The Lerilin Breeze, 455

THE LERILIN BREEZE

Vol 17, No 2, Summer, 455
300gp

455-04-Summer-Combined

Summer in Lerilin is always a spectacular occasion. The simple and quaint refrains of quiet village life, which once repeated unchanged all year long, now give way to the frenzied and unpredictable syncopations of festival time. For a short while, at least, the village transforms into something bigger, louder, and quite a bit brighter. And yet, underneath it all, down beneath the hubbub and spectacle, the heart of our ancient traditions keeps beating on. This clash—between the ancient and the modern, the sublime and the ridiculous—is at the core of what makes our beloved Red Moon Festival so special. Truly it is a sight to see! (And quite a busy time it can be for us, too! Thus, this issue is free of charge. Our deepest apologies, dear readers, for the delay!) So breathe in deep, and take in the invigorating air of The Lerilin Breeze!



(Scroll to last post for the latest issue.)
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THE LERILIN BREEZE

Vol 17, No 1, Spring, 455
300gp

455-03-Spring-Combined

The birds were chirping, the trees were awakening, and the fields were all abloom with the verdant bliss of spring. We hope the rainy season was not too hard on you, and we welcome you back to the beginning of a new year and all the new promise it brings. So breathe in deep, and take in the delightful, invigorating air of The Lerilin Breeze!

DIGEST OF EVENTS


AT A GLANCE

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW:
1) Mirith, still rebuilding from the damage brought by the Sleeping Invasion this last winter, was the target of another assault, this time by a trio of maniacal liches.
2) A fierce tempest, now known as the “Relic Storm”, struck Foehan and Mirith under the Waking Moon, causing the loss of several important relics from Brigobaen that were being transported as part of the annual Dawn of the Disciples pilgrimage. These were eventually recovered with the assistance of Mirith, though questions remain.
3) The pilgrimage itself enjoyed a successful and miraculously peaceful moon, not counting the stormy incident above.

GOOD SEASON FOR:
1) Rose collectors, after a large number of the rare flowers were recorded in Andris during what the city calls the “Vernal Lotus Superbloom”.
2) The Andris Birdwatching Society, whose beloved springtime tradition of welcoming the birds back to the north was aided by a drier-than-expected rainy season.
3) Duldrus, whose young guardforce was funded for another year with the generosity of donors during the Dawn of the Disciples pilgrimage.

BAD SEASON FOR:
1) Mushroom haters, after the weather patterns this spring caused a veritable explosion of mushroom growth.
2) Farmers, as a record number of forager ants helped themselves to crops throughout the continent.
3) Mirithians, who just can’t seem to catch a break!

A CLOSER LOOK

We will embark upon our new issue, dear readers, through a journey of pictures and sketches. The vibrant, floral, and dew-kissed tones of spring deserve no less!

We begin at the start of the new year, as the moon wakes. The gathering of donations for the annual philanthropic Dawn of the Disciples pilgrimage has in recent years taken on a more organized, almost militant, fashion, with a completely sheltered staging area being a new, prominent sight at the gates of the temple.

17-1-01-Dawn
Chef Jesper minding the Dawn of the Disciples staging area.

Per our sources in the temple, the donations this year focused most heavily on the towns of Duldrus and Port Gast. A mysterious and silent “Purple Shirt Donor”, so named for the purple shirts that they leave with their donations as a “signature” of sorts, is reported to have single-handedly saved the Duldrus guardforce for another year, via an eleventh hour donation.

That young Duldrus guardforce still appears to rely on donation-funded salaries from the temple, lacking financial support from the coffers of Mirith. Mirith, who claims the far-flung mining town as part of her empire, has historically been slow in committing resources to the defense and maintenance of the town, to say nothing of improvement. Though of course, this trend may now be reversing with the leadership of Lord Rengal, Duke of Duldrus, who conducted the training campaign that allowed for the guards to be hired in the first place.

Putting political intrigue aside, let us now examine the course of the pilgrimage itself. Unlike previous years, the pilgrims managed to provide for their own defense this year, forgoing the need for the boisterous escorts that have come to mark the annual occasion in the past. Miraculously, no major attacks or robberies were reported.

But in spite of this success, not all went as planned—as the pilgrimage stopped in Foehan, crisis struck: a rare inland storm of epic proportions battered the campsite, causing a number of priceless historical relics to be scattered to the nine winds, and sending the pilgrims into disarray. Mother Johanna, of the spiritual directing ministry, and Mother Aerrin, a prominent figure in the temple’s educational ministry, took the charge in recovering the lost items. While Johanna guided the recovery efforts at the camp, Aerrin high-tailed it to nearby Mirith and enlisted the help of local adventurers.

