Liga there had been no dispute regarding the breakup of the area. As there had been no Sian Baron of Chupilo when the Elke-Liga disolved in 1666 the bay area was left un-affected. The population of "Wojcik" expanded as more mines were opened and soon iron from the region was prized locally. Thus, both commerce for "Wojcik" and Holle Oberwasser expanded leading to increased trade and wealth.

Such wealth however attracted the attention of the Reihenfolge der Ramme (formed from the ashes of Elke-Liga, "Order of the Ram") which in 1682 lead a force to regain control of "Wojcik" and suject it to taxation. The son of Artur Wojcik, Pawel Wojcik lead the local milita into the fight in the woods west of the town. The inexperianced milita fighting battle hardened knights from all over the peninsula was a short affair, within the hour the perhaps 100 men at arms were killed, and the entire Wojcik family was lead into the woods and executed. From this tradegedy the city was left nameless, though often called the Iron Junction as trade ships would regularly arrive from the Holle river to recieve the riches of the mountains. Skrzyziwanie Zelaza was born.

Peace would follow however, along with trends that would remain almost strictly in the geographical area. While most of the Tolkaren peoples had adopted the Steiner language (known today as "Tolkaren") the residents of the bay area continued to speak Damzlo. This is not to suggest that one could only find the language here - as many parts of the peninsula today still speak both languages - but most trade and political dealing was conducted in Tolkaren. This was namely because the Reihenfolge der Ramme had been made up of ethnic Steiners who spoke Tolkaren and the Order had little presence in the bay area.

The area was left to culturaly stew in it's own particular style until the Watanbe invasion of 1752. Since the Order of the Ram however had little presence the Watanabe armies were relatively non-existant at first. Holle Oberwasser was sacked in the spring of 1753 and the Ram's Hall which had been one of the first buildings built in 1623 was burned to the ground with many of the ethnic Steniers inside. In Skalisty Brzegu the Hoyer family fled fearing the violent reprisals against Tolkarens by the Watanbe Army. General Watanbe's death in 1754 would create a nasty turn of events in the region, as ethnic Damzlo residents willingly supported the Sian armies and when called for volunteered for service. While the population of Holle Oberwasser had been obliterated the Damzlo population of the area swelled to nearly 10,000 as ethnic refugees arrived. Many of these however would later leave the region under arms for the Sian Kings.

The allegiance however was shattered like most of the peninsula when in 1780 Father Jeffrey was tortured, killed and his quartered remains sent to different reaches of the Sian Kingdom after the Third Battle of the Melinda River. Now joining ranks with the "Unified Peoples of the Tolkaren Peninsula" the residents continued to join the ranks of the rebellion. In 1801 when Jeffland successfully achieved independance from the Sian Kingdom (of which it had been a part since 1000CE*). The 1805 Constitution quietly remembered however the support of the Damzlo of the region, and when the area was named "Vaterland" on it's county seal after the preacher by which the country was named, it was distinctly a Tolkaren name and the traditional county seat remained Skalisty Brzegu.

As river trade continued into the early years of the nation, Holle Oberwasser was re-settled. Early industrialization took hold mostly in Skrzyzowanie Zelaza as the iron industry increased, while Holle Oberwasser was rebuilt on ship repairs and limited industry supporting the many ships leaving the river for the open sea trade lanes. Skalisty Brzegu continued it's existance only on being the county seat, when during the military census of 1845 it had a population of only 77; with many of it's residents traveling up the coastal road which ended there.

{*While the entire Tolkaren Peninsula wasnt generally a part of the Sian Kingdom until the 1400s, the Holle Bay Area was under control of the Sian Kings by 1000CE}

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