Voice of Brightshore, Nonagon 24

Kintsugi Tower Explodes, Council Election Called

In a startling display of pyrotechnics, the landmark Kintsugi Tower exploded and collapsed. Details remain sparse, but early reports indicate that Chancelor Orrin activated the magical power of the tower to achieve some unknown end, though credible rumors indicate it involved opening a portal to the lower planes and summoning an Archdevil, and the rest of the Council followed to assist. As the magic surged around the tower, monstrosities and aberrations appeared outside the tower, and Indomitable Bradford and the Defenders held them off while brave adventurers ventured inside to help the Council.
Accounts of the events inside the tower vary wildly, but it is clear that the heroes were scattered along with the council members and that all of the adventurers faced dire trials and strange events.

It is unknown what caused the tower to collapse, but it was impossible to miss the massive explosion of magical energy that preceded the tower’s fall. Magical energy radiated outward from the tower and spread from horizon to horizon. Then the top of the tower imploded, ejecting the adventurers who survived the experience outside the tower.
Marshal Veil, Jorpot the Shinyman, and Grenmöre were among those killed during the events, and Selene immediately called for the election of a new Council to ensure Brightshore’s continued prosperity.

 

Editorial Submission: Errol Twice-blessed

Friends and Neighbors,

I write to you today in response to the monumental change Brightshore has seen in the last month. The destruction of the Kintsugi Tower has shaken us all. It had stood as a pillar of consistency since before Brightshore was founded and now that it is gone, it is only natural for us to question what the future has in store for our fair town. Undoubtedly some will take it as a harbinger of the future; that more pain and suffering are in store for we who have already suffered so much. Some will take the opportunity that Captain Sol is providing with his voyage to the Smoking City; I can not fault them for that. Brightshore has not been what I expected. Perhaps some normalcy can be found beyond the fog. I pray you brave souls will find what you are seeking. But many more of us will stay in Brightshore, for it is our home and we will continue to make it a beacon for those who fight oppression; a place where neighbors stand together and help each other in any way they can. We will strive to make it a more perfect community, knowing that while we may not reach “perfection,” we will attain excellence.

For those who stay and continue our journey, we have an opportunity not often granted. For the first time since I arrived, we have the chance to reshape the Council of Brightshore. With so many former council members lost and unable to continue this monumental service to Brightshore, the new council will certainly look much different. There are many outstanding options for us to choose for the council. Truly we would be blessed to have any of them serve, but there are a few that stand out from among all these exceptional candidates. I hope you’ll indulge me as I sing their virtues.

First and foremost among the potential candidates is Cleo Catra. Of all the friends I’ve met in my time in Brightshore, Cleo is the one who has always put the needs of the town ahead of her own. I truly believe that in her mind we are all her family and anyone who knows her knows how hard she would fight for those she believes in. I don’t know if she would accept a council membership, and if she declined it would surely be because she felt she could do the most good being out in the wilderness beyond our walls, identifying threats, and protecting us in countless ways. I hope she’ll get the chance to make that decision.

Among the existing council members there is one who has already done much to change the nature of the council. I believe he deserves more time on the council to continue his mission. Malcolm Bradford, the newest member of the council, the inaugural indomitable, has a clear head and a willing and able sword arm. He has many times shielded others in danger. If not for him I shudder to think of what would have happened at the Battle of Brightshore, or when the Owl and his minions arrived, or when the chaos happened at the tower. There are countless other times he has been instrumental in the protection of Brightshore. I implore you to vote, as I will, to return this true Defender of Brightshore to the council.

My third recommendation may come as a bit of a surprise for he is a polarizing figure to many. In the nearly two years I’ve spent in Brightshore I’ve found no one more compassionate and caring, though he may not like me to say such a thing. I speak of Sir Galvan Gost. I have seen this man interact in the kindest of ways with the youth in the farms beyond our walls. I have seen him stand alone against overwhelming odds while extolling his companions to escape as he covers the retreat. On one particularly dark day, I joined him in an attempt to recover his most cherished friends from kidnapping. I have no doubt he would gladly have traded places to grant them freedom. I believe he would do the same for any of us. Galvan would be a great addition to the council.

As for the remaining candidates, I’m not sure we can go wrong with any of them. Enkeh Nere has been in Brightshore since birth and I believe we all know she is destined for greatness. Perhaps it is time she joined the council. Fallwood, the druid, is among the wisest people I know. Compassionate and caring, fiercely protective, he would be another great candidate. My good friend Ezra has a unique perspective on the world. He has seen so much over so many years, perhaps he should help guide our path into the future. Baern Wildeheim is another fine option, for although he is a young dwarf, he has been with so many of us since the founding of Brightshore and truly has its best interests at heart. These are just a few of the candidates who I can vouch for. Truly, any of the candidates would be good choices.

As for myself, I would be honored if you considered me for a council position. If you were to elect me, I would spend all my free time doing everything in my power to make Brightshore a better place for all of us. They call me “Twice-Blessed”, but if you were to elect me to the council, I would consider myself Thrice-Blessed. Rest assured, whether I am elected or not, I will continue to serve all of Brightshore in any way possible.

I thank you for your time.

-Errol Twice-Blessed

 

Lavonia Lost

Lavonia has been officially stricken from the maps as the latest attempt to establish contact found the colony in ruins.

Lavonia was a village started over a year ago by a band of ambitious explorers and settlers looking to start their own colony apart from Brightshore. They had hoped to build a point of contact between Brightshore and the halfling tribes to the south. However, they settled farther afield than the Council had recommended, choosing a spot by an uncharted river at the edge of the woods, about two-weeks’ travel away. They were supposed to report back to the Council regularly, but if they were sending messengers, they never reached Brightshore. All attempts made by the Council to reestablish contact with them failed.
Seven months ago, a group of adventurers set out to the colony and found that the villagers had been afflicted by some sort of curse that transformed them into monsters with the heads of bulls. The adventurers were able to reverse the curse, and the determined colonists continued to live in the area, despite the obvious perils their chosen location posed.

A month ago, another party was sent to try and make contact once more. This time, they found the colony in ruins and discovered that it had been attacked by cyclopes. Although the party succeeded in defeating the cyclopes and rescuing the survivors, only five colonists were still alive by that time.

