Chapter 2 - Racing to Ruin
Lamiel Sharia Ianthe Edasseril
-Born 182 years ago, Daughter of Telandia Edasseril’s younger sister, Illowen Melathya Talana Edasseril, on the plane of Sovyrian.
-148 years ago, she moved to Golarion with her mother, with the hopes of providing support to Telandia’s decision to trade with the younger races.
-The rest of her youth was spent in the high court of Iadara
-20 years ago, she grew bored with the court politics, the entertainer’s repetitive stories, and Iadara in general, she left.
-5 years were spent traveling from Kyonin, through Andoran, Taldor, and Quadria to arrive on the city isle of Absalom, taking in every sight, every local legend, and every piece of information she could get her hands on.
-15 years ago she arrived on Absalom, and spent many years among it’s nobility, it’s many taverns, and trying to nurse information from the pathfinder society
-5 years ago she left Absalom for the continent of Garund, hoping to uncover more of it’s legends.
-26 months ago, after journeying through Nex, Thuvia, and Rahadoum, she caught a ship to Sargava
-22 months ago she arrived in Sargava, and, upon confirming tales of wild elves in the expanse, she set to recruiting and garnering support for an expedition into the Mwangi Expanse to search for them.
Journal of Lady Lamiel Sharia Ianthe Edasseril:
8 Sarenith, 4709
Today I arrived in the quaint little provincial city of Eleder. I was nearly mugged by the local brigands who defend the docks, and only by the most persuasive means available did I manage to avoid it. However, I did find a surprisingly good inn, the Blue Monarch Inn and Winery, which will serve me as a lodging for a while.
11 Sarenith, 4709
I have spent the last two days walking the streets during the day and I have made a most curious discovery: where as most of the city is a passable imitation of a civilized city, a great deal happens outside the gates, so to speak. The natives of the land are kept in a shanty town, if you’ll pardon the colloquialism, just outside the gates. Inside the gates there is another, albeit hardly unusual, occurrence of some note: the port district, called Portside (so blithingly provincial a name, is it not?), is by far the most uncouth district in the city.
15 Sarenith, 4709
I was robbed today, in Portside while I was endeavoring to find a suitable patron for my excursion. A young human, barely more than a boy, even by their strange standards, came at me from an alleyway and held a knife on me, and in open daylight no less! If I had not arranged for most of my slowly dwindling supply of gold to be locked away in the innkeeper’s strong box, I should be thoroughly put out by now. As is the custom in these human villages, I stopped by the district constabulary to report the crime. THEY LAUGHED AT ME AND THREATENED TO TOSS ME INTO A JAIL CELL! If it were not for my letters patent, I suspect I would have been jailed for the night! After I produced my letters patent, however, they sobered up considerably, taking both my name and account with their proper due. I shall have to do something about the locals of the lower harbor, should I get the chance.
23rd Sarenith, 4709
Two fortuitous things happened to me today. Not only did I discover a potential way into the local high society, proper, I also discovered a curious tavern named the Sargavan Club. But let me explain: I was walking in the Portside district, having redoubled my caution after my previous experience, and spotted a noblewoman leaving what appeared to be a back alley. She was quite angry, tho I did not see the reason off-hand. Instead I saw nothing but a door under a curious sign. The place was a tavern, apparently of some ill repute. The bar-maiden (I wonder why bar men are so rare in these places) gave me a start as she walked by, as half-orcs are even more rare the farther south you journey, but I digress. This girl, for I hesitate to call her a woman, was almost as rambunctious as her guests. After putting up with the usual drunkenness found in such places for half an hour, I decided I would return tomorrow when the tavern’s many guests had calmed themselves, or put themselves to work in more fruitful endeavors than lusting after a lady’s loins.
