My deepest apologies are in order for neglecting our correspondence. I can venture a guess as to your reassurance: administering territory is no small matter, so of course it must often take precedence. All the same, I regret allowing it to slip by. No doubt you have been waiting, both keenly and patiently, for news. So, here it is.
The past several months have been quite interesting. We had managed to dig in tolerably well before the coming of winter and, having subsequently survived that, construction of the town continues apace and spring planting is well under way. We’ve had a few setbacks here and there, but overall our fledgling settlement is developing quite nicely. Unsurprisingly, there have been scattered run-ins between settlers and local fey, but happily, most such incidents were resolved to mutual satisfaction. Whatever the new town’s residents think of my strange notions, the fey are tolerated and, for their part, do not trouble their new neighbors overmuch.
One sad incident took place some months back, and involved a tense investigation of werewolf activity. We tracked the poor beast down in short order, and attempted to cure his affliction, but it was not to be. The fellow died what I thought a tragic death, but even that could not have been more heartbreaking than learning of his victims, among whom numbered a most unfortunate little girl. It pains me even now to write of it, recalling her father’s grieving face and his rebuke. He did not blame me for his daughter’s death, and in fact evinced scorn at the suggestion that I might have some responsibility in the matter. He, and others, may be right in that. And yet…
Perhaps it is merely the naiveté of a callow youth, but I take my responsibilities to these people—my people—seriously. This town was founded on the hope of better lives, and the name it bears is an implicit promise that those hopes may be defended. I am no fool. Well, perhaps I am, at that, but I know my limits, as I come against them daily. The father’s sorrow-filled face tells me that I cannot do everything, but the daughter’s peaceful countenance tells me that I can still do better.
Forgive my impassioned pen; my heart, it seems, is still readily moved by these recent events. Fear not, as things have not been as gloomy as all that. More people arrive in town almost daily; certainly faster than houses can be built. Our young town does not yet have all the comforts of civilization, but eventually we shall have a proper road to Restov. In the meantime, farmsteads are springing up all across the countryside, as we begin truly to tame the wilderness. The winter months were a bit lean, but that was to be expected, as there was no harvest beyond the wild plants and game. The lack of income has slowed our construction efforts a bit, but we seem to be making a recovery. I must say, the people who have flocked to our banner are a brave and stoic lot. It must be borne in mind that many of them arrived at this muddy, rubble-strewn site in the middle of the godsforsaken wilderness, sight unseen, just ahead of winter’s onset. But then, I of all people have little to wonder at what drives people to seek their futures within unknown frontiers.
On the subject, I can happily relate that we have just recently incorporated one other, small settlement into our growing territory. It is a tiny hamlet that the residents named Tatzlford, presumably a nod to the pair of tatzlwyrms that Kurik, Coriella, Baelana, and myself took down some months ago. On that exact spot, I believe. I shall have to ask them why they chose to settle in such a locale. It is a lovely forest. It was a bit of a push to extend our influence all those miles through the forest in just a few months, given our resources, but I was keen on rendering assistance to Tatzlford before midsummer. Now the lands in between have been secured, and roads are being constructed. The cost of our abrupt expansion has fortuitously been mitigated by the lumber camps and sawmills we have set up in our wake. I admit, it makes me wince a bit to see that noble wood under the axe, but I believe I have managed to impress upon the people a habitual mindset of (at least) grudging reverence. A few of the aforementioned incidents involving conflict with the fey occurred, unsurprisingly, in regard to the logging. However, we have come to a proper understanding of one another, and the loggers know to curb their enthusiasm or at least to exercise discretion while at the task, so as not to incur otherworldly wrath.
I have been thinking that perhaps I ought to give more thought to expansion in other directions. Certainly, I would like to secure the lands between Haven and Oleg’s place, if for no other reason than to facilitate travel between us and Brevoy proper. Though I personally have little ambition for expansion and the acquisition of territory, the safety of my people remains paramount, and I realize that is best ensured by safeguarding nearby lands. As I represent only one of several such expeditions to these lands, I suspect the final shape of our holdings will not be overlarge. I wonder how fare the other expeditions. I have heard little of them, but look forward to making contact. Given time, we should together serve to protect one another, and the people of Brevoy, from incursions by any uncouth force from the south. It pleases me to to think that, by my efforts, I am making Brevoy safer for you as well, my lord.
Where was I? Ah yes, expansion. As I said, I would like to close the northern gap. Other directions demand attention too, however. I would like to secure more of the forest to the west, around Tatzlford, and thus guard against any hidden dangers that may yet lurk within. To the east lie mostly hill country and grassland, as well as the promise of a secure river course extending to Restov itself. However, I am at this moment a bit hesitant to move eastward, as the caverns of our friendly kobold neighbors lie not far to that direction, and I have not as yet determined how best to incorporate the kobolds into our community. While Mikmek (our magister) is a friend, and folk have tolerated him, I realize that the potential for misunderstandings would be greater with more extensive interracial contact. I know there are those who think me a fool in this, but the kobolds too are sentient creatures, no more firmly oriented toward the sinister by nature as you or I, and thus my conscience will not suffer violence to be applied unthinkingly, where a hand extended in friendship might suffice. I expect difficulty in this, but my heart tells me that we shall all be the stronger for it, in the end.
To the south lie lands even less tame than those we now inhabit. To the south, also, lie the River Kingdoms. We have,as yet, had no official contact with Mivon, though I suspect it will only be a matter of time. We will want to secure as much of the river as we can, to safeguard trade. Not that there is yet any trade to safeguard. All in due time, I suppose.
On a more personal note, you may be wondering why I am just now able to write so lengthy a letter. As it happens, in my overworked state recently I hit upon a simple solution to my lack of time and energy, and thereby acquired an enchanted ring of sustenance. Thanks to that little bauble, I now only require a mere two hours of rest each night. Coriella thinks it is her doing.
I think we will soon set out for more exploration, having accomplished much this week in our various official capacities. First, I’d like to try my hand at some magical crafting of my own. I think I’ve got the theory down.
I think perhaps I will suggest the construction of a dance hall at the next council meeting. Everyone has been so busy lately with building and farming, perhaps some dancing would raise their spirits.
I think that shall suffice for an update. As always, I hope this finds you in good health. My next letter hopefully shall not be so long in coming!