The Council (this was before they were disbanded, following the destruction of Kintsugi Tower) remained interested in sponsoring attempts to establish new outposts in the wilderness, despite Lavonia’s tragic end, but recommended a closer, more defensible location for the next attempt. But now that the Council has been shattered, this may have to wait until after the votes have been counted in our upcoming election.

 

Letter from the Ambassador of the Dark Forest

Dear citizens, but mostly adventurers, of the great city of Brightshore:

As many of you are aware, the Dark Forest to our city’s southeast is a place popular for going on quests and adventures. At this time, I would like to urge you to look elsewhere. Our city is currently involved in diplomatic negotiations with denizens of the Forest who desire peace, and incidents could prove not just hazardous to yourself, but to the city as a whole. If you have urgent need of something in the area, or have additional questions, please speak to Ambassador Vesfyria Pyrehart, normally in the Grove but spending a fair bit of time in town this month.

-Ambassador Vesfyria Pyrehart

 

Lighthouse Construction Begun

Reports indicate that the ruins of the ancient lighthouse on Lookout Isle have been cleansed of undead by a band of adventurers.They reportedly braved numerous undead and a number of deadly traps before accomplishing their goals.

Though there is no reported undead activity, a handful of builders entered the ruins below the lighthouse and were swiftly killed by some of the cleverly hidden traps that remained untriggered. Access to the tunnels has since been blocked off and further exploration of the tunnels banned, while work has resumed above-ground.

Additionally, there are reports of a strange cliffside temple on the island, and it appears to be dedicated to a kraken. Unusual noises have been heard there at night. Builders and guards alike refuse to approach the temple.

The council has announced that the lighthouse on the island will be rebuilt and that a permanent garrison will be maintained there in order to keep the lighthouse running and to ensure that no more foul creatures attempt to make their home on the island.

 

Silver Crawfish’s Maiden Voyage Marred by Murder

Tragedy struck the Silver Crawfish, Brightshore’s first and only riverboat casino, on its maiden voyage early this month. The Silver Crawfish is a large, oar powered vessel that makes its way upriver early in the evening and then returns to the city early in the morning. The ship boasts the finest complimentary food and beverage selection, and patrons are treated to a night of dancing and rolling the dice.

The ship was designed to skirt gambling regulations implemented by the Council, but it found itself in deeper trouble when Lady Agnes Toustain was found murdered by poison aboard the ship on its first voyage up the Olteus River.

Thanks to the quick thinking of a band of adventurers led by a soldier named JT, and the decisive actions of Captain Miriam Cortes, the murderer was apprehended before she could strike again.

Priestess Petrina of the Shrine of Menran was found to have killed Lady Toustain and was in possession of more vials of deadly poison, enough to easily kill again. Though she was found guilty, no motive was established, and the Priestess is to be sentenced later next month.

During the course of the investigation, a Mage of the Arcanum, Vanuath, assaulted young Lord Osmond Quincy and was fined after a brief jail sentence.

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Voice of Brightshore, Septimus 24

Vampire Lord in Dark Forest Seeks Treaty

A party of adventurers led by Vesfyria, herself a new arrival from Goodleaf Jungle, was dispatched to further investigate the ruins of Kavonia Ma, an ancient city on the edge of the Dark Forest.

The city was found to be partially reconstructed. A bridge of the Ava River has been built, and reports are that there is a keep under construction as well. The party arrived to find a female elf yelling for help from inside a corpse flower that was headed across the bridge. They gave chase and were attacked by undead and gargoyles.

The party made it inside the keep and found the elf being chained to a wall next to an unconscious human man in a dungeon of vampires.

As the party fought with the vampires, another vampire, apparently their master, arrived. He called himself Armastus, claimed the whole affair was a monstrous misunderstanding, and invited the adventurers to negotiate over dinner.

Armastus agreed to release the adventurers, along with the two captives in his dungeon, on the condition that the party promptly return with a treaty from Brightshore recognizing the Dark Forest across the Ava River as belonging to him.

Though the council has yet to make a decision, it is rumored that a dialog between the vampire lord and the council has been opened, but as a warning for now at least, anyone who wanders into the Dark Forest is liable to be captured and likely killed by Armastus and his followers.

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Hector’s Heckler, Sextus 24

Hector’s Heckler, Sextus 24

How’s it hanging my beautiful bodacious Brits? I’m back! After several months of malignant maleficent turmoil, the sensuous serpentine claws of censorship have been shed and I, Hector the heroic and handsome have returned!

Our dashing and darling daddy Drax has no titillating tales for us tots today but I’m sure once he’s picked up his jaw off the ground at the marvelous Maevis’s dainty feet he’ll have a heck of a harrowing hook for us all to tell tale of throughout the halls of hoary history.

I won’t ostracize you with old hat owl oration or the odd event to which it owes its infamy. Instead I’ll illustrate and illuminate the information encompassing the ill known mad, macabre, malaise and malcontent mediocre menace of misbegotten mistake…

MRS. MAGU!

I sat down with a brawny and brutal battle born barbarian of Brightshore.
His tantalizing tattoo and top-notch transcribed towering talwar triggered shivers and goose pimples to grace my silken skin.

H: “So, Var-var! What manly muscles you have there, Mmmm, May I call you Var-var? I’m sure all the ladies are pining over those tattoos. Tell me, what happened to Mrs. Magu?”

V: “Var-var… hmm well sure you can call me that if you like. The goblin leader Magu or so I am told, was killed by me and a group of adventurers. It was really quite a long and strange journey, it started when I was recruited by a group of adventurers to go out and kill some goblins. We traveled for a few days before coming upon this elf in a cave who transformed into a dragon.”

H: “A dragon! Oh my! What a powerful elf indeed. What was the elf’s name?”

V: “I think his name was Grant, or Gelt or something like that, he was a mighty weird fellow too he was eating leaves and twigs and stuff, and he had this weird little blue fellow with him.”

H: “Oh! that sounds absolutely atrocious and awful! You might tell him about the fine dining to be had at the Citadel Lounge! Its definitely better than leaves and twigs. A little blue fellow you say?”

V: “Yeah some weird little guy seemed to serve the dragon, think there called kobolds or somethin’. Well anyways, after spending the night there we wandered out into the wild try’in to find some sign of these nasty green men we were out to kill. We searched n’ searched all over the area for about a day. Nearing the end of the day we found a sign of them, they were lighting a convenient light every few seconds. We approached the camp quietly, or at least tried to but the rest of my party seemed to think it wise to be as stealthy as a tap-dancer with boulders for feet and we got ambushed before we made it anywhere. A couple of them jumped me and I slew one of them, retreatin’ to others.”