17-1-02-Relic-Storm-Chasing
A portrait of Mother Aerrin of Brigobaen, who coordinated the relic recovery effort.

Adventurers in Mirith did not need much convincing, for the so-called “Relic Storm” would soon reach their very walls, buffeting the east gate with torrential winds and rains.

17-1-03-Relic-Storm-Chasing
The “Relic Storm” of ’55.

The Mirithian force came to Foehan as soon as they were able to break through the storms. By this time, Mother Johanna had already managed to recover quite a few relics. But at least three relics were still missing:

1) The Staff of Paulena, ornate yet sturdy, said to be wielded by the Wandering Disciple herself in ancient times, the only one of the Seven Disciples who never became associated with a particular city or location.
2) A Statue of Elara, rather small, more like a statuette, but timeless nonetheless.
3) A Lock of Hair—apparently once belonging to Elara herself!

17-1-04-Relic-Storm-Chasers
Mother Johanna conducting inventory at the Foehan camp.

Chasing after the clues left behind by the clouds and storms, the adventurers of Mirith embarked on a wild chase throughout the Foehan backcountry.

The Staff of Paulena was found southwest of the Foehan camp, apparently having been washed away into the perilous creeks of the bear dens. So great was the relic’s power, that ancient bracken are reported to have sprung up out of the banks on which the staff was found, with the fearsome trees claiming in their deep, booming voices that the staff had finally “returned” to them.

17-1-06-Relic-Storm-Chasing
The hullabaloo that sprang up around the Staff of Paulena.

Whether the fascinating claims of the ancient bracken were true or not, the relic was returned to the pilgrimage camp. The Statue of Elara was then traced to a rocky outcrop. This relic was reported to have caused the very earth to quake and move, unleashing earth elementals and even a stone golem from the ground on which it rested. And lastly, the Lock of Hair was found along the banks of the Waking Creek—guarded by a flock of pixies.

All three relics were returned to the pilgrimage camp, and thus the crisis found its happy ending at last… or did it? Johanna reported that the opening inventory list became waterlogged during the storm, and thus the priests and priestesses cannot be too certain if everything was, indeed, recovered.

17-1-07-Relic-Storm-Chasing
Peace and calm returns at last to the Foehan campground.

Nevertheless, the pilgrims did all they could, and the pilgrimage returned to the temple just in time for the Feast of Elara and the annual joyous springtime Egg Dance, amidst the gorgeous, lush hues of the Full Growing Moon.

17-1-08-Feast-of-Elara
The Feast of Elara.

Meanwhile, while the pilgrims enjoyed their well-earned rest back at the temple, the forces of evil were at work back in Mirith. A trio of frightfully powerful liches wreaked their havoc under the full moon, causing great disturbances in the city, which was still repairing the onslaught of damage that was brought on by the Sleeping Moon Invasion of the very recent past.

17-1-09-Halloween
A scene at the Mirith bank under the Full Growing Moon.

But thankfully, the extent of the abominable liches’ machinations was largely restricted to the city’s cemetery, or rather, just south of it. There, a torturous maze of gruesome sights and scares awaited the city’s defenders. Casualties are reported to have been high.

17-1-10-Halloween
The liches’ fortifications at the Mirith cemetery.

Nevertheless, the city did prevail once again, demonstrating the grit of its citizenry and their admirable tenacity in the face of adversity after adversity.

17-1-11-Halloween
Fearsome foes, both alive and undead, awaited the defenders of Mirith.

To end on a lighter note: the annual Vernal Lotus Superbloom finally came to Andris in the latest phases of the Growing Moon, putting the Andris Botanical Institute, the Birdwatching Society, and many other observers at ease. The Andris continent is understood to serve as an important migratory stop for a wide variety of wildlife on their return journey north, and the Superblooms are used heavily by the traveling birds. But when the Full Growing Moon passed and the blooms were nowhere to be found, panic began to spread amongst observers who feared that the migratory patterns would be disturbed this year. The damage to the natural order that such an event would cause would be “catastrophic”, per the Institute. Thankfully, no such calamity will be occurring.

17-1-12-Vernal-Lotus-Superbloom
Better a late-bloomer than never!


