Saturday, October 31, 2020

Caleb Parker - somebody has to stick around Rivertown and do things, right?

 Caleb Parker built a little house down by the water, in between his grandfather's houses, Matthew Parker and Gary Pippington, and across the way from where his mother Susan (Pippington) and Jack Parker live.  Jack, his father, really wanted him to work at the bank.  Jack had been learning since his teenager-hood to take over the bank from Dan McElvaney.  But, Caleb likes to get his hands in the soil, or the feedbin, or the river... he has been helping his grandfather Matthew and neighbor Sam Sevier with the animals, gardens and taken particular interest in the orchard in between Rivertown and Benson's Pointe.


Caleb Parker's bachelor house

He spends months rotating the trees, harvesting the wood, the apples, and planting new saplings.  In the between-times, he harvests the sugarcane, feeds and slaughters the cows for the leather shop, shears the sheep and keeps the kilns operating with coal so Sam doesn't get all out of breath.  Sam splits his time between going out to Piper's Cove to check in on Kallum Allen's blacksmithing training and directing affairs in Rivertown.   Sam never did marry, and for 88 years old, he is lucky really to be making the trip through the Dark Oak woods even once a week.  Melodie Whitacre keeps making sure he takes his vegetables and honey, and once in a while she and her husband Mack Gordon stop by the farm and tell Sam it's time to go to bed.  Mack sometimes slips something a little stronger than 'honey' to him, fermented mead, and then a little rest by the fire looks more inviting.


Sam Sevier's orchard, and Kori Paltry's grave

It's a good thing Caleb is a homebody - somebody has to stick around Rivertown and settle down.  With the Thomases headed off across the sea and the Phillips family headed out to the NorthEast Plains (with the DeCroix cousins) and sister Alisa way off to WestSea, Caleb has started wondering if he will be the last of his generation to stick around and pull Rivertown through.  He even thought about going with the Phillips' off to the Plains, maybe to find a wife somewhere in North City Remnants.. but Rivertown has too much of a pull on his soul.  He likes to sit in his little house as the sun goes down and listen to the animals and the lull of the river.. and think about all of the good things the city makes and his role in it.  He hopes he could find a wife that would be as interested in the city and keeping it running.

The other little problem Caleb has is that all of the nearby girls that have stuck around, like Lana Benson, are cousins of his!  Lana's mother is a Parker, and he is a Pippington on his own mother's side.  The Pippingtons' are well known for being prolific, and it seems everyone lately has to count on their fingers how many generations back they go before they hit one of the Pippington offspring.

But on a Spring visit to Rebecca Robert's fine food on the West side of Rivertown, Caleb got a sweet surprise.  He was bringing in a lot of sugarcane, and was planning on having some pumpkin pie and a little cider when he found himself staring at a curly nest of red hair bent down over one of the tables.  He couldn't drag his eyes away.  He handed Rebecca the sugarcane without taking his eyes off of what turned out to be Rebecca's granddaughter, Suki Roberts, drawing a map of Rivertown with extreme detail.  

Rebecca put her fingers under Caleb's chin and directed his eyes back to her with a bit of a warning -- 'That's my granddaughter you're staring at, lover boy.... and she is taking classes at the Porter Thomas school until August.'  Craig Roberts walked in behind Caleb, just as the poor boy came back to his senses and started making small talk.  Caleb caught one glance of Suki's expression at hearing 'loverboy' and skedaddled back to East Rivertown like he had a Pillager on his tail.  The more he thought about that expression the more he wondered if he should have stayed a moment longer... but with her father Craig also in the room he was just too afraid of making a repetition of the expression 85 year old Rebecca had taken offense to.  He didn't know it, but Rebecca hadn't taken offense to it at all, just the timing... a few weeks before Exams.

West Rivertown from the Porter Thomas School looking East

The rest of the summer passed by, and Caleb began doing things that weren't quite like himself.  He daydreamed, during the day, not just in front of the fire at night.  He spent money on rugs and a map to put up in his house.  He made sure he had ink and paper on hand, even thought the closest thing to art he could manage was a stick-figure cow.  He even thought about going to Marika at the School and asking what classes he could take.  But then he snapped out of it, because who would keep Sam from working himself to death?  Caleb threw himself back into the farm and brought in the harvest.

It was the end of August and Caleb began to notice that there were quite a few more eyes on him than usual.  Rebecca Roberts, his own grandmother Sandra Parker, Pilar Daniels and Yuri Patterson had all been keeping a watch over him and his activities ever since the Spring.  His grandmother had even urged him, for some reason, to order yellow striped banners for his house.  'Girls like yellow, apparently...'

He opened his door one morning to find a small yellow envelope with an invitation in it.  He read the following : "Please attend the graduation ceremony of Suki Roberts, Porter-Thomas School, Cartography department.  Officiating: Marika Otrio, chancellor"  The ceremony was that afternoon at 1 o clock.

Caleb's eyes went huge.  Then he sat down for a while.  Then he went and picked some flowers and put on his best white leather tunic.  

When he came around the gardens near Iyaga Farm that afternoon the sight of Suki took his breath away even more than before.  He felt a push at his back and saw Melissa Robinson, coming from her house, prodding him forward.  "The girl doesn't even know who you are, Caleb...yet.   But, if you speak to her, maybe she'll find out  Rebecca sends her love, by the way.", she said as she winked at him and slapped him on the shoulder.  Then, Melissa went around him and brought her jars of honey to the table and started greeting relatives from near and far that were also attending the graduation of the Class of 58.

Caleb did work up the courage to at least give Suki the flowers.  Then he gulped and went and hid behind his cousin Astrid.  Astrid was graduating in Medicine, taking lessons from Melodie at Ravenna and also at the School here in Rivertown.  Astrid was about to twist his arm behind his back, and in doing so, she saw the yellow envelope still gripped in his hand.  It had very familiar handwriting, big loopy letters of calligraphy she had seen written on many a menu at a certain restaurant.   Astrid looked from Caleb to Suki to Caleb again, his face as white as his tunic, and said "She'll go to the dance with you next week."   Caleb asked "How do you know?"  Astrid laughed and looked at Suki holding the flowers delicately in her hands and twisting the yellow ribbon on them as she peered across the crowd at them.  "I know." 

Interior, first floor, Porter Thomas School in Rivertown

Caleb and Suki were married in year 59, in the west square of Rivertown, to a packed crowd of well-wishers.  Suki will begin teaching at the school, basic classes at first, in cartography and wayfinding.  Caleb has been staking out a place in West Rivertown to build a larger house for them both, within closer walking range of the school.  He is going to have a lot more on his hands as well, as Marika has offered him not to take classes at the school but to help teach them - Agriculture.  Mack Gordon and Porter Jackson have both tried their hand at it - but keep leaving for long trips and not returning for months.  Marika told Caleb he can fill in, and bring students on field trips to get their hands into the meat and potatoes of Rivertown.  You would have thought Rebecca Roberts had planned it that way from the very start...

