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Yarthmont 1, AC 1017: Varkha Raids in Stygia.
Location: City of Kragm'aanle, Grand Duchy of Stygia. WB
Description: During the nights between Flaurmont 28 and the Yarthmont 1, which are the two holiest nights of the Stygian troglodyte calendar, a large number of varkhas arrive in Kragm'aanle. They begin to spread chaos among the population, killing bystanders in a random fashion. The varkhas are very organized, and the Stygian guards are surprised and caught unprepared by their attack. When the dawn illuminates the city once more, several buildings have been burned, many troglodytes have been killed, and only a few varkhas are dead, while most seem to have disappeared. In the following days, varkhas are sighted in several parts of Stygia. (See Ya. 3, Ya. 21.)
What This Means: The varkhan assault had been planned in AC 1016, and they are in fact allied with the Horned Skull, a cult dedicated to the Arch-Devil Charun, who wishes to overthrow the priesthood of Yeg Shuta.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are present in Kragm'aanle during the attack, they could help the Stygian population; if they are members of the varkhan scouting party, they could instead try to kill some important members of the clergy of Yeg Shuta, which would sow even more chaos.
Yarthmont 1, AC 1017: Turned Away From the Temple.
Location: City of Rardish, Kingdom of Randel, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: The people of Rardish are shocked to find that the doors of the Temple of Alphatia are closed and guarded by armed clerics and acolytes. These guards turn away all who try to enter the temple, either to pay homage to the Immortal or to purchase clerical magic. The reason given is that the people of Randel have showed little respect to the ways of the Immortal and therefore will not benefit from Her bestowed powers. The order comes directly from Sister Riddlynn, the head priestess. (See Va. 6, Va. 12; Ya. 27, Fy. 8.)
What This Means: Though Alphatians in general pay little homage to the Immortals, the spellcasting abilities of their clerics are coveted. For them, being turned away is of little importance as they can simply access these spells at other temples to other Immortals. The closing of the temple is more a matter of need than it is a matter of respect to the Immortal Alphatia. As the clerics have become corrupted, Alphatia has stopped granting them their spells. The corrupted clerics do not wish to draw suspicion, especially from the clerics that are not corrupted.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs could be hired to discover the truth behind the temple's closing. PCs that are clerics of Alphatia, depending on their personal attitude, may have their spells revoked as well, and may have to undertake a suitable task to regain their Immortal's favours; the PCs may also be hired by the church to help them complete such quests.
Yarthmont 1, AC 1017: A Different Plea for Help.
Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Alphas'ar, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: On behalf of King Qinn of Arkan, Etesse, a cleric of Koryis, arrives from Ceafem to ask for imperial aid to stand against Stonewall's invasion. Wars between Alphatian nations are not unheard of, so Empress Eriadna says that she currently sees no reason to get involved in this conflict and sends Etesse home to Arkan. In the coming weeks, Arkan begins its own preparations to meet the expected invasion. (See Fl. 9, Fl. 17; Ya. 9, Ya. 16.)
What This Means: Arkan has finally discovered that it is the target of Stonewall's coming invasion. Given that Arkan has even fewer spellcasters than Stonewall, and a much smaller army, their chances of withstanding an invasion are not good. Ironically, their best ally is really the distance that the forces from Stonewall must cross to get to Arkan. But if this problem can be solved, and King Qinn assumes that this is already the case, then Arkan has little chance of survival because Stonewall has a much larger population to draw from for their armed forces. They also have far better warriors, while Arkan has mostly farmers, fishermen, and other common people. Eriadna will not get involved because she doesn't see why she should. Given that such wars are well-established in Alphatian history, she really has no business getting involved unless one of the sides starts violating Alphatian law, or threatening the stability of the empire. In addition, some of the same factors hurt Arkan in its pleas that hurt Stonewall: because Arkan has few aristocrats now, it has a hard time getting its case seriously considered in imperial councils.
What the PCs Can Do: Apart from being the spies who discover who Stonewall is planning to go to war with and telling Arkan, there really isn't much the PCs can do here.
Yarthmont 1, AC 1017: Help Me Moghul-Khan, You Are My Only Hope.
Location: Keep of Dast, Orcland. OW
Description: Bratak agents of Duttai Khan reach the orc stronghold of Dast with a plea for assistance. The few dagams of rebellious Kiyat tribesmen under Duttai's command cannot possibly withstand the armies of the Murkit tribe. Duttai has already joined forces with the Hooplak hobgoblin hordes of the foothills of Rockhome, and they suggested he approach Moghul Khan for aid.
Unfortunately, Moghul Khan denies any help to the rebellious Kiyats. The current unrest in the Sea of Grass has proven profitable enough for the yellow orc, and he sees no need to put himself in further jeopardy by aiding the doomed band of rebel Kiyats. (See Am. 11.)
What This Means: When the former khan of the Kiyats died last year, he named Manghai (his son-in-law) as his heir. Manghai then united the Kiyats with his own tribe, the Murkits, effectively eliminating the Kiyat tribe. Duttai led several hundred of his tribesmen in rebellion, and though they were defeated, many of them escaped to the plains. They have been living there ever since, staying just a few steps ahead of Murkit reprisals, but with the coming spring there is little doubt that Manghai will attempt to bring an end to their rebellion.
Yarthmont 1, AC 1017: Zuyevans Besiege Tashgoun.
Location: City of Tashgoun, Kingdom of Douzbakjian, Midlands. WB
Description: The Zuyevan forces under Crown Prince Dmitry have been making steady progress in conquering the crumbling former empire of Ustalam. The vast majority of Douzbakjian's forces were destroyed by the Master towards the end of AC 1016, and what forces that remain are still reorganising under their new ruler, Kiligi Alp Arslan. Today, the Zuyevan forces arrive at the capital of Douzbakjian. Tashgoun is a city of 13,000 and will not give up to the Zuyevans easily. As a result, Crown Prince Dmitry leaves 5,000 troops to besiege the city while the remainder march on to conquer the surrounding countryside and gather supplies. (See Th. 1, Fl. 11; Fe. 6, Fy. 19.)
What This Means: The Douzbaks are not entirely broken yet. The merchant aristocracy in Tashgoun has no intention of giving up its wealth to the invading Zuyevans, but they have few troops remaining with which to fight them. They hope that a long siege will reduce the morale of Zuyevo's serf infantry and if the Douzbaks can hold the Zuyevans until winter, Douzbak raiders and white orc marauders will play havoc with the Zuyevan supply lines.
Yarthmont 2, AC 1017: Fire!
Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: As the siege continues, and the Heldannic garrison prepares for yet another day of expectant tension, an alarm is raised-coming from the granaries! Within moments, it becomes clear what the source of the alarm happens to be: two of the granaries are on fire, with pillars of black smoke already billowing their way skywards. Losing no time, Governor Wolfgang Stemmel orders fire crews, composed of off-duty soldiers and townsfolk, to deal with the problem, while at the same time ordering high-ranking knights to investigate the cause of the incident.
Before long, the fires are doused, but one of the granaries has been completely destroyed, and Wolfgang's suspicions have already been aroused. (See Fl. 7, Fl. 21; Ya. 26, Fe. 4.)
What This Means: Wolfgang will soon suspect that, with the number of refugees who managed to make it to Polakatsikes before the beginning of the siege, it might have been possible for Mivosian spies or saboteurs to sneak into the town as well. He hopes that the identities of any such infiltrators, if they do indeed exist, will become known soon. In the meantime, the damage done was considerable: roughly two months' worth of grain and other stores have been destroyed. This will make resisting the siege, and bolstering morale, all the more difficult.
What the PCs Can Do: Ambitious PCs might try to ferret out the Mivosian spy (or spies) if they do indeed exist. Alternatively, the PCs might be Mivosian spies, in which case they might have set fire to the granaries, and might now be awaiting orders from the Mivosians (delivered by some prearranged, and possibly magical, means) as to what their next target should be.
Yarthmont 2, AC 1017: Saragóner Force Near Breaking Point.
Location: Border between Baronías de Gargoña and Saragón. SC
Description: Under the relentless pressure of the Narvaezan forces with their new secret weapon, the cannon, the Saragóner army under Barón Balthazar is slowly being pushed back towards Saragón. There have been no decisive battles in the war yet, but the Saragóners are consistently losing the skirmishes with Los Matónes and the Narvaezan regular troops. (See Fl. 3, Fl. 16; Ya. 14, Ya. 27.)
What This Means: Unless armed forces come to the aid of Saragón soon, Barón Hugo is going to crush them and add Saragón to his growing list of conquests.
Yarthmont 3, AC 1017: The Proposal Is Presented.
Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Alphas'ar, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Admiral Solturnun and his supporters have worked out a proposal and present it to the Grand Council. The text recommends canal-building projects be ordained by individual patrons, but with some imperial funds. The owner of a canal would have the right to levy a toll for fifty years; after this period the canal would become property of the respective kingdoms under the general supervision of the Empire of Alphatia. The necessary reconstruction of existing harbours can receive imperial funds likewise.
Of course a heated debate starts immediately afterwards. Zallaras describes the picture of an Alphatia cut down into small pieces by a myriad of canals, all of them built by greedy investors. Unfortunately for him, this picture seems to inspire a visionary fire in some yet undecided members. Being rich aristocrats they indeed like the idea to do something on a scale that only Alphatia can do-and to earn money with it that will finance more of their magical studies or other enterprises is not bad either.
Jolinar has noticed the reaction to Zallaras' speech and in his own speech he intensifies the grimmest part of the picture. He describes the many harbours which would dot the continent with all the dirt, the drunken and bad-mannered sailors, the whores and taverns-and all the mundaner crowds that go with them, swarming in the wild territories where many council members and other prominent aristocrats keep their estates. All of those aspects are more or less typical for harbours and cities even in Haven, but with so many coastal cities Alphatia is used to it. The Grand Council is considering this aspect though. (See Th. 8, Th. 27; Kl. 15, Am. 1.)
What This Means: After some days of discussion this proposal seems to be that one with the greatest chances to be accepted. Whether it will get a majority is still unsure, but Zallaras has damaged his aims definitely.
What the PCs Can Do: A fight for every vote is committed, and nearly all is allowed.
Yarthmont 3, AC 1017: High Priest Killed.
Location: City of Kragm'aanle, Grand Duchy of Stygia. WB
Description: News spreads in Kragm'aanle that one of the patriarchs of Yeg Shuta has been killed by the varkhas. Indignation and rage fill the hearts of the troglodytes, and many rally in favour of a full-scale war against Gournzee. Other citizens reach the royal palace and protest the seeming inability of the king to stop the varkhan assaults in the last few years. They also demand that Stygia leave the Confederacy of Klagorst because of the continued illegal activities on the part of Duke Nhorg of Vrancea, who had apparently let the varkhas pass through his lands to reach Stygia. Some dissidents begin to demand the abdication of Archduke Xagash, and the passing of political power into the hands of the clergy of Yeg Shuta. (See Ya. 1; Ya. 21, Ya. 22.)
What This Means: This is a move by the clergy of Yeg Shuta to obtain more power, and to make war against Gournzee and Vrancea. In fact, no patriarch has been killed: the supposedly dead priest was sent to the Kerminhae secretly before the varkhan raid, and was told to remain there for the time being. This would allow the clergy to throw down the Archduke (which would be a better solution for them) or to have him declare a war.
What the PCs Can Do: Not too much, really; if they are not special agents of Yeg Shuta. In this case, they could be among the ones sent to the Kerminhae to contact the patriarch, and relay the instructions for him to remain in hiding.
Yarthmont 3, AC 1017: The First Duchess of Tel Akbir.
Location: Duchy of Tel Akbir, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Jamila bint Nadir returns home in the company of her aunt Leilah, to inherit the throne of Tel Akbir, having been crowned such by Eusebius. She is the first Duchess of Tel Akbir. Although she is acclaimed by most citizens of Tel Akbir, some of them (mostly Alasiyan traditionalists) are very displeased of having a female duchess; they are not enough to create worse problems because many of them died or were imprisoned because they sided with Farid. There is some grumbling, however. The wizard Sarapammon, the magist of Tel Akbir during the reign of Tarik and Ralak Ahman al-Mustafa, a High Priest of Protius, both prominent locally and instrumental in the defeat of Farid, proclaim their support for Jamila, however. This helps limit overt opposition.
Jamila and Ettore Ottaviano become quite taken with each other during the festivities celebrating the victory over Farid and Jamila's ascension to the throne of Tel Akbir.
One of Jamila's first announcements is the outcome of the investigation of al-Azrad House's involvement in Farid's conspiracy. It has been conclusively proven that merchants of al-Azrad House supported Farid's treason, an act of sedition against the empire. Therefore, the properties of al-Azrad House in Tel Akbir are expropriated permanently by the empire in penalty. These properties are sold off to native Thyatian (including Tel Akbiran) merchants, ones known to be supporters of Eusebius. (See Nu. 21, Fl. 27; Ya. 6, Fe. 15.)
What This Means: Jamila bint Nadir is a beautiful but tough lady who will prove she deserves her position, but will also face significant internal challenges to her rule. Eusebius appointed Jamila due to her blood ties to the previous duke, but also as a way to score points internationally. Thyatian Tel Akbir will seem more open and cosmopolitan compared to Kin-led Ylaruam. Leilah ben Nadir came to celebrate the elevation of her niece to the rule of Tel Akbir. After the ceremony she returns to Raven Scarp via a temporary worldwalk wormhole created for that purpose with several prominent and skilled Thyatians and a small cadre of additional troops to prosecute the war against the Hinterlanders.
Sarapammon knows Jamila well and admires her spirit, and feels she'll be a good ruler for Tel Akbir. He will serve as her magist, as he served her father. Ralak Ahman al-Mustafa is less pleased with the idea of a woman ruling Tel Akbir, but feels bound-bound to support her for now and keep the duchy stable. But he hopes she will marry soon, and have a proper husband and then return to the woman's role.
