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EVENTS: KALDMONT

First Week

Kaldmont 2, AC 1017: Domes Ready for Transportation.

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

Description: The final four domes are complete and loaded aboard their transport barges for ferrying to the Torenal Site. As with before, their departure is postponed to avoid the effects of the Day of Dread and to allow an adequate escort fleet to be assembled. (See Am. 2, Am. 18; Ka. 12.)

Kaldmont 2, AC 1017: Surveyors Ambushed!

Location: Lonely Forest, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The survey team north of Llyn Lake is ambushed by a small but strong elite force. All soldiers and some of the surveyors are killed. All survivors are taken as captives. (See Ei. 2, Ei. 17; Ka. 5, Ka. 19.)

What This Means: This is a very critical moment for the project. Some anonymous foes of the project have hired some attackers to stop the surveying.

What the PCs Can Do: Should the PCs be part of the team they would have to face the threat. More unscrupulous adventurers could be part of the attackers.

Kaldmont 2, AC 1017: Dissent in the Commons.

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

Description: Some members of the parliament are becoming disheartened with the progress of the war; many old Royal Party members are beginning to revert to their original sensibilities. The parliament's progress has not been as good as promised by the parliamentary commanders, with the defeat at Siren Hill and the might of the royalist army between them and the king. Also, the unrest in Kittings and the loss of Aldhythe Castle have caused despondency to spread like a disease throughout the house.

Benjamin Treeby, leader of the Royal Party, calls for a vote demanding that the parliament open peace negotiations with the king. Impassioning the house with an emotive speech, the vote passes. Duly, an ambassador is dispatched to Theeds to negotiate a peace with King James. (See Ei. 25, Ei. 28; Ka. 4, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: A major blow to Blythe-Jackson, perhaps the parliament doesn't have the stomach for a continued conflict. It remains to be seen how many concessions the parliament is willing to grant to the king in the name of peace-Blythe-Jackson, Croft and Southwell will all do their utmost to oppose any peace settlement.

Kaldmont 3, AC 1017: Ennius reaches Edairo.

Location: City of Edairo, Kingdom of Thothia, Nayce. SD

Description: Ennius Necrekis and seven men of his expedition reach Edairo. They start bribing Thothian officials to gain access to some ancient Thothian tomes with arcane information. (See Am. 7, Ei. 12; Ka. 12, Ka. 24.)

Kaldmont 4, AC 1017: A King and a Queen Convene.

Location: City of Denwarf-Hurgon, Kingdom of Stoutfellow, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: King Koblan Dracodon of Stonewall is visiting Queen Buthra Bofadar of Stoutfellow. The monarchs discuss the possibility of crossing the Kerothar Mountains by tunnels and/or canals. The queen reassures the king of Stonewall that her engineers-mostly gnomes-are working on the matter since they have heard about the canal-building projects at the beginning of the year. Now that the technical solutions are nearly worked out, what remains to be discussed are the routes of some of these projects. A road between Draco and Denwarf-Hurgon will be one part of the project, so that Stonewall will have at least an overland route to the rest of Alphatia. A canal like the ones in Alphas'ar and Foresthome should also include a section in Haven, though, so discussions with Queen Kryndylya will have to follow. (See Kl. 15, Am. 1; Ka. 10, Ka. 11.)

What This Means: The king of Stonewall is more desperate than the queen of Foresthome. His kingdom had relied even more on sea trade and is now even more isolated. As no solution would be possible without his neighbour, Stoutfellow, he has asked his sister-queen. Fortunately the dwarves of Stoutfellow are interested in increasing trade too, and they are also intrigued by the engineering challenge. Likewise the gnomes in this kingdom, offended about the fact that the great pit between Aegos and the Hollow World had been constructed by gnomes from Serraine, are eager to prove their engineering abilities in such a venture. So they had worked since the canal announcements to develop their own projects, ones that would suit Stoutfellow best;. such studies were even begun before the transition to the Hollow World. Now they are ready-at least as ready as a gnomish project can ever be!

What the PCs Can Do: Gnomish PCs might be some of the engineers but dwarves are involved too.

Kaldmont 4, AC 1017: The Flotilla Rush.

Location: High Seas due south of Kingdom of Bellayne. SC

Description: Three sloops under the command of Commodore Bassetlaw attempting to run before a gale towards Chansea are, by sheer bad luck, caught red-handed by a royalist frigate, the Revenge, under the command of Captain Geoffrey Goodenough. Goodenough fails to identify the sloops as parliamentary vessels until it is too late however, and the nimble vessels slip by him to the northeast.

Via magical means, Goodenough informs his commanding officer, Admiral Vance in Theeds. Vance is worried about where the sloops are headed, believing they may be carrying supplies to the parliamentarian town of Chansea. Orders are drafted for a royalist reconnaissance of Chansea as soon as possible. (See Ei. 28, Ka. 2; Ka. 28.)

Kaldmont 4, AC 1017: The Book's Gate Revealed.

Location: Tower of Night, Milenian Empire. HW

Description: Furious, Zandor curses loudly at the Book of Zargos, and goes into one of his infamous outbursts, and starts casting spells about. The Zargosians who were studying near him promptly leave the room, and do not return until after Zandor has locked himself in his quarters, where he stays for a full week. The Zargosians assume Zandor suffered a major setback in his work with the book; given the time they have been at it themselves, they are not surprised. (See Ei. 2, Ei. 12; Ka. 11, Ka. 13.)

What This Means: Actually Zandor has finally mastered the last spell that Zargos left His followers. Unfortunately it isn't what he expected-really, what good is a variation on the gate spell? Not only did he expect something big, but he also hoped the book would contain a cure for the disease that affects the Zargosians.

After his initial rage at the realisation of the shortcomings of the Book of Zargos, Zandor thought hard about that gate variant and why it was so important to Zargos. After some intense reflection, it finally hit him: this spell is tailor-made to extinguish the Red Sun! Necromancers and undead, and especially the Zargosians, hate the sun, and Zandor even remembers they told him they briefly took control of the Milenian Empire a few years prior when the sun went black. Zandor now knows that he only has to find a way to use that knowledge in a way that will benefit him, so he starts working on that while pretending to resume his work as if nothing happened.

Kaldmont 5, AC 1017: The Glorious Imperial Navy Goes into Action.

Location: Lonely Forest, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The warband that had ambushed the surveyors a few days ago is now ambushed itself by a man-of-war of the Alphatian Imperial Navy, the Invisible Stalker. The surprised thugs are not able to counter the attack of the imperial marines in any way, especially as the attack is backed by a warship cleared for action, which seems to appear out of nothing. The captives are freed and the kidnappers are taken into the brig. Afterwards the Invisible Stalker returns to Andaire. (See Ei. 17, Ka. 2; Ka. 19, Ka. 27.)

What This Means: The ship was ordered into the interior of the continent by the empress. As the crew had learned about the ambush they have recovered the dead, only to plan their counterattack. On this very day the captain and his officers were ready and started a neat and quick military operation. Of course it was a nice effect that the Invisible Stalker has cloaking abilities.

What the PCs Can Do: As a part of the away team they could attack the kidnappers. Should they have been the attackers the best they could hope is an escape now or later on.

Kaldmont 5, AC 1017: Sultan's Troops Arrive at Tameronikas.

Location: Town 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 Ei. 24, Ei. 28.)

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. Losing here would likely have insured that his name went down in Ylari history as the man who lost what his ancestor had gained, freedom from Thyatis.

So both sides sent secret representatives to talk to the other side during the night, and they reached a tacit agreement. The Thyatians would withdraw, allowing Hassam to claim to have chased them from Ylari lands, 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. This will allow Hassam to claim to have forced Thyatis to relinquish them, further saving face. 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 sort of an 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.

Kaldmont 6, AC 1017: Dogrel Relieved.

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

Description: General Dogrel is given orders that he should begin preparing to withdraw from Randel. Given the turn of events there, there is no reason for him to remain in the area. The whole show of imperial force has succeeded anyway, helping prevent the forces of Bettellyn from achieving any successes whatsoever. However, his withdrawal is not to be immediate-Eriadna wants to retain the image that his being there is part of a series of coincidental training exercises. If he and his skyships were to leave within the next few days it would obviously undermine their official reason for being in Randel. Therefore his orders are dated to go into affect after the Day of Dread. (See Fy. 1, Ei. 2.)

Second Week

Kaldmont 8, AC 1017: An Excursion for Manfred.

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

Description: Since the end of the Crown War, Manfred Torion D÷rfer, Eusebius' half brother, and the former pretender to the imperial crown, has lived in one of the emperor's palaces, on one of the Princess Isles in Vanya's Girdle. He has been kept under discrete supervision, and what amounts to house arrest. But he has become close to both Demetrion and Eusebius' younger son, Gabrionus, and as the taint of Heinrich Oesterhaus' influence has left him, he has proved himself a decent sort of man. Manfred has persistently petitioned for an opportunity to redeem himself and prove his worthiness in the eyes of the emperor. With the expeditions planned to explore the vast caverns under Thyatis and map a route to the Hollow World about to depart, Manfred gets his wish. He is selected to lead one of the expeditions, guided by Rurtifus and several other wererat volunteers, and including a couple of Milenians from Davania, as it is rumoured that there is a Milenia in the Hollow World, and they might be helpful as translators and intermediaries. (See Ya. 11.)

What This Means: Three expeditions, sponsored by both the University of Biazzan and the imperial government, will depart to explore the unlit realms and find a route to the Hollow World. The one led by Manfred is probably the best equipped and organized of these, with the best chance of succeeding. This is due in part to his inclusion of Milenians and of Rurtifus, who has already been to the Hollow World (and who no longer wears the cursed ring that bears his name, and who proved himself during the Crown War). But it is also due to Manfred's natural leadership abilities, which are better than many expected from Thanatos' former pawn. Perhaps it is his Torion blood.

What the PCs Can Do: These expeditions are natural fodder for PCs, especially characters who, for whatever reason, need to leave the surface world for several months and go where they can't be found by their enemies, creditors, etc.

Kaldmont 8, AC 1017: Peace Reached in Sind.

Location: City of Sayr Ulan, Mumlyket of Sindrastan, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: After nearly two months, the peace negotiations in Sind are finished successfully. Hule pledges to withdraw all armies from Sind and not to invade it again. Chandra ul Nervi promises to respect Jaibul's independence and allow each mumlyket to decide whether it wants to swear fealty to the rajadhiraja or to become independent.

