Yuri Patterson, age eighty-one, writing for the Book of Rivertown, Year 69, after the Barracks Council
I guess to go forward we should first go back to the beginning. There are so few of us left, the original ones, who came to Rivertown. I guess I don't even really count, as my uncle Harry brought me down a few years later - but.. there isn't anyone else left to tell the tale. We buried John Robinson a few days ago, and a few weeks before that Rebecca Roberts. It is the end of an Era. Since John Roberts and Melissa Robinson are not able to write this.. I will try to do it in their stead.
Nearly seventy years ago Dan McElvaney organized an Expedition, 'McElvaney Enterprises', out of North City. His father-in-law, John Straty, had been down to this area exploring and staked out a claim. After an injury, John returned back to North City and gave the coordinates to his daughter, Lanier, and her new husband Dan. Dan gathered up a few friends with construction and excavation skills and rented out a boat with a captain, my uncle, Harry Patterson.
Dan brought with him his wife Lanier, and John Robinson brought his wife, Melissa. Also with them were workers Gary Pippington, Sam Sevier and Kori Paltry. That was the original founding party, along with my Uncle. They were looking for specific Astronomical coordinates, and also a landform called 'Granby's Arch'.. a name pulled out of the air by John Straty. He had left a sign on it, and planned to return with his own family and begin the colony there. Using this info, Dan confirmed they had found the Straty River, as described by Lanier's father. He chose a place just a little downstream, and began to construct the platforms and footings we see today as the East-West bridge over the River, just north of the Rivertown Gorge.
Let me tell you a little about the original party - as they were chosen for their skills in North City. Sam Sevier was a kilnmaster, able to smelt any metal and bake up clay into bricks. He had a true head for business, and was always working at some scheme. He and Dan got along really well in North City, and Dan needed somebody to work the metals that he planned to bring up out of the mines in his new colony. Dan asked Sam if there was any help he would need at his forge and he said 'someone for glass.. that is the one thing I need a good helping hand with.. it's just a bit too much to do all the rest and glass at the same time.' Sam sought out Gary Pippington, a young glassworker, who was interested in making the journey. Sam also knew Kori Paltry, a concrete-worker, and wondered if there would be any need for that in Rivertown. Kori told him to either make the offer, or not - no going back and forth - and Sam did. He thought between the three of them they could deal with almost any stone, metal or glass material they might need.
the oldest part of Rivertown, as seen from the East-West bridge
Dan had already asked John and Melissa to come down to the colony with him. John was a champion Excavator, and Dan wanted him to be the top worker in the mines. John made some inquiries about other workers to help, and Dan said they would send for them 'as the need arose.' John scratched his head and blew out his breath, but decided it was a worthy prospect, anyway. He told his young wife they could get their own land, farms etc. Melissa had a way with beehives, and was hoping that there was one somewhere near the river. Dan mentioned that there actually was, it was noted in the landmarks that there were several near Granby's Arch and to 'be careful while cutting trees - stingers hurt.'
The other family Dan convinced to come with them was Mateo Otrio, and his wife Paulette. They were cropmasters, growing wheat for generations in North City. Mateo's wife was ready to start a new family, and they decided a brand new place, in a beginning colony would be a great place to do it. 'The Town of McElvaney' would need lots of food, quickly, to survive the coming Winter. Mateo was sure he could get the job done and support the group.
Once they had arrived at the landing spot, Dan and John immediately began work on what, today, is the City Hall and McElvaney Enterprises buildings. Back then, it was John Robinson's house and McElvaney's house, respectively. They tacked living quarters on to the side of the Enterprises building for the other workers, but Sam Sevier quickly built his own little house across the way from the Robinson's, because he needed much more kilnspace.
My Uncle Harry had originally planned to head right back to North City - but Dan wanted him to stay, as a sort of ferryman - as there would be other groups that would need to be sent for, supplies and so forth. Since Harry already knew the way, he gained 'permanent' employment as the first Ferryman for Rivertown. He helped Sam and John build the first bridge over the River - to help Mateo with the transport of the crops, and built a tiny house up on top for his own use. He spent his spare time fishing in the river, which was rich with salmon, and drying the fish for the storehouses. He kept finding dead squid up and down the riverbanks, and Gary Pippington came and collected the ink sacks - for black dye, he said.. and in case we need ink for writing. Gary was collecting dye materials from all over the area in his own slight spare time.. red poppies, lilacs, dandelions and more.
Melissa found pumpkins and they began to plant fields, wheat on one side of the river, and pumpkins on the other. Melissa gathered honey and John planted sugarcane. The entire Rivertown group was working hard all year until Winter arrived. Although Dan kept pressing for 'Town of McElvaney' or some combination thereof.. Rivertown stuck. Everyone agreed it was a town on the River - and that was the most important thing.
