The Cities of Gold

A House Divided
Shall it stand?

Town Crier Campbell here folks, bringing you an urgent report on the happenings of today the Eleventh Day of Shadoweir.

Word has reached us that The Patchwork Brotherhood is on route home to the colony. With only 10 Days left until the Arrival of the Goblin Juggernaut, Citizen Matthias has called the colony to rally behind him and accept the Thieves Guild’s Proposal and turn over four of our own.

Within his half-built compound, guarded by well paid Bronz Hammar mercenaries, the engraver turned demagogue has rallied great support for his cause. Standing with him are the merchant Benedict, the adventurer Gemma, several clerics of the silver flame, and magnate of the adventurer’s den, Jorge Axbarrel.

A counter rally has been organized by Captain Fitzcaraldo, a staunch supporter of the adventuring company. The commander has not publicly condoned this rally, but he continues to support the downtrodden adventurers in this time of crisis.

Be assured citizens, I shall update as developments unfold. But now… now we can only wait until the Brotherhood returns. For now my friends and fellow citizens of this colony, fellow vassals of the Queen.

For now we wait.

But let us all remember the words of the Ascendant Gospel: “What was sundered and undone, shall behold, the TWO make ONE.”

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A Modest Proposal
Will the colony accept this grand bargain?

I, Joseph Campbell, Town Crier of her Queens Colonial expedition am here to relay grim news.

On the Eve of the Seventh of Shaodoweir, 1081 Ascendant, Colonial Marines were met by a band of pirates. Three men lost their lives. The surviving company returned with an envoy from the League of Nine Fingers. A demand for parlay, and an offer of alliance.

The terms of this agreement requires only the imprisonment and forfeiture of The Patchwork Brotherhood and all their possessions into their custody.

In return the League promises to aid the colony in the coming battle against the Goblin Juggernaut and its orc horde, and the termination of hostilities between the two communities.

Commander Ivar Wyatt has only stated that he will not consider this request until the safe return of the adventuring company. Pray for their return, and pray for these brave adventurers, whatever their fate may be.

This is Crier Campbell. And so it goes…

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Growing Shadows
Does the sun ever set on the Orianna Empire?

Hear-ye hear-ye! News of the Colony, on this day, the Second Day of Shadoweir.

The events of St. Silvan’s Feast, two days past remains an ever present shadow over the colony. The surprising death of Acolyte Paulus at the hands of a poisoner has returned the mood of dread the colony had when the thieves began their insurgency. Interrogations with the pirate’s prisoner, Gundaarr, revealed that Paulus was yet another spy for our deadly enemies.

But who was the poisoner? The pirate’s last act was to swipe the poisoned cup from the hands of Father Martin Kandle. Was this an act of desperation to protect an ally, or was it an act of a man haunted by his evil deeds seeking to atone!

The commander has had a full time watch posted on Martin, a controversial move against a man who so far, has been beyond reproach. The good father has only said he grieves for his acolyte and hope that his soul has returned to the Fire.

Commander Ivar Wyatt has begun rallying the colony in the defense of the colony. War councils are planned and preparations for war have begun. Every able bodied man and woman has been conscripted to the fight. Wyatt is quoted as saying “We shall fight any threat against us and live together or die alone!”

And as things are underway here, adventuring companies set off for the jungles in hopes of returning with new and important resources or weapons that can be used in the coming battle. The Patchwork Brotherhood is traveling deep into the heart of Black Arrow Territory. Their aim is to gain an alliance with the Rainbow Serpent. But can they hope to succeed after the tragic death of Garret Greymane, one of the strongest and truest warriors of the Colony?

In this dark hour we look to the Silver Flame, may it’s light protect us, and may that light shrink back the shadows that grow long on the New World.

This is the word of the day.

Thank you thank you. This is Town Crier Campbell signing off!

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The routing of Nine-Fingers
Peace returns to the colony

Hear-ye hear-ye! News of the Colony, on this day, the Seventh day of St. Silvan’s Feast.

