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

Of Governance and Command
The fetch had taken their leave. After centuries of imprisonment in our world, an age-old promise had finally been fulfilled by none other than an Elven Archmage in a colony that just a few seasons ago lay on the brink of starvation. It made one wonder if fulfilling the Underlord's oath to the Fetch had been as impossible as they had claimed, nor if they had even tried to do so at all, Fendarvin was certain he knew the answer.

But it mattered little. The Fetch-Governor of the colony and his predecessor had been "freed", or banished to hell it seems. Word would reach the old world of this, and the implications did not bode well in Fendarvin's mind. The Fetch the Muurdaan so relied on would soon demand their own releases from their ancient contracts, though this was a [roblem for the Underlord's to deal with, and perhaps, something for someone like him to profit from... The immediate effects certainly played to his favor. His masters would be pleased.

Fendarvin's personal congratulations were sent to Lord Caelis for his appointment of Governor. May his leadership continue to bring prosperity to the colony.

The Arch-Lawyer would graciously accept the command of the colonies 18 House Elite. They would be kept away from the general colony and stationed in the Fennec holdings, as Fendarvin understood that their presence could make some... uncomfortable. In times of great need, they would be deployed to defend the colony. Should the Fishmen attack again, they would meet their end at the hands of Imperial Elites. His constituents need not worry about the Fennec control over the soldiers. Their services would only be needed to defend Muurdaan holdings and ensure the will of their Lords are upheld.

(The 18 House Elite are stationed in the Fennec holdings for the time being. They should be ready to engage with Fishmen forces should further conflict arise)

Dinner and Deals
Sontio, accompanied by an escort of 10 Miscreated and followed by 10 Fennec workers would approach the Serpent's throne, a small train of Capybaras behind them, seeking to take the Serpent up on it's offer. The Fennec would gladly trade a small herd for treasure.

(1 Capo, 10 Miscreated, 10 Fennec, Capybaras)

Stock Exchange
Fendarvin, the HTC and all of it's subsidiaries would officially throw their support behind the stock market, sending 7Skilled Fennec to begin pursuing Finecian interests in the stock market and spending 5 influence to drum up support for the Stock Exchange, encouraging through speeches, presentations and one on one conversations with the more wealthy among their patrons to encourage involvement and investment in the stock market, highlighting the potential of profit, dividends and growth, along with the immense benefits through funding their businesses could receive. They would encourage local business owners to go public, explaining the concepts of the Stock Market and showing how going public could grow their business. Public presentations would explain the basics of the market to the general public, with efforts split between Harun'Taras and the Platz. @Heyitsjiwon
(7Skilled Fennec to address Finecian interests in the Stock Exchange. 10 Skilled Fennec to go around teaching the citizenry about the stock market and getting local buisnesses involved. 5 influence spent to help)

Venture Capitalism
The HTC would open up a Venture Capitalism firm in Harun'Taras by the name of "Fox and Friends Capital Fund". The Firm would be a place for local business owners and entrepreneurs to go to apply for loans and funding for their business ventures. Clientele could speak with a Finecian representative to discuss short to long-term loans to fund a business idea or speak within the "Hen House" with the firms resident Finecian Economists and Business Managers to try and convince the HTC to buy into their company, therefore providing the business owner increased capital/funding, access to Finecian lawyers, advice, resources, trade partnerships and market access. A partnership with the Hen House/HTC would require them to give up more of their company in return for funding (Depending on the loan, interest rates and idea loans would require a simple repayment or include a portion of the company, though a small portion like 5 to 10%), a promise of further investing, direct support from Finecian lawyer, advisors and business managers. The HTC would take a direct interest in the success of their business. Those who snagged a deal with the Hen House were promised increased success and profits. Those receiving simple loans would also receive support, but not as direct and personal as those dealing with the Hen House. 5 Influence spent to promote the Firm as a way for the common man to go from a poor peasant to a successful business owner, for the farmer to grow his hordes and become a successful rancher and for small business to grow into large-scale corporations like the HTC. It was the best way to start or grow your business, a way for ANYONE to lead their own path.
(5 Influence Spent, 2 Trolls, 10 Skilled Fennec, 15 Unskilled Fennec, 5 Clean paws)

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Well this whole Fetch issue had turned into a big old mess! Maybe it was frustration or boredom talking but Orm was bloody tired of all the complications and magical madness everything in these lands kept offering. Why were good, clean, fights so hard to come by? The powers in this colony were proving up to the task at least but the fighting between the elves and humans here had shown him that there was still a long way to go before order and unity were to be achieved, and he was left to wonder if this was proof that settling their own roots had been the best choice or not.

Orm's worries weren't going to end their either, he'd hardly stepped off the train at the base of the hills when folk were bombarding him with tell about attacks from fish monsters in the north and a giant snake that was demanding tribute in the east. And again things couldn't just be simple! Orm had been thinking he'd have to go hunting the earth serpent when things had calmed down and now that it was the one spoiling for a fight everyone was apparently lining up to trade their herds with the thing. Well they could throw away their charges if they wanted, but Orm was still fuming from the lies and botched acts of diplomacy at the Platz to be feeling diplomatic.

Maybe things could have been simpler or at least easier to understand if the Pan had woken up but he was still sleeping with the spirits it seemed. The best the healers could do for now was to make sure he didn't slip further from the land of the living.

"I guess it takes more than a few days and some herbs to help him recover from getting lightening bolted out of the void." Orm grumbled. The idea of working some god rot into his medicine was thrown around but Orm had never lost his suspicion of using the strange meat... and for all they knew it came from someone the Pan knew personally. With few options leaping forward and the Pan still being a source of nerves and uncertainty among others in the colony they had to look in house, still, it came as a surprise when Honourhide the Skinchanter stepped forward.

"There are symbols and patterns that can bolster the body, similar to what I did to you and your boys, Chief. I've never worked on a cancas like this but mixed with the works of these two lovely ladies I might be able to conjure something and it might be this big lad will have some fine ink to show off."

