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First Week

Flaurmont 1, AC 1017: The Wind and the Lion.

Location: Southeastern Barren Plain, near the Burning Waste. OW

Description: The joint Minrothaddan-Thyatian flotilla, skirting the coast of the Great Waste, spots some Urduk nomads riding along the shore. They decide to take a chance and make contact, sending a shore party to talk with the Urduks. Friendly relations are established via the good offices of the Minrothaddan negotiators, and both parties make camp for the night. They share food and news with the Urduks, who say they were riding east to take service with the Master's forces against Sind. The Thyatian admiral gives them gifts and gold, and asks them to enter imperial service instead, and travel to Jaibul. The Urduks say they will consider this, and make their decision when they near Jaibul. (See Va. 25, Th. 17; Fl. 8, Ya. 13.)

What This Means: The Thyatians are happy to make friends in the region, who can serve as proxies in their machinations. For now they want to keep Hule from gaining enough strength for a counter-attack in Sind, while keeping their own options open while everything is in flux. The Thyatian admiral will send word to the imperial admiralty in the city of Thyatis, and their envoys in Jaibul. They will try to enlist the nomads as mercenaries and auxiliaries.

What the PCs Can Do: Encounters with monsters of the Barren Plain or even representatives of Hosadus are possible. Helping the Urduks against some threat will help encourage their friendship.

Flaurmont 1, AC 1017: Threat from Below.

Location: Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: In a series of interconnected cave complexes beneath Ylaruam, a new monarch takes his throne. Shamaash, a balor, declares himself the lord of this underground domain, which he names Stygia. His fiendish servants patrol the caverns, taking slaves and enforcing his will upon any denizens that dwell nearby.

What This Means: Barimoor was a powerful wizard who created a vast realm beneath the sands of Ylaruam. During the Week Without Magic, he was presumed destroyed, and his underground kingdom fell into chaos. In the years since, surviving minions of Barimoor's have claimed dominion over the realm, but none have been strong enough to hold claim to more than a portion of the complex. Agents of Shamaash brought word to him of this domain recently, and he left his haunts in the Emirate of Nithia to come here. He hopes to form a powerful nation of evil beneath the sands of Ylaruam.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are active adventurers in Ylaruam (particularly the demon-infested northern emirate of Nithia), they will hear rumours of a hidden nest of demonkind somewhere in the deserts of Ylaruam. This is the chance for DMs to set up an epic campaign-as the characters grow in power and prestige, they will become ever more aware of the existence of Stygia, and eventually learn its location. Then, they can travel to Shamaash's lair and engage in some deadly action against a horrid pit of demonic evil.

Flaurmont 1, 1017: King Refuses to Sign Militia Bill.

Location: City of Leominster, Bishopric of Leominster, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC

Description: Thanks to strong backing from the nobles of Kittings and Penwick, the Militia Bill makes it through the House of Lords and is presented to King James to give the bill royal assent and make it law-which James in the event refuses to do. Later in the day the king leaves the parliament building and is jeered at by a crowd of young street urchins hurling rotten fruit. The king's honour guard draw swords to disperse the youngsters, but things rapidly get out of hand and several of the urchins are injured, and one is killed.

The next day a somewhat hysterical parliament condemns the king for his actions, and demands once more that he sign the Militia Bill. Hampden even accuses the king of tyranny for his actions. (See Th. 8, Th. 19; Fl. 2, Fl. 9.)

What This Means: A bad day for King James, the incident with the street urchins has damaged his reputation just when he needed public support the most. Public opinion in Leominster swings sharply against the monarch in the days that follow.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1017: Leominster in Chaos.

Location: City of Leominster, Bishopric of Leominster, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC

Description: Allegedly in fear of their lives, the two architects of the Militia Bill go into hiding in Leominster. That morning, in an act dangerously reminiscent of last year, the king and his soldiers storm into the parliament and demand the arrest of Hampden and Blythe-Jackson. Once again though he is thwarted as they have already escaped. Making matters worse, a company of the Sun Herald writes a somewhat embellished story in which the heroism of the two members of the parliament in escaping the king's wrath is elevated to epic proportions. The story is all over the city, and beyond, by the end of the day.

The next day Leominster is in ferment. Rumours are flying that royalist troops are about to descend upon the city and, in effect, promote martial law. The gates of Leominster are closed and a multitude of citizens turn out bearing arms. The parliament issues a proclamation declaring all those who assist in perpetrating acts of tyranny to be public enemies, and before too long fighting breaks out in the city centre between supporters of the two sides. The king is forced to retire to Theeds via ship for his own safety. The parliament assumes control of the Leominster constabulary in addition to the Royal Leominster Regiment, and after some sporadic fighting manages to regain order over the next few days. After the fighting ends, seven days after it started, Hampden and Blythe-Jackson return to the parliament, amidst a huge cheering crowd, to receive a hero's welcome. (See Th. 19, Fl. 1; Fl. 9, Fl. 24.)

What This Means: Hampden and Blythe-Jackson did what they could to cause trouble, with the help of the Company of the Sun. Thanks to their swift thinking (made possible by their undercover council) it seems likely that the parliament has captured the hearts and minds of the people of Leominster.

The Royal Party has seen massive defections in the Commons and is now very much in the minority. Benjamin Treeby sends a private letter to the king in Theeds, resolving to remain within the parliament and act as the voice of the monarch in the Commons.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters could participate in the fighting on either side or attempt to restore calm, or at least protect innocent citizens from getting caught in the crossfire.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1017: Insurrection in Almarrón.

Location: Estado de Almarrón. SC

Description: An enormous armed uprising seems to spontaneously take place in Almarrón today. Heavily armed militias aided by Torreóner and Slagovian mercenaries appear from nowhere to seize strongpoints around Ciudad Tejillas and across Almarrón. Barón Maximiliano's meagre forces in the city are taken by surprise and captured. Barón Maximiliano himself is almost captured in the fighting, but for the intervention by a lone black masked man who wields his rapier with unsurpassed skill. This mystery man succeeded in getting Maximiliano out of his capital, thus thwarting Esteban's plans for a quick, sudden victory, before melting away as swiftly as he came. (See Th. 2, Th. 4; Fl. 3, Fl. 16.)

What This Means: Don Esteban, the former ruler of Almarrón, is responsible for the uprising. Using funds he was given by a shadowy messenger last year he has managed to heavily arm his followers and employ foreign mercenaries and magic-users to aid in his insurrection. With Don Maximiliano and most of Almarrón's army in Gargoña fighting Narvaez, he saw his chance to regain his former dominion.

The man in black is an enigma-no one seems to know who he is, or where he came from, but Don Maximiliano is not complaining, as he begins his campaign to oust the counter revolutionaries of Don Esteban.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1017: It's Not Nice to Fool with Mother Nature.

Location: Newly-Settled Areas, Thyatian Mainland, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: For the most part things have proceeded with remarkable smoothness in the areas of the Thyatian mainland where settlement is being expanded. But in some of the wilder and more remote areas, the new residents are running up against unexpected difficulties. Strange events happen, almost seemingly by coincidence but too often for it to be bad luck. From time to time sinister accidents occur, usually ruining equipment but sometimes causing injury or death. Imperial officials have received reports from frightened farmers claiming strange, gnarled, dirty figures wearing robes and carrying twisted staves have tried to frighten them off with dire warnings, spooking many. At first the government passed this off as hysteria induced by being in unfamiliar surroundings, but now they're beginning to see a pattern emerge. (See Fl. 13.)

What This Means: Though large stretches of Thyatis (mainly the so-called Imperial Territories) were sparsely inhabited and not under regular authority, they were not completely uninhabited. Most were wilderness areas, and in addition to some of the normal dangers, rustic back-to-nature types, mountain men, followers of nature-oriented Immortals, and even some powerful druids live in these regions. They are now reacting to the increase of settlement in the area. Most are peaceful and just want to keep what they see as their wilderness from being despoiled, but some are both anti-social and hostile.

What the PCs Can Do: The characters might have ties to either side-or both; they might be contacted by the imperial government and asked to investigate, or by the naturalists and asked to mediate some sort of solution. There might be some conflict between extremists on both sides, where perhaps only force will suffice. A solution agreeable to all might consist of limiting future settlement and development and setting aside much of the region as nature preserves or even imperial parklands, limit mines to dwarven techniques (even if not operated by dwarves), etc. This will prove contentious, though: neither the imperial government nor the new settlers want to abandon the settlements that have already been created, but the naturalists are afraid that all of Thyatis' wilderness will disappear and be despoiled. Both the government and the settlers would be more willing to agree to limit growth if the druids would help in increasing the bounty of agriculture in the areas already under cultivation. Characters can help secure such compromises, or they can solve the problem in the usual manner-by the sword and spell.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1017: An Unwelcome Sight.

Location: City-State of Ilioloosti, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: Word arrives from the guards stationed at the fortifications demarcating Ilioloosti's eastern frontier concerning the arrival of a number of ragged individuals, who apparently are seeking shelter. The officer in charge of the main gates of the city-state ponders the matter for a few moments, and then orders the bearer of the message to head back with all due haste, to order the guards to allow the people to pass.

Hours later, a straggling line of men, women, and children, their faces worn with the stresses of a long, arduous journey, plod up to the main gates, and request entrance into Ilioloosti. In demanding to know their precise number, origins, and business, the gate guards soon learn that these people have fled their homes in the eastern Meghala Kimata Plains, in the face of Mivosian aggression, and merely seek a new home where they may rebuild their lives in peace. Shocked at the refugees' story, the guards allow them to enter, and pass word to the authorities of what is going on. (See Th. 17, Th. 26; Fl. 7, Fl. 21.)

What This Means: Some of the people driven forth by the Mivosians at the beginning of the year have managed to cross the Meghala Kimata Plains, and are now beginning to arrive in the western city-states, seeking shelter. Some of them, being relatively small, refuse the refugees entry, and tell them to head for such places as Ilioloosti and Kastelios. These are only the first of the migrants; more are likely to come as the Mivosian campaign continues.

The Ilioloostian authorities, no friends of the Mivosians, will nonetheless be surprised to hear about the naked displays of aggression being demonstrated by their opponents, and will likely begin thinking about possible strategies to deal with possible military expansion in regions closer to themselves. In the meantime, as far as Ilioloosti is concerned, so long as the Mivosians are paying attention to the Heldannic Knights (who are still a mysterious, obscure force in the far east), and nowhere else, so much the better.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1017: A Dreaded Assassination.

Location: Makekei Territory, Neathar Lands. HW

Description: A party of Hatfei hunters come across a grisly sight: the bound corpses of three individuals. Closer examination reveals that the three include Duma, who had killed the Makekei tribesman at the gathering. The other two are fellow hunters, accompanying Duma in the search of game. It appears that the three had been tied up and then killed by spear thrusts into the abdomen, a long and agonising death. It is also correctly surmised that the slaying was in retribution for the killing at the gathering. Normally the matter would have been accepted as an eye for an eye, but for the inclusion of the other two, the slayings occurring in Hatfei lands, and the manner used to slay them; tensions rise to a fevered pitch. (See Va. 4, Va. 22; Ya. 6, Fe. 6.)

What This Means: The engineer of the murder is Swerg of Makekei, who along with his sons and several kinsmen initiated the murder of Duma and his companions. It will not be long before the perpetrators are discovered speaking about and even boasting of their form of "justice." For their part the Makekei are horrified at the murders and are growing tired of the growing hostilities. The perpetrators are virtually ostracised by their own people.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs allied to the Hatfei may find themselves tasked with uncovering who is behind the murders. Makekei involvement is without a doubt, however several Hatfei elders will wish to punish the guilty without going to all-out war.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1017: Another Victory in Heldun.

Location: Village of Dawnhaven, Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: The coastal village of Dawnhaven is approached by the 3rd Vanya's Loyal Heldannic Expeditionary Force regiment. A small group of knights march from the main host, and demand to speak with the village leadership to discuss terms of surrender. The villagers, though numbering only 250 souls, opt instead to refuse to submit to Heldannic authority. Hearing this, the knights attack with ferociousness.

Bracing themselves to fight a pitched battle with infantrymen, the villagers are unpleasantly surprised to find themselves ridden down by heavy cavalry, and pelted by heavy crossbow fire. Before they can fully reorganise themselves in the wake of the cavalry charge, the defenders are swarmed by Heldannic foot soldiers. Within the hour, the village is under Heldannic control. (See Th. 17, Th. 20; Fl. 17, Fl. 21.)

What This Means: The more recent conquests are part of a larger plan to assume control over the bulk of Helskiran territory, and to crush potential centres of resistance to Heldannic rule. Even so, the advances are not nearly as grand as those envisioned late last year, mainly due to the fact that the Heldannic position in Heldun appears to be increasingly jeopardised; forces must be conserved as much as possible.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are on the side of Heldun, the PCs could try to assist any freedom fighters who might be operating in the region. Otherwise, they might be aiding the knights in their efforts to hunt down rebels.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1017: A Deal With the Demon.

