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First Week

Yarthmont 1, AC 1018: Anna Goes Home.

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

Description: Early this morning, Anna von Hendriks boards her small vessel, and instructs her crew to set sail for Freiburg. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 27; Ya. 23, Fy. 11.)

What This Means: Anna met with Eusebius the previous day, as he had instructed, and there she received a sealed note, in which, it was explained to her, were detailed the conditions that would be imposed by the Thyatian Empire in exchange for aid of any sort. Eusebius told her that only Herr Wulf was to see the letter, and that he expected a response before the end of Felmont. Now, Anna is returning to Heldann with the message.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were sent in Anna's place, they would have received the same instructions. To prevent them from reading the note, there are several wards in place, which are designed to explode into flame should anyone other than Herr Wulf attempt to read it.

Yarthmont 1, AC 1018: Foresthome Withdraws!

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

Description: It becomes clear that Foresthome has been conducting secret negotiations with Stonewall. During these meetings, the two nations have decided that if Stonewall allows Foresthome to keep the town of Arreghi in Arkan, Foresthome will withdraw from the war and no longer oppose Stonewall or aid Arkan (or Ambur).

There is some resistance in Arreghi, but with the concentration of Foresthome troops in the town, they are easily put down. Commander Trallans declares that Arreghi hereafter belongs to the Kingdom of Foresthome. He tries to calm down the Arreghi population by telling them that, as part of Foresthome, they are in no danger of being conquered by Stonewall and that the war is over for them now. Some people accept that, but many people loyal to Arkan attempt to escape north to Ceafem or across the Crystal Lake to Ailpon.

Outside the town, the Stonewall force pack their gear and head north to aid the siege of Ceafem. (See Fl. 8, Fl. 27; Ya. 9, Ya. 14.)

What This Means: This is a major event of the Arkan war and a serious blow for King Qinn. In one move, he has lost both an important town and an ally, while Stonewall has eliminated one of its opponents. Stonewall has dropped its claim on Arreghi, but then it really came here for the farmlands anyway, and there are two more towns on the shore of the Crystal Lake.

Foresthome has agreed to this deal because it really is mostly interested in the canal project initiated by the Navy of the Lakes. Once the project advances far enough, the Queen of Foresthome thinks Crystal Lake will become a major crossroads for travelling the canals, so having a port town on the lake will greatly benefit her kingdom. Foresthomers don't like Stonewall much, but a continued Stonewall presence seems all but inevitable now, in which case it's better to be on friendly terms with it. In return, Stonewall has received some promises concerning future trade on Crystal Lake.

For Arkan and Ambur, this is quite a shock. Arkan fears that, since Foresthome has abandoned them, perhaps even turned against them, it might persuade Ambur to abandon the conflict too. If that happens, Arkan will be doomed. Ambur is obviously reconsidering, but they still don't want to be surrounded by Stonewall, so they won't drop the matter now that they are involved.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are part of Wolf-Hunter's Wolf Pack, they can find out beforehand and warn Arkan and Ambur about Foresthome's treachery. That might allow some people to escape Arreghi before it is captured by Foresthome. It might also permit countermoves against the Stonewall troops now travelling north to Ceafem. PCs with Foresthome or Stonewall can be guards trying to stop potential spies. If they are with Foresthome, they can also help calm down the populace of Arreghi once Commander Trallans claims the town, whether by diplomacy or force.

Yarthmont 1, AC 1018: Jennites Clash with Mercenaries from Veroth.

Location: Town of Rock Harbour, Province of Southrock, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK

Description: The growing number of mercenaries arriving in Southrock from Veroth is beginning to have an effect. The new Verothian mercenaries push the Jennites out of Rock Harbour, then take the battle beyond the town to the countryside. The Jennites are forced to withdraw from Rock Harbour itself to rethink their strategies and reorganise their troops. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 11; Ya. 5, Ya. 18.)

What This Means: This is the initial success of the Verothian mercenary troops. Though the free and rebel Jennites are motivated, neither side of their alliance is as well trained as the battle-hardened forces of Veroth, nor are their efforts as well coordinated. The Verothian mercenaries are sure they've already broken the Jennite offensive, but it is actually rather premature, given that the Jennites were surprised by the Verothian soldiers. Since Nayce hasn't responded before, the Verothian troops had surprise on their side, and the Jennites definitely expected that any help from Nayce would come to Skyfyr first. Thus they are unprepared for the Verothian counter-attack. Once they have reorganised their troops, they will be in a much better position to deal with the Verothian mercenaries. Since they are so confident of their success, this could be an ugly surprise for the new arrivals from Veroth.

What the PCs Can Do: Jennite PCs may be able to slow down or even stop the Jennite retreat if they are good leaders. PCs on the Alphatian side can be among the Verothian soldiers or the other mercenaries pushing the Jennites out of Rock Harbour. Either way, there should be plenty of combat.

Yarthmont 1, AC 1018: A Challenge Is Renewed.

Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: Captain Luciano "Barbarossa" Saviola challenges Captain Theodor Merryweather while both men are relaxing at the famous Golden Skull, the most renowned tavern for pirate captains in Baraga. Nobody is surprised as in this tavern the legendary challenge had already been spoken out last circle when Captain Merryweather had challenged Barbarossa to a naval race round the Island of Baraga and the northern islands. After a hard race Barbarossa had lost and he had sworn revenge. Merryweather is pleased to oblige his rival. (See Ya. 13, Ya. 14.)

What This Means: The feud between Captain Saviola and his former ship cook Theodor Merryweather has become a legend among the Merry Pirates. Saviola has always suspected that Merryweather had stolen gold from him to acquire his first own ship. Even worse, although Barbarossa is the better sea officer, Merryweather fulfils the cliché of a "merry pirate" much better. Last circle Captain Merryweather had initiated a race between their ships, and he had won it. The Merry Pirates have been eager for many sleeps now to see if a new race would be disputed this circle.

One telltale sign for this rematch was that both captains have acquired new ships. Captain Merryweather has replaced his old The Banquet by the new The Big Banquet. Saviola has sold the old Tornado and now commands the Cyclone. Many take side for-and wager on-the ship they believe will win the race.

What the PCs Can Do: Like last circle both captains might hire additional sailors or fighters. Of course both will be more suspicious than ever to hire new crewmen. Nobody can say whether a sailor is working for him or for his rival. At the same time both will have tried to send some men to the other captain's ship to commit acts of sabotage.

Yarthmont 2, AC 1018: Revolt Fails in Syropolis.

Location: City of Syropolis, Mivosian Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: After over a week of vicious street fighting, the Mivosian garrison reasserts its control over the city-state of Syropolis, after having called in reinforcements. The crackdown is quick, and ruthless-rebels who surrender are in many cases cut down in the same manner as those who fight to the end, and those few who are spared are interrogated severely over the following days, before being publicly executed themselves. Once full control over the city-state is regained, spare troops are sent to Tyrnae, in order to finish off the resistance forces there. (See Va. 21, Fl. 18; Ya. 5, Ya. 9.)

What This Means: The Mivosian army had to undertake a massive effort to regain control over Syropolis, and well over a hundred of its troops were killed in the process, but it was successful. Even so, the Syropolans witnessed the success of the uprising, short-lived as it might have been. They know now that their enemies are not invincible. In the coming weeks and months, Syropolis will be under a strict state of martial law (more so than it was beforehand), and the Mivosian military commander controlling the city-state will grow ever more suspicious of his subjects-the revolt happened once, it can happen again, after all. So convinced will he become that the populace is simply biding its time until the next uprising that he will not press the local young men into the Mivosian armies; far better not to give them any weapons. Instead, he will request more troops to be transferred from territories further north to bolster his own force.

Many of those rebels who are interrogated will break under the strain, and reveal the identities of a number of their companions. This will fuel Mivosian suspicions even more.

What the PCs Can Do: Although the resistance movement in Syropolis has been damaged severely, it has not been completely destroyed. The PCs can play an important role in rebuilding the resistance network, but this will take time-the authorities will be watching suspicious characters very closely, and the PCs might have been mentioned by a captured rebel during his or her interrogation. If the latter scenario were to occur, the PCs might find themselves the target of several assassination attempts.

Yarthmont 2, AC 1018: Imperial Canal Started.

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

Description: Despite the fact that the surveyors have not yet delivered their final report, Lord Frandar has decided to start the construction of the canal. Durgan, the construction engineer, had a different opinion, but his advice was ignored. Furthermore, the team has decided to do the work without the protection of the marines.

So now the spectators-aristocrats, as the construction site is closed to commoners-watch with great interest two charmed purple worms digging their way through the soil. Surprisingly fast, the huge creatures are out of sight. (See Nu. 21, Th. 4; Kl. 19, Kl. 21.)

What This Means: Lord Frandar has told Major Sarond that he and his team will not be needed. The major is astonished but shrugs away and departs to make a report to Rear-Admiral Clarendon. Until he receives new orders the marines will stay in Andaire should they be needed.

Durgan is beginning to regret that he has hired on for Frandar and his friends. Instead of listening to his opinion as an engineer, the noble team members shrug away and proceed according to their wishes. Perhaps they are motivated by the fact that the work on the Foresthome Rim Canal is already underway. The sight of digging purple worms is spectacular anyhow.

Yarthmont 2, AC 1018: The Burning of Moreus.

Location: Town of Moreus, Milenian Empire. HW

Description: Having lured the local flotillas defending the coast out to sea, Alexus the Lawless sails inland toward the town of Moreus. The Grey Lady's artillery sinks several of the village's fishing boats and then starts bombarding the town. Alexus drops anchor, and his marines put ashore, attacking the town in force. The slingmen of Moreus put up a valiant resistance, but they are outnumbered by the pirates and demoralised by the continuing artillery barrage. The pirates storm into the town, singing chants of glory to Vanya, and the defenders are routed. The townspeople also flee in panic or defend themselves as best they can as the pirates loot, pillage and burn. With the town in flames, and much of its wealth in their hands, Alexus calls for a return to the ship. They sail away and set course for home. (See Nu. 20, Fl. 26; Ya. 17, Ei. 5.)

What This Means: Although Milenia has long been plagued by the Merry Pirates, attacks of this severity are rare. Alexus has raised the stakes by torching an entire town in the name of his patron, Vanya. His reputation has spread throughout the coastal settlements of the empire, and this episode will only further exaggerate his exploits.

What the PCs Can Do: Take part in the attack on the town or in its defence. Alert Milenian PCs may be able to give warning to the townspeople to allow them to evacuate, or to turn the pirates back at the gates.

Yarthmont 3, AC 1018: Tensions Still High.

Location: City of Kelvin, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: What starts as a minor argument between a Thyatian merchant and his Traladaran customer erupts into a near riot in the streets. Thyatian-Karameikans and Traladaran-Karameikans hurl invectives and fists at one another. Baron Desmond Kelvin II is forced to call in the city guard to break things up. There are several injuries among both sides, but fortunately no fatalities. (See Nu. 1; Kl. 15, Fy. 17)

What This Means: Tensions between the Thyatians and Traladarans in Karameikos have been high ever since Thyatis conquered the region, but they have cooled quite a bit since those first days of occupation. Events of last year, wherein a militant anti-Traladaran faction of the Church of Karameikos committed several acts of terrorism against Traladaran-Karameikans, have caused the tensions to boil to the surface once more. Though King Stefan Karameikos has taken several measures to attempt to quell the anger (such as the Davinos Reparation Acts of AC 1017), this event shows that all is not quite forgotten.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are involved in the action, they may settle things before the city guard has to be called in. If the DM is of a mind to further this plot, perhaps the tensions are being led by a criminal mastermind-Thyatian, Traladaran, or neither-seeking to exploit the situation.

Yarthmont 3, AC 1018: A Minor Bump on the Path to Progress.

Location: Estate of Dentarthadint, near Town of Tirenlos, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Prostir and his surveyors, accompanied by several crews of workmen, are making good progress in excavating a strip of Dentarthadint's estate for future development, until they see, just on the threshold of a well-tended garden of petunias, the irate, prone form of Dentarthadint himself, who refuses to move or be moved. The tense standoff (or lie-down, depending on your perspective) continues for a whole sleep, with Dentarthadint ordering his servants to bar the workers from entering his petunia patch, and Prostir ordering his men to hold firm. People are almost ready to come to blows, until Prostir's supervisor arrives, and orders his men to leave the estate.

Once the surveyors and workers leave, the man, an aristocrat identifying himself as Kordplin, calmly explains to Dentarthadint that the plans for the proposed construction of the canal have been available at the Office of Surveys in Greenwood for at least the last four months, and that the time for the lodging of protests has already passed. "After all," Kordplin says, "you can't stand in the way of progress, and if you can't be bothered to take an interest in these things, well, you'll have to accept what comes your way, I'm afraid." Dentarthadint, recalling his ordeal in Greenwood, angrily points out that the information is not exactly in an accessible, convenient location. Kordplin shrugs his shoulders, and replies that it is not his place to question how the procedures are developed, "I'm just following instructions, and you've got to have those. Otherwise, society would fall to pieces," he concludes. He tells the wizard that his workers will be back before long to continue their work. (See Fl. 11, Fl. 14; Ya. 6, Ya. 12.)

What This Means: The plans to construct the canals that will one day stretch across the Floating Continent of Alphatia have been drawn up carefully, and pains were taken to ensure that those aristocrats whose properties would be affected by the construction were notified-sort of. Many of the larger towns and cities have offices set aside for such purposes for the duration of the construction, where aristocrats can send their servants to gather information. Unfortunately, this was done in a rather improvised, haphazard fashion, with Greenwood's offices being located in what was once the subterranean urban stronghold of a very powerful-and very reclusive-wizard. Dentarthadint did not appeal the decision until it was too late (not that much effort was made to inform him, at any rate), as he has remained ensconced on his estate since before the transition of Alphatia to the Hollow World in AC 1009-1010. Even when he did learn of the situation, he was soundly beaten by the bureaucracy when he tried to have the decision changed; a mere Grand Council member is no match for established government procedures, even ones that are not implemented systematically or in an organized fashion. He is obviously unhappy with the direction events are taking.

What The PCs Can Do: If the PCs are employed by Dentarthadint, they may be commanded to investigate the activities of the Navy of the Lakes, to determine the truth behind its activities, and to perhaps act as messengers to the Grand Council.

Yarthmont 3, AC 1018: Emilio Pursues the Damsel.