H: “I see, I see, so these green men were they kobolds as well? Do kobolds travel in little gangs and represent the creed of their color? Would the Blue Blood Basilisks have Beef with our beloved Ixi of the Pink Pygmy Pals? Did you slay every one of these green goonies or did some live to tell the tale?”

V: “Ah well no they weren’t kobolds they were mostly goblins, some of them were being bigger and hit harder while the goblins hid in trees. There were also these weird glowing red suits of armor, but I stayed clear of them. A bit into the fight the flashes of light they were makin’ turned out to be them activatin’ a giant hobgoblin-looking-hill-thing. It was really odd, they seemed to want to use it against Brightshore but they could never get it to work it was runnin’ in the opposite direction. Naturally we took off after it and began scaling up the sides to try to stop the thing. It was shooting beams of what looked like fire and swatting at people, the whole thing was covered in goblins. Eventually we got to the top of the thing and one of our group took out what was powering it, and it fell. The leader, a goblin inside a big metal creature fell underneath it and nearly got killed. She did when one of our party digged her out of her shell and stabbed her bleeding body multiple times. Magu had this weird magical circlet that made her smarter, though one of the party claimed it right away. The whole experience was rather odd, do these things typically happen in Brightshore?”

H: “Goblins you say! How Ghastly! Red suits of armor? Horrible hobgoblin looking hill thing? Who was it that stabbed the still beating heart of the motionless mortified Mrs. Magu? How Morbid! Is there a Mr. Magu? And was it he who claimed this circlet of savvy and superiority? Is this man now King of the Goblins?”

This and more, in the next episode of Hector’s Harrowing Heckler!
In the merry mean time, let’s throw back to times past and revisit a past promise from a prior paper!

As alluded, here is:

Lord Gost’s gratuitous gamble with a real ghost of a girl.

For four fours of fortuitous fortnights the famed fabulous Gost has been flirtatiously fishing for a fräulein friend of fashions. Facultative and faithful, far-reaching and fertile, forthcoming and frolicsome, funny and fearless; These are the traits which catch my master’s eye. Forsooth, he has found nothing. Though I do hear hearsay of who caught his herculean eye. Why, it was young Lady Agrippina Oleg, maidenly mate of the merry musical Marco. Alas, it was not to be. I hear his eye has shifted, and now rests in the seas of more troublesome waters. When will my misunderstood master understand?

Lucky my lord is loathsome to learn my lyrics, lest I be lambasted for my lawfully layered liable.

A Ballad to the Four

As the month of Sextus is a most troublesome of times, I will now share with you all a more serious affair, my sullen song to the fallen. It was well received the day the gods inspired me to sing it. Please see the hand drawn portraits to study and receive the accompanying choreography.

♫ Ava my lady, please tell me my sweet,
Why the destruction? My heart skips a beat!
Your fire, it burns, it inspires our meet.
Please let down your sword for I can’t bare its heat. ♪

[[ A Picture is Displayed of a formless man with a scarf swinging a quill as though it were a sword ]]

♪ Tell me please Menran of luck you will bring?
Ill tiding’s end Summer, of chaos I sing!
Of all times a wedding, your wind on black wing,
Now comes the Autumn, show mercy my king. ♫

[[ The shadowy silhouette tosses its scarf over one shoulder and weaves the scarf sign ]]

♫ We’ll endure ‘til Winter, oh Unre my dear,
Embrace those delivered to earth full of fear!
The children, you keep them? This law must we adhere?
Your silence is deafening; so, we turn to your peer. ♪

[[ The figure stands arms outstretched facing the ground. A mandatory 3 second pause is noted for dramatic flair ]]

♪ Olteus please save them, help me my dove!
Springtime is fertile, healing hands fit the glove,
Harriet, you sent her, like rains from above?
The water, we’ll drink it, return us our love! ♫

[[ The dancer is shown making a sign of Olteus ]]

I hope this has helped to ease some hearts.
If you need a distraction or are in search for a supped up magical remedy, I encourage you to stop by:

The Owl’s Nook:

“ With The Owl’s Nook being in business for several months now, I would like to announce new services and options. We all know that The Owl’s Nook is the best place to get spell casting and scribing supplies in Brightshore, but now the Owl’s Nook is doing identifications/appraisals of any items. Also, The Owl’s Nook is going to be buying wizard spell scrolls and magic items, depending on their worth of course, if you want to sell an item or scroll simply contact myself and I will get you a price. Prices for spell scrolls and magic items may be more or less than market value depending on their worth.”Zren Catsa

That’s all for now Brits, may Septimus sing us all a simpler song.
Hector the Bard♟

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Voice of Brightshore, Sextus 24

‘Til death do us part.

I had drafted a very energetic and warming article in anticipation of a desperately needed day of love and union. However, I will not publish those words, blatantly ignoring the cries of those who have lost someone from recent events…

Many of us already know what happened, so this is just for the record.

Sextus 20th, the day of Cleo and Norio’s wedding, the weather was perfect as we neared the end of summer. The venue was an elaborate re-decoration of The Park, where Cleo and Norio were wed by none other than Errol Twiceblessed, guided by the light of The Four. Nearly the whole town showed and everyone shed tears of joy as we watched our beloved tabaxi companions walk together down the aisle as one.

Then shadow covered everything.

One of the musicians saw it coming first and apparently screamed, “OWL!!!” Everyone turned in panic. No one was prepared for this. Why now? It was too late. The enormous owl, stained black and with billows of dark smoke trailing behind it, had already descended upon us. In the blink of an eye, it unleashed a shock-wave of powerful wind, knocking everything and everyone over just before ~50ft tall walls of black, unholy thorns separated and caged people throughout the park.

Groups of adventurers, including the newlyweds, were seen locked in combat with not only the owl but also new foes whose names vary from person to person. Perhaps the one ray of hope that split the darkness engulfing our city was the Kintsugi Tower. I saw it with my own two eyes and darn-near lost my hearing from, the two – yes, two – cleaving laser strikes that were unleashed upon an area within The Park. After the second strike, everything stopped and the owl was seen flying to the North.

I pray to The Four that we can recover and strengthen ourselves from this tragic day. I pray that Cleo and Norio do not blame themselves for this occurrence, and that they can still find solace with one another. Lastly, I pray for all of those who lost someone they love — please do not give up hope.

