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First Week

Ambyrmont 1, AC 1017: New Borders Drawn.

Location: Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: The borders of the individual emirates are officially redistributed, and new maps depicting the holdings of the emirs are drawn. The Emirates of Dythestenia and Makistan remain as before; the town of Tel al Kebir is now considered a part of the Emirate of Nithia; the town of Hedjazi is now considered a part of the Emirate of Abbashan; and the coastal town of Fabia is annexed to the Emirate of Nicostenia. (See Fy. 14, Fy. 26.)

What This Means: Sultan Hassam al-Kalim has been steadily working to increase the importance of the Emirate of Abbashan for the last few years, and this is his latest effort to clarify the changes in his reign. At the same time, he hopes to reduce the influence of members of the Preceptor faction by diminishing the size of the Emirate of Alasiya (traditionally the seat of Preceptor power). By adding the town of Tel al Kebir to the Emirate of Nithia, the sultan hopes to create a substantial power base for the new Nithian Emir to gain a greater foothold in that region. Finally, the town of Fabia was ceded to the Emirate of Nicostenia as a concession for their loss of Tameronikas earlier in the year, and will hopefully keep the emir and peoples of that region loyal to the current regime.

Ambyrmont 1, AC 1017: A New Ruler... a New Name.

Location: City of Haldemar, Kingdom of Alphatian Neatharum, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Imperial representatives arrive and announce that the Kingdom of Alphatian Neatharum will be renamed Kingdom of Neatharm. They also announce that its new king, King Trikard, will rule the kingdom. The military governor is surprised by this announcement, as he had not expected that he, a cleric and soldier, would be given such a title. Included is a private dispatch from the empress, which instructs Trikard to use Norwold as a model to develop his new kingdom. (See Nu. 8; Sv. 14, Sv. 27.)

What This Means: Eriadna has tired of the rulership void in Alphatian Neatharum. As such, she has decided that she shall appoint its next ruler since no worthy candidates seem interested. With a sense of nostalgia, she decides that this kingdom will follow the lines of Norwold and the Isle of Dawn and be open to non-magic-using individuals as rulers. Since Trikard is essentially ruling the kingdom she chooses him as the king.

Eriadna also takes the time to rename the kingdom. Though she can use the moment to symbolise a new beginning for the empire's surface holding, the name change is more a matter of annoyance than anything else. The name is too long and too focal on the Neathar aspect to properly reflect a developing Alphatian kingdom. Since assimilation and enslavement of the Neathar are currently non-factors, she sees no reason to include them in this Alphatian kingdom. They can stay and contribute to the kingdom or leave; the choice is theirs.

The choice of Neatharm is drawn from the common reference to the kingdom, based on shortening the given name. Most of the inhabitants of the kingdom have adopted using the shortened version. Making it Neatharm officially is just an added convenience to a rather lengthy and mostly unused name.

What the PCs Can Do: Worthy PCs that so desire may become king or queen of Neatharm, or important advisers.

Ambyrmont 1, AC 1017: Resting after a Frightful Journey.

Location: Island of Okta. HW

Description: The combined group of Antalians and Heldannic Knights drops anchor in a small bay lying in the shadow of Mt. Xyntrillia, both to replenish depleted supplies, and to repair the ship itself, which sustained some damage during the voyage through the Sound of Yith, around the Ross Peninsula, and northwest along the coast of the Island of Okta. Though the party did not encounter any intelligent creatures, the seas and the weather posed more than their share of perils; two knights and three Antalians perished during the voyage due to various causes. (See Fe. 16, Fy. 3; Am. 4, Am. 24.)

What This Means: Although Friedrich von Dreiburg and his followers managed to escape from Lothar, the subsequent voyage was very difficult. He and his followers will likely have to shelter here for several weeks before being able to continue their journey, their ultimate destination still undecided.

Ambyrmont 1, AC 1017: Østmark Falls.

Location: Town of Østmark, Kingdom of Qeodhar, Nayce. AS

Description: After weeks of incessant fighting, the Qeodharan troops besieging this Antalian town breach the palisade in several places, and stream inwards. Though the inhabitants fight bravely, making the invaders pay dearly for every inch they gain, it is not enough; within 20 minutes of entering Østmark, the battle ends with a resounding Qeodharan victory. Once the remaining defenders are disarmed, they are herded, along with their families, to the centre of the town. There, they are forced to watch the execution of Østmark's surviving clanheads, along with the looting and burning of most of the buildings.

Once these deeds are done, the commander of the Qeodharans addresses the gathered prisoners, saying, "Your treason has been paid for with the blood of your leaders, and this nest of villainy has been cleansed! Now, you shall be scattered to the winds, as should have been done ages ago. The mines beckon, the fields call, and you, my worms, will respond!" With that, he orders his men to march the townsfolk outside. (See Fy. 9, Fy. 15; Am. 10, Am. 22.)

What This Means: The fall of Østmark represents a deadly blow against the growing revolt against Baron Norlan and his regime, as the town is widely known among the Antalians as their main stronghold. Norlan's men are aware of this as well, and the symbolism of conquering it was not lost on them. Once news of the conquest spreads, the morale of the Antalian fighters will likely waver.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are with Norlan's men, the PCs can try to hasten the process somewhat-possibly allowing the Qeodharans to capture it earlier than this date. If they are with the Antalian defenders, the PCs can delay, but not likely prevent, the Qeodharan victory. If the PCs manage to avoid capture, they can perhaps find a way to free the townsfolk, but otherwise they may have their hands full trying to escape themselves!

Ambyrmont 1, AC 1017: Sieges.

Location: Ciudad Tejillas, Estado de Almarrón. SC

Description: The forces of Barón Maximiliano have been keeping Don Esteban and his troops under siege in the Almarróñan capital of Ciudad Tejillas since Flaurmont 16 of this year. The defenders are very close to breaking point. Food and water supplies are now very low. Attempts to escape by sea have failed as Barón Maximiliano has had support from some Texeiran warships to block the harbour. Don Esteban has been holding out for support from his shadowy adviser (an agent of the necromancer), but that support never arrived. He now decides that he can no longer maintain the defence of the town and so he orders his troops to surrender but manages to escape the town by teleport to again form plans to retake his beloved dominion. (See Fe. 22, Fy. 1; Am. 6, Am. 26.)

Ambyrmont 1, AC 1017: First Canal Plans Are Presented.

Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Alphas'ar, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: From this day on the law about canal construction can be used to demand funds from the imperial treasury to build canals. To the big surprise of the bureaucrats, no less than three different plans are presented.

The first one is a plan to connect Lake Shiell, Crystal Lake and Lake Llyn. Of course this one came from the Navy of the Lakes.

The second plan is the one from the Queen of Foresthome, who wants to connect the former harbours of the kingdom by a proposed Foresthome Rim Canal. Part of the plan is to construct dams in the harbours.

The third plan is about a canal between Andaire and the Llyn River. The plan is signed by the Queen of Jafilia. As the people realise that this means that the empress herself is planning a canal the astonishment is really big. (See Ya. 3, Kl. 15; Am. 2, Am. 5.)

What This Means: The plans of the navy are ready. One of these plans they gave to the Queen of Foresthome as she desired to control the coastal canal, in exchange for letting them propose their own plan in Foresthome lands. The Foresthome Rim Canal is not a very daring or inspiring venture, but as Queen Kikania has shown a particular interest in this project Halzunthram and his fellows shrugged away and have made the decision to proceed with their favourite project. After all, this rim canal is a useful thing as well and was one of their own plans, although it never has been the main one. On the other hand nobody had expected Eriadna's canal. Obviously the empress wants to strengthen the position of her new kingdom.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can work for one of the canal projects as there is a lot of work to be done. The most likely position is that of guardians for the engineers and workers. Of course, before digging a canal the possible routes must be examined, a dangerous task in the Alphatian wilderness.

Ambyrmont 1, AC 1017: Another Volospin Sighting!

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Once more, rumours of Volospin sightings abound. This time, however, they are in Glantri City itself. Several citizens claim to have seen the ex-prince walking about the streets, either deep in discussion with shady characters, or surveying the many changes to the city that have taken place since his supposed death many years ago. The Paparazzi Glantri is offering a reward: 50 ducats for any confirmed Volospin sightings. Elsewhere in the city, many entertainers are beginning to emerge as Volospin-impersonators; it's the latest fad. (See Th. 14, Kl. 17; Am. 3.)

What This Means: Dolores' agents will be on a double lookout now. The supreme judge is half-convinced that her long-lost "father" is behind the recent assassination attempt on her life, and that he is toying with her. She is not yet desperate enough to call in the city guard to look for him-she doesn't want any of the other nobles to become too interested in the rumours. The reward by the Paparazzi Glantri is turning up the heat for her, though-she must find Volospin first, by any means necessary.

What the PCs Can Do: They can try to make some cash by tracking down the mysterious ex-prince, but it will be very difficult to claim that reward, as Volospin is making himself very hard to find. He may not even actually be in the city itself; these rumours may only be rumours after all.

Ambyrmont 2, AC 1017: Announcement of a New Troop.

Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Alphas'ar, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Halzunthram from the Navy of the Lakes announces the set up of the 1st Marines from the Lakes. These soldiers will have to protect the surveyor and the construction teams who will have to go to the wild inner territories of Alphatia. The chief admiral of the navy invites everybody to join the ranks of this new unit, especially the recently demobilised men and women who would like to continue with a military job, but this time in a private (mercenary) army. The marines can be members of the navy but it is not necessary to become one. (See Kl. 15, Am. 1; Am. 5, Am. 16.)

What This Means: Normally the recruitment of a new unit would have been an internal affair of the navy but in this case the public announcement was necessary to quell the fears that the surveyors and workers will be eaten by the great numbers of monsters. This unit is unique in the history of the Navy of the Lakes-until now the sailors always have fought on or from the decks of ships but they have never been committed to longer land-based operations.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can be hired in the new unit.

Ambyrmont 2, AC 1017: The Stage Is Set.

Location: City of Helskir, Dominion of Helskir, Heldannic Empire, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: Having spent the last few days disassembling their various pieces of siege equipment, and reassembling them on the other side of the outer wall, the assembled Thyatian-Heldunian force stages its first assault on the inner wall of Helskir. Casualties are relatively light during the assault itself, as the Heldannic defences atop the inner wall had been softened somewhat during the past few days by means of offensive spells, and many of the traps dotting the field between the walls have been discovered-often by accident. A large detachment of heavy infantry manages to reach the inner gates, and attempts to batter them down, but crossbow fire and boiling oil soon force them to beat a hasty retreat.

Also, a flurry of messages are exchanged, by magical means, between the Thyatian-Heldunian force and their Naycese allies, in order to coordinate a final push to reconquer Helskir. (See Fy. 24, Fy. 25; Am. 6, Am. 7.)

What This Means: Enough time has passed for the combined Thyatian-Heldunian force to better position itself for a final assault on Helskir, but the Heldannic defenders have shown themselves still capable of delaying an enemy victory.

Ambyrmont 2, AC 1017: A Deluge of Festivals.

Location: City of Bluenose, Kingdom of Arogansa, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The Bluenose business owners meet to discuss preparations for the planned week-long festivities for Closing Day. As each goes over planned events and attractions, it soon becomes apparent that the city will see observances of any and all forms of excess that the Alphatian nobles can imagine. Several rearrange their venue schedules to keep from competing for tourists.

Jhadix offers an added proposal. He cites that Bluenose could also take advantage of the various holidays that the empire recognises, so they could promote extravagant festivals based on them. He offers the Alphatian New Year, Opening Day, the Empress's birthday, the Day of Magic, Howling Day, Doggerel Days, Ancestor's Day, Wine Festivals, and of course Closing Day. The assembled business owners like the idea and agree to adopt them. (See Th. 14; Am. 23, Ka. 15.)

Ambyrmont 2, AC 1017: Domes Arrive.

Location: Over Torenal Site, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS

Description: After the long and slow journey from Notrion, the domes, barges, and armed escorts arrive over the Torenal work site. As the naval contingents take up defensive positions, workers from above and below move to make preparations to lower the domes down to the seabed below. Though these domes are nowhere near the size of those seen in Aquas, transferring them down to the seabed is a major undertaking. The operation is rather tense at times, however the domes are slid off of their transport barges and hoisted slowly down to the awaiting crews. The entire process takes several days before all the domes are off-loaded and positioned on the awaiting foundations. As the barges and escort vessels depart, the construction crews are given a few days' rest before work continues. (See Nu. 12, Nu. 20; Am. 18, Ka. 2.)

Ambyrmont 3, AC 1017: Going Down.

Location: Underneath City of Hattias, Duchy of Hattias, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Thyatian agents using etherealness spells have, over the preceding months, attempted to map out the chambers under Hattias City that were used by the followers of Thanatos. They hoped to locate whatever it was the fiend was referring to with its cryptic remarks, then send in a strike team to eliminate it. While they have managed to gain good knowledge of the layout of these warrens, they failed to find anything noteworthy-until today.

Using ethereal travel, one of those scouting the area happens to get lost momentarily and descend deeper, under the known complex of warrens. There she stumbles upon a seemingly vast sub-level, apparently inaccessible from the main complex, cut off from it by a thick layer of bedrock. These chambers seem extraordinarily ancient, and seem to be inhabited by a variety of undead. Fearing she'll be noticed by one or more of them, she hastily ascends back to the surface, and reports what she found to her superiors. (See Fl. 24, Kl. 24; Am. 23, Ka. 10.)

What This Means: The Thyatians have discovered a large, ancient complex inhabited by a powerful lich who serves Thanatos, and his undead minions. Agents of the Thyatian magistranoi, at the emperor's command, will investigate this complex and map out its features. Divinatory spells are also used, to uncover information about the threats that they will face in clearing it out.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters exploring the vast dungeon underneath Hattias City will be able to buy (or, if they've done something to serve the empire, be rewarded with) maps and information about the areas they plan on clearing out. Particularly prominent characters (especially those who investigated the crimes caused by the fiend, or who faced the fiend and beat it) might be tapped for the mission into the secret sub-level.

Ambyrmont 3, AC 1017: Skyship over Aengmor.

Location: Canolbarth Forest, Colony of Aengmor, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW

Description: In the northern region of Canolbarth Forest, the shadow elves spot a strange sight above the twisted trees: a flying skyship of human creation. Soon, mounted shadowelf wizards fly up to the foreign vessel and attack it with fireballs. Within moments, the aerial battle is over and the skyship crashes somewhere deep in the forest. (See Fe. 20, Fy. 7; Am. 14, Am. 15.)

What This Means: Many of the shadow elves who witness this event believe it was a routine mission of militant shadow elves protecting their forest realm from human intruders. None realise that the skyship was sent by Prince Malachie du Marais of Glantri, and among its passengers were his agents sent to Aengmor to investigate the schemes of his enemy, Princess Dolores Hillsbury, otherwise known as the sorceress Synn.

What the PCs Can Do: The plot of the D&D: Shadow Over Mystara arcade game continues here. The PCs are Malachie's agents on board the skyship, which is attacked by shadowelf warriors, wizards, and one mysterious champion named Tel'Arin. The skyship crashes and the PCs continue their adventure within Canolbarth, the Forest of Despair, and in the underground shadowelf territories, until they reach Synn's fortress.

Ambyrmont 4, AC 1017: Terror from the Mount.

Location: Island of Okta. HW

Description: Friedrich von Dreiburg is roused from slumber aboard his group's dry-docked vessel by the panicked cries of one of the Antalians, who runs into the group's makeshift camp by the seashore. Demanding to know the cause of the disturbance, he asks the man curtly what is the matter. Still gasping for breath, the Antalian responds that, while foraging with his brother for edible plants near the foot of the large mountain nearby, they came upon a lush valley filled with all manner of flowering plants, which ran up the shallow slopes towards the summit. Although they found many good nuts and berries, their finds grew richer the further up the slope they travelled, until, near the summit itself, they found a grassy bowl littered with wildflowers and oddly-shaped bushes bearing fruits. It was in touching one of the plants that his brother screamed and fell to the ground.

Before the Antalian's eyes, his brother's skin adopted the texture of bark, and limbs sprouted from all over his body and grew leaves, while his feet became rooted to the ground. Within moments, where his brother once writhed in agony, a leafy shrub now stood, its shape vaguely resembling the posture of a man stooped in pain. It was at that instant that the Antalian fled in mindless, gibbering fear.

Seeing the seriousness of the man's expression, von Dreiburg opts to give him the benefit of the doubt, and issues an order that no one is to approach the mountain. (See Fy. 3, Am. 1; Am. 24, Ei. 8.)

