Chapter One: A Late Snowfall

Back to Rustic Vale: The Long Spring

Posts #1-156

It is early spring in Rustic Vale. The Iris Games ended a short while ago, and the triumphs and failures are, if not forgotten, then at least starting to fade. The monthly market fair is still a week away, but this week's market is a lively one; the winter merchants have left, and a new crop of sellers are just arriving for the spring. With the weather warming up, people aren't tired of spending their days outside yet, and it seems as if half the town's population are out and about, with adventurers gearing up for the first delves of the year, locals replenishing supplies that were run down over the winter, and kids just enjoying the sun.

Although… there's a bit of a nip in the air, and there are clouds on the horizon. This sunny day might not last…

The Market

In the market, Tanja ap Metonym meets with the monster merchant Glugglug (under the fake name 'Dohs'), who attempts to sell her a 'hat'. Glugglug is a little vague on what a hat does. They are joined by Myra Heron, who is looking for some useful cogs, by Niamhe Chekhov, the town bard, and by Saburo Tanaka, the town merchant. Saburo becomes interested in good luck charms made by a true sage, and Glugglug makes Myra some neat beetle cogs.

Meanwhile, Scarlet Dunn is out looking for parchments from the Company of Shades. She discovers a plagiarized flyer made by her rival's lazy assistant, Ulysses. She is distracted from dealing with it by a dispute. At the puppet stall, two puppet-makers are having a dispute. They are joined by the skeleton Nahbast, who is fascinated by their work. As their argument threatens to escalate into a fight, Scarlet mediates - and in the process convinces them both to put on rival shows in two weeks' time.


Nahbast and the adventurer Norman join Master Sergey in his wagon, learning some secrets of puppetry and human socialization.

Scarlet returns to her school, where she finds both her apprentice, Sasha, and the sage Tanja stopping by for training. After some conversation, Tanja and Sasha do some practice sparring.

Meanwhile, Myra, Niamhe, and Glugglug return to Myra's home for tea and conversation. They discuss the nature of merchanting well into the evening.


The snows have not stopped. Niamhe goes to the town hall, where she finds Sergey practicing with his new necromantic assistant, and townsfolk lined up with their problems. She calms the townsfolk, helps Sergey with his music, and then is hurt when he discounts her as an adventurer. She vows to find a way to fix this.

In the Doomblood Mountains, Scarlet and Sasha are training when Glugglug accidentally rolls a massive snowball on top of them. Scarlet is nearly knocked off the mountain, as Sasha mistakes Glugglug for an attacker and nearly attacks him back. Then Scarlet saves Glugglug from going over the side of the mountain, and she and Sasha discuss job possibilities with him.

At the library, Tanja arrives for studying, and discovers that she might rather study the librarian. He is happy to have a visitor, especially one with real adventuring skill, and the two spend the day studying together.

Myra spends the day in her home, cold and not willing to rise. Spirits of ice and lightning are drawn to her, and she organizes their dispute into a formal tournament. The tournament ends with the frustrated spirits turning on Myra, who scatters them and returns to bed.

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