Original story : 'McElvaney Enterprises', c. Marie Lamb Oct 2020

Friday, October 30, 2020

David Eastham - Ellsridge Farm years 60-75


 When an Eastham boy goes walking, or rowing, in this case... his little stroll is probably going to end up something more.  Much more.

David Eastham was looking for a place to build a house.  His neighbor Gregory Robinson had just built a big stone house in front of the mine, and Greg's brother Victor was thinking about where to build, as well.  David looked at his prospects, three younger brothers - and decided he was going to take a stroll down into the valley and see what he found.

He found the Firetongue river.  He'd been there before, but the rumors of lava coming out the other side of the mountain had scared him off before.  Now, he took a little boat down the river and found the lava stream coming from the mountain.  And, against his better judgement, he reached out with his bucket and captured the entire lava river.  It seemed like magic - watching all of that light diminish into his one indestructible fire-proof bucket.  And then he climbed up to the top of the plain opposite Table Top and sat there thinking. 

After a bit, he was hungry.  And Cambrey was a long way away.. although he could see the lights in the distance just beyond Table Top... and now the sun was starting to cross the zenith.  He dove down into the river a few times - after depositing his lava in a hole on the plain - and caught some salmon.  When he came up the second time what he saw and heard took his breath away.  

A girl was sitting on the edge of the hill with her hair twisted up in knots, and she was laughing at him.  She was laughing at him so hard, she almost fell down the hill into the river with him.  The more he looked at her and listened to that laugh, the more he wished she would fall down into the river with him.  Instead, he made small talk about the time.  With the sun coming down she told him the Aryl village was just beyond the pass there, and they should get indoors before monsters began to roam the valley.  David took one last look at his lava - shining in the dark - and followed Elza to the last house in the village, one so far in the woods he had never seen it before.

Over the next few months David returned again and again to work at building fence and capturing sheep on the plain - which he began to call Ellsridge - for Elza's Ridge.  Elza would come to watch him work, and laugh as he wrangled sheep.  He began to strip the cobblestone from the upper part of the plain and build a house.  Elza gave him pointers, making it more like a native Aryl house than anything David had seen before - but still unique.  And then David popped the question and asked Elza to move with him to Ellsridge and be his wife.  It was the first time he had ever said the name of the farm out loud to her, before.  "What took you so long?", she said.  "You do realize we've been building a house together for three months?  I would have thought you had the idea by now..." and then she fell down laughing.  They put up their sign and carved 'Year 62' on it above the door of the Ellsridge store.

They have built a store there and are selling spruce products, wool and working at filling a garden full of food for a growing family.  David took a trip down to the South of Aryl village looking for the brown sheep heard Omri Bevanson had found - and brought one back of.. a few years earlier.  Instead of sheep, though, David found two donkeys!  He struggled them back to the farm, having to chase one of them up and down the mountain as it just would not walk across the narrow path.  Once he got them to the sheep pen, David tried with all his might to push the uncooperative creatures into the pen.  In the process, six of the nine sheep in the pen scattered out onto the plain.  David cursed some, but continued to push the donkeys into the pen and then proceeded, as the sheep really weren't going too far away, to build a separate pen to hold the donkeys in at a later date, and to expand the sheep pen.  Then, after a full afternoon of lassoing, yanking, and coaxing with wheat - David got all of the sheep to come back home.

Well, almost all of them.  Elza was doing a head count and said 'The black sheep is still missing.'  David sighed, put his boots back on and went out to look for it.  He finally found it at the top of the mountain plain and slowly led it back home.  NOW all of the sheep are back home.  "Maybe we should just go ask Omri to breed us a brown sheep," Elza said.  "You're probably right.  It would be so much less trouble."

Speaking of trouble, David had to go and build an extension onto the room on the left side of the house.  After the third daughter, Tanya was born he could just see it coming - three beds barely fit in that room - Sarai and Mika already were fighting over the space they had - and there isn't any room for a whole extra story.... So to make sure there will be plenty of room for Eastham daughters (poor son Lock - the firstborn, but his room is on the other side of the house and well big enough for him) and perhaps a little less scrabbling.  But I have to hand it to him, anyone who can drag two young donkeys home across the Aryl plain and up into Ellsridge?  They probably have a little fortitude and patience beyond the norm... and it all started with a stroll and catching a little fish in a bucket.

The Man from Kriganzy Year 60 Meadowview Farm and WestSea


In Year 60 Saul Allen, of Meadowview Farm carried this letter from his father Alvin Allen to his cousin Callista at WestSea"

Dearest Cousin,

I am so happy to report to you and send this drawing of our new foal at Meadowview.  I know you will be most interested.  This is the spotted mare that I almost lost to the Creeper a few years ago!  I have to admit, though, that I have not made this progress entirely on my own.  

A year ago a man came through from Kriganzy, headed to Rivertown, and he revealed to me some secrets working with the horses.  It turns out I've been feeding them all wrong for breeding... wheat and apples are all well and good but to make foals it takes gold, and lots of it!  I've been down in the mines trying to get some, traded with Kori Paltry's widow, Bettina, for some and gave her the help of Natalie and Sadie's hands in her workshop.  She says their help and the ability to teach the trade is worth more than gold - and Kori, our old Guildmaster, rest his soul, would be proud to see the next generation learning and making things.  

Once I had enough gold, and knew the exact process - we had success!  All thanks to Mavic Rigginson.  Do you know where Kriganzy is?  He came halfway here by boat - had some letters from Robert and Zade out by Amularia... they are discovering a lot about mining and about the Western Sea.  I hear Tan is getting along well with his girl - she is from Kriganzy, as well.  They were off to a rocky start at first, then the twins arrived, and now he has more than he can handle but is reportedly happier than ever.



Take a look at the drawing I sent from Natalie.  I think she captured our little addition well.  'Stars' is a pretty little thing (Sadie named her), and she seems healthy and growing.  She is such a feisty little thing, running and following her mother all around the lot.  I hope you will come and see them, and perhaps Mavic, as well, as he has made a little hut here at the Swamp and has been rounding up more horses from the South.  Now, I'm not pressuring - but - if Marybelle hadn't went off to Cod Bay and married that Orak boy I'd have liked to have him for a son-in-law, myself, although I think the two of you will have a lot more in common than you think.

Sara sends her love, she's out fetching the girls right now from Rivertown.  They have been hanging out too close to the Gorge wall... that orange color just draws them like bees to honey.  Slap Alex on the back and remind him not to follow any old maps.. I still feel a pain myself sometimes when I look at that hill.  I'm glad he has Alisa to keep him together.  Sara sends her love to Alisa, too - and says to let her know sooner than later if she'd like a visit this year.

P.S. I have sent a letter to your father, as well, by way of Alan Kenzie, on a different matter to do with Vanter.  But - I hope to see you soon!

P.S.P.S Please send Saul back in one piece.  