What This Means: For all its lushness, von Dreiburg and his men found this region of the Island of Okta odd in that no land animals of any sort were present-they may now know the reason. The Hollow World is not just host to vanished cultures; animals and plants of various sorts are also transplanted here once conditions are no longer suitable for them on the surface world. What inhabits this region of the island is a variety of magical giant plant, which feeds itself by luring its prey with fruits and berries, absorbing those who touch them. The area of the most lush vegetation is where it "feeds;" it draws its prey inwards by offering better and better lures (fruits).

Ambyrmont 4, AC 1017: Early Encounters-the Battle of Ronung.

Location: Countryside near the Village of Ronung, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Arkan and Stonewall forces meet for the first time in earnest. The Arkan forces try to use cavalry to attack Stonewall's infantry since the invaders brought no horses with them. But though Arkan archers try to support them, they're brutally slaughtered by the vast number of boltmen on Stonewall's side; the Arkan forces are forced to retreat and their infantry never even get to enter the fight, though they still take serious casualties from hostile fire. The few Arkan forces that are able to close with Stonewall's army are promptly killed off by hostile magic from Stonewall's wizards and their few wizard allies and mercenary mages from Randel. (See Fy. 13, Fy. 25; Am. 16, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: This outcome does not bode well for Arkan-they were soundly defeated! Thus, Arkan is now forced to realise that it will never win a conventional war against the invaders. General Lotaran will consider the matter with his advisers and King Qinn, and they will soon choose the hit-and-run tactics that Wolf-Hunter suggested from now on, though General Lotaran will have to completely reorganise his forces and tactics as a consequence.

What the PCs Can Do: From now on, the Stonewall forces will primarily be harassed by sniper-fire and ambushes from adventurers like Wolf-Hunter's group, which is soon nicknamed the Wolf-Pack by both sides. The PCs can be involved in these on either side.

Ambyrmont 4, AC 1017: Pidimigd Reinforced.

Location: Bluenose Ruins, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS

Description: A submersible arrives carrying several mages and their apprentices. The arrivals depart the vessel and are met by Pidimigd. He shows them to their quarters, a building that had once been a brothel. Pidimigd and the mages begin sealing the building and making it habitable for air-breathers. The apprentices begin off-loading their equipment and supplies from the vessel. Noticeably absent at the arrival are the Bluenose undead. Most watch the procession at a distance. (See Fy. 26, Fy. 27; Am. 16, Am. 19.)

What This Means: These are the respondents to Pidimigd's call. There are four arriving mages in all and all but one are necromancers. Zebul is a former apprentice of Pidimigd. Veanyas and Pidimigd were both apprentices to the same necromancer during their initiation into the dark arts. Mosira, a Thothian, had worked with Pidimigd previously in the necromantic arts in Thothia. Prellia is not a necromancer, but is secretly Pidimigd's estranged daughter.

For various reasons, Pidimigd feels confident that these mages can be controlled either through force or through loyalty. Prellia is his ace card in any uprising to his authority. Though father and daughter do not get along, Pidimigd hopes that their common blood will add a definite ally to his side. For her part, Prellia is here out of compulsion for her father. However she also wishes to keep him in line in regards to the Bluenose undead. She knows what he is, but hopes to accomplish some feat in creating in him some tangible father figure.

What the PCs Can Do: Famous necromancers (but of lower level than Pidimigd) can be recruited as well. In that case, the other PCs can come along, though they will be treated by Pidimigd as mere assistants to the necromancers.

Ambyrmont 4, AC 1017: Darkness Gathering.

Location: Barony of Two Lakes Vale, Icereach Range. NW

Description: The fishermen of the Western Lake notice a strange eerie black cloud appearing in the middle of the lake, just 120 feet above the Shunned Island. The cloud keeps growing with each passing hour, and at the end of the day half the lake region is darkened by the inexplicable phenomenon. Even the inhabitants of Skullheim, Baron Fharo's capital, can see the dark cloud from their hills. The court chaplain is at a loss at explaining the occurrence, but he is sure this can only mean an ill fate for the barony. (See Fy. 15, Fy. 17; Am. 12, Am. 20.)

What This Means: After two weeks working on the right enchantments, the Shadow Lord and Sylarion managed to cast the right spell upon the Death Stone. The black magics invoked by the two spellcasters created a rift in the plane's fabric, opening a gate directly to Nyx's home plane. The deadly energy stemming forth from the Sphere of Entropy is now swirling in the barony's sky, creating the dark cloud that blocks all light coming from the sun and the stars above. With each passing day, the cloud will increase its magnitude, until the entire vale is bathed in a permanent dusk. Then the undead will raise under the Shadow Lord's command to claim their new dominion from the living beings.

Ambyrmont 5, AC 1017: Flight of the Devil Ray.

Location: Borydos Naval Research Base, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: A sleek Thyatian airship is launched on Borydos, beginning her maiden voyage with some trial runs to test her capabilities. The ship, the Devil Ray, is the most complex and expensive constructed in Thyatis to date. She is intended to be the first in a line of improved Thyatian airships, with several more planned each year, depending on how well the Devil Ray performs. (See Sv. 21.)

What This Means: The Devil Ray, while fast, stealthy, and powerful, was very expensive to build. While the Devil Ray's capabilities surpass expectations, so does her cost, and many begin to wonder if such expensive vessels are an efficient use of the empire's resources, and questions about the project will grow. The emperor is a great proponent of the airship program, however, and wants to see Thyatis' skyfleet expand.

What the PCs Can Do: Loyal Thyatian characters may be hired to serve onboard the Devil Ray in her explorations.

Ambyrmont 5, AC 1017: Contracts Are Signed.

Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Alphas'ar, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Halzunthram, Queen Kikania and Empress Eriadna sign an agreement that assigns the newly-formed 1st Marines from the Lakes with the protection of their canal projects as well as the project of the sailors. They also agree that Rear-Admiral Clarendon from the Navy of the Lakes will oversee all three projects. (See Am. 1, Am. 2; Am. 16, Am. 22.)

What This Means: Both rulers think that forming a united front with the sailors will improve the chances of success for the various projects. Of course it is a very rare event that a mercenary unit is hired before it is even formed, but the fame of the Navy of the Lakes is good enough that Eriadna and Kikania trust in their ability to be ready in time-the navy may not have been important before, but it has always been reliable, for those who knew of it.

Likewise both rulers have decided that it will be cheaper to hire the navy for planning and overseeing the projects than to build up their own teams, especially as both rulers are too occupied with their normal work to be involved personally. Clarendon is planning for a long term now; he has a good team and he has established contacts with the leading engineers of Alphatia.

Ambyrmont 6, AC 1017: Undead Horde Enters Yazak Steppes.

Location: North of City of Plaktur, Yazak Steppes. WB

Description: Having passed through Gosluk and Kuttai territories and gathered some humanoids and nomads to his banner, Don Claudio's forces have passed over the eastern half of the Yazak Steppes, and stand poised to enter the Yalu Bay region. Zuyevo, having lost most of a major army in Douzbakjian, is facing a grave threat to its recently-extended southern frontier. (See Fy. 1, Am. 1; Am. 26, Sv. 5.)

What This Means: Zuyevo has bitten off more than it can chew. With two armies approaching, one from the north and one from the south, and the baronies preparing a counter-attack to recover Richland, the tsar must scramble to meet all the approaching threats. When the tsar gets word of the approaching undead horde, he decides to try and make peace with Kiligi Alp Arslan and set aside his hope to conquer Douzbakjian, even though his anger at the death of the crown prince is severe. Nevertheless, he looks for other, less conventional ways to revenge himself on the Douzbaks.

Kiligi Alp Arslan accepts the offer, and the tsar orders troops shifted southwards. Kiligi Alp Arslan would prefer to drive the Zuyevans back beyond the Tozel and Tunguska Rivers, if not further, but has heard of increasing white orc raids in Douzbakjian, so he reluctantly accepts the tsar's peace offer, which sets the frontier at the pre-war border.

Ambyrmont 6, AC 1017: The Sundering of the Gates.

Location: City of Helskir, Dominion of Helskir, Heldannic Empire, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: Scant minutes after sundown, after several days of intermittent raiding and probing of the defences, a mighty barrage is let loose from the artillery massed around the inner wall of Helskir-this time focusing on the gates themselves. Boulders, ballista bolts, and flaming oil are thrown at the defences, doing extensive damage. The Heldannic counterattack is spirited, but unable to diminish the severity of the strikes being made against them-only a couple of ballistae are destroyed, and casualties among the Thyatian-Heldunian force are quite low.

Inevitably, the gatehouse literally implodes under the bombardment, and, with a hearty cheer, the alliance surges forward to do battle. Soon, a fierce melee ensues, as Heldunian soldiers, Antalian guardsmen, and Thyatian legionnaires press northwards into Helskir, while the Heldannic Knights and their soldiers try to drive them back. Clerical and magical spells are exchanged between the two armies, as men and women go down on all sides. Heldannic crossbowmen rake the crowds below them, trying to aid their companions on the ground, while Heldunian bowmen try to take up strategic positions.

The fighting continues for hours, with the lines holding fairly steady around the ruined gates, until the sounds of magical explosions can be heard to the north-from the docks! One of the Naycese warships has entered the harbour, and its boltmen proceed to launch magic missiles at any likely targets, and at the Heldannic vessels anchored nearby. Some of the Heldannic soldiers in Helskir lose heart, and manage to make their way to the harbour, where they board one of the smaller ships, cast off, and try their luck on the open sea-their vessel taking moderate damage as they pass the Naycese vessel. (See Fy. 25, Am. 2; Am. 7, Am. 8.)

What This Means: The alliance against Heldann has managed to breach the inner defences of Helskir itself, and the Naycese contingent acted on previously agreed-upon signals to wreak havoc in the harbour, in the hopes of dividing the defending forces, and hastening the recapture of Helskir.

What the PCs Can Do: This entire battle with provide opportunities for heroism and bravery!

Ambyrmont 7, AC 1017: Not This Year.

Location: City of Blueside, Kingdom of Lagrius, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: The planned yachting regatta is regretfully cancelled. With the troubles with the undead, response from sailing enthusiasts outside of Lagrius has been slight. The planned events have been scaled back and the races evolve into a few contests between local yachtsmen. The local mage Dreximar maintains his supremacy over the yachting community with several decisive victories aboard the Sundowner. Though the competition is limited to the locals, his performance proves that he and his vessel are still the ones to beat. (See Fe. 15.)

Ambyrmont 7, AC 1017: The Battle for Helskir Continues.

Location: City of Helskir, Dominion of Helskir, Heldannic Empire, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: The fierce battle of Helskir rages unabated in the streets. Realising that they have some control over the field of battle as long as their enemies are bottled up in the ruined gatehouse, the Heldannic army tries its best to hold its position, pelting the massed Thyatian and Heldunian soldiers with crossbow bolts, spells, and thrown spears. By sunrise, however, they are dismayed to see enemy bowmen ranged along the parapets of the inner wall, and are forced to withdraw-some of them dispersing into the surrounding buildings. Making the affair more difficult are several small-scale uprisings among the populace, seizing upon the opportunity to regain their independence.

Although the battles rage on all day, sundown sees the Thyatian-Heldunian alliance in control of only the southern third of Helskir. Elsewhere, Anna von Hendriks, wounded from the day's fighting, gathers as many troops as she can, and heads to the former palace, which she has been using as her personal headquarters. (See Am. 2, Am. 6; Am. 8, Am. 9.)

What This Means: Although the alliance has obtained a decisive advantage against the Heldannic occupying force, victory is by no means certain. The dispersal of Heldannic soldiers into the surrounding buildings will mean that every structure will have to be cleared on an individual basis-something that could take days. In the meantime, the defenders will have places in which to hide and recuperate somewhat, or possibly hold Helskir residents as hostages. For the alliance, the presence of the native Helskirans is more of a hindrance than a benefit; despite the fact that some of them are rising up against their overlords, they are still in the way. There will be many innocent casualties once this conflict has ended.

Ambyrmont 7, AC 1017: To Strike or Not to Strike.

Location: City of Citadel, Kingdom of Bettellyn, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Queen Llynara is advised as to the sighting of the three imperial skyships flying along the border and entering Randel. Her military advisers analyse the sighting and offer various reasons for their presence in Randel. The two most commonly cited scenarios are that the imperial troops are there either to bolster Randel's military power or to act as a peacekeeping force to keep Junna in power. The officers also speak of reports of Randel forces mobilising into defensive positions near the border.

Llynara contemplates the situation before postponing any invasion of Randel. Though her representatives in Andaire tell her that the trio of skyships is performing training manoeuvres, she is sceptical that that is their true purpose. This doubt intensifies as it is realised that Dogrel, who originally hails from Randel, commands the force. She doubts that Eriadna would use imperial forces to bolster an individual kingdom or even aid a ruler; however, the mere presence of those imperial troops complicates matters.

Llynara has an opportunity that cannot and should not be so easily dismissed. She issues the order authorising the invasion of their nefarious neighbour. Her officers support the move, but stress caution. Llynara agrees and tells them to attack when they are ready. She turns command of the operation over to General Taghist, her senior military officer. (See Fe. 14, Fy. 1; Am. 18, Sv. 1.)

Ambyrmont 7, AC 1017: Ennius Stops in West Portage.

Location: Town of West Portage, Archonate of Hespiria, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: After tarrying in the city of Thyatis for awhile to consult some of the more obscure books in the Great Library, Ennius Necrekis reaches West Portage. He intends to stop there for a few days' rest before continuing. At this point of the journey, a rumour begins that he intends to enter the Great Escarpment, and then to continue to Thothia. Some also notice that the expedition gains an additional member in West Portage. (See Fe. 1, Fe. 13; Ei. 12, Ka. 3.)

What This Means: The man who joins Ennius' expedition is Rudolf Neuenberg, a famous philosopher and adventurer, who had left Thyatis after a dispute with the Storm Soldiers who have made several attempts on his life since then. He has recently returned to the empire, invited by Ennius and Galea to enter this expedition.

Second Week

Ambyrmont 8, AC 1017: Closing the Ring.

Location: City of Helskir, Dominion of Helskir, Heldannic Empire, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: Along the western inner wall of Helskir, advancing Thyatian troops enter the harbour area, and encounter Naycese soldiers encamped in one of the warehouses. After a few terse words exchanged between their respective commanders, both forces gather their gear once more, and press eastwards, towards the Heldannic-held portion of Helskir.

Meanwhile, in the southern portion of the city, a Heldannic counterattack manages to force Heldunian soldiers to abandon their positions, and hole up in a gutted mansion, while crossbowmen stationed in a two-story building fire upon a Helskiran rebel patrol seeking to aid their erstwhile liberators, inflicting many casualties. Heldunian battle mages quickly eliminate the threat of the crossbowmen, however, through sleep and hold person spells.

The battle rages underneath Helskir, too, as soldiers on both sides do battle in the grimy, ill-lit sewers. Here, the battle lines are even more blurred, as combatants wander the maze-like tunnels in search of opponents in small groups, fearful of what lies around the next corner. Many warriors fall, and not only by the blades of their enemies. (See Am. 6, Am. 7; Am. 9, Am. 10.)

Ambyrmont 8, AC 1017: Cultists of Thanatos enter Ekto.

Location: City of Ekto, Kingdom of Ekto, Nayce. SD

Description: Having left two members in Trikelios to establish a safe house and start recruiting followers, the expedition of the Cult of Thanatos reaches Ekto. Here they plan on establishing another main base, taking advantage of the confusion caused by the disruptions the city has experienced and the large number of bodies and undead buried under the ruins. The Cult of Thanatos will also begin to recruit members here as well. (See Kl. 3, Fy. 19; Sv. 4.)

What This Means: The Cultists of Thanatos now have a broad network of bases and enclaves on the Isle of Dawn. The ruined portions of Ekto, and the many lost chambers and sewers under the city, provide a prime breeding ground for undead minions. The cultists also hope to gain some sway over Ekto's politics, but will find this difficult if not impossible because of the growing hold Thothia has on the city.

Because many building supplies and other resources necessary for a recovery project are passing into the city of Ekto, it is also fairly easy for the cultists to acquire what their base on the Great Escarpment wants. They begin smuggling supplies to their fellow cultists.

What the PCs Can Do: The cultists are surreptitious and circumspect at this stage, and characters are unlikely to take particular note of them. This will likely change in time, however. Officials might eventually notice that additional supplies are disappearing from the warehouses where they are stored, and hire characters to track down the smugglers. Some of this is just normal corruption, people diverting supplies for their own use, to their friends, and to wealthy people bribing them, but the party could also discover the growing smuggling operations conducted by the cultists.