Soon after the negotiations are completed, the mumlykets of Gunjab, Kadesh, and Peshmir declare their independence from Sind. Kadesh remains allied with Hule, while the other two kingdoms agree to maintain diplomatic ties with Sind, but they will rule themselves as autonomous kingdoms. (See Sv. 11, Sv. 15; Ka. 12.)

What This Means: Hosadus got what he wanted-a much reduced and weakened Sind. He also retained direct influence in the mumlyket of Kadesh. Secretly, the Master has made an alliance with the Rajah of West Jhengal, promising he would help reunite the Mumlyket of Azadgal with Jhengal in exchange for cooperation. Hosadus also wants to influence West Jhengal because it controls the only route through the Great Waste, and thus can affect travel and trade. Greenleaf Vickers of Umbarth House will be allowed to secretly take over much of the trade in West Jhengal and from there further west, thus benefiting both the rajah and the Master.

The withdrawing Hulean armies will move back to Hule, reinforcing its defences and helping crush internal dissension. Darokin recalls the troops it had sent to assist the Sindhi rebellion, and Atruaghin mercenaries remaining in the area will gradually return to their own homes, bringing several diplomats from Sind-Chandra ul Nervi hopes to make some allies with his neighbours to the east.

For his part, Maharajah Sarojun Sur of Gunjab has long desired to be free of the restrictions imposed by the rajadhiraja. It will be a hard road for him to rule Gunjab without the help of Chandra ul Nervi, but out of respect for the treaty and the assistance Sur provided during the revolution, the rajadhiraja will respect his independence.

Meanwhile, neither Hara Rudraksha of Peshmir nor his father Kabir Rudraksha of Kadesh recognise the cease-fire as pertaining to them, and the civil war between the two neighbouring dominions continues.

Kaldmont 10, AC 1017: Fatalists Roam the Streets.

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

Description: Outside the Colosseum, a group of seemingly deranged men dressed in ragged garments disturb the people attending the games. They cry out that Thyatis is nearing its end, telling people to repent for their sins because the end of the empire is near and they will all die, or worse. They are only a dozen all in all, but very persistent. (See Ka. 28.)

Kaldmont 10, AC 1017: The Negotiation Team Arrives.

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

Description: A negotiation team from Stoutfellow arrives in Haven to talk about a possible route for a canal from Stonewall and Stoutfellow to Haven. The team consists of gnomish and dwarven engineers for the digging and the constructing of machinery, but the leader of the team is the hin Michael Restonberry. Restonberry is an experienced diplomat who has to ensure the best possible result. (See Am. 1, Ka. 4; Ka. 11, Ka. 12.)

What This Means: A canal from Stonewall to the interior only makes sense if Haven is included, so some negotiations are absolutely necessary. Due to some statements by Queen Kryndylya it was assumed that there might be some problems-Haven is very different from Stonewall, and the two kingdoms have been at odds recently due to Stonewall's aggressive attitude.

What the PCs Can Do: They could be part of the negotiations or they could work in the background of the talks.

Kaldmont 10, AC 1017: The Prism and the Stonecrafters.

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

Description: Having investigated the Dismal Prism, Demetrion discovered that it is apparently an ancient, powerful and dangerous artifact of Entropy. With Eusebius' agreement, he has begun researching how best to destroy it, with the help of his most skilled assistants.

Late today, one of those, Adrianes Petritorium, works late on the artifact, until he is alone with it. He then vanishes with the artifact, and his whereabouts cannot be found. (See Am. 3, Am. 23.)

What This Means: Adrianes Petritorium was one of Demetrion's most trusted and skilled assistants. But he is also, secretly, a member of a secret society known as the Loyal Order of Stonecrafters, operating on a deep cover assignment. He has served Demetrion, and the empire, with unwavering loyalty for many years, throughout the Great War and beyond. Only occasionally has he made contact, with utmost discretion, with his associates in the Order of Stonecrafters. He thus went undetected.

The Order of Stonecrafters was once an honourable society, and early in the empire's history had taken on, of their own (and secret) accord, the obligation of ensuring that the Dismal Prism would not fall into the wrong hands. But they lost it sometime during the Hattian revolt, and since then Thanatos has managed to corrupt the Stonecrafters into a group of self-interested power-seekers. Thanatos believes in having the right person in the right place at the right time, and thus had Petritorium positioned to steal the artifact at the earliest opportunity. Now the Dismal Prism has fallen into the wrong hands-and, ironically, those hands are the Stonecrafters. The Thyatian authorities will have to try and recover the artifact and destroy it, before it is too late.

What the PCs Can Do: Thyatian characters might be assigned the task of finding Petritorium and recovering the Dismal Prism. They might find Petritorium before the year is out, but when they do he does not have the prism with him, nor does he know where it is.

Kaldmont 11, AC 1017: The Negotiation Begins.

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

Description: The Stoutfellows explain their plans to their counterparts from Haven. They are planning a canal that would cut right through the Kerothar Mountains at one of the narrowest places north of Denwarf-Hurgon. After reaching Haven the canal would head southwards for Warzazath and Adiach, so ships could sail downstream the Alphas River to Dovir and ruined Aasla.

To their great astonishment the leader of the Havenish team, Lord Zuzuruth from Hady, tells them that the Kingdom of Haven will agree. The gnomes are cheering and even the dwarves ar smiling, but then Zuzuruth informs them about the requirements: the canal has to fulfil Havenish standard of beauty, all costs have to be paid by Stoutfellow and Stonewall and, last but not least, Haven would have the right to collect toll from all ships using the canal on the territory of the kingdom. The gnomes are shouting angrily, and two dwarves even threaten war. After half an hour of heated discussions Michael Restonberry calls for a break. (See Ka. 4, Ka. 10; Ka. 12, Ka. 14.)

What This Means: Such requirements are unacceptable. Both kingdoms would have to pay for a lot of extra costs without any return from this section. As the relations between Haven and Stonewall are not at their best the queen has decided to have no canal-or to have her neighbours pay for it. So the situation for Stonewall has become worse again.

Kaldmont 11, AC 1017: Sun's Sleeps Are Counted.

Location: Tower of Night, Milenian Empire. HW

Description: In the Zargosians' hidden headquarters, Zandor reveals the utmost secret that was contained in the Book of Zargos: a powerful spell that will bring an end to the Red Sun, thus allowing the Zargosians and their undead servants to leave their underground refuges, and take control of Milenia. The Zargosians are delighted by this news.

In the following weeks, Zandor shows them in the Book of Zargos where this plan is explained, but explains that the Zargosians cannot understand the mentioned spell because they lack the expertise that he, as an Alphatian, possesses. (See Ei. 12, Ka. 4; Ka. 13, Ka. 26.)

What This Means: Zandor is now ready to cast his spell to close the gate to the Sphere of Energy that is the Red Sun. The Zargosians, who used the day-long eclipse that occurred during the Week Without Magic (when the Doomsday Weapon was activated in Glantri on the surface world) to seize power in Milenia, are ready to reiterate the feat-but this time the sun won't be back.

Kaldmont 11, AC 1017: And I Get to Lick the Axe!

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

Description: After a swift and speedy trial, Iacobus Tanopularus is convicted of the Mincer murders due to inhumanity, and is sentenced to death. The usual activists protest the verdict and sentence, decrying the proceedings as unfair, but the vast majority of Thyatians feel the sentence is just. Iacobus himself declines to appeal the sentence, but this might be due to the fact that he is incoherent and no longer lucid. He made several bizarre outbursts during the trial, raving like a madman and comparing himself to holy men and martyrs.

This morning, Iacobus is beheaded for his crimes and his body fed to the crows. (See Sv. 4, Ei. 26.)

What This Means: The Mincer will not be missed. Unknown to most involved, and kept secret during the trial, the Mincer was a subject of magical experiments during the Great War. During that conflict the Thyatians hoped to create a force of super soldiers, enhanced with magic, as a means of trying to change the course of the conflict, using carefully selected volunteers. These experiments produced unsatisfactory results, with the subjects either dying or becoming psychotic killers. Most were eliminated as a result, but Iacobus escaped. With his strong will, he managed to keep control over his impulses for many years, fighting under assumed names in the Thyatian armed forces, and as an adventurer, and at times in arena combats as a means of releasing his bloodlust. But when the Crown War ended, he was mustered out of military service, and his psychotic rages got the best of him. The result was the Mincer murders.

What the PCs Can Do: Someone might covertly drop clues regarding what really happened to Iacobus into the PCs' hands, and this could lead them to investigate the program that he was subjected to which drove him mad. The experiments have stopped and the program ended with the sinking of Alphatia, but the wizards involved might be continuing their studies privately, on unwilling subjects.

Kaldmont 11, AC 1017: Where Did They Go?

Location: Near the City of Archport, Kingdom of Eadrin, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Having linked up with other Arogansan units, the drive on Archport continues. Upon reaching the very trenches that saw battle but a few days earlier, the invaders are stunned to find no enemy there awaiting them. Only the corpses of their own dead offer testimony that a battle had been staged there. Fearing a trap, scouts are sent to survey the area. They report that the area is clear; the defenders having abandoned their earthen fortifications and pulled back towards Archport.

The Arogansan commanders are told that many of their troops are exhausted from the marching. They request that they make camp to rest and to take care of the bodies of their dead. This decision is not popular with the troops and it takes a good it of work to get them to form up to continue their march. (See Ei. 15, Ei. 26; Ka. 20.)

What This Means: The Eadrin forces have pulled back to defend the walls of Archport. Eadrin scouts had already reported the presence of other Arogansan units, even as they gained their victory. They decided that they may not fare so well in a battle where the Arogansans would assuredly attack again and in much greater numbers. They are quite content to take their victory and prepare for the subsequent and more important battles for the capital. Though they could have used the excavated defences to bury the Arogansan dead, they decide that leaving them out on the battlefield will serve as a visual deterrent to the approaching enemy. Instead it just enrages them.

For their part, the Arogansans were quite ready for a battle with the Eadrin. They had arrived with a very large force of troops. So it is quite an emotional let down when they find that their opponents are not there waiting for them.

