Kullan Tarina Threat Assessment

Unto adventurers traveling to Kullan Tarina,

My name is Lucian, currently of the lands of Hireath. Though currently on extended sabbatical and enjoying the intricacies of owning a tavern, the threats of the “Author”, not to mention the horrible cliches in his books, cannot go unanswered. To save a story and a realm maligned by bad penmanship, I’ve worked with additional adventurers to obtain as many clues as possible. A general assessment and condensing of information is presented here. I will have full details of stories and the general map available to groups on site to augment this report and information the primary contact Gaius Lavendalir will hopefully present when adventurers gather at the initial location.

Realm: Kullan Tarina. An entire living realm created within the pages of a golden book. The reality of characters within the book is maintained by captive spirits with living people serving as a power source. Continued kidnapping and luring of spirits from realms across Fortannis has allowed for expansion of the stories and lands. Magic, and the rules of the realm, are maintained by a balance of three entities of power; Author, Illustrator, and Editor. The depowering of the Editor may be causing greater instability however this has not yet been proven.

Travel: As the realm and all threats are literary based, specific rules of travel have presented themselves. A “Master Copy” of each area exists as a physical item which will allow the crossing of great distances through portals. To utilize these portals, travelers will have to have at least one of two keys. The first is a “Lost Page” from the book that details the story segment to be reached. The second is someone from the story who can physically guide the traveler. Hand holding or multiple people holding the book is required for a group travel. Some stories may require multiple Lost Pages in order to locate the correct moment success can be accomplished.

Travel Challenge: The Author’s fundamental lackeys or front-line troops are called Crumples. These entities are composed of paper and possess a variety of different abilities and weaknesses depending on the literary energy used to fuel them. The entities are drawn to and absorb Lost Pages. Elimination of Crumples is the direct path towards locating additional Lost Pages.

Primary Threat: “Author” Simmon Lavendalir is a prolific author of books across multiple genres and realms who managed a decent following of fans of his work for a time. In recent times, his works had degenerated into predictable, underwhelming and cliché laden stories which resulted in poor reviews and sagging sales. He is noted as having been a Hobbling of eccentric mind and frail body who lacked skill in weapon and magic.
His access to immeasurable power and unquestionable authority within the realm places him at a threat value of a maddened elder dragon or fae monarch with unknown rules. This power allows the author to “write in” any disaster which has been used to keep the story moving forward by his devised literary traditions. Due to this writing of changes, the Author is now an archmage in Earth, Celestial and Necromantic schools along with the raw power of the realm. Of note, the Author has not written Hobblings into the stories presented in order to stay “rare”.

Secondary Threat: “Illustrator” Ronan MacLennane is the original artist who created illustrations for the Author’s previous books. In filling the third role within the Kullan Tarina, he has access to the unknown potentials in the realm. He is noted as having a preference for martial skills over magical ones and has been mentioned as a powerful general to act as the “evil villain’s right hand.” His creations are made of living paint and paper which may present a weakness to Alchemical Solvents or destructive magics.

Area Threats:
The Author’s work on Kullan Tarina has resulted in 8 distinct lands based on some of his previous books which are merged into one realm. The stories and their threats are as follows.