Orm couldn't think of anything better at the moment. He doubted the Pan would like the idea of being worked on while he slept but they didn't have the time to wait for him to wake on his own. This ancient had named the land, the dead city, he'd spoken of the history they'd thought lost among the iron pages. Between him and Anais they could find all the lost answers he'd spent his life pawing for and finally learn to master the land they'd found themselves in.
The fishman attack was a problem Orm was determined to see dealt with, especially given the intriguing words Shul had shared with the snake folk that had wrangled them when they first met. They were the first in these lands to speak the words Pa'anii to them, something that made Orm all the more determined to see the giant rise. So we would make sure they didn't go into the swamp in half measures. Battles and expeditions were all about to set off around the colony and it was decided Harun'Taras would prepare for the swamps first, and rally what materials they could from elsewhere before heading there in style.

Orm left his crystal axe behind in the hands of the craft bulls and tree singers, giving it to their care as they set their hands to the storm forge and experimented with it's first use as Anais had told them, imbuing the storm into the blades of their warriors. If the axe could be made to shock as well as cut magic he'd be a happy minotaur indeed. Hopefully Mithril would take to it as well as it took to everything else as well. Ummush was on hand to act as Anais' hands so to speak as the two helped guide the workers through this process. The old shaman was as eager to see this strange work take shape, especially since they'd started plying the market with fresh diamonds to see the spire that seemed to mimic the forge grow taller.

And while the armoury was brought to new heights a few gentler hands set about finer work. Sewing dyes threads and golden wool into the blue and gold of the colony flag. It was Orm's wish that when they went into the swamp it was flying the colours that Harun'Taras had first raised. Little did the brutish chieftain know that this would be siezed upon by Lady Esteri while he was away and the Proudhorn maiden would spread this scheme of local patriotism and pride to the entire town! Apparently the longhouses were still feeling merry in the wake of the ritual and Esteri had the force of will that only a woman raised to be a chieftain in her own right that saw her roll over potential recruits like polite avalanche as she imposed a sense of togetherness and unity on all that crossed her path.
Then came the two expeditions. Orm had replaced his axe with a small pile of shorter mithril blades, claiming they were for in case the earth serpent tried to swallow him whole and he had to cut his way out. That reasoning earned him a few strange looks but he only held his head higher, claiming that it was the place of chieftains to think of strange things.

His blood-touched warriors were at his side as they marched into the woods and Deryn floated along across the trees, because who went into a forest fight without a druid? Bruul refused to be left behind and Orm wouldn never want to fight a giant snake without him. They wouldn't start the fight but if the snake wouldn't come quietly into whatever scheme the Attolians were spinning then Orm was determined to end whatever conflict came of this.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the compass, and under the shade of night slithered the Great Olm. Accompanied by the heavy walking first ring of the Proud horns and a company of mercenaries with torches at the ready. The Firebeards were apparently unavailable to assist in plying the darkness below the Platz but these new arrivals to the hills were experts of a different kind when it came to navigating the earth and the Underdark. With the Attolians providing numbers they might yet have something grand to bring back to the hills.

Order Summary: @Beckoncall
1) Healing of the Pan goes on with a new treatment idea. Nootri the tattoo shaman will inscribe patterns of healing onto the sleeping pan, combines with Anuc's healing magic and Weome the herbalist providing materials. (1 shaman, 1 life mage, 1 skilled herbalist)

2) Preparations for the swamp expedition! Orm's crystal axe and the mithril weapons are treated with the magic of the storm forge to apply electric status. (5 skilled craft bulls, 10 unskilled tyren. Anais the Aboleth, Ummush the shaman.)

3) Wealth is pumped into the spire project! (50 Wealth!)

4) Other Tyren put together banners and pageantry of Harun'Taras. These banners are simplified versions of the colony flag, a blue field with a horizontal stripe of gold across the middle but is blank of any faction sigils. The origional Tyren may nostalgically remember the ship sails that were first used to make the original flag. Esteri takes the scheme further and spreads this to the rest of Harun'Taras to show the world the unity the many species living in the town have achieved, imposing a sense of local pride all through the glade!
(3 Skilled Tyren, 10 unskilled Tyren. 2 Treesingers, 10 Springborn. 20 Hillfolk. 2 Tyren/Sylvan bards. Esteri the diplomat. 3 Influence to spread local pride and unity in the citizens of Harun'Taras, whatever their species.)

5) Tyren forces join the Attolian's headed to confront the Earth Serpent. (Orm and 2 Blood-Touched. Bruul and deryn, 1 war shaman and druid. 5 Tyren born in scorpion armour of agility.)

6) Other forces move to join the assembling Underdark expedition. (The Great Olm. Sinana the earth shaman. 30 FOR Mercenaries.)


A Servant of King and Country
The Trade
A small group of Stouts led the captured elephants away east to find the Great Serpent. When they had done so, they offered the creatures to the serpent in appeasement and chose from the rewards that he had offered. Captain Gardver stepped forward, and after a bit of debileration took the suit of bones that the creature called, "Carcass Jack" and a "Strange Gauntlet."



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

The living cave yawned airlessly, pumping vast amounts of water into it's gills as exalting in the pleasure the automatons sowed in cleaning him, as he considered Tritons words...

"You presume too much, little sea-dwarf... I am the living cave... not the merdwarf captor of Tasoths. If you can lure Drakhaina into the water, That is quarry large enough for me to stir for... as for declaring war on whole races of unappetizing tiny prey -- you will have to look elsewhere."

The Eel's eyes rolled back in resplendent relaxation.

"You have such clever ideas, I have no doubt you will win your bid against the Tasoth despite your small numbers... with or without my help."

"The Locusta are more than eager to serve your whims, Triton -- but do not confuse us."


World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC

For now, they remained unpredictable and a potential threat.

No longer needing medical attention, they were shifted into an ad-hoc prison (since the colony had no formal jail to speak of) in the depression while the attolians and other folk spoke to them. Most were in disbelief that the horned one was dead... others seemed hopeless in the acceptance that he was. Religious visitors attempted to bring comforts and when it became time to answer "What god walks among you?" the answer many game was "Caelis the Undying" -- Talk of the Battles of mud-elf aggression and Caelis' supposed or real miracles were discussed at length -- and then, en masse, the mud elves swore fealty to "Caelis the Undying -- Slayer of Gods"...