The Arogansan commander's decision to press on is actually a pretty good idea. He sees the Eadrin withdrawal as a weakening of their defences. If he acts quickly he can cover a lot of ground before Eadrin forces can be reassembled to block his approach to Archport. Likewise, stopping to rest the troops and deal with the dead would also take up precious time.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs affiliated with the Eadrin defence may be called upon to harass these Arogansan troops or to spy upon them. In the spy role, PCs may overhear the general discontent brewing among the rank and file of the Arogansan troops. Darker PC spellcasters may even use their dead as animated soldiers to harass the rear echelons of the invaders. PCs affiliated with the Arogansan invasion may find themselves acting as scouts or countering the activities of Eadrin adventurers. Arogansan PCs may even notice the rising discontent of the troops. Depending on the individuals, they may support their discontent or work to quell the most vocal troublemakers.

Kaldmont 12, AC 1017: A Grand Migration, Indeed!

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

Description: In the midst of rising factionalism within the Heldannic Order, some good news manages to reach Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf: since the beginning of the year, another 60,000 Hattians have arrived in the territories from the Thyatian Empire. Encouraged by the news, Herr Wulf orders his attendants to carry out a message, that new settlers should continue to receive the generous entitlements that he devised the previous year, and that they should be strongly encouraged to settle in Heldland. (See Va. 13, Va. 22.)

What This Means: Although the Crown War is now over in Thyatis, the change in the balance of power in Hattias has proven to be an incentive for some Hattians to continue to leave. For some, Heldann represents an opportunity to start over, while for others-some of them Storm Soldiers-the Heldannic Territories is a region where a truly Hattian empire could arise. For Herr Wulf's part, each new able-bodied settler is a potential soldier in his armies, should Stra▀enburger decide to actively take control of the country-hence his urging that new settlers should seek new homes in regions avowedly loyal to him, and that they be "bribed" with temporary tax freedom, and cash bonuses should any sons enter the order.

Kaldmont 12, AC 1017: The Negotiations Are Slack.

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

Description: After another day without any progress Michael Restonberry calls all his team members for an internal meeting. He asks for solutions but nobody has one in the moment. The engineers will ponder the matter though, and try to come up with alternatives. (See Ka. 10, Ka. 11; Ka. 14, Ka. 17.)

What This Means: Both parties are not willing to give up their positions. Good ideas would be welcomed.

Kaldmont 12, AC 1017: Rumours of Buried Treasure.

Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: A cleric of Korotiku brings word of a powerful message revealed to him by his Immortal. In a Baraga tavern, the pirate cleric tells that the map to the lost treasure of Captain Blake will soon be found. He enlists captains to search for this map, promising whomever finds it the blessings of Korotiku, and fabulous riches as well. The word quickly becomes common gossip throughout Baraga, and within seven sleeps, the rumour has spread throughout the rest of the islands. (See Sv. 9, Ei. 1.)

What This Means: The cleric did, indeed, receive a vision from Korotiku. The Immortal wants to stir things up in his "playground" of the Merry Pirate Seas. He will enjoy watching the various captains attempt to outwit each other in finding the lost map. The map is indeed within the seas, waiting for some clever ship's captain to find it.

What the PCs Can Do: Pirates throughout the seas will begin searching for clues which will lead them to this legendary prize. Numerous adventures can be set up detailing the rivalries and intrigue as the map is sought after. The rumours for the precious map can serve as the backdrop or long range goal of a continuing campaign. It will not be easy to find.

Kaldmont 12, AC 1017: Elissa Pennydown Makes a Speech.

Location: City of Sayr Ulan, Mumlyket of Sindrastan, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: A few days after the peace negotiations, Elissa Pennydown makes an impassioned public speech in the city of Sayr Ulan. She says how Darokin has almost single-handedly defeated Hulean forces and freed Sind from occupation, while Thyatis was busy making conquests. Her speech is at first met with a few cheers from the crowd, then gradually the cheering picks up as more and more people join in. Before the end of the day, Darokin has gained in popularity in much of Sayr Ulan, while Thyatis is increasingly being viewed with distrust. (See Sv. 15, Ka. 8.)

What This Means: As usual, Elissa glorifies Darokin and ignores everything anyone else has done. Hosadus is only happy to promote that kind of attitude in Darokin and Sind. His agents in the crowd of listeners help start the cheering and spread Elissa's words among the people of Sayr Ulan.

Kaldmont 12, AC 1017: Access to the Mysteries.

Location: City of Edairo, Kingdom of Thothia, Nayce. SD

Description: Ennius Necrekis and his band finish bribing all the right people and gain access to the library of Edairo. He intends to consult two tomes: What Ascends, a religious text about humans who have ascended the ranks of the gods and reach different form of Immortality in various ways, and Exiles, a volume about exiled, lost and fading faiths of the Old World and Alphatia. (See Ei. 12, Ka. 3; Ka. 24.)

Kaldmont 12, AC 1017: Phase Two Completed... Now Begins the Waiting Game.

Location: Torenal Site, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS

Description: The construction crews at Torenal Site have finished the bulk of the construction needed to complete phase two. As they move to finish up on the last minute detail work, they also begin preparations for the arrival of the next batch of four domes. (See Am. 18, Ka. 2.)

Kaldmont 13, AC 1017: Winter Intermission, Outcome Postponed.

Location: City of Skyfyr, Province of Blackrock, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK

Description: The siege of Skyfyr is still undetermined, but winter is now beginning in earnest, and the free Jennites are forced to settle down to take care of their herds. Many rebel Jennites settle down with them, though some try to maintain the siege themselves. The battles essentially end for now, as Skyfyr itself prepares for winter. (See Sv. 2, Ei. 17.)

What This Means: This is a moderate victory for Governor Kalin and the people of Blackrock, since the united Jennites were not able to break through their defences. Skyfyr had already made preparations for this, and a ship arrives to resupply them with food and equipment, which further discourages the rebel Jennites who besiege the city. However, it is scarcely a true victory, as the united Jennites are still out there in the grasslands, in control of the rest of the province, and will undoubtedly try to conquer the city again-next year!

What the PCs Can Do: The battles basically end here for now, so there is little for the PCs to do. It might be a good time for PCs siding with Blackrock to spy on the united Jennites, though.

Kaldmont 13, AC 1017: A Surprising Offer.

Location: City of Errolyn, Kingdom of Theranderol, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: A message is sent to Lord Abolon. He is invited to join the canal-planning staff of Theranderol. (See Ei. 15, Ei. 18; Ka. 18, Ka. 22.)

What This Means: Lady Tyrona has decided that the best solution is to talk with another lord, especially as Lord Abolon is involved in the ongoing work already. Indeed he is able to do the work, and he is doing something similar for the Foresthome Rim Canal.

What the PCs Can Do: They could work as messengers.

Kaldmont 13, AC 1017: In the Dark of the Sun.

Location: Tower of Night, Milenian Empire. HW

Description: Zandor casts the spell he has learned from the Book of Zargos, with the help from several Zargosian priests and wizards. Once the incantation is cast, the Red Sun goes black; the only natural illumination comes from the Second Sun, which happens to be red at this time of the year. The Zargosians have a moment of hesitation as they expected both suns to go down, but the light pouring out of the Second Sun is very dim, and turns out to be harmless to the Zargosians.

The Zargosians, beefed up by all the new spells that they acquired with the help of Zandor these last two years, and hardened by the experience of their previous power conquest, claim all over Milenia that the disappearance of the Red Sun is a punishment by the Immortal Zargos for chasing Emperor Caracanomnos from the throne and the heresy of Emperor Adronius the Impostor. Their agents organise protests and theological debates in the cities of the empire.

In the rest of the Hollow World, the event is met with almost the same fear as a similar event in AC 1009, i.e. fear and superstition; though it initially isn't that big a deal since memories still exist of a similar event only a few years ago, when the sun doesn't return after one sleep and more the net result is more chaos than then, tempered by the fact that there is no loss of magic this time around. (See Ka. 4, Ka. 11; Ka. 26, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The spell was originally devised by Zargos at a time when only one sun existed. Though it could probably be modified to affect both suns, Zandor didn't go to that length. The result, while not perfect, is close enough to the Zargosians' objectives that it qualifies as a victory to them; it also allows them to warn about the possible end of the second sun in a near future if the Milenians further infuriate their patron Zargos, thus actually giving them further leverage over the government.

The Second Sun is totally unaffected by the event. It continues to revolve on its orbit, as do the floating continents, even though the Red Sun is absent, as the movement of those large masses was never affected by the presence of the sun in the first place as it is only a gate and not a body with an associated gravity well. The Spell of Preservation, on the other hand, is removed alongside the Red Sun, allowing for magic to work fully in the Hollow World, cultures to evolve or disappear, and the burrowers to be free again.

Kaldmont 13, AC 1017: A Fatal Crash.

Location: Northern regions of the Kingdom of Blackheart, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: While on its maiden voyage the new Alphatian skyship The Ruby Redoubt disappears over Blackheart. The only sign to its demise is a frantic magically-sent SOS message from its executive officer as it plunged to the ground. The Alphatian military frantically mobilises to find the wreckage for salvage and investigation purposes. Though it had a combined crew and marine contingent of over 200 men and women, it is doubtful that any survived the crash and even more doubtful they can survive for too long on the ground. As a precaution, the sister ships of the Ruby Redoubt are grounded pending an investigation.

What This Means: The Ruby Redoubt is a new Kirin Class skyship, undergoing its shakedown cruise before being integrated into the imperial forces. During its construction, part of the structural integrity was compromised by a failed enchantment; the defective section was mended and not replaced. Under the rigours of manoeuvre, the weakness gave way, the hull essentially breaking in two. Its being over Blackheart has nothing to do with the crash, though it does complicate its recovery. The apprehensions about crew survivability are well founded, due to the suspected altitude and the reputation of Blackheart. The primary interests for the recovery party is to examine the wreckage and to salvage enchanted fittings and weaponry.

What the PCs Can Do: With Blackheart as the setting, any investigation will need a powerful escort as they search through its dark interior for the wreckage. Though the recovery team will have a contingent of troops, specialised individuals will be needed for the task and to help deal with any sinister elements that may present themselves. Obviously a wrecked skyship will draw the attentions of various mages and creatures wanting to secure the wreckage for their own goals. So PCs may find some competition in securing it.

Kaldmont 13, AC 1017: A Midshadow's Night Terror.

