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First Week

Eirmont 1, AC 1018: Tour of Honor.

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

Description: Millington Vonaday arrives by ship in the town of Filtot. He is met by a group of wizards, Firdon among them, who greet him and explain that he will first be taken to meet with their superiors. Then he will be given a short tour of the island, and then rest at a local inn. Tomorrow he will be taken to the Oracle, after which he must leave the island. Millington meets with some wizard of authority who requires him to promise not to return unless asked to once he leaves tomorrow. Millington agrees. The rest of the day goes without incident as Millington sees some of the island. (See Sv. 3, Sv. 13; Ei. 2, Ei. 17.)

What This Means: Though Millington is given a tour of the island, the Honor Islanders are not about to reveal any of their secret to him, so he doesn't learn much that he didn't know already. Still, seeing such things with his own eyes is an experience to remember.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are with Millington, they are permitted to accompany him on his tour of the island. If the DM has Gazetteer 4: The Kingdom of Ierendi, this is an excellent opportunity to describe some of the island, particularly the imposing Mount Kala, which is said to be an active volcano (though that will not be revealed), and the mixed population of human spellcasters and goblin slaves, as well as the occasional fire elemental roaming the island!

Eirmont 1, AC 1018: A Call to Arms.

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

Description: After Talin's escape, tension runs high among the Jennites. Maltaen quickly uses the situation to rally new supporters to his cause. He declares that Talin's escape with the help of Alphatians, rather than face just Jennite justice, is proof of his corruption by the Alphatians. He vows that Talin shall not escape their righteous fury, nor shall the Alphatians that caused his madness. Then he announces that brave warriors of the True Way have killed the vile Alphatian monsters known as the Crimson Avengers, and invites all Jennites to join his cause. Many Jennites, rebel and free alike, join his crusade. (See Sv. 13, Sv. 27; Ei. 3, Ei. 5.)

What This Means: In a time of confusion, Maltaen offers people what they want most of all-an answer. Any answer. As it often happens, the fact that an answer is given is satisfying enough that people don't worry too much about whether it is true or false. The other Jennite chieftains and leaders aren't convinced, but they soon realise they had better flock to Maltaen's banner or they might become his victims in his quest to purge the Jennites of the "evil contagion of the Alphatians" that he claims has already taken Kalin and now Talin from them.

Maltaen's claims of having destroyed the Crimson Avengers are, of course, untrue. Favian and his adventurer followers ended the menace of the Crimson Avengers, but Maltaen has found evidence that they are gone, so he might as well claim the glory for it before someone else does. After all, the Champions of the True Way disappeared about the same time, so he is convinced they must have destroyed the evil Alphatians, though it may have cost them their own lives. That other Alphatians might have destroyed the Crimson Avengers is so alien a thought to him that he doesn't even consider it. So he claims the glory of their end as that of himself and his tribe. And it works since the masses love him for it.

What the PCs Can Do: Only PCs among the free Jennites would be involved in this, in which case they can join Maltaen's cause or reject it. If they do the latter they had best be quiet about it or go someplace else quickly, though.

Eirmont 1, AC 1018: The Prodigal King Returns.

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

Description: Captured by Stonewall, King Qinn is taken in chains to a prison cell in Ceafem. People in Ceafem are shocked by such a treatment, but General Selcomad promises that Qinn won't be hurt.

After a few hours of humiliating captivity, he is brought to a room where two Stonewall officers meet him. Waiting to be interrogated, perhaps even tortured, Qinn is rather surprised when they talk for hours about what Qinn thinks of his current situation and what he is prepared to accept to save himself and his kingdom.

Eventually, he realises that Stonewall is considering letting him remain king in the regions they have captured if he will accept their continued presence and policies. These talks go on for days. (See Sv. 27, Sv. 28; Ei. 5, Ei. 14.)

What This Means: Eventually the Stonewall negotiators will make Qinn see that he cannot hope to regain independence from Stonewall, so if he wants to help his kingdom and remain in a position of power, it's in his own best interest to accept Stonewall's proposal. Qinn eventually accepts, thinking that if he consents to being Stonewall's figurehead ruler, he will be in a good position to reclaim Arkan independence if the opportunity arises someday. Stonewall's terms are not open to negotiation, though. Qinn must accept a royal advisory cadre consisting mostly of Stonewall officers. These will appear to be simply a council of advisers, though Qinn will have to abide by their decisions. Qinn will also not interfere with the town council of Ceafem itself, led by Town Commander Arath, since Ceafem has a special status within Arkan according to the agreements negotiated when Ceafem surrendered. And finally, there will be no separate laws for commoners and aristocrats anymore-everyone will be treated according to High Justice as if they were nobles, except in Ceafem where the distinction between High Justice and Low Justice will remain as it always has due to the terms of surrender. In general, Arkan must send about half of all grain to Stonewall, but otherwise the Stonewall officers promise they won't interfere too much.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are with Stonewall and are good role-players, the DM could put them in the position of the negotiators who try to convince Qinn of Stonewall's plans, but it won't involve any adventuring or combat.

Eirmont 2, AC 1018: The Mouth of the Oracle.

Location: Honor Island, Kingdom of Ierendi. OW

Description: After awakening in Filtot, Millington Vonaday is taken to see the Oracle, which turns out to be located in a large cave in Mount Kala. Millington is taken inside to a place where the cave apparently ends in some strange red and purple haze of light. Here he is told that this is the Oracle, but it will speak only to one person, so he must remain here alone, and there is no guarantee it will speak at all. Under no circumstances is he to touch the reddish purple haze or even try to go near it-to do so would be certain death! All others leave, telling Millington they will await his return at the cave's entrance after he is done.

Once he is certain everyone has left, Millington asks several questions he has been pondering for a long time. He receives no reply, except when he asks the question, "What will solve the mystery of Itheldown Island?" To this the Oracle gives an ominous response:

"All who this place defy be cursed to doom

and willing slaves of the evil become.

For in the deepest depths of ancient gloom

a terror awaits to turn hearts numb.

"So from the shadows and from worlds afar,

the rightful soon now homeward must return.

For only kin may pass that not ajar

to banish what cause all to suffer and burn.

"Only twain twilight the crisis may mend,

letting champions the horror defeat.

Alas, the curse of old shall never end

until both dawn and dusk again shall meet."

Millington is rather astounded by what he hears. For long moments he merely stands in utter disbelief before he finally regains his composure and hurries to write down what he has heard. Soon after he emerges from the cave mouth and is taken back to Filtot without a word. His companions, Honor Islanders and hired guards alike, are a little nervous, as he is usually not so quiet, but he tells them that he is merely a little tired. He does not tell them what he learned, though.

Soon after, he is brought to the ship waiting to take him and his guards back to the city of Ierendi. He thanks the Honor Islander wizards for the opportunity they have given him and promises that he will keep his word and return the favour one day. The ship then leaves for Ierendi Island. (See Sv. 13, Ei. 1; Ei. 17.)

What This Means: Millington seems to have found valuable clues to the Itheldown curse, but what do these cryptic phrases mean? He has no idea! But he is quiet for a long time since he has something new to ponder...

What the PCs Can Do: If Millington trusts the PCs and believes they will go to Darokin with him to solve this mystery, he may let them know what he learned from the Oracle, in which case they can wonder about the meaning of these verses as well.

Eirmont 2, AC 1018: Abduction in Aalban!

Location: Town of Leenz, Principality of Aalban, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Just outside of Leenz, the mechanical dragon-shaped contraption (known as Old Dolores) of the eccentric wizard Herr Sigmund von Drachenfels is found at the foot of a minor landslide, with its inventor, Herr Sigmund, nowhere to be found. Initial investigation by the local constabulary suggests the landslide was magical in origin to trap Old Dolores and to abduct its rider.

The Aalbanese constabulary, the local military forces, and the private guards from Schloß Ritterburg, are immediately and most efficiently mobilised. Their main target is the Free Anachronic Society of Aalban, an underground sect of technology-hating wizards, and while some Free Anachronics and suspected sympathisers are arrested, Herr Sigmund is nowhere to be found! (See Kl. 15, Am. 27; Ka. 2.)

What This Means: This is a dark day for Aalban, for Herr Sigmund is not only the son of Prinz Jaggar von Drachenfels, but also the heir to House Ritterburg.

While the Anachronic Society is quite likely the culprit, Prinz Jaggar fears the abduction to be politically motivated. He suspects his enemies from the Flaemish House Linden-after all, the kidnapping Countess Sinaria Verlien is back in Bergdhoven!-or by the Ethengar Houses Singhabad and Krinagar, but foremost on Prinz Jaggar's list of political enemies is Princess Dolores Hillsbury (after whom the mechanical drolem was unflatteringly named!).

What the Aalbanese dare not discuss publicly is that Sigmund's abduction may have been a family plot. Under suspicion are Frau Hildegarde von Drachenfels, the power mongering Drachenfels matriarch, who would rather rule Ritterburg herself than see her son Jaggar pass the throne to the harebrained Sigmund, and is known to be a formidable earth elementalist; Frau Walburg Löwenroth von Drachenfels, Sigmund's ambitious wife and political-minded daughter of Baron Franz Löwenroth of Adlerturm, who would love to rule as regent to Sigmund's newborn heirs; and even Herr Roderick von Drachenfels, Sigmund's estranged mundaner brother, who had long disappeared, but is rumoured to have recently returned and to be having an affair with his former love, Sigmund's wife, Walburg.

What the PCs Can Do: The abduction of a royal heir is an affair of high intrigue and mystery! PCs can be called to conduct investigation, interrogation, or espionage for the many factions relating to House Ritterburg politics.

Eirmont 3, AC 1018: Notrion Defaults on Payments.

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

Description: During one of King Corydon's meetings with Naycese officials, the subject of finances is brought up. The officials bring to the king's attention that, although Notrion's contribution to the ongoing Torenal project is to be commended, the kingdom did not pay its last contribution to the Naycese treasury in full. Pulling out ledgers, the two men show Corydon that, in fact, his kingdom currently owes Nayce a sum of 130,000 crowns, which must be paid before the end of the year.

More than a little displeased to have a couple of glorified accountants lecture him on his financial commitments to Nayce, Corydon insists that his kingdom is doing all that it can to live up to its duties, and that, given the economic downturn being experienced by the region as a whole, Notrion can hardly be faulted if its contributions are in arrears. The officials, seeming unimpressed, state respectfully, but firmly, that they are simply following instructions from Karszamon, and if the king wishes to take issue with the matters at hand, he should demand an audience in order to state his case.

Furious at the implications of their response, Corydon orders the men from his presence, and tells them that he will, indeed, have a word with Karszamon. (See Th. 17, Fl. 6; Ei. 14.)

