Oogity Boogity Boogity Amen

Stories of Lore 21

Mikael and the gang found a fallen civilization in the southern isles consisting of sentient golems that apparently are another runaway effect of Ansa’s creations she left behind before the great sleep. They are quite interested to meet with us, and likely desperate as only we will be able to fix their deteriorated state. They mentioned having knowledge of the witch we were searching for, but won’t tell anyone other than Ansa herself. Apparently it is highly guarded information, I told Ansa to expect guests soon. Fortunately they have some interesting improvements on naval technology after living on the islands for so long so the return trip should be faster than the trip there.

Speaking of all this, Ansa are there any more rogue experiments I should expect us to find or even start looking for?

Probably. I made a lot of things.

 

. . . Ansa what are the chances that all monsters are your accidental creation?

 

Embarrassingly high. That’s why I keep putting out bounties on specific samples. Aside from researching them, I’m looking for indications that they are mine. I should say specifically, indications that they aren’t -all- mine. Nalky is definitely an evolution of one of my own creations. More predatory, my original design was for farming mana. They would extract it from natural sources then we could extract it from them.

So the hellscape of monsters we live in…is because your farm livestock we left behind got free? Actually that explains why all of them are attracted to mana.

 

I believe that to be a factor in it. However, the monsters were not this prevalent for thousands of years while we slept. It was only after, or perhaps during, the dying night that they became so populous. I think my creations are the origin, but that there was another catalyst that made it a “hellscape”. It’s only been a few thousand years, they shouldn’t be this big, varied, or prevalent.

So what else of yours might be out there waiting for us?

 

My old facility was the size of Jamsa. By the sounds of things after our disappearance they evolved. The elves make total sense to me, that one was designed to be a life form. But if even my spy golems could evolve, there is no limit to what might have come out of my lab. Thousands upon thousands of creations were in there. I honestly would not have put my money on those golems making it, but life finds a way I suppose. This means that its a roll of the dice which of my creations were fit enough to carry on into the modern day. Also what form they might take. Speaking of the elves, not enough of them are immigrating all the way up here. When the manhunter gets back make sure to send him my way.

Also, lets talk for a moment about you having made spy golems.

 

I actually have a lot of spy gadgets. The pen I gave to you as a gift when you graduated keeps me up to date on all documents  you sign. The king’s throne is a listening post, the dragon pens in all three kingdoms are seismographs, Eliana’s new book I gave her keeps an eye out, Faelyn’s nalkas bodyguard is wearing a special necklace, and the sword the monks are about to make Kaylen will also have some nifty features. Really the only problem I’ve been having is the Archdruid. She has no need for any item I can slip something onto and won’t accept gifts. Problematically she’s also the most important one to keep tabs on. This all has various limitations but at least I have more information than most.

I feel you left me out of some lessons.

 

I taught you all you need for this stuff. You just haven’t been aggressively creative enough. Anyways I’m off to get tea.

 

Well that’s something to ponder. Though at least this explains how she keeps showing up whenever anyone talks about her. Anyways Iraeka’s physical therapy is going well. She has some coordination issues but it has inadvertently served to test just how strong some of her limbs are. The answer is pretty strong. The enchantments on them affect the entire user, otherwise they’d be stupid to enchant on necklaces and rings after all. Also she put in a special order for a new weapon since losing her crossbow if thats relevant. The team at Uudistar is having to specially make both her new bow and arrows. The bow goes to an insane draw weight, which requires special arrows or they would break just from the force of being fired. Apparently she found that she can use a bow that powerful by hand now with her new limb, despite the enchantments giving her higher strength overall that specific arm is even more amplified. If she draws with it, evidently she can go far beyond any human record.

So far the dragons are…difficult to work with. Ansa has them properly caged up so they don’t cause any problems but only she has been able to approach them. A problem she complains frequently about because it means she -has- to do all the chores regarding them or the servants will get eaten. As such it is unlikely she will be leaving on any more expeditions any time soon. So don’t plan on sending the biomancy expert to investigate new places for awhile.

Conveniently, our embassy and gatestone in Maji means that we receive our mysterious artifact purchases much quicker. Though…we still have no idea what the hell this artifact is. It’s a perfect cube eight inches across made of solid jade. And I mean perfect, the surfaces are so smooth it slides across the table with the slightest push. It contains enough mana to rival a gatestone but even jade should not be able to do that in such a small object. It is clear this…does something. We just can’t figure out what as there are no signs of enchantment that we can activate. I gave it to Essi to poke at.

Related to magic artifacts, the seeds we got from the archdruid are taking well to the growing house Ansa made for them. Just not sure when that will become anything we can harvest.

The tome we got is peculiar in that I can’t tell if its fact or fiction. Its written like a explorer’s journal, but it contains plot holes like a fairy tale. Its primarily about a sailing explorer’s encounter with a fish woman who he fell in love with and kept visiting at sea. She claimed she came from a kingdom that lived at the bottom of the ocean, though he could never visit it. I’m inclined to say that it was just a symbolic device of the explorer’s inability to reach his lover’s home. Though at this point I’ve seen some weird shit enough to say there might actually be some sort of underwater kingdom out there somewhere. Notably if it did, judging by the surprisingly detailed description of the stars, this would have been somewhere in the sea west of sybaris. We made a copy and sent it off to the Oda.

Also Aato finished his drink and headed back to the island to work on securing the new outpost. To his credit, he is one of the only people who seem unshaken by the experience. Though now demands everyone call him dragon slayer.

As a lab update, we still have no idea how the hell the badlands built these bikes. The king must be using some sort of fourth dimensional warp fuckery, we can build something similar to them with no problem so far but we can’t hit the speeds that theirs can nor the durability. Though our prototypes are slightly better than horses so far at least, they just break down easier.

 

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. Chinami went westward to visit the tiefling village as instructed on her search for the drunken master. She had to ask almost every single person there until at long last one of them had some idea of who she was even talking about. It seems Maeng passed through on his boating trip and stopped off to trade for supplies and helped out around town for a little while with a monster problem they were having.  The reason no one knew who Chinami was talking about is they didn’t consider his drinking to be abnormal or excessive. Though they drink a lot too in this town. Though the trail continues westward along the coast, given that it won’t be long until we’re in Nalkas territory the odds are he could have gone quite some distance in this direction. That or he’s in the Nalkas cities and no one really thought to take notice of him.

Iwanagi is sailing westward though it may be worth checking in on the Nalkas reports of the fortress as they have already managed to visit it. It could be useful in establishing the goals of Iwanagi’s visit. I assume trade.

As for our dear guest Kaylen, she is visiting the Kensei monastery and seeing what she can learn from them. She has also already defeated the entire school in sparring, she is clearly several leagues above most monks. It seems her long years in the badlands as Grand Marshall have hardened her into a true master. She has been staying in the guest quarters here at the palace of course. I insisted on such, it would be improper of us to leave one of Maji’s three lords to a mere inn in town.

Kaze arrived in Lennecas to find a rather chaotic situation brewing. We have kept out of the ongoing politics between them all for the most part and just kept handing out immigration pamphlets. We may want to pull out of the area if we’re not going to get involved in the ongoing situation though, tensions appear that they’re about to boil over.

Master Soshu says that Shime needs time to meditate and center herself. Her trials at the expedition have left wounds on her that will never truly heal, and guilt has consumed her. It doesn’t help that no one seems to know how to talk to her given her lack of speaking. However, Soshu noted we have a guest who can speak without speaking. Within Okushiri is a nalkas agent who hails from the drow to the north. They are extremely adept at non-verbal communication. We might be able to ask this visitor to try and speak with Shime, they share a common experience on that island and may be able to find understanding with each other. However, our guest has been noted to be very brooding and might not be the most empathetic towards Shime.

We have constructed a proper enclosure for a dragon as requested, following the designs provided to us by the nalkas. Though for my own thoughts, I think we shouldn’t use it. Nothing says ‘lets be friends’ like a jail cell. Dragon’s are highly intelligent, often thought to be even more so than humans. They can also hold grudges for centuries. Even if the risk of it just flying away is high, the risk of it reaching adulthood with any anger in its heart is far greater. If nothing else, I think Faelyn might be a better consultant than the nalkas on this topic. Ansa is a scientist and a noble. She owns everything she touches and seeks to understand it, but not coexist with it. Faelyn has apparently had contact with dragons before. Though if you feel we cannot trust her, it is a longer voyage but the people of Kirillobatov might also be able to lend their advice.

 

I’m not sure how much you thought a dragon lair would cost but the budget you gave them was vastly overkill. Which the woman we hired happily used all of. Give an architect a budget and watch them go I suppose. So the dragon’s palace is nicer than yours now…though actually its attached on the western wall so maybe its just the same building. Our palace is now one of the great wonders of the world I suppose.

Speaking of dragon lairs, Ryo reached Kirillobatov. They’ve immediately offered to relocate their entire population to Sybaris to keep after the dragon. Actually offered is too soft a word. They demanded we allow their entire population to immigrate here and look after the dragon. As in they’re already on the way regardless if we want them or not. We could have Alexandria cut them off though if you’d rather they not, as they will have to go through Moncayo pass to reach us.

Ryo was also able to contact Kaikane, who proceeded to ask him about fifty questions about Haziel and warn that the Queen of Wolves was really dangerous. So that old story again. Though with some additional details. Apparently there are two archdruids that all other archdruids fear, the other one being Haziel’s sister. Haziel being the bigger meaner one, known across the entire continent as the greatest threat to all civilization. Largely because she’s the one who controls monsters as well as non-mana hunting beasts. The younger sister is called Raven or The Raven. She holds domain over the southern isles that the Oda are wandering about. Kaikane noted that those two sisters are the only two archdruids who have no territory overlaps. The others tend to be close together and poke into each other’s territory now and then as is convenient and get along well enough. Haziel and Raven both killed other druids for setting foot in their domains. She did not have much comment on the dragon thing, so that was useless. Other warnings include that the sisters might be the cause of the dying night. As it happened at the height of her war with civilization and the other druids, and notably made her the winner. However, Kaikane had nothing useful to say about dragons so that was pointless.

Speaking of druids though, we have noted some odd occurrences around our new villages. Animals lurking in the woods keeping a close eye on the colonists and so on. Not to mention the two teams that disappeared around sanctuary. Some of the colonists and their guards keep disappearing into the woods as well. These aren’t unusual events for colonists to face, many die in the wild after all.

Ivan took his troops up towards Jamsa to use the gatestone and head for the outpost construction site. Will take him another cycle just to reach Jamsa though.

The elves got around to reclaiming Leylat with a small reconstruction team to get things started. Our settler teams never made it that far so not much trouble for us.

Alexandria managed to take down the monster as ordered though lost almost all of her troops in the process. We may want to send her some reinforcements if she’s intended to keep a hold on Moncayo pass.

