A Plague of Onces
In 556 ARA a boy by the name of Will Maetel, the son of a prominent barrister in Jaxton (the former name for the city of Blambes), went missing. He was the third child to disappear in the eight months hence, but due largely to his father’s influence was the first to raise the hand of the ruling Augustine King to the search.
Search parties of mercenary adventurers set off to locate the boy. Over the course of the next six months, two more children went missing but no leads to their whereabouts became apparent. By this time, support from the king waned. Without payment the adventurers gave up the hunt. All but one, that is – Herald Joseph Blambes (a member of the holy order of the Redeemer) remained and continued the search pro-bono.
Living in the Barrister Maetel’s home, he searched daily for clues. Eventually he narrowed his search to the swamps south of the Lesser Jaxton Woodlands. He developed a plan to use an orphan girl as bait and waited throughout the night at Oro Bridge. A storm kicked up, which caused the girl to attempt to flee. Blames captured the girl and tied her to the bridge. This turned out to be fortuitous, for as Blames again lay in wait, he soon saw a dark figure attempting to wrest the girl from her bonds. Freeing her before Blambes could arrive, the figure absconded with the girl and fled south along the Layton River to Kow Swamp.
The constables that accompanied Blambes were soon lost in the swamp, so what transpired next is up to conjecture. Most believe that Blambes confronted some terrible beast, attempting to free the children and end the threat forever. No one is sure. What is known is that once the storm has passed all traces of Blambes and the creature’s tracks had been washed away. It took two weeks of searching to locate his remains.
He was found within the swamp near some strange ruins, surrounded by the bodies of the six children (or what little remained of them.) All of the bodies seemed to have deep puncture marks in them in many places, but were completely drained of blood. Some had other injuries, seemingly caused by a sword. This was mostly true of Herald Joseph Blambes himself, who appeared to have been the victim of an ambush by the creature or creatures, and was killed by a single well-placed thrust from behind directly through the heart.
What became of Blambe’s quarry is also a mystery, but since there have been no more child abductions since that day most people believe that Blambes mortally wounded the creature, and it’s body was swept down the slow-moving Layton River and brushed over Greener Falls. Blambes was regarded as a hero and savior of the children of Jaxton, and on the tenth anniversary of his death the city was renamed in his honor.
Since there is no consistent law enforcement, the open carry of weapons is allowed and common. Duels are an accepted way to settle disputes and enforce order. Mob justice is common, with offenders being hung by lynch mobs from the tall tree in the public square. In the event that the Lord Mayor or Commander of the Provincial Sheriffs gets involved and a trial is had, there are 4 cells in the Municipal building.
- It is unlawful in Blambes to earn through trickery. For example, if someone were to trick a singer (in the act of bartering their skills for coin) into singing a song, the tricker would be guilty of Theft by Deception.
- It is unlawful in Blambes to draw a weapon that is not drawn in defense of one’s person, property, defense of the town, or to maintain public order. Drawing a weapon to threaten or intimidate, or with intend to commit wanton violence is illegal.
- It is unlawful to knock down or make holes in the town’s walls.
- It is unlawful to carouse or disturb after midnight, and a violation will be considered a breach of the peace.
- It is unlawful to enter “The Scab” and those caught trespassing will be punished.
- Organizations, fraternities, orders, or clubs of a criminal nature or presenting a nuisance are illegal. This includes gangs, thieve’s guilds, etc. If caught, the ringleaders will be executed and the club disbanded.
Blambes is around 1100 people. With the area around Blambes, the figure may be closer to 1500. They are all human, except for: The Longbeard famliy – Velgrimm Clan dwarves that have lived in Blambes for a hundred years now and are generally accepted. The Dokan, a family of Umuk orcs that came to Blambes nearly three years ago, but face frequent discrimination. The the arrival of the Dokans, there are two half-orcs, both children born to the Dokan daughter and an unknown human father. About 30 half-elves, who are mostly migrant workers living in Fieldhand Village except for the Little family whose patriarch Joran owns the bakery. There is one tiefling in Blambes – a professor at the Nimressea Academy. There are three Sylvari elves, but all are non-residents that live in the Jaxton Woodlands and come to Blambes to sell goods, teach archery/bushcrafting and tell stories for coin or trade.
The village has 3 noble houses.
- Lord Mayor Hernais is the patriarch of the House of Hernais, who owns Silverbranch Timber Co. and has close dealings with the East Meda Trading Co.
- House of Blambes, they say descended from Herald Joseph Blambes. They own several of the Inns and the Brass Bells Brewery
- Hose of Maetel, descended from Barrister Maetel who mostly deal in law and government, but make a considerable amount of money from landlording, as they own more than in Blambes than any other house.
Law and Order
Blambes is protected partially by a wall. It is unfinished and made up of a mix of brick wall and wooden palisades. It basically only exists in the open areas, with no wall in the areas covered by the Lesser Jaxton Woodlands. There is no police in Blambes, but the city watch acts as a fire watch. In the event of emergency, they can be used to break up riots or enforce a curfew, but they are not highly trained police. There is a provincial garrison for sheriffs, which has between 5 and 25 deputies. Justice is served for those brought to court by the Lord Mayor, or Commander of the provincial garrison, Magistrate Cottun who may or may not be in Blambes (he moves frequently to keep the peace.) There are 2 advocates to assist with legal matters. Both of them are descendants of the Maetel House and are known to have considerable influence with the Lord Mayor, but do not tend to represent outsiders fairly.
For those more concerned about their soul, there are 7 clergymen and 2 priests between the Church to Torm (Church of The Loyal Fury) and Church to Illmater (Church of Our God of Suffering.)
1) Longbeard’s Masonry
2) Ralph Jr. Woodcarving
3) Cant Blacksmith