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First Week

Fyrmont 1, AC 1017: New Senate Convenes.

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

Description: The senate convenes with its newly elected members for the first time since the election.

Of the 112 elected senators, there are: 43 Gens Zendrolian (Eusebius' supporters), 11 Gens Aemilia (traditionalist aristocrats), 9 Gens Aurelia (clerical aristocrats), 7 Gens Sergia (moderate aristocrats), 4 Philosophers, 30 Populares, 2 Republicans, 6 Liberales (Free Thinkers). All in all, the Thyatian Senate has currently this composition: Total Senators: 228; Gens Aemilia 39, Gens Zendrolian 66, Gens Aurelia 30, Gens Sergia 24, Philosophers 12, Populares 45, Republicans 3, Liberales 8. (See Ya. 27, Ya. 28.)

Fyrmont 1, AC 1017: Torreón Prepares.

Location: Baronía de Torreón. SC

Description: Baronesa Isabel has been working at preparing Torreón for an extended campaign to take the Terra Vermelha. Many of the preparations are already made with the Torreóner army on schedule for the land grab (and the conflict with Texeiras and Vilaverde that it will inevitably cause) early next year. The baronesa has built herself up a skilled army of native Torreóner soldiers along with an elite force of afflicted with powerful legacies as well as a substantial force of artillery including cannons. All that remains is to train her army up to a high standard over the next six months. In doing so, she hopes to extend Torreón's control not only over Terra Vermelha and its cinnabryl and gold mines, but also over Texeiras and Vilaverde if possible. (See Fe. 20, Fe. 22; Am. 1, Am. 6.)

What This Means: Torreón's lack of involvement in the Narvaezan wars has a reason, and this is it. There is no end in sight for the conflicts that are raging up and down the Savage Baronies. Isabel's plans ensure that this state of affairs will continue well into the next year.

Fyrmont 1, AC 1017: Adonai Returns to Kastelios.

Location: City-State of Kastelios, Serpent Coast. DV

Description: Adonai Stephanos' vessel, the Helena, reaches Kastelios, and docks. Amid some fanfare, Adonai reports the success of the expedition to all present, and then makes his way to the assembly to relate all information concerning Mykonos to his fellow political representatives. (See Fe. 7, Fe. 18; Fy. 9, Fy. 22.)

What This Means: Adonai has made it back to Kastelios, and will share what he has learned with his associates. He hopes to obtain more political (and financial) support for his venture.

Fyrmont 1, AC 1017: Fly Loudly and Carry a Big Catapult.

Location: The Randel Line, Kingdom of Randel, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Having arrived at the Grey Mountains, Dogrel opts to fly over the fortified border that separates Randel and Bettellyn. As they travel down the border, they pass over several groups of troops on the Bettellyn side. At spotting the approaching skyships, the land-bound troops take cover. However, Dogrel does not attack them, instead he passes over them low enough so that the Bettellyn troops can clearly see the imperial colours flying from the skyships' masts. Dogrel then has the fleet cross over into Randel's interior, using a Randel border fortress as a waypoint. He instructs his navigator to set a course for the coastal town of Dmireton. (See Fe. 8, Fe. 14; Am. 7, Ka. 6.)

What This Means: Since being given this assignment, Dogrel has contemplated all manner of angles to use. He has decided to adhere to Eriadna's orders and act as a show of imperial force in Randel. However, the sighting of the Bettellyn troops has caused him to act. As feared, Bettellyn has mobilised troops along the border; however, he has no idea if the Bettellyn forces are positioned to defend or readying to attack. Dogrel hopes that by showing them the imperial forces in Randel, he will be able to make them hesitate.

Originally, Dogrel had planned on travelling straight to Rardish to make an appearance to the queen. However, the sighting of possible invasion troops have given him an opportunity to rethink things. By going to Dmireton he will be able to use that town's skyship facilities to service his own vessels. It will also put his fleet in a position to move should Bettellyn invade. Also, by avoiding the Randel capital, he stays out of the local conflict and does not show any signs of sympathising with the monarch.

Fyrmont 2, AC 1017: A Second Assault.

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

Description: Mivosian forces launch a second assault upon Polakatsikes, this time throwing a large portion of their conscript armies at the main gates while relying on their archers to keep the Heldannic soldiers manning the walls occupied. This strategy seems to work, as before long the gates are battered down with few casualties, and most of those fall to well-placed spells, rather than crossbow-fire. Taking over the attack, the Mivosian heavy infantry storms into the gatehouse, only to be greeted with boiling oil and crossbow bolts fired from murder-holes. Those who survive this counterattack attempt to batter down to inner gates, while catapults and archers still concentrate their fire on the town.

Within an hour, and after suffering considerable casualties, the Mivosians manage to break through the inner gates, and the heavy infantry gears itself up for a rampage through the streets, only to be confronted with an unsettling spectacle. A number of the larger buildings in the town appear to have fortifications built on top them, enough to shield archers and the like from counterattack while they fire upon intruders, as now appears to be the case. The archers of the Southern Legion of Vanya gaze grimly at the intruders, and proceed to fire a volley into their ranks. Those that remain standing witness another unpleasant sight-a phalanx comprising the remainder of the legion, bearing spears and shields, barring any further progress into the town. Some of the Mivosians lose heart, but many maintain their resolve, and advance against the phalanx, raising their shields against the archers.

As the Mivosians continue to take casualties, but nonetheless advance, more enemy soldiers pour into this part of Polakatsikes, most of them conscripts. These men are prodded into action by more Mivosian soldiers behind them, and they fight with desperation, sandwiched between their overlords and their enemies. The situation remains unchanged for many tense moments, until a large column of Mivosian infantry smashes through the Heldannic phalanx, dispersing quickly throughout the town and attacking anyone they see. Seizing the opportunity, more Mivosian soldiers force their way through the breach, but these are blocked by Heldannic infantry, who, dressed in full plate armour and wielding bastard swords, cut deeply into the intruders, and manage to hold the line.

Again the situation looks like it will hold, until a great boulder, no doubt launched by a catapult outside of the town, smashes in the midst of the melee, sending rock fragments flying everywhere. The invaders try to capitalise on the disarray of the defenders, and force their conscripts into action once more, this time pitting them against the remnants of the Heldannic infantry and the legion phalanx, which manage to reform themselves in time to hold back the worst of the assault. Suddenly, a number of the leading conscripts fall to the ground, their eyes blinded with light spells. Following up on this turn of events, a squad of Heldannic battle priests moves into position, casting hold spells at the more heavily-armed Mivosians. Soon, the invaders are pushed back into the gatehouse, where boiling oil and crossbow bolts inflict their deadly toll once more.

Seeing that no headway will be made this day, the Mivosian commander orders a strategic withdrawal. (See Fe. 23, Fe. 26; Fy. 3, Fy. 4.)

What This Means: The second Mivosian assault upon Polakatsikes has proven unsuccessful, though they did manage to force their way into the town. Unlike the previous battles, casualties were quite high for the invaders-almost 180 conscripts died (with another 17 taken captive), and almost 100 Mivosians suffered the same fate. At the same time, the defenders lost about 140 men, though had it not been for the sheer strength of the fortifications, the enhancements on some of the interior buildings (such as the interior battlements) ordered by Governor Wolfgang Stemmel, and the discipline of the Southern Legion of Vanya, many more people would have died. Even so, though the Mivosians have been repulsed once again, a number of them did manage to break through the defences and run rampant.

What the PCs Can Do: Those Mivosians who managed to enter Polakatsikes are still on the loose; the skills of the PCs will certainly come in handy in hunting them down.

Fyrmont 2, AC 1017: Parliament Builds Naval Base.

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

Description: Labourers work around the clock to expand the port facilities offered by the small town of Chansea on the south coast. Artillery is brought down from Leominster and secreted in the cliffs around the town in an effort to better defend the strategic site, while three Vilaverdan-built frigates drop anchor in the harbour flying the parliamentary colours, having been purchased with the new taxes recently raised. All are equipped with a small number of bombards provided by Torreón, via the parliament's Vilaverdan trading partner.

Philip Southwell, in his capacity as parliamentary magist, weaves a number of illusions over the naval works in an effort to conceal them from rudimentary inspection. (See Fe. 11, Fe. 19; Fy. 18,Fy. 27.)

What This Means: As the only coastal site available to the parliament, Chansea will be turned into a naval yard as rapidly as possible by parliament order. Even at the breakneck pace set by the workers it will be some time before the place is finished. Nevertheless, the embryonic parliamentary navy is set to commence operations immediately.

Fyrmont 2, AC 1017: Outer Fortresses Complete.

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

Description: Ordensgeneral Anna von Hendriks' mood improves slightly with the news from one of her messengers that the line of motte and bailey fortresses has been completed. She then takes the time to write up detailed orders, in which she assigns skeleton crews to man each fortress, while the remainder of the expeditionary force is to return to Helskir. (See Fe. 19, Fe. 23; Fy. 9, Fy. 16.)

What This Means: Anna, having reviewed the reports that have made their way to her desk over the past several weeks, has come to the realisation that, unless reinforcements arrive from the Heldannic Territories, her forces will not be able to hold out for very long against a concerted assault by the Thyatian and Heldunian armies. By utilising her defences as much as possible, she hopes to maximise the chance that Helskir, at least, will remain under Heldannic control.

Fyrmont 3, AC 1017: Assassination Attempt

Location: Camp of Rainbow Spring, Kingdom of Frisland, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: At night, a small group of assassins enter the Stonewall camp preparing their river boats, and try to kill General Selcomad while he sleeps. A few adventurers with the army notice and manage to stop them before Selcomad is slain, however. A few of the assassins are killed, but the rest manage to escape. (See Fe. 16, Fe. 22; Fy. 13, Fy. 25.)

What This Means: Stonewall will doubtlessly suspect the assassins to be from Arkan or at least be hired by Arkan's leaders. Since the assassins all died or escaped, there is no way to easily confirm or deny the theory, however, as magical means are best used elsewhere.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can foil the plan if they are with Stonewall, and thus rescue Selcomad. However, the PCs could also be the assassins themselves! If they are the assassins, then they were recently hired somewhere by a mysterious stranger who claimed to be trying to protect Arkan from the Stonewall invasion. This stranger never revealed his name, but appealed to the PCs by drawing a grim picture of all the innocent people in Arkan who would die if the Stonewall army was not stopped. This person also admitted that while assassination was a bad thing, the PCs should also remember that Selcomad and his forces are the aggressors here, and that Arkan has to do things like this to just stay alive. After the assassination attempt, however, the PCs will not be able to make contact with this mysterious stranger again.

Fyrmont 3, AC 1017: Colonists Will Be Sent... Eventually.

Location: City of Tarthis, Nithian Empire. HW

Description: The three soldiers dispatched by Uart-neter Semsu to deliver the status report to the pharaoh are summoned once more to the offices of the pharaoh's bureaucracy, where they are told to relay an official response back to their superior in Lothar. The official tells them that the sealed papyrus scroll states simply that the pharaoh is in favour is dispatching colonists to Lothar at the earliest possible opportunity, and will notify Uart-neter Semsu when arrangements have been made. (See Ya. 4, Fe. 16; Am. 1, Am. 4.)

What This Means: Although the soldiers will likely trust the word of the official, what they do not know is that, as with many nations boasting a considerable bureaucracy, many decisions are made which do not even reach the attention of the pharaoh; instead, they are decided by anonymous officials according to their own, occasionally competing, agendas. This is just one such occurrence-the pharaoh was very busy with his efforts to bolster domestic support and to show that he was in control of Nithia, and many senior officials deemed that Lothar was far too insignificant a matter to bring to his attention, given how distant it was, and how far more pressing concerns existed. As a result, the Lothar matter was decided by a handful of officials who had likely never even heard of the place, and figured that addressing it would not help their careers. The pharaoh will not be happy, if he ever finds out.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were entrusted with the task of conveying the status report to Nithia, they may be a little nonplussed at the response. PCs who know the pharaoh and his interest in Lothar will likely find such a response uncharacteristic, and may be tempted to investigate. They may embroil themselves in the background politicking present within the Nithian bureaucracy, and though they may not uncover the truth, they will likely make enemies if they ask too many questions, or threaten the wrong people.

Fyrmont 3, AC 1017: Disorder in the Ranks.

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

Description: While preparing for what the commander hopes will be a final, decisive assault on Polakatsikes, a cry of alarm is sounded towards the fringes of the Mivosian camp. It soon becomes clear that a number of conscripts have risen in revolt, and are now attacking any nearby Mivosians. Without giving the matter a second thought, the commander orders a couple of infantry platoons to put down the revolt, and kill anyone who stands in their way. Soon, the battle is joined, as the conscripts are forced to fight for their lives.

The Heldannic forces observe the disturbances with interest, and soon deduce what is going on. With their enemy's attention drawn elsewhere, they decide the time is right to send out a raiding party of their own, and send out 25 cavalry, accompanied by the remaining archers of the Southern Legion of Vanya and 80 heavy infantry. With some of the Mivosians' attention drawn elsewhere, the Heldannic soldiers manage to make some headway, cutting a swath through those enemies they encounter, and driving even more away with focused flights of arrows. Some of the revolting conscripts notice the Heldannic counterattack, and their resolve hardens somewhat, allowing them to hold out against a charge by Mivosian heavy infantry.

The tide begins to turn against the Mivosians once a squad of Heldannic battle priests-in fact, the only remaining ones in Polakatsikes-ride to the battlefield, cutting down anyone standing in their way. Once they arrive, they cast a series of flame strike spells, which destroy the enemy heavy infantry who were bearing down on the Heldannic archers. Even when Mivosian archers begin to fire at the clerics, they ignore the danger to themselves and bless all the Heldannic solders close to them, and fear at any nearby enemies. Soon, the fields become littered with corpses, and the fields initially cultivated by the Mivosian army months earlier is put to the torch.

By evening, it becomes clear to the commander that his forces cannot hold their positions for much longer; a partial withdrawal will be necessary. He orders his runners to relay his orders to his officers: the army is to fight defensively, take any portable goods, and retreat to Treminios and Doleria. This the army does in short order, disengaging itself from its battles with the now-former conscripts and the Heldannic forces, and staging a fighting withdrawal until they take up positions along a line of hills roughly half a mile north of Polakatsikes, from which they will head for the villages. Their enemies opt not to pursue them. (See Fe. 26, Fy. 2; Fy. 4, Fy. 10.)

What This Means: The accumulated pressure inherent in a long siege, as well as the obvious use of the conscripts as expendable soldiers, finally pushed a number of them over the edge. They realised that there would be no hope of becoming free again, so long as the Mivosians continued winning; their empire would just expand ever more, and they would continue exploiting their conscripts until every last one of them was dead. This became apparent to them when the Mivosian army finally entered Polakatsikes: their overlords were literally throwing them at the Heldannic forces, sacrificing them in order to tie up more of the defenders. With nothing left to lose, many of the conscripts revolted, though they paid heavily for doing so.

The remaining Heldannic raiders helped them in this, providing a distraction while the conscripts organized a rough plan. Unbeknownst to either side, a handful of these men have managed to evade capture over the past few weeks, and have continued their acts of sabotage, as well as meeting with some of the conscripts to let them know that they were willing to help, since they had a common enemy.

The Heldannic army, for its part, did not wish to risk missing an opportunity to inflict a few more casualties on the enemy, and saw the counterstrike as the last chance to break the siege. With the main gates still damaged, little could have been done to hold back another concerted Mivosian assault. Although the gamble worked, it was a costly one: fewer than five senior battle-priests remain alive, and the dependable Heldannic cavalry is only a shadow of what it once was. The archers of the Southern Legion of Vanya, despite suffering heavy casualties, performed especially admirably, continuing to fire volley after volley of arrows into enemy formations, and the heavy infantry nearly spent itself protecting the archers. As a whole, the Heldannic garrison threw about half of its strength against the Mivosians, keeping the remainder in reserve should the strike fail, and Polakatsikes find itself invaded once more.

The Mivosians did not expect their conscripts to revolt, thinking that they had managed to bring them to heel. Nonetheless, the stresses arising from the sporadic sabotage of the raiders, and the two-front battle which was just fought, has diminished their resolve somewhat. Their withdrawal is an acknowledgment that Polakatsikes was far more difficult to attack than had been anticipated, but their resolve to push the Heldannic Knights out of the region remains; there will be other battles, and they have learned that the foreign knights are not invulnerable by any means. The siege is effectively broken-for now.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are serving with the Heldannic Knights, this counterstrike presents an opportunity to serve gloriously in battle. They will be surrounded by enemies, and face the very real prospect of death, but the DM should play this out as the climax of the long siege. Mivosian PCs may also try to win glory for their growing empire, by trying to eliminate the Heldannic battle-priests, or by holding off the counterattack long enough to allow for an orderly withdrawal.

Fyrmont 3, AC 1017: Clerics Visit Glantri.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Clerics from the Temple of Valerias in Darokin come to Glantri City, bringing healing salves, love potions and charms. Many Glantrians are actually amused by the quaint customs of these Darokinian clerics, and innocently believe that love trinkets and semi-religious icons will be the latest fads among the glitterati of Glantri. The more serious Glantrians are wary of their moves, especially when rumours circulate of the clerics asking audience with Princess Carnelia de Belcadiz. (See Fe. 15; Am. 22, Ka. 26.)

What This Means: The Temple of Valerias is intrigued by the rumours circulating of the manifestation of their Immortal Patroness in this heathen city, and have sent a couple of their brethren to investigate. When word gets out of their presence, and their reasons for being in Glantri, there will be many among the nobility who are less than pleased.

Fyrmont 3, AC 1017: Raids Continue.

