Frontier Dreams

To the Waves

From the Journal of Waeslyn the Widestepper, entry undated

Well we’ve spent a couple days at the Cape Hope manor house after a trying few days in the Fork Tongue village that I can’t spell. Kohaughty-Tengah, I think? I might see if Woomera can give me some language lessons in the native tongue. We once again couldn’t save everyone in their village, but at least killed a Manticore for them. Milvan sure came through in that fight, and dealt the death-blow to the creature that nearly ripped my guts out. I’ll see about putting some funds toward getting him something to commemorate the event. I sure will be keeping one of those claws to make a necklace, and we kept a few Manitcore spines that could be fashioned into spears, or perhaps bayonets? I’ve run the idea by Uncle, but he’s not overly interested. I’ll keep a spine and try my hand at working it myself along the way. In fact, the idea of a non-metal firearm to craft an entire firearm could be a fun project along the way…

Roughly a half dozen pages of potential creature parts to use and ways to sculpt them follow. It is clear this idea is filling Waeslyn’s mind to a significant degree

Oh, we also are booking passage to the islands finally. We’re figuring out a few potential ships, but it looks like an Alliance military vessel will be carrying us. It’s a lucky break, and I’ll hopefully get a chance to talk to the crew to hear what’s new on the homeward front. Regardless, I need a chance to move away from town, family is always such a grating process. I wonder if Dilliak is travelling with Father or not, I’d like to hear how he is lately. I hope our friend the physician is able to find peace in a smaller village. We’ve been back just a short time, and already the lace has begun to chafe.

I wonder what the tensile strength of Bullette bone is… Shorthand calculations fill several charts on the next page, with a frustrated few inkblots after a supposition that it is severely weaker than steel, and likely too fragile for a gun barrel.

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Session 9
In Which Passage is Booked

The party returned triumphant to Kowiringa, with the head of the Manticore as a trophy. Chief Rango thanked them for their efforts in service to the Mahi-Tahi. In their absence, the decision had been made to cleanse the healer’s hut of greenrot with fire, and the survivors watched from the sidelines, recovering from their illness. Before the party departed, they once again urged the necessity of diplomacy over force when attempting to locate the nearby hidden village and its stores of special plants. And the party also learned that the Mahi-Tahi quite enjoy the new and rare taste of bacon.

Upon their return to the city, Waeslyn made it plainly clear that returning to the Rentyllian estate was not his utmost desire. They spoke with an elder whistler about the developments in Kowiringa, and laid the foundation for regular contact between the groups. They stopped by the clinic where they had delivered the medicine to learn that the disease had run its course, with patients either being released or deceased without any further cases appearing. Many of them were unaccustomed to the sheer density of people that lived in Cape Hope, a stark difference from the peace and quiet of the open road.

Exhausting their list of distractions, they finally made their way to the Rentyllian estate, where they were eagerly welcomed. Dinner was had with Waeslyn’s uncle who was amused by Waeslyn’s native companion, and impressed by Maarus’ expertly crafted revolver. Rooms were arranged for their guests, with Woomera being guaranteed an eastern room. Calder, recalling his woes last time he spent time in the mansion, elected to sneak out and stay at a local inn instead.

The next morning the part set off towards the docks to find passage towards the island their cryptic vision had pointed towards. Three vessels appeared to have what they needed to complete the journey, and they concluded each should be investigated in turn.

First was the Chimera, a cutter with extensive modifications. The captain wanted to meet all her potential passengers before committing to the venture, and organized a meeting later that evening at a dockside dive. Maarus especially expressed concern regarding this vessel suspecting them of piracy.

Second was the Hugo II, a stout fishing vessel captained by a salty dwarf. They were clearly preparing for a large haul, and stated in no uncertain terms their price. The party quickly agreed that what they were asking was unseasonably high, and decided to look elsewhere.

Third was the H.A.V. Indomitable. This well armed galleon was crewed by Horizon Alliance reserves in defense of the nation. Initially unwilling to donate his services to the party’s venture with a large oceanic event on the calendar, the captain was swayed by Calder’s silver tongue. Calder had convinced the captain that they were on a church sanctioned holy mission to eradicate a great evil. Believing that his ship was obligated to serve such an endeavor, he quickly settled a steeply discounted price and ordered his crew to make ready to sail.

Unless the mysterious captain of the Chimera made them a better offer that evening, they planned to sail at first light north towards the isles they dreamt of.