Caelis felt the power of their true devotion... his powers seemed to open with this new infusion of belief in his divinity. They sought his dominance, and he gave it to them... and through them his power was increased. The mud elves begged Caelis to make them his true priesthood, ritually wounding themselves and shedding ensorceled holy exsanguination in his name (Caelis gains 1 blood point.)

Then it happened... a red and gold corona appeared above Caelis' head... it shifted and pulsed like a tear of divinity, his brow and eyes glowed with an inner light...

Caelis the Godslayer, Caelis the Undying, God-Governor Caelis -- wielder of Gottendamarung...

...Some adulated at the mention of it. Some it just made uncomfortable...


World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC

Influence spent by the Fennec to promote investment in their company and drum up interest in the stock exchange bears fruit. Many of the populace either outright invest, or are less enthusiastic about leaders who do not support the stock exchange. A large amount of loose capital in the hands of the populace suddenly floods into market, and coin begins to move as never before.


Deal with the Serpent:

The Fennec Exchange a herd of capybaras for the Flask of Fortune. It promptly disappears into the ranks of the Fennec elite, it's mysterious powers yet to be revealed. The Snake happily dismisses the fennec after the exchange, almost wordlessly.
Open for Business!
The Finecian Factory was to be branched out into a subsidiary business named "Tooth and Tail Manufacturing Industries", with 49% of the company put up for sale as a public company! Those interested in purchasing shares of the company need simply go to their local stock exchange and buy shares!

The HTC siphons 10 wealth from the market.


His Majesty Henry VIII
"The night we met I asked you to not see me or my kindred of merdwarf and locusta alike as prey, Living Cave. All you had to give up was your greatest annoyance yet and the presumably occasional predation on my allies native to this shore for the mutually beneficial arrangement you enjoy even now. Though I did not voice it aloud until this moment, I consider you an equal to any individual creature that can formulate intelligent thought such as us, not as a subservient vassal. Regardless of your personal opinion on such philosophical musings by admittedly physically lesser beings, I had hoped you would come to the conclusion lending labor insignificant to you but meaningful to mortals such as I would be much more than worth the effort involved given how much the interests of merdwarves have been intertwined with your own as of late. But if you would not do this in order to allow our company to in turn more quickly and easily acquire what we need to silence the Drakhaina, our common enemy, and subsequently facilitate both the occurrence and hastening of your feasting upon what must come to be one of the most delicious meals of your life, then I humbly request you to reveal what price would sway your disposition before I must venture to the Safe Ones." Triton spoke earnestly to his associate.
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Blood, Sweat, and Tears

The Pantheon Priest stepped to the alter in the Pantheon where a sizable crowd had gathered. These large halls seemed to become ever more crowded by the week. Regardless, he had a duty to accomplish today. He cleared his throat and loudly spoke so that his words would bellow throughout the Pantheon.

"Public Proclamation by Lord Caelis, Interim Governor of the New World

It has come to my attention that certain individuals have come to worship myself as a deity. While for a long time I have remained silent on the matter to maintain my impartiality, it is obvious that silence will no longer help the Colony. I firmly believe that the matters of faith is up to the individual, and will not impose my will upon others who do not wish to follow me or my words. However, for those who willingly follow me, I ask that you continue your best to maintain your diligence and willingness to serve others for that is the foundation of any functional society, duty and service. If it is your desire to become priests and spread my word, then you are free to do so at your own volition. But, know that I will not tolerate anything that impedes one's ability to serve. These acts of self mutilation that I hear of are not acts of worship... how does one fully serve to the best of their abilities when one is considerably wounded? There is much pain and suffering in the world already, and there is no need to pointlessly inflict such misery on oneself. Rather, I ask that you toil and spill sweat in my name rather than spill blood for there is no greater sacrifice than sacrificing oneself in service to others. The pain of duty and responsibility is greater than physical injury."


The Attolians also draw 10 Wealth from the Market
A few days ago...

Two Halberdiers were sitting around the barracks, waiting for their guard duty shift. One of them reached into a pouch that hung from his belt.

"What's that, Jav?"

"Just a couple of chestnuts. You want one?"

"No, I stopped eating chestnuts a long time ago."

"Why? Don't like them?"

"Back in basic training... one of the recruits was addicted to those things. During morning inspection the Drill Sergeant found a nut in his pocket and went ballistic. Flipped over all our beds.

The Sgt comes back to the recruit and tells the recruit to hold out his hand. Tells him that the nut is now his best friend and the newest recruit in the squad.

Idiot had to make a miniature home, uniform and find it some family and friends. Then every inspection after, the poor bastard had to hold this nut in an open hand, fill out all the paperwork for the nut, and yell out the nut's service number. They even had to get the chestnut a long nail for its halberd.

By the end of training, the recruit had a pocket filled with useless garbage for the nut.

Then in one of the last field exercises, the idiot lost the nut. When the Sergeant found out, he made the recruit hold a 24 hour vigil for his fallen best friend.

That nut had the best record for a recruit in the entire class... spotless. At the rate it was going, it would have been an officer within a few years. Instead... we had a recruit who had to apologize to every tree we marched by for being a waste of breath."

"That poor nut."

"Huh? Uhh, yea. Anyways, we got called the Chestnut Company and all of us stopped eating chestnuts in honor of Recruit Nut."

"Oh, all right. I'll just leave the chestnuts here then."

"Dear divines... how in the world did you pass basic... you know what, never mind. Let's go, our shift is starting up soon."

The two Halberdiers then went off and out on their daily routine while a family of Chestnuts remained safe that day.
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World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC

Whilst operating on the pan, it seemed there was a thirst for healing magic in the creature that could not be sated. Twice Anuc almost fainted giving the best of herself to her spells, and every healing herb Weome applied seemed to permeate the Pans skin and melt into it. For all their efforts, little more than a moan escaped the Pan's lips... it was when Nootri began to apply to it's back spirals and concentric circles of healing that the pan truly began to stir and achieve consciousness... It sat up, and through eyes slitted by fatigue it mumbled... "They go to the deep underground... like before... danger... danger. Let me speak with Chieftain and Shamans... and with that it curled up on the vast pile of furs and cloth that was laid for it in it's tent... it was conscious now, though barely. The healers took their leave... after which Anuc promptly fainted and was carried home by Weome and Nootri...

