World of Banished

Conversations => Fan Fiction => Topic started by: rkelly17 on May 28, 2014, 07:31:02 AM

Title: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 28, 2014, 07:31:02 AM
The first picture below is the seed information. The next is the map overview (The yellow parallelogram marks the start location). The third picture is a picture of the start location. From this picture you can see how I generally lay out my screen to play. After I've built the town hall its window goes upper right and the trading post windows go lower left above the log.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 28, 2014, 08:21:33 AM
Part 2-A
The Genesis of the Series

The settlement of the upper valley of the Allberger River in the central part of the what is now the Great Lake Province of this country is of historical interest because of the later significance which the area took in the political and economic history of the country. Who were these people whose descendants were prominent leaders of government and business? Fortunately several sources for the study of their early history have come to light in recent years and can now be made available both for scholars and the general public.

The series of which this volume is a part began with a fortunate happenstance. The manuscript of this first volume was found in the archives of the University of Allberg in a collection donated by the Anders family shortly after the founding of the university library but never cataloged properly. It was “discovered” by members of the local historical society who subsequently asked the editor to take on the task of bringing it to publication, which he agreed to quite willingly. In the meantime the University Archivist took on the task of cataloging the Anders family collection and several later diaries and manuscripts were found are now also scheduled for publication. In the process of cataloging the Anders papers the Archivist discovered further diaries and documents in the collections of papers given by descendants of the other founding families. As one might imagine, many of these hand-written manuscripts are not always in the best physical condition and have had to be carefully restored as part of the editorial process.

Many organizations, local as well as provincial and federal, have cooperated to make this series a possibility. In particular the staff of the University of Allberg Library and Archives has provided invaluable service to the project and without them the series would not exist. Financing for the restoration and editing has also been crucial. First the editor would like to thank the Board of Governors of the University and the Dean of the Faulty of Humanities and Social Sciences for allowing him release time and a sabbatical leave to pursue the necessary research to support the series.  The Anders Family Foundation and the Bucher-Flugel Family Foundation have both been quite generous in on-going financial support for the editing and publication. In addition the Federal Social Science Research Council (FSSRC) has been most generous in providing funding for a sabbatical leave for the editor and a publication grant to bring the manuscripts to the press. Special tanks are also due to the editors of the Allberg University Press.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 28, 2014, 08:24:03 AM
Part 2-B
Historical Introduction, Part 1

The great-great grandparents of the founding families had been residents of a farming village in a rich county in the Old World. Unfortunately in the late seventeenth century the Count at that time offended the neighbouring King of a much more powerful kingdom and the county was invaded and laid waste. The citizens watched in horror as their farms were burnt and their beautiful capital city destroyed and they were forced to flee for their lives. Rumours spread that another great power of the day, who shared the religion of the county, was offering to grant refugees free farm land in its colonies in the New World. People streamed down the river to the port city where the ambassador of the great power lived. He and his home government were so overwhelmed that there was chaos for weeks until makeshift refugee camps could be established. They finally selected 1000 people to be transported to camps outside the capital of the great power. The lucky 1000 boarded ships and the rest were sent home to make what they could of their lives.

Life in the camps on the outskirts of the capital was harsh and the promised help seemed to grow less and less likely. Though the people shared a similar religion, they did not share a language or customs, so there were tensions. Many people simply walked away from the camps in the night and did their best to blend into the local population. Some managed, but others were forced back into the camps. One group, led by Pastor Linden Anders, Great-great Grandfather of Ritch the diarist, organized and put their case directly to the queen. Her advisers stated that they did have need of settlers in a colony recently taken from another of the powers of the day and so arrangements were made for this group to be transported to the New World.

Upon arrival they discovered not only that there was no free land, but that they owed the Crown labout in exchange for their passage. They were established in a small community where they worked cutting tall trees and gathering pine tar for the Royal Navy. As soon as their passage was paid off they decided to move further inland and try to establish themselves as farmers once again.

In the valley of one of the tributaries of the major river they found an aboriginal community who was willing to share land with them. The aboriginals taught the settlers about local crops and which forest plants were safe to eat and nutritious. The settlers shared their tools and knowledge of advanced (for the time!) farming methods. The two communities learned one another’s languages and there were even a few marriages across ethic lines. Pr. Anders arranged for his son, Ritch’s Great Grandfather, to live with the chief of the aboriginal community so that he could better understand the language and customs of the people. The chief of the aboriginal community joined in the small wooden church because, he said, “You do not force us to adopt foreign ways to be part of your church.”

Life was good for both peoples for two generations, but then the wars of the Old World came to the New. The same power who had forced the original settlers from their homes had established colonies to the North. The community was far enough out on the frontier that neither great power paid much attention to them, but when the great powers began fighting in the New World as well as the Old, the settlement was forced to choose one side or the other. The aboriginal people had been trading to the North for some time and so they chose for that power. The settlers could not choose the power that had driven their parents and grandparents from their original homes and so they chose for the South. The two communities parted ways with much anguish and the aboriginal people moved to the North where they had been promised land.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 28, 2014, 08:26:38 AM
Part 2-C
Historical Introduction, Part 2

The war ended with the victory of the South and that power took over all of the colonies in that region of the New World, North and South. Once again the community prospered. As more and more settlers came from the Old World the territory became more populated. Towns and farms sprung up in all directions. Many of these new settlers were from the same region as the original settlers and they worked together to make the New World a garden of prosperity. Unfortunately the King, who due to the complications of dynasty and descent had been born and raised in the region of the settlers and spoke the same language, had spent a great deal of money to wage the war. Taxes and tariffs had to be raised to pay back debts and the colonists were expected to pay their share. Many in the more populous colonies grew to resent this taxation and there was talk of resistance. The Crown did not handle this protest well and the harsh response led to outright rebellion. Once again war stalked the land.

This war brought with it a number of problems, in particular the divide between citizens over support for the Crown or support for the rebellion. As the war for independence dragged on the conflict became more intense. Brother was divided from brother and friend from friend. Even the church was not free from the conflict. One Sunday the pastor announced his resignation and took off his robes to reveal the uniform of an officer in the rebel army.

This pastor was Ritch Anders’ elder brother. Ritch was only 16 at the time but he had already made his choice to support the crown. In this decision Ritch was part of a minority within the settlement. Most people were strong supporters of independence and some let their enthusiasm get the best of them. Supporters of the Crown were attacked and their farms and businesses burned. The Crown’s generals in the colonies were not the best and the brightest and more and more people in the Old World were asking why it was necessary to continue the war, so Ritch decided that the best course of action would be to leave his home and start out anew. By this time he had married Harmainey and their first child Mackery had just been born, but the defeat of the Crown’s forces was imminent, and so they gathered three other very young couples and their 3 children along with two girls who had been orphaned in the unrest and set out to the North where the colonies remained loyal to the Crown. Secret agents of the King promised them rich farmland where they could start over. It was at this point that Ritch Anders began keeping a diary to record their travels and life in the new country.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 29, 2014, 06:36:02 AM
Chapter 3-A
The Diaries

Part 1.1
The First Years

The diary of Ritch Anders, leader of the banished families of the Allberger Valley in the Western Province, beginning in the year of our banishment.