 

MAGU IS NO MORE!

Magu, the goblin warlord responsible for the Battle of Brightshore in which more than 100 brave citizens gave their lives, was discovered and slain earlier this month.
Flint, Revan, Stopp, Varish, Kora, and Otirry spotted Magu along with dozens of goblin and bugbear followers near the Ava River Ruins. According to the adventurers, Magu used some sort of magical artifact to awaken a towering, 50-foot construct resembling a hobgoblin that had been buried under the ruins. Varish, who understands the goblins’ language and was able to catch a few of her words, believes Magu was trying to command the construct to assault Brightshore.

The brave adventurers gave chase, some attacking Magu from the ground and others climbing the lumbering titan to engage the warlord directly. Flint found and removed the artifact powering the construct, which caused it to collapse. The Four must have been smiling on the adventurers that day, for all of them were able to maneuver out of harm’s way while Magu fell directly under the titan as it fell. The adventurers pulled her crushed from the wreckage and confirmed that she was dead.

Townsfolk in the streets cheered as they recognized the warlord’s body and the ruined pieces of the (smaller) war machine she once rode. Although we may never know why Magu was bent on the destruction of our fair town, it is certain her name will live in infamy, and the glory belongs to the six brave souls who ended her reign of terror.

 

Eyewitness Account of the Harrowing Recovery of the Statue of Ava

“Our adventuring party went back to sea to reclaim the Statue of Ava from the clenches of darkness in the deep ocean. We were guided by Ava’s light aboard the Albatross, helmed by Captain Fairbeard. As our hopes of finding the statue began to dwindle, Ava’s inspiration struck Baern, and into the water he went to find Her light on the ocean floor. For nearly a day, we sailed towards Ava’s light that guided the plate-armored dwarf below until She was finally spotted: a water temple of darkness, void of light, held the statue. As we prepared for battle, Ava once again gave us all inspiration as our party dove deep into the waters below. As the darkness began to overwhelm us, we reminded ourselves that it is in the twilight that Her light shines brightest.

Smashing in the door to the temple in honor of Ava, our brave party easily bested any who stand in our way: the sea goblins, the octopus, and the steel monster. Ava gave us all her blessing that day: Baern struck true with his hammer forged of Ava’s might, Atwood invoked Her wrath as a giant octopus, Vanuath punished our enemies using Ava’s light, Mazikeen pierced the creatures with force of Ava’s wildfire, Haryll embodied Her energy to strike with both javelin and fist, and I used my gifts from Ava to ensure that the flames of our souls were not extinguished. I saved many that day: Baern, Mazikeen…but I digress. After all, it was Ava who truly saved them.

After sending our enemies back to ashes, back to the darkness from whence they came, we liberated Her statue from the temple and began to guide her back to the surface and back to Her light. However, darkness was not yet ready to relinquish its grasp, as the iron brute stood back up and gave chase to the statue. Armed with little left but Ava’s inspiration, Baern and I stood our ground against this wicked darkness once more. As the steel monster grabbed ahold of the statue, we tried everything to break its grasp, from prying its fingers to attacking it hands to using Baern’s final javelin as a lever to heave its hands from the statue. But it was no use — it was clear that the light, and our chances, were fading.

That’s when I dropped to my knees and looked to Ava for guidance… and She did just that. With Her inspiration behind us, Baern and I put our remaining strength into one final attempt with the remnants of Baern’s broken javelin and watched that evil pile of scrap fall back into the watery depths below. We got the statue aboard the ship, spent time in prayer while restoring the statue’s beauty, and felt beyond blessed to be able to present it to the temple. Praise Ava!”

Grenmöre

 

New Guild Founded

Citing an increase in the amount of filth in the city, a gnome named Rasputin Cruelhammer has taken it upon himself to create the Brightshore Brighteners, a guild devoted to keeping Brightshore clean and tidy. While he claims his purpose is pure, the Brighteners have already created no small amount of controversy by dumping a wagonload of fish guts in front of the Tower, which led to minor fines being handed out, as well as to the arrest of Abigail Farnsworth.

Farnsworth, who remains behind bars, said she stands in solidarity with Selene Skipriver and refuses to pay her 10 gp fine until the council clears the beleaguered halfling’s name. When asked for comment, Farnsworth would only say, “Free Selene! She’s innocent!”

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Voice of Brightshore, Quinton 24

Holy Airship!

Citizens and dockworkers alike were startled with what seemed to have been a miniature, and focused, tsunami last week in the Dockyards District. An enormous wave swept through the Northwestern corner of the Dockyards late in the afternoon, but what remained in the aftermath of the upsurge is still being talked about today! As the water drained back into the bay, resting upon the streets of Brightshore lay what appeared to be an airship of sorts. It was a water-logged wooden vessel riddled with barnacles, seaweed, and crabs, and it had sustained heavy damage, possibly from an ancient battle. Yet the strangest part were the wings that stemmed from its sides! The ship was delivered by workers to an unpopular workshop in the Gate District known as ‘Brytva’s Bolts’ for reasons unknown. Additionally, I have been hearing rumors that the people responsible for this delivery were adventurers who surfaced from below the waves: thus far I have heard of a dark elf, some sort of robotic looking person, two farmers, and a hulking Goliath woman – who might these people be? And why have they returned such a vessel to our town?!

 

Blue Dragon Killed by Brave Adventurers

A band of adventurers, Ves, Dragone, Zren, Revan, Flint, and Stopp have put an end to another threat to Brightshore.

They traveled to Tierrios and slew a mighty blue dragon, whom other adventurers had tried unsuccessfully to kill before. The adventurers also put an end to the lightning-possessed kobolds that worshipped the dragon, and it is believed that the area is significantly more safe, though Defender patrols have not yet scouted the area in depth.
Tragically, the wizard Finder Sinclair was killed in the course of events. The specifics are unknown, but it appeared to the party as if he had been possessed by the dragon, and somehow killing the dragon ended his life as well.

 

Heretic Undermined and Brought to Justice

Citizens of Brightshore have endured the harassment of the banished heretic Alabaster for years, but the madman has been brought to divine justice after he claimed he would assault the Shrines of the Four and destroy them. Thanks to the concerted effort of the guard, the temple, and a handful of heroic Brightshore citizens, he and his army of elementals were repelled from the Temple District Bridge. Upon his death, it was discovered that this blasphemous villain was in fact a doppelganger, a monster able to read minds and take the form of any man, woman, or child it wished. In light of this, the Temple is offering clemency to any current members of the Underground Cult in exchange for information on the cult’s whereabouts and structure.

