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Sviftmont 1, AC 1016: Peace and Prosperity?
Location: Kingdom of Ochalea and Kingdom of the Pearl Islands, Thyatian Empire. SD
Description: Over the coming weeks in a series of well-publicised strikes, Thyatian ships and soldiers strike at the hives of outlaws plaguing the island states. Furthermore, the harbours of Ochalea and the Pearl Islands see as much traffic in three months as they did all last year, as Thyatian ships heading towards Davania [skirting the Twaelar-infested centre of the Sea of Dread. Ed.] and Bellissaria on trade missions make stopovers. Life in the islands improves suddenly and steadily. (See Fy. 17, Am. 10.)
What This Means: Since imperial agents had ties with many, if not most, of the bands of pirates it was almost absurdly easy to track them down. Crack Thyatian forces, hardened in the Great War and the fights against the Twaelar, were able to defeat the undisciplined buccaneers quickly. Those pirates who can flee go south into Davania or east towards the Minaean Coast. The bands fleeing east include many groups who were sponsored directly by the emperor, a quiet payback for the aid the NACE supposedly gave to the Twaelar.
What the PCs Can Do: Parties interested in swashbuckling adventure on the high seas will find their hands full. They can either be detailed to hunt down a particularly ruthless and crafty pirate leader, or if fighting on the other side they will find themselves faced with elite Thyatian maritime forces backed by both priestly and wizardly magic in lavish quantities. Mercantile players can now open up trade routes to the islands; they will find the upside lower than before, but the potential for huge losses decreases dramatically as well.
Sviftmont 1, AC 1016: The Heldannic Knights Parlay.
Location: City of Alpha, Kingdom of Alpha, NACE, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Description: A Heldannic warbird (Sturmkondor class) swoops over Alpha and demands an audience with King Ericall. After the Alphans overcome their initial distress, they accept to let the warbird land outside the city walls and escort a small delegation of knights to Ericall's palace. There the Heldannic Knights inform Ericall that the High Priest of Vanya has decided to stop their advance and sign a truce with the Norwold Confederacy states. In exchange for their exit from the war, the knights demand the northern lords to acknowledge their rulership over the lands conquered so far east of the Wyrmsteeth Mountains (including the Final Range), from Landfall to Kildorkak, and to renounce to all claims over that territory. The knights give Ericall and his subjects two weeks to evaluate this proposal. Then they will meet again in the neutral capital of Littonia on the fifteenth day of the month to either sign the truce or to declare war against the Norwold Confederacy. The knights then return aboard their warbird and fly southwards. (See Am. 13, Am. 19; Sv. 15.)
What This Means: Wulf von Klagendorf has judged this to be the right moment to stop the Heldannic advance in Norwold. The confederacy is slowly losing ground against the Qeodharans and the dragons, and they have been virtually cut off from southern Norwold by the knights themselves. The high priest knows that it would be a bad move to advance northwards in this moment, for crossing the Wyrmsteeth would surely attract other unwanted attention on the dragons' part. So he has decided to halt the campaign for the time being and to tighten his control over the conquered lands (which still harbour small bands of fundamentalists and renegades), and he hopes that the difficult situation that Ericall is experiencing could help him to strengthen his claims over Norwold. This is meant to be only a temporary truce to Wulf, and once the winter becomes milder, the knights will probably resume their march if the right conditions are met.
Sviftmont 1, AC 1016: A Cooperative Counter Strike.
Location: North of City-State of Ukoy, Krugel Horde Territory. HW
Description: An orcish encampment is rocked by the war cries of elves and Neathar raiders. The two people sweep down upon the unsuspecting orcs and wreak grievous damage upon them. The raiders fall back from their assault with few losses, leaving behind the dead and dying orcs, bounders, and war ponies. (See Sv. 25.)
What This Means: Icevale elves and Neathar tribesmen have come together in retaliation to the orc raids of last year. The Neathar and Icevale had originally entered into this act of vindication separately but the war parties had discovered each other weeks ago and decided that it would be beneficial to join forces. After eliminating the orc sentries, the raiders are able to enter the encampment virtually unopposed. They are swift and accurate with their vengeance, leaving few orcs alive. With some of their own wounded, the elves and humans pull back from the encampment, then soon afterwards part ways and head for their respective homelands.
What the PCs Can Do: Icevale or Neathar PCs may find themselves involved in the raid and the egress back home. Likewise, orcish PCs may be called upon to enact the horde's revenge.
Sviftmont 2, AC 1016: Sayr Ulan Under Master's Control.
Location: City of Sayr Ulan, Mumlyket of Sindrastan, Kingdom of Sind. OW
Description: The Master's forces in Sindrastan have all converged on the capital city of Sayr Ulan. Once more, Hulean forces have the city under a tight lockdown. The Master figures that the effectiveness of the resistance's skyships will be much reduced here in the city, where innocents can be hurt. Rajadhiraja Chandra Ul-Nervi and a small force of loyal men are besieged in the palace, as the Master's forces attempt to bring him to justice.
Elsewhere, the Master's forces tighten grip on held territories. (See Am. 17, Am. 26; Ei. 3, Ei. 15.)
What This Means: The Sindhi revolution is reaching a peak. Having built up over the course of time since the Hulean occupation, their rebellion has hit its mark, and the Sindhi are attempting to regain their homeland. This battle in the streets of Sayr Ulan will be a very important one, if only for its symbolic significance-Sayr Ulan is the capital of Sind, and the victors of this battle will likely be the winners of the entire war for freedom.
Sviftmont 3, AC 1016: Veroth Troops March.
Location: Kingdom of Veroth, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: Troops from Veroth are sent to establish a fortress at the mouth of the Lagrius River. At the same time, other military men are sent abroad to other kingdoms of the NACE to act as military advisers. Another body of troops departs for Ionace to act as an official guard detachment to the NACE Council. (See Fy. 14, Am. 18; Ei. 1.)
What This Means: These deployments are a result of the defence measures discussed on Ambyrmont 18. The fortress at the mouth of Lagrius River is actually a pair of fortresses, one on each side of the river. They will oversee the security of the river and will be garrisoned by three nationalities of troops: a mixture of Notrion and Veroth troops will garrison the fort on the Notrion side, and a mixture of Veroth and Dawnrim troops will garrison the other fort, on the Dawnrim side.
Several platoons of Verothian troops have been sent to Ionace to serve as an honour guard to the NACE Council, a carry-over from a similar contingent stationed at the pre-war imperial capital. Aside from being a ceremonial unit, the troops' officers will act as military liaisons to the council.
Also departing from Veroth are several advisers. These soldiers are to evaluate the armed forces of the NACE then offer advice to areas that need it. They are also tasked with working out plans for future cooperative training manoeuvres between the forces. Several rulers have voiced their disagreements in receiving advisers, seeing it as being classed as amateurs and the Verothians as the professionals.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs may find themselves participating in any of these deployments. How they fit into the scheme of things, depends upon their histories. This could be a great opportunity to "retire" an aging PC from adventuring. Though the days of dungeon crawling may be over, the adventure has but begun, as PCs may find the monsters of Alphatian politics more exciting and dangerous than any goblin horde or dragon's lair.
Sviftmont 3, AC 1016: Dragons vs. Warbirds vs. Dragons.
Location: Southern Wyrmsteeth Range. NW
Description: After constant reports of draconic incursions into the Heldannic territories north of Landfall, a squadron of two light warbirds is sent to investigate and dispose of the problem. The two warbirds are attacked as soon as they start flying over the foothills of the Wyrmsteeth by a flock of small white dragons led by a great crystal wyrm. The two warbirds fend off the attack using their blight belchers, then engage in aerial combat using their armaments to injure the dragons.
The battle seems to be turning in favour of the more numerous dragons when another large group of black wyrms appears in the sky. This new flock unexpectedly turns against the white ones, engaging in a furious melee combat, and the two warbirds are able to escape the fray and hide in a small crevasse watching the outcome of the battle. The crystal dragon is forced to flee along with a few followers, while the black wyrms start circling the area looking for the warbirds. When one of the Heldannic ships exits its hideout to meet the dragons and propose an alliance, the wyrms dart towards the ship and attack it, tearing the whole crew apart and looting the wreckage of the warbird. The other warbird takes advantage of the situation to fly away while the dragons seem distracted in pillaging the ship and eating the corpses, and returns to Landfall to report to the governor. (See Am. 1.)
What This Means: This is only another event that testifies how extended and fierce the Dragonwars have become. The dragons do not attack only the human settlements of any nationality (Heldannic Knights' outposts and warbirds in this case), but they are also bent on each other in a war for supremacy. The white and black wyrms were fighting for territory, and each leader was trying to reinforce and enlarge his chain of command over other dragons. The wyrms use all possible means to gain power and wealth, even luring humans into their lairs to stage ambushes or pitting humans against rival dragons to defeat both once they have weakened each other in battle.
Sviftmont 4, AC 1016: Messenger from the Valley.
Location: Town of Threshold, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: A strange duo enters the town of Threshold, an Atruaghin tribesman and a bugbear. After some difficulties with the town guardsmen, the Atruaghin man requests to speak with Patriarch Halaran. The matter of their discussion is kept private, but the following day finds Patriarch Halaran arranging a trip to Mirros, the capital city. The duo will go with him. (See Fy. 12, Am. 14; Sv. 10, Sv. 12.)
What This Means: The Atruaghin, a magic-user known as Killing Moon, and his bugbear companion Haarl, have arrived from the Lost Valley. They are members of the expedition that set off to the region in AC 1014, under the patronage of a Darokinian merchant. Upon their arrival in the valley, the group was embroiled in the running war between the Hutaaka and Traldar. The merchant, a halfling named Finnwiddey Nimbletoes, has desperately been attempting to reach some sort of accord with the two groups living in the valley. He had been making some headway, when suddenly treasure seekers began to discover the valley and disrupt things once more. Frustrated, Finn sent Killing Moon and Haarl to try and gain the king's attention and help put a stop to the chaos that has ensued.
Sviftmont 4, AC 1016: Denagoth Sends Ambassadors.
Location: City of Wendar, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: During a state meeting with representatives of the major communities, Bensarian introduces to the Wendarian authorities two ambassadors from Denagoth. Catching everyone by surprise, he solemnly states that he has received a message from the Most High Priestess of Idris, who has appointed the two as official representatives of Denagoth to Wendar. In order to open a new era of peace and diplomatic and economic relationship, the two men carried a chest full of gold, gems and other luxuries as symbol of Denagoth's goodwill. The only request the high priestess made to Wendar is to deport all Alfheimers to Denagoth, since they are guilty of treachery and assault against the Denagothian realm.
The Genalleth elves openly refuse the peace treaty with Denagoth, reminding all present of the Shadow Lord's treacheries in the past. They leave the meeting without waiting for Bensarian's reply, deeply concerned by the sage's actions. The human authorities, although suspicious, do not see anything really offensive in the high priestess's request, and give their consent. Bensarian thus orders all Alfheimers, without distinction of clan, to be put into prison camps. They will be sent to Denagoth next year using special caravans, after political arrangements are made with Denagoth to insure it will not invade Wendar. The law is passed with only half of the council members' votes. (See Fy. 14, Fy. 27; Sv. 10, Ei. 18.)
What This Means: Another major stroke for Idris and Her minions. The high priestess has now changed her policy: seeing that warfare and brute force did not work to conquer Wendar in all the past years, she is now using the subtle art of deception to infiltrate Wendar and change it from the inside. Idris' vengeance against the elven race will be directly helped by the Wendarians themselves, and before they understand what's going on, Wendar will be a Denagothian province.
Sviftmont 4, AC 1016: News of a Father's Survival.
