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Vatermont 1, AC 1016: Domain Borders Extended.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: With the approval of the senate, the emperor expands the size of many of the mainland domains. To provide land and income for a new Retebius Air Fleet, the size of the Duchy of Retebius is increased to cover the hill area of the imperial dominions to the west as far as the Trevanion River. Administration over the town of Hillfork is transferred to the Duchy of Thyatis. The remaining hill areas along the Trevanion River become part of the Duchy of Kerendas, while the borders of the County of Vyalia are extended north along the Kerenda River. Biazzan is elevated from the status of barony to that of county, and its size increased to cover the remaining northwestern imperial territories. Buhrohur is also elevated to the status of county, and has its border extended east along the Altan Tepes Mountains to the borders of Halathius. (See Nu. 1; Va. 17, Th. 9.)
What This Means: Eusebius knows that some of his recent policies are unpopular among the nobility. This is intended to mollify them, and keep them from uniting against him by favouring a few with new lands. Furthermore, the empire cannot afford to leave large stretches of its mainland underused. Along with the land grants, a new property tax is instituted throughout the empire in order to encourage people to make productive use of the land (the tax is levied on all land regardless of the income derived from it, prodding people to make efficient use of resources). This reorganisation makes an additional change: from now on, there are no baronies or barons on the Thyatian mainland; baronies become exclusively colonial, overseas dominions.
What the PCs Can Do: Some of these areas are still dangerous wilderness in need of scouting and surveying. Also, there will be disputes over property lines that need mediation.
Vatermont 1, AC 1016: Elections Date Set.
Location: City of Skyfyr, Province of Blackrock, Republic of Esterhold, NACE. AS
Description: President Favian Vern of the Republic of Esterhold announces that the long-awaited elections, delayed by the rebel movement in Verdan, will finally be held on Flaurmont 1, the first day of spring. (See Fl. 1, Fl. 3.)
What This Means: Favian Vern is convinced that the elections will undoubtedly solve all problems in Esterhold, by allowing everyone to voice their opinion instead of having a minority spread terror. Whether the rebel Jennite movement has no real popular support, as he believes, remains to be seen. Some of his advisers advise him against rushing things out but Vern is confident in the righteousness of democracy.
Vatermont 2, AC 1016: Menkara Surrounded.
Location: City of Menkara, Kingdom of Nithia. HW
Description: Selhomarrian forces arrive just outside the Nithian city of Menkara. Swiftly, the advancing force encircles the city, dispatching those Nithian soldiers opposing it. As the main host settles in for a siege, residents of Menkara notice that other columns of Selhomarrian troops head south and further west, chasing the remaining Senkhites out of the region.
A few hours later, an emissary from the Selhomarrian camp approaches the city, under a flag of truce. He asks, in accented Nithian, to speak with the highest-ranking military officer. A few moments later, a middle-aged man pokes his head over the walls, and asks the emissary to state his business. The emissary requests, on behalf of the Selhomarrian Army, the peaceful surrender of the garrison defending Menkara. He points out that the city is completely surrounded, and that no ill-treatment will befall the city's inhabitants if the Selhomarrians are allowed to occupy the area. He also says that his empire is "serving the will of Xeron, by purging the fair empire of Nithia of the elements of chaos poisoning its being. It is in the service of the Light that we strive to restore the pharaoh, Ramose, to the throne of Nithia."
The emissary then says the city's defenders will have until the next sleep to comply. The Nithian officer says bluntly that his loyalty to Senkha will not permit him to submit to infidels. (See Nu. 2, Nu. 21; Va. 7, Va. 23.)
What This Means: Late last year, after Senkha usurped the Nithian throne, Selhomarrian spies sent a message back home, informing the emperor of local events, and warning of dire regional consequences if Senkha's chaotic influence were allowed to continue. After several weeks of discussion, the imperial court decided to send military forces to Nithia, in order to locate Ramose, and put him back on the throne, as well as defeat Senkha's military forces, as they would pose a threat to Ramose.
The initial expeditionary force, while highly motivated, lacked the manpower to do either of these tasks. Therefore, Emperor Tamaris ordered a second, larger force to sail for Nithia in late Eirmont of last year. That force arrived on Nuwmont 21, and has been responsible for the abrupt reversal of Senkha's military fortunes.
What the PCs Can Do: Again, this presents the PCs with opportunities to scout the city of Menkara, and possibly find a means of breaking through its defences, which may cause the city to fall quickly.
Vatermont 2: The Heathfield Massacre.
Location: Hamlet of Heathfield, 15 miles north of Village of Wickerton, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC.
Description: A group of nomadic rakasta warriors enter the small northern village of Heathfield to barter for food and supplies. However, when the villagers refuse to trade with them and accuse them of stealing some of the village's livestock things turn nasty. The villagers and nomads attack each other with fury. The nomads are better armed and are better warriors however, and after the fray 17 villagers lie dead. The remaining villagers flee while the nomads loot the hamlet for the food and supplies they came for. The nomads then melt back into the forests north of Wyndham. (See Fl. 17, Fl. 22.)
What This Means: The expanding civilised areas of Bellayne have been impinging on the hunting grounds of the nomads who are slowly being pushed into the more inhospitable north. This is the most violent manifestation of the increasing nomadic frustration. It is not likely to be the last however.
Vatermont 3, AC 1016: Succession Debate.
Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: Ralindi and Rejladan Virayana, in separate presentations, protest the appointment of Lan-Syn Virayana as Princess of Krondahar. Both claim the right to the throne, as the sons of the late Prince Jherek.
Despite protests by Princess Lan-Syn and her brother, Prince Urmahid Krinagar, the council votes in favour of reopening the issue. A formal vote is scheduled for three months hence, allowing all three sides an opportunity to gather supporters. In the interim, Lan-Syn will continue to rule as princess. (See Nu. 1; Va. 16, Kl. 3.)
What This Means: The issue of succession to the Krondahar throne has long been in question. With Jherek dead, and having confirmed no particular heir, his wives are pushing their sons to press their various claims to the throne.
Eager to break up the power monopoly long held by the union of the houses of Singhabad and Bramyra, the princes have voted in favour of reopening the succession. Over the next two months, all three factions will be approached by many nobles, eager to ingratiate themselves with the potential rulers, so that they may extend their own influence.
Vatermont 3, AC 1016: Human Rights.
Location: Town of Woodgate, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: Representatives of the Human Rights Movement (a secret society in Wendar) meet to discuss their near future strategy. They want to force the Alfheimers out of Wendar and start planning an intimidation campaign to achieve this goal. (See Nu. 13; Va. 21, Th. 27.)
What This Means: The recent humanoid attacks from Denagoth have had many humans think that the Alfheimers have brought to Wendar far too many troubles: first the plague, then the magical fruits' disease, then the Alfheim Avengers' terrorism and now Denagoth's attacks. It is time to kick them out before they ruin the kingdom, and the movement is taking steps to insure it, whether the Alfheimers want it or not. Not surprisingly, many of its members are in fact Idris cultists who have been leading the others to these extreme measures.
Vatermont 3, AC 1016: Pflarr's Chosen Peoples.
Location: Royaume de Renardie. SC
Description: The not-yet-expelled Pflarr-worshipping lupins of Renardie learn that the gnolls of El Grande Carrascal also worship the Immortal Pflarr. This rumour is received with both suspicion and excitement, hope and disbelief. Nevertheless, the official clergy uses the opportunity to definitively ban Pflarr from the Renardois pantheon, and deport the few worshippers left to Nouvelle Renardie. (See Ya. 16, Am. 17.)
