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"Lost Continent: Flight From Muurdaan" (BeckonCall's FNB!)

Caelis Following

The Highborn Linguist, one could tell from his silvered, silvered hair that the Highborn Linguist was an aged High Elf. A thousand years or so one might guess, however, it was not polite to ask an Elf their age. It's unclear if many even knew themselves or counted the years in the same ways. That said the Highborn Linguist was a well known figure in the Colony. He tended to stay in the background and could be seen at the Language center instructing, conversing, and studying. He was comfortable at the Mage guild, the Alchemist guild, at the University and at the pub. The ability to translate for other races put his talents and services in demand. He had become quite friendly with the other linguist, namely the Attolian linguist. The Highborn Linguist served as the Highborn ambassador, and had one junior ambassador assigned to every faction. That Highborn was expected to learn the language and customs of the various factions and be specialist in their assigned one. Sometimes the ambassadors were rotated to better understand or worked under another while learning. This focus on diplomacy was very important to the Highborn. It helped prevent conflict and smooth over matters.

While much of the attention went to the when the high profile leaders of the various factions met (which unfortunately was not often), the main running and overseeing the every day of the Colony and the cooperation between the various factions, races, classes, groups, or what have not was conducted by the officers, specialist and appointees in this position or that to manage. A good working relation among these factions had evolved. To work out differences, lower level meetings were held where the representatives of the colonist and colonist themselves could air their grievances.

The Highborn Linguist spoke in a splendid, flowing teal blue robe, the flowing of the robe was very calming. The Elf had a very wise and likable face.

"The Highborn do not approve of the recent appearance of statues deifying Lord Wolf in the Platz. It is completely understandable to erect statues commemorating the contributions to the Colony. There are many. We could discuss it in length. We could put it on a plaque. That would be completely within reason. That said, we expect Lord Wolf to understand that beyond that, it is inappropriate, especaally in light of the recent condemnations of the Stoutman for Proselytizing beyond their domain. We know Lord Wolf is likely rectifying the matter as we speak, but the Highborn wanted our discontent with the recent activity. We would appreciate it, that religious affairs should be for the most part private and in places of worship. The Pantheon was built for this purpose. Its an Attolian construct or a Muurdan one, we are unsure, but it's excepted practice among the mortal humans of such and such places. So, I think we all agree that zealotry if left unchecked leads to conflict or disaster. The Reinen and the Victorians are good examples. History has many lessons more. We politely request that the Attolians keep outward religious practice and monuments at the Pantheon. The Highborn do not object to a statue or so remaining if they are to honor Lord Wolff, with the understanding they are not to be treated as shrines. Also, with the understanding that other factions reserve the right to erect their own non faith related statues. What people believe is another matter. However, we hope that Lord Wolff has the sensibility to disabuse his citizens, our citizens of his being a Deity. We have enough of would be deities in this strange world without another. That is all we have to say in the manner. If further clarification or better understanding is needed, we will leave the matter for Lord Vaethorion and Lord Wolff to discuss in private."

Spire Ten
@Heyitsjiwon @Pat
"On to other matters, The Highborn are very pleased about the recovery efforts of "Spire Ten", the Attolians have done immense work in this regard. The Highborn mages are interested in studying the spire, and will help in any capacity, the Highborn defer to the industriousness and engineering feats the Attolians are demonstrating and have demonstrated, and the Sirens have performed admirably. The Highborn Engineer has an idea, that would might work with the Mages help. If a metal cable could be affixed to the mines, perhaps just be sheer attraction, The Highborn mage could conceivably cast a spell to harness the power of lightning and channel it into the mines which in theory should demagnetize them. To assist in this, the engineer reasoned that using large quantities of salt around the mines would increase salinity thus increasing the conducting of the lightning"

"Additionally, The Highborn have heard rumors of a race of Sea Dwarves en route, this race could perhaps be instrumental in furthering sea salvage and repair efforts and help us resolve some of the deeper mysteries in the seas near us."

The Highborn Interest in Animals well being
@SpiralErrant @Heyitsjiwon

"The Highborn thank all the Colonist and Colonist factions for their quick response in capturing the freed Zoo animals. A special thanks to the Tyren for their expertise in herding, and gratitude again to the Atttolians for their building a ranch to contain the animals. All factions have expressed interest in these animals for many reasons. The Highborn request a fair but not equal dispersement of the animals, within reason. If some animals need to be bred first, the Highborn could wait. The Highborn like others have interest in the Elephants, other animals, especially any animals that could be used as mounts, and for beasts of burden. However, what is most important is the conservation, breeding and possible reintroduction of these species if any are indigenous. We should consider what animals can be bred and for what purpose, what animals can be freed to the wild and what animals could gently be adapted for this climate. The ones that will not fair well or do not have a purpose should be freed to where they would be best off, but the rest in our custody, be their custodians, the Tyren are especially best suited for this.

"On a deeper level, the Cull kills all, or most. Not much is safe until we defeat the Cull. However, we have no choice to destroy the Cull, failure is not an option! Once we defeat the Cull we must consider life after the Cull."

Museums
@Heyitsjiwon
"The Highborn would like to see museums be opened in the University to the public. The Museums should be of multiple sorts. A natural museum, a Colony history museum, a museum of magical interests (within reason of course and well protected), an art museum, and a war museum are some that come to mind. The Highborn would like to see the broadening of the minds of the Colonist. The Highborn would like to know if the Attolians are interested in spearheading such an endeavor."


Salt Salt Salt
Many applications of salt.
alt was distributed to the Alchemist guild, to the Apothecaries, it was to be used to salt meats and fish for trade. Salt would be stocked piled for the next winter for deicing the roads, streets, sidewalks, paths and tracks. At the Alchemist guild, The chemist, engineers, chemist inventors have an idea to store mana energy in great pools of salt water using the Malachite rod to grow the Mana crystals inside. The Salt could be used to made into an acid. Definitely, there was a something to this, as salt had conductive properties. Rods of copper would be formed to put in the pull to help conduct electricity. Malachite could be stripped of it's copper using extremely strong acids made from salt. It was worth a try. The Malachite rod was used to propagate crystals.


Lady Esteri
@SpiralErrant @Shireling @Heyitsjiwon @Bobisdead123
The Linguist welcomed her warmly and politely. Highborn guard flanked the Linguist off to the side. The Linguist was wearing goldweave cloak, with a light mithril chain suit underneath, with gems encrusted on it. On this belt was a purple wand and an ornate, long slightly curved dagger in a jewel encrusted scabbard.


The Linguist stood and spoke after Lady Esteri finished, "The Lady Esteri speaks very eloquently. Welcome to our humble Colony. There is never a dull moment here. Always, a Titan or monster lurking about, sometimes a Demon, one never knows. We keep busy."

"On the matter of rights of animals, the Tyren proposal is in line with the Elfentarian principles that the Highborn already have as a moral code laid out millennia before and we agree to them in entirety. Clearly, more nuance circumstances can be codified and made more detailed, but the conditions proposed seem to be compassionate and practical. We do not use animals to torture, neglect or treat cruelly. The punishment should fit the crime and considerations should be made to make this law retroactive.
As to the Attolian reservations, we also agree. We agree not to harm intelligent creatures, as long as those creatures are not evil, hostile, in pain, tortured pose a threat, are aggressive, are man eaters, and so on. If they are any of those things then the Highborn and the Colony reserve the right to defend themselves and destroy evil. If that is understood, then yes, the Highborn agree. If Rex however is saying all the animals are screaming to be let free, then we could listen to them. The Highborn are not generally dependent on eating meat to live, however meat as a source of food has been practical for the Colony. I think the line the Tyrens are mentioning is speech. Is the creature sentient by the laws laid out of Mortal and Immortal. We know the difference between Tyren and Bull, Fox Folk and Fox, Human and Ape. Humans talk, apes don't but to the Elves they look very much alike. Humans are essentially bald Chimpanzees that talk. Look how far they have come."

"Next, On the matter of the Stouts entering the council, if the Stouts fulfill the majority of the demands of the Attolians in a satisfactory manner, then the Highborn have no objection to the Stouts joining the council.

"One, The forest should be restored and trees planted. If the Tyren, the and Wood Elves would help the Stoutman restore the forest then this matter could be rectified even faster. Trees are also sacred to the Highborn, and wanton destruction of natural spaces is offensive to our beliefs and sensibilities. More so, the Springborn are tied to the Trees since inception and the murder of the trees saddened them and the Ent. The Highborn would be pleased, if the Stoutman agree to be friends of the forests."

"Two, On the matter of proselytizing, this applies to all, Please keep beliefs at the Pantheon, keep it in the places of worship and in your hearts. We do not interfere in the beliefs of mortals, so far they do not interfere with harmony. We do not believe in a official religion, as it implies that the Highborn would somehow believe in something the Mortals did which we all know is a laughable silly thought. However, we recognize that the mortals, immortals, all races have their spiritual beliefs, spirituality is profoundly sacred and private to an individual. Lets put the emphasis on private. Lets not confuse dogma for deep spiritual belief. Lets not encourage competition among beliefs.
If the Stouts wish to openly express their faith in their settlement, that is completely within reason, it's the spreading of various beliefs outside that must stop. It's creating strife."

"Three, the Highborn seeing how the Attolians are insulted by the Stoutman criticism, the Highborn would appreciate an apology, but we do not demand one as a precondition to join the Council. The Highborn would ask for any complaints of "Attolian heavy handedness" to be expressed at council meetings, in writings, and in normal channels of communication. One must wonder however, if the Fennec themselves did not spread these rumors of Attolian heavy handedness?. Our intelligence reports have been hearing of incitement spread by various factions. Regardless, We do not sanction stifling critique, however, we would prefer openness over whispering behind backs."

The Fox Folk @Bobisdead123 @Heyitsjiwon @SpiralErrant

"There is much to discuss about the Fox Folk, both good and bad. We have seen many different sides of them. Unfortunately, their bad deeds get more attention than their good. The Highborn call for a special meeting regarding the Fox Folk's actions. Here are the current concerns. Oversight of the past probation sentencing, attention to the punishment if need be for the previous crimes. The Fox Folk did commit acts in good will to make up for the probation. We will keep that in mind. The matters that come to mind are the Snake Cult, the harm they caused and might cause, their miscreated (we have spoken of this), their shady practices with drugs, the Muurdan seem to be tolerant of this, so we will not press the issue so long as the stronger drugs are not in the Colony. Let the Muurdan have their vices if it profits our Colony through taxation."

The Linguist paused, looked at the Gold parchment with notes, "however, the aggregate of all the crimes, needs to be addressed. We have received intelligence reports of assassins the Fox Folk hired to murder leaders of Colonial factions. The Highborn however, cannot back the seizing of the Fennec ships because, Governor has sent the House Elite down to the port to protect the ships and seizing the ships in any case is not a proper resolution to this manner. If it's financial compensation that's expected, then the Attolians must lay out what they expect. However, the Tyren, and the Highborn have their own issues with recent events and this must be discussed. "

Highborn Welcome Party
The Highborn generally speaking did not put much value on the individual life of a mortal. Yes, the Highborn respected life. It even respected the sentient over the animal. The value of the Attolian leader to the Colony was clear. The Highborn willed him to live and he did. It also was a important part of the success of restoring the Platz and defeating the Demon in the fountain within. To destroy the Demon fountain and lose Caelis and Cassandra would have been a hollow victory. Now the festivities could be hold in earnest and the colony throughout was bedecked and beautified by the Highborn to welcome their kind and forces from the mainland. Seeds sprouting Fragrant white flowers sprung up everywhere along the roads and paths of the Colony. They grew on roof tops and throughout, the smell of the flowers were extremely pungent and relaxing to the senses. It made one happy to smell them. Then the Highborn ships came to the Ports. The Highborn all sallied forth out (with exceptions of guards for the Highborn quarter and a few postings ). The Highborn sallied out in full regalia and armament. They wore flowers of many colors, and for the first time in a long time, the Highborn seemed happier and upbeat. They had been mourning. They had awoken from their reverie and now they sang songs in High Elvish.

"El’Ibar narn’acaele, oem Sohaer
El’wehn’fihir’lentos fih el’vilut’fihir’akal
El’Ibar narn ito el’tos’fihirii

El’tos’fihirii narn ito el’acaele’narnirii
El’acaele’narnirii narn ito el’acaele’narnir’ibar
El’acaele’narnir’ibar narn ito el’acaele’narnirii’fiyem

El’acaele’narnirii iller acaele’narn ito el’acaele’narnirii’ata
El’acaele’narnirii’ata kina’fih ito el’acaele’narnirii
El’acaele’narnirii cihn ito el’ame’narnir’thilln"
Common:
"The owl rose, first Leader
The deer devoured the lion
The owl left for the worm

The worm left for the butterfly
The butterfly left for the swan
The swan left for the butterfly reborn

The butterfly gave rise to the moth
The moth was devoured by the butterfly
The butterfly yields to the lynx"​


They sang and sang.

At dawn one morning, out of the morning fog, A dozen, sleek High Elven ships docked at the harbor which was in the process of being expanded. The Highborn led by the Prince stood on the docks. The High Elves were in perfect formation. The High officers of the Highborn were present and prominent. The Highborn Linguist, Arch War Mage, High Cleric, the Master Tamer, the Drill Master of War and Combat arts, the famous Bard Lindar, the Artificer, the Inventor were all present. The stunningly gorgeous tactician and a third of the Highborn were conspicuously missing. The Countrymen Special Forces were present and the Spy Master was hidden among the Highborn and was blending in to the ranks.



Out they came off the Highborn vessels down the gangplanks, they came in perfect formation. Noticeably, the Highborn although, no doubt garish, and showy compared to the Sylvan elves were this time in more subdued garb over their mithril armor. The cloaks were akin to the ones that the Highborn began to wear at the Colony, Ones that drew less attention to their movements. However, the cloaks were far from uniform. As was tradition for many millennia, the Militia of the Highborn, the youngest of the Highborn ranks began with homemade uniforms made to specifications or passed down by older Highborn as they graduated up the ranks or left as an inheritance after death. This included weapons and armors, many of the Highborn weapons were special. Many of the weapons had been kept in the family for times unknown. Many of the items themselves had long histories that were archived. They were named. The amount of their foes slain, vanquished, recorded, and marked on the object and written down in the "Annals of Highborn objects lost and found".

Then they came off the ships to cheers and songs. Surprisingly, the first off the ships did not look Elven at all. dozens of Elite Halfling Rider mercenaries on Mastiffs with Spear, shield and bow came out. Their mounts, huge, muscular, at times armored Mastiffs came out of the ships excitedly, excited to be off the boat and to sniff a new area. These Mastiffs were not only bred for war, but are bred for counter insurgency, counter espionage, search and rescue and for other purposes like defending the Highborn High Lords. The Halfling riders mounted came off the ships, their leader Colonel Bigo Freddins, saluted the Prince and nodded, the rest fanned out and began sniffing and securing the Port area. These Mercenaries were all especially trained to protect Highborn. The relationship spanned some time. These factions were safer among the Highborn and as a service began fighting for the Highborn and being richly rewarded for it. The Highborn cannot afford to sustain casualties and fight a war of attrition. Therefore, the Highborn turned to those who were also fighting the Muurdan and allowed them to safely live in the Highborn domain under their protection once hostilities with the Muurdan were resolved. The Highborn trained with the Mercenaries to incorporate Highborn tactics with Human Knights, and Halflings. Their families were taken well care off in the event of death or injury. The Highborn employed Mercenaries were among the highest paid and most elite in the known world. Their blood was not spilled freely or cheaply.



Next came Fifty heavily armored and armed human knights, "KNIGHTS OF THE HEAVY FIST",..., they cheered and song in Elvish. They fanned out and formed a cordon around the port dock.

then...

Sixty archers two by two, bows aloft, their aim true.
Forty Spearman two by two, spear and shield in hand.
Twenty Shadow Slayers two by two, masters of killing they were.
Twenty Way Seekers two by two, they find the way, no horror they fear.
Ten Royal Lion Calvary, two by two, terror to their enemies they will cause.
Six Specialist two by two, their knowledge and skill apparent.
Four Arch Mages of great power, two by two, they radiated greatness.

Out they filed into formation and stood rigidly at attention.

The new comers assembled on the Port. Those were that were well known, clearly needed no introduction. The youngest of the Highborn stood at awe.
The Prince was a hero to his people and a legend. His officers were also legendary. The land they arrived at was mentioned in legends. It was a very emotional moment, but the disciplined High Borne hardly showed it.

The introductions.

