The Mistwalker Journal

Bri Bedore

Newbie

The Mistwalker Journal

February the First; Year 418


-Current Events-

An Intangible Tsunami Sweeps the Continent
By Armasol Ve’Sayde; Story Keeper

A massive blast of magic erupted from Isenhjem’s mountains of Ice and Dawn, sending out a wave of dazzling color and sensation throughout the continent. The ripples, described by some like the Northern Lights and by others as comet tails, also produced a ubiquitous feeling of disquiet. Such an event is completely unprecedented, but stranger still are the effects left in the wake of this brilliant burst.

Across the continent, beings have inexplicably changed. Some had their abilities altered, others jumped to another race entirely. Others still have vanished without a trace, while strangers arrive knowing no one and nothing about the world, as if they’d been sucked from another shard.

Denizens of Isenhjem are uniformly different, shards of stone protruding from their bodies and an uncharacteristic serenity about their person.

In the Empire, Crimson Inquisitors are out in droves, far exceeding the number previously assumed their order maintained, exerting citizens to remain at home as much as possible. The extent of the storm’s effects have yet to be determined, but the Crimson Inquisition assures that everything is in hand.

Elsewhere, various authorities have been dispatched to ensure the safety of their respective nation’s citizens. When Terras’ Knights of Sepira investigated neighboring tunnels of Umbrussa, they found that the Umbrussans “hadn’t heard any such blast,” according to one merchant. The merchant’s cousin, however, had mysteriously turned into a Hobbling, which the merchant justified as, “his mother’s side was always a bit odd, y’know?”

Tribes in Vuka have not reacted so calmly to the shifts appear to align with prophecies or at the very least superstitions. (See “RUN”, in Submissions)

And yet whatever the change may be, it seems as though the altered state is in line with the changeling’s innermost heart… as though it was the change they always wished for deep inside, granted strangely by this old magic.

We find ourselves suddenly standing on shifting soil, the very world around us mutable. If reality is malleable, what will change next, and more importantly, who is in command of its changing shape?



-Society-

The New-new with the Who’s-who
By Gigi La Fosse

Some of the most notorious nobles of Radiant Helios have been behaving rather strangely this winter. But Sarr don’t change their spots, and this rumor connoisseur is determined to prove that these strange shifts in character are actually perfectly within character for these aberrant aristocrats.

Subject one: the ever-stylish Baroness Von Heisell hasn’t been seen at her usual party circuit, nor has she invited guests to her parlor. I waited patiently for an invite to her wine-tasting this harvest, and never received one. Imagine. Shall we conclude that Herod’s expansions (and alleged witchcraft) put the outspoken Baroness in her place? Hardly. Rather, I believe that she’s keeping all of her wine for herself, and has been drinking herself into oblivion all winter. By all accounts, she hardly leaves her home, except to wander her grounds, leaning on a servant. Nursing a hangover, obviously.

Subject two: play-boy Robert DuVak seems to be turning over a new leaf after a long line of debacles. (DuVakles, we’ll call them.) He has spent all Winter in the boot-heel of nowhere in a tent-city full of apparent refugees. Would a philandering fop like Robert deign to soil his cuffs with the tears of the downtrodden? Is he taking responsibility for his people at last? Don’t believe it, fair reader. I have been lead to believe that there is an absurd concentration of musicians, storytellers, and poets in the area and that Selunari barons have been reported coming and going. The clear conclusion is that this tent-city is actually an elaborate, clandestine festival to entertain DuVak and his hundreds of friends. Wild parties, performances, and all manner of debauchery no doubt take place all season long. They simply party so hard that they dishevel themselves to such a foul degree. Classic DuVak.

As I have detailed so plainly, the nobility of Helios are simply a different breed from the muck-a-muck citizens, and invariably true to their nature. Drawing wild conclusions that they have “human motivations” and “basic empathy” is absurd, and indeed can only be achieved through unnatural contortions of logic.

Lucky for you, I, Gigi La Fosse, am your loyal informant on the other side of every rumor, and my beautiful ears hear everything. Where there’s a story to be had, you know I’ll hop to it!

Until next time!~
xoxo (\_/) xoxo



“Our Hero Herod” Conquers the Audiences of Sonnenspire
By Margrave Wolffe; Entertainment Critic

In the shining city of Sonnenspire tonight history was made, and retold. The play “Our Hero Herod” opened with all the acclaim and honor the great hero of the Empire is deserving of. A play written by Holly, the famed Selunari thespian and citizen of the Empire has done it again with her masterful skill. She has crafted a story and a tale that had the audiences on the edge of their seats.

The play masterfully recounts the tale of Baron Herod, growing up as a young commoner and working his way up, and then finding the downtrodden Baroness, on the verge of suicide. He nurses her back to health, and then on her wedding day, she is stolen by the evil Lord Brightstone. Of course it is clearly understood how the Lord has usurped his role from his weak relative, and saw this as a chance to keep hold of the lands Malidor could not.

Of course the role of Herod is played by Tad Bridt, who as you know is Sonnenspire’s handsomest bachelor, and the role of the Baroness was played by Rhea Kite Kingly. Both of whom give amazing performances, and deserved the standing ovations as well as calls for them to take extra bows.