As for the investigation, the findings are accurate but incomplete. Investigators discovered the involvement of al-Azrad merchants in the conspiracy, and their financing of Farid. But they didn't look to differentiate between the personal actions of those involved and al-Azrad House itself, mainly because they didn't want to. They were looking for any excuse to hurt al-Azrad's operations in Thyatis, and this was close enough. The fact is, most al-Azrad merchants even in Tel Akbir were not involved, and Eshram al-Azrad knew nothing of the activities. In truth, the Master of Hule manipulated things to reach this outcome, as Akir al-Sudif is one of his agents, and he persuaded the others to participate in the conspiracy in order to fan the flames of antagonism between Thyatis and Darokin.
When they hear of this seizure, the Darokin Council officially protests the confiscation, but can do nothing about it. Eshram al-Azrad claims innocence of any wrongdoing, but uses none-too-flattering terms when referring to Thyatians, and so Thyatian authorities ignore his claims. Elissa Pennydown supports him, further adding to the Thyatians' unwillingness to listen (they have had enough of her diatribes by now).
What the PCs Can Do: Alasiyan traditionalists will scheme to initiate plots intended to embarrass and disgrace the new duchess, to prove that they were right all along and that women can't rule effectively. Players could be set up as dupes or patsies in such plots, and then have to put things right-or they might work for Jamila to thwart such plans in the first place.
Yarthmont 3, AC 1017: The Shadow Does Not Only Extend South.
Location: City-State of Miletos, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: The peace of this city-state, thus far free of the conflicts enveloping many of its neighbours, is shattered by the arrival of a large band of brigands, who descend upon the town and begin raiding its outlying regions. The local militia is dispatched to repulse the raiders, and does so effectively, managing to capture a number of them in the process. It soon becomes apparent that many of the raiders were once denizens of other city-states located further south, who lost their homes and livelihoods during the Mivosian invasions. (See Ya. 9.)
What This Means: Although the Mivosians have not turned their attention towards those city-states lying north of the region of conflict, such as Miletos, the consequences of their actions are affecting the lives of even those people who live far away. Although many people are seeking new homes as refugees, others have been unable to rebuild their lives, and thus have turned to raiding in order to survive. This is but the first of many raids that will be suffered by Miletos (which lies closest to the region of conflict) and its neighbours.
One nasty consequence of these raids is that commerce between the city-states, small-scale though it might be, will be disrupted even further than it has been already, as caravans are attacked and merchants' warehouses ransacked. This will cause the economy to worsen considerably, and people's lives will become even more miserable as a result.
Yarthmont 4, AC 1017: Treason at Close Quarters!
Location: Town of Lothar, Continent of Iciria. HW
Description: The peace of Lothar is shattered during a period of rest, when everyone living within the colony's walls is awakened by sounds of fighting coming from the docks. As squads of guards hurry towards the source of the commotion, they are momentarily blinded by sudden flashes of light, and are surprised as Lothar's only ship of substantial size (an Antalian longship) breaks free of the last of its moorings, and makes its way east to the Sea of Yr.
Although the garrison manages to assemble some patrols to track the vessel from the shore, it soon becomes apparent that any true pursuit is impossible; the remaining ships are either too small, or they have been sabotaged. After a few fruitless hours, the pursuit ends, and Uart-neter Semsu takes account of what happened from those who witnessed the theft and subsequent incident. He soon learns that it was von Dreiburg and his fellow knights, plus a handful of Antalians, who stole the craft. (See Fl. 14, Fl. 21; Fe. 16, Fy. 3.)
What This Means: Friedrich von Dreiburg and the other Heldannic Knights, having grown frustrated by their own seeming inability to convert the bulk of Lothar's inhabitants to Vanya's cause, due in large part to the Spell of Preservation, did not give up their dream of rebuilding a base from which the Heldannic Knights could operate in the Hollow World. They realised that, if they were to have any hope of surviving amid so many "heathens," they would have to tone down their own proselytising, and put on a show of being cooperative. This is what they have done for over a year, during which they managed to convert a small number of Antalians to their cause and their faith. They then plotted a means of escaping from Lothar in order to establish a stronghold elsewhere, and resolved that they must steal one of the ships to do so. Once the messengers had been dispatched to Nithia, they saw their chance and took it, using light spells and other minor magics to throw the Nithian guards off balance, and allow them to escape.
Now that Lothar has no ships at all, the Nithians garrisoned here, their handful of Antalian allies, and the townsfolk, are all the more vulnerable.
What the PCs Can Do: Nithian PCs may have greater resources, and thus may be able to track von Dreiburg and his cronies much longer than the garrison. Otherwise, the PCs might be part of von Dreiburg's group, in which case this could be a means of moving them to another part of the Hollow World for further campaigning.
Yarthmont 4, AC 1017: Asteriela Gets Her Wish.
Location: City of Dunadale, Exarchate/Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD
Description: While leafing through several documents pertaining to the ongoing war preparations on the part of her army, Exarcha/Queen Asteriela is interrupted by a messenger bearing news from Thyatis and Nayce.
Excitedly, the messenger informs her queen that both empires have consented to the temporary increase of Heldun's armies, to a number not exceeding 4,500 men, in order to meet the Heldannic threat. In addition, both empires will provide whatever aid they deem appropriate, in due consideration of the existing geopolitical developments. Upon hearing this, Asteriela orders the messenger to carry an order to all of her generals in the city-full mobilisation may proceed at their discretion. (See Fl. 21, Fl. 27; Ya. 10, Ya. 28.)
What This Means: Although Heldun was intended to be relatively demilitarised by Isle of Dawn standards, recent developments have made it clear to both empires that something must be done, if only on a temporary basis, in order to restore Heldun's sovereignty. Thus, it was not difficult to persuade the leadership of both empires to agree to a temporary lifting of the ban on large-scale mobilisation within Heldun. Asteriela did not expect that either empire would also provide more direct aid to Heldun, but this is certainly not unwelcome.
Yarthmont 4, AC 1017: A Challenge Is Issued.
Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW
Description: Captain Theodor Merryweather challenges Captain Luciano "Barbarossa" Saviola in the Golden Skull, one of the taverns in which the pirate captains can usually be found. He proposes a naval race round the Island of Baraga and the northern islands. As both men have been bitter archenemies for years now, nobody is really surprised that Saviola accepts the challenge. (See Ya. 7, Kl. 1.)
What This Means: Merryweather has started his career as a ship cook, not unusual for a hin. He has worked for Saviola for eight circles until he left his service eleven circles ago. Shortly after this he acquired his own ship and became a captain himself. Saviola has suspected ever since that Merryweather had stolen gold from him but he had never gathered enough evidences to prove his guilt. Of course both men have become enemies.
Neutral observers see Saviola as the better seaman while Merryweather's ship, The Banquet, is slightly faster than Saviola's Tornado. On the other hand it is an open secret that The Banquet is in fact led by her first officer, Fanalir Meditor. Naturally all pirates are intrigued about the forthcoming race, and gamble on the outcome.
What the PCs Can Do: Both captains might hire additional sailors or fighters. They might even send some men to the other captain's ship to commit acts of sabotage.
Yarthmont 4, AC 1017: Battle of Almisford-The Advance Halted.
Location: Town of Almisford, Kingdom of Qeodhar, Nayce. AS
Description: The assorted warriors of the Antalian jarls of Qeodhar, fresh from a string of recent victories in the eastern and central regions of the island, set their sights on the town of Almisford, which last year had been one of the towns that turned away Harald and his followers. This time, Harald Yorlsson (who is serving one of the jarls as an aide) hopes to derive some ironic satisfaction from the upcoming battle-the town that so cruelly turned the Antalian refugees away last year will be forced to let them in now.
Marching boldly, and singing Antalian folksongs praising the Norse pantheon, the assembled force of 600 warriors heads directly for the eastern gate of this walled town, confident in their impeding victory. Coming over a final row of hills, the small army is given a rude shock-arrayed between them and the town stand a large force of men, some of whom are dressed in Naycese military uniforms! Also present among the defending force are several pockets of undead. While the Antalians stand frozen in shock, the assembled force of Alphatians and Qeodharans let out a roar and charge the attackers!
The necessity of holding off the assault galvanises the Antalians into action, but the consequences of the situation become clear. Having many battle-hardened soldiers in their ranks, the Alphatians slice into the Antalian force, while shambling zombies and skeletons nip at their flanks. Sensing a rout, and seeing his jarl overcome with shock, Harald grabs his leader's banner, and loudly orders the warriors to make a strategic withdrawal. Nearby warriors follow his lead, and the middle and rear ranks of the Antalian force are able to disengage themselves from combat. Several times, the jarls attempt to relieve their embattled companions in the front ranks, who are quickly becoming surrounded, but to no avail. With great regret, they order a retreat to Sjostrom, the closest Antalian-held village, to regroup and develop new strategies. Those Antalians unfortunate enough to be left behind are captured, and marched to Farend. (See Va. 27, Th. 16; Fy. 9, Fy. 15.)
What This Means: The Antalians were overconfident in their abilities, having encountered little in the way of strong resistance up to this point, and they still lack the experience to stand toe-to-toe with veteran soldiers. The fact that a large portion of Norlan's forces had been campaigning in Norwold last year-officially they were pirates unaffiliated to the king-reduced his available forces considerably, to the extent that outlying regions (such as those the Antalians had been raiding and occupying) were left without much protection. This made the Antalians much more successful in their efforts than might otherwise have been the case. The unsatisfactory results of his campaign in Norwold cost Norlan considerably in terms of casualties, and only recently has he been able to bring his forces back up to strength. The promise of aid from the other kingdoms of Nayce has taken the form of an expeditionary force, composed of soldiers from Bellissaria, plus some expendable undead creatures from Thothia. Qeodhar, despite being a member of Nayce, is still considered by many Alphatian kingdoms to be a peripheral region at best; thus, most of the soldiers sent here are not of elite quality, and few wizards are counted among their number.
Despite this, however, the infusion of fresh troops-2,000 in all-will help Norlan in his bid to crush the Antalian revolts. That, and the fact that his own troops, battle-hardened form their experiences in Norwold, are once again ready to do battle, can only spell trouble for the embattled descendants of the once-mighty Ystmarhavners.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are fighting for the Antalians, the PCs could perform valuable scouting activities for the jarls, possibly alerting them to the presence of the large defending force, or they could inflict many casualties upon the Qeodharan-Alphatian force. Regardless of their efforts, a bloody battle will likely take place today, with a loss for the Antalians, though the actions of the PCs could result in reduced casualties. If they are with Norlan or the Alphatians, the PCs may play a decisive role in the battle-possibly routing the invading Antalians utterly.
Yarthmont 5, AC 1017: Celebrations in Cinsa-Men-Noo.
Location: Emirate of Nithia, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW
Description: In a public ceremony in the town of Cinsa-Men-Noo, Mahmud-ibn-Rachid is installed as the new Emir of Nithia. His predecessor, Emir Shawki Khalid, disappeared during the fiendish raids of AC 1015, and a successor was found. He declares that Cinsa-Men-Noo will be the centre of his new reign, and he vows that he will end the threats of demons and vampires in the north, and that he will bring all heathens and necromancers to justice, and usher in the word of the Eternal Truth.
To demonstrate that he is not just a big talker, he presents the means by which he will root out evil in Nithia: a new military order of the Ylari army, the Order of the Blessed Truth. This order consists of veterans of the war with the demons of 1015, and is specially equipped to deal with beings of entropic leanings. (See Va. 15, Th. 6.)
What This Means: The Sultan of Ylaruam is continuing his measures to bring the emirates more firmly under the control of his new regime. The new emir has his hands full, however-the remote territories of Nithia have long been independent and rebellious, and the forces of evil-in the guise of demons, sorcerers, and now vampires-will be difficult to root out.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are veterans of the war against the demons in 1015, it is very likely the PCs are asked to be a part of the Order of the Blessed Truth. Even if they are not, there will be a high demand for powerful adventurers to help root out the nests of evil that reside in Nithia.
Yarthmont 5, AC 1017: Underocean Forces Arrive.
Location: Torenal Site, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS
Description: The Underocean contingent sent to defend the site arrives. Commander Deltart is surprised to discover that the force is only half the size promised to the Aquans. The tritons establish a small camp on the outskirts of the site, and begin patrols in the area, supplementing the overworked submersible forces. The tritons also report that they engaged a sizeable undead force some days' swim to the north. (See Th. 11, Th. 19; Ya. 14, Ya. 17.)
What This Means: Juliast was uncomfortable with sending a large portion of the army away from Underocean all at once, particularly in the midst of the recent difficulties. Over the next few months, as he confirms that no immediate threats exist, the remainder of the promised force will be sent. The undead force the triton destroyed was actually a scouting party of the lightning zombies.
What the PCs Can Do: Underocean PCs may be part of that force, maybe in their first extensive contact with air-breathers (if from the undersea city of Aquas).
Yarthmont 5, AC 1017: Imperial Skothar Expedition Stops in Crossroads.
Location: City of Crossroads, Kingdom of Ne'er-do-well, Nayce. SD
Description: The joint imperial expedition to Skothar stops for a day and a night in Crossroads. While the crew enjoys the port's seedy nightlife, the expedition commander, Theodorian Metothemius, meets with Koryn the Harpist for some private scheming, both imperial and personal. The expedition then sets sail the next morning for Skothar itself. (See Fl. 16; Kl. 27, Fe. 21.)
What This Means: The Thyatians are trying to maintain some contacts with individual Nayce kingdoms such as Ne'er-do-well, hoping to get some influence over them through scheming and plotting. Several unmarked crates are unloaded from the Thyatian ships during the night and taken to the king's personal storage facilities. For what purpose, no one but Koryn and the expedition commander knows.
