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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:49 am 
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"If at all possible, you could provide food," Felix says. He explains how the Terran people are starving after a long journey and need all the food they can get.

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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:32 am 
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Arkady waits for Felix to finish, then asks "Would you happen to have heard where any magical items might be found? We would be needing one for a healing spell."

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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:21 pm 
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"My village doesn't produce excess food," says the Count, "and certainly not in the quantities you're asking about, but I can write you a letter of introduction to some very trustworthy merchants, if you like."

Arkady's request, however, gets a very large smile from the Count. "I do believe I may be able to help you with that!" says the Count. "I am somewhat of a scholar, and I've been collecting tales and legends from miles around, building up a chronicle of oral history. Mind you, much of it is likely no more than firelight tales, but perhaps there is a grain of truth in one or more of the tales I have recorded?"

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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:13 pm 
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Arkady grins. "Our own story is being strange enough, but there is still some truth to it. What can you tell us, then?"

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:16 am 
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"If I went through all the tales and rumours of magic I have recorded, we'd be here six months or more. I could give you a random selection, or, if there's anything particular that you might be looking for, I could look that up? I've indexed my notes by region..."

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:31 am 
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Arkady shrugs and looks around at the others. "The only item I know of is the Blue Rose, and it is sounding insane to even look for the rings you need to pick it up. Around here or the Fangorn Forest, perhaps?"

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:31 pm 
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"Fangorn Forest? I did hear something about that area, and recently, too, at that... come along. My notes are all in my study, I shall have to consult them."

"The Blue Rose was part of the Thalesian crown jewels, before it went missing," says Sir Ulath, as the group follows the Count towards his study. "I believe it was lost during the last Zemoch war, around five hundred years ago, but I'm not sure of the details..."

--------------

In the study, the Count looks over his journal for a few minutes to refresh his memory. "Ah, here it is," he says. "And you're in luck, this is probably one of the most credible rumours in my collection. You might recall a sudden earthquake, a few weeks back? We felt some of the tremors even as far as out here, though it didn't do much else than wake me abruptly in the night. It seems that the peasants of the area are convinced that this was caused by a city, amazingly enough, that was raised out of nothing in the space of a single night. Now, normally, I wouldn't give any credit to a rumour this bizarre, but I heard nearly the exact same story from several villages, some of whom claim to have even traded with the inhabitants of this mysteriously appearing city, a group of people known as the 'Terrans' for some obscure reason. It seems that they traded a plough made of some metal that - so it is claimed - never rusts for a large cart and enough food to fill it. I'm not sure what really happened the night of the earthquake, but every explanation I can think of is more fantastical than the last - I think there's a very good chance that there's a magical explanation of some kind behind these rumours."

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:53 pm 
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"Not an ounce of magic to be had there, I'm afraid," Felix says somberly. "Got any other leads for that area?"

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Arkady shrugs. "We were there recently. There is a settlement, it is strange, and there is a Styric scholar investigating; but it is not magical."

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:20 pm 
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"The Styrics are known to associate with magic a lot more than us Elenes," says the Count. "The only thing more well-known about the Styric race is their general reluctance to share that knowledge, though, ah -" He glances in the direction of the tower that holds his sister. "Considering how some Elenes use that sort of thing, I can't really say I blame the Styrics for their caution. No, let me see... hmmm. There's the usual baseless rumours, people complaining about their crops being cursed or their pigs stolen - frankly, when pigs vanish of a night I very much doubt that the explanation is magical in nature - and there's a pair of travelling salesmen been seen in the area, claiming to sell magic. Nothing else credible in Fangorn's recent history, I'm afraid. As for around here, well -" He glances towards his sister's tower again. "Unfortunately, you've already met the major cause for rumours and legends of magic in this town."

"Looking further afield, then... let's see, most credible, most credible... there are persistent rumours that the Pelosian horse-lords use some form of magic to control their horses. Personally, I imagine it's mostly training, but you never know, there might be something in it. There are always rumours that there might still be a dragon somewhere on the continent, though I must say that if there is one, he's doing an admirable job of staying hidden. It is said that any magical items found by the Church are locked in a top-secret vault below the Free City of Chyrellos, where the best minds in the Clergy try to divine their secrets, either to protect the faithful or to destroy the Zemochs or both, depending on which rumours one listens to. Graveyards also tend to attract rumours of necromancy or ghosts, though there have been more than usual of that sort of rumour around the crypt below the cathedral in the capital city of Cimmura lately, for some reason. Styric villages in general always attract rumours of being full of terribly powerful wizards, but they never stay in one place long enough to be mapped. There's a persistent story about something howling and screaming in the night around the area of Lake Venne, though that's more likely someone taking advantage of credulous peasants than anything else. And then, of course, if you go truly far afield and sail around Zemoch, you will find the Tamul Empire on the far side; contact with them is sparse, and in the lack of contact there are all sorts of rumours about the magic one might find there."

"Do any of these sound like something you'd like me to go into further detail about?"

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:31 pm 
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Arkady studies the ceiling for a second. "The cathedral in the capital city, you say?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:30 am 
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"Yes, that would be in, hmmmm, here we go." He flips through one of his journals. "That's clearly exaggeration, a bit of hyperbole, hmmm, yes, well, it seems that several people have seen a black-clad man in the vicinity of the cathedral, while others have reported moving lights and strange noises in the crypt of a night. Those are the only points that are consistent across multiple accounts, though there are individual rumours of everything from the ghost of King Aldreas manifesting to a coven of Shining Ones living in there."

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:22 am 
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"Lake Venne?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:39 am 
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More rummaging through papers and journals.

"There's plenty of people in that area who claim that their cousin's best friend's wife saw some creature doing the howling, always at a distance; though no two of them can quite agree on what the thing looked like. The howling, at least, is confirmed through multiple accounts; though as it's been around for at least three hundred years, my personal theory is that it's probably the wind blowing through an oddly shaped cave or similar. If there is such a cave system, I imagine it's likely used as a hiding place for thieves and brigands. The peasants are convinced that it's some monster that will kill you if you meet it close up. There was even one occasion, about eighty years back, when the local lord funded a small group of mercenaries to go looking for the thing - they never found a trace of it, though it's said that they heard the howling now and then, at night. Why a monster would even want to hang about Lake Venne, I couldn't even begin to imagine."

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:33 am 
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"He's probably waiting for some woman in the lake to throw a sword at his head so he can be king."

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