Nightvale is a small city in the northeastern corner in Astris. It is named after the small forest near the city, which is said to always be darker than a normal forest. It is a medium size town, with about 1500 people that live in the town proper, or in the farmsteads around it. The town is the main commerce center for miles, and is the largest populated area, so it has the responsibility of governing the farmers and villages near it, though many of these villages are not much bigger than a commune of a few farming families.
The town of Nightvale nearly parishes 200 years ago due to a years long drought. The drought started slow, with less rain one year, and even less the next, and so on for ten years. At the beginning of the growing season of the eleventh year the ground was already dry and cracked, and most of the populous of the town had moved away, and those that stayed were facing their worst year yet. When the townsfolk were gathering in the town square discussing their fates, and praying to their respective gods, a stormed rolled in quickly and began to rain. It rained a torrential downpour for two days, and then stopped. Grass and other perennials that had laid dormant in the ground had begun to sprout. When the farmers harvested their crops that year it was one of the most abundant harvests in their memory. Since that miraculous storm the city and the areas surrounding it have not had a drought, or even a harsh growing season.
Festival of Rains
Every year the town has a celebration at the start of the growing season called the Festival of Rains. The first festival was held the year after the drought ended, to celebrate their good fortune. That year the townsfolk built a large fountain, that still stands in the town square today, in the spot where they were meeting when the rains started to fall. Each year the festival lasts for two days, in honor of the two days of rain that the town got. However, every tenth year the festival lasts a week, to honor the ten years the town spent without rain. This year is the tenth year, and is shaping up to be the largest festival yet. People from all over the country side, and even from all over Astris and other countries come to the festival, bringing food and drinks, entertainment, and trade goods.