Meadowview Farms

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Fever in Rosered Year 44

 It was bound to happen, Benjamin Pippington of Ravenna said, as he and Conor Eastham headed the expedition to bring Melodie Whitacre to the besieged town of Rosered in Year 44, just after the birth of his brother Perry Pippington's son James.  'It would have been earlier, but Stella was having a hard time with the baby - and Melodie couldn't leave her.  

They arrived at the end of August, and by that time the fever had already claimed five lives.  It was said it originated in the mines deep below Rosered, and hit Nicholas Long, first.  He was a gnarly mountain-born man, so it didn't get him down until the end of the week.. and then Joseph Decroix couldn't rouse him.  Reeling from the shock of this, it was days before Peter Daniels of nearby WestSea reported his family was also sick, having mined with Nicholas in the same cavern the previous week.  While the children all recovered quickly, Paul's wife Maisie (nee McElvaney) succumbed to the illness only two days later, followed by Victor Trent, Annette Dee (nee Osterham) and 8 year old Hiram North.


Melodie arrived in time to try to save the Claymore children, 3 year old Timothy and 10 year old Thomas.  Darren Kincaid, 25, his elder sister Ember (married to Scott North) and Ember's daughter Marta were all ill, as well as Wanda and Frank of the DeCroix children.  Melodie was able to devise a remedy out of honey, carrots and fish oil and something she had brought with her from North City Remnants.  She was able to save Thomas Claymore, but not Timothy, as he was just too small and the fever had taken too much from him.


Rosered Cemetery

Everyone else recovered, but life at Rosered has completely changed with the loss of so many members of the community.  The mine has been shut, and Joseph DeCroix has partnered even closer with Peter Daniels to work in the mines at WestSea, which still appear to be safe. It was only luck that none of the Ravenna Expedition brought anything back - or Melodie's conscientiousness.  There was a large supply of the medicine kept in Ravenna for the rest of the year and although a few of the children did get ill, there has not yet been anything on the like of what happened in Rosered. 

When Oliver and then Alexander come through from WestSea in the years to come Rosered is beginning to recuperate.  Darren Kincaid makes his way to the NorthEast to make a home, and Sheila DeCroix finally says 'yes' to Harran DeAryl of Cod Bay, going there to build the Cod Bay Inn and a life in one of the largest cities on the Continent.

Original story "McElvaney Enterprises" c Oct 2020 by Marie Lamb

Alexander Daniels, Watch Your Step!


What do you do when you fall into the gorge and almost die?  Get nursed back to health by an angel and whisk her off to WestSea, apparently.  Hey, it's happened before (Maisie McElvaney, Alex's mom, but that was more a joint effort).  

However, it is very sad that in year 44, Maisie succumbed to the Fever in Rosered.  Everyone was sick, Peter and the children, but they recovered.  Maisie did not, as well as five other citizens of Rosered.  (See the Ravenna Medical Expeidtion's rescue of Rosered)  After that, Oliver left for Semmerly, and the girls Callista and Magdar haven't quit fighting.  Peter, their father, works himself to death in the mines with Joseph DeCroix, looking for something he isn't going to find down there.  Maybe once there are some grandchildren in Semmerly Alex can convince him to take a boat over there once in a while.

In Years 46-50 wedding bells were ringing all over the area East of Rivertown.  Callum Barham of Cod Bay was quoted as saying: "What used to happen once in a blue moon is now every other year... but they're growing up, it was to be expected."

Alexander Daniels was headed down to Rivertown in year 49, after his brother had settled in the Isle of Semmerly and left him not only the farm, but two sisters who did NOT get along.  He took a breather, leaving the animals in Callista's capable hands and headed out, first through Rosered, in search of trade and maybe love.

From Rosered (where he was roundly rejected by the DeCroix sisters, Sheila and Wanda), he headed to Rivertown to see his grandparents Paul and Pilar Daniels.  From there, he took a trip over the bridge to Meadowview Farm, to visit with Alvin Allen, his cousin (Piper's son) who had established a farm there almost ten years earlier, and married Sara Parker. (Note: Alisa's father's much younger sister!)  (year 40). 

Alex traded pumpkins and eggs, and a few other things to bring back to WestSea to start to expand and build his own farm (away from the dueling sisters).  Alvin had this strange old map in the bottom of his chest.  It was something that no one had been able to really get a handle on.  Alvin had found it deep in the mine below Meadowview, but since he couldn't understand it, he had tossed it in the bottom of the chest and thought no more of it.  It was luck or fate that Alex pulled it out and Alvin said 'Oh sure, take that.. I never could figure it out.'

The next day Alex was walking to Rivertown and felt a tingle in the map - he pulled it out and realized he was at the very southwest edge of a very northeast map.  He began to follow it... but that is where Fate brought her hand in.  At the top of the hill East of Rivertown, he was looking at the map while coming over the hill and... *deafening THUD* he fell into the South edge of the Rivertown Gorge.

Years earlier Kori Paltry had been ridiculed for his 'ridiculous' (according to Lanier McElvaney) orange concrete wall, he had put up at the edge of the gorge, to keep passerby, sheep and children from meeting a terrible fate.  However, the wall has truly served it's purpose all of these years.  Too bad for Alex that the wall didn't extend all the way around the Gorge!  However, lucky for Alex that the wall had also become a gathering place for some of the younger people of Rivertown.

As Alex lay there in a mess of pumpkin and egg, moaning softly and worried about Zombies in the caverns... someone heard his cries.  Yuri Patterson was out in his yard after working with chickens and sheep and he heard the strangled scream of Alisa Parker, as she looked down into the gorge and saw Alex, barely clinging to life with half a heart.  Yuri organized a rescue party and they pulled Alex out of the gorge and to the barracks in Rivertown.  There, with the help of Rebecca Roberts' fine food and lots of care from Sandra Parker and her daughter Alisa, Alex slowly came back together and soon enough, was pronounced he would probably live.

And live he did.  He spent most of the next year recuperating and, although it wasn't his top priority over living, wooing Alisa.  Soon, they were ineparable, and he made plans to carry her back to WestSea with her parents' blessing.  Perhaps Alisa's kind nature can even get Magdar and Callista to put an end to the feud.  Actually, having to live in the same house alone for the year, worried about what could have happened to their brother, calmed their feathers some.  They weren't entirely 'alone'... their father Peter came in for meals, sometimes... but other times one or the other of them had to go down in the mines and find him, feed him, and convince him to sleep once in a while.

Callista had received a message through Rosered from Alvin about what had happened (they talk often about breeding horses) and once they knew it would be a long time before Alex returned, Magdar started helping out more (she was so obsessed with her paintings, but they take wool, which come from the sheep!) and the tension at WestSea was fairly stable when Alex and Alisa returned to start building their home together, arriving back at WestSea in year 52.  

