Castle Lanark - New Lanark

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Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by ^^Truth on 10th June 2012, 7:43 pm

A while has passed since the events on the second day of the Winter Festival, festive spirit quickly evaporating. The castle has been quite a busy place, lots of guard coming and going, lots of important people doing much the same, but finally, after a quiet evening meal you all manage to sit down together in the study.

Abigail and Stanislav rest down together on a comfortable sofa, whilst Adelinde sits back in a large puffy armchair looking silently stressed. Richard sits a little away, included because he's heard half of it all anyway and sometimes another opinion is all you need.

The fireplace roars and crackles, tiny embers dance off the bright red logs lending a warm and sleepy atmosphere to the room.

Outside snow continues to fall across the rugged New Lanark landscape, giving it a smooth bright look, beautiful in the moon light. Questions, decisions. Things seem to have collided almost the moment you all met back up, perhaps fate?

Yet what to do, the matter of Duke Mathias Drakov remains unsolved, then Stanislav and Abigail seem to have their own agendas perhaps. Maybe Richard is the only person in the room without one, or does he?
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by illumination on 12th June 2012, 12:57 am

Adelaide looks tired and like its been a long day for her, occupied most of the day with inquiries and demotions and staff dismissals. She spent the day snapping at anyone brave enough to wear a uniform or a sword in her vicinity and shows her subjects a hitherto unseen nasty side which really doesn't become her.

It seems obvious enough to anyone in the castle that the only person to come out of the affair with an enhanced reputation is Richard Brandt, now elevated to Warrant Officer with a new remit to look after discipline and castle security.

She sits nursing a glass of water in a brandy balloon.

'I suppose you all should know what's been decided to do with the Duke. We're going to expell him and send him back to Lekar. It will be made clear that if he should ever set foot on our soil again that he will be arrested and tried. A good public flogging for him is no less than he deserves but it is something he's now destined to avoid on account of our weakness.'

She looks like she's swallowing something awful for a few seconds before continuing.

'It's disgraceful, almost too much to bear to just let him walk but we have no choice. It might give Sara a shred of dignity back that he is thrown out, I don't know. It perhaps at least tells them there are limits. Without inviting a war with that behemoth.'

'They may react to this still anyway so we will have to see what they do. I will be writing to King Drakov, registering a protest in as strong a wording as I dare. All of this is still risky but I gamble that if they go to war over this they are but looking for an excuse anyway and we simply advance the inevitable a few months. '

'Maybe one day we will be stronger, or Falkovnia weaker and we might be able to dare to try and bring him to justice but this at the moment, is just impossible. We have to just to continue to take the filth they rub in our faces and keep on trying to smile as if we are pleased with it.'

She sighs deeply once more.

'I feel after this affair is over I shall need a good scrub in the bath. It is nauseating, letting her down like this. I honestly do not know how I will explain it to her or her husband, I fancy I will not be able to look either in the eye again.'
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by Tromador on 12th June 2012, 3:40 am

"I would hope." Begins Stan rising to his feet. "That Sara and her husband will understand that you have to think of all the people and that inviting a war upon New Lanark is not in anyone's best interests. The simple fact is, you have to think of the good of the realm, not simply of any individual, even if they happen to be close to you. You don't have to like it, but that's the price of being a ruler and that's your duty. All of which you know quite well, so stop beating yourself up over decisions you have been forced into. That sort of thing gets us nowhere, believe me, I know."

"I think it likely your action means Falkovnia will invade and that means you need to prepare. Hopefully they will waste time being offended and making outrageous demands or other nonsense before sending the troops in, but I believe that's inevitable now - and in fact, probably always was. So, once again I'm going to make my offer. I'd ask you to bear with me whilst I try to explain, then I promise I'll let Abi have her say. We might disagree on the method, but we both want what's best for you and that means New Lanark."

"Last night was quite fraught and in the madness I failed to properly explain what is going on, the whole business of him and why it is so important that he be stopped. Let's be clear, I have no problem with guns or technology, I have a flintlock of my own, but the latest examples are wreaking havoc on anything to do with magic. As Abi can attest, if I so much as hold one of the new pistols, my magic is drained away, leaving me empty and shaking. It is not a pleasant sensation, not at all - and yet he seems able to call upon his supernatural powers, when all other magic is suppressed. Perhaps this is why he pushes this new technology into the realms as fast as he can. Perhaps it is out of a desire to be the only one with otherworldly powers to call upon and when the magi, who perhaps may come to be the only ones who can truly stand against him are all dead, or stripped of their powers, then he can launch his master plan."