Today, thanks in part to the daring of the Patchwork Brotherhood the colony is made safe again from the dire threat of the Nine-Fingers, the pirates who have long threatened us. In cooperation with the constable, Major Locke, the traitor Gundaar was flushed out today. In the midst of a friendly competition between what folks are calling Stoneworker’s Warriors and the Bronz Hammers an agent of the Nine-fingers detained by Lady Althea. The agent masquerading as a mage immolated herself, but not before brave Thomas stormed through the crowd and selflessly shielded his friend from the burning flames. Only one citizen was hurt, and she was quickly raised by the clergy of the Silver Flame.

In the aftermath, many people were detained and taken aside. Gundaar was one and was found carrying incriminating documents. He was brought in by the constable and remais in custody. Following his capture four suspects disappeared into the jungles. These are believed to be his co-conspirators. Their likenesses are now posted around the city with other known conspirators.

In better news, the Queen’s Guard returned this morning. It looks like the brotherhood isn’t the only group with a giant golden machine. They returned in style with a haul of treasure and artifacts from their island adventure atop a mechanical Spirehorn behemoth. The machine has been dubbed, El Toro by the party.

Following their disembarkment, there was a meeting of the minds with the Patchwork Brotherhood. What words could they be exchanging. Are we seeing a new alliance forming? I for one, citizens welcome such a meeting of brave souls. Best of luck! With you around we feel quite safe.

On a lighter note, festivities for the Feast of St. Silvan will be held at the Homestead. A small ceremony will be held for our beloved marines back at the Beachhead. Make sure you give them a pat on the back, kids. They are working a holiday.

The feast is panning out to be a glorious occasion. The first ceremony will start with the lighting of the fire at dusk, officiated by Father Martin Kandle. There will be games, dances, music and merriment abound. Get ready for a late night folks. Diner will be late.

If you are anyone whose anyone in the colony, you might also want to attend Lady Roselyn’s exclusive St. Silvan’s Feast held at a secret location. Course you probably can’t go unless your invited. Course you’re not anybody to Lady Roselyn then are you?

Also during festivities, will be the first colonial wedding. The commander will officiate himself the vows between Ensign Brant and his lovely lady, Corlina the fletcher’s daughter. May their union be blessed by the warmth of the Silver Flame, and may this bring us all good tidings for the coming year.

Thank you thank you. This is Town Crier Campbell signing off!

“Oh i do like that. Yes i think that is a much better closing. I’m going to remember that one.”

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Keep Calm and Carry On
Hear-ye! Hear-ye!

Gather round citizens to hear the official Colonial Report.

Things have been rough in the Colony lately. But as the Queen pronounces, “We keep calm and carry on.”

The League of Nine-Fingers has been operating as spies, informants and blackmailers within the colony. Folks have been on edge. No one knows who to trust, or where they might strike. The Royal Marines have been on the case though, as have our favored sons and daughter, The Patchwork Brotherhood. With their help, one was captured. The suspect however perished in custody from a self-inflicted wound.

The Queensguard have set out on another quest. This time to explore the island of the east coast. What dangers will they find there. Are thoughts are with you Ser Saxon as you brave the unknown depths of the New World. May the Flame Light Your Way, and return home safe.

The brotherhood has a new collar to add to their repertoire. Dragonslayers. Braving the bullywug infested swamps they battled up three floors of a sinking tower, filled with arcane horrors and faced their greatest foe yet. A black dragon. They returned with it’s head and a massive statue that now sits in their secret lair. Where could it be? Any of their rivals would love to know. If you are curious about more details, i’m sure the talented and enigmatic bard, Andur, will be willing to regale you with the tale.

Despite new threats, the colony continues to grow. The establishment of a second basecamp has begun near the ravine. Reports indicate that a river is beginning to return to the ravine. Farmers, merchants and those with the gumption plan to use the river to feed into fields of cotton, rice and plantations. The two camps have been named the Homestead and the Beachhead. The commander has begun construction on a fort.

