A Record of the Plague in Nystimir

  • Esquire

    The plague that gripped Obrexia and so many other nations was felt even in the sleepy town of Nystimir.

    The first warning signs were rumours of a new diseases on the horizon, passed by traders and sailors from the word of mouth to mouth. At first, the villagers ridiculed the rumours. The crops were nearly ready for harvesting and life continued as usual. The farmers toiled in the fields and the children laughed and played in the streets.

    Then came other signs. The dwarves blockading themselves, and trading for an excess of food. It was said that ships from some nations were banned from Obrexia. The villagers grew uneasy but continued with their farming.

    Finally, a royal messenger arrived, much to the astonishment of the villagers. The news he gave was what all had feared – the plague had come to Obrexia. The villagers were shocked and not the least dismayed. They gave the messenger spare food and he went on his way. Then they began to argue fiercely over best course of action. Some said they didn't believe it, while others wanted to blockade the village. Still others believed they should go into the countryside for refuge.

    Eventually, the council had to intervene and declared that they would hold an emergency meeting and decide. The meeting went on long into the night and the villagers slept uneasily, for the plague and the council's decision weighed in on their minds.

    In the morning, the council announced their decision. They were to swiftly harvest the crops, then retreat into the town and lock down the gates. For the next few days, they toiled, fishing and harvesting. They would rely on grain and fish for sustenance and their wells for survival.

    For two days, the villagers hunkered inside the palisade while others, true of sight and familiar with bows, kept watch. It was an anxious time, a black cloud that hung over the village. They ate fish first so it wouldn't rot, then turned to flatbread and biscuits. The food were carefully watched and rationed by the council.

    On the third day, a sentry spotted a horde of refugees running towards the village. Warning shots were fired, and the mayor spoke to them. They were from towns to the south nine leagues away. The mayor replied that they could not come in and had no food to spare for them. Growing angry, they charged the gate, which began to groan. When they broke through, they were met by many pitchforks. After a scuffle, they retreated. Men were set to repairing the gate.

    The next day, it was found that several of the villagers began to develop symptoms – coughing and fever. It appeared that they’d touched the refugees during the scuffle and been infected. The council ordered them out of the village, as well as the sentries who’d been in contact with them. They took refuge uneasily in the haunted house on a nearby hill. Every day the villagers left out food and water for them. The council ordered everyone to remain in their homes, except for themselves who would personally leave food and water on people’s doorsteps.

    After a month of isolation in the lonely village, another messenger appeared, informing them the plague was confined to towns and villages and that it was safe for them to go outside. The villagers were overjoyed, greeting the fields and paddocks they’d toiled so hard in as little less than salvation. They held a week-long holiday, feasting on their best food and drink – spirits made from grain, pastries and roast beef. After all, living felt good.