Illmarsh, formerly called Baytown, is a town in the southern Ustalavic province of Versex. In fact, Baytown is still how its inhabitants refer to it. Ustalavian locals, however, have called the place Illmarsh ever since rumors began circulating about the town’s worship of strange gods and the perceived decline of the town that followed.
Baytown was never a beacon of prosperity nor a land to be coveted. That made it an easy target for Father Gharol’s Church of Azlant.
Baytown was a bustling trade port on the coast of Avalon Bay whose economy thrived on plying the waters of the bay and trading with distant cities across Lake Encarthan for whom Baytown was the nearest and most accessible port. By far their most lucrative trading partner was the nation of Druma and its various coastal merchant cities (though the feeling was not totally mutual).
Around the year 4701, however, Baytown began to dissolve a good portion of its trade deals and shut down imports with all but a select few clientele. As a result, the town fell into decline, and what was once a large town of over 3,300 inhabitants dwindled to just under 600. Rumors began to swirl that Baytown had fallen prey to some strange cult and that it now worshipped blasphemous gods. Whatever the true cause, all saw Baytown’s decline as an ill omen, and it is now more colloquially known as Illmarsh.
Illmarsh’s decadence has only grown in the intervening years, and now it is a foul town with only the barest gesture towards civility.
Events of Dragon Watch
Through his scrying with the Frozen Heart of Orphys, Orin came to believe that the skum tribe in Avalon Bay was protected by a magical spell hosted in Ustalav, above water. Howlan Garess suggested to Orin that Illmarsh might fit the bill for such a place, and Orin dispatched a team of gillmen from the House of the Rising Tide to the town to investigate. When they disappeared, the Initiative flew to Illmarsh to investigate.
The Initiative discovered Illmarsh to be in thrall to the aboleth Chevaghol. Years ago, the town council had been absolved, and all power placed into the hands of the corrupt Mayor Beolain Fineas. Fineas, in turn, had allowed servants of the aboleth – priests and warriors – to establish themselves in the village. The former, led by Father Gharol, founded the Church of Azlant, which abolished all other religions and turned the populace over to worship of the aboleth. The latter, led by the gillman Hagen, founded Obadiah & Sons, a trading company that monopolized all trade within the city.
The Initiative exposed these events and killed Hagen and Father Gharol. Illmarsh, now freed, was left to its own devices. Its future would be its own to determine.