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Eirmont 1, AC 1019
Location: City of Pandius, Matera.
Description: After some deliberation, the Immortal Hierarchs have gathered to pass judgment on Thor for His intrusion on the Prime Plane. They rule that while Thor did have reason to oppose Loki's plans, His direct appearance in Immortal form on the Prime Plane was entirely unnecessary, and censure Him.
Many of the penalties imposed are important only within Immortal society, but one in particular impacts Mystara: For the remainder of AC 1019, Thor will not be able to contact those of His clerics or worshippers who revere Him as Thor. Mortals who know Him under another name (such as Tuatis, Donar or the General, on the Savage Coast, or Donar in the Hollow World) will still be able to contact Him, but for the next two months those who worship Thor in His own name will be out of luck. The Immortal is left one day to take any precautions He sees fit; beyond that, any attempt to break the sentence will be grounds for another judgment by the Immortals, likely a much harsher one. (See Sv. 19, Sv. 20; Ei. 2.)
What This Means: Thor's influence is in place mainly in the Old World (especially the Northern Reaches), and He has some followers in Norwold and the Isle of Dawn as well. These followers will be unable to contact their patron, or receive any aid, for the remainder of AC 1019.
This culminates Loki's plot, for the moment, and constitutes the Stroke that the Immortals had expected. In exchange for one Mortal Identity and a few easily-replaced mortal dupes, he has badly humiliated a rival, released an Entropic artifact into the Northern Reaches, and incited chaos and pointless warfare in both northern and southern Soderfjord. And between Skaddri's mysterious death and a few well-chosen Big Lies about Thor's true intentions, Loki may even get this Mortal Identity back someday...
Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: Millington Vonaday, Shadow, and their companions return to Darokin City and explain what has happened on Itheldown Island to Chancellor Corwyn Mauntea. They are notably silent on the fate of Graylock, though Millington does say that they will probably hear from him again some day. Shadow returns to prison to face her punishment. (See Sv. 8, Sv. 26.)
What This Means: With the threat of the roaring demon Razrog gone, things begin to return to normal in Darokin. Shadow's sentence will be reduced to less than a year in light of her recent actions for the good of the nation, but the chancellor needs to demonstrate that the thief will be punished, until the matter is largely forgotten by the public, at which point he can safely let her go as long as she doesn't reveal the truth. Graylock is missing because he remains on Itheldown Island, where he is turning the remains of the old Itheldown Castle into a more stable tower. He will actually take the island as his home, where he can both have his privacy due to the island's reputation and be at hand to guard the site of the gate to the lower planes.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were on Itheldown Island, they will know what became of Graylock and be asked all sorts of questions about their experiences. They will also be considered champions of Darokin for their heroic actions against Razrog's reign of terror. Bards will seek them out and ask details for telling the story of the victory over the demon or to write songs about it, which means the names of the PCs will soon be known throughout Darokin.
Eirmont 2, AC 1019
Location: All over the world.
Description: Churches of the Immortal Thor everywhere proclaim that, according to their patron's wish, His priests will go into a period of retreat, with fast and meditation and a lot of praying. During Thor's Retreat, no service will be held, and no supplicant heard. The priesthoods urge the followers of Thor to join them in the retreat. (See Sv. 20, Ei. 1.)
What This Means: This was the best plan Thor that could come up on such short notice. While He contacted the heads of the largest churches, orders and cults that revere Him under this name, many lesser clerics (especially itinerant ones of low level) will receive no heads up from their patron, and will suddenly find themselves without spells; those that live or travel near centres of Thor worship can try and learn of the retreat, but others will be on their own.
What the PCs Can Do: Unless they are of high-level, PC clerics of Thor who, presumably, are itinerant and as luck would have it in the middle of a dungeon surrounded by undead, will be unable to pray for new spells. Besides their wits and luck, they will have to rely on their swords and what few spells they have spared; holy water will still work but new ones cannot be consecrated, and Turning may or may not work depending on whether the cleric radiates enough faith without the help of his Immortal (DM's prerogative).
Horrors From Beyond the Frozen Grave!
Location: Frozen bogs south of Kingdom of Kaarjala. NW
Description: While following the trail that, they hope, will lead them to Prince Veikko, an adventuring party is attacked by a large number of what appear to be undead, but they are unlike any encountered by them before. Their flesh is dry and withered almost mummified, it seems but they also appear to be heavily frostbitten. Attempts to turn them fail, and their touch is so cold it burns. Luckily, the party has several powerful spells at its disposal, and manages to eliminate the monsters, but not before sustaining some serious injuries. After a few hours of rest and recovery, the party continues to follow the trail, noting that the undead came from further down the trail it was following. (See Sv. 16, Sv. 27; Ei. 5.)
What This Means: Something evil no doubt lurks in these southern bogs. The fact that the undead are there at all indicates either the work of a necromancer, or some horrible event that prevented many souls from finding peace. The undead known among the Kaarjalans as hoarfrost zombies frequent the swampy lands south of Kaarjala, and will be encountered in increasing numbers as the party continues following the trail deeper into the bog.
What the PCs Can Do: Assuming that the PCs are the party, they would have had a difficult fight on their hands. The hoarfrost zombies, pawns of the Rimal Hag, serve as her eyes and ears, and so long as they remain in her domain, they cannot be turned. Their icy touch does 2d4 damage; they fear fire and any other sources of heat, and will shy away when confronted directly by such an item. This does not prevent other hoarfrost zombies from attacking a fire bearer's rear or flank.
Location: Barony of Thanopolis, Davania Inferior, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV
Description: While clearing the land in order to build a temporary port, workers in the employ of Adrianos Kyrenos uncover what appear to be the stone foundations of a series of buildings. All work stops as everyone rushes to the site to see what is going on, and then to help clear away more dirt to excavate as much of the structure as possible. Soon, it becomes clear that several long buildings once stood upon this site, although their purpose is unclear. Adrianos orders work on the port to cease for the time being, and dispatches a messenger to Raven Scarp, to request the services of a scholar to identify the ruins. (See Sv. 21; Ei. 23, Ka. 1.)
What This Means: Although the Hinterlands are still being colonised by Thyatis, it is not the first nation to occupy these lands. Other imperial powers in relatively recent history, including Milenians and Nithians, once claimed this territory as their own. These ruins could well date back to those empires, or they might even be the remnant of yet another civilisation.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be sent to Raven Scarp to carry Adrianos's message, in which case they will have to contend with the occasionally hostile lands around Lake Solarios. Otherwise, they might offer to explore the ruins on their own, in which case the DM could allow them to discover a hidden cellar or series of chambers, which may contain treasure, or unknown peril.
Deal Forged with Dunwick.
Location: Free City of Dunwick. SC
Description: After several days of negotiation, Thyatis and Dunwick have reached an agreement on trade and diplomatic relations. Dunwick will become a regular stopover for the Thyatian and Minrothaddan mercantile fleet. In exchange for Thyatian assistance in improving the city's fortifications and in eradicating bandits, Thyatis will be granted basing rights, including the right to build a series of docks for its own vessels. Minrothaddan and Thyatian trading houses will establish themselves in the city, accompanied by settlers, who will bring new skills and help defend the city in times of war. (See Sv. 24, Sv. 25.)
What This Means: Dunwick has noticed that the surrounding territories have become increasingly dangerous: snappers have become far more common, and Renardois bandits have taken over the hills to the north, disrupting land trade with Renardie. Dunwick will benefit from having Thyatis as a trading partner because a considerable number of goods, previously unknown in the region, will be traded here. Equally important, commodities traded in Dunwick will reach Thyatian markets, which will make the city more attractive to other merchants.
Thyatian and Minrothaddan merchant houses will purchase land and build new docks capable of handling larger trading vessels [DM Note: Essentially, this will result in Dunwick's docking class being upgraded from B to A.]. Foreign vessels may dock at the new facilities once they are completed within two years, but they will have to pay fees to the Thyatian government to do so Dunwick benefits by being able to handle larger trade volumes, and by collecting customs duties where applicable.
The expedition will winter in Dunwick in order to avoid the storms common to this region at this time of year, and to finalise arrangements. Dunwick is to become a key node in the Thyatian trading network in Savage Coast; great effort will be required to manage the relationship with the city-state, so that the empire is seen more as a partner, and possibly a protector, than as a coloniser. In the meantime, Thyatian spies will try to learn more about Renardie, which is to be the first stop in the new year. Although many Dunwickers will see the benefit of reaching a deal with the empire, others will see it as an attempt by Thyatis to take over the city. The LB Trading Company will be paying close attention to Thyatian and Minrothaddan activities in the region.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may be inclined to move on (perhaps instructed to go to Renardie and scout around), but if they stay behind, they could take part in the operation to crush the Renardois bandits. At the DM's discretion, the bandits may, in fact, have been hired by Renardie to put pressure on Dunwick, so as to make it easier to annex it in the future. If this idea is pursued, and the PCs do participate in a campaign to eliminate the bandits, Renardie may raise the issue with the Thyatians during their visit next year this could embroil the PCs in another episode of political intrigue. Additionally, if one of the PCs is of medium- to high-level, and is known to be loyal to the empire, Paulus may appoint them as Thyatian ambassador to Dunwick; otherwise, an NPC will be appointed.
Eirmont 3, AC 1019
Warrior Maidens Arrested.
Location: Shun Province, Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD
Description: The Royal Office of Cultural Conservation arrests Master Zhin and several of his students on charges of conspiracy to create disharmony. Further evidence of this is the presence of over a dozen native Ochalean warrior maidens in the service of the order. The royal office tries and convicts the girls on charges of conspiracy. At least nine are sold into slavery for their offences, one is acquitted and two executed. Reports indicate that those sold into slavery were purchased by a Thyatian gladiatorial entertainments company. (See Kl. 7, Fl. 24; Ei. 19.)
What This Means: The tensions in Ochalean society about the equality of women still run high. While Master Zhin and his order may covertly train female warriors, it is not uncommon and rarely warrants such inquisition. It is possible that Zhin had more powerful enemies than he thought, or maybe someone wanted his order's investigations into the mountain ruins to stop.
Location: 650 miles southeast of Town of Polakatsikes, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: Some scouts sent a month earlier finally find good mineral deposits. Coal, iron, silver, gold, and even some traces of platinum are found in the hills. Some places show signs of ancient mines but the place has long been abandoned. One of the members of the scouting mission, a gnome, is positive that the region has great potential. He recommends that it be secured and exploited as soon as possible. (See Fy. 21, Sv. 14; Ei. 11.)