24th Sarenith, 4709
I returned to the Tavern I discovered yesterday, only to find it was nearly as busy today as it was last night. I don’t know how that woman managed it, but the tables were gone, replaced with racks of camping gear, weapons, armor, and a selection of additional things which might be useful to an up-and-coming soldier, or an adventurer. I decided to attract the half-orc girl’s attention under the pretense of trying to purchase a lady’s weapon to defend myself against any further robberies. It worked nicely, a bit too nicely, in fact. She showed me a special ‘kit’, as she called it. It replaces a lady’s garter with a utility belt of sorts, and also had a few pockets besides to make the dress still look right on the outside. The model she showed me had two small pouches, a dozen little throwing knives, and a small number of additional, useful, items for which a lady might have a use in escaping, or keeping herself entertained, were she locked away in a jail cell somewhere. Taken aback by the cleverness of this half-orc’s salesmanship, and my own use for such an item, I purchased the most expensive model she had, along with the price for installation in my dress. It set me back a hundred and fifty gold pieces, but I am most impressed. I, myself, almost forgot I was wearing such a contraption, as it fit so smoothly into my dress. I did, however, manage to get the girl, who’s name was Brigga, talking about the noblewoman who came in before while she was altering my undergarments. Her name was Lady Daugustana, and she was the city’s, for lack of a better term, residing matron. The two of them, namely, the noblewoman and the half-orc girl, had been feuding for years about the ownership and operation of the tavern & shop I was within.
25th Sarenith, 4709
Today I made contact with the Lady Daugustana. It took a bit of doing, but I managed to convince her servant to let me in to see her. She is a most curious woman, and I had to do but very little to find out how I should present myself to her. I had been expecting a woman of great subtlety, but found instead a preacher who needed only a captive and attentive audience. Apparently, I met with her approval, after having sat mostly still during her three hour long sermon. I managed to say the right things and act the right way without too much difficulty, due to the readily apparent opinions she provided me with.
30th Arodus, 4709
I have been recalcitrant in keeping my journal, but too much has been happening too quickly for me to have kept a journal properly updated. I shall recount what I can now, as I’ve a few hours to spare. The past two months have been crazy indeed. The Lady Daugustana, whom I mentioned meeting in my last entry, decided I should be properly introduced to the gentry, and thus took it upon herself to have me meet as many of them as she could divert from their duties for an hour or two. In addition, I was formally invited to a ball, which opened several doors for me to start my work officially. The ball took place a week ago, and already I am well positioned to start my requests formally.
4th Rova, 4709
My progress thus far has been surprisingly little. There are a great many factions at play here, and every time I convince someone to help, somebody else steps in the way to stop me. This is most infuriating.
9th Rova, 4709
I had come here, the last of my journey on this continent, expecting the prices to be somewhat less expensive than the more civilized lands to the north, but it seems quite the opposite, and my coffer is starting to feel the depreciation. I had hoped to avoid making contact with Kyonin, and by extension my aunt Telandia, until my quest here was complete, but circumstances may unduly force my hand.
18th Rova, 4709
I had previously ignored my bill here, but I have found that I was in error. For twenty gold pieces a day, plus food and drink, I could have had much better accommodations! An Inn just down the road, with similar accommodations, would cost a total of 5 gold coins a day and include food and the house beer. Unfortunately, my utilizing the Inn keeper’s strong box has proved my undoing in this matter, for try as I might he only returned a token of what I originally gave him. I must endeavor to be more conscious of such things in the future, but in the mean while I must have a roof over my head. I arranged to have my belongings taken to the Kyonin Consulate, and to purchase a small mannor house, called here a villa, for my own use during my stay. I should have looked into that right away, before I spent nearly seven hundred platinum coins for my stay at the Blue Monarch Inn and Winery.
20th Rova, 4709
I attended another party today. The locals called it The Grand Ball or some such, but it was far from it. In any event, I made my appearance and a few inquiries into purchasing a property, along with my usual feeling about for the means to starting my expedition. The latter was mostly inconsequential, but I did find a Villa a short distance from the city proper that will fit my needs.
