|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_01_05||Our crops continue to rot as villagers leave one by one. Those who were stubborn enough to stay are now too stubborn to leave. Those foolish enough to eat these crops turn gravely ill. All our harvests fail, what did we do to deserve this blight?||12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_01_06||I sense that the lightning storm was merely the beginning of the end for our lives here. We've had vicious attacks from these... monsters. Husks that seem human, but only ravage and destroy. The remaining families have lost members in the attacks, and we survivors are now forced to flee this area. We have no choice but to leave.||12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_01_07||We've had some luck to move farther north. We've found fertile land and decided to rebuild. Nestled within the crags that surround it, we soon saw a small lake as a respite in our journey and replanted our crops. Scorching our tools, we found that fire cleansed them of the stench of the blight and remained vigilant in how we use the soil. But, we are unsure if those freaks with the red eyes will find us here, too. Mayhap it is only a matter of time...|
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_01_08||Some of us have settled in the west side of the valley, naming the farm "Lakeside." We settled opposite of them to the east, naming our township "Farside." The crags and trees shroud that soil in a year-round shade. Though this would be detrimental to some crops, we've found these conditions perfect to grow a healthy rhubarb crop on this island. The Lakeside families shared with the Farside families a technique to hold back the blight: cleansing the tools we use with fire. May it help us survive the horrors of this island.||12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_01_09||The attacks begin again, but none of us were under the naive impression that those fiends would leave us alone. Lakeside has already fallen, and the red-eyed monsters are swarming on Farside. Those of us that have survived these attacks have decided to make for the settlement to the north in Devil's Quarry. It is the last judgement for us, and the settlement may be our only salvation.||12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_03_01||I don't think I can take much more of this. I try my best to craft weapons for these insolent pirates, and all I am met with are more demands from this mad Captain! All he wants is more shine, more gilded handles... I am collecting my due fees, and quite a handsome pay at that, but I shall decidedly not put my mark on these weapons. In fact, I would be ashamed to admit these trinkets are my own work!|
-L. Harrison, Master Artificer
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_03_02||The damn weapons won't even fire! What use are these damn things if they're nothing but pretty toys!||12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_04_01||Just one more... These damned walking cadavers, their blank eyes glowing red. Mocking me. My wounds cloud my head, but just one more...||12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_04_02||Quite curious is the case of the creatures in this mine! As some lucky adventurers have discovered, these fiends do in fact eat any gems they find. One could hypothesize that in life they worked these mines, once a rich source of precious stones on Aeternum. However, one must ask, why do they eat them? The idea I propose is based on their patterns of hoarding! They must have some semblance of the value of these stones and, in a lust to hoard wealth, they put such small stones into the safest place they can muster: their own bodies!|
Finding precious gems in the belly of these poor wretches is still rare. Some guess that only one in group of ten Withered may have a gem in their belly. With that in mind, good luck! You may need it.
-Dr. H. Garrison
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_05_01||Some madman attacked me! He was crazed and wild, with red eyes that struck fear in my heart. I held him back with my pitchfork, and he ran away. The stink coming off of him is one I will not soon forget. Now, that stench won't come off my pitchfork no matter how many times I wash it.|
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_06_01||Now I see what Thorton was talking about in her last letter. These Ancient Guardians are ferocious, suspended in undeath to guard the ruins of a society we may never understand. Well, out with the old and in with the new as I always say. I will try to cull as many Ancient Guardians as I can while out hunting so that Survivalist Thorton might have some relief from their blockades. If only I had someone to help with this...||12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_06_02||Those bastards! Those dastardly, villainous fiends! The mace-wielding miscreants of Archernar killed me, and even worse, they damaged my pants! This is azoth-infused silk, and incredibly hard to come by. It isn't easy being the most fashion-forward Survivalist of all the settlements but it's a title with which I find immense pride. I will have my revenge for this affront to my aesthetics.||12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_07_01||Coming to this island was a mistake. I came to this island seeking fortune and riches. But, I was mislead. This place is no heaven...|
As I lie here, dying, I feel my soul leaving this husk. Ah, is this how it felt Faustus? To have body and soul ripped to pieces by the claws of fiends?
Maybe, like Faustus, my fate was sealed when I signed to come to this place. Maybe coming to this island was both my sin and my punishment.
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_08_01||I hear his footsteps coming closer, his boots booming against the wooden planks beneath me... He'll make quick work of the flimsy door and barricade I've created. Montore has gone mad. He's slaughtered his own crew as we crashed on the island. But, more terrifying than that, the dead sailors around me seem to come back to life. Their eyes are empty, twisted by Montore's madness. I hide here, but I know that I too will meet the same fate. This entire expedition was doomed.||12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_11_01||As I rest here, watching the waves crash upon the beach, I reminisce about my old life. I was a budding antiquarian: the stories of the past, and the people that made those stories so real to me, drove me to this Island. Though at first the hardships of this island made my outlook on surviving here bleak, my tune has changed.|
To be honest, when Bixford recommended to me to be a Watcher, I didn't understand why anyone would do this job. But, over time, investigating the ships, talking to new folks, and aiding them after crashing onto the island... Hearing their stories, piecing together their past, and helping them figure out their future on the island. It scratches an itch! I'll thank Bixford next time I'm in the settlement...