The wind blew the Lord Prince's long hair, his helm was off and being held by a soldier. "I will make introductions quick, as our brethren and brothers at arms must be hungry and tired after their long voyage. A feast awaits them and everybody! We will make your presence known in the Colony. They will know you, love you or fear you, as all either love or fear the might of the Highborn."


"Meetings of Mind Psionicist - (Special Order of the Highborn that focus on Psionics, the Brain and Psychology)
"Celeveriel"- female twin, a Telepath with several Telpathic talents, Assault mind, read surface thoughts, send thoughts, shield mind)- Part of a Psionic Order of Eastern High Elves. The ones who are gifted are trained since Childhood, They give up their family name and become part of the Meeting of the Minds order).

Exonerin -The male twin- (Part of the Psioinic order of the Meetings of the MInds, uses Scrie/Clairvoyant, retrocognition, Clairvoyance, Clairaudience and sense)

Legendary Ranger- name: Lazziar Luthien - A special sect of the Highborn are especially close to the Sylvan elves, lived among them and studied their ways, anexpert in guiding, outdoor survival, tracking, exploring, combat archery and skills relating to being guide and explorer.

Expert Economist (Master of Coin) name: Dior Eldar- expert in economics, trade, balancing the budget and a bit of Alchemy some say)

Brilliant Scientist : Horith Corym (a specialist in understanding the Arcane from a scientific prospective, a scholar that studies the world, was brought especially to researcg Tears of divinity, he understands the Scientific method and the core sciences)

Heroic Archaeologist: Inialos Jaan (explorer of ruins and magical items, an adventurer who loves exploring ruins, searching digging for magical items and can find them in the Way)

Arch Mage Chronomancer A -name: Oenel Syldove ( specialist with Time, dimensions, portals and the way)

Enigmatic Enchantress (Princess)- name: Ellania Velegion (Prince's sister specializes in enchantment, shape shifting <shapes are not revealed yet> charming with beauty and powerful)

Celestial High Cleric the Star Priest- name: Aeravansel Aendryr - specializing in summoning, Angels, combating Titans, banishing Demons and using Astral holy forces.

Arch Mage Elementalist the Bringer of Life and Death (Nature/Death) - Quaethel Raegel - can make Crystal and Stone constructs, enhance living things, works with powers of Death and Nature. Life and Death energies.

It was such a sight, it was hard for the bystanders to take in, the new comers all looked very strange, a reminder of how much the Highborn colonist had adapted since arriving. Such pageantry! The mercenaries, proceeding the Prince, and the rest of the Highborn fell into formation and sang and sang. They marched through the Platz and about, and towards the Villas where a banquet awaited and all were invited. Security was tight. The Mercenaries did not know friend from foe yet, especially the very intimidating (as of now) very large Mastiffs ridden by the not so large Halflings. The Heavily Armored "Knights of the Heavy Fist" fanned out, many seemed to gather about the Prince the High Lords, Mages and notables. In shifts they ate and drank along with the others, but it's clear that they were here to work not socialize (too much). They were not unpleasant, or disrespectful, just on guard and on duty.

After some refreshments were had, some unwinding was done, celebrating, the Highborn all began to chat and intone a very ancient prayer?, a spell? a song? the outsider did not know. The Highborn knew. This was an auspicious occasion. The stars had aligned just right. The preparations in advance based on times tables of extreme complexity will allow a powerful ceremony that would allow the Celestial being, the Arch Angel being revered in the Highborn built shrine to send (at a diminishment of its power or a transference is perhaps a better description), the creation of four Hierophants. Four giant, Celestial creatures that would be manifested........
This would weaken, the Power vested in the Celestial Shrine, but the Highborn hoped, planned, prayed, intended, willed for that energy to be returned through means of channeling mana power externally and internally. However, that was not of importance at this moment of great celebration and the arrival of the Hierophants!


(ooc: I am sorry not sorry for the double posting and for the TLTR posts, but I felt I needed to get this out and sacrificed sleep for 2-3 nights to do so to the chagrin of my wife. I am too tired to remember if I did or didn't assign labor, and materials I can edit later.)

@General Deth Glitch @Bobisdead123 - we can pm to see what we are working on currently. You were not mentioned here, but I had some ideas but too much to post.
 

Attachments

With heavy chisels and clean breaks the minotaurs set to breaking apart the great geode as only they could. Chunks the size of human heads fell away and were set aside for polishing before being carted up for transport to the vault. Older Tyren agreed it was a spot of luck the elephants were reined in when they were, as having a pair of them pull the rocks there would save them a lot of sweat and energy. Energy that could now go to their next big project!

The giant loom may have won out in the public vote but Orm had still promised them a chance at this rock tumbler Idea. Now, feeling very smug over this haul proving them right, the craft bulls set to making it. It wouldn't be as grand or as water powered as they'd first envisioned but that could be sorted in other ways.

After talk of this new gem coin system and leaping at the chance to make themselves the colony minters they'd decided to set the thing up closer to its goods. Commandeering and empty part of the government building half their number set to work putting up the bank workshop. The tumbler would be on hand for banking gems and even all the crystals the mages liked to have around. Add to that the new number of large beasts now on hand who could be strapped in for a short shift of exercise and they'd have something more efficient than leaving it rolling on the water all the time.

Heaveywalker, earth shaman and first ring of the Proud-Horn was trudging along in tow. This was no job for a shaman of the first ring. She told herself that her magics helping this task would bring great riches and prestige to her clan but she still felt a jealousy for her younger protege who was currently diving through magical tomes to find elven secrets.

At least she wasn't being sent with the train that parted ways with them at the vault, being sent to lend muscle and coin to other strange elven projects.
-----------------------------------------------
[50 wealth worth of emerald and ruby geodes are transported to the government building vault to begin bank and minting setup.

The elephant lead wagon train is escorted by 45 F.O.R mercenaries, 10 Tyren warriors.

Setting up the minting workshop and on sight rock tumbler: 4 Skilled craftbulls, 15 unskilled tyren, earth shaper shaman.]

[5 wealth invested in Highborn portal gate project.

5 wealth, 3 skilled Tyren, 30 hillfolk sent to assist in Highborn white engine project]

[Confirmation: Deryn the druid, Ummush, Emme the passion shaman, Highborn Cleric and highborn linguist study the bark bound tome for illusion magics to help decisive the Cull. Sylvan Tome and Cull Eye are used.]


Such strange works these bulls made, the tree singer pondered to herself. For so long she and her coven had lived relatively far apart from the scattered cities and towns of her Sylvan kin. Serving as the personal coven of ancient lady of the woods, Deryn who's spiritual titles were too numerous even attempt listing these days. In the home woods they tended to the sacred places that served as sources of power and pilgrimages to their kind. A quiet existence but one that was revered as the purest essence of what it was to be a child of the woods.

When they'd arrived she'd balked at the crude works these blustering beasts had worked with the magic of her elders. She had heard stories back in the war ravaged forests, the war cadre of the Autumn Lord had returned, bedecked in strange trinkets and talking of a haven in distant hills where they had left their young in the care of mortal creatures that sounded more fit to be herded by their betters than to act as shepherds themselves.

Yet when Deryn suffered her last near fatal set of scars and found herself with her own flock of springborn refugees to care for the druidess decided to take stock in those stories and sought safety across the sea to these hills. And what the tree singers found was like a dream world where everything was warped and turned ever so slightly off. What had possessed the lady Anfel to gift such knowledge to the beasts she would never know but the bulls were as childish as the springborn, clumsily working the power of nature like children and making the best of what cluttered inventions they came up with.

Still... she couldn't deny the odd practicality they had worked, mixing the fluid strength of the tree song and their own crafts. She still cringed when they brought their hefty iron blades and hammers out to bend and chop parts of the wood into shape but they had at least learned to be respectful of the life they were altering in their rough hands. The metal itself was such a strange thing, its essence felt cold and wet like soil after a storm, nothing like the harsh blaze of metals shaped by the flame. There were even times the tree singer could have sworn she heard whispers coming from the longhouse where they crafted it, whispers in distinctly untyren voices.

At least now she could work with someone who could add some class to one of these works. The giant loom had sounded like an ugly work of industry to her when they had all discussed it around their fires but even she would have to admit it had turned out much better than she had imagined, helping to spread the golden beauty of the ancient woods even further about the colony. Now all she had to do was to help reign in the more ostentatious tastes of her eastern counterpart. That brute of a chieftain had been ecstatic when he'd seen what they'd worked with the loom and even more eager when the Highborn had expressed interest in enhancing it even further. What had followed were a fresh wave of requests and demands from the bulls asking to see the experts at work and offering their own projects. The tree singer could only wonder what foolish things they had roped her coven partners into doing.

---------------------------------------------------

“Well this isn't really what I was expecting when I was told one of the chief healers of the hills had asked to see me.” Deryn's acolyte mused.

“Well I'm not just a healer, you know.” Weome said, her tone more defensive than she probably meant. “I was in charge of all the wild planting grounds back in the old days... sorting out the fancy foods and the healing balms. I was always the person folk asked to save them from... from poisons and such. Besides I'm just doing this as a favour to Minax! She said if I helped her out she'd give me a cut of the profits and tell folk about my other products.”

'And it's certainly not because that friend of yours is a full blown mage now.' The elf thought to himself.

Apparently the favour they'd agreed to do for their mad merchant was to start experimenting on the latest crop of darkleaf. Since the springborn had joined the luxuries guild they had managed to work some weaker blends of the dried leaves to be more palatable to the smokers among the less sturdy peoples of the colony but such a product would not do for when the Tyren finally joined the trade fleets bound for the empire. The hope was that with the tinkering of an experienced herbalist and the a touch of sylvan magic they could produce a luxurious brand of cigars to sell to the high end markets in the Muurdaan capital.

“Imagine it! A unique blend, one of a kind in the world! They'd pay through the nose for it!” Minax had said and Weome was certain she had seen the glint of gold in her eyes.

--------------------------------------------------------------

The remaining tree singers of the coven would later go back to their peers and brag that they had been given the much more exciting projects. They lead to the barricade of the golden glade where the war-shaman was stood over the ballista that she was told had once stood guard over the river crossing when the savage elves half-breeds had once been a threat.

“So I've been ponderin' some ideas for how to use those fancy glowing fruits we've been growing on the cliffs.” Bruul grunted, hands on his hips as he inspected the ballista. “And ways I can make some fun use of those. Everyone's been saying how they'd make for good arrows or bombs and well, I've just been hankering to look for ways to make them go BANG y'see.”

Indeed they did see. The excitement at the idea of turning humble plants into weapons of destruction seemed to be something that openly excited the shaman.

“But first I need something to be properly firing them from and while this things all well and good, it takes a few lads to take apart and move around and well... odds are when we have a big thing to shoot at it'll be coming from other directions than across the river. So I was thinking we'd go down to the smaller woods, you pair and me and we'd make something like it, since you've been showing yourselves to know a lot about bows. I thought we could make some very big bows together, just smaller than this one. Small enough to let's say... fit on the back of an elephant.”

It was a crude thing in the eyes of the tree singers, to show such interest in making weapons of war, or such glee at the idea of using them. But theirs was a race that when pushed to emotion could feel it more strongly than any, and they remembered the sorrow of being driven from their homes by steel clad invaders. Looking at the way Bruul moved and spoke, clad in robes of iron and reveling in his own strength they couldn't help but find his eagerness infectious.

[Highborn assistance in enhancing the giant loom's capabilities. 1 Tree singer, 5 springborn, Highborn engineer.]

[Harvested Darkleaf is given the expert treatment with other herb and leaf mixtures to produce a new luxury blend. 1 tree singer, 1 skilled herbalist, 5 springborn.]

[Bruul takes the rest of the coven, using the collapsible ballista as a template again, to build two smaller compact ballistas. 1 war shaman, 2 tree singers, 1 skilled Tyren, 10 springborn, 5 unskilled tyren.]


“Ooohhhmmm!.... Oooohhhhmmmm!.... Ohhhhhmmmm-”

“STOP THAT!” Krummaruk snapped, his tall horned head jutting in the direction of his autumn furred compatriot.

“What?” Granrapak balked childishly. “I'm just doing the meditation like it's supposed to, Everyone knows when folks do meditating they cross their legs and go Ooooohhhmmm-”

“No one here is crossing their legs and no one here is mooing away like a cud munching simpleton!”

Krummaruk Keenhunter and Granrapak Brighteye. An exiled murderer turned hunter of men and killer of monsters, and a wandering mercenary who had spent his life being treated as a weapon to be pointed in the direction of problems and thrown at them as his masters turned away. When they first arrived in The new world the two were practically in love with the fury that burned in them. It was a source of strength to drown themselves in or a thrilling challenge to be overcome. Even with their rage being smothered by magic the two of them had managed to level out a hill under their feet during their sparring sessions! A fate that the elf meditation garden had gone one to suffer.

Even after they had the tiles replaced the ground still sloped like a shallow crater. Still, there the two of them knelt, quietly trying to control their breathing and empty their thoughts. They still had some way to go but the sword captain of the elves had spoken well of their progress, often giving some attempt at a compliment when they expressed surprise over how eagerly the two had eventually taken to the training of their arts.

Orm could understand it. They were tasting control for the first time. The two berzerkers may have scoffed at the way Orm shunned the rage (and he may have denied understanding why they enjoyed the red haze so much) but once they'd experienced the thrill of summoning and dismissing the rage as they wished he knew they'd stick with the training. All his life Orm had been told he was cursed with this rage. People had treated him as if he was a slave to it, a wild thing to be edged around unless the shadow at his back noticed them. He couldn't say what things had been like for these two, but he'd bet silver and gems on them hearing similar harsh words. Those words would be what helped push them to stick with their training, that and the look on folks' faces when they proved them wrong, proved that they were better than anyone thought they were.

They'd already made leaps and bounds, finding themselves a place among their mixed bag of a tribe and even taking wives from the other wagons. The two blood-touch had even won the respect of the swordmasters of the highborn gardens, not just through displays of strength and martial skill either. Keenhunter and Brighteye were opposites to each other and their good natured bickering had given everyone plenty of laughs during training as the two of them got used to the manners of the more masculine end of the elven spectrum. Brighteye was so quick to laugh about things that it even kept everyone on good terms when he came close to caving their heads in!

Then came the day when they had to stop hanging around the elves all day and go back to the hills and see to their own houses, and to the surprise of the three minotaurs they offered a medal ceremony to commemorate their time together. The High Elf chieftain came out to offer them symbols of stars and bulls, a real combination of their separate sigils.

"It has been great sparring with you Orm and the rest. It has been beneficial for us to train with you and the Blood Tyren. We are fast, we have finesse, the Tyren seemingly feel no pain, do not tire and are powerful to say the least. We are fast, we can dance about and have finesse, discipline and these past months we have learned a lot. You and myself have taught these warriors much ourselves. We have learned from them and from each other. We have fought side by side on the same battle field and we will again. Now, our biggest foe awaits us. The Cull. It falls on our shoulders to face it together. All the leaders together must fight. We must all train together. All the leaders of the factions, so we can fight in a disciplined manner with coordinated attacks and defenses. We must train together as we now have, with sweat and blood, we will train to face the cull!” Vaethorion cried to the assembled warriors, earning a roar of fury from his audience.

It was something Orm had never expected when he was stuck on the boat across the blue. He'd heard a lot of poor tales of elves and their standoffish ways but at every turn they'd proven him those tales wrong. It was with a lump in his throat that Orm would return Vaethorion's sentiments of respect, promising to return when they could for their next sparring bout and to stand by his host's side when the time to face the cull came.

Orm even tried to show off and give the fellow a highborn gesture of farewell that he'd seen their warriors use. Unfortunately Vaethorion had a similar thought and tried his hand a tyren gesture... and the two were left to awkwardly collide into each other and just... punch their fists together. Well it was nice to end the day on a laugh. Still, for all their joking Orm noticed that the more he and his blood-touched did this fist bumping in jest the less of a joke it became.

“You know I've had a bunch of medals already from my adventuring days.” Brighteye gloated as the three made their way home.

“Really, then why haven't we ever seen any of them?” Keenhunter quipped back.

“Sold 'em for booze money!” And he would sell this one for booze money as well! Because so proud were the two of their finding inner peace that they even managed to talk Orm to come out and keep the celebration going with them!

------------------------------------------------------------------

“Oooorrrrmmm! O-o-ooooorrrmmm! Ooo-”

“What?!” Orm snapped, spinning his groggy head on Brighteye, who's face was lost behind his own fringe.

“You're great, Orm. I don't even care about the stick you shoved up your arse.” Brighteye slurred, spilling half his ale.

