I walked through the Ash Wastes, and along the Repentance Road. I met other refugees on the way. We shared what little we had, as well as our fear, and pain, and comfort. Finally, those of us who had survived the journey arrived in Parnath. The city was packed with refugees from every corner of Morden, all scheming, and bickering, and fighting; trying to board one of the ships bound for peace and freedom. I was lucky. I shipped as an armorer's mate aboard a merchantman and arrived here in Port Sorrow quickly and relatively peacefully. I've been here seven months now, and in that time I've seen more treachery, more depravity, and more hopelessness than I ever saw at home. This place is a festering wound upon Morden. There is no peace here. No rest. Only thievery, killing, and endless debauchery. On the whole, I'd rather be back in Steppengrad.
Port Sorrow lies southwest of Morden, a good week's sail from Palmyria and within easy striking distance of many major sea trade routes. As recently as a hundred years ago, the island was home only to a handful of fishermen and whalers in isolated camps. Eventually, prior to the start of the Bane War, the island became a haven for pirates, smugglers, and other undesirables. The city of Port Sorrow grew up to serve their needs. As it grew, so did its reputation as a dangerous, unsavory free port where anything from uncustomed spirits to slaves could be had for a price. For decades, the population of the island stayed stable. That is, until the coming of the Witches and the start of the Bane War.
As war spread across Morden, people from all nations fled their homes in search of safety. They fled south and west until they reached the sea. Then those rich, brave, or desperate enough took ship and fled Morden altogether. Eventually, these refugees found their way to Port Sorrow and word made it back to Morden—There is land and safety here. Over the next few years people flooded into Port Sorrow in search of peace and a new life away from the endless Bane War. What they found was, in its own way, worse than what they left.
There is no central governing body in Port Sorrow, only a viper's nest made of warring pirate factions all striving for power. These factions rule different parts of the city like tiny fiefdoms, each with its own laws and punishments. The pirates as well as the heavily armed and savage thugs working for them take advantage of incoming refugees, extorting their goods from them and subjecting them to all manner of humiliations. Most refugees live in desperate conditions, jammed into overcrowded, vermin-infested tenements or living hand to mouth in the street. Some refugees are lucky enough to have work, typically in the dockyards and shipyards, but many have turned to a life of crime. These poor souls tend to work either as independent street level criminals or as part of one of the pirate gangs. Life in Port Sorrow is nasty, brutish, and short. Those who come as refugees long for the day when they can return to their homes.