Speaking of the pass, reconstruction efforts under Alexandria have completed and now the pass is securely under our control.

Finally, Ankathi came by to visit. Not much we can really do to stop her from doing so since she keeps turning into a cloud of smoke all the time. She’s offered to help with integrating the dragon’s blood into our people, and has notably already conducted experiments to prove she can do it. Alternatively we could ask the dragon people who are on their way from Kirillobatov.

All that being said, Ankathi and her followers are here in the city for the week. So…let’s make sure Alexandria stays riiiight where she is just a little longer.

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When cheeky dialog moments get too long and I should have just written an SoL instead.

As this will take less time to cover, Mikael has found a town living among the islands in the south where he has begun his investigation. Though they don’t know much about the golden witch business or what to make of it. However, Cayetano once came through the area and asked about something similar. They were told to visit the fortress to the west and speak with the Seni, as if anyone would know anything on these islands it should be them. A year or so later they saw the Cayetano fleet, which these island primitives referred to as “sails dotted the horizon as far as the eye could see, looking as to be clouds moving in the distance” so not a very helpful headcount. Though apparently it was a massive naval excursion in these waters. Whether or not that is at all related to what we’re after is anyone’s guess. Mikael is headed to meet the Seni next.

Now on to the bigger matters, the expedition has successfully found more mana and managed to return to Jämsä through the gate stone. With the exception of Ansa, most seem traumatized by the experience. The general sentiment is the island is one of the worst places in the world. I’m sure they’re exaggerating but it just goes to show the effect on morale wandering into such uncivilized lands can have.

So as for a general update. The base camp at the cave won’t serve for our colonization too well. While it is defensible, it isn’t so great for harvesting mana. We will probably want to go along the coastline for maximizing yield. An outpost is still recommended, if not an outright fortress. The high quantity of mana will definitely continue to attract more monsters than we can ever hope to kill.

We never found any further details on where that strange undead came from, we also never saw another one. It is likely that some more exploration of the island will be necessary to find any clues on the matter.

In other news, dragons. Large jars of the chaos dragon’s blood were brought back. Ansa says the stuff can be used to make all kinds of things due to their mana properties and has taken a bunch of the stuff for material sciences. The dragons themselves are in a holding facility in her house to be properly trained. She said since there are three we could give one to each of our nations since it was a joint assault. Though laughed when I asked how hard they were to keep under control. Apparently the general rule is that dragon’s know they are the biggest baddest thing in this world by natural instinct. If they sense weakness they are liable to strike, either physically or mentally. If anyone does take them on, whoever manages them needs to have a certain level of heroic quality. She also warns that if they grow bigger…well they’re dragons. Though the plan was to hold them all with Ansa until everyone could be briefed on the appropriate risks, Petrina took her share already and is on the way to Sybaris with orders from the queen. I can’t help but notice she had the enclosure already built and waiting though. I’m not sure if it was just a general purpose thing or if she had been waiting to find dragons specifically.

 

Iraeka is back up and working. Essi did something to her after resurrecting from her phylactery and making it back to her lab. Iraeka is still enlisted to continue her work and despite what happened doesn’t seem interested in a career change. Though she’s a lot broodier than she already was. Apparently having your arm and leg replaced with necromantic prosthetics makes you a bit gloomy.

While she laments the loss of her crossbow, she has demonstrated new abilities. This may be because we foolishly entrusted her health to Essi. She keeps her new limbs hidden as they are quite literally skeletal, making people uneasy around her. Though the experimental prosthetic has illicited some questionable expenses and-

I had a thought. What if I enchanted every individual bone? Now they are near indestructible, with careful application of mending to repair any damage it might somehow take. Then I gave them bull’s strength, bear’s endurance, cat’s grace, eagle’s splendor, fox’s cunning, inflict critical wounds mass, chill touch, ghoul touch, ghost touch, darkness –

Woman what did you do to her? Is that why she’s so gloomy lately?

The RFC department says that is normal for those experiencing the loss of a limb, especially multiple. She’ll bounce back.

Wait why no Owl’s Wisdom?

 

 

I only had so many bones to work with and that didn’t seem necessary. None of her abilities rely on it.

You turned her into a living weapon and did you put any sort of restraint in place at all? What if she goes rogue?

She was already a rogue.

 

 

I feel like you are much more meta than I am.

Anyways I loaded a bunch of arcane and necromantic stuff into her new limbs so she will never be…unarmed.

That feels insensitive.

 

 

What? She can’t hear me.

I will bet my own money you would not be able to tell if she was in this room with us right now.

Fair. Anyways, she needs a lot more mana to stay functional now than before, but that just makes her like the rest of us anyways.

Okay so Essi turned Iraeka into a science project and now she’s some sort of hybrid super soldier. Still a bit of a gloomy loner though, and she already left the city towards the south. She said she intended to train with the Oda to get comfortable with her new limbs. Which seems odd to me given I am ninety percent sure she can’t use ki through them.

That or now that she has arcane power she’s training with them to follow in the footsteps of her beloved Sakki.

And now I’m sad.

 

 

Okay that’s enough. To summarize, Iraeka is recovered and awaiting her next mission. While waiting she is wandering around the kingdom. Also I can’t help but get this feeling I am for some reason incapable of properly quantifying her new abilities in such a way that would properly tell us how to best utilize her skills and abilities. I am inclined to say that her feats have marked her as a prestigious member of our military.

 

 

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. Kaze is headed south, though I did some administrative assisting on that one. Instead of hiring more kensei, I just sent Yuzuki’s team since they have recently returned from the expedition and had nothing else to do. Hamano and Yamaoka are actually on the way back home as guides for Kaylen. Iwanagi has completed his trip around the other island and has mapped it’s edges properly.

Shime has returned from the expedition, though Chinami is still in transit along the northern coast. Shime is now in Haven and her students say that after a few days passed she became non-responsive and just stares into the distance most of the time. Apparently events were fairly traumatic for her, though problematically no one could understood any of her gestures upon her return.

Chinami stopped off in the north as requested to pursue details of the drunken master. With a stroke of good luck, it turns out this was the exact place he was exiled from. So they know quite well about him. His name was Maeng Seung-Ho. He was by all accounts a lovely fellow most of the time, its just his drunken antics eventually aroused the ire of the local powers that be. Apparently he had a habit of stumbling drunk around town and then stealing stuff from nice houses and rich people in the street. Apparently its hard to tell a drunk is pickpocketing you, by all civilian accounts his drunken antics were well calculated. He gained notoriety as time went on and people started to piece together that Maeng’s drunken stupors seemed to keep taking place very close to where valuable things went missing. He would then fence his ill-gotten gains to help feed and clothe others in the frigid winters. If you ask the officials Maeng was a menace, if you ask average civilians he was a local hero. When he was exiled he apparently stole the judge’s entire wine collection, got in a rowboat, and was never seen again. Though they do mention he was last seen rowing towards the west.

Oh my you got here sooner than expected. Welcome to Okushiri, I hope your journey went well?

It was fine, the road helps when you have bikes. So I can come and go a bit faster than such a journey might imply. I would have come in earlier but Hamano insisted I try the local food after our journey. He was right though, the fish is pretty good. Oh, and my respects to you Keeper.

That is good to hear, I hope he wasn’t too overbearing. He has a habit of trying a bit too hard to be hospitable sometimes. You’re in good timing though, it appears we are all here now. Welcome back Master Soshu, how has your time here in town treated you?

Master Soshu!

 

My respects to the keeper, and my goodness Kaylen! How much you have grown since I last saw you. You don’t need to bow, get up. I should bow to you, you’re a grand marshall now! Though you’ll forgive me if my back makes me hesitant to do so.

You never need to bow to me Master. I am only what I am today thanks to your training.

 

Oh you two are already acquainted? Wait, Master Soshu how old are you?

 

It’s impolite to ask that you know. Though if you are curious, I knew Kaylen’s mother before we split up in the forest. Apparently Kaylen’s mother sent her to find and train with me having remembered our interactions.

Would I be correct then, to imply that Kaylen has actually been to Okushiri before today?

 

I trained with Master Soshu in the monastery when this city was still just a small town. The monastery was little more than a series of grass huts on a hill. I wasn’t a name of note back then though, and I spent most of my time training with Master Soshu as my mother wanted.

Well you trained with me for so long I ran out of things to teach you.

 

This is interesting, I thought Kaylen was just a lost descendant. I had no idea that you had actually returned home once before. May I ask why you didn’t stay?

Well my father lived in the badlands and refused to leave. My mother wouldn’t leave him either. So I had to return to my family eventually. As much as I appreciate the inclusion, this place isn’t really my home. I was born and raised in the badlands after all.

Well we have gathered here some of the greatest masters of Ki in this world. I thought since you were visiting to investigate the Kensei, you could also come share your thoughts with us on a topic that has been of concern to the Keeper. We were curious if any training could be implemented to help the monks deal with the undead due to a recent incident in which one of our most esteemed monk fell victim to one such foul creature.

Careful with the foul creature thing. If Eliana hears you say that you may fall out of favor with her.

 

Ah yes, excuse me. I of course did not mean to include her in such a statement. So you know of Queen Eliana as well?

All the lords know Eliana at least by name. I have never met her myself, though I tread cautiously around her name. Eliana is one of the powers that we fear the most. She has so much information she could topple kingdoms with just a letter and a carrier pidgeon. Many of the warlords live in constant fear that she might decide to do just that. A lot of them have a great deal of skeletons in their closet.
But not yourself?

 

Fortunately no. I am very direct with everyone, also my job is appointed by the King. Not to mention my job is just to maintain our standing forces as well as train soldiers. I don’t get involved in the shadier aspects of our culture.

Returning to the topic at hand…

 

Yes, sorry Master Soshu.

 

I do not know of any manner by which Ki might be especially different against an undead than any other weapon. Though many techniques we already know are more than enough of a solution. If anything we are well suited to the challenge more so than those who brandish blade and spell. A broken bone is a broken bone after all.

Shime was almost killed by one all too recently though. It was only by a miracle that Ankathi saved her just in time. Unfortunately she did not arrive in time to save Varpu. I am told the creature could devour mana and steal spells to empower itself by eating people.

Had it not been Shime to fight it, could any soldier or wizard have handled such a fiend?

Well, reportedly the blackguards of Ankathi had no trouble with it.

 

Wait do you guys know who Ankathi is? I keep hearing rumors about her but never anything much to go on.

While I will certainly divulge the information to you, first I am curious as to what the rumors say about her.

Well I hear she is a demonic witch. Both figuratively and literally. They say she is both chaos and malevolence incarnate. I figure they’re stretching it a bit but-

No that’s correct.

 

. . . So why would she save this Shime?