1. "Adventures on Goldbone Isle" gave shape to an archipelago of pirate-infested islands.
2. "Tales from Summerspring Forest" gave shape to a verdant and mystical fairytale forest.
3. "Mysteries of Winterfall Woods" gave shape to a dark, foreboding, and haunted forest.
4. "Legends of the Painted Sands" gave shape to a vast and sandy desert.
5. "Desolation of the Guant Highlands" gave shape to a barren and post-apocalyptic wasteland.
6. "Studies at Shadowmoon Academy" gave shape to an ancient university of the magical arts.
7. "True Love at Mossycobble Farm" gave shape to a quaint and romantic countryside.
8. "Savor the Flavor with Simmon Lavendale" gave shape to Simmon’s personal, comfortable accommodations, namely his kitchen. Technically, it’s a cookbook rather than a novel like the rest.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Story Name: Adventures on Goldbone Isle
Genre: High seas adventure
Staring Races: High Ogres and Dwarves
Point of Contact: None listed in story
Gathering Point: Goldbone Isle
Threat: Classic pirate story with undead twist. High Ogre spirits and sunken ships ply the waters and attack island communities under the command of dwarven pirate warlord Captain Saltbeard. Goldbone Isle appears to be the last key island holding out against a full conquest of the area. Based on the ghost story aspect, it is likely the primary threat will be with undead High Ogre sailors and necromantic magics.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Story Name: Tales from Summerspring Forest
Genre: Fairytale in a mystical forest
Staring Races: Elves and Dryads
Point of Contact: Elven King Halamar Enduriel
Gathering Point: The Chubby Hummingbird – local tavern
Threat: Classic story dragon. Creature has been listed as the most powerful villain in the books as it utilizes fire and chaos in wide area attacks. Dragon has kidnapped Princess Lorelei and is holding them hostage without demands. Dragon commands a series of undescribed servants which are assisting on general destruction of the forest.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Story Name: Mysteries of Winterfall Woods
Genre: Horror in a gloomy forest
Staring Races: Sylvanborn and Wylderkin
Point of Contact: An aged Sylvanborn named the Elder
Gathering Point: Hazel Haven – village under threat
Threat: Unknown creature type called the Barahan. Described only as a mythical beast of primordial terror that destroys property and leaves blood written messages of “Leave Hazel Haven” which indicates an intelligence. Outside of physical attacks, possible strength is in fear effects both on the creature and in its roar.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Story Name: Legends of the Painted Sands
Genre: Desert adventure
Staring Races: High Orcs and Selunari
Point of Contact: None listed in story
Gathering Point: Chromatic Bazaar
Threat: A Djinn going by the title “Emerald Emperor” has used poorly worded wishes to enslave the High Orc warriors and forced the Selunari population into a caste system which is used to push the group into slavery. His primary ruling method is by direct force with mind control, wish granting and mental manipulation. Based on actions and his fixation on the color green, High Orcs and green gem Selunari are considered a higher rank though likely under the same controls.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Story Name: Desolation of the Gaunt Highlands
Genre: Revenge in a post-apocalyptic wasteland
Staring Races: Dark Elves and Oathsworn
Point of Contact: None listed in story
Gathering Point: The Shell
Threat: An Oathsworn by the title “Sovereign” has used a mystical shield to seal off influence by the elemental planes and continue to enact revenge against four Dark Elf houses which utilized elemental force in a war centuries ago which creating the surrounding wasteland. Current condition notes a slavery level life for the Dark Elves with a regularly scheduled competition used to pit the houses against each other for some temporary reprieve. Based on the story, the requirement may to be shut down the magic of the “Shell” and have the Dark Elves use their elemental connections to help the land recover however this is speculation.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Story Name: Studies at Shadowmoon Academy
Genre: Magic schoolhouse mystery
Staring Races: Biata and Stone Elves
Point of Contact: Headmaster Sylas Ravensong may be a contact or possible threat
Gathering Point: Shadowmoon Academy
Threat: Biata and Stone Elf students of a magic focused school regularly disappear after graduation. Individuals looking into the disappearances either disappear themselves or have large sections of memories missing. The school is run by Archmage Sylas Ravensong, a Biata formalist who is considered stern but fair in demeanor. Of note is that while Biata and Stone Elves are noted in the location, they have not been spotted outside of the academy. The Biata condition around celestial magic is not noted and may have been missed by the Author.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Story Name: True Love at Mossycobble Farm
Genre: Romance
Staring Races: None listed
Point of Contact: Not Applicable
Gathering Point: Mossycobble Farm
Threat: The story for this location has not been found as of yet and is only defined as “a quaint and romantic countryside.” The location could be the initial starting point for adventurers that arrive or the conclusion of the final engagement. It was noted that the Author had never written a romance novel before which makes this story entry unique.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Story Name: Savor the Flavor with Simmon Lavendale
Genre: Cooking
Staring Races: Hobbling
Point of Contact: Not Applicable
Gathering Point: The Kitchen
Threat: Location is the personal comfortable accommodations for the Author focused primarily on his kitchen. As the location is based around poorly executed recipes, details are extremely limited.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Conclusion: The Author is determined to create a “hero story” that will be remembered as a way for his name to remain on the minds of others long after the adventure story is over. Unfortunately ignoring the Author is not feasible due to his continued kidnapping and use of spirits from other realms. Left unchecked, it is possible the Author could extend his creations into other realms. To stem this threat, adventurers will need to progress through the stories to resolve each issue.

