Sembia: The Country of the East and West

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Sembia: The Country of the East and West

Post by Tracker4502 »

Sembia has always been a bit of an oddity to me. You'd think upon first glance that an ancient kingdom such as it would be full of traditions and old ways, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

Quick Facts:
Capital: Selgaunt
Government: Appointed Republic

Situated upon the Sea of Fallen Stars, Sembia is an ancient land of trade and commerce that has endured almost as long as any of the current world powers. High Imaskar, Netheril, Amn, and even Mithrendain have records that mention the name dating back thousands of years, and there's evidence that it may even be older than that. Even through the last tumultuous century which saw the fall of many great old cities and empires, Sembia endured and has managed to recently reemerge as a prosperous country once more.

But the political entity of Sembia is a fickle and relatively new invention. Though records are vague, the region was thought to originally be a small farming and fishing community. Its deep natural ports made the region ideal for traveling ships to anchor and resupply, which in turn drove the original Sembians to begin trading their food to these sailors. Through the people's supplying of food to the transient vessels, they acquired the tools and goods necessary to expand their meager existence beyond mere farmers. In time, a central port township was established in order to better facilitate the region's growing importance, and this settlement was called Sembia in keeping with the name the sailors had given to the ports in ages past.

Here Sembian record keeping begins, and on the date of 0 (Day), 0 (Season), 0 (Year) in the Sembian Calendar the settlement was founded. While the records are sparse for decades after the city's founding, the first notable date is on 3, 1, 67 with the establishment of the Lornavel, a ruling council of three chosen by Sembia's elite. The Lornavel was established to give formal control to individuals over public matters such as judicial duties and defense against raiders. While there is no official mention of it in the Sembian records, other nations do mention the establishment of the present day system of nobility around the same time if their records are to be believed.

Finally with a government to help facilitate Sembia's needs, it quickly grew beyond the bounds of a town. In 30, 3, 82, the settlement of Sembia ceased to exist and the Lornavel renamed it as the City of Sembia. Now incorporated as a major port city and a significant trading presence, the city prospered and grew towards what many thought would be a bright and flawless future for this gem of the western sea. But sadly the city was not to know peace for much longer.

[From here the official record has been stricken at the request of the Lornavel. Non-official records seem to wildly contradict each other past this point, with many being altered or outright fabricated over the years. As such, we leave the reader to make their own assumptions about Sembia's history until 1, 1, 1289.]

With the Cyclops invasion beaten back, the state of martial law was lifted on 1, 1, 1289 in celebration of the victory and the new year. But the victory to keep their land and right to rule was a hollow one, as the war had taken its toll upon the land. Most of the farmland has been raised or destroyed, and the region's trade had been severely reduced due to the strict internal security during the war. As such, Sembia found itself in the grips of a devastating famine with no industry or goods with which to buy food. On 5, 2, 1289 a Sembian emissary was sent to Cormyr to ask for aid in staving off the terrible burden. However, Cormyr declined citing a recent uprising in the heart of its own farmlands which was substantially reducing their own agricultural capabilities.

Gripped by a lack of food, resources, and now allies, the once proud region had been reduced almost entirely to poverty. What little food there was had to be strictly rationed, but it was not nearly enough for the people to get by. Crime flared up, which in turn drove away the remainder of the region's international trade. Sembia seemed doomed to a slow and painful death with no way to avoid its fate. In desperation, the Lornavel did something that was at the time unthinkable: a diplomatic envoy was sent to request aid from Netheril.

The envoy arrived in Netheril sometime in the Summer of 1290, and on 1, 3, 1290 the envoy teleported back to Selgaunt. However, they were not alone; a Netherese diplomatic envoy was with them, complete with enough food to feed the entire city for a season. Thus the friendship between Netheril and Sembia began. With Netheril's assistance Sembia was able to revitalize their fields to produce crops once more, which finally resulted in an end of the Great Famine as it has come to be called. With the famine gone Sembia's crime diminished, which allowed the Lornavel to reestablish ties to nearby trading partners. The revitalized foreign trade combined with Netheril's continued support and trade allowed the nation to once again consider itself self sufficient by the end of Spring, 1291.
"I will live forever, or die trying!"

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