23rd Rova, 4709
I have been officially moved into the Villa de Malitiam Voluntatis. It is owned, now, by the Consulate, and shall be put to good use should either the tribes of wild elves be located, or any elves living in the vicinity have need of it’s comforts when I take my leave. It is, like most of the settlements in these parts, quaintly provincial, but it is charming in it’s way. I have had a small discussion with some of the petty nobles about where to obtain reliable servants to tend me, and will do my best to obtain some of the dark-skinned locals.
24th Rova, 4709
My servant help arrived today and, I’m told, most of them are the same people who tended this house before it changed hands, but no matter. I have given orders that the servant quarters should be brought up to decent standards, there’s no sense in leaving them half-exposed to the elements, and the fragile looking building they’ve been staying in to date has been torn down. The servants will stay in the main house until they can erect a proper building. This, coupled with a proper wage (they were just being paid mere coppers for a day’s labor!), has made the servants quite loyal. I went into Eleder today to acquire the proper materials for this new building, and was surprised again at how short of a trip it was. Barely half-an-hour by carriage to the gates. The materials and tools are due to arrive next week, along with a master architect who has claimed to have made the original villa. I doubt his claims, but he seems a decent enough young man.
7th Lamashan, 4709
The rainy season has started in earnest. I do not like being so isolated from the people near the town, but I do appreciate the time it will give me to plot and plan my movements in the future.
12th Lamashan, 4709
My planning is mostly complete. Given the people involved, such as I have met, I believe it will take me about a year from now before I will have enough funding to attempt an expedition. It is far better than the decade or more that it would have taken in some of the more established countries further north. Even with all my years, I find myself impatient.
17th Neth, 4709
Finally the rain abates! The servants were well appointed, and they thanked me many times for their new dwelling. Upon my cursory examination, it appears to have held up quite well under the pounding of the rains. They surely thought me odd, however, for I suspended my usual affairs and went outside straight away to enjoy the sun. I was apparently mistaken about the weather’s disposition, however, and I arrived at my villa soaked to the bone. I promptly stripped off my wet garments and dried myself before dressing in warm clothes and sitting by the fire for the rest of the evening. My hand trembles as I write, it is so cold in here, and I fear I may be feverish.
26th Neth, 4709
I did indeed come down with a fever, and I spent most of these last days in bed. Only now am I recovered enough to write an update in my journal.
29th Neth, 4709
Another party today. Lord Otto Vibrius has made a surprisingly gracious offer in regards to my attempting to secure funding, but I find myself strangely repelled by his manner. I told him I would give it due consideration, but I know already that I will turn him down. It is a shame, for he seems to have vast resources and substantial influence in local politics.
30th Kuthona, 4709
There is a new-year party I will be attending shortly, and it promises to be a lengthy affair. These past weeks have been spent mulling over my lack of progress and trying to find out where the break between what the gentry say to me, and their assistance appearing in my coffers. I will attempt a different tactic tonight, however, and we shall see what happens in the morrow.
1st Abadius, 4710
The tactic met with some small measure of success, but I am astonished at how little I was able to wrest from the gentry. Perhaps someone with more influence is controlling things behind the scenes? I cannot tell as of yet, but I shall have to make inquiries. In the meanwhile I am somewhat gratified that my different tactic has had any effect at all. Thank Calistria that her methods are even more effective against these cloistered human nobles, if I can find out what means are holding these noblemen back, I think I shall enjoy myself some small measure playing on the line between their loins and their society’s restrictions.
9th Abadius, 4710
My inquiries are in place and have garnered some small bit of information. Lady Daugustana apparently has an issue with adventurers, specifically their lack of decorum and social graces. While I agree with the more extreme of her thoughts, I am at my wit’s end on how I should proceed. I cannot proceed without her blessing, but my expedition is something that, by it’s very nature, is at odds with her view of the world. I must spend some more time and effort probing the political structure before I can decide on a plan of action, but hopefully most of my current plans can be utilized once I get past this difficulty.