 

Self interest of some sort.

 

Back on topic, before we draw the ire of the poor keeper who must listen to us old folk jabber so long he might turn old himself! In theory undead have a specific lack of ki, so there isn’t much to exploit. They are held together by pure magic. Though they are easy to make they are not necessarily sturdy, so a simple application of force might be all that can be done.

I agree. It is just a matter of overpowering them. Due to their undead state most weapons don’t work well, but simply smashing them will cripple them piece by piece. The only real problem are liches. This creature you describe that defeated Shime was one such thing yes?

No, it was simply a thrall.

 

Well…that’s not good. How many of them were there to overwhelm a manifester and a monk?

One.

 

Oh…well have you tried calling someone else to handle that kind of thing?

 

Who are we going to call?

 

Cayetano.

 

Fair point. While I have you both here, the keeper was also curious about infusing Ki into objects in some way or another. If the Kensei can do such a thing to their weapons surely there must be a way to use it on other objects?

Unfortunately I have never heard of such a concept working.

 

I’m here to actually meet with the Kensei and see what all that is about. I might have more of an answer after learning whatever technique they have created is.

 

 

Ryo found a city called Matanaro that he went poking around in. They were quite surprised to see him, as they have not seen a foreigner since the dying night. While some of the major continental powers seem to be a bit more aware of one another, especially our kingdom in particular, it is interesting such a large city has never seen anyone despite being between Melun and Cayetano. I guess the world is still quite large. Though what’s also strange about that, is the dragon people of Kirillobatov knew about the larger world through contact with Archdruid Kaikane in those forests. Yet a city as large as Matanaro apparently hasn’t. Though Ryo did mention an oddly high amount of monsters in the area.  Luckily he’s kind of hard to catch.

The expedition force has successfully returned from that forsaken island, and our additional troops went to relieve them as not to lose control of the base camp we have managed to establish. Petrina is apparently quite injured from her journey but alive, though she is currently in Okushiri. Having stopped off there to rest before finishing the journey home from the gatestone in Jämsä. So we’re currently holding down the fort in that area, though it is likely the token force is not liable to last too long if we just leave them sitting around up there.

Ivan left of his own accord to assist Petrina in bringing the dragon back to Sybaris. Given Petrina’s current health it is likely for the best that he help out given Ansa’s warning about their behavior. Ivan has that sort of…alpha’s presence about him. Probably comes with being an old grizzled war veteran.

Christina is on her way back to Sybaris since whatever the purpose of her visit to the drow was never really expanded upon and it wasn’t of much interest to us anyways.

We definitely need to work out what to do with that dragon once Ivan brings it back. We received a warning from Ansa that this thing is young and containable but will eventually grow. Once grown its a pretty big deal, though we have quite a bit of time on that. We could just chain it down to help produce dragonborn, we could try to build it a cushy lair and hope it just takes a liking to having us around raising it, we could ask the dragon shaman’s in Kirillobatov what to do with it and hope nothing goes wrong until we sort that out.

Though I do say we could use it to scare the missionaries out of town, the cult of the abyss from Abasi are still here and they’re getting annoying. Though to be noted, they left Sybaris and started preaching around the smaller villages. Their movement is actually gaining some traction especially with many affected by our brief civil war.

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Expedition week 2, more terrible things

Stories of lore 20

 

It is a tad unfortunate that both people most likely to be talented with cutting edge prosthetics are away on the expedition. Though she’s at least alive and should remain as such in the foreseeable future so we’ll see about the Iraeka project when they get back. I mean I can make a golem arm but I have no idea how to make sure she can actually use it as an arm. Though I could make it slap her every now and then. That would be amusing.

The expedition has seen some more losses and manpower is starting to dwindle. Varpu died, Petrina is almost dead, Essi was torn in half but is now back here in Jämsä for it, and Shime is catatonic and won’t leave the cave. Aato is really the only name of note still left, unless you count Ansa but she’s not really doing colony operations, she’s keeping tabs on the dragons and managing from a command table. They still haven’t managed to amass enough mana to activate the gate stone again.

Call it a wise hunch, but something is wrong on that island. Recent reports say they encountered an undead. An abnormally dangerous one, such things do not just exist. All undead must be made by a necromancer with the only exception being self propagating vampires and zombies. Though even those are made by necromancy to get it started. The report is unfortunately unclear on the full extent of its abilities, because the only person who fought it -and lived- is mute and catatonic.

 

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. As for the matter with the elves, asylum is more or less what we went to offer in the first place. Along with the nalkas, though not everyone is so interested in fleeing across the forest to us given the danger of the trip and the unfamiliarity. Though a few have here and there.

Kaze has returned to Okushiri to resume his duties and is sufficiently caught up on ongoing affairs.

We lost our other scout boat in the far east as it patrolled the other frozen landmass we came across. Though we do not know the cause of its disappearance.

The ongoing scouting in the southern isles revealed another of those tribal towns but more interesting we found an actual settlement that could be called a fortress. It could be a little better defended but it does appear to be island natives instead of colonists from Cayetano so we are impressed none the less. Our scouts didn’t approach it though, saying they would rather wait for Iwanagi to come check on it, as they found it by being told by island natives of the town they found across the water from it. The fortress of one of the most significant places in the southern islands to the tribal cultures there. It is known as the last stretch of land men could set foot on before approaching what they call the edge of the world. This may be their lack of understanding of what is actually west of that fortress and why no one ever returns from it. The Eye, which we learned from Eliana is quite possibly the most dangerous place in the known world, is directly west of this fortress.

Of further relevance, this fortress is suspiciously desolate. Despite observing for several days from sea, our scout reports that they saw nothing. Just a statue at the docks they mistook for a person until they realized it didn’t move for three straight days. This place is supposedly home to a group of women known as the “Seni”. A group of oracles who manage the will of “The Goddess”.  Of note, this fortress is in a very interesting location. Due to the layout of the land around it, a channel sees the constant flow of ocean water right under the fortress that spans between the two island masses to either side of it. Seriously this is a massive structure they’ve built. It’s mostly wood and honestly likely vulnerable to having its supports destroyed, but it is impressively large and well defended despite being so desolate. However, the constant ocean flow, and its access to a great range of shallow waters makes it ideal for harvesting mana. The exact spot it is sitting on might be capable of harvesting so much mana it would make the badlands start drooling a new oasis into existence just looking at this place on a map.

Whatever the Seni do here, they have access to a huge continual source of mana. The scouts are too scared to approach it, they say the place gives them the creeps. Perhaps we can send Iwanagi by once he is done circling the island, or those nalkas in the same area might be inclined to brave it.

Next we have Hamano’s trip to Maji. It turns out that Kaylen is very interested in this kensei stuff. It is notable she does use a sword after all. She’ll be visiting us soon to look into it. On the elven matter, she said that in times of danger it is natural for elves to seek security. Human’s tend to go towards danger a bit haphazardly and band together in times of strife. She mentions elves tend to become more selfish instead and are likely trying to toss blame around and find the best solution for their own interests. Something of a side effect of their long lifespans. This is also why the nobility are likely going to try and cling to power as hard as they can, giving it up could render them poor commoners for a century instead of just a few decades. In their weakened state what they need to be cautious of is outside influences. Just as our alliance has a sudden keen interest in taking them in for our benefit, that I would argue is mutual, the badlands warlord Usian is likely to be meddling in their affairs. If an individual in power can be offered comfort, they are liable to crack rather than stand their ground for the betterment of the whole. Exception going to the druids, as they are the least motivated by such self interest. Likely due to the fact that they are perfectly comfortable living in poverty since they can survive in the wild as if it were a custom tailored home.

Also you may be pleased to know that finding the hermit master is actually quite easy. I know where his house is. I used to have tea with him now and then when I was younger. I’m somewhat concerned that I’ve grown so many gray hairs and his have remain unchanged. Upon request he has agreed to come and pay us a visit to answer your questions. Speaking of which, greetings Master Soshu.

My respects to the Keeper, and to you as well Kurisu. It has been some time since I’ve come down to the village, it is good to see how it has come along.

I do believe it would be more apt to call this land a proper city now. Keeper, Master Soshu is quite old. I hear rumors he has mastered his ki to such extent that he has ceased to age.

 

Just a rumor. One cannot stop the movement of a river. Merely redirect its flow. My old bones still creak, if such were the case I lament not to have discovered it a few years sooner. Were I in such good health as not to age I might visit more often after all.

You’re two hundred years old.

Just a coincidence.

 

 

Does redirecting the flow include just building a dam?

Yes.

. . . Well we wanted to ask your opinion of the latest discoveries in Ki. Between the kineticists and the Sohei we’re seeing the monks achieve things never known to be possible. We were wondering your opinion of it, and if you might know any other techniques we’ve yet to see.

I find the innovation of the generation enlightening. The achievements that can be accomplished with true mastery of the self prove themselves vast. It is suspected that among the ruins of this world there lay greater secrets still. We are not the first to pursue the path of the self. I have heard rumors that once the masters of ki were able to do many things. My favorite is holding your breath underwater for abnormal durations. It seems the least far fetched, and I have spent time testing the limits of this idea.

How long have you managed?

Three days. A fish kept tickling my nose and caused me to sneeze however, and I had to surface afterwards. Also my fingers were quite pruned and I feared they might fall off.

You seem to consider this achievement quite mundane despite the obvious uses of that to a nation of sailors.

 

Were our sailors monks who had the time to practice something then maybe it might be worth exploring further.

Some of them are actually. Iwanagi comes to mind, he has been sailing for some time now.

 

 

Oh I see. Perhaps you should have him practice the technique. Though I have heard stories of monks who could simply live underwater. I have been studying turtles and whales in regards to this.

 

I will trust our keeper to use his best judgement with these stories, but before I divulge them I will caution some secrets can be dangerous. Send only those you trust to search for answers. The Sohei are formidable, but they fall to the temptation to use their ki for the gains of power over all else. They see strength in war before strength of self. Exposed to such old mysteries they might take a perilous path.

The most substantial of these myths is a monk that lives today. No tome hunting here, though they come from another land to the north. After being sent into exile no one is sure where they went, though they were last seen on a boat. He was known as the monk of spirits. By spirits I mean wine. Supposedly by imbibing he became so loose that when ki flowed through him he could do spectacular things. Coincidentally he was exiled for too many bouts of public drunkenness. They say when he was drunk he would be impossible to apprehend by the local guard. Any effort to do so would see him slip through their fingers, attempts to use more violent measures of force were useless against his incredible strength. I’ve no idea where this drunken master is now, or what use such a technique could hold, but you wanted to know.