Location: Kingdom of Huyule, Hulean Empire. WB

Description: As the demon Joramurrak is exploring the Hulean countryside and pondering his options, he suddenly sees a simple human man in white robes appear before him. Joramurrak gleefully calls upon his powers to wipe the fool out, only to see them utterly fail to cause even a scratch. The man smiles and says, "You are powerful, Joramurrak, but your powers are wasted here. I am Hosadus, prophet of divine Bozdogan, and I can tell you how to use your powers to create chaos unheard of." Cautiously, Joramurrak listens on. Hosadus continues, "There is a large land to the west, called Zuyevo. It is a land of great unity, where the rule of law has taken hold and the people support their rulers. I know how you hate such perfect societies, and I feel your yearning to bring chaos and death to them. Go there, and fulfil your every desire; unleash your wildest dreams!" Intrigued by the tale of this lawful realm, Joramurrak thinks for a moment, and then nods in agreement. (See Sv. 11.)

What This Means: This deal has dark consequences for Zuyevo. Joramurrak will use his powers to unleash hordes of monsters and other disasters in the Zuyevan countryside. Since much of Zuyevo outside the major cities is thinly-settled wilderness, it will be some time before the authorities realise that a large-scale slaughter is taking place. Even when they do, response will be hindered by the Zuyevan corruption and inefficiency.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1017: Imperial Skothar Expedition Reaches Beitung.

Location: City of Beitung, Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: The joint Minrothaddan-Thyatian expedition intending to sail to Skothar reaches Beitung. The ships dock in the harbour to re-provision, while the crews are given shore leave. Teng Lin-Dieu holds a banquet at which the expedition's officers and the most prominent members of the Ochalean court attend. Several Ochaleans are taken aboard the ships for the remainder of the journey, as well as some of the exotic products of Ochalea. Before continuing on, the expedition members are paraded through the city while crowds of Ochaleans look on. (See Va. 25; Fl. 16, Ya. 5.)

What This Means: This is a normal event on the itinerary of the expedition to Skothar. But it is also meant as a means of showing the imperial banner in the exarchate to further cement its renewed ties to Thyatis. The Ochaleans brought aboard with the expedition are to help sell the cargoes that were added.

What the PCs Can Do: The DM can invent whatever encounters are desired, but an encounter with seafaring orcs or sea monsters on the early leg of the journey might keep the characters on their toes.

Flaurmont 3, AC 1017: Another Piece of the Puzzle.

Location: Southern Baronía de Gargoña. SC

Description: Realising that Don Esteban can easily cut his army's line of supply, Don Maximiliano immediately breaks off his assault on Narvaezan positions around Ciudad Real and force marches his troops back to Ciudad Tejillas to put down the insurrection. (See Th. 4, Fl. 2; Fl. 16, Ya. 2.)

What This Means: This is a godsend for Narvaez. Barón Hugo's forces were being hard-pressed by the Almarróñan and Saragóner forces but now with the Almarróñan army gone, Narvaezan forces can be concentrated on the numerically inferior forces of Saragón who are currently occupying west Gargoña. So, this is bad news for Saragón.

Flaurmont 4, AC 1017: The Fox Strikes Again.

Location: City of Corisa, Milenian Empire. HW

Description: At the estate of Dionios, a voice is heard screaming for help. As the guard is summoned and enter the estate to investigate, they find the interior ravaged. Following the cries of help, they find the estate's slaves bound and mostly gagged in a closet. The voice crying for help is a slave that had managed to remove her gag. The guard frees the slaves from their bonds and begins questioning them. A messenger is sent to inform Dionios that his estate has been burgled and suggesting he return home to see if anything is missing. However, since he is in Tyrnus, it will take several days for him to be informed and to return.

Since Dionios is away, the investigators press the slaves to look through the estate to see if they spot any items missing. According to the slaves, the only items missing are a few jewelled trinkets and a strongbox believed to contain gold and jewels. The slaves do remark that Dionios and Sephone may have taken some of these missing items to Tyrnus. One thing that they are sure was still in the estate was a locked chest that Sephone kept in the basement. That chest is still present, however its lock has been forced and its contents are gone. None of the slaves know what was in the chest.

Outside the back of the building the guard finds the body of a man, dressed in a dark thief's costume, who apparently fell to his death from the rooftop when making his getaway. He has a bag containing many items from the estate-jewellery and other valuables, and what looks like a diary and some papers. When the investigators read them, they are astonished. The papers seem to implicate many of the empire's highest officials and some of their wives in a vast conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and put General Tythus on the throne. The papers don't implicate Tythus himself, but seem to involve others scheming on his behalf without his knowledge, including senators such as Tythus. The papers indicate a plot to frame the Cult of Matera (an order some members of the conspiracy seem to belong to) in order to cause an internal scandal and disorder. The goal of this would then be to implicate the emperor's wife as one of the members of this conspiracy, in order to discredit and humiliate Adronius and force him to resign. Supposedly, according to indications in messages apparently sent to Dionios, the plot is very far along and the emperor himself has come to suspect the Order of Matera of conspiring against the empire due to misinformation carefully fed to him by the conspirators over the years. The guard officers immediately recognise the import of this information, and it is given to high-ranking imperial officials.

It becomes quickly apparent that this robbery has a lot of coincidental details to the Halcion Estate robbery. The slaves report not seeing their attackers or even realising that there were intruders in the estate until it was too late. Investigators do find another key detail: a note left bragging about the deed and signed "The Fox." (See Nu. 3, Th. 16; Kl. 5, Kl. 12.)

What This Means: Once again, an agent working for General Tythus has used the contrived burglar, "The Fox," to further his investigations. With the two at Krameos' estate in Tyrnus, the agent had a free hand in entering the estate and searching it. He grabbed a few items to reinforce the perception of a robbery. He also managed to find and make away with the chest's contents. But the Cult of Matera has not been inactive. Their agents were not unaware of all the snooping into their activities. After the robbery of Halcion's estate on Thaumont 16, they have put in motion a carefully-conceived counter-plot. They figured the investigations would continue, and had learned that Krameos is in charge of the matter. With Dionios and Sephone at Krameos' estate in Tyrnus, the Materans guessed that Krameos would have his agent break into their estate while they were gone. Therefore, they replaced the original documents with other ones, to create the impression of another sort of conspiracy entirely. The agent took those, and then made his escape to the rooftop, where several Materans were waiting. They killed him with a slay living spell (the reverse of raise dead, a recent addition to their repertoire) and then pushed his body off the roof to make it look as if he fell.

The false documents created by the Order of Matera have been very carefully crafted and forged. They have also been careful, through their network of agents, to replace other documents in the abodes of officials implicated in their falsified conspiracy for the imperial investigators to find. Several of the order's members, including Sephone, are sacrificing themselves in order to carry out this deception. The documents they have placed implicate Krameos in falsifying information and evidence over the last several years, thus casting suspicion on what he has presented the emperor, and what will be found in his house. Indeed, a servant in Krameos' estate who happens to be under the beguilement of an order member will plant items discretely to make it look like he's been having the evidence forged.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs may be hired to investigate this new information implicating Krameos and others in a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor.

Flaurmont 4, AC 1017: Shifting Alliances.

Location: Principality of Boldavia, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: An overland caravan, staffed by the servants and entourage of Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany, sets out from the Tower of Igorov. As it passes through the villages and hamlets of rural Boldavia, many among the peasantry flock to try and get a glimpse of the enigmatic prince, who is said to be travelling with the caravan. Though he remains hidden within the depths of his personal coach, his entourage is not as elusive. They freely relate the purpose of their journey-the prince is travelling to the distant Principality of Aalban, there to meet with Prinz Jaggar von Drachenfels to discuss wizardly business. (See Kl. 11.)

What This Means: Morphail feels that Dolores Hillsbury is gaining too much power in the political arena, and is becoming increasingly erratic and unpredictable. As a result, he has chosen to make new diplomatic overtures to check her influence. He needn't actually meet with Jaggar personally, nor journey overland to do it, but by doing so he is making a deliberate show to the other nobles of his changing allegiances. It is a particularly glaring slight to Princess Dolores.

What the PCs Can Do: Dolores might hire the PCs to attack Morphail's diplomatic envoy as it travels overland. Such a mission would be a suicide run, and both Dolores and Morphail are well aware that any such attacks would be fruitless. She would only be doing so to annoy him.

Flaurmont 4, AC 1017: Stonewall Immigrants in Haven.

Location: Near the Town of Warzazath, Kingdom of Haven, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: A number of new settlers are found near the town of Warzazath in Haven. Once the authorities realise that these are from Stonewall, they become very concerned because in the light of Stonewall's preparations for war, they fear that these settlers could be an indication that Haven could be the target of Stonewall's war effort. An officer is dispatched to Dovir to inform Queen Kryndylya of this immediately. Meanwhile the settlers are taken into custody for the time being while the authorities look into the truth of their suspicious behaviour. (See Th. 4, Th. 25; Fl. 9, Fl. 17.)

What This Means: These settlers are little more than refugees who fled the impending famine that seems to threaten Stonewall, and they left the nation before Stonewall even began its preparations for war. Unfortunately the authorities in Haven will see their presence here as a security risk due to their fear of Stonewall's expansion and the dislike that have for the Stonewall people due to their differing philosophies. These fears will grow too, because these settlers are only the first immigrants to arrive from Stonewall, and as more arrive, the fear of an invasion from Stonewall will rise in Haven.

What the PCs Can Do: It is unlikely that the PCs will be with the immigrants, but if they are, they will be under suspicion too. Otherwise they might be hired by the authorities in Warzazath as investigators to find out what the immigrants are really doing in Haven, possibly even go to Stonewall to confirm their stories.

Flaurmont 5, AC 1017: Adventurers Wanted!

Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: A call goes out to all interested adventurers-the republic is looking for people to assist in the clearing of the ruins of Ardelphia. Anyone participating will not have to pay taxes on any loot secured from the ruins.

What This Means: A trade route between the Barony of Celedyl and Ft. Fletcher was recently completed, and Darokin hopes to extend this route from Ft. Fletcher to Corunglain. Ardelphia sits on the proposed road between Ft. Fletcher and Ft. Runnels. As it has long been a haven for goblinoids and bandits, this would pose a danger to merchant traffic along the road. The republic wishes to clean out the bastion of evil once and for all.

What the PCs Can Do: Bash some goblin heads! Clearing the ruins could be an entire campaign in itself. Who knows what might lurk beneath the ruined city of Ardelphia?

Flaurmont 6, AC 1017: Madness Spreads.

Location: City of Kelvin, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: A minor riot ensues in the streets of Kelvin as a group of Thyatians are assaulted by a several Traladaran youths. As one of the Thyatians is a member of the Order of the Griffon, and strongly pro-Oderbry, he draws his weapon and returns the assault with force. The guard breaks up the riot, and all the participants are arrested. The cleric of the order is soon released, however, by Baron Desmond Kelvin (himself a member of the order). There is a public outcry at the perceived bias. (See Th. 2, Th. 14; Ya. 23, Ya. 26.)

What This Means: The growing anger and resentment over the terrorist acts of Oderbry's faction-still operating in hiding-and the "heresies" of the Lost Valley have spread beyond Mirros, and are beginning to reach other regions of the nation.

Flaurmont 7, AC 1017: Mivosians Here to Stay, It Seems.

Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: Much to the disappointment of the Heldannic forces, a large number of the conscripts serving the Mivosians can be seen turning over the soil and carrying out what appear to be tasks associated with sowing fields, safely outside of crossbow range, and under the careful watch of Mivosian soldiers. Seeing the spectacle, Wolfgang Stemmel orders his immediate subordinates to remind the garrison that Polakatsikes is well-stocked with provisions, and can withstand a siege for many months yet. (See Th. 26, Fl. 2; Fl. 21, Ya. 2.)

What This Means: The Mivosians now realise that the siege of Polakatsikes is going to take a lot longer than expected, long enough that they will have to supplement their rations with locally-grown produce if they are to sustain themselves. Since spring is already underway, the Mivosian commander has decided to order the conscripts to plant some fast-growing staple crops in the fields surrounding Polakatsikes. In the meantime, times will be lean for the Mivosians, as their own supplies, supplemented through the pillage of the various city-states on the way to Polakatsikes, are beginning to run low. Fortunately for his forces, hunting has been quite good, so none of them are starving.

Wolfgang is aware that he must do everything he can to keep his soldiers' spirits up, and in the following days he will order his officers to find ways to either ridicule the Mivosians, or show that, despite the siege, the Heldannic Order's might in this region of Davania will not be so easily overcome. He is also very conscious of the need to bolster the spirits of the local populace; if they see no hope in resisting the Mivosians, they might betray the Heldannic forces to their enemies.

What the PCs Can Do: Covert missions against the Mivosians would be encouraged at this time, with a special focus on sabotaging siege equipment.

Flaurmont 7, AC 1017: Darokin Responds to Trade Frictions.

Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: The Darokin Council convenes, discussing the recent trade frictions with Thyatis. Corwyn Linton, Eshram al-Azrad, and Elissa Pennydown vocally protest and demand an official condemnation of Thyatian practices and the seizure of Al-Azrad's properties. Elissa Pennydown in particular makes an impassioned speech about the "well-known honesty of Darokinian merchants and Thyatian greed and envy." Greenleaf Vickers, the corrupt agent of the Master of Hule, remains publicly silent, though he gives quiet support to the anti-Thyatian faction. Finally the council decides to hold off an official condemnation, but the individual houses are allowed to issue unofficial protests (and several, including the three mentioned above, do so). The Thyatian ambassador in Darokin relays Eusebius' reply that Thyatis is not acting unlawfully. (See Th. 9, Th. 19; Fl. 23, Fe. 1.)

What This Means: Linton and Al-Azrad are making noise because their interests have been directly hurt by the recent Thyatian/Minrothaddan activities. Elissa Pennydown trades mostly inside Darokin, and is speaking out for other reasons. She is fanatically loyal to Darokin, to the point of being extremely nationalist and considering other nations as indebted to Darokin for defending the world from Hule. Although she hates the Master of Hule as much as anyone, her nationalism is playing directly into his hand, as it helps him and his agents drive a wedge between Darokin and other nations, primarily Thyatis.

Flaurmont 7, AC 1017: Thyatians in Trikelios.

Location: City of Trikelios, Kingdom of Trikelios, Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: A group of Thyatian merchants from the nearby Barony of Albarocca make their way into the city of Trikelios. It is a rather surprising sight, as the Albaroccans were thought driven off, as they haven't been seen in years. The merchants explain that they had been having troubles with monsters atop the escarpment, but that their problems are now past. They conduct their trade as usual, and a couple of the Thyatians remain in the city after the rest depart. (See Fy. 19.)

What This Means: The "Thyatian merchants" are actually werespider servitors of the arachnid settlements atop the plateau. The araneas did destroy Albarocca's human settlers in 1014. Since then, the araneas have had their werespider underlings replace the humans, and settle into the barony. This is the latest in their scheme to penetrate the growing human societies on the Isle of Dawn. The werespiders who remain in Trikelios will attempt to settle and breed, and expand their influence.

Flaurmont 7, AC 1017: Duel in Floresque.

Location: Town of Floresque, Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: Tirenos the Bold, a pirate-king of Traldar descent, ridicules Captain Morgan for pilfering two "helpless" Traldar merchant ships. Morgan, having been celebrating his take with an excess of rum, takes the insults to heart. King or no king, he boldly challenges Tirenos to a duel. Morgan wishes to fight him right then and there, but his crew is able to restrain him. The duel is set for the next sleep. Tirenos arrives with a full bronze breastplate, and wields a short sword. Morgan dons only leather, and fights with a cutlass. A large crowd gathers to witness the duel, which is to be fought until there is an obvious winner. Tirenos and Morgan exchange blows, with Morgan's deftness and swordsmanship being the equaliser versus Tirenos' heavy armour. The fight is a draw, until Morgan skilfully disarms Tirenos and levels his blade to his throat. Morgan does not strike the final blow, but he is declared the victor. (See Th. 24, Th. 25; Fl. 17, Fe. 6.)

What This Means: Tirenos and Robert Morgan have been rivals for some time, and there is no love lost between them. The red-haired Tirenos is a wealthy pirate-king, and a cleric of Halav. But he is also the leader of a group called the Traldar Heritage Society. This group believes in Traldar superiority, preservation of Traldar customs, and they wish to see Traldar sovereignty extended throughout the Merry Pirate Seas, as it was two millennia in the past. Tirenos was angry with Morgan for targeting Traldar ships. The defeat of Tirenos is a boost to Morgan's status, as well as his already large ego. Tirenos will attempt to exact revenge upon Morgan in some other way.

What the PCs Can Do: Followers of either pirate may become involved in scuffles and brawls or even lesser duels. PCs who are members of either Morgan's crew or the Traldar Heritage Society will become enemies of the other side.

Second Week

Flaurmont 8, AC 1017: Old Rivalries Die Hard.

Location: Town of Poys, Kingdom of Randel, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Inhabitants of Poys, are shocked to see a group of Bettellyn cavalry ride nearly unopposed into the town and ride through its streets. They have slipped through the hills near the Grey Mountains to reach Poys. The rapidly moving horsemen wreak havoc among the garrison troops and the civilians. It is only when the horsemen dismount to try to grab some booty from the various shops, that they meet any real opposition.

As armed civilians join the garrison, the Bettellyn raiders begin to withdraw. With their surprise gone, the Bettellyn riders have to run a gauntlet to leave the town, but cut down several people as they ride by. Their casualties are pretty light considering they had raided one of Randel's interior communities, which had traditionally been considered immune to border raids. They only manage to make off with but a few items, however the shock of the attack and the ill-preparedness of the garrison forces are severe psychological blows to Randel.

This is made worse by the garrison's inability to pursue the raiders; they have too few mounted troops or cavalry. Using magic, news of the raid is sent to the Randel Line forts to prepare them for possible action. Likewise these units lack the mounts to enable the patrols to intercept the fleeing raiders and the raiders easily slip back over the border.

The Randel military requests permission to carry out a raid, in response to the Bettellyn attack. Queen Junna, who would rather use peaceful diplomacy to address the raid and possibly prevent future ones, flatly denies the request. The military is obviously furious at this lack of support against the despised Bettellyn. Any military officers and soldiers who had any respect for Junna have completely lost their faith in her. (See Th. 5; Kl. 21, Fe. 1.)

What the PCs Can Do: Bettellyn PCs may be part of the raid, maybe even organising the daring attack on this interior community. Randel PCs, on the other hand, may help defend the city, possibly reducing the resulting outrage in their kingdom.

Flaurmont 8, AC 1017: Pressure Sales Tactics.

Location: Town of Tyjaret, Northern neck of the Serpent Peninsula. SC

Description: The exploratory flotilla sails into the harbour of the town of Tyjaret, only to find it rife with battle. Nomad raiders breached the small town's defences, and are riding through its streets, wreaking havoc and destruction. The admiral orders imperial marines ashore, hoping to take advantage of the situation. They join the townsfolk in repelling the raiders. After a long day's fighting the streets are cleared and the breaches in the town's walls are sealed over.

The next morning the imperial envoys meet with the town's leaders, and propose a more permanent protective arrangement, beneficial to both sides. They offer a strong trading partnership, and say that Thyatis is willing to improve the overland route between Tyjaret and Kladanovic, constructing a Thyatian-style road to create a portage similar to that at the neck of the Isle of Dawn. They will also help improve the town's defences against attack. In exchange, Tyjaret just has to make what the Thyatians portray as a simple deal, becoming a protectorate of Thyatis and giving imperial merchants priority over other traders.

The Tyjareti are somewhat grateful to the Thyatians for helping them repel the nomad attack. These attacks have increased in size and frequency lately, becoming a danger to the town's existence. But they do not want to lose their independence. However, the Thyatian expedition's members outnumber the town militia, and they know they cannot resist if the Thyatians decide to conquer the town outright. They decide to negotiate and get the best deal they can. (See Th. 17, Fl. 1; Ya. 13, Kl. 8.)

What This Means: Ultimately, the Thyatians agree to allow Tyjaret to continue to govern itself as it has in the past, with a Thyatian envoy to represent imperial political and trading interests and a Thyatian legate to help coordinate the defence of the town. They agree to allow the Thyatians to do road construction, defence improvements, dredging the harbour and building better fortifications, and in exchange give basing rights to imperial ships and trading factors. They also agree to let the Thyatians send colonists, knowing that though this might shift the balance of power in town it will provide more people to help defend it, too. The Tyjareti also keep the ability to conduct trade with other countries, too. In the long run, this deal will benefit the people of Tyjaret as much as it will benefit the Thyatians. With a trail road, and with the area being so dangerous, most traders tended to sail south, to Yavdlom, around the peninsula, and avoid the town. The new development will increase the area's attractiveness to traders, and encourage more to stop here.

Several ships of the flotilla stay behind in Tyjaret, beginning construction on improved defences and port facilities, and surveying the route for the road, while the rest sail onwards. Imperial (Thyatian and Minrothaddan) influence will increase over the following months as imperial traders and Thyatian settlers move into the town.

What the PCs Can Do: Help fight off the nomad attack, then negotiate with the townspeople. PCs might stay behind to help plan the construction of the road and clear the region of raiders.

Flaurmont 9, AC 1017: Prepare for War?

Location: City of Leominster, Bishopric of Leominster, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC

Description: King James, from Theeds, sends a message to the parliament, saying he is willing to conciliate "but, by Pax Bellanica Herself, we are blameless if conciliation is not reached." Meanwhile, the parliament votes to mobilise the Leominster reserves.

The parliament replies to the king, asking that, as a measure of good faith, it can nominate a candidate to command the Tower of Leominster-the kingdom's most infamous jail. (See Fl. 1, Fl. 2; Fl. 24, Ya. 6.)

What This Means: With a clear majority in the parliament, Blythe-Jackson is readying for a clash of arms. He knows that the king will likely not agree to the parliament's request-but the king's refusal to agree will just help rally support for his cause among the moderates.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters known for their diplomatic skills might become involved in the negotiations. Other characters could be tasked with spying on the other side, to ensure that their side has an edge in the coming conflict.

Flaurmont 9, AC 1017: Nobility Titles in Minrothad?

Location: City of Minrothad, Exarchate of Minrothad, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: With the blessing of the emperor, Demetius Vannopolus, the Exarch of Minrothad, grants out titles of nobility to the most prominent guilders and leaders in Minrothad. This is explained as a measure intended to provide the prominent Minrothaddan personages with status within the imperial peerage. At first the guild masters are dubious about the prospect of Thyatian titles. But Demetius points out that, as nobles, each title recipient will be able to appoint imperial senators in accordance with Thyatian law and custom. This is an idea they like.

Oran Meditor is appointed Count of Seahome; Uldard Forster is made Count of Verdun; Kimber Nimblefingers is made Baron of Malfton; Thor Stronghold is made Baron of Stronghold; and Hildric Vendor is made Baron of North Isle. Trader's Island (or Minroth Island as it is increasingly known), Blackrock Island, and Fire Island remain centrally administered. All the new fiefdoms continue to pay taxes as before. (See Va. 16; Sv. 6, Sv, 27.)

What This Means: Promoted as a means to establish precedence within the Thyatian system, this will also tend to enhance natural divisions within the guilds. Gradually, almost imperceptibly, each of the dominion lords and guild masters will find themselves less and less tied to each other and more and more reporting to, and tied to, the exarch and the rest of the Thyatian imperial government. The guilds will continue to fulfil their roles in the local society and economy, thus most people will notice little if any change. But the organisation and functioning of government begins to change.

The internal divisions of Minrothad are further heightened due to the fact that several of the newly-minted nobles dislike some of the others. Now they have more explicit power-bases, and so are less answerable to the Council of Guilders or the ruling guild master.

What the PCs Can Do: This will fan the embers of intrigue within Minrothad, leading to numerous secret plots, any and all of which can involve the PCs.

Flaurmont 9, AC 1017: Haven Prepares Defences.

Location: City of Dovir, Kingdom of Haven, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: In an informal audience Queen Kryndylya is informed of the growing numbers of immigrants from Stonewall in her nation. Her advisers tell her that this could be the first step in a planned invasion, and that they had better do something about it. After discussing the matter for a few hours, Queen Kryndylya orders the forces of Haven to be mobilised to stop a possible invasion by Stonewall forces. (See Th. 25, Fl. 4; Fl. 17, Ya. 1.)

What This Means: Fear and paranoia have taken Haven in a firm grip it seems. There is no invasion coming from Stonewall, but the differences between the two nations are so great that the rulers of Haven will suspect Stonewall of just about anything. Haven will indeed begin to marshal its forces, but their efforts will be quite inefficient and eventually stop once they really do become convinced that they were not the target of Stonewall's war effort, at which time the Haven authorities will also grudgingly release the immigrants from Stonewall. This does indicate, though, that if Haven had indeed been Stonewall's target, they would have been in serious trouble, because their efforts at mobilising their armies leave much to be desired.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs with a sense of justice can protest the harsh treatment of the imprisoned immigrants, but they would risk being imprisoned themselves-they had better not be commoners if they do so, though! If the PCs have been sent to discover what the immigrants are doing in Haven this can be quite amusing as they continue in vain to convince the queen and her advisers that no invasion is coming from Stonewall. Then again, if the PCs are on Stonewall's side, they could be sent to find out what all the trouble is about and discover some very interesting facts about Haven's poor attempts at organising its defence.

Flaurmont 9, AC 1017: Walls of Stone for the Bastion of Vanya's Might.

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

Description: Throughout the newly-occupied buffer zone surrounding Vanya's Rest, land is cleared and surveyed, pending the construction of a number of towers and other fortifications. Some of the Meghaddaran prisoners captured in the recent territorial expansion are put to work clearing away shrubs and trees, and digging the foundations for the new structures. (See Th. 3, Th. 14; Fl. 17, Ya. 12.)

What This Means: Heinz Kronenburg had planned, before the buffer zone had even been dreamt of, to build a series of defensive towers and small fortresses, in order to better protect Vanya's Rest from attack. The annexation of the new territories, however, provides him with an added bonus, in that now there can be no opposition to his plans within the upper echelons of the Heldannic Order (if any could be said to exist at the moment), since the lands secured are more fertile than those already owned, and they will make the dominion stronger.

