It’s time for another adventure through the hills and dales of Novia with stops at the West Perennial Trail, South Brightbone Woods, Ecteter Crag Mines and the Blood River. The goal for this journey is to retrieve the Steampunk Goggles which I think will look quite smashing.

But there are a few obstacles in the way and I’ll need to pack some provisions. It’s a long and arduous journey wrought with dangers such as bandits, wizards, wolves, elves and ghosts.

West Perennial Trail

The Perennial Trail is the road leading westward out of Ardoris, along the coast. The Tour Guide there is reported to be in the company of bandits, so take care!

From Ardoris, head West and follow the path along the coast. It’s a lovely stroll with the bracing sea air at your side.
Once on the trail, follow the path and keep going until you see the bandit encampment near the lake. The Tour Guide is off to the right and seems to be having a lovely time preparing what smells like a delicious lunch for the bandits. I question his choice in companions, but, he’s a grown automaton and is free to choose his own friends.

South Brightbone Woods

The Brightbone Woods is just west and south of Solania, and to the northwest of the Perennial Coast! The Tour Guide is there in the company of bandits, so pay heed when visiting.

Keep heading West down the path and South Brightbone Woods are quite literally right in front of you.
Once inside, head toward the monument and then veer slightly to the left and head in a Westerly direction. Follow the path and you’ll come to another bandit encampment. I find it distressing the bandits are such keen outdoorsman yet didn’t bother to invite me along. I quite enjoy a good camping expedition and I even have own bedroll.

The Tour Guide is standing at the ready by the tents with a pork shank and conversation. I didn’t have time linger too long as the bandits seemed quite agitated with my presence and my want to break bread with them. I was chased out, but kept the pork shank. That’ll teach ’em.

Etceter Crag Mines

The Etceter Crag Mines are just west of Etceter, at the tip of the Quel peninsula by the Bay of Storms, in the southwest of Novia! Reaching the Tour Guide there will be very difficult – rumor has it he has made his way to the very darkest reaches of the mines where undead lords hold court.

From the Woods, once again, head to the West and into the Brightbone Pass. This is a truly unfriendly area, but I was fortified from lunch and managed to run like a madman to reach the other side relatively unscathed.

From there, I made my way North and then followed the path to the West. It took quite some time to reach my destination. I walked for days. It’s a good thing I prepared and brought along provisions. It would have been nice to have Barry’s company on this solitary sojourn, but alas, he said he needed to prepare for a long winter’s nap and would see me upon my return. Well, I can’t fault him for that. He’s been busy these past few weeks, what with fighting all the wolves and elves as of late.

Once inside the Crag Foothills, it’s off to the North. Follow the wildly winding path but keep your bearing heading North to the entrance of the mine. You will also need to keep your wits as the path is riddled with dangers. I’m not sure what I did wrong to incite such ire, but I was attacked from every angle. It was as though they really didn’t want me there, which if I thought about it too much, might hurt my feelings.

But no time for such thing as it was down into the mines wherein I followed the tracks right to the shaft entrance. The ladder looked in no way rickety or dangerous, so down I went.

I once again followed the tracks and kept heading down. Down towards certain death and a large opening. I swept to the left and into another mine tunnel. This took me to another shaft wherein I could head down. Down into the depths!

Good thing I brought my trusty pickaxe, as there were a lot of rocks to smash out of the way before I could press forward. Once the path was cleared I followed the winding road passed the ghosts that had nothing good to say. These are not the friendly ghosts I had heard told in campfire stories.

At the very bottom, past the soul leeching ghosts, lies the Tour Guide lurking in the shadows, hiding from the spectral anomalies.

Blood River

The settlement of the Blood River is in the Longfall Valley, in the far west of Novia, between Vertas and Aerie! There was a horrible massacre of the elves who lived there recently, but the village should be fairly safe now.. we think!

While I am usually one to stay away from a destination spot labeled Blood River, I had no choice but to venture forth. From the Crag Foothills I went SouthEast and wandered off toward the East. It was a long day’s journey into night before I reached the river. I once again could have used the company of Barry, but then it occurred to me I had a new travelling companion. How could I be so foolish? I fished in my pocket for my Raven call and soon Ravi Noir was at my side. He’s not much of a conversationalist, but he’s a darn fine listener. As we made our way over, I discussed all sorts of decorating plans for the new town I had settled into. He simply nodded his head and asked for another slice of that cheese garlic bread.

The miles ticked by and soon we found ourselves at the isolated village. Not the most auspicious of welcomes as we made our passed the burned out ruins of homes.

Once inside, we went through the main gate and then passed through the outer gate. This put us on a wreck of a bridge with debris strewn about in all directions. We found the Tour Guide hiding behind the gypsy wagon.

The Guide was quite light on details about what had transpired, but from our scouting of the area, it was all pretty grim.

But as compensation for coming out and having a chat with him, the Guide handed over some lovely Steampunk Goggles, which make a very nice addition to my collection. Ravi and I lingered about for awhile since it was going to be a long trek home. We would have stayed longer, but it came to our attention that this part of the world has much contagion in the form of a zombie plague. After nearly catching my death, I decided it might be best to make a hasty getaway. It’s a long walk back to the Hollow and unlike Ravi, I’m not light like a birdie on the branch.

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Oh, this tour should be quite easy, the destinations are just ahead. What could possibly go wrong? 

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I have a sense the Tour Guide is holed up just behind that outcropping of rocks. Plus, I smell a barbecue going and feel compelled to investigate.

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Oh, hi Tour Guide. Fancy meeting you here. I see you have lunch prepared. Don’t mind if I have a little nibble do you?

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Ah, sinister statue ahead. No good ever comes of this.

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Hello again Tour Guide. And I see you have another lovely smelling dinner roasting over an open fire. For a strange, blue metal automaton, you have a penchant for cookery. Perhaps I can take a little with me for the long journey ahead?

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Damnable Crag Foothills. They can build a mineshaft but can’t make a straight footpath. Go figure.

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The city of Blood River. I don’t mean to sound critical, but you might have better luck enticing people to settle here if you spruced up the name a touch. As it stands, gives a sense of doom and gloom and some less than potable drinking water.

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Come on out Tour Guide, it’s just me. Hey, why no pig on a spit. You sort of set my expectations from our last couple of encounters. But no worries, I’m sure we can rectify that. Got anything good in that gypsy wagon of yours? Wait, are you a gypsy Tour Guide?

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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