Another story is of the fallen guardian. A ki user so powerful they could defeat an army…easily. The story goes that they were born during the dying night, a sorry time to be a child for sure. This child learned the art of ki on accident as a necessity to sustain themselves on so little food. In these dark times necessity pushed them to become more and more powerful. Their students protected the village they grew up within from such beasts, allowing the people to eat more plentifully than most in these times. However, the story has two versions that notably splits around here. According to one tale, they became so powerful that they became a tyrant. Destroying any who opposed them and demanding tribute. They laid waste to the village they once protected in anger and slaughtered their own students. Only to disappear in search of a worthy test of their strength. Convinced they had become an apex predator, and that all monsters were merely prey. The second version says that it was actually their own students that betrayed them. Fearful of the master’s power and what they were becoming. It is said their body was twisting, showing signs of becoming the very monsters they defeated and fed from. While no one else in the village showed such signs. In fear the students ambushed the master in the night and killed them with a rock, for no metal could pierce their skin. The master’s own techniques were said to be similar to the kineticists we have now, though notably referred to repeatedly as lightning. The stories also mention they used a sword, meaning perhaps they had learned both the elements of a kineticist and a kensei. Finding any remains of this village may help you learn more about your own discoveries. The village was built along a lake, but hidden within a mountain. Make of that what you will.

The last I have heard of is the one for which my warning carries grave significance. There is said to be a power so great that any to learn it shall become consumed by it and become a monster themselves. Perhaps related to the second story? When you are told an insult, when you suffer a punch, you tend to get mad. Kyobo is to embrace that anger, to throw all ration to the wind. To desire nothing more than dominance and superiority, and take these dark thoughts to their extremes. It is known as the ‘berserker’ style in some stories. It is merely a ghost story, one told to younger monks as a cautionary tale of why they must harness their emotions and seek inner peace. To never fight in anger, the usual. Every monk knows of this potential downfall and how it leads to suffering and loss of the self. Though…I have found there may be truth to this story. There was supposedly a master of kyobo, which shouldn’t be an actual style. Merely a state of mind. This master passed through a town. He was quiet, he minded his own business. He never spoke a word, merely passed through. When villagers went about their day, they found along the route he must have come from were dozens upon dozens of monsters and a few of their own villagers alike laying dead. While they believed it could not be the work of the stranger, it was notable every corpse had been savagely bludgeoned to death. Some suspected a bigger monster had hit them all, or that maybe if that stranger had done it he must have had a club hidden on his person. Though I disagreed, and conferred with a nalkas historian to the north-

As a side note, Master Soshu is the one who first found and introduced us to the nalkas. Before you and their current king’s time.

 

 

Haha, yes it seems not too long ago that I met that woman gifted with a fiery indomitable spirit adrift among the snow.

That is not how most people would describe Ansa.

 

 

A shame, Ansa is a woman of great will and determination. I hold nothing but respect for her.

We prefer to call it a healthy fear.

I call it burning, passionate, unquenchable, unfiltered, raw hatred.

 

Careful child, such things will give you wrinkles.

I’m over a hundred years old, I think I’ll be- oh shit I don’t have my powers anymore.

Wait how did you get here? No matter, you are welcome to stay. Continue with your story Master Soshu.

Oh right. Well we were near the end anyways. Supposedly the master might be a true master of kyobo as a technique. Such unbridled aggression allowed him feats unknown to any mortal man. He sought strength at all costs, including his humanity. It is why he never speaks, never stops minding his own business, always presses forward seeking greater challenge. I notice this is a recurring theme in some of these stories. The pursuit of power for power’s sake is a dangerous road to take. These rumors and stories of the Kyobo master come from the south, near a place called Moncayo Pass. While they may be old, and certainly age would have claimed such a being, perhaps he left something behind to give clues to such a method? If nothing else, it may help explore the answers to what techniques might still yet be found for ki.

 

Alright so…the expedition is coming along. People are dying left and right, ground is being made, and we can sufficiently say the island is extremely dangerous. Though this does put into perspective what the island to the south called “The Eye” must be like.

 

Did all the recruiting as requested and deploying them to the new villages to begin construction sites in particular. Though notably those sent a bit further south reported worse monster attacks than usual. The guard teams and their settlers were wiped out before they could even abandon the trip. They were run down by the werewolves of Sanctuary, evidently having entered into their hunting range. Werewolves are not monsters and can be much smarter. Not to mention more ruthless.

Nyssa and Ryo have started moving again through the forest to look around, though nothing of interesting yet down there.

As for the dreadnought, definitely not. While you could theoretically build something of use of it, it is still in the water which tends to be rather dangerous. Even the Oda navy has abandoned the island for safer waters. I imagine the expedition team might be able to use it for spare wood at best.

Also as one of those friendly reminders, we still have a scout crew in Cayetano just hanging out there. They describe the place as, not necessarily the most inviting given that they’re still associated with witches even if we lost our last set. We kind of cultivated that legend for a few centuries after all.

Oh and about the elves, they still seem to be recovering and are a little wary despite our offers. Though not wary of us. They said that they feel it would be dangerous to retake those cities now that we’re expanding so far into the forest so dramatically, because it might anger their druids. There’s also all their political shenanigans going on that the Oda are keeping tabs on.

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Land ho, oh god everything hurts

Stories of Lore 19

 

The landing is underway. They were able to activate the gate stone to bring troops over but had to use the reserve mana to fight a big thing so they are currently stranded there. No worries though, the island does indeed have plenty of mana to harvest. Our people will certainly have the skills necessary to extract it to turn the stone back on. However, it is likely that they are in for some rough days as they work on that.

In terms of losses, all of Essi’s soldiers died and so did six teams of monsters but she has six more remaining. Twenty units of Aato’s knights went down as well, along with 20 golem units. As well as all of his footsoldiers. Eero died diving face first into the goddamned kraken. I’m not sure if I should commend his heroism or call him an idiot. I suppose his soldier instinct took over on that one. At least he bought the gatestone time to make it to shore. Several other manifesters are dead too. Iraeka is alive but barely, she looks like she might never be able to move comfortably again let alone move through the wilderness on a cane. So we might count her as retired soon, even if she technically lived.

As for the anirace things, the offer was intended for a smaller team though we actually attracted the interest of a larger one. Potentially to play as the opponent to the first team we find if not our own. In keeping with their interest to buy the technology behind our field, some of the bigger teams wouldn’t mind a chance to play on it just to see how it behaves when turned up to its craziest. Though the Shaman King has stepped in before they get any ideas. Putting forth that if they do buy our field technology it has to be a rule that any “shifting elements” have to be set to randomize so a home team doesn’t just memorize a complex choreography script no one else can figure out. That did seem to diminish a little bit of interest, I guess that was what they were planning. Very sportsmanlike of them.

Oh also remembered when you said “maximum mana available”? So we’re low on that now. Well, relative to how much we had before at least. They used full resources multiple times in the landing, so it added up a bit quickly within the week. On the upside, if they get the gate stone turned on before anything goes awry, dragon loot. I’ve estimated that if they can bring it home before something terrible happens, we have a big payday coming.

Mikael and his team have made it to the southern islands but they have no idea what or where they’re looking for and are cruising around a large cluster of islands poking around for anything of interest.

Also the mana worm has been productive now that we’ve gotten a handle of taking care of it.

 

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. In the assault on the northern island we lost eleven warships and four dawnbreakers. It is also unfortunate that Yuzuki an Kyoko lost their lives in the icy wastes. The navy is on its way back to Okushiri with the ships it has left.

We’ve started harvesting silk from the spiders, or at least attempting to. They’re feisty little things, and we’ve never had to process this stuff before. While its slow going, our trade route has seen a notable increase in value as the little we have sells easily. I’m sure as we refine our methods it’ll be a much bigger component in our trade income.

Iwanagi is setting off to check out the eastern island. We have also raised the expedition force for the southern colony and placed it under Takei’s command. He has already begun to sail south.

As per your orders a few cycles ago, Kaze was sent home to spend time with his wife. So essentially he is just on vacation in Tonarooka. Though notably has expressed some suspicion about the appointment when he wasn’t sent on the expedition to the northern island. I think he is concerned we might retire him. Hamano is on his way to meet with Kaylen.

Shime is currently away with the expedition force in the north so we can’t have her advise on Haven at the moment.

As an update to elven matters, our efforts to convince some of them to emigrate have become a lot more complicated. This comes with a growing faction of discontent within both the nobility and the civilians, albeit two separate factions. The nobility are angry with Amare in particular since she was recently confirmed to still be in contact with Ankathi as her mentor in witchcraft. They seem to be getting annoyed with her constant bouncing between apparent loyalties and want to remove her from power. Though the king and queen quite like their daughter who is something of a war hero and their primary contact to the archdruid. This is uncomfirmed but the nalkas ambassadors are very insightful- it seems some members of the nobility might be planning to assassinate Amare and blame it on Katara. Specifically on Alexandria who is passing nearby with an army of professional ‘not be seen’ types and is known to be liable to attack a druidic witch without provocation.

The civilian side of things is a different type of discontent, they actually want Amare to take full power over the kingdom and to remove the other nobles. This will lead to a druid led state for them and there is some thought that if they truely became a druidic kingdom that the archdruid would then take more interest in looking after them. This party even talks about destroying the current elven cities as they are not very druid friendly. The idea at its core is to become assimilated into Sanctuary so that they will be safer. This particular plot is more confirmed because the elves who went to Jämsä were the ones hinting around and looking to see if our alliance might help since they’re afraid of Ailduin in particular.

However, these tensions are not unknown to the royal family and they are allowing Ailduin even more power to keep people in check. As well as another elven hero, who I’m told is very spooky, being assigned to figure out which nobles are plotting to kill Amare. Ailduin has always been their own darkest champion, similar to Ankathi or Alexandria but not as extreme. Just a comparison to point out why the political factions are scared of him and why him being given more power has resulted in a greater level of fear for the kingdom.

Now for another complication that is not quite confirmed, but the Nalkas are again very insightful. While the civilians want Amare to take power, the nobles might be correct in their suspicions of her. Amare’s ongoing relationship as a student of Ankathi might lead her to other motives than the people who support her expect. We have long since lost track of Ankathi and what she is doing but the fact she maintains ties to powerful people indicates that she is up to something that requires it.

 

Welp, good news is we’re not bleeding gold anymore. Bad news is eighty teams of pathfinders dead, fourty knights dead, our ships are gone, and Thyra is fish food. On the upside we found dragons on the expedition, so thats neat. Too bad everyone is stuck on the island and shit has gone so far sideways up there that I’m not even optimistic that it’ll reach us at this point.

Moving along, Alexandria is holding Moncayo though we have to get the builders out there. Speaking of which, I’ve decided to hold off on sending ambassadors to Lennecas since our settler teams died in transit to the monsters of the forest. Also I named the stupid towns for you so my paperwork isn’t confusing. The new slaves have been delivered there to help with constructing them.

