Autumn Harvest, Preserver’s Day 5, Year of the Lion number 427; November 3, 1738 Agathon; Linne 181
Once again we’re at sea. This time we’re heading straight west toward the city of Linne. I asked Captain Silverkeep about going to Norrod first, but he said that would add two weeks to our journey. “If you want to go to Norrod,” he said, “you will need to to find your own way after we get to Linne.”
Such as it is. Our crewmen returned the guests to the island and brought back a few crates of things we can sell. Xyrlina is no longer with us leaving me as the only woman on the ship. Aside from a few stupid jokes, the crew did nothing to make me feel uncomfortable or anything. I was kind of surprised, actually.
Things are back to routine, even though it’s only been a day since we left. In the evening, as the cook was preparing the evening meal for the day shift, I asked Mak about Scone and what was so special about it. I mentioned what Vina had said about bard’s tales. Haggit, who was sitting with us said that he knew the ballad, and recited it:
There was a king who built a ship, and sailed away
To look for gold in the hills of Scone, far away
The only gold in the hills of Scone
Is gold you’ll never own
It belongs to the giant Longbone, far away
The only gold I’ve ever known
It all belonged to the giant Longbone
His teeth are sharp, his claws are long, so they say
His eyes are like a fire that burns, far away
We will go to the hills of Scone
We’ll find the giant Longbone
We’ll turn him into stone, far away
Through the rain and through the snow, we sailed away
To the land where only fools go, far away
We stepped onto the shore
And then we heard him roar
He must have seen us
We tried to hide, we tried to run, run away
He killed the crew, he threw the boat, far away
And then he said “We are alone
I am the giant Longbone
You should have stayed at home, far away”
The only gold I’ve ever known
It all belonged to the giant Longbone.
Mak explained, giving the ballad context. About two-hundred fifty years ago, the king of Handocher gathered his fleet and sailed to Scone in search of a great treasure he had heard about. Upon arrival, the fleet was destroyed, all were killed except the king, who was imprisoned for five years.
While Handocher was without its king and most of its armies, rival countries Antarrow and Avensaria took the opportunity to invade. The war, known as the Scone War, lasted only a few years as the people of Handocher allied with the Drow Elves of Sylrix to help defend themselves. Several southern towns were captured, but in the peace agreement, control was returned to Handocher after a new king was coronated.
The captured king was released and he returned to Handocher but died a few short years later. He never told anyone about what happened during his incarceration.
Long held animosities remained, however. Over the course of the next fifty or so years, there were many skirmishes, disputes, and such. They were at the brink of all-out war, only looking for an excuse to invade. The city of Linne, where we’re going now, was caught in the middle of all this. Finally, another war broke out, known as the War of the Realm. This led to the creation of the Witch’s Coven and the Council of Linne. The witches imposed peace on the three countries through the collective power of their magic.
The youngest of the witches, Allison, was born during the Scone War. This was also the start of the Linne Calendar. The current year is 181.
I thanked Mak and Haggit for the history lesson. I considered telling them about the letter Vina gave me, but I decided not to for now.
Since I don’t know who, if anyone, will be reading my journal in the future, I decided to add the Linne year to the dates. Fortunately, they use the same months as the Agathon Calendar. I still think the Tabaxi system makes more sense, but that’s a discussion for another day.
As it is, I keep hearing about these Linne Witches. I think it would be wise to learn more about them.
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Authors Note: the song, “Longbone,” appears on Steeleye Span’s Sails of Silver album, which was released in 1980.