 Peter Daniels seems a little happier, as well.  The materials he has feverishly (!) mined for the past few years now have a use in building Alex's house, and baby Kathryn was born in year 55, followed by Hogan in 56, Julia (year 58) and finally little Stewart (year 62).  Peter's hands are full, and he has even started to take an interest in finding a husband for Callista, against her wishes really..... but he has heard of a man over in Kriganzy who has a way with horses and is looking to move to the Continent.  He has been sending letters through the network between Oliver and the residents at Amularia / Melitus as Robert Thomas continues to expand his seamap.  In Year 63 Robert discovers bamboo and begins the Bamboo Trading and Mapping Expeditions.  The young man from Kriganzy might come up here yet...


Watch your Step around the Rivertown Gorge...

Alex was beyond lucky to survive at all... that could have been the End for him.

//happenings in Piper's Cove 

Kallum Allen courted Nessie Jackson while her father was going back and forth between Amularia and Rivertown - they were married in year 46.  He has built a three-story tower at Piper's Cove across from the blacksmith forge.

//Other announcements in Cod Bay

Omri DeAryl (the younger brother) decided to leave the butcher shoppe in Cod Bay to his brother and start his own in neighboring (and almost adjacent) Cambrey with Charles Robinson and Dirk Reynard (a miner from North City).  He made several trips to the Aryl native village and coaxed a girl named Adacia to come and be his wife. Upon her urging, he changed his last name to 'Bevanson' (for his father, Bevan DeAryl, a previous emigrant from that same village but from another family different from Adacia) because 'DeAryl Butcher Shop' gave Adacia chills down her spine - as Aryl is the name of her mountain and her people.  Omri is still operating the shop, but the name change was suitable for him since he did want to set it apart from his brother's business, as well.

Dirk Reynard (miner) married Serena Pippington in year 46, followed by her brother Argent Pippington finally proposing to Wirna Otrio in year 48.  They have built fancy townhomes near the bank.

Harran DeAryl heard quite a bit about Sheila DeCroix from his neighbor (her cousin) Bruce DeCroix, and took a bit of time out from the butcher shoppe to make the journey to Rosered.  Alex Daniels had been through just the year before and Sheila had wanted nothing to do with him.. But... Harran and her hit it off and she moved with him to Cod Bay.  They have built an inn in the same style as the original DeAryl family house and it has both a single and double room for bed and breakfast.


The Cod Bay Inn.  It only took fifty years for someone to build something other than barracks for extra people to stay in?  Well, it's an idea that is going to take off across the world.

Original story "McElvaney Enterprises" c Oct 2020 by Marie Lamb


Liam Thomas, Whitmoor Farm in the Southern Clans

By year 43 the Western Gate was getting quite busy!  

Martin Phillips really started something when he built (then busted) the Western Gate at the Spire.  It became a destination and a landmark.

This was the same year Zade Perkins and Martin Thomas headed out with Tan Vandreas to settle Amularia (discovered by Porter Jackson earlier that year).  Martin's older brother Liam took his new wife (also a Perkins, Robina) out to the Western Gate and since his brother was going West, they went South.

They passed through several swampy areas, and saw residents of the 'Southern Clans' as the North City people had always called them, throughout the swamp, including an old Nethergate containing weapons of gold (that sadly, were very old and weak, and none of them were built to last).  Liam took the golden Axe of Sharpness with them, but left the rest in the chest for some wayward traveller that might be in need.

They continued sailing until they saw a birch forest and lily of the valley.  Robina thought it looked like a nice place to grow wheat.  Liam saw three cows milling about underneath the trees and could hear sheep in the distance, and agreed it seemed like an idyllic place to build their family.

He built Robina a little Diorite and birch house and let the place sink into him for a little while before naming it.  Finally, he was out putting up fence and gathering seeds for the garden and the name came to him on the wind 'The White Moor'... and he put up a sign that said 'Whitmoor' that day.  He wrote a letter to Rivertown and gave it to the Trader that showed up to admire the sheep.  A few months later Robina's little brother, Percell, came to see the farm.  However, he rowed away to the West again, and was not heard from again.

Liam and Robina had a son, Kevan, who was born in year 43.  A bit before the birth was impending - Liam returned to Rivertown and convinced his brother-in-laws Donel and Gyro Eastham to move his sister Hennah and Robina';s sister Hyrine out to the Whitmoor Plain and build a real community.  There were plenty of cows and sheep and land they could work.  There was also a rich supply of clay to make bricks and terracotta, which is in high demand.

Donel and Gyro returned with Liam and their wives in Year 43 to form the Whitmoor Community.  They have exchanged letters and trade with the Southern Clans (where Pinescy and Joseph DeCroix hail from) but have not been able to trade for carrots or potatoes, so are planning (in year 46) a return to Rivertown to trade there. 

There is so much land to the South - beyond their wildest dreams, however so much of it is broken or in 'highland' such as the giant Arch behind them.  They have spent the past few years just making enough flat land near the shore to expand their fields and hopefully build a kiln shop and wool mill.  They'll eventually need a school, as well, as the Easthams (brothers from the East Native village near Benson's Pointe, and cousins to Rorik's family at Ravenna) are also working on expanding their families.

Whitmoor Farm

 Original story "McElvaney Enterprises" c Oct 2020 by Marie Lamb

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Bamboo Traders - mapping the Known World

 In Year 63 Robert Thomas of Amularia discovered bamboo in a shipwreck in the Land that Never Ends.  He proceeded to take that bamboo cross-country (cross-world!) to Cod Bay, to Steven Pembry at the Cod Bay bank, trading along the way for other iron, paper, leather and redstone.

Each map takes eight pieces of paper and a compass.  Each compass takes four pieces of iron and a precious portion of redstone.  And then there is the feeding and supplying of the journeymakers who take the map out to the section, sometimes in nothing but a boat, and painstakingly ink the map bit by bit until it has been recorded.  However, because the bamboo trade has reached so far- they have been able to send out numerous young people with maps and supplies and say : 'Make history'.  Many of these young people are the great grandchildren of founders and grandchildren of refugees from the Earthquake.  They are ready to make their own marks in the world and will change even this 'Known World' from here on out.

Steven, the clerk at the Cod Bay Bank since it's founding, and clockmaker and mapmaker for the city - provided the rest of the essential materials.  He already had a map of the local area, Rivertown to Cod Bay, but now he moved that map down to the bottom of the wall and began expanding upwards to focus on the North.  He had some help from the DeAryl butchers with the leather for the item frames.  His small project in the Bank upper story suddenly turned into a huge one, requiring expanded walls and the removal of the roof.  And thus, the bamboo trade spurred expanded mapping of the Known World (so far)... and there is more to come.  Abe Hendrick had been playing with maps for a while and had mapped from Hendrick's Pointe to Rivertown and the surrounding land area. (except Vanter)  Robert had his own single map of the ocean areas, but it was so small that Semmerly Island on it was no more than a few dots.

This map wall would be a public service to show everyone exactly what the world looked like, and be able to be kept updated as the years go on.