Location: Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: At sea in his personal vessel, the three-masted barquentine Black Raven, Handlebar Emilio spots the all-woman crew aboard the Damsel's Revenge and gives chase. The women flee and elude the Black Raven for some time, before abruptly turning back and cutting in front of them, firing ballista shots across the bow. The Damsel's Revenge manoeuvres away, and lands a hit with a flaming catapult shot on the deck of the Black Raven, hampering her pursuit. (See Th. 12; Fy. 15.)

What This Means: Emilio heard about the all-woman crew who attacked his men and, even worse, insulted him. Convinced that no woman can resist his charms, Emilio set out in search of this rebellious woman captain to set the matter straight. Unfortunately for him, Felicia Marlinspike was able to pull off a daring manoeuvre and sail away. Now, Emilio only wants to locate this "feisty little woman" even more.

Yarthmont 4, AC 1018: The Battle of Finsterwald.

Location: Eastern fringes of Finsterwald, Territory of Heldland, Heldannic Empire. NW

Description: The Heldannic forces based in the region, numbering roughly 500 strong, advance into the Finsterwald, much as their compatriots did last year. In a great line, they sweep westwards, looking for any signs of the enemy, but find no one. A couple of hours pass, and the force finds itself at the edge of a shallow river-little more than a brook, really-where a good rest spot is found. It is here, while they are cautiously refilling their waterskins and resting watchfully, that they are attacked. A volley of arrows streaks from the forests on the western bank of the river, felling several men instantly. Before the Heldannic Knights can muster themselves, over a hundred leather-clad men dart across the river to engage the enemy.

The melee is fierce, and neither side gives quarter or expects it. More arrows fly in both directions, as do a number of spells, as well. Before long, it becomes apparent that both sides are losing a lot of men, and the Heldannic force withdraws to regroup. The Wolkenburger force gives pursuit, and takes more casualties in the process before breaking off and retreating over the river once more. Some Heldannic Knights pursue their foes, but these are cut down by hidden archers lying in wait just on the opposite shore. Seeing that no further advances are likely to be made, the Heldannic commander orders a general withdrawal, but not before burning more of the forest as they leave it. (See Th. 27, Fl. 10.)

What This Means: A second bold campaign to eliminate Helmut Jaschke and his followers has ended in failure. Although the Heldannic Knights based in the area will not seek revenge immediately, they will remember what happened, and will bide their time until enough soldiers can be assembled for a grand campaign. In the meantime, forts will be built on the lands claimed from the Finsterwald, which are roughly a mile in width and run along the entire length of the Heldannic border here. In effect, they have succeeded in their goal of creating a buffer zone to protect their coastal territories form any potential threat from Wolkenburg, but it is not nearly as large as they would have hoped.

The Heldannic Knights lost roughly 200 men today, while their enemies lost almost 100, and, although this may not seem like much in the way of Heldannic losses, these are on top of those suffered last year. Many soldiers will not relish the thought of returning to the Finsterwald for some time to come.

What the PCs Can Do: Regardless of what side they are on, the PCs will have plenty of fighting to do.

Yarthmont 4, AC 1018: Detteria Ponders.

Location: City of Bluenose, Kingdom of Arogansa, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Queen Detteria Scarback, upon hearing reports of the flooding of the lowlands in her kingdom and that of neighbouring Eadrin, with which she is currently at war, is unsettled. The war with Eadrin, which she initiated to prove that her nation was not just a beach resort, is not going as well as expected, with the siege of Archpoint still unresolved and Randel threatening to interfere. Now, the land that has been captured is being flooded, and her troops have abandoned the only real gain Arogansa had made in Eadrin!

Detteria wonders whether it might be time to relent and discuss conditions for peace with Eadrin. (See Th. 28, Fl. 19; Ya. 15, Fe. 28.)

What This Means: The group of aristocrats that caused the flood did not warn their queen, either. They have, in their own manner, acted upon her suggestion: she had suggested that after the war they could build a dam at the end of the Thera and create a lake by flooding Eadrin lands. Their plan is a variation of the theme, performed earlier and slightly differently, and without permission at that, although in their own opinions they certainly were well justified.

Yarthmont 4, AC 1018: Prisoners Reach Limn.

Location: City of Trollhattan, Kingdom of Limn, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The Stonewall prisoners reach Trollhattan, and are taken before a magistrate. The magistrate, an elf, has them thrown in jail pending trial before a full tribunal. He does however allow them to send a messenger to their superiors in Stonewall. (See Nu. 19, Nu. 23; Ya. 16; Ya. 17.)

What This Means: The Stonewallers did clearly act in violation of Limnese law, even if they did, as they put it, "merely assist versus an attack from gnollish raiders." The forces they attacked were the forces of Chief Sthool, a minor Limnese lord who wants to see justice applied to the perpetrators.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are in Limn, it is possible that they are selected to bring a message to Stonewall, possibly being hindered by Chief Sthool, who wants to see the Stonewallers punished, one way or the other.

Yarthmont 5, AC 1018: New Foundations.

Location: Duchy of Kerendas and Duchy of Retebius, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Two towns are founded in the newly settled areas of Thyatis. One, Chonae, is constructed along a bend in the Trevanion River in the hills on its western bank in Kerendas. The other, Castoria, is built on the western bank of the Mesonian River roughly halfway between Hillfork to the south and the Altan Tepes to the north. Both are to be walled and serve as market towns for the region and for shipping goods and produce south to the city of Thyatis.

The imperial government makes sure that these towns, as well as other communities built along the riverbanks, have several water mills. (See Th. 1, Th. 12; Ya. 12, Kl. 1.)

What This Means: This is a natural result of the growth of settlement in the region. Neither town is very large at first, and they start out as almost rugged frontier communities, but both will grow over time, serving as focal points for civilisation in central Thyatis. These communities further disturb the local naturalists who preferred it when the lands were wild and unsettled.

The construction of water mills is part of Eusebius's efforts to increase industry and productivity in Thyatis and restore its position as a prosperous nation. They are used not only for grinding grain but also for operating lathes and looms, spinning pottery wheels, and powering bellows for smithies and in glassmaking. They thus do the work that was once done by slaves, helping Thyatis replace labour lost in the war, famine, and mummy rot plague, increasing prosperity. The empire is helping fund the construction of mills on the rivers and waterways throughout mainland Thyatis, though none are as large as the millworks systems built in the city of Thyatis last year.

Yarthmont 5, AC 1018: Hounding the Bortaks.

Location: Bortak Tribelands, Ethengar Khanates. OW

Description: A dagam (100 warriors) of Bortak tribesmen is beset by a much larger alliance of three dagams of Murkit and Taijit warriors. Outnumbered and outmatched, the Bortaks are harried on their way to join with a larger contingent of Bortak warriors nearby. (See Nu. 11; Kl. 8, Am. 23.)

What This Means: This sort of encounter will be typical of conflicts in eastern Ethengar for the next several months. Having largely attended to insurrections within his own tribe, Manghai Khan/Jaku the Render is now seeking to bring other tribes under his subjugation, starting with the Bortaks. All the forces Manghai can spare, as well as allies from the Taijit Tribe, will be present in the Bortak lands, and all the Bortaks will likewise be at high alert. The eastern Plains of Grass will be a dangerous place to be in for quite some time.

What the PCs Can Do: They may come to the aid of the Bortaks, though unless they have hordes of their own, they are not likely to make any difference. Perhaps they can simply delay the Murkit forces, allowing the Bortaks to meet up with their allies. If on the other side, this is a chance to distinguish themselves in combat before the leaders of the Murkit Tribe forces, and perhaps gain a promotion for themselves.

Yarthmont 5, AC 1018: Genalleth Clan Council Held.

Location: Korrigan Forest, Kingdom of Wendar. OW

Description: Worried by rumours of strange activities in the Dark Woods of Baamor, Genalleth elves hold a meeting of all clans in the Korrigan Forest. However, they decide not to worry Bensarian with their concerns at this stage. Upon hearing the rumours, Bensarian himself sends his assistants to keep watch over the Dark Woods of Baamor. (See Th. 6, Fl. 20; Kl. 6, Fe. 7.)

What This Means: The elven sages are familiar with the legend of Baamor and are taking no chances in these dark times. Elven scouts are dispatched to the vicinity of the woods while the sages conduct further research and treekeepers commune with the Korrigans. Bensarian also finds it prudent to investigate the rumours. He suspects the Church of Idris's involvement, but needs to know more.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are involved with the Genalleth elves or Bensarian, they may be sent to investigate.

Yarthmont 5, AC 1018: Shady Politics.

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

Description: Nicodemus has been looking into the recent political climate in Nayce. Once he is certain he won't be arrested, he secretly meets with Karszamon to propose an alliance to their mutual benefit. Nicodemus wants Karszamon to keep Naycese forces out of the Esterhold conflict until Nicodemus can make his own move. At first Karszamon is unimpressed and considers arresting Nicodemus, until the former king assures him that he can get their common enemies, Favian's idealists and the Jennite insurgents, to fight each other until they are so weak that he can reclaim his kingdom. All Karszamon really has to do is keep his forces ready until that time and then send them in to put down the last remnants of resistance when Nicodemus asks for it. They eventually agree and Nicodemus leaves for Esterhold. (See Th. 25, Fl. 19; Fe. 8, Fe. 28.)

What This Means: Nicodemus and Karszamon do intend to save Esterhold from the Jennites, but they need to destroy Favian politically first or their efforts could be in vain. After all, Favian will only resume his foolish ideas if he regains leadership of the area, and then it will only be a matter of time before the Jennites again exploit his misguided ideals. Only by getting rid of Favian altogether can they truly save Alphatian lives and secure Nayce's interests in Esterhold.

Other than that, Karszamon has other interests. Karszamon was nearly voted out of his office as commander of the Naycese forces last year-if Nicodemus claims Esterhold instead of Favian, Karszamon will lose an enemy and gain a friend, as Nicodemus has promised to support him, thus securing his position. Also, Favian is one of Karszamon's enemies as well as a friend of Broderick's, whose body Karszamon inhabits. It was clear that Favian opposed Karszamon's "possession" of Broderick's body last year, though he didn't have the nerve to face Karszamon when he challenged him to a duel. However, if Favian could ever sway the council, there is little doubt in Karszamon's mind that Favian would try to convince them to help Broderick return to his body. Getting rid of Favian would also serve the goal of reducing the likelihood that will ever happen.

And obviously, the recent increase of Verothian mercenaries won't help Karszamon remain the military commander of Nayce if they are successful. In fact, Veroth could be hailed as saving Esterhold from the Jennites if they are successful, so Karszamon has felt a little trapped between his reluctance to help Favian and his unwillingness to see the Verothians, and so King Verothrics, take the credit if Esterhold is saved. If Nicodemus is successful, Karszamon can reveal their alliance and steal any credit for saving Esterhold from right under the nose of Veroth.

What the PCs Can Do: Unless the PCs are with Karszamon or Nicodemus, which is unlikely, they won't know about any of this yet.

Yarthmont 5, AC 1018: The Stalkers of the Hills.

Location: Southern fringes of Mivosian Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: While on patrol in the hills north of Syropolis, a squad of Mivosian troops comes across a disturbing sight-lying in the tall grasses around them are the bodies of another squad of their compatriots. A quick investigation shows that the soldiers were ambushed, but there is no indication as to the identity of the attackers. (See Fl. 18, Ya. 2; Ya. 9, Kl. 8.)

What This Means: The ambushed squad was the handiwork of a small party of Governor Wolfgang Stemmel's raiders, who have cut a small swath of destruction across this portion of the plains. As agreed with his allies in the Army of Meghala, he would send parties of raiders into the countryside to wreak havoc and otherwise hinder the Mivosian war machine. The raiders will continue their efforts over the coming weeks and months, living off of the land and stealing what they need, while attacking isolated Mivosian patrols whenever the opportunity presents itself. As news of similar attacks surfaces in the time to come, morale among the Mivosians will fall, as the countryside, once seen as firmly under control, now gains a more menacing aspect-despite their concerted efforts, the Mivosians will be largely unsuccessful in locating and eliminating the raiders, as they travel in small groups, and are capable of moving very quickly.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could take part in the raiding campaign.

Yarthmont 5, AC 1018: Clogged Pole.

Location: North Pole. HW

Description: A large merchant skyship, loaded with the most expensive kind of goods that can only be found in Alphatia and in some remote parts of the Hollow World, flies toward the northern pole to her destination in Arkan, on the outer world. When she tries to fly through that dangerous gateway between the two worlds, with its storms, darkness, and anti-magic, she is caught in the worst storm she ever had to sustain, replete with blizzards and tornadoes. Since the ship is using only her forward movement, with no magical motive power working, when she is hit by the hardest of the gale, she is violently shaken and cast off-course. With no other option left the sailors rig the sails, but the terrible gale only rips them off, taking several men along. After several minutes of desperate fighting against the elements, the ship crashes and is utterly destroyed, leaving only scattered debris and spread riches but no survivors. (See Sv. 7.)

What This Means: The weather at the poles is extremely dangerous, and thus so is the crossing. Only experienced crews try it, and even then they do not take the venture slightly. Occasional warships or explorer ships commute, but finally some Alphatian wizards have realised that with the dislocation of Alphatia some goods have become rare (and notably some magical components) and thus may be worth the risk. Those trading skyships, considering the cost involved with the loss of one, only carry the most precious of cargoes-rare magical components, fully-loaded magical items, and other such goods that are available only in one of the worlds but is craved just as much in the other.

Unfortunately the weather at the poles fluctuates over the years, due to the conflicts between the Immortally-enforced stability of the Hollow World weather (which itself experiences violent weather outbursts at times), and the natural changes of the outer world. The weather at the poles has been particularly clement for the past few years, but that mildness has now been succeeded by a particularly violent phase. Though the Alphatians use primarily the North Pole, due to its closeness with Nayce, the exact same phenomenon occurs in the south. In addition, Ka the Preserver does not approve of the increase in traffic between the worlds, which endangers the very purpose of the Hollow World. He has kept a close eye on the skyship traffic, but did not take action as long as it was limited to the occasional military or exploratory vessel. With the rising risk of permanent trade through the polar openings, he has decided at last to put a stop to it by initiating the change in climate, which is now the worst the poles have ever experienced. Flying through is not impossible, though it almost is, and in any case it is much more dangerous than ever.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs who want to cross the poles will have an even harder time than before, and if they attempt passage anyway it is very likely they will crash and have to make the difficult trip on foot (without even the benefits of a well-planned expedition). On the other hand wages experimented PCs can expect will skyrocket-but are they willing to take the chance even at that level of remuneration?

