Momentum writers block. Do things.

Stories of Lore 7

Well the first bit of interest this week is that Ansa reached the drow city to begin negotiations. She also told Eilsath to be wary of people who were pursuing her. Resulting in them killing the first contact of Faelyn’s scouts, and I guess buying herself a bit more time to do her work to hopefully move Ghuan to Uudistar.

Sakki and his merry band made it to Sybaris and are just hanging out around there. This has proven of interest to his Eilsath companions because typically they’ve only known arcane and warlock styles of magic. They’ve never seen the kind of witchcraft that the coven utilizes, just wait until they meet a druid. Gonna blow their minds. They’re currently touring around Sybaris for a little while.

Gideon reached the coast after having followed the northern border for so long. A location between two major lands with access to the ocean of course has a settlement on it. Not as large as I might have expected but then again I guess not enough people wandered up there, and it isn’t as if these are the two best lands to be situated between.

So far the interactions between Ki and magic that we’re studying among the monks seems to be fairly minimal. The most we’ve figured to do with it are technically  mixing two separate techniques to do one thing instead of actually having any sort of hybrid casting.

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people.

Maji seems relatively interested in trade, their empire is based on a more sophisticated economy then we are over here. Though the reputation of the places danger is well deserved, Ocunnohaka describes a few close escapes from local bandits. The badlands thrive on trade but also on advanced forms of banditry. May wish to send someone a bit more familiar with economy then Occunohaka. With a larger escort.

Everybody be scoutin, see map for updates on that. The warships have been constructed and added to Chinami’s forces.

Nina and Rhea managed to take down some weird snake thing in the forest that was of interest to Ansa. Marilena, Areti, and Euterna managed to kill whatever the hell that tree creature was though at shockingly high cost. About eighty units died off.

 

Meanwhile, the orcs have made it to Wynolwind and begun the assault. Things over there are a bit crazy right now. The summary of it is that the orcs chased the archdruid’s forces towards the walls of Wynolwind, which responded with siege weapons, and now everything is on fire.

 

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Travel time strikes again

I return. Also Faelyn isn’t quite a badlands princess, to be precise she’s an independent warlord. Also we’ve begun tinkering with the artifact to see what can be done with it. Construction of the northern addition to Uudistar is underway but as your advisor I feel inclined to mention that the Ghuan are arcanists like us, and going just that little bit further north of Uudistar puts you right next to the coast. So in essence you’re putting bait on the coast and rolling the dice on how well that goes. While we can likely fortify and defend the position as we have with Uudistar it may have some odd effects on your new immigrants. Though if you want to terrify them I suppose that is a good enough idea, until they realize where you put them. Ghuan was the more mischievous house so be wary of what they might do from there.

Also I have to actually question if Sakki can keep it in his pants in the lands of Katara. I’m not entirely sure if the threat of death would actually deter a man like him…he’s an odd one. To wrap up, we have a bunch of monks chilling out around here now apparently.

I feel I should have left Ansa here to tell you the problems with your marathon race idea. I mean first and foremost, scientists in laboratories don’t really make for agents. We already have a few hundred of those at the university, they’re not gonna pop up in any stories of interest. The only reason Essi is on the list is she is technically a military commander you just haven’t had do anything.

 

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. Here I brought you some tea. We have sent some of the monks to visit the university of the nalkas as requested and our fleet continues to explore the seas.

As for the coastal society to the south, they’re quite friendly with trade and whatnot. They’re a little wary of our allies though. Though they have been willing to help us on the mapping front in exchange for a similar assistance. Revealing the location of their other trading partners.

To mention, to the west is the Vaisigano people, a tribal island nation. Sounds a bit familiar. However, they caution about traveling east to meet with the city of Melun. They say there is something a little off about that place though they don’t know for sure what it is. Just that it gives them the heeby jeebies.

As for the hunter ships taking monsters alive, that really comes down more so to whether or not they overkill it or not I suppose. It isn’t like we could feasibly build a net or something, and the hunter ships aren’t exactly going to kill one of the ones from Ansa’s bounties outright without a lot of effort in the first place.

Also, we do actually have access to the orcs via boat. The main river the elven empire is built along is about two hundred meters wide. This is why the effort of the Katara to build a bridge along it required engineers from the Nalkas to go down there.  It stands to reason a significant part of their war plans will be to move along the river as to take on all the elven settlements. Just a note.

Speaking of notes, the fishing village is not a mana lake. The fishing village just has a normal lake, and this is indicated by the mana we process from the area. If it was about double what it is now it would be considered a mana lake.

In regards to Quetzalli, she is still somewhat wary of us. Mostly because its awfully interesting timing that soon as they became a bit more integrated, the orc invasion thing started happening. She also has a notably hard time fathoming what the threat of the orcs really are. Honestly, everyone seems to be having a hard time with that except for the elves who have experienced it first hand. From so far away simply hearing ‘its a lot of orcs’ doesn’t quite impress upon people the magnitude of the green tide.

The report from Yuzuki indicates the ‘what is up’ would be, in her words, “A lot of orcs”. Shime was helping their people migrate from Tethalyn to Lennecas and heard word of the orcish invasion. She set off there and has been fighting along the elves ever since, mostly because she sees herself as something of a – as Yuzuki puts it: “warrior of justice”. The irony of the former bandit chastising the person who caught her for this is not lost on me I must say.

Similar to Iwanagi, he is a wind discipline of monk. Very good at sneaking around and adventuring. Not quite as good at the sneaking part as Yuzuki though given the nature of the job at hand for him it is unlikely to be necessary. He’s a bit on the tamer side, tending to be disciplined and observant individual. Not particularly one for picking fights like Shime and Yuzuki, though capable should something try to bite his head off at least. We’ve sent him along the way to find a place of good natural persuasion.

 

 

Additionally this is Hamano, acting as a secondary diplomat. He’s a bit less for traditional wisdom that Konya is all about. He has read through vast libraries of information as part of his noble upbringing and is quite knowledgeable on a great many topics down to the numeric level. He’s quite capable of handling himself, another side effect of his upbringing is he was taught how to fight and spent a few years at the monastery even, though preferred a more traditional soldiers training. Since he had so many expectations from his parents he didn’t quite have the time to dedicate towards mastering ki over a lifetime, so sharpened metal things suits him fine. He’s a little repressed though, asian parents and all.

 

I moved Nina’s 25 to combine with Rhea’s 75 while putting the new recruits to take their post under Nina. So now they both have an equal hundred of uniform troop types.

Also I really hope you actually learn Despoina’s name before you ever have to address her in person. As far as her report, the Archdruid points out that said monster is more likely to hinder the orcs then her own efforts…since she can control all monsters in the forest if she wants to. To give evidence to the claim…Despoina noticed a very large army of monsters around Wynolwind.

There isn’t much else going on right now, definitely a lot of traveling going on lately. Maybe we should build more roads. Or some docks in Sarkisa for traversing the river easier. Almost as if thats what Layla should have done with that money instead of constructing a black temple to a demon king she wasn’t even sure existed.

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Sam’s section sure is busy for him not even being here

You know if you keep expanding that scholarship program any further you might as well just sink the cost of making it public.

While we can work to minimize our footprint on the coast it will do nothing terribly useful. In particular because the coastline itself is what draws them, we just happen to be visible snacks along it at that point.

Sakki and his drow…companions have arrived at Okushiri in time for their debau- lets call it festivities. Tomi or “The Manhunter” oOooOoO spooky, is headed out into the woods to try and abduct some orcs. Hopefully no other sudden political developments are made after sending out the order because someone was just too impatient to wait for more scouting information right? Since we might not be able to call him back this time.

In other news, Uudistar has found out a lot about the monsters. While it confirms they seek out mana as a form of sustenance due to their unnatural proportions and abilities, we’ve learned that this diet condenses them into having rather useful properties. For example some of them have very uniquely strong or mana conductive bones, hides, organs, and so on that can be utilized by some people with an interest in the craft. Not a great idea for industrial scale production -nor domestication given their temperament- however there may be good fortunes to find in taking down some of the nastier ones to bring home for study and production. I’ve posted a bounty list of gold to be paid out if they can be brought in. Reward is increased 50% if they’re brought back to me alive. Since I am doing this as a private affair of my own finances, that means even our oh so wise king stands to profit from it by potentially misappropriating military resources. Along with our allies.

((Format: red circle is still power, green is gold reward, blue is mana reward))

Eamon is traveling and Gideon has found a city by a mana lake to the east along the border between the badlands and the north. It is a fair sized populace and definitely not as primitive as the last one, likely due to their motive to live by a mana lake. More details pending if you want him to explore it or not. Also that mana hiding artifact has been delivered to us from Eamon’s army, he sent a courier so he could get on the road to the south quicker. It’s a blue rock about the size of a person, it weighs quite a bit.

As for your merchant, you’re looking at her. I own more of your city then you do whelp – I mean your majesty. If you need me too often I might find you some street vendor instead, but I’ll handle Faelyn and the drow for you at least. I’m interested to meet the both of them, and my lab grows tedious.

I’m four hundred years old, if you count the sleep before the tomb, I’m probably a few thousand.  I suppose Heseli never gave you much information on me or why I keep being mentioned and my existence remains a constant reminder. Of the nobility I am the most powerful, the only reason I’m not queen is I don’t care to deal with people and their stupid problems all day. I spend most of my time in the lab. If you need to know how good my family is with money, you’ll notice my name is on the university. My family founded the original one as a charity project to the kingdom. However, my family did not reject the deal before the long slumber so I wasn’t beheaded by commoners. I rebuilt my fortune from scratch upon waking up and am already the richest individual in Nalkas. Obviously the government has more money then me but that doesn’t count.  I used to run the academy before your time, before Heseli’s as well. Like I said, I got tired of dealing with people and their stupid problems. Don’t worry about my safety though, I’m a rival for Winter, let alone the rest of you maggots.

Faelyn’s people haven’t arrived yet, so after this meeting I’m headed off to meet with the drow as requested. Bit of travel time regarding that, maybe I’ll find Faelyn’s people out there and meet them halfway. Might take me a bit of time, but I’ll get Ghuan into your suburb as you desire. They are arcanists like ourselves, and I have tech the government doesn’t. They might be comparable to the nalkas in enchanting, but not me.

