Most of the party spends their time enjoying the simple pleasures of civilization: beds that aren't rocks and food that isn't moldy. The priests get involved with their local churches, preparing the for the Feast of Winter, a major year-end holiday. The magic users continue to try and identify magic items, and a few party members try out the weapons and armor recovered to see if they can discover their powers.
The party has decided they need a more permanent base of operations. They want a jumping-off point that's more convenient than Auslaug. Maro, Mordikarr and Rawon head back to New Town to try and find a suitable spot to build a lodge. Grendor and Durego contact authorities in Auslaug to figure out how the party gets access to land.
The scouts find several suitable locations and contact the officials in New Town to see about access. Maro convinces (bribes) the surveyor into directing his attention toward the area they're interested in. Lord Thambar has already allocated much of the land around New Town to those refugees who have been working on the road for two months, but the party's chosen site is fairly far out.
One complication: there's a group of refugees (mostly) that have formed a builder's guild in New Town. This is not pleasing to the established guild based in Auslaug. The Thambar-appointed Mayor of New Town has approved the guild charter, but Thambar has not finalized it. If the party wants to build, they need to choose, and either choice may have consequences.
The party also finalizes the plans for their lodge. They're planning on constructing a modest two-story place with a barn for the mules. It'll really be a place to overwinter and depart from next spring.
Durego visits Gorvil's only surviving relative, his sister and delivers the bad news, along with a hefty 600 GP payment. Gorvil had purchased a magical spear a while back, and Mordikarr bought it for his use. Durego gave the sister the entire amount. No one's made any effort to find Tesso's relatives, and Jonquil is from the war-torn south, so there's no way to contact his family.
Durego and Strom also try to find out more about the persistent lassitude that's gripped them since the encounter with the Cold Shades. None of the local priesthood has a way to remove the evil magic (identified by Calem Gara, head of Durego's order). However, two priests suggest seeking out one of the wandering priests of Arking, the divine aspect of healing.
Several people start looking for people that might be willing to serve as camp guards on the party's next trip out. They also start looking for someone to keep an eye on their lodge once it's built.
Most of the group's attempts to gain access to Lord Thambar are unsuccessful. Ohwatoo eventually manages to gain access to the keep library after meeting Solig (the Lord's personal priest and scholar), in town. Ohwatoo and Maro spend some time researching some of the names they uncovered on their last trip into the Wilds.
All the above brings us to December 22nd.
A history lesson. Here's a vastly simplified summary of known history from the human perspective:
- NC 134 - Year of the Badger (now)
- NC 86 Highcliff Keep constructed.
- NC 62 Hustwood founded.
- NC 59 Farbank founded
- NC 57 Brekkevale founded
- NC 49 Stensen founded/rebuilt
- NC 45 Hembard Wilds explored by Jorund Hembard.
- discovers ruins of Blackpool Maze and other ruins
- NC 33 Auslaug founded/rebuilt
- NC 31 Haatlan Hold founded/rebuilt
- NC 29 Unification Wars end, poorly
- NC 27 Greenhill founded
- NC 23 Brevik's Vale founded/rebuilt
- NC 21 Unification Wars
- NC 20 Helswood founded/rebuilt
- NC 13 Lindesen rebuilt
- NC 12 Reconstruction of Eastwatch
- NC 11 Hanserhold rebuilt
- NC 6 Reconstruction of Mosberg
- NC 3 Bellswood rebuilt
- NC 1 Islerkanne city begins reconstruction
- Islerkanne settlers establish Plews and Aslake Fields
- Start of the New Calendar, denoted by NC
- OE 430 - 455 The Dead Era
- OE 427 - End of the Fell Plague, maybe
- OE 428 East Gorsebonn and South Gorsebonn split
- OE 422 First appearance of the Fell Plague
- OE 421 End of the Black War, more or less
- OE 419 Collapse of the Northern Reaches
- OE 408 First battles of the Black Wars begin
- OE ??? Blackpool Maze Castle constructed/rebuilt
- Start of the Old Era, origins unknown, denoted by OE
A lot of the city sites listed were rebuilt on top of older cities that were abandoned/destroyed during the Black War, Fell Plague and Dead Era.
A nine-year period of unrest between NC 21 and NC 29. The driving force in this struggle was an attempt by the royal families of East Gorsebonn and South Gorsebonn to reunite the two nations as Gorsebonn. It did not go well, and the region remains unstable. Some political observers theorize that Cathrist uses his many spies and magical resources to keep the region in conflict, since it weakens his two nearest political foes.
The New Calendar originated at Islerkanne, and marks the start of the city's reconstruction after the Dead Era and the Fell Plague. This Calendar and date system is in common use throughout the so-called Kingdoms of Jal.
The Dead Era is the general term for the 25-year period after the Fell Plague, when civilization pretty much ceased to exist in the human regions around Gorsebonn. The end of the Dead Era is marked by the rise of Islerkanne and the reestablishment of settlements on the shores of Lake Havaar. This also marks the start of the New Calendar, which is generally denoted NC.
A magical plague that ravaged the civilized world in the wake of the Black War. The plague lasted about five years. The plague killed about 80 percent of the population of Gorsebonn and led to the Dead Era.
The Black Wars happened about 180 years ago, a religious war between the Old People, followers of The One that believed those that followed his various aspects were heretics, and the followers of the (now) commonly accepted beliefs. The Black Wars were most intense in Gorsebonn, but the fighting raged far and wide as the heretics were hunted down and rooted out. Records from this period are scanty, as it predates the Fell Plague a magical disease that ravaged the entire northlands 20 years after the war.
Refers to a once-civilized area north and west of Gorsebonn. Hembard Wilds was likely part of this region. The Northern Reaches were decimated during the Black War. Some historians claim the so-called Old People were more common in the Northern Reaches, hence the resulting devastation in this area. Other historians blame the Old People for the Fell Plague that followed the Black War.
The calendar period prior to the New Calendar. Old Era dates are usually denoted OE. There is no historic record of who established this calendar system.