Memorandum: Expedition Naturalist Seeking Subjects

To Port Katherine’s monster hunters, adventurers, and seekers of hidden places:

Considering the interest of the Queendom in extending the authority of reason and understanding across all its lands and territories, it will be useful to acquire what knowledge we can of our natural environment. For the foreseeable future (through the spring of 1721, at a minimum), I will be conducting an independent survey of the indigenous fauna of the outer Kithiran wilds. I wish to explore and take observations of any and all animals of the region, especially those not known to the major isles of the Empire; the remains and accounts of any which may be deemed rare or extinct; the times and seasons of appearance of particular birds, reptiles, and insects; and, be any such creatures hostile toward the people of Kithira, the proper means by which the citizens of our colony may array themselves in defense against them. (With especial consideration to any other sapient species inhabiting our settlement, moreover, we must endeavor to acquaint ourselves with their societal structures and interstructural relations; their languages, arts, technologies, and traditions; any diseases prevalent amongst them and the remedies they use; peculiarities in their laws, customs, and dispositions; and their articles and practices of peaceable commerce.)

While I will undoubtedly be organizing my own expeditions in the pursuit of this endeavor, any person that should receive information on the location of a species worthy of note is also encouraged to engage my services as a field assistant. In this role I offer expertise in proper expedition preparation, and instruction in wilderness self-defense techniques; specimen collection and skilled field analysis; and a willing sword hand, should the need arise, dedicated to the safe return of the research party. Moreover, in consideration of information leading to the documentation of new or rare species, all associated fees for the above services will be waived.

To whom it may concern: be also advised that should my services be deliberately engaged for any voyage, even one other than primarily scientific in purpose, my documentary interest extends solely to the advancement of natural science and public safety. You may thereby rest assured that the content of any proceedings outside the aforementioned categories of observation (including the identities of collaborators, upon request) will be held in all appropriate confidence.

Yours in the spirit of discovery,

V.Q.E. Moraine


[OOC tl;dr–I’m trying to document every creature in Port Katherine, and I want to come along with you to see interesting new wildlife! If you bring me on a mission, I will provide you with Helpful Advice (Cleave weapon augment) and Attention to Detail (3 virtual armor), read tags for you, and defend you in combat to the extent of my ability. If you find me a species I haven’t seen before, that assistance is free of charge. This is just an announcement to advertise my interest and offer a little extra incentive for people to actively seek me out for their expeditions going forward, so I don’t miss out on any especially cool monsters. Help me write the Port Katherine Survival Guide!]


[Written neatly on the back of one of the memos]

Velenza —

Have you considered enlisting? The Navy provides plenty of opportunities to engage the wild creatures of the island while in the company of skilled and loyal fighting women. We could certainly use a woman of letters such as yourself, and if the path of the Tactician interests you the Navy is a good place to find a mentor.

No pressure of course - I know military life is not for everyone - but I hope you will consider the option. Either way, I look forward to reading your bestiary.

– Steadfast


[A number of papers lay crumpled on a table, which if unfolded would evidence several aborted attempts by the author to compose an appropriate letter in reply.]

Midshipman Willoughby,

I must first offer my congratulations on a most well-deserved promotion; your valor in battle does credit to the Navy. Your invitation to join that gallant force I consequently interpret as a high compliment, and I offer my sincere thanks.

It is therefore with utmost regret that I must inform you that I cannot follow the suggestion which you have so thoughtfully set forth for my consideration. While the cause of scientific understanding and the defense of country are inextricably interdependent, one woman cannot travel far down both paths. In committing myself to the pursuit of natural inquiry, I must leave the noble and glorious task of protecting the Empire in more capable h—


It has been my honor to defend the shores of Port Katherine at your side this Remembrance, from that sudden and dishonorable attack by foreign foe upon our Queen. However, let me be frank: I shall not willingly send myself forth to die over some distant emperor’s territorial squabble, and I should like nothing less than to shackle myself to the agenda of a—

My good sir,

I warrant it has not escaped your notice that Her Majesty’s Navy is once again at war. As a result of these unfortunate circumstances, I must protest that your suggestion (while I have no doubt that it was made with the best of intentions) will have precisely the opposite effect of that which was implied. In these times, a soldier’s lot is rarely to engage in such projects of scientific exploration as I have heretofore described, and primarily to engage in the stabbing of ordinary persons for the offense of wearing a uniform of the wrong color. Furthermore, while the value of mentorship in many cases cannot be overstated, I contend that the conceptual scope of “tactics” (while the term itself carries a strong military connotation) may—

Dearest Steadfast,

Your words of flattery cannot sway me, utterly endearing as they are. For to insinuate that the Navy could use someone like myself can mean only one of two things; either you are a charming liar hoping to secure additional hours in my company (in which case you need not dissemble, for you have only to ask), or you have never actually seen me draw a sword. Let me assure you that I am constitutionally unsuited for warfare, and considerably more useful to the world with pen in hand. In fact, this was empirically confirmed in my youth by a tutor who attempted to groom me for a position as a naval officer, only to receive for his efforts a saber up th—

To my esteemed fellow citizen and friend, Midshipman Steadfast Willoughby, with all due respect and gratitude for your recent most courteous and thoughtful inquiry: