During the cognitive evaluation, the subject attempted to bribe the Priest. The Priest very properly reported this and cut short the evaluation. All reason suggests that he would have then returned to Corrigible on the same quadrotor he arrived in, viz the one piloted by Vernus Bront and dispatched specifically for his transportation to this remote and inaccessible area.
2. Nevertheless, Edward claimed in a letter to Archpriest Kvani Neyin that:
This letter is difficult to believe on account of Barentsz-Edward's mental state at the time as assessed by Talisrion himself, not to mention the total lack of shipping between Jessvillia and Corrigible since that route started being served by hovercraft due to, as the illustrious ur-Archpriest Nithi Kirenion so accurately said in his prospectus for the hovercraft network, "ships not working for that route [between Northern and Western Absentia], because half the time the ocean is frozen, and icebreakers are slow and expensive."As you know I am a busy man and business is blooming so I put him on the first ship to La Roche-Derrien, only later I discovered that I still had the quadrotor. It looks like a brilliant piece of engineering but I am unsure how to operate it, can you please send an instructor?
3. Because a known-to-be-insane individual claims to have placed a priest on a ship that does not exist, and because that priest and his pilot both had orders to return to Corrigible via the most convenient route, ie the quadrotor specifically granted them for this purpose, and because Nayyi Talisrion is in fact safely in Corrigible, we conclude that he in fact took the quadrotor back as planned.
In the investigation of this case, it was noted that the "strange but true" section of a daily newspaper in La Roche Derrien, Batavia, reported a cat washing ashore clinging to a piece of driftwood. It seems possible that Barentsz-Edward, in his madness, placed a cat upon a piece of driftwood and believed he was placing the priest upon a ship to the Benacian mainland?
4. A different quadrotor prototype, HN-1052 based in Tala, piloted by Turi Kviltin, was sent to collect Simon Barentsz Edward and bring him to Tala. Had there been a stray quadrotor in Northern Absentia, a second pilot would have been sent to collect it at this time. As the Paladin records reported no such quadrotor, no such pilot was sent. Kviltin-mai did not report either seeing a quadrotor or meeting Vernus Bront, who is by all accounts safely back at the Corrigible base.
Like HN-1030 and all other complete quadrotor prototypes, HN-1052 was a two-seater, having room for one pilot and one passenger, as was made clear in the somewhat rudimentary quadrotor specifications released to the public
In this case Barentsz Edward was the passenger, but he appears to believe there were several others, including at least "three of his caribineers". This report need not remark on the impossibility of fitting five people - the pilot, Barentz Edwards, and three followers - into a two person copter. We suspect that the other three passengers were hallucinatory, and further suspect that Barentsz Edward has no sane memory of any Raikothin quadrotor or its design.
5. At 7:53 AM Elwynn Standard Time, 19 Syanephir 4946 ASC, Simon Barentsz Edward arrived in Tala under heavy guard and was immediately taken to an audience with the Archpriest. The Archpriest was unsatisfied with his answers and asked for him to be held in Fort Yaanek (number 7 on this map) under close surveillance while his final fate was determined.
At 10:51 AM Elwynn Standard Time the same day, Barentsz Edwards claims to have attempted to sell the quadrotor, leading to its eventual "purchase" by Tarjei Einhornssen. This would reuire Barentsz-Edwards to have conducted an illegal auction of Raikothin government property from a jail cell in the middle of the highest-security military complex in a society obsessed with close surveillance without this being noticed or remarked upon.
Further, Tarjei Einhornssen is the Minister of Peace and Kinetics for West Elwynn, a state which has just accused Simon Barentsz Edward of trying to murder their head of state. Einhornssen's most important job at this point would appear to be to bring the fugitive to justice, and in fact several officials in the Elwynnese military have expressed the possibility of starting a war with Shireroth, risking countless deaths and possible full scale apocalypse, to do exactly this. Nevertheless, Einhornssen apparently believed it was not a breach of professional conduct to pay this man 600 erb for some helicopter parts.
The Shining Garden wishes to reassure the world that its jail cells do not, in fact, have free Internet and telephone access, although, like Elwynn, we do allow prisoners paper and pen. Needless to say, and once again relevant to "society obsessed with close surveillance", we do read letters sent by prisoners.