Ambyrmont 9, AC 1017: ... Then a Flood!

Location: Territory of Thratia, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: In the months since the first refugees from the Milenian city-states made their way to the Hinterlands, the flow of migrants into the empire has increased markedly. The border forts and outposts, lacking the resources to shelter the newcomers, have been directing them northwards to the more settled region of Davania Superior. Even so, some forts end up receiving another batch of refugees just as another group departs, hampering their own efforts at maintaining order along the empire's southern frontier.

Several commanders, seeing a potential crisis, dispatch messengers to Leilah ben Nadir in Raven Scarp, requesting more manpower. (See Fe. 27, Fy. 26; Am. 16, Am. 19.)

What This Means: With widespread destruction befalling the northeastern Meghala Kimata Plains, those that can leave the area do so. While some fled westwards to Ilioloosti-the nearest neutral major city-state-many more sought shelter in the jungles and hills stretching along the northern fringes of the plains. Even here there was no shelter, as the indigenous humanoid tribes and Hinterlanders (primarily un-Thyatianised members of the Rhino Clan) drove the newcomers away from their homes and hunting grounds. Some of the craftier clan chieftains deliberately drove the Milenians northwards, knowing that this would further strain the Thyatian Empire's resources in the area. The Kingdom of Emerond also had a role in this, as those Milenians who entered its borders were quickly ferried through to Thyatis-the Emerondians having no desire to let large numbers of humans settle in their lands, and upset the delicate balance of nature.

Thus, large portions of the southern frontier, which is still in the process of being pacified, are having to cope with the strains of protecting and moving refugees, in addition to countering Hinterlander attacks. Some Hinterlander clan leaders think this will slow down, or possibly reverse, the Thyatian advance.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs in the service of Thyatis could find themselves handling refugees, either protecting them as they cross the border, or guiding them deeper into Thyatian territory. a name="amb9b">

Ambyrmont 9, AC 1017: The Last Stand.

Location: City of Helskir, Dominion of Helskir, Heldannic Empire, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: After over two days of almost continuous fighting, only pockets of Heldannic resistance remain in Helskir, though they have a stronger presence in the sewers. The one stronghold remaining, that of the former palace, is all that stands between the Thyatian-Heldunian-Naycese force, and victory. Wearily, but full of hope, they storm the main entrance, only to be repulsed by relatively well-rested Heldannic Knights, who wield their weapons and spells to great effect-though some of their number are cut down in the process.

As the other pockets are cleared out in succession, and headway is made in the sewers, more troops are brought to bear on the palace, and though considerable ground is gained, the Heldannic presence is still strong in the palace's core-in the throne room, the former royal bedchambers, and adjoining rooms. (See Am. 7, Am. 8; Am. 10, Am. 12.)

Ambyrmont 9, AC 1017: The Natives Are Restless, and They Are Not Friendly.

Location: Eastern Jungle Coast, roughly 100 miles east of Colony of Davania Inferior. DV

Description: Having left the last vestiges of civilisation behind them, after passing Tiberio's Lighthouse in Davania Inferior, the Thyatian exploratory flotilla spent the past several days hugging the coast, charting sandbars and other obstacles carefully, as well as noting oddities in the land formations and the locations of rivers where they enter the Sea of Dread. They come upon a stretch of land where the jungle has been cleared, and the resulting clearing is littered with crude racks upon which animal skins are drying, as well as a couple of crude huts.

Curious, Julius orders a detachment of men to go ashore and examine the handiwork. Before they can come close to the racks, however, a deep, booming battle cry reverberates throughout the clearing, and well over a score of jungle orcs leap out of the surrounding underbrush, and charge the newcomers. Fortunately, the Thyatians are able to flee to the safety of the ships, which the contingent of marines keeps the orcs at bay with a few volleys of crossbow bolts.

Losing no time, Julius orders his ships to resume their voyage. (See Fl. 15, Fy. 18; Sv. 2, Ei. 13.)

What This Means: This region of the Jungle Coast is inhabited by a tribe of jungle orcs, who saw the Thyatians approaching almost an hour earlier. Eager for some fresh meat, the orcs abandoned their camp, and waited to see if the foreigners would pass by, or let their curiosity get the better of them. Unfortunately for the orcs, Julius has ordered the marines to be prepared for any ambushes, and thus no one was lost.

Ambyrmont 9, AC 1017: A Balance Returns.

Location: City of Farend, Kingdom of Qeodhar, Nayce,. AS

Description: The Cloud Kin and the Madgyn's Revenge arrive overhead Farend. The two vessels land alongside the Aran and their captains are met by Sdandre. Since the Dervish is not with them, he can only assume that the vessel and crew were lost. The assumptions are confirmed with no reports of any survivors emerging from the darkness. Sdandre tells the arrivals to rest while their vessels are repaired and supplied. Once that is done, they shall depart together and head for Ionace. (See Fy. 27, Fy. 28; Am. 12, Am. 14.)

What This Means: Though a bit enraged that Sdandre extended the rights of hospitality and supply to the other two vessels without asking him, King Norlan lets the matter slide. He would have allowed it anyway as the addition of two more skyships is good for him. Though he cannot reasonably hope to call upon them in his war, he has hopes that the rebels and invaders will try to assault the capital-then the skyships would have no other choice than to fight alongside his forces.

Ambyrmont 10, AC 1017: A Final Surprise... and the Aftermath.

Location: City of Helskir, Dominion of Helskir, Heldannic Empire, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: After an entire night spent attempting to demolish the hastily-erected barricades protecting the remaining Heldannic pockets in the former royal palace-by magical and mundane means-the allied Thyatian-Heldunian-Naycese force manages to enter the royal suite, which is occupied by a handful of injured Heldannic soldiers-and the shrouded remains of the dead. Quickly taking control of the situation, the allied soldiers round up the walking wounded and escort them into captivity, while those too injured to move are carried out on stretchers.

Elsewhere, allied soldiers are able to make their way into the throne room, which they knew Anna von Hendriks had been using as a fallback position. Inside, they find no one. (See Am. 8, Am. 9; Am. 12, Am. 15.)

What This Means: The battle for Helskir is effectively over. The concerted allied assault has managed to free Helskir from Heldannic control, but the campaign has been a costly one. The Heldannic defenders were able to hold off the main body of the attacking force long enough for some of them to make a strategic withdrawal to the palace, and there to erect defences capable of preventing complete capitulation for a couple of days-long enough for the able-bodied Heldannic soldiers to escape capture through the use of word of recall or teleportation spells. Thus, only the dead and critically injured are left behind for the most part, but these are likely to have useful information.

What the PCs Can Do: There may be scattered pockets of resistance yet-isolated Heldannic soldiers hiding in remote cellars, or their sympathisers organising street gangs to delay the allied force's victory-which might require clearing out. A bigger job is at hand, however; the examination and interrogation of the newest group of prisoners. There is a good chance that some of them will know where the other Heldannic soldiers-and most importantly Anna von Hendriks-might have fled.

Ambyrmont 10, AC 1017: Those Hydraulic Mills.

Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: The first of the new aqueduct-powered mill structures is completed and begins operating. Water from the aqueduct flows down in stages over a series of 16 water wheels, arranged two abreast. The axis-shafts of the wheels are magically lubricated to eliminate friction resistance. The water wheels are themselves wholly enclosed within a large stone building that forms the mill complex itself.

The aqueduct water can be diverted to allow any or all of the wheels to be shut down (for maintenance or whatever reason). The water then enters an underground pipe, where it passes through a chamber that magically purifies it before it is deposited into the cistern and there piped throughout The City. The cistern itself was once open-air, but has been covered, creating a large plaza and park. (See Va. 19.)

What This Means: The chamber that creates a purify water effect was added at the recommendation of the imperial hospitaliers as a public health measure. As additional aqueduct-driven hydromills are completed, each will also have a purify water enchantment. All the cisterns in Thyatis will be dredged deeper and covered as well, and will thus become underground chambers and additional parklands and plazas will be built atop them; plants will be transplanted to create the parks, and where helpful plant growth spells will be used. Once this project is completed there will be six such aqueduct-powered mill plants in the city of Thyatis, and one each in places like Kerendas City and Port Lucinius. There will also be six new parks and plazas in Thyatis City, as each cistern is moved underground and the surface converted.

Ambyrmont 10, AC 1017: More Victories for Norlan.

Location: City of Farend, Kingdom of Qeodhar, Nayce. AS

Description: Baron Norlan receives the latest reports from his military commanders and spies in the field, and the news is good. Advances have been made along the main battlefront, with one town and three villages being recaptured over the past month, with approximately 450 prisoners being marched to Farend. Many of those prisoners, the reports state, are suitable for forced labour in the shipyards, the fields, or the mines. The reports also detail the successful opening of the second front along the east coast. The only bad news is the continued failure on the part of Qeodharan forces to pacify the northern foothills; isolated patrols are still being ambushed.

The tactical assessment makes Norlan even happier; it is predicted that both forces of soldiers with soon meet each other in the midst of Antalian-occupied territory, effectively cutting the rebels' forces in two, and isolating them from the coast. (See Fy. 15, Am. 1; Am. 22, Ei. 2.)

What This Means: Norlan's forces clearly have a tactical and numerical advantage. It seems that it is only a matter of time before he is in a position to annihilate the Antalian rebels in the heartland.

Ambyrmont 11, AC 1017: Crossing the Border... War.

Location: Kingdom of Eadrin, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Arogansan troops cross the lower Thera River and begin their march into Eadrin lands. Each group makes its way towards its objectives. With the element of surprise and few sizeable communities before them, the groups march virtually unopposed into the Eadrin countryside. Their progress is good, even the units towing siege equipment. (See Th. 2, Fy. 20; Am. 23, Sv. 4.)

What This Means: Though the military units are confident, many officers wonder how long their approach will go unopposed. Many have some serious concerns about their troops. Though sizeable, few troops are adequately trained and equipped; Detteria's rush for a large army has undermined their effectiveness. Though not equipped with the proverbial dagger and bagpipes, few units are wearing metal armour and most are poorly equipped. Many units are composed of raw recruits; some have only been in service for a few weeks.

What the PCs Can Do: They can be part of Arogansa's invasion force; if they are competent enough, they might easily be placed in positions of command and weigh heavily on the success of the military campaign. PCs present in Eadrin the moment the war starts may be caught in it.

Ambyrmont 11, AC 1017: Duttai Defeated.

Location: Kiyat Territories, Ethengar Khanates. OW

Description: Rebel Kiyat tribe forces, under the command of Duttai Khan, are defeated by the combined armies of the Murkit tribe and Manghai Khan's keshak. Manghai Khan commands that all rebel Kiyat males be slain to the man. He personally strangles Duttai Khan with a bowstring, in the manner befitting Ethengar khans. He never allows them the opportunity to swear allegiance to his tribe. (See Ya. 1.)

What This Means: With Duttai's defeat, the last true opposition to the merging of the Kiyat and Murkit tribes is gone. Manghai Khan can justly claim the territories of the Kiyat clan as belonging to him, and his power base has become that much greater on the steppes. His show of ruthlessness on the field will have mixed blessings however-many who saw him weak will respect him more now, but those who know the true Manghai Khan will have their suspicions raised ever further.

Ambyrmont 12, AC 1017: Farewell... But Leaving So Soon.

Location: City of Farend, Kingdom of Qeodhar, Nayce. AS

Description: Commander Sdandre surprises King Norlan by announcing that he and his retinue of three skyships are about to depart to continue their mission to Ionace. Norlan is obviously disappointed at their early departure and tries to persuade the commander to stay for but a few more days to fully restock their supply stores and rest their men. However, Sdandre is adamant that they have dallied from their journey for far too long and must leave. He cites that the final leg of their journey is fairly short, the amassed supplies should be more than adequate. The three vessels leave by the day's end. (See Fy. 28, Am. 9; Am. 14.)

What This Means: The truth is Sdandre feels a bit uneasy about prolonging their stay. He is well aware of Norlan's desire to add the vessels to his forces. The monarch's pestering on the matter has become unbearable. A quick survey of the offered supplies is deemed adequate to get the three skyships from Qeodhar to Ionace. Had he had his way, Sdandre would have left without informing Norlan. However, such acts may be viewed badly within Nayce, where the non-spellcasters are taking a more prominent role in official matters.

Ambyrmont 12, AC 1017: A New Day for Helskir.

Location: City of Helskir, Exarchate/Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: A concerted effort has been made on the part of the allied forces to round up all able-bodied prisoners remaining within Helskir, and to remove them to the fields lying between the inner and outer walls. They are put to work, building shelters for themselves, while others are tasked with clearing away the smaller piles of rubble scattered throughout the town. While all of this is going on, interrogations are being conducted, with the aim being the identification and location of any remaining Heldannic forces in northwestern Heldun.

Within the city, the locals, under the guidance of the recently-reorganised constabulary, search the streets for known collaborators with the Heldannic regime, often following tips given by fellow cityfolk. Wherever they are found, such people are taken to the gaol, which survived the battle. (See Am. 9, Am. 10; Am. 15, Am. 17.)

Ambyrmont 12, AC 1017: Citizen Wererat.

Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: After weeks of renewed debate over conferring citizenship on the wererats who live below the city of Thyatis, Phileus and Lyra Furmenglaive get their chance to speak on the issue. They give an impassioned speech on the respect for life, the contributions of the wererats to the empire during the recent war, and highlight the variety of races that are already regarded as equal citizens in the empire. One of the senators calls out from the gallery that wererats are not a race, but people infected with a disturbing disease, and thus unworthy. Phileus and Lyra's eyes sweep the chamber. As Lyra lists the worthy service that the Furmenglaives have given the empire, Phileus begins to transform, changing into werewolf form. Lyra then follows suit, changing into her werewolf form. The chamber is stunned as they shift back into human form. None quibble about the loyal and worthy service the Furmenglaives have given the empire.

The senate votes on the measure to extend Thyatian citizenship to the wererats living beneath The City. It passes by a narrow margin, and the wererats are incorporated as the Dominion of Subterranea. A separate, but coincidentally related bill, to create a communications network within the city of Thyatis, is also passed.

What This Means: Over the last several years, especially during the Great War, Phileus and Lyra Furmenglaive learned how to control their lycanthropy. They were thus able to demonstrate it in the senate chamber, taking a great risk since they did not know how the senate would react. But Thyatians are fairly open-minded (some might say jaded); people were surprised and stunned, but not shocked or revolted (many have seen similar transformations in the Colosseum). Still, the measure was not uncontroversial, as many do not trust the wererats, who are thought to be thieves and lowlifes. But the bill passed. The wererats are now imperial citizens but are also subject to imperial law. But many are given jobs as sewer workers, maintaining, repairing, and extending the system of sewers under The City. They are also given jobs working on the construction of the new communications network, which involves connecting the buildings of Thyatis with each other with a system of pneumatic tubes running under The City. Still others will help guard the subterranean entries into Thyatis and also help guide expeditions to explore the tunnels and the Hollow World.

Indeed, the bill granting the wererats citizenship passed when several decisive votes were swung following the news of the creatures living in the tunnels under Hattias City. This alerted the senators involved to the possibility of an attack on Thyatis from below, and they see this as a step to prevent such a thing from occurring.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters wishing to explore the catacombs beneath the city of Thyatis will now have numerous safe havens there.

Ambyrmont 12, AC 1017: The Death Ride.

See picture.

Location: Barony of Two Lakes Vale, Icereach Range. NW

Description: The dark ominous cloud now hangs over the whole Two Lakes Vale. The crops start to wither and die, sickness spreads among its citizens, and rumours of the dead leaving their graves circulate in the region. The sentinels of the western border report to a worried Baron Fharo that they have spotted a great army of undead marching towards their valley. The baron sends his heralds to the nearby states looking for help to cope with the situation, while the court chaplain restores the old faith in the Northern Pantheon and the priests of Idris flee the country fearing for their lives. After communing with Odin All-father, the chaplain informs the baron that their only hope lies in the fabled Hammer of Life, which is said to be hidden somewhere in the baron's castle. A frantic search for the hammer begins. (See Fy. 17, Am. 4; Am. 20, Am. 26.)

What This Means: The army of the Shadow Lord is now on the march to conquer the whole dominion and enslave the human population without killing too many souls (they'll need them as cattle to feed off later). In the meantime, Sylarion is gathering the mindless skeletons and zombies that raise spontaneously from the graves in the vale, because of the energy from the Sphere of Death that now permeates the region. Sickness and death of vegetation is another side effect of the deadly cloud.

The clerics of Idris, once they realised they had no means of coping with these events, decided to flee the hopeless country and seek refuge in the nearby regions, waiting for the outcome of this phenomenon. The old chaplain of Baron Fharo profited from this situation to restore the old faith in the Northern Pantheon and immediately asked Odin for a remedy against this disaster. The holy Hammer of Life is an artifact that Thor gave to the people of Two Lakes Vale to banish the forces of darkness more than two hundred years before. Lost at the end of the battle, it is now buried in the castle's grounds. Only by battering the Death Stone with the Hammer of Life can it be destroyed and the gate closed forever (the Death Stone is impervious to anything else).

What the PCs Can Do: This is the beginning of the Companion-level adventure CM2 The Death Ride. The plot has been changed to fit this campaign, and Wazor has obviously been replaced by the Shadow Lord, while the cleric Ulslime will be featured in the future (the vampire elf Sylarion is at the moment the most powerful priest of Nyx in the dominion). For those of you who have the adventure, you can play it with minor changes that will be suggested in this line of events. The emissaries sent by the baron to the nearby countries (Heldannic Territories and dominions of the Norwold Confederacy like the Barony of Two Lakes or Arcadia) provide the hook to get the PCs into the adventure by the beginning of Sviftmont.

Ambyrmont 12, AC 1017: Arkan Man.

Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, Nayce. AS

Description: Representative Afaetuir of Floating Arkan has himself referred to as High Councillor Afaetuir, Floating Arkan Emissary to the Nayce Council by his staff and servants, and soon enough every mundaner knows better than address him any other way. He superbly ignores every co-councillor that calls him Representative Afaetuir, so that when his input or vote is badly needed everybody bows to his capriciousness.

What This Means: Afaetuir is a pure product of the Alphatian aristocracy, with an air.

Ambyrmont 14, AC 1017: Ultimatum to the Sultan.

Location: City of Abbashan, Emirate of Abbashan, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: Envoys from the Empire of Thyatis meet with the sultan. They convey the emperor's condemnation of Ylari raids that have been conducted sporadically against Thyatis over the last several years. They also rebuke the sultan for Ylaruam's involvement in subverting the son of the Sheik of Tel Akbir at the beginning of this year. The envoys tell the sultan that the empire currently holds as prisoners of war several hundred Ylari raiders as a result of last year's attempted attacks. They inform the sultan that Eusebius is willing to magnanimously return the captives to Ylaruam, and forgive Ylaruam's acts of aggression-if Ylaruam returns all the booty taken when Biazzan was sacked, plus pays 100,000 gp compensation. They add that a monthly tribute of 1,000 gp will be required, plus the sultan will have to pay Thyatian taxes for himself, his wives, and his children to the empire.

Sultan Hassam replies coldly that he rejects these absurd demands, that furthermore it was his misguided predecessor who let brigandish elements within Ylaruam get out of hand, and these raided Biazzan without government sanction. Hassam al-Kalim also says that since then the warriors of Ylaruam have only striven to reclaim their rightful heritage, and that Ylaruam will pay nothing to Thyatian infidel dogs. He insists that whatever captives Thyatis holds must be released at once, or Thyatis will once again learn to fear the name of the house of al-Kalim. He also tells them, in a clip, terse tone, that were he not a man of honour, he would slay such persons as the Thyatian envoys for abusing his hospitality, and orders them to leave Ylaruam by the end of the day before he forgets his manners. The Thyatian envoys depart hastily. (See Nu. 3, Nu. 5; Ei. 8, Ei. 18.)

What This Means: This was a calculated move on Eusebius' part. He made sure that the Thyatian demands would be so onerous that the sultan would not possibly accept them. But Eusebius will portray himself as having made peace overtures, which the intransigent Ylari rejected. Since the current regime in Ylaruam is not popular abroad, this virtually guarantees that no one will stand by their side when Thyatis "justly punishes them for their continual acts of aggression and war against Thyatis." The imperial senate will unanimously vote for war against Ylaruam when Eusebius proposes it.

Members of the party of Thyatian envoys also performed a bit of espionage within Ylaruam while they were there, and secretly met with several pro-Preceptor dissidents. They did not get nearly as much encouragement and support from the latter as they initially hoped, because Thyatis is hardly popular among the Preceptors, either.

The sultan reacted as he felt he must, but is not blind to what the Thyatians were doing. He will order the Ylari armies to increase their readiness.

What the PCs can do: Thyatian characters could be sent on the mission, especially to conduct covert talks with representatives of the Preceptor faction. If they are extremely persuasive, they might get some promise of help or some information from them, but this will be very difficult. Ylari characters that have ties to the Preceptor faction might be the ones sent to meet with the Thyatians. If so, their task will be to try and get the Thyatians to promise as much help as possible without giving anything in return. The Preceptors wouldn't mind seeing the Kin regime embarrassed, but not if it benefits Thyatis. If there's one thing that unites all Ylari, both Kin and Preceptor, it is antipathy to the Thyatian Empire.

Ambyrmont 14, AC 1017: A Vile Plot Publicly Exposed.

Location: City of Rardish, Kingdom of Randel, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: After a day's examining, the investigations of the temple, palace, and Junna have given answers to the majority of the questions desired by the coup plotters. Publicly it is announced that the troubles were a result of corrupt and overly fanatical members of the clergy of the Immortal Alphatia, who in turn used their influence as advisers and fellow clerical status to influence the queen. It is announced that Junna is recovering from the ordeal and that her aunt, Karatnora, will act as queen regent for as long as it is necessary. (See Fy. 7, Fy. 8; Sv. 1.)

What This Means: The official version is intended to explain matters in the least damaging manner to the royal family, the Alphatia Order, the empire's immortally contrived history, and to Junna who may be needed to reassume the throne should Karatnora tire of the position. Junna seethes with anger over her treatment, however, and is kept as a prisoner in the palace. What exactly has transpired will take days to properly unfold. Even then there will be certain lingering questions.

In truth the matter is more complicated than the simple explanatory statement offered. The instigators of the plot are Brother Paxxel and his colleagues, Sister Vikatynn and Brother Mogoden. The three are some rather ancient vampires, originally operating in Theranderol before the sinking. In the Hollow World with its eternal sunlight, the vampires suffered as they were forced to shelter and did not have the luxury of the night. With the return of magic in AC 1016, the vampires were able to leave their shelters using teleportation magics. They decided to move towards the continent's edge and try to seek shelter on the underside.

Their magically-fuelled journey brought them to the sewers running beneath Rardish. There, the vampires set up shop for a stay before continuing on their journey to the underside's sanctuary. Using the city's sewers they observed the goings-on of the populace. Paxxel saw in Randel an opportunity to live a rather pampered existence, with the populace as their personal larder and them holding the reigns of power.

Though Randel normally would have been the least of their choices to try such a thing, Junna's clergy were advising her to move the militaristic people towards the peaceful and pacifistic nature of the Immortal Alphatia. With the military diminished and with a ruler that sought to change them, Paxxel and his vampires saw ample opportunity.

Paxxel and his vampiric colleagues watched the domestic situation and took notice of Junna's reliance on her fellow clerics. In those clerics, the vampires saw several that were revelling in their newfound power and the luxuries that they had acquired. Paxxel sought out Sister Riddlynn, considered to be the most likely candidate to use. Comfortable with her present situation and hungering for more, she was an easy enough recruit for the vampires. Though they needed her as a human to perform duties out in the ever-present sunlight, they did offer her the promise of the immortal embrace of vampirism once they held the reins of power.

Through Riddlynn, the vampires were able to sway yet more clerics to their offer. Those that opposed the vampires' proposition were slain and replaced by doppelgangers. The vampires were not entirely dependent upon convincing clerics and acolytes to join their cause. Many were periodically fed upon by the vampires, either forcibly detained in larder cells or charmed into submission.

Paxxel and his vampires really desired to bring Junna under their direct influence, either by charm or by turning her into a vampire. However, being the queen she had certain protections that prevented their being in the palace much less gaining access to her. Until they could find a way to circumvent these wards, they were forced to depend heavily on Sister Riddlyn and the corrupted clerics to influence Junna to do their bidding.

The vampires also desired to bring many of the military officers under their control, either by charm or by vampirism. However the plan never got that far, as the military rose against Junna and removed her from power. The military also assaulted the temple and discovered the vampiric influence there. However, Brother Paxxel, Sister Vikatynn and Brother Mogoden were able to avoid capture. Their whereabouts are unknown, some believe they proceeded with their new vampire slaves to the underside.

What the PCs Can Do; The PCs could be the investigators that have to find what happened. If they do, their next step is probably to go after the vampires.

Ambyrmont 14, AC 1017: A What over Aengmor?!

Location: Canolbarth Forest, Colony of Aengmor, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW

Description: Shadow elves inhabiting the central region of Canolbarth are alarmed by what first seemed to be an earthquake. Although the ground tremors are mild, the sound of rumbling and cracking rock could be heard as far south as Dolos. Stranger still is the sighting of a large floating island rising from the earth, crowned by a dark sinister tower at its peak. Shadowelf shamans whisper of ominous things to come. (See Fy. 7, Am. 3; Am. 15, Am. 25.)

What This Means: The enchanted fortress of Synn has risen from the ground to float above the dark and twisted Canolbarth Forest. The site of its early moorings is located on a Magic Point and shall be the magical gate from whence fiends from the Pits will enter into Mystara.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs following the D&D: Shadow Over Mystara arcade adventure will have reached Synn's fortress at this point. They will enter the dark heart of the floating fortress to face the shadow elves and Tel'Arin, humanoids and other monsters, the nagpa minion-and ultimately Synn herself!

Ambyrmont 14, AC 1017: New Arrivals.

Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, Nayce. AS

Description: The Aran, the Cloud Kin and the Madgyn's Revenge arrive at Ionace and are challenged by the city's air defences. After a brief exchange of signals, the vessels are allowed to land at the city's skyship berths. The duty officer, to whom they present their orders and letters of introduction, meets Sdandre and his fellow officers. The duty officer summons an aide and delegates the securing of the vessels. He tells Sdandre that they will be billeted while the proper officials examine their papers and decide where to put their talents to proper use. Since a good number of the crew hail from surface world kingdoms, they are allowed to contact their respective council representatives to make a courtesy call and be updated on the local events-at least for those who do remember their real origins. (See Am. 9, Am. 12.)

What This Means: The arrival is quickly reported to the Nayce Council. Though they are gracious to the contribution of three skyships and their crews, they know that not all of the arrivals will want to stay with the vessels. Likewise, they are unsure what exactly to do with these new vessels and personnel. Since the skyships are a gift to Nayce, they will be controlled by Nayce and not allotted to any individual Naycese kingdom. However, they will need crews and they will need certain modifications to better serve their intended role within Nayce's service. With recruiting and training already focused upon the submersible fleets, finding and training these replacements will be difficult.

For the time being, the vessels will be readied for deployment to Aeria where they will be modified for Nayce's purposes. The arriving personnel will be allowed to decide their future. Those that decide to remain in Nayce's service will be placed in positions where their skills and abilities can be most useful. At a glance, most seem to have been naval personnel before the sinking-even though that's not what they remember. It is hoped that some will be able to make the transition from a surface navy role to the submersibles and skyships, which was already their Immortal-induced capacity in the Hollow World anyway. Of course, there is always the opportunity to serve in the surface fleet, too.

Third Week

Ambyrmont 15, AC 1017: The Final Assessment.

Location: City of Helskir, Exarchate/Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: After having interrogated the Heldannic prisoners of war (who number almost 400 in total, not including another 132 captured on the march to Helskir itself), and having ensured that Helskir's streets are clear of any enemy holdouts, the leaders of the allied forces meet to discuss future plans. It has been learned that neither Anna von Hendriks, nor the other soldiers who were with her in the throne room, have been located in any of the lands now liberated. They are forced to assume, therefore, that Anna and her soldiers have escaped. The Naycese commander also mentions that one Heldannic ship, crammed with fleeing soldiers, managed to make its way through the blockade, although it sustained heavy damage. She indicates that, though it is possible that it remained seaworthy long enough to make it back to Heldann, it would probably not be worth the time and effort to locate it. The other commanders agree to let that matter drop.

The discussion then turns to the prisoners, and the damage sustained by Helskir. In total, 532 Heldannic soldiers, officers and common infantry, have been captured. The Thyatian commander mentions that those men and women captured by his own forces will be sent to Westrourke, most likely to aid in road construction and other projects. He asks whether either of the other forces wishes to take any prisoners for themselves; otherwise, his forces would be more than happy to remove them all. The other commanders ponder these words, and promise to provide a response as soon as possible. Finally, the officers turn their attention to Helskir itself. Preliminary reports by engineers and surveyors indicate that roughly half of the town is in ruins, particularly in the southern portions, where much of the fighting took place. Many more structures sustained enough damage to require their demolition, as they are no longer safe for habitation. (See Am. 10, Am. 12; Am. 17, Sv. 3.)

What This Means: Once control of Helskir had been returned to Heldun itself, attention turned to how the town might be restored to its former prominence, and what should be done with the Heldannic prisoners. Though they will be put to work in the short term, all sides realise that their continued presence in the area would not go over well with the locals.

Ambyrmont 15, AC 1017: Kronenburg Recalled to Freiburg.

Location: Dominion of Vanya's Rest, Aryptian Savannah, Heldannic Empire. DV

Description: The garrison of Vanya's Rest receives an official message from Freiburg: Heinz Kronenburg will no longer be Castellan of Vanya's Rest; he is to be sent to Freiburg as soon as possible for questioning, pending a final judgment concerning his fate. Henceforth, Thomas von Wettingen, formerly the officer in charge of warbirds, will be the new castellan. Once this announcement is shared with the troops as a whole, an unresisting Kronenburg is bound, and sent by ship to Freiburg that day. (See Fy. 19, Fy. 21; Ei. 14, Ei. 17.)

Ambyrmont 15, AC 1017: More Skyships over Aengmor.

Location: Canolbarth Forest, Colony of Aengmor, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW

Description: Already alarmed by the amount of aerial activity above Aengmor the past weeks, the shadow elves are shocked to sight a small squad of skyships again. Flying too fast to be identified, much less intercepted, the four or five skyships fly towards the dark flying fortress, and unexpectedly, bombard its moorings with fireballs, meteor showers, and other magical tirades. Above the din of the explosions, a cacophony of unholy otherworldly howls is head. The dark tower all but disappears in a brilliant flash of purifying light. And the skyships just as soon fly back to some northwestern destination. (See Am. 3, Am. 14; Am. 25, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: These are the final events of the Shadow Over Mystara arcade game. Synn is defeated by brave adventurers, although not until she manages to open the gate to the Pits. But just as the first fiend is crawling out of the gate, Prince Malachie's skyships arrive and block its entrance with their deadly assault.

Synn has failed again, almost at the cost of her life. She will return to Glantri in her guise as Princess Dolores Hillsbury, where she will find some strange comfort amongst the backstabbing and bickering of Glantrian politics, as she lays low and tries to regain her energies. She will be wondering why the Immortals of Entropy let her down. And if she sees those who defeated her again, she will be sure to plot their deaths.

What the PCs Can Do: This is the end of the arcade game D&D: Shadow Over Mystara, but not necessarily of the adventure for the PCs. They must find their way out of Canolbarth Forest, which is extremely hostile to intruders, and that is without the shadow elves getting involved. The PCs may attempt to make their way back to Glantri, where Prince Malachie and his rewards will await them-but so will Princess Dolores...

Ambyrmont 16, AC 1017: Surveyors Are Hired.

Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Alphas'ar, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Halzunthram announces that the navy, Queen Kikania and Empress Eriadna have now hired enough surveyor teams to start the projects. The teams will be dispatched in a few days. At the starting points of each canal project a ceremony will be held. (See Am. 2, Am. 5; Am. 22, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: The debates in the Grand Council had not found the attention of the public, naturally. Since the plans have become more widely known the population at large are getting more and more intrigued by them.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs with the necessary abilities can become surveyors.

Ambyrmont 16, AC 1017: Unrest in Raven Scarp.

Location: City of Raven Scarp, Exarchate of Davania Superior, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: Throughout the city of Raven Scarp, dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs reaches a breaking point, as a number of local ruffians descend on one of the tent cities now lying on the outskirts of the city, and proceed to attack the refugees. Until the city guard arrives to drive off the attackers, many tents are burned, and a number of Milenians are killed or severely injured. (See Fy. 26, Am. 9; Am. 19, Am. 27.)