It introduces many characters the audience was not formally aware of, such as Squire Hilder, played by Stub VicSeeme, who you may know from his former roles as the large Assassin in ‘The Shadow King’ and who played the simpleton oaf in the comedy ‘Take who?’. As well as clarified the interesting relationship she had with the head of the Ashen Maidens, particularly after the noble Baron spurned the advances of the harlot traitor. The play does foreshadow the untimely demise of the treacherous group of spurned sword maids, and highlights the nobility of the people like the Baron.

At the end, when the six soldiers sacrificed their lives so he could save his wife and deftly capture the foolish Hildr there was not a dry eye in the house. The only question is, why have you not gone to see this play?

The Commerce guild and Lucas Clair is producing this and this play will be touring the Empire. Already they are arranging for it to be held in all the main cities and places of urban development. On top of that, if you need travel, with the ticket stub food and housing is half off at all Commerce guild approved lodging.

I must say, if you are half as impressed as I was with this play, you will understand why he truly is ‘Our Hero Herod’.



Sonnenspire Confusing Ticket Sales with Bribe Money
By Armasol Ve’Sayde; Story Keeper

As a collector of the happenings in our world, I thought to catch up on missed events by attending a play. ‘Our Hero Herod’ was playing in Sonnenspire as I was passing through.

I’m a chronicler, not a critic.

But something very horrifying is happening on Empire stages--and I’m not merely referring to the whinging of the lead actress. Propaganda is spreading further and further into the arts, without even the decency to costume itself as engaging entertainment.

All you need to know is this: A Selunari Playwright has written a drama deifying a man who enslaves her own people. And she wrote it in A B A B rhyming verse. The entire thing.

Were I not sworn to remember, I would drink to forget those four hours of ‘theater’.



-Submissions-

Concernnin Straeng Folk at the Ouposte
By Tyber Johannsen; farmer

Ther re sum folke theese parts dont ‘precate adventursum typ settlin at the outpost.

I lyk em fine. Goods git bot. Trades up. New folk pass thru.

And. 1 tim. Saw me a woman walk rit outa a tree, eyes lyk vyletts. Nevr see nothn lyk befor ventur folk come by.

Thinkin of yon tree lady kep me werm all wintr.


RUN
Passed from the mouth of NarrowMaw; Medicine-woman of Carrion-Fist Tribe

The waves of light portend an opening. Not an open door, but a scar cracking with fester.

It is an omen, civil world, feral world.

The wave of the End Tide rushes towards your feet, and still you do not turn, and still you do not run.


Looking a Gift Lande in the Soil
By Jolyn Withers; Displaced citizen of Engleheim

Allowe me to preffass that I am graetful for the land givenn my family and myself.The Outposte is a fyne section of Empire, I supposse, if one likes terrifying magick ruins and sieges and evil cults of goblynn and evry manner of ill thing at ones threshholde. Annde nothing grows.

At home, oranges grewwe like jewells thru the winter.

Here, Fayte sends staggs to trample my turnyps.

I proppose the Destyned do somthing to teache us how to defend ourselves, for I swearr with Weavers as my Witnesse, I’d rather braev Herod’s troops than an other Magick Eating Beetle roaming the night.



The Well Earned Rest
Haiku by Erathalyn Lackless; Wanderer

Winter reigns, howling,
Yet dreaming spring laughs.
All sleepers must someday wake.
 

Bri Bedore

Newbie

The Mistwalker Journal

March the First; Year 419

-Current Events-


Helios: The Great Hydra
By Armasol Ve’Sayde; Story Keeper

After the death of the Last Emperor, the once grand Empire split itself into a fractured, snarling beast. Each Barony is like the head of a Hydra--dragging the body in disparate directions, snapping at the others--a savage argument of supremacy that’s stretched on for twenty years.

The only thing that seems to quell the chaos is when something tasty gets too close, and all those heads stop fighting and turn, drooling, to look.

The strange phenomenon in Isenhjem devastated the population of the Free People, and immediately Regent Edmund Vol set his sights on a new, icy colony. Estar’s twin rulers took it as a good opportunity to prove themselves grand opportunists, and prepared to make their move to invade the frozen north.

Solus, however, tired of Helios’s ravenous imperialism, swooped in with aid. Prince Thalin Amarth of Kardain, an old friend of the Free People, mobilized his alabaster ice-breaker ships to protect the people of Isenhjem and aid in reconstruction. It was a friendly implication that if the Empire decided to invade the weakened north, they would be contending with Solus.

And just like that, with nothing else to chew on, Estar has unraveled into civil war.

Baron Hector Silvermaine and his twin sister Baroness Silvia are now at odds for which is the rightful ruler of Estar, and the rest of the Empire rolls their eyes and continues snapping at each other over their own turmoil.

Engleheim’s new Baron Regent, Sieger Waldemar, has made the region profitable again and is dispersing food to the rest of the realm. However, with its citizenship drastically depleted and its countryside plagued with terrorist activity, how could they possibly be keeping food outputs so high? What quality of life can Engleheim offer its own people?

Wasserlund’s Commerce Guild continues to keep the economy roaring at a steady boom through heroics of arm twisting, propaganda, and shady trade deals. But the stocks are high and the market continues to flow… but it flows exactly where the Commerce Guild wills it, and nowhere else.

Veldan is more isolated than ever, and Shadowmire can’t remember whether they’re a land of the realm or a band of fanatics.

Litimore remains obsessed with its lord’s bad marriage, and no one is sure whether his wife remains in his care or if she’s running rampant through Dwarven lands. Reports vary. Despite his matrimonial misadventures, Herod is still pushing for the Barons to meet for the Electoral Summit. He insists that this is the very time the Empire needs to band together, but his overt ambitions for the Golden Throne are plain as the blue scar on his face.

