Nesmyth was a farming village in southern Cormyr.[1][2]


Nesmyth was situated in the center of a cluster of nearby villages including Gladehap to the north, Bogbrook to the south, Kallamarn to the west, and Ongul's Water (and the Hermit's Wood) to the east.[2] It was located near the bend of Starwater River where it turned south to flow into the Lake of Dragons.[1][2]


The Great Popper Crisis

When the people of Nesmyth were clearing the surrounding hills of trees, the land began to dry out. They built irrigation canals to bring water from the river, but the water kept draining out of them, even after they tried to seal them with sand and pebbles. A ranger suggested that they use the discarded shells of popper crayfish that were native to the Wyvernwater. The shells were discarded, or "popped", by the crayfish once a month and turned into a gluelike substance when mingled with mud and sand. It was suggested that this substance could be used as a waterproof sealant for the canals.[3][4]

The villagers followed the ranger's advice and harvested hundreds of poppers from the Wyvernwater, then dumped them into the canals. The plan worked perfectly until the poppers ate all the snails and tadpoles in the canals. They found their way to the river and began eating the valuable game fish that the fishermen relied on. They also quickly multiplied, and their bad-tasting flesh meant they had no commercial value.[3][4]

A Shocking Development

Lured by the poppers, swarms of freshwater electric eels from the Lake of Dragons came up the river, invaded the canals, and began feeding on the crayfish. The good news was that the ecosystem of the canals eventually balanced itself out. The bad news was that the eels could release an electrical discharge deadly to humans, as dozens of fishermen found out the hard way.[3][4]

Fortunately, a merchant arrived one day with samples of stelk, a shrub that was grown in Hilp as fish bait that no aquatic creature could resist. What made this even more favorable was that any eel that ate from this shrub could not use its electrical ability for an entire week.[3][4]

A Village Divided

Not all the villagers thought using the stelk against the eels was a good idea. A local wizard named Harhansen had discovered that a glass jar of eel-shocked canal water glowed as though it were enchanted with a spell of continual light. Only water from the canal itself had this strange property, and the wizard claimed that by selling these wondrous "light jars", a fortune could be made. Many villagers supported the wizard's plan, while others were against it since it was dangerous and the eels had already caused too many deaths.[3][4]

This contentious issue split the village into three militant factions. The first faction wanted to leave the eels alone and begin selling the light jars, the second faction wanted to use the stelk to render the eels harmless, and the third wanted to get rid of the eels and the canals altogether, and grow crops that didn't need to be irrigated. By 1367 DR, this state of affairs had threatened to erupt into civil war.[3][4]


Because of the violent disagreements that could potentially break out among the people of Nesmyth, visitors were advised not to bring up the subject of eels.[5]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ed Greenwood (July 1995). Volo's Guide to Cormyr. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 79. ISBN 0-7869-0151-9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Brian R. James (July 2008). “Backdrop: Cormyr” (PDF). In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #365 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. Archived from the original on 2018-11-23. Retrieved on 2020-03-02.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “The Settled Lands”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), pp. 21–23. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Ed Greenwood (July 1995). Volo's Guide to Cormyr. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 79–80. ISBN 0-7869-0151-9.
  5. Ed Greenwood (July 1995). Volo's Guide to Cormyr. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 0-7869-0151-9.
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