What This Means: Notrion, already experiencing difficulties in keeping up its obligations to the Torenal project, has inadvertently shown to many Naycese officials just how bad its financial situation happens to be. Every member nation of Nayce is obligated to send 10% of its revenues to a central treasury to fund Naycese military forces, essential capital projects, and other affairs having a bearing on the region as a whole. In failing to do so, Notrion will be seen in some circles as not doing its share. It is only a matter of time before some people begin considering how to make Notrion live up to its responsibilities once more.

One potentially unpleasant implication of this situation is that many of Notrion's financial obligations have been historically guaranteed by the value of its land. With some of its best lands now under the control of Veroth, Notrion may not be able to continue to do so.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are working for Corydon, the PCs could be asked to find out who conducted the investigations into Notrion's finances, and what their motives might be. This could very well have been the handiwork of one of the king's rivals. Otherwise, the PCs may be asked to help Corydon find a way to raise more revenue-some creative thinking will be needed here.

Eirmont 3, AC 1018: Amnesia?

Location: Countryside, Esterhold Peninsula. SK

Description: Kalin has been wondering about Talin's wounds for some time, and as Talin cannot tell him about them, Kalin wonders about his apparent loss of memory. Grath eventually uses his magical skills to examine Talin and informs the brothers that some powerful magic is involved. Surprised, Kalin contacts Favian to have this magic removed. (See Sv. 27, Ei. 1; Ei. 5, Ei. 6.)

What This Means: Obviously Talin's apparent loss of memory is due to the geas spell Nicodemus placed upon him, yet nobody knows this yet, not even Talin. The bruises Kalin has noticed are what remains of the beating he received after his attempted escape, but because Nicodemus told him to forget all about that escape when he cast his geas, Talin cannot remember getting them. Once the spell is removed, the brothers and Favian will realise that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs with the brothers can expect to be hunted by the free and rebel Jennites, but since Kalin is with them, they might receive some help from the adventurer groups Favian has sent to Esterhold. Talin and Grath won't like that, though.

Eirmont 4, AC 1018: A King's Dilemma.

Location: City of Zeaburg, Kingdom of Ostland. OW

Description: The Modrigswerg jarl, Throfar of Gråbjerge, appears at King Finn Hordson's royal court bringing an entourage of dwarves. He explains that his brethren in Vestland are under imminent attack from the army of Vestland simply because they are different and feared because of old tales and rumours. He requests that Finn put King Bergthor Haraldson of Vestland in his place, and informs Finn that, if asked, he will come to the aid of his kinsmen, and requests aid for this endeavour. (See Sv. 13, Sv. 19; Ei. 6, Ei. 24.)

What This Means: Throfar is counting on the rivalry between Ostland and Vestland to help protect the Modrigswerg from human aggression. While he may lend his brethren in Vestland aid, he would rather have somebody else do it for him.

Eirmont 5, AC 1018: Second Volume of Thrainkeliad Published.

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

Description: This book, like the first volume published a couple years ago, was written by Thincol's daughter Stefania. It was somewhat delayed by the outbreak of the Crown War and written over the past year while Stefania was pregnant with her first child (a daughter born a few months ago and named Amelia). It covers the period between Thincol's crowning and the Thyatian millennium celebrations, and is largely a chronicle of his successes in rebuilding the empire's might in the wake of the Spike Assault, and his troubled family life and the crises that he faced in the following period, but stops before the events that unravelled these efforts (which will be covered in a third and final volume).

What This Means: As well received as the first book for its sympathy but also frankness and fairly accurate presentation of the history of the time. One outcome it has includes the revelation that several officials imprisoned during the reign of Thincol may have been innocent. This results in an investigation of the proceedings surrounding their trials, and several are freed (though most are fairly old by now). Eusebius does this to continue to promote his reputation for impartial justice, but manages to shift the blame from Thincol onto "unscrupulous officials," so that the late emperor's memory isn't condemned.

The fact is, however, that Thincol manipulated the Thyatian justice system to eliminate enemies and potential rivals as much as Eusebius has.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters can be involved in the investigations that clear the names of the wrongly imprisoned officials.

Eirmont 5, AC 1018: Dark Enlightenment.

Location: Countryside, Esterhold Peninsula. SK

Description: Favian Vern meets with Kalin and Talin at Kalin's request. The tension is high, but then Talin's curiosity is greater than his hatred for Favian. And he knows there is indeed a spell placed upon him since it was his friend Grath who found it. As both sides of this unlikely alliance watch each other, Favian takes steps to determine the spell and then has it removed. Talin is reluctant to allow it, but Grath explains that he simply lacks the power to remove the spell himself, but that he will watch carefully to see if Favian does something he shouldn't do. Favian then proceeds to remove the spell with a ring of spell storing he had a wizard friend cast limited wish onto. Once the geas spell is gone, Talin regains his memory and tells the others that Maltaen and his True Way tribe is being manipulated by none other than Nicodemus using magic to disguise himself as a Jennite. The two groups sit down to consider the matter. (See Ei. 1, Ei. 3; Ei. 6, Ei. 16.)

What This Means: Though the two groups are enemies in the war, they are suddenly faced with the deception of a powerful common enemy. Whatever Nicodemus is planning, it can't be good for any of them! As they talk, they all realise that they have their own pieces to this massive puzzle, especially Favian who begins to suspect a secret conspiracy between Nicodemus and Karszamon. Unfortunately they have covered their tracks well and there is no proof whatsoever.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs are definitely likely to be present here. If they aren't already among the Jennites who helped Kalin and Grath free Talin, chances are they are among the PCs who helped Favian destroy the Crimson Avengers and that he has taken them with him to this meeting with the brothers.

If they are present, Talin's news should definitely be of interest to them, and the DM should give them a chance to consider the matter with Favian, Talin, and Kalin, and speak their mind on what can be done about it.

Eirmont 5, AC 1018: Stonewall Invasion Feared.

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

Description: After it has become known that King Qinn was captured by Stonewall, many people fear an imminent Stonewall invasion. A number of lesser aristocrats have therefore been contacting Lord Beremtol to discuss what can be done about it.

Today, Lord Beremtol makes a surprising announcement. He has already taken steps to ensure that Stonewall won't invade the Ailpon region, but it comes at a cost. Ambur has promised to secure the region, but only if it becomes part of Ambur. However, since Arkan is lost anyway, there is little real choice, and Beremtol promises that he will remain the major aristocrat in the region and that things won't change much as a consequence. Beremtol has already received promises to that effect from Queen Elshethara of Ambur. People should now expect Amburese forces to enter the region in the coming days to secure the area against a Stonewall invasion.

People are surprised, but most accept the situation. With Arkan lost, the choice between being part of Ambur or being conquered by the Stonewall invaders is a pretty easy choice. Many are actually relieved by this turn of events.

Beremtol subsequently meets with General Lotaran. He tries to convince Lotaran that, though the region will be part of Ambur now, they need to work closely together as old Arkan patriots. Lotaran doesn't say too much, but promises that he will remain loyal to the only unconquered part of Arkan. (See Sv. 25, Ei. 1; Ei. 14, Ei. 18.)

What This Means: Naturally, Beremtol's announcement is filled with half-truths and lies, though more than he is aware of himself. The Amburians never told him they already had an agreement with Stonewall not to conquer the region, for example. They just offered to "save" the region if he could convince the inhabitants, particularly the aristocracy, to accept becoming part of Ambur. When Qinn was captured, Ambur insisted Stonewall took the blame for it because it could use that to create fear in the region and then arrive to save it from Stonewall's aggression. Stonewall didn't mind so much because they were going to do it anyway, and people probably wouldn't think any worse of them than they already did because of it.

Lotaran has doubts about Beremtol, but Beremtol is an aristocrat, so it's probably better to keep a low profile, at least for now.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs can help stop civil unrest that might occur or scout the area for potential Stonewall invaders. Needless to say, neither will be too eventful, though.

Eirmont 5, AC 1018: Bravado in Baraga.

Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: At the Golden Skull, an affluent Baraga tavern, several members of pirate nobility discuss their most famous exploits, swapping stories and tall tales. Alexus the Lawless is present, and the conversation turns to his recent raids on Milenia, and the stir that they have caused in that empire. It is noted, however, that Alexus failed to strike at Corisa itself-in fact, no one in the tavern can ever remember a successful raid on the Milenian capital, by any captain. For the pirates, this quickly becomes a goal to quest for-and to everyone's surprise, Carola the Grappler, one of few Merry Pirate queens, confidently states that she will raid the city, and by the end of the circle, no less. Later in the sleep, Carola returns to her estate to assemble her crew, and makes plans to set sail in her barquentine, the Leap of Faith. (See Ya. 2, Ya. 17; Ka. 13.)

What This Means: The Milenian capital is well protected against attack by sea, due to its seclusion within the bay, and its contingent of war galleys that patrol the waters. If any pirate has successfully hit the city, it has not been during the lifetime of any captains alive this sleep. Carola has always thrived on the unattainable goal, and this is her latest effort to continue to prove her worth to the male-dominated pirate culture.

What the PCs Can Do: Sail with Carola in the hopes of gaining fame as the first crew to raid Corisa. PCs who captain their own vessels may attempt to steal her thunder by beating her to the city and raiding it first.

Eirmont 6, AC 1018: King Ragnar Issues Call to Arms.

Location: City of Soderfjord, Kingdom of Soderfjord. OW

Description: Ragnar sends emissaries to his jarls informing them to gather men and meet with the Rockhome dwarves along with his own men for an attack on the monsters and Modrigswerg dwarves near the Falun Caverns. (See Sv. 2, Sv. 19; Ei. 8, Ei. 22.)

What This Means: Ragnar has received word that a force of Rockhome dwarves, sent to deal with the Modrigswerg near the Falun Caverns, are near to Soderfjord. In response he plans to raise a force of men that will help the dwarves in any way they can.

What the PCs Can Do: This is another good opportunity for mercenary work in Soderfjord. Ragnar won't turn down able warriors.

Eirmont 6, AC 1018: The Infidels at Home.

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

Description: With his newly found support, Maltaen is considering what to do. His wizard adviser, Detir, tells him that he could go to Draeh and teach the rebellious Jennites there the True Way. He considers the matter, then announces that they will all travel to Draeh to save the Jennites there from the curse they have been infected with by the Alphatians. (See Ei. 1, Ei. 5; Ei. 7, Ei. 16.)

What This Means: There is some concern over this decision, particularly from Chieftain Lotam, but Maltaen has a lot of support at the moment, and it is probably wiser not to oppose him. Detir is, of course, Nicodemus who is only taking steps to take his city, Faraway, back. After all, the very rebels who kicked him out are the rebels now in charge of the city, so it seems only fair to target them. Also, this will divert Maltaen's angry troops from venting their fury at any Alphatians. "Detir" is successful at convincing Maltaen of this because, as he argues, if Talin was corrupted by the Alphatian curse, then surely all the trouble in Draeh must have come from all the poor rebel Jennites who are similarly infected but who, unlike Talin, may yet be saved if they act quickly enough, since they haven't openly opposed the True Way as Talin did.