When Spring broke Dan was busy writing letters. He had a baby on the way, and his wife Lanier was expecting a big fancy house 'sometime soon'. Paulette had also delivered a son, Niko, the very first child to be born in Rivertown. Maisie came along soon after, and Lanier was still making do in the Enterprises building. Melissa Robinson was a bit unhappy that her house had basically turned into City Hall on the lower story, with records and a 'crop trust' chest full of extra food. John made a separate entrance to the upper story for her, but she wanted to put off starting a family until they built a bigger house.
Dan liked the idea of a big fancy house, too. He was eyeing a specific place on the Rivertown plain, but there was a huge hill there. He was not also not happy with the quality of the stonework John and Kori Paltry were doing. He wanted to see more work in granite, sandstone and brick. These were expensive materials, John reminded him, they took a lot of work to make! And that hill, it was going to take years to move all of that material, especially with just the four of them, as Dan didn't hardly lift a finger in the mines he had planned. Dan and John Robinson nearly came to fisticuffs several times in those early years - if it hadn't been for Gary and Kori, they probably would have. Sam would have let them have it out and be done with.. but he just sat with my Uncle on the docks and nodded and said 'someday...'
Sam agreed with John though, saying if they were going to focus on building the colony and making expensive materials at the same time they were going to need more people. Gary mentioned a Paul Daniels he had known in North City, and Dan wrote to him. Paul agreed to come down with his wife and young son, and another construction worker, Matthew Parker. Dan was also unhappy with the sugarcane and paper John was producing, and sought out a man named Richard Nesbitt, who agreed to come down once he heard there were pumpkins growing in the area. He was very fond of pumpkin pie, and was promised it would be available 'as soon as there were chickens...'
And that is where I came in. My uncle brought me down with that party. It took a bit of time to organize all of that, so I arrived in what we call 'Year 3'.. three years after Dan and John put foot to Granby's Arch.
Things happened pretty rapidly after that. Nesbitt planted Sugarcane all over the East and West sides of the river, and provided Dan with stacks of paper. That meant letters.. lots of letters, for my Uncle to ferry up and down the river. I was a kid back then, only fifteen years old! But I knew how to fish, and I knew how to build simple things. I kept the storehouse full of fish while my Uncle was gone, and worked on more bridges, platforms, and a little house for myself behind the Otrio's farm and bakery. It was so nice to have fresh warm bread, baked fish, and a place to call my own. I did catch chickens, and sheep, and planted a garden of my own. I was the first 'Jack of All Trades'. I provided lots of eggs for Melissa to make pie, and with fish and bread, the people working in Rivertown never went hungry.
Yuri's house and farm, and the bright orange concrete wall Kori Paltry built to keep people and animals from falling into the Gorge (which didn't help Alexander Daniels, who fell in from the other side). Yuri's house is full of chickens. This might be why he never married....
Dan had sent my Uncle up to retrieve Michael Perkins, and the very first Perkins Construction crew, right after I had arrived. While he was gone, Gary and Kori Paltry heard some screaming in the woods East of Rivertown. They found Cerina and Bettina Matroshka fighting off spiders in the trees South of what would become Vanter. The sisters said they had been travelling South from their village, and had completely lost their sense of direction. Their brother had died, and he had known the way back. Finally, they had given up trying to find the new village he had been taking them to, and were trying to return back North. They had no luck at all, until Gary heard the high-pitched screams in the Forest.
It was Gary's luck, really, as Cerina with her long red hair was love at first sight. She was a potionmaker and a glassblower.. and even with Bettina, the elder, warning her, she took up immediately with Gary and decided this Rivertown was the village their brother was taking them to. Bettina gave up, and decided she, too - would try to find a way to live in this town. She made her own little house and for years Kori and her had a hot-cold relationship. Kori never did ask her to marry him, but especially in their later years, they lived in the little weaver's house down by the river, and were quite happy.
west Rivertown, from the East-West bridge
Kori was much more focused on Guilds in those later years, as well, as the Perkins crew built so many houses that some were standing completely empty. Kori assigned one of them to the non-existent Weaver's Guild, and collected wool, made looms and catered to Bettina in that way as much as he could. He wrote books on concrete, and how to form guilds, and inspired the Forgeworker's Guild of Vanter. The Weaver's Guild of Rivertown is a real thing, now, headed by Natalie Allen. Bettina got her wish to train a new generation of weavers, and her sister Cerina helped populate an entire generation of Pippingtons, which have spread throughout the land. It is hard sometimes to walk without tripping over one (or their cousins), they say, especially in Ravenna.
