Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Tales of First Light

The Ebony Hawk

Bosun's Note

Found in Sleepy Tallow

The Captain found some kind of book when we were last ashore, and the crew was refreshed and ready to try again. We knew the Ebony Hawk would survive the journey, damned fine ship she is. But the crew surviving, that was the part we had to worry about. Dangerous? Sure. But it was worth the effort. He spent hours going over that book in his cabin, finally stormed up to the deck in a state. Said he'd found some kind of ritual that would let us pass through, but it would require a sacrifice of some kind. We didn't find out what kind of sacrifice it was until later... but it was too late by that point.

Gunner's Letter

Found in Sleepy Tallow

We brought Klaus's body back to the village... or what was left of it. He didn't disappear right away, so we may've been too far from the island for the magics to work right. All seemed normal until the black clouds rolled in. Middle of the day, and not a drop of sunlight to be found... like this place wasn't fit to be warmed no more. The wolves came with the darkness, and... It was like they knew who were in the crew! They attacked them, tore them to pieces! Then, they started on our families... Have to get out of here. Think the wife and I will make a dash for it, over the rocks... toward the light...

Captain's Journal

Found in Sleepy Tallow

A black wind howls, and screams echo against the rocks. For all I know, I'm the last left alive. Some things are not meant to be trifled with, and I fear this is my punishment for the trifling. Of course he'd punish me last, the bastard. I was the one who lashed him to the mast, I turned into the storm, I performed the ritual. But there was naught else to try! I promised the men that we wouldn't rest until we escaped this godforsaken place, and any sacrifice was worth it... But he didn't think he'd be the one sacrificed. Mayhap he wouldnt've been chosen if he weren't skimming extra shares, but it solved two problems and made sense. If I still had the book, might be that I could find another way out, or a way to control whatever he's become... but cruel irony washed it overboard during that attempt. The screams have stopped, and it is growing steadily brighter... is daybreak finally coming? Or is it him?

Shores of First Light

Daily Reporting

Found in First Light Watchtower

Seventeen Drowned today. Minor damage to my armor, will need to repair after this report. Spotting more of them grouping together, may indicate a change in their tactics? More today than yesterday, but the same routine.

A Weather Eye

Found in First Light Watchtower

If I didn't know better, I'd think something was controlling those storms... as if they know when a ship is approaching. Being stationed on this beach, I've seen dozens of them spin up out of a clear blue sky. Something mighty strange is going on here.


A scrap of journal found at Ducan's Docket

I'm staying at the Docket for now, trying to figure out what to do next. It doesn't seem like anyone else made it to shore. The leg is slowing me down less and less each hour, and if it keeps healing like this, I'll be walking by this evening, and running by morning. Unbelievable.

Relief Efforts

A chewed, yet legible, letter found near a Boar sounder in First Light

Watcher Linch - Thank you for your meticulous reports regarding the Drowned situation, and if the situation is as dire as it sounds, we may need to investigate the possibilities of training additional Watchers for patrols. Your actions have been exemplary, and I appreciate your commitment to duty.

Magistrate Bond

Industrial Endeavors

A Fishing Trip

Found in Letum's Pick

Sent the last 80 tons of stone down to the settlement to the south for them to finish constructing additional houses, and just received an order from the northwest for around a thousand tons more. The men need a few days off, and then we can get started on that order. I think we'll pull most of the men back into the camp and run skeleton crews in the mines, let everyone have a bit of rest before moving on. Maybe I'll even get a break, go down to Forellac and talk to that fine lass that makes the fish for us. I'll have to take a bath.

Will Burn For Food

Found in Letum's Pick

The charcoal pits are finally taking off! We've mainly been using them to keep heat in the bunkhouses, but it turns out that it's a pretty hot commodity. Most of the wood around here is too wet to work with right away, so it takes time to dry out for burning... else it fills the house with smoke. But this charcoal can be used right away, so Forellac has been trading their jerked fish in exchange for weights of the charcoal. Since otherwise, we'd be living on hardtack and whatever meats are shipped up from the Encampment, it is a welcome change. Plus, the smiths at the south settlement have been taking all the extra to use in their smelting process, so we can keep the rest of our supplies covered. We may have the start on real industry here!