6. Paladins guarding Barentsz Edwards' prison cell intercepted a "fruitcake" sent by his "dear old aunt" which, when investigated under x-ray, proved to be hollow and contain a letter from his men in Absentia. The letter read:
Several things about this letter stand out. The first is that no Hyperborean soldiers were ever dispatched to Northern Absentia; most of the Paladins continue to be engaged in humanitarian expedition to Antica. The Shining Garden placed the responsibility for restoring order in Absentia upon the people of Ursa Borealis. The Archpriest's communication records show that the Viscount of Ursa Borealis was only beginning to consider forming a team to recapture the island around the same time the fruitcake was intercepted. Northern Absentia is currently under Ursa Borealean quarantine and no attempt to land troops on the island has yet occurred. Had Ursa Borealis in fact attempted to retake the island, it is implausible that a few caribineers could have fought them off.We are writing you to inform you that we have removed the quadrotor the priest left from Northern Absentia. As per your instructions we have fought off the Hyperborean soldiers who attempted to regain it, we have lost several men, you would remember Rik Grootvis fondly. We have partially disassembled the quadrotor and placed it on two fishing trailers which we boarded as well along with sixty of our best soldiers. We hurriedly left Shirerithian waters and contacted the UNV Tektor which escorted us to Frystekapp, Normark. After we handed over the quadrotor we were welcomed into the private residence of Herr Einhornsson himself, he has also invited you. When you are able to escape Tala please join us here, we will hold a funeral ceremony for Rik, we have stored his body in the larger trawler's freezer.
The carabineers then claim to have "partially disassembled" the quadrotor. The ability of common soldiers under severe time pressure to take apart a piece of complicated military techonology - which is, remember, like a very complicated helicopter - beggars the imagination. They then divided this apparent mass of quadrotor pieces they had produced onto two fishing trawlers which were able to rendevouz with the Elwynnese fleet, despite the Raikothin military being on a state of heavy alert to prevent exactly such a situation (see point 6 here).
Further, these caribineers claim to have rendevoused with a ship called "the UNV Tektor". A quick look at the fleet deployment plans published in the Elwynnese newspapers make it clear that this ship does not exist. Two of the ships in the Elwynnese fleet were Tektor-class, but if there is any ship called the Tektor itself, it was not among them. It seems unlikely that these caribineers had any first-hand knowledge of the Elwynnese fleet.
This non-existent Tektor was then said to have calmly and unmolestedly left Absentian waters and returned home to Normark, again despite the very specific orders of the Raikothin military to avoid exactly this. Although no military is perfect, this report believes with high confidence that our forces would not miss a large portion of the entire West Elwynnese Navy appearing in exactly the area they had been told to look for the West Elwynnese and doing exactly what they had been told not to let the West Elwynnese do.
This same non-existent Tektor then proceeded to - while continuing to be a giant battleship! - navigate the treacherous Straits of Lindley despite the season and the latitude involved, and finally dock in Frystekapp, a Normark city which, the MCS map makes clear, is surrounded by sea ice and has no port. Of note, the specifications of Elwynnese Battlefleet 1 do not include icebreakers.
Finally, these men, who are exactly the men whom the Elwynnese navy has been ordered to bombard Northern Absentia in order to bring to justice and quite frankly probably just kill, were then feasted and dined in the private residence of the head of the Elwynnese navy. No one in Elwynn thought there was anything remotely unusual or untoward about this.
7. In summary, to credit Barentzs-Edward's story, we must believe the following:
That first, the Priest of Beauty did not return home to Corrigible on the quadrotor specifically dispatched for that purpose. And that the pilot inexplicably left the quadrotor empty and disappeared, returning to Corrigible by means unknown.
That the priest then returned not via the hovercraft network that handles nearly all the personal transportation in this area, but via a ship that does not exist, through a strait generally considered impassible.
That the Shining Garden mysteriously did not notice the loss of this quadrotor and made no attempts to collect it when they had the chance, and that the second quadrotor pilot dispatched to Northern Absentia also somehow missed it. That this second quadrotor pilot then took Barentsz Edward and three other people back with him to Tala in a two seat aircraft.
