Thursday, 26 July 2012

Finn's Almanac - Mid Spring 1153

Weather: Cold Spring Rain
Wind: Strong South Westerly Gusts
Sky: Overcast
Lore: If a circle forms ‘round the moon, ‘twill rain or snow soon.

...I'm happy to report I'm at my parents' villa here in my hometown of Port Sumac. The month following our arrival in Darkwater and the failed rescue mission has been rather quiet aside from minor jobs. Kole has been working in the local smithy, setting about equipping the locals with the means to defend themselves if necessary from any predators that may threaten the town. Once we had agreed that Kole could manage any concerns that might arise while I am away, I set sail for Port Sumac on a merchant's knarr. I believe Kole has proven himself a capable Guard Mouse and trust him to serve and protect the mice of Darkwater.

The crossing was pleasant, if a little rough; I didn't realize how much I missed sailing until I was upon the open sea. Port Sumac has changed little since I last saw it over a year or so ago, but it still remains a busy little seaside town. My parents were delighted to see me, as I was to them; they appear to be in good health and still ply their trade as expert boatcrafters. I've often considered if I had not joined the Guard, it'd be happy and content working my family's trade. During my visit I saw many a mouse I grew up with, including unfortunately Vidar. I still hold a grudge against that bully from childhood, and I think he hates me even more now that I've been accepted into the ranks of the Guard. That wharf rat of a mouse can go eat sand for all I care, just as long as he stays away from my family. I'm going to try to forget I came across him in the tavern and just enjoy my visit.

...Just received a missive from Lockhaven. I am to travel to Wolfepointe and check on the locals. Oh well, at least I got to enjoy a few weeks with my kin, I'm going to miss them. Mom's packing me some food for the journey, she's always looking out for me. I leave tomorrow by the east route.

Weather: Spring Storm
Wind: Moderate Gale ranging from the South to West
Sky: Thunderheads
Lore: A coming storm your shooting corns presage, And aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage.

...Today was a trying day. After a few days of rough journey from Port Sumac to Wolfepointe in stormy weather, I arrived at the outskirts to the most eastern settlement in the Territories. As I approached the town, I came upon two other Guard members who we're also in the process of arriving: Ulf and Kaylyn. Ulf I knew well from a patrol we both plied in last year, he is a clever, ashen-furred guardmouse who wears a strikingly ugly ochre-coloured cloak. The other mouse I wasn't familiar with; her name was Kaylyn, a grey tenderpaw under tutelage to Ulf. She is a quiet young mouse, yet I sense a degree of brooding behind her stoicism, though that might be attributed to the fact all three of us were soaked to the bone from the storm. Ulf and Kaylyn had been dis-batched from Lonepine to Wolfepointe, and their journey was as long and tiresome as my own.

Before we made our way into the hamlet, my new companions informed me the waters of the river that ran from the north-east of the town were flooded. Believing this to be of possible concern to the folk of Wolfepointe, we investigated further. It seemed despite a levee having been installed to prevent flooding of the river, it was not enough to contain the exceedingly high waters brought about by this storm as the downrush was beginning to lap over the edges of the embankment. The storm showed no sign of abating, so we decided swift measures must be taken to protect the town.

Ulf and Kaylyn headed into town in search of tools and assistance, and found both in the form of spades and empty grain sacks, and townsmice and a rather robust guard mouse I did not recognise. Having tools and hands, we executed our plan: With the large guard mouse's help, I jumped the river and began to cut breaches with the shovel in the far bank levee to bleed off the channel, whilst the other mice filled the grainsacks with sand and re-enforced the townside embankment.

Our undertaking appeared to be successful in lessening the threat of the deluge when suddenly a huge wave came hurdling downstream. Although a brief cry of warning to brace against it was given, one of the townsmice was swept away by this surge. Ulf took off like a bolt along the stream following the mouse, with Kaylyn and the broad mouse close behind. By the time they had returned, the brook waters had receded to safe levels and I was informed despite the valiant efforts of Ulf and Kaylyn to save him, the poor townsmouse had drowned. The unfortunate price paid to ensure security of the villagers and their homesteads.

My companions and I turned-in to the guard post, dried ourselves in front of a warm fire whilst we ate and drank, and discussed our plans for the following day before laying down to sleep. We decided to hold a forum with the townsfolk to address our concerns about the security of Wolfepointe, as the lack of forethought appears to be what brought about this potential catastrophe.

...After we broke our fast, we proceeded to the townhall to find the majority of the folk already there; apparently in times of crisis they occupy the building for security. We opened dialogue with everyone there, addressing our concerns to the flash flood the night prior and the general security of the settlement. It was mentioned that a number of weasel sightings had occurred over the past year, but they had caused no trouble to the townsfolk; the mayor, Guy, adamantly insisted that the mustelidae did not present any threat to the livelihood of Wolfepointe's citizens and we should concern ourselves with other matters. He also blatantly accused the three of us of causing the flash flood to present the Guard more favourably for donations.

I quickly decided that this foolish mouse was going to put his citizens in danger with his brazen disregard for their concerns. We then asked the public if could perform the duties of town improvement and security on their collective behalf and after much dialogue a large majority sided with our pledge to the safety of Wolfepointe, much to the chagrin of the major and his lackeys.

After the meet, my fellow Guardsmice and I set to work grouping the volunteering townsmice and assigning them tasks; such as removing the barricades from homes (which the folk had build against threat of flood.), reinforcing the levee, renewing the militia, erecting a palisade, and others of the like. I wish we had Kole here to assist us in this, he is suited to much of this work. We soon learned that many of the mice were hesitant to perform these tasks, despite being supportive to our cause. Deeper inquiry into the nature of this aversion brought forth a unsettling revelation: 

It seemed that many of the mice who went about making changes of the like over the past few years had mysteriously disappeared, with no remains ever found. Each departure was recorded in the town hall along the births and deaths of the locals. After a brief convene on this disconcerting information with the other Guardsmice, Ulf left urgently to consult the records but was denied entry to the hall by Guy.

Through cunning use of words Ulf caused the mayor, who initially denied knowledge of any missing mice, to accidentally admit that such records pertaining to the absent do exist. He then became further tight-lipped upon realizing his error. We made this revelation known to the locals whose support we further garnered, and eventually won access to the annals after Guy backed down from the overwhelming advocacy from the town.

A thorough, live-reading of the register did indeed turn up vast number of discrepancies: Though overall deaths related to predations over the past few years were unusually low for any mouse settlement, let alone one so isolated; the amount of missing cases was abnormally high. Even if half of the cases were caused by predators or accidents in the wild, the lack of any evidence of remains is troublesome.

As of now, having become suspect to something sinister in nature, the folk of Wolfepointe contained the mayor to the town hall. Ulf, Kaylyn, and myself have been discussing the turn of events. Since the Guard itself has no power or legitimacy to govern a settlement, we have decided to facilitate the town's inevitable change of office that we feel is going to occur, including it in our current task of helping the mice of this settlement. I write this as the sun lowers west, and the sky begins to darken. Ulf and I have decided to patrol the town this eve; more time to ponder the fate of Wolfepointe.


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