Anais instructed Ummush in a couple of minute intricacies of the Storm-Forge... she was familiar with the technology, and taught Ummush how if he looked at it a certain way, it was familiar to him too -- he could see how Tyren hands could have not just built this machine, but how they could have conceived of and designed it. The lore of the Pa'anni was distant, but in dwelled in the almost seemingly genetic memory of the Tyren... at least a Tyren as old as he was. The secret of incanting weapons with electrical energy was unlocked -- and the first weapon to be enchanted was Orms great Mithril axe -- a small storm of sorts seemed to float around it as it was waved, creating weather in the air it cut through, and the entire haft of the great weapon tingled with force just waiting to be unleashed, with the blade itself crackling with lightning and popping with thunder... it was to be the first of many such enchantments, as the magic of the stormforge was voluminous and generous... (Tyren have option to always bear electrified weapons if made of bull iron or mithril)

...But even this was diminished by the resulting infusion of wealth into the rehabilitation of spire ten -- that was named "Shield" just as spire 9 was named "Destruction" -- rarified materials were tracked down and paid for, obscure rites, tasks, and arts were performed at a premium... the best labor was poured into the project, and no expense was spared on materials. In the end the spire began to repair and reshape itself... a machine of costly materials and rings of ageless runes began to twist and bend into a machine -- that began to spit forth automatons. 100 in all, with keys the likes were only salvagable few in spire 9... and a new Keyed one as well -- sparkling out of silver and gold -- the new and young key'ed one turned to the Tyren and Attolian constructors and issued a simple request: "Barrier shield marred at 99.9% -- repair damage to barrier?" the giant machine-orb that spat out the automatons now seemed to extrude a great wand of some kind that pointed towards the sea... @Heyitsjiwon

Goodwill and unity spread unabated in Harun'Taras -- but this also meant sympathy for the losses amidst the herders... Many Tyren and the fellowship in Harun'Taras wondered when the Fishmen would attack again, and they worked hard to make preparations to not be caught flat-footed a second time. The grumps, one newly recovered from wounds from the assault, took up roles as "Shepherds of the frontier" -- and all of harun'taras made vows that they were one caravan, one herd, and shepherds to each brother's flock... whether real or metaphorical. Crime in Harun'Taras was already low, but now a sort of peace reigned despite the danger on the horizon... Happiness bloomed in Harun'Taras, and jealous were many eyes that looked upon it's citizenry...


Accompanying the massive military task force of the Attolians, The Tyren sent their own force -- Orm and 2 Blood-Touched. Bruul and deryn, and 5 Tyren born in scorpion armour of agility. The Attolian force consisted of Caelis, Cassandra, Blood Scourge, Beast Mage Rex, Metal Mage, 10 Halberdiers, 30 Attolian Swarm Infantry, 2 Sundered Kings, 3 Augmented Stone Constructs, The Mighty Sphinx, Talion the Constructor, 80 Skeletons, and Attolian Field Cannon...

The Earth Serpent was found where it was expected to be -- wrapped around the throne of the deceased Horned one. Upon seeing the massive force gathered before it... it seemed to blink repeatedly and taste the air with it's massive tongue -- the width of a mans torso.

"Allow me to kill it." -- Uttered the Sphinx to Caelis.

The snake chose it's words carefully, as if plucking them from the air...

"You bring no animals to trade for treasure, but you bring an army... I can only deduct that you have not come here to barter -- but to make demands or spill blood. Which is it? I who was once the wall around the palace of the gods, how humble I am now wound about the throne of a dead Titan. I, who once was the Equator of the world have fallen so far -- but not so far as to not be able to cause harm that will educate your collected forces to treat such creatures as I with the proper respect... But excuse me for only making case for the obvious -- speak your peace and/or begone... for I shall not move from these lands..."



Task Force (Attolian and Tyren):
The Great Olm. Sinana the earth shaman. 30 FOR Mercenaries.
Lothar, 30 Kriegan Banner Infantry, 20 Skeleton, Gnome Chemist, Continual Lights, Explorer, Geologist

The descent was long and arduous, and if not for the snaking living path made true by the slither great olm, it would have been dangerous as well. Much was seen on the way down the vacuous abyss -- first broken rock and sand, signs of copper, and silver and even a vein of adamantium (impossibly hard to mine so that it seemed to mock them) and yet they descended further... this was no natural cavern... it was made by magic or with blood and sweat. Fossils of unknown description were in the layer beneath the sandslope, and gems of red, green and blue that crackled with inner yellow glows... and still they descended deeper. It grew hot in the cavern as certain sandstone glowed red in the ever deepening hole... and the task force was relieved that continual lights were brought when the light of the sun was nothing but a pinhole above them. Beneath the heat was a sudden cold and the ruins of a city could be seen around the walls of the pit... boxes and racks of lost and abandoned wares twinkled inside the maze of buildings crushed upon itself.. and still they went lower, into frozen depths that chilled all until Sinana cast spells that fortified the bodies of the task force from the dangers of the earth... then sulpherous vents threatened to choke the group, but the olm in his enormity covered these with his massive bulk as they continued to descend...

...It was almost at "The point of no return" -- the half way point where almost all supplies were exhausted, that the expedition finally found it's bottom. It was a layer of bones. the continual lights acted strangely in this area, unable to illuminate parts of what seemed like almost living darkness... or what once was living darkness... The floor was a floor of bones. A battlefield -- Satyr in great companies strewn as bones on subterranean hills, the fossils of fallen centaurs with their armor pitted and almost worn away by time... the skeletons of countless TYREN among them... in a circle as if to have fought to the last, and all around and among them the bones of PAN... more than any other -- Pan dead in their hundreds, here was a rearguard army of the Pa'anni -- that fought the living darkness and pursuit of apocalyptic Titans that pursued them from above... the bones of unidentifiable creatures, the husk of a massive 5 story suit of armor, the broken wings of some dark angel -- a field of clasped hands buried in the ground of calcified waste. A tale was told in the bones -- There could no longer be any doubt that the Tyren Came from the lost continent, and had paid in blood to flee from it during the apex of the mage wars. The Pan gave their lives in the greatest numbers so that their brother races would get a head start on the terrors that no doubt would await them in their flight DEEP BELOW WHERE EVEN THE SEA DID NOT BLOCK THE WAY. In the center of the battlefield, the skeleton of the largest pan seemed to lay fallen in a kneel, it's hands and legs wrapped around a great arm of living darkness it seemed to pin down with weight and will.

