View Full Version : City Design by Journal Entry -Reboot!-

03-08-2012, 11:31 AM
Ok.. well, I don't have a whole heck of a lot of time to map at the moment, but I'm still itching to get some creativity out there... so I'm going to attempt to retry a concept for organically designing a city by using the characters visions of the city to build it... My last attempt started off well, but became pretty overwhelming pretty quickly.. plus I wasn't quite happy with the setting... My realm idea has grown up, and I have more of a feel of how it comes together, but really as far as a geography or city design I have nothing...

Here is the thread of the original attempt, Attempt 1 (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?5196-City-design-in-a-new-way)

I'm happy to see that at least someone was sad I stopped working on it :P

Now however I'm tasked with trying to figure out how I can streamline the process, and possibly still allow others to post (like i did in the first attempt) but not rely on them continuing to post (or even just waiting for their next post before moving on)... I found that was the hardest bit, having people posting at different intervals, its very hard to keep it all in-line without ending up waiting (and thus forgetting) about the process all together..

The premise is simple.. to build a city, from the ground up, not only defining its streets, it's places, and people, but forming history and depth as we go... Think about watching those specials on the History channel where they mention a collective of journal entries about a certain event... the concept of multiple takes of a certain occasion helps paint a full picture... This is the idea i'm trying to capture here...

As I figure it, I can go about the same way as I started before.. starting with a small scene, or a starting point... I think this time I will start small, and how many cities are traditionally started, with a focused building to cause people to start building near it... a saw mill, or a church, or a hotel... even just a cluster of farms.. not too sure yet.

I will give a description of the world and the area, it's surroundings and such.. and describe any current characters involved... Then I will leave the floor open for those who wish to join. If you wish to be part of this I ask that you choose a character... either from the open list I will keep up to date, or by creating your own immigrant. You will then begin posting as them. I will post updates about whats going on in the city.. party by working with what other posters have said, and party to try to move the city along the paths I think are best suited... You are welcome to post as little or as often as you wish, but try to keep in tune with the current position of the city... Upon creation your character will be PART of the city, even if you only make one journal entry... If you don't mention them again their fates are up to me, and I will decide how they go about their lives in the way your entry identifies... Generally, I think the best way to do this would be for me to post an event or update... and then give you a chance to post an entry if you wish...

Conflicts will be resolved in a first come first served basis... that means if you are the first to mention the object in question, you can decide on the outcome... Of course for a large conflict the majority rules; and also I have the complete and final say if there is something I want changed... but I doubt I'll excercise that right, I prefer unexpected creativity :)

I will post when I can, and I will try to draw maps as we go, capturing some of the historical occassions of the city's growth...

If anyone has any other suggestions about how I should go about this, I'd love to hear them... this is an idea I think could really create something special, but I'm at a loss about some of the finer details..

What say you, cartographers of the realm!?

03-08-2012, 10:38 PM
I think this is an amazing idea and I can't wait to get started. I'm not the best writer but I would enjoy submitting ongoing entries for a character.

I will try to keep an eye on this thread and as soon as I see the opening and the character list I will start writing!

03-09-2012, 02:29 AM
Go for it!

03-09-2012, 03:58 AM
I'm intrigued by this idea and I'd like to assist if I can.

Edited to Add: What are you views on letters as well as journal entries for this project? I could see letters from immigrants and travelers to their contacts, relations, and friends back home might be interesting as well.

03-09-2012, 10:06 AM
I'm open to really any sort of communication that would help flesh out the city... the end result I would like to have is a decently thought out city with an organic feel, and loads of content that allows you to see the roots and history of how and why the city developed the way it did... I originally got the idea when I lived in England.. for those of us North Americans who see pretty much any city in England, Europe, or old North American settlement for that matter... they aren't exactly designed... they "sprout" as a result of all the factors that makes the city what it is... Other more modern cities are usually planned from the get-go.. which has a much more mechanical feel to it.. In the old days I'm sure there was even less emphasis on sticking with a "city plan"... I want to see those winding alleyways, the almost polished cobblestone streets, and I want to be able to have an idea WHY they are that way... This is really the best idea I had about reaching this objective.

It's one thing for someone to start by planning the end result... its an entirely different experience starting at the beginning and working to the end...

As proof that I'm not all talk.. I've done a quick little drawing in inkscape of our starting point...


a newly built wooden fort... There will be more locational and descriptive info to follow, but this fort has been built to protect the (at that time) frontier reaches of the realm. The only other real population are 2 families who have been living the land for a few years... Recently valuable metal deposits have been found down stream of this area, and many believe the mountains close to the north are where these deposits come from... The fort is meant to guard the pass from the not uncommon raids from the goblins and orcs that make their homes in the mountain caves. As of yet I believe I will begin with the arrival of the owner of the trade depot, who will be the first "resident" to set up shop. besides him, there will be 3 or 4 soldiers on rotation in the fort, and the nearby fontier familys who live the land.

The actual posting will soon follow!

David Corsalini
03-09-2012, 12:35 PM
I'll be following this post very closely!

03-09-2012, 02:26 PM
Actually, the "organic feel" you're referring to is often a reflection of the strength and size of authority in a region, of the urbanistic precepts (or lack thereof) of the polity, of the economic and cultural base of the settlement, and so forth and so forth. For example, many European cities that were founded by the Romans were actually laid out on a very strict grid system, but the subsequent collapse of central power and the rise of the independent, walled city mutated the layout.

I would suggest, as a starting point, the terrain. Perhaps even a regional map, where we then determine where the new city shall be built. Then the questions follow: who is building it? how? how many people are there? what technologies do they have? what is their economic base? what is their culture?

Based on your wooden fort, I would guess a rather primitive, barbarian culture. Perhaps orcs or hobgoblins.

03-09-2012, 02:34 PM
I've been thinking about journal entries all morning and I think I'd like to do a town Smith.

I do have a few questions. How are things technologically? How much magic? What about faith?

Lastly, is there a well? If not, how far is it to fresh water? If there is fresh water is it a river, a lake, a spring?

03-09-2012, 10:13 PM
I've got my first entry read, working on the second. Just as soon as I have those details I can edit them and move forward!

03-10-2012, 03:22 AM
LOL great to see such enthusiasm! Lukc, your starting points were all things I was planning on giving, so that works out well... The drawing is just a quick sketch in inkscape, so it might not look how it'd actually be, it's meant to be just a small tower made from logs (due to the speed in which they wanted it built), small squat, with dirt and wood walls, probably only about 10-12 feet high, with access to the roof for watching... it doesn't really need to be one of those factions, i'd like it to be himan, but no need for them to be primitive, just a preliminary fort that can be upgraded/built upon later.

03-10-2012, 03:33 AM
Some kind of defended colony or frontier fortress perhaps? Perhaps there is some important trade route upon which the early economy of this city was founded. Furs perhaps, or timber, or, as we have someone interested in smithing, perhaps something to do with mining, smelting, and/or the ore trade?

03-10-2012, 03:49 AM
i will get to work on some details right way!

As for the realm, it's going to be fairly sword-and shield.. while there can be some simple geared machines, water powered mills, etc.. steam power and such will not be existant... at least for common people...