The Author’s actions stem from an excessive need to capture the emotional rush of being popular and well known where reputation and infamy are given equal standing. Sagging book sales and falling popularity likely pushed the unstable author into a madness only compounded by the extreme power that ruling the reality of a realm can generate. The Author’s own invitation showed a swing between the desire of wanting to be well received to standard cliché villain boasting.

While the Author leans towards singular or small group heroes, following this method may create greater chances for failure and loss of needed Lost Pages and Master Copies. It is my recommendation that group size be measured in the larger numbers to provide greater skill balance and martial force as outside assistance or retreat may not be options while in a specific story. To that end, I advise that a census be taken once all parties have arrived to have a general knowledge of strengths and weaknesses so that teams can be directed with the greatest efficiency.

Additionally, as the Author is noted as being able to enforce his desire to maintain the literary requirements of his story, an attempt to keep him off balance and unable to write those enforcements should be made. That poor reviews started his downward spiral into this madness provides an avenue of attack on a mental level. While not very martially orientated, I have had experience in telling stories over the centuries and understand how the right word at the right place does a world of damage. I will endeavor to make sure the appropriate “reviews” are available for delivery in the stories which, hopefully, will get to the Author. Perhaps if I have his attention, more actions that go against his literary desires can be made.

Finally, the Editor Gaius Lavendale has made large segments of information available and even extra tidbits generated by submitted inquiries. I recommend you review them when available. Should you desire additional details on where I have drawn my assessment from, please inquire directly and I will forward a long written letter for your review.

I remain,
Lucian
A simple storyteller
Guildmaster of Cerberus (ret.)



((OoG link to Google doc which contains assessment, collected stories and map.))
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KbmtL6WDpnvuPhU8IzM6UAgdyw0KpmzrXiCzFlVZeUk/edit?usp=sharing
 
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Xanian

Newbie
When I communicated with The Editor, he conveyed to me that Humans, such as myself, don't really play a central role in any of the stories from The Author, but act more as filler in his tales. Though the Editor did share with me that The Author penned 8 main books or stories that seem to make up the Kullan Tarina. You have named two above.

The others are Adventures on Goldbone Isle, Legends of the Painted Sands, Desolation of the Gaunt Highlands, Studies at Shadowmoon Academy, True Love at Mossycobble Farm, and Savor the Flavor with Simmon Lavendale.

The Editor also believes that a master copy of each story exists as a physical item within each area of Kullan Tarina and he is working to gather them so that we may use them as a means to quickly traverse that land. He gave further instructions which I will share verbatim regarding this, so as to not have any meaning lost in my interpretation.

"Using the Master Copies as a portal, the adventurers will be able to enter portions of each book and travel great distances to emerge where they need to be for that segment of the story.

However, doing so will require that a group of travelers have at least one of two things with you: a character from the book in question physically guiding you to the correct segment of the story, or a Lost Page from the book in question that details the segment of the story you wish to travel to. With either of these in hand, a group merely needs to grab hold of one another, place a hand on the corresponding book, and they can enter it. Without a character or a Lost Page, you won’t be able to go anywhere, so make sure you have everyone you want to accompany you gathered together before you make the leap into the book."

He also instructs us to watch for entities composed of paper that the Author has labeled "crumples". He believes their essence is tied to the land and by defeating them we may gain the Lost pages to the stories above. Their abilities seem to vary depending on the particular energy fueling them.

I hope this information could be of service,

Binar
 
Sage Binar,

The information is of exceptional service. It sounds as if the crumples are cast off ideas which is where their mix of abilities may come from.

With appreciation,
Lucian
 

Pokethulu

Fighter
Public Relations Committee
Binar and Lucian,

Thank you for this information. I reached out to the Editor as well. I will go back an review his correspondence and reach out to all here in this Dreaming. Did either of you or anyone else happen to have visions in connection with the books?

Sincerely,
Matron FallingStar
Lady of Mushroom Hallow and Argo's Rest
 
Binar and Lucian,

Thank you for this information. I reached out to the Editor as well. I will go back an review his correspondence and reach out to all here in this Dreaming. Did either of you or anyone else happen to have visions in connection with the books?

Sincerely,
Matron FallingStar
Lady of Mushroom Hallow and Argo's Rest
Matron FallingStar,
The assessment information presented is from the dreaming messages. Currently I have the stories presented to the Elves/Dryads and Kyn/Sylvanborn. Binar has provided the dreaming given to humans.

The Editor's dreaming messages appear to be focused on races and I am still awaiting direct reply from him on my inquiries.

