The History of Halfmoon Bay

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a leather-bound yellowed paper journal
    The writing is in Anglic, and reads:
The History of Halfmoon Bay
    This leather-bound journal is dog-eared and definitely showing some signs of wear and tear. 
The yellowed paper pages are clearly aged and the binding has cracked in spots.  It's still quite
legible, though.  It is open to page one of eleven.  It is open to page one of eleven.  You
appraise it at sixteen gold.  
    It is in perfect condition.  
    It looks about a fifth of a dimin long, one and a half dimins wide, and two dimins tall.  It
weighs about half a dekan.
    The commands 'open <item>', 'close <item>', and 'turn page [in <item>] [to <number>]' may be
used with it.  Keeping the leather-bound yellowed paper journal costs five keep points.  The
leather-bound yellowed paper journal was created by Rhiannon and Thargor; the source code was last
updated Tue Mar 15 02:45:19 2016.  The material leather was created by Lost Souls; the source code
was last updated Tue Mar 15 02:18:23 2016.  The material paper was created by Lost Souls; the
source code was last updated Tue Mar 15 02:18:43 2016.
Spoiler warning: information below includes details, such as solutions to puzzles or quest procedures, that you may prefer to discover on your own.


The History of Halfmoon Bay

Halfmoon Bay began as a small settlement on the eastern coast
of the continent.  Originally little more than a way station
for adventurers traveling between Darkhold and
Losthaven, the town of Halfmoon Bay has gradually grown into a
booming port town.  Fairly early in the town's history,
Oman, the grandson of one of the town's founders,
declared himself king.  Though people originally
objected, Oman was rather effective at convincing the
town's residents to support him (needing only to
decapitate and dismember one protestor to get his point
across) and thus, with no further interference, Oman
became Halfmoon Bay's first king.  He chose to call himself Oman
the Great, but history remembers him as Oman the

King Oman may have been insane, but he also proved to
have a knack for planning and promotion.  During his
reign, Halfmoon Bay grew from a small village dependent
primarily on fishing and the little business brought in by
travelers into a mecca for shipping and commerce, and
the people were happy.

Though he bore the title of "king", Oman never quite
managed to transcend his barbaric beginnings and
remained crude to the very end.  As it happens, the end
came in a bar room brawl when one of the participants
got a lucky dagger thrust in.  King Oman left behind 14
sons by 9 different women and, rather than grieve for
the loss of their beloved king, the people began placing
bets which son would ultimately become Halfmoon Bay's next

If the people of Halfmoon Bay were looking for sport, they
certainly didn't have to wait long.  With King Oman gone,
the various sons and their respective mothers
immediately began to jockey for position.  The first body
(that of Oman's eldest son Lars) fell before Oman's funeral
had even ended.  He was simply rolled out of the way
and the funeral continued as if nothing had happened.
Before the week was out, 4 more sons and two mothers
had also succumbed to this macabre comedy.
As the number of competitors decreased, the intensity of
the competition increased tenfold, much to the delight of
the regular citizenry.  It became the main topic of
conversation at the town's numerous taverns, shops, and
along its busy streets.  All agreed that King Oman would
have been delighted by the goings on and the betting
was fast and furious as those with entrepreneurial
aspirations scrambled to turn a profit from what was
proving to be the most exciting event in the town's

Over the next two weeks, mothers and sons continued to
drop like flies.  The townsfolk cheered their favorites on
and the competition was nearly as intense as that
between the would-be future kings.  Soon, there were
only two sons left: Sephus and Gorin, who happened to
be full brothers.  These two were, beyond a doubt, the
most ruthless, cruel and vicious men that had ever
walked the streets of Halfmoon Bay.  Though nobody could
provide conclusive proof, it was even rumored that
Sephus had killed his own mother because he found out
she'd been assisting his brother.
For weeks the competition continued as each brother
tried not only to kill the other, but to avoid his brother's
best efforts.  As the competition became more desperate,
each attempt to squash the competition became more
violent and more bizarre. The attempted kidnappings,
burnings, ambushes, hired mages, drownings, poisonings
and such were beginning to take their toll on the local
population as innocent citizens got caught in the

Just when people were beginning to wonder if the matter
would ever be resolved, and if there would be anybody
left to rule when it finally was, Sephus got the break he
was looking for.  It seems his dear brother had inherited
their father's fondness for the opposite sex (anything
lacking male genitalia being fair game regardless of
race).  And so, in the early hours of the morning, Gorin
fell victim his vice in the form of a rather pretty prostitute
armed with an equally pretty jeweled dagger, and
Sephus became the second king of Halfmoon Bay.
The people soon found out that, while Sephus might
physically resemble his father, he lacked his father's
better qualities and had inherited the worst in far greater
measure.  Oman had always been viewed as somewhat
crude, fairly violent, definitely insane, and about as
rough as they come, but with a heart of gold.  He didn't
stand on formality, refused to build a palace for himself
and generally held court in one of the local taverns
where he admirably proved that time and again that his
drinking was just as legendary as his generosity.  By
contrast, Sephus was cold and distant.  He wanted there
to be no illusion that he was the governor and his fellow
citizens were the governed.  His first act as king was to
begin work on a lavish palace.  In order to pay for this
monument to himself, he doubled taxes and seized many
of the private shipping businesses that had sustained the
populace.  Those who complained were often slain 
outright.  The less fortunate found themselves stripped of
their remaining possessions and thrown in Sephus's
private dungeon.  Nobody had ever returned from
Sephus's dungeon, but rumors of what happened to these
poor souls were enough to convince most that those who
died outright were the lucky ones.