As for the idea behind the realm, it's kind of my take on the Avatar: The Last Airbender series.. Everything in the world is made of the elements in different combinations, lifeforms included... These elements are the usual four, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water... The elements are all capable of good an evil, so there is also a sort of yin/yang premise at play as well... When people have a higher concetration of an element it can show, in their personality (fire people will be passionate, charismatic, fierce... they may have red hair etc)... everyone is made of the elements, but a few are exceptional... they are deemed elementals, and are able to control their elemental affinity in different ways... these "Elementals" are the ruling class of the nation, they exsist in houses, all practicing similar arts... elemental traits are thought to be genetic, so it is important for those who are elementals to breed with other elementals, to keep the blood lines pure... on occasion a commoner is born with elemental abilities, in which case they are snatched up by different house recruiters based on their elemental affinity... also, since no bloodline is 100% pure, it is also possible that a child of a house may not have any abilities... these children are often stripped of their nobility, made a commoner of the house... or sometimes even abandoned altogether... children usually don't show any affinity until their teenage years, so these noble children are usually kept out of the public eye until they reach adulthood and begin showing signs of their abilities...

The lands are fairly peaceful, all the elemental clans have reached a form of peace, each house belongs to one of the four elements, and one house is declared the leader of that elemental order... out of those four elemental leaders one is deemed head of the elementals, which is a position that lasts for 5 years... after such the elemental rulership is passed on to the next elemental order in line. Positions of Royalty or nobility are always taken by elementals, but it is possible for many other higher positions to be held by ordinary folk.. although they are usually still tied to a house in some way. As for characters i'm not going to really allow any elementals, not yet anyways...

sorry if any of this makes no sense.. it is 3:45 in the morning... I'm off to bed.. I'll get you a general map of the local area tomorrow, and se eif i can get a few more details together.

As far as those who wish to create a character, since the fort has been completed, word has spread... and many are coming far and wide to start a new life and make it rich finding the deposits in the nearby mountain ranges... Anyone who decides to create their own character will be part of the first caravan arriving to the city.

Right now, there are only a handful of soldiers on duty at the fort. There is also a team of about 10 men who were the main workforce when building the fort... Some of those men will be leaving to get back to their family, which others will be staying on, wishing to make it rich on the slopes of the land. They are all living in tents, but more permanent shelters will be the primary objective at first... There is no well, but there is a river nearby... and you are also welcome to dig a well...

ok ok, falling asleep.. here i go!

03-12-2012, 12:03 PM
busy weekend. hate when that happens.. ok.. so i've done some work on the region.. again, the world is basically not designed at all, right now the world as a whole will be mainly one big continent populated by humans (elves and dwarves, etc are as of yet myth, but goblins orcs and other baddies harrass in the frontier north).. the main civilizations of the realm are found in the southern half of the continent, and as you move north it becomes more and more sparse... there is a mountain range that pretty much splits the southern half of the realm from the northern half (which the mt range on the included map is part of)... north of the range no one has really explored... the mt passes are treacherous and full of goblins, orcs and worse... and even if people were to get through there is little hope for any supplies to make it over in any sustainable sense... the areas like the area this city will be founded are as of yet untapped, with a few hardy pioneer types settling in their own homesteads...

Mt's and forests are general areas, scale is undecided yet, but it won't be too long, i'm thinking travel to the mt ranges and back to the city to be about a days hike.. but i'm not sure.. suggestions?
The fort is marked with a red flag, and the three existing frontier farms are identified as well.

Region Map:
This map may change in the future, but here is a quick representation of what i am looking at... The mountain range at the top is quite large, part of the range that extends across the entire continent, the range is what many call the "Cap of the Earth", tho no one really knows for far beyond the land extends... There are 3 families who have been in the area for some time, decriptions will follow in time... These families sustain themselves, harvesting crops, livestock and lumber for their own uses, but have been willing to increase their work to help supply the building camp with lumber and food.

The fort itself is located on a hill overlooking the fork in the river, and is a stout, squat one story wooden structure, with thick walls of dirt and lumber, and can house a garrison of up to about 10 (very uncomfortably), at the moment there are 3 soldiers present.

The main reason this fort has been built is to build a base of operations for mining expeditions in the mountain ranges. Recently an expedition from a southern mining guild has found hints of ore and other riches by panning the rivers, tracing the source to the mountain range near the end of the river (on the map the right fork)... on the expedition the men were attacked by savage orcs, only a few returned, but they returned with enough to warrant the building of an outpost, where men can make the northern reaches safe so that miners can get at the rich veins safely.

Thats all i got for region stuff for the moment, let me know what you think.. i'll answer any other questions you may have... I will create a list of current resources and characters involved with the city shortly.

03-12-2012, 12:14 PM
Some kind of defended colony or frontier fortress perhaps? Perhaps there is some important trade route upon which the early economy of this city was founded. Furs perhaps, or timber, or, as we have someone interested in smithing, perhaps something to do with mining, smelting, and/or the ore trade?

Yup, the fort is meant to shore up the north, first.. in the name of the lord who built it (details on that to come), and second to gain the rich resources there... the lumber in the area is in itself a treasure, since strong, tall lumber like that does not exist in the souther reaches anymore, furs would also be a resource, as well as anything else that goes along with a fairly uninhabited land... the main resource they are after however is the ore found in the mountains... unfortunately it will be harder to get to, since the mountains are quite unsafe at the moment, but the fort is meant to be a base camp for any wishing to try their luck, or for those whom wish to help make the ranges safe... (yes there will be rewards for orc and goblin ears brought back) So, as someone mentioned being a smith, for now they will have to rely on shipments of ore from the south, but as the city progresses it will be easier and easier to get their hands on local ore...

also i wanted to state that if you disagree with any of the idea's i've stated please feel free to question me, or offer alternative ideas... I prefer realism over my plans, so if you think something just doesn't make sense please let me know!

03-12-2012, 05:16 PM
Just waiting to see your first journal entry so I can take that into account and then move forward!

Also, do the rivers have names?

Does the region have a name?

03-13-2012, 11:26 AM
You know, I don't have names at the moment... like i said the mountain range is refered to as "The Cap of the World" or just "The Cap"... as for the rivers.. There are 2, the left branch is part of the main river, and is called the "Vilenna" river, and the branch to the right going into the mt is the "Weilmis"... Not entirely fixed on those names, if you have and suggestions let me know.. as for the realm, I got nothing, any suggestions for that? I'd like something a bit frontiery.. you know, like Northland, Hinterland, etc... The fort is fort Jyassik, named after the expedition leader lost when they were attacked exploring the area.

Journal entry will come soon

03-13-2012, 02:16 PM
Ok, so, here's the first post... I'm going to ask that your posts be placed inside quote tags to make them easier to spot... also adding the character's name who's speaking... I'll try to keep a list of the players so we can remember names and such. Right now, in this post, i've identified several people, whom I'll list here with brief descriptions.

Fyrdrick - Captain of the guard, in charge of the safety of the outpost
Baxis - One of the recruits, a young man... confident, inexperienced, a fairly good scout.
Thane - A recruit, older than Baxis, generally a jerk to deal with
Havlair - Head of the mining guild, stationed in the south, set up the creation of this outpost, offering land and rights to those who are willing to relocate to the outpost.
Therris - Eldest son of the Winterdale family, one of the frontier familes in the area (the one to the left of the city). Therris and his family are all redheads.

Fyrdrick- Captain of the Guard

Today we set the final log in place, the final plank in fort Jyassik's doorway. It's for the best, for I can tell many of the men are anxious to be on their way; life out here isn't for everyone. Baxis took the first watch, taking position on the roof... practically taking the rungs in two strides getting up there. He's barely past his boyhood years, but he's a capable soldier. Thane however is another story. He goes out of his way to cause trouble, as if he resents being posted here. Still, they both do their duty, which is all I ask in the end.

