Episode 2 – Week of Gnome Waking, 2019

Hello, I’m Branwyn Two-Moon of Clan Lightridge and these are the Ersatz Echoes of Eastfjord Harbor for the week of Gnome Waking, 2019.

The first crescent moon of the new year is a reminder to all of us that winter is not a season of death, but of introspective renewal.  Though we cannot see it, much is happening below ground in preparation for the spring to come. All true changes are brought about from within… false ones, such as those brought about by the magic of Wisp, may inspire them however.

With the open council meeting just two weeks away, it is no surprise to anyone that a gather day has been declared for the same day, encouraging farmers, bakers, artisans, and crafters to gather in and around the town square to sell their goods and skills. The meeting is likely to be a major one, so why not give people something to be happy about before getting buried in necessary drudgery and frustrating politics? Not that our politics have anything on those in other regions, or so our newcome residents tell us. Maybe there is some strange advantage to having been not-quite-a-part of any kingdom for so long. And the rulers of our current kingdom seem to have no desire to appoint a Lord or Lady over the Pinecrest region, though rumors suggest many nobles are pushing for it.

If you want more news along those lines, you’ll want to find another aethercast. Our news is focused on Eastfjord Harbor and the greater Pinecrest Region. Meanwhile, those looking to book a space for a stall for the gather day should contact the town hall during normal business hours. Definitely do not attempt to visit while the hall is closed or seek out otherwise appropriate persons after the hall is closed for the day. You know who you are, but this applies to everyone.

Okay then… who pissed off the clerks last year? That might be worth a few moments of time in a slow week. You know how to reach me.

It’s no secret that one of the longest standing missions put forth by the town council to adventurers and adventurer guilds is the clearing and reclamation of Valleywatch Keep. While the surrounding town is technically inhabitable, no one wants the Houndlings that took up residence in the keep over the past few centuries as neighbors.  Houndlings are generally considered a minor nuisance unless you threaten a warren or they are organized in some fashion. Far-traveled scholars and experienced adventurers feel that the keep itself is likely a very-well organized warren, possibly the largest in the world, and as a bonus: there’s no sign of an external organizing force. Still, some adventurers have also noted that the Houndlings rarely leave the keep, or if they do leave regularly, they do so by a means no one has been able to determine.

Kyelin Windshear, a lepta, and Ariette Walks-the-Dawnline, a Herpesti, are looking to form a guild dedicated solely to task of reclaiming the keep. Interested persons should seek them out in the Fjord’s Tail Tavern in the evenings of the first and seventh days each week.  In the event they have not returned from whatever task they have undertaken for a week, the barkeeps will collect names and contact information in their absence.

As expected given their recent recruitment efforts, the Royal Guards are setting up a training course and camp on the southern side of Wickerby Pond. In the interest of maintaining Gnome’s peace, please leave them be and for Shade’s sake, don’t startle them – it takes a lot of effort and the potential side effects vastly outweigh the amusement of a successful attempt. Those are the common sense announcements for persons lacking in such. The official request is to not turn the currently frozen lake into a spring this year, please. Hope you would-be recruits are ready for whatever that entails!

In actual disturbing news, we’ve learned more about how the Hisenwatch merchant caravan got lost on its first trip here.  Kurst Ice-forged and his companions went with a few members of the caravan out to figure out where they got lost, as the written directions the caravan had were perfectly fine. Those directions, being of a more technical nature than most – travel north-northeast for ten kilometers, then take the southernmost route where the five roads meet, for example – would have got the caravan to Eastfjord Harbor without fail, had something not caused the caravan’s compasses to go awry. Not much, but enough. Bryce Wayfinder, a loboan caster who exclusively works with Gnome’s magic, was able sense residual magic when the group reached the intersection and reproduce it, resulting in the compasses that would have led everyone down the southwestern road instead of the southern if they didn’t know the area.

Bryce and others are quite curious if this magic was wild or cast in nature, and with the town council’s encouragement, he is gathering those of an investigative nature to help him find out.  His existing companions have agreed to remain with him and help safeguard a reasonable of non-adventurer types should the need arise as they consider Pinecrest Valley and Eastfjord Harbor their home – unsurprising since all are among the first groups of adventurers to arrive here nearly ten years ago.  It’s said that if that group ever decides to form a guild and recruit, they would probably lose an entire lunar cycle just to the interviews.

I can feel Kurst scowling at me from here… and I have no idea where he might be.

Outlying farms are reporting the usual trouble with magical and non-magical wildlife deciding to use their crops and herds as food sources as cold weather sets in.  Farmers have submitted the specific nature of their problems and how they’d like them addressed to town hall. Adventuring groups should view the task board in the town hall for more information.

The weather forecast for the week of Gnome Waxing sounds a lot like the weather forecast I gave last week, with a greater chance of freezing rain for the town and valley in the evenings and overnights, and snow like in the upper foothills.  Expect the days to be mostly cloudy and chilly, with occasional gusty periods.

The Ersatz Echoes of Eastfjord Harbor are brought to you by Red Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and otherwordly teas. Red Wombat: We Dig Tea.

Also brought to you by the Skywatch Academy of Blades. The Skywatch Academy of Blades is looking for those with talent in Gnome and Dryad magics to aid with designing the academy, due to open this fall. Please contact Anneliese Skywatch for more information.

These have been the Ersatz Echoes of Eastfjord Harbor for the week of Gnome Waking, 2019. Take care, and stay warm.

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