Claywick Settlement in Nascindor | World Anvil


In north-eastern Nascindor almost due north from Haven, in the rime-covered cape that juts out from the continental landmass into the Arcansea, lies Claywick. This small fishing village is famous for its export of fish and also due to the fact that it is a human settlement that exists outside the grand walls of the six city-states.

Frost-draped village

Claywick is located in the northernmost point of the continent, and the weather is reflective of that. For most of the year, Claywick is wreathed in a ceaseless winter, ice floes surrounding the shoreline. Due to this, the fishing boats that are handmade by the villagers themselves are outfitted with icebreakers on bow and stern, so that they might pass through the ice and into the open waters of the Arcansea.
  These extreme weather conditions also influence the architecture and design of the homes of the village. Thickly layered thatch roofs crown sturdy, stove-heated log cabins that are built in close proximity to one another to minimize the loss of heat via dispersion, and there are communal fires lit in the public spaces of the village that all are expected to do their part to stoke when possible.

Sturdy spirits

Being a fisherman is already a rough and tumble job without the added challenge of having to fish in freezing temperatures for over sixteen hours a day. Perhaps due to this grueling lifestyle and the close-knit, inwards-leaning nature of the community in Claywick, its people are viewed as distant and callous. This is true, to an extent, and turning your back on someone is jokingly referred to as a "Claywick greeting" all across Nascindor.
  However, this does not mean that the people of Claywick harbor any ill-will towards anyone. They simply do not see the value in pleasantries towards total strangers and would rather get to know a person before burdening them with their own problems and tirades.

Heretical worship

For one month each year, Claywick stops the export of all of their produce. Instead, they stockpile it in preparation for a special event that the whole village observes at the end of the fated month. The people of Claywick gather onto their ships and sail out to the Arcansea, enough to leave the icy shoreline behind. There, amidst the freezing waves, they wait for what they call "The Shadow Below".
  Then, a humongous shadowy shape underneath the waves glides in from seemingly nowhere and the villagers start emptying the literal tons of fish they've saved up into the water, which sink into the inky blob, disappearing forever. The elder of the village will request a boon for the next year and offers thanks for the bountiful harvest of the ongoing year, which are repeated by the other villagers with audible jubilation.
  Once this "Shadow Below" has eaten its fill, its massive form once again glides into the depths and the people of Claywick return to the village as well. There, they prepare a feast and celebrate through the night, cheers and thanks towards the creature echoing long into the next morning.
  The easy answer to this worship is that the villagers have succumbed to deifying a Leviathan, but seeing how the people of Claywick have killed many of the aquatic beasts without so much as a shred of reverence towards them complicates that theory quite a bit. But what else could their shadow be?
  The church of Resounding Truth remains largely in the dark about these practices, but should they ever learn about them, Claywick may be in serious trouble.  

Fishmongers and carpenters

The main source of income for the community is selling fish, and Claywick is one of its main suppliers alongside Wapemond Harbor and Seastone Bastion. The sheer volume of produce the comparatively tiny village produces is impressive to say the least and, if you ask certain people, a bit suspect. It certainly lends some credence to their worship of the creature below the waves, as only a blessing could explain such vast quantities of catch.
  But fish is not the only export of Claywick. As the village exists so far in the north and temperatures are constantly below freezing, the villagers with a knack for cold-weather carpentry are often drafted straight into the service of construction companies, the Telothian Legion or even one of the Seeker fellowships.
If you want to get sick, visit Claywick!
–A graffitti painted onto the wall of a warehouse in Wapemond Harbor
An illustrative, simplified map of Nascindor. Not to scale.
Less than a hundred individuals
by Midjourney
From time to time, Claywick fishing vessels are attacked by Leviathans, and surprisingly often the resourceful fishermen can fell the humongous beasts

Cover image: by Dall-E 3


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