The darkness itself spoke to the colony's army of the underdark... the layers of living darkness that overlaid the natural dark of the sunless abyssal depths and yawning cavern.

"We yielded in ancient times to your warriors. Why have you returned? Proceed east to the Ulv, the forest of the depths, and leave the living darkness you have defeated to it's rest. Shoggoth-Nagreth remains slain by the pan, and all of time has not risen us to but a whisper to proclaim our defeat. May our Children, the Ma'hir -- lay in wait for you in the deeper deeps beyond -- just as you, the children of the slayers of the dark return to face them..."

All was perfect silence then. No rot amidst the bones, just the wasteland of war in barely perceptible flashes of light that could be cast here and there where it was possible. One thing was undeniable truth -- the caverns seemed to travel east... southeast really, by the Olm's reckoning. But the task force did not have the supplies to proceed lest they run out of food should they choose to turn around. Sure, there was treasure to be gleaned on the way up if desired... but this pit was only a place that promised death....


World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC

@Shireling --

A great fire was lit in the woodpiles of the stoutmen castle, pulling much of the communities attention to putting it out before the castle itself could be damaged untowardly -- it was a miracle of great fortune that nobody was killed in the fire that threatened to consume to west wall of the fortress and many wondered how such a thing could happen -- until it was discovered that the guardians of the treasury had been struck during the blaze -- apparently a diversion -- and knocked out with darts containing sleeping poison...

Nothing was taken from the Stoutmen treasury except the strange gauntlet -- of which there was no sign... and no evidence to suggest a culprit, none seen, no trace, no sign of entry or exit.

If the culprit was not a ghost, it was an expert.
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World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
@Pat :


The "Living Cave" mouthed it's baritone voice again into the minds of the merdwarves...

"I did not wish to offend you, but you have offended me with your presumption of equality -- live a hundred lives and hundred more and then tell me about equality among sentients... and understand that a "living cave" will move for the greatest meal of it's living memory, but cannot expend the energy to capture for you some Tasoth that task being surely within your own power."

"I wanted to measure our comparative equality by determining what you taste like, Triton -- but I am not a savage eel.. I am wizened. Likewise you are too small a morsel to move against just like the Tasoth... grow as old as I and see what I mean."

"I stand ready to attack the Drakhainia if you can get her to the water... but if we are partners, which is an odd discovery to me so arrogant your race -- I await that time when you deliver me my chance to strike. I have told you of the safe ones... seek them and perhaps other answers or aid await you there...."
Nicholas looked wide eyed at the new Spire and observed the new automatons. It appeared that they wanted orders, which he did not want to give just yet. However, there were things that they could certainly learn from the spire. "Can Shield lower the barrier? Down to 80%?" He inquired.


Caelis belowed in a mighty voice "You shall not move from these lands? I applaud at your attempt at humor. Your stomach compelled you to leave the throne and seek food through trade, Earth Snake. All the way to the western river you had slithered to parley for food. However, as you know, the Stouts do not have a large herd of animals to feed you. What happens when there is no more animals to trade? I suspect that come winter several stray Stoutmen will slowly disappear one by one for straying too far to the east. This trade offer that you offered to the Stouts is not a peace treaty. Nay it is a truce until conflict will inevitably arise. Thus, I come with a proposal. Bow and I will ensure that you can feed as well as the Colony does. The Attolians are the breadbasket of the Colony and keep their promises. If it makes you feel safer, then we can even form a blood oath and use my divinity to ensure that we keep our words. However, if you refuse... then I am left to assume that by winter you will begin to hunt members of the Colony, starting with the Stouts in which case, I would rather see to it that you are slain now. The choice is yours: serve and feast, or decline and I will consider you to be hostile as conflict will be inevitable. (2 Influence)" Caelis commanded the Snake.

With this it was made clear... the Earth Snake had to join the Colony or he would be considered hostile. After all, how would the colony be able to continuously trade animals for treasure? Both were in limited amounts. There had to be some sort of decisive action taken or else the Earth Snake would inevitably start to hunt colonists. This left two options in regards to the Snake. It had to either serve or fight. Or... perhaps, if diplomacy failed, force it to serve as Caelis looked to the Beast Mage. Could the Beast Mage and Caelis compel the Earth Snake?

Regardless, if all these things failed, then the men stood at the ready. They stood at the ready at a distance while the Sphinx, Caelis and the mages spoke to the Snake with the exception of the Metal Mage, who stood next to the cannon, who had stood ready to harden the cannonball and then propel it even faster once it was launched from the cannon. Conventional arms would not be able to harm the Snake, which meant magic would have to be relied on. Even Talion the Constructor was brought to perhaps animate the bones that still remained in the Snake's stomach and attack the vulnerable insides of the giant snake.


Lothar was... shocked at the discovery of this ancient battle site. He had expected to find some lost gnomes not the resting place of ancient warriors and titans. He looked to the Tyren Earth Shamen and said "It leaves a bad taste in my mouth to leave these warriors... without proper burial. These are your people as well... Their souls deserve to be put to rest and we should explore further, but we must return for now and come back with more supplies. Perhaps, we should establish an underground outpost to make future operations easier." With that, the Attolians elected to head back to the surface and perhaps pick up some interesting bits that they see on the way back such as samples of the odd stones and metals that they passed by or archaeological artifacts to figure out exactly what happened in these tunnels.
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His Majesty Henry VIII
"My sincerest apologies for my distasteful admission then, Living Cave. The next time we meet, we will come bearing gifts to make up for this minor disagreement between us. Perhaps in the distant future we will prove to you this belief was not born out of arrogance, but out of a compassion for all beings, even those we ourselves cannot fully understand. With that day's passing, I hope we will even be able to prove to you it's merits, not only for merdwarves and locusta, but for all sentient life. Preferably," Triton added in jest, smiling, "without any tasting at all required on your part."