The caravan should arrive any day with some much needed supplies, but it will leave with the majority of the guild workers; I'm still unsure if any of them have chosen to stay. Havlair promised his decrees would bring settlers here... but we won't know how our outpost will fare until it arrives. He also informed me that a merchant will be arriving with the caravan to set up a permanent trade post here. He'll sell general goods, but knowing the guild he'll be stocked with prospector gear and little else... It's not wise to expect much else from guild members than to try to make money.

Yesterday Baxis came across the first signs of goblins while scouting to the north. Along the river he found one of the devils bodies, gutted by a boar. So far we've been lucky and they've yet to get the courage to come much closer... I don't think our current company has much experience in combat, and I don't feel like sharing my bunk with a dozen guild workers in the fort.

One of the woodsmen stopped by today, his name was Therris. He's been supplying us with food from his family's crops. He seems respectable, but is tough as nails, like the rest of his family. You'd have to be to make it out here... We could use more like him at the outpost, how I've thought of recruiting him and sending Thane packing!

Our next task will be working on further fortifying the landscape around the outpost, progress will be much slower then with the guild's workers but we'll do what we can.

03-13-2012, 08:13 PM
Adam Citrine - Journeymen Smith - Tall, broad, blonde hair, full blonde beard - Friendly, honest

It hasn't been long since I was promoted to Journeymen and started looking
for a place to setup my own workshop. I wanted somewhere that I would be
the only smith because the newest Journeymen always has to have the lowest
prices around to get work.

I thought I had the perfect idea, free land, a new trade post near The Cap,
and I had heard there were rumors of new metal deposits so a smith would be

Arriving at this little backwoods place was another matter. They don't even
have a well!!

I was going to setup right by the fort but a smith needs better access to
water to do his work. I need several different mixes of water and salt to
perform proper quenching and I don't want to have to carry it that far.

I decided to set up closer to the river fork. I don't know how long it'll
take for me to build the smity but I brought my own cart to haul supplies
and I can sleep under that for a time if I have too.

Adam C

David Corsalini
03-14-2012, 08:00 AM
Marcus Kvarn, 1,82m, brown short hair, 90kg, ambitious -hunter
Damriel Kvarn, 1,75m, light brown long hair, 60kg, quiet -hunter

Marcus' Diary, Page 1
Ahhh... The Cap! I've always heard about The Cap but that's the first time i can actually see it on the horizon.
We should be one, maybe two days from Fort Jyassik. For now it's me and my little brother Damriel. I was thinking to bring our older sister, Carol, with us and I'm still in doubt if I was wrong to leave her behind. Maybe... no... MAYBE, I'll send her a message to come up here if our plan goes right.
Our plan... well, our plan is pretty simple, we want to get out of our dad's way! He's not that bad as a parent, but we don't want to live under his shadow for the rest of our life! He was and, actually, he still is a great hunter and he even started a company of hunters. So in our town we're known only because we're his sons.
One month ago one of Damriel's friend told him about this fort, I think that one of his relatives has been working on the construction site since the beginning.
So me and Damriel went crazy about the idea of starting our own hunting crew up here. We're not yet set on the name, but that has to come later, now we have to let those people know that we're the dudes to search if they need a mine cleaned up or if they want an orc's head hanging over their fireplace.
Looking to the future I can imagine an head office with a shop near the Fort, managed by Carol, and a bigger crew, for bigger prey.
Looking at the present... how bloody cold is up here? I think these first days inside the tent will be particularly hard, but we can adapt pretty fast. We have to find a warm place to stay in a few days, cause like my dad says "only an hunter is good healt can be a good hunter".
I hope our gear will do the work. Damriel is been saying that he want to become a master with his bow, I think I'll have to craft a better one for him. I'll stick to my short swords, I like them light and fast. I'm sure there will be at least one weaponsmith and maybe, if we're lucky, someone who can craft armor from pelt and bones (note to self: search for this kind of guy and hire him for the shop).
Fellow diary, that's the first page for you and I hope that the days to come will be the first pages of a new life for me. Goodnight.

03-14-2012, 10:01 AM
Great Great.. i originally meant to put the name of the writer in the quote tags "=[name]" bit.. but the auto text makes it look bad.. I like your idea better of just putting the name at the top.

don't feel you need to post every single journal entry for every single day here, think of this project as if you were a historian, searching through the thousands of journals, records, and such of everyone that had to do with the city at some point... you'll be picking out the select ones that pertain to the cities description, important events and history... writing the entire journal cover-to-cover is far to much work, and while it's something you are welcome to do, many entries in a persons diary won't have much relevant information for the city itself... Also we're looking for insights into the city and its history... so it is even likely that there will be incomplete entries.. or single entries from one person that is never mentioned again... keep the picture of a History Channel special about the city in your head.. one of those ones where they get people to read the journal entry out in character... I'll try to fill in any gaps, and if you have any questions feel free to ask... but in essence I'm happy with you taking creative license... I'd just like content... I want to be able to look into the most popular inn in the city, and doing a bit of research find out that there was a fire at one point that burnt down the entire left wing, and that it had to be rebuilt... this time in stone... or, like we've already discovered... the smithy was located where it is because there was no adiquate water source when he first arrived... little details that make a city feel less planned and more.. grown.

Also, I'd like to state that this isn't a traditional roleplaying idea, so your not expected to post something and wait for my express reply as to what the results will be... I'm going to try to inform you of the people and resources available to you, and important events along the way, but you are free to come to your own conclusions in many aspects... for instance, if you are looking for a tanner, you are welcome to say there is one arriving in the caravan you came with... this isn't going to be a huge migration, we're looking at probably the most... 20 people... this isn't even considered a city yet, so in many cases families won't be arriving, but just the men, looking for work.. doing a job... There are no houses, there are no facilities.. there is a fort, and really, your not so much allowed to go in there unless there is an emergency.

When you arrive there will be a lot of chaos, but Fyrdrick and the Guild's representative Liam (yes I just created him now) will begin designating jobs for people to do (not necissarily to your strengths)... for instance, right now, the task will be to build permanent shelters, facilities and the like... so.. Marcus and Damriel might be arriving expecting a bustling little city, but in fact are going to find a fort and some tents... They will be welcomed warmly enough, but any thoughts of hunting are going to go out the window as they will be recruited to begin building a few small "boarding" houses, which will be shared housing for all of the folk arriving.

03-14-2012, 10:44 AM
Guild Log, Liam Napper

The caravan arrived today; with 10 of our workers to relieve those who are on their way home... There aren't a great number of other migrants, but I think we'll be able to manage with what we've got.

It's worth noting that we've obtained a smith, I'm assuming he wanted to beat the competition here... I don't care much for why, I'm just glad he's here. The ground has proved to be quite rocky, wearing out our shovels quite quickly... and this hard word could be cut much faster when the axes can be frequently sharpened... I met with the smith earlier today; we went searching for a site for his smithy. It seems he'll need a continuous supply of water, so we situated him in a prime location right by the river. The smith will need to be build at least partially in stone, which takes time... so I've assiged 2 of our workers to help get him up and running as soon as we can.

The other arrival the guild has arranged is of our cook, Aspen Darkfire. Her beauty is something to behold, she carries herself as strong, yet delicate... I've already witness two of the men making lewd advances toward her... Let's just say they will be nursing their wounds for a fortnight. She's looking to set up a small tavern to help feel our men, so I've given her the use of another 5 of our men.