“I don't have a- what are you talking about?” Orm stuttered.

“Just cus... I came here, not having a home. Just goin' around until folk w-were sick of me. And I thinks to m'self, if this bull can make it as a chief and not go all mad... then maybe I can do it too! And at first I thought you were a stump who was all scared of his shamans and his axe-”

“You thought what?!” Orm's grip on the flaggon of ale that he'd been nursing all night tightened.

But Brighteye went on! “But now I get it, I get what all the ladies see in you! You got that brooding thing and you put yourself out there... and you give everyone th-that chance y'know? You didn't just look at me and see a blood drunk idiot!” That was what Orm had thought when he'd first met Brighteye but he wasn't going to say that now. “And you taught me all these tricks. And you helped me meet my Daashi- and she's just sooooo cute!” Brighteye brayed. It seemed no matter what they talked about he always came back to the shepherdess he'd taken as life mate.

“What he means to say is...” Interrupted Keenhunter. “That he's thankful for the chance you gave us. You let us prove ourselves more than we are. And I have to admit you did the same.” Practically a rambling speech out of the taciturn hunter.

“What he said!” Brighteye bellowed. “You and us, we're a team I tell ya! Next time it kicks off we'll be there, Chief! Anyone who wants to put you down will have to go through us first!”

“Agreed.” Nodded Keenhunter.

“Well... well thank you, lads.” Orm croaked, totally taken aback. He'd spent so long being the lone vanguard for his small number of warriors that this was all just strange to him. “I don't know what to say... I've never really had folk like me around before to-”

“We should get tattoos!” Brighteye interrupted before Orm could make things too emotional.

“He can't sell that.” Muttered Keenhunter.

Shaking his head with a wry smirk Orm smothered a laugh and decided he'd at least try and relax tonight, before downing the last of his drink.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Later that night and Orm's house was filled with more noise as Nootri chided the drunken Blood-Touched for acting like children. It took until he was half way done for Brighteye to admit that he was afraid of needles, because they reminded him of spiders, which he was also scared of.

After stumbling over themselves he finally managed to guide them towards what they thought a warriors tattoo of the Black-Charger train would look like. In the end they decided red was the best colour for them and Orm was determined for it to stand for someone who stands strong against all comers. He was determined never to be laid low in battle again. Apparently that meant adding some strange dusts and berries to the mix, along with having the shaman mutter strange words to humself over it all.

Eventually it was Orm's turn to sit hunched over under Nootri's needles. He hardly noticed the pain of it, though the strange mixtures left an odd tingling feeling. By now he'd managed to close his ears to the drunken ramblings of his friends and lose himself to his own thoughts. With so many new arrivals going around he had a lot of folk to think on these days... though two had been nagging him more than others.

“Shaman, what marks to Proud-Horn warriors look for?” He asked.

“Hmm? Well most come to me asking for strength for the coming battles.” Nootri mused. “Though I don't think you boys are in need of extra muscle.”

“A chieftain needs to be strong.” Orm grimaced. “Give me their mark.”

The skinchanter looked at Orm before nodding to himself, apparently satisfied within himself. When the chieftain stepped out tomorrow all would see him wearing the symbols of his two peoples on his skin for the sky itself to see.

[Orm and 2 blood-touched get magical tattoos of fortitude.
Orm asks for an additional tattoo of Strength]


[1 influence spent on cultural work. Orm and Prince invent the fist bump!]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the council meeting:
Some grumbling came up from the tyren elders that were present. It was obvious to them what it all meant, such was the way their folk had always made their laws. Life on the road meant situations could change from each day, that meant having to trust your adult folk to have some common sense and act like they were supposed to. Were these humans so untrustworthy that they needed everything set in books of iron. That point of grumbling lead them back to the stories they had learned from the hillfolk and how they'd been done wrong under human laws.

It took some well placed words and some stern looks from Esteri to quiet them as the group huddled and spoke among themselves.

"My elders, it's a noble thing of you to step forward into this new challenge with such noble intentions but... I believe our current train is too scattered a thing to easily unite under such wordings. If you will allow me, I believe I may have an idea that can achieve your aim with more ease and ennoble the folk you are protecting." She went on to remind them of what they had told her of their journey to the old world and the offence they had taken at being considered livestock by the Muurdaan. She went on to offer the view that perhaps Olm and Anais would feel similar being lumped in with a law about livestock themselves, even if it was to help them, they would no doubt argue that no one should consider them as such in the first place.

A matter of pride was something the elders could agree with at least, and they knew Esteri's reputation as a mediator and chieftess in all but name. So they bowed to her idea and were quiet as she turned to the assembly.

"My fellow representatives, your questions have been heard and I believe I have a way to simplify and satisfy all parties on this matter." She began. "I have heard about the infamous day a slavers ship came to the colony's shores and how each leader of the government rallied troops and resources to help liberate the poor souls despite the actions of other groups... complicating matters." Of course they all knew which eager slave buyers she was referring to.

"It seems our leadership have made the colony's stance on the matter clear but without any official laws on the matter then our people are still vulnerable to the exploitation of slavers! I make this offer to the assembly: We shall amend the Animal Welfare Act by dropping the first note on 'true intelligence' making the laws it sets down clear and purely practical." That got a share of nods and grunts of approval from the tyren elders behind her.

"In its place I put it to the council that we set our stance on the slave trade in writing. That our leaders put their marks on scrolls or even iron and that our colony shout to the world that it is a place of freedom, that will not tolerate the abuse of its citizens. I put it to you that we outlaw the practice of slavery in our lands!" That got much louder brays of agreement from her gathered elders.

Along with a cheer from the Highborn section. "Here here!" Urged their linguist, his immaculate robes glinting in the light that flooded the hall. "We oppose slavery, yes. It’s unethical and impractical. It eventually leads to uprisings. It lessens the value of paid labor. It creates unnecessary suffering. It requires additional policing. It’s natural to be free and to hunt run away people who are only guilty of wanting freedom is wrong!"

"Thank you, noble speech master." Esteri nodded, made bolder by the show of support as she opened the floor to the final vote.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Council votes as they stand:
Act 1: Induction of the Stouts into the colony government. (Tyren vote Yes)
Act 2: The Animal Welfare Act (Tyren vote Yes)
- That those who make a claim on a livestock animal can provide their charge with appropriate living conditions and supply them with a healthy diet of food and drink for their species.

- Further to the above, that said owner takes proper steps to make sure citizens are safe from any violence on the part of their animals.

- And the most welfare focused article. That should an animal be slaughtered then the owner can show that this killing is done for justifiable reasons (such as being killed for meat to feed the colony as opposed to being killed for the fun of it) and that such killings are done in a way that causes as little distress to the animal and others as possible. (Such as being taken to a quiet place, calmed and killed swiftly and cleanly as opposed to being torn apart or bled slow).

Act 3: Outlaw slavery in the colony. (Tyren vote Yes)
 
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Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
Fennec Workforce, Manufactured Monsters...

The black doctors were not idle in the spring twilight -- The fennec were industrializing alongside the rest of the colony, and they brought a great sense of industry to generating the miscreated, despite the growing discontent in the colony about their activities. Before complaints reached a crecendo -- the fennec had produced SEVENTY new miscreated -- most made from handily found shark and capybara flesh. Out they ambled onto the fennec moors near the swamp -- dozens of rat-sharks, and shark-rats, and otherwise limping, crawling, and skittering/sliding beast-folk with the features of cave fishers...

And what generation of miscreated would be complete without an exceptional specimen? This one, dubbed "the abhorrent" was everything the "Transcendent" was not. While the Transcendent was a massive, bipedal, scaly beast with eyes that betrayed a cunning intelligence, the "Abhorrent" was a mas of heads and tails flailing in a massive blob of straining flesh -- belching forth swarms of rats with razor sharp teeth. Almost formless, it was hideous even to the black doctors... the fennec would need to find a purpose for the abhorrent thing... and keep it out of the public sight.

The fennec were as industrious as many other factions in herding the new masses of animals -- culminating in an Attolian led Ranch which would also double as a Finecian Zoo just as it was dubbed a grand Tyren pasture. Names and purposes for the new animals were just being embraced and discovered.

As for the ants?

They were ANNIHILATED.

The plan was more than sufficient. A sealed firetrap pumped with air made the ants dormant if not dead before the hooded ones even stormed the front. The TRANSCENDENT hunted in the smoke and complete darkness the lair of the giant centipede and devoured it. It's will and mind seemed to strengthen with every kill, confronted by the large warrior ants that were the queen's guard it smashed them each in turn and swallowed them whole. The dunsia cleared every crevice of potential threats, and the hooded ones overwhelmed what little resistance the ants could muster.

In the backmost chamber a wall of ants had been made to keep out the smoke, locked together in an almost solid barrier. The Transcendent tore the barrier away, to find the Queen Ant and all of her eggs. The hooded ones swooped in and out grabbing the eggs and larvae and with the might of the transcendant, the cow-sized queen, followed by her tiny nurses was hauled to the surface.

Left behind them was the true scope of the inside of the buried pyramid -- it would need to be excavated to yield any fruit -- but it was obvious from some of the work of the ants that the structure was full of chambers -- and those chambers that were clear, contained... stuff. Where the ants had already been all goods had been pulped and chewed beyond recognition, but if these chambers were tombs, they likely contained grave-goods. Something to think about.

Upon reaching the surface with the queen the Fetch Governor appeared and demanded the "spoils" (eggs and queen) be remanded to him for "Repairations to the Attolians." -- that a deal had been negotiated without the fennec that would keep their trade fleets moving, but the attolians would have their due...

THE FACTORY COMPLEX --

False starts and pre-existing structures had to be demolished as the wild ideas of the fennec, under the command of the capos and Fendarvin, finally began to take a shape. The project was wildly ambitious to begin with, but reigned in it was no less impressive. Three massive structures practically converted a great section of the plain into warehouse, manufactury, and storerooms. Once exactly to specifications the fennec had a huge powerhouse of a building organized surgically to take raw materials and spit finished goods out the other end. It had the added benefit of security and hiding operations from direct observation. When complete, even the trolls fell from exhaustion -- but the work had paid off. The factory was massive, it was solid, it would endure. Assembly lines of varying sophistication literally sucked raw materials off the warehouse floor and vomited finished goods to the storerooms. (+5 influence fennec) -- it was seen that factory fabrication was the way of the future... and even folk of other parts of the colony sought the lower prices possible and faster volumes generatable with industry. (all non-exotic finished goods are now considered in effectively unlimited export supply as long as the fennec allow other factions to benefit from the factory)

Beyond this the fennec continued their farming, and prepared to ship their ocean of goods outward....
 

Heyitsjiwon

ゆうじん A
Boats and Rails @Prince Vaethorion @Bobisdead123

With the advent of an industrial revolution, it became clear that a means of rapid transportation was needed. The Attolians had a prototype of an Ironclad. However, more work needed to be done for the engine to be able to operate for long periods of time. That said, recent research into the clockwork technology provided a new blueprint for a new and improved domestic Attolian Engine, dubbed the "Steamclock Engine". While the White Engine was certainly impressive for its finesse as it was clear that certain Attolian elements were borrowed and refined. It seemed rather... excessively ornate. Fitting for the Highborn, but the Attolian engine valued practicality and with prior experience in being able to move massive loads, the Steamclock Engine seemed fitting to be used to move things in mass. The Engine would integrate the Steam engine of the departed Hatzburks, the Clockwork mechanics of Spire 9, and the mana fire crystals that are abundant in Attolia. The steam and clock work would be the primary source of energy, but the fire crystals would serve as an emergency power source in the event of overheating or mechanical failure. Regardless, one thing was clear, the Attolian engine, while not as clean as the Highborn engine, was much cheaper to produce and the Attolians hoped to use that as the Attolian's main selling point, efficiency and practicality.

Thus, the Attolians proposed to the Highborn that the two factions introduce their engines and make a uniform rail system, as it would provide synergy to the two engines. The Attolians would allocate a significant amount of labor, wealth and knowledge to introduce the Steamclock engine as a means of heavy transport and to further develop the Colony's rail system. However, additional aid would clearly be needed for the infrastructure to be properly made. Thus, as a sign of reconciliation with the Fennec after hearing rumors of their supposed abandonment of the Miscreated Project and the arrival of part of their restitutions, the Attolians proposed to partner with the Fennec. The Attolians would develop the engine and the train system while the Fennec provided the raw materials to make this project cheaper and quicker. It didn't take much to convince the Fennec that this would be a good business opportunity as it would allow their goods to reach the Colony even quicker and easier. Initial talks seemed to suggest that the Fennec would provide all the metal and parts needed to make the rail and the engines... in fact, they would provide the labor to build a rail from the factory to the Platz. This partnership would hopefully give the Steamclock Engine a large jumpstart on being adopted as an efficient and cheap means of transporting things in mass. Invitations went around to others to join this project to develop the Colony's rail system.



To meet the future demand of metal due to rail and engine construction, the Attolian would also work on a blast furnace to further industrialize the metal industry. Lots of cast iron and steel would be needed in the years to come, and the Attolians saw it fitting to address this as there was a clear need for more metal goods and mechanical parts as well. This furnace would ideally also provide synergy to the Attolian glass and brick manufacturing. Worst case, the blast furnace could be used to produce mechanical parts to make more whimsical machines or more Steamclock Engines.

In addition to developing land transportation, the Attolians also sought to improve the naval capabilities of the Colony. However, instead of producing expensive, large deep sea transports, the Attolians sought to make a fleet of fast, light ships (Caravels) meant to facilitate things like quick inter-continental travel, coastal travel and fishing. One would not have to buy a large, expensive ship just to have a fishing vessel. The Exiles were also invited to help work as they were allies and relied on the ocean quite a bit for their livelihoods. The Exiles would be given some of the ships to help their fishing operations as a thank you.



---

Old World Blues and Clues

With the excavation of the upper levels of Spire 10, the Attolian went into studying the ruins. However, they would also approach the allied Spire 9 and see if they would be able to provide support in studying and restoring Spire 10. Cassandra's seer powers would hopefully give clues as to how the tower worked in the past before it was uplifted.

In addition, the study of how the tears were made would continue with support from the Attolian mages and some wealth. It was hoped that these studies would help the Attolians figure out more about the demise of Berytos... and perhaps a way to defeat the Cull.

With the Mithral Gates being established, the Attolians proposed to the Highborn that they use the Squats/Blasted Hearth to provide a steady mana source to stabilize the portals. In addition, Attolian Astral Mages would provide their expertise in astral magic to further the stabilization and development of the gates.

Finally, with the packs of wild animals dealt with, Rex, the Beast Mage, decided to return to the Menagerie to see his new friend and ally the Sphinx. He would try to learn more about it, the portal that the animals came from, and to see if the Sphinx would be willing to join the Attolians and continue its duty as the protector of the animals of the Menagerie... now known as the Attolian Ranch. (3 Influence)

In the completely opposite side of the Colony, Lothar and an Attolian envoy of elite soldiers and experts went off to meet the gnolls in a goodwill mission. The mission was simple, to share knowledge and skills. The Attolian Elite could showcase their discipline, tactics, and battlefield communications. Several experts can show the gnolls better ways to preserve their meat and food stores with the shipment of salt and ice that the Attolians brought with them. In exchange, the Attolians hoped to learn how the gnolls operated militarily and domestically. However, what was arguably the most important, they hoped to learn how the vines were doing after the Attolians had shipped massive amounts of salt to the gnolls. An invitation would also go out to the gnolls that if in the event of an emergency, then the gnolls would be able to send their civilians to the homes of the Attolians as refugees where they would be protected, housed and fed during the emergency.

---

Relations and Colony Building @SpiralErrant

The Tyren had agreed to establish this bank in the Capitol. Thus, the Attolians were in a rush to put into place the system and safe measures needed for the new proposed Crystal Standard. The gems and crystals had to be grown at a steady rate to deal with inflation and deflation properly. This was the job of the Attolians. Plus, the Tyren proposed that their craftsmen and earth mage work to make crystal currency that was so intricate that it would be near impossible to duplicate. It was quite a nice balance. The Attolians would design the system, theory, and the framework through the work of the Castellan and the Lawyer while the Tyren dealt with the physical aspect of wealth. However, both also had to secure the bank, which is why many Elite Attolian Soldiers were sent to make the bank extremely secure, led by the Attolian Sheriff. The Attolian Metal Mage was also sent to help. The idea was that the deposits of gold and rare metals could be grown and collected by the Bank as a holding fee. The Bank had to finance its operations somehow and the fee would help fund the bank operate. In addition to all of this, the Attolian would put the name of House Wolff on the bank as a major backer as a sign of political backing and to convince people that the bank was reliable and trustworthy. A bank would be useless without people using it, and this would hopefully encourage people to trust this new bank. (3 Influence)

With the arrival of the eggs and the ant queen, the Hiver Prince was allowed to begin its feast to create royal jelly so that it could convert these ant eggs into Hiver Queens. These poor displaced ant lords would finally have their own homes and people once more. They were granted the former homes of the Blue Paw Clan as the basis of their home.

