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First Week

Flaurmont 1, AC 1016: Punitive Expedition Disembarks.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: A large armada, assembled to fight the Twaelar, sets sail from Thyatis City. Among it are volunteer contingents from Karameikos and Ierendi, equipped with magic items created in those nations over the last several months to fight the Twaelar. (See Th. 3, Th. 21; Fl. 11, Fl. 15.)
What This Means: Originally the fleet was scheduled to sail at the announcement of the opening of the shipping season. Getting the various contingents organised delayed things, however. For the Thyatian Empire, this armada, disembarking with great fanfare, is little more than a reconnaissance force. While the empire received support from the spellcasters of its neighbouring nations, its own powerful wizards (especially the Sclari) and clerical orders are working on a stronger response. This fleet is to test out tactics, and the losses it takes will not hurt the empire much, since the Ierendis and Karameikans were enlisted for the purpose of absorbing casualties. Many of the ships are fitted with curious bronze tubes connected to a large bellows.
What the PCs Can Do: Ierendis and Karameikans interested in fighting an undersea foe can go along for the ride.

Flaurmont 1, AC 1016: Treachery Discovered.
Location: Idris Tower, Forest of Lothenar, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: A messenger reaches the Temple of Idris in the Dead Forest of Lothenar bearing strange news about the Shadow Army's retreat in Geffron. When the high priestess of Idris tries to magically contact the Shadow Lord to hear a report on the military campaign, she finds out the Shadow Lord does not answer. After a few vain attempts, she deduces the Shadow Lord is either dead or is on another plane. A quick spell provides her with the information she desires: the Shadow Lord is no more on Mystara. The high priestess curses the Shadow Lord's treachery and immediately contacts the Onyx Ring, instructing them to take care of the military campaign against the elven crusaders in Geffron. (See Va. 9, Th. 19; Fl. 6, Fl. 10.)
What This Means: The high priestess did not expect the Shadow Lord to outright disobey her and abandon the quest she gave him. This is a major setback in his plans regarding the intruders in Denagoth and will have to be dealt with immediately, before it becomes serious. As for the Shadow Lord's punishment, she will assign one the undead vassalich will not forget for the next centuries to come.

Flaurmont 1, AC 1016: Elections in Esterhold.
Location: Republic of Esterhold, NACE. AS
Description: Elections are held today throughout the Republic of Esterhold. The theoretical procedure is the following:
Towns and cities of more than 500 elect one magistrate per 1,000 inhabitants, rounded up.
The capital has one more magistrate than a normal city of its size.
Villages under 500 or scattered families and communities elect 10 magistrates total.
In most instances the elections take place without any real trouble, and despite their obvious impracticality surprising few frauds or other problems are reported except maybe in the wildest and farthest edges of Blackrock and Anchorage. In Blackrock, Anchorage, Marlin and Southrock most magistrates are either Alphatians or Jennites who are supporters of Favian Vern, with only a minority of extremist Alphatians who favour the old ways and secessionist Jennites.
In Verdan, however, and to a lesser extent in the countryside of the other provinces, the situation is not as rosy: fraud seems to be massive, and yet worse, the results contrast alarmingly with those of the rest of the republic. Actually, the moderate Alphatians and Jennites are in the minority and many magistrates are secessionist Jennites of varied background, from the rare peaceful one to the ones aligned with former governor-now rebel leader-Talin. (See Va. 1; Fl. 3, Fl. 11.)
What the PCs Can Do: If PCs are well-know figures in Esterhold, maybe friends of Favian Vern's or part of the underground Jennite movement back then, they may make a try at becoming magistrates, and who knows, governors.

Flaurmont 1, AC 1016: Alphatia Claims the Sea.
Location: Confederate Capital of Ionace, NACE. AS
Description: Prompted by the various attempts of other nations to explore the sunken continent, the Alphatian Council adopts a resolution stating that the entirety of the Alphatian Sea is the property of the NACE and that further explorations will be regarded as trespassing, unless they are approved by the NACE first. (See Nu. 3; Kl. 11.)
What This Means: The NACE, which has already laid claim to the various land masses, no matter how small, that dot the Alphatian Sea-remains of the sunken continent-, and to the sunken continent itself-where they are exploring and constructing a new domed city-, has decided to extend its claim to the very sea. Since the descendants of the Followers of Air also regard the aerial zone as theirs, it thus means they claim everything in the Alphatian Sea whatever the element (air, water, land). However, the claim over the Alphatian Sea is more wish than fact.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1016: Council Baffled.
Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: The ruling Council of Darokin receives a surprise during their regular session; two goblinoids suddenly appear out of thin air!
After a brief moment of confusion, one of the goblinoids, a red-skinned orc, reveals peaceful intent. Addressing the council (via magicks worked by his hobgoblin companion), he claims to be a representative of Governor-General Tlatepetl of Orcland. Tlatepetl wishes to open diplomatic relations with the republic on behalf of his people.
The council is not sure what to make of this, and breaks for the day. They put the diplomats up for the night, and send out for representatives of the Darokin Diplomatic Corps to aid in the situation. (See Fl. 4, Ya. 13.)
What This Means: Tlatepetl has spent the better part of 1015 building his forces, and scouting nearby nations. His research has shown that his land is technically claimed by Darokin, and after consulting with his ally Khordarg, the pair decided that they might do well to open diplomatic ties to the nation.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1016: Lagrius Acts.
Location: City of Blueside, Kingdom of Lagrius, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: Queen Elenitsa mobilises the troops of 2nd and 3rd Lagrius Banners and has them march to the Notrion border. General Fredrix, commander of 2nd Banner, is appointed overall commander of the two divisions. Officially the matter is explained as a training exercise.
Siaron then contacts Corydon to inform him of the Lagrius troop deployment. She urges him to have his own troops rendezvous with her troops at the border and combine their forces to confront the mysterious troops. Though a bit surprised that Elenitsa knew of his deployment, Corydon agrees and dispatches riders to convey the change of orders to his troops. (See Th. 14, Th. 26; Fl. 11, Fl. 28.)
What This Means: Both Elenitsa and Siaron had become impatient at the lack of action from King Corydon. They were about to dispatch adventurers to the region, but an associate in Aaslin told them of Corydon's own deployment. Elenitsa sees this as an excellent opportunity to establish military relations with her neighbours. Likewise, Corydon sees this as the means to establish closer relations with Lagrius, hopefully to encourage future trade agreements.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs may find themselves hired to act as guides to the Lagrius troops.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1016: Treaty of Helskir Concluded.
Location: City of Helskir, Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and NACE, Isle of Dawn. SD
Description: After a week of tough negotiations to hammer out the details, the diplomats at Helskir finally reach an agreement.
Asteriela gets her wish-Helskir and Dunadale become members of both the NACE and the Thyatian Empire, under her and Zaar's rule. Heldun will have a small self-defence force commanded by King Zaar, but is otherwise to be a demilitarised area with no Thyatian or Alphatian garrisons. The Ostlanders gain the right to settle in Thyatian territories on the Isle of Dawn, becoming Thyatian citizens, or in Heldun, with the status of a "distinct society."
The trickiest issue was the eastern and southern Sea of Dawn. Thyatis agreed that the Alatian Islands could be "voluntarily incorporated" into the NACE, but demanded that the NACE allow Thyatis to "voluntarily re-incorporate" the Pearl Islands and Ochalea into the Thyatian Empire in exchange plus the right to a "Thyatian Quarter" in Aegopoli, Aegos. Thyatis also gained an exemption of import and export taxes in and out of NACE's territories for the next 5 years (renewable beyond that), as long as the goods transit through one of their common territories, either Heldun or the Aegopoli franchise [goods travel with no tax throughout the NACE anyway, so this is just the NACE discarding import/export tax on Thyatian goods at those ports. Ed.]. The border on the Isle of Dawn is fixed "for all time:" both Helskir and the NACE give up all claim to the disputed areas at the head of the island and the border of Heldun remains as shown on the maps for Helskir and Dunadale; the Thyatian emperor is granted control over the disputed territories to dispose of as he wishes. (See Th. 23, Th. 25; Fl. 3, Fl. 5.)
What This Means: Both sides believe they have gotten the better part of the deal. While on the surface the deal sounds better for Thyatis, the NACE gets Helskir and Dunadale neutralised and regains the Alatians without having to go to war for them. Though they gave some trading rights to Thyatis and accepted limits on the rights to tax that trade, the NACE needs someone to transport goods between their far-flung domains, and the Alphatians are too busy building their nation to undertake that themselves. They figure that within five years, they should be stronger economically and politically. They also believe it will be easier for them to "voluntarily incorporate" the Alatians into the NACE than it will be for Thyatis to regain control over the Pearl Islands and Ochalea-who are out of the area of effect of the Alphatian Artifacts thus not worth fighting over.
For Thyatis, Eusebius hopes to make the NACE economically dependent on Thyatian merchants and strengthen his nation economically, while maintaining territorial expansion on the southern continent. He believes the Alphatians are unlikely to interest themselves in trade anyhow, since they are likely to be distracted by the latest magical gizmo even five years from now. He has five years to make them rely on Thyatian shipping, and plans to make the most of it. Furthermore, the empire will corner the lucrative trade between the Alphatian Sea region and the Old World. And the Alphatians have underestimated Thyatian craftiness yet again, because Eusebius does have a plan to regain Ochalea and the Pearl Islands.

Flaurmont 3, AC 1016: Great Migration Amok!
Location: Mumlyket of Jhengal, Kingdom of Sind. OW
Description: The Great Migration of Hool begins an epidemic of raiding and looting in the western regions of Sind. Their attacks are rather strategically coordinated upon towns and villages known to be sympathetic to Sindhi rebels. The forces of Jhengal, overseen by agents of the Master of Hule, are prevented from assisting the inhabitants of the region from fighting back. (See Fe. 8, Am. 4.)
What This Means: The Master has found a use for the Great Migration, which loosely allied itself to Hule late last year. By carefully coordinating their raids on rebel outposts, he is able to free his own troops for use suppressing the revolt elsewhere in Sind.
The Great Migration happily raids the region, although Hool is quickly beginning to question his mission here in Sind.

Flaurmont 3, AC 1016: Governors Elected.
Location: Republic of Esterhold, NACE. AS
Description: The governors of the provinces of Blackrock, Anchorage, Marlin and Southrock are quickly reinstated into their functions by the assembled magistrates.
In Verdan however, though all the secessionist agree that they don't want to reinstate Governor Tristilia in her job, they are split as to who they should give her seat to, and the name of Talin does not rally a majority in the heated vote. After some magistrates actually start up a fight over the matter, the session is dismissed by Tristilia.
Favian Vern is startled by the results in Verdan and the subsequent inability of the magistrates to select a new governor, but, though worried, concludes that such is democracy. (See Va. 1, Fl. 1; Fl. 11, Fe. 13.)