Stanislav shrugs. "I can only speculate."

"You asked me if I can guarantee that the Magi of the Circle can protect New Lanark. Well, perhaps I am making bold claims but I believe, that if we can find and recruit Enya of the Rossani, then yes, we can. You may remain sceptical, but I ask you simply to place the alternative plan, force of arms, under the same scrutiny. However powerful the weapons that Abi may be able to source, be under no illusions that Falkovnian armies will not also be well equipped. I submit that their numbers will overwhelm New Lanark and it will make little difference if your armies are equipped with muskets or butter knives. What I am offering is something else, the hope of victory, where there currently appears none."

"Finally I wish you to know quite who it is I and the Circle are facing. Who this mysterious person we refer to only as him is. To speak his name is to invite his attention and it was only after much pressure that I was even able to persuade my uncle to write the words upon a piece of paper and I was shocked to see the name he had written there"

"Our fight is against one who is known to you, Adelinde and to you Abigail for you both came across him in Verbrek. The enemy of the Circle is one and the same individual who made the attempt to assassinate you, by slicing open your throats."


Stanislav waits a moment for that news to sink in.

"I would further remind you Adelinde, that when his forces came for the body of Marie, it was with Falkovnian riflemen. You were dead that day Adelinde, mortally wounded by a belly shot, with little to look forward to but a slow painful death. Only magic was able to save you. Without magic you would not be here to make the decisions which may save New Lanark. Without magic, I could speculate that a power vaccuum might already have led to Falkovnian occupation."

"So, I have to ask, Duchess Adelinde, will you fill New Lanark with the latest technologies and thus advance the aims of the power who twice now has had you close to death, or will you instead make an alliance with the Circle of the Raven, by whose power you live today."


Stanislav sits back down slowly turning to Abi. "I know your family are just trying to make an honest living, darling and I'd love to see them succeed, but not here, not by selling the newest technologies. The balance needs to be maintained, so that he doesn't get to darken the world, nor get another chance to kill you, or the twins - but if you still think Adelinde will be better off buying the new guns, go ahead and make your pitch."
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by JohnBoy on 12th June 2012, 4:36 am

Abigail sits listening to the conversation. She nods along with Adelinde as she makes her speech while sitting scrawling something on a piece of paper. Placing it down, she turns to Stalislav and looks at his passion and intent while he makes his pitch to Adelinde.

Hearing of him makes her sit up and take notice.

"Do you really think that's his intention? I mean I know that you and your family are being hunted and now I know who by, but do you really think that he would be the only one to possess such powers if you and your family were hunted and killed?"


Abigail sits forward and takes Stanislav's hands, looking into his eyes.

"I don't mean to say that it's a good thing that you're hunted or that the thought of it doesn't upset me but you cannot assume that He is the only one who possesses such supernatural powers."

She swallows hard and lets go of one of his hands to touch her neck, where his blade once crossed, almost killing her. The wound no longer able to be felt or seen doesn't stop her thinking of the attack.

"We're both here and alive and I appreciate that it was indeed magic which also saved my life, and not just Adelinde so I admire what you are attempting to do, by trying to show Adelinde that magic can indeed save her and her kingdom but no number of wizards can stop the military might of Falkovnia. Believe me.. I know."

"All i can do again is offer what I have."


She turns to face Adelinde.

"I can guarantee you and your kingdom the means to defend itself from any imposing Falkovnian invasion, which like Stan, I fear is coming in the future. I admire that Stan is trying to save you and your people but isn't it time for your kingdom to rise and defend itself? What does it say to your people if you put your lives in the hands of a few wizards, strong wizards yes, but essentially other people who do not know what they fight for. What it means to fight for this beautiful place."

"Your kingdom means so much for you and your people and I see that in you Adelinde. Who else is best to use that passion and love for your homeland to defend it. I've seen love and passion win the day against over-whelming odds before and I'm convinced that it is within the hearts and desires of you and your people to save yourselves."

"If there was some way I could use my families position to stop anything like this for happening then you know that I would. You know I care about you and everything that you hold dear but, And I'm sorry about this Stan, I just don't believe that resting your lives in the hands of the few, against so many with their weapons of destruction is indeed the best decision."

"Also Adelinde, do I have to remind you that it was indeed you who approached me about the buying of firearms, and not me coming to you."


She glances at Stan as she talks, just trying to make sure that she's not upsetting him in any way but also to assure him that she doesn't doubt his powers, but that she knows the strength of her homelands armies.
She pauses for a few seconds, looking at Adelinde intently so to make her understand what she's saying.

