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TwinFalls_Body_01_01Finally, our travels across the Cleave has yielded fruit! We have come upon a stretch of land, fertile and rich, secluded enough that one may hear their own thoughts from the yammering and chopping of wood and clanging of hammer to metal in the settlements to the south. And the waterfalls nearby, such a sight to behold!

The traders of the outposts warned us of the dangers of the Cleave, but I see now they sought to keep us from the unblemished land – here is where we will make our mark, found a claim, and build our homes. We have seen little else but bear tracks in the area, and while numerous, we have not seen their owners since our arrival.

I must ask: Why has such a stretch lain untouched for so long?

Why, it must have been awaiting us - and we are thankful for nature's gift. We shall unload the wagons and put the timber within to good use!

-Ealderman Wincroft
TwinFalls_Body_01_02The beauty of the area is astounding. Everything grows so quickly in the earth, and so much so that the gardens are to bursting – azoth blesses this place, the vegetation especially.

It grows so thickly, in fact, the men have taken to shifts to trimming away the excess vegetation on the houses and fences, yet it seems to grow back with every dawn, thicker than before. While the Adler Boys frequently complain of the chore, they did make mention of something I had not noticed before – they said the greenery seemed to grow thickest from the homes fashioned with the Wyrdwood timber we had carried with us from the West. Does one encourage the other?

-Ealderman Wincroft
TwinFalls_Body_01_03The Adler Boys, gossipers and layabouts, have been causing trouble, even though I've tried to put their idle hands to use trimming the vegetation back. The two made light that we need not need to fear the bears in the woods – we have no need to bolt our doors at night, for the grass and vine that beset our homes would do it for us.

May the bears take them both if they don't mind their tongues.

-Ealderman Wincroft
TwinFalls_Body_01_04Troubles plague us! Not from the land, nor the construction, but the animals, who have grown overbold at our intrusion. While we saw signs of bears and wolves in our journey here, we encountered nothing – yet now that we are making a home in this place, bears have been sighted in increasing numbers at the edge of our settlement.

We keep the doors secured, food out of reach, yet their numbers seem to grow with each passing day. I have sent the Adler Boys (they are the swiftest of us, since we lost the horses) to run for the local outpost for more powder and perhaps to hire some hunters – we shall make short work of these beasts. This is our home, not theirs, and if they persist, they shall see we have claws as well.

-Ealderman Wincroft
TwinFalls_Body_01_05Without the help of the Adler boys - even with their complaining and slowness at the task - the vegetation is proving more than a match for us – the vines are growing thick, more than we can hack away with every morning – and by afternoon, it tangles around our homes again. It is as if nature itself is seeking to drive us away.

Should things in the village become too much, I may seek shelter in the shack up the river, though I would not want to be trapped there should the bears roam that far, there is little place left to flee.

-Ealderman Wincroft
TwinFalls_Body_01_06The horror I beheld when I awoke this morning – our homes, swallowed in vines, and the roars of the bears through the village – I knew the wilderness acted with intent and did not welcome our intrusion. I confess my cowardice – I ran , ran here, but even the falls could not drown out the cries of the other villagers as the beasts fell upon them.

I fear no help will come. I no longer hold out hope for the Adler Boys' return: I pray they kept running, and they lead no one else to this False Paradise. A green death that surrounds us, and if we do not keep our wits about us, it shall harvest us, not the other way around.

Light fades, and I see great shapes circling the flimsy walls of this shack. I shall keep quiet and hope nothing comes - but I know this hope to be a lie.

-Ealderman Wincroft
TwinFalls_Body_02_01We were making our way east from the Cleave. We might not have noticed the unusual trees had one of the wagons not gotten caught in the mud. While the industrious among us fought to get it to solid footing, we made an unusual discovery – or should I say, the most idle among us made the discovery: the Adler Boys, who have yet to carry their weight beyond gossip and shirking their chores. In this instance, their idleness proved a boon.

The boys had slipped into the woods and had come upon a strange copse of trees – trees that seemed limmed with a strange blue light, suffusing the wood. We might not have known, had they not returned with branches from the same trees – branches they were using as makeshift swords, not knowing the value of what they held. The boys dubbed it “Wyrdwood” and insisted on keeping their new “swords.”

We quickly noticed the wood was remarkably lightweight and sturdy, so we set aside the labor with the wagon a moment to search the area. This wood may be worth harvesting – for if we fashioned homes or walls from the wood, such structures might prove remarkably sturdy. Perhaps the wagon being caught in the mud was not a setback after all, but a blessing!

-Ealderman Wincroft
TwinFalls_Body_02_02The Adler Boys led our band to the copse of the blue-limmed trees, the “Wyrdwood,” and the trees looked dense enough to harvest – it was unusually strong for its weight (though it took us fashioning some stronger hatchets to bring the trees down).

The discovery was a boost to morale – the discovery of the Wyrdwood even made me hesitant to berate the Adlers for straying from the wagons, though they had been warned countless times.

We set about harvesting what we could, while others got the wagons to dry ground – it seemed fortune favored us, and fortune could be made should we collect enough!

-Ealderman Wincroft
TwinFalls_Body_02_03Our fortune with the Wyrdwood soon turned sour. As we sought more of the trees, it did not take us long to see that the trees neighbored one of the great stone ruins: the same ancient ruins with the preserved corpses, standing at attention, the ones that were said to walk with blue fire in their chests. Fortunately, we spotted the ruins at a safe distance, so we quickly and quietly returned to camp – the lumber had already been loaded, so we were soon on our way.

I consulted my maps of the region, and if there were a tie between the wood and the ruins, it was likely other sources of the Wyrdwood could be found near other ancient sites. I did not wish to test our luck by seeking them out - but perhaps the knowledge could be of use to a merchant.

For now, we continue our search for a settlement to make our own – our wagons continued along the roads, making their way east: We'll travel to the other edge of the Cleave if need be, but I'll not settle for nesting near ruins or outposts, that much I swear.

-Ealderman Wincroft

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