Cartographies and Colonies

Letter home

Father,

First of all, thank you very much for the lovely party. It was wonderful to see family again, and the city population seems to have warmed to our presence as well. Please thank Mother again for her many generous gifts, most of which I will be unloading as soon as Aunt Rose secures me quarters off the airship.

Speaking of Aunt Rose, you will be interested to know that your sister is apparently quite the scrapper. I knew she was considered an athlete in her younger days, but I’m told she has actually defeated at least three locals in single combat since arriving, raising her estimation among the locals considerably. I don’t really think any of the local Gnoll population expected much from her, and to be honest I was concerned myself given the reputation of our “new clan,” but Aunt Rose has always had a particularly strong Vision and I think the possibilites she sees here are motivating her.

Moving on to business, as you know I have been forced by circumstances to abandon my original design for cleansing the mountain. It seems that many of the chambers which the Maw wishes removed are above the current level of the standing lava, and thus simply opening and closing tunnels like valves will not be an adequate answer. I have sent Sarah with copies of my maps and charts and a detailed description of the rock samples I have from throughout the mountain to speak with her coleagues amongst the family artificers about the possibility of creating a sympathetic focus for the volcano using the principles of similarity and contageon to forge the link and treating the pressurized system of the mountain like a Heron’s Fountain, and hope to hear their opinion of the plausibility of this plan shortly. In the meantime, exploration and sampling continues.

In other, more frustrating news, it seems that our local guide has abandoned us. Nafu, after weeks of telling me that no one ever comes to Mboshu and returns alive and mocking me for any plans I may have had to do so, seems to have gathered a band of pirates and stolen the ship of the erstwhile captain to whom I introduced you at the party. Frankly I am shocked at this behavior, which significantly differs from what I have come to expect from Nafu, but I suppose it just goes to show that I still have a lot to learn before I can claim to predict the behavior of gnolls.

In addition to leaving us with no native guide, Nafu’s departure has left me with another enigma to unravel. As I have mentioned before, our companion Vekd seems to believe that he is half dragon. Upon further discussion it also appears that he genuinely believes himself to have been trapped in stasis for some 1300 years, and to have had a portion of his soul ripped free and imprisoned in an amulet which, as luck would have it, Nafu was apparently carrying. I know that this entire paragraph sounds like the ramblings of a diseased mind, and to be honest spending time with Vekd does not necessarily disuade me of that opinion, but it seems that I have inherited this amulet through a sequence of unfortunate events involving Nafu, Kavuli (the “little” gnoll I showed you), and the Maw. If you could have the family magic users discuss whether I should even take this rambling seriously, I would appreciate it.

In any case, I’m for bed. We’ve no doubt a long, dark trek ahead of us, and I need it. Thank you all as always for your love and support.

Yours truly,

Ruben

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timmymac1978

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