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Session 8
In Which Reunions are Eventful

Calder and Waeslyn moved south from Cape Hope with great haste. Before too long, they came upon the unmistakable tracks left by their companions and the wagon, making track very simple. Aside from some rainy patches, they were able to follow the tracks towards Kowiringa. They were getting close to where they guessed the village might be when a roving scout made contact and guided them the rest of the way to the village.

Calder was able to speak with the chieftain and was directed to the quarantined cabin while Waeslyn made for the wagon to check on their supplies and Milvin. Milvin had been making attempts at communicating with the locals, having only minimal success not speaking the language. He did deduce that the Mahi-Tahi quite enjoy the taste of pig meat.

Calder arrived at the shaman’s hut and was ushered inside wearing a hastily constructed isolation garment. The shaman was slowly regaining his mobility, but his students had taken a steep decline in health. After preparation, Calder did his best to ease their condition without any more of the specialized medicine.

They met with the village chief once again who had informed them there was to be no official punishment for the killing of the expedition, in light of recent events. That said, he did not think that they would be truly welcome in town for some time. The adventurers offered to attempt to locate the hidden village that produced the root, but had no idea how long that would take. The village chief offered an alternative task that could be accomplished more quickly, and asked that they trust them to locate the village on their own and make the proper decision.

They learned of a nearby evacuation system of caves the town fled to in times of flooding. Recently a mighty beast had taken up lairing there and needed to be driven out. Significant wildlands expertise determined that the beast in question was most likely a manticore. They planned to strike at dawn when it would hopefully be asleep.

Waeslyn and Calder entered the cave to scout for the beast. They were greeted by an arrogant roaring voice from the darkness, which Calder conversed with while Waeslyn snuck further inside. Calder convinced the monster he would return shortly with food and exited the cave. He told his companions to wait for the signal, which would be Waeslyn’s opening shot. Soon enough Waeslyn spied the beast and let loose with his rifle. As the manticore took flight, the rest rushed into the cave. It whipped spikes from its tail and made to circle the grounded opponents. But Calder’s summoning of a giant spider created a web that entangled its wings and brought it crashing down. As the group surrounded the beast it fought savagely but could not fend off the onslaught. Taking advantage of the distraction offered by the boom of gunfire, Milvin was able to get behind the beast with his borrowed longspear to deliver the blow that incapacitated it.

They searched the cave and found the remains of an adventurer who had not fared so well. Woomera saw to it that he was cremated honorably. Reunited, and flush with victory, the party returned to Kowiringa with a trophy of their hunt.

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Session 7.2
In Which the Old and Young are at Odds

Maarus and Woomera departed the next morning headed straight south with the wagon and most of their supplies. Rain briefly hampered their progress, but the trail was open and game was plentiful. Milvin tok his share of watch duty in this unfamiliar land at night so neither of them was overly exhausted during travel in the morning. After more than a week of hard travel, they slowly began to realize they were not alone. Woomera made contact with a roving scout party from the village who escorted them the rest of the way to their destination.

At the entrance to the marsh village, the group was met by the elderly chief Rango, whom they quickly explained the situation to. Woomera made no secret of the fact that she had killed the warriors sent to retrieve the medicine, but also made it clear she had accomplished their mission, if only in part. Judgement was forestalled for the moment in favor of getting the medicine to the sick. Woomera and Maarus were escorted to a quarantined cabin on the outskirts of the village, while Milvin was left to tend to the cart.

Inside the cabin, they were assaulted by the smell of flesh left to rot for days. The village shaman lay on the brink of death from greenrot, both his apprentices trying and failing to treat him. Having received timely instructions from Calder, they determined that they had not enough medicine to treat all three of them. The students argued that the medicine should be spent entirely upon the shaman, and that he could always take on new students. Although they did confess that were he conscious he would have vehemently argued for the opposite.

Maarus and Woomera chose to use the medicine on Koka, the shaman. Maarus made for an excellent physician between his training and divine immunity to disease. He did determine that even were the disease to be cured, the wings were too far gone and had to be amputated. While they treated him, the pair learned that one of the apprentices was the mate to the lizardfolk who had led the expedition north.

They did what they could with what they had, and spent their time mostly contained inside the cabin until the arrive of their friends, some days later.

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Haunting

From the journal of Waeslyn the Widestepper, entry undated. Handwriting is uncharacteristically sloppy, revealing a haste in the hand.

