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Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Wonderful World of Mystara

A Manuscript about the Natural Magical World of Mystara

Chapter 3

Delving into the history of the Hills of Inlashar

As penned down by Separim or copied from the book.

Darokin Province of Calair 1014 AC, 28th  Flaurmont
It was morning. Early morning. Esmerelda opened the window shutters of front side of the Silver Stag. A pale sun breached the dark grey sky. several drops of rain had created a linear pattern on the outside of the glass.
A broom in hand, she opened the front door and swept the dried muck of evening brawl from the floor, The evening latch was shifted to the side, so someone must have left the tavern already. She was not afraid of non-paying customers, or those leaving before filling the final bill, as the tavern was well inside the enclosed walls of fort Nell, yet  qurious she was who and why. "I'll see later" she mumbled while cleaning the porch.
Fort Nell, with a small temple on the marketplaceand next door the Silver Stag Tavern. The Official and military buildings in the middle around the market, and some residential buildings around it. some acres and orcards within the fort walls making it comlete. Outside the many fields of produce; Apples, grapes, nuts and olive.

Gaston, had awakened early, and after some meditation, he decided to go in town. On the market place he had seen a scribe was residing in town. The small room had ample place for the rack with inks, dried vellum, parchment press and rolls of other fabric. On the ceiling flowers and herbs hung down to dry, and on the tables stood jars with creature components within..."Scribe ink components" he thought. He glanced upon a stack of scrolls and bundled parchments. One was labelled "Inlashar, Land of Fortresses", written and compiled by sages Andrew Theissen, Geoff Gander and Aaron Nowack. .He removed the cloth binder and read the first page, and the next, and...

