Toward The Edge Of The World

Found: One King
Slightly Damaged

The next day, while Leopold’s recovery continues, Mery and I go sight-seeing. The city is a fairly active port, shipping to/from most of Southern Europe. Mery seems suddenly intrigued with Elven blood and their children. A good number, well more than we’re used to, are more… social. In the course of a later conversation, she confesses some concern about marrying Sebastian, given his mother is at least half-Elven.

When we rejoin Garrick, Mery quizzes him about his reasons for leaving Spain. Voluntary. I discover that I’m part of his reasons for not returning sooner to Spain.

While Jared watches over Leopold, Milo heads back to the clinic to help out further and possibly learn more about how Leopold was delivered. The nomads who brought Leopold in would have had their arrival logged, most probably, at the South Gate. Milo is able to locate the record, that some Dervish traders had brought him in (and since left). They reported finding him in the beaten state at a particular oasis.

On the 31st of March, Leopold is conscious and recovered enough to be lucid. He had been attacked by a group of riders, probably Europeans. He confirms he was seeking the rose, an artifact of great power. Some time ago, the rose had been on an English ship, the Breybury, that had been attacked by by pirates, probably Tunisian, while enroute to Greece. The rose was being gifted to the King of Greece. After a bit of persuasion, we convince King Leopold to let us finish the quest for the rose in his place. He hands over his journal and a stack of notes that Tomas dives into with eagerness. Well, as much as Tomas shows eagerness.

After a quick read through, Tomas reports that the King had made a few mis-translations, so he was searching in the wrong areas. Heading to the oasis was likely the result of a deliberate misdirection, with his attackers as accomplices (or vice versa). The rose is suspected to be of Elven origin, like most artifacts.

Since King Leopold won’t be ready to safely travel for a few days, we occupy ourselves with time-consuming activities. Milo goes shopping, and Mery convinces a friendly Elf to teach her how to cook an Elven dish that she can make for her future mother-in-law. According to both Garrick and Milo, it isn’t bad.

We make plans to airship over to Cairo, and use the ring to return Leopold to Podarko. Mery will write to Cate and suggest the Polish Queen (and fake King) come to Podarko for a state visit to occur at the same time. This will reunite the Polish Royal family, and put the Cairo library within easy reach so Tomas can continue researching where we should seek the Rose. We may stop to try and gain a lead on the black market that sent Leopold on a deadly trip.

We head to Tunis, en route to Cairo, arriving on April 2nd. We hit lots of sand storms and other high winds, since its Spring. We plan on a few days in Tunis to avoid an ongoing storm. Kel, escorted by Garrick, Milo, and Mery, heads out to try and find the black market outfit that sent Leo off to perhaps die. Jared and I stay behind to keep Leopold company.

Kel leads the team through a series of short trips around the city, conversing with various people, and ends up at a particular spot talking to someone in the know. Kel learns that the map Leopold was given does not lead to any truly known treasure (as promised), and that someone less-than-honest must have sold the map to him. An Elven fisherman outside the city is indicated as a possible lead. Further, Leopold’s dealer was a foreigner, likely seeking the same thing (the rose). Mery sees an outfit that she mentally marks to purchase for Cate.

The next day, we chase down the Elven fisherman, Iolan, to ask about the rose. Iolan relates the tale of a Tunisian ship that sacked the English trader in 1756, led by a “striking woman” and “woman of capacity” that may have moved on to Casablanca. She wasn’t a pirate, used other tools. Known by some nickname that does not immediately come to mind. She had piercing violet eyes. Iolan is not impressed by the warforged, thinking them almost as slaves (to which he is opposed).

To Find a King
Who ran over Leo?

Garrick caught up to us in Warsaw on the 16th, as we were finishing up preparations to head back. Garrick and Rozak had worked to find a good site for a new ring. They ultimately settled on an ancient temple site to some Goblin Goddess, whose name don’t recall. Newly re-united, we depart Warsaw on the 17th.