IN CLOSING

We hope your dandelion wishes all come true, and wish you the warmest and happiest and most festive of summers. Until next time!

- Sulovir Soryn the First

Comments

  • THE LERILIN BREEZE

    Vol 17, No 2, Summer, 455
    300gp

    455-04-Summer-Combined

    Summer in Lerilin is always a spectacular occasion. The simple and quaint refrains of quiet village life, which once repeated unchanged all year long, now give way to the frenzied and unpredictable syncopations of festival time. For a short while, at least, the village transforms into something bigger, louder, and quite a bit brighter. And yet, underneath it all, down beneath the hubbub and spectacle, the heart of our ancient traditions keeps beating on. This clash—between the ancient and the modern, the sublime and the ridiculous—is at the core of what makes our beloved Red Moon Festival so special. Truly it is a sight to see! (And quite a busy time it can be for us, too! Thus, this issue is free of charge. Our deepest apologies, dear readers, for the delay!) So breathe in deep, and take in the invigorating air of The Lerilin Breeze!

    DIGEST OF EVENTS


    AT A GLANCE

    THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW:
    1) A swarm of earthquakes and other oddities plagued the mountains of Duldrus in the early summer days. Catastrophic damage was averted, but travelers and residents alike remain on edge.
    2) Hundreds of well-organized mercenaries descended upon the Lerilin continent over the Red Moon. They were ultimately rebuffed, but questions—and vulnerabilities—remain.
    3) Not counting the mercenary scare above, another successful and joyous Red Moon Festival was had by all!

    GOOD SEASON FOR:
    1) Sea gaper enthusiasts, after a rare nest was spotted not far from The Unsparing in the farther reaches of the Red Moon Market.
    2) Bounty hunters, who enjoyed great profits taking out the mercenary invaders.
    3) Theo’s Menacing Menagerie, who made their triumphant return to the festival circuit this year, setting up a spectacular, never-before-seen show at Hermit Lake.


    BAD SEASON FOR:
    1) Theo’s Menacing Menagerie, whose success also attracted a regiment of bloodthirsty mercenaries looking for some easy ransom money.
    2) Festival traders, many of whom found themselves waylaid by the roving mercenary bands. Custom embroidered flags and silver sea shells were among the more valuable items that were stolen, and rewards were high for those daring adventurers who managed to recover any.
    3) Gohoran teamakers, who faced another difficult year in their annual quest to produce their famous rare tea, “Jasmine Dragon”. The expensive leaf normally consists of standard Gohoran Green that the intrepid teamakers enhance with the scent of jasmine flowers, which must be hand plucked from the Tree Maze on the other side of the Fighting River. The flowers bloom only during the Bleeding Moon, meaning the teamakers must dodge many dragons as they go. In some years, such as this one, the challenge proves to be too great to produce any meaningful crop.


    A CLOSER LOOK

    Summer, as is so often the case, began with a bang. As the Bleeding Moon waxed, a swarm of minor earthquakes ripped through Duldrus, reminding us of the often unstable and volatile nature of life in the far northwest. Some injuries and damages were reported, but no lives are believed to have been lost.

    We cannot say the same, however, about the happenings atop the Hidden Peak nearby. There, under the Full Bleeding Moon, local hunters successfully completed their bizarre and violent annual sacrifice, in which they ritually throw themselves to the fierce ice dragons that live on the summit. This bloody and backwards ritual, though poorly understood, is believed by Brigobaen scholars to serve some sort of spiritual purpose, and is perhaps meant to appease the mountain spirits and stave off the ever-looming threat of a cataclysmic temblor for one more year.

    Meanwhile, back in Lerilin, something else was brewing: the return of Theo’s Menacing Menagerie. The name itself still conjures up a wide array of emotions among those old enough to remember. The storied traveling circus is perhaps best known for an enormous and gruesome accident that transpired during a live show in the late ‘30s, which got them permanently banned from Andris. The Red City then replaced their show with the Grand Arena of the Blue Moon Festival, whose enduring popularity only led to further financial difficulties for the Menagerie, and the beginning of a bitter rivalry between the two entertainment enterprises. This year, however, the Menagerie’s show attracted a great number of visitors from far and wide, marking an end to nearly twenty years of decline.

