The Log of Amelia Primrose: Part 10

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7 October 319

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With much fanfare, the Mariner Revenant set off today for the west under Captain Nichols' guidance. With any luck, in a few weeks, he will reach an Imperial outpost and manage to bring word of our plight and our new colony, and bring back some much needed help. Before he set off, though, we had quite the party on the docks and Captain Nichols' crew gave everyone a tour of the ship, so we could see the hard work he and his men had put into building her these last few months.

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The sterncastle of the ship is where we started, and I got to see the crews' mess, where they'd be having their meals. While cramped, they will hopefully have many of the comforts of home, at least as long as the supplies last. They have been loaded with plenty of dried pork and other provisions, but hopefully their first week or so at least they will have some nice fresh produce as well. The skeleton crew of the ship -- only about twenty men, since that is really all we can spare right now -- will hopefully be supplemented later by men Captain Nichols can hire wherever he ends up.

Above the crews' mess are the two officers' quarters and the captain's quarters for the ship. There are only three separate staterooms on the ship, with the rest of the crew in bunks in the forecastle and below deck. The officers' quarters are smaller than the captain's quarters, obviously, and don't have quite so much of the charm of home, but they looked well-built and cozy.

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The captain's quarters, at the rearmost part of the ship, was a bit larger, and featured a bigger bed and some chairs, a place for Captain Nichols to retire and relax for at least a short while.

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In the forecastle, there are a few bunks for the petty officers and other senior members of the crew; they have a bit more private space than the rest of the crewmen, but still share a single large room at the fore of the ship. Still more comfortable than the cramped quarters we all lived with in those first few days on the butte, though!

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Most of the first section below the main deck of the ship is set aside from cargo storage and the crew's bunks, though much of it is still empty right now, to make space for whatever supplies the crew will be bringing back on their eventual return trip. This is where most of the crew will sleep.

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Below the crew deck is the main cargo deck, which contains most of the ship's dry goods, packed away in chests and barrels for the voyage. There was not much to see here, but I was quite amazed by how much they'd managed to pack away into what was quite a small area. More than enough for the crew to make their journey, I am assured, especially if they can catch any fish to supplement their other provisions.

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As the afternoon drew towards evening though, Captain Nichols made it clear he wanted to be underway, and we all left the ship. I took one last look at her from the bridge, to see her stretch out before me -- finally, our months of work had come together, to give us a strong ship and renewed hope for the future.

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Not long after we finally made our way down the gangplank, the crew set off with some tearful goodbyes and the ship slid out of the harbor, to make its way out to sea for the first time. While we waved from the docks, I felt Duncan's arms around me again and thought that we had finally secured for ourselves a sound future.

Further entries located behind the cut.
10 October 319

Our village has seemed strangely empty, now that many of the residents have left on the ship; most of those left behind now are women, and as a result there is not as much progress being made on the various building projects. The nice thing is that everyone has plenty of space, however, which is nice at the end of a long day gathering food, making clothes and tools, chopping down wood, and doing all the other tasks necessary to keeping us afloat. Mr. Fellows has begun scouting a location on the side of the butte to build his smithy and a small stable to go with it. Eventually, it will be on a plaza that we hope to build to serve as a marketplace for the town.

When I have some spare time, I have been trying to spruce up the inside of the large residence near the top of the butte, where Duncan and I plan to reside once we are married and it is finished; for now, I am staying in one of the rooms at the Bell and Anchor, while Duncan is sleeping in the fort at the top of the hill. While I'd prefer to have him closer, he thinks it is important that he stay with the rest of the men there, where they know he is with them.

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Our wedding, however, has been postponed again...both Duncan and I agreed it would be better to wait until the Mariner Revenant returns. There seems little point to getting married when I cannot even have a ceremony, and there is no one here to perform it for us, considering Captain Nichols is not here and Duncan, as the closest thing to an "official" for our small colony, is the groom. While the arguments for waiting certainly make a lot of sense, I am disappointed that it keeps being pushed off. Since I recovered from my illness, we spend a bit of time together every evening, but it is too little; sometimes talking to him is like talking to a stranger, despite the fact that our shared ordeal has now kept us together for almost a year. I still care about him, but I miss our talks on the parapet of Fort Upton.

17 October 319

The long wait for the return of the Revenant continues; the hardest part continues to be simply not knowing when they will return. Until they do, we have been laboring as if they will not. Mr. Fellows and Duncan have been working on leveling the terrain west of the mountain with most of the other men; that is the next place they plan to build, so that Mr. Fellows can have his smithy. In the process, they have been chopping down the trees there and giving us plenty of wood to use later. Mr. Shackleton went with the ship, just in case anything went wrong, so most of it is going to just sit and dry until he returns.

I have been occupying myself, when I'm not helping with chores in the camp, by sketching the various flora and fauna of the area in my diary. Most of them seem very similar to the Oestrian samples I saw during my classes at university. Thankfully, there has been no sign of those monstrous creatures we left behind at the old fort.