With that said Triton headed for the Safe Ones - a sample assortment of the goods his people have managed to collect since their arrival in tow.
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(Its that time again where I try to return to the RP after losing face with current events)

The Dwarves had been busy at work securing and fortifying. Its what they did. With part of their new found wealth the Dwarves were joyous because they could give a grand donation in recognition of the autumn to Dracos and finally begin returning the many favours the Goddess had thus far bestowed on them. Marching in with a small following carrying many gifts, and of course a bounty of Gold, Grimdr marched into the Church of Dracos. Kneeling before the Altar he spoke loudly "Fellow followers of the Flames and protectors of all things. True believers in the Dragoness and her work to save all that is, was and will be, I donate this bounty and offer my peoples wealth so that we may support this church and do all we can to spread the truth thus that her power may increase to defend our world and the many others from that which seeks to destroy them." He then stood aside and joined his fellow Dwarves in their formation to the sides of the central passage. After a moment they left the church with a promise they were at the behest of the church should it need anything.

Next on Grimdrs 'todo' list was to ensure the defence of the colony, he and his people were not only safe but doing well and so he must reaffirm his original promise to the peoples of the colony that he would do all he could to protect them. As usual when he had a big proposal he would send letters and so he got writing. He wrote a letter offering to help arm the colony, He would dedicate Dwarves to reproducing each factions equipment in return that both the Dwarves and the Colony as a collective would get to keep a share of it. He also requested the colony give their opinion of a Great Wall along the River to protect that flank from attacks from invaders. The Letter also reaffirmed his promise to protect his fellow colony members and to ask permission to fortify the port.

Since the colony took time to respond and even longer to negotiate such deals, feeling happy with the current rate of work on the Hold a new focus to create defensible positions along the cliff and around the two main entrances to the Hold, The Top and the Port Entrance. Around the Top Entrance a Ring wall would be created with an open arch for the later installation of reinforced gates and the bottom entrance would have an upper opening extending a short distance with Machicolations and all the fanfare of a medieval wall. Two small holes would be placed later on either side of the entrance to point toward the new approach point and under the door a trench would be dug ready for a portcullis and extended to the sea so that it would be full with water. The Holes would eventually hold a cannon in each. Alongside this a number of gunnery position along the cliff face and top would be placed ready to house Cannons and Mortars once the Dwarves got their hold on enough of those weapons.

OrdersDonation of 15 Wealth to the Church of Dracos and offer of protection, Patronage and support.
Offer to reproduce Colony weapons and tools in return for a percentage using Dwarf Smiths at the Colonial Smithy
Request for Opinion on a Wall along the River and permission to fortify the Fort
Massive fortification efforts using 70Skilled Workers, and 1 VSkilled Worker, The Fortifyer supported by 2 Giant Moles and 2 Rhunk.
All other Dwarves continue with general work and expansion, with 5 Skilled Workers lead by the VSkilled Weaponsmith look at how they could reproduce various weapons and, if they offer is not taken up make their own variants

@Beckoncall Look at me, posting and stuff!


A Servant of King and Country
The Stoutmen of Standin

The St. Nikolae Investment Bank
Following the issuing of Reverend Kearney's latest encyclical, a group of several Standish merchants convened a meeting at the New Harmony chapel, worried that Reverend Kearney's orders would stifle productive enterprise in the upstart colony. The Reverend himself was counted in attendance and another clergyman agreed to take up the suit of the merchants. When they had gotten into the weeds on the Doctrines, it became increasingly clear that the new terms of stock market investment could not be so easily fitted into the Discourses which had condemned usury, especially insofar as they involved corporations and not individuals. The result of the meeting was a clarifying addendum that Kearney sent posthaste out amongst the Stouts which read:

In matters of personal business, the practice of moneylending is to be avoided. In the practice of economic development, the Discourses are less clear. Therefore, by my righteous authority, I have approved the creation of an Investment Bank which shall handle the financial relations between ourselves and the other colonists and interlocut with the Colonial Stockmarket, which receives its charter only insofar as it may remain a profitable enterprise to all the people of our community.

In real terms, a charter was signed on behalf of the merchants which allowed them to set up an investment bank. The bank would be responsible for pooling the liquid assets of the Stouts and reinvesting it in profitable enterprises. Thereafter, any dividends paid to the Stouts would be divided into three portions. A small portion of 10% went towards financing the bank's upkeep and paying salaries. 50% would be apportioned out amongst all the Stouts with more weight given to those who voluntarily invest their personal wealth in the bank, but all Stouts receiving some portion of the dividends, 20% would go towards financing building projects in New Harmony, and the remaining 20% would go back into the bank's portfolio to be reinvested.

The charter was also accompanied by an Edict of Non-Sale. All Standish-owned enterprises were to remain privately-controlled businesses and not publically traded. In this way, they hoped to avoid the hostile takeover of their industries by wealthier factions. The St. Nikolae bank's official offices were created in New Harmony, a squat two-story waddle-and-daub office with a conspicuous icon of St. Nikolae, patron of Merchants, hanging above the door. The bank was given an official stamp and stationery.

The bank also made arrangements for a small office in the Platz which would be used by investors to easily access the stock market. In the final act of establishment, half of the Stoutmen's liquid wealth was given to the bank to make initial investments.

A Vile Theft
Reverend Kearney was in study when a young boy ran to alert him that a fire had been seen rising over the castle walls to the east. By the time he arrived, the fire was put out and a brief inventory taken of the treasury. The only thing that had, apparently, been stolen was the Strange Gauntlet which they had gotten in trade to the Great Serpent. This steeled Kearney's fear, for here was a clear indication that the gauntlet was powerful and important. To someone.

The usual suspects were immediately called to mind. The Fennec were considered, for their trickery and stealth, but the level of finesse seemed beyond them. Kearney summoned a representative of the Zebani, hoping that the strange and esoteric people would have some answers. Beyond this, he appointed a special investigatory council to pursue leads. They had no professional detectives and no knowledge of forensics, so the situation seemed dire. Kearney was convinced that the Gauntlet was important if not against the Cull then for some other purpose. Soldiers were sent out in all directions to scour the woods for any trace of the thief.



