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EVENTS: KLARMONT

First Week

Klarmont 1, AC 1017: It Cannot Be Ever Said Ye for the Battle Were Not Ready, Stand and Never Yield.

Location: Missionary Station of Zirchev, Rogatus' Rift, Territory of Thratia, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: Following their defeat by the Hinterlander army two days ago, Thyatian troops retreated north, with most returning in a disorderly fashion towards Raven Scarp. A small garrison of troops, reinforcements from Thyatis, rallied some of the fleeing troops. About a cohort's worth are stationed at a small semi-fortified, defensible missionary station established by followers of Zirchev from Karameikos. The missionary and his daughter, after proving themselves bad for morale, are sent packing. Under the command of a centarch of engineers, the Thyatians have hastily fortified their position and secured it with a redoubt, as it lies along the approaches to Raven Scarp. They hope to delay the oncoming Thratian forces long enough for the city's defences to be organized, but they do not expect to survive.

This morning they hear a loud, rhythmic rumbling approaching, that sounds more like a dwarven or gnomish engine or locomotive than anything living. Down the valley-and up in the surrounding hills-thousands of Thratians, members of the Raven Clan, appear, beating in rhythm on their shields and giving their war chant.

While those above launch missile attacks with their slings, part of the Raven Clan forces charge the defending Thyatians in a probing attack. Thyatians armed with short composite bows and repeating crossbows repulse the attack, but it is only a small portion of the enemy army testing the Thyatians' defences. The Thyatians then find themselves surrounded.

That night, under cover of darkness, the Hinterlanders attack again, breaking into the station and wreaking some havoc, starting fires and attacking the wounded Thyatians in the hospital ward. After some hard fighting, they are repulsed with severe losses, but it does not look like the Thyatians will hold out for long against such tremendous odds. (See Th. 6, Ya. 27; Kl. 5, Fe. 6.)

What This Means: If the Thratians can break through here quickly, they will probably be able to seize Raven Scarp, thus crippling Thyatis in the Hinterlands and paving the way to expelling the empire altogether. The Thyatians know their situation is desperate and that it is unlikely that they will survive, but they also know how important it is that they hold out. It is a battle of wills.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters involved in the fighting could tip the odds in the direction of their side.

Klarmont 1, AC 1017: Ierendi Crown Tourney.

Location: City of Ierendi, Kingdom of Ierendi. OW

Description: The Kingdom of Ierendi holds its annual Royal Tournament once more. To no one's surprise, Reston of Akesoli is once again the highest scoring contestant, becoming King of Ierendi for the 11th year in a row. The new queen is a hin adventurer from the Five Shires. (See Kl. 15.)

What the PCs Can Do: The contest is open to any potential adventurers, including the PCs. Any male PCs will face some stiff competition from Reston of Akesoli, however.

Klarmont 1, AC 1017: The Race Starts.

Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: The Banquet and the Tornado leave the harbour of Baraga head for the open sea. To the great disgust of Captain Barbarossa, his rival accompanies this event by singing some songs from his opera The Pirate King while standing on his quarterdeck. He is the only one who feels irritated by this; the spectators are much pleased about the performance. (See Ya. 4, Ya. 7; Kl. 6, Kl. 9.)

What This Means: Captain Merryweather is known to be an excellent cook and probably the best composer and singer in the Merry Pirates Seas. Mockers say that, considering all these talents, he cannot be a good captain, of course. Merryweather is known to sing on his ship while Fanalir Meditor, his first officer, is running the ship. Meditor is a mysterious figure, an elf from a world with a yellow sun which causes days and nights; at least he tells such stories when he is drunk- every two or three circles. Though few believe them, those stories are true, as he is a water elf from the Meditor clan in the Minrothad Guilds.

Klarmont 1, AC 1017: ... And the War Has Begun.

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

Description: The Council of Klagorst declares its support for the declaration of war by Stygia against Gournzee and Vrancea, with the notable exception of Tcheltar, which states that it will be remain neutral in the upcoming war. (See Ya. 22, Ya. 28; Kl. 12, Kl. 13.)

What This Means: It did not take long for the council to make a decision. Duke Nhorg has gone over the edge, and Vrancea has always been a poor state, anyway; the goal of the war is to put a new ruler on the Vrancean throne, that will respect the laws of the confederation, and who might make a greater effort to develop to region economically. The council is also resolute in its desire to stop the continual aggression against Stygia on the part of the varkhas from Gournzee. They hope that, once they conquer Vrancea, the varkhas will abandon the conflict and try to forge a peace treaty with Klagorst; it would be very difficult to enter Gournzee and effectively eliminate its troops, otherwise.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are mercenaries, sell out to the party that pays more. Otherwise, the PCs could fight for their country. This is an opportunity for the DM to create an adventuring party and introduce the Klagorst region to the players, as a lot of low-level characters will be used for scouting, spying and other missions, aside from the actual fighting.

Klarmont 2, AC 1017: Faraway Under Siege.

Location: City of Faraway, Province of Verdan, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK

Description: The predictions were correct-the armies of the rebel and free Jennites march on the city of Faraway and besiege it. There are some clashes, but the remaining Alphatians mostly barricade themselves and wait for what the Jennites will do.

Among the defenders are two surviving officers from Vigil Keep: Krael, a reformed Jennite who believes in Favian Vern's ideals of democracy, and his commoner Alphatian subordinate, Lyriander, who was one of the soldiers Commander Broderick placed at the fort to reinforce it a few years ago. Lyriander is much younger than Krael and considers him a mentor, while Krael has come to rely on the youth. They were unable to affect the outcome of the siege at Vigil Keep because their superiors ordered them not to organise counterattacks, but they haven't given up hope that Faraway may be able to withstand the siege. (See Ya. 21, Ya. 26; Kl. 15, Fe. 16.)

What This Means: With so many people leaving Faraway, it is difficult for the city to organise a real defence, so the Alphatians defenders rely on minor officers to prepare it. The Jennites are in no particular hurry to storm the city either because Talin, having been the governor himself, knows quite well that no supplies or reinforcements can arrive anytime soon. However, he also realises that there may still be rebellious Jennites in the city who might aid the Jennite army and help them seize the city without too many losses, so he waits a little to see what happens.

What the PCs Can Do: Yet another siege in Esterhold which the PCs may participate in on either side!

Klarmont 2, AC 1017: Militia Bill Refused, and the King Takes Stock.

Location: City of Theeds, Earldom of Theeds, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC

Description: Again the parliament demands that the king give assent to the Militia Bill, and again King James refuses. The parliament, having had enough, then passes the bill anyway, making the Militia Act law, an act in breach of the Bellaynish constitution. Such an open act of defiance would seem to make all those who voted in favour of passing the bill guilty of treason...

King James takes stock of the situation. Support in Leominster and Penwick is firmly behind the parliament, while most of Furfield and Pawcester remains loyal to the monarch-though sporadic rioting and lynching are becoming commonplace now throughout Bellayne as supporters of the two sides clash. The situation in Kittings is even more confused-law and order in Glenswych have deteriorated now so much that the town sees virtually continuous unrest.

The king begins mobilising the reserves of Pawcester and Furfield, and prepares for the worst. (See Ya. 21, Ya. 25; Kl. 7, Kl. 15.)

What This Means: Either the king will give in to the parliament's demands, or there will be war. Reasoning that sooner is better than later, as the kingdom seems to be tearing itself apart, King James is getting ready for a clash of arms-though, urged on by the clergy of Pax Bellanica, he is not willing to commence hostilities quite yet.

Klarmont 2, AC 1017: Shadow over Aengmor.

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

Description: A human sorceress identified as Synn has been recruiting shadowelf mercenaries in Aengmor for her decidedly wicked plots. Some shadowelf shamans warn the local populace of her evil and possible involvement with fiends and Immortals of Entropy, but the sorceress's charms, the lure of gold, and the shadow elves' occasionally vengeful nature make her propositions heard. (See Fl. 13, Ya. 16; Fe. 20, Fy. 7.)

What This Means: Synn requires a shadowelf army to protect her and her recently-begun plot. She is planning to build a magical fortress to serve as a base of operations in Aengmor, while she is still mastering the powers of the Magic Points. [This is part of the storyline of the adventure arcade game D&D: Shadow Over Mystara.]

Klarmont 3, AC 1017: Cabal Sends Out Feelers.

Location: Western portion of the Great Escarpment, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: Having secured a base area within the bowels of a small mesa, and having intimidated some of the local monster population into their service, the leaders of the Cult of Thanatos decide they need to maintain contact with the wider world. But they do not want their continued existence discovered by Thyatis just yet. Therefore, they decide to send out a group to infiltrate the city of Ekto, on the eastern side of the Isle, and establish a base of power there as well. Part of the cabal will remain here, building up its strength, while the rest go to Ekto. (See Va. 14, Th. 2; Fy. 19, Am. 8.)

What This Means: The cultists of Thanatos have yet to make contact with any of the other main power groups on the Great Escarpment. The western portion, largely steppe and badlands, is not heavily influenced by either the araneas or the Thothian lich, Haptuthep. A wide variety of humanoids and other monsters populate the area, and they do have occasional contact with the araneas.

Knowing that Ekto is still in the process of recovering from the ravages of war, the cabal hopes to be able to quickly gain strong influence, even covert control over the city. They know that even if they don't, it will be a good place from which to gather information and supplies, which will then be sent on to the cabal's main base on the Great Escarpment. The members of the cabal also know there are some few Thyatian colonists on the escarpment, sent there in AC 1010 when Thincol hoped to conquer the entire Isle of Dawn. The group sent out to Ekto is ordered to try and contact them, hoping that they can be subverted and serve as another source of minions for Thanatos' purposes.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters are unlikely to be able to influence events at this stage in the cabal's schemes, but will eventually have plenty of opportunities for adventures connected to them.

Klarmont 3, AC 1017: Shazula Promoted.

Location: Shazeke Tribal Lands, Tanagoro Plains. HW

Description: Representatives of the king arrive and announce that the togoro has decided to appoint Shazula, chief of the Shazeke Tribe, as High General of the Tanagoro army. Shazula is presented with the high general's shield, spear, and standard. The Shazeke tribesmen applaud the appointment as it elevates their tribe to a high status among the Tanagoro tribes. Shazula accepts the symbols of the position and offers his thanks to the king for such an honoured appointment. He offers the representatives food and shelter among his people until they have rested for a return trip. (See Ya. 9, Ya. 10; Fy. 5.)

What This Means: Though it will be days before he realises it, Shazula's prophesied rise has been given added life by this appointment. Except in times of war, the king has customarily held the role of high general; therefore, the appointment is one of great praise and personal honour. Shazula's appointment places him up there with the royal family. It also increases his influence with the other tribes and their warriors that would be under his command in times of war.

Shazula knows that Korolo is no warrior, being more prone to civil engineering and domestic life. It would be feasible that Korolo would seek someone to fill the military role that he is lacking in. Ironically enough, Korolo's decision to delegate such military authority to someone else greatly increases Shazula's opinion of the king: he can respect someone that recognises his shortcomings and moves to address them. That Korolo chose him for the position only furthers that respect and loyalty.

What the PCs Can Do; Shazula's most trusted lieutenants will get indirect promotions alongside their leader.

Klarmont 5, AC 1017: This Shall Ever Be Your Story: Thyatians Do Not Yield.

Location: Missionary Station of Zirchev, Rogatus' Rift, Territory of Thratia, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: At dawn the Raven Clan forces besieging the Thyatian troops undertake long-range harassing sling fire from the hills around the missionary station, while the Thyatians hastily shore up their defences, constructing additional barricades. The most nearly able-bodied wounded are returned to active service.

The Raven Clan Chief soon sends a wave of his warriors to attack, chanting their battle-song. The Thyatian defenders, feeling their end is near, respond with a defiant war-song of their own. As the Thratians charge the Thyatians respond with repeating crossbow volley fire and, when the enemy gets to close range, a volley of pilia. But the Raven Clan warriors overrun the barricades, pushing the Thyatians back. As the Thyatians retreat towards their final redoubt, the Thyatian reserve rank of troops armed with short composite bows spring up from behind the redoubt parapets, firing a lethal volley into the charging Thratians. The withdrawing Thyatians form up into two lines, with the crossbowmen firing from behind the serried ranks of a shield wall bristling with spears. The Thratians seem to come in wave after wave, till all the sudden the battlefield is quiet, except for the cries of the wounded, with bodies piled high right up to the feet of the surviving Thyatian troops. It seems, miraculously, as if the battle is won.