The rest, guild-members and migrants alike will be working to build 3 long houses, a long structure of bunks to house everyone in relative comfort. I've made an agreement with the Winterdales, Greensmiths, and Wardens to deliver regular shipments of their extra food stores. The Greensmiths have already expressed an interest in expanding their crops to provide a more permanent solution for the outpost.

For the next couple of days we have all 20 workers while the caravan drivers restocks and rest... I'm putting them to good use on building our shelters... I'm getting tired of sleeping in a damp tent.

03-14-2012, 10:38 PM
Adam Citrine's Personal Journal

The smithy is almost complete. The men that Mister Liam asked to help me
have done a lot. I have a flagstone floor and a large open area for the
forge and to work. I also have a room that I can use as a shop and a back
room of my own. It's even bigger then Master Yorn's smithy!! We even have
a couple stalls for horses so they have somewhere to stay if I've got more
then one to shoe.

The only problem so far, no roof. It seems the Winterdale's have suppled
thatch for some of the other buildings but I don't think Therris and his kin like
the way Fiona Winterdale was looking at me... Or the way I was looking
at her!

Anyway, they wont even sell me some left over hay so I've been thinking of
other roofing options and found some bright red clay up the river a ways. I brought
some back to the forge and it makes some decent shingles. I've already
finished enough to roof half the smithy.

03-15-2012, 12:29 AM
Runaway Apprentice Cooper - John "Little Johnny" Apples

I've been here a couple weeks now and it's all work all the time. I need
some fun. Why'd I leave being a 'printice and come out here if I'm just
going to be stuck in a bunk with some other stinking runaways and
worthless bastards..

You know what this place needs, brandy. Lots of brandy. Fresh water's all
well and good but a man needs a drink now and again.

No barrels though.

I swore I'd never make another barrel but if I can get some space and my own
roof out of it I could make some barrels from the left over lumber. I'm
sure I remember my Da's Apple Brandy recipe...

Maybe I can set up down by the Smithy, I'll need bands for my barrels and
I'm sure he'll be a big customer, a guy that size!

03-15-2012, 03:06 AM
:) nice work!

I've come upon a realization that may... well confuse things a bit... thought of this as I thought of how long a stone smithy would take to build, compared to a large wooden shack... The issue is this... that it will be hard to keep us all posting in chronological order... someone might be writing a post detailing something that happened before the smithy was complete for instance... in which case that post will end up after them in the thread, but before them chronologically... hmm.. any suggestions on how to handle that?

03-15-2012, 04:22 PM
I figured you'd be taking care of sorting the items once you started work on the actual maps.

Optionally, if I had any idea how long that would take... which I don't... I could go back and add dates to the entries.

03-15-2012, 09:45 PM
Baxis - Younger Guardsmen

I was on watch today and I saw my first live goblin. It was in the woods north of the fort.
I talked to the Capitan about it and he said we need to clear the trees back further. The
more clear land between us and the trees the more warning we will have if the goblins
decide to try something.

Maybe we could use some of the trees we clear to make a palisade. The Capitan would
have to approve that. I could suggest it.

03-16-2012, 01:48 AM
Jehan Maras - Merchant

Letter from Jehan Maras to his brother Guimar

My dear brother,

I regret to inform you that I have not met an untimely death at the hands of brigands, plunged into a raging torrent and been battered to death upon the rocks, or fallen prey to one of these wild animals one hears so much about. I have likewise failed to succumb to any disease, parasite, or cowardly impulse to flee to the comforts of home. Discomforts I have endured but they would make for a dull tale indeed and so I shall not bore you with a detailed account of the perils of road. Indeed, I saw only one inept bandit the whole time we journey north and though I fancy I heard a wolf or two howling in the distance, I saw nothing of these beasts. I was, as you may imagine, somewhat disappointed. I thought this was supposed to be the wild north, not some lord’s game-park. Several score of unpleasant blisters, the product of an ill-fitting saddle and even worse fitting boots, are my chief complaints at present.

I seem to recall that both the saddle and the boots were gifts from you, dear brother. Were you hoping I would perish of some species of blood poisoning along the road? If so, I believe I’ve foiled you rather neatly, don’t you think?

I believe we may now dispense with the pleasantries and turn to business which, I am gratified to say, looks to be more promising that we had anticipated. The trees which infest these northern wastes are massive things, tall and straight as arrows and wide enough that fully seven men might stand abreast upon the stump of a single tree and still have room to spare. I have seen just such a sight only yesterday. Believe me brother, the potential value of these trees is nothing short of staggering.

And while I am daily surrounded by this vegetable profligacy I cannot claim to have yet become jaded to the sight of these towering giants. You’ll not believe me of course, but if you could see these trees, especially see them growing in their endless forests, I swear that you too would walk about in a perpetual state of astonished wonder. Nevertheless, I shall restrain any wild romantical notions about this pristine wilderness, I am not here for exploration nor to satisfy my curiosity about the remoter parts of the world as you have so often reminded me, and will instead set about engaging workmen to fell these trees and send them with all speed down-river.

Lem wishes you well and I thank you for the loan of him on this expedition. I would not have made it this far in one piece without his sagacious council and practical good sense in matters of rough living and . He has located a site for our temporary dwelling, a small hillock near one of the tributary streams which should serve us well enough until a more permanent domicile can be contemplated.

We are within sight of the fort here upon our wee hill, the only sign of civilization this region can boast for the present. The garrison here is very small but apparently quite industrious. They go about their martial duties, Lem informs me they appear to be building bunkhouses and similar structures, with seeming competence. This should cheer me I suppose, but it does not. I do not like that there are so few soldiers here, especially so far from any aid. Furthermore, I suspect their captain, at least I believe it is their captain, has designs of depriving me of Lem’s services.

Your pardon brother, some official or other from the fort would have speech with me. I will continue when I have dealt with him.

Well, this is pretty mess. Lem and I have both been press-ganged into assisting the construction of these aforementioned bunkhouses. I tried to protest, tried to make him understand that I was a merchant engaged in timber prospecting, that I had no practical experience in matters of construction, that I would be a hindrance rather than an aid, that I would probably break some poor soul’s thumb with an ill-directed hammer blow, but he would not listen. If he required my assistance, perhaps I might be of more use in taking inventory of supplies and considering the thorny problems of logistics in so remote a place? No to that as well. It was build or nothing, so build I did.

No broken thumbs today thankfully, but my hands do grow tired from so much unexpected rough work. I will write again when I have more news to report and more of my wits about me.

My affectionate greetings to Elysant and to the children and my wishes of prosperity.

I remain, you somewhat bewildered and exhausted brother,



I hope this is acceptable having Jehan conscripted into the building of the housing like this.

03-16-2012, 04:23 AM
well.. that was in fact pretty great... A logger eh? I was indeed thinking of just such a thing, running the logs down river... I think as far as a map, I will begin by addressing the locations of the buildings I have specified, and then let you choose your locations (you can take my image and draw your own building footprint and extras, or just tell me the location and i'll draw it...

03-16-2012, 04:28 AM
I figured you'd be taking care of sorting the items once you started work on the actual maps.

Optionally, if I had any idea how long that would take... which I don't... I could go back and add dates to the entries.