    But success comes at a cost for everyone, and the Menagerie was not immune from the violence that beset the continent over the summer. Late in the festival, a mercenary regiment rushed into the enclosure and seized command, taking all the laborers as hostage, and demanding a sizable chunk of Theo’s coffers as ransom. Thankfully, the bold scheme was de-escalated by a Foehane wizard, but not before one of the hostages was brutally murdered by the mercenary captain. Theo could not be reached for comment, but the beastmasters we were able to interview pledged to provide greater security in the future.

    As for the mercenaries in general: the spike in activity was nothing short of unprecedented. Hundreds of troops were spotted in various forts and seafaring vessels around the continent. The troops appeared to be far more organized and regimented than we have ever seen before in mercenary bands. This development, plus documentary evidence found on the scenes, leads us to speculate that they were part of the larger mercenary body that serves the shadowy terror organization known as The Creed.

    Nonetheless, festival goers and adventurers of all stripes pitched in to help the Menagerie, and indeed all of Lerilin, by fighting the mercenaries off and recovering stolen goods. Rumor has it that there was even an officially-sponsored bounty hunter present to assist in the war effort, residing amidst the shifty traders of the Red Moon Market. This, however, remains strictly in the realm of speculation, alongside any rumors of cloaked figures carrying illicit copies of the Brigobaen pure crystal machine on the boisterous docks.

    But all that we can do with such daunting information, dear readers, is remain watchful and wary. So let us now take a more joyous turn, to the wonderful work of our sketch artists, and take our annual dive into the sights and sounds of the Red Moon Festival that was!

    17-2-13-Feelin-Breezy
    The instant classic Breeze Around Lerilin Footrace ending in spectacular fashion this year. In order to best “feel the breeze”, runners are required to strip down to their drawers to compete, and are not allowed to use any special skills, magic, or items, outside of a standard charm of swiftness and a supply of healing potions, which as any experienced sprinter will tell you, is a must for anyone who wishes to survive the intense competition. The winners of this year: in third place, Lady Astronus of our local Rhovanion Rebels. In second place, Lady Shuab of the Mirith Vanguard. And in first place, Lady Lenne of GYPSY!

    17-2-08-Boom
    One of the most anticipated games of the festival circuit, Maralian Roulette, is scaled down slightly and played on the east beach for the Red Moon Festival. Though the game may be smaller, the booms are just as big as ever!

    17-2-09-Alyx
    A simple yet popular classic: High Low, at Gamblers’ Corner.

    17-2-06-Flags
    Even Giants are known to partake in festivities, from time to time.

    17-2-14-Red-Moon-Market
    The entrance to the Red Moon Market.

    17-2-15-Red-Moon-Market-2
    Elsewhere in the Market, business proceeds as usual.

    17-2-04-Theo-2
    And down by Hermit Lake, Theo’s Menacing Menagerie! In frame is the exhibit entitled “Taming the Stormy Southern Seas!”. Visitors be warned - nobody gets out of the exhibit dry!

    17-2-03-Theo-1
    Theo’s Menacing Menagerie - the southern exit and laborer campground. Other exhibits not pictured include: “The Lion’s Den”, “Sea Serpent Observation Deck”, “Ancient Terrors from the Exotic Far North”, “The Fearsome Foehan Fliers + Real Maralian Bears!”, “The Marali Tuskers”, and who could forget the crowd favorite, “The Goom!”

    17-2-01-Camp
    Trouble ahead and trouble behind: an artist’s rendition of one of the mercenary forts on our southern shores, in a place sometimes called “Crimson Beach”, so named for the island located just beyond.

    17-2-02-Camp
    Another, nigh impenetrable fortification, this one above the sandy tunnels of the Lerilin Atoll. Not far off shore from here, another terror awaited…

    17-2-05-Creed-1
    …and that terror was a massive vessel known only as “The Dragon”, ferrying even more mercenaries and their unholy undead companions. It was not the only vessel of its caliber reported over the course of the festival. In fact, is is unknown exactly how many remained unseen. Given the numeral designations assigned to the mercenary’s battalions, we can only assume there were many, many more.

    17-2-11-Dragon-1
    Another view of “The Dragon”.

    17-2-12-Dragon-2
    And yet another.

    17-2-07-Ransom
    The mercenary attack on the Menagerie.

    17-2-10-Theo-3
    It would seem some of the rare beasts were released from their cages during the attack—presumably by the mercenaries.


    IN CLOSING

    What a blast that was! As always, dear readers, you are all encouraged to share your own artwork or any other contributions. We’ll see you back at the end of autumn, by hook or by crook!

    - Sulovir Soryn the First
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