The Thyatians begin clearing the dead and calling the muster roll to see who has survived. Then, along the hills around them, thousands of Raven Clan troops appear. The Thyatians are dispirited-they know they are low on arrows and bolts and lack enough able-bodied troops to withstand another charge. The Thratians begin a new chant, waving their spears. One of the Thyatians who lives in the Hinterlands and understands their language, a Hattian named Adendorff, understands the meaning of this new chant. He consoles his fellow soldiers, saying "They're saluting you. They're saluting your courage and warrior spirit." The Thratians begin to withdraw, to the incredulity and relief of the remaining Thyatians, who brake into roar after roar of cheering. Later that afternoon, a relief force of Thyatian troops march into the mission station. (See Ya. 27, Kl. 1; Fe. 6, Fy. 9.)

What This Means: The Raven Clan Chief was alerted by his scouts that the Thyatian relief force was arriving, much sooner than expected. He then decided to withdraw, having taken unexpectedly large losses in failing to take the mission station (around 400 dead Thratians litter the field). The cause of the Thratians' defeat was the defensible position of the Thyatians, and the fact that the Raven Clan Chief sent in his forces piecemeal, never committing them all to the charge. Once Siobhan, who has now allowed herself to be healed, hears of this she is infuriated. She berates the Raven Clan Chief for his incompetence, but he replies that he fought as his people have always fought. She retorts that this is his problem, and they part in bitterness.

The arrival of the Thyatian relief column is due to Leilah ben Nadir's speedy action. After some confusion she was healed with a heal spell back at Raven Scarp. Then, once she had rallied some of her troops, she decided on a bold stroke. Leading out what forces she had, including the garrison of Raven Scarp, she hoped to persuade the Thratians that her forces were stronger than they really were, and get them to withdraw. This stratagem worked, but she knows the Thratians will soon rally, and shortly returns to Raven Scarp to begin bolstering its defences.

In a few days, Siobhan has regained control over her forces, and leads them to the outskirts of Raven Scarp by a different route, placing the city under siege.

In time, eleven of the defenders at Rogatus' Rift will be awarded the Vanya Cross, Thyatis' highest military honour, the most ever given as a result of a single battle.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters involved in the fighting could tip the odds in the direction of their side.

Klarmont 5, AC 1017: An Inconsolable Wife.

Location: City of Corisa, Milenian Empire. HW

Description: Dionios and Sephone arrive home from Tyrnus to attend to the matter of their home being burgled. As local authorities from the guard are recording the items found missing, Dionios begins going through the estate examining various items. His examinations are short-lived thanks to a scream coming from the basement. Rushing down, he finds Sephone staring blankly at an open chest, her eyes full of tears and a look of terror upon her face.

Dionios goes to console her, telling her that he will replace whatever was in there. At this she begins to sob even more and begins ranting that she is dead, that they will kill them both for what has happened. Her husband asks her who she is talking about. Mainly he asks what she had kept in the chest that could be so valuable or so bad.

While he looks on in incredulity, the guard arrests them both on suspicion of treason and takes them into custody for interrogation. Dionios pleads his innocence the entire time, but the interrogators think he is just putting on a show. Meanwhile, in another interrogation chamber, Sephone admits to everything, laying out in detail how Dionios helped the conspiracy against Emperor Adronius, and how she, a mere weak woman and dutiful wife, helped him pass messages back and forth in the form of apparently innocuous letters to the wives of other conspirators.

The investigators have to admit a grudging admiration for Dionios so boldly maintaining his innocence in the face of all this evidence, but it seems clear to them that he is guilty. After his wife's confession, they bring her in to his interrogation chamber to lay out the same story, and throughout the night they continue to question him relentlessly. After awhile, he breaks down and admits to it, making a statement of guilt. (See Th. 16, Fl. 4; Kl. 12, Kl. 13.)

What This Means: Sephone's charms over Dionios, along with the relentless questioning by the guard, finally broke the man. Even though he is innocent, he pleads guilty and admits to having been a ringleader, along with Senator Krameos, in the conspiracy. Emperor Adronius is quickly informed of these findings, and orders men to arrest Krameos on suspicion of treason.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs involved with the investigation will sooner or later hear of this incident. The PCs may even be on hand to witness it by posing as members of the guard.

Klarmont 6, AC 1017: No Ghouls Is Good News... Hopefully.

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

Description: With a lack of ghoul activity for the last few months, many Naycese officials see the inactivity as a testament that the ghoul threat is over. However there is a sizeable and vocal minority that stress the need for vigilance in the security of Nayce's underwater interests and encourage a continuing of the current defensive measures. Several renowned mages and military officers cite that this is merely the calm before the storm. Underocean's representative is also very vocal in stressing the need for continued vigilance, as the cause of the attacks is not yet determined. (See Ya. 5, Ya. 17; Kl. 11, Kl. 19.)

Klarmont 6, AC 1017: Grant to the Collegium Arcanum.

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

Description: The imperial government turns over a large quantity of documents to the research department of the Collegium Arcanum. Most of these involve the study of air-related magics, the creation of large enchantments, and theory of spell design for magics useful at sea. Funding for the Collegium Arcanum is also increased. Several Alphatian mages who had entered service with the Thyatian military after the Great War but have now retired from active military duty also accept professorships at the collegium. Several of the wizards of Sclaras who don't already conduct classes are also hired to lecture and take on students now.

Shortly after this, a mysterious society known as the Justiciar Institute adds to the grant to the Collegium Arcanum. They provide funds to purchase several buildings near the collegium, to expand its facilities. They also endow the collegium with an unusually good collection of materials, tomes, alchemical information, and the like. This allows the collegium to create an affiliated Magical Research Institute. (See Am. 19, Sv. 9.)

What This Means: The documents include some of those that were copied or otherwise acquired when Thyatis controlled Aeria, plus the results of researches in the war effort against the Twaelar, and even during the Great War against Alphatia. These are largely theoretical documents only, helpful in expanding metaphysical magic-related knowledge and useful in researching and design, but not spell formulas or classified technical data. Though the ministries involved would, in general, prefer to keep this information to itself, the necessity to enhance the quality and prestige of the Collegium Arcanum took precedence. In any case, the Thyatian government kept several copies of each of the works that were granted to the college.

The collegium is one of the oldest magical academies on Brun, but has lately tended to lag behind newer institutions in prestige and international standing. This is part of the empire's effort to catch up and get back on the cutting edge of magical expertise. The collegium also begins to develop previously little-explored avenues of magical knowledge, attempting to develop specialties not available elsewhere. Research efforts will concentrate especially on developing methods of ritual magic.

No one's quite sure what the Justiciar Institute is, but some begin to quietly investigate the matter.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters attempting to research new spells or enchant magic items might find the expanded library materials useful. Note that most of these have duplicates, and are fairly well guarded, so stealing them will not deprive Thyatis of the knowledge, but will get the character hunted. Experienced characters with an innovative perspective on magic will be encouraged to teach and research here, and share their insight with other Thyatian mages. Inexperienced characters might benefit from the enhanced status of the collegium and be able to acquire knowledge they weren't able to before. A more complete repertoire of spells can be learned now, and training is available to higher levels than before.

Characters can also attempt to investigate the background of the Justiciar Institute.

Special Note: For those who are converting from old editions of the rules sets to the new 3rd Edition rules, this is also an opportunity to introduce magic-related changes within the context of the game world in a smooth manner.

Klarmont 6, AC 1017: First Stage Reached.

Location: Town of Floresque, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: Both ships pass through Floresque, but The Banquet is the first ship and has left the harbour one hour before the Tornado even arrives. (See Ya. 7, Kl. 1; Kl. 9, Kl. 13.)

What This Means: The Banquet is the faster ship indeed. As it was an uneventful voyage it could play out its speed, but the race is far from being won yet.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs aboard The Banquet working for Barbarossa should work on slowing it to even out the odds.

Klarmont 7, AC 1017: Don Jorge Agrees to Help.

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

Description: Don Jorge de Vilaverde meets with Blythe-Jackson in secret in the city of Leominster. Don Jorge agrees to assist the parliamentary war effort from behind the scenes, as long as the parliament promises to remove the recent tax increases decreed by King James upon Vilaverdan trading operations in Bellayne. Blythe-Jackson readily agrees, and further proposes that they will buy some Vilaverdan warships to increase the size of the navy. Don Jorge agrees, but points out that Vilaverde will not openly enter the fray on either side, and publicly at least will maintain a neutral stance. (See Ya. 25, Kl. 2; Kl. 15, Kl. 27.)

What This Means: Another effort on the part of Blythe-Jackson to isolate the king from the outside world, naval superiority will mean that the parliament can effectively blockade the king in Theeds-and eventually crush him by weight of numbers. Extra currency from Vilaverdan traders will also help to fund the war effort.

Second Week

Klarmont 8, AC 1017: The Ruins of Gwondoya.

Location: Ruins of Gwondoya, Divinarchy of Yavdlom, Serpent Peninsula. SC

Description: Sailing north along the western coast of Yavdlom, the imperial exploration flotilla approaches the ruins of Gwondoya. Still smarting after the refusal of the divinarchy to sign an agreement with the empire, the expedition's admiral decides to try and salvage something from their time in Yavdlom through a little impromptu spelunking. Shore parties are sent ashore to explore the ruins thoroughly and return with anything of value they find.

The result is a confused debacle amid the darkening ruins, as various fiendish creatures beset the exploring bands. The explorers send distress signals (using fire and smoke) to the ships and the admiral is forced to send in reinforcements of marines to help extract the party. After a bloody fighting withdrawal, the Thyatians succeed in returning to their ships and sail on, fewer but wiser from the experience. (See Fl. 8, Ya. 13; Kl. 14, Sv. 7.)

What This Means: Adventuring isn't easy, if it were, everybody would do it. The expedition leaders thought they were in a barbarous, unsophisticated land and went into the ruins expecting an easy time of it, with little preparation, hoping to it would be a walkover. The admiral won't make the same mistake twice, however, having learned from the experience. Future efforts will be undertaken with better planning and preparation.

What the PCs Can Do: The characters are likely to be the ones selected to explore and adventure in the ruins. The DM should ensure that they find challenges that are slightly above those he or she normally throws at them, and the party might fall into difficulty as described above. Rescue from the fleet can then help them retreat successfully. The characters might overcome these challenges, though, in which case the DM should reward them for their efforts with a suitable treasure. The ruins and the monsters infesting them are left undescribed so the DM can create suitable challenge according to the skill of the characters in the campaign.

Klarmont 9, AC 1017: Attack!

Location: Open sea east of the Island of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. H W

Description: The Banquet, one of the ships that is part of a race in the Merry Pirates Seas, is attacked by an unknown enemy ship. After a short battle the attacker retreats but The Banquet has suffered some damage which will slow it down. (See Kl. 1, Kl. 6; Kl. 13, Kl. 14.)

What This Means: The attack was not an accident but an underhanded act initiated by Captain Barbarossa. An unimportant and obscure captain owed him a favour, which is now paid back. Under the subtle code of honour among the Merry Pirates, it is not so much that one performs underhanded acts that is considered objectionable; it is whether one is seen to perform them or not. So long as no one has proof that Captain Barbarossa was involved, most Merry Pirates would not find it amiss that The Banquet was mysteriously attacked, but if word spreads that he was behind this, and it is proven, then he would be condemned as a traitor and cheater.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs aboard The Banquet can fight to repel the attacker and the can help to repair the damages.

Klarmont 10, AC 1017: Ultimatum to the Sultan.

Location: Emirate of Abbashan, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: Envoys from the Empire of Thyatis meet with the sultan. They convey the emperor's condemnation of Ylari raids against Thyatis over the last several years. They also rebuke the sultan for Ylaruam's involvement in subverting the son of the Sheik of Tel Akbir at the beginning of this year. The envoys tell the sultan that the empire currently holds as prisoners of war several hundred Ylari raiders, and inform him that Eusebius is willing to "generously" return the captives to Ylaruam, and forgive Ylaruam's acts of aggression-if Ylaruam returns all the booty taken when Biazzan was sacked, and pays 100,000 gp compensation. They add that a monthly tribute of 1,000 gp will be required, plus the sultan will have to pay Thyatian taxes for himself, his wives, and his children to the empire. Sultan Hassam replies coldly that he rejects these absurd demands, that furthermore it was his misguided predecessor who let "brigandish elements" within Ylaruam get out of hand, and these raided Biazzan without government sanction. Hassam al-Kalim also says that since then the warriors of Ylaruam have only striven to reclaim their rightful heritage, and that Ylaruam will pay nothing to Thyatian infidels. He insists that whatever captives Thyatis holds must be released at once, or Thyatis will once again learn to fear the name of the house of al-Kalim. He also tells them, in a clip, terse tone, that were he not a man of honour, he would slay such persons as the Thyatian envoys for abusing his hospitality, and orders them to leave Ylaruam by the end of the day. The Thyatian envoys depart hastily. (See Ya. 20; Fe. 9, Fy. 5.)