We did not plan to leave our homes in such a hurry and so late in the year, but the end of the war was coming closer and some of our neighbours were once again threatening some of our number. We were four families who set out: Myself and my wife Harmainey and our baby son Mackery; our neighbour Arie Bucher and his wife Jenneth and their son Gianning; Hubertrand and Liza Koch and their daughter Londa; and Ster and Ayannemary Dorf. In addition we took along the orphan girls Daliana Eicher and Cornelle Flugel who had lost their parents in the troubles and who depended on us for sustenance. Harmainey and I cared for Daliana while Arie and Jenneth cared for Cornelle.

Before leaving we had contacted loyal agents of the Crown who assured us that there would be land aplenty in the North where the colonies had not revolted, so like our great-great grandparents we left the homes we loved and had well-tended to make our way in the wilderness, driven forth by war and human cruelty. The snow and cold began early and slowed us in our journey and we could not speak openly about why we were on the road, but soon enough we reached the shore of the great lake that divided our former homes from our new homes. It was several weeks before we could negotiate a crossing to the other side and we arrived on the North Shore in the middle of Winter when the snow was deep on the ground. The North Shore was still a wild place and there were few settlements beyond the forts that guarded the land from the rebels to the South. Now we must locate the land agent whose name was given us before we left home.


We have found the land agent who described our new lands in the valley of the Allberger River to us and provided a grant from the Crown. When we asked him if there were others living in the Valley he said, “No, just a bunch of Indians, but they’re pretty peaceful.” We were shocked to hear that the land granted to us had already been granted to others before us and horrified to learn that this “bunch of Indians” were the same people who had befriended our great-great grandparents and lived beside our great grandparents. Some might even be our distant cousins! How can we take land away from those who bought it with their own blood fighting for the same Crown we claim to serve?

Late Winter

Arie Bucher and I travelled to the little community built by the leader of the aboriginal people Where we were greeted as honoured guests. When we told him the nature of our mission he was greatly distressed because his people have used the river as their major transportation route and have hunted and gathered in the valley since the crown granted them a strip of fifty miles on either side of the river “for all your generations to enjoy and use.” He could not believe that this land had now also been granted to us. We agreed with him that this was not right, but we were now homeless and had no place else to go. We told him that we had been able to bring the money from the sale of our farms and that we could pay for some part of the land. In the end we reached agreement and purchased a section of the valley well to the North of the aboriginal community yet in a place where the river remains navigable all year. Next week we will set out for our new homes.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 29, 2014, 06:39:26 AM
Chapter 3-B
The Diaries

Part 1.2
The First Years

The First Year of the Founding of the Allberger Valley Colony

Early Spring

We were able to buy an old wagon from the army quartermaster at Ft. Allberger where the river empties into the great lake. He also gave us a pair of old and sickly oxen to pull the wagon. All of the adults walked alongside the wagon and the children took turns riding. We had not planned to stop in this location which is far from the river itself, but this is where the oxen collapsed and died and so this is where we will begin.

Our first task is to lay out a small village. We have no seeds or animals, so we will be hunters and gatherers in the beginning, using the skills taught to us by our aboriginal friends. Our village will also include storage facilities; a foresters’ cabin, since we will need logs for building and to make fuel; and a woodcutter’s yard to split logs into firewood. We will build a log house for each family and for each of the orphan girls since they will soon be adults. When this is complete we should be able to survive the Winter.


Working from sunup to sundown we cut enough logs for all the buildings we must build and have begun the building. In the meantime we sleep under the trees and continue to eat from the supplies in our wagon.

Late Spring

We have cleared a storage yard and built a barn.

This will enable us to avoid the long walk to the wagon to store our supplies. We have also begun work on a gatherers’ hut.
Early Summer

The gatherers’ hut is complete and now some of our number can begin to replenish our food supply. Harmainey and I have been appointed the first gatherers. The work is not arduous, but it will be cold in the Winter and there is always the danger that we might mistake some poisonous berry for healthful food. Hopefully we will learn our profession well without such a mishap.


The next building we completed is the woodcutter’s yard. Liza Koch is hard at work creating a supply of firewood to give us warmth in the Winter. We have also started work on a hunters’ cabin and a foresters’ lodge.

Early Autumn

All of the buildings to provide our necessities are finished and we can turn our attention to log houses. During the summer it has not been a great hardship to sleep and cook outside, but colder weather is coming and we need better shelter from the cold.

Late Autumn

We were able to complete the first houses in time for the first snowfall. We worked on so that every family would have their own house.

Late Winter

Before the year turned we had finished all the houses. We were just in time to celebrate the birth of Linwoody Bucher, the first child to be born in our new village. Our hope is that he will live to see our settlement not only survive but prosper and flourish. We have also provided a house for each of the orphan girls since they have become working adults during the building. Daliana continues to visit us daily and I hope that we can provide something of what her parents might have given her.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 29, 2014, 06:43:24 AM
Chapter 3-C

Part 1.3
The First Years

The Second Year of the Settlers in the Allberger Valley of the Western Province


Now that we have survived our first Winter on the land we must turn our attention to other needs. We are running low on tools and must very soon complete a forge so that one of us can take up the work of a smith and forge new tools for the jobs facing us. The lack of education for our children weighs heavily on our minds. We have also begun to think about how we want our town to be built and where we will build a dock for trading boats to land. Our forest village lies a long way from the river, so we must build something closer in order to be able to support a dock. At this point the only thing we have we might trade is firewood, and there is barely enough of that to heat our houses. Our one forester is planting trees and we can foresee a time when those trees will be mature and be a source of food and logs, but for now we are still cutting trees in places where we someday hope to build farms.

These are the things that worry our minds as we begin our second year in the valley. We have our joys and celebrations as well. During this Spring we have seen the birth of Emiley Dorf, Tavar Koch and our own baby son Durwoodson Anders. In the Early Spring we celebrated with great joy when the circuit rider presided at the wedding of Cornelle Flugel and Gianning Bucher. Because Cornelle is an orphan and has no one of her family to keep the family name alive she and Gianning has taken the family name Bucher-Flugel so that we can all remember the ultimate sacrifice her parents made.

We have gathered enough logs, stone and iron to begin the construction of the forge in earnest. All of us have gathered the materials together and prepared a storage yard behind the planned smith. Two of our number are working on the building while the rest of us gather logs and iron for making tools. It is slow work for them, but two is the most we can spare since we do not have large stockpiles of food in the barn.


The forge is finished! Cornelle has taken up the work of blacksmith, the profession of her father before he was killed. Now we can build a school and fulfil our obligation to provide an education for our children. We have selected a spot close to the forge which will be convenient for our current village and for the town we intend to build beyond.

Late Summer

We have finished the school and are ready for our son Mackery and Londa Koch to begin when they turn 10 in two seasons. Our goal had been to complete the school before Linwoody Bucher turned 10 and we have exceeded even that goal. Mackery and Londa will receive an education that we could not provide for Daliana, Cornelle and Gianning. Most of the adults spend all of their time gathering berries, roots, mushrooms and onions and hunting the plentiful deer, so Daliana has volunteered to teach. Even though she became an adult without the benefit of a formal education, she is intelligent and a voracious reader and seems to have a knack with the young children. She does her work willingly and with a joyful heart. In large part on my recommendation, the other adults decided that it is appropriate for her to be our first teacher and she will spend the time until Mackery and Londa enter school preparing.