Finally, the Attolian intellectuals proposed to establish a Publishing House as it became clear that many aspects of the colony were industrializing. Education and intellectual goods were something that had to be pushed as well as physical goods. In order to accomplish this, the Publishing House (quite literally a repurposed Attolian home in the Attolian Housing district) would begin to mass print textbooks that can be distributed to the Learner's Square and beyond. Many Attolian experts volunteered to impart with some of their knowledge as they wrote drafts of the books by hand, using the Attolian writing arm to aid them. Before finalizing the content of the book and using the Printing Press to produce these books.

---

Of Gods and Kings

As the days went by since Caelis' awakening, it became very clear to many that he was much stronger than any normal man. He was bursting with life and his physical capabilities were... inhuman. It was about a week when the mages of the Attolians gathered and requested an audience with Caelis. Never one to turn down his advisors, Caelis welcomed them. Led by the Pantheon Priest, the mages seemed... solemn save for Cassandra who smiled at the sight of Caelis. The Priest stated "My Lord... the last few days we have been monitoring your recovery. Without a doubt, it has been miraculous and bless the divines for their intervention. However... as of late we all have started to notice something." Caelis nodded and replied "Yes, my good man? What is it." The Priest paused, looking for the proper words. "I...I don't know how to explain it. My Lord. But it is clear to all of us that you are no longer completely human." Caelis looked at the Priest with a brow lifted and asked "What am I then? Did the Fountain corrupt me so much to the point that I now part demon as well?"

"No no! Heavens no. You are now partly divine." Caelis was mute. He didn't really know what to say. "Now, we don't know what happened. Perhaps it was the power of the Highborn blood tear, or perhaps the divines themselves approved of your gallant actions and granted divinity upon you. However, you now have powers that are not completely apparent to us. I suggest that you come to the Mages Guild where we can conduct studies and experiments in a safe manner. However, it is clear that you are now a demi-god of some sort... a god of what exactly... we do not know. However, we should take caution and make sure that your powers can be controlled. We have all seen bright young prodigies in the magicks fall victim to their own immense powers. That is something that we all wish to avoid from happening to you, My Lord."

Caelis remained silent for several moments before he bursted in laughter. "Now now, it is amusing that some consider me a god as of late, but it is a bit much to have a laugh at their expense." Cassandra walked towards Caelis and kneeled before him. "My Lord, you are not just my lord in this physical realm, but of the spirit as well." Caelis stopped laughing as it become more clear that this was no joke. He cupped his face with his hands and let out a deep sigh. This world had changed him. For better or for worse... he did not know. But the matters of the gods were not to be trifled with... he had to take his new found divinity seriously. He looked up with a stoic face and replied "Very well, I shall head to the Mages Guild at once to see exactly what my new... divine nature brings with its baggage." He followed the mages out of the office and went forward to his new future.

---

Orders/Summary:

1. Introduce the Steamclock Engine for heavy rail transportation and begin to make a uniform "standard" of rail sizes and infrastructure so that Highborn efforts and Attolian efforts will have synergy. Work with the Fennec to introduce this technology and establish the infrastructure.
2 Engineers, Geologists, 100 Skeletons, Iron Skeleton Child Wraiths, 10 Skilled Dwarven Workers, 10 Skilled Attolian Workers, 29 Unskilled Workers, 50 Kobolds, Steam Shovel, Dwarven Texts, Industrialist Trait, 3 Wealth

2. Study of the Salvaged Parts of Tower 10 (Would bringing it over to Spire 9 allow the Clockwork Soldiers help us?) Maybe we can recreate the base off of the base of Spire 9?
2 Engineers, 2 Architects, Nicholas, Gnome Artificer, 10 Skilled Dwarven Workers, 10 Skilled Attolian Workers, Cassandra

3. Support the establishment and improvement of the Mithril Gates (Use of the Mana from the Squats/Blasted Hearth).
2 Astrologists, Cassandra, 1 Wealth

4. Continued Study of the "Crystals as a Prison"... experiment with the empty Tears taken from Spire 9?
Linguist, Death Mage, Talion the Constructor, Spell Breaker, 1 Wealth

5. Visit the Sphinx to study the portal that the animals came from and to try and convince it to join the colony (under the pretense of continuing to protect the animals of the Menagerie / now the Attolian Ranch).
Beast Mage, 20 Knights of the Circle, "Feather in Cap" (Leadership Trait), 3 Influence

6. Establish the Colonial Central Bank, using the 50 wealth of gems from the Tyren and the lesser gems/crystals of Attolia within the vault of the Capitol. Sing the Colony into prosperity!
Castellan, Lawyer, Sheriff, Metal Mage, 20 Sirens, 20 Attolian Swarm Infantry, 20 Kriegan Banner Infantry, 10 Halberdiers, Green, 2 Large blocks of Zircon, various crystals, "Feather in Cap" (Leadership Trait), 3 Influence

7. Studies and experiments on Caelis' divinity at the Mage's Guild
Caelis

8. Building Coastal Vessels (Ships meant for fishing/local trade/exploration/travel in shallower waters/within the continent).
Shipwright, Naval Captain, 15 Sirens, 4 Augmented Stone Constructs, 10 Unskilled Attolian Workers, 20 Sea Wolves, 1 Wealth, Shipyard, Powered Loom (to make the sails), Fisher Silk, Exile allied help

9. Blast Furnace (Factory to mass produce metal goods, glass, and mechanical parts...mass produce whimsical machines)
1 Engineer, Gnome Machinist, 30 Unskilled Workers, 5 Former Thralls, Dwarven Texts, Industrialist Trait, 1 Wealth

10. Gnoll Goodwill Expedition (Bring them salt and ice and help preserve their food, Share military training and tactics, Figure out more about the gnolls' current situation... especially with the vines)
Lothar, Diplomat, 1 Sundered King, 10 Attolian Swarm Infantry, 10 Kriegan Banner Infantry, Preserver, Attolian Chemist, Ice, Salt, Gnoll Battalion Banner,

11. Establishing a Publishing House - Creation of advanced courses with textbooks
Writer, Historian, Agriculturalist, Herbalist, Pantheon Priest, Explorer, Dr. Fleming, Gnome Chemist, Animal Tamer, Printing Press, Industrialist Trait, Writing Arms, 1 Wealth

12. Creation of Royal Jelly to fertilize the ant eggs and the queen ant to become hiver ants...and queens.
Hiver Prince (Miner)
 
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Heyitsjiwon

ゆうじん A
The Attolian Response @SpiralErrant @Prince Vaethorion

Re: Miscreated

The Attolian delegation agrees with the Highborn. The Fennec mess with powers beyond them that they clearly are not capable of dealing with among themselves. Thankfully, the Fennec have supposedly ceased their creation of these... abominations. However the question still remains, what to do with the near one hundred already still in existence? What of the not one, but two special Miscreated that are a blight upon the world? The Attolians suggest that they all be disposed of and spiritually cleansed.

Re: The Animals

The Attolians agree with the current laws proposed by the Tyren, but in regards to those that were recently captured. The Attolian delegation believes that the animals should be bred for the entire year in the event that we are not able to deal with the Cull. A past expedition to the Library District of the ruins garnered the Colony a sacrificial spell that requires 300 heads of cattle or the equivalent. This spell would buy us one more season if for some reason that we do not succeed in destroying the Cull come Spring of next year. This breeding project would remove the question of property rights till later and provide a solid investment for the good of the entire colony.

Re: Museums

The Attolians agree to the idea, but would like to for now focus labor efforts on dealing with the Cull and other threats to the Colony until there's a clear method to deal with these issues. An attempt will be possible later this season.

Re: Religion

The Attolian delegation agrees with the Highborn sentiment that faith is an individual matter and that it is up to the individual to follow a god or not. As long as this principle is upheld and no attempts to proselytize are committed, then the Attolians have no qualms.

Re: The Fennec

The Attolians have reached an agreement to obtain reparations for the damages caused by the Fennecs. If the Colonial Government seeks to incur criminal charges upon the Fennec, then that is a separate matter. However, the Attolians have settled the civic case with the Fennec.

Re: Slavery

As loyal servants of the Kingdom, we are to never partake in slavery under Royal Decree. Thus, to formalize this law in the Colony as well is a welcomed agreement. Let there be no slave working in these lands.
 
Andelluvius Fendarvin @Prince Vaethorion @Heyitsjiwon @SpiralErrant
The Arch-Lawyer of the Foxfolk was an older gentleman of his early 60s, his gray hair and wrinkled features betrayed his age, yet his posture and eyes still spoke of a sharp mind and vibrant strength. He may be a lawyer of criminals- but he was a Muurdaan none the less, and no mere peasant by the looks of it. And he carried himself with the air of one. He was confident, collected, and a tad arrogant- befitting of his class. He was a man of the capitol and he dressed like one, with an off-white satin jacket lined with golden buttons, further decorated with the addition of a silver chain and a silken handkerchief. His pants were of similar finish, color and design. And so to say the least, he arrived at the colonial council as if he belonged there.

"My dear council members" he began, bowing his head. "I have come before you to... dispel... some of the worries and concerns some of you have brought before me."

He smiled and began, "Now, I recognize the foxes have caused some... difficulties in the recent past and there very well may be some place for concern. Their old leadership was weak and inadequate, exhibiting the weaknesses that plague their race. It was a grave mistake to send a fox to lead fellow foxes. But fear not, for I have arrived to straighten things up if you will. You will find me a more reliable and trustworthy partner, though it may take some time for your reservations to be quelled, and I fully understand and expect that. I look forward to earning your trust and the improved relations that come from it. I think in time we all can learn to be excellent business partners."

"But enough formalities and talk of the future. There is the present... situations... to deal with. Lets begin shall we?"

He chuckled. "Now as for one of the more... ridiculous claims; if I may say so (and I mean no offense by this he adds)."

He turns to address the Highborn council member. "I'm afraid to inform you that no assassins be at your throats, nor have we even hired any assassins to kill your leaders. I'm frankly unsure where you got this idea from, but if we wanted to assassinate anyone I'm sure there have been ample opportunities to do so, yet here you are! Either there are no assassins out to get you, or their just very poor." He chuckles. "But in all seriousness, the assertion that we are plotting to off colonial members is absurd. Yes, we have people of skill who could perhaps be framed as being assassins as you say, but we have never used our security detail to unwarrently kill anyone- nor do we plan to. And as if you do not have your own... professionals. We are guilty as you when it comes to such an ability, less so even I'd wager."

"And as for our supposed spy networks... blown out of proportion I'd say. Our marketing teams collect information, yes, but certainly our "network" does not infringe on anyone's privacy or rights. Certainly not to the point that... others do. We are as guilty as you, if that."

He pauses and returns his attention to the full colonial council. "But, we must move on to more grounded matters. The Highborn councilor brought the issue of drugs to the attention of the council. It is not unknown, admittedly, that some sales of... illicit goods have occurred in and around Fennec holdings. But I assure you such deals are well regulated and handled with care. We have partaken in no activities that are not already permissible in the Old World. We've taken extra precautions to ensure the colony is not infected with any sort of illicit epidemic. We have followed... colonial requests, both open and private. I would highly detest being brought to court over such a benign issue. Especially considering who our customers are... If you have concerns regarding the issue, please bring them to me and I will ensure they are dealt with accordingly. I do not seek to cause trouble."

"And the snake "cult"- a harsh word to paint a race's religion. Yes, some of their members have caused undue and unjust harm. But those individuals were immediately handed over to the proper authorities and their actions disavowed. it had nothing to do with their religion and everything to do with the faults of a few individual members. A few bad apples do not ruin the bunch, Beyond this, I have taken all necessary steps to ensure such an event does not occur again. The Hooded are firmly under our control and are managed by a renowned expert and handlers of their own race. I assure you they will cause no further problems. In fact, I think you will find them quite productive and beneficial to colonial projects! Again, if you have ANY further concerns regarding the Hooded or anything else, I would be more than happy to address them."

He smiled and moved onto the meat and bones of his visit. "Now for the Miscreated... all... production of the creations has henceforth ceased. I will ensure the animal welfare standards, though I greatly detest the colonial government regulating how I deal with my property, is met to the fullest, if only as a show of good faith. As for the Miscreated that stand, their destruction would do nothing to ensure the safety of the colony as they pose no threat. They are firmly under our control and pose no threat. They are benign, even if their creation is off-putting. I would not judge them wholly based off of appearances and their birth, as they cannot choose how they are brought into this world. I think the colony will come to appreciate their efforts to build it's infrastructure and fend off it's dangers. We feel very much the same about the Transcendent and the Abombination."

"Though I doubt my words will have cleared all worries, I do hope it brings us towards the right direction. I am fully willing- and expecting, to discuss these matters further. I look forward to working with you all, as head of the Huitsi Trade Commission New World efforts. The NWTO is henceforth dissolved, as they failed to deliver on agreements made with my organization and we have been forced to take control- absorbing all their debts along with it- debts we intend to pay back in full."

He smiled and bowed once again. "Thank you for your attention. That is all for now."
 
@Bobisdead123

The Attolian delegation found the speech by the Fennec leader to be... rather the same. It was clearly lip service in certain parts but not others. Regardless, if they wanted to maintain this farce, then they could as long as the serious matters were properly dealt with. The Delegate spoke up "Very well, if the Miscreated will no longer be made, then will the Fennec allow themselves to be subject to search in those facilities where they were made? The Attolians will be willing to send our seer Cassandra along with a military escort to make sure that such operations were not done in secret and then cleaned up just prior to inspection. Any signs of... magical interference of this inspection will be taken as evidence as obstructing the law. Just know that we plan to keep a very close eye on the Fennec as recent events have clearly violated probation terms. What say you Mr. Fendarvin?"
 

Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
"Of elves and clotheshorses" --

The highborn, even though common and commerical level clothing trade was virtually or actually quite literally cornered by the tyren -- would not be upstaged. In fact their premier protective garments still had a niche to fill at the very top tiers of society, and they wished to cooperate with the Tyren rather than compete with them, seeing the involvement of the springborn as a bridge.

It did not take long for the experts of the highborn to take the laughably primitive loom (by elven standards) and change it tremendously. So much work by the water was not harnessed by the Tyren loom the initial plans to improve it would have shaken it right off of the cliff if they ran it at full capacity. It was the elven engineering of seizing not just the power of the water but it's movement that made the new loom a masterpiece and a wonder worthy of the best in the old world -- whirlpools were made in the waterfall and the whirlpools were made to power the loom, it's mechanical parts and the hammerers for the goldenweave. Goldenweave fabric could be hammered almost transparent making it more efficient to produce with the limited bark they had to harvest each season... as only so much could be fleeced by tree-singing. The loom, when complete, was impossibly fast and rivaled the fennec factory in the volume of product it brought forth. Truly trade fleets would need to be mobilized as the market became PREGNANT with common and even exotic goods.

In fact, the power generated by the loom exceeded that what was needed... it had become a power plant with the innovation of the elves. The Tyren and perhaps the colony would need to come up with new ways of harnessing this power.

Recent deep draws on the market fund however, took it's toll on the economy -- or rather it's due. with 18 wealth in the market, the highborn and fennec leveraged the market for every drop that could freely be taken without causing unrest. The market quickly began to bounce back, but now only contained Three Wealth at market. If steady trade with the mainland was established, which it invariably must, concern about the market might too become a thing of the past, with lucrative trade opportunity to cover the low end and a new colonial bank system to keep things in order at the teetering heights.

The armor the highborn made available to the colony was truly tremendous -- ballistic cloth made from the best attolian spidersilk, the best tyren goldenweave, their own improvements and their and the dwarven mastery of mithril Improved the armor level of all troops in the colony. The market and the storehouses of the colony was a fat tick just waiting to be drained.

The power of colonial armor technology was never more demonstrated than in the custom suit of lightweight heavy armor given to Orm. It was speculated entire volleys of arrows could be soaked by it, that Orm was virtually unstoppable, a superhero in his new garb of battle. Orm is now considered an 8 point unit for the purposes of combat armored. Harnessed rage and a virtual absence of fear of damage made him a monster to behold in training, and one could only speculate what his might could prove on the field. Some with wagging tongues wondered who would win in an arena battle -- Orm or the Fennec's "Trancendent" in single combat... but who could hope for such sport?