Flaurmont 3, AC 1016: Ball in Helskir.
Location: City of Helskir, Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and NACE, Isle of Dawn. SD
Description: The day after the treaty is signed, the delegations celebrate with a lavish ball sponsored by King Zaar and Queen Asteriela. Thyatians and Alphatians dance together, and all seems well with the world. The festive mood is somewhat spoiled by unannounced guests, when two Heldannic Knights storm into the room announcing "you will pay for your disregard of our claims." Guards attempt to throw the knights out of the ballroom and detain them, but they immediately disappear. (See Th. 25, Fl. 2; Fl. 17, Fl. 21.)
What This Means: The goodwill between the Thyatian and Alphatian delegations is unlikely to spread throughout either empire, but Queen Asteriela and the diplomats involved have built strong ties of trust. In future conflicts-and nobody doubts there will be some-, this will be important in preventing either side from over-reacting.
The knights, on the other hand, showed up to assert their own claim to a piece of the Isle of Dawn pie. As followers of Vanya they were not exactly interested in diplomatic discussions (where is the glory in getting what you want by words?) but they don't want to be left out or forgotten. Their announcement done they vanished, returning to Freiburg via magic [the priestly spell succour. Ed.].

Flaurmont 3, AC 1016: When the Cat Isn't There...
Location: Fortress of Khuzey Hisar, Kingdom of Karsile, Hulean Empire. SC
Description: Understanding that the Huleans are totally disoriented by the Master's disappearance, Ustalam Banshybek and his nomadic troops launch a full-fledged attack against the empire. They run into the core of the Hulean military stationed in northern Karsile. The battle rages for days, but, in the end, the Huleans are forced to leave the ground to the nomads. (See Th. 28; Fl. 5, Fl. 7.)
What This Means: This is the first time that the Hulean territory is invaded in four centuries of the Master's rule. It tells how dependent on the Master the hagiarchy now is. It is also a good indication of the power held by Ustalam Banshybek and his nomads. They now control an empire stretching across the steppes of central Brun from the foothills of the Endworld Line to the northern limits of the Hulean Basin and from the forest of the Borean Valley to the Yalu River mid-valley.

Flaurmont 4, AC 1016: Celebrations in Littonia.
Location: Kingdom of Littonia, Arctic Plains. NW
Description: People all over Littonia celebrate the 1,144th anniversary of the founding of the modern kingdom of Littonia. Every town and city hosts parades by marching bands, and folk dancers put on shows for all to enjoy. Actors re-enact historical battles, and King Uldis VI makes a public speech in Gaudavpils, thanking the heroes of the nation throughout history for their efforts, and the Immortals for Their goodwill.
What This Means: This celebration happens every year on this date, and it commemorates the day Karlis the Unifier was crowned in Gaudavpils as first king of the reunified Kingdom of Littonia. The Littonians had a long history beforehand of being a divided people, and as a result the deeds of Karlis, including his victories in battle, are legendary among the people of this nation.

Flaurmont 4, AC 1016: Diplomatic Accords.
Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: The Darokin Council meets again with the ambassadors from Orcland. It is decided that before they are able to come to an accord on Orcland's status, a diplomatic mission should be sent to the humanoid region. The orcish ambassadors rail against the idea at first, but finally agree. A date is set for two months from today. With that, the ambassadors teleport away once more. (See Fl. 2; Ya. 13, Kl. 4.)
What This Means: The council is very unsure what to do with the Orcland situation. On the one hand, the region technically belongs to the republic. On the other hand, they have never been able to fully cleanse the region of its humanoid inhabitants, and it is not particularly wanted territory in any case. If this Tlatepetl turns out to be as sophisticated and organised as he appears, it might do the republic well to recognise his authority over the region, to be able to keep some sort of hand in things.

Flaurmont 4, AC 1016: The Knights Mobilise.
Location: City of Freiburg, Heldann, Heldannic Territories. OW
Description: Herr Wulf von Klagendorf, standing in the town square, issues a proclamation that from this day forward, the armies of Her Glorious Lady Vanya will mobilise to reconquer the lost territory of Oceansend, as well as suppress any rebel activities in the northern regions of Heldland. He gives orders to the landmeister to mobilise his troops, and issue a general call to arms. (See Fl. 19.)
What This Means: Herr Wulf is still strengthening his influence on the Heldannic Order since the return of the knights' clerical abilities in late 1015, with the successful conquest of the Milenian city-state of Polakatsikes in Davania. Now that the honour of the knights has been restored, Herr Wulf wishes to reclaim all lands lost since the loss of the knights' powers, including the city-state of Oceansend.

Flaurmont 4, AC 1016: First Horde Skirmishes.
Location: Border with the Badlands, Baronía de l Grande Carrascal. SC
Description: The goblin horde from the Badlands, united under Garok of the Flat Noses with the help of Birkko, a shaman of Karaash from the Black Bellies, is making forays into the gnollish barony and to a lesser degree into Cimarron. Long leg officers lead the gnolls into orderly, if ferocious, battles, but the more numerous goblins are also well-organised and break into smaller groups that get past the gnollish lines. (See Nu. 9, Va. 17; Ya. 16, Kl. 25.)
What This Means: Though Garok considers the Cimmarons as his main foes, Birkko managed to convince him that the gnolls, their former occasional allies against the humans, had to yield and join the horde first, and if Karaash wanted it, the way to rich plunders into human lands would stand wide open before them.

Flaurmont 5, AC 1016: Thyatians Prepare to Evacuate Aegos.
Location: Province of Aegos, Thyatian Empire, Alatian Islands. SD
Description: Following the Treaty of Helskir (which ceded Aegos to the NACE), the Thyatians begin emptying the island of the most important assets they have on Aegos. Of their bases, by far the most important (save perhaps for The Pit, which is unmovable) are the skyship yards located at Aegopoli. The most important components are dismantled and then packed into the last skyships built at these yards, and shipped back towards the Thyatian mainland, along with the engineers, mages, and workers. Installations not considered worth moving (mainly barracks and warehouses) are burned to ash to prevent the Alphatians from using them. Other bases are likewise abandoned, and Thyatian settlers who would prefer not to live under Alphatian rule, and possibly be enslaved, pack up to move elsewhere. (See Fl. 2; Fl. 12, Fl. 13.)
What This Means: The Thyatians have no desire to let key assets fall into the hands of the Alphatians. Particular attention will be paid to undoing recent efforts to repair The Pit, and Pittston itself will be treated just like the skyship construction yards.
What the PCs Can Do: Trusted Thyatians (only the exceptionally loyal need apply) might be hired to help escort the ships carrying the skyship construction installations to Thyatis. Other adventurers might find work helping Thyatian colonists settle elsewhere (most will be directed to the Isle of Dawn by the Ministry of Colonisation). Sticky-fingered types might try to find ways to profit from the chaos of evacuation.

Flaurmont 5, AC 1016: Temple Destroyed.
Location: City of Edairo, Kingdom of Thothia, NACE, Isle of Dawn. SD
Description: In the city of Edairo, a lesser temple dedicated to the Immortal Rathanos partially collapses unexpectedly during a ceremony. There are dozens of casualties, and the structure sustains serious damage. Investigations reveal that sabotage was involved-the mystic order of Thothia is suspected. (See Th. 12; Kl. 4, Fe. 5.)
What This Means: This was not the work of the mystics, but of the werespiders who have infiltrated the mystic order. This is yet another event that is intended to drive a wedge between the peoples of Thothia.

Flaurmont 5, AC 1016: More Mice to Dance.
Location: Fortress of Yüksek Hisar and Town of Gölayan, Kingdoms of Karsile and Birgidir, Hulean Empire. SC
Description: Surprised by Ustalam's bold move into the Hulean territory, Rehmin has no choice but to slam in the arena too, even if some of his important troops are still held in southern Azardjian and Sardjikjian. Pouring out of southern Dvinzina and from the Chengouch's lands, hordes of mountaineers flood the Hulean defenders of the mining city of Gölayan, but are held in check around the Yüksek Fortress. (See Th. 28, Fl. 3; Fl. 7, Ya. 11.)
What This Means: Rehmin cannot leave the initiative to Ustalam in the race against Hule. He needs to penetrate as fast as his competitor into Hulean territory and if possible, impede the northern nomads' progression. This is yet another stage of the competition between Ustalam and Rehmin.

Flaurmont 6, AC 1016: Race for the Crown: Won and Lost.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: After a search lasting several years, Thyatian scholar Flavius Nucius Justinius uncovers the lost imperial treasure vault today [see Race for the Crown in Joshuan's Almanac. Ed.], beating out his rival Grimm, who has yet to announce any discoveries. The lost vault was found beneath a disused imperial palace structure in the Zendrolium quarter of Thyatis City. A large amount of ancient gold and platinum bars are unearthed, along with statuary, jewellery, gemstones worth a fortune, arcane swords and other relics, some of strong enchantment. But no Imperial Crown. (See Fl. 10, Am. 18.)
What This Means: The site is heavily guarded, more so as it lies within the city's military district. The government claims the discovered treasure, because it is imperial property (simply "misplaced"); the money will help improve Thyatian finances somewhat. Justinius will put the best face possible on his achievement, but in fact he is proven wrong: the crown was not where he expected to find it. Kept secret are the presence of a series of catacombs and chambers hidden behind secret (and warded) valves connected to the lost vault. These facilities honeycomb the earth under the Zendrolium, and were used for a variety of purposes during earlier centuries before being forgotten.
What the PCs Can Do: Stalwart, loyal Thyatians might be hired to explore the newly discovered chambers.

Flaurmont 6, AC 1016: The Onyx Ring Reports.
Location: Idris Tower, Forest of Lothenar, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: The Onyx Ring informs the high priestess about the current situation in Geffron after interviewing the survivors and seeing the situation firsthand in the past days. The treachery of Sylarion becomes obvious and the high priestess reckons that the elves have gained a great advantage by swaying the Shadow Lord's undead legions. The Onyx Ring proposes to solve the problem as quickly as possible before the snow thaws and the elves start securing their hold on the forest and advise the high priestess to use Idris' Children to resolve the matter. The high priestess acknowledges and gives order to awaken the slumbering children. (See Th. 19, Fl. 1; Fl. 10, Fl. 20.)
What This Means: The high priestess wants the situation back in check before spring's end and the Onyx Ring has had the right idea. Idris' Children have not been used in a mass combat up to now, and the unlucky elves will have the opportunity to test their awesome powers really soon. So far, nobody knows about their existence except for the high priestess and the Onyx Ring, so they will be a total (and nasty) surprise for everyone.

Flaurmont 6, AC 1016: Ambassadors from the North.
Location: City of Freiburg, Heldann, Heldannic Territories. OW
Description: A small group of three emissaries arrive in Freiburg and demand an audience with Herr Wulf. They hail from the distant nation of Qeodhar and have a military proposal for the high priest. The audience is held in a private meeting room where the emissaries negotiate a military alliance with the knights for the upcoming conquest of Norwold. While the knights are conquering the southern lands, they will march on the northern edge of Norwold and raid its countryside, blocking the Great Bay to stop Ericall's fleet. Later they will join forces to crush the Norwold Barons once and for all. The Qeodharans assure Herr Wulf that their leader, Kjavik Norlan, has some secret aces up his sleeve and he will play them to cause the downfall of Ericall and his loyalists. After that, they will take the lands touching the Great Bay, while the knights will hold power over the whole southern Norwold. Herr Wulf demands a day to think on the proposal. (See Fl. 7.)
What This Means: This is but the first step in an Immortal plan that will cause great turmoil in Norwold. Talitha, the Alphatian Immortal of Mischief and Treachery, is behind these ambassadors. Seeing the knights are about to march on Norwold again, She seeks the opportunity to give Alphaks a chance to get a revenge on those Norwold Barons and heroes who have so far hindered His plans of destruction. She has thus sent Her followers masquerading as Norlan's ambassadors to get the knights and the Qeodharans involved in the war on the same side. But there is more behind this that She has not yet revealed.