On to some more lighthearted news. We had our first home game! Won it too, apparently no one has ever fathomed playing the aniraces in an actual urban environment. So we’re two to one on our team so far which isn’t too bad. Turns out home games are decent money, doesn’t boost tourism as much as we might have hoped just yet due to distance but we did get some interesting visitors. It is liable more might come next time as rumors spread of our city’s take on the games and that the curse is no longer in effect. I may have urged some of the local townspeople to really reinforce that point to any visitors. Inn may have been a bit noisy that night too. Not to mention members of Oda came by to watch out of curiosity since they’re just right up the road.

Due to her distinguished service at the northern expedition I’ve recognized Rena as someone we should keep tabs on. She’s one of the pathfinders and really managed to hold her own up there. She actually goes by “Just Rena” though obviously I went through the effort to find out her real name. I see why she doesn’t tell anyone her family name. The relationship is very distant, I don’t think she’s ever met Ankathi but they happen to share a name. Likely a common great great grandparent or something as there are actually at least two hundred citizens with that name. I’m at least relatively certain that there is no secret power behind that name like there was with Damaia.

Oh hey Ansa didn’t show up, oh right she’s stranded at the island right now. I can say whatever I want and she won’t interrupt me for once…I don’t know what to do with this freedom.

♪Weeeeeeeellll Ansa’s a bitch she’s a big fat bitch…♪

*You presume the weekly debriefing is over*

 

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Land masses everywhere!

I am not delivering official reports calling it a mana pooper. Anyways we’ve started setting up a living space for it at Uudistar alongside the other critters. The village constructions have begun largely along the coast and established the home guard between all of them in a more organized military force. Roads also under construction.

In other news, our scout force venturing eastward found another of those northern villages filled with angry fur clad folk. However, not long after that we lost contact. I should note though, they did report the discovery of the village before they went missing. Which indicates that said northerners may not have actually attacked them, even if that is the usual pattern. Generally when such hostilities break out our people are able to at least evade and report back. I suspect the monsters got to them instead, that or some foul conspiracy.

 

Also I’ve had the order put out to the armies to recall in and stand ready at the capital with the gatestone. Next cycle we will be landing, if all reports are correct then this will be rough.

In regards to the politics going on within the elven city, our ambassadors have taken a new approach. While the Aywin are preaching for emigration we’re now offering something closer to a refugee deal. Because Katara and Aywin are liable to go to war soon, and we imagine the civilians might be tired of that. They’ve opted to try and predict future events rather than charismatically convince of current situations.

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

In regards to the monks, I’ve discussed recruiting the kineticists with Shime. She notes they aren’t really aggressive warriors, so if you order them to join an assault on anything they are liable to abandon their duties. Though they do make for great scouts at least. It is noted they are not actually the best fighters, but their ability to manipulate the environment around them makes them quite dangerous depending on the location they fight in. The more ‘stuff’ is around them, such as within the forest, the more powerful they are. They might not do so well within cities though. On the upside, in terms of defense, we could just place their weapons of choice strategically around the city. It is unlikely that a cauldron of water would be useful to an invading enemy despite being a dangerous weapon for a kineticist. So with prep time we can maximize their impact.

Yuzuki heard of this and opted to pitch her newest advancements to me…I think their competitiveness might be getting out of hand. But Yuzuki’s experiments have yielded results after constructing several dozen swords until one worked. It utilizes the gudwud as a core and backing of their blades in some peculiar arrangement. While it might slightly compromise the durability and integrity of the sword it allows her students to channel their ki through it. Resulting in what she calls the Kensei, they can channel their ki through their signature weapons which gives it remarkable benefits. While the Sohei were able to create a fighting style exploiting utilizing their ki to move the weapon in their hands, the kensei have become one with their weapons. Allowing it to serve as a true extension of themselves as evidenced by their ability to pour ki into the weapon. While it does not work with enchanted weapons as it relies on the pathways normally used by magic to be open for ki, they seem to produce similar effects. Rivaling at minimum third tier enchantments.

She has drafted her best student to us for testing.

Takei is a bit on the young side though that seems to have advantaged him in learning new tricks. He also showcased the greatest natural talent, besides Yuzuki herself, when it came to mastering these new techniques.

He is a bit of a serious sort though it doesn’t suit him well given he looks like a sixteen year old girl if you ask me. Though I’m told that’s normal for students this early in their monastery training. They haven’t quite gained enough footing to feel the pull towards self expression over being a well disciplined student to appease their teachers.

Through is innate Ki his sword has a similar effect to the true strike spell. In the demonstration Yuzuki arranged, I witnessed Takei split twenty arrows loosed at him simultaneously with just his sword. Well that might be a bit of an exaggeration, he dodged some likely due to them being too close to impacting at the same time as another arrow, but still quite impressive!

In my frank assessment, Yuzuki’s Kensei are vastly superior warriors to the kineticists as it stands now. Though they do have the advantage of learning from the way of the Sohei and improving upon it, along with Yuzuki’s military minded advancements in fighting. So they are technically a generation ahead in their fighting style.

Yuzuki asked you to find something for Takei or herself to do in the field, believing that the techniques can only be further refined by practical engagement with an enemy.

In relation to monastery affairs, Amare has since left Haven to return to the south I believe. Not entirely sure however, she is a hard one to keep track of.

Moving on to Naval matters. Iwanagi has finished navigating the perimeter of the island. As far as he can tell they are in large a much more technologically primitive society across the entire island. Though they do have boats and the ability to travel to other nearby islands they never took the much longer voyage to the main continent, likely due to sea monsters.

Speaking of the nearby islands, our scout boat that was traveling along this way found more island clusters west of the area Iwanagi was exploring. To add to that, another island was found in the far northeast when passing by monster island.

As to your question regarding the dreadnought, it’s always had a captain.

Moving on to political subjects. We’ve initiated a public relations campaign with the elven people, urging them to come visit up north and consider settling down here as requested. Though we will see the results of that over time.

 

So we’ve sent the settlers, done some economic conversions, and as your advisor I’m stopping you from recruiting Vaslochar before we have a second civil war. They’re the demonology house, we JUST had a big fight over the blackguard’s demonic ties and it produced Alexandria who is liable to just murder them all.

Moving along, Ivan isn’t terribly princely. I’ve noticed his distinct lack of interest in becoming one, something about a warrior’s pride and spirit. Hence his constant lingering around with the knights. Can probably order him to father at least  a few children though.

Our forces have reached Moncayo pass in full now, with the Nalkas cannons arriving and opening fire immediately. Despite its convenient location it definitely lacked a standing government and the place was reduced to a ruin within the day by the cannons. In the chaos most of its people fled south into the forest to avoid…well being on fire.

They didn’t put up much of a defense afterwards, while they might have been able to they  opted to flee outright. So through shock and awe I suppose Alexandria has taken over Moncayo with no losses. The place is in a bit of a ruined state now though so might take some effort to repair but it still has some houses for now at least.

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Long Voyages

Our scouting force moving eastwards through the north found one of Alosne’s outposts. It is apparently the edge of their civilization’s eastern reaches and after that there are no roads anymore, we can expect to encounter some of the more violent northmen from there on out.

Ansa has figured out the magic beans. Basically they’re capable of growing into the mana tree we have seen in Tethalyn, so that wouldn’t be too bad. Though it will end up costing about twenty gold to plant the thing since the north is not so hospitable to it, meaning we’ll have to arrange some shenanigans in regards to getting it to grow.

Also you may want to specify what you want to do in regards to the elves regarding the last report on the matter.

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. Torogawa has finished its basic construction and the process of getting a nice stable city is well underway.

 

Iwanagi continues circling the island.

As for the elves, they’re generally a bit tentative about the alliance, thanks to the Katara as mentioned before. Also they haven’t responded yet about coming to the talks. For the most part we can assume their desires involve not having to fight for the time being given the state they are in. However, Konya has been careful about how to approach a certain topic. The Elves are aware of our naval strength after Neyth visited Okushiri, not to mention our involvement in the war. However, they do not fully understand the Nalkas and the advantages of being allied to them. Also the Nalkas emissaries that accompanied Konya are not the best when it comes to explaining such things to them. They also, along with most people, do not understand their own relationship to the Nalkas as their ancestors. So that could likely be leveraged depending on what angle you would wish to approach that. A gentle approach could be a good way to ease them into accepting the alliance, though perhaps if the Nalkas and Katara sent more aggressive diplomats assimilation might be more plausible.

Also definitely not to channeling Ki through bikes.

We’ve begun shipping towards the southern isles as you requested. Might be slow going with the distance and all.

Who is Vlad? Also you still didn’t name all the new villages. In other news, the Oda are requesting us to visit the elves in Lennecas to assist in diplomatic negotiations though the entire goal of which seems to vary. I surmise they’re looking for whatever exploitation they can get, whether an alliance or annexation. We could just go finish them off and enslave the elves to save their politicians the effort. I’m sure Alexandria wouldn’t mind a detour on her way back.

Speaking of which, she and her forces have started setting up camp in the forests outside of Moncayo pass, the Nalkas siege crews are arriving a little later so that will be underway by the next cycle.

Also Ivan has finally arrived after his rather long journey. It did not take long for him to be properly cared for…as in our agents to receive him were interrupted by every tavern keeper. Though all things considered he seems a bit of a solemn sort and while he hasn’t been isolating himself he is notably not invested in all the social interactions others are towards him. He spends most of his time since arriving inspecting the barracks and sparring with Petrina’s knights and Petrina herself.

 

 

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Surprisingly more text then expected.

Alright so we have some visitors from the badlands checking out the field we just finished constructing. Oh right, construction of that finished if you would like to take a look at what you just spent a fortune on for a silly game. There is already some expressed interest though the people here to look it over are not capable of making such financial decisions without talking it over with their lords. So, progress is being made at least.

Next up, our explorers in the north following along the road have found a town that harvests mana at the lake as well as the surrounding area. It appears to be Faelyn’s outpost, while it is not terribly well defended it is pretty close to her citadel so that’s a thing. They also noticed while passing through the area that Lieksä looks like its walls are receiving some repair and enforcement. Perhaps not terribly relevant but as part of general scout reports they figured to mention it.

Our ambassadors have arrived in Lennecas to talk things over with the elves after taking a ride with the boats carrying the cannons. For the most part it seems that the elven royalty aren’t too interested in breaking down their nation to just move into the frozen north. While times are bad for them, they do still control the southern range of the forest and are already deploying forces to reclaim their lost cities. Though it may be wise to instead go after the citizens who have to do the work, they might be far more interested in emigration then their rulers. For the most part Konya seems to be having better luck talking politics with them though.