What the PCs Can Do: Heldannic PCs, or those allied to the order, could survey the areas where fortifications are to be built, as existing monsters will have to be cleared out, and pockets of Meghaddaran resistance might still exist.

Flaurmont 10, AC 1017: A Diplomatic Touch.

Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Agents of the Darokin Diplomatic Corps arrive in Mirros today. They have come at the suggestion of Estella Whitehall, the Darokinian Ambassador to Karameikos. Their intention is to try and help soothe tensions between the churches of Traladara and Karameikos, and, through them, the Karameikan peoples. They make plans to meet with Patriarchs Aleksyev Nikelnevich and Sherlane Halaran, leaders of the respective churches. (See Th. 26; Kl. 15, Fy. 4.)

What This Means: The DDC is becoming a bit more proactive in the face of what is viewed as Thyatian expansionism. They are sending their best diplomats to see if they can help to soothe the ruffled feathers of the Thyatian and Traladaran populace of Karameikos. Theirs is a difficult task, but every little bit helps.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are agents of the DDC, they've got their work cut out for them. They may have to get involved in the hunt for Oderbry and his faction, if they really want to solve the problem.

Flaurmont 11, AC 1017: Douzbakjian Fights Back.

Location: Kingdom of Douzbakjian, Midlands. WB

Description: In the face of the invasion by Zuyevo, the leaders of Douzbakjian have rallied around a new ruler, Kiligi Alp Arslan, putting their forces at his disposal to fight off the invasion and prevent the region from being conquered. Bands of Douzbakjian warriors skirmish with Zuyevan troops, but are forced to fall back as Zuyevo's army is too strong for them. The defenders of Douzbakjian burn the grasslands in their wake, leaving little forage for Zuyevo's army, however, and slowing their advance. (See Th. 1; Ya. 1, Fe. 6.)

What This Means: The army of Zuyevo is just too strong for Douzbakjian to defeat at this time. The new ruler of Douzbakjian is still beginning to restore his forces. In the meantime, raiders and skirmishers have instructions to slow the Zuyevan advance and wear down their army.

Kiligi Alp Arslan is the Bey of Zarkend, a sizeable town in southwestern Douzbakjian. He distinguished himself in fighting against Sendaryan nomads and incursions from Hule and Douzbakjian's neighbours, and already had the fealty of several other beys. When Zuyevo invaded, the other beys rallied behind him, trusting his military ability.

Flaurmont 11, AC 1017: Adoption Fever.

Location: Throughout Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Civil service officials and do-gooders begin promoting adoption of orphans to various Thyatian families. This actually results in a surge in adoptions, alleviating the burden of many overcrowded orphanages throughout Thyatis. (See Am. 24.)

What This Means: Almost every major Thyatian city has had an orphanage for some time, run by various orders (such as the one in Thyatis City operated by the Order of the Grey Lady) and funded partly by private donations, funds provided by the various orders themselves, and subsidies made by the empire, all supervised by an official known as the orphanotrophus (orphan-feeder in a dialect of old Thyatian, showing just how old this practice is). This is part of the empire's public charity apparatus, similar to the daily bread dole. But the casualties of the Great War, followed by the Thothian mummy rot, caused a large increase in the number of orphans throughout the empire, overburdening the orphanages. Simultaneously, however, many families lost children to these same factors. The orphanages hope to relieve the situation, giving those victimised by the loss of parents or children a new chance at happiness, but also saving the fiscal treasury some money.

One of the secret and less noble uses the orphanages are put to is that the imperial government sometimes uses them as a recruiting pool. They select some of the older children who seem to show potential and aptitude and recruit them into the imperial intelligence services as agents, where they are trained as spies and covert operatives. Though selected children aren't conscripted against their will, officials hold such an influence over the impressionable children that it is usually easy to convince them to volunteer. None of the children put up for adoption fall into this category (they are, for the most part, too young), but the practice is noteworthy none the less.

What the PCs Can Do: Some of these things might be dubious and involve con-jobs of various kinds, which could cause the injured party to hire the PCs to investigate. Also, time in an imperial orphanage might serve as a background for characters at the player's discretion.

Flaurmont 11, AC 1017: The Golden Khan.

Location: Camp of Bargha, Ethengar Khanates. OW

Description: After many months of searching, the wizard Akmad ibn Yussef has finally located the body of Moglai Khan. All of the wizard's divinations and investigations seem to indicate that the body is being stored in the Great School of Magic, in Glantri City, for unknown reasons. Akmad immediately sets out for Bortak territory, to find Moglai's eldest daughter, Bakai. (See Ya. 14, Ya. 20.)

What This Means: After Moglai's death during the war with Glantri in AC 1015, his body was abandoned during the Ethengar retreat. It was presumed destroyed, but Bakai needed to know for certain. She came to see Akmad, one of Moglai's advisers and oldest friends, and asked if he could attempt to locate it. Presumably, some enterprising Glantrian wizard kept the body, in hopes of doing research on it.

Flaurmont 11, AC 1017: Senatorial Reforms Passed.

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

Description: Last month Domitius Aenobarbus, among the most brilliant senators of gens Zendrolian (the emperor's faction), proposed several institutional reforms in the imperial senate, and the nomination of dominion rulers. The most important of these is a provision that requires the approval of the emperor and senate before a dominion's successor, following the death or other replacement of a current ruler, can ascend to the position. The recent troubles in Tel Akbir are used as an argument on behalf of this provision. Thanks to the effort of the aristocratic faction, Domitius must change it slightly in order to pass it, however-it will apply to mainland Thyatian dominions, not overseas colonies. However, another loophole exists: the emperor does not need senatorial ratification of rulers he appoints as per the descriptions of the nobility in the Player's Guide to Thyatis. He can still appoint those of his own accord. And the senate can still appoint new barons itself, as well. The central government thus increases its sway in the heartlands of Thyatis, and the distinction between those areas and the colonial extents is enhanced.

The proposal is finally voted on the 2nd of Flaurmont. However, another heated debate begins regarding a reform of the senate, proposed again by Domitius. The major modification in the voting system is that the city of Thyatis will elect 40 senators alone, when last year Eusebius proposed it have 28. The debate is long and it seems like every senator has something to say about it. Thyatis City is more favourable than ever to the emperor at this point, and it will likely mean more senators supporting Eusebius when, as some begin to suspect, he will call new elections very soon. But refusing to pass the reform will surely cause disturbances, because it would seem a move against the capital's citizens, as Domitius presents the bill as a proper consideration of the city's population, which is much greater than that of all other dominions of the empire.

After a long and exhausting debate, on the 11th of Flaurmont the senators agree to vote the approval of 28 senators in Thyatis City, but not 40.

Also, the proposal to give Thyatian citizenship to the wererats is tabled for the time being, as the senate seems deadlocked or even against the proposal, and Eusebius' supporters want to avoid it being voted down while they lack the votes to pass it. (See Va. 21, Th. 23; Fl. 12, Fl. 27.)

What This Means: Domitius Aenobarbus has reached his goal. He proposed much more than he wanted, as this would result in the achievement of his true objective. Although most clever senators of other factions know this, they cannot do anything or fall again under the consequences explained above. However, several non-Zendrolian senators vote for the proposal whole-heartedly, as they think that the city of Thyatis deserves to be better represented in the senate.

Flaurmont 11, AC 1017: "It's Alive...?"

Location: Marquisate of Satolas, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: While engrossed in studies of the Radiance, Don Fernando de Casanegra, Marqués de Satolas, feels a strange presence he has never sensed before. There is a vague sense of identity, almost a beckoning, as if someone or something were trying to communicate. Intrigued, he probes further, but the presence slips away from him. He muses over the encounter, and determines to find out more. (See Nu. 2; Ei. 5.)

What This Means: Ever since his first experience with a series of dreams following the last conclave of the Brotherhood of the Radiance, de Casanegra has been trying to pinpoint the source of their disturbance. His suspicions that the Radiance itself is somehow involved seem to be true with this recent turn of events. All of the brotherhood has noted a change in the Radiance itself ever since the war with Alphatia, and Don Fernando wonders if it may be achieving sentience. Either that, or perhaps the presence he senses is their long-lost leader Rad, missing since the aforementioned war.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are members of the Brotherhood of the Radiance, they too may experience a brush with this presence, and set out to do their own investigations. If not, it is unlikely they will know of this event.

Flaurmont 12, AC 1017: Senatorial Elections Announced.

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

Description: A deputation from the Big City of the Wererats gains audience with the emperor. They claim that they were promised Thyatian citizenship in exchange for their help in recovering the crown during the war. Since then, they have waited patiently, but have heard nothing, and fear they have been forgotten. Eusebius also brings this matter before the imperial senate, where this controversial measure is hotly debated. Many abhor the idea of giving Thyatian citizenship to "infected creatures" and "monsters who live in sewage." Others feel having the affiliation and loyalty of the wererats would be beneficial to The City and the empire, but they seem to be in the minority. The issue is tabled, and a deputation from the wererats is invited to speak before the senate in one month's time, after which a vote on the matter will be held.

Then Eusebius announces that in six week's time a senatorial election will be held throughout the empire. Eusebius' announcement does not surprise many senators, because it will allow the changes made under the reforms to be put into effect. The votes will actually be cast on Soladain, Yarthmont 28. (See Th. 23, Fl. 11; Fl. 27, Ya. 27.)

What This Means: It will be difficult for the wererats to receive their promised reward. If they do not, they will likely strike back at those who spurn them as best they can. Eusebius knows this, and wants little trouble from them. He also is aware of how useful their help was in defeating the rebels, and that bringing them into the empire would bring many benefits. They disgust him, personally, but this is business of state. Other Thyatians react more viscerally. While Eusebius is very popular right now, following his recent successes, this proposal is not popular.

It is the very wave of popularity Eusebius is experiencing now that prods him to call a senatorial election at this time. The imperial senate is composed of members selected by a variety of means. Some hold their position due to the prominence of their aristocratic families, others are appointed by various dominion rulers, and still others are elected by the citizens of Thyatis. This was also the reason Leana Scaurus had proposed to give the dominions to relatives of the previous rebel rulers, during the long senate debate of Vatermont 23 to yesterday. She knows that, by calling an election now, Eusebius hopes to gain secure control over the imperial senate for many years to come. Most likely, the senators that will be appointed by those he places in control of various dominions later this year will be favourable to him. And, by calling an election now, he knows that the people will likely vote for senators who support Eusebius. Well-oiled political machines grind into action throughout the empire. People are promised jobs, sinecures, and other benefits in exchange for their support.

What the PCs Can Do: Player characters can run for office themselves. But they can also be hired as political consultants and operatives by other candidates. Thyatian politicians are as sneaky and conniving as any in the world. Dirty tricks will abound in this campaign. The characters will be asked to help protect their candidates from smear campaigns... and to find (or plant) evidence that will cast a bad light on their opponents' reputations.

Flaurmont 13, AC 1017: The Calm-Broken!

Location: City of Hapta, Empire of Nithia. HW

Description: After over a month without any gruesome murders, another series of insidious happenings strikes Hapta. Over a three-day period, three young people-two Nithians and a Tanagoro-disappear from one of the poorer sections of the town. Despite considerable efforts on the part of their families and the city guard, there is no trace of the missing persons. As word spreads of the disappearances, some residents of Hapta begin to wonder if the unnamed murderer might still be active. (See Va. 2, Va. 18; Fl. 23, Fl. 24.)

Flaurmont 13, AC 1017: Neapolis Founded.

Location: Barony of Neapolis, Colony of Davania Inferior, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: The new settlement of Neapolis is founded on the eastern shore of the River Torion, in Davania Inferior, where its waters flow into the Sea of Dread. The village's founder, and ruler, is Demetrios Chianossos, a former mercenary who swore fealty to Thyatis following the Crown War. (See Fe. 8.)

What This Means: As a means of rewarding those who served the empire well during the trying times of the Crown War, Emperor Eusebius has agreed that small dominions would be made available to those commanders who wished them. Demetrios is such a man; originally a Kastelian mercenary captain, he and his archers performed well during the defence of Thyatis City, and he eagerly accepted the chance to carve out a dominion of his own. As with other fledgling rulers, he has three years to survey and develop his lands (a grant of 250 square miles), after which his dominion must contribute 1,000 lucins annually to the imperial treasury-otherwise he must forfeit his lands and title.

What the PCs Can Do: Demetrios, having only his new wife and retainers as company, will need help surveying the land (primary light forest, with rocky beaches), and demarcating his borders. He will also need help clearing out any humanoids or hostile Leopard Clan Hinterlanders who might be present, as well as procuring supplies.

Flaurmont 13, AC 1017: Arrival at the Islands.

Location: Thanegioth Archipelago, Sea of Dread. OW

Description: The ships under the command of Adonai Stephanos drop anchor at one of the westernmost islands of the Thanegioth Archipelago, after a happily uneventful voyage. Not wishing to lose any time, Adonai sends scouting parties ashore to assess the land, and locate any immediate dangers. (See Th. 7, Th. 25; Fl. 26, Fe. 3.)