Getting back on the road tomorrow morning, fast as possible. Uncle Hovvin and Aunt Lidania were at the summer home, so there was plenty of reason to get supplied and geared up. Auntie was in a bad sort, but she’s bought into Gradmammie’s paranoia about cosmic retribution and all that. But what Dr. Julius Merienstar said it was because she though Cousin Boldarnum was ill with the Limepox outbreak. I’m glad Papa wasn’t there, as that could have gotten thornier. Dr. Merienstar seems to be villainized for the fact that he hasn’t been able to save everyone; a situation I don’t envy. We delivered the medicine only to find out that there was enough to save five of the ten ill children in the one vial. At his request, we assisted in the process of selecting which children would have the best chance of survival. Pressure like that reminded me why I turned down the command position. He ultimately seemed to take my advice, and to give the medicine to those most likely to pull through, while making the others as comfortable as possible. I don’t envy his position. That plague-ridden quarantine zone, the angry mobs being held back by guards, the suffering children… those images will haunt me for a long time. Luckily Dr. Merienstar provided us some invaluable information about how to dilute and apply the medicine, as well as the name of the root it comes from. Sadly, it is cultivated by some nomads who prefer to go unnamed and unnoticed in this whole process, so while we can’t help the Mahi-Tahi find the root, they can at least know what to do with it when they get it.

Calder did the oddest thing in all this; to my knowledge he had no medical training. He was a temple-minder’s son. Yet after showering for… far longer than a shower should take, he seemed like a totally different person. There was a calculation, precision, even coldness in his voice. It unsettled me, to be honest. We purchased an extra horse to speed the process of the return trip, and I resupplied what the help could offer. We also took the papers and materials from Craughon’s wagon back to the Whistlers. They let us keep the boots and haversack in thanks, and helped us secure a means of transmitting the message about the preparation and application of the drug to Woomera and Maarus.

Dr. Merienstar mentioned that the outbreak happened with some tainted goods that were deliv-

Here the handwriting speeds up rapidly, becoming near illegible at points. Gnomish glyphs are interwoven with dwarven runes for figures and a crude attempt at a map with markers for distances estimated

Weren’t the Forktongues infected by a delivery of goods that they mentioned? Remember to check with Woomera. If the disease onset is roughly equivalent and I have the numbers from Dr. Merienstar’s notes in my mind properly, then I can perhaps figure out where the supplies were coming from. By the Eight, hopefully this is a freak accident and there aren’t more tainted supplies being spread across Dawn Haven.

Several days pass without a written entry after this. The next five pages, front and back, contain the sketched faces of smiling children, one human, two dwarves, two gnomes, four half-elves, and one elf. Five of them have the phrase “Find Peace in the Eight” scratched on the corner in a trembling hand. The elven child is one such marked figure.

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Session 7.1
In Which Monsters are Unmasked

Calder and Waeslyn made haste to Cape Hope, planning to deliver their portion of the medicine with the utmost haste to the patients who had originally requested it. Riding hard, they made good time until powerful rain delayed their journey. They arrived into Cape Hope after four days of exhausting travel under heavy rain. They explained their urgency and situation to the guards, and were quickly ushered into the city.

Waeslyn’s status secured them comfortable lodgings, and they learned more about the sickness, its victims, and the physician who was in charge of treating them. He had developed a heavily negative image in the public eye according to their hosts. They resolved to see him first thing in the morning, and recovered from their long journey in luxurious beds, although Calder slept fitfully at best.

That morning as the clouds parted they ate quickly and went straight to the clinic. It had been cordoned off and armed guards were restraining angry citizens shouting at the walls. Presenting their case, they were quickly escorted inside and into the office of Julius Merienstar. The man had clearly been under heavy stress as a result of his posting and was not overly polite or reserved in his displeasure to see the reduced portion of medicine the duo had brought.

After tense conversation, the duo joined him on a tour of the infected patient’s tents. They debated back and forth who should receive what medicine they had and under guidance and reasoning, they believed they had chosen the 5 most viable patients. Calder sought time to himself to prepare to assist the doctor in administration of the medicine. He stated he would send word to them of the developments of the ones treated, and clearly expected to only further sully his reputation as a result of his choices.

The duo then journeyed to the Whistler’s dispatch in town to formally make note of Cragaughn’s fate. The elder interviewed them thoroughly about the events of the assault but seemed to be satisfied with the answers given. He collected Cragaugh’s papers, but allowed them to keep the boots and haversack as rewards for their efforts. Notably, Calder did not mention or return Cragaugh’s personal journal.