As the weather gets colder we have become only too aware of how ragged our coats have become. Our hunters have provided a store of leather, but we have no facility to see these hides into coats to protect us from the cold as we work outside. We don’t get nearly as much work done as we must go inside to warm up far too often. If we are to gather enough food this Winter something must be done. There is a spot for a tailor’s shop next to the school and I hope to convince the others that we should undertake construction immediately.


This Winter has been colder than expected. We have had to suspend work on the tailor’s shop and press all adults into food production. Only Daliana continues teaching and Liza cutting firewood to keep us warm. Mackery and Londa are attending school every day. I am amazed at how diligent the boy is about his work. He had never seemed given to books or learning, but he is applying himself far beyond what I expected. Births continue to bless our village. Cornelle and Gianning have welcomed their first child, daughter Lelianna. She who has no mother is now a mother herself.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 29, 2014, 06:47:14 AM
Chapter 3-D

Part 1.4
The First Years

Second Year Continued

Late Winter

A disaster beyond believing has struck our family and our community. Daliana and Mackery have declared their undying love for one another! No wonder the boy was such a diligent student! Perhaps it was inevitable since they have been spending time together ever since we left our former homes. The outcry amongst the adults was immediate, several accusing Daliana of using her position to seduce the younger children. As Mackery’s father, Daliana’s guardian and community leader I am put in an almost untenable position. I know that I should have been more diligent in watching over their development. Life has been hard these past two years and searching for food has been crucial to our survival. If only there were more time in the day to be with the young people.

I have talked to Daliana and explained to her why she cannot continue as teacher. She burst into tears but said she would rather give up her beloved profession than her beloved Mackery. I was not quite sure what to say. I was able to get Gianning to teach and Daliana has joined the labourers. The other adults want Harmainey and I to talk some sense into Daliana and Mackery, but they hardly communicates with us at all any more. Daliana does her work, but then goes straight home to her house. Mackery comes home from school  only to eat and sleep. I haven’t heard an intelligible word from his mouth in days.

Tonight Mackery did not come home from school for supper. His mother and I went to Daliana’s cabin praying that we would find him safe, discrete and chaste. Instead we found no one. Asking around the village we discovered that no one had seen either of them since early morning and that Mackery had not been in school at all. We have organized a search of the forest and hope that we find them soon.

For two days we searched the woods and hills and found no sign of Mackery or Daliana. What if they have given in to the passions of love and enacted some insane Romeo and Juliet scene? Hermainey is beside herself with worry.

This morning we set out with great fear in our hearts to search the banks of the river for their bodies. Imagine the mixture of joy and anger when we met the two just as they stepped off a trading boat heading up river. Mackery proclaimed that they had gone to the fort at the mouth of the river where the army chaplain had married them. They were now Mr. and Mrs. Anders-Eicher. There was an immediate uproar from the adults and more than a little sniggering from the children, especially the boys. Hermainey fainted on the spot and I barely caught her before she hit her head on a stone. After we carried her home and she recovered her senses the adults met in our cabin to discuss what to do. We talked long into the night. Being the boy’s parents, Hermainey and I held our peace and said little. In the end the adults recognized that there is not much we can do to reverse what has happened. They are married. After the decision was made Hermainey spoke up: “I accept this decision and the marriage of Mackery and Daliana. I will continue to love her as my own daughter. But I hope that stupid son of mine does not think this will get him out of finishing school. He is a student and a student he will stay until the day he graduates!” When mother speaks, no one dares to contradict.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 30, 2014, 07:39:44 AM
Chapter 4
Part Two, The Settlement Establishes Itself: Years 3-6

The Third Year of the Allberger Settlement


As we advanced into our third year in the valley children continued to be born. Linwoody, Tavar and our son Durwoodson began school. At almost the same time we became  grandparents. Yes, Mackery, though still a student, is a father. He and Daliana welcomed daughter Lizebetha Anders-Eicher in Late Spring. In spite of all the turmoil surrounding their marriage, Hermainey and I have discovered that special feeling of being grandparents.


The tailor’s shop is finally finished! Gianning has become the tailor and Cornelle has taken over as teacher. Finally we can face the Winter with new coats. During the past two years Arie has been working as forester, planting trees around the village. As a result our gatherers are able to find more food and our food supply is better than it has been at any point since we arrived.

Year 4 of Our Pilgrimage in the Allberger Valley


What a surprise! Harmainey and I are parents again, even at the advanced ages of 38 and 34. Baby Brina has brought us much joy and little Lizabetha is proud to have an aunt younger than she is. Food supplies are good and the future is looking bright. Our community now numbers 24 souls in six families. The older students are approaching graduation and will soon join us as working adults. We will need new houses for them, but we will also be able to begin a new town site near the river. Perhaps we will even be able to add to our food production with a fishing dock.

Summer - Late Summer

The last seasons have been blessedly uneventful. None of our young people have challenged us adults or our authority, at least for the time being. We continue on hunting, gathering and building up our forest home. The planting goes well and it should not be long before foresters can begin harvesting trees. Students are studying in the school and we have tools and coats for all.

Autumn - Early Winter

The first students graduated from our school, Mackery and Londa Koch. Mackery’s mother has made her will come true, as we all knew she would. They are working as a labourers until we have added new facilities and increased the work force. We need more logs, stones and iron, so every labourer is needed each and every day.

Late Winter

With Londa graduated and working as an adult, we decided she needed a house of her own. Since we need housing near the school, smith and tailor’s shop we built a fine log house behind the school.

No sooner was the house complete than Londa and Linwoody Bucher announce that they are in love and want to be married. When we demurred, since Linwoody is still in school and Londa is the prime candidate to be teacher, they reminded us that we had allowed the marriage of Daliana and Mackery. One of the hard lessons of life is that all one’s decisions come back to haunt one later! What is once done will be done again; what is once permitted will be permitted again. And so we adults decided that the young couple could marry. I thank God in heaven that it was not one of my children this time.

The Fifth Year of the Allberger Valley Settlement

Early Spring

Over the Winter our supply of logs was greatly reduced. The forest around the village has matured and become lush, and so we decided that the time had come for the foresters to begin harvesting logs. We chose two additional foresters so that the work could be done more quickly and we could build up a sufficient supply of logs to keep us warm and to build houses as needed.

I could claim that I don’t know how it happened, but that would be a bald-faced lie. Harmainey and I are once again parents. Our second daughter Lara was born toward the end of Early Spring. When we told Durwoodson and Brina that their mother was pregnant, Durwoodson gave us the strangest look and turned as red as a beet. Brina, already beside herself with joy, laughed even harder at her big brother. Mother and daughter are doing fine, but at our age we should probably take care.

Late Spring

It is a fine Late Spring day and our family rejoices as 10-year-old Lizebetha walks down the path to her first day of school. Her mother cried quiet tears of joy at seeing her daughter off to school and no doubt also of sadness at her own missed education. Daliana’s coming into our family was hard and painful, but she has been a good partner to Mackery and a good mother to Lizabetha. Her own life was hard, losing her parents at a young age, and in the end she has kept Mackery more level-headed than he might have been on his own. Now she is pregnant with our second grandchild whose arrival we await with anticipation.


This is the Summer that I reach my 40th year. Baby Cliver Anders-Eicher came into our family with a loud cry and continues to make his presence felt. It seems like a lifetime ago that we came to this valley and some days I have a hard time visualizing my childhood and youthful home. Arie Bucher’s father is gravely ill, so he made the arduous journey South across the great lake to see him. People have moved on from the days of the war, but Arie could still feel some tensions with his family and former neighbours. Meanwhile we are carving a good life out of this wilderness and I for one have no regrets that we made this journey.