World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
@Leusis :


The blackfoot clan had made horrible time on their voyage -- The ship was half-crippled hitting an underwater mountain range and the goblins ran out of food -- something they compensated for by catching and eating a whale, whole, in the weeks before arrival at the barrier. Fifty goblins had been born on the extra time during the voyage (Goblins gain 50 unskilled workers) and a large supply of whale oil had been harvested...

...The boat had almost been struck by an insanely powerful bolt of magic when the navigation to the breach had been miscalculated, but the goblins were undeterred and traveled parallel to the barrier until the hole in the curtain of light was visible.

Beyond it, the sight of the cliffs, and of the sandslope, and the smell of dead sharks and human sweat and toil.

Ropes were thrown out to them at the seawall by the exile fishermen -- and not knowing what to do with them the gruff citizens of the colony at the shore they were just greeted with semi-silent hospitality... once it was determined the goblins were more unruly and cabin-fevered then they were hostile.

The ship vented it's cargo of goblins (and riding boars the whaling success made unnecessary to eat) and they were poured onto the sandslope, which was subsequently placed in dry-dock in the event the goblins wished to have it repaired. It's muurdain military flag hung slack from the mast...

The most youthful goblins immediately set to eating at the piles of discarded shark organs, fish-trash and rope that so commonly littered the coast. The older, educated goblins were quick to bring the youth in line -- it was only a matter of time before the youngers, not speaking common yet, would get themselves into trouble.

The riding boars too ate their share of fish-trash and rolled in the sand, the more adventurous of goblins doing the same so glad they were to be on land...

...As to who these new arrivals were and how they would act would soon be seen.


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

Finding the safe ones was not easy -- it was known they were in a cave in the descent from the sea-cliff, but the sea dwarves found many caves where the safe ones purported to be. Within the right one, when finally found, was a labyrinth filled with spiky urchins, which when navigated led to a chamber completely devoid of light save for that which the sea-dwarves brought with them... and in this cavern... was a giant oyster the size of a stadium... laying about the oyster were the bones of many other visitors who had apparently died here, unable to return whence they came, their remains littering the spreads of gifts that were brought to this place for barter or passage...

"Go Away!"

A tiny voice came from inside the living fortress, as the sea dwarves looked for a way to access it.

"There's no way in! Go away!"

Repeated the safe one.

"What do you want?" the little voice proclaimed. "You are the ultimate evil that comes to purge everything, are you not? It's about time for that... and don't say you're not the ultimate evil because that's EXACTLY what the ultimate evil would say to get in here..."

"So now that we've established that we're the safe ones and you're the ultimate evil... what more is there to be said?"
The spire:
Well this was money well spent. The first tower had always struck Ummush as a crumbling and foreboding thing, not helped by the aggressive manor of its wardens. This marvel was - well it was daunting in a whole other way - but it had an air of familiarity thanks to what they'd learned from the storm forge. Either the Pan had a hand in making this spire or had learned from its inner workings.

The metal men it spat out were an industrious bunch. All the better since it seemed they were the one's responsible for the barrier that defended the lands by sea... and defended the rest of the world from what it kept in.

Which lead Ummush onto another line of thought, "Can you move the bounds of the barrier, or show us how to make another?" It was a longshot but worth a try. He gave a casual shrug to the Attolian at his side. "Putting a cage around the cull could always be nice."

The snake:
Orm squared his shoulders and limbered up, ready to lunge into action if the snake's talk proved more than just swagger.

"It's a fair deal, friend." The Minotaur rumbled, the shades of his tattoos glowing under his black fur. "Folk like yourself have seen these lands and made a home for themselves here among us. Fella like the Olm found himself a place guarding the flocks by night and he's a respected mam about town. You want to be a snake of position again we can help you make that life. But let's respect each other enough to know you're a bloody threat to us and our herds, and we're a bloody threat to you, and this needn't end bloody less you make it."

(Add to recruitment of the earth serpent. 2 influence.)


Two Thousand Club
The Docks:
Irmong paced in the sand for a moment, watching as his younger's fed in the filth of the humans alongside the massive boars they had brought with them. It likely wasn't the greatest introduction he could have asked for, but there was little he could do seeing how those under his leadership had been stuck on the sea for far too long. Waving one of the Kaarlar closer to him he spoke simply. "Rhokaan. Assure the youth are rounded up and sent up the sand slope. We need to move beyond these fishermen quickly. Claiming land is important, and we must be swift about it." With a nod, Rhokaan began to below orders in their native tongue. A deep guttural language, especially when spoken by a male of such incredible size and strength, dwarfing any nearby Humans.

Seeing to the movement of all materials coming from the ship Irmong would organize the goblins into teams. Using the boars these teams would drag any supplies, whale bones, and oil from the ship. The older goblins would act as mediators, assuring that the younger Goblins didn't come into direct contact with anyone not of their own race. To Irmong it was too dangerous to have the foolish youth who couldn't even speak common start something that might lead to high tensions with another group of colonists.


His Majesty Henry VIII
"I was sent here by your younger Locusta kin, who wish for their revered Safe Ones to represent their interests in establishing an alliance between Merdwarves and Locusta in order to defeat the Tasoth and the Drakhaina, for which we have brought many gifts. Entry to your domain appears to not be required for our negotiations, so I will not ask for it, but the Living Cave spoke of you having a tear of divinity in your possession, which I, Triton, would like to barter for once our business is concluded." The merdwarf said, bidding his escort to identify the remains and catalog their belongings while they together waited for a reply.
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The State House Resolution

@Beckoncall @Heyitsjiwon

The Highborn troops followed the Attolians into the State House, to be searched and secured it from the Fennec or anyone else, the magically gifted were sent into to find its true secrets. The Prince of the Highborn looked at Lothar, and said,

"Unsure, why Caelis never informed you on these talks with Scarpiant, as these matters were explicitly talked about in detail at the Colonial Council's meeting last year. Perhaps, you were sailing to fetch the Fetch. The Ratkin reported their findings to us, which feels like yesterday to me. I guess, that was like one fortieth of your lifespan, In any case The desires of the Fetches are well known. Lord Wolff, if you remember your schooling." The Prince then recited this tract from memory.

"They were aliens in every sense of the word, and the world would not have them. They hid under the skins of men so that they might be disguised, and they hid that under robes of deception to hide even deeper still. For a fetch to be seen by the world, is to have the world reject it. No sun, no star, no eye of any god could fall upon them and let them live. They took to their husks, and wept."

