The Lodge of Petrichor
Compact forces are moving to the Lodge of Petrichor. Once a private organization dedicated as a place for shaman, Petrichor's disciples, and all those who love the land to gather for learning - the Lodge is too far-reaching and multidimensional to be overseen by one group. And there have been rumors of strange threats that necessitate defenses that the Crown is reluctant to authorize for an independent organization. And so the Crown has stepped in directly and the Compact as a whole is responding by extending their regular protection and patrols to this new area. So far, scouts have not reported anything overtly inimical headed for the Lodge. At this point that's good, as the Compact needs time to get defenses in place. The question is, is there enough time left before.... well, what is coming exactly?
Quite a few people make their way into the Gray Forest, making known to all that there is plenty of room for evacuees within the lands the Compact holds fast, offering refuge. The evacuation efforts don't go quite as planned, almost from the beginning. Shav in the Gray Forest aren't really interested in evacuating for the most part. They've seen no signs of armies, there's been no mass attacks anywhere. They are on edge though, and where the Compact has the most success are when they talk to villages that are near the ones that have just disappeared without a trace. Those shav are already considering being on the move, and so the overtures are welcome - but they're still quite unwilling to give up their freedom, and treat these messengers from the Compact with distrust even on this purported mission of mercy.
Still, there's an interesting shift that's starting now - this is the third time in the last few years that the people of the Compact have faced a serious threat in the Forests, and each time they're trying to reach out to shav to make sure they're protected. It's a new sort of attitude, and one that doesn't go unnoticed. Shav raids decrease significantly during this time, out of respect for those who took the time to come talk to them and warn them and offer them safety.
Next Rowenova, Leola, and Valery are seen escorting baby animals to the Stone Grove. Those who are taking shelter with the compact view this a little askance - a lot askance - but after a time even the hardest of hearts look at this as a sign that the people of the Compact are particularly soft-hearted. Maybe they really mean all these magnanimous attempts at outreach and diplomacy, even if the abandoned aren't quite ready to just summarily join the Compact en masse.
In completely unrelated news, it seems some of the wilder rumormongers have returned to town. They haven't been seen since the pirate king's ignominious defeat but some are actually talking about seeing High Lord Victus, Lord Acheron, Dame Leola, and Baron Edward on small ships crewed by river otters, practicing the tactics of stopping and boarding other vessels.
It is a truth widely acknowledged that Thraxian rum is stronger than other rum, and it seems in high demand among the gossips of the Compact's capitol.