 

Masterpiece Ava Sculpture Lost at Sea

For the past several months, noted master sculptor Fimdurim Trollhand had been taking advantage of the quality of stone offered by the Saltrock Quarry to craft what was by all accounts a truly stunning statue of Ava. Though Ava is not typically depicted as having a human form, Fimdurim claimed to have seen a vision of divine inspiration that guided his chisel. The statue was due to be placed in the Ava Shrine this month, but a storm wrecked the ship that was carrying it from Saltrock to Brightshore.

A band of adventurers were said to have located the statue but were unable to retrieve it. Some have indicated that they will seek to try again.

Fimdurim Trollhand himself has been said to have hung up his tools for good as he is wracked by a crisis of faith.

 

Order of the Duskmoon

Rumors have been circulating through the town about an extinct ancient order known only as the Order of the Duskmoon. Supposedly, Brightshore rests atop the proving ground for this ancient order, and there is some manner of ever-weakening guardian that is the only thing preventing these undead from invading the city. Abigail Farnsworth had this to say, “Undead? Under the city? Sounds like the kind of story mothers tell their children to try to get them to behave. I don’t believe a word of it.”

 

Cleo Catra Manor Infested with Rats

For the second time in as many months, Catra Manor was infested with rats. Luckily, adventurers were again on hand to help stave off the worst of the infestation, which was rumored to be backed by some kind of demon or a Rat King. Unfortunately, Aelor of Aelor Construction was killed during the incident.

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Voice of Brightshore, Quarton 24

Ruins Reclamation Sanctioned by Council

The Council has formally established a fund to encourage expansion into the western ruins of the city. Volunteer craftsmen and trained soldiers drawn from the ranks of the Defenders stand ready to assist any who seek to expand the borders of the town, and to help ensure that threats long buried beneath the ruins are discovered and eradicated.

Indomitable Bradford, speaking in place of the now rarely seen Chancellor Orrin, said, “This marks a new era for Brightshore. For too long we’ve lived in fear as to what might be on the other side of the river. Now, we will face those fears head on, find whatever evil may lurk under those stones, and grind it to dust with our armored fists.”

In related news, the Guard has cautioned anyone from entering the sewers in the ruins unless they are properly prepared. Rumors of strange baying beasts and hordes of spiders have made it back to town from survivors.

 

Wildeheim Dwarf Clan Moves to Saltrock

After months of squatting in public places, and lately on Cleo Catra’s property, the dwarf clan from Vessar has moved to the quarry and mines of Saltrock. There, Illuminator Ignatius says, the clan will help the settlement beyond measure as well as help ensure a source of raw materials to Brightshore.

Judge and Protector Askada Wildeheim also issued a formal letter of thanks to the Council for their patience and support in allowing the clan time to get back on their feet again. She is said to have delivered the letter personally and was well received by the council.

Despite its name, Saltrock has also been rumored to contain a deposit of diamonds and other gemstones. Perhaps the dwarves know something we don’t!

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Voice of Brightshore, Triciary 24

Ambassador Duka Killed, War on the Horizon?

Prepare for the worst my fellow citizens.

Tragedy has fallen over Brightshore. In previous months, the neighboring Hobgoblins – The Stalwart Shield – and Brightshore had established a peaceful alliance. In an exchange, Brightshore and The Shield traded ambassadors — Sir Maximilian Von Tibblesworth, representing Brightshore, and Ambassador Duka, a prevalent member of The Shield — solidified Brightshore’s adherence to the terms of the treaty: No westward expansion into The Shield’s territory, and no “atrocities” for one year.

As of Monday, Triciary 16th, Ambassador Duka was declared dead.

But what has crushed the hearts of nearly every citizen is the main suspect, Council Member Selene Skipriver, who sits in the Greystone behind bars as you read this. She will soon face the charges of murder, should no other conclusions or evidence be discovered by the authorities in the meantime.

But the atrocity does not end there, fellow citizens. Per the numbers of the Guard, and any and all militia or adventurers available, Brightshore is brutally outnumbered, outgeared, and underprepared in comparison to the might of The Shield. We can only pray to The Four, that they are merciful and forgiving as this is not the first time peace has failed with the Hobgoblins. Prepare for the worst, my fellow citizens.

 

Hellions’ Mouth Sealed At Last! (Special Field Report)

Loyal readers of the Voice may recall that it has been one year, nearly to the day, that Indomitable Malcolm Bradford was rescued from the fiend-infested cave south of town that came to be known as Hellions’ Mouth. In the following months, intrepid adventurers returned in two consecutive attempts to eradicate the fiendish scourge. The first claimed the soul of poor, brave Binval, and the second avenged his death, slaying the fiend that had slain him and returning Binval’s ashes to Brightshore.

Yet the rift that let these twisted creatures into our world remained open. Despite continued urgings from the Council and promises of gold rewards, a full five months passed with no further attempt to end the threat. I know from my conversations with others in town that I wasn’t the only one to feel increasingly uneasy about this doorway to the netherworld lying open not a day’s journey from our walls. And as the Olteus River took on a most unnatural shade and stench, I simply couldn’t sit and wait for others to do something any longer. I put down my quill, picked up a sword and pack, and headed out for Hellions’ Mouth on my own.

I now have a greater appreciation for what the courageous defenders of our town face when they venture into the wild. And I can attest that when a guard tells you it’s foolish to go out there alone, you should listen. I lost my tail to a hungry flock of axe beaks (thank the Four it was only my tail), and that was before I’d even reached the dreaded cave. Inside, I heard disembodied whispers and felt a creeping, stabbing cold. There was writing on the walls that made my eyes spin.

Words can scarcely relate how grateful I was when a party of adventurers arrived on the scene. But I didn’t just stand by as they saved the day. I helped them decipher the otherworldly scrawl, and when we discovered that only a blood sacrifice would allow us to complete our quest, I volunteered myself, not even knowing for certain if I would survive. As luck would have it, I did, but the demonic energies our ritual released very nearly claimed my soul.