The common currency of the colony was "The silver orm" in it's infancy -- and the newly adopted gemstone currency did nothing to change this. The Emerald "Tara" was the new prince of coins, backed by new zircon and quartz "Orm"... attempts to call coinage something else just simply failed. Cultural influence of Tyren on colony levels up. Effect is partly shared with the Attolians.

THE WHITE ENGINE --

The white engine plan was very ambitious, but likewise very achievable -- and the idea of the piles of treasured wares (and people) travelling with new speed from the interior to the coast to underground was attractive to most folk with the sense and the vision. However, the less clean and non-magical steam engines of the Attolians were in direct competition for the place in the colony. As the highborn were accustomed, they accepted the fact that their more perfect way of doing things would be reserved only for the top tier and those who could afford it. Attolians and even dwarves began to work together with highborn to make a more crude but effective rail network, but faster than the highborn envisioned. Mithril track switches in place of full mithril rails and bellowing engines in place of the humming magical ones -- the highborn cars would be few but would have their place. The first "Spine System" of rails would be done by the end of spring. By end of spring everything in the colony would be reachable in half a day at most -- improving security and the response of the military accordingly. The elite would ride the white engines, and the steel workhorses of the attolians would take the brunt of the new transport labor. Attolian Cultural influence increases -- this effect is partly shared with the Highborn.

The Filthy, Evil Manticore --

The tactician had a plan -- she had seen more than one manticore brought down in her long life -- though perhaps none so big as this specimen. Opening up on it with arrows was a fruitless proposition as the thick leathery wings of the manticore are well known to cover the face of the beast while it slept. No, the best of all options would be used in that the creature would be ambushed leaving it's cave, and it's lair would be collapsed on it before the elves attacked from numerous directions. Smoke burned most of the night, sooting the area and while not waking the manticore masked the smell of the elves.

The time came surely at the passing of dusk... the great yellow baleful eyes of the manticore cast their reflected light in the deep of the cave, and the swordmasters had already taken their position atop the rubble above the cave. In deep cover of the ruins, the spearmen stood in a wall ahead of the archers who ducked out of sight until the trap was sprung.

The rancid breath of the beast was wafted off on it's expanding dragon-like wings. magestically it's lion body and paws stepped out into the moonlight, it's horrid scarred tongue lapped at it's filthy and fearsome mane and face. It's scorpion tail, reared high above it as it reached the threshold of the cave...

...and the trap was sprung. The manticore sensed a moment too late that this time IT was the quarry. The swordsmasters caused a collapse directly on the full mass of the manticore just as the spearmen jumped up and the archers shot forth their volly of gleaming arrows. In the instant it was brought down by the rubble it's mane and face were riddled by one volley of arrows, then another.

The swordsmasters jumped and flipped down from their purchase above and rent the manticores wings to shreds before it could flap them once to shed the blocks of masonry heaped upon it. The roar of the manticore was such that the spearmen and archers were RAINED with spittle and visible force, almost enough to break their composure.... but terror did not take them. Another volley of arrows. The beast was freeing itself from the rubble and flinging the swordsmasters aside or setting them bounding for cover... another volley. To the face. Always the face.

In horror an archer saw an arrow BREAK off the surface of the manticore's eye. They were truly dealing with a titan now... a titan of rage.

Finally free the tail of the manticore whipped dozens of poisonous spikes down on the spearman wall it towered over. Three spearmen turned dark green and died immediately from the barbs cast directly through the mithril shields, but their line had saved the archers... all but one, at least.

(Three spearmen and one archer die in spike volley)

The tactician cried fiercely -- "The Tail! Hurry to my side and fight this thing!"

A swordmaster was immediately impaled by the swinging crane of death... poison pouring from his mouth, eyes, and ears.

The spearmen charged with the cover of a volley. the arrows all met at one precise point -- the barb of the tail, knocking it back with the swordmaster still impaled and pinning it to the masonry above it. The swordsmasters jumped and climbed over each other to each strike at the tail, the tactician herself jumping through a bleeding hole in the manticore's wing to slice the tail of the beast off at the rump of the creature. Elven warcries for the first moment were drowned out by the agonied howling of the monster. Another volley. Spears to the flanks. Another.

The beast would not go down. Lunging forward, it PULPED three more spearmen under it's massive paws.

(Additional 1 swordsmaster and 3 spearmen dead)

From their cover here, the archers fired straight up into the belly of the beast, and up it reared, slapping at the flying swordsmasters. They swarmed like bees, the elves were batted at desperately now by the creature... it's mouth and nose fountains of blood. Elves fell where they stood from the slightest glance of the creature (5 swordmasters wounded critically)

but another volley fell. and another. The creature wound itself up as if going to sleep, pulling its tattered wings around it. And another volley. And another. The remaining spearmen lanced the beast again and again. And a volley. And a volley. The remaining swordmasters and their commander thrust deep to hit the organs of the beast. and another. and another.

The highborn emptied their quivers into the corpse of what looked like a beast now slumbering. there would be no chances taken with the cost already paid in highborn blood.

When all was said and done, the tail-barb of the manticore was taken as a trophy -- few poisons were so potent that the highborn knew -- at least for beasts of the lands. The mane took was shorn from the beast, making a cloak for the tactician and a robe in tribute to their leader, the prince.

It's teeth were pulled with great effort and forged into deadly arrows, a quiver full of them. it's eyes -- it's unbreakable eyes were taken as a trophy as well.

The terror of the Menagerie was dead. The highborn had killed it -- but at what cost? The wounded were piled onto litters and the force withdrew back to the highborn quarter -- it would be the start of fall before any of the swordsmasters would be ready to fight again, of the nine that lived. All told beyond that 6 spearmen and an archer had died for the fight -- but they had brought down a titan.

Still, the mourning for those lost would endure in song for centuries. A single life of the highborn was so dear.
 
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Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
After this, it was a melancholy event to see the elven tradeships off laden with goods. blessings were buried at sea and the appropriate rites of burial and dissolution were simultaneous with the departure of the ships.

The highborn mages continued to study the attolian and Tyren tomes, and could feel close to unlocking the deepest secrets of "Crystals as prisons" -- while there was no idea what energy was contained in a tear of divinity (it certainly was NOT mana, but something somehow more pure, more powerful!) but the attolians and highborn felt that they could build the skeleton of a tear if they wished.

The barkbound tome revealed many more secrets partaining to the quality of life of the wood elves and how they lived so comfortably in the wild. magic of darkness, magic of light, and magic of primitive nature spirits was unlocked with their aid.
 
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FINECIAN TROOP TOTALS
"Yellow Teeth" Clan
Dirty Paw: 10
Clean Paw: 10
Unskilled Worker: 30
TOTAL: 50

"Natives"
Hooded Worker: 32
Hooded Warriors: 70
Native Witch: 5
Dune Rider: 6
Giant Pengolin: 3
TOTAL: 124

"Foreigners..."
Black Surgeons: 3
Miscreated: 90
Transcendent: 1
Abhorrent 1
TOTAL: 95

"New World Trade Organization"
Unskilled Workers: 34
Skilled Workers: 50
Hitmen: 9
Dunsia Assassin: 4
Trolls: 10
Capos: 8
TOTAL: 122

Of Monsters and Men @Heyitsjiwon @Prince Vaethorion @SpiralErrant
As the uproar over the Fennec's growing mass of Miscreated and other creatures deemed "monstrosities" by the colony prepared to reach its crescendo, the program was suddenly ceased. The Miscreated "Factory" was closed and disassembled, any animals remaining were merged into the collective herds of the colony. No additional Miscreated would be created. The Black Doctors curiosity over the creatures, though unsated (and truly unsatiable was their preoccupation with their "research", the sudden abandonment of such a successful program was nigh infuriating. They would not soon forget those who once more stood in the way of progress), would be redirected. Furthermore, colonial laws regarding the treatment of animals would be followed.

Transcendent, and Transcend He Shall
The Transcendent was more than the mere "monster" the colony regarded him as. Beneath the hair, scales, tentacles, and beastly mass was a childlike intelligence, and what child is inherently evil? We all have our leanings, but which way we ultimately fall is the result of our upbringing and simple circumstance. An evil child can be made to be good, just as a good child may be corrupted and made evil. Which way the Transcendent fell would be up to the colony to decide. He who is treated like a monster shall become one.

The Fennec would not treat the creature as such, and see the creature destroyed. Rather it would be treated as a sentient being should- albeit with more precaution given it's state...

It's name was to be Ulysses, Ulysses the Transcendent. He was to be educated, as a child must be. He was to be taught language, to speak, read and write. He was to be taught about the world, about history and present. He was to be taught to harness his strength, to fight. To think logically, calculatively and strategically. The Master Botanist was to oversee his general education, along with the help of other Finecian Experts. Andrei the Master Assassin was to see the logical, strategic and combative training of Ulysses the Transcendent. His education would come in time.

But first, before higher level knowledge could be taught, he must learn to read and write. There we would begin.

TLDR: THE TRANSCENDENT IS NAMED ULYSSES AND TREATED AS AN OFFICIAL PROTECTED MEMBER OF THE HUITSI TRADE COMMISSION, AND AS A HIGH RANKING OFFICIAL AT THAT. HE IS TO BE TAUGHT TO READ AND WRITE BY THE MASTER BOTANIST.
(Ulysses the Transcendent, Master Botanist. 1 Transcendent, 1 capo)

Housing Accommodations
Ulysses was no beast and did not deserve to live like one. More comfortable housing would be created for him in the side of the excavation. The Giant Pengolins would be of use to dig out a large room for him. The room would be furnished to a high ranking officers standard, with a custom bed and furniture for Ulysses. Being in the side of the excavation, it would be secure in case Ulysses were to... go a bit wild. It would still be secured and he would be contained while he was educated. But his standard of living would be greatly improved. He would be a guest!
(3 Giant Pengolins, 1 Troll, 10 Unskilled Fennec, 5 Skilled Fennec, 1 Black Surgeon)

TLDR: A PROPER, BUT SECURE HOME IS MADE FOR ULYSSES THE TRANSCENDENT

THE ONE RING
The Witches were enchanters of sorts.. amulets and items could be custom "enchanted" for users. These skills would be put to use, in collaboration with the Fennec's illusionists and the Master Jewler. The Master Illusionist and Andrei the Master Assassin/Illusionist would work with the 5 Native Witches to enchant Gold Rings the ability to grant their wearer INVISIBILITY (of the best manner possible, perhaps to disguise themselves as what the wearer is touching or near? if not completely invisible!). Furthermore, these rings would be enchanted to BOOST the user's agility/speed and perhaps dexterity. Perhaps using the souls of rabbits...? The rings would be made for Andrei and the Dunsia.
(5 Native Witches, 2 Capo (illusionists), 1 Capo (Master Jeweler), 4 Dunsia)

TLDR: FIVE RINGS ENCHANTED WITH INVISIBILITY, AGILITY/SPEED BOOST AND DEXTERITY BOOST IF POSSIBLE ARE MADE FOR THE DUNSIA AND ANDREI THE MASTER ASSASSIN

Forest of Rock
The HTC's ready source of valuable amber had petered out, and production of amber goods threatened to come to a standstill. This simply wouldn't do. The petrified forest did no one any good standing as it did- and so it would be torn down! Stripped apart and made of use! Amber and chunks of the petrified wood would be collected and shipped to the factory to be made into jewelry and used in lavish furniture and other decorations.
(15 Miscreated, 10 unskilled Fennec, 10 Skilled Fennec 1 Black Surgeon, 2 Trolls, 20 Hooded to guard Fennec)

TLDR: THE PETRIFIED FOREST IS TO BE TORN DOWN, AMBER EXTRACTED AND PETRIFIED WOOD MADE INTO JEWLERY AND FURNITURE/OTHER DECORATION AS WELL AS THE AMBRER)



The Garden Springs @SpiralErrant
The public bathhouses the Highborn had constructed has been popular. But the Fennec could do better! The Highborn thought of themselves as the master of luxury- this would be proven untrue! With the graces of the Tyren, the Fennec would begin a project to build an indoor/outdoor bathhouse/pool complex in Harun Taras, complete with a "cold bath", a "cool bath", a warm bath" and a steam room. Furthermore, what luxurious bath complex wouldn't be complete without a garden surrounding it? Decorated with amber and petrified trees, wood and decorations sourced from the petrified forest! And who would complain about it being open to the public?

Of course, garden/exotic themed bar carved from the petrified wood would be placed in the complex, form which to sell Walking Dream Soda, Sweat Leaf, food and other... delicacies. It would be a luxurious complex indeed. And the Highborn thought themselves high-class... ha!
(10 Skilled Fennec, 10 Clean paws, 2 Trolls, 15 Unskilled Rats, 2 wealth)

TLDR: THE FENNEC, WITH THE GRACES AND HELP OF THE TYREN BEGIN TO BUILD "THE GARDEN SPRINGS"; A FANCY PUBLIC INDOOR/OUTDOOR BTHCOMPLEX WITH COLD, COOL, WARM AND HOT/BATH/STEAM ROOM. (LIKE ROMAN BATH HOUSES/COMPLEXES). DECORATED WITH A GARDEN SURROUNDING/IN THE PLACE, AMBER< PETRIFIED WOOD AND A FANCY PETRIFIED WOOD BAR SELLING WALKING DREAM SODA, SWEAT LEAF, WINES AND OTHER FENNEC GOODS! 2 WEALTH SPENT TO ENSURE A LUXURIOUS FINISH!

Excavation @Heyitsjiwon
The excavation is to be dug out by the Miscreated and other workers. The Attolian team is expected to arrive... whenever they do.
(40 Miscreated, 2 Trolls, 1 Black Surgeon, 5 Skilled Fennec to be guarded by the 2 Trolls and 20 Hooded Warriors as they excavate the tombs)

THE GREAT FACTORY
The Fennec's ambitious project had been completed! The awe of the colony, the pinnacle of production and efficiency! Fendarvin was pleased with the results of his leadership, but the work had simply just begin. Now the factory was to be revved up and put into use! The forgery section of the factory was to be enlarged, beefed up and otherwise enhance in order to produce a variety of common metal goods, from nails, bolts, clips, rebar, to tools, basic armor and other basic and common metal goods. But most importantly for now... RAIL STAKES, RAILS AND OTHER RAIL ROAD MATERIALS! The factory was capable of spitting out good- and spit out goods it would! The Factory would begin to spew forth materials for the developing rail system.
(1 Troll, 30 Unskilled Rats, 10 Skilled Fennec, 1 Capo Fendarvin to Oversee)

The Factory will also begin to use the petrified wood to produce jewlery, decorations and furniture.

TLDR: THE FACTORY'S FORGERY GETS AN UPGRADE AND BEGINS TO SPEW FORTH MATERIALS FOR BUILDING THE COLONIAL TRACK SYSTEM


LAYIN' TRACK @Heyitsjiwon
The Fennec begin to lay track for the Attolian engine from their factory towards the Platz. In the future, Finecian goods would be transported to market and the docks by the might of trains! This work should complement and syngergize Attollian and Highborn efforts.
2 Trolls, 10 Skilled Fennec, 14 unskilled fennec, 20 Miscreated, 32 Hooded Workers, 1 Capo Grand Pretender to oversee the Hooded. 1 Capo Sontio to oversee Miscreated. 30 hooded Warriors to guard Fennec)

The SteamClock Engine @Heyitsjiwon
3 Wealth sent to the Attolians as investment into the engine and trackline.

Load Up Them Ships
1 Wealth Spent to pay people to load up the 3 Fennec Ships with goods so as to set sail for the Old World Soon.
(1 Wealth, 10 Dirty paws, 6 hitmen and 1 Capo to help load and make sure the shit IS loaded)
 
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Shireling

A Servant of King and Country
Stoutmen of Standin
Following the merriment of the Green Festival, Reverend Kearney returned to the Councilhouse to represent the Stouts in the matter of their entrance into the colonial government. He regards the Attolian and concurrent Highborn opinion of his people as wanton destroyers of the wilderness and religious fanatics as slanderous. He cites measures that he has already assured the Imperial governor that the Pantheon will be respected by his people, as per Imperial decree, and rejects out of hand any characterization of their goodwill work to the community as "proselytizing." Furthermore, he defends their decision to cut portions of the forest, explaining that more land was needed for crops and buildings, and that they would be equally if not more condescending to the Stouts if they were forced to live amongst the rest of them in the colony writ large. All this being said, he formally agrees to cease all work by Standish clergy on the colony-side of the river and agrees to task the Standish forester's guild with replanting some of the trees.