Yarthmont 6, AC 1018: The Poison of Vengeance.

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

Description: In a night-time operation, a group of adventurers led by the Alphatian soldier Lyriander sneak out of Skyfyr and into the Jennite camp, where they plan to spy a little. One of them also takes this opportunity to pour poison into the main water supply of the Jennites as retribution for the recent slaying of the messenger at the hands of the Jennites. The spies are able to briefly eavesdrop on some plans Talin, recently returned, is making with the other leaders before they are discovered and flee back to Skyfyr. Most of the spies, including Lyriander, are able to make their way back into the city.

Shortly thereafter a few Jennites are found dead. Grath, a Jennite wizard trained to Alphatian standards, is able to determine the reason with his magic and discovers the poisoned water supply. Jennite priests then purge the water and save those not already killed, but Talin and the other leaders are outraged by this cowardly tactic. (See Fl. 21, Fl. 26; Ya. 18, Kl. 4.)

What This Means: This is the "payback" some Alphatians and Jennites on their side feel is justified for the messenger the Jennites killed. In truth, neither Talin nor Kalin is aware of treachery on their respective sides. Talin is furious, however, since a poisoned water supply is no random occurrence. Naturally Kalin will find out shortly, but though he is disgusted by such an act, there is little he can do. Besides, the Jennites did kill a messenger. It doesn't justify poisoning them in return, but then it is understandable to some extent and this is still war, after all. He will question Lyriander about it, who will admit that this happened though he is not sure whose idea it was.

The rebel Jennite wizard Grath was born in Blackrock. Most Jennites were always treated as slaves, but true to Alphatian standards, those considered sufficiently gifted were trained in the magical arts, and Grath is one of those Jennites privileged with the rank of aristocrat. Unlike most Jennites who had the good fortune of this fate, he sided with the rebel Jennites when they opposed Alphatian rule, which made him a loyal follower of the cause started by Talin and Draeh. Many Jennites, especially among the free Jennites, consider him to be "tainted" by the magic the Alphatians taught him, and so he is invariably shunned by his own people. This doesn't exactly make him feel so lucky about having become a wizard, but even so, he is still loyal to the cause of his people.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs on the Alphatian side can join Lyriander's team. If they have nefarious tendencies, they can even poison the water supply themselves, though they should be wary that Kalin might not respond well once he finds out. Either way, sneaking into the enemy camp is a good challenge for adventurers, and getting back to Skyfyr even more so. If captured they are likely to be slain by the Jennites, though. Jennite PCs could be guards who discover and capture some of the Alphatian spies, though they shouldn't be victims of the poisoned water unless the DM is certain they can be saved in time. If they have the ability to cure poisoned victims, they might be able to save Jennites who drank from the water from death, though.

Yarthmont 6, AC 1018: Taking the Issue to the Top.

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

Description: Breaking an established tradition, Dentarthadint not only shows up at the Grand Council chambers; he actually takes the floor and raises an issue that, he promises, is of "utmost importance." He then relates his dilemma concerning the proposed canal project, angrily denouncing it as a slap in the face of tradition, and as a project that could threaten the rights of the ruling class to enjoy their peaceful repose undisturbed. He paints a picture of a nightmarish Alphatia crisscrossed by canals, all carrying "barge-loads of crass commercial goods, undisciplined rabble, and all sorts of social deviants," in which the sanctity of one's personal country estate might be threatened. He urges his fellow council members to stand with him against the canal projects, and to demand their suspension. His tirade is met with scattered applause and muttering.

Jolinar of Haven, a rabid aesthete who has been known to rant for hours against anything (imagined or not) that might mar Alphatia's beauty (at least, as he defines it), enthusiastically adds his support to Dentarthadint, adding that the time has come for the Grand Council to stand up for tradition and the proper way of things. Zallaras of Vertiloch stands up and adds his support, too, stating that imperial resources would be better spent repairing the damages wrought by the Great War-particularly those inflicted on his suffering home kingdom. Dalamar, President of the Grand Council, recognising that Dentarthadint's motion has been seconded, officially declares the discussion opened.

The debate continues for hours, as the various council members line up on either side of the issue. Leading the proponents of the canals is Solturnun, who is also a member of the Navy of the Lakes-one of the organisations that stands to make a profit from the arrangement. He and his supporters argue that, with the transferral of Alphatia to the Hollow World, and the loss of the surrounding seas and colonies, great changes are required in order to ensure that the floating continent's economy remains on a stable footing. The canals are one means by which internal trade can be boosted, which will help everyone. The canals will not destroy Alphatia's natural beauty, they argue; it could in fact enhance it, as artisans could be contracted to grace the canals with statuary, commemorative arches, and the like. The opponents to the canals will have none of those arguments, however, and so the debate continues. (See Fl. 14, Ya. 3; Ya. 12, Ya. 14.)

What This Means: Dentarthadint's proverbial "day in court" has finally arrived. This issue has angered him sufficiently that he has actually showed up at the council (notable enough in itself), and that attracted allies in this dispute (who took Dentarthadint's side for their own reasons, not necessarily because they like or trust him). In doing so, he has managed to touch a nerve amongst the ruling mages, and so the battle between the new ways and the old has commenced, although it will be suppressed somewhat by the Spell of Preservation.

What the PCs Can Do: Unless they are Grand Council members themselves, the PCs will likely have little to do here. As both factions are pretty evenly matched at the moment, the PCs (if they are employed by a council member) might be ordered to dig up some compromising information about an opponent, in order to silence them or bring them over to the other side through blackmail.

Yarthmont 7, AC 1018: Walrus and Dogs Parlay.

Location: Town of Ersenbal, County of Ersenbal, Walrus Island, Tranquil Coast. NW

Description: A Thyatian ship approaches Ersenbal under a flag of truce. A Thyatian emissary meets with the seneschal, Lord Gerwen, and proposes an end to hostilities and the release of the prisoners if Ersenbal recognises the independent Barony of Canium. Left with no choice, Gerwen accepts. (See Fl. 7, Fl. 18; Ya. 8.)

What This Means: Although Ersenbal is not really threatened by an invasion by the Thyatians, at least as long as they don't bring in more men, the county needs to end the current situation that has the Thyatians in complete control of the waters around all the islands, and the Heldannic Knights in control of the coast of the mainland. This agreement, though, will make Lord Gerwen even less popular with a large portion of the population of Ersenbal. The Thyatians have not too much to gain, but they want to appear friendly, as the purpose of the colony is to be a trading post and not the vanguard of a colonialist sweep. The Thyatians plan to make sure Ersenbal cannot but abide by the non-aggression treaty by keeping it from regaining offensive capabilities, though not by any direct actions on their part but by encouraging their Ostlander allies to raid Ersenbal-and destroy any ships they might try to build.

Yarthmont 7, AC 1018: The Expedition Resumes.

Location: Village of Rokogana, Northern Yasuko Tribelands, Jungle Coast. DV

Description: Julius Ambrosius returned to the northern Yasuko Tribelands two days previously, but now that a second Thyatian vessel has arrived, bearing weapons, additional labourers, and a tuldum [Thyatian army field engineers. Ed.] regiment, his expedition is cleared to resume its eastward voyage, after taking on fresh crew members and marines to replace those who had been lost in the encounter with the Qonqetasana warriors. They bid farewell to the Yasukans, but not before a couple of young warriors, with the blessing of the village headmen, volunteer to accompany the Thyatians on their mission. Julius allows the two men, named Ishiruko and Tanakasho, to board his ship, and they cast off. (See Fl. 1, Fl. 2; Ya. 18, Ya. 20.)

What This Means: When Julius reached Seagirt and made his report, the authorities were pleased that he had established friendly relations with a native tribe. The lands upon which the Thyatian fortress of Kastra Iasuvius (named as such by the marines stationed there-the name is a Thyatianised version of "Yasuko") will be built have already been cleared, and deeper ties are being forged with the villagers of Rokogana (this, it turns out, is the name of the rescued village). The weapons supplied to the Yasukans will better equip them against the orcs, and the tuldum regiment will help them build a larger palisade to protect the village; both actions should reduce the havoc that the orcs can wreak here. While this is going on, Thyatian scholars will study the Yasukan language and culture in order to gain a better understanding of their allies.

Owing to the fact that the Yasukans already had an established, organized culture, the Thyatians will not interfere in local affairs as overtly as might otherwise have been the case; they will instead seek to cultivate the Yasukans as local allies, with whom they can obtain information and trade for exotic fruits and other goods. There are no plans to expand Thyatian suzerainty beyond the bounds of the fort. They hope the Yasukans will come to see the benefits of Thyatian friendship, in return.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs might opt to remain in the region and aid in the construction of Kastra Iasuvius, or support the diplomatic efforts of the Thyatians. Alternatively, they might decide to provide more direct aid to the Yasukans, and mount raids against the Turkhoshan orcs, some of whose holdings are not too far away from Rokogana.

Second Week

Yarthmont 8, AC 1018: The Gathering.

Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: The Gathering, as planned by Bastian Rodens and others from the Magic-User's Guild, takes place. Many wizards arrive to have their say and watch the creation of the new Mage's Guild. Many young and hopeful wizards have come to participate. Among the more experienced wizards is Ruthera Wocken, an aging wizardess and merchant from Hallonica House in Selenica. There is some demonstration of the skills of those gathered.

Among the more serious business, Bastian Rodens asks all to participate in the renewal of the Darokinian skill in the arcane arts. He repeats much of what he said at the Magic-User's Guild earlier this year and calls for responses from those assembled. There are numerous suggestions, though not all are realistic. Some suggest the proposed school is built on the ruins of Ardelphia, a town long destroyed by orcish invasions. To some this idea is very inspired by the decision to place the Karameikan School of Magecraft on the ruins of the town of Krakatos, but others find the idea to have merit, and at last the idea is taken under consideration. Eventually it is decided that another Gathering will be held next year, and it is also decided that the old Magic-User's Guild will be officially renamed the Mage's Guild from now on. Finally, it is also decided that only members of the Mage's Guild may attend the Gathering next year. A lot of people join the guild right away. The last matter decided upon is to spread the word of the guild to all wizards of Darokin and seek them out with an invitation to join. Among the participants, there are already word of a score of wizards not in attendance, such the aging wizard for hire Rezak Xygar who travels all over Darokin, the mysterious Luther said to live north on Corunglain on the very edge to the Broken Lands, and the reclusive Graylock rumoured to live south of Akorros. (See Nu. 20; Ya. 10, Ya. 19.)

What This Means: This is just what it looks like-a serious attempt to have Darokin rise to the challenge of the Karameikan School of Magecraft and the Glantrian Great School of Magic.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs want to participate in the creation of an academy for wizards, this is their chance. Other than that, Bastian will seek out wizards who were not present or else hire people to do so for him, which can also give the PCs something to do. If there is a wizard in the PCs' group who did not attend the Gathering, and the PCs are adventurers of some reputation, it is also likely that the PCs will be sought out by Bastian or one of his people.

Yarthmont 8, AC 1018: Thyatian Delegation in Alpha.

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

Description: The Thyatian envoys reach the city of Alpha, which is the major settlement of the Great Bay of Norwold.

King Ericall and his councillors, whom they meet in his royal palace, express their surprise when they are informed that Thyatis has laid claim to the Isle of the Dogs, near Oceansend, where they are building a new colony, the Barony of Canium. The Thyatians remind the king of the terms of the Treaty of Helskir, which permits Thyatian merchants to conduct trade within the borders of Naycese territories, including Alpha and its satellite vassals, without paying import taxes as long as the merchandises come from Helskir. With the new colony, they claim, more Thyatian ships should arrive at the port of Alpha, to sell uncommon goods from the Thyatian Empire and other Old World countries or beyond, and to buy local goods that can fetch higher price on the home market. This would profit both Alpha and its vassals, and Thyatis. They explain that the heightened presence of Thyatian traders will profit both sides economically: the Thyatians as they make profit from the trade of course, but also Alpha as they will have access to more goods than before and at better price and they can send their own production to foreign markets where they will fetch better prices than locally. They add that the increased trading ties between the Thyatian Empire and Naycese kingdoms will serve to increase the friendliness between the two empires, building on the cooperation that was commenced with the Treaty of Helskir that settled the territorial disagreements and opened the way for mutual comprehension. Furthermore, they advance the fact that a Thyatian presence in Norwold will help stabilise the area, and notably stall Heldannic expansion.

King Ericall reassures his guests that Thyatian merchantmen are welcome in Alpha, and that he would gladly see more coming in from southern lands loaded with merchandise-there have been few Thyatian traders especially since the Great War, though Minrothaddan ships have continued to reach Alpha and Panteria. The king asks the Thyatian emissaries to be his guests at the palace for a few days, until they are handed a sealed letter that they are to give to their baron-an official invitation for a meeting with the king to discuss the possibility of recognition of the Barony of Canium. (See Fl. 20, Ya. 7; Ya. 11, Ya. 13.)

What This Means: The Thyatians merchants already had a deal with Alpha, in the form of the Treaty of Helskir, and they knew they couldn't gain more concessions from it-you can't vassalise Alpha like you can Latela, or even strike very favourable agreements as in Panteria or Nordenhafen (though the merchants hope to do just that in due time). Thus they oriented their mission to something less aggressive with regard to trade, merely restating the terms of the Treaty of Helskir and the benefits of increased commerce, and instead focused more on the political aspect of things. They notably revealed the presence of the colony on the Isle of the Dogs-whose existence is by now largely suspected, and they were informed that it stood its own against an early attack from Ersenbal.

Ericall learns of the return of the Thyatians to Norwold with mixed feelings-on the one hand the Thyatians present good arguments, both regarding trade and the possibility of keeping the Heldannic Knights at bay; but he also remembers that the last time Thyatians came it was an advanced war party that conquered some of his then-loyal dominions during the Great War (most of them did not return to the fold even after Thyatis withdrew). Ericall has lost his chimerical vision of control over the whole of Norwold, so he does not cling to the illusory claim of the Isle of the Dogs as he once might have, but he also does not wish to recognise the Thyatian colony hastily. So he delays it by the sending of the letter, so he can have time to gather more information about the upstart colony and the general state of affairs in the Tranquil Coast, and ponder the matter.