Our downriver return to Expeditious Retreat only takes us six days, with the generous current. The Wayfinder’s direction to the King of Poland doesn’t change much between Warsaw and the Retreat, staying roughly South-Southwest. We stay briefly, mostly to restock our turnover supply, then head out to Pensa. We hit some annoying weather on the way, but nothing major. We use the Rings to get to Paris for our next reading.

In Paris, the direction read from the Wayfinder switches to mostly South, with Tangiers being a likely large city in the right direction. We do not know of a Ring in Tangiers, so we head to Algiers. We arrive in the middle of a large bath, standing in about 4’ of bathwater, with many bathing customers in our immediate area. Apparently, the ring is on the bottom of the bath! They’re smoking something, which may explain why they didn’t react overly much to our sudden appearance, quite literally making waves. The Wayfinder points roughly Westerly now. We spot a skyship spire, so we investigate, hoping to find a relatively quick passage to Tangiers. There seems to be a lot more open gambling than we’ve seen in other cities. Along with a broad cross-section of nationalities (Italians) and races (gnomes). While we’re making our way around one of the gambling dens on the way to the spire, I’m accosted by Shahim, the skyship captain we’ve worked with before. He is available for charter, so we quickly make arrangements for departure. What luck!

Shahim gets us underway promptly, and the trip takes us about 12 days, with arrival in the afternoon. Like the other African-continent cities we’ve visited, there are larger contingents of other races, in this case especially elves and halflings. The only European nation with an obvious embassy is Poland. Using the Wayfinder, and a hellacious number of false turns and detours (we’re new to the city), we arrive at a fort-like building. Milo recognizes the structure as sort of a medical facility. The attendant inside tells Mil that this place is for seriously wounded people. Milo starts his healing work while the rest of us look for Leo. “Leo!”

Tomas finds Leopold, King of Poland. He has been seriously injured, is sick, and not very conscious or coherent. Many broken bones, contusions, and signs of serious trauma. Milo responds in haste and takes charge of the situation and dispenses some major healing. I try to use my Mark, which seems to have a slight benign effect. After Milo has completed a long series of wound-tending and rituals, Leopold seems to be better. Maybe not quite on death’s door, yet not very far away. The attendant tells Milo that some desert nomads brought him in this way, about a month ago. His horse was also returned, and is now at a nearby stable. Jared and I lash together a field travois, and we drag Leopold off to an Inn that Kell has identified. Milo returns to the facility to tend to the wounded.

The innkeeper is an elf, who welcomes us (quickly for an elf), to the White Oak. We arrange for some rooms. We settle in, with hopes that Leo will improve with a solid night’s rest.

A Rose for a King
That is not the King!

In the morning, a runner bring us instructions on how to dress (outing-wear). We report to our assigned location, are given a briefing, and head out to a classic Polish Court Outing. The proceedings formally start with the arrival of the King and Queen to a brief fanfare. All of us are approached by a seeming unending stream of important people, most of them curious to meet a group from Montenegro. The King is middle-aged, of Polish blood (unlike some of the other nobles). As tall as I am, and moderately skilled. The Queen is almost as tall and slim, and I keep thinking she might have Elven blood. Later, Mery points out that the Queen ran interference for the King, to keep him out of very in-depth conversations. Milo notices that he seems to need a high level of focus for many common tasks, like taking a drink.

Mery drags me over to meet King Leopold Mathis. When I mention that Berringer had suggested we stop by, the Queen seems a bit more relaxed. The King invites us to have brand with them that evening.

During some of the outing discussions, a Winged Hussar named Kjorovich and I strike up a conversation. He seemed interesting in swapping war stories and perhaps thoughts about the Summer offensive. We make some loose plans for the next day.

Jared reports that the King, over the past year, has been looking for people to take on some sort of complicated quest for probably an artifact. Some mercenaries were hired and disappeared. Many of the younger men think the Queen has been stepping out on the King, and is sleeping separately.