Flaurmont 7, AC 1016: Clash in Farend.
Location: Town of Farend, Kingdom of Qeodhar, NACE. AS
Description: Small groups of youths run about the city streets today, angrily calling for Baron Norlan's abdication, and more autonomy for the northern and eastern communities of Qeodhar. Some of them overturn merchants' stands in the main market, while others skirmish with the city watch. Several hoodlums are arrested, and the remainder are scattered by shows of force. (See Ya. 19, Ya. 23.)
What This Means: While Baron Norlan has been posturing in the international arena, he has been ruling his domain with an iron fist. While the Alphatian residents in the larger towns have been largely unaffected, Norlan's policies have been very hard on the Antalian-descended communities on the northern and eastern coasts. Many of them are taxed heavily, on top of being treated as inferiors. A sense of frustration and anger has been building for years, and now things are reaching a breaking point.
The Antalian inhabitants of Qeodhar once ruled the island, which they named "Ystmarhavn." Centuries ago, the Alphatians conquered the island, and many Ystmarhavners were scattered throughout the empire to work as slaves and as conscripts in the growing Alphatian armies. Through all of this, they have never forgotten that they once ruled the island, and many still hope that one day they may do so again. This situation is made worse by the attitudes each side has-the Alphatians see the Antalians as inferiors, while the Antalians view the Alphatians as oppressors.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are working for Norlan, the PCs may find themselves trying to subdue the rioting Antalian youths, or investigating what is going on. This could lead them to discover the history of Ystmarhavn-which is largely unknown to most people today-and possibly to see their employer in a different light.

Flaurmont 7, AC 1016: Heldannic-Qeodharan Alliance.
Location: City of Freiburg, Heldann, Heldannic Territories. OW
Description: Herr Wulf von Klagendorf, High Priest of the Heldannic Knights, formally signs a treaty of alliance with Baron Norlan of Qeodhar for the upcoming Norwold War. However, both parts agree to keep their alliance secret in order not to give away their battle plans and catch the enemy by surprise. Herr Wulf immediately begins to assemble the army and the navy for retaking Norwold. (See Fl. 6; Fl. 8, Fl. 19.)
What This Means: Herr Wulf has reasoned that even if the Qeodharans do not have a great army to put on the battlefield, they can be an annoying pain in the rear for Norwold and they could cause Ericall's forces to split up to fight on two fronts. This could only be beneficial for the knights, so he deemed the Qeodharan proposal worth and signed the treaty. Unfortunately, Herr Wulf didn't commune with Vanya to ask Her opinion on this matter before taking this decision, and Lady Vanya, unaware of Talitha's plan, didn't warn Wulf either.

Flaurmont 7, AC 1016: Die Hard with a Vengeance.
Location: Temple of Greatrealm, The Dark Wood, Hulean Empire. SC
Description: The Master reappears in Greatrealm after a week of absence. He is however not fully aware of the deteriorating situation in northern Hule, and does not accept to receive his advisers. At the opposite, he boards his flying barge and commands its undead crew to set sail west. Advisers and high-ranking military cannot but look with astonishment to the departure of their leader. (See Th. 28; Fe. 13.)
What This Means: The Master has decided to get rid of the adventurers who destroyed his earlier corporeal manifestation. He strongly suspect the Zuyevan Czar as being the sponsor of the adventuring party, and he has decided to settle the question personally. This also means that the Huleans won't be able to reorganise soon; in fact, many will grow desperate as they see the Master's perceived desertion as one of the worst omen for the empire.

Second Week

Flaurmont 8, AC 1016: Corwyn Linton Speaks.
Location: City of Athenos, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: After several weeks of unconsciousness, the priests tending Corwyn Linton finally manage to bring him around. Although he is still very weak, he wishes nothing more but to extract revenge on his attackers. He tells to the assembled merchant lords, priests, and members of the DDC that the criminals were unmistakably assassins. They struck the Lintons first, trying to kill them, rather than being caught in the act. It seems they only wanted to make it look like a botched robbery to throw off the investigation. Furthermore, at least one of them seems to have been from Minrothad, as he gave instructions to the others in the patois of that nation. The council withdraws to ponder this revelation. (See Th. 7, Th. 21; Fl. 13, Fl. 22.)

Flaurmont 8, AC 1016: Norlan Receives a Visit.
Location: Town of Farend, Kingdom of Qeodhar, NACE. AS
Description: A group of three Heldannic Knights arrive in Farend aboard an anonymous sailing ship and demand an audience with Baron Norlan. They offer him a military alliance with the Army of Vanya in the following conquest of Norwold. The baron is asked to bring in his best men and raiders to terrorise northern Norwold and to block the Great Bay while the Heldannic Knights will march on the southern provinces. If the war goes as planned, the Qeodharans will be given the northern part of Norwold while the knights will claim the southern holdings. The ambassadors also assure Norlan that he will be receiving help from unexpected allies when the time will be right. Norlan immediately accepts and signs the alliance with the knights, beginning to organise an invasion troop. (See Fl. 6, Fl. 7; Fy. 16, Fy. 26.)
What This Means: Baron Norlan has been fooled by other false ambassadors sent by Talitha. He was blinded by the promises of power, honour and great conquests made by the false Knights and immediately agreed, wanting to show all the northern barons, but especially the NACE, how powerful Qeodhar can be. He dreams of freeing Norwold from Ericall's yoke and to establish himself as the new High Lord of the North. All the future preparative work to assemble the army will be made secretly to avoid arousing the NACE's suspicion and having it spoil his war plan.
Meanwhile in Doomgard, Alphaks and Talitha feast for the great success of the first stage of Their plan.

Flaurmont 8, AC 1016: The Elven Crusade Begins.
Location: Lands of the Gentle Folk. HW
Description: Elves of Shiye-Lawr and Foresthome arrive in Gentle Folk territory. Accompanying them are clerics of Alphatia and Koryis. The group is greeted casually by the Gentle Folk. (See Fe. 28, Sv. 12.)
What This Means: The arrival of the elves is part of the perceived need to make the Gentle Folk more like normal elves. The clerics are present to keep the Alphatian elves from overstepping the restrictions of the Gentle Folk's patron Immortals.

Flaurmont 9, AC 1016: Heldannic Spies Report.
Location: Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Territories, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: The first reports from the spies Wolfgang Stemmel dispatched to Mivosia arrive today. They provide an overview of the city-state's layout, the apparent size of its army, the state of its defences, and a rough overview of the political situation. They also note that Mivosia appears to be bolstering its defences even more. Wolfgang is intrigued that Mivosia is apparently ruled by a triumvirate, two of whom serve in the military. He sends quick notes to all of his spies, urging them to find out more, and he issues orders to his officers to increase the number of drills for the troops. (See Va. 15, Va. 21; Fl. 26, Am. 7.)
What This Means: Wolfgang realises that Mivosia, with a very large army and formidable defences, would be a very difficult opponent on the battlefield, but he also knows that, if the knights defeat them, they could win even more glory for Vanya. With its repressive regime, Mivosia is bound to have discontented people within its borders, and these people could perhaps be used to the knights' advantage at some future date. Knowing that conflict is likely, Wolfgang has decided that his knights could benefit from some extra training.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are trusted advisers to Wolfgang, then they should be present when he receives the messages. If they are spies in Mivosia, the PCs could very well have sent the notes themselves.

Flaurmont 10, AC 1016: Reward and Punishment.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: In a ceremony in the imperial palace, Flavius Nucius Justinius is honoured for his discovery of the treasury relics and rewarded by the emperor who places Justinius in charge of an expedition to study ruins in the Hinterlands. The senate grants the University of Tel Akbir several of the non-magical artifacts, along with an imperial endowment and charter [see Joshuan's Almanac, p.232, Sviftmont 1. Ed.]. The university establishes a department of antiquities. (See Fl. 6, Am. 18, Am. 22.)
What This Means: Being sent to study ruins in the Hinterlands is more a punishment for failing to recover the crown than a reward, at least in the eyes of an ivory tower academic like Justinius. But it is also an opportunity for Justinius to redeem himself.
What the PCs Can Do: Digging around in old ruins in the Hinterlands is guaranteed to be a dangerous job. Scavenging in old ruins is what PCs do best. Characters interested in the intellectual side of dungeon looting would make good additions to Justinius' team.

Flaurmont 10, AC 1016: The Awakening.
Location: Forest of Lothenar, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: Deep inside secret underground compounds in the heart of the Dead Forest of Lothenar, the Onyx Ring begins the magical process of awakening the Children of Idris, a race of powerful beings that are the pride and joy of the Church of Idris. The creatures rise from their crystal alcoves with renewed strengths and ready to receive orders from the holy messengers of their Great Mother Idris. (See Fl. 1, Fl. 6; Fl. 20, Fl. 22.)
What This Means: The Children of Idris is a secret project the Church of Idris and the Onyx Ring have been conducting since the conquest of Essuria. The destruction of the Forest of Lothenar and the extermination of their elven inhabitants have been two important steps in the creation of these beings. In their veins runs draconic and elven blood which makes them a new dangerous species on Mystara. The Onyx Ring is literally "manufacturing" these beings using the blood of the dead Lothenar elves and dragon eggs as the two primary ingredients. Currently only some two hundred children exist in Denagoth, but they are created at the rate of five individuals per year (the process is highly magical and very difficult, and the Day of Dread's after-effects do not help). The Church of Idris is convinced that they resemble the utmost perfection in the eyes of their deity and will soon start to preach the conquest of the known world under the children's guidance when the time is right.
For now these incredibly tough, intelligent and quick predators have the task to defend Denagoth against its enemies, and so now they have been called to duty. The dragon-knights (as the Onyx Ring has nicknamed them) will soon teach the elves not to underestimate the power of Idris.

Flaurmont 11, AC 1016: Successor to the Khan?
Location: Plain of Grass, Ethengar Khanates. OW
Description: Kadan, Khan of the Kiyats, requests to meet with his son-in-law, and heir to the leadership of the Kiyats, Manghai Khan. No one is present for their private meeting, but when Manghai exits Kadan's yurt, he announces his father-in-law's death. The news comes as no surprise to anyone, as Kadan's health had been failing him recently, and he was not expected to live out the winter.
Manghai announces that the Kiyat tribe is no more; they are all to be united forevermore as Murkits. This news is met with mixed greetings by the assembled clan leaders. (See Nu.1, Th. 8; Fl. 16, Am. 11.)
What This Means: Manghai appears to be consolidating his rule over the tribes, but in actuality, he is no longer Manghai Khan. Jaku the Render, an evil spirit who formerly possessed the body of Kadan Khan, is now in control of Manghai (whose soul is trapped on the Spirit World). Jaku has been plotting for many years to take over the Ethengars, and is finally in a position to succeed. If his plans go through as he wishes, he will unleash chaos upon the Old World.