Yarthmont 9, AC 1018: Tyrnae Subdued.

Location: City of Tyrnae, Mivosian Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: As with the city-state of Syropolis only a few days earlier, the revolt in Tyrnae fails after several days of intense street fighting. What is different, however, is that the resistance fighters have heard about what happened in Syropolis, and so they resolve not to be captured. Many rebels end up killing themselves rather than falling into the hands of their enemies. In the end, however, the Mivosians are once again in full control of Tyrnae. (See Ya. 2, Ya. 5; Kl. 8, Fe. 11.)

What This Means: The rebels in Tyrnae had learned about the fates of their compatriots in Syropolis, especially of those who were captured and interrogated. Although they realised that they could not win the current battle due to their lack of numbers, and the arrival of Mivosian reinforcements into the city-state, they resolved to do what they could to ensure that the Mivosians would not learn too much about their organisation. As a result, the Tyrnaean network of resistance fighters is still intact, although they will be laying low for a while.

The Mivosians will feel content to have reasserted their authority, but they will nonetheless be more suspicious of their subjects-Tyrnae will be under strict martial law in a similar fashion to Syropolis. In so doing, the Mivosians garrisoned here will focus more on rooting out rebels within their midst, real or imagined, to the detriment of paying attention to other potential threats.

What the PCs Can Do: Assuming they are part of the resistance network, the PCs will probably be busy enough over the coming days and weeks just trying to avoid capture. Aside from that, they might try to continue their campaign against the Mivosians.

Yarthmont 9, AC 1018: Interlude in the Shadows...

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

Description: King Koblan Dracodon of Stonewall meets again with his advisers, among them Rogart, recently returned from Arkan. Although the war in Arkan is finally looking to be successful for Stonewall, it has taken so long that Stonewall is facing massive starvation now. Thousands of people are dying, and King Koblan refuses to let this continue, so the question remains what can be done now.

It is decided that there is little option but invading another Alphatian kingdom, so someone notes that in that case they might look to Haven. When Stonewall's plans for conquest became known last year, Haven reacted in a way that revealed them to be sorely unprepared for such an invasion. However, Stonewall is unwilling to start another war until the war in Arkan is resolved, so Rogart suggests a more subtle approach to a direct invasion. Instead of bringing an army into Haven, Rogart wants to use the obvious paranoia Haven demonstrated last year against them, so he proposes to send saboteurs, spies, and rogues into Haven to cause trouble. This will create a sort of "second front" inside Haven which will make a true invasion much easier once Stonewall decides to commit to a full invasion. The advantage of this is that it doesn't require Stonewall to commit military to the project until they decide to be serious about it.

Nobody objects to this idea and Koblan and Rogart take steps to set the plan into motion. (See Fl. 16, Ya. 1; Fy. 5, Fy. 19.)

What This Means: The dire situation in Stonewall is forcing drastic measures. If the other Alphatian nations had listened to Stonewall's pleas for help, much trouble could have been avoided. Instead, yet another nation will be dragged into war. The irony of this situation should not be overlooked, since Haven is chosen as a target because of the paranoia the nation demonstrated when fearing a Stonewall invasion last year, so that, in a sense, their fears become self-fulfilling.

Over the next weeks and months, more people will sneak into Haven, only it will be impossible to tell the spies and saboteurs from genuine refugees fleeing the famine in Stonewall. Once the Stonewall agents in Haven begin their work, Haven probably won't know what hit it!

What the PCs Can Do: PCs in Stonewall can definitely be among Stonewall's spies and could be critical to the "second front". This will involve sneaking into Haven and finding information and causing trouble without being discovered.

Yarthmont 10, AC 1018: Sablestone Under Siege.

Location: Principality of Sablestone, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Prince Harald Haaskinz hastily teleports from the Great School of Magic to Sablestone Tower when he receives news that his dominion is under attack by the Followers of the Claymore, the belligerent group of fighters, clerics, and other militants opposing the Glantrian magocracy. Prince Harald finds his fief almost breached, as the Followers of the Claymore are equipped with powerful wizardly magic, not just the usual sword and paltry clerical spells. Many of the Sablestone troops have been severely injured or killed. Worst of all, his son Sir Dominick Haaskinz, a military wizard who had been leading the prince's troops, is tragically wounded and near death.

Knowing it would be futile to call for help, Prince Harald determinedly decides to face the invaders on his own. The Grand Master of the Great School of Magic calls upon all his powers of wizardry, his mastery of the Secret Craft of Water Elementalism, and even the secret forces of the Radiance,to single-handedly bombard his opponents. An unexpected giant wave never before seen in land-locked Glantri bursts forth through the ranks of the Followers of the Claymore, washing away, if not drowning, most of the foes. Water elementals, undines, hydrax, sirines, and other denizens of the Elemental Plane of Water arrive to do Harald's bidding. Finally, Prince Harald unleashes a sudden surge of deadly cold, freezing the remaining invaders in a lake of ice.

Sablestone is safe, but at the cost of many lives. (See Th. 7, Fl. 1; Ka. 17.)

Description: This attack by the Followers of the Claymore seems to be just one of the series of increasingly audacious attacks by the belligerent (and illegal) clerical groups, allegedly in reprisal of the attacks on the followers of Valerias on the Alexander's Day massacre last year. But as many things in Glantri are, the Sablestone siege is hardly clear-cut.

The Followers of the Claymore are more concerned with pursuing their own agenda of overthrowing the magocracy than avenging the Alexander's Day massacre. And their bold choice of taking on the strongest bastion of wizardry in southwestern Glantri was influenced in no small part by their mysterious benefactress, The Eyes Without A Face. The Eyes Without A Face is actually Leena Tijlen, and Leena Tijlen is actually the lover of the "deceased" Baron Pieter Vandehaar of Oxhill-and now also Pieter's secret identity. Lord Pieter was a bitter enemy of Prince Harald, and to avenge his fall from power he directed the Followers of the Claymore to attack Sablestone.

Lastly, while the unbridled magical power of Prince Harald Haaskinz should have been no surprise, least of all to the Followers of the Claymore, the raw brutality of his attacks were quite shocking. Some say Harald's great distress over his beloved son fuelled his savagery, but Harald himself fears to admit that his violent mania may have stemmed from some family madness (Harald's uncle Saghir is a psychopathic killer.), or possibly from his use of the Radiance, which he fears has recently had some sinister influence upon him.

What the PCs Can Do: It would be best if the PCs were not with the Followers of the Claymore in this episode, for they would surely be killed by Prince Harald's magic. On he other hand, even if the PCs were defenders of Sablestone, it would be no guarantee that they would not fall victim to Prince Harald's unyielding and undiscriminating attacks.

Yarthmont 10, AC 1018: The Wizard Is Not at Home.

Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: Bastian Rodens, the founder of the Gathering of Wizards in Darokin, comes to the home of the wizard known as Master Staffels. He has come to inquire why the respected wizard did not attend the gathering and why he hasn't even responded to the reformation of the guild into the new Mage's Guild. However, when Bastian comes to Master Staffels's estate, he is surprised to find that it is abandoned, and when he asks around he finds that it has been put up for an auction. Master Staffels apparently decided to sell his estate, yet he and his assistant have both disappeared. (See Th. 15, Ya. 8; Ya. 27, Fe. 11.)

What This Means: For years Master Staffels has been a respected, though somewhat reclusive wizard of reputed experience in Darokin City. He has kept mostly to himself and out of sight, so he has been known mostly in the circles of wizards, but many young Darokinian wizards have studied under him at times. It has long been believed that he was a Glantrian wizard who wasn't respected there, and so moved to the less magically competitive Darokin, and he has frequently been known to be gone for months, though one could always make an appointment with his assistant, a young boy with a strangely grey skin (which most think must have been due to some "laboratory accident"). Yet now they have both disappeared.

The truth of this matter is not exactly as it appears, though. Master Staffels was never a Glantrian; quite the contrary, he is an Alphatian. He is actually yet another identity of Tylion, better known as Terari, the Master of the Karameikan School of Magic. Terari has many such identities set up over much of the Old World, and this is just another he set up years ago. Naturally this also explains his frequent absences from Darokin City. The skinned-skinned boy working as his assistant is actually a young lightning zombie who goes by the name Crackle. He was "rescued" from his former home, Corran Keep, in AC 1004 by adventurers who then brought him here, where the disguised Terari took an interest in his unusual form of undead, though, contrary to popular belief about him, he never "experimented" on him. Through his position as Master of the School of Magecraft and contacts in Nayce, Terari has learned of the strange undead calling themselves the Alphadon on the continent of Sunken Alphatia and realised that they might be related to Crackle, and since he is going to Nayce to look into the matter of the Phylactery of Agmas anyway, he has decided to take Crackle along. [The DM can read more about Crackle and Corran Keep in the Wrath of the Immortals boxed set, though Corran Keep was destroyed when the meteor struck in AC 1006 and created the Great Crater on the border between Darokin and Glantri in the Silver Sierras. Ed.]

What the PCs Can Do: Bastian Rodens might hire PCs to find out what happened to Master Staffels, though this is likely only if he thinks they have better means, magical or otherwise, of finding him, and there are limits to how far he will investigate the matter. After all, if Master Staffels decided to leave, then that is own business-Bastian is merely curious.

Yarthmont 10, AC 1018: Dragonslayers Captured.

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

Description: After easily overcoming patrols and monster attacks on their journey north, the Dragonslayers reach Idris Tower. The keep surrounding the tower seems well-manned. The Dragonslayers are well-equipped to deal with the situation, however. Alminthrar has cast permanent fly and invisibility spells on the group and the four bypass the town and keep, landing on the tower roof. A passwall spell from Alminthrar provides instant entry to the top level of the tower. To the Dragonslayers' dismay, the large chamber they find themselves in is full of undead creatures who have no trouble noticing the intruders. A warning gong is rung and the Dragonslayers are quickly immobilised by undead attacks and other invisible creatures. A black-robed figure suddenly appears before them and addresses them with a feminine voice. "Thank you for dropping in, after you tell me who you are and state your business, you shall receive my... hospitality." (See Th. 25, Fl. 2.)

What This Means: The Dragonslayers thought they would avoid most guards and be able to surprise the upper echelons of the clergy they presumed resided on the top floor of the tower. Unfortunately, they have stumbled upon the high priestess's "pets" and have been captured. The high priestess will enjoy learning more of her new "guests" through use of lore spells and more traditional means. The high priestess is somewhat amused at the group's claim that they are just adventurers in search of booty.

What the PCs Can Do: If they have joined the Dragonslayers, they may wish to put forward a more cautious plan. If not, they will have a tough battle against invisible stalkers, a nightwalker, an undead beholder, and lesser undead.

Yarthmont 11, AC 1018: Contact with Yarrvikson.

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

Description: The Thyatian envoys, who are currently staying at the palace in Alpha while the king is preparing a letter for their lord, meet with King Yarrvikson of Oceansend, the former ruler of Oceansend-conquered by the Heldannic Knights two years ago-who is currently in exile in Alpha and also residing at Ericall's palace. (See Ya. 1, Ya. 8; Ya. 13, Ya. 23.)

What This Means: The Thyatians hope to increase their dominion over Norwold beyond their small colony of the Isle of the Dogs or the economic or political control of a number of petty dominions. The late Emperor Thincol was born in Oceansend, and his son Eusebius would very much like to return the city of his father's origins to the empire's fold. This might not happen overnight, he realises, but nevertheless he lays the groundwork for it so that, if the right conditions happen, Thyatis will be ready to reassert its authority over the second largest city of Norwold.

King Yarrvikson, like his father before him, would very much like for his city to remain free from either of the imperial powers, but given that Oceansend is under the occupation of one of them he is not totally unreceptive to the Thyatians' approach. Clearly he doesn't want to trade Heldannic occupation for Thyatian control, but the Thyatian diplomats think there might be room for discussion.

Yarthmont 12, AC 1018: Landfall Under Siege.

Location: City of Landfall, Territory of Heldland, Heldannic Empire. NW

Description: Forces loyal to Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger take up positions west of Landfall early this morning, blocking all land traffic between it and the rest of Heldann proper. A force of 100 men rushes out to meet them, and manages to drive the nearest soldiers back from the city, but then the first ranks are cut down with a sudden volley of arrows. Quickly, the Landfall force seeks cover and regroups, and, aided by bless and protection from normal missiles spells, stages a second sortie, and manages to make significant headway, catching their opponents off-guard by the suddenness of their counterattack. Soon, Straßenburger's forces are in disarray, but then a strange buzzing noise drowns out the din of combat, and the soldiers of Landfall see a great insect plague descend upon them from behind, causing many of them to panic. Taking advantage of the situation, Straßenburger's forces regroup and attack, pushing their enemies back to the city, where the survivors take shelter.

By midday, the hills north of the city are also under Straßenburger's control, upon which the defenders can see catapults and trebuchets being built. Feeling secure that the sea-lanes will remain open, Thomas Stilldorfer, Landmeister of Landfall, orders his soldiers to maintain their positions, and not to engage the enemy. (See Va. 20, Th. 24; Ya. 17, Kl. 7.)

What This Means: Clearly, Straßenburger wishes to seize all of the significant coastal ports, and hence he is relying on force of arms to do so, although knights loyal to him will use spells where it makes strategic sense to do so. Although Landfall's defenders gave as good as they got, Straßenburger's force is larger (numbering about 1,500 men, compared to the 900 soldiers protecting Landfall). The city is now under siege-the question that remains is how long it will last.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are serving Straßenburger, the PCs could be assigned the task of finding a way inside Landfall, or leading raids on the city. If they are among the city's defenders, the PCs might be ordered to mount small raids on the besiegers.

Yarthmont 12, AC 1018: Morphail Leaves for the North.

Location: Tower of Igorov, Principality of Boldavia, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: A few months ago, Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany received word from his wraith spies that a new undead power is arising in the Icereach Range. After more magical divination, Morphail has learned of the Immortal Nyx's campaign of forming an entirely undead realm in the area. Morphail decides to travel magically to the realm and contact Nyx's underlings, though he is not yet aware of the exact nature of the undead forces in the valley. The prince leaves his brother Sir Boris Gorevitch-Woszlany in his place in Glantri and teleports to the Barony of Two Lakes. (See Va. 28, Fl. 26; Ya. 13, Ya. 14.)

