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First Week

Ambyrmont 1, AC 1018: It Came from Outer Space.

Location: Near Village of Hendry, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: A shooting star is clearly seen in the night sky. It falls into Darokin, trailing a stream of fire, and strikes the ground with a crashing sound that is heard for miles. Officials in Darokin City quickly mount an expedition to examine the crash site, one that includes soldiers, a cleric and a mage. (See Am. 5.)

What This Means: The "shooting star" is actually a vessel for a creature known as neh-thalggu, or brain collector. It has travelled through space for its own inscrutable purposes, but crashed here on Mystara. Its vessel is destroyed in the crash.

What the PCs Can Do: This is the beginning of the adventure "It Came from Outer Space," which can be found in Book III: Adventures.

Ambyrmont 1, AC 1018: The Year of Going Out.

Location: City of Shireton, Shire of Seashire, Five Shires. OW

Description: The visiting Leehashire hin have excited the Five Shires far beyond anything in recent memory. A group of Five Shires hin, led by the famed adventurer Faddo Rummelmore, declare their intention to extend the Leehashire expedition by organising an ocean voyage to discover the origin of the hin, far to the south. Word of the expedition travels fast, and soon, more yallaren and adventurers than anyone could have expected make their way to Scareskittle House in Shireton to sign up. (See Va. 26, Th. 10; Ka. 3, Ka. 10.)

Ambyrmont 1, AC 1018: Good and Bad Arrivals in Port Marlin.

Location: Town of Port Marlin, Province of Marlin, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK

Description: As refugees and mercenaries from Rock Harbour and Southrock in general begin arriving in Port Marlin, the Province of Marlin also comes under attack from Jennite invaders. However, Governor Alinda has had time to consult with her advisers and prepare the defences of Port Marlin, and with the added strength of mercenaries such as those from Veroth, the Jennites are firmly halted. They settle their troops and revise their invasion plans. (See Fy. 7, Fy. 16; Am. 12, Sv. 15.)

What This Means: Alinda fully expected Jennites to attack at some point, so she has used the time to consider her advantages and prepare accordingly. Most of the area is protected by the escarpment, and defences have been erected in key locations to keep the Jennites out, and since Nayce can send ships to Port Marlin fairly quickly, the chances of Marlin falling to the Jennites are not too high. Besides, with refugees from Anchorage and Verdan and more arriving from Southrock, the Alphatian position is strengthened here. Some leave for Nayce, but those who remain are determined to fight hard for the last major Alphatian settlement in southern Esterhold. The mercenaries from Veroth will try to make the same agreement with Marlin as they did in Southrock: they will defend Marlin for money. Alinda tells them she can pay them nothing, and because Nayce is not directly involved, it is unlikely to pay them either (it hasn't so far). Many Verothian mercenaries are disgruntled, but they remain and protect Marlin nonetheless. As they move to territories outside Port Marlin, however, they impose a war tax on the inhabitants of the villages and homesteads they defend or, they say, they'll let the Jennites take them. Needless to say, some people won't respond kindly to that.

What the PCs Can Do: Jennite PCs can pursue fleeing Alphatians and their Jennite allies only to run into a wall of well-prepared defences once they get to Marlin. Then they had better stop or they might not survive. PCs with the Alphatians can escort the refugees, allowing more of them to make it to safety in Marlin, or they can be the Marlin troops standing by to meet the Jennites.

Ambyrmont 2, AC 1018: The Battle of Threshold.

Location: Town of Threshold, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: The logger's camp northeast of town is besieged by a night raid from a force of bugbears led by a maniacal witch-doctor. Wherever fighting becomes intense a great bronze statue of a dog-headed warrior trudges into the fray, scattering the loggers before it. Before long the survivors of the camp flee towards the safety of the town.

The bugbears spare no time gathering logs, which they use to float across the river to Fogor Isle. The city guard awaits them, preparing to turn them away with archery fire, when out of the river strides the fearsome bronze warrior. Soldiers valiantly try to fight it, but all they accomplish is to die valiantly. Before long the bugbears land on the isle and follow the bronze warrior, slaying all they come across.

As morning breaks the bronze warrior has crossed into Threshold proper, where it destroys entire buildings and kills all it comes across. The bugbears plunder what riches they can gather, gleefully finishing off any humans they encounter. Baroness Aleena Yurevich quickly organises strike teams to hunt down the bugbears, while she and a band of local adventurers tackle the bronze warrior. A clever soldier spots the witch-doctor and his group of bodyguards and sends an arrow into his chest. Wounded, the witch-doctor retreats and calls for the bronze warrior to follow him. As the metallic warrior obeys, it is oblivious to the attacks of the baroness and her band and they are able to incapacitate it, though they suffer grievous wounds from its fiery "blood."

Squads are organized to hunt down the bold bugbears and teach them a lesson. (See Fe. 4; Am. 17.)

What This Means: The witch-doctor of a bugbear tribe found and activated a bronze golem earlier this year. Seeing this as a perfect opportunity to emulate his ancestors and embark on a heroic plundering raid, he led the tribe in this attack. Backed by the unstoppable might of their bronze warrior, the bugbears are inspired to fight fiercely.

The bugbears' clever tactic of crossing the river, after securing a beachhead, allowed them to enter the town practically unopposed, a fact that hasn't slipped by the baroness. She asks that steps be taken to plan for such an eventuality, should something similar happen again.

As for the bugbears, they return to the hidden temple, laden with plunder, while the witch-doctor swears undying vengeance on the humans who toppled his bronze warrior.

What the PCs Can Do: Fight the terrible monsters invading the town! Depending on their level they can have their hands full with bugbears or take up the fight with the bronze golem. Afterwards they can be among the squads organized to hunt down the bugbears and take proper revenge.

Ambyrmont 2, AC 1018: Giants Besiege Oakwall.

Location: Town of Oakwall, Kingdom of Wendar. OW

Description: When the temperatures suddenly lower throughout the whole valley, announcing the untimely coming of winter, a massive army of hill and stone giants march against the town of Oakwall and lay siege. The situation is desperate. Messengers are dispatched to request help from Bensarian. (See Kl. 6, Fy. 7; Am. 25, Sv. 23.)

What This Means: Oakwall has been caught off-guard. The hill giant raids of the summer steered clear of Oakwall and the royal army. Now stone giants and hill giants have massed around Oakwall and are hurling boulders at the town's defences.

What the PCs Can Do: Organize the Oakwall defences and sabotage the giants' preparations via daring raids. Or they could be the messengers sent to Wendar City to ask for aid.

Ambyrmont 2, AC 1018: Tranquil Resolution.

Location: Tranquil Coast. NW

Description: The combined armies of Serenity, Dag, Dool and Swordcoast have already conquered a large part of the Barony of Dikhoff, and there seems to be little hope for the beleaguered forces of Dikhoff and Sonnenfeld, when news of the Thyatian-Heldannic settlement over Oceansend finally reaches all sides in the conflict over the Tranquil Coast. The various petty lords involved each react differently to it, though.

For Dikhoff and Fergus this is terrible news, though not an unexpected one as the Heldannic Knights had already deserted them. They know they will receive no outside aid now, which means that their dominions are doomed. Baron Dikhoff expects his barony to fall shortly, and once again he will have to retreat to the swamp, but this time he will have to do it with a reduced force as many of his men have already died, or will die trying to reach the safety of the Tranquil Swamp. Baron Fergus realises that Dikhoff is doomed, and prepares to withdraw to Sonnenfeld in a desperate attempt to prevent the Thyatians from conquering the whole Tranquil Coast in addition to Oceansend.

For Baron Siegfried and Baron Maximus it good news, because it means they bet on the winning side and they are about to get their reward. With the Heldannic withdrawal and Alpha out of the picture, it is clear that Thyatis will grab the whole Oceansend-Tranquil Coast area. Immediately, Maximus proclaims himself Governor of the Tranquil Coast, despite attempts by his Thyatian advisers to prevent it. Baron Siegfried, who was biding his time until after he had captured his old rival Dikhoff and vanquished the traitor Fergus to ensure a total victory for himself and his Thyatian allies, is furious upon discovering what he assumes to be treachery from the Thyatians. He draws his sword and attacks his Thyatian advisers, whom he kills, though he is seriously wounded himself.

Alak Dool and Rutger Dag are taken aback by the news, as they suddenly realise where the money to hire their men as mercenaries came from-Thyatis! While neither really minds working for the Thyatians, especially when the money is as good as it was, they want assurances from Thyatis that their titles will be recognised and that they will not be dismissed by the new governor. Their men pull out of the battle in Dikhoff, waiting for further instructions from their lords. (See Fy. 11, Fy. 12; Am. 23.)

What This Means: Maximus has proved unreliable, and now the Thyatians are stuck with him, especially since Siegfried, who was certainly much more trustworthy and reliable-although blinded by his hatred for Dikhoff-has now turned against his sponsors who by all appearances have betrayed him.

What the PCs Can Do: Thyatian PCs should try to avoid this mess from ever happening.

Ambyrmont 2, AC 1018: Expedition to Polakatsikes Mounted.

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

Description: Castellan Thomas von Wettingen orders an expedition to be mounted, to render aid to Polakatsikes, and to obtain more information about the lands between the two territories. A force of 500 soldiers is to depart as soon as they are able. (See Fe. 11, Fe. 13; Ei. 22.)

What This Means: The frontiers around Vanya's Rest have been fairly quiet of late, and while von Wettingen knows that this is likely the calm before another storm, the news he has been receiving from Governor Wolfgang Stemmel has been far from encouraging. Although Stemmel stated that his forces and allies are holding the line against Mivosia, von Wettingen knows full well that the Polakatsikan garrison sustained considerable losses during the battles of last year, and that aside from the townsfolk themselves, and the handful of former Mivosian conscripts who managed to escape, no reinforcements are in the offing. Von Wettingen knows that he is taking a gamble by sending 500 of his own soldiers to Polakatsikes, but he feels it is a task that must be carried out if Heldannic interests in the region are to be protected.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could easily be part of the expeditionary force, in which case they could have many dangerous wilderness encounters as the force makes its way across the dangerous Aryptian Savannah, and into the Meghala Kimata Plains.

