Four years agone, before the final trek through the desert to Zokat, the exploration group had watered at a river that seemed farther west than the west fork running to Ishalen. Now, after 2 days resupplying, Janistaar's group set forth on 1646.06.04 to explore for this river, if it were indeed not the west fork. The group travelled up the west fork for three days, then left the river to travel northwest to the mountain. They reached the mountain without finding a river, but Carlia then realized, according to her notes four years old, but a small error would have caused them to miss any river. The group then returned to the west fork, and then went west several days before turning northwest. On 1646.06.18, they discovered the new river.
The group then returned to Ishalen to resupply. With a month of rations, they went again to the new river, explored upriver to headwaters in the mountains, then explored downriver for several days, south beyond Ishalen. They then returned to Ishalen, reaching it on 1646.07.23.
The exploration party left Ishalen on the morning of 1646.07.26, with rations, manticore rations, and cram to last three months. They travelled upriver for two days, then went west across the desert toward the new river, keeping no campfire, for several of the party had magical light. On the third night into the desert, a jabberwock approached their camp, spotted from afar by Dawn. The group donned armor, but then hid, and the jabberwock passed them by.
Reaching the new river the next day, they travelled downstream for a week and a half, where they saw another river join from the other side. Continuing downriver, they reached the sea after a week and a half again.
Unsure whether they were on the south coast of Laratoa or on the great bay, the group debated whether further to explore along the coast. The Countess desired to conserve rations, to explore the other branch of the river, and said that on the return home, they might hire a ship which could travel the coast toward Zokat, identifying the mouth of the river. She made a stela from sand, inscribed with the date and with their names, that they might not mistake the river for any other.
Returning upriver and to Ishalen, they arrived on 1646.09.25. There they stayed for a fortnight, to recover from any ill effects of a month on cram, even with manticore rations. Noting that if the other branch of the new river led them far west, they might then travel to Zokat without returning to Ishalen, they decided to explore first the nearby mountain, visible to the southwest from Ishalen, which might be a promontory of a new mountain range.
Setting out again, the party again soon saw a jabberwock, this time from the river, from which they had camped two furlongs away. The jabberwock saw them, and attacked; the Earl cleaved it in half. The half with the head attacked still, but at length it was extinguished by the swords and arrows of the party.
The party continued, going to the new river, then approaching the mountain from the northwest and going around it widdershins. Their water ran low on the mountain's eastern extent, and they went east to the river that flows to Distar, and returned upstream to Ishalen.
They set out once again, travelling to the mountain's eastern extent, and continued widdershins around the mountain's many arms into the desert. Their water again ran low, but not before they thought they had completed the circuit. They went to the new river, replenished water, and returned again to Ishalen on 1646.12.08.
Yet again the group set out from Ishalen, this time to explore the unexplored branch of the new river, supplied with one month of rations, a fortnight of manticore rations, and a month of cram. From Ishalen, they went up the west branch of the river, then across the desert to the explored branch of the new river, which they followed up to near the mountain where they could cross.
They then went down the other bank to the river fork, then up the unexplored fork. At length the river and its bed passed the arms of the mountain into a valley unexplored on the Earl's previous trip; since they might never again return to these mountains, the group explored both arms of the valley. Being slightly closer to Ishalen than Zokat, they then returned to Ishalen along the mountains and rivers, arriving with two days of cram remaining. But one creature had they seen in the desert, a jabberwock from which they had hid.
With knowledge of both branches of the new river, the Earl decided to return home by way of Zokat, to which they travelled along the mountains, replenishing water at each river. In Zokat, they prevailed upon the merchant to whom the county traded meat to let them return on one of his ships to Milleton. With Carlia's wind spell, they could explore south along the Zokat coast of the great bay without disrupting the ship's schedule.
Three days' sail south of Zokat, they saw a town on shore, but did not land, as they knew not whether the town's people would be friendly. Four days later, they found an inlet which ended in shallows. The ship anchored and left them off on the south shore of the inlet, and they travelled east along the coast, to see if it was fed by the river they had discovered.
After two days' march, they did indeed find a river mouth, and also the stela that Carlia had made. They returned to the ship, and now knowing where the river emptied to the sea, they crossed the bay, sailing to Milleton directly. There the party disembarked, and crossing the county, returned to castle Janistaar on mid year's day, 1647.06.28.