 Bamboo growing in Cod Bay, with the roof off of the Cod Bay bank.  Mt. Aryl looms in the background over the roofs of Dennis Danby's house and the Cod Bay School.

They even had to take the roof off the Cod Bay bank to do it.  Andrew Burke (of Ravenna, of Rivertown Perkin's construction roofing fame) is a bit too old to be up on roofs right now, but he was quoted as slapping his knee and sitting down in Danby's house muttering 'They took the roof off the bank - OFF I said.. I remember when they put it there it took years and years to get enough materials to finish it.. and today, they took it OFF... for maps.'

Bamboo is now growing in Amularia, Rosered, Meadowview farms, Rivertown, Ravenna and Cod Bay.

Everybody is wondering who is going to have the guts to climb and map the Vanter Highlands?  It is just to the east of the Vanter Road, and no one, not even Alan Kenzie (the Vanter Forgeworks founder) has been willing to go up there!

Original story "McElvaney Enterprises" c Oct 2020 by Marie Lamb

Monday, October 26, 2020

Short short stories : The Garden Door by Marie Lamb

 The door had always been in the garden. It was made of wood and painted green.  Nobody tried to hide that there was a door.  It was just that no one had seen it in years, as it was covered in ivy. It was so unused that everyone living in the house had forgotten that it existed at all.  

Nadine was the granddaughter of the old Gardener.  He had taken a moment to walk some tools back to his storage shed.  She had been in the garden with Grandfather all morning, digging, planting and talking with the flowers.  Now, she was playing a game of skip with a small stone thrown on the brick walk.  She stopped for a moment to watch a pretty little bird scramble up through the ivy and then it popped through the little hole in the door to the other side.   

Nadine drug a bucket over to the wall to stand on.  As she tried to peer through the little grate the doorknob rattled. She tentatively reached out and opened it, slowly turning it down until the latch clicked in the mechanism. As she pushed the door open it was like a new world lay on the other side. It was not the garden, not the yard, but an entirely other dimension entirely. 

She wondered who lived in this otherworldly forest.  The sunlight coming in was so strange.  She could see the birds flitting in vines and bushes that were unlike anything she had seen before, even in the best of gardens.  Her curiosity overflowed as to what kind of flowers and fruits might exist in such a garden.  Her feet had not taken a single step, but her mind was racing down the pathways as she looked this way and that.  Just then a single drop of water fell from the top of the doorway and landed on her forehead.  A great force of wind came up, and she was pulled into the shimmering garden like gravity ushering a single drop of water into a pool.

"Hello Nadine", the Wind said.  "We've been waiting for you for a long time.", the Trees answered in chorus.  The world was gold and green and fuzzy all around the edges. And Nadine knew that what they said was true.

The door clicked shut, as it always had before. It was nothing out of the ordinary, really. It was just a door. It had been the girl that was special.

Original story "The Garden Door" c Oct 2020 by Marie Lamb

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Robert Thomas of Amularia

The Rediscovery of Bamboo

Robert Thomas is the second son of Martin and Sariya Thomas of Amularia, born in year 44.  He has a brother William (yr 42) and a sister Ilena (yr 50).  When he is 19 he takes the trip North, like the neighboring Zade Perkins before him, to find Sleeping Turtle Island.  He takes the new mapping tools with him and maps out the pathway between Amularia, Melitus, Sleeping Turtle Island and the Isle of Semmerly.  In the process he also finds the 'fabled' Land That Never Ends - which does, of course, end... and he takes a small attempt at mapping it but is exhausted quickly.  However, he does discover on the western side of this Land a Huge Shipwreck, more complete than any shipwreck that has ever been seen in the world.  And, inside this shipwreck, he discovers something worth far more than the gold or emeralds he finds.  He finds Bamboo!  The bamboo of North City Legends.  He brings this home to Amularia with hopes it will grow there.

Year 63 : Discovery of the Huge Shipwreck in the Land that Never Ends by Robert  Thomas of AMularia

The New Mapping Technology, made on a cartography table, perfected in land travel by Abe Henricks (of Henricks Pointe fame), who lives at Pennock Farm in the Presentation Mountains.  Pennock Farm is in the mountain area at the top right of this map, and Henricks Pointe is at the right-hand edge of the snowcap mountains, a spire with a torch that looks out over the South Bay - south of the road to North City (Brandywine Farm and North City Remnants) (not on this map) WestSea is near the top left of the map and the very beginning of Rivertown is in the bottom right hand corner.

The Map in progress  (below) by Robert Thomas of Amularia - Amularia is in the bottom left edge and he travelled North from there.  The Western Spire is near the bottom right hand corner and the Isle of Semmerly is north of WestSea in about the middle of the map. 


Robert Thomas's sea map


Original story "McElvaney Enterprises" c Oct 2020 by Marie Lamb


Minecraft Grindstone - how to use and how to make The Semmerly Isle saga

 Sebastian Daniels, one of the children on Semmerly Isle, has been experimenting with his great-grandfather's sandstone and stone brick technologies.  He is the first one in the family since his great-grandfather to take an interest in stone.  

Paul Daniels came to the city of Rivertown more than 60 years ago, to join Gary Pippington in making the stones and glass products for the growing town.  And his son Peter did not want to be a stonecutter - he was an explorer.  He helped his father find the Western Sea from Rivertown and build the Western Gate Spire, but soon after ran off with Dan McElvaney's daughter, Maisie.. and started a whole new chapter of settlement that has continued to spread North through numerous islands.  Their territory WestSea is the Northwest most corner of the continent Rivertown was founded on.... and Semmerly is an island north of WestSea another Rivertown descendant discovered and passed the knowledge onto Oliver during a trade visit.

Now, Oliver Daniels has become 'Lord Semmerly', having travelled north from his father's homestead territory of WestSea, and settled on the island with Kynee DeAryl, from Cod Bay (another 'spin-off' city from Rivertown, of which there were several in the 20-35 year-marks from the founding of the town).

Much was lost in the Great Earthquake that devastated North City, the center of civilization, in Year 30 (30 years since Rivertown founded).. which is why Rivertown is now the central mark of time and records.  In these Sagas, we follow the descendents of the families that founded Rivertown, their spread throughout the recovering world meeting with Native villages, refugee groups that also escaped the Great Earthquake and came looking for a place to settle in the South (like the North family of Rosered etc.)...


See above the signs in North City Remnants (Griessen farm), the small community of outskirts of North City that were not hit by the quake or its aftershocks.  Where the great city stood - with the famous University - there is a huge hole in the ocean and tall spires of stone brick and rock, a lava flow from the mountain and a coral sea growing over all of the underwater ruins. 

Back on the Isle of Semmerly... year 75 (45 post Earthquake)


Sebastian discovered, quite by accident, how to make a grindstone to sharpen and repair his tools.  He has only ever heard of 'enchanting' which is being practiced in the Porter Thomas school in Rivertown as of year 45.   Apparently the grindstone can also disenchant bad enchantments from objects, like the fishing rod cursed with Vanishing his father Oliver found in a chest in a shipwreck... But, unlike an anvil, it can't help you learn how to enchant things...