Location: Southern Azcan Empire. HW

Description: Profiting from the disappearance of the Red Sun, leaving only the Moving Sun's faint light to protect from, the Schattenalfen launch a large-scale attack on southern Azcan territory. The dim lighting gives the elven warriors a definitive edge against their Azcan counterparts, negating the Azcans' advantage in their native jungles. Although Tlatoani Otziltipac has reinforced various strongholds in the south following the prior advances of the elves, the Azcans are unable to stop the inexorable march of the Schattenalfen. (See Am. 24, Sv. 7; Ka. 14, Ka. 27.)

What This Means: The removal of the Red Sun is a great opportunity for the Schattenalfen, who can now leave their caverns and tunnels with only light skin protection. Thus, they are able to turn their hatred fully on their foes, the Azcans. The Azcan Empire is not as heavily populated in the south, and it has already lost to the Schattenalfen its largest city a few years back, and its mining towns just this year; it is also not very well controlled by the new tlatoani and the new clergy, all elements converging to make its defence not very coherent, if not chaotic, despite the fierceness shown in battle by individual Azcan warriors when they face hated Schattenalfen.

Kaldmont 14, AC 1017: A Solution?

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

Description: Some of his engineers inform Michael Restonberry about a new plan: instead of cutting the Kerothar Mountains to reach the north of Haven a canal could be dug right through the mountains to Denwarf-Hurgon. Then the canal would be led to the Alpha River within the borders of Stoutfellow. This would require engineering to make the river navigable above Adiach and to construct a tunnel with a length of approximately 120 miles. Two points make this course of action desirable: no construction would have to take place on Havenish territory, and Denwarf-Hurgon could get a canal harbour. Besides, Stonewall and Stoutfellow would not have to pay for the development of the north of Haven as in the previous plan. (See Ka. 11, Ka. 12; Ka. 17.)

What This Means: This solution will be more expensive than the original one, but much cheaper than the requirements of Haven. The question whether the canal will be led by locks to the surface in Denwarf-Hurgon is not yet settled. Some engineers have the opinion that the tunnel should be constructed with as few locks as possible. The harbour of Denwarf-Hurgon could be located in a great cave below the city-an idea that is absolutely acceptable for gnomes and dwarves. Restonberry sees an end of the talks for the first time now.

Kaldmont 14: Another Attack by Robin Moorkroft.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: As Prince Kol journeys from Glantri City to New Kolland, his humanoid entourage is attacked by Robin Moorkroft and his Mundaner Men. Robin and his men display powerful and uncanny magical skills and capture the little kobold prince. The humanoids are mostly unharmed, but they are left naked, penniless, and bereft of weapons and magical items, to fend for themselves. (See Ei. 20; Ka. 19, Ka. 22.)

What This Means: Robin Moorkroft is becoming more daring by the day! Glantrians wizards, particularly the nobles, will begin fearing for their safety on trips to and around the capital, for fear that this powerful bandit might capture them.

Kaldmont 14, AC 1017: Death of the Evil Twin.

Location: Azcan Empire. HW

Description: There is a strong theological debate in the Azcan Empire, between the new clergy of Quetzalcoatl, and the underground priesthood of Atzanteotl, regarding the significance of the disappearance of the Red Sun.

The followers of Atzanteotl claim that the darkness is a sign that the Sons of Azca have gone in the wrong direction by following the impostor Papalotl. They scoff at the followers of Otzitiotl, who is obviously displeased with them. They claim that the new clergy plotted to destroy the Red Sun, a.k.a. Atzanteotl, who has been without sacrificial blood for too long and thus could no longer bring light to the Sons of Azca, thus preventing them from achieving the promised goal of conquering the world, and dooming them to be conquered and enslaved by the hordes of elves rising from the bowels of hell.

There is dissension among the budding new clergy of Quetzalcoatl, Otzitiotl and Kalaktatla regarding the significance of the event, and what the future holds. Though they all agree that Quetzalcoatl, the Moving Sun, killed his evil twin Atzanteotl, the Red Sun, the followers of Otzitiotl are deeply worried at the covering of darkness, and doubt that the Moving Sun will gain in brightness despite self-assuring claims of the followers of Quetzalcoatl.

This debate, and the ongoing advances of the Schattenalfen in the south, cause a lot of confusion and chaos in the Azcan Empire. (See Sv. 7, Ka. 13; Ka. 27, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The Red Sun disappeared yestersleep, on 1 miquiztli (Atzanteotl, death's head) according to the Azcan calendar, a day of portent.

Third Week

Kaldmont 15, AC 1017: The Consequences of Altered Magics.

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

Description: For the last few weeks the Stonewall army has been steadily driven back until the Hollow World's red sun went dark, which stopped the battle for a few days. Now, however, the Stonewall forces seem to push forward again with renewed strength... and new allies! A great number of battle mages seem to have joined their ranks, and many soldiers among the Arkan and Foresthome troops are viciously killed by hostile fireballs, lightning bolts, meteor swarms, and other violent magic. Wild monsters suddenly attack the defenders, some of whom are killed as they find themselves unable to move. All of a sudden the Arkan and Foresthome allies are cut to pieces by a ruthlessly efficient combination of magic and swordplay, and they are soon forced to retreat!(See Sv. 19, Ei. 12; Ka. 17, Ka. 20.)

What This Means: Due to their similar military interests, there has long been an entente of sorts between Stonewall and Randel. When Stonewall began its war against Arkan, Randel was sympathetic to Stonewall's cause, but couldn't help the invasion much because of the vast distance between the nations involved. They were able to send only a few token battle mages. Now that the Spell of Preservation has been interrupted, however, things have changed! All the spells that had previously been prevented to Alphatian wizards by the Spell of Preservation [not counting the lucky few with access to the strange mnemonic mineral. Ed.] were suddenly available again, and Stonewall convinced Randel to send battle mages to help them drive off their enemies. With spells of instant teleportation, the Randel wizards were able to bring a large number of their battle mages to the front lines in almost no time. Their assistance is going to cost Stonewall, because Randel is not about to let them forget that they basically saved them from defeat, but it has been worth it: the combination of Stonewall's greatly experienced warriors and Randel's battle-hardened mages is merciless and effective, and the Arkan and Foresthome forces are cut to pieces! This was a one-time effort by Randel, though-they do not intend to commit themselves to the war beyond this battle. General Selcomad and the other Stonewall leaders won't be too sad about that, however, because the tide of battle has turned in their favour again, and they can now continue their conquest of Arkan.

What the PCs Can Do: Obviously there is plenty of opportunities for adventure and combat here. PCs on the side of Arkan or Foresthome should take care, though, or they could be among the casualties, but they might help more troops survive the onslaught.

Kaldmont 15, AC 1017: Appointments.

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

Description: On the day the Footman's Games open, Eusebius elevates Demetius Vannopolus, soon to be the former Exarch of Minrothad, to Count of Machetos with the full approval of the senate. Coltius Torion, Eusebius' first son and likely heir, having administered Machetos for several months since the conclusion of the Crown War, is made Prince of Carytion. Carytion's status is made equal to that of a county, and several thousand new settlers are sent there (with the approval of the senators who have estates on the island). (See Sv. 27.)

What This Means: This is a normal reward to Demetius Vannopolus for his exemplary service as Exarch of Minrothad and in Dunadale. Unlike the previous time, when Callastian Jowdynites was appointed, it actually is a reward as Machetos is in good shape now. While some might consider Count of Machetos to be a demotion compared to Exarch of Minrothad, the position of Exarch of Minrothad was temporary, and he had to govern with the Council of Guilds. The position of Count of Machetos is permanent, and he can govern it without having to placate a Council of Guilds. It will be a welcome respite after a year of dealing with the squabbling guilders. Coltius Torion, as Prince of Carytion, will gain additional governing experience. Also of consideration, governing Carytion will allow him to make contacts and develop strong relationships with many of the empire's most prominent leaders. These factors will stand him in good stead if and when he becomes emperor in his own right.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters deserving such a reward might gain a title in Thyatis today. Or they might be hired to help serve and advise the new rulers.

Kaldmont 15, AC 1017: Let's Get This Party Started.

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

Description: After much preparation and much more promotion, the business owners of Bluenose open their doors for the planned celebrations for Closing Day. Though the various taverns and rooming houses boast amiable bookings, the initial turnout is below their expectations. Many begin to doubt their support for the venture. As the day progresses, the influx of arrivals increases with many taverns running out of available rooms.

The reason for this unexpected turnout comes from the large contingent of graduated magic students from the empire's magical universities. Many planned to go to Bluenose and celebrate the end of the scholastic year, blow off the stresses of their studies, and generally revel in their elevation to noble status.

The young mages are rather arrogant and rather hard to handle; youth and undisciplined power can do that to people. However, the business owners can overlook this unruly behaviour as the young mages spend a lot of money in their stay. Troublemakers are rounded up and summarily fined or flogged according to their offences.

The city's entertainments manage to attract everyone's attention. Gambling and other vices are the most prolific pursuits, with wares and services being priced to accommodate any budget. However, cultured shows and theme balls are also present for those that can pay. Anything and everything is available to the tourists. The only limiting factor is the tourist's financial resources.

The business owners note the numbers of students and decide to market the week as Spring Break where the city will focus more on the younger crowd. Not wanting to give up on the more experienced and wealthier mages, they decide to market other periods especially towards them. They also pass along the idea that other Arogansan communities may want to get in on the marketing. Without the oceans, there is no need to focus just on Bluenose and the coastal resorts. (See Am. 2, Am. 23.)

What the PCs Can Do: The atmosphere in Bluenose is one of utter pandemonium, with every imaginable vice and entertainment being seen and indulged in. Whether the PCs are in Bluenose as security, tourists, or just find themselves by chance there is ample opportunity for them to get caught up in the festivities and its celebrants. The celebrants should be the focus of any plots or adventures. For example the PCs may find themselves hired by a novice mage to deal with a belligerent senior mage. The DM should use any and all examples of Alphatian stereotypes and excesses in filling out the setting. The DM should also remember the strongly enforced preferences of noble over mundaner. If the PCs have non-spellcaster types among their party, they will obviously have some prejudice-based adventures.

Kaldmont 17, AC 1017: A Treaty Is Signed.

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

Description: After some more days of tense negotiations Lord Zuzuruth opens the daily talks with bad presentiments as the last days Michael Restonberry had been suspiciously merry. His feelings are correct: Restonberry tells the Havenish that there is a new plan. He is speaking about "a slightly different route," but agrees to pay for the beautification of any canal section on Havenish ground. Zuzuruth demands to see the new plans. After he has seen the new route he calls for a break to talk with his queen.

