Excerpts From the Travelogue of Reinhard Humboldt: Grains of Gilrock
As you begin your journey into Azuregard, know that you are not the first person to have set foot upon this land. Travelers of all sizes, stripes, and temperaments have all come before you and they all, in their own little way, have made their mark upon the world. Some have achieved great glories, others have achieved even greater follies. So dear adventurer, take heed of their words of wisdom, lest you repeat their mistakes and arrive at a tragic, untimely demise.
As appealing as a life wandering, haggling, and socializing with people from far-off realms can be, sometimes, I get this urge to just settle down from my meandering lifestyle and put down roots someplace. This urge grows strongest particularly when I'm in the lands of Gilrock, where, from the top of Ever-wind, I can see the bounty of grain and meat arriving from the Great Farm to be carefully salted, then stowed away or ground up to be turned into flour. If I weren't a traveling merchant, I might have become a farmer.
Let me backtrack and explain. The first time I gazed upon Ever-wind, its majesty made the hairs on the back of my neck stand. Here was a city, inside a huge windmill built by human hands, that was capable of housing the entirety of the City of Alexander if it so chose. Anyone who isn't impressed by humanity's achievements would surely give pause while staring at this structure as they pondered over what other feats people could accomplish if they set their mind to it.
And if that wasn't inspirational enough, there's the Great Farm of Gilrock, which yield a vast quantity and variety of grains including wheat, barley, and even rice! Their livestock pens produce some of the most delectable cuts of beef I've ever sampled and some of the plumpest chickens I've ever come across. As I look at the giant blades, turning swiftly in the evening gusts of wind, at the vast acres of sown grain and vegetables, and at the pastures filled with cattle and sheep, I feel almost compelled to abandon my meanderings and focus my energies towards carving a life for myself under the shadow of the windmill, building a great legacy with my bare hands, cultivating the earth with my blood and sweat, and nourishing my soul in the process.
But when winter rolls around, I realize why Gilrock isn't for me. The relative proximity in which the people of Gilrock live next to their neighbors combined with their communal tendencies, love of whiskey, and idle hands once the Great Harvest Festival dies down means a lot of wagging tongues and the chatter and gossip that goes along with it. I'm tempted to say that the people of Gilrock are friendly and outgoing... almost to a fault, and will engage in conversation with just about anyone. Alas, I'm a man who prefers solitude, using that time to contemplate on tomorrow and reflect on today.
Perhaps a farmer's life isn't out of the question entirely. Just not in Gilrock.