But what use is the object, really?  What can it do that an anvil can't?  Well, it is simply that it is cheaper than an anvil.  While an anvil requires 3 blocks of iron (9 ingots each) and 4 extra ingots of iron - the grindstone only requires a stone slab, some sticks and planks to make.

An anvil takes 31 iron ingots to make!  That is expensive, and even more so in this recovering world, where even cactus was lost to civilization until the rediscovery and farming efforts on this island.

What does the grindstone do that an anvil can't?  Well, nothing really.  In fact, it does a bit less, because it requires a duplicate item of what you are repairing and combines the condition of the two to make one item.  See below.

Two somewhat used axes turn into one good one.  Useful?  Maybe, maybe not.  The grindstone does NOT take extra iron ingots or stone to repair a current tool - like the anvil does, which can really help resources.  One stone to repair the axe instead of three and two sticks?  Useful.  But - as I said, the anvil is expensive.  Even in the best year at Rosered iron mining community, Joseph DeCroix only found a little over 64 iron - and that was with the help of seven working men deep in the mines with monsters at every turn.  A grindstone, especially in a little island shop, may be the answer to keeping yourself in tools.  

And it adds a great 'ambience' to your rooms - just take a look at the great decorating in Semmerly Hall, below...

Kail Daniels is the one in charge of mining iron for the island - and so far he is only up to 16 ingots, 3 of which he has used for a new tool.  It might be a long time before this workshop ever gets an anvil!

Original story "McElvaney Enterprises" c Oct 2020 by Marie Lamb

Alternative Farming methods on the Island of Semmerly - Minecraft farming methods


  Isle of Semmerly as of year 65

Oliver Daniels and Kynee have been working on the island over the past ten years, creating larger areas for grazing animals, gardens and a cactus farm.  They have worked out a few alternative farming methods and began to terraform (add extra dirt to the edges of) other islands in the area.  They have three sons and a daughter who have been helping with the gardening and expanding the island.

Kail Daniels born in year 52, daughter Dina, born in 55, son Sebastian, born in 56,  and son Gray born in year 58.


 Kelp farming, by taking a boat out, getting out, and busting up kelp.  Then, get back into the boat and drive about gathering it up as it floats to the surface.


And using a compost bin to make bone meal to farm flowers for use to dye wool and create banners. 

 Things that can go in the compost bin?  Sugarcane, sweet berries, cactus, pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, flowers, saplings, kelp, wheat seeds, wheat, potatoes, carrots and watermelons.  

Things that do not go in the composter?  Sticks, zombie rotten flesh, wool, dirt, leather and (we hear) bamboo.  Bamboo is another one of those things that have only been described in North City books to us - we have never seen it in the world and no one from Rivertown has yet, either.

 Bone meal will make grass and flowers grow on any spot that then can be harvested, and the area applied with bonemeal again to randomly create more.  You can get sometimes three or four flowers out of this of random types.  If you apply bonemeal to a flower in a field, lilac, peony, rosebush, sunflower etc... it will provide one exact copy of that flower.  It is a bit expensive but if you are using the bonemeal to provide dyes, it is cheaper than travelling the world looking for more lilacs etc.  

Also, dyeing a sheep green and mating that back with a white sheep creates a baby sheep with Lime colored wool.  Lime dye is extremely hard to come by!  However, mating a lapis dyed sheep back to a white sheep does not create a light-blue colored sheep, you need an orchid from the swamp to do that. 

Mating a lime colored sheep to a green cactus-dyed sheep is about equal to give you either a lime sheep or a green sheep.

Oliver's green wool breeding program wasn't such a silly idea, huh?

Let's Not Lose the Cactus!
A method of farming cactus.  We have found that putting cactus just on the ground and breaking them sometimes loses cactus blocks.  We don't know why - we don't know where they go.. but they just aren't there.  However, if you put the cactus on top of a single block of sand, and then bust the sand, all of the cactus falls to the ground and can be gathered up.  With this method, if you have a three-high cactus spire and you break it - you get three blocks of cactus and can plant one more back to grow again.


some developments Isle of Semmerly - Years 65-80

Now there are several islands nearby that are close enough to the surface that they can be terraformed.  When Oliver's son Kail took a boat over to this nearby island (as yet unnamed), he found a flower island to the North, and yet another island beyond that.  none of theses were the 'Land that Does Not End' that Zade Perkins described from his journey.  That must lie even further North.  But it is plenty of room for future generations to each have their own place to grow and expand.

Kail Daniels has taken after his grandfather Peter in exploring the world.  Younger brother Sebastian Daniels has taken after his great-grandfather in practicing with different types of sandstone, cut sandstone, chiseled sandstone.  Growing up on a desert island helps with that. 

Dina has continued to work with the wool and dye business, using the bone meal to provide different colors for the weaving loom (from grandmother Pomra DeAryl and great-aunt Mandra Otrio).  She is the one who has been experimenting with the colors of the sheep.  She is going to st art working on orange and pink sheep colors, as well, and testing to see what colors they might produce.  Son Gray Daniels is expanding the cactus and other crops on the island and looking to begin farming Spruce trees from the far North. 

Original story "McElvaney Enterprises" c Oct 2020 by Marie Lamb

Thursday, October 22, 2020

More How to get a Sheep to a Minecraft Island in Survival : The Isle of Semmerly

The Ongoing Saga (sheep bit is at the end)

In Year 45, Zade Perkins made a trip north of Meltius Island (see last post) to see what he could see.  He went directly north and eventually ended up on what he would name Sleeping Turtle Island.  Then, he headed even further North until he reached the Land That Does Not End.  It did, eventually, but it was a land entirely of giant forest taiga, mushrooms, podzoil and mossy cobblestones.  It went on and on, farther than the trip from the mainland to Amularia.  

The Land that Does Not End

Taiga forest with mushrooms

After this, Zade came back home and accidentally ended up on island covered in sunflowers.  This he took note of, as he had never seen the flower before.  He carried some with him a bit further South and ended up at the shore North of WestSea.  After spending a little time recuperating with them, and recounting his journey, he returned back home to Herminda on Melitus with a little bit of everything he had found and not too much need to go adventuring again for a while...

In Year 46  

Oliver Daniels, son of Peter and Maisie Daniels, at WestSea, decided he was going to find the island the flower had come from, and see if he could make his home there.  His mother had died in the fever at Rosered in 44.. and like several of the other survivors, he wanted to go out further into the world and find a better place.  He had been inspired by his parents' search for a land of their own, and with elder brother Alexander minding the crops, Magdar entirely immersed in her paintings, and his twin sister Callista working with the sheep, cows and horses at WestSea, he felt he needed to move further afield.  Towards the end of the year he made his first journey North from the road north of WestSea, and found the island quite easily.  It was still untouched, he believed, by human hands, and was home to a small population of cows, numerous sunflowers, and a cactus - another wild item that Oliver had never seen before.