What This Means: If Adonai wants his venture to be successful, he must ensure that nothing exists on this island which could cause harm to his potential operations here, or the people whom he is employing.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs accompanied Adonai on this journey, then presumably they are here to aid in the surveying efforts, as well as in any attempts to eliminate any hostile plant of animal life.

Flaurmont 13, AC 1017: Mass Murder in the Hills.

Location: Trevanion Hills, Duchy of Retebius, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: A bandon of Thyatian troops patrolling the hills north of the Trevanion River find a terrifying scene: nearly 50 men, plus one woman and two children, are dead, horribly slaughtered. Mostly of them are soldiers of the personal guard of Callastian Jowdynites, but the woman is his daughter Eirene, and her children are the grandchildren of Callastian. Callastian's body is not found.

The first inclination will be to blame the massacre on druids and naturalists. (See Fl. 2; Fl. 17, Fl. 24.)

What This Means: This is actually not a part of the struggle between the nature lovers and the settlers, though it will inflame matters on both sides in that dispute. But further investigation of the bodies will lead to the conclusion that they were killed by something far more sinister. This is actually continued spill over of Thanatos' influence in Thyatis.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters could get tangled in the flow of these events in all sorts of ways, but the usual method will be as imperial investigators tasked with uncovering what occurred and bringing the killers to justice. Due to the social and political prominence of many of the victims, this will be a high-profile case, the progress of which will be supervised by the emperor's closest advisers.

DMs can add more danger to this event by creating a monster encounter appropriate for the PCs level-the bodies of those slain could suddenly animate (by hidden act of the fiend). Or several lesser fiends could pop in via teleportation. These could be of almost any variety, gated earlier by the pit fiend for the purpose of causing further fear and confusion among the Thyatians.

Flaurmont 13, AC 1017: Grunalfs Settle.

Location: Kingdom of Nordalfheim, Final Range. NW

Description: After a long trek along the coasts of Norwold, the Grunalf elves arrive in the Kingdom of Nordalfheim (in the former Barony of Ironwood), where they are immediately received by King Blackblade. The elf lord listens to their tragic tale and allows them to settle inside his territory for an indefinite period of time. He provides them with new homes and some food, then leaves them, promising he will think about the elven situation in lower Norwold. The Alfheimers, content enough to be rejoined with their elven brethren and to finally have found a safe haven, do not press the ruler any more on this topic. (See Nu. 1, Th. 1.)

What This Means: King Blackblade is more than happy to welcome new settlers in his new kingdom, especially fellow dislodged kinsmen like the Grunalfs. After the deaths caused by the Red Fog during the last months of AC 1016, his dominion needed some fresh blood to replenish the population, and this is just what he was looking for. Lord Blackblade is sincerely interested in the welfare of the elves of lower Norwold (Wendar and Denagoth), but he realises he has no political power and no military strength to use in this venture, especially since his kingdom lies far away from the troubled areas. For this reason he will simply report on the state of affairs in Wendar to King Ericall and to the other clanmasters of Nordalfheim, but he knows this won't bring anything significant to the elves' cause.

Flaurmont 13, AC 1017: Synn Dreams of Canolbarth.

Location: Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The night dragon Synn receives a disturbing dream about a dark forest of blighted oak trees, teeming with twisted monsters and baleful magic. Upon consulting her nagpa adviser, Crwaarg, Synn learns that her vision was of the Canolbarth Forest, home of the shadow elves of Aengmor. From her own shadowelf minions, Synn also learns the significance of this date: it is the first day of the month of Crystals on the shadowelf calendar. Synn promptly sends her shadowelf spies, led by Crwaarg, on a survey mission to Aengmor. (See Ya. 16, Kl. 2.)

What This Mean: Synn realises the precarious state of her persona as Princess Dolores Hillsbury in Glantri, what with the return of her alleged father, Volospin Aendyr, the alliance of her political enemies, and the recent attempt on her life. Synn also fears that this is a sign of disfavour of the lords of the Sphere of Entropy, and has been seeking some sign or guidance from Them for quite some time. This nightmare is just what she has been waiting for.

It was the Immortal Atzanteotl, corrupter of the shadow elves and once the corrupter of Synn into the Entropic creature that she is, who had pointed her to Canolbarth Forest. Atzanteotl plans to use Synn for creating havoc in Aengmor, and is not particularly concerned with her own troubles in Glantri.

This is the beginning of the plot of the arcade game D&D: Shadow Over Mystara sequel to the D&D: Tower of Doom game, which took place in AC 1015. The rest of the plot will unfold throughout the rest of the almanac.

Flaurmont 14, AC 1017: No News Is Not Good News.

Location: Town of Lothar, Continent of Iciria. HW

Description: Uart-neter Semsu convenes a general meeting of all the outpost's inhabitants today, concerning the absence of any news from Nithia. Many of the Nithian soldiers posted here have begun to grow homesick, wanting to see their families once more, while the outpost commanders are becoming uneasy over to total collapse of communications-which was infrequent at best in the first place, and was ended once the civil war began.

Some of the Antalians residing here speak up, saying that perhaps the lack of any word means that the Nithian Empire has fallen, and that the people of Lothar should strike out on their own in order to survive. The tiny contingent of Heldannic Knights voice their agreement. Relying on the solidarity of his fellow Nithians, Uart-neter Semsu overrules their suggestion, and orders his commanders to make plans to send scouts back to Nithia to determine what is going on. (See Va. 2, Th. 10; Fl. 21, Ya. 4.)

What This Means: Although the Antalians cooperated with the Nithians out of necessity and convenience, the lack of any contact with the Nithian Empire for such a long time has made many begin to wonder whether or not their allegiance to their hosts is still of benefit. Some of the resident Heldannic Knights, particularly Friedrich von Dreiburg (the senior knight), have noticed this, and have already begun persuading some of the more impressionable Antalians that everyone's interests might better be solved through independence from Nithia.

Flaurmont 14, AC 1017: Hospice Opens in Seagirt.

Location: City of Seagirt, Exarchate of the Pearl Islands, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: A large guest hospice opens in Seagirt, not far from the imperial naval base at the Awa Uhi Kea (Harbour of Pearls). Built mainly as a recreation facility for Thyatian soldiers and their families while on leave, it is a large complex built on one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in Seagirt. In addition to guest rooms it has a tavern, several meeting and banquet halls, indoor and outdoor pools, exercise facilities, and even chambers to practice with weapons. There's an outdoor banquet area as well. (See Fl. 16.)

What This Means: Thyatian military personnel have had a rough time of it over the last decade. This is a measure to improve their morale. About a week later, another hospice opens up just down the beach. The new hospice is built to accommodate merchants and wealthy travellers. Vacationers will eventually begin to make the trip here, via mundane or magical means.

These measures will help develop the Pearl Islands' economy, but will also prove controversial among some of the native citizens of the Pearl Islands. However, for now at least these things are limited to the region of Seagirt itself, so the impact on the rest of the islands is not significant to affect how most Pearl Islanders live.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters can work as security in the hospices, conduct clandestine meetings here, or simply vacation... until their enemies track them down and spoil their recreation.

Flaurmont 14, AC 1017: Forts Besieged.

Location: Bastion of Nicodemus and Vigil Keep, Eastern Province of Verdan, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK

Description: The two other forts on the Jennite border, the central Bastion of Nicodemus and the far southern Vigil Keep, are also besieged by the united armies of rebel Jennites and free Jennites. There is no real battle, though, because the Jennites just surround the forts and wait to starve the Alphatians, while the Alphatians barricade themselves inside the forts. As the Alphatian soldiers discover just how overwhelming the opposition is, they begin to plan their retreat. (See Va. 11, Th. 26; Ya. 17, Ya. 21.)

What This Means: The Alphatian defenders are still largely unaware that no reinforcements will come from the north. The scouts they've sent north to warn the other forts or Faraway will all be intercepted and killed by the Jennites, who have already cut the forts off from the capital. It is also a sad truth that without the strict orders by harsh rulers like Xanthus or Nicodemus, most of the Alphatians are not particularly willing to fight. A few try organise some resistance, but their superiors countermand their orders, saying that they must hold out until reinforcements arrive or until they begin their evacuation-they cannot waste lives and equipment on futile attempts to resist!

What the PCs Can Do: PCs with the Alphatians should certainly try to find a way out of this, or they might not survive the siege! However, they will discover that they won't receive much help from their reluctant allies. Jennite PCs can try to aid the siege and perhaps help bring the forts down in a short time. Either way, the forts are essentially doomed-they won't be able to withstand the Jennite siege for long without reinforcements or new food or supplies, not to mention the failing morale of the Alphatians, who dislike the new laws of equality they are fighting for, and still don't think an Alphatian life should be sacrificed for all the Jennites' lives.

Third Week

Flaurmont 15, AC 1017: Conversion.

Location: Forest of Lothenar, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: Christopher Dove and his escort are surprised by an ambush while travelling in the Malor Swamp. The party is attacked by a single fierce warrior with flowing blond hair, dark complexion and steely grey eyes wearing a chain mail and wielding a two-handed sword in a single hand. The most incredible feature is that the stranger is riding a huge gold dragon, who assists his rider in the fight. The blond warrior immediately picks off the armoured warlord, while the dragon is left taking care of the remaining six soldiers, who cower in front of the mighty beast's blows and try to escape his wrath. Surprisingly, nobody pays attention to Christopher Dove, who hides well beneath a mangrove's thick roots, half-immersed in the swamp's waters. The blue-armoured warlord is unable to resist the blond warrior's assaults, but when victory seems at hand for the attackers, he suddenly unleashes a fiery breath upon his enemy. The blond warrior, however, seems unimpressed by the dragon knight's power, and goes on charging, while his draconic ally has already finished off the puny soldiers and sits nearby waiting for the end of the duel. The blue-armoured dragon knight finally collapses in front of the blond warrior, admitting his defeat, but instead of killing him, the warrior touches his enemy's forehead with the palm of his hand, radiating a strange golden aura on the dragon knight. Some moments after, he leaves the knight, still frozen in place, and approaches his dragon ally.

Before flying away, however, he yells down towards Dove's hideout: "You are now free to leave this accursed land, mortal! However, if you still want to discover the darkest secret of Denagoth, you are to look for the Nameless Tower in the eastern forest. Whatever your decision will be, this brave knight will accompany you to your destiny!" Still amazed by the events, Dove stares at the dragon knight, who merely gazes back at him with a soft smile on his lips. Dove emerges from his hideout and approaches the knight, who gently knees and astounds him by saying: "My name is Khel. I am to protect you at the cost of my own life. This is my new duty, as Henadin instructed me. Now, master, where shall I guide you?" Dove's lips part, and two simple words reach the knight's ears: Nameless Tower. (See Th. 17, Th. 28; Fl. 20, Ya. 12.)

What This Means: The legendary Denagothian hero, Henadin, appeared out of thin air to engage the Dragon Knight in a mighty duel and free Dove from his captors. The blond warrior was indeed Henadin, since he is now a Titan in the service of Diamond, the Sun Dragon. He has been instructed by the draconic Immortal to free Dove and to reveal to him where he might find the answers to many questions pertaining the true nature of Denagoth's lord. Diamond hoped the archaeologist's curiosity would have pushed him along the path to the Nameless Tower, and it guessed right. Henadin also purified the Dragon Knight's tainted soul, turning him into a good being serving Diamond, to make sure Dove could reach the hidden tower more easily and bypass its guardians. What lies within the walls of this mysterious building none but the Immortals know.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are with Christopher Dove, or if the party has taken his place in the campaign, they might want to enter the fray. Then, it is up to them to decide if they want to follow the lead given them by Henadin; if they refuse Dove proceeds with only the dragon knight as an escort anyway.

Flaurmont 15, AC 1017: More Evidence... Maybe.

Location: Tanagoro Plains. HW

Description: A runner wearing the badge of the Kitma Tribe arrives in Shazula's camp. The runner informs Shazula that his people have discovered the presence of a foreign female war party within Kimta' lands. His people have been engaging them sporadically since their discovery. So close to Shazeke lands, the Kimta's Chief Xalmak has sent a runner to inform Shazula that there might be others in the area.

Suddenly reminded of Izala's prophecy, Shazula is shocked that perhaps the old crone did have some insight on future events. He orders a war party to be sent to intercept the female warriors. He places his cousin, Dazuza in command. He tells his cousin to take prisoners, especially if one is seen with dark coloured skin. He also tells him to try to find out as much about the female warriors as he can. (See Nu. 22; Ya. 9, Ya. 10.)

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may be sent by Shazula in lieu of his cousin, or as assistants to him, to capture the female warriors.

Flaurmont 15, AC 1017: Imperial Davania Expedition Reaches Raven Scarp.

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

Description: After a relatively uneventful voyage from the city of Thyatis, and a couple of weeks' rest in Beitung, the Thyatian expedition to Davania reaches the city of Raven Scarp, both to pick up additional supplies, drop off messages and other sundry, and to consult with the locals in order to determine the best routes to pursue their mission.