Late Summer

The weather has been very fine this Summer and we have collected an abundance of materials, so a group of us went out toward the river and began planning our new town. We found a central location for a market and a spot for a fishing dock. In siting the dock, barns and pens for our trading post we were not so lucky. Much of the river bank along this stretch is inhospitable for a dock the size we will need and it took several days of searching and testing before we found a suitable site. It is just North of the site for the fishing dock, far enough that it will not interfere with the fishers, and at the edge of the planned town. It is not ideal, but it will certainly work.


We have spent the Autumn gathering sufficient logs, stone and iron to build our market. This week we will begin preparing the foundations. Students continue to graduate from the school, so before we complete the market we will need to build houses for them.

Year 6 of the Settlement in the Allberger Valley

Early Spring - Summer

The first of the houses was complete and we celebrated the marriage of Tavar Koch and Emiley Dorf. When the second house was complete a few weeks later our family celebrated a doubly happy day as Durwoodson was married to Lelianna Bucher-Flugel by the circuit rider.  With the houses finished we can now begin on the market in earnest.

Poor Ster Dorf! With Emiley out of the house he and Ayannemary have had their fourth child—another girl. By the time Jaide marries and leaves home Ster and Ayannemary may well be too old for more children.With four girls and no boys there will be no one to carry on the family name. Harmainey and I have been lucky to have two boys and two girls. Not that the cabin didn’t seem small at times, but both our sons and daughters have brought us joy.

Early Autumn

Here it is only Early Autumn and our market is compete. Emiley has begun working as our sole vendor. We see her daily pushing her wheel barrow to the barn and storage yards to gather together the things we need for sustenance. Those of us who remain living in the forest village continue to find our supplies at the barn and the woodcutters storage yard, but the young people who live in the newer houses all shop at the market. I suppose that is a sign of progress and gives hope that a mature town lies in the near future.

Durwoodson and Lelianna have made Hermainey and me grandparents again! Prentin is a fine, healthy baby boy who looks remarkably like his father did as an infant. We can only hope that he grows up to have his father’s common sense and fine spirit of community. Durwoodson is beginning to exercise some leadership in the settlement and has taken an important part in planning and working toward our desire to begin trading. Under his leadership the young men built a new storage yard close to the planned location of our trading post. We have been gathering logs, stone and iron there in preparation for a big build next year.


Before building our trading post we decided that we should ensure a solid source of food by completing the fishing dock. We also determined to build a house next to the dock so that the fishers could be close to their work. When the house was complete once again one of our male students, Essica Koch, desired to marry an older young woman, Jaide Dorf who had already graduated. This is now the third time and we could hardly say no. Jaide will fish from the dock while Essica finishes school. Knowing that my own son and ward were the first, I can hardly object, but something inside me still is not right with this growing custom. We came to this land to express our loyalty to the Crown and to practice the traditions of our ancestors, which I am sure did not include marrying your teacher. Perhaps we have been too permissive with our young people because we work so hard and are so isolated from the rest of the world here in our peaceful valley.

Those of us who entered this valley as adults are all now in our middle 40s. Even Daliana, Cornelle and Gianning are in their mid 30s. The first babies who were born in this valley are now adults and parents themselves. We have far to go to see our dreams fulfilled, but we have come a long way. We are moving beyond our little forest village and preparing to reach out to the wider world. We can now stockpile firewood in anticipation of trading that for seeds and animals to begin farming.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 30, 2014, 08:24:22 AM
Chapter 5A
Part 3.1  Changes and Quandry

The Seventh Year of the Allberger Settlements

Early Spring

We have spent the Winter gathering the logs, stone and iron for our trading post. With sufficient materials in our storage yards for construction and for our daily needs we will begin construction. Our plan is to sink the supports for the pier and build the foundations of the trading post. Hubertrand has designed a crane for lifting cargo and we will build a stone foundation for that. When we have completed that work we will build a house for the trader to live in across the road from the barns and pen.

Early Autumn

It has taken all summer, but we are finished with both house and trading post!

When the house was completed we celebrated the marriage of Ramonte Bucher and our Granddaughter Lizebetha. They have moved in and Lizebetha has become our trader. She will be in charge of collecting and storing the goods we will trade and negotiating with the merchants who ply the river. As soon as she has gathered sufficient goods to make a serious trade she will travel down to the mouth of the river and try to convince the merchants to call at our humble settlement. Lizebetha is a granddaughter it is easy to be proud of. She has not only inherited her mother’s fine features, but her determination and intelligence. I am sure that she will bring in merchants to trade and extract the best deals from them.

We have decided to trade firewood in the beginning, since everyone along the river at the shore of the great lake needs fuel for the Winter. Jenneth Bucher has been working as our woodcutter and she will be pressed to split even more firewood than we need for ourselves. It will probably be next Summer before we have enough to trade, but it is a start.

As Late Autumn begins its turn to Early Winter our settlement is home to 39 souls: 23 working adults, 6 students and 10 children. We have built 11 log houses and all the facilities necessary for survival. We can produce firewood, tools and coats. We eat berries, roots, mushrooms, onions, venison and fish. We have a school, a market and now a trading post. While we enjoy moderate health, we are unable to grow grain and so our diets are not complete. After a visit to the community of our aboriginal benefactors, Durwoodson has suggested that until we can grow grain it would be wise to collect the medicinal herbs that grow in the forest. The aboriginal healers taught him the healing properties of several of the plants which we find in the forest but have not ever eaten. It is an idea worth considering.


Durwoodson’s idea has met with approval throughout the settlement and we are embarking on construction of a cabin for a herbalist. Durwoodson shared privately with me a part of his plan which he has not mentioned publicly. He believes that the job would be perfect for his older brother who has always shown a love for plants and their tending. Durwoodson has already suggested to Mackery that he think of  spending the Winter with the aboriginal community to learn their knowledge of herbal healing and Mackery is considering the plan.

Our family has been struck with a tragedy almost beyond telling. Lizebetha became pregnant. Mackery and Daliana were looking forward to being grandparents and Hermainey and I to being great grandparents. Lizebetha seemed strong and ready, but at in the final moments something went horribly wrong. The baby was born dead and Lizebetha lost so much blood that she could not be saved. Our whole community was torn by grief as we laid her and her stillborn child to rest between a pine and a birch tree beside the river.

The only member of the community who seems not racked by grief is Ramonte. He has already remarried—to Lyndal Bucher his father’s sister who is close to his own age. Gianning and Cornelle and Arie and Jenneth are beside themselves and cannot talk sense to the couple. Daliana and Mackery refuse to even look at Ramonte and Lyndal. I have never seem Daliana so depressed and Mackery so angry. Thank God he has his herbs to keep his mind off of this disgrace. Ramonte and Lyndal go on ignoring the wishes of the rest of the settlement. I have tried to talk to them, but they called me silly and old fashioned. Since their cabin is alone at the North end of the settlement we are not confronted with them constantly, but Lyndal has taken Lizebetha’s position as trader and so must make regular trips to the supply yards and market to collect the extra firewood we hope to trade. Sometimes it seems that our children and grandchildren are picking partners at random, marrying whoever of the opposite sex has been graduated from school the longest. We have educated them, but they seem not to think at all about whom they select as partners. We build a house and they move in and have children. We have survived much in this wilderness. I am not sure whether we can survive incest. Even if we do survive what will become of future generations?