Location: City of Rardish, Kingdom of Randel, Floating Continent of Alphatia. HW
Description: Queen Junna is contacted by Empress Eriadna and told of the survival of her father, King Verothrics, and his founding of the Kingdom of Veroth. Junna is pleased and forwards the news to the kingdom's elite. She immediately writes her father. (See Fe. 4, Fy. 9.)
What This Means: Junna is truly glad that her father still lives. As her father, she can use his advice in ruling his kingdom. News of his survival bolsters her rule as most rivals think it unwise to usurp the daughter of their former king. Alive, he can call upon loyalists to avenge any moves against his daughter. Of course, the news is withheld from citizens unaware of Alphatia's true history. Junna also writes her father to ask for advice; given the distance, it will be some time before she gets a response.
Sviftmont 4, AC 1016: Church Sides with Rebels.
Location: Blackheath Castle, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC
Description: Andrew Sewell, parliamentary leader of the Wyndham party, and Archbishop Blythe-Jackson of the Church of Belbion meet at the principal fortress of the Bishopric of Kitting to discuss an alliance against King James II. The archbishop has been visited by Vanya in a dream and told that King James will end up destroying Bellayne unless the church allies with the Wyndham faction to defeat him. The two leaders quickly come to an agreement of alliance: the Bishopric of Kitting will now lend its support to the Wyndham faction. Meanwhile the king marshals his troops in Leminster; he intends to march north to attack Norchester hoping for a quick victory before winter sets in. (See Am. 1, Am. 12; Sv. 16.)
What This Means: The rebels have gained a powerful ally. They now control much of the northern section of the country from Hampstead in the west to Glenswych in the east.
Sviftmont 5, AC 1016: The Fiery Fury Hits Chitine.
Location: Duchy of Chitine, Kingdom of Alpha, NACE, Western Bay Marches. NW
Description: An imposing wave of fire rolls down from the western mountains to flood the plains of Chitine and burn down everything in its path. It is a whole army of efreet and fire elementals which is now marching on the troubled Duchy of Chitine, led by the very Duke Dahish, leader of the efreet community which dwells in the northern volcano in the Arch of Fire. The Knights of Chitine are forced to retreat aghast in front of the destructive force of the enemy. (See Am. 18, Am. 25; Sv. 13, Sv. 19.)
What This Means: Coiger de Mory has finally managed to convince the lord of the efreet to join him in his plan of conquest [Coiger is a priest of Rathanos, after all. Ed.]. Duke Dahish has marshalled on the field some 500 elemental warriors to be sure of the outcome of the campaign. It will be a hot winter for Chitine.
Sviftmont 6, AC 1016: Alphatian Census.
Location: Confederate Capital of Ionace, NACE, and City of Andaire, Kingdom of Alphas'ar, Floating Continent of Alphatia. AS, HW
Description: The NACE Council decrees that it will initiate a census to discover the properties of the new empire, in the hope that it will provide the NACE with a concise registry of its inhabitants. The council also requests a similar census to be held among the Alphatian nationals living outside the NACE's boundaries; Karameikos agrees to the request.
A similar census is initiated by Empress Eriadna in the Hollow World at the request of the NACE Council.
What This Means: The NACE even more so than Alphatia is really unsure of what its population sizes are. They are also curious to see who survived the Great War. The census will not only answer these questions, it will also do much to improve the economy: knowing how many people live in a kingdom and what they do for a living will be used to revamp their tax and tribute collection organisation. Mainly it will insure that the member kingdoms are paying their proper amounts.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs affiliated with the NACE may find themselves recruited to act as escorts through the holdings of the NACE. Along the way, the PCs may find themselves involved in all manners of side adventures.
Sviftmont 6, AC 1016: Quest for the Dragonlord.
Location: Tower of Arcadia, Barony of Arcadia, Icereach Domains. NW
Description: Arcadius, Adik de Chevas and Sieger von Duwn meet in Arcadius' castle to discuss the recent events on Arcadius' request. They have discovered what has happened in Dragonard by questioning some dragons (either friends of the two baron-sages, or prisoners of the king) and agree that the key to end the Dragonwars is finding the Dragonlord and the missing artifact. As to what they will do with him once they catch him, this is still under debate. Also, the three wizards understand that before peace can be restored in the Wyrmsteeth they must facilitate the re-establishment of the ruling hierarchies. Each one has a different idea about this subject, and they part their ways swearing to do all they can to stop this senseless slaughter. (See Fy. 25, Am. 1; Sv. 20, Ei. 10.)
What This Means: The three most powerful wizards of Norwold (nicknamed the Caretakers by some rulers) have once again banded together to solve one of the greatest problems Norwold has had to face in years. They are determined to put an end to the war without endangering too much their people and will go to great lengths to ensure that the dragons will not cast Norwold into a geopolitical chaos. They have the power and wits to do it, and Overlord h'Caramore knew this when he assigned this matter to both Arcadius and Adik (Sieger is acting outside the confederacy).
Sviftmont 7, AC 1016: Thar on the Run.
Location: City of Kurdal, Kingdom of Rockhome. OW
Description: The allied army finally breaks through Thar's defences and invades the town. As a last-ditch effort, Thar has a white dragon (servant of the frost giants of Jotunheim) attack the allied forces. Orclander skinwing riders distinguish themselves, however, as they confront the flying dragon single-handedly. Though it inflicts a number of casualties to their ranks, they damage it enough to drive it off.
Fortunately for Thar, the dragon was able to cover for fleeing goblinoids. The orc-king is forced to retreat into the wilderness, where he will join up with the forces of Duric, Bifia, and Psa'gh. The goblinoids are going to have to regroup and rethink their plans of conquest, but they have inflicted a lot of damage on the dwarves.
The dwarves and their allies, meanwhile, spend the next few weeks rooting out any pockets of goblinoid resistance in the nearby countryside. Then they will return to Dengar for much awaited celebration. (See Am. 2, Am. 22; Ei. 4, Ei. 27.)
What This Means: The goblinoid offensive in Rockhome has been broken-for now. The masterminds behind the assault are still at large and will be plotting their return very soon. They have managed to inflict a lot of damage to the sparsely populated surface regions of the Klintest Lowlands, and King Everast will have to attempt to make reparations. Strangely, the whole occurrence has revitalised the flagging spirits of the Rockhome dwarves, and reinstilled a sense of national pride within them. Even the belligerent Torkrest and Hurwarf clans have begun to once more feel a sense of responsibility to the monarchy of Rockhome, and a sense of gratitude to their neighbouring nations.
The skinwings were the primary means by which Alebane, Tlatepetl, Hutai Khan, et al escaped from Oenkmar (along with stolen dwarven lava rafts); several of the Oenkmarian soldiers have brought them along with them. They are not available in large numbers, by any means, but there are a few skinwings among the Oenkmarians. Tlatepetl has begun a breeding project and set his men to capturing more from underground in order to restock the skinwing population.
Sviftmont 7, AC 1016: Nordenhafen Switches Sides.
Location: Jarldom of Nordenhafen, Kingdom of Alpha, NACE, Great Bay. NW
Description: During one of his aerial raids against the Norwold lords, the pirate wizard Oberack attacks the island of Nordenhafen. In the following duel with Jarl (Baron) Bardeen's army, led by the baron himself, Oberack proves to be a fierce and powerful pirate and the soldiers of Nordenhafen flee in front of his dragons. Left alone on the battlefield, Bardeen Longwalker bows in front of the pirate wizard, acknowledging his superiority, and then humbly asks Oberack to join his crew. The pirate laughs loudly and accepts the old warrior's request, declaring Nordenhafen an Ostlander protectorate. Bardeen then accompanies Oberack and his crew to his castle to celebrate the alliance in the traditional Ostlander ways. (See Am. 9, Am. 28; Sv. 10.)
What This Means: Bardeen Longwalker is an old stout Ostlander fighter who chose to carve out a dominion of his own many years ago. For this reason he went to Norwold and swore fealty to Ericall, taking possession of the small island in the centre of the Great Bay. However, he soon grew bored with the common problems of a ruler, deeply missing the old days when he was a brave warrior and followed the code of honour. When this new war started, he saw a great opportunity for getting back his youth's excitement, but Overlord h'Caramore assigned him the duty to keep the western Great Bay's waters free of raiders and invaders (which was not so difficult since the Strait of Todstein was blocked). The coming of Oberack finally changed the situation and he felt the joy of the battle once again. The Ostlander pirate wizard reminded Bardeen of the old kinship to his homeland, and seeing him as a mighty conqueror, he finally chose to switch sides and return to serve Ostland. This decision and Oberack's proclamation could have important repercussions in the future political scenario of Norwold.
Sviftmont 8, AC1016: The Shadow Lord Shows His Colours.
Location: Guardian Mesa, Unknown location in Mystara.
Description: After recovering six of the seven keys needed to open the gate to the Pits of Banishment, where the Black Staff is located, the heroes working for the elven crusaders and Wendar decide to try and get the last one. One of them offers to stay behind on the Guardian Mesa to keep the keys so far recovered. The group accepts the proposal and enters the last unexplored realm.
Once left alone, the party member pulls another magical key out of his robes and uses them to open a gate that reveals a large black chasm with a floating castle on the other side. Grinning with pleasure, he steps in and begins the difficult trip to the castle's gate. (See Nu. 24, Va. 9; Ei. 10.)
What This Means: The wizard left behind by the heroes was the Shadow Lord, who cheated them all by helping them recover the keys to get to the Carnifex' prison. He wants the Black Staff because he thinks it will give him the power to turn Idris' high priestess into one of his undead minions. This way he will finally get revenge for the decades of "slavery" he spent under Idris' yoke, but above all he will get back his phylactery and attain full lichdom.
When the heroes will discover his treachery, they will surely follow him in the Pits of Banishment, hoping to stop him before it's too late.
Sviftmont 8, AC 1016: Underocean Joins the NACE.
Location: Confederate Capital of Ionace, NACE. AS
Description: Underocean officially joins the NACE, becoming the first non-Alphatian member state [except for Thothia, a founding member. Ed.]. King Juliast arrives on Ionace to personally sign the NACE's constitution, but leaves shortly thereafter. He first appoints Arantria as his delegate to the council. (See Am. 4, Am. 11; Ei. 1.)
What This Means: Juliast left because of the discomfort of remaining on dry land. With the acquisition of Underocean, the NACE has made its desire to control the entire sunken continent of Alphatia one step closer to reality.
Sviftmont 8, AC 1016: Nordalfheim.
Location: Barony of Ironwood, Final Range. NW
Description: On a long-awaited official visit to Ironwood, Zoltan the White announces that he is to become the high priest of the Faith of the Ancestors, the religion originally created by Lord Blackblade as a way of uniting the elven clans. This religion, which is composed of a pantheon of Immortals that have been worshipped by elves in various places and times, is led by Ordana and comprises Ilsundal, Mealiden, Eiryndul and Calitha Starbrow. Zoltan renames this religion the Nordalfheim Pantheon.
During that same declaration, Elarianthas Blackblade proclaims the foundation of a new elven nation in Norwold, the Kingdom of Nordalfheim, to which all elves of Mystara can come and live under the protection of the Immortals of the Nordalfheim Pantheon. Zoltan recognises the authority of the king, and the two shake hands.
The news of the merger and the new religion is well received by the elves of Ironwood and the Elms, though the feelings are more mixed in the White Oak. The free Foresthomes elves do not recognise the new kingdom nor the new religion, while the Shiye-Lawr are split between their loyalty to Alphatia and this new kingdom that is not so far from their aspirations. (See Fy. 13, Fy. 18; Sv. 8, Ka. 20.)