Milo heads off to see Bishop Harlan Knox for a courtesy visit. Mery, Kell, and I take Bo off for dinner while Tomas keeps some older nobles company.

At brandy, the Queen tells us that many other groups have been engaged or consulted, to no avail. The Queen indicates that the King’s illegitimate son (she is infertile) is sick, in a way that defies common healing. Word reached the King of an artifact that would heal his son. After so many others tried, the King eventually went off on the quest on his own. His most trusted valet, Argyle, has taken the place of the King. At that point the valet resumes his normal shape — much shorter and fairly nondescript — almost featureless.

The valet reveals that he is one of the (Russian word for) Soulless. I mention hearing that soulless were assassins. He tells us that perhaps some fringe religious sects of the soulless might be in that category. Most avoid contact. Mery of course, proceeds to question him extensively. In antiquity, Russian mages created the original soulless, with “lines” of descendants with particular traits. They all look fairly featureless, and can assume the appearance of pretty much anyone. Most of the soulless are kept as slaves. They represent a secret that most Ancient Russian bloodlines want to keep hidden.

The King’s son has been sick for over a year. Somewhat sudden onset. The Queen gives Milo a letter to get him in to see the King’s son. The King’s reign (election) was a little over two years ago.

The Queen gives us a drawing of a rose, that is linked to the artifact we are about to seek, along with a notebook of information gathered by the King. Milo recognizes some of the legend, that the rose can heal anything, and that most scholars think it does not exist.

The Queen asks us to either find her King, or find the rose. For her benefit, the King.

Milo visits the Kings son for a close-up diagnosis. Thin, pale, sunken cheeks, coughing fits yielding blood, generally dying slowly. The caregivers have a journal of prior treatments, which range from the mundane to exotic, including heavy-hitter Sarinae priests.

I drag Mery with me to see Kjorivich, and we swap stories of the big battle where my King was assassinated. The more we talk, the more we validate that there was deliberate sabotage of the battle plan at a key juncture. We bond and promise to reconcile accounts with those responsible.

We start exploring plans, considering how to best use the Wayfinder. One idea is to take multiple readings and somehow use a map to figure out how to get as close as possible with rings or other creative fast travel. Jared heads to the Navigator’s Guild, Milo to get Lynn’s help, and I work to resupply.

Arriving in Warsaw
We are marked.

Garrick stays behind to find the Lantern goblin and find a place for a new ring.

We set out from Expeditious Retreat on March 5th, without Garrick, and taking Aydarov, on Lynn’s barge. We learn that her barge has a mage-rudder, making the journey upstream much more practical.

Tomas chats up Aydarov about making the rings and about the Lanterns. All rings can get to another ring, and the name of the place is extremely important. He describes Lanterns as a secret society, with a schism from the 1880s regarding philosophy. One side sought to influence and guide Europe, and the other sought to serve as protectors (solely). The leader of the Guiders, and his followers, leave the lanterns to become the dark or hooded lanterns, using the old symbol. These are the zealots, the neck snappers.

Aydarov also reveals that in Russian antiquity, there was a portion of the country that served as a haven, including for goblins. Those goblins farmed and were generally peaceful. In legend, a goblin sought to stop the Golden Horde, becoming dark to fight the

On the topic of the dragonmarks, Aydarov thinks they come in three tiers: Least, Lesser, Greater, with seven types in each tier. We end up checking on our marks:
  • Tomas’ and Milo’s mark is a Least Mark of Passage.
  • Mine is the Least Mark of Healing.
  • Mery’s and Jared’s is the Least Mark of Hospitality.
  • Kell’s is the Least Mark of Finding.

As expected, we do encounter ice on the river. Aydarov helps with clearing it, so we make better than expected progress. We arrive in Warsaw on the 14th of March, and Aydarov heads off on his own business. He left a means for Mery to call for him later, for when we’re ready to build the new ring.