I'd figure it'd be a good 2-3 weeks... collecting and placing those stones would be no easy feat.. its like making a puzzle, but it must be correctly leveled before it's placed.. then all the wood work.. and well, clay shingles would be quite the task too, although it'd be something else you can produce, tho it would be faster and the results better with a real kiln i would assume.

the order of things isn't extremely important, but helps us know when things happen... i think at some point posting a main thread or a doc or something that just displays all the posts in order would be all we need.. maybe a shared google doc? i dunno.

03-16-2012, 04:39 PM
I'd figure it'd be a good 2-3 weeks... collecting and placing those stones would be no easy feat.. its like making a puzzle, but it must be correctly leveled before it's placed.. then all the wood work.. and well, clay shingles would be quite the task too, although it'd be something else you can produce, tho it would be faster and the results better with a real kiln i would assume.

the order of things isn't extremely important, but helps us know when things happen... i think at some point posting a main thread or a doc or something that just displays all the posts in order would be all we need.. maybe a shared google doc? i dunno.

Yeah, I figure a decent house would take around 3 weeks. Something that was actual built to be a permanent structure anyway.

As far as cooking clay, it would only take a few days to make a batch. You can do it with just direct sunlight but that would take a while and produces something more like adobe then brick. All you really need is a good mold and that is easy enough to create. Scoop the clay infused mud into the mold, smooth it flat with a spade or even a knife, leave somewhere hot where it will dry, then cook it in the forge or kiln (can be skipped for weaker bricks/shingles). A blacksmiths forge could easily provide the needed 900 degrees. In fact a blacksmiths forge would produce temperatures much higher but a good smith could easily regulate the temperature of his forge.

I'm going to wait a bit to post anything else about the smith and attempt to come up with additional characters. Let other people catch up, maybe see some more core posts from you.

03-17-2012, 02:13 AM
sounds good, i'm a bit behind this weekend cause i'm busy renovating my basement... but come sat night or sunday i hope to have time to get a map up so you can choose locations.

03-21-2012, 09:12 AM
My wife's been away for a couple of weeks so things round here have turned into a "holy crap there is 3 weeks of man-clutter I need to get rid of" along with the fact that I had her brother and a friend of his over on the weekend to do the electrical in our basement.. so much cleaning.. hopefully i'll get something done soon.. maybe i'll do a quick one up, nothing visually special, but defining topography and such enough so you can get a feel for the area.

03-22-2012, 12:08 AM
I'm kind of waiting for time to pass I guess. I mean... to see if anyone else wants to post in a specific time frame.

I think we need a regular 'state of the village/town/whatever' post from the Capitan to symbolize that a particular time period is over.

03-22-2012, 02:38 PM
yeah, no hurry. I'm still trying to get a decent map of the area up.. i'm thinking of using GP's style from his Asian-style campaign maps i just saw.. absically, top-downish, with outlines of buildings etc... biggest think i'm having issues getting right is a bit of texture of the landscape... i need to be able to illustrate a few hills and such (for instance where the fort is located), and this is something i've never tried to do in gimp so far.. i'm getting there, but not quite finished yet (i don't have my tablet here. which would make things much easier...)

I'm thinking of importing the image to a google document image, and then sharing it out.. so you guys can mark out plots for buildings your looking to build.. so we can see the exact locations. does that sound like a good idea?

03-22-2012, 04:14 PM
Sounds like a mess, I can take whatever you post and just draw a little X on it and re-post it easy enough. The google document images are a real pain to work with in my experience.

03-22-2012, 05:22 PM
I'm thinking I'm going to do a bard or a cartographer post soon. And I'm thinking about a mason scouting a new quarry for a mason's guild.

What is the religion like? Maybe a priest or cleric thinking to set up a new church.

03-22-2012, 07:51 PM
as for religion, if you've seen any of "Avatar: the Last Airbender" cartoon series (not quite anime in my opinion, but still great) thats basically what i'm looking at... kind of a shinto-y type of religion based on the elements.. there is a spirit world, good and evil, and the 4 elements...

The other thing i think should be mentioned is that is isn't even considered a city yet... so it's inhabitants are pretty rough folk... It's obvious this is meant to become at least a small city, so a smith, lumber yard, outfitter makes sense... but a dunno, a cartographer would probably be a bit early... A post BY a cartographer would be great, but it's kind of a "rich" profession, so while I could totally see someone sending out a cartographer to map the area for the rich guild elites... he wouldn't be setting up shop... he would be there to basically survey, and move on... obviously i don't want to step on your toes, and i don't really know if that was the kind of post you were thinking of, so if it was, my bad.

03-22-2012, 10:03 PM
Yeah, I was just thinking one BY a cartographer. Once we have a map and some more things going on, basically it would be his survey notes. I thought that would be cool. Like a one off.

Also, as far as the bard I was thinking one off there too. Traveling minstrel writes something about what he saw passing through.


Might write the Bard's entry as a poem or a song :D

03-23-2012, 10:51 AM

Ok, so this is a pretty bad attempt at a map, but i wated something up so we can continue on the process.. (i'm still very much learning GIMP.. it's kinda tricky to pick up.. but i'm getting there)... I've done the general area for the city, along with the rivers, trail used to get to the city, the fort location and the location of the bunk houses.. so.. if you would be so kind as to mark out an area on the map where you wish to build things can get a bit more concrete.. building footprints and not just an x would be great as well.. just to get the shape together... topography isn't 100%, but i wanted to show that the fort is on a hill.. it looks out of place as is.. maybe i'll kinda remove the kill portions.. i dunno we'll see..

I am aware its bad quality as well.. again i was just trying to get SOMETHING out.

03-23-2012, 11:32 PM
What's the approximate scale on this map? That should help with placing structures and all that. Also, how much time will have passed? Days, weeks, months, years?

03-26-2012, 10:34 AM
well there's a problem.. the scale looks a bit off for the buildings and such... since i'm looking for the river to be wide enough for logging... which looks at examples would probably be at least 100ft... the bunk houses are meant to be about 18x24... with my calculations meaning they can hold about 16 people each.. they are just bunks.. no bathrooms, kitchens, etc... so that means they are kinda off as far as size.. I think i might go with my original idea and try for a vector image.. that way zooming in and out is a lot easier in this map and i can keep things scaled correctly.. the general layout will be similar tho, however the buildings will be smaller.. i'll just trace the rivers/trees...

Here's a new copy in illustrator, the svg is done 1ft:1px to make things simple (the image has been resized).. I'll also attach the svg


As for time.. thats going to be difficult, like i mentioned before... I think my plan is to create a post at the beginning of the thread identifying the posts to date, in a timeline order... and then you can place your posts where you want... To keep it fair, with things "growing" instead of being defined, I would like us to keep posts falling within the near future, to the past... This way, we can slide things in we want to flesh out more or create something new... but we're not jumping 50 years in the future and describing the city so everyone else has to follow suit up to that point... right now we're looking at about the time the bunkhouses get finished... which is around a month or 2 since the fort has been finished.

Also, I can't stress enough that I am trying to define a process that works fairly well.. so if you have a suggesting as to how things could go smoother or be easier to manage please bring it up! I'd love to be able to quickly set up this idea for other cities and areas, etc.

03-28-2012, 03:20 PM
I tried to stick to your scale but I could be way off, but if an 18 person bunk house is that big then a two room smithy with a stables would be smaller, I think? I don't really know tbh.

marked out a spot for the smithy and the brewery in the posts I've made so far. The larger building is the smithy. The brown is for a fenced yard.

03-28-2012, 03:21 PM

Oops, forgot to attach it.