Greetings keeper! It is a somber day for the Oda people to see you locked away in your room. Are you ill? Shall I fetch you some tea?

Well good news in the meantime. The tournament has gone quite well. Managing to put on an interesting show for our merchant friends from the southern coast. Unexpectedly, Sakki returned bringing these darker elves with him to participate. This has worked to our favor and further impressed our new friends with all our diversity. Members of Nalkas, Katara, and these strange dark elves all meeting here. The results of the tournament itself may have been different if everyone’s best had been able to make it, on account of the call to war. Though hail to the champion, Motsqueh remains an arena champion just as he was before on the island by defeating Sakki in the grand finals.

That being said, Motsqueh, Kaze, and Inaba remain on standby. We can’t send them to respond to the call to arms against the orcs without your express command. Though currently only Inaba has any forces to speak of.

We have established some basic trading route with our coastal friends at least, so profits are up.

Ocunnohaka seems to have found the city of Maji that the Nalkas told us of. It is colossal, the largest city we’ve ever seen. True to the rumors and legends, it is a technological marvel of a city. Outclassing even the Nalkas-

Bullshit. You have no comprehension of the technology the nalkas have, before my creations you are but an insect unable to comprehend it. You might see it every day and never know what it even is, yet your island caveman tells you they’re more advanced then me? You are too easily duped – how fitting for a nation of people who only talk. The savage would think anything with pretty lights was ‘advanced’ just like the rest of you buffoons. I literally add light enchantments to things because idiots like you will buy anything that glows.

How did she get in – isn’t she up north? Where did she go…who was that? Man she’s mean, anyways, the city of Maji is huge. It seems it is because it is made up of multiple citadels owned by various governments, interconnected by a central area owned by the king of the badlands, as detailed in the nalkas report. Sieging this place would be near impossible, they are built on top of their food sources and it is several separate fortresses touching one another, to take one would leave the others still standing. To provoke all of them at once would be a wrath like no other. At least if you did so all at the same time.

Iwanagi has made port at the city of Cayetano, the capital of our southern trading friends. Their nation appears to be quite prosperous along the coast line, run by a theocracy known as the Church of Light. Their greatest champions are of the divinely empowered variety, though perhaps its a nice change of pace to meet such a people not empowered by demons and dark spirits. *cough*.

They are naval specialists and keep mostly to the coastal areas, though don’t underestimate their zealous infantry. Reportedly Iwanagi found their kingdom to be of great economic wealth, and they’ve mentioned to him that before encountering us they had trade routes to another empire further east of themselves along the coast as well as an island to the west out at sea.

Marilena is marching to Wynolwind now and Christina is on her way back as commanded. Sarkisa can now protect itself from the monsters, especially with the lull in their activity brought on by the archdruid. However, now there are roaming orcs so maybe not.

As for the siege, so far no real progress. As mentioned before it will be a very long affair as we aren’t actually starving them for food but for profit until they find it to be not worth maintaining if they can’t acquire goods from our forest to sell in the Badlands.

Also some genius researched monster bounties and now some mechanic has appeared that can really screw with us if not dealt with, thanks someone.

 

 

 

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The game is afoot

He’s on vacation so I’m back for the week. As per your… ever so enlightened orders, they have begun construction of the defenses as earlier mentioned. Fortunately they aren’t exactly labor or resource intensive since it is underground and surrounded by rock already.

Also Sakki managed to catch the manhunter, or more accurately Iraeka did. One hunter can find another I suppose. How fortunate for you that Sakki had a friend who could prevent your hasty decision making’s pitfalls.

In the meantime, the old coot has continued along the arctic border, this hasn’t yielded much else of interest as of yet.

As per the brilliant strategy of increasing the number of people we have present in drow territory, I have the useful tidbits of their reports here.

House Vaslochar, the most powerful house lays claim to also controlling the church, and as such are somewhat specialized in demonology. They call themselves priests, but from an academic standpoint we might consider them warlocks since they consort with demons. Though on the other hand warlocks are known for making deals for power, priests are known for being reverent so if you want to get technical about it they’re warlock priests I guess?

Anyways, a large part of Vaslochar’s power stems from the economic boons controlling the church yields them. Particularly in the form of labor due to the demonic servants, tributes offered to the church, and of course the power it gives them to just declare random shit that no one can really check whether or not it actually came from whatever demons they consort with. This gives them a unique ability to avoid certain compromise in disagreements by simply saying some demon or another won’t support it and there is nothing they can do about it.

In dealing with them we have to keep in mind that for better or worse they are the most powerful house. So it brings a measure of confidence to them, also they are prone to some unpredictable behavior due to their association with the church side of the matter. Though on the upside they are quite hospitable, for now. Unfortunately we only have so much information regarding the matters of demons and warlocks to work with. For our ambassadors, the Vaslochar stood out as the most confident and eccentric of the houses.

House Ghuan, the second strongest, is an arcane focused house. Specializing in the raising of wizards, this has made them appear quite wealthy due to the higher number of enchanted street lights and other shiny baubles that decorate their territory. They definitely presented themselves as wealthy to our ‘scouts’ but upon comparison to Vaslochar the difference is quite obvious. They have their own academy structure, as we do, and it is fairly impressive. They also chew through their mana resources like we do, possibly not the best potential ally for trade as they are always seeking the same resource we are. A good portion of their power comes from the illusion of power that placates their own people, hence all the shiny things around their territory. As Heseli’s prior report mentioned though, their primary issue is a lack of access to steel. While they are not devoid of it, it explains their preference for wizards. This is part of why I call it the illusion of wealth, they need to train soldiers for very long periods of time to turn them into wizards but an army of wizards will most certainly be destroyed by a more traditional force. If nothing else, just the sheer numbers that equipping a peasant levy with gives an advantage let alone the professional warriors still reign supreme on the battlefield.

In dealing with them, they actually have a pretty solid understanding of the arcane so whatever we tell them they will understand quickly and easily but it also means the gap between us and them is quite narrow. Also that if any house is liable to find a way around the tunnel defenses Heseli came up with, it is Ghuan. For the sake of security it might be best to make sure they’re pretty dead. On the other hand migration between us might be smoother with Ghuan due to the similarities in lifestyle. They did the same thing that Vaslochar did, project themselves with confidence and from a position of power. Though it was a lot less authentic, Vaslochar has real power and a level of faith that can make them delusional at times. Ghuan opted to put on airs and we noticed them being quite glib in their dealings with our ambassador, dodging certain topics for perhaps a day or two before returning to it. By our estimates, they were gathering information before speaking to try and figure out how best to handle us. They stand out as the most cautious and clever of the houses in our dealings with them.

House Eilsath is the weakest and poorest house…on paper. Now that we can compare, it is obvious they are the strongest house in spirit. Ironically, it is their poverty that makes them so mighty. They rely primarily on traditional roles due to their lack of access to specialties – which means people who are good with sharpened metal objects. Their power is expressed through traditional soldiers and also while we assumed all drow were treacherous, it has now become clear that Eilsath is the actual house of assassins. Without the demons of Vaslochar, they have to work their own fields. Without the arcanists of Ghuan, they have to train with traditional weapons. Putting all this together it is to be noted that in the event of full war the Vaslochar can produce more soldiers since their people are freed up from tedium by the demon labor, but Eilsath’s conscripts will be stronger due to…actually doing physical labor. Also more likely to defend what they have fiercely, never underestimate a farmer with a pointy stick who thinks you’re there to take away his farm. Because of Eilsath’s lack of wealth and difficulties with food they are still the weakest house in the event of military conflict on paper, but I would wager they will maintain the highest kill death ratio of all the available armies. They’d still lose, but they would definitely take someone down with them. That is assuming the conflict was very mundane though, a house of assassins can definitely change the odds if they can take out important people.

In dealing with them, as we have so far, they’re cruder then the others and a bit more primitively barbaric. Though now that we have a greater understanding of them we do see that some of these extremes are unique to their culture. They project themselves as violently as possible to dissuade the other two from making any moves against them, as a reminder that they are very willing to resort to violence and much more capable of it then the logistics would give them credit for. Now that we have contacted the other two to compare, the Eilsath stick out a bit more. As you know already, they killed our first ambassador and then took in Sakki in a way almost reminiscent of camaraderie. They’re the poorest and seediest of the houses and they know it, instead of projecting an air of regal delegation they opted for strength. Easily admitting to Sakki what they knew and didn’t know unlike the others. They stand out as being the most blunt and decisive of the houses.

_____________________________

Phew, fuckin drow. This is the longest report I’ve ever had to give. I hope you got all that because I’m sure a wise king such as yourself wouldn’t want to miss any details, and I’m not repeating that. Moving on, the Oda have sent someone to help deal with this Faelyn, Ice Queen is a stupid name I’m not calling her that. Who keeps coming up with these stupid names? At the very least the Katara queen is literally the queen of witches. But you know what she’s even more the queen of? Fucking Katara. Whatever moving on.

There was only one great tomb that we awoke from, it is unlikely that any offshoots exist. If they do and I don’t know about them I am going to resurrect your predecessor and kill them again. Though that line of thought will be explored anyways purely because as you seem to have noticed, it is strange that despite us only being awake for two generations Faelyn is so sure of Gideon being one and us having a city to find.

Unfortunately despite the tip, Ankathi is currently busy on campaign besieging some fort or other. So she’s unlikely to come and see these darker skinned elves.

I’ll tell you right now with the golem suit thing, they would be a lot more fragile then you are thinking because fitting a person in them would not be easy without making their core power source exposed. To that end though, Essi had a similar project. She was trying to explore their uses in warfare, specifically mounting siege weapons onto them. She has one with a ballista on its back and it just bends over and gets on all fours and then a crew can use the weapon…it keeps falling over backwards when walking though. Work in progress. Though the university is near constantly trying to make advances in the field of golems, though I feel it is a lack of…something that prevents any major breakthroughs not a lack of ingenuity.

