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Vatermont 1, AC 1018: Zhucharnov Found.
Location: City of Alpha, Kingdom of Alpha, Nayce, Southern Great Bay. NW
Description: By the early morning hours, Viktor has made his way outside Alpha, riding in a coach driven by more of his thieving partners. Suddenly, the coach lurches violently to the right, skids off the icy road, and tumbles over several times before landing on its side in a snowbank. Viktor is shaken, but not seriously injured. He climbs from the coach as the screams of the horses and groans of the drivers go silent. Zhucharnov attempts to hide behind the overturned coach, but is suddenly thrown to the ground by an unseen force, the wind knocked from him. Through his blurred vision he sees a figure emerge from behind a wall of ice blocking the road. The figure approaches and offers to aid him with his magic. Without waiting for an answer, the stranger casts his spells on Zhucharnov, causing him to vanish. (See Nu. 4, Nu. 28; Va. 2, Th. 15.)
What This Means: The stranger is the infamous Alak Dool, who was tipped off about Zhucharnov's planned escape in advance. The renegade wizard decided to aid the fugitive and perhaps enlist him in his own evil plans. Knowing that Madiera's magic would track down Zhucharnov in short order, Dool decided to beat her to the punch. After scrying on him with his crystal ball, Dool teleported to his vicinity and used a wall of ice to run the coach off the road. Then he slew the drivers with a death spell and incapacitated Viktor with a power word stun. Finally, he protected Viktor from further magical detection with a mind barrier and teleported him safely to his tower, hidden in the mountains of the Final Range.
What the PCs Can Do: By the time investigating PCs arrive, the wall of ice will be gone and it will appear that the crash killed the drivers and horses. However, Dool's footprints to the coach and where Viktor fell in the snow will still be clearly evident (with no prints leading away).
Vatermont 1, AC 1018: Building and Rebuilding.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Plans are begun on completing the clean up and repair of the city's defences in the aftermath of the Crown War, including several improvements. These will involve some modifications to the artillery emplacements on the walls, and some additions to the almost completed great temple at the centre of Emperor's Hill in the city. (See Va. 27, Th. 1.)
What This Means: The new defences will include permanent emplacements for liquid fire projectors in the larger towers and automatic ballistae in rotating turrets at the topmost peaks of towers for use against both ground and aerial targets in addition to the city's other aerial defences. Four spires in the Alasiyan style will be built into each corner of the temple, to house not only chimes to keep time and be rung in celebrations, but to house weapons, magical and otherwise, for use against flying targets. Similar defences are added around the new Great Palace in the Zendrolion District, where many troops are stationed as well.
Vatermont 2, AC 1018: The Plotting Begins.
Location: Alak Dool's Tower, City-State of Dool, Final Range. NW
Description: Alak Dool welcomes Boyar Viktor Zhucharnov to his tower. Viktor's initial anger at Dool's interference quickly subsides, once he realises that Dool probably did help him to evade Madiera. Alak stokes Viktor's desire for revenge against King Ericall (which is really not that difficult), and the two begin plotting. Dool informs his guest that he has heard intriguing rumours of an immense mechanical war machine, which would allow them to crush Ericall, and perhaps take control of all of Norwold. Viktor is sceptical, but Alak persuades him to consider the idea. With Dool's magical knowledge, and Zhucharnov's financial resources, plus his widespread network of thieving associates, they convince themselves that Alpha is theirs! (See Nu. 28, Va. 1; Th. 15, Fl. 4.)
What This Means: Alak Dool learned of the war machine through contacts with Coiger de Mory, another of Norwold's villains. Alak feigned disinterest, while secretly coveting the machine for his own evil schemes. Dool wants to use Zhucharnov and his resources to do his dirty work for him, and to take the fall if the plan fails. Zhucharnov is flattered that Dool selected him as his partner in this plot, but quickly convinces himself that he is the one in charge. The evil duo begins to muster their respective forces in an attempt to locate the mighty war machine.
Vatermont 2, AC 1018: The Torpin Reaches Torenal Site.
Location: Torenal Site, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS
Description: The Torpin makes a stop at Torenal Site. This is a planned stop and Commander Deltart is happy to show the Torpin crew around. He mentions that the site was actually under attack on the Day of Dread, but the attack was repelled. He carefully avoids mentioning the efforts of Tanalos and the other merrow of Underocean, though. He doesn't lie-he just doesn't say anything about them. Still, doing so he manages to leave the Torpin crew with the impression that Torenal Site was able to withstand an even larger assault by ghouls under his command than it was the year before under former Commander Talmata. (See Nu. 17, Nu. 27; Va. 24, Fl. 15.)
What This Means: Deltart is playing politics. He knows that Dlanor is a mage of renown in Nayce and that the Naycese Council listens to Commander Dhallaq Trest, so he tries his best to look good in the eyes of people who will report to his superiors. Given that Tanalos is already angry over being dismissed, Deltart's "lapse of memory" could cause lots of trouble in the future.
What the PCs Can Do: Not much to do here, but the PCs on the Torpin could get to see Torenal Site and vice versa.
Vatermont 3, AC 1018: Oxhill Under Siege.
Location: Barony of Oxhill, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: On the day that the Baron of Oxhill, Lord Pieter Vandehaar, is supposed to appear at the parliament to face charges of treason for cheating during the magical duel for the Viscountcy of Castelbianco last year, news reaches Glantri City that the Barony of Oxhill is under siege. It is under attack by the Followers of the Claymore, an illegal and dangerous cadre of militant fighters and fanatical clerics. Rumours abound that the Followers of the Claymore have risen up in reaction to the Alexander's Day massacre, and that Baron Pieter has been killed in the siege. The parliament initiates an investigation and Warden of the Marches Malachie du Marais sends troops to quell any problems in the area. (See Nu. 5; Va. 9, Va. 18.)
What This Means: In order to avoid facing charges and in all likelihood the stripping of his nobility title, the unscrupulous Baron Pieter secretly arranged for the local faction of the Followers of the Claymore to lay siege to Oxhill. He eventually staged his death, so that his title-but not his crimes-will be passed on to his son, Lord Pieter-Eeuwke Vandehaar.
What the PCs Can Do: Real or not, the uprising in Oxhill led by clerics is an occurrence the Glantrians have been afraid of since the Alexander's Day massacre. Regardless of the loyalties of the PCs, should they get involved in the siege of Oxhill or similar situations, they will be sure to face much espionage and combat, magical and mundane, for the months to come.
Vatermont 3, AC 1018: Anchors Away!
Location: City of Seagirt, Exarchate of the Pearl Islands, Thyatian Empire. SD
Description: After wintering in the city of Seagirt, the Thyatian expedition to Davania, led by Julius Ambrosius, lifts anchor to resume its explorations. (See Va. 18, Va. 21.)
What This Means: In AC 1017, three expeditions were mounted at the request of Eusebius, Emperor of Thyatis. One group headed eastwards to explore Skothar, one headed west to explore the Savage Coast region in more detail, and the third was sent south to Davania. Julius's group managed to chart a considerable stretch of Davanian coastline east of the Thyatian Hinterlands, and to note the existence of a number of tribes of jungle orcs, as well as interesting flora and fauna. This expedition had wintered in Seagirt to avoid the worst of the winter storms on the Sea of Dread; now that this season has passed, sailing conditions are much better.
What the PCs Can Do: Presumably, if the PCs were part of the expedition already, they will continue to take part in this voyage. Otherwise, this would be a good opportunity for them to join it. The journey to Davania may be uneventful, but DMs are encouraged to throw in encounters with sea monsters, foul weather, and the like-just to keep the PCs on their toes.
Vatermont 3, AC 1018: The Curse Unfolds.
Location: Great Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: After over a month of trudging and skirmishing through the snow-covered forest south of the Nameless Tower, Professor Dove and some of the Genalleth elves develop a fever. No amount of magic or medical attention seems to help. The sick tell of vivid nightmares they have experienced the past few nights. Camp is made to allow the sick to recover. (See Nu. 1, Nu. 2; Th. 9, Ya. 14.)
What This Means: The high priestess's curse is beginning to take effect. While a number of elves were fortunate enough to resist the powerful curse, others were not so lucky. The elves are deeply concerned when spells such as remove curse fail in all cases. They decide natural rest to be the best solution and the able-bodied elves do their best to make the sick comfortable.
What the PCs Can Do: There is little the PCs can do to help the sick. Those that are able may volunteer to continue onto the distant Enoreth Shrine to give word of their mission to Durifern.
Vatermont 3, AC 1018: Northern War in Dispute.
Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Alphas'ar, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Several members raise the matter of Stonewall's invasion of Arkan at the Grand Council. The matter quickly becomes a heated debate, although it is rather one-sided. It is clear that most members find Stonewall's behaviour to be disruptive and insolent. After all, Stonewall's armies are filled with commoners who are warring against aristocratic rulers in Arkan. There are a few supporters of Stonewall's cause, particularly from Randel and, of course, Stonewall itself, but they are a distinct minority. The body eventually decides to bring the matter before Empress Eriadna. (See Nu. 8, Nu. 13; Th. 10, Sv. 2.)
What This Means: This is the sort of thing one would have expected in the Grand Council. Though several people who oppose Stonewall's invasion come from nations that have helped Stonewall, such as Frisland or Randel, they are in the council as individuals, not to represent the rulers of the their respective nations, so they are not bound to any sort of local patriotism beyond what they feel is appropriate. However, how much they can do is questionable. Though they can bring the matter before Eriadna, it is unlikely they can do much unless she decides to act. If she was going to, chances are she would have already. After all, Eriadna denied both Stonewall's request for aid against the threatening famine last year and later Arkan's request for imperial aid against Stonewall's subsequent invasion. The fact that she has done nothing could be interpreted as continued acceptance of how events are unfolding. Even so, if pressure persists in the Grand Council, Eriadna will probably have to respond at some point.
Vatermont 4, AC 1018: Elf Skull Units Resume the Hunt.
Location: Keep of Drax Tallen, Great Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: The long absence of undead attacks on Drax Tallen leads General Grumman to conclude that Sylarion's force has quit the field. With the undead out of the way, the Elf Skull Units are sent out into the forest to hunt down the crusader elves. (See Nu. 3; Th. 24, Ya. 25.)
What This Means: Sylarion's force is long gone and General Grumman has taken a fair while to rid himself of a state-of-siege mentality. The Elf Skull Units have been given the task of locating elven positions in preparation for a decisive assault on the invaders.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs patrolling the forest may run into the elements of the units.
Vatermont 4, AC 1018: Polakatsikes Restored Once More.
Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: The repair efforts started last year on Polakatsikes's fortifications have been completed. The town's walls have been repaired, and weak points revealed during last year's siege have been strengthened. (See Nu. 18; Va. 21, Fl. 18.)