King Koryn isn't exactly friendly to Thyatis-he just sees contacts with them as potentially useful in his own plots, just as the Thyatians hope to use Koryn.
What the PCs Can Do: A run-in with pirates, either in a drunken brawl on shore or in a maritime battle at sea, or both, is almost mandatory here. An attempt might also be made to drug the PCs and capture them for sale into slavery, or better yet someone might kidnap a friend of the PCs for the same purpose. The characters would then have a short deadline to recover their friend, or find themselves stranded as the expedition sails on the next day. Because Koryn is currently on good terms with the expedition, things won't get too out of hand, though. PCs wanting to pick up something unusual or of dubious nature can do it here, as almost anything or anyone is for sale in Crossroads.
Yarthmont 6, AC 1017: One of Hatfei's Favourite Daughters... Missing.
Location: Hatfei Territory, Neathar Lands. HW
Description: The Hatfei tribe is all a-buzz with the discovery that one of its more powerful families is missing one of its daughters, Tyana. Though stealing a wife is common within the Neathar tribes, most feel that this incident is more than just a simple act of spousal larceny. The Hatfei note no signs of foul play in the abduction, however with recent events they scour the surrounding area for signs of a Makekei raiding party. (See Va. 22, Fl. 2; Fe. 6, Fy. 13.)
What This Means: The missing girl, Tyana, was not kidnapped. In actuality she left voluntarily and met with her suitor, Zallon. The two are truly in love, having been nurturing their affections for months. Knowing that tensions were ever increasing they thought that this elopement was the best option.
What the PCs Can Do: Tribe members will be tasked with investigating the whereabouts of Tyana's disappearance.
Yarthmont 6, AC 1017: New Regime in Hattias.
Location: City of Hattias, Duchy of Hattias, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Thyarius Palykratidius arrives in Hattias to assume the position of duke. The crowd that waits for him when he enters the Oesterhaus Palace receives him with cheers and hails. Dissident Hattians do not dare openly boo or manifest their dislike... (See Fl. 27.)
What This Means: Although Thyarius is accepted because he avoided too many damages to their island by his military actions and conquests, mixed feelings are found in the population. The majority of the population, especially in the city, is anyway happy of the arrival of the new duke, and the fact that Hattias is once again a duchy, equal in status to Kerendas and Thyatis again. And many hostile Hattians have also died in the War of the Crown, and thus aren't available to cause trouble.
What the PCs Can Do: Palykratidius (and other newly-anointed dominion rulers) will need skilled subordinates to help them administer their realms, advise them, and be entrusted with important missions. PCs uninterested in ruling on their own might like being trusted trouble-shooters for one.
Yarthmont 6, AC 1017: Trouble in the Church.
Location: Village of Wickerton, Viscountcy of Furfield, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC
Description: Belbion-worshipping parliamentarians are rumoured to be planning to smash up the organ in the church dedicated to Pax Bellanica in the village of Wickerton. Today the Bellanica clergy set an armed guard on their church-and this provokes yet another riot. The priests of Pax Bellanica avoid bloodshed but are forced to use magic to disable the more belligerent rioters. (See Fl. 9, Fl. 24; Ya. 21, Ya. 25.)
What This Means: Religious strife is increasing along with strife of the political variety. Urged on by their priests, Belbionites seem to favour the parliament's stance, while the worshippers of Pax Bellanica tend towards the royalist camp. With priests of both sides in some cases egging their followers on, trouble was bound to start at some point. Today, trouble started.
Yarthmont 6, AC 1017: Ettore Ottaviano Drinks the Cup Full.
Location: Town of Kantridae, Duchy of Kantrium, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Ettore Ottaviano, the victor at Tel Akbir, and new Duke of Kantrium, formally arrives in Kantrium to take control. (See Fl. 27, Ya. 3; Fe. 15.)
What This means: Ottaviano's friend and adviser, Iulius Scaevola, proposes that he consider sending an offer of marriage to Jamila. This is an interesting idea to him: it would unify the duchies of Kantrium and Tel Akbir, it would give him the power on the two territories and it would give him the possibility to marry a strong-willed and beautiful woman. The thing could also get the approval of Tel Akbir citizens, due to some discontent over the fact that a woman now rules the duchy.
What the PCs Can Do: Ettore Ottaviano is infatuated with the young Jamila bint Nadir, the new Duchess of Tel Akbir. He is even further infatuated with the idea of combining the two duchies into one, under his leadership. Players could be used as go-betweens between Ettore and Jamila. Characters could also be encouraged by Jamila's aunt Leilah to quietly investigate things and make sure Ottaviano's intentions are honourable.
Yarthmont 7, AC 1017: The Rules for the Race Are Worked Out.
Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW
Description: The exact rules of the race between The Banquet and the Tornado have been worked out. The race will start in Baraga. The first stage will be Floresque at the southern tip of Baraga Island, the next ones will be at Puerto Morillos and Kota-Jayang on the northern island. The finish will be Baraga City again. Some captains have volunteered to maintain control points at the three harbours and King Necco the Black has sponsored a prize for the winner. The race will start on Klarmont, 1. All dirty tricks are allowed. (See Ya. 4; Kl. 1, Kl. 6.)
Yarthmont 9, 1017: Sardal Pass Reopened.
Location: Kingdom of Rockhome and Emirates of Ylaruam. OW
Description: After being almost completely closed to outside traffic for a few years, the trade route between the Emirates of Ylaruam and the Kingdom of Rockhome is reopened to caravan traffic. A long train of wagons from the Emirate of Makistan journeys to the town of Karrak to conduct business with the reclusive dwarves. (See Ya. 20.)
What This Means: Representatives of Sultan al-Kalim and King Everast XVI met several months ago to discuss resuming trade between the two nations. It was agreed that such an arrangement would be mutually beneficial-the dwarves are in great need of outside agricultural supplies, and the Ylari are eager to get hold of more weapons with which to equip their armies. Other diplomatic ties between the two nations have resumed as well, particularly military alliances. Mutual training missions against humanoids of the northern mountains will help both sides to maintain their fighting edge.
Yarthmont 9, AC 1017: From Bad to Worse.
Location: City-State of Miletos, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: The people of Miletos have suffered a number of raids since the first one, scarcely a week ago, and the townsfolk are already discussing how much longer they can stand such a dangerous atmosphere. Almost one-third of the residents have suffered from the depredations of raiders, and some merchants have already packed their belongings and left, claiming that they will only sink further into poverty if they remain. This presents a stark choice to many Miletans: remain in their homes and possibly see a better future, or seek a new home entirely. The latter option is becoming more appealing to many of them. (See Ya. 3.)
What This Means: Although relatively few Miletans have died as a result of the raids, many of them have seen their wealth stolen, their homes burned, and their lives disrupted. The fact that their town is not even in the zone of conflict is especially galling to them, since they had originally considered themselves to be safe. The growing awareness of their uncertain position will force many of them to assess their options carefully.
Yarthmont 9, AC 1017: Stonewall Negotiates with Stoutfellow.
Location: City of Denwarf-Hurgon, Kingdom of Stoutfellow, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: While Rogart and Amagast are still in Limn, Selcomad has travelled to Stoutfellow to negotiate similar arrangements for forces from Stonewall to travel through Stoutfellow. More than that, Selcomad asks for guidance through the Kerothar Mountains. Queen Buthra Bofadar of Stoutfellow says that she will only allow Stonewall forces to travel through her lands if Stonewall signs a treaty of non-aggression and friendship with Stoutfellow. If they do, however, she'll not only make sure Stonewall gets the best guides to travel through the Kerothar Mountains (if they pay them), but also help Stonewall maintain the supply lines of their army. Selcomad considers the matter and agrees, though he also points out that King Koblan Dracodon of Stonewall will ultimately have to decide on the matter. Then Selcomad travels back to Draco. (See Fl. 17, Ya. 1; Ya. 16, Ya. 27.)
What This Means: Queen Buthra is no fool. Though Stonewall has a much larger army, they'll have little chance of doing any real harm to Stoutfellow because of the Kerothar Mountains, so a hidden threat like the one Rogart made to the rulers of Limn does not work so well against her. However, she does see an opportunity here: Stonewall has a vast army, so it's probably a good idea to have them as friends if Stoutfellow gets into trouble one day. For that reason, she proposed the friendship treaty. Selcomad had to agree because his army really needs the support of Stoutfellow to travel through the Kerothar Mountains, so now he'll have to convince King Koblan Dracodon of this treaty.
What the PCs Can Do: Help Selcomad travel to and from Denwarf-Hurgon. They can also help either Queen Buthra or Selcomad during the negotiations. If Arkan has heard of this, they will doubtlessly send people to stop Selcomad. If the DM prefers, other nations might also want to stop Selcomad, such as Ambur, which might not like Stonewall cutting them off from the rest of Alphatia on all sides, or Blackheart, which is not friendly to warriors.
Yarthmont 9, AC 1017: New Submersibles on Manoeuvres.
Location: Seashield Dome, Kingdom of Aquas, Nayce. AS
Description: Citizens of Seashield are thrilled to see a group of three sleek submersibles moving about in formation outside the dome. Soon, they are joined by four smaller submersibles. The group then moves out away from Seashield and out of sight of the spectators. (See Th. 27; Ya. 23, Kl. 24.)
What This Means: These submersibles are designed for the Torpin Class Submersibles as transports and as fighter/scouts. The manoeuvres were actually staged for Nayce Council officials in Seashield to bolster support. Ironically the display is missed by the officials as they were busy touring the catacombs beneath the dome, examining pumps set to be shipped to Torenal. Having performed their orchestrated manoeuvres, the submersibles head to the Torpin construction site.
What the PCs Can Do: The Alphatians make it so easy a job to be a spy in Nayce-you don't even have to resort to the usual shady stuff to discover about their plans. PC spies will have to go to greater lengths to get the blueprints of the various submersibles' designs, though.
Yarthmont 9, AC 1017: So Close... Yet So Far Away.
Location: Kitma Tribal Lands, Tanagoro Plains. HW
Description: A Shazeke warparty arrives in Kitma lands seeking the reported female warriors. After a brief dialogue with Kitma warriors, Dazuza is brought before Chief Xalmak. He tells the chief that his chief and kinsman, Shazula, has heard of the recent incursion into Kitma lands and offers his assistance in dealing with them. Dazuza is told that the female warriors have been driven off of Kitma lands several days earlier. The Kitma warriors drove them towards Malpheggi Swamp.
Dazuza asks the chief to describe to him the female warriors. Xalmak does better than that and takes him to several bodies that are awaiting burial. After a quick examination, he sees that all of the slain women are pale-skinned and wear hide tunics. Unsatisfied at his own judgment, he asks about their weapons and armours. Xalmak responds that the few that wore armour wore hides of animals. As for weapons, Xalmak shows him stone-tipped spears, slings, and a few clubs.
Dazuza then asks about any reports of any dark-skinned female warriors in their midst, possibly leading them. Xalmak responds that they were all pale and lacked any real signs of a leader. He relates that their tactics were chaotic and seemed focused upon the fighting abilities of the individual. He also relates that the warriors seemed more intent upon passing through than actually standing for a concerted fight. Such was the reason that his people let them go.
Xalmak pulls Dazuza away from the morbid display and tells the warparty that his people do appreciate the efforts of the Shazeke warriors in coming to their aid. Xalmak invites Dazuza and his warriors to stay as his guests for a celebration that his people are holding to celebrate their victory. During the celebrations, Xalmak bestows great admiration upon his warriors and aggrandises the assistance offered by Chief Shazula and the Shazeke Tribe. He states that such actions should hopefully lead to greater alliances and a strong relationship between their two tribes. Xalmak also uses the celebrations to announce his sending of his eldest daughter Miopi back with Dazuza to stay in Shazeke Lands. (See Nu. 22, Fl. 15; Ya. 10, Kl. 3.)
What This Means: The Shazeke warriors arrive after the female warriors have left Kitma lands. However the arrival of Dazuza's warparty has bolstered Kitma trust in the Shazeke for offering aid without even being asked. The Kitma chief wishes to strengthen ties with his neighbours. Since his tribe is small and rather weak, he sees that he must seek power through other means. He uses the interdiction as an excuse to lobby the powerful Shazeke by exaggerating their own victory and the gratitude for their offered assistance. His real motives show themselves as he sends to Shazula his daughter, in a covert suggestion of a political marriage. If he can arrange a marriage it will greatly add to his tribe's power and prestige.
What the PCs Can Do: Shazeke PCs will be the emissaries sent to Kitma lands. In that case they will find Xalmak very friendly and helpful, trying to work them into a tribe alliance. The PCs probably didn't expect to return with a would-be mate for their chieftain; they will have to defend her on the way back as her life is threatened by some dangerous beast, else this creates strained relations between the Shazeke and Kitma possibly leading to skirmishes or war.
Yarthmont 10, AC 1017: Let's Sink Them!
Location: Dominio de Vilaverde and Estado de Texeiras. SC
Description: The governments of Vilaverde and Texeiras are approached by several independent traders and financiers, who offer to finance the baronial navies for an expedition against the Zuyevan fleet, in retaliation against Zuyevo's conquest of Richland last year.
What This Means: Some of these traders are secretly agents of Hule, who hope to strike at Zuyevo from yet another direction, as well as to turn the attentions of Vilaverde and Texeiras away from Hule. Texeiras suffered some naval and economic losses last year when Richland was taken by Zuyevo and Texeiran interests in that colony were expelled; they are keen for revenge. As for Vilaverde, they see Zuyevo as a threat to their hold on the mouth of Yalu Bay. If Zuyevo in concert with Renardie manage to take over Porto Maldição and Porto Escorpião, then they will lose the massive trade revenues they gain from their trade with Zuyevo, Preuve and the Yezchamenid Empire.