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

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

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

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

Klarmont 10, AC 1017: Grenzmarschallen Appointed.

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

Description: In the Star Chamber of Freiburg, during a meeting with his most senior officers, Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf announces the appointments of several grenzmarschallen (border marshals) who will be entrusted with the task of keeping the peace in the borderlands of the Heldannic Territories-primarily Heldland. The grenzmarschallen will be granted a broad range of judicial and executive powers in order to exercise their responsibilities, though their authority will not extend into villages or larger settlements. These people will serve the Heldannic Order in these positions at the pleasure of the oberherr; their status may be revoked at any time. The appointees are:

Northern Heldland, Oceansend region: Siegfried Lenz (Pr14 of Vanya).

Northern Heldland, Nordberg region: Ulrike Bethmann (Pr15 of Vanya).

Southern Heldland, Seelitz region: Dirk Hollweg (Pr12 of Vanya).

Southern Heldland, Landfall region: Erich Barthold (Pr11 of Vanya). (See Am. 26.)

What This Means: The creation of the grenzmarschallen serves two purposes. First, they will enforce the Heldannic Order's will in Heldland, and uphold the law, in response to recent humanoid raids aimed at halting colonisation efforts. Second, as personal appointees of Herr Wulf, they will serve as his personal eyes and ears on the fringes of the Heldannic Territories. All of them were selected for their personal loyalty to Wulf, as well as their fighting prowess. Wulf feels that, given wide latitude to bring order to Heldland, the grenzmarschallen (plus their men-at-arms) will lay the foundations for tighter control over this region.

While powerful individually, the grenzmarschallen and their soldiers are too few to maintain effective order in Heldland. Although Wulf is well aware of this, he feels some action is necessary to show that the Heldannic Order has the strength to deal with any threats to its territories. On the other hand, many senior knights in Heldland might perceive this move as an attempt to undermine their own authority.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are higher-level, and have served the Heldannic Order well for a fairly long time, the PCs might be among those chosen to be grenzmarschallen-in which case DMs should replace one of the NPCs above with a PC. If such is the case, a series of exciting, and highly dangerous, adventures might be in the offing, as the PCs try to tame Heldland's worst dangers.

Klarmont 10, AC 1017: Economic Developments.

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

Description: The imperial treasury announces the minting of a Thyatian electrum coin, the justiciar. On the obverse it bears a portrait of Empress Valentia, on the reverse an image of the Immortal Tarastia garbed in classical robes and holding the lamp of justice.

The treasury used foreign electrum coins that were exchanged for imperial currency over the last several months, along with some Minrothaddan electrum coins. These foreign coins were melted down and re-struck to generate the initial minting of the justiciar.

At the same time the senate announces the passage of a new tax, an excise fee of 5% imposed on goods and services sold by foreign traders in the Thyatian Empire. A fifth of the proceeds are to go to the coffers of the local guild that regulates that particular trade or activity. Senators from Minrothad were instrumental in promoting the passage of this bill, as it is similar to-but somewhat lower than-an old Minrothaddan tax.

The Thyatians argue that this money will be used to improve roads and facilities that all traders, not just Thyatians, benefit from. They say that it is only reasonable that those who do not pay Thyatian income taxes should bear their fair share of the burden through paying the excise fee. They also argue that the proceeds that go to local Thyatian guilds merely covers the dues that the foreign traders would normally pay if they were Thyatians. But the merchants of other nations view this measure with special hostility, seeing it as forcing them to fund their competitors. (See Ya. 20; Kl. 22, Fe. 4.)

What This Means: This new denomination will make the empire's currency more flexible and thus useful in trade. This measure is well liked by all merchants. In the future, much of the metal for new coins will come from the electrum mines of Septentriona. The imperial treasury will acquire this by a variety of means-through the taxes paid on the electrum that is mined, to outright purchase when necessary.

The excise fee is intended to promote the interests of Thyatian traders at the expense of foreign traders-it doesn't apply to the goods themselves, so it encourages people to use Thyatian merchants to transport goods. It also further ties Minrothad's traders to the empire, because as members they do not have to pay it. It also produces revenue, filling the empire's coffers.

Darokin and other Western Defence League nations particularly dislike this measure and it further exacerbates the trade frictions between them and Thyatis, escalating the trade war. Darokin will resort to its best asset, the Darokinian Diplomatic Corps, to try and negotiate a resolution to this conflict before it spirals out of control and damages everyone's economies.

Klarmont 10, AC 1017: A Disastrous Showing.

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

Description: Queen Junna officially displays the new design for the new Randel uniforms. As the models walk the runway displaying the new designs, the reception is one of shock and outrage. The spectators begin hurling items at the models: food, drink, stones, pieces of wood, animal droppings, and a few spells. Junna is forced from the area and back to her palace, where she goes over the incident. Her advisers tell her that the Randel people are a crude and ungrateful people, the recent display even more of a justification of pacifying them. However, Junna seems to ignore them as she tries on an example of the new design and stares at herself in a mirror, doing a few combat moves with her trusty mace. She breaks her silence and issues an order to not issue the existing examples of the new uniform and to cancel the orders for future examples. (See Va. 12, Th. 5; Kl. 21, Fe. 1.)

What This Means: The public response to the uniforms is a surprise to Junna, who had thought them to be the best designs offered by some of the empire's most famous designers. She tries to imagine her father wearing such a uniform, the mental visage becoming quite comical even to her own eyes. Even with her wearing one, the image is not of one of a formidable Randel trooper. Realising her folly, she cancels the plan to re-clothe the armed forces.

Klarmont 10, AC 1017: Request Denied.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Bakai, the children of Moglai Khan, and their entourage, are blocked in their attempts to enter the Great School of Magic in Glantri City, as they are not students or scholars. Words get heated, and the city guard is summoned, but things are prevented from getting out of hand by the timely arrival of Prince Urmahid Krinagar of Bramyra. He quells the discord, and has the children of Moglai escorted to his nearby mansion, in the Noble's Quarter. (See Ya. 20, Ya. 27; Kl. 18, Kl. 27.)

What This Means: A master intelligence gatherer, Urmahid Krinagar has been aware of the children of Moglai nearly since they first arrived in his principality. He has had them followed by his own agents ever since. Upon discovering their goal in the city, and the knowledge of when they would attempt to meet with the masters of the school, he made it a point to be personally present. Krinagar's arrival forestalled what could have been a potentially politically disastrous situation for Glantri.

Klarmont 10, AC 1017: Bardeen Cornered.

Location: Jarldom of Nordenhafen, Great Bay. NW

Description: A small flotilla of three heavily-armed galleys appears in the waters of the town of Nordenhafen. A delegation of emissaries from King Ericall is immediately granted an audience with Jarl Bardeen, who begins to think the worst. The head of the emissaries is none other than Overlord h'Caramore, who is here to complain about Bardeen's inability to secure the western waters of the Great Bay from pirate raids. Without making direct accusations, Ethendril h'Caramore warns Baron Bardeen that if the raids don't stop, King Ericall will be forced to send his own troops to use Nordenhafen as base of operations against the raiders of the Great Bay. Overlord h'Caramore departs with the ships, giving Baron Bardeen a one month deadline to solve the problem. (See Th. 20; Fe. 9, Fe. 23.)

What This Means: After many months of ongoing raids, the rulers of Panteria, Latela and Kameloth obtained evidence that Bardeen was backing the pirates to enrich his poor dominion. They vehemently protested to King Ericall, who in turn asked Overlord h'Caramore's advice on the matter. The overlord has now no real military power, since there is no threat menacing the whole Norwold Confederacy that requires raising the army, but he is still a respected warlord and a wise commander. Instead of pushing for a demonstration of strength (as asked by Latela and Kameloth), h'Caramore came up with a subtle warning for Baron Bardeen, in order to avoid embarrassing him and causing internal strife in the confederacy. However, if by the end of the ultimatum the Baron of Nordenhafen hasn't cut down all the pirates hiding in his isle, h'Caramore has suggested to Ericall to send his navy and Kameloth's own forces to take care of the problem and to remove the untrustworthy Bardeen.

Klarmont 11, AC 1017: The Die Is Cast.

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

Description: The invasion army has finished preparing. The army numbers about 6,000 soldiers with various officers under the leadership of General Selcomad. The army begins its long journey toward Arkan. First they will have to march to Trollhattan and then Torpes in Limn, which should not be too much trouble. (See Ya. 16, Ya. 27; Fe. 8, Fe. 16.)

What This Means: The Stonewall army is on the move. After the army reaches Torpes, the journey will get a lot more dangerous because of the monsters that live in the Kerothar Mountains in Frisland. Once the army reaches the Rainbow River, the rest of the journey will be a lot less dangerous, though-until they reach the border between Frisland and Arkan that is!

What the PCs Can Do: There is a war on. The PCs can either be mercenaries, leaders of Stonewall forces, or advance scouts for the army. Nothing much will happen in the first part of the journey, but there will be lots of adventuring opportunity once they reach the Kerothar Mountains in Frisland.

Klarmont 11, AC 1017: Proposal for the Princes.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany makes a surprisingly progressive proposal before the Council of Princes. As there are now 13 princes and only 10 council charges, Morphail suggests a creation of three new charges. First, the honorary title of warden of the marches should become an official council charge with 3 votes. Second, creating a charge of royal merchant-mage to oversee the foreign trade of Glantri with 2 votes. Third, a new viceroyalty will be created, and a new fort constructed for this charge.

Finally, Morphail also suggests the creation of a new duchy somewhere between Westheath and Touraine, as there is only the Duchy of Hightower left open for possible awards festivals. (See Fl. 4; Kl. 20, Fe. 18.)

What This Means: These propositions are of course inspired by Princes Jaggar and Malachie to strengthen their position against Dolores. In Morphail they found an eager ally to make them. To the surprise of many, all of the motions are passed by the council, save for the title of royal merchant-mage, which passes on to the parliament.

The position of warden of the marches in particular was a sore point among many of the princes. It barely passes the muster, supported only by two of its original proponents (Jaggar and Malachie-Morphail was opposed to the idea). To their amazement, it seems that Dolores and her toady, Kol, support the idea as well (Dolores sees it as paving the way to a totalitarian rule over Glantri, in the long run). Angus McGregor throws his hat in the ring on the issue-which most perceive as an attempt to retain the alliance of Duke Eachainn McDougall of Hightower. Most surprising, however, is the evident support of Prince Harald Haaskinz on the issue. His motives for supporting the position cannot quite be fathomed.

In the meantime, politicking for the various new charges will begin in earnest.

Klarmont 11, AC 1017: A Motive for War.

Location: Nasperid Ruins, Sunken Arogansa. Nayce. AS

Description: The privately-owned luxury submersible, the Dallyant, is carrying a group of sightseeing nobles on a journey to survey the ruins of the sunken kingdom. Aware of the undead threat and to avoid startling the natural animals, the vessel is shielded in a cloak of invisibility. While examining the ruins of the town of Nasperid, the passengers are shocked to see a trio of ghouls emerge from the ruins of one house. Though all are a bit disturbed at seeing undead in a resort area, their curiosity has them continue their observations throughout the town. They witness a definite ghoulish presence within the town, with the undead coming and going freely throughout the buildings. The passengers note the locations and what they had been before the sinking, several were favoured resort areas. Some even humorously remark at how certain places are now having a better class of clientele. This dark humour seems to relieve a lot of the fear and apprehensions about the whole matter.

It is while observing the ruins of the family estate of the vessel's owner and captain, Delmarst, that the novelty begins to wear off. At seeing the doors of his family's crypt broken open, the mage goes into a rage. It takes the full efforts of his crew and fellows to prevent him from leaving the submersible and taking on the ghouls himself. However, after a few tense moments of rather stern discussion Delmarst obliges the caution his friends and crewmen voice. At their urgings the submersible sets a course away from Nasperid and returns to Aquas to report the matter. A still enraged Delmarst goes a step farther, using magic to report the incident to friends within the Nayce Council. (See Ya. 17, Kl. 6; Kl. 19, Kl. 24.)