What This Means: During the prolonged siege of Polakatsikes last year by the Mivosian army, Polakatsikes's defences sustained considerable damage. Once the enemy had been driven back, Governor Wolfgang Stemmel made it a personal priority to ensure that the damage was repaired as quickly as possible. The Heldannic engineers and local craftsmen assigned to the task have been lucky-the Mivosians have not attacked during the intervening months.
Vatermont 4, AC 1018: Bensarian Takes Stock.
Location: City of Wendar, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: Over the past month Bensarian has assessed the damage done by his impersonator. The Alfheimers are gone and the human populace seems to be content with the status quo. The humans have even come to accept the priests of Idris among them, appreciating their ability to keep the dragons at bay. Bensarian begins researching what lies beneath the facade of the churches of Idris built in Wendar.
In an apparent change of heart, Bensarian disbands the Peacekeepers and the empty prison camps, stating the realm is no longer in danger of Alfheim elves. (See Nu. 1; Th. 3, Fl. 18.)
What This Means: Bensarian has a huge task ahead of him to repair the damage done by the Church of Idris. Following the loss of Her master spy and Bensarian's policy reversals, Idris knows Bensarian has escaped Her yoke and now controls Wendar. She wants him removed once and for all and also starts plotting a new scheme to conquer Wendar-or waste it in the process.
What the PCs Can Do: Inform Bensarian of what they know and help him investigate the churches of Idris.
Vatermont 4, AC 1018: Strangers Bring Ill Tidings.
Location: City-State of Hrissopoli, east of Adakkian Mounts. DV
Description: Along the western fringes of the territory controlled by the city-state of Hrissopoli, a squad of patrolling soldiers encounters a large group of lizard men, busily clearing land and erecting crude huts. Quickly drawing their weapons, the humans angrily try to drive them away, only to encounter concerted resistance. Several fighters on both sides fall before a loud horn, blown by a visibly wizened lizard man, interrupts the skirmishing.
Once he is assured that he had everyone's attention, the lizard man addresses the humans, in broken Milenian of the Kastelian dialect. He tells them that he is Hastessh, elder of the Hasstor Tribe. Until recently, he and his tribe lived peacefully in the jungle valleys beneath the western slopes of the Adakkian Mounts, visited only by lizard men of other, friendly tribes to the north, who had dealings with the outside world. Late last year, tales spread to their lands of great armies arriving from over the sea, who overran much of the lizard men's territory in the west with the aid of some of the local tribes-particularly those who still practiced the older, largely forgotten faith of their remote ancestors. As the conflicts spread, the Hasstor Tribe decided to flee for safer lands, and now they would build a new home for themselves here. The Hrissopolian captain orders his men to guard the lizardfolk, while he rides to Hrissopoli to convey the news. (See Nu. 27; Va. 7.)
What This Means: Something is clearly afoot in the Amalur Lowlands, which lie west of the Adakkian Mounts. The people of Hrissopoli know vaguely of the lizard men who live there, but no regular contact has ever existed between the two nations. The fact that a number of them have appeared on Hrissopoli's borders is noteworthy enough; the news they bring doubly so.
What the PCs Can Do: This is probably the first time Hrissopolian PCs might encounter lizard men, so this would be an opportunity for DMs to provide a "clash of cultures" scenario. Likewise, PC lizard men could be introduced to the broader campaign world in this manner.
Vatermont 5, AC 1018: Four Kingdoms Ally.
Location: Modrigswerg kingdoms, Northern Reaches. OW
Description: The four Modrigswerg kingdoms of the Northern Reaches, Gråbjerge, Makkres, Thrabol and Sareft, agree to trade openly with each other, give each other aid in times of need, and present a united front to the outside world. (See Nu. 14; Va. 18, Th. 12.)
What This Means: Following the royal weddings of the previous month, the Modrigswerg of Vestland agreed to an official alliance with King Throfar of Gråbjerge in Ostland and each other. King Throfar also bribed King Sarats of Sareft in Soderfjord to join them, though this is mostly for show and both kings know it. This is quite unusual, since the Modrigswerg are notoriously independent. It has only been through years of laying the groundwork that King Throfar has managed to bring this about, and it is probably just a matter of time before this alliance falls apart again.
Vatermont 5, AC 1018: Theran Dyke.
Location: South of City of Errolyn, Kingdom of Eadrin, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Seeing that the campaign of Arogansa into Eadrin has reached a stalemate, and that if they do nothing the only way the stalemate will be broken will certainly be through an intervention of Randel to defend its southern neighbour, a group of Arogansan nobles decide to take action before such a scenario happens.
The group of mages flies above the Thera River, at the place where it forks and becomes the Randel River to the west. Traffic is sparse at this time of the year, and the mages stop it altogether on the southern arm of the Thera on account of the ongoing war. Then one of them creates walls of stone and walls of force at the start of the southern arm of the Thera River, instantly creating an artificial dam. The dyke is resistant enough to hold the pressure of the water that should go south, and make it reflux toward the Randel instead. As the Thera is quickly drying up and the Randel swelling, the others start casting earth moving spells at the riverbed, effectively destroying it by setting it on level with the surrounding countryside, which is mostly flatlands. The wizards' personal guards patrol just south of the fork near the dyke to prevent interference with their masters' magical endeavour. (See Nu. 8, Nu. 20; Va. 16, Th. 23.)
What This Means: The wizards do not simply want to end the war, they want to end it with style. This is not a military target they are hitting-doubling the flow of the Randel River will not prevent reinforcements from arriving, should Randel decide to intervene; in fact, the nobles' meddling may well precipitate it. The purpose of their plan is not readily apparent, though, and they have not even warned their queen about it.
Vatermont 5, AC 1018: Reconstruction Work in the Harbour Finished.
Location: Town of Soctel, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Lord Abolon's workers and subordinate engineers have finished the reconstruction of the harbour of Soctel. Only missing now is only the Foresthome Rim Canal. A part of the team goes to Igoin where the work is behind schedule. (See Th. 3, Th. 27.)
What This Means: The workers have kept to the project's schedule at least to a minimum level: another harbour is ready. Unfortunately the harbour of Igoin is suffering from unexpected problems and will not be ready before the end of the year. Quite a number of the workers are now relocated to Igoin to help in solving the difficulties.
Vatermont 6, AC 1018: Winter Chill.
Location: Northern Hulean Empire. WB
Description: The winter has been extremely severe this year in Western Brun and parts of Hule. In fact it has been so severe that many rivers in the area completely freeze over, and even the mighty Yalu River, which carves its course between the Empire of Zuyevo and the Bylot Hills Region, freezes by early Vatermont. The intense cold leads to many people, especially the urban poor, to take sick, and some of those die. Travel is restricted in many areas as the peasants prefer to stay indoors. (See Th. 14, Ei. 11.)
What This Means: It's cold and it is going to get colder. This is no ordinary cold however. This winter is under the supreme influence of the near immortal ice demon Kazukarzash who resides in the Hyperborean Reaches. The intense cold begins to drive some of the nomadic human and humanoid tribes further south, which may threaten the northern borders of Hule, Klagorst, Zuyevo, Douzbakjian and even Sind.
Vatermont 7, AC 1018: Refugees Allowed To Stay.
Location: City-State of Hrissopoli, east of Adakkian Mounts. DV
Description: Katamvos, King of Hrissopoli, announces that the recently-arrived lizard men may remain within the kingdom's borders, on lands that currently lie along the western fringes of his realm. The lizard men may stay as long as they wish, so long as they make those lands productive, or otherwise guard the kingdom form any threat originating from the west. (See Nu. 27, Va. 4; Va. 11, Va. 26.)
What This Means: Katamvos was not thrilled to learn that the Adakkian Mountains, thought for so long to be an impenetrable barrier, can in fact be crossed. Nevertheless, he reasoned that, should he appear to be welcoming to the refugees, they might be inclined to settle the region. This would increase the amount of land under his control, increase the amount of tax revenues, and create a buffer zone along the western frontier of his kingdom. Some of Katamvos's subjects, however, might not be happy with the announcement, as many might see the lizard men as getting a free ride.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs might be ordered by the king to properly survey the land, in order to assess its potential value.
Vatermont 8, AC 1018: Customary Customs.
Location: Throughout the Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Imperial customs officials stop giving foreign merchants extra trouble at border inspections and the like. This makes it easier for goods to be imported into the empire, and somewhat reduces tensions between Thyatis and the Western Defence League. (See Nu. 7, Nu. 13; Kl. 1.)
What This Means: This marks a success for the DDC in its efforts to get senators to put pressure on Eusebius to open up trade within the Thyatis. Eusebius has not given up his plans, however. He will switch tactics slightly and work more to encourage the growth of native Thyatian commerce by streamlining regulations and laws that sometimes got in their way, and promoting exports.
Vatermont 8, AC 1018: Yes, Those Were the Days...
Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, Nayce. AS
Description: Some Alphatian refugees from Esterhold arrive at Ionace. One of them is Noral Alska, a formerly rich merchant from Anchorage and the nephew of Seward Alska, the former Governor of Anchorage now presumed dead when the town was burned to the ground.
Noral seeks out Karszamon and blames Nayce for letting the situation get out of control in Esterhold. Without actually saying so, Karszamon hints that Favian is the one who prevents interference from Nayce with his weird ideas. At hearing this Noral notes that with the way things are going, he would actually rather want Nicodemus back, since at least things worked under his rule, even if he was a harsh ruler. Noral later meets with a few fellow refugees and decide to find out what happened to Nicodemus. (See Nu. 20; Th. 16, Th. 25.)
What This Means: Noral Alska is a more traditional Alphatian than his uncle was and so more dedicated to putting the Jennites in their place. Nicodemus was the King of Verdan until he was chased out by a rebel alliance between Favian Vern and his Jennite followers and the Naycese troops of Commander Broderick. It is unknown what since became of him, though many presume him dead.
Seward Alska, the former Governor of Anchorage, was the respected head of an old Alphatian merchant family from the old Alphatian Kingdom of Dunadale on the Isle of Dawn, which is now part of Heldun. Many years ago the family lost a lot of money in an investment that proved disastrous, and they moved to the Esterhold Peninsula about one century ago, seeing an opportunity to make money. They then founded the port town of Anchorage halfway between Skyfyr and Faraway, and assembled a merchant fleet that carried goods along the coast. Seward became the family leader after his elder brother died decades ago. His brother had two children, his son Noral and his daughter Daris. Seward never cared much who controlled Esterhold as long as trade was good. During the assault on Verdan in AC 1013, he agreed to harbour some troops and even transport supplies for them, in exchange for the insurance (and gold, of course) that his fleet would not be dismantled. However, he did not escape with his family when they fled last year and is now feared dead.