I am currently seeking the last six stories so I can provide a compete assessment.

With regards,
Lucian
 

Xanian

Newbie
Lady FallingStar,

I had no visions related to the books, though I will say that the means of the Editor's communique did seem rather...unique, writing his message upon the very world around me. I have a theory that the weak ties between humans and the Author's tales themselves may hinder those types of links for me. I will state, however, that with some ingenuity, we may be able to use those weak links and the fact that we humans may be considered below notice to our advantage as we move on this threat.

Binar

((OOG, Alexander or other national plot, Please correct me if I misinterpreted how the Editor's message came to me)).
 
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jdackow

Adept
Hello All,

I have had contact with The Editor. The method was unique in the the words of a letter was superimposed on every thin in my view. The letter shared about the tales of "Studies at Shadowmoon Academy". Shadowmoon Academy is an ancient institution devoted to the mastery of the magical arts located on a small island to the southwest of Lavendalir’s mainland.

To quote "It is home to an extensive variety of magical teachers, students, trinkets, and more that you might expect to find in a mystical university. If there’s any place where you can find libraries of dusty tomes, constructs programmed for training exercises, countless jars of potion ingredients, and other stuff like that, it’s there." The school has existed for centuries and was privet and secretive for most of that time. Its enrollment has been limited to those races that the Academy’s founders deemed “of an advanced mind, capable of a higher understanding of magic” and was the home of Stone Elves and Biata exclusively of as long as anyone can remember. Recently the current Headmaster - Archmage Sylas Ravensong, a Biata formalist known for his stern-but-fair demeanor has open the admission requirement to any the have the knack for magic. This should allow visiting adventurers the ability to visit the Academy.

While lessons would be typical of any school of magical study the are some differences to note. First is the magically enchanted trial chambers. these chambers, an there seem to be a number of them are established by Headmaster Ravensong and other educators for practical tests of up-and-coming casters. They are "built into the lower levels of the academy’s castle, these trials are designed to test the mental and sometimes physical capabilities of aspiring youth. Success at these trials not only teaches valuable lessons to the students, but also earns them merit with the Headmaster, who has been known to reward those that prove sufficiently talented at doing so. Competition for the Headmaster’s favor can be cutthroat among students, and they often consider it a great honor to have the opportunity to attempt a trial."

But trouble seems to be lurking in the school. While graduation happen regularly and are a bid deal the Editor has never see a Stone Elf or Biata anywhere else in Lavendalir but the Headmaster makes a big deal about students going out into the world and doing great things with the skills they learned, but where are they going. To The Editor it seems that as soon as they graduate, they vanish without a trace.

However in our investigation we must be subtle. Other student have notice occurrences and get suspicious of nefarious doings in the school and start to look into it, but they too go missing, or even if they don’t, they find themselves missing large chunks of their memories.

I plan to investigate this matter on my own but will welcome others to join me as there is strength in number. I am skilled in the mind ability of the Stone Elf and am willing to block or trap the mind of any that request one if you are aiding me or not in this endeavor.

Captain Aramis Seablade
Stone Elf Celestial Ritualist of The Company
Jovian Journeymen Solar Guild of Wayside
Guild Assistant of the West Wayside Trading Company
OOG: Jonathan Dackow
 

Pokethulu

Fighter
Public Relations Committee
Greetings All,

Do we have more information on the other stories? I am looking to compile all the stories along with a map and other information.

Thank You,
Matron FallingStar
 
Greetings All,

Do we have more information on the other stories? I am looking to compile all the stories along with a map and other information.

Thank You,
Matron FallingStar
Matron FallingStar,

A complete assessment is being compiled and will be distributed in the next day or two. Written versions will be provided when we all gather as well.

With regards,
Lucian
 

Pokethulu

Fighter
Public Relations Committee
Matron FallingStar,

A complete assessment is being compiled and will be distributed in the next day or two. Written versions will be provided when we all gather as well.

With regards,
Lucian
Lucian,

Thank you for your continued diligence in regards to this threat.