What This Means: Though originally intended as an amusement trip to look over their old play areas and possibly do some dolphin spotting, the voyage has turned into an intelligence gathering coup. The Dallyant and her crew have unwittingly discovered a major marshalling area for the ghouls. The sighting is more than that though. The idea of the ghouls or any undead inhabiting inside what had been Alphatian dwellings is bad enough. Most of the passengers will attest to feeling some outrage at that. The sighting also adds another aspect that had not been contemplated before-since the ghouls feed on human flesh, they are eating something. Few had realised that the ghouls might be feeding on the remains of the Alphatian dead.

It is Delmarst that realises this as his own family crypt is targeted. The thought of some undead feeding on the mortal remains of his parents or departed siblings is a bit unsettling. He is quite angry and would have taken matters into his own hands. However, the Dallyant is a private pleasure craft with no offensive capabilities; being more designed for stealthy underwater sightseeing. Likewise, he and his companions are not fighting mages-they are more favoured towards social gatherings, gambling, trade, and some spell research. Still, Delmarst is enraged enough to put the matter before the council for some resolution.

What the PCs Can Do: Aristocratic PCs may be vacationing aboard the Dallyant.

Klarmont 12, AC 1017: The Point of No Return.

Location: The Acropolis, City of Corisa, Milenian Empire. HW

Description: Having collected enough evidence to support their accusations, imperial officials go to arrest Senator Krameos. But he has fled his estate, and is nowhere to be found. Others implicated in the conspiracy to overthrow Adronius are rounded up, though, including Senator Tibernos. Senator Tibernos claims that he and Krameos are being framed, that the evidence they've been gathering about the Cult of Matera is true. He then makes a nearly desperate gamble, accusing the emperor's wife Myrina of involvement in the conspiracy of the Materans. Emperor Adronius has always had high regard for Senator Tibernos, and even now has difficulty believing he has conspired against him. So he calls in Myrina, and lets Tibernos present his case-as part of Tibernos' defence against the charges against him.

Senator Tibernos calls in High Priest Dagos, High Priestess Helentia, Tassia Red-Hair, Xanthipon, and High Magus Amnethon to present the case. They assemble before the emperor and are pretty straightforward on the matter, showing him a compiled report and offering examples of evidence for his perusal. Adronius examines all of the materials carefully and methodically. Adronius finishes the materials and rather calmly hands them back to Tibernos. After a moment of contemplation, he asks Myrina to reply to the accusations Tibernos has levelled against her.

Myrina denies the accusations, citing that these people are just trying to slander Adronius to further their own political goals. Tibernos, outraged, demands that the empress's chambers be investigated, that evidence of the truth of his claims will be found there. Adronius sends men to search the chamber, and Myrina seems shocked and appalled. But the investigators find nothing in their search that would implicate Myrina in any conspiracy-her chambers are filled with innocuous items and inconsequential correspondence, her diary boring and banal, expressing love and admiration for her husband and filled with flighty observations on daily life.

The emperor tells everyone that his evidence has been shown to be the result of forgeries commissioned by Senators Krameos and Tibernos as part of their conspiracy to overthrow him. Adronius orders Tibernos taken away, with Tibernos protesting his innocence as he is dragged off. Adronius then explains to the others assembled how they, like he, were duped by the conspirators into suspecting the Cult of Matera of conspiring against the empire, but that the truth has come out. Krameos' flight, as well as the admissions of Dionios and Sephone, are indications of the truth. Krameos must be guilty, or he would not have fled, while Dionios and Sephone have admitted to everything. He instructs them to begin preparations for the rounding up of the rest of the conspirators. Some are convinced, while others still have their doubts but stay silent for now in the face of the emperor's conviction on the matter, planning on looking into it discretely when they have the chance. (See Fl. 4, Kl. 5; Kl. 13.)

What This Means: Krameos fled hoping to by time, and find conclusive proof of the Materans' machinations. He realised that if captured, it would all be over. But to Adronius and others, his flight is an admission of guilt. Also in his house, evidence (planted earlier by the Materans) was discovered that he had hired forgers and thieves to create and then plant documents implicating the Materans, as part of his conspiracy. As for the servant who planted the evidence, he is never seen again (he is disposed of by the order).

Krameos is now a man on the run, hunted both by agents of the Order of Matera and by the empire's agents. He still hopes to expose the truth, but his chances are slim and getting slimmer all the time.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs involved in the investigation will probably called upon to participate in its closure.

Klarmont 12, AC 1017: To Cleanse the Land...

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

Description: Following up on his announcement of the creation of the grenzmarschallen, Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf issues yet another proclamation. Effective today, all senior knights commanding territories in the newly-recovered region of Heldland are to mobilise their troops immediately, in preparation for an assault on the Finsterwald. In addition, Herr Wulf pronounces a sentence of death upon Helmut Jaschke, a former Heldannic Knight who not only sided with the "traitorous scum" of Finsterwald in their efforts to remain independent of Heldannic rule; he apparently occupies a position of leadership among them. For added incentive, he also announces a bounty of 5,000 gelder on Helmut's head. (See Fe. 2, Fe. 4.)

What This Means: Since the campaign last year to regain control over all of Heldland after the Heldannic Knights regained their spellcasting powers, the bandits based in the Finsterwald region-known as the Company of the Resurgent-have been raiding the surrounding settlements intermittently. Led by the former Heldannic Knight, Count Helmut Jaschke (he calls his domain the County of Wolkenberg), the band of Antalians and elves have been living well in the forest, while helping the native farmers and woodsmen remain free of the order's rule. The fact that Helmut had managed to defeat the knights on no less than two occasions last year was bad enough; his continued existence is, in Herr Wulf's eyes, a blight on the record of the Heldannic Order. To allow such a seemingly weak (in Herr Wulf's view) opponent to live unconquered, so near the order's own military might, without even acknowledging its superiority, is galling. Of especial strategic importance, however, is the fact that the region claimed by Helmut threatens a thin coastal strip of territory which links Heldann proper with the bulk of Heldland.

What the PCs Can Do: There is not much that the PCs can do in this case, but if they are prominent landowners, or dominion rulers in Heldland, they will no doubt receive Herr Wulf's order to mobilise.

Klarmont 12, AC 1017: Great Wall of Kings.

Location: Entrance to the Valley of Kings, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: Soldiers loyal to Pharaoh Ramenhotep, and tasked to keep an eye on the secessionist Thothians in the Valley of Kings, see an unusual sight today. Several of the red-skinned giants known as hunakoi begin to haul tremendous stone blocks to the entrance of the valley. After a time, it becomes apparent that they are building a gigantic wall-their intent seemingly to wall off the entrance to the valley itself! They immediately send word to Ramenhotep in Edairo. (See Nu. 4; Sv. 4.)

What This Means: The hunakoi are indeed building a wall, at the behest of Pharaoh Haptuthep. With the entrance to the Valley of Kings walled off, Haptuthep's new realm will be effectively impossible to enter-the cliffs of the Great Escarpment are far too high to attempt to send an invading force over them. The hunakoi work swiftly, in the manner in which their ancestors built the Thothian pyramids of old, but it will still take a long time for them to complete a project of this magnitude. Ramenhotep will take his time deciding his next move.

Klarmont 12, AC 1017: First Battle in Klagorst.

Location: Near Lake Szwanski, Duchy of Vrancea, Confederacy of Klagorst. WB

Description: Centaurs of Chevalle attack the Duchy of Vrancea. Duke Nhorg leads his army personally against the invaders.

The two armies clash near Lake Szwanski, a mountain lake near the border of the centaurs' forest. The centaurs move even further, and sack the village of Ezketaga, but then turn back towards the forest; they do not wish to have an open confrontation with the Vrancean army.

The lake is situated in a depression among the hills, and thus it is nearly impossible for an army to manoeuvre with ease; any battle is going to be more of a one-on-one clash. The Chevallians prepare themselves, with their elven and human archers positioned atop the hill, on the eastern side, where the forest is nearer; centaurs occupy the lakeside, while fairies prepare to use their powers to create havoc in the enemy army. When the Vrancean army arrives, it stops at the hills, and seems uncertain whether it should enter the combat, because it would be at a clear disadvantage.

Among the Vrancean soldiers, a figure advances. It is more than two meters tall, wrapped in a dark cloak, and it wears dark plate armour with purple and violet decorations. It stops at the centre of its soldiers, and looks down toward the lake.

From the opposing hillside, the Chevallian archers begin to use their bows, but the man is too distant, and they soon abandon hope of hitting him. When it becomes clear that the figure is preparing some sort of enchantment, the battlefield becomes very silent. The Chevallian centaurs do not want to climb the hills to stop him, in order to be able to maintain the advantage of their position, but at the same time they cannot do anything but wait.

In a few seconds, the voice of Duke Nhorg is clearly audible over the battlefield. "Darken my sky!" he calls out, and the lake begins to turn red, then, enormous, horrible sinuous serpent-like creatures arise from the lake and begin to attack the horrified centaurs. After a few minutes, most of the centaurs and their allies have retreated into the forest, while many lie dead. The creatures disappear again in the bubbling waters, and one hour after the event, no trace of their passing remains, apart from the torn bodies of the centaurs. (See Ya. 28, Kl. 1; Kl. 13, Kl. 15.)

What This Means: This is an incredibly important event for the Klagorst region. First, it is the beginning of actual combat in the war; secondly, it is the first public appearance of Duke Nhorg of Vrancea in more than ten years. He was escorted by his bodyguards, the Reptile Knights, an elite group of forty men especially trained and recruited among the Vranceans. No nation in Klagorst has a regular army: the town guards are the closest thing to soldiers that most nations in this region possess, and Vrancea, with Nhorg's institution of the Reptile Knights, is the only member of the confederacy to have some real fighting power.

Since most of these nations are little more than petty states, the war's outcome will likely rest upon a few well-trained and well-equipped troops. The effective manpower of the two sides in this conflict is highly disproportionate: the Klagorst Confederacy and their allies have 12,000 men (6,000 Klagorst humans, 3,000 from Chevalle, 3,000 from Stygia), while Gournzee and Vrancea have only 4,000, with nearly 3,000 varkhas.

Duke Nhorg has used Lake Szwanski for some weird experiments. This will not likely be his only surprise for the war, otherwise he would have been mad to accept the declaration of war, instead of bending to the confederation's will.

What the PCs Can Do: Considering the importance experienced troops will have in this war (which is very important in this remote region, even if it is nothing more than a petty squabble by Old World standards), PCs have the opportunity to play a decisive role.

Klarmont 13, AC 1017: The Sleep of the Short Sword.

Location: Throughout the Milenian Empire. HW

Description: All across Milenian lands armed troops, accompanied by the investigators and trusted agents, kick in doors and arrest those implicated in the conspiracy to overthrow the government. Some of the finest homes in the empire find themselves under siege and their owners placed under arrest. Few occupants resist, at least physically. The warrants do much to quell any verbal outrages and threats.

The investigators try to explain to the friends and family of those arrested, just what is going on. Some accept the charges. Most believe that there must be some mistake. Still others are vehement in their defence of the accused. Some of those arrested, many of the women but also a few of the men, break down and admit to their guilt. (See Kl. 5, Kl. 12.)

What This Means: Those who admit to their guilt are either members of the Materan Order or under their mental control. The Materan Order has sacrificed some of its clandestine members in order to carry out this frame-up, which is seen as necessary to save the order itself and its secrets from being uncovered. They will also have to lay low for awhile, as some suspicion is still on them. This thus sets the Order of Matera back, as it will be awhile before they can restore their network of influence and resume their plans.

Ironically, many of the accused women will be lightly punished, as a result of Milenia's attitudes towards them. After all, they believe, these are only weak-willed women who couldn't help it, they just did what their husbands told them to do, and can't be overly faulted for that. Therefore, they get off with light sentences. Those men who refuse to plead guilty and maintain their innocence receive the harshest sentence-death for treason.

But this event results in the empire purging many of its most loyal and capable men, who have been framed by the Order of Matera. Those who claim innocence are undermined by the ones who admit to the charges, and testify against them. The emperor will keep an eye on General Tythus for awhile. Even though the evidence doesn't implicate him directly, the conspirators were supposedly acting on his behalf. Many of those involved in the original investigation of the Order of Matera still suspect it, but they keep their doubts to themselves for now. Some will help Krameos in eluding pursuit, knowing him to be a good and decent man, helping the fugitive elude capture and discretely exchanging information with him on occasion.

