Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The Wallow in Winter

Foxday before last, the garrison awoke to find ice in the moat and snow falling; the fisherfolk were seen to be scurrying about covering their fishing rafts and gathering firewood. As yet, no word from the troopers sent to the Rampant Griffin and I have to fear for them and the Tavern. Over the day the snow fell harder and had to call in the outlying sentries; a freezing fog then rolled in overnight
The sentries suffered in the night and extra braziers were lit. Conditions worsened until Mouseday when the snow ceased; we found fisherfolk out on the ice, catching eels through holes in the ice - they said the cold slows down the snarks and they are blessing the aardvarks for the early winter.

With cleared nights, it has still been cold; there have been reports of lights on the far bank of the Korm Basin - the site of deserted ruins. Then, on Fireday morn we found a sentry dead on the battlement, as if killed by an arrow in his throat - the wound was there but no arrow could be seen. Sentries have been doubled, much to the men's complaints and a patrol will go out on Soulsday if the weather holds.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A missive to the Baron

To Eddard, Baron Brocas of Torh, from Trocero, Captain-Seneschal of the Keep in the Wallow, greetings.

My Lord, I write in haste, returned from a skirmish. Mistday last, a runner arrived from the fisherfolk who warned us of "dire heathen monsters" approaching from the north. I took a patol of men out on the next day, being Foxday and as it was all too possible that this was a ruse to have us engage a snark, took a number of longbowmen, in the heavy savoyard armour recently arrived. We reached the Old North Bastion just to find a band of skeletons some yards from marching out onto the sward. I sent half the men to line the rubble, while taking the rest along the right hand wall to arrive on the flank of the undead. The armour slowed us down but the men held their line until we, having had to fight a goodly number on the flank, fell upon them and broke their line. The undead were either hacked down or crumbled as if some dweomer had been shattered. No sign was found of a leader of any form. None of our men were hurt, though some had been cornered by two or more skeletons. My compliments to the Armourer. We scouted around and found some 30 gold quadroons of dubious vintage which are added to the warchest, as ever, taxation of the fisherfolk seems nigh pointless and cruel. We then crossed some snark tracks but returned to the Keep much to the cheer of the villagers as we past through their hovels. Stopping to rest in an unusually cheery glade, I found a curious stone, possibly a charmstone, I believe.

The weather here remains dank and cold, with a heavy frost and some ice in the channels. Were we not so far from their fastnesses, I'd look to see frost giants or winter kobolds lurking hereabouts in the coming weeks as winter settles in. I will shortly sent a patrol of horse to ensure the road is open to the Rampant Griffin and to enquire of rumours from mine host Billings.

As to supplies we are well found, though as ever more arrows and men of veteran service are much needed; further, if undead are to be an occurence here, a man of priestly order (a Brother Militant mayhap) would be invaluable.

This is being sent by fast rider this day,

Trocero, Capt

Friday, 10 December 2010

Being mainly about the Wallow

The local fisherfolk and heron gatherers, eking a living from the eel harvest, call it "The Aardvark Wallow" due to their belief that at night ghostly aardvarks creep out from their subteranean lairs to gambol on the mossy eyots and scratch for ants amongst the reeds. Little, if any, evidence has been found of the elusive insectivores but the fact remains - few ants are found in the Wallow.

Many sages, some of them sane, have compared it to the legendary Upland Marsh; both are scattered with bogs, channels, islets, fell ruins and dankness. The Roaring River is more or less navigable ("some hazards" warned the seceret rutter of River Pilot Otho Redshanks)throughout it's sojourn through the Wallow, save for occaisional sandbanks, collapsed bridges and flooded bastions. Semi aquatic but violently carnivorous snarks haunt the reedbeds, the fishermen pray to the Aardvarks for protection.

There are few reliable overland routes that are not prey to hazards and thus when Lord Brocas, Baron of Torh entered the swamp to suppress the Monks of Zylbor, he chose to use a fleet of longboats and a few rookflights upstream built the Keep in The Wallow. Here, a strong stone tower faces over a deep inlet, not far from one of the larger fisherfolk villages.

Aire Dressair, High Prince of the Elf Domain of Sarlon has chosen not to build a castle but instead has led his Elf warriors into the Wallow, wielding the blade Stylinkome fearlesly. For, sadly, the Wallow is not all swamp and dark ruins; there are many monsters who prey upon the right minded folk whose lands march by the margins of the morass, beasts stalk the ruins and diverse deranged cultists hide their noisesome temples in it's depths.

And thus the peril is greater......

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Fall of The City of Wonders

"Know that in those days, oh Prince, the City of Python bestrode the roaring river beside the Windark Sea; the moon haunted towers stretching unto the sky and piercing the clouds. And the people of the city became rich from trade and from war and their craftsmen grew skilled indeed. But a darkness came, the people grew old in guile, the shadows lengthened and the City earned a new name - Python, of the Purple Towers, lair of the Jade Beast.

Where did the darkness creep from? Was it there already, waiting? Or was it summoned, across nighted gulfs by the evil and greed building in the hearts of the Guilds of Python?

Who now speaks of the cataclysmic fall of Python? Of the Shattering of the Beast? None but sages, fenced about by wisdom, or the cultist, enamoured of evil. In a blasting violence the very towers that, eyeless, speared the sky, fell and with them the City of Python and the sea rolled in, the hills flooded in a purifying wave and the land was changed.

The seas retreated and the river ran through ruins; the land was damp, boggy and few save fisherfolk ventured the unchancy bywaters. And the City of Wonders, Purple Towered Python was forgotten.

But now tales are heard, of shards of jade fished up, or found in the ruins; of wealth hidden in dank crab fested tunnels. There are disappearences, boats vanish, howlings in the night and simple fishermen sharpen harpoons and hope for deliverance, of heroes. And they come, to stalk the ruins, to hunt for treasure, to best the evil that lurks in the heart of the Wallow, the swamp that was Python.