Date: October 22, 109 PA
Weather: Normal for season (cool); no wind; no rain
Location: Fort Hope
Ley Line: Yes
“Unless the Hive’s grown considerably since last reports, you shouldn’t be getting too close to the Hivelands,” Lieutenant Winston said. “The town’s mostly a waystation for Tundra Rangers moving through the area, stuck between the Deadboys and the bugs. And yes, take what supplies you need. Always good to be prepared, if you got room. Cold weather gear, too.”
Winston gave Nazo a strange look. Was she crazy? He still didn’t trust her, after she’d murdered one of his men. He looked to Thomas for a moment before answering, “Liz Urbanski went to Baldur’s Ferry on the last riverboat to do some trading. She should be back soon enough, though,” he told Nazo.
Winston turned to answer Ashley’s questions. “We don’t have a lot of detailed maps of the area,” he said. “I imagine there are some settlements. The ruins of Fargo are on the way. We don’t know what’s there. Fort Sioux is a day north. You’ll want to avoid them.
As for the radio, you’ll train up one of the locals how to use the equipment. The Tundra Rangers will be overseeing everything once you leave.”
Ryder spoke up in support of Nazo’s suspicions, and Winston answered, “The barge was the Missouri Queen. That’s William Norris’ outfit. He’s the contractor the Legion pays to ferry things up the river to us. Most of the team came up river with his outfit,,” he said, nodding to Nazo, Thomas, Vik, and Ashley. “I don’t know of any clairvoyants, but you could ask around the refugees.”
Bari spoke up then. “What is a Tolkeen? What are the Xiticix Hivelands? What is a Fortsue? And What is a Tundra Ranger? ... I will probably have more after you answer those."
“Tolkeen was a large city of humans, d-bees, and magic up north. They were at war with the Coalition for a long time. Back in July, the Coalition finally broke their defenses and leveled the city. Most of those people,” he gestured out in the direction of the tent city that had set up outside the earthwork walls of the fort, “are refugees from the fall of Tolkeen.
“The Xiticix are a bunch of intelligent bugs that came through a rift and infested the place. They control a bunch of territory up north and just keep spreading, like a bad rash. Anything they catch is food or slave labor. Usually both. Dangerous and nasty.
“Fort Sioux is the Coalitions border post this side of things. It’s about a day or two upriver from us. Fairly lightly manned, at the moment, but they still run patrols out past the border and bother the refugees coming south. We don’t think they’ve noticed us yet.
“Tundra Rangers are folks who’ve pledged themselves to keeping the great white northern wilderness safe for the settlements up there. The Legion would like to be on good terms with them. They’ve been helping some of the refugees that stray north from Tolkeen. The comm tower is a goodwill gesture.”