The Feast of St. Silvan has begun. 7 Days of celebratory feasts, hunts and games. On the Equinox the Night Hunt saw three teams brave the jungles. Lady Roselyn’s group returned with a modest kill, several small crested beasts and and some fanged beasts. But they were trumped by underdog Cornwallis returned with a massive three-horned beast, truly a deadly foe. But they were all out-done by Black Pierre Val-Jean, who returned with the corpse of a wyvern and 6 carnivorous beasts. It’s no wonder he did so well, he did have the best hunter and tracker team in the colony. I speak of young Garret Graymane and Thorn, his trusty wolf. With seasoned warrior and leader of the burgeoning fighters guild, Thomas Stoneworker, as well as everybody’s favorite bad-boy bard with a heart of gold, Andur. The Patchwork Brotherhood have done it again folks!

Things may be hard for us here, but with heroes like the brotherhood and the Queen’s Guard on our side we can all Carry On.

Fire Keep the Queen.
Fire Keep the Colony.

Campbell; Town Crier

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Crime and Punishment
In which the Patchwork Brotherhood step down the slippery slope

Rene

When you finally read this page, tear it out and burn it so that Francine doesn’t have to see. I’d rather her never find out about the events of this day, for today was a dark day.

I saw several of my men immolated in fire and magic before my eyes. My lead had proven correct. I had tracked down one of the spies and cornered him in colony. We had never expected the man to turn his arcane broach and burst into a ball of fire. There was nothing left of him but charred remains.

Shortly after the Brotherhood returned. The commander needed to speak with them. I did as well but he forbade me. For now. He and the brotherhood began to discuss what to do with the prisoner. I was not there, I only watched from a distance, but I could tell the Commander didn’t like what he was hearing. After they left I approached Wyatt.

The brotherhood was proposing to use some sort of ancient machine to change, alter or brainwash Uruzan. A clever strategy, but not exactly an ethical one. I didn’t like it and voiced my protest. The commander shared my concerns, but in his view it would safeguard the colony from a hostile and dangerous threat. I relented. I have an investigation to return to. I’ve got more suspects, but I think young Garret my have a lead or two for me. I want in on whatever he and his compatriots are planning.

I want to go down to that city now more than ever. And now I have a means to do it.

The colony’s chaplain, Father Martin successfully raised all but one of my men. It was a trying experience for him. He desperately fought to find her spirit and bring it back. But she seemed to be beyond his reach, as if a great shadowy veil separated them. He restored her for a brief moment, but she soon perished again. Black fluid leaking from her eyes, ears and mouth. She muttered something odd about the “Fifth Sun Growing Black As Night”. As she died she whispered to me, “-Blood, that the sun shall rise”. She could not be brought to the flame, nor brought back to life. She was lost to the shadows.

The following day when the Brotherhood came to take Uruzan away, he finally began to spill the beans. Their organization was sent here by Lady Virginia, the Queen’s cousin and rival to the Throne of Orianna. They are to deliver the new world into her hands so that she may start her own empire, and restore Orianna to her control. No doubt some Ravennian princes stand to make a fortune on this as well.

I don’t knkow what they intend to do with him now. It matters to me, and I intend to venture down to that city and find out. I’m prepping a boat for tomorrow. We need to know about every resource we have at our advantage.

What’s more he shared with us the identity of the black ship that was observed on the scrying device the Brotherhood warned us of. It is the Black Legion. What i feared most. A juggernaut full to the brim with orcs and goblins, slaves and elite warriors. It will be a massacre if we don’t prepare ourselves. Even then it may still be one. there are only 700 men women and children of us here in the colony. A juggernaut, cramped, crowded and filthy is probably filled with well over 1000 warriors at least. Flame knows how many slaves.

This is our real priority now. Prepare the defense of the colony within a month’s time. If we can make a stand, we make it count. Looks like i’ll be working through the holiday won’t I?

Dearest Rene, I hope someday you read this. I hope that Francine knows her father is a good man, and fought for a New World for his daughter. I hope I live through the coming battles, but I cannot say what the future holds.

Dear ones. I love you all.

This will be my last entry. J.

Official Colonial Report of Major Jonathan Locke
Colonial Marine Command
Freeday, 28th of Awakening, Ascendant 1081

Flame Save us all.

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Locke's Journal

Dearest Réné,

Not a day goes by I’m not thinking of you and our sweet Francine, and look forward to our reunion. After today I’m glad you and Francine aren’t here. We are meeting with far more dangers and challenges in the New World than any of us ever anticipated. Pirates, infiltrators spies and man-eating monsters.

