And Yu-Shan Wept
Annals of 'The Cirlce of Tears'
Fifth of Ascending Wood, RY 768
Domus de Sepia, Gem
‘First Lapis Court Inquest’ Caravan, After Action Report
We have just returned from a trade run with Fair Folk of The Lapis Court – a more respectable sort than I am used to. The relative scarcity of humanity perhaps gives us mystique or more-like the few humans they encounter are Guild Caravans with blood and souls for trade.
It was troublesome getting Keen-Eyed Falcon to allow an unknown variable to accompany such a delicate operation, not to mention dangerous, but I was able to negotiate my pace upon sharing with him my ability to provide demonic assistance in safeguarding our investment. A pair of Erymanthoi, easily sated with the bones and blood of the handful of slaves who will surely fall to unrelenting sun. This cost us thirty slaves, but only ones that would have died to expose anyway. The most wretched and sun seared soul was brought from the stockades each night as we broke camp. A rude club pressed into numb exhausted fingers and shackles unpinned – the Erymanthoi enjoy their meal far more when preluded by battle. It broke up the monotony of the journey somewhat and improved the moral of the mercenaries. The Blood Apes had their greatest battle the night after we left the bazaars of the Fair Folk – only one enjoyed its meal though. Bruised and beaten, the mortal soldiers were able to put down the blood drunk beast with little effort.
The return trip was much quieter, our numbers multitudes smaller and the roaring challenges of the Erymanthoi stilled. The caravan was within sight of Gem a scant ten days after leaving the Fay where the original trek had taken over a score. To think such a host is so near, such treasures and wonders an arm’s length away. I am most pleased with the pair of Astri Desertus collected as payment.
Sixth of Ascending Wood, RY 768
The Bleached Road, Gem
Upon our return today the streets of Gem held a rude surprise, a trio of Dragonblooded, far from home or even their seats of power. They in all their saunter and glib arrogance think to demand tribute here, upon the cusp of the world. I could laugh if the sun baked air did not change it to a sucking chortle – we both know the cost in men and wealth it would take to bring legions cross the Glitter-Flame Desert. That the pampered and selfish scions of their ignoble blood would rebel and decry an extended stay in this crucible of fire, no, their claims are empty. This cradle of humanity is under Guild Banners and the Directorate would never allow such a hub of commerce to fall from our grasp.
Or so I thought, before the sun has set, an attack was launched by one of the Princes. They have brought some construct of the Shogunate – reports of blinding white fire and blossoms of destruction abound in the streets. If the Realm believes us so easily bowed, they are more foolish than I believed. Already I have alerted The Despot’s forces and rallied our own mercenaries. A Prince of the Earth may be worth a hundred men – but we have the blood to spend!