Now, give me a moment to find the stupid book. Here you go, an idiots guide to mana. Don’t mind the scratched out original title. Anyways, it develops generally as a byproduct of life I suppose you could say. Mana itself can create bizarre ecosystems, but the ecosystems existence will create more mana. This is why we can harvest it from people and animals ourselves as nalkas. This is also why it is plentiful in regions like the forest to the south and nearly missing in barren places such as the badlands. It tends to be most plentiful in the oceans, our coastlines benefit from this because of the ice. It sort of prevents us from having sandy beaches on our coast line which are usually slopes into the deep sea. The ice puts our docks right over deeper waters, reefs, and consequently – life. When we first found the north, the mana lakes were definitely strange. It isn’t barren of life, I mean we still have forests and the like, so it makes sense to have a fair amount here. It was bizarre that there is an abundance of it up here in some of the lakes. I say was because our new…friends have given us the answer. Those tunnels underneath us are very alive with fungi and moss. Along with some critters, essentially a second ecosystem. The lakes are pulling some of that up into themselves as well as pulling some from the surface. They’re acting like focal points for mana on both sides of themselves and benefiting as the resting place of two worlds at once. Compare our lakes to that of the fishing village to the south east the Oda have taken over. Their lake has mana aplenty, but nowhere near the concentration of ours….by a measure of half. This means that wherever there is a mana lake, there is an underworld. While Sakki’s report never mentioned tunnels under Uudistar, I guarantee you that if you start digging you’ll hit a tunnel network again. Though either it just hasn’t come up in conversation, or the drow don’t know that. As in, they never found this other tunnel network and there may be a whole other civilization under Uudistar. Have fun losing sleep over that one.

Essi is traveling to Uudistar slightly slower then you might expect…she packed up practically her whole lab. So she’ll get there eventually.

The golem experiment yielded mediocre results. It is notable that the wood is like a mana battery for the golem which is attributed to their higher efficiency from the old design. A smaller quantity of it definitely proved just as effective – buuut to little gain. The wood isn’t actually any more expensive then the original stone design, masonry is kind of expensive so even though they were plain rocks it took more effort to make the components then with the wood.

Also, Eamond has arrived at the isolationists village and begun the process of raping and pillaging them. Lost some men in the assault though that is to be expected. He has prioritized the artifact and secured it to be brought back. Not to mention some other loot from the raiding, its all in the economics report.

To wrap things up, during the Oda ‘training exercise’ we managed to construct more dockways and roads along the coastline to expand our influence over the area.

 

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people.

People are doing stuff they tasked to do with indeed. Also added that ship. To which end, one of our warships was lost at sea to a rather…big monster during the training run.

As for mage monks, we actually don’t have any that show such aptitude…but we do know it exists. That one nalkas visitor we had a long time ago who created a sort of arcane brawler style of fighting. I believe he was named after a drink, Sakki or something.

As for the druids, still not terribly much luck. We made some progress while Amare was in Tethalyn to help, but it is a difficult art to grasp. Because it draws from a conscious entity it has so far proven difficult to learn, as it is currently just the art of trying to convince the wilds that it is a good idea and that the people we sent are sincere enough. Though the fact that we literally sent them has also created an oddity in doing something like that.

Konya is standing by to meet the new people before heading north, they haven’t arrived yet but it is likely that this tiefling lady’s people will not be finding the Nalkas faster then they arrive anyways.

Iwanagi has found the bay that the coastal fort mentioned to him, it is indeed an impressive place. A few cities line the area with a strong fort at the tip to police the waters and a massive citadel lurking at the heart of it. He’s only just arrived though so that is all the details we have for now as he has yet to make landing in any of them.

As for sending out more scout ships, we’ll have to build those first.

To which end, Yuzuki has also found something of interest while exploring to the south east. A city named Moncayo Pass, it is situated between two mountains and kind of hard to avoid because of that. Apparently its half a trading outpost and half a bandit outpost. They are inclined to trade but they definitely don’t make it easy for non paying citizens to pass through their territory to get to the other side. Though we’ll see how long that strategy holds up if the orcs notice their presence.

Our fishing village friends have grown bolder since joining our nation, and have expanded their influence over more of the lake they reside by. To add to this our island friends did not previously know what to do with mana that much, our interest in such a resource has shown them producing additional efforts to procure it from their island. So their mana production has been going up quickly since there was so much unexploited resource to gain there.

And finally, remember how Iwanagi said the archdruid considered us all her vassals? We received a call to arms from her in regards to the orcish threat in the southeastern forest. Wynolwind being her chosen rally camp.

Euterna and Areti are on their way back, and Ankathi has made her way towards the mountain fort.

Also Christina and Marilena have made their way to the city of Lennecas, where they engaged in diplomacy with an elven prince. This meeting was somewhat precarious, though wound up being flipped in our favor by the sudden appearance of Amare who, I am told, smacked her own cousin and ordered them to shut up and take the help. Likely because the Gate of the Forest has officially fallen, and we’ve caught wind of the Orc Warchief’s presence. The elves managed to defeat one of the other orc warlords but lost two of their own commanders in the process. The orcish push has halted at the newly taken city to replenish their numbers and reinforce, as well as regroup with the massive army of the warchief.

However, the orcs making it into the forest seems to have sparked the Ire of the Queen of Wolves who is now on the move. To which note, apparently she really does consider herself empress of the forest because she sent us a call to arms. She also sent one to Oda, the elves, and some very confused independent villages right now. What is peculiar though is she didn’t specify what the actual demands are. So we could probably get away with sending just one of our armies. I do however recommend we send someone specifically to observe the archdruid just so that we can get a better perspective on who they really are.

She has made her way to Wynolwind and has chosen the elven city as the military camp. Civilians are being evacuated from it by the elves, also there’s been a distinct lack of monster attacks as of late. Scouts have reported seeing them migrate to the south east.

While the orc commanders are regrouping at the gate for the time being, hundreds of scouts and smaller scale officers have advanced into the forest to poke around. So it might no longer be reliable to predict where they will be attacking, the forest is quite vast and there are many orcs to trickle through it.

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Heseli’s has lots to say, but Mezrin is going away

Here, I brought you some books on necromancy to peruse at your leisure. I advise not trying to make a phylactery until you are -really- good at this stuff though. If it goes wrong you instantly die. Now, onto business.

After convening with the advisors on the drow; we deduce that we can probably defend the tunnels easily enough through a number of security measures. Flooding it is a bad idea, but pointing those new ballista down a tunnel is a pretty good way to deter anyone from entering that tunnel. We’ve begun work on a concept of a golem that just fires the ballista if it sees any non-nalkas. While they could try to dig around it, I invite them to try and mine through rock without us being able to notice. I have created a new invention, its a needle. It moves when the earth does. If they start mining it’ll wobble and touch the edges of an enchanted bell to alert my office if there is any unsanctioned excavating going on near us. Between this and the ballista concept we surmise nothing short of an all out war would get them under our capital to do anything suspicious. While they extract water from the same lake as it flows underground, breaking through that to invade us brings them out at the bottom of a lake…so that problem is self-solving. The other tunnels under us are not close enough to the surface for them to launch a surprise attack, too much digging required and as mentioned I have solved that problem. The risk of their presence is still a factor if they fully commit to a war, but we are protected from surprises with these implements at least.

In the event of an actual war, we predict a stalemate or mutual annihilation. Their main city is a fortress, but the distance between us and them through the tunnels are just simply tunnels. Basically just a sea of choke points either side could exploit. The next solution is obviously to go through the surface, but like I said their main city is a fortress, an underground one our siege magic could not easily penetrate. However, they are vastly weaker then us in open combat in the snow. Our city is well fortified, they would have to lay a siege but that would attract the monsters to them and if that didn’t break the siege for us it would weaken them enough for us to do so ourselves. Not to mention if we committed all of our resources to building up the army to break the siege even in the middle of it, we would eventually stand a chance to break out. Even worse, the drow have no navy. They could not siege our port, so it would be a pretty terrible siege. To pile it on, one message spell and maybe the promise of some treasure and then we can summon Katara to help break such a siege long before our supplies would run out. From the reports, I hear this ‘Ankathi’ person is the nightmare to all elven kind. We could probably ask the Witch Queen to send her north for a quick bit of help given we are supplying her with gear for her own forces – she wouldn’t want to be cut off from her primary method of arming them that would result from us coming under siege. All this assumes Oda wouldn’t be interested in helping, but if they did the drow are practically fucked. They can’t take the port without a navy, and that means they can’t stop Oda from docking whenever they please and just circumventing their entire siege.

In short, whichever side is the aggressor in an all out war will not be able to win as things stand now. It would take years of building resources and plans to actually do so successfully. However, Uudistar would be far more vulnerable even if it is a fortress in its own right due to how we took the place from the monsters. It simply isn’t as well fortified nor staffed as Jämsä. Not to mention it is closer to them. This is the main potential loss in the event of a war despite the tunnel positions. So while we would be safe from total annihilation or conquest, we do stand at risk to lose a valuable colony.

That being said, we move on to their own politics. Marry an elf? Seriously? Don’t joke around about stuff like that. Also, despite Iraeka being Sakki’s favorite she is not necessarily the best pawn for us to work through. She is far from the throne, but also has no mindset for ruling. She wouldn’t last that long. Her older sister or mother on the other hand is far more suitable for us to deal with. We have had Sakki probe into their political sphere, the rival houses are caught in a position where the primary dispute comes as a result of territory. Because they are all practically trapped down there, and apparently don’t know how to grow crops on the surface efficiently, they don’t have much space to expand. But their long lifespans and overall free spirited breeding means their population keeps growing. The only thing keeping it in check is their own murderous ways, the homeless are basically open game for murder simply because it isn’t necessarily poverty that renders them homeless but lack of space. A fairly well off peasant might simply just be unable to out-bid some other peasant, thus rendering them homeless and in need of removal.

This means that for any given house, the technology behind surface agriculture is worth…pretty much everything they own. Obviously, we possess this technology. We predict that encountering us might cause them to explore the surface and the possibility of survival on it sooner or later. So there may be a time limited window that only we can provide it. They might discover it themselves with some exploration or learn of it from another civilization they make contact with. Not to mention if they just go south and realize just how easy it is to survive in the forest with their skillsets, or figure out what an ocean is and how to fish in it. We believe exploiting this potentially time sensitive weakness might be a key move to make.