Warsaw is pretty crowded, including a larger quantity of apparent refugees. We head to our embassy, and are quickly introduced to Elmsmere Vaughn. He has our trunks and (modest) rooms ready at the Embassy, with an offer to help find better lodgings in the city. Vaughn makes arrangements for us to visit Court the next day, and takes us to dinner with a walking tour of the City. We are warned to cautious at night, as the Bear Cavalry bears can occasionally get out of control.

The Polish Court is a place of International discussion and debate. The Poles take ideas from these discussions to their Sejm (assembly) where they are further discussed, voted upon, and often become law, policy, or other enactment.

Off to Poland At Last
With some ad-hoc Lantern learnin'

On Saturday the 10th of February, we head off to Poland. We set up our route to go to Expeditious Retreat then hope to catch a boat up the Vistula river to Warsaw. We stop over briefly in Castle Ravenloft to visit the now-King Strahd (briefly). We get to Expeditious Retreat on the 3rd of March. A lot more patrols, even in the winter, beyond the Edge of the World.

On arrival in the Retreat, we do our normal divide and conquer approach. Milo arranges for lodging and starts his usual sick check at the Gem. His beau Lynn happens to be in town, and seems amenable to taking us up to Warsaw. Tomas heads to the Gem to relax and pick up rumors. Apparently a small group of Russians had recently passed through. Mery, Kell, and I visit with Tess and make tentative plans to visit Sabrina, depending on how quickly we can find a boat ride. Milo reports that he will work with Lynn to start us up the river the day after the next.

Garrick, Mery, Bo, and I take a walking tour around the outskirts of the Retreat. During our wandering, Garrick notices something and we follow him to an encounter with an older guy camping out there. The guy immediately labels us as the Montegran Lanterns. He reports that the goblin Lantern is “doing good work.” However, his chances of success are limited without help, such as by use of the Rings, and suggests this would be made easier if someone were to build a new ring convenient to the goblin Lantern. Then this guy bursts into a flock of birds and flies away. Bugger didn’t even tell us his name.

Mery talks to Marcus, the artificer that created the local “popup” hotel, about creating the magical ability to travel. Hopefully she remembers not to raise the rings, specifically. Marcus is forthcoming (to Mery), and she learns that the rings are likely created through some kind of ritual magic. Gnomes or Russians would possibly know more.

Milo has dinner with Lynn and her crew. Mery and Tomas encounter each other as they pass in/out of the Gem. Mery is chasing after the rumor of a Russian remaining in town. After chatting with Liam, she learns the Russian is still present, and shorty afterwards meets him. We’ve met him before, Aydarov Alekseyss, at the Montegran court and also our recent warforged training camp. He is a Lantern. A Place of Meaning or Importance (Named, of cultural significance), several hours, and various materials will be required. The place’s name must be formed of the set of characters that make up the rings.

Mery and I take Bo with us to Sabrina’s for a quick social call.

Delivering a Valentine

“Good morning, Mr. Porter. Would you please ensure this reaches Her Highness on Wednesday? Yes, the 14th. The letter is… um… for her personal attention.”

She leads when others do not, a champion
She sees what others do not, a visionary
She studies, to help others, a learner
She cares about her people, a guardian
I follow where she goes, I think of her always
She is my passion

Training Interlude
I dislike your political analysis

During the joint field exercises with the mages, the warforged do well. Pretty much unfazed by things exploding — very good cohesion. Jared gets a company of Romanian Cavalry to join in, which also helps. By Wednesday, a few Russians join as well. I direct Peabody to invite all of the other nearby foreign units to join in the training exercises.

Mery comes to me with a tactical advantage for us. She does something to Garick, to no obvious immediate effect. After encouraging Garick a bit, he discovers… he can fly!