And what of honour? Where is your honour in allowing others to fight your war for you? I don't mean to sound harsh Adelinde but you are the one who always talks of honour and justice. How will your people feel if you ask someone else to fight their battles?"

"I can put you in touch with Ivana Boritsi, And she can provide you with the means to defend yourselves. Guns, Bombs, cannons.. you name it. I can even say that there would be no upfront payment on any supplies you attain through her but an agreement would have to be arranged between you."


Abigail sits back in the couch and picks up her piece of paper again, which seems to be a letter to her children.

"Please just think about it Adelinde. I don't wish for this to be a snap decision and for you to later regret it."
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by ^^Truth on 12th June 2012, 5:30 am

There is a brief tap upon the outdoors of the room, before they're pushed open, killing the conversation in the room and heads turn to look upon Countess Serena, whom smiles briefly, yet obviously concerned at the sudden silence.

Regardless she walks across the room quietly and maintaining a light smile, before stopping before Adelinde.

"Your Highness" she says with a simple courtesy, "I have been to see Sara as you requested and she seems much better, although of course still shaken!

"She asked whether I was returning here, to the castle and I confirmed as much and she asked if I could deliver this letter to you" she says with a smile, before putting down a simple folded envelope in front of the Duchess.

"I'll be about for a while, if you need me, ma'am.." she says, before looking across the room with a smile, nodding briefly at Richard, then heads out of the room, shutting the door behind herself.
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by Tromador on 12th June 2012, 5:36 am

"The entire population of Lanark, even with the strongest guns are few, against the might of Falkovnia, Abi." Says Stan quietly. "And believe me, we magi know what we are fighting for. Our lives. I just find it hard to believe that either of you would help the man who tried to kill you."
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by illumination on 12th June 2012, 5:42 am

Adelinde listens to one then the other in turn, closing her eyes from time to time to concentrate on the words. She takes the letter with a polite smile from the Countess opening it and quickly reading the contents impassively. Once finished she spends a few moments with her eyes shut again before seeming to have a clear mind once more.

'First, thank you both for caring enough to come and tell me about these things. You both are very dear to me and I will always take your words with the utmost seriousness. The arguments on both sides are strong. I admit, yes it was I who wrote to you seeking arms Abigail, and we have bought some already here.'

'My natural inclination is with Stanislav. I was shown by his charming sister that these arts can be beautiful and I truly believe that god intended them as a gift to brighten our lives. It would hurt me badly, and you I am sure also Abi to see these crafts vanish from our world forever. Can I say though Stanislav that not everyone in this land is as enlightened as I, and your open discussion of magic in front of staff and at parties might end up putting us both in a difficult position.'

'So, this.... him. I have also encountered him since when he made a vile offer to me in exchange for the unnatural ressurection of someone dear. I accepted but not in the way he wanted. This showed me something about him and I know think I now know something of his true purpose which I will share with you all.'


She places down her glass and sits up a bit, leaning towards the people in the room.

'It is corruption. He seeks to corrupt, to tempt with power or vile things, to offer shortcuts and easy solutions to awful facts of life like death which are in essence lies and betrayals of whom we loved and which will always end in bitterness and despair. You must stay always watchful, guard against the dark impulses we all have for he will use them against you. Remember the difficult sacrifices we made to take the evil out of Abigail, despite his lures and temptations. We were strong then but he will not give up, where he sees weakness in character he will exploit it. This is a battle we will all fight for the rest of our lives.'

'But I worry Stanislav from your letter after Marie's passing that you have opened the door for him already. It would break my heart to lose you to evil.'

'As to these choices I hope to see this as not as a one or the other issue. I would rather have a balance where both Stanislav's arts and Abigail's passion for technology have a place in the world. I would always offer my support to the Circle of the Raven, from what I have seen of its members and no payment whatsoever is needed on that front. I do not know though yet if I can make a bargain where we promise to eshew technology and place everything, absolutely everything we hold dear in the hands of Stanislav and his coven of mysterious strangers. In this Abigail is right, we have our own responsibilities to defend ourselves first and we do not seek to find others to fight our battles for us.'

'There is a problem with the lady Stanislav has mentioned too. This woman, if I am not mistaken is the very same that blames me personally for the death of Rivia. A messenger came to me early in my reign and informed me she would destroy me on sight, should she ever clap eyes on me.'