On to their house rivalries, they are comprised of the houses Eilsath, Ghuan, and Vaslochar. They really aren’t that different from one another. Notably, Eilsath is considered the poorest house. The reason they are our primary contact right now is they have not revealed the existence of Sakki to the other two, but they possess the land closest to the surface castle. It is considered undesirable due to the uncontrollable circumstances of the surface, the ‘you’ll die first’ of surface threats, and the lack of access to the cave network’s more bountiful fungi caves. However, the margin between richest and poorest is about 80%, while significant it is not so colossal that the richest could ignore the other two entirely. Ghuan rests in the middle on the wealth and power scale, and Vaslochar ranks as the most powerful house down there. For all of them, space is the primary problem and its what they fight over most frequently. But notably Eilsath has issues with food, Ghuan has issues with steel, and Vaslochar is militarily plagued as they are the most frequent target by the other two or even common civilians for their riches. While these niche problems might be targetable, any of the three we teach to farm on the surface will immediately become the most powerful house by a wide margin.

This brings up a few scenarios that could happen. If we empower one but not the others, they could grow so powerful that the rest are forcefully absorbed and uniting their city. It could also result in their destruction as the other two declare war and crush them to steal these secrets and result in the city being damaged by a bloody war ending in a two-faction city with both factions having access to the technology. Alternatively, the war might leave only one survivor thus also resulting in a unified city. As another path, if we give the technology to any two of them, Eilsath is likely to pull ahead as they control the major path to the surface despite its currently poorer standing but if two houses have it then the incoming war would not result in a two on one since only one would be the aggressor and the other would likely claim neutrality and sit on its boons. However, due to the current status of the houses such a war could result in Eilsath being wiped out. If we gave it to Ghuan and Vaslochar that would be a gauranteed result since Eilsath controls the surface route that would suddenly become much more valuable. In all these scenarios we can control who goes to war quite easily but we cannot pick the winner with certainty. If Vaslochar goes to war by itself against one other house it will win, but if both others go to war against Vaslochar then they would be the ones displaced. You get the idea, by trading technology with them we can invoke the war to work in a way we deem particularly favorable to our desires.

As another scenario, if we ignore the opportunity to trade off the technology it is nearly guaranteed that Eilsath will eventually take position as the most powerful house. They have the easiest access to the surface, but also only they know about Sakki and soon they will know about Oda and the rest of the surface world with their trip to the tournament. This is likely to prompt them to invest more efforts into exploring and gaining a foothold on the surface while the others will remain unknowing of the possibilities entirely. Gaining them a significant lead in the race before the other two even know there is a race.

Alternatively, we could have Sakki approach the other houses or perhaps send another suitable agent to play the field. We do not know the particular mannerisms of all three houses. Though we do know all our interactions thus far have been with Eilsath, including the death of Rakkel. Punishing them and establishing good relations with another house might showcase the costs of acting contrary to our interests or killing our diplomats. As such it could advantage us to gather more information to make our decision. Atop of all that we might be very well able to find the easiest one to place under our control to receive our rewards of the all-valuable agricultural technology.

Additionally, Sakki has not revealed our location. We could tell them about Uudistar to see how they attempt to interact with us first and draw them out into a vulnerable position while keeping the capital’s location above the tunnels safe. Political dealings on our territory might have a radically different effect on their behavior then diplomats sent into their world, it might also reveal what their first reaction is when they think they have an upper hand to play. To that end, while bringing them to the capital would reveal our location above their tunnels it could be a more impressive display should we go that route. Though, Sakki has cautioned they are deceitful on a level even demons would find to be an enviable talent. If they realize a location to send their best diplomats too, we can expect them to try and utilize these talents. However, they do not have any way of knowing how much we know to catch them with.

We also might be able to infiltrate them further to add to any of these strategies. Iraeka has made it clear to Sakki her motives are simply to leave her homeland. Bit of wanderlust I suppose. This might be possible to turn to our interests. If she has such minimal loyalty or optimism for her own people, and we are her only out, she might be turned to work on our behalf and prove a useful informant in order to stay ahead of any drow schemes.

There are a great many variables and situations to consider, and obviously asking for the council of wise men to advise on this results in us having thought about this a bit too long. But hey, you called for the assembly so this is the report you get. Do with it what you will. Now, on to other matters.

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As for your agent and his team we found a guy. He is completely noble and trustworthy and no inquiries should be made into the quality of his character. He will go forth and capture you some orcs, though prefers us not to know his name. He instead takes his paycheck in person, has no bank accounts, and is generally living off the grid as not to be identifiable. Given his apparent confidence, and tools, I decided he should be apt for the job. I gave him his hiring bonus and sent him on his way and that was the end of our interactions with the mysterious stranger.

 

Of course I placed a scrying spell on him while he was in my office and waited for him to have to take a bath and then did some investigating to figure out who he is. His real name is Tomi Partanen, he is fairly old and predates entering the tombs. He has served as an executioner, a city guardsman, and an inquisitor. Now days he lays low and minds his own business, occasionally taking gigs as a bounty hunter. This would qualify as one of those gigs. According to my master, Ansa Jarvenä, the other inquisitors were investigating him as a potential culprit behind a series of serial killings but the long slumber came about before that got anywhere. Obviously all potential evidence is long gone now so we can’t really conclude that investigation. Might be why he has been laying low though.

Meanwhile, Uudistar has started up the process of acting as a monster observation platform to increase our understanding of such creatures. They’ve been working on a new research lab for such occasions as well to see what we might learn from this opportunity.

Sakki is taking Iraeka and an accompaniment of their drow to the Oda lands, more on that as it progresses. Travel time and all. On a similar note, Eamond is also traveling, and Essi is perfectly content just hanging out in her house until given anything else to do.

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Gideon has made his way into the ruined city. The walls are still crumbling but they are under repair, meaning it has few effective defenses, especially given the size of the ruin compared to it’s population. However, the people here are actually natives of the badlands and technologically advanced and well armed.

The ruler of the ruined city is a tiefling named Faelyn Damaia. Apparently she is one of the major warlords of the badlands, or more so became one after she killed her father and took over his tribe. She was forced out of of Maji, apparently the central capital of the badlands, by a rival and fled north to try and rebuild. That was fifteen years ago, since she discovered the ruins she has risen to prominence again and killed her former rival but kept the ruined city she calls Lieksä. The interesting part about that, is that is the Nalkas name for the city. We don’t know what else it was called after us, though she seems to have found out the actual origin of the ruins.

The story goes that after she discovered the true origin of the ruins she opted to stay there instead of returning to Maji. Considering it a useful location but also of historic significance, somewhat bragging that she controls a Nalkas ruin as her home base to the other warlords. She has since been investing her efforts into fortifying and rebuilding it, fully aware that -bragging rights aside- Lieksä is positioned between the badlands and the north giving her a very useful operations center. It was after deciding to take permanent residence there, and killing her main rival, that she acquired the title of Ice Queen.

Her people are not openly hostile, at least not in a violent sense. They are very aggressive merchants though, Gideon spent all his money on things from their markets already. Perhaps worthy of note, they see mana as the preferred currency over gold. This is apparently true across the entirety of the badlands, which also means that is the currency they offer in large scale trade. This is part of how Faelyn returned to power and is continuing to grow rapidly, with access to the northern lands she is able to harvest it much more then anyone in the badlands. Overall, Faelyn’s people are well equipped for war and quite dangerous but their main desire is to fuel their greed.

What makes this interesting is the badlands are apparently much more interconnected then the forests or the north, where many of us have not seen another civilization for millenia. The badlands has almost no monster population, so they were more easily able to contact one another and expand into a more advanced society. While many are thieves and vagabonds, the most powerful warlords of the badlands are actually merchants who have found greater wealth to be in consistent trade rather then theft since they had a larger society to work within then our more isolated societies and tribes. This also is why this city is so multiracial. Faelyn found power in diversity, and aggressively recruited all stragglers she managed to come across. This is why she has humans, tieflings, elves, and orcs alike in her city. Notably, these are all races that live near the borders of the badlands. It appears those who were bold enough to wander into it were snatched up by warlords like her. This also means the badlands knows about every other civilization even if they don’t know much about the badlands. Faelyn herself knows the location of the Orcish capital, she knows where the Aywin capital is, she even knows exactly where Sybaris is. All of the warlords do, this is common knowledge to them. While they knew the Nalkas were not extinct, they didn’t know where we actually are.

This leads to the next bit, Faelyn found out Gideon was there less then a day after his arrival. She also immediately realized he was a nalkas somehow, and despite him never saying where he came from she already has sent an army in our direction. Though, they’re very spread out instead of a concentrated war party. It looks like she deduced he must have come from the west of her city and is intent on finding us one way or another and sent out an army of scouts to look for our location if Gideon won’t reveal it directly. Gideon assesses that she is probably not immediately interested in war, but she is dangerous none the less. He was being very careful not to reveal much about himself and she correctly, and confidently, figured everything out on her own and immediately took action on that information. He is pretty sure she’s going to try and trade with us whether we’re interested or not, and you might need to send Hes- fuck you Gideon. You might need to send…uh…your secretary to deal with any ambassadors she sends to monitor any deals she offers carefully given they are master merchants.

So this gets a bit more complicated now. Faelyn doesn’t know about the drow, and she’s likely to run into them looking for us as they are between us both. This could complicate the entire situation in both directions. Also, I am distinctly aware I got this report AFTER we sent Mr. Manhunter to kidnap orcs from Faelyn’s city. So lets hope he doesn’t get caught because he’s kind of hard to contact once he starts walking. We’ve come up with a few ‘most likely’ scenarios regarding these things.

The first of which is that if Faelyn finds the drow, she could very well beat us to the punch in regards to manipulating the houses through the trade of technology. This scenario is the most likely by the nature of the Badlands being technologically advanced trade merchants. From Gideon’s assessment, Faelyn would be greatly interested in taking control of the drow for herself and her own growing kingdom. Alternatively, the drow might kill her agents and invoke her ire as whether or not she is interested in trade we have seen how aggressive the drow tend to be even when you come in peace bearing gifts. At which point they could wind up at war with one another, since house Eilsath will be her only contact at first she might not realize what proverbial hornet’s nest she would be kicking. However, this would alert the other two houses to the existence of outside forces whether we want them to know or not. A third possibility is that in her search for us, she might inadvertently or even intentionally lead the drow to us.