Matron FallingStar
 

Gilwing

Administrator
Alliance Logistics
Alliance Owner
Im sorry, I had these feeling about a week ago and mostly brushed them off. I woke up one morning feeling a bit… weird. I wasn't quite certain how else to describe the feeling, but as I prepared myself for the day ahead, I was positive that the feeling of peculiarity only seems to intensify. I seemed a bit groggy and have a hard time focusing on anything for very long, frequently finding myself gazing off into space and having to shake myself back to lucidity. Trying to ignore it, I set off along my way, ready to take part in the day’s activities and live my life as I normally would. The life of an adventurer is certainly an exciting one cant we all agree but not always so on each and every day. Many days were simply the same, mundane occurrences over and over, and I tended to get into a bit of a routine with the kinds of things that I saw on a regular basis. I saw the same features in the landscape each day, saw the same buildings and structures each day, and even saw the same sign of the local tavern each day, and I didn’t really pay them much attention anymore. But wait, were the words on the sign different than usual? Blinking hard, I looked back at it, but I seen only the usual message. Strange. I could have sworn they said something else for a second there. I shrugged it off, attributing it to the way I've been feeling all morning and go about your way, probably due to the lack of coffee. The second, third, fourth, and fifth time it happens, however, I definitely begin to wonder what is going on. Out of the corner of my eyes, words wherever they can be found are shifting and changing, though nobody else I came across seems to be experiencing the same thing when questioned about it. Something definitely isn’t right. Soon, I begin to see flashes of words in places where there weren’t even words to begin with, though they vanish before I could truly read them. It seems to be getting more extreme by the minute, with words beginning to fill my life at every turn. Words on the dirt beneath my feet! Words on the clouds above my head! Words on even my own clothing! What was happening? Was I going mad? Taking a seat, taking a few deep breaths, and closing my eyes, I begin to wonder what I will see when next I opened them. As I eventually did, I was taken back to discover words covering everything in sight, though this time, they do not vanish or change. Seemingly superimposed atop all around me and even drifting through the air, the words remain constant this time, and with the opportunity finally upon me, I begin to read that which had been plaguing me: - Dear Adventurer of Fortannis, Within the mystical pages of the Kullan Tarina, my delusional brother Simmon Lavendale - or The Author, as he is now called - has written his own stories and brought them into reality. Your people feature prominently in one of his tales, Adventures on Goldbone Isle, and I seek to inform you as much as I can about the story before you venture here to witness it for yourself: My brother and I grew up in a port city, and living on the ocean’s edge certainly shaped some of Simmon’s literary preferences. He himself never actually went sailing, but he nonetheless loved to hear about the sailors and their voyages, and they served as his first big inspirations for his writings. In fact, Simmon’s first published novel was a high-seas adventure starring daring pirates and glimmering treasure, and that genre of fiction will always hold a special place in his heart. To that end, he created Goldbone Isle as an homage to the genre when he finally had the chance to build his own world. Stretching across the sea south of Lavendalir, Goldbone Isle and the surrounding islands are the homeland of the Dwarves and High Ogres of this land, as well as home to an extensive variety of exotic flora and fauna you might expect to find around a bunch of tropical islands. If there’s any place where you can find sailors and pirates of all sorts, merfolk swimming in sparkling lagoons, maps leading to buried treasure, sea monsters attacking ships, and other things like that, it’s there. In ages past, the islands were so plentifully abundant with valuable resources that the native Dwarves lived lavish lives, trading gold and precious gems for anything they might want. In those days, practically all a Dwarf had to do was break ground on a new island in order to make themselves set for life. Unfortunately, those days of splendor did not last forever. Eventually, the islands’ untapped valuable reserves began to run out, and the scarcity of gold led to it becoming even more sought after. The once-limitless supply of treasure became finite, and that meant that if you wanted wealth, you’d have to take it from someone else. Selfish greed began to infest the archipelago, and Dwarven pirates quickly began to fill the sea. The towns and ports on some of the larger islands had enough defenses to ward off marauders, but their ships were not as well defended out on the open sea. There had once been a great navy led by the High Ogres that kept the ocean safe, but it had fallen to ruin years ago, and now sailors and small islands were at the mercy of the corsairs. Pirate bands became too widespread and abundant to be stopped by any army, but they were also too organized and independently strong to be quelled by individuals. The sailors and other islanders found themselves in a tough spot. To fight the pirates would risk their boats and valuables, all of which they needed for keeping their trade and livelihoods afloat, but they could not simply let the pirates do as they please. To protect their ships from pirates, they eventually resigned themselves to paying tribute to pirates in exchange for protection. But the costs that the pirates would extort from the honest folk are high, and many are either forced to dig deeper and more dangerously for more resources, or simply turn to piracy themselves. It’s a dangerous and vicious cycle, and the locals live in fear knowing that their entire lives might be uprooted by pirates at any time. If the widespread issue of pirate attacks and extortion wasn’t bad enough, recent developments have appeared on the horizon that are set to make the islanders’ lives even more difficult. The dreaded Captain Saltbeard - a notorious and fearsome Dwarf pirate warlord and a loyal servant to my brother - has recently made bold declarations across the sea that she shall be the first Queen of the Archipelago, ushering in a hitherto unprecedented era of greed-powered corruption and oppression if she succeeds. Her ship, The Victorious, is leading an armada of mysterious ships that seemed to come out of nowhere, and more and more independent islands are falling into servitude following the fleet’s attacks. Rumors are saying that the mysterious ships are crewed by the ghosts of the fallen High Ogre navy, pulled from their watery graves and now under Saltbeard’s command. How she managed to accomplish that, nobody knows, but it makes her fleet a nigh-unstoppable force compared to anyone else on the sea. Not even the fortifications of the primary Goldbone Isle will be able to withstand an attack from it, and if The Victorious gets there, Saltbeard’s rule is almost guaranteed. The ghostly armada sails closer all the time, and soon there will be nothing preventing Saltbeard from seizing Goldbone Isle and all the other islands as her dominion. Many are saying that to cross Saltbeard is to have yourself, your friends, and maybe your entire town destroyed to fuel her greed. If there is any group of people that I believe can defeat Simmon’s pirate lackey and release the High Ogres’ spirits back to their proper rest, though, I am certain it would be the adventurers from all around Fortannis.
Though you are a stranger to the land within the book, surely you will agree that the suffering that is plaguing your kin and their homeland must come to an end, and I await your arrival to help confront my brother’s schemes.