While in the city, the expedition members hear of the ongoing conflict in Thratia against the Hinterlanders led by Siobhan, and resolve not to venture too deeply into the interior while they are here. In the meantime, Thyatian and Minrothaddan merchants make arrangements with the port authorities to acquire land for the construction of new warehouses. The expedition also picks up a Thyatian scholar, by the name of Marcus Cassius Aurestius, who will share his knowledge of this region of Davania to aid them in their expedition. (See Va. 25; Fy. 18, Am. 9.)

What This Means: Of the three imperial expeditions launched in Vatermont of this year, the group voyaging to Davania had the easiest task until now, in that the immediate destination (the Hinterlands) was already well-known and under Thyatian control. Due to the instability of the region at the moment, however, the remainder of the voyage will be undefined. The expedition's leader, Julius Ambrosius, will decide to stay in the Hinterlands' territorial waters for the next few months, until (he hopes) the situation calms down.

Once arrangements for the new warehouses have been made, Julius will have his expedition sail to Fiorenza and Cittanova, both to perform minor errands, and to acclimatise his crew with sailing in the occasionally treacherous coastal waters of Davania.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs could be part of the expedition, or could try to join it once it reaches Raven Scarp.

Flaurmont 15, AC 1017: No Help in Sight.

Location: Olgarian Levtja, the Converted Lands, Hulean Empire. WB

Description: The Olgarian rebels wait in vain for supplies and weapons from Zuyevo, which were expected to arrive today. When the aid fails to arrive, the Olgarians are left wondering what happened. Did Zuyevo decide to abandon them to their fate or has Hule somehow prevented the Zuyevan aid from arriving? (See Nu. 23, Va. 10; Fy. 16, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: The aid to Olgar was indeed sent from Zuyevo. However, it never arrived. Minister of State Vasily Stolbov and other corrupt officials have sold it and pocketed the profit. The Zuyevan Tsar is informed by his officials that the aid reached Olgar as planned, and so suspects nothing. Also, the rebels are having a hard time because it turns out that the vast majority of Olgarians are loyal to Hule, as a result of Hosadus' successful subordination and conversion efforts. Thus, they have a hard time sustaining the revolt and gaining recruits, and begin to get dispirited.

What the PCs Can Do: Olgarian PCs can attempt to investigate the disappearance, perhaps discovering clues to the Zuyevan corruption and Hulean intrigue.

Flaurmont 16, AC 1017: Esteban Under Siege.

Location: Town of Ciudad Tejillas, Estado de Almarrón. SC

Description: After a minor victory over Don Esteban's force last week, Barón Maximiliano has pushed his opponent back into Ciudad Tejillas. With Don Esteban in control of the city, Barón Maximiliano settles in for a siege. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 3; Ya. 2, Ya. 14.)

What This Means: The longer Don Esteban holds Barón Maximiliano outside the gates of Ciudad Tejillas, the better his chance of success in toppling him. The shadowy messenger who visits Don Esteban periodically from his mysterious benefactor has told him that help will soon arrive to relieve the siege and place Don Esteban back in his rightful place on the throne of Almarrón.

Flaurmont 16, AC 1017: Imperial Skothar Expedition Enjoys Seagirt.

Location: City of Seagirt, Exarchate of the Pearl Islands, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: The joint imperial expedition to Skothar sails into the Harbour of Pearls, and the expedition members are given some rest and relaxation time. They become the first major group of guests to stay at the newly-opened resort. Once again the fleet's commander and officers meet with the Exarch, Nurokidu Nuar, and his chief advisers. Several cargoes of the exotic products of the Pearl Islands are taken aboard ship, as well as some Nuari members of the expedition. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 14; Ya. 5, Kl. 27.)

What This Means: This is a normal event on the itinerary of the expedition to Skothar, very similar to the one that occurred in Beitung. Tours and feasts are arranged for the members of the expedition, who enjoy themselves as this is the last friendly port of call before sailing east. After a week in port, the expedition continues on.

What the PCs Can Do: The characters might have a run in with practitioners of strange island magic while exploring the islands.

Flaurmont 17, AC 1017: Meghaddaran Clans Gather.

Location: Near the Torala-dûn, Meghaddaran Territories, Aryptian Savannah. DV

Description: In a large valley, lying north of Vanya's Rest, several Meghaddaran clans gather at what they refer to as the torala-dûn (meeting stone), and there the clan chiefs discuss the latest attacks conducted by the Heldannic Knights, as well as the plight of those Meghaddaran clansmen captured during that period. They feel that their own warriors are too few to stand long against a prolonged Heldannic invasion, and they also lack the magical prowess demonstrated by their enemy's clerics. Some of the oldest chiefs recall a time, as told by their grandfathers, of great eagles flying low over the savannah, from which many knights could emerge, but which could themselves spit great balls of energy which inflicted great harm upon all whom they touched. Thinking upon this, many chiefs begin to despair, thinking that there may come a time when all of the Aryptian Savannah will be ruled by the Heldannic plough.

Then one elderly chief, by the name of Tarodad, recounts a tale of the warrior skills of the great cat-men of the northwest, of whom he had heard during his travels many years ago. He suggests that some runners be sent thence, to petition these cat-men, if they indeed exist, to aid the Meghaddara in their drive to preserve their independence. (See Th. 14, Fl. 9; Ya. 12, Kl. 20.)

What This Means: The Meghaddara are split into numerous clans, varying in size and strength, and spread over a large portion of the Aryptian Savannah. As such, they are not overly unified; before the Heldannic invasion [AC 935. Ed.], small-scale warfare was common amongst the clans. Now, some clans are becoming aware of the need for greater cooperation-hence this meeting. Most Meghaddaran clans have legends of the cat-men (rakasta), who had already been established on the savannah when the humans first arrived here. They were portrayed in these legends as being very powerful and honourable. Owing to the desperate circumstances in which the local Meghaddaran tribes now find themselves, even ancient legends are beginning to offer hope.

What the PCs Can Do: Meghaddaran PCs could be part of the scouting party, in which case any number of wilderness encounters (friendly and hostile) are possible.

Flaurmont 17, AC 1017: Heldun Forces Mustering.

Location: City of Dunadale, Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: Outside the city of Dunadale, a host of soldiers has been growing slowly over the past few weeks. Today, Queen Asteriela visits the assembled men and women, and urges them to train hard and not to lose their resolve. She also tells all present that she is requesting permission from the Thyatian and Naycese governments to temporarily increase the allowable troop counts for Heldun, in order to deal with the invaders more effectively. Though some soldiers take heart by her appearance, others appear indifferent. (See Th. 20, Fl. 2; Fl. 21, Fl. 27.)

What This Means: Since the Heldannic invasion in late 1016, Heldun has been is disarray. Not only was the military reduced in size commensurate with the treaty that created this nation; the successful conquest of Helskir took everyone completely by surprise. Morale sank even further when local units were routed at the Battle of Two-Forks Ridge, and when news reached the populace of the losses of Sjofjord and Dawnhaven. Despite these setbacks, Asteriela has remained true to her adopted nation, and continued with the necessary reorganisation of her armies. The fact that allowable troop numbers will soon be reached, and that permission will be required in order to exceed those limits, does not help matters, though.

What the PCs Can Do: Those in the service of Asteriela could find themselves dispatched to Thyatis City or Ionace in order to obtain an audience with either of those governments, for the purpose of gaining permission to increase troop counts. Otherwise, player characters could find their services in demand for training the growing Heldunian army.

Flaurmont 17, AC 1017: Raid on Tenpocatliotl.

Location: City of Tenpocatliotl, Azcan Empire. HW

Description: Redbeard Kray sails the Butchery through the reefs of the Gulf of Aztlan to conduct a raid on Azcan lands. Kray probes the city's defences, then lands about a march away. The pirates strike a small mining camp and raze it. They suffer some casualties at the hands of the hardened Azcan warriors, but the payoff is worth it; they make off with a prize of newly-mined Azcan gold and head back out to sea before more Azcans arrive. (See Th. 25, Fl. 7; Fe. 6, Fy. 15.)

What This Means: This is a good target for the pirates to hit, as the Azcans here are more concerned with the Schattenalfen, and gold is plentiful. Redbeard has led another lucrative raid, which will earn his crew's respect and gratitude, and will add to his growing reputation throughout the seas.

Flaurmont 17, AC 1017: Gold Mines "Opened."

Location: Bylot Hills. WB

Description: The Zuyevan Tsar receives word that new mines have been opened in Bylot Hills and will soon begin production. (See Nu. 1, Va. 13.)

What This Means: The tsar has been misinformed, there are no Zuyevan gold mines in Bylot Hills yet. Although the tsar has ordered them opened, the resources sent to do so were appropriated by corrupt officials. However Minister of State Vasily Stolbov assures the tsar that everything is proceeding well.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs could somehow discover that there are no gold mines, and try to report it to the Zuyevan government. They will have a hard time doing it since many government officials are corrupt and actually reaching the tsar may be nearly impossible.

Flaurmont 17, AC 1017: Stonewall Informs Limn.

Location: City of Trollhattan, Kingdom of Limn, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Rogart, a historian and adviser, and Amagast, a cleric of Razud, have been sent to Limn to discuss Stonewall's invasion plans with King Drushiye and Queen Mellora. Amagast may be the aristocrat, but Rogart is clearly the more experienced of the two, as he does most of the talking. They explain Stonewall's intentions to invade Arkan and request that their forces may travel through Limn on their way to Arkan. An agreement is eventually reached and Rogart and Amagast go back to Draco to inform King Koblan. (See Fl. 4, Fl. 9; Ya. 1, Ya. 9.)

What This Means: Stonewall will need to pass through several nations to get to Arkan-Limn is just the first one, and as they need their forces ready for battle, they cannot afford to make additional enemies along the way, and they have compensated Limn for allowing them passage. Limn itself would rather let Stonewall go on with their invasion, as being in the way could just mean that Stonewall decided to attack Limn instead, and Limn does not want such a large army right on their border. In fact, Rogart was quite skilled at hinting between the lines that if they did not grant their forces passage, then the situation could become so desperate due to the lack of food, that the leaders of Stonewall might not be able to control them. While King Drushiye and Queen Mellora do not appreciate that kind of veiled threat, they can scarcely afford to call Rogart's bluff on the matter. Then again, Limn also is also densely populated in a small area (though nowhere nearly as much as Stonewall), so they could face a food-shortage problem themselves; Rogart knew this and has promised them a portion of the livestock Stonewall will claim during its conquest, which helped in reaching an agreement.

Flaurmont 17, AC 1017: Possession Is Nine Tenths of the Law.

Location: Trevanion Hills, Duchy of Retebius, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: A dark robed figure enters slowly, with a halting pace, a dark cavern on the mountains of eastern Buhrohur.

He wears a short grey beard and has an exceedingly cold look in the eyes. No trembling is in his hands, although his face shows an old age and in front of him stands a skeletal figure dressed in purple and white tunics and with a golden sceptre in its hand. The old man says: "I gave you what you wanted. Now give ME what I want." The figure suddenly transforms, as if its body were being ripped apart from the inside. When the transformation is done, a large, terrible fiend (a pit fiend) stands in place of the robed figure. The skeletal figure cackles loudly, joined in hearty laughter by the fiend. The skeletal figure fades away, leaving the fiend alone in the cave... to plot. (See Fl. 13; Fl. 24, Kl. 24.)

What This Means: The dark, robed figure was what was left of Callastian Jowdynites. This once noble and decent man was possessed by the dark spirit of a pit fiend during the height of the Crown War, in secret by the initiative of a follower of Thanatos. When the last battle was lost, the fiend took firm control over Callastian's actions. He then led Callastian's family and retainers into the hills north of the Trevanion, and eventually slaughtered them.

The skeletal figure is a powerful and wizard and priest of Thanatos-an ancient Nithian lich. This lich has been a key tool in Thanatos' plans for many centuries-from the fall of Nithia through His influence over the Hattians. The lich's lair is actually in the bowels of Hattias, deep under the city of Hattias. The fiend has been tasked by the lich and Thanatos to cause havoc in Thyatis. Actually, though, this was a ruse on the part of Thanatos-meant to cause further upheaval in Thyatis, but aiming at an ultimate conclusion of convincing the Thyatians that the cause of strange events surrounding Hattias (to whit, Thanatos' activities through the ages) is at an end.

The pit fiend is actually trapped as well-he is not the most willing servitor (especially since the lich is Neutral Evil and neither he nor Thanatos are a part of the pit fiend's hierarchy). He will do what he can within the limits of his orders to undermine and betray the lich. Thanatos is counting on that, actually, as part of his own scheme. The lich has been useful for a long time-but all things come to an end. That is the way of Entropy.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs will be unable to interfere with this event, but powerful characters, especially those involved in the investigations of the death of Jowdynites' family and retainers and the duke's disappearance, will likely be drawn into later events. Suitably and expanded with additional adventures and materiel, the events of this thread would be suitable for the first part of the Trial for those seeking Immortality on the Path of the Epic Hero.

Flaurmont 18, AC 1017: Activity in Menkara.

Location: City of Menkara, Empire of Nithia. HW

Description: The regular hubbub of the bustling traffic passing through Menkara is disturbed by the presence of many workmen, busily blocking off sections of the main street near the port. Within the cordoned-off area, flagstones are uprooted as what is obviously a construction project begins. (See Th. 20; Fy. 4.)