What This Means: The hills and small mountains are very rich in terms of minerals, but this is really a wilderness area. Only very motivated people can figure out a way to extract the minerals and produce good metal. They would need an army of miners to extract the mineral wealth of the region. Unknown to the scouts, tribes of trolls have claimed the region and would have to be dealt with.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs would be busy exploring the wilderness, fighting roaming monsters, and then going back to Polakatsikes to report their findings.
Appeal for Increased Northern Defence.
Location: City of Er, Province of Er, Kingdom of Nimmur, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC
Description: Prince Sheneser of Ankesh informs the king that during the campaign he recently led with Suneveh against the phanatons of Jibarú, the phanatons somehow removed the protective makeup worn by his soldiers. Thus, he says, the phanatons have discovered about the curse laid upon them by Idu (Ixion), and how they were protected from the sun by the gift of Menlil (Atzanteotl). The little pests have even discovered a way to destroy the holy gift of Menlil! Sheneser asks for assistance in the defence of the Ankesh border, as it seems certain that the phanatons will press their advantage and attack Nimmur. The king says he will take the matter under advisement.
In a separate, and private, interview, King Anupalassar demands Prince Enshurnasirpal's opinion about the war he led alongside Ankesh against the phanatons, and the report that they discovered how to remove the protective makeup from a manscorpion's body. The prince answers that the war was quite successful, until the Ankesh army faltered, forcing the Suneveh pincers to retire as well, but not before creating a buffer zone between Jibarú and the annexed Wind Flats. He dismisses the supposed phanaton knowledge as a mere rumour started by Ankesh officers who invented this story to cover up their own incompetence, a tale that Prince Sheneser took at face value but that is not supported by any other evidence than the word of his men. In fact, he adds, if it were true his men should have suffered similar attacks, which they have not, and even Ankesh has not been attacked by the phanatons' "special" weapon. (See Sv. 6, Sv. 20; Ei. 8, Ei. 28.)
What This Means: Prince Sheneser is sincere in his plea, but can provide no solid evidence as the phanatons of the southern tribes have discontinued using the water darts, which they found to be rather ineffective. Prince Enshurnasirpal is watering down the truth, by suppressing testimonies from his own ranks and keeping the phanatons at bay by withdrawing his soldiers into the Wind Flats. It is ironic that the southern phanatons have abandoned the weapon while Ankesh would like to get evidence about its existence, but the western phanatons keep using it upon Suneveh, which would like this weapon to disappear.
Eirmont 5, AC 1019
Robin Moorkroft's Mundaner Men Fess Up.
Location: Great School of Magic, City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: Amid rumours that Sean McAllister was kidnapped by the mage-rogue Robin Moorkroft and his Mundaner Men, four young wizards from the Great School of Magic secretly and fearfully meet with the school's grandmaster, Prinz Harald Haaskinz of Sablestone, saying they have vital information that could shed light on the kidnapping.
The four scallywags (including two far-from-noble scions of the Virayana family) admit that they are Mundaner Men of Robin Moorkroft, and that Sean McAllister himself is Robin Moorkroft! The Mundaner Men have come to the obvious conclusion that Sean could not have kidnapped himself, and they fear that a darker fate has befallen their brave and knavish leader.
Prince Harald Haaskinz, despite his personal and political troubles, promises to look into the matter. (See Th. 22, Sv. 23; Ka. 20.)
What This Means: The secret truth is that Sean McAllister was kidnapped by his own cousin, Angus McGregor, the Prince of Klantyre and a diabolical necromancer, who has long tired of being trapped in the frail body of a ten-year old boy and has very sinister plans for his cousin Sean or at least, his physical body...
What the PCs Can Do: This could be a setup for an interesting adventure involving students, apprentices, child wizards, teachers, and the many, many secrets of the Great School of Magic. Of course, the trail of Robin Moorkroft and Sean McAllister might eventually lead to Angus McGregor, an evil high-ranking Death Master from the Secret Craft of Necromancy and a fun, light-hearted adventure might take a very vile and nasty turn...
What the Swamp Hides...
Location: Frozen bogs south of the Kingdom of Kaarjala. NW
Description: After many harrowing days spent following a trail that, they hope, will lead to Prince Veikko and his abductors, the adventuring party finds itself on a low rise in the midst of the bog. Leaden clouds dim the sun's light to a dusky grey, and ahead of them lies what was once a paved road, heading straight up the rise to what appears to be a ruined structure at its apex. Along the way, they pass several stakes, upon which are placed heads in varying stages of decomposition.
Making their way to the structure, they find it to be the ruins of a great tower, in the middle of which is a wide spiral staircase, heading down into the bowels of the earth. Descending these stairs, the party soon finds itself in a large cavern, from which many tunnels burrow into the surrounding rock. Directly ahead of them is a stone slab, upon which they can see the bound form of Prince Veikko. Before they can reach him, a wizened, robed figure emerges from one of the tunnels, and demands, in a croaking voice, that they leave its domain, "or I shall mete unto you a fate not unlike those whose heads you passed."
The party refuses, and engages the creature in battle. Only then do they realise the extent of their peril, for, not only is the monster they face some sort of vampire that can walk under the sun, it possesses a vast array of spells, which it uses to great effect. All the while, more frozen zombies shuffle out of the other tunnel entrances. The battle is incredibly fierce, and many heroes fall to the monster and its minions, but the party manages to injure the creature severely enough that it must retreat, and they use this opportunity to free Veikko who had been forgotten by both sides in the battle and flee. (See Sv. 27, Ei. 2.)
What This Means: The party has located the lair of the Rimal Hag, where Veikko was about to be sacrificed to advance her plots. Unbeknownst to the heroes, the Rimal Hag was once a Taymoran nosferatu wizardess named Annumadya. She fled her homeland during its collapse, and attempted to build a new realm for herself here. Many centuries ago, the ancestors of the Kaarjalans and the Littonians, guided by their own Immortals, attacked her fledgling kingdom, and burned her tower to the ground. Everyone had thought that she was destroyed, but Annumadya survived her injuries, and spent the following centuries trying to recover her lost spells and her power. Although she regained some of it, Annumadya remained a shadow of what she once was both in terms of her magical prowess, and in terms of her appearance. She had once been a legendary beauty, but Annumadya had been so badly burned that she now resembled a dried, blackened zombie. As the centuries passed, knowledge of her passed out of common memory, but people began to fear the southern bogs once more, and tales of a withered crone who froze unwary travellers with her damp touch, and ate them, spread. Thus the legend of the Rimal, or Hoarfrost, Hag was born.
Annumadya had hoped that, by sacrificing someone tied to the land like Veikko, she might harness the energies of his spirit, and use them to increase her own power, and possibly to restore her to her original appearance, as well. The adventurers managed to foil her plot, but they paid dearly for it.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs undertook the quest to find Veikko instead of the adventurers depicted here, the DM should flesh out the Rimal Hag in order to ensure that the battle is very difficult. At the very least, she should be immune to nonmagical attacks, and have access to obscure, high level spells many of which will likely be unknown to the PCs. If, for whatever reason, the PCs fail, Veikko will be sacrificed, and the Rimal Hag's power will increase. The ultimate outcome is up to the DM, but if Annumadya does win, she will soon be in a position to threaten the entire Kingdom of Kaarjala.
Assuming the PCs are successful, they must make their way through the frozen bogs again, this time pursued by the Rimal Hag's hoarfrost zombies while bearing the weakened Prince Veikko, who remembers nothing of his captivity. Provided that the PCs make it out of the bog, they will be able to make their way to Kaarja to return Veikko to his father, and to collect their reward. King Kaarlo Taavinen will also recognise the PCs publicly for their bravery, and they will be hailed as heroes throughout Kaarjala.
Eirmont 7, AC 1019
Closing in on Hockstein.
Location: Town of Hockstein, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW
Description: Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks leads her army to the town of Hockstein, where they prepare to commence a siege. The town's garrison observes the preparations, and dismisses them; Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger has concentrated his forces in Hockstein and Freiburg neither will be an easy conquest. (See Am. 27, Am. 28; Ei. 8, Ei. 13.)
What This Means: After a few weeks spent relieving the village of Schwarzberg and vicinity, Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks and the bulk of her army marched on Thurgau, where they assisted the local garrison in its efforts to drive away the Ethengar raiders (mainly Kaeruts). Having done so, Anna bolstered Thurgau's garrison with some of her own troops, and charged the local landmeister with the responsibility for keeping the surrounding hills free of Ethengar infiltration, and assisting the garrison of Grunturm as needed. The Black Lion, the sole airship at her disposal, has been sent to southeastern Heldann to ferret out other Ethengar bands. Having reorganised her forces, Anna then commenced the final march on Hockstein, which would be a prelude to the final assault on Freiburg. Anna is determined to conquer Hockstein before the worst of winter sets in.
Never far from Anna's mind, however, is the realisation that the Ethengars remain a threat in the southeast.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are part of Anna's faction, or are otherwise in her employ, the PCs would likely have taken part in her campaigns in Schwarzberg and Thurgau.
Vix Leaves Milenia.
Location: Tower of Night, Milenian Empire. HW
Description: Vix leaves the Milenian Empire on her quest to find and punish Zandor for his treachery. She heads southeast, following rumours she saw in the Zargosians' reports about the presence of a recent foreign outpost. (See Kl. 10, Sv. 15.)
What This Means: After a long, fruitless search for Zandor within the Milenian Empire, Vix, convinced that he somehow slipped away, extends her quest to realms further afield. Her only clue is the rumour heard in the high circles of power concerning the town of Lothar.
What the PCs Can Do: Vix may hire the PCs to help her track Zandor. Also, the PCs may encounter this legendary figure of Milenia anywhere in the Hollow World, for bad or good.
A Treasure Preserved for All Time.
Location: East of Lost Valley. DV
Description: The larger contingent of the Thyatian expedition continues its journey northwards along the coast of the Lost Valley region. After a couple of days of sailing, the forests give way to coastal plains, which gradually climb into foothills further inland, before merging with distant mountains. One section of the coast draws the Thyatians' attention the plains suddenly become rows of drift-like hills, covered with sparse grasses. Intrigued, the expedition drops anchor and sends a party ashore to investigate.
