Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day Three-Hundred-Three: Arrival

We're here.

And it's not even a Friday.

We're HERE. We're at our new HOME, diary.

It happened about an hour before we would have stopped for dinner. The oxen and horses were exhausted, everybody in the wagons looked tired and grouchy, and my stomach rumbled. I saw a river clearing in the distance, more forest, and a small mountain range a ways beyond that, and I decided that the river would be a good place to get washed up. So we stopped.

What I didn't know is that we would be stopping permanently at that spot. As soon as we got out of our wagons and began to set up camp for the night, everyone noticed something new. June had joined us, Julius riding in her hair.

People parted as she approached me, hobbling along on her walking stick, sniffing the air. Her mad eyes wandered the area, searching for… something… and eventually settled on the mountains in the distance. Then she tapped her stick into the grass and grinned.

"This is it."

I coughed loudly. Hadn't expected that. "W… say what? This is what?"

"This." She turned in a circle, cackling quietly, arms stretching out to encompass the clearing, the trees, the uneven ground, the river, the mountains. "This is it. We build here. No more travel."

Otherwise unremarkable landscape suddenly took on a new appearance. Suddenly everyone was appraising the area for its worthiness as a place to settle. Would the river supply enough water for daily needs? Was there enough room for houses, and was the ground solid enough to lay foundations? Would the surrounding forests provide enough wood to build? Was it close enough to other towns for sustainable trade? Could, some day, stone houses be built here, with minerals quarried from the mountains?

In most cases, the answer was a 'no'. Not a huge no, not a never-in-a-million-years no, but still a no. There were better places to settle, and now that June had brought everybody this far and made her pronouncement, it was time to argue - or so they thought, before Grayson opened his mouth and SCREEEEEEEEAAAAAAAMEEEEEEEEEEED again.

Everyone fell back from the shockwave of sound and rage. No more argument. We'd arrived. Not sure if I'm comfortable with my son and a witch apparently being on the same side… and I do wonder if she's manipulating him somehow… will have to look into it.

Unfazed by Grayson's bellow, June hummed tunelessly and walked into the midst of the camp. Brushing aside the rocks set up for one of the campfires, she planted her staff deep into the ground, stood back, and muttered a few words nobody understood.

The staff responded immediately. What was once an unremarkable hunk of wood twisted and warped, growing and expanding into the ground and the sky, its lifeless whorls sprouting slender branches covered in amber leaves. Roots expanded, earth rose, and in moments we were staring at a full-grown elm tree, its bark shining gold.

The nobles LOVED that, lemme tell you. Ain't a chance in hell they're moving away from here.

June left. She wandered into the woods to the north, following the path of the river, and disappeared. I suspect she's setting up her hut in one of the trees there, like she did back in Goblinoster. No clue where it IS, thanks so much, but I suspect we'll learn in time.

So… now… we begin building. Gulp.

I feared this part. I don't know what to do. I'm not a community planner. I've done okay leading people so far, but all I've had to do is make sure our food stocks are reasonable and our wagons are moving. Everybody's really helpful with those two things.


None of us really know how to start a community… it's a subject I've been avoiding 'til now, but we have to address it from here on in…



Couldn't we have travelled a BIT further…?


Dragomir the Mayor

1 comment:

  1. Personally I'd start by building a circular shaped town around the tree, with the market in the middle, and homes on the second circle, and then workshops on the furthest outer tier. Thus providing that work and goods are close to the homes, and that raw materials reach the shops immediately from outside the town. Then you ring the entire place with a wall and a few local Militia or Guard buildings to house look-outs and troops to deal with problems like wild animals. And the running river will provide a good source of fishing and a way to provide water for the town. While the farms outside the walls can receive irrigation if they dig small trenches leading from the river and into the fields.

    Or...ya'know...wing'it and see what happens...cause that's usually the most entertaining...