Flaurmont 11, AC 1016: Armada Clashes with Twaelar.
Location: Sea of Dread, near Thanegioth Archipelago. OW
Description: After sailing south and establishing a series of bases on some of the smaller islands in the Sea of Dread (now claimed for the Thyatian Empire), the imperial armada battles with the Twaelar. The Twaelar strike at night and initially things go well for them. However, they are surprised by their opponents' ability to fight, strengthened as they are with water breathing apparatus and spells, and fortified with weapons specially made for undersea combat. Among the weapons used by the Thyatians is a caustic, viscous substance that sticks to what it hits and is ignited by contact with water, burning even when submerged. This substance, water fire, is the creation of imperial alchemists (who keep the formula secret from even the empire's allies). Water fire is expelled through bronze tubes mounted on the ships using a system of siphons. Smaller, hand-held versions are fuelled by tanks worn on the backs of individual warriors. Though the Twaelar sink many ships, the humans don't simply founder around in the water and drown: they fight back, and do so effectively. By dawn the battle has ended, with the fleet sailing away from the Twaelar, who decide not to pursue. Some Twaelar equipment is captured. (See Fl. 1; Fl. 15, Ya. 3.)
What This Means: Both sides have taken heavy casualties, but this is the first time that is true for the Twaelar. While the battle is a qualified victory for them, the costly victory comes as a shock to them, accustomed as they are to easy wins. Water fire is a substance similar to Greek Fire, but less volatile and more caustic. Though not a magical substance, protections like fire resistance provide only a partial defence rather than full immunity. It is less prone to accidental ignition than Greek Fire.
The hand-held water fire projectors prove to be a mixed blessing at best, igniting several of the users accidentally; in the future the armada will only use them in desperate situations. Thyatis will stop making them, but will try to find ways to improve them and make the device reliable-not all experimental weapons live up to expectations.

Flaurmont 11, AC 1016: Governor of Verdan.
Location: City of Faraway, Province of Verdan, Republic of Esterhold, NACE. AS
Description: After a week of unsuccessful meetings and altercation, Tristilia of Gaity is restored into her position of governor of Verdan when three secessionist Jennites finally cast their vote in her favour. (See Fl. 1, Fl. 3; Fe. 13, Fy. 18.)
What This Means: Though the moderate magistrates rejoice at their comrades' wisdom in rallying their view, the other secessionists are furious at their brethren's betrayal. Rebel leader Talin especially vows to not quit the field until the Jennites have ousted every last Alphatian from their ancestral lands, and violence soon resumes.

Flaurmont 11, AC 1016: Troops Converge.
Location: Kingdom of Notrion, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: After days of riding, the troops of Lagrius and Notrion meet well within Notrion lands. The troops make camp for the day before heading west into the area that the mysterious troops are believed to be. As they camp, the two kingdoms' commanders discuss the operation and establish who is in overall command. Neither Tahort nor Fredrix will submit their troops to the authority of the other, so it is finally agreed that the two military forces will remain under their own command but will act in unison. (See Th. 26, Fl. 2; Fl. 28, Ya. 1.)
What This Means: The two bodies of troops meet remarkably close to where they had planned thanks to constant magical communication of the forces' mages. With his larger force, Fredrix feels that he should be in overall command but since the operation is taking place within Notrion, Tahort feels it is only right that he be in overall command. Not wishing to cause unneeded problems they decide against an overall commander.

Flaurmont 11, AC 1016: Rogue Commanders.
Location: Randel/Bettellyn Border, Floating Continent of Alphatia. HW
Description: Three Bettellyn border towns are raided by Randel soldiers billeted at the series of border forts known as the Randel Line. Though a variety of goods and property is pillaged and damaged, there are few casualties. (See Kl. 9, Sv. 4.)
What This Means: After assuming her father's throne, Queen Junna decreed that the raids into Bettellyn were to stop. Like many of her "weak and pacifist" decrees, this one has done little to endear her to her militarist populace. Frustrated, several of her commanders have taken their own initiative and organised the first raids into Bettellyn in over a decade. Despite an absence of them in the last ten years or so, the Bettellyn living along the border are used to such raids. Word is sent abroad that the raids have begun anew and the border towns strengthen their defences.

Flaurmont 12, AC 1016: Sablestone Bandits.
Location: Village of Estin, Principality of Sablestone, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: A horde of bandits pours out of the Kurish Massif today, raiding the village of Estin. The town militia is hurriedly assembled, but seems at a loss to deal with the more organised raiders. Suddenly, a lone rider, clad in black armour, manages to rally a few capable men to fight back. The rest of the militia quickly forms around these warriors, and under the direction of the black rider, the bandits are driven off into the mountains.
In the aftermath of battle, the rider is revealed to be none other than Ludwig von Hendriks, the Black Eagle and hero of the war with Ethengar. He is heralded by the villagers, who throw a celebration in his honour. A few days later, he meets with Prince Harald Haaskinz, who personally thanks him for his efforts. Rumours abound that the vindictive Pieter Vandehaar, Baron of Oxhill, may have been behind the bandits. (See Nu. 15; Fe. 9, Am. 10.)
What This Means: In truth, the bandits were hired (indirectly) by the Black Eagle and his allies among the Followers of the Claymore. The whole event was staged in order to make the Black Eagle look good. The "few capable men" were actually members of the followers who "conveniently" happened to be in the area to take orders from von Hendriks.

Flaurmont 12, AC 1016: Death in Aengmor.
Location: Canolbarth Forest, Colony of Aengmor, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW
Description: Ranalfir, youngest son to Halfanel of Halfanel's Haulage Co., is found dead under mysterious circumstances in south-western Canolbarth. Ranalfir and his guards arrived in Rafielton a few days ago from the City of the Stars escorting a shadowelf merchant.
There are no clear clues to who may have killed Ranalfir. Shadowelf officers suspect the many monsters that still haunt Canolbarth, but they do not discard the hypothesis of some business rival, for example Raffainfar of "Pilots & Guides," hiring a killer to dispose of Ranalfir. (See Th. 20; Ya. 7, Kl. 3.)
What This Means: Actually this has nothing to do either with monsters or business. It was the Alfheim Avengers that ambushed and murdered Ranalfir while he was taking a tour of the forest. The avengers took care not to use slashing or piercing weapons, in order to disguise the murder as a monster attack. This is the first of a series of murders aimed at spreading terror in Aengmor. In the following months more shadowelf merchants, businessman and government people will be subject to similar attacks.

Flaurmont 12, AC 1016: Burrower on the Loose.
Location: Kingdom of Aegos, NACE, Alatian Islands. SD
Description: Violent tremors are felt throughout the island of Aegos, further increasing in intensity as the day advances. Those tremors seem to be coming from The Pit, despite the fact that all work on it has ceased since the signature of the agreements between Thyatis and the NACE earlier this year, which transfers control of Aegos back to the Alphatians. Governor Francesca Egidio orders her remaining troops to leave the area of The Pit and head for the ships awaiting them to depart a bit earlier than expected. Late in the afternoon, a dreadful beast emerges at The Pit, which collapses just after its passage. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 5; Fl. 13, Fl. 16.)
What This Means: Wastoure, the evil Antalian wizard who has been trying for years to free a powerful burrower from its slumbering state, decided to put the transition between the Thyatian presence to the Alphatians' to good use. But he didn't take into account the new Floating Continent of Alphatia's effect on the Spell of Preservation, and was not aware of the new tunnels dug out by the Schattenalfen last year to mount their assault on the City of the Stars. He quickly understood that he had not freed his burrower, but some other entity, possibly another burrower, and promptly left the island.
The beast is indeed a great annelid. It is not as powerful and intelligent as the one Wastoure was aiming at, but with burrowers even the least dangerous kind is still terribly deadly. Anyway, after millennia of magical sleep it is very hungry and furious, longing for destruction and killings.
Governor Egidio, sensing trouble, wisely decided to speed up the withdrawal from Aegos. The Thyatians are not aware of the level of danger they are facing, though.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were working on The Pit-with or without official sanction-they may witness Wastoure's attempt at freeing the burrower. In that case they will probably be the only ones to know who really summoned the fiend-a knowledge that both Thyatians and Alphatians will be seeking. Unless the PCs quickly understand the upcoming danger from Wastoure's swift departure, they may well be on the first line when the burrower emerges. They will likely be forced to flee like the Thyatians, even if they are high-level heroes, though this may become a quest for Master-level PCs on their road to immortality.

Flaurmont 13, AC 1016: Unlikely Saviour.
Location: City of Latehar, Mumlyket of Kadesh, Kingdom of Sind. OW
Description: Maharajah Hara Rudraksha frees Sitara Rohini and her daughter from the clutches of his father, Maharajah Kabir Rudraksha of Kadesh. He manages to escape his father's clutches and take her back to his mumlyket of Peshmir, where his own forces have risen up against the Hulean regime. (He had disappeared from the palace lockdown mysteriously not long ago.) (See Th. 14, Th. 19; Fl. 21, Ei. 3.)
What This Means: Kabir Rudraksha, patron of the buraiya cult that kidnapped Sitara, had been keeping the prophetess captive in his palace. His son Hara was aware of this due to connections he maintains with his father's organisation. Ever since Sitara brought his daughter back to life in AC 1012, Hara has felt benevolently disposed towards her and the followers of Gareth. Rescuing her from his father's clutches was the least he could do for her.

Flaurmont 13, AC 1016: Fence Arrested.
Location: City of Corunglain, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: The Corunglain city guard arrest Quint Bostitch [see GAZ11. Ed.], a burglar and fence who tried to sell jewellery belonging to Linton House. Authorities in Corunglain send a message to the Inner Council. Natalie Kalimi, head of Corun House (headquartered in Corunglain) personally visits the arrested fence and promises him a reduced sentence if he describes in detail where and from whom he got the Linton jewellery. Quint tells that he fenced it from a dark-haired elf only a week ago and gives the seller's detailed description. Immediately, search parties are dispatched in various parts of the country in an attempt to catch the elf. (See Th. 21, Fl. 8; Fl. 22, Ya. 2.)
What This Means: The elf, Authrael, was one of the assassins from Minrothad. He is a freelance thief, hired by the assassins due to his knowledge of the area (the fact that he knew the layout of Linton Manor from time spent there while running a previous scam was also important). A professional thief rather than assassin, he followed his usual method of selling off the jewellery in other cities where the Linton House is not as well known.
What the PCs Can Do: Darokinian characters may be involved in the arrest and questioning. Conversely, Minrothaddan characters would have an interest in thwarting the investigation (especially if they were involved in the assassination), and may be sent to make sure that Quint and Authrael are silenced... permanently.

Flaurmont 13, AC 1016: Burrower Pursues Withdrawing Thyatians.
Location: Kingdom of Aegos, NACE, Alatian Islands. SD
Description: The Thyatian military in Aegos are attacked by the burrower while heading for the ships that will carry them back to the mainland. Not anticipating an attack, the Thyatians suffer heavy casualties before they regroup and make a fighting withdrawal. Before two days, all will have taken to the sea. Fortunately, the great annelid does not follow. (See Fl. 5, Fl. 12; Fl. 16, Fl. 17.)
What This Means: When the powerful tremors announcing the arrival of the burrower Governor Francesca Egidio wisely decided to hasten the evacuation of the island. The burrower caught up with the withdrawing Thyatians anyway, but fortunately most of them can escape the beast's new island-lair unscathed.