What the PCs Can Do: Unless the PCs are refugees arriving in Ionace with Noral Alska, there is probably nothing to do here at all. Even if they are, all they can really do is decide whether or not they agree with Noral.
Vatermont 8, AC 1018: Beasthunter Honoured.
Location: Enoreth Shrine, Great Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: The Long Runner elves who assaulted the Dragon Knights' lair in Lothenar Forest return to Enoreth Shrine, beleaguered after their ordeal and constantly harassed by shadows on their journey. They tell General Durifern of the heroic death of Beasthunter and his close companions. An official ceremony is held to commemorate the brave ones who have perished, while Durifern magically sends word of Beasthunter's brave death via his crystal ball of sending to Coolhands in Erendyl, Erewan, and to King Doriath. (See Nu. 1, Nu. 7; Th. 14, Th. 24.)
What This Means: Although they are deeply saddened by the loss of their leader, the Long Runners are very proud of Beasthunter's actions, and they have dealt a blow against the Church of Idris. The fate of the elven crusaders now rests squarely on the shoulders of the Grunalf Clanmaster, something which the quietly-spoken Durifern takes in his stride.
Coolhands, stripped of her position as Clanmistress of the Long Runners by the Alfheim clanmasters in Yarthmont AC 1017, is devastated by the news of the demise of Beasthunter. Yet, she is proud of his bravery and has decided to head to attend the next clanmasters' meeting in Karameikos to reclaim leadership of the Long Runners.
Doriath is saddened by the news and is determined to persuade the clanmasters to pardon Beasthunter and Coolhands for "abandoning" Durifern.
What the PCs Can Do: If they were part of the Long Runner warband the PCs will have to battle shadows and other denizens on their way back to Enoreth Shrine.
Vatermont 8, AC 1018: A Line in the Swamp.
Location: Swamps along the River Torion, Territory of Thratia, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV
Description: For the past couple of months, the Thyatians have been trying to make headway against the Thratian clans dwelling in the swampy lowlands where the River Torion meets the River Australis. A couple of strategic hills have been secured, but there still seems to be no way of clearing the swamp entirely of Thratians. The Thyatian commander in charge of the campaign orders his troops to establish a secure frontier along the hills overlooking the swamp and river. (See Th. 3.)
What This Means: Since last year [Sviftmont, AC 1017. Ed.], the Thyatians have been trying to conquer all the swampy lands north of the River Australis, in the hopes of using the river as a secure frontier. Unfortunately for them, the local Thratian clans have been receiving covert aid from the Emerondians, whose nation lies to the southwest. While Emerond does not bear the Thyatian Empire any ill will, and in fact sees some benefit from maintaining diplomatic and trading relations with its northern neighbour, it still would rather not see it become overwhelmingly powerful in this part of the world. Hence, Emerond has been providing some measure of aid to the Thratians, although not in the form of weapons.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were involved in this campaign last year, and they found a solution, then this event, and those following it, do not happen as shown. Otherwise, they could fight valiantly on either side.
Vatermont 8, AC 1018: First Spade Dug in Denwarf-Hurgon.
Location: City of Denwarf-Hurgon, Kingdom of Stoutfellow, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: A large team of experienced dwarves starts with the construction of a paved road down to Draco in Stonewall. As is typical when dwarves get to work, there is no special ceremony around the event. The dwarves just come along with their tools and start working. (See Va. 10, Th. 6.)
What This Means: The construction of this road is the result of an agreement between Koblan Dracodon and Buthra Bofadar last year. Both rulers hope that this road will improve trade between their countries and further down into Haven and the rest of Alphatia. The dwarves are optimistic that it will be done before the year ends.
What the PCs Can Do: If some PCs are dwarves or gnomes and like hard, backbreaking labour, then they have found a job.
Vatermont 9, AC 1018: Long Live the New Baron!
Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: A little less than a week after the siege of Oxhill began, Warden Malachie du Marais confirms that Baron Pieter Vandehaar has been killed, and he presents to the parliament the son and heir of Baron Pieter Vandehaar, Lord Pieter-Eeuwke Vandehaar-with his former nursemaid Leena Tijlen in tow. Speaking in behalf of the inarticulate Lord Pieter-Eeuwke, Leena requests that Pieter-Eeuwke be confirmed as the new baron and that the charges against Lord Pieter be dropped. Supreme Judge Dolores Hillsbury, a known ally of the past baron, allows it, and though some politicians suspect treachery going on, Pieter-Eeuwke is indeed confirmed as Baron of Oxhill. (See Va. 3; Th. 7, Ya. 10.)
What This Means: Under the fireworks of the bitter political adversaries Prince Malachie and Princess Dolores, Pieter Vandehaar has executed his greatest undercover coup yet! As part of his contingency plan, Pieter has magically taken up the identity of his lover and chief spy, Leena Tijlen, so that he may manipulate his inept son, and thus continue to rule Oxhill. Meanwhile the real Leena has more time for underground dealings as The Eyes Without A Face, no doubt causing more trouble in the Sablestone frontier in southwestern Glantri.
What the PCs Can Do: Many plots are afoot for PCs involved in espionage, what with a new Baron of Oxhill, two Leena Tijlens, and at least two rival princes of Glantri involved. The main targets of "Leena" would be his enemies: Prince Harald Haaskinz of Sablestone, Viscount Gerrid Rientha of Castelbianco, as well as their new ally, Baroness Danira Voshane of Egorn.
Vatermont 9, AC 1018: Collateral Damage.
Location: Northern region of Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: The team the Navy of the Lakes has sent to survey the route for a canal that will connect Shiell Lake with Crystal Lake is attacked by a strong unit of the Stonewall Expeditionary Corps-too strong to withstand. Although the team protests that this is a civilian enterprise with no military relevance, the commander, Colonel Sorentas, thinks he has captured a reconnaissance unit of the Foresthome army. As both nations are fighting each other in Arkan, the team members now become prisoners of war. The Stonewall unit returns to the territory of Arkan with their prisoners. (See Nu. 3, Nu. 13; Fl. 2, Fl. 27.)
What This Means: This is a typical event in times of war. A unit of the Stonewall Expeditionary Corps has been sent out to look for Foresthome soldiers-even in Foresthome proper. What the soldiers have found is the survey team, and Sorentas was convinced it was a mercenary force of Foresthome. From a certain perspective this is even true, although the orders of the team have neither included military tasks nor advances into the territories of other kingdoms. Someday all these facts may be revealed but for now the team has been captured.
The soldiers protecting the survey team were hired to fight bandits or monsters, but they are not strong enough to battle a real army, so there was nothing they could do.
Although there is another team surveying this route from the opposite direction, the work will be delayed.
What the PCs Can Do: Members of the surveying team might have a chance of avoiding capture. Although their chance to free their comrades is very low, they could deliver the news of the incident to Admiral Halzunthram, who could then start negotiations to free the prisoners. On the other hand, it can be the PCs who stumble upon the surveyors and arrest them, before being sent out to look for more "enemies."
Vatermont 10, AC 1018: First Spade Dug in Draco.
Location: City of Draco, Kingdom of Stonewall, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: A second team of dwarven workers starts with the construction of the Denwarf-Hurgon-Draco Road in the capital of Stonewall. As is inevitable in a mainly human realm this time, there is a big ceremony. The king holds a speech to inspire the workers and to promise his people a bright future. The dwarves shrug about the human silliness and start working. (See Va. 8; Th. 6, Ei. 14.)
What This Means: It is reasonable to build a street from both ends. That the humans must make such a fuss about the beginning of a simple work is something the dwarves cannot understand and must endure.
Vatermont 10, AC 1018: The Shadow Lord's Frustration.
Location: Barony of Two Lakes Vale, Icereach Range. NW
Description: The Shadow Lord again attempts the ceremony to break the bonds of vassalichdom and pave the way to becoming a full lich. Yet, despite possessing his phylactery, he again fails. At this inopportune moment, Sylarion and Ulslime enter the Shadow Lord's chamber and demand that he assist them in their work concerning the spread of the Death Cloud. After a lengthy outburst, the Shadow Lord teleports away, leaving Sylarion and Ulslime to ponder their options in how to control their "colleague." (See Nu. 1, Nu. 3; Ya. 17, Fe. 7.)
What This Means: The Shadow Lord cannot understand why he cannot attain full lichdom. He must find out why and certainly has no time to waste on tinkering with the Death Stone.
Vatermont 11, AC 1018: A Shadow on the Road.
Location: Village of Shadowgates, Shire of Heartshire, Five Shires. OW
Description: The Leehashire hin arrive in Shadowgates. On the road, they are accosted by persons unknown, and several members of the Norwold expedition are slightly injured before the strangers are run off. A deeply embarrassed Sheriff of Heartshire orders a full investigation.
What This Means: The history of the Five Shires and the exodus to Leehashire from long ago is more complex than most living hin remember. Unbeknownst to them, the Leehashire hin know secrets that, if they were unwittingly told, would upset a number of beliefs the hin of the Five Shires have about themselves, and send a powerful family into disgrace as traitors to their race. Without explaining the reasons for the orders, family elders have begun conspiring to kill the visitors to the their land. (See Nu. 19, Nu. 28; Va. 20, Va. 26.)
What the PCs Can Do: The Leehashire visitors are eager to hire trustworthy bodyguards, and the Heartshire authorities are interested in quietly investigating the attack, even if that means using someone other than locally well-known krondar to do so. Both alternatives offer PCs work and adventure.
Vatermont 11, AC 1018: Into the Unknown.
Location: Serpent Strait, north of Amalur Lowlands. DV
Description: A large Kastelian sailing vessel, the Petra, approaches the swampy northern coast of the Amalur Lowlands. Its crew notes the presence of several small coastal villages, but none of them appear to be inhabited. Several of the buildings, they note, are damaged. Finding a good place to drop anchor, the Kastelians prepare to send exploratory parties ashore, a task taking a few hours. Once all the preparations have been made, two parties of 20 marines go ashore and venture into the coastal jungles. (See Nu. 27; Va. 26, Th. 11.)
What This Means: The Kastelian Assembly followed the sages' recommendations, and ordered an expedition mounted as soon as possible. The question now is what will be discovered.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are part of the expedition, they will have to contend with all manner of dangers-wildlife, jungle orcs, and potentially hostile lizard men-for the Amalur Lowlands are largely untamed wilderness. The jungles may also conceal many interesting things, such as lost cities, hidden tribes, or anything else the DM wishes to add to a campaign.
Vatermont 11, AC 1018: The Amburese Assault.
Location: Towns of Ceafem and Reer, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Unexpectedly, another participant announces itself in the war between Stonewall and the Arkan and Foresthome allies.
Ambur has sent troops across the border into Arkan to the town of Reer. They declare that they intend to join Arkan and Foresthome in their struggle against the Stonewall invaders. Their move surprises the limited Stonewall forces outside Reer, who are pushed back. Ambur's soldiers are then welcomed into Reer where they resupply.
