|Ruler||Forest Marshal Weslen Gavirk|
|Religions||Erastil, Gorum, Iomedae|
Source: The Inner Sea World Guide, pg(s). 138ff.
Nirmathas (pronounced NEAR-math-ehs) is a struggling country that only recently freed itself from the grasp of the imperialistic nation of Molthune to the south, which continues to try to reclaim it. The people of Nirmathas are proud of their freedom, liberty, and self-sufficiency, and are continually on guard for incursions by their southern neighbor.
The history of Nirmathas as an independent nation goes back less than a century. Before that it was part of the province and later the nation of Molthune. Before gaining independence, Nirmathas was seen as just another resource-heavy province ripe for harvesting, first by Taldor, then later Cheliax, and finally Molthune.
Second Army of Exploration
Taldor's Second Army of Exploration attempted to explore the regions west of Lake Encarthan in 492 AR, including the lands of modern-day Nirmathas, but was forced out after brief encounters with orc and fey-allied Kellid tribes.
First founded as a province of Taldor, Molthune was lost to ascending Cheliax during the Even-Tongued Conquest of 4081 AR. The grip of Imperial Cheliax loosened in 4606 AR when the death of Aroden and the ensuing Chelish Civil War, which offered the region a brief respite from distant, autocratic rule. In 4632 AR, Molthune declared independence, including all of current-day Nirmathas. It did not take long for the independently-minded people in the north to realize that they had only traded one distant, imperious master for another. It soon became clear to the people living in the southern Fangwood that nothing was going to change. The excitement soon faded to disappointment, which gave way to a deep, festering resentment. The embers of rebellion were lit and began as small, petty acts of sabotage, little more than vented frustration. Soon this petty resentment was stoked into the fire of full-blown rebellion.
In the early years (starting in 4648 AR), the rebellion known as the Freedom War in the north (and Northern Rebellion in the south) was a chaotic series of separate, ineffective skirmishes until Irgal Nirmath, a half-elf trapper, managed to achieve a number of victories as the leader of a small group of woodsmen. As his successes mounted, his reputation—and his army—grew, and within seven years (4655 AR) Nirmath had lead his forces to victory. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to see the fruits of his labour, for he was felled by an assassin's blade on the night of the rebellion's final battle. The new country was named in his honour, and since that day Nirmathas has been a free nation.
The government of Nirmathas is fairly informal: there is no strong, central government, and most decisions are handled at the local level. This local governance varies from town to town, creating a chaotic patchwork of laws, traditions, and procedures. The people of Nirmathas may not have much in common, but there is one trait they all share: their dislike of regimented bureaucracy like the one that was forced upon them first by the Empire of Cheliax and then by its successor, Molthune. Nirmathas's only authority figure is the commander of its military: currently Forest Marshal Weslen Gavirk. A new Forest Marshal is elected every four years by prominent leaders and soldiers.
The nation's military suffers due to the Nirmathi people's love of independence and self-reliance, for it is hard to run an army of free spirits. While the Forest Marshal does an admirable job of coordination, his battle plans often go awry when different groups decide they have a "better" plan. Much of the army is made up of bands of Nirmathi who wander from town to town fighting injustice, and who view themselves as the embodiment of Nirmathas's free-spirited attitude. The military receives some logistical support from the Steel Falcons of Andoran, who hope to mold the new nation in their own image while combating the influence of authoritarian Molthune.
Nirmathas lies on the western shores of Lake Encarthan, one of Avistan's largest bodies of fresh water, and to the west lie the nigh-impenetrable Mindspin Mountains. The largest and lowest pass through these mountains is the notorious Bloodsworn Vale, the best overland connection to Varisia from central Avistan. Most of eastern Nirmathas is dominated by the Southern Fangwood forest. Three major rivers run through the nation: the Tourondel River to the north, the Inkwater to the south, and the Marideth River along the southern border of the Southern Fangwood.
Although Nirmathas is primarily a nation of small villages scattered about its plains and forests, it does have a number of larger cities. The biggest of these is the capital of Tamran on Lake Encarthan. Smaller settlements include Crossfen and Kassen located in the northern part of the Fangwood, the druid encampment of Crystalhurst, Skelt in the western plains, and the independent dwarven cities of Glimmerhold and Kraggodan in the Mindspin Mountains.
Nirmathas is surrounded by numerous enemies: to its south lies Molthune, its parent nation and the country that Nirmathas has unofficially been at war with since its inception. To its west lies Nidal, the home of fell shadow beasts and the foul aristocracy that commands them. To the north lies the orc-infested Hold of Belkzen, whose inhabitants' warlike ways are a constant threat to lasting peace.
Like Nidal, Varisia lies to the west but Varisia could not be classed as an enemy. Furthermore, Nirmathas does have one friendly neighbor on its northern border: the nation of Lastwall. Both countries share a respect for one other, and though they do not give each other direct military aid (as Lastwall is also an ally of Molthune), they both share a common enemy in the orcs of Belkzen.
The inhabitants of Nirmathas are primarily humans of Chelaxian and Varisian stock, though they tend to judge a creature on its actions rather than its race or ethnicity. The people of Nirmathas are renowned for their love of individual freedom and hatred of bureaucratic meddling and repression, putting them at odds with the two nations that have previously ruled over them (see the History section above). Even within the cities, most people pride themselves on their independence and self-reliance, although such traits are less necessary. This attitude does have its drawbacks: Nirmathas effectively functions without a higher government, with each town and village running it own affairs.
The Nirmathi prefer to worship gods of nature, such as Gozreh, Erastil, and the Green Faith, and those who champion noble causes, such as the goddess Iomedae. Forest Marshal Garvik recently outlawed the worship of Razmir in Nirmathas in order to deter the Living God's troublesome priests, even though temples of Razmir already exist.
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