Take a breath! What is that you smell, but the salty, heavy, and pungent air of the greatest city on Nillin, and dare this esteemed author says, the entire moon.
Indeed my perspicacious reader, it is obvious to me, that even at this time you find yourself unduly burdened with the elephantine bulk of history that permeates through this land, not unlike the cloying perfume of the nearby Marble Ward.
Worry not, however! For I, wise and every sagacious Pebblesquabble am here to guide you along this, your glorious first wide-eyed and bumpkin-like traipse through the city of cities, Evenfell!
Can one truly appreciate the beauty of a fine companion, the subtle tang of an expensive vintage, if you don't comprehend the circumstances of the city which rose to offer such gifts? Of course not! You'll be lost in this city without knowing it's past! The ghosts of pirates, sailors, and lords alike will throw misfortune into your life, should they not receive their tithe in genteel admiration for their past deeds.
And the sign doesn't lie, only ONE SILVER PIECE for this magnificently written piece of literature! Increase your wisdom! Boost alacrity! Stop hauntings! All for ONE SILVER PIECE.
Heriburn Pebblesquabble, on selling "So You've Decided to Come To Evenfell"
So You've Decided To Come To Evenfell
Hello, wise reader - With the purchase of this pamphlet, you have taken those first hobbling steps towards a truer knowledge of our great city.
Over the course of these remarkably scant, but nonetheless packed to burst pages, you will find the requisite wisdom to deal with the awe-inspiring bulk of history our fair city has faced down. Take the lessons of the ages to heart my dutiful customer, and the bounties of Evenfell will open themselves to you.
Let us begin in those most old of days, upon the cities founding:
The Founding of Eventide
Though it remains shrouded in some myth, allow me to recant the most believed tale of the settling of Eventide: In ages past, when Bastion was only recently reopened, and the seas and lands were wild and unexplored, there existed a legendary fleet of pirates commanded by a fierce leader, Captain Reta ‘Winsome’ Darktwist. She and her dread crew would plunder the richest tradeways and cities of Geskar, and then flee from the navies, far across Corinter's Sea, finding safety in the refuge of the mysterious eastern coasts of Nillin.
After one particularly bountiful reaping, Captain Reta’s fleet was ambushed, and waylaid their entire chase across the ocean. As she entered a bay, hounded by bloodthirsty soldiers and down to the last few burning remnants of her fleet, she cried out to Umberlee for a God’s intervention. Just then, a great city burst from the bay beneath their beleaguered bows, and destroyed the pursuing ships in a crash of wood and sea-foam. When the mists cleared, not only was their now a city where there was once only a raging navy upon a calm sea, Captain Reta’s fleet was remarkably unharmed. The large a mysterious city did not retreat back to the deep, however. It remained upon the surface, as if it had been there a millennia. Exploring it’s depths and mapping it carfully, the Captain and her crew hid their treasures deep within, lost in the twisting corridors of the ancient city.
Claiming the city for her own, Captain Reta named it after her infamous setting-sun raids, and titled the new fortress Eventide. Seeing the new hideaway as a sign of providence, Captain Reta renewed her assault on the Geskar ships, plundering them relentlessly with a renewed and faithful zeal, before fleeing back to the new city to hide away in it’s depths, and slaying any soldiers foolish enough to follow the pirates into it’s bowels. Captain Reta’s renown grew exponentially once word of her daring a stunningly successful raids passed through the tradeways, and soon she commanded a fleet the size of a navy, as pirates and mercenaries from all across the moons came to join her call. Now with an army of soldiers capable of manning the cities walls, the pirates no longer hid in the dark tunnels and confusing pathways of Eventide, but instead merely sauntered into port, drunk on stolen wine, as the portcullis shut behind them.
When at the peak of her power, Captain Reta negotiated a peace with the lords of Geskar, cowing them into submission and forcing their hand into buying back the goods she herself had stolen. From then on, a joyful fleet of pirate ships thus flowed into Eventide's dock, followed in lackluster fashion by merchant vessels dedicated to buying back their own cargo.
And so this perverse trade continued, till Captain Reta’s death many years later. When her regally corpulent and opulent form finally expired in her advanced and very-well-lived age, it is said that she commanded and led more than 500 ships from the throne of the best-fortified city across the moon. She owned more than a kingdom's coffers of precious baubles. Her command struck fear into the heart of all who sailed the seas of Bastion. A fierce legion of suitors surrounded her, composed of the most handsome sons and beautiful daughters of a hundred Geskar lords, all vying for her hand in marriage.
After the riotous wake which lasted two months, plundered several cities, and burned down most of Eventide was completed, a legendary funeral fleet was created as a tribute to Umberlee's Generosity. The mythic ships that lugged the corpse out to sea came to be known as Darktwist’s Tithe, and they were weighed down to their gangplanks with gold, jewels, and the bound and gagged handsome sons and beautiful daughters of Geskar lords. The ships sailed off into the Blackwater Sea, never again to be seen by mortal eyes.
And so it goes on for quite some time afterwards, or so it’s said. Eventually the rumor of this free and rich city grew, and settlers arrived, bringing with them hopes of a more civil form of trade. The pirate lords brought in after the Captain’s wake, with time and conflict aplenty, grew into bickering old nobles who became the bickering old council (of which a form still bickers and governs Evenfell to this day.)