Stone Face, Warm Heart

Found in Forellac

Ah, that foreman from the mines is so nice! When I brought the last shipment of fish to Letum's Pick, he had picked flowers for me and had a wonderful picnic set up for the two of us. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I'm sick of fish... but the bread and fresh rabbit was wonderful. He is a kind man, and he treats his men well and I have no doubt that he would treat me the same. His look is craggy, like the stone he works with, but I have grown fond of him. Perhaps when I next see him, I will suggest that he speak with Father about courting me officially.

The Scarlet Crucible

Found in Forellac

It has been too long since I've been well enough to write, Four days since my fever broke. I've just left my home for the first time in what seems to be two full weeks... everything has changed. There are only a handful of us that survived this illness... Father and Mother are both gone. My brothers are gone. Our neighbors, gone. I attempted the walk to the mines earlier today, but stopped short when I saw the state of things. No longer is it a well-run place, bustling with purpose... now, it is a foul place, tainted by Corruption. I tried to find my foreman, my heart, but it seems he succumbed as well. I was not spotted, and left quickly. We have gathered what little we can carry and will move toward the settlement to the northwest, to sanctuary.

Giroux's Notebook

Recipe for Disaster

Found in Hilltop Encampment

Trappers brought in a good haul today: turkeys, rabbits, even an elk that happened by. Just waiting for the skinners in the upper camp to finish their work before I start breaking down the bits and pieces. Should have plenty set out to cure and smoke by the evening. A trader down from Edengrove passed by and brought a couple of new recipes to add to my book, so it's a good thing I was able to convince Rost to let me borrow his distillery. Probably could've set one up with the bits around here, but his kit is better than anything I could rig together. Some of these ingredients are strange, but the trader said they're pretty popular recipes in that area. Never thought of adding meat to a distilling process, but... I'll try anything once.

Paul's New Brew

Found in Hilltop Encampment

This brew is... odd. Not bad, but has a strange aftertaste. Like drinking whiskey with a pat of butter in it, leaves a bit of a film in your mouth. It certainly does the trick though, so I've started bottling up this first batch for the boys here. "Paul's New Brew" seems to be a hit with everyone who's had it so far. Once we pack up camp, maybe I'll start a bigger business with Rost, send it out to all of the settlements for everyone to enjoy!

Discarded Memories

Retreating to Safety

Found in Clearwater Bend

To Whosoever Finds This: We are abandoning this place, perfect as it is. Our three families have loaded what we can carry, and will make the trek to the settlement in Cutlass Keys, as it is closest. Normally, we would go south to our friends in Dayspring Mills, but we have seen the fires from that direction, the miners now attack us on sight, and we dare not risk travel through the wilderness. We can only pray for their safety. You are free to whatever you may find here. We have left with what is most important.

Standing Our Ground

Found in Campbell's Rest

Lost another pig this week, 7th for the month. We've been trying to keep ahead of those Withered things, make sure we can still get the crops in and the animals fed, but they keep coming. They killed Wulfgang two nights ago. I hope he returns intact, and not as one of those things... I don't know how much longer we'll be able to remain... but I'll keep fighting for this place. Built it with my own hands, and won't let some shambling horde take it away from me.

De Magnete

On Magnets and Azoth

Found in First Light Settlement

As my full treatise of De Magnete successfully made the journey to Aeternum with me, and having no knowledge of others with copies of their own, it falls to me to continue Gilbert's investigations on the nature of the magnet. As he states, knowledge of magnets is present across all of the world, from the earliest Greek and Jewish and Egyptian scholars to far and distant China, with many years of study being dedicated to their effects. Here, in this Terra Aeternum, I may unlock a new path of research. Might azoth influence these magnets in some way? Will they redirect the needle to a new North? Will they improve and enhance the capabilities of magnets? Only time, and experimentation will tell.

Lodestone Aeternum

Found in First Light Settlement

In Gilbert's final book, he makes reference to a mysterious fifth essence, one that links all bodies together in harmony — for the heaven of philosophers, as of theologians, must be gentle, happy, and tranquil, and not at all subject to changes. I seek to discover whether azoth might be the universal aether on which magnets interact, that invisible yet measurable force. Or is azoth a new tool for the aforementioned interaction, granting the bearer a new form of manipulating this aether which was otherwise hidden? Perhaps the properties of magnets crafted from Aeternum-mined material are different in their effects. The miners at Letum's Pick have spoken of quality ores from their mines... I must inquire further.