Ramonte and Lyndal have a child, Emogenevie.When the circuit rider came on his monthly rounds he was reluctant to baptize her. He and I had a long talk on Saturday evening and I argued that it is wrong to hold the sins of the parents against the child. This baby is not responsible for the decisions her parents made, even though that decision dishonours my granddaughter and hurts terribly still. He finally agreed that the sacrament should be celebrated and in the morning her grandparents served as her God parents and she was baptized into the faith. I pray that, despite the circumstances of her birth she will thrive as our settlement grows.

The Anders and Anders-Eicher families have decided that we will donate a small cemetery in memory of Lizebetha. We have selected a site next to the place where she is buried. In the future we hope that no one will have to be buried in the forest. It will require some stone and some time, but we will build this memorial to our beloved daughter and granddaughter.

In the meantime Brina has graduated and become an adult. We can only hope that she shows good judgement in her selection of a partner.

Year Eight of the Allberger Valley Settlements

Early Spring

Over the Winter Brina told us that she and Harrette Bucher wished to marry. We had been planning to build a second house near the fishing dock so that we could expand our food production by adding fishers. When the house was complete Brina and Harrette were married and took up the profession of fisher. They seem happy and content and have turned out to be very skilled at their profession. At this rate the dock will break all production records. Brina mentioned to me that a barn nearby would make them even more productive, but we will see whether we have the resources for that.

Late Spring

Today we completed the cemetery. It is just beyond the trading post and Lizebetha’s resting place is just outside the West gate facing the river. Since my ancestors going all the way back to the time of religious upheaval in the Old World served the church as pastors I was asked to offer a prayer. I was able, I think, to express the grief we felt that death has visited our community, but also to express the hope we have for our lives and the lives of our descendants here. I gave thanks both for the life that was lost and the lives yet to be begun. Then we observed a time of silence and walked quietly home. It was a sunny day, but there were clouds in my heart.

Perhaps I have misjudge Lyndal somewhat. Now that the cemetery is finished she brings Ramonte there almost everyday and they stand near the wall facing Lizebetha's grave and talk. With her encouragement Ramonte has not only expressed his grief over Lizebetha's death, but he has brought a large piece of iron and set up a marker where she is buried. Maybe there is more there than I thought. Nonetheless, I really cannot condone a nephew marrying an aunt, can I?
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 30, 2014, 08:30:09 AM
Chapter 5B
Part 3.2  Changes and Quandry

Year Nine of the Allberger Settlements

Early Spring - Early Summer

Both Durwoodson and Brina have made us grandparents again. Durwoodson and Lelianna have a new son Eliott and Brina and Harrette have a new daughter Maddilynne. There was much rejoicing in my heart to see two of my children as parents.

Late Summer

Liza Koch died in her sleep last night. She has been weak for several months and Mackery has given her the herbs best suited to bring back strength. In the end, he said, she just gave out from old age. Hers will be the first grave in the new cemetery and we will carve a suitable memorial from stone.

Old Age? Liza was a month younger than me! I was not feeling particularly old before this, but I suppose we must all admit that time catches up with us eventually. Harmainey and I still feel fit enough to work in the forest as we always have. Harmainey is now one of the hunters and I am working as a forester. We are all capable of doing any job that needs to be done and everyone in the community takes on the closest job at hand. My best skills are at gathering and forestry, so that is what I do the most.


Earlier this year we took up Brina’s suggestion and began work on a new barn across from the fishers’ houses. Building a barn takes many resources and many builders. We finally finished just last week. Already the fishers can spend much less time finding a place to store their catch and much more time fishing. Brina says that at this rate the four of them could catch as many as 2200 or 2300 fish in a single year. This is an abundance beyond belief. Perhaps if we cannot grow grain we could trade fish for grain.

Lara has shocked us beyond belief. Last night she told Harmainey and me that as soon as a new house is ready she and our Grandson Cliver will be wed. The disgrace of incest has come into our own house! We argued with her long into the night, but she was adamant. “If Ramonte and Lyndal can wed why cannot I marry Cliver? He loves me and I love him. That should be enough.” We called Durwoodson and Brina to come and talk to their sister. Lara insulted Durwoodson to his face, telling him that he was just as old-fashioned and stubborn as me—which I also took as an affront. Brina tried to calm us all down and the “discussion” became somewhat more civil. Lara said that we had brought them all to this forsaken wilderness where the choices for a partner were so very few. Then she accused us of being the problem: “If you don’t want me to marry someone my own age, why did you keep having children when you were already grandparents?” Not wishing to pursue this line of argument I asked why she couldn’t marry one of the young men to which she was not related. “And who would that be?” she yelled at me.  “The only other boy to graduate in the past two years is Harrette and he’s married to Brina. Even if I didn’t love Cliver, what other choice do I have?” With that she stormed our of the house into the night. Brina ran after her to make sure she did not hurt herself. This morning we talked to Daliana and Mackery. There had been a similar scene at their house the previous night with a similar lack of results. As her father I could put my foot down and forbid the marriage outright, but I fear that such a course of action would only alienate her mother and me from Lara. She is still our daughter, our own flesh and blood, and to lose her would be to painful to bear. We have so little time to think. The house is already under construction—it is being built behind the tailor’s shop so that we can produce coats more efficiently—and we have only a few weeks until it is finished.

Late Autumn

The deed is done. Cliver and Lara have taken up residence in the new house and Lara is now the tailor for our settlement. In my heart I fear that we have not done right by our children and grandchildren. In a way Lara is right. There are few young people of marriageable age and right now most of them are young women. It will be awhile before the boys now in school become adults. Still, we should have standards. Can we bear the challenge? Tonight I feel the isolation pressing in on me. How can I be the community leader if I cannot even keep my own family living according to the values that brought us to this place.

Early Winter

Our trading post has attracted a merchant! It was Elbes the General Goods Merchant who has often stopped here to spend the night as he plies his trade along the river. This is the first time  that we have had anything he considered worth trading. We traded 1250 units of firewood for pepper seeds and pear seeds. His boat was almost overwhelmed with such a load. In fact the old man became disoriented and rowed off up river the way he had come from. We tried to get his attention but he rowed away. Awhile later he came back and said he finally realized he was going the wrong way when he reached the lake just at the northern boundary of our lands. At least he is now rowing in the right direction and we hope to see him again soon.


With our new seeds we are preparing farmland for Spring planting. We have plotted out a farm with a pear orchard lining the north side, a pepper field in the middle and a pear orchard along the south. Two houses and a barn will provide living and storage space. We will not be able to complete it all before Spring, but we can build at least one house, one orchard and the field. Perhaps in the Summer we can complete the barn, second house and second orchard.

Hubertsrand Koch is now living alone as his daughter Alejandria has married Arien Bucher and they live in a new house near the trading post. Even as he faithfully goes about his work he seems lonely. It cannot be easy to go home to an empty cabin every night.

Late Winter

My dear and lifelong friend Ster Dorf died of old age. We buried him in the cemetery with great solemnity. Now two of the original pioneers have left us. Since both Hubertsrand and Ayannemary have lost their partners they have married and moved into Ayannemary’s house. Isamanie and Artha had both graduated, but were still living with their mother. Hubertsrand gave his cabin to his grandson Gust who is still a student. Gust promptly married Isamanie Dorf. Once again an aunt has married a nephew. I did not ask what arguments occurred in either house, but I know that Hubertsrand is even less approving of the practice  than I am. With three such marriages I am afraid that the die is cast. Perhaps we should try to bring some new families into our settlement. We know that there are other refugees who wander the mountains and valleys of the Western Province searching for places where they can make their homes. We need to find what we might do to attract some to come and live among us.