Ambyrmont 2, AC 1018: A Royal Note.

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

Description: King Edjer the Twisted from Frisland has sent a note to his fellow monarch that asks for the release of the captured surveyors in occupied Arkan. King Koblan is puzzled because he does not have the faintest idea what Edjer is talking about. He sends out a messenger to his army in Arkan to get a report. (See Fe. 25, Fy. 8; Am. 6, Ka. 2.)

What This Means: Admiral Halzunthram has asked the King of Frisland to write this note. As Frisland has hired the navy for a long time now to protect Lake Shiell against the monsters from the Ugly Woods, the king has seen no problem with this small plea. Therefore he has agreed to write this note. Besides, his advisers are already considering the effects of the planned canal that will link Shiell Lake to the other two great Alphatian lakes, Llyn Lake and Crystal Lake. They have persuaded Edjer that the kingdom will benefit from it, so he has a good portion of self-interest.

Ambyrmont 3, AC 1018: A Helping Hand.

Location: City of Helskir, Exarchate/Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: Several Thyatian military engineers arrive to assist in the improvement of walls and defences at the city of Helskir. Their stated aim is to help ensure that the city will not be captured again, as the Heldannic Knights were able to do over a year ago. A large sea wall will be built to protect the harbour from sea-based attacks, and its landward defences will be upgraded as well with additional towers and artillery emplacements. (See Th. 12; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Helskir's defences are still suffering from the effects of the attack, and could use some improvement. The Thyatian engineers have considerable experience in the construction of fortifications. The engineers have an additional mission, however: They're not only to help improve the defences, but bring back detailed blueprints to Thyatis, which will help the empire take the city should they ever need to capture it.

Ambyrmont 4, AC 1018: Skyships Fly in Darokin.

Location: Cities of Corunglain and Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: Two Glantrian skyships, the Storm Cloud and the Blue Swan, arrive in two Darokinian cities, and are met with much pomp and festivity.

In Darokin City, the Storm Cloud brings in a host of guests from the principalities: Chancellor Urmahid Krinagar, who heads the diplomatic functions of the principalities; Messieurs Jean-Louis Montgolfière and Yarov Urbaal, the manufacturers of the skyships; Sir Lathan Aendyr, the major proprietor of Montgolfière & Urbaal, Ltd.; Sir Volospin Aendyr, father of Sir Lathan and former chancellor of the princes, recently returned from the dead; and Princess Dolores Hillsbury, daughter of former Prince Volospin (and rumoured to be Prince Urmahid's present lover). The Glantrians are met by prominent personalities of Darokin, not the least of which is Chancellor Corwyn Mauntea himself.

The Darokinian Temple of Valerias and the Church of Darokin look at the festivities with a guarded eye.

In Corunglain, a much smaller ceremony awaits the Blue Swan, and the merchant-mage Ralindi Virayana and the Warden of the Marches Malachie du Marais are met by local officials, trade and military leaders, particularly the aging Natalie Kalimi, head of Corun House, the major trading house in Corunglain. (See Fe. 15, Fe. 26; Ei. 18.)

What This Means: As part of the reparations of the Principalities of Glantri for injury to the Temple of Valerias at the Alexander's Day massacre, the principalities fly two commercial skyships to Darokin for purposes of an aerial trade. At present, the Storm Cloud will serve the trade route of Glantri City-Darokin City, while the Blue Swan will fly from Leenz to Corunglain. Future skyships will be added next year.

Of course, as in all matters involving Glantrians, politics plays a role. Princess Dolores Hillsbury (secretly the queen of the night dragons, Synn) uses the affair as a show of strength for House Aendyr-Hillsbury, and to strengthen her ties with Prince Urmahid. The all-but-ignored Corunglain ceremony not only snubs her enemy Prince Malachie, but also serves to weaken the alliance between Prince Urmahid and Prince Ralindi.

What the PCs Can Do: Flying contraptions, crowds of revellers, diplomatic situations, rival factions, bordering nations, trade agreements, important personalities-all elements of a good disaster. The PCs can get involved in any plot of assassination, sabotage, espionage, theft, smuggling, or murder, either for or against. For example, in the future, Sir Lathan Aendyr plans to use the skyship trade to smuggle in the illegal zzonga drug from Glantri to Darokin, and possibly the rest of Mystara.

Ambyrmont 4, AC 1018: Civil Tension in the Ailpon Region.

Location: Estate of Lord Beremtol, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: In Ailpon and the surrounding regions, tension has been growing among the commoners due to King Qinn's decision to conscript commoners into the army.

Since he was banned from Ailpon by the king, Lord Beremtol has been spending his time in his estate outside the town, and today he is visited by a few fellow aristocrats, who ask him to do something about the situation. Beremtol explains that obviously he has heard of what has been going on, but that there is little he can do-he was sent off by his king, and he has no authority to do anything behind the king's back. The other aristocrats explain that the commoners in their service are getting desperate with fear and do not tend to their duties correctly, and that is hurting everyone, including the aristocrats. Beremtol promises to consider the matter, but makes it clear that he can give no guarantees. (See Fe. 15, Fe. 20; Am. 14, Sv. 17.)

What This Means: This is a bad time to be a commoner in the Ailpon region, particularly for men. Many families have seen growing boys or aging fathers or lovers conscripted into the army, and despair is growing. Men taken into the armies this way means that they aren't doing the work they usually do, and that hurts the region even more, to the point that the aristocrats have noticed it. To make matters worse, training these men for the army is slow work, as most just aren't fit for it, which means it will take time that Arkan doesn't have. Because of that, most of these new soldiers expect not to survive the coming battles, which means morale is at an all time low. Naturally, families also fear that those conscripted into the army will lose their lives. General Lotaran has tried to convince King Qinn that this is not a good idea and that he should try to negotiate with Stonewall, but King Qinn won't listen to him.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are here, they are best put in positions where they can see the hopelessness of the commoners first hand. They could train the unfit soldiers, for example, and see that their slow training isn't getting them anywhere.

Ambyrmont 5, AC 1018: The Horror of Hendry.

Location: Near Village of Hendry, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: A single soldier returns to Darokin City with a tale of horror. She was part of an expedition sent to examine the crash site of a shooting star that struck Darokin five days ago. She explains that they found a local farmer's family killed, the tops of their heads cut off and their brains extracted. They tracked a creature through the forest and confronted a terrible monster there. The crab-like, tentacled monster cast spells at the group and quickly overcame the spellcasters. Its terrible razor-sharp teeth tore off the limbs of men and she was the only one who escaped from the creature.

The authorities immediately advertise for the help of experienced adventurers. (See Am. 1.)

What This Means: The expedition tracked down and faced the brain collector that had arrived in the "shooting star." Unfortunately it was too great a challenge for them. It has set up lair in the forest near Hendry and is now planning to obtain the remaining brains it needs after extracting those of the expedition members.

What the PCs Can Do: This is another opportunity for the PCs to become involved in the adventure "It Came from Outer Space," which can be found in Book III: Adventures.

Ambyrmont 5, AC 1018: Turmoil Has a Wizard Problem.

Location: The Lands of Turmoil, Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: Some time ago a wizard calling himself Darkcloak came to the Lands of Turmoil and claimed a piece of land for himself to built a tower. When some locals objected, he destroyed them with his magic, so that they would leave him alone. Now it seems that this idea is spreading, as more wizards invade the area and set up patches of land for themselves, and with no authorities to put them in their place, the anarchist people of Turmoil are helpless to do anything about it.

What This Means: It seems that the Turmoil experiment may not be such a good idea, as Nayce actually has no authority to deal with these destructive wizards. The Lands of Turmoil could become the Blackheart of Nayce if the wizards continue to oppress the locals.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs might be locals in the area who wish to end the wizard menace. It won't be a very attractive job, though, because the locals are poor and the wizards are rather powerful. Although they have nothing in common, the wizards just might unite if they find they are being taken down by a group of adventurers one by one. On the other hand, nefarious PC wizards might jump onto the bandwagon and go to Turmoil to claim their one piece of free land while they can, in which case they find adventurers coming to stop them.

Ambyrmont 5, AC 1018: An Intriguing Port of Call.

Location: Town of Mahajanga, Kingdom of Manakara, Isle of Cestia. DV

Description: The Thyatian expedition has rounded the southern coast of Cestia, noting the existence of a couple of unwelcoming port towns (whose apparently xenophobic inhabitants gave chase a couple of times), and has now spotted another port town-a fairly large and well-defended one at that. Seeing the strange-looking Thyatian vessel, some of the locals stop what they are doing as the ship sails cautiously into port, watching it with a mixture of curiosity and apprehension. Once it becomes clear that the ship is alone, and it does not appear to be geared for war, deckhands on the dock call for the lines and grab them as they are cast down.

Once the gangplank is in place, and Julius Ambrosius leads his entourage to the dock, a small group of robed natives approach the Thyatians, addressing them in what appears to be a succession of different languages. Julius shakes his head, indicating that he has not understood anything said thus far, and he directs his companions to try some languages of their own; the smattering of Meghaddaran spoken by one of them draws a knowing look from one of the natives, but little more. Finally, one of the natives greets them in broken Alphatian. Julius, never thinking that these folk might know a language understood in the Old World, then introduces himself and his associates in that language, describing briefly where they are from and their intentions. Once it becomes clear that the Thyatians are on an exploratory mission, the natives break out in smiles, and conduct them to a spacious mansion situated on top of a heavily forested hill, where they are wined and dined, and many hours pass in pleasant conversation. (See Fy. 7, Fy. 10; Am. 8, Am. 13.)

What This Means: The Manakarans have never seen Thyatians before; the only pale-skinned peoples they have ever met are the Androkians to the south (with whom they are at war), the Meghaddara on the mainland (with whom they seldom have any contact at all), and the Alphatians (with whom they have had no contact since Haldemar's visit in AC 965). The first words spoken to the Thyatians were in Androkian, which, from the puzzled looks of the newcomers, proved them not to be of that people-a fact that saved their lives. As the Manakarans have lived in fear of the night dragons of Oceania for centuries, they have been traditionally wary of strangers. Seeing that the Thyatians appear to mean no harm, they will welcome them-unless their impressions have proven false, in which case they will be quick to anger.