What the PCs Can Do: Baronial PCs will have a chance to engage in some naval warfare. Zuyevan PCs can attempt to prevent the aid getting from Hule to Vilaverde or Texeiras or could foment ill feelings between the two (that are only ever just below the surface).
Yarthmont 10, AC 1017: Dazuza Reports.
Location: Shazeke Tribal Lands, Tanagoro Plains. HW
Description: Dazuza and his warparty return to Shazula's main camp and are seen immediately by his cousin. The warrior tells of his meeting with Xalmak and the nature of the female warriors. Shazula seems relieved as the female warriors are described as being pale and primitively equipped. With some reluctance, he also presents to his chief Miopi and her retinue of servants. Shazula is immediately taken aback by her beauty and mannerisms. He surprises Dazuza by accepting her in his camp and affords her a hut and numerous adornments. (See Fl. 15, Ya. 9; Kl. 3, Fy. 5.)
What This Means: Shazula is both disappointed and relieved by Dazuza's report. Though the coincidental presence of female warriors bolsters his prophesied rise to power, the warrioresses being pale-skinned and not equipped like the Milenians undermine his beliefs in the matter. Secretly, he is a bit embarrassed by his rekindled interest in the crone's tale.
His placid reception of Miopi is sincere. The Kitma Tribe is small but does hold a great deal of influence with the king. Hence there is political motivation. Likewise, Miopi is a remarkable woman in both beauty and in personality. However, Shazula has no immediate plans to take her as his wife. If Xalmak seeks to arrange a political marriage, then surely there are better offers out there with stronger tribes. Therefore, Shazula can afford to wait a few months before acting on Xalmak's offer.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were the emissaries they will have to present their own report, as well as the "gift" from Xalmak.
Yarthmont 10, AC 1017: Skirmishes near Westrourke.
Location: Near the Westrourke-Heldun border, Dominion of Helskir, Heldannic Empire, Isle of Dawn. SD
Description: While on patrol along a Heldannic-controlled portion of the Heldunian frontier with Westrourke, a column of knights is attacked by elements of the imperial auxiliaries based in that territory. The battle is fierce, and the Thyatians have a numerical and strategic advantage. Before long, the Heldannic patrol is decimated; the survivors flee northwards to Helskir. (See Fl. 21, Ya. 4; Ya. 28, Fe. 7.)
What This Means: The Thyatian war machine, still active from the Great and Crown Wars, has maintained its high level of alertness on the Isle of Dawn, especially since the conquest of Helskir last year. Defences along the Westrourke-Heldun border have been reinforced. Attacks on Heldannic patrols that stray near the border are liable to be attacked more often in the future.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are serving with the Thyatians, the PCs could be instrumental in preventing any Heldannic Knights from escaping. Otherwise, they could delay Thyatian pursuit-or even defeat them, if they are powerful enough.
Yarthmont 11, AC 1017: University of Biazzan Expands.
Location: City of Biazzan, County of Biazzan, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: The University of Biazzan announces that, thanks to some generous new funding from alumni and other philanthropic givers, it will be expanding its courses of study. The creation of a new Department of Agricultural Studies is announced, with classes set to start in the fall. Several facilities are being improved and upgraded, with expanded dormitories planned. Also, the University of Biazzan has managed to hire the services of several new instructors and theorists on the Hollow World. These include a fallen former Heldannic Knight who had served on several expeditions to the Hollow World, a Karameikan veteran of its first expedition, and even a Thyatian explorer who claims to have made the journey through tunnels under the City of Thyatis. The university thus announces its intention to regain its status at the forefront of the study of Hollow World theory and practice. The hiring of several Ylari scholars is announced as well, citing the increasingly closed intellectual attitude in Ylaruam as their reason for leaving. (See Ka. 8.)
What This Means: The faculty and alumni are concerned that with all the focus on the centres of higher learning in the City of Thyatis and elsewhere in the Old World that they will fall into irrelevance. Thus they have conducted a fund drive to reinvigorate the university. Also, with the closing of trade into Ylaruam, Biazzan's local economy has depended more and more on the presence of the university. Thus local leaders also contributed to expanding its facilities.
Plans for clandestine scholarly exploration trips to the Hollow World, sponsored by the university, are also initiated, though these are not publicly announced.
What the PCs Can Do: Characters might be engaged to go on one of the expeditions to the Hollow World.
Yarthmont 12, AC 1017: A Second Visit.
Location: Town of Ciudadela de León, Baronía de Torreón. SC
Description: The man in black again makes an appearance in Torreón this month. Riding on a black charger into Ciudadela de León in broad daylight, the man in black heads into la baronesa's villa, where he drops to one knee in front of an astonished Baronesa Isabel and asks permission to ride with her in the scenic hills and wilds of her barony-as he "would value such company more than the company of Valerias Herself..." Baronesa Isabel thinks about it, but not for long, and the two head off into the hills. The man in black soon proves to be excellent company, and la baronesa does not regret her decision, although he never gives her his identity, and she cannot quite place his accent. She is returned to her court at nightfall, and the man in black rides off into the sunset. (See Fl. 20; Ya. 17.)
What This Means: Baronesa Isabel was more than a bit sceptical with the message and rose incident some time ago, and she has since dismissed her escapade. The man in black is back in her thoughts (and heart), after this.
Yarthmont 12, AC 1017: A Strange Meeting.
Location: Aryptian Savannah. DV
Description: While running across a more verdant region of the Aryptian Savannah, the scouting party dispatched by the Meghaddaran clan elders comes across a party of strangely-attired, furry humanoids, resting in the shade of a large rock jutting out of the tall grass, not a hundred yards away. Lying nearby are the remnants of an antelope, its bones stripped of their meat. Before the humans can do anything, one of the humanoids springs to its feet with unprecedented agility, and in only a handful of strides stands roughly ten feet away from the startled newcomers. Although it stands in a relaxed posture, the Meghaddara somehow surmise that the creature could easily leap into action if it had to. It appears to be nothing less than a tall cat-man, dressed in loose, sandy-coloured clothing! It addresses them in a snarling, growling language, while gesturing with its spear.
When it becomes clear that the Meghaddara do not understand what the humanoid is saying, the creature gestures with his (it indicated its gender) clawed hands, indicating that he saw the Meghaddara arrive from the southeast, and that the lands where they are now belong to the cat-man and his tribe. One of the Meghaddara seizes the opportunity, and through similar gestures indicates the he and his companions meant no offence, and that they are seeking someone. The cat-man, who indicates his name as being Kenka, gestures for the Meghaddara to join him at his camp. (See Fl. 9, Fl. 17; Kl. 20, Kl. 24.)
What This Means: After weeks of searching, it appears that the Meghaddara have finally found the rakasta they have been seeking.
What the PCs Can Do: Assuming they are among the Meghaddara, PCs could take part in the "discussions" to follow.
Yarthmont 12, AC 1017: Ship Disappears near Maelstrom.
Location: Sundsvall Maelstrom, Nayce. AS
Description: A merchant ship that was carrying precious wood from Alpha to Skyfyr is lost at sea. The Nayce Council is able to determine that it was sailing close to the Sundsvall Maelstrom, and suspects that she may have been drawn to Alphatia in the Hollow World. Later accounts from Alphatia bar this possibility though, so they suppose she simply sank for some undetermined reason. (See Fe. 10, Fy. 16.)
Yarthmont 12, AC 1017: The Nameless Tower.
Location: Eastern Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: After braving the dangers of the northern wastes and the eastern woods, the dragon knight Khel and his party finally reach the black basalt building called the Nameless Tower. Khel knows the tower is protected by black magics, so he sends forth some of his soldiers to activate the traps, in order to identify them and think of countermeasures. By the end of the day, Khel, Dove and the two remaining soldiers have made it into the heart of the ground level, and rest inside the inner sanctum with open eyes. (See Fl. 15, Fl. 20; Ya. 14, Kl. 28.)
What This Means: Khel doesn't know what lies inside the Nameless Tower, but Henadin has instructed him to guide Dove there and help him infiltrate the inner chambers. For this reason the dragon knight doesn't refrain from sending to certain death the soldiers of the Shadow Army he took with him at Gereth Minar. The soldiers are used to receiving suicidal orders, and are too afraid of the dragon knight's powers to disobey him. In the meantime, Dove has found some ancient runes engraved in the tower's walls, and has begun to translate them, hoping they will reveal Idris' secrets.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are with the party, they will be tasked with the dangerous job of finding the traps... especially if they prevented Khel from requisitioning some soldiers at Gereth Minar. The traps are lethal, but a careful party may be able to detect them.
Yarthmont 13, AC 1017: Rebuff in Tanakumba.
Location: City of Tanakumba, Divinarchy of Yavdlom, Serpent Peninsula. SC
Description: The imperial exploratory flotilla reaches Tanakumba and its envoys are politely welcomed by the mokubu in a formal audience. The imperials and the mokubu exchange gifts, and the Thyatian officers are invited to dinner that evening. After a sumptuous meal, all are given comfortable quarters for the night. The next day they meet for more serious business, but though the mokubu is exceptionally friendly and polite throughout, he refuses to agree to most of the things the Thyatians want. The imperial envoys ask for an alliance, help against the Twaelar, but Yavdlom declines. They then try to negotiate a preferential trade deal, but the mokubu refuses, saying that Yavdlom welcomes the traders of all friendly nations, and will not make a special deal with a distant empire. They then request basing privileges, but again are denied any special favours.
The imperial flotilla restocks on supplies and then sails on, disappointed in the outcome. (See Fl. 1, Fl. 8; Kl. 8, Sv. 7.)
What This Means: Thyatis would have liked the help of Yavdlom in the war against the Twaelar, but the seers of the divinarchy advised the mokubu to turn down the Thyatians' requests. Thyatian influence in Yavdlom will remain slight. However, even without any special provisions, Yavdlom is an attractive market to Thyatian traders. The imperial merchants will sell Thyatian cloth, weapons and armour, in exchange for the spices, mahogany, teak, ivory and especially tea and chocolate cocoa of Yavdlom, and the area will become a route on the way to Kastelios in Davania. With a million people, Yavdlom may become one of the largest markets for Thyatian exports, even though they must compete with traders from other lands.
The seers turned down the Thyatians' requests for more substantive agreements because they are naturally wary of becoming too entangled in Thyatis' affairs or letting the empire get inordinate influence over Yavdlom.
What the PCs Can Do: Exploring the wonders of Tanakumba, especially the shell towers, and the ruins of the undercity, full of undead and other nasties, and getting into mischief should be enough to keep the PCs busy. Characters who are skilled negotiators might be able to talk the mokubu into making some concessions, but Yavdlom is very unlikely to agree to do anything major on Thyatis' behalf. The seers have spoken.
Yarthmont 14, AC 1017: The Children of the Khan.
Location: Camp of Bargha, Ethengar Khanates. OW
Description: Bakai, the oldest daughter of the late Moglai Khan, has called all her siblings to the court of her brother Manghai. She tells them that the body of the Golden Khan deserves a traditional burial atop the World Mountain. She is asking for her siblings help in recovering the body. When her brother, Manghai Khan, seems reluctant, Bakai mentions that fulfilling this duty would win him prestige in the eyes of the other khans that he is attempting to make alliances with. Manghai agrees with his sister's request, but regrettably cannot accompany her as the situation in the khanates is too delicate for him to leave. All of the other siblings agree to go with Bakai.
Moglai's thirteen children, minus Manghai, will set out with their bodyguards and Akmad ibn Yussef immediately the following morning. They will demand the return of Moglai's body from the Glantrians or, failing that, steal the body. (See Fl. 11; Ya. 20, Ya. 27.)
What This Means: Manghai Khan was possessed by an evil spirit, Jaku the Render, last year, and has been trying to unite the tribes of the khanates under his rule, the better to spread mayhem and death. Unfortunately for him, the other khans are not being very cooperative. In particular, Batu Khan and the Bortak clan have rejected Manghai's claims on rulership. Bakai is Batu's wife, which gives him some claim on the title of great khan. Manghai sees in Bakai's quest an opportunity to rid himself of the eldest daughter of Moglai, and thus weaken Batu Khan's claims. For his part, Batu Khan has reluctantly agreed to allow his wife this opportunity, and a temporary peace treaty will be in effect between the Murkit and Bortak tribes until Moglai's body is recovered and buried.
What the PCs Can Do: The children of the Golden Khan will need bodyguards and retainers to accompany them on their quest, and the PCs could certainly score some points by volunteering their services.
Yarthmont 14, AC 1017: Guadalante Sends Troops, Cimarron Remains Neutral.
Location: Baronía de Saragón. SC
Description: Today, Guadalantan forces arrive to shore up the failing Saragóner army. The Guadalantans know that they may be the next target of Narvaez if they do not step in to oppose them while they still have allies like Saragón around. With this influx of new troops, the Saragón/Guadalante alliance begins to push the Narvaezan troops back into Gargoña. Meanwhile Barón Balthazar again sends messengers to Cimarron asking for their aid; again the messengers are sent back empty-handed. Cimarron is focusing on building a force to retake Richland from Zuyevo and it does not have the troops to spare for Saragón. However, the increasingly chaotic situation in the Savage Baronies is making the Cimarron leadership think about whether an expedition against Richland is warranted at this stage, and whether in fact the troops could be better used to shore up stability in the baronies. This is also looking to be a better idea given the recent increase in goblinoid attacks on Fort Whitestone. (See Fl. 16, Ya. 2; Ya. 27, Fe. 8.)