What This Means: After seeking advice from his Immortal patron Ilsundal through prayers at the White Oak, Zoltan was imparted with a glimpse of the Immortals' plans for the elves, and his part in its accomplishment. Thus he went to Ironwood to relinquish his leadership in favour of Elarianthas Blackblade, and took the lead of the official religion, paving the way for the creation of the largest elven kingdom since the fall of Alfheim.
Nordalfheim, the northern home of the elves (which in the Shiye dialect rather means home of the northern elves), is constituted of the former baronies of the Elms, White Oak, and Ironwood. Elarianthas Blackblade is the king, Zoltan the high priest, and Quillan the ambassador to the Norwold Confederacy.
Sviftmont 9, AC 1016: Newcomers.
Location: City-State of Kastelios, Serpent Coast. DV
Description: A Thyatian cargo vessel pulls into Kastelios today to restock essential supplies and to drop off assorted trading goods. Among the various occupants of the ship who disembark are a handful of Thyatian families, originally bound for the Thyatian Hinterlands. After taking in the sights of the city for a few hours, some of the families approach the port authorities to find out how to obtain citizenship, saying that they wish to stay.
What This Means: As trade between Kastelios and southeastern Brun increases, so do personal contacts. Many Thyatian colonists have already passed through Kastelios, but word has spread back to Thyatis about the sophisticated city-state on the northern coast of Davania. Some would-be colonists, not so eager to leave the comforts of city life behind, decide to remain in Kastelios and seek their fortune there. This is a trend that will continue for quite some time.
Sviftmont 9, AC 1016: Gifts for the Dragons.
Location: Duchy of Ossian and Qeodharan Territories of Odinia, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Description: The dragons renew their assaults against the humans living near the foothills of the Wyrmsteeth range, and they particularly hit the dominions of Odinia and Ossian. The Black Duke and his Qeodharan allies are forced to retreat from the foothills and amass their forces in the plains and coastlines, leaving the mountain (and its ores) to the wyrms without much fighting. However, before retreating they leave a nice surprise to the amazed dragons: hundreds of maimed or imprisoned Heldanners and Alphatians, who are immediately taken away by the dragons to be either used as servants, slaves, or, in the worst cases, food. (See Am. 1.)
What This Means: Even though the dragons' attacks are greatly annoying the Black Duke, he has found a way to enjoy and exploit the loss of territory in favour of the wyrms. He is systematically exterminating the prisoners of war captured by the Qeodharans throughout Norwold by giving them to the dragons, hoping that they will be satisfied with the prisoners as snacks and leave his troops in peace. As soon as rumours about this carnage start spreading in Ossian, the people of the duchy (which is still composed mostly of Alphatians) will begin to scheme to overthrow their evil master.
Sviftmont 9, AC 1016: Lupins Enter Sacred Place.
Location: Town of Buenos Viente, Baronía de l Grande Carrascal. SC
Description: The lupins from Nouvelle Renardie finally manage to meet with Marshal Vupilor Watak, the High Priest of Pflarr in Buenos Viente, who is less suspicious of lupins that most gnolls and Hutaakans. Upon learning that the Nouveaux Renardois honour the Immortal Pflarr, Vupilor is curious as to any knowledge the lupins might have about the Immortal, as she has been trying for quite some time now to puzzle out the past of her people. When it is revealed that the reformist lupins are engaged in the same kind of quest, both sides wonder, without saying their thoughts aloud, whether the two races might have some common origin after all. (See Ya. 16, Am. 17; Ka. 14.)
What This Means: Although Pflarr had long abandoned the surface world, various descendants of His original chosen people have been trying to discover their roots, and have worked to restore their customs and worship of old. Pflarr is the most surprised by this turn of event, as the jackal-headed Immortal is not known for his trust in the mortal races. With no help at all from Him, and despite the added difficulty of the Spell of Oblivion's effects, those two mortal groups have managed to actually gather clues and worship Him, to His complete astonishment.
Sviftmont 9, AC 1016: A Nomad Refuge in the Dark Wood?
Location: The Dark Wood, Hulean Empire. SC
Description: Many nomads from the great army of Ustalam Banshybek have sought shelter at the fringe of the Dark Wood. From this refuge, they launch raiding operations against the neighbouring Hulean communities in Huyule and Karsun. Residents of the concerned areas start complaining about the inaction of the Hulean military. (See Fy. 14, Fy. 15; Ei. 6.)
What This Means: Consistent with the long tradition of integrating invaders in the Hulean society, the Master has decided to leave the nomads alone in this region. Later, he's planning to send missionaries of the Temple of Chaos to convert them and, eventually, curb them into accepting the Hulean way of life and abandoning their violent behaviour.
Sviftmont 10, AC 1016: Alfheimers' Second Exodus.
Location: Forest of the Curse, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: Once the word spreads about the newest law that forces all Alfheimers to be confined into prison camps, all the remaining elves of Alfheim living in Wendar start packing things up and leaving the territory. The Genalleth elves come to the aid of their brethren after remaining passive during all this time, and hide them from the royal guards, helping them cross the borders with Glantri, Norwold and Heldann. The second exodus of the Alfheimers has just begun, only nine years after the event that forced them to leave their homeland, Alfheim. (See Fy. 27, Sv. 4; Ei. 18.)
Sviftmont 10, AC 1016: Diplomats in Danger.
Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: Killing Moon and Haarl arrived in the city a few days ago, along with Patriarch Halaran, and have been awaiting an audience with the king. Assassins make an attempt on the diplomats from the Lost Valley, as they retire to their rooms in the Black Heart Lily. Unfortunately for them, Killing Moon and Haarl prove more competent than was originally thought. None of the assassins escapes alive, and evidence left behind points to the Iron Ring as the masterminds behind the attempt. (See Am. 14, Sv. 4; Sv. 12, Sv. 28.)
What This Means: The Iron Ring, a criminal organisation that formerly operated out of the Black Eagle Barony, has long been interested in the mysterious Lost Valley. When the adventurer turned up months ago, he was immediately kidnapped and forced to reveal its location. They have since sent a group of their own to take the valley, in hopes of reviving their failing organisation. This assassination attempt was made in a last ditch effort to keep the king from getting involved with the Lost Valley before they could take it over.
Sviftmont 10, AC 1016: An Emperor for My Crown.
Location: City of Hattias, Duchy of Hattias, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Heinrich Oesterhaus announces the coronation of Thincol Torion's "first son and true heir" as emperor, claiming that the true emperor is he who wears the true crown. He declares that Manfred Torion Dörfer, the man he has crowned emperor, is Thincol's first son, born a year after Thincol's assent to the Thyatian throne. He pledges Hattian support for Manfred. What is surprising to all is the large number of nobles throughout the empire who do the same. (See Am. 22, Am. 27; Sv. 17, Sv. 20.)
What This Means: Divinatory efforts and other investigations prove that Manfred is indeed a son of Thincol. They furthermore prove that he was born after Thincol became emperor, but are inconclusive as to when. Manfred is Thincol's illegitimate child, born no more than six months after he became emperor. Even were he born later this would not normally matter: Thincol derived his claim to the throne by virtue of his marriage to Gabriela, not of his own accord. And though Manfred was born before Eusebius, the Thyatian succession does not necessarily fall to the first born, and illegitimate children are normally excluded in any case.
However, Eusebius' actions, his purges of the nobility and reforms, have disaffected much of the upper classes, and they are willing to turn a blind eye to irregularities and support the revolt. Most elected senators and reformist nobles will support Eusebius, as well as the vast majority of the common people. But Thyatis' traditionalists will back the usurper. This faction includes a significant proportion of Thyatis' warriors (though the regular army, always favourable to Eusebius, will largely remain loyal, the fighting orders are another matter). Thanatos has been active rounding up support behind the scenes through the use of agents and dupes to insure solid support for His plans.
What the PCs Can Do: Characters will likely have natural attachments to one side or the other, and may become involved in the coming strife as infiltrators, elite strike forces, or military leaders. Members of the opposing faction will offer a variety of inducements for characters to switch sides, promising favours and prominence if they transfer their allegiance and help win the war. Even non-Thyatians can get involved, as both sides will hire mercenaries and deniable assets to act on their behalf.
Sviftmont 10, AC 1016: Oberack Defeated.
Location: County of Kameloth, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Description: During one of his daily raids over the coasts of Kameloth, Oberack is surprised by the counter-attack of Count Shuren, who stands alone against him and his whole crew of humans and dragons. At the end of a fierce and swift battle where spells and deadly blows run plentiful, Shuren is finally victorious over Oberack, who disappears in an impressive column of fire evoked by the count. Oberack's crew flies back to Nordenhafen after their leader's demise, not noticing the count slowly plummeting to the ground, mortally wounded as well. The peasants who witnessed the duel swiftly come to their lord's assistance, but they cannot save his life. Mourning over the loss of their heroic leader, the peasants take him to the capital for an official funeral rite. (See Am. 28, Sv. 7.)
What This Means: Count Shuren, a skilled wizard and a veteran fighter, waited for days the arrival of Oberack over his territory, preparing a thorough assault plan to prevent the raider to escape his trap. In the end, his tactic proved successful, but it cost him his life as well.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could confront Oberack earlier and defeat him, thus preventing good Shuren's sacrifice. Alternatively they could help the count in his personal battle, although they will have to do it from afar, since he would resent anyone interfering in his personal duel.
Sviftmont 11, AC 1016: Qeodharan Raids Repelled.
Location: Kingdom of Alpha, NACE, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Description: Qeodharan longships stage new raids on the eastern and southern coasts of the Alphan Peninsula, landing and trying to raze the villages and the countryside with hit and run tactics. However, they are met by an immediate and unexpected counter-attack by the Alphan forces led by General Ney and Overlord h'Caramore, which seem to patrol every inch of the coastlines. The Qeodharans are constantly beaten back suffering many losses, while the Alphans count only minor casualties among their ranks. (See Am. 23, Am. 28; Sv. 18, Sv. 22.)
What This Means: The Black Duke hoped that the forces of Alpha would have been reduced and scattered after the troubles he stirred up in other Norwold dominions, but he had not predicted that the loyalty of some of Ericall's men could go this far. General Ney, even though informed of the terrible war that is ravaging his land, did not come back with his army and instead remained in the Kingdom of Alpha to defend it, as the oath towards Ericall obliges him to serve his liege as general of his armies. He deeply hopes the war will be over soon, so that he can come back home and defend his people. However, as long as Ericall will need his assistance, his sense of honour tells him to stay and fight for his king.
Sviftmont 12, AC 1016: The Streets of Hapta Run Red.
Location: City of Hapta, Kingdom of Nithia. HW
Description: Townspeople are shocked this morning to discover the butchered corpse of Aman Sethet-Ra, a prominent Nithian merchant, nailed to the wall inside his shop, with his entrails strung onto the floor. The town guard find no other evidence of violence, and no one in the neighbourhood can recall hearing any strange noises during the night. The town guard close the case, but declare that they have a good idea as to who committed the crime. The townspeople, visibly shaken, disperse from the scene, and go about their business. (See Sv. 22, Ka. 5.)
What This Means: The normally peaceful town of Hapta has never had an incident like this as long as people can remember. Townsfolk will begin to look at outsiders and suspicious-looking people in a different light, now.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are in the town, the PCs can help the town guard investigate the crime.
Sviftmont 12, AC 1016: Diplomats Meet with King Stefan.
Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: Patriarch Halaran and the adventurers from the Lost Valley have an audience with the king today. During the course of the discussion, both groups relate their concerns about the influx of treasure hunters to the Lost Valley, and the effects it is having both on the lands of Karameikos, as well as the detrimental role it plays in future relations with the valley's inhabitants. The king promises to give the matter much consideration. In the meantime, he will support any actions that Patriarch Halaran decides to take in bringing the adventurer situation under control. (See Sv. 4, Sv. 10; Sv. 28.)
What This Means: The king realises that the Lost Valley situation could have far-ranging consequences, both political and otherwise. He is involved with a lot of delicate situations at the moment, and is hesitant to rush in, in any case. He will wait for a bit, and try to calm things down on the Karameikos end of things, before dealing with the inhabitants of the valley.
Sviftmont 12, AC 1016: Littonia Supports the Confederacy.
Location: Town of Gaudavpils, Kingdom of Littonia, Arctic Plains. NW
Description: In a proclamation from his throne in Gaudavpils, King Uldis VI of Littonia proclaims his support for the Norwold Confederacy. He states that Littonia's armies will stand ready to aid any confederacy member in need, and that Littonia will contribute whatever material wealth it can afford to ensure the successful operation of the organisation, but it will not join the organisation at this time. He concludes by reaffirming Littonia's position as an independent state, but one that is more than willing to help its neighbours in time of need. (See Fy. 3; Sv. 15.)
What This Means: Uldis has received letters from Ericall concerning the Norwold Confederacy, and what functions it is to fulfil. While Uldis is more than happy to aid his neighbours in the spirit of friendship, he does not wish to cast his lot with the confederacy in such an uncertain time. He also realises that the populace would not support a surrendering of Littonia's sovereignty, so membership in the Norwold Confederacy is not an option at this time.
Sviftmont 12, AC 1016: Back from the Dead.
Location: Town of Imolus, County of Kameloth, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Description: During the official funeral held in the capital of Kameloth, King Sieger von Duwn suddenly appears over the dead count's coffin in the middle of the church. Under the astonished gazes of the hundreds of people gathered there, he mutters a few words over his comrade's corpse, throwing a cold gaze at the priest celebrating the rite. Then, he points his fingers towards the priest and the army general and unleashes a terrifying spell, which strikes the two all of a sudden, turning them into black basalt statues. Moments later, the count rises from his coffin, much to the astonishment of the standing crowd, which begins to panic and flee in all directions.
King Sieger casts another spell and his voice thunders all over the church, addressing firmly the fearful bystanders: "Count Shuren died to defend you and was later betrayed by these cursed fools," he explains pointing at the two statues "who didn't lift a single finger to help him or to try resurrect him, as he had previously ordered. I have come here to see that justice be restored: now behold what happens to traitors and rejoice for the return of your count. As long as we will watch over you, you do not have to fear anything but our wrath!" That said, the king teleports away while the puzzled crowd stares at a even more confused Count Shuren. (See Sv. 10; Sv. 14, Sv. 18.)
What This Means: When Sieger tried to contact his old friend telepathically and found out he was not responding, he thought him to be in danger. Great was his surprise when he discovered that Shuren was dead and about to be buried. He immediately teleported to Kameloth and wished the count back to life, then gazed at his lieutenants waiting for an explanation. When he magically noticed that the two men were actually doppelgangers, he petrified them. He is now sure that the Black Duke sent them to cause further mishap in his friend's domain, and wonders if he could have done it with the other Norwold lords as well, including himself. He is now resolute to find this out.
Sviftmont 12, AC 1016: A Matter of Will Power.
Location: Lands of the Gentle Folk. HW
Description: The Alphatian elves report their lack of progress with the Gentle Folk. With but a few exceptions, the Gentle Folk seem completely uninterested in anything resembling a "normal" elven lifestyle. Though they have been at the task for but a few months, the elves are utterly frustrated and are ready to relinquish their task. Sensing their frustration, the group of elves will be brought back to Alphatia and others sent to replace them. (See Fl. 8.)
What This Means: The elves are experiencing the resolve of the Gentle Folk's pacifism and the strength of the Spell of Preservation. No matter what they do, the Gentle Folk show little interest in elven practices. The Shiye elves in particular are totally frustrated by them. There have already been a few incidents where frustration has bred hostility, which has been forwarded to the empress by the clerics. She has opted to recall them before irreparable damage has been done.
What the PCs Can Do: Elven PCs may find themselves commissioned to travel to the Gentle Folk. Likewise, PCs affiliated with either the Alphatia or Koryis Order may find themselves tasked with insuring that the Gentle Folk's pacifist nature is not exploited.
Sviftmont 13, AC 1016: Bar Room Brawl.
Location: City of Blueside, Kingdom of Lagrius, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: A fight breaks out in a popular Blueside tavern; by the time the city guard intervenes and breaks it up, the establishment is devastated. Investigating the matter, it is discovered that a trio of visitors from Veroth initiated the altercation, starting a quarrel with none other than a local celebrity, Brodicim. What comes as a shock is the divulgence that Brodicim, a non-spellcaster, utilised spells in his defence. Exposed as a mage, one of the Verothian mages issues challenge to a duel. Surprisingly, Brodicim backs down from the challenge. With so many questions looming, the guard decides to hold all combatants in custody pending a full investigation. (See Th. 8, Fy. 14; Sv. 16, Ei. 19.)
What This Means: During the Great War, Brodicim had been a Glantrian agent. His clandestine role had been uncovered by Alphatian intelligence just before the sinking. Having fled the mainland, he had escaped justice and the mainland's destruction. Since his egress, Brodicim has assumed the identity of a commoner. However, the aristocrat in him has caused him to strive for the notoriety he had as a spellcaster, so he has subtly used his magic to build that notoriety-and his bank account. Embolden, he has become more visible than any fugitive should be.
It did not take long for Brodicim to be discovered by Czekostrine's agents. With all of their evidence lost in the sinking and Brodicim being a celebrity, he has had to devise a strategy. He instructed several of his spellcasting agents to "be insulted" by Brodicim-Alphatian law would protect them. When Brodicim uses his spells to defend himself, he exposes himself as a fraud, then the matter could be settled in a duel.
The plan unfolded as nearly expected-unfortunately, bystanders and the guard intervened before Brodicim could be eliminated and then when one of the Veroth mages issued his challenge to a duel, Brodicim backed down.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can be working for Veroth, either executing the assassination on Brodicim or keeping tabs on him. PCs may be friends of Brodicim and find themselves at his side during the attack. Or the PCs could just happen to be in the tavern, minding their own business, and be drawn into the brawl.
Sviftmont 13, AC 1016: Hope Comes with the Sun.
Location: Duchy of Chitine, Kingdom of Alpha, NACE, Western Bay Marches. NW
Description: A great army of sollux led by Feudelance (the sollux general) and the priest Lambert Bohn enters Chitine and sides with the knights to fight against the evil fire dwellers in what will be remembered as the Burning War. The fields of Chitine are ravaged by the skirmishes and the temperatures on the battlefields are so high that Chitine experiences the hottest autumn ever, hotter than the warmest summer it has ever had. (See Am. 25, Sv. 5; Sv. 19, Ei. 13.)
What This Means: Learning of Coiger's moves, Lambert Bohn, archenemy of the powerful priest of Rathanos (himself a cleric of Tarastia), travelled to the sollux's volcano and informed their leader, Feudelance, of the rival efreet's attack on nearby Chitine. Explaining Feudelance what the real situation was, Bohn was able to enlist his help and that of the Sun Brotherhood to thwart Coiger and Duke Dahish's plans of conquest. However, given the nature of the armies on the battlefield, Chitine will not escape the conflict unscathed. Both Bohn and Feudelance are willing to sacrifice a few villages and peasants should this mean the defeat of the forces of evil-something Duke Ney would probably object at.
What the PCs Can Do: Choose the side they want to fight with and battle in one of the hottest wars north of the tropics.
Sviftmont 13, AC 1016: Knocking at the Gate of Yuzihuapac.
Location: City of Yuzihuapac, Azcan Empire. HW
Description: Otziltipac's military enter the city of Yuzihuapac, expecting another tough fight, but are surprised to find the city gates open. The commoners of the city, though rather hostile, mostly do not initiate fights. Prudently, Otziltipac's officers decide to secure strategic locations within the city but do not attempt to capture the temples yet, in order to avoid violent reactions from supporters of the old clergy right away. (See Am. 14, Am. 28; Sv. 19, Sv. 24.)
What This Means: Aware that Chupicuaro's men are on their tails, Otziltipac's military moved on to secure the city of Yuzihuapac despite the risk of upheavals in the still unruly Atacoatli.
The city officials, knowing what happened in Atacoatli and that they will not receive any support from Fort Zitapan, have decided to keep a low profile and let the followers of Quetzalcoatl enter the city, at least for now. They have been informed by advanced scouts of the approach of the army from Huitlaktima, though.
Sviftmont 14, AC 1016: King Sieger Looses His Temper.
Location: Town of Erones, Kingdom of Siegeria, Western Bay Marches. NW
Description: A pegataur sent by the Black Duke arrives at Sieger's castle in Erones, the capital of Siegeria, with an order from his master. The Black Duke wishes Sieger to take an active part in the war or be considered a traitor: as a consequence, his seneschal would be killed and his kingdom become the next target of the duke's magical assaults. The duke also chides Sieger for interfering with his plans in Kameloth and asks for his immediate excuses, accompanied by his declaration of war against the confederacy and the invasion of Leeha. Fuming, Sieger fries the pegataur with one lightning bolt, then gives orders to his halfling general, Lavim Hollister, to muster an elite army for war. After that, he leaves the kingdom in the capable hands of his court chaplain, Red Ork, and teleports away. (See Am. 25, Sv. 12; Sv. 18, Sv. 19.)
What This Means: Sieger doesn't like it when others tell him what to do, and after exposing the Black Duke's plot in Kameloth he has begun to seriously reconsider his alliance with the Qeodharans. Might this be the proverbial last straw?
Sviftmont 15, AC 1016: Unpleasant News.
Location: Town of Farend, Kingdom of Qeodhar, NACE. AS
Description: Baron Norlan of Qeodhar receives a report from his network of spies-the news is not good. Over the past several weeks, several patrols of soldiers have gone missing in the northern and eastern regions of the island, but now he has proof that the Antalian minority, recently expelled to those regions, is responsible for the attacks. Angrily, he orders a portion of his army to mobilise, and stage several punitive raids on the nearest Antalian settlements. (See Fy. 8, Am. 18; Sv. 22, Ei. 4.)
What This Means: Norlan has long viewed the Antalian minority to be a problem in his rulership of Qeodhar. They had always opposed his rule, and now they have become more vocal than ever. He knows that if he allows them to remain a thorn in his side, his status among the other Alphatian rulers will decline, since he will be seen as someone who cannot rule his own realm. As a result, he wants the revolts put down quickly, by any means necessary.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are spying on Norlan, they might learn of this order. If they do, they can warn the nearest Antalian communities to prepare to defend themselves, or help evacuate them. If the PCs are working for Norlan, they might assist in organising the raiding parties, or participate in the raids themselves.
Sviftmont 15, AC 1016: Peace on the Southern Front.
Location: City of Gaudavpils, Kingdom of Littonia, Arctic Plains. NW
Description: In the presence of King Uldis VI and Queen Laila, the rulers of Littonia (who offered their palace as neutral zone for the meeting), King Ericall of Norwold and a few of his most trusted lords sit at the same table with High Priest Wulf von Klagendorf and his loyal military adviser, Oberst Dietrich von Wessel-Bernau. The two parties, after a hot debate, finally reach a compromise and sign a truce that lifts the pressure on the confederacy's southern border. The terms of the treaty are clear: the Norwold Confederacy recognises the Heldannic Knights' claims over all the lands and dominions they conquered thus far and promises not to try to retake those territories by any means, directly or indirectly. The knights promise to halt their military expansion to the northern lands of Kildorkak, with the free option of annexing the area of the Warring Baronies should they swear allegiance to the Heldannic Territories; the same clause applies to the confederacy. As a result of this treaty, the Heldannic Territories also break all former oaths with the Qeodharans and retreat from the Norwold War. (See Am. 19, Sv. 1.)