It is actually quite fortuitous that Haldemar's expedition had encountered the Manakarans, and made such a favourable impression on them. Some of the Manakarans who had left their homeland with Haldemar in AC 965 returned many years later, telling great tales of their adventures, and bringing with them a basic knowledge of the Alphatian language. That knowledge was shared, which ultimately allowed the two cultures to interact.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs may be chosen to accompany Julius to the evening's festivities, in order to watch his back, or to gain additional insights into these mysterious, civilised people. Their chances of being brought along will be greater if they speak Alphatian.

Ambyrmont 5, AC 1018: First Stage Reached.

Location: Town of Floresque, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: Like last circle it is Captain Merryweather who arrives first in the harbour of Floresque. The Big Banquet has an advantage of eight hours to Cyclone. The pirates in Floresque start a heated discussion about the comparative qualities of both ships. Last circle both ships had reached this stage two sleeps earlier. (See Ya. 14, Fy. 26; Am. 8, Am. 10.)

What This Means: Merryweather was successful in acquiring the faster ship again. The fact that the race is slower this time is no mystery: low winds have prevented higher speed, and The Big Banquet has proved the better ship under such conditions.

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

Ambyrmont 6, AC 1018: Beneath Wit's End.

Location: East of Village of Burny, Shire of Seashire, Five Shires. OW

Description: An ancient seahold of dwarven invader Loktal Ironshield is discovered in the sea caves east of Burny. Recently used by a particularly unpleasant group of pirates on the Sea of Dread and secretly discovered by a band of dwarven criminals from Rockhome (who have been exploring the artifacts left behind from Loktal's time, as well as practicing banditry in the surrounding area), the complex was hidden under the famous estate of Wit's End.

Ambyrmont 6, AC 1018: Death Cloud Reaches Denagoth.

Location: Lands of Essuria, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: A giant dark cloud suddenly engulfs the eastern border of the Great Forest of Geffron and the whole of the Essurian Grasses, casting perpetual darkness over the already eerie woods. Drax Tallen is swarmed by foul creatures of the night that take a few prisoners, but slaughter most of the soldiers. Triumphantly, the Shadow Lord holding aloft the Black Staff of the carnifex enters his ancestral stronghold.

Unaware of the events in Drax Tallen, the troops of Grumman and Durifern clash at Enoreth Shrine. The Shadow Army seems to have the upper hand, even though they are losing more soldiers.

The Avienite tribesmen are restless and fearful at the sight of the approaching dark cloud. They ask the priests of Idris to protect them. Arienghyla predicts: "This is but the beginning of the Dark Times, yet another Evil will be unleashed before the end of the year." (See Ya. 17, Fe. 7; Sv. 9, Sv. 28.)

What This Means: The Shadow Lord, Sylarion and Ulslime have found a way to enlarge the Death Cloud. The Shadow Lord teleported to Aeleris's Pits to rally Aeleris's undead for an assault on Drax Tallen. From Drax Tallen, the Shadow Lord plans to retake his place as Overlord of Denagoth by fighting Idris and Her minions using Nyx's support and Her undead troops. He also plans to replace Grumman and resume his position as Commander of the Shadow Army.

The fighting in and around Enoreth Shrine will continue for some time.

What the PCs Can Do: Those at Enoreth Shrine may be asked to eliminate General Grumman. PCs imprisoned in Drax Tallen may be able to escape in the confusion caused by the Shadow Lord's assault. The sight of the enormous cloud may prompt PCs to investigate its source.

Ambyrmont 6, AC 1018: Shazak Chef.

Location: Town of La Nouvelle Daens, Colonie de la Nouvelle-Renardie. SC

Description: Unable to stop the rumour mill, and with his business declining steadily, Fabien Morais, the owner of the restaurant L'Écaille du Coquillage, decides to let out the secret. The reason why the food at the restaurant is so good and exotic is that two chefs have been at work in the cuisine: a lupin chef, and a Shazak chef. The lizard man chef made marvels with fish and shellfish, to which the lupin chef added that lupin touch that allowed the food to be succulent for a lupin crowd.

The revelation, far from restarting business, finishes to kill the restaurant, whose tables are only attended by non-lupins now. Finally, the restaurant closes altogether. (See Fl. 3, Fe. 19; Ei. 8.)

What This Means: The Nouveaux Renardois cannot forgive Monsieur Morais of L'Écaille du Coquillage to have fed them lizard man food, a heresy for any lupin. The fact that Nouveaux Renardois do not make much distinction between Shazak and Ator does not help either. With all the money he made in the glorious days of his restaurant, the owner prefers to cut his losses and close his business.

Ambyrmont 6, AC 1018: Survey Mission Aborted.

Location: Southern bank of the Roaring River, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The surveyors have reached the Roaring River, and they even have been able to locate a passage where it is navigable without additional work. So they now have a possible route from Lake Llyn to the Roaring River which cuts through the plains of Foresthome east of the Lonely Forest. According to their orders they now return to the lake. (See Fe. 27, Am. 2; Ka. 2, Ka. 12.)

What This Means: The Navy of the Lakes now has a route for the biggest part of their own canal project, but it ends at the Roaring River, which is so named because several portions of it are whitewaters. How to proceed from this point is not yet settled because the survey teams in the north had to stop their work for various reasons. Should the navy be unable to find a route and build the canal due to the tensions in the north, they might be forced to work at the Roaring River to eliminate the obstacles. The Stonewall Expeditionary Corps has made its way through it, but only with a considerable amount of magic, which would be far beyond the strength of the average merchantman.

The navigable passage the surveyors have found has never been reported as it is literally in the middle of nowhere, with no towns or villages around. As a connection for two segments of a canal and a source of water for it this will be the first time that it can be used for anything.

Ambyrmont 7, AC 1018: An Unkind Rejection.

Location: City of Ierendi, Ierendi Island, Kingdom of Ierendi. OW

Description: King Reston receives an answer from Honor Island about Millington Vonaday's request. It is precisely what he knew it would be... The answer says little more than no, but it does it in a rather harsh and sarcastic tone, as if the whole idea was so ludicrous that it was treated as a joke. King Reston brings the letter with the answer to Millington. Millington is disappointed, but hides his feelings well. (See Kl. 5, Fy. 10; Am. 18, Am. 28.)

What This Means: Millington had hoped for a better answer, but he hadn't really expected it. After all, he studied the rumours of the Honor Islander wizards for years, so he had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Even so, he still doesn't avoid disappointment altogether.

What the PCs Can Do: As noted before, Millington might want to hire adventurers to go to Honor Island for him, only now he wants to go himself as well. However, he will not go until he thinks there is a reasonable chance of success, so the PCs would have to scout the island for Millington's Oracle. That would almost certainly mean that they would be noticed and captured by Honor Islander wizards. It might be a better if the PCs spy on the island from afar and conclude that entering the island undetected is all but impossible and then report that back to Millington.

Second Week

Ambyrmont 8, AC 1018: Shifting Alliances Again!

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: At the Council of Princes, Chancellor Urmahid Krinagar calls to attention the dispute between the former Countess of High Sonden, Lady Sinaria Verlien, and her son and the present count, Lord Pieter Verlien. Princess Juliana Vlaardoen is clearly chagrined, stating that High Sonden is a local concern of House Verlien, or at most the Flaemish people. Supreme Judge Dolores Hillsbury sweetly expresses her "concern" over the Flaemish feud and suggests the parliament vote on the matter. Chamberlain Isidore d'Ambreville speaks against it, reasoning that the parliament has more pressing issues-the diplomatic situations with the clerics of Valerias, not in the least-at the present time.

The triumvirate of Prince Malachie du Marais, Prinz Jaggar von Drachenfels, and Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany, quickly agree with Isidore, as much as disagreeing against Dolores. Prince Kol XIV, Dolores's supposed ally, surprisingly and not too discreetly takes his stand with the triumvirate.

The elven princesses remain neutral on the matter. The conservative Prince Harald Haaskinz, as expected, does not want to add more fuel to the flames. Prince Ralindi Virayana takes the side of his mentor.

Prince Angus McGregor does not voice his opinion, but later in the day, at the Great School of Magic, he is seen discussing magic, school affairs, and perhaps more serious things with Grand Master Harald and Prince Ralindi. (See Fe. 4, Am. 4.)

What This Means: This was not so much a move to settle the High Sonden dispute as for Princess Dolores to test the political climate. Even amidst diplomatic turmoil, the cutthroat politics of Glantri never cease.

Princess Dolores has lost her two allies, Princess Juliana and Prince Kol, but she is now safely in bed (not just figuratively, gossips say) with Prince Urmahid. Princess Juliana found an ally in the only noble house worthy of the proud Flaems, the d'Ambrevilles. Prince Kol has also begun to doubt Dolores and has allied with the military powers of Glantri and Dolores's archenemies, although Prinz Jaggar and Prince Morphail have their doubts on the kobold's turnaround. And the up-till-now unallied Prince Angus McGregor has thrown his lot in with the fellow brothers of the Radiance, Prince Harald and Prince Ralindi.

Ambyrmont 8, AC 1018: We're Off To See the Wiz-uh, King.

Location: Town of Mahajanga, Kingdom of Manakara, Isle of Cestia. DV

Description: After several days of earnest discussion, during which much information is exchanged, the Thyatians' hosts announce today that Mananjary II, King of Manakara, has heard of the foreigners' arrival, and wishes to meet with them. Julius and his entourage are told that their vessel will remain secure in Mahajanga for the duration of their visit, and a small detail of marines will be allowed to accompany the Thyatian delegation; the remainder will be accommodated in the port town as guests. Those Thyatians who go to Tulear will be escorted by an honour guard, and they will have an unmatched opportunity to see the sights of the kingdom. The Thyatians accept the invitation, and preparations commence immediately for the overland trip to the capital city of Tulear. (See Fy. 10, Am. 5; Am. 13.)

What This Means: Word of the Thyatians' arrival has spread quickly, and the information exchanged about each other's nations has piqued the interest of a number of senior Manakaran officials, who would like to learn more about Thyatis and affairs in the Old World. The king is no exception in this regard, and his interest is sincere.