Regent Edmund Vol has no stance on the ambitions of his Barons other than irritation. Any Baron wishing to ascend as leader of the realm must obtain at least 4 of the 7 votes from their peers, and in two decades no Baron has voted for anyone but themselves. His idea of controlling the beast he allegedly rules is merely to appease each head of the monster enough to keep them from devouring each other.

Will the great empire ever reforge itself into one nation? Will the heads of the Hydra strangle and starve one another until only one remains? Or, like the mythical beast, are they doomed forever to fracture again and again?



-Society-

Tall, Dark, and Unrequited
By Gigi La Fosse

We all know the tales of the famed Adventurer Trio: Rurik Brightstone, Styles McGuinness, and Selenis Lorekeeper, made famous in the two-copper tales sold in most every Aetherian bookstore*. Tales of daring do, friendship, mystery, and magic, starring Brightstone, the stoic, level headed warrior; Styles, the charismatic and debonair swashbuckler; and Selanis, the bearded beauty with an incredible talent for magic.

What those famous stories don’t tell you, however, is the secret passion between Styles and Selenis.

She, the most beautiful dwarf maiden anyone has ever seen, and he, roguish and charming, trading life-debts in adventures as they gallivant across the world… oh, and Brightstone was there too, doing… stuff.

But a scalding connection shared on the roads to fame and fortune is one thing, and a real relationship is quite the other.

When they were to part ways, Styles, a man desperately in love, implored her to stay with him.

“No,” said Selenis, a tear falling into the copper waves of her beard, “it could never be, Styles…”

“WHY?” he begged, most indecorously**.

“Because,” sighed she, “you are simply too tall for it to ever work between us.”

What else could a man say? What else could he do but be heart-broken?

And so it was that Selenis became engaged to Thaddeus Hammerchosen, the most eligible bachelor in all of Dwarfdom***. The romance, it seems, would be forever behind them. Doomed to only be an implication between the lines of two-copper tales, doomed to live only in the hearts of their fans...

But then! The magical storm blasts across the continent, leaving change in its wake!

Styles McGuinness has been transmogrified into a Hobbling.

And now he’s the ideal height for our diminutive dwarven beauty, precisely when she is out of his reach for good.

When this reporter tried to secure an audience with Selenis, she found that she was too withdrawn to take an audience with anyone, absolutely anyone.

We are left only to wonder: what is to become of our adventuresome lovers? Will they reconcile? Can Selenis bear to go through with her marriage? Can Styles stop her??

Stay tuned, faithful readers, for I shall not desert you, and my quest for truth shall never falter!

Until next time!~
xoxo (\_/) xoxo


Footnotes:
* This fact is assumed, and has not been tested. This reporter cannot remember every book store she has visited, but seems to remember these stories for sale in all of them.
** The indecorous nature of begging is, again, assumed, as most begging is indecorous.
*** This reporter has no idea what makes a dwarf more eligible than another. A bigger collection of sparkly rocks? I suppose at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to get the biggest collection of sparkly rocks, right?




-Submissions-


WANTED: REWARD FOR INFORMATION ON VIGILANTE AND VANDAL BEHAVIOR
(Posted in tribe territories throughout Vuka)


Unknown persons have been acting outside of Council edicts, killing Bleeding Eye clansmen. Bodies have been found heaped together, all with one eye carved from their heads. These clansmen are assumed guilty for various crimes throughout the tribelands, however, it is a matter for the Council’s wisdom and is not to be taken on by radical individuals.

These persons are believed to be connected to strange acts of vandalism--intricate carvings of eyes have been found on official buildings, bridge-ways, and dug into the earth. While not dangerous, they are damaging and often disturbing.

Report any information to Officers of the Overwatch or through audience with the Council of Elders. Useful intel will be met with a requisite reward.



Pilgrim’s Plight
By Syvwlch Mordecai; mercenary from Denik’s Anvil

When I was a lad, my older brother fell dreadful sick. My pa took him and me on a journey ‘cross the Valley of Trosk to Starfell Grove in Vuka, and the good magicks there cured my brother. I never forgot the beauty of the dryads, the sweetness of the water, and the peace of the little town of Haven.

I make my life by the sword, and on my last contract got bad hurt. Can’t use my right arm for near anything. So, remembering the good magicks, I made the journey to Starfell hoping to set my arm right.

The whole thing is closed down. Guarded, even. A body can’t even get to Haven, let alone into the Grove. And these elven guards won’t say boo about why--they’re pretending that’s as it always was.

Does anyone know what’s happened?



To All Oathsworn who Could Not Answer The Call...
Missive spread by Luukas Issol; Acting Jarl of Kohtaa’Tavata

To those who are far from home, to those who are left living:

Almost all our number are killed--slain by Elementals unnatural to this plane and alien to our sacred Earth. They have been defeated in the name of that Earth, in the name of that Oath, and thus we are Victorious.

If you are far from the Mountains of Ice and Dawn, you may choose to come Home to help us rebuild. Or, you may walk far from us, knowing that every piece of earth on which you step is still the Earth that you call Home, and so plant seeds of our Oath with each step.

The Free People are well. We are still strong. And we are rising once more.

Walk with honor.