What the PCs Can Do: This is a political event. There is little the PCs can do to influence it.

Eirmont 7, AC 1018: The Obsidian City.

Location: Town of Kuznetz, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: Mehmet the beggar plagues everybody with tales of "the Obsidian City," which he claims to have stumbled across out in the desert. This city, he says, is full of strange treasures of valuable obsidian, but is also protected by guardians that poor Mehmet cannot defeat. If only the noble strangers will come defeat these guardians, they will be rich beyond belief, while Mehmet will claim only a pittance for showing them the way.

Locals ignore Mehmet, whom they are sure is only looking for attention and food during the time it will take to scour the desert looking for this "Obsidian City." But perhaps some adventuresome characters will be interested?

What This Means: There actually is an Obsidian City, or at least an Obsidian Temple. Mehmet the beggar stumbled across it and met its guardians. Unfortunately for him, these guardians caught him and one of them possessed him. His body is now the vessel for a ghost that was previously tied to the Obsidian Temple. Now it has reached the nearest town and is looking for powerful adventurers it can lure back to the temple, where the remaining guardians wait for bodies of their own, so they can carry out their ancient duty.

What the PCs Can Do: Be lured into a desert-survival adventure, where they will end up being the treasure sought by the ghosts. Should they fall before them, who knows what vile deeds will be performed by their bodies, while they are under the influence of these ancient monsters? Surely deeds that will haunt them long after the ghosts have stopped doing so.

Eirmont 7, AC 1018: Desperate Times Make for Unlikely Allies.

Location: Countryside, Esterhold Peninsula. SK

Description: Since Favian, Kalin, and Talin realised that Nicodemus is manipulating some of the free Jennites, they have been wondering about what they could do. The most obvious idea is to expose him, but they would need to get close to him, and since the free Jennites would never believe them, it would be exceedingly difficult to do so in the camp of the chieftains, since the Jennites will be more alert after the recent rescue. When they learn that Maltaen has rallied most of the free Jennites, it seems even more hopeless, but then they learn that the entire Jennite camp is moving to Draeh. That could be to their advantage since Talin and Favian both know the city better than the free Jennites. From his days as governor and later rebel leader in the city, Talin learned of several secret ways into the city. Though those might have been closed off by now, it is still better than sneaking up on the Jennites in the open, so they decide to risk it. The plan is to find their way into the city, then expose Nicodemus in front of the Jennites and so hope that will be a sufficient blow to Maltaen's reputation that they will be able to negotiate the situation again. (See Ei. 5, Ei. 6; Ei. 16, Ei. 25.)

What This Means: Talin is not happy about this course of action, but then neither is Favian. They aren't exactly friends, but circumstances force them to realise that they have some common enemies whom they can afford to ignore only at the risk of their own ideals. Whatever differences they have will have to wait to be sorted out until they have ended the threat that Nicodemus and Maltaen represent. They both realise this and leave their differences behind for now. That Talin is able to maintain such a restraint is a change that his brother Kalin is pleased to witness, though. It is characteristic for Favian to act this way, but then that too is a relief to Kalin since Favian has been behaving strangely in the recent months. To see him return to his old ways is an indication that he truly is on a path of redemption and that he has realised a few things.

What the PCs Can Do: Obviously PCs, on either side of the war, should help Favian and the brothers reach Draeh in time to stop Nicodemus's plans. Getting there will mean facing Jennite patrols, however. If the PCs aren't already with the brothers, they have the opportunity to join them, as Favian will divert all of his adventurer groups that he meets toward helping them. Most will be sent to divert the Jennites so that Favian and the brothers can reach Draeh, but some (the PCs) might be asked to join them on their quest instead.

Second Week

Eirmont 8, AC 1018: A King in Amber.

Location: City of Soderfjord, Kingdom of Soderfjord. OW

Description: Jarl Guthorm Brittle-Bone of Boddergard in Soderfjord sends one of his sons with a message and a gift to King Ragnar. Perplexed, Ragnar opens the box, and is turned to amber by the magics contained within it. Panic spreads as people realise that King Ragnar has been cursed by Modrigswerg magic. (See Sv. 19, Ei. 6; Ei. 22, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Guthorm Brittle-Bone has been making secret alliances with the Modrigswerg of Sareft. The Modrigswerg want Ragnar out of the way so they can take over the Falun Caverns, and Guthorm wants him out of the way so he can take over the crown of Soderfjord. As the first step in their plans, the Modrigswerg have given Guthorm an ancient cursed box that can turn people to amber when it is opened. Guthorm agreed to deliver it to Ragnar (he was actually thrilled at being the one striking the blow), and so disguised it as a gift.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs wishing to help Ragnar will have a hard time. The Modrigswerg magic is undispellable by regular means, and seeking a cure for Ragnar will be a grand quest that will take them far away to search for magical components.

Eirmont 8, AC 1018: Chef Lézard.

Location: Colonie de la Nouvelle-Renardie. SC

Description: Throughout Nouvelle-Renardie a new trend appears: restaurants hire Shazak chefs. Generally only one lizard man is hired to assist the lupin chef, but some restaurants even put a lizard man as head chef, and some have Shazak-only chefs (though their food is generally, at least until they adapt their recipes, quite indigestible to the lupins). Called chefs lézards by the Nouveaux Renardois (most of the early comers have that occupation, and the term sticks), Shazak become more common in Nouvelle-Renardie, although they remain a minority. (See Fe. 19, Am. 6.)

What This Means: The trend started by L'Écaille du Coquillage has finally stuck with the lupins, although the historical restaurant is now closed. For the recently-established colony of Nouvelle-Renardie, it is the first peaceful contact with one of its neighbour-in fact, it is its first substantial contact with any of its neighbours other than Ator. It is not, however, a political contact, but only a slow exchange of population between two bordering nations; whether it leads to contacts at a higher level remains to be seen, though it is entirely possible that some day the leaders of Nouvelle-Renardie look past the racial resemblance of the lizard men with the gurrash to see that they actually both share them as their enemies (Shazak used to live in the Bayou where the Nouveaux Renardois now live before they were driven away from it by the more aggressive gurrash).

What the PCs Can Do: PCs from both countries can travel between them more easily now, and their skills may be in high demand if they are among the first to do so; they will have to deal with the lingering suspicion, though.

Eirmont 9, AC 1018: Priests of Idris on the Attack.

Location: Town of Oakwall, Kingdom of Wendar. OW

Description: With Bensarian's refusal to help the town and the royal army still about a week's march away, the Church of Idris enters the fray and sends out its own acolytes to confront the giants and manticores besieging Oakwall. They prove to be especially effective and possess great powers that impress the populace. (See Am. 25, Sv. 23; Ei. 15, Ka. 5.)

What This Means: The Church of Idris has waited for this moment to strike to maximise support. The town is in serious danger of falling, Bensarian's popularity cannot go much lower, and the royal army will arrive soon. Their potent attacks against the monsters are sharply contrasted in the townsfolk's minds against the impotence of Bensarian.

Eirmont 9, AC 1018: The Ejlker.

Location: Town of Thariss, Plains of Avien, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: Professor Dove is found by locals wandering near the town of Thariss. The Denagothians, although a bit surprised at first, don't seem to be scared by his appearance. He is led inside the town, where he is shown great respect by the Denagothians who consider him one of the "Ejlker" (meaning "Elder Father," one of the forefathers of the Denagothians). Even some of the local humanoids come to see him and recognise humanoid traits in him, giving support to the rumours. An incredibly confused Christopher Dove comes to believe he is really an Ejlker (this is a result of the mutation and the fever which have confused his memory) and settles in the town, surprising everyone with his great knowledge and brute strength. The local priests of Idris don't comment, but they immediately send a report to Idris Tower. (See Fe. 7, Sv. 1; Ei. 27, Ka. 18.)

What This Means: Professor Dove seems to have retained his knowledge while gaining bestial strength. He seems popular in town and is happy for the first time in months.

Eirmont 10, AC 1018: A New Leader for Vanya's Chosen.

Location: Town of Kammin, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW

Description: After regrouping in the town of Althaven following the fall of Freiburg, Ordensgeneral Anna von Hendriks orders the evacuation of most of the garrison to Kammin by ship, after burning those vessels they cannot use. Once they are safely ensconced in the port town (which has by now become filled with soldiers loyal to Herr Wulf's faction) the remaining ordensgeneralen meet to choose their next leader. After considerable debate, and after each senior knight who wishes to claim the title states his or her case, the matter is put to the most senior ordensgeneral, who then communes with Vanya to determine who their choice should be.

The older man returns after a tense waiting period, and states that Her Most Valiant Lady has chosen Anna von Hendriks to succeed Wulf von Klagendorf as Ordensmeisterin of the "true" Heldannic Order. (See Sv. 4, Sv. 6; Ka. 5.)

What This Means: With the death of Wulf von Klagendorf, the faction opposing Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger needed to select someone to lead them in their ongoing campaign to destroy him. Although the ordensgeneralen may discuss the various merits of those who wish to lead the order, that person is chosen by Vanya Herself. Now that Anna has been chosen, she will assert her authority almost immediately. Although most of those present will accept the decision as the will of their patron Immortal, others will be reluctant to follow Anna, remembering the mistakes she has made during the past (including the disasters of Stonehaven and Helskir).

What the PCs Can Do: Unless they are senior members of the Heldannic Order, there is little the PCs can do to influence this event.

Eirmont 10, AC 1018: Ericall Ponders His Future.

Location: City of Alpha, Kingdom of Alpha, Nayce, Southern Great Bay. NW

Description: The Norwold Confederacy meets in Alpha to discuss happenings throughout Norwold. King Ericall does not hesitate to bring up the drawbacks of their membership in Nayce. The economic difficulties that Nayce is experiencing are beginning to impact Norwold, and Ericall does not want to foot the bill to bail them out. After all, Nayce provided no support when the Heldannic Knights or other antagonists threatened Alpha in recent years. (See Am. 2, Sv. 18.)

What This Means: This indicates a shift in Ericall's feelings toward membership in Nayce. The King of Alpha has been feeling short-changed by his participation in that alliance, which has typically treated Norwold as a peripheral member. Ericall is beginning to think that Alpha may be better served by a strengthened Norwold Confederacy that would be independent from Nayce.

Eirmont 10, AC 1018: Soth's Shopping List.

Location: Tower of Soth, Delta Kingdom, Nithian Empire. HW

Description: Greeah-Oog returns to the Tower of Soth, at the burrower's beckoning. There he receives further instructions from the death-wizards residing there, including the ancient archmage, Soth, herself. She sends him and others throughout Nithia, searching for seemingly unrelated minerals, vegetation, animals, monsters, and to also seek out lost pyramids and other ruins. (See Fy. 5, Sv. 1; Ka. 11.)