After one hour he is back and agrees to the proposal sadly. The treaty is signed thereafter. (See Ka. 12, Ka. 14.)

What This Means: Restonberry has gotten an approval from Denwarf-Hurgon and Draco yesterday, so he makes his final move now. Of course Zuzuruth has seen that the new plans are avoiding his original requirements. Unfortunately Queen Kryndylya has not seen the necessity of having a canal in Warzazath in the first place. When the silly dwarves insist they can construct a 120-mile long tunnel, Zuzuruth is sure they can do it, but he was not able to convince his queen. Of course the treaty as it is signed now is more or less obsolete-on the territory of Haven only little work in the bed of the Alphas River must be done, while most work will have to be done in Stonewall and Stoutfellow.

Kaldmont 17: Army Ambushed.

Location: Hills in the countryside, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The Stonewall army, now without the help of the battle mages from Randel who have returned home, are travelling through a hilly area, when they're suddenly ambushed. The enemy start by rolling rocks down the hills, which separates about 150 troops at the front from the rest of Stonewall's army. These are then charged by Arkan cavalry, but when they try to use their pikes to meet the attack, they find that most of their pikes have been cut so that they break when they try to use the them, and they lose a good portion of their numbers. The Arkan and Foresthome forces who rolled rocks then begin firing arrows at the invaders, concentrating on any spellcasters they can identify. While the rest of the Stonewall army is trying to mobilise, there is suddenly a lot of confusion among their ranks, which prevents them from mounting a counter-attack against the enemy forces, who are then subsequently able to withdraw before they take any real casualties. The invaders lose about 100 troops in the battle. (See Ei. 12, Ka. 15; Ka. 20, Ka. 24.)

What This Means: This is once again the work of Wolf-Hunter and his Wolf-Pack. From the recent plans they stole from the Stonewall headquarters, they were able to plan this ambush, and from some of the scouts they captured, they were able to learn passwords. They had to interpret Stonewall's plans due to the recent shifts in the war, but it seems their guesses have been correct. They then used these and the scouts' clothes to infiltrate the Stonewall army and sabotage their pikes and create confusion among the enemy troops. Wolf-Hunter and his Wolf-Pack even manage to escape during all the confusion. Though this is actually only a minor loss for Stonewall, it does seriously impact morale among the troops of Stonewall. Arkan and Foresthome morale, however, will greatly benefit from this, even though it doesn't really change the odds that much.

What the PCs Can Do: Once again the PCs can play the Wolf-Pack. If they decide to stay and cause confusion, though, they'll doubtlessly be discovered at one point if they remain too long, and will have to fight their way out to avoid capture or death.

Kaldmont 18, AC 1017: The Lord Regrets.

Location: City of Errolyn, Kingdom of Theranderol, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The answer to Lady Tyrona's invitation reaches Errolyn. Lord Abolon thanks her very much for the offer, but he regrets that he will not be able to respond to it until 2019, because he and his staff are overworked anyway. Lady Tyrona goes into a frenzy and accuses Abolon of being a commoner's friend. (See Ei. 18, Ka. 13; Ka. 22.)

What This Means: The reason he stated is absolutely correct. Abolon has no more respect for commoners than any other average nobleman, but with his involvement in the canal project his workforce is nearly exhausted, and unable to take new demands. In addition to this canal project, he is also constructing a bridge in Haven, a new wing of the new aerial academy in Eagret, and a dam in Frisland. Additionally, he participates in researches about the rebuilding of Aasla and Sundsvall, and finally, he tries to develop a better, faster and cheaper method of digging canals. So he simply has no spare time for further talks.

Kaldmont 19, AC 1017: Reconstruction of the Last Harbour Begins.

Location: Town of Orfil, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: As the work in Tenoboa is nearly done the workers have been transported to Orfil to start with the construction of the dam in the last of the big seaports of Foresthome. (See Ka. 2, Ka. 5; Ka. 27.)

What This Means: Queen Kikania wants to get this work finished as quick as possible, in order to fulfil her promise to her people.

Kaldmont 19, AC 1017: Kol Up in Arms!

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The recently attacked and humiliated Prince Kol of New Kolland appears at the parliament livid as a kobold can be. He calls for the nobles to expedite the hunt for the bandit Robin Moorkroft, but is greeted with amused witticisms-even giggling-from his peers. After some confusion over his kobold speech, Prince Kol engages in a barking match with Lord John Beaumarys-Moorkroft, the near-deaf Archduke of Westheath, who impulsively challenges him to a magical duel.

Kol backs down from the challenge, but walks out of the parliament in a huff. (See Ei. 20, Ka. 14; Ka. 22.)

What This Means: The kobold prince has come to face the harsh reality that the other Glantrian nobles do not take him seriously. He expected as much from his enemies, such as the Erewan elves; but catching his alleged ally, Princess Dolores Hillsbury of Fenswick, snickering during his speech made Prince Kol reassess his loyalties.

Prince Kol is considering allying himself with Prinz Jaggar von Drachenfels, banking on their recent collaboration in the war against Ethengar.

Kaldmont 20, AC 1017: The Spoils of War Are Spoiled!

Location: Village of Monden, Flatlands of Arkan, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: As the invading forces from Stonewall move across Arkan, they find that the farmlands they've come here to claim have been systematically ruined: entire crops are burned and shelters destroyed, as the troops of Arkan are being driven back. [Monden lies about halfway between Ceafem and Skyreach's former location. Ed.] (See Ka. 15, Ka. 17; Ka. 24, Ka. 26.)

What This Means: The leaders of Arkan know that the Stonewall forces have come here for farmlands, which means that they have a food shortage. By burning their own fields, they hope to destroy the very supplies that Stonewall was trying to take by force. This also leaves no shelter for the invaders. During the early stages of the invasion, the people of Arkan were unwilling to destroy their own crops, but now that the invaders are rushing through their lands, they've been forced to see the necessity of such tactics.

What the PCs Can Do: Little to do here, except perhaps to capture a few commoners and have them explain what's going on.

Kaldmont 20, AC 1017: A City Under Siege.

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

Description: Arogansan troops arrive within sight of the Eadrin capital of Archport. After scouts have reported that no Eadrin forces are poised to challenge their approach, the Arogansan commander orders his troops forward to take up positions around the city's defences. His plans are to lay siege to the city. This should give his engineers time to study the defences and plan out a means to overcome them.

Inside Archport, King Idon watches the arrival with mixed feelings. The enemy forces are too weak to realistically take the city by direct force. Likewise, with Eadrin forces deployed throughout the kingdom he has too few troops in the city to go out and physically break the siege. For the time being, the capital will have to bear out the siege until reinforcements from the north can deploy to assist them. (See Ei. 26, Ka. 11.)

What the PCs Can Do: PCs for both sides will find the situation quite boring. Without the cover of night, specialised raids will be hampered. The DM and PCs should try to find means to engineer daring raids or scouting parties. Likewise, PCs can act on behalf of their own forces by maintaining peace and order among the restless troops or populace.

Kaldmont 21, AC 1017: The Ice Bowl.

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

Description: Today, at the close of the Footman's Games, in the worst weather yet, the Imperial Championship of Thyatian Rugby is contested in the Colosseum. For the second year in a row, the Grey Bay Packers compete against the Kerendan Cowboys in the title game. In a match that will be considered by many the greatest played, Coach Vincinine Lambeardi's Packers beat the Cowboys, scoring the winning touch in the last seconds of the match. This is their third championship in a row. Following the game, Coach Lambeardi announces his retirement.

What This Means: Last year, while the Crown War was raging, the championship was played in Kerendas. After that match, several of Lambeardi's best players retired, and few thought his team would be able to compete for an unprecedented third championship in a row, much less win it.

Temperatures actually barely went below freezing, but that is unusually cold for the City of Thyatis' temperate climate.

Fourth Week

Kaldmont 22, AC 1017: New Leader of the Planning Staff Appointed.

Location: City of Errolyn, Kingdom of Theranderol, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Lady Tyrona, who had been charged with planning a canal in Theranderol, is replaced by General-Major Quoos from the army of Theranderol. Unlike Tyrona, the general is a commoner (from the gentry) who should get on much better with Admiral Clarendon. He sends a message to the admiral and invites him to a new meeting the next month. (See Ka. 13, Ka. 18.)

What This Means: Finally Theranderol has made a decision: the talks must go on, and so a new man has been found. The general has worked on the project for quite some time, and he thinks that he will be able to handle the work by himself. Some talks with Admiral Clarendon will be useful nonetheless, and so he has decided to meet the other man.

Kaldmont 22, AC 1017: Chaos at the Glantrian Parliament!

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Initial results of the investigation of the wizard-bandit Robin Moorkroft are presented at the parliament, and Supreme Judge Princess Dolores Hillsbury opens the floor for discussion. A subtle innuendo, a double entendre, a veiled threat, and a concealed insult later, and the House of Lords bursts into chaos. Tempers flare, accusations are hurled, fingers are pointed, and challenges are issued. Involved in the ruckus are: Princess Carnelia de Belcadiz, whose brothers Don Ricardo and Don Diego (once swashbuckling heroes themselves) are suspected of being this Robin Moorkroft; Princess Carlotina Erewan, who has always hated Kol and was accused of implicating Carnelia in the matter; and Archduke John Beaumarys-Moorkroft of Westheath, for the simple reason that Robin Moorkroft claims to share his name and lineage. (See Ka. 14, Ka. 19.)

What This Means: Although the results of the investigation of the parliament about Robin Moorkroft are far from substantial, Princess Dolores took this opportunity to work some chaos among the Glantrian princes. She is pleased at her success, although she knows this is the only silver lining in her recent troubles and failed schemes.

What the PCs Can Do: Many of the princes and nobles will involve themselves in their own investigations and reconnaissance regarding Robin Moorkroft or their enemies. PCs with a bent for spying and undercover work will probably find themselves busy this season.

Kaldmont 22, AC 1017: Final Destination Reached.

Location: Nameless Tower, Eastern Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: After dispatching a few lowly monsters and a pair of fearsome green dragons in the last week, the elves led by Professor Dove reach the long-sought Nameless Tower with only minor casualties. They proceed to explore the ground level of the building, checking that everything lies as Dove left it. Then they camp outside the ominous black basalt construction, waiting for the end of the year, while the human and a few Long Runner sages compare their lore on the inscriptions found inside the tower. (See Fe. 18, Ei. 25; Ka. 24, Ka. 27.)

