While there are some indications of a Paws existing during some periods of the Ages of Darkness, the current town of Paws was formed following the Second Great Cataclysm and the establishment of Britannia. During the early Ages of Enlightenment, Paws was a little-known, small coastal village on the route between Britain and Trinsic. When the one known as the Avatar arrived, the village was becoming well-known amongst equestrians for the village’s stable-tenders and horse breeders. Even more noteworthy is presence of the legendary talking horse named Smith. Little is known about the origins of Smith, but he would soon afterward be in the possession of Iolo the Bard.
Over the decades, Paws remained relatively unchanged by the events of the world. In fact, the establishment of the Cat’s Lair in the 130s A.B. by the famous gamester, felinophile, and interplanetary traveler Dr. Cat preceded several notable changes for the village. The first was an abundance of felis catus roaming the streets of the town. The second was an increase in business and notoriety as a stop along the increasing traveled roads between Britain and Trinsic. Lastly, the next several decades saw Paws’ trade diversify with thriving textile and agricultural industries.
The industriousness of its citizens, in fact, became a notable feature of the town. Multiple craftspeople would set up shop here due to its proximity to mainland trade routes and the docks of Britain. The lower costs of transport gave Paws a competitive edge over craftspeople of Minoc. The prosperity that the kingdom was experiencing during the waning years of the Enlightenment and beyond, however, led to the growth of a class system. These shifts in society increased the desire for higher quality, fine craftwork that often required access to the mines of the Eastern Peninsula.
By the late 330s A.B., Paws had largely become a farming community with much of its agricultural industry still prospering. From 350 A.B. thru the late 350s, a devastating drought resulted in many farm workers becoming destitute or homeless. As Britain had grown for many decades ever southward, Paws became more and more a suburban slum for the capital. It was this environment that allowed the Fellowship to establish The Homeless Shelter to expand the Fellowship’s philosophy.
Following the Fellowship’s public disbandment, The Homeless Shelter was closed. Feridwyn, the founder of the shelter, was intent on reopening the shelter. Thanks in part to assistance and donations from the Avatar and his friends following the Blackrock Dome incident; Britain’s citizens began to support the shelter. Fortunately, the drought abated, but a combination of reduced fertility and lower rain totals limited successful farming.
Over the 5 decades, citizens of Paws left seeking better opportunities elsewhere in Britannia. During and following the Imbalance Storms and legal actions against the BMC, new mining ventures for gold, gems, and blackrock in the Mountains of Eastern Britannia drew many of the poor from around Britannia including Paws.
As the economy stabilized and the kingdom’s coffers were renewed, a multitude of efforts were begun to improve Britannia. Part of these efforts included the construction of Shame as a specialized testing ground for Paladins and Sentinels and the rebuilding of Stonegate as a tower of Virtue. Efforts to expand useable safe land east of Britain further drew citizens of Paws who sought better land for farming and food processers moved here to reduce distance to food sources.
By the time of the Wyrmguard invasion, Paws’ population had significantly fallen with only the Homeless Shelter, an Inn, and a handful of active farms scattered amongst partially salvaged abandoned buildings. Concerns over the Wyrmguard caused a few citizens to find work elsewhere if possible. Of those that remained, many would not survive the flood that swallowed half of Paws in the mire of stagnant water and expanding swamp land. The remainder moved into Britain, living mostly on the streets. Mayor Aidon, corrupted by the influence of the Column, thought stories of Paws being heavily flooded and swampy as exaggerations and saw fit to have the poor of Britain and the destitute from Paws sent to the Homeless Shelter of Paws, which would be supported by donations taken in the form of a compassion tax designed. The idea was that only those who could not pay the tax were not contributing members of society and needed to be placed under cared assistance. Further, in an act of quarantine, he had the former inn of Paws turned into a makeshift hospital for the sick of Britain to get well.
The declining air quality and high bug count, however, caused the sick to get worse and at times become beyond saving. The environs, further, left the poor to falter spiritually becoming sick in mind and body. Some would leave to become bandits, but most would just join the sick and infirm in declining health. Unfortunately, little support was ever given to help the poor. Most of the funds collected by the tax found their way into the pockets of Killigan and Blackthorn’s supporters around Britannia. Most of the help is actually provided by Nimrond out of his own pocket, the people of Cove, Veera (Jaana’s daughter), and Hayley (a healer from the Cove hospital).