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

Description: For the past two weeks, the raids being conducted by the Meghaddara and their "divergan" allies against the construction sites has continued sporadically. Despite the advice provided by his aides, Castellan Heinz Kronenburg is convinced that a large-scale attack from the south or southwest is imminent, and that the divergans are actively aiding the Meghaddara. When news comes of the overpowering and abduction of the Heldannic patrol near the northern frontier, Kronenburg explodes in anger, ordering his subordinates to round up a force of knights to press into Meghaddaran lands, and to "teach those barbarians to fear the might of Vanya." (See Kl. 24, Fe. 18; Fy. 16, Fy. 18.)

What This Means: Kronenburg's actions are simply evidence of long-term isolation, coupled with developing delusions of grandeur. He has ruled Vanya's Rest, undisturbed, for many years, and has not returned to Heldann since his arrival here. Having almost complete control over the lives of the soldiers stationed here, with no one save the leaders of the Heldannic Order to countermand him (and this has not happened yet due to his efficiency), he has come to see himself as the absolute ruler of Vanya's Rest-someone who has no time for disagreement, and whose word is law. Hence, Kronenburg has developed a tendency to ignore the advice of his subordinates, since it is obvious to him that he alone knows how to deal with any crisis facing Vanya's Rest. Furthermore, due to the dominion's isolated location, there is little to relieve the tedium of patrolling and guarding the remains of Vanya, save for the occasional raid-all this despite the prestige of being posted to Vanya's Rest-and almost every person here realises that, if trouble arises, help will not arrive for many weeks. Some people are capable of working well under such conditions for prolonged periods, Kronenburg may not be one of them.

In response to his outburst, Kronenburg's aides calmly respond that soldiers will be dispatched as soon as possible, and that he will be apprised of their progress. In reality, no such force will be sent, and any reports received by the castellan will be falsified, since the advisers know that following such orders, when the full extent of the current threat is not known, and especially when the castellan is not in a rational frame of mind, might be inadvisable.

What the PCs Can Do: Meghaddaran or rakasta PCs can take part in the raids.

Fyrmont 4, AC 1017: New Faith in Thyatis.

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

Description: A Ceremony of Invitation is held in Thyatis, a ritual act that gives to a church or cult the permit to build a temple in mainland Thyatis' territory, and is performed every time an authorisation for a cult who previously did not have a temple in Thyatis is approved. The ritual is formally the adoption of the Immortal(s) or ideal of the cult among those of the Thyatians. This time, the church is the Temple of the Starlit Knowledge, a pantheist philosophy that professes to learn from all the Immortals how each of Them can enlighten one's knowledge of the world. (See Fy. 16, Am. 19)

What This Means: Ceremonies of Invitation are not frequent but neither totally uncommon in Thyatis; however it is about 10 years since the last one was held. Some begin to wonder if this faith has anything to do with the Justiciar Foundation, which has recently come to people's attention. Others suggest it could have some connection with the followers of Gareth, although their faith has not arrived in the empire yet.

Fyrmont 4, AC 1017: A Time of Thanks... and Planning.

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

Description: Governor Wolfgang Stemmel, bearing a number of wounds from yesterday's battle, meets with the leaders of the former conscripts. Both parties thank each other for fighting hard the previous day, and securing a victory against the Mivosians. The discussion is businesslike; both parties present know that their common enemy remains in the area, and at most they have won a respite. The main topic is the scope for cooperation between the two forces: the Heldannic garrison has suffered considerable casualties, with an uncertain prospect of reinforcements, given the lack of news from Vanya's Rest. The former conscripts (who have begun to call themselves the Army of Meghala) number about 250 men, and are not in great shape either. Everyone present agrees, for now, to cooperate against the Mivosians, and the Army of Meghala will shelter in Polakatsikes until a decisive counterattack of some form is launched. (See Fy. 2, Fy. 3; Fy. 10, Fy. 13.)

What This Means: Both forces are following that age-old adage: "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Although it has no love for the Heldannic Knights (who, to many people of the Meghala Kimata Plains, are little better than the Mivosians in terms of their philosophy and tactics), the Army of Meghala realises that, if it wishes to see its members' city-states liberated, it will have to cooperate with these foreigners, whose skill in battle is considerable. Wolfgang sees the Army of Meghala as a rag-tag band of rebels, but he, too, knows that he will have to depend on them-at least until he can obtain more reinforcements. In the coming days, numerous plans will be drawn up concerning how to push back the Mivosian army.

In the meantime, the remaining Heldannic clerics will use their healing magic to assist the critically-injured of both forces, and the damage sustained by Polakatsikes' fortifications will be assessed. Also, the conscripts who were captured during the Mivosian assault on the town will be freed.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs skilled in tactics can help in the planning.

Fyrmont 4, AC 1017: Magistrate Sells Out.

Location: Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: The ruling magistrate of one of the borderland regions east of Selenica signs away his title for a generous sum of money. The republic thanks him for his patriotism, and sends him on his way. His lands are absorbed into the heartland of the republic and placed under the temporary administration of Selenica, until a representative can be voted by the region's citizens. (See Th. 26, Fl. 10; Kl. 15.)

What This Means: The Council of Darokin has decided it needs to gain more direct control over some of its border regions, in case of imperialistic aggression by Thyatis. They will attempt to buy out magistrates rather than simply confiscate the lands or appoint their own magistrates.

What the PCs Can Do: If they have dominions of their own in border regions, they may be put under considerable pressure to sell out to the council. If not, but they still have political ambitions, they can attempt to run for the position of representative.

Fyrmont 4, AC 1017: Nhorg Reaches Gournzee.

Location: Duchy of Gournzee. WB

Description: Former Duke of Vrancea, Nhorg Alexander Dmochowsky, is escorted to the boundaries between the Klagorst Confederacy and the Duchy of Gournzee. There, the Klagorst escort is replaced by a group of varkhan guards, who bring the exiled ex-duke to the capital of the duchy, where he is met as a friend by Warlord Naarn Dvorcic. (See Fe. 14, Fe. 15; Fy. 7, Am. 27.)

Fyrmont 4, AC 1017: A Tribute for All to See.

Location: City of Menkara, Empire of Nithia. HW

Description: After many weeks of work, the object of so many workers' toil is unveiled to assembled dignitaries, plus the Selhomarrian ambassador, by the nomarch of Menkara, Djemun. In a carefully crafted speech, she reviews the tribulations faced by the people of the Delta Kingdom under the rule of Senkha and her sympathisers, and how the rightful rule of Pharaoh Ramose was restored once more. She thanks everyone present for their loyalty to the true ruler of Nithia, and expresses the gratitude of the pharaoh and his family for the efforts of the Selhomarrian armies in their efforts to help free northern Nithia from Senkha's rule.

She concludes her speech with a gesture, and workers uncover the new structure, which is revealed to be an archway leading from the port into the city proper. On one side stands a Nithian warrior, his khopesh sword raised high, and on the other stands a Selhomarrian soldier, his own short sword upraised. The two swords meet midway above the street, thus closing the arch. (See Th. 20, Fl. 18.)

What This Means: This is the way in which the ruler of Menkara is choosing to show her appreciation for the efforts undertaken by the Selhomarrians to liberate the city, which fell to Senkha's forces in 1015, and was occupied for roughly a year. Many residents of the city had no love for the Senkhites' rule, and were happy to see them go; they were even happier when, after conquering Menkara, the Selhomarrians helped them form a provisional government under a clerical coalition, instead of occupying it for a prolonged period. This, plus the aid the soldiers rendered in maintaining order and assisting in repairs to the city walls, made the Nithians see the Selhomarrians in a rather positive light. This archway, whose figures look out to sea, is symbolic of that partnership which developed.

Fyrmont 5, AC 1017: The Tribes Are Joined.

Location: Kitma Tribal Lands, Tanagoro Plains. HW

Description: High General Shazula Shazeke announces that he formally intends to take the woman Miopi as his wife. To solidify the proposal, Shazula personally leads a party of warriors and servants to travel to Kitma lands to present to the Kitma Chief Xalmak his offering of twenty prized aurochs, numerous pelts, and an assortments of crafted goods and weaponry. Xalmak graciously accepts the offering and offers both his approval and best wishes for the couple. (See Ya. 10, Kl. 3.)

What This Means: Shazula has pretty much discounted the prophecy. He feels that if there is any truth to it, it has been completely misinterpreted by the old hag, Izala. He rationalises that the vision actually was a prophecy foretelling his meeting Miopi, the warrior women being the motivation. Though he cannot explain all the details he feels that he has made the wisest choice.

Fyrmont 5, AC 1017: Sultan's Armies Reach Ctesiphon.

Location: Town of Ctesiphon, Emirate of Dythestenia, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: Sultan Hassam al-Kalim leads several thousand Ylari warriors marching to the relief of Ctesiphon. When they get within a few miles of the town, the Thyatian troops hastily withdraw back towards Biazzan, burning their own siege engines rather than taking the time to bring them along. The sultan leads his troops through town quickly, to the cheers of the townsfolk, and orders the Emir of Ctesiphon to have the Thyatian campsite dismantled. The sultan then leads his troops in pursuit of the retreating Thyatian forces. (See Kl. 10, Fe. 9; Fy. 9, Fy. 10.)

What This Means: The Ylari have cleared the Thyatian troops from Dythestenia, but the brigands that came with them scatter into the hills. They will plague the area for some time.

Fyrmont 6, AC 1017: Darokin Does Little.

Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: After over a month, the Darokin Council issues a formal protest against naval attacks against the Five Shires, but votes against actual military aid. Although Elissa Pennydown does her best to persuade the council to send help, she is left in the minority this time. (See Fe. 10, Fe. 11; Fy. 8, Fy. 13.)

What This Means: Though his assistance was probably not necessary in influencing the negotiation-minded Darokin Council, the Master of Hule nevertheless exerts all available influence in the vote. He does not want open warfare between Darokin and Thyatis yet-first he needs to create tensions between the Western Defence League countries. So he has Greenleaf Vickers argue against providing help to Five Shires, with the side effect that Vickers does not appear to be supporting any single faction consistently, thus eliminating suspicions that he might have some kind of ulterior plan. The Master's plot is working-the hin will be extremely disappointed with their fellow league members.

Fyrmont 7, AC 1017: New Ruler for Vrancea.

Location: Duchy of Vrancea, Confederacy of Klagorst. WB

Description: On this day, it is decided by the Klagorst Confederated Assembly in Gask that Lord Jozef Drulovic of Nerkul will become the new Duke of Vrancea. (See Fe. 15, Fy. 4; Am. 27, Sv. 1.)

What This Mean: Lord Jozef is a nobleman from Tcheltar, and he was not 'involved in the recent war. This is the main reason why he has been chosen; the confederacy does not want to upset the Vranceans by choosing a noble who had fought against them in the war. Lord Drulovic has represented Tcheltar more than once in the assembly, and has also served as an ambassador of Klagorst to Brasov, so he is not a puppet, but rather a diplomat and a potential ruler, who is, however, fully loyal to the confederacy.

What the PCs Can Do: If one of the PCs has considerable status in the Klagorst Assembly and is an experienced politician of the region, and has not been involved directly in the war... well, it could be his or her time to become a ruler!

Fyrmont 7, AC 1017: They Convene Again... This Time To Act.

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

Description: In a private back room of a tavern, several Randel military officers meet to discuss the domestic situation. This time Administrator Alphatar, the magist Karatnora, Sister Marigara of the Razud Order in Randel, Brother Swertigon of the Alphatian Order of Stonewall, and several adventurers are on hand. The meeting begins with a brief introduction of the participants.

Brother Swertigon offers that the Order of Alphatia will condone any actions taken against the clerics, citing that they have been told by their Immortal that the majority of the clerics have been corrupted and no longer share the graces of the Immortal Alphatia. Sister Marigara likewise offers the support of the Orders of Razud, both in Randel and in Stonewall in any move against Junna and her clerical advisers. Both clerics cite that their orders will testify to the justification of the actions and limit adverse reactions from the empire's clerical followings. Both cite their preference that as many as possible of the clerics be taken alive to allow a proper investigation of their motives and status in the whole matter. In particular, Brother Swertigon wants Sister Riddlynn arrested and is adamant about leading any assault on the temple.

Alphatar and Karatnora both reluctantly condone any actions taken against the clerics and any moves to remove Junna from power. However, they do press their will that Junna not be harmed, as it is unclear if she is corrupted or is merely guilty of following the advice of her clerical advisers. Karatnora announces that she will assume the reins of power and appoint Alphatar as her chief adviser. Since they have knowledge of the palace, they will assist in the admittance of any forces sent there, particularly in lessening resistance from the palace guards.

Colonel Kattesh informs them that his commander, Army General Brikstrist, is poised to assist the conspirators in any reasonable role. However, the involvement of the military will have to be limited due to recent developments. Kattesh reports that border units at the Randel Line have been monitoring Bettellyn troop build-ups along the border. They suspect that Bettellyn may be using the situation in Randel to mount an assault. As such, Brikstrist has mobilised Randel's limited forces into position to meet any invasion.

Kattesh also makes mention of the sighting of the three imperial skyships and their presence in Randel lands. The colonel reports that Randel agents have discovered that the fleet is commanded by Dogrel and is in Randel to monitor the situation and to offer a visual deterrent to Bettellyn. This news is a boost to the conspirators as some had feared that Eriadna may have sent them to intervene on Junna's behalf. That the vessels failed to respond to magical communiqués only heightened the mystery. (See Kl. 21, Fy. 1; Fy. 8, Am. 14.)

What This Means: The Randel military and people have had all that they can take of Junna's reign. As such, the various sects have come together to plan her overthrow. The approval of the Razud and Alphatia Orders does much to bolster their cause. With Karatnora's offer of assuming the throne, the matter of a replacement is a non-factor. Most see past the facade that she will actually rule, but act as a figurehead for Alphatar. Regardless, the move technically fills the traditional requirements so they do not oppose it.

The matter of Dogrel's skyships has also been troublesome. Few think that Eriadna would take sides in the local troubles or even in any conflicts between kingdoms. Randel agents have managed to uncover some of the details of the expedition and have concluded that the skyships will not hamper their coup. It really does not matter as the coup would have been initiated anyway, the support of the Alphatia and Razud Orders being primary allies in the matter. Their non-participation just makes it a bit easier.

What the PCs Can Do: Obviously the PCs can be the ones tasked with the temple or the palace. If need be they can participate in both. As a two-part adventure designed for a small window of opportunity, the PCs can split their numbers and attend to the objectives simultaneously. If need be, their numbers can be supplemented by NPCs. Care must be taken in regards to the temple and with Junna-irreparable harm to either will sour any appreciation for success. As further insurance for Junna's sake, Alphatar gives the PCs a symbol that they are allied to the family and not simple burglars.

Fyrmont 7, AC 1017: Fire in Trintan.

Location: Village of Trintan, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: A fire breaks out in the southeastern border village of Trintan, spreading quickly through the houses and threatening to engulf the villagers. To make matters worse, bands of humanoids are sighted at the vicinity of the blaze, harassing fleeing villagers and looting the burning houses. News of this disaster reaches the nearby Fort Monteleone, as well as a strange report of a humanoid-driven war machine, which may have started the blaze. (See Fe. 18, Fe. 20; Am. 3, Am. 14.)

What This Means: Though roving humanoids are not uncommon in Trintan due to its proximity to the Broken Lands, these goblins and gnolls are armed and organized. The war machine, made from a wooden cart, the skull of a dragon, chain spears, and a fire-spewing dwarven furnace, did start the fire. By instruction of the new warden of the marches, Prince Malachie du Marais, the authorities of Fort Monteleone are already on the alert for trouble involving humanoids or shadow elves, and will be hardly surprised by such an event.

What the PCs Can Do: The adventure arcade game D&D: Shadow Over Mystara actually begins with this scenario. The PCs will be involved in confronting the humanoids invading Trintan, who started the blaze and operate the war machine (one of the bosses in the arcade game!). The next part of the plot leads the PCs to Fort Monteleone, where they are then referred to Prince Malachie in Glantri City. The warden of the marches sends the PCs on a skyship to Aengmor to investigate the trouble with the shadow elves-and ultimately, to foil Synn's plot!

Fyrmont 7, AC 1017: Not Exactly the Future We Envisioned.

Location: Village of Latveii, Province of Septentriona, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: The robots reach the Isle of Dawn, and find themselves flying near a small settlement apparently inhabited by backwards rustics. They consider buzzing the hamlet, but decide to take a leisurely stroll through it first before picking some suitable mayhem to unleash. When they arrive, they get mistaken for a group of knights-errant, their automatic translators giving them facility with the locals' crude speech. They decide to play along for now with what appears to them to be some sort of live-action drama about early Blackmoorian history.

They make acquaintances with a small group of itinerants who seem to be playing the parts of heroes, and who say they are intent on exploring a nearby ruin, slaying the creatures they find within, and taking whatever treasure they might find. Though they find the robots aloof and taciturn, the party nevertheless entreats the "knights-errant" to join them on this escapade. The group leaves town, headed up the Doloma River towards the ruins of Fjellstue.

The following morning a local family is found dead in their domus, each apparently killed by precise burns that passed completely through them. The family is known for its team of horses, which seem to be missing. (See Fe. 7, Fe. 20; Fy. 11.)

What This Means: The robots are psychotic, dangerous, and unpredictable-classic Chaotic Evil types. They killed the family that night in order to take the horses, so they could "better play their parts." Eventually they plan on killing the party, taking the treasure for themselves, and switching roles to play the part of black knights and evil warlords, a role they think they'll be good at.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are in town, they might be the party the robots latch on to. Even if they don't end up inviting them, the robots will feel it is their role to involve themselves in the activities of the characters, and will follow them.

Second Week

Fyrmont 8, AC 1017: Junna Deposed.

