Lew: -Advising Amialal- 71
Amialal takes Lew's warning quite seriously, and thanks them for their advice. He returns to Frye under cover of night and resumes his regular duties as a teacher, without leaving the village again. Over the course of the month, the students notice his body growing more frail, and on several occasions he succumbs to loud hacking and coughing spells.
Lew: -Thinking outside the Basket- 98
In a stroke of genius, Lew farmers begin to unravel the bark of an exotic tree that had been purchased in passing at a market, and find an amazing sweetener can be extracted from this young tree- the sorghum tree. The sweetness is very strong, and the material can even be diluted with water quite a bit and still be very sweet. The tree is capable of producing large quantities of sorghum, and surely such a sweetener will be valuable to merchants throughout the county. At a similar time, they notice that a wild plant near their property has a strange upward-curling pod with some sort of seed in it - they take the plants home and experiment with them, to find that their bulbs have a strong, pungent taste when eaten plain, but add great flavour to foods when diluted - garlics.
Lew: -Outsourcing Operations- 12
Unfortunately for the Lew delegates who travel to Donu and Shaake, these places are both embroiled in their own economic mini-boom, with an influx of investors and business owners heading away from Frye's messed up labour market to set up shop in Shaake and Donu. Employees prefer to receive high levels of pay while working close to their ancestral homes, rather than leaving to work in another village, even if the pay is greater. About four measly and unskilled flea-bitten peasants respond to Lew's offer, showing up at the Lew family estate scratching their fleas, eager to accept large sums of money promised them.
Lew: -Undermining the Usurper- 57
Incognito Lew delegates join the protests of Northe, taking members aside and speaking to them individually, managing to persuade many of the protesters that Northe's claims are falsified; although those Lew talks to do not spread the word to others, Lew has managed to peacefully reduce the size of Northe's protesting groups by about 10%.
Lew: -Sneaky Shuidri- 61
The Shuidri who are living on Lew hosts are informed in dream of what is going to happen, and they are able to communicate this to the other Shuidri, who take this threat quite seriously. Lew manages to gather all the Shuidri on their farm into a cellar, where they set up a rudimentary silk-harvesting facility, thus having a reasonable alibi should the investigators find them.
Lew: -Mace's Malignity- 55
A few Lew delegates head to Traye, and ask around for a handless beggar named Mace, only to hear that there is a thug in Traye by that nickname; he has no hands, but somehow manages to wield a crude morning-star to great effect. He has been amassing other lowlifes to form a minor gang in Traye.
Ferran: -Shifty Sentiments- 64
Kryne, a shrewd businessman always up for an opportunity to make more silver, is pleased with the conniving offer made by the Ferran family. He agrees with the Ferran family to slowly raise the prices of the ores from his mines by 10% over the next month, if they also do the same. Kryne looks forward to a future of "good business" with the Ferran family.
Ferran: -Subterranean Stonehenge- 8
The mine is busy, and workers productively haul out the valuables therein for Ferran to sell to buyers as they see fit. On one such busy day, close to mid-day, Nola and the Wanderer walk through the dust-filled mineshafts, on the pretext of "inspecting the mine for the Ferran owners"; although Nola's finely woven clothes get coated in soot, and the Wanderer's feathered hat begins to be laden with dust, they press on, deeper into the mines, guided by the workers who originally found the mysterious stonehenge deep beneath the earth. As they travel deeper, the noise of the working miners dissipates, and they hear nothing but their own footsteps, and the crackling of their torches. The cavern is impressively large, and the stonehenge almost seems to be somehow bigger than the cavern itself, although careful study of its contours do indeed prove it is smaller than the cavern. Nola boldly marches toward the stonehenge, before the Wanderer can stop her, although he manages to stay the workers from following her. As she steps into the ring of obsidian-black stones, a red mist seems to rise from the ground, and Nola's silver ring, studded with a large ruby, begins to glow a piercing red. Nola turns in a panic and begins to run toward the outside of the stonehenge, but it is too late. In the blink of an eye, she simply disappears, and the mist dissipates. The Wanderer manages to hold back the other miners, and they all rush back to the surface reporting to the Ferran family what happened.
Ferran: -Drum Up Dreamers- 88
The Bard, due to his "magickal music" and his prowess at telling great epics of fame and glory, manages to return after almost a month of traveling to all the taverns in the Traye County with quite a large band of merry men, all boasting slightly above average prowess in various forms of martial combat, eager to join the Steel Company and fight for riches and glory beyond imagining. Ferran now has a large force of glory-lusting mercenaries at their disposal.
