Ches, 3rd Casimiri, 14th year of his Lordship Kresimir, Kotor Barony;
The weather has turned, finally. More than a month it has been since we arrived at the Leviton Homestead and I can count on one hand the number of times I have glimpsed the sky, so persistent have the clouds been. Now, finally the snow has thinned and falls only every couple of days, mostly at night and the days are regularly warming enough to begin to melt the fresh falls and make some progress on the drifts pressed against buildings, fences and trees.
These last few days my companions and I have returned to the small hilltop castle that the bandits had made into their lair to collect the valuables we had stashed. Koldo, Andoni and Manus are to return to Visegrad with the wagon and 2 of the mules and the goods, mainly a large quantity of cloth and 3 fine tapestries from the east and a supply of religious items that were probably bound for Nesme, including a large bell, some incense, candles and musical instruments. Koldo will attempt to sell or redeem these goods to service our debt and purchase additional goods for trade to the homesteaders.
Ailean and myself will remain here in the Beastlands.
Tarsakh, 1st Dominica, 14th Year of his Lordship Kresimir, Kotor Barony;
It is the first day of Tarsakh, the month that the Leptona name The Flowering, and it seems an apt name as I see more and more evidence of life returning to the land and hills around us. Ailean and I have been quite busy in the time since the others left for Visegrad, cleaning the detritus and accumulations of years of abandonment out of the ruined castle. There was a fire and many of the rooms have collapsed walls and ceilings, but the outer wall and the main gate entry and adjoining guard rooms are sound as is the cellar space and dungeon.
With some work and carpentry I feel it will make a fine shop and center of commerce in this region.
Tarsakh, 2nd Miluteni, 14th Year of his Lordship Kresimir, Kotor Barony;
I have been walking and riding nearly non-stop for the last week, visiting as many of the homesteads and seasonal camps of the local Kamalar tribes as I could convince Jetei, son of Teleboge, to lead Ailean and myself to. We made many friends and shared many meals and even more drinks and I feel that the journey was well worthwhile. These are the people who will have to trust me to buy and sell goods at fair prices if my venture is to succeed.
On that note, we saw signs of the first caravan of the season out of Visegrad having passed by heading east into the Beastlands, bound for Nesme or perhaps beyond. I begin to expect the return of Koldo at any time.
Mirtul, 1st Martedi, 14th Year of his Lordship Kresimir, Kotor Barony;
We have survived a most unpleasant encounter with a local bandit gang today. Ailean and I were each caught unawares by the approach of a most foul mouthed woman and her men, numbering more than a dozen. Words and threats were exchanged, Ailean was his usual bold, good hearted and foolish self while defending my honor against the woman, Samga’s, rude insinuations. We were in no position for a fight however and I am induced to take serious consideration of her demands, outrageous as they are.
She is expecting a payment for security, as she calls it, when she returns. And the payment she has demanded is either my casting crystals which she simply views as jewelry, or my castle for her to use as her base. She stated that she will return for her answer in 3 days time.
Mirtul, 1st Giovedi, 14th Year of his Lordship Kresimir, Kotor Barony;
Yenosh has answered my prayers and an ally has appeared in the moment of our need. Zan Kruhalk arrived this noon, leading 3 strangers to my door. Led by Lord Markuss Dancis, the youngest son of a nobleman in the valley, the other two men are commoners, Silviu Cojocaru, a woodsman and hunter, and Luukas Ruutel, learned in plants and the arts of healing. The men are holders of one of Baron Kresimir’s charters, the knowledge of which inspired in me this mad plan to build a business in the Beastlands. Their charter charges them to explore and tame the Border Hills north of the East Road.
I explained to them my purpose and goal of building a trade center to service the needs of those still making honest livings in the area and to profit from the travelling caravans. I also spoke of our current need for assistance in dealing with the woman Samga and her gang. I am pleased to write that it was with no hesitation that all three men proved their honor by agreeing to provide their aid in dealing with the bandits when they make their expected return tomorrow. In return Ailean and I have pledged to lend our skills and expertise to Lord Dancis in the execution of his charter upon the return of Koldo.