The Cult of Matera decided not to frame Tythus directly, nor High Priest Dagos, High Priestess Helentia, Tassia Red-Hair, Xanthipon, and High Magus Amnethon among others, however, because they didn't think it would be believable to implicate them all, and they wanted their frame-up to seem plausible.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs involved in the investigation will be busy for the next few days. Opportunities are endless for a variety of arrest scenarios to be played out by the DM. Conversely, PCs may find themselves drawn into the whole matter as friends, family, and even employers are arrested. They can either try to prevent the arrest or they can try to gain their freedom through the legal system. A particularly devious DM may want to have one of the PCs erroneously implicated in the conspiracy and facing arrest.

Characters might also be approached by Krameos or his friends, and asked to help him. They will then have to work both diligently and secretly to try and prove the truth, with few believing them because the evidence against the Materans has been successfully discredited. This might then lead to an entire campaign centred around trying to expose the truth to a disbelieving nation, being on the run from the agents of the empire whose interests they are serving.

Klarmont 13, AC 1017: Workin' on the Caravan Route, All the Livelong Day.

Location: Emirate of Abbashan, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: Labourers from Abbashan, Fabia, and Jaboor set out to pioneer new caravan routes between these towns. The hope is to improve commerce between Ylaruam and outside nations, while keeping such traffic within the venue of the new capitol of Abbashan.

What This Means: The groundwork for such traffic was laid years ago, in order that Abbashan might better compete with the distant city of Ylaruam. It was abandoned during the chaotic years of the Great War, and the work that had been done has sat idle ever since. Now, the sultan is hoping to improve the economy of his nation, while making sure that he is able to keep a close eye on foreign trade and influence.

What the PCs Can Do: The trailblazers will face many dangers: raiding humanoids, bandits, enraged nomadic clans, perhaps even a marauding demon. Adventurers will be welcome hands in the hard days of building roads.

Klarmont 13, AC 1017: The Tornado Arrives in Puerto Morillos.

Location: Town of Puerto Morillos, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: Barbarossa's Tornado enters the harbour of Puerto Morillos as the first ship and leaves a short time later. The whereabouts of his rival's ship, The Banquet, are unknown. (See Kl. 6, Kl. 9; Kl. 14, Kl. 15.)

What This Means: The trick has worked. The attack against The Banquet has slowed down the ship enough to give Captain Saviola the chance to take the lead of the race.

What the PCs Can Do: Now Merryweather's men aboard the Tornado should try to hinder the ship.

Klarmont 13, AC 1017: Centaurs Plan Defensive Measures.

Location: Near Lake Szwanski, Duchy of Vrancea, Confederacy of Klagorst. WB

Description: The centaurs and their allies, fearing that the events in Lake Szwanski will not be the only time when the dark powers of Duke Nhorg manifest themselves, decide to concentrate their efforts on defensive measures, in case Vrancean troops march against their positions in the forest. At the same time, they send envoys south, to Brasov, hoping to convince that nation to help them in the war, and westwards to Gask, to inform their allies in the confederacy of the unsuspected powers of Duke Nhorg. (See Kl. 1, Kl. 12; Kl. 15, Kl. 17.)

What the PCs Can Do: PCs may be sent to Gask or Brasov, and could change, with their course of actions, the outcome of the events that will be presented later on in this scenario.

Klarmont 14, AC 1017: Shore Leave in Kladanovic.

Location: Town of Kladanovic, Northwestern Neck of the Serpent Peninsula. SC

Description: The imperialist expedition sails into Kladanovic's harbour today. The inhabitants of Kladanovic have heard of the arrangement the Thyatians made with Tyjaret, but opinions are split on it. Some hope for a similar agreement, especially since raiders have concentrated more on striking Kladanovic since the defences of Tyjaret have been improved. Others are wary, and resolved to keep the settlement clear of imperial influence. Several violent feuds have broken out over the differing opinions on the matter, since the town's leadership itself is split down the middle.

Little time is wasted before things come to a head. After making shore contact, several Thyatians are attacked by part of the anti-Thyatian faction, with members of the pro-Thyatian faction jumping in on the other side. Soon, there is rioting and the Thyatian commander sends in his marines to restore order. Factional battling goes on through much of the night, but the Thyatians have gained much experience in the last several years putting down mob violence with efficient dispatch. By morning, the Thyatians are in control of the town. Ringleaders of the anti-Thyatian opposition are dragged off in chains to the Thyatian ships. In their "generosity," the Thyatian admiral proposes the same deal with the leaders of Kladanovic as was made with Tyjaret, even though the town has been effectively conquered. (See Ya. 13, Kl. 8; Sv. 7, Sv. 13.)

What This Means: The Thyatians know that Kladanovic is too far away to impose rule by absolute force. They take the ringleaders of the anti-Thyatian faction with them as hostages, putting the town under the control of the local pro-Thyatian faction. As order is swiftly restored over the town without bloody reprisals, life quickly goes back to normal and most of the residents are mollified. In a few days a small force arrives from Tyjaret and helps rid the area of roving raiders, which further influences people to docility regarding the arrangement. Kladanovic becomes a Thyatian dependency and protectorate.

The Thyatians are attempting to build up a string of small bases and mercantile colonies to facilitate the expansion of their trading network. Tyjaret and Kladanovic are among the first of these. Soon, imperial traders and Thyatian colonists, arriving mostly overland through Tyjaret, will settle in Kladanovic too, helping solidify Thyatian influence over the town. The establishment of this network has the secondary effect of further securing Minrothad's loyalty, since the guilds know that if they go against the empire they are likely to lose access to its bases.

What the PCs Can Do: A night of street-fighting and thuggery. The Thyatians try not to be to bloody about it this time, since they want the town to become a loyal appendage of the empire.

Klarmont 14, AC 1017: The Banquet Arrives in Puerto Morillos.

Location: Town of Puerto Morillos, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: Merryweather's The Banquet enters the harbour of Puerto Morillos and stays for some hours for hasty repairs. When he finally leaves Merryweather is nearly three-quarter of a sleep behind his rival. (See Kl. 9, Kl. 13; Kl. 15, Kl. 18.)

What This Means: The Banquet is still hindered by the damages due to the attack it sustained at sea. After the repairs the most troublesome damages are fixed though, so Merryweather doesn't have to concede yet.

What the PCs Can Do: As time is the essence it is of vital interest for the crew to get supplies and men to repair the ship as soon as possible. Supporters of Barbarossa will make as much trouble as possible, for example by starting a brawl in one of the darker places of the harbour-when Merryweather's sailors are there, of course.

Third Week

Klarmont 15, AC 1017: Reston Named King for Life.

Location: City of Ierendi, Kingdom of Ierendi. OW

Description: In recognition of his many years of continuous success in the Royal Tournament of Adventurers, Reston of Akesoli is named king for life. He will retain the title until his death or until he voluntarily relinquishes it. There is a large celebration for the lauded hero in the streets and city of Ierendi. (See Kl. 1.)

What This Means: There has been talk of making this declaration for several years now; Reston's successful defence of his title this year finally decided things. The news brings mixed reactions-the annual tournament is one of Ierendi's biggest tourist attractions, and some fear that it will diminish now that there will only be competition for the title of queen. Several members of the Tribunal-the body that truly governs Ierendi-are concerned as well; Reston has gained considerable political influence over the past decade, and they fear that he may take some of their power away from them.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs won the title of king this year instead of Reston, then Reston is instead elected tribune of military affairs-a still very considerable position of political influence for him.

Klarmont 15, AC 1017: Faraway Falls.

Location: City of Faraway, Province of Verdan, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK

Description: The armies of free and rebel Jennites make an assault on the Alphatian defenders in Faraway and drive them back. Many Jennites in the city seize the opportunity to turn against their former Alphatian overlords and attack from their positions within the city as well. Suddenly the Alphatians are caught between the two groups of Jennites, and it is obvious that the defence of Faraway is a lost cause. Many surrender, but most try to fight their way to escape, not expecting mercy from the Jennites after how they treated the Alphatians they captured at the three forts; Krael and Lyriander, who also escaped Vigil Keep, are among these. Some harsh battles are fought in the city as the Alphatians fight-some to survive, some to kill as many Jennites as they can before they're killed themselves, and some to allow others a chance to escape. At the end of the day, all Alphatians are either killed, captured, or fleeing the city, and the Jennites are in control. (See Ya. 26, Kl. 2; Fe. 16, Fe. 20.)

What This Means: Verdan has fallen to the allied Jennites. Now it remains to be seen what Talin and the other Jennite leaders will do with their victory-how they share the spoils of war, and what they do with the conquered territory. Krael and Lyriander have once again been forced to flee the Jennite offensive, and they are falling back to Anchorage to mount a more well-organized defence there.

What the PCs Can Do: There are many battles to be fought here, and once they are over, there are other matters to take care of-Alphatian PCs will have their hands full just staying alive and, possibly, keeping other refugees alive also as the will be hunted by vengeful Jennites. Jennite PCs should have some interesting opportunities to help Talin and the other leaders consider what the allies will do now.

Klarmont 15, AC 1017: Stefan Makes Concessions.

Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: As part of his continued efforts at restoring peace in his kingdom, Stefan Karameikos enacts the Traladaran Reparation Acts. Also known as the "Davinos Acts," the purpose is to grant sizeable tax breaks to Traladaran merchants whose businesses were weakened by Thyatian aggressors some forty years ago. Any Traladaran with a claim may present himself before the court. To ensure that such claims are honestly assessed, the DDC has agreed to evaluate such claims, as unbiased third party witnesses. The tax breaks will begin effective Nuwmont 1, 1018, until Nuwmont 1, 1025.

The next few months find the DDC calling for more assistance, as the number of Traladaran claimants is sizeable-both legitimate and illegitimate. (See Th. 26, Fl. 10; Fy. 4.)

What This Means: These tax breaks were proposed by a Traladaran man named Davinos back in AC 1014. Stefan gave them a lot of consideration, but couldn't think of a way to legitimately acknowledge certain claims; accusations of bias were bound to be made. The DDC has helped him with this problem, by providing a non-partisan third party to evaluate the claims. There will still be some accusations of bias, naturally, but the "Davinos Acts" will go a long way to helping repair damaged feelings with the Traladaran population. In the long run, they may even turn out to be to the nation's economic advantage as well.

Klarmont 15, AC 1017: Preparations.

Location: Throughout the Klagorst Region. WB

Description: Rumours regarding the battle of Lake Szwanski reach the allied armies of Fewalskij, Gask and Valeryia, soon followed by the messengers sent two days ago. Knowing that their resources are not enough, if Duke Nhorg shows dark magic abilities, they ask for further assistance from the Stygian troglodytes. Diplomats are sent to Kragm'aanle, where the troglodytes are still preparing their army, while the confederated army stops in Gask to wait for reinforcements. At the same time, scouts are dispatched to Chevalle, to inform the centaurs of the council's decision. (See Kl. 12, Kl. 13; Kl. 17, Kl. 18.)

What This Means: Archduke Xagash hoped to enter the war as the leader of his race, but if the confederated army needs magic to counter Nhorg's supposed abilities, the clergy of Yeg Shuta will use the war as another opportunity to play down the importance of Xagash. This is a hard blow for his hope of changing the troglodytes into a more sophisticated, moderate race, as he fears this will push them again into the role of fanatical zealots.

What the PCs Can Do: In these first days of war, diplomatic skills and scouting abilities are in great demand.

Klarmont 15, AC 1017: Council Makes Final Decision.

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

Description: The proposal of Council Member Solturnun comes to voting. The result is a narrow victory. Infuriated, Zallaras demands a check counting. According to the rules of the council the president of the council, Dalamar of Haaken, must decide now. Slightly irritated he agrees to this demand. He orders a pause so that the votes can be counted again-though, because the votes are counted magically, there is little chance for error. Still, the tension among the members is high.

After more than an hour the president reopens the session and tells the members that the first count has been affirmed. With that he declares the proposal accepted. Solturnun and his team cheer loudly. Zallaras storms out of the hall without a single word. Jolinar swears revenge before he leaves too. (See Th. 27, Ya. 3; Am. 1, Am. 2.)

What This Means: Finally the Navy of the Lakes has made a big step toward its old goal. Now the sailors will have to make the final plans of constructing the first canals.

What the PCs Can Do: The political campaign is over now, but during the construction phase there will be work again. For now the only role is that of visitors of the session.

Klarmont 15, AC 1017: Breakout in Leominster.