Third Week

Flaurmont 15, AC 1016: Armada Anchors off Isle of Dread.
Location: Isle of Dread, Thanegioth Archipelago, Sea of Dread. OW
Description: The Thyatian Armada limps into anchorage at the village of Mora, making contact with the islanders to reprovision, recover from the battle with the Twaelar, and establish a base. The fleet's personnel outnumber the islanders, so there is no resistance. The Thyatians lay claim to the Thanegioth Archipelago and establish a base for battling the Twaelar. This base, and others like it, will be resupplied and supported via air and magic for now, while the seas are still unsafe. (See Fl. 1, Fl. 11; Ya. 3, Ya. 17.)
What This Means: The Thyatian presence on the islands will be peaceful and diplomatic, but they will leave no illusions about who is in charge. Eventually, the bases (especially on the larger islands) may grow into full-fledged colonies. For now, Thyatis does not explore or attempt to occupy the entire Isle of Dread, just the settled peninsula, centring their administration around the base at Mora. For the most part they leave the islanders alone, and no one on official duty ventures beyond the wall at Tanaroa.
What the PCs Can Do: This is an opportunity to dig out the old module, X1 Isle of Dread, and play it through if you haven't already. After all, adventurers are not always on official duty...

Flaurmont 16, AC 1016: Old Dunbar Inn Burnt Down.
Location: Town of Woodgate, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: Many citizens of Woodgate are suddenly awakened in the middle of the night by a big explosion coming from their town's square. When the guards arrive, they see the Old Dunbar Inn completely ablaze and immediately start trying to extinguish the flames, helped by the local fire-fighters and by many citizens. At dawn, after hours of hard working, all that remains of the bürgermeister's inn is a blackened series of trunks and walls. Nobody was injured since the inn was a historic monument, but the guards suspect arson at the hands of the Alfheim Avengers. (See Th. 27; Fl. 19.)
What This Means: The Old Dunbar Inn was the common meeting place of the Human Rights Movement and its historic importance derived from the fact that it had been the residence of Dunbar Anvaldsen, first bürgermeister of Woodgate and local hero (and also founder of the movement). The Alfheim Avengers clearly wanted to hit the humans in their most sensitive spot, much like they tried to do with their assault at the Tree of Life, and it seems they succeeded.

Flaurmont 16, AC 1016: Tribal Split.
Location: Plain of Grass, Ethengar Khanates. OW
Description: Manghai's news of the merger of Kiyat to Murkit has not gone over well. Finally, a clan khan, Duttai, has gathered to him enough Kiyats of like mind that he stages a rebellion. Kiyats are pitted against Kiyat and Murkit alike, as they attempt to overthrow Manghai Khan.
Manghai was prepared for this, and the Keshak (Manghai's personal bodyguard) turns on the rebel Kiyats with deadly intent. Duttai and a few hundred Kiyats manage to escape onto the plains, where they will surely cause trouble in the future. (See Th. 8, Fl. 11; Am. 11, Ka. 28.)
What This Means: More unrest in the khanates, as the tribes are squabbling for leadership.

Flaurmont 16, AC 1016: Alphatians Land On Aegos.
Location: Kingdom of Aegos, NACE, Alatian Islands. SD
Description: The Thyatian fleet leaving Aegos spots the Alphatian fleet approaching the shores of the island at the port of Aegopoli, ready to move in as per the Helskir agreement. The Thyatian commander is surprised by the size of the Alphatian armada, which includes ships, skyships and submersibles. (See Fl. 12, Fl. 13; Fl. 17, Fl. 20.)
What This Means: The Alphatians have used the opportunity to show off a bit to the Thyatians, assembling as many troops as they could and then using Broderick's artifact to make them appear twice as numerous as they really are. Broderick prefers to give the Thyatians that kind of subtle message rather than just relying on peace treaties.

Flaurmont 17, AC 1016: Royal Meal.
Location: Confederate Capital of Ionace, NACE. AS
Description: While on their first official visit to Ionace since the application of the Treaty of Helskir, King Eruul Zaar and Queen Asteriela Torion are savagely attacked by a party of monsters. Before they can react, their bodyguards are lying dead from a half-dozen bugbears in ambush, and the monsters creep toward the royal couple, claws and teeth ready to strike. Zaar draws out his sword but before he can slash at the approaching monstrosities he is hit by an as-yet hidden enemy, and two trolls quickly close in and bite at his flesh, feeding off the helpless king. Queen Asteriela fires a deadly spell, but a bugbear picks up Zaar's sword and barely misses her, while two others rush forth and topple her down. As the bugbear raises his sword to deliver a lethal blow, Asteriela has no other choice but activate her ring of gaseous form and flee, leaving her already partially devoured husband behind. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 3; Ka. 2, Ka. 3.)
What This Means: This event was orchestrated by Baron Norlan, though it was only half successful. Norlan despises the agreements signed between the two empires, and thought it would be a good idea to kill the rulers of the united kingdom of Helskir and Dunadale. Not only would this leave the newly-forged dominion headless and prone to chaos, but it may pit the two empires at odds, and maybe at war, as Thyatis would blame the Alphatians for the death of the rulers, especially since one of them is of the imperial family. Besides, he reasons this will also prove helpful to the Heldannic Knights, his powerful allies in Norwold, though he does not publicise to them that he is behind the assassination.
It remains to be seen if his plan will work anyway, or whether Asteriela alone can handle the ramifications of the peace agreement.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are adventuring in the "biggest dungeon of the world" they may stumble upon the royal couple being attacked. If they act swift enough they may utterly change the outcome of the battle, with all diplomatic consequences it implies. If they succeed, they will gain the gratitude of the rulers of Heldun and the enmity of Baron Norlan. Alternatively, the PCs can be hired as investigators by Asteriela, by the NACE Council or by a Thyatian spy to determine who organised the assassination.

Flaurmont 17, AC 1016: Fake Pouch.
Location: Eadrin Island, NACE. AS
Description: After weeks spent trying to uncover the secrets of the legendary Pouch of Winds captured from the Monster's lair, the power researchers of the Alphatian Artifact Agency finally figure out why they couldn't muster the artifact's power while a mere lowlife could: the pouch is a fake! (See Nu. 16, Th. 8; Ka. 16.)
What This Means: The Monster of the Low NACE, when he was forced out of his lair during the latest Alphatian campaign, left a prize behind for the Alphatians: the Pouch of Winds. However, it was actually a mundane pouch with a permanent magical aura, purposely left behind to put the Alphatians on false tracks, while the real pouch remained in the Monster's possession.
The trick worked even better than expected as the Alphatians had created an agency for that very purpose, and they gleefully fell to it. This incident not only encourages the agency to be more careful in its researches, but also leads to the creation of a new branch, the Retrievers, whose goal is to retrieve lost or stolen Alphatian Artifacts. This branch is a secret one, and most retrievers are always out on their mission to find clues about the whereabouts of artifacts.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs can become retrievers for the agency, and go artifact hunting. Alternatively, only one PC in a group can be a retriever, and use the group as a cover for his true mission, maybe even using them as muscle in an attempt at retrieving an artifact. The PCs may also be hired by retrievers to retrieve an artifact from a dangerous location for them, though it is unlikely they will ever find out who their employers really are or what the item they brought back really was.

Flaurmont 17, AC 1016: Burrower Attacks Alphatians.
Location: Kingdom of Aegos, NACE, Alatian Islands. SD
Description: The Alphatians have barely disembarked on the soil of Aegos that they have to cope with the attack of a huge monster. Thanks to the already-activated artifact they are able to stand their ground, but using its fear power proves futile. After some losses the Alphatians are able to fully disembark and dig in, and the beast retreats further inland. (See Fl. 13, Fl. 16; Fl. 20, Fl. 27.)
What This Mean: The Alphatians were attacked by the burrower, recently set loose by Wastoure.
Commander Broderick is concerned that the beast seems oblivious to the power of his artifact and to the enhanced blades of his best men. He suspects the Thyatians of having summoned an extra-planar monstrosity from the Pits [or Abyss. Ed.] before leaving the island, an unpleasant departure gift indeed.

Flaurmont 17, AC 1016: Helena Returns to Thyatis.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Helena Delanarius returns to Thyatis today, and is greeted by several senators. In a private meeting, also attended by the emperor, she outlines the details of the Thyatis-Kastelios Accord of AC 1016. Several senators voice their discontent concerning the outcome, saying that such a small nation as Kastelios should have been cowed by Thyatis, and it certainly should not have got the better deal. Throughout this meeting, Eusebius remains silent, speaking only to request clarifications of the details of the treaty. Once the meeting ends, Eusebius departs, but not before thanking Helena for her efforts. (See Th. 4, Th. 14; Fl. 18, Kl. 20.)
What This Means: Eusebius realises that the Kastelians are far more adept at negotiating than previously thought. He knows that Helena is among the best Thyatian negotiators, but clearly the Kastelians are even better. Although he is not happy with the outcome, it is far better than losing more colonists on the Sea of Dread. Thyatis will accept the treaty, but it is clear, judging from the reactions of some of the senators, that the empire may try to renegotiate at a later date.

Flaurmont 17: The Queen is Dead... Long Live the King!
Location: City of Leminster, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC
Description: Queen Catherine dies of an unspecified ailment. The court clerics are at a loss to explain her death, but her illness has been long suspected. A number of recent royal functions have been cancelled and the excuses that the palace attachés have made have not been widely believed. The funeral is set down for Flaurmont 22 and the crowning of Queen Catherine's first born son, Prince James, as King James II is set down by tradition for two weeks after the death of the former monarch. (See Va. 2; Fl. 22, Ya. 3.)
What This Means: Queen Catherine was a just and capable ruler who did much to advance Bellayne as a nation. High aspirations are also held for James II but palace insiders are not sure that he is ready to rule.

Flaurmont 18, AC 1016: Thyatis Accepts the Treaty.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Proclamations are read throughout the city that the Senate has ratified the Thyatis-Kastelios Accord of AC 1016 and Emperor Eusebius has granted Imperial assent to it. A secure route to the Hinterlands has been established. The public's attitude towards the announcement is neutral, but supportive. (See Th. 14, Fl. 17; Kl. 20, Fe. 18.)
What This Means: This is a calculated move by Eusebius to show the public that Thyatis will triumph over its adversaries, hopefully boosting morale. Rumours have been spreading for weeks about the losses at sea to the Twaelar, and he knows that something must be done to combat them. Few people know where Kastelios is, though anything that sounds like a solution to the Twaelar problem is bound to divert people's attention from the problem. This will also allow Eusebius to boost flagging enthusiasm for colonisation.
The more imperialistic elements of Thyatian society will not be pleased with the outcome, and the Kastelian embassy will receive a few anonymous threats because of this.

Flaurmont 19, AC 1016: The Bounty.
Location: Town of Woodgate, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: Thoric Anvaldsen, current human bürgermeister of Woodgate, puts a "dead or alive" bounty on the heads of all Alfheim Avengers in the territory of Woodgate. This causes Ledyriel, the elven bürgermeister, to protest his indignation first to Anvaldsen and then to King Gylharen, commenting the bounty as "a cheap way to mistreat all elves in this nation." King Gylharen promptly replies that the bounty is perfectly legal and that the avengers shall be prosecuted in the whole Wendar territory from now on. However, he adds, the avengers will have to be captured alive. (See Th. 27, Fl. 16; Fl. 26.)
What This Means: The Human Rights Movement obtained a major success with Gylharen's approval of the bounty. Now they have the opportunity to closely check and abuse all Alfheimers with the only excuse of suspecting them to be in league with the avengers. The Alfheimers and the Genalleth elves are ashamed at this decision and will surely react badly. King Gylharen on his part, fed up with the Alfheimers' incapacity to stop the avengers, decided to give the humans an opportunity to solve this matter by themselves. He still thinks the situation is not desperate and can be kept in check if he acts quickly.