The Inlashar arose when a displaced Ethengari clan migrated into what is now northern Darokin in 780 BC, swiftly conquering the indigenous Neathar tribes. Within a century the two groups had merged, producing a somewhat stocky people with cream-coloured skin, and dark hair and eyes (with a slight epicanthic fold). For centuries, the Inlashar struck fear into orcish hearts in the north, and at their height (c. 500 BC) they controlled all the land between what is now Ardelphia and the gap between Alfheim and the Broken Lands. During that time, other human cultures flourished on the Streel Plain; although they occasionally suffered raids from the Inlashar. Their power ebbed and flowed over the following centuries, but they never regained their early prominence as other realms rose to prominence, and the orcs grew more organised. By 100 BC, successive orcish invasions had all but broken the might of the Inlashar, and only a scattering of them remained in the hills east of Corunglain – the remainder having fled south to Eraedan lands.
Inlashar as seen from Bird View. 
The Inlashar staged a bit of a revival in AC 672following the collapse of the monarchy. A northern duke, claiming descent from one of the Inlashar houses and taking advantage of the chaos, declared his Duchy of Callair independent. The realm was short-lived, as the neighbouring humanoids of the Orclands also took advantage of the power vacuum. By AC 702 the realm had been laid to waste, with the capital of Tolann falling the following year. Most of the survivors trickled to Corunglain, where they remain to this day; although a handful of hill-folk still cling to their ancestral lands.
780 BC: To the north of Darokin, in the area that will later become the Ethengar/Glantri border, an Ethengarian tribe conquers several Neathar tribes. Over the next century, the two populations merge, becoming one people. Whatever names they might have called themselves are lost to history - for convenience they are referred to by the name later given to their descendants, the Inlashar.
650 BC: The Inlashar, migrating southward after several harsh winters in their homelands, settle in northern Darokin near modern Corunglain and Fort Nell, with some tribes ranging into the Broken Lands. Their excellent cavalry proves too much for the area's orcish tribes, and the orcs are driven deep into the Amsorak region and the modern Orclands.
With its clear flat topped hills (Called Amon Sûl=Elvish), and steep sides (10-30 feet at most), Inlashar is an interesting defenseable area. The strategically placed fortresses, and the view of these flat-topped hills as if fortresses themselves, are the main reason the area is called Inlashar--Land of Fortresses.
Urudkhal's road
586 BC: One of the Inlashar chieftains, Urudkhal, asserts himself over his rivals, initiating a series of bloody wars along the fringe of the Broken Lands. Taking advantage of the humans' distraction, many humanoid raiders manage to enter the Streel Valley. It is around this time that the Ethengar/Neathar tribes gain the name by which they are known today - after his victory, Urudkhal orders the construction of strong fortifications in every clanhold, and the land becomes known as Inlashar ('Land of Fortresses'). Urudkhal grants the various tribes a great deal of autonomy, keeping control by marrying his sons to the daughters of rebellious chieftains - a thinly veiled form of hostage-taking.
543 BC: By this time Inlashar stretches from what is now the ruins of Ardelphia to the gap between Alfheim and what is now the Broken Lands. Urudkhal's son, Urudtai, orders the expansion of his land's network of fortresses, as well as the construction of a great road to link them.
505 BC: The Great Road of Inlashar is completed. At each end is a grand fortress built of stone, bearing the stern visage of Urudmu, the great-grandson of Urudkhal.
450 BC: Dwarves, lead by Feric Squinteye, arrive along the eastern Savage Coast and build small colonies.
1=Ruin of some olde temple or shrine
300 BC: The ore from the meteorite is forged into a sword, Molharran's Hope, for King Kareth, in the hope that its auspicious origins will aid in the creation of a mighty weapon against the encroaching orcs. The Hierophant of Molharran, a man named Yalgar, decrees that the sword's forging is an ill omen, and that the blade is cursed. Around this time, the Inlashar, who have never reunited under a single ruler since Urudmu's death, are no longer able to hold off the orcs. As the Inlashar retreat into their fortified clanholds, orcish raids step up in Eraeda and Molharran. For the first time in centuries large orcish tribes begin to settle on the east side of the Streel.
273 BC: The orcs again form a mighty horde and invade Eraeda. King Korweth leads an effort to repulse an orcish horde during the Second Battle of Favaro. Again, the Eraeda rally to the Molharraner force, and this time more than a few Inlashar tribes join the battle. Although the orcs are again defeated and the horde scattered, Korweth soon dies of his injuries. Molharran's Hope is passed to Kareth II. This battle marks the beginning of what was known at the time as the 'Golden Peace'.
With the orcish defeat at Favaro, the great western horde is broken for a time, allowing Molharran, the Eraeda, and the Inlashar to drive them back with vengeance - almost to the very foothills of what are now the Silver Sierras. Until its end, the Streel Plains are largely free of orcs, and are lightly settled by people of all three realms.
2=Ruin of some trading post
267 BC: Kareth II forges an agreement with the clans of Eraeda and the most prominent Inlashar tribes as to the division of the Streel Plain between the three peoples. A great stone obelisk is erected at the point where the three lands meet, and the Inlashar join the Pact of Comaelle. It still stands in modern times, though only a handful of scholars know what it signifies. Kareth II begins to try to reassert Molharran's authority over the Lordship of Meruvar over the next few years. The orcs are now restricted to the lands west of the Streel Valley and to the northern Broken Lands.
220 BC: Around this year, Calor or his forces destroy many settlements in Meruvar and Inlashar, until both lands submit to the dragon. Both are more loosely ruled than Eraeda, but still the orcish tribes move in and flourish under Calor's protection. Over the next few years, the City-State of Dolos rapidly declines and is eventually destroyed by Marwen, who claims the ruins as her own domain. Athenos begins to send tribute to the wyrm shortly afterwards. A survivor of one of Calor's rampages, a warrior named Balthac, dedicates himself to the dragon's destruction. (Accounts differ as to precisely what nation or clan Balthac originated from
3= Ruin of some larger unknown structure
200 BC: Without Calor's presence, the orcs begin to slowly be driven back. However, none of the human nations fully recover from his reign of terror. The Inlashar decline continues, and they never quite regain the power of their greater days, when they shielded the entire Streel Valley from orcish invasion. The hero Aurum is again offered the crown of Molharran; he again refuses.
185 BC: In the north, the orcish tribes of the Amsorak region deliver a crushing defeat to the Inlashar in a great battle north of Favaro, razing several settlements in the area. The Inlashar tribal lands are now separated by orcish-held territory from the clans of Eraeda.
164 BC: With the bulk of the orcish might in the south, the Inlashar stage a revival, pushing the orcs back as far as the borders of Eraeda. 
Several of the most prominent tribes of the day forge an alliance with the Eastwind Clan of Favaro against the orcs
150 BC: By this point, the Inlashar revival reaches its height. For the first time in centuries, the entirety of the ancient Great Road of Inlashar is in Inlashar hands. Orcish strength is lower than at any time since the razing of Comaelle. A few documents from around this time refer to these years as the "Silver Peace", but the term never really takes hold.
4= Ruin of the one Urudtai bridge existin
128 BC: A new orcish horde forms in the west and advances into the Streel Valley, skirting the southern borders of Inlashar. They raze all save a handful of the remaining Molharraner villages north of Elstarath and raid the lands of the Ansimont Clan. The orcs then cross the Streel north of Favaro, where they succeed in destroying the few Inlashar strongholds in the region and again cut off Inlashar from the Eraedan clans.
122 BC: After years of skirmishing, the orcs overwhelm Inlashar defences near modern Corunglain, razing many strongholds and dividing Inlashar in two. The western half slowly falls to the orcs over the next ten years; the eastern section manages to put up more resistance.
120 BC: Attel Eastwind is born. By the time he is fourteen, he is known as one of the greatest warriors of the Eastwind Clan - if not all the Clans of Eraeda.
100 BC: Around this time, the orcs launch a major assault on the remaining Inlashar tribes. Attel Eastwind gathers a great host of men from the northern Eraedan Clans and marches to aid the Inlashar. The Clans do not hear of him or his followers again, and assume them lost.