Sincerely,
Gaius Lavendale The Editor
 
Im sorry, I had these feeling about a week ago and mostly brushed them off. I woke up one morning feeling a bit… weird. I wasn't quite certain how else to describe the feeling, but as I prepared myself for the day ahead, I was positive that the feeling of peculiarity only seems to intensify. I seemed a bit groggy and have a hard time focusing on anything for very long, frequently finding myself gazing off into space and having to shake myself back to lucidity. Trying to ignore it, I set off along my way, ready to take part in the day’s activities and live my life as I normally would. The life of an adventurer is certainly an exciting one cant we all agree but not always so on each and every day. Many days were simply the same, mundane occurrences over and over, and I tended to get into a bit of a routine with the kinds of things that I saw on a regular basis. I saw the same features in the landscape each day, saw the same buildings and structures each day, and even saw the same sign of the local tavern each day, and I didn’t really pay them much attention anymore. But wait, were the words on the sign different than usual? Blinking hard, I looked back at it, but I seen only the usual message. Strange. I could have sworn they said something else for a second there. I shrugged it off, attributing it to the way I've been feeling all morning and go about your way, probably due to the lack of coffee. The second, third, fourth, and fifth time it happens, however, I definitely begin to wonder what is going on. Out of the corner of my eyes, words wherever they can be found are shifting and changing, though nobody else I came across seems to be experiencing the same thing when questioned about it. Something definitely isn’t right. Soon, I begin to see flashes of words in places where there weren’t even words to begin with, though they vanish before I could truly read them. It seems to be getting more extreme by the minute, with words beginning to fill my life at every turn. Words on the dirt beneath my feet! Words on the clouds above my head! Words on even my own clothing! What was happening? Was I going mad? Taking a seat, taking a few deep breaths, and closing my eyes, I begin to wonder what I will see when next I opened them. As I eventually did, I was taken back to discover words covering everything in sight, though this time, they do not vanish or change. Seemingly superimposed atop all around me and even drifting through the air, the words remain constant this time, and with the opportunity finally upon me, I begin to read that which had been plaguing me: - Dear Adventurer of Fortannis, Within the mystical pages of the Kullan Tarina, my delusional brother Simmon Lavendale - or The Author, as he is now called - has written his own stories and brought them into reality. Your people feature prominently in one of his tales, Adventures on Goldbone Isle, and I seek to inform you as much as I can about the story before you venture here to witness it for yourself: My brother and I grew up in a port city, and living on the ocean’s edge certainly shaped some of Simmon’s literary preferences. He himself never actually went sailing, but he nonetheless loved to hear about the sailors and their voyages, and they served as his first big inspirations for his writings. In fact, Simmon’s first published novel was a high-seas adventure starring daring pirates and glimmering treasure, and that genre of fiction will always hold a special place in his heart. To that end, he created Goldbone Isle as an homage to the genre when he finally had the chance to build his own world. Stretching across the sea south of Lavendalir, Goldbone Isle and the surrounding islands are the homeland of the Dwarves and High Ogres of this land, as well as home to an extensive variety of exotic flora and fauna you might expect to find around a bunch of tropical islands. If there’s any place where you can find sailors and pirates of all sorts, merfolk swimming in sparkling lagoons, maps leading to buried treasure, sea monsters attacking ships, and other things like that, it’s there. In ages past, the islands were so plentifully abundant with valuable resources that the native Dwarves lived lavish lives, trading gold and precious gems for anything they might want. In those days, practically all a Dwarf had to do was break ground on a new island