My new aid, Lt. Peabody, keeps showing up with lots of minor injuries. Milo has a chat with him to some limited effect. Peabody seems to casually encounter things like walls, door jambs, and un-secured carts to his detriment. He reacts quickly and well to each individual event, just has a large number of encounters.

Colonel Raskin visits us at the exercise field. He divulges that getting the needle rifles is probably easier than we thought. However, an ammo supply is not known, and may require someone to negotiate directly with the Osirans for direct access to the red and black powder.

Tomas invites me to a nice meal. We chat about the strategic situation, and what might happen. He is concerned about how things will transpire if the war ends quickly, or even if it might be better to linger. He also gives me his political analysis of my prospects with the Queen: grim. Unfortunately, I think he is right. Not that I want him to be right…

I visit Porter and ask him to look into how to acquire the Osiran black and red powder. And to pass that information on to the military. I also refer him to Vyse in case local knowledge may be required. Porter tells me Prussian Wilhelm Clager may have been in Prussia within the past week.

I head to see Captain Justinian to pass along Porter’s information. HQ is abuzz with activity involving the upcoming offensive. Justinian has received (strangely) anonymous information that a Montenegran Duke Synarco is involved in some smuggling deals with a Prussian prince. Synarco’s son is in logistics (purchased commission). Some peoples are selling artifacts from fallen nations on the market.

Then on to Sebastian for much the same topics. Vyse reveals the red and black powder is probably easily obtained from a Guild. Even if the French have an exclusive agreement, that could be easily bypassed. Sebastian looks to Vyse as a possible negotiator. Vyse likes my plan to go to Poland to help their King. He suggests a local Polish restaurant.

I arrange for a group dinner at the restaurant to plan our trip to Poland.

Training the Warforged

On the morning of the Prussian demonstration (Saturday, Feb 3), we report to a training field a few miles outside of the capital. Many high-ranking officers from several countries and the Queen are present. A Prussian General does a brief speech and introduces their new military equipment, namely the needle-rifles. And some new tactics to use them effectively in volley and cycles of continuous ranks alternating fire. And a as a big reveal, their new flying galleon arrives to deploy something they call a warjack. Very large armored figures. Slow, powerful, breath fire, and shoot cannonballs. They are described as guided weapons. Their guides, warcasters, are also armored figures, normal-sized, that seem to guide the warjack activities. Sebastian and his new adjutant, Vyse, are also present.

Off to the warforged depot, with Mery and others in tow. After introducing my colleagues to the company, I learn the warforged are not named. So I assign them a task to pick a name (not a number, not all the same). Mery suggests that we train them to work with friendly mages and deal with enemy mages, and ends up volunteering to recruit some mages to help out. I spend the afternoon organizing the warforged company and getting them oriented and prepared to work with our military.

Kell brings a passel of names, puts them in a hat and has them draw one. Mery has already named a curious one “Bo” and starts dragging him around town. I get them assigned to a wide variety of mundane military tasks around the capital. My goals are to expose them to the city, get them trained on route, and help the populace get more comfortable with their presence.

I also lodge a request for 150 needle rifles (and ammo) to equip the company. Logistics is rather unsure on how, so point them towards the French. And I warn Sebastian so he can provide them with some information if they run into any stumbling blocks.

Mery attempts to recruit some mages to help train the warforged. The mages don’t take too kindly to her approach. Milo gets sucked into a red herring argument with her. Again.

Over the next week, Bo seems to become a bit more aware of his environment and starts actively working more closely with us — moving out of the way in advance of a need for example.

I visit the war mage college. I quickly get bumped up to the commanding officer, a Major Renquist. We quickly come to an agreement to share some exercises. Green battle mages with the warforged making things explode.

As we’re leaving, a young officer (2nd Lt) that I’ve seen around catches up to me. He has orders assigning him to me as my assistant. Lt Melvin Peabody. Brand new uniform. Fresh out of the academy and volunteered for my command. Poor fool.