Elsewhere, a group of five ships arrive near Ceafem carrying the colours of Ambur. As they come closer, they fire their weapons against the siege engines of Stonewall to the cheer of the Arkan and Foresthome forces in Ceafem. For a moment, the Stonewall invaders are taken by surprise, but they soon start shooting back. One ship is damaged and retreats north, probably toward Starpoint in Ambur, but the other four ships make it into the harbour of Ceafem, where they resupply the town with their cargo and reinforce it with fresh troops. (See Nu. 13, Va. 3; Va. 20, Th. 2.)
What This Means: Stonewall didn't expect Ambur to become involved-now they have yet another enemy in the war. Ambur has intervened because of the situation they would face if Arkan were conquered by Stonewall: they would be totally surrounded by Stonewall on all sides except for the rim! Ambur is as traditionally Alphatian as most nations, so Stonewall's peculiar mindset is not exactly what they want in a neighbour. They expected Arkan to hold, especially when Foresthome joined, but it seems clear that they must either help Arkan or accept Stonewall's presence. Neither is desirable, but the latter seems worse, so Queen Elshethara decided Ambur would have to do something before it was too late, because if her nations is completely surrounded by Stonewall, she has little doubt Stonewall will smother Ambur into submission. Elshethara also sees opportunities here. She has followed the planned canals of the Navy of the Lakes with interest. Ambur doesn't have to build canals because it already has the Ambur River, but any use of the canals by Ambur must go through the Crystal Lake, so if Ambur helps Arkan, Ambur might be rewarded with favourable trade agreements on the Crystal Lake once use of the canals becomes widespread. Elshethara also hopes to convince Arkan to give Ambur some of the uninhabited islands in the Crystal Lake in exchange for its help.
Stonewall damaged one ship and is prepared for further ships, but some of the catapults and ballistae were damaged, a few beyond repair. That leaves sea travel a little less dangerous now, although the Arkan, Foresthome, and Amburese allies may not be aware of this.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can participate on either side, most likely in Ceafem, but being active near Reer is just as relevant. If they are on the side of the Arkan, Amburese, and Foresthome allies, they could be sent to spy in the Stonewall camp and discover that some siege engines are damaged. That would mean Ceafem is likely to resupply with its ships.
Vatermont 11, AC 1018: Colimans Are Pirated.
Location: Town of Colima, Azcan Empire. HW
Description: The lookouts on the cliffs over Colima, scanning through the haze across the bay, spot an approaching ship, and light the signal fires, assuming the worst. The stone carvers working on the great likeness of a sleeping giant, and the other townsfolk, abandon their work and flee for the hills. Their fears are not unfounded, for it is indeed a pirate vessel. Captain Pegleg Took, a pirate mage, steers his sloop, the Makai Pearl, into the bay. The Makai Pearl navigates around the Serpent Head rocks that protect the harbour, and then drops anchor close to shore. The pirates unload several barrages of bow fire to provide cover for their mates rowing to shore. The cover isn't needed, however, as there are no defenders to protect the town. Pegleg flies to shore, directing his crew on which buildings to loot. They make off with anything of value that isn't tied down (and some that is!) and then sail away.
What This Means: The Stonecarvers of Colima are a culture of semi-nomadic sculptors, who have settled in this isolated segment of Azcan lands about eighty tides ago. Since then, they have been making steady progress on their impressive carving in the cliff face, despite frequent raids from the Merry Pirates, or the Azcans themselves. The villagers do not have a strong warrior tradition, and so they fled inland toward Greater Colima, a larger settlement a couple of miles from the coastal village. It had been a circle or so since the last "pruning" of Colima, as the pirates call it, and so Took decided the time was ripe.
What the PCs Can Do: If the adventurers happen to be in Colima, they can come the defence of the village, perhaps even rallying some of the bolder villagers to help drive the pirates away. If they are Merry Pirates, the PCs can gather up the town's wealth, and even travel inland to raid or trade with Greater Colima.
Vatermont 12, AC 1018: Thyatians Avoid Oceansend.
Location: About 450 miles south of City of Oceansend, Territory of Heldland, Heldannic Empire. NW
Description: Twenty Heldannic warships from Oceansend close in on the Thyatian convoy several miles south of the city. The engagement is not followed as the Thyatian ships and the accompanying Ostlander longships break off and head east, farther off from the coast of Heldland into the Alphatian Sea. The knights do not pursue. (See Nu. 10, Nu. 19; Va. 18, Va. 26.)
What This Means: The Thyatian convoy is rather large, and the Thyatians have no known interests in Norwold, so the Heldannic commander was suspicious of the presence of so many warships close to Oceansend. Since the destination of the Thyatian expedition is not Oceansend anyway, but the Isle of the Dogs east of it, the Thyatians turned sail due east, so they will reach the island from deep sea rather than from the Heldannic waters. The Heldannic Knights do not suspect the true destination and nature of the expedition, mistaking it for a merchant convoy to Ionace.
Vatermont 13, AC 1018: Refugees in Bluenose Ruins.
Location: Bluenose Ruins, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS
Description: Pidimigd and his assistants have seen a notable increase in Alphadon numbers in the Bluenose Ruins recently, yet the Alphadon haven't said much about it. When he comments on it, his daughter Prellia tells him that she learned from the Alphadon only yesterday that tritons from Underocean have been killing their people on a regular basis recently, so many have fled here. Pidimigd is doubly surprised-first by the news that Underocean is hostile, and second by the fact that Prellia found out before any of the other Alphatians despite being the only one among them who is not a necromancer. For a few moments he berates her for not telling him this earlier, but then stops himself. He calls for a meeting with the Alphadon, who confirm what Prellia has told him. Eventually he sends Zebul to Ionace to bring this news to the Naycese Council. (See Nu. 1, Nu. 19; Va. 20, Va. 21.)
What This Means: Pidimigd is both angry and envious of his daughter. She is the only one among the Alphatians at Bluenose who isn't even a necromancer, and yet the Alphadon confided in her before anyone else. He stops himself, however, because he knows why this is so: The Alphadon have been suspicious of him since he tried to control them with magic last year. He lied to them about what happened, but it was obvious they have doubts about him. If they trust Prellia, however, that might be something he could use... He knows that Nayce needs to be informed of Underocean's aggression, as the Alphadon might not win the battle on their own. Normally he would have sent Prellia, but he realises that she is more valuable to him here, and so he sent Zebul instead.
What the PCs Can Do: It is unlikely the PCs are in the Bluenose Ruins, but if they are, they can escort Zebul to Ionace.
Vatermont 13, AC 1018: The Wolf Is Freeee...
Location: Town of Eadil, Kingdom of Brasov. WB
Description: Some elves, seriously wounded in the past weeks by a big wolf that roams the wood around Eadil, die of a mysterious disease that nobody seems to be able to cure. (See Nu. 11, Nu. 19; Th. 9.)
What This Means: The problem here is that the wolf is a werewolf. Lycanthropy is not known in Brasov, although it can be found in Klagorst, where Nhorg had enslaved some werewolves when he was Duke of Vrancea. Nhorg had sent some of them to support his agents in Western Brun, such as Mattias Debrecen in Brasov. Debrecen used the werewolf to kill Skrjabin, because the latter, who had fled from Vrancea after Nhorg's fall, had come to Brasov to blackmail Debrecen, threatening to reveal his true identity to King Szabo. When Debrecen was arrested, Aleksandr Herziowski was able to flee from his prison in the dungeon under the spy's home.
Vatermont 16, AC 1018: Rushing Randel.
Location: Border between Kingdom of Randel and Kingdom of Eadrin, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Although it is not yet springtime, the Randel River has reached, and even exceeded, its highest level. The flow is much faster than usual, making navigation impossible. Several fishing boats capsize, some people are washed away and drown, and some bridges and fords are destroyed by the rushing water. At several places the river floods its banks and inundates the villages and fields that border it. The river, which is normally navigable from Errolyn to Rardish, becomes too unruly for most ships, which remain anchored to avoid capsizing.
Meanwhile, the Thera between Arogansa and Eadrin is running dry. All traffic between Errolyn and Archpoint is interrupted, and patrols prevent worried ship captains from reaching the dyke and discovering the real reason behind the disruption. (See Nu. 20, Va. 5; Th. 23, Th. 28.)
What This Means: This is the result of the diversion of the southern arm of the Thera into the Randel by Arogansan wizards.
What the PCs Can Do: The local authorities in Randel will need heroes to travel to the source of the Thera to determine if this is a natural occurrence-it is up to the PCs to discover that the source of the problem lies at the Thera/Randel fork, and not at the source of the river. There are also people to save from the waters.
Vatermont 18, AC 1018: Monsters Escape Fair.
Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: During the annual Monsters' Fair, a crowd of frenzied men and women appear at the fair grounds preaching that Yamuga the Yurt Dweller despises how the heathen wizards mistreat Her creatures and that Yamuga the Yurt Dweller wishes all Her children to be free. At that point, the religious zealots begin releasing several monsters from their cages and holding pens. Havoc ensues and order is only restored after the combined efforts of the Monster Handlers' Syndicate, the Monster Hunters' Union, the constabulary, and a bit of magical aid from the nearby Great School of Magic.
A few of the perpetrators are killed by the escaped creatures, and those who are captured claim that they were ensorcelled by the Thousand Fists of the Khan to perform such fanatic and illegal actions. (See Nu. 5, Va. 3; Va. 28, Th. 7.)
What This Means: The Thousand Fists of the Khan, a belligerent sect of clerics supported by the Ethengar clans, were indeed responsible for the incident. Their modus operandi is to enchant their enemies-meaning most cleric-hating Glantrian wizards-to perform a quest, such as proclaiming religious teachings in public or performing extraordinary deeds in the names of the Immortals. The Thousand Fists of the Khan have grown bold of late in reprisal for the anti-clerical activities since the Alexander's Day massacre.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs can be involved in running after escaped monsters or religious fanatics. The Monsters' Fair is always a good place to introduce rare and new breeds of monsters (as if Glantri's own monster population weren't enough). PCs with any involvement with the Immortal Yamuga (Terra) or other Ethengar Immortals, such as Cretia or Tubak (Ixion), may be called in to help go after the trail of the Thousand Fists.
Vatermont 18, AC 1018: Audience at Ostland.
Location: City of Zeaburg, Kingdom of Ostland. OW
Description: King Finn Hordson of Ostland receives an emissary from King Throfar of the Modrigswerg kingdom of Gråbjerge. The Modrigswerg ask that Finn acknowledge their kingdom as a new jarldom, and thus a part of Ostland, and that they exchange emissaries and trade with each other. Finn Hordson agrees, much to the disappointment of some other jarls and the local dwarven populace in general, and Throfar is declared Jarl of Gråbjerge. (See Nu. 14, Va. 5; Th. 12, Fl. 1.)