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may be the ones who report the news to the Renardois. Either clergy may hire the PCs to find more about this disturbing rumour. Alternatively they may be hired by the authorities to track the last worshipers of Pflarr, and escort them out to Nouvelle Renardie.
Vatermont 4, AC 1016: A Handful of Problems.
Location: Town of Leenz, Principality of Aalban, Principalities of Glantri. OW.
Description: At home, Jaggar and his close advisers ponder over a means to replace his lost arm. Though his position as prince is secure, the lost limb still seriously curtails his spellcasting abilities. A military man, Jaggar cannot abide such a weakness in himself-especially since Dolores Hillsbury has revealed that she has no reluctance to use the weakness against him.
His friend Rolf von Graustein proposes that he create a magical new body for Jaggar and transfer his mind into it, using a procedure he perfected years ago. Jaggar declines, preferring to keep the body he was born with. He also refuses a suggestion of clerical aid put to him by another counsellor, on the grounds of heresy. Try as they might, neither Jaggar nor his companions can come up with a viable option. (See Nu. 3; Ya. 23.)
Vatermont 4, AC 1016: Skarrad Clan Captured.
Location: City of Smaggeft, Kingdom of Rockhome. OW
Description: After months of siege warfare with the goblinoid army, the Skarrad clan stronghold is finally breached. Following a short battle between the two forces, the surviving members of the Skarrad clan are taken hostage. The city of Smaggeft is now completely under the control of the Rockhome invaders.
Skarrad Clan Lord Thrais Nordenshield is brought before the exiled Duric and Bifia, who demand she offer her allegiance to them. All the dwarven clans will be allowed to either join the new kingdom of Hurwarf or be enslaved by it. Their ally, the kobold Psa'gh, silently takes exception to the dwarves' claims of rulership.
Thrais mocks them, refusing to offer her allegiance, and claiming that no dwarf will join these two exiles in their insanity. Even their own clan of Hurwarf has distanced itself from their actions.
Angered by the clan lord's words, Bifia orders her to be executed in front of the rest of the Skarrad prisoners, to serve as an example to them; sentence to be carried out with the dawn. (See Nu. 9; Va. 17, Th. 5.)
What This Means: Thrais is absolutely correct : no Rockhome dwarf (save for the Kurdal convicts) would possibly join with Duric and Bifia and their goblinoid forces. The two exiles, long having dreamed of a dwarven kingdom under their rule, are too blinded by their anger and madness to realise this fact. They are also too deeply involved in their invasion to pull out now.
What the PCs Can Do: Word spreads of Thrais' scheduled execution quickly, but unless the PCs are present in or near Smaggeft, there won't be time to plan a rescue attempt. If present, however, PCs may undertake a daring rescue of the clan lord, and try to smuggle her out of the city and back to Rockhome lines.
Vatermont 4, AC 1016: A Ruined Relic Remodelled.
Location: City of Rardish, Kingdom of Randel, Floating Continent of Alphatia. HW
Description: Queen Junna announces that the "Old Skyship Works" are to be scrapped. Work crews are to dismantle the ruined scaffolding and transport rails that lead out to the continent's edge, to the Void. No one has decided what is to be built upon the site. (See Va. 26, Fe. 13.)
What This Means: This facility used to be used to build the domes that rest on the sea floor in Aquas. The facilities were grievously damaged by the sinking and had not been repaired when the Immortals rebuilt Alphatia. Without a real need, the facility's disrepair was not fixed. Even more so, the facility is an anachronism and confounds those citizens that are not aware of Alphatia's true history. Officially, the facilities have been explained as being skyship construction berths.
What the PCs Can Do: It is feasible that all manner of nasty creatures could be living amid the ruins. Though work ceased after the last dome was built, a few magical trinkets might be found. Curious PCs may just want to explore the ruins before they come down.
Vatermont 5, AC 1016: Hule Moves on Nagpuri.
Location: Mumlyket of Nagpuri, Kingdom of Sind. OW
Description: The Master's forces, having built up and suppressed most rebellions elsewhere, move on Nagpuri. Their aim is to put down the rebel forces that have amassed against them over the past few years, and to re-establish total Hulean control of Sind. (See Va. 19, Th. 2.)
What This Means: The Freedom Warriors of Sind, closely allied with the followers of Gareth, managed to score a few victories against Hulean oppressors last year. Notably, the mumlyket of Nagpuri was liberated, and has become their central base of operations. The Master's forces recognise this, and have gathered their forces to battle the resistance.
Vatermont 5, AC 1016: Kastelios Sends its Emissaries.
Location: City-State of Kastelios, Serpent Coast. DV
Description: After almost three weeks of frenzied preparation, four ships are prepared for the diplomatic mission to Brun. Supplies, trading goods, and gifts are loaded onboard, and the hopeful emissaries, plus an honour guard for each one, board this morning for what everyone present hopes will be a fruitful voyage. After an emotional speech by Xenthos Sarantakos, leader of the City Council, the ships leave with much fanfare, heading north. (See Nu. 14; Va. 17, Th. 1.)
What This Means: This is the culmination of three weeks of strenuous efforts to send out delegations as soon as possible. Maps obtained from Minrothaddan traders, and the Mystaran Almanac, were consulted to determine the best routes to these nations, but it is still a gamble. The Kastelians have never sailed far into the Sea of Dread before, and no one is sure if the large cargo vessels are sturdy enough to handle the voyage. This will be both an adventure and a trial at the same time.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are from the Old World, they could very well be asked to accompany the ships in order to assist in navigation, as well as helping the Kastelians pass through the perils of the Sea of Dread. They could also find themselves giving the prospective diplomats a crash course in the languages of the Old World, too, since not all of them can speak them very well.
Vatermont 6, AC 1016: Dunadale Unrest Reaches Imperial Ears.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Asteriela Torion travels to Thyatis City for another meeting with Eusebius, to press her arguments for joining Helskir to the NACE. While she is there she makes an impassioned plea on behalf of the people of Dunadale and the hardships they are enduring. Eusebius dismisses this at first, believing that his sister is trying to manipulate him into accepting the NACE's proposal for both Helskir and Dunadale. He tells her he will think about it, and hopes she will go home. Asteriela Torion's stubbornness asserts itself, and she insists on staying until he makes up his mind. Eusebius promises a decision within a week. (See Nu. 13, Nu. 19; Va. 13, Th. 11.)
What This Means: Two strong-willed people, both determined to get their own way, are at odds here. It doesn't help that they are brother and sister: while they have affection for each other, their goals are at odds and each believes the other is acting blindly.
Vatermont 7, AC 1016: The Shadow Lord's Aide.
Location: Aeleris Pits, Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. OW
Description: After ten days of working in the Pits to raise an incredible army of undead using the corpses in that area, the Shadow Lord is finally ready to retaliate against the elves. However, during the last stages of the preparation, he is suddenly assaulted by a small group of lesser undead and a few vampires. After dispatching all of them using his magics and undead servants, the Shadow Lord tracks down the fleeing vampires arriving at their cave. Much to his surprise, he encounters a vampire elf, apparently the leader of the party who was sent against him. The two stare at each other for seemingly endless moments, each one trying to force down the other's will, then the vampire falls to his knees lowering his head. Surprisingly enough, the Shadow Lord does not kill him, rather he proposes the old undead to become his right hand and lead the undead troops that will retake Drax Tallen. The vampire elf, Sylarion, accepts the proposal. (See Nu. 25; Va. 15, Th. 2.)
