May was a month of bustling activity. The expedition remains in full swing while ships constantly ferry back and forth between the expedition camps and the docks of Newhope to bring news and exchange tired volunteers for new fresh faces. The word from the ships spreads quickly through out colonial lands and even spreads into the villages of the Ulven Clans. Apparently things are not what they may have seemed and the mysteries of the beached Aldorian ship and it’s strange locale continue to pile up. It doesn’t help that some whispers make their way to the Newhope that the researchers on the expedition may be keeping some discoveries quiet at this time.
Word comes that a small crew of scouts and supporters traveled inland to try to pick up the trail of any Aldorian sailors that may have moved away from the beach. The only news of this small expedition that made it to the south are that they encountered some great beast whose howl pierces the soul in the lands between the western shores and The Dirge Swamp. Rumors begin to run rampant throughout the lands and these rumors spread further than any other news. Some people tell the story of these scouts meeting face to face with a progenitor of the Ulven race who’s wolf-like appearance has not yet dulled to look as the race does now. Others claim that they have heard that the scouts encountered some type of a hybrid between a Mordok and one of the Wailing Ghosts of Faedrun. And others claim that these are all just rumors and that the scouts were probably frightened off by their own shadows and the echo of a breaking twig bouncing through the forest. Nevertheless with the news comes a call to action. The expedition team will be putting together another inland excursion should there be adequate support. They will take any and all volunteers willing to travel to the North and join their crew.
As for the ship itself. Word travels quickly to Newhope where soon everyone is painfully aware that the ship itself was empty upon discovery. It seems that not only was there no crew aboard, but there was rotting food found in the galley leaving people to believe the boat may have been abandoned for some time. To make matters worse it was discovered that the hull of the ship had been torn open on the reef and much of the cargo fell to the floor of the bay, taking with it potential answers to some of the ships mysteries. Lieutenant Commander Aeral Langsford has set forth a request for any and all able bodied people to make the trip to the expedition camp to aid her and her people in recovering this cargo from the floor of the bay. It is made clear that strong, toughened bodies will be the most help in this endeavor.
Questions continue to pile up along the northwest beach and it seems that more snags keep finding their way into the process. To make matters worse some scouts have returned with reports that a storm will be coming in the next couple weeks. The expedition crew know that this could put a permanent end to their hopes of dredging up any answers. Not only would a storm force the crews to return to the safety of civilized lands, there is no doubt that a storm could bury or wash away the cargo from the bottom of the sea that may hold invaluable information. The calls for support to sail up and lend their aid become increasingly urgent. The next couple weeks will be critical should anyone hope to find concrete answers about the history and demise of this once proud Aldorian vessel and with luck, some insight into the more recent goings on on Faedrun.
As the threat of the storm became more noteworthy a large portion of the expedition forces decided to board the early boats back to Newhope. The supply ships continued their transit back and forth between the expedition camp and the docks of the colonies to the south and with each passing day there seemed to be less and less people on the beach.
A team of researchers set about to find a way to lift the cargo from the floor of the bay. Unfortunately the depth proved to be more than any of the workers lungs could carry them, but in the end it seems that one of the researchers solved the problem with a unique use of arcane magic. A volunteer would be handed a satchel of rocks and a thick rope and then be frozen in place with an Ice Bolt spell and pushed over board to sink to the bottom where they would unfreeze, tie a rope to one of the crates, and then give a tug on the line to be hauled back out of the ocean. Now this was a strange method, but one that proved to be useful.
On the shore an additional team of researchers compiled whatever knowledge they could glean from this lifted cargo. By checking over the sunken goods as well as a series of manifests and journals found aboard the ship, the research team was able to come to the conclusion that the ship had set sail from Aldoria at least two-and-a-half years ago. The research team remained tight-lipped about their suspected whereabouts of the missing crew, but whispers through the camp spread rumors of mutiny, murder, or worse aboard the beached vessel.
Throughout the month the howls of the unknown beasts in the wood continued and near the end of the month one unlucky guard met their demise when they wandered to close to the treeline after the sun had set. No one dared to go to his aid as his screams rolled over the sand dunes. The next day what remained of his body was found, shredded and cast over a wide area. With this presence in the woods no team was able to be drafted to head inland to search for the missing crew. Instead the scouts remained on the beach and kept an eye on the coming storm.
When the storm arrived a mad scramble washed over the beach as everyone swirled in an unregulated mass to get their personal belongings and board the ships. Whereas the journey started with an overwhelming amount of logistic support, by the end the majority of those volunteers had already returned home. Only two were left to try to organize and load the cargo and supplies through the month and though they did their best there was no doubt a great deal of supplies and potentially enlightening research materials left behind. The return journey went with a relative smooth, though people often found themselves on the verge of hunger at many points over the long trek.