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

Description: While the majority of the capital sleeps, adventurers enter the Temple of Alphatia and the royal palace, going about their business of removing the despised elements. Junna is beaten and subdued, and Karatnora placed upon the throne. Without their spells, the clerics fall apart at the attack of the conspirators. Unfortunately, Sister Riddlyn is slain by Brother Swertigon in the temple. However, many of the clerics surrender after her death. The main threats come from the doppelgangers, which use their innate abilities to wreak havoc among the attackers.

With the palace and temple secured, the conspirators are told by one of the captured clerics that Brother Paxxel is missing. Curious, they press the cleric for more information. The cleric points them towards the chambers that lay beneath the temple, saying that the brother and several of his fellows used them for their quarters. The conspirators make haste for the chambers but find that Brother Paxxel and his allies have disappeared from there by means of a freshly excavated tunnel that links in with the city's sewer system. They do find their quarters, which are morbidly placed in an empty crypt. Also found are several freshly drained corpses. When asked about these corpses, the clerics respond that those were part of Paxxel's bizarre practices; they themselves show signs where they have been fed upon.

Outside Randel troops move into position to quell any possible problems. The troops stationed at the Randel Line, the Randel Wall and in Alpira go on full alert in case their neighbours decide to take advantage of any chaos within the kingdom. Surprisingly, the transfer of power unfolds without too many incidents. Quite to the contrary, the news of the ascension of Karatnora and its validity in the imperial court are met with a sense of relief. For the rest of the day both the temple and palace are filled with activity as troops, officers, mages, and clerics come and go with great frequency. (See Fy. 1, Fy. 8; Am. 14, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: The plotters have initiated a coup against Queen Junna's reign. Its execution was relatively smooth, being limited to the temple and the palace. Civil unrest was at a minimal due to the popular tone of the coup and the confined nature of it. Junna is forced to sign an abdication against her will and then is secured within the palace under watchful guard. Though the adventurers' tasks are done, there are still questions to be answered. The scenes of the coup are filled with investigating parties trying to sort through the evidence to piece together what had all transpired.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs directly involved in the temple and palace actions may find themselves being hailed as heroes, depending on their manner in performing the duty. They will be fully debriefed on the matter to aid in the investigations. Likewise they may find themselves participating in the evaluation of the evidence.

Fyrmont 8, AC 1017: Houses Organise Volunteers.

Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: Not content with the council's decision, Elissa Pennydown and Corwyn Linton start gathering volunteers to help the hin fight Thyatian and Minrothaddan attacks. The Darokin Council does not oppose this, but makes it clear that the volunteers will not 'have any official status or support. (See Fe. 11, Fy. 6; Fy. 13.)

What This Means: There is nothing hidden in this event. Certain Darokinians still want to help the Five Shires, and Pennydown and Linton will organise them.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs could join the volunteers to help the Shires.

Fyrmont 8, AC 1017: Torpin Fallout... and Explanation.

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

Description: Xerathis, Tredrigon, and Dlanor are furious as the limiting of the Torpin Class submersible. They arrive at Ionace to protest the decision and lobby for their project to be expanded to more than one example. Before they reach the council hall, they are intercepted by several military officials who tell them why the Torpin is to be unique. They cite its overly large size, high cost, low manoeuvrability, and limited offensive capability. For the cost of two Torpins, Nayce could finance a sizeable submersible fleet; one that would better suit the expansive region that needed patrolling. With all of the island bases being brought online, the need for long range submersibles like the Torpin Class are not as pressing-smaller, higher performance submersibles can use the bases to maintain their logistical needs.

The officers do tell the project leaders that the Torpin would continue, but in a slightly different role and as a singular vessel. It would still be a military vessel but would also act in an exploratory capacity. The officials stress that the Torpin Class is not officially dead, and that the future of the class will depend upon the performance of the Torpin. For their part the project leaders reluctantly accept the decision and explanation. They reconcile themselves that at least they will be able to manifest their mentor Brodicim's dream by creating the Torpin and possibly being paramount in the production of the Reaver Class submersible. Promises of the use of their massive submersible works to fill the fleets also presses the point. (See Ya. 23, Kl. 24; Fy. 22, Fy. 24.)

Fyrmont 9, AC 1017: Ylari Enter Biazzan... Almost.

Location: Fort Nicos, County of Biazzan, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: The Ylari forces pursuing the retreating Thyatians enter the pass of Biazzan. As the vanguard approaches Fort Nicos, rockfall traps are activated, raining down on the main column of Ylari troops. Dozens are crushed to death, and the Ylari vanguard is trapped on the Thyatian side of the blockage, while the main body is cut off on the other side. As the vanguard is milling about, several thousand Thyatian troops, members of the Hespirian Tagmata Regiment and the garrison of Nicos, begin to advance. Some Ylari attempt to escape back over the rubble blocking the pass, while others try to spur their mounts up the rocky slopes on both sides of the valley, hoping to escape. Others attempt to sell their lives as dearly as possible, while still more simply recognise the futility of the situation and surrender.

At the north side of the blockage the sultan is told it will take a day or longer to clear the rubble sufficiently to allow his armies to get through to the other side. His mages and clerics use their magic to hasten the process, but it is still nightfall before they are able to break through to the other side. By then, the battle is already over on the other side of the pass. The sultan's engineers notice there are several more such rock traps lining the canyon walls, and that advancing under these conditions would be dangerous. Sultan al-Kalim orders his forces to withdraw a mile up the pass and encamp for the night, while he and his council discuss what to do. The next morning they receive word, via magic, that Tameronikas has been attacked. (See Fe. 9, Fy. 5; Fy. 10, Fy. 12.)

What This Means: The Thyatian forces at Fort Nicos are more prepared and alert than they were when the Ylari raiders attacked during the Great War. Full use is made of the rock traps, which the Ylari did not suspect existed because they had not previously been utilised. The sultan's forces have been caught out of position by the Thyatian attack on Tameronikas, and now the sultan will have to decide whether to abandon the pass and attempt to relieve Tameronikas, or to press forward. After considering the situation and consulting with his advisers, Hassam decides to return to Ylaruam and have his troops march as swiftly as possible. He hopes to reach Tameronikas before it falls.

Fyrmont 9, AC 1017: Beset on All Sides.

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

Description: The long-anticipated day arrives: the combined force of Thyatian and Heldunian soldiers has massed around the perimeter of Helskir, several hundred feet from the protective ring of motte-and-bailey fortresses. The attacking force sends out a few patrols to probe the defences, and many of these suffer moderate casualties. Seeing that no retaliatory strikes are in evidence, the Thyatian-Heldunian force entrenches itself. (See Fe. 23, Fy. 2; Fy. 16, Fy. 18.)

What This Means: With a chokehold on all of the territory surrounding Helskir, and the Naycese blockade at sea, the Heldannic forces are effectively trapped. Lacking the troop strength-they have roughly 1,500 soldiers left-to stage a major offensive, Anna von Hendriks and her advisers concluded that, so long as they remain ensconced within Helskir, the enemy must come to them, and try to break through the numerous defences that have been erected.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are part of the Heldannic forces, the PCs might be ordered to sneak behind enemy lines to determine the attacking force's strengths and weaknesses, and possibly carry out an act of sabotage or two. If they are part of the Thyatian-Heldunian force, they could perform similar missions against the Heldannic forces-and possibly even infiltrate Helskir itself to obtain vital military secrets. Definitely an opportunity for good espionage activities.

Fyrmont 9, AC 1017: Mykonos to Receive More Support.

Location: City-State of Kastelios, Serpent Coast. DV

Description: In a unanimous decision, the Assembly of Kastelios agrees to provide the nascent colony of Mykonos with more financial support, in the form of investment to go towards making it more self-sufficient, and providing incentives to encourage a small number of Kastelians to settle there. Pleased with the decision, Adonai Stephanos immediately begins to draw up plans for a second voyage to the island. (See Fe. 18, Fy. 1; Fy. 22, Am. 20.)

What This Means: The evident success in establishing Mykonos has won political points for Adonai, something of which he is well aware. The development of Mykonos is actually quite timely: the arrival of hundreds of Milenian refugees from the Meghala Kimata Plains has begun to tax the resources of the city-state, and some members of the assembly see the island as a potential place to offload the newcomers. This, and the apparent richness of Mykonos, makes the whole arrangement seem entirely beneficial to Kastelios.

Fyrmont 9, AC 1017: Østmark Besieged!

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

Description: As grim news continues to trickle in concerning the reversal of the Antalians' fortunes in central Qeodhar, the inhabitants of Østmark are shocked to see ships, flying Qeodharan colours, sailing towards the not-too-distant coast. The townsfolk grow alarmed at the implications. Hastily, defences are erected, and arms prepared, for the conflict that is sure to come.

Within hours, the ships drop anchor not far from the coast, and soldiers are rowed ashore. A force of roughly 200 men marches up to the wooden palisade surrounding Østmark, and from its ranks comes a heavily armoured man, who demands the unconditional surrender of the town. Without hesitation, the inhabitants refuse, and the Qeodharans commence the siege. (See Th. 16, Ya. 4; Fy. 15, Am. 1.)

What This Means: Morale among the Antalians is already beginning to ebb. Since the defeat at Almisford, the "liberated" territories have steadily been whittled away by concerted Qeodharan-Alphatian assaults. While this campaign has been occupying the Antalian jarls' attention, Norlan has secretly been sending soldiers and ships to Icehop Island, which lies off the eastern coast of Qeodhar, for the past several months. Sparsely inhabited by Antalians, control was secured quickly before any word of the second invasion spread, and a long-disused naval base has been pressed into service once more. From this base, an assault has been launched along the eastern coast of Qeodhar, with the aim of cutting off the Antalians' access to the sea, thus trapping them between two forces. Østmark is one of several landing points.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are working with the attackers, the PCs could find themselves engaged in reconnaissance missions to determine the strength of the town's defences. Alternatively, if they are working with the Antalians, they might be asked to carry messages to other defenders in the region, in order to coordinate a counterattack to relieve Østmark; or they might be asked to interfere with the besiegers' plans (either though sabotaging their equipment or assassinating key figures).

Fyrmont 9, AC 1017: Foiled by Turtles and Ants.

Location: Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: Siobhan daughter of Maeve renews the strategy of raiding seemingly vulnerable Thyatian settlements, hoping to undermine their strength in the region and get them to give up the Hinterlands as too costly and unprofitable. But key areas prove tougher than they used to, with increased (if improvised in many cases) fortifications and better-equipped and organized defenders. The raids are more difficult and less successful than they were earlier in the year. Furthermore, few members of the Raven Clan participate, and even the members of the Jackal and Rhino Clans seem reluctant to wage a campaign of destruction in their own lands. So the burden of fighting falls mainly on the Leopard Clan. (See Kl. 5, Fe. 6; Fy. 25, Sv. 14.)

What This Means: At Leilah ben Nadir's command, the inhabitants loyal to Thyatis (both settlers and Thyatianised natives) have been organized into militias and given good equipment (including surplus equipment from mainland Thyatis sent as forces there re-organized and downsized). Outlying farmsteads have been converted into fortified villas and communities, able to better resist attack. With more forces, Leilah has organized her troops into fast reaction forces under several commanders, able to respond quickly to raids.

What the PCs Can Do: As the war grinds on there are many small skirmishes the characters can be involved in.

Fyrmont 10, AC 1017: Assassination Attempt on Bakai.

Location: Camp of Chagon-Nah, Ethengar Khanates. OW

Description: In the night, one of Bakai's attending priests attempts to poison her as she sleeps. The attempt is foiled by a Bortak bratak-one of the bodyguards assigned Bakai by her husband Batu Khan. The priest is brought before Manghai Khan, and is sentenced to immediate death. In the morning, Manghai Khan apologizes to the Bortak bodyguards and Bakai, and explains that the priest was a radical who wished to see Manghai succeed his father at all costs. (See Fe. 3, Fe. 18; Fy. 12, Fy. 15.)

What This Means: Manghai/Jaku's explanations are truthful-he did not commission the priest to murder Bakai. The man was simply an extremist who hoped (like Manghai does) that in slaying the eldest daughter of the Golden Khan, he would secure his lord's succession. Despite the coincidence, the repeated attempts on Bakai's life will set many to begin their own investigations-notably Akmad ibn Yussef.

Fyrmont 10, AC 1017: Reconstruction.

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

Description: Under Governor Wolfgang Stemmel's orders, Heldannic field engineers, assisted by local masons and other craftsmen, begin the process of repairing the town's damaged fortifications. (See Fy. 3, Fy. 4; Fy. 13, Fy. 15.)

What This Means: The recent siege showed where the weaknesses in Polakatsikes' fortifications, though still largely intact, were located. This work will take a few months, but it is something that cannot be ignored, especially if the town could be attacked again.

Fyrmont 10, AC 1017: Ierendi Steps Up Patrols.

Location: Kingdom of Ierendi. OW

Description: Naval patrols in the Sea of Dread are stepped up in numerical strength and frequency. Ierendi's powerful sea forces are on particular lookout for piratical activities and raids-notably those carried out by Thyatian and Minrothaddan vessels. Merchant ships from the Five Shires are given special escort through Sea of Dread waters. (See Fy. 4, Fy. 8; Sv. 3.)

What This Means: Ierendi has been very concerned about the increasing Thyatian interest in the Sea of Dread region since the annexation of Minrothad last year. In response to the call for aid by the hin of the Shires last month, Ierendi has sent its navies out in force, to ensure that the Sea of Dread stays safe, and to attempt to keep a check on Thyatian and Minrothaddan activity.

What the PCs Can Do: Sea-oriented PCs can find a lot of action in the Sea of Dread-either working with the Ierendi navy, or working with any of the various other factions in conflict in the region.

Fyrmont 10, AC 1017: Thyatis Attacks Tameronikas.

Location: Town of Tameronikas, Emirate of Nicostenia, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: When he learned from his commander at Ctesiphon that the Ylari were pursuing them, Eusebius personally led the main Thyatian forces up the coast to Tameronikas. There are over 4,500 troops with this force (consisting of the Hetaereia Augustiana, the Anatolian Tagmatic Regiment, the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, and the 6th Imperial Battle Fleet). With them also are a few hundred unenthusiastic Ylari volunteers, under the command of a fringe member of the Preceptor faction who happens to be a prominent native of Tameronikas.

When the Thyatians arrive, the land troops construct a fortified camp outside the walls of Tameronikas while the ships bombard the town from the sea. The Ylari garrison and townsfolk attempt to hastily repair the seaward defences of the town to prevent it from being captured immediately. (See Fy. 5, Fy. 9; Fy. 12, Fy. 14.)

What This Means: These are the steel jaws of Eusebius' trap snapping shut on Ylaruam. With the sultan's main army far to the west, the Thyatians can attack Tameronikas with relative impunity; it will be a few days at least until the sultan's forces can arrive. By then, Eusebius hopes to have Tameronikas under Thyatian control. The Ylari troops accompanying the Thyatians consist of some of the men captured by Thyatis last year and this year, plus some Ylari sellswords, all of whom are more or less supporters of the cause of the Preceptors, but none of which are enthusiastic about fighting on behalf of Thyatis.

Fyrmont 10, AC 1017: Thyatian Emissaries Reach Twaelar Capital.

Location: Twaelar Merrow Empire, Sea of Dread. OW

Description: Emissaries representing the Thyatian Empire, including several Seahome elves, reach the capital of the Twaelar Merrow Empire under a banner of truce. They inform the Twaelar that they are empowered to negotiate peace between the Twaelar and Thyatis. The Twaelar, themselves also growing weary of a costly war with no apparent benefits and no victory for either side in sight, agree to discuss an end of the conflict. (See Th. 13, Ya. 16; Fy. 19.)

What This Means: The war has gone on for two years with no resolution. Though in the beginning things went well for the Twaelar, battles have become more difficult and costly as the war has worn on and the Thyatians learned how to fight back. Thyatian ships, including airships, carrying frogmen equipped with armed diving sleds, have been conducting strikes against Twaelar bases and settlements while just as the Twaelar have been conducting raids against the Thyatians. Now both sides are growing tired of a war that seems like it could go on indefinitely without a negotiated settlement.

Eusebius also uses this as an opportunity to learn more about the Twaelar Empire.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters might be dispatched to negotiate, or as guards for the envoys. They will then witness firsthand the extent of the Twaelar Merrow Empire, and face whatever challenges the DM chooses to put before them.

Fyrmont 11, AC 1017: The Role of an Aeon.

Location: Ruins of Fjellstue, Province of Septentriona, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: The adventurers and the "knights-errant" delve into the ruins of Fjellstue. The robots help the party through a couple of encounters with monsters before they decide their charade is getting tedious. They then turn on their "comrades" in the next encounter, cutting them down quickly. After that, they begin the long process of intimidating the local monster population into submission, the first act in their new career as evil warlords. (See Fe. 20, Fy. 7.)

What This Means: The robots will face competition with the other monstrous leaders in the region before they can succeed in their quest to become menacing warlords. The Thyatians will soon discover, based on similarities between the descriptions provided by surviving crewmen of the figures that attacked their ship and the "knights-errant" described by the inhabitants of Latveii (and who are now the prime suspects in the murder of a local family), that they apparently have a new problem on their hands.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were the ones the robots accompanied, they'll face a sudden and possibly surprising attack just when they're engaged with some tough monsters and somewhat drained as a result of previous encounters.

Fyrmont 12, AC 1017: Preceptor Defects!

Location: Town of Tameronikas, Emirate of Nicostenia, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: The Thyatian forces wake up to discover the banner of the Preceptor who had been commanding their Ylari auxiliaries flying over the gatehouse of Tameronikas. The Ylari volunteers had set up camp north of the main Thyatian camp, and it is now abandoned-all of them appear to have joined the defenders of Tameronikas. (See Fy. 9, Fy. 10; Fy. 14, Fy. 26.)