What This Means: It will take some time before the pressures affecting Raven Scarp and other urban centres in the Hinterlands are eased. This attack will not be the only one of its kind.

What the PCs Can Do: Local Thyatian PCs might be asked to help defuse tensions by tracking down known troublemakers and turning them over to the authorities. Equally important, they may be asked to speak with the more influential Milenian refugees, and try to find some way of preventing retaliatory attacks.

Ambyrmont 16, AC 1017: The Conscience of the King.

Location: Korrigan Forest, Kingdom of Wendar. OW

Description: A messenger from the elves fighting in Denagoth reaches the Genalleth Clanmaster's seat in the Korrigan Forest. The weary and hurt Long Runner tells the Genalleth elders that they have discovered Bensarian has been replaced by an impostor, a wizard of the Onyx Ring-a secret cabal of evil mages faithful to Idris-who has taken control of his mind and body. After the revelation, the elders meet to discuss the next possible move. (See Ya. 27, Fe. 18; Am. 28, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Only one of the messengers sent by Beasthunter to Wendar in Felmont has managed to reach his destination, after a long and perilous trek across Denagoth and the Mengul Mountains. He has brought with him the unsettling news of Bensarian's real identity, which has finally cast light on his seemingly crazy actions. The elves must now decide what to do with this news. An open confrontation is to be avoided, since without any concrete proof this would only cause another civil war, and this time the Church of Idris could really have a plausible excuse to incite the Wendarian humans against the Genalleth elves.

Ambyrmont 16, AC 1017: Prellia About Town.

Location: Bluenose Ruins, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS

Description: While Pidimigd's necromancers are embroiled in their studies, Prellia has been left to her own devices, which include wandering the ruined streets of Bluenose. This has brought her into greater contact with the Bluenose undead. Though initially associated as part of Pidimigd's ilk, Prellia quickly gained the trust of many of the undead. She spends most of her time among them, ironically learning more about them in these few weeks than the necromancers have learned in months. (See Fy. 27, Am. 4; Am. 19, Am. 20.)

What This Means: Prellia's familiarity with the undead have inspired her to be ever more vigilant in defending these people from any nefarious plans that her father and his cronies may be devising. Though she is hesitant at openly opposing her father, she has made several suggested inferences to her more friendly undead acquaintances to be cautious of the necromancers.

For their part the undead have embraced their growing friendship with Prellia. Her personality and objectivity offer them a glimpse of Alphatians beyond what they have seen in Pidimigd. From her, they have also been gaining additional information about Alphatia.

Ambyrmont 16, AC 1017: Secondary Force Ambushed.

Location: Snake River, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The secondary force of invaders from Stonewall, who sailed south from Shiell Lake via the Snake River and planned to then sail up the Roaring River to Crystal Lake, is ambushed by an unexpected enemy-Foresthome warriors! It's a surprise attack, and the pinned Stonewall forces have no chance of victory. A few, including Rogart, are able to escape, but most are taken captive. (See Fy. 25, Am. 4; Sv. 1, Sv. 4.)

What This Means: The Stonewall force relied on Foresthome's great size to allow them to slip through unnoticed, but due to some recent surveying in the wilderness, they were noticed almost immediately. Queen Kikania was none too pleased, to say the least, about having this invasion force trespass in her lands, and ordered them captured.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs with the Stonewall force need to fight hard to escape, but if the PCs are with Foresthome, they can plan the ambush and carry it out, then perhaps pursue the fleeing Stonewall soldiers.

Ambyrmont 17, AC 1017: Commanders Assassinated.

Location: Village of Asandapur, Mumlyket of Putnabad, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: The forces of Chandra ul Nervi are hit hard as several important commanding officers are found dead in their tents. (See Th. 22, Ya. 19; Am. 19, Sv. 15.)

What This Means: The officers were assassinated by agents of the buraiya sect, at the behest of the Master of Hule. The buraiyas infiltrated the allies' camp, striking at several targets at once.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs can try to prevent the assassinations.

Ambyrmont 17, AC 1017: Nayce Collects Its Due.

Location: City of Helskir, Exarchate/Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: In a meeting between the allied commanders, the Naycese representative informs her counterparts that, under the orders of Commander Karszamon, she will take half of the Heldannic prisoners. She explains that the Heldunian officers indicated that the continued presence of the prisoners within their nation would not be desirable in the long term, and that they would be in agreement with any settlement that divides the prisoners between the two empires. The Heldunian commander nods silently in agreement. After the Thyatian commander indicates that he finds nothing wrong with this arrangement, the commanders go their separate ways.

Hours later, after the Heldannic prisoners to be taken by Naycese forces are segregated from their companions, the clerics among their number are quickly isolated, and taken to the Naycese lines, where they are told they will be held until such time as their religious order pays ransom for their freedom. The remainder, composed of soldiers and mercenaries, are told without ceremony that they are to be enslaved, as per the orders of Commander Karszamon. Some Naycese officers show signs of surprise after hearing this announcement, but say nothing. (See Am. 10, Am. 12; Sv. 3, Sv. 6.)

What This Means: The people of Helskir, after having experienced the ill-effects of a protracted siege in and around the town's environs, plus several months of occupation, have no wish to see the Heldannic soldiers on their soil anymore. For this reason, the Heldunian military commanders were content to see their allies take the prisoners away.

The orders of Commander Karszamon to enslave those enemy combatants captured by Naycese forces does surprise some people present-particularly those who had been observing the growing moderation in Naycese military policy following the ascension of Commander Broderick. Unbeknownst to them, however, is the fact that Karszamon has possessed the body of Broderick, and is now trying to build his own power base, for purposes only he knows at this point. While the practice of enslaving defeated opponents is not new in itself, the swiftness of the decision implies to some that it had been premeditated, whereas normally a formal decision might be made some time after capture. No one will speak out against the act, but both the Thyatians will be keeping a closer eye on future Naycese policies.

Ambyrmont 17, AC 1017: Hazardous Territory.

Location: Westrourke Bogs, Kingdom of Hillvale, Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: Mario's Marauders are caught in an ambush by the forces of William Hazard while they march through the Westrourke Bogs. The surprised marauders fight as best they can, but their usual organisation breaks down before the onslaught. Once that happens, they begin fighting individually, like the mercenaries they really are, and Hazard's men have them. The bulk of the force surrenders, though several dozen of the marauders manage to escape into the bogs. Mario finds himself in a personal duel with Hazard. Though equally skilled with the sword, Hazard's greater strength and size prove the deciding factor. Mario is captured, to be sent back to East Portage to stand trial for his crimes.

Hazard and his men encamp for a few days, in order to try and track down the escapees before returning. (See Fe. 27; Sv. 13.)

What This Means: Hazard has finally gotten his man, and Mario's Marauders, after years of raiding in the northern territories of the Isle of Dawn, have been brought to heel. Hazard hopes to return to his simple retired life in Bellissaria... though an old instinct tells him his days of service aren't quite complete.

What the PCs Can Do: Capture the brigands, of course.

Ambyrmont 17, AC 1017: King's Ships Taken.

Location: Off the south coast of Kingdom of Bellayne. SC

Description: The king's ships Bonaventure and Swallow are sailing by Malburn Lighthouse when they are engaged by a frigate flying the skull and crossbones. To make matters worse, the frigate seems to be particularly heavily armed, with the new Torreóner bombard devices. After a brief gun battle the king's ships are forced to strike their colours. Their crews are crammed into four rowboats and told to get to the coast while they still can, while the triumphant pirates take their two prizes and sail east. (See Fy. 18, Fy. 27; Am. 26, Sv. 5.)

What This Means: The frigate was in fact the parliamentary ship Liberty, conducting its first sweep for royal trading vessels. Unaware of the parliamentary raiders being outfitted in Chansea, the king's navy is likely to be slow to react to the threat.

What the PCs Can Do: Nautical-oriented parties may be involved in the sea battle on either side, possibly swaying its outcome.

Ambyrmont 18, AC 1017: A Breath of Fresh Air.

Location: Torenal Site, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS

Description: With the domes secured to their foundations, mages begin conjuring breathable atmospheres within the domes. As the first dome begins filling with air, there is a tense moment as the footings' strengths are tested against the growing buoyancy of the hemisphere. However the engineering is sound and they hold as expected. As the first dome is completed, the mages retire for the day to replenish their spell inventories to begin the process on the next dome. The non-spellcasting construction crews begin the construction on that dome's inner buildings. (See Nu. 20, Am. 2; Ka. 2, Ka. 12.)

Ambyrmont 18, AC 1017: Battle of Twin Oaks.

Location: Near Town of Deipan, Kingdom of Eadrin, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Arogansan and Eadrin troops clash near the hamlet of Twin Oaks. The battle is brief and is a victory for the Arogansans. This outcome is not a surprise as the Arogansans have a clear numerical superiority over the Eadrin forces, which are little more than a reconnaissance troop reinforced by local militiamen. However, the Arogansan victory is undermined by the survival of most of the Eadrin troops, as they are able to withdraw from the battlefield with a minimum of casualties and head towards the safety of Deipan's walls. The Arogansans themselves suffer a number of casualties. (See Fy. 1, Am. 7; Sv. 1, Sv. 7.)

Ambyrmont 19, AC 1017: A Time for All to Do Their Part.

Location: Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: In a personal letter to each dominion ruler in Davania Superior and Inferior, as well as the Baronies of Fiorenza and Cittanova, Exarch Leilah ben Nadir outlines the ongoing Milenian refugee problem, and requests their cooperation by taking in as many refugees as they can. (See Am. 9, Am. 16; Am. 27, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: Davania Superior, though the most settled of all the regions of the Hinterlands, will soon reach its breaking point, as Milenian refugees continue to stream across the southern frontiers of Thratia and the border region with Emerond. She hopes that, by moving some of the Milenians to other dominions, the burden might be more equally distributed.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are dominion rulers in the Hinterlands, the PCs will soon receive the aforementioned letter.

Ambyrmont 19, AC 1017: Pidimigd's Grand Plan.

Location: Bluenose Ruins, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS

Description: Pidimigd requests to meet with the undead leaders to discuss a possible solution to the ghoul threat. The request is accepted and Tarog, Zormyll, and Sisrynn agree to meet with the mage. Pidimigd presents to them a plan to execute an incantation to afford a protective aura. Despite their growing wariness of him, the undead leaders discuss the proposal before agreeing to the procedure. (See Am. 4, Am. 16; Am. 20, Am. 22.)

What This Means: Pidimigd's spell has no protective qualities. The spell is really a powerful version of control undead. Pidimigd feels that with the assistance of the other necromancers, they can weave a spell to gain control over the Bluenose undead. Pidimigd's request is based on his desire to prepare for and to cast the spell without interruption. He also hopes that its ignorant targets will more easily receive the spell's affect if they accept its casting, even if they are misled as to its effects.

Ambyrmont 19, AC 1017: The Starlit Justiciar Institute.

Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Agents of the magistranoi discover that Apuleius Necrekis has contacted members of the Justiciar Institute several times in the last years. Necrekis is currently one of the most active supporters of the Starlit Knowledge, organising in Julinius several meetings among followers and scholars of religion and priests of other faiths to discuss his pantheistic views. The meetings are held in the home of his son Ennius, currently away from home. (See Fy. 4, Fy. 16; Sv. 9, Ei. 1.)

What This Means: This is just one discovery made as a result of the investigations of both the Justiciar Institute and the Temple of Starlit Knowledge.

Ambyrmont 19, AC 1017: Putnabad Lost Again.

Location: Village of Asandapur, Mumlyket of Putnabad, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: Before the Sindhi forces can recover from the assassinations of their officers, they are attacked by the Master's forces in Putnabad. After fierce fighting, they are driven back across the Asanda River. The Master now holds all of Putnabad again. (See Ya. 19, Am. 17; Sv. 15, Ka. 8.)

What This Means: The Master is not wasting time-he uses the confusion created by the assassinations to strike a blow against the forces of Sind. This is intended to show them that fighting Hule will still be long and hard, and make them more receptive to the upcoming negotiations.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs can try to help the Sindhi forces minimise their casualties as they retreat.

Ambyrmont 20, AC 1017: Colonialism.

Location: Thanegioth Archipelago, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: With peace between Thyatis and the Twaelar now secured, the Thyatians begin colonising islands of the Thanegioth Archipelago in earnest. This is mainly accomplished through the establishment of plantation estates controlled by Thyatian aristocratic families that had disgraced themselves during the Crown War by joining the losing side. Having lost many of their properties in the mainland, they are established here as a means of redeeming both their honour and fortunes. They are leavened with sufficient loyal colonists who come to the Thanegioth seeking land and fortune to ensure that further revolt is far from their minds.

The local natives, few in number and divided into numerous small tribal villages, are either subdued quickly or ignored (in areas where the Thyatian presence hasn't penetrated yet). (See Fy. 19; Sv. 21.)

What This Means: The Thanegioth Archipelago, being sparsely inhabited (and not by fierce tribes as in the Davanian Hinterlands), and laying between the Thyatian mainland and their colonies in the Hinterlands, was a natural acquisition from their point of view. Having come to the empire's attentions during the Twaelar war, the islands were discovered to not only be ideal basing points but home to several resources the Thyatians value. Plantations producing sugar, tea, various spices, and (eventually) the now coveted cocoa (chocolate) bean of Yavdlom will spring up, exporting their products to Thyatis and elsewhere. Similarly, rare woods (teak and mahogany especially) will be cultivated and harvested. The Thanegioth Archipelago becomes a very profitable link in the growing Thyatian imperial trading network, as well as an important communication point connecting Thyatis to its colonies and allies in Davania. The easternmost island lays on the midpoint between Thyatis and Raven Scarp, and the westernmost roughly halfway between Thyatis and Kastelios, as well as along the route to Yavdlom and beyond.

All is not sanguine in the islands, however-dangerous animals and monsters inhabit the jungle depths, and will plague the colonists. Jungle orcs, especially, will be a menace.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters could clear out monsters in preparation for colonisation, and for a long time afterwards.

Ambyrmont 20, AC 1017: Pidimigd's Grand Casting.

Location: Bluenose Ruins, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS

Description: Following days of preparations, Pidimigd and his necromancer compatriots gather to evoke the powers of their contrived spell. Gathering together, they begin the rather lengthy process of evoking the dark powers to their will. After some time, the spell begins to manifest, with a gathering of glowing power surrounding the casters that steadily builds and builds. As the incantation draws to its climatic apex, the energies expand out in all directions as far as the eye can see.

Weak from the tedious casting, the mages turn to see their spell's handiwork. All around them, the Bluenose undead are sprawled out on the ground writhing in agony. The necromancers are shocked at the display, knowing that their spell has failed. As the undead begin recovering, their sounds of agony are replace by a shrill scream from the interior of a nearby building. The noise is soon explained by the appearance of a spectre racing out the building, heading straight towards the group of mages.

Disoriented from the casting, the mages are hard-pressed to meet the fast approaching undead. The spectre attacks the mages, killing two apprentices and sorely wounding Zebul before Prellia unleashes a volley of spells on the creature. Wounded, it turns to meet her attack but only scores a minor hit before Pidimigd engages the spectre. The battle favours the necromancer, despite his weakened condition and several draining hits on his person by the spectre.

With the battle over Pidimigd attends to the wounded Prellia, totally ignoring the dead apprentices and wounded Zebul. The Bluenose undead voice their concerns over what had just transpired. Pidimigd explains that the spell failed and that it had probably drawn the attentions of the spectre. He suspects that the discomfort that the lightning zombies experienced was an added side affect. He apologises for the incident, citing that he had thought that he had addressed any possible affects of the spell on the Bluenose inhabitants. He also cites his belief that the concessions to their presence may have been key weaknesses to the spell.

The Alphadon accept this explanation. However, they disallow any further attempts to recast the spell until these problems are addressed. However, Pidimigd and his fellows will note that the Alphadon begin watching their actions with great interest. Their distrust for the necromancers will become more apparent as armed Alphadon will seem conveniently close to the mages as they walk the streets or take up watch positions outside of their compound. (See Am. 16, Am. 19; Am. 22, Am. 24.)

What This Means: The spell is a failure. The seawater contaminated several key components in the spell. Likewise, the spell was flawed from the offset as it was engineered on a general understanding of all undead and not the unknown unique properties of the lightning zombies. These combined to not only make the spell's intent fail, it also altered the spell's affects: instead of imposing the casters' will over the undead, it bombarded them with the powers of the spell and caused them intense pain.