What This Means: Guadalante and Saragón have long been allies of a sort. While Guadalante was not prepared to step in earlier to save Gargoña, they will not let Saragón fall. Cimarron lost its colony of Richland last year to the resurgent Zuyevan Empire and has suffered economically from the loss of such a valuable colony. It is important for Cimarron's flagging trade concerns to recover it as soon as possible. They may not be possible just yet though.
Yarthmont 14, AC 1017: What Lies Beyond?
Location: Nameless Tower, Eastern Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: Since his arrival at the Nameless Tower, Dove has managed to decipher many of the inscriptions in the ground level of the building. Apparently, they tell the story of an elf turned into a dragon because of a curse laid upon her by her kin. Dove has understood that this may have something to do with Idris, but cannot figure out the whole story since the inscriptions continue on the other levels of the tower. Unable to bypass the wards placed at the entrance of the upper levels, Dove decides to leave the Nameless Tower with Khel and to return to Idris Tower to gather help in order to complete his investigation. (See Fl. 20, Ya. 12; Kl. 28, Fe. 3.)
What This Means: Dove has transcribed all of the story told in the frescoes and inscriptions found in the tower in his personal notebooks, and believes he is near in unfolding the mystery that lies beneath the Cult of Idris. Judging from the tale told in the runes, he now believes Idris to be nothing more than a cursed elf, who's been imprisoned in a draconic form and cursed to live forever to pay for her sins, hated by her own kin. If his deductions are correct, then there is no Immortal named Idris, and Her cultists are instead a group of cunning sorcerers that pose as priests. The information Vespen gave him about the Onyx Ring (a secret cabal of powerful wizards) seem to confirm that these mages have created the whole myth behind Idris to influence and gain power over the people of Denagoth, ruling with an iron fist from the shadows and using the high priestess as their spokesperson. Yet many things are left unexplained (the role of the Shadow Lord and the true nature of the high priestess), so Dove is resolved to free Vespen and enlist his aid to bypass the magical wards in the Nameless Tower and gain access to the final truth.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs should be looking for a way to enter the upper levels of the tower... and maybe they will find it! If they don't, though, they will likely accompany Dove back to Idris Tower, a journey that can be spiced up with encounters with the dangerous denizens of Denagoth.
Yarthmont 14, AC 1017: Underocean Settles Out of Court.
Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, Nayce. AS
Description: Underocean agrees to pay reparations to the families of three Aquan immigrants killed in the recent rioting. With that matter out of the way, the last immediate effect of the Allanas vs. Underocean case is dealt with. However, the issue has raised tensions that will not lower for some time. (See Th. 8, Th. 19.)
Yarthmont 15, AC 1017: Driving Out the Darkness.
Location: City of Hapta, Empire of Nithia. HW
Description: After several sleeps of concerted investigation, and following the trail of fresh victims, the city guard of Hapta manage to track down the vampire once more, this time to a partially-ruined shop just outside of town. Accompanied by a small host of clerics, they barge into the building, though their adversary is ready for them. Unlike the previous time, however, the vampire is confronted by pious clerics brandishing holy symbols, chanting prayers to their patron Immortals. Seeking to escape the religious onslaught, he attempts to back towards a hole in the wall, through which he plans to escape. Unfortunately for him, a watchful city guardsman stabs at the vampire through the hole with a wooden stake, running him through at the shoulder. In extreme agony, and realising that he is in serious danger, the vampire assumes gaseous form, and exits the building. (See Fl. 24, Fl. 26.)
What This Means: The knowledge shared by the Nithians' Immortals has allowed them to combat the vampire effectively, and soon this knowledge will be shared with clerics in other cities across the empire, as news of the vampire's rampage spreads. In the meantime, the vampire will soon be forced to flee Hapta, and resume his feeding elsewhere; the town authorities will soon become too knowledgeable for one still-weakened vampire to counter. Still, he will remember the treatment he received here, and if he finds himself unable to escape the Hollow World, he may very well seek revenge against the people of Hapta.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are working with the authorities, the PCs could be instrumental in tracking down the vampire and driving him out. This may be especially appropriate if they are originally from the surface world, and have told the locals of their experience (real or imagined) with such creatures.
Yarthmont 16, AC 1017: Twaelar Attack Raven Scarp.
Location: City of Raven Scarp, Exarchate of Davania Superior, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV
Description: Forces of the Twaelar Merrow Empire assault the harbour area of Raven Scarp several hours before dawn. They manage to get into the docks area, where fierce fighting breaks out between them and disorganised, half-asleep sailors and dock workers. Soon, however, the artillery of Fire-Height, the Thyatian fortress overlooking the harbour (and city) train down on the Twaelar, and begin to pick them off. The Twaelar redouble their attacks, attempting to force their way into town, while others start to rip apart the harbour's facilities. Thyatian forces finally group for a counterattack, however. A timely charge breaks the back of the Twaelar assault, repulsing them and forcing them back into the sea. Specially-equipped elite troops then spend the rest of the day clearing the harbour depths of Twaelar soldiers. (See Th. 13; Fy. 10, Fy. 19.)
What This Means: This is part of the ongoing war between the Twaelar and the Thyatians. The dock facilities of Raven Scarp have been damaged by the Twaelar attack, but not as badly as they had hoped. Repairs will actually take only a few days. Casualties were also fairly light for both sides, because of the limited number of troops involved in the battle. Though it seemed like more at the time, there were actually only several hundred Twaelar-those that they managed to equip to operate on land.
What the PCs Can Do: Characters in Raven Scarp might get caught up in the fighting.
Yarthmont 16, AC 1017: A Secret Treaty.
Location: City of Draco, Kingdom of Stonewall, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: King Koblan Dracodon signs the treaty of friendship with Stoutfellow, then sends Selcomad back to Stoutfellow to verify the agreement with Queen Buthra Bofadar. (See Ya. 1, Ya. 9; Ya. 27, Kl. 11.)
What This Means: Koblan was not at all pleased with this idea because it binds him and his kingdom to undetermined promises, and was quite angry with Selcomad. Their argument became quite heated at one point, but in the end Selcomad convinced his king that if he didn't sign it, he might as well give up on the invasion of Arkan, so eventually Koblan was forced to agree.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were involved with the negotiations in Stoutfellow, then Koblan will be furious while Selcomad firmly stands his ground, and so they will have to keep the two from blowing up in each other's faces. Once Koblan signs they can help Selcomad deliver the treaty to Queen Buthra.
Yarthmont 16, AC 1017: Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Location: Canolbarth Forest, Colony of Aengmor, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW
Description: Shadowelf patrols in the Canolbarth Forest spot a mysterious woman, with blond hair and scarlet robes, venturing into a forbidden area known to be a corrupted Magic Point. The shadowelf warriors pursue her, but they are stopped by a monstrous chimera, powerful sorcery, and later, by a party of renegade shadow elves. The occurrence of strange magic, strange monsters, even of shadow elves killing their own kind, is not unusual in Aengmor, and shadowelf authorities write this off as an isolated incident. (See Fl. 13; Kl. 2, Fe. 20.)
What This Means: Almost a month since she sent her minions to the Canolbarth Forest, Synn receives word from the nagpa Crwaarg about the situation in Aengmor. With the corruption of the forest, conflicts between Alfheim elf and shadow elf, and even infighting among the shadow elves, Aengmor is a hotbed of chaos and evil-perfect for Synn! But most important of all is Crwaarg's discovery of a Magic Point, a focus of powerful and baleful magical energy.
Synn, in the form of a mysterious sorceress, has arrived in Aengmor and is testing the powers of the Magic Point, and has found it to her liking. By tapping into this new source of power and using knowledge she previously learned from the Dead Place in Ylaruam, Synn makes plans to open a new gate to Pits. From this gate, Synn plans to summon fiends and other monstrosities of Entropy and unleash a veritable shadow over Mystara. [This is the background for the arcade adventure D&D: Shadow Over Mystara.]
Yarthmont 17, AC 1017: Tythus Assaulted.
Location: Fortress of Tythus, Milenian Empire. HW
Description: As the bulk of the fort's garrison sleep, individuals stealthily scale the walls and overwhelm several of the sentries. Securing the main gate, they open the portal and allow more of their fellows to enter. However, the sounds of fighting reach the ears of other sentries, who quickly raise the cry of alarm. Milenian troops scramble into their armour and grab their weapons before pouring out to meet the invaders. Many are shaken that the warriors they engage are women. However, trained discipline takes over and the troops begin to systematically address the infiltrators, steadily pushing them back into defensive positions within the fort's buildings.
For their part the female infiltrators fight well. However they are outnumbered and lack the armaments to stand up to the Milenian forces in the fort, as more and more well-drilled troops enter the fight. What they do possess is a fanatical warrior spirit; neither asking for nor giving quarter. The women find themselves in a battle they cannot win. They literally fight tooth and nail against the Milenian infantry. As they are pushed back from the fortifications, this fanaticism is expressed with some of the warrior women who turn their weapons on each other rather than being captured.
In the end, the attacking women warriors lose a total of ninety of their kind. Twenty-five are taken prisoner before they can kill themselves, mainly because they were wounded and incapacitated. Only twenty or so of the women are willing or able to retreat from the fort. For their part the Milenians lose a total of sixteen troops and thirty-five civilians. Milenian wounded are more numerous, with seventy-five troops earning their badges of courage and thirty-nine civilians being wounded.
What This Means: The female warriors are the Zieggi, a small Neathar tribe. The Zieggi are a matriarchal tribe, where females dominate both politically and militarily. As such, the tribe has found the Immortal Vanya as their patron. Vanya commanded them to travel south and strike at the Milenians. It is Her hope that their strike will undermine the Milenians' idea of male superiority and open the potential for Her Materans to exploit. Though She had few hopes of their having any success in taking the fort since the Zieggi were vastly outnumbered by the garrison, She did hope that they would inflict a lot of damage and be able to flee back out and start a guerrilla campaign against the Milenians.
Vanya is aware that the Zieggi are far outnumbered and too primitive to take on the Milenians. Her own experience with Her plate-clad Heldannic Knights and their campaigns against the barbarians can attest to that. However, She is hoping that surprise will offer the Zieggi a chance to strike fast and hard. She is also hoping that the Milenian mindset will underestimate the fighting abilities of the Zieggi and lessen their attack. Though Tythus Fort is one of the Milenians' strongest and best commanded, Vanya sees it as a testament to Milenian male pride. If She can undermine its security, She can cause harm to the Milenian male ego and the prestige of General Tythus.
The raid was doomed from the onset. Having to travel far to reach the Milenian outpost, the war party is weakened by fatigue from their journey to Milenian lands. Also, this journey saw them travelling through both the Tanagoro Plains and through the fringes of the Malpheggi Swamp, where they were harassed all the way by the locals. The journey saw them losing over four score of their fellows to these attacks and the natural hazards of the journey.
Then there are the Milenians themselves. Limited by distance, the Zieggi had no idea what the Milenians are like in combat. All they knew is that they were men, and therefore in the Zieggi's eyes, they are individually inferior on the battlefield. What they find is a people that are far beyond anything they had encountered in fighting the other Neathar peoples or the Tanagoro. The Milenians' numbers were far superior to anything they could dream of overcoming (several thousand Milenian soldiers garrison the fort). Likewise the Fortress of Tythus is a spectacle in their eyes, its size and occupancy far beyond the simple huts they live in. The Zieggi had not figured that there would be so many troops inside.
With all these factors, Vanya's hopes are partially dashed upon the Milenian sword and shield. Though some of the warriors manage to flee, few will make it back to their native lands. Some of these women bear wounds that will finally claim their lives. Others will succumb to Malpheggi or Tanagoro warriors. The few that remain in the area will find themselves harassed and hunted by Milenian troops.
What the PCs Can Do: Fight for their own side. Also, Milenian adventurers may be hired by the fort commander to investigate the origin of these female warriors.
Yarthmont 17, AC 1017: The Eastern Forts Fall.
Location: Sentinel Fortress, Bastion of Nicodemus, and Vigil Keep, Eastern Province of Verdan, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK
Description: The united Jennites have succeeded-the Alphatians in the hated eastern forts of Verdan marshal their forces and try to run the Jennite lines to retreat. Some are able to escape through the enemy lines, but many are obviously killed or taken captive. Some of these are used as servants or slaves, but all captives of Alphatian heritage are accused of oppression and executed! Their leaders are beheaded and their heads put on spears, some left at the forts and some taken to inspire the cheering Jennite armies and show other Alphatians what awaits them in their future encounters. The three forts are then burned to the ground to set an example. (See Th. 26, Fl. 14; Ya. 21, Ya. 26.)
What This Means: Although the Alphatians have lived in a more free nation in the last few years, the customs they have learned during the ruthless and efficient rule of Nicodemus have not disappeared so easily, and without the rule of someone like him or Xanthus their efficiency is much reduced. Most of the defenders were Alphatian commoners who were far too used to taking their orders from the magic-using aristocrats to suddenly find the inspiration to mount their own defence. Since their was no such leadership this time, and because of the overwhelming numbers of Jennites, their defence was uncoordinated and their morale was low from the beginning, and they decided to retreat rather than hold the Jennites back.
However, since all the Alphatian soldiers will try to retreat to Faraway, the soldiers from the Bastion of Nicodemus and Vigil Keep are in for a nasty surprise because they don't know that there are yet more Jennites between them and Faraway at the northernmost fort, Sentinel Fortress. Thus, a good number of soldiers are killed when they encounter the Jennites, and most of the survivors end up fleeing south toward Rock Harbour instead. A few are able to slip by the Jennites, though.
What the PCs Can Do: Alphatian PCs should flee as fast as possible or they will suffer the same grim fate as those Alphatians captured at the forts! Jennite PCs can participate in the final attacks, hunt down fleeing Alphatians, or, if they're more merciful than most of the Jennites, convince the Jennite leaders to spare a few of the Alphatians, either to keep as hostages or to hold for information or, in the case of the aristocratic Alphatians, ransom.