How to Hide: a Guide for Dummies
By Artemis Runningfree; Deerkyn

Me and my friend Aries make a lot of new friends, (well, Aries makes a lot of new friends and I get them too because Aries is my best friend), and we’ve been meeting a lot of Lizardmen and Lizardkyn who are running super fast out of Vuka (which is a good idea because Vuka is the scariest (I know because I grew up there (and I was the most expert at being scared when I was a fawn))).

All of our Lizard friends keep saying that “Evil is coming” as they run out of Vuka (which is why they’re running) but I thought maybe if they knew how to hide they wouldn’t have to run so super fast. And if evil is coming (is it?!) then maybe everyone should learn how to hide.

--How to Hide--

Step 1: Find the best shadows. Dappled shadows are best if you have spots. Stripey shadows from ferns are best if you’re stripey.

Step 2: Be one with your hidey spot. Don’t be bigger than your spot, and don’t pick a place you can’t run away from if need be.

Step 3: Stay so super still. But! If you picked the wrong spot, standing so super still will be so super bad. You will look like a dumb statue and will become a snack!!

Step 4: Don’t be a hero. (This is the most important step!!!) If your friends are getting eaten, stay put. It’s nature’s way. If you move, nature will have her way with you instead.

Step 5: If all else fails, run so super fast and kick the chasing-thing if it’s in kicking range. (Self explanatory step (Unless you’re a dummy))

If you follow this guide then Evil will not get the chance to snack on you. Stay safe, and stay hidden!!



Panache of the Upper Class
By Erathalyn Lackless; Wanderer

There once was a lord from High Port
Whose wife babbled about his big wart.
The peers were aghast,
But the Lord held steadfast,
And instead brought his mistress to court.
 

Bri Bedore

Newbie
The Mistwalker Journal
April, Year 419


-Current Events-


A Harvest in Spring
By Armasol Ve’Sayde; Story Keeper

Just after the Spring Solstice, a seemingly tiny happening in the quiet moonlight has changed the fate of our small region forevermore. A Harvest Ritual was completed, endowing the surrounding earth with a vitality and fertility that can only be described as miraculous.

Such a ritual is an impossibly delicate and difficult undertaking. A myriad of tiny variables could have thrown the entire advent off track with results ranging from disappointing to disastrous. The casters were made up of experienced magic users from Malidor’s Outpost--among them a local Orcish Shaman, Dryrot, who has taken a death to complete this advanced ritual. Through this act, he endowed a piece of his life-force to the earth, like priming a pump so that the water may flow. The land that was once pained and healing from war, corruption, and neglect, has been enlivened and enriched.

The food crisis of the region has effectively ended, as the land’s ability to produce food has more than tripled. Rather than the usual 3 harvest rotations in agriculture (ie: Spring’s strawberries, Summer’s corn, and Fall’s wheat), outputs are projected to 9-12 harvests during the warm seasons this year. And even then, each individual crop will yield massive fruits. Imagine a sweet yellow squash the size of a warrior’s leg, tomatoes like watermelons, and raspberries one could wear as mittens, each sprouting continually from the earth. The days of rations and starvation are over.

As wonderful as this may be, such a huge shift will undoubtedly have lasting consequences--most of which we can only assume at present. There is, at the very least, ample work for the Englehiem refugees in the care and harvest of crops, as well as the storage and management of excess for trade and winter-use. The trade tariffs imposed by Helios are fairly well neutered, as the region no longer has to depend on imports to sustain the population, and in fact these crops might offer a very lucrative export for the local economy. It’s also worth noting that there is some unrest among the surrounding forest-folk--there are those who are delighted at the enlivening of the earth, but there are also those who see the ritual as unnatural meddling in the healing processes of the land. We can only wonder at the implications of such an agricultural and economical shift, however, and hope we can contain the bounty that has arrived at our doorstep.

Once again change accosts us, and once again all we can do is accept. The people of the region are at last delivered from the vice-grip of winter, and perhaps we will be able to fight back against the economical machinations of the Empire. This is a time to give thanks to the land and turn our hearts towards a future full of promise. A tremendous Spring Festival is in the works so that we may all come together in fellowship and celebration, but from now until the snowfall, every day will be a Harvest Jubilee.



-Society-


“Engaged to a Goblin”:
An Exclusive, Tell-all Interview with a Survivor of the Hearless Cult

By Gigi La Fosse

When you’re a real journalist, you don’t have to seek out stories. They find you, whether through the inspiration of the muses, or in the form of a strange convoy of refugees escorting a young Engleheim maiden towards Sonnenspire.

The young lady, one Gerda Berthelsen, had been taken in the night by Goblins and only recently rescued. One need only look at her utterly impressive uni-brow and saucer-sized ears to imagine why this miss was singled out from amongst her peers for kidnapping. But it is not her appearance that fascinated me so, but rather her story.

Below is a transcription of our interview (published with permission of Gerda herself and her father) for the amazement and delight of you, dear reader.


Q: What happened on the night you were taken?

A: We were on our way to the land Mister DuVak had set aside for us, a new farm, right proper like. We circled the wagons at night and posted a watch, a’course. But one night, I dunno what happened, but a strapping young goblin snatched me from my bedroll and carried me off into the night. Just ‘im alone, none others with ‘im.

(Here, reader, Gerda sighs and clasps her hands together.)

‘Is name is Singbad.


Q: And why didn’t he eat you, or take your ears?

(And now she blushes.)