13th Abadius, 4710
I must have Callistria’s favor! My efforts have proceeded extremely quickly, much to my surprise, and during these past few days I have fully made up for the past month’s delay. I had an interesting discussion with the Lady Daugustana today, discussing the elven court and it’s many wonders. I must confess that I stooped so low as to use magic upon her, for I could see no other way to sway her opinion, but it worked wondrously. After several hours of discourse, by which time the spell has long worn off, she is gone from my most potent adversary to a very useful acquaintance, tho I don’t feel she would directly assist me without further magics. The last two days have been spent consolidating my advances and taking stock of my current resources. I shall make my move at the next opportunity for socializing.
17th Gozran, 4710
I have again been recalcitrant in keeping my journal, but for reasons opposed to the last time. These past few months have borne little fruit. I have, however, gotten into the habit of making a weekly visit to the Lady Daugustana every Moonday. The trips have made little impact on my presence in official social circles, but word is slowly starting to spread. The number of invitations to various social functions has certainly increased as well, mostly because few people would turn away Lady Daugustana’s personal guest.
29th Gozran, 4710
The first harvest is finished today, and there is more than ample supply for both myself and my servants. The surplus was sold and netted me nearly two hundred gold pieces. I have used this unexpected surplus to handle the wages of the workers, which still left me with nearly one hundred twenty gold sovereigns. I shall put them aside for use in maintaining the manner until the next harvest comes in. I expect this next harvest will supply me with an even greater surplus, as the two acre orchard surrounding the house will come to fruition. Those surplus profits should be sent to the Consulate, minus any direct needs for the mannor.
6th Desnus, 4710
It would seem that my time with the Lady Daugustana is starting to pay off. I have received, for the first time since my arrival more invitations to social functions than I am physically capable of attending this week. Most of the invitations are for a meal or tea, which is something I can, fortunately, reschedule for a later date. I suspect the sudden increase in invitations has something to do with a formal ball that was recently announced three weeks from tomorrow, but their true motives elude me for the moment.
17th Desnus, 4710
I received a letter today. It is from my aunt, Queen Telandia Edasseril, and is surprisingly warm-hearted. I did not leave her on the best of terms, so that came as quite a shock. I penned a reply and it will be taken back toward Kyonin on the next ship headed that way. I do not expect a reply for nearly a year, due to the delay of traveling across such a distance.
23rd Desnus, 4710
Once more, a small gathering at Lady Daugustana’s. There was no apparent progress toward my end goal, but I did learn a bit about which local shops to visit for obtaining various sundries. All accounted for, this day was useful, but hardly worth describing in further detail.
28th Desnus, 4710
The ball was, perhaps, the greatest advancement yet for my goal. I was promised a sum of three hundred platinum coins, and another noble offered a thousand gold coins when the expedition was to be formally announced. While this is far from the needed amount for a proper expedition (my rough estimates place the needed amount in the twenty-five to thirty thousand gold piece range), it is a solid start.
2nd Sarenith, 4710
Not too much to report just yet, aside from my weekly meeting. This week more fluff was discussed, along with one of the noblewomen attempting to discredit my efforts and the promised sums by bringing up the venture in front of Lady Daugustana with an air of disgust. I was about to defend myself when another noblewoman spoke up, challenging the other woman by suggesting that the Lady Daugustana would hardly have chosen to spend her valued time with someone she disapproved of. I offered some feeble defense, having been caught somewhat off guard, but surely not enough to swap opinion. The affair was surprising, but as Lady Daugustana did not comment, I cannot tell for certain if my reputation with her is damaged or not.
9th Sarenith, 4710
The gate guard at Lady Daugustana’s mannor took much longer than expected before opening the gate. At first I was concerned, due to the discussion last week, but after a few moments I was shown in. Apparently the servants were somewhat loathe to disturb her, as she had another guest over. I did get a personal, if very brief, introduction to Baron Gabranth Utilinus, but due to the circumstances and his pressing need to be elsewhere, I have my doubts whether he will remember my personage.