As a result of encountering the city, we have learned a lot about badlands culture through Gideon probing around. Their culture stems from the criminal origins of the badlands founding. They tend to lean towards ‘gang loyalty’ mentality. They are extremely loyal to one another, but towards outsiders they can be be manipulative and murderous. Apparently, Maji is ruled by a lineage of incredible inventors for the last few centuries, and is responsible for the advanced technology the denizens of the badlands have access to. This dynasty supposedly consorts with demons to maintain their power and acquire some of their technological inventions, creating the idea of a demonic tech based theocracy. They are kept in power through economic influence and also because even if someone killed the current reigning king for the throne they couldn’t replicate the inventions he produces every now and then. They fear that killing this high priest could anger the demons and cost the entirety of the badlands its most valuable assets. Which might be relevant to know if we intend to pick a fight with the badlands.

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Now I know this was all a lot to process, but clearly we will have to act fast on some of this week’s bullshit. By the way I’m going on vacation have fun with all that.

Despoina has managed to group up with KouKou and they are currently fleeing further from the fort. To similar ends Euterna has changed directions to head towards Areti’s last known whereabouts instead of becoming accomplice to Ankathi’s concept of politics.

 

Ankathi reports from the mountain fort that it is extremely well defended but largely due to terrain. Its position is fortified, but on the top of the mountain it is difficult to access and even though its staff might be limited they do have advanced technology to defend it with. Organizing an army to assault it would result in the army likely being destroyed by cannons while they’re still trying to climb the mountain. However, they are positioned there out of interest to exploit the resources of the forest to trade back within the badlands. We could lay siege to them simply by cutting off the forest side as it doesn’t matter if they can supply their fort from the far side if the fort is not able to yield them the primary profits it was constructed for. But the downside to that is it could be a very long struggle before they give up and they might reinforce the location to push out into the siege. Though, its mountain positioning makes it easy to notice when they send people down into the forest to cut them off unless they do so in the darkness of the night. At which point, KouKou might be an ideal attachment to any army seeking to do this given her unique talents.

As for building a village to trade with the Fukuchi, as your advisor I have to point out that is a bad idea. They are a nomadic people and honestly more likely to come to us for trade then anything else, but you never know when they will just pick up and move somewhere else away from the village. Also the cosmic force of all things might be about to delete them from the game.

As for Marilena and Christina, they are traveling.

In other news…Nina wants an audience with you. More so the thing that she calls her master does. Actually to be exact, they demanded one. I have done some prying into this before bringing it up. The reason this being named Orias that gives Nina her powers was referred to repeatedly as a ‘dark entity’ is because we weren’t entirely sure what they are. I have since figured out Orias is a demon king. So get comfortable because I have to explain all of demonology now.

Tieflings are descended from demons but are usually the result of mating between a mortal race and a demon. Real full blooded demons descend from the abyss, both thought to be a place and an entity. Just as “the wilds” are a primordial entity that druids draw their abilities from, “the abyss” is the one that warlocks, demons, and people like Nina get theirs from. It exerts a will of its own but does not really exist the same way we do, it can be communed with but not spoken to. That is a whole other talk if you want to get into religion, but for now that’s the gist of it. So if a werewolf is a cross between a person and the wilds, a tiefling is a cross between a person and the abyss. If a wolf is a descendant of the wilds, a demon is a descendant of the abyss.

So from there, demons are a rare but highly intelligent being but they all come from a ‘hole’ in reality to another world. Though it isn’t another world you could walk around, they float around in the abyss as merely a consciousness but it gives them a place they can retreat to and appear from at will. While they walk within our world they become very much like us, but while they reside in the abyss they become seemingly omnipresent even if they don’t actually do so we can barely tell the difference. Whether or not they exploit this ability, or to what extent, differs based on their personality I guess you could say.

Now to get into ranks. There are minor demons, demons, demon lords, and then demon kings. Minor demons are more akin to beasts, the term demons include the likes of succubi and other humanoid and intelligent creatures of the abyss. Notably, these are called major demons by demonologists but common people just call them demons, but then again common people refer to almost all the ranks as demons. Demon lords are those ones you would expect to see leading armies or destroying cities. A demon king, however, is the thing you hear about in fairy tales that make deals and have the power to affect the world for long stretches of time.

The hierarchy of demons is something that can be climbed by any of its members. All demon kings were once minor demons, though it isn’t exactly known how this ladder works. But it  cannot a coincidence that every demon lord has a vast expanse of influence, no one has ever heard of a poverty stricken demon lord.

As a sense of scale, Heseli, you, or myself could face a demon lord about fifty fifty odds. A demon king could theoretically destroy all of Sybaris overnight if it manifested. Actually, the physical act of it manifesting might release enough energy to do that as just a byproduct. As stated earlier, Orias is a demon king that Nina somehow “befriended”. Though it should be noted, demon kings almost never manifest for some reason. I’m not really sure why.

Now to get back to the point, Orias and thus Nina have demanded an audience. I researched exactly what Orias is because of this. So I know he might very well be able to back up the offer he’s trying to make as Nina explains it to me. Orias has four children, all of whom are demon lords. One of which is trapped somewhere and he wants us to retrieve them. If we do…the offer is that said demon will remain in our territory to act as one of our princes for a minimum of one century.

I have been…contemplating this. I cannot be sure what Orias is planning, his existence is on a level higher then our intelligence can handle. He might simply be sending us to save one of his kids and making said child pay the compensation, but these are creatures who are known to lay plans millennia in advance. I have done my best to figure out the details of this deal.

Obviously having a demon, a demon lord no less, as one of our princes would help a lot with our population issues stemming from the curse. Demons are notoriously good at breeding, and obviously our curse can’t kill them. Though the immediate ramification is that we’d have a lot of tieflings in our population. It should be noted that tieflings make more tieflings, in the long term this could dramatically impact our population if not turn the entire nation into such creatures. Though…it is said that the more powerful the demon the more powerful the tiefling. Originating this practice with a demon lord, one directly associated with a demon king, could have peculiar result.

In summary, short term this would dramatically improve our population growth – not to mention economy. Long term, I cannot fully foresee the ramifications and we’re dealing with an entity that is widely known for thinking of the long term. Though on the upside, you and I will probably be dead of old age before then so it’ll be someone else’s problem right?

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. Iwanagi continues to move along down the coast. Apparently it might be a bit of a trip as he has to go around an extrusion into a bay area. However, the fort he came across has sent a few ships north to meet with us, though obviously it will take a bit of time for them to arrive. Never the less Konya has begun preparations to receive them.

Related to that, Quetzalli has organized to have the tournament around the time of their predicted arrival in the hopes of having something interesting going on when they do manage to get here.

Kaze is aboard the fleet with Chinami to help her get a grasp on the aspects of naval warfare. So far this is going well, though Chinami’s great difficulty still seems to be her tendency to give commands in her usual tone of voice. The crew have been getting used to it, though Kaze has made sure to help her pick a very shouty first mate to help relay her commands. So at least that is coming along, they have set off to sail into the sea in search of monsters to act as a sort of field practice thing along the nalkas coast due to the reliability of monster appearances around there.

As for expanding our influence it may help to scout around to find more. Perhaps other islands exist out there similar to the one we encountered. Though given the destruction of a few places among the forest, it may also help to take advantage of the open areas available to build new colonies of our own to expand our range of operations. Though doing so would definitely require more investment due to the lack of mountain protection out there. For the most part the search for life looks like it will be taking us into the Badlands.

Yuzuki has begun traveling east to find Shime at the frontline between the elves and orcs thanks to reports from the Katara that she was found there. Occunohaka has set out east to visit the badlands beyond the initial distance we have managed to make it through. He made it to the fishing village on the roads and is now venturing out further.

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Another day in the life of…

Stories Of Lore 6

Gideon has found something of interest, the ruins of a sort of citadel. It is obviously quite a few centuries old but he found something interesting buried deeper, there are signs of Nalkas architecture and design in here. This citadel is sitting on what used to be our gateway city to the badlands, but is definitely not our ruins. It appears that what we had left behind was taken over by another civilization for their own use, repaired, and added on to. Though that other civilization seems to have also fallen, this place could help us better determine just how long we had been asleep. Our ruins have been scavenged, rebuilt, then ruined again over who knows how long. There are some residents attempting to squat here, far more primitive then whoever must have rebuilt the place. These savages are of a mixed breed, Gideon reports coming across humans, elves, orcs, tieflings, and so on. While the citadel affords them a home to defend, they appear to be little more then a collection of lost souls attempting to survive on the border between the north and the badlands. Gideon has remained at a safe distance so far, given our prior first contact just recently he is a little wary. Though this place may be of great interest to us.

Eamon has taken over the troops as requested and the tunnels have been temporarily sealed.

In other news, Uudistar has expanded to take over the northern portion of the lake, well most of it. The eastern side remains untaken but the walls protect us quite well and have good aim at some of the monsters. You have received a request from Ylermi to halt the standing order to murder all the monsters. We have inadvertently created ideal conditions for studying the beasts. We can reach both the northern coast line and the eastern shore of the lake, both of which are valuable to monsters who need the mana. The walls offer protection for researchers as do the emplaced weaponry, and this puts us closer then anyone has ever been able to get since the monsters -will- come to this lake since there are so few alternatives in the north for them to subsist off of.

Sakki remains embedded with what are apparently called the drow, he describes the affair as an “experience”. He is treated well as their guest, but ‘well’ is subjective. He has been made to fight for his life in a gladiatorial arena against strange beasts, poisoned, and kind of raped. I say kind of because he doesn’t mind but the drow subscribe to a matriarchal society like the Katara and it’s clear he didn’t have the option to say no. He describes them as vicious psychopaths of the highest possible degree while maintaining a civilization. One step further across the razor thin line of barbarism and they would collapse into a primitive tribe. The diplomat from Oda has been advised by Sakki to remain afar and simply advise him how to act as mouth piece, because even when they are being friendly their guests run the risk of dying. With the help of this diplomat Sakki has been getting a lot better at asking questions to help us learn about them.