Greetings Keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. Iwanagi’s ventures continue, and he may have found a second island while he’s at it. He found two more settlements, a particularly large city, in comparison to those he has seen before at least, and a colony outpost of that same city it looks like. It seems that they realized they could sail the short distance across and found it convenient to be able to do so. It shows to the potential of the islanders, while their technology is far behind ours here on the main continent the fact that they have successfully voyaged and established a colony speaks to their strength. This particular settlement was more amicable than the last one Iwanagi encountered.

Following first contact protocol, Iwanagi has stopped off at their port to see what he might be able to negotiate. They do definitely seem to be interested in weaponry more than anything else given that the islanders seem to have difficulty in acquiring or working metal.

So far no signs of the foreign colonizers at least.

The dreadnaught has been constructed and deployed to assist with the village construction site. Construction should be done soon, might want to name it. Also that scout you sent to look around that area near Sanctuary and the Cayetano outpost is still out there drifting about if you wanted them to do something else.

In regards to the resources necessary to colonize the southern island, I do recommend we consider sending extra supplies to perhaps build a second one. It is becoming evident that it is actually quite large from Iwanagi’s journey, and he has learned there are more islands down there that form an interconnected world as far as its natives are concerned.

With the monastery reconstructed, Yuzuki has begun her experimentation as she had planned. Also we are already hard at work recreating the guns, though there is a quirk to it. While we are able to figure out the engineering behind it the problem is a type of resource that can hold the mana to fire it. While the gudwud can easily hold the amount, the problem is the discharge is so massive and sudden that most materials we have access to cannot be made to do so fast enough. In the guns we have acquired, it is making use of a small crystal in its construction. Similar to the ones in the anirace bikes we have observed. It is likely that the badlands have access to this material somewhere in their land, but we’ll have to see about finding some for ourselves to reliably produce these weapons here at home.

 

Konya has arrived at the elven city of Lennecas. He has managed to procure their interest in establishing an embassy in Haven for its druidic temple that also consist of the monks. They do have a significant recollection of events involving Shime, so Konya has leveraged her position at Haven to get their attention for the offer. Though it seems for the immediate future they intend to reclaim their lost cities and begin reconstruction to start rebuilding their nation. Though they would be interested in joining the alliance formally but they are curious as to writing out the terms of the alliance…they are also still a little wary of the Katara, who are still their closest neighbor. While the much-feared Ankathi is gone, Alexandria’s reputation did not travel slowly. Konya feels that involving Katara in these talks might make better headway since that is their primary fear. If Katara could be convinced to send someone to affirm the most obvious point of the alliance – the military aspects – it would do well for easing their fears.

 

Eliana is leaving now it seems, heading back to the city of Melun. I tried…so hard…to keep her from running into the inquisitors during her stay. She left us a peculiar bit of knowledge though. See I showed her the remains of the coven during her stay and she found the Black Bowl we’ve had in the vault for centuries now. She was able to appraise it and tell us exactly what it summons. If activated, it brings forth a monster born of the primordial chaos in physical form. It turns out the last time it was used, she was around to know of it.

Usually those kinds of creatures cannot exist in a physical body, but the one tied to the bowl can. However, it develops a serious case of amnesia each time it goes dormant. She mentioned that it could be used to create a sort of dark aasimar or tiefling, which would be unique as no one else has ever had access to such a creature. She recalled the last time it was around, the creature was known as the devourer. An all consuming monster filled with an endless hunger that could not be explained, having once eaten an entire city’s residents at the height of its power.

Because it is bound to whoever summons it, it cannot disobey them. The problem with controlling it comes from its…impulsive nature. Said creature’s amnesia makes it rather child-like. It isn’t malevolent so much as it is just an idiot and last it was seen in the body of a small child with tentacles and teeth. The records of the curse driving people insane for summoning it seems to be a hyperbolic expression of the fact that…well its a child with enough physical power to rival a small army. I’ve never been a mother so I can’t comment.

I have listed this information as top secret, you are the only person allowed to know about this thing. Because if word got out that it summons a primordial creature in physical form, then its likely a certain someone might take interest.

Moving right along, Ivan is still not quite here. He’s not too far away but I give it another week before he shows up.

Ryo is still just chilling out in Kirillobatov if you need him to do anything.

Also, there is a thing we could consider doing. So basically, we can impregnate a lot of our population for a huge spike in population growth out of nowhere but doing so might make productivity fall across all endeavors dramatically. Obviously we wouldn’t push it onto the military women, but you can technically order the population as queen to do its general duty to Katara with a bit more emphasis on the ‘right the hell now’ part of it compared to our usual traditions regarding this. Though we may see a sudden drop in our economics for a little while after doing so. A little while being years as suddenly every fisher, hunter, mason, cobbler, and blacksmith gets knocked up and then has to deal with the offspring and all. Though, as Advisor I feel its worth pointing out that doing so would leave the genetic exploit still in place for the most part. Even if we convince Ivan to become a prince…well he’s just one guy and all.

On to other matters, our people have arrived in Cayetano to look into this whole angel thing. They were…way too happy to tell us everything. Even going as far as to offer us an archangel for our current predicament. As for the general report of angels they went to learn about…okay so-

The angels come from the primordial light. If you ask Cayetano that makes them rightfully the most ‘good’ of the primordial entities. Though technically correct, there are still the occasional errant ones who go a little bad. So that isn’t exactly set in stone. They do look the most human-like though. They are the general masters of restorative magic, there is no healing in the world as good as theirs. Cayetano clerics even demonstrated this to our scouts by smashing a vase and restoring it in front of them. Spell called divine mending, which unlike the arcane version can be used for more then just fixing cracks. It is worth noting that the angels are physical unlike the dark spirits or demon lords. The archangel I mentioned earlier is a person you can see and touch…and uh…procreate with.

Also, it stands to reason that if angels are known for being physical…and dragons are known for being physical…then it stands to reason that both of the parents in Alosne are actually standing somewhere. Which makes it odd that we don’t really see either of them. Granted we haven’t had anyone spend that long there.

Also all the towns finished basic construction, need names.

 

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Travelin

Cannons on their way here and there, we sold the five to Zahur.

Okay so the drow situation. Irakea is on the way back to Jamsa to prepare for deployment to the island. I’ve looked deeply into it, she’s about a mile out of town by now. She moves pretty quick.

Oh wait you meant the other ones. Faelyn hasn’t yet assumed direct control over anything but her influence over their city puts her in position equivalent to either house mostly due to her control of their economy. While we predicted Eilsath and Vaslochar would eventually go to war with each other over the city, she has stalled it by reintroducing a third element to the game.

Vaslochar is reluctant to leave their ancestral home they are the dominant power over, and Eilsath isn’t so sure about leaving behind the city just as their position began to solidify within it. It is likely that Faelyn is aware of this and actually intends to turn the city into an extension of her own influence rather then abduct any of them by assimilation. Becoming sort of the mutual higher authority to both houses, many of their common folk are quite willing to humor this since historically the nobles are dicks.

 

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. Iwanagi resumes his sailing adventures. We’ve also gotten everyone aboard the fleet to make the journey to the island, so the city is a little quieter with them all embarked.

Konya has also gotten a ride with the nalkas boats that are headed down towards Moncayo Pass so they will drop him off along with the Nalkas ambassadors once they all get there.

Also the reconstruction of the city is primarily complete. A few areas are still in disrepair but for the most part the monastery and the city are back up to normal. Though economically businesses are still resettling into place in the wake of the destruction.

As for your thoughts on the Sohei and Kineticists, it seems sensible enough to me.

Our colony on the island south of Tonarooka has halted its construction, the aquatic monsters there have managed to murder half of the construction team and force them to hide further in land.

 

Pretty simple week, everyone is going places and projects are still working to completion. I’ve had Alexandria reroute to avoid her murdering everyone just yet.

 

As for trade exports, well we do ship wood to the badlands as it were. Though that has been less lucrative then when we first started due to the siege of the mountain fort ending. Though they have to be somewhat confused over the matter. Other than that we lack for any unique resources though we do trade in the basic stuff here and there. Granted it has never been a specialty of ours due to our more isolated nature.

As a somewhat pressing matter, if we don’t find a quick solution we might have an economic collapse very soon.

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Movement, the update.

 

Stories of Lore 18

 

So we’ve made progress on the horse thing you had us start looking into. We can probably start breeding them reliably now, though it should be noted due to the climate it may be more expensive then its worth overall.

 

Aato mentions that reaching the northern island will definitely take a concentrated naval effort. Judging by the scout reports of the area, the shore is actually very dangerous. As you know, aquatic based monsters tend to be bigger and meaner then most, and the same could be said of northern ones. So here on this northern island, happens to be a nesting ground for one of the only true semi aquatic monster species we’ve seen. Basically, taking that shore is going to suck. Even after its taken these species are likely to keep sneaking up on the coast line from the water trying to return to its nesting grounds. While the dawnbreakers can make short work of that for securing a landing zone, the problem is when the one’s who aren’t on that particular spot of the shore come back from whatever they are doing in the water whenever we happen to arrive. This colony idea will require a near constant naval station in order to harvest the mana from the sea just to keep those things under control…until we make them extinct at least.

All that being said, we don’t know what is further inland. The scouts who sold the report never landed on it for all the reasons mentioned above. Aato estimates we’ll need a force of at minimum 2500 strength for both the land and sea efforts. He was very clear that was ‘the minimum assuming nothing goes wrong’. He then estimated the odds of something going wrong to be about ninety two percent. Aato also assembled something of a profile report on who he wants to go with him and why. Secretary girl wrote down what he said verbatim so…

Essi – “Because she’s nearly unkillable and will be needed to engineer the defenses of the colony.”
Nalky – “Maybe it can assert itself as the alpha. Also its a mana eater so it can find a good spot to set up without us having to send a team of scouts with test tubes who are likely to die without being escorted by the whole army. So it’d just be a good use of resources to have a pig find the truffle instead of an army of people with shovels.”
Iraeka – “practically born for this kind of job. Also she can see at night and that’s usually when everyone dies in these circumstances.”
Chinami – “Self explanatory.”
Iwanagi – “The most experienced sailor in the entire alliance who has somehow not died.”
Ansa – “If we’re going to encounter whole new species of monsters on their home nesting ground, this seems like something we might need her for. Without her talents we could wind up not knowing something important that gets us eaten. While normally not as big of a concern – we are investing a lot into this, we will be far from home, and this is requiring a full military invasion just because of monsters alone. She could save us a lot of pain.”
Literally any druid – “Just fucking because. I’ll take Shime too if that’s the best I can get, but someone write the elves a letter for me.”
Literally any pathfinder – “It’s in their fucking name.”

