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Tales from the Known World

by Adamantyr

From the Journal of Saroso Elsan
Merchant-Prince of the Minrothad Guilds
Captain of the M. S. Egret

Part 1: Journey into Dread

Onmun 15, 300 VR (Verdier Reckoning): I begin this journal with great anticipation and excitement, for my desires have finally come to pass. Today, after many months of waiting, I gained a private audience with the Guildmaster, Oran Meditor. Since the stormy winter weather has secluded our ships in port until the month of Birmun, the Guildmaster's presence has been in high demand indeed, and I consider myself fortunate to have gained it so quickly.

For many years now, I have dreamt of travelling beyond the regular trade routes already well known to all the merchants and traders alike, and explore the wild and unknown lands beyond the Sea of Dread and the Serpent Peninsula. We of Minrothad are a proud people, and though our nation is but a small chain of islands, our ships travel that which touches all the lands, the mighty sea, and we alone may claim it as our territory. But for many years our government has frowned upon the outside world, seeing foreigners as dangerous and merely as sheep to be sheared or fed. Oran Meditor has changed all that, albeit at the cost of his health, and I must seize this opportunity to push my dream.

Oran was reluctant to bid me my wish, my ship and a charter of expedition to explore the regions beyond the Known World. Although he danced around talk of lost profits, and questionable augury, I knew that he was in truth loath to let a valuable political supporter go, as I am known to be. After many hours of debate, however, he gave in, sensing perhaps that I would not be deterred. He wrote the charter himself, penning carefully the boundaries and limits of my representation of the Minrothad Guilds, and a promise of 10% of all profits gained from the establishment of new trading partners. He also granted me a sizeable amount of capital with which to restore the Egret, my ship, to full capacity and for long-distance travel, as well as the hiring of a diverse and capable crew. Before I left, Oran gave me one last gift along with his best wishes, a ring of water walking, which he had received from the Aquarendi, our sea-borne elvish cousins.

There is much to do and arrange now, in the next three months before the weather calms enough to allow safe sailing. I shall not write in this journal again until I feel the soft breezes of the open sea upon my cheek, and see the prow of the Egret set on course into the unknown waters...