Order of the Amethyst
A settlement towards the Eastern shore of the kingdom of Bardac’s Holdfast, Mallowmarsh holds the title of ‘city’ through political influence alone, being only the size and population density of a traditional village.
Located in the drainage basin where the Eastbourne discharges into the Kyratic Ocean, in the marshland which shares its name, the settlement can often only be reached by barge, boat or by crossing the marshlands on foot.
A floating structure of wooden buildings, boats and temporary walkways, Mallowmarsh has no fixed location and can move (both intentionally and naturally through shifting land masses and weather extremes) to re-locate elsewhere in the area.
Ordinarily the settlement is located close to the eastern river estuary and the Kyratic Ocean, where it benefits from increased trade and travel opportunities, however it has been known to withdraw deeper into the marsh in times of war and unrest.
It’s position close to the sea is also a tenuous one, as the settlement has on numerous occasions historically been caught by freak tides or abnormal weather, resulting in it being dragged out to sea and on more than one occasion nearly being destroyed entirely. These occasions are referred to as ‘washout’ by locals, and are the primary reason the settlement now retreats deeper into the marshlands during the winter months, with many residents relocating elsewhere in the kingdom during this period.
The marshland itself is also dangerous, subject to shifting mud and dangerous creatures (see Mallowmarsh (Swamp))’.
As such, the people of Mallowmarsh are often hardy and grim, with a distinction being made socially between the ‘(summer) wisps’ and the year-round ‘webfeet’. As travel and entertainment in the area is limited, the settlement’s land-based barge-house are also notorious for its professional fighting ring known simply as ‘The Pit’ and is rumoured to have a thriving black-market for dangerous, exotic and rare items (both magical and otherwise).
The settlement is difficult to regulate and enforce legally, with no defined borders or walls and few local laws. In addition, due to the lack of space and cost of maintainance, the settlement also does not have any form of law court, library or council building, and as a result is often (mostly unreasonably) perceived as being a haven and hideout for criminals and immoral activity. Many items smuggled between the country and the Pirate Isles can be ultimately traced back to Mallowmarsh.
However due to the limitation on storage and supplies, along with the dangers posed by the marshland region to all those who live there, residents are extremely conscious of actively discouraging and penalising uncivil behaviour and prices are very high in comparison to the rest of the kingdom. Due to the self-policing nature of the residents, criminal punishments are rare but often extreme in order to protect the otherwise fragile economic balance of the settlement, and capital punishment is more common here than any other city north of the Empire. Slavery however is still notably outlawed and as in the rest of the kingdom, generally regarded as abhorrent.
The residents of Mallowmarsh are widely regarded as withdrawn, unsociable opportunists with a rough handle on manners, but a cunning eye for trade and a fearlessness and fortitude of some renown. This leads to many in the kingdom and abroad finding them coarse and rude but ultimately good business partners and hardy fighters, as well as providing the origin of the phrase ‘unflinching as a Mallowman’ as well as the saying ‘Trust a Mallowman with your life but not your purse’.
The management of both the region and the settlement is handled by the Mittark household, although holding a seat and individual vote on the High Council, have historically never been awarded any form of title or lordship and are therefore referred to as ‘Governor/Governess’.