One of these monsters is sitting in a tent 20 feet away from me. His name is Uruzan. He’s one of our Pirates. A member of the League of Nine Fingers, or so he says. A macabre organization that followed us here to the New World to carry out some mercenary sabotage or hostile take-over. Lucky me, the Commander has made me point man on the investigations, I am the most trustworthy man in the entire division after all. I do always have Wyatt’s back.

The Patchwork Brotherhood were the ones who captured him. Francine would have loved it! They showed up today in a giant golden claw-shrimp sort-a-thing. It was pretty cool. Apparently, after they captured this drow they took this claw-shrimp thing, navigated through some fjords and scuttled the pirate ship!

They made off with an armoire of weapons and some kind of magic mirror. Goddam I love these guys.

The Commander has shared with me that they found this in some kind of undersea city in the bay. I definitely think this city would be a great place to set up shop, build a nice cottage and maybe add a few more kids to our growing family, eh what do ya think hun?

Maybe when we raise it from the sea?

I am going to be petitioning the Commander and the Brotherhood to go down into the city, or the sea-side ruins with or without the Brotherhood for myself soon. Until then I have a lot of work trying to track down the League spies now hiding in our camp. I suppose when you’ll read this I’ll have caught them already, but still it’s the thought that counts. Wish me luck dear.

I’m off to have a pint and start gathering information. I already have a lead on one suspect.

Love you, hugs and kisses. J.

Official Colonial Report of Major Jonathan Locke
Colonial Marine Command
Godsday, 25th of Awakening, Ascendant 1081

Fire Save the Queen

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Honor among thieves
Uruzan battles League politics and a dragon

“Consul Uruzan!”

The dean called from atop his high chair.

The drow crossed the wood planks of the deck to the turtledeck. There sitting like an monkey was Dean Flynn Dusk-Blade. Leader of their thieves charter, the halfling whom Uruzan calls “boss.”

He bowed low to him, knowing this would please the little bastard, his feet dangling 4 feet of the ground.

“Jadis and I were greatly displeased with your performance during the attack, however…” he paused picking something out of his teeth as if Uruzan just a bit of rotting meat in the little snakes jaws. “The attack was successful in planting our spies. Despite your incompetence my plan remains idiot-proof. Abyzou is already supplying us with information from our spies as we speak.”

Uruzan fought the urge to spit. The whole plan had been his from the start. He had explained he and the men would never make it back alive. Flynn took his plan and played with it and the lives of the League like a wooden toy. They should never have risked the lives of so many initiates. Only full members could come back, and he told him this. It burned him that this little monster was his boss and not himself. He swore he would kill him and piss in the little bastard’s skull someday.

“I am deeply sorry, your honor-”

“I’ve always hated that term. Your honor. We are thieves after all. Isn’t that what they say about us? No honor among thieves? No. You will address me as Master Flynn now. We are a long way from the Head Branch. Here on this continent I am League Master.”

Uruzan saw an opening, he tried to hold himself back but he couldn’t take this brat’s prattling anymore. “Are you certain about that? You wouldn’t want the The Left Hand of Darkness to hear about this.”

The halfing’s rage was so much his chair began to teeter, “My brother is thousands of miles away
from here. I was made dean of this branch and I am your Master here.”

Uruzan could feel the halfling’s spittle from here. He’d struck a blow. Now wary eyes of every league branch-member and initiate stared at the quivering halfling in disgust. That is when the bitch standing next to him finally spoke.

She put her pale hand on Flynn’s shoulder, righting him steadying him. She then pointed at the drow accusingly.

“Naive. You speak with a poisoned tongue to breed dissent against the Right-Hand instead of take it, rightly by the blade.”

Her blood red lips curled with the victory she and Uruzan knew was coming. “What irony that you can’t even keep your own blade, Uruzan. You should be Un-made for your foolishness and failure.”

Uruzan knew where this was going, and he didn’t like it. If he had any hope of replacing that imp he would have to play her game as well. “Very well. If I am unmade in the site of the Matron and the Right-Hand, then I volunteer to re-make myself. What would you have me do… Master Flynn.”