What This Means: In order to mingle with the world, Throfar first has to secure his immediate surroundings. He knows that swearing fealty to the King of Ostland will not cost him anything, while he will gain the protection of Ostland. King Finn Hordson believes that the Modrigswerg will make a powerful addition to Ostland's defence, and that their mythical artifacts could become an important asset in times of need.
Other, more traditional jarls think that the king is too open-minded for his own good, and that dealings with the Modrigswerg will only lead to grief. Finn has been a strong king so far, though, and they dare not oppose him openly.
Vatermont 18, AC 1018: The Domes Arrive.
Location: Above the Torenal Site, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS
Description: The domes from Notrion arrive above the Torenal Site, and Commander Deltart immediately orders them brought down to the site itself. (See Nu. 10; Th. 17, Fl. 6.)
What This Means: The final construction of Torenal Site can now begin. However, one consequence of this is the end of the work Nayce put in the hands of people in Notrion to replace the farming made redundant by the sinking of the Alphatian continent, as they have given no new project to Notrion. Though King Corydon of Notrion was happy to see the responsibility of the domes get out of his hands, this also means that a number of people in Notrion are now essentially unemployed. That doesn't exactly help the economic situation in Notrion, which in turn affects Nayce.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs can be guards for the construction site. There are still ghouls (lacedons) near Torenal Site who might be drawn to all the activity among the living.
Vatermont 18, AC 1018: River of Mystery.
Location: North of Manacapuru Tribal Lands, Jungle Coast. DV
Description: The Davanian expedition of Julius Ambrosius has reached the coast of the southern continent, and has recommenced its eastward route. Today, the expedition comes across the mouth of a great river-far larger than any other river discovered thus far, and certainly much deeper and faster flowing-which Julius names the Black River due to its depth. Seeing that the Black River appears navigable, he orders the expedition to sail upriver as far as they can go. (See Va. 3; Va. 21, Th. 6.)
What This Means: Julius's expedition has discovered the river that ultimately leads to the Hills of Desolation (although he does not know this), hundreds of miles upstream. His ship will not be able to sail the entire length of the river, however.
What the PCs Can Do: As the expedition presses inland, any number of potentially hostile jungle creatures could be encountered.
Vatermont 18, AC 1018: The Isle of the Dogs.
Location: Isle of the Dogs, east of City of Oceansend, Tranquil Coast. NW
Description: After sailing along the length of the Isle of the Dogs from east to west, the Thyatian expedition lands at the western tip of the island. There they plan to build their harbour, facing the Heldannic-held city of Oceansend-a city founded by the Thyatians.
The Isle of the Dogs is a large island, most of it consisting of low rolling hills and prairies. A large salty swamp, draining into the Alphatian Sea, occupies the northern part of the island. Wild dogs live on the island, giving it its name. These dogs are known to attack in bands, which probably explains why this island has not been colonised before; however, the Thyatians have found in old texts from Oceansend that the native Heldanners once inhabited the island, suggesting that the wild dogs may have been domesticated then, so they hope they can tame the native dogs.
While the workers start building a port and a village, the merchants set sail, with empty cargo bays, alas, toward the Great Bay. (See Nu. 19, Va. 12; Va. 26, Th. 3.)
What This Means: The Thyatian expedition sailed due east after their encounter with the Heldannic Knights, then turned north once they were sure they were not pursued, until they reached the Isle of the Dogs from its southeastern side-the Thyatian maps were accurate and the navigator made no mistake.
The Thyatians prefer to keep their activity of setting up a new harbour town facing Oceansend secret from the Heldannic Knights for the moment, as the knights might react with hostility to their moving so close to their main city in Heldland, even though they have laid no claim to the island themselves. If the Heldannic Knights were to decide to uproot the would-be Thyatian port, the Thyatians prefer for it to happen only after they have set up some defences. The Alphatians are unlikely to discover the new settlement readily, and when they do it is unlikely they will react violently to its presence.
Vatermont 19, AC 1018: A Rumour on the Streets.
Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: Word on the streets has it that a thief called Shadow intends to steal the necklace of Allana Mauntea, the wife of Chancellor Corwyn Mauntea. The rumour claims that Shadow made the bold statement that Allana would not be wearing her famed and expensive necklace by the Darokin Masked Ball. (See Th. 8, Fl. 21.)
What This Means: Allana is one of the people in charge of the annual masked ball, and her valuable necklace has been the marvel of the event for the last several years. It is both a display of great wealth and a symbol of the prestige and power of the Mauntea House. If a thief were to steal it, it would be a significant blow to Mauntea House, causing it a bit of political embarrassment. The would-be thief, Shadow, is a renowned name for some thefts in the past few years. This would be his greatest challenge yet, if he can pull it off.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could find themselves hired by someone from Mauntea House, perhaps even Allana herself. Allana will be full of apprehension of how horrible it would be if the necklace was stolen, and how it would affect the leading merchant house. If the PCs are hired, the mission will be clear: Allana must wear the necklace at the masked ball on Flaurmont 21! The PCs may try to go after the source of all this, this Shadow person himself, but if they do, they'd better make sure someone is guarding Allana. If the necklace is stolen while they are having fun in the city (claims that they went after Shadow himself will fall on deaf ears here), they will face a lot of music and be discredited publicly.
Vatermont 20, AC 1018: A Shadowed Path.
Location: Village of Stillpool, Shire of Seashire, Five Shires. OW
Description: After arriving in Fishtickle Bridge, Heartshire, without incident on Vatermont 14, the Leehashire expedition discovers they're being followed on their journey to Stillpool. Even the most skilled hin masters accompanying the expedition are unable to catch the pursuers when they circle back to do so. (See Nu. 28, Va. 11; Va. 26, Th. 10.)
Vatermont 20, AC 1018: Grauenberg Cut Off.
Location: City of Grauenberg, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW
Description: Soldiers loyal to Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger take up positions along the major roads and trails connecting Grauenberg with the rest of the Heldannic Territories-all of which happen to pass through regions that have declared allegiance to the would-be usurper. (See Nu. 3; Th. 24, Fl. 2.)
What This Means: Just as Herr Wulf and his advisers thought would happen, Straßenburger's growing army is trying to prevent loyalist forces from assembling in any one area, while threatening the one isolated region that reaffirmed its loyalty to the oberherr-Grauenberg and the surrounding region. From Straßenburger's perspective, this is a good tactical move, since conquering the city, or merely preventing it from being a threat, would allow his forces to concentrate on the bulk of the loyalist armies situated to the east.
What complicates matters for both sides, however, is the fact that the much-vaunted warbirds are no longer able to fly. Ever since the sacred Star of Vanya was damaged last year [Fyrmont, AC 1017. Ed.] by Meghaddara raiders during a sneak attack on Vanya's Rest in Davania, the Heldannic Order has been confined to the ground. Without the warbirds, it will be more difficult to supply Grauenberg, and Straßenburger's force will not be able to bypass the defences so easily.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs serving Straßenburger could be working as scouts, determining whether or not Grauenberg could be taken or trying to gain entry to the city to obtain information. Alternatively, if they are loyal to Herr Wulf, they could be given the task of trying to find a safe route by which loyalist troops can enter and leave Grauenberg and its environs, preferably undetected.
Vatermont 20, AC 1018: Juliast Reaches Bluenose Ruins.
Location: Bluenose Ruins, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS
Description: King Juliast's Underocean forces have finally converged on the Bluenose Ruins and surrounded the settlement. As they prepare to attack, however, they see something they didn't expect-there are (living) Alphatians among the zombies! For a moment Juliast suspects deception, but then realises that two of the Alphatians are moving quietly toward his position as they hold up some white fabric. He agrees to talk to them and learns that the two Alphatians are Pidimigd and Prellia. Pidimigd explains what he is doing here, which doesn't exactly impress King Juliast. The Alphatians try to convince him that the Alphadon are harmless-they were themselves harmed and came under attack from undead when the magical surge occurred last year... However, Juliast is not about to just accept their word for it, and is about to give the order to attack when Prellia pleads with him and asks him if there really is no chance of a diplomatic solution. Juliast is a little surprised and says that he doesn't see one, so he suggests the Alphatians get out of the way. Prellia tells him that she, at least, will not abandon the Alphadon, so if he attacks, he will be attacking her as well. Juliast ponders this for a moment, then tells her that he will give the Alphatians five days to find a diplomatic solution or else he will order his forces to attack. During this time his forces will surround Bluenose, and if any of them attempt to leave, he will take that as hostile action and act accordingly. Pidimigd and Prellia then return to the Alphadon city, where Pidimigd magically communicates with Zebul. (See Nu. 19, Va. 13; Va. 21, Va. 24.)
What This Means: Juliast believes little the Alphatians tell him about the lightning zombies, but he is still hesitant to attack any Alphatians, particularly aristocrats such as this group of necromancers. He was also surprised when Prellia called for a diplomatic solution-to hear an Alphatian be so reasonable is not something he has experienced before. Yet in the end it is only his concern over how the rest of Nayce might react to this that holds him back-he may not have a high opinion of the Alphatians, but he is still reluctant to risk a war with them.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are here, they can try to play the diplomats instead of Prellia, or they can be dispatched on an urgent mission to Ionace.
Vatermont 20, AC 1018: Arreghi Reinforced.
Location: Town of Arreghi, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Several divisions of soldiers from Foresthome arrive at Arreghi. They fight off the Stonewall opposition there, then enter the town to reinforce it. (See Va. 3, Va. 11; Th. 2, Th. 24.)
What This Means: When the Arkan and Foresthome allies were forced back to Ceafem, many troops, including many from Foresthome, were trapped there. Commander Trallans of Foresthome knew they would need additional men. He actually requested these troops some time ago, but due to the recent developments in the war, he felt that he needed to go back to Foresthome to meet the new troops. Due to his extensive knowledge of both Arkan and Foresthome, the adventurer known only as Wolf-Hunter and his group, called the Wolf Pack, received the mission to escort Trallans. They managed to sneak past the besieging Stonewall forces and make their way to Foresthome, then travel into Foresthome where they could meet with the troops and then lead them back to Arkan. Because Wolf-Hunter can retain contact with General Lotaran of the Arkan army, he has learned of Ambur's intervention. He used that information to find out what Stonewall did and learned that Stonewall has concentrated more forces near Reer and Ceafem in response to Ambur's intervention, which meant that their forces were less concentrated near Arreghi, and Trallans decided reinforcing Arreghi now would be ideal.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs joined Wolf-Hunter's Wolf Pack last year, they could still be with him. Stonewall PCs near Arreghi can help fight the reinforcements from Foresthome, but the Stonewall forces will eventually be driven back a little. PCs on either side can also perform scouting missions to discover what the enemy is planning to do next or to capture enemy patrols.