Ferran: -External Employees- 2
Unfortunately, those who hear the words of the Ferran recruiter promising land to farm don't take his promises very gravely, especially since many of their lives are looking up due to their villages' economic boom when investors fled Frye to set up shop elsewhere. Fighting in the present for a peaceful farm in the future doesn't fit their views when they can work peaceably in the present for wealth in the future.
Ferran: -Denir Delving- 40
The great city of Denir, the capital of both the Saus County and the Denir duchy itself, is a beautiful citadel of whitened limestone walls and parapets, bustling with merchants, craftsmen, and all sorts of eager adventure-seekers who come to Denir to try their hand at fortune itself. The Ferran delegate sent to the great city is taken aback by the opulence and the wealth so illustriously displayed, as he makes his way to the upper district, where the wealthy reside. Once there, he does indeed find a well-made residents where several retired knights reside with their wives, known as the Olive Alcove. While the knights are mostly old and well-mannered, they are not interested in leaving their retirement home to train peasants in a lowly village, even the well-rumored village of Frye that had been lost for generations. One of the knights gives the Ferran delegate a crash course in fighting in full-plate armour, and then sends him back home with well-wishes.
Ferran: -Bariyye the Beasthunter- 38
Bariyye is eager to take on his new role, and begins preparing immediately for the Hunt that he plans to go on. He rejects all offers for help, confident that he can do this on his own. Near the end of the month, Ferran recieves reports that he left Frye, staggering out the main gate, wounded, with his clothes torn almost to shreds. He never reported back to Ferran himself.
Ferran: -Mercenary Company Lodge- 19
Although the entire Village of Frye is expecting work to continue on the outer wall, which is only half-finished, Ferran shifts their construction efforts toward building a suitable barracks for the Steel Company. Progress is quite slow, and also impeded by protesters on the street who demand that Ferran finish the wall they started first. Ferran's reputation with the populace drops sharply. The mercenaries recruited by the Bard attempt to help, but they are fighters, not builders, and end up causing far more damage than good. The basic foundations for the building are about halfway complete at the end of the month.
Ferran: -Arson Arrangements- 36
Obviously, the staged escapees had an arrangement such that they would be locatable by Ferran later on; as such, a few Ferran delegates head to the predetermined meeting place (a back alley behind a tavern in Shaake), in hopes of finding Arson Man. His pretend father meets them there, but informs them that Arson Man abandoned him in the middle of the night about a week ago, and he hasn't seen him since. Arson Man's pretend father is confident, however, that Arson Man will certainly be around, as he knows Ferran has a hunger for someone of his "particular skill set". Perhaps he hasn't even left Shaake; however, the pretend father knows little beyond that and is eager to get home to Frye once again and take his position in the Ferran Family once more.
Elforche: -Returning to Roots- 84
The common people are quite pleased when Elforche returns to its original crafting industry, and business floods back in, particularly from the higher class commoners who are always looking for nice works of art. However, business is stifled due to the fact that Elforche must pay its' crafters a greatly increased wage, and that the unemployed in Frye do not have the money to purchase any crafts from Elforche.
Elforche: -A More Grand Vision- 34
The mercantile delegations of Elforche into the Saus and Napke Counties do not fare well; the villages of the Napke County (Folde, Crumel, and Napke), are quite indigent, and thus do not have the resources to invest in any kind of business, or to purchase high-quality crafts at a high-quality price. The villages of the Saus County (Denir, Barbeq, Honegar, and Saus), are quite a bit more wealthy, but here Elforche faces burgeoning competition from well-ensconced family businesses much like their own. Only a few early-adopters in the Saus county are willing to try some of Elforche's crafts, and purchase them.
Elforche: -Kryne's Mines- 74
Kryne, always happy to engage in business, particularly with the powerful families, agrees to sell metals to the Elforche endeavors at a reduced price, if they buy exclusively from him. He promises them a reduced cost by 10%, which, he says, is quite a generous amount, although he does warn that "the market prices may change", and that would make his base price change, although they would still receive a 10% discount of the new price, regardless.
Elforche: -Brothel Building- 42
Construction on the brothel goes slowly, but thankfully no major problems develop, other than the cost of labour for building the brothel is quite expensive, draining Elforche's and Kryne's resources. Kryne requests that the building be completed as soon as possible; preferably next month, so that minimal loss of funds is directed towards labour costs. The building is about 30% complete.