Stouts in the colony begin to regard Attolians and Highborn with suspicion, assuming that they harbor prejudices against them for their religious views and practices. This does not stop them, however, from hiring themselves out as daylaborers to help lay track for the quickly emerging railways. Aside from the day-labor, the Stouts spend less time in general associating in the Platz and Learner's Square and more time amongst themselves and those friendly to them who visit across the river in New Harmony. Standish clergy abandon all teaching practices and services that they performed in the poorer areas of the colony and begin discussing plans for the construction of a new seminary.

Meanwhile, desiring a more secure position living on the frontier, and having constructed several watchtowers already, the Stouts begin laying the foundation of a large stone castle designed to house a Standish landlord and a small garrison, which would also function as a place of safety for civilians if the colony is attacked. Any available laborers begin construction.

Finally, the Stouts move to hire out space on the Fennecian trading fleet to export their snow-flour, boots, and handmade cottage goods to the Old World.
 
Welcome Aboard @Shireling
The Finecians had already leased space on the Stoutmen boat, and hearing of their desire to export, will allow the Stoutmen ship to utilize the HTC protected shipping route. Thus the Stoutmen have their ship. It can set sail on the HTC trade routes whenever the Stouts please, provided at least 1/4 be reserved for the Fennecs use.
 

Pat

His Majesty Henry VIII
After several tense moments Triton orders the marines guarding him and the expedition to stand down and back away to the main column. Slowly swimming forward to proffer his personal trident to the lobstermen contingent, he with his limited telepathic abilities attempts to reach out to their minds with a message of peace and a proposition for mutually beneficial cooperation in catching the endless bounty of the sea for their respective peoples. Folklore spoke of how the ancient precursors to the merdwarf race used their powers to broker primitive peace treaties with the predators seemingly incapable of reasoning of their homeland to designate territory, acceptable prey, and hunting grounds, but never before in living memory had a tale of communication so complex with a race so developed taken place. They've simply never needed to with the introduction of the common tongue and with it the authoritarian rule of the Muurdan. Pausing in his approach, his webbed fingers reached into his pockets for the water tear of divinity and went to tie the artifact prominently around his neck on display for the natives to witness. While the reign of the mage kings may have been long forgotten in their own oral traditions no matter the boon or harm they brought, Triton doubted the same of the awe and potency of their magical relics inspired.
 

Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
The Colony rolls on:

With such funding and labor going to the white engine and portal project, both saw advancements -- It became possible to move small inanimate objects freely throughout the colony, and up to four stable portals for living beings could be set up -- but these would require travel through the ways.

Fennec manufacturing, colony-wide support and labor and not a small amount of coin gave the white engines and the engines of the Attolians RAIL COVERAGE to at least one point for each faction. Roads were widened and tracks were laid, in part due to the addition of wide labor-animal usage.

Animal breeding went apace, and it was envisioned that next spring (the time of the cull) rolled around, the herds might be fatter and more numerous.

The Tyren rock tumbler stripped the waste rock off of rubies, emeralds, quartz and zircon -- making the gem currency standard a true reality. Gold began to shift into the central bank in exchange for currency stones, which grew and strengthened the fund in the market. Even with the governor draining a substantial amount of wealth from the colony to be sent back to the old world, the market hovered at 5 wealth, and promised to grow.
The governor was appeased, and at a time and juncture that least pained the colony. Phelot promised that the Muurdaan at home would be pleased with the injection of wealth drawn from the colony, as well as strictly encouraged the travelling of more trade ships.

From the Tyren and their wood-elf brethren, a rare enchantment was drawn from the bark-bound tome -- "The fog of Cicada" -- this spell would cause generations of insects that normally rose every year, 5 years, 10 years or some 20 or more to spawn all at once -- in the event of a cull incursion, the very air and ground would be cloaked in insects, every blade of grass and every building would be masked by the enshrouding plague of harmless insects. This was thought a possible strong defense against how the cull hunted it's prey -- speculating them to be anywhere from blind to oblivious to the movement of colonists, should the spell succeed. With the addition of the Attolian chemical agent -- there was both a weapon and a defense for the cull should it rear it's head -- though the attolian alchemical weapon was brilliantly expensive to produce in all but the smallest quantities.

The Tyren built two smaller ballista as they had planned, the bolts of these tipped with a goldenweave composite with bull iron. The bolts were both very light and very hard -- allowing them to fly fast, and hit hard, some speculating to the shredding of armor. the ballistas were also fit with optional racks that could hold 200 arrows each, turning the ballistae into mobile archer corps, if area damage was preferred to direct. This was a result of springborn applying highborn techniques learned from the advanced loom.

The Tyren attempt to create a more broader accepted, milder and more exotic blend of darkleaf finally began to bear fruit. It was an acquired taste, but one could almost argue that it was especially habit-forming -- either that or it truly was such a pleasure to be enjoyed those who partook were loathe to not have it on hand. Lightleaf becomes an exotic commodity from the Tyren!

The Tyren loom, once fully enchanced by the Highborn -- captured insane amounts of excess power for use from the waterfall... So far naught could be thought of to create a use for this power, until the attolians got their minds to spinning -- such a generator could power automatons, drive the engines on the rail system, even potentially alter the weather... the Tyren and the colony would have to see how this power could be brought to bear, but even in small experiments the charging of simple batteries and excitation of loads on rail were very encouraging.

The Tyren Blood-touched knew that Skinchantment was no small affair, and great was the art as was the agony that went into the works of the skinchanter. The fortitude of the bloodtouched was multiplied, as was Orm's strength. The earth shook where they walked now, and their discipline found new use as it became apparent Orm would need to be delicate with anything less powerful than a Tyren hand. Feats of strength were requested and Orm would complete them -- the pulverizing or rocks, the bending of anvils -- These were deeds for Orm and his blood touched.
 

Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
INDUSTRIALIZATION TAKES HOLD!

Even though the white engine technology was best funded, the use of steamclock engines rapidly begins to outstrip the magical wagons for ease of use and efficiency, at a cost of a minor amount of pollution. The massive iron and steel making capacity of the colony, not the least of which is due to the passive efforts of the Firebeards (+2 influence Firebeards) it is also due to the tireless work from the fennec factory to produce fair quality but more importantly uniform rail structure that rapidly lays down it's footprints in the colony. (+2 influence Fennec) -- The main forerunners and sponsors of the technology gain the most influence however (+5 influence Attolian, Highborn, and Tyren!)

Additional factions not mentioned here that wish to gain unlimited access to the rail system need only invest 3 wealth to gain their own carts and wagons for full rail use.

@Heyitsjiwon

The bottom of spire 9 is faithfully transcribed and even scried for minute differentiation. The blueprint for the base of a new spire 10 is ready, but sadly the amount of labor, however skilled, is little more than able to produce the footstones and sigil-bands of the tower base. MUCH much more labor, on the scale of the rail system even -- would need to be put forward to actually build the spire, not only that, but a location for it's construction would have to be designated.

Investment in stable portals makes the technology even more promising and speculatively safe. (+3 influence highborn)

It is also speculated that the three basic elements required to take the battle to the CULL are presently extant -- (not counting a formidable military) -- A chemical means to expose the cull to harm, a way using portals to potentially invade their territory, and a spell to mask the colony from the cull during combat with it. Excitement begins to brew in the colony in place of growing dread -- the colony may have what it takes to face it's toughest challenge yet!

Study by the attolians of the tome of crystals as prisons brings forth a surprising discovery -- the tears of divinity are a type of prison in their own right -- some kind of cell for encasing divine energy -- it also leads to breakthroughs in avenues of research -- one avenue being developing an empty tear capable of containing/imprisoning an enemy, and another avenue of research leading to miniaturization of goods into a "dimensional prison" within a tear enabling up to 25 units of goods to be shrunk to inconsequential size, though the process may have expenses.

The establishment of the Tyro-Attolian Bank is a complete success (+4 influence Attolia, +3 influence Tyren) and the application of magic and sirensong is fruitful in creating "interest" on growing of gems and crystals. Control and regulation kickoff flawlessly, and prosperity across the colony is a direct result. Though it might not be as simple as the Tyren's initial idea of distributing capital recklessly, the more subtle effects of increased savings, higher wages, and happier populace take a great effect on the populace.

The construction of a dozen or so caravels, half of which belong to the exiles and half which belong to attolia, are constructed at the shipwrights guild. Other factions may also produce caravels as desired for 1 wealth per handful of vessels. this enables the exiles to hunt farther from shore, bringing clams and pearls in greater numbers, as well as urchins as a new food source on the sea mesas closer to the barrier.

Study of Caelis' new powers for understanding and scope are somewhat disappointing -- the nature of his changes are already known to be divine in nature, and other factions mages are unsettled by it, more than they are able to determine the nature of it. Caelis' mages and agents put forth a number of choices for him to make giving course to the development of his powers, though they are otherwise quite secretive about it.

The blast furnace is hurriedly constructed, and if not for the applied expertise and good fortune of the team assigned to build it, they might have been subjected to a disasterous calamity as the furnace, when first awakened, nearly exploded with the fiery potential and promise it put forth. Minor injuries to some workers as the proper amount of safety equipment was rapidly discovered and developed, but otherwise harm was diminutized, thank goodness. The blast furnace put forth all manner of metal goods and machinery, further closing the gaps between white engine and steamclock rail technology. (+3 influence Attolian!) the entire colony would quickly learn what a powerhouse the blast furnace offered, expanding the steelmaking and glassmaking potentials of all the factions and the colony as a whole... and giving an entirely new dimension to sophistication of goods at market. The Imperial Governor took a significant tithe of the first waves of product to send to the old world in his own name, but soon the surpluses were overflowing not just for the attolians, but for the entire colony's industry. The combination of the loom power plant and blast furnace catapulted the colony to new heights! (+2 influence Tyren! +2 Influence Highborn!)

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The beast mage Rex approached, with troops in tow, the realm of the sphinx in the menagerie once more. Cut of stone and gilded with gold and faience the inanimate monument stood. The door where the animal-sphinx once laid upon was now just a stone impression of a door in the larger monument of the sphinx itself -- a false doorway between it's mighty-hewn lion's paws. If this portal lead anywhere still, it's magic lied with the animation or magic of the sphinx. Which now stood silent, it's blue-stone eyes gazing lidnessly forward.

Rex addressed the statue, though at first it seemed almost silly to do so -- and indeed a rumbling throughout the menagerie came to be as the stone eyes of the sphinx blinked, and it's wings of stone furled back, and it's great crested head craned down on the little being that had previously answered it's riddles...

"Ah -- The clever one returns and wishes to speak.." Sand fell from the mouth of the statue, and from all around it, sand from the surrounding buildings too, from the booming voice that seemed to come from deep within the stone...

"I am Sek-Ahntet, Mighty Sphinx, and I do the bidding of no mortal evermore -- the menagerie was protected, my wards are now the people of this lands..."

Rex implored the sphinx to commune further -- taking no small effort to influence "her" to remain conversant.

"Very well" The sphinx boomed. "I will only talk to the mortal who can answer me this -- What tells you the I? The eye? And the Lie?"

"Answer me this, or let your footfalls echo in my memory -- RUN AWAY."

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Creation of the publishing house was successful, and more and more erudite and arcane information became more widely available for reference and for instruction. It had yet to be seen what effect Attolian textbooks would have as an effect socially on the colony, but Attolian texts became as naturally commonplace as Tyrens were associated with currency. Only the Highborn were not swayed by the promise of this knowledge, as they had knowledges deeper still. But Attolian education and angle on culture began to take shape in small ways... just as the language of the school-house and learners square slowly began to shift to attolian....

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The hiver Prince (Miner) took to the tunnels of the ratkin with gluttonous loads of all manner of food, a lair was carefully constructed and hewn with a cradle of royal mucus. The more the prince ate, the richer the by-products of it's special glands become, eventually producing true royal jelly to exude onto the eggs of the giant ants. In a manner both natural and mystical, the Hiver prince hijacked the existing egg and fertilized it with it's own genes and body-template.. It would take great amounts of food, and until the latter half of the fall -- but the Hiver prince was confident a new queen would be born to the Hivers -- and with it, a new Dynasty for them in the new world...

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The goodwill visit to the gnolls was fruitful, and the attolians got closer to the center of the gnoll civilization than ever was possible previously. The area at the Southeast foot of shearcliff was in fact not so much a city of gnolls as a vast carpeting of village -- their dwellings were generally numerous, singular or for small groups and somewhat uniform until the waters at the foot of shearcliffs was reached. There the women and children were housed -- and it seemed quite surprisingly that the gnoll society was truly matriarchal -- the vast village was ruled from the lake-hamlet of the females, under the already known but secretive leadership of "the bitch queen" -- young males endlessly fought at the outskirts of the center-hamlet -- both young honing their skills as children to join the men of the tribe, as well as even more bloody and savage brawls for mating rights that continued day and night without end.

The gnolls were not receptive to learning the military ways of the colony -- not yet at least. They instead challenged that if the Gnolls ways were to be subverted by the better ways of the colonial warrior, they must send forth their four greatest champions and face "The Trials" that would make the colony military and the military of the gnolls one entity -- the merging of the packs.

The gnolls were equally contemptuous of ways to preserve their food -- and the bitch queen seemed to have her own secrets about this.

"The gnolls are well fed... worry more for your own during wintertime."

About the vines at least they were more eager to share knowledge... salting the earth had caused a retreat of the largest vines, with only small patches of lesser vines animating groups of skeletons here and there -- the gnolls had salted the great vines far to the Northeast until the forest hit a declination deep into a forested valley, a deep and dark wood, murky and otherworldly... there, their scouts found a half-buried temple pyramid -- and it was from this structure a great flower and it's vines covered the landscape... with great numbers (hundreds? Thousands?) of mannikin dead in an odd parody of worship... The gnolls share their intel about the Asphodel Blightbloom -- and are interested in the colony's ideas as to how to deal with it. For now, it had retreated back to it's home.... but what was the purpose of this mock worship? and would it give the vines strength to return to the gnoll wood, and the wood of the colony?

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Old lore, new works.
@Beckoncall
It was one of those afternoons, when Orm was paying a regular visit to Anais in her watery hall. He still held to the promise he'd made her on the beach when they'd taken her from the slavers' chest and done what he could to make her feel like a welcomed member of the tribe. Her history spanning memory had certainly made her a reliable adviser to him in colonial matters and thanks to her not embarrassing any of the drug fueled habits that was common in shamanic magic her stories never felt like riddles for him to unravel. Of course before they got around to proper business they would have to gossip! Practically a national pastime among this nomadic people who were still getting to grips with the idea of having their own houses and private spaces. Anais' unofficial niche as the agony aunt of the hills always gave them plenty of topics to go over and left Orm wondering that if this was what being a spymaster was like then no wonder the foxes and elves loved doing it. But eventually the fun stuff had to make way for chieftain business.

"So I was talking to Deryn and - well I'm sure you've heard by now - but she's talking about how this new loom wheel they've made can help make the vines stronger or even make a machine to change the weather." Orm gave a baffled shrug, he still couldn't understand how any of it worked. He could grasp the basics of the loom, the water turned the wheels and the wheels moved the arms they were connected to by a web of pegs, bolts and pieces that made his eyes hurt to look at. How things like that could be made to make clothes and work magics was beyond him.

"Yes I've heard..." Anais said, her voice simply carrying forth from the jelly covered skull that served as her face as her liquid form idly sloshed through the pool. "I imagine the druidic arts could thrive under the waterfalls... everyone passing through here seems to be wearing robes made from your trees and silks..."

Orm jutted his chin in a thoughtful nod. The goldweave and the parchment had been a grand boon from these works. He'd pondered on the idea of using the golden bark to dye their wool when the time was right, thinking they could sell fancy gold fleeces to the folk across the sea but what the elves had worked was better than he'd ever anticipated.

"Yeah it's some impressive stuff but uuh, well I've been thinking on some things."

"Always dangerous." The Aboleth quipped with her macabre grin.

Orm gave her a grunt and a flaring of his nostrils that silently told his jelly friend that 'Oh she thought she was SO funny!'

"Well I was thinking about the stuff we found around here and what some of those skellies said! How they called us Paani or something like that, and how even the ent was talking about the Pan when he saw the glade."