Flaurmont 19, AC 1016: Trouble Ahead
Location: Kingdom of Notrion, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: Mounted scouts return to the main body of Notrion and Lagrius troops to inform General Tahort and General Fredrix that they had seen a walled settlement two days march away. When asked about the particulars, they respond that they had not gotten close enough for detailed information due to the settlement being surrounded by open farmland but they estimate that the settlement holds about 500 people. Both generals agree to march to this settlement to carry out their orders. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 11; Fl. 28, Ya. 1.)
What This Means: After several weeks of hard marching, the troops have drawn within striking distance of the forces that slew the mage Tarkoman and his entourage. The scouts' report confuses both Tahort and Fredrix as they had expected an encampment with pickets, not walled battlements surrounding a settlement. That the settlement boasts crops growing about it also puzzles them. Regardless, they decide to continue: with a small population the inhabitants should be easily subdued.

Flaurmont 19, AC 1016: Knights Arrive in Landfall.
Location: City of Landfall, Heldland, Heldannic Territories. NW
Description: The soldiers on duty atop Landfall's walls are heartened today to see a great fleet of ships, bearing the black lion of the Heldannic Knights, sail up the coast towards the city. As the hours pass, no less than twenty ships are counted, each apparently loaded with battle-ready knights. Onlookers stop to stare at the spectacle, as the first ships dock at Landfall's harbour and the troops disembark. Soon, a great host of knights, numbering about 4,000 in all, is gathered outside the north gate of Landfall, after triumphantly parading through the streets of the city.
In a rousing speech to the gathered throng, Herr Wulf exhorts the knights to be fearless in battle, and to avenge the disgraces heaped upon the Heldannic Order by the string of recent defeats at the hands of Oceansend and rebels in the north. Promising them no less than complete victory against all who would defy Heldannic rule within Heldland, Herr Wulf directs his gaze northwards, and shouts the command to march. (See Fl. 4, Fl. 7; Fe. 2, Fe. 8.)
What This Means: Herr Wulf has assembled a formidable force of knights, all of whom have been told on the way to Landfall that they are about to participate in a great drive to reassert Heldannic dominance in the north of Heldland. By the time they arrived in Landfall, many knights have already become strongly devoted to this latest military excursion.
Herr Wulf has made this last speech to bolster morale even more.

Flaurmont 20, AC 1016: White Wolf Outed?
Location: Village of Galadyl, Principality of Erewan, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: Wolves attack an elven village along the Red River in Glantri. Though suffering heavy losses, the village militia manages to drive off or slay most of the wolves, through a combination of arms and elven magic. When tallying the dead, afterwards, it is discovered that a number of the attacking wolves were, in fact, lycanthropes. Moreover, one of the dead lycanthropes is identified as Gerard Deguerrand, seneschal to Prince Malachie du Marais. (See Va. 13, Th. 17; Ya. 1.)
What This Means: Gerard was the brother of Claude Deguerrand, a former spy in the employ of Prince Malachie. A werewolf like his brother, Claude died in service to Malachie years ago, due to slow silver poisoning. Viewing Malachie as being responsible for Claude's death, Gerard vowed revenge. His plans were assisted when Malachie appointed him his seneschal as a placating gesture. Gerard eventually came into contact with Les Loups de la Guerre, and joined their ranks; thus it was that he attracted the attentions of Synn.
Synn carefully plotted this latest manoeuvre, making sure that Deguerrand was slain during the attack. She hopes to draw even more attention to Malachie du Marais and his lycanthropic principality.
It seems to work, too. Within days, rumours that Prince Malachie may indeed be the legendary White Wolf abound throughout Glantri. More and more, the lycanthrope problems are being laid at his doorstep. Even worse, Princess Carlotina Erewan and her elves will be looking for someone to blame for their latest problems. It seems du Marais has achieved yet another enemy on the Council of Princes.

Flaurmont 20, AC 1016: A Clash in the Woods.
Location: Keep of Drax Tallen, Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: A small warband of elven crusaders perlustrating the area surrounding Drax Tallen is suddenly attacked by a group of strangers wielding swords and shields without any armour. The skirmish is a fierce one and the strangers prove to be skilled swordsmen as well as incredibly quick and resistant to the elves' blows and magic. The commander of the warband orders retreat when more than half of the squadron has succumbed to the strangers' attacks. The attackers do not pursue the fleeing elves.
Once inside Drax Tallen, they immediately report to the generals, telling them the only distinctive symbol they saw on the strangers' garments was a black dragon with open wings-the symbol of Idris. Generals Durifern and Beasthunter order a whole squadron of elves to go outside to look for the intruders. Beasthunter will lead them inside the forest of Geffron, and a few lesser undead will also come along. The squadron not only is incapable of tracking down the mysterious attackers, but they also are not able to recover the elves who fell in the skirmish. It seems they all vanished as if teleported away. Beasthunter concludes they must be facing some kind of skilled warmages and returns to the keep to plan countermeasures. (See Fl. 6, Fl. 10; Fl. 22, Fl. 23.)
What This Means: The dragon-knights (aka Idris' Children) wanted to test the elves' might, so they staged a small ambush to force them into close combat. They discovered the crusaders are not that difficult to beat, and thus retreated once the surviving elves fled for Drax Tallen, taking along with them the corpses of the fallen elves. They are fully aware, however, of the undead creatures lurking inside Drax Tallen, and their battle plan will have to take those into consideration as well.
What the PCs Can Do: Meet the dragon-knights in duel and maybe manage to take down one or two to study them and ruin the surprise factor the knights are counting on.

Flaurmont 20, AC 1016: Pit Investigation.
Location: Kingdom of Aegos, NACE, Alatian Islands. SD
Description: The Alphatian military fight their way to The Pit of Aegos, only to find it collapsed. Surveys reveal that it is destroyed beyond repair. (See Fl. 16, Fl. 17; Fl. 27, Ya. 8.)
What This Means: Commander Broderick's suspicion that the Thyatians left but a poisoned gift is becoming obvious to him.

Flaurmont 21, AC 1016: Father and Son.
Location: Mumlykets of Kadesh and Peshmir, Kingdom of Sind. OW
Description: Maharajah Kabir Rudraksha declares war on the mumlyket of Peshmir, and mobilises his forces for an assault on the neighbouring region. Responding in kind, Hara Rudraksha begins fortifying his mumlyket for the attack, and continues to root out any remaining Huleans in Peshmir. (See Th. 19, Fl. 13; Ei. 3.)
What This Means: The battle between father and son has a long history. The elder Rudraksha wanted to use his son merely as a means by which he could expand his mumlyket of Kadesh to include Peshmir. The younger Rudraksha formerly wanted the same, but his cold heart has been touched in the past few years and his ambitions seem to have been curbed somewhat.
The rescue of Sitara Rohini was the last straw for the elder Rudraksha, and he now seeks to destroy his son and take his territory by force. Ultimately, this comes as a loss to Hule, as their greatest northern ally Kadesh is now involved in a personal vendetta, and will not assist the battle against the other northern mumlykets.

Flaurmont 21, AC 1016: Envoys in Westrourke.
Location: City of Newkirk, Archduchy of Westrourke, Thyatian Empire, Isle of Dawn. SD
Description: Following the conclusion of the Treaty of Helskir the Thyatian diplomatic team makes a stopover in Westrourke to meet with Archduke Firestorm. Over the next several days Vivianna Romanones and the archduke discuss Westrourke's relationship with the empire. The meetings are held mainly in private between the Thyatian diplomats, Firestorm, and his advisers. After the first meeting ends Thrainkell is seen stalking off to his private quarters, his face a mask of purple rage, while the Thyatian emissary remains the picture of calm confidence. Following the second meeting the next day, the archduke is pale and shaking with shock, the Thyatian envoys again untroubled. The third such meeting finds both parties in seemingly happy agreement, and it is announced that a public statement will be made the next day.
The following day, in a ceremony held in the audience chamber of the archduke's palace, Thrainkell Firestorm surprises everyone present by announcing his immediate abdication as archduke, presenting the lands of Westrourke to the Thyatian Empire as sovereign. The court is further shocked when Vivianna Romanones, speaking in the name of the emperor, appoints Thrainkell Lord of the Exarchate of Westrourke which will consist of all the lands of the former archduchy, plus the disputed areas at the northern head of the island. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 3; Fl. 25, Fy. 11.)
What This Means: When the Thyatian envoys arrived, Firestorm was not happy to greet them, as he was enraged that the emperor had claimed for himself the disputed territories which he coveted. When Romanones presented a plan to formalise and cement the ties between the empire and Westrourke, which would limit the independence of the archduchy, Firestorm left in a rage. Romanones called a meeting the next day to explain and smooth over differences, which the archduke attended with smug self-assurance. His composure crumbled as she made a stunning presentation, outlining in brutal detail, all the schemes of the archduke and his father, all their ambitious plotting to betray the empire and gain independence over many years, and all his secrets up to the present. Though the details themselves were irrelevant now, Firestorm was astonished at the fact that an imperial agent knew all his dirty secrets. It was what she said next that broke his will however, as she described in careful, calm terms how the emperor's agents had control over key sectors of the archduchy's economy and government. When Thrainkell left the meeting, he quickly confirmed that what Romanones said was true: over the last couple years, Eusebius had infiltrated Westrourke so completely that Thrainkell was archduke in name only.
The last meeting was merely a formality: Thrainkell was at the emperor's mercy, and he knew it. The emperor, on the other hand, was in a position to be generous. The empire's authority over Westrourke would be strengthened but it would be given special status within the empire, as an exarchate [outside realm. Ed.], similar to Heldun, with Firestorm appointed to administer it (though in a non-hereditary office). As the new exarch Firestorm will have wide latitude in administering the internal affairs of his lands, but be compelled to follow Thyatis' foreign policy. The exarchate will collect all land and head [income. Ed.] taxes, but all trade taxes and commerce will be regulated and controlled by the empire, as well as 20% of the total gross taxes collected by Firestorm. The exarch retains a policing and defence force, but the military of the region (imperial legions and auxiliaries raised in Westrourke) ultimately falls under the command of the imperial government. All Thyatian citizens within Westrourke were guaranteed their rights, and Westrourke continues to receive representation in the senate. Ostlanders can settle within Westrourke if they become Thyatian citizens, giving up their Ostland citizenship. Finally, to soothe his pride, the exarch was also given the right to administer the former disputed territories.
What the PCs Can Do: Thrainkell will certainly be hiring people to find out how the imperial agents infiltrated his government so thoroughly and found out so much that they should not know.