This explosive growth was catalyzed by the arrival of an intrepid group of merchants, who had greater ambitions for the city.
An Unexpected Maturity
In the years after Captain's death, in the difficult era of self-discovery and realization, a group of nervous-looking halfling merchants arrived. These merchants, who carried with them no writ or noble signage, demanded day after day for almost three entire years a chance to have a private meeting with all the council of Eventide. When finally the council was properly motivated by the wealth carried by those smallfolk, they deigned to lend and ear to the tenacious travelers. The fidgeting folk introduced themselves as the last remaining members of a once-prosperous community on Dawnhome, and offered their services to assist in the legitimization of Eventide. They informed the council of their plans to bring Eventide to the modern age, of their ideas to mint currency and pass law; how these steps would not only bring honor to the city in the eyes of The Sisters, but would make them the richest men throughout the system. These smallfolk best knew the wheels of bureaucracy, and claimed they could transform Eventide into a city that would be the crown jewel of the Sisters.
They were, quite expectantly, laughed out of the councils chambers. Quite unexpectedly though, they had already put the finishing touches on their opus. When the doors closed behind the foreign halflings, the runes their shifting feet had drawn into the ground ignited with a sickly umber, before igniting the very air, and completely wiping the council and their gilded chamber clear off the map. This group became known as the Usurpers, and allied with various slighted and poorer nobles of the city, took control of Eventide, supplanting themselves on the newly-formed council.
In the time to follow, the now rather gruesomely named Bloodying of Eventide took place. The newly formed council used their own might and riches to convince the richest and most powerful of Eventide to sign onto their new lawful method of governing. Those who denied this invitation promptly found themselves thrown into the bay, their accumulated assets neatly distributed among those wise enough to accept The Usurper's kindly offer. By the end of the fortnight since the assassination of the council by these cunning halflings, Eventide had been transformed into a city of order and peace. The pirate fleets were converted rather nicely into merchant vessels or mercenary ships, both of which were governed by the newly formed Bureau of Docks, Trade, and Navies for Hire. Those who freely participated in the coup were given land in the nearby countryside, with orders to hire hands to till the land and build up the new country.
While history recounts this time rather grimly with such a title as "The Bloodying of Eventide", make no mistake, the peoples of Eventide were ecstatic to see their old rulers conflagrated. No longer would pirate captains roam it's streets, stealing from those who sought Eventide's walls for their own safety only to be so callously treated by it's rulers.
Such a fortunate time in history was Eventide created, as many thousands fled the ruling hand of Geskar, and fled to the now-growing Nillin. Trade increased, and the flow of labor through the city walls and nearby lands was multiplied. Researchers too came through Eventide in droves, making plans to study and learn of the many arcane structures which litter Nillin. New trade-routes to the north were created, and it is along those paths once laid by the hands of Eventide masons, that the Confederacy of Ocrary thrives to this day.
The growing number of citizens within Eventide's walls proved to be it's most famous boon however, as excavations deeper into the tel the city had been laid upon revealed their greatest treasure: The largest massing of Gates thus known. The Council of Eventide worked relentlessly towards igniting the long-dormant Gates. Once accomplished, Eventide was connected not only by sea to most of Bastion, but also by Gate to many moons across The Sisters.
The Golden Age of Eventide
And so begins the mythic Golden Age of Eventide, when sojourners from across the system came to the city from far-off lands. Drawing refugees from all civilizations, Eventide became a lodestone of destiny for many fortunate folk who began to call it home.
It is during this period of relative stability that the Academy of Eventide was founded. An idea of the merchants of Eventide for keeping a strong force of magic-users within the city walls. Leveraging strong financial allowances, and a newly found Gate to an abandoned moon; the Council negotiated for a large massing of deadly sorcerers, ready to come to Eventide's defense at a moment's notice.
As the city transformed to keep up with it's new visitors, new wards were built upwards and downwards, remodeled and destroyed. In the chaos of that expansion however, arrived two most curious beings, their arrivals anything but unnoticed.
First, from the East, fleeing their own deaths, came the Aasimar. In the lands of Geskar they had been hunted relentlessly for their divine blood, and had dwindled to near unsustainable numbers. They came seeking a respite from the violence that had been inflicted upon them, and indeed they found it. Though few full-blooded Aasimar dwell in Evenfell today, you may still find their divine blood in the faces of their descendants. If you ever find yourself looking too long upon the countenance of a beautiful citizen of this city, know that it may be their ancestor’s reflection that has drawn your eye. (This esteemed author recommends the Marble Ward for the best sight-seeing of this nature, of course)
And second, though all the more important, were the Tabaxi which descended from the sky. Draw to Eventide from a far-off planet, they had navigated the black darkness of the Sea-Between-Worlds to arrive. These charming and personable magists were first treated with the due amount of animus I would image most any sky-descending figure would receive, but in time learned Eventide's ways, and grew to call it there home. Though fewer expeditions come from their home in present times, the kin of these bizarre folk still permeate through the city. These folk are most well-known for their future endeavor however, when to repay the kindness of the city which housed them and fed their desires, they plotted to take all away from it's citizens.
<The pamphlet is continued on the back of the sweaty piece of paper*>