What This Means: Soth is sending out her followers to gather materials and components for magical research. The burrower has instructed her in the creation of several diabolical and Entropic horrors, and has a good idea where most of the materials and crucial lost knowledge can be located. Typical items sought would include live snakes (normal and giant), dinosaur blood or hides, ibis feathers, obsidian, flax, warrior cactus, and so on. Soth and the other death-wizards plan to create more than a few undead warriors, powerful Entropic guardians, among other things.

Eirmont 11, AC 1018: Winter's Revenge.

Location: Kingdom of Douzbakjian, north of Hulean Empire. WB

Description: Another severe winter is setting in to northwestern Brun this year. Massive snowstorms ravage the plains of Douzbakjian, killing many of the peasants. During a lull in the weather, the leader of Douzbakjian, Kiligi Arslan, makes the journey from Tashgoun to his winter palace as he was prevented from doing earlier by the sudden onset of the snowstorms. The journey takes four days as Arslan and his household guards battle along snowbound roads. On the fourth day (Eirmont 14) they are ambushed by white orcs from the White Death Clan. They are led by a grishaktur (the rank of an accomplished war leader) and overcome the Douzbaks in quick order, riddling them with their brutish crossbow bolts. Arslan flees on his horse but is cut down by the grishaktur's own enormous dire wolf. The wolf rips Arslan's head from his shoulders; none of the Douzbaks escape. (See Va. 6.)

What This Means: The unity of the Douzbaks will splinter now that Arslan is gone. Factional fighting will break out amongst the various clan lords to determine who will be strong enough to rule Douzbakjian and keep the land free from Hulean expansionism. It may be some years before a winner will rise from the carnage that is to follow. What this event also means is that the tribes of the White Orcs of the North are taking advantage of the extended and harsh winters being propagated by the ice demon Kazukarzash from his northern stronghold. This sort of attacks from large raiding parties will be on the increase all across northern Brun, from Klagorst in the west to Zuyevo, Douzbakjian, Hule and even Sind and Glantri in the depths of winter.

Eirmont 12, AC 1018: Ground-Breaking in Caurenze.

Location: Ruins of the Principality of Caurenze, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: As part of the reparations for the Alexander's Day massacre, the Principalities of Glantri have ceded an area of land for the construction of a shrine, a small temple or monastery for the Thyatian Temple of Valerias. The chosen site however lies in a vast wasteland of ruins of what was once the Principality of Caurenze, destroyed by the Great Meteor Crash during the Great War.

The Thyatian clerics of Valerias have hired the most stalwart and resourceful crew of builders and artisans for the job, as well as a vigilant company of guards and crusaders. The Glantrian overseers at the site are not obtrusive of the undertaking, but neither are they particularly cooperative or obliging.

Naturally, rumours of the dangers in the Caurenzan area abound: wild beasts hungry for living flesh, monsters thriving in the ruins, thousands of ghosts, ghouls and other living dead from the annihilated population, terrible magics freed from abandoned dungeons, alien creatures released from the Great Meteor, humanoid hordes from the Great Crater.

Perhaps the most intriguing and mysterious of the hazards in Caurenze is the rumour that its former ruler, Prince Innocenti di Malapietra, still resides in his ruined palazzo, now thoroughly insane and murderous, though still as magically powerful as ever, frenziedly seeking to obliterate any living creature that makes the mistake of coming to his devastated homeland. (See Fe. 18, Fe. 26; Ka. 22.)

What the PCs Can Do: Whether the PCs are Thyatian associates of the Temple of Valerias for this challenging task, or Glantrian agents looking after the interests of the principalities, their mere presence in Caurenze is an invitation to trouble. The perils in the Caurenzan region are all true and all very deadly, and have the making of a dangerous and exciting outdoors adventure.

Eirmont 14, AC 1018: A Matter of Consideration.

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

Description: After a council session in which King Corydon was unable to make any headway to help his nation survive the unstoppably growing economic disaster, Terari invites him to a private audience. Corydon is surprised at the invitation, as he never had any contact with the famous wizard before, and he wonders what the teacher wants to see him for.

After the customary courtesies are exchanged-which rather startles Corydon, as he is generally treated as a lesser by aristocrats despite his regal position-Terari bluntly asks the King of Notrion how long he thinks it will take for his kingdom to go bankrupt. Then, with a smile aimed at the startled Corydon, he adds that he doesn't ask out of a desire to seize his kingdom from him.

Cautiously at first, then more freely, Corydon explains at length to the listening Terari what he believes is wrong, economically and socially, in Nayce. Terari does not offer any help or advice in return, but only dismisses the king by stating that a day will come when he will have to take a chance in order to avoid collapse. (See Sv. 9, Ei. 3; Ei. 25, Ka. 6.)

What This Means: Notrion is probably the most hardly hit by the economic and social upheavals of the Naycese nations. Corydon is quite happy to find someone who will listen to him, as he is pretty much ignored by the council and by his neighbours (notably by Veroth). Thinking back on the interview he realises that he gave a lot of information, but received little in return; he suspects that Terari may have used magic to prompt him to confide in him, though it may simply be the man's charisma and eagerness to listen that did the trick. It is clear though that he does not know more about Terari's motives after the meeting than he did before.

Eirmont 14, AC 1018: Did You Hear That?

Location: Somewhere in the northern Alphatian Sea, Sunken Alphatia, Nayce. AS

Description: The Torpin is exploring what was once the Kingdom of Blackheart in northern Sunken Alphatia. They have encountered several peculiar creatures here, and a good number of lacedons (aquatic ghouls) when Gadori, the chief of the Torpin's boltmen, reports to Executive Officer Myarkhen Bayller that a few of his men have told him they heard a peculiar voice on their deck a few minutes earlier. Commander Dhallaq Trest orders the Torpin stopped and returned to the location it were a few minutes ago to explore this matter. However, in spite of the best magical efforts of Chief Engineer Dlanor, Ship's Cleric Sister Yalonda, and Chief Enchanter Xathar, they can find no explanation of the inexplicable sound, and the mysterious voice does not return. (See Fe. 8, Fe. 17.)

What This Means: Blackheart was a pretty strange place where a lot of foreboding events took place. This could have been no more than the moaning of some eternally cursed soul... or maybe not.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are on the Torpin, they might hear the strange voice themselves. However, the sound is a little odd, so they won't be able to tell any words apart, although they will be certain that it was a voice and it did try to say something, they just couldn't tell what that was.

Eirmont 14, AC 1018: Political Pressure against Stonewall on the Rise.

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

Description: When the Grand Council hears that Stonewall has abducted King Qinn of Arkan, the members are appalled. Within a few hours, they submit a document to Empress Eriadna urging her to do something about the situation.

Shortly after, Eriadna does make an appearance. She tries to calm down the council and assures them that she has been looking into the situation, although Qinn's capture surprised her. Obviously, if Stonewall has broken imperial laws, it will face the consequences. (See Ei. 1, Ei. 5; Ei. 18, Ka. 6.)

What This Means: Stonewall hasn't broken any imperial laws yet, but it scarcely matters if the political pressure continues to rise. Eriadna will shortly send imperial emissaries to both King Koblan Dracodon in Stonewall and the Stonewall invasion force in Arkan.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can be sent to talk to the Stonewall King and officers, if they are trusted by Eriadna.

Eirmont 14, AC 1018: Docking Cave Is Ready.

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

Description: The docking cave under Denwarf-Hurgon is ready. The necessary port facilities are not yet there, and perhaps the cave will have to be enlarged. The dwarven miners are not so sure about that point, but they are not worrying about it as this would be an easy task for them.

Having reached this status the time has come to dig the tunnel. The gnomish and dwarven engineers and miners now start to dig huge tunnels into both directions, heading to Draco and to Adiach. (See Va. 10, Th. 6; Ei. 27.)

What This Means: The project is now going into the next phase. Of course this will be the most difficult in the whole project, and everybody is very nervous about it.

Third Week

Eirmont 15, AC 1018: City of Dead Children.

Location: Village of Kirkuk, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: For countless years until recently, children born on this date in the village of Kirkuk have always been stillborn, a fact long believed to be a curse of some Immortal Guardian for crimes of the villagers. Tonight, however, the night of the fifth full moon following the summer solstice, three children delivered are born dead. Villagers say that an ancient curse on the town, thought long gone, has been reawakened. In some dark taverns, the name "Barimoor" is whispered in hushed tones. (See Fy. 4.)

What This Means: The stillborn deaths ended following the Great War (known by some as the Wrath of the Immortals) in AC 1009, and the villagers believed they had suffered penance enough. Now the practice seemingly has begun again, and it worries many.

Unknown to all but a very few, the souls of the children were stolen by agents of the expatriate Alphatian wizard Barimoor, for his own inscrutable purposes. Barimoor was presumed killed during the Week Without Magic in AC 1009, and his underground dominion is currently being ruled by the balor Shamaash. The fact that the practice has begun again may be indication that rumours of his demise were exaggerated.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are in the employ of Wastoure, this event will be of paramount importance to them in their investigations.

Eirmont 15, AC 1018: Exorcise Those Spirits.

Location: Camp of Xantha, Ethengar Khanates. OW

Description: On the Night of the Spirits, when the boundaries between the Prime Material Plane and the Spirit Plane are at their weakest, a confrontation occurs. Jaku the Render finds himself confronted by a group of adventurers, the Ethengar shaman Trungpa, and his own adviser, Akmad ibn Yussef. Together, the group manages to expel the evil spirit from the body of Manghai, and return the young khan's soul to his own body. After an exhaustive battle, Jaku is banished from the Prime Plane, but he manages to create extensive chaos and destruction before this occurs. (See Kl. 8, Am. 23; Ei. 16.)

What This Means: Jaku the Render's days of possession are over, but there is still much work to be done to restore the balance of power upset by the evil spirit's activities. The reasons behind the increase in evil spirits on the Prime Material Plane are still in question, and Trungpa will likely ask for help in discovering them. They may perhaps be involved with the Radiance in Glantri. There is also the possibility that Jaku will return to the Prime Material Plane, and he will certainly seek revenge for his defeat.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were among those who journeyed to the Spirit Plane to find Manghai's soul, this will be the culmination of their long quest. It will not be a simple task to defeat Jaku the Render, for he is a powerful evil spirit and gifted wizard.

Eirmont 15, AC 1018: Dwarves Are Reinforced.

Location: Near Town of Ranwood, Kingdom of Soderfjord. OW

Description: The Rockhome dwarves meet up with a small army of Soderfjord's warriors. The men inform them that more troops will be waiting near the Hardanger Mountains, and offer to lead them there by the quickest route, through the Great Marsh. (See Ei. 6, Ei. 8; Ei. 20, Ei. 22.)

What This Means: What the Rockhome dwarves don't know is that the men they have met up with do not represent King Ragnar, but are all in Jarl Guthorm Brittle-Bone's employ. These men have been paid to impersonate loyal forces of Soderfjord, then betray the dwarves in the Great Marsh.