A spectre that had been living amidst the Bluenose ruins had felt the spell and had sought to destroy the casters. Driven by the agony, the spectre charged the casters. It may have very well succeeded against the weakened mages were it not for Prellia who was not about to let her father be harmed by such a creature. She struck at the creature but drew its wrath in the process. That her father intervened on her behalf is a big surprise, one that she will not forget.

The Bluenose undead felt this agony and an underlying sense of an attempt to command them. At first they felt compelled to strike at the mortals, killing all of them for causing such pains. However the spectre's appearance is diversion enough until they can regain their senses and shrug off the thoughts of bloodlust. For the time being they are content to accept Pidimigd's explanations. They are struck by the intensity of Pidimigd's defence of their friend, Prellia. In repayment, they will abstain from any retribution for the time being. However what little trust they had for the necromancers is gone.

Pidimigd has no idea what caused the spell to fail. He has a few suspicions but cannot say for certain without further study of the matter. His concerns are with his daughter Prellia. In a rare show of emotion, the sight of her in danger filled his heart with paternal concern. Though he triumphed against the spectre, he suffered a great deal of damage, including losing four levels of experience due to drain attacks.

Pidimigd also has no idea as to the extent of the troubles that his spell has created. For miles all around, undead felt the pains of the spell. Many undead who had contented themselves with resting in their watery crypts and to live off the occasional mortal encounter are now stirred up. Many emerge from their watery holdings with one thought in their heads: death to the mortals.

Ambyrmont 20, AC 1017: A Terrible Discovery.

Location: Village of Mykonos, Island of Mykonos, City-State of Kastelios, Sea of Dread. OW

Description: The party led by Adonai Stephanos drops anchor near the village of Mykonos, only to find it oddly silent. No one comes down from the small escarpment to meet the ships, and there is no movement save the stirring of leaves and branches by the wind. Uneasily, Adonai dispatches a small party of scouts to go ashore and find out what is going on. They are gone less than ten minutes, when they are sighted once more, frantically running down the slope towards the beach, exclaiming that everyone on the island is accounted for-and dead!

Upon hearing this, most of the people go ashore, and begin to poke about the now-silent village, and see before them the decaying remains of the colonists, none of which seem to bear any signs of violence. In fact, they all appear to have died quite suddenly, as some of them appear to have been going about their various tasks at the time of death. Unable to determine what happened, Adonai and his men say a few prayers for the departed, and prepare to bury the bodies in an open patch of land just east of the empty buildings. (See Fy. 9, Fy. 22.)

What This Means: Mykonos is volcanic in origin, and through its volcano has not erupted in a long time, it does vent on occasion. Just one week ago, it did just that, expelling a dense cloud of poisonous gas, which rolled down the slopes and blanketed the western half of the island. The cloud moved far too swiftly for the colonists to seek shelter, and so it struck them in the midst of their work. They were killed instantly. As there are no clerics present who could speak with dead, the truth concerning what happened will not be known.

Once the bodies have been buried, work to better establish the colony will continue into the new year.

What the PCs Can Do: Although Mykonos has been surveyed, it was not done to any great depth. PCs may find work in providing more detailed maps of the island, or more specifically those regions closest to the village. Additionally, if one of the PCs is a mid- to high-level cleric, they might be able to communicate with the dead, and thus learn what happened. If they do so, an expedition to the volcano will be organized, with the PCs playing an active role.

Ambyrmont 20, AC 1017: Tirenos Seeks Revenge.

Location: Sea of Floresque, Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: The Lucky Lass sails out of Floresque, preparing for a raid. Tirenos has learned of Morgan's departure ahead of time, and has positioned his war galley, the Song of Halav, around the island to the south. His timing could not be better, as the Floating Continent of Alphatia casts its enormous shadow over the region this sleep. Tirenos' lookouts spy the Lass approaching as shadowfall arrives. Under cover of shadow, the galley closes, in an attempt to ram. The Song of Halav, gaining surprise, is poised to smash the Lucky Lass to splinters. But at the last moment, Morgan's keen ears are alerted to the onrushing vessel. He quickly orders evasive action, as the galley strikes home. Tirenos attempts to grapple and board, but Morgan's crew cuts the boarding lines and repel them. The crews resort to missile fire, as Morgan is able to manoeuvre away into open water. The Lass escapes into the shadow. (See Fy. 15, Fy. 20; Am. 27, Sv. 9.)

What This Means: Tirenos the Bold is hoping to finish off Morgan once and for all with this well-timed attack. Morgan is caught unawares, but his quick action saves his ship. The ram glances off the hull rather than crushing it entirely. Morgan is lucky to escape in as good shape as he is. Even so, the Lass is in need of repair as the damage makes it vulnerable to further attack and less seaworthy in a storm.

What the PCs Can Do: Fight in an exciting sea battle between pirate ships in darkness. Alert PCs in Morgan's crew may take measures to avoid the surprise attack, allowing the ship to avoid damage altogether. If they are with Tirenos, they could succeed in boarding the Lucky Lass and cause even more damage.

Ambyrmont 20, AC 1017: The Hammer of Life.

Location: Barony of Two Lakes Vale, Icereach Range. NW

Description: While the undead forces of the Shadow Lord are conquering the valley bit by bit with great ease, an expedition led by Baron Maltus Fharo and the most valiant members of his guard march towards the Shunned Island with the last hope for the barony in their hands: the Hammer of Life. The baron is sure the Death Stone lies in the centre of the Shunned Island, since it is there that the cloud has been sighted first. After charging through groups of weak skeletons and zombies, the heroes reach the Western Lake and then sail towards its main isle. Here they battle against ghouls and ghosts, but when Baron Fharo manages to get inside the cave where the Death Stone is held, he has an eerie encounter. A huge black dragon, scales dropping from his writhing dead body, guards the evil artifact, and in the ensuing battle, the unlucky baron perishes under the mighty blows of the undead dragon. His comrades are also massacred by the other undead, and later the power of Entropy mocks their bravery by raising them as zombies and wights under the control of the wyrm. (See Am. 4, Am. 12; Am. 26, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: After they recovered the Hammer of Life, Baron Fharo and his followers knew they had only one way to stop the undead: to destroy the Death Stone and dispel the deadly cloud over their valley, as Odin told to the chaplain. So they marched to the heart of the dominion and reached the Shunned Island ready to die. Unfortunately, the energy of the Sphere of Death had long reanimated the former guardian of the Death Stone as an undead dragon controlled by Sylarion, and Baron Fharo succumbed to this powerful foe. Now that the Hammer of Life is in possession of the forces of Nyx, nothing will stop them from overtaking the barony and turning it into a living hell.

What the PCs Can Do: It would be better if the PCs do not intervene in this event, since it serves to complicate the lives of the would-be heroes that will later come to save the doomed barony.

Ambyrmont 21, AC 1017: Bargle's Legacy.

Location: Estate of Achelos, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Several elven homesteads in the Achelos Woods have been attacked by raiding bands of goblinoids. Captured raiders wear symbols identifying them as agents of the nefarious wizard Bargle the Infamous. This information matches with rumours that Bargle was rounding up his old cronies in the region last year.

What This Means: It's not Bargle they're working for, but his not-quite-as-infamous cousin Sverdlov. Sverdlov has been trading in on Bargle's reputation for the past year and rallying hordes of goblinoids that were driven out of the Black Eagle Barony during the hin assault of 1010. He hopes to gain some measure of prestige in the region.

What the PCs Can Do: Bring Sverdlov and his hordes of ruffians to justice, of course.

Fourth Week

Ambyrmont 22, AC 1017: Surveyor Teams Are Leaving.

Location: Empire of Alphatia. HW

Description: A total of seven teams leave to survey the route of the canals-one from every end of the planned canals (one is planned with an intersection and three sections). Some ceremonies are inevitably held. The greatest one, of course, is in Andaire itself where Empress Eriadna herself holds a speech to inspire bravery and endurance in the men and women who will be a part of that endeavour. (See Am. 5, Am. 16; Sv. 1, Sv. 10.)

What This Means: Now the big enterprise is really started. All fans of the project are hoping that there will be no major problems; others, like Zallaras and Jolinar, hope for a disastrous end. The protective force, the 1st Marines from the Lakes, is far from being of the desired strength: until now most members are sailors who have volunteered to be part of the unit. Eriadna has used her power to secretly command some of her skyships to move into the interior of Alphatia, though. Due to the expanded ship-building project following the transition to the Hollow World she has now a number of ships which are not fit to sail the void, but are useful as patrols within the confines of the floating continent.

Ambyrmont 22, AC 1017: A Plea in Zeaburg.

Location: City of Zeaburg, Kingdom of Ostland. OW

Description: During one of King Finn Hordson's audiences being held today, a guard quietly interrupts the proceedings, and informs his liege of a delegation from the Alphatian territories that wishes to meet with him. Intrigued, he orders the guard to inform them that he will see them once his current audience is concluded.

Before long, a group of slightly bedraggled men is led before him-men who in appearance are much like himself, but who appear to possess a haunted look in their eyes. At his urging, they tell him who they are, and why they are here. They share with him the saga of the lost Jarldom of Ystmarhavn, and of the tribulations its people have stoically faced throughout the ages since its fall to the Alphatians. Now, they explain, the weakness of Baron Norlan has given them an opportunity to reclaim what is rightfully theirs, which they have tried to do. Unfortunately, they say, Norlan has called upon the aid of Alphatia to quell the rebellion, and now many of their gains are being eroded away. In summation, the visitors plead urgently with him, in the memory of great northern warriors past, to send them aid in their fight against Norlan, "lest the fire of Ystmarhavn be quenched forevermore."

King Finn, after hearing all of this, leaves the hall, saying that he will ponder the matter. (See Am. 1, Am. 10; Ei. 2, Ei. 27.)

What This Means: The Antalian petitioners knew they were taking a chance by approaching Finn directly in this manner, but they felt that there was no alternative. Once they were granted an audience, they presented the facts in the best way they knew-that of relating recent events as part of the saga of lost Ystmarhavn's remnants. Carefully, they drew upon the warrior mystique still respected among many people of the Northern Reaches, and presented their plight as an opportunity for Ostlander warriors to win glory and wealth, and the gratitude of their almost-forgotten brethren across the sea.

From Finn's perspective, this all comes as a bit of a surprise. Some inhabitants of the Northern Reaches-those who are versed in their own history-are aware, to some degree, of territories they once ruled in what is now Alphatia. Ystmarhavn was one of those, and although the specifics might not be known, its people are clearly kindred of a sort.

What the PCs Can Do: If they were part of the delegation, the PCs might be the ones to make the case for Ostlander aid against Norlan's forces-this is a good opportunity to let your players do some serious role-playing! If the PCs are Ostlanders, they might be present during this event, perhaps providing Finn with advice as to whether or not Ostland should aid the Antalians.

Ambyrmont 22, AC 1017: Pilgrimage to Glantri.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Several devotees of the Immortal Valerias, hearing rumours of a manifestation of their patroness, have begun to trickle into Glantri City. When they are denied access to Belcadiz Manor, they protest and encamp themselves outside the property. The Glantrian Constabulary has to be summoned to take them away. (See Fe. 15, Fy. 3; Ka. 26, Ka. 27.)

What This Means: Driven by religious fervour, the followers of Valerias, Patroness of Passion and Beauty, have travelled to what some have come to believe a religious site of Los Amantes, despite the great risks of such a venture. The clerics of Valerias generally do not sanction such pilgrimages, especially with Glantrian laws against illegal clericism, but do not give any official words otherwise.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are connected with the Temple of Valerias, they may be tasked to safeguard their devotees into and out of this land of cleric-hating wizards. Alternately, Glantrian PCs might be inclined to watch the movements of these devotees, making sure they do not get into trouble.

Ambyrmont 22, AC 1017: The Troubles Really Begin.

Location: Eagret Island, Nayce. AS

Description: The island base comes under attack from the sea by a large party of ghouls and zombies. Though caught a bit off guard, the troops hurry to their defensive positions to meet these attackers. On dry land and against soldiers unhampered by the effects of fighting underwater, the undead fare badly against the troops and their rudimentary defence works. The battle is tense but ebbs into a near rout as the undead are forced back into the sea, dragging whatever victims they can back with them. (See Fy. 23, Am. 20; Am. 24, Am. 26.)

What This Means: Given the ghoul attack on Torenal Site and subsequent troubles elsewhere, the matter is attributed to this undead threat. However, the cause is much closer than any would think. Pidimigd's failed attempt to control the undead at Bluenose has had a grievous side affect. The agonising pain that the spectre experienced has been felt by other undead throughout the sunken continent, and they have felt an undeniable urge to strike at the living. The mysterious voice that has urged them in their search for the phylactery now instructs them to strike at the living.

Ambyrmont 23, AC 1017: We Will Be Heard and Appeased.

Location: City of Bluenose, Kingdom of Arogansa, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Queen Detteria Scarback agrees to see a group of Bluenose business owners. After an exchange of half-hearted pleasantries, the business owners begin voicing their concerns over the detrimental affects of the war. They cite that Arogansa's tourist trade has been hampered enough by the loss of the seas. A war only further undermines their attempts to bring the tourists in. Detteria is silent, and even looks a bit annoyed at their arguments.

Jhadix interjects and bluntly asks what Detteria expects to gain from the invasion. Power and glory are one thing, but economic gain is another. He just does not see anything economic coming out of the invasion. In fact he sees the war as being debilitating to the kingdom's struggling economy. He cites that any funds that the kingdom spends on the war could be better invested domestically in agriculture programs. He surmises that even if they manage to gain huge tracts of Eadrin lands, Arogansa will still have to invest the same funds to post-war recovery.

Detteria is quite impressed at the bluntness and vision Jhadix displays. She is likewise equally blunt in addressing their concerns. She tells them that she cares not for the frivolous matters that the business owners focus on. Arogansa has more pressing concerns than simple tourist attractions. Her concerns are with the kingdom's economy and ability to fill her treasury.

Detteria also offers another proposition. Pointing to a map of the two kingdoms, she asks them what is so missing from the current Arogansan landscape. Since those in attendance are name level or higher, they naturally respond that the ocean is missing. Nodding in approval, Detteria proposes that Arogansa recreate a large body of water. She points to the lower Thera River and suggests damming and dredging these areas to create a large lake flooding Eadrin lands, but creating beaches in Arogansa. The river was simply running over the continent's edge anyway. Any water runoff can be diverted to farms.

The prospect of a return to aquatic attractions is too much for the business owners to resist. Though Detteria tells them that they will have to fund such projects, they grumble, knowing it will be an exorbitant expenditure and a long-term project (they had thought Detteria was offering to have the kingdom finance it-they now see that she expects them to build it for her). However, they fear that an extended war with Eadrin may turn away the tourists that are just now returning. Detteria tells them not to worry. Since Eadrin is being left to fend for itself, it has no threatening allies. Likewise, who cares about little old Eadrin? As long as the war is well way from Arogansan lands, there is no reason to fear for a decrease in tourists. In fact, Detteria suggests that they use the war in their promotion of attractions, siphoning off tourists who would have otherwise gone to Eadrin. What better entertainment than a day spent out in at the front watching battles?

The business owners warily accept the situation. Detteria dismisses them and returns her attentions to the war. Detteria correctly surmises that she has the support of the Bluenose merchants as long as the war goes Arogansa's way and does not affect them or their businesses. Until then, they may complain and gripe, but she doubts that the situation can become so dire that one of them will actually challenge her. Such things require too much effort. (See Am. 2, Am. 11; Sv. 4, Ka. 15.)

Ambyrmont 23, AC 1017: Into the Cryptic Depths.

Location: Underneath City of Hattias, Duchy of Hattias, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Using a variety of clandestine and magical means, the Thyatians have managed to gather good information about the layout and inhabitants of the hidden sub-level below Hattias City. The chambers were shielded against scrying and teleportation, but planar travel allowed access to them. Once there, rogues and other stealthy types, operating on the Ethereal Plane, found the main chambers, apparently the abode of a lich. They also discovered that, to their surprise, the chambers seemed to be older than the Thyatian Empire itself. Not only that, the style of architecture and decoration was nearly identical to that used in Thothia, though death imagery is emphasised.

Having located what seemed to be the main chamber and threat, divinatory magics were then used to narrow down the location of the lich's phylactery-which he actually wears around his neck in the form of an inverted ankh. A small band of Thyatian heroes, selected by Demetrion Karagenteropolus, now make the transit from the Ethereal Plane to the Prime inside the lich's chamber, hoping to surprise and overcome the lich.

