BYLESPORT

Bylesport is the eastmost city on the plasma Darah River, situated near the mouth of the river delta before it feeds into the Gulf of Ember proper. It is an important port for shipping and food production in and out of the heavily irrigated Darah River valley, and has been watched over for many generations by the Byles family, hence the port's name. The city was originally founded by Giovanni Byles, who saw that the land around the river delta was unusually fertile, even by Ember standards, and set up a successful winery to the north of the Darah River. A small town grew up to the south, closer to the river, so that the wines could be easily shipped to the rest of Ember and Shadow. As Giovanni's firewines and administrative talent became renowned, Regent Catherine made him the Royal Vinter of Ember's Royalty, as well as sponsored him for a peerage, which he readily accepted. As his fortunes grew, so did Bylesport, since the combination of quality firewines and ales and a convenient layover for sailors and travellers made the city a boom town.

John, the current Lord Byles, is a fine, upstanding member of the Ember merchantile nobility. Honest and above board in his business dealings, he is also something of a self-taught scholar and writer, and has amassed quite the private library of Ember and Shadow historical writings with some of his family's earnings. Lord Byles also has a fascination with Shadow fiction works, and pays handsomely for copies of new stories and plays that come to Ember. While his library may not be as vast as the Royal Library in Castle Ember, it is certainly a strong contender.

The hereditary emblem of the Byles family is the Flaming Wombat, which appears on the labels of all their bottled firewines and ales.