The Brightshore Observer
DOCEMBRUS YEAR 24
The Loss of The Luminaire
Although it is never my intention to make the news, sometimes I happen to be along when it happens. Such was the case when I set sail with Zentariel of the Hall of Hunters, the esteemed Ezra and the delightful Cornelius Agrippa aboard The Luminaire, ostensibly on a trip of ‘diplomacy and trade.’
This was, in point of fact, a ruse that Zentariel chose to pull upon the Council – intending instead to sell The Luminaire to the highest bidder she could find. This ship, as you will recall, was key in defeating the bugbear and goblin forces in the Battle of Brightshore.
Although we were attacked by a ghostly, three-headed dwarf king, the gentlewoman from the Hall of Hunters was ultimately successful – selling the Luminaire for some several tens of thousands of gold pieces to the settlement at Boviamatua. She gave the bulk of those to the Council, but was also generous in the payment of myself, Ezra and Cornelius.
We are saddened by the loss of the last ship in Brightshore’s navy, but, according to all accounts, the Council is pleased with what they have received in return. Registrar Atwood said that Zentariel had “done a great service to this city” and even Arbiter Fallwood called it “clever.” This summary must also stand as my excuse for the late delivery of this newspaper.
– Hraesvelgar Katla
A Journey to the Underdark in Oncemas
The below account was provided in Draconic, with translation by Hraesvelgr Katla.
So, for my part the whole event began when I was using the time they give away at the stage, over at Errol’s Nicked Rock, for people to play instruments, sing, and so on. I saw the Yeoman having conversation with someone who was clearly looking for a job to be done. You know the kind I mean; he had a long cloak, and a hood that you knew he’d be wearing even if it wasn’t cold.
Sure enough, he was looking to take the Yeoman to meet with some elvish house off in the Underdark. I had some tales of this place, but I had never been, and they seemed to need a group to come along, so there we were.
The Underdark was pretty much everything you’ve heard, but I’ll say it’s good to have the knowing of it myself.
Dark, lots of monsters… I’d advise anyone to have caution, and make sure you have a guide… I have a good head for maps, but I don’t think I could retrace our path, at least not the way we went. Maybe the way we came back.
Apparently the elves just below us aren’t too fond of us, because they think someone on our council took someone who was theirs.
I don’t have the full tale there, but they seem to take it seriously. The elves we went to meet… certainly had a high opinion of themselves. They didn’t want to admit that they needed something, even thought they went through all the trouble to get us there.
They eventually allowed that us having city itself was something they might want to take advantage of, but they didn’t seem to have complete confidence it would work out.
So, from what I understand, they’ll be having talks with the Council, or at least staying in touch.
Hints from the Aukāri Pine
For our adventure in early Docembrus into the Aukāri Pine, Galvin, Maevis, Pietro, Riyla, Zren, and Goldie ventured forth to visit the Bear Discipline to search for survivors. It was a five day journey until they came to a magical entrance that they entered to find a cave filled with black moss and terrible insectoid creatures. They battled bravely and defeated the creatures, only to find that the people they were searching for had been taken. Needing information, they sought out Behmeiv and tried to put the pieces together but it seems they’re starting to edge into things only known about in story and myth.
– Sunlight on Golden Boughs
Eye on the Council
Since our last publication, the Council has been exceedingly busy, with multiple announcements and meetings.
In late Oncemas, the Council stepped forward to provide information about the financial status of the city of Brightshore. As of that statement, the city expends more than what it takes in. As such, the Council proposed and validated a sales tax to assist with the flow of income. Additional information on the financial details can be requested from Registrar Atwood. In addition, during this address, Indomitable Cleo also spoke out, requesting volunteers to help with the city’s defenses. However, current affairs leave this request in an unknown status.
In early Docembrus, Consul Maxmillian von Tibblesworth announced the Second Council’s first treaty: a recognition of borders with Lord Armastus of the Dark Forest. The treaty is as follows:
- Brightshore recognizes the Ava river as the western border of Lord Armastus’ lands. The portions of the Dark Forest west of the river shall server as a neutral zone.
- Brightshore residents are forbidden to cross the river into Lord Armastus’ lands without express permission. They may visit the keep at Kavonia Ma to request passage or discuss other matters. Any resident who crosses the river forgoes all expectation of protection from Brightshore and places themselves wholly under the law and will of Lord Armastus. Furthermore, residents who trespass and return may be subject to prosecution should a formal complaint be issued.
- Likewise, denizens of the Dark Forest will not cross into Brightshore territory without express permission.
- Vesfyria Pyrehart is recognized as Lord Armastus’ chosen representative in Brightshore.
This treaty brought about much discussion amongst the people and politicians of Brightshore. Many spoke up for and against the treaty during the meeting, and the opinions of a collection of townspeople can be found in the Editorials section of this issue.