Eirmont 15, AC 1018: Royal Army Finally Arrives.

Location: Town of Oakwall, Kingdom of Wendar. OW

Description: The royal army has finally made it to Oakwall from Wendar City. They join forces with the priests of Idris and manage to repel the giants and the last manticores up into the southern hills, breaking the siege. (See Sv. 23, Ei. 9; Ka. 5.)

What This Means: The humans of Oakwall (an exclusively human town) show contempt for Bensarian's actions and salute the Church of Idris as their new protector.

What the PCs Can Do: Track the retreating monsters to their lairs. Investigate the potent powers of the priests of Idris.

Eirmont 16, AC 1018: Dissension among the Ranks?

Location: Camp of Xantha, Ethengar Khanates. OW

Description: In the aftermath of last night's battle with the evil spirit, Jaku the Render, the camp of the Murkit Tribe finds itself in great confusion. Rumours of Manghai Khan's demise run rampant, despite attempts by his advisers to quell them. They claim the young khan is merely ill, and will appear before his people shortly.

Even worse, though, are the rumours that Manghai Khan may have been dabbling in evil magicks and consorting with dark spirits. Such rumours run particularly strong among the surviving Kiyat Clan members who were assimilated into the Murkit Tribe upon the death of their khan, Kadan, two years ago. (See Am. 23, Ei. 15.)

What This Means: There was no quiet way for Jaku the Render to be driven off, and the rumours that have arisen due to the confrontation were inevitable. Manghai will recover soon, and his appearance will restore his people's confidence, but some of his tribe, particularly the former Kiyats, may find reason to rebel against his claims of leadership.

Eirmont 16, AC 1018: Theft at the House of Yuschiev.

Location: Estate of Baron Yuschiev, City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Baron Yuschiev is horrified when he finds that a valuable amulet, the Amulet of the Marches, has been stolen. He immediately dispatches one of his knights, Sir Grygory, and his followers to find and reclaim it. (See Kl. 15, Fy. 17; Ei. 19, Ei. 22.)

What This Means: Sir Grygory is the hero of the Mystaran novel Dark Knight of Karameikos, but this actually takes place before the events in that novel as Sir Grygory has been searching for the amulet and the thief for some time when the novel begins. The amulet was stolen by a thief named Arasta, who in turn was hired to steal it by the orc Rufcha, although nobody but Arasta knows that.

The novel is a little confusing on the matter of the theft itself. Arasta mentions that the house was well guarded, suggesting that he stole it from the Yuschiev Estate itself, but Baron Yuschiev later mentions that it was stolen from the jeweller's shop he had sent it to. Either Arasta is lying in an attempt to imply that he deserves a larger reward from his employer than was agreed upon, or else Baron Yuschiev doesn't want it to be publicly known that a thief was able to steal from his estate. Either possibility is equally valid, so the DM can choose the one he likes better.

What the PCs Can Do: Since this plot is tied directly to the events of the novel, it may not be a good idea to let the PCs search for the amulet unless the DM is planning to let them fail, perhaps by stumbling upon another more important adventure, or else ignore the content of the novel. On the other hand, a PC thief could be hired by Arasta to steal the amulet. This doesn't contradict the book as long as it is clear that Arasta has the contact for selling the amulet so that the PC thief will have to pass it on to him. The PC would have to be careful not to be caught by Sir Grygory's initial investigations, though, or, if caught, might lead Grygory onto Arasta's trail in order to escape punishment for the theft.

Eirmont 16, AC 1018: Free Jennites Take Draeh.

Location: City-State of Draeh, Esterhold Peninsula. SK

Description: Maltaen, leader of the tribe of free Jennites following the True Way, enters the city of Draeh to purge it of threats to the purity of the Jennite way of life. There is no opposition as such since there are too few rebel Jennites in the city to withstand Maltaen's united forces anyway. He merely rides to the centre of town and declares that the city will now be purged. Then he orders his men begin tearing down buildings and his priests to reform the lost rebel Jennites. (See Ei. 6, Ei. 7; Ei. 25, Ka. 3.)

What This Means: Masquerading as Detir, Nicodemus may be whispering poison in Maltaen's ears, but Maltaen is extremist enough in his own ways. That he has basically ordered the destruction of Nicodemus's beloved city is certainly not what he had in mind. Still, Nicodemus is waiting for the rebel Jennites and the Alphatians to mount a counter-attack in the meantime. He might lose his city, but at least he will save his kingdom and his fellow Alphatians.

As this continues, tension will rise. Many Jennites, both the rebels and the free Jennites, do not agree with what Maltaen is doing, but they all fear they are in the minority. They are beginning to realise they will have to do something soon, though.

What the PCs Can Do: Only Jennite PCs can be involved in this. If they are in Draeh, they can oppose Maltaen's intentions and try to stop the destruction, though they'll be placed under arrest for their trouble. If they are on Maltaen's side, they can be the ones to arrest anyone causing interference to the "purging" of the city.

Eirmont 17, AC 1018: Homeward Bound.

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

Description: Millington Vonaday informs King Reston that he intends to return to his native Darokin shortly. He has already discussed this with his superiors in the Darokin Diplomatic Corps, who will send his replacement to Ierendi shortly. King Reston gives his rather quiet consent. (See Ei. 1, Ei. 2.)

What This Means: King Reston thinks Millington is in trouble with the DDC over the Honor Islander episode, and that he has been relieved of his duties in Ierendi as a result. Millington might get the Honor Islanders to agree to what he wants through clever debating skills, but not the DDC leaders! This is actually not the case, although Millington's superiors were not exactly happy about the incident at first. Once they learned the result of the matter, however, they have voiced some praise for Millington, since he was able to establish some contact with the Honor Islanders through his unusual methods. Their praise is reluctant, since they don't really approve of his tactics, which they find unbecoming of a diplomat, but then they can hardly argue with success, so they were a little surprised by Millington's desire to return home. Of course, Millington wants to go home so that he can explore the clues he found in the Oracle of Honor Island.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs helped Millington, they could go back to Darokin with him. The DM should stage a few encounters along the way if they do.

Eirmont 17, AC 1018: Deal with Dracolish.

Location: Keep of Stanograd, Duchy of Stamtral, Final Range. NW

Description: The chief of the Gremlish tribesmen, Dracolish, comes to Stanograd for a meeting with Duke Stano. Stamtral offers Dracolish a hefty payment if his warriors will fight for him against the Duchy of Vyolstagrad. Dracolish raises the stakes, requesting further payments, and the right to claim any plunder that they may gain during the impending invasion. He also wishes to have free reign of the North Hills, and freedom for his people to cross though the Gremlish Valley (or New Traladara Valley) at their leisure. Stano baulks at this last request, but agrees to give Dracolish some crossing privileges, as well as some additional land from the northern border of Vyolstagrad, provided that the Gremlish harass Vyolstagrad up until the main invasion. Dracolish agrees, and they shake on the deal. (See Fy. 22, Sv. 10; Ei. 28, Ka. 6.)

What This Means: Stamtral is planning to conquer all of Vyolstagrad, and the alliance with the Gremlish is his trump card. If the barbarians can do his dirty work for him, then his well-trained troops should be able to rout the men of Vyolstagrad. Knowing that his own border is safe from raids by the Gremlish is an additional benefit.

Eirmont 17, AC 1018: It's Big, It's Green!

Location: Tetratower, Icereach Range. NW

Description: The mad wizard Gargantua can't stop laughing hysterically today, as his latest creation is unleashed on the inhabitants of Norwold. Terrangor, Mystara's first gargantuan huge green dragon, takes to the skies of Norwold intent on carving out his own kingdom-and he's extremely hungry. (See Ei. 24.)

What This Means: A lot of suffering for the inhabitants of Norwold!

What the PCs Can Do: Not a great deal unless they are very high level. If they are to take on this huge beast, superior tactics will be the only way they will survive. Wearing some sort of protection from chlorine gas would be a start. Attacking whilst the dragon is asleep or setting a trap would improve the PCs chances. Luckily, Terrangor does not have any spellcasting ability.

The PCs may wish to discover who is behind the creation of such a creature, which will lead them on a dangerous journey to battle Gargantua.

Eirmont 17, AC 1018: Courses Are Charted.

Location: Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: This sleep, the floating continents align in such a way, so as to signal the onset of several rare shadowfalls which will darken several areas of the Merry Pirate Seas over the next dozen sleeps. Tirenos the Bold sails from Floresque in his galley, the Song of Halav, and finds favourable winds aiding his voyage to the northeast. Meanwhile, Captain R. Morgan, biding his time in Baraga, also sets sail in the barquentine Lucky Lass. (See Sv. 16, Sv. 22; Ei. 28.)

What This Means: The time for the final showdown is drawing nigh. Both captains have calculated the shadowfall at the reef and are hoping to arrive in time to find the long-sought map.

What the PCs Can Do: Help with preparations for the voyages, or with the ongoing navigational calculations using the positions of the floating continents.

Eirmont 17, AC 1018: Witch Burned.

Location: Village of Piaah, Province of Mawuru, Empire of Tangor. SK

Description: A demonette, found near the village by a small group of hunters, is captured and brought to the shaman of the village. After a heated debate among the elders, it is decided that the demonette, an Eklekan spy and a servitor of the demons, must be killed. Although not all of the elders agree with the decision, the superstitious nature of the Tangors prevail, and the demonette is killed, and then her corpse is burned to destroy her evil spirit, too.

What This Means: The unfortunate demonette was travelling in secrecy, something not really liked by the superstitious villagers. Demonettes can travel through the lands of Tangor freely, but if they try to do it incognito they will attract the ire of the Tangors, who will immediately suspect they are going around to further their evil plots. And this is especially true in small and isolated villages like Piaah, where only about a hundred people live. The fact that a demonette has been killed will be kept secret in the village for fear of punishment from the government: given the uncertainty about all things regarding demonettes, the leaders of the provinces and the empire prefer to avoid diplomatic problems that may arise from situations like this.

What the PCs Can D: An interesting possibility could have the PCs save the demonette, only to discover that she really wants to do something evil to the poor villagers. However, things are not always white and black in Mystara, so don't turn the demonettes into mere servants of evil.

Eirmont 18, AC 1018: Skyship Hijacked!

Location: Republic of Darokin and Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The commercial skyship Storm Cloud had just begun its third flight from Glantri City to Darokin City when it is taken over by the infamous Robin Moorkroft and his Mundaner Men. Using intimidation, roguish charm, and threats of lethal wizardry to blow up the skyship, Robin and his accomplices proceed to rob the well-to-do travellers, one of whom is none other than Sir Lathan Aendyr of the Glantrian noble House Aendyr-Hillsbury and major proprietor of the skyship builders of Montgolfière & Urbaal Ltd.