What This Means: Herr Wulf and Ericall got more or less what they wanted with this treaty. The opportunity and time to restore order in the conquered territories for the first, and the end of a living nightmare for the latter, who can now concentrate all his efforts on eradicating the Qeodharans from his lands. Baron Norlan will not take this news well, nor will Alphaks, for that matter.
What the PCs Can Do: They can participate in the peace talks, provided they are lords of Norwold loyal to Ericall or trusted advisers or generals to Herr Wulf von Klagendorf.
Sviftmont 16, AC 1016: Battle of Aldgate.
Location: Hamlet of Aldgate, 3 miles southwest of Town of Norchester, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC
Description: The royalist forces led by Lord Perceval Hume, Duke of Parchester, clash this morning with rebel forces led by the Earl of Penwick. The royalist army is confident of a crushing victory, leading Lord Perceval to use his cavalry in a reckless charge against the rebel forces. This leaves the flanks of the royalist infantry exposed as it struggles to maintain contact with the cavalry. Rebel mages and archers, who until now have been concealed in the wooded copse on the left of the battlefield, emerge to open fire with arrows and combat spells on the hopelessly outmanoeuvred infantry. Chaos reigns in the royalist ranks. The cavalry charge is defeated by the pikemen of the rebel forces, and without infantry to provide support, the royalist cavalry is easily repulsed. As the royalist forces try to regroup under the attack from two directions, Lord Perceval is hit by an arrow in the eye and breaks his neck as he falls from his mount. This causes panic amongst the royalist troops who immediately break ranks and flee the battlefield. The battle is over and the rebel forces have won their first victory. (See Am. 12, Sv. 4.)
What This Means: What the king had expected to be a crushing victory for his forces has turned into a crushing defeat. The royalists lose 3,400 troops in the battle including some of their best. King James II decides to use his remaining forces to shore up his borders with Penwick and Wyndham while he recruits more soldiers over winter.
Sviftmont 16, AC 1016: Verothian Demands.
Location: Kingdom of Veroth and Kingdom of Lagrius, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: King Verothrics personally contacts Queen Siaron to gain the release of his agents and demand the extradition of Brodicim. He informs the queen of who the real Brodicim is and what he has done. Without any physical evidence the accusations are merely his word against Brodicim's, so the queen cannot readily turn him over to Veroth, but she proposes that justice can be served: since Brodicim is now known to be a mage, the matter can be handled more traditionally, all Verothrics has to do is challenge him to a duel. Verothrics agrees and the challenge is issued to Brodicim, who accepts, and the duel is arranged to be held in Blueside on Eirmont 19. In the mean time, Brodicim will be held under guard. To be fair, he is allowed access to any and all magic he has to prepare. (See Fy. 14, Sv. 13; Ei. 19.)
What This Means: Though he has little physical evidence, Siaron has little reason to doubt Verothrics' accusations. The men of Randel may be a lot of things, but they do take matters of treason very seriously. A duel will settle things not only in the eyes of justice, but also in the eyes of the public. Brodicim accepts this challenge because he knows that he is a dead man no matter what he does, consoling himself with the hopes that luck may favour him.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs may be called upon to supplement the guards watching over Brodicim. Since he will be allowed access to his magics, special precautions will be needed to insure that he is a model prisoner and does not use magic to flee. Though spells allowing instantaneous travel have been removed from his spellbook, there are always the chances of folks smuggling a spell scroll in or even forcing his escape.
Sviftmont 16, AC 1016: A Strange Story.
Location: City of Raven Scarp, Thyatian Empire, Thyatian Hinterlands. DV
Description: A man who claims to be Baron Claudius Vitalis arrives in Raven Scarp and demands to see General Leilah at once. The man is in good shape and bears no signs of torture or fatigue. The man is soon recognised as the true Lord Vitalis and during his meeting with the general he tells her a strange story.
Lord Vitalis explains that after they were attacked by the Hinterlanders, his group lost contact with the rest of the expedition and remained hidden in the jungle together with a dozen trusted men. When the Hinterlanders left, however, they found themselves to be lost in the forest, without a compass or a map, and so tried to return to Raven Scarp using the sky as a reference. After some hours of marching, they stumbled upon another Hinterlander war party; they tried to fight but were outnumbered and so they scattered into the forest. For many hours the natives played cat and mouse with them, until they were finally surrounded and the Hinterlanders unleashed their death cry. At this point, something incredible happened: strange creatures leaped down from the trees and fought the Hinterlanders, driving them out of the place. There were only half a dozen of them, green-skinned humanoids with strange insect-like mounts, but they were able to defeat a war party of more than twenty individuals. Fortunately, they were friendly and brought them all to a small hut in the jungle, where an Ochalean man by the name of Karcharoz tended them and later offered to bring them back to Raven Scarp. So now, Lord Vitalis and a handful of his guards have returned to the town to inform General Leilah of the threat posed by the Jackal Clan and of the existence of these green-skinned people west of the Hinterlands. General Leilah immediately arranges for a meeting with Karcharoz to know more about the situation. (See Fe. 25, Am. 22; Sv. 17, Ei. 14.)
What This Means: Lord Vitalis' report is complete and thorough. The humanoids they have met are Emerondians, representatives of an alien humanoid race never encountered before by the Thyatians. The Hinterlanders were attacking people on their lands, thus poisoning their forest (according to their customs) and so they intervened to drive off the savage Hinterlanders and avoid angering the forest spirits. Since they didn't want any contact with the strangers, they brought them to the Ochalean mystic, Karcharoz, a friend of their people, to be taken into custody and away from their civilisation. For this reason, once they were healed, he offered to accompany them back to Raven Scarp.
Sviftmont 16, AC 1016: Caged!
Location: Lake of Despair, northern Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: All the members of the Onyx Ring assist the High Priestess of Idris in a delicate ceremony to reveal the Orb of the Great One's position to the Draconic Immortals and lure them on the Prime Plane in their mortal form. The plan goes as expected, and the four Immortals (Diamond, Opal, Pearl and the Great One) manifest themselves near the Lake of Despair with an escort of twenty dragon souls to retrieve the lost artifact. Much to their surprise, they are ambushed by many dragons, humans and other strange creatures not quite human that engage the dragon souls into a fierce melee.
Powerful spells are cast on both sides, but when the Dragon Immortals seem to prevail over the assailants, the three Dragon Rulers Opal, Diamond and Pearl vanish. Panicking, the Great One seizes the opportunity to grab the orb and plane shift to the Four, but as soon as He touches it, He feels sucked inside the artifact and He vanishes too. Seeing all their leaders have disappeared, some of the dragon souls return to the Draconic Outer Planes, while others are butchered by the elite servants of Idris. The high priestess then orders the Onyx Ring to take the artifact to the Tower of Idris and guard it for the time being. (See Fy. 25, Am. 27; Sv. 25, Ei. 9.)
What This Means: The trap staged by the followers of Idris worked wonderfully. They altered the orb so that it was actually able to suck into it Immortal life-forces with the power trap life-force. Touching the orb automatically activated the power and the goal of the ring was to make some if not all the Dragon Rulers touch it and be sucked into it. It turned out that apparently only the Great One was absorbed by the orb, while the other dragons chose to flee before it was too late. Even though the members of the ring remain puzzled by the other three Dragon Rulers' actions, they still think having trapped the Great One's soul is a major accomplishment.
Unbeknownst to them, the other three Dragon Immortals have also been sucked into the orb. In fact, They touched the artifact after casting a time stop (in order to take it without major resistance), so nobody saw Them vanish inside the orb. [The Dragon Rulers did not get a saving throw since they voluntarily touched the artifact, without knowing it had been tampered with by Idris Herself. Ed.]
Sviftmont 17, AC 1016: Celebration and Shower of Stones.
Location: Colony of Aengmor, Kingdom of Karameikos, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: Today, 5 King according to the shadow elves' calendar, is a fasti day for shadow elves, especially those in Aengmor, because it commemorates the 9th anniversary of the conquest of Alfheim and of the crowning of Princess Tanadaleyo as Governor of Aengmor.
In West-Rafielton there are joyous celebrations, while in East-Rafielton and in eastern Aengmor tension rises high when groups of Alfheim refugees try to voice their discontent. In the Selinar area the shadowelf troops are subject to a shower of stones and they have to call in Celebryl Air Force to calm things down.
In Mirros and Darokin Alfheim refugees parade under the shadowelf embassy to complain for their current situation. (See Fy. 17; Sv. 27.)
What This Means: Thanks to the Alfheim Avengers' activity tension is at an all time high between the two races of elves. This time the avengers did not even need to work hard to cause unrest among the Alfheim population.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs may take part to the events described either trying to calm things down or to cause even more unrest.
Sviftmont 17, AC 1016: Factions Mobilise.
Location: Throughout the Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Following the coronation of Manfred in Hattias, as news spreads throughout the empire (via magic or courier), leaders and people choose sides and begin to take action on behalf of their faction. Heinrich quickly secures Hattias with his forces, dispersing the few loyalist forces on the island. His army marches to Port Hatti, just across Vanya's Girdle from The City. There they seem stalemated as the imperial fleet, loyal to Eusebius, patrols the girdle, seeming to block the Hattians' passage. The dukes of Kerendas and Machetos announce their support for Manfred and begin to rally support for him on the mainland, while the Count of Biazzan declares his loyalty to the empire, but neutrality in the civil war. (See Am. 27, Sv. 10; Sv. 20, Sv. 21.)
What This Means: Eusebius is caught a bit off guard. His strongest forces are overseas, maintaining the empire's hold on its colonies, or still training following his military reorganisation. Though due to the loyalty of the fleet and control of the seas he will be able to transport them to Thyatis, this will take time. The Count of Biazzan and Duke of Tel Akbir, while essentially loyal to Eusebius, dare not withdraw their forces from the border, lest the Ylari take advantage of the situation to strike at their domains, and dither indecisively.
Sviftmont 17, AC 1016: A New General in Drax Tallen.
Location: Keep of Drax Tallen, Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: General Grumman arrives in Drax Tallen to take command of the operations inside the forest of Geffron. The High Priestess of Idris commanded the general (just returned back to Denagoth after over 20 years spent in Wendar as a spy) to the position, hoping he will be able to catch the crusaders still at large in the woods. They have been causing too many deaths with their nightly raids, and since they seem to have undead allies, Grumman has the duty to investigate the matter and discover if the missing Shadow Lord is aiding them. (See Ya. 25, Kl. 14.)
Sviftmont 17, AC 1016: First News on Emerond.
Location: City of Raven Scarp, Thyatian Empire, Thyatian Hinterlands. DV
Description: General Leilah manages to speak with the Ochalean man who brought Lord Vitalis and his men back to safety. Hard pressed by the woman, he reveals her that those who helped the Thyatians are Emerondians, a race of peaceful forest dwellers who live secluded in the jungle west of the Hinterlands. They mean no harm to anyone and lead a peaceful life, and they do not want any contacts with the outside nations to avoid meddling in their affairs and problems. He also explains that the Hinterlanders know of them and fear them, for the Emerondians are peaceful but more than capable of holding their land and defending themselves.
