Wealday, 17 Arodus, 4716AR

Another blindingly busy but relatively calm and peaceful month in the books. Construction projects this month included a second set of farmsteads and a smithy as we broke ground on the area to the northeast of Avalon (B12). All told the combination of expansion, construction and day to day expenditures set us back some eleven thousands crowns. However, we are halfway to opening our gold mine next month. We will be bringing in our first harvest in another week or so. It will likely be somewhat paltry given our short growing season. I hope that this along with the fact that we will not officially observe Harvest Week on the fall equinox will not stir up any dark murmurings among the citizenry. Perhaps some good fortune with possible religious significance will be enough to offset this. Our small economy and overall stability have netted us a somewhat paltry income of seven thousand crowns on their own this month, but Oleg’s luck has significantly shifted our fortunes as a whole.

While out hunting he brought down one of the most impressive stags the locals have ever seen. People came from all over and even outside the kingdom to marvel at the rack of antlers. The traffic likely netted us an extra three thousand crowns in income. The increased traffic is also likely to linger into next month. The form of the animal he killed along with the scope of Oleg’s good fortune after taking it as game supports the public narrative that Erastil himself has blessed the endeavors of our Duchess.

Altogether, this extra gold ensures that we have the funds needed to bring in foodstuffs and sustain our population through the winter, even in the absence of a larger harvest. Once we have more farms up and running, building granaries to store for a hard winter or a lean season might be a well-advised investment.

Sunday, 17 Erastus, 4716AR

A full month has gone by since my last entry, and a busy month it has been. With the completion of several houses, a mill and a farm (at a cost of some thirteen thousand gold crowns, as well as another thousand in monthly upkeep), we find that we have established a relatively stable community. Ce Me No in particular has worked hard to keep it so, and the intelligence he gathers has been invaluable in this regard. Since obtaining a magic belt he ordered from Oleg, he seems even better at his job than usual.

We have begun construction of an inn – “The Rainbow Trout” – to make our community more attractive to travelers, at a cost of some ten thousand crowns. The town is already rather productive for its size, bringing in some eight thousand gold crowns in income thanks in part to our overall stability. All things being equal, the community has been especially quiet and peaceful. Our expenditures still exceed our incomes by a significant amount at this point. This is to be expected as we get started, but it means, we will need to work hard at increasing our productivity further. The gold mine to the north is an attractive target, and we will work at expanding north to capitalize on it as soon as is practical.

Of note, apparently the third day of this month is the occasion of a religious observance known as Archer’s Day. Both the holiday and the month are named in honor of Erastil. The residents of Avalon had their own small celebrations of the holiday. I suspect however that they would have appreciated something more elaborate. It seems likely Jhod will ask us to do something along these lines in keeping with our promise to grant Erastil a place of religious primacy.

If we find ourselves on more stable fiscal footing come our first anniversary as a kingdom, I will recommend to the Duchess that she expand our roster of officially recognized holidays. Along with our Founding Day, the other most likely candidates are this Archer’s Day on the 3rd of Erastus, the Equinoxes, and the Solstices. The Spring and Fall Equinoxes are known as Planting and Harvest Weeks in Erastil’s faith. The Solstices are the two halves of Desna’s Ritual of Stardust, but also celebrate Sarenrae’s Sunwrought Festival in the summer and Shelyn’s Crystalhue in the winter. The expense may outstrip the immediate tangible gain, but adding these holidays seems like the right thing to do. It will demonstrate our good faith to Jhod, and will also help to bind the community together. In times of trouble, such bonds can prove far more precious than gold.

Diary of Morrigan of House Medvyed #1
Starday, 21 Desnus, 4716AR


I should find a scribe.

Fireday, 17 Sarenith, 4716AR

It is official – the Kingdom of Rivara has been founded. Duchess Morrigan dubbed the Kingdom as such, also naming our new capitol “Avalon.” We began the work of claiming and clearing the area, and also started to set up the foundation of our first buildings. We are starting by building housing for those who have already joined us, as well as for those we hope to entice to join our new settlement. We will also be constructing a mill on the water’s edge to allow for the processing of some combination of lumber and grain, and a farmstead to help provide food. I am finding the task enjoyable thus far. My physical strength is useful to the effort, my hands seem especially resistant to splinters, and the act of building simply feels good on a level deep within the soul. I am sure some might argue that this is not in keeping with their idea of “femininity,” but I trust that Falayana’s definition is more inclusive.