5= Ruined valley fortress blocking traffick
3 BC: The last of the Inlashar clan-holds is destroyed by the orcs early this year. Toward the end of the year, a host of refugees reaches the city of Favaro. They are lead by a man named Mithras Attleson, who claims to be Attel Eastwind's son by an Inlashar chieftain's daughter and therefore the rightful ruler of the Eastwind. After much debate, Ansel the Elder grants the refugees a stretch of land along the fringes of the Canolbarth to settle in and rule - if Mithras abandons his claim to rule the Eastwind. He accepts.

70 BC: Continued close ties between the Eastwind and the Ansimont bring a new unity to the Eraedan clans. Inter-clan wars become rare over the next decade, and many new towns and villages are founded. However, amidst the ruins of Inlashar and Molharran, the orcs also grow in number and strength.
6= Ruins of the Village of Tolann by day.Haunted by night not a welcome place.

About current Inlashar; The region is dotted with village and Town ruins from the era were the Inlashar ruled (780 BC-702 AC). The other ruins were fortresses, hence the name Inlashar; This is Ethengarian for Land of Fortresses. The legendary road of Urudtai (543-550 BC) is eroded away mostly but where parts are still existing it has become part of today trails (Corunglain-Fort Nell and the main Road Corunglain-Darokin are being the best known). Several today structures are either still used Inlashar structures, or build upon them. It is not uncommon for today villages to have an ancient Inlashar tower, or other remnant (mostly fortification) within its limits. (fort Nell itself being the most known). The City ruins of Tolann last to fall in 702 AC are rumoured to harbour disgruntled noncorporeal undead, making the whole hills area very unwelcome. 