Flaurmont 19, AC 1017: Panic Across the Plains.

Location: Across the northeastern Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: In the wake of the Mivosian campaign against the Heldannic Knights, word has spread of the deeds of the soldiers of that city-state, how they systematically drive forth or enslave those who will not submit to their authority, and how they are conscripting locals into their armies, and forcing them to fight for their new overlords. With each telling, the tales become more embellished, until the Mivosians acquire almost hellish aspects, and seemingly become veritable demons.

Coupled with this general feeling of fear is the presence of refugees from those city-states, villages, and towns that fell to the Mivosians, who relate their tales of woe to anyone who will listen, and urge them to flee this region of the plains, and seek a new home where they will not have to live in the shadow of the Mivosians, the Heldannic Knights, or their wars. Some listeners take these words to heart, and pack what belongings they can carry and head to what, they hope, will be greener pastures. Hundreds have already done so, hearing of the relative safety and stability of the city-states of the western Meghala Kimata Plains, and even of the empire that is rumoured to exist to the north.

What This Means: No one wants to live in, or near, a war zone, and the people of the Milenian city-states are no exception. Having survived for centuries by relying on themselves, they are no strangers to war, but the campaign being waged by the Mivosians, which is also forging an empire, is something unprecedented. This, coupled with the rumoured powers of the Heldannic Knights, and the historical distrust among the city-states, has created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. People are no longer certain that their homes will still be standing tomorrow, or that their towns or city-states will remain free. For those whose homes were destroyed, or fell to the Mivosians, there is nothing keeping them here anymore. The events set into motion over the past few months are about to unleash a demographic shift unknown in the region since the fall of the Milenian Empire.

Flaurmont 19, AC 1017: A Strange Patron.

Location: City of Shraek, Kingdom of Blackheart, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: At one of the city's taverns, the normal retinue of patrons are joined by a solitary individual dressed in black pants, blouse, hooded cloak, and boots, which is hardly abnormal attire here. Across his chest is a brace of three daggers. The individual spends a few hours working the room; buying drinks, partaking in games of skill, and initiating light conversation.

Initially his presence is welcomed by both tavern patron and tavern employee alike. However, as the magist Talmaron and his entourage enter and take a seat at a table, his demeanour changes drastically. Spotting them from across the room, he strides towards their table and unleashes a volley of spell fire into their midst. As the tavern goers scramble for cover, the black-clad individual stands over the stunned and hurt figure of Talmaron and casts a final spell, which leaves behind but a pile of dust.

In a final act, the darkly-clad individual kicks the dust pile with his foot, dispersing it across the tavern floor. He then turns and strides towards the door. His egress is challenged by one of the party's members, Kasista, but a quick and sternly-worded comment freezes the individual in her tracks. With that the figure continues his way out into the street and closes the door behind him.

With the figure gone, the tavern patrons scurry from their havens. Several want to pursue the attacker but are stopped by Kasista. When pressed, she merely cryptically responds that their prey is a hunter and such a hunter is best left alone. She then mutters something about the "the Tagoro have exacted their revenge." At hearing this any thoughts of pursuit are forgotten.

What This Means: This incident is a simple retaliatory assassination. Talmaron, Kasista, and their entourage are adventurers. Months prior they had entered the tower estate of the magist, Calmad, a known member of the Tagoro Sect. Initially, the Tagoro were going to slay the entire party. However, their raid also showed a number of flaws in the stronghold's defences, so the sect decided just to target their leader Talmaron. In particular, they wanted no harm to come to Kasista as she is related to certain sect members and is being contemplated for recruitment into the sect.

To execute their retaliatory strike, they decided to send a party led by Klandis, the older brother of Kasista. He would be tasked with making the kill while the rest of his team acted as lookouts and assisted in his flight from the scene. Klandis and his team had tracked Talmaron's party for months, seeking to find an opportune time to strike. When they learned that they were going back to Blackheart they decided to strike at them there.

In Shraek, Klandis' team had little trouble observing their targets' habitual activities. They decided to strike at the tavern as it offered a relaxed setting, but a setting where the execution could be seen by many. The strike went off as planned. Klandis entered before their targets and ingratiated himself in with the locals. Talmaron's party eventually arrived and the assassin struck. As hoped, few rose to defend Talmaron. Even Kasista backed off after recognising her brother as the attacker and having heard his comment: "Back away sister... the Tagoro are willing to let Talmaron's blood pay for your party's folly."

For Kasista, the combination of sibling and the Tagoro is more than enough to back off. Likewise, the show of force and reference to the Tagoro keeps pursuers from following. This was wise, as Klandis had the rest of his team out on the street, strategically placed to handle any tavern patrons that chose to give chase.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs affiliated with Talmaron may be caught up in the assassination. Or the PCs may be in the tavern during it. PCs may even find themselves hired by friends or family of Talmaron to avenge his loss, thus possibly finding themselves discovering the Tagoro Sect and even coming into conflict with them.

Flaurmont 20, AC 1017: Baronesa Isabel Gets a Visit.

Location: Town of Ciudadela de León, Baronía de Torreón. SC

Description: Baronesa Isabel "La Terrible" of Torreón gets a strange visit in the night. She is awakened by a black garbed man sneaking in through her window at night-no mean feat, as la baronesa has many enemies and sleeps in a very well defended villa. Feigning sleep, she reaches for the dirk under her pillow, but before she can act the man in black has slipped away, leaving behind a note, and a single rose, from which emanates a sweet sounding hum.

Upon opening the letter, she finds it is nothing less than a love letter, addressed to her! And the rose is a magical Gargoñan rose, a rare plant indeed. (See Ya. 12, Ya. 17.)

What This Means: Baronesa Isabel may be getting a bit old now, and have a reputation for being a harsh, cruel leader, but secretly she has always had dreams of finding true love. Unfortunately her nature has put off would-be suitors who are looking for the same thing she is. La baronesa keeps the matter to herself, but her courtiers notice that she is in an uncommonly good mood in the next week.

Flaurmont 20, AC 1017: Stop By at Gereth Minar.

Location: Tower of Gereth Minar, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: Khel the dragon knight arrives at the tower of Gereth Minar with Professor Dove. Here he requests the keep's commander's permission to volunteer another six men to replace his lost soldiers and to continue the tour of Denagoth together with the archaeologist. After checking the documents presented by the knight, the orcish commander grants Khel what he asked for, and after a night's rest at the tower, the group marches forth eastwards. (See Th. 28, Fl. 15; Ya. 12, Ya. 14.)

What This Means: Khel knew the dangers of the northern wastes might give them trouble during the trip to the Nameless Tower, so he used a bit of cunning. He marched into Gereth Minar, presented his orders to its commander, and tricked him into lending to the knight and Dove some of his men to guard the duo's trek towards the hidden tower. He only hopes the commander won't inform the high priestess of the direction they have taken, since they were not supposed to go further than Gereth Minar.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are with Khel they might be powerful enough that this risk can be avoided. Khel may want to increase the size of the party anyway, leading the (maybe already suspicious) PCs to either accept or oppose his actions.

Flaurmont 21, AC 1017: More Defences for Helskir.

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

Description: Ordensgeneral Anna von Hendriks announces another initiative to bolster defences around Helskir to her advisers. In addition to the outer wall that is even now slowly being constructed, she proposes that a series of wooden motte-and-bailey fortresses be constructed at a distance of 500 to one thousand feet from it. After a few moments of discussion, her advisers appear to agree with the idea, and plans are immediately put into motion to assign knights and prisoners to building crews. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 17; Ya. 4, Ya. 10.)

What This Means: Motte-and-bailey fortresses are relatively inexpensive, and easy to build compared to stone fortifications. They are also economical in that no materials need to be manufactured in Helskir to supplement the effort; all the necessary materials exist in the wilderness. It is believed that a ring of such fortresses could provide early warning to the defenders of Helskir in the event of a Heldunian counteroffensive, and slow down any advance as forces are diverted to besiege and occupy each one.

Flaurmont 21, 1017, AC: A Messenger Dispatched.

Location: Town of Lothar, Continent of Iciria. HW

Description: Uart-neter Semsu oversees the launching of a small vessel, carrying a party of four Nithian soldiers, which will send word to the pharaoh concerning what has happened in Lothar since the last report. As it glides out of sight towards the Sea of Yr, the Lord of Lothar ponders his outpost's isolated position, and how long it will take before colonists will begin to arrive in force. That evening, a secret meeting takes place... (See Th. 10, Fl. 14; Ya. 4, Fe. 16.)

What This Means: Lothar is relatively magic-poor by Nithian standards; there are no pyramids to supply the low-level spells which many Nithians come to expect in their homes, and there are no flying barges. Although the soldiers garrisoned here have accomplished much, they are still too few to make much headway against the wilderness. That, and Lothar's isolated position, makes Uart-neter Semsu well aware of his people's vulnerable position.

What the PCs Can Do: Trustworthy Nithian PCs may be assigned this task, in which case they will be in for a grand trek across the continent...

Flaurmont 21, AC 1017: Mivosian Siege Still Ineffective.

Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: Once again, a Heldannic warbird lands in Polakatsikes, but not without taking a few pot-shots at the Mivosians. This time, however, the besiegers are aware of the dangers, and manage to get out of harm's way with minimal casualties, though another catapult is destroyed by the vessel's blight belcher. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 7; Ya. 2, Ya. 26.)

What This Means: Wolfgang Stemmel has received another 100 soldiers to bolster his garrison, as well as more essential supplies. The fact that the Heldannic Knights are able to receive such aid, albeit sporadically, is something of a blow to the confidence of the Mivosians, who until now were quite convinced that, eventually, their enemies would be forced to surrender.

The Mivosian commander has long ago ruled out a direct assault on the town; the walls are far too thick and well-defended to make the expense (in terms of men) worthwhile, and the clerical abilities of the knights themselves must be considered. Instead, he will decide to continue the siege, and resort to other, more indirect, means to achieve victory.

Fourth Week

Flaurmont 23, AC 1017: The Murderer Unmasked?

Location: City of Hapta, Empire of Nithia. HW

Description: While on patrol during the sleep, a patrol of city guardsmen is accosted by a pale, frantic man. Babbling almost incoherently, he identifies himself as Amun, one of the three people who had disappeared over ten days previously. Speaking extremely quickly, he tells them that he was abducted by a tall, gaunt man, who was able to paralyse him with a glance. He was taken to an abandoned house in the poorest district of Hapta, where, along with two other victims, he was drained of much of his blood over several days. The other two victims had died, but Amun's opportunity for freedom came when his captor left the building-presumably to find more victims.

Intrigued by Amun's story, the guardsmen usher him to the nearest city guard building for further questioning. (See Va. 18, Fl. 13; Fl. 24, Fl. 26.)

What This Means: The mysterious killer has changed his tactics: instead of attacking people in the open, he is abducting them for his own fiendish purposes. Thanks to Amun's successful escape, the authorities now know where the killer is hiding.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are helping the Haptans solve this mystery, and put an end to the killer's reign of terror, they may be the ones to venture to the house in question.

Flaurmont 23, AC 1017: Darokin Spies a Rival.

Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: The Merchants Guild of Darokin experiences a particularly strong commotion today as many prominent merchants express their concern about the Thyatian trade expedition to the west. Adding fuel to the fire is a visit by Elissa Pennydown, who is by now known and popular among the merchant class as a strong supporter of Darokin's prosperity. She gives a speech about Thyatian opportunists who are attempting to muscle in on western trade while Darokin is fighting to save the known world from the forces of darkness. After she finishes speaking, she is met with wild applause. (See Th. 19, Fl. 7; Fe. 1, Fe. 10.)

What This Means: This is part of the continued efforts on Hule's part to undermine relations between Darokin and Thyatis. Hulean agents are quietly stirring up anti-Thyatian sentiments among the merchants of Darokin. They don't have to try hard-recent Thyatian activities don't leave a good impression on Darokin, and vocal Darokinian extremists certainly affect the Thyatian view of Darokin's policies.

Flaurmont 24, AC 1017: Raid!

Location: City of Hapta, Empire of Nithia. HW

Description: Acting on the information provided by Amun the previous sleep, a squad of city guardsmen storm the house said to be occupied by the killer. Inside, they find a scene of utter horror: four corpses sprawled on the ground, apparently drained of blood, with gaping tears in their necks! Before they can assess the situation fully, one of the men is enveloped by a sickly green mist, which then coalesces into the now-familiar form of the killer. With lightning-fast reflexes, he twists the guardsman's neck at an odd angle, killing him instantly.

The man's death spurs the others into action, as they swing their blades at the killer. Though they draw blood, the injuries they inflict do not seem to hinder the killer in any way, as he grabs another man and bites him savagely in the neck. What was initially a hopeful quick strike turns into a rout, as the city guards are forced to flee in terror, having lost two men. (See Fl. 13, Fl. 23; Fl. 26, Ya. 15.)