What the PCs Can Do: Depending on how well Julius knows the PCs, or how well they have served him, they could be among those Thyatians escorted to Tulear. Even with the honour guard, there are many perils in the jungles of Manakara; PCs could find their fighting skills in much demand.

Ambyrmont 8, AC 1018: A Captain Falls Ill.

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

Description: Captain Saviola is feeling very dizzy and must hand over the command to his first mate. The mate is not a bad seaman, but he is not a "Barbarossa" either. He promises his captain to do his very best though. (See Fy. 26, Am. 5; Am. 10, Am. 11.)

What This Means: Saviola is paranoid enough to suspect an underhanded act initiated by Captain Merryweather. For the moment he has no proof to corroborate his suspicion. He does not have the stomach to start an investigation either. Unfortunately, the Cyclone does not have a cleric aboard who might cure the disease without problem.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs aboard the Cyclone can try to find clues to confirm the captain's suspicion. Experienced seamen will be asked to take over more authority.

Ambyrmont 9, AC 1018: Stemming the Tides.

Location: Camp Ardelphia, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: A contingent of dwarven engineers arrives at the makeshift base known as Camp Ardelphia. Their objective is to survey the tunnel systems beneath the ruins of Ardelphia and determine the feasibility of establishing underground safeholds and fortifications against humanoid (and possibly shadowelf) invasions. (See Ya. 8.)

What This Means: The Council of Darokin sent out a call to adventurers across the land in Flaurmont of AC 1017 to assist in the reclamation of the ruins of Ardelphia from monsters and bandits. The process has met with much success thus far, to the extent that a small shanty town-Camp Ardelphia, consisting of adventurers, soldiers, and camp followers-has arisen on the outskirts of the ruins. Now, the council hopes to secure the lower levels of the ruins, from which many humanoid problems have arisen in the past. Eventually, the hope is to rebuild the city of Ardelphia, which will become an important stop along the still in construction trade route through the Glantrian Barony of Celedyl in the Amsorak Mountains.

What the PCs Can Do: The engineers will need adventurers to guard them while they complete their tasks. The caverns under Ardelphia, so close to the humanoid realms of the Broken Lands, are rife with monsters. The PCs may even encounter shadowelf patrols, possibly leading to diplomatic incidents.

Ambyrmont 9, AC 1018: Stonewall Enters Haven.

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

Description: Stonewall troops enter northern Haven to defend the interests of Stonewall refugees who are treated badly there. The battle-hardened Stonewall forces quickly take a few minor villages and make their way south. The Haven defenders are mostly taken by surprise. (See Fy. 5, Fy. 19; Am. 22, Sv. 2.)

What This Means: Stonewall has been planning this for some time. An agreement with Queen Buthra Bofadar has allowed Stonewall troops to move across Stoutfellow territory and into Haven. Haven can offer little resistance for now due to the trouble caused by Stonewall's "second front" movement.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs involved in this campaign who have been waiting for a real fight now have several.

Ambyrmont 9, AC 1018: Wild Men.

Location: Hills north of Town of Hillfork, Duchy of Retebius, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Thyatians patrolling the region seeking out enclaves of naturalists come across a small community of people with blond hair, speaking a strange crude language and living in rough, simple huts. After a brief attempt at parlay, fighting breaks out. Soon the wild men are defeated, the survivors captured and led off to the south. (See Fe. 12, Fy. 4; Sv. 7, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The Thyatians stumbled across a region still inhabited by small bands of simple folk, the descendants of the Neathar that once lived throughout this region. They begin rooting out their villages in the area in a similar fashion as they did with the first one, viewing them as enemies possibly allied with their naturalist foes. The survivors are sold into slavery in the city of Thyatis and fetch a good price as curiosities, in addition to their unusual strength and beauty.

Other villages will be struck over the coming weeks in a similar fashion, while the Thyatian government will deploy forces and acquire the services of adventurers to root out and eliminate the troublemakers. Meanwhile the conflict with the naturalists continues.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters can take sides with either the settlers or the naturalists, or try to work out a compromise solution that will satisfy both.

Ambyrmont 9, AC 1018: Islands Opened for Mining.

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

Description: In response to the sharp reduction in the availability of common and precious metals in the Naycese region, the Naycese Council issues a decree that all currently uninhabited islands in the New Alphatian Sea shall henceforth be opened for mining and colonisation. Nayce will oversee this undertaking, and will administer any settlements founded in the region. Any metals obtained will be allocated among the various Naycese nations on the basis of need. (See Kl. 25, Fy. 22; Sv. 18.)

What This Means: The losses of the mining operations of Denwarf-Hurgon and Esterhold have hit Nayce hard metals and precious stones are becoming scarcer already, and the prices of consumer goods are rising as a result. Until the various kingdoms can tap enough mineral resources to make up for the shortfall, alternate sources are required. Although most of the old dwarf-run mines around Denwarf-Hurgon are still largely intact, they are inhabited by many varieties of monsters; therefore, the effort required to clear out the mines and make them productive again would be too costly in terms of soldiers and resources.

The only other choice at the moment is exploring the various islands of the New Alphatian Sea. As most of these islands comprise what were once the hilly portions of the Alphatian continent, several were the sites of mining operations many years ago. The Naycese Council knows that many of these old mines have long since been played out, but some of them were closed before that happened (due to the greater abundance of mineral wealth in Esterhold, for example), and there should be enough ore in them to keep the situation from going too far out of hand in the short term. As a side benefit, settling these islands will assert Naycese control over the region, and, once those mines are well and truly played out, the settlements built there could be turned over to fishing, farming, or possibly viticulture.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs could find their skills in demand as guards for surveyors and miners, or they could be sent into abandoned mines to ensure nothing nasty is living there.

Ambyrmont 9, AC 1018: A Truthful Confrontation.

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

Description: Kalin returns to Skyfyr to see Favian Vern. He meets with Favian and confronts him about what he has unleashed by recruiting the Crimson Avengers, and voices his disgust in no uncertain terms, then ends his angry tirade by telling Favian that if he truly supports the actions of such people, then he is actually worse than Xanthus or Nicodemus ever were!

Favian is surprised, but he is also furious at Kalin's insolence and has him arrested, then withdraws to his personal quarters to consider the matter. (See Fy. 23, Fy. 26; Am. 10, Am. 14.)

What This Means: Favian is truly in shock! Both from what he is told and from Kalin's reactions. He has always considered Kalin a reasonable and somewhat diplomatic man and his wild accusations make Favian wonder if fighting his own people has pushed Kalin to the other side, particularly since it is well known that Talin led the rebels during the siege of Skyfyr. Even so, he considers the matter for a while and begins gathering facts from his own sources about Kalin's claims of an evil group of adventurers.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may try to persuade Favian of the truth of Kalin's words. They can succeed to a certain point, but then Favian will dismiss them. The DM should see to it that the PCs do not become violent in Kalin's defence, though. Favian is making a mistake here, but he needs a little time to admit it to himself. It should be made clear enough to the PCs that they need to give him the time and privacy for that.

Ambyrmont 9, AC 1018: The Battle of the Horn.

Location: Keras Outpost, north of City-State of Sinbay, Confederated Kingdom of Minaea. SK

Description: The Savage Ones arrive to the Keras Outpost (keras means horn in Minaean). There are one thousand of them, facing an army of 800 civilised minotaurs. However, the Savage Ones are too disorganised to stand a chance; after the first massive attacks and four hours of battle, most groups begin to leave the area, until the Savage Ones retire completely from the outpost. (See Fy. 24.)

What This Means: It is an important victory for the minotaurs; although raids will continue until the end of Ambyrmont (and maybe even in the first days of Sviftmont), this is the peak of the Savage Ones' raids this year.

What the PCs Can Do: Take part in the battle, first, but also stage counterattacks against the Savage Ones to prevent future raids and put a quicker end to the season's fighting. Otherwise, if they are among the raiders, exactly the opposite!

Ambyrmont 10, AC 1018: The Bitter Taste of Truth.

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

Description: The day after Kalin's confrontation with Favian Vern, he is taken out from the cell he was put in and led back to Favian's quarters. One look tells him that Favian is deeply troubled, and Favian immediately apologises for having him arrested, but explains that he was rather shocked by what he told him. He has looked into the matter a little now and it seems that Kalin is more correct that Favian cares to admit. They sit down to discuss the matter and Favian uses his magic to contact sources to tell them news of the renegade group of adventurers.

The two end up planning the entire day and Favian eventually decides that he will find the Crimson Avengers and deal with them himself. Kalin will remain in Skyfyr to see to the city's defences while he is gone. (See Fy. 26, Am. 9; Am. 14, Sv. 2.)

What This Means: Kalin woke up convinced Favian had lost his way, but soon after his release he comes to regret what he has told Favian, who suddenly looks old and fragile, visibly shaken by what he has learned. In fact, Favian didn't sleep at all and stayed up all night searching his soul. He has slowly begun to realise that he has been acting in fury since the Jennites killed his negotiators earlier this year. Actually, it goes back further than that. All the way back to the failed elections and the subsequent war with the free and rebel Jennites, he has felt powerless to stop the events he has become involved in and has been forced to take actions he doesn't care much for, some of which he is rather ashamed of. Some of the adventurers he recruited are truly what he wants, but some he should never have allied with, the Crimson Avengers are really just the worst example. He cannot reasonably expect other people to clean up his own mess, so it is only fair that he go to Esterhold to deal with the matter himself. Ending the menace of the Crimson Avengers will be his first step on the road to redemption, but he vows to himself that it certainly won't be the last.

What the PCs Can Do: This is a major event of the war. Favian truly has come to realise a few things, and he is very serious about dealing with the Crimson Avengers. If the PCs are noted adventurers on the Alphatian side, they should definitely be encouraged to go with him. In fact, Favian will even ask them to if he has a good impression of them.

Ambyrmont 10, AC 1018: Incident in Vestland.

Location: Town of Rhoona, Kingdom of Vestland. OW

Description: A small force of Rockhome dwarves march through Rhoona on their way to Soderfjord. Jarl Eric Rhoona demands that they wait for authorisation from King Bergthor Haraldson, but the dwarves refuse. The jarl lets them pass, but sends word to King Bergthor with a quick rider. (See Fy. 2, Fy. 16; Am. 15, Sv. 2.)