Taking advantage of the abundant resources available in the city, the pair next visited the market to restock on supplies, not knowing when next they would have the opportunity to do so. Calder purchased a trio of messenger tokens, one of which was immediately dispatched to Maarus and Woomera with instructions for the safe application of the medicine. Also purchased was a second horse of calm disposition to increase their return South.

Having had an exhausting day both physically and emotionally they returned to the manor for a second night of rest before hitting the road the next day. As they approached the manor, they passed a procession of monks praying and burning varieties of incense. Pleasantries were exchanged with his family, but Waeslyn was easily reminded why he had not chosen this life. Refreshed and reinvigorated, they informed their hosts that if things went according to plan, they would soon return to spend a more significant time in their company. They rushed south, hoping their companions had received the message in time.

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Divisive Choices

From the journal of Waeslyn the Widestepper, dated 22 Mure

It’s been several days on the road now, and we’ve come to a problem. Milvin, the innkeeper’s boy, has traveled with us, and Woomera’s taken him on as a sort of squire. Regardless, we had smooth travels for quite some time, up until we got to a lake south of the intersection with the settlement of Seventeen where we found a dead Whistler. Craughan was his name, and he was attacked by a cohort of Mahi-Tahi. We fended off the bandits, only to learn from the survivor that the reason for the attack was for medicine for what sounds like a Forktongue version of Limepox. We weren’t willing to sacrifice either the Scalyfolk who don’t know how to make medicine, or risk denying the Alliance their due property. It was decided, since we had two vials of the medicine, that we would split up to bring one portion to each. Caldor and I will be riding north at dawn, to Cape Hope. I’ll carry with us the papers from Craughan’s trip and attempt to determine where the medicine was due. Woomera and Maarus will be trekking south to the Forktongue settlement so she can cure their healers. In all likelihood, we will be able to make good enough time to meet back up with Woomera and Maarus before they reach the settlement or not long after. While we are in Cape Hope, I will be attempting to learn what root is distilled to create the cure, to help enlighten the natives so they can better protect themselves. I can only hope that they will see these gifts as proof of the benevolence of the Alliance, but Woomera’s concept of justice for the captured bandit leaves me uncertain they will be as willing to accept us as Woomera has. She is certainly a credit to her people, that she has shown such wisdom and progressive acceptance of our ways.

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Session 6
In Which Choices are Difficult

After tending to their wounds, the party made camp for the night. They had taken a single prisoner from the band of Mahi-Tahi, who lay unconscious and tied to a tree. Examination of the late whistler’s journal revealed that he had been carrying medicine north to Cape Hope, the party’s original destination before the skirmish.

Wanting to know more about what happened, they revived the prisoner, and Woomera interrogated him wearing the ceremonial war paint she carried with her. She learned that he had come from a village far to the south suffering from a disease that had been contracted from Horizon Alliance traders. They had never encountered this disease before, and were desperate to get the medicine by any means. After a brief whispered conversation, Woomera executed the prisoner for his transgressions.

As the party discussed their options, many arguments were presented. Could they condemn the Mahi-Tahi to death, even though they had gone to such violent lengths to acquire the medicine? Could they accept denying the medicine to the children of Cape Hope relying upon its delivery? In the end, they resolved to attempt to save as many as they could. They would divide their group, and the medicine, between the two destinations.

Waeslyn would join Calder on his horse as they made for Cape Hope with all haste to take their half of the medicine to the Horizon Alliance. Once their business there was concluded, they would depart and attempt to meet up with Woomera and Maarus.

Woomera and Maarus would take the wagon and majority of the trail rations and begin the journey south to Kowiringa, the outpost village of the Mahi-Tahi in the wetlands near the Great Eastern Forest.

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Cragaughn's Travelogue
Heavily Worn

This leather-bound tome is clearly well traveled, and chronicles the Whistler’s recent journeys. The pages are covered in entries interspersed with sketches of everything from people to places to plants and so on. Towards the end there are multiple pages with pressed leaves in between them and notes on the properties of the flora.

several of the most recent entries towards the end stand out to you a you peruse the tome:

35th of Vemist
Clear Skies
Jerky, nuts
41F, 14W, 15T
Denoted here in case I should need to recall the location:
Upon their home they stand vigilant. Behind the two giants, the not uncorrect path spies a blue curtain. Curse my granite brain, I’ve yet failed to mold that to a catchy tune. Spreading the song amongst other Whistlers might prove an entertaining hint should I be sent on else wandering route in the future.