Apparently unsatisfied of Sir Lathan's all-too-easy surrender of his valuables, Robin Moorkroft insists on inspecting Lathan's private cargo. When Robin begins to unload the contents of Lathan's trunk into his own bag, a magical explosion occurs that releases billowing pink smoke with a sharp but fruity fragrance. The strange magical cloud fills the skyship's cabins, and, fearing danger, Robin and the Mundaner Men make a hasty retreat by jumping out of the skyship.

Hours later, the Storm Cloud makes its emergency landing in Corunglain, with most of the passengers strangely lethargic and indifferent about the robbery, although otherwise unharmed. Only Sir Lathan Aendyr and one pilot have their full faculties about them. (See Fe. 26, Am. 4.)

What This Means: The primary target of Robin Moorkroft in this daring crime was indeed the Glantrian noble Sir Lathan Aendyr, who according to rumour was planning to use the newly established aerial trade route to smuggle into Darokin the illegal Alphatian drug zzonga. Zzonga, known by its distinct fruity odour, causes its victims to fall into a state of total bliss and insouciance. As with his previous schemes, Robin Moorkroft had impeccably planned every move-from the flight schedules, to the skyship's schematics, to the means of escape from the skyship (each of the Mundaner Men was equipped with feather fall and fly magic!)-all except for one detail: that Sir Lathan had a magical trunk of holding for his smuggled goods.

When Robin's own bag of holding came into contact with the trunk, the explosion of dimensional magic released all the zzonga into the skyship as clouds of pink smoke, driving all the passengers into the zzonga-induced state of total bliss and apathy. Aware of what he was dealing with, Sir Lathan was able to protect himself from the numbing effects of the drug, and had the antidote magic for one pilot to land the skyship safely.

What the PCs Can Do: The Glantrian authorities have been after the bandit-wizard Robin Moorkroft for some time now, particularly with his crimes and misdemeanours targeting Glantrian nobles. Definitely, Sir Lathan Aendyr will want him captured, although discretion of his true activities will be of paramount importance.

The Darokinian authorities and merchant houses will want an investigation to ensure that skyship trade is indeed safe and to figure out the circumstance of the odd behaviour of the passengers. Should they uncover Lathan's plans of smuggling zzonga, the Darokinians may come to see Robin Moorkroft as an accidental hero for foiling the plot.

Eirmont 18, AC 1018: A Small Scandal.

Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Scandal in Mirros, when agents of Queen Olivia expose a famous local gnome gemcutter, Rubik Cogsworth, as a spy in the employ of the King of Highforge. Wags in the capital remark that his crime was not espionage, but simply getting caught. King Stefan seems to agree, and quietly orders Rubik to return to Highforge. (See Ka. 22.)

What This Means: While the citizens of Karameikos like to think of the gnomes of Highforge as fellow citizens, that's not how the gnomes see it: They are allied with their larger neighbour to the south, and have cordial relations, but they are still a separate sovereign power with the need to keep an eye on things at the heart of the kingdom. Gnomes around Karameikos wage a minor rebellion, and the number of sometimes vengeful practical jokes played in the next month skyrockets. And the wags, of course, are right.

Eirmont 18, AC 1018: High Priestess Learns of the Shadow Lord's Activities.

Location: Idris Tower, Lothenar Forest, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: The High Priestess of Idris is informed of the Shadow Lord's treachery by some of the human soldiers who escaped Drax Tallen. She understands the situation is becoming tense in Geffron and that the Shadow Lord is a serious threat now that must be dealt with. She rallies all the remaining Dragon Knights and warns the three remaining generals of the Shadow Army to get ready for a possible war. She then waits for the Shadow Lord's next move. (See Sv. 9, Sv. 28; Ka. 27.)

What This Means: The Shadow Lord has repeatedly disobeyed the high priestess, but this time he has bluntly expressed his will to oppose Idris and he has a powerful army to back his words.

Eirmont 18, AC 1018: Ambur to the Rescue.

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

Description: Troops from Ambur cross the southern border and march toward the town of Ailpon. They meet some discontented people along the way, but there are no truly hostile encounters. They eventually enter the town itself and meet Lord Beremtol. To everybody's surprise, Queen Elshethara herself has come to the town. She makes a speech about what will happen. Ambur won't burden the area with settlers, though they will be free to come, just as people from this formerly Arkan region can move to areas of Ambur now. Lord Beremtol will remain the most important aristocrat in the region. Queen Elshethara then explains what Ambur will do in the region: Ambur wants to make use of the harbour in Ailpon in anticipation of the growing trade that the canal projects in Alphatia will create, and there will also be trade with Foresthome across the border to the south. Otherwise things won't change much in the region. (See Ei. 5, Ei. 14; Ka. 6.)

What This Means: Queen Elshethara makes a personal appearance to make the transition of the region easier. It appears to work as most people accept promises and assurances made by the Amburese ruler. The fact that Beremtol is largely confirmed as the major figure in the region is also a great relief to many. Though Ambur has used subterfuge to claim this area, Elshethara is quite honest about her plans for the region-with both Starpoint and Ailpon, Ambur now has two major harbours on Crystal Lake, which could be essential once trade reaches the region through the canal project of the Navy of the Lakes.

What the PCs Can Do: There may be some minor civil unrest which the PCs can deal with. If they are aristocrats in the area, they may personally meet with Queen Elshethara who will assure them of Ambur's benevolent intentions in the area.

Eirmont 18, AC 1018: Dwarven Subjects.

Location: "Kingdom" of Isazspyg, Underside, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: A party of Zandor's minions, who have been travelling the vast system of caverns underneath Stoutfellow, encounter a similar-sized party of dwarves. The dwarves are wary and hail the undead, but the latter are under order to round up subjects for their master, so they attack. There are few fatalities, however, as Zandor's undead do not wish to bring dead bodies-although dead bodies might prove just as useful to Zandor's necromantic skills as living subjects might be. (See Fl. 8, Sv. 11; Ka. 20.)

What This Means: Due to the reversed gravity of Underside (gravity points away from the floating continent toward the land below) Zandor's minions have been using caves near the surface of the Underside as a convenient way of travelling (flying or reversing gravity being the harder means of going at it). The dwarves were exploring new caverns in search of new veins of valuable ores and minerals, as there has been an increased demand for such raw materials ever since Alphatia lost its colonial possessions in the outer world. They were notably looking for the much sought-after mnemonic minerals. A dwarven presence deep below Stoutfellow, including near the untapped Underside, may well increase over time, much to the delight of Zandor-even though dwarves are not the best material for subjects.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs may be one of the groups involved in the encounter. In that case, the outcome will depend on the actions of the PCs. Note that, if the PCs are the dwarves and win, there is little chance that they learn that the undead have been sent by Zandor, and that the "emperor" has his empire located on the Underside, as to them it will appear to be a simple chance encounter with a group of undead (one among many other encounter with the various nasties that populate the caverns). If they do, though, they will have a lot of work on their hands if they want to get evidence of Zandor's presence-and nobody will believe their claim without said evidence.

Eirmont 19, AC 1018: Sir Grygory Looks Beyond Mirros.

Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Sir Grygory learns that the thief who stole the Amulet of the Marches has fled Mirros westward. He and several of his followers immediately leaves Mirros in pursuit. (See Fy. 17, Ei. 16; Ei. 22, Ei. 23.)

What This Means: The prologue to the Dark Knight of Karameikos novel continues. Arasta is not aware that Grygory is onto him, he simply has a prior agreement to bring the amulet to a contact in Luln.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs might help Grygory discover where the thief has gone or they might be hired by Arasta as escorts until he reaches Luln.

Eirmont 20, AC 1018: A Chilling Experience.

Location: City of Sharya, Empire of Zuyevo. WB

Description: Joramurrak, the demon terrorising the lands of Zuyevo, strikes again. This time he summons a deadly nightwing to do his bidding. The nightwing sets off under the cover of darkness against the unsuspecting citizens of Sharya. Citizens experience a chilling sensation and then mass confusion as ordinarily mild-mannered residents turn against each other, affected by the entropic powers of the nightwing. Food and water supplies are ruined and disease begins to spread among the populace. Deadly clouds form throughout the city, killing almost all who are unlucky enough to be caught in them.

The local priests seem powerless to stop the creature and are totally disheartened when one of their number simply drops dead. (See Fy. 1.)

What This Means: The local priests are going to be very busy, undoing some of the damage and preparing for the next attack. Refugees flood out of the city and head for the capital, Zuyganev.

What the PCs Can Do: Defend the city against the nightshade if they are powerful enough. Messengers from Sharya will ride to all major settlements of the empire in search of help.

Eirmont 20, AC 1018: Dwarves Are Swamped.

Location: The Great Marsh, Kingdom of Soderfjord. OW

Description: While travelling through the Great Marsh, the Rockhome dwarves are suddenly beset by their supposed allies. The dwarves, unused to wetlands, are at a severe disadvantage. They are routed and chased by the men of Soderfjord. The dwarven force is no more. (See Ei. 8, Ei. 15; Ei. 22, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The Rockhome dwarves were fooled by the mercenaries impersonating regular troops of Soderfjord, and, in the middle of the marsh, the mercenary commander gives the order to attack the dwarves. Due to the surprise of the attack and their unfamiliarity with the terrain, the Rockhome dwarves are overcome and forced to scatter. The remains of the dwarven force will begin limping home, cursing Ragnar for betraying them.

What the PCs Can Do: If any PCs are part of the dwarven force, they may inspire them to fight more fiercely, cutting down their losses. The army is doomed, but the PCs could take command of its remains and attempt to guide them back home to Rockhome, through many miles of hostile territory, with Guthorm's mercenaries and Modrigswerg forces looking for them.

Eirmont 21, AC 1018: Demand for Ships Falls.

Location: City of Spearpoint, Kingdom of Surshield, Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: The shipbuilders of one of the major shipyards of Spearpoint are surprised this morning when, upon arriving at work, they find the gate to the shipyard locked and guarded. A couple of them ask the guards what is going on, and they are pointed to a new notice nailed to a nearby wall. It reads simply that the shipyard in question is closed until further notice, due to a cancellation of construction projects. Shocked and dismayed, the workers are told by the guards to move along, and find work elsewhere. (See Ya. 14, Sv. 18; Ka. 1.)

What This Means: Over the past couple of months, the Naycese economy has been weakening steadily a result of the loss of abundant mineral deposits in Esterhold and the former Kingdom of Stoutfellow, a decline in large-scale trade, and the continued financing of large-scale projects that Nayce can no longer afford in its current state. This malaise has now spread through the economy to the extent that it is affecting the region's output as a whole. With higher commodity prices, items such as ships are becoming more expensive to build, and with people's financial situations deteriorating, there are fewer purchasers of such goods. As a result, some manufacturers are closing down, or scaling back, their operations in order to avoid bankruptcy.