They are nonplussed when the lich-and his minions-are ready for them. A series of spells go off as each side tries to bring down the other's defences, and undead vassals of the lich swarm out of carefully hidden recesses that the Thyatians had failed to discover. But the lich himself is shocked when his powerful magical defences are brought down with a disjunction spell, followed almost immediately by a flurry of weapon blows against him. The combatants grapple in melee until the lich is finally laid low and his phylactery is crushed, shattered by magical weapons. The entire chamber begins to shake at this point. The Thyatians grab their wounded and whatever else of value they can reach, including a large dark crystal prism, and cast etherealness to escape. In their wake, the complex collapses behind them.

The tremors are felt even on the surface, in the form of a mild earthquake that shakes Hattias City briefly. (See Kl. 24, Am. 3; Ka. 10.)

What This Means: The complex, and the lich, date back to the ancient Nithian Empire and the time of the arrival of the Thyatian people in the area at the turn of the 7th century BC. At that time, a small Nithian outpost existed where Hattias City now stands. With the Nithian Empire in its last stages of corruption, the Nithians of the area and their Toralai Neathar subjects were unable to prevent the influx of the three Thyatian tribes. A sorcerer-priest of Thanatos, prominent in the area, was instructed by Thanatos to create this warren. It was sealed off from the surface, and largely forgotten, around the same time as the foundation of the city of Thyatis in BC 600.

From there, Thanatos used His lich servant over the centuries to manipulate things. His sorcerer-priest, acting clandestinely, using the Dismal Prism, further influenced the corruption and ultimate destruction of Nithia. Then they concentrated on influencing the nearby Hattians. This culminated in the Hattian Revolt of the early 4th century AC, the rise of the Storm Soldiers, and most recently the Crown War. The Dismal Prism had been lost by the followers of Thanatos in the southern Altan Tepes Mountains during the final collapse of Nithia. It fell into the hands of a Thyatian group, the Stonecrafters, early in the history of the Thyatian Empire, but was recovered by servants of Thanatos during the first Hattian revolt. Thanatos now needs it to get back into circulation again for His own reasons, and also knows that the Thyatians are starting to suspect someone or something was pulling the strings in Hattias behind the scene. So He set it up for His lich to serve as the fall guy, and make the Thyatians think they had finally succeeded in eliminating the problem.

Thus He had the lich summon the pit fiend to cause further trouble in Thyatis, according to Thanatos' instructions. Thanatos knew that the pit fiend would rankle at this service (to a Chaotic Evil lich), and do something to get revenge-providing the clue that led the Thyatians to discover the lich's chambers. The Thyatians now think they have eliminated the source of all the problems in Hattias, and to an extent they have. They have also recovered a dark and dangerous artifact, which they will try to destroy. But Thanatos has other plans for that. The Thyatian heroes will turn the prism over to the emperor, who gives it to his magist, Demetrion, with instructions to try and identify it.

What the PCs Can Do: The characters can be the ones chosen, or if they are not experienced enough on their own they can be among those chosen, to face and destroy the lich. Make sure the Dismal Prism falls into their hands.

Ambyrmont 23, AC 1017: Anchorage Burns.

Location: Town of Anchorage, Province of Anchorage, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK

Description: After a lengthy siege, the Jennites are finally able to break through the Alphatian defences and enter the town itself. The Alphatians fight hard, though, and though the Jennites are victorious, they take serious casualties. The Jennites are furious and their reaction is prompt and harsh-Anchorage is burned to the ground, and the Jennites take no prisoners.

Krael and Lyriander have fought hard to keep Anchorage from falling, but once again their efforts were in vain. They're both with a group of refugees who fight their way out of the city when they come under attack by several groups of united Jennites. Krael realises that they won't be able to escape and stays behind to allow the rest of the refugees, including Lyriander to escape. The last thing Lyriander sees of him is when a Jennite warrior runs him through with a spear, and while the wound is not fatal, some rebel Jennites take the opportunity to hold Krael down, cut off his head, and then put it on a spear along with a board on which they write: "Proper treatment for traitors." (See Fy. 12, Fy. 26; Sv. 2, Ei. 17.)

What This Means: The siege of Anchorage lasted longer and claimed the lives of far more Jennites than the leaders expected. Although the Alphatians have offered little resistance, the Jennite offensive hasn't advanced as far or as fast as the leaders had hoped at this point, and their harsh treatment of Anchorage is an indication of their frustrations. Slowly they're beginning to see that they're not just fighting the Alphatians-they're also fighting to bridge the differences that exist between the free Jennites and the rebel Jennites. In the beginning both sides were content with the prospect of hurting the Alphatians, but as they've fought together many of them have discovered that they are very different people, separated by centuries of Alphatian rule. Some free Jennites believe that the Alphatians have forever cursed their brethren with their evil magic, and some rebel Jennites are beginning to find that they have more in common with the hated Alphatians than with their barbaric brethren, which makes some hate the Alphatians even more. Thus they can continue their advances with renewed hatred for the Alphatians, but the strain is slowly beginning to show. Talin is soon forced to realise that the unification of free Jennites and rebel Jennites is in serious trouble, the dream of the former oppressed slaves to renew with their roots a fantasy. One thing is clear to many of the rebel Jennites-that they must find their own way for themselves, free of the Alphatians of course, but also not by clinging too strongly to their ties with the free Jennites. Many begin to feel, deep down inside, that they must find their way as a people by building their own nation, complex and terrifying as that might be.

What the PCs Can Do: Alphatian PCs might help a few Alphatians escape the destruction of Anchorage, but otherwise there is little to do except for the obvious battles. Jennite PCs could be put into some interesting role-playing situations as they begin to realise the differences between the free and rebel Jennites.

Ambyrmont 24, AC 1017: Assassins!

Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Emperor Eusebius visits the recently completed aqueduct mill system and plaza park, taking the opportunity to pass among the people and listen to their concerns in an effort to appear caring. A commotion breaks out when a band of children rush in, apparently with swords. The emperor's guards are momentarily distracted, thinking this might be a threat to the emperor's safety. While their attention is diverted, three women come to the fore of the crowd the emperor is passing among. They take daggers from their gowns and, before Eusebius can react, attack him. Two miss, but the third cuts a long gash alongside his arm, which he raised to shield himself from the blow.

Eusebius draws his own sword to fend off the women, felling one as the guards rush back. They subdue the other two, taking them into custody for questioning and trial. The wound to Eusebius seems superficial, and a cleric among the entourage cures the wound. The emperor waves to the crowd, which cheers, as his guards usher him into the imperial carriage for safety's sake, headed back to the palace in the Zendrolium. Once in the carriage, the emperor collapses; the cleric, suspecting poison is the cause, attempts to negate poison, but to no avail. Eusebius is delirious and near death as the imperial carriage pulls into the palace courtyard. (See Fl. 11.)

What This means: The children were orphans adopted by the women some months ago. The three women are all members of prominent families, who have suffered during Eusebius' reign. Two lost their husbands to the purges conducted by Eusebius early after he had become emperor, even though their only crime was not being among his supporters. The other, already a widow who lost her husband during the Great War, had her only son die as a result of the Thothian mummy rot, and blames Eusebius for not solving the problem in time to save him. They got together to plan his assassination. Through their connections to the imperial bureaucracy, they learned of Eusebius' plans to visit the plaza today. The children were using toy (wooden) swords, and had been told by their adoptive mothers that the guards would get a kick out of having them "play fight" with them. The children didn't know the rest of the plan and are shocked.

Though the emperor is magically protected against poison at all times (wearing a magical item, and also having a cleric on hand just in case), the poison somehow pierced these defences. The women had acquired a specially brewed and enchanted poison from a priestess of Talitha that is immune to such protections. Eusebius just barely survived.

The two surviving women will be tried and convicted of treason and attempted regicide. Eusebius will remain bedridden by poison for three days before recovering, having almost died. During that time, Lucianna Torion, the empress, takes the three children under her wing and they end up, in an odd twist, becoming pages in the imperial court.

What the PCs can do: Characters could be on hand for the event and with a little quick action foil the assassination attempt and become heroes. Such characters will be rewarded appropriately by a grateful emperor. Conversely, characters that are in opposition to Eusebius might try to take the opportunity finish him off. Note, though, that once the real action begins, the emperor's guards will be on the alert for further difficulties. Such guards consist of a large squad of master level characters with the best equipment the resources of an empire can provide. Would-be assassins will have to be quick and deadly to succeed and then escape.

Ambyrmont 24, AC 1017: From Caverns to Mines.

Location: Mining camps of Chapultepec and Tepetitlan, Azcan Empire. HW

Description: The mining centres of Chapultepec and Tepetitlan, which have always been a dangerous place as it borders on the Schattenalfen caverns, are attacked by the elves from the dark. The local garrisons are never relieved by help from the Murasca Keep, as they expected they would be, and as a result they are defeated. The mines are now claimed by the elves, and all surviving Azcans from the mining communities are enslaved to work the mines until the time comes when they are sacrificed to Atzanteotl. (See Fe. 11, Fy. 18; Sv. 7, Ka. 13.)

What This Means: Murasca Keep never sent troops to defend the mining camps, as is its role, because the military there is largely loyal to the old regime. Soon after the beginning of the large-scale attack by the Schattenalfen, many warriors sympathetic to the new clergy, or simply not supportive enough of Atzanteotl's ways, are arrested for treason and sacrificed. The Schattenalfen wisely leave the keep undisturbed.

Ambyrmont 24, AC 1017: A Timely Rescue.

Location: Principality of Bergdhoven, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: While returning to Kopstar from a secret rendezvous with Princess Juliana Vlaardoen, Sir Feldian Lehenard is suddenly attacked by a group of bandits. Outnumbered, the young officer nevertheless manages to make a solid showing against them, but it is only a matter of time before he falls before them. At that moment, he is suddenly rescued by several short, capable warriors-hin! Not stopping to question the presence of hin in Glantri (where they are largely persecuted), Feldian turns his attention to defeating the bandits. The enemies are quickly dispatched.

Feldian thanks his rescuers, and is introduced to their leader, Jaervosz Dustyboots. He then interrogates the prisoners, but they are unable to directly implicate the man Feldian and Jaervosz suspect was behind the assassination attempt-the Black Eagle. Nevertheless, the two men strike up a friendship and a mutual agreement to bring von Hendriks to justice. (See Fe. 7, Fy. 16; Ei. 2, Ei. 10.)

What This Means: Jaervosz Dustyboots has been in Glantri ever since the escape of von Hendriks several years ago. He is determined to bring the Black Eagle to justice for crimes against the people of the Five Shires. He had been operating largely out of the Barony of Celedyl, but ever since the Black Eagle moved from the Great Crater and took up with Princess Juliana, Jaervosz has been following his movements in Bergdhoven. He hopes to be able to catch the Black Eagle unsuspected. It was while investigating that he heard rumours of this planned assassination attempt on Feldian. It seems the Black Eagle is greatly disturbed by Feldian's continued dalliances with Princess Juliana.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are aware of the assassination attempt, they can be the ones to foil the Black Eagle's plans and ingratiate themselves with Feldian. In any case, Jaervosz Dustyboots hears of the attempt, and makes contact with Feldian. He can use all the allies he can find in this land of hostile wizards.

Ambyrmont 24, AC 1017: More Trouble.

Location: Off the Coast of Kingdom of Surshield, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: The Naycese merchant ship, the Sassy Skimmer, comes under attack from a velya [a variant of the aquatic vampire. Ed.] and four wights. The undead quintet wreaks havoc with the ship's crew, killing five before breaking off their attack and disappearing with two additional crewmen. At the urging of the first mate the crew gathers up their fallen and tosses them overboard in a quickly organized burial at sea. (See Am. 20, Am. 22; Am. 26, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: The attack is initiated by Pidimigd's incantation. Previously this particular velya would have been content to prey on passing vessels in the night, either snatching lone lookouts through her charm power, shapeshifting, or by stealth. However, enraged by the intense agonies and subliminal urgings, she foregoes all pretences of subtlety. The crew did the right thing by dumping the slain overboard as within days the corpses would rise as wights under the control of the velya. This is just the thing that an old salt such as the first mate would know about.

What This Means: PCs travelling by ship throughout the region may likewise be attacked by groups of disturbed undead.

Ambyrmont 24, AC 1017: Most Unwelcome News.

Location: Town of Lothar, Continent of Iciria. HW

Description: The messengers originally dispatched to Nithia return to Lothar, bearing the response from the pharaoh. Anxious to hear whether or not he will receive additional support, Uart-neter Semsu breaks the seal and reads the message, only to learn that the pharaoh's officials are considering the matter to be one of great importance, and that aid will be rendered as soon as possible. Dismissing the messengers, he retreats to his quarters, and ponders matters further. (See Am. 1, Am. 4; Ei. 8.)

What This Means: Uart-neter Semsu is no fool; he knows bureaucratic double-speak when he sees it, and he suspects that the pharaoh did not even receive his message. If this is true, then it is likely that he should not expect support anytime soon-unless there was some way the pharaoh could be made aware of the situation.

What the PCs Can Do: If they were entrusted the task of taking the message to Nithia in the first place, Uart-neter Semsu will grill them on the details of their reception-who spoke with them, what was said, and what rumours they might have heard while in Tarthis. If the PCs were suspicious of matters themselves, and if they share this information with the Lord of Lothar, his misgivings will grow, and he may involve them in his future plans.

Ambyrmont 25, AC 1017: Princess Tanadaleyo Investigates Skyships.

Location: Colony of Aengmor, Republic of Darokin, Kingdom of Karameikos, and Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Princess Tanadaleyo, Governor of Aengmor, sends emissaries to Darokin, Karameikos, and Glantri, to investigate the invasion of human skyships over Aengmor's skies. The Darokinian Diplomatic Corps is prompt to respond to these allegations, assuring that Darokin has no skyships or any intentions of intruding into shadowelf territories. The Karameikan ambassadors reply with less enthusiasm but their denials are as firm as they are cold. The Glantrian embassy refuses to officially comment until the Council of Princes convenes and release a formal statement. (See Am. 14, Am. 15; Sv. 1.)

What This Means: While Princess Tanadaleyo has serious concerns over the human intrusion into Canolbarth, she is also quite willing to flex her political muscle. She hopes her diplomatic moves will establish Aengmor as a respected nation among the surface dwellers, and establish her as the recognised ruler of the shadowelf nation.

The governments of Darokin and Karameikos react as they should, but actually, so does the Glantrian bureaucracy. Nothing less than sinister politics and scheming power plays are expected from the Glantrian wizards. Of course, this only hides the real fact that those skyships were Glantrian in origin, sent by the warden of the marches, Prince Malachie du Marais, to foil the plot of his nemesis, Princess Dolores Hillsbury, in her persona as the sorceress Synn.

What the PCs Can Do: This event is a natural aftermath of the Synn's Shadow Over Mystara plot from the arcade game of the same name. PCs working for any of these governments, as official agents or as spies, may find themselves in a multinational, cross-cultural game of cloak and dagger, whether or not their nations have any actual involvement in Synn's schemes.

Ambyrmont 26, AC 1017: Undead Horde Clashes with Zuyevans.

Location: Frontiers of Empire of Zuyevo, Western Yazak Steppes. WB

Description: The forces of Don Claudio clash with a Zuyevan army sent to intercept them. The battle is a slugfest, a deadly stalemate, until Don Claudio deploys his surprise reserve: a flight of five undead dragons. In the face of this sudden and fearsome force, the morale of the Zuyevan troops collapses, and they flee towards the Yalu River. Don Claudio's undisciplined humanoid troops stop to plunder the enemy camp, hampering pursuit, and most of the retreating forces manage to get to the river several days later, and reach the safety of Kulikovo Fortress. The Zuyevan camp followers are not so lucky. (See Am. 1, Am. 6; Sv. 5, Sv. 11.)

What This Means: Zuyevo will next try and stop the advancing horde at the formidable Fortress of Kulikovo, where they have gathered a large force of priests to try and defeat the undead. They hope that troops dispatched from the north will be able to reach the fortress before it falls.

Ambyrmont 26, AC 1017: Action at Bromstow.

Location: Village of Bromstow, Bishopric of Leominster, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC

Description: Eighty royalist footmen, under the command of Sir Jeremy Patchworth, ride into the village of Bromstow to find 600 parliamentary militia in mid-muster. Sir Jeremy quickly signals the attack, and launches a hail of arrows into the massed throng. Caught completely by surprise, the militia panic and rout, fleeing to the southeast towards Leominster. The royalists move in and secure the town. (See Fy. 27, Am. 17; Sv. 5, Sv. 12.)