A cough... Gaston arose from his devout reading. "Good morning Customer, found something interesting I see?" "Yes, ...sowwy...indeed. Pawdon my bluntness. It was pwecisly what I much would you need to let it change ownewship?" "Fifty gold" the old man responded,; "it is an incomplete compilation of studies from different sagious writers about the region here, but not many here in  Fort Nell are interested within it" 

"Only fifty?...that's a bawgain. Would you accept Thyatian empewows, they awe platinum?"
"No sorry, only Daros or Tentrids please, gold or silver thus" while grabbing the stack from Gaston's hands."Platinum is hard to get exchanged here". He folded the leaflets back to a nice stack and knotted the cloth tightly. "Allwight, then hewe you go, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 45, 47, 49, ...50. tha'll do" The eyes of the scribe opened, clearly not expecting such a rapid sale. He handed the bundle to the mage while with the oher hand shoving the coins into an open drawer. "Something else. Of your service...?" He responded with a sudden yellowed smile."Yes, dear siw, that quillfeathew in that glass containew thewe please...I pwesume 400 gold will do fine..."
"Yes ..yes" responded the man, climbed upon a chair to reach the rectangular box, wit a glass lid. "You have a clear eye for the rare sir. This is a Quill of copying and writing, made by the elves who lived nearby  some years ago. But I must inform you it can't copy magic spells, or write down magic words, only...lets say...normal speach". "I know, I knew befowehand that it was hewe, and the pwice".
Gaston accepted the casket and together with the book of leaflets, he left the shop.
Quill of Copying and Writing. Stroke the quil over any nonmagical written text, book, scrolls, pen or pencil art, and it will be copied onto a same stack of loose papers given. 1 jar of ink needed for 50 pages of text or 10 drawings. The speed of this will be twice that of a normal writer. It does NOT translate. The copies will be of the same size as the supplied "paper", thus may be different size than the original. When the ink stops it will keep memory of the incomplete text for 20+1d4 hours at most. The quill will alter color when the source has altered color. It makes copies in the same order as the writer/artist of the original did.

Size; 7 inches.Cost; 1500 GP,4 cn rarity; very rare although libraries.universities have several.  Spells needed to create; Copy, Color, caster level 15+.Warning, possession of such item may be illegal and seen as espionage in/near military/official buildings

In the Tavern the others had already awakened, washed, taken breafast, brushed the horses, walked through the walled town, smoked some pipeweed, brushed their shoes, polished and sharpened their weapons and even flirted with some locals.
"Finally" Separim responded irritated, "Our group leader took his time to continue the journey. Magic research I presume? Couldn't you've informed us beforehand? It is almost noon."
The purple numbers and circles are the pictures above.  The dotted purple trail is the Urudkhai road severely damaged and absorbed by nature. As a line it is mostly intact.

Earlier chapters;
PreludeChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 1
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 2
Following Chapters;
Chapter 4Chapter 5

The timeline is only an excerpt of the Darokin Time line concentrated upon Inlashar. The complete timeline can be found here Darokin Time Linewritten and compiled by Andrew Theissen, Geoff Gander and Aaron Nowack. Some information is drawn from my article on the 1 mile Alfheim map on Pandius. The area "the Barrowfields" is an creation of Geoff Gander.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Wonderful World of Mystara

A Manuscript about the Natural Magical World of Mystara

Chapter 2

The Start of our voyage.

As penned down by Salechaam Deraan

Darokin Province of Calair 1014 AC, 26th and 27th Flaurmont
An uneventful night, in a small town, with a strange history..or legend...depending on the speaker.
The breakfast served however was not as uneventful. The grits and beans with blackbread, fried eggs and marmelade, still use our stomachs as a battleground. The populace didn't want us leave, but anyway we did. The further away we went the worse we felt. 
It was already two hours underway that we noticed even the horses seemed to be sick, and Row. The only one not sick was Separim. Maybe because she is the only elf?. Gaston thought the reason could be that she was the only virgin female, and it had to do something with the legend of the village. As resistent as we Dwarves are, I decided to go back. I took Samen from the wagon. Readjusted the reigns and carefully climbed on his back.Samen disliked humans on his back, and I was very careful not to frighten him for disliking me doing the same. But my fears were not needed, and with all the speed he had within himself we travelled back to the village.
Within a hour I noticed the familiar structure, but also a crowd preparing to go after the wagon. These farmers had no riding horses, so they walked. 
I took a sidecourse through the fields, hidden by the bushes. The other townsfolk, fled into their homes, doors and window shutters were closed. Clearly these people were afraid...afraid of those enforcing them to do something. My inner gut steared me to the temple of Darokin on the townsquare. The doors were closed, but not for Mahawudi, my precious axe. With only seven strikes the door broke down. The acolytes within approached with maces in hand, but a growl in name of Kagyar, caused them to bolt away. 
The Evil shrine before being destroyed.
I noticed the shrines to all immortals were covered in dark cloth, and a new unknown shrine was placed in the center of the main room. A red crystal figure of an orc...could it be a shrine to the evil god Orcus?. My rage brew and I commenced. With a heavy smash I destroyed the shrine. Waves of reddish light came forth. Including an explosion. When I came around, blown away by the blast, I saw the temple was damaged partially. The roof had come down. I saw some clergymen pinned beneath it, and decided they had to be saved.