What This Means: Dove is eager to compare his information with the elven sages' old legends, in order to get confirmation of the story told in the tower's engravings. However, he is resolute to wait for the Day of Dread before venturing into the upper levels of the tower, in order to avoid magical dangers and above all to draw Idris' (whatever She might be) unwanted attention.

What the PCs Can Do: They can assist Dove and the elven sages in their translations, maybe gathering part of the truth before all others. Also, they will be busy repelling wandering monsters during the trip to the tower, as well as during the daily watches.

Kaldmont 23, AC 1017: Thyatians Reach Azurun.

Location: City of Azurun, Kingdom of Yozgulak, Hulean Empire. WB

Description: The representatives of the Thyatian trade expedition reach the city of Azurun. They spend some time looking around and observing the lives of Hulean people. They don't seem to see any signs of oppression or tyranny that Darokin often accuses Hule of.

Instead they observe Huleans peacefully going about their business, with the Master's guardsmen keeping order. To their amazement, Thyatians even see many humanoids living together with humans, without any apparent racial tensions. The whole atmosphere (minus the humanoids) reminds them of a cosmopolitan Thyatian city. They start thinking that maybe Hule isn't as bad as Darokin makes it out to be. (See Ei. 5, Ei. 17.)

What This Means: Hosadus wants to give the Thyatians the impression that Hule is no worse than any other land. His guards will remove all possible sources of disorder, and the Thyatians will be presented with a civilised, cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Kaldmont 24, AC 1017: I Think I Saw a Dove...

Location: Forest of Lothenar, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: The elves are astounded to see Christopher Dove emerge from Beasthunter's tent today. Their leader quickly gathers them and explains they will follow the archaeologist to the cave of the dragon knights, for he knows well its location and will help them reach it in a few days. Once there, they will wait until the break of the Day of Dread, and then penetrate the underground complex to destroy everything they can, while freeing their elven brethren at the same time. The troops immediately begin to move following the human archaeologist's instructions. (See Ei. 25, Ka. 22; Ka. 27, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Beasthunter reached the western side of Lothenar Forest without many problems, but he is currently at a loss about the dragon knights' cave and is constantly keeping his men on the move to avoid the Shadow Army patrols. For this reason he magically contacted Dove's expedition and requested his aid in locating the place. Since Dove and his troops are already in place near the Nameless Tower, Dove agrees to be teleported to Lothenar, where he will guide Beasthunter and his troops to the secret cave, before being sent back to the Nameless Tower before the end of the year.

Kaldmont 24, AC 1017: The Futility of War.

Location: Stonewall camps in Arkan and Ceafem, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The leaders of both sides in the war in Arkan are considering their options. Though the forces from Stonewall have marched across Arkan at an impressive rate in the last few weeks, they will win little if the Arkans keep destroying their crops... and they will run out of food! Similarly, Arkan itself is gaining little, and neither are their allies from Foresthome. Though they have been able to slow the invaders' advance since they began moving forward again, they haven't been able to stop it and the invaders are very close to their towns and cities along the coast of Crystal Lake now. If these fall, then Arkan will have lost. The conclusion on both sides is that diplomatic negotiations are in order, and one side will contact the other on the matter shortly, and naturally the other side will agree. Eventually, an agreement for a diplomatic meeting will be set about a mile from the Stonewall camp on Kaldmont 26. (See Ka. 17, Ka. 20; Ka. 26, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The situation is grim for both sides. Stonewall is in danger of losing the very food supplies they came to conquer, but Arkan can't really afford to destroy any more, though Stonewall does not know that yet.

What The PCs Can Do: Prepare for more diplomacy.

Kaldmont 24, AC 1017: Ennius' Discovery.

Location: City of Edairo, Kingdom of Thothia, Nayce. SD

Description: Ennius Necrekis and his scholar-adventurers discover, on scroll 4321 of Exiles, a picture of the village of Caligaris. The text of the scroll says it was founded early in the 1st century AC by a group of pro-Alphatian Thyatian wizards, who had left the mainland after the successful rebellion of Lucinius and Zendrolion. Some minor references about the village point out that there some strange cults were worshipped; among those, the Night Arachnid and the Slug Lizard. (See Ka. 3, Ka. 12.)

What This Means: This is just the result of Ennius' studies into background the phanaton village of Caligaris. What his aims are remain mysterious.

Kaldmont 26, AC 1017: Emperor of Underside.

Location: Tower of Night, Milenian Empire. HW

Description: The Zargosians are very busy throughout Milenia trying to establish a strong following of Zargos, He Who Closed the Red Sun, and to be handed the reins of power. Zandor uses the opportunity to leave the Tower of Night, and teleports to the Floating Continent of Alphatia. Rather than going to the empire proper, and making his presence known, he goes to the continent's underside, and declares himself Emperor of Alphatia Underside, although there is no audience to listen to his words. Zandor, now a Zargosian because of his using the Book of Zargos, starts building up his strength in his new domain, putting to use his expanded knowledge in the field of necromancy he studied those past couple of years. (See Ka. 11, Ka. 13; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: With the Red Sun out of the picture and the Zargosians busy, Zandor was able to finally escape their attention. It took him a few days to realise that the full array of magic now worked, thus simplifying his flight greatly. The Zargosians do not have any particular feeling about Zandor's escape from their "protection," as his role was over, though Vix would not agree if she were currently present in Milenia, as she never trusted Zandor and would feel suspicious about anything unusual he might do.

Kaldmont 26, AC 1017: Diplomatic Negotiations Begin

Location: Stonewall camp in the Arkan Flatlands, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The planned negotiations between Stonewall and the Arkan and Foresthome allies begin. At first both sides just state their claims, and no agreements are reached. The major participants are General Selcomad, leader of the Stonewall army, General Lotaran, leader of the Arkan forces, and Commander Trallans, leader of the Foresthome army. However, Wolf-Hunter is also here in order to intimidate the Stonewall representatives by his presence after his recent successes. It's clear to everyone present that Selcomad sends Wolf-Hunter a few angry looks a couple of times, but he doesn't address him. Other important people are Amagast, a cleric of Razud from Stonewall, Etesse, a cleric of Koryis from Arkan who is Lotaran's personal adviser, and a few mages from Randel who attend on Stonewall's side after their recent involvement in the war. King Qinn of Arkan has remained in Ceafem, though. Selcomad demands Arkan's surrender, stating that they are clearly losing the war, but Lotaran merely responds that Stonewall's morale is crumbling, as are their food supplies. Selcomad threatens Lotaran by saying that unless Arkan surrenders now, his army will destroy the villages of Arkan from now on, including the capital, Ceafem. If Arkan surrenders, however, the invaders will be more lenient. Lotaran doesn't seem threatened, though, and Commander Trallans adds that if need be, more troops can probably be called from Foresthome. (See Ka. 20, Ka. 24; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Obviously nobody is going to admit or surrender anything at the beginning of these peace-talks. Several days will have to pass before there is any hope of true results.

What the PCs Can Do: Given the neutral site where these negotiations take place, there will be demand for expert guards (i.e., adventurers) on both sides. If the PCs are with the Wolf-Pack, they may also be here to help Wolf-Hunter intimidate the Stonewall representatives.

Kaldmont 26, AC 1017: Pilgrims' Progress.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: In the months since the first clerics of Valerias visited the Belcadiz Manor in Glantri City, now considered a religious site of Los Amantes, there has been a steady wave of pilgrims and believers from Darokin, Karameikos, Sind, Thyatis and Ierendi arriving in Glantri. They have come to pay homage to their Immortal patron, and request access to the holy site. They set up camp in the streets and byways of Glantri City. The constabulary is kept busy breaking up congregations of Valerias worshippers. An emergency session of the Council of Princes is called. (See Fy. 3, Am. 22; Ka. 27.)

What This Means: Supreme Judge Dolores is perturbed by this influx of pilgrims, though not necessarily for the same reasons as most of the other nobles. While they long to keep tight rein on clerical practices in Glantri, Dolores dislikes having "her" city guards wrapped up in grunt work when they could be out looking for her would-be assassins and the "late" Prince Volospin. Dolores will try to pin blame on Princess Carnelia, and pass off responsibility for dealing with the pilgrims to her. Carnelia is hardly embarrassed by the incident, but she resents Dolores for this political embarrassment. In the end, it is decided that the pilgrims will be escorted from the city and told they cannot assemble within Glantri, as it is against the law. Dolores sanctions the city guards to use lethal force if necessary.

Kaldmont 27, AC 1017: Water in the Harbour.

Location: Town of Tenoboa, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: In a big ceremony the first section of the Foresthome coast canal is opened. The harbour of the city is now again useable-at least to connect with the rest of the Llyn River harbours; connection with the rim settlements will have to wait the Rim Canal's construction. Queen Kikania promises her people that the future of Foresthome will be better than ever. Halzunthram, Solturnun, Clarendon and Abolon are invited too. While Solturnun as a politician uses the opportunity to hold a speech, Halzunthram is only seen grinning in the background. Abolon uses the opportunity to praise his work and the pride he feels about it. He is willing to dig more canals throughout the whole empire. (See Ka. 5, Ka. 19.)

What This Means: The visions of the sailors are really coming true. Although the canal section is only a few miles long, and not yet navigable, the process has been started and it is going on.

What the PCs Can Do: On this day only two things can been done: the PCs could either enjoy the celebration, or they could ensure that no opponent to the canal could spoil the work on the last moment.

Kaldmont 27, AC 1017: Alexander's Day Massacre.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The city winds down for a respectful hour of silence at noon on this national holiday. Crowds gather around Alexander Platz to watch for omens of what the coming year is to bring. As they stare at the City Belfry, mausoleum of the nation's founder Alexander Glantri, most are suddenly struck with a chilling sensation; the belfry appears to be weeping.

At that moment, only a few blocks away, a group of pilgrims attempt to pay homage to Valerias outside of Belcadiz Manor. In direct violation of city ordnance (speaking during the hour of silence is a felony), a city guardsman comes forth to arrest the devout-and chaos ensues! Afterwards, no one will remember quite what started the event-a guardsman shoving a pilgrim too roughly, a cleric spouting invectives at godless Glantrians-but all will forever recall the consequences.