He made a journey back home to collect tree saplings from the orchard at WestSea, wool for a bed, seeds and a few other things he thought he would need.  Then, he returned to the island.  When Zade had mentioned it to him he had been in a naming mood,  and after naming the first Sleeping Turtle, he had suggested Semmerly or something that sounded like that, to Oliver.  Oliver had been thinking of the island with this name for two years, and now, as he built his house, planted fields and orchards and rounded up cows, he became more and more attached to the name.  He carved his sign for his house as 'Semmerly Hall, Isle of Semmerly'.  He has let it go to his head a little bit, as he is also now calling himself 'Lord Semmerly', being the only human being out on an island can be a bit isolating...

The Isle of Semmerly

In Year 47 

 Oliver has established the territory as his own, and it is on the books as far as Rivertown.  He is trading green dye from the cactus as well as sugarcane, apples, wheat and watermelon.  He put some thought into how to get some of his sister's sheep out to the island - especially since the last time he visited one had gotten out of the pen and sat in his boat for hours.  He could get it to come out of the boat with a lead, but he couldn't get it to stay in a boat and be tugged by another.  Semmerly Island was much too far away to do the trick that Zade and Martin had done at Pagossus, which was creating a zigzag trail of blocks across the water's top.  Finally, he just got in his boat with the lead still on the creature, and surprisingly, it began to swim... He rowed slowly and stopped every little bit and made sure it was still there.. but it made it to the island just fine.  After a few weeks, he went back and asked Callista if he could take another to start a breeding colony of green sheep.  She laughed until she fell over.. but said 'yes'... 


Oliver's Green Everything Shop

So now Oliver is exporting 'everything green' from Semmerly - green terracotta, green glass, green wool and carpets... He has built an extra story on his house with three bedrooms complete with carpets and bookcases.  And now, he is looking for a wife who wouldn't mind tending a cactus farm.  I think he'll have to move it a bit further away from his front door, though - there is all that other part of the island that is sandy!  Who wants to stumble out onto that every morning or in the dead of night?

As for the island being 'untouched'?  Not so!  In digging a mine to get andesite (andesite and iron go hand -in- hand Joseph Decroix says - and he's been right almost every time) Oliver found a buried treasure chest in the sand near the water's edge!  It contained emeralds, lapis, a book of Protection and a magical Silk Touch pickaxe.  Oliver is a rich man even without the 'export business'... but with all of the things he can grow and produce on Semmerly island, I think he will be quite happy there. 


Oliver has circumvented the main continent, from Semmerly island all the way to Henrick's Pointe, which from there is the gateway to Brandywine Farm and the Remnants of North City.  However, instead of heading that way, he skirted around Vanter and back to Rivertown, on down to Piper's Cove and Cod Bay, where he spent some time talking about watermelons and weaving with Mandra and Pomra DeAryl, and world exploration with Dennis Danby.   He provided cactus for Iago Orak and his sons to start growing on the shores with the massive crop of sugarcanes.  Hopefully, it will produce green dyes that Mandra can use in her weavings.  He did a little flirting as well, with the DeAryl and Otrio daughters, and between the three of them he has some prospects.  But the watchful eyes of both Mandra and her brother Bevan can be a little daunting.


Kynee DeAryl, daughter of Bevan DeAryl and Pomra, has made the journey halfway across the known world, and has settled at Semmerly Island as Oliver's wife.  Her sister and brother had recently gotten married as well, both of them staying in Cod Bay.  Even her cousin Wirna finally said 'Yes' to the Pippington boy,  and moved into a fancy house by the bank.  But Kynee was most intrigued by Oliver's discoveries and seafaring back when he visited a few years ago.  Now, with her younger sister married to Bram Trent she is feeling like it is time to settle down as well, just not 'settled' so close to home... She wants to go out where there is some adventure!  She has brought with a loom, from aunt Mandra, and was very excited about the prospects of growing all sorts of dye stuffs, not just green, for use in the shop that has been put up on the island.  It says 'Oliver's Green Everything Shop'

 Long story short : If you go slowly with a lead and a regular boat you can drag sheep or cows to your island from a good distance away.

Original story "McElvaney Enterprises" c Oct 2020 by Marie Lamb

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Seafarers of Amularia and Melitus and a bit of background on Rosered


 It is under contention with McElvaney just how Joseph DeCroix (from the southern colonies) became sheriff of 'Barrington County', the land between WestSea and Vanter - but his signs were up for many years before Rivertown really took notice of it.  It was word from Maisie (McElvaney's daughter), married to Peter Daniels and settled at WestSea, that alerted him to the existence of the place.  This is reminiscient of when McElvaney found out about Benson's Pointe, as well - existing for eight years just at his very elbow beyond Sam Sevier's orchard, and really only becoming a part of trading life when the Daniels and Pippington made their numerous treks to the East Native Village in the fall of year 10 (the year we found Cows).

Word has it that the name 'Rosered' comes from the day Nicholas Long and Joseph Decroix were mining and entered into a cavern not open at all to the sky.  In the middle of the cavern was a single red rose bush, in a small patch of dirt.  Nicholas dug it up (although Joseph thought it was bad luck) and took it to the sunlight above - where it has multiplied into several walls of 'darn thorns'.. but it's growth according to Nicholas means good things for the 'city to come'.  They found a lot of iron after that - survived several Pillager attacks - and went to Rivertown to recruit some of the young adventurous men for mining and protection.

Meanwhile : In WestSea, Peter Daniels and Maisie McElvaney travelled as far away as they thought they could get to start a new life apart from Dan McElvaney's reach.  They captured wild sheep, bred chickens and planted crops.  They discovered a mine shaft rich in string and iron, and began to trade with the natives from Presentation Mountain.  Then, they heard that Nicholas Long and Joseph Decroix had begun to build a city right across the river... and formed a treaty that Rosered would not expand to that side of the river, since the city and the WestSea farm had been founded almost simultaneously of each other.  Also, Decroix met Dan McElvaney in the Rivertown city on a recruitment and when he returned, he was much much more pliant to allowing Maisie and Peter a 'land of their own'... 

Amularia in year 39

Across the West Sea, beyond 'WestSea'....Rosered and Amularia unite

In Year 39, while Tan Vandreas minded the crops and livestock, Martin Thomas and Zade Perkins made a trip back to the mainland.  They traded sweet berries and black wool at WestSea and Rosered, and came back home with a bride for Martin - Syaria Kincaid, the younger sister of Ember (married to Scott North) who had come down to Rosered with the North family entourage from North City (Scott's father, Stanley, the weaver, and Scott's sisters Emily and Sylvia North)  Emily was married to George Claymore, the kilnmaster, who had also come down with them...Anyway, Martin was deeply enamored of Syaria and traded for far too long in the city - long past when Zade wanted to leave, and helped plant and harvest the first sweet berries.  They had already traded to WestSea for the string, which was the biggest reason they had come this far, but now they also traded for lapis, eggs and a pumpkin - all to bring back to their new island home. 