General Leilah immediately contacts Emperor Eusebius through Kastelian messengers to find out what to do. The emperor decides to consult the imperial senate directly before contacting this new race. (See Am. 22, Sv. 16; Ei. 14, Ka. 20.)
What This Means: Karcharoz knows the Emerondians far too well so he is trying to give the Thyatians the impression of a peaceful but strong nation that would do everything to avoid meddling with other powers. He also knows the Thyatian tendency towards imperialism, and has therefore presented Emerond as a useless nation, which could however prove a pain in the neck if mistreated, hoping to discourage Thyatis from interfering with it.
Sviftmont 18, AC 1016: Against Aran.
Location: Valley of Kings, Great Escarpment, Kingdom of Thothia, NACE, Isle of Dawn. SD
Description: An aranean settlement on the north side of the Valley of Kings is attacked this morning. A motley assemblage of undead and golems clamber their way out of the valley and lay waste to the araneas' village. Fleeing araneas catch a glimpse of a one-armed, regally-clad lich who proclaims to them that the Valley of Kings is forever barred to their kind, and any intrusions will be met with the utter destruction of Aran. (See Fe. 5, Am. 10; Ka. 12.)
What This Means: The lich is Haptuthep, who has used ancient Thothian arts to raise this horde and attack the araneas-whom he hates for their part in the current state of Thothia. He is bluffing, however-the magic that animates his army will not allow them to travel far from the Valley of Kings.
The araneas do not know this, however, and will be forced to take the long way east in order to continue their infiltrations and assaults on Thothia. It will be a minor inconvenience, however, as the spider folk can easily scale the sides of the Great Escarpment.
Sviftmont 18, AC 1016: The Tide Turns.
Location: Duchy of Ossian and Qeodharan Territories of Odinia, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Description: A combined force of the Draken and Alphan navies strike at the Qeodharan ships stationed along Odinia's coastlines, helped by the powerful magics of some of the Norwold lords. Their attack is so unexpected and overwhelming that more than half of the Qeodharan vessels are lost before any significant counter-attack can be staged, and by this time the confederacy ships are already returning to their harbours.
Meanwhile in Ossian, a strange skyship appears over the capital city of Schwarztal and begins bombarding the city walls with meteor swarms and other deadly spells. When the Black Duke and his apprentices retaliate, they discover that they are facing none other than Sieger von Duwn aboard his gnome-operated flying ship, the Silver Arrow II. After dodging a few fireballs and dropping some scrolls over the duke's castle, the ship darts away into the clouds at an incredible speed. The Black Duke grabs one of the scrolls to read it, and immediately after he shouts at the sky, cursing Sieger with dark words of vengeance. All the scrolls bore this only inscription: "Ready to die?" (See Sv. 12, Sv. 14; Sv. 22, Sv. 26.)
What This Means: King Sieger has finally switched sides after the last events and has warned King Ericall and his nobles of possible infiltrators in their lines. He has also studied, together with the overlord and General Beriak, an assault to weaken the Qeodharan forces in preparation for the final blow. Now that they don't have to fear the Heldannic Knights anymore and can concentrate all their efforts on the Qeodharans, victory seems close at hand for the Norwold lords.
King Sieger's skyship is the by-product of gnomish engineering and magical research and was secretly built in a hidden facility inside Siegeria during the past year. Sieger is fond of skyships [he himself was raised by a mage commanding a unique flying ship, which he later inherited and lost at the beginning of the Great War. Ed.] and now wants to exploit his new weapon to teach the Black Duke a lesson about aerial warfare.
Sviftmont 18, AC 1016: Stefan Issues Birthday List.
Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: On his 68th birthday, King Stefan raises several Karameikans to noble status. He elevates Desmond Kelvin from baron to count, making Kelvin the kingdom's first county. Sulescu is made into a barony with Zemiros as its ruler. Two new baronies are created, ruled by Thyatian exiles [two of the six nobles who received asylum from Stefan in 1013. Ed.]: the Barony of Traldar, a coastal strip northeast of Traldar Bay straddling the Estron Road, and the Barony of Rifllian, governing the region around that trading encampment, tasked with turning it into a true town.
Several are also promoted as nobility of honour, including the elevation of Terari as Count of Krakatos. These nobles are not administrators ruling fiefs (Terari, for example, remains busy as Master of the School of Magecraft), but to give a title to the recipients, fixing their status within the Karameikan hierarchy. The prominence of the School of Magecraft, for example, is highlighted by the fact that its headmaster is one of only two counts in the kingdom.
What This Means: Stefan is firming up his hierarchy of vassals. An aging man, Stefan wants to leave Karameikos on a solid foundation when he dies. Stefan even offered to turn Marilenev and Dmitrov into baronies. Lady Magda sent a message filled with sarcasm at being "unworthy to receive a title from your lordship," which Stefan thought was the most gracious thing she ever wrote him. He treasures that letter deeply, while Olivia, understanding the meaning of Magda's message, resolved to alert her information gatherers (spies) in the Marilenev household to be on the alert. Lord Lev sent a sincere message saying the offer honoured him, but that he is content with his current status. The appointment of a human ruler over Rifllian may cause friction in that region in the future. The other four Thyatian political refugees take positions as assistants to the rulers of the two new baronies.
What the PCs Can Do: Prominent Karameikans might be given a noble title, either with a fief to administer, or as one of the new category of "honour" nobility. The latter is particularly suited to characters that prefer adventure to administration, giving them prominence in the court hierarchy without the burdens of rulership. Such people will be duty-bound to accept missions of heroic nature from the crown, but as loyal Karameikans they would do that anyhow.
Sviftmont 19, AC 1016: Arogansa Island Secured.
Location: Arogansa Island. AS
Description: The Alphatian troops disembark on Arogansa Island. The only annoyance they encounter are hungry monsters, including a vicious chimera, until they are ambushed by pirates attacking both from land and sea. The soldiers are a bit reluctant to fighting the pirates, as they boast the colours of Alphatia, but the pirates are ruthless in defending their land from the invaders. Commander Broderick orders a retreat, and finally gets an opportunity to parlay with the pirates.
After hours of negotiation, the pirates agree to stop attacking ships from the NACE. (See Th. 1, Am. 25; Ei. 8.)
What This Means: The pirates are revealed to be remnants from the troops native of Arogansa, who sailed home after part of the Alphatian navy turned mercenary and accepted to fight for the Thyatians against other Alphatians, back in AC 1010. The Arogansans turned to piracy, sinking ships from Thyatis and their traitorous allies, not aware that other Alphatians had united but instead thinking they were all now under the sway of the evil Thyatians.
The pirates, who call themselves the Alphatian Corsairs, really thought they were the only true, free Alphatians remaining. They attacked Thyatian assets on the Isle of Dawn and the Alatians, of course, but also NACE's assets in the Alphatian Sea, including the new sea-lanes to Ionace and the Aquas workers on the new domed city (which they mistook for Thyatian plunderers).
The corsairs agreed to stop their attacks on NACE's ships, but they remain rather suspicious of the NACE, and refuse to integrate the confederacy right away. They agreed to a meeting with the council later on, though.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are helping in the campaign they may be the ones assigned with organising the assault on the "pirate" island, in which case it is up to them to determine who the "enemies" actually are before too much unnecessary casualties add up.
Sviftmont 19, AC 1016: New Forces Enter Chitine.
Location: Duchy of Chitine, Kingdom of Alpha, NACE, Western Bay Marches. NW
Description: A small army led by General Lavim Hollister of Siegeria joins the Knights of Chitine and the Sollux Fighters in the Burning War against the efreet. General Hollister brings with him a nice gift of King Sieger, a large pack of fire wolves (magical creations of the wizard) ready to tear apart the elementals of Duke Dahish. With these unexpected reinforcements, the forces of Chitine begin to gain ground against their hatred enemies. (See Sv. 13, Sv. 14; Ei. 13.)
What This Means: King Sieger wants that his northern borders remain safe, and since he has now openly broken his allegiance with the Black Duke and suspects that all troubles in Norwold have been caused (directly or indirectly) by his manipulations, he doesn't want that the Burning War spills into his already troubled kingdom. For this reason he sent General Hollister with his best soldiers and his magical wolves to aid the Knights of Chitine, in order to keep the war in that duchy and prevent the elementals to expand southwards.
Sviftmont 19, AC 1016: Armies Meet at Last.
Location: City of Yuzihuapac, Azcan Empire. HW
Description: Chupicuaro's army, after walking all the way from Huitlaktima, finally reaches the occupied city of Yuzihuapac. Though both sides are far from fresh, they immediately engage each other. At that signal, many Yuzihuapacans loyal to Atzanteotl attack Otziltipac's troops from within the city, slaying their foes fervently. The situation quickly degenerates, and small bands chase each other through the streets of the city, giving and asking no quarters. The skirmishes go on for days. Though Chupicuaro's loyal troops have the upper hand overall, the vicious nature of the fights prevents them from achieving complete victory over their deadly foes. (See Am. 28, Sv. 13; Sv. 24, Ei. 2.)
What This Means: The priests of Atzanteotl and city officials were aware of the advance of friendly troops, and that is why they let Otziltipac's men enter the city unhindered. Otziltipac's officers wish they had overrun the city temples, where Atzanteotl fanatics were hiding and being armed, waiting in ambush. The situation looks stern for the followers of Quetzalcoatl now.
Sviftmont 20, AC 1016: Armies March.
Location: Cities of Thyatis and Kerendas, Duchies of Thyatis and Kerendas, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: After the arrival of some detachments from overseas, Eusebius decides to deal with the threat to his rear before conducting an invasion of Hattias. The fleet will patrol Vanya's Girdle to prevent Heinrich's army from crossing to support the army of the nobility. The imperial army marches out of Thyatis City, leaving a guard force behind, confident of victory. After a day's march they camp at the crossroads north of Julinius. The following morning the imperial vanguard skirmishes with advance eliminates of the army of the nobility, marching east from Kerendas. The vanguard sweeps the enemy back easily, and the army marches onward into Kerendas. (See Sv. 10, Sv. 17; Sv. 21, Sv. 22.)
What This Means: Eusebius and his generals have good reason for confidence. Under normal conditions, they would have no problem defeating the rebels and by doing so with ease they would strengthen Eusebius' grip on Thyatis. This early skirmish, so successfully won, seems proof of that. But Eusebius is not facing a normal foe.
Sviftmont 20, AC 1016: The Dragonlord's Truth.
Location: Barony of Hopeland, Wyrmsteeth Mountains. NW
Description: The Caretakers are finally able to locate Kelter Zerben and the Dragonslayers and come to Hopeland on behalf of the Dragonlord himself. The three wizards are amazed to discover the truth behind the Dragonwars, but they agree that even though Kelter Zerben was not responsible for what he did, the dragons have been wronged and will not forgive Zerben so easily. When the Caretakers question him on the theft of the Orb of the Great One, however, Kelter and his friends deny any involvement. They all understand that Siren has been manipulating the Dragonslayers to cause the Dragonwars, and so the Caretakers give the Dragonslayers the task to find her and retrieve the artifact. Only in this way, they think, the Wyrmsteeth dragons could be persuaded to forgive them and stop the Dragonwars. (See Am. 26, Sv. 6; Ei. 10, Ei. 15.)
What This Means: Kelter Zerben recognises that his actions have caused great misery and pain to the inhabitants of Norwold and he feels somewhat guilty. For this reason he has called for a meeting with the Caretakers, knowing they were looking for him, hoping that they could understand the situation and help him out of it. Hopeland has been hit more and more frequently in the past days, when news spread among dragons that a mighty warrior with a dragonscale armour was fighting there, and he senses that he cannot resist the wyrms' assaults for much longer. In such a desperate situation, he would do anything to put an end to his torments and restore peace. Finding Siren the traitor and returning the Orb of the Great One to the dragons seems now the only way out of this intricate situation.