A: ‘E said my ears were a trophy for ‘is tribe. Presentin’ ‘em to ‘is chief would put ‘im back in their good graces, like. I think he meant to take my ears a’first, but that first night all my yellin’ and ruccus brought a bear and I… well y’see back home there are big critters like bears, an’ I know how tah handle ‘em, so I scared it off right proper.

Singbad looked up at me, pointed at ‘imself, and said “Keep Singbad safe, scary girl. Get Singbad to Big-Huh Chief.”

It’s a scary world for a goblin, and I kep’ us safe as houses. That was our courtship.

Then on the road, ‘e gave me a necklace of ears, sayin’ “Keep safe, scary girl” again. I was so overcome it made me cry, it did. I never thought I’d be the first of my friends to get engaged.


Q: I’m sorry... Engaged? Are you sure?

A: A’course! That gesture is clearly a proposal of marriage in goblin culture, what else. And he was escortin’ me back home to meet the in-laws, y’know.

(To my horror, she reaches into her apron pocket and produces a necklace strung with human ears.)

I keep it with me always. ...Don’t tell my pa.


Q: And did you… return Singbad’s… affection?

A: I ain’t ever had a beau before. ‘E mostly only said “WHAT” at me whenever I talked at ‘im, but all the women rag ‘bout how husbands don’t rarely ever listen, so I figure it’s as it should be. Besides, the heart don’t need words tah speak.


Q: What happened then? Did you get to the, uh, Big-Huh Chief?

A: Nah… Mister DuVak sent my Pa and some’a my uncles with some o’them Em’rald Falcon types and they tracked us down…

When they found us, I begged Singbad to run, save ‘imself. But ‘e kept yellin’ ‘bout the necklace, and reachin’ out for me… said ‘e’d get the necklace, and find me no matter where I went.

(Another great, dreamy sigh from Gerda.)

That’s when I knew ‘e really loved me. Singbad’ll find me again. Someday. Somehow. I’ll wait for ‘im till he come.


You’d be relieved to know, reader mine, that Gerda is being escorted by her Veteran father and uncles to a sanatorium in Sonnenspire, hence their convoy passing through our fair Outpost. Hopefully this ends the story of Singbad and Gerda, but if there is more to tell, fear not, I shall tell it true.

And now, darlings, you must bear my absence from the Outpost for a time. Boss-man Armasol, Editor-in-Chief, is sending yours truly to Cerise Savereaux for the annual wine tasting! I’m off as a field reporter to rub elbows with big-wigs, celebrities, and nobles from all over Fortanis for the most important social event of the year.

Prepare for the society article of the age. I know you absolutely can’t wait. And neither can I.

Until next time!~
xoxo (\_/) xoxo


PS: Anyone who donates to my “New Dress Fund” will get a super-special-secret about one of the luminaries I meet in Cerise! *some restrictions may apply, value of information corresponds to value of donation, offer not available in all provinces*



-Classifieds-

Wanted: Spell Components!
Local buyer seeks Ritual Reagents for a Worthy Cause!
Top coin offered for Penna, Wand, and Nightshade!
All inquiries to be addressed to Aden Corso, Gentleman of Court!


The Healers of the White Flame Welcome You!
By Ivan Koval; Guildmaster and High Healer

Have you performed triage in the Battle of Malidor’s Outpost? Were you a medic in the trenches during the Litimore Invasion? Were you up to your elbows in goblin parts during the first wave of the Hearless assaulting our region? Do you know what herb is needed to increase fertility in female Howl Bears?

If so, The Healers of the White Flame needs you!

The White Flame Healers are ready for any situation at any given time. With convenient locations all over Dragonhold, you should never be far from help! Whether it's a sword through the skull or you need your goblin pox vaccination renewed, we're here for you. We employ the finest physicians, surgeons, healers, apothecaries and herbalists to offer the finest care available.

"It is the duty of the healers to maintain the health of their fellow citizen." – White Flame, Guild Charter, Version V, Vol. III

Interested individuals are encouraged to seek out Ivan Koval to learn more about the Healer’s Oath, as well as the benefits and burdens of being a Healer. Squeamish peoples might be advised to address the Mage’s Guild instead.



Reward for Information: Famiglia de Mezzanotte
The Mezzanotte family didn’t exist two years ago. Not in any circles of note, that is. No merchants, dignitaries, nor military persons by that name ever graced a ledger or invitation list.

While no one knows where they’ve come from, they’re spreading their influence fast as pox.

Mezzanotte’s are everywhere. They’re at every event, every summit, and their fingerprints are all over every business deal in the Mountain Kingdom. Most recently, they’ve been purchasing a lot of land, shops, and warehouse spaces all throughout Umbrassa with seemingly bottomless purses.

Such ambition cannot go unchecked. Any information on their origins or intentions will be rewarded accordingly.

Letters must be double-sealed and sent to Cipriano Castile of Overhang, Umbrassa


Reward Offered!
Motivated buyer seeks Blissful Rest ritual scroll!
Looking for immediate purchase!
All offers to be presented to Aden Corso, Town Councilman!


Missed Connection: Beautiful Dwarf with a Sunshine Smile and a Liver of Steel
By Wallace Keech; Traveling Merchant

It was early March in the Broken Drum Tavern.

I was the human Merchant with dark brown hair and a traveler’s three-day scruff on my chin.

You walked up to the bar, a sashay in your hips and your braided, blonde beard swaying. You ordered half-dozen drinks to be delivered to the card table. But instead of sharing them with the other players, you created a fortress of steins around your poker chips, drinking the ale with a straw as you stared down your opponents.