Michael Perkins arrived in my Uncle's ferry with a group of young men, some as young as I was, and a few even younger that had come with their elder brothers. Paul Allen was about my age, and Mack Gordon a few years younger. Mack's elder brother Andrew was always tinkering with things and not doing the mine work he should be doing. Victor Trent and Abe Hendricks were like father-figures, and took on a lot of the organization when John Roberts and Michael were busy elsewhere. Argo Thomas and Andrew Burke were with that group, as well. Michael brought his foreman, John Roberts, his wife Rebecca, and their young daughter Alice with him. They built houses up on the West side of Rivertown and also the Barracks, to host the men. John Roberts built a little stone restaurant house next to the Barracks for Rebecca, the company cook, and called it 'Rebecca's Fine Foods'. Fine Foods was to become a staple for all the Rivertown residents, a sort of meetinghouse and a place where plans were made.
the Barracks complex and Watchtower, at Rivertown
Pilar Daniels, Paul's wife, had a daughter, Piper in that time, and Rebecca Roberts had her son, Craig. The Pippington's cranked out three sons in a row, Thaddeus, Benjamin and Perry, and later two daughters, Susan and Tilly. The population of Rivertown was expanding rapidly. There was a second community, Benson's Pointe, started by David Benson, just to the East of Rivertown. Sam Sevier found David screaming about spiders and digging under his house in Year 8.. there was already a City Hall, storage house and two small houses for workers Henry Garvey and Simon Gosreele, which David had brought with him and his wife Penny to start their colony.
McElvaney nearly had a heart attack about this - nobody asked him! He tried to assert ownership over the area, based on John Straty's original claim. But Benson and Sam Sevier got on quite well, and the houses had been built already for several years. Sam told Dan what was done was done, and McElvaney should get on with his own things.. the Bank or whatever that was he was building. Sam set up his orchard as the boundary between the two cities.
East Rivertown, and Benson's Pointe, at night
Paul Daniels and Sam began a lucrative trade with the Native village North of Benson's Pointe, Eastham. Gary moved his growing family out of the Enterprises basement, building his own house, and Sam built an apartment building which housed the Daniels (also living in the Enterprises building) and Richard Nesbitt (living in Sam's storehouse up till then). Daniels and Sevier brought back pigs and cows, and eventually learned to farm carrots to feed the pigs. McElvaney felt he was being entirely sidestepped by East Rivertown... and now trapped between Benson's Pointe to the East and The Gorge to the South.. he gave up most of his own ideas for expansion and handed West Rivertown entirely to Perkins. He turned to working on the Bank, creating vaults for other families to store their findings and fortunes in.
In Year 12, Dan and Michael brought down another crew, including Jack Iyaga, the Carlyle Brothers, Alan Kenzie and Zari Dee. The Perkins crew brought down Sandra and Belinda Knox, Sandra being Matthew Parker's intended, and Belinda her little sister, who had no other family to go to. Argo had sent for his wife, his brother Albert and his wife, and their half-sister Petra, who was in the same situation. My uncle also brought my mother, Petunia, his sister down with the Year 12 crew, which was a bit embarassing, at first. But Mom set up a General Store, to compete with Dan's tight hold on supplies at the City Hall, and it actually helped the entire town grow. Anybody could bring items there to trade without having to ask the original founders.. and Mom would decide what it was worth, and give them credit towards things they were needing.
It was after this that the town began to really have a sort of revolt against Dan McElvaney. It gathered fuel because John Robinson had been working on cutting down the hill in East Rivertown, day after day after day, and had not even started a house for Melissa. He saw the Perkins crew putting up house after cobblestone house on the West side of the River, and tried to get Dan to move Lanier into one of those. But it was to no avail. Finally Kori, Gary and John cleared enough room to start 'half' the house they planned to build - which turned out to be all the house McElvaney ever got. They used granite and brick together, and made it three stories tall to satisfy Dan's sense of grandeur. When Dan wondered when they would build the rest he got pushed out of the way by Lanier moving the family possessions from the Enterprises building. They moved in... although Dan still spent many nights in the Enterprises building, writing letters, and trying to get more entrepreneurs to come down to Rivertown.
John and Melissa Robinson finally got a house...shown with all the roofs intact in Year 69, when John Robinson died. John actually fell off the roofs of both his houses.. once when a giant spider came up over the edge too close to sunset, and the other when Melissa told him son Carver was 'coming early' and he was trying to get down in a hurry. It's a wonder John lived to the ripe old age he did...
John Robinson finally started building his own house, in West
Rivertown, near the beehives by Granby's Arch. Melissa was so relieved.