Flaurmont 21, AC 1016: Black Dreams.
Location: Town of Schwarztal, Duchy of Ossian, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Descriptions: The Black Duke of Ossian tonight receives strange visions from his patron Alphaks, telling him to assemble his troops and minions and prepare for an imminent war. The duke is also told that he will be given a special weapon to use in this war, although Alphaks makes no reference to its exact nature. The duke immediately arranges for his troops and new conscripts to be called to arms. He also begins to send minions to the other nations of Norwold to hinder them or to buy their loyalty when the time will be right. (See Fy. 8, Fy. 9.)
What This Means: In his rush to put Norwold in complete chaos, Alphaks informed His most important minion in Norwold to prepare for the coming war. He has thereby started His own plan to cause chaos inside the enemy's lines and to make things easier for the invading force. However this could be a faux pas, since the spies Ericall placed in this shady dominion south of Alpha could report the duke's sudden moves to the king thus arousing suspicions, provided they are able to escape the well-patrolled domain.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are loyal to Ericall, he could ask them to spy on the Black Duke and his troops to discover the real strengths he can muster and possibly his real intentions.

Fourth Week

Flaurmont 22, AC 1016: The Heroes' Challenge.
Location: Keep of Drax Tallen, Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: In the middle of the night, an individual donning the same garments as the strangers who attacked the elven crusaders only a few days before is spotted a few hundred yards in front of Drax Tallen's main gate. He seems to be carrying a white flag and demands to talk to the elves' highest-ranking official. General Beasthunter answers him from the keep's battlements and orders him to surrender. The stranger merely laughs back and issues his challenge:
"Hear ye, foreign invaders of the Holy Land of the Great Mother, that we will not leave you unpunished for your crimes. I am here to announce your fate has been decided by the Great Mother, and that you will soon meet your doom at the hands of Her children.
"However, we are fair and honour the daring ones, so we want to give you one chance to prove your worthiness and live on. We thereby challenge you to meet in a champions' duel that will decide your fate: the winner will live and stay and the loser will go away, not to return until next winter. Five of you against five of us, this is our challenge. We shall meet on the morrow at this very place.
"I, Mekisander of Dulas, have spoken."
After ending his statement, the stranger slowly turns his back to the keep and walks away inside the forest. General Beasthunter immediately stops the few elves who are ready to throw a volley of arrows in the enemy's back with a gesture of his hand. He stays quiet for a few seconds, then smiles and turns to his men saying:
"I think we will have a pleasant stay here, don't you think?" (See Fl. 10, Fl. 20; Fl. 23, Fl. 25.)
What This Means: The dragon-knights thought this to be the only way to beat the elves without losing too many of them. They know the crusaders and their undead allies are more numerous (at least ten times their number); even though the elven soldiers are no match for them, they could lose half their members if a full-scale battle would be staged. Also they do not know exactly how the more powerful undead's powers would affect them, and so they preferred not to run many risks. By issuing a challenge they were fairly sure the elves would not refuse, since they are a proud and stubborn lot. The dragon-knights are clearly superior to them in one-to-one combat, as they have shown in their first encounter, and so now want to exploit this situation to the most profit. Also, by placing the duel at dawn, they avoid the risk of having to fight against the undead.
The elves on their part reacted as predicted: Beasthunter could not let the challenge fall, it would be a matter of honour. And besides, seeing how the strangers butchered his men in the previous skirmish, he thought to take the best decision by accepting the challenge, since an open battle could have cost them the keep and the whole mission. Also, not knowing exactly their foes' number, he thought wise to accept a not-so-dreadful term (the loser will leave the forest). Beasthunter is sure the other high-ranking commanders and the keepers will back his decision. Now he must only select the other brave fighters that will join him in the challenge.
What the PCs Can Do: Volunteer for the final duel with the dragon-knights by showing Beasthunter their bravery and skills. This is a vital battle, so only high-level or exceptionally-skilled characters will be selected.

Flaurmont 22, AC 1016: Assassin Captured.
Location: City of Selenica, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: The elf Authrael is arrested at the city gates of Selenica when he tries to join a caravan heading to Karameikos. He is immediately transported to the capital and securely locked in prison, to await interrogation. (See Fl. 8, Fl. 13; Ya. 2, Ya. 5.)
What This Means: Communications work fast in Darokin, and policing is efficient when it comes to crimes against the merchant lords. The guards in Selenica arrested Authrael soon after they got his description.
What the PCs Can Do: Players might be involved in tracking down Authrael, which should involve cleverness. Authrael is an expert thief, and gifted in the arts of disguise and evasion and escape. Just bringing Authrael to Darokin City without mishap can be an adventure.

Flaurmont 22, AC 1016: A Theatrical Disaster.
Location: City of Starpoint, Kingdom of Ambur, Floating Continent of Alphatia. HW
Description: It is a sad night at the opera for patrons of the Drigallia Theatre. During a performance of the play "My Old Flaem," the theatre's balcony gives a shudder and collapses. Though there are numerous injuries, there are few fatalities. Rumours persist of sabotage. (See Ka. 13.)
What This Means: The theatre had suffered some severe "earthquake damage." The theatre owners and work crews had cut corners in their repairs. These structural deficiencies are the reason that the balcony collapses. Realising their folly, the owners quickly devise a rumour about sabotage to placate the injured patrons.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs may find themselves hired to investigate the collapse. Seedier PCs may be hired by the theatre owners to insure that the hired workers will not, or can not, divulge the construction shortcuts.

Flaurmont 22: Funeral.
Location: City of Leminster, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC
Description: In Leminster, the royal funeral procession proceeds through the streets of the Bellaynish capital. Huge crowds attend the procession-some 100,000 people line the streets to pay their respects (almost a quarter of the entire Bellaynish population and more than 3 times the population of the city). After the procession, a lavish service is held for the nobility in the Cathedral of Belbion (Vanya) in the centre of the city. (See Va. 2, Fl. 17; Ya. 3, Kl. 17.)
What This Means: The huge crowds demonstrate that Queen Catherine was a much-loved ruler.

Flaurmont 23, AC 1016: The Dragon Knights' Fury.
Location: Keep of Drax Tallen, Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: Shortly after dawn, the challengers' group arrives in front of Drax Tallen emerging from the thick forest. The elves see a band of 20 dragon-knights in parade cloth stationed in front of the main gate, waiting for the crusaders' champions to enter the field. The gate opens a few minutes after, and another group of a dozen people meets the strangers outside the keep. The battlements are crowded with elves anxiously waiting for the outcome of the battle. On the challengers' side, five people step ahead and introduce themselves as Idris' champions, the dragon-knights. On the elves' side, Beasthunter, Sylarion and three other powerful-looking elves return the greeting. The dragon-knights seem a bit taken aback when they see the vampire elf smiling under the sun, but they proceed with the duel. The champions will fight one against one all together, without help from the outside; the five ones who remain alive are the winners. The side who has more winners has won the challenge.
The duel begins with powerful magics being cast by the elves on themselves (since the previous encounter with the dragon-knights showed their high resistance to magic), while the dragon-knights charge their enemies. In close melee the Children of Idris seem to match the elves' champions, and the duel goes on for quite some time. Suddenly however, all knights sprout wings from their backs and fly overhead much to the elves' amazement. Greater is their awe when the five enemies unleash upon them their fiery and acid breath. The elves manage to survive thanks to their natural resistance to magical assaults, but they are clearly debilitated.
The battle rages on, but when the fifth victim falls dead to the ground, the outcome of the challenge is clear to everyone: three dragon-knights and two elves remain alive. The crusaders stare stunned at the scene while the dragon-knights seize their comrades' dead bodies and take them away.
"You have two days to pack your belongings and leave this place. If you do not honour your word, we will make you remember this as the greatest mistake in your race's history. And as you have seen, we have the means to keep our word." That said, the last of the Children of Idris quits the field. (See Fl. 20, Fl. 22; Fl. 25, Fl. 27.)
What This Means: The dragon-knights played their cards well and earned their victory. The elves do not have their stamina or their quickness and without their offensive spells to use against the knights, the odds were against them. Unfortunately Beasthunter and his peers overestimated their strengths, and this cost them their campaign.
However, the news coming from the Old World regarding Alfheim and the peace with the Shadow Elves make some of them view this defeat more like a boon than a bane. This way they will finally have the chance to abandon this accursed place and return to Canolbarth, forgetting the crazy idea of taking over Denagoth from the Shadow Lord's minions.
What the PCs Can Do: Fight side by side with the most famous and powerful elven heroes and teach the dragon-knights their place in the world. However, it will be highly unlikely that the PCs will win, since the Onyx Ring members (who are secretly overseeing the event) will do everything to insure their champions' victory.

Flaurmont 24, AC 1016: Enough Is Enough.
Location: Town of Alinquin, Kingdom of Dawnrim, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: Receiving word of yet another sacking of a Dawnrim village, King Teskilion sends messages to both the NACE Council and Queen Gratia of Surshield to report a series of recent raids upon his people from bordering Surshield. Teskilion demands action or he will be forced to take matters into his own hands. (See Th. 20; Ya. 6, Ya. 13.)
What This Means: Teskilion is extremely angered by the two brutal raids and he plans to do something about them. Not wishing to be rash, he sends the dispatches to the NACE and Queen Gratia with hopes that the message will cause Gratia to take care of the matter. If she does not, or can not, he has given them ample warning should he march troops into the border regions.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs loyal to Dawnrim may find themselves hired to perform some reconnaissance in western Surshield. Such a reconnaissance force will be advised not to engage the raiders unless it is absolutely necessary: Teskilion just wants to be prepared, not actually start a conflict between the kingdoms.

Flaurmont 25, AC 1016: Elven Crusaders Leave.
Location: Keep of Drax Tallen, Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: The elven crusaders exit Drax Tallen after sunset, marching slowly southwards. The morale is incredibly low and nobody dares to speak. The exodus leaves behind an empty keep that lurks in the shadows like a giggling white skull. The undead legions led by Sylarion accompany the crusaders silently, and their vampire leader seems to be lost in his thoughts, much like Durifern and the elven keepers. Beasthunter is also speechless, but his face shows only contempt and shame, and Coolhands' attempts to comfort him are utterly vain.
From the shadows of the trees, the Children of Idris look at the grim procession leaving their woods with cold eyes, while a couple of squadrons of the Shadow Army proceed to take possession of Drax Tallen once again. (See Fl. 22, Fl. 23; Fl. 27, Ya. 3.)
What This Means: The crusaders are finally coming back to Wendar after a year of military campaign in Denagoth that led them to conquer Drax Tallen and nominally all of Geffron. This defeat will probably make the elves' ambitions to found a new realm in this part of the world collapse forever. But somebody has not yet renounced to his personal plans...

Flaurmont 25, AC 1016: Firestorm's Proclamation.
Location: City of Newkirk, Exarchate of Westrourke, Thyatian Empire, Isle of Dawn. SD
Description: So far the newly minted Exarch of Westrourke has not found his new status too disagreeable. He has, in fact, come upon a plan to make it work for him. Firestorm announces a land grant policy: he will give away parcels of up to 160 acres in size in the former disputed territories to families of settlers, under several conditions. First, that the settlers come from outside Westrourke itself, but agree to become citizens [i.e. he is looking for new colonists, not transplanting current Westrourkites. Ed.]. Secondly, that they live on the land that is granted (no absentee ownership) for at least 5 years (they do not have full title to it until after that, and thus cannot sell it), thirdly that they make improvements to the land, consisting of at least one permanent structure (presumably, the settler's house) and put at least half the land to use (either farming it, or as grazing land, etc.). (See Fl. 3, Fl. 21; Fy. 11, Fy. 17.)
What This Means: Firestorm is looking to strengthen his nation, taking advantage of his freedom with regard to internal administration. Large areas of Westrourke are almost completely uninhabited, including his northern territories. Giving away unused lands costs him nothing, while the new settlers will pay taxes and develop economic resources to strengthen his land. Firestorm also finds himself strangely less ambitious than before and seems more content in his new role than those who know him would have expected. He turns his energies to building instead of plotting for independence and power.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can either try to claim some of the land grants themselves or, more likely, be approached by a family that needs help in undertaking the dangerous journey from its current home to the Isle of Dawn. Players familiar with the area might be hired to survey it. Also, the area is uncleared wilderness: settlers will need help from adventurers in clearing it of monsters before Firestorm's generosity can be successful. Inquisitive players may want to investigate Firestorm's sudden personality change: ambitious people don't usually give up so easily, or change so completely. Is he really a changed man? If so, why? Or is he just hiding his ambitions and schemes better?