While these drow are not as technologically advanced as us in general, they do have some interesting things we don’t. Notably, they utilize some sort of venom tipped weapons that can bring down the monsters with shocking efficiency. Though they don’t go to the surface too often as there isn’t much there of interest to them – at least not that they know about. Also they have an interesting fungal delicacy that for some reason tastes like cake down there. They seem to specialize in demon aligned magic, warlocks of some sort. While we work on golems, they simply enslave minor demons for labor. As another oddity, they have two breeds of tieflings. Highborn and lowborn. The lowborn are the typical kind, but apparently they have a tradition of high priestesses mating with demon lords producing highborn tieflings. I am ninety percent sure there is zero practical difference, and is just a way for nobles to feel self important for fucking demons.

The battle outside Tethalyn has finally reached its conclusion…well that was an interesting turn of events. Marilena lost 43 soldiers, Ankathi lost 64. The remaining forces total at Rhea with 44, Marilena with 57, Ankathi with 22. The gear finally arrived as well though, not the best timing on that unfortunately.

KouKou has found the mountain fort to be somewhat…impressively hostile. Notably, they are badland denizens. Meaning mostly humans and tieflings. That fort gives them access to the forest below. They’ve been raiding the forests for its resources to ship back into the badlands, which has made them very wealthy. They are not used to interacting with people outside of their own circle, and apparently they have smaller outposts at the foot of the mountain where people usually interact with them on the far side. Since KouKou came from the forest she bypassed the outpost and made them a little paranoid given that no one is supposed to reach that fort. They failed to kill her but not for lack of trying, she is currently hiding in the forest nursing her wounds as they shot her successfully twice and she can barely walk. We may wish to send Despoina to retrieve her before they find where she is hiding to finish the job.

To add to this report though, they did not attack KouKou until after she removed her hood. They demanded that she did, but it indicates they were looking for something specific about her. They were fine with the parliament of owls, but not so much with something else about KouKou. Talks might not be impossible, but it clearly has to be the right person to do so, and I don’t think it has anything to do with charisma.

Speaking of impressively hostile, Areti made contact with the orcs. They are not open to negotiations, Areti killed a platoon’s worth of them while retreating. This has apparently gotten the chief’s attention, and now the one seemingly called Xnaurl Bloodfire has taken an interest in Areti. His forces have stopped pursuing the elven frontier and started scouting northward looking for Areti. She has killed dozens more as she makes her path in the general direction of “away” yet still they pursued her with a level of obsession. She describes them as impressive warriors.

In regards to Ankathi’s plans for Amare’s son, she apparently had intended to afflict him with a sickness that only she knows how to cure, it happens to also be her field test of the elven plague she has been designing. I have gathered why she sent Amare here though, she’s not trying to acquire peace between us and the elves. She wanted me to find out how much Amare would understand about witchcraft to see if they could recognize our work, because if they can’t they’ll have no idea where the plague is about to come from. It seems this was a layered strategy though and she has since put a hold on the idea since Amare instead joined the coven as a sort of distant member. So now she would definitely recognize it, but has also started to act in a way Ankathi would consider favorable. It was as if she came up with multiple ways to achieve her goal no matter how the cosmic dice might fall.

It took awhile to find anyone among our people potentially qualified for being a diplomat. I settled on promoting Christina who until now was administrator of the market square, of those I could find she has the best knack for words and understanding of conflict resolution without punching. She is quite charismatic and authoritative given her position, with a fair understanding of how to hear arguments and settle them. As military training is almost compulsory around here, it is worth noting she has some skill with evocation should she need to fight though I wouldn’t rely on her for such a thing.

 

Greetings Keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people.

We have begun preparation for the tournament, though it will be a little longer to get that all set up in order to make it a bit more of a public affair for entertainment, and to let people travel or get in fighting shape. The islanders are definitely interested, given that they’ve been holding gladiatorial combat for years anyways. As such we have appointed Quetzalli to organize and host it since this is something she would have some familiarity with.

As for the construction of port defenses, don’t worry we already have those. Mostly because of naval monsters, though they can shoot a boat just fine. I’ll see about placing some of the new ballista’s there as well as those are extra effective against ships I imagine.

Iwanagi reports that the navy of the fort is actually part of a larger civilization. They are in an alliance of their own whose major cities can be found to the east. They told Iwanagi he can sail south and around the cape to find the sea where they mostly reside. Though they will be sending a few ships north to meet with us and see what is going on up here to see about establishing trade arrangements.

As for the scout ship, that is basically what Iwanagi is on right now. We could theoretically improve it with magic but that has its obvious dangers.

In regards to the village, the problem there is unavoidable. If we sabotage any of their resources then come by with that resource the reaction is likely to be the same no matter what resource or method we use unless we can pin the blame on something else.

In regards to retinue for the diplomat, we could send him with a basic compliment of soldiers. He is not a wizard and if we don’t send any there is a good chance he can avoid the bigger monsters while his guards can deal with the smaller ones. If you want extra security, perhaps smart, sending a monk with him would be ideal given that they cannot be disarmed during diplomatic trips. Not to mention since they don’t use magic they won’t attract too much attention to him while traveling.

Speaking of new hires, we found that naval commander for you. Her name is Chinami Aiga.

Apparently she used to be asked to help with the fishing endeavors around the docks. Wizardry aside her understanding of the ocean alone is reason enough to place her with the fleet. She comes from a fishing family who still know some of the old techniques of navigation, she can stick her foot in the water and tell you the currents, the fishing prospects, where in the ocean she is, and so on. She does not navigate by the stars, but by the currents. Fitting that someone with such an interest in the ocean is a hydromancer and aeromancer, or as the locals put it “cheating at fishing”. She apparently had a trick of just pulling fish out of the water, with the water. Very fresh fish from her stall. With these talents she can actually spot aquatic creatures miles out at sea if they’re of a large enough size for her to detect. I felt she has the potential to be an ideal naval commander, though it took some convincing to get her to accept the position.

It should be cautioned though, while she understands the ocean better then anyone she doesn’t fully understand the military. She spent the last week memorizing the chain of command…as in the names of the ranks. Chinami also has some issues sounding authoritative, all her commands sound more like suggestions from some cryptic old fisher woman. She needs more time to fully take command in a military capacity but I reason that it is easier to train her as a soldier then to train  a soldier in the arcane arts or the way of the sea, or any other combination. Essentially this fisher being taught about war is the fastest way to get what we’re after in a naval commander.

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What else is in the fog of war?

With our embassy projects completed I have easy access to the intel network for the rest of the alliance for major affairs. *looks down at Winter’s section* We may wish to withdraw from this alliance for the time being before we get pulled into that. We have our own problems here in the north, and it looks like the south is going to become very…messy.

In the meantime you should decide who will command the newly recruited soldiers. Finances are improving well at least. Also tunnel construction has hit what can only be described as “a bigger tunnel”. We have since halted the project and stationed guards at the entrance until you make a decision on what to do with this, because in that bigger tunnel were the same people from the strange castle. We lost about twenty workers in the ensuing retreat. To that end –

Sakki has been continuing to hang around the castle, he has actually made some headway on diplomacy somehow. Apparently, he seduced one of them and that’s how he got inside their castle. As to further demonstrate their savagery, they fed him Rakkel for dinner and considered it amusing. Their underground network is big…a lot bigger then we anticipated and every estimate we had about their population from watching from afar was very wrong. Underground they have a city the size of Sybaris. Attempting to siege this would be suicide for us, not only can we not get underground effectively but their numbers are quite high. Sakki did some math that I didn’t know he could do. They don’t know it, but they have a tunnel that goes right under our capital, and they harvest runoff from the very same lake we do when it flows underground.

Gideon has finished exploring the southern border of ice. Without any other standing orders he has opted to just wander off along the border to see what else he might see.

Layla has completed her project that was apparently designed with the help of Ankathi’s research in the village of Sarkisa. She has constructed a fairly large and…spiky building. I’m not even totally sure what it actually is but with the gold you sent her; Layla apparently hired a scholar of some sort to look into the art this monument was designed for. So…I guess we have someone new on the payroll.

The first, and potentially last, blackguard. Through consorting with the dark entities Layla’s Sanctum has produced a sort of knight imbued with dark powers. She is a terrifying warrior, equipped with the best arms and armor we could get ahold of thanks to the new trade route to the Nalkas. Layla says she would make a good commander but wasn’t exactly going to hire an army with her current funds. But according to her Nina has some sort of ability to affect her soldiers in a supernatural way to empower them.

I am wary of this, the way Nina was created was to consort with a much more powerful entity then our witches do but instead of trying to barter with it Nina has become a pawn to it. Avoiding the horrid death many of our aspiring coven witches do but simply submitting herself to those creatures in exchange for great power.

Nina herself is a very…I would describe her as intense personality. Her constant communion with some sort of dark entity has definitely affected her outward demeanor. She seems to have a sense of purpose though, and that causes her to behave perhaps erratically to our perspective. She refers to this entity as “master” and keeps pitching that we should meet with her master. Her loyalty to the throne might be subject to question depending what this entity’s designs are. Be very careful dealing with her, while you or I could deal with her should she rebel against the throne I fear it is actually if she doesn’t that we might be in the most precarious of situations.

((New monument unlocked: Sanctum
New unit unlocked, Blackguard 150g50m | 50g20m: Fully armed infernal knights with less utility then witches but are all-in on combat stats and warfare based abilities. Increases morale and defense scores of any army they command. Increases overall combat level of any army by +1 per soldier. Gains +1 combat power for every 5 enemy soldiers. Has +1 to morale shocks on enemy armies. Prone to downright evil and slightly erratic behavior.))

On to other affairs, here is the governor you wanted for Tethalyn. She’s a fine warrior in her own right, I figured she would be a good choice to govern a fortified city. She has a militaristic mindset demanding strength from her people, increasing the defensive behavior of whatever city she lurks within. As a person she’s quite regal and projects the air of nobility quite well, though is not good with kids given she abandoned her own after ‘doing her part’ for the nation’s reproduction problems.

