The stone buildings continue to stand in Old Northwich. All the other structures are char on the ground. The insides of the stone structures have burned remains of rooftops and furnishings. There is evidence of human remains. A large anvil sits where a blacksmith shop must have been. Due to the weight of the anvil, it would take several men to move the flat iron surface.
After a year of settling here, the 16 criminals and their families have taken just about everything of value.
In La Longi, nails can be purchased by the pound. Here in Northwich, there is relatively little metal work completed. It is a skill set no one here has. A nail is indeed valuable
A metal pot is a prized possession for a household here.
Penelope will profit from this I am sure.
Apple trees and unruly grapevines grow in the old town. We have used them to supplement the stores provided us by the king. I do not take this provision as a generous gift.
There exists a motive for sending a freedman with a prospect of promotion to this place rather than a noble. I assume I am expendable and replaceable. The king could at any time remove me from this role. The House of Rainport is likely. James is doing his job well, but there is a tension between us that I cannot identify.
As I walk through the ruins I contemplate these motivations. I contemplate the king’s alchemist and the resource that is unknown to me here. I continue to be put on hold in being informed on what I am to manufacture or extract from the land.
My speculation is something needed or desired here is of strategic or military value and the king wanted a placeholder that is not political in alignment to anyone but the king.
Another thought occurs. Perhaps what is here is considered magical or taboo to La Longi and no noble would tarnish the reputation of their house with it. I have long since broken things down in my mind with these questions. Is it a person, place, or thing? Is it scientific and something I do not understand? Is it spiritual?
These questions have helped rationalize the unidentifiable at times.
The Man with the Shepherd’s Crook built his home at what I call Old Northwich. His church building is rebuilt from the original. It is a decent looking structure.
No one in La Longi that I have met knows what happened to Old Northwich or why it was founded. Speculation has it that a dragon set this place ablaze.
The Heron state that a great leader of war will have a thunderbird vision. Some of their warriors have been far north and say they have seen the thunderbird. It is a flying creature with a very large wingspan. Various stories speak of the thunderbird picking up large animals like deer and flying away with them.
None of the stories speak of fire being breathed.
Perhaps it was an attack by brigands.