What This Means: The Ylari sneaked out in the dead of night, having made contact with the troops within the walls and convinced them of their desire to abandon the Thyatians-if the town would declare its support for the Preceptor faction and reject the rule of Sultan Hassam. Somewhat out of desperation, they agreed.

Fyrmont 12, AC 1017: Alphatians Retreat.

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

Description: With the recent advances of the united Jennites, those Alphatians who do not live in the coastal towns have begun to move to the city of Skyfyr and the towns of Port Marlin and Rock Harbour, and Anchorage of course. Few stay in Anchorage, though, but soon continue on toward Skyfyr. However, some determined Alphatians decide to stay in Anchorage and fight to the bitter end. (See Fe. 20, Fe. 25; Fy. 26, Am. 23.)

What This Means: The recent Jennite advance has most Alphatians on the run. Alphatian encounters with the enemy have not gone well, so few are hopeful that the Jennites will be stopped anytime soon.

What the PCs Can Do: Alphatian PCs can help organise the retreat and escort the refugees, while Jennite PCs can spy on the refugees and stage attacks on Alphatian positions.

Fyrmont 12, AC 1017: Suspicions Confirmed.

Location: Camp of Chagon-Nah, Ethengar Khanates. OW

Description: The wizard Akmad ibn Yussef receives a visitor in his yurt, a young Ethengar shaman named Trungpa. After a lengthy discussion, the two arrive at the conclusion that Manghai Khan is under a powerful possession. Unfortunately, the knowledge alone is not enough to solve the problem-even if they were to dispel the spirit from Manghai's body, the young khan's soul would still be missing. They must somehow locate Manghai's soul. Trungpa believes it to be in the Spirit World, and the two begin to make plans to retrieve it. (See Fe. 18, Fy. 10; Fy. 15, Ei. 15.)

What This Means: Trungpa received a warning from his spirit lord in Kaldmont of last year that things were not right in the Spirit World and the World Yurt. Over the course of the year, his investigations have led him to the truth-that an evil spirit is possessing Manghai Khan. Akmad, too, has begun to suspect Manghai of not being himself. The two will be very cautious about their plans, so as not to draw Manghai/Jaku's suspicions.

What the PCs Can Do: Trungpa will need adventurers to accompany him into the Spirit World to find Manghai's soul. They will have to be unimportant characters-people that the khan will not miss if they disappear for a time.

Fyrmont 12, AC 1017: Dead Travel Fast.

Location: Barony of Two Lakes Vale. NW

Description: Sylarion and the Shadow Lord stop at the border of the small barony of Two Lakes Vale, and hide their undead troops (numbering some 1,500 creatures) in the caves of the hills. The vampire elf then communes with his Immortal, to receive new instructions. (See Fe. 14, Fe. 16; Fy. 15, Fy. 17.)

What This Means: Nyx ordered the exodus of the undead troops from Aeleris Pits (where Sylarion left a small garrison of 100 lesser undead under the wyrd Aeleris' command, however) to the Barony of Two Lakes Vale with the promise She'll have turned this vale into a veritable paradise for the undead race. However, Sylarion and the Shadow Lord don't know how this will happen exactly, so they are now waiting for precise orders from Nyx.

Fyrmont 13, AC 1017: Mauntea Warehouses Sacked.

Location: Shireton Port, Five Shires. OW

Description: Under the cover of the night, the warehouses of Mauntea House in Shireton Port are looted and burned by unknown vandals. The house makes an official complaint, and the authorities conduct a short investigation, but the criminals are not found. (See Fy. 6, Fy. 8.)

What This Means: This is the hin anger against Darokin pouring out. And the hin authorities don't really want to investigate this either. So this crime, and other similar ones, will remain unsolved.

What the PCs Can Do: Hin PCs could be the ones looting the warehouse.

Fyrmont 13, AC 1017: Taking the Battle to the Enemy's Door.

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

Description: Both the Heldannic Knights and the Army of Meghala agree to send small scouting parties into Mivosian-held territory, in order to find out how strong their grip on the surrounding lands happens to be, and to initiate various acts of sabotage. Priority will also be placed on meeting with any resistance leaders they can find, and providing whatever assistance to them can be given. (See Fy. 4, Fy. 10; Fy. 15.)

What This Means: Realising that a frontal assault is out of the question, the allied Heldannic-Meghalan force has decided to use disruption and subterfuge as its weapons of choice against the Mivosians. If there are enough people suffering under Mivosian rule, who wish for freedom, they might be spurred into action if they knew that their struggle would not be an isolated one.

What the PCs Can Do: Naturally, the PCs should be among those considered for such a mission. Several parties will be formed, and each will be sent to a different city-state, where they will have to spy on the enemy and determine where the Mivosians' weaknesses happen to be. A dangerous job, to be sure.

Fyrmont 13, AC 1017: Nature's Emissaries.

Location: Forests near Camp of Rainbow Spring, Kingdom of Frisland, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: While the Stonewall forces are now busy finishing their river boats and loading supplies and troops onto them, the guard patrols have been expanded due to the recent assassination attempts, and some monsters wandering in from Blackheart. One such patrol goes missing, and when a group of experts are sent out to find them, they are attacked by bears, wolves, a few treants, and other sylvan creatures. They discover that these were apparently made to do so by a druid, whom they then capture. Suspecting that this druid might have something to do with the recent assassination attempt, they then bring him to Rainbow Spring for questioning. However, even after intensive questioning, the druid, Arbandas, continues to claim that the attack was in response to the army's utter disregard for the forests they're in. He does admit, though, that he had his forces attack and kill the patrol that went missing, and even reveals where their bodies are buried. He also admits that he used to live in Arkan, which only suggests to Selcomad and the other leaders that he may indeed have been involved with the assassination attempt, and they decide to keep him prisoner until they can decide what to do with him. (See Fe. 22, Fy. 3; Fy. 25, Am. 4.)

What This Means: Arbandas is telling the truth. He's a pretty young druid, and his youthful anger got the better of him when he decided to attack the invaders. This is just an unfortunate side-effect of the Stonewall army's presence here, but due to the recent assassination attempt, the Stonewall forces are very reluctant to accept Arbandas' claims of innocence.

What the PCs Can Do: Obviously the PCs could be the adventures who capture Arbandas.

Fyrmont 13, AC 1017: The Hatfei Counter... Brutally.

Location: Makekei Territory, Neathar Lands. HW

Description: A Hatfei raiding party crosses over into Makekei lands and stealthily make its way towards the home of Swerg, the believed instigator of the assassination of Duma and his two companions. The Hatfei strike at the abode, killing Swerg, his three sons, and two kinsmen outright. The Hatfei raiders withdraw from the area after setting fire to the residence, the flames killing still more of the family, including Swerg's wife and youngest daughter. Other Makekei assemble to fight the fire but by the time they do so the Hatfei are well away from the area. (See Ya. 6, Fe. 6.)

What This Means: It did not take long for the perpetrators of the assassinations to be found out, their boasts doing much to undermine secrecy and even support within Makekei. This waning support within the Makekei Tribe explains the ease that the Hatfei had in assaulting Swerg's home. The demise of Swerg's wife and daughter is a tragedy, but deemed an accident by those wishing to avoid further conflicts. Others see their deaths as omens to the brutalities to come if war erupts. However, several of Swerg's friends and kinsmen swear vengeance and subtly offer bounties on the heads of Hatfei tribesmen.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs already engaged in the conflict may organise and execute the revenge, or try to prevent it, or plan further retaliation, depending on their side and alignment.

Fyrmont 14, AC 1017: Thyatis Recognises Emirate of Tameronikas.

Location: Town of Tameronikas, Emirate of Nicostenia, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: Eusebius agrees to meet with the Ylari leader within Tameronikas under a flag of truce. After several hours of negotiation, the emperor signs an agreement, recognising Tameronikas and the region around it as the sovereign Emirate of Tameronikas, and the leader of the Preceptors as its emir. He pledges Thyatian support in protecting the Emirate of Tameronikas from attempts by other authorities to control it. In exchange the representatives of Tameronikas agree to cede the small border region east of Fort Zendrol, running from below the hill escarpment due east to the coast, to the Empire of Thyatis. (See Fy. 10, Fy. 12; Fy. 26, Am. 1.)

What This Means: Eusebius would have preferred to conquer Tameronikas outright and add it to the Thyatian Empire, but he is very satisfied with the idea of creating a small client state, dependent upon Thyatis, as a buffer between Ylaruam and the empire. The Emirate of Tameronikas covers the southern half of the former Emirate of Nicostenia, with its northern frontier roughly halfway between Cubia and Tameronikas, and its southern and western frontiers ending at the border with Thyatis.

Ylari living in the region ceded to Thyatis will be allowed to move into Ylari territories, while Eusebius will settle some Thyatians in that border area to better control it, including by making some military land grants. Thyatian advisers, representatives;, and attachés will be very prominent within Tameronikas.

The Preceptor faction as a whole will be of two minds regarding the Emirate of Tameronikas. On the one hand, they do not want to be perceived as being pawns of Thyatis, but on the other hand the Preceptor-led emirate will be too convenient a gathering point for them to pass up; so the opposition to the Kin regime will gather here. This will both help them, but will also undermine their popularity some and thus further entrench Kin rule of Ylaruam. Sultan Hassam will not be pleased when he learns of this.

Third Week

Fyrmont 15, AC 1017: Who Mourns for Wazor?

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

Description: During the night, Wazor, Court Mage of Baron Maltus Fharo, is interrupted in his sleep by the intrusion of a sinister elf in his quarters. The elf suddenly attacks the wizard, who tries to repel the enemy the best he can. When the guards storm the mage's bedchamber, they find the body of the dead wizard lying limp on the floor, his neck broken and his nightgown caked with blood. The assassin is nowhere to be found, however. (See Fe. 16, Fy. 12; Fy. 17, Am. 4.)

What This Means: Nyx has ordered Sylarion to assassinate the court wizard of Baron Fharo. The mage Wazor was in fact a member of the Onyx Ring, and was the effective ruler of the barony, having charmed the baron and his seneschal for many years. Wazor administered the barony according to Idris' wishes, and had it stay out of any possible political agreements with the lords of Norwold and Heldann to avoid interference in the country's internal affairs. In fact, Wazor was slowly but steadily spreading the cult of Idris among the population, who had so far accepted it without problems, since the Church of Idris seemed to keep the preying dragons away. With Wazor out of the way, Nyx's servants can now proceed with the next stage of the Immortal's plan.

Fyrmont 15, AC 1017: Date of Burial Set.

Location: Camp of Chagon-Nah, Ethengar Khanates. OW

Description: After some talks with the priest and shamans of the Murkit tribe, Manghai Khan announces that the burial of his father will be on Rinpoch, 15. This day is known as the Day of the Spirits and so the shamans see it as an especially appropriate time to bury Moglai Khan on the World Mountain. All important Ethengars are summoned to this ceremony. The body of Moglai will continue to be magically preserved until then.

Akmad ibn Yussef and Trungpa agree that the ceremony would be an opportune time to begin their quest into the Spirit World. (See Fy. 10, Fy. 12; Ei. 15.)

What This Means: There is a gate to the Spirit World at the top of the World Mountain. Akmad and Trungpa hope to use this to gain entry into that world, that they might find Manghai's lost soul. Using the funeral procession as cover is a perfect opportunity, as a band of adventurers might otherwise be discovered by evil spirits working in conjunction with Jaku the Render.

Fyrmont 15, AC 1017: The Jarls Confer.

Location: Village of Ragnisfjord, Kingdom of Qeodhar, Nayce. AS

Description: The surviving jarls of eastern Qeodhar meet in this fortified village, 50 miles west of Østmark, to discuss the recent turn of events. Everyone present is well aware of the continued Qeodharan-Alphatian drive eastwards into the Antalian-held territories, as well as the fates being visited upon those who are captured. Rumours abound of prisoners being impaled on stakes, and many villagers being force-marched in the direction of Farend-towards what is certain to be an unpleasant end. Making matters worse is news of the siege of Østmark, as well as other Antalian settlements on or near the eastern coast.

Realizing that they cannot hold off an invasion on two fronts, the jarls agree to send for aid. The main problem is that they are unsure as to who would be willing to aid them. Qeodhar is distant from most of the lands of the Old World, and there are no regional powers on Skothar or further north to which they could turn. After hours of tense debate, they arrive at one possibility-the Northern Reaches, and specifically Ostland. All present know of their heritage as the people of fallen Ystmarhavn, as well as the kinship they share with the people of the Northern Reaches; if there are any people who might be swayed to aid them, it would be those people, and more so for the Ostlanders, who even in Qeodhar are known for their prowess in battle and their stronger adherence to traditional Northman ways. In the meantime, they resolve, their forces will continue to harry their enemies whenever possible-especially in the northern regions of the island, where Norlan's forces are spread thinly. Happy at arriving at a decision, the jarls commission envoys to make their way to the island nation. (See Ya. 4, Fy. 9; Am. 1, Am. 10.)

What This Means: As the embattled descendants of the once-mighty nation of Ystmarhavn, the Antalians of Qeodhar have taken great pains to remember who they are and where they come from. They are also aware of the existence of their distant kin-the people of the Northern Reaches. Although contact with these southern cousins is all but nonexistent, mainly taking the form of sporadic trading years ago, the fact remains that they do exist. The jarls are hoping that the Ostlanders will not have forgotten about them, nor their own warrior spirit.

As for the rumours, they are mostly just that-rumours. Antalian prisoners have not been executed in large numbers; instead, they are force-marched along with their non-combatant families to parts unknown, perhaps for some more sinister purpose.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs could easily find themselves taking part in a diplomatic mission to Ostland. There are all sorts of dangers awaiting the envoys at sea, some of which could test the mettle of any adventurer!

Fyrmont 15, AC 1017: The Shadow Withdraws.

Location: Villages of Treminios and Doleria, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: A scouting party from Polakatsikes, sent to these villages to determine the size of the Mivosian force stationed here, is surprised to find them abandoned, and in ruin. Anything of value that could be taken is gone, and the surrounding fields have been burned. (See Fy. 10, Fy. 13.)

What This Means: The Mivosians have withdrawn to Syropolis and Tyrnae, both of which have better fortifications, and possess more resources which may be used in the war effort. Furthermore, this better protects the army from any raids or other forms of attack. In the coming months, the Mivosians will be working to replenish their ranks, and further cement their hold on the various city-states they have conquered.

Fyrmont 15, AC 1017: Imperial Expedition Returns to Minaea.

Location: City of Minaea, Confederated Kingdom of Minaea, Minaean Coast. SK

Description: The expedition to Skothar returns to the city of Minaea after its transactions with the Jennites. Theodorian Metothemius sends in a search party to try and find the men who deserted, but they have left the city and are not found. After re-provisioning and a brief stopover, the squadron continues on south along the coast of Skothar. (See Kl. 27, Fe. 21; Sv. 10.)

What This Means: Theodorian Metothemius knew he was unlikely to find the deserters, and even if he did he wasn't sure he'd want them back. But he felt he had a duty to try. In any case, the expedition has until now remained within areas that are at least somewhat known to the Thyatians. Now they will begin travelling into the unknown.

Theodorian decides the expedition will winter in Minaea, sending ships and men on short expeditions to explore the region, especially charting the coasts. Metothemius meanwhile tries to develop good relations with the Minaean government.

What the PCs Can Do: Swindlers or con-men in Minaea might try to separate the characters from their hard-earned loot. Or the characters might try to do that to some poor, innocent, naive, Minaeans-if they can find any.

Fyrmont 15, AC 1017: Pirate Ball.

Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: King Necco the Black holds the annual Pirate Ball, an extremely formal affair which is a virtual who's who among the Merry Pirates. The ball is held in the Grand Ballroom, a lavish hall on Necco's private estate. All of the pirate-kings and their queens, other pirate nobility, plus those with connections or great wealth, are present. The most talented musicians, the finest foods, and the most elegant clothes are all part of the gala. During the ball, "Handlebar" Emilio, Pirate-King of Puerto Morillos, makes an overly aggressive pass at Carola the Grappler, one of the few successful women captains. Emilio, having consumed far too much drink, gropes at Carola during a romantic dance. Carola responds, despite her elaborate and attractive gown, by dropping Emilio to the ground and pinning him with an expert wrestling move, her dagger held to his throat. The stunned crowd immediately cheers for Carola and jeers at the drunken Emilio. Carola quickly regains her composure and the ball continues. Emilio leaves, convinced that she'll be along shortly. (See Fl. 17, Fe. 6; Fy. 20, Am. 20.)

What This Means: The Pirate Ball is the highlight of the Merry Pirate's social calendar. This is one of the few times when all of the wealthiest and most famous pirates will set aside their differences to come together in one place. Besides socialising and carousing, the pirates will use this opportunity to hear rumours, check up on their rivals, and other gossip. Emilio is a notorious womaniser who has sought after Carola for many circles, to no avail. Carola is annoyed by Emilio and his brash act at a highly visible public event demanded harsh action. She is also an expert wrestler. Although this is a formal ball, no one is really concerned by the incident-these are still pirates, after all.

What the PCs Can Do: Unless the PCs are of Name level, are very wealthy or very well connected, they will not be invited to the ball. However, bribes or trickery may also be able to get them in. The gala can serve as a rumour mill and is an excellent opportunity to role-play the interactions between famous pirate captains. Alternatively, lower-level PCs can be hired as guards, or can hear the gossip from the ball as it spreads through Baraga the next sleep.

Fyrmont 16, AC 1017: A Supposition Vindicated?

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

Description: Observers stationed at the southern fortresses note the existence of campfires during the night-to the southwest. Curious, the officers dispatch several scouting parties the next days to determine the source of the fires, and after they return, they report the existence of many sets of footprints, some of which appear to have been made by paws. (See Fe. 18, Fy. 3; Fy. 18, Fy. 19.)

