Episode 6 – Week of Gnome Fading, 2019

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

At the end of the month of Gnome comes the major turn in winter weather. The thoughts of nature and of people turn to preparing for the warmer spring to come, even as the heaviest snows fall. Tomorrow, the month of Dryad begins and Undine is on the horizon.

The mountain passes have been confirmed blocked by snow and the Royal Guards are redistributing themselves to focus their patrols on the tunnels at the east end of the valley.  Minor trading caravans from villages near and in the mountains will not be forgotten, but are more likely to see groups of adventurers hired to assist in keeping the roads safe.

The guard training camp at Wickerby Pond has been taken down and the pond itself remains quite frozen, allowing valley residents a chance to skate upon it once more. The town council would like to remind people that while guards and adventurers are frequently in the area of the pond, skating is at their own risk outside of scheduled events. This reminder brought to by reports of saberling packs in the area, presumably hunting hibernating prey.

It is my understanding that they royal messengers I spoke with last week had no issues finding their prey, though I’m none the wiser as to the nature of their hunt.  Speculation abounds, but even rumormongers admit it’s just speculation. The White Mountain and Black Mountain Feralix clans are long-term and key parts of the Pinecrest Valley’s ecosystem, but they’re more like distant relatives that happen to live nearby than family.

Speaking of family, more than one immigrant to the valley has started one here, but up until now, official immigrants have been individuals and groups instead of families. The town council has reviewed messages from the crowns and acceded to the request that families be allowed to immigrate in the summer. The plan for this summer is for the families to be related to those already here, or be vouched for by those who are.  Immigrants to the valley still need to be able to work to support themselves and the valley as a whole.

One might expect merchant houses in the next wave of immigrants based on the current need for them.  Five major cargo vessels arrived last week, re-routed from the northwest by frozen harbors. The dockworkers guilds have barely been able to keep up and the resident merchants are still hiring help – even going so far as to approach guilds directly instead of relying upon tavern recruitment.  One of those vessels apparently carried a leader of a merchant house from the kingdom of Cordelia on the northwestern shore of the great inland ocean. Cordelia is primarily a nation of Lutridae and with a name like Easpar, the merchant is likely one.

Easpar spoke to the council during his brief visit and made it clear that if Gemrest can provide the earthside support, he would like to expand his house’s trading efforts here in the winter.  The council worked with local merchants and guilds to address Easpar’s immediate needs and get the goods moving towards their destinations.

Moving those goods should be relatively easy this week, as the Sylph-casters are calling for light snow and cold temperatures all week. Those casters with a talent for far-sensing report more of the same moving north from the valley, at least for the first few days.  Traders are prepping their caravans with sledges that can be converted between wheels and runners with relative ease. This does mean more sledges and people are needed for each caravan, so once again I encourage those looking for work and willing to take a lengthy trip to apply for the jobs – more large vessels are likely to arrive this week as word that Eastfjord Harbor has not frozen over spreads to the west.

Far to the south, Revna and her companions have hopefully reached the Shrine of Water.  It is my understanding that like most Shrines, the Shrine of Water has a small village nearby, though one with particularly frequent service from the messengers in its host country. Only the vagaries of long-distance message relays stand between us and any letter the group sends.

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

Also brought to you by the Shrine Watchers’ League, who are willing to pay for worthy information relevant to locating the Shrine of Magic.  Please see our message in town hall for more information.

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

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