What This Means: After finding that it is impossible to enter Soderfjord through the tunnels beneath Rockhome, the dwarves have decided to take some time to consider their strategy. A small force of hot-headed dwarves have refused to wait, however, and have set out for Soderfjord overland. To get there they will have to cross Vestland, which they assumed wouldn't be a problem. The Jarl of Rhoona thinks otherwise.

Ambyrmont 10, AC 1018: A Serious Plague Strikes.

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

Description: Now it has become clear that Saviola's illness was a deliberate strike: three quarters of the crew aboard the Cyclone are ill now. Some crewmen have found out that some of the water barrels have been polluted. Fortunately nobody has died yet. Captain Saviola, although very weak, retakes command and orders his crew to set a course for a small island nearby to provision the ship with untainted freshwater. (See Am. 5, Am. 8; Am. 11, Am. 12.)

What This Means: Of course Captain Merryweather is the prime suspect now. Considering the incredibly high sums gambled on both ships he is not necessarily guilty. An influential pirate captain may be behind this to ensure that he will win his bet.

What the PCs Can Do: Most likely it was the PCs aboard the Cyclone who have found out the truth. If they are not ill now themselves, Barbarossa will need them now to command the ship and to get freshwater.

Ambyrmont 11, AC 1018: A Landing Party Is Sent Out.

Location: Unnamed island in the open sea east of the Island of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: Some healthy crewmen leave the ship to look for freshwater. After some hours the Cyclone has enough fresh water and heads back to the open sea. Most ill crewmen feel better now, and there are still no fatalities. There are now investigations to determine why the captain fell ill first. Obviously there must be a saboteur aboard. Some say it must be the ship's cook, but on the other hand he was affected worse than most others. (See Am. 8, Am. 10; Am. 12, Am. 15.)

What This Means: This should prevent more disease, but the saboteur can be a real menace and must be found urgently.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can get the fresh water and now they can hunt down the saboteur. If a PC is the saboteur he will have an interesting time in the next sleeps.

Ambyrmont 12, AC 1018: Jennites Revise Plans for Conquest of Marlin.

Location: Town of Port Marlin, Province of Marlin, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK

Description: The Jennites abandon their plan for a direct invasion of Marlin. Instead they divide their troops into bands of raiders and send them to harass the Alphatians of Marlin and the mercenaries from Veroth in the plains and woods. This forces many servants working in the fields toward the safety of Port Marlin itself. (See Fy. 16, Am. 1; Sv. 15, Ka. 3.)

What This Means: The Jennites have realised that a direct assault on Marlin is hopeless because the town is too well protected by the sea and escarpment, and there is too great a concentration of Alphatians there anyway. The mercenaries from Veroth don't exactly make the situation easier, either. However, if they use smaller groups of warriors, they can bypass the escarpment and attack the Alphatians in the plains and woods. It's not really war as much as it is skirmishes and harassment. In essence this has turned the fate of Marlin into one of determination, in the sense that it will go to whichever side is more willing to accept sacrifices to keep the land. The Alphatians can live here, but they will have to tolerate the harassment of the Jennites for now, whereas the Jennites can succeed only if they are willing to commit enough troops to wear the Alphatians down, which will require a lot more from the Jennites than from the Alphatians.

What the PCs Can Do: Whichever side the PCs are on, there should be good potential for skirmishes in the wilderness here.

Ambyrmont 12, AC 1018: Junna's New Residence.

Location: Lake Deipan, Kingdom of Arogansa, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Junna, the former Queen of Randel, establishes her new estates on Lake Deipan, close to the border with her homeland, Randel. She hires some commoners who had taken refuge in the area she covets, a small hill that juts out of the surrounding waters, and ousts the rest. (See Fe. 28, Fy. 17; Sv. 4.)

What This Means: No Arogansan aristocrats want to have estates by the new Lake Deipan, given the rather loathsome condition it is in (the smell, especially, greatly disturbs the nobles' delicate senses). Thus, Junna is free to pick the emplacement of her estate as she wishes, without contestation. What her plans are, so close to the border with her homeland, no one knows.

What the PCs Can Do: Junna will be looking for employees, not just servants to build and keep her estate clean, but also guards to patrol it, and probably henchmen to advance her agenda-whatever that is.

Ambyrmont 12, AC 1018: The Big Banquet Arrives in Puerto Morillos.

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

Description: Merryweather's The Big Banquet enters the harbour of Puerto Morillos as the first ship. The whereabouts of the Cyclone become a matter of discussion among the Merry Pirates in Puerto Morillos. (See Am. 10, Am. 11; Am. 15, Am. 17.)

What This Means: The trick has worked, whoever has worked it out. The advantage of The Big Banquet has become quite great.

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

Ambyrmont 13, AC 1018: A Tour of the Kingdom.

Location: City of Tulear, Kingdom of Manakara, Isle of Cestia. DV

Description: After a journey through the jungles of eastern Manakara, the Thyatian delegation is brought to the city of Tulear, and without delay is brought before King Mananjary II, who, through the aid of an Alphatian-speaking translator, welcomes his guests formally to Manakara, and expresses a hope that friendly relations might be established with the Empire of Thyatis. Julius Ambrosius, as head of the Thyatian delegation, thanks the king for his warm welcome, and for the hospitality shown to his people thus far. The king then invites Julius and his associates to a formal dinner, after which he and his party will be allowed to wander throughout Manakara, so as to become more familiar with its wonders. Knowing full well that this is an opportunity to acquire considerable information about this part of the world, Julius accepts. (See Am. 5, Am. 8.)

What This Means: Although the king is interested in the Thyatians, and he will spend a great deal of time conversing with Julius this evening over dinner, he is not totally certain of their intentions. Thus, while the Thyatians are exploring Manakara, some of their guides will be spies instructed to watch the foreigners closely, to determine what their true intent might be. For the Thyatians, this presents an unprecedented opportunity to learn about Manakara and its people, as well as to forge ties with the nation. Word will be sent to the other Thyatians in Mahajanga of this development, and they will be instructed to explore as much as they can of that region. Given the sheer amount of information to be gained, the expedition members will be busy into the new year.

What the PCs Can Do: Assuming that the PCs were part of the Thyatian delegation, they will have an opportunity to explore Manakara thoroughly, helping Julius collect information about this mysterious kingdom, as well as protect him from various threats. DMs are encouraged to come up with a number of one-off scenarios that are challenging and surprising; alternatively, the PCs could experience a number of encounters with the natives that only underscore how foreign a place this happens to be.

Ambyrmont 14, AC 1018: The Merciless Harshness of Truth.

Location: Countryside, Esterhold Peninsula. SK

Description: Having faced the consequences of their actions and heard of their deeds on many occasions, Talin and his allies are forced to acknowledge that the atrocities committed by the Jennite side of the war are done by the tribe of Maltaen, the chieftain who follows the extremist philosophy known as the True Way. They are also forced to realise that what they do to the Alphatians and their allies is worse than anything the Alphatians ever did to the Jennites in the war, except for what has been done by the notorious Crimson Avengers, whose actions are somewhat limited since they are only one group whereas Maltaen commands an entire tribe of many warriors. (See Am. 9, Am. 10; Sv. 2, Sv. 12.)

What This Means: Talin finds that there is actually a limit to what he feels should be inflicted upon the Alphatians. He has been denying it for a long time, but he is eventually forced to listen to his own conscience. After all, the Jennites aren't as evil as the Alphatians, so this shouldn't be happening! Eventually he will seek out Maltaen to discuss the matter and try to convince him to end his campaign of horror.

What the PCs Can Do: Jennite PCs could be with Talin when he makes his decision.

Ambyrmont 14, AC 1018: The Harvest of Fury.

Location: Estate of Lord Beremtol, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The discontent Lord Beremtol, currently ostracised from Ailpon by King Qinn of Arkan, is paid a visit by some people from Ambur who bring him some interesting news. It soon becomes obvious to him that his recent dispute with King Qinn and the general despair in the Ailpon region has not gone unnoticed when the visitors from Ambur question him about how he feels about King Qinn and the current situation in Arkan. When he admits that Qinn is a problem in his opinion, they make an interesting proposition to him. If they can get rid of Qinn, things can return to normal if he is willing to accept that the Ailpon and all the rimward regions of Arkan become part of Ambur. Beremtol knows well that he is the major aristocrat in the regions around Ailpon and that most will probably do as he does, but there are certain concerns that must first be addressed. Mostly, King Qinn will have to be deposed and there are also concerns of how Foresthome and the Stonewall invaders will respond. When the visitors from Ambur tell him not to worry about that, since they will take care of those matters, Beremtol becomes quite interested in their suggestions. (See Fe. 20, Am. 4; Sv. 17, Sv. 23.)

What This Means: Obviously Ambur has an ace up its sleeve, but the truth is far shadier than Beremtol suspects. When Ambur made its agreement with Stonewall to withdraw from the Arkan war, it included an important covenant. Ambur wanted to capture the rimward parts of Arkan, including Ailpon, for themselves, so they agreed to let Stonewall take the rest of coreward areas of Arkan and grant them certain future trade rights. Stonewall accepted that for two reasons: first because the coreward regions have a lot of farmland which is what they came for, and second because they knew Ambur was interested in the rimward regions because they insisted on not being surrounded by land occupied by Stonewall, a demand that was clear to the point that Ambur wouldn't withdraw from the war if Stonewall did not allow that. For Stonewall it wasn't a major problem. The coreward regions formed the vast majority of Arkan, including lots of farmland. The rimward regions has some farmland too, but is still only a relatively small area, and it would have been difficult for Stonewall to conquer anyway since it could be attacked only across Crystal Lake. And because Ambur is also a densely populated kingdom, Stonewall preferred giving Ambur those regions rather than face the army they could potentially mount from their sizeable population.