The different terrain seems to stretch as far inland as the eye can see, and for quite a distance further up the coast, too. Some party members wonder aloud as to why the vegetation should be so much poorer than areas only a few miles distant. A few hours of digging reveal no answers, but they do reveal what appear to be walls, and the roofs of buildings! Fascinated, the party sends word to the remainder of the crew of the discovery. Within the hour, most of the crew has disembarked, and commenced digging in several promising locations. (See Sv. 24, Sv. 26; Ei. 22, Ka. 10.)
What This Means: Some members of the Thyatian party recognised the strange hills as the overgrown remnants of a great volcanic ash-fall, and a brief examination of the soil confirmed this. A few diggings by chance revealed buried buildings and other structures. The Thyatians will stay here for many days, excavating as much as they can of this lost city. What they have discovered are the buried remains of the Lhomarrian city of Thallios, the sister city to Erkalion, which was buried following a volcanic eruption in BC 6415. So intense, and swift, was the catastrophe that none of the inhabitants escaped, and everything was entombed in several feet of ash. In this sense, Thallios is special in that it is probably the best-preserved Lhomarrian city in Davania, with enough relics scattered throughout to keep an army of scholars busy for years. The work that the Thyatian expedition will do will only scratch the surface of this incredible find, but everyone present will soon be well aware of its significance, even if they only have the vaguest of clues as to the identity of those who built the city.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are with this contingent of the expedition, the PCs will be able to do some digging around of their own, and they might just uncover something interesting, or dangerous. The sewers of Thallios, for example, are pretty much intact, and none but the Immortals know what might still be living down there. Likewise, many anguished spirits could be roaming the ruins, and might be disturbed by the sudden incursion of the living. In short, Thallios has great potential as a location for dungeon crawls, and more dangerous things.
Eirmont 8, AC 1019
The Battle for Hockstein Commences.
Location: Town of Hockstein, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW
Description: The siege of Hockstein begins in earnest, as catapults bombard the town from afar, while sappers dig their way to the foundations. The defenders, knowing full well how the city of Landfall fell to Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks's armies, use magical means to detect the sappers wherever possible, and use transmute rock to mud spells to collapse the tunnels and suffocate the sappers. All the while, shielded crews with battering rams try to make their way to Hockstein's gates, covered by crossbowmen. For a time, it seems that enough pressure is being placed on Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger's soldiers that a breakthrough is imminent. Anna's hopes for a quick victory are dashed by the sudden appearance of several mounted griffons, who drop boulders on the battering ram crews, and whose riders scatter many other enemy troops with spells. Before concerted resistance can be brought to bear, the griffons retreat behind the walls. Anna withdraws her troops, and assesses her options. (See Am. 28, Ei. 7; Ei. 13, Ei. 27.)
What This Means: Thus far, Straßenburger's armies have been land-based, and beyond employing a few mages, they did not present any surprises to Anna or her armies. With the completion of the Black Lion, many of Anna's supporters began to believe that they would soon dominate the battlefield, and it would only be a matter of months before all of Heldann was theirs. Obviously, Heinrich still has a few tricks up his sleeve such as the 30 griffons that he purchased secretly over the past few years to aid him in his bid to gain control over the Heldannic Order. The unexpected presence of the griffons will force Anna to rethink her assault on Hockstein, and will win the defenders a few days' respite. Straßenburger will be reluctant to risk his griffons in an all-out assault; he does not have too many of them, and they cannot be replaced easily.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs working for Anna could be assigned the task of finding a way to deal with the griffons and their riders, so that the main body of her army can mount the attack. If they are serving Straßenburger, the PCs could be among the griffon riders, in which case they could be assigned the task of staging raids against the enemy camps.
No Additional Defence in Ankesh.
Location: City of Er, Province of Er, Kingdom of Nimmur, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC
Description: King Anupalassar announces that he will not divert any troops to defend the northern border against a hypothetical phanaton threat. (See Sv. 6, Ei. 3; Ei. 28, Ka. 1.)
What This Means: The king has been preparing a major assault against the enduks entrenched in Um-Shedu, and the possibility of a crisis in the north had him worried. Prince Enshurnasirpal's reassurances have convinced him that the threat was exaggerated, so he decided to go on with his own plans; the only concession to Ankesh is that he will not draft its troops, or those of Suneveh, for the battle of Um-Shedu, so as to leave the border well-guarded.
A Perilous Mission.
Location: Southwestern Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: A team of investigators heads, unobtrusively, for the Altan Tepes Mountains, to learn more about the goblin tribe operating in the region, and what they are really up to. (See Am. 27, Sv. 21.)
What This Means: The Darokinians and Thyatians have concluded that the goblin raids that both nations have suffered are indeed linked, based on the evidence obtained by both sides. The problem is, no one can figure out how or why this particular goblin tribe became so disciplined in the first place, or whether it has any goals aside from simple raiding. Regardless, both nations agree that such a tribe cannot be allowed to exist. The investigation team has been instructed to locate the goblins' lair, determine the tribe's strength, and if possible uncover the reason for the raids. Given that the tribe is likely to be rather large, the team has been ordered to investigate only.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs could be part of the investigation team. If this is the case, they have a perilous wilderness adventure ahead of them, as the goblins are very wary, and their strongholds are well hidden and well defended. Currently, the goblins have two strongholds. The main stronghold, which is on the Thyatian side of the border, is home to the goblin king, his family, and his most loyal chieftains and their households (for a total of roughly 180 goblins, about 40 of whom are combatants). The goblins tasked with guarding the king are highly-skilled warriors, even by the standards of the tribe, and should be deadly foes in combat. The tribe has also established an outpost not far from Reedle, which is currently home to roughly 50 warriors and their families (for a total of roughly 200 goblins). The two strongholds are connected by a secret trail, rigged with many traps, known only to the goblins. Should the PCs, despite obvious warnings, decide to attack one stronghold, messengers will run to the other to convey the news, and bring reinforcements.
Provided the PCs are able to lay low, they should be able to learn fairly quickly that the goblin king is not blessed with any powerful magical or religious items; he is simply very crafty and observant, and has the benefit of age and experience (something few goblins ever attain). They should also learn that he is, in fact, taking orders from an even more powerful goblin king based in the Darokinian Orclands. This is probably the most useful thing they can learn, but they will only hear of it if they spend enough time near the king (a dangerous task in itself).
In addition to the goblins, the Altan Tepes are home to all sorts of wild animals and other dangers, such as dragons, hostile giants, and rocs. The PCs, regardless of level, should not be able to sail through this mission unscathed.
The Aegos Catastrophe.
Location: Town of Pittstown, Island of Aegos, Alatian Islands, Nayce. AS
Description: Attempts to dig out the Aegos Pit to the Hollow World end disastrously as the tunnel collapses. Many workers are killed in the accident, leaving the poor families left behind without any source of income or compensation. (See Va. 11, Sv. 26; Ei. 22.)
What This Means: The project has been rushed by Nayce, and the aristocrats in charge didn't care much about the working conditions of the commoners, nor about listening to the advice of those with engineering experience among them (such as dwarves and gnomes, who have been working on the project for years). In short, the revised plans for the project have been a recipe for disaster. A great many lives have been lost, which will cause anger and resentment among the lower classes in the days to come, further distancing the commoners from the aristocrats, who will hardly care, since there are more than enough commoners around to feed and find work for as it is.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are present, they might be able to save some workers, though only at great risk to themselves, and obviously they can save only a symbolic number. Even if the PCs arrive several days later, there will still be workers to rescue, since the aristocrats in charge aren't about to mount much of a rescue effort themselves, which means the PCs will have to find the victims themselves. If they do, they'll be hailed as heroes by the impoverished commoners, while the rich aristocrats in charge will hardly care and mostly ignore their efforts.
Eirmont 9, AC 1019
Location: Lands of the Brute-Men. HW
Description: Having completed the painting that tells his story, Ka-ro sits down in front of it to review it, and relive the events. After sitting there for hours watching each frame, exhaustion and hunger make him dizzy and momentarily lose consciousness. When he comes to, he again scans the drawings, but this time, probably due to his fatigue, he begins with the picture of exile and backward to his encounter with "Tha-to." There, he has an epiphany and realises that this encounter was not so much a curse as a liberation from the boundaries of his people. Ka-ro realises that he is free to explore the wonders of the world and shape his destiny. (See Th. 22, Kl. 13.)
What This Means: The young Brute-Man is one of those rare individuals who, under exceptional circumstances and strength of character, are able to overcome the bias enforced upon the peoples of the Hollow World by the Immortals through the Spell of Preservation.
What the PCs Can Do: This could be the background for a Hollow Worlder PC. Remember, though, that even though Ka-Ro is a talented young man who has left behind his cultural bias, he remains, at his core, a primitive Brute-Man.
Eirmont 10, AC 1019
Gurrash in Le Vieux Carré.
Location: City of Le Vieux Carré, Colonie de la Nouvelle-Renardie, Animal Kingdoms. SC
Description: A significant gurrash attack occurs in Le Vieux Carré. The lupins repulse the gurrash, but several settlers are killed and devoured anyway. (See Am. 24.)
What This Means: It is only a larger raid of the type that has been plaguing Nouvelle-Renardie for several months. The gurrash are hunting on their favoured terrain, and they know the swamps of the Bayou better than anyone. Until the lupins kill enough gurrash to bring their population down to more reasonable levels, they are bound to be plagued by such raids and even then their troubles will not go away entirely. The lupins have better armament and defences, and are better organised, but the gurrash are ferocious, and hungry, and well at ease in the swampy environment. The cities are at no risk of being overrun, even when they are attacked like on this occasion, but the isolated families in the deeper parts of the swamp are very vulnerable.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may have to defend themselves, and their fellow lupins, from the gurrash.
Eirmont 11, AC 1019
Location: 700 miles southeast of Town of Polakatsikes, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: While exploring the surrounding hills for mineral veins and other resources, the scouts who have gathered in the region are attacked by half a dozen trolls. The combat is fierce and the Heldannic scouts are forced to retreat. (See Sv. 14, Ei. 3.)
What This Means: It has become clear that the region is not as empty of monsters as it first seemed. It is now time for heroes and parties of adventurers to eliminate these threats if any future human colonisation is to be possible.