What This Means: Castellan Heinz Kronenburg will feel vindicated that his suppositions concerning the current threat posed to Vanya's Rest appear to be correct, but he is mistaken. During the recent series of raids, the Meghaddara and their rakasta allies captured a Heldannic patrol. Through interrogation, they learned from the officer in charge that the castellan suspects an attack from the southwest, convinced as he is that the rakasta are in fact divergans. Using this information, they arranged to have a number of warriors make false camps to the southwest of the Heldannic fortifications, to give the illusion that enemies are gathering there.

What the PCs Can Do: Meghaddaran or rakasta PCs can take part in the raids, or they could have interrogated the prisoners.

Fyrmont 16, AC 1017: The Offensive Begins.

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

Description: Feeling that the time is right, the assembled Thyatian and Heldunian forces form up into their respective regiments, and begin the final offensive. The advance forces are quickly bogged down by traps and other defences constructed around the motte-and-bailey fortress, such as spike-filled pits, snares, and various lethal booby-traps concealed among the thick shrubs and copses that grow in the area. As they slowly make their way through these, crossbowmen rain bolts upon the advancing forces, cutting down many where they stand. Some men manage to pass through the gauntlet, and force the troops in some of the fortresses to spread their resources thinner in order to hold off attackers from all sides.

For a while, it seems that the Heldannic forces will be able to hold the line, until the main tower of one fortress suddenly explodes in a ball of flame! While the surviving troops within are disoriented, magic missiles and lightning bolts take down those who did not head for cover. Taking advantage of the confusion, a group of several hundred screaming Northmen charges a battered section of the wall, smashing a large hole in it, and proceeding to rout the remaining defenders. Before the defending Heldannic forces can react, several other fortresses also erupt in balls of flame, or are smashed by large boulders, hurled by heavy Thyatian catapults.

Within an hour, what was a faltering of the line among the southern fortresses becomes a rout, as a large break in the chain of defences is made. Within that gap, outside the reach of the Heldannic crossbowmen, the assembled force gathers, and then passes through into a region of light forests and open fields... and within view of the outer wall of Helskir. Soon, it becomes apparent to the fortress commanders that their enemies have successfully breached their defences; the options are clear-surrender, or make a mad dash for freedom. Some of them, under the white flag of peace, march from their fortresses, and are quickly disarmed and brought to the rear of the Thyatian and Heldunian lines. Others, hoping to win the favour of Vanya one last time, lead their men into a last defiant charge against their enemies-being utterly annihilated in the process, but taking many of their enemies with them as they go down. Finally, there are those who abandon their posts, and hope to escape. Although many of these are captured, others manage to make it to the outer walls, and are thrown rope ladders in order to enter Helskir, or they disperse into the wilderness. (See Fy. 2, Fy. 9; Fy. 18, Fy. 20.)

What This Means: Although the Heldannic force's outermost defences have failed, they did serve their purpose-they delayed the enemy's advance, and they forced the Thyatian and Heldunian troops to expend resources and soldiers against well-built, but barely-manned, wooden fortresses. Anna von Hendriks and her advisers knew beforehand that the advance to the outer wall could not be prevented, only delayed, and even one or two days' respite might be enough the better entrench themselves.

In total, about 170 soldiers manned the fortresses, of which about 90 died, with around 40 being captured and the remainder escaping into the wilderness or to Helskir. The assault cost the Thyatian-Heldun force about 140 men, with another 50 or so wounded, by comparison. Aside from superiority in numbers, what tipped the balance in the attackers' favour was the presence of battle mages, the elite Antalian Guard, which single-handedly secured three fortresses during the battle, and the Thyatian tuldum regiment, which constructed the heavy catapults that were used to great effect.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are serving with the attacking force, the PCs can earn themselves some glory in battle, especially if they prove instrumental in destroying and/or conquering one or more fortresses. Even after the battle, there will be plenty of work to do: the surrounding territory is still filled with traps, and surviving Heldannic soldiers who managed to escape. If they are with the Heldannic force, the PC will have their hands full just trying to survive, but if they manage to do so, an exciting adventure could be staged, in which they must try either to escape the northern Isle of Dawn, or make it back to Helskir.

Fyrmont 16, AC 1017: The Temple of Starlit Knowledge.

Location: Town of Julinius, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: In the city of Julinius, construction is begun on the Starlit Knowledge Dome, the new cult's first permanent shrine in Thyatis. It will be a three story high building capped by a dome. A group of expert Modrigswerg dwarves from Soderfjord are hired to work on the construction. It seems quite odd to the population, and the strange dwarves immediately give way to a lot of rumours among the population, especially since the dwarves do not mingle much with others and keep largely to themselves while they are in Thyatis. (See Fy. 4; Am. 19.)

What This Means: There is nothing sinister about the Modrigswerg involvement in the tower's construction, although their strange appearance and habits raise a lot of curiosity in the city, and people do wonder why they were contracted to do the work. Questions about the Temple of Starlit Knowledge continue to grow, but for some people the mystery surrounding the cult creates a form of attraction, as a secret they want to be in on and share.

Fyrmont 16, AC 1017: The Olgarians' Problem.

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

Description: The war in Olgar has been dragging on for many months now, but with decreasing results. Realising that their cause will not succeed in the short term, the few remaining rebels decide to flee to the Marmureg Woods. If they cannot free Olgar, at least they can live free themselves. Some head west, hoping to begin a new dominion in the Yazak Steppes free from the Master's domination. (See Va. 10, Fl. 15; Sv. 1.)

What This Means: The rebels realise that their cause is hopeless. The people of Olgar have become increasingly scared in the face of the Master's deceptions and use of brute force. Hosadus has been doing his best to depict the rebels as subversives incited by a foreign power (Zuyevo) wanting to conquer the region and destabilise it. The Olgarian Church, having no love for the Master, is however somewhat disillusioned with Zuyevo for going on military adventures elsewhere instead of helping Olgar. Since the Master never really suppressed the church, as long as it did not hinder his rule, they have no option but to accept his control for lack of a better alternative. The Master will continue to increase his hold on the minds of the Olgarian people in the meantime, free from interference from outside powers.

Fyrmont 16, AC 1017: Platoon Disappears near Maelstrom.

Location: Sundsvall Maelstrom, Nayce. AS

Description: A scouting patrol of Underocean merrow disappear while passing near the Sundsvall Maelstrom while on their way to a mission of survey for possible undead activity. There is no sign of battle with undead or other hazards. (See Ya. 12, Fe. 10; Sv. 23, Ei. 18.)

Fyrmont 16, AC 1017: A Little Night Music.

Location: Town of Kopstar, Principality of Bergdhoven, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Glantri's most notorious couple, Princess Juliana Vlaardoen and the Black Eagle Ludwig von Hendriks, are enjoying an evening's entertainment at a popular music hall in Kopstar. Midway through the performance, the pair is interrupted by Juliana's uncle Anton. He regrets the intrusion, he says, but there are urgent matters regarding the military banner stationed in town, and could he trouble the Black Eagle for his extensive expertise? Perturbed, but unable to refuse such a request in front of the princess, von Hendriks complies.

Shortly after the pair leave, the princess is visited by an unexpected visitor-Sir Feldian Lehenard. Upon seeing her former lover, the princess is overwhelmed by emotion, and it is not long before she is professing her love to Feldian. When he presses her on the topic of her relationship with the Black Eagle, she turns away. She is in love with him as well, she confesses. Nevertheless, Feldian manages to convince Juliana to come away with him for a time, that he might show her how much he truly cares for her. He also tells her of Anton's acceptance of his bid to marry her . Quietly, the pair slips out of the music hall, and to Feldian's waiting chariot.

Later, when the princess does not return to the Tower of Linden at the appointed time, Ludwig von Hendriks grows angry. Servants hear him cursing and breaking things well into the night. The princess does not return for several days. (See Fe. 7; Am. 24, Ei. 2.)

What This Means: The magicks used by the Black Eagle to woo Juliana cannot entirely compete with true affection-this is one reason why Dolores Hillsbury arranged for the death of Prince Jaggar's wife years ago when she used a similar enchantment on him. The Black Eagle had no idea about Feldian's existence-the boy was at war before the Black Eagle started his plan to win the princess. When she returns, Juliana will have a lot of explaining to do, and von Hendriks will not be at all pleased with her answers.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are the sort of characters who keep their ears to the ground and associate with unscrupulous types, they may overhear a plot to have Feldian assassinated. They can warn the young man, and get in his good graces (for what it's worth-he's no noble), or perhaps they can go straight to the princess herself. If they get involved, however, the Black Eagle will be certain to notice their interference.

Fyrmont 17, AC 1017: The Death Stone.

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

Description: In a secluded island in the middle of Two Lakes Vale's Western Lake, a black dragon's peaceful slumber is broken by an explosion. The dragon awakes bleeding and stares with agony and pure hatred at the black-robed stranger that stands in front of him, taunting the wyrm with a grin. The dragon immediately lunges at the stranger, biting only air where the projected image of the wizard stood, then his body is shaken by a terrible bolt of lightning he cannot avoid. Still fuming, the dragon tries to exit his hideout inside the isle, but a wall of stone blocks his way out. With powerful blows from his claws, the dragon carves his way out of the cave, while another fiery explosion burns his tail and wings. Once out of the hideout, the dragon darts in the air and turns back to the cave's entrance, prepared to unleash his acid breath upon the intruder. The black-robed wizard walks out without fear, and is suddenly washed by an acid rain. However, the fearless wizard stares back at the flying dragon, his red eyes blinking, and suddenly the wyrm plummets to the ground, dead frozen. The Shadow Lord grins at his deed, and proceeds to take possession of the black rock, which the dragon was closely guarding in the middle of his treasure cave. (See Fy. 12, Fy. 15; Am. 4, Am. 12.)

What This Means: Nyx instructed the Shadow Lord to locate the Death Stone, a powerful natural artifact that will be pivotal in the success of Her plan. The stone was guarded by an ancient black dragon that served Idris, so the Shadow Lord's delight in vanquishing the wyrm was even greater. Landryn still doesn't know why the stone is so important to Nyx, as She prefers to reveal Her plan bit by bit to Her servants, but he's determined to exploit it if the opportunity arises.

Fyrmont 17, AC 1017: Darokin Tunnel Plugged.

Location: Kingdom of Rockhome. OW

Description: Construction begins on a new fort, designed to keep watch over the so-called Darokin Tunnel, a pass through the Altan Tepes mountains into Rockhome.

What This Means: The dwarves of Rockhome have had to deal with a few too many invasions by goblinoids through the Darokin Tunnel, and now they are finally going to take measures to protect this border.

What the PCs Can Do: Adventurous PCs will be needed to help defend the workers from monster attacks in the dangerous mountain regions.

Fyrmont 18, AC 1017: One's Worst Fears... Come to Life!

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

Description: During the predawn hours, sentries positioned along the ring of partially-completed fortifications report the presence of a host of unidentified armed men, possibly numbering in the hundreds, heading from the southwest. Once word reaches Castellan Heinz Kronenburg, he orders a force of 1,000 men be sent at once to meet the enemy force, and instructs all soldiers manning the various fortresses to hold their positions and try to prevent the enemy from entering Heldannic territory before help arrives. In addition, he orders one of Vanya's Rest's two warbirds to transport a number of troops to the region immediately, as a measure to bolster troop numbers there just in case the enemy force proves to be larger than anticipated.

Thinking the matter settled, Kronenburg goes about his business, confident in the ability of his men to hold back a small number of ragtag Meghaddara and their divergan allies. His reverie is interrupted when, while enjoying a leisurely breakfast, he is interrupted by a breathless messenger, who reports that a large host of Meghaddara and cat-men have overwhelmed two northern fortresses, and are now bearing down on Vanya's Rest! Hurriedly, Kronenburg dispatches message to his commanders, ordering them to regroup their forces to meet the latest threat. At the same time, he receives word that the battle in the south has begun; the enemy force is composed primarily of cat-men, with a sprinkling of Meghaddara, and even at this early stage of battle, some observers report that the cat-men's tactics do not appear to resemble those documented as being used by the divergans. Nevertheless, the enemy force, though lightly armed, is highly manoeuvrable, which prevents the Heldannic Knights from pinning them down in order to wipe them out cleanly. Kronenburg orders his southern commanders to use whatever means necessary to hold back the assault until help arrives.

Just as he finishes digesting this latest information, Kronenburg's thoughts are interrupted yet again by an alarmed messenger-intruders have somehow breached the defences of Vanya's Rest! Already skirmishes are taking place in the lower corridors, as bands of Meghaddara and cat-men stealthily make their way through the fortress, wreaking havoc where they can and running away whenever they encounter a larger force of knights. Grabbing his weapons, he orders the messenger to send word to his remaining commanders: those positioned in the field should concentrate their efforts on eliminating the enemy force which had breached the outer defences, while garrison commands should rally their forces and ensure their respective areas are secure. (See Fy. 3, Fy. 16; Fy. 19, Fy. 21.)

What This Means: The Meghaddaran-rakasta feint has proved itself to be effective; Kronenburg thought the small force to the south (numbering around 600 humans and rakasta) was the vanguard of a much larger army, and so ordered his southern garrisons to remain in position, and at the same time ordered 1,000 men sent south to aid them. This left about 2,000 men in the fortress of Vanya's Rest itself. With Kronenburg's attention drawn south, it was easier for the main Meghaddaran-rakasta force (numbering about 1,500 warriors) to break through in the north. Once they managed to get past the defences, around 250 of the invaders broke off, and managed to sneak into Vanya's Rest itself, while the remaining warriors drew the attention of the garrison. Now that the Heldannic Knights have enemies in their midst, the situation looks grave, indeed.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are with the knights, the PCs will either be hunting down those enemies who managed to enter Vanya's Rest, or engaging in pitched battles outside (either around the fortress, or to the south). If they are with the Meghaddaran-rakasta alliance, the PCs could either be drawing attention by staging daring raids, or they could be part of the force that is infiltrating the fort.

Fyrmont 18, AC 1017: Commanders Nominated.

Location: Cities of Theeds, Earldom of Theeds, and Leominster, Bishopric of Leominster, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC

Description: Both sides choose this day to nominate overall commanders of their swelling armies.

For the royalists: General of the Army, Lord-General Jeremy Brumstead; Major General of the Foot, Sir Lionel Edgwinton; General of the Horse, Lord Rodney the Intrepid; and for the parliament: Commander in Chief, the Rt. Honourable Blythe-Jackson; Commander of the Horse, the Honourable Edward Hampden; Commander of the Foot, the Honourable Richard Croft; Magical Adviser, the Honourable Philip Southwell. (See Fe. 19, Fy. 2; Fy. 27, Am. 17.)

What This Means: By now both sides appear to have become bored of the paper war of words between the two sides-both sides launch a massive recruiting and arming drive across the kingdom. Due to the parliament's superior resources, it seems that the king is perhaps lagging behind somewhat in the race for recruits.

What the PCs Can Do: Prominent characters could be given secondary command positions or become staff advisers to one of the commanders or form special action squads on their faction's behalf.

Fyrmont 18, AC 1017: Withstanding the Storm.

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

Description: A massive bombardment of Helskir's outer walls begins, as ten heavy catapults lob boulders at the fortifications. Although many of them miss their mark, falling short of the wall itself, others score direct hits, causing considerable damage and inflicting casualties. The barrage continues all day, with the hits becoming more accurate as the hours pass. A cease-fire is called by dusk, after which the Heldannic soldiers send out repair crews to restore the worst-hit portions of the wall. (See Fy. 9, Fy. 16; Fy. 20, Fy. 23.)

What This Means: The Thyatian-Heldunian alliance is displaying a show of force, to illustrate to their foes what they are capable of doing. They also hope to demoralise the Heldannic soldiers defending Helskir, by being able to pummel their defences from a safe distance, without fear of a counterattack. Although the damage was considerable, relatively few defenders lost their lives, and the worst of the destruction is repairable in fairly short order.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs serving with the attacking force could find themselves scouting the outer wall to determine where bombardments should take place, or perhaps sneaking behind the defences themselves. Heldannic PCs could perform acts of sabotage against enemy catapults, or wreaking havoc among outlying troops.

Fyrmont 18, AC 1017: Azcan Keep Falls.

Location: Calpaquelli Keep, Azcan Empire. HW

Description: After a long siege, punctuated by ferocious sorties by the Azcan defenders and costly bold assaults by the besieging Schattenalfen, the bastion finally falls, thereby completing the conquest of southern-central Azcan jungles. (See Va. 8, Fe. 11; Am. 24, Sv. 7.)

Fyrmont 18, AC 1017: Eastward Ho!

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

Description: After months of alternating between resting in Raven Scarp, making runs to other coastal settlements (including a brief jaunt to Kastelios, where a small number of Milenian refugees from the interior were picked up), and charting some of the larger coastal islands of the Hinterlands, Julius Ambrosius orders his men to settle any business they might have in Raven Scarp, as tomorrow the exploratory flotilla will sail eastwards. (See Va. 25, Fl. 15; Am. 9, Sv. 2.)

What This Means: Julius wanted to familiarise his men (many of whom have never sailed in tropical regions) with the waters around northern Davania, as well as acclimatise them to the rigours of the land, as he suspects that future events in the expedition will not be so tranquil. In the meantime, the Thyatian authorities asked him to perform some minor chores for them, such as charting islands and ferrying cargo over short distances, in part because of the ongoing conflict with the Hinterlanders of the interior. Seeing that some action would keep his men alert, Julius agreed. Now, however, he can delay his voyage no longer; his crew are as prepared as they can be.

Fyrmont 19, AC 1017: Armistice Negotiated With Twaelar.