Of course, this means that several thousand shipbuilders, carpenters, stonemasons, and other labourers are finding themselves unemployed in many cases for the first time in their lives. While some will do everything they can to find work (including migrating to other towns, cities, or even kingdoms), others will collapse into depression, and may take out their frustrations in various ways. Making the situation worse, however, is that many of these people are part of the servant class, and under Alphatian law, every servant must have a master. As the Alphatian legal and economic system has never had to deal with masterless servants before, this whole situation is one that will pose many problems for Nayce.

What the PCs Can Do: While there is nothing the PCs can do in this case, one or more of them may have close relatives who are now unemployed, and beg the assistance of their (presumably) wealthier kin. Alternatively, a possible launching point for a campaign could be an event such as this: the PCs could come from a region of Nayce that is particularly hard-hit by economic decline, and they are drawn together by desperation to seek their fortunes through adventuring.

Fourth Week

Eirmont 22, AC 1018: Sir Grygory Reaches Luln.

Location: Town of Luln, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Arasta the thief meets with his contact in Luln, who turns out to be a goblin. They leave for some nearby hills. Later in the day Sir Grygory arrives in pursuit. He and his people spend time trying to catch the thief's trail in the town, but end up having to stay the night. (See Ei. 16, Ei. 19; Ei. 23, Ei. 24.)

What This Means: Arasta has not stopped for anything in the last couple of days, as he is eager to claim his reward.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs might be asked for clues by Grygory or his men. If they escorted Arasta here, they can definitely help them, or they might want to slow the pursuers down.

Eirmont 22, AC 1018: Ragnar's Household Destroyed.

Location: City of Soderfjord, Kingdom of Soderfjord. OW

Description: A band of warriors attack King Ragnar's household, slay or capture his men and family, and seize the king-turned-to-amber. They bring Ragnar back to Jarl Guthorm Brittle-Bone, who proclaims himself King of Soderfjord, by right of conquest. The other jarls ignore him. (See Ei. 6, Ei. 8; Ka. 28, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: With Ragnar's household in chaos, due to the curse laid upon the king, which turned him to amber, Guthorm's mercenaries have no trouble entering the household and capturing the king. Guthorm believes that the other jarls will agree that he should be king, since he conquered Ragnar's household, but word has gotten out that he used foul magic to capture Ragnar, so the other jarls of Soderfjord are waiting to see what happens next.

Eirmont 22, AC 1018: A Most Welcome Sight!

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

Description: Governor Wolfgang Stemmel is approached by one of his aides while surveying the surrounding lands from atop the battlements of Polakatsikes; it seems a sizeable force of soldiers is approaching from the southeast-bearing the standard of Vanya's Rest! Losing no time, he leads a force of Heldannic Knights out to meet them, where heartfelt greetings are exchanged before the combined force makes its way back to Polakatsikes. The morale of the garrison lifts considerably upon seeing the reinforcements, for that is apparently what they are. That evening, Wolfgang meets with the expedition's commander, both to share information and to learn about events in the wider world. (See Fe. 13, Am. 2.)

What This Means: The expeditionary force sent from Vanya's Rest a few months ago has finally made it to Polakatsikes, with relatively little loss of life.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs will probably find their arrival in Polakatsikes to be a welcome change from life in the wilderness.

Eirmont 23, AC 1018: Thief's Pay.

Location: Hills near the Town of Luln, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: The goblin and Arasta reach some hills that contain several ruins. The goblin leads Arasta into the ruins and underground into what turns out to be old dwarven structures. Arasta meets his employer, the orc known as Rufcha. Arasta gives Rufcha the Amulet of the Marches, but as he examines the bag of gold he received as payment a snake hidden among the coins bites him.

Shortly after Sir Grygory and his men arrive. They enter the ruins and search the caves where they find Arasta's body. They then chance upon Rufcha and two of his orcs and Sir Grygory fights a harsh battle against them in which he kills all the orcs. (See Ei. 19, Ei. 22; Ei. 24, Ei. 26.)

What This Means: This is the start of the Dark Knight of Karameikos novel, where Sir Grygory reclaims the Amulet of the Marches. Grygory has a particular hatred of orcs because they killed his father when he was a boy.

Eirmont 24, AC 1018: Royal advice.

Location: City of Norrvik, Kingdom of Vestland. OW

Description: The army of Vestland is assembled and ready to march on the Modrigswerg of Thrabol, when King Finn Hordson of Ostland pleads with King Bergthor of Vestland to reconsider his rash actions. The Modrigswerg have legitimate claim to their own lands, he says, and should be bargained with, as he has done himself, not attacked. If Bergthor continues his actions, Finn warns, he will be forced to side with his own Modrigswerg allies. King Bergthor advises King Finn to tend to his own affairs and let other nations resolve their own. (See Sv. 19, Ei. 4; Ei. 26, Ka. 8.)

What This Means: King Hordson has been convinced by Jarl Throfar of Gråbjerge that Vestland is trying to eradicate the Modrigswerg out of simple ignorance. Finn feels that he has made the better decision by allying with Modrigswerg, and thinks that King Bergthor is a savage fool who acts out of bigotry.

Eirmont 24, AC 1018: Warm Welcome in Luln.

Location: Town of Luln, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Sir Grygory and his followers return to the town of Luln. They choose to stay at an inn and very nearly start a brawl with a couple of drunken Thyatian guards. (See Ei. 22, Ei. 23; Ei. 26, Ka. 14.)

What This Means: This is another encounter from the Dark Knight of Karameikos novel. The meeting with the Thyatian guards serves to illustrate the current hostility between Traladarans and Thyatians in Karameikos.

Eirmont 24, AC 1018: The Perfect Home.

Location: Forested hills southwest of Barony of Kildorkak, Final Range. NW

Description: Terrangor the gargantuan huge green dragon has finally found a place to lair. It is an emerald mine operated by a satellite clan of Kildorkak. After easily dispatching the dwarves, Terrangor claws out a few modifications to the mine and sleeps on a bed of emeralds.

Over the next few days, Terrangor will subjugate a band of trolls to act as guards and miners. (See Ei. 17.)

What This Means: Terrangor now has a fixed address, treasure hoard and workforce. Dwarven survivors will spread word of the enormous green winged lizard. Those that scoff at their claims will soon get to see first-hand the horror of their new neighbour.

What the PCs Can Do: Terrangor now has an identifiable base for any PCs daring or foolhardy enough to claim the head of Mystara's most powerful monster.

Eirmont 25, AC 1018: Emperor of Nayce.

Location: City of Randrin, Kingdom of Veroth, Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: Master Terari comes to the capital of Veroth to meet with King Verothrics. The king asks him what an old wolf of politics is doing among the sheep at the council, waiting for an opportunity to eat them alive? Terari smiles, and agrees that the council has become a deadlocked body, a place of disagreement that is only good at postponing decision. The warmage roars into laughter, and inquires whether he will need military support in his restoration of order in the empire; Terari declines, however, and states that he only requires the support of the conservative faction at the council when the time comes. Then he adds that some things must change, even an emperor, for things to remain the same. (See Sv. 9, Ei. 14; Ka. 6, Ka. 7.)

What This Means: King Verothrics is the only ruler of Nayce to know the real identity of Terari, hence his support for the old emperor, whom he hopes will restore the greatness of Alphatia in the outer world. Terari hints to the fact that some changes will have to take place; the Randel have always been attached mostly to the empire and have had their own quirks, so Verothrics is not opposed to supporting reforms that Terari may introduce, depending on the exact nature of those reforms-certainly he is more open to necessary changes than the Arkans and others of his conservative allies are, though he would never endorse what Favian Vern's faction stands for.

Eirmont 25, AC 1018: Showdown in Draeh.

Location: City-State of Draeh, Esterhold Peninsula. SK

Description: As the tension mounts in Draeh, the adventurers of the alliance between Talin, Kalin, and Favian are using secret passages to enter the city. They wait around for a while until Talin can point out "Detir" for them, then they rush onto the scene before the Jennites can cut them off.

While the others try to hold off the Jennites, Favian and Grath try to use dispel magic to unmask "Detir." They eventually succeed, which results in massive confusion. As Maltaen calls for his warriors to seize the intruders, Nicodemus quickly casts a teleport spell and disappears.

The Jennites are about to capture Favian and the others, but Talin steps forward and announces that Maltaen was deceived by an Alphatian wizard and cannot be trusted. If there is any "evil Alphatian contagion," then he has obviously been infected by it himself. The Jennites pause for a moment, then Maltaen hastens to say that he knew Nicodemus was an Alphatian impostor and only allowed his presence so he could expose those he collaborated with. He then accuses Talin and Favian of having staged this to make the Jennites mistrust him and reminds them that he and his warriors of the True Way removed the threat of the Alphatian monsters called the Crimson Avengers.

At this Favian shouts that this is a lie and produces the feared banner of the Crimson Avengers, a falling eagle struck by a lightning bolt, which he kept inside his robes.

The Jennites are utterly confused between all this deception until Lotam steps forward and declares that they will settle the matter in the ancient ways of the Jennites. Essentially Maltaen and Talin, being the two leaders of the dispute, may each select a group of champions to determine the truth through combat. Since this is ancient tradition among the Jennites, Lotam notes that Maltaen shouldn't object. Trapped by that logic, Maltaen has little choice but to accept. Before the groups are determined, a mediator must be found for the dispute. After hearing from the various tribal leaders, Lotam himself is chosen for that function. He immediately declares that as the enemy of the Jennites, Favian is forbidden from participating-he has no business in Jennite tradition. However, because of the circumstances of the dispute, Lotam will allow Talin to choose any and all other companions of his group as his fellow champions, even if they are outsiders.

Generally the fight goes on until one group is completely knocked out, whether dead or unconscious, until one declares defeat, or until Lotam declares a winner.

The groups are then chosen and the battle begins.

Eventually Talin's group is victorious and Lotam announces that truth has spoken. Talin is indeed correct about Nicodemus and Favian is telling the truth when he says that he defeated the Crimson Avengers. Lotam declares that Talin is therefore also innocent of the claims Maltaen earlier brought against him. He also decides that a truce is in effect, and both sides sit down to consider what to make of the situation. (See Ei. 7, Ei. 16; Ka. 3, Ka. 10.)

What This Means: The conflict in Esterhold is far from over, but the war could be. It seems all sides are tired of war, so there is little point in going on. Favian tries to make a case for his democratic ideals, but as Talin tells him, he will only face more trouble in the future if he forces the idea on people-for now, at least, there is a genuine need among many former Jennite slaves to prove their own worth, and that need cannot be ignored. It takes some time, but Favian comes to realise the truth of this argument.

There is the matter of areas that used to belong to Favian's republic, but then it will be very difficult to retake them anyway. Most likely the towns and cities the Jennites have captured will stay in their hands. What they will do with them remains to be seen.

Since Favian is willing to settle the matter peacefully, he is dedicated to return to Nayce and convince the council to accept the situation as it is now. Anchorage is gone and the Jennites have taken Verdan and Southrock, but the Alphatians still control Marlin and Blackrock, and very little will be gained through further war.

