Welcome to The Chosen's journals. Each character is invited to keep a journal and write down the thoughts of their characters as they wander through Nyternia. In addition, the DM has a journal which highlights each session. The players are:

Blink - monk Errol - bard
Kestrel - fighter Malif - wizard
Vaugner - rogue Vernon - cleric/sorcerer

Choose a journal:   Select a session:

Malif's Journal, session #23
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We have been traveling nearly nonstop, by horse, by foot, by river barge, even by Phantom Steed -- a fine way to travel, I might add! We've seen open country, the cities of Deepwater and Danlo, the river between them, and the source-waters above them. I've had to reevaluate my plans to introduce a Fabricari guildhouse into the realm of Trovantain, though.

Danlo was no surprise.... ruled by four lords who, in some highly rigid scheme of governance aimed at preserving the status quo, require a three-quarters vote to do anything short of wash their backsides. Of course, nothing is done, as everyone knows that a three-quarters vote is almost impossible to obtain on anything of importance.

Deepwater was no less disappointing. A city of a mere 5,000 inhabitants, and yet they have a bureaucracy to rival anything devised by human minds. The city is walled, guarded at all times, surrounded with outer patrols, and under a martial curfew as well -- yet there is no enemy on any field! To enter requires the visitor to agree to a five page contract that would put Mephisotofel to shame, a document which sets forth the various capital and minor offenses of the town, as well as provisions for forced servitude should said visitor reside within the walls for but a week! This, from a backwater, dirt-road, god-forsaken village of 5,000! A few well placed fireballs and the whole of the louse-infested city would be burning!

Strangely, the city has no purveyor of magic, this despite the most thorough security in the Land and a decent bit of port traffic. Perhaps no wizard has yet been able to content himself with leaving his home only during daylight hours or with presenting himself to the town bailiff within 15 minutes of completing a Teleport spell! Perhaps every wizard who has tried has, after a few trips, succumbed to the temptation to polymorph the insufferable bastard into one of the surrounding area's indigenous slime molds. Clearly, an answer exists, but sadly, our short stay -- timed to avoid indentured servitude -- did not permit time for investigation.

Yes, I have overestimated the self-reliance and resourcefulness of the average Trovantainer. I shall have to look among the less developed fiefdoms. From what I have heard, Deepwater ranks among the top five cities of the Land. Well, then, if 5,000 poor souls places one in the top five, we shall have to find a town of 2,000 or 1,000 or even 500. Somewhere, some minor lord of a thousand or so farmers, peasants, and humble tradesmen has established a town on the dirt track they call the north-south road that bisects this Land. That lord is no doubt envious of the phenomenal organizational structure of the major metropolises that neighbor him. And yet, with 500 people in his town and another 500 or so in the fields around it, he has not yet been able to realize his full potential vis-a-vis vis his peers in cosmopolitan Danlo and Deepwater. And that is where the Fabricari and I shall start: by building a trading center that exists no where inside of Trovantain. Of course, the whole thing will run at a terrible loss initially, since this poor lord's hamlet could not possibly support a center of magic crafting.

But improvements will come. The first shall be guild wayhouses built here and there, a day's ride from each other. His patrols will know comfort beyond their wildest dreams as they share the use of these wayhouses, and the Fabricari shall have stations to refresh their caravans, and we shall be rid of the omnipresent tax of 100 gold per month -- or else there shall be no more wayhouses! Next, we shall secure an enclave within this lord's central village. He shall agree to give us the plot of land we require and to allow our law to rule within its walls, or he shall forfeit the benefits of the trading center we plan to build (including the tax monies), and we shall simply turn the guild wayhouses we have built to mud and move on to the next minor province.

But no, I see greed and ambition driving this minor lord. We shall offer to augment this underprivileged king-to-be's forces in the name of protecting our enclave. Mercenary captains shall be brought in; local men shall be employed and trained as proper soldiers. Patrols will protect the surrounding peasants. Gold will flow back to the families of the guards, and his hamlet will boast some of the most sophisticated architecture magic can create. The enclave will be modest at first. We shall build only what we need, and we shall use Art to repair and expand the homes of the surrounding townfolk -- at no cost, of course. Merely a gesture of goodwill from their new neighbors, the Fabricari. Those willing to set up shop in the enclave will find that top-notch buildings are available at very reasonable rents and that security is excellent. Taxes on this new trade shall give the lord a quick boost to his coffers, and, no doubt, the prospect of trade, security and profit will eventually bring townfolk from neighboring areas.

And once the enclave is running smoothly and growing as desired, we shall repeat the process in a slightly larger province... and then in a larger one.... and then in a larger one yet. The day will come when the bureaucrats in Deepwater and the paralyzed lords of Danlo send envoys requesting that the Fabricari grant them audience so that they may propose the grant of enclaves within their respective cities. No one likes to be left out in the race to the top. These lords are no different from other men.