What This Means: The first time a military unit has used deadly force, the civil war is now in full swing. The victory is insignificant, as large numbers of parliamentary troops are positioned to take Bromstow should they desire, and Patchworth's 80 men are hardly enough to stop them. Parliamentary commanders scoff at the attack-but Patchworth has opened the way for Edgwinton's Leominster defectors, bolstered by the royal Theeds regiment, to slip past Bromstow without being noticed, in the direction of Norchester.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters could participate in the skirmish if they are present, scouting out the enemy and acting as an elite strike force.

Ambyrmont 26, AC 1017: Leadership Called into Question.

Location: City of Freiburg, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW

Description: During a regular meeting with his senior officers, Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf allows a few moments for everyone at the table to say what is on their minds, and one knight, Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger, is very vocal in his criticisms of the oberherr's decisions taken so far this year. Before anyone can interrupt, he launches into a tirade concerning the ill-advised invasion of Helskir (which seems likely to be wrested from the order's control, according to rumours based on tales told by newly-arrived soldiers form the region), the appointment of the grenzmarschallen (a ploy to override the authority of potential rivals in Heldland), the overstepping of bureaucratic authority concerning the resettlement of Hattian immigrants, and the "blatant waste of useful men against that heretic, Jaschke," when more strategic means are available. He adds that these acts are, to him, a sign of both incompetence and naked ambition, without a thought for the greater good of the Heldannic Order itself.

Furious at this insolence, Herr Wulf launches into his own tirade, stating that the expedition to Helskir had been approved based on field intelligence gathered by many of Straßenburger's own underlings, which indicated that Helskir's strategic importance on the Isle of Dawn had dwindled in recent years, such that attempts to reconquer it might not even materialise if sufficient strength was shown by the order. Furthermore, the order could not afford to waste time in settling the Hattian migrants and bringing the errant County of Wolkenberg to heel, as the order's grip on Heldland is tenuous enough already. Herr Wulf closes by reminding Straßenburger of his obligations to obey his superiors within the order, and threatens dire consequences should he ever step out of line again. Before anyone can react, Herr Wulf declares the meeting concluded, and leaves the chamber. (See Kl. 10, Am. 10; Am. 28, Sv. 2.)

What This Means: Since the Heldannic Knights regained their clerical abilities in AC 1015, many senior members of the order have become very conscious of the need for any conquered territories to remain in Heldannic hands, otherwise the glory gained in conquering them for Vanya would be lost, and they might lose their clerical powers once more. At the same time, many knights feel that it was the period of brutal repression beforehand, during which other faiths in Heldann were subjected to an inquisition, which earned the order its punishment. Sentiments such as this have led Herr Wulf and others to adopt a more moderate stance towards conquered peoples-other peoples should be conquered, but they should also be shown the true greatness of Vanya by Her own merits (i.e. the valour of Her soldiers). At the same time, there are many knights who feel the Vanya is a capricious Immortal anyway, and that showing any degree of mercy to the conquered is nothing less than weakness. There is a faction within the order which has become increasingly disillusioned with Herr Wulf's policies; Straßenburger is one of them. Unbeknownst to Herr Wulf, he is also one of the knights who had conspired against him in AC 1015, urging that he be executed for treason while the oberherr was crusading in Davania.

Ambyrmont 26, AC 1017: Trouble Meets More Trouble.

Location: Eastern Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS

Description: The Barracuda, a pre-war rowed submersible galley, is on patrol. As they travel above the ruins of a country estate, lookouts spot the approaching forms of ten ghostly figures dashing through the water towards them. Sounding the alarm, the vessel's captain identifies the approaching apparitions as wights.

The captain orders the pilots to increase speed away from the wights, while hollering to his men the basics of the strengths and weaknesses of the creatures. His call is quickly answered and just in time as the wights catch up to the fleeing vessel. They pass through the hull, pausing to strike at a number of the occupants before fleeing through the hull to return to the exterior. They are unable to repeat this tactic as the spellcasters unleash a volley of spell fire through the submersible's view ports. This stuns the wights long enough to give the Barracuda time to put some safe distance between herself and the undead. The crew of the Barracuda is fortunate as they lack the spellcasters and enchanted weapons to make a determined stand. (See Am. 22, Am. 24; Sv. 1, Sv. 5.)

What This Means: PCs travelling by submersible throughout the region may likewise be attacked by groups of disturbed undead.

Ambyrmont 26, AC 1017: Undead Nation.

Location: Barony of Two Lakes Vale, Icereach Range. NW

Description: Baron Fharo marches back into his old castle with his undead companions and attacks his old retainers, taking everyone by surprise. At the end of the battle, no living being remains in Castle Fharo, and the undead baron sits on his throne waiting for new orders.

The situation in the other parts of the barony is not better, since the forces of Nyx have conquered almost the entire valley and enslaved its living population. Only a handful of humans have escaped this grim fate by hiding in the hills or forming barricades in some of the greater towns. But resistance if futile and they know only a miracle can save them now.

The Shadow Lord has taken possession of Wazor's own tower, hidden in the northern hills, and from here he directs the troops in the final stages of the easy war. Sylarion in the meantime has discovered the Hammer of Life's dangerous properties and has tried to destroy it. Unable to crush the artifact, he has resolved to break it into three parts, which he then has hidden in three different locations in the barony, each one guarded by a powerful follower of Nyx. (See Am. 12, Am. 20; Sv. 1, Sv .10.)

What This Means: The Barony of Two Lakes Vale has finally been turned into the promised land that Nyx wanted for Her undead children. This is but the first part of Her plan, for She has something bigger in mind in the months to come. The Shadow Lord and Sylarion are happy with the current situation, and now both begin to think about the invasion of the nearby lands.

Since the Hammer of Life is an artifact, Sylarion wasn't able to destroy it easily. For this reason he has dismembered it and hidden it in three places, guarded by powerful creatures. [See CM2 module to find out more about it. Ed.]

Ambyrmont 27, AC 1017: Openness? In Buhrohur?

Location: Town of Makrast, County of Buhrohur, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Following the arrival of more immigrant dwarves and their agitation for opening up Buhrohur, Countess Gilla Blyskarats finally relents. She rescinds all the special laws limiting access to Buhrohur. The traditionalists are shocked when the influx of non-dwarves with their un-dwarven ways fails to materialise. Indeed, the people who take advantage of the new openness tend to be almost dwarf-like in their attitudes, admiring the same things the traditionalist dwarves do: inventiveness, gold, fighting, beard-stroking, and being taciturn.

What This Means: The isolationism of the Buhrohuri dwarves is ending, sort of. Many of the dwarves will still be aloof around strangers, but visitors won't be hampered by restrictive laws. Gilla Blyskarats, the countess, was actually secretly supportive of removing the laws, as a result of her experiences adventuring outside Buhrohur among other Thyatians. But for political reasons she wanted to be seen as sympathetic to the traditionalists, while quietly waiting for the right excuse to rescind the laws.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters will now find travelling and adventuring in Buhrohur somewhat easier.

Ambyrmont 27, AC 1017: Fiorenza Offers Aid.

Location: Barony of Fiorenza, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: Justinian Silvestro, Baron of Fiorenza, informs Exarch Leilah ben Nadir that he will be able to take in up to 300 Milenian refugees, to resettle in lands which must be cleared, as well as recently drained swampland which should be tilled soon. (See Am. 16, Am. 19; Sv. 1, Sv. 6.)

What This Means: The Barony of Fiorenza was founded in AC 1011, by Justinian and his family, and he was a capable enough ruler that he was able to make his dominion profitable within the allotted three-year time period. Since then, he has attracted more settlers from the Thyatian mainland, but not enough as he had hoped. He is confident that the Milenians would be able to integrate with the other settlers, and aid him in his plans to develop the barony's economy still further.

Although Leilah will be happy about receiving an affirmative reply, it will be a Pyrrhic victory, as only one other dominion ruler indicated that he would be able to take in any refugees; the others claimed that they would not have enough resources, or that they were too busy developing their lands to spare any concern for displaced persons from outside the empire.

Ambyrmont 27, AC 1017: Morgan Shelters in Makai.

Location: Makai Island. HW

Description: Captain Morgan heads for Makai, as he deems it unsafe to return to Floresque at this time. He locates a safe harbour in Makai to shelter in, and the crew proceeds with repairs. Once completed, the pirates spend the rest of their time frolicking with the natives. (See Fy. 20, Am. 20; Sv. 9, Ei. 1.)

What This Means: Makai is a safe haven for pirates. The friendly natives will enjoy their company. The repairs made here will only last temporarily; Morgan will have to bring the ship into dry-docks to make permanent repairs.

What the PCs Can Do: Besides working on repairs and feasting with the locals, this would be a good opportunity to run a primitive island scenario for the PCs. Perhaps the Makai need assistance dealing with some local monsters that are threatening their village or pearl-diving cove.

Ambyrmont 27, AC 1017: They Must Be Stopped.

Location: City of Gask, County of Gask, Confederacy of Klagorst. WB

Description: The Reptile Knights are creating too much trouble in the region. In the months following the end of the Klagorst War, they have continued to spread chaos throughout the Klagorst region, up and down without respite, always raiding and killing, and it seems impossible to stop them. In a heated debate in the confederated assembly in Gask, the Stygian representatives demand an end to this situation. The confederacy decides to ask the Adventurers' Guild of Grawyz to plan an expedition to deal with the matter. They promise a reward of 60,000 zeurs to the adventurers' guild if they solve the problem. (See Fy. 4, Fy. 7; Sv. 1, Ei. 13.)

What This Means: There is nothing secret here: the Reptile Knights are fighting in the name of Nhorg, and creating effectively a lot of problems in the region, which is still trying to recover from the past battles. Making matters worse is the fact that the Reptile Knights seem to know everything about Nhorg's experiments, and sometimes unleash magical creations that bring more chaos among the population.

What the PCs Can Do: It is time to start a crusade against the Reptile Knights. Or should they instead be among the knights, who wait for the hammer to fall? Or should they instead try to find the monsters and deal with them?

Ambyrmont 27, AC 1017: Avant Garde?

Location: City of Starpoint, Kingdom of Ambur, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Azomog's latest play, Of Skies Blue, Rivers Red, opens in the Elshethara Theatre to a full house. Though the play is almost incomprehensible to any sober person, it receives raves from the Starpoint theatre community habitués. It is celebrated as an "innovative discourse in non-linear, free-style, open theatre." Many of those with more discerning tastes simply roll their eyes. (See Nu. 18.)

What This Means: Though Azomog hadn't intended his play to be performed, he kept getting pestered by its admirers over the last several months about it. He finally threw up his hands and sold its rights to a producer. Though it was virtually impossible to direct and perform, much less understand, the audiences figure anything so incomprehensible must simply be on the cutting edge of modern Alphatian art, and gush over it.

Common people with less refined tastes avoid the showings of Of Skies Blue, Rivers Red like they would avoid a plague carrier, however. Once the avant garde crowd and the actors' relatives and friends have seen it several times, it folds. The habitués consider this a sign that the average people just aren't ready for such high-concept art.

Ambyrmont 27, AC 1017: Fire at the Lovecraft Asylum.

Location: Town of Rymskigrad, Principality of Boldavia, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: On the night of a raging thunderstorm, a fire breaks out at the Lovecraft Asylum. Terrified residents of Rymskigrad claim that several inmates had escaped, some of whom are probably very dangerous. The Boldavian authorities blame a freak bolt of lightning as the cause, but (as always) remain vague about the other details of the blaze.

Despite the relentless rain, smoke and fire is seen emerging from the asylum grounds until the morning, throughout the next day, and well into the following night.

What This Means: The most famous inmate of the infamous madhouse these days, the Lady Sinaria Verlien, former Countess of High Sonden and the present High Mistress of Fire Elementalism, had tapped into the energy of the storm, as well as into her own frail body and frayed mind, to power the spell that started the magical conflagration. During the blaze and the ensuing confusion, Lady Sinaria escaped. She will be making her way back to Flaemish territories and plotting her vengeance on her treacherous son, Lord Pieter Verlien, who arranged for her confinement to assume rulership of High Sonden.

What the PCs Can Do: The source of the fire is actually a small gate into the Plane of Elemental Fire, and as such the blaze burns through earth and stone, ignites flammable objects (including living flesh) instantaneously, and cannot be doused by mundane means. Although quite unlikely, the authorities of Rymskigrad or the Lovecraft Asylum may ask the PCs to help put out the fire or go after the escapees in the Boldavian countryside-a task that is definitely more dangerous than it seems.

If the PCs do not intervene, Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany of Boldavia sends his own wizardly minions to stop the blaze the next night.

Ambyrmont 28, AC 1017: You Bring Me the Boy, I'll Give You the Man.

Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: For the past four months Prince Gabrionus Torion has been taught swordsmanship by Vivianna Romanones, in between her other duties. While in the last couple years he has outgrown some of his awkwardness, he is still a shy and nervous lad. In addition, he is more interested in scholarly pursuits than being a warrior. His nervousness is hampering his concentration. But Emperor Eusebius expects Vivianna to succeed in teaching Gabrionus.

She makes a deal with Gabrionus; she will take some of the time to tutor him in scholarly endeavours, if he will work harder to concentrate during their exercises and sparring sessions. He agrees, and she gives him several books to start with. She uses these discussion sessions and her whiles to loosen him up and encourage him, and he begins to make progress in both fields of study. (See Fl. 27.)

What This Means: Gabrionus is very intelligent, but somewhat lacking in social skills and confidence. One of the books Vivianna gives him is actually a tome of leadership and influence, while another that she gives him later is a manual of quickness in action. She also works to develop his natural confidence and tutor him in etiquette and other interpersonal skills. He has led a shy and sheltered life, but is personable and not without natural charm, and proves a natural student. Vivianna knows that Gabrionus is somewhat infatuated with her. She is around twice his age (Gabrionus turned 18 a few weeks ago, she is in her mid thirties by birth date, though looking more youthful) and loyal to the empire. She is also ambitious, and doesn't mind taking the chance to consort with members of the imperial family in the hopes of affiliating herself with it. She has never been truly in love before, but she finds Gabrionus to be sweet and endearing. She insures to sit close by him during the study sessions, occasionally brushing up against him and otherwise inflaming his ardour for her.

Ambyrmont 28, AC 1017: A Declaration for Straßenburger.

Location: Town of Altendorf, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW

Description: Hans-Joachim Kaltstetter, Landmeister of Altendorf, sends notice to Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf that both he and his garrison have sworn allegiance to Heinrich Straßenburger, "the true Oberherr of the Heldannic Order." Condemning Herr Wulf's recent policies, Kaltstetter calls him a cowardly man who lacks the courage to spill blood and prove his faith in the name of Vanya, and dismisses the Heldannic Order's conquest of Polakatsikes as trifling. He adds that letters have been sent to other senior knights, urging them to do the same. (See Am. 26; Sv. 2, Sv. 6.)

What This Means: Heinrich Straßenburger has been active since his argument with Herr Wulf, stirring up support for his stance that the current oberherr is unfit to lead the Heldannic Order. Only time will tell whether or not more senior knights will heed Straßenburger's call.

What the PCs Can Do: Predictably, Herr Wulf will be furious once he finds out what Straßenburger is doing, and would not be above sending some loyal subordinates to find Straßenburger and bring him to Freiburg for questioning, or eliminate him. If the PCs are loyal to the order, and know Herr Wulf, it is likely he will ask them to do it.

Ambyrmont 28, AC 1017: Bodyguards for Bensarian.

Location: Korrigan Forest, Kingdom of Wendar. OW

Description: After two weeks of meetings, the Genalleth elders deliberate to wait until the end of the year to expose Bensarian's machinations. They choose among their members the most trusted elves and give them the task to guard over Bensarian's body during the rest of the year, to prevent any assassination attempt at his persona. Then they have to dispel any magics upon his body on the first day of the new year, to free his mind and soul from the Onyx Ring wizard's yoke. This plan is to be kept secret at all costs, to prevent the Church of Idris from interfering with their scheme. (See Fe. 18, Am. 16; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The wise elves want to counter Idris' treachery with another cunning machination. Instead of killing or removing the fake Bensarian from his place, they want to simply dispel the evil wizard's influence over the old sage. Once this is done, they will have a powerful ally in the right place to restore Wendar's political situation, unmask Idris' spymaster and chase Her cultists out of the kingdom. However, they also realise Bensarian must be protected at all costs, because in the meantime Idris may try to stage a fake assassination attempt to cast blame upon the elves, thus provoking a civil war inside Wendar. For this reason they have instructed the chosen elven heroes to guard the sage's back until the end of the year.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are among the Genalleth's most trusted and resourceful heroes, they may be charged with this difficult task. The DM should then come up with events to keep the heroes' lives busy until the end of the year.