in order to make themselves set for life. Unfortunately, those days of splendor did not last forever. Eventually, the islands’ untapped valuable reserves began to run out, and the scarcity of gold led to it becoming even more sought after. The once-limitless supply of treasure became finite, and that meant that if you wanted wealth, you’d have to take it from someone else. Selfish greed began to infest the archipelago, and Dwarven pirates quickly began to fill the sea. The towns and ports on some of the larger islands had enough defenses to ward off marauders, but their ships were not as well defended out on the open sea. There had once been a great navy led by the High Ogres that kept the ocean safe, but it had fallen to ruin years ago, and now sailors and small islands were at the mercy of the corsairs. Pirate bands became too widespread and abundant to be stopped by any army, but they were also too organized and independently strong to be quelled by individuals. The sailors and other islanders found themselves in a tough spot. To fight the pirates would risk their boats and valuables, all of which they needed for keeping their trade and livelihoods afloat, but they could not simply let the pirates do as they please. To protect their ships from pirates, they eventually resigned themselves to paying tribute to pirates in exchange for protection. But the costs that the pirates would extort from the honest folk are high, and many are either forced to dig deeper and more dangerously for more resources, or simply turn to piracy themselves. It’s a dangerous and vicious cycle, and the locals live in fear knowing that their entire lives might be uprooted by pirates at any time. If the widespread issue of pirate attacks and extortion wasn’t bad enough, recent developments have appeared on the horizon that are set to make the islanders’ lives even more difficult. The dreaded Captain Saltbeard - a notorious and fearsome Dwarf pirate warlord and a loyal servant to my brother - has recently made bold declarations across the sea that she shall be the first Queen of the Archipelago, ushering in a hitherto unprecedented era of greed-powered corruption and oppression if she succeeds. Her ship, The Victorious, is leading an armada of mysterious ships that seemed to come out of nowhere, and more and more independent islands are falling into servitude following the fleet’s attacks. Rumors are saying that the mysterious ships are crewed by the ghosts of the fallen High Ogre navy, pulled from their watery graves and now under Saltbeard’s command. How she managed to accomplish that, nobody knows, but it makes her fleet a nigh-unstoppable force compared to anyone else on the sea. Not even the fortifications of the primary Goldbone Isle will be able to withstand an attack from it, and if The Victorious gets there, Saltbeard’s rule is almost guaranteed. The ghostly armada sails closer all the time, and soon there will be nothing preventing Saltbeard from seizing Goldbone Isle and all the other islands as her dominion. Many are saying that to cross Saltbeard is to have yourself, your friends, and maybe your entire town destroyed to fuel her greed. If there is any group of people that I believe can defeat Simmon’s pirate lackey and release the High Ogres’ spirits back to their proper rest, though, I am certain it would be the adventurers from all around Fortannis.
Though you are a stranger to the land within the book, surely you will agree that the suffering that is plaguing your kin and their homeland must come to an end, and I await your arrival to help confront my brother’s schemes.

Sincerely,
Gaius Lavendale The Editor
Gilwing,

Thank you for your input of the story. The transmission of these alerts are a touch disorientating. Please note that this method of communication is being used by the Editor likely within the limits of the location.

With regards,
Lucian
 

Gilwing

Administrator
Alliance Logistics
Alliance Owner
I'm assuming the Editor is safely in one of the stories. Hopefully we don't have to figure out which book.
 

Gilwing

Administrator
Alliance Logistics
Alliance Owner
Good evening,

To all those waiting, the assessment has been updated.

Lucian.

Amazing work Lucian. I hope all take the time to go over the details that you have laid out for all of us. I'm sure we will need it.
 
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