03-29-2012, 06:15 AM
wow...this sounds like an awesome project. I was going to go to bed but got caught up in this, heh.

One question...where is everyone coming from? There's been mention of runaways and such but I was curious about the origins. Are people leaving for the 'promised land'? Escaping financial hardship in the hope of a better future? Escaping governmental/social restrictions? All of the above? Large-scale exoduses, such as the pilgrims, were to get where religious persecutions would not apply, or for some promise of hope...like the Gold Rush or settlers on the Oregon Trail. I bring this up because knowing the mind-set of where we'd come from would influence how we interact with the world...and said elves and dwarves.

Of course, I could be over-thinking this :D

Here's my entry:

Anya Vanyer, apothecary/physicker, age 26


Dearest Sister, I have arrived at my new home. It is both an exciting and terrifying place. When I recall riding 'to the country' to attend to a wound or an illness, I laugh at myself. Truly...there is nothing here but country and wilderness. I can't say I've ever been so far from a town, village or city. It is...vast. So much so, I'm heartily glad I brought as much equipment as I did, as there is none to be found here. And it will be a long while before I could receive more.

I'm torn between fear of the knowledge that I am far outside my experiences and excitement in wanting to explore the area. Ah, the plants, Tatya...so many I have never seen. I've poured over my herbal lore and while there are quite a few that will be very useful, there are dozens more I will have to research. I can only hope I will be of help. They have precious few people with more than basic physicking. If I'm to be of any use, I must set up preparations as soon as possible.

There are a few places where I believe the seedlings will prosper. I can only plant a portion...should they falter I'll have to find some other location. The soil here is quite different in ways I've yet to determine and I cannot afford to lose all of them. The distilling equipment largely came through, though you should have heard the grumblings about the number of crates. Well, they were well-paid and when fevers strike, or if anyone is wounded, they might sing a different tune.

As I was saying...about half the equipment survived the trek, which is better than I hoped. If all goes well, I will have a respectable lot of tinctures, salves, potions and whatnot to lay in for the winter. I have to stop...you know I would ramble all day and I know you don't have a jot of interest in my craft.

But, you do know people. These here are quite outside of what we are used to. They are not the lords the live comfortably, nor are they the masses I've often treated. They are quite...what is the word? Resilient. Resourceful. With a hard practicality that I suspect might be brutal, at times. Unlike Lord Horesy, I think that if I said I could not help, it just might be acknowledged, if not accepted. No whining or sending for the guards in a fit of pique. And that just makes me want to work harder. And everyone works very hard, here.

Ah, my parchment is almost full. I daresay I am Romanticizing a bit. But, for now I am content and hopeful. I will try to write again, soon. And I hope to hear from you, for I do miss you all sorely, especially during these so-quiet nights.

03-29-2012, 12:09 PM

as an answer to your question, people are basically coming from the highly populated southern lands... There's nothing wrong with the area, but.. like say, the UK.. there is very little "wilderness"... cities and farms... good lumber in the city is scarce and highly priced, so forrays to the north are becoming common... the north has it's fare share of trees, bigger than any you've probably seen in your lifetime, since forests in the south have probably been entirely cut and regrown a few times already. Causes for a commoner to head north is partly due to the rumours of riches, the need for adventure, escaping the law, or just a need to be out of civilized land... it's common especially for such a small outpost for now, for men to head up and work without their families, bringing them in when they have built a house for them, etc.

The main cause of skilled trade persons like Anya would be one of 2 reasons... money.. as for the guild, or the lumber tycoon also being posted... or, really.. being payed for by one of those factions.. the mining guild has a vested interest in the area, so i would think that you would have been "hired" to head to the outpost and offer your services... probably the mining guild made an agreement with the herbalist guild or whatever, offering to pay for regular supplies and such in return for you treating men under their contracts for free... any others are up to you, and the herbalist guild is asking that you explore the fauna of the area, sending your findings back south.. so basically, you have kind of a field researching professor type role in the area.. the guild will go out of their way to set you up.. upon your arrival (probably after these last couple of months, in another smaller caravan) they will begin to set up another building specifically for you if you wish you can choose the location... they'll probably try to keep you as close to the city as possible, but are aware you need to be somewhere with enough room to plant and grow herbs and the like.

As for the locale, it will be resemblant of northern canada... bedrock is quite close to the surface, many areas with 1 ft or less topsoil, so farming areas will be quite limited... as you said there is a lot of plant growth and such you probably do not have in the south... and everything basically grows larger here than in the south.

03-29-2012, 12:42 PM
This will be an older post, if current "time" is about 2 months from finishing the fort, this post will be probably a month in... Since then, the bunkhouses will have been built, and a second caravan has arrived with supplies, tools, and more immegrants. Along with those is also 2 more soldiers, Finneas and Wilmont. I'l probably post another post with a bit more recent info. The map will also be update sortly

Fyrdrick- Captain of the Guard:

Disaster struck us today. We lost one of our laborers Tam Donnrel, to a surprise ambush from orcs.

Baxis had seen signs of the tusked filth in the area for the past fortnight... They had been so common that I limited the forays into the forests for lumber to groups of 4, requiring either myself, Braxis or Thane to accompany them. For this particular day, Thane, Tam, and the others had headed farther north than normal, in search for a particularly large and straight log for the rafters of one of the bunk houses. Tam was ambushed while he relieved himself, taking a club to the back of the skull... thankfully a quick death. Thane chased them off, sticking an arrow in one of the orcs legs. They pulled Tam back to the city, but there was nothing to be done, his skull had been crushed.

Thane's usefulness had been in question up until now, for he has taken the death on his watch quite seriously. He's quite the tracker, and an even better archer... He's returned with what he's claimed the scalps of the 2 orcs responsible for the attack, as well as another orc scalp, along with 3 goblin ears. I'm worried he'll end up dying out there by himself, so I've recruited him for a much more important task, erecting defenses for us, and building a watch tower close to the forest itself, to give us some warning if we come under attack.

For now I have the men harvesting lumber from the other side of the river. Jehan Maras, a merchant from the south has erected a lumber "shoot", used to catch logs travelling down river. We're making good progress with lumber, no longer requiring the men to drag each log back to town individually.

As for Tam he's been buried out of down, on the east shore of the Weilmis. I had our carpenter Derry fashion a marker for him. I've also sent a letter to his family, with assurances Tam's wages will be sent to them in the future.

03-29-2012, 01:44 PM
Heres an update.. I've marked out where lumber is now being harvested from, and an area designated for the lumber yard. Also the first roadway forming due to common paths run.

03-30-2012, 12:09 AM
"Little Johnny" Apples

I'm not to good at counting days but near as I can figure I've been here about 2 months now. I got some barrels made and found a huge patch of strawberries in the woods up north a ways. We aren't supposed to go out there alone but I can't have everyone finding my berries?

I got 6 barrels of the strawberries going an I got one of those red headed farmers to sell me enough apples for 6 barrels of that. Once they were well on their way I started working on a house.

I've got it started right next to the smith's palce. He is a good fellow and is always lending a hand with this or that and so when it started raining last week he said I could shelter under his roof.

It's been raining so much that I haven't gotten much done on my new house but the brandy is done. Well, it's really just a strong wine, but the smith said he could make me a still... anyway, the BREW is ready.

I went to roll the first barrel up to the barraks and I almost fell down the hill because of the mud!

I talked to the Captian about it and if we put down some logs along the path and get them good and stuck in the mud then we will have traction along the road without having to haul flagstone for weeks.