What This Means: The Shadow Lord would gladly have killed Sylarion, who is responsible for many disorders in the area, but once he had subjugated him to his will, he thought about a different choice. He has more pressing matters elsewhere (the Black Staff's retrieval) and doesn't want to be blamed for the possible defeats his troops may meet at the hands of the elves. So he has chosen a perfect scapegoat, another undead who will obey his orders and lead the army in his absence, a victim who can be sacrificed should things start to go bad.
Obviously Sylarion has no intentions of playing the part of the loyal henchman, and as soon as the Shadow Lord loosens his grip on him, he will take advantage of the situation to use the army for his own schemes.
Vatermont 7, AC 1016: The Biggest Dungeon.
Location: Confederate Capital of Ionace, NACE. AS
Description: An entrepreneur from Ierendi, Chakal, proposes to turn the underworld of Ionace into a tourist and adventurer resort. Reasoning that Safari Island on Ierendi is a popular attraction, but lacks in the thrill and challenge to real adventurers, he has the idea to transform the place so that adventurers can bash monsters in the biggest dungeon of the world, for real. Quite surprisingly, the NACE Council agrees. Chakal and his men first have to clear and secure a perimeter around the capital in order to gain their franchise. (See Fl. 17.)
What This Means: The council is getting more and more annoyed by the monster raids on Sanctity, Ionace, the mnemonic mineral mines and other facilities and people. Despite Commander Broderick's best efforts, his troops have been unable to end the threat as they are ill-suited to pursuing dangerous monsters underground. Broderick hopes that Chakal's party, and later the adventurers that the dungeon will attract, will do a fine job at it, at no expense to the confederacy.
What the PCs Can Do: Chakal is looking for adventurers to help him clean, secure, and hold the first levels situated below the capital.
When the dungeon is open for life-size adventure, PCs can of course apply for some monster bashing. It is possible to get clerical healing or raising if the PC gets out of the dungeon; it is also possible to have magical items identified, and maybe sold or bought. Everything found while in the dungeon belongs to the PCs, and is tax-free, though a few items must be sold to an Alphatian official for a set amount (only mnemonic minerals currently fall into that category).
Vatermont 7, AC 1016: Construction Plans Established.
Location: Aquas Dome, Sea-Kingdom of Aquas, NACE. AS
Description: After several meetings, Aquas' mages finalise their plans for the new undersea settlement. Unlike the domes of Aquas, this new settlement will be composed of numerous smaller domes, connected via enclosed walkways. The first of these domes are to be constructed in Aaslin, Notrion, as a means to boost that kingdom's struggling economy. While these domes are being worked upon, another construction crew will begin preparing the seabed. The domes will then be ferried out to the site and lowered to the seabed. (See Nu. 20, Nu. 25; Va. 18, Ya. 17.)
What This Means: Not since before the sinking has an undersea dome been constructed. Though many of the Aquas mages are familiar with the principles of dome construction, they have run into problems that require addressing. Pre-war domes had been enchanted in Rardish, Randel. Obviously a new site is needed; they choose Notrion due to its economic problems.
The planners have also opted for several small domes instead of one large dome. This is due to the costs of a large dome (notably high enchantment failure, and the logistics involved) and the military role of the settlement: smaller domes would be cheaper to manufacture and easier to transport to the site. The configuration of the domes would allow a great deal of compartmentalisation, as well as allowing for future expansions.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs may find themselves hired by mages to act as armed escort, while spellcasting PCs may become involved in the actual construction. Non-Alphatian PCs may be hired by their respective governments to spy upon what the NACE is up to, or even to hamper the construction effort.
Vatermont 7, AC 1016: Menkara Falls.
Location: City of Menkara, Kingdom of Nithia. HW
Description: After more than four days of heavy fighting along Menkara's walls, the Selhomarrian invaders manage to clear one section of the outer wall of its defenders, allowing others to scale the walls and take up defensive positions. With this achieved, the remaining troops pour into the city. As the minutes pass, the Selhomarrians manage to fight their way down to the street level, and from there they fan out into the city, quickly securing important buildings and towers. Although the Senkhites fight savagely, they cannot hold off the invaders; their strategic position has been lost.
Within hours, the last of the uninjured Senkhites surrenders to the Selhomarrians, and a provisional government, composed of Selhomarrian officers and Nithian priests of Horon, Pflarr, and Rathanos, is established. (See Nu. 21, Va. 2; Va. 23, Th. 1.)
What This Means: Menkara is now occupied by the Selhomarrians. With its fall, the advancing Selhomarrian army now has a strategic port city which they can use, as well as a place that they could use defensively, should the need arise. Also, Menkara's loss will affect the morale of many Nithian soldiers currently serving Senkha. The Selhomarrians are hoping that news of this victory will lead to desertions, and otherwise make their mission of finding Ramose and liberating Nithia all that much easier.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are marching with the Selhomarrians, the PCs could be involved in hunting down the last pockets of resistance, both within and outside Menkara. They could also help out in locating priests of Pflarr, Horon, and Rathanos, so that a provisional government can be formed.
Vatermont 8, AC 1016: A Dream.
Location: City of the Stars, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW
Description: Radiant Shaman Porphyriel dreams again of her patron Immortal Rafiel. In the dream Rafiel instructs the shaman to build a special niche inside the Chamber of the Spheres and put there the most powerful soul crystal she has at hand. (See Nu. 3; Fl. 28.)
What This Means: This is yet a new feature of the Chamber of the Spheres, unknown to anybody but Rafiel.
Vatermont 9, AC 1016: Take Two.
Location: City of Wendar, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: After one week of auditions and tests to determine the worthiness and power of the adventurers who answered to the elves' call, a selected group of mixed human and demihuman heroes is finally assigned the quest to enter the Seven Realms and bring back the Black Staff, the ultimate weapon to destroy the Shadow Lord and his minions. Among the heroes are the survivors of the first expedition, who explain them everything needed for the task. The group is immediately teleported to the Septahenge to begin their mission. (See Nu. 20, Nu. 24; Sv. 8.)
What This Means: This is the last hope left to the elven crusaders and everybody knows it. The heroes have been chosen for their bravery, resourcefulness and trustworthiness, and they know that the fate of an entire country lies in their hands. If they fail the consequences for the crusaders and even for Wendar could be disastrous.
What they do not know is that a wolf in sheep's clothes hides among them. The Shadow Lord has in fact killed one of the chosen candidates, a loner wizard named Levan Tormaq, and disguised himself to look like him. He has one of the keys needed to open the gate of the Pits and hopes to get the other six as well by manipulating the party. He will be very careful, especially taking precautions not to be magically uncovered.
What the PCs Can Do: Join the battle against the Shadow Lord, fighting at his side without knowing it!
This mission begins where the last expedition left, so there are now six realms to explore, chosen at random by the DM from those described in M3. Remember that the heroes do not know the Shadow Lord has acquired one of the keys, so they should be looking for all six missing ones.
Vatermont 9, AC 1016: Wreckage Amid the Waves.
Location: Lake Lagrius, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: The private racing yacht, The Sundowner, comes across the wreckage of a watercraft. As the crew ponders the matter, the lookout offers the cry that he has spotted something ahead. Moving in, they discover a battered skiff holding two battered and exhausted people.