That upon being placed in a heavily guarded prison cell in Tala, Simon Barentsz Edward then somehow conducted a world-wide auction among Micras' top military conglomerates without his prison guards noticing, and was offered a large sum of money by the commander of a military that has in fact sworn to hunt him down and wreak vengeance upon him for his crime. That he then somehow communicated the result of that auction to his men in Absentia.
That these men then disassembled a highly advanced piece of military technology all by themselves at the same time as they fought off a group of better-trained, more numerous Hyperborean soldiers who somehow teleported there from Antica in direct contravention to their orders and to the laws of time and space.
That they then placed this magically-disassembled quadrotor into fishing boats that rendevouzed with the Elwynnese navy, which had sailed several giant battleships through Shirerithian waters containing a marked military base on high alert (Corrigible) without being noticed or intercepted. That these trailers then unloaded their contents into a battleship that does not exist, and that these caribineers boarded this battleship again without noticing that it did not exist. That this nonexistent battleship then left Shirerithian waters, again without being noticed or intercepted by several well-marked thousand-year-old military bases on high alert for exactly this sort of thing.
And that it then proceeded to returned to Normark through a perilous northern strait in the middle of winter. At long last, it successfully reached a city completely surrounded by sea ice without the help icebreakers. There, our sources were entertained at Tarjei Einhornssen's private villa, just as Einhornssen signed the order to bomb an island where they were not located in order to ensure their deaths.
Also, simultaneously and at the same time, and for no reason anyone can fathom, this same Elwynnese fleet has been ordered to launch an attack on Shirerithian territory, risking a war between two of the largest powers on Micras and untold thousands of deaths, to punish said territory for harboring a criminal who in fact it immediately banished, who is no longer there, and who in fact the head of this same punitive army has just conducted a lucrative business deal with this murderer and in fact paid 600 erb.
8. The Hyperboreans have been accused of idolizing rationality to the exclusion of other virtues. We have always denied these accusations before, but if this is what the rest of the world is like, we may decide to just roll with it in the future.
9. What is a more plausible explanation for these events? Our investigation suggests that quadrotor protoype HN-1030 successfully returned to Corrigible on the same day it left, with both Vernus Bront and Nayyi Talisrion aboard. We have a quadrotor with this serial number in the hangar, confirming this proposition. After this, we suggest two possibilities:
a) Simon Barentsz Edward, in his insanity, mistook some other object for a quadrotor, probably a random rock. He then went on to trumpet his possession of a Hyperborean quadrotor. Tarjei Einhornssen, hoping for a military victory to parade in order to support his campaign in Elwynn, decided to back this story in order to be able to claim to the electorate that he has successfully taken classified technology from the "enemy". If asked to exhibit the quadrotor, he will either show a mock-up, claiming that they were unable to repair the clumsy "disassembly", or exhibit a similar home-grown Elwynnese design.
b) Simon Barentsz Edward, who has always had ambitions beyond his small island, struck a deal with Tarjei Einhornssen long ago. The attempted murder of the Prince was part of a military coup attempt orchestrated by Einhornssen. Edward then feigned insanity to escape punishment. As before, he either has no quadrotor or has somehow managed to get his hands on a quadrotor other than HN-1030 as part of his preparations for this plan.
10. We apologize for previous reports that the quadrotor self-destructed. These were released in an attempt to test the Elwynnese government's response. Quadrotors do not in fact have a self-destruct function. The fire in an Absentian church was an unrelated event and has been put out.
11. The Queen of Night's Repentant Children is ordered to set sail for Northern Absentia. General Aedan Techanion is ordered to recall the One Hundred Eight Concentric Circles and related military assets except [CLASSIFIED from Antica immediately in preparation for re-deployment to Northern Absentia. No one will fire on the West Elw without orders but any first shot by the West Elw will be returned in kind without escalation.
Maybe something might proceed as foreseen, I dunno, it could happen.
ARCHPRIEST OF JOY
INLISKAVI GALINOMAI RAIKOTH