Wow. Amazing how year-changing events just kinda sneak up on you. I hadn't even considered that today is New Year's Eve. Not a major note in our lives, really, but something to bear in mind.
Our first day in Trademore was mostly about settling in. Thanks to Traveller's path of destruction we managed to finagle some discounted rooms at a local tavern, and we've spent today and yesterday bopping back and forth between the tavern and other local establishments. We're hunting for information. We found nothing about Logan, but we did learn a lot about the world around us.
First, Traveller. The dude's considered a national menace. He's been quite busy of late, trashing towns right, left, and centre in the pursuit of... something. Nobody knows quite what, but apparently he spends his time with his eyes on the sky, a look of wonder on his face. Might explain why he mauls everything in his path, 'cause he's not paying attention to where he's going. The Imperium's not happy with him, but their army's kinda powerless to stop him.
They're also largely powerless to stop the sloth in the west. Yes, an honest-to-gods sloth. The reports of its exploits are more scattered and embellished than those of Traveller, but word is that the sloth has utterly razed two major centres of trade, a city, several farming communities, and a mountain. No one knows why it's so pissed off, either, and all anyone out here can hope is that it settles down eventually. Yikes.
The last bit of info regards the troubles at the border. These stories form sort of an ominous periphery to everything else, as there's not a hell of a lot to say from a commoner's point of view. The Imperium's throwing a ton of troops at the eastern edges of its territory, and nobody really knows why. Speculations as to their intent range from penning in the sloth to creating a dragnet to catch Traveller to a massive, pointless 'training exercise'. A training exercise which may ultimately end in conscription.
We all know better, of course. It's the Non. They must be making a massive push for territory. The Imperium's waging a war, and they're keeping it a secret from their citizens. I ultimately find the Non more worrisome than even a sloth, so I can understand the Imperium's standpoint.
It's not like these are idle rumours, either. Tucked safely in our tavern, we watched a massive contingent of roaming troops leave Trademore's front gates and wander east. Troops and war rabbits and cannons, the whole shebang. I was worried they might come across and destroy the Dauphine, but we heard no cannonfire over the plains, so I suspect everyone we left behind is safe.
Info dump aside, we had a little party! I mentioned the whole New Year's Eve thing earlier, and we took advantage of the fact by getting crazy on the upper floor of the tavern. Everyone got moderately tipsy and supped upon a combination of tavern fare and Bora's food (she came along to hunt for new ingredients) while we all told silly stories and mucked about. It was a lot of fun, and it gave we weary travellers a chance to bond.
It's now 1 am, and I'm the only one still up. I'm writing by moonlight while everyone else snoozes in their beds (or, in Grylock's case, under a nearby table). I'm watching a few late-night revellers wind through the streets below as I inscribe this, and, hey, one of them appears to be stopping to take a pee.
That's... that's not a pee.
I think I'm done for the night. Happy New Year's, little diary. It still doesn't feel quite right to say that, but, hell, I'll do it anyway.
Dragomir the Wanderer