What This Means: The Nithians have never faced a creature who seems not to suffer from sword thrusts, or who can assume gaseous form and attack without warning. The authorities will soon ask their clerics to commune with the Immortals to determine the nature of their foe, and how to defeat him. In the meantime, panic is sure to spread amongst the inhabitants of Hapta if word of the killer's powers spreads, and becomes embellished with each telling.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs who are from the surface world may have their suspicions as to the nature of the killer, though they will not be able to verify them without seeing their foe first.

Flaurmont 24, AC 1017: Helter-Skelter.

Location: Trevanion Hills, Duchy of Retebius, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Travellers come across the homestead of some settlers in the hills just west of the Mesonian River. The inhabitants, a family of farmers and their farmhands and servants, have all been horribly slain, their bodies torn apart. Disturbing words are scrawled on the walls of the house in the blood of the victims. The travellers flee the area in horror, and report the crime to the imperial authorities. Soon the team tasked with investigating the strange murders in the region is brought into the investigation of this crime. Once again the initial blame falls upon the naturalists and druids.

However, when the investigating team arrives on the scene, they find a heavy iron scroll tube. The previous patrolmen who first arrived on the scene don't remember seeing it before. In the scroll tube is a parchment, with a message written in human blood. The message is addressed to Emperor Eusebius, and a courier is dispatched to the city of Thyatis with it at once. (See Fl. 13, Fl. 17; Kl. 24, Am. 3.)

What This Means: This is part of the pit fiend's reign of terror intended to draw some of the empire's most renowned heroes to their deaths. This is the contents of the message- it instructs the emperor to send his most able champion(s), alone and unarmed, to face him two months from today in a certain location in the hills south of Biazzan. They are to allow themselves to be killed, or the murders will continue. Various divinatory spells used to analyse the scroll determine that the writer is a powerful pit fiend, giving the emperor and his advisers some clue as to what they are up against. Demetrion also warns the emperor that most of the time such creatures come from the outer planes by means of the summoning of another, and that his investigations have revealed this to be the case in this instance. But he has not been able to uncover who or what sent the fiend.

After discussing the problem, the emperor's advisers come to the conclusion that they should send someone as the message suggests-but to try and trap the fiend, and hopefully discover its origins, to track down and eliminate the source of the fiend.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs investigating the matter will be sent to the site and find the scroll. This is also a point where characters that haven't been involved up to this point might be drawn into the events. Note that trapping a powerful fiend that can teleport at will and detect most illusions and disguises will require careful planning. The fiend's message will actually identify by name the imperial champion it expects to have show up, but this is left vague so the DM can insert whoever is appropriate from the campaign.

Note that if the fiend discovers deception in time, or if it is losing a melee, it will use its abilities to escape by teleportation rather than fight to the death. So the PCs will have to be both creative and very deadly to both get the information they need and to eliminate the fiend.

Flaurmont 24, AC 1017: Petition in Kittings.

Location: Town of Glenswych, Bishopric of Kittings, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC

Description: Commoners of Kittings deliver a petition to the Bishop of Kittings, denouncing the king for being out of touch with the people. However, royalist militants appear in Glenswych with their own petition. Things turn ugly remarkably quickly when the royalists tear up the parliamentary petition, and skirmishing begins across Glenswych in a similar fashion to the rioting seen recently in Leominster. Unlike in Leominster, the rioting is not fully quelled, and Glenswych remains a dangerous place for royalist and parliamentarian alike for some time to come. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 9; Ya. 6, Ya. 21.)

What This Means: Opinion is divided across the nation, while the spectre of civil war looms. The tensions are such that families and friends are split over the issue of the king versus the parliament. Similar events on a lesser scale are being played out right across the kingdom, as brother is turned against brother and father against son-if it does flare into full scale war it will likely be the ugliest and most telling war that Bellayne has yet seen.

Flaurmont 26, AC 1017: An Answer from the Immortals.

Location: City of Hapta, Empire of Nithia. HW

Description: After many sessions of intense prayer and meditation, the clerics of Hapta announce to the authorities that the Immortals have provided an answer to their earnest questions. They have identified that killer as a creature known as a "drinker of life," a powerful form of undead which preys upon the living by drinking their blood, and sometimes using its powers to dominate mortal creatures. Incredibly evil, they are said to be creatures of utter darkness, and thus cannot long withstand the life-giving rays of the sun. The clerics were told that holy symbols are powerful wards against such creatures, as is natural light, the sanctified waters of the River Nithia, and wooden stakes.

Quickly, this information is passed on to the city guard, and they arm themselves with pointed sticks, while their patrols are accompanied by clerics bearing holy symbols and blessed vials of water from the River Nithia. (See Fl. 23, Fl. 24; Ya. 15.)

What This Means: The Nithians' Immortals have spoken the truth; Hapta is beset by a vampire. This one found himself in the Hollow World late last year after being banished by a wish uttered by a powerful Glantrian wizard, who said, "I wish to banish you to a place where you will suffer forever under an eternal sun!" Finding himself in a place where the fiery red sun never set, the vampire went insane from the constant agony, and only barely managed to avoid death.

Not long afterward, he had found his way to Hapta, where he found ample supplies of food, and obtained temporary relief from the sun through the application of mud on his exposed skin-though being outside was still excruciatingly painful. Driven mad by the sun, and nearly dead from hunger, the vampire fed in a savage manner, literally tearing his prey apart in a frantic urge to feed. It is only recently, after finding a suitable hiding place where he could feed at leisure, that his sanity has slowly begun to return.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are from the surface world, the PCs could be well-equipped to handle a vampire. If this is the case, they might make short work of the vampire once they locate him. Otherwise, they may have their hands full trying to catch up with him, as he seeks out a new hideout and resumes feeding.

Flaurmont 26, AC 1017: Survey Complete.

Location: Thanegioth Archipelago, Sea of Dread. OW

Description: The surveyors dispatched by Adonai Stephanos to the island's interior return to the campsite on the western beach, where the young politician and his entourage have since encamped themselves while waiting for the group's return. They report that, although there appears to be no intelligent life on the island, or any overly dangerous animals, there are a number of carnivorous plants growing deep within the jungle. One surveyor feel prey to what appeared to be a giant Venus flytrap, and another fell fatally ill, after apparently sampling some recently discovered berries.

The surveyors also report that, although predators seem to be absent (the largest land animal encountered was a giant tortoise on the eastern shores), some species of birds could be considered dangerous, including a tree-dwelling stirge bearing colourful plumage, and a medium-sized, flightless bird bearing a long, sharp beak. The surveyors also report the presence of numerous streams and small rivers in the island's interior, and the richness of the island's plant life indicates rich soils. Furthermore, they note that the interior of the island appears to contain a small escarpment of sorts, above which stands a mountain peak-possibly a dormant volcano, given the igneous nature of the local rock formations.

Satisfied with the report, Adonai orders his retinue to begin clearing the jungle from a small escarpment lying above the beach; it is there where he has decided to erect permanent structures. (See Th. 25, Fl. 13; Fe. 3, Fe. 7.)

What This Means: This island, due in part to its small size, poses little in the way of threats to colonists. The richness of its soils is an added bonus; any colony established here could ultimately become self-sustaining, a critical concern for a city-state such as Kastelios. Still, no one, save for Adonai himself, knows the full extent of his plans for the place.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs who took part in the surveying of the island could very well have run afoul of the carnivorous plants and dangerous birds of the interior, or have contracted malaria or any other type of disease carried by the local mosquitoes. Alternatively, the PCs could have been instrumental in saving the lives of a number of surveyors, for which they will be seen as heroes.

Flaurmont 27, AC 1017: Eusebius' Ascension Celebrated.

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

Description: On the fifth anniversary Eusebius Torion's ascent to the imperial throne, epic games are held in the Colosseum, and a large banquet is held in the imperial court. The emperor issues numerous patents of nobility today, filling out the ranks that were depleted during the War of the Crown rebellion. Eusebius also surprises the assembled nobility by restoring Hattias to its ancient status, elevating it from a county to a duchy. He also elevates Lucinius from the status of a county to that of a duchy, in recognition of the service the fleet has given during the Crown War, but also the Twaelar War. Eusebius also makes some changes to the titles already granted to the loyal Isle of Dawn rulers: Redstone becomes an exarchate rather than a county, Furmenglaive is changed into a wider dominion, becoming the Archonate of Meridia.

The new nobles include: Ettore Ottaviano, Duke of Kantrium; Jamila bint Nadir, Duchess of Tel Akbir; Thyarius Palykratidius, Duke of Hattias; Justin Karameikos, Baron (Davania); Tredorian, Duke of Kerendas; Vivianna Romanones, Lady Knight of the Isle of Dread.

Elevated in status are: Anaxibius and Stefania Torion, Exarchs of Redstone; Phileus and Lyra Furmenglaive, Archons of Meridia; Leilah ben Nadir, Exarch of the Hinterlands; Patrizio Baldassare, Duke of Lucinius.

Numerous others also receive knighthoods and lordships.

Eusebius also announces that Machetos is to be a county rather than a duchy, and that Kendach and West Portage will be combined into one dominion, the Archonate of Hespiria. But he does not appoint rulers of Hespiria or nearby Septentriona yet. He does appoint his eldest son, Prince Coltius, to govern Machetos. He hopes this will give him experience in governing, which will serve Coltius well when he ascends to the imperial throne. Eusebius plans to appoint a permanent ruler for Machetos eventually. Heldun also becomes an exarchate, with Asteriela its exarcha, although a large part of Helskir is still occupied by the Heldannic Knights; the Alphatians still consider Heldun a kingdom with Asteriela its queen.

Though he doesn't have to in most cases, Eusebius makes a show of submitting his choices to the senate for their approval, because he believes they are likely to approve them all without trouble, and thinks taking this step will make him look good. The new nobles all take their oath to serve the empire and uphold its laws, and are quickly confirmed in their new positions by the senate. The only problem manifests during the ratification of the position of Tredorian: the aristocratic faction votes compact against it, even if they know that Tredorian's position will be voted by the rest of the senate. In an impassioned speech, Leana Scaurus, leader of the aristocratic faction, rises against this appointment. She objects to one of the oldest dominions of the empire falling under the authority of a stranger, son of the woman who brought destruction and suffering on Thyatis. She says that instead Kerendas should be in the hands of a rightful Thyatian noble. None the less, the majority of the senate, who knows that Tredorian has become an honourable and loyal Thyatian, votes to approve his nomination. Upon his elevation, Tredorian follows tradition and takes the last name Kerendas, becoming Tredorian Kerendas. Thyarius Palykratidius and Jamila bint Nadir both have their work cut out for them restoring the distinction of their dominions and ending lingering hard feelings. Justin Karameikos received the status of baron, with an area in the Hinterlands to be determined later this year (after the errors in dominion assignment in previous years, the Office of Title and Estate has learned to be a bit more careful, to insure that those handed out are suitable). Though Justin himself is not much interested in governing, he sees this as a way of taking care of those who came with him, ensuring they are properly rewarded by Thyatis for their service and sacrifice. The volunteers who came with him will settle in the region Justin receives (and some will likely receive lordships and estates of their own nearby). Justin will hire capable seneschals and administrators to help with the actual business of rulership.

While in the city of Thyatis, Phileus and Lyra Furmenglaive request time to speak before the senate when the newly-elected members reconvene to begin debate on the bill to extend citizenship to the lycanthropes living under The City. Though the reclusive Furmenglaives invariably appoint someone else as their senatorial representative, this request is granted. (See Va. 21; Ya. 3, Ya. 6.)

What This Means: This is a normal predictable event. Following the losses and demotions of so many nobles during the Crown War, it was necessary to replace them.

The move by Leana Scaurus was a desperate one: she knows that the appointment of Tredorian to govern Kerendas is a stroke at the heart of the aristocracy, and she hopes, by her moving speech, to attract more votes to her party when the elections will come. Other factions of the senate also fear that Eusebius' faction will end up with a crushing majority of seats, but they don't know what to do with it. This feeling is strengthened since they feel it is dangerous to create problems when a civil war has just ended and while the empire is still recovering. Most senators know that it is better for the cause of the imperium that the emperor is strongly on throne, but they hope he will not advantage himself of this situation.

Archonates are a new type of dominion, created exclusively in the overseas colonies. They are in some ways similar to exarchates, but are more directly tied to the imperial government. They are typically created in smaller, developing areas with sparse populations, while the exarchates are larger, more settled and developed.

Leilah ben Nadir is present personally at the ceremony, having returned (again via magical transportation) to Thyatis from the growing conflict in the Hinterlands to brief Eusebius on the situation, discuss war plans, and coordinate the transport of reinforcements.

During the banquet held in celebration for those who have been promoted today, Gabrionus Torion, Eusebius' younger son, becomes somewhat enamoured with the vivacious Vivianna Romanones. Lucianna notices this, and in it sees a possibility to draw him out of his shell. The next day she tells Eusebius about it. He wants Gabrionus to stop being such a mouse, and sees this as the first sign of life in the boy. He asks Vivianna if she will teach Gabrionus the fine art of swordsmanship, and she agrees.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters who served Eusebius capably and loyally during the Crown War or in other ways and are scheduled (by the DM) to receive dominions or titles as a reward can gain them today. If for your campaign one of your characters receives one of the domains handed out to any of the NPCs, simply omit that person's name and replace them with the character from your campaign.