Yarthmont 17, AC 1017: Hugo Leans on Torreón.
Location: Town of Ciudadela de León, Baronía de Torreón. SC
Description: The man in black's visit to Torreón has not gone unnoticed. Barón Hugo sent a deputation to Torreón immediately upon hearing about the incident to complain bitterly to Baronesa Isabel and demand that she helps him capture this wanted criminal. La baronesa gives Hugo's ambassadors a very frosty reception, and sends them away empty-handed. (See Fl. 20, Ya. 12.)
What This Means: Hugo is surprised that the ice-hearted Baronesa of Torreón treated his ambassadors the way she did. He never expected her to actually seem to want to protect him! In any case, la baronesa and Hugo both tend to hold grudges, and this has done nothing to aid relations between the two baronies.
Yarthmont 17, AC 1017: Wayseeker Arrives in Andaire.
Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Alphas'ar, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: The Wayseeker arrives at the imperial capital of Andaire, and captain Adath disembarks to present his report to the Alphatian admiralty concerning what he has learned about Selhomarr. (See Th. 10, Th. 11.)
What This Means: Adath has surveyed the central portion of the continent of Suridal, and he has gained considerable information about Selhomarr. Alphatian strategists and analysts will be examining Adath's report for weeks to come. In the meantime, Empress Eriadna will be notified about the discovery.
Yarthmont 17, AC 1017: Peeping Toms at Torenal Site.
Location: Torenal Site, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS
Description: Lookouts at an outlying picket bunker spot glowing figures moving about the surrounding countryside, just out of their missile range. As they observe these movements through their firing ports, the bunker commander sends a frantic message to the Torenal complex reporting this sighting and requesting reinforcements. Commander Deltart responds by alerting the other picket bunkers and sounding a general alert within the construction site.
Not to ignore the reporting bunker, he dispatches a submersible full of troops and a patrol of aquatic mercenaries to offer support. As the reinforcements approach the bunker they see the glowing individuals for themselves. Manoeuvring to attack, the glowing figures pull back and flee into the surrounding areas. Though Torenal forces pursue them, they never get close enough to deal with them; eventually they give up the chase.
After the event, the Underocean commander orders his forces to begin a reconnaissance in force in the direction of the fleeing undead. His forces are ordered to attack the undead, if any are sighted. (See Va. 1, Ya. 5; Kl. 6, Fe. 3.)
What This Means: The glowing figures are lightning zombies from Bluenose. As with the Feyos incident, their presence around Torenal is based highly on curiosity about the Alphatian people. The facility's defences prevent them getting too close. They do not want any trouble with the Alphatians, as conflict would undermine their quest for knowledge about themselves. Because of this they flee the area once offensive capabilities arrive.
What the PCs Can Do: This is yet another opportunity for the PCs to make contact with the lightning zombies.
Yarthmont 18, AC 1017: Aristocrats Reflect.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: On a dark street in the Estates district of Thyatis there is a small house, quite ancient. Tonight it is the scene of a reunion between several aristocratic senators, leaders of the main noble families of Thyatis. The aristocrats are quite worried. After the Crown War, many noblemen have been killed, or stripped of their title. Kerendas is now in the hands of an Alphatian stranger, a relative of the despised rulers of that empire. They believe the emperor is trying to strip the senate of its rights. So the aristocrats attempt to plan some countermove before the elections, because they fear Eusebius' faction (known as gens Zendrolian) will have a clear majority in the next senate.
After some debate, Senator Alexander Penhaligon proposes to candidate Philippos Dassinites, son of Maldinius Kerendas, as Archon of Hespiria. But he also suggests that, after the elections (because there will surely be no time before), the Optimas (aristocratic factions) should try to make an alliance with the Populares for a new proposal he has in mind. When the other nobles hear his suggestion, they look a little less worried, and begin to hope there still can be a way to halt the decline of aristocratic and senatorial influence in the empire. (See Va. 21, Fl. 27; Ya. 25, Ya. 27)
What This Means: The aristocrats are overreacting. Eusebius does not intend to dispense with the senate. The present political situation is simply part of the ongoing power conflict between senate and emperor, with the latter obviously in a stronger position since the outcome of the Crown War was so successful to him, and since several noblemen and senators supported Manfred. However, it's also evident that the aristocrats want to do something to strengthen their party's position.
Yarthmont 19, AC 1017: Advance in the South.
Location: Village of Asandapur, Mumlyket of Putnabad, Kingdom of Sind. OW
Description: With the stalemate at the borders of Baratkand, the southern forces of Chandra ul Nervi cross the Asanda River, entering Putnabad. They defeat the Hulean garrisons stationed there, and enter the village of Asandapur. (See Th. 22; Am. 17, Am. 19.)
What This Means: The Master is withdrawing his forces from Putnabad, deeming it too costly to try and hold the mumlyket militarily. Nevertheless, he leaves the countryside infested with Hulean agents and the buraiyas, who will soon be put to good use.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs can help the Sindhi army advance to Asandapur.
Yarthmont 20, AC 1017: Ylaruam Reopens Borders.
Location: Emirates of Ylaruam. OW
Description: In a proclamation in the capitol of Abbashan, Sultan Hassam al-Kalim declares that the borders of Ylaruam will once more be open to foreigners and unbelievers. The poll tax on such persons living within the emirates will increase to 15 dinars/month, and all peoples must live within designated foreigners quarters. Such quarters will no longer be able to establish their own rules and regulations (as they formerly did), but will be under the direct jurisdiction of an appointed official and bound to traditional Ylari law. The only exception to this are dwarves, who only pay a poll tax of 10 dinars/month, and can operate their quarters under their own rules. The declaration is met by mixed feelings. (See Ya. 9; Kl. 10.)
What This Means: The sultan knows that Ylaruam cannot live in a vacuum, and so has reopened ties to the outside world. He would have liked to have waited another year or so, to more firmly establish his reign and fortify his army, but on the advice of his Grand Vizier, Khalid-al-Sharif, he has made this proclamation earlier than intended. Over the next several weeks, diplomats from the emirates will travel to the other nations of the Old World and reopen ties with them.
Yarthmont 20, AC 1017: Electrum in Them Thar Hills?
Location: Village of Rialtos, Province of Septentriona, Thyatian Empire. SD
Description: A filthy settler, half crazed with excitement, stumbles into town with two overburdened mules. He claims to have discovered vast wealth upriver, near where the Great Escarpment rises. Everyone scoffs and laughs when he says he's found naturally-occurring electrum deposits. He takes his mules to the local appraiser's office, and emerges a few hours later, without the mules or their cargo, but with a heavy bag of gold. He proceeds to the local office of the Office of Title and Estate, intending to file a claim, but finds it closed. He vows to return the next day, but then goes to celebrate his good fortune at a local tavern. He buys drinks for the house until late into the night, and eventually seems to pass out, dead drunk.
When the establishment closes, the tavern staff try to rouse him from his stupor, but find he isn't dead drunk-he's just plain dead. The next day several prominent local colonists, who had been among those drinking with the miner the night before, each file claims for land upriver. The Office of Title and Estate establishes some limits on these claims before granting them. Soon, there's a rush as people set off for the frontier, hoping to strike it rich.
Many more sober-minded citizens just shake their heads at the fools who think they'll find electrum deposits upriver. Other, even more canny tradesmen, take steps to reap the ultimate benefit from anything the miners find. (See Kl. 10.)
What This Means: Electrum is an alloy of gold and silver. It is hardly ever found naturally, but such deposits do exist. There actually are deposits upriver and in other areas scattered around Septentriona. This will draw increased colonisation and trade to the area over time.
What the PCs Can Do: Stake a claim, if they're so inclined. But more likely they'll find a way to profit from the miners without doing any of the actual digging, like so many others. The region where the electrum can be found, lying as it does near the Great Escarpment and the further wilds of Septentriona, is a dangerous area. Miners will face all sorts of monstrous threats, challenges to their claims, and other conflicts. The characters can find a way to benefit from this, protecting miners in exchange for payment or a share of the profits.
Yarthmont 20, AC 1017: The Wrath of Khan.
Location: Taijit Territories, Ethengar Khanates. OW
Description: Up until now the, the quest to recover the Golden Khan's body had been uneventful. Yet, as the expedition prepares to make camp this evening, they are suddenly attacked by Taijit warriors. The children of the khan and their companions are very capable however, and soon defeat their ambushers. No Taijit survives the attack. (See Fl. 11, Ya. 14; Ya. 27, Kl. 10.)
What This Means: Though the attackers are Taijits, this attack was not ordered (or even known to) their tribal khan. Instead this was Jaku the Render's first attempt to have Bakai assassinated. Even among the Ethengars it is possible to find people who are willing to follow commands by other than their superiors, and Jaku has found a group of Taijits who thought that Manghai Khan's claim was absolutely justified.
What the PCs Can Do: Should the PCs be able to discover the man who gave the commands it would be a certain sign that something is wrong with Manghai Khan.
Yarthmont 21, AC 1017: Alphatians Flee Verdan.
Location: Province of Verdan, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK
Description: Following the fall of the eastern forts of Verdan and the expected siege of Faraway itself in a short time, most Alphatians panic and try to flee the nation altogether-prices for ship travel rise dramatically to 350% of the normal cost in a few days, and prices for horses, mules, and other beasts of burden rise sharply as well, some up to twice the usual cost. The aristocrats are the first to leave, often by magical means, hence rushing the rest of the population into following suit. Most Alphatians who cannot afford to leave by ship instead pack up their things and head west to Anchorage and then toward Skyfyr in Blackrock. Those who cannot afford horses or other beasts just collect a few belongings and leave the rest behind. Within a few days, hundreds if not thousands of Alphatians are reduced to homeless refugees on their way to distant Skyfyr. Many Jennites who are so used to life under Alphatian rule that they know little else decide to follow the Alphatians.
However, many Jennites and confident Alphatians decide to remain. The Alphatians who remain curse their fleeing Alphatian countrymen and call them cowards thinking they're better off without them anyway. (See Fl. 14, Ya. 17; Ya. 26, Kl. 2.)
What This Means: Everybody is expecting an impending siege of Faraway by the Jennite armies, and with the rumours of the harsh treatment the Alphatians received at the hands of the Jennites at the fallen eastern forts, most Alphatians fear for their lives if they stay in Verdan. Despite the disgust they utter, the Alphatians who decide to remain aren't sure if it's a good thing that so many leave-on the one hand, it means that there are a lot less mouths to feed during the expected siege, but with the massive migration Faraway may be doomed altogether.
What the PCs Can Do: Alphatian PCs have a good opportunity here to help. They can assist in organising the Alphatian retreat, prepare defences to meet the expected siege of Faraway, and even escort the refugees to keep them safe from hostile Jennite patrols. There is a lot less for Jennite PCs to do, but they may spy on how things evolve in Faraway and plan their attack accordingly, or hunt the fleeing Alphatians.
Yarthmont 21, AC 1017: Parliament Sends Ambassadors.
Location: City of Leominster, Bishopric of Leominster, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC
Description: The parliament decides to appoint its own ambassadors to foreign nations. This means that several Savage Coast countries will have two Bellaynish ambassadors present, one representing each of the two factions. If the rest of the rulers of the Savage Coast have not yet noted what is going on in Bellayne, they will know about it soon. (See Fl. 24, Ya. 6; Ya. 25, Kl. 2.)
What This Means: The parliament realises that the king will likely seek aid from foreign nations, to attempt to narrow the gap between the two factions' resources. Thus, to prevent the king from getting his way without opposition, the parliament will send its own ambassadors to complicate the king's diplomatic efforts.
What the PCs Can Do: Characters with strong ties to foreign nations could be sent as emissaries to argue the parliament's case.
Yarthmont 21, AC 1017: A Declaration of War.
Location: City of Kragm'aanle, Grand Duchy of Stygia. WB
Description: After much deliberation, and after many meetings with the patriarchs of Yeg Shuta, Xagash, Archduke of Stygia, declares war against the Duchies of Vrancea and Gournzee. He announces that, given the repeated breaking of confederated law on the part of Nhorg of Vrancea, he will no longer consider the duchy part of the Confederacy of Klagorst. He also asks the other members of the confederation to side with Stygia in the war, in order to put a new ruler, who will be truer to the spirit of their alliance, on the ducal throne. (See Ya. 1, Ya. 3; Ya. 22, Ya, 28.)
What This Means: Xagash thought long and hard over what he could do to preserve the throne and the alliance with the other Klagorst nations, and found this to be the only solution. He hopes that the other confederated kingdoms will support his claims of betrayal on the part of Nhorg, and not remain neutral, or, worse, side with Nhorg.
What the PCs Can Do: Fight for either of the two factions parties!
Yarthmont 22, AC 1017: The Baron of Cittanova.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: A proclamation is declared throughout the city of Thyatis, that henceforth, in accordance with his meritorious service to the Thyatian Empire during the Crown War, as well as his dedication to the virtues embodied by the empire itself, Baron Justin Karameikos has been named Baron of Cittanova. (See Fl. 27.)
What This Means: Though Justin had already received the title of baron the previous month, his actual barony has now been awarded. Eusebius is aware that Justin has a keen mind, and is always open to new ideas, and wishes to capitalise on the young man's loyalty and vibrancy. Cittanova was chosen primarily due to its location in the Hinterlands. Situated at the northern edge of the northernmost peninsula of the region, the barony lies along the coastal shipping route between Kastelios and Raven Scarp, and is the closest Davanian settlement to the Thanegioth Archipelago. Ships have already been stopping there for additional supplies, minor routine maintenance, and other tasks, but Eusebius feels that, under Justin's guidance, Cittanova could grow into a prosperous barony.