What This Means: It has been almost three hundred years since the Roaring Demon Alphaks tricked the Boldavian Wizard-Prince into an eternity of servitude. For the last century Morphail has been trying to switch allegiances with other powers of Entropy to no avail... until now.

Prince Morphail's agents were drawn to the northern Barony of Two Lakes by the activation of the Death Stone and reported back to Boldavia. Now Morphail will try to join the forces of the Immortal Nyx. The Dark Prince would have preferred to send one of his vampire pawns in his stead, but sending a vampire so far away might loosen Morphail's grip on them (one of his vampire pawns has defected to the flying city of Serraine after all!). As the old saying goes, when you want something done right, do it yourself.

What the PCs Can Do: In the improbable chance that the PCs are allies or agents of Morphail, then they would surely be tapped for this mission. More likely, Morphail's enemies (Princess Dolores, Prince Angus McGregor, Princess Carnelia de Belcadiz, and many others) would take advantage of his absence and make a move against Boldavia. An adventure in Igorov Tower would definitely be one steeped in nightmarish horror!

Yarthmont 12, AC 1018: I Do Not Like It.

Location: Near the Lake of Lost Dreams, County of Vyalia, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Wild Vyalian elves living in the western portion of the county have watched the beginnings of human construction and settlement in the area with concern. Tonight some of the more exuberant among them take action, sneaking into the camps, stealing and destroying supplies and otherwise undoing and sabotaging work efforts. (See Th. 12; Kl. 15, Fy. 17.)

What This Means: The elves of this area are worried about human encroachment in their forests and want to take action to prevent, or at least limit, this development. They aren't interested in killing anyone, but if they can make work more difficult and expensive they hope the humans will give up and leave.

What the PCs Can Do: Elven characters or sympathisers can conduct some of the raids, while Thyatian characters might try to prevent them.

Yarthmont 12, AC 1018: The Torpin Limps Home.

Location: Torpin Construction Site, Kingdom of Aquas, Nayce. AS

Description: The much-damaged and partially flooded Torpin finally reaches its homeport in Aquas. Naturally its predicament is already known given how much time has passed, but the damage to the submersible could not be repaired except in dock, and it has taken this long for the damaged ship to crawl home.

The crew is relieved to have made it back, but Xerathis and Tredrigon have a grim look on their faces as they help Dlanor begin repairs to the Torpin. (See Fl. 1, Fl. 15; Kl. 3, Kl. 9.)

What This Means: The fact that the Torpin was almost lost on its maiden voyage isn't exactly a good omen for the future projects and submersible designs the three wizards had in mind. It also didn't go well with the Naycese Council. The Torpin was expensive to make, and the need for extensive repairs makes it that much more expensive, apparently crushing any dream the three wizards ever had of ever completing a Torpin class submersible with all the designs they had in mind-the Torpin was, after all, much reduced from what they originally had in mind. Even the dream of a fleet of Reaver class submersibles could be in jeopardy now. The three wizards know that, and their general moods reflect it.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are on the damaged Torpin, then they will constantly have to be on their toes to keep the submersible going and on course. Thinking up underwater disasters to throw at them shouldn't be too hard. Meeting a large octopus while the Torpin is in trouble will be a challenge indeed, for example. Once the Torpin reaches Aquas, the PCs might be involved in the matter of who was responsible for the accident. If they know Chief Navigator Thallyn, they might speak up in her defence when the issue is raised. Tellesar will maintain that this wasn't his fault-he is an aristocrat, yet is expected to serve under a commoner, and he can't do his job right under those conditions. His family, which has a good deal of influence in Aquas, will back him. As a military matter this will go before a military rather than civil court, which means that it will be decided by the Commander-in-chief Karszamon in the end!

Yarthmont 12, AC 1018: Debate Called on Account of Deadlock.

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

Description: Since the debate over the future of the canals was touched off by Dentarthadint, the Grand Council has been deadlocked-several attempts at consensus have been sought, but none have been successful; both sides are roughly equal in power, and those not taking part in the debate have refused to get involved. Some of the arguments have become downright nasty, as members on both sides attempt to ruin their opponents' reputations with accusations of corruption. It looks as though the debate will never end.

The aura of chaos is suddenly dispelled by a silence spell, and, as the assembled members look about to see who cast it, they notice the main doors are open, framing the slightly irate form of Eriadna, Empress of Alphatia. Having obtained everyone's attention, Eriadna dispels her earlier spell, are proceeds to tell the assembled mages that the debate has gone on long enough; the canals will be built as originally planned, and those who feel slighted must seek a compromise with those building them. Letting her words sink into the assembled wizards, the empress turns, and walks away. (See Ya. 3, Ya. 6; Ya. 14.)

What This Means: The ongoing debate in the Grand Council has attracted Eriadna's attention, and she decided that its time and resources would be better spent debating more weighty matters than whether someone's personal estate might be affected by a canal. Having made such a decree, the empress has effectively ended the debate, and forced the members to seek their own solutions. Not everyone will be happy with her actions, however; there are some members who would rather see a clearer separation between the reigning monarch and the Grand Council-they feel the council should have more autonomy than it currently does. The only way such a declaration could be countered is if a majority of the Grand Council voted to remove her as empress. Given the current state of disunity in the Grand Council, this is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

What the PCs Can Do: Again, unless they are council members, there is little for the PCs to do here. If they are employed by a member whose estate is threatened by a canal, however, they may be ordered to act as intermediaries between the builders and their master, trying to find common ground, and hopefully devise a solution.

Yarthmont 13, AC 1018: Powerful Vampire Spellcaster Seeks Same.

Location: Barony of Two Lakes Vale, Icereach Range. NW

Description: Arriving in the newly darkened barony, the Boldavian Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany tries to catch the attention of the local undead lieges. He does so by simply destroying random undead he encounters, until he confronts a female elf vampire, a pawn of Sylarion's, who agrees to show him to her master's lair. (See Fl. 26, Ya. 12; Ya. 14, Ya. 16.)

What This Means: Morphail is intent on meeting the people in charge and does not waste time on formalities. Ironically, Morphail ignores a group of death leeches mistaking them to be mortal. The elf vampire will take the vampire prince to meet Sylarion.

Yarthmont 13, AC 1018: Thyatians in Swordcoast.

Location: Barony of Swordcoast, Tranquil Coast. NW

Description: A Thyatian ship anchors at Swordcoast, and the Thyatians who go ashore ask for a meeting with Baron Maximus I. Maximus, who has cooperated with the Thyatians occasionally before (notably during the Great War), at once agrees to this meeting.

The Thyatians explain that they have founded a colony on the Isle of the Dogs a little to the south of Swordcoast, and that they have chosen him to be the leader of their efforts on the mainland. They point out that the Heldannic Knights have started a northward expansion and are bound to conquer the Tranquil Coast, unless some great man-Maximus-opposes them, and fulfils his destiny to claim the area for himself and become the ruler of a united nation.

Swayed by the Thyatians' cajoling, Maximus assembles his troops, and contacts his neighbours of Dag and Dool. (See Th. 15, Ya. 11; Ya. 23, Kl. 28.)

What This Means: The Thyatians have treated with Maximus before, and they are aware of his megalomania. They do not want to stand idly by while the Heldannic Knights are trying to conquer the Tranquil Coast, as they have views on it themselves, and also hope to eventually weaken the knights enough that they can chase them from Oceansend as well. They do not wish to engage their own men for that, especially since there are Heldannic Knights on the field already and they do not wish to be face to face with them-also they do not have many troops in Canium-so they prefer to use proxies instead. They plan on supplying Maximus with money, so he can pay his troops and mercenaries from neighbouring petty dominions. If he wins, they will either let him rule the Tranquil Coast if they can pull the strings, or if he proves unmanageable they will replace him with someone more to their tastes; if he loses, they can deny any responsibility for the war.

What the PCs Can Do: The Thyatians know they must keep an eye on Maximus, lest he does something unwise. A band of loyal Thyatian advisers and military councillors have to be placed at his side and check on him, relay Canium's orders, and dispatch him if the need arises.

Yarthmont 13, AC 1018: Even Dwarves Smile.

Location: City-State of Dain-Karak, Confederated Kingdom of Minaea. SK

Description: A new and very rich gold vein is been found during an otherwise common day of mining. It seems that the richness of the vein is incredible. The Royal Mining Company, under the order of its director Balthor, decides to keep the information secret to avoid meddling by non-dwarves.

What This Means: It is very unlikely that news of this find will ever leak out. Dwarves are very good at keeping their mouths shut. However, they will probably be less gruff and more prone to smiling for the next few days.

Yarthmont 13, AC 1018: The Rules for the Race Are Affirmed.

Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: The exact rules for the race between The Big Banquet and the Cyclone are the same as last circle. The race will start in Baraga. The first stage will be Floresque at the southern tip of Baraga Island, the next ones will be at Puerto Morillos and Kota-Jayang on the northern island. The finish will be Baraga City again. Again some captains have volunteered to maintain control points at the three harbours. Last circle King Necco the Black had sponsored a prize for the winner, but he has not confirmed he will do it again until now. The pirate captains do not care for this prize anyway. The race will start on Klarmont, 1 and all-really all-dirty tricks are allowed. (See Ya. 1; Ya. 14, Fy. 26.)

What This Means: The race between Barbarossa and Merryweather is on the way of becoming a tradition. Last circle it was one of the main objects for discussions and betting. Both captains have tried to trick out their rival last time. As all pirates love such tricks they ensure that both captains have understood the rules. All are hoping for even more and dirtier tricks at this race.

Yarthmont 14, AC 1018: A Sudden Cancellation.

Location: City of Skyreach, Kingdom of Floating Arkan, Nayce. AS

Description: Enchanters and shipwrights working on a new private skyship are surprised at the news that the order for the skyship has abruptly been cancelled. No explanation is given except that the wizard Zephyrus who ordered the skyship has lost interest in the project and will no longer fund it. There is some discussion and bitterness over this, but then there is little to be done about it. (See Sv. 18, Ei. 21.)

What This Means: Nayce is in financial trouble. Not everybody sees it, but some do. Zephyrus is either one of those, or else he is just a reclusive wizard who decided that reclusive wizards have little need for skyships. Whichever is the case, this sort of thing will become more common over the next few years, though perhaps for different reasons.

Yarthmont 14, AC 1018: Beastly Mutations.

Location: Great Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: It is clear to the Genalleth elves that something terrible is happening to Professor Dove and the other sick soldiers. Their bodies are twisting and mutating somehow, assuming beastly features. Commander Enivaris decides to dispatch a group of unaffected elves to send word of their troubles back to Enoreth Shrine. (See Va. 3, Th. 9; Kl. 21, Fe. 1.)

What This Means: The Denagothian curse has moved to the next stage and the victims are beginning their horrific transformation.

What the PCs Can Do: Bring word back to Enoreth Shrine, avoiding the Elf Skull Units and other perils on the long journey through the forest.

Yarthmont 14, AC 1018: A Siege Intensifies.

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

Description: With Foresthome out of the picture, Stonewall tightens its grip on Ceafem and attempts to take the town once and for all. The town defences hold for now, though.

However, the situation is grim inside the town. Town commander Arath tells King Qinn that, unless Ceafem is resupplied within a couple of weeks, he doesn't see how they can hold out. Qinn is furious and orders him out to do his job! Qinn then sends a message to Reer, ordering as many Arkan soldiers there as possible to sail to Ceafem immediately with new supplies. (See Fl. 27, Ya. 1; Ya. 23, Ya. 27.)

What This Means: The Stonewall force which besieged Arreghi until recently still hasn't arrived, but Selcomad is determined to press the opportunity to use any cracks that Foresthome's departure from the alliance might have caused. None are obvious, though.

Ceafem is lacking supplies because they sent supplies and a few ships to Arreghi, which are now missing in Ceafem. There really isn't anything Arath could do about it, since it was never his decision in the first place. King Qinn's reaction is one typical of a frustrated aristocrat against a commoner, and a mild one at that, but the timing is rather unfortunate to say the least, since it will obviously hurt the cooperation between Qinn and his immediate subjects.

What the PCs Can Do: Good opportunities for battle on the town walls, though it won't make a major difference at the moment.

Yarthmont 14, AC 1018: The Impasse Is Ended; the Canal May Continue.

Location: Estate of Dentarthadint, near Town of Tirenlos, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: A solution has been reached, to the satisfaction of Dentarthadint and the canal builders: For a nominal fee (ostensibly to compensate the wizard for his "unnecessary grief and stress," but more than he would normally receive if he were to cast the spell), Dentarthadint will create an enchantment such that the canal will flow over his petunia patch, with a clearance of roughly seven feet. The enchantment will suspend itself for the duration of the Day of Dread, during which no transit along this section of the canal will be possible. This way, commerce will pass over his property, watering his petunias a few times per sleep in the process, and his greatest treasure remains unsullied. The temporary cancellation of the spell on the Day of Dread will ensure that his prized flowers remain safe. Both parties go their own way, certain that they got the better half of the deal. (See Ya. 6, Ya. 12.)

What This Means: Nothing can prompt adversaries to set aside their differences faster than an angry empress, it seems-especially if the empress in question is most puissant in the magical arts. Once the enchantment is complete, traffic will sail along a canal that magically rises out of the ground at the edge of Dentarthadint's property, along a bizarre sort of watery bridge over the estate, before coming to the ground again at the other end in a regular excavation. It will be quite a sight to see once it is completed, and the novelty will be such that some people will offer to pay money to ride one of the barges along this particular stretch of the canal-some of the proceeds of which will go to Dentarthadint's estate.

What the PCs Can Do: If they were instrumental in getting the two sides to agree to a compromise, the PCs can pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

Yarthmont 14, AC 1018: The Race Is Postponed.

Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: King Necco the Black has asked if the race could be postponed. He proposed a start on Fyrmont 26 instead, so the finish of the race should be during the Games of Protius in Ambyrmont. The prize he has sponsored last circle will be raised.

After a short consideration both Barbarossa and Merryweather agree. (See Ya. 1, Ya. 13; Fy. 26, Am. 15.)

What This Means: The pirate king has made the decision that the race would be a nice part of the games, and therefore he has made the proposal. Both captains are ambitious enough to like the idea to win before a great audience.

Yarthmont 14, AC 1018: Fang It Out.

