Queenmaker

MISSION JOURNAL OF SISTER SCARLET ENTRY #93
Fireday, 17 Pharast, 4717AR

Spring officially begins in a week, but it still seems a long way off. There is still snow on the ground in places, and the winds coming in off the Tuskwater remain frozen, even if the ice on the lake has softened. Still, Jhod assures us that the weather will have changed enough to begin trying to plant come the equinox. I think it may be a case of people using both the plowing and the celebration of a holiday in order to “will” the season to change. I’m not sure this works, but if it makes them feel better and gets the fields planted, it’s hard to find fault.

As for the difficultly we will face in breaking the ground for plowing? That I can attest to first-hand. In keeping with our effort to improve public sanitation, we have been building a sewer system this month. In addition to being especially back-breaking work in the dead of winter, it has been exorbitantly expensive, costing some twenty-four thousand crowns. This represents more than double our incomes this month, which amounted to an otherwise respectable eleven thousand crowns. I am hopeful that such an investment will prove a wise one, but it will likely be some time before we can confidently say that it has paid off.

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MISSION JOURNAL OF SISTER SCARLET ENTRY #92
Fireday, 17 Calistril, 4717AR

The short days and long cold nights continue, ensuring that the promise of spring remains firmly in the forefront of the mind. We have started to think of ourselves as a large town, as the population has grown to well over two thousand. We have added an interesting subset to our population. A group of mites who were apparently away from the area during the late unpleasantness with their kin have decided to settle in the Duchy. It has taken the public a little time to get used to them, but they have been surprisingly helpful in teaching us some of the ins and outs of the local environment, vastly increasing productivity. They seem not to bear a grudge – hopefully this is as it seems, but I will be watching just in case.

The exotic district made an offering to the Duchess of the proceeds from an impressive magical wand they created. Between that, the help from the mites and the normal incomes provided by the economy, we brought in some seventeen thousand crowns this month. We put six thousand of that back into building a brewery. The new local vintage has been dubbed “Dragon Stout.” Tōgg is also working on an idea that would enable the use of magic to create a kind of “food bank” for those who find themselves running short during future winters here. Still, if they wish to see a truly unforgiving winter, I would submit that the windswept reaches of the Storval Plateau might force the locals to reconsider their idea of “bone-chilling.”

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MISSION JOURNAL OF SISTER SCARLET ENTRY #91
Toilday, 17 Abadius, 4717AR

The New Year finds us happy, prosperous, and harmonious – if somewhat cold and snow-covered. The Tuskwater itself has frozen over, and is unlikely to thaw until spring. The weather has kept our construction efforts closer to home. We have set about trying to build a district that will support more exotic craftsmen like Tōgg or our friendly neighborhood alchemist. All told, this required us to lay out ten thousand crowns, which perfectly balanced with our incomes this month. It seems worthwhile to break our string of months turning a profit in order to enable the creation of magic items. All in all, the cold has kept things rather quiet and peaceful otherwise.

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MISSION JOURNAL OF SISTER SCARLET ENTRY #90
Starday, 17 Kuthona, 4716AR

We are making good on our promise. This month’s construction project is a dump meant to improve sanitation. For four thousand crowns, it seems well worth the effort. Tōgg has also set about using some magicks as street sweepers as a sort. I am not sure they will have a tangible benefit, but the place looks terrific! He is also working on some way to use magic to provide persistent illumination on the streets at night. Albeit, we have not had too much of a problem with crime thus far. But I suspect this would improve public safety, and therefore I am all for it.

Despite the turn in the weather and the arrival of a persistent blanket of snow on the ground, the economy continues to hum. Svetlana unveiled an unparalleled success of her own – the body of the great deer that Oleg had brought down has now become a large and popular line of jerked meat. I forewent the protein of a trout this month in order to try Svetlana’s elk jerky when she unveiled it. Falayana forgive me, I swear it is among the more delectable things I have tried. All told, we brought in close to fifteen thousand crowns this month, making it our most profitable yet.