The Duchess also issued numerous edicts. She declared that taxes would be kept light, which was fairly popular (though any taxes beyond “no taxes” will always result in some amount of grumbling). She formally declined to engage in any formal promotions of the new Duchy of Rivara, as the expense seems an extravagance rather than a necessity. She also declared today to be an annual holiday, commemorating our founding. I will time my fasting vows to correspond with it. The first observance of this holiday occurred this evening after we had concluded the day’s labors. A great feast was held on fish caught from the lake, and the small community bonded warmly and well over it. I partook in the fish fry myself, though I removed the skin and seasonings from it so as not to overindulge. Thoroughly delicious nonetheless. I suspect that tomorrow I may need to chide a few who partook too heavily of mead and ale for public drunkenness, but that is an easily borne cost for establishing a deep and abiding sense of community.

Oathday, 16 Sarenith, 4716AR

Made it back to the Tuskwater after a two day trip. Looking after and tending to the numerous commoners, hunters, farmers, tradesmen and experts who wished to be a part of our fledgling kingdom proved a full-time job during the trip. Enjoyable, but undeniably busy. I find that people seem willing to set aside a flash of temper or a minor or quarrel with a fellow citizen once I appear. Am I that imposing I wonder? I have not been working on a glower or “war face” that I know of, and I certainly have no “tough talk” to fall back upon. If my default demeanor and appearance have this effect… well, perhaps it would explain some recurring trends in my interpersonal relationships. It would also suggest that I am indeed well-suited to this job.

Barring these minor quarrels and friction between fellow travelers, we once again made the trip without serious incident. It would seem that our efforts have truly made the night safer, though we probably should not take this as an excuse to relax in our vigilance. The dangers are doubtless still out there, it’s just likely that a larger group such as ours is enough to discourage many opportunistic predators.

Tomorrow will therefore be our new kingdom’s official “founding day.” I anticipate it will require a bit of backbreaking labor to prepare the ground and construct our first buildings. I also suspect some pomp and ceremony will occur as the Duchess formally marks the occasion.

Toilday, 14 Sarenith, 4716AR

After returning to Oleg’s we have settled upon an ironic choice of General: our cavalier friend Jeremiah. He is a bit reckless, but the ultimate irony is that this means Sloth is now ostensibly training to replace the man who first attacked him when we met.

We briefly toyed with the idea of asking Lily to be Grand Diplomat, as the job brings with it a certain passion for flattery and glad-handing. In the process of doing some due diligence we learned of her great fondness for elven treasures, as well as her willingness to do most anything to get her hands on said same. I cannot shake the feeling that the woman will turn out to be trouble.

Thankfully, Entem Guile responded to our invitation. He would have preferred to be Magister I think, but he agreed to take on the position of Grand Diplomat. In return, he asks that we reward him in books and other sources of knowledge – either by purchasing them directly, or providing him with the funds to do so.

This leaves two final positions, both related to law enforcement. Rabbi Lyon and I are well suited to them, and have agreed to fill them. Rabbi Lyon will serve as our Marshal, making him responsible for setting up patrols to the less heavily settled areas of our kingdom and maintaining law and order in general. I will serve as position of Royal Enforcer, doling out punishment as required by the law, and hunting down especially elusive criminals within our borders. I will also be responsible for registering the complaints of the people on the subject of law enforcement, and may be required to enlist them into a posse or militia in certain extreme circumstances. The Rabbi I will coordinate heavily on these matters. It likely goes without saying that along with serving as a bodyguard to the Duchess, this type of work carries great appeal for me.

We will head back to the north bank of the Tuskwater tomorrow morning to break ground on our new capital and kingdom. We will be moving slowly, with a caravan of several hundred would-be settlers and workers in tow.

Moonday, 13 Sarenith, 4716AR

Made it back to the Temple. Yet again. Without incident. Yet again.