The result is that, once Foresthome withdrew and Stonewall and Ambur negotiated, they divided all of Arkan's remaining land up among them-the rimward regions to Ambur and the remaining coreward regions to Stonewall. Arkan didn't know, but from that point on, its fate had already been decided by a few lines on a map during secret meetings between Stonewall and Amburese negotiators. So Ambur can quietly proceed with their plans to take the rimward areas, secure in the knowledge that Stonewall will do nothing about it. Foresthome is unlikely to do anything, since it would violate its treaty with Stonewall.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs spying for Arkan can begin to discover the rather shady agreements that have been going on between Ambur and Stonewall. Beremtol might suspect-and want confirmation of-the existence of such agreements, but he cannot afford to explore the matter because the chance that King Qinn will catch wind of it is too great. PCs from Ambur might be Beremtol's visitors, though.

Third Week

Ambyrmont 15, AC 1018: The Games of Protius.

Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: This annual Merry Pirate event begins this sleep, and will last for the next thirteen. The games will have competitions in swordplay, archery, boxing, wrestling, swimming, sailing and rowing competitions, drinking contests, and other piratical and nautical events. This circle, the attendance is higher than normal, for both participants and spectators, as the much-hyped race between rival captains Merryweather and Saviola is due to finish in Baraga sometime during the festivities. Throughout the games there will be revelry, merrymaking, and other debauchery, taking place in the taverns, streets, and docks of Baraga. (See Ya. 14, Am. 12; Am. 17, Am. 26.)

What This Means: The Games of Protius are an annual Merry Pirate event where the highly competitive pirates can try to outdo each other in various contests and earn bragging rights for the next circle. Prizes, some of substantial worth (monetary, or even magical) are awarded to the winners of each event. During the games, the normally festive Merry Pirates take their merrymaking to the extremes of over-indulgence.

What the PCs Can Do: Take part in the games, although competition will be stiff, as the very best in the seas usually are in attendance.

Ambyrmont 15, AC 1018: Dwarves Demand Passage.

Location: City of Norrvik, Kingdom of Vestland. OW

Description: King Bergthor Haraldson faces the dwarven force from Rockhome. The dwarves demand passage to Soderfjord, and remind King Bergthor of their previous alliances. Bergthor ends up agreeing to escort the dwarves through Vestland. (See Fy. 16, Am. 10; Sv. 2, Sv. 5.)

What This Means: Though King Bergthor isn't thrilled about letting a dwarven force through his lands, he realises that it would jeopardise his relationship with Rockhome if he stopped them. But he assigns a small force to keep an eye on them during their stay in Vestland.

Ambyrmont 16, AC 1018: An Interesting Discovery.

Location: City of Matobe, Province of Beòl, Empire of Tangor. SK

Description: Two farmers from the surroundings of the city of Matobe bring a giant egg, seemingly of a reptilian creature, to the Animal Lore University located in the city. Here, the students and teachers of the school begin to study it. The first conclusion to which they come is that it is not a dragon egg, nor the egg of normal animals of the region. Moreover, it is fossilised and must be centuries old, if not more.

What This Means: The egg is in fact a stegosaurus egg, which remained here for millions of years, as dinosaurs have been extinct in this part of Mystara for a long time.

Ambyrmont 17, AC 1018: Treasures of Our Past.

Location: Town of Threshold, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: After the recent attack on Threshold by bugbears, professor Igor Grygorovich from the School of Magecraft shows up to study the remains of the terrible bronze warrior that caused such havoc in the town. Igor is a renowned historian, who has spent his entire life studying ancient Traladaran artifacts. He is amazed by the design of the bronze golem, calling this a major discovery. He insists that he be taken to the bugbears' territory, so that he can search for any other such artifacts that may be waiting there. (See Fe. 4, Am. 2.)

What This Means: Igor is a powerful mage, but a scholarly one, who has taught Traladaran magic and enchantment techniques at the School of Magecraft for the past seven years. He is the reigning authority on Traladaran history, but is very out of touch with current events. In his youth he trekked all across Karameikos (or Traladara, as he likes to call it), but now in his late 60s he is getting a bit old for this sort of venture, though he is still enthusiastic enough.

What the PCs Can Do: Escort Igor into hostile bugbear territory, help him recover artifacts and protect him from dangers. Igor is actually quite a competent mage, so it may be him that ends up saving them. His spells are often unexpected variations, which he has learned from restoring ancient Traldar texts. While Igor has terrible social skills, they have improved during the years teaching at the School of Magecraft. He still talks of little but ancient Traladara, which he is happy to discuss at great length.

Ambyrmont 17, AC 1018: Arrival in Kota-Jayang.

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

Description: The Big Banquet is still leading. In fact the Cyclone has not yet reached Puerto Morillos. Of course nobody knows it in Kota-Jayang. Despite this ignorance there is an incident which must have been initiated by friends of the red-bearded captain: the quartermaster of The Big Banquet is ambushed in the harbour. He and the accompanying sailors have to endure a big brawl against a superior gang. After all fighters are exhausted everybody is arrested by the guardsmen of Kota-Jayang.

Captain Merryweather has to pay a high sum if he is to get his men free. Angrily he does it and leaves the harbour. (See Am. 12, Am. 15; Am. 17, Am. 18.)

What This Means: Indeed this was a planned action to delay the hin. Although such a brawl is not seen as a serious crime in the Merry Pirates' culture, it is quite normal that the local authorities, if the various gangs in the service of the pirate kings can be called so, arrest everybody. Those guardians-the so-called "enforcers"-became active only after the fight had ended! The other participants of the brawl will be released a few sleeps later, but of course Captain Merryweather cannot wait. That his men are released after paying "bail" is quite normal, too. And, of course, Merryweather will not see this money again, because the local enforcers are pirates like everybody else. They are not above selling captives to captains looking for sailors, and they collect "tolls", "bails" and "fees" for their pirate king. Usually they consist of stranded captains with some of their crews, disabled sailors, and those rare inhabitants who do not like the sea.

What the PCs Can Do: They can have a lot of fun in a good old-fashioned street brawl. Should they use deadly weapons they will get into real trouble, of course.

Ambyrmont 17, AC 1018: Cyclone Arrives in Puerto Morillos.

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

Description: Finally Barbarossa made his way to Puerto Morillos. The advantage of his rival is so big that he has no chance to win. Nevertheless he continues the race. (See Am. 15, Am. 17; Am. 18, Am. 21.)

What This Means: Indeed the race seems to be decided but Saviola would not be Saviola if he simply gave up. The race is over when the race is over.

Ambyrmont 18, AC 1018: Intruder Alert!

Location: A beach outside Town of Filtot, Honor Island, Kingdom of Ierendi. OW

Description: A group of wizards on their nightly patrol is quite surprised to see a group of intruders standing in the water near a beach outside the town of Filtot. Most surprising, they make no attempt to avoid detection whatsoever. When they move toward the intruders to arrest them for trespassing, one of them pulls out a piece of paper from under his clothes. Expecting this person to be a spellcaster about to use a scroll, the wizards cast a few protection spells, but when no attack comes, they move warily toward the intruder who merely holds out the piece of paper. Once they are close enough, he merely says, "Please bring this to your superiors." The wizard guards are rather surprised. (See Fy. 10, Am. 7; Am. 28, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: These adventurers were hired by Millington Vonaday to bring a letter to the authorities on Honor Island. Since they are unwilling to listen to his arguments, he sees this as the only way to get their attention. The wizard guards will certainly take the letter to their superiors, who will then have to ponder what to do about this troublesome and persistent diplomat.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs are ideal candidates for this mission. However, note that the adventurers never actually set foot on the island. They were specifically ordered by Millington not to do so, because Millington can then later claim that nobody entered the island without permission-the seas are neutral territory. This event ends in an undetermined fashion because of this. The "intruders" could be captured or escape depending on the DM's wishes or how the players perform their actions, as Millington merely wanted them to deliver the letter and then return home, and he pointed out very clearly that the group was to take no hostile action against the Honor Islanders, not even if they were attacked!

Ambyrmont 18, AC 1018: Terari's Charge.

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

Description: As she promised to Queen Asteriela, Galatia meets her former teacher Master Terari. The old wizard scrutinises with a half smile the face of her former student, but Galatia can decipher little more than mild amusement from that wrinkled face. After letting him question her-as courtesy dictates-about her life since the end of her tutelage to him, and whether she made good use of his teachings (all asked with that amused smile still on), the opportunity comes for Galatia to ask her mentor about the reason of his return from Karameikos, where she says she thought he was living as the headmaster of the local school of magic. Terari does not seem surprised by the question, as he still displays that amused, benevolent-looking but unreadable smile. He simply answers that his task in Karameikos is over, so he came home to resume his prior charge. Letting it at that, he cites that he has other engagements that he must attend to, and bids her farewell. (See Fy. 14, Fy. 26; Am. 19, Am. 21.)

What This Means: Terari is well aware of the renewed friendship between Asteriela and Galatia, so he knows exactly what the meeting is truly all about. He even knows of the meeting between Asteriela, Galatia, and Amanaras. Since he suspects Galatia suspects his true identity both from years spent at the court with his two main identities and from the conspiracy they participated in to free the Glantrians wrongly accused of Torenal's death in AC 1004, he lets clues pass to Asteriela by way of Galatia, of whom is he rather fond, yet without revealing much about his plans. Since Terari didn't come back to take a charge of teacher in Aeria or elsewhere, Galatia comes to the only other possible conclusion: Terari was hinting at his other charge, which means that Tylion is back into politics!

Ambyrmont 18, AC 1018: An Accident on The Big Banquet.

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

Description: A block from the rigging of The Big Banquet comes down and hits Fanalir Meditor on the head. He suffers heavy injuries. Although he does not die the first mate is neutralised for the moment. Captain Merryweather now has to command his ship on his own. The crewmen become nervous and start talking about an act of sabotage. (See Am. 17, Am. 17; Am. 21, Am. 24.)

What This Means: This event is a really big strike for the ambitions of Theodor Merryweather. Although he ignores it, usually his own role is limited to making strategic plans and keeping high the morale of the crew. All the daily commanding work has been done by Fanalir during all those circles. Whether it was a true accident or sabotage is to be checked.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs hired on by Captain Saviola could be the ones behind the accident. Crewmen PCs could try to find out the truth behind it or they could take over the responsibility for the ship.

Ambyrmont 19, AC 1018: Master Terari in Aquas.