Rosered at night

Rosered entourage arrival in Year 31 (Great Earthquake exodus)

Stanley North (45 at time of arrival in Rosered, year 31)

((Agnes North (deceased, year 29, before Earthquake, fever)))

Emily North and George Claymore (23,25)

Isla Straty (25) (married Joseph DeCroix, founder of Rosered)

Sylvia North (26) married Craig Roberts, emigrant to Rosered in year 26 from Rivertown)

Scott North and Ember Kincaid (27,21)

Syaria Kincaid* (16 at time of arrival in Rosered in year 31)

Darren Kincaid* (12 at time of arrival in Rosered in year 31)

-minor children of Tom and Violet Kincaid (deceased, year 30, Earthquake)

Already at Barrington County, Rosered Iron Mining Community 

Nicholas Long (fisherman) year 20, a mountain man from Presentation Mountain (East of Redrose - that's really all he will say...)

Joseph DeCroix (fisherman, miner, sheriff) year 20 (small shack above the mine... did not build his house until year 31, when he married Isla, an immigrant from North City)

Zari Dee (year 21, did not build his house until year 23) - iron miner recruitment

Annette Oster (year 23) - wife from Eastern Native villages, Zari met on a trip over to recruit Craig Roberts in Rivertown

Victor Trent (year 21, began building his house in year 22) - iron miner recruitment

Belinda Knox (year 21) moved with Victor Trent as his wife, younger sister of Sandra Knox (mr. Matthew Parker), emigrants from North City before the Earthquake to Rivertown in year 12

Craig Roberts (year 26) - iron miner recruitment, recruited by Zari

WestSea (year 23, deal with DeCroix during last stages of construction)  Peter Daniels and Maisie McElvaney established, completed construction in year 25.  Their first daughter, Magdar, born in year 26, Alexander (yr 27), twins Callista (yr 31) & Oliver (yr 31).


Seafarers to Amularia : Year 40

Martin and Syaria went back home and began to build onto their house on Amularia island, expanding it for a family.  Syaria has built a loom and is implementing some of the talents she learned from the North family with weaving banners.  It was two weeks later when Zade returned - and to Martin's utter dismay, with his elder sister Herminda Thomas, of Rivertown.  She had heard about the beehives Martin had found on the nearby island of Melitus, and now, with Martin's third-story roof going on there at Amularia, it left Melitus still open for building.  Zade and Herminda began to build their house there, as well as a land bridge between the two islands.  They have been breeding bees and making new beehives, using the newly invented compost bin (Ravenna, Andy Gordon) to make bonemeal and expand the flower fields on Melitus.  

island of Pagossus 

Three months later : Year 40

Tan Vandreas is still a bachelor, but he has his eyes set on a native village he has found sourth of Pagossus.  He said he saw a woman with long red hair there that he can't get out of his mind.  Martin and Zade think he has been drinking sweetberry wine and that is the real cause of it, and maybe too many cows mooing in front of windows in the middle of the night.  The cows are multiplying like crazy now on the island - and Zade plans to bring some over to Melitus in exchange for the pigs that have been eating his carrot crop there.

flower fields and beehives between the islands are filling up with bees, island of Melitus looking from island of Amulaira

A simple but spacious house on the island of Melitus for Zade and Herminda Perkins, including gardens, pigs and many beehives (not shown)


Martin mentioned a shipwreck they had seen to Tan, who took it upon himself to go investigate, now that the boys were 'back home' and doing their own things in their own households.  He found a treasure map, and an emerald.  With that in hand, he set off to find buried treasure, mostly in hopes that he could then move South of Pagossus and try to impress his red-haired Athena.  To his dismay, though, the shipwreck contained no more than some sickening flesh, coal, paper and a bowl of Suspicious Stew.

Amularia at the end of Year 40, including the three story house Martin Thomas has made for his new wife Syaria  Zade;s house, up until recently right next to Martin's is now sitting empty as he is moving to Melitus island.

Year 41

Tan was gone more than six months, and a cursory lookover of Pagossus did not help Zade and Martin discover where he might have went off to.  There was a new spire on the South side of Pagossus, and a matching one on the island even Further South of Pagossus (now known as Kriganzy).  Tan has returned in year 41, ready to bring a trading expedition to the Kriganzy River Village, home of Krissainia, his love, who has not yet agreed to come that far North with him.  He may have to try to make his home on Pagossus itself, as that island is known to them but they have not been further North of it.  The people of the city wear furs and feathers even in what Tan felt was a relatively warm Southern climate.  They are also predominantly tall and thin.  Krissainia is still the only redhead in the city - which makes Tan even more certain that seeing her on that beach that day at Pagossus was a sign of Fate.


Kriganzy City, South of Pagossus

Kriganzy Library

Kriganzy city is much larger than any native village we have recorded.  It is truly a city - even hosting a library.  The population is in excess of twenty individuals, all hard at work farming and working in the forests.  The people there know OF beetroot, but they have never seen it.  It was the first time anybody outside of some old books in North City have ever mentioned it.  The people of Kriganzy had numerous pumpkins, potatoes and sweet berries, even foxes with young in their woods - but their prime concern was did the South have beetroot.  Tan was sad to say we did not - but that he would keep looking for it for them.

Year 42

A Kriganzy woman, Terezea, she calls herself, has come over from the island in her own rowboat.  She does not speak the language, and that has been a barrier for Tan, as well, in communicating with them and in convincing Krissainia to come over to Amularia.  However, Terezea, a woman with long dark hair and luminous olive eyes, has tried to make her own intentions known  However, there is some sort of disconnect happening on purpose - as she waited in her boat on the other side of the island for Tan to leave - then came and took Syaria by the hand and had her witness a 'trade'.  She carried a nest of feathers into Tan's house and filled it with pumpkin seeds, leaving it directly on his bed.  She then took the white and black woven rug Tan had attempted to give to Krissainia upon his past visit.  Krissainia had not taken it, in fact, she had refused to look at it after he tried to present her with it.  She did not take any objections from Syaria (who happened to have been the one to weave it for Tan) - she rolled it up and stuck it under her arm with a strong intent in her eye she would fight for it.   Syaria definitely doesn't want to fight for it, being ready to have her first child any day now.  Terezea seemed sad that Tan did not return that day.  She laid the rug out in her boat and sat on it, waited nearly until sunset, before rowing back off to Kriganzy with it.  I am sure she wants Tan to follow her - notice her, and perhaps get the 'drift' she is interested and willing to strike up some bargains?

Will Tan Vandreas get the message?

Somebody is more than willing to make their nest here, if he will just open his eyes up and see her.  If Tan takes up the challenge, what would be next?

Original story "McElvaney Enterprises" c Oct 2020 by Marie Lamb