The crew brings the two fellows aboard and tends to their wounds. Weak and suffering from exposure, the two survivors mumble about being apprentices of the mage Tarkoman. The stating of the infamous mage's name gives cause for the yacht's skipper to summon the ship's owner, Dreximar, from his private chambers. When asked about their master, they report that he is dead. As they begin to explain what had transpired, each survivor is overcome by intense pain, so intense that the ship echoes with the screams of the two men. On orders from Dreximar, the yacht's skipper sets a course for their home port of Blueside. (See Nu. 26; Va. 19, Va. 21.)
What This Means: Tarkoman is a mage of ill repute. Native of Arogansa, his attitude did not suit the clime of his adopted home of Blueside, Lagrius. Though he has long been suspected of being involved in all manners of criminal acts, no one had ever managed to prove it. That he has met his end is in itself big news. Dreximar assumes that one of the old mage's enemies finally caught up with him. However, the disreputable mage owes him a substantial amount of money thanks to a recent loan; with him dead, Dreximar will have to claim the collateral the mage put up. Even with this, he will lose money and pride, unless Tarkoman's estate holds a number of profitable enchanted items.
The pain the survivors are experiencing is a mystery for the yacht owner. What is causing them such pain is not a priority to him, anyway, his greatest concern is to make a hasty return to Blueside and lay claim to Tarkoman's holdings. As far as he knows Tarkoman has no relatives, but he is not willing to take the chance of one surfacing-and then there is always the chance that some adventurers will hear of the mage's death and pillage the estate before he can lay claim to it.
Vatermont 10, AC 1016: Warbird over Polakatsikes.
Location: Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Territories, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: Today's calm is shattered today when many locals notice a large, shadowy form flying high in the sky. Fearing it may be a great monster, many flee for the safety of their homes, leaving only the bravest citizens, and the patrolling Heldannic Knights, out on the streets. The shape slowly grows larger as it approaches, and then it slowly loses altitude, but it does so vertically, and not in the graceful arcs of a hawk. It appears to be a great bird, and many Polakatsikans still in the streets marvel at what they think is a fabled roc. Minutes pass, and the shape soon resolves itself into a flying ship, made to look like a bird! Their eyes fixed on the craft in awe, the townspeople watch the Heldannic warbird slowly float over the city-state, and then settle down gently in the now-vacated market square. Wolfgang Stemmel, governor of Polakatsikes, approaches the warbird and waits patiently for the crew to disembark, with Trimos Sortiropolis, leader of the town council, not far behind.
The gangplank lowers, and 50 smartly-dressed Heldannic Knights disembark, each giving Wolfgang a salute before forming up next to the warbird. Once the knights have assembled, and the warbird takes off, Wolfgang gives a brief speech, welcoming the knights to Polakatsikes, and telling them what is expected of them for their tour of duty. He also introduces them to Trimos, who, he tells them, is to be their chief liaison for matters relating to the citizenry. Once his speech is over, Wolfgang dismisses the newcomers to their barracks. (See Th. 4, Ya. 3.)
What This Means: Heinz Kronenburg, Castellan of Vanya's Rest, has decided to bolster the knights' presence in Polakatsikes, bringing the total troop strength to 175. Almost half of the 200 knights who set out in AC 1015 to conquer this town died during the crusade. The appearance of the warbird was also calculated as a show of strength to the townspeople, which, in addition to the reinforcements, Kronenburg hopes will dissuade the Polakatsikans from thinking about overthrowing their new masters. He also hopes that this display of power might encourage some of the locals to convert to Heldannic ways.
What the PCs Can Do: This event could be used as a way of getting the PCs involved in the Davanian exploits of the knights, by having them be present on the warbird as it lands in Polakatsikes.
Vatermont 12, AC 1016: Mesonian Millworks Opens.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: The "Mesonian Millworks" are a series of water mills that power textile looms. They were built over the last year along the Mesonian River inside the walls of Thyatis City. These millworks are unusual in that their textile looms use a series of punched "cards" to partially automate the process, decreasing the amount of hand labour required. (See Nu. 1; Th. 21, Kl. 1.)
What This Means: The Thyatian economy is beginning to recover from the devastating effects of recent disasters. Ironically, the loss of a large number of people has led to some beneficial side effects: unemployment is at an all time low, while innovation (due to labour shortages and the raised cost of slaves) is at an all time high. These new millworks are one example of the Thyatian efficiency expressing itself. The millworks are able to produce a large quantity of decent quality textiles at a lower cost. Much of this will be processed into cloth, dyed, and sold to inhabitants of the city and throughout the Thyatian mainland, but some will be exported to Thyatian colonies and beyond. The Thyatian recovery efforts are a further spur to the economy, boosting incomes of workers as competition for scarcer and more expensive labour increases.
Vatermont 12, AC 1016: Grey Islands Secured.
Location: Grey Islands. AS
Description: The NACE takes control of the cluster of islands known as the Grey Islands. One of them holds a small pirate base that is quickly overrun, while another one seems to have been recently abandoned, possibly by yet more pirates who spotted the Alphatian ships' approach. (See Nu. 26, Nu. 28; Va. 20, Th. 1.)
Vatermont 12, AC 1016: Monster Surge.
Location: Azcan Empire. HW
Description: Throughout the land, new monsters pop up and attack Azcans, especially the Follower of the New Way. Many of those monsters are extraplanar beasts and demons never seen before, though the flying serpents also regain in viciousness.
At the same time, Papalotl appears to many followers of Quetzalcoatl in one of his powerful mortal form of his previous (mortal) identity, prompting them to fight off the followers of the evil twin and his demonic minions, and spread the word of the Return of Quetzalcoatl. Fortunately, the dangerous flying serpents are becoming rarer thanks to the advances of the feathered serpents that kill them, and the other planar beasts, mercilessly. (See Nu. 6, Nu. 23; Th. 10, Ya. 19.)
What This Means: Atzanteotl, infuriated, opened gates and unleashing extraplanar monsters and other demons to attack members and leaders of the New Way, as "punishment" for not appeasing Him with human sacrifice [as alluded to on page 55 of HWR1. Ed.]. Atruatzin retaliates to defend His followers.
What the PCs Can Do: It is very dangerous to travel the Azcan lands for followers of the New Way trying to spread the news of Quetzalcoatl's return. PCs can be attacked by unusual monsters on their conversion or courier missions, though if they are in real difficulty a feathered serpent may come to their rescue when they seem doomed.
Vatermont 13, 1016: Eusebius' New Imperial Policy.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Demetius Vannopolus arrives several days after Asteriela, and relates much of the same story to Eusebius, but using more analytical language. Eusebius also respects the word of a soldier more than that of his "emotional" sister. He quickly reaches a monumental decision: he will accept his sister's proposal. Furthermore, he will give her even more than she is asking for, and makes a counter-proposal to her.
Helskir and Dunadale are to be joined into one realm, a confederacy ruled by Asteriela and Zaar as part of the Thyatian Empire. Furthermore, he announces that if the NACE will permit a Thyatian-ruled domain to join the Alphatian confederacy, he will permit it. However, he pushes for a new formal relationship: Heldun will pay some imperial taxes (notably trade tariffs and other cash taxes), all citizens of Heldun will be citizens of Thyatis, and except for a limited defence and policing force Heldun will have no army of its own. Instead the Heldun army will be integrated into the Thyatian army. Heldun will follow Thyatian foreign policy unless it conflicts directly with the NACE's policy, in which case Heldun will be a neutral site and common meeting ground.
