September - 2019
September remains balmy and generally pleasant, but the daylight hours grow noticeably shorter. Warm nights last only for the first few weeks of this month before beginning to cool, suggesting that autumn will arrive soon enough. In and around Salsola crops reach their peak, making plentiful resources more easily available for scavengers and opportune hunters alike.
- Presentation matters in Salsola, and homes are no different. Spruce up your character's dwelling: do some decorating, landscaping, or other "home improvement". While you're at it, get yourself extra points by updating the Salsola Residency! ;>
- With plants preparing for winter, now is an excellent time to begin gathering new seeds for the communal garden. Travel to a location outside of Salsola to do this, or accompany another character while they do so.
- An unlucky deer has wounded itself somewhere in Salsola's territory. Team up with another packmate to track down the animal and put it out of its misery.
- Bonus Prompt: Explore The Grotto of Seven Sleepers!
October - 2019
October brings with it the turn of the season. A fresh, cool wind blows down from the peaks of the Halcyon ranges, dusting everything it touches with the first chilly frost. Holding the warm golden memories of summer like treasures in its bower, Salsola begins preparation for the long hard winter yet to come.
- The end of the harvest is upon us, and in the orchard the last apples are dropping. A little sour to the taste, this late-season bounty is best suited to cooking, jarring, drying or fermenting. The rotten apples are also good for throwing at your enemies. Help gather, prepare or use the apples, so they don't go to waste!
- On the outskirts of Millstone Village, a number of cranberry bushes are coming into fruit. These little red berries are tart and harmless, but heavily pigmented, perfect for creating dyes for fur, clothing or decorations. Investigate these dense shrubs and consider some some use for their bounty.
- The first frost hardens the ground mid-month. Best seen at dawn across Lower Tantramar and the boglands, the glittering frost is a treacherous and slippery homage to a winter that will soon be upon us. Admire its beauty, or lament its arrival.
- Bonus Prompt: The Ediling Ravine is starting to freeze over - check it out, but be careful!
November - 2019
November is here, and the teeth of winter snap at our ankles. With a creeping fog still rising from the loch, and the weather rainy and icy more often than not, it is a grim world beyond the doors of our warm little domiciles. Be sure to keep the hearth stoked and a generous supply of firewood handy, as the nights creep below freezing and each morning carries the promise of frost...
- For every singular clear November night there are two cloudy, grizzly ones - nonetheless, when the heavens part the stars above are sharp as tiny shards of glass. Admire a rare cloudless evening for all its midnight splendor, or pay homage to our ancestors in the celestial tapestry above.
- Though we have yet to experience a solid snowfall, early-season rain easily turns to a miserable, icy sleet. Get caught out in some poor weather, and either endure the hardship or search for shelter until it passes.
- All the deciduous trees have shed their leaves and now stand eerily bare. After a night of rough weather, quite a few have dropped large branches onto the frosty ground. Find a use for these spare bits of lumber.
- Bonus Prompt: With the third chapter of our Curse of the Sanctum plot underway, all Salsolans have been warned about the dangers of unsociable and desperate Outsiders. Talk to another Salsolan about your feelings - positive or negative - for those not fortunate enough to be a part of the greatest queendom around - that's us, of course!
February - 2020
Salsola endures the previous month's blizzard as well as it can, though the true scope of their losses becomes apparent early in February.
- Stay warm everyone! A lot of fallen trees means a lot of new firewood, but it has to be chopped up and dried. If you aren't the manual labor sort, take time to pick up fallen branches and thaw them out. Every little bit helps, after all.
- The aftermath of the blizzard becomes fully apparent, and Salsola suffers a great loss of livestock. With prey scarce, Salsolans are encouraged to find food where they can. Force your way through the snow to hunt or steal a meal from an Outsider.
- Ice and rising waters dealt tremendous damage to Amherst. Explore Salsola's claim of the city and see what (if anything) remains intact.
- Bonus Prompt: An earthquake strikes the Eastern Realms on February 6th. Here in Salsola, the effects will be minimal, but felt – what was your character doing that night? Did they feel it at all? Have a thread either during the earthquake and its aftershocks or one where your character discusses what they experienced.
March - 2020
After a winter full of blizzards, earthquakes, and food shortages, the arrival of March marks the first signs of spring, and, with any luck, a welcome reprieve from those dreary and worrisome days of the season passed.