Arrangements will also be made to encourage settlement of the barony. Given Justin's good reputation in The City, a fair number of people will no doubt seek their fortune in Cittanova.
What the PCs Can Do: Although there is not much they can do directly, those PCs who are known and trusted by Justin might be asked to accompany him to his new dominion, or otherwise assume positions in the barony to help him administer it. Justin will also need help in surveying the land, clearing out hostile inhabitants, and otherwise aiding in developing the region. Loyal PCs might also receive plots of land in and around Cittanova.
Yarthmont 22, AC 1017: Diplomats Make Their Move.
Location: Town of Gask, County of Gask, Confederacy of Klagorst. WB
Description: The council representatives of Valeryia and Gask try to halt the war by proposing a council measure that forces Duke Nhorg of Vrancea to submit to the council in Gask, and answer to the charges for which he was accused by Archduke Xagash of Stygia. The proposal is immediately put to a vote, and passes narrowly, when they modify it by asking also for the immediate withdrawal of the declaration of war on the part of the Stygian ruler. (See Ya. 3, Ya. 21; Ya. 28, Kl. 1.)
What This Means: The representatives of Gask and Valeryia are trying desperately to stop the war, but they know that it is a nearly impossible to do so, considering the situation in Stygia. They do not know that Xagash would actually prefer a decision of the council over a war: the problem is Nhorg, who, given his selfishness and strong independent streak, will probably not listen to the request of the council at all. However, the council is not dealing with the part of Xagash's declaration, which declared his intention to war with the varkhas of Gournzee.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are representatives at the council, they could try to change the result of the voting. Otherwise, they will probably not have to do anything, and they will just live to bear the consequences of the political plotting.
Yarthmont 23, AC 1017: Officials Tour Torpin.
Location: Torpin Construction Site, Kingdom of Aquas, Nayce. AS
Description: Naycese officials and officers, along with several prominent nobles of Aquas, arrive via submersible to tour the Torpin. They spend the day walking her decks, being shown the interior extent of the big undersea vessel, and speaking with the designers and workers. Though visually impressed by the size and design, the officials seem more impressed at the sheer size and complexity of the submersible construction site than the Torpin herself. Though invited to stay the night, the Naycese officials decline and head back for Aquas. (See Th. 27, Ya. 9; Kl. 24, Kl. 27.)
What This Means: Prior to being sent to Aquas, the Naycese officials have been well prepared by the council and military about the needed information. They know what they need to know about the Torpin and are not going to be influenced by lobbyists. The future of the Torpin is not up to them; the information will be forwarded to a committee and the Naycese military for analysis. However they have taken note of the submersible facilities and have decided that the facilities could possibly be used to further Nayce's submersible fleets.
Yarthmont 23, AC 1017: Oderbry Captured.
Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: The terrorist faction working for Alfric Oderbry has been infiltrated, and their location discovered. Oderbry had been sending his orders from a secret hideout in the Old Quarter of Mirros. Drawn into the open and confronted by a group of intrepid adventurers, Oderbry and his lieutenants are defeated and captured. They are imprisoned while they await sentencing. (See Th. 14, Fl. 6; Ya. 26.)
What This Means: Though the ringleader of the church schism has been captured, the troubles are far from over. There is still a strong sentiment of anger and bitterness between the Thyatians and Traladarans that has been stirred up and brought to the forefront, and it will be a long time in healing.
What the PCs Can Do: Hopefully, the PCs are the ones responsible for bringing Oderbry in. If they have not managed to infiltrate his group themselves, they can be tipped off to their location by the real infiltrators, and brought in as additional muscle.
Yarthmont 25, AC 1017: New Archon of Hespiria?
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Alexander Penhaligon, an aristocrat of the gens Aurelia (clerical aristocrats), proposes that the new ruler of Hespiria should be Philippos Dassinites, son of Maldinius Kerendas. Alexander says that Philippos has always been loyal to the emperor, and has fought on his side in the Crown War. He also says that Philippos (who is currently a senator) should have inherited the title after his father's death, even if that was assigned to Tredorian. After that, Philippos speaks, saying that he is happy that a trustworthy Thyatian inherited his father's title, but that his blood tells him that he has the right to a title. The senate's vote on the matter is delayed after the election's result, but it seems clear that Philippos has good chances to become Archon of Hespiria. (See Fl. 27, Ya. 18; Ya. 27, Ya. 28.)
What This Means: There is little Eusebius can do to prevent Philippos from receiving the title without seeming ungrateful for Philippos Dassinites' support of him, against his own father, during the Crown War. Eusebius isn't opposed to him anyway. This could be part of the project of settling the area, and also serve as a way to soften the relationship with the senate-it's better to have good relations between the two main institutions of the empire, especially after the Crown War.
Another consideration in this for Eusebius is the fact that Philippos and Lucianna, Eusebius' wife, are cousins. Although Maldinius did not have good relations with his niece in recent years (since Simona Kerendas, mother of the empress, suspected that Maldinius killed one of their elder brothers to reach the ducal throne), the two cousins have always been good friends. If Eusebius doesn't accept this proposal, he will face his wife's discontentment, and will appear to the population as uncaring of his own relatives.
Moreover, the emperor wants to do some electoral propaganda, showing that he intends to respect the nobility who remained true to the empire. Thus Philippos will succeed in gaining the position of Archon of Hespiria with little difficulty.
Yarthmont 25, AC 1017: Money-You Can Never Have Enough.
Location: City of Leominster, Bishopric of Leominster, Kingdom of Bellayne. SC
Description: The parliament unveils various new taxation policies within the kingdom. The parliament has had jurisdiction over raising tax for many years now, and unlike the royal treasuries, which have been in debt for some time (having had to pay for Queen Catherine's extravagant military), actually has access to a substantial sum of gold. Donations from various parties (mainly traders, such as Sir Mewsbury) have also helped raise a covert reserve of money.
However, the parliament considers that it is not enough, and so reveals an increase in income tax across the nation, and some increases in import tariffs and taxes on mercantile enterprises.
This is greeted with howls of dismay from most entrepreneurs, who expected the parliament to keep taxes low.
However, arms dealing is rapidly becoming big business in Leominster, as the parliament provides equipment to the newly-raised Leominster militias-a sizeable force. Those businessmen abreast of the markets stand to make a great deal of money. (See Ya. 6, Ya. 21; Kl. 2, Kl. 7.)
What This Means: The parliament probably has enough money already to fund its forces. However, as every rakasta knows, one can never have too much money. Believing that public opinion will weather some tax increases for a just cause, the parliament decides to raise a little more money through official channels.
Yarthmont 26, AC 1017: Excommunication.
Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: A crowd gathers in the court of the king to watch as the sentencing of Alfric Oderbry and his lieutenants begins. They are brought before King Stefan and Patriarch Halaran. In a solemn display, Halaran officially excommunicates Oderbry and his men from the Church of Karameikos. The crowd watches in stunned silence. King Stefan then sentences the men to make reparations for the damages they've done-their properties will be seized-and imprisonment. An outraged Oderbry supporter boos loudly, and soon the crowd sets to catcalls and shouting imprecations at one another. The city guard and King Stefan silence the crowd long enough to usher Oderbry and his men out of the room. (See Fl. 6, Ya. 23.)
What This Means: This is the beginning of the healing process, but as evidenced by the mixed reaction, it is not going to be easy.
Yarthmont 26, AC 1017: Favian Vern Addresses Nayce.
Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, Nayce. AS
Description: Favian Vern, President of the Republic of Esterhold, makes an impassioned speech to the Nayce Council in which he expresses great concerns over the recent events in Esterhold, particularly in Verdan. The eastern forts fell quickly to the alliance between the free Jennites and the rebel Jennites under former Governor Talin, and many Alphatians are now refugees fleeing Faraway in fear of their lives. He formally asks Nayce to intervene and restore the order of his democracy before it's too late. The council promises to consider the matter shortly. (See Ya. 17, Ya. 21; Kl. 2, Kl. 15.)
What This Means: Favian Vern is truly troubled by what has happened in Verdan recently. He has offered the Jennites freedom, but although some have accepted it, many, particularly in Verdan, have decided to throw the idea right back in his face. While Favian is not prepared to accept himself that his democracy has failed, this does mean that many members of the Nayce Council are beginning to think so-after all, there has been nothing but trouble in Esterhold since the council was constituted. This also means that the council's evaluation of what to do will take a good deal of time despite what they've promised Favian Vern; some believe Nayce should intervene now, some believe that the democracy in Esterhold must, now or never, prove itself by solving its own problems, and some just believe that Esterhold is now more trouble that it's worth.
What the PCs Can Do: There is little here for the PCs to do. They could escort Favian Vern to Ionace, in which case they might run into Jennite assassins seeking to strike a blow against the "insidious and deceptive Alphatian lie of democracy" by killing President Vern, or other random encounters. PCs with influence can obviously speak to the council for or against Favian Vern's desires.
Yarthmont 26, AC 1017: Trouble at Torenal Site.
Location: Torenal Site, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS
Description: A construction crew working on one of the site's underground chambers are forced to scramble for their lives as water pours in to flood the area. Luckily they manage to scurry to safety and secure the nearest watertight doors to isolate the breach. The flooded chamber will need to be pumped out and the leak patched. As a precaution, the construction overseers order inspections of all of the chambers and a general strengthening of their walls and ceilings. Fortunately, this additional work can be readily accommodated as much of construction force is performing minor labour while awaiting the arrival of the domes. The downside is that the added strengthening will add to the project's budget. (See Nu. 3, Ya. 5; Kl. 6, Kl. 11.)
Yarthmont 26, AC 1017: Well Poisoned by Enemy Hands.
Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: Amidst the continuing tension arising from the siege, a public outcry is heard near the central market of the town. A squad of Heldannic Knights is sent to investigate, and they discover a shocking scene: one of the tavernas which abuts the market is silent, but not because there are no patrons. Within, they see a room full of customers, all sitting dead in their seats, having apparently died in the midst of their midday meals.
After interrogating the taverna's proprietor, the knights determine that he did not deliberately poison the patrons' food, nor did he employ some other means to have them all murdered; there was simply no motive for him to do so. Instead, they discover that the well which supplies the taverna's water, as well as the water used by a number of other buildings, has been poisoned. Without delay, they arrange to have the well cleansed with a neutralize poison spell, and order all other wells to receive the same treatment. Once this is accomplished, they pass on what they have learned to Wolfgang Stemmel, and allow the locals to dispose of the dead. (See Fl. 21, Ya. 2; Fe. 4, Fe. 6.)
What This Means: The burning of the granaries caused enough of an uproar; the deaths of so many people at one time, and by such a surreptitious means, is bound to instil even more despair amongst the townsfolk, as well as the garrison. Some will begin to wonder whether there is a ring of Mivosian spies active in Polakatsikes, and tensions will increase even further.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are with the Heldannic Knights, the PCs could be assigned the task of trying to root out Mivosian spies operating in town, and eliminating them. Otherwise, the PCs could be spies themselves.
Yarthmont 27, AC 1017: A Morbid Discovery.
Location: City of Rardish, Kingdom of Randel, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: A slave street cleaner is seen running wildly from an alleyway near the Temple of Alphatia, screaming about a monster. The city guard is summoned and soon several venture into the alley to investigate. They find the body of a skinned-skinned, featureless creature lying dead amid the refuse. The dead creature is wearing the vestments of an acolyte of the Order of Alphatia. On its person are found a small narrow bladed dagger and two vials of what prove to be blood.
The guard quickly closes off the alley and summons the city administrator, Alphatar. Arriving with his sister Karatnora, they examine the body and the alley. After a few moments, they emerge and Alphatar orders the body to be removed and burned. (See Va. 12, Ya. 1; Fy. 8, Am. 14.)
What This Means: The body found is that of a doppelganger; a shape-shifter capable of assuming the physical appearance of individuals. During the previous night, a group of Randel troops was returning from a night on the town when they came upon a lone cleric of Alphatia. Bolstered by drink, the troops picked a fight with the pacifist cleric. Push turned to shove and surprisingly, the cleric fought back rather viciously. The troops struck back and killed the cleric, it returning to its natural form at death. Horrified and unsure what had exactly transpired, the troops fled after dragging the body into a nearby alley.
Following standard procedure, the city guard arrived and notified their superiors of a monster being found. Normally, such a discovery would not have garnered the attentions of the city administrator and been more the duty of a subordinate and the guard. However, with the rumours running about, the body and its proximity to the temple drew his immediate attention and he summoned his magist sister to assist him. Identifying the body as a shape-shifter is easy enough. Though no connections can be established, the presence of shape-shifters within Rardish is alarming. Given the physiology of a shape-shifter, Alphatar initiates a full investigation to find out who killed this one and hopefully what form it was in when it was killed.
What the PCs Can Do: With this lead, any investigating PCs will have a strong ally with Alphatar and Karatnora. Both will take a great deal of interest in any odd creatures being linked to the Order of Alphatia. Finding the troops that killed the doppelganger should be fairly straightforward. In reality it will be a race between the PCs and the clerics to find them. However, finding the troops and getting them safely to the proper authorities is another matter. The clerics' priority is silencing the witnessing troops and anyone that can connect the slain doppelganger to the temple. Likewise, PCs not previously involved could be hired at this point, or pulled in through aiding the troops or by witnessing the troops killing the doppelganger.
Yarthmont 27, AC 1017: Election Eve.
Location: Throughout the Thyatian Empire. OW, SD, DV
Description: This is the last day of campaigning for senatorial candidates in the Thyatian Empire, and major efforts are made to stir up support. This is also the last day for their operatives to engage in various schemes to insure the defeat of their opponents. Efforts are made to buy vote. Last-minute deals are struck with prominent community leaders and politically influential hacks to gain their support, to encourage this or that ethnic, religious, or social group to turn out for a given candidate. (See Fl. 12, Ya. 18; Ya. 28, Fy. 1.)