Vatermont 21, AC 1018: Oil under Troubled Waters.
Location: Bluenose Ruins, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS
Description: In another attempt at diplomacy, Prellia again approaches King Juliast. The tritons are wary because she has one of the zombies with her this time, whom she introduces to the sceptical Juliast as Zormyll. He tries to show to Juliast and others assembled that Zormyll and his people are not hostile. The attempt meets with little success, and when Prellia invites Juliast or any other triton to come see this for themselves in Bluenose, Juliast tells her that he won't send anyone into Bluenose since they could be taken as hostages. Upon that, however, Zormyll offers to be a hostage for any triton Juliast might wish to send into Bluenose and Prellia says that she will stay to mediate between Zormyll and Juliast if he agrees. Juliast doesn't like this, but nevertheless proceeds to ask any of the tritons present if they would care to go. A triton mage named Kirlas says that she will go. Juliast instructs her that she must report back to him every day, and then she enters Bluenose. (See Va. 13, Va. 20; Va. 24, Va. 25.)
What This Means: Juliast is utterly doubtful of this arrangement, but since Prellia's argument was sound there was little he could do. He truly didn't expect any of his people to volunteer for this mission, but unknown to him Kirlas has always been somewhat interested in magics different from that usually known to tritons.
What the PCs Can Do: PC tritons may join Kirlas or be assigned to guard Prellia and, especially, Zormyll. Alphatian PCs could be assigned to guard Kirlas. After all, if anything happens to her, even as a consequence of an accident, King Juliast will doubtlessly attack.
Vatermont 21, AC 1018: A Happy Marriage?
Location: City-State of Minaea, Confederated Kingdom of Minaea. SK
Description: King Korudon of Minaea announces to the court that his sister Nausicaa will marry Alexandros Verix of Traun, one of the most important noblemen of the country. Nausicaa has recently celebrated her 21st birthday, while Verix is 37. It doesn't seem to be a love marriage, because Verix and Nausicaa hardly know each other, having met only during official ceremonies in the last three years. The marriage will take place in Traun on Thaumont 7. (See Va. 26, Th. 2.)
What This Means: Alexandros Verix asked Korudon for the hand of his daughter because he is approaching 40 and is still unmarried, something that begins to worry him because he fears his old family name will die with him; his brother Adrian has only two daughters, and his wife has become sterile after complications during the birth of a stillborn child. Alexandros chose Nausicaa because of her heritage and relatively young age. Verix is already on his way to Minaea, to take his bride and bring her with him back to Traun for the marriage.
Vatermont 21, AC 1018: Taking the Battle to the Enemy.
Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: Governor Wolfgang Stemmel of Polakatsikes meets with his counterparts of the Army of Meghala, the force of former conscripts that formed last year in the wake of the breaking of the siege of the Heldannic town, to discuss concrete steps to be taken against Mivosia. Reports from spies have been making their way to the town for several weeks now-there have been a number of riots in Syropolis and Tyrnae against the Mivosian occupiers, which have been put down brutally. Although conscription is still continuing apace in these city-states, the loyalty of the troops would likely be questionable, although large-scale uprisings are unlikely due to the presence of many Mivosian soldiers in both city-states.
Wolfgang urges his allies to send a handful of agitators to Syropolis and Tyrnae, who will stir up anti-Mivosian sentiments and recruit more spies while remaining innocuous. He, in return, will dispatch more raiders into the countryside, with the orders to ambush any Mivosian patrols they come across, and to intercept enemy messengers. After a few moments more of discussion, everyone present agrees to the proposed course of action. (See Nu. 18, Va. 4; Fl. 18, Ya. 2.)
What This Means: An alliance of necessity has formed between the Heldannic forces based in Polakatsikes and the Army of Meghala, since the Mivosian army threatens their respective interests. Spies were dispatched to the nearest occupied city-states late last year, and only now has the information network developed sufficiently that the allied force is able to obtain information about what is going on. The actions to be carried out will amount to increased tensions within those two city-states, as small-scale riots become more frequent, and resistance to Mivosian rule grows. Although many of the rioters are natives of the occupied city-states, some of them are the spies themselves. The messages being passed to the locals are simple: Resist the Mivosians long enough and you can defeat them, just like Polakatsikes did. The longer such rebellions last, the more resources the Mivosians must devote to maintaining control over those lands occupied by them, as opposed to conquering more territory.
The campaign about to be mounted by the raiders could sow chaos deep within Mivosian territory. Intercepted messages can be changed, or not delivered at all, thus making it more difficult for the Mivosians to coordinate their efforts over the territories they control. Meanwhile, the random destruction of Mivosian patrols could damage morale somewhat, as it will take some time to determine who is conducting the ambushes, during which the Mivosians' sense of security will be reduced.
What the PCs Can Do: The activities to be undertaken are ideal assignments for PCs.
Vatermont 21, AC 1018: Definitely Not the Welcoming Committee!
Location: Western Manacapuru Tribal Lands, Jungle Coast. DV
Description: After a few days of slowly sailing up the Black River, Julius Ambrosius and his expedition find their way blocked by a cataract. Ordering the vessel anchored, Julius goes ashore with a botanist and a handful of marines. Upon inspecting the cataract more closely, they discover a moss-covered staircase carved into the rock, which leads upwards. They climb the stairs to the top of the falls, and see before them the imposing ruins of a once mighty fortress. Excited at the find, Julius goes to investigate the nearest building, under the cover of the marines.
He is not long in his explorations before a hushed call of warning from one of the marines brings him outside once more. About to enquire as to the meaning of the interruption, Julius is hushed quickly by a marine sergeant, who then points to quiet rustling in the underbrush just south of the ruins, and urges everyone to make their way back to the ship. Their quiet retreat is broken by a loud yell, as nearly a score of copper-skinned, spear-wielding warriors jump out of the southern thickets and charge towards the explorers. While covering Julius and the botanist, the marines unleash a volley of crossbow bolts, which fells the nearest natives. Within minutes, Julius and his men descend the steps and board their vessel, but not before the natives, standing at the brink of the falls, pull out blowguns and shoot darts at the Thyatians. Although most of the expedition members manage to take cover, a few of the darts find their marks. Two men are killed instantly, while others fall to the ground moaning. Fortunately, the ship is able to turn around, while the marines return fire with their crossbows, managing to bring down a few more natives in the process. The expedition does not breathe easy again until the natives fade from view, though echoes of their defiant shouting are heard for many hours to come. (See Va. 3, Va. 18; Th. 6, Fl. 1.)
What This Means: Julius and his men have just encountered warriors of one of the Manacapuran tribes. This tribe, named the Qonqetasana, lives in the westernmost fringes of the lands claimed by the Manacapurans. Living roughly 70-100 miles inland, in forested hill country, the Qonqetasana are a hardy, isolated folk, whose specialty is brewing powerful poisons for use in felling their prey, as well as tribal enemies. Having little contact with their cousins further south and east, these people tend to view strangers as potential foes-all the more so if they venture too close to their holiest site, the Home of the Ancients. This very site, the ruins of a once-great city, is what Julius was exploring when he and his men were attacked. Julius's ship was detected several miles downstream, and the Qonqetasana warriors tracked them silently to determine what the pale-skinned strangers were doing here.
For his part, Julius will note the presence of the strange ruins, and the fearsome savages who inhabit the surrounding lands. He noted with some concern the apparent strength of the poison in the natives' darts; some intact specimens that landed harmlessly on the deck will be analysed when time permits.
What the PCs Can Do: This event is a good opportunity for DMs to liven things up for the PCs, if the journey has been going slowly thus far. Depending on how the attack plays out, the PCs might be able to inflict heavy casualties on the natives, in which case they will retreat to the jungles and snipe at the Thyatians will their blowguns. Although it will not be long before reinforcements arrive, the PCs' actions may win enough time for a ruined building or two to be searched, which could yield interesting treasures.
Vatermont 22, AC 1018: I Am Greeah-Oog.
Location: Shattered Uplands, Delta Kingdom, Nithian Empire. HW
Description: El-Daman Khu, having emerged from the Tower of Soth, has wandered throughout the wilderness of Nithia for many sleeps. He arrives at the lair of a gnollish tribe, claiming that he has a gift for their leader. The gnollish chief, Greeah-Oog, demands tribute from the visitor. The cleric declares that the gnoll is not Greeah-Oog, he is. They argue back and forth, until El-Daman Khu screeches, snakes issuing forth from his mouth! The vipers bite at the gnollish chief as his startled bodyguards look on. The cleric rushes Greeah-Oog and strangles him to death with the chain from his flail, laughing maniacally the whole time, and screaming, "I am Greeah-Oog," much to the delight of the astonished gnolls. (See Nu. 1; Fl. 27, Ya. 18.)
What This Means: El-Daman Khu, already slightly crazed (most clerics of Ranivorus are), has emerged from the Tower of Soth completely insane. As a cleric of Ranivorus, his is beginning to look more and more like an actual gnoll, and thus gained easy access to their lair. The spitting of snakes, a sign of Ranivorus, is a modified version of the sticks to snakes spell gained in the Tower of Soth (among other things). The gnolls, being crazed followers of Ranivorus themselves, welcome the chaos and bloodshed caused by El-Daman Khu. The gnolls accept him as their leader, the true Greeah-Oog.
What the PCs Can Do: Not much, unless they happen to be gnolls.
Vatermont 24, AC 1018: A Campaign of Vengeance.
Location: East of Village of Ragnisfjord, Kingdom of Qeodhar, Nayce. AS
Description: An assembled force of almost 400 Northmen, led by Cnut and Olvi, is gathered behind a line of hills east of Ragnisfjord. The information gathered from prisoners indicated that a large concentration of prisoners is being held in a mine nearby. Within hours, returning scouts report the existence of such a mine, and the force moves to attack it.
The ferocity of the attack itself surpasses anything seen thus far. The rebels storm the outbuildings, killing every Qeodharan within them to a man, and burning the buildings down afterwards. An alarm sounds, and Qeodharan soldiers pour out of the mine, well prepared for an assault. They manage to hold their ground well, using the surrounding terrain to seek cover from arrows and crossbow bolts, while returning fire themselves. At first, it seems that the defenders may very well hold their own against the much-larger invading force, as Northmen begin to fall in increasing numbers. Suddenly, a resounding cry arises from amongst the rebels, as Cnut, already suffering from a number of wounds, waves his axe maniacally and charges into the assembled Qeodharans! He is hit several more times, and falters slightly, but still he charges on, cleaving two men in two as he passes them. Frothing at the mouth, he descends upon the guards, slashing wildly with his axe and becoming drenched in blood-both his own and his enemies'. As seconds pass, he pushes his opponents back, stepping over the fallen and knocking aside anyone standing in his way, but not before one Qeodharan ducks beneath one of his blows and impales him with his sword! For an instant, Cnut pauses and looks down at his wound, seeing the blade wobble slightly before it is withdrawn. Feeling the life drain from him, Cnut yells one last battle call, and decapitates his astonished killer with one sweeping blow before collapsing.