What the PCs Can Do: Clear the hills of trolls and any other nasty local monsters. Securing this region should be a long and difficult campaign. New monsters may come from the desert in the south.
Eirmont 12, AC 1019
Location: City-state of Schweidnitz, Izondian Coast. DV
Description: The adventurers that Wilhelm sent to explore the surrounding territories of Schweidnitz return to the little colonial capitol after more than two months' absence. The adventurers tell Wilhelm they have visited all the three nations that border Schweidnitz: the peaceful crabmen's nation to the north, the hostile half-orcs' nation to the southeast, and a nation of dark-skinned humans and centaurs to the southwest. They tell Wilhelm of other nations to the east and of the great Empire of Izonda to the south, where it is said lives a population of half-orcs, some of them followers of Vanya! (See Fe. 15, Fy. 7; Ka. 21.)
What This Means: Wilhelm is very interested by all this news, and he is happy to hear that the two other neighbouring nations are enemies of the half-orcs of Mogluur too, but he is very worried hearing that the half-orcs may have some kind of ancient and foul magic. Furthermore, he is unhappy when the adventurers tell him that crabmen and centaurs did not seem eager to forge an alliance with his knights against the half-orcs. Anyway he is very intrigued by the southern empire that seems to know the greatness of the Grey Lady.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are the adventurers they have to do a complete report to Wilhelm, telling him of all their discoveries in the surrounding nations.
Eirmont 13, AC 1019
Location: Town of Hockstein, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW
Description: After several days of protracted combat, the town of Hockstein falls to the armies of Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks. As her soldiers press deeper into the town, the remnants of the defending garrison stage a fighting withdrawal, until, pressed against one of the lesser gates, they force their way through enemy lines, and flee to the east. Unwilling to let her enemies escape, Anna orders a large portion of her force to accompany her, and assigns the task of bringing Hockstein fully under control to one of her senior officers.
The pursuit is brief, and Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger's remaining followers seize control of a nearby hill, regroup, and meet their foes head on. Compared to the combat during and after the siege, the fighting here is incredibly intense, and Straßenburger's soldiers fight as though possessed. Many of the surviving griffons are present, and they manage to inflict more than their share of damage. By evening, Anna's faction has won the day, but at considerable cost. (See Ei. 7, Ei. 8; Ei. 27, Ka. 2.)
What This Means: Straßenburger's followers understood the precariousness of their position; with the only other fallback position lying in Freiburg, Hockstein played a crucial role in holding back Anna's armies. This knowledge, and the desperate position of the defenders once Hockstein had essentially fallen, made them fight with almost superhuman vigour. The griffons and their riders also played a key role in the town's defence, and turned what might have been a fairly easy victory for Anna into a slow and painful siege. All told, roughly two-thirds of Hockstein's inflated garrison of 1,000 soldiers died during the siege and its aftermath, and another 100 or so surrendered, or were captured. The remaining combatants, around 250, managed to flee into the wilderness during the confusion. Of the Landmeister of Hockstein, or the remaining griffons, there is no sign.
Anna brought almost 1,800 soldiers with her to Hockstein, and she lost over half of them during the siege many were lost during the initial surprise attack staged by Straßenburger's griffons. She realises that, had she brought the Black Lion into the fray, she could have conquered Hockstein far more quickly with fewer losses; she recognises that she was overconfident, and that she paid more attention to the Ethengar raiders than they perhaps merited. Nevertheless, she has won the day, and now her rival has been reduced to one stronghold Freiburg itself. She finds additional consolation in the discovery of a number of town officials, originally from Forton, who had fled to Hockstein with many of Straßenburger's troops to escape Anna's advancing armies. These men will be charged with treason, and executed publicly.
After spending a few days restoring order to the region, and appointing a new landmeister, Anna will plan the next stage of her campaign.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are present, the PCs will very likely have participated in the battle.
Eirmont 14, AC 1019
Flaems and Ice.
Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: With the Ethengar Invasion of AC 1015 and the trouble with clerics the past two years, the annual Glantrian Ice Games have not been celebrated with as much pomp and excitement as they are today. On the frozen city canals, young and old alike come out in full force to participate in the sled rides, foot races, ice jousting, and snowball battles. Even the ever-youthful Flaemish princess, Lady Juliana Vlaardoen, has come to skate with her lover, Feldian Lehenard, while her one-year-old daughter Beatrijs is carefully guarded by a veritable army of wet-nurses, nannies, and governesses, headed by the fearsome Lady Sinaria Verlien, the former Countess of High Sonden.
All of a sudden a huge fireball explodes out of nowhere, cracking and melting the ice, hurling the revellers into the freezing canals below. The Glantrian constabulary is called in to rescue the poor victims and investigate the cause of the disaster.
Witnesses agree that the commotion began with the Flaemish entourage, when Le Baron d'Ylourgne, Sire Jissel de Gheyn, arrived with a wrinkled old woman with silver-white hair, and a fiery argument suddenly ensued between the baron and the unbalanced Lady Sinaria. (See Kl. 12, Fy. 7.)
What This Means: Despite being officially allied to Princess Juliana and House Linden, the conniving Jissel de Gheyn is actually working with Count Pieter Verlien of High Sonden, a fellow Follower of the Fire, in the count's plot to overthrow the Princess of Bergdhoven and rule over the Flaems and eventually all of the Glantrian Highlands, at a time when the incident of The Silver Countess and the malicious rumours of House Linden are still fresh in the Glantrian mind.
Rumours of Juliana's questionable ancestry have thus far been unsubstantiated, until now that an actual person is claiming to be Juliana's true mother of course, with the distinctive silvery hair of Juliana's that no Vlaardoen ever possessed! Lady Sinaria probably figured out Jissel's complicity in the plot, and in a lapse of psychosis reacted violently and unwisely.
Whether the woman is genuine, a fraud, or a mere pawn in the Flaemish conspiracy remains to be seen...
What the PCs Can Do: Anyone present at the Ice Games will be called upon for an impromptu rescue mission, for themselves if not for others. People could drown in the freezing waters or could become trapped beneath the ice. At the same time, some people could be set on fire by the magical flames from all the Flaemish fire wizards and the High Mistress of Fire Elementalism, no less! Magical duels could also ensue, introducing other magical dangers, besides fire and ice.
Location: City of Alpha, Kingdom of Alpha. NW
Description: Learning of the Nayce's decision to cancel its shipment of settlers to Norwold, King Ericall addresses a message to the Naycese Council. The king's counter-proposal is to allow those commoners who wish to come to Alpha to do so, at the crown of Alpha's expense. There, they will become subjects of Alpha, and be sent to frontier settlements as part of a program of colonisation of Norwold that Ericall's councillors are setting up. (See Fe. 5, Sv. 26; Ka. 11.)
What This Means: While he did not like Nayce's colonisation program in Norwold, which threatened to upset the delicate balance of powers in the region due to the council's lack of knowledge of local politics, the king favours a controlled effort of settlement in Norwold. The king is basing his program on the Thyatian colonisation of the Hinterlands of Davania, with local adjustments. This time around, he does not plan on giving lands and titles to heroes as he did in an earlier attempt to gain control of the wilderness of Norwold, but increase settlement efforts by common people, in lands that are acknowledged as belonging to Alpha and its vassals, or the expandable borders of those dominions.
The Road Less Travelled.
Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW.
Description: Sir Tyern Malkov presents Lord Korrigan with his study on the proposed road to the west. He argues that a coastal course would be the optimal route. A crude road already exists and lays out a decent path to follow. Seizing the opportunity, Sir Malkov also suggests they use the expedition to search for suitable locations for a series of lighthouses to be built along the coastline. Lord Korrigan accepts this last minute addition but insists that any construction await official royal approval. The expedition is approved and preparations are to be made. Lord Korrigan states that he will find a proper security escort for the engineers. (See Am. 3, Am. 7.)
What This Means: The expedition of royal forces, even engineers, into traditional Traladaran lands is bound to draw some controversy. Lord Korrigan knows that the situation can be delicate, especially with the recent petitions from the Church of Karameikos to send clerics along. As such, Korrigan is taking a personal hand in placing escort personnel into the party that he can trust.
What the PCs Can Do: Low-level PCs can be found worthy of such a duty and serve as armed escorts to the expedition. Such recruitment may require a pre-emptive task for the throne, or at least Lord Korrigan, to justify his trust in the PCs. The PCs may also be enmeshed in the adventure The Road Less Travelled through their participation in any of the events leading up to this one.
Eirmont 15, AC 1019
Location: Great Immortal's Shield, Arm of the Immortals. SC
Description: After much wandering to find a passage through the Great Immortal's Shield, Garugto's expedition once again ends up where it started. Discouraged and with not enough funds left to keep the expedition running, Garugto disbands the group before winter takes its own toll. Most start the trek back to Gombar and Suma'a (which are not too far, given the lack of progress made by the expedition); Garugto stays there rather than return to his homeland a broke and broken old fool. (See Va. 9, Th. 18.)
What This Means: The Great Immortal's Shield is very difficult to cross, and the ee'aar and enduks who live in its hidden plateaus make sure no one does. They have led this expedition astray, as they have previous ones, whenever there was a chance that it may find a route even partially through. The reclusive ee'aar have been doing this forever, systematically protecting Aeryl from discovery by outsiders except for their enduk friends. The enduks are not as reclusive, quite the opposite, but as they lost their Nimmurian homeland to their misplaced trust in another people they now defer to the reclusive attitude of the ee'aar in the matter and let the winged elves keep both kingdoms free from any intrusion.
Thus, while the ee'aar hold no grudge against the demi-ogres (in fact, they are not prejudiced against anyone), they have always kept them at bay and, incidentally, prevented east-west trade. Despite the scope of Garugto's expedition, it is what happened once again probably putting a stop to any further major attempt for a long time.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs who joined Garugto's expedition may have at some point left it, or were cut off from it, and continued on their own, possibly avoiding the ee'aar's deceptions by skill or luck, and finding their way to the isolated kingdoms. Alternatively, the PCs may remain with Garugto after he disbands the expedition adventurers often work for the potential reward (and the thrill of adventuring) rather than the pay and keep on searching. It is possible that the PCs, during their continued attempts, discover the ee'aar's tampering, and confront them about it; since the ee'aar are good-natured, it is possible that the PCs convince them to take old Garugto and maybe them along to Aeryl or Eshu.