Location: Barony of Two Lakes Vale, Icereach Range. NW

Description: In the late evening Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany meets with the sinister elf vampire Sylarion, accompanied by his ally the Shadow Lord. The three necromancers spend the entire night playing mind games. Sylarion and the Shadow Lord do not want to disclose the ultimate plan of the Immortal Nyx, and Morphail does not give away his real reasons for wanting to join the dark cabal. Finally, as sunrise approaches, the vampire elf suggests Morphail should stay as guest during the day and they could continue this conversation over the next night. When Morphail politely refuses, he is suddenly attacked by a spell from Sylarion. Even the Shadow Lord is surprised as the two vampires start hurling spells and blows at each other.

The Shadow Lord watches from the side, amused, but eventually joins in as a spell from Morphail hits him as well. As the battle goes on various undead monstrosities march in to help the two lords. Morphail, feeling betrayed and outnumbered, reverts to gaseous form and retreats. Sylarion does not pursue. (See Ya. 12, Ya. 13; Ya. 16, Ya. 17.)

What This Means: Morphail's plan has failed... for now. His overconfidence in his power allowed for his defeat by a (slightly) less powerful necromancer. Sylarion had planned on destroying Morphail in his day sleep when it would be less dangerous, but Morphail did not die yesterday. Nevertheless, Morphail could not take over Sylarion because he was too old and powerful, and he could not control the lesser undead because they drew power from the Death Stone.

For now, Morphail will return to Glantri and try to make contact with Nyx through a different way; directly contacting another plane is simply too dangerous and would attract the attention of his present master Alphaks. If Morphail does manage to contact Nyx and convince Her of his loyalty, the undead forces of Norwold might gain an exceptionally powerful ally... or rival.

Third Week

Yarthmont 15, AC 1018: Unrest in Draeh.

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

Description: The tension between the free Jennites and the rebel Jennites is on the rise in Draeh. Since Draeh declared its independence, there have been disputes. At times this has resulted in the demonstrations of what each group wants, but now the situation is threatening to turn into hostility. Today there is a riot in the city. The leaders try to put it down, but since even they cannot agree on what needs to be done, the riot lasts for days, and afterwards nobody seems able to tell what started it. (See Th. 9; Fe. 16, Ei. 6.)

What This Means: What did spark this? Did free Jennites bring their livestock through the areas where the rebels wanted to settle? Did the rebel Jennites try to repair the city walls the free Jennites wanted to tear down? Does it matter? Whatever trivial matter set it off, it is merely a symptom of the greater problem-the gap between the rebels and the free Jennites is too large! They cannot bridge it. The free Jennites still belong to what the rebels consider the past. They are nomadic animal herders bound to their tribes, whereas the rebels have become part of a much more advanced civilisation living in towns and cities, even if they did serve as the slave class in that civilisation. This is not a judgment of either, just a fact of life, and it doesn't mean they cannot co-exist. In fact, they could do fairly well by letting each group do what they do best. The free Jennites could roam Esterhold with their herds and then sell their products in societies like Draeh, while the rebels could run the city based on trade. This would be beneficial to both sides.

It is not going to happen anytime soon, though. The free Jennites are beginning to see their distant brethren as having lost their way, too corrupted by the Alphatians. Some of the rebel Jennites do see this, while others refuse to abandon the dream of uniting all Jennites. The number of people who believe in the latter is steadily growing smaller, though. Many of the rebel Jennites are beginning to think this is a dangerous time for them-they cannot live by the ways of the free Jennites, whom they start to see more as "wild Jennites" rather than as "free Jennites" as they did in the buoyant early days of the rebellion, but they fear their cousins could turn against them, so they don't push the issue.

Needless to say, this will not be the last trouble in Draeh. In fact, things will continue like this for some time, and many situations will reveal the gap between the free Jennites and the rebels. For example, in the days of the Alphatians, a starving Jennite might have stolen apples in his master's orchard, even if he were flogged for it if caught, so the rebels see the benefit of these orchards, but because these were founded by the Alphatians, the free Jennites want to burn them down. The rebels are also used to sleeping indoors in stone houses, some of them even knew a crude bed, and they all remember how hard it was when their masters punished them by forcing them to sleep outside, especially without a blanket. The free Jennites never lived in houses, however, and want to tear them all down.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are Jennites in Draeh, the DM could put them in some of the situations described above. The PCs are likely to be involved in the unrest, but if there are deaths on either side, particularly among the free Jennites, the chance that this will escalate beyond a simple riot will become dangerously great. In fact, if the PCs are noted adventurers of some experience among the Jennite rebels, they might be contacted by the rebel leaders and asked to show restraint if the free Jennites become aggressive as they fear, and quite rightly too, that the delicate alliance between the rebels and the free Jennites might break apart. And if that happens, the Jennite stand against the Alphatians will become impossible.

Yarthmont 15, AC 1018: Fires on the Water.

Location: Lake Szwanski, Duchy of Vrancea, Confederation of Klagorst. WB

Description: Some farmers living near Lake Szwanski find the torn bodies of six adventurers. Although the lake is dangerous and strange monsters created by the former Duke Nhorg live in its depths, they have never attacked humans passing along the lake before. Moreover, the adventurers bear recognisable signs of wounds by arrow and sword-and monsters don't use them. (See Fl. 27.)

What This Means: The adventurers were too close to finding the surviving Reptile Knight that attempted to kill Duke Jozef. The knight led the men to the lake, which he knows very well, and was able to ambush and kill them.

What the PCs Can Do: Be the adventurers, and hopefully don't get caught by the dangerous Reptile Knight.

Yarthmont 15, AC 1018: An Audience with Detteria.

Location: City of Bluenose, Kingdom of Arogansa, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Queen Detteria receives in audience a group of aristocrats from her kingdom. Also present is the former Queen of Randel, Junna, who unexpectedly demanded to see the queen in that same audience. Detteria fears that they will blame her for the troubles in Eadrin, and ask to make peace at whatever cost, lest Randel (with Junna as its spokeswoman) enters the fray.

She is very surprised when the aristocrats expose a totally different matter. They explain that, with the war stalled, they advanced the plans to create a lake in Eadrin. Upon Junna's advice, however, they created the lake at the border with Randel, which has the additional advantage of shielding Arogansa a bit more from any Randel reaction.

Since it seems unlikely that Archpoint will fall any time soon, they suggest that the queen negotiates for peace with Eadrin now, with the flooded land-and future lake-being what she should try to force Eadrin to part with. She says she will take the matters into consideration. (See Fl. 19, Ya. 4; Fe. 28, Fy. 17.)

What This Means: Detteria is furious that Junna and her co-conspirators bypassed her and dictated policy, but it is too late now to undo what they have done, and putting those major aristocrats to trial for treason would just be political suicide. The only thing she can do is wait long enough to save her face, see how best she can salvage the situation to her advantage, and make peace.

Yarthmont 16, AC 1018: Intruders against Morphail!

Location: Tower of Igorov, Principality of Boldavia, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Upon returning to Igorov, Morphail feels a foreign presence in his tower. It takes him mere moments to understand that there are mortal spies in the tower and that they are magically invisible. A battle ensues all of a sudden, and the Dark Prince manages to kill the intruders, but not without receiving a great amount of damage. The intruders, elves and humans, where equipped with many magical items, even clerical magic, and were obviously prepared to fight the undead. Morphail gives all the bodies but one as food to his zombie servants, and magically teleports the remaining corpse to the entrance of Princess Carnelia's home in Alhambra in the Principality of Belcadiz. (See Ya. 13, Ya. 14.)

What This Means: Someone was making good use of Morphail's short absence in Icereach. The prince examines what are the weak points in his tower's defences-after all, he had a previous break-in by the mage-prankster Robin Moorkroft earlier in the year. This intrusion is much more serious, and several mortal and undead retainers will pay severely for that breach of security. Although Morphail has many enemies within the principalities, the prince believes these agents were part of La Centinela, a secret organisation of undead slayers sponsored by his rival, Princess Carnelia de Belcadiz; only this group would have the means and the boldness to attempt such an attack.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are the spies themselves they could be recruited as agents of La Centinela-or a group posing as such, secretly backed by the various enemies of Prince Morphail; Princess Dolores Hillsbury of Fenswick or Prince Angus McGregor are obvious choices. But complex as Glantrian plots are, the PCs could be hired by some other villain, one who wishes to exploit the bitter enmity between House Igorov and Clan Alhambra..

In truth, the battle against Morphail is quite an impossible task. Should the PCs need help, Lady Tatyana Gorevitch-Woszlany and her lover Sire Claude d'Ambreville (both vampires but with great compassion for Morphail's victims) could rush to their rescue; this would give the Centinela slayers a new perspective toward the undead they hunt! On the unlikely event that Morphail is about to be defeated he can simply escape in his gaseous form and send the hordes of undead to cover his retreat. The PCs will be sure to learn that escape from Castle Igorov is even harder than getting in.

Yarthmont 16, AC 1018: Reavers in Yalu Bay.

Location: Yalu Bay. WB

Description: Texeiran and Vilaverdan reavers employed (largely unbeknownst to them) by the Master of Hule to attack Zuyevan and Renardois ships strike yet again near Porto Escorpião. They board two Zuyevan merchant vessels, slaughter the crews and make off with the cargo before scuttling both ships. A Renardois war galley arrives too late to prevent the reavers from escaping.

What This Means: The Master has been employing independent Vilaverdan and Texeiran ship captains as privateers for a year now. He has been attempting to disrupt Zuyevan trade routes through the Yalu Bay after they seized Richland some years ago. The problem will persist as long as the Master's money holds out, although the risks for the reavers are beginning to increase with a number of heavily armed Renardois and Zuyevan vessels plying the bay in order to protect their trading ships.

Yarthmont 16, AC 1018: Messenger Returns.

Location: City of Trollhattan, Kingdom of Limn, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The messenger the Stonewall prisoners in Limn sent back home returns with a message from King Koblan himself. The message claims that Limn has no right to imprison soldiers of Stonewall, and that they acted without evil intent. According to King Koblan, this is a clear violation of last year's treaty promising the Stonewallers free passage through Limn, and if the prisoners are not released at once, it will be considered an act of war against Stonewall. King Drushiye is enraged by the tone in which the letter is written, and responds by pushing the trial ahead to the next day. (See Nu. 23, Ya. 4; Ya. 17, Ya. 20.)

What This Means: King Koblan has little sympathy for his out-of-the-ordinary northern neighbour, and considers it a powder keg of potentially dangerous monsters. Although the military resources of Stonewall are stretched a bit thin with the Arkan campaign, he feels confident that Stonewall could crush its smaller northern neighbour if it has to. Besides, Limn has a fair amount of potentially rich farmland if it were rid of its current inhabitants.

Yarthmont 17, AC 1018: Battle of Isar Falls.

Location: Near source of Isar River, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW

Description: While marching eastwards towards the coastal territories of Heldann, which are still loyal to Herr Wulf von Klagendorf, forces controlled by Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger attempt to ford the Isar River near its source. Here, many streams flowing from the surrounding hills join together at the head of a small cataract, from which the river itself flows, and where the flow itself is much slower. The cavalry units ford the river first, and just as they finish crossing, several of the riders begin screaming, frantically swatting at large clouds of buzzing insects. The horses are disturbed by the sudden commotion, and many buck under their masters, sending them sprawling to the ground.

Before the cavalry can reorganise themselves, a volley of arrows cuts through them, felling several men and horses. As the infantry on the western side of the river overcomes the suddenness of the attack and crosses the river en masse, a force of 40 Heldannic Knights rushes out of the surrounding vegetation, managing to kill the remaining cavalry, and meeting the first ranks of the foot soldiers. Here a pitched battle ensues, but Straßenburger's soldiers are trapped between the river and skilled clerics, as well as hidden archers who fire into their ranks. The battle is a victory for Wulf's army, which pursues the remaining rebel forces for a few hours, before resuming its original course. (See Fl. 2, Ya. 12; Ya. 27, Kl. 7.)

What This Means: Straßenburger had thought that his forces might be able to make their way towards the coast undetected if they avoided the major roads and trails of Heldann, which, he suspected, would be watched by Herr Wulf's armies. It just happened that Wulf was thinking the same thing, and he had decided to use the same tactic to send some of his forces westwards. These soldiers intercepted the rebel scouts, and briefly interrogated them. The information they gained was sufficient to set up an ambush. Straßenburger's force, numbering about 300 men, lost almost half of its number, while Wulf's soldiers, at around 200 men, lost less than 30.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs on either side could participate in the battle.

Yarthmont 17, AC 1018: Shadow Lord Contacts the Night Oracle.

Location: Isle of Night, Outer Plane.

Description: Through his magical researches, the Shadow Lord understands Idris has cursed him to prevent him from attaining full lichdom. Arriving on the Isle of Night, he contacts the Night Oracle (an Avatar of Nyx) and pledges his eternal service to the Immortal if She will free him of the curse. She promises She will lift the curse once he has helped Sylarion and Ulslime furthering Her goal of the creation of an undead nation in Norwold. The Shadow Lord bites his lip and obediently returns to Two Lakes Vale to assist Sylarion and Ulslime. (See Nu. 1, Va. 10; Am. 6.)

What This Means: The Shadow Lord will be forced to cooperate with Sylarion and Ulslime in order to attain full lichdom. Sylarion and Ulslime will be extremely wary of the Shadow Lord.

Yarthmont 17, AC 1018: Stonewallers Tried.

Location: City of Trollhattan, Kingdom of Limn, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The Stonewallers are put on trial before a tribunal led by King Drushiye himself. Chief Sthool presents as evidence the memories magically retrieved from the surviving gnolls. The Stonewallers speak for themselves, but have little to further their defence. In the end, one of the younger and more hot-headed soldiers bursts out: "We did nothing wrong! If I had the chance to bash in the skulls of those hyenas once more, I'd gladly do it again!" After giving the young soldier a thorough scolding for his insolence, the soldiers are all sentenced to death for murder [Confiscation (3) sentence. Ed.]. (See Ya. 4, Ya. 16; Ya. 20.)

What This Means: King Drushiye is a fierce promoter of anti-racism in Limn, and feels he needs to punish the soldiers harshly to set a precedent. The repercussions once word reaches King Koblan will likely be equally harsh.

Yarthmont 17, AC 1018: Milenian Navy Responds.