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

Description: Looking further into the matter of the Phylactery of Agmas, Terari has come to find clues in the Zyndryl University in Aquas. Here he is able to find references which convince him that the Phylactery of Agmas is indeed an artifact of Entropy, but it is actually a forbidden tome about undead lore and secrets and not at all connected with the "phylactery" often associated with liches-the name is a misnomer. (See Fy. 26, Am. 18; Am. 21.)

What This Means: As Terari, Tylion is exploring this artifact because he deems it to be part of his quest for Immortality in the Sphere of Thought on the path of the Epic Hero. One quest on that path is to destroy an artifact of Entropy, and the Phylactery of Agmas just might be it. Still, finding more clues to this dark text will take time, and Terari has other projects to look into.

What the PCs Can Do: Though Terari will go on quests to confirm his suspicions, he is unlikely to take others along with him unless he considers them experienced enough to survive. As powerful as he is, he probably doesn't need much aid anyway. Then again, he might very well send PCs to explore loose rumours he hears. After all, the good Terari is a busy man.

Ambyrmont 20, AC 1018: Vision in the Ring.

Location: Village of Ringrise, Shire of Highshire, Five Shires. OW

Description: The gold dragon Azem is spotted in the early morning hours digging in the middle of the standing stones of Ringrise. Shortly after dawn, she flies off, and eyewitnesses believe she is carrying something as she departs. An investigation by krondar and the Sheriff of Highshire fails to reveal what the dragon removed from the site, which is later filled and repaired by order of the sheriff. (See Th. 6, Fl. 13; Ka. 26.)

What This Means: The origin and meaning of the circle of standing stones has long been a mystery in the Five Shires. While its connection to Azem is just as great of a mystery, the use of powerful magics will reveal that Azem has retrieved a key she had hidden there, centuries ago.

Ambyrmont 20, AC 1018: The Yezchamenid Conspiracy.

Location: City of Darsagades, Yezchamenid Empire. WB

Description: The young 25 year old Shah-an-Shah Zhoher, supreme ruler of the sprawling and cosmopolitan Yezchamenid Empire (situated on the northern part of the Arm of the Immortals Peninsula, south of Zuyevo), is walking through his palace grounds alone early this morning when he is set upon by a single green-garbed assassin. After a short struggle the assassin garrottes the shah-an-shah and makes his escape over the palace wall. When the palace guards discover Zhoher's body all hell breaks lose as they start frantically searching for the killers. After some hours they discover a bloodstained garrotte under the pillow of Zhoher's chief vizier, and an ochre badge (sign of the Vasi rebels-a group that have been fighting the shah-an-shah's rule in the northern mountains) in the bedroom of the captain of the guard. Both are arrested and taken for trial despite their protests of innocence. (See Sv. 6.)

What This Means: The Emerald Fire Warriors, a sect of assassins dedicated to the Immortals of chaos in Yezchamenid territory, have carried out the assassination of Zhoher. They calculated that this will help bring about chaos within that realm, as happened when Zhoher's father was assassinated by Zuyevan agents 21 years ago while on a hunting expedition. To further their conspiracy they have planted evidence against various innocent palace insiders to cause additional chaos.

Ambyrmont 21, AC 1018: Political Terari.

Location: City of Helskir, Exarchate/Kingdom of Heldun, Thyatian Empire and Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: Galatia reports to Asteriela about her meeting with Terari. Though she doesn't tell about her suspicions about Terari's true identity, she does tell about what she concluded from that assumption, i.e. she thinks Terari wants to become involved into the politics of Nayce. Galatia insists that Terari may be of help in passing the reforms that Asteriela believes Nayce needs, though she also cautions the queen that Terari's goals and methods may differ from hers. (See Fy. 26, Am. 18; Sv. 9, Ei. 14.)

What This Means: Galatia isn't sure what exactly Terari's goals are. She believes he is back into politics, but for what end? Reforming Nayce? Becoming emperor (which is his former charge)? Something else entirely?

Ambyrmont 21, AC 1018: Cyclone Arrives in Kota-Jayang.

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

Description: The Cyclone has made a quick passage. The stay in Kota-Jayang is short and uneventful. (See Am. 17, Am. 18; Am. 24, Am. 26.)

What This Means: The Merry Pirates in Kota-Jayang do not believe that Barbarossa still has a chance. So nobody does anything special.

Fourth Week

Ambyrmont 22, AC 1018: Talin and Maltaen Meet.

Location: Countryside near Ruins of Anchorage, Esterhold Peninsula. SK

Description: Talin's travels have taken him to see Maltaen himself. He voices some concerns over what he has seen and wonders if Maltaen knows about the crimes he mentions. Maltaen doesn't deny anything and openly admits that he urged his people to destroy the Alphatian monsters by any means necessary. In fact, he is proud of what they have done!

When Talin states that Jennites shouldn't commit the sort of horrible acts on others that Alphatians do, Maltaen calmly tells him that he should be a little careful with his comments and that, as a friend, he would advise him that if their people heard him speak like this, there are those among the Jennites allies who might see him as a traitor just like his brother Kalin, corrupted by Alphatians and beyond redemption, in which case his life could be endangered. (See Fy. 12, Fy. 23; Am. 27, Sv. 6.)

What This Means: Naturally, this is an ill-hidden threat by Maltaen that if Talin voices criticism of him, he will use the fact that Talin's brother has sided with the hated Alphatians against him. Obviously this could also endanger the alliance between the rebels and the free Jennites, especially since Talin is a major rebel leader and Maltaen one of the most aggressive Jennite chieftains in favour of war with the Alphatians.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could participate as advisers for Talin or Maltaen, in which case the DM should try to make them aware of the veiled threats Maltaen makes. They should remain calm, though, because both leaders are very dedicated to their views, particularly if they are with Talin since Maltaen is quite willing to make good his threat if Talin or his friends voice their criticism too strongly. There would be no fighting during the actual encounter, though, and PCs with the Alphatians won't be involved.

Ambyrmont 22, AC 1018: Stonewall Takes Warzazath.

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

Description: As Stonewall continues its march, it finally reaches the first settlement of any real significance, Warzazath. The town is better prepared than most due to Stonewall's recent manoeuvres in Haven, but once the defenders prepare themselves, they discover the town gates have been sabotaged. Before they can react, Stonewall forces rush into the town itself, and the town leaders have no option but to surrender to avoid a hopelessly bloody battle.

News quickly spreads to the southern regions of Haven. Many, including Queen Kryndylya are both surprised and horrified by the actions of Stonewall and the swiftness with which the enemy troops have swept across Havenite soil. (See Fy. 19, Am. 9; Sv. 2, Sv. 6.)

What This Means: Stonewall has kept up its stride and not lost momentum, and naturally the sabotage is due to the efforts of its "second front" inside Haven. Fear is spreading in Haven because, while Stonewall captured villages in the north, this is first real town that has fallen to the invaders, and it was taken with unsettling ease.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could fight on either side. If they are with Haven, they might slow down Stonewall's troops enough to allow a few more people to escape before the town is captured. They are likely to be captured or killed themselves, though. Stonewall PCs can be on the front lines of the battle, or they can be the infiltrators who sabotage the town gates.

Ambyrmont 23, AC 1018: "I Pledge My Allegiance..."

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

Description: A group of Bortaks present themselves at the court of Manghai, Khan of the Murkits. Led by their dakan, Essen (a dakan leads a dagam of 100 warriors), they forswear their allegiance to Batu Khan and offer to ally themselves with the Murkits. In exchange, they request that Manghai recognise Essen as the new Khan of the Bortaks. Manghai agrees. (See Ya. 5, Kl. 8; Ei. 15, Ei. 16.)

What This Means: Not all of the Bortak leaders agree with Batu's rulership, but they remain loyal out of tradition. Sensing his tribe's imminent defeat, Essen, a cousin of Batu, is seeking an opportunity to further his own ambitions by allying with Manghai. Whether Manghai will keep his pledge is unknown.

Ambyrmont 23, AC 1018: More Tranquil Resolution.

Location: Barony of Dikhoff, Tranquil Coast. NW

Description: While most of Fergus's troops have withdrawn to Sonnenfeld, and the Dikhoffians have retreated to the safety of the Tranquil Swamp, the Serenics attack their former allies from Swordcoast, under the uncomprehending eyes of the mercenaries from Dag and Dool.

The battles take place in Dikhoff, though both forces move toward Serenity. Mercenaries from Dag and Dool finally return to their respective dominions. (See Fy. 12, Am. 2.)

What This Means: The new political situation, unclear as it is, has caused the dissolution of the Thyatian-sponsored alliance. The Tranquil Coast is, again, embroiled in war, much to the dismay of the Thyatians who hoped to easily secure the zone. The Thyatians are hesitant as to how to deal with the new situation, and thus prefer to take a step back and wait to see how things evolve, and concentrate their efforts on the more important city of Oceansend for now.

What the PCs Can Do: Although the Thyatians back off for the time being, certainly they will keep an eye on things, and maybe have agents in place ready to move when an opportunity arises.

Ambyrmont 24, AC 1018: The Big Banquet Gone Astray.

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

Description: Worried crewmen sneak into the ill Fanalir Meditor's cabin. The Big Banquet has made slow progress since the accident, and now they fear that the ship is on the wrong course. The first mate is their last hope and, despite his bad health, he is able to make some computations. The ship has gone astray indeed, and the crewmen come to terms to ignore the captain's calculations thereafter. Unfortunately, Fanalir falls into a coma-like sleep due to the effort of computing a new course. (See Am. 18, Am. 21; Am. 26.)

What This Means: Captain Merryweather has proven that he probably is the worst seaman in the Merry Pirates Seas. Due to his bad calculations and his sloppy command The Big Banquet has lost a lot of time. The Cyclone is quite near now, and Barbarossa and his men have a real chance now.

What the PCs Can Do: Most likely the PCs are the crewmen who have decided to ask the first mate. They have to be careful though, as no captain likes a crew who does not obey his orders. Some even might call this mutiny. Should there be a PC aboard working for Barbarossa he might try to inform Merryweather about this "mutiny."

Ambyrmont 25, AC 1018: Bensarian Informed of Oakwall Siege.