I must give credit where it’s due. While I wrestled with the darkness spreading through my body, the others ventured into the rift itself. I wish I could tell you first-hand what lay beyond, but then again, I’m glad I was spared that grisly sight. The others described a world that resembled ours, but only in foul parody. They fought their way through abominations of ooze, shadow, and claw, and somehow all survived to destroy the source of the rift’s power and return in one piece. For a few terrible seconds, I glimpsed one of the creatures as it burst from the portal — a pillar of living slime with a single, burning eye — but Borivik the dwarf forced the creature back into the crack just before it shut.
With the path to the netherworld closed, that dark magic lost its hold on me, and I soon felt like my old self (minus the tail). I have never been happier than when I saw the trees of the wilderness give way to the rolling farms of home. But, while I’m not eager to relive my harrowing experience, I don’t think this will be the last time I set out on a field report. There are strange things happening outside our walls, and though it may be frightening at times, you deserve to know what’s out there.

 

Ezra’s Expedition Returns

This month saw the return of the expedition that had set out to explore and map strange new lands to the south. Though townsfolk turned out in droves to meet The Albatross at the docks, they found not a triumphant crew, but a deeply battered group that seemed grateful to have survived to make it back to Brightshore.

A quick headcount indicated that more than half of the crew had been killed in actions within what has come to be called Goodleaf Jungle, including the entirety of the specialist corp that had set out to unlock the mysteries of this strange new land.

Expedition members seemed to be universal in their assessment of the Goodleaf Jungle, that it was incredibly dangerous and a mistake to go. Gilded Shield Cleo of the Defenders said, “Going on this expedition just reinforced my beliefs that money and treasure mean nothing if you place it above your own life. When you chase rumors for glory… you remain a memory. Why would it all matter when you lose what actually means a lot more to you? Your family, friends, and your life. Money won’t matter when you pass away.” Longtime resident Baern said, “Worst expedition I’ve been on, but at least I survived. Bradford says that means it’s a success, but tell that to the men and women who lost their lives on a poorly planned trip to a jungle hellscape.” Expedition leader Ezra refused to comment, as did Flint.

Captain Hardwick Fairbeard, an accomplished captain from the Smoking City and captain of the newly built defender warship Albatross, said, “It were th’ most dangerous seas I e’er seen. Squalls and hurricanes there and back, whirlpools and mor’ storms around the ruins, and then the sea devils and a kraken! Be it not fer that halfling hero Finn, me ship would be at th’ bottom o’ th’ sea an’ I’d be shark food.”

There was one bright spot, however. Arbat the Druid, thought killed in an earlier attempt to map the coast to the south, was found alive in the ruins of an ancient dwarven city that has been named Boviomatua. She was seen meeting with both Indomitable Bradford and Professor Colin, but has otherwise refused to talk with anyone about what the jungle was like. Those who knew her well from her time tending fruit orchards around Brightshore say she has changed and shudder at what she must have experienced to survive.

Rumors have also spread that the dangerous jungle hides vast riches and incredible magic. They say that there are cities made of gemstones and temples full of gold, untold riches hidden for any strong enough to take them. No one knows if these tales are true, but a strange native of the land, who professed her newly discovered love of mead, has been seen wearing a fortune in gemstones she appears to consider but baubles, so there does seem to be something to the rumors.

 

Triton Contact

Little public knowledge is known at this time, but contacts close to the council indicate that a new undersea nation has been contacted by Brightshore diplomats, and peaceful relations have been established. The docks are awash with speculation of what this might mean, and some sailors are already crediting these tritons with keeping Founder’s Bay relatively safe. I will have more information as I can.

 

Goodbye to a Hero

To all those reading this today, I first thank you for your time.

Today, I formally write this to say goodbye to a close friend of mine who gave up his life so I could be here today to share his story with you all. Finn Goodleaf was more than a friend and Defender ally; he was an unexpected brother. We first met almost a year ago and believe it or not, we were afraid of each other at first. Over time, we started getting to know each other better and went on adventures together, which continued to forge a bond of friendship between us.

Finn Goodleaf was a halfling who had a large heart, regardless of his height. He was always considerate of others and always knew what to say to help make people feel better. He enjoyed drinking this alcohol stuff, but never let it go to his head. Keeping busy all the time, he still seemed to make time to check in with those he cared about and help out with high ambition and determination. He was part of the Arcanum and had two students he taught magic to. He also worked at Gost Citadel as the barkeep. Among all that, he still made time to join The Defenders and put his life at risk for the safety of all others.
While he did have a troubled past, his friends and family would all be proud of him now due to his sacrifice and his actions. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for him, so I owe it to him to make sure he is not forgotten.

Finnan Goodleaf, I knew you well enough to consider you my tribe brother and family member. You helped me through my worst and was there when I was at my best. You not being here leaves a void everywhere I look that will not be filled, but it will help me in remembering what you did. You shall not be forgotten as long as I can help it and I will remember all you taught me since we met.

–Cleo Catra

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Voice of Brightshore, Duolus 24

Those Are Big Owls

Frightened citizens reported witnessing horror ensue in the crossroads district at the beginning of this Duolus. Not one, but two enormous owls dove out of the sky into Brightshore. Experts estimated their wingspans were around 90 ft. across. But as they landed, both were observed shapeshifting.

The first owl — a large white owl, reported as injured — carried something with it. We have received mixed reports of what that item was, but what was consistent is that the owl appeared to have turned into a wood elf. Citizens pealed backwards as the wood elf screamed nonsense just before the second owl arrived.

The second owl was black, with a trail of billowing, dark smoke and red eyes. The black owl descended upon the wood elf. Some say there was a horde of creatures that came with them; others say a natural tornado suddenly appeared as the black owl turned into something horrible, like what you’d describe living in the woods to scare your children.
Thankfully, both owls left Brightshore without causing harm to anyone, a fate we hope continues as we fear for our safety with such beasts — or whatever they are — still out there and clearly aware of our city.

 

Catra Manor Infestation: Oh Rats

Disturbing reports have been streaming in regarding a recent disaster at the Cleo Catra Manor, a shelter to help those in need of warm food, a warm bed, and new opportunities. Guards and citizens reported an innumerous amount of rats pouring from below, into the kitchens! Just before all hope was lost, the notable Mrs. Morgan Bradford and a group of brave, rat-fighting adventurers arrived. The adventurers volunteered to lock themselves inside the kitchen and the town waited in angst, safe beyond the barricade. Alas, our heroes survived and snuffed out the beginnings of the epidemic! Thank ye heroes.