Furthermore, he gains Asteriela's acceptance to another proposal: Ostlanders will be free to settle within the Confederacy of Heldun, and retain local village autonomy, similar to the decentralised traditions already common to Dunadale.
After Asteriela has accepted the principle of it, he sends her and an accomplished Thyatian diplomatic envoy, Vivianna Romanones, to Ionace to work out the details of a treaty. A small but skilled force is sent back to Dunadale under the command of Vannopolus with instructions to deal with Tiberia. (See Nu. 19, Va. 6; Th. 11, Th. 14.)
What This Means: Eusebius realised that if he didn't start solving these problems they could quickly get out of hand, and the very thing he wanted so much to avoid-the collapse of Thyatian power on the Isle of Dawn-could just occur. Once he reached that conclusion, he acted decisively and creatively.
This represents a new beginning not only for Helskir and Dunadale, but also initiates a new kind of relationship between Thyatis and its colonies. Eusebius is trying to strike a balance between imperial control and local autonomy, hoping that it will be attractive not only in Dunadale but other parts of the empire's far-flung possessions as well. He also hopes to pressure Westrourke into a similar arrangement-though without membership with the NACE. Furthermore, this will give the Ostlanders much of what they are demanding at little or no cost to the empire. Ostlanders will also be allowed to settle in other Thyatian colonies on the Isle of Dawn, but only within Heldun will their settlements actually have the status of a "distinct society."
For Asteriela, this is somewhat more than she expected, and she is surprised but happy as well. She gets an expanded realm, and feels she will be able to mould it internally as she likes. She's not too upset over the provisions Eusebius asked for in return, and believes that Ostlander settlers will only strengthen her kingdom, which is under-populated as it is.
Vatermont 13, AC 1016: Night Howls.
Location: Village of Les Hiboux, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: In the light of the full moon, a vicious pack of wolves comes howling out of the hills near Les Hiboux. The local militia is roused to fight them off, but vainly, as many of the raiders turn out to be werewolves, and are unharmed by the normal weapons of the village guard. By the time reinforcements and silvered weapons can be brought to bear, the pack has left, and left the village in terrible condition.
Instances such as this will continue to rise over the next few weeks, and much finger pointing is put towards the northwestern region, and particularly the Principality of Morlay-Malinbois. (See Nu. 1; Th. 17, Fl. 20.)
What This Means: This is a response by Synn to recent political attacks on her. She has acquired the services of members of Les Loups de la Guerre (War Wolves)-werewolf fanatics who believe lycanthropes should replace everyone else as the dominant species. This group is conducting guerrilla raids on small, poorly defended farming communities in the free territories of Glantri. Synn is using this easily manipulated group of militants to rouse anti-werewolf sentiments against Malachie du Marais.
It is working, too. Though the existence of lycanthropes in the northern hills of Glantri has been long established, rumours of a community of the creatures living in Morlay-Malinbois weren't regarded too seriously. Looking for someone to blame, the rumours will begin to resurface, and it may not be long before superstitious mobs begin roaming in that principality searching for werewolves to attack.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs, if human, can either aid angry mobs in their attacks on innocent werewolves in Morlay-Malinbois, or attempt to search for the real killers. If were-creatures themselves, the PCs can attempt to find the culprits and bring them to justice before du Marais and the Council of Princes. Alternatively, Les Loups de la Guerre may enlist the PCs themselves, to hunt down these militant rogues who threaten to draw attention to their plans of world domination.
Vatermont 14, AC 1016: Corpse Stolen.
Location: City of Rafielton, Colony of Aengmor, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW
Description: During the night a special team of shadowelf troops crawls out of one of the many caves that link Aengmor with the City of the Stars, quietly disinters the corpse of the late General Gilfronden, and heads back underground.
Nobody in Rafielton notices the odd theft. (See Nu. 7; Fe. 10.)
What This Means: King Telemon has chosen Gilfronden to be the new spymaster of the soon-to-be-rebuilt Second Shadow. Hence he ordered a trusted group of experienced soldiers to secretly retrieve Gilfronden's corpse from Aengmor, without even letting his daughter Tanadaleyo, Princess of Aengmor, know about it.
The body of Gilfronden is to be brought to the City of the Stars, where it will be raised by the shamans.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may be that group of soldiers charged with retrieving the body.
Vatermont 14, AC 1016: Elven Destiny.
Location: Barony of Ironwood, Final Range. NW
Description: After years of studying elven lore and legends at the Tree of Magic Elarianthas Blackblade reaches the conclusion that the elves are destined to be united again some day, under the protection of a new forest spirit and under the benevolent eyes of the elven pantheon. His researches do not tell when this will happen, but the elven baron hopes his own efforts in Ironwood prove to be a step in the fulfilment of the elves' destiny. (See Th. 22, Fe. 26.)
Vatermont 15, AC 1016: Deadly Encounters.
Location: Keep of Drax Tallen, Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: The crusaders stationed around Drax Tallen report more frequent sightings of-and skirmishes with-packs of lesser undead. Most of the animated corpses are elves (mostly Geffronell elves) and they attack the crusaders randomly, without a planned strategy or during a specific period of the day. The crusaders, albeit a bit shaken, are able to repel these wandering monsters without problem. The generals do not consider them a major threat and do not order any significant countermeasure be taken. (See Nu. 25, Va. 7; Th. 2, Th. 5.)
What This Means: Sylarion, the vampire elf who now controls the Shadow Army in charge of retaking Drax Tallen, is probing the defences prepared by the elves, toying a bit with their nerves. The Shadow Lord has ordered him to conquer the keep and take as many prisoners as he can, but without haste. For this reason he will delay the first big attack until he is sure enough to know how to bypass the elves' guards and hit them where it hurts.
What the PCs Can Do: Help the crusaders fight off all the zombies, skeletons and wyrds they encounter near Drax Tallen.
Vatermont 15, AC 1016: Mivosia Prepares for Conflict.
Location: City-State of Mivosia, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: In a secret meeting, the ruling Triumvirate of Mivosia discusses recent events concerning its attempts to spy on Polakatsikes. They have not heard from one of their spies for over two weeks, and rumours are already circulating among the elite that they have all been captured. The triumvirate realises that, if they wish to hold off despair and unrest, they cannot allow news of this to reach anyone else. They decide to issue orders to the army to prepare for combat, and to improve Mivosia's defensive position by building more fortifications and other defences. They confirm that the knights do indeed pose a threat to their interests, and resolve to drive them out of Davania. (See Nu. 10, Nu. 27; Va. 21, Fl. 9.)
What This Means: Mivosia's rulers realise that they can only gain so much from espionage. They have already lost one spy, and the status of the others is unknown. Preliminary reports have indicated to them that there are no more than 150 knights in Polakatsikes, and they are too busy consolidating their hold on the city-state to bother with expansion. They also know that the knights beat Polakatsikes' defenders when the odds were against them, hence the caution.
Vatermont 16, AC 1016: Dark Meetings.
Location: Town of Braastar, Principality of Krondahar, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: In a seedy tavern in Braastar, Princess Dolores Hillsbury and Aleah Virayana meet covertly. Dolores offers her support to Ralindi, Aleah's son, and the elder Virayana. In exchange, Aleah will use her influence over Ralindi on behalf of Dolores and her allies. Aleah gives her agreement, and the two part ways. (See Nu. 1, Va. 3; Kl. 3.)
