THE VILLAGE OF NATHEMBLY

DESCRIPTION - LOCATION - PEOPLE - CLIMATE - RESOURCES - MYTH/LORE - HISTORY

Nathembly is a small village of about 400 souls that can be found within the Santharian province of Manthria, Its business is agricultural, and it does that enormously successfully, with the help of its fertile red soil. The town therefore is a prosperous one, with trade links that extend throughout the province. The history of Nathembly has generally been one of peaceful prosperity, occasionally interrupted by war, acts of the gods, and witch hunts.

Description. Nathembly is a well-off town that derives its wealth from the distinctive red earth along with the water that surrounds the town. That prosperity is evident in the well-built cottages that Nathemblians prefer. Though not as elegant as those of the larger towns of Marcogg and Chrondra, they are built robustly out of local plaster and timber from forests in the Kneeskinners.

By far, the sturdiest of all the buildings of the village is the Orcís Head, the local pub. It is built of solid lumber, brought all the way from the Auturian Woods. The Orcís Head is the hub of the social life of the village, and it is where the people of the town come together to drink an ale together. There, they may share the latest tips on cultivating and tilling the land but are more likely to spend their evenings gossiping and spreading superstitious stories amongst themselves.

Despite the bucolic appearance of the town, beneath the earth holds incomprehensible savagery. Hundreds of years ago, near Nathembly thousands of orcs met the allied armies of man and elf under the leadership Fhalsnir in combat. The elves and men in the anger sank to depravity in their pursuit of the orcs, leading to immense bloodshed. It is said that the Mashdai ran red with the blood of the combatants for days after the events of that fateful battle. Even today, the bones of the deceased can still be found beneath the plows of Nathemblians. Darkly, some have suggested that the reason that the soil is so incredibly fertile in the region of Nathembly and Orcs' Head Point is because the battle; the decaying corpses of so many provide the nutrients needed to produce the grains that the people of Marcogg and elsewhere so desperately need. That story is by no means universally believed, with many attributing the soilís fertility and its colour to river silt instead. Return to the top


Location. Nathembly sits on the edge of the Marshdai Reservoir of central Manthria, where the Mashdai spreads to form a lake. The two branches of the Mashdai meet at Nathembly, the Upper and the Lower. The two major ciites in the vicinity are Marcogg and Chrondra, around 100 and 200 strals away respectively. Though of the two, Marcogg due to its greater size holds larger sway in the village. Politically the town is within the Duchy of Huiscen, though it is rare that any business of state pertains to this little village on the river.

Just north of the main body of buildings in the village lies Orcs' Head Point, the site of the battle of the same name in the Third Sarvonian War. The point juts out into the Upper Mashdai, making the Point the last viable place to cross the river south of Grensa Post. For that reason, during the Third Sarvonian War, the armies of the elves and humans attempted to attack the orcs while they were crossing. They failed to do so, but they did manage to defeat a substantial group of orcs that had been left on the western bank by their compatriots. The allied armies brutally killed the orcs where they stood and according to legend stacked up many of the heads of their deceased foes onto a great heap on the tip of the point. The assembled heads were taller than even the tallest of the fair elf soldiers, and the pile stood like a sentinel over the point. The heads were left to rot until they were mere bone, as a testament to the victory that had been wrought on that day.

To the west of the town lies a range of hills, playfully but accurately called the Kneeskinnners, given the amount of injury they could cause if one fell off the top of one of the hills. They are low hills, nothing compared to Stormhaven Ridge, let alone the Mithral Mountains, but even so they look over the flat plains and town like a torŠn eagle. Return to the top

People. The people of Nathembly are simple people of farmers, fishers and traders. They have generally prospered in recent years, providing ever more grain and goods to the hungry customers of Chrondra and especially Marcogg. Ethnically, the inhabitants of the village are mostly of Avennorian stock, though these are not the seafaring Avennorians of eras past. Nathemblians have long since adopted the fertile soils and calm rivers of the areas surrounding the village; most of the fishermen would be utterly incapable of fishing on the open sea, despite their bravado in the pub. In addition to tall tales of fishing prowess, Nathemblians also share superstitions, which are unusually popular, unlike their other Manthrian neighbors.

