Content of the article: "RE: Fort Sungard, Broken Tower Redoubt and the Forsworn"
How has Markarth not been completely cut off from the rest of Skyrim in terms of trade and transport? Alternatively, how have the Forsworn not been removed from either or both of these forts by the Empire or Nords of Markarth at the start of Skyrim?
As per the gameworld of Skyrim, there are only two roads into and out of the Reach. The north road towards Solitude and Morthal, and the south road towards Whiterun and Falkreath. Both of these roads are overlooked at crucial chokepoints by large military forts. Broken Tower in the north and Fort Sungard in the south. At the start of the game, both of these forts are fully occupied by Forsworn, which should provide the perfect opportunity for a stranglehold on trade into and out of the Reach.
I'm mostly thinking of heavy trade by wagon or cart here, the kind that would need to use roads and would be unable to travel safely across country, particularly in the Reach.
This logic could also be applied to the other Civil War forts in the various holds, which I think, shouldn't be held by bandits at the start, but in the Reach it's particularly egregious, because Markarth has no other methods of trade.
Solitude, Dawnstar and Windhelm all have their ports on the sea. It is possible to travel between Windhelm, Riften, and Whiterun by road without passing too close to a bandit/Forsworn-occupied fort. Falkreath has two minor blockades on the roads to Whiterun/Markarth, but not on the level of an actual fort. Morthal has the issue with Fort Snowhawk being right next to it and occupied by necromancers, but could theoretically be reached via Dawnstar. Winterhold has the problem of one road, obstructed by Fort Kastav, but Winterhold produces nothing of significant trade value to the rest of Skyrim/Tamriel, as opposed to the Reach's gold and silver mines.
Just so you don't think that I'm unfairly shitting on the Reach, I also take issue with the following forts/locations being bandit-occupied.
Civil War Forts – Fort Greymoor – Fort Snowhawk – Fort Sungard – Fort Greenwall – Fort Kastav – Fort Amol – Fort Dunstad – Fort Neugrad (Less of an issue) – (Fort Hraggstad is so far out of the way as to be inconsequential) Whiterun – Valtheim Towers Eastmarch – Morvunskar Hjaalmarch – Robber's Gorge The Reach – Broken Tower Redoubt Falkreath – Falkreath Watchtower – Unmarked bandit roadblock between Pinewatch and Peak's Shade Tower
There's probably more that I haven't thought about, but at the very least, the Civil War Forts should never have been allowed to fall into bandit/forsworn/necromancer hands. Neither should Valtheim or Broken Tower. Robber's Gorge should have been torn down before it was allowed to form, or occupied by Hjaalmarch Guards/The Legion.
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