Yarthmont 27, AC 1017: Idris, Our Friend.
Location: Town of Woodgate, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: Just outside the walls of the city, Bensarian and the most important figures of Woodgate attend the opening of the first temple of Idris authorised by the Wendarian government. The opening is not interrupted by incidents, and the humans assist to a normal holy ceremony inside the temple, with the priest of Idris celebrating the Wendarians' goodwill and trust with a passionate sermon. After witnessing the practices of the church don't involve human sacrifices and other grim offerings, the human authorities are pleased and leave the temple. (See Nu. 2, Th. 22; Ya. 27, Fe. 18.)
What This Means: This is another of Bensarian's achievements. After many requests made by the Denagothian ambassador, Bensarian finally decided to allow the creation of a public temple for worshipping Idris inside Wendar, thus making an exception to the royal decree that declared the Cult of Idris unlawful within the kingdom's borders. Bensarian ensured the construction took place near the city with the lowest elven population and made no formal invitation to the elven leaders, who in turn didn't attend the ceremony with scorn. The priests of Idris on their part thanked the humans for their goodwill and made every attempt possible to show them their practices are not unlawful, hiding the true goals of their faith and worship. Idris has planted a firm step on Wendar's soil, and has now instructed Her followers to slightly change their preaching to convert more human followers without openly showing the church's contempt towards the elven race. With their new motto being "Stealth over Strength," Idris' cultists spread near Woodgate to gain more converts.
What the PCs Can Do: Clerics of Wendar may be annoyed by the arrival of this new church into their kingdom; all the more if they are elves. They could be asked by their hierarchy to investigate the new faith. PCs who are not affiliated with any church, or who aren't even Wendarians, might be hired by those established churches to investigate on the Cult of Idris on their behalf.
Yarthmont 27, AC 1017: The Plot Thickens, Yet more Secret Negotiations.
Location: City of Shiell, Kingdom of Frisland, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Rogart and Amagast of Stonewall arrive from their journey to Limn in Shiell, capital of Frisland, to negotiate with King Edjer "the Twisted." King Edjer is renowned for his skill in political backstabbing, which has also earned him his nickname. He is quite argumentative and loves nothing more than political infighting and intrigue, so Rogart and Amagast have their work cut out for them! Stonewall needs not only permission to travel through Frisland, but also ships for transport. Very few ships suitable for this purpose can be found in Frisland, however, so the Stonewall army will have to cut down trees in the kingdom and build the ships themselves, though these will really just be primitive river boats. Naturally this will take time, and they just cannot have Frisland oppose them after their army has travelled through the hostile Kerothar Mountains, and are busy making their boats. Unfortunately, King Edjer knows this just as well as Rogart and Amagast do, and he sees no reason why he should let a potentially hostile army travel through his lands. The negotiations go on for days, and in the end, Stonewall must agree not only to a political alliance with Frisland on any imperial matters, and pay dearly for the ships and timber they need; they must also hand over 25% of all taxes collected in Arkan to Frisland, and allow it free access, via Arkan roads, to the river villages near the Ambur and Roaring Rivers, should the invasion be successful. This will seriously reduce Stonewall's funds, but they have little choice-the alternative is famine!(See Ya. 9, Ya. 16; Kl. 11, Fe. 8.)
What This Means: Stonewall needs Frisland's help, but has little to offer in return. Edjer knows this only too well, and he has forced them to pay a high price for his support indeed. The leaders of Stonewall's army plan to travel north along the trade routes toward Frisland. When Alphatia was recreated in the Hollow World, the shipping lanes that used to connect the towns of Torpes in Limn with Nasta in Frisland were obviously lost, so in the years that have passed since, new trade routes have been established between Torpes and the closest town in Frisland, Azafez. These have been dangerous, though, because they must go through the monster-infested Kerothar Mountains in Frisland and northern Stoutfellow. Stoutfellow, Limn, and particularly Frisland would really like to cut down on the monster population in this area because it is bad for trade, and having a large army move through the area might just do the trick. Since the Stonewall army will have to do so anyway, though, the other rulers see little reason to grant them anything in return for this. Once the Stonewall army moves close to Azafez, they plan to head west through the hostile Kerothar Mountains in Frisland to the Rainbow River. There they will have to build the river boats they need, and meet with the ships that Rogart and Amagast are able to hire. These will then collect the troops and transport them to Shiell Lake and then northwards via the Fris River to the border between Arkan and Frisland, and then mount the invasion from there. While doing this, a secondary force of only a few ships will travel south from Shiell Lake down the Snake River in Foresthome until they get close to the Roaring River. There a number of mages and clerics will help the ships through the ten-miles or so over land to the Roaring River (or, failing that, the troops will cut down trees to be used to roll the ships over that distance). From there they will sail north to Crystal Lake in Arkan. By the time they do, they hope that Arkan will have sent the majority of their forces east to stop the main Stonewall force attacking from Frisland. Then the secondary force will be in a much better position to surprise the towns and cities that lie along the coasts of the Crystal Lake, such as Arreghi and Ceafem, the capital.
What the PCs Can Do: The negotiations with Edjer are tough! Although Rogart is a skilled debater, he'll find that Edjer more than lives up to his nickname. If the PCs are good role-players and diplomats, then Edjer will be completely unwilling to allow Stonewall passage, and the PCs will have to convince him otherwise. Also, if Arkan hears of this mission, it will definitely try to sabotage the negotiations, as Stonewall's agents are now far too close to its borders.
Yarthmont 27, AC 1017: Torreón Stays Neutral-More or Less.
Location: Town of Ciudadela de León, Baronía Torreón. SC
Description: Barón Balthazar of Saragón visits Ciudadela de León to request Torreón's assistance in the fighting against Narvaez. Baronesa Isabel considers it, but after much thought turns down Balthazar's plea. She does, however, allow Saragón to use the famous Torreóner mercenaries in their war, which will be of great assistance to Saragón in the upcoming fighting. (See Ya. 2, Ya. 14; Fe. 8, Fe. 11.)
What This Means: Torreón has till now stayed out of the fighting, as Isabel does not consider Torreón to be ready to start her dream of unifying the baronies by force of arms. She feels that Hugo has slighted her however, and honour demands that she repay this debt in some way. And she can earn a little more tax into the bargain.
Yarthmont 27, AC 1017: When Two Ladies Clash.
Location: Borderlands of the Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV
Description: Thyatian forces led by Leilah ben Nadir's command have marched south from Raven Scarp along the River Torion, finally scattering Thratian raiders before them. Today they are met by an overwhelming army of Thratians, combined groups of warriors from all the clans, operating under the command of Siobhan daughter of Maeve, with Leopard clansmen in the forefront. The clans arrange an ambush of the Thyatian forces along the river. The charge of the special rhino-mounted cavalry nearly breaks the Thyatian column, but Leilah rallies her troops in a counter attack that maintains order.
Then Siobhan engages Leilah in single combat. Both warrior-women are wounded severely, but Siobhan knocks Leilah unconscious with a strong blow. Nearby Thyatian soldiers manage to drag Leilah to the safety, and the approach of more Thyatians convinces Siobhan not to pursue Leilah. But the battle is decided here-with their general unconscious, the Thyatian forces lack coordination. Individual commanders order a retreat while others try to direct counterattacks, and the line falls apart. Thratian warriors enter the gaps, and the battle breaks into a cluster of small skirmishes, where the Thratians excel. Soon all the surviving Thyatian forces are retreating towards Raven Scarp. (See Va. 27, Th. 6; Kl. 1, Kl. 5.)
What This Means: Siobhan knew that raids would never be sufficient to force the Thyatians out of the Hinterlands. They would need to defeat the Thyatians' army and take Raven Scarp. Therefore, when Leilah's forces marched, Siobhan's warriors were ready to meet them. The Thratians won a tremendous victory and for the moment the way is open to Raven Scarp, and the Thyatian defences are weakened and disorganised. However, Siobhan herself is too severely wounded to lead her troops on herself, and she stubbornly refuses healing magic until her troops have received it. The other clan leaders begin squabbling over who should lead, since none of them want to follow the others, and the only one they all accept as leader is Siobhan herself. Eventually, the leader of the Raven Clan gets sick of the squabbling and decides to lead his own forces to retake their ancient meeting-ground, and gain the glory as well.
What the PCs Can Do: Characters can participate in the conflict on either side.
Yarthmont 27, AC 1017: Towards Skullhorn Pass.
Location: Principality of Bramyra, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: Bakai leads her siblings and their entourage into the town of Bramyra. They intend to journey through Skullhorn Pass, and thence to Glantri City, rather than take the slightly longer path around the southern edge of the Colossus Mountains. (See Ya. 14, Ya. 20; Kl. 10, Kl. 18.)
What This Means: Bakai is aware that her entourage will face difficulties in their task, particularly since Glantrians are still feeling hostile towards Ethengars since the war. By passing through Bramyra, and near to Krondahar-both principalities with large populations of Ethengar-descended peoples-they hope to remain largely unnoticed in their journey.
Yarthmont 28, AC 1017: Election Day.
Location: Throughout the Thyatian Empire. OW, SD, DV
Description: Elections are held as citizens cast their votes throughout the Thyatian Empire. The voting process itself is unusually clean-ballot boxes aren't stuffed, election officials insure that things proceed smoothly, voters aren't intimidated at the polls, and illegal voting is minimal (few cemetery ballots are cast, and few votes of non-citizens as well). However, beneath the surface things are more compacted, as many votes have been bought by candidates, through arrangements or deals, and political machines spur high turnout by supporters, many of whom have been promised civil service jobs or civic improvements (pork barrel projects) in exchange for their support. Poorer citizens (clientela) cast their votes in accordance with the wishes of their patrons, not necessarily in accordance with their own desires. (See Fl. 27, Ya. 27; Fy. 1.)
What This Means: Politics, Thyatian style. Actually, overt corruption is limited this time. These senatorial elections differ little from elections held in Darokin, for example. There are few of the worst abuses of some other recent Thyatian elections-no senatorial seats are actually stolen through fraudulent vote counts this time, for example. The election does serve to ratify a swing in Eusebius' favour, however. Perhaps this is one reason why these elections are relatively clean-the emperor didn't need to resort to dirty tricks to get his way, this time...
In any case, though most of those elected are supportive of Eusebius and his policies, Thyatian senators are essentially free agents. There are no political parties as such in Thyatis (though there are factions), and if the emperor stumbles and loses popularity, today's supporters can quickly become tomorrow's opponents. Several dominion rulers also take this day to either re-appoint their appointive senators or make new appointments.
What the PCs Can Do: Vote, if they are citizens. But, if they have been involved in the campaign, this is the day they find out if their efforts pay off. They might do a little last-second work (insuring that supporters of their candidate get to the polls, last-minute "truth campaigns"-slander-against their opponents, and the like). But it is likely that the efforts and decisions they made during the campaign, before today, will be the determining factor. This day just confirms whether or not those previous efforts were successful.
Yarthmont 28, AC 1017: The Army of Heldun on the March.
Location: City of Dunadale, Exarchate/Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD
Description: After several months of intensive training, Heldun's reformed army is pronounced ready to engage the Heldannic enemy in the field of battle. In a grand ceremony, Queen Asteriela inspects the gathered force of over 2,000 soldiers, stopping to talk to the occasional man or woman standing at attention before her. Once she completes her rounds, Asteriela ascends a wooden dais built for this occasion, and delivers a passionate speech to the warriors assembled before her.
Drawing upon the histories of both Thyatis and Alphatia, she tells her soldiers about the deep roots all people living on the island today may claim as their own. She tells them of the unique spirit of the islanders who live out their lives on the frontier, of brave explorers and warriors past, and of the uniqueness of the Isle of Dawn itself. With those images fresh in the assembled army's mind, Asteriela then paints a dark picture of the Heldannic Knights-of a force bent on destroying the land and its people, and on imposing its own views on everything it encounters. Urging her soldiers to fight valiantly, she gives them her blessing, and orders her generals to lead the army into battle. (See Ya. 4, Ya. 10; Fe. 7, Fe. 7.)
What This Means: Although pleased by the progress made by her developing army, Asteriela knows well that a motivated force fights far better than one that is not. Relying on emotional appeals to her soldiers' sentiments, she has sought to bind them-Thyatian, Alphatian, and Northman-together into one cohesive force, one that will fight to the death for Heldun. Only if her army can put aside its internal differences will it become an effective force.
What the PCs Can Do: Unless they are high-level advisers, the most likely role for PCs would be as soldiers in the new Heldunian army. This scenario could serve as a means of introducing new characters to the Mystara campaign setting-first as soldiers, and later as adventurers once their tours of duty are over.
Yarthmont 28, AC 1017: Just a Roll of the Drum...
Location: Town of Gask, County of Gask, Confederacy of Klagorst. WB
Description: Six days after the decision of the council of the Confederated Kingdoms of Klagorst, Duke Nhorg sends an answer to Gask. The Vrancean spokesman Gheil Parazaider announces that all the Vrancean representatives in Gask, and in every other state of the confederation, will leave the country, and return to the Duchy of Vrancea, because the sovereign duchy is no longer part of the Confederacy of Klagorst. He also says that Nhorg of Vrancea declares war on Stygia, and if the confederated kingdoms side with the "foul" troglodytes, then the declaration will automatically extend to those, too. (See Ya. 21, Ya. 22; Kl. 1, Kl. 12.)
What This Means: There is not much to explain here; it means war.
What the PCs Can Do: This situation is very unlikely to be changed by PC actions, if they are not high level adventurers or representatives of the council. If they are PCs of high level, they could be sent by the council to kill Duke Nhorg.