Location: Royal Citadel, City of Wendar, Kingdom of Wendar. OW

Description: Messengers from Oakwall arrive in Wendar City and gain an audience with Bensarian. They inform him of the situation in Oakwall and request immediate assistance. After careful deliberation, Bensarian orders units of the royal army to Oakwall to break the siege. (See Fy. 7, Am. 2; Sv. 23, Ei. 9.)

What This Means: Bensarian is torn between investigating the mysteries of the Baamor Woods and breaking the siege of Oakwall. Unable to leave the citadel in Wendar City for fear of assassination, he sends as many troops as can be spared to help Oakwall. The realm is now thinly defended and Bensarian is relying heavily on his agents to keep him informed of developments in the west.

Ambyrmont 26, AC 1018: Final Clash before Baraga.

Location: Sound of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: The pirates who are celebrating the Games of Protius in Baraga have become uneasy as neither of the two ships participating in the race around the islands has arrived yet. Of course, as experienced seamen they know that there can be a lot of reasons for this delay.

Now the waiting comes to an end. Captain Merryweather is the first to steer his ship into the Sound of Baraga, but his ship is impossibly slow-it is strangely unlike the skilled Fanalir Meditor to sail this slowly. Unfortunately, and unknown to the onlookers, his injuries still does not permit him to supervise the crew. So inevitably it happens that the Cyclone has caught up with The Big Banquet. The crew of The Big Banquet watches in dismay as the distance separating the two ships shrinks alarmingly. Merryweather loses his nerve and commands all hands to battle stations. As soon as the Cyclone is within firing range, he gives the order to open fire. Barbarossa is prepared and more than willing to exchange some shots with his old rival. For over one hour both captains try to outmanoeuvre each other but after a short time it become clear to neutral observers that Merryweather is no match for Saviola. The Big Banquet is hit hard several times, while the Cyclone goes along nearly untouched. The fight ends after the Cyclone has literally shot The Big Banquet to pieces. Standing on his quarterdeck Captain Luciano Saviola watches the sinking of his old rival, apparently emotionless while his crew is cheering over their victory. When the survivors of The Big Banquet-including Theodor Merryweather and Fanalir Meditor-are saved by some observing ships, Barbarossa gives the order to steer into the harbour. Finally the Cyclone is docked at the jetty. The crowd cheers loudly for the winner, and the observers swear that they have seen Saviola smiling and waving his hands while leaving his ship. (See Am. 21, Am. 24.)

What This Means: The race is over for this circle, and Saviola had his revenge. For now it is doubtful that there will be another race next circle. Saviola is content but perhaps Merryweather will seek revenge next time, though, so who knows.

What the PCs Can Do: Like last circle this day is a party for all the inhabitants of Baraga, and, again, the disappointed sailors might want to seek personal revenge against the crewmen of the winning ship. But of course this is an absolutely normal event in the Merry Pirates Seas.

Ambyrmont 27, AC 1018: Metallic Dragon in Aalban!

Location: Village of Graez, Principality of Aalban, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The villagers of Graez are shocked to find a black dragon along the hills outside their small village. Unlike other dragons sighted before (and there have been many seen flying from the Wendarian Ranges in the north), this large, oddly-shaped dragon seems to be made of black metallic scales, and is lumbering awkwardly about, screeching and hissing spouts of acrid smoke.

The Aalbanese authorities soon discover what the truth of the matter when Herr Sigmund von Drachenfels, the son and heir of Prinz Jaggar of Aalban and a crackpot wizard-inventor, emerges from somewhere along the back of the creature and ensures that "Old Dolores" is perfectly under his control. Relieved, the townsfolk of Graez come out in droves to come see the curiosity, with children merrily running around it and asking Herr Sigmund for a ride on his "iron dragon." The carnival mood is however suddenly broken when Old Dolores accidentally knocks down a nearby brewery.

No one is hurt and the cost of the damage is covered by Drachenfels's coffers. (See Kl. 15; Ei. 2, Ka. 2.)

What This Means: Old Dolores is nothing more than one of Herr Sigmund's magical inventions, a mechanical drolem (dragon golem), made of steel and iron, run by cranks, shafts, and levers, and powered by magically-conjured fire and steam. Herr Sigmund chose to test-run his contraption outside of the more populated Aalbanese capital of Leenz to avoid potential accidents. Not surprisingly, he named the machine after his father's former lover, Princess Dolores Hillsbury (who is, ironically, the night dragon Synn in disguise), whom he never liked.

What the PCs Can Do: Old Dolores herself could be a potential springboard for plots involving a mix of magic and quasi-technology. Gnomish PCs and other characters who like to tinker could find Old Dolores quite interesting.

Ambyrmont 27, AC 1018: The Enemy Within.

Location: Camp of the Jennite chieftains, Esterhold Peninsula. SK

Description: Since Maltaen's hidden threats, Talin has been fighting with his conscience whether to oppose the True Way and so risk destroying the Jennite alliance. However, when he sees yet more evidence of the deeds of Maltaen's tribe, there really isn't much choice left for him. He calls a meeting between the major chieftains and tries to convince them of his views, particularly Lotam, the chieftain of one of the strongest and most influential tribes.

He openly accuses Maltaen and his tribe of acting in savage ways which are just as bad, if not worse, than what the enemy would do. Maltaen responds by calling Talin a traitor to their cause since an internal conflict like this will weaken them. He then demands to have him executed.

The various Jennite leaders are uncertain, but by pointing out that Talin's brother is fighting strongly for the Alphatians, Maltaen eventually succeeds in convincing most that Talin is at least under suspicion, and they decide to have Talin arrested for now, under suspicion of treason.

Merely having Talin captured is not enough for Maltaen, though, so he begins to plan having Talin killed before the rest of the united Jennites, particularly Lotam, can decide what to make of Talin's criticism. Toward this end, he begins to arrange Talin's "escape" so that he can be "killed while attempting escape." (See Fy. 23, Am. 22; Sv. 6, Sv. 12.)

What This Means: Talin's conscience forced him to speak out, but Maltaen was able to cleverly manipulate the circumstances in his favour since Talin isn't much of a politician. Tribal politics may be crude among the free Jennites, but it doesn't mean they are stupid, and Maltaen knew just what they were most likely to respond to.

Maltaen is not just playing politics, though. He truly believes in what he preaches, and if Talin speaks out against it, it can only mean that, sad as it is, he has finally fallen victim to the Alphatian madness of magic, just as his brother Kalin did before him. It's unfortunate, but rabid dogs cannot be cured and must be put down before they pass on their infection.

However, due to the uncertainty of some chieftains, especially Lotam, the strongest chieftain of the free Jennites, they remain unconvinced of Talin's treachery. This really just suggests that they tend to agree with Talin but are unwilling to accept his accusations without evidence. Naturally Maltaen realises this, so he can scarcely afford to await the outcome of the tribes' judgment. So he plans Talin's death, thinking that once he is gone, nobody will be worrying about his insane comments since he is already dead and following up on his position would only hurt the Jennite alliance. Then Maltaen will have succeeded in stopping his "contagion" from spreading. And if Talin is killed while attempting escape, that will really just prove that Maltaen was right about him.

What the PCs Can Do: This is a major event of the war, but since the plot demands Talin's capture, the DM should set it up so he makes it in a meeting with the other Jennite leaders without advisers. That way, the PCs won't be there to be captured with him, even if they are in the camp. However, soon after, Jennite guards will come to arrest them and Grath as allies of Talin, at which point they should fight their way to avoid capture. Once they are free, they should consider their options, and decide to rescue Talin. However, Grath will remind them that since they fled, their Jennite allies, rebels and free Jennites alike, will most likely consider them fugitives, and as such it will be difficult to find Talin. After a while, unless the PCs think of it themselves, Grath will suggest they arrange to talk with Kalin, Talin's brother. He should be able to help them find Talin and free him, even if he is on the Alphatians' side. If the PCs are reluctant, Grath will even offer to meet Kalin himself, explaining that he was the only one to stay calm at the failed meeting during the brief truce at Skyfyr. He will ask only that the PCs bring him close to Skyfyr.

Ambyrmont 28, AC 1018: A Bit of an International Incident.

Location: City of Ierendi, Ierendi Island, Kingdom of Ierendi. OW

Description: A wizard named Firdon from Honor Island arrives in the city of Ierendi on a matter of some importance. He gains admittance to see King Reston and tells him his business: A Darokinian diplomat named Millington Vonaday has hired spies to go to Honor Island on his behalf. These intruders were caught in the act and Millington's involvement was then discovered. Firdon tells the king that this is not acceptable behaviour and that something must be done. King Reston is rather furious and sends for Millington immediately. (See Am. 7, Am. 18; Sv. 1, Sv. 2.)

What This Means: Millington did indeed hire people to spy on Honor Island for him, although he merely had them bring the Honor Islanders a message. If the Honor Islanders wouldn't even listen to him, then that's what they get for their arrogance in his opinion. Still, he did not expect the Honor Islanders to be unreasonable about it. If they are, it could cause friction between Darokin and Ierendi, and because Reston is from Darokin, he could also be hurt by it. Obviously, this does not make Reston think kindly of Millington.

What the PCs Can Do: Unless the PCs are the "intruders" Millington sent to Honor Island, they are unlikely to be involved. If they are, and they were caught, they can hope to avoid an unpleasant punishment (though not deadly) only if they confess everything they know and reveal their association with Millington. Otherwise they might be teleported far away to some unfunny place (a mountaintop, a desert island, or a cave in the middle of the underground shadowelf lands are all likely destinations) and further punished with a geas which prompts them not to come back to Honor Island.

However, Millington might also hire the PCs to protect him in case his spies disappear on Honor Island, as he might fear retribution. In that case, the DM should definitely send an Honor Islander wizard or two to catch Millington. However, Millington will make it clear that nobody is to be harmed (since he still hopes to go to the island at some point), nor will the Honor Islanders use deadly force to get their way. Or the PCs could themselves be wizards from Honor Island ordered to catch Millington for some serious questioning. Note, however, that although these encounters are somewhat hostile, nobody involved seeks to harm anybody. In fact, all involved seek the exact opposite, except perhaps the PCs, in which case they could cause a lot of trouble.