Flynn smiled coyly. He felt comfortable in his strength now. Uruzan was not at his mercy.

“Take a platoon of your best men, and explore the tunnels. Our copy of Mendoza’s Journal accounts for some sort of underwater city. Take a platoon with you and look around see what you can find. I’m sure there must be something we can use against the colony there. We may also need to assess any danger there.”

The halfling’s smile seemed to slice his head in half. Uruzan dreamed of doing it too.

Days later…

Uruzan and 18 others wind their way through a labyrinth of tunnels. A sordid host of killers and freaks were in his party: Three were-rats and their pack of half a dozen dire rats; Rasputin, one of the coldest blooded killers in the league; Gurney, a dwarven archer, someone who shared Uruzan’s hatred of the halfling; 3 made scouts accompanied them; lastly nine neophytes.

At last they found an opening. A cave behind a water fall. When they stepped out of it they saw the expanse of a great city. In the center above canals was a floating crystalline tower. They forged ahead to try and approach it, but found no way in.

One of the scouts called from a perch atop the ruins of a broken down building. “Middle-Man!” the scout called to Uruzan, “Across the canal, there’s a tower high enough to get a better look at the crystal. Should we go investigate it?”

“Yes, but cautiously men.”

They made their way across a bridge span, towards the tower. Slinking from street to street. When they reached the tower, they examined the door carefully, all the way eyes peering in every direction, expecting something, and nothing. The neophytes looked over the door. It was then that Uruzan noticed too late, the draconic markings on the door. When the neophytes finally pulled the door open they were struck by powerful blast of energy that instantly killed two of them and bloodied several others.

“We have to get out of here.” Uruzan commanded.

“What are you talking about?” Rasputin said coldly as he pushed the rubble aside.

“We just disturbed a dragon’s lair, we have to run now before…”

The rest of his words were drowned out by the fierce roar of a dragon. The neophytes began to scatter. Uruzan was unfazed, but began pushing the troupe of thieves to flee to cover.

Rasputin scoffed, drawing his daggers. He screamed up at the heavens defying the dragon to face him. That was when they at last saw the dragon. It’s blue scales black, silhouetted against the distorted watery sky. He screamed down firing a blast of lightning at the band of thieves.

One wererat and three of his dire-rats were instantly vaporized.

Rasputin began to climb the tower. He had no fear, nor sense. A flaw that comes with the league’s power of resurrection. Uruzan held his ground, but maintained his cover. Gurney joined him.

“How much you willin’ to bet the halfling will pin the dragon as your fault.” the dwarf muttered.

“This is my fault gurney. I should have seen the dragon’s wards.”

The dragon swooped down, a streak of blue and lightning charring the street, and one of the scouts.

They fired arrows up at the beast as he swooped several more times trying to pinpoint them, waiting for his breath to recharge. Uruzan even struck the dragon with one of his curses. The dragon simply shrugged it off. Uruzan could not tell how old or powerful the beast was, but he knew it was cautious. It never gave them an advantage to fight him hand to hand.

Finally Rasputin reached a height he could reach the dragon. He made his leap, clinging to the back of the beast. Daggar in one hand, the other in his mouth. He managed stab the creature on it’s right shoulder, but with a single lash of his tale Rasputin was flung from the dragon and landed crashing into the canal. Dead on impact.

“Retreat!” Uruzan cried.

Those that remained began moving quickly to the east, trying to leave the dragon’s territory.

The dragon swooped down carrying off a second scout. This one he rammed him head first into a stone archway. As the dragon came around again, Uruzan threw up a veil of darkness to hide himself and a handful of his men. The dragon began picking off those remaining he could see. Three neophytes tried to fight him, but he quickly tore them to shreds. One last scout continued to run across the span, turning every few seconds to fire his crossbow.

The dragon flew passed him hurling a boulder at him which crushed his spine. The dragon began to fly around looking for any others. The dragon’s pattern changed, and he veered off to investigate something.

“Now’s our chance.”