21st Sarenith, 4710
Not much of import to enter yet. There is a wedding on the 26th which I have been invited to attend. I was somewhat surprised at this, as it means I am starting to be accepted as an important land-owner in the area. I am also disheartened, if only slightly, because it means that people are accustomed to me and my manner; I shall have to work even harder to penetrate their sense of order if I am to achieve my goal.
26th Sarenith, 4710
The wedding was fairly typical for these human affairs. The contract was until death, a quaint notion, and the vows were quite solemn. The after party, I still cannot recall what they called it, was a decent affair, but business was largely side-tracked for best wishes to the couple, gifts, and a few other traditions I find somewhat less than creditable.
1st Erastus, 4710
The nobles’ affairs seem to have finally settled down after the wedding. There is still much work to be done, however, and I am somewhat anxious to be on the move again.
8th Erastus, 4710
Once again I can credit my weekly visit to Lady Daugustana’s mannor with another opportunity. I was invited to attend a ceremony held by the Baron Custodian, I am unsure the details, but the feeling I was getting from the affair was one of duty and business. I shall happily attend this function on the 12th.
12th Erastus, 4710
Progress! I have added another seventy five hundred gold pieces to my promised funds, which raises my total to nearly twelve thousand. I was so overjoyed at being so close to my half-way mark, I opened a bottle of Kyonin-made dessert wine, a vintage nearly seven hundred years old, to celebrate. The celebration was quite small, just myself and my servants, but we more than made up for it with raucous laughter and story telling. The natives have legends unlike any I’ve heard anywhere else. I have, of course, heard of, and even on one occasion encountered, a walking tree (called tree ents in the common tongue), so that tale was unimpressive, but many of their curious tales, perhaps coupled with the very, very good wine, woke a primal side in me that I’d forgotten I had. I will definitely be bringing the servants into the house more often, and I think we shall all enjoy a good tale or two from time to time.
23rd Erastus, 4710
I am disappointed, if only in part, by my sudden lack of progress these past eleven days. There have been only minor social functions, and nothing which would suit my purposes.
30th Erastus, 4710
I fear I am stuck here for another long season, as there is nothing that seems appropriate for my needs until the rainy season. At least I shall not feel quite as stir-crazy as I was last rainy season. Before then, however, we must harvest, and it is barely a month away before the crops will again come into full fruition.
9th Arodus, 4710
I have managed to turn up a small profit for my needs, about seven hundred gold pieces, as a minor noble invited me over for a discussion on the topic. I am of the distinct impression he offered as much only because he felt it was polite to do so after having a guest over specifically to discuss the matter, rather than of any genuine interest on his part, but that little bit will help. I have now obtained promises for twelve thousand two hundred gold pieces and when I have obtained about eight thousand more I will start putting the expedition together in earnest.
17th Arodus, 4710
One of the Servants had a bad feeling today, and decided to start harvesting the crop early. I did not stop him, my senses for the land have yet to acclimate to this strange place, but I did find it strange.
21st Arodus, 4710
It would seem that my instincts were correct in trusting my servants’ senses. We were barely two thirds done harvesting the grain (thankfully the orchards were far easier to harvest) when a storm of terrifying proportions blew up. As I am writing this, the strength of the winds rattles the shutters, and even the glass inside them on occasion. I fear that the remaining third of our crop is lost.
27th Arodus, 4710
The storm is past, and I have been busy these past few days. The price of grain in the markets is up four copper a pound due to the recent storm destroying so many fields. I have foregone most of the profits this harvest, however, and sent all my spare stock to the Consulate for distribution among the elven population. Even with that effort, I believe that a great many this winter, of all races, will go hungry.
