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  1. Excerpts from the journal of Thaddeus Calvo, Eslandian explorer: Day 1 Location: town of Interlagos, on the island of Maldria, New Haven Sea Captain Janszen has ordered me and my men to proceed upriver as far as the Esmerelda can carry us. The Esmerelda has a small draft and is excellent in shallow waters. Once forced to leave the river, we are to proceed overland southwest to one of the rivers on the south side of the island; Captain Marino will then take the Esmerelda back down river and around the coast to meet us at the mouth of those rivers. Day 2 We have begun the slow trek up river. Captain Marino has a deft hand and has controlled the ship confidently. The river is lined with white-barked birch trees, and the surrounding terrain is light woods or open fields. Small wildlife is abundant. Hunting and fishing should be easy. Day 3 We are not alone! As we sailed around a bend, a canoe with two natives rowed toward us. This is our first contact with native Maldrians. When the canoe reached our ship, they held up some small animal pelts in a manner that suggested they wanted to trade. We invited them onto our ship, and they were very curious about our attire. They were dressed lightly in deer skins, and their hair was matted together in a fashion so that it would stand straight up like the ridge of one of our helmets. My attempts at verbal communication had limited effect, but I was able to learn some simple vocabulary, for things like boat, river, otter, and hat. We traded a few items of clothing for some animal pelts, and then they departed. The natives seemed happy with the trade, but I noticed that they continued to watch us from the woods for some time as we sailed upriver. Day 7 Travel by river has become too difficult, so we disembarked to continue southwest over the hills on foot. Captain Marino has set sail back down river. We are now on our own. Day 14 It has been a hard trek over the hills, but we crossed at what appears to be the lowest spot in the ridge that runs the length of Maldria. There are signs of the spring thaw, and we have found the headwaters of a stream that should take us to one of the rivers we seek. I have tasked the men with building two rafts for our journey downstream. Day 16 We have again encountered natives! They seem surprised to discover us coming from upriver, as their expressions and hand motions suggest we should have come from downriver. Nonetheless, after their initial surprise wore off, they seemed interested in trading, as did their brethren two weeks ago. I write “brethren” because these natives do not appear to be of the same tribe; their attire is styled differently, as is their hair, long and decorated with feathers. Most significantly, the language is different! It is similar, but I am certain the difference is more than my limited exposure to it. One word I did recognize from before was “Tyree’De”; I think it might mean visitor. We traded similar items as before. We are making camp here to spend more time with these natives. Day 17 The natives have treated us well, as if welcomed albeit unexpected guests. I have learned a handful of useful vocabulary words, and confirmed that the words I learned from the first tribe are, for the most part, similar to but different from the ones this tribe uses. I must conclude that these are two related but separate tribes! Day 20 Travel down river has been quick. We have reached the southwestern coast of the island. We have made camp and set a signal fire so that Captain Marino might see that we have arrived. Day 21 Captain Marino has found us, and we have resupplied from the stocks aboard the Esmerelda. We will stay here for another day to rest, and then we will proceed east. My men and I will travel on foot, but Captain Marino has agreed to shadow us off coast, and we are to signal him if he is needed. Day 24 We have encountered natives for a third time! These fellows were not initially as friendly as the previous ones, and again had differences in their attire and appearance, but my new vocabulary helped us break the ice, even though they too (or should I say “they three”!) spoke a language different from but similar to the other natives. So we have discovered a third tribe on Maldria! When I used the word “Tyree’De”, they all nodded in recognition and brought forth small crafted items, skillfully made. They were clearly familiar with the concept of trading with strangers, and I am thinking now that the word “Tyree’De” may mean “traders” rather than “visitors.” We offered them some clothing items as well as some wine fresh from the Esmerelda’s hold, and this led to a friendly evening as we each were interested in the others’ appearance, equipment, and language. I spent as much time in conversation as I could. I learned a lot of new vocabulary, and I am getting a better handle on the similarities and differences with the other native Maldrian languages. Day 25 Many of my men and several of the natives are hung over this morning, but things are still friendly. I do not want us to wear out our welcome, so we are breaking camp and moving on before it can become an issue. Day 28 We have encountered more natives, and for the first time they appear to be from the same tribe as the last group we met! We appear to have stumbled onto one of their villages, which began our encounter with alarm, but my limited language skills calmed things quickly. Their homes are rounded on top, made with a frame of sturdy bent branches and then thatched or covered with hides. There was a field of some plant that I surmise to be a crop field, as they have tools that look like they could be farmers’ tools. This is significant, as the previous tribes we have encountered appeared to be hunter/gatherers. I believe this tribe calls themselves “Mo-eeks”. I again used the word “Tyree’De” and it immediately put them into a trading posture. It is clearly a word known to all the tribes we have met. We again traded items of interest, and I was able to practice my language skills. I was able to communicate better — I am getting a better idea of their syntax — but my skills are still at a very rudimentary level. They seemed interested in where we came from, When, after several failed attempts at conveying our journey, I finally pointed out to sea toward where I presumed the Esmerelda should be, this seemed to satisfy their curiosity on that matter. Day 63 It has been slow going, although broken up by occasional meetings with the Mo-eeks, which have enabled me to work on my language skills. But we have finally crossed out of their territory and into the land of a fourth Maldrian tribe. We are now in the southeastern part of the island, having covered a few hundred miles cross-country! Perhaps I should have signaled the Esmerelda to take a load off our feet, but we have learned much by staying inland. Our encounter with this fourth tribe has begun in