Here is the second of the Flash Fiction teasers for The Rocks of Aserol.
“With the coming of the Rail-Ryde, Aserol has turned from a provincial backwater supporting the nearby naval base into an important source of Norlandian wealth. The first edition of the Ryde
Company’s handbook for travellers describes the town, no doubt in the hope of enticing the new craze of ‘touring,’ and we repeat it here.”
Chapter 2, Aserol
Aserol is situated at the southern tip of the continent of Norlandia. It fronts onto the bay of Southcape and occupies the level ground at the base of the Amexian hills. These are heavily wooded and contain the large coal deposits currently mined by Waster Mining and Metals.
This company, which is the largest local employer after the Navy has three shafts in its workings, a beltway carries coal direct to the Rail yards. The logs cleared in the building of the mines, factories and other facilities are used to shore the mine shafts and in other endeavours. In addition to its mines the company smelts local ferrous ores and makes steel. It has a clockwork maker
s and laboratories on site, working under the auspices of the Ministry of Coal.
The cliffs on the eastern end of the promenade are steep and have the lighthouse of King Oscar on the top. Underneath a wide sandy beach affords safe water bathing.
The population is steadily increasing with the development of commerce and trading links. There are many surrounding villages and small townships, each with its own character. The harbour of Aserol is available to ships of all sizes; there are coal loading facilities and a large fisher basin. Most popular species of piscine and various crustaceans are caught in numbers for local consumption and now for transport in iced boxes to the metropolis. Additionally agriculture thrives on the lower slopes of the hills. Fruits, vegetables and animals are grown and herded.
There is a naval base five miles distant with its own branch of the Rail.
The power generators (referred to as Locals in popular speech) produce steam for the populace’s domestic needs and for local industries, which are mainly ship building and repair, chandlery and related to mining. Facilities exist to recharge clockworks of every size. Coal powder
is available for mobiles.
There is brewing and wine making, using produce grown in the vicinity. The quality of these wines and ales is among the best available.
The advent of the Rail has not diminished the seaborne trade but rather enhanced it; produce from sea and land can now be in the capital in hours instead of days.
There are several hotels and guest houses, where reasonable rates are charged for rooms and meals of good quality. Among the best are the Waterfront Hotel and the Aserol Grand, this last is owned by the Rail-Ryde company. For those on a more modest budget, the Provincial is adequate. Many establishments cater for the discerning diner and sell food and drink of the highest quality, a list is supplied in appendix ii. There are also more informal dining facilities and coffee saloons scattered throughout the town.
A promenade pier is a recent construction, this enables persons to walk out over the ocean and take refreshments suspended over the waves.
The town is generally peaceful, with the proximity of the naval base it has not been subject to raids from
the sea and the locals are mostly law abiding. It would be better for the traveller not to attend some of the ale houses frequented by the workers, such establishments as the Drogans Rest are notorious for parting the unsuspecting from their money. More salubrious establishments on the sea road and promenade cater for the traveller in safety. In summer there are band shows in the evening on the promenade, many establishments have their own bands and competition between them is fierce.
The priests of Bal hold regular devotions in their cloisters and are available for petitions and blessings to all-comers. Aserol is more observant of religion than the capital and strictly keeps all the festivals and offering days.
Drogans are regularly sighted in the area but attacks are rare. A good system of netting is in place and watchtowers and balloons are manned and ready. In recent years there have been no reported adult fatalities from Drogan attacks, although ovine’
’s and small bovine’s are sometimes taken.
The climate is agreeable, being some five scale points warmer than the average temperatures in the
Capital for most of the year. In winter this figure rises to seven making it an ideal place for a tour in the colder months for those from the North. Invalids and convalescents also report on the climates beneficial effects.
Your nearest Rail-Ryde offices for details and prices. Mobiles of all types can be transported to Aserol in safety on our services.