Location: Twaelar Merrow Empire, Sea of Dread. OW

Description: The Thyatian Empire and the Twaelar Merrow Empire conclude an armistice agreement, bringing an end to the two year long war between them. They agree to respect each other's presence in the region, and to cooperate against threats to their mutual interests. The Thyatians will draw up new sea-charts and their ships will travel in designated sea-lanes to avoid passing over Twaelar communities. This will limit the risk of a ship sinking and hitting a Twaelar settlement. Thyatis also agrees to pay 100,000 gp in compensation, plus a 1,000 gp per month subsidy to the Twaelar. The Twaelar officially recognise Thyatis' claim to the Thanegioth Archipelago islands (eastern, not the western group part of Yavdlom).

Both parties will establish permanent embassies in each other's capitals, and trade will be permitted. This last part was suggested specifically by the envoys from Minrothad, and will help expand the empire's trade network. Soon the Thyatian Empire will be taking in enough revenue from taxing the trade to more than cover the cost of the monthly subsidy to the Twaelar. (See Ya. 16, Fy. 10; Am. 20, Ei. 19.)

What This Means: The Thyatians and the Twaelar decided a mutually beneficial pact would be better than the mutually harmful war. Neither are rivals for the same resources, since the Twaelar are a sub-oceanic power and the Thyatians almost exclusively a land-based power. Twaelar consulates will also be established in Mora and Raven Scarp, and Thyatis will establish consulates in some other Twaelar communities as they learn more about the Merrow Empire. As a result of this peace agreement, the Thyatians will redirect several fleets of marines to support the fight in the Hinterlands against the Thratians.

As a part of this deal the Thyatians requested that the Twaelar turn over information regarding who was shipping them supplies during the war. Names of several of the Twaelar contacts in the Nayce's arms trade are given to Thyatis. The Thyatians will keep their sea-charts secret, available only to their own merchants (which include those of Minrothad). Thus their ships will stay in the safe sea-lanes. The Twaelar have the right to attack ships sailing outside these lanes, which may make things dangerous for those who don't have the proper charts. Most Thyatian captains will abide to this restriction and be safe, but ships from other nations-notably those from the Western Defence League, but also Kastelios, Yavdlom, Nayce, or some even farther countries-will not benefit from the same protection; such ships may be sunk by the Twaelar, and it will probably be some time before the merrow empire realises that Thyatis is not the only nation with ships passing above its cities.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters could explore the Twaelar Empire, gain some Twaelar contacts, or perhaps even a merrow character could join the party.

Fyrmont 19, AC 1017: Siege of Tashgoun Lifted.

Location: Kingdom of Douzbakjian, Midlands. WB

Description: The forces of Kiligi Alp Arslan reach the city of Tashgoun and drive the Zuyevans before them. The Zuyevans withdraw in good order back towards the borders of their empire, but are hotly pursued by the forces of Douzbakjian. The people of Tashgoun cheer as the relief forces ride into and through the city. (See Ya. 1, Fe. 6.)

What This Means: The Douzbaks will harass the retreating Zuyevans all the way back to the border over the next weeks and days, pursuing them closely, riding down foraging parties and stragglers. As the route back home is already denuded of forage, the Zuyevan troops begin to starve, and are forced to eat their own mounts and pack animals. Troops begin to try and sneak away, deserting in the night, at first in ones and twos and later in entire squads and bands. Some of these manage to slink safely home, but more are captured or killed by their enemies as the invasion becomes a debacle.

Fyrmont 19, AC 1017: Cabal Expedition Reaches Albarocca.

Location: Northeastern arm of the Great Escarpment, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: After skirmishing with both phanatons and some araneas, the expedition sent out by the Cult of Thanatos reaches the isolated Barony of Albarocca. Albarocca lies on the edge of the escarpment, just south of Trikelios. The barony submitted to the Thothians during the fighting on the Isle of Dawn, but since then has languished, almost forgotten, in a monster-infested wilderness. They welcome their fellow Thyatians into their community. There is a degree of tension between both groups upon first contact. The expedition members stay for a few days, giving news from back home (emphasising tales of famine, riot, and civil war, making things seem unspeakably grim). They say they are refugees from Eusebius' tyrannical despotism, causing Baron Augustus Ignazio to feel sympathy for their plight. A few members of the Cult of Thanatos remain in Albarocca while the others travel on towards Trikelios. (See Th. 2, Kl. 3; Am. 8, Sv. 4.)

What This Means: The cultists of Thanatos, playing on the isolation of the barony and sympathy as fellow Thyatians, hope to quickly bring Albarocca under their sway, advising the baron and twisting him and his subjects towards the worship of Thanatos. What the cabbalists don't know is that Albarocca was overrun by araneas back in 1014 AC, and all of its inhabitants were slaughtered or enslaved.

Now, the barony is populated entirely by werespiders, in their latest effort at infiltrating the human communities on the Isle of Dawn. The tension between both groups that was initially felt was due to their mutual scheming, but was similarly dismissed by both as paranoia. It is inevitable that both groups will uncover one another's deception, but until they do, they will each attempt to manipulate the other.

Fyrmont 19, AC 1017: A Dark Day for the Heldannic Order.

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

Description: The battles within and outside of Vanya's Rest continue throughout the night and into the next day. Although the initial Meghaddaran-rakasta attack has been blunted, and turned back to some extent, the skirmishing inside the fortress goes on, with the small squads of raiders, for the most part, able to avoid capture. So concerned is he with the situation that Castellan Heinz Kronenburg himself has donned his weapons, and has taken part in the hunt for the intruders. Indeed, it is in the midst of a fray in one of the numerous kitchens, where he and a handful of junior knights discovered a small party of Meghaddara rooting through a pantry, when a thunderous roar appears to shake the entire fortress itself! Everyone falls to the ground from the accompanying shock wave, and is unable to move until the dust settles once more. Losing no time, Kronenburg and his men dispatch the intruders, but in doing so he reflects upon where the emanations might have originated-the holy chamber containing the Star of Vanya?

With growing trepidation, he orders his men to follow him to the central chambers of the fortress, where the star lies, always under heavy guard. Prepared as he is for a surprise, he does not anticipate what he actually sees-half of the guards surrounding the star lie dead, while the others are either wounded, or dazed. The star itself has not escaped damage, as a long, thin crack extends down one side, and small shards lie scattered about the floor. Splayed about the star are a number of Meghaddaran and rakasta warriors, many of whom are dead, but some remain alive, although heavily wounded.

Not wishing to lose any time, a stunned Kronenburg tells his men to secure the prisoners, while he issues orders, to be carried throughout the fortress, to redouble efforts to crush the invaders. (See Fy. 16, Fy. 18; Fy. 21, Am. 15.)

What This Means: The Star of Vanya, the artifact which provides power to the Heldannic warbirds, among other things, has been damaged by the raiders. Though they had initially entered the fortress to wreak as much havoc as possible, one group came across the heavily guarded chamber, and guessed at its importance. The battle with the guards was exceedingly difficult, but enough warriors managed to get close enough to the star to inflict some damage-one blow was in fact landed by a Meghaddaran warrior wielding a hand axe +4 (a family heirloom, passed to him, he believed, just for such a purpose). Although the warrior was killed instantly by the resulting wave of shock from the artifact, and his axe was destroyed, the damage had been done.

Throughout the Heldannic Empire, all warbirds, no matter where they are, suddenly lose all power-permanently. Those warbirds which were in flight crash to the ground, resulting in the death of all those on board (as was the case with the warbird attacking raiders to the south), while those resting on the ground remain inert. This will present a serious setback to the Heldannic Order, as much of their military might rested on the ability to move large numbers of solders quickly through the use of the warbirds, as well as on their formidable weaponry. Forced to rely on more mundane means to extend their power, the knights' advance in various regions of the world will likely be slowed, or reversed. Once the Heldannic Order's leaders realise the true gravity of the situation, they will take pains to ensure that other nations do not find out-until such means can be developed to provide the knights with aerial offensive capability once more.

What the PCs Can Do: If they were part of the raiding force, the PCs could have been the people who stormed into the chamber containing the Star of Vanya, and tried to damage it. If this is the case, events in future almanacs will continue as written if they succeed. If their attack failed, then the Heldannic Order will not have lost its warbird fleet, and thus events in the future will have to be changed accordingly, or the PCs might try again some other time (though the guard around the star would be strengthened even more). If they manage to damage the star, the shock wave will do 5d8 damage to everyone in the chamber (save vs. death ray for half damage); if they accomplish this, and manage to escape afterwards, they will be hailed as heroes among the Meghaddara. If the PCs are with the Heldannic Knights, they could be the ones who try to hold off this daring raid.

Fyrmont 20, AC 1017: The Gentle Breeze of War.

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

Description: Queen Detteria Scarback summons her military commanders and begins ordering them to begin preparations for war. Surprised by the sudden decision, they are told that Arogansa is in need of more farmlands and farmers. As such, Arogansa will have to seize such lands and farmers to do their bidding.

Most expect that Detteria will seek a war with Theranderol as the two kingdoms have a history of dislike, with a heavily fortified border as a visible testament. However, their queen surprises them again by aiming her kingdom's forces upon Eadrin. Eadrin, as she states, will provide the lands and peoples they need without overly stressing the kingdom's resources. Eadrin is also Arogansa's main competition in the realm of tourism; eliminating that kingdom, or even just ravaging its lands in war, will eliminate this competition.

Since Eadrin is considered weak and generally inferior, the military officers are enthusiastic about a war against them. However, several assert their concerns that neighbouring Randel may intervene. They are also worried about initiating a war while the bulk of their forces are integrated into imperial units. Detteria informs them that she has contemplated their concerns. She tells them that Randel is too weak and too disoriented to assist the Eadrin. She adds that Eadrin is also without large numbers of its troops.

As for the rest of their concerns, Detteria points to a map and lays out her plan. She tells her officers that all they need to do is invade and take land. They do not require the conquest of the entire kingdom. Her forces will focus on Archport and Deipan, which should give them control of the lower Thera River.

Detteria states that Arogansa's forces will be divided into four groups. One group will remain in Arogansa and man the fortifications along their border with Theranderol. One group will cross the Thera River and lay siege to Archport. Another will cross and proceed to Deipan. The last group will cross between the two cities and act as a strategic reserve force to support and defend either of the besieging forces. This group will be in position to intercept any Eadrin counterattacks into Arogansa. (See Th. 2; Am. 11, Am. 23.)

What This Means: Detteria is a militaristic mage, rivalling even most Randel mages in her love of combat. She utterly despises the reputation that her kingdom has gained as a playground of the empire's elite. She had hoped that with the loss of the beaches and diminished tourist trade, her fellow Arogansans would focus their attentions elsewhere, preferably moulding the kingdom into a major power in the empire.

The truth is that Arogansa's tourist trade is still suffering from the loss of its beaches. Thus the kingdom's revenues have suffered considerably. Detteria hopes that removing the competition will restore Arogansa's fortunes and prosperity.

Though Theranderol is the most justified target for invasion because of past historical rivalries and feuds, and seizing its wealth would help, it is also the most formidable. Likewise, Theranderol's ruler is the empress's daughter. Though it is not typical for the imperial throne to intervene on kingdom conflicts, Eriadna may initiate a precedent at the behest of her daughter. Given the presence of imperial skyships in Randel amid the fear of a Bettellyn invasion, the imperial throne is already on the verge of breaking that tradition.

Greenspur is an option. However, that kingdom is powerful and there is not a lot of justification for an invasion. Detteria knows that any military action is going to be received coldly by the hedonistic noble majority. Conflict with Greenspur would be bad for business. Likewise, it could be militarily disastrous.

Therefore Eadrin comes into play. Though Eadrin and Arogansa have few incidences of hostility, Eadrin has often found itself in Arogansa's shadows. But Eadrin's successes in recovering after the sinking have undermined Arogansan ideas of their superiority and made them a bit envious of their neighbour. Normally, Eadrin would have been untouchable thanks to their friendly relations with Randel. However, Randel has its own problems with a weak ruler, eroded military, and threat of a Bettellyn invasion, so Detteria doubts that the Randel will contribute anything significant to Eadrin's defence.

Detteria is more concerned about the reaction from her constituent noble mages. Most have little interest in military affairs and prefer to keep to their various businesses; either managing and promoting them or indulging in them. She will have to deal with them eventually;. she already has some plans to put before them, should it come to that. However, she hopes that they will find amusement and even a little pride in the expansion of the kingdom.

Fyrmont 20, AC 1017: An Offer of Allegiance.

Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: Carola the Grappler is approached in a tavern by a member of a female pirate club. Her recent skirmish with Emilio has brought her to their attention. The women are trying to recruit Carola into their group. They try to persuade her by talking of further vengeance against Emilio, but Carola is unconvinced. She informs the woman that she will consider the offer, and then excuses herself. (See Fe. 6, Fy. 15; Am. 20, Am. 27.)

What This Means: The woman is Felicia Marlinspike, the leader of the Sisters of the Sea. The Sisters are a radical group with a decidedly anti-male bias. Felicia's over-zealousness in exacting revenge on Emilio was picked up on by Carola. The Grappler is neutral toward the offer, as she wants no formal ties to any organisation, and she considers the matter with Emilio to be finished.

Fyrmont 20, AC 1017: Disturbances in the Rear.

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

Description: After completing another day of sporadic bombardment, the gathered Thyatian-Heldunian force prepares to bed down for the night, secure behind their ring of sentries and palisades. Scant hours after sundown, the encampment is surprised to hear shouts of alarm coming from the western fringes-20 sentries have been found dead, and three catapults are in flames. As soldiers are roused to douse the flames, Heldannic heavy cavalry seem to arise from the ground itself to harry the allies' efforts. As they turn to face this new threat, small platoons of light infantry coalesce out of the surrounding woodlands and tall grasses to wreak even more havoc.

It is some time before the nearby forces can collect their bearings in order to stage an effective counterattack, but by the time they are able to do so, the Heldannic soldiers are withdrawing, having created enough destruction in their wake to ensure that most of them manage to escape. (See Fy. 16, Fy. 18; Fy. 23, Fy. 24.)

What This Means: Anna von Hendriks' forces have not been idle while their enemies were subjecting them to bombardment. Soldiers and townsfolk were ordered to dig several tunnels under the outer wall itself, some distance from the areas being attacked currently. These were used by the infantry to disperse into the wilderness around the designated target region of the enemy camp. These soldiers ambushed the nearby sentries, and set fire to the catapults close by, thus providing the distraction necessary to allow the cavalry to leave through the outer gates unnoticed, and return afterwards. After the surviving raiders returned to Helskir, the tunnels were filled.

While it may seem very elaborate-perhaps excessively so-the counterattack did fulfil its purpose: several catapults have been destroyed, and the confidence of the attackers has been shaken-to the extent that their plans to stage a large-scale assault might be delayed.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are working with the Heldannic forces, the PCs could be ordered to take part in the raid (especially if they are good at sneaking about, or possess spells useful for such purposes. Likewise, PCs serving with the Thyatian or Heldunian forces might find a way to prevent so many Heldannic soldiers from fleeing, thus allowing their side to gain valuable information through the interrogation of any prisoners.

Fyrmont 21, AC 1017: Amidst the Ruin Rise Hidden Agendas.

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

Description: The Heldannic forces based at Vanya's Rest have managed to rally themselves, and drive back the raiders (who, having sensed that enough disruption has been created, are only too happy to withdraw-for now). Once the casualties and damages have been assessed, the local high-ranking members of the Heldannic Order, unbeknownst to Castellan Heinz Kronenburg, send a report to Freiburg, detailing the events leading up to the successful raid on the part of the Meghaddara and their rakasta allies, and how Kronenburg had been misled by the tactics of the enemies into thinking an attack was coming from the south, despite evidence to the contrary. They go further, blaming him for the damage sustained by the Star of Vanya, and ask Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf to render his personal judgment on the matter, recommending that Kronenburg's command be terminated.

In the meantime, Kronenburg's advisers quietly co-opt him, issuing orders in his name and effectively running the fortress themselves. While all this is happening, Kronenburg, still distraught over the damage sustained to the star, and over the success of the raiders in breaching what was once thought to be an impregnable fortress, keeps to himself in his chambers, seeing no one at all. (See Fy. 18, Fy. 19; Am. 15, Ei. 14.)

What This Means: Kronenburg's career as a high-ranking Heldannic commander is effectively over. Although he was unable to handle the situation, his immediate subordinates, wishing to gain more prestige for themselves, exaggerated certain aspects of the events to make the castellan appear totally incompetent. Wulf von Klagendorf, being in far-off Freiburg, will not have any evidence of his own to compare with the information he receives.

What perplexes the Heldannic officials, though, is the motivation for the attack, as well as the reason for the presence of the rakasta (who have since been distinguished from the divergans as a separate race). Thorough interrogation of the prisoners captured in the chamber containing the star revealed that they had no previous knowledge of the artifact.

Fyrmont 21, AC 1017: Military Aid and Migration.

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

Description: With the demobilisation of certain imperial units, a new problem has presented itself. There are some personnel that originally hail from kingdoms outside of the Alphatian mainland and therefore have no kingdom to return to, though their memories have been altered so that they think they hail from one of the mainland kingdoms, and they have detailed memories of where they were born and their childhoods, implanted by the Immortals. But many want to continue serving in the military, having known no other adult life. Others are experienced enough to have their full memory of the surface world.

This premise brings out another idea. Eriadna sees this as an opportunity to re-establish added dependence and relations between Alphatia and the kingdoms that now compose Nayce. She instructs that those who want to continue to serve be told that there is a large area on another world that has been colonised by Alphatians, and she will allow some of these individuals their return to go to this Outer World. She commandeers four skyships and uses them as their transport. The skyships will also serve as the means to transport surplus weapons, armour, and magical weaponry to Nayce. (See Va. 24, Th. 21; Fy. 22, Fy. 27.)