similar fashion as our other meetings. But my mention of “Tyree’De” has had a somewhat different effect this time. Rather than immediately offering to trade with us, this tribe has offered to take us somewhere. I am intrigued by the new reaction, and we have cautiously taken them up on their offer. Day 67 We have arrived at our guides’ destination: a point on the southeast coast of the island. It is marked by a stone structure unlike anything else we have seen on the island. It looks to be part pyramid, part watch tower. All other structures we have seen before now have typically been made of wood, hides, clay, or sod. The natives seem excited that we have arrived at this time; I get the impression we are in time for some significant event, but what that might be I have no idea. We have been invited to make camp, and I have accepted. I have had the men make camp a short distance from the stone structure, but out of immediate sight. Day 68 The men and the “Quoy” (as this tribe seems to call itself) have been interacting without incident. I have continued to work on my language skills, and although I sometimes use a hodgepodge of vocabulary from the different tribes we have encountered, the similarities in syntax have allowed me to build on my knowledge, and I can be understood when attempting to discuss more abstract thoughts. I have pieced together that there are at least five major tribes on Maldria, some more cohesive than others. Some are farmers, some hunter/gatherers, some very territorial and some not, some more aggressive than others. How the various tribes get along varies, and alliances are fluid. I get the impression that the tribes are kind of like brothers who may fight from time to time, but generally get along. We seem to have chosen a good time to explore the island, at least the southern half, as we have not encountered any disputes or war parties. Day 71 Today is apparently the day we have been waiting for. The Quoy began the day alert and appear more formal in their behavior. When the scout atop the stone tower shouted an alert, all attention turned to the sea. Looking south I could see three large catamarans approaching. From one of the catamarans came a canoe with three people. One man took care of the canoe while the others approached. The visitors were surprised at our presence, but once they were ashore the Quoy seemed to assure them that we were friendly. When the Quoy introduced us to them, it was then that I learned that “Tyree’De” was not a word, but a name! A name for these visitors. The Tyree’De leader spoke the language of the Quoy, but it was not his own language, as he spoke in another completely different tongue when addressing his own men. And then I learned the third purpose of the stone structure: it is a trading post, apparently built by the Tyree’De! As best I can understand, the Tyree’De visit here once a year to see what the Quoy have to trade. It is not clear to me how often they visit other points on Maldria, as I have seen no other stone structures, but the other tribes were all familiar with them, and clearly expect them to approach by sea rather than land. The Tyree’De gave the Quoy a selection of silver nuggets and semi-precious stones that I have not seen on Maldria. Whereas the eastern Maldrian tribes had traded raw furs and simple trinkets with us, the Mo-eeks had presented us with crafted items, and the same was true of the Quoy for the Tyree’De: the Quoy offered intricate leatherwork, small tools made from animal bones, and other examples of their craftmanship. But the Quoy also acted as if the introduction of us to the Tyree’De was a trade item! I communicated wth the Tyree’De trade leader as best I could, and we displayed items we each had on our person. The Tyree’De trader was clearly interested in crafted items, not raw materials, and I was glad I had instructed the man that had accompanied me to the meet to leave his weapons in camp. The reason had been to not appear threatening, but I now believe that the Tyree’De trader would have coveted such items, and I do not wish to trade weapons. He was amused by my hat, and the morion helmet of my unarmed guard, but the Tyree’De trader was particularly interested in my compass. So, in the interest of good relations, I agreed to trade my compass to the Tyree’De trader. In exchange, however, I did not want his silver nuggets or common gemstones; I was more interested in his gold ring. It was of exquisite craftmanship and was engraved. Significantly, he agreed to this trade. His interest in the compass was far more than in anything the Quoy had to offer. As for the ring, I think my men thought I was just interested in the gold, but I was really interested in what I could learn about their culture or language from the engraving. The Quoy and the Tyree’De talked a little longer, and soon the Tyree’De handed over some more silver and gemstones, apparently as a reward for our introduction. Then the Tyree’De got some fresh water, got back in their canoe, and returned to their flotilla of catamarans. The Quoy seemed quite pleased and treated us to dinner in celebration. Day 72 The party is over, so to speak. It is time for us to head back to Interlagos. We built a signal fire and Captain Marino brought the Esmerelda in close to shore. He sent out the launch and we bid the Quoy thanks and farewell. After we return to Interlagos, I look forward to venturing out to visit the western tribes again and using my newfound language skills to learn more about them and the other tribes of Maldria. But the Tyree’De are a revelation, and we will need a different expedition entirely to learn more about these traders and where they come from. ------------------ The full build: More views: All C&C welcome!
  2. After months of exploring islands in the New Haven Sea, Eslandola’s expedition finally set foot on the island of Maldria. Initial exploration had identified a prime location for a settlement on the north side of the island, and preparations for a base for further exploration of the island were begun. Now, after much hard work by the ship crews and troops that made up the human capital of the expedition, a permanent base was established. Even though the fort was done, work crews continued on other tasks, as a dock and other infrastructure was needed for the new settlement. Ship gun crews and troop leaders worked to make sure the fort’s armament was ready. Outside the fort, musketeers patrolled the perimeter, as the island was still a great unknown. Inside the fort, expedition leader Philip “Pip” Janszen discussed matters with somewhat-renowned explorer Thaddeus Calvo. Pip’s protestations aside, Calvo informed Pip that the men had already named the fort after their expedition leader. It was Fort Janszen. He was stuck with it. ---------------------- This is a part of my ongoing AMRCA exploring the New Haven Sea, but I’ve posted it separately for licensing purposes. All C&C welcome.