I have been tempted to look for more runes, but so far I have managed to restrain myself from doing so, remembering the results last time. Perhaps once contact is regained with the Empire an alchemist or runemaster will come to investigate and I can learn more from them. If this was an old fort during the Crusade, then there is likely much more where those were found.

Many of us are beginning to wonder how bad the winter will be here; last year it was very mild, thankfully, and hunting and gathering, supplemented by our gardens, managed to be enough to last us. I suspect things will be much the same here, but we did see some snow-capped peaks when we came here this summer, and I wonder if that won't spread this way. Yet another reason for us to hope for the quick return of the ship and its crew, hopefully brimming with new supplies. Once spring comes, however, I know that at least some of the men of the camp will be leaving the village to build farms in the surrounding lands.

26 October 319

Nearly three weeks now since the Revenant left our meager port, and while we wait most construction plans have ceased. A few improvements are being made to the buildings outside the butte, to make sure they are sound enough to last a tough winter, and many of the women, myself included, have been busy pickling vegetables and drying meat to fill our stocks in case the weather turns bad. I have been spending a bit of time in the forest northeast of the town, making my plant studies and collecting mushrooms, berries, nuts, and other bits of food to add a little life to our regular diet of pork, hard bread, and wild greens.

Duncan and I have both been keeping busy enough to not be bothered by the time we are spending apart, though we at least share meals and talk for a short while in the evenings, if we are both not too tired from the day's work to do so. Duncan is still standoffish when I suggest we slip off to spend some time alone, however; whether because of the image he is trying to cultivate or simply because he is losing interest in me, I don't know...I sincerely hope it is not the latter.

2 November 319

We have been lashed by storms for the last day, with wind and rain so fierce we could barely walk outside let alone take care of our usual chores. The walls of the Bell and Anchor groan with the battering of the wind and at times I fear the whole building is going to collapse. Near my shuttered window I can hear the waves crashing against the shore nearby, and downstairs, in the tavern, water sluices under the door with every howling gust. Mrs. Teasdale remains a wonderful hostess though, and through careful rationing of the firewood we've been able to keep it rather warm despite the chill.

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If the Revanant is caught in this storm, I hope they can handle it better than the Dunsany Star did the storm that took her almost a year ago. It is hard to believe it has only been that long, with everything that has happened.

4 November 319

The storm has lifted, finally, and it seems as if the village escaped without too much damage. A few holes in some of the roofs of buildings in the harbor district and most of our gardens turned into a right mess appears to be the worst of it. Duncan says that the wind even whipped through the stone walls of the fort, so great were the gales. Somehow, I think I would have felt a great deal safer -- not to mention warmer! -- if we were living in our mountaintop residence already.

I suspect most of the next few days will be spent cleaning up -- getting rid of the tree branches and other debris that are scattered through the village now, fixing up our gardens, trying to put the flock of sheep we've been keeping back together, and the like. Enough to keep us occupied for at least a week -- hopefully bringing us another week closer to the return of the Revenant.

10 November 319

The long wait is over! This morning, Mr. Yancy, keeping lookout in the lighthouse, spotted a mast on the horizon, and by this afternoon the Revenant had returned to harbor, nestling herself against the docks to a welcoming crowd. The day's work was quickly forgotten as the returning sailors were welcomed by their families and the rest of the village, and word quickly spread of the success of their journey.

It seems that we are roughly two weeks sail south of Woodsport, southernmost of the Oestrian colonies, which is almost hard to believe. While that still puts the Great Green Wall between us and the Oestrian colonies, it is not that far by ship. Captain Nichols brought with him plenty of supplies and says that there is great interest in our new colony, especially after seeing the gold that Captain Nichols had used to buy our supplies.

When Captain Nichols revealed that fact, there was sudden confusion in the crowd and then excitement, as he and Duncan announced to the crowd that while quarrying stone in the butte, they had found several rich veins of gold, but its existence had been kept a tight secret, just until they were sure the colony was set. Now, with the return, they said that every one of the founding families in Griffonsport would be an equal partner in the mine, and we would all share in its largess.

The news brought even greater merriment to the crowd, and the rest of the afternoon was a hustle and bustle of activity, as the ship was unloaded to the sound of music and song, everyone in town clustered on the docks and harbor. Captain Nichols brought all manner of things from Woodsport -- from the necessary supplies like tools, an assortment of seeds, and mining equipment, to luxuries like spices, fine cloth, wine, and even some toys for the children. It seems as if Captain Nichols had taken quite a bit of gold with him!

The impromptu unloading party lasted well into the evening, and by the time everyone began filtering back to their homes, the ship's valuable cargo all packed away in the warehouses at the waterfront and all of Griffonsport drunk on the celebration of the end of our long, troubled year of isolation, the moon was already high in the sky. Duncan escorted me back to the Bell and Anchor, and then, instead of going back to the fort for the evening, I managed to convince him to stay the night with me.