 

The Nicked Rock Reopens

The final days of the month saw the grand reopening of the Nicked Rock. Now owned by local legend Errol Twice-Blessed, it appears to have been built to exacting specifications to look and feel exactly like the old Nicked Rock. Somehow, they’ve even managed to mostly recreate the smell of the place, which has led to rumors of Arcanum involvement.
The Twice-Blessed had this to say, “I am thrilled that the Nicked Rock has been returned to us after its tragic destruction. Many of us in Brightshore have had memorable moments here, so it’s only right that it be restored to its former glory. The Gods willing we will all have many years to enjoy its unique environment.”

 

Dragon Statue in Park Now Features Real Dragon!

An unusual, tiny dragon that calls itself Fancyscale has made a home out of the smoking dragon statue in the park.

While investigating, I found several of my missing quills in its so-called “Lost and Found,” but Fancyscale also made sure to let me know about an upcoming contest to win free item enchantments. Fancyscale refused to elaborate, but I will keep trying to uncover how this contest works–and maybe find more of my missing items!

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Hector’s Heckler, Duolus 24

Hector’s Heckler, Duolus 24
Did you miss me you beautiful beaming belligerent bubbly Brits?! I know, I know, I’m late this month but wait until you hear what I have in store for you! The truth! The lies! The danger! The scandal! This month I got down and dirty in the milky moist machiavellian trenches of marry meritorious mystery! I interviewed with the pleasant poor peasantry and the proper people of plenty!

Following the popularity of Drax’s wise words in our first issue, the Heckler was deluged with readers asking for the sage tortle’s advice. Without further adieu, here are:

Drax’s Words of Wisdom
Q: Dear Drax, oozes and slimes keep eating my armor! I’m spending more money fixing it after each dungeon dive than I make. What should I do?

A: Quit your bellyaching you soft-skinned snowflake! Armor is for insecure weaklings who are too afraid to take on the perils of the world just wearing what they cracked out of their shell in. You don’t see old Drax crying for a metal momma before he goes and cracks some skulls, do you?

Q: My adventuring companions and I found a dead end in a dungeon that has a scary green face statue on it. There’s a pit of utter blackness in the statue’s mouth. What should we do?

A: Do I look like your momma, you little whippersnappers? Buck up and dive head-first into the darkness like a real adventurer! There’s no gold and glory to be had standing around whining about how “it might be a trap” or “darkness is scary!”. By the gods do I have to do everything around here?

Haha! Another titillating, tantalizing, and trendy talk with our most tenacious and tolerant tortle trailblazer. We thank you our distinguished dino daddy! Next up, an icy irreconcilable ironic interview with an idealist former member of the our illustrious city’s guard. For the purposes of this interview we’ll call her G and I’ll go by my casual collegiate codename, Preparation H. G and I met one evening at a romantic venue.

G: “Hector, right? You do reports on happenings, I hear.”

H: “Ah, that I do my scaly compadre, that I do! Have anything juicy? A tale of heroes and adventure? Dastardly villains? Helpless maidens? Forbidden romance? The end or beginning of an Era? Sorry, why do you ask?”

G: “You of course know of the Hall of Hunters as it is controlled in somewhat by your patron, Lord Gost. But, do you know of the things that its members have witnessed? The things that they have fought and killed?”

H: “I think my lord asked them to find some adorable little teddy bears from his oversized scribbly picture book. Is that what you mean?”

G: “Not exactly. Both their wood elf captain Glanodel and myself were the ones who chased the escaped prisoner in the clutch of the demon to his lair. Care to hear more? Enailis and I, currently members of the Hall of Hunters, tracked said person when a devil helped him escape the Graystone.”

H: “Oooooooooh I seeeeeeeee. And then what happened?”

G: “The devil flew out across the river Olteus, but Enailis and I confidently lead the small party we recruited after them, throwing open the gate to get past the Guard there. We had to rescue – or recapture – such a prominent member of Brightshore society. Once across the river, we were faced with the ruins of ancient Cathorn, full of dangers and mysteries, but on we tracked them with Enailis unerring sense of direction. In time, we came across a wall full curious. Around it, the ground was clear and not a speck of snow could stay, even though it was winter. Enailis scented brimstone, but we found on it a door that lead down, down, deep under the ground. Is this the kind of story you like to heckle? Shall I continue or are you bored?”

H: “Continue madame, continue!”

G: “Enailis lead us more than a hundred yards into the depths of the earth, the stench of demonic forces growing stronger in our noses with every step. Then we came to a chamber, like unto the size of the mess-hall in Veil’s Mur. In it was a strange stone altar, covered in the blood of innocent sacrifices. In the chamber was a hidden door that we wrenched open, finding a passageway beyond. Not much further, our brave wood elf leader found a trap and guided us through it. This lead to a strange, wide, spiral staircase where we descended even further into the earth, ever closer to the opening to Hell. Now there lay before us a strange stone door with two large pillars beside it. We pushed through and found ourselves surrounded by a mob of formless, strange creatures. They were roughly human sized, but made of flesh that was only half-baked, as if Unre had brought them out of her oven a few years early. We fought our way past them and that is when I opened up my divine sight, granted to me by my Oath as a paladin, letting me see fiends, celestials, undead and their influence. The evil in that place was so strong that I was knocked unconscious for several minutes, while Enailis and the rest bravely protected me. We pushed ever further into the dark chambers, finding old prisons, old barracks, a strange spring lit by magical stones, more stone doors. We fought impish devils that caused the very armor we wore to burn our flesh, although the powers granted to my forebears by Menran protected me. We found a door written in all languages we knew but the Common speech of Brightshore warning of a great evil if it was to be unsealed. We found a ritual chamber where a dozen cultists had murdered themselves for some foul ritual. And, then … we found him – the man we had been chasing all this time…”

H: “Who!?”

That’s the terrible tale that the tattling turncoat templar told. She wouldn’t say the nebulous noteworthy name aloud, but I have my strong scathing suspicions as to the suspect. What do the poignant people think? What is the scandalous secret? Who could it possibly be? What name is too terrible to utter for fear of ruthless recalcitrant retribution? What would make this guard resign? Perhaps, we’ll know next month in Hector’s Heckler!