P.S. The strawberry is good but the apple is REALLY good.

03-30-2012, 12:39 AM
By an astonishing coincidence your placing of the lumber yard is exactly where I was thinking of placing Jehan's operation. And speaking thereof, would a dock or two be in order?

I'll try and get another entry written tomorrow concerning lumber operations and Jehan's reaction to the raid.

03-30-2012, 09:33 AM
Hmm, lost my post..

But yeah.. Sular, feel free to state something like "I told the captain not to cut trees from there".. and that now, after the attack, he's allowing your team to control of a few of the men, and your allowed to cut tree's all you want as long as you supply the city with a decent ammount... If you wish any of this to be moved around feel free, I just wanted to try to illustrate my idea.

The "shoot" is just a floating contraption which catches the logs and holds them till they can be pulled out, or gathered into a big enough group to be run down river... I think it'd be cool to get an old-school river running log operation going.. not something i've seen very often... Docks are great, tho they would probably be powered by oar, i don't think sails would be of much use in a smaller river... i could be wrong tho.. I could see some sort of barge system, or rafts, following the logs down stream.. the river does run, but it's not at any amazing rate... the smaller river (Weilmis) is faster however, and will give the logs a good push as they move on their way down stream.

03-30-2012, 09:49 AM
For a bit of context, I've made a list of the current players.. I don't think I've missed anyone...

Figures Back Home
Havlair, Mining Guild Leader

Therris, Eldest son of the Winterdales

City Figures
Fyrdrick, Captain of the Guard
Baxis, Guard (angellus00)
Thane, Guard, Archer
Liam Napper, Guild Liason

User Contributions
Adam Citrine, Smith
"Little Johnny" Apples, Brewer
Anya Vanyer, apothecary/physicker, age 26
Jehan Maras, Merchant - Lumber
Marcus Kvarn, Hunter - Swords
Damriel Kvarn, Hunter - Archer

9 Workers

Tam Donnrel, Worker - Ambushed by Orcs

03-30-2012, 03:45 PM
Irshe Dal Agaba, Turalian Master

journal date: ?.?.?

Passed through a settlement in the middle of nowhere on my way south. Looks like bog-nowhere, but it's humans and wait a few decades and I bet they'll be teeming like roaches. I doubt they'll have met the local Orkas yet, that'll be a treat for them when they do. Sooner or later the place is going to start crawling with rough-and-ready types, too many swords, too much flower wine, too little distractions. There'll be business for me then.

I thought I'd ask them if they have any recently deceased, since I need an animated li'l helper to lug my gear and books on to Aericsbier. Too bad the last zombie rotted away, I tried using twine for sinew, like the jungle priests of Ommramru do, but the vines here are only good for smoking. I'll be circumspect about it, maybe they'll trade a deader for a copy of Hibrecht's Pamfphlet of Usefull and Toxick Plantes off the Northe. Hell, I'll even let them keep the head if he's someone they were close to. All I need is a relatively composed pair of lags and arms. Mouth quite optional.

03-30-2012, 06:45 PM
If this isn't too presumptuous, I have a suggestion...

How about putting a loose time frame on some events? It doesn't have to be detailed, just a general idea of where we are in the compilation of letters.

For example:

Year One

Orcs begin forays around fort (current events)
Harsh Winter--heavy snows and unusually cold.
First contact with Elves (think pilgrims and Indians)
Flooding (early thaw of mountain winters)
Crops/Forest get and unusual blight
Spring--brings illness
Spring--brings new immigrants--unsavory sorts.
Summer harvest

Whatever you come up with, you can go back and edit it to show where we are, generally, in the time frame, and you can always add on for additional years. That might solve any questions about where we are and what we might be doing. You could put it on the first entry, so its easier for people to reference..?

Anya, herbalist and physicker

Dearest Sister,

I am sorry to hear that Lord Horesy has been troubling you. I beseech you, do not place your family in danger on my account. His wife was sorely ill and there was naught I could do. He had allowed Piota to treat her and his 'remedies' did nothing but worsen her condition. That he holds me responsible is upon my head. If you feel there is danger upon you, I give you leave to tell him where I am. If he were to take up the journey, which I seriously doubt, then I will face him. Perhaps running away was not the most prudent choice but, as you know, he is powerful enough to put me in gaol for the rest of my life.

My work here is going well, but not as well as I hoped. I had to spend a great deal of time hauling soil to make a garden suitable for plants. This is not the most ideal farmland, as shale and rock is rather close to the surface. I lost about half my seedlings but the rest are hardy enough to thrive. I'm hoping that the new garden will fare better.

We've has some trouble with the local 'wildlife'. Apparently some orcs have become curious and threatening; we lost a man while he was out in the forest. They ambushed him and he was killed instantly. I had no opportunity to help him. But, Captain Fyrdrick allowed me a brief examination. While he had a few injuries, it was a single blow that killed him. By the looks of it, these orcs possess a singular strength, which did not please the Captain. Perhaps they grow hardier up here? And, while there were other injuries, they weren't so many that the fight had gone on long. Does this mean they are as stealthy as they are strong? An unsettling thought, that.

I still forage to find more plants, but I keep my activities to mid-day. Everyone is taking care that we do not go out alone or too far a-field. I promise, I take no untoward risks!

Give my love to Tomas and little Bri. I do expect to hear more of how you are faring.

Your Devoted, Anya

04-02-2012, 01:01 AM
Letter from Jehan to Guimar


A good deal has occurred here since my last letter and I do not think I can do better than to set it all before you just as it happened. To inject my own views on these events might well cloud your own opinions so I shall save my reflections for the time being and try and be your faithful and disinterested chronicler.

For some few days Lem and I, along with what escort we could manage, had been prospecting among the trees looking for likely stands from which to take our initial harvest. With such an embarrassment of riches this was no great task and within a very short order we located some quite excellent trees. Proceeding from this first stand we mapped out a plan for the progress of the logging so that we can direct our limited resources more efficiently for the time being.

Harvesting has already begun though it is a slow process for the trees are massive and our tools, though of excellent make, are insufficient to deal with these behemoths. We can get by for the present but I intend to commision new tools from the blacksmith that happily resides in this lonely and barbarous place. With saws designed for these titanic trees I am confident that the harvesting will proceed at a much quicker pace.

Forgive me brother for I seemed to be unable to restrain myself from commentary. A weakness in my person no doubt. It cannot come as a great surprise to you that I should possess yet one more flaw in a character already composed entirely of defects. Nevertheless, I shall press on with my accounting and try and give you some sense of our operations and the obstacles we have encountered.

I speak of obstacles in the plural for it is not only the size of the trees that is troublous but the lack of workers, the extreme isolation (never a gambling den to be had, nor yet a wine shop, upon my sacred honor), and above all the general dangers that seem to present themselves in so wild and untamed a place as this.

For the present we lack the proper facilities to process the lumber in any but the crudest and most rudimentary of fashions. We are therefore doing little more than felling trees, dragging them down to the river, and collecting them behind a species of boom, there to be lashed together into rafts and so floated south towards civilization. Should this first flotilla of timber prove to be as profitable as I envision I must request, nay demand that a considerable moiety of these profits be put to work in expanding our operations here. I know you brother, and know too that you’d much prefer to use the profits to adorn the neck of some mistress of yours in fine and elegant pearls, but now is not the time for such extravagances.

