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
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
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.
Location. Nathembly sits
on the edge of the Marshdai Reservoir of central
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
8th Frozen Rivers
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