Flaurmont 26, AC 1016: The Peacekeepers.
Location: City of Wendar, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: King Gylharen gives to a few selected and trusted officers the task of tracing and capturing all avengers currently hiding inside Wendar. He gives them full powers to enforce this law and calls this secret task force "the peacekeepers." They will report directly to General Grumman, who will then debrief him monthly of their discoveries. (See Fl. 16, Fl. 19; Ya. 21.)
What This Means: Gylharen took the matter of the avengers into his own hands by forming this secret police force devoted to this single task. He thinks the avengers are one of the major causes of the current unrest in his nation, and if he manages to eradicate it, he will probably have a better time putting things back in order.
What he does not know is that General Grumman, the appointed chief of this police force and the one who suggested this whole idea to the king, is in fact a member of the Church of Idris, and he will use this opportunity to break the Alfheimers' backbone.
What the PCs Can Do: They could be enlisted in this secret group to uncover the Alfheim Avengers' hideout. However, they will soon start to realise that their actions are becoming increasingly pushy and despotic with each passing day, and that this behaviour is authorised (and encouraged) by their chief. This could lead them to suspect him, maybe contacting Bensarian or Gylharen to inform them.

Flaurmont 26, AC 1016: A Grisly Warning.
Location: Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Territories, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: A cloaked messenger, carrying a small, sealed box, arrives at the town's gates today, saying that he has a message for the rulers of Polakatsikes. Intrigued, the Heldannic Knights guarding the entrance allow him to enter after searching him for weapons, and he is escorted to the Town Forum. Once in the presence of Wolfgang Stemmel, the figure presents him with the box, saying that it is "a gift from the illustrious triumvirate of the great city-state of Mivosia, as well as a personal message to you, ruler of Polakatsikes."
Wolfgang opens the box, which reveals the severed head of one of his spies in Mivosia. As Wolfgang orders those near him to detain the messenger, he tells the ruling knight in a pained voice that Mivosia will not tolerate the presence of foreign powers within its sphere of interest, and that one day the knights will be driven from the Meghala Kimata Plains. Sneering with contempt, Wolfgang tells him that no power save the will of Vanya will keep the Heldannic Knights from their appointed quest for conquest and the spread of their faith. With that, he orders his knights to kill the messenger at sunset. (See Va. 21, Fl. 9; Am. 7, Ka. 12.)
What This Means: One of the Heldannic spies in Mivosia was captured by the authorities, tortured for information, and executed. His head was sent back to Polakatsikes as a warning to the knights that the same fate awaits them if they stand in Mivosia's way. They realised that their messenger would likely be killed, so they had a political dissident, under a geas, deliver the head and the message to Wolfgang. The knights and the Mivosians are now in a state of war.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs, if they are present, could assist Wolfgang in planning for the conflict that is to come. Polakatsikes will need increased stocks of food to withstand sieges, bolstered defences, and it will likely need a defensive militia composed of locals, among other things. They will have their work cut out for them.

Flaurmont 27, AC 1016: Crusaders Ambushed!
Location: Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: On their way to the southern border of the Denagothian plateau, the elves are suddenly ambushed by the Children of Idris, the remnants of the Shadow Army, and the Elf Skull Units. The fierce battle that ensues is terrible as the attackers seem intent on killing every last elf. In the midst of the battle, Sylarion orders his minions to cover them while he convinces a fraction of the crusaders to follow him into the nearby Aeleris Pits, where they will get more cover from the enemy's attacks. A thousand elves manage to flee with him, with the lesser undead protecting them to their own death. The remaining elves realise they are losing the battle, and those who can (mostly Long Runners) teleport away to Wendar. Those who remain either flee deeper into the woods or stay and fight valiantly, but to no avail. The surviving elves on the battlefield (some 2,000) must finally surrender to the Shadow Army and Idris' Children, but they are not slain. They are chained and split into two groups: some are taken back to Drax Tallen and secured in the dungeons, while others are escorted north and then westwards (through the Avien Plains) by Idris' Children and a few Onyx Ring cultists. (See Fl. 23, Fl. 25; Ya. 3, Ya. 13.)
What This Means: The Onyx Ring could not let the elves escape Denagoth unscathed and planned this ambush to kill the most dangerous and enslave the others. The dragon-knights simply obeyed their orders, since they believe they came from Idris. The surviving elves will now experience the fate of the long forgotten Lothenar and Geffronell elves.
As for Sylarion, he took this opportunity to lure away from the main body of the army many elves, hoping to make them his new followers and organise an armed resistance inside Geffron to oppose Idris and the Shadow Lord.
What the PCs Can Do: Fight or run for their life!

Flaurmont 27, AC 1016: Aegos Thyatian Quarter Closed.
Location: Confederate Capital of Ionace, NACE. AS
Description: Upon learning of the events on Aegos, the NACE Council votes to postpone the creation of a Thyatian Quarter on Aegos as was agreed upon when the Treaty of Helskir was signed. This interdiction will last until the conditions on Aegos permit a thorough investigation that will prove or disprove the Thyatian treachery. (See Fl. 17, Fl. 20; Ya. 8, Ya. 16.)

Flaurmont 27, AC 1016: Nova Svoga Is Free!
Location: City-State of Nova Svoga. SC
Description: Thanks to the help of the Dark Fangs orcs and to the current strategic situation of the Hulean empire, the rebels led by Stephan Karvich are able to take control over the entire territory of Nova Svoga. The heiress to the throne, Anya, is crowned at the head of the city-state under the tutelage of Stephan Karvich. The Dark Fangs orcs are welcomed as friends by the population.
What This Means: The Hulean retreat was decided more from strategic purposes than from the threat formed by the rebels. The hagiarchy desperately needs all the troops available to stop the progression of the northern nomads in Karsile, and Nova Svoga is not worth the amount of troops needed to fight the rebels. Also, the fact that Anya, a follower of Gareth, is at the head of a state will do much to promote this worship throughout the city-states.

Flaurmont 28, AC 1016: A New Kind of Souls?
Location: City of the Stars, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW
Description: Rafiel appears, in His incorporeal form, to the Radiant Shaman Porphyriel in the Chamber of the Spheres. He instructs her to remove from the special compartment in the Chamber of the Sphere the soul crystal that she put there two months ago, and tells her that today is a great day for shadow elves, because the first radiant soul crystal is finally ready. An awed Porphyriel asks her Immortal Patron what does this means. Rafiel explains her that this new kind of soul crystal is stronger than the standard ones that can be harvested in the shadow elves' mines, and it can also be used above ground; then He disappears leaving the radiant shaman with many unanswered questions.
Porphyriel arranges for a white shaman, her second in command Randafien, to go to Rafielton and test the new crystal, but she does not tell him anything about her vision. (See Va. 8; Ya. 18, Ka. 28.)
What This Means: The radiant soul crystals are a new kind of soul crystals, created by the Chamber of the Spheres. These new crystals are tougher and more brilliant that the standard ones and they are also sun-resistant, but they retain their magical properties. To create a radiant soul crystal the shamans have to put a standard soul crystal in the special compartment of the Chambers of the Spheres built a couple of months ago and keep it there for at least three shadow elves' months (72 days). Actually only those crystals of level 5+ (no more than 10% of the total number of soul crystals) will resist the "mutation" without shattering under the force of the Radiance, but the shamans do not know about this yet. The radiant crystals will allow the shamans to use their magic above ground. Anyway the protection against sunlight wears down after 48 days of being exposed to the sun and has to be renewed by putting the crystals back into the Chamber of the Spheres.
Only the higher level shamans (white shamans and beyond) are to be entrusted with this new kind of soul crystals, because they already know that soul crystals are not just what they are believed to be: receptacles of shadow elves' souls. Imagine the stunning of younger shamans if they were granted use of those strengthened crystals: "What? There are two sorts of soul crystals, one more powerful than the other? Are there then two kinds of shadow elves' souls?"
Now Shamans will be able to cast their spells on the surface too, and this will allow Rafiel to regain many followers in Aengmor, where there have been many religious problems in the past years. Moreover the radiant crystals could also be useful in saving Canolbarth Forest.

Flaurmont 28, AC 1016: The War Banners Unfurl.
Location: Southern Kingdom of Notrion, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: The Notrion and Lagrius troops arrive at the sighted settlement. Instead of a couple of hundred defenders facing them, there are rank after rank of armed troops, perhaps numbering 2,000. A spyglass reveals that the troops are well armed and are fighting under the banners of Randel.
Seeing this, Fredrix states that he is ordering his troops to withdraw. He encourages Tahort to do likewise and return with a larger body of troops. Tahort is furious but can do little to dissuade the Lagrius general. With two-thirds of his forces gone Tahort gives up any thought of waging a pitched battle; Tahort has the Notrion standard lowered.
Riders from the Randel ranks deliver a message to Tahort, requesting his presence the following morning; until morning, there is to be a cease-fire between the two forces. "General Gverfrifar" signed the message; recognising the name, Tahort agrees. (See Fl. 11, Fl. 19; Ya. 1, Kl. 1.)
What This Means: General Fredrix had entered into this venture with the notion that it would be an amusing adventure, thinking he would be fighting against ruffian brigands. Facing professional Randel troops, in superior numbers, the general has had a change of heart as he sees no reason why he and his troops should shed their blood for Notrion. Likewise, Tahort sees little reason to stay around with the Lagrius pullout.
Normally Tahort would have been hesitant at such a meeting but General Gverfrifar signed the message. The name is easily identifiable, as he was a prominent military commander during the Great War. Since it was generally presumed that he had perished during the war, Tahort is curious about him; as he thinks about it more, he is becoming curious about the Randel troops in general.
What the PCs Can Do: First, the PCs will have to decide whether they will stay with Tahort or return with Fredrix. Those who began the expedition with the Lagrius troops will be more likely to leave with him. PCs remaining with the Notrion troops may find themselves asked to accompany Tahort to meet with Gverfrifar.

Flaurmont 28, AC 1016: Time Is Up.
Location: City of Haldemar, Kingdom of Alphatian Neatharum. HW
Description: One of Ezreilla's aides announces that the condemned Alphatians will be executed the following morning. The announcement carries a plea for civil obedience in the matter. (See Nu. 13, Nu. 14; Ya. 1, Kl. 20.)
What This Means: Since her verdict, Ezreilla has been presented with several investigation findings that tend to shed some light upon the cause of the attack. Despite this, she still remains firm in her verdict and the death sentence she has decreed. She feels that she has allotted the condemned more than enough time and is ready to have their sentence carried out.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are investigating the incident, then they are rapidly running out of time. If they are not, then they may be hired to supplement security for the execution.