Fighting the Drowned? No one loves every part of their job, I suppose.
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_11_02||I met a man who was hiding inside of the Poseidon after he had crashed onto Aeternum. I spoke with him and tried to help him, but for the first few moments of our meeting he was unintelligibly muttering about "Poseidon's Curse."|
As I continued talked to him, he regained his wits. I quickly pieced together that he was on a ship that was struck by spires of Corruption, which seems quite common among survivors that wash ashore. He attributed this to a curse from Poseidon. I should report this to the Greyjacks, this is too common to be a coincidence.
Sometimes shipments from the settlement can be a little lean on meat, but these infestations of Boar here can be controlled and maintained like livestock. If you're ever hungry between shipments, this infestation should make a great source of food in between. I'll see what I can do about getting some meatier shipments.
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_12_01||Out by the coast she still lurks, evading me at every turn. I know I had her on my hook once or twice, for her favorite bait is glowworms and I have them in great supply.|
I know it's the same Ray-Finned Barb. I've taken to calling her 'Nibbler' for the way she toys with my bobber before I can properly hook her. This one is too smart for her own good. Nibbler must be a lady, for you see it is the female Barb who hulks over the male in size, and her wit is mighty quick.
But I shall not let her outswim or outsmart me. I'll get her one day, and mount her on my home wall. One day, Nibbler, you shall be mine...
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_12_02||If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime. Or at least that's what Papa said.|
That is why I taught all my subordinates in the army the essential skill of fishing. It's why I continue to teach fishing even in my retired living. It is not only a pleasurable hobby but a means of survival here in Aeternum. Fish are food, and food is life.
We were hoping you'd join our hunt, but your odor is spooking all the game. So we're heading out on our own.
Don't know what you've got spoiling in them guts of yours, but you can expel it in solitude. We've had enough of it!
Once we've bagged a bear or two, we'll be back to let you out. Hopefully, your arse will have said its piece by then.
First Mate Tupu
Chief Technical Officer Salesa
Second Mate Hoapili
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_14_02||- Three crates of bullion|
- Hardtack rations
- Two reels of parchment
- Thirteen hatchets
- Fifteen bows
- Five crates of arrows
Mutiny is upon us. Boatswain Arona has gotten it into everyone's heads that the ship would be better run by him and the whispers of dissent have grown to a dull roar belowdecks. I will have to reinstate my authority by any means necessary if we are to reach our destination in time.
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_15_01||In th' beginning, there was naught but formless energy. |
A material energy, though sublime.
An ethereal fire.
Within the fire was contained all life, every thought, every impulse.
When bullet or lead ball be fired, therein do an infinite power of impulse reside. A single second, betwixt thy click of a hammer and thy mighty spark's ignition be where secrets of the universe hide.
The Island has given me sight. Every death and every return, I see our purpose yet clearer.
Listen to me true story, and believe!
- Master Cannoneer Jennings
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_15_02||In the Before, was I a humble pirate warlord. |
My ships numbered hundreds and every nation was afeared. How little did I know, me true path had yet been revealed.
Me First Mate, family on th' high seas, had raised mutiny. I had no choice. So sadly, had I no choice but to execute the poor soul on sight. Without a sea breeze of a second, I barely thought and fired.
The cool sizzle of th' exhausted barrel. Saw the universe explode before my very eyes! That was the day, I always say, that I became a Master Cannoneer.
- Master Cannoneer Jennings
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_15_03||I once felt the life in my veins. Was electric. But to be truly Lost... is electricity and a strange numbness at the same time. With every death, me spark mixes with something alien and divine. |
And when the dream ends, ye wake up on th' shores of yer long-lost passing. Again and again and again. Every journey be breathless and infinite! Every moment awake is a gift! And a poisoned fruit.
I've seen the end though!
I've seen when the spark gives up! There be nothing left but formless energy!
It only takes time! And time, I think, is all we have.
- Master Cannoneer Jennings
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_15_04||Loyal comrades! Faithful friends!|
Join! Submit to the Cannon. Submit to th' bullet, gunpowder, and musket.
Join and be shown yer truest path. Path to enlightenment, and th' only way we ever escape this godforsaken Island.
Join and I shalt carry ye beyond thy veil. Through dusk and moonlight's peak, where we may all rest… Join me and find eternal freedom!
- Master Cannoneer Jennings
I left town at twilight, to avoid a scene with Constable Saville. But she was there, waiting at the gate, like she knew my thoughts. “Such a shame to see you go,” she said. “Monarch's Bluffs will surely miss you.”
A perfectly normal thing to say. For the hundredth time, I wonder if the things I saw Saville do that night were just a nightmare. I can hear your voice, telling me that I'm being too paranoid.
I find myself watching her. She seems so normal, wrapped up in the petty concerns of the settlement. But sometimes…I catch a flash of it in her eyes, when she looks at me. Maybe it's always been there. Or maybe she sees me as a threat, now.