The Prince continued, "the desires of the Fetches were hardly a secret, as is their suffering. The suffering they have caused our people, if you remember your history, is even greater. Were not the Attolians once an independent Kingdom, before they became servants of the Muurdan?"

The Prince shook his head, " Lothar, you fetched this Fetch Phelot on behalf of House Narvik did you not, that makes you a fetcher of Fetches. The Highborn are very patient Elves. We were initially waiting on our progress using portals on this side of the barrier, and for the Way Walkers to come from our lands to act us guides through the way, then for talks with Scarpiant to progress and for him to come out. The Fetch you brought, Phelot, who worked for the Narvik, why is it that House Touryan had you bring a Fetch that is working for Narvik? Ever wonder? I will leave you with that to figure out.

"Regardless, Phelot's and Scarpiant departure, and the selecting of Caelis as interim Governor, for the Colony will help maintain the Colony's independence." The Prince smiled.

The Prince, then leaned politely closer to Lothar to speak as to not be overheard by low ranking underlings, "As for the promotion to interim Governor, the Highborn have arranged that for your brother Caelis as a gift. No thank yous needed. It was the right thing to do. We like to see our friends advance and do well. It's best for everyone. Please, help so that it does not go to your brothers head. We will let the peons of the colony have the impression that Caelis has authority as long as the Attolians, and the other faction leaders understand that the Colonial government are the true authority of the Colony and this for show. This will hopefully keep other various greedy, and petty houses from sending their Fetches. The Highborn will assist in sanctioning this arrangement, they arranged to the Muurdan High Council, using our own contacts and connections. Caelis aleady fancied himself Governor, so now he can do so in official capacity."

"We have been very pleased by Lord Caelis', no, Governor Caelis' Administrative ability and Attolian policing. No drunks peeing on walls, prostitutes with diseases, arrested, Fennec kept in check and litterers being punished are all very good for well being and order of the Colony. It's appreciated how clean things are kept as well. Don't think that these matters escape us."

The Prince, leaned somewhat away from Lothar and continued discretely, "As for the Canal, yes, that was a military secret. Disappointing to see that Attolians, or whomever gossip so freely about military exploits. For example, (the Prince leaned in again with a disappointed look, like one might have for a child that wet their bed), I was disappointed in you Lothar, when it came to my attention, that when you were speaking with House Touryan in an official capacity,and acting on their behalf, or was it House Narvik's behalf?, I received conflicting reports. You failed to mention that it was the Highborn and invaluable Highborn lives that secured the Muurdan banner. Just, as more recently, the Dragonbones that the Highborn scouts discovered, were given to the Dracos temple with no mention of the Highborn or permission. Liberties are being taken elsewhere without discussing it with the Highborn, and that hurts our feelings. These are not the acts of a friend, nor ally. Nor did Lord Caelis, who I consider a friend, heed my many warnings about the Red Fountain, or his dabbling with blood magic. That won't end well. I warn again. We know these things. We know a lot. I have shoes older than you Lothar. This is why we are haughty and arrogant. Ironic, to hear a Attolian lecture one about haughtiness, that is patronizing, the Highborn have proven their loyalty to the Colony with their blood many times over. We both know, that If not for the Highborn valor and proficiency in combat, that the Colony would be a smoldering ruin now and it's inhabitants all slaughtered like sheep. The Highborn have been nothing but honorable and forthcoming with the Attolians and the rest, meanwhile, the Attolians have acted rashly, nearly destroying the colony with Demon worship and blood magic. We are patient however, we will continue upholding our end of the Highborn-Attolian alliance, as our factions are the bedrock of Law and Order in the Colony. I will take these matters up personally with your brother and we will discuss them in depth. We will resolve this amicably for the sake of the Colony. Please, send my congratulations to your brother on his promotion. We think he deserved, it, and no problem."

The Prince gave the Colonial Military salute to Lord Wolff and took his leave.

As he departed, he thought of the great lay he had earlier, and the close combat that nearly killed him. He needed another lay, and knew wisfully that the next would likely not be as invigorating, but hopefully a tad less exciting. The Prince needed a hot bath, a massage, and to sleep. It had been a great day.


Highborn search building conventionally and with magic coordinating with Attolians.

The Highborn troops stood down, however, they remained as the Attolians and Highborns searched and secured the building. This would be the site of the Colonial bank.

The Prince will go speak to Caelis personally and smooth things over.

A private meeting with the heads of all factions only is requested. Extreme levels of security are taken.
The Halflings with their Mastiff mounts will explore and attempt to make sections of the Ratkin warrans closest to the Highborn settlment into Halfling holes and homes. Corn will be harvested and corn cakes baked by Halflings will be given out.

(ooc: I have many more things to post, unfortunately, a very very long post I was working on vanished, More to come. wanted to post a response)
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Lothar shook his head as he watched the Highborn Prince take his leave. The fact that he believed that Governorship was a gift was shocking. What more was his claim that the Highborn knew about many things... but did they really know? Did they know that the Governorship was initially offered to Lothar... nay given to him. But he had rejected it as the power and responsibilities of the Governorship was... undesirable with the baggage that it came with as well. The Governorship is a crown of thorns. It is a physical manifestation of the Empire... and a constant reminder of it's heavy fist... hovering over the colony, ready to crush all that is unfortunate to be in its path. All the factions had come to these lands to flee such heavy handedness, but now... the Attolians had once again been rammed into the gauntlet and become the armored fist of the Empire. The Attolians were the least free of ALL the colonists and this time they could not decline this "gift" that they had already been given before. The governorship was a reminder of the Attolian subservience of the Empire and a direct means of exerting control over the Attolians. Lothar almost wished he had accepted the position when it was offered by Touryan as it would have avoided many issues and confusions... almost. Yet, it appeared that Attolian attempts to help the colony remain autonomous were neither welcomed, noticed, nor appreciated. They were fortunate to only have to suffer little direct influence from the Empire, largely thanks to Attolian appearance of fealty to the Empire and the numerous costly actions taken to maintain that appearance. However... no good deed goes unpunished... or so they say.

Regardless, there was other work to be done. The Cull was approaching.
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