 

 

Aside from all this, Areti has found her way to the front lines of battle between the orcs and the elves. Her report reads “It is a sea of bodies howling for blood as far as I can see. Every night the fires of their camp reach to the horizon. They throw themselves into the elven walls with a zeal for death and glory greater then our own. The elves are evacuating their people every day, they can’t hold this line much longer and they know it. Once this fortress falls the choke point between these two mountains will not be able to hold them back any longer and they will spread through our home forest.”

As for the defense of Tethalyn, the upgrades from Nalkas are still en route, though the first batch has arrived to be utilized for Marilena’s army. Ankathi and Rhea’s are on transit once again. The fighting near Tethalyn has begun, despite the reinforcements to Marilena Neyth doesn’t seem deterred. She instead opted to take on Ankathi and Rhea as they approached from the sides and ignore Marilena’s fortified position for the time being. Losses are already massive, fighting in the forest has given Neyth a significant advantage. Despite us controlling Tethalyn the area is still a familiar ground to the elves. Rhea’s army took the worst of it while Ankathi has just started burning the forest around her, using witchcraft to rot the woods and then set it alight as a defensive mechanism. The fighting still wages on in the form of guerilla warfare in the forests.

Interestingly, Amare has chimed on on this. Neyth is a radicalist, even more so then Amare herself who at least has that whole crucifixion thing to be angry about. That is the reason Neyth is the only commander here assaulting Tethalyn, while the rest remain to the east fighting the orcs. After discussing this with me Amare just flew off, not really sure what she is up to though.

Also Despoina found another village lurking out in the woods. This one is actually quite elven, and close by to the elves. Though seems to lack the flag of the Aywin nation. Perhaps an offshoot colony of some sort?

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. I should point out that while Iwanagi is a master at sea, you may want an actual wizard for commanding the fleet advantageously. Especially as we look into producing boats out of the new wood, enchanted boats are best wielded by a proper master of the arcane rather then a monk who is good at floating on the winds.

Also yes the diplomat is here.

A nice old man with a disarming smile. Actually I play go with him on weekends at the local tea house. He currently works as assistant to the local governance, has a knack for diffusing situations before they escalate. I feel he may be the man you are looking for, he isn’t much use in a fight so you will need to keep a retinue with him if he travels abroad but he is definitely an impressive wordsmith. He’s a decent man, concerned with fairness, justice, and good tea. Don’t offer him sake though, he likes to remain clear of mind. He is prone to spouting proverb style wisdom but this seems to impress most around him as to listen to what he has to say.

Also fear not, I have already been assembling the details of higher quality boats for you. It was definitely a first priority for us, including a quite interesting design…

((New unit unlocks:
T2 Warship 450g50m | 20g10m: 35 Naval Power
T2 Hunter Ship 450g50m | 20g10m: 15 Naval Power, 50 Naval power vs monsters
Dawnbreaker Galleon 1100g120m | 40g20m: 85 Naval Power – armed with ballista that can fire for miles into coastal hexes with ease.))

In regards to the temple and the monks, all they do is meditate and try to achieve nirvana as you say. So…they’re well on their way to that. I foresee that whatever this second tier of monk you prophesize might be found through trials and not mere self reflection.

On to Iwanagi, he has made landing at the fort along the coast. They do seem quite friendly actually and interested to meet with us, the fort is guarding a long line of docks along the inlet of water which acts as a trading locale. He describes their wealth as equivalent to ours and trade might be useful. He has been spending the day wandering around their market looking for things of interest to bring back to showcase.

As for the work at the isolationists, Kyoko describes the most vulnerable resource they have to be their water supply of the nearby lake. Their population is dependent on it and even though they don’t live far from areas with good rainfall they didn’t grow exploiting that and they live on the drier badlands side of the borders, so if the lake were to become undrinkable it would definitely hurt them. Though it is not clear if they could trade for that as it is a hard resource to ship. It would significantly reduce their population undoubtedly. Alternatively, Kyoko is pretty sure the denizens of the badlands don’t actually know about that artifact and that is of substantial value to raiders, not to mention it is concealing any other value that might have been causing the marauders to ignore it thus far. If they were to learn about it the isolationists would likely be driven out of their village or at least come to a state where they were in need of protection. As the least cutthroat option though, their metal resources come from a small mine and this is already something they don’t have in particularly great abundance. If the mine were collapsed it could take a little bit of time before they started to feel the pressure of lacking new iron income but it would inevitably effect them as things started to wear down.

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FDSA

The golems can’t really be upgraded so easily from one model of body to another. So we just made new ones out of the wood, its been a bit of a process of trial and error as wooden golems were considered an oudated idea but new materials resulted in some unforeseen results. The task was accomplished but probably not the most efficiently, but the whelps eventually figured it out. Also they might have burned about a hundred gold worth of the stuff just trying to get it to work.

The embassies have been attempted to set up after some negotiations and finding proper placement. Will be a bit before that all comes to fruition though what with some construction, fees, and traveling to be compiled. Though there have been no major issues thus far.

So it turns out that while we can send people who are less talented with mana to harvest at the coast to minimize their footprint, the problem remains that the mana they’re actually harvesting is what draws them in. Somewhere between five and fifty peasants were eaten, I haven’t taken a formal headcount yet. We do have defenses at the coastal setups but some of those monsters were a little on the larger side then expected – by an order of magnitude. I don’t even know why that thing was in such shallow water. It isn’t too bad as we can see them coming and move people to safety but progress is slow.

Also Sakki and Rakkel reached the castle bearing gifts. Yeah those people are pretty nasty, they killed Rakkel upon seeing her and almost killed Sakki as well. You should know as well as I do, killing Sakki is very very difficult. So even an ‘almost’ is pretty serious, apparently there was a lot of running around in the snow and Sakki only escaped through sheer dumb…okay through Sakki methods. We have reason to believe they intended to capture the two but they definitely were told to bring them in alive “if it is reasonably practical” if that is the case. They took the gifts though, it seems that despite how things have gone Sakki has managed to make a degree of contact with them. They are indeed subterranean experts, and not like us at all. We only lived in the tomb to hibernate until we could resurface, they seem to live down there full time. It should be noted they are technologically advanced compared to many others we have encountered out here, not quite to the degree as the reports from the Badlands but definitely a far cry from the primitives along the coast we dealt with.

Greetings Keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. Iwanagi has continued along his voyage to the south, he’s come across two coastal settlements. One seems to be another fishing village, but there is also a long stretch of land upon which a fort style city stands. They have a lot of boats in their harbor.

Technically, we would have leverage over the isolationists if any of their vital resources were to go missing. With their secluded nature they are self dependent because they have everything they need, so if any of those needs go missing it would be a problem for them. In the example of Salt, while yes it would work but abducting all the salt unseen would be harder then just slipping a note to Katara that some unruly fellows are over yonder.

Also yes the troops we stationed at the fishing village are to remain there until they might advance to more notable self sufficiency in defensive options against the forest monsters. In regards to all the other economic decisions and projects, we did the things.

Also the Ballista project, along with a few others, are underway as we explore the properties of this wood. To which end our new citizens have been adapting well, it is fortunate our territory is protected by the mountains so they can see the area without encountering any ne’er do well beasts from the outside to sate their curiosity. Also Kyoko is just hanging out in Okushiri now that she has returned from her ventures if you should need her to do anything else.

Ankathi has marched on the village as instructed. Casualties weren’t too bad on our end and the village has been effectively reduced to ruin in the fighting as they put up a good effort. The men are in the process of being dragged back kicking and screaming.

KouKou ventured off and found a fort up in the mountains. They are…better defended then most we encounter. Them being a fort on a mountain certainly helps that. According to KouKou they seem to be a gang hideout for some people who primarily roam the badlands. I couldn’t help but notice that the area around this fort is desolate. We’ve found quite a few villages throughout the forests as it supports life quite easily, but there are no settlements in a rather vast radius around this fort, at least not on our side of the mountains. KouKou said they seem a tad dangerous.

The army upgrades will take a bit just to ship down from the north so try not to get into too much trouble until it does. To that end, negotiations have broken down. While Marilena has escaped Commander Neyth, a chunk of her army did not. She is on retreat to Tethalyn though it is proving difficult given that Neyth is a druid and we are in a forest. I suspect our lack of political experience has somewhat hindered us in these negotiations and perhaps we should have asked the Oda to do this.  To be noted, while Marilena is retreating to Tethalyn, Ankathi is still away at the other village so there is no reinforcements there for her at this moment.

 

((new hire cards will be a bit late because I got sick and just moped around instead of doing them))

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Enter title here

Tunnel construction has begun.

The thing with the whole “uses as little as mana as possible” is that little quirk where our entire race are literally mana eaters.

Raakel is on the way to meet up with Sakki. Bit of a trek though, give em a bit to get there. Gideon also has been sent to go poke around.

For the most part regarding the good wood, you see when a man loves a woman… Also its particularly good for wands and fortified walls. Though stone is still the go to for walls if you wanted to make a very expensive pallisade they’d be good at that. Due to their properties it is most notable that they have a conveniently cumulative effect on larger devices. Magic missile trebuchet anyone? Definitely expensive mana sinks to utilize this kind of thing though.

Also we’ve managed to get our capital territory expanded and taken control of a section of the coast, as requested some month or three ago.

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. We’ve managed to integrate our new tribal friends, they’ve taken a liking to our concept of clothes. Mostly because we have softer fabrics then they are used to. Quetzalli in particular seems to like them.

The island’s wood has already been seeing some harvesting as well as experiments in replanting it near ourselves for future operations as the island can only support so much of it. Beyond the wood and its people the island has fruits and of course more fishing ventures. Though nothing that stands out too much on a governance level, our local market just has more interesting food around now. So overall a good boost to the economy.

As for Kyoko’s affairs, it is questionable that we can actually provide anything of interest enough for them. Mostly because of their paranoid nature alongside their self sufficiency, this combination makes them rather insular and less interested in whatever anyone else might offer them.

