Summarising the financial situation: we have broken even with 1 BP to spare. Yay! If we make the stability check, we will have – wait for it – 2bp. Ideally we’d like to make the economy check, too. But still hamstrung by lack of a magister. All other posts filled.
Well! It has been an eventful month! We are still surveying these lands, and we were going to be asking that Kobold chieftain if he would patrol the countryside. There’s a lot of advantages, you know, for him: his people will be allowed to move freely, they’ll get nice uniforms, and what’s more their tribe won’t simply be wiped out by Freedonia. But before we could visit him another problem cropped up: people being horribly killed, simply torn apart as if by a wild animal but without being, you know – eaten.
All the indications were that a lycanthrope was in the area, so we hustled all the farmers into the castle and set out to wait where it had has been spotted, with a nice little herd of the local sheep. Well it was just as well that His Lordship arranged an alarm signal back at the castle. We rode back as quick as possible (one of the horses injured itself in the dark, but I summoned a replacement) and what do you know – the castle had been attacked. So Morgana healed people up (they are calling her “Mistress mercy” now – how little they know) and we went hunting.
Not a difficult job. We came upon a man obviously in the grip of the condition – he was half transformed, yelling at us to stay back. Which I thought at the time was very much a point in his favour. We did the usual – Morgana enlarged Joup and I went in for a bit of a stab. Actually – only Rainor and I had silver weapons: I think I may have landed the final blow, but really I can’t say.
In any case, we decided it would be best to drag him back to the castle and publicly … well good question – but publicly something. We brought him in the back way and chained him up. After questioning some peasants, we found that someone had likely been bitten, so we chained him up too. Joup is actually something of the the armoursmith, and he lined the manacles with silver, working the forge himself in public. It caused comment, but I suppose a mere baron can get away with doing such things.
Anyway. The local who’d been biten recently got a wolfsbane potion, which Morgana had brewed so as not to be too poisonous – no point curing him if the cure kills him. The main lycanthrope told us a bit of a tale. He seems to be a tribesman wandering through the area – exiled or some such. Frankly, I didn’t catch the details. But he definitely seemed terribly honourable and remorseful and whatnot. The Baron would have been quite within his rights to execute him – both for the killings and also in the name of public health. But … well, we are rather short of good men.
So. We arranged for a remove curse for him, and we have put him in charge of the local constabulary. And for good measure, we’ll lock him up for the three days of the next full moon and see what happens. It seems unwise to put him in charge of the guards, but really he’ll do a splendid job, and if he turns werewolf again then – well – I expect that the other guards will do their duty.
But that all took a week or two to organise, and some other things happened as well.
While Kundal was in the lockup, we went to see Chief Sootscale to make our proposal. Thank Desna he speaks a little common now, so I didn’t have to translate. It was all quite courteous – we didn’t simply announce that we were annexing his territory. Although we were. Quite the keen negotiator is our kobold friend. He wanted his lands farmed in exchange for he and his tribe patrolling the countryside. We agreed, even though money is tight as anything. But really, from the deal we now have regular patrols, a nice bit of farmland, and a working coalmine (that’s where the “soot-scale” name of the tribe comes from). We have almost no reserves left, but I think that we are just about at break even point.
We also rather badly needed someone to act as diplomat and do foreign relations. We had the perfect candidate – a certain Kestin Greaves, or Quaves, or something (you know I can’t read my own writing). A third, or fourth, or fifth son or something stuck at Oleg’s trying to make a living. He was very happy to accept an official role in our government, and one that meant that he could head back to Restov and hob-nob with his own people – as a foreign diplomat, no less! We gave him our silver weapons to seal the deal, but I really don’t think it was necessary: the man was positively slavering. Who knows, in a month or two we may even be able to give him a budget to accompany his new title, and that will be nice for him.
Finally, it was time to do a bit of exploring and surveying. We headed west into the forests, which was quite wonderful. I do miss home, and I hadn’t thought that I would. In any case, we found a logging camp which – well, it wasn’t abandoned, at least not more than a day or two, but there was no-one there. Following the river, we came upon a – a situation.
There was a bit of a widening in the river, and a team of loggers were faced off with a nixie. Well – I was over the moon, of course: I had been hoping to find fey and here one was. But the situation was not good. She was not happy about the logging, not even a little bit, and had enchanted at least two of the men … she had rather “enchanted” all of them, if you get my meaning – or so I judge – but two were definitely under magical compulsion.
Anyway. The Baron – Desna bless him – took the nixie’s part. But the woodcutters did make the rather excellent point that they were cutting wood for our castle and other buildings, so maybe we should have been more on their side. But the baron asked the nixie if there were other copses that she’d be happy to allow logged. Turns out that upstream was a copse that hadn’t been touched in ages, because the area was inhabited by a Tatselwyrm.
Well! I haven’t mentioned it, but there was an outstanding reward for a Tatselwyrm skin at Oleg’s, and we had been looking for one for months. So we decided – we’d clear out the monsters, and the wodcutters could log that area. And this seemed provisionally acceptable to everyone. The loggers went back to their camp, but their foreman came with us. He looked to be handy with a bow, so we had no problem with that.
Upstream, we spotted the clearing where the wrym lived. we prepped and attacked (I went with a jump spell, as the thing lived on an island midstream.). There were actually a few dragonkin living there – blue lizards of some sort, some of us got rather nastilly fried. I used a wand of burning hands for the first time. An uninteresting little evocation – but definitely effective. Looking over my spellbook, I actually don’t have a lot of offensive spells – I find them dull – but I suppose I should make room for a few.
Anyway. There was a tatselwrym, the blue lizards, and then this even bigger tatselwyrm attacked, and things got a little hairy (it seems no-one but me has the sense to duck when a dragonkin opens its mouth), but we all survived in one piece. The woodsman was very, very happy with the trees and he and his men will be converting several thousand years of magnificent growth and life into logs in no time flat. But, that’s civilization human-style for you.
The nixie was … somewhat mollified. Wee have agreed that her area of the forest will remain untouched – except for the logs coming down the river, obviously – but she wants her trees replaced. I think she’s thinking of a Quall’s Feather Token (you know the ones?). I would dearly love to see us hire her, too – we really needs someone to deal with magic and it’s impact on a functioning kingdom: Morgana and I are both far too busy with other things, and Bokken the mad alchemist is far too mad.
Anyway. Things are going – not well, but not necessarily catastrophically. I think we were going to be looking into rumours of some sort of giant turtle next.