I’m not sure if Jhod thinks we’ve lost our mind or if we’re just really fond of seeing him. In either case, our presumptive High Priest welcomed us back. He carefully listened to the Duchess’ idea about Sloth serving as General. He then offered some of the same counter-arguments we had – though sadly not all of them. He pointed out the fact that Sloth is still extremely young and inexperienced, but he did not say “no” outright. He pointed out that Sloth’s size, strength and aptitude for the martial arts might make him an excellent General in the future.

I did my best not to swallow my tongue – indeed, I put my money where my mouth is. Jhod and I now have a thousand gold crown wager in place over the outcome of a barehanded fight between Sloth and myself once Sloth is fully grown and trained up. It is not a fight I intend to lose. Based on the life cycle of giants, it could be decades before this match occurs. By that point, the giant’s size will certainly exceed my own, and his strength will most likely exceed or at least equal mine. I shall have to rely on skill, training and Falayna’s blessings to prevail. But this I swear – I will not yield to a giant. He will either have to knock me senseless – or more likely kill me – in order to prevail.

In any event, the Duchess took the “no” gracefully by turning it into a “not yet.” She has decreed that Sloth should spend two days out of each week training at the capital in order that he might become a General in the future. The entire thing makes me somewhat ill, but at least the proximity of Sloth’s training will allow me to keep an eye on him in order to monitor for signs of savagery or cruelty. We will head back to Oleg’s tomorrow to try and fill out the rest of the Council, which still requires a General, a Grand Diplomat, a Royal Enforcer and a Marshal. Rabbi Lyon and I will likely be filling two of those positions. I will wait until after we speak with Entem Guile and take one more look around for capable aid. In the end, I shall serve where I am most needed and as it best benefits the Duchess and her fledgling kingdom.

Sunday, 12 Sarenith, 4716AR

Made our way back to Oleg’s today. The road proved uneventful once again. Duchess Morrigan approached our friends Oleg and Svetlana about serving the new duchy in some capacity. She offered the post of Councilor to Oleg. He proved reluctant to take such a “social position.” Instead, he volunteered to oversee the Kingdom’s Treasury. Svetlana agreed to serve as Councilor in his place after the Duchess assured her she would not need to travel much. She had refused the position of Grand Diplomat for that very reason. Her devotion to her husband is touching, and I hope she will do well at balancing marriage and duty.

While there was some thought to my serving as General, I demurred until we could consult with the other martially inclined individuals in the community. To this end, the Duchess attempted a heart to heart with Kesten Garess. She first tried to pry more of Kesten’s history out of him, but to no avail. She then offered him a commission as General, but Kesten thought he would better suited to act as Warden with the assistance of his band of Free Irregulars.

Still searching, the Duchess has been struck by a notion that strikes me as perfectly insane: she has decided that Sloth might make a good General. I am flabbergasted. While it is my duty to provide council, the decision on whom to offer the position to is ultimately hers to make. That said, I would be most unhappy if either Sloth or Akiros were placed in positions of public trust and responsibility, as I presently have no faith in either of them.

I suspect Ce Me No and Rabbi Lyon also have their misgivings on the subject. That said, we will all head out for the Temple of the Elk on the morrow. We have also put out an invitation to the bard Entem Guile to see if he might be willing to serve as our Grand Diplomat. He gave us up as “murder hobos” last time around, but perhaps the Duchess can convince him that we have become more deserving of his talents.

Starday, 11 Sarenith, 4716AR

Painful exertion is somehow always exhilarating. Spent the last nine days training with Kesten. I am bruised and bloodied for the effort, but feel at my physical peak nonetheless.

Numerous developments during the last nine days as well. For one, a woman named Lily Tesskarten has joined the community. She is undeniably attractive, but also a shameless flirt. I confess, I am mystified. When someone acts as though every person they encounter is someone they would like to wrestle into their blankets, does it not devalue the invitation? That said, she suffers from no lack of fans, and so will likely feel very welcome here. For a while anyway.