What This Means: More dark dealings in politics on behalf of Dolores Hillsbury, aka Synn the night dragon. She sees a potential ally in the volatile Aleah (who will rule the Principality of Krondahar through her puppet of a son). The House of Singhabad has always been at odds with Prince Jaggar and his allies, and could be beneficial to Dolores' causes.
Vatermont 16, AC 1016: Alphatian Magical Training School Created.
Location: Grey Islands, NACE. AS
Description: The NACE Council approves a request made by Empress Eriadna and the Council of Alphatia, which consists in opening a new school of magic in the outer world where Alphatian students from the Hollow World may study and become magic users. (See Nu. 4, Nu. 28; Va. 25, Th. 15.)
What This Means: Since the arrival of Alphatia in the Hollow World, a preoccupation of the council, the Thousand Wizards, was the alarming depletion in number of spellcasters upon which the Alphatian society is based. Promising youths, despite the best efforts of their teachers, failed to learn to master the power of magic, even that granted by the Immortals. Researches and the newly-discovered effects of mnemonic minerals led to the conclusion that sending promising youths to the outer worlds may increase their chances of wielding magic.
The site for the school was selected for its proximity to the Sundsvall Maelstrom, from where the student and faculty will arrive, and on an island close yet separate from Ionace where the mnemonic minerals are mined and goods shipped from.
Vatermont 16, AC 1016: Beholders Vanish.
Location: North of Sea-Kingdom of Underocean. AS
Description: The forces assigned to watch over the aquatic beholders' exodus north report that they have vanished without a trace. It is believed that they entered an unknown underwater cavern system. Initial explorations show that the caverns in the area are too large to adequately explore. (See Nu. 12, Nu. 20; Th. 8, Fl. 1.)
What This Means: The aquatic beholder city that the tritons have previously encountered was a mere outpost of a greater realm. It is to this realm the other beholders have travelled.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could discover the departure of the beholders or be sent to investigate further.
Vatermont 17, AC 1016: Kurdal Taken.
Location: Town of Kurdal, Kingdom of Rockhome. OW
Description: The town of Kurdal finally falls before the combined might of the goblinoid forces. Thar valiantly leads his army into the captured town, proclaiming its new name as Tharia, capital of his orcish kingdom of the same name. He immediately sets about refortifying the town, and locks away those dwarves that did not manage to escape when the walls fell. (See Nu. 9, Va. 4; Th. 5, Th. 9.)
What This Means: Thar brought in some giantish allies to bombard the town with boulders, as well as a few pieces of artillery from Smaggeft. With their aid, he was eventually able to crumble the town's defences and stage a proper assault. When the outer wall fell, the dwarven defenders fell back into the interior wall (formerly used for holding prisoners, though most were freed during last year's assault). Another long siege ensued, but the dwarves were overmatched and could not hold out forever.
Though Duric and Bifia, Thar, and Psa'gh are all theoretically allies, all have their own agendas in the Rockhome campaign. Thar is canny enough to realise this, and is taking precautions against them: he is fortifying the town as much against dwarven attacks as for assaults by his own allies.
Vatermont 17, AC 1016: Vyalian Forestation Project.
Location: Town of Greenheight, County of Vyalia, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: In the border expansion, the Count of Vyalia was granted extensive new territories along the Kerenda River and adjacent to Karameikos. This land consists almost entirely of hills, lightly forested at best. The elves of Vyalia prefer more heavily wooded areas, and begin a project of extending their forest north into the hills, using lavish applications of plant growth and weather control magics with the help of their kin. Some former Alfheim elves come to help with this project. (See Va. 1.)
What This Means: Over time this will alter the terrain and enlarge the forest, but this project will take years to complete even with the use of magic. The long-lived elves are patient, however.
What the PCs Can Do: Powerful mages and druids can assist in these efforts, perhaps finding creative ways to speed it up.
Vatermont 17, AC 1016: Storm on the Seas!
Location: Sea of Dread. OW
Description: After many days of good sailing, the Kastelian diplomatic mission encounters a terrible storm, not far from the Thanegioth Archipelago. After hours of fighting the waves and the winds, the four ships manage to make it through, though not after suffering damage. Fortunately, they have managed to keep their course, and are able to continue the journey while conducting small repairs. (See Nu. 14, Va. 5; Th. 1, Th. 4.)
What This Means: The storm was a natural occurrence for this region of the Sea of Dread; the Kastelians just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are present, the PCs could find themselves helping to steer the ships through the storm, and repairing them afterwards.
Vatermont 17, AC 1016: In the Name of Karaash.
Location: Black Bellies Camp, Badlands. SC
Description: Birkko Three-Eyes, shaman of Karaash from the Black Bellies goblins, charms the tribal chief and has him proclaim an alliance with the Flat Noses. The Flat Noses' emissary becomes adviser to the tribe leader, with Birkko's approval. The allied Flat Noses and Black Bellies start bullying the lesser goblin tribes into a single horde. The goblins also intensify their raids into the Baronía de l Grande Carrascal. (See Nu. 9; Th. 21, Fl. 4.)
What This Means: Annoyed that the whole Pflarr-worshipping of the nearby gnolls has gone too far, Karaash has decided to put a stop to the Hutaakans' influence over his worshippers. His goal is not so much to destroy the human baronies but the gnollish one, though if the militant gnolls later join the forming horde to bring death to the human lands-or maybe to Hule-then so much the better.
Vatermont 18, AC 1016: Construction Crews Depart.
Location: Aquas Dome, Sea-Kingdom of Aquas, NACE. AS
Description: Amid great fanfare the personnel partaking in the construction of the new domed settlement board their submersibles. Of the twenty submersibles, five set a southerly course for Aaslin. The other fifteen set a westerly course for sunken Arogansa out in the New Alphatian Sea. (See Nu. 20, Va. 7; Ya. 17, Ya. 22.)
Vatermont 19, AC 1016: A New Threat.
Location: Skies over City of Jaibul, Mumlyket of Jaibul. OW
Description: The flying city of Serraine makes an appearance in the skies over Jaibul. The Master has commissioned the Grey Front, who controls the city, to assist him in his endeavours to bring Sind back to heel. The Master has been an ally of the nagpa Abatu since the Great War. The city will serve as a mobile base from which he can assault his enemies. Their first target is the mumlyket of Jhengal, which has been actively rebelling against the Master's forces. (See Va. 5; Am. 3, Am. 12.)
What This Means: The Master has redoubled his efforts to crush Sind, and is bringing in more forces with which to do so. The staging area of the flying city will provide him with overwhelming assistance against the land-bound forces of the Sindhi resistance.
What the PCs Can Do: If they can somehow manage to get aboard the flying city, they will certainly run across the gnomish resistance forces that have been hiding out in Undercity since Serraine was taken over. They can then join in terrorist actions against the nagpa and their servitors aboard the city.
Vatermont 19, AC 1016: The Sundowner Returns.
Location: City of Blueside, Kingdom of Lagrius, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: The yacht Sundowner arrives at Blueside. The owner, Dreximar, sends a messenger to inform Queen Elenitsa of the discovery and his need of an audience. Dreximar has the two survivors taken to his estate and cared for. While this is being done, Dreximar places several of his crew as guards at Tarkoman's estate.