'This Ivana Boritsi seems an interesting character, and I see no harm in hearing what she has to say at least. I know I am telling you both what you want to hear to a certain extent but I hope you will understand that I must keep all options for defence open, considering our predicament here sandwiched between two great powers, it will take all our charm, fortitude and forebearance to stay free of slavery. So, seeing as a meeting with Enya sounds personally unwise in the extreme I suppose we should go and meet Abigails contact first. Of course we have to wait and see what the Falkovnians now do, I cannot go swanning off if we happen to be at war. Any shipments of arms would never make it to us in time in that case anyway.'
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by Tromador on 12th June 2012, 9:06 am

"Events have a way of taking a life of their own. The Circle were actively seeking me in Mortigny, following a vision my Grandmother had seen. But, we had other concerns and so it never came to pass. If Marie hadn't thought she might have a chance for love, she might have not visited here on that fateful weekend. In either case, I would be following a very different path of magic. Sirius could not bring back Marie alone and even had she not been my sister. She was, she is, the last, the very last of the water magi. Love and duty left me no other option than the dark path, the path I wanted least of all and I agonised over the decision, even travelling from Mordent to Falkovnia to spend time with Abi and hear her opinion. I truly wish things could have been different."

"How I choose to use the power it provides will decide if I am lost to evil, or not. Let us remember though that in battle men die and it makes little difference if that is shot through the head by Bethany, turned inside out by some gruesome dark magic, or hacked into pieces by the Blade of Donncha."

"Whatever the case I, Sirius and all the circle are in opposition to
him, magi understand there must be a balance of light and dark and our circle includes magi from both sides of that coin."

"The same can be true, to an extent with technology. I'm able to use an old flintlock, but a new one cripples me. Too much technology and there will be no magic at all in New Lanark, not mine and not what comes from your sword, Adelinde. Only
he will be able to use powers. We in the Circle don't know what, or how he does it."

"Enya is going to be a difficult ask, then if she blames you. To date, she has decided against joining the Circle. Perhaps we can convince her otherwise, but I agree that for you to face her directly might be unwise. Perhaps it would be better if I spoke to her before we announce your presence."

"Let's go and see this Ivana first then, on the understanding we will still try Enya later. At least we might be able to see what she can offer which does, or does not, adversely affect mages and perhaps that might start some road to compromise."


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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by JohnBoy on 12th June 2012, 4:32 pm

Abigail nods in agreement with Stanislavs comments about compromise.

"I totally agree. I mean I understand your reservations about the buying of technology Stan, but as both you and Ade says, there's nothing wrong with compromise and at least hearing what Ivana has to say before totally dismissing the idea."

She turns to Adelinde, a small smile on her face.

"I'll put the wheels in motion then for the meeting."
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by illumination on 12th June 2012, 9:16 pm

Adelinde seems content with the conclusion but she then picks up the recently delivered letter with a frown.

'It will be nice to be out in the saddle with you all again, where everything is so much simpler, I pray that this trouble passes and I am able to safely leave things here with mother. Exploring these options is certainly important enough to justify a personal visit.'

This note I have received is troubling, it tells me that Sara has recanted her testimony and now claims to not have seen her attacker. Codswallop yes, but if she sticks to this story we have no other witnesses.'

'Abi and Richard, did the Duke say anything at all about Sara when you confronted him? If he has let slip with anything incriminating to you we can still throw the book at the bastard.'
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by JohnBoy on 12th June 2012, 10:51 pm

"Just that she said yes, and then he basically threatened the city, saying that if you dared make an issue of it then the place would be torn down in under a month."

Abigail drops her smile and looks deadly serious.

"Fucking arrogant pig... he's going to get what's coming to him. He even had the cheek to have his lackey threaten my family business as well, saying it was good that they were rising again but it'd be a shame to stop that rise."
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by illumination on 13th June 2012, 2:28 am

'Oh, I am relieved. If he said to you he... laid with her and while she says she can't say whom she still maintains she was attacked... as anyone could see for themselves.'

She looks at Richard as if to confirm his recollection is the same.
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by Kuroryuu on 13th June 2012, 8:02 am

Richard for the most part was silent, watching each in turn as they spoke. For the larger part he has little to say to the group, preferring to be the listener and absorb what was being said. Occasionaly his silence was broken with the sound of flint striking steel as he brought his now rather old and battered looking pipe to life, the embers glowing a bright orange which cast an odd shadow over his face.

When Adelinde looked up at him, his face turned rather pensive and he sucked quietly on the stalk of the pipe filling the room with a haze of smoke.

"Hmm... the physical evidence is all there. Not calling anyone a liar, however I sadly cannot recall the Duke admitting his advances on Sara." He gestures toward Abigail with the pipe. "I do remember the threat made against your family however."