I joined the card game--I had to know who you were. But I had no idea how to play. You laughed at me.

I lost every hand. It cost me two gold and silver change. But when I said it was worth it to lose to such a beautiful face, you smiled at me like a mountain full of gold must smile.

You bought me a drink. Then another.

I passed out dead-drunk under the table, cuddling an empty stein instead of you.

If this was you, or if you know how I can find this mysterious gambler, please contact Wallace Keech, traveling merchant from Harbortide.



-Submissions-

Little Lamb
by Karenza Brasher

Little lamb, little lamb
Blue gems and golden hair
Face like your mother
Beauty like the stars
Unfair circumstance
Stolen innocence

Mamma lamb, mamma lamb
Blue gems and golden hair
Voice of your ancestors
Burden to bear
Broken family
Life cut short

Sister lamb, sister lamb
Green gems and golden hair
Guilt of your deeds
Fight for your people
Digging for hope
Trudging along

May ancestors guide us
When our path feels most wrong



The Virtuous Warrior
By Lt. Enzo Lucaris; Guildmaster and Knight of Fethrin

The path of the warrior is difficult to tread. On the surface, one is required to achieve a physical excellence and mental fortitude, which of itself is a great task of discipline. Strength, endurance, clarity, and speed are necessary to achieve an edge over one’s enemies.

But after one has achieved these things, how are they to be used?

A warrior who follows the whims of others, who wanders from battle to battle and from pleasure to pleasure is directionless, lost. Such a warrior is a force of destruction, as thoughtless as a devouring fire.

But fire need not merely destroy.

A fire warms a hearth, fuels a forge, and brings the road-weary close to find safety and rest.

Once a warrior has achieved excellence in mind and body, it is the soul that must next be tempered.

How does one choose who to save and who to slay? What is a righteous action? Who is the voice that whispers us our truth? And how, how, does one wash the blood from their hands and meet one’s own gaze in the mirror without the impulse to look away?

Honor is as universal as Love--as easy to recognize and as difficult to define. Let me help you see your own honor more clearly.

After centuries of victory and defeat, war and peace, pondering these questions has become my life’s work. I cannot give you the answers, but it is my hope that I may guide you in your journey, and that each discovery will be yours and yours alone.

If you wish to walk the path of the Warrior, I encourage you to consider joining The Company, the local Fighter’s Guild, that I may assist your growth directly. If you follow a different path but still find interest in this topic, I’ll be describing the Virtues of Wodain in new articles each month.

The best of me honors the best of you.

Good luck out there.


When you accidentally leave yo girl on ‘read’
A Pastoral By Erathalyn Lackless; Wanderer

All Shepherds know their sheep must roam
For greenest grass is far from home.
Farmers plant their seeds in dark earth,
Then patience yields the harvest’s worth.

As the Swallow soars north once more,
Receding waves return to shore.
Just so, my love, be not bereft--
My wand’ring heart ne’er truly left.
 
Last edited:

Bri Bedore

Newbie
The Mistwalker Journal
May, Year 419


-Current Events-


Predation in Dragonhold
By Armasol Ve’Sayde; Story Keeper


Dragonhold is a land of possibility and mystery, and as a seeker of stories I knew that it would offer plenty of subjects from which I could draw tales.

It seems that I am not the only seeker who has come to slake his thirst.

Dragonhold is not only a land of stories, but of Predators, and they become bolder by the day.

We all know of the tribes from the Goblin Hills and their obsession with taking the ears of every sentient creature that crosses their path, but they’re about as troublesome as a wandering troupe of rogue goats that eat more grass than they ought to compared to the predators that have settled in.

What once were whispers became rumors, and have ripened into warnings: a repeat killer roams Dragonhold, known only by the name whispers have given them: The Surgeon. Nothing is known about this monster except their incredible talent for precision, their love of lavender, and an appetite for organs. Do they harvest them for a dark ritual? A demented delicacy, perhaps? While they remain at large, none but their victims have any answers.

Even the plant life has grown hungry and ungentle. The Great Harvest has been a boon, of course, but somehow heavy vines have run rampant throughout settlements. These climbing vines have ruined pipelines, collapsed wells, and in some instances pulled down roofs. While no fatalities have been reported, dozens have been injured and costs of repair continue to climb. Somehow, it seems that the plants target any new construction with particular vehemence. Workers have cut down and even burned all new sprouts, but the land has grown too fertile--it seems all one has to do is turn their back and the land begins to tears at the works of mankind.

While these factors alone are heavy contributors to unease, developments over the last few weeks have all citizens on edge.

All over the Dragonhold region, children have been abducted from their families.

A few per village vanish into the night, or never return home from an errand. Then within 24 hours, the children are returned by a regiment of well-armed Lizardmen and Snakekin.

The children are always returned, but never unharmed.

Every child abducted by the Scale Tribes returns home scalped--their heads left raw, red and white with exposed skull--blood dried in track marks down their faces like black tears.

Families have been whipped into a frenzy over these events, but no attempts to retrieve the children before they are hurt or administer retribution have been successful. Anyone who raises violence against the Scaled Tribes are cut down.

Peace may be out of our reach, but courage is in no short supply. These predators can be confronted as all predators must be--they will learn through our resolve that we are not prey, and they are not welcome here.



-Society-

The Big Show
By Gigi La Fosse


All you devotees of the Art of Whispering-Behind-Fans and The-Well-Placed-Sneer know that the stage of society is just that: a stage. It’s all a show we put on for each other.