There is mass-rioting as the constables unleash magical bolts and more mundane weaponry against crowds of clerics and pilgrims. They soon learn, to their dismay, why Valerias is also known as the Girder on of Weapons. As Her worshippers are being attacked by the Glantrian guard, Her clerics suddenly unleash deadly magicks of their own, and many of Her followers suddenly (and divinely) are in possession of magical weaponry and armour. Deadly confrontations ensue, and soon even non-partisan bystanders have become involved in the rioting. Buildings are set ablaze, businesses are looted (and many would-be thieves are incinerated by magical protections).

Several hours later, the violence has been mostly quelled. Reinforcements to the city guard are still being teleported in from other spots outside the city, and troops are on their way from Fort Monteleone. Dozens of deaths are reported, and many more injuries. Supreme Judge Dolores grits her teeth and prepares herself for the backlash that will likely come. (See Am. 22, Ka. 26.)

What This Means: This is a dark day in Glantrian history. Many will compare the massacre to the cleric burnings that occurred during the darker years of Glantri's past, and this day will become a rallying point for many interest groups. Some will hope for a greater leeway on Glantri's restrictive clerical laws, while others will use the event to attack the lenience on clerical practices that crept in during the early years of the current millennium. For her own part, Dolores will have to attempt to discover the cause of the incident-either to hide her own complicity in the sanctioning of lethal force, or else to justify those same actions. The repercussions of this event will be far-reaching in any case.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are in Glantri City, it will be nearly impossible for them to avoid the mass-rioting that ensues. They can participate in events, either aiding the constabulary in trying to quell the violence, assisting the pilgrims in their efforts, or indulging in some freelance mayhem of their own.

Kaldmont 27, AC 1017: Hide and Wait.

Location: Forest of Lothenar, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: Beasthunter's elves reach the outside of the cave where the dragon knights are hatched. After the first scouting mission outside the complex, the elves discover there are a dozen humanoid guards watching the only entrance, so it won't be difficult to overcome them. However, they expect much more resistance inside, if not on the part of the Onyx Ring wizards (who will not be able to cast their deadly spells during the Day of Dread), surely by those adult dragon knights stationed inside the cave. For this reason, Dove draws a sketchy map of the cave, with the hidden tunnel he used to enter the innermost chambers and the guards he spotted clearly marked. After that, he wishes good luck to the elves and gets teleported back to his tent outside the Nameless Tower by Beasthunter. (See Ka. 24, Ka. 27; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The elves have finally reached their goal. They know they'll have to wait till the next dawn before launching the all-out assault, and for this reason everyone has cast some masquerading spell on him- or herself to merge with the environs, or has turned invisible thanks to spells and elven cloaks. They will rest hidden on the dead tree branches and in the bushes until the new day comes; then, only the Immortals know what will be of them.

Kaldmont 27, AC 1017: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.

Location: Protectorate of Sclaras, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: As the day goes on, an ethereal mist begins to form around the Island of Sclaras, gradually obscuring it. By nightfall, it has faded hazily. Ships can still sail through the mists to the island, but the location seems oddly... different, like you're not on Mystara anymore. By midnight, the island is seemingly gone, and only a fine mist remains, which fades away as magic fails on Mystara.

What This Means: The Day of Dread has been inconvenient (at best) and been dangerous (at its worst) to mages ever since it started. The wizards of Sclaras have, intermittently, researched ways to circumvent this problem. Now for once the relatively small size of Sclaras has worked in their favour. They have been able to create an enchantment that is actually shifting the island off of Mystara to another plane, temporarily. If Sclaras had been a larger island, it would have been difficult if not impossible for this to work. This will allow them and their enchantments to ride out the Day of Dread undisturbed. Then they hope to return the island to its normal position at the beginning of next year.

Kaldmont 27, AC 1017: Schattenalfen Dig In.

Location: Borderline near the Snake River, Azcan Empire. HW

Description: The Schattenalfen, expecting the loss of their wizardly and clerical magic, stop their advances into Azcan territory and dig in. (See Ka. 13, Ka. 14; Ka. 28, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Though the Azcans will also suffer from lack of magic, the Schattenalfen have more wizards, and they have more clerical support too as the Azcans are still suffering from the removal of priests of Atzanteotl, who are replaced only slowly and by largely less experienced priests of Quetzalcoatl, Otzitiotl, Kalaktatla, or other Immortals.

Kaldmont 28, AC 1017: The Return of the Prodigal Sun.

Location: Throughout the Hollow World. HW

Description: While magic starts failing in the Hollow World below Glantri City, the Red Sun reappears in the sky. Everywhere the awe that the disappearance of the sun had engendered recedes, while the spellcasters start suffering their annual loss of power.

In Milenia the Zargosians are caught by surprise, and many of them die from exposure to the sun's rays. The Milenian churches condemn the actions of Zargos and proclaim victory over the forces of darkness and entropy, and Emperor Adronius declares the cult of Zargos illegal. In the next few days, several more Zargosians, who were able to hide from the sun in a timely fashion, are arrested and executed, including their leader Caracanomnos.

Vix, who had just returned to Milenia to partake in the victory of her father Zargos, vows to track down Zandor and make him pay for his treachery. (See Ka. 13, Ka. 26; Ka. 28, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Zandor has indeed tricked the Zargosians: the spell he cast was not the one he had found in the Book of Zargos, but a modified version of it, one that does not close the gate once and for all but instead maintains it in a closed state. Because of that subtle distinction (continuous instead of instantaneous), the Day of Dread dispels Zandor's spell, thus restoring the Red Sun. Zandor knew this would happen, and he made sure that he would not be adversely affected by the return of the light, and moved to Underside rather than on Alphatia proper. Now, with the sun back and at a great distance from the Zargosians, he has nothing to fear from them. He doesn't know, however, that Vix is after him, and she will not be stopped by the airless void or the sun.

The Zargosians are greatly affected by the return of magic, as many of them die either immediately or in the following days and weeks. Also, their cult is forbidden and hunted down in Milenia. Though this is a disaster for the Zargosians and the Immortal Nyx, it is not totally negative for Nyx as Her ideas have had a great impact in Milenia as a whole rather than just among Her Zargosian followers, and will thus be that much harder to eradicate.

The Spell of Preservation resumes its usual effects.

Kaldmont 28, AC 1017: Evil Twin Bad for His Shadow Sons.

Location: Borderline near the Snake River, Azcan Empire. HW

Description: With the Red Sun's return, the Schattenalfen are again vulnerable on the surface. Fortunately, they had entrenched in their current positions waiting for the Day of Dread to pass, and they were also being prudent as they feared that exact thing might occur as it did after only one sleep during the original Week Without Magic. Few elves die as a result, but some of their gains are jeopardised, and indeed the Azcans regain ground. This marks the end of the Schattenalfen advance, and the border stabilises. (See Ka. 27, Ka. 28; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The Schattenalfen occupy a large portion of southern Azcan territory. Most of the jungles and hills up to Snake River are under their control, plus the ruined city of Tenpocatliotl. During the largest part of the year the Schattenalfen advanced slowly and steadily, wiping out Azcan positions and securing their supply lane; later in the year, profiting from the unexpected shadow brought on by the temporary disappearance of the Red Sun, they force marched through Azcan lands, spreading but leaving Azcan strongholds untouched. They have left the southwestern part of the empire alone, the whole region around the ruined city of Axateotl, protected by Nazelacuilli Keep. The heavily-manned Ximac Fort is a thorn in their side, and could well be used as a base from which the Azcans may launch a counter-offensive next year. Murasca Keep is still in the hands of Azcan followers of Atzanteotl. Numerous smaller keeps, or simply village warriors, also make the conquest incomplete, especially to the north of Ximac Fort.

Kaldmont 28, AC 1015: Bensarian Sleeps.

Location: City of Wendar, Kingdom of Wendar. OW

Description: With the coming of the Day of Dread Bensarian falls into a deep coma at dawn. His assistants have been prepared for this scene after witnessing it happen in the last two years, and Bensarian has instructed them to protect him until his awakening. The whole King's Guard is mobilised to watch over the old prince regent's mysterious slumber. Among the people who watch over him there are also a small group of elves with a very special task. (See Am. 16, Am. 28.)

What This Means: The Onyx Ring wizard possessing Bensarian's body knew that the Day of Dread would nullify his control over the sage and so came to this day prepared. By this time, it is possible the Church of Idris has noticed the elves protecting the old sage, and even if they don't know the elves' true goals, they might be tempted to kill him just to spoil the elves' plans (whatever they are).

The elves must pay careful attention to everyone's moves during this day, but cannot approach Bensarian's rooms because he has ordered everyone to be kept at bay until his awakening. They know they must act swiftly once the new day comes, because the future of Wendar lies in their hands.

What the PCs Can Do: They must protect Bensarian at all costs! If they are among his personal retainers, but are unaware of the sage's condition, they may unwittingly help the Church of Idris while hindering or even fighting openly the Genalleth elves' attempts at freeing the sage's soul. If on the other hand they are allied with the Genalleth clanmasters, they will have a tough time trying to breach into Bensarian's quarters without causing distress and preventing the prince regent's assassination. Also, on the new year's day, they must dispel the magic laid upon his soul in order to succeed fully in their task.

Kaldmont 28, AC 1017: Day of Discovery?

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

Description: Two privateer sloops, the Alacrity and the Turbulent, are keeping an eye on shipping movements at Chansea when they see an incredible sight. The village shimmers and wavers, and suddenly a massive construction project is visible-a rapidly growing dockyard, complete with two parliamentary frigates and assorted lesser ships. Several thousand troops can be seen in the town, as can multiple Torreˇner bombard devices. Amazed, the captain of the flotilla speeds back to Theeds to report this development. (See Ka. 2, Ka. 4.)

What This Means: The illusions woven by Vezhrya have been broken by the Day of Dread, and by sheer luck the royalists now know what is going on at Chansea. Admiral Vance will doubtless push for an immediate attack on the town-but the defences are formidable. Perhaps some special tactic is required...

What the PCs Can Do: Characters could be tasked with finding a way through the defences of Chansea.

Kaldmont 28, AC 1017: Rebirth of the Evil Twin.

Location: Azcan Empire. HW

Description: As the Red Sun returns, the theological debate that has been raging between the forbidden clergy of Atzanteotl and the new clergy integrates that new major event, as each is trying to explain the appearance or disappearance of suns in the best way possible for them and their patron, while disparaging the other faith's point of view.

The followers of Atzanteotl claim that the Red Sun has returned thanks to their efforts to sacrifice victims to Atzanteotl, so that He can bring them light again. They urge the Azcans to topple the heretic clergy and restore the worship of Atzanteotl, who alone can guide the Azcan people to their true destiny of world conquest.