What This Means: With its magical foundation, these offerings can easily be replaced in a rather short period. The skyships, though needed by the imperial forces, are considered worth dispatching, as more can be built. One of the ships, The Dervish, is one of the last remaining men-of-war of the skyfleet, a class of skyships whose enchantments cannot be used to their fullest in the Hollow World, except on the Floating Continent of Alphatia itself; therefore, it will be more useful in Nayce.

Eriadna places Colonel Sdandre into command of this squadron of skyships. Born and bred in Floating Ar, he has made a career in the imperial skyship fleets. However, he is getting old and desires to end his service. He would prefer to do so in his home kingdom and in his family estate. Being the senior and most skilled skyship officer, Eriadna's choosing him is the natural choice.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs that also hail from kingdoms still on the surface, or who have their full memory, may volunteer to be part of that expedition.

Fourth Week

Fyrmont 22, AC 1017: Another Venture to Mykonos.

Location: City-State of Kastelios, Serpent Coast. DV

Description: Adonai Stephanos departs once more for Mykonos, with two ships laden with supplies and hopeful colonists, a number of whom are former refugees from the Meghala Kimata Plains. (See Fy. 1, Fy. 9; Am. 20.)

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can be part of the group embarking for Mykonos.

Fyrmont 22, AC 1017: Into the Distant Night.

Location: Northern Polar Opening. AS

Description: Three Alphatian skyships emerge from the polar opening. The voyage through the opening has been difficult and costly. Two of the vessels had hit the opening at the wrong angles, the Dervish crashing in the anti-magic zone. The Madgyn's Revenge had managed to remain aloft long enough to carry the anti-magic zone, but had scraped the ground just as the enchantments returned. This vessel is heavily damaged but can be flown again if repairs are made.

The squadron's senior officer, Commander Sdandre decides to continue on towards Naycese lands aboard the Aran. He orders the Cloud Kin to remain by the Madgyn's Revenge while it undergoes the needed repairs. He tells the captain of that vessel to keep an eye out for any of the Dervish's crew that may have survived the crash and journeyed out of the anti-magic zone. Sadly, the Dervish was the most precious of the four ships, and it transported the most experienced crew.

After transferring most of his supplies over to the two vessels and taking on their magical cargoes, Sdandre orders his navigator to set a southerly course for Naycese lands. Though his navigator suggests that they head for Norwold, flying over it as a navigational aid, Sdandre decides that they will instead sail to Qeodhar. The exact situation of Norwold is unknown to them; tales of Heldannic aggression and dragon attacks have filtered down to the Hollow World. The commander does not want to take that risk. (See Fy. 21; Fy. 27, Fy. 28.)

Fyrmont 22, AC 1017: Torpin Officer Staff Named.

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

Description: Amid great fanfare, the Nayce Council announces the appointment of officers and non-commissioned officers to the Torpin. Charged with commanding the vessel is Dhallaq Trest, a retired submersible captain from Aquas. Myarkhen Bayller, a stranded resident of Greenspur, will act as his second in command. Sister Yalonda, a cleric of Alphatia from Ekto, will attend to the physical and spiritual needs of the crew. Magus Dlanor, one of the Torpin's creators, will serve as the vessel's chief engineer.

There are other appointees and positions offered. It is quickly noticed that the appointees are a fair representation of the Naycese kingdoms. This is a surprise as most would naturally assume that Aquans would fill out the ranks of the massive submersible. However, this diversity is brought about the need to not over-stress Aquas' populace and limit Aquas' influence with the Torpin. (See Kl. 24, Fy. 8; Fy. 24, Fy. 25.)

What the PCs Can Do: PCs allied with Nayce may find themselves tasked with an appointment to the Torpin. Conversely, PCs not friendly to Naycese interests may be alerted to investigate the appointees for possibly use by their respective allies; blackmail, assassination, information, or sabotage.

Fyrmont 23, AC 1017: Strike on Helskir.

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

Description: Under the cover of ballistae and light catapults, a detachment of Heldunian troops from the 1st division of the army of Heldun stages an assault against the outer wall of Helskir, supported by Thyatian and Heldunian battle mages. The magical and mundane barrage is sufficient to prevent the Heldannic crossbowmen from killing too many of the attackers. Although some of them are lucky enough to find shelter underneath rocky outcroppings; most are not, and, knowing they have only a limited amount of time before they are no longer protected from a concerted counterattack, they turn their attention quickly to the main gate.

While intense conflict ensues by the gate, the remainder of the Thyatian-Heldunian force advances, seeking to press its advantage before it is too late. Catapults and ballistae are moved into better positions, and siege towers (built during the previous nights by the Thyatian tuldum regiment) draped with water-soaked animal skins are wheeled into place. The magical barrage intensifies, as magic missiles, lightning bolts, and fireballs streak across the sky towards their targets, forcing the Heldannic soldiers manning the wall to keep their heads low. The defenders have a few tricks up their proverbial sleeves, however; ballistae and light catapults mounted atop the wall manage to do considerable damage to several pieces of siege equipment (and their crews), and focused applications of finger of death, cloudkill, and flame strike spells take their toll.

Meanwhile, Naycese ships seek to press their advantage by bombarding the warehouses by the northernmost docks with delayed blast fireballs and lightning bolts, as well as the magic missiles that issue forth from the boltmen's wands. The Naycese commander orders her soldiers to concentrate their attacks on a number of docks, hoping to clear the defending Heldannic forces out of those regions long enough to secure landing areas for the ground troops. The attack almost succeeds, as Anna's forces are for the most part too busy holding back their enemies along the walls, but a skilful re-deployment of crossbowmen and artillerymen brings enough military might to bear, for just long enough a time, to blunt the Naycese assault, and inflict enough casualties that the attackers are forced to withdraw temporarily.

The day's end, however, sees the partial withdrawal of the Thyatian-Heldunian force as well, as they remained unable to obtain a secure foothold close to the outer wall. (See Fy. 18, Fy. 20; Fy. 24, Fy. 25.)

What This Means: The Thyatian-Heldunian force managed to press its advantage considerably, and inflict many casualties upon the Heldannic defenders of Helskir, but the occupiers were too well-entrenched to dislodge easily. Despite the setback, the attacking army managed to inflict irreparable damage on the gates, and almost breach the outer wall in several places-though it suffered around 250 casualties in doing so. The Heldannic soldiers, though they managed to hold the line, did so at great cost-almost 200 dead, in spite of the protection afforded by their defences.

The Naycese assault managed to inflict a number of casualties as well-almost 60. However, due to the lack of coordination between them and the Thyatian-Heldunian force, Anna's soldiers were able to hold both enemy armies back.

What the PCs Can Do: This is an opportunity for PCs to distinguish themselves in battle, regardless of which side they are on.

Fyrmont 23, AC 1017: A Bad First Impression.

Location: Eagret Island, Nayce. AS

Description: Arriving off the coast of Eagret Island, a Naycese warship drops anchor down the coast from the island's fortifications. A launch ferries the newly deployed Commander Talmata, his staff, and an armed escort to the shoreline. The party makes its way up the coast to the fort with the intent to surprise the garrison.

It is Talmata that is surprised as his approach is not met and he makes his way into the compound unchallenged by the guards sleeping at the gatehouse. As he strolls through the interior, the grounds are mainly empty. The few garrison personnel that are seen initially ignore the group only to snap to attention as his rank is recognised. With a scornful look, Talmata ignores their tardy salutes and inattentiveness and makes his way towards the garrison keep. These troops quickly make haste into nearby buildings to inform their fellows that a high-ranking officer is here.

Outside the keep, Talmata spots the fort's bugler kicked back in a chair sleeping away. Kicking the chair from under him, he demands to know where the garrison commander is. The groggy soldier at first curses the interruption but quickly assesses the rank of the individual standing before him. He tells the cleric that Commander Fragnin is inside meeting with his aide, Sergeant Ziessa. He adds that the commander has given strict orders not to be disturbed. From behind him, he hears a rude remark about the nature of their meeting.

Turning to the speaker, Talmata notes that the garrison is slowly turning out. The first to arrive is a group of twenty troops. Though a bit worse for wear, each are smartly dressed in their Randel uniforms and fully armed with weapons and armour. These troops form up in orderly ranks and offer a crisp textbook salute. The rest are a mixed bag of hastily-dressed and poorly-armed troops. Gritting his teeth, Talmata motions for some of his escort to follow him into the main keep.

As the assembled troops watch, Talmata and his escort enter the keep. After a few silent moments, there are a series of crashing sounds and a woman's scream. Seconds later, Talmata emerges back out onto the main yard dragging a hastily-dressed Commander Fragnin by his unbuttoned tunic. His escorts accompany a still dressing Sergeant Ziessa, virtually dragging her out into the inner grounds before the assembled troops. Talmata personally drags Fragnin out into the yard and drops him before his troops. A few move to help him, but are stopped by the glares offered by Talmata's escorts.

Sprawled out on the ground, an embarrassed Fragnin threatens Talmata, citing that he is a noble and such insubordination by a mundaner will have its repercussions. Talmata laughs and produces a parchment. Unrolling it, he reads it aloud to the gathered troops. The document officially transfers command of the Eagret Island base to Commander Talmata, cleric of Razud.

Though insulted and embarrassed in front of the troops, Fragnin recognises the name. He knows that he cannot possibly stand up to the older and more experienced cleric. Still, he tries a final move to grasp a sense of victory out of the transition by downplaying the change of orders. With obvious contempt, he tells the cleric that he can have the inhospitable post and its pathetic garrison.

As he heads to gather his belongings, Fragnin tells Sergeant Ziessa to inform the rest of his staff to prepare to leave. Talmata interrupts and tells him that the orders make no mention of his staff being redeployed along with him. They will stay on Eagret Island and learn to be soldiers under his command. Obviously enraged, Fragnin storms off. Later, he leaves without any further incident.

Talmata informs the garrison that they should continue their rest for the remainder of the day. The coming morning will see the beginning of the reversal of the base's sorry condition. When they are not working to rebuild the defences, they will be working to rebuild themselves as soldiers. (See Nu. 18, Va. 25; Am. 22, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: Talmata's orders are to assume command of Eagret Island's naval base. It is a rather mundane posting and seen as punishment for his "failings" at Torenal Site. Ever the professional, Talmata chose to surprise the garrison to survey its preparedness. What he found is a grave disappointment. Commander Fragnin is a low-level noble mage; his appointment as the base's commander was more of an act of family ties than any military experience and ability.

During his tenure as the base's commander, Fragnin has filled his days with entertaining himself with his mistress, Sergeant Ziessa, and letting the troops do as they wish. Without a commander petitioning the Nayce Council, supplies are barely adequate and new equipment is almost unheard of. The troops' morale, combat ability, and discipline have all suffered. Only a handful of professional soldiers are present to maintain any semblance of military preparedness.

Talmata was outraged at the state of the base. He quickly surmised what had transpired. Given his ties to the Razud clergy, he felt that it is appropriate that those that bolstered Fragnin's self indulgent command should learn from their mistakes and find a sense of redemption. As for Fragnin, he felt nothing but contempt for him and saw no way that he can redeem himself at this post. In fact, he wanted him off of the island as quickly as possible.

Revitalizing the base will be a daunting task. Talmata is an experienced commander and should do well in righting matters. Likewise he is imposing enough to personally keep his troops in line and well motivated. The coming weeks will be busy for the troops. However, they will find that Talmata will be right there with them working and training.

Fyrmont 23, AC 1017: Double Weddings in Adlerturm.

Location: Barony of Adlerturm, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: All of Adlerturm and Aalban come out in celebration today, for a spectacular double wedding. Held in Adlerturm, the participants are Rolf Löwenroth (the heir of Baron Franz Löwenroth) who is marrying Viktoria von Drachenfels (second cousin of Prinz Jaggar von Drachenfels) and Walburg Löwenroth (the baron's daughter) who is marrying Sigmund von Drachenfels, the heir of Prinz Jaggar.

What This Means: The close ties between Aalban and Adlerturm are getting even closer after these marriages.

Fyrmont 23, AC 1017: The End of Crime?

Location: City of Aaslin, Kingdom of Notrion, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: King Corydon announces that his guard has uncovered and destroyed a thieves' guild operating within the kingdom's capital. The guild's stronghold has been raided, offering a bounty of documentation relating the details of the criminal organisation. Guild holdings have also been seized by the monarchy. Among these documents were the identities of the guild's leaders. Though the guard managed to eliminate or apprehend many key guild personnel, the leader has managed to elude capture. Corydon issues a bounty on the head of Myarko Daon as the leader of the guild.

What This Means: Given the extent of magic used on the Alphatian mainland, thieves' guilds and organized crime feared discovery from the proper authorities. Those that did operate on the mainland had to do so under the protections of powerful magic and influential benefactors. Most thieves operated outside of the mainland on imperial possessions on the isle of Dawn, Bellissaria, Esterhold, Norwold, and the Alatian Islands where magic was less of a factor.

After the sinking of the Alphatian mainland, displaced mages settled in these imperial possessions. Likewise magic savvy thief organisations moved to these holdings. Magical discovery and competition have placed a lot of stress on the native thieves' guilds. Some have merged with these newcomers to gain magical protection, others have downsized their actions to avoid discovery. However, such changes are never without initial conflict.

This is what has transpired in Notrion. The native thieves' guild had long operated without drawing attention from the authorities. However, a rival thief organisation has settled in the capital and the two have clashed. The native guild, led by Myarko Daon, was larger and better organized than the newcomers. However they lacked the magical support to claim absolute dominance over the new guild.

With Corydon's sense of paranoia over the mages, it was feared by both guilds that his tightening of security would offer their demise, as they would be discovered. The new guild decided to kill two birds with one stone and leaked some very credible information to the guard. The result was that the guard mobilised against the native guild.

The one catch in the plan is that Myarko has managed to avoid capture. The new guild fears that if he can remain at large, he can rally support. Since he knows about the other guild and some of its members, they fear that he may be able to expose them as well. They want him dead and have managed to influence Corydon into placing a bounty upon his head.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may find themselves involved in all manner of ways. They could be hired to act as Myarko's protectors. They could be hunting him, either as agents of Corydon or the rival guild. The identities of the leaders of the rival guild have been left purposely vague. The DM should fill in the details of this guild as he or she sees fit. The PCs may even be directly involved with one of the guilds, and be either key players in the downfall of the native guild, or try to escape capture by the royal guard.

Fyrmont 24, AC 1017: The Line Falters.

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

Description: The assault on the outer wall of Helskir continues as siege towers are wheeled up to the wall itself, and battering rams are applied against the gates. From above, Heldannic crossbowmen and battle clerics try to hold off the assault as long as possible, while light infantry, wielding their spears grimly, mass beyond the gates, preparing for the inevitable battle with their foes. Unlike the previous day, however, the line does not hold. Within half an hour, the gate shatters with a resounding crack, and the victorious Heldunian troopers surge into the breach. Atop the walls, the Heldannic soldiers and their clerical overseers become hard-pressed to aid their companions below, as they are faced with the furious might of over 300 members of the elite Antalian Guard, backed by bowmen stationed in the siege towers.

Pressed from two fronts, the 2nd regiment of Vanya's Loyal Heldannic Expeditionary Force (which was responsible for manning the wall) is forced to give ground, but even this attempt to maintain order fails; a full rout ensues, with the remnants of the force fleeing to the inner walls. Those soldiers who pursue them fall victim in large numbers to the assorted traps that dot the field between the walls, and soon the pursuit is called off. By sundown, the banners of Heldun and Thyatis fly over the partially-ruined gatehouse. (See Fy. 20, Fy. 23; Fy. 25, Am. 2.)

What This Means: Although they held their ground well, the Heldannic force lacked the numbers and the resources to hold out for a prolonged period, especially given the ferocity of the assaults over the previous days. Of the roughly 300 men who comprised the Heldannic force, less than 60 managed to escape, with the remainder having been killed in action, or captured. With the outer wall firmly under Thyatian-Heldunian control, the position of the occupying forces in Helskir is becoming very precarious, indeed.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs serving the Thyatian-Heldunian force could find themselves probing the inner defences of Helskir, to determine where the assault should be concentrated next. Alternatively, they could assist in interrogating the prisoners. Heldannic PCs (if they escaped) could be involved in the preparations for the final defence of Helskir.

Fyrmont 24, AC 1017: The Torpin's Near Disaster.

Location: Torpin Construction Site, Kingdom of Aquas, Nayce. AS

Description: Though still incompleted, Xerathis, Tredrigon, and Dlanor order the massive submersible pen to be flooded to test the hull integrity of the Torpin. As the chamber fills, the workers scramble through the submersible's interior checking for leaks. With everything secure, Xerathis suggests that the vessel's airlocks be tested. Since the construction hangar is flooded and will require hours of pumping to empty, his colleagues concur with the opportunity to test them.

As the main entrance airlock is flooded, the inner door gives way and a veritable wall of onrushing water barrages the upper deck. The workers scramble to close subsequent watertight doors to isolate the flooding. Quick action limits the flooding and the workers begin manning the pumps to remove the waters from both the hangar and the Torpin. Though several workers drown amid the flooding waters, the damage to the submersible is light. However the incident raises many questions as to the structural integrity of the Torpin. While the pumping is carried out Xerathis, Tredrigon, and Dlanor pour over the Torpin's plans trying to spot any overlooked weaknesses in the designs.

It is hours later before the answers are gathered. Examination of the main airlock reveals that the inner door had been installed backwards with the door opening inward, forcing the door latches and hinges to bear the full weight of the water pressure. Had the doors been installed correctly with the inner door opening into the airlock chamber this exterior water pressure would have been borne out by the door frame and the airlock chamber walls.

