Nightfall Setting

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Nightfall Setting

Post by Game Master on Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:24 am

Notes on The History and Culture of The Northern Inethalid Kingdoms
By Horatio Salletise
Entry 1 - An illustrious arrival
November the eighth, the year of our Lord 1743
A cold chill has swept through the capitol of Norvalstria.  The grandeur and lavishness of its fire lit palaces have spoiled me.  I cannot wait to leave; the life of these enigmatic nobles is suffocating.  The servants are busy loading our carriages and fetching the horses as I write this entry.  We will depart by noon.

The Kingdom of Gavelheim is the final part of this excursion.  I am both excited and nervous.  I am at the cusp of finishing my magnum opus, and I have saved the best entry for last.  The Kingdom of Gavelheim is notorious for being dangerous and tumultuous.  Not from political upheaval or foreign invasion, but from a terrible curse that haunts its denizens like a shadow.  My loving wife writes to me often, and she is worried about my safety and the safety of the crew.  I have assured her that the stories she hears from my colleagues are but wild tall tales.  In truth, I do not believe myself.  But I am a man of science and culture, and I will not be dissuaded by rumors of monsters and magic.  I am worried for our safety, but also intrigued.  No matter what happens to me or the crew, I am compelled to finish the chronicle of these lands.

November the seventeenth, the year of our Lord 1743
Winter has come quickly to Gavelheim, and our caravan slowly trots along in the icy wind.  When the winds die down, it reveals a beautiful countryside.  The great mountain peaks and pine forests are covered with white glistening snow.  There is a calmness to it all, yet it does not disarm the senses.  It feels as if we are being watched.  I fear that if I was to peer too closely into the distant night, I would find something staring back at me.

We are a day behind schedule due to a sudden detour.  On our way up the main road to Lynhelinsk, we were suddenly accosted by two armed men.  They were mounted on large steeds, I believe the Grossespfred breed.  At first I thought they were highwaymen, and once they were within several feet they stopped to speak with my driver.  I could not hear what was being said, but after a few quick exchanges it soon erupted into an argument.  I left the carriage and approached them, demanding an explanation.

One of the men was wearing heavy clothing, and most of his face was obscured by a bandage over his right eye.  A wooden rifle butt extended out of a saddle holster beside his leg - with its metal mechanizm trigger gleaming in the morning sun.  There were a myriad of belt straps and pouches festooned across his person.  The other man was in a full suit of plated steel armor.  Saddled behind him was a large crate with the words 'repetiergewehr' stamped on the side of the box in large black letters.  Curiously, his left arm was exposed, and the shoulder plate was frayed.  It seemed as if it was torn or blown off by an explosion - though I can't imagine how that would have happened. 

The man with the rifle instructed me to turn our unit back, and that if we needed to get to Lynhelinsk to use a path through a village several miles away.  He had a thick, gravely accent and spoke frantically.  I began to protest when suddenly I heard a piercing howl carried through the wailing wind.  It stopped me mid-sentence, and for a moment everyone was still.  The one I was speaking with had quickly turned to face the source of the sound, and his hand was tightly gripping the rifle as if he was about to attack.  He looked to me for a moment; and I believe he noticed my demeanor change.  He barked something to his cohort, then both of them spurred off into the distance without another word.  I looked to my driver who was pale as a ghost.  I gave the order to turn back and retreated to my carriage.  The wind picked up as I slammed the door shut, then I shuffled through my personal belongings for a dagger.  I held onto it for hours afterward and even now it is at my bedside.

I must try to get some sleep - though it is proving difficult.  I can't get that blood curdling howl out of my head; it still echoes in my mind like the memory of a nightmare.  I hope those men, whoever they were, are doing alright.

November the twentieth, the year of our Lord 1743
We arrived at Lynhelinsk this morning.  The castle in the center of the city is older than the kingdom, going back to the founding of The First Lords.  The Lynhelinskivites are careful to preserve its history while also upgrading it over the years to maintain its defensive qualities.  Guards with white plumed hats and shimmering breastplates man the battlements, and watched over us as we entered the castle gates.  What struck me as most interesting was the company I found myself with upon entering my first area of research.  Some of the crew and I was invited to a celebratory ball to commemorate the local governor's birthday.  The high society of Gavelheim is very different both in cultural norms and physicality.  Almost all of the men were quite young and handsome, and the women some of the beautiful I had ever laid eyes upon.  Even further, I did not meet a man that was not at some point or another an active member of the military.  I heard countless war stories and was treated to the finest of Gavelheim culture.  The music was so beautiful I was moved to tears, and I became acquaintances with several of the richest nobles in the city.  I am familiar with Gavelheimian language, but not to the extent where I have mastery.  Even still, my company was always patient with me and seemed fascinated by me.  By the end of the night I wasn't sure as to whether I asked more questions or if more questions were asked of me.  The wine and alcohol were very exquisite; and they pack quite a punch.  I had to stop halfway through lest I lose my composer.  It must be those dwarven culinary roots.

One of the most interesting parts of the night was when I showed a large group of them a camera - evidently photography has not yet been made a normal part of life here.  Despite my fascination with their mechanizms, it seems they are not used to technological advances of luxury.  Everything to them seems to be about military technology, political advancement, and industry.  They are a people with a profound sense of duty and I could tell quite fearless - but they lack the free spirit of people back home.  The night closed with a fireworks display, which lit up the city wards below us in a cascade of colors.  The commoners, clergy, and nobles alike all blended together as I watched their faces glow from the bursting light from the balcony.

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