The followers of Quetzalcoatl and His fellow Immortals claim that the Moving Sun has purged the Red Sun from its evil, so that it can now shine forever without further need for sacrifice. They claim that the Evil Twin has been killed by Quetzalcoatl, and that now the Azcans are on their way to their promised destiny. (See Ka. 27, Ka. 28, Ka. 28.)

Kaldmont 28, AC 1017: Day of the Dove.

Location: Nameless Tower, Eastern Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: Just before the break of dawn, with the elves ready to storm the Nameless Tower, a group of black dragons appears flying over the site. The elves immediately engage in a fierce battle, while the sages and Professor Dove retreat inside the building escorted by a few soldiers. While the battle rages outside and the dragons (and the elves) lose part of their might at sunrise, Dove and his party venture up the ladder in the central hall of the tower, entering the upper levels. Here they have to cope with other animated guardians, which function nonetheless.

At the end of the day, the corpses of two dragons lie bleeding on the ground, surrounded by the dead bodies of many brave elves. Inside the tower, Dove and his companions have been able to reach the top of the tower, and now have in their hands the inscriptions and frescoes that depict the final scenes of Idris' history. Meanwhile, a lone figure hidden in the darkness has also gained access to the upper levels, and is now frantically searching the rooms trying to find a very odd and powerful item. (See Ka. 24, Ka. 27.)

What This Means: Since Idris knows Her tower is particularly vulnerable during this day, She has instructed a group of trusted dragons to watch over it every year on this precise day. The elves must counter the dragons' mighty attacks and swoops solely with their fighting prowess, since magic has left them as well. The good side is that the dragons cannot use magic either, but this is far from balancing, and the casualties at the end are staggering. Meanwhile, inside the tower not all traps have been deactivated because of the Day of Dread: deadly mechanical traps are still present, and some greater created are able to fight, albeit slowed a bit. This won't prevent Dove and his men from reaching the top levels of the tower, however.

The real problem lies in the figure hidden in the shadows: the Shadow Lord has come as well, hoping to exploit the Day of Dread to brave the tower's defences without alerting Idris. He is now searching for his phylactery as well as spying on the elves' progress, hoping to gather some vital information about his hated enemy (and in particular looking for Idris' true name to bind Her to his will).

What the PCs Can Do: Fight against four black dragons and then join the explorers inside the tower to protect them from the mechanical traps and the (beastly and magical) wardens still present in the tower!

Kaldmont 28, AC 1017: Heart of the Enemy.

Location: Forest of Lothenar, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: Beasthunter's elves boldly launch their assault on the cave of the dragon knights as soon as their magical shielding fades away. Taking the outer guards by surprise, they are able to infiltrate the lair without losses, but once inside, the Onyx Ring unleashes the dragon knights stationed in the cave against the elves and the battle becomes a bloodbath. The elves play hide and seek inside the dungeon's labyrinthine tunnels and rooms, but they are often surprised and trapped by the enemy, who know the place far better. However, the diversion works, and a group of elves manages to reach the inner chamber where the Children of Idris are produced via the secret tunnel discovered by Dove. There they kill as many wizards as possible, destroy the tanks and pools containing immature dragon knights and dragon hatchlings, and free the unlucky elves who are still alive after the gruesome experiments (mercifully killing all the others who have been reduced to shrivelled empty shells). With the battle still raging around them, they set the laboratory on fire and escape the cave in a hurry, their retreat covered by a group of bold elves led by Beasthunter. When the elf lord sees all of his remaining troops have escaped outside the complex with the prisoners, he and his followers launch directly into the claws and talons of the remaining dragon knights, while another group of elves make the exit tunnel collapse, sealing the pursuers and the brave elves forever underground. (See Ka. 24, Ka. 27.)

What This Means: Beasthunter has succeeded in his ultimate goal: to destroy the dragon knights' breeding ground. He had known from the beginning this would have been a desperate battle, but he was confident in his men and didn't flinch at the possibility of dying in the process. The strategy was to engage the knights and all of the other guardians inside the complex in an open warfare, thus covering the actions of a small number of trained soldiers who had to infiltrate the main laboratory through a secret tunnel to destroy everything in their path and rescue the elven captives. The plan proved to be well-thought, but Beasthunter also knew that without a rearguard to cover the elves' retreat, their efforts would have been wasted in bloodshed. For this reason he chose a group of valiant and loyal elves to help him delay the pursuers, and once all of his surviving soldiers managed to escape, he gave his men the order to bury all of them alive in the underground complex. This way the remaining elves will be able to make the trail back to Geffron safely, and he has finally shown everyone what is the boldness of a true Long Runner clanmaster.

What the PCs Can Do: Battle their way into the heart of the dragon knights' sanctum and help the elves destroy as many draconic hatchlings as they can, fending off the enemies and rescuing the tortured elves before escaping.

Kaldmont 28, AC 1017: The Day of Renewal.

Location: Throughout the Thyatian Empire. OW, DV, SD

Description: The Imperial Senate of Thyatis declares the last day of the year an imperial holiday, the Day of Renewal. In the capital the weather is considerably brighter and warmer than it was a week ago. Ceremonies honouring the Immortals are held in the morning, followed by games sponsored by the senate in the Colosseum, and Emperor Eusebius presides over the first chariot and horse races in the now-completed Hippodrome. Jesters, acrobats, mimes, and other performers put on their best shows. Similar festivities are held throughout the Thyatian Empire. Thyatians celebrate into the night, leaping over bonfires to burn away bad luck, and to celebrate the ending of the old year and the beginning of the new.

In both the Colosseum and the Hippodrome, one of the performances consists of a group of bedraggled men dressed in rags stumbling onto the grounds. In one hand they carry placards with poorly-scrawled messages about impending doom, while in the other hand each holds a wine jug from which they take frequent swigs. In between stumbling into each other, they shout slogans similar to those of the Fatalists, but worded in such a way that they come out sounding like a double entendre, causing the crowd to laugh. When they reach the centre of the grounds, the performers end up in a circle facing each other, with their backs to the crowd. Each then bends over at the waist and lifts up the back of their tunics, exposing their buttocks, on which are written the words "The End is Near." The audience bursts out laughing, and people then have trouble taking the Fatalists seriously. People snicker and point at the band of (actual) Fatalists outside the Colosseum, saying "the end is near" and chuckling.

This ridicule seems to drive the Fatalists, always seemingly half-crazed before anyhow, into a murderous frenzy. They draw short swords hidden under their tattered robes and rush the crowds outside the Colosseum, intending to kill as many people as possible. But agents of the emperor who "happened" to be nearby, as well as a squad of guards, jump into action, intercepting the Fatalists before they cause too much mayhem. A vicious melee ensues, with the Fatalists fighting to the last man while a crowd looks on raptly (the impromptu battle being more exciting as a novelty to jaded onlookers than the planned gladiatorial matches inside). Eventually all the Fatalists are cut down.

In the Colosseum, many of the matches are actually duels between renowned participants. These duels had been arranged naturally, but as a result of the freeing of gladiators, the Colosseum officials wanted to find a way to spice up the matches somewhat. Thus they have taken to encouraging duellists to hold their combats in the arena, and these battles become particularly popular. This practice has grown throughout the year, and now it is somewhat of a fad for duels to be held in the arenas of Thyatis. (See Ka. 10.)

What This Means: Eusebius and other Thyatian traditionalists want to put the Day of Dread thing behind them, and also to renew the traditional vigour and vitality of the Thyatian people. Let others live in dread, is their message-Thyatians do not fear. This also is intended to stand in stark contrast to the cowering mages of Alphatia, holed up in their abodes waiting for the day to pass. As part of this, Eusebius had his agents hire actors to play the part of the "Fatalist Sots," to stop people from being unnerved by them and make them the butt of jokes instead. Eusebius wants to create an image of Thyatian renewal, and the Fatalists were bad for morale.

The rage the Fatalists went into was a result of the ridicule. Eusebius hadn't planned it, but ever since the Fatalists first appeared he had them under surveillance, ordering his men to get them into custody at the first excuse. They were supposed to capture at least some of them for interrogation, to learn about their origin and who, if anyone, was behind their activities. But in their fanatical frenzy the Fatalists fought to the death, and the guards' efforts to capture them were thwarted. There might be more of them elsewhere, as part of some apocalyptic cult, but the imperial authorities lost their best chance to find out more. Speak with the dead will be used to question the corpses tomorrow, when magic works again.

The Thyatians are also celebrating the apparent revival of their empire, and are happy to have something to celebrate. In the city of Thyatis especially, the ceremonies in the temples give honour and tribute to those who fought to save the empire during the battle of a year ago. Eusebius himself rises to the occasion, in a speech partially written by his wife Lucianna. In the speech he pays tribute to Thyatis' war dead, not only those who fell during the Crown War but during the Great War and its aftermath, and also invoking the greatness and accomplishments of Thyatis, to rekindle the dignity and pride of the Thyatian people.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters who happen to be outside the Colosseum at the time of the melee between the Fatalists and the guardsmen can join in the fighting if they'd like, but they might get hauled in for questioning after it is over. Characters are sure to find all sorts of additional ways to get into trouble on a day like this. Make sure that they don't lack for opportunities to enjoy themselves.

Kaldmont 28, AC 1017: Diplomacy of Doom.

Location: Diplomatic camp near Stonewall camp in the Arkan Flatlands, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The peace-talks have been heated since they started and continued well into the night. Most of the spellcasters have left to prepare for the Day of Dread, but debaters like Selcomad and Lotaran, and to a lesser degree Trallans as well, saw no reason to stop, as the Day of Dread will not affect them. On the Day of Dread, they're still discussing well into the evening, and during a heated argument, a crossbow bolt is suddenly fired and hits Selcomad in the chest! During the ensuing confusion, the Stonewall guard naturally assume that Arkan or Foresthome assassins have attacked their leader, and draw their weapons to attack the Arkan and Foresthome representatives, who then defend themselves. In all the confusion, it's not determined who fired the bolt, and the year ends in a confusing fight between the two sides! (See Ka. 20, Ka. 26.)

What This Means: It's not clear who tried to assassinate Selcomad, or even if he was the intended target.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs will have their hands full just surviving the battle that starts here, especially if they are spellcasters, who obviously won't be able to use any magic.