Lara has given birth to a son whom she and Cliver have named Weavericharly. It will be years before the boy can say his own name! I feel very odd to be both the boy’s grandfather and his great grandfather. This should be a moment of joy, but it is for me tinged with sadness over the decision my daughter made to marry her nephew. I will pray for the boy and hope against hope that he can live a normal life.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 31, 2014, 09:35:28 PM
Chapter 6A
Part 4.1: Growing Prosperity and the End of a Generation

The Tenth Year of the Allberger Settlement

Early Spring

Another lifelong friend has been lost. Arie Bucher died right in the act of splitting a log, another “victim” to old age. He must have died in the morning, but everyone was busy building the new barn at our farm and it was lunch time before we found him collapsed on the ground. We buried Arie in the cemetery and Jenneth has gone home to live by herself. Our lives have been hard, but I did not expect my friends to die in their early 60s. I myself am now 64 and Hermianey is 60. Mackery is 55! How can it be that we have all aged so quickly?
With Arie’s death we are very short of labour. The farm has demanded three people to plant and care for the crops. We have taken turns replacing Arie as woodcutter which leaves only two to build the barn and it is taking much longer than we had hoped. Yet the tiny pear trees have survived the Winter and the pepper seeds are going in the ground. We must find ways to protect them from the late frosts that in some years settle on our valley.

Late Spring

Today we came to a momentous decision: We will build a town hall for our fledgling town. This will allow us to keep records and become more systematic about how we develop the valley and how much we are actually producing. In addition I have heard stories that only settlements that have advanced to the stage of being a town with a town hall actually attract the refugees and nomads that wander the wilderness seeking places to call home. Actually the stories vary, some saying that a town must have a market and trading post to attract new residents and others saying that only town status and a town hall are necessary. Never mind; we already have a market and a trading post and only lack the hall. The Lieutenant Governor’s agent told me that with a town hall we could easily achieve official town status. Of course, I have not told the others of this secret plan of mine, for fear I might once again open the scars of our controversies over marriages, only reminding them how important careful records would be. Still it is my desire to see new people among us who will bring new ideas and new blood.

Since the days are now getting longer a group of us went out after supper to choose a site for the town hall. Our first choice was facing the market. Durwoodson suggested that we should think of the future and create a town square in keeping with our aspirations. After a little discussion we all agreed and laid out a larger town square along the East side of the market. The town hall will be on the South side of the square and the square it self will include both pavement and grass. When we realized that the North side of the square would be empty we remembered our hope that someday we could build our own church and have our own pastor to look after our spiritual needs, celebrate the sacraments, marry and bury. We like and appreciate the work of the circuit rider, but with all the settlements in the Western Province he is now here only one Sunday every two months, and hardly at all in the Winter. We decided that the church should be on the North side of the square facing the town hall. Now the building projects will take even longer, but the end result will be worth the sacrifice.

Early Autumn

Several of our young people have graduated from school and are working as labourers and builders. This has made the construction of the town hall go faster with the foundations now laid. This is the biggest project we have yet undertaken, consuming prodigious amounts of logs, stone and iron, but we are now ready for the final push. In the meantime we decided that, with all the young people waiting for housing we should build the second farm house. Normandall Bucher and Sannalian Bucher-Flugel have married and moved in. After three instances of aunts and nephews marrying, no one said a word about cousins taking one another as spouses. We cannot complete the town hall fast enough for my taste.

Late Autumn

The town hall is finally complete! To commemorate the occasion we held a great festival and people came from miles around. The Lieutenant Governor, General Sir Ashley Smithe, was present and read out a royal charter declaring us to be the Town of Allberger. At a community meeting I was elected mayor and people now laughingly call me, “Your Worship.” I have an office in the town hall where I keep records and coordinate our work—that in addition to my regular job as forester! Durwoodson was elected Vice-Mayor and assists me when he is not busy at the fishing dock. There is also a large hall for town meetings and smaller rooms on the second floor for other functions. We are justly proud of our accomplishments.

The Lieutenant Governor also told us that he will convene a provincial legislature next year and that, as a town, we are to elect a representative. We have scheduled a town meeting for next week in which we will collect the information we need to keep in the town hall and see what we have actually been doing. Now we will also hold an election.

When we compiled our various records and accounts we discovered that we had actually produced a surplus of food last year! We have 47 citizens (31 adults, 8 students, 8 children) in 17 families. We have 15 houses, so as soon as the church is built we will have to turn our attention to building houses for the two couples who have been waiting to marry until there is a house available. When the balloting for our member of the provincial legislature was complete Durwoodson had won. He will travel to the provincial capital in the Spring where the legislature will meet for an entire month. I’m not sure what they will find to talk about for that long, but the Lieutenant Governor believes that the province has grown to the point where some self-government and a legislative body is a necessity.

In spite of our successful trade with Elbes, it has now been nearly a year since we have seen a merchant. We know that there are others plying the river with whom we can trade for livestock, seeds, food and resources. Perhaps they have been waiting for us to show that we are worth trading with. We really have sufficient food and resources, but we could use more seeds for farming, especially corn or wheat for our diets. I would also like to begin raising sheep for wool. Our hide coats have served us well these past years, but I find my old bones get colder every Winter no matter what the temperature. A nice, warm wool-lined coat would serve me even better!

Early Winter

The heart of my heart has been taken from me. Yesterday it snowed lightly just before dawn. Harmainey and I were gathering at the southern limit of our territory when she collapsed on the ground. I rushed to her to see what was the matter, but it was too late. She breathed her last as I held her there under the trees. I carried her body back to the forest village. Mackery was tending his plants outside the herbalist’s hut and ran to me. He grasped his mother’s body and burst into tears. As I took her body home he ran to gather his brother and sisters. They all came running and soon we were gathered in the living room of the cabin. A fine sight we were crying our eyes out. Then Lara remembered a story from her early childhood and soon laughter mixed with our tears. Lara has taken over her mother’s work as gatherer and has kept production at levels sufficient for our needs. The funeral is set for tomorrow. The ground is not yet frozen, so Mackery and Durwoodson have gone out to the cemetery to dig their mother’s grave. I had hoped that I would be the one to die first, but God has not granted this hope.

[Editor’s Note: There is a lacuna in the manuscript at this point. From physical evidence in the binding at least one and perhaps more pages have been torn out. Because of the age and brittleness of the paper it is impossible to tell when in the history of the manuscript this damage was done. It is equally possible that the pages were removed by the original author or by some later custodian of the volume. We can only speculate about what content may or may not have been in the missing page or pages.]

Jenneth moved into the cabin this morning. It is now a week since we married and it has taken both of us some time to sort through the effects of a life time and decide what to keep. Jenneth has passed her cabin on to my grandson Prentin, Durwoodson’s son, who has married Antha Dorf. The younger generation is growing up.