They'd found evidence of past minotaurs and elves in these parts, living in a similar way to his own people. But to hear them talk about the Pan sounded like madness. Pan weren't supposed to be real, they were a story mothers told their yearlings to keep them from wandering off in the dark, legends of giant monsters with the bodies of minotaurs and great ram like heads that could eat a calf whole. Shul had once spoken of how their legends were more than that, that they were the lost kings of the cloven folk that would one day return to unite the folk of the fields again (something the centaurs would no doubt scoff at with all their talk of their lost empires) but Orm had never taken it seriously. Odd considering he did believe in the stories of the birthing lands and now here he was, seemingly finding proof that both stories had some truth to them!

"So I was thinking since you seem to know bits of all the folk who used to live here you could tell me more about them, what you remember of them." It was still odd for him to say.

"As lovely as it is to play at teacher with you, Orm, it hardly seems you have time to hear the collected histories of the Paani these days." Anais said, tilting her head and spiraling her viscus form as she scooped up some old offered coins on the floor of her pool in what seemed to be an act of idle amusement.

She had a point there. Even today he was stealing a free moment before he was set to head across the river with Esteri in the name of politics. At least it meant he got a chance to show off his fancy new armour. "Well maybe you could tell me what they'd do with something like a waterwheel that makes the ground shake?" After all if a nation of minotaurs had worked such wonders before then there was no need for them to reinvent the wheel as folk say.

That gave Anais something to ponder. "Hmm... well they did have a few works I recall that could make use for such a thing but the Paani had married themselves to the natural world in ways that have been lost since the wind age. They had alternatives to industry as you know it and were careful to limit what works they did create in the name of expansion, lest it pave the way to making the forest a plain, and a plain a desert, and a desert a paved floor of stone."

Orm nodded along, thinking back to the sylvan talking of working with the living elements and the powerful vines that made their mine. His old life was one based on taking what you could from the land before leaving it to recover and thrive in their absence. He wasn't sure he could live as the druids did but he'd long ago learned the importance of striking a balance, much like what the Highborn spoke of.

"But they could be creative builders when they stepped into that world." Anais continued. "They made huge water pumps which could irrigate the land or drain swamps for better farming, at times they could push them to use such force as to make a vacuum that could move huge bodies of water."

That was a tempting thought. With power like that they could have an easier time of clearing the sunken ruins in the cliffs folk were so tempted by or even turn the northern swamps into fine farmland for new crops. But all that water had to go somewhere and Orm's mind was filled with images of the river below the hills flooding or drying up. Besides that, who could say what draining the swamp would do to the life that dwelt there and the snakes that called it home. He'd come here to escape people claiming the places he called home and driving him out, not to become like them himself.

"They also turned their minds to more... exotic works, you could say." She offered. "They knew ways to use things like your loom to harness the power of lightening and imbue it into their weaponry or towers and items that could fire it like an arrow as they desired."

Now that just sounded mad! How could a bunch of gears and wheels in a pool somehow summon the very fire of the sky itself? Now Orm really was stumped. Although the idea of holding an axe that crackled with lightening bolts or a tower that could act like a powerful totem of the sky spirits was a tempting one. And then, for want of a better expression, lightning struck. Orm stood bolt upright, his eyes sparkling with new ideas. "Like a totem to the sky itself... Anais, see that it's done!"

"I- what?" And for the first time the grim looking creature before him looked taken aback!

"I'll make sure all the craftbulls are brought to you, tell them everything you know, you're in charge of this project." Orm rambled on as if he were about to charge forward himself.

"I can hardly leave this building!"

"All the remaining shaman spreading your word, we'll get that inventor fellow on board, the whole clan will get you whatever you need. THIS IS HAPPENING!" And with that Orm actually did charge off. He was running to the craft wagons, gathering all who were free to head to the Water Hall to hear what they needed to do. He rounded up Deryn and her coven like a mad sheepdog and swept them along to Anais' pool edge. Until he roused the shaman from their smokey den, even forgetting how strange he and Ummush were with each other since the latter's regeneration for a time.

"Imagine it." Orm told them excitedly. "A full totem to Sky. A Beacon to call on the silent first and commune with the air spirits by harnessing their own might!"

Bruul was skeptical. "Sparking weapons is a fun idea, Chief, but we've only just managed to harness the vines, wouldn't that make us much richer than hurling bolts?" As

"Think of what's coming, Bruul! Riches will do us no good if we're left dead or hiding from The Cull, with the tower she spoke of we could summon a storm to fight against it, to strike the swarm right out of the air. We could even call on the help of the elves and their light spirit to combine our strength like you did at the fountain. Think on what we've already gathered and what more we could call with this work." It was as if Orm was alight with a new rage for all the energy and excitment he was showing for this! Something the first shaman had so rarely seen from their oft worrying and dour chief!

"You mean the standing stones." Said Sinana, her arms crossed in stoic thought.

"And those who could stand in them!" Orm breathed. "Ancient ents and druids to call on Forest. This Olm who lives in the deep places and learned the silent speech of Earth, a true deep child. Then we have Anais, born from something that knows and dwells in the dark colds that Water hides and protects us from. Bruul, you said you wanted to experiment with the bushel gems, you wanted to see if they could hold mana of specific kinds?"

And with that the pieces fell in place for each of the shaman. "If we could hold the lightning... if we could keep the distant fire..."

"By blade or gem!" Orm huffed proudly. "We would have a totem of the three that first guided our people and others to call on this fourth spirit we've taken in, with ourselves to call on Auroch and the ancestors. Gathered at the standing stones where the veil between us is thin for their crowding. Could you do it? Could you commune with the Grand Spirits?" And the hall fell silent, each shaman looked to the other in thought and stunned awe at the audacity of what their chieftain spoke of.

"That can't be done, can it?" Asked Shul, breaking the tension with a tentative strike.

"The last time it was done... bull iron was made." Came Ummush's now young voice.

"And our ancestors learned to walk." Added Sinana added. There were other stories but all agreed that any time a grand spirit took an interest in mortal affairs the results were always interesting.

It went without saying that they had to try after that. Even if they couldn't commune with the grand spirits themselves this could open ways to defend themselves and thrive in this new world if used right. And it would be against the desires of any shaman to pass up the chance to see through the veil to the true depths of the spirit world if there was a chance.

And so Harun'Taras came together, all who weren't crossing the river or heading into the Platz on business. The Water Hall was fit to burst as experts and elders went in and out, writing down Anais' instructions and plundering her hoard of knowledge for what the day's work would need of them. Hers' was not the only source of wisdom consulted as Ummush gathered the iron pages of both caravans to scour them for any scrap of information he could on these lightening towers, while Deryn brandished the bark tome like a deadly weapon as she and her coven wrought the living bones of this new device. Even Whipporwill and was called upon as the ent went about helping to haul the offerings of stone and metal that the mine of vines offered. Orm would even open the clan coffers to pay for dwarven experts to lend their past experience in such matters.

Over the coming days the project would come to be known as "The Storm Forge"
Harun'Taras comes together to work on the STORM FORGE, a Paani lightening imbuer device and defense structure.
Staff List:
-Anais, daughter of the Aboleth is given lead on the project as the most knowledgeable on the matter.
-Ummush, using the iron pages to utilize any useful lore on these matters.
-Deryn the winterborn druid, using the barkbound tome to enhance the treesinging used in construction.
-Sinana Heavywalker, earth shaper shaman.
-Bruul, using his tracer magic on the tree singers and earth shaper wherever he can to be useful.
- 6 Skilled Craftbulls are leading basic efforts and acting as Anais' hands in the construction.
- 12 skilled day labourer workers.
- Deryn's Coven of 4 Treesingers.
- 1 ent
- 20 unskilled Tyren.
- 40 Springborn, unskilled wood elves.
- 50 hillfolk, unskilled humans.
Materials:
Mine of vines and safety suits are brought into use to provide any materials that are not already available.
6 Harvested Gem Bushels.
5 Wealth spent to hire Firebeard experts.
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Crossing the river.
@Shireling
It was later in the afternoon when Orm found himself wistfully looking over his shoulder as he crossed the river, straining his ears to hear the sounds of builders at work and wondering what would become of their project.

"Oh would you stop." Esteri scoffed. "You look like a yearling leaving his mother's side for the first time. Honestly, they haven't even laid the foundations yet, you won't have missed anything while we're away."

Ever since her successful debut with the council the lead lady of the Proud-Horns had come into her own, growing in confidence as a member of the community and in dealing with Orm himself. His reputation had brought out the usual nerves in the new arrivals, seeing them act extra formal and quiet around him for fear of setting him off. With time they'd slowly come around and the results of the elf training and meditations had brought all others around. Orm assumed that he now sported the blue patterns of their tribe on his shoulders.

The question of the arranged marriage still hung heavy between them but thanks to Esteri's own ambitions and the constant changes going on around the colony Orm had so far managed to avoid it.

Today would be filled with enough questions and matters of politics as it was. Today Harun'Taras crossed the river in numbers, all in the name of making a big impression on Stout Town, as Orm called it. He'd been meaning to open proper talks between their folk for a while but it was Esteri's idea to capitalise on their new gains to make an especially grand gesture. Pomp aside, apparently things hadn't gone so well for the Standin folk before the council and Esteri was adamant that at least one of the council powers had to keep an open hand extended to them before their village drew too deeply in on itself. Orm had been a long time away from the Platz but from what he'd heard relations weren't looking good.

So it was in the name of friendship that a procession of Tyren and Elves walked into New Harmony, the rumbling of two wagons and the song of the minstrels rising through the air! The first cart was open topped and filled with boxes of the new lightleaf crop and bundles of fresh cloth from the loom, topped with several bolts of goldweave fabric. The Tyren driving it handed over the larger gifts to the Stout elders and took great interest in what their future customers thought of the new leaf and whether it suited smoking or chewing better.

The second cart was tightly covered in tarp and flanked by four Tyren warriors who stood at each corner. Orm and his blood-touched never strayed too far from it, one was always near, prowling around it like a guard dog daring someone to try something.

"Where is your chief, Kearney?" Orm asked the nearest Stout who looked venerable enough to know this kind of thing. "We got a lot to talk about." His common had come a long way since they set out but it wasn't looking like Orm would ever speak with grace like a scholar.

His own task might only take a day or two to hash out the details of if Kearney was accepting but others with him would setting up camp for a while longer. The two bards that had taken up residence in Harun'Taras finally had cause to try their diet pieces for a fresh audience and learn some fresh tales while they were at it. Tyren bagpipes bellowed and Sylvan lute sang as they set about telling the stories of the wild folk to the Stouts and encouraged the smaller folk to share their stories in kind. Esteri called it a cultural exchange, a very fancy saying for story circle in Orm's ears.

Word of this castle they were building up - and the amount of stone it saw moving through the hills - had reached them, and since the ground of sheercliffs was more... limited some of the younger horns were left with idle hands. Past experiences had taught Orm that folk were always happy to have a minotaur lend their strength in quiet ways so he figured this could only help matters here.

Unluckily for Shul he was also finding himself drawn away from the storm forge. His powers of spirit speech were falling behind all the new shaman that were set to surplant him in the circles thanks to all the time he'd spent teaching in the learners square but at least his knowledge of languages could carve him a niche none of them could touch. That was why Orm was having him knock on the door of this Stout church with a child sized shred of golden pages.

Once they let him in and there were some intense negotiations over what drugs he was allowed to use in the church they could finally get down to business. "Well cus y'see we've been a helping hand to most of the folks and their church building around here and, well things what they were, we couldn't help you with yours. And considering we've each had some grumblings with the Muurdaan types my chief thought the next best thing he could do was let you lot have the first crack at this fancy new stuff." He shook the gold parchment in front of the bewildered care taker of the church. "So! Here I am! Gunna be setting up shop, call it a big old learning experience and let's crack that book or tome or whatever you call it!"

Privately Shul was having some mixed feeling about this at best. Helping make a new copy of a peoples' holy texts was no small feat, even if these folk gave him a lending hand. Still there could be some opportunities for him here. Shul was running out of ways to make a name for himself among the shaman beyond being the short youngster who told stories to the the yearlings, and from what he'd seen of these church spirits their books and scholars held their own secrets and powers that he might be able to learn of as he read over it all. Shul hadn't heard much about this severed head god the Stout's worshiped but apparently it didn't hold much weight in the physical world. Maybe it was closer to the spirit realm he saw into so easily? Either way, he had to at least try and make the best of this job. At least he had some new stuff to mix with his smokes.
[Diplomatic group and cultural exchange with the Stouts!
- 10 Unskilled Tyren help with the Stout castle construction.
- Hargin and Helfindaal the Tyren and Sylvan bards put on shows around New Harmony, sharing Tyren and Sylvan stories with the Stouts and learning the local lore in turn.
- Esteri, a skilled diplomat, opens neighbour talks with the Stout elders while Orm opens personal talks with Kearney,
- Shul is on a mission! Provided with gold parchment, he leads the cultural exchange by working with Stout elders to make a golden copy of their holy text and adding his own shaman touch to it where he can.]
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Auroch looked to the stars, calling them to wake...
@Prince Vaethorion
This all brought back very unpleasant memories for Weome. Memories of the voyage across the barrier and being crammed in below decks like livestock themselves. Even with everyone talking about how fancy these white engine train carts were, she couldn't help but find the whole thing claustrophobic and the shaking and rattling movement unnatural. She was not made to travel this way. Still, she couldn't deny this would get her to the healers' guild quicker than ever and there was no time to waste.

"Thank you so much for coming." Anuc gasped as she rushed to meet her unsteady friend from the carriage.

"As if I wouldn't." Weome said, clutching her bag of herbs and poultices like a protective talisman that could stave off the motion sickness. "Now then let's see what's to be done for our little blue eyes'."

The elves that could be saved were still laid low and were set to be for some time, just as Orm and Rahg had been after the last battle with the Mud Elves. Well Anuc hadn't had magic then! Maybe the most she could do was to ease any pain or heal some scars but Anuc would not be left to stand by and wait the seasons out watching other fight for their lives, not again.
[Anuc and Weome, Life mage and Herbalist, focus their work on the comatose swordmasters in an attempt to help them back to full health.]
 
Rex pondered at the riddle, but quite truthfully, he was stumped! But even if he couldn't solve the problem, there seemed to still be a way to 'win' so to speak. The goal wasn't to answer this riddle, but to talk to Sek and convince her to join. Perhaps that was the larger riddle present? That if she won't listen to a mortal, then she will listen to divinity? "My dearest friend! Why are you so cold and distant? Have I not earned the right to call you friend after answering your first two riddles? Now then, if the idea of talking to a mere mortal is disdainful to you, then will you not entertain the idea of my Lord coming to ask you to continue to protect the herd and consider you a friend of the people? I assure you that he is not just a mere mortal. In fact, I'll keep you entertained while he arrives. Caelis the Undying seems to be a common title that people call him by among many others." Thus, he sought to buy time with this riddle and wait for Caelis and brought him to hopefully convince the sphinx. He would then whistle a soothing, long note and take out a small piece of parchment and scribble something Soon after a single pigeon seemed to arrive and then land on Rex's outstreched hand. He whispered something to the bird, and soon it flew off into the east. Presumably to Lord Caelis.

"Now then this riddle... hmmm. Quite a brain teaser this is. While I do not have an answer yet. I do have a few ideas. The first that comes to mind is well... the mind! It forms ones sense of identity and tells me who "I" am. The Eye while tells the brain what is seen... the mind can also tell the eyes to see things that don't exist. Such is the cause of hallucinations and perhaps the ability for seers to "see" with their inner eye. Finally, the mind like the eyes, tells lies. Heck, I wake up everyday telling myself that it's going to be a great day and there's no chance that I will die today. In fact, we all lie to ourselves in order to wake up every day. Quite fascinating really what the mind is capable of! I should talk to those newly arrived psionic high born mages and learn more about the mind."

Now, my second idea. Is the reflection. It shows and tells me what I am physically. It also tells me what the eye is as you can see it. Finally, the reflection is also a lie as it is not the true self but the inverted image.

The third is a bit more of a stretch... but. Is it the Lie? I, eye, and Lie are all said and told when the word Lie is said. Thus, it tells all three at once. That said, perhaps you're thinking of a word that sounds similar to lie. Such as "Line" It has all the attributes of the former as all three words are told when that word is said, but it is also quite literal as words are essentially, lines. These lines form the shape and our physical manifestation of these words. Thus, a written groups of lines also tell you all three when those words are written."

Rex paused. He wasn't still sure which of these was the answer to the riddle, but that wasn't the objective. He needed to find an answer to get to the objective, and he hoped that Lord Caelis would be the answer.