30th Rova, 4710
The rainy season has passed without much incident. It was a great deal milder than I expected, thanks to the storm that came up on the 21st of Arodus. Nevertheless, myself and my servants were well entertained trading stories and legends by the fire. I am beginning to like these fellows and their wives and I have now memorized all of their names and most of their personal histories.
9th Lamashtan, 4710
Several elves have taken up residence with me through the consulate. They were apparently without shelter during parts of the rainy season, and will now be cared for as my kin. I have gotten the impression that one of them was kicked out for stealing food, and that the other two were put out because their services were not in demand and their rent was therefore unable to be paid. It is little matter, however, for we have food and room enough to spare.
13th Lamashtan, 4710
I have had a firm talking to with one of them, who seems to think these servants are his to do with as he pleases, and have ordered the servants to inform me if he tries anything so rude as that again. I will not name the deed he is guilty of, but suffice it to say I nearly kicked him back to the streets.
19th Lamashtan, 4710
The elf I mentioned on the 13th of this month is now dead. He again tried to force himself on one of the servant girls, but, due to my arming them all with daggers, he found himself run through repeatedly. He was buried in the yard with no ceremony, and will be reported as having run off in the night should anyone come calling for him.
25th Lamashtan, 4710
Nothing much of interest today, besides a letter for my deceased house-guest. I have not opened the letter, nor will I, but the messenger was most forthcoming. Apparently he is past-due in court for some offense (the messenger would not say). I got the impression that this man is far better off in the grave.
1 Abadius, 4711
I have been far too lenient in my pursuit of my goals, and I have lately been reminded of such. A colony of wasps has taken up residence outside my window, and when I opened it this morn I was swarmed. Of the dozen or so stings, all of them are in unmentionable areas. I will reflect on my future moves in this game and adopt some more appropriate tactics.
19th Abadius, 4711
I find myself impatient. It will be another week or so before I am given an opportunity appropriate for my purposes. Luckily, I should not have too much difficulty in becoming the mistress of a nobleman mid-way up the political chain, and as a result acquiring much better access to the political scene.
27th Abadius, 4711
I have officially become the mistress of one Callistus Fidelis Desiderius, a relatively minor noble himself, but who’s sister, one Amelia Desiderius, has become the not-so-secret mistress of Baron Gabranth Utilinus’ third son after her husband died last year. Of his own accord, Callistus is relatively worthless to me, but since he has the ear of his sister, and his sister has the ear of the Baron’s son, I should have a good chance of obtaining my funding.
13th Calistril, 4711
Everything proceeds apace and there have been no new developments.
30th Calistril, 4711
Between my recently established relationship with Lord Desiderius and my continued efforts with Lady Daugustana, the news of my expedition has slowly but surely wormed it’s way into the news of the council. I have an informal audience with several council members in four days time, but this early into the final stage of my endeavors, I don’t expect it will provide much fruit.
23rd Erastus, 4711
The Grallus Ball is tonight. I suspect I will not be able to find time for an entry in the journal until tomorrow. I expect the last of my funding shall be provided with relative ease tonight, and after that my final preparations will begin.
24th Erastus, 4711
I must be cursed! The Grallus Ball was a disaster. A new group has come to town with a document providing the location of an ancient city, Saventh-Yhi, and almost all of the nobles withdrew their funding and support in favor of their results.
25th Erastus, 4711
Someone, whom I will not name here, has offered me a way out of this disaster, and I fear the consequences should I not accept their offer. My participation in their affairs must remain absolutely secret. I leave the Villa de Malitiam Voluntatis on the 27th of Erastil by means of a trade convoy. A letter I shall carry will dictate my new-found employer’s wishes to the Lord of Kalabuto, a city to the east of here. From there I will receive further instructions. I have been promised that my total employment in this venture will last less than a decade, and that the expedition I wish to finance will be fully funded, along with all my needs in the meantime furnished, upon completion. I leave this journal in the care of the Kyonin Consulate and left a request that it, along with a letter to my Aunt, should I not arrive or send word after that decade, be sent to Iadara.