Uruzan led the remaining thieves back across the bridge. When they came upon the scout, they found him still barely alive. Paralyzed. Uruzan grabbed a rock and bashed in the man’s head. Unsubtle but an effective mercy. Keeping their breakneck pace they made it through the tunnels back to their last encampment. Exhausted they collapsed. They lit a fire and settled in.

“We were lucky.” Uruzan said, “something distracted him.”

“What do you suppose it was?” Gurney asked.

“I’m betting we weren’t the only one’s down their today. I think there must have been some adventurers from the colony.”

“Do you suppose they saw us too?”

“Doubtful.”

“Uruzan!” one the wererat’s called, “I see a light. Somebody is coming.”

“Quickly everyone, take positions. We will ambush them.”

They took positions. Uruzan, crouched behind a stalagmite, saw a beardless dwarf step out of the tunnel.

“Who goes there!” the were-rats called.

I know that face. Uruzan thought. And an anger began to boil inside him. Thoughts of his precious dagger, and being able to take it from the elf’s cold dead hands consumed him. But more than that, the thought of ramming it into the chest of that leering little joker, and that red-headed bitch excited him.

Now was his time.

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Damn Adventurers
Benedict's Journal; Starday the 21st of Awakening

The Green Dragon Depot is coming along fine. With my own blood sweat and tears I have managed to erect a temporary trading post. Pierre has been all about barking orders, and has done little to help. I made sure to remind him of how much of my OWN personal investment I had sunk into this endeavor. The cur only laughs. We’ll see who is laughing when the Home Branch reads my reports.

The depot currently houses nearly every conceivable supply colonists may need from the most ambitious adventurer to the humblest farmer. I am trading for whatever they have that I see is of equal value, be it gold, goods, and sometimes information.

Thanks to Jorge Axebarrel, I have a perfect seat in what we merchants are calling the “Adventurer’s Den.” It’s become a hang out of sorts. They come here drinking, brawling telling tales and spending their coins on Pierre’s women, my goods and Jorge’s ale. Making this arrangement with Jorge Axbarrel was at least one positive contribution from Meister Pierre.

It has been very good for learning names and faces. I’ve already pinned down all the colony’s adventuring companies:

The Bronz Hammers The Patchwork Brotherhood The Queen’s Guard The Slayers
Tor Fistofson(dwarf) Anduraeal(tiefling) Lord Saxon(human) Gunnar(human)
Locke Fistofson(dwarf) Althea(elf) Novice Kensey(high-elf) Samantha(human)
Siphon(warforged) Garret(human) Sadie Hotfoot(halfling) Wikassa the Ghostwolf(goliath)
Tiberius(half-orc) Thomas Stoneworker(dwarf) Rand(dragonborn) Abel Rathe(drow)
Freija(dwarf)a wolf(pet? familiar?) Elwyn(human) Gemmafer(human)
Vilmar(gnome)
Gregory(Vilmar’s dire-mole familiar)

The Bronz Hammers are little more than mercenaries and barbarians. A disorganized lot. Even the Warlock has no sense. The only competent one is Tiberius. They say he used to belong to the Black Legion. They have mostly been doing whatever odd jobs any colonists pays them for. I’ve been hiring them to guard the Depot. I caught their gnome attempting to steal.

The Queen’s Guard fancies themselves brave knights on a quest. At least their leader Lord Saxon does. He’s dragonmarked of House storm I believe. Their minstrel sang a song about their recent adventure fighting ghosts and skeletons at a shipwreck from some unknown land. Rumor is the ship comes from the 8th Century, of Castellanian origin.

The Slayers are your standard, bright eyed wandering adventurers. They came in search of fortune and fame. They’ve explored north, rooting out a cave full of albino kobolds. They are envious of the other companies successes. They consist of Ser Gunnar a recently knighted warrior of Orianna, Samantha a Brotherhood mage, a goliath from the barbarian tribes of Tamerlane named Wikassa the Ghostwolf, Abel of the Rathe family, a drow bard, and Gennifer a Brotherhood artificer.

The Patchwork Brotherhood was recently formed. I understand that Captain Fitzcaraldo helped form them, wrote up their charter and everything. He doesn’t seem to be a member or to speak for them either. I don’t know what that is all about, but the captain seems eager to help them. I wonder what he knows. If he’s interested, I am interested. No wonder Pierre is taking a special interst in them. He is already moving to make alliances with their charter.

