Stanbury Village History
Recent findings of ancient texts and government files being released has shown what Stanbury Village was like many years ago. Wars, disease, conspiracies, and crime have plagued Stanbury.
Stanbury Village was never hugely populated before the Roman conquest of Britannia. Even after the Roman invasion, few settled down in the area, and like Foulkes Village in the southwest of Malton, Stanbury Village has always retained a distinct character and identity despite its central location.
The arrival of Celtic settlers, predominantly of Scottish extraction, brought a degree of culture to the once-barbarous area. In Arthurian Legend the battle between the French soldiers and King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table was supposed to have taken place here. The French infamously taunted the knights, and bombarded them with dead livestock (and possibly the Knights' own Wooden Rabbit, inside which they had hoped to enter the French castle).
Much of the historical record after this point, up until modern times, has been lost or damaged.
Naming of Stanbury Village
In 1609 the area was named Stanbury Village after Sir Francis Stansbury. By the early 1700s most people dropped the s in Stansbury and just called it Stanbury. A statue of Sir Francis Stansbury can be found at the family residence in Stanbury Place.
During the 1700s a notable number of English citizens from Stanbury Village moved to the Colonies to start a new life. Lord Wiseman, a mix of Anglo-Saxon and Hessian blood, moved to the Colonies and remained loyal to the Crown during the American Revolution. Wiseman Place was named after him. After the Revolution very few Loyalists made it back to Stanbury Village.
With Napoleon rampaging through Europe and Africa, the British sent Stanbury Redcoats to Egypt to secure a foothold in the country. Since no surviving member of the regiment was found only legends tell their story. Legend tells us that during a sandstorm the men took shelter in an ancient tomb. There they found artifacts and books about the Dead. One soldier stumbled across a jar that contained the brain of a dead High Priest. According to this legend the soldiers had their brains ripped out through their noses like ancient Egyptian burials. The soldiers supposedly did not die but became mindless humans in search of brains.
In 1848, Stanbury born-and-bred eccentric William Axworthy invented a steam engine that would chop down trees with an axe attached to its pistons. Axworthy was laughed at for such an invention and was all-but forgotten in Stanbury Village until 1948, when Roadkill Square was renamed Axworthy Square to commemorate the centenary of his invention. A version of the original Axworthy Axeman had proven itself invaluable during World War II as a machine for cutting down hedgerows during the Normandy campaign of 1944, saving countless Allied lives.
World War I
In World War I Stanbury Village gained world wide attention when a young scientist based in Stanbury, named Appolonius V. Kersley, was accused of selling the plans for a classified project to the Germans. A local journalist claimed to have obtained a few pages of these plans, half-burnt: they supposedly referred to some sort of medical process for the reactivation of dead tissue. However, after this claim the journalist was arrested and accused of the leak in Kersley's place. The pages have been in a Police Department evidence box somewhere in Malton since that time. Despite the scandal of the trial and accusations of corruption and government interference in the trial, Kersley went on to work for the Army and Intelligence services through both World Wars. After the Armistice, Kersley had several children - one of them was the famous eccentric Willum J. Kersley, who would later found Necrotech.
1920s - 1960s
English Mob Bosses took up residence in Stanbury Village because of its ideal location: they could sell their illegal products to any part of Malton in under a day. Ownership of the area would create a problem for them. The Great April Fool's Day Massacre, which took place in a local warehouse, would result in the end of organised crime for decades. Under pressure from the Mayor, Captain Daynes arrested the Five Families of Malton: Maddaford, Cabell, Lorenzo, Johnstone, and McCulloch.
Daynes Alley Police Dept was subsequently built next-door to the notorious warehouse, symbolising the triumph of the law over Stanbury's mobsters - until mobs of another sort started appearing on the mean streets of Malton.
World War II
Once again the spotlight hit Stanbury Village in a negative way. This time the area was under attack by German fighters on their way to London. Shortly after this, an agent of the German Supernatural and Religious Agency was shot to death in one of the many wastelands in Stanbury Village. According to a British Soldier the agent was using ancient Egyptian artefacts stolen from the Batson Museum to "cut open the air." When the agent finished his ritual of cutting thin air a "portal" opened up and decayed soldiers of the lost Egyptian Regiment poured out. The British soldiers caught the agent off guard, fatally shooting him. The lost soldiers were sucked back into the portal before it vanished. The government file of this event was kept quiet until weeks before the outbreak.