Both Jenneth and I being of sufficient age and experience to be realistic, we realize that she cannot replace Harmainey and I cannot replace Arie. At the same time we are well matched and can support one another in these final years of our lives. I’m not sure that I would have even considered remarriage if Lara had not been so supportive. She visits us nearly every day.  I now wish that I had not been so angry with her when she married and I am spending more time with her, Cliver and young Weavericharly. Meanwhile the work continues and we must gather more firewood at the trading post in hope that a trader will pass by soon.

Sannalian Bucher died in childbirth. At first the midwife thought she could save the baby, but it was not to be. Mother and child now lie in the cemetery. After his grief Normandall has married our granddaughter Tillice, daughter  of Mackery and Daliana, and is now part of our extended family. Though Tillice is still a student she has promised her parents to give first priority to completing her studies
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 31, 2014, 09:39:26 PM
Chapter 6B
Part 4.2: Growing Prosperity and the End of a Generation

The Eleventh Year of the Town of Allberger

We have finally attracted another merchant. Linwoodson the food merchant has visited our trading dock.. He only carried Cabbage and Chestnuts, neither of which we really need since we produced significantly more than we consumed last year. Jenneth promised that she would teach the younger generation how to make sauerkraut, so we traded for a bit of cabbage. Now every cabin in town has a crock bubbling in the cellar and the smell of fermenting cabbage fills the air. Amazingly Linwoodson made the same mistake as Elbes and rowed off up river in the direction from which he had come. Awhile later he drifted back down the river with a sheepish grin on his face. Why have two merchants left our dock going the wrong way? Is there something odd about our valley that causes merchants to lose their sense of direction? Perhaps they are confused by the lake whose edge barely touches our part of the valley and the way the river exits this lake. Perhaps we are just fortunate enough to have a gang of particularly witless merchants on our river!

Tillice has made good her promise and graduated. Both her parents and her young husband were very proud. She is now working as a labourer until we can build another farm. Durwoodson returned from the legislature somewhat dismayed. It seems that the Lieutenant Governor did not have in mind quite as much self-government as the legislators desired. They have elected a premier, but the Lieutenant Governor dissolved them and has called for new elections. We decided that there was really no point to that and have sent an official letter stating that we have re-elected Durwoodson.

Late Spring

Last week we completed a fine stone church. We have dedicated it to God’s service and called it St. Martin’s in honour of St. Martin of Tours who chose peace over war. This symbolizes our coming to this valley to escape war and violence and find peace in a simple way of life. I was surprised that the entire community immediately joined the church, each and every one of the 47 people who call this section of the Allberger Valley home. Durwoodson volunteered to travel South and ask the officials of the Synod of the West to send us someone to be our pastor. We pray that his journey will meet with success.

[Editor’s Note: a “synod” is a regional grouping of churches organized for the training and supply of pastors and for facilitating joint work such as publication of liturgies and hymnals. On the frontier they were often responsible for creating new congregations as areas opened for settlement. The country from which the Allberger settlers’ ancestors had come had a state church the people in the New World were still adjusting to changed conditions in the New World without state support at the time of the founding of the Allberger Valley settlements. This often led to confusion and tense relations between the independent people in frontier congregations and synod authorities in more settled regions.]

Durwoodson returned yesterday feeling very down because the Synod cannot find anyone to come to the wilderness to serve us. This afternoon We met in the church to decide what to do. We determined that the best course of action is to elect one of our own to serve as pastor. We talked at some length about what sort of qualities we were looking for in a pastor and then voted by secret ballot. When the votes were counted Lyndal was elected by a large majority. We who came to this valley to declare our loyalty to King and country and to uphold the traditions of our ancestors have broken that tradition asunder. Has there ever in the entire history of the church been a female pastor? Well, I guess that we can say there is one now! When I think as openly as I can, I must admit that, as everyone clearly knew, Lyndal is the best if not the most traditional candidate. She has the compassion but also the intelligence needed for the job. Who has she not comforted in their moment of trial? She is always well-spoken and so we can anticipate sermons that will challenge us mentally and inspire us spiritually. The problem is that we have challenged the authority of the church and we are sure to be subject to scrutiny and censure. It will take some weeks for news of our decision to reach the wider world. We will see what the reaction will be.


I am now in my 70th year. I can still work as a forester and plant and cut right along with the younger people. The difference is that every night I must go home and nurse the aches and pains of a 70 year old body. Hubertsrand also serves as a forester. He is 69 and we often talk about the events of our lives together. We have both lost one wife and found a second to give us joy and comfort in old age. Neither of us knows how long he will last, but we have had full lives so far.

Lara has been appointed teacher and is doing a fine job with the children. She told me last night that she and Cliver wish to share the job and alternate from year to year. The one who is not teaching will serve as a labourer. I am sure that the community will approve this plan, since both are intelligent and love children.

Late Autumn

My friend Hubertsrand is dead at age 71. We were chopping a tree and he grabbed his chest and asked me to hold him. I was able to get him back to his cabin where he died in Ayannemary’s arms. We held his funeral yesterday and Ayannemary is living alone, having lost her second husband. Her daughters and sons-in-law visit her regularly, but at night she is by herself. All of us who live in the forest village drop by to look in on her. She continues to work and says the work is what keeps her sane. There are now only three of the original adults left. I have been telling stories about the early days to my grandchildren and great grandchildren so that the memory of what we accomplished will not die out with us. I think that they even enjoy the stories.

My granddaughter Lurlindy has married Hele Bucher-Flugel and they have moved into one of the houses that we built in anticipation of someday building a pasture for livestock. In the meantime they will work as labourers or builders as the need arises.

This morning officials from the Synod of the West arrived in Allberger. They informed us that if we do not depose Lyndal immediately and select a man in her place our congregation will be expelled from the synod. They have given us until Sunday night to make our decision. This being Friday, we do not have much time.

After a day of chaos in which more than once I had to divert people from doing bodily harm to the church officials, Lyndal called a group of the older men and women to meet with her. The meeting consisted of Jenneth and myself, Ayannemary, Mackery and Daliana, Durwoodson and Lelianna, Linwoody and Londa Bucher, Gianning  and Cornelle Bucher-Flugel, Tavar and Emiley Koch, Essica and Jaide Koch and Lyndal and Ramonte. She informed us that, as much as she disagreed with the synod’s demands, she could not find it in her heart or head to be the cause of dividing us off from the rest of the church and offered her resignation as our pastor. She said she and Ramonte had talked this over and her mind was made up. It was some time before we agreed that this was the proper course. Daliana argued that this prejudice against the ability of women would only do harm to both men and women. Cornelle reminded us that this was not the way we had lived these past years, with anyone taking whatever job needed to be done without any regard for the sex of the person doing the job. Lyndal agreed with them completely but said that she could not with good conscience be the cause of such a division. In the end we had no choice but to honour her wishes.

This bright Sunday morning we gathered for worship. I politely reminded the synod officials that their attendance might spark some inappropriate actions by some of our more hot-headed citizens, so they discretely remained behind. Lyndal gave one of the most moving sermons I have ever heard, reminding us that God is not about rules and condemnation, but about grace and promise. At the end she read out her letter of resignation. She then celebrated the Sacrament with great dignity. When the service concluded we discussed the sort of person we want for our pastor and voted by secret ballot. Tavar was elected and will begin his work next Sunday. The synod officials were satisfied and left, though with no great longing on our part that they return soon.

So now we are back in the “good graces” of the church. For how long I do not know, since everyone now knows that there is no real reason for women not to be pastors. Can the die be uncast, the Rubicon uncrossed?