Three I pulled underneath the debris, from them I took seven potions of Healing, and left them to the populace. Whatever happened here they would know to do justice. When I neared Samen, I saw them coming from their houses, looking outside, as if the world was new. Clearly vile magic had taken control of them, but for now they were free.
The small temple of the Village "Sword of the Lake" just after Salechaam left
With the potions I travelled back to the wagon.
About halfway I noticed the populace that had followed them...they were all dumbfounded. As if none of them knew anything anymore. I passed by, slowly, but without being disturbed.
When I finally reached the wagon Dolos was lying on the ground, as was Gaston. I assumed the others were inside. I carefully gushed the potion down his throat, in the hope it would work. The silver glow that momentarily washed over him confirmed it was doing its work. I did the same with Dolos, and then went inside. Here I found Straddle and Row. Two more potions doing their job.
When I came outside I saw Separim arriving, clearly affected by the vile effect, but still able to move. I gave here the potion, gobbled down one myself and another for Samen.
Whatever it was the potions removed the effect in only a few rounds.
I didn’t spill a further word, pushed everybody inside the wagon, placed Samen next to Dolos in the Reigns and took of as fast as I could.
It was not until several hours after noon, that Gaston, beckoned to be on the driver-seat with me.
I told him what I did.
“Evil Clerics” was his response. “I don’t know if your assumption of Orcus is right, but it could well be. These evil Immortals always fight for supremacy over the mortal populace. It seems that they try to spread their vile influence over the humans here, with the use of some controlling magic. But it seems you struck the right blows with your axe, and easily ended the threat. The source of this control clearly lies within the shrines that replaced the original shrines. How they got to this remains a question for now. We have to continue”.
After several hours the horses became tired, both due the ordeal, and the distance travelled.
We were in the neighbourhood of the small village of Arong, but did not want to take any further risk. Just a mile passed the village juncture, we settled on a small creek, behind several bushes. And together with an Invisibility 10’radius only the horses could be seen, smelled or heard, and our fire we just placed outside the magical aura. As long as we didn’t attack anything the spell would keep us unseen.
That night we heard in the distance Kobold screams, but they never came within reach. Separim and Straddle took guard, changing after a few hours.
The next morning we were awakened by rain, not heavy rain, but that one you get very cold from. And as the temperatures were not high enough to warm upon, this would become a heavy day.
Our estimate was to arrive at Fort Nell just before dinnertime,…at least there we could warm and rest.
Day 2. Darokin Province of Callair 
The whole day it rained, as driver I became soaking wet, my beard clung to my wet shirt and armor. The leather reigns became slippery and hard to handle. The old broken tiles of the ancient road, were used often, and made travel clear. When the shape of the fortress and village became visible we felt as if relief was found.
The wooden gate was open, guards checked our names, listed our weapons and description, but let us in. According to Separim, this was common behaviour in this region.
We came to a combined Inn and tavern; the Silver Stag. This was clearly a silver tavern, as all seemed clean, and well kept, and even the silver seal was pinned next to the door. After stabling the horses and wagon we went through the backdoor in the boothouse. Here we shed our mantles, raincloths, and wet and muddy boots.
Welcomed inside by the warm fire of a great hearth, and several people drinking, eating and chatting, we felt at ease. “Greetings in the Silver Stag of Fort Nell. My name is Esmerelda. How can I help you”?  “My name is Salechaam, this is Gaston, Separim, Straddle and our dog Row. First bring us something warm to drink, please”. “Very well sir. Would a warm grog do?” “That’ll be fine
Darokin. Fort Nell, Tavern/Inn "The Silver Stag"