Iraeka has started skulking about the northern village and found quite a large tribe of aggressive fur wearing folk. Here is the weird part, despite attacking everyone else who has ever gone there they actually think Iraeka is some sort of ghost. More on that in a moment, but they were at least quite willing to talk with her even if a bit tentatively. The northern savages consider themselves part of an alliance known as the Skjöldal. We may have already enslaved a few of their alliance when we took the village near Uudistar. They are in an active war with Alosne, who they see as invaders of the northern lands. Okay, history time.

The true Skjöldal is a civilization that predates the dying night who once inhabited these northern lands. Through the during night they tried to keep ahold of it, doing surprisingly well despite how harsh this place is, especially without sunlight. Due to its abundant mana they were able to at least sustain themselves with various magical ideas. So I think you can see where I’m going with this. Their actual capital is a ruin of a civilization built on top of a ruin built on top of a ruin built on top of one of our ruins. A place we used to call Valkeakoski, though they call it Hellengdom now. This is why they were somewhat perturbed by the presence of Iraeka, they think she is a nalkas because she looks like the paintings. Perhaps more accurately, she looks kind of like Ansa – in terms of a broad racial profile at least. Dark tinted skin, pointy ears, white hair, really intense eyes.

From their point of view, the north belongs to them since they stuck out the hard times here and made it their home. Alosne are a people who just wandered in and decided to start taking over the place in their moment of weakness after the effects of the dying night. The problem has been that Alosne is much more advanced and organized so has been constantly taking ground. Not to mention they have entered into treaties with Faelyn, which gives them access to the badlands military technology. The north is vast, and there are many more villages however Alosne has never gone to the Skjöldal home. There exists an island to the north east, and this is where Hellengdom is. This is also where the barbarians are coming from, they came back to the mainland to try and colonize some of the land but ran into Alosne.

So here is the thing with that, neither of them are actually native to this exact stretch of snow. Skjöldal comes from an island and after the dying night came here to colonize. Alosne were nomads without a home who arrived in the north to find a place to settle down and colonize as well. They were both too invested by the time they made first contact and it escalated into a war. A series of raids into Alosne territory by the savages provoked Alosne into a more militant policy regarding them and that was how it all got started.

This is where I have heard an odd theory that holds up a little too well, but is none the less just an unproven conspiracy theory. It comes to us from our embassy in the badlands. See Alosne only started trading heavily during the escalation of this war, until then they were very independent. Also the Alosne were very well defended, it was hard to understand how a series of raids took place on them the way they did with so little facts in the aftermath having any real evidence. All the raiders disappeared and left no trace behind, which doesn’t actually fit the stereotype of these barbarians. So the conspiracy theory I’ve heard, is that the entire war was actually provoked and sustained by the badlands so they could profit off of it.  The rumors suspect it was Faelyn who did it as obviously it has made her very wealthy, not to mention that is her area of operations. Atop of that it is known she has influence over both of those factions, even having an Alosne and Skjöldal warrior as members of her elite guard collection.

Though I disagree. I get this nagging feeling as if my wisdom check noticed something a lesser man might have missed. Faelyn doesn’t play that way, she’s very direct and makes sure people know for certain when she is involved. Sort of the draconic pride I think, she wants people to know exactly who is fucking with them. When she found Gideon, she sent an army with banners in her name to us. Her antics in the underdark were also very overt. Recruiting in huge numbers, planting her flag in the corpses of the old matrons, selling them technology and so forth. In the badlands her puppet Laura is well known to everyone, she keeps Laura standing right next to her as a pet just like all the other people of interest she has collected. She just doesn’t strike me as someone who would use tactics so heavily rooted in subterfuge when everything about her seems to be equivalent to slapping her metaphorical dick on the table and offering you to measure it.

So make of all that what you will.

Started building the cannons and such, those take a bit of construction time but shall be ready soon. Might want to tell Alexandria to wait up if she wants the cannons though.

In regards to selling Anirace based stuff, actually that seems to be going well. Though they would like to see our field to see what we’re really offering and are sending some people to take a look. It should be done by the time they get here at least. Also our embassy finished setting up in full over in Maji.

 

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. In order to build a proper trade outpost in the southern isles we will need to send some boats. While there are plenty of resources we could process there, as all of colonization thus far has proven – you need to be able to protect any colony you try to start. That and also we just need to get the people to build the colony there in the first place, which means a long sea voyage. Which is also dangerous.

Our scouting boat has arrived near Sanctuary to scout out the area. It seems for the most part neither the archdruid nor Cayetano outpost minds too much if we were to set up in the area. However, in terms of the viability of the land itself it is serviceable if the location is of interest though it has no stand out qualities in its resources that might warrant immediate exploitation. It could do with more trees though.

With heavy heart I must inform you that tragedy has struck. One of our scout crews has disappeared into the depths of the ocean while scouting close to the northeastern isle, victims of a monster attack.

Iwanagi found another settlement…this is clearly a very large island. They are a little less friendly though, outright hostile even. They wore a lot of skeletal garments of humanoid fashion and didn’t seem to speak the common language. Fortunately he was able to escape their grasp though had to subdue at least a dozen before he could get his boat back out to sea. They pursued in smaller canoes, though he was able to deal with those as well. So they are apparently quite committed to not engaging in diplomacy unlike the other two we have found. It is worth noting that it was quite a large settlement for a people so violent.

In regards to Yuzuki and Shime’s ongoing scuffle, I wouldn’t say there is much risk of them killing each other. Though Yuzuki is upset that Shime has been so disapproving of the Sohei techniques, it all started when Shime made a comment about weapons not equalling better when kinesis alternatives are available. However, unlike her conflict with Serizawa, Yuzuki proves to be much stronger. Shime lost that fight by a significant margin actually, even when fleeing into the woods to demonstrate alternative solutions to actual fighting, Yuzuki ran her down and, in her own words “beat Shime into the dirt until she stopped twitching”. They’re not quite enemies over the matter, in fact Yuzuki is still Shime’s translator, but Yuzuki has displayed no interest in learning kinesis techniques. Instead she wants to refine the sohei further, and has requested that once the monastery is rebuilt that she be given funding to do an experiment. It might cost about 1g all things considered, quite an expensive project for the monastery to embark upon, though Yuzuki seems adamant. Shime for her part has returned to Haven to train others in her particular style, and continues to disapprove of Yuzuki’s path in turning the monastery away from enlightenment and peacekeeping towards militaristic warfare. Notably Shime has been training very hard at Haven, intent on being able to defeat Yuzuki once she has fully mastered kinesis to rival Yuzuki’s mastery of the sohei techniques.

Also I have a suggestion for the envoy to the elves. We could send Konya on the joint venture by the Nalkas and Katara towards Moncayo pass and have him just hop off the boat at Lennecas. This would ensure he reaches it swiftly and would have sufficient protection for the voyage. He could then just wait for their return trip to bring him back.

Also reconstruction is going well! We hope to be done within the next cycle, at least done enough that we can resume life as normal.

Eliana is here visiting now. She seems quite interested in taking note of how we abandoned the practice of witchcraft so recently. She maintains her “don’t care” stance towards everything, or at least she did. But see…she happened to arrive on the day that Alexandria was burning cultists in the street and it was…awkward. Petrina had to stop Alexandria from doing anything to Eliana it seemed, who is definitely not amused over that. I have Eliana staying here in the palace with us obviously if there was anything in particular you wanted to talk to her about while we have the opportunity. If…your earlier plan to uh… commit necrophilia as you put it still stands then um…you know what you’re on your own for that.

As another bit of news, the Knight’s Sanctum has finished its first wave of training under Petrina now that she’s had time to focus on it since the cult problem has come to a close. All the cavalry under her command have been converted to Knights.

So we picked him up from the badlands, well financially speaking at least. He still has to walk over here. The mercenary goes by the name Ivan Sabantseva and his former city was destroyed by the orcish warpath some time ago. We had to assure him that the curse wasn’t still lingering over our city. Then we found out he’s an actual dragonborn and is a native of Kirillobatov who wandered off to the river city that got destroyed.

Basically he is even stronger then Areti physically speaking and judging by his age he has quite the experience to go with it. A veteran of many battles and skirmishes. He is somewhat refined and reserved in his mannerisms, very professional.

Also we sent up Christina though you may wish to put a more elaborate thought into what you want her to do up there given the complexities of the political situation in there as we’ve seen with their first contact with the nalkas.

Ryo has arrived at Kirillobatov and talked to the elders there.

Also some elves moved back into Tethalyn so the population has gone up a little there, it appears that the people who were fleeing from the orcs are more scared of orcs then mad at us and didn’t trust something that is going on in Aywin’s politics or something to that effect. Also with Ankathi gone even Neyth is a bit less wary of us. So…here is the problem. They came back to Tethalyn to reclaim the druidic temple there and have sort of set up an elven ghetto in that neighborhood. Which means they still have some reverence for the wilds and that temple. Which means they don’t know about Alexandria…and Alexandria is about to pass through there on her way to Moncayo pass. Not to mention she will also pass through Lennecas. Where there are actively practitioning druids. We just gave her an army of snipers.

Oh and the roads are done.

Also our girls made it to show up for their first Anirace game in Ahedama! They did not win. At least it wasn’t an outright humiliation, they did pretty well for their first real game. Juma says going up against the Ahedama team is a tough first match as their team is composed of professional marauders. Though since we own the team we got some of the revenue anyways. We got about 1724g for it. Apparently there was a good turnout as it was the first game of the season and people were curious about our girls.

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Reconstruction

Did all the transfers and paperwork stuff. Though to be noted training the other manifesters in the style that Aato uses is both harder and less useful then you might expect. Aato’s style comes from a certain level of preference, creativity, and a rather long rivalry with Sakki. He told them the basics of how he does things at least, we’ll see if they can remotely perform though. This is largely due to the manifesters being a difficult practice which they have spent their time mastering. Aato is the only one who is comfortable with fighting in melee while casting. Its why we know his name off the top of our heads and not the other bulk of them.

We loaded Mikael and squad with their bikes onto a boat to make the trip south, its a long trip. We’ve elected that in pursuing the southern lead they’ll start with other nearby islands in the neighborhood of where Iwanagi has been finding islands. Given that by Eliana’s description The Eye itself would basically just instantly kill the whole team.

Essi is back at her lab in Uudistar working on Aato’s project now as well as seeing what armor can be made for Nalky. The rest of the monsters who came along with Nalky have been put within their underground enclosure we were working on. Though it is worth noting that there are a few peculiar caves down there we dug into. No one really wants to squeeze through them but judging by what we know about mana lake formation now, odds are there is another underworld down there somewhere.

We’ll see how meeting with the elves go once the diplomat gets there.

We’ve sent some units to Maji to start establishing our embassy there. Bit of traveling involved not to mention some setup time on that one.

Can’t give the magic seeds to Ansa since she’s in Alosne at the moment. Though I’ll have her look into it upon returning.

