Nys is a
small fishing town
of approximately 1,500 people
on the Nyvian Plains in the continent of
It is inhabited by a tribe called the Nyvians who inhabit two other cities upon
the plains as well. Nys is best known for the bright dyes produced from the native fireweed
plant that grows
on its coasts. It is also known for the great temple dedicated to the Goddess
Mermaria that presides on the edge of the city, leading out to the sea.
Description. Nys is a fishing town between the Nyvian Plains and the Burning Sea on the continent of Aeruillin. It is populated by a little over approximately 1,500 people belonging to a human tribe called the Nyvians who also inhabit two other cities: Phalagor, and Mon Cerilija.
Nys is located at the edge of a very dry stretch of plains with harsh desert grasses and heat that comes over you in suffocating waves of burning sun. Because Nys is a seaside town it also has very stifling humidity in wetter months, leaving the air very heavy.
The people of Nys are thought to be the lower class of the Nyvians, because they are the farmers and fishermen; however, many do not realize just how much wealth comes into this town every year and that the people in Nys live simple lives by choice. The people of Nys work together to keep everything running smoothly and in a very orderly way which works for everyone and makes things fair. The inhabitants are run by a council of elders from each clan. Each man, woman and child does his or her share of the work, contributing to the town. At the end of the day every family receives their share of food, money and goods earned at the trade market in Phalagor and from the fish and dyes supplied to Shan'Chahalynyth.
Houses in Nys are little round red huts with tiled roofing and blocked walls. Clay blocks are made with the red sandy soil of the surrounding plains, mixed with the sticky pulp of the fireweed to make a sort of clay-like concrete that can be shaped into blocks and left to dry. Each block takes only a few hours to dry and is then ready to be stacked and mortared in with more of the clay and fireweed pulp mixture. Extra fireweed is added to make the blocks stick together better. Walls wear away with time and weather, because of the sandiness of the clay, and are reinforced yearly with more mortar. The roofs are tiled with a hardened clay made nearly out of the same material as the blocks, only this clay is dug up from deeper in the earth and mixed with a greater amount of fireweed to prevent sun damage. The roof clay is then shaped into half cylinders and baked in a high temperature fire. Each tile is laid from the bottom up to create a very effective and heat proofed roof. The roofs are known to occasionally drip during the wet season, but this is only in heavy winds when water is blown up the tiles and can be fixed with a few buckets and some fireweed to plug the holes.
Houses are grouped together by clan and are placed in wide circles with a workspace in between where the women can dry fish and make dyes. In the center of this circle is a large round smokehouse made out of the same red blocks used for the houses. The roofing tiles are also similar to the houses, but are designed with less of an arch so that no extra heat or smoke is able to escape from the building. There are two clay pipes on either side of the smoke house about mid-roof to slowly release the smoke.
Location. Nys is located in the southernmost continent of Aér'aí'chán, known as Aeruillin. The continent is mainly a vast land of deserts and plains, with excruciating temperatures and a very dry air. Nys is in the northeastern part of Aeruillin bordering along the Burning Sea. It is a part of the Nyvian Plains and is inhabited by the human tribe, the Nyvians. There are two port cities nearly equidistant from Nys in both east and west; however, Nys only trades with the western port: Shan'Chahalynyth. There are also two other towns on the Nyvian Plains: Phalagor, the closest to Nys; and Mon Cerilija, further inland across the plains. All three towns are a part of the Nyvian tribe and trade amongst themselves, depending greatly upon each other.
Nys is inhabited by the Nyvians, a human tribe on the Nyvian
Plains divided into
three separate cities. The people of Nys are the fishers of the tribe, as thus
is mainly a fishing town. Nys is very tight knit and most of the people know
each person by name and family. Families also wear symbols on their clothing
which separates them from the other clans and establishes to whom they belong to.
Each person has his or her own part to play in the town. The men fish or take the village goods to the market in Phalagor or ship them to Shan'Chahalynyth to be traded for other goods or money. The women clean and dry the fish, produce dyes from the fireweed and cook and keep the houses clean and in repair. Children do not attend schools but are sometimes put into small groups and told moral stories and histories by the elders. Girls must help the women with their tasks. When boys are strong enough to swim and stay above the waves, they must help the men on their boats with the nets or apprentice with a merchant in Phalagor to bring further wealth to their village.
Coat of Arms/Sign. A single fish on a sea colored background with bright orange fireweed around the edge symbolizes Nys's trade and it's connections with Mermaria on the town's coat of arms.
Symbols are also worn on the clothing according to clan, to distinguish between bloodlines. Clans are very separated and made distinct among the Nyvians. Clan members show pride in their heritage and are proud to wear their clan symbols.
Climate. Nys is located on the edge of the hot Nyvian Plains and so is very warm most of the time. During the summer, humidity from the sea adds to this heat and creates a very stifling atmosphere. As the sun goes down, Nys cools off slowly, but the desert floor is still so warmed by the sun that even throughout the night it is still only slightly less stifling than it was during the day. In "winter" the climate is very dry and Nyvians must use a skin protectant to keep it from becoming too dry and cracking; this protectant is made from the oils of the evoor and has, with the help of some added aromatic herbs, slowly spread in popularity to the richer people of Aér'aí'chán who believe it prevents wrinkles.
Rain only comes once a year throughout a short period of weeks at the end of what the rest of the world calls "winter". This period of weeks is called the Season of Falling Waters. It is followed with a week long festival to worship the Fae Goddess of Water, Mermaria, because it was she who brought the rain. When the rains come, they pour down hard and do not stop until the season ends, many homes are damaged and even destroyed during this time. Many younger children sadly drown in the thick mud or are swept away in the washes, that are like miniature rivers occurring during floods or heavy rains.