Shocked and inspired by what they have seen, the remaining Northmen surge forward, determined not to let Cnut's sacrifice be in vain, and the remainder of the battle is quick, but exceedingly bloody. In the end, however, the surviving Northmen are greeted by the sight of their country folk, in bondage no more. After the prisoners are freed, the warriors place Cnut on a litter of shields taken from the enemy soldiers, and bear him back to their camp. (See Nu. 3, Nu. 13; Th. 17, Fl. 2.)
What This Means: The rebel forces, capitalising on the reconquest of Østmark, and the weakening Qeodharan situation in the east, have managed over the past weeks to regain a number of villages lost to them in the fall and winter of last year. Many of the Qeodharan garrisons stationed in them have been token ones, and those who surrendered have been either sent to Icehop Island, or to a series of abandoned mines, islets, and other controllable areas where prisoners may be watched with as few armed men as possible.
This battle was an epic one for the Northmen because this particular mine is where many of the Ystmarhavner prisoners, including those from Østmark, were taken. In total, about 650 people are freed, about two-thirds of whom are women and children. Most of these people will be sent to Østmark for their own safety, but some will return to their homes, if they have been reconquered. None of the 170 Qeodharans survived this assault, and the Northmen themselves lost almost 200 men.
In the sagas that will be sung of this event, the Breaking of Norlan's Hand, Cnut's actions will attain almost legendary status, and his deeds will soon be sung with vigour by many a skald.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs involved in this attack (presumably on the side of the Northmen) will have a very difficult fight on their hands, owing to the strategic superiority of the defenders.
Vatermont 24, AC 1018: Two-Front War!
Location: Bluenose Ruins, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS
Description: The day before King Juliast's ultimatum runs out, he suddenly finds that the zombies have some new allies-Naycese forces! Several mages from Aquas and other Naycese nations and submersibles, including the Torpin, have arrived, the ships and some of the mages moving up behind Juliast's forces and some mages apparently teleporting into the Bluenose Ruins. Puzzled by this, it isn't long before King Juliast is given an explanation: Nayce will not allow Underocean to attack Bluenose and the Alphadon and Alphatians there! Juliast is further told that as he allowed the matter to be decided tomorrow, he too will have until then to make up his mind whether to go home or face the Nayce and the Alphadon. (See Va. 20, Va. 21; Va. 25, Th. 14.)
What This Means: Juliast if furious. He considers the fact that he has hostages, but then he can't really blame the decisions of Nayce on the zombies, even if they are undead. Besides, tritons are as treacherous as undead or Alphatians, or so he argues with himself. Juliast is in trouble. He feels the same way about the undead he always did, but he can't fight the undead (be they ghouls or zombies) and Nayce at the same time, and he knows it!
Among the mages from Aquas is Allanas, a wizard whose tower was destroyed by Baron Torin of Underocean last year. Allanas was furious over this incident and took the matter to court since Torin was not an aristocrat and so, by Alphatian law, didn't have any authority; but although the courts supported that claim, Nayce eventually reversed the verdict, which didn't exactly sit well with Allanas, and he has been spreading anti-Underocean sentiments in Aquas ever since. When Pidimigd called for help against Underocean, Allanas and others who listened to him were only too happy to take the opportunity to get some good, old-fashioned revenge. Whether this will actually turn into a conflict remains to be seen, but Allanas is certain it will.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are diplomats there is plenty for them to do here! If they are more aggressive, however, they face an even greater challenge: to resist striking the enemy and remain watchful at the same time.
Vatermont 24, AC 1018: Clerics of Valerias Denounce the Principalities.
Location: Throughout the Known World. OW
Description: Reports about the Alexander's Day massacre have spread throughout the Known World nations, and as expected the worshippers of Valerias are up in arms! The highly religious nations of Ethengar, Ylaruam, and Sind strongly condemn the actions of the Principalities of Glantri and promise retribution for the Temple of Valerias. The main allies of Glantri, namely Darokin, Karameikos, and Thyatis, communicate official statements, which are nothing more than elegant platitudes. (See Nu. 1, Nu. 5; Fl. 19, Fe. 15.)
What This Means: Despite the extensive diplomatic downplay of the Principalities of Glantri and their ambassadors, the consequences of the Alexander's Day massacre are finally coming to a boil. While most of these nations are hostile to Glantri or have little dealings with Glantri to begin with-and thus are of little consequence-the most distressing and stressful situation is in the nations of Darokin, Karameikos, and Thyatis. While the Glantrian ambassadors are striving to quell political, diplomatic, and religious reprisals, the political government of these nations are under great pressure from the Temple of Valerias and other religious orders to take actions against the cleric-hating principalities.
Vatermont 25, AC 1018: Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls.
Location: Town of Cinsa-Men-Noo, Emirate of Nithia, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW
Description: Several packs of ghouls emerge from the wilds of the Nithian highlands and attack the town of Cinsa-Men-Noo this evening. Though they attack viciously, they are quickly eliminated by the efforts of Emir Mahmud-ibn-Rachid and the Order of the Blessed Truth. It is determined that the ghouls were likely sent by forces hostile to the precepts of the Eternal Truth that the emir hopes to instil in the heathen Nithians of the north.
What This Means: The attacking ghouls could have been sent by anyone-demons acting independently since their release in Ylaruam years ago, or under the command of the lord of the underworld balor Shamaash; vampiric creatures roaming loose in Nithia; Nithian necromancers; or anyone with a bone to pick with the new emir of the region. Enterprising DMs can retrofit the event to their campaigns as needed.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may be able to distinguish themselves before the new Emir of Nithia through their participation in driving off the ghouls. He would gladly welcome anyone in his quest to drive out the evils of Ylaruam's northernmost emirate.
Vatermont 25, AC 1018: An Unexpected Outcome of a Stalemate.
Location: Bluenose Ruins, Sunken Arogansa, Nayce. AS
Description: Before King Juliast of Underocean is forced to announce his retreat, fate gives him a way out-a large group of ghouls have been attracted to all the recent activity around Bluenose and move to attack. Suddenly the whole situation turns into a confusing four-sides conflict with both Nayce, Underocean, the zombies, and the ghouls.
At the end of the day, the ghouls are repelled, and King Juliast announces that he will withdraw. He does tell the Alphatians that he is extremely disappointed-they have turned against him in favour of the undead, and yet they are still too blind to see that their zombies brought these ghouls down upon them all. He declares that he will not attack Bluenose, for now. He does not pledge never to return, nor does he say he won't attack the zombies. In fact, he vows that if he can't destroy them here because of some Naycese "pet project," then he shall simply hunt them down everywhere else on Sunken Alphatia. With that he and his forces depart. (See Va. 21, Va. 24; Th. 14, Fl. 1.)
What This Means: In his rage over Nayce's interference, King Juliast is overlooking a few things. First of all, the ghouls attacked everybody, even the Alphadon, only the Alphadon had trouble participating because he had told them leaving Bluenose would be an act of war, but even so, those ghouls that slipped by the Naycese and Underocean forces attacked the Alphadon, and Zormyll being a hostage of the tritons had to defend himself against the ghouls as well. Sadly it would appear that King Juliast is determined to hunt down all undead, as he sees no difference between them. However, there are some of his people, such as Kirlas, who are beginning to wonder.
Allanas didn't exactly get the revenge he came here for, but busy fighting off ghouls and with Underocean losing face he eventually decided that it was enough for now. He feels at least somewhat confirmed in his status as an aristocrat. After all, Underocean bowed as they had to!
What the PCs Can Do: Plenty of fighting going on here. And keeping track of who is actually the enemy should be a further challenge.
Vatermont 26, AC 1018: Pomp and Circumstance in Shireton.
Location: City of Shireton, Shire of Seashire, Five Shires. OW
Description: The Leehashire hin arrive in Shireton, the capital of the Five Shires. There they are greeted by all five sheriffs, heads of all the Seashire families, and various dignitaries and officials from throughout the hin nation. (See Va. 11, Va. 20; Th. 10, Am. 1.)
Vatermont 26, AC 1018: It's Much Worse Than We Expected.
Location: Northern jungles of the Amalur Lowlands. DV
Description: After more than a week spent plodding through dense, swampy jungle, one of the Kastelian expeditionary parties comes upon an empty lizard man village-still smoking from the destruction wrought upon it. A cursory search reveals that many of the defenders were killed during the initial assault. Oddly enough, however, there are few bodies of non-combatants-namely, young members of that race-lying around; there are not even any signs of broken eggs, either. Still puzzling over what has been found, the party is surprised when a bloodied, obviously delirious, lizard man leaps out of the ruins of a nearby hut, and brandishes his broken spear at them, babbling in his own tongue.
Thinking that the lizard man might know what happened here, the marine sergeant orders the creature subdued as quickly as possible. After this is achieved with minimal injuries, the party proceeds to return northwards, back to the ship. (See Nu. 27, Va. 11; Th. 11, Th. 22.)
What This Means: Neither this party, nor the other one, has encountered any lizard men for the past two weeks; they have only found ruined, abandoned villages. Having been informed by those few Kastelian traders who ply the coasts of the Amalur Lowlands that the jungles are not sparsely inhabited, this is certainly strange, if not a little unsettling. Hopefully, the captured lizard man will be able to tell them something useful when (and if) he (or she-as no one present can determine the creature's gender) ever calms down.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs who speak the language of the lizard men will likely be asked to try to extract some information from the captive, or at least to try to calm him (or her) down. If they try to communicate with the captive, and are persistent for several days, they will learn that his name is Sassteh, and that he was a warrior of the village of Shosstesh (the ruins visited in this event). If he is given magical or mundane healing, Sassteh will be more inclined to trust his erstwhile captors.
Vatermont 26, AC 1018: Stop By the Moon Land.
Location: Barony of Moonland, Final Range. NW
Description: The Thyatian ships, after avoiding Ersenbal and the Warring Baronies, sail into the harbour of a small coastal village. The merchants buy some local goods, then set sail again after only two days. (See Va. 12, Va. 18; Th. 3, Th. 9.)
What This Means: The Thyatians want to resume their mission, which is to establish or renew trade agreements with Norwold dominions for merchants from the empire. As expected Moonlanders are rather indifferent to their presence, and it is unlikely that the Thyatians can obtain favourable trading rights, reduced docking fees, or any such advantages for their traders in Moonland, so they quickly move on.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs who are part of this expedition may try to gain a better status for Thyatian merchantmen, or they can remain behind to start their own business. In the chaotic Moonland it shall be a difficult endeavour, but a potentially profitable one-competition is not fierce, but the land is wild and the people unreliable.