A few moments later the woman returned with warm grogs, “Four silver please” Gaston replied; “This is upon me”. And laid down a Thyatian Platinum piece. “Me thinks this will do for a bowl of soup fow each of us I pwesume”? “Of course sir, even though it is foreign currency, we accept those at a 5% exchange rate as according to Darokin law. We have Pea and Tomato soup ready with warm garlic bread. For me a Tomatosoup” Separim replied, “with the meat separate please”. Gaston, Straddle and I choose a Pie soup. Not even five minutes later, she returned with warm steaming bowls, clean metal spoons, and a basket of warm sliced garlic bread and a small bowl with two sausages. Separim took this bowl and handed it to Row, who heartily gobbled it down. A warm, feeking washed down upon us, we were content. While Gaston called forth his pipe sharing it with Straddle, Separim made some herb mixtures, and I viewed the locals. It was about nightfall, when a soldier approached us.
Greeting visitors. My name is Julian Excelor. I am the current chief of staf here. May I sit with you, and listen to your stories and goals in the region”?
We agreed, and told what happened earlier. Julian explained that the humanoids sometimes spill over into the region and bring their vile magic and immortals with them. It must have been clearly something like this. “I will send a contingent of soldiers to the village for help”.
We explained that we were exploring the region north of the Dwargate Mountains, and therefore intended to take the seldom used pass through Inlashar, along Calor’s spur.
“That trail is indeed available, but inadvised, as the humanoids there are Gnolls. They are aggressive, but also tacticians. The best way is to keep as near to the mountains as possible, rest in farms and not in the open, as these farms are often walled enclosures. Until you reach Fort Brindolhath you will be reasonable save. However the fortress itself sometimes is overrun with Gnolls, and has to be retaken. Not now that we know of, but it happened before, so will happen more often for sure. Large rocks  painted red with an invisible seal to make copying impossible, but visible to most elves and mages with a detect invisible spell. These rocks can be found at each bend, or twist in the road…for as far as you can speak of a road…it is more a rough trail, ..and guide you further into Ethengar. Be aware Ethengar does NOT accept foreign currency. So if you need money use nuggets, and be careful not to carry any accepted Tangs out of the country. Their punishments in this can be very primitive and harsh”.
“Thank you fow da wawning”, Gaston replied. “We will go to bed and leave eawly in da mowning”.
With that Julian shook our hands and left.

The beds were clean, and no bedbugs in sight. Even the linen was pressed. This was a very good  silver tavern, and in our opinion worth a gold mark.
Day 3. Darokin Province of Callair, towards Fort Nell.

Earlier chapters;
PreludeChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 1
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 2
Following Chapters;
Chapter 4Chapter 5

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Wonderful World of Mystara

A Manuscript about the Natural Magical World of Mystara

Chapter 1

The Start of our voyage.

As spoken by, Salechaam Deraan, later penned down by Separim Longstrider.