We also received some news that perked up my ears (such as they are). An alchemist who has set up shop in Avalon is convinced that he can use troll blood to create healing potions. He is offering some twelve hundred crowns in potions to anyone who can bring him four gallons so that he might test his theory. Obviously the reward doesn’t interest me, though my companions could surely benefit from it. But the rationale for further troll bloodletting does reach out and grab the attention.

On the one hand, anything that reduces the troll population is a plus in my book. I would gladly crush the skull of any that found itself in my grasp. And the idea that the blood of a creature that causes so much destruction could act to heal that same destruction has a kind of harmony to it. But I also see potential causes for concern.

If the alchemist’s theory holds true, will he want to keep trolls in captivity in order to harvest their blood? Trolls are said to regenerate from even the smallest piece of themselves – does this extend to their blood as well? Are there other effects drinking troll blood might have on a person? All of these seem grounds for trepidation, not to mention potential threats to public safety.

Once the community is well established enough for us to resume adventuring part-time, I will personally see that the alchemist gets the troll blood he wants. Indeed, if there are sufficient troll donors, I will see to it that he gets an ale barrel full, never mind a single waterskin. But I will be sure to keep a close eye on the situation, both during and after his experiment. In the meantime I will wish him and everyone else a happy and prosperous new year.

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MISSION JOURNAL OF SISTER SCARLET ENTRY #89
Oathday, 17 Neth, 4716AR

Snow at last. Despite my skin being as far from snow-colored as possible, I feel a kinship with it. It is silent, calm, soft, pure, and if you are not prepared for it, it can be lethal. Blessed be Falayna for enabling our preparations.

A few days into this month we got our first flurry, and the dustings have been regular since then. Game will likely become scarce in the coming months. It’s undeniably good that we have been able to build up some food stores. Our population has grown to some fifteen hundred people, and it will require some work to keep them fed through the winter. We have built up a district of shops and storefronts to further enable commerce among the growing population. These projects cost some eight thousand crowns, but we took in another ten thousand in incomes, making this our second straight month in the black.

The weather and the increased number of people has also made another hazard apparent however. There was a short but acute outbreak of sickness two weeks ago. Thankfully we managed to contain it, but had we not done so the situation could quickly have become critical given the cold and the close proximity of people living in an urban setting. As such, we will need to focus on improving the sanitation and public health of Avalon in the coming months.

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MISSION JOURNAL OF SISTER SCARLET ENTRY #88
Moonday, 17 Lamashan, 4716AR

Still no snow, though the frosts are now occurring at night with regularity. We built a library for Entem and the rest of the citizenry, at a cost of six thousand crowns. That makes this our first profitable month, as we raised ten thousand crowns in incomes. Other than that, the month has been uneventful.

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MISSION JOURNAL OF SISTER SCARLET ENTRY #87
Starday, 17 Rova, 4716AR

We are now in the business of digging in the earth. We made our way back to the vein of gold we previously discovered. Clearing out the area and establishing a mine took a little time. We also broke ground on a tannery this month. Given the fact that the winter will necessitate the hunting of game and the butchering of some cattle to sustain the people, it makes sense to put the skins and pelts of such animals to good use rather than simply using the carcasses for meat. The weather has already started to cool, and I suspect we might see our first snows as early as next month. It’s good that we were able to get the mine up and running before the topsoil froze.

All told we had to lay out some fourteen thousand crowns to set up the mine and the tannery, but we brought back in another eleven thousand when the harvest proved better than anticipated. We end the month with thirty thousand crowns on hand. I think we are edging closer to bringing in more than we lay out. It is difficult to say at this time how much of a fund we should keep in reserve in case of a crisis. But for now we will not get ahead of ourselves, and we will focus on building up the land we have already claimed. Entem has specifically requested we make good on our promise to him by building a library.

Rabbi Lyon has also had an excellent notion. He has asked Jhod to begin blessing the local farmsteads in order to increase their crop yield this coming spring. It will prove a time-consuming task, but an annual blessing for each farm should be doable.

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MISSION JOURNAL OF SISTER SCARLET ENTRY #86
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.

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MISSION JOURNAL OF SISTER SCARLET ENTRY #85
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.

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

Uuuggggggh.

I should find a scribe.

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