What the PCs Can Do: Participate in the Dragonlord's quest and find a solution to the crisis.
Sviftmont 21, AC 1016: Acquisitions Stand Pat.
Location: City of Beitung, Exarchate of Ochalea, Town of Seagirt, Exarchate of the Pearl Islands, and City of Minrothad, Minrothad Guilds. OW, SD
Description: The newly acquired domains of the Thyatian Empire, for their own reasons, decide to stay loyal... for now. They take a wait and see attitude towards the civil war, watching events before deciding on a course of action.
In Minrothad, Demetius Vannopolus uses his resources to maintain a firm grip. He reminds the Minrothad Guilders how recent the assassination was, and that Darokin may still wish to pursue the matter. They understand the message and pledge their continued loyalty. He does begin to mobilise units of Minrothad's Home Guard, to be dispatched if necessary.
In Beitung and Seagirt the new exarchs are more tentative about their support. They recently rejoined the empire on what they thought would be good terms. Thyatis seemed to be recovering, but the civil war may prove to be the final blow for the empire. Now they wonder if they have shackled themselves to a corpse, and independence begins to look attractive again. But Eusebius may prove up to the challenge, so they wait, and watch. (See Sv. 10, Sv. 17; Ei. 10.)
Sviftmont 21, AC 1016: Enough Religious Persecutions!
Location: Dvinzinian-controlled Magocracy of Azardjian, Kavkaz. SC
Description: Widespread unrest erupts in the Dvinzinian-held part of Azardjian. People are asking for the end of the religious persecutions and the end of the rule of the Sublime Octagon Order. Refugees in other parts of Azardjian come in handy to support the uprising. However, due to the lack of a charismatic leader, the Azards are unable to coordinate their action, and the Dvinzinians respond by a major clampdown against the restive population. (See Kl. 2, Fe. 8.)
What This Means: The people of Azardjian are increasingly unable to cope with the Dvinzinian abuses. This is but the first of a series of uprisings that the Sublime Octagon Order is sure to meet if it continue its current religious policy.
Sviftmont 22, AC 1016: A Vision.
Location: Town of Puerto Morillos, Baronía de Narvaez. SC
Description: Barón Hugo is awakened during the night by a blinding vision. Ixion appears before Hugo praising his recent efforts. First Hugo has persecuted the afflicted, now Ixion wants him to direct his soldiers in a holy crusade against the "blasphemous" Barony of Gargoña. (See Fe. 1; Ka. 1, Ka. 4.)
What This Means: Barón Hugo immediately begins preparing his armies for the attack. Now that they are equipped with bombards, smoke powder and firearms from Torreón, the armies of Narvaez are suddenly much more of a threat to the rest of the baronies. Little does Hugo know that the vision was not from Ixion at all, but was conjured by other, darker forces.
Sviftmont 22, AC 1016: Face off at Bayville.
Location: Town of Bayville, Duchy of Kerendas, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: The previous night the imperial army marched westward into Kerendas, driving the rebel army before it and into the town of Bayville. The imperial forces encamp outside Bayville, and both sides prepare for battle. Today both awake before dawn, and units begin to take up their places in battle formation. It is immediately apparent that the army of the nobility is significantly larger than it was the previous night, having more than doubled. In the centre of their line flies the banner of the usurper himself, the standard of Hattias, and a large black flag bearing the insignia of twin gold lightning-bolts. Ranks of Storm Soldiers leaven the army's centre, with Kerendan knights guarding their flanks.
The imperial army, still confident and numerically the equal of the usurper's army, forms two lines with a strong reserve and pushes forward outflanking forces. Small but well trained aerial squadrons survey the battlefield, providing reconnaissance reports to imperial commanders. Both forces surge forward, cavalry and knights couching lances as they charge, imperial cataphracts firing arrows into the enemy ranks before impact, disrupting their lines. The loyalist forces begin to slowly drive the rebel army towards the sea and certain defeat. Then Heinrich Oesterhaus mutters, and darkness descends over the battlefield, bringing twilight at noon.
Soldiers of the imperial army begin to be stung by small, biting insects. Then come large horse flies that sting so hard they draw blood. The bugs seem to ignore the members of the usurper's army, attacking only the loyalists. Imperial clerics and mages try to dispel the effect, but to no avail. Though small in and of themselves, the biting insects cause slight distraction in all but the most stoic soldiers. Their effect on the horses is even worse, causing disorder in the imperial ranks. The rebel force begins to push the imperial army back. By mid-afternoon Eusebius orders a retreat, and the army begins to disengage in good order. Then, a previously unengaged force of black-clad knights appears to the northeast, flanking the imperial army. Their charge shatters the right wing of the army, crumbling it. The army routes back towards Julinius, pursued by their enemies. (See Sv. 20, Sv. 21; Sv. 23, Sv. 24.)
What This Means: The Hattians used a portal through the Plane of Shadow, created by Heinrich Oesterhaus, to bypass the girdle and appear in Bayville. Arranging this without detection cost Thanatos significant power, and He is not likely to repeat the performance (chance of detection is too high). Following the battle, the black-clad knights take up a role as Heinrich's personal bodyguard. They say nothing to anyone, and never appear outside their armour. Lawful or good aligned characters with the usurper army will get a sense of foreboding and doom whenever they see them.
For Eusebius, the battle was a debacle. This defeat represents the final passing of the old Thyatian army, which dies on the plains of Kerendas. Eusebius will have to knit together a new one out of newly-trained troops and detachments from overseas, if he has time. Eusebius is also left with two mysteries: how the Hattian troops arrived in Bayville, and why his strongest mages could not dispel the obviously magical clouds of insects. But tonight he has no time to ponder these questions, as he flees for his life with the rest of his surviving troops.
Sviftmont 22, AC 1016: Qeodharans Quit the Field.
Location: Qeodharan Territories of Odinia, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Description: After a quick evaluation of the situation, the admiral of the Qeodharan Navy stationed in Odinia, Ejrik Bergstrom, orders his troops a hasty retreat in the Strait of Todstein, where they will station for a while, waiting for Baron Norlan's orders. Before leaving Odinia however, the Qeodharans make sure they leave nothing precious behind, and burn down everything they cannot loot or take away with them. The smoke columns rising from Odinia are so high and numerous that even some Alphan lookouts can spot them in the distance at high noon. (See Sv. 18; Sv. 24, Ei. 4.)
What This Means: Commander Bergstrom has been informed of the truce sealed by the Heldannic Knights and the Norwold Confederacy. Without the Order of Vanya's support and with half of their fleet sunken, he knew they could not hold Odinia for long. So he chose to minimise the losses by retreating into the foggy Strait of Todstein, where their ships have a better chance to outmanoeuvre and evade the bigger and slower Alphan galleys, still blocking access to the Great Bay and thus keeping the last edge over Ericall's forces. He sincerely hopes that Kjavik Norlan will answer as soon as possible to his pleas for help and either send him reinforcements or order the fleet home. Bitter at heart by the defeat, he also ordered his men to plunder and ransack everything, enslaving some Odinians, killing others and burning down everything and everyone they could not take away on their vessels. This way, he reasoned, the people of Norwold won't forget the Qeodharans' wrath.
Sviftmont 22, AC 1016: Another Murder in Hapta.
Location: Town of Hapta, Kingdom of Nithia. HW
Description: Around midday, townspeople in Hapta's main market are startled by a loud shriek coming from one of the nearby alleys. Rushing to investigate, they see a young Nithian boy slump to the ground in a growing pool of blood, his intestines spilling out from the great gash in his abdomen. One man, looking up from the body, notices a dark-skinned, cloaked figure running towards the other end of the alley.
A vigorous pursuit is organised, but the assailant vanishes into the maze-like streets of Hapta before he (or she) can be positively identified, although many witnesses believe the attacker to be a Tanagoro man. A public outcry arises, as the townsfolk demand that the town guard capture the culprit. (See Sv. 12; Ka. 5.)
What This Means: This is the second time a Nithian citizen of Hapta has been killed in such a manner; the patterns of the attack are very similar, and many townsfolk will soon (perhaps rightly) come to believe them to be linked. The fact that the town guard has been unable so far to capture the killer from the previous attack means that tensions are simmering even more.
The fact that some witnesses believe the attacker to be a Tanagoro man will provide fuel for Nithian bigots.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are still helping the town guard, the PCs may have to add to their duties the task of defusing local tensions-not an easy task.
Sviftmont 23, AC 1016: Revolt among the Rebels.
Location: Town of Bayville, Duchy of Kerendas, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Count Heinrich orders all the captives from the defeated imperial army impaled along the road to Julinius as "a warning to all who resist the rightful emperor, Manfred Torion." Up until now Manfred has been a passive pawn, playing his role effectively, wearing the crown and looking regal; he even fought fiercely in the Battle of Julinius. But he has always followed the instructions of his "adviser" and foremost noble, Count Heinrich. This time he does not: he countermands the order, commanding that the captives be spared. Heinrich is stunned and angered; his face turns purple with rage, and for an instant it looks like he might slay Manfred on the spot. Manfred simply stares back, calmly and imperiously, as if daring Heinrich to disobey him. After a minute, Heinrich says "by your command, my... emperor." He stalks off to his tent. (See Sv. 21, Sv. 22; Sv. 24, Ei. 1.)
What This Means: Thanatos knows that there should be no way for Manfred, His pawn, to resist His will. Manfred is a carefully crafted tool, much like Hansel, but kept secret for the proper time. Manfred's evident ability to disobey Him threatens to upset His plans. And Thanatos does not know why. The reason is simple, actually: the Crown of Thyatian Emperors is a relic created by the Immortal Tarastia during Her Valentia incarnation, an artifact of law and justice. Normally an Immortal of Thanatos' strength would easily detect the power flowing through the crown, but Tarastia shielded it from all types of detection and divination, which is one reason why when it was lost it was so difficult to find again. This setback causes Heinrich to pause, and the army remains camped outside Bayville, allowing the surviving imperials at Julinius to escape back to Thyatis City. The next morning, after a further visit by Heinrich, Manfred announces that the captives were spared to serve the army as forced labour. A struggle begins between the crown and Thanatos for control over Manfred. Thanatos manages to get the advantage... for now.
Sviftmont 24, 1016: Hinterlands Declares for Eusebius.
Location: City of Raven Scarp, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV
Description: Discussions of the brewing Crown War taking place on the Thyatian mainland have spread among the populace of this southern city, and the colonial governor, General Leilah Ben-Nadir, decides to do something about it. She issues a proclamation, to be carried throughout the Hinterlands, that the people of this southern realm will not forget the honourable legacy of Thyatis, nor will they stand by and let a usurper assume the throne.
She issues a call to arms, to all those who wish to do so, to prove their might, honour, and courage in the face of adversity. Within two weeks, those who pledge the oath of service will head north for Thyatis, to do battle with the foe. (See Sv. 10, Sv. 17; Ei. 9, Ka. 2.)
What This Means: Knowledge of the Crown War has filtered to the Hinterlands by way of Thyatian and Kastelian traders, and Leilah feels that now is a good time to show the other Thyatian realms that the Hinterlands has "come into its own." She feels that if she can show that her realm can do its part, other rulers will accord both her and the Hinterlands more respect. She also feels strongly about the rebellion, and does not wish to see Eusebius' progressive reforms stopped.
She made her call to arms voluntary, partly out of respect to the native Hinterlander traditions of independence and self-reliance. She knows the Hinterlanders will fight more ferociously if they feel they have a stake in the matter, as opposed to feeling coerced into the arrangement. Knowing that the Hinterlanders are by far the majority, she feels this is the best way to do it.