Corunglain 1014 AC, 25th Flaurmont, early Morning
The sky was grey, the street-tiles were wet, when Salechaam looked out of the small window. The first carts and wagons were already passing by, and the sound of their metal plated wooden wheels made a sound hard enough to be heard from within the room. He washed his face, hands and upper body with the cold water decanter. Then he cleansed his brown red beard with the remaining water, adding some strokes of the scented soup  and rinsed it all away. Wrapping a towel around the precious hairs to dry, he heard soft tickling on the window panes, rain. “A nice beginning of the voyage, the piss of Orcus, clearly a sign of troubles coming” he muttered within the towel. Sitting down he pulled up his pants, and boots, sturdy dwarven boots, made with the excellent craftsmanship of Ylari cobblers. Donning his shirt, the towel fell on his lap. He pulled the still moist beard from underneath the shirt, before putting on his chain-mail bodice. Then two silken bands were each wrapped around a separate even strand of the beard. The picture was almost complete. Salechaam grabbed a 3 inch stick from his bag, chewed it flat and caked it with the soap, then brushed his teeth with it. “Good sense this tavern-keeper has, mint scented brush soap, only the taste they have to invent something for. But hey, it is always better than no teeth at all.” Were his words while donning his other equipment; A belt pouch with some change in it, a large sack with his other belongings over his shoulder, and his proud axe Mahawudi, Djinn Slayer tucked in the leather ring on his back.
He went into the dark oaken hall, to the stairs down. The scent of fresh coffee drifted through the building. “Good Morning Salechaam” said the barkeep, when he saw him treading down the last steps.
“Morning”. “One coffee? lighten the spirit of the day?” Nah..Nay…I’ve to prepare our departure, my comrades will arrive soon from Glantri”. “Aye…Glantri, still a no-go for dwarves”. “Indeed”, while placing a few coins on the till, “Not by us dwarves and not by them frigging mages. For da night”.
“Thanx, and where will the voyage be going?” “Vestland, is all I know…Somewhere in Vestland. Thanx for the service and da hospitality”. “You’re welcome”. Salechaam opened the backdoor, and was instantly welcomed by friendly bark of Row. Almost toppling the dwarf when making a meeting jump, Salechaam corrected him with a soft pad on the back. Swaggling his tail, he eagerly awaited his treat. A dwarven hand dug into a pant-pocket and drew forth a string of beef jerky, tossing it up towards Row, which greedily caught it mid air. He passed Row, and moved towards the stables, to release Samen and Dolos, the drafthorses, and reign them in onto the Discovery. He removed their feeding sacks, affixed the reigns and led them to the wagon. A few minutes later, they were ready. He filled the barrel with fresh water, and loaded all the boxes and crates, sacks and bundles of food, tools, and other stuff…some completely unknown to him. “Not something a dwarf needs to know” are his words.  Sascha, the young daughter of the tavern-keeper straddled forth, gently stroke the head and nose of Row, slobbered by a wet tongue as thanx; “Are you going away? Are you taking Row with you? Were are you going? Will you come back? When…” “So much questions little human, soo less time…lets just say we will meet again. So bye bye” while stroking the little girls head, he climbed up the wagon and drove through the porch onto the road. “Northbound, towards the border of the Broken Lands”, he mumbled under his breath. ”The adventure begins…naah.”

