Oops – skipped a week. I’ll try to remember what happened

It’s an absolute whirl of activity – I shouldn’t have left it so long to write to you. We explored almost all of the lands to our north. To the northwest we found this statue of Erastil (or something), and just to the south of that we found a suspicious looking pool with a dead unicorn nearby. No ordinary unicorn, either – I think it was some sort of avatar of the forest. We decided to explore south and east – heading towards Melanae’s grove, and we met this dryad, who asked us to deal with a “Scythe Tree”. We did – a difficult fight, but we managed it.

We went back to the dryad – she was very grateful – and then to Melanae’s grove, but she had already headed off to the castle. We caught up with her there, and she was terribly shocked and distressed. I’d like to know more, but I’m not sure how to ask.

What else? Some settlers came south to set up house in the forest. Melanae insists on having veto on activity in there, but, well – it was a bit beyond our immediate territory. Never mind, though, we have annexed it, and extended Fort Tuskwater. We have also built a cathedral! It looks … a tad lonely, all but itself, but the bishop isn’t complaining. We have built some improvements at Oleg’s – quite the little township.

The money is positively rolling in. I’m a little worried that we haven’t spent a lot on defences, seeing as we know for certain that we have – not to put to fine a point on it – enemies. The kingdom (sorry, barony) is getting a little difficult to manage.

Oh! How could I forget to mention! We had a bit of a problem with a cult of some human goddess who tends to attract certain women – let’s just say it’s the goddess of poisoning your husband. We put a stop to it hard: I pulled everyone off their normal duties and set them to tracking down these people, and we found that they had set up shop in a barn in one of the farms outside the city. We surrounded it with a cordon of Kundal’s finest and went in. Morgana and I Glitterdusted most of them, but the priestess/ringleader was not affected by our spells. Apart from turning all sparkly. But no matter – Rainor had some human bane arrows and she was dead in a trice. The cultists that tried to escape were killed by his Lordship and/or caught by the cordon. (Actually, his lordship tripped a few of the blinded ones). There was this magical book thingy, which Morgana, his Lordship’s shield-bearer, and I dealt with – but it turned out to be nothing of real magical power- it was just for show.

Really, it all went about as well as it could possibly go. The cultists were stealing and sacrificing babies: the whole lot of ’em were executed, but in a open and legal fashion, after a trial with a “jury” (a bit of an innovation, that – His Lordship is very progressive). We didn’t torture people or fiddle about, nothing to distres the commons, it was just a clean, surgical strike. The shrine in the barn had blood everywhere – there was no question of their guilt.

I have decided not to fire Firthak. The man is just so incompetent and stupid that he is absolutely invaluable. People up to no good expect to be spied on, so it makes sense to give them someone to keep an eye on, someone easy to evade.

As for me (how long has it been since I mentioned anything personal!) my studies are not progressing in any orthodox fashion, but rather well in their own way. I am certain that I can combine the things I have learned by simply surviving our various fights with magic. [We leveled up. Switch is now Rog3/Wiz3 and qualifies for Arcane Trickster]. It’s a matter of … well, it’s difficult to describe. But it can be done. With respect to more orthodox matters, I think I will put some effort into learning to construct wands. I’ve been scribing scrolls, but it’s just so expensive! I have been using certain spells over and over, it just makes sense to take the time and money to make a wand.

In any event. Freedonia is, well, beginning to feel like home. I have not forgotten our forest, but for now there is just so much to do!

Your sister,

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