And speaking both of obstacles and of profits, I come in a rather round-about way to an event which is sure to peak your interest and raise our asking price for this fine timber not a little bit. It would appear that these northern wastes are populated by at least one tribe of orcs. These pestilential people, perhaps considering that we were robbing them of the trees that they had thought there own, took it upon themselves to raid our wee settlement doing considerable damage and killing at least one of our soldiers. I was uninvolved in this little spat so all my information comes at second and third hand but I can plainly state that the raid has made people here wary watchful. Defenses are being contemplated even as we speak -- possibly some kind of wall would be in order -- and there is a general sense of vigilance here about. I applaud this spirit and will join in to the extent that my own skills and temperament allow.
To that end, brother, if you would be so good as to send my way any volumes on the history and practices of these orcs I would be very much obliged to you. It is a cardinal rule of warfare to know one’s enemy and I do not like it that we have little or no information on these raiders beyond the self-evident facts of their hostility and desire to cause us discomfort.

Do try and send me the books, even if they seem irrelevant, strange, or contradictory. In the meanwhile I shall see of there are any bodies available for study. I might as well put my expensive education to some useful end.

Fortune favor you brother,


04-02-2012, 09:42 AM
I don't know if it is too lat to chip in but, if it is, here goes ...

Sagabee, me auld shipmate,

Sitting and supping me pipe and fine ale, in the Merry Maiden, a good few moons gone, I chanced to overhear a traveller by name of Irshe Dal Agaba, or so I gathered. He made reference of a new pioneering group of folk up river. Quick thinking as I ever is, I says to meself, "Jordan me Man, they needs a brewhouse t' while away the cold nights and hard labour of the back .... an seein' as there be no temple to ease the soul I culd se to there thirst and occasional victuals."

So after ponderous thought I talked with our mates Doggo, we knews on the Billy Ruffian, 'im bein' a fine Bosuns Mate and finest brawler of the lower decks as to have slung 'is 'ammock in the Petty Officers Mess. We agrees a plan, see, and with our head an' sail prize money we gets t'gether a carts and dunkey and filled it brim with barrels o' small beers, and black strap and grog 'n' all. We chanced 'pon a comely skirt named Thelda, dirty hussy she be, whoes all in to our scheme as she 'as problems with the 'mother' she lives with. We's al set to make a 'stablishment for to men, but upon whenst me sister stepped off the mizzen yard she left me with her bairn. T' barnacle be of marriageable age, but wit' a face that'll sour cheese an' scare dogs. She can fix good victuals though, and knows all 'bout them conwenieces, like, sage, n pepper, n basil, n such. Has to takes her along, as I wouldne want a ghost more fearful than t' norm as to following me round. We should be able to set a nice table with victuals an' grog. The hussy will see to t' mens itches, n' keep me warm at night.

Iw rittings to you, me mate, as you owns the Pirates Plunder down river and we's could work out trade of grog an' the like. Yer regards, Jordan, Quartermaster of the ol' Ruffian

As a passing cloud, Doggo says to tells you to pull yur shrouds to the winds and if yer says Danny Fisk, our auld monkey (ships boy) to sends im our way as is dad were a brewer an the mite can turn his 'and to mead an' grog, if we gets the rite 'grediaents.

04-02-2012, 10:03 AM
galenty: I like the idea, I'll try to come up with a list of things tho there won't be any large scale attacks by orcs or the like, not for the first year anyways... but orcs, goblins and the like will be skulking about the north as well... ready to pick off any who aren't prepared for them... they aren't terribly brave at the moment, but thats not saying that in the future something might happen.

04-03-2012, 07:33 PM
Mining Guild Scout Expedition Leader - Allan Stetler

Week 1

Our team has spent several days in the mountains north of Fort Jyassik
looking for signs of ore or even gemstones and a site for the first mine.
We followed the river north and we haven't run into any of the filthy orcs
nor the smaller goblins yet.

We resupplied at Jyassik, though it still isn't more then a few buildings.
We saw signs that a general store was under way and the smithy was
well stocked with tools and even a few weapons ready to be sold.

I also bought a barrel of strong apple wine from that Little Apples fellow.
He said he would be distilling fine brandy by the time we got back from
this foray in three weeks, by then we hope to have found at least two
sites near enough to the river that we can use it to send ore back down
to Jyassik rather then having to carve a route overland.

I have eight mercenaries with us, two geologists, and a geographer who
will be updating the map for us. The Capitan in charge of the mercenaries
is confident that he will be able to deal with any goblins or orcs that we
come upon.

Week 2

We have started to spot signs of goblin activity, though we haven't seen
any goblins yet. I'm relieved that it's goblins and not orcs in this area,
the two rarely get along and the goblins might be sneakier but they also
aren't very strong.

We have moved into the foot of the mountains and the path along the
river has become somewhat treacherous. One of the houses slipped
and broke and leg and we had to put it down. We have redistributed
some of the supplies to the other horses and discarded some of our feed
for the horses since we have less mouths to split it among.

The geologists have taken several samples from the river and they tell
me that it is possible that we will find aquamarines and even emeralds
in the near future. If we find a vein that has emeralds I will get a large
bonus. I'll even pass some of it on to the others.

Week 3

We were attacked by goblins last night and lost three of the
mercenaries and one of the geologists. We are holed up in a cave
while three others are recovering from some serious wounds,
including Capitan Tommen.

We have rolled a large rock in front of the cave entrance where
Jon and Perry are taking turns keeping watch. It doesn't seal the
entrance completely but it helps us to hide.

Orend, our surviving geologist, found signs of aquamarine and
emeralds in this cave. It looks like our hiding spot is also just
what we came out here to look for. He said there is also a vein
of silver and could be a lot more. Once we get back and report
in they will send a full size team up the river, likely by barge, to
start setting up the mine.

Week 4

Captian Tommen died last night. It seems his wound was
infected and there was nothing we could do for him. We have
the other two on litters and we are trying to slowly make our
way back down river without attracting any attention from the

We are down to only one horse and have very little food left.
If we run out before we get back we have decided to butcher
the horse and eat it.

The geographer managed to finish a rough map, showing the
caves where we found the silver vein. I'm carrying it myself,
just to be on the safe side. It is starting to be hard to trust the
other members of the expedition, everyone is jumpy and
someone bolting at the wrong time could get us all killed.

Week 5

It's just me and Perry left. We managed to get away ridding
double on the horse. The others were taken by the goblins... I
think they were already eating them when we got away. We
are getting close to Fort Jyassik now and we should be back by
tomorrow. I hope we don't run in to anything else.

If we had a barge it would have only take a day or two to pole
down the river, with the current helping us. Hacking our way
through the forest and leaving a trail for the goblins to follow
right to us likely wasn't the best way to have gone about this.
I'm so glad we will be back to civilization soon and enjoying the
bunk houses at Fort Jyassik for a few days before heading back
south to make our report. I guess I only have to share the bonus
with Perry.

04-13-2012, 09:05 PM
is this dead?

04-14-2012, 04:39 AM
No, I don't think so. *prod. *poke. :)

04-19-2012, 09:27 AM
sorry i'm still here, just been really busy.. (cats got some medical issues so i end up spending all day taking care of the fluff ball)... but i will be back.. hopefully in a few days!

04-27-2012, 09:49 PM
Was hoping we might see an timeline moving post from our fearless leader :D

05-22-2012, 05:15 PM
Sad panda is sad.

06-10-2012, 02:48 AM
must... slog... on... give me a bit, i'll come up with something, i need to bring this back!

06-25-2012, 07:14 PM
Hey loogie, anything?