Eirmont 16, AC 1019
Location: Village of Tochenoxtal, Azcan Empire. HW
Description: Right after a small contingent of Azcan soldiers marches into this small jungle village, the hamlet comes under attack by a band of warriors. The attack is brutal, as bestial-looking Azcans gore the soldiers, and any villager who stands in their path. When all of the soldiers lie dead, a priest bearing the symbol of Atzanteotl comes forth and surveys the bloody scene, and then the anxious villagers. Right there in the middle of the hamlet, amid the dead still oozing blood and the dying still moaning, the priest gives a sermon about the worshiping of false Immortals that desire only to corrupt the hearts of true Azcans and bring down the Red Sun, and of the corruption of the new rulers of the once-great Azcan Empire, usurpers who stand weak against the enemies of the Azcans like the evil elves that defile the jungle, or the puny pirates that are allowed to torch once-mighty cities. He tells them that there can be salvation only in the worship of mighty Atzanteotl. To show that they are true followers of Atzanteotl, and not lackeys to the false tlatoani like the dead soldiers, he asks for one volunteer per household to be sacrificed on the altar. Those families without a volunteer are rounded up to be sacrificed as well, their heresy clearly demonstrated, and their homes put to the torch. (See Fl. 1, Sv. 10; Ei. 22.)
What This Means: The priesthood of Atzanteotl and their supporters, like the Defilers of Ka that led this attack, went underground when their power faltered in AC 1016. The grip of Atzanteotl on the Azcan Empire remains strong anyway, as the new order remains weak in this period of transition, with the difficulty of restoring old faiths doubled by external events such as the brief disappearance of the Red Sun at the end of AC 1017, and the fact that its many enemies and rivals used this challenging time to attack, with quite some success, the weakened empire. So soon after the great purge that followed Tlatoani Otziltipac's accession to power, it is too early for His followers who retained positions of power to initiate a counter-coup, so Atzanteotl bides His time by having his clergy preach in the depths of the jungle, and insist on the failings of the new government most notably the great insult to every Azcan that is the occupation of a good portion of the empire by His other followers, the Schattenalfen.
What the PCs Can Do: This could be a starting point for a campaign with Azcan PCs, as they see family and friends taken by the evil priests to have their hearts ripped out and offered to Atzanteotl; in that case, the PCs may decide to end forever the power of His priests, and hunt down the Defilers of Ka [more information about Defilers of Ka may be found in Dragon #315. Ed.]. In a more twisted (but perhaps even more interesting) campaign, the PCs may hear the truth in the priest's words and, desiring to restore the greatness of the Azcan Empire, join with the followers of Atzanteotl; whether they eventually realise the evilness of their patron and betray Him (or are betrayed by Him) to restore the empire through other means, is up to them.
Eirmont 18, AC 1019
Main Caves of Jalâlâbâd Completed.
Location: Town of Jalâlâbâd, Meghalese Nomad Lands, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: The main caves of the future town of Jalâlâbâd have been completed thanks to the help of the gnomes and wizards who came with the Heldannic Knights. A very large and elegant cave is dedicated to Vanya. Other caves are in the process of being excavated, but shall be completed later, once the first one is settled. Outside the caves, the immediate countryside is filled with luxuriant vegetation for about a two-mile radius. (See Am. 13, Am. 16; Ka. 20.)
What This Means: This is just a first step for the Meghalese nomads in settling and prospering in the Jalâlâbâd region. With time, many other caves will be dug, and some outside houses will be erected too. [A good real-world analogy would be the town of Petra, in Jordan. Ed.]
What the PCs Can Do: The region may attract bandits or spies from the desert.
Location: Town of Porto Preto, Dominio de Vilaverde, Savage Baronies. SC
Description: The wedding of Dom Fernando de Vilaverde, son of Barão Jorge, and Dona Dominíca da Solidão, leader of the Protectorado da Presa, takes place in Porto Preto. Attending are several barons, though Baronesa Isabel of Torreón is not present, and most of the nobility of Vilaverde and Texeiras and Ilhas Gémeas, though Dom Jorge, Fernando's elder brother, is not present; dignitaries from farther nations also attend.
Barão Jorge's toast is met with eager anticipation. As many expected, the baron presents Dom Fernando as the official heir to the throne of Vilaverde. However, he also announces that he is stepping down from the throne of Vilaverde, so that Barão Fernando can give new strength to the barony.
A lot of gossiping and speculation is going on when Barão Bartolomeu takes the stand for his toast to the bride and groom. The assembled nobility are well aware that the childless baron, now in his late sixties, has no heir. With the potential heiress, Dominíca da Solidão, married to the heir of Vilaverde, there is even more speculation as to who might succeed him. To everyone's surprise he announces that he hands over rulership of Texeiras to Baronesa Dominíca. It does not take long for the significance of this declaration to sink in, and the crowd erupts into heated talk. (See Kl. 17, Fy. 3; Ei. 26, Ka. 20.)
What This Means: The royal marriage seals the union of Texeiras and Vilaverde. It may take some time for everything to fall into place, but the merger of the two baronies should beget the most powerful of the savage baronies, a sea power unrivalled in the region, with a strong navy, a large merchant fleet, and numerous trading posts and protectorates controlling the transportation of goods and notably cinnabryl.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs have to adjust to the new situation. If the PCs are in a position to inherit either throne, they may be substituted to the bride or to the groom.
Eirmont 19, AC 1019
Leave It to the Courts.
Location: Celestial Domains, Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD
Description: A number of nobles and respected warriors, having paid the requisite priority fees, petition the exarch in public court to intercede in Master Zhin's case. The exarch respectfully regrets he cannot interfere in the harmonious function of the courts in the way a continental emperor can. The offhand remark scandalises certain envoys to Ochalea but boosts the morale of others. (See Kl. 7, Ei. 3.)
What This Means: Teng Lin-Dieu's authority is not absolute enough that he can bypass the courts. Ochalea is already dangerously close to upheaval, and the exarch doesn't wish to put more oil onto the fire by acting like a potentate.
Eirmont 20, AC 1019
Der Windmeister Takes Off.
Location: Ruined city of Pyris, Hills of Desolation, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire. DV
Description: After several weeks of hard work and studies, Heldannic and gnomish engineers have found a way to build a new kind of flying machine: A dirigible, similar in concept to Oostdokian models, but with a doubled lift power drive, one magical (a spell engine found in Pyris), and a scientific one using lighter-than-air gas held in a balloon. The first prototype, der Windmeister, makes a successful maiden flight.
After reviewing the ship, the Heldannic leader in Pyris orders a prolonged test flight over the jungle up to the southern coast of the Sea of Dread. (See Fe. 27; Ei. 27, Ka. 5.)
What This Means: Heldannic engineers have been working on replacing the famous warbirds for some time now; this is the second project to succeed so far after the successful launch of the Black Lion in Heldann, last Ambyrmont. Due to the secrecy surrounding the Black Lion, none of the Heldannic Knights in Davania are aware of it as yet. This dirigible has a different shape (being based on the Queen of Pyris's designs), much smaller than its counterpart in Heldann. Its construction was financed entirely by the treasure found in Pyris.
The destination has been chosen so as not to be too difficult, and to survey the route of a future trail through the jungle to the sea, where the order plans on building a port facility and village. Thus, a reconnaissance flight over many miles of coastline was needed to pick a protected and concealed spot. The storms in the region can be very violent and an already naturally protected bay could prove very useful and less costly.
Another goal is to spot any human or monster presence in the jungle, and possibly make contact with them.
What the PCs Can Do: Commanding or serving aboard such a new kind of transportation could be both fun and dangerous. Numerous test flights will have to be conducted, and gnomish-made technological objects are far from reliable.
Eirmont 22, AC 1019
A Reluctant Return to the Voyage.
Location: East of Lost Valley. DV
Description: After two weeks of exploration of the mysterious ruined city, the seaborne contingent of the Thyatian expedition resumes its northward journey along the coast. (See Sv. 26, Ei. 7; Ka. 10, Ka. 27.)
What This Means: The discovery of Thallios was so engrossing that the Thyatians stayed for several days longer than they had originally planned. In that time, they managed to dig out a couple of buildings, which they intend to use as temporary shelters should they find themselves in this region again anytime soon.
Location: Somewhere in the Kingdom of Notrion, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS
Description: With the economic decline in Nayce, many commoners and servants have become disgruntled over the last year, and in the wake of the Aegos Catastrophe the ominous situation has only grown worse in Nayce. In Notrion, where many of the commoners killed in the Aegos Catastrophe came from, a group of commoners have banded together and vowed to take revenge on the people they blame for the situation the aristocracy. They call themselves "The Collapse" and begin planning acts against the aristocracy. (See Sv. 26, Ei. 8; Ka. 28.)
What This Means: The gap between aristocrats and commoners has always been sizeable in Nayce, and Alphatia before it, but with the commoners' very lives at stake, and with the aristocracy being largely willing to throw their lives away and not even caring to grant them the most basic requirements for life, their situation is now dire enough that some are willing to take open action against the ruling class, reasoning that it doesn't matter much whether they die taking revenge on the aristocrats or by starvation. The commoners have always been the lower class in the Alphatian Empire, subservient to the spellcasters, but their lot has been worsening in the remnants of the empire, and with the destruction of Alphatia it dawned on some of them that the wizards may not be that powerful, nor incontestable, after all. While this can be seen as the Alphatian tendency for chaos and independence manifesting itself among the commoners, it is also a clear sign of how bad things have become for the lowest classes in Nayce. Since the aristocracy remains completely unaware of the seeds of revolution, whether by choice or ignorance, this will spell trouble for Nayce to a degree that could tear it apart.
What the PCs Can Do: Unless the PCs are themselves Alphatian commoners mistreated in horrible working conditions or who have family among those killed, they are unlikely to even know of this. Members of The Collapse might contact them and try to recruit them, if they are well known in Nayce and considered sympathetic to their cause, but only if they aren't spellcasters the members won't trust anyone perceived to be an aristocrat.
Last Temple of Atzanteotl Destroyed?
Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: A group of adventurers sent by Princess Tanadaleyo locates the last temple of Atzanteotl, hidden in ancient dungeons under Darokin City. The adventurers inform Darokinian authorities and then assault and destroy the temple. No followers of Atzanteotl escape this time, but many are captured by Darokinian guards. (See Am. 8, Sv. 10; Ka. 25.)