Introducing the Warforged Expeditionary Force

Mery visits Porter to get started on her new project, some kind of magical gem of seeing.

I drag Garrick off to learn more about the Warforged. We meet with General Zax, the Elven General in charge of the Warforged. He introduces me to a company of the Warforged as their new commanding office, with Garrick as my second. I ask them to show me what they can do, and they run through a few routines. Very precise. The more I watch, the more I notice their individuality. They are equipped with a standard Montenegran army issue. I quickly run into an issue when I try to figure out who leads them when Garrick and I aren’t around — apparently they do not do well without guidance. They don’t eat or sleep. Standard first aid is ineffective, and special magics are needed to heal them.

After viewing the company, I head off to the military ministry to try and figure out where all this fits into the Plan. A plan which I anticipate needing to be fixed. We find Colonel Raskin, the commanding officer of the Warforged Expeditionary Force (WEF). He tells us about a demonstration coming up by the Prussians. Some of the opposing units are missing from the pickets. Raskin is trying to get more scouts deployed, however their Commander is resisting this for some reason. Raskin muses he wishes he knew the Commander’s mistress’ name, so that he can mention inviting her to an upcoming social event in front of the Commander.

We visit Sebastian next. Vyse is now with Signals. I ask about Raskin. Raskin at one point had an argument with the King about troop deployments — a conversation that resulted in Raskin losng a rank down to Colonel. Apparently he came out of semi-retirement (quiet post on the Northern frontier) to demand a line unit. His aid is Lt. Purvis Cromberg. Cromberg is uncertain whether Raskin likes him, as Raskin has threatened to kill him several times. According to a rumor that reached Sebastian from a pub in Liverpool, the Sea of Storms may be gone.

Mery visits her Mother to learn more about Synarco’s dealings. He is apparently involved in some smuggling with a Prussian Prince, Kal’ryn. One of the notable items is the Prince is not interested in a unified Germany. Their smuggling involves getting something into France.

We gather together for dinner and share our limited information. Jarod points out that Mery’s Mother might be able to find the Scout Commander’s mistress’ name.

Debriefing Vyse
Have you thought of Signals?

If I had not had prior experience with Vyse, I would have thought him a native. Maybe a slightly paler than average native, but definitely someone that isn’t unusually. After a bit of

Vyse tells his story. The portion of my command that he had been overseeing was hit by short-falling cannon-fire, resulting in him getting knocked out for a while. Later, as he started becoming conscious, he heard conversation between an un-recognized Montenegran Colonel, and a man in black. The Colonel was apologizing that the cannon had fully wiped out the unit. THe man in black asked if the King was dead, and the Colonel indicated he stabbed the King personally. The Man in black reiterated that it was imperative the Royal line was wiped out. The Man in Black also indicated the Soulless (specific Russian term) would take care of that. When Vyse confronted the Colonel, the Colonel pulled a dagger, they fought, and the Colonel was stabbed, and bled (rapidly) to death.

A Prussian captain saw this. Confronting Vyse, he challenged if Vyse was part of the conspiracy. When Vyse denied this, the Captain pulled a rod and called for help. This resulted in many goblins chasing Vyse, who ran for his life. Fortunately, a big black wolf kept interfering with the goblins chasing. He made is way to the Crimean beach-head, then to Athens, and started researching the Kravencho family. Kravencho is a Russian family that predates the rule of the Czars, almost wiped out but for Valentine Kravencho around 1810.

Vyse does not currently have the dagger, and has it stashed somewhere. When the dagger cuts someone, they cannot be cured, and bleed to death. The dagger is part of a set of dueling daggers from the Kravencho family.

Vyse has three different lantern symbols, one that matches what we are used to (and wear), one that matches the group that tried to kill him (the winged version), and one we have not really seen before.

The “winged lantern” group has been selling off assets from the Kravencho family. This group has been trying to kill Vyse, presumably to recover the dagger. This group all know the trick to snapping their own neck. The trick came from the Ottoman Empire, and Vyse has also learned it.

