The Midwood Decks was a bustling frontier city in the Third Age of Flight. It was located near the sumpwood stands in the extremely rainy Midwood marshes in the Deepwoods halfway between Great Glade and Hive.
To the west of the Midwood Decks, there was farmland. A large stockade separated the farmland from the settlement itself. Beyond the farmland, there was a marshland and marsh lakes. On the other three sides, thick forest surrounded the settlement and there was no stockade. On the side opposite the farmland, a walkway extended into the sumpwood stands. The structures within the settlement were linked by walkways and staircases.
The architecture of the Midwood Decks was very unique; it was built almost entirely of buoyant sumpwood harvested from the surrounding forest. The academics of the Sumpwood Bridge Academy were responsible for much of the greatness of the Midwood Decks’ architecture. The most remarkable feature of the Midwood Decks was the decks themselves. The settlement derived its name from this feature, and visiting phraxships docked there to load or unload goods. The decks were saucer-shaped, built of sumpwood, and attached to the ground by anchor chains. The anchor chains were attached to gearwheels, and by turning the gearwheels the decks could be pulled down or let up. A second interesting feature of the Midwood Decks was the walkway to the sumpwood stands. The walkway was made of sumpwood, had safety rails, and was attached to the ground with anchor chains like the rest of the walkways in the Midwood Decks. It was the walkway that the timbersmiths who worked in the sumpwood stands took. However, it was able to be moved when the felling operations moved. Another notable feature, not built of sumpwood, was the fortified stockade. It was fifteen strides tall, built of copperwood logs driven deep into the ground, and was topped with spikes. There was one ornate, broad, double-doored entrance through the stockade.
The normal structures of the Midwood Decks were also built of buoyant sumpwood. In the Midwood Decks, towers, homes, cabins, shops, walkways, and staircases were all floating and had to be anchored with anchor chains. Structures in the Midwood Decks had gutters to deal with the constant rain, and some of the gutters emptied directly over the walkways, forming waterfalls that those without waterproof clothes had to carefully avoid. Some structures, especially deeper into the city, were quite grand. They had features such as fluted pillars, gabled arches, ornately carved parapets, and rows of lancet windows and latticed spikes for decoration. The highest buildings in the Midwood Decks touched the clouds, while the lowest were just above the marshy ground.
The clothing of the people of the Midwood Decks was unique because of the need to keep dry in the nearly constant torrential rain in the Midwood marshes. They wore waterproof hats that were slanted so rainwater would pour off of them. Some people wore tall, angular, umbrella-shaped hats, while others preferred broad-brimmed, flat hats. Many residents of the Midwood decks also wore oilskin capes to keep dry.
The Midwood Decks was a lawless city. Hired thugs kept watch at the gate. Political disagreements between the free timbersmiths and the pro-Hivers resulted in casual, public murder on the walkways. No higher authority stepped in to stop the violence and the bodies were simply thrown onto the ground below to be eaten by hammelbills.
The economy of the Midwood Decks was based on sumpwood. Timbersmiths harvested the abundant sumpwood from the nearby sumpwood stands, and then it was exported by phraxships to other places to be made into various things. Many forms of currency were accepted in the Midwood Decks, including gladers, hivegeld, waifmarks and dockets.
The main political disagreements in the Midwood Decks were over the sovereignty of the Midwood Decks and the proper harvesting technique of sumpwood trees. The pro-Hivers, led by Greeg Kleft, believed that the Midwood Decks should join with Hive and that sumpwood trees should be harvested from the roots up. The free timbersmiths, led by Hoathly Hextree, believed that the Midwood Decks should remain independent. They claimed that Hive would harvest all of the sumpwoods trees and leave the people of the Midwood Decks to starve. They were willing to go to war, backed by Great Glade, if Hive tried to annex the Midwood Decks. The free timbersmiths also believed that only the bolls, never the roots, of sumpwood trees should be harvested.
Ultimately, the Midwood Decks went to war to maintain its independence. The Battle of the Midwood Marshes between the Great Glade Militia and the Hive Militia was fought just outside the city c. 650 ᴇ.ʏ., and the victory of the Great Glade Militia ensured the independence of the Midwood Decks.
Role in the Edge Chronicles
In The Immortals, Nate, Slip, the Professor, Eudoxia, Weelum, and Squall arrived in the Midwood Decks after a five week march through the Deepwoods. They stayed there for one night before departing on a phraxbarge bound for Hive. Later, Nate and Eudoxia ended up back in the Midwood Decks fighting for the Hive Militia in the Battle of the Midwood Marshes. They departed for Thorn Harbour aboard the Varis Lodd shortly after the battle concluded, without even entering the settlement itself.
The people of the Midwood Decks were called “Midwooders".