I think it may be better if I do not fill this journal with the lurid details, but...I would not have imagine that this was the same man who was so insistent on staying at an arm's length from me so recently. He was passionate, intense...I was not sure at first, if I was ready, but it did not take long for me to leave my inhibitions behind. Now, as I sit here writing this in candlelight, he lying asleep next to me, I feel more at peace than I have in a long time. I look forward to a new day and waking up next to him.

12 November 319

With the crew of the Revenant back, after a day of getting reacquainted with their loved ones, Griffonsport has become a bustling center of activity again, as construction crews work and building more houses, shops, and roads in preparation for our future. No doubt, with word of our gold find circulating throughout Oestria, it will not take long before we have an influx of new settlers, hoping to strike it rich themselves -- whether by finding their own gold or by selling their wares to those who hope to do so. Mr. Fellows is keen to start on his smithy, but first the land must finish getting cleared, and the cobbles for the plaza have started to go down.

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Mr. Pennyfield and his wife plan to build a bakery on the marketplace as well, and Duncan has been talking to Mr. Teasdale about building a larger inn on the marketplace, perhaps combined with a public bath. Those are all some ways off, I'm sure, but progress will probably be swift as new settlers arrive.

Captain Nichols came to talk to Duncan yesterday morning, causing much embarrassment for the two of us, as he happened to knock on the door while we were still in bed. While I went downstairs to get some hot water for tea from Mrs. Teasdale, he and Duncan talked about the trip. When I returned, he was telling Duncan that word had been sent to the viceroy's seat in Crusader's Bay, so that a magistrate could be dispatched to make our imperial charter official. Captain Nichols says he has no doubt the magistrate will appoint Duncan the governor. Exciting news, for sure -- and it meant that our penthouse in the mountain would need to be suitable to receive guests in soon, and that the two of us should probably be married, for matters of propriety -- a comment which he said with a chuckle and which I received with quite the red face, I must admit.

In light of that, today I have spent most of my time with Mr. Shackleton, who has set up a makeshift carpentry shop on the hill outside the butte, near the apartment he and his wife are living in for now, and placed a large order with him for tables, chairs, beds, and other furniture so that I can make the home ready to receive the magistrate. I suspect it will be at least a month or two for him to get here, considering the time of the year and how long it will take for word to reach Knightsport, and for a magistrate to get here. Hopefully that will be enough time for Mr. Shackleton to get at least the bare minimum done.

20 November 319

The marketplace brick is nearly finished, and Mr. Fellows', with the help of many of the townspeople, has finished construction of his smithy and stables. It sits on the northern edge of the marketplace, right next to the boardwalk, a prime location if I ever saw one. A small apartment above the smithy serves as his home, and it is kept warm quite nicely by the burning forge.

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Perhaps the proudest moment was when Mr. Fellows hung his sign up above the door, proclaiming that he was open for business, and now in a much more convenient location. Now, instead of having to climb up the staircase all the way to the forge in the Griffon's Nest, those of us working about town can simply walk over to his shop, which is only a minute or two's walk from the harbor district.

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Though we don't have any mounts to keep in the stables as of yet, it seems likely that it is only a matter of time until new settlers bring them from the Empire, especially if there is interest from any of the big merchant companies -- and as they seem always eager to go wherever gold is to be found, that seems a certainty. In preparation, Mr. Fellows made sure to add a small stable to his shop, so that he can provide shoeing services and the like.

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And, atop the stables, Mr. Fellows has used the roof to build a small patio, where he and his guests -- which, tonight, included Duncan and I, as well as Captain Nichols and a few others for a housewarming party -- can relax and enjoy a magnificent view of the harbor. I am a bit jealous -- the view from our patio on the mountain side is better, I suppose, but it is also so far above everything I admit I find myself fighting a bit of acrophobia at times!

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It was nice to spend the evening with Duncan, Mr. Fellows, and other friends who have made it through this last year with all of us; it has been a difficult year, and soon a new chapter in my life will begin. I look forward to seeing what it will bring.

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Amazing minecraft work! Did you do all this yourself?

Yep, everything in these screenshots is mine, though hopefully I'll be featuring some stuff from some of the other people building on my server in the near future. You can see a map of the server I'm building on here.

Great shots. You're far more ambitious than me in your building. I tend to dig a hole and hide in it, since I generally play "once you die, start again".

Well, that can be fun too, but I like the idea of making a "place." Since this is a multiplayer server too, you can't really do the "wipe the map if I die" style of play either, since I suspect everyone else would get a little upset as well!

Your style of play is probably a lot more interesting from the exploration point of view, but what's the point of having all this stuff you can build and not using most of it? :)

I'm working on a few other projects on the server now too -- another, even bigger ship and some other buildings and strongholds inside the mountains surrounding the town. If you want to check it out, let me know. :)

Yeah, send me the info and I will come take a look :)

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This page contains a single entry by Chas Blackwell published on April 28, 2011 5:20 PM.

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