The Wine Festival in Cerise Savoureux is the biggest show of them all--the biggest players in the game are there to rub elbows, get a little tipsy, and deliberately spill secrets. It’s the most carefully crafted performance in all of Aetheria.

Yours truly, being the fearless, intrepid reporter I am, traveled across the continent to step foot on this stage, and found that it was… well, shoddy and shallow.

It was like showing up to the traveling circus and finding that all of the show-ponies were running the place.

Everyone was scared, distracted, or on their left foot. Each nation in our noble land has one woe or another, and their nobles brought those woes with them and tried to drown them in wine.

When I first arrived, I went to find the Tajiqan emissaries and their famous display of magic lights. Boss-Man Armasol had given me special instruction to meet up with an old friend of his, and I was going to surprise him with a new tin of his favorite tea, but the Luminescent Light Show wasn’t there... The caravan from Quidra had apparently canceled at the last minute on orders of The Vex Mortis--seems people are getting sick there. So no tea. No spiced wine. No Luminescents. Sorry Boss.

But they’re not the only ones grappling with a lethal case of the sniffles. Umbrassa is in a full panic and Denik’s Anvil is on total quarantine. The old merc hub wouldn’t have much to offer the Wine Festival except whatever bloody-mouthed-backwash brawl grog the fighters there like to drink, but even the other Umbrassan provinces were off their game. They wouldn’t bring anything too expensive because they didn’t have the mercenary protection to escort them to Terras. The nobles who did show up seemed more like they were hiding out in Cerise Savoureaux rather than putting themselves on display. That being said, the Mezzanotte’s brought a dark red that was almost as good as a Cerise vintage, and they were very polite if pandering. At least someone still cares about the Underfolk Panache.

Solus made an appearance, since one of their Princesses is soon to be married. Princess Dimera of the Plains arrived with her horse, Surya Apatistat, and her fiance, allegedly a member of the Balthane family, whose given name I never learned. She introduced Surya to everyone and her betrothed followed along with a stiff smile.

I found him at a soiree one night--he stood on a balcony, watching his intended ride Surya through the twilight gardens. The massive stallion’s footfalls wrecked the delicate lawn, but no one could bear to stop her. The sight of the Elven Princess and her golden horse caught up in the fading light was like the ballet of wind made tangible and opaque.

“I can’t expect her to love me more than her horse,” he said to me in an unexpected confidence.

“Don’t be so defeatist,” I said, plastering on a smile, “at least you’re smarter than he is.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” he Balthane boy just shook his head.

“You’re important to her too--”

“Surya isn’t important to her--he is her,” he insisted, “they’re parts of one hole. I shouldn’t get my feelings hurt.”

I think they’ll be fine, dear reader, don’t worry. Their handfasting has been postponed to the Fall Solstice, but rumor has it that it wasn’t the couple’s decision.

I thought that if I could count on anyone being pompous and pretentious, it would be the Helians. Empirical Nobles are consistently ostentatious and audacious--you could reset the balance of the world against their immovable self-importance. And yet, Queen Dawnthistle won’t accept any Commerce Guild Coin, and Terrasean trends have completely excommunicated Helian fashion. So every noble arrived in garish, ugly clothing and couldn’t buy anything new with their Commerce Guild Gold. I have never seen such a gaggle of disgruntled and embarrassed aristocrats. They huddled together in moping flocks, looking at everyone with faces like damp cats.

Baroness Katherine Von Heissel was the only exception of her peerage. With her incomparable taste as a connoisseur of wine, she has plenty of ties in Cerise Savoureaux. Her barony is also the only province in the Empire that doesn’t deal with the Commerce Guild, and she had four perfectly composed Terrasean ensembles every day.

I don’t need to tell you, fair reader, that she didn’t make any new friends among her Empirical countrymen. One of the aristocrats from Wasserlund noticed me scribbling away after talking to Von Heissel, and told me that she only changed her outfit so much so that she could have an excuse to rest. He claimed that she’s ill, and everyone knows that she’s getting weaker by the day.

I told that fop that I was the society writer, and that I wasn’t going to tolerate amateur dabbling in my article, and sent him on his way with a swat with my note-pad. Anyone could see in Baroness Kat’s trademark smile that she’d never been healthier, or, dare I say, happier.

And there you have it, my devoted darlings, a sample-sip of all the drama Aetheria has to offer. I wish it was less doom and gloom and parading plague rats, but we work with what we have.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m all too happy to return to backwater Dragonhold, where I can sample secrets from all over Aetheria and don’t have to smile for terrified Umbrassans or console elven Princelings. And no one asks me where my accent is from.

If you’re curious about more delicious details, you can find me sassing Armasol at the Mistwalker Headquarters, or you can buy me a fudgewine at The Broken Drum.

Until next time!~
xoxo (\_/) xoxo




-Submissions / Classifieds-


Payment for Informative Summaries

I will render coin or services for written information for accounts regarding the events of April 26-28 that befall those staying in or near Fort Alliance, or we're carried out by them.

At this time this is a personal project, though I expect in the future official funding will exist.

Compensation will begin at 3 silver for a small episode worth of tale & increase by that quanta in degrees of depth.

I am also willing to barter my skills as a merchant, Celestialist, and advocate or find other terms agreeable to the writer.

I understand some information may be sensitive and will keep it according to the wishes of the teller, but do aim to present and keep a public record of our gathers.