The 3rd type of lantern has been going after the winged version.

Our version of lantern symbol, aside from us, just seems to watch.

A black ore (what we have seen before in the Dwarven mine) is highly sought after by the Osiran Death Mages. The ore seems to be related to creation of undead. Eastern Russians, long ago, experimented with creating undead that may be the Soulless. This practice was outlawed sometime ago.

The Osirans have been exporting something like gunpowder to the Prussians. The material is a red and black powder that when mixed, explode.

I inform Vyse that we need to get his story on the record, and that he needs to tell his story to “someone else.” I rattle off a quick note on the message tube to Cate, and we adjourn to the cutter for a rapid trip back to Podnarko.

Mery asks Vyse a few questions about his travels and other topics. He is unaware of any pictures or description of Valentine. The Casablancan Elves are separatists from Spain. We learn that Vyse does have a dragonmark.

The Man in Black’s description matches the man in black we briefly fought recovering the village prisoners — one Thoss. Vyse indicates that Thoss is a highly-placed minister in service of the Prussian King.

We arrive in Montenegro on the 2nd of February, 1912. Porter meets as us at the dockside with a carriage. We are whisked off to the Palace. I introduce Porter to Vyse, so the one can stop looking for the other. Porter tells me he has had some luck tracking down the Prussian Captain: Captain Wilhelm Kleger, listed as a deserter.

We end up in the Palace with the Queen, her (external) spymaster, Justinian, and Sebastian. Vyse walks back through his story. From his initial visit to Athens, he made a trip to Paris to visit some auction houses, before returning back to Athens, where he luckily ran across my sister. The way he traveled from Paris to Athens isn’t mentioned, and the timeline seems awfully short. Perhaps the rings?

The intense questioning reveals Vyse definitely has an eidetic memory. He dredges up a very large number of details.

Sebastian asks a lot of questions, and gains a thoughtful look, that results in a “have you thought of becoming a Signals Officer” question to Vyse.

Later as we wander back out of the Palace, we run across a few of the Elven Warforged. They just stand there. I remain unimpressed.

Mery asks Polarion about the soulless, whether they detected as magic (they do not), and Polarion mentions that Milo’s Church claimed the bodies. Mery goes on to discuss this with the Royal Wizard Guild Liaison, Reger Nance. She tries to determine how magic could be used to determine whether someone was a soulless. The reference that comes up is a Gem of True Seeing. Mery moves on to Namfoodle, who tells her much the same thing. Namfoodle give Mery the item she had the idea for, to capture thing she ses (a camera). Only slightly daunted, Mery continues in her quest. She moves to ambush the Royal Artificer outside one of his classes. He confirms her findings. Also points out that the Russians might have more ideas.

Milo reports to Gerald at his Church. Mentions the black ore, the soulless, and the dagger. Not much is known — the dagger is close to an artifact in age and power. Probably only another artifact could protect against or heal wounds created by the dagger.

Tomas begins a research project into the 3rd type of lantern symbol, the watcher group. The winged lantern symbol become “standard” in the mid-1800s. In the late 1800s (1880-1890), the symbol was changed to the 3rd type. Our symbol, overlaps with this period, roughly. This suggests the rift in the lanterns was dated in roughly the 1860s. Still not a lot known about the rift.

I linger back with the Queen after most folks have left, and check on how she is taking the news. She laments not being able to raise the Colonel, ask him a few questions, and having him re-killed. She shares her version of good news — I’ve been promoted to Major, and am being put in command of a company of Warforged. Apparently, they need someone of rank and experience. I lacked the rank, which the Queen took absolute delight in promptly rectifying. She did an excellent job masking, at first, her amusement at my discomfort.

Mery chases Milo down after he visits the Palace. She works to recruit him to get a Priest to help in the creation of a Gem of Seeing. After extended discussion, they agree to collaborate.


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