Late Winter

This past Winter we have had many births. We now number 53. We have 17 families and each has a snug and secure log cabin. We entered this valley with 13 souls. According to the records in the town hall, since we began our settlement here we have had 47 births, 22 marriages and 7 deaths. I will not see many more Springs, but I am confident that what we have begun will continue.

Last evening we celebrated Daliana’s birthday in fine style, with Tillice and Normandall hosting the entire extended family in their cabin. Mackery gave a fine speech and each of her children and grandchildren offered a musical gift. We do not have many pleasures in this wilderness, but we have our families and our talents and we keep each other entertained and happy.
Title: Re: The Allberger Diaries, Volume 1 -- The Text Itself
Post by: rkelly17 on May 31, 2014, 09:45:33 PM
]Chapter 6C
Part 4.3: Growing Prosperity and the End of a Generation[/center

The Twelfth Year of the Town of Allberger

Early Spring

Our records show that once again last year we produced more food than we consumed, and this time quite a bit more, so our surplus has grown. We still cannot grow grain to eat a balanced diet, but Mackery’s herbs keep us as healthy as any of us can expect.

Linwoody Bucher has turned 50. It is hard to believe that the first child born after we built our forest village has reached such an advanced age. We are advancing in age and I hope we are also advancing in wisdom.

Late Spring

Elber has returned to our trading post and this time he was carrying corn seeds. Ramonte, who is currently working as trader immediately traded him sufficient firewood for the seeds. We were so excited that we ran out to begin preparing the fields and left Elber sitting in his boat. Finally he came looking for us and asked whether we wanted to trade for some of his other goods. He had chestnut seeds and a bit of food. At this point we did not have enough excess firewood to trade further, so we told him he could go. He climbed into his boat and demonstrated that his nickname “Wrong Way” Elber is well-earned, rowing off the way he came. Some of the boys ran along the bank. They couldn’t keep up with him, but there is a hill that commands a long view of the river. They said he rowed happily along until just before the bend where the river turns North and leaves our lands. Realizing his mistake he turned his boat and corrected his course. As he rowed by the trading dock he gave us a happy wave and went on his way.

Even though it is too late in the year to start planting corn we will prepare fields anyway to be ready for next planting season.

[Editor’s Note: Prior to the discovery of this diary historians had believed that the old stories told of “Wrong Way” Elber the merchant were much more mythological than based in fact. With Ritch’s first-hand reports it now appears that there is indeed a basis for the stories, though by the time they were first recorded by scholars they had been much embellished. Exactly what happened and why remains a mystery which geological research in the region might uncover. While we have records of numerous fires and tornadoes, there are no records of the sort of events, such as earthquakes, which might explain the phenomenon reported.]

Durwoodson is back from the provincial capital and reports that there was an outbreak of rebellion. Farmers marched on the city in protest over the Lieutenant Governor’s high-handed ways and the domination by the wealthier merchants. The protests were broken up and some of the leaders arrested, even though several were former members of the legislature. Others have escaped South and there are rumours that they are trying to organize an invasion. I fear that if the Lieutenant Governor and other leading citizens do not listen to the desire of the people for good governance and more authority for the legislature there will only be further troubles. Fortunately we are far from the trouble here and our lives are calm.

Early Summer

Lara suggested that we try a new layout for the new farm. She suggested that we could build two fields of corn, an orchard, two houses and a barn in a large square pattern. This seemed like a good idea to all, so we have begun. At the moment we do not need the houses and we do not have enough labourers to work both fields and the orchard, so, since corn is our greatest need, we will build the two corn fields and barn first and add the houses and orchard as we are able. Lara will carefully count the produce from our current farm and compare it to the new farm and see which is the most productive.

Late Winter

Daliana died today at the age of 65. She was gathering in the woods when she collapsed. Prentin carried her to the herbalist’s hut where she died in Mackery’s arms. He is surrounded by his children and grandchildren who are giving him great comfort.

We held Daliana’s funeral today. Tillice and Cliver gave moving tributes to their mother and remembered their sister Lizebetha. Tavar gave a moving and hopeful sermon and then we processed from the church to the cemetery and laid her to rest. As is our custom Mackery and all of Daliana’s children and grand children helped lower the coffin into the ground and then each said good-bye as she or he threw a handful of dirt into the hole. We find that this custom helps us in our grief to let our loved ones free to go to a better place.

I am now 78 years old and am working as woodcutter. I have lost a granddaughter, a wife and one who was like a daughter. Sometimes I wonder why I have been allowed to live so long. Jenneth and I are the last of the adults to enter this valley and now those who came here as children have reached old age. I had a long talk with Tavar after the funeral and he reminded me that I am still the one whose wisdom is required to lead the community. Indeed, this has been my calling. I wonder how much longer the Lord will keep me in the job before he releases me.

The Thirteenth Year of the Town of Allberger

Early Spring

The corn fields are finished and our farmers will begin planting when there is less danger of frost killing the young plants. Mackery has suggested that we should think of building a hospital and providing medical training for one of our number. This proposal has met with some opposition as some of our community believe that a hospital will only be an agent of the spread of disease. After what seemed like hours of argument Lara suggested that we choose a site on the edge of town and volunteered to coordinate the building herself. This idea convinced the last holdouts and Isamanie has volunteered to help Lara with the building.

Early Summer

Day before yesterday I turned 80. Durwoodson stopped by the log-splitting yard in the late afternoon and said that there was something we must urgently discuss at the town hall. Fearing the worst I followed him down the road to town. When we entered the building rather than heading for my office we went to the great meeting hall. He said, “You go first.” I opened the door to discover the entire town inside and a celebration prepared. Everyone drank to my health and speeches were made by various citizens. Then we ate a huge meal of venison in pepper sauce with berry cobbler for dessert. At the end I was asked to speak and expressed my thanks for this wonderful celebration. I also told some stories from our earliest years and expressed my hopes for the future. I was giving a standing ovation and after more than a few toasts all of the happy revelers headed for home. I was a warm night and the sound of singing and laughter echoed over meadow and forest.


Lara and Isamanie have completed the hospital and Cliver has been chosen as physician. Lara will now teach full time. Enough young people are graduating from the school that we no longer need people to shift from their regular profession to labourer or builder. Cliver will work with Mackery to refine the appropriate herbal tinctures to use as medicines in the hospital.

Late Summer

My grandson Weavericharly has married Lynn Koch. It was a fine celebration, but I found myself getting very tired toward the end. I continue producing firewood at a good clip for an old man, but every night I feel the day’s work in every joint. I have lived a long and eventful life. If the Lord still has work for me here, I will stay, but if He calls I will go willingly.

Historical Afterword

The extant manuscript of the diary ends with the entry above. From other sources we know that Ritch died of old age not long after it was written in Autumn of year 13. He was still splitting logs and serving as mayor to the day he died. Ritch had led the settlements from their beginning until this point, providing the stability of leadership which the community needed to build a foundation for the future. Clearly when he began the settlement he was a deeply conservative man who could not even bring himself to support the idea of independence from the Crown. Life on the frontier brought out his pragmatic side. As his life went on he allowed and then supported decisions which he was not really prepared for but which allowed the community to survive in its isolated location. As he reached his 60s he was supporting actions by the community which can only be called quite radical. At points in his life he had been alienated from two of his children, but in the end had made his peace with and came to respect both of them. Truly this man was a remarkable pioneer.