37th of Vemist
Mild Rain (Morning to mid-afternoon)
Jerky, Wakeroot
39F, 12W, 14T
The cave location appears to have remained undiscovered by either civilization. It’s remote location means that it is likely that will remain so for some time. Had that storm two years ago not led me here I would never have found it. Whatever foul beast(s) lair within appear to detest the open air for all that I have ever seen them, but their smells and other signs show they remain. I dare not venture further in and must settle for safely collecting the curious ores from sparse deposits near the cave mouth. They can quite easily be fashioned, by someone with training in the craft, into bullets that explode with elemental energy. My last trip to this hidden trove was enough to barter a pair of boots from the wizard. This cache I might well spend on a wand. I believe Tomi may have been correct about the upcoming drought. I begin now the long and winding road north towards Trinity Bay, Tomi, and home.

12th of Paman
Clear Skies
Jerky (now depleted)
24F, 2W, 2T
Food supplies remain plentiful, aside the fresh lack of meat. First return town is nearby, will restock provisions there, and see if medicine order has been processed. They have plenty of the root necessary to distill the curative needed north in Cape Hope. Limepox has recently befallen several there, and they should welcome relief.

17th of Paman
Clear Skiers, heavy northerly wind
None*
30F, 22W, 17T
May have overdone my traveling storyteller act. Only now do I regain my ability to stomach solid food, and slowly at that. Food that spicy should not be offered as food. I daresay black pepper alone may be more than sufficient for my next stock of seasonings. The wind at my back speeds travel pleasantly.

24th of Paman
Unseasonable fog
Wakeroot, blueberries
23F, 15W, 10T
I cannot be sure, but I suspect I am being followed. The horses have become uncharacteristically skittish at times when the path should cause them no worries. I have stashed the valuable ores within the hidden compartment, in case bandits who have escaped my notice learned of my trade last year. That they would follow me this far this well is surprising. Or perhaps the wizard seeks to no longer rely upon my services for supply? A chilling thought. I will maintain extra vigilance until I can return deeper to the Horizon Alliance.

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Session 5
In Which Wheels are Set in Motion

Knowing they had a long journey ahead of them, the group assembled at the general store run by the gnome Leopold to stock up for the road ahead. Leopold supplied, in addition to the custom built wagon, a variety of travel rations and repair supplies. Calder in particular purchased several unique items, much to Leopold’s joy. Woomera and the rest of the party bartered with the smith Abigale for a magic spear she had been saving as well. They spent one final night at the Aftcastle, thanking their hosts for being so accommodating, and enjoying what might be their last night in comfortable beds for some time. They did at last witness a victory in the ongoing battle for intoxication among the dueling gentlemen ever present in the bar’s corner table.

The next morning, they set of bright and early with all their supplies loaded into the wagon. Near midday, when they were already some distance from FreeWaters, a mysterious sound was heard coming from inside the wagon. Investigation revealed that the barhand boy Milvin had stowed away in the cart, eager to live his own adventure. There were significant protestations among the group, but in the end he was allowed to accompany them, if only on a provisional basis. Woomera, perhaps because she was the only member of the group already experienced raising children, seems to have been most involved in making sure the lad pulls his weight. And owing to a life of early labor and long hours at the inn, he does not significantly grouse about any chore he is asked to do. He is not the greatest chef in DawnHaven either, but whether or not they are willing to admit it, he has far more experience preparing food than most of them do.

As Waeslyn explained the hazards of approaching a very Xenophobic town at a crossroads, the party agreed to take a loner path to the south. As they began to look for suitable campsites that evening, they came upon one already settled. When they got closer to investigate it was revealed that there was a lone traveler, recently slain. Tracking the assailants found them crouched behind nearby boulders waiting for the party to pass them by. They were a small band of Mahi-Tahi, and viscous fighting ensued. After a bloody battle, the box they had stolen was retrieved. Their leader, or at least the largest among them, barely survived and was bound against the tree to be questioned if he awoke. The body found to be a Whistler by the name of Cragaughn Thoroughvein was laid to rest with honors by Maarus, as were the Mahi-Tahi by Woomera. As they dismantled the traveler’s cart for firewood, several interesting items were found stashed inside.

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