I saw him speaking with one of them, Andur I believe is his name. I managed to glean it from the beardless dwarf in his Patchwork Brotherhood. My boss may be lazy but he is a shrewd politician. He knows how to go in for the kill. I will let him have his day in the sun. As things grow here, people will come to respect good Benedict, and all the hard work I’ve put in.

The commander’s little scribe was exceedingly forthcoming when he came, all shifty-eyed like some rodent, looking for Mage Dust. While it may be illegal in the empire, there are no rules about it here. When it finally is outlawed I will see fit to purge it from my stock.

Until then, it keeps the scribe’s tongue loose. I have a very interesting tidbit of information. It seems the Patchwork Brotherhood has discovered that the pirates are already here in the New World, and that another ship is coming. They learned this information from some sort of divination item inside a seaside temple, marked by the ruins of a stone colossus. They aren’t headed there today. The other adventurers will pay a handsome reward to know this. I intend to collect on this. I can use this to build my own political alliance.

Benedict will have his day.

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Private Journal of Father Martin Kandle
What Dreams May Come

I awoke suddenly tonight from a queer dream. Yet it was more than a dream. A vision perhaps? Yet something more. There was something foreign about it. It felt…new.

In the dream I stood on the beach. Around me men and women threw logs and timbers into a great pyre. I think they were the colonists. The burning pyre was white hot and silver. I was in the presence of the silver flame.

From out of the jungle came beasts of every shape. The first came out, powerful dracotaurs bodies painted red. The second at first appeared to be living grass and moss, but as they came near I saw that they were kobolds, garbed in robes of green and capes of moss. The third, smiling gnolls with faces painted yellow. From the sky I saw descend a flock of leather winged beasts that began to circle us like vultures. On their backs rode the lizardfolk, garbed in the skins of animals, dried a color of earthy orange. Another set of lizardmen, but these had a mane of blue feathers covering their head, neck and back. After them came snake men with violet scales. I thought they were the last but that is when I heard many terrible howls. Out of the jungle darted a pack of wolves, as white as snow, and each wearing necklace of knots and many colored feathers.

They surrounded us, me and the colonists. We were far outnumbered and we were sure to be destroyed by the host.

With nothing to do I began to sing an old hymn, the first I remember from my youth. I sang of the old god Kaiden and how in disgrace for his sins and grief for all of man, he hurled himself into the great pyres at ascension, and defeated the Lord of Shadows. From this all men must know and learn, through self-sacrifice, we keep the Fires Lit, and repel the shadow back into the dark land.

The savages stood motionless watching me for a long time. When my song was finished, there was only silence and the crackle of the fire.

Suddenly from the fire, there was a loud hiss. I turned to see a jet of flame seeming to spiral up toward heaven. The white seemed to burn more and suddenly it burned with every color of the rainbow. The jet of flame thrashed around as if it was some kind of Serpent.

That is when I noticed the savages. Awestruck, they threw their weapons down and bowed before the flame. The people too bent on knee. Some prayed others through their hands up toward heaven in thanks. I only stared.

As i stared the writhing flame became less vaporous, more solid. There I began to see distinct shapes. I beheld a creature with wings of gold, silver, red, blue and every other concevable color… almost dragonlike it reached out to me and I could feel its fire upon me.

Then most remarkably, it spoke.

“Return the fire from the temple to the setting sun.” it said. As it spoke, fiery breath spewed out at me. I threw my right arm up to protect me. My arm was seared to my very bone. It was the pain that awoke me.

Even now as I lie awake, the morning sun shining into my tent, I can hear it’s voice, like the rumble of thunder and the roar of a fire. I can only begin to grasp at meanings. Whatever its meaning it was not just simply a dream. It was more real, more true than any dream. I feel more asleep in my wakefulness than I did in the dreaming.

I checked my arm after waking. I have burns all along my right arm…

Earthday, the 20th of AWakening. The Year of Ascendence 1081.
Martin Kandle, Keeper of the Flame.

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