What This Means: One of the last strongholds of the Church of Atzanteotl in the Old World has been destroyed. Atzanteotl's operations against Aengmor will be greatly hindered now, and the presence of the cult is greatly diminished. Clerics and cultists may try to reorganise for the future in other nations, like Sind, Glantri or Thyatis.
However, the most important stronghold of Atzanteotl's followers remains untouched. The city of Aengmor, with its thousands of shadowelf, Schattenalfen, and humanoid followers of Atzanteotl, who also control parts of the Broken Lands, remains untouched by the elven purge. While Atzanteotl let branches of his church be destroyed (and occasionally left false clues to have the elves eliminate some of His own enemies, or just innocent groups), he made sure that his control over the city of Aengmor was never challenged. There is no telling what Atzanteotl's plans are, but certainly His evilness will continue to radiate out of Aengmor City.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be key combatants in this important fight, or they can receive the mission to track some powerful cleric who escaped to a nearby nation. This might eventually lead them to Aengmor City, where Atzanteotl has regrouped most of his forces.
Eirmont 23, AC 1019
I'm with the Government, and I'm Here to Help.
Location: Barony of Thanopolis, Davania Inferior, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV
Description: Adrianos Kyrenos's fledgling dominion is visited by Ambrosius Docerius, a field researcher at the Imperial Museum of Davanian Antiquities in Raven Scarp. After a brief round of introductions, Ambrosius asks to be led to the site, where he commences work immediately. (See Sv. 21, Ei. 2; Ka. 1.)
What This Means: Adrianos managed to get the government in Raven Scarp to send an investigator; only time will tell whether there is anything of interest here.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs explored any of the ruins already, Ambrosius will ask them detailed questions concerning what they found or noticed (if anything). Ambrosius is the stereotypical scholar very focused on his field of expertise, and rather impatient with those whom he considers to be his intellectual inferiors. Nevertheless, if the PCs found anything of significance or if Ambrosius thinks they did he will do everything he can to avoid offending them; he wants their cooperation more than anything else.
Biting the Hand That Feeds.
Location: City of Hattias, Duchy of Hattias, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Several Milenians get into a belligerent argument with the staff of the bruderschaft Fellowship House. Housemother Hilde Wiseler tries to intercede and calm them down, but one pulls a knife and stabs her. The others quickly follow suit, pulling blades out of their tunics and rushing the rest of the staff. The result is a bloody riot, followed by looting and the torching of the house. Bruderschaft survivors claim to be shocked: "We only wanted to help, but this is the thanks we get. Perhaps the Milenians are not as decent as we thought they were." (See Nu. 11, Va. 8.)
What This Means: This is the first step in advancing Vanya's Plot against the Milenian immigrants in Thyatis. Controlling magic was used on common Milenians to get them to attack an unarmed contingent of simple bruderschaft members. The victims were members who joined the bruderschaft without knowing its real purpose they actually thought they were just helping Milenians. Hilde Wiseler, especially, was much respected in Hattias for her generosity and benevolence. Her death will come as a shock to many.
With this event, the bruderschaft has set it up so that they seem like the innocent victims rather than the perpetrators of racial antagonism.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs have, for whatever reason, associated themselves with the fellowship house, this event will take place when they are not present. It will then be up to them to figure out how to react to it.
Fortified Village Completed.
See map of Polakatsikes Port.
Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: The port of Polakatsikes is completed, having been built thanks to the use of many spells. The fortifications around the village are strong and surrounded by ditches. A natural port was excavated and affords better protection for the boats.
Some very simple ship structures were also made using woodform spells, but they now need to be tested. To avoid any future lack of raw materials, water from the Well of the Moon is poured in the most barren spots of the region with tree seeds for future shipbuilding. (See Am. 27, Sv. 25.)
What This Means: The same team that worked on the fortress has worked on the village down the hill, hence its military facilities. Farms, mills, and many other small industries shall now be established in the area.
What the PCs Can Do: Testing the boats in their first journey down to Parthenaeum could be a challenge even for adventurous PCs.
Location: Town of Orfil, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: With the opening the Soctel-Orfil section of the Foresthome Rim Canal, all harbour towns of Foresthome have "wet feet" again, as it is called. The canal is not yet ready but there is only a little way to go. Until then boat traffic from Igoin to Orfil will have to pass through Lake Llyn, but it is an improvement nonetheless. (See Fy. 13, Fy. 16.)
What This Means: The merchants are beginning to benefit from the construction, as will the population in those towns, and the crown as well.
Eirmont 24, AC 1019
I Dream of Golems of Flesh and Steel.
Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: At the Cathedral of History, several high-ranking clerics of the Immortal Khoronus have been receiving terrifying prophetic warnings of "golems of flesh and steel" and the "ascendance of grey sorcery," which threatens the very nature of time and reality on Mystara. The Vice-Patriarch of the Church of Khoronus, Arand Fadon, has been experiencing a unique and particularly vivid vision of battling a clockwork dragon on an island of black marble.
Although as a rule, the placid clerics of Khoronus devise slow, long-term, gradually unfolding schemes and well-conceived, drawn-out strategies, the Darokinian church is able to gather enough historical scholars, arcane and divine experts, prophets and diviners to decipher their Immortal's messages, and in no time come up with a plan of action.
Arand Fadon and his few chosen cohorts are to travel post-haste to Glantri City, to Alexander Platz (a famous plaza made of black marble in the middle of the city canals), where they will intercept the strange golem-like beings made of flesh and metallic parts, and prevent them from using their inexplicable "grey sorcery." Though many details of this mission are sketchy, the disciples of Khoronus are stalwart in their faith, and the Cathedral of History is arranging for all resources to be at Father Arand's disposal from magical spells and devices (for swift travel and slowed passage of time), to influential contacts and allies, even freelance and illicit ones.
Arand Fadon only prays that he will survive the prophesied encounter with a dragon of animated metal, fire and steam. (See Fl. 2, Sv. 12; Ei. 28, Ka. 1.)
What This Means: The farsighted Immortal Khoronus, Patron of Time and History, and Hierarch of the Sphere of Time, is usually an unexcitable observer of the events on the Material Plane, with the notable exception of the menace of the time-travelling, world-dominating cybernetic race of oards. Powerful chronomantic barriers and time-sweeping divinations by the Immortals of the Sphere of Time have contained the oards' attempts of time-travelling incursions to Mystara thus far.
The discovery of three oards in the Principality of Glantri (one of whom has taken on the guise of a Glantrian noblewoman, Frau Viktoria von Drachenfels) greatly disturbed Khoronus, who immediately mobilised His otherwise tranquil and unhurried worshippers. The nearest and adequately powerful of His clerics are at His church in Darokin.
There is one aspect of this threat that is most alarming and yet requires the utmost secrecy. Khoronus fears that these cyborgs are attempting to uncover and tap into the Nucleus of the Spheres what in the ancient past was the engine of the FSS Beagle, before powerful magic and Immortal tampering altered it. In its present state, the Nucleus of the Spheres is the source of the Radiance, a devastating power that ties to all the magic of Mystara and the cause of the recent world catastrophes during the Great War.
What if the oards expose its existence to the mortals of Mystara? What if the oards wrest control of the power? What if the technological interference of the oards results in some unfathomable technomantic disaster?
These are concerns that wise Khoronus does not dare share with His mortal followers, and as such, hides the true extent and nature of the oard threat in mysterious arcane terms ("half-golem" for oard, and "grey sorcery" for technological science and technomancy).
What the PCs Can Do: Even if the PCs are not followers of Khoronus or have never had dealings with His church, they may be suddenly called upon to assist in this urgent and highly secretive mission to transport Arand Fadon and other agents of Khoronus into Glantri City.
This event may even occur in other parts of the known world where Khoronus has followers to call upon to thwart the oards as far west as Sind, with the rishiyas of Khauran, or as far east as Ochalea, with the disciples of the Eternal Sage Kong Ru. [Both are variant names for Khoronus. Ed.]
Eirmont 25, AC 1019
Davania at Last!
Location: City of Kastelios, Serpent Peninsula, then Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: After a full month of travel aboard the Joyful Mermaid, Alatia, Bertolucius and Thraïm set foot on Davanian soil once again. They wait for nightfall and go to local chapel dedicated to Vanya, in the foreign quarter. There they seek the chaplain and ask him to teleport them to Polakatsikes right away.
Some time later they appear in a familiar alcove of the main church of Vanya in Polakatsikes. They send a messenger to gather their close friends the following morning. (See Sv. 22, Sv. 25; Ei. 26, Ka. 6.)
What This Means: The Heldannic agents have successfully returned from their mission.
What the PCs Can Do: Feel free to spice up the trip with some naval encounters. Remember that the party has very limited access to wizard spells.
Eirmont 26, AC 1019
The Fabled Kruth Diamond.
Location: Jungles of Lleweryn, Western Swanamutu. SK
Description: After conducting extensive research of old parchments of the eastern lands of Swanamutu, the Ant sends a party to enter the Scaly Temple of Kthurbash and retrieve the treasure it supposedly holds.
What This Means: Two years ago, a Minaean adventurer named Asterione discovered the location of the fabled Kruth diamond in the jungles of Lleweryn. Unfortunately, Asterione and his men were followed by agents of the Ant, an important mercantile organisation, and killed after they found the Scaly Temple of Kthurbash, where the diamond is purportedly located. The men from the Ant returned to Zambul with their valuable information. The Ant had patrolled the area, but not entered the temple yet. Finally it sent two of its best agents, armed with arcane and clerical magic, with several Tangor swordsmen prepared to deal with any traps or other menaces.
What the PCs Can Do: They could be the agents of the Ant, or their swordsmen, or they could even have infiltrated their ranks to avenge Asterione and his followers if they were his friends, or if they had helped him on the way to the temple and somehow survived the battle with the Ant last year.
Can You Make It Shorter?
Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: Alatia, Bertolucius, and Thraïm are greeted warmly by their companions, most of whom were not sure of their being still alive. Only the high magist, Clenarius von Schneiderheim, seems to have known what they were doing all along. They explain the treachery of Brother Ignatius, and the role of the Rajah of Jaibul in the matter. The officials are very pleased to see these very resourceful adventurers back in their ranks. The governor is most interested by the documents they took from the Black Rajah. He thanks them and orders them to rest for one week. (See Sv. 25, Ei. 25; Ka. 19.)