---

A pigeon flew over Caelis' head and seemingly dropped a small scroll, which fell right into Caelis' outstretched right hand. He had been simply trying to learn more of his new... abilities ever since he had woken. However, not even the mages guild could determine what he was capable of. Only that he was part divine and... that was unsettling. So, this left him to try to figure out himself. He had been about to try things like trying to make a small rock float or to get a small flame to ignite at his whim, but he had been interrupted with this message. He unrolled the scroll and sighed. Rex had seemingly gotten himself into another situation with the Sphinx and this riddle was much harder than the others. Thus, Caelis prepared to mount his horse and head to the Sphinx as well, but on his way he spouted to his falconer to send messages to the Fetch "Governor", the Bitch Queen and Anais the Aboleth. It was a brief message with no explanation, but hopefully the seriousness and urgent nature of the message would be understood by the recipients. "What tells you the I? The eye? And the Lie?" A rather strange message for sure, but Caelis wasn't one to randomly send out riddles just for amusement and anyone in the colony would know that this was serious. With that message being sent, Caelis rode off to meet with the Sphinx personally.
 
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Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
"Of monsters and men"

The transcendent was trained daily by the fennec and nightly by the attolians -- it's simple mind crystalized and became a infant consciousness. It took to writing easier than speaking, but in it's infancy had taken to reading it's own writing as a manner of speech. Calm and docile, the thing was monstrous, but tentacle, whips of tails, triple-entending claws and raking foot talons all rested in retraction. It took readily to civilization -- even if civilization so far was it's fancy glorified "cell" in the ruins. Primitive strategic scenarios were put before it, and it showed a talent for strategy and cunning. It grew close to it's attolian tutors but also to it's dunsia handlers the most -- the arts of agility and guile did not come naturally to the monsterous frame of the creature -- but it learned virtual silence even for a creature of it's massive size and countenance. "Fennec is home, Attolian is law, Colony is home." it came to say... as if this was an indicator of it's fragile mind creating morays and frameworks to think within.

"FRACTIOUSNESS CANNOT BE LONG TOLERATED!!!"

So said the governor Phelot. I give the colony one season to become an integrated whole or fines will be put upon those I deem obstructions to unity!

In the meantime, Phelot put forward another imperial charge: "Somewhere in this colony is the Rogue Fetch Scaripant -- the faction that finds him alive will have my favor!

The One rings -- the fennec witches gain popularity for the news of the constructions of five "rings of power" -- the dunsia now bore, and bore alone. It was wondered if the cull could be scouted with such artifacts of stealth in the right hands... but the populace now began seeking the witches for their own simpler charms and additional market access and revenue stream came from this...

The Garden Springs!

The garden springs are given ample labor and received additional help from elves and Tyren in Harun'Taras once it's vision became visible for what it would be -- in the shadow of the highborn villas the great garden springs took shape -- and to much surprise, Anais-T'leth-Aboleth took from sojourning only in her water-lodge to interfacing outwardly to the public making it her business to counsel and entertain the curiosity of those who visited the springs when she languidly pleasured in them. It also became the ideal living area of the sirens -- who moved from the attolian district near the waterside and the sewer-gardens in part to make the Garden Springs their new home. The garden springs became a place of drink, and wine, and song and peace. (+3 influence Fennec)

Fennec Excavation:

The conquest of the "anthill" pyramid was complete -- but most if not all of it's treasures were broken, soiled, or submit to the ravages of time. Some gemstones in the abode of the great centipede and other loot from the queen ant's chamber were claimed and rapidly lost track of -- but the pyramid was purged of enemies and proved a worthy new place to move into.

Of the three remaining pyramids one seemed clean and barren -- the newest of the four it seemed that it was not utilized or had been waiting for occupants at the time of the cataclysm. Not so of the other two. Of the other two northeast and southeast pyramids, one was seemingly overrun by sleeping clockwork constructs -- the fennec dared not disturb them yet -- but deep within the pyramid they could hear a racket of some kind, like metal constantly being thrown against stone...

The last, northeast pyramid was warded and sealed tight -- scrying and illusionary sight revealed it was a tomb palace, filled with mummies and the servants of the dead -- one would disturb such a palace of undead at great risk, if they did not let discretion be the better of valor and leave the bodies rest with their treasures.

____________________________________________________

Aside this, Track emerged from various directions all tying and twining together at the learners square and the Platz... houses and businesses of all peoples enterprising popped up along the tracks, and with it, the colony's population began to draw thinner in places... the colony was ready for a great influx of people -- and it was said the colony would not need to wait long -- settler ships were coming on the winds, the governor predicted, vast swathes of unaffiliated pioneers seeking new life, jobs and affiliations in the new world.... and the colony would be ready to recieve them...

____________________________________________________________________

The Fennec without anticipated trouble (and Imperial housemen protection) launched three ships laden heavy with the ballast of trade goods giving the craft a low profile in the water -- and when they returned it was confident they'd be heavy with treasure as well.
 

Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
The stouts feel the turbulence in the colony more than any other faction -- but turn the inertia to their favor -- sending their goods across the seas and leaning full-tilt into the construction of a small but significantly imposing fortress to the east of the Standish holdings, full of supplies and food stores in case of emergency. With peripheral help from the dwarves sourcing of stone was elementary and the design of the fortress was even improved with some dwarven synergy.

The dwarven under-empire had grown far beyond what it's population might suggest it need control -- often coming into contact with Zebani Tunnels and the larger sewer system. The proximity @General Deth Glitch to the stouts from below brought the two factions closer together even if alienation at the hands of the attolians and the highborn pulled them away.

Forest conservation at the hands of the stouts became obvious to all, as trees were planted some areas that had been cleared even as the holdings of the standish expanded. The rockiest, sandiest and hilliest of the territory would be conserved for nature as the stout community continued to grow.

The most alien of the colony seemed to grow closer to the stouts -- their own alienation perhaps bringing them into the fold of alienated company. It was said that several small zebani dealt exclusively with the stouts, seeking strange crafts or materials and giving gemstones in return. Kobolds, long living in the Attolian housing district, began to take home in the woods south of the standish holdings, learning the way (or some parody of the way) of the Dualismus. The kobolds embraced attolians for being the overbearing power -- but embraced the stouts for was they saw was the defiance of imperial power -- the existance of their faith in the face of muurdaan condemnation... the kobolds saw power and levity in this, and walked the line of law and the scoffing of what they saw as the tyranny that commanded them, whether it truly existed or not.

Stoutmen became experts of laying track and soon began to be sought expressly for this labor. A short-term gain of 4 wealth to the stouts was one product of this!
 

Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
@Pat

The personal Trident of the Leader of the merdwarves was first accepted gruffly but recognized for the gesture it represented. With the addition of the presentation of the water tear, the behavior of the lobstermen went from guarded and scoffing -- to tense but guarded.

The mindpowers of the merdwarves combed the simpler brains of the lobstermen.

"Fear the instruments of the living gods that destroyed the surface, be careful with shiny thing. We know to accept your weapon and I, warrior-prime of the Locustas, the lobstermen -- give you this, a coral battle-axe, in return. our claws are often weapons enough for most creatures, but we use weaponry against special prey, and our shamans invest power in such tools."

"We are the Locustas, tide-riders -- we are lumbering and clumsy in the low tides, but the high tides support our bulk and make us dangerous predators. We retire to the caves in sunken shoals during low-tide to avoid conflict, and swim broadly in territory and along the vertical sea-cliffs during the times the tide supports our weight. We did not see you the first times you trespassed because we were out ranging the reef -- but it seems we can share the caves if you are not prey and not enemy."

"Beware the gulper eels of the undersea ridge -- they hunt the young bony fish before they are too great to be hurt by mortal weapons... but the eels are dangerous to us and will be to you, whether you find them first or not."

"The locustas have two homes -- a low tide home of which you have already explored and partially looted, and a high tide home on the vertical cliffs out to sea. You are welcome to visit us during high or low tide in our respective homes, but do not violate our abandoned grounds in our absence again."

"Tell us, mind-ones, who you are and what you seek. where have you come from? the Locustas have been on these reefs and tides for many many uncounted. Should we be concerned of your invasion?"

The majority of the lobster men, it could be told with mindforce, were far simpler than the warrior-primes. Most lobster men thought simple thoughts and followed their larger and more cunning brethren.... how relations between the sea dwarves and the locustas remained to be seen...
 

Heyitsjiwon

ゆうじん A
The Sphinx's Lie


And thus, Caelis rode to the site of the Sphinx with three messenger birds in tow. Each had brought back a message from their recipients, and Caelis was confident that he had the answers. They had to have the answers. Otherwise, someone who is not a friend in this new world was a soon to be enemy. The Sphinx was not someone that he wanted to consider as an enemy. There were many terrors in these strange and dangerous lands. Thus, a good friend was worth more than its weight in gold... or in this case stone. Thus, Caelis rode forward. His horse, Ventus, began to breathe heavier... more jittery. It was clear that the Menagerie was a dangerous area with numerous apex predators and vicious creatures and Ventus could "sense" them. But, this gave Caelis confirmation that he was close to his destination. As Ventus became more and more nervous, Caelis dismounted and took the reins to lead the horse forward to soothe and guide the steed.

Turning the corner, Caelis came upon the Plaza of the Sun where he spotted Rex and his escorts. Rex lazily sat on the ground and seemed to be making small talk with a friend, except that friend was the Sphinx who towered above him. Caelis approached, which Rex noticed. Rex then exclaimed "Ahh, welcome Lord Wolff! May I have the pleasure of introducing you to my dearest friend, Sek-Ahntet, the Guardian of the Menargerie and the source of the recent wonderful explosion in animal populations in the area! Sek, this is Lord Caelis, the Undying as he recently has been come to be called and worshiped. Perhaps, talking to him will be of more to your liking?"

Caelis approached and slightly nodded his head in greetings and acknowledgment. Hail, mighty Sphinx, Sek-Ahntet. I have heard much from Rex of thee."

"Enough, I was told that you come with an answer, Undying One."

"Ahh yes, I do. Although, is there truly only one answer to thy riddle, Sek-Ahntet."

The Sphinx glared at Caelis, expectedly, as her tail began to wave in anticipation.

"Either way, I believe Rex has already given you one answer. A mirror. It presents the individual the "I", and it is beheld by the "eye" that is also seen in the reflection. However, as my craftsmen would know very well, the mirror is not a true reflection of the individual as it is only merely the image of the individual and not the true self. In fact, that image as well is not exact, but it is reversed where the right is seen in the left and the left on the right. Indeed, the mirror tells a "lie" about what the beholder sees for it is not the true self nor a true image. I suppose that was the answer that you seek in your mind. However, there are other things that you mentioned in your riddle."

"I am Sek-Ahntet, Mighty Sphinx, and I do the bidding of no mortal evermore -- the menagerie was protected, my wards are now the people of this lands..."

Caelis mustered all the courage and breath in his lungs. Then he boldly spoke "The "I" in this case is you, Sek-Ahntet, the one who gives this riddle. The "Eye" is what is beheld of the riddler, the Mighty Sphinx that sits before me. However, the "Lie" is that you said that you do the bidding of no mortal evermore. You have protected the menagerie and the wards who now are the people of these lands. Thus, I bid and beseech of thee. Continue to protect the menagerie and take it back from those who seek to harm it, and serve your wards, the people of these lands. The people who have resided here in the most biting of winters, and fought in the most hopeless of battles and yet persevered. The people who have come to befriend thee and give shelter to your ancient wards who are now freed and live upon these lands as a part of the Colony. This is the bidding of one divine mortal. Sek-Ahntet, take control of the Menagerie and serve the Colony!"
 

Pat

His Majesty Henry VIII
"Your territory will be respected, never again shall we trespass on your hallowed grounds in the wake of your absences." Triton affirmed. "As for who we are, we are merdwarves of an unimaginably distant shore, who came to this sea for nothing more than to acquire a place to call our own. Our existence here is merely an extension of wider colonial aspirations on the surface above. We humbly seek to learn the secrets of the mage kings of old, so that we may correct their past misdeeds and put to rest what remains of their spectres on this continent for good. This tear of divinity you see wrapped around my neck, we seek others of their kind, unmistakably similar in the aura they evoke but often invariably different in appearance and purpose. Tell us, if such information you keep, of where we may find more, and our subsequent teachings of superior techniques of cultivation, toolmaking, and escavation, would merely be the first of many gifts we gratefully bestow upon your people. As to the future, I see no reason why the ocean cannot be shared by both Merdwarf and Locusta as long as the knowledge of our presence remains unspoken and unthought by your kind to any further outsiders you encounter whose mechanizations are unknown to us."
 
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Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
Treasures of the Manticore: @Prince Vaethorion @SpiralErrant

The Aftermath of the Manticore hunt was still fresh in the highborn mind -- It was good news that Tyren had come to help heal the injured, who would soon be battle ready without delay that was anticipated.

When the dead were seen to as well as the wounded restored to health, the lair of the manticore was fully explored and a number of interesting artifacts were taken from the pile of bones that made the floor of it's lair.

Among the treasure found:

*A mask cut from one whole piece of masterfully prismed DIAMOND -- the mask had a magical aura, but it could not be determined what it's use might be.

*Two gold tiaras flush with magnificent jewels... seemingly made to be identical.

*A spectacularly crafted and bejeweled sword bearing the symbols and honorifics of the state of Berytos -- a surprisingly intact relic of the ancient ruined cities' past!

*along with this was a darkwood and platinum gilded music box -- that seemed to play a lofty tune -- perhaps an anthem of the city-state of a royal march...

but lastly -- there was an enchanted portrait -- it must have been to survive in the lair of a beast relatively unscathed, but it was the portrait of an obviously beloved queen... a woman seemingly of obvious power and influence. It was of quality even appreciable by the highborn -- and folk less discerning might even argue that the picture was almost too lifelike...

The highborn secured these treasures... though what they would do with them they would have to discern...
 

Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
@SpiralErrant

THE STORM FORGE:

The Tyren and their associates were in explored territory now, but the watermarked scrolls that Anais had provided as an entre-vous to the Craftsmanship of the Pan'anii were a good enough starting point. It took time, and interestingly enough the biggest task for some of the technology for building this mysterious storm forge was... miniaturization? Apparently The Pan'anii designed their machines to be wielded and used by creatures even bigger than a Tyren -- something that bespoke more of their mysterious power. Many of the parts and machines seemed to serve no purpose until they were brought into contact with the massive surplus power of the Loom-Dam -- after which they begun humming or oscillating in ways utterly unpredicted by those assembling it. Some parts levitated as a result of unseen currents, and others cast white lines of steady lightning into constellations of hovering pieces. It was a massive job, but with luck and expertise (especially of the magical kind) a model almost as ambitious as the blueprint was produced. Possessed of massive coils at the top of it, it always rained above the waterfall where the machines turbulence was the strongest. Hairs stood on end the higher you were above the machine on the cliff and matrixes of controlled arcing energy cascadaded all around the parts of it that were not covered by housing to assure it's safety to people on the ground. It's excess power could be harmlessly diffused into the waterfall at intervals, but the snapping at popping of the machine at full power seemed to whisper of great and vicious force. The storm force captured lightning power from the dam and waterfall and converted much of it into a magical charge that drove weights properly converted on rails to move , and special brakes needed to be devised for the rail-wagons -- especially the white engines. Still, this was just a grift of power that barely scratched the surface of it's generating power... a further amount, though small, was channelled into the mine of vines, which seemed to stimulate it... but the primary focus of power rested in the clouds above the waterfall. With the scientific sorcery of the device, a super-charged cloud could be flown over the colony to provide magical (or destructive) power to a large area of effect on high.

This was truly something beyond the colony thus far -- this was a construction aging back to the time of the mage kings... and would come to be known as the first wonder of the new world. (+6 influence Tyren!), followed after by it's private rail system.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

DIPLOMACY WITH THE STOUTS: @Shireling

The Tyren, when not working on this massive project -- plied the stoutmen with diplomatic overtures and songs of their people. They truly wanted to be known as allies and friends, and were one of the main reasons (besides dwarven help) that the Standish castle could go up so swiftly as so solid.

Excess labor allowed the Tyren to build two small ballistae for the Standish fortress, that could range over the river if need be and into the blasted heath beyond.

Smart and able Tyren diplomatcs sought to bring the stout closer to the colony, and closer to the Tyren -- both Kearney and the council of elders were met either by the rough tounge of Orm or the silver tounge of Esteri, their most prized influencer. Still, Kearney's people looked to him on how to respond and how best to act in kind. Time would tell.

STOUT AND TYREN RELATIONS IMPROVE, But only to an extent the Stoutman player allows (TBD)

As mentioned earlier -- Tyren magical healing when coupled with the mastery of the highborn bring their incapacitated units to early health @Prince Vaethorion
 

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