Sart’s Journal, 6th of Pharast
The tall pale people were happy to have the magical pipes back. They invited us to a celebration dinner. They blindfolded us and then led us to their underground home. Underground near a swamp! That’s unexpected. Apparently they use pumps that keep the water at bay. They all take turns at turning the pumps. These people are clever in a way that would even make my people take notice.
On our journey back from the witch’s lair we had noticed many secreted plantings of rice, and other grains and vegetables. They have quite the farming project going on. In the river kingdom this is no small task. Much of their success has come from the power of the fog generating pipes and the secretiveness of their people, but I’m taking note of the ingeniousness of their hidden agriculture. Dinner was a wonderful sampling of that bounty. I savored each bite, and may have eaten a bit more than I should. Iomedae warns against gluttony.
After dinner, the leaders of the tall pale people told us of another problem. They were a dwindling people. I would have thought their agricultural success would have had the opposite affect, but their secretiveness is proving their undoing. They have become too insular. They say they need new members, new blood, if they are to survive.
They have been attempting to woo the population of a village some days journey from here, Letsome. They believe these people may be vulnerable enough that they would be willing to move to a new home. The mercenaries that once protected Letsome have taken up work elsewhere, leaving the town to the mercy of bandits. They want to take advantage of that vulnerability to invite them in. The tall pale people do not like to travel though, especially during the day. The sun is harsh upon their skin. They would like us to go and speak on their behalf.
This could go wrong in so many ways. To get the people of Letsome to come, the pale people must expose themselves some. To entice them they must expose their wealth. In doing so, they may become a target. The newcomers could betray them. I can see how their people could become paralyzed, not wanting to risk a good thing. It seems their desperation is stronger than their fear though.
I don’t know what exactly to think. The people here work hard, but their security comes from secrecy. Their hidden village is cut off from the rest of the world. The risk isn’t just for the tall pale people. The people of Letsome would also need to give up much. There is also the possibility that the pale people would betray them. I worry that newcomers might not be well treated, might even be treated as second class citizens or slaves. We did see that there was division among the pale people as to whether to just take people by force or to bring them in peacefully. For now, the majority are leaning towards peace. I would not want to mislead the people of Letsome, delivering them to an even harder fate.
In the end, the deciding factor for me is the Varisians. I don’t believe Tiodora would ally herself with people bent on slavery. If the pale people have Toidora’s support, then they can have mine as well. We agreed to journey to Letsome on the behalf of the tall pale people and bring back those willing to come, either to stay or just to visit. They have given us written documents describing the town organization. They will supply us with gifts of food to bring.
We seem an unlikely group to carry this message though, on behalf of an even stranger people. I wonder how the people of Letsome will react. The Varisian Marcello is the only human among us. His people do not have the best of reputations. I guess Ettiene may prove a good diplomat. He is so quiet I often overlook him, but he has that half-elven charm about him. While Rohan and I are… unusual, we have overcome prejudice before. We are all of us a charismatic lot with a gift for glibness. Perhaps our unusualness will prove an asset.
I have a few days to recover before we leave. I hope to feel better by then. I can still feel the spider venom’s affect on me. I must rest. I will use the time to catch up on my reading of the Acts.