Their son Charles was born in Year 15, followed quickly by Carver, and daughter Cora. However, John planned a third story tower, and when Melissa said Carver was coming 'early'.. he fell off the roof and never did finish it, right up until Cora's suitor, Conor Eastham, came wandering through Rivertown many years later. Conor had heard from Andrew Burke about Johns' problem with roofing.. and come to help him finish it up, and court the young daughter Andrew had also told him about.
Dan and Lanier had hoped for another child, but it was not to be. Paul Daniels, his son Peter, Gary Pippington and Sam Sevier found the Western Ocean and built the spire that is now near the Western Gate. A year later Paul Allen found the Eastern Sea (which we now know is the South Bay of North City) and took off with Piper Daniels, now sixteen (time flies) and founded Piper's Cove. Cod Bay was founded by Niko Otrio and Thaddeus Pippington, along with an old fisherman Callum Barham who helped them save Piper's life when Pillagers attacked. Cod Bay started in the little bay just north of Piper's Cove and was never meant to outgrow the original settlement, but now it is one of the largest cities in the area, mostly because of the Bank and the DeAryl family that moved in from the Aryl native village on the other side of the mountains.
And you know so much more of the story from here.. Alice Roberts married Niko, and moved to Cod Bay. Thaddeus was paired with Prizla Orak (Priscilla), a chemist from North City University, when her father died on the shore at Cod Bay, in year 27. Alan Kenzie and Adam Carlyle both fought over who was assigned to Vanter Forge first, and ended up forming a thriving community despite themselves, including the Guild at Vanter. Craig Roberts, Zari Dee and Victor Trent went off to Rosered Iron Mining Community after the Sheriff Joseph DeCroix contacted McElvaney about the Vanter Forgeworks. Peter Daniels ran off with Maisie McElvaney to WestSea.
The Great Earthquake happened. The World Changed... in so many ways. Some believed that most of the people simply fell into the void, others into the ocean.. a large portion of the population disappeared, while others headed off in all directions.
The Barracks had emptied out of Perkins crew, but now there were people headed all throughout the land trying to escape the destruction from the Quake. The North family expedition, lead by Stanley North, his son Scott and George Claymore, headed through Rivertown on it's way to Rosered. They brought with them the Kincaid children, whose parents had died in the Quake, and Isla Straty, Lanier McElvaney's younger cousin. Isla married Joseph DeCroix at Rosered. Belinda Knox, Sandra Parker's little sister, moved to Rosered and married Victor Trent. Abe Hendricks went off mapping into the mountains North and East of Rosered and came back, forming Pennock Farm.
The Barracks Council was formed, to house wayfarers and plan for emergencies. Mattias Phillips came and started playing with some terrible 'magic' with diamonds, obsidian and the Western Gate, which he closed almost as quickly as he had opened it. Benjamin Pippington and Charles Robinson were sent off to Ravenna and Cambrey respectively after multiple attacks by Pillagers on Rivertown and Cod Bay. Branden Carlyle died in the Rivertown mines in year 32. Porter Jackson came looking for his father in year 37, and together with the Thomas family and Mattias Phillips, built the Porter-Thomas School at Rivertown. Porter brought Tan Vandreas in to help him work what would become Iyaga Farms, named for his father, Jack Iyaga. Liam Thomas, his brother Martin, Tan Vandreas and Zade Perkins all left out to the West and South and formed new colonies in Whitmoor and Amularia around year 39.
Now, with descendants of Rivertown all over - they have come back together at this years Barracks Council. They meet every year 'around midsummer' to plan out new developments, waystations for protection and opportunities for the descendants of Rivertown. This year the main purpose of the Council was to gather an Expedition to the North City Remnants. Marika Otrio, granddaughter of Mateo and Paulette, Enchantress and Chancellor of the School has called an alarm. She and her cousin Dalton have been studying maps, crop patterns and ocean sciences. The Fever in Rosered in Year 44 and strange sicknesses and crop deaths all over seem to be following some pattern of radiation, shown by the Great Map in the Bank of Cod Bay. There are humans with very odd powers, Ender Men that are watching, and some non-human tribes that have appeared in the NorthEast and made contact with residents. And everyone seems to feel a Danger, in their bones, in the gaping hole where North City used to be. There is something sinister still lurking in the North.. something that could shake the entire World again... or worse.
Granby's Arch and Grand Portage, where it all began.. 70 years ago
The team leaders Marika tapped at the Barracks Council are starting to assemble their groups. They will meet at Ravenna at True Midsummer in Year 70. While others continue to expand out to new places, especially South and West away from the destruction - a team of two dozen key players is forming. From Ravenna, we head NORTH.
C. 2020 Marie Lamb original story 'McElvaney Enterprises' and 'the World of McElvaney Enterprises'.. started Oct 1, 2020...