The Brotherhood runs Southtown. Most of the city’s oldest families, those descended from the original settlers who came here before the town boom have their homes and businesses in either Southtown or Redtown. Laketown is for new folks. When the boom started, there was a sudden need for new people, people who could build, fish, farm, labor, make things. For a brief time, anyone who possessed a trade and passed a very brief inspection was allowed in town. These new comers were asked to swear to respect the laws of the City, and the authority of the Brotherhood of the Southern Route, and let in. Artisans and people who could prove they had talents were literally given small plots inside the walls for free. Other less skilled families where given room and board free for an entire year in special boarding houses the Brotherhood built to deal with the influx.
All this newly awarded land and the shops and taverns that would be built upon it seemingly overnight was in the newly dubbed Laketown. Laketown is a narrow strip of mostly level ground that stretches across Fanlu’s western edge right next to the water. The Brotherhood was overwhelmed at how fast their little town was growing. In just 6 months over 2000 people had swelled Laketown, and the place was like a beehive of building, street-side business, crime and chaos. The Brotherhood had created a new town within their town, but they didn’t have the man power to patrol it properly. Things got out of hand, gangs formed, brothels opened, and taverns went up. There were alliances, plots, uprisings and riots… for a few years Laketown was a necessary evil the Brotherhood was unsure what to do about. All they could do was slow the inflow of new settlers, but the cat was already out of the bag. Overnight, the small and tightknit community The Brotherhood and the Founders had built, was suddenly overwhelmed by strangers. At one point the Brotherhood sent 200 riders into Fanlu, and there was talk of driving the newcomers out and burning Laketown to the ground! Those who had considered this violent reaction where soon shut down when they realized the newcomers outnumbered the old families of Fanlu 40 to one!
The Brotherhood needed to grow their town, but had no idea what they had done. All the boarding houses went up In Laketown. Their inhabitants were transient and random at first, but slowly a new kind of order rose up in lawless Laketown. Ironically, it was not the Brotherhoods enforcers, or the Sohei of the House of Pacified Shadows that brought order to unruly Laketown, though they tried. It was the more responsible and communal minded people of Laketown itself who fixed their own problem. They pulled their resources and bought the old Boarding houses from the Brotherhood. They refitted them to serve as fortified holds, where dozens of extended families that practiced the same or related trades could live together to save money and hone their skills. They called themselves the Commonholds, each one like a miniature clan in Laketown. Slowly but surely by standing up for themselves, they drove the less desirables out of their part of town and turned it into a reasonably safe place.