-Askeksa Firstforest
Mage's Guild
The Council



Come check out the GRAND OPENING of THE DEN!

As the premiere stop for entertainment in Fort Alliance, The Den offers games, drinks, and more!
Public Grand Opening: Saturday evening
For further information and promotional offers, speak with The Brothers



Beloved Son, Father, Husband and Foreman Passes and Is Remembered

Cipriano Priore Castile passed away May the Second, in the Year 419 in a sudden accident on his way home from his Metalurgic Forge in Overhang. A small stalactite fell as he crossed a bridge late at night, hitting the suspensions and sending the entire structure into the dark waters of the lake below. While his passing is a truly heartbreaking loss, his family has expressed that they are grateful no one else was crossing the bridge so that none other Underfolk were lost.

The Castiles hoped that this son would walk through the circle, but it seems he was not destined to fulfill a grander fate than his one prosperous life.

Cipriano is survived by his parents and number of siblings, his wife Foscarina and their daughter Marieta. He will be remembered for his cleverness, his brave heart, and his devotion to his family. The Castile family will be holding a service at Cipriano’s Forge on the Fifteenth of May, where the body will be cremated. His life was devoted to his work, and his spirit will continue to bring prosperity to all those who work in the Forge. He was an exemplar of the Castile family creed: Industry, Innovation, and Integrity.



Ode to Lovin a Dryad What Couldn't Be Worked Out Lasting Wise
By Timon Dastpicker; Stonemason

She was all a-twine
and I was all a-twitter.
I wast stuck to her and she to me,
sure as a burr where you sitter.
But she be tree folk and I be man,
and neither for trimming our ways.
Wished it twasn't wooden
and would have betwixt us,
but rooted I am and I stays.



The Virtue of Righteous Action
By Lieutenant Enzo Lucaris; Knight of Fethrin

There is no stand alone virtue among all of the teachings of The Way, or Woudain. They are each parts of the same body--your heart is not much use without your muscles, and your muscles can do very little without your mind--but each part must be studied in its own light in order to comprehend the whole.

The first Virtue of the path of Woudain is “Righteousness”, also translated into Common as “justice” or “correct action”.

How can a warrior believe in righteous action when the idea of right and wrong is so malleable?

What is just and good to a Baron’s Son in Helios might be wrong to a struggling artist in Terras, and what is unthinkable to an Orc of Vuka’s jungle might be commonplace to an Elf living overhead in the Attic. Some say, “that is what laws of the land are for”, or perhaps, “one follows the command of one’s betters.”

But when we give our power of choice away, how do we navigate once we are inevitably adrift in the seas of morality?

The first step is to not make any choice by happenstance. If you do choose to follow the laws of Land or Lord, why do you agree with those tenants? Do they reflect your values, do you trust the Lord you are sworn to? If you choose to follow a different code, then what values underpin those decisions? Learn to understand why you choose certain friendships over others, or why one cause draws you while another repels.

Question each decision before you make it: Why is this action worthwhile? What consequences will it give you, or those around you?

As you work with an awareness of your own decisions in conjunction with the other virtues, your own inner voice will clarify more and more. It might feel like a purpose, a moral compass, or a gut feeling. Define it as you will.

As a warrior, you take the lives of others into your care. Be it those you protect, or those you cut down. You must make each decision with the full belief that you are doing the right thing. If not, you demean your opponents, your comrades, and yourself.

Uncertainty will not vanish from your life--there will always be hard choices. You will make mistakes, and you must own up to them. But if you have to wonder, “Am I doing the right thing?”, you’re likely compromising your own values.

With time and dedication, you will find a kind of serenity, knowing that even your missteps will be made with your whole heart.

The best in me honors the best in you.

I know you’ll find your path.



Ne’er Has There Been a Fairer Spring Festival
by Jolyn Withers; of the Emerald Hills

I used to believve that ourre seasonal festas in Engleheime were the fineste in all the lannde, the fineste that e’er there’d bee.

The Harveste Jubillee we helde on May the First was finer than ane e’er recalled.

After thee Rituall that nyce Orc helpd withe, ne’er have we had suche bountee.

Ourre Maypole was a huuge Beanne Stallke! All Vegg was too bigg to hold a competition forre the Larrgeste, so farmers carrved sculptures from the massive Vegg and we cooked each arrte piece.

Dancing and musick saved ourre heartes lyke the bountee saved our bellies. After such chaotick seasons and harshe Winter, we feel lyke we have awakenned anneww withe the Spring.

If ane one wishes to joyne the Festa Committee for the Myddsummer Merrymayking, inquirre after mee, Jolyn Withers, in the Emeralde Hills.



Wanted: Spell Components!

Local buyer seeks Ritual Reagents for a Worthy Cause!
Top coin offered for Nightshade, Feyander, Penna, and Pyrotis

All inquiries to be addressed to Aden Corso, Gentleman of Court



Healing
by Erathalyn Lackless; Wanderer

After the violence,
The full river.
A dark and angry
Storm Scar
Chews the shore
Using Hail’s plucked teeth,
Howls with thunder’s
Hoarse rumble.

As streams spill out in
Lightning’s own fingerprints,
We pull back from the water,
Warn our children,
Protect our homes from
The engorged river, saying
The storm reigns still.

And yet the river,
Its arms full of rage,
Smiles with the sun’s face,
Gossamer bubbles dance
Over the bruise-black depths,
And flowers sleep in the womb
Of the riverbank.
 
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