- The warmer weather has caused quite a bit of snow melt, particularly after the abundance the region received from the blizzard. Have an incident in which you deal with the soggy and muddy ground left behind, or, deal with the treacherous swell of the Pictou River!
- Wild game has started to return to the area with the arrival of new growth. Engage in a hunt, or, otherwise help replenish the pack's stores by providing dried or smoked meat, or animal by-products such as feathers, bones, pelts, etc.!
- Things that were once hidden beneath the snow are revealed in its absence, from things that were broken that will need repairing, old tools or items that were once thought to be lost, to -gasp- is that a body?! What did you find?
- Bonus Prompt: Are you a merchant or trader-savvy individual? With routes clearing from their winter snow, there is more movement within the region for goods. Make a new business deal for the Kingdom (or maybe keep it on the down low for your own benefit ;D),
steal re-purpose items from their original owner (they didn't need it anyway!), or maybe help a fellow trader out (make them owe you a debt in proper Salsolan fashion!).
April - 2020
Spring is here and Salsola is flourishing! Mild, warming temperatures help to get everyone out of their homes, especially with rumors abounding about curious happenings...
- Strange plants have appeared on the shoreline. Those who remember their larger, more dangerous forebears may seek to eradicate these new fauna – though perhaps there's some potential in these intoxicating flowers...
- A trio of masked traders has set up shop just north of Salsola in Fort Cumberland. Either have a thread with one of these characters, one where your character discusses their presence. If you participate, you could always have your character bring the materials they received in their mystery bundle. Got anything good? Wanna trade with someone else?
- The surge in new greenery has led to a surge is something else too – lemmings! A whole colony of these has had a boom cycle, and the little, hungry rodents are looking for any and all easily found food they can. Salsola's garden in particular seems to be at risk. Since lemmings are mostly nocturnal, hold an overnight stake-out to protect what's ours! Alternatively, attempt to locate part of their burrow and figure out a way to get rid of the pest problem.
- Bonus Prompt: A spring storm roars in with outstanding fury, coming to a head faster than expected. The time and your character's location can be of your choosing – as can be whether or not they make it to shelter before the weather turns!
May - 2020
Just like the birds and the bees, Salsola is practically a-buzz with activity. Bursting at the seams with plentiful denizens and all the rigorous growth that Spring has to offer, there is so much to be done - and so much yet to discover...
- Celebrating the Kingdom's long, prestigious history is no small matter. With a Last Supper looming on the horizon, now is the time to make sure you are prepared to present your best self at the feast. Why not spend some time picking out the perfect outfit, look, or smell? Place some orders or make a trade for new finery with Mirte at the Marketplace, have a friendly (or nosy) neighbor help you pick out what looks best on you, or get yourself properly groomed or perfumed; The options are endless!
- The arrival of spring brings the birth of new, valuable life. Our livestock are flourishing - interact with a baby creature of any shape or form. Alternatively, have a good chat to a fellow about babies: Making them, having them, naming them, anything about them! Maybe have some fun and imagine what-if offspring between fellow Salsolans? Or, gossip about who will be "next" to produce a litter this year.
- As the woods become lively in winter's absence, we are eager to replenish the stores of edible supplies that had begun to wear thin. The Mafiosi have demanded all capable hunters do their duty and pay a tithe of meat for the upcoming feast. Hunt down prey, set and check a trap, barter for items that would make a great addition to the feasting table (as well as make a good mark to your name and/or your House's prestige ;>), or craft something delicious! We are so VERY hungry...
- Spring is terribly pretty, but UGH, there's pollen everywhere! What's your personal interaction with this annual nuisance? Did you sneeze and blow your careful cover? Did you sleep under the stars and are now dusted in yellow specks? Were your eyes dry and irritated, and led to an embarrassing altercation (you sure LOOKED like you'd been crying)? All this spring-time cheer can really bring out the grump in some of us!
- Bonus Prompt: Only a short while into the new season, and already disaster seems primed to strike. Can you feel the earth tremble beneath your feet? Although Salsola is far enough away from the heart of the earthquake to be spared from mass destruction, its wrath can still be felt. Tremors shake apart structurally-unsound buildings like a child with a rag doll. Roofs of straw and clay tile slouch and cave. How does the earthquake effect your home? Only a mild dusting from the rafters above - or do you no longer have a home to return to?
June - 2020
The mild weather this time of year encourages us to begin those projects we've long put off. However, the middle of the month has different ideas - Salsola will see a couple of grizzly, rainy days in a row before the sun comes out again. Make the most of fickle June while you can!