I'm coming to Windsward. If I head straight east all night, I should be able to get there by daybreak. The terrors of the nighttime wilds are nothing, compared to what I'm leaving behind.
I'm looking forward to a fresh start.
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_16_02||From the desk of Constable Saville:|
Christopher Ward has vanished from Monarch's Bluffs. His house was found emptied of all belongings. His soul has not returned home. None of the other settlements, nor any of the Watchers, have seen hide nor hair of him.
I must note Christopher had been acting strangely in the days leading up to his disappearance. He seems to have fallen victim to some kind of paranoid delusion. I even caught him peering into my window late at night.
Disappearances are, of course, nothing new in Aeternum. There are many dangers that await the underprepared and the overly-curious. Still, as the Constable of this settlement, I feel somewhat responsible. In the end, Christopher simply wouldn't heed my warnings.
Unless further evidence turns up, Mr. Ward is presumed Lost or Corrupted. I'll ask Adjudicator Owgan add his name to the Covenant prayer list of wayward souls.
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_17_01||--gave me news of this “High King’s” arrival. I am told it was nothing short of miraculous. His vessel seemed undamaged and of a strange design. It was said to shine with a blinding light. I doubt this to be true but these stories are spreading.|
Whoever he fancies himself to be, he will no doubt prove a threat to your lordship’s dominion over these lands. I counsel you to gather your warriors and go to meet this potential usurper. I shall send word to the other lords. Perhaps united we can prevent calamity--
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_17_02||The High King’s magician has knowledge of an incantation that gives him mastery over the strange power of this land. I have never witnessed such a thing. Could he have discovered the secrets of the Ancients? How did he accomplish this so quickly?|
Only a few words are known to me. It’s ancient Celtic. It speaks of a “serpent’s breath” and a “twilight realm” and of “folk of light and shadow.”
I must learn the secrets of this charm. With its power I could change our fortunes.
Amaranth the Raven-Haired
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_17_03||I held the Eternal Blade in my hands. I could not identify the metal. It was lighter than steel and glittered like polished silver. I would swear it hummed. |
The High King bid me strike an old anvil with the edge. I dared not until he commanded it. Gripping it firmly, I smote the anvil and sheared away its heel in one stroke.
The Eternal Blade bore no mark. Its edge remained keen as a razor. By God, I will never see its equal.
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_17_04||12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_18_01||Our work on the Great Wall continues. I have met master masons from every known land. The collection of knowledge and skill assembled here astonishes me.|
The High King’s wizard uses his craft to help us rebuild and fortify these ancient stones. He speaks of an evil that gathers in the north. We have seen more of those crimson demons. We must be ready for what is coming.
Connor Hewer, Master Mason
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_18_02||The High King’s wizard fancies himself Taliesin of the old legends. He is cunning to be sure, and possesses knowledge of the Ancients unknown to us. He wields a staff of intricate design that allows him to manipulate the magic of this land. He claims he will pass on this knowledge to others. He has already taken on many apprentices.|
I believe he harbors a secret desire in his heart. The people give him their trust but I feel this wizard will bring doom to us all. The evil of this land will taint him. I must learn his secrets before it is too late.
Amaranth the Raven-Haired
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_18_03||The High King has commanded that the stars be carefully measured and charted. I will do my part in this endeavor for I believe the answers to this world’s mysteries can be found in the heavens. The Sumerians, Greeks, and Persians knew this to be true. The Ancients knew this as well as evidenced by their study of the stars.|
But Myrddin advises caution. He claims that just as we gaze out into the vast darkness, so too does it gaze back at us. He warns us to be forever vigilant for evil does not sleep.
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_19_01||Myrddin cast me out of the Order. He accused me of deceit and of sowing the seeds of discord. But I have spoken the truth. I know the evil that has taken root in his mind. I see what he is becoming.|
The others will not heed my warnings. Fools! The fall of the High King will be on their heads! I do not possess the strength to challenge Myrddin directly, but I must try to foil his purpose for the sake of us all.
I will plead my case directly to the High King. I have found the “Folk of Light and Shadow.” They may prove to be allies. It is my fervent hope the High King is as wise as they say.
Amaranth the Raven-Haired
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_19_02||God’s blood! Waves of demons crash upon us with the fury of a storm. They strike where we are weakest. We cannot hold them! Our fortifications crumble!|
We’ve been betrayed! The Crimson Sorcerer has revealed himself. It is said he commands the infernal hordes. God in heaven, we are lost!
The High King has retreated to the shore. They say the Raven-Haired fights by his side. May God see him safely away from this accursed island! And may He have mercy on our souls…
|12_MonarchsBluffs_Body_19_03||The demons have overrun the land, slaughtering every living soul. A lucky few may have found the peace of eternal death. The rest have joined the ranks of the Withered or been twisted into fell shapes.|
We have taken refuge here but it’s only a matter of time before we are discovered. Even if we are not, our stores of food and water dwindle. A few of us shall have to venture out in a few days.
How could we have come to this? The High King’s promise of a fair world has been shattered. This land exists under a curse which cannot be lifted. I dared to hope and dream. Now, I pray I can forget…