The Ruins of Greenhaven
It was once said that there was nothing that couldn’t be bought or sold in Greenhaven, from the finest elven silks to the toughest dwarven hammers.
50 years ago, Greenhaven was the centre of human civilization in The Eastworld. It was rich in culture, technology and social graces. People of all races and professions could find a home in Greenhaven, and the large population was supported by the rich agriculture surrounding the city in all directions. Balinford was enjoying a thriving merchant trade, for anything arriving or departing Greenhaven by boat had to go through the city. A large fishing industry also helped the city develop its own population. The city was managed and run by the Shipping Guild (made up of a number of magnates) who charged a large tax for portage of cargo on and off ships.
The Downfall of GreenhavenIn 626, it looked like nothing could stop Greenhaven’s growth, but by 632 the city was virtually abandoned. It all started with the drought. The summer of 626 passed normally, but throughout the next Autumn and Winter something strange happened. Not a single drop of rain fell anywhere near Greenhaven. Mages and philosophers alike were consulted, none could come up with a reason. Spring came, and the fields were empty. The soil was dusty, and no crops would grow. Food was imported into the city at great cost, and the fishing trade of nearby sea-ports increased dramatically, but only the rich in the city could afford food. The poor started starving, and leaving the city any way they could to get out. It was at this time that the City Council announced that the Baron had died from ill-health (though his sickness had not been previously announced) and that as he had no heir, a successor had been elected by the council.
Baron Gurnay took the barony in a time of great turmoil. Rich families stayed in their houses, desperate to retain the wealth that they’d accumulated over the years, paying large sums of money for basic foods that were imported from the dwarven and elven nations many miles away. Many trades managed to continue basic operation, but they were far from flourishing. In all this time, not a single drop of rain fell.
In 630, Baron Gurnay resorted to desperate measures. In order to ensure there was enough food for “his” people, he declared that Humans were the only race that were permitted in Greenhaven until the drought was over. Many dwarven and elven families had already left the city, but those that remained to do basic smithing and tailoring were now exiled from the city. Guards watched the gates night and day, and only humans were permitted into the fading city. Much violence occurred to enforce this ‘law’.
Philosophers are unsure as to the logic behind Baron Gurnay’s decision, but it had one terrible unintended consequence. When word of the exile got to the dwarven and the elven nations, they refused to trade food with Greenhaven. Slowly but surely, the city was dying.
These days, there’s not a tavern in the country where you can’t find someone telling their account of the downfall of Greenhaven. Many of the details change from telling to telling, so it’s difficult to determine the actual truth of what caused the final blow to the city. However, in the front room of The Duchess, an old fisherman called Klupo is happy to tell his tale. His recounting involves one day in the winter of 631, where it started to rain. Sparing no details, Klupo tells of the torrents of water falling from the sky, onto the rooftops that had not seen moisture for these five years past. The drains couldn’t handle it, the roads couldn’t handle it. The five-year build up of dust became pits of mud, and there was not a road you could walk down without getting the black mud covering you from head to toe. That night, there was a celebration in the town centre, for all the humans could see that it was the beginning of the rebuilding of Greenhaven, and that the gods were smiling upon them once more. Klupo’s eyes shine bright, and he tells with great joy of the grand sense of humour that the gods must have, for that was the night of the orc-clan attack. The few soldiers that Greenhaven had left had all left their posts to join in the celebration. There was not even a fight, only a massacre. The orcs stormed the city, killing everyone in their wake.
Greenhaven was razed.