- Dead fish have begun appearing en-mass near some of our waterways. The strange cull is most obvious along our Southern Shoreline, and near the Pictou Delta at the low end of the realm. Over a number of days, the smell begins to reach our homes in the Ruins, carried up the high bluffs by a stern wind off the loch. What do you make of our stinky dead aquatic neighbors? Are you repulsed, or intrigued?
- Midway through the month a heavy rain cell sets in, leading to a couple days continuous deluge. The rain seems to temporarily abate the smell of rotting fish, giving us a small window of relief - even as it dampens all other progress. However, due to the mild and warming weather, the rain is pleasant and not icy - perfect for dancing in!
- Whilst the old saying may be that "April showers bring May flowers", it would appear that our floral boon has only just swung into full force. The rolling boglands of Lower Tantramar hide beautiful, rare copses of stunning purple and blue blooms, whilst the open sprawling pastures of Upper Tantramar are swarmed with waving fields of riotous color. The wildflowers are myriad species and hues, and have a number of purposes when gathered... Perhaps if you fill your den with enough of them, their potent aroma will overpower the fishy malaise?
- From her stall in the Marketplace, Mirte Haumann proudly displays an increasingly varied display of goods for purchase. At the start of the month, she receives a shipment from our Portland traders that includes a number of curiosities: Flint firestarters, little salt pouches, decorative bone buttons, mysterious and foreign animal furs, and luperci-woven reed baskets. Visit Mirte to peruse her goods, and cut your teeth against barter with one of Salsola's most practiced merchants!
July - 2020
As warmer weather and longer days linger in the area, Salsola prepares to relax and enjoy the summer. New life abounds and puppies can be seen and heard playing throughout the Ruins, young animals are finding their feet, and the streams begin to run clear again. The worst seems over...for now.
- Due in part to their population boom in the spring, whitetail deer have begun to crowd into Salsola's territory seeking more space to forage. Some of the bolder deer begin to threaten the Garden and even come as close as the outskirts of Millstone Village. Help control the population!
- Deer aren't the only things out there looking for an easy meal. Squirrels are stockpiling for winter and looking for anything they can get their grubby little paws on. Not only that, but they're noisy! Have a thread where a squirrel is the main antagonist -- perhaps it's chattering spooks another prey animal you were hunting?
- Seeking respite during the hottest part of the day is much easier now that the awful smell and dead fish are gone. Have your character cool off in any of the bodies of water in or around Salsola!
- Bonus Prompt: Something seems to be stirring in The Blackwoods. Rumors about strange noises and sights begin to spread. Is this all imagination, or is something strange lurking in the forest? Team up with another Family member and investigate. Alternatively, hold a ritual or ceremony to appease whatever spirits may linger in the wood.
August - 2020
As the last month of summer, August seems to be the hottest. The day is hot, the breeze is hot. A wise Luperci would maximize their chores and duties during the cooler hours of the day and allow themselves a nice siesta in the cool of a tree's shade or sprawled out in one's home! It's the last month before the harvesting season is to begin, so, enjoy it!
- General: Share a meal with someone! Invite a Salsolan over to your home for a meal with friends or to show off your personal wealth and prestige. Relax and have a picnic on the beach or amongst meadow flowers. Outside the Kingdom? Share a campfire and split your rations, or, roast some scavenged/hunted food!
- Point of Interest: Something new to promote use of different locations! This month is the Sea Caves! The tide is out, and this less-traveled wonder is exposed for any that dare to explore its exposed depths! Traverse the tunnels as they wind, narrow, and expand into great rooms. Who knows what you may find down there! Just be sure to make it out before the tide comes back in!
- Photo Inspiration: Another new thing to help spark those creative juices; have a thread inspired by this photograph. Need some help for ideas? Here are a few words that might get your brain working: hunting, stalking, camping, playing, accident, Chicken of the Woods.
- Bonus Prompt: What's this? Symre Rask is wanted by the Thistle Crown?! Search high and low for any trace of her in the Kingdom and lands beyond! (Note: She is long gone, you will be unsuccessful. But! It might be fun to still look! She is the first Pentiti since
ex-Lord Commander Pentiti Lokr Revlis!)
September - 2020
September has arrived, and, with it, the end of summer and the start of the autumn season! The land begins to cool in temperature and change physically, becoming the vibrant array of autumn's telltale colors. Enjoy yourself before the fall harvest and winter-prep begins!