Iraeka is traveling back north to resume scouting, she’s overtaken the note to scope out the northern village since that is more or less her thing. The soldiers have been sent off and told ‘just look where we haven’t already and draw some maps’.

So we went to check in on the drow… Eilsath continually grows stronger ever since they started growing crops on the surface to handle food. Though it isn’t what we projected. They’re a lot stronger then they should be, with the bright light of technology littered throughout their whole city. It seemed inevitable that Vaslochar would go to war earlier to prevent a loss of power since Ghuan was not there to prey on any moments of weakness and that Eilsath might be able to come out on top if they stalled long enough to make use of the tech we offered. What seems to happen instead is that the city is now under Eilsath control, with their Matron being the city’s ruler. While that was what we planned, we had figured Vaslochar would die in the fighting. The high priestess and the matriarch of Vaslochar are indeed dead now, the rest of them are not. Things have been moving slowly and more politically then expected. Then we figured out why.

When Faelyn passed through she recruited them by the hundreds to her own forces and we found she has active agents in the city to alter the flow of the political games down there. It seems that just as we assimilated Ghuan, she is also up to something. The original Matron of Eilsath is dead, so are the next three that were in line.

She took over their economy by introducing badlands technology that both sides desperately wanted at a markup they didn’t know was incredibly unfair until she controlled more of their money then they did. Alongside other clever manipulations.

This whole process is still ongoing and Faelyn hasn’t yet taken direct control, but it doesn’t take much to see that the drow cannot deal with her. Despite how hard it is to siege their city or make plays of subterfuge against their paranoia, they seem to fall quite easily for deals with the proverbial devil. Just as we took Ghuan in this way, Faelyn is doing something quite similar. Though we’re not sure what her end goal is. We did find out that the current high priestess of Vaslochar is escorted everywhere by Faelyn’s people instead of her own though.

Really? You really wanna let Essi build a sports field? That’s a lot of money just for people to ride around in and throw a rock at one another. Fine if you say so. Maybe it’ll at least keep the peasants amused.

Smaller golems…to sit inside and power machines? At that point why not just make the machine in the first place so it doesn’t need a tiny golem.

 

Greetings keeper! It is a glorious day for the Oda people. Iwanagi has found a rather large city as he continues to circle the island. Well…it looks like they think its a fortress but its made of wood so I am just going to say a fortified city. By now Iwanagi seems to just assume you want him to make contact each time and see if they’re open for trade and such.

They do seem quite interested in trade…oddly enough with the other town we found. It appears the island is quite dangerous to traverse and while their people have boats they aren’t terribly pristine boats. We could just have a few ships travel up and down between them for a simple but fair profit. We may want to consider building an outpost down there.

The city he found shares a more primitive and tribal aesthetic just as the one further north along the island. Talking with them reveals this island isn’t exactly small, and there are thriving civilizations there. However, they don’t necessarily like each other in some cases. The two locations we can trade between consider themselves to be at war with one another, even though they are too far apart to do so actively. It is also part of why trade between them isn’t happening on its own and that’s just an easy route we can take over.

We held the appropriate services for all of our fallen heroes and every soul that died defending their home.

Construction of the southern village has begun.

Chinami reports that Nemnas is most notably a native to the ocean and moves through it at a speed no boat can dream to achieve. He can also eat things, a lot of things. Not to mention due to his size he can take down most ships all by himself and in very short order.

Also Shime and Yuzuki were last spotted chasing each other around the forest playing tag. On a completely unrelated note, reconstruction is going quite well with all these trees we find already felled in the forest for us to just pick up and process!

In regards to your question about the guns and monks. The answer is pending the reconstruction of a Sohei monastery where they can practice techniques and study the application of the idea. We’re working on that. I expect reconstruction to take another two cycles.

In the wake of the war people have found a sort of unity I suppose you could say. Lot of flags hanging outside of homes, and people have pitched in to help with reconstruction so its not costing as much as we might have expected. We disposed of the orc bodies out in the fields to act as some fertilizer. The monks were kind enough to undertake that grisly task.

Yamoaka found another particularly interesting lake between the border of the badlands and the north, it’s not really a mana lake but has great natural scenery.

To wrap things up, our new trading outpost to the badlands has been quite lucrative. We’re already seeing a significant rise in profits on our trade route.

Forgot to mention, the map and scout details we acquired from Esperanza regards to an island in the far north. The scout reports mention that it is filled with really mean monsters and that may be the reason the map was for sale rather then in active use. There is no indications of civilized life, at least not from the initial pass over by the people who found it. However, whosoever claims the shores will see a massive yield of mana harvesting. The entire coast line has been undisturbed for so long that its just oozing the stuff. The problem is the monsters here are very serious as a result, and the island nature means no one has really tried to take over it. It would take an army to colonize that place. Not a small one either, I mean that the entire Oda navy might be needed just to reach it through the sea creatures. Then you have to deal with the ones on land. I see why they just sold the map instead of trying to take it for themselves.

Anyways! I went ahead and got our field properly registered and have some girls working where I registered it to make it a bit more playable. Such as reinforcing some spots and sweeping the streets so it looks nice. As well as adding seats and a member of the league will be visiting from Maji soon to set up the scrying enchantments so it can be properly broadcast. I’m not sure I should suggest this but…maybe we hire some people to uh…dress a certain way when the games come through? Maybe be super enthusiastic and likeable and lead people in the cheering just to make our city look all the more tempting for immigration.

Also the dreadnought is home now. Slaves princified. They seem quite happy with this arrangement considering they thought they were being sold into labor. I mean its still laborious but y’know. Also Thyra has gotten quite good at navigating the seas in her journey, though she was a little disheveled upon returning. Apparently her major complaint was she didn’t realize how many supplies she needed in particular for soap. She has the dockworkers scrubbing every inch of that ship down to get the smell of sweat out of it and refuses to get back on board it until they finish. We also have to repair the ship a little as it had a few run in with sea monsters, fortunately its a big ship and Thyra figured out what to do fast enough but there are still some chunks missing.

In further relation to this, it turns out building dreadnoughts is really complicated, really hard, all our engineers are different, and heavily affected by available materials. Seems everyone has their own take on how to get a ship that big and what it should do. Though Thyra seemed to have a lot of optimizations for mixing it with the idea of transportation due to her trip on the way here. We call our new design the Harbinger! Made for transporting and landing regardless of whether or not people want to see us there.

As for Moncayo, Nyssa just arrived. The place remains basically an extortion toll gate and a haven of bandits and outlaws. Honestly its what I expected the badlands to be more like. Just booze, drugs, and rape in every alleyway. It used to belong to a smaller settlement of people who happened to find the ruins of an old fortress they made their home. Buuut then bandits happened. Apparently originating from Cayetano a long time ago after a huge prison break type of affair happened. The invaders managed to take control of the fort and make it their own home. The civilians were practically enslaved. Turns out it doesn’t do that well as a toll gate because…well when was the last time the forest got any visitors from Cayetano? They just seem to try and get money however they can. They are quite well fortified there given the circumstances of its society.

Another notable mark, abyssal cultists from the badlands have shown up here. They don’t seem tied to or even interested in our active demon cult. If anything they seem to look down on them. They seem to be a sort of missionary type, offering us to explore their own magical methods. I at least heard them out. Notably the cult doesn’t draw their strength from any demon king, they tap directly into the primordial Abyss. So while they’re prone to less explosive demonic powers, such as the likes of Nina’s super demon form, they have a lot less weird voices in their head to deal with. I have had to place them under some protection while they’re visiting though, not only were they targeted by the coven cult but…we kind of made a problem. Getting to that.

Also the sickness has been alleviating, it seems the Archdruid was able to finish the exorcism. Though I’ve seen her hand twitching a few times since then…I’m concerned it may have left some impressions on her. KouKou seems to be up and moving again over in the north. Though I’ve sort of retired her. Without her witchcraft she’s just a young, admittedly adorable, scamp. With the whole spirit thing resolved, she’s just a civilian. I can’t in good conscience let her keep in the danger of our employ.

Petrina has effectively eradicated the cults around Sybaris as much as possible. Their leaders were publicly executed alongside many of their members in a brutal cleansing. That is the short version. The long version is…we may have done a thing.

See we were kind of in a hurry to get the cults dealt with so the Queen of Wolves could do her thing and it was starting to make us look bad with Eliana right around the corner for a visit. Not to mention we needed to be able to take in the people from Thyra’s trip. Atop of all that you diiiid say ‘all forces needed’ to ‘wipe out’ the cults. So Petrina conscripted an old acquaintance, and that friend had two more friends. We call them the inquisitors, there are three of them right now. We’re kind of scared of them.

They follow the Lord Inquisitor Alexandria. She is actually a former comrade of Areti and Talia, she has long held a distaste for the coven and we just accidentally handed her a state license to do what she is apparently freakishly good at. Though is a bit too fond of public executions. She…she..I don’t want to talk about it, but I didn’t have this gold tooth before I met her and I had all my fingernails. She is one of the most talented commanders we’ve seen in a long time, and her ability to find things out about people is unrivaled.

 

 

((Alexandria gives +1 strength per tier to all forces under her command and can disrupt special abilities of other commanders. She has a bonus to capturing prisoners. If ordered to perform exterminatus her army strength bonuses double. But expect that hex to turn into a scorch mark.))

Alexandria butchered cultists in their homes and workplaces alike. This was a second cleansing. We can’t even verify everyone she killed was a cultist, she just assures us that they were, and the results turn out that the cult activities have definitely stopped. When I said ‘publicly executed’ I mean Alexandria burned them alive in the middle of the town square by the dozens. One of these executions involved something called an iron pear and I don’t want to get into further details. They were left to die of infection and blood loss in a cage. I told her to stop but she insisted the people needed to know the price of consorting with demons and spirits.

That being said she has a notably important skill in dealing with the powers that others have. I’m told she hates Ankathi in particular and intends to hunt her down, a little ironic considering I would have sworn they were sisters. Notably with Ankathi’s specialties she showcased, Alexandria might be the only one who can take her on. Though she will definitely try one way or another and I’m not sure which of the two I’m more scared to make an enemy of.

As your advisor I feel its important to note this woman is very dangerous, not just on a personal level. Simply employing her means she’s going to start some shit with people we might not want to be picking a fight with. She stared at the archdruid a bit too long and a bit too intensely for me to feel comfortable. While she seems to share your view on the vassal of other entities thing, she definitely believes in it with a much greater intensity.

Perhaps the worst part of all this is that she has popular support. The people, who aren’t her victims or related to her victims, love her and consider her something of a savior alongside Petrina. Her rise to power seems to be a dramatic reaction to the events surrounding Ankathi, the plague, and the subsequent cults. It appears that in the fervor to be rid of the witches, the people turned to a new kind of monster.

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