Rise and Fall of Arela
The Shivar Docks are massive stone wharves discovered in the harbor of Shivar. The massive docks are constructed of thick, seamless and pristine stone which shows no signs of erosion from the sea. Originally thought to be of little use to ships of the time due to the fact that most of the docks came much higher off the water line than ships built by the Mareata explorers, it was later discovered that there are means to raise and lower even the largest of the massive stone constructions to nearly level with the water line at all tides and conditions.
This in and of itself is a engineering marvel by any standard in Mareata, but during the taking of Shivar from its resident undead army other amazing properties of the docks were discovered. During the survey of the harbor and lead-up to a multinational invasion of the city by the largest army to be fielded in Mareata, it was noted that no undead were ever seen on the docks themselves, although they blocked the docks from the large towers at the entrance of the harbor and the towers and warehouses surrounding the docks. Early in the fighting for Shivar the Mareata Armies were several times pushed back to the docks by the undead hordes, but neither would an undead willingly cross onto the stone wharves nor the two massive stone roads that lead to them from the West. Soldiers found they could stand sentry on the docks almost indefinitely without becoming fatigued, and any wounded upon the docks reported miraculous healing. Clerics and divine healers upon the docks noted positive energy spells seemed to function much stronger as well. These unique abilities of the Shivar Docks are credited with the success of the Taking of Shivar, and the eventual expansion into Arela.
Due to the unprecedented utility of the docks for their ability to take on massive numbers of ships at all times and granting dock hands the ability to work constantly at loading, unloading, and tending to ships, nearly all settlers to the continent come through Shivar as well as fully 80% of all commerce to and from Arela. This has made Shivar a large and prosperous city at most times, but also a tempting and strategic military target. In the nearly 380 years since the taking of Shivar and establishment of permanent settlements the city has changed hands or governments over thirty times, 8 times alone during the course of the 30 year war. Motivation or justification for the invasions have universally been control of or access to the Shivar Docks.