Tracing the installation back to the workers; the construction crew that fitted out the airlock is arrested. The mages question the four workers, using magic to verify their answers. Once done, Xerathis, Tredrigon, and Dlanor have the workers arrested and placed into custody pending their being sent to Aquas to stand trial. This move is unpopular to the rest of the workers who want them punished now. However, the mages stress that the law must handle the matter. Given the list of charges being brought up against them and the magically-confirmed interrogations, their guilt is certain to bring out the vilest of sentences. (See Fy. 8, Fy. 22; Fy. 25, Am. 14.)

What This Means: The construction workers are guilty, there is no doubt about it. Though the Torpin is a military vessel, civilians are overseeing its construction. Xerathis, Tredrigon, and Dlanor are undecided as to whether they have the authority to officially pronounce judgment and execute the sentence. Their own informal investigation merely insures that those responsible have been detained and will be turned over to the imperial courts.

Fyrmont 25, AC 1017: A Time of Reckoning.

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

Description: In a secret meeting several hours before sunrise, Ordensgeneral Anna von Hendriks holds a meeting of her most trusted aides, concerning the strategic situation-which is looking worse by the minute. Morale is plummeting, supplies are becoming scarce (thanks to the Naycese blockade); even repeated create food and water spells are not sufficient to alleviate the needs of the troops, and no solution seems to be readily apparent. Even attempts to commune have proven inconclusive; the few answers given by Vanya Herself have been cryptic-when they have been given at all. Nearing their wits' end, some advisers even broach the formerly unthinkable option: surrender. Anna dismisses that immediately, feeling that the terms might prove too onerous, and she is not willing to sacrifice the honour of her soldiers, or risk the displeasure of her Immortal, to soothe her own fears.

The discussion continues for several hours, as the booming sounds of offensive magic echo from the south. Knowing that, at best, the remaining forces might be able to hold out for another week, the group continues its deliberations, interrupted only by the occasional messenger dispatched by field officers requesting orders. (See Fy. 23, Fy. 24; Am. 2, Am. 6.)

Fyrmont 25, AC 1017: Counter-Offensive.

Location: Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: With increased forces at her disposal due to the conclusion of the Twaelar war, Leilah ben Nadir decides on a more proactive strategy. She sends out forces to engage the Hinterlanders in their own lands, intending to push back the frontier and create a buffer zone. The Thyatians also hope to gain control of the lands around the River Australis as far as the borders of Emerond, to facilitate trade with that recently contacted nation and its capital of Izmira.

Leilah sends her forces first through the Raven lands to the frontiers of the Leopard Clan, engaging them in a series of sharp battles, and securing several key places where forts are built to shelter the core of the Thyatian Hinterlands. (See Fe. 6, Fy. 9; Sv. 14.)

What This Means: The Thyatians intend to put an end to the raids and secure the regions inhabited by Thyatian settlers and those Hinterlanders (Thratians) who are loyal to Thyatis. Strategic areas are selected for improvised forts, and military roads are cut through the jungle to strengthen supply and communication lines. Leilah strikes at the Leopard Clan first as a means to undermine Siobhan's authority and also construct a cordon to isolate the Leopard Clan from the other clans, which Leilah hopes will then be easier to subdue.

What the PCs Can Do: As the war grinds on there are many small skirmishes the characters can be involved in. Those helping the Thyatians seize and control land might be granted it, along with the status of baron, as a fief.

Fyrmont 25, AC 1017: And Let Slip the Dogs of War!

Location: Fris River, along the border between Kingdoms of Frisland and Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The river boats carrying Stonewall's primary invasion force arrive and set the troops ashore on Arkan soil. They meet little resistance from the farming communities in the area and set up their military command post here under the leadership of General Selcomad in a small village called Ronden. (See Fy. 3, Fy. 13; Am. 4, Am. 16.)

What This Means: The Arkan-Stonewall war has begun! Selcomad and Amagast are both here, but Rogart is with the secondary force which is now on its way down Snake River to sail to Crystal Lake by the Roaring River in Foresthome, hoping to surprise the Arkan forces.

What the PCs Can Do: Fight, of course! On either side. PCs on Arkan's side won't be able to stop Stonewall's advance, but they might be able to slow it down significantly.

Fyrmont 25, AC 1017: Torpin Crew Training Begins.

Location: Seashield Dome, Kingdom of Aquas, Nayce. AS

Description: The first batch of recruits for the future crew of the Torpin arrives in Seashield. Following Naycese parameters, very few are actually from any of the Aquas domes. Several arrivals immediately withdraw their desire to serve on the Torpin because their initial introduction to being underwater has been unsettling. These individuals are allowed to withdraw as it is realised that if they are so worried about the submerged confines of the domes of Aquas then they will be horrified by the cramped confines of the Torpin.

Nayce officers and trainers meet with the remaining recruits and introduce them to the demands of duty aboard a submersible. As the days go by, recruits are introduced more and more to the equipment and tactics that will be seen in the actual Torpin. The recruits are evaluated, those displaying promise being sent to the Torpin site to be placed into their most rational positions and partake in specialised training. Of the recruits roughly half are accepted to begin this next stage of training. (See Fy. 22, Fy. 24; Am. 14.)

What This Means: Overall, the recruits show promise. By deciding upon the requirements of positions within the Torpin the recruits can be subdivided by their abilities. The trick will be altering these abilities to fit the requirements of their respective duty obligations aboard a submersible. Given that the recruits are all volunteers and come with some degree of endorsement from military officers, nobles, or kingdom rulers, they all have something to offer to the submersible fleet. Even if they do not live up to the requirements of the Torpin, some may find service within the remainder of the submersible fleet.

What the PCs Can Do: Nayce affiliated PCs may easily find themselves recruits in the Torpin crew. Their exact position depends upon their abilities and experience. Given the manpower needs of the proposed fleet, PCs may find themselves offered higher ranking positions in the smaller submersibles.

Fyrmont 26, AC 1017: Anchorage Besieged.

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

Description: A portion of the united Jennite army reaches the port town of Anchorage and besiege it. However, though the Alphatian defenders are less than in Faraway, they are better organised this time, and the Jennite meet stronger resistance than they expected. (See Fe. 25, Fy. 12; Am. 23, Sv. 2.)

What This Means: Anchorage never depended on the leadership of a strong and dictatorial aristocrat, as both Blackrock and Verdan used to, because few aristocrats were interested in the place, and the commoner soldiers are thus more used to organise themselves, and they've had to fight off their share of attacks by both humanoids (like orcs or goblins) as well as free Jennites in the past. In addition, the Governor of Anchorage also has the advice of Krael and Lyriander who lived through both the siege of Vigil Keep and the siege of Faraway and who can thus give him valuable insight into the strategies of the Jennites. Things still look fairly ominous for Anchorage though.

What the PCs Can Do: Once again it is time to participate in a siege on either side.

Fyrmont 26, AC 1017: Necromancer News.

Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, and Seashield Dome, Kingdom of Aquas, Nayce. AS

Description: Returning to Aquas to replenish his supplies, the necromancer, Pidimigd, sends a report to the Nayce Council concerning the undead at Bluenose. He confirms that the beings are undead and that they were once Alphatians. However he cannot explain how they became animated and how they have maintained their sentience. He does note their memories lack any Alphatian ties, going back only a couple of years and always noting being under the sea. Most of what they do know comes from historical records discovered and studied by them. He does note that they seem to have a vague recollection about Alphatia, most being certain that they had once been part of Alphatia.

The necromancer reports that the undead refer to themselves as the Alphadon. Some tell that they have been in Bluenose for years, while others travelled to the ruins from other parts. Pidimigd cites his suspicions that there may be other Alphadon communities scattered throughout the sunken continent. Pidimigd reports that he has established an increasing degree of trust between himself and the Alphadon. He hopes that this openness and further study will answer the remaining questions about these undead. He also cites his intent to begin identifying the undead and whom they were when they lived.

Pidimigd also reports that the Alphadon have recognised that the ghouls have become more organized of late. Despite this the undead have armed themselves well from the various weaponry found in Bluenose and do not see any need for a military alliance with Nayce. The necromancer does report his impression that the undead are greatly interested in the Alphatians. However he urges that they be studied before any further contacts are pursued.

Seeing a definite need to evolve the project, Nayce appoints Pidimigd as project leader, though elements hostile to the undead, such as Underocean, take this opportunity to once again protest the decision not to exterminate the Alphadon. As his first display of this position, the necromancer dispatches messages to several other necromancers requesting their assistance in the project. (See Fe. 22, Fe. 27; Fy. 27, Am. 4.)

What This Means: Pidimigd has uncovered few real details about the Bluenose undead. All he really knows is that they are undead and that their bodies are those of deceased Alphatians. He knows not the exact nature of their animation or them being lightning zombies. Pidimigd is becoming obsessed with the study of the Bluenose undead and his attaining control over them. He fears that if he does not hurry other mages may undermine his presence there. So far he has initiated a program aimed at establishing trust between himself and the undead.

Pidimigd has chosen to withhold some details. First, the undead do not like him too much as he is overly curious about them and tends to treat them as objects. Second, the necromancer has tried to use his necromancy spells to gain control over them; these efforts have failed and the attempts have not gone totally unsuspected by the lightning zombies. Third, he suspects that others are trying to gain influence over the undead-not only has he felt other necromantic powers at work, he has also been told that at times the lightning zombies hear a feminine voice in their heads. Pidimigd has no idea who or what this female necromancer is, his scrying spells offering no answers.

Pidimigd knows that he needs help in Bluenose, but without jeopardising his own authority in the matter. As such, he is very particular about who comes to work under him. His position allows him the power to recruit necromancers, especially ones that he can keep subordinate to himself. Most of the necromancers he contacts are less experienced than himself, some being former apprentices of his.

Fyrmont 26, AC 1017: We Don't Want Your Kind Here.

Location: South of City of Izmira, Kingdom of Emerond. DV

Description: While on patrol atop their flying insectoid mounts, a small party of Emerondians spots a column of smoke rising from the jungle floor. Curious, as well as annoyed at this evidence of unwelcome intrusion, the patrol flies towards the smoke to investigate, and soon finds a large group of humans, gathered around several fires.

The patrol's leader, wishing to get to the bottom of this immediately, lands not far from the group, and addresses them in a number of languages, demanding to know the humans' business in Emerond. After overcoming their shock at seeing such a strange individual, some of the humans manage to respond-the more educated ones being vaguely familiar with one of the Emerondians' languages-they explain that they are fleeing fierce battles to the south, and merely seek a new home where they can rebuild their lives. The Emerondian leader considers this, and, after conferring with his companions, tells the humans to accompany them; there is a nation to the northeast populated by humans, who would be able to take them in.

Seeing that they have little choice in the matter, the humans accompany their Emerondian guides. (See Fe. 9; Fe. 27; Am. 9, Am. 16.)

What This Means: As hostilities continue on the Meghala Kimata Plains, the inhabitants of many of the settlements in the region come to realise that their homes are no longer safe. Some seek shelter in other city-states, while others, either wishing the leave the area entirely or having been turned away by other towns, seek out new lands. Many Milenian refugees end up in Emerond, which straddles a large stretch of jungles lying north of the area of conflict. The Emerondians, being in communion with their forests, know that the ecology of their kingdom is delicately balanced, and that the sudden influx of a large number of people could very well upset that balance.

Additionally, although they are a relatively peaceful people, the Emerondians have no desire to allow other races to settle their lands in large numbers; if a group of refugees is allowed to remain, the proverbial floodgates could be opened for future inflows. Many Emerondians are well aware of this, and, with the recent treaty of friendship with the Empire of Thyatis, will send any future refugees to the Hinterlands, citing population pressures and cultural differences to their Thyatian neighbours.

Fyrmont 26, AC 1017: Sultan's Troops Arrive at Tameronikas.

Location: Town of Tameronikas, Emirate of Nicostenia, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: The forces of Sultan Hassam arrive outside Tameronikas. After a brief skirmish between scouting parties, the sultan's forces set up camp for the night, and both armies begin to prepare for tomorrow's inevitable battle. But the next morning the Thyatian troops withdraw southward rather than fighting. The sultan parades his forces in front of the walls of Tameronikas, then he withdraws northwards. (See Fy. 12, Fy. 14; Am. 1.)

What This Means: Neither side really wanted to fight a battle that could be immensely disastrous if lost. Eusebius did not want to risk throwing away what had already been gained, or lose both precious troops and even more precious prestige. For Sultan Hassam, a battle that could go either way would have been even more risky.

Thus, both sides sent secret representatives to talk to the other side during the night, and they reached a tacit agreement. The Thyatians would withdraw, but Hassam would not challenge the existence of the Emirate of Nicostenia. A week after today, the Thyatians will release the remaining Ylari prisoners, sending them to Tameronikas. Hassam also agrees to allow Thyatian traders to pass through Ylaruam, and even conduct some business in the emirates so long as they are circumspect about it.

Hassam agrees to these things because he can correctly claim the Ylari retain control over Tameronikas, and nominally claim authority over it. Plus, like the Preceptors, he realises its existence as a town that seems friendly to Thyatis will tend to undermine support for the Preceptors and thus strengthen the Kin faction's control on the rest of Ylaruam.

Tameronikas will become a sort of open city, a town where non-Ylari can come to do business in ways that would be difficult in the rest of Ylaruam. But, more than that it becomes a focus of intrigues, as Thyatians, Preceptors, Kin representatives, and eventually diplomats and spies from other agents all congregate here.

Fyrmont 27, AC 1017: A Paradoxical Proposal.

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

Description: Representative Kratynn of Meriander addresses the council to put before them a few thoughts on the undead at Bluenose. With a copy of Pidimigd's report in hand, he goes over key aspects of the findings to great detail. Coming to the point of the matter, he offers that just because the undead are composed of the physical remains of Alphatians that does not mean that they are Alphatians. He specifically cites that there has to be a difference between the identity of the physical vessel and the identity of the life essence inside. Just because an individual wears the physical body of another, that does not entitle that person to the status of the physical form.

He goes on to relate that if the physical body is solely demonstrative of the living person, then any animated corpse could easily claim its right to be awarded any properties or titles it held in life. Grasping current events, he states that given that line of thinking then the very undead that inhabit the Alphatian Sea would be members of Nayce. And then comes in the question of this undead aggression actually being domestic strife and any coming conflict should be considered a civil war.

Kratynn's argument brings a variety of responses from the gathered council. Though varying in detail, all contend that the argument is sound. Some point out that they have lost family in the sinking and cannot reasonably see any of the undead as their kinsmen. It is decided that the undead will be treated as undead. After this decision is reached, Underocean's representative comments that the only way to treat undead is as enemies. However, the matter of the Alphadon is still vague. The council decides to not take any action against them until their exact nature and origins can be determined. Likewise, their present status will not reflect their living identity. Only a few have been identified and those have no recollection of their mortal lives. (See Fe. 27, Fy. 26; Am. 4, Am. 16.)

What This Means: Representative Kratynn's little speech is more targeted towards Karszamon than the lightning zombies. Essentially, his argument is a debate on which has more a bearing upon Karszamon's assumption of Broderick's position.

Fyrmont 27, AC 1017: Skyships Over Qeodhar.

Location: Kingdom of Qeodhar, Nayce. AS

Description: Aboard the Aran, the fleet commander is summoned to the helm by the cries of land being spotted. After some quick checking, the landmass is realised to be the Island of Qeodhar. The commander instructs the navigator to use the sighting as a means to pinpoint their location and re-plot their course towards the kingdom's capital. (See Fy. 21, Fy. 22; Fy. 28, Am. 9.)

What This Means: The skyship has made great progress, however their position is not exactly where the commander had wanted to be. The navigator is a bit off on his calculations and the vessel is a bit off. The Aran will have to cross over the island kingdom to get to the kingdom's capital, Farend.

Fyrmont 27, AC 1017: Blackheath Plate Retained.

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

Description: An attempt by the parliament to sell the solid gold Memorial Plate of Blackheath, dedicated to those Blackheathians who have fallen in the various wars of Bellayne's past, is defeated by the staunch opposition of Richard Croft, Blackheath's member of the parliament. (See Fy. 2, Fy. 18; Am. 17, Am. 26.)

What This Means: The parliament will be a few hundred gold pieces worse off, but Richard Croft's popularity in his constituency is unrivalled. Blackheath, unlike most of Kittings, is a firm supporter of the parliament.

Fyrmont 28: The Aran Arrives.

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

Description: The Aran arrives overhead Farend and after signalling the garrison, Commander Sdandre disembarks with an away team. He is hastily shown to King Norlan, who orders food and drink for them. Over these delicacies, Norlan inquires about the common news of the Alphatian continent and the empress. Through conversation it is revealed that Norlan's wife, Mariella, has made her way to the Hollow World and is safe with her mother at the imperial palace.

Apparently unconcerned by this news, Norlan informs them of the current conflicts that are occurring in his kingdom. He points out that Nayce has offered some assistance but not nearly enough to completely remove the threat. He asks Sdandre if he would add his skyship to his cause and aid in quelling unrest. Sdandre responds that he and his companions are on an important mission and cannot endanger the skyship in a local disturbance. In fact, the commander requests supplies and berthing while they await the arrival of the rest of the skyships.

Though a bit disappointed at being denied such a powerful weapons platform, Norlan makes a counterproposal. He agrees to provide the supplies and quarters; in return he requests that the skyship be a visible deterrent in the capital's defence. He feels that the mere presence of a skyship should be a major morale boost to his forces and cause the rebellion to falter.

Sdandre agrees to the proposal and adds that he, his men, and vessel will assist in any defence of the capital. He will even offer to ferry Norlan out of the kingdom should the opposition prove to be insurmountable. This additional offer is born out of pride as it would be seen as detrimental for a skyship to flee from a rabble of rioting barbarians. (See Fy. 22, Fy. 27; Am. 9, Am. 12.)