- General: Yehk, what is this fleshy, bloody, nastine--oh! It's velvet! Elk, moose, and deer start shedding the felt-like casings for their antlers around mid-September. This can lead to some nightmarish or otherwise off-putting discoveries! Did you find pieces left on a tree or bush? Noticed it hanging from antlers? Thought the animal was injured, only to discover it was just the velvet making a bloody mess? Ever wondered what it tastes like?
- Point of Interest: The Western Coast offers an incredible view if one is brave enough to near the cliffs' edge. The ocean spray is strong even so high up, and the wind can be fierce or comfortingly calm depending on your luck that day. What are you there for? The view? A moment of reflection or thought? Are you enjoying some of the last days of summer, staring out across to the Wabanaki Coast or at a distant sunrise/set? Or is the Loch drenched and hidden behind a thick fog?
- Photo Inspiration: Have a thread inspired by this photograph. Need some help for ideas? Here are a few words that might get your brain working: farm, livestock, horses, trade road, horse-drawn cart, misty breath, cold morning, conversation, fence sitting, repair, racing.
- Bonus Prompt: Just when the world seemed to settle, distant, low rumbles can be heard across the land. Do you notice them, or, do you dismiss the sound (they're not as obvious as the earthquakes were, after all!)? Either travel up into the mountains to see if you can spot the source of the distant rumble, or, have an encounter with Board-NPC, Nelli Silva.
October - 2020
October is here in all its glory! Shorter days and periods of rain are more common, and the nights start to get cold. Salsola's preparations for winter have picked up the pace, especially now that the last trip to Portland has concluded.
- General: Enjoy yourself before the fall harvest and winter-prep begins! Hide in a pile of leaves and scare someone! Alternatively, run through a pile or jump in one (just make sure it's deep enough and that nobody is in it)!
- Point of Interest: At this time of year, the Blackwoods are spookier than ever. The colder temperatures and changing seasons cause shifts in this dark, fog-filled forest. This can play terribly at one's senses, making one see, feel, or hear things that aren't actually there. Maybe it's a trick of the mind, or, maybe...there's some truth to the myths surrounding the dark woods. Are you a believer? Or are your packmates just being jumpy? Alternatively, practice your witchy beliefs where the Coven holds the most power and connection with the otherworldly.
- Photo Inspiration: Have a thread inspired by one of these photographs: 1 2, 3. Need some help for ideas? Here are a few words that might get your brain working: chill, howling, wind, haunted, peripheral, night, tricks, fog, tea/soup, blankets, campfire/fireplace, comfort, tossing, shaking, return, meeting, curfew, celebration, party, thunk.
- Bonus Prompt: Equinest Grievous has posted a call for supplies on the pack's Notice Board. Ensure our livestock and horses don't go hungry this winter!
November - 2020
As the days grow shorter and the nights grow ever colder, November arrives. Prey animals are abundant as they pack on the pounds for the leaner season, bulk up their secret caches of food, or try to find a place to bed down until spring. The land is still vibrant in color, but, there is a taste, a scent, a feeling in the air; it is a cold, crisp, wet chill. Winter waits for no one. Are you prepared for the arrival of the first frost?
- General: New markings appear on trees as white-tailed bucks rub to mark their territory, and the clattering of antlers ring in the forests and fields with the arrival of the annual rut. While finding the deer becomes easier, the bucks are unpredictable, and inexperienced hunters are cautioned against getting too close. Take advantage of this event, or, get caught up in the danger it can present!
- Point of Interest: Millstone Village is home to Salsola's Associates, and serves as an important space to newcomers in the pack. Since these facilities are often left uninhabited, winterizing them can help ensure they remain standing for another season. Make efforts to get these buildings situated for the Nova Scotia weather. Alternatively, help out another Salsolan within Millstone with their dwelling.
- Photo Inspiration: Have a thread inspired by one of these photographs: 1, 2, 3. Need some help for ideas? Here are a few words that might get your brain working: first snow, crisp morning, scarf, huddled together, run, hunting, stew, turkey, gobble gobble, BIRDZILLA, chase, camouflaged, crafts, family, tea, warmth, reminiscing, yuletide planning, meeting.
- Bonus Prompt: Join the efforts to gather information about Salsola's neighbors! Learn something new from an Outsider about another pack, loner band, or bNPC.