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

Description: Colonel Lionel Edgwinton, commanding officer of the Royal Leominster Regiment, resigns his command today, saying before the parliament that he fears he could never bring himself to bear arms against his sovereign and king. The parliament votes to transfer command of the elite Bellaynish regiment to Edgwinton's second in command, Sergeant-Major Edward Lewin-who is promoted immediately to colonel.

That night, nigh on four hundred troops, almost half the regiment, sneak out through the dock and commandeer two naval vessels at anchor in the harbour. The city watch seems to be negligent tonight, as the ships are well away before the alarm is raised. Next day sees fury from the parliament as it is evident that Edgwinton's men are headed for Theeds, and the king-the parliament then votes to seize all weapons, horses and munitions headed west, which may be used by the king's growing army. (See Kl. 2, Kl. 7; Kl. 27, Fe. 3.)

What This Means: Edgwinton and Lewin have been friends for over ten years, having seen action together in wars against the northern goblinoids and saved each other's life on more than one occasion. The night before, Edgwinton confided to his friend that he felt that the oath he swore when he took his commission compels him to support his king in this, his hour of need. Despite his efforts to persuade him otherwise, Lewin was unable to dissuade his commanding officer from this course of action.

Edgwinton's escape came as nothing of a surprise to Lewin-who, as a final favour to his friend, did not warn the watch of the possibility of such a move.

Lewin, normally not a religious individual, is found the next day in the great cathedral of Pax Bellanica, praying to the patron of Bellayne for a bloodless end to this dispute.

Klarmont 15, AC 1017: An Failed Attack.

Location: Open sea north of the Island of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: The Tornado is pursed by an unknown attacker. Captain Saviola is using all his knowledge as a seaman and all the tricks he has learned in his long circles as a pirate captain to avoid the battle. Indeed the Tornado loses its pursuer in an upcoming storm. Barbarossa is not too happy as the storm forces him back east.

Later that same sleep The Banquet gets caught in the same storm. (See Kl. 13, Kl. 14; Kl. 18, Kl. 23.)

What This Means: Captain Merryweather has arranged the exact same treachery as Barbarossa did earlier, by hiring another captain to attack his rival, but hard luck has prevented the trick from succeeding. The storm is a normal weather phenomenon for the Hollow World.

What the PCs Can Do: In such a situation only seamanship and hard labour is needed. Sabotage would be suicidal so no such action is likely to occur, as pirate PCs should realise.

Klarmont 17, AC 1017: Discoveries in Ochalea.

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

Description: Ochalean officials submit the preliminary findings of their investigations to Exarch Teng Lin-Dieu. Surprisingly, they discovered no direct connection to the Alphatian Empire. Instead, the agitators all seemed to be part of a secret cult devoted to Ilsundal. During the war this cult, though not very large, seemed to devote all its resources to agitation and protestation in favour of independence. By carefully picking their targets, they garnered unusual visibility and eventually their cause took on a momentum of its own, until independence was eventually declared. According to the investigators' contacts on the Pearl Islands, things were similar there-an independence movement started by a small group devoted to Ilsundal.

Since Ilsundal never took much interest in either nation before, and his followers were few and never politically vocal, this discovery leads to more questions than it answers. Especially when it is pointed out that due to the rivalry between the followers of Eiryndul (worshipped by the Shiye elves) and the followers of Ilsundal (worshipped among the Vyalian elves), the latter are generally more favourably inclined to Thyatis than Alphatia. Everyone is puzzled as to why two sects of Ilsundal's followers would be at the heart of the independence movement that sprung up during the Great War. (See Th. 17.)

What This Means: The Ochaleans are one step closer to uncovering some of the secret background of the Great War. Koryis is subtly encouraging their investigations, but others (especially Ilsundal) will do what they can to obstruct further inquiry.

What the PCs Can Do: Further investigation might get dangerous, especially if it involves looking into the activities of Immortals.

Klarmont 17, AC 1017: A Volospin Sighting!

Location: Town of Eriadna, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Several of the residents of Eriadna report that they have seen someone greatly resembling the late Prince Volospin Aendyr around town. Rumours begin circulating that perhaps he faked his death during the Great War with Alphatia. Such gossip is widely regarded as mere fancy, a silly pastime of a town in great need of relief from the pressures of deadly humanoids nearby. At least one person knows the truth is more sinister; Princess Dolores Hillsbury grits her teeth at the reports. (See Th. 9, Th. 14; Am. 1.)

What This Means: Volospin Aendyr is indeed alive, and was returned to Mystara late last year. Since then, he has been in hiding, but Dolores has her agents searching for any rumours or information regarding his possible whereabouts. He can be a potentially very deadly enemy to her, should he surface again, and she aims to make certain that he remains as dead as he was long thought to be.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can be hired through agents of Dolores to seek out the "late" prince. Sightings of Aendyr in the town are becoming very common-and are mostly made up. It is becoming the chic thing to say that one has spotted Volospin, or had lunch with the ex-prince, or sold him a new suit of clothes. Sorting through all the lies and half-truths should keep the PCs busy for quite some time.

Klarmont 17, AC 1017: A Clash in the Woods.

Location: Chevalle Forest, Kingdom of Chevalle. WB

Description: A group of Reptile Knights from the Vrancean army enter the Chevalle Forest and begin to destroy trees and kill animals randomly, hoping to draw the attention of the centaurs. The commander of the Chevallian troops in the area, a human priestess named Aleksia Elkina, refuses to respond, claiming that the havoc caused by the knights is simply a trap, and that they will not enter deeper in the forest; a group of centaurs, human rangers and elven archers confront the Vranceans. The Reptile Knights, though not more than forty in number, clash with nearly 100 enemies. Though there are few casualties, more are lost on the centaurs' side, and the knights manage to flee. (See Kl. 13, Kl. 15; Kl. 18, Kl. 20.)

What This Means: Duke Nhorg does not want the Chevallian folk to gain the initiative, because he is still waiting for the varkhan army to aid him, and he is not capable of sustaining an open confrontation, yet. But several of the Chevallian leaders, especially the nature-worshipping priests and druids, are not willing to face a war if Nhorg has dark powers.

What the PCs Can Do: Charismatic figures among the Chevallian army could lead more persons in battle on their side, thus killing more Reptile Knights. If they are among the Reptile Knights, the opposite would be the case.

Klarmont 18, AC 1017: Can Dead Khans Walk?

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Sometime during the course of the night, the corpse of the dead Moglai Khan disappears from the Great School of Magic. The theft goes unnoticed for several days. (See Ya. 27, Kl. 10; Kl. 27, Fe. 3.)

What This Means: Though he and the Golden Khan were once enemies, Urmahid Krinagar respected the former ruler of the khanates, and feels honourbound to assist the khan's children in their quest. There is also the small matter of preventing any diplomatic incidents between Glantri and Ethengar-the principalities are still recovering from the war of AC 1015. Using his own powerful magicks, and those of Akmad ibn Yussef, Krinagar retrieved the corpse of Moglai Khan from the laboratories where it was being stored. When the theft is finally discovered (by a routine inventory inspection), there will of course be an investigation, but Krinagar plans on having the corpse well on its way out of Glantri by that time.

Klarmont 18, AC 1017: Arrival in Kota-Jayang.

Location: Town of Kota-Jayang, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: Again it is the Tornado that enters the harbour first. Despite sustaining damage while in the storm, Barbarossa refuses any repair and leaves immediately. Half a sleep later The Banquet sails into port too. When he hears about his rival's decision Merryweather orders to leave without any further repair. (See Kl. 14, Kl. 15; Kl. 23.)

What This Means: Both ships have been damaged by the storm and are in need for repairs. As both captains don't want to lose time, and hurt their pride, they will have to handle the damages with contingency means only. It remains to be seen which crew can handle the problems better.

Klarmont 18, AC 1017: Sorry, Not This Time.

Location: Town of Kronstadt, Kingdom of Brasov. WB

Description: The envoys from Chevalle reach Kronstadt this evening; they present their request for the Brasovians to join them in the war against Gournzee and Vrancea. The Brasovian King, Szabo II, does not take much time to refuse. He has no desire to see his subjects' blood spilt in a war that does not concern him directly. The matter should be resolved inside the Klagorst Confederation proper, he suggests, and should not involve countries that have no reason to fight. He also states that he is sorry about the current problems experienced by Chevalle, but that he really cannot risk his nation's welfare to help them. However, he promises that, once the war ends, he will do everything possible to help Chevalle recover. When the envoys mention Duke Nhorg's use of dark magic, the king says that, looking at the events objectively, Chevalle had no real reason to attack Vrancea, and that they did it before the Vranceans could attack them. He suggests that Chevalle should leave the confederacy, and abandon the war, claiming that nothing good will ever come to them from their membership, and mentioning the past situations when Chevalle left, he says that maybe their destiny is not to be part of the confederated kingdoms. (See Kl. 15, Kl. 17; Kl. 20, Kl. 22.)

What This Means: Chevalle, Stygia and Brasov were allied in the 6th Brasovian War (AC 1005-1008), but this time there is no reason for Szabo II to enter the conflict. Chevalle and Brasov are also not traditionally allied in local conflicts, which reduces the incentive for King Szabo II to commit troops to the war effort. Szabo's suggestion that Chevalle leave the confederacy is also not good for the nation, as there are several people in Chevalle who would listen to this suggestion with interest.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are very persuasive, they could change Szabo's mind, but they would have to present really good reasons.

Klarmont 19, AC 1017: Nayce Recognises Undead Threat.

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

Description: The Nayce Council convenes to discuss the reappearance of ghouls and undead. Paramount to the debate are the testimonies of Delmarst, his companions, and crew. Amid verbal volleys of "I told you so" and "you are overreacting," the council is able to rule on the matter. It is decided that there is indeed an undead threat in the watery confines of the Alphatian Sea. They also rule that something must be done about it to protect Nayce's interests in the region as well as to secure their military. As earlier ruled, the Alphatian Continent is Alphatian territory and should be deemed sacred ground. Also, if any people are to exploit its state it is to be the Alphatian people.

However, the council is unable to decide upon the extent of the threat or how to deal with it. In the end, all that is decided is that a threat exists and that the current counters be maintained to keep it in check. The matter is turned over to a military committee to analyse. The committee is composed of King Verothrics, Representative Arantria of Underocean, Representative Sauqal of Aquas, and three officers designated by Commander in Chief Karszamon. (See Kl. 6, Kl. 11; Kl. 24, Kl. 27.)

What This Means: The report and testimony of Delmarst heavily influenced this renewed debate on the ghouls. The mage has many key political friends and acquaintances. His account and rationalisation has sent a stir through Alphatians with connections with the continent. Those that had been opposed to admitting to a ghoul threat are either ignored or are swayed into action. Those that were cognisant of the potential threat rally to Delmarst's cause and spread his fears into others. However most of these individuals would have rallied to any cause that encouraged an increased military presence in the aquatic regions. Though it has recognised the threat, the council has no idea how to deal with it and defers the matter to the military to evaluate.

What the PCs Can Do: The committee may order further investigation of the ghoul sightings.

Klarmont 20, AC 1017: The Legends Live!

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

Description: In the predawn light, the elders of the surrounding clans gather once again at the torala-dn, having answered messages carried by runners during the previous few days. As they mill about the stone, pondering the nature of the summons, they recognise the scouts they had dispatched weeks before, coming over a nearby rise-accompanied by ten cat-men! The Meghaddara greet their elders respectfully, and relate to them briefly their experiences in trying to locate the cat-men of legend, concluding that the legends are indeed true, for they have the proof before them. One of the scouts introduces the tallest cat-man, who goes by the name of Kenka (who then nods stiffly to each elder in turn as they are named).

Agreeing that the scouts' apparent success is indeed auspicious, the elders gesture to the rakasta to accompany them, where they may hopefully discuss matters of mutual interest. (See Fl. 17, Ya. 12; Kl. 24, Fe. 18.)

What This Means: The Meghaddaran scouting party was indeed successful, having found a tribe of fast runners, of the Shining Claw Clan. After an initially tense meeting, the scouts managed to earn the rakasta's trust, telling them of the conflicts they are facing at the hands of the Heldannic Knights, and asking them for aid, promising them compensation in return. The rakasta agreed in principle, and sent a small delegation, led by Kenka, to determine if it would be in their interest to get involved. Whether they agree to aid the Meghaddara, and at what price, remains to be seen.