Sooo negotiations aren’t going that well. It seems that since we let the ‘prisoners’ go they didn’t tell the best stories necessarily. It likely doesn’t help that Areti crucified Amare -who Ankathi informed us is an actual princess- in the public square. All we are in possession of is the city itself but space isn’t necessarily a big concern to them. I think they might be holding a bit of a grudge about that whole attack thing. It hasn’t completely fallen apart yet though, things are just a little rocky on the political front. Personally, I would advise sending one of our agents to find the orcs that we heard about to gauge what exactly it is they’re so concerned about.

Speaking of which, Aima has been caught and killed by an elven commander known as Neyth who was apparently in the process of moving her forces from deeper elven territory towards the rear after our invasion of Tethalyn.

And finally…Amare showed up here in Sybaris yesterday. With a letter from Ankathi, apparently Ankathi is up to something. She has requested me to keep Amare with the Coven for awhile and to show her some of what it is like with them. However, she sent a second letter through more traditional means, was a long list of details about Amare and a closing footnote that Ankathi knows where to find Amare’s son and requested Areti to scout in a certain direction. Ankathi apparently has already captured elves and begun experimenting on them in a basement in Tethalyn…suffice to say we should make sure the elves don’t find out about this and maybe reign her in before she does…Ankathi things.

According to KouKou, I am still surprised that’s a historical name, the village is less then compliant. Mostly because of the curse, I suppose that’s what one can expect when the chieftan and a bunch of the respected members of the community are older males. Tech wise they lack anything of value to us, though it seems the area they settled it is rich in resources so…financially speaking its not too bad of a place.

New…magical girls as you call them. Despoina is one of those more spiritually inclined types and has a good relationship with the otherworldly creatures witchcraft often communes with. By good I mean she is liable to kill people with an ethereal embodiment of pure spite. This constant consorting with such creatures has turned her perhaps a little mad. Though she isn’t dead so technically she is doing better then four fifths of those who attempt to do such things. Be wary, she is prone to bouts of violence. Not quite as dangerous as Ankathi but not exactly one of our best behaved for first contact.

 

To balance that out I found one of our more…lets say distinguished witches. Euterna is a bit classier though also a bit of a bookworm. She is effective enough to go into the field but expect her to go a little slower then the others as she likes to catalog things. Though I figure such deep scouting wouldn’t be too bad, might find some unique spots for harvesting herbs. I’m not actually sure where all her money comes from, we don’t exactly have many instances of hereditary wealth around here but she didn’t seem to even have a job before joining the coven.

 

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Update

Stories of Lore 5

Sakki reports that the village most definitely has a population larger then what we can see. Its minimalist structures are extremely fortified but there is no way so many people could live there comfortably and these people seem to be fairly affluent. Unlike the village we recently raided, there are adornments of valuable metals and stones on the inhabitants of this village. Though it might be more apt to call the village a castle. It is completely walled with a small court area, not quite a fortress city like we utilize, but if they’re underground they have definitely reduced how much they need to fortify. As mentioned before they are in possession of valuables, this wealth combined with such a relatively small area to fortify means it is ridiculously fortified. However, it is mostly fortified with monsters and perhaps bandits in mind. An organized force like ours could still crack it…we do have artillery after all. Sakki remains cautious as ordered and has had no direct contact with them, but notes they are close in appearance to the elves that were discovered to the south, albeit a bit of a different complexion.

The southern lake would be okay for a village as it has access to water and some degree of food. However, it is poor for us in particular due to how much we need mana. Without the mana infusion in the waters it would be a village that would need to import mana from our other locations just to keep the populace’s hunger for mana satiated. So it would definitely be a loss of mana to sustain it.

A wall of that size that doesn’t just get knocked down by some big monster that wants to pass through would cost approximately 1,425g per tile…at least thats what my notes say. No idea what a tile is. Though a wall of that strength and level of protection would be a steep investment, it might be cheaper and more effective to build a tunnel system instead. Given that a wall like that would be basically a tunnel anyways, might as well just put it underground to avoid the beasts that might muck it up trying to pass through it. I’d estimate the tunnel to be about 650g per tile.

Also the new agents are in.

As requested we looked for someone capable in the field of not dying and diplomatically gifted. On paper Raakel isn’t as talented as some of the other applicants, but she convinced your secretary that she was the best. So I guess by technicality that makes her the best at wordcraft.

Raakel can be described as ‘intense’. Her diplomatic method seems largely to consist of making others uncomfortable and/or nervous. We noted that she didn’t specifically rely on intimidating, just preyed on people’s desire for the meeting to be over with and causing them to miss details that add up in her favor over time. Outside of wordsmithing she is a wizard, gee who would have guessed. We seem to have a lot of those.

Gideon is an old veteran of wandering the world. He used to be a scout, then he was a college student, then he was a roaming monster hunter. He has years of experience, and mana keeps him quite spry in his old age. He takes a particular interest in travel and investigation. He’s not exactly as fight happy as Sakki but he’s definitely easy to set off. Something about having been in the wilds too long. I’d describe him as quiet with an explosive volatility. He’s an evoker and enchanter for the most part.

 

 

Salutations Keeper! Today is a beautiful day for the Oda people.

We had the monks test monster reaction to ki. We had to find beasts with less powerful noses, as they’ll just go for flesh if they’re hungry. In most cases it seems the monsters either cannot detect ki or do not care about it as it is not a food source to them. This is attributed to the success of our monks in the forest thus far since they have supernatural abilities to combat the larger monsters but don’t rely on mana for it thus making them invisible instead of beacons.

As a report regarding the island’s wood, it would actually make enchanted tiers of boat possible in the first place. It could also be used to enhance typical monk weapons, they are big fans of the staff and they require their weapons to be made of wood to channel their ki properly. Said wood could also have further utilization upon greater discovery of its potential. As more properties might reveal themselves through experimentation. Though in the immediate time, it could be used to sustain suitable enchantments on anything made primarily of wood. Generally enchantments are imbued into metal, but metal has a poor ability to store mana. Wood has a higher ability to store mana, but less durability to maintain enchantments. This particular wood could be said to be a more effective mana battery then most other options while being hard enough to sustain lower level enchantments, but higher levels then any other wood we have could utilize.

Kyoko has gotten the opportunity to investigate the temple by employing her…carpentry profession to repair and manage the temple. The temple itself is really more of a dungeon full of traps to protect the artifact rather then a place of worship. It is simply disguised as a place of worship. The artifact largely seems to work by making mana undetectable within its range, though it has a notable flaw in that it applies that to everyone. Which is why they have effectively no way to notice that Kyoko is even there with all of her illusion magic. Then again, they seem to believe she is a born and raised resident of a dead carpenter with a family. I’m still not quite sure how she did that part.

Another of our monastery monks, Yuzuki is actually a former bandit from the wilds before a robbery gone wrong in which she ambushed and was promptly caught by Shime. The monastery adopted her and gave her some semblance of direction. She refused to give up weapons even early in her training, which goes against standard monk practice because metal interrupts the flow of ki. However, she has pioneered techniques to make it useful and is something of an oddity. Pending the success of her adventures she may end up retiring back to the monastery to teach the others how her techniques work if they prove effective. For a monk she is a lot snappier and mean, along with arrogant. Though that comes from her childhood, and she is still quite a specimen of the monastery as a level headed and kind person. She just might insult you in particularly creative ways or start punching a lot quicker then most.

We took a moment to ask Yuzuki what she thinks might have happened to Shime, as the two of them were fairly close. Yuzuki being one of the only people who could understand Shime’s charades in their entirety. She did not give a very elaborate answer, her words were “She’s being a goody goody not an elf. She’ll pop back up someday.”

The one you wanted for a commander, champion of their native arena. He’s about seven feet tall and definitely has the advantage of an imposing presence that drives others to obey him. Though he’s not the best strategist, pretty great at just hitting things though and has a rudimentary understanding of the most basic strategic principles such as flanking, positioning, and charging. Most of the funds that go into hiring him seem to be utilized on food, turns out all that body mass needs a lot of sustenance.

 

 

A bit erratic, Ocunnohaka, is quite interested in working with us in whatever capacity required for him to go and travel the land in search of monsters and riches. He’s an adventurer at heart for sure, sometimes gets in a little over his head but what young adventurer doesn’t? He definitely has an appreciation for excitement and is talented with the bow in particular. He is sometimes perhaps a bit too energetic for my old bones to keep up with. Before we encountered them, he was a hunter among the tribe and mostly responsible for finding either meat or fish.

 

I suppose you could call her a princess, but her father’s position is not inherited but taken in trial by combat. Never the less, I suppose it helps to be the child of the chief however he got his position. She’s a clever girl, fairly used to dealing with people who want something from her due to her position. She does not trust us all that well as we are a new contact offering a whole new world they never knew about, so I suppose her hesitation is understandable.  What is curious though is we cannot tell exactly what kind of person she is yet. We know she has expressed some interest to marry Kaze, but the motive behind it is unclear. Because Kaze defeated her father, he is technically able to declare himself chief if he so desired. We don’t know if she is staying close to power or genuinely interested in looking over the integration carefully.

 

KouKou reports that the village is fairly mundane. Largely a group of people who settled there since it had the resources necessary for day to day life. Their culture is similar to the majority of the western coastline in terms of architecture, heritage, and language.

Layla has agreed to take on the role of governor over at the new village provided once she gets there she doesn’t have to do too much walking. She’s not much of a traveler now given the leg and all.

The settlements typically have their own defenses and locally sourced guards as needed, with said defenses depending on the population after all. After a bit of a push, we’ve been convincing people to embark on an exodus to the new village from Sybaris to help get it up and running. In the meantime however Vasi will likely need to continue to protect the new settlement.

Marilena arrived at the first elven city indicated to us by the others. I am told it is called Lennecas. Its population is notably higher then Tethalyn’s but it is also not a remnant like Tethalyn was.  So what it lacks in size and grandeur it makes up for by having actual people utilizing all of it. Its defenses are slightly better then Tethalyn’s proved to be but not by too much. Many of the refugees were led here so it is currently rather over crowded. Though while they have a larger garrison, they are not as well armed nor walled. Obviously, its full of elves.

As things would have it, all our effort on the horses have definitely yielded some results. Thanks to Takota and the village we’ve managed to train them to serve as battle mounts. They’re better at it then the beasts of burden we typically utilized since they’re faster.  Also see last updates for stuff about the armor we got from the Nalkas.

 

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