Despite their relative ethnic homogeneity, many travelers and traders pass through the village, lending a touch of the exotic to the town. Those touches are usually superficial, but even the smallest of changes are viciously mocked by the rural elements of the village. Ironically, the traders that pass through the village are frequently traveling through Nathembly to Marcogg or Chrondra to purchase products that come originally from Nathembly itself. Return to the top

Climate. The climate of Nathembly is similar to that of the rest of Manthria, inasmuch as the weather is very temperate. The seasons are clearly defined with warm summers and cool rainy winters being marked with the different elements of the agricultural calendar. The summers do get quite warm in Nathembly, due to the lack of cool mist as in Marcogg and farther east, and to beat the heat, Nathemblians love to take a dip in the Mashdai. Superstition has it however, that if a farmer steps into the cool waters of Mashdai before his crops are harvested, there will not be crops to harvest. Therefore, the only people that swim before the harvest are rebellious children, defying the norms of the village. Return to the top

Resources. The most valuable resource of Nathembly is indubitably the rich soil of its surroundings. Produced in part out of the rich silt brought downstream along the branches of the Mashdai, the farmland is well-cultivated with fields of bredden and other grains. Nearly as valuable as the soil that the water carries are the river and the reservoir themselves. Their fresh, clear water are full of minnows and pike that are brought in by the lines and nets of the fishermen of the village. The fish and grain are indispensable in both the feeding of the townspeople themselves but also for trade with Marcogg and Chrondra. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. Not all of the tragedies that have occurred in Nathembly are ancient battles. In the ninth century a.S., half of the town's mostly timber buildings burned down to ashes. That led to many townsfolk becoming destitute, with many moving to larger cities, like Marcogg or Chrondra. Those who remained brought in a noted Manthrian witch hunter Malleus Mallefiz, better known for his work on the Evil Ear, was brought in to investigate the fire. Through his methods, a local woman by the name of Saltha was found to be guilty of promoting the arts of witchcraft, which had led to the fire. While being lynched by her neighbors, the accused woman admitted that she was indeed the leader of a local witch coven, but that she was not the only witch in town. She then alleged that three other women were witchlings under her tutelage, and that they had also learned the "dark arts." Interestingly enough, one of the accused was the daughter of the man that had originally brought in Malleus Mallefiz, Arnolv Eir.

Eir attempted to spirit away his daughter to Marcogg but was caught trying to leave the village in the middle of the night. Eir and his daughter were both put to death for their crimes against both the people of Nathembly and the law of the land. The death toll continued to mount as more and more villagers were accused, until Mallefiz himself fell under suspicion of witchcraft. Mallefiz then fled the village on a boat to Marcogg, ending the witch hunt. Return to the top

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1.500 b.S. Founding of Nathembly
The area is settled by colonists and farmers where the Upper and Lower Mashdai met. The village was probably built on the site of an early Darian site, but that knowledge has been lost to the fog of time.
212 b.S. Battle of Orcs' Head Point
The invading armies of the Orcs attempting to cross the Upper Mashdai are attacked by a combined Avennorian-Tethinrhim army under the leadership of the Avennorian king Fhalsnir. Because of a delay on the part of the Human armies in the Kneeskinners, the bulk of the Orcs manage to cross before the the allied armies arrive. Once they arrive, they fall upon the Orcs, forcing them to fight along the shores of the river. There, surprised and divided, thousands of Orcs are butchered. That victory proved to be fairly unimportant, as the Avennorians' delay permitted the Orcs to escape.
838-839 Nathembly's Fire and Witch Hunt
A fire spreads to destroy most of the village, leaving many villagers destitute. The village was partially rebuilt by locals, although many Nathemblians moved to larger towns after their households were destroyed. Physical indications pointed to a runaway kitchen fire as the cause, though not all believed that. A noted Manthrian witch hunter Malleus Mallefiz, better known for his work on the Evil Ear, was brought in to investigate, and a local woman was found to be guilty of promoting the arts of witchcraft, which led to the fire. She was lynched by her fellow Nathemblians shortly after, but the witch hunt did not end there. During her execution, the accused witch charged several other women in the town, ultimately leading to a witch hunt that led to the deaths of 11 Nathemblians. The village took several years to recover, but the fertile land and the cool waters of the Mashdai attracted back new farmers and fishers to replace the old. The town had returned to its former size within a few years.
1.597 Great Cold
In this particularly cold winter which impacted all of Santharia, Nathembly was particularly hard hit. The grain reserves that Nathemblians rely on during the winter were short that year already, and the inability to fish made the food supplies of the village come bare. Fores of thick snow covering the countryside made travel neigh impossible, to savage consequences to the people of Nathembly, making the Great Cold among the direst disasters that the village had ever experienced.
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 Date of last edit 8th Frozen Rivers 1675 a.S.

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