The messenger returns stating that the queen will see him immediately. Dreximar goes to the palace and relates the story of the discovery, going into detail about Tarkoman's intent to establish a zzonga trade. He also relates the loan arrangement and requests official recognition of his claim to, and his taking possession of, the late mage's estate, which is granted. As the papers are written up, Queen Elenitsa offers to take the two afflicted apprentices into her care. Dreximar agrees and departs to make the arrangements. (See Nu. 26, Va. 9; Va. 21, Va. 24.)
What This Means: During the journey to Blueside, Dreximar has re-questioned the survivors. His motivation is to discover what riches Tarkoman may have secreted within his estate. Unconcerned with their agony, he pressed the questioning. In addition to some details on their master's work, the survivors also told of Tarkoman's plans to restart a zzonga trade in the Notrion wilderness regions. Before the two survivors could divulge any further information, they succumbed to the intense pains and once again lapsed into unconsciousness.
With an idea of some of Tarkoman's wealth and traps, Dreximar had what he wanted. He decided to go straight to the queen to announce the death of Tarkoman and lay claim to the holdings. Normally such a death would have to be confirmed, but given Dreximar's popularity and the report that Tarkoman was going to produce zzonga, the matter is quickly approved.
Queen Elenitsa and her adviser, Siaron Lagrius, take solace in Tarkoman's demise. Though the exact legality of zzonga is questionable, neither wants the substance anywhere near their people. Dreximar's tale of the survivors and their pains have piqued the interests of Siaron; suspecting magic is involved, she wants to examine them herself.
What the PCs Can Do: Dreximar has been told of some of the hazards Tarkoman has placed within the estate to keep unwanted visitors out, but he is not about to risk his own neck by going in alone and he is not going to risk any of the crew of his yacht, so he needs experienced adventurers to aid him or perform the task outright.
Vatermont 19, AC 1016: Defensive Downsizing.
Location: City of Alfleish, Kingdom of Shiye-Lawr, Floating Continent of Alphatia. HW
Description: King Acroshiye announces that his kingdom will demobilise portions of its standing army. However he states that he remains confident in his kingdom's ability to defend itself from encroachment, as reservist militia units will supplement the smaller army. If circumstances call for a mobilisation for imperial reasons, then the imperial treasury can pay the costs. Until that time, the elves will defend their borders as needed and live life as elves should. (See Th. 11, Th. 27.)
What This Means: Instead of a dependence upon the imperial treasury, the Shiye army is equipped and maintained by the Shiye kingdom. The cost has begun to take its toll on the kingdom. With a lessened sense of need for a large fighting force, Acroshiye has decided to demobilise part of his armed forces. It is unlikely that any of his neighbours will invade, or that Alphatia will be invaded by outside forces. Given the empress's doctrines, it is unlikely that Alphatia will use military force to expand its holdings in the Hollow World. If events call for the empire to need his troops, then the empire can pay for them.
Vatermont 20, AC 1016: Mount Thera Secured.
Location: Mount Thera. AS
Description: Commander Broderick readies his troops for battle as his scouts report that Mount Thera is heavily fortified. As he prepares to engage his "enemies" he sees them sporting the colours of Alphatia, and calls for parlays instead. He learns that this group, the remnants of a division from Randel, decided to return "home" after the destruction of Alphatia and ended up settling and fortifying this small patch of land, closest to where they once lived. (See Nu. 28, Va. 12; Th. 1, Fl. 2.)
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 fortified island, in which case it is up to them to determine who the "enemies" actually are before too much unnecessary casualties add up.
Vatermont 21, AC 1016: Clues Gathered.
Location: Town of Woodgate, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: The group of heroes working with Bensarian to discover who is behind the populace's unrest and the anti-elves campaign manages to intercept an encoded message before it is delivered to a bürgermeister, suspected to be helping the Church of Idris. The heroes manage to decipher the message and learn of a big plot to assassinate an Alfheim clanmaster currently living in Wendar. They immediately inform Bensarian of their discovery. (See Nu. 1; Th. 12.)
What This Means: The letter is a fake, and everything is being carefully planned by the Church of Idris to lead this brave group of investigators into a big trap that will change Wendar's political asset. Bensarian (currently possessed by an Onyx Ring wizard's soul) is the linchpin in charge of the operations and so far everything is going smoothly.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are collaborating with Bensarian, they should try to unveil this conspiracy before it's too late.
Vatermont 21, AC 1016: A Peculiar Observation.
Location: City of Blueside, Kingdom of Lagrius, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: Siaron Lagrius makes an astonishing discovery about the two surviving retainers of Tarkoman. The former queen states that their apparent pain comes from a spell that was found amid the ranks of the mages from the Alphatian Kingdom of Randel. The spell in question will cause the two intense pain and would eventually kill them.
Queen Elenitsa is intrigued and horrified at the affects of the spell. She asks Siaron if she can counter the spell, but despite recognising the symptoms of the spell she does not know enough about it to dispel it. She tells her that even if she devoted time to research the matter it would probably be too late as the subjects would die from the recurring pain before a remedy could be found; even if a Randel mage could be found, it would be doubtful that he or she would counter it for them. (See Va. 9, Va. 19; Va. 24, Th. 14.)
What This Means: The spell in question is the notorious traitor's regret spell created and used by the warmages of the Kingdom of Randel. The spell is a form of a geas, which affect is that the person it is cast upon will experience agonising pain when attempting to relate information. Each time the spell is triggered by the subject uttering predetermined information, they experience intense pain and an eroding of the afflicted's health. The Randel folks love to cast this spell upon traitors, thieves, and persons charged with knowing "sensitive" information.
Since the spell is a closely guarded secret, it is presumed that Randel mages are involved. This is not a great surprise as many of the stranded Randel troops became mercenaries or took commissions within other Alphatian kingdoms' armed forces, even Lagrius' forces have a fare share of Randel nationals. Siaron even knows of a few powerful Randel mages that could be powerful enough to know the spell; given the Randel mindset it would be doubtful that they would divulge the information or negate the spell, themselves. Given the power of these mages, it would be ill advised to attempt to force them to do either.
Elenitsa and Siaron do take the whole incident seriously. A massing of troops so close to Lagrius is one thing, but to mass them in the remote regions of Notrion is definitely threatening; the presence of Randel troops amid them denotes an added seriousness. Ordinarily there would not be this great deal of concern, but post-war NACE has made many of the lesser kingdoms desperate. One such kingdom is Notrion who has suffered greatly since the war; King Corydon may be desperate enough to attempt something to improve his hold on Notrion's rulership.
Vatermont 21, AC 1016: An Important Discussion.
Location: Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Territories, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: In the secrecy of his own offices, Wolfgang Stemmel holds a private meeting with his most trusted advisers, in which he exposes information gleaned from interrogations of the three spies caught during the past month. Two of these men were caught trying to sneak inside military facilities in the city-state, while the other gave himself away. They soon resolve to send spies to the city-state of Mivosia, in order to assess what kind of threat it poses to Heldannic interests in the region. (See Nu. 27, Va. 15; Fl. 9, Fl. 26.)
What This Means: Wolfgang is worried that, if Mivosia continues to spy on Heldannic operations in the region, the knights' hold on Polakatsikes, and even Vanya's Rest, might be compromised. The fact that this city-state has used espionage against them signals, to him, that Mivosia is a far more sophisticated and resourceful opponent than Polakatsikes was.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs participated in the conquest of Polakatsikes, then they will doubtless be present at this meeting if they are still in the city. They can provide additional information to Wolfgang if they have it. The PCs could also be sent to Mivosia themselves, as spies for the knights.