Day to Day in Dayspring

The Lucky Ones

Found in Dayspring Mills

Some perished during the voyage, others while breaking through the storms surrounding the island. Our ship was damaged, but limped onward, and found a friendly settlement to take us in. Dayspring Mills was a bustling village, everyone contributing their work and production to carve out a new life in this land. Crops would mature seemingly overnight, animals brought down in the hunt would seemingly repopulate within just a few days... here, in Aeternum, the days of hunger, of famine, of hoarding food to make it through the winter are all long gone. We are the lucky ones.

Fighting the Undying

Found in Dayspring Mills

These things, the Withered... they do... not... die! Rather, they do, but they come back more mindless and ravenous than before. The bounty of this land means that fewer are required to farm, true, but even more are needed for defending the village. When one is brought down, it vanishes quickly — the island reclaims its own, it seems — but returns within just a short time. We do not have the manpower to encircle the village with a sturdy wall or even a defensive palisade. Their number continue to grow and I fear we will be pushed aside 'fore too long. I can only hope the settlement has space enough for us to return, when that day comes.

A Spartan Outlook

Found in Dayspring Mills

I write this in the hopes that it will never be read, that our defense will prove sufficient against the Withered. They do not sleep, they do not think, they only charge mindlessly toward us. I feel as one of Leonidas' men must have, defending against the unending attacks at Thermopylae. The only difference is that for us, there is no end in sight, no limit to the numbers we must attempt to cut down as our own numbers dwindle. We prepare to flee back to the settlement, bearing only what we can carry on our backs, with the hope that we will one day return and reclaim our homes... our memories... our lives.

All In a Day's Work

Planning for the Future

A stray page found within Hatchburg Fishery

Biwa has done it! Took a bit of time and tinkering, but he finally managed to get some of those lake mussels to produce pearls. They're not as fine as ocean pearls, but this is just the start! Imagine the looks on the faces of those in the Old World when the first ships back from Aeternum are laden with chests full of pearls... We'll be richer than we could've ever asked for! Have to work out that part about getting off of this island, sure, but that's someone else's problem.

Azoth From the Deep

Notes from a researcher found in Dayspring Mills

In my time here, hundreds of samples and artifacts have been gathered for research and study. One, however, has eluded us until now. Azoth has been found, so far, in a liquid form that can be added to items during the creation process, enhancing their abilities. During one of my excursions to the north, deep within a cave structure, I found what I had long theorized existed: solidified azoth! Imagine what could be done with this!

Rot and Shot

A quartermaster's log, found at Hilltop Encampment

From the settlement, we have received 3 wagon loads of wood, 4 crates of tools (assorted), 2 crates of fresh clothing and boots. Additionally, Adjudicator Jeffrey has included a shipment of Consecrated Iron Blanks to be fashioned into arrowheads or musket balls as needed. If functional, this should help against some of the more unsavory things that have been found near the camp.

This week's losses are worse than last week, I am afraid. The meat from 4 elk, and one too-curious wolf, turned almost overnight, becoming a blackened and sickly mess. Happens more and more frequently now, and we may have to start packing up if no fresh meat can be collected.

Abandoned Research

A Prophet of Profit

Found in Saircor Bridge

Another day, even more sifting through dirt. We've been in these ruins for near two weeks now, and this fool has us searching for bits of pottery and scraps of fabric. Where's the gold? Where are the jewels? Where are the treasures that will make us all wealthy, like he promised? Should never have left the Kannan Tomb site... Once this place is a bust, I'll head back there. At least they had those big ruins nearby. Some nice pieces in there, fetched a fine price.

Misguided Anthropology

Found in Saircor

A fine day, indeed! The men have recovered a handful of pottery shards, which I believe to have come from some form of sacrificial bowl, indicating the Ancients may have engaged in some form of ritualistic sacrifice. The silly arguments by the other researchers here stating that the shards were a part of a common eating bowl are absurd, particularly given the other pieces found there: a chipped knife blade, a long metal spike used for the execution, and a metal grate over the firepit that must have been used to preserve the sacrifice after death. I have also uncovered crude drawings that may indicate a powerful relic being held here. The relic may be a piece of importance to the Ancients, a religious statuary of some kind? I shall continue to search for it, as long as is needed.

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