What the PCs Can Do: Sounds like an opportunity for some adventure!
Sviftmont 24, AC 1016: A Scarred Land.
Location: Former Barony of Odinia, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Description: Draken ships land on the coasts of Odinia discovering the horrible legacy left by the Qeodharan invaders. Miles of fields and woods reduced to ashes or still burning like an elemental hell. Hundreds of charred corpses dotting the countryside and hundreds of survivors hidden in caves like frightened kids or roaming the dominion like mindless zombies, endlessly searching for their lost ones. There is no trace left of the Qeodharans, except the wreckage of their sunken longships along the coasts and the horror left in the gaze of the still living inhabitants of Odinia. The soldiers of the confederacy begin to round up the homeless and the wounded and to transport them to either Alpha or Draken. (See Sv. 18, Sv. 22.)
What This Means: This is the first tangible result of the Norwold War and the Qeodharan occupation. Odinia is now a destroyed land and it will probably never recover its losses. Although He is clearly loosing ground, Alphaks can still joy for and savour the havoc and the destruction His machinations have wrought upon Norwold.
Sviftmont 24, AC 1016: Reinforcements.
Location: City of Yuzihuapac, Azcan Empire. HW
Description: After days of bloody street fighting in Yuzihuapac, a new force passes by the gates and enters the fray. This force is made up of all available men from Fort Zitapan, and it soon becomes apparent that they are engaging war parties of Atzanteotl supporters, swinging the tide in favour of Otziltipac. (See Sv. 13, Sv. 19; Ei. 2, Ka. 3.)
What This Means: Purged from its most pro-Atzanteotl elements, who deserted to join in the defence of Atacoatli, the command of the fort was left in the hands of pro-Quetzalcoatl officers. After some mistrust, where each officer believed he was alone in his allegiance and feared to voice his opinion and be sacrificed, the news from the battle in Yuzihuapac crystallised their common views and prompted them into action. The support from the disgruntled military may well prove to be the decisive factor in putting an end to the old regime.
Sviftmont 25, AC 1016: Dragon Rulers Don't Answer.
Location: All throughout Norwold. NW
Description: Unconfirmed rumours spread about the death of the Dragon Rulers at the hands of the humans known as the Dragonslayers. The rumours flow fast across the land, spread by both human and draconic mouths, and are cause of great despair among the wyrms of Norwold. Praying their Immortals to get an answer and their spells, the draconic priests find no answers and fear the worst. Other rumours start about the new draconic order promised by the Immortal Idris, who will guide the dragons of Norwold to reclaim all the territories now held by the humans and demihumans. Many power-hungry dragons believe and begin following the way of Idris, while others question ancient artifacts in search of reasonable answers. (See Am. 27, Sv. 16; Ei. 9, Ei. 10.)
What This Means: The Cult of Idris is spreading the misleading rumours in order to gain followers among the Norwold wyrms and so far its plan is working. The fact that the Immortals do not answer Their followers' prayers and do not give spells worries the dragons, who cannot believe their gods have been killed by puny mortals. Soon the evidence will be too heavy to be questioned and then the dragons will probably unite under Idris' flag to get Norwold rid of humans.
Sviftmont 25, AC 1016: Orcs Meet.
Location: City-State of Ukoy, Krugel Horde Territory. HW
Description: War leaders from the various Krugel city-states meet to discuss war with the Neathar and Icevale. Though the orcs of Ukoy are in favour of an immediate offensive, there is a good degree of hesitation from the other city-states. Citing the need for proper reconnaissance, the orcs want to avoid war for the time being. Though Ukoy lobbies and gains some support, the majority wins out and war is undeclared for the moment. (See Sv. 1.)
What This Means: Normally the Krugel would have few reservations about assaulting any of their neighbours. However, the orcs are more reserved as they fear an Icevale and Neathar alliance. Had the previous slaughter not occurred in their lands, the Ukoy would also be hesitant. Also, the orcs have had their experience with the recently arrived Alphatians in last year's hostage stand-off; since the Alphatians are said to have holdings within Neathar lands and involved themselves with the hostage situation, it is assumed that they are allied with the Neathar. The orcs are afraid of this possible triad of power and are not willing to go to war yet. In particular, they want information on these mysterious Alphatians before devising any war plans.
What the PCs Can Do: Orcish PCs may begin information gathering. Though large raids are forbidden, small raiding parties may be sent to capture Neathar and Icevale elves to gain information.
Sviftmont 26, AC 1016: "The Long Lost."
Location: Tower of Silverston, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: The goblin Broknag the Sly, having claimed the abandoned Tower of Silverston for his own, at long last manages to garner the last of its secrets. He and his goblin retainers break into a hidden vault deep beneath the tower, using magicks stolen from raids on nearby Glantrian settlements. Unfortunately, most of the items discovered are useless, either destroyed during the meteor crash of 1006, or useable only by sorcerers-not a shaman like Broknag.
In a fit of rage, the goblin inadvertently smashes a magical gemstone, which explodes in a burst of brimstone and light. When the smoke clears, the goblins are astonished to see a bearded, frail human figure cowering in the centre of the chamber. Broknag orders the man taken prisoner, and cleans out all useful items in the room. Perhaps Prince Kol will be able to make use of something here... (See Ei. 8.)
What This Means: Over the course of the next few days, Broknag will come to learn that his prisoner is none other than Volospin Aendyr, former Prince of Blackhill. Volospin was long presumed dead. In reality, he has been held captive for years on the Elemental Plane of Air (he angered one of the elemental rulers of that plane while using his magic to escape the meteor impact that destroyed Blackhill).
Sviftmont 26, AC 1016: Assault on Ossian.
Location: Duchy of Ossian, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Description: With the Qeodharans out of the way, the overlord orders the last massive attack on the dominion of Ossian, home of the treacherous Black Duke and last threat to the Alphan Peninsula [not counting the increasingly aggressive dragons. Ed.]. The Alphan and Draken navies land on the coasts a few miles east of the Ossian border, disembarking whole squads of battle wizards under the command of Lord Beriak, and knights and footmen led by General Ney and King Ericall. The navy then attacks the coasts of Ossian while the army marches inland, vanquishing the pitiful resisting forces in its triumphal advance. (See Sv. 18, Sv. 22; Sv. 28, Ei. 1.)
What This Means: The time is right to crush the opposition inside the confederacy once and for all. The overlord, with the help of Lord Beriak and Lord Ney, has planned the final assault on the Black Duke's territory that will possibly lead to the end of this troubled war. The forces mustered on the field by the confederacy are the elite of the combined armies of three nations, Draken, Chitine and Alpha, and the Black Duke's soldiers have no chances of defeating them: only a miracle could now save Ossian from capitulating.
What the PCs Can Do: Take part in the glorious final battle against the forces of the evil Black Duke!
Sviftmont 26, AC 1016: Decision for Anaxibius and Stefania.
Location: Redstone Castle, Redstone, Thyatian Empire. SD
Description: Delegates of the Countess of Kendach and the Baron of West Portage meet with Stefania and Anaxibius in Redstone Castle. They state that their lords are tired of the disorders that have wracked Thyatis in recent years, and are going to side with the rebels in hope of getting more autonomy. They ask the rulers of Redstone to join them in overthrowing Eusebius' administration on the Isle of Dawn. Stefania agrees to talk with Thrainkell Firestorm about the matter, and Redstone mobilises its forces. (See Sv. 10, Sv. 17; Ei. 9, Ei. 19.)
What This Means: With the strange disorders in Thothia and recent NACE expansionism, Stefania is less keen on independence. After studying the terms of the Treaty of Helskir and the arrangement between Westrourke and Thyatis, she believes Redstone can get greater autonomy from Eusebius while still retaining Imperial support if war breaks out on the Island. She certainly doesn't want to join some Hattian-led revolt at this time. But Redstone doesn't want to stand alone, and if Firestorm decides to join the revolt, Stefania will go along.
Sviftmont 27, AC 1016: Arrests.
Location: City of Alchemos, Kingdom of Meriander, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: The relative calm of night is shattered as Meriander troops kick in the doors of several Alchemos homes whose inhabitants are promptly arrested on charges related to the recent bombings. By morning, several of the arrested persons are released, the rest pronounced as guilty and sentenced to death. Word is released that several conspirators escaped the apprehension and are believed to have fled the city. (See Am. 5, Am. 12.)
What This Means: Following several leads, investigators have narrowed their suspects to a manageable number. Most of these suspects are taken into custody thanks to the army, then, thanks to magic, the innocent persons are separated from the guilty.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs may find themselves hired to apprehend the more powerful suspects. Since there are still several conspirators loose, PCs can also do a bit of bounty hunting.
Though magic is used to gain the truth, the PCs may have been erroneously connected to the bombings. The DM is encouraged to delve deep in campaign history to find an incident that would cause an accusation of involvement. They will of course be exonerated upon interrogation, but a lot can happen while they are on the run, their capture, and their questioning.
Sviftmont 27, AC 1016: Showdown in Rafielton.
Location: City of Rafielton, Colony of Aengmor, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW
Description: During a state meeting between Princess Tanadaleyo and King Doriath, a heavily armed group of Alfheim Avengers manages to break trough the security and attempts to kill both leaders. A spectacular fight ensues with spells flying high and magical wands sending energy bursts throughout the room. In the end Doriath and Tanadaleyo, back to back, manage to fight their way out of the room, just before a loud explosion shatters the building into ruins and hurls them several feet away, laid down at full length, one above the other. (See Sv. 17.)
What This Means: This time the Alfheim Avengers aimed really high. This operation had been carefully planned months before, but they underestimated the strength (both magical and physical) of the two nobles, so it was again a failure for the avengers.
On the other hand this event has been more helpful for the peace process, than months of talking between the two leaders, because it has consolidated even more the friendship between Doriath, a sensible leader, and Tanadaleyo, a proud she-fighter.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are in the area the PCs can take part in the fight, trying to save the two leaders.
Sviftmont 28, AC 1016: Valley Closed to Traffic.
Location: Foamfire Valley, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: Two companies of the King's Road Battalion, under the direction of Killing Moon and Haarl, are stationed at the head of the Foamfire River Valley, guarding the sole passage into the Lost Valley. They, together with a royal edict banning non-commissioned expeditions into the valley, will attempt to keep the situation from escalating further. In the meantime, the Lost Valley diplomats will return to the valley; joining them is a special royal investigative team, including Terari, headmaster of the Karameikan School of Magecraft. The archmage has taken a special interest in the Lost Valley situation. (See Sv. 10, Sv. 12.)
Sviftmont 28, AC 1016: Human Sacrifices.
Location: Town of Schwarztal, Duchy of Ossian, Southern Bay Marches. NW
Description: Hearing news of the invasion, the Black Duke understands that his days are numbered. He immediately readies the defences of his city and castle, while asking his patron Alphaks to assist him in this difficult moment. To strengthen his prayers he offers Him many human sacrifices, killing with a special ritual all the prisoners held in his dungeons, including Baron Ulf Karlsson and all the kidnapped seneschals. (See Fy. 26, Sv. 26; Ei. 1.)
What This Means: The Black Duke understands that he cannot win against the confederacy by himself. However, Alphaks' orders are clear: fight those hatred Norwold lords to the death. In a desperate attempt to avenge himself of his aggressors, he decided to slaughter all his prisoners (seneschals and lieutenants of the Norwold lords) and offer them to his Immortal patron. With this ritual he also hopes Alphaks might let him escape Ossian, or at least He might grant him some kind of magical power to use in the final confrontation with Ericall's forces.