Admiral Islands: Discovery
Day after day, the monotonously smooth journey from the Schulmania coast continued. There was very little to distinguish one day from the next; the weather had been calm and nothing unusual had occurred. Supplies remained at adequate levels, but it would be helpful to secure some additional fresh water soon.
Shortly after sunrise, a sailor aboard the Black Mace reported something on the horizon. It was still a ways off, but it was the first thing on the horizon since the expedition began. Could it be land?
The small, dark lump on the horizon could indeed be land. The sailor, Ensign Seymour Stuph, called down to the first officer from his perch atop the crow's nest.
First Officer Izzy Kiddin relayed the coordinates to Archduke B. B. Bower, who ordered the fleet to change course and head toward the potential land. Within hours, it was clear that a small island was nearby - the first land ever found in the ocean. Excitement was mounting. Even if the island was not useful, it would be great for the crew to get out of the ships and exercise. This would be significant as the farthest land ever found and the first land found not associated with the mainland of Schulmania. Archduke Bower, leader of the expedition, came prepared for the eventuality of finding land. He has a supply of flags and a prepared speech claiming any new lands for the Archduchy of Schulmanicus in the name of the Supreme Wirdle.
As the armada approached it became apparent that it was not just one small island, but a collection of several small islands. The ships would rendezvous at the closest island and set up a campsite. From base, individual ships would explore the archipelago and determine its size and resources.
This rocky shore is where Schulmania will plant its first flag out of the country and off of the original Schulmania map.
The small island is green, with some wildflowers and grasses but no forests. No large animals were noted in the initial exploration.
Some low areas are a bit marshy. The felines did not enjoy getting their paws wet.
A bit more investigating revealed that a large portion of the island is swampy marshlands. Archduke Bower, in an uncharacteristic fit of uncreativeness, christened the island "Marsh Island."
The great swampy mess, the biggest marsh ever seen, much bigger than any marsh in Schulmania, was named Leech Marsh, in honor of the over nine hundred leeches found in the area.
It definitely seemed to be a fitting name. After all, leeches have maintained a prominent presence in the area for some time. After slogging through the marsh for some time, the explorers gained a real sense of its magnitude. It covered nearly half of the island.
The swampy tip of Marsh Island.
Two of the ships in the armada were, upon inspection, deemed unfit to continue due to leaks and other damages. Archduke Bower decided to salvage the materials to repair the other ships and to establish a base camp somewhere in the archipelago. After all, with a voyage into the unknown with no idea of how far supply lines will have to stretch, it would make sense to have a forward base of operations to receive supplies from the mainland and relay them to the fleet. It was decided to have 3 ships stay behind with the crew of the two scuttled ships and establish a base. Archduke Bower declared the island group to be named the Admiral Islands in honor of Admiral Hestorb, who was ailing and unable to make the voyage.
The western end of Marsh Island, fairly devoid of major vegetation
The entirety of Marsh Island, first island visited by the expedition. Plans are being made to explore elsewhere before heading eastward again.
No doubt this new island group has many surprises to offer the explorers and may be a vital new link to the east from Schulmania. Only time will tell for sure...