Klarmont 20, AC 1017: Parliamentary Procedures.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The proposal of a royal merchant-mage position is voted on by the parliament. The measure passes, which was expected. What comes as a surprise is that Duke Eachainn McDougall breaks ranks with House Crownguard and votes in favour of the motion. (See Fe. 18, Sv. 12.)

What This Means: Politics as usual in Glantri. Since Angus McGregor was confirmed in the role of Prince of Crownguard by the Council of Princes, Eachainn McDougall has been increasingly dissatisfied with the young prince and his politics. A longtime friend of Prince Jaggar von Drachenfels, Duke Eachainn has decided to shift his alliance to that of the more military-minded prince.

Klarmont 20, AC 1017: Plots.

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

Description: The Stygian clergy, under military escort, arrives at Gask. They camp outside the city, while Archduke Xagash enters, accompanied by the highest-ranking priests of Yeg Shuta and by his lieutenants. When they get to Gask, a long discussion takes place amongst the leaders of the Klagorst army, the topic being how to better conduct the war. They decide to strike against Klagorst as fast as possible, ignoring on one side the varkhas, and on the other the Chevallians, allies that may prove not very resolute in battle, especially if Brasov does not join in (they still do not know that Brasov has refused to side with them).

However, as Count Essecki of Valeryia points out, if Nhorg is really a necromancer, the Klagorst army, at present much bigger than the Vrancean one, do not have the magical resources to counter him, if the Stygians do not want to use their clerical powers.

The clergy of Yeg Shuta warmly assure them that they will use all their skills for the benefit of the Klagorst army, and that they will prove decisive in the war, because Nhorg has surely not enough magic to stop them. (See Kl. 17, Kl. 18; Kl. 22, Kl. 23.)

What This Means: The clergy of Yeg Shuta is taking steps to depose Xagash, who has interfered too often with their century-old influence over the troglodytes. Archdukes have generally been puppets of the clergy, used only as representative figures, and sometimes as generals. But Xagash tried to change this situation, and the clergy has decided to overthrow him. The varkhan raids and the subsequent war will give them the political power to bring him down. For the Klagorst army, however, the dark magic of the troglodytes will prove very useful, leading to better relationships within the confederacy.

Klarmont 21, AC 1017: The Rumblings of Discontent.

Location: Throughout the Kingdom of Randel, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Throughout the kingdom's armed forces and more traditional population, disgruntled talk is turning to open treason against Queen Junna. Tensions are building to the point that officers are having a difficult time keeping their troops in line. A message from the Randel High Command, from both Army General Brikstrist and Air General Hevrothria, urge control and restraint until a unified resolution can be decided upon. The situation worsens to the point that several of the palace guards have resigned their posts to return to regular armed forces units. (See Th. 5, Kl. 10; Fe. 1, Fe. 8.)

What This Means: Things are getting nasty in Randel. The military are on the verge of rebelling against their queen. Their problem is that the idea of rising against the royal monarch is not one they wish to follow. Randel has been ruled by essentially the same bloodline since its inception and no officer wants to break that tradition. Likewise, few high ranking officers want to assume the role and the responsibility of leading the kingdom.

The Randel High Command is searching for a means to preserve the royal line. Most of Verothrics's children are mundane or are too young. Such was the reason that Junna was entered into the clergy to offer a noble heir. Junna's uncle Alphatar is a capable person to take her place, however he is gentry and therefore disqualified from actual rule. This is a shame as he is the most capable ruler that the royal family can boast. Then there is Junna's aunt, Karatnora. Though a mage, she lacks the ability and desire to rule.

What the PCs Can Do: The high command, not used to that kind of non military action, needs some people who will defuse tensions in the kingdom, others to try to convince Junna or Karatnora to try and rule well, and still others to search for other potential rulers.

Fourth Week

Klarmont 22, AC 1017: The Sheathing.

Location: Coastal Waters of the Five Shires. OW

Description: Shires pirates strike at several Thyatian and Minrothaddan vessels near the Five Shires. In each instance, however, the fat merchant ship ripe for the plucking turns out to be heavily laden with marines and members of the Privateer's Guild. The predators soon become the prey as the battle unfolds, and many a hin pirate never returns to port again. Many a Thyatian and Minrothaddan also falls during these battles, which are far from one-sided in casualties. In the end, the battles mostly go against the hin, however. (See Th. 19, Th. 26; Fe. 1, Fe. 4.)

What This Means: The Thyatians knew that the hin would be particularly aggressive today, so they prepared this trap. Real merchant ships avoided the region, while several q-ships (ships disguised as tradesmen, but equipped for battle) sailed through the area, as bait for hin pirates. This is part of the ongoing trade wars, as well as a long overdue response to the usual hin piracy. The hin pirates had gotten used to feeling they could attack Thyatian shipping with impunity, especially now that the Shires are under the protection of Western Defence League membership. They have now learned that Thyatis can respond to their raids.

The Shires, and the league, will protest this, but the Thyatians will point out that in the past the Shires had always officially denied that any hin pirates existed. How can they now complain that some that did exist no longer do, when they weren't supposed to have existed in the first place? The Thyatian ambassador in Shireton says that, rather than complaining, they should be grateful that the Thyatians have made the hin claims regarding pirates retroactively true.

What the PCs Can Do: There are many fierce battles for the characters to participate in here. Hin pirates, especially, will want to seek revenge for the destruction of their fellow reavers.

Klarmont 22, AC 1017: Early Warning System.

Location: City of East Portage, Kingdom of Hillvale, Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: After months of study, the researchers at the Alphatian Centre for Disease Control have come up with a magical device that can detect lycanthropy. It works by sensing the presence of the lycanthropic virus in the host body, and emitting a loud piercing shriek. They only have one of the devices at present, and it will take them several months to make more-not to mention funding from the pharaoh's treasury. They are not even entirely sure if it will work on the strange werespiders, whose arachnid bodies are so different from the mammalian lycanthropes they normally study. The system will require testing. (See Va. 11, Va. 26.)

What This Means: If the system works, Ramenhotep can install the devices in the temples of Rathanos, where the major rioting and discord have been focused. Hopefully this will help settle things in Edairo until more permanent solutions can be found to the aranean threat.

What the PCs Can Do: Can you say guinea pigs? Someone's gotta go up on the plateau and find some werespiders upon which to test the device.

Klarmont 22, AC 1017: Armies Converge.

Location: Duchy of Vrancea, Confederacy of Klagorst. WB

Description: The three thousand varkhas from Gournzee finally reach Vrancea. Duke Nhorg and the leader of the varkhas, Warlord Naarn Dvorcic, decide to leave Vrancea and head south, to reach the Epphinx Forest. There they hope to engage in combat, counting on their individual superiority in a region where organized combat is nearly impossible. They hope that the centaurs will not follow them, but know that the Klagorst army would not enter the forest, as they know very well that they would be at a disadvantage. However, Nhorg is sure that he will manage to bring them into the forest. (See Kl. 18, Kl. 20; Kl. 23, Kl. 25.)

What This Means: This is the only chance of success for Nhorg and Dvorcic. Otherwise, their troop strength will prove too small to allow any possibility of victory. Epphinx Forest is the only place where the better preparations of the varkhas and of the Vranceans may prove decisive. This is well known by the Klagorst rulers, but it seems that the Duke of Vrancea knows of a means to trick them into entering the forest.

Klarmont 23, AC 1017: Chevalle Leaves Confederacy.

Location: Kingdom of Chevalle, Confederacy of Klagorst. WB

Description: The centaurs, enraged by the apparent indifference of Klagorst to their situation, decide to leave the confederacy. They also decide not to send envoys to Klagorst, and to wait for representatives from the remainder of the confederacy to approach them, when they decide to give them due consideration. But it will be to late by that time! Dissension arises, and some humans decide to leave for Klagorst, in order to tell the confederacy of this development. (See Kl. 20, Kl. 22; Kl. 25, Fe. 2.)

What This Means: It probably does not mean much for the war, because the Klagorst army is still twice as large as the Vrancean-varkhan alliance, but the situation in Chevalle is really not good. Especially since the human and elven residents of the region are extremely annoyed with the centaur ruler's and druids' decision to leave the confederacy every time some problem arises. This decision to leave will create a lot of tension in the future.

What the PCs Can Do: This is a good opportunity for the players to change the destiny of Chevalle, especially regarding the war, because they could lead a considerable number of dissidents (who may be willing to take up arms to defend the confederacy) in battle against the varkhan-Vrancean alliance.

Klarmont 23, AC 1017: Big Finish in Baraga.

Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: Captain Saviola is the first to steer his ship into the Sound of Baraga, but only some minutes later The Banquet follows. Dismayed Barbarossa watches in dismay as his rival catches up as time passes. He gives the order to open fire on The Banquet after coming into firing range, but the Tornado cannot hit the other ship hard enough to stop it. The Banquet retaliates but does not damage the Tornado either. When getting passed by The Banquet Saviola hears his rival singing an aria from The Pirate King opera. Desperate and angry, he orders his crew to ram The Banquet. Unfortunately for Barbarossa, First Lieutenant Fanalir Meditor had anticipated such an attack and is able to outmanoeuvre the Tornado. The loss of speed is crucial for the Tornado and The Banquet docks first at the jetty. The crowd cheers loudly for the winner. A much-angered Saviola storms down the gangway and swears revenge. (See Kl. 15, Kl. 18.)

What This Means: The Banquet and her first officer have proven superior to Captain Saviola and his Tornado. It will be very likely that Saviola will challenge Merryweather sometime again in the future.

What the PCs Can Do: The day will be a party for all the inhabitants of Baraga, but the disappointed sailors from the Tornado might want to seek personal revenge against the crewmen of The Banquet. Over the next few days brawls between both crews will occur in the streets and taverns of Baraga.

Klarmont 24, AC 1017: A Pact Between Strange Allies.

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

Description: The clan chiefs of the region gather near the torala-dn yet again, this time at high noon, and accompanied by their most trusted warriors, to hear the words of the most senior chiefs. Also in attendance are the visiting rakasta. Wasting no time on formalities, the word is given: the rakasta have agreed to help the Meghaddara in honourable war against their Heldannic enemies, in exchange for territory towards the southwest of the region, and half of all lands regained through the upcoming war. While some chiefs rejoice at the news, others, particularly those whose lands lie near the region to be granted to the rakasta, are less than enthusiastic. (See Ya. 12, Kl. 20; Fe. 18, Fy. 3.)

What This Means: The rakasta are well aware of the fact that the Meghaddara are in dire straits, and though they bear the humans no ill will, they see no reason why they cannot benefit from the situation as much as possible. What they neglected to tell the Meghaddara is that they needed a new home; rising tensions with rival clans and other humanoid races were beginning to endanger the existence of the Shining Claw Clan. Nevertheless, they feel confident in their battle prowess-hence the considerable demands for land. The Meghaddara, unable to find allies elsewhere, accept the terms, since the lands being granted now are not really inhabited by anyone at the moment, and most of those lands to be gained by the rakasta in battle will likely abut the Heldannic fortress, thus turning their territory into a sort of buffer zone. Some of the chiefs, particularly those whose lands now border those of the rakasta, do not like the idea of such creatures walking out of legend and demanding such a settlement, and fear for the safety of their people. This could sow the seeds of distrust in the future.

Once the deal is concluded, the rakasta party will send envoys back to their own lands, and issue to order to move to their new home.

Klarmont 24, AC 1017: Torpin Verdict.

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

Description: After lengthy deliberations the matter of the Torpin has been decided. For the time being, the Torpin will be the only example of that class of submersible to be built. The council announces the construction of smaller submersibles, dubbed the Reaver Class. The council also orders the military to begin recruiting and building up crews for the Torpin and the other submersibles. Since Aquas is relatively small it is decided that the Torpin and the rest of the Naycese submersible fleet will be manned by a cross section of Nayce. (See Ya. 9, Ya. 23; Kl. 27, Fy. 8.)

What This Means: The Torpin's costs and construction time have doomed her from large-scale production. Also, the military has pored over the Torpin information and has found her not as militarily feasible as previously thought. Had so much time and money not been spent already, the Torpin may have been abandoned. However, the Torpin will sail and act as a long-range exploration and patrol vessel, mostly under the guidance of the Alphatian Artifact Agency. The Reaver Class submersibles will be faster, more manoeuvrable, individually less costly, and require less construction time. They will form the backbone of the Naycese submersible fleet. The Reaver Class design already exists and construction will soon commence. Two are already under construction; production should increase after the Torpin is completed. Ironically the Reaver Class is one of Bordicar's designs; being similar to the Shark [Dawn of the Emperors boxed set. Ed.] but a bit larger and more focused in a military role.

