Realms of Mythrais
White Bay is a semi-calm body of water that only gets truly rough shortly before winter sets in. When this happens, however, the waters here earn their name; as the foaming waves wash ashore shortly before the deep winter freeze. During this freeze, the water here freezes deeply enough to sled upon; essentially locking all the cities along the bay into a freeze as well.
With the coming of the Vannulvir invasions, the people of Mahn learned the use of winter dog-sleds and skiis however, and now the King-City of Vhaelin is no longer truly locked away for the winter; but instead the small farming island several miles out from Vhaelin becomes an impromptu port where vital cargo can still be carried by large sleds (these pulled by the mighty thewed Aurochs) to the King-City. Once the ice begins to recede from the island, most ships are able to break through to the city directly.
A city began to form upon the island many decades ago, but King Alisander was forced to lay siege to it in his youth (so as to dislodge pirates) and ordered its walls to be torn down and thrown into the sea along with its docks. The city, then called Whiteport (but it was anything but white and clean!) never recovered. The now destroyed docks and former city wall serve as a anchor for ice to quickly set in now however; and so the island has become very useful for the King’s capital regarding winter trade.
A permanent garrison of the King’s Heuaard is garrisoned upon the island in a rotating station of three sea-towers (being positioned in highly defensible rocky outcroppings along the shore) on the island; and it is to the one upon the shore where once was Whiteport that merchants report and sleds embark on their journey to Vhaelin in the winter. During the summer, the Knights here spend their time working their Men-at-Arms within rowboats that are both low to the water and fast; and should ships be spotted in number approaching, three of these swift boats will put out for Vhaelin immediately to give warning. During the winter, should an invasion fleet appear (highly unlikely!) then several Men-at-Arms would leave by dogsled to give the same warning.
Similar sea-towers are to be found all along the shores of the Principality of Valinor; one within each fishing village along the shores. The job of Knights and soldiers stationed here is to administer the village and to be on the lookout for possible sea incursions. Mounted patrols are to be found along the shores here constantly. The Knights use horse-back training as incentive for scouting the shores; and so even though all patrols are mounted, usually the Men-at-Arms are novice riders at best and so such would fight afoot as their horses are not suited to combat.