After World War II, Stanbury-based scientist Appolonius V. Kersley built a large and luxurious mansion in South-East Stanbury, in order to raise a family with his wife Gretzel Kersley (nee Klemperwitz). He also founded a research laboratory on the grounds of his mansion to work on medical and genetic research. Barely any credible information about the group was released, but their research was supposedly based on the technologies Kersley had worked on throughout the World Wars. Later, Willum J. Kersley would use many members of this research team to form the core of Necrotech, in response to the zombie menace. According to the wild rumour mill of the Malton tabloids, the Kersley Mansion held the secrets to mysteries like the identity of JFK's killer, the whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa's body, who framed Roger Rabbit, and truth about the infamous STREETS. What happened to Kersley is unknown, and though Kersley Mansion is still standing, the laboratory has been gutted by fire, any evidence as to its nature destroyed.
Creation of Nichols Mall
The lot that would become Nichols Mall was purchased by Walter Nichols Cunningham in 1975. Despite planned construction on several other malls going up around the city set in the Joachim Mall pattern, Cunningham had a vision. He wanted to build a mall unlike any other seen in the city before or since: a truly open-air mall. Though it would have walls and windows, it would have no roof on the walls, no doors in the doorways, and a veritable jungle of greenery growing in the plazas. To design his vision, he hired architect Stuart Alner of the infamous Alner Family.
The mall's construction went faster than most due to the lack of bracing and testing needed to put a massive roof on such a space, and Nichols Mall opened its doors that same year with Cunningham giving a grandiose speech at the ceremony. The mall received a great deal of attention and praise due to its style, and rumor has it that the planning committee for Caiger Mall intended to originally base that mall on the Nichols pattern.
But it was not to be. In 1976 Malton was hit by the worst summer storm since 1942, and the effect was felt across the city. Weaker buildings toppled, glass was blown in - but the hardest hit was Nichols Mall. The storm ravaged the open-top structure mercilessly, blowing in many of the windows and eviscerating shoppers with flying glass and foliage. When the final count was made, almost a hundred people were dead, Cunningham among them. Horrified by the disaster, the socialite had hurled himself from one of the upper windows, landing in the midst of the triage area being set up by medical personnel.
Following the 1976 storm, Nichols Mall was boarded up and left to fall apart as architects argued over what to do, the red-brick structure slowly crumbling away as the surrounding suburb flourished. It seemed the end for Cunningham's dream, but in 1994 the structure was purchased from his estate by none other than NecroTech. The genetics company hired construction workers and tore almost the entire mall apart, rebuilding it from the ground up for reasons known only to them. Nonetheless, in 1995 Nichols was ready to re-open, the familiar red-brick facade cleaned of graffiti as NecroTech founder Willum Kersley cut the ribbon from in front of the structure's new doors, allowing shoppers in once more.
The new Nichols Mall has a roof, though not in the typical sense - supported by pylons reaching from ground level all the way up is a massive shield-shaped dome of shatterproof glass that ends only as it reaches the edge, allowing almost the entire mall to be lit with natural light and maintaining the open feeling of the original. The plaza greenery had been replanted, and the open spaces retained, giving the whole affair a wonderfully airy feel.
Up until the Outbreak only one piece of news proved notable at all about the rebuilt mall - the doomed 'Fifth Square'. NecroTech made an effort to add another square to the mall in mid-2004 that ended inestimably badly; though the incident is still a well-kept secret, photos have been discovered of what look like Egyptian artefacts being unearthed from beneath the extension, as well as neat rows of body bags lined up in the parking lot. The incomplete addition burned down shortly afterwards in what was allegedly an electrical fire, and was not rebuilt before the Outbreak. The area is now an empty wasteland north of the mall.
It is often assumed the Nichols Mall logo depicts Sir Francis Stansbury, but in fact it is a portrait of Sir Clifford 'Redbeard' Nichols, the Elizabethan explorer and adventurer. After assisting in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, Nichols discovered the Caribbean island of St Dogg's, and established a profitable trade with the natives there by exchanging lacy neck ruffs for tobacco, coconuts and the local delicacy of brains pickled in rum, which Elizabeth I was apparently rather fond of. The Stanbury lace trade is remembered in the name of the Lacy Cinema in the Village centre.
First Necrotech Building
The first Necrotech building was built in Stanbury by Willum J. Kersley, founder of the Necrotech Corporation. Some say this building is somehow related to the high concentration of zombies who have flocked to Stanbury Village since the beginning of the outbreak.
The god shall fall.