Elforche: -Traye's Contents- 1
The owner of the mine in Traye, Akrahp, happens to be a second cousin to Count Ashet, and is not pleased with the petty and uncouth negotiation attempts of a meager burgher family's attempts to gain a foothold in Traye. Wind of this reaches Count Ashet, who is furious at this insult and meddling with his family members. The negotiators sent to Traye for this mission are also arrested and imprisoned, and the fine for the release of all Elforche prisoners has been doubled.
Elforche: -Apologetic Amendments- 7
Unfortunately, due to the recent offenses Elforche has made to Count Ashet and his extended family, Count Ashet does not agree to lower the fine, and does not raise his countenance towards the apology, which he believes to be fake in order to gain diplomatic approval. He warns Elforche that if they do not pay the fine this coming month for the release of their family members, they shall be sent to the galleys as prisoner labourers, until the fine is paid. Count Ashet is a quite reasonable person, and all will be restored if the fine is simply paid, he informs Elforche. As for extraneous business, Count Ashet adds that that is none of his concern, but rather that of the Bailiffs of each village (they are currently unwilling to allow Elforche to invest in their villages). The Bailiff of Shaake decrees that Elforche must relocate their craftsman business to Frye. It costs Elforche a lot to convince them, but the crafting family is finally willing to move and set up shop in Frye.
Elforche: -Crushing the Collective- 93
Asura's guards, always a scabbard-happy group, are more than willing to aid Elforche in arresting potential criminals, even if clear evidence isn't found until after such an incident. Using information from commoners on the streets, Elforche delegates armed with daggers and Asuran guards armed with various armaments encounter Luge and his gang in an alley near the old docks. At first, Luge and his gang feign innocence, claiming to have done no crimes, but the Asuran guards do not listen, and attempt to subdue and arrest Luge and his gang. A vicious fight ensues, in which several Asuran guards are heavily wounded and several of Luge's thugs killed. Luge himself performs quite a few great martial feats, incapacitating but not killing quite a few Asuran guards despite his small size. Eventually he is pinned down by three guards. The rest of the gang scatters into the alleyways, with guards in hot pursuit. All in all, the guards capture Luge and 6 of his henchmen, all beaten up quite badly. They are hauled to the temporary jail in the guardhouse. Luge is recognized by the Asuran guard captain as the selfsame man who injured Xijin, former head of Asura, and destroyed a priceless family heirloom. As such, a hefty fine is placed on Luge's head for the destruction of Asuran property, and since he cannot pay, he put in the Frye prison. His compatriots are kept in the temporary jail. Elforche has one month to come up with a reason why they were also to be arrested; otherwise, they will be let go.
Elforche: -Arresting Arson- 34
Unfortunately, without knowing where to locate Arson Man, Elforche investigators have no luck in finding a single clue of his whereabouts, let alone arrest him. They hear a rumor that he has left the county, and gone to Napke.
Elforche: -Magickal Mumblings- 21
Unfortunately, Elforche investigators find no one that is truly magickally inclined, other than a burly peasant who claims he can become quite the magician if given enough ale.
Elforche: -Esmeralda's Entrance- 72
After searching for a good while, Elforche locates Esmeralda residing in a family property belonging to Lew, with a young man named Bracchus. Esmeralda, while not happy with Elforche's treatment of her in the past, accepts their apology. She agrees to return to allegiance with Elforche under the following circumstances. Firstly, she and Bracchus must be arranged/negotiated with Lew to be married, a relationship which Lew currently has no knowledge of (Bracchus was very good at keeping his co-inhabitant unnoticed). Secondly, Elforche must repair their private villa, and allow Esmeralda and Bracchus to be the sole occupants of the place. Thirdly, Elforche must supply Esmeralda with whatever supplies she needs to conduct and practice her magicks on her own accord.
Elforche: -Report Making- [No Roll Needed]
Having all relevant information, Elforche makes a complete papyrus draft of the investigation and all relevant information, sealing it away, as well as making a second copy of all the information, which they bury in a stone box beneath the porch of the Elforche estate. What Elforche does with these reports is up to them.
Elforche: -Eavesdropping on Lew- 30
Lew either doesn't have a lot of secrets, or is good at keeping them. Elforche investigators, drawn thin as they are with all their other tasks, find nothing of value.