Vatermont 26, AC 1018: Two Hands.
Location: City-State of Minaea, Confederated Kingdom of Minaea. SK
Description: Alexandros Verix of Traun arrives in Minaea. As required of every groom by the Traunian nobleman tradition, he walks from the city's gates to the palace, where his future bride lives, dressed in commoner's clothes. There he asks for the father (Korudon) and asks him to see the woman he wants to marry. Korudon leads him to Nausicaa, where he bows in front of her asking her if she will marry him. Nausicaa accepts, and Verix takes out of his commoner's shirt a jewelled knife with which he makes a slight cut on the palm of his left hand, then he does the same with Nausicaa's right hand, and the two symbolically join their bleeding hands. Then Verix sends an envoy to the city gate, where his men are waiting with presents for Korudon, father of the bride. (See Va. 21; Th. 2.)
What This Means: This is an old Traunian tradition that most nobles and important members of the city follow strictly. Nausicaa had been carefully instructed by Korudon on this tradition, and everything was ready for the arrival of Alexandros Verix.
Vatermont 27, AC 1018: My Dog Bit Me.
Location: "City" of Izchnizoy, "Kingdom" of Omegaran, Underside, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: A sleeping Zandor suddenly awakens from a disturbing nightmare in which he is bitten by his pet dog-a very unusual dream for Zandor, whose dreams generally centre on his being the most powerful emperor Alphatia ever had: smart, strong, cultured, cunning, revered, awed, etc. He feels abnormally weak from his dream, not at all agitated or screaming, his body limp and unresponsive. With an effort, he opens his eyes-only to behold a shadow lurking over him. Slowly gathering his strength, he lifts his hands and unleashes a deadly spell at the dark form standing over him. The form, engulfed in flames, screams a piercing shriek that is heard all over the tower, then vanishes. (See Fl. 8, Sv. 11.)
What This Means: The form was in fact a vampire, one of Zandor's minions, feeding upon the only living creature of the place: Zandor himself. The starving creature, tortured by his craving for human blood, finally attacked his master in his sleep. Zandor has no idea what or who attacked him that night, and he believes that he has killed the interloper that dared assault the rightful Emperor of Alphatia; in fact, the vampire turned gaseous when he was set in flames by Zandor's spell, and escaped the bedroom alive-or, rather, undead. His predicament remains, and it is shared by many of Zandor's minions who must also feed on living flesh or blood.
Vatermont 27, AC 1018: Carytion Settled.
Location: County of Carytion, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: The empire begins to increase the settlement of Carytion, to bring its population up to the level of other mainland counties by the end of the year and increase the cultivation of this large island. The new settlers come from throughout the empire, and are brought in a way so as to not decrease the populations of other territories from their levels at the beginning of the year. This is possible as a result of the natural population recovery taking place over the course of the year. (See Va. 1; Th. 1, Th. 12.)
What This Means: This continues the empire's efforts to increase food production and general prosperity. Most of the new inhabitants will be settled on estates confiscated from rebellious nobles in the wake of the Crown Rebellion, while others will be tenant farmers on still existing estates and pay rents to wealthy land owners. Many estates and pristine preserves for vacationing aristocrats will be preserved, as the population after everyone is settled will still be only a third of that of the nearby Duchy of Lucinius, even though Carytion is almost as large as that dominion.
This will also give Coltius Torion, Carytion's Count, and more importantly Eusebius's designated heir, experience supervising the settlement and adjudicating the inevitable disputes, governing experience that will serve him in good stead when he becomes emperor himself.
Vatermont 27, AC 1018: New Growth in the Forest.
Location: Near the Magical Point of Ironbark, western Colony of Aengmor. OW
Description: Elven scholars studying the magical point known as Ironbark notice new floral growth outside what were formerly proscribed as the magic point's borders. The news creates a great sensation across the nation, as it is heralded as evidence that the Canolbarth Forest is recovering from the effects of twisted magicks used on it in AC 1005. (See Fy. 8.)
What This Means: Alone among the "good" magic points in the Canolbarth, Ironbark has persisted despite the shadowelf sorceries that warped the forest. Within its borders, the forest has always remained healthy and vibrant, evidence of the powerful magicks that created the magic point in the first place. New growth outside of its borders may be evidence that Ironbark is expanding its range of focus, or that it is simply working in conjunction with the restoration of the Trees of Life and the Chamber of the Spheres to revitalise the forest. Either way, it is good news.
Vatermont 27, AC 1018: First Skirmish.
Location: Border zone between Barony of Dikhoff and Barony of Serenity, Tranquil Coast. NW
Description: Although he has lost the support of Sonnenfeld's skilled archers and falconers, Baron Dikhoff has a complement of sturdy Heldannic Knights that can stand their own against the Serenic cavalry, while his combined light infantry and Sonnenfeld's archers could only use hit and run tactics against Serenity and rarely hold the field. This time, though, they defeat several Serenic patrols in the buffer zone, and occupy it, pushing Serenity's army back to within its own borders. (See Nu. 23, Nu. 28; Th. 15, Ya. 13.)
What This Means: Serenity currently has little support from Swordcoast-its support is erratic, and generally has to be paid for-but it was maintaining patrols throughout the buffer zone between Serenity and Dikhoff to avoid surprise raids on its territory. The new composition of Dikhoff's army, now with some Heldannic Knights, has led to new tactics, and the patrols have had to retreat after brief engagements.
What the PCs Can Do: Unaware of what the arrival of the Heldannic Knights would change, Baron Sixx did not change his tactics. Now, he will need people who are capable of adapting to the new setup-either to train his men to face the new challenge, or to actually lead them into battle. He also wishes to know more about the Heldannic involvement, and if possible sabotage their alliance with his old enemy.
Vatermont 28, AC 1018: Incident at Dzibouti.
Location: City of Dzibouti, Province of Ubu, Empire of Tangor. SK
Description: This night, a fire erupts in the port of Dzibouti, the second most important of the empire, and burns to ashes the Minaean ship, the Seawalker. The fire is swiftly quelled by the excellent Dzibouti firemen, but the ship is destroyed nonetheless. Although most of the crew was on land, the second-in-command of the ship, Stratos, the cook and a passenger are killed. (See Th. 4, Th. 5.)
What This Means: The fire was originated by the distraction of the ship's cook, who forgot to douse the fires in the galley for the night. The Seawalker held a cargo of peanuts and other exotic fruits to be brought westward to Akuba, and from there to the Minaean ports. The ship was not a passenger one, but it had given a lift to an adventurer, the only survivor of a disastrous mission in the jungles of Lleweryn. That adventurer is a renowned Durhanian mercenary living in the city, N'konga Demele.
Vatermont 28, AC 1018: The Crimson Avengers Join Favian's Cause.
Location: City of Skyfyr, Province of Blackrock, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK
Description: Since Favian Vern learned of the death of his negotiators at the hands of the Jennites, he has been busy getting many adventurers involved in his plan to oppose the Jennites. The latest group to show interest is a group of predominantly Alphatian adventurers who call themselves the Crimson Avengers. The group consists of its leader, an Alphatian wizardess named Silbrecca, the wizard Demris Mass from former Dunadale on the Isle of Dawn, the two warrior brothers Assariun and Rostelsic, a cleric named Lemele, and an elven thief named Jerlan. As with many other adventurers Favian has met over the past few weeks, he quickly instructs them of his cause and then sends them on their way. (See Nu. 25, Nu. 26; Th. 26, Fl. 21.)
What This Means: In his rage Favian has made a big mistake. Not all the adventurers he has recruited share his ethical standards, and the Crimson Avengers are one of the worst groups of cutthroat adventurers one could ever meet. However, after the Jennites murdered his negotiators, Favian is so outraged and furious that the requirements, particularly the ethical standards, he expects from people he recruits has dropped significantly. The cleric Lemele is a cleric of Talitha, for example, yet in his haste he neglected to consider this, just as he forgot to ask for the reputation of this group. If he had, he might have learned that this group has committed horrible acts against Thyatians in recent years. In their own way, the Crimson Avengers do consider themselves Alphatian patriots, but they are very extremist and consider all non-Alphatians to be a lower form of life.
This is a mistake that will cost Favian, perhaps even cost him his integrity and the respect some people still have for him. Normally he would never make a mistake like this, but the actions of the Jennites have pushed him so far into despair that he is close to the edge.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs should not be involved with the Crimson Avengers at all, even if they are on the same side of the conflict-they will hear about the Crimson Avengers soon enough, though.
Vatermont 28, AC 1018: Tubak in Boldavia?
Location: Tower of Igorov, Principality of Boldavia, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: A midnight conclave of the Boldavian barons loyal to Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany is interrupted when the dark halls of Igorov Tower are suddenly flooded with golden light, emanating from a mysterious man who appears out of nowhere. The man, radiantly handsome and dressed all in gold, shouts invectives at the Boldavian nobles in the Ethengar tongue, and calls himself Tubak the Lawgiver and proclaims that creatures of darkness will be punished by the holy light of the golden sun.
The barons and their entourages flee in terror. Prince Morphail does not report the incident, but it becomes the topic of gossips and rumourmongers in Glantri City as soon as the next morning. (See Va. 18; Fe. 15, Ya. 12.)
What This Means: This event is clearly a parallel-or more accurately a satire-of the Milagro de Los Amantes incident last year, where the Immortals Valerias and Ixion made an appearance at the midsummer night's ball of Princess Carnelia de Belcadiz. However, this manifestation of Ixion (Tubak to His Ethengar followers) has nothing to do with avatars of the Immortals, nor His followers among the recently very active religious zealots of the Thousand Fists of the Khan.
The whole spectacle was an elaborate prank by the notorious wizard-rogue Robin Moorkroft, who has been targeting the highest nobles of Glantri since late last year. For Robin and his Mundaner Men (actually mostly spellcasters themselves), it was a daring feat to break into Igorov Tower, dispel any protective magic (particularly protection against light), cast a carefully choreographed series of light and continual light spells (modified to appear like sunlight), and a programmed illusion of Tubak's manifestation form to give the barons of Boldavia the scare of their life-or unlife (all of them are vampires under the control of Prince Morphail.). While the light spells and illusions caused little damage to the nosferatu, Prince Morphail's ego and reputation was greatly injured.
What the PCs Can Do: Prince Morphail will pursue his own investigation into this incident, so PCs of any persuasion may be recruited to work for him. Prince Morphail's first target would logically be the Thousand Fists of the Khan, but resourceful PCs may eventually be led to the trail of the prankster Robin Moorkroft.