The council's choice to expand recruitment outside of Aquas is based upon two key factors. The first deals with available personnel-Aquas is small and has a limited population, so to attempt to crew the submersible fleet singularly would tragically hamper Aquas' economy and population. The second factor deals with Naycese control of the submersible fleet: if residents of Aquas fill out its ranks, the fleet's loyalty to the council may be undermined by its loyalty to its native kingdom. A similar strategy is already being devised for Torenal Site.

Klarmont 24, AC 1017: An Invisible Touch.

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

Description: Today is the day set by the fiend for the death of the empire's champion. As instructed, the champion goes to the hills alone and unarmed. Suddenly the pit fiend appears before the champion, towering above the Thyatian. Oddly, they converse briefly but cordially. Then the fiend strikes the head off of the unresisting figure. As the champion's body collapses to the ground, slashing wounds appear to cut into the fiend from nowhere, along its right flank. It twists in agony, but before its can react against its attacker or teleport away, it is cut down by a flurry of blows, the final one lopping its head off its body.

Over the fallen corpses of both the champion and the fiend appears... the same "dead" champion, clad in gilded chain mail and several other Thyatian warrior-knights and foresters. After a moment, they gather up the fiend's head and his own body, and with them teleports home. (See Fl. 17, Fl. 24; Am. 3, Am. 23.)

What This Means: Wheels within wheels. The Thyatians believed the fiend would only appear if the conditions were as its terms described. The pit fiend made sure, using its own skills and magic, that the expected champion was the one standing in the arena floor before it appeared. The person it killed really was the champion-or, rather, a clone, brought to life the day before (and thus not insane yet). It then appeared. The conversation consisted of it graciously offering to answer any one question the Thyatian had, as a last request before the killing. It was asked who summoned and sent it. Its response was "look for your answer far below the city of footmen." While this was going on, a contingency the clone had activated a sending to the other (or real) champion, who then teleported without error with a band of fellow heroes, protected by nondetection and improved invisibility as well as hasted into the area to the rear and the right of the fiend. They managed to strike by surprise, and killed the pit fiend before it could teleport away. This was a very dangerous plan, for had the fiend escaped, it likely would have resumed its killings, and continued to be on the loose in the empire.

The Thyatians will soon decide that the fiend's cryptic message refers to the vast complex under Hattias City, which until now they have been slow in investigating. It will have to be explored, and the creatures therein rooted out room by room.

Actually, as well, this is all part of a plot Thanatos put into motion for His own reasons. He had hoped that the fiend would provide the Thyatians with just enough clues to pursue the issue, and locate the old base of His followers under the City of Hattias. Why? For many reasons, known only to Him...

What the PCs Can Do: The fiend may easily have left behind others of its kind, from barbed to abishai, in various areas. These will plot subtly and dangerous, and prove to be perfect adventure foils. Characters who were the ones named to face the fiend will have to come up with their own ingenious plan to thwart it.

If you don't want your PCs to face the fiend, use whatever NPC suits your campaign. Suggested champions, however, include Vivianna Romanones (adviser to the emperor), Alexander Penhaligon (senator and high cleric) or Domitius Aenobarbus (adviser to the emperor).

Klarmont 25, AC 1017: The Battle of the Epphinx Forest.

Location: Epphinx Forest, between Kingdom of Chevalle and Territories of Tcheltar, Confederacy of Klagorst. WB

Description: As expected, the Klagorst army enters the Epphinx Forest in pursuit of the Vrancean and varkhan soldiers. The fight begins at dawn, and lasts all through the day into dusk. During the night, several Vranceans turn into werecreatures, who then unleash more than their share of havoc.

Then, the forest begins to burn. The Vrancean army flees, burning the forest to cover their retreat, while cutting the Klagorst army's advance forces from their reserves. While the Stygians use their magic to conjure rain, the Vranceans manage to deal with the front ranks of their enemies, and at the same time leave the area.

Hours later, the coming dawn illuminates the still-smoking forest once more, with the Vranceans and varkhas having won the battle, having killed a large number of their enemies. However, their number has been greatly reduced. (See Kl. 22, Kl. 23; Fe. 2, Fe. 5.)

What This Means: Approximately 4,000 men from Klagorst have been killed in this battle. Only 2,000 have been killed on the other side... but now, there are still 5,000 Klagorst soldiers remaining, and not more than 2,000 among the Vranceans. Nhorg and Dvorcic hoped that they would kill more. Now things look bad for them.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are on either side, they could alter the outcome of the battle significantly.

Klarmont 27, AC 1017: Nayce Battle Plan Presented.

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

Description: A military committee presents to the Nayce Council a planned campaign to eradicate the ghoul threat. The officers propose to defend existing facilities, both above and below the waves. Any offensives should be based on small specially-equipped units operating out of the existing submersibles. They stress that Nayce should discover the source of these attacks and deal with it directly with their available underwater-equipped units. Key to this plan will be the sea races and their natural abilities in fighting under the waves.

This plan is not well received by the council or by witnessing aristocrats, who want an instantaneous and conclusive campaign. Several call for Aquas and the aquatic races of Underocean to fight this war. Aquas' expertise in living underwater is renowned, if any Nayce kingdom can effectively address the undead it is they. Underocean has been a strong and vocal opponent of undead, especially the undead inhabitants of Bluenose; they are well motivated and such involvement would help in "verifying" their worthiness in being allowed to join Nayce.

The war committee counters that Nayce does not possess the underwater capabilities to mount and properly support an underwater campaign of total war. Even Aquas and Underocean, despite their experience in underwater matters, cannot and should not be tasked with fighting this war alone. Their resources are already stressed in several areas. Likewise Nayce lacks the resources to build such a force quickly enough to do anything for at least a year. The time needed to create new submersibles and enchant weapons and armours for aquatic-based troops takes time and gold. They add that even Alphatia would have had a difficult time assembling the required forces.

While they admit that Underocean's participation would be focal to any underwater conflict, such a new member of Nayce should not be expected to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility of such a war; it is a Naycese matter not an Underocean matter. There are too many unknowns involved-no one knows how large the undead threat is nor do they know if Underocean can reasonably meet it. They cite that there is a definite need for a submersible fleet; the undead threat making it more of a necessity.

This explanation does much to quell opposition to the plan. Though most still desire a quick resolution, the committee's plan will have to do. The council does decide that funding must be made available for an underwater-based force, one that is separate from Aquas and under Nayce's direct authority. Since Nayce is funding the new Reaver Class submersibles and the Torpin, these vessels will be focal to the new submersible fleet. The regular surface fleets and skyship fleets will also see continued funding, despite the great cost involved in expanding all these different types of fleets, as each are seen as equally important to securing the surface aspects of Nayce's sea-lanes.

The military eagerly accepts these promises of increased funding. However most are aware at just how financially stressed the Naycese budget is. So few expect sizeable funding increases; most are just content that the council recognises their military needs. (See Kl. 19, Kl. 24; Fe. 3, Fe. 8.)

What the PCs Can Do: With the mainstream military mostly acting in defensive roles, adventurers will be needed even more for risky sorties out into the sunken continent. With Nayce committed, they may be more easily paid and even aided by magical assistance.

Klarmont 27, AC 1017: Intrigue in Norchester.

Location: City of Norchester, Earldom of Penwick, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC

Description: The magistrate of Norchester is contacted by the king's agents, with a view to entering into a conspiracy to capture the town on behalf of the king. The magistrate will see to it that the Norchester militia's weapons are locked away on a set date, giving the king's men some time to secure the town before violence gets out of hand.

Unfortunately for the magistrate, a company of the Sun Herald happened to observe the meeting, and warned Lord Mortimer the Defiant, the parliamentarian ruler of Penwick. (See Kl. 7, Kl. 15; Fe. 3, Fe. 8.)

What This Means: The king instigated this plot, knowing the royalist leanings of most of the nation's magistrates. If he could quickly take Norchester by force, any uprising by the parliament could be stopped before it even could even properly begin. Sadly for the king, Lord Mortimer now knows of the plan, and will doubtless ensure a warm welcome for the king when he arrives.

Klarmont 27, AC 1017: Back at Home.

Location: Yugatai Territories, Ethengar Khanates. OW

Description: Bakai and her brothers and sisters are back on the Sea of Grass. The most dangerous part of their journey lies behind them but due to the chaos in the khanates the danger is not yet over. (See Kl. 10, Kl. 18; Fe. 3, Fe. 18.)

What This Means: Urmahid Krinagar personally saw to it that the children made it safely out of Glantri, and that they left the principalities. Now that they are on their own once more, they opt to take the longer route to Xantha-where Manghai will have moved the Murkit tribe-through Yugatai territory. They are still wary of the Taijits, ever since the unexpected attack by that tribe.

Klarmont 27, AC 1017: Desertions in Minaea.

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

Description: After about two weeks of good sailing, the imperial expedition financed by Thyatian mercantile families, Minrothad's guilds, and the imperial family to Skothar reaches the Minaean Coast, and a few days later arrives at the city of Minaea itself. With translations provided by some Thyatians who picked up the Milenian tongue through contact with Kastelios, good relations are established. Merchants with the expedition hawk imperial goods in the markets of Minaea, and make purchases of Minaean goods. After discussions with officials of the Kingdom of Minaea, the expedition's commander, Theodorian Metothemius, arranges an audience with King Korudon. The audience is fairly informal, and the discussions mostly light-no talks of an alliance or anything. But information is exchanged, with the Thyatians and Minrothaddans providing news from Brun, and of the inhabitants of Davania who speak the Milenian tongue. In return, Korudon has his officials provide the Thyatians with information about Skothar, including maps and charts. After some more serious discussions over the following days a trade agreement is reached giving merchants from the Thyatian Empire approval of the king to trade with Minaea and provision themselves in Minaean ports.

After a week in port, the expedition sets sail heading northwards along the coast. But two rakish adventures who had hired on with the expedition desert it. They made friends with a Minaean who knows the languages of the tribes of the interior near the coast, and decided to embark together with him on a grand adventure to make themselves kings over the uncivilised people of the Skotharan interior. Since they know Milenian, their Milenian partner will translate for them. They bring along with them a couple dozen repeating crossbows that they picked up in Ochalea. (See Fl. 16, Ya. 5; Fe. 21, Fy. 15.)

What This Means: The Thyatians have a trade agreement with Nayce as a result of last year's treaty, and now imperial merchants will be trading in the ports of Minaea as well. Minaea will, in fact, become a main entrept of the Thyatians on Skothar, likely the country most friendly to the empire and therefore its best partner in the region. This is due in part to both powers' rivalries with the Alphatians (which are between them) and on account of the growing Milenian minority within Thyatis itself.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be the characters who desert the fleet in Minaea, and go on their own to adventure in, and by extension explore, the interior of Skothar. They will likely find the going harder than the characters in the event do, but might avoid the mistakes those opportunistic rogues make.

Klarmont 28, AC 1017: Birth of a Dragon Knight.

Location: Forest of Lothenar, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: During the trip back to Idris Tower, crossing through the Avien Plains and the Forest of Lothenar, Khel the dragon knight tells Dove some of the secrets about his kin. Intrigued by the news, Dove asks his guardian to show him the place where the dragon knights are born. After killing off the last accompanying soldier after reaching the Lothenar Forest, Khel fulfils Dove's request by taking him in a secret underground cave, deep in the heart of the dead woods. Here Dove, posing as a cultist, witnesses how the wizards of the Onyx Ring extract the heart and blood from living elves and transplant them into young draconic hatchlings, creating the horrible crossbreeds called the Children of Idris (or dragon knights). Before being discovered, the duo leaves the secret cave and heads back towards Idris Tower. (See Ya. 12, Ya. 14; Fe. 3, Fe. 7.)

What This Means: Dove has finally discovered the secret of the dragon knights' spawning. It has also dawned on him the reason behind the massacre of the Lothenar elves and the enslaving of their brethren in Geffron: the Onyx Ring has used these elves as guinea pigs to further their dreadful experiments to create an unnatural race of superior warriors and reckless butchers. Dove begins to grasp the extent of the Idris cultists' madness and schemes, and his fears for Wendar's elven population become even greater. What astounds him is also that his draconic companion, Khel, seems cold-blooded and efficient even at betraying his own kin.

What the PCs Can Do: Are the PCs trustworthy of the secret of the dragon knights? If the PCs have proved their worth, Khel will also entrust them with it; but if they haven't he will try to slaughter them along with any remaining soldier.