Elforche: -Eavesdropping on the Cult of Chayrus- 69
The Cult of Chayrus is actively proselytizing, and thus Elforche investigators find it quite easy to learn more about them by attending their weekly meetings in their underground shrine. Naturally, a few of Elforche's investigators somehow walk themselves into swearing [false] fealty to Chayrus to avoid altercation, but that is secondary, surely. Esau, the cult leader, preaches about "all becoming one", and how Chayrus is in and through everything in existence, and how by aligning oneself with the ideals of existence, one can become one with existence, and Chayrus, themselves. Those who work as brethren under the banner of the Dark Truth, Chayrus, are referred to in the cult as "Followers" or "Brethren", while those outside the cult are considered "Unheard", "Repugnant", or "Irredeemable", depending on their relation to the cult. Most of his message is directed at individual improvement and uniting as a group, but a few snippets of his teachings reference the terrible fate of the enemies of the cult.
Elforche: -Eavesdropping on the Medicants- 1
Northe and his Medicants are well used to having people attempting to incriminate them. As all of Elforche's investigators were on other assignments, Elforche has to send three of their craftsmen to investigate the Medicants; as unskilled investigators, they were very quickly discovered; a fight breaks out, as the craftsmen are unwilling to be captured. Several doors in the hospital of Frye are broken down during the fray, and the craftsmen kill two Medicants; however, the Medicants fight back, and by the time the guards arrive at the scene, the craftsmen have had their throats slit by surgeon scalpels. Northe excuses himself and his Medicants as the craftsmen had attacked them first; obviously, the craftsmen cannot defend themselves. Their bodies are hauled away, and that is the end of that. Elforche's crafting business plummets, having lost three of it's core labourers.
Tannell: -Unknown Ululations- 93 [Result Indirectly affected by Lew]
The scholars, along with Cisse's detachment of soldiers, head into the forest to discover the meaning of these noises. They find a cave with bones strewn about the mouth of the cave. Inside, they find a simple bed, a broken chair, and a few chests, with shreds of clothing and bones strewn about the cave, as if there had been a fight in the cave. Inside one of the chests are various pieces of jewelry and other valuable items, clearly keepsakes from past victims of the Beast. The Tannell scholars sieze the riches for "study". There is dried blood on the walls of the cave, which the scholars manage to scrape into small leather bags, where they can study the powder later; it is not human blood, known by it's odd hue on the rocks. They also find a red and black cloth sash, with intricate embroidered symbols on it, resembling standing-stones. It is also stained with the odd-colored blood.
Tannell: -Traye's Tales- 68
More reputable tales are indeed found by Tannell investigators after heading to Traye, the capital of the Traye county. The legends of the terrible flying St'row from millennia ago, invaders from another land, who invaded the lands of men in an attempt to settle therein, and were driven off by a powerful emperor and his military cohorts; how the emperor then, in an act of hubris, traveled to the land of these flying beasts to eradicate them once and for all, but was driven back in defeat, and how since then men have never returned to these lands.... Detailed oral traditions of this legend exist, as well as some written adaptations.
Tannell: -Honest Reporting- 6
As the investigation is about to launch, Tannell reports to the Village Elders the secret project they had begun to conduct with Lew. The Village Elders are not impressed by this revelation, and order the farm to be destroyed, and it's crops uprooted and burned, since Tannell refuses to tell them what the crops are for. After all, Maruki states, they could be used to feed the Dark god! How Tannell responds to this order is up to them.
Village Elders: -Lew Investigation- 29 [Result Affected By Tannell]
The Village Elders arrive at the Lew family estate to begin their investigation of the place. As the village guards search the premises, they ransack the place and damage several fine pieces of furniture, checking for hidden compartments. Naturally, this enrages Lew, and a verbal argument breaks out. Thankfully, it doesn't devolve into violence. After searching for quite some time, the Village Elders must finally conclude that Lew is not responsible for releasing the Dark god, and that they have simply been farming diligently. An official apology is made, and reparations are paid to Lew to fund the purchasing of replacement furniture, which Lew can buy from whichever crafter they see fit.
Northe: -Letter to Lew- [No Roll Needed]
At the end of the month, Lew family leaders receive a letter, sealed with the seal of the Church of Northe.
"Your spy in my ranks, Liefe, has told me everything he knows. I know about the Shuidri, the poisoning of Airi, the diseased animals you released into the woods, and more. You'd be wise to heed my words very carefully, if you value your family legacy. The Village Elders may have failed in their investigation, but I still have the power to undo your entire family. You will cooperate with me. Firstly, you will give the Church of Northe a sizable donation to show your fealty. Secondly, you will put forward a vote to reinstate me as a member of the Village Elders. Thirdly, you will support any movements and initiatives I set forth amongst the commoners of Frye, giving us your moral and monetary support. If you capitulate to my requests, I will release your vile spy, Liefe, and we can look forward to a productive future together. The tables are turning, and I am offering you a chance to be on the right side of change."