What This Means: Governor Wolfgang Stemmel and his friend the high magist understood immediately the great economic value of a canal between Tyjaret and Kladanovic, which could eliminate the need to move goods by ship around the Serpent Peninsula, saving a great deal of time and money. The topographic and geological observations made by their three agents indicate that such a project is feasible, provided that the region could be secured first, and that the local population could take advantage of the booming trade. Such a canal could save as much as one month of travel time, as well as reduce the associated risks of naval transportation, and thus could be very lucrative for those who hold it. Yet it would require a lot of magical and technological resources, and the project has very little chance of becoming a reality if the various political powers in the region and the Heldannic Knights cannot work together.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be analysts summoned to give their opinion on the information gathered by the Heldannic agents.
Location: Town of Ciudad de León, Baronía de Torreón, Savage Baronies. SC
Description: Bartolomeu and Jorge, acting as emissaries from Texeiras and Vilaverde, meet with Baronesa Isabel to resolve the issue of Torreón's invasion of Terra Vermelha. (See Fy. 3, Ei. 18; Ka. 20, Ka. 24.)
What This Means: With the union of their baronies, the former barons believe that they have dashed any hope the baronesa might have of pursuing her dreams of conquest into Texeiras: although Torreón is a land-locked nation, and thus does not fear the naval retaliation that Texeiras and Vilaverde could bring upon anyone else, neither can it ignore the threat of a trade embargo. With this issue in the background, the main issue concerns the control of Terra Vermelha, and subsequently the commerce of cinnabryl.
Eirmont 27, AC 1019
A Feint to the South?
Location: City of Freiburg, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW
Description: Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger's scouts report that Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks and a large portion of her army have apparently moved to the southeast, towards Kaltstein. Anticipating a final assault on Freiburg, Straßenburger issues orders to establish defensive positions several miles outside the city, and to ensure that all territory between Freiburg and the coast is well patrolled. (See Ei. 8, Ei. 13; Ka. 2, Ka. 11.)
What This Means: Straßenburger cannot be sure what his opponent is doing, but, with the loss of Hockstein, he cannot afford to take any risks. Anna is, in fact, marching to southeastern Heldann in order to deal with the remaining Ethengar raiders, who have been terrorising the coastal lands from Blauendorf to Klagen, and as far inland as Grunturm, for many weeks. After consultations with her advisers, it was deemed an acceptable risk to do this, since the majority of Straßenburger's army is based in Freiburg and Althaven, and the nearest towns that he could attack Hockstein, Altendorf, and Kammin are now well fortified. Anna will campaign in southeastern Heldann for about a week, after which the majority of the remaining Ethengar raiders will return to their homeland, their appetite for loot sated for now. Although southern Heldann will be safe once more, the Ethengars nonetheless managed to steal a considerable amount of coinage and other valuables, as well as a few relics. Anna will not consider the matter resolved until the order's relics are recovered, but vengeance will have to wait until Straßenburger is defeated.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs in Straßenburger's service could be assigned the task of shadowing Anna and her army, to determine what they are really up to. If the PCs are among Anna's followers, they can take part in the final campaign to expel the Ethengars, in which case they will have quite a few challenging battles ahead of them. It is up to the DM to determine whether, through PC involvement, any of the Heldannic Order's lost relics are recovered.
Ersenbal in the League.
Location: County of Ersenbal, Walrus Island, Tranquil Coast. NW
Description: Ersenbal joins the Norwold League, of which rival Canium is also a member. Seneschal Laurida Tremlaine enjoins the people of Ersenbal and Canium to put their quarrels behind them, and look to a future of cordial relations between the two island dominions. (See Kl. 1, Sv. 25; Ka. 7.)
What This Means: The change initiated by Gerwen for the benefit of Ersenbal has to be pushed to its limit to be effective, so, despite her distrust against the Thyatians of Canium, Laurida Tremlaine joins the league (Gerwen always refused to adhere to any such alliance of nations before, not without his lord's approval), and makes peace overtures toward Canium. This is not popular with the people of Ersenbal, but it is the only way to preserve the county.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be sent to negotiate terms with Canium.
Der Windmeister's First Mission.
Location: Hills of Desolation, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire. DV
Description: The Windmeister takes off and heads north toward the southern shores of the Sea of Dread. Its primary goal is to test the ship while conducting a thorough survey of the coastal region. The crew is heavily armed and ready to meet any dangerous locals or monsters. (See Fe. 27, Ei. 20; Ka. 5, Ka. 8.)
What This Means: With its 120 mile per day cruising speed, the Windmeister is able to reach the coast in less than three days, but its other goal is to chart the jungle's major topographical features, which can only be done at a slower speed.
What the PCs Can Do: Great opportunities to face unknown species, as well as indigenous tribes, some of whom might be friendly except when they're hostile.
Eirmont 28, AC 1019
The Assault of Um-Shedu.
Location: Town of Um-Shedu, Province of Sur, Kingdom of Nimmur, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC
Description: At sunset, King Anupalassar launches a major assault against the occupied city of Um-Shedu. Four pincers throw themselves at the walls the enduks erected to defend the city. They trade arrows with the defenders, and try to breach the walls, though they are unable to do so and suffer heavy casualties. Two of those pincers are from Sur, one from Asur and one from Er.
The secondary assault comes from the tunnels that the manscorpions were able to restore in recent years; the enduks were aware of the possibility, however, and immediately close in on the pincer that emerges from the ground. This pincer is from Sur.
While the battle rages on at the city walls and in various spots within the city, the secondary phase of the assault begins in the pitch of the night's moonless darkness as ten pincers pour out of unknown tunnels, and fall upon the enduks and their ee'aar allies. (See Nu. 1, Sv. 1; Ka. 1, Ka. 28.)
What This Means: After several years of skirmishes, this is the real thing: King Anupalassar has fielded fifteen pincers (1,500 manscorpions), more than a third of the entire army of Nimmur, leaving interior provinces with minimal defences, though the border provinces in the north and the south are sufficiently garrisoned, lest enemies of Nimmur attack. This battle will probably determine whether the enduks will ever regain their homeland, or whether the manscorpions will definitively give closure to this chapter of their history and become true Nimmurians once and for all.
King Anupalassar planned this assault carefully, and threw several pincers into hopeless battles in order to lure the enduks into a false sense of confidence. But these diversions were only the prelude to the real assault, as five of his pincers (one from Asur, four from Er) emerged from Sohktar tunnels, complemented by the five Sohktar pincers that can engage the enemy outside under such circumstances as the darkness of a moonless night.
What the PCs Can Do: Join in the battle for Um-Shedu.
Sentence for the Black Eagle.
Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: The Black Eagle is declared guilty of treason by the jury of his peers. He is stripped of his nobility, with all his lands and properties confiscated by the crown, and exiled from Karameikos. He will be escorted to the border nearest to the former Black Eagle Barony with no belongings but his clothes, food and water for one day, and a knife. (See Va. 1, Fl. 1.)
What This Means: Despite the guilty verdict, King Stefan's rulership is seriously undermined by the trial, not only because it only took place, but because Ludwig von Hendriks turned the tables on him, and several of the landed nobles of Karameikos did not seem to disagree with him. Although the Karameikans will remember it as righteous justice for the Black Eagle, it is at the cost of a political crisis that the old king may not overcome.
The closest border to the Black Eagle Barony is, of course, the Five Shires. While the king will not actually be delivering his cousin to the death sentence of the hin, he is sending him to his death just as surely.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may be hired to escort the Black Eagle outside Karameikos. Also, the looming political crisis may bring the PCs an abundance of work some of it dirty.
Thratian Emissaries Arrive.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: The latest deputation of Thratian emissaries arrives in Thyatis City, warmly greeted by officials of the Foreign Office, including representatives from the Jackal, Leopard, Raven, and Rhino tribes. With them is a delegation from the Kingdom of Emerond, which offers to arbitrate negotiations between the Thyatians and the Thratian tribes. (See Fy. 21, Am. 9; Ka. 27.)
What This Means: Over the years the Thratians have tried several times to secure peace with the empire, using a variety of methods. They have always insisted on complete Thyatian withdrawal from Davania, however, but lacked the means to compel the Thyatians to acquiesce. Instead, the Thratians have continued to lose as the Thyatians expanded.
Now there is a basis for peace. The Thratians realise that the Thyatians are in their lands to stay, and the revelation of the common history of the Thyatians and Thratians gives them an opportunity to accept this fact without losing face. They are willing to accept that the Thyatians have returned to lands that they share a claim to, if the Thyatians will compromise. The Emerondian emissary is acting as a neutral arbitrator, but quietly supports the Thratian position, encouraging the empire to make peace. The Kingdom of Emerond wants Thyatis's southward expansion into Davania to stop, as they do not want to become its next target.
What the PCs Can Do: People with axes to grind on both sides might try to derail negotiations, threaten representatives, or spy on them in an effort to gain information to their advantage in the discussions. The PCs could become mixed up in this in all sorts of ways, helping such efforts or trying to thwart them.
The Oards Find the FSS Beagle Engine.
Location: Alexander Platz, City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: Late at night, two strange figures in hooded cloaks huddle in the shadows on Alexander Platz. They speak in an unknown language, and tinker with alien devices a glassy grey slate? a black metallic armband? which emit beeps, clicks, and tiny flashes of multicoloured lights. Even when the pair get excited, sounds of metallic whirrs become audible, and electrical sparks start shooting from their gadgets, the magic-jaded Glantrians only turn a disinterested eye or an upturned nose at yet another public and quite unimpressive display of magic.
But when a covey of drunken partygoers stumbles too closely to the cloaked figures, a magical scuffle ensues. By the time the constables arrive, two youths lie unconscious on the black marble plaza, while a third is twitching uncontrollably; a couple of girls have fallen into the canal, almost drowning in their ruffles and gowns, while a hysterical young mage, still cowering behind her magical force field, cries incoherently about "half-golem zombies" with metallic face masks, rubies for eyes, electrical attacks, and most disturbingly that these half-golems were totally unaffected by her protections and spells.
Unsure what to make of the situation, the constables are only too relieved when Sir Boris Gorevitch-Woszlany, the fashionable brother of the Prince of vampire-infested Boldavia, generously offers to take in the poor casualties to his home nearby, to rest and recover.