Only a week further into the month found Brightshore without two of its councilors. Indomitable Cleo Catra Moon-shadow, her husband Norio, and their recently born kits repaired from the city without notifying anyone other than the Indomitable’s friend, Vesfyria Pyreheart, who, the careful reader will note, was named the chosen representative of Lord Armastus. All that is known of Indomitable Moon-shadow’s departure comes from the note that she left in her home:
To whoever finds this,
I write this stating that myself, Norio, and our children have decided to leave the city of Brightshore and we do not plan on returning. Given the events that unfolded at the announcement about the vampire, I have come to realize a lot about others in this city. I do not believe this town is as good as I originally believed it to be due to the amount of hatred and bias the people have. All we wanted was to establish a peaceful border agreement to attempt to not make another enemy, and we were at first seen as the ones who ruined the sanity and safety of this city.
I questioned if I was protecting the correct people…
All I worked for was also taken from me and some of the people I trusted and respected the most turned their back on me when I needed their help most. Even some friends who I helped obtain their life back seemed to hold distrust against me in the end given all I’ve done. I knew I couldn’t look back after all that…
I leave my home and whatever possessions it contains to Vesfyria Pyreheart, and her only. If she does not want it, I would ask the home be dismantled and tree cut down and burned.
I am sorry to those I called friends… I did not feel my family was safe after the announcement so we left the very next morning. Please make sure you question who the correct people to protect and save are… do not look for me for all I want now is to live in peace and simplicity in a safe place with my husband and kittens.
-Cleo Catra Moon-Shadow
When announcing the disappearance of Cleo Catra, the Council also made known that Consul Maxmillian von Tibblesworth is also no longer in Brightshore, but is expected to return at an unknown point. In addition, it was announced that the Council would be permanently reduced to five members instead of six, with the defense of the city (and the remaining Defenders) being placed under the jurisdiction of the guard. The public was welcomed to comment on these issues, and various opinions were noted, but no movement towards an additional election or replacement of the sixth councilor was made.
Editor’s note: Any resident of Brightshore is welcome to make their opinions heard through the Brightshore Observer. Please see Hraesvelgr Katla in the Nicked Rock if you wish to share your own opinions. All opinions published are that of the submitter and do not necessarily represent the opinion of anyone else. The Brightshore Observer does retain the right to edit for length, threats of bodily or spiritual harm, or crass language.
Letter from Zek
Financial Tips for the Council
The Council has made much noise about their lack of funds. Any lack of funds is due to not properly applying the Precepts of Profitability to your enterprise. However, here are three concrete things any merchant would advise the council:
Tax the Rich – There wealthy people who come to Brightshore every day – tax them! Tax adventurers and merchants entering the city for the gold that they bring! They come to Brightshore for a reason, make them pay for it! Remember, Councillors, exploitation begins at home!
Tax the Land – Speaking of home, for the landowners in Brightshore, charge them a fee for their property yearly. This is only fair as they partake in the wondrous benefits of Brightshore currently for no cost. One could imagine that the taxes from Gost Citadel alone could pay for ten guards! Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack!
Sell Unused Assets – With the sale of the Luminaire, it shows that the Council is finally showing some fine fiscal sense. There are surely other things owned by the City and therefore the Council that could be sold. The Defenders barracks! The Park! Or, when they stop paying the Guard, the Graystone! After all, faith moves mountains … of inventory!
These strategies may seem strange, but remember – free advice is seldom cheap!
On a Treaty with Vampires
While I was not able to make a full study of the opinions around the city, I was able to speak with a few citizens who were willing to share their thoughts on the divisive treaty.
Look, if making a deal with Mr. Pointy Teeth means we all get to keep our blood in our bodies where it belongs, then so be it.
– Gail Sanza, dockworker
A treaty with a vampire? What next? Are they just going to go around an invite him into each an every home to ensure he has plenty of snacks? Pah! One of them new council members is probably already charmed by the foul creature.
– Abigail Farnsworth
As a tiefling, I know what it’s like to have people assume you’re up to no good just based on who you are. What has Armastus done to us other than ask us to respect his territory?
I get their point, but can we really trust a vampire? I think we’re trusting an enemy with our back and hoping we don’t get stabbed.
– Anonymous guard
If the council wants to not keep ‘avin money problems, they ought not annoy the goddess what puts gold in the ground.
– Anonymous citizen
Our prayers are with the family and loved ones of the eighteen brave sailors whose lives were lost during the battle with the undead on the Luminaire this month.
Due to my month-long adventure, I am unable to share more about the life and doings of your fellow citizens of Brightshore this month. Please look forward to the return of more Lifestyle news next month, including an interview with Chancellor Galvan Gost.