Sephus produced 9 children during his reign, but unlike
their father, the king's heirs didn't even wait until Sephus
was dead to begin clearing out the competition.  If
Sephus and his brothers had been monstrous, his
children were positively horrifying.  They schemed, killed,
and manipulated with an utter lack of conscience and
nobody, regardless of how helpless or how defenseless,
was safe from their intrigues - the youngest victim being
just days old when he was smothered in his cradle.  In
the end, even Sephus wasn't immune to his children's
scheming.  His last surviving son, Vimish, quietly slipped
into his father's room one night shortly after his 13th
birthday and casually slit his father's throat, thus making
himself Halfmoon Bay's third king.

Through four more generations, each worse than the
last, Oman's line continued to maintain its increasingly
feeble hold on the throne and Halfmoon Bay continued to
decline, her people demoralized and starving, her
buildings crumbling, and her once prosperous shops and
shipyards all but abandoned.  It was this decaying,
miserable place that Jayce, the 8th king of Halfmoon Bay

Like his ancestors before him, Jayce ruled with an iron
fist, willfully sacrificing Halfmoon Bay's few remaining
resources for his own comfort.  However, where the townsfolk
had called Oman insane as a term of endearment, there could
be little doubt that Jayce was truly mad.  On those few
occasions when he allowed himself to be seen in public,
he would often carry on whole conversations with
himself.  Sometimes he'd refuse to wear clothing, and
others he'd insist on wearing everything he owned.  His
most notable quirk though, was his fear of children.
Perhaps because so many of his predecessors had died at
the hands of their own ambitious children, Jayce simply
couldn't tolerate the presence of children.  Each time one
of his mistresses bore him a child, he promptly had
mother and child executed which essentially ensured that
Jayce would be the last of Oman's line to rule Halfmoon Bay.

It was at this time that a young sekh named Nyseem
stopped in Halfmoon Bay on her way to Sanctuary.  Unlike
others though who only saw decaying buildings, empty
docks, and dying businesses, Nyseem saw the enormous
potential that a basically unsecured port town like Halfmoon Bay
represented, for Nyseem was, in fact, not an ordinary
traveler, but rather the leader of a powerful and well
organized gang.  Before long, Nyseem had relocated her
base of operations from Sanctuary to Halfmoon Bay and
established a lucrative smuggling operation,  bringing
along with her a literal army of cohorts.  At first, the
locals were suspicious of the newcomers, but it didn't
take long before they began to see some definite
benefits to the gang's presence in Halfmoon Bay - the most
important of which was an influx of cash as hitherto
failing businesses were suddenly inundated with requests
for goods and services.

For a time, Nyseem operated in Halfmoon Bay with no
competition.  King Jayce, who had lost the last shreds of
his sanity, barricaded himself in his palace and left the
town to its own devices.  Some say his only companions
are the ghosts of his ancestors - which could very easily
explain his descent into madness.  The town's guards,
with no orders to the contrary and seeing no reason to
disrupt the town's new found prosperity, largely spent
their time watching for outside intruders, only interfering
with affairs inside the city's walls when the direct safety
of the locals was compromised.  All in all, everybody
involved was happy.

Before long though, word of Nyseem's success had
spread beyond Halfmoon Bay's borders and attracted the
attention of more than a few of Almeria's better known
underworld figures.  Nyseem's first challenger, a drow by
the name of Vandryx, was astonished to find that instead
of just facing a small group of outlaws, he faced an entire
town, armed to the teeth and intent on making him less
than welcome.  Nyseem's second challenger fared no
better.  After hearing about the fates of those who'd
attempted to move into Halfmoon Bay before him (it was
rumored that Vandryx's skull had made a lovely
candle holder), Calin decided that maybe a full frontal
assault wasn't such a good idea.  Instead, he and three
of his gang snuck into the city disguised as sailors.  Given 
the number of sailors coming into and leaving port
everyday, they had little trouble moving through the city
undetected.  They set up shop in the warehouse district
in one of the many abandoned warehouses left from
Oman's day.  In this fashion, Calin gradually snuck his
entire gang in without arousing suspicion.  Once firmly
entrenched in the city, Calin began to operate his own
smuggling ring, and soon, even the few empty
warehouses were full of goods awaiting shipment.

When Nyseem realized what had happened, she was
furious, but by this time, Calin and his group had
managed to develop their own group of supporters,
though neither faction was strong enough to drive the
other one from town.  After a number of bloody, but
otherwise unproductive skirmishes, both factions settled
into an uneasy truce.  For their part, the townsfolk were
delighted - having not one, but two successful smuggling
operations running had brought the town more
prosperity than it had seen since the days of King Oman.
As a bonus, the two sides kept each other in check which
allowed the town to enjoy its new found prosperity
without fear of any one side becoming too powerful.

Halfmoon Bay is once again known as the Pearl of the West.  Its
crumbling buildings have been restored, its docks and
shops bristling with activity, and its streets once again
ringing with laughter as people go about their daily
business.  Nyseem and Calin eventually came to be
known as the Robber Barons of Halfmoon Bay and are looked
viewed by the townsfolk almost reverently.  As for King
Jayce, nobody is really sure.  Its entirely possible that he
still roams the palace halls dodging the ghosts of his
murderous ancestors.  They say if you stop near the
palace gate late at night, you can their voices carried on
the night breeze, but that, my friend, is another story.

Relevant Skills

You feel that reading this material has broadened your perspective and increased your knowledge of history and legend lore.

End of spoiler information.
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