Location: City of Corisa, Milenia. HW

Description: Having received word of the latest pirate attack and the conflagration that consumed the town of Moreus, Emperor Adronius orders his navy into action. Several flotillas are added to the usual patrols of the coastal waterways; additional galleys begin to escort prized merchant vessels within imperial waters. Patrols in the Gulf of Corisa are boosted to the point where it is difficult to sail without a naval vessel within sighting distance. Effectively, this amounts to a blockade of the gulf, which should stave off any further pirate assaults. The naval officers keep a sharp lookout for the notorious pirate, Alexus the Lawless, on whose head the emperor has placed a substantial bounty. (See Fl. 26, Ya. 2; Ei. 5, Ka. 13.)

What This Means: Adronius had no choice following the destruction of Moreus, especially with protests calling for his removal continuing to occur. The navy has been put on a wartime footing, as any further pirate raids could be disastrous. Alexus the Lawless is now Milenia's public enemy number one, and his capture would be a boon to Adronius's political standing.

What the PCs Can Do: Join the navy and help defend the empire against the pirates! Numerous sea-going scenarios are possible, including the search for Milenia's most wanted.

Yarthmont 18, AC 1018: Raiders from the Hills.

Location: Villages of Obechek and Deposkna, Duchy of Vyolstagrad, Final Range. NW

Description: From the North Hills, bands of orcs and goblins descend upon the villages of Obechek and Deposkna. Isolated farms in the region are hit particularly hard, and many are burned to the ground. Wolf riders hunt down many of those who flee. When Vyolstagrad's troops arrive, the humanoids engage in several skirmishes, but then retreat back into the rugged hill country. (See Fl. 25; Kl. 12, Kl. 27.)

What This Means: The humanoids are not overly organized, and are content with plundering random villages and giving occasional battle to enemy forces. They are not willing to take on any obviously superior forces directly, but will hope to lure them back into the hills where ambushes and guerrilla tactics can be used effectively.

What the PCs Can Do: Do battle with roving bands of goblins and orcs. Adventuresome PCs (are there any other kind?) may wish to pursue the 'noids into the hills and perhaps clean out a minor lair or two. The full humanoid population of the North Hills will be beyond the ability of the PCs alone to exterminate.

Yarthmont 18, AC 1018: Island of Mystery?

Location: Eastern Jungle Coast. DV

Description: While sailing eastwards along the coast, the Thyatian expedition discovers a great delta at the mouth of a northward-flowing river, within which sits what appears to be a large island. Curious, Julius Ambrosius directs his crew to set a course for the island, in order to explore it more thoroughly. (See Fl. 2, Ya. 7; Ya. 20, Ya. 27.)

What This Means: The coastal jungles have looked anything but inviting; this island looks far more hospitable. What Julius and his party have in fact discovered is one of two large islands situated at the mouth of a large river. Time will tell how they fare.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs are likely to be part of any party that goes ashore. DMs can use this as an opportunity to run typical jungle scenarios-exploring strange, vine-covered ruins, fighting natives and jungle orcs, and encountering exotic plants and animals (including dinosaurs).

Yarthmont 18, AC 1018: Spreading the Forces.

Location: Camp of the Jennites outside the City of Skyfyr, Province of Blackrock, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK

Description: Talin returns from his meeting with the other Jennite chieftains and leaders. He is rather surprised to hear that spies from Skyfyr have tried to poison the Jennites. But after hearing the news, he immediately begins reorganising his forces. He has some of the more experienced people removed from the siege entirely and then sent off into the countryside of Esterhold. (See Ya. 1, Ya. 6; Ya. 27, Kl. 4.)

What This Means: There are several reasons for this reorganisation of troops. First, the mercenaries from Veroth in Southrock require the Jennites to commit more forces there. Other Jennite leaders have already done so, but then that requires that some of the troops in the siege of Skyfyr be diverted to replace the troops travelling south to face the Verothian mercenaries.

Second, Favian's adventurer groups are causing the Jennites no end of trouble. While they do not wipe out entire warbands, they are awfully good at harassing their progress and this is slowing down the war effort. The Jennite soldiers and warriors also find them extremely difficult to catch, so many leaders are now removing the more experienced people from their forces to set up groups of veterans to seek out and destroy the annoying adventurers.

Talin is nowhere near devoting so many people to these efforts that he cannot maintain his siege of Skyfyr, though. Far from it-the siege continues.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs tired of fighting for the Jennites siege of Skyfyr can travel to Southrock to fight the Verothian mercenaries, or sign up for the anti-adventurer groups and go off into the wilderness to hunt them down. This won't really make battles much easier for PCs with the Alphatians, though, since Talin is merely reorganising his troops.

Yarthmont 18, AC 1018: Dog-Men Strike.

Location: Trail south of Village of Ery-Usar, Delta Kingdom, Nithian Empire. HW

Description: A caravan heading south from the village of Ery-Usar to Louknor is attacked by a swarming band of gnolls. The gnolls fight in a vicious, blind rage, showing no quarter to the Nithian merchants or their slaves. The gnolls make off with the food, cloth, and other goods borne by the caravan workers. A single runner is able to escape the chaos and bring word of the attack by the dog-men back to the village. (See Va. 22, Fl. 27; Fy. 5, Ei. 10.)

What This Means: Greeah-Oog's gnolls are moving into action. This is the first of many isolated attacks on caravans, villages, and other settlements throughout Nithia, which will escalate throughout the circle.

What the PCs Can Do: Be hired as caravan guards and fight off the savage bands of gnolls. Once the attacks become more frequent, government officials or caravan owners may hire the PCs to investigate the rise in dog-man attacks, especially in the wilderness northeast of Louknor.

Yarthmont 19, AC 1018: When Roads Cross.

Location: On the road between Towns of Dolos and Nemiston, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: Going toward Selenica, Ruthera Wocken has a chance encounter with Rezak Xygar, a noted wizard for hire in Darokin, who is currently escorting a caravan to Darokin City for Pennydown House. They discuss the renewed Mage's Guild, which had escaped Rezak's attention, and he promises to seek out Bastian Rodens once he gets to Darokin City. (See Nu. 20, Ya. 8; Ya. 27, Fe. 22.)

What This Means: Rezak Xygar has been busy for a while, so he didn't note the renewed effort of the old Magic-User's Guild, though he is a member of it. Having him involved in the renewal process could be a great benefit, as he is probably one of the most experienced wizards in Darokin.

What the PCs Can Do: This is a relatively peaceful encounter, but if the PCs meet Xygar, they can evaluate his skills in the arcane arts himself (and be impressed by them). Rezak is a nice wizard, but he is a bit theatrical and goes to great lengths to promote himself. While initially amusing, this trait can be a little annoying after a while. In truth, his real name is Roger Sagar, but he calls himself only Rezak Xygar because it's more "wizardly."

Yarthmont 19, AC 1018: We Don't Need Those Stinking Gnomes.

Location: City of Soderfjord, Kingdom of Soderfjord. OW

Description: Emissaries of King Sarats of Sareft approach King Ragnar of Soderfjord. They inform him that they have a kingdom in the Hardanger Mountains, and that he must remove the gnomish population from the Falun Caverns, since the Modrigswerg lay claim to these caverns. Ragnar is enraged; he has the Modrigswerg forcibly removed from his clan hall, telling them that the Falun Caverns are his to do with as he pleases, since he's the one that cleared them of kobolds. (See Th. 7, Fl. 17; Ya. 22, Kl. 9.)

What This Means: Ragnar is less than pleased to discover the Modrigswerg of the Hardanger Mountains want the Falun Caverns for themselves. He cleared those caverns of kobolds at high personal cost in the hope of obtaining gnomish artifacts, which he could trade for with the new population of gnomes. The Modrigswerg are not known for fair trades, so he definitely doesn't want them in control of the Falun Caverns.

Yarthmont 19, AC 1018: The Lass Gets Lucky.

Location: Open sea west of the Town of Corescos, Merry Pirate Seas. HW

Description: The Lucky Lass has been away from home for over four months, and although some minor wealth has been taken, there has been no sign of Captain Blake's lost map. The crew is beginning to be disheartened, despite the efforts of Captain R. Morgan. Morgan calls for a vote, and the crew decides to stay at it for ten more sleeps, and then sail for home if their bad luck continues.

Shortly thereafter, they spot a Traldar galley, and the Lucky Lass sails in to attack. Morgan intimidates her with artillery fire and then closes to board, his crew singing a boisterous song as they do. The Traldar put up a token resistance, and quickly submit to the pirates. The take is not bad-some bolts of cloth, and a few cases of decent wine-but it is not great. Morgan personally searches the possessions of the Traldar captain, and, in addition to some gold jewellery, he finds an old ship's log, which he steals as well. Morgan suggests that they return to their homeport of Floresque, and the crew concurs. (See Nu. 10; Kl. 16, Kl. 17.)

What This Means: Many crucial shipboard decisions are made democratically, when the captain calls for a vote of the crew. Usually, the more say a pirate crew has in their own fate, the merrier they are, and Morgan is wise to consult them when their morale is dwindling. Things such as this are typically outlined in the ship's articles, or charter. The captured goods will hold the crew over for now, while Morgan investigates the old ship's log. It was written by Bellamy Richards, an ancient mariner who once sailed with Captain Blake. Morgan is hopeful that it may contain clues to the lost map, but he does not want to raise false expectations amongst his crew. Actually, Morgan is illiterate, and was only able to recognise the jolly roger (or personal mark) of Bellamy etched on the cover. He hopes to hire a translator or scholar back in Floresque to read the book for him.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are serving with Morgan, PCs will be expected to fight against the resisting Traldar, and assist with the procurement of the goods. PCs who are close to Morgan may learn of Bellamy's log and help him to decipher it.

Yarthmont 20, AC 1018: Two for the Price of One!

Location: Eastern Jungle Coast. DV

Description: Before sending a landing party to examine the island, the Thyatian expedition sailed around it first, ostensibly to find an ideal beach upon which to land. In doing so, it was soon discovered that there are not one, but two islands nestled within the delta, both of approximately the same size. Extra time was taken to circumnavigate the eastern island, during which time the crew noted the presence of many strange animals-including what appear to be giant lizards, possibly the fabled "dinosaurs" said to exist in the Thanegioth Islands. Having completed this survey, Julius arranges for a landing party to explore the western island for a week, after which it is to report its findings.

In anticipation of the discovery, Julius names the nearby estuary the Saurian River; the islands will bear the same name for now. (See Ya. 7, Ya. 18; Ya. 27, Kl. 3.)

What This Means: If these islands really are home to dinosaurs, they could receive more visits in the future as hunters, collectors, zoologists, and other folk seek fortune and notoriety in various ways. The landing party will have a week to answer this question.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs should probably be part of any landing party, as this is likely why they would be brought on such an expedition.

Yarthmont 20, AC 1018: Trial Reopened.

Location: City of Trollhattan, Kingdom of Limn, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: In light of new evidence that came up in the case against the Stonewallers, their trial is reopened. Chief Sthool admits in front of the court to having fabricated the evidence against the Stonewallers in order to regain lost prestige at the court. The tribunal, once again led by King Drushiye himself, acquits the Stonewallers of all charges, and gives them leave to return to Draco. Rumours start flying that the king looked unusually depressed when reading the new verdict. Chief Sthool seems to disappear after the trial; rumours say he has fled the country in shame. (See Ya. 16, Ya. 17; Fe. 8.)

What This Means: The three most influential aristocrats in Limn, besides the king himself, Queen Mellora, The Dragon and The Count, did not want to see Limn destroyed by a war with Stonewall. Knowing that they had no chance of winning such a war they took a more pragmatic stance than King Drushiye. They presented him with an ultimatum: to change the verdict or face a challenge to his rule. They then used magic to force a false confession out of Chief Sthool.

These three nobles have been the main supporters of King Drushiye, and supporters of the status quo, in Limn, and through their might he has been able to hold his kingdom together. This is however the first time they have decided to combine their power, or the threat thereof, to pressure the king into seeing things their way. Should they choose to exercise their power in this way later, the king could in practice be reduced to nothing but a puppet ruler.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are familiar with the politics of Limn, they might notice that something odd is taking place, but it is unlikely that they will know exactly what at this time. Tracking down Chief Sthool will result in nothing, as he has already been killed by the minions of The Count.

Fourth Week

Yarthmont 22, AC 1018: Trouble in the Falun Caverns.

Location: Falun Caverns, Kingdom of Soderfjord. OW

Description: The gnomes, who recently moved into the Falun Caverns, find their water supplies poisoned, their food supplies spoiled, and strange monsters roaming the caverns. They request aid from King Ragnar of Soderfjord. (See Fl. 17, Ya. 19; Kl. 9, Kl. 16.)

What This Means: The Modrigswerg of Sareft are trying to drive out the gnomes from the Falun Caverns, which they covet for themselves. They have decided to convince the gnomes to leave by harassing them.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs could be hired to protect the gnomes from this sabotage and to hunt for monsters. They could also be in charge of caravans with supplies coming from Soderfjord.

Yarthmont 23, AC 1018: The Thyatian Proposal.

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

Description: Anna von Hendriks has returned to Freiburg early this morning, and without delay she presents herself to Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf, bearing the note from Emperor Eusebius of Thyatis. Without waiting for a full explanation, he takes the note, and opens it. Tense minutes pass as Wulf reads the note in full, and then, setting it down, dismisses Anna, telling her that he has much to think about. (See Fl. 27, Ya. 1; Fy. 11, Fy. 12.)

What This Means: Clearly, the Thyatian proposal is not what Herr Wulf had in mind. Nevertheless, with no other aid forthcoming, there will be considerable pressures to at least consider what has been put before him.

What the PCs Can Do: Even if they are close aides of Herr Wulf, the PCs will not be told the contents of the letter, although they might try to find out, especially if they are in Straßenburger's employ.

Yarthmont 23, AC 1018: Despair Rising.

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

Description: Although Ceafem withstands the Stonewall siege, the Stonewall strategy is becoming apparent. Arkan soldiers are being lost at an alarming rate! Already many of the soldiers have been killed the siege.

Town commander Arath tells King Qinn that although fresh supplies and additional soldiers have just arrived from Reer, Ceafem cannot hold out for much longer, and Arath asks King Qinn to begin negotiations with Stonewall, if only to play for more time for reinforcements to arrive. King Qinn refuses. (See Ya. 1, Ya. 14; Ya. 27, Kl. 4.)