Callair Farmlands
The room was dark, and only the runes on the floor gave a bright white-blueish light. Separim Longstrider stood in the corner viewing the incantation of Gaston Vanderklil. The spell went fluently and within a moment the room around them changed. The dark stones made way for acres of freshly dug up earth, where farmers were tilling the earth to sow new crops. To the south the sight of a large city could be seen, smokes rising from hundreds of chimneys, to the north broken lands and high peeked mountains. 7 stones were around them, and nearby a farm. A small brook cobbled towards the farm. Gaston new this place, and favoured this over any failed attempts at teleporting towards Corunglain itself, unknown were to appear, even when it was further away from the city proper. A small figure approached from the farm. It was Straddle Leafboots, a Hin from somewhere in the Shires. “Greetings Friends”. He gently spoke with a smile on his face. “Greetings Stwaddle” responded Gaston, “You didn’t have to wait too long I hope?” “No, two days only, with these gentle farmers. Some field work in the spring rain helped passing time”. “I hope you paid these fawmews some coins fow ouw use of theiw field I pwesume?” “Yes, yes, two gold seemed enough I thought” Straddle responded with a strange question-like face. “Allwight Sepawim, awe you paying them anothew thwee gold? A total of Five will do bettew I feel”. Without a word Separim moved towards the farm, while Straddle and Gaston started to pull the chests and boxes and bundles towards the road nearby. Placing it all next to the road, they had to go back and forth a few times, even with the help of a Floating Disc cast by Gaston. “I’ve given them five gold” said Separim glancing Straddle when he accompanied them. “Good, good…Now where is our transport? He should already be here, by now…I think”. “We’ve to wait until he awwives” Gaston responded, settled on a chest, and drew fort a long porcelain pipe, stuffed it with Halfling tobacco, and blew fort figurines in the smoke.
Artistic representation of Corunglain's Three Bridges 
as seen from looking back from the Bridge to Fort Nell.
The middle being the Dike Road along the Streel River,
the farthest away is Darokin's Main Road.
The grey sky gave firth some more short showers, but not enough to get truly wet. Then after about two turns, movement became visible in the south . A wagon, and indeed it was the Discovery, pulled forth by Samen and Dolos. The wagon was driven by Salechaam as agreed, and Row ran towards Separim when he recognized him. Happily they tumbled over the road. Even Gaston smiled. It had been a long time since they last seen each other.
Salechaam frowned like only a Dwarf could do muttering “Elves”, and climbed down do help loading the boxes and other stuff. “Aren’t we supposed to travel lightly?” he responded grufly while stocking a roll of tapestry wrapped in a waterproof tarp. “Yes we awe” Gaston replied, “just the basic necessities”.
Bulging eyes were the only resonse Salechaam could give. Luckily the wagon had enough space, for all this unknown stuff. Again he muttered “Mages”.

Tavern "Lord in the Mist"
Separim and Straddle entered the wagon while Gaston took his place besides Salechaam. He took the reigns and steared the wagon back south towards Corunglain. Near the city they took the eastern road along the city, until they met the road towards Fort Nell. The large stone bridge was only 5 horses abreast, and no wagon could travel here without making a sound. In the middle they stopped and paid the toll of 6 silver (one for each wheel and horse). 
The first village they met was Zottegem before the crossed a small brook. Here the road became worse. It was an ancient road from times gone by Separim declared. Salechaam agreed and added it was good to keep the past from getting lost. The day went well, disturbed only by the short rainshowers. The landscapes was predominantely farmlands, with the Broken Lands towering on the northern horizon. When the night beckoned they reached a small town, named “Sword at the lake” after some legend. The travel was somewhat over 26 miles on a road. From here on the road would be more like a trail, limiting the amount of daily distance covered to about 18 miles at most.They settled at a local tavern called "Lord in the Mist", probably named after the same legend.

They day was uneventful as was the night. A few silver pieces each for the stay at the Tavern and for some food. The next morning the continued. Not much was spoken by Salechaam nor Gaston, but Separim and Straddle boasted several stories of history, and own stories, and had a lot of Joy. Row was in his happy mood too, as he ventured fort of the wagon, and returned with a freshly killed hare. The next morning, the critter was gone, except some barfballs of hair and bones.

Day 1; Corunglain to "Sword of the Lake" village
In the next morning Salechaam was in the wagon and Gaston took the reigns, with Separim on the bock. Straddle dared to ask were the voyage was going.
"South East of the broken Lands, along Calor's Spur, then through Ethengar towards Vestland. And then probably back again." Answered Salechaam.
"Strange?...going forth and back?"
"Yes for Gaston wants to remove the flaws in our common knowledge of the Known world. 
As the Great Sage Bruce Heard once said; The world is more different than you know, the maps you know off are wrong"
"And as thus the Streel River also belongs?"
"Indeed". Salechaam responded.
"It is a common flaw of knowledge about the Streel River. Hence we are going to the source, the well of the river". 
"And along the way we will discover the truth".
"The truth?" responded Salechaam with a questionable face? 
"I don't know if we will find the truth, but we will come very close at least."

Earlier chapters;
PreludeChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 1
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 2
Following Chapters;
Chapter 4Chapter 5

The Artistic representation of Corunglain is original art by Stephen Fabian form Gazetteer11 Darokin , in which digitally removed the Mountains in the Left part of this art, as these do not exist there.