The season after the rain is called the Season of Renewal and is dedicated to Nakashi, the High Faery Goddess that split the Void to create the world. This is when the desert comes to life and its plants bloom and grow and there is some color in the world for a time. During this time, the villagers get together to repair all damages done by the storm and to mourn lost children. This season is also dedicated to Kashmina, the goddess of love, because so many children are conceived during this time to replace those who were lost. There is a festival dedicated to Kashmina, held in Mon Cerilija during the fourth week after the rains have ended. The festival is called The Festival of Hearts and includes a day full of marriages, proposals, feasting, drinking and games, along with a great bonfire burned throughout the night. It is believed that one should take this time to fulfill their heart's content. It lasts over a period of two days and is open to all visitors.
During the hot and dry season the people all burn dried fireweed with evoor oils as a way to appease the Fae Goddess Pariya to keep her from starting the dangerous fires that sometimes rage through the plains during this time. They also use the fireweed and evoor oils in remembrance of the nets she caught alight with evoor to burn a fisherman alive in the old fireweed myth.
Flora. Plants in Nys are few and far between. The people haven't much time for idling in gardens and so the only cultivated plants are farmed for eating purposes only. The lack of water also means that there are few cultivated land plots. A special rice, adapted to the desert, called polent is the main crop used.
Fireweed is found in abundance floating just off the shores of Nys. This plant is native to Aeruillin and is depended on greatly by the Nyvians. It stores water in its bulbous leaves and is also a main source of dyes produced in Aeruillin.
Other plants in Nys are those adapted to the harsh desert environment, they include several varieties of cacti and many smaller desert shrubs. These plants are very hardy, able to live with little water and excruciating temperatures. Most plants are a pale green to a yellow-brown color with the ability to store water for long periods of time.
Fauna. Nys has few animals as there are few plants for them to survive on. The inja (a desert goat native to Aeruillin) is bred for its meat. It's skin is sometimes used in clothing attire and is good in keeping out the heat, but is not favored by the Nyvians. Sometimes inja skins may be found in doorways during the hotter seasons to keep air flowing through houses, while still providing privacy.
During the wet season, many birds may be found flocking around, but these are not permanent residents and soon leave as the rain subsides.
Animals that do reside in the Nyvian Plains around Nys are those that are able to cope with the harsh sun and lack of water. Most of these animals are smaller reptiles and bugs. Many kinds of lizards inhabit Nys, and can be found all throughout the city. They are found most often lurking inside small cracks or in cooler shaded areas of the town.
Scorpions also may be found on the outskirts of the city. These creatures tend not to like the company of others and so remain at a safe distance. Many villagers have suffered excruciating stings from these creatures, and some have died as a result of stings. Most often, the young and old are those among the dead victims of scorpion stings. Those in their early to mid adult years are stronger and better able to survive the poisonous stings. There are many anti-poisons made up by the village women to reduce chances of death, but these are not always successful, especially if applied more than an hour after the sting.
Many spiders may also be found in and around Nys, but these are taken care of by the scorpions and lizards and tend not too cause too many problems for the people.
Nys of course - quite naturally - is also very dependant upon its fish resources. Bonehead and evoor can both be found along Nys' shores. The people catch these fish and sell them at the trade markets (see also at the Resources section).
Nys depends mainly on its fish
and bright fiery dyes. Fish
is brought in by thousands daily and taken to Phalagor and port Shan'Chahalynyth
to be traded for other goods or money. The dyes are also traded at these markets
and fetch very high prices.
The fish most often caught and traded are evoor for its oils and bonehead for food. Evoor is made into oils for cooking and lamps and a skin protectant that is sold as an anti-wrinkle cream to wealthier people. It is also allowed to rot and thus is used by farmers as a very excellent fertilizer. Evoor are also sometimes used for bait. Bonehead is caught and used mainly for food. It can be dried and will not spoil after it is dried. It is usually made into dry tack or boiled in soups and other popular dishes. Nys depends on these fish as a main source of food.
Bonehead is cured and smoked specially by the women of Nys with age-old recipes and spices only known to their tribe. Many people widely demand these smoked fish because of the distinct flavour the Nyvians create. Some say they smoke it with odd desert woods and plants, and others that they flavour it with cacti and lizards' guts. Most generally just accept that whatever it is, it's good. None of these rumors, of course, are true, but you'll never hear them deny them either. The women of Nys highly prize their smoking secrets and would never let an outsider know the truth.
Dyes made from the Aeruillin fireweed are produced by the women and sold mostly in Shan'Chahalynyth as this is where most goods are shipped out to foreign continents. Fishermen bring in fireweed daily with their catches and deliver it to the women who then must separate and boil the weeds by color. The dyes come in reds, oranges and yellows and are very coveted by wealthier people. They are sold at high prices and fetch Nys its greatest income.
Myth/Lore. The most common myth Nys is known for is the myth of the fisherman and his nets. It tells of a fisherman that cursed Pariya, Goddess of Fire and Women, and had his nets set alight by the vengeful Goddess. He called out to Mermaria, Goddess of Water and Life, and she took heart and saved him, turning his fiery nets to seaweed. This seaweed, called fireweed for its bright fiery coloration, is still found all around Aeruillin and is especially common around Nys.
There is a great temple set up at the end of a pier of Nys, dedicated to Mermaria. The fishermen go here to leave fish and give thanks to the Goddess for their catches and safe fishing on the sea. Inside the temple is a great fountain of water; in the center of this fountain is a statue of the lithe Goddess, arms held out to her water. The temple is decorated in fine cloths of sea shades and hung with bright fireweed which is refreshed daily.
Information provided by Amuwen