Again he took a draw from the pipe and swilled the smoke in his mouth before letting it escape from the corner of his lips.

"Now, you are probably going to look at me like I am a monster but if Sara does not wish to pursue this matter, would it not be wise to respect her wishes?

Rubbing the side of his neck he paced somewhat.

"If we do act... as mentioned already today... the Falkovnian's will see it as an act of war and will be here faster than your shipment of weapons. No matter how strong the legal front you push, Sara has retracted her statement and Abi is the only one who recalls an admission from the Duke."

Richard moves and stands near the door, anticipating an angry mob. His eyes flicking to each of the room.

"Our best bet is to show a stiff upper lip... they just want cause to go to war..." He sighs. "For now we must bide our time, build up and strengthen. Take the offer of arms and supplies by all means, but I implore that you do not let this incident derail all the work you have put into this country."
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by Tromador on 13th June 2012, 10:38 am

"It pains me to say it, but I have to agree with Richard. Without the means to defend this land, you simply can't afford to upset the Falkovnians who just want an excuse. Sorry Sara, but New Lanark comes first. Good of the many and all that. Hard, but sometimes a leader has to be hard. In any case, you're not ignoring justice, simply postponing it."

Stanislav curls a bit of a smile and puts an arm around Abigail.

"Anyway, perhaps between the two of us we can come up with something which will enable you to invite a war and give Drakov a fat bloody nose. Something to aim for anyway."
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by JohnBoy on 13th June 2012, 6:20 pm

"I don't want to invite a war apon anywhere. That's not going to be good for anyone. Be it here or anywhere else. I just want to get the guy alone and cut off his..."

She looks at Adelinde and stops.
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by Kuroryuu on 13th June 2012, 8:53 pm

"You should also realise Abi. That if you are discovered to have any connection with harm done to the Duke, your family will also suffer terribly for what has occurs."

He frowns as he realises that his pipe has gone out. Muttering, he pockets the thing and goes back to leaning against the wall near the door.
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by illumination on 13th June 2012, 9:47 pm

Adelinde gets out of her seat, leaving the letter on the arm rest and attends the drinks tray, pouring a modest portion of Darkonese vodka into the glass. She seems terribly torn.

'I cannot dispute the short term benefit of letting it go. Or the risks involved in doing anything to anger these barbarians, however short of what he deserves. The only practical argument against Richard and Stanislav's position is the worry that his next performance in public presents us with an even worse situation. We have seen what he is capable of.'

She raises the glass and takes a sip of it.

'Clearly though I am also the only one here who has to face prospect of being courted and pawed at by that filthy swine.'

She then drinks the rest of the drink.
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by JohnBoy on 13th June 2012, 10:13 pm

" Well he did invite me up to his room while we were there to see him ... which I turned down.

Abigail shudders slightly at the thought of being anywhere near that foul man.
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by Kuroryuu on 14th June 2012, 1:56 am

Feeling that the threat of being lynched was over for now he moved back and sat down upon a chair nearer to the group.

"Now... before end up dissolving back into the whole repetetive cycle of discussing how we are to deal with the Duke. We should move on and arrange a meeting with the rest of the staff to discuss the future of the kingdom at large. Look to our defenses and lay out plans."
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by JohnBoy on 14th June 2012, 2:22 am

"Oh yeah, i forgot you got a promotion here. Congratulations Richard. Well deserved if I do say so myself."

Abigail goes back to writing her letter to Tomas and Emma.
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by illumination on 14th June 2012, 6:11 am

'You are right of course. There's been enough talk, its time to take responsibility. I will go now and speak to the Countess about letting the bastard off the hook. As much as it makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. I hope we don't live to regret it leaving the pig here.'

She leaves her empty vodka glass on the table and moves towards the exit of the room.

'We can start to make preparations to travel to Borca. At least that is something to look forward to.'
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by Kuroryuu on 14th June 2012, 7:02 am

"Indeed... I have a few things I need to take care of before we leave."

He stood too and waited for the Duchess to leave before following behind.
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

Post by ^^Truth on 14th June 2012, 10:10 pm


You all leave the study and go about your separate business. Those of you new to New Lanark taking time to walk though the snowy streets and appreciate the quaint medieval decor and atmosphere.

The town and land is quite peaceful, the peasants happy and life in the land seems to be general good for all.

The snow falls are heavy to the south and travel is not advisable for the time being and you all prepare to be snow-locked for several months until you have the chance to begin the long journey south, through Falkovnia towards Borca to see what can come from meeting Abigail's contact, Ivana Boritsi.
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Re: Castle Lanark - New Lanark

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