What the PCs Can Do: This is the deciding event of the war, and the PCs should definitely be here. In all likelihood, they follow Talin, Kalin, and Favian into Draeh through tunnels under the city. Those could be full of monsters once placed there, ironically, by the Alphatians to keep intruders out (or to keep slaves from escaping), or they could simply be monsters who settled there. Once they enter Draeh itself, the events described above will come to pass and the brave PCs will surely find themselves among Talin's champions along with Kalin and Grath. The battle should be challenging, but given the distrust of magic among the free Jennites, there will likely be few or no clerics, and certainly no wizards, among Maltaen's champions.

The PCs could also be some of Maltaen's followers, though it is unlikely. If they are, they are in for a difficult fight because they are unlikely to have spellcasters on their side, while Talin and Kalin are certain to have them. Grath alone is a competent wizard and the brothers are both capable warriors.

Eirmont 25, AC 1018: Construction Started.

Location: Town of Bigos, Kingdom of Theranderol, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Okano makes his headquarters in Bigos and sends his troops to work. Unlike most other construction projects, he has decided to dig only from one side. Woron and Bartan have arrived too to have a close look at the work. (See Fl. 28, Sv. 15.)

What This Means: Finally the army of Theranderol has started the digging. The brigadier hopes that he will be ready at the beginning of next Vatermont.

Eirmont 26, AC 1018: Vestland Marches on the Modrigswerg.

Location: Near Town of Landersfjord, Kingdom of Vestland. OW

Description: Ahead of an army of Vestland, King Bergthor Haraldson presses south to Landersfjord. Entering the lands now claimed by the Modrigswerg, they are met by giants, who bombard them from the mountains. The army withdraws out of range. (See Ei. 4, Ei. 24; Ka. 3, Ka. 8.)

What This Means: In spite of warnings from King Finn Hordson of Ostland, King Haraldson sets out as the proud head of a Vestlandic army, bent on driving the Modrigswerg dwarves from Vestland's possessions. He was not prepared for giants bombarding his army, though, so the going will be slower than he had hoped.

Eirmont 26, AC 1018: Sir Grygory Returns Triumphant.

Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Close to nightfall Sir Grygory enters Mirros. He is welcomed at the estate of Baron Yuschiev and returns the Amulet of the Marches to him. A banquet is held later in the evening, during which time Baron Yuschiev charges one of his other knights, Sir Leonid, with protecting the northern villages of his barony in the Rugalov area, which has been plagued by harsh goblinoid attacks recently. He then gives Sir Leonid the Amulet of the Marches as the symbol of the protector of the north. (See Ei. 23, Ei. 24; Ka. 14, Ka. 27.)

What This Means: In a land ruled by Thyatian lords, Baron Yuschiev has managed to claim his own barony and make it flourish. The recent goblinoid attacks are a definite threat to his ambitions for the lands he has quietly helped grow. And as a Traladaran among Thyatians he will receive no aid, since most Thyatians would love to see him fail, particularly given the current hostility between the two peoples.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be at the banquet, though only if they are Traladarans, in which case they might also be among Sir Leonid's twenty men on their subsequent mission to the Barony of Rugalov. But if they are, they will have to fight hard to survive.

Eirmont 27, AC 1018: Avienites March against Thariss.

Location: Plains of Avien, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: Some Avienite villages are assaulted by beastmen (former elves) who kill many before being driven away or killed. Rumours spread about these beastmen and some Avienite travellers report hearing that in Thariss lives the Father of all Beasts who has just come out of the woods after a long slumber. Convinced this is the second Evil prophesied by Arienghyla, some Avienites unite and march against Thariss. (See Sv. 1, Ei. 9; Ka. 18, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Unlike the Denagothians, the Avienites do not have bestial ancestry. They see the beastmen as monsters and are determined to slay the Father of all Beasts who may have something to do with the huge dark cloud.

Eirmont 27, AC 1018: New Road Opened.

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

Description: The Denwarf-Hurgon-Draco Road is opened today. As the dwarves have planned it carefully they are ready on time. Of course, King Koblan insists on a ceremony of opening the road officially. Queen Buthra Bofadar is content to please his whim. She even uses the chance to hold a speech to remind the humans-especially some Stonewall generals-that this road is a road for peaceful trade, not for military purposes. To ensure this the dwarven engineers have built in a number of traps that would prove fatal to a crossing hostile army. (See Th. 6, Ei. 14.)

What This Means: Indeed some of the generals are thinking about the potential use of the new road to invade Haven. The queen has made clear her point that no invading army will pass this road regardless of its nationality. The more reasonable generals, who have feared that Haven might use the road to attack Stonewall, are relieved. The battle force of the army of Stoutfellow on its own territory is so terrifying that only a raving madman would ever try it. The queen just has reminded everybody about this simple fact.

Eirmont 28, AC 1018: Gremlish Raid Again.

Location: Duchy of Vyolstagrad, Final Range. NW

Description: Dracolish of the Gremlish Tribe wastes little time in rallying his people for battle. He leads a raiding party into Northern Vyolstagrad, causing substantial havoc between the villages of Obechek and Deposkna. Some tribesmen even make their way southward to Stryna to harass that village. Duke Nevik responds with increased patrols, with orders to track down and defeat the invaders. Some skirmishes occur, but most of the barbarians simply flee into the hills. (See Sv. 10, Ei. 17; Ka. 6, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: This raid is part of the secret deal between Stamtral and the Gremlish barbarians. The Gremlish enjoy raiding and doing battle with their neighbour, and they are also being paid to do it by Stamtral. Additional raids will take place throughout the winter.

What the PCs Can Do: Fight against the barbarian raiders and defend the villagers of Vyolstagrad. Duke Nevik will hire adventurers to track some of the more elusive bands of barbarians, which can lead to adventures in the North Hills.

Eirmont 28, AC 1018: The Darkened Lair of the Serpent.

Location: Harlequin Reef, about 100 miles northeast of Town of Puerto Morillos, Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: Tirenos the Bold, having made good time sailing through the Traldar Straits, arrives at the Harlequin Reef. His calculations have indicated that an area of this extensive reef will be darkened by shadowfall later this sleep. He lowers the Song of Halav's sails, and uses the galley's oars to navigate around the difficult reef. After an undetermined time, the constant Red Sun and its companion are eclipsed by a configuration of floating continents, sending a dark shadow across a section of the reef some flights away. Tirenos steers his ship into the darkness, and enters a lagoon amidst the reef. In the dim light, across the lagoon, the silhouette of another ship is visible; even in the gloaming, Tirenos recognises the characteristic rigging of the Lucky Lass-Morgan is here!

The war galley readies for battle, as Morgan lets his artillery fly. The ships manoeuvre for position and exchange several more rounds of artillery fire when the water in the lagoon begins to churn and froth. From the depths emerges an enormous sea creature, which threatens both of the ships! While some sporadic fire between the two ships still continues, most of the pirates turn their attentions to the rampaging sea serpent. The sea monster snatches sailors from the deck, devouring them whole, or dragging them underwater to their deaths. Morgan manoeuvres his ship away, hoping to avoid the brunt of the creature's attacks, but it smashes a hole in the stern castle before he can elude the beast. Meanwhile, Tirenos retreats and then circles back, the oarsmen rowing at full speed. The Song of Halav rams into the creature's serpentine mid-section, causing it to scream in rage. The serpent dives into the sea and coils about the galley, squeezing the hull, causing it to buckle and splinter. The Song of Halav's crew of armoured combatants swarm to attack the beast, but have little effect.

With his rival entangled with the sea serpent, Captain Morgan prepares to search for the lost map. Suddenly, another ship emerges out of the shadow, and swings alongside them, firing missiles, and attempting to grapple. The grappling is partially successful, but Morgan's crew cuts some of the lines and rally to repel this new threat. The attacking ship shows considerable damage, and in fact is missing a mast. Led by a brash, red-bearded captain, the attackers begin to drive Morgan's men back. Captain Morgan engages his adversary who roars, "Morgan! Where is the map? Hand it over or die by the hand of Redbeard Kray!" The two pirate captains exchange blows, dodging some and parrying others, while wearing each other down. Then there is a tremendous crashing sound: the Song of Halav has been dragged against the reef by the enraged serpent. The sea swells violently, pitching the two ships against each other, sending pirates sprawling onto the decks or into the water. Within moments, the sea serpent turns to its new quarry. In the chaos, Captain Morgan slips into the shadows away from Redbeard, who is forced to return to the Butchery to direct her defence against the serpent. The great sea serpent is all that the two pirate ships can handle. Due to the damage already sustained, Kray is forced to retreat to save his ship, but the serpent continues to dog him. The Lucky Lass also steers for safer waters, despite the fact that her captain is nowhere to be found. The ship nears the opening to the lagoon, while the sea serpent continues to plague the Butchery. Morgan, dripping wet, abruptly returns to the helm. As the Red Sun breaks the shadowfall, Morgan sails his ship from the lagoon, triumphantly guzzling from a bottle of rum in one hand, an ancient map in the other. (See Sv. 22, Ei. 17.)

What This Means: Both Morgan and Tirenos navigated to the correct reef using the clues from Bellamy's log and the courses of the floating continents. Unbeknownst to Morgan, he was being followed by Redbeard Kray, who, by chance happened upon him after putting to shore for makeshift repairs after the storm. The great sea serpent is the guardian of this place, and was awakened by the onset of shadowfall. Beneath the waters is a hidden underwater grotto within the reef, which contains air pockets during certain tidal conditions (which took place this sleep). The coral in the cave is luminescent, but the light is impossible to discern with the Red Sun shining. With the sun eclipsed by the floating continents, Morgan was able to swim underwater to the glowing coral cave. Hidden within a nook amongst the coral is an old rum bottle, sealed with wax, and containing the long lost map which Captain Blake secreted here countless circles past. Captain R. Morgan is now in possession of this prize, which is said to lead to incredible wealth. Undoubtedly, rivals will try to wrest it from him, if they learn that he has it. Unfortunately for them, his chief rivals have been beaten and battered by the sea serpent, if they survived at all.

What the PCs Can Do: The party can be crewmembers on any of the ships involved, and take part in the fighting between ships and against the sea serpent. The sea serpent's strength should be tailored to the individual campaign so that it is a nearly unbeatable opponent (by increasing it to gargantuan stature, even). Its purpose, in gaming terms, is to add chaos and confusion to the situation between the rival pirates, though, not to utterly destroy them. PCs' tactics in battle should be able to alter the outcome of which captain, if any, recovers the map. The PCs can be sent to recover the map during the chaotic sea battle. DMs are free to create an adventure surrounding the reef, and the hidden caves beneath it. Perhaps the underwater grottos are filled with even more perils, not described here. The reef could be a spot sacred (and taboo) to a nearby undersea race such as mermen or tritons. The final steps to gain the map should be full of challenge for a determined group of PCs.