Barekmahr (pronounced bark-MAWR) is a seaside town in eastern Manthria, in the United Kingdom of Santharia. The so-called “arsehole” of Manthria, its primary industry is the processing of the flotsam that floats down the Mashdai down to the Adanian Sea. Every piece of rubbish thrown away by the various towns along the Mashdai finds its way to Barekmahr, as well as a plume of sewage. Its people too are human flotsam, and they are the rogues and scoundrels of Manthria that can find honest work nowhere else. Yet despite that, the hardscrabble inhabitants of Barekmahr have managed to find a place where they can survive, if not exactly thrive.

Description. As the clear River Mashdai flows down from the mountain slopes, it gets somewhat less clear as it passes through the cities, particularly Marcogg. Trash of all kinds gets thrown into the Mashdai, and at certain times of year, the river begins to resemble a moving dump more than a waterway. But as the dump enters the sea, the people of Barekmahr are there to intercept it. Trash barges filter off the top layer of debris and bring it back to the beach, where the people of the town filter through it with their bare hands. Every piece of metal is meticulously cleaned and sold to the craftsmen of Marcogg to be made back into things of value. The organic matter is buried and used as fertilizer, helping feed the people of Barekmahr. What remains on the beach is then burned to form a cloud of greasy and foul-smelling smoke over the town.

The town itself does not look like very much. It is composed of a few hundred poorly constructed shacks that sit overlooking the sea and the river, made mostly of the characteristic eastern
Manthrian whalebone. Most of the houses have gardens, where most of the town's food is produced. They are well fertilized from the waste of the river. The town's only real public building is the meeting house, a large building made of whalebone. There, the town's business and voting is conducted and town-wide meetings are held. Perhaps more important than the government of the town is the town's still which is also located in the meeting house. In that still, the much loved strong spirits of the town are produced, much to the disdain of the town's "upstanding citizens", as they are. Farther away, along the sea lies a great flat area of sand, covered in the concentrated waste of a huge portion of Manthria, where many of the working people of Barekmahrers spend most of their waking hours, searching for things of value in all the mess.

Sitting in a pile of human filth searching for the tiniest glint of a piece of metal does not seem like much of an escape to the elites of Marcogg or Ciosa, but for the people who call Barekmahr home, it is a vital escape from their previous lives. Only the most desperate call Barekmahr home, and there is a constant flow of people leaving the town for better work elsewhere. Yet for each upwardly mobile person parting the town, there is inevitably another down on their luck that enters it. Return to the top

Location. Barekmahr is located on the south side of the mouth of Mashdai River, the largest river in Manthria. It is located approximately 500 strals to the east of Marcogg, the nearest major city to the town. Very few towns of any noticeable size exist within a few dozen strals of Barekmahr, largely due to the cloud of fumes that hangs over the town and its vicinity. The nearest town to Barekmahr lies over the Marshai to the north, nearly 50 strals away.

Administratively, Barekmahr lies within the fief of Parthanul, part of the Duchy of Marcogg, though officials claiming to come from the Thane rarely are respected in such a den of villainy and trash as Barekmahr. The respect, or lack thereof, goes both ways, and as long as the goods and taxes continue to flow, Barekmahrers are generally left to their own business. Return to the top

People. If you are a thief or layabout without any productive skills and with the desire to stay away from the authorities, Barekmahr is the perfect destination. It is isolated and well away from any prying eyes that might recognize an outcast from their hometown. Because of that, Barekmahr is truly a melting pot of different ethnicities and backgrounds. Given the location, most Barekmahrers are Avennorians, though there are many immigrants down on their luck from elsewhere in Santharia or from farther away.

Given the base of the population as rogues, escaping from elsewhere, most Barekmaherers are men. This has led to harmful social dynamics with brutal competition among men for women, destroying any semblance of social order. However, in recent years, more and more women are escaping from prostitution and marriage in Marcogg and the countryside to the relative freedom of Barekmaher, helping rectify previous social ills. Barekmahrers might spend all their waking hours sifting through human waste, but they are free, now and forever from whatever obligations that they held in a previous life.

Many of those who are born in Barekmahr leave at some point during their lives, typically leaving to go to a bigger city like Ciosa or Marcogg. For instance the father of the noted Manthrian pirate Rekj Snivild was originally from Barekmahr, though the father later left for Ciosa. From the constant flow of emigrants and immigrants, Barekmahr is full of transient people, and it lacks the homogeneity that other towns of a similar size possess. Despite that, Barekmahrers possess a sense of solidarity unrivalled in the region, because they realize that a town built on nothing but trash cannot survive for long divided. Return to the top

Climate. Other than what has been created by humans, Barekmahr's climate is similar to all the other seaside towns that dot the eastern coast of
Manthria. The temperatures are moderate, but it is frequently rainy. Less moderately, winter storms can come barreling down from the Adanian Sea, damaging the town.

Due to the cloud of pestilent fumes that hangs over the town and its vicinity, Barekmahr has no close neighbours. The nearest settlement, Parthanul, lies over the Mashdai to the North, nearly 50 strals away. Return to the top

Resources. The primary resource of Barekmahr is the same as its greatest curse: the trash. The trash that is so overpoweringly pungent that gives the town its uncharitable nickname is the very reason that the town exists at all. Inside the clumps and crowds of food-waste and sewage lies some valuable products that can be painstakingly filtered out of the trash and sewage by thousands of human hands. Every piece of metal and every shard of pottery can be used for something else, and Barekmahrers transform them into brand new things to trade.

Another valuable product that the river brings are formerly living materials, mostly food. That waste, already processed by the flow of the Mashdai and the natural capacities of yealm marshes is some of the most valuable and accessible fertilizers in the region and it is used with gusto by farmers nearby. Locals also use the waste to fertilize their home gardens, used to produce much of the food that the town consumes. Return to the top

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1.550 b.S. Founding of the Town of Barekmahr
On the site of a tiny fishing hamlet, Barekmahr is founded by Avenorians trying to get rich quick by collecting things of value from the trash plume. They did not succeed in that mission, but the town they founded proved enduring.
210 Great Pestilence
A great wave of illness brought most of Barekmahr to Queprur, therefore ending the lineage of most of the original settlers of the town The town was mostly abandoned at that point, though by 235 a.S, escapees from the rest of Manthria repopulated the town.
850 Growth of Marcogg
As the city of Marcogg grows and grows, the quantity of the trash it produces grows as well, much to the benefit of Barekmahr. Barekmahr begins to expand in earnest about this time, reaching its current population around 900 a.S.
1.025 The Storm of Three Nights
This storm, though not as strong in Barekmahr as it was farther north, batters the town, destroying many homes. More dangerously, the barges that collect the trash from the river are damaged, requiring rapid repair.
1.471 The Destruction of the Still
In this year, Barekmahr's still is shutdown by radicals who blame the spirits produced there for the town's ills of idleness and violence. The still is quickly repaired, and the drink continues to flow into the mouths of the town's drunks, much to the chagrin of those who had smashed the still in the first place. If anything, the unmet need for drink among the drunkards promoted violence, not reduced it.

 Date of last edit 8th Frozen Rivers 1675 a.S.

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