What This Means: Stonewall doesn't have to break down the town walls because they can just continue their siege and wear the defenders down. This strategy is desirable to bringing the town down by force, because a pre-emptive assault would cost Stonewall many soldiers, and would just cause the defending soldiers to flee toward Ailpon, where they must then be fought later. Stonewall may be in a hurry to end this war, but Selcomad also knows that revealing it will just cause more trouble-showing patience is likely to break down the enemy at a faster rate, and force them into negotiations. The threat of the besieging force from Arreghi arriving outside Ceafem is also something that can be used to intimidate Ceafem.

King Qinn has several reasons for refusing negotiations. He hopes that the recent discussions in the Grand Council will stir up support for him, and he doesn't want to give Stonewall something they can present to the council indicating that the war is ending peacefully. Qinn is hoping the tide is turning against Stonewall. More importantly, Qinn has not discussed this with his ally, Queen Elshethara in Ambur, and he fears she might interpret negotiations with Stonewall as an indication that Arkan is giving up resisting Stonewall. He simply cannot afford to take that chance. Also, Qinn is dismissive of Arath himself. Partially this is because Arath has some of the typical "Stonewall traits" himself-he is a commoner and warrior involved in military matters and administrative affairs, and he seems to care more about the Ceafem population than the overall Arkan situation or what he is ordered to do by the aristocrats. This is not really the case, but it is true Arath doesn't like Qinn much. Obviously this is not a crucial factor in Qinn's decision, but it does factor in to a minor degree. Besides, if King Qinn decided to negotiate, he doesn't really have much to offer Stonewall at the moment, and he refuses to consider total surrender. This will cause Arath to be even more sceptical of Qinn, and he now begins suspecting him of opposing negotiations solely because Qinn places his own position as King of Arkan above the population's well-being.

What the PCs Can Do: The battles continue, but the PCs can also advise the various rulers and leaders involved in the conflict if they have distinguished themselves in some way or are noted for knowledge or experience with such matters. Obviously the two sides will also spy on each other.

Yarthmont 24, AC 1018: Leaving Alpha.

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

Description: With the letter from King Ericall finally in their possession, the Thyatians set sail for the Isle of the Dogs, there to report the result of their half-mercantile half-diplomatic missions to various dominions in the Great Bay area. They will not stop at the remaining dominions at the mouth of the Great Bay, Draken and Ossian, which are rather hostile Alphan vassals anyhow. (See Ya. 8, Ya. 11; Kl. 22.)

What This Means: The Thyatian merchants are eager to report directly their progress (they have kept in touch during their tour, but it is time for a full report) and give the baron the invitation from King Ericall.

What the PCs Can Do: There are enemies of Thyatis who do not want to see the empire extend its shadow over Norwold. They may hire the PCs to try and stop the Thyatians-who will be described by their employer as spies.

Yarthmont 24, AC 1018: A Dark Declaration.

Location: Countryside, Esterhold Peninsula. SK

Description: After rumours about the Crimson Avengers have circulated for weeks, Chieftain Maltaen-of that tribe of free Jennites who strongly support the True Way philosophy-commands his forces to wipe out any resistance by the Alphatians and their allies by any means necessary. He and his tribe and troops begin a reign of terror in the heart of the peninsula. (See Th. 26, Fl. 21; Fe. 28, Fy. 2.)

What This Means: The True Way is an extremist belief that preaches the destruction of anyone who doesn't accept the ideals of the free Jennites, particularly the Alphatians who have long oppressed them. Maltaen's tribal warriors were those who burned down Anchorage last year. His warriors have assaulted Alphatians and Jennites allied with them with savage fury, but they have also shown little respect for the rebel Jennites whom they consider to have fallen from the true ways of the Jennites. They are even noted and considered extremist among the free Jennites, as many tribes are far less aggressive or hostile than the True Way tribe. Maltaen's goal is to utterly annihilate all Alphatians and anyone who ever stood with them and so, obviously, were infected by their evil contagion of magic. Naturally people who follow such a philosophy react strongly to a group that commit acts against their people such as the Crimson Avengers have done.

What the PCs Can Do: Not much the PCs can do here. In fact, they are unlikely to know of this unless they are warriors in Maltaen's tribe themselves, which would be very unlikely. They will undoubtedly hear of this at some point, but that is described in later events. The only way the PCs would be involved at this point is if they are free Jennites who follow Maltaen's True Way. In that case they could be among the Champions of the True Way, a group of free Jennites fanatically devoted to Maltaen's ideals who begin spreading fear and terror among the Alphatians and, particularly, the Jennites who are their allies and whom Maltaen sees as particular traitors to the cause of the True Way.

Yarthmont 25, AC 1018: Drax Tallen Reinforced.

Location: Keep of Drax Tallen, Great Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW

Description: After witnessing the emboldened spirit of the elves, General Grumman asked the high priestess for reinforcements. He is disappointed when only a small squadron of common pikemen of the Shadow Army arrives with no sign of any Dragon Knights. He understands something is amiss with the Dragon Knights, but the Church of Idris remains silent on this matter. (See Va. 8, Th. 24; Kl. 21, Fy. 19.)

What This Means: The Dragon Knights (a.k.a. the Children of Idris) were secretly produced by the Onyx Ring in a cave in central Lothenar Forest. This cave was effectively destroyed by Beasthunter's Long Runners, and now Dragon Knight production has all but ceased. General Grumman is unaware that Dragon Knights are "produced" and he does not know of Beasthunter's attack.

What the PCs Can Do: Intercept the reinforcements before they reach Drax Tallen.

Yarthmont 26, AC 1018: Hiding in Empty Spaces.

Location: Kingdom of Notrion, Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: The mechanical marvel that is Earthshaker continues to travel throughout Bellissaria with Milos's Exhibition of Wonders. The exhibition continues to be a popular attraction despite-or maybe thanks to-the terrible economic situation in the kingdom. Today, during one of the standard tours given of the machine, a tourist slips away from the group, and hides in one of the many vast spaces within the metal shell. (See Fl. 6, Fl. 19; Fy. 14, Ka. 3.)

What This Means: The man is Ushankov, a lieutenant of Zhucharnov's. Unbeknownst to his fellow conspirators, Viktor and his cronies have been furthering their plans, awaiting the day when the Mind Gem will be theirs. Zhucharnov has ordered his men to follow Earthshaker from land to land, infiltrating the thing one by one. When the time is right, they will be issued further orders, describing a coordinated attack to eliminate resistance and gain control of Earthshaker. Viktor is trying to stay one step ahead of Dool and Coiger, by placing enough men with enough firepower to take them out, if necessary.

Yarthmont 27, AC 1018: The Siege of Thurgau.

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

Description: Forces loyal to Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf take up positions around the town of Thurgau before morning, and put it to siege. (See Ya. 12, Ya. 17; Kl. 7, Kl. 9.)

What This Means: Wulf's forces have continued their westward march, following the battle at Isar Falls. Thurgau is an average-sized town, and gaining control of it would benefit Wulf's war effort in the sense that he would have a strongpoint from which to attack western Heldann.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be part of Herr Wulf's forces, in which case they may be assigned the task of trying to undermine Thurgau's defences any way they can.

Yarthmont 27, AC 1018: The Tower of the Hermit.

Location: North of City of Corunglain, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: Agents of Bastian Rodens find what they assume to be the tower of the mysterious wizard called Luther in a broken landscape of rocky hills and treacherous, mountainous terrain. They approach the tower and knock at a great wooden door, and are invited inside by a peculiar voice. Up a flight of stairs, they encounter a robed human figure who asks what they want. Once they have explained their business and presented Bastian's invitation, the strange man merely says "no!" When one of the agents tries to argue that he should at least consider the matter, the robed man makes a gesture with his hand, and the entire group suddenly find themselves outside in the wilderness again! Returning to the tower, they now find that the door that allowed them to enter the tower has disappeared. Disappointed, they make their way back toward Corunglain. (See Ya. 8, Ya. 19; Fe. 22.)

What This Means: Obviously this Luther person does not like having visitors...

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could easily be the agents sent by Bastian, though it might not be a good idea if they are powerful enough to think they can fight Luther and decide to do so. Luther is a far more powerful wizard than one might suspect!

Yarthmont 27, AC 1018: Blood in the Wood.

Location: Hamlet of Midwood, deep in the Radlebb Forest, halfway along the Westron Road, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: The adventurer Viola Miroslava staggers into the Shady Dragon Inn in Midwood. Seeking the famed wizard of Midwood, Nicodemus, she collapses and dies from a poison arrow after mentioning she has hidden the sword, Reaver, in haunted Fort Boldizsarovic, south and west of the hamlet, and far from civilisation. Several groups of humanoids are seeking the blade, which gives one command over humanoid races. The blade's shattered fragments were stolen from Oenkmar in the Broken Lands some years ago by Bargle the Infamous and agents of the Black Eagle Baron. The former Black Eagle reportedly has at least one band of mercenaries seeking to capture the reforged blade for themselves. The weapon can only be shattered and ultimately destroyed on the anvil on which it was created, the Anvil of Screams. The anvil was reportedly in Bargle's private quarters at the fall of Fort Doom, but has not been seen since. (See Kl. 3, Fe. 26.)

What This Means: The Black Eagle's attention has turned back to Karameikos-in an effort to broaden his plots outside of his new country of residence, Glantri-although he's not the only dark force seeking this weapon. If either force gets it, it will likely mean the rise of a humanoid army in the southern depths of the Radlebb Forest unlike any seen in living memory.

What the PCs Can Do: Nicodemus is away for no one knows how long when Viola arrives in Midwood, where the PCs are spending the night in the long comfortable inn to be found as the road stretches through the dark forest. With humanoids tracking Viola to Midwood, the only way to protect the hamlet is for the adventurers to go after the blade-and to let the mercenaries discover that they're doing so. Once they have the blade, of course, the question of what to do with it remains. The blade has a corrupting influence, and even if adventurers resist its whispers of power and death, discovering where Bargle hid the Anvil of Screams and destroying Reaver will be an adventure to remember.

Yarthmont 27, AC 1018: Jennites Raid the Mines of Rock Harbour.

Location: Town of Rock Harbour, Province of Southrock, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK

Description: The Jennites recently began attacking Rock Harbour in earnest, but were pushed back by mercenaries, a great number of them from Veroth, hired by Governor Darik Rockroll, and they had to reorganise their invasion.

They begin performing raids against the mines, eventually forcing the Alphatians to close them down. It also causes some discontented former Jennite slaves among the Alphatians, particularly those who work in the mines, to begin rising against the Alphatians by performing sabotage in the areas in and around Rock Harbour. (See Fl. 11, Ya. 1; Kl. 10, Kl. 17.)

What This Means: This stops the Alphatian source of money for more troops in Southrock. The town of Rock Harbour itself is essentially protected by the escarpment, but the mines are not, and the Jennites realise that, without them, the Alphatians will run out of resources. So the Jennites simply close off the mines and besiege the area.

Favian Vern outlawed slavery in his republic, so there are no slaves here, but the former slaves are still poor. The area still requires people to work in the mines in order to remain rich, and the former mine slaves are still the best for that job since they have the experience. Thus, many Jennites feel that they have been forced into returning to the mines. After all, just because they can no longer enslave the Jennites doesn't mean the Alphatians are willing to share all the profits from the mines with the former slaves. Many Jennites are understandably bitter about that, but there are also those who simply want to get rid of the Alphatians so they can earn the mine profits for themselves instead. Darik doesn't really condone exploitation of the Jennites, but as a dwarf he just doesn't see what the Jennites are complaining about when they occasionally protest their conditions, and some Alphatian mine owners have cleverly used that bias to convince Darik to dismiss their misgivings as nonsense.

What the PCs Can Do: On the Alphatian side the PCs can be mercenaries protecting Southrock or guarding the mines, though they will eventually be forced back to Rock Harbour. Jennite PCs can be the invading soldiers or they can be the disappointed Jennites who decide to sabotage the defensive efforts of Darik and his mercenaries.

Yarthmont 27, AC 1018: Questions Answered, but More Arise.

Location: Off coast of West Saurian Island, Jungle Coast. DV

Description: The landing party dispatched by Julius Ambrosius to explore West Saurian Island returns this morning, albeit slightly reduced in number. The party reports that there are indeed a variety of large lizards living on the island, some of whom are carnivorous. Also present in a number of locations are overgrown, half-buried ruins, some apparently constructed of basalt or some other dark volcanic rock, while others appear to have been built of granite. It was not possible to explore any of these in depth, as the local wildlife was far too dangerous. Although the party was not able to explore the entire island in depth, they did not encounter any intelligent natives-human or otherwise.

After considering what he has been told, Julius decides to explore the eastern island, but with larger (and better armed) landing parties. (See Ya. 18, Ya. 20; Kl. 3, Fe. 22.)

What This Means: The landing party encountered a number of dinosaur species during their explorations, and several of them were killed in the process. Fortunately, however, they were able to obtain eggs, teeth, and other samples for future examination. These latter pieces would fetch high prices among collectors and scholars should they find their way back to Thyatis. The importance of the ruins that were discovered is not apparent to anyone in the expedition-they are nothing less than the remnants of Carnifex and Lhomarrian fortresses dating from the period during which northern Davania was a battleground between the two cultures. Unfortunately, very little remains, and a great deal of excavation would be required before anything of historical value was uncovered.

What the PCs Can Do: Assuming the PCs took part in the exploration of the island, they might be able to reduce the number of fatalities. Otherwise, the DM may wish to arrange events such that the PCs are trapped in the ruins (whether by rockfalls, monsters, or other means), and are thought lost by the rest of the expedition. This could provide ample opportunity for PCs to explore the ruins in more depth, perhaps uncovering long-lost lore, treasures, and disturbing unknown horrors that have lain dormant for centuries.

Yarthmont 27, AC 1018: Southern Force Arrives from Arreghi.

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

Description: The Stonewall force recalled from the siege of Arreghi arrives from the south outside the town of Reer, north of Ceafem. This is a surprise to the town defenders, but strangely the Stonewallers do not attack, but merely make camp and settle down for now, making no aggressive moves. (See Va. 11, Ya. 23; Kl. 1, Kl. 4.)

What This Means: Something is definitely going on. The town leaders of Reer and their allies from Ambur discuss the matter for a long time.

What the PCs Can Do: Arkan PCs can spy on the odd behaviour of Stonewall, but otherwise there aren't any hostilities, at least not yet.