In the meantime, a novel and new efficacious establishment has opened in the Tower District! Stop by the Citadel Lounge and meet the Knights of the Black Veil! Listen to yours truly on the piano and enjoy the elegant exotic dancing of the attractive Miss Maevis Alanyr! If you play your cards right you may even get a meet and greet with the gallant Galvan Gost or laudable laureled Lancelot! Bring your most extravagant evening attire, enjoy a generous glass of wine, and gossip with our gorgeous gregarious guests! Treat yourself, you deserve a night on the town!

Know that when you dine and delight at the Gost Citadel, you are supporting people of the people! Just listen to the these tender testimonies:

“I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the men of the citadel. I will never forget their names; Sir Lancelot the Brave, Zren the Zealous and Wise, Revan the Revered, Flint the Fearless, and Stopp the Unstoppable. They traveled a week and fought to save my husband when no one else would. What’s more, they did it for free out of the kindness of their hearts. We offered to pay them, but they refused to touch a coin!” – Vanessa Stormsleet

“Aye, these men fought back nightmares on my behalf. I’ll never be able to repay the lifes debt that I owe them. I tell you this though, there are no nobler men in Brightshore” – Arman Stormsleet

“The Pulio family will live on. My name shall not be lost to history, and I have these adventurers to thank for it. I… I offered everything I had, my life’s savings, my years’ harvest. They needed only my thanks. These are good men I tell ye! They don’t make them like this anymore!” – Greg Pulio Senior Senior

“Stopp could stop my heart if I were not a married woman.” – Sarah Jameson

Oh my! Careful now Stopp, I hear Card Jameson is no push over! Well that’s it folks, I’ll see you next month. Be sure to stop on by the citadel to see my fancy new feathered hats. I received more than I knew what to do with after last months’ paper. Some of you nefarious nobles out there have clearly been naughty! Tune in next time to hear the gauche gossip of my Lord Gost’s gratuitous gamble with a real ghost of a girl. Tata for now. Pray I live to tell the tale!

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State of the Game

As we mark the three-month anniversary of Brightshore, I find myself simultaneously proud and nostalgic. If you’ll pardon some indulgence on my part, I’ll reflect on where we started, what has been happening, and where the game might yet go.

On June 2nd, I made the first roll of the first session ever ran in Brightshore. Marty was DMing the first adventure in Brightshore through what was to become the Fog. It was a perception roll, a nat 20. It seemed like a good omen.

The DMs that would become what we now know as World Weavers had met up a handful of times: first to discuss this crazy idea of a multi-store persistent campaign with multiple DMs, then to flesh out the backstory of the world, and then finally for that first session. I wasn’t sure any of this would actually work.

At the outset, what would become Brightshore started off as a game built around the West Marches campaign model. It was originally going to be a simple roam around the wilderness, find neat things, go back to a static town sort of setup. Then, slowly, it began to evolve.

Rebecca created and named the town. Marty made the wiki and built the first full district, and started adding locations and NPCs. Then Rebecca built out the entire council and added more NPCs. James built an entire pantheon single-handedly. Jude made the maps, built the cosmology, and started placing lore.  Shaun created a stack of the history. Ben ran our worldbuilding session. It was (and remains) the most incredible collaborative project I’ve ever worked on with anyone in any context, the World Weavers are an incredible group of people.

Our first public game happened on June 9th. I was the only DM, and after waiting around for about ten minutes, I experienced that feeling that all DMs dread, the letdown of being ready to run a game and having no players. I stuck around for a bit and then drove home, all the while fervently hoping that our efforts weren’t going to be for nothing.

Our first public session with players happened three days later. In Middleton, I had a grand total of two players, Errol and Ezra, who against all odds survived the Fog and brought back an ancient, cursed Dwarven ship that was later cleansed and eventually featured prominently in the Battle of Brightshore. Jude had a near full table (our table max back in those days was 7) in Sun Prairie. Eshel, Galvan, Irato, Maevis, Sir Maximillian von Tibblesworth, and Zren also braved the Fog, and harpies and a feral elf on Lookout Island as well.

At that point, I settled in a bit and figured we had plenty of time to get things in order, and that this might just be a small side project for RPGs at I’m Board. I figured if we only had one table a week at each store, I’d be happy.

And then it just blew up, and I’ve been holding on for the ride ever since. Instead of a small, leisurely, side project of a persistent world, I started getting demands for more DMs and more tables. Players starting asking for rules, rulings, and expansions into other areas of worldbuilding that didn’t yet exist. Players started wanting to own property, run businesses, make items. We spun up a Slack instance so players and DMs could talk. Downtime activities proliferated. We very quickly moved from me being happy to get one full table a week to the uncharted territory of running a high-demand game that is made in a game style that no one has ever attempted anywhere.

I give this background as context for just how far this campaign has come in only three months. Our first session had zero players. This past Sunday, we had 29 players playing in our weird homebrew store setting that’s never been advertised.

Because no one has ever made a campaign like this, we have constantly had to make new rules, tweak existing rules, and as Rebecca put it, lay down the tracks as we’re driving the train. This has definitely at times given players whiplash or caused confusion. I’ve tried to communicate as much as I can about changes and the rationale behind them, but quite a bit slips through the cracks. This means that what you as players are seeing now is very much an unfinished product.

As Brightshore has grown, we’ve also started to run into practical considerations of DM time. All the DMs save myself are volunteers. They run the world, but they do have a life outside of it. As more players became more engaged with the world — a good thing! — we’ve started to look at ways to streamline rules and rulings and otherwise deal with the practical reality of a campaign world as complicated as this that also has well over 50 active players. What you’re starting to see now with recent rule changes (like limiting characters and the new guild rules) is a compromise for things we want to keep available to help expand on the story of your character and help place your character in the world, and the recognition that DMs do not have infinite time to handle everything that was being asked of them.

Which is where we are at now, trying to streamline things and then use time leftover to build out business rules, magical crafting rules, and future plot lines (there’s some good ones!), all while running regular sessions at both locations. We are trying to add as much as we can to the world, but it will take time to get there, and the Brightshore you see now isn’t the Brightshore that will exist in six months’ time.

I appreciate your continued patience as we figure out mechanics and continue to tell the story of this fantastic world. The harrowing adventure, the narrow escapes from death, the heroism, and the antics — all of it has been incredible. I’m thankful to all of you, DMs and players, for making Brightshore what it is today. It is truly humbling, and I can’t wait to see what will happen next!

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