Vatermont 22, AC 1016: Marauders in Hillvale.
Location: North of City-State of East Portage, NACE, Isle of Dawn. SD
Description: Mario's Marauders, a renegade band of Thyatian mercenaries, is on the rampage once more, this time in the settlements of East Portage (aka Hillvale). They are very organised and efficient, making quick guerrilla raids and vanishing into the hills before a defence can be effectively raised against them. (See Ya. 18.)
What This Means: Increased pressures from Thyatian military offences have pushed the renegades into Alphatian territory. They are hoping pickings will be easier on the Alphatian side if the Isle of Dawn.
Vatermont 23, AC 1016: Zudis Falls.
Location: Village of Zudis, Kingdom of Nithia. HW
Description: After over two weeks of hard campaigning, and slogging through swamps, dense forests, and pockets of Senkhite forces, the Selhomarrian army punches through enemy lines, and manages to secure the village of Zudis, on the Tarthis River. The task is made all the easier due to a lack of fortifications, and local resistance to Senkha's forces. (See Va. 2, Va. 7; Th. 1, Th. 3.)
What This Means: The Selhomarrians have been fighting hard for the past couple of weeks, steadily advancing westwards towards Tarthis. In the process, they have secured the delta of the River Nithia, and all of the villages and towns lying within it. Although the Senkhites have made the invading force pay for every mile they gain, they have been unable to muster their entire force to meet the Selhomarrians; they cannot afford to pull men away from the lands bordering the Jennites, and many soldiers are also required to quell domestic opposition to Senkha's rule. Also, the Senkhites are well aware that the ultimate target for the advancing Selhomarrians is Tarthis, and as a result they have been concentrating their forces over the past several weeks in that city. With the fall of Zudis, the way is now open to Tarthis, just over 10 miles to the south.
Vatermont 24, AC 1016: A Message to King Corydon.
Location: City of Aaslin, Kingdom of Notrion, NACE, Bellissaria. AS
Description: At the behest of Queen Elenitsa, Siaron uses magic to contact King Corydon of Aaslin. Elenitsa inquires if Corydon is aware of a large grouping of troops in his kingdom, as they could be perceived as a staging ground for aggression either against Lagrius. Visibly shaken, Corydon states that the troops' presence is unknown to him or his advisers. He says he will look into it immediately.
After breaking off contact with Corydon, Siaron takes the precaution of suggesting that Elenitsa not rely too heavily on Corydon. She suggests that Lagrius troops be readied and lake patrols strengthened and stresses that the patrols should not venture too close to Notrion as it would signify a distrust of Corydon and may potentially spark a political situation. (See Va. 19, Va. 21; Th. 14, Th. 26.)
What This Means: Corydon is being honest, he has no knowledge of the troops within his kingdom. From his reaction, both Elenitsa and Siaron believe him. It is apparent that something peculiar is afoot, though; in their opinion, the troops are either brigands or domestic forces opposed to Corydon's rule and therefore the business of Notrion. To be safe, lake patrols are strengthened near Blueside to guard against any potential trouble; this is especially so as the highly anticipated yacht race is but a few days away.
Vatermont 25: Imperial Interdiction.
Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Jafilia, Floating Continent of Alphatia. HW
Description: First year applicants for the imperial magist schools are given extra attention in their pre-registration interviews. Of the freshmen, a number are propositioned to be the first students at a new magic institution being built on a Grey Island. Those that accept are immediately billeted in separate dorms awaiting their departure to the school without any more information. Wary of the secrecy, some students demand additional information. With their interviewers not coming forth, several students back out. (See Nu. 28, Va. 16; Th. 15, Ka. 15.)
What This Means: The students are unknowingly being recruited to be the initiating class going to the surface world to study magic without the hindrances of the Spell of Preservation. Secrecy is a must as the general population must not know about the surface world and Alphatia's true history-the ramifications of the truth being divulged is too unpredictable.
Vatermont 26, AC 1016: Disaster Recovery.
Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Jafilia, Floating Continent of Alphatia. HW
Description: Empress Eriadna decrees that the devastated former capital of Sundsvall is to be salvaged and its rubble cleared. Likewise the city of Aasla will receive similar treatment. She declares that it would be a dishonour to Alphatia not to repair the earthquake-ravaged cities. (See Va. 4; Fe. 13.)
What This Means: The empress has decided that it is time to begin repairing the damage caused by the sinking. In their current condition the ruins, particularly Aasla and Sundsvall, are a blemish on the face of the empire. In Eriadna's opinion their restorations are a priority.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs may be called upon to clear the ruins of the two cities. Opportunities are virtually unlimited in stocking these ruins with nasty creatures. Also, there is the definite possibility that all manners of treasures and enchanted items may be salvaged from the ruins.
Vatermont 26, AC 1016: Linton Murdered.
Location: City of Athenos, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: The servants of Linton mansion enter the private study of Lucius Linton after the merchant lord doesn't show up for supper. They are horrified to find Lucius Linton and his three sons lying on the floor in pools of blood, apparently murdered. Some valuables have also been stolen. Upon further examination, the servants discover that Corwyn, the youngest son [54 years old, see GAZ11. Ed.] is still alive, although severely injured and in a coma. The local priests are called to tend to the wounded Corwyn and to prepare the bodies of the other Lintons for burial. The city guard is alerted to investigate the burglary that resulted in the murder of the 83-year old Linton, and word is sent to the Inner Council at the capital. (See Th. 7, Th. 21.)
What This Means: Linton was indeed murdered-by business competitors. Recently, Linton House has greatly advanced its sea trade interests in the Sea of Dread, mostly at the expense of the merchants of the Minrothad Guilds. Fed up, several prominent guild masters and merchant princes commissioned Linton's assassination, in order to throw the house off balance. They also had some valuables stolen to make it look like a common robbery. For all their skill however, the assassins did not manage to quite kill Corwyn Linton. Although he is unconscious, Corwyn did see a face of one of the assassins, recognising the man as an assassin from Minrothad.
What the PCs Can Do: Characters might be hired to conduct the assassination of Lucius or investigate his death.
Vatermont 28, AC 1016: Wail of the Banshee.
Location: Keep of Drax Tallen, Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: The crusaders are suddenly awakened during the night by a dreadful cry that echoes throughout the central building of the keep. When the first guards arrive inside the building, they find many elves literally dead-frozen in their bunks and others in the corridors. (See Va. 15.)
What This Means: The ghost of one of the dead Geffronell elves has returned from the grave and is now trying to find her lost love. She has taken on the form of a spectral banshee and wanders nightly inside Drax Tallen, approaching any elf that resembles her dead fiancé to give him one more kiss. Unfortunately, none of the kissed ones survived the meeting and she cried out her despair before disappearing into the Ethereal Plane, killing those who heard her mourning as well.
This haunting has nothing to do with Sylarion's plans of conquest, but will indirectly help him to weaken the elves' defences of Drax Tallen if the banshee is not laid to rest properly rapidly.
What the PCs Can Do: Help the crusaders find the banshee and put her to rest permanently. This can be done either using a powerful spell (like dispel evil) or by helping her find her lost love (probably one of the zombies animated by the Shadow Lord or one of the corpses that lay in the dungeons of the keep).