We also caught wind of a rumor that would seem to confirm Akiros’ story about the zombies at the Stag Lord’s fortress. Apparently an entire cultish order of evil monks and priests previously lived in the area. Gyronna would seem to be the logical patron deity of such an order.

But of greatest import, we have received a new charter. The Swordlords of Restov and the Regent of the Dragonscale Throne have recognized our recent efforts, and have granted us exceptional trust and authority based on the results. We are to officially establish a kingdom of our own, defining the laws and means of rule as we see fit. They have also granted us the incredible stipend of fifty thousand gold crowns to help build such a duchy.

We have decided to use the north shore of the Tuskwater as the site of our initial settlement. We have a mind to build towards the gold mine we discovered, and ultimately north to Oleg’s trading post and west to the Temple of the Elk. Our kingdom will be ruled by a traditional potentate, and WE have compromised by setting up a system of laws that will encourage goodness (somewhat to Ce Me No’s annoyance), but which will also split the difference between the law and order that I prefer, and the more free-wheeling style Morrigan prefers.

With Morrigan – Duchess Morrigan now – the obvious choice as ruler, the task is left to provide her with a council of advisors and administrators. Wiry and cunning Ce Me No has quickly volunteered for the job of Spymaster, responsible for monitoring whispers and rumors to help stabilize our fledgling state. Our old friend Tōgg has joined an organization known as the Pathfinder Society, but he has also volunteered to serve as Magister to the realm. His magical knowledge and learning should help build invaluable fonts and repositories of knowledge. I am currently undecided on a position, as is our new companion Rabbi Lyon. We have set about seeing what talent is available (and willing) among the locals.

To that end, we headed out to the Temple of the Elk to ask Jhod to serve as the new kingdom’s High Priest. We arrived at the temple without incident. Apparently his temple cleaning has been going very well. Sloth has unsurprisingly been quite helpful in reaching things on the top shelf for Jhod. Sloth was happy to meet Duchess Morrigan, though he managed to tear her dress in his excitement, followed by him apologizing profusely.

I found myself in a very uncomfortable position. On the one hand, the prospect of Duchess Morrigan being slightly less covered by a dress is not without its visceral appeal. On the other, I have already lost one ruler to a violent giant – I do NOT intend to lose a second. Sloth still seems good-natured enough. But regrettably, I’m just not sure I can find it my heart to judge him less harshly than the other members of his species. That may be unfair to him as an individual, but to do otherwise would be foolish given the well-earned reputation of the evil races of giants… That Duchess Morrigan can see her way clear to treating him not merely with courtesy, but with friendliness? Well, perhaps that speaks to the idea of her being a great soul – or at least, greater than me. Then again, perhaps this is just another instance of her being just a little bit mad… Such a trait can be invaluable in a leader. But it can also get them into terrible trouble. I see it as my duty to safeguard against that.

In the end, Jhod has agreed to serve as High Priest after some assurances from Duchess Morrigan. First, that Erastil will have primacy in the religious hierarchy of the new kingdom. Second, that his duties would only require travel to the new capital a few days out of the month. This will leave him time to pursue his passion of refurbishing the Temple of the Elk. With that post filled, we’ll head back to Oleg’s in the morning to try and flesh out the rest of Duchess Morrigan’s Duchal Council.

Wealday, 1 Sarenith, 4716AR

Frustration continues to plague us. We set out for the snake’s lair today (A9), and upon seeing it, we realized that we were once again in a fight we could not possibly win. Our quick glance at the creature last time led us to believe it was a huge creature, but a closer look led us to realize that it was about four times as large as we previously believed. Its size and reputation are indeed legendary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkX5t5ZJLEk, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iRlViQ7rAI), and I feel I have found a truly worthy foe to train for. I will consider myself a credit to Falayana’s holy name if I can defeat such a creature in a wrestling match to the death.

In the meantime, we have returned to Oleg’s once more. I intend to spend the next nine days or so training with Kesten. By that time, hopefully Morrigan and Tōgg will have returned, and our bounties for defeating the bandits – both coin from Brevoy and weapons from Kesten – will have come through too. There is much to do, and we must be ready for it in resources, knowledge, skill and righteousness of soul and mind.


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