The Portside Markets in Shard are a huge collection of carts, stalls, shops, warehouses, mariners’ inns, taverns and merchants hawking their wares. Everything from food to weapons to magical trinkets can be purchased in the marketplace, and it is the method of entry for most who come Shard from points east of The Brandywine Plains. Located in the southeast of the City of Shard, the Portside Markets, or often simply “Portside”, is located along the canal that connects Lake Drokar to the City. The Canal brings the lake’s water directly to Shard, helping to ensure that there is a potable water source within the city’s walls. Access in and out of Shard via the canal is heavily guarded and patrolled by the Lord’s Guards.
The Portside Markets are bustling, but the district itself is hardly high-rent. Very few of the finest shops in Shard are to be found in the markets; most of the goods unloaded here make their way to more refined districts. The best fishmongers of Shard can be found in this district, as their wares have an offensive smell to those in better districts, but otherwise most of the goods sold here are either bulk items or items that aren’t exactly legal on the open market. A bustling black market has sprung up in Portside and smugglers, fences and others who operate on the margins of the law congregate here as they don’t have to move their hot property very far. The Guard patrols are more heavily focused on catching smuggers and fences moving property in and out of Shard; the presence on the docks is more to protect the warehouses than apprehend those who end-round laws and taxation…and there are enough whispers that certain Guards can be paid to look the other way or even provide “protection” that there must be some truth to the rumors.