Nothing further is heard about the incident. (See Sv. 12, Ei. 24; Ka. 1, Ka. 19.)
What This Means: Glantrians generally pay no mind to such occurrences probably powerful wizards conducting astronomical measurements, or worse, students from the nearby Great School of Magic fooling around with some haphazard magical experiment that is doomed to blow up in their faces and injure innocent bystanders. Even the disappearance of foolish young fops, who were last seen visiting the stylish yet sinister Gorevitch-Woszlany manor, is no news to many Glantrians. Those in the know suspect Sir Boris to be a nosferatu with an insatiable taste for elegant young ladies and handsome young men!
If only the constabulary had put stock on the young mage's account (and if only Sir Boris had not been so efficient in cleaning up after meals), then someone might have picked up that the two magic-immune cybernetic oards had zeroed in on the FSS Beagle engine now known as the Nucleus of the Spheres located in a secret underground cavern far beneath Alexander Platz and the Great School of Magic.
The two oards will now contact their leader, who has taken on the identity of Frau Viktoria von Drachenfels, the secret leader of the Free Anachronic Society of Aalban, and proceed with the next phase of their plan: tapping into the engine of the FSS Beagle.
What the PCs Can Do: A seemingly straightforward incident in Glantri can lead to a tangled web of conspiracies. Will the PCs be present at Alexander Platz to get involved in a scrimmage of magic and technology? Will the PCs be called upon the morning after by some distraught citizen whose loved one never came home from a party? Or will the PCs be the ones to uncover the existence of the oards and face the dangers of technomancy?
Topic of the Month
Verdict for the Black Eagle
An analysis of the votes at the Black Eagle's trial, by Belzamith Fingertackles.
A lot of nosing around it comes naturally to gnomes allowed me to tally the votes in the Black Eagle's trial and, even more importantly, why each noble voted the way he or she did. Join me in the intricacy of Karameikan politics and catch a glimpse of what the future may hold for the kingdom.
The trial required a jury of thirteen nobles of knightly status or higher, with the king or queen as judge. King Stefan chose to preside over the trial himself, and gathered a jury of landed nobility only, so that they could better judge the Black Eagle's actions as they faced similar responsibilities daily, especially since several of them have held their position for a long time (some as long as Ludwig) and several are Thyatian lords.
Ludwig "the Black Eagle" von Hendriks, former Black Eagle Baron, defendant. Despite his reputation as an arrogant man prone to outbursts of anger, short of crazy, the Black Eagle maintained a composed attitude throughout his trial, never once losing his temper, amazingly enough, despite all the evidence and accusations proffered against him his first maniacal laughter erupting only at the announcement of the verdict. This restraint was most likely part of his strategy, and it came as a surprise to his opponents that he did not lapse into his usual haughty and deranged self; certainly, it played a major role in the support he received from a number of jurors. The Black Eagle acknowledged he was a harsh ruler, who needed to keep a firm hold over unruly Traladarans and counter the external threat of the hin, concerns that he claimed were shared by all fellow barons and by the king. He laughed off charges of his leading a ring of slavers, a misconception that he attributed to the laws of the Black Eagle Barony (which were more lenient toward slavers stopping at Halag than other ports of Karameikos). His arguments, augmented by the political tension in the kingdom and the personal agendas of several nobles, came close to actually winning him a not-guilty verdict; reason prevailed, though, and the king's earlier judgment was confirmed, again putting the Black Eagle in a difficult position from which he may not escape this time the hin will look to that, certainly.
Desmond Kelvin II, Count of Kelvin, juror. Count Kelvin is an angry man who believes that he is disliked by a royal family that systematically relegated him to second roles, whereas he feels he deserved a more prominent place among the powers of Karameikos: he was kept at bay in the city of Kelvin, away from Mirros; Adriana would not marry him; his advice to the king was largely ignored; he was elevated to count an outrageously long time after Vorloi and Halaran. Thus, while he does not much care about the king's cousin's fate although he thought his arguments made sense and even caught himself wondering if he would have been appreciated to his true value had Ludwig von Hendricks been on his cousin's throne he took great pleasure at the barbs the Black Eagle directed at the king. He thinks the king should hand over more power to the nobility, and so he voted against the king in order to weaken him, a step to hopefully bring much-needed change to the kingdom.
Sherlane Halaran, Count of Threshold, juror. Convinced by all the evidence that the Black Eagle committed terrible crimes, the patriarch applied strict guidelines. Therefore, he found him guilty and considered it a suitable punishment that he be led to the border with the Five Shires, so that those whom the former baron mistreated could apply deserved retribution unto him. Never throughout the trial did the old patriarch consider the politics involved: he only considered the defendant's culpability.
Philip Vorloi, Count of Vorloi, juror. A loyal, old friend and ally of King Stefan, who came to Traladara with the young duke half a century ago and helped him forge his nation. Though he remembers the difficulties the Thyatian lords had to face in the early years of the duchy, Stefan's policies have transformed the nation; still relying, several decades later, on terror and opposing Thyatians and Traladarans appeared to him to be a definitely wrong attitude. Therefore, he could not approve of the Black Eagle's policy, and decided that there was enough evidence presented that he could be considered without a doubt a traitor to Karameikos. Besides, Count Vorloi would not vote against the king's earlier judgment, as this could only provoke a political crisis that may have terrible consequences for the kingdom.
Retameron Antonic, Baron of Verge, juror. This perfect example of the New Karameikans hates evildoers like the Black Eagle, and therefore did not hesitate to punish him harshly once he was convinced that the Black Eagle also had a black heart.
Lev Dromilov, Baron of Dmitrov, juror. The quiet Traladaran baron had a hard time understanding the situation in the Black Eagle Barony as presented by either side. Unsure, he decided to trust his king's judgment and confirmed it.
Vlad Lutescu, Baron of Rugalov, juror. The baron who watches the east is a supporter of Karameikos, and of the native Traladarans, but the cession of Vyalian lands to Thyatis in AC 1017 has cast doubts upon King Stefan's ruling ability. Spurred by Baron Yuschiev, whose dominion is situated north of his, he has become certain that the imperium will keep encroaching upon its smaller neighbours. Unlike Yuschiev, he does not believe that pitting Thyatians against Traladarans is the answer, but sees the aging king weakening against the younger, more dynamic emperor, and believes that it is time for a new generation to rise to power in Karameikos. Thus, he voted against the king.
Arteris Penhaligon, Baroness of Penhaligon, juror. The cold baroness did not feel empathy toward either the fallen baron or the Traladarans and others who claimed to have suffered under his rule. Rather than try to judge the facts, she rationally voted for order in the kingdom by approving King Stefan's judgment.
Zemiros Sulescu, Baron of Sulescu, juror. The Traladaran baron did not really care for the case at hand; only his tranquillity and that of his domain was of importance to him. Though he bore no ill will toward the king, his policy of road-building and order had become a growing threat to Sulescu's way of life, so that he perceived voting counter to the king's decision as a way to bring back some needed chaos to the Traladaran wilderness.
Gustav Vandevic, Baron of Vandevicsny, juror. The kind scholar, who justly feels unimportant in Karameikos, was surprised that he was even called as a juror in this trial. Quite overwhelmed by the importance of the trial, and oblivious to its political aspect, he assumed that Zemiros Sulescu, a Traladaran lord who also rules a minor dominion not too far away, would understand the situation better and share similar interests for his villagers, so he accepted Sulescu's fuzzy arguments and voted in favour of the Black Eagle without realising the manipulation.
Milo Korrigan, Lord of Halag, juror. Despite his terror at being entrusted ruling Halag, the young man was confirmed as lord, pending, he fears, a full baronial status, as there were no volunteers and the king thought Milo was doing a good job. The truth of the situation, unfortunately, is that the Iron Ring has strengthened its grip on the dominion, which reduced the agitation and made the weak lord's inaction appear effective. Milo is only cowering in his castle, though, wondering how anyone could rule such a dangerous region. The character of the Black Eagle appeared to him as fearsome and commanding; he of all jurors understood how harsh the former baron must have been to keep control over his lands. He voted in favour of the Black Eagle, secretly hoping but not believing he could be so lucky that the king's cousin would be restored to his former position and relieve him from this most horrible duty.
Magda Marilenev, Lady of Marilenev, juror. The old lady is a long-time enemy of King Stefan who does not dabble directly in the politics of Karameikos (though she pulls a few strings of her own behind-the-scenes), and was astonished when asked to be on the jury at this foremost trial. She would have turned down the opportunity like everything else that ever came from the king, but finally realised how big an opportunity to embarrass the king this could become and she certainly didn't regret her decision. Though she despises the Black Eagle almost as much as his cousin, she did not hesitate for one second to vote in his favour. The words spoken at the trial and the result of the vote surprised her as she realised how weak the king's rule has become.
Sascia, Lady of Luln, juror. A long-time opponent of the Black Eagle Baron, who repeatedly denounced his rule and tried to open the eyes of King Stefan and others to the evil goings-on in the barony. It was clear from the beginning that she would vote against the Black Eagle, a personal enemy of hers if there ever was one, although she doubts that the king is capable of changing things in Karameikos, with or without that trial.
Alexius Korrigan, Lord Seneschal of the Royal Estate, juror. The trustworthy cousin of the king despises the Black Eagle for the way he treated his Traladaran subjects, and generally bent the law to suit his own whims. The lord seneschal gained a conviction in the course of the trial that Ludwig von Hendricks was indeed a traitor who worked against the king, and as such found him guilty.
Stefan Karameikos, King of Karameikos, judge. Talked by his cousin into giving him a fair trial, and despite Queen Olivia's warnings, King Stefan had no doubt that the other nobles of the kingdom he had assembled would certainly, after seeing the evidence he saw several decades too late understand the treachery of the former baron and endorse his decision to remove him from power as fair justice, and not a regal whim. As the Black Eagle's words stung, Stefan understood Olivia's caution, and how his cousin's lies, which he honed to fool him for years, could still be potent and disruptive, but of course it was too late then to rescind the trial without bringing even more woe unto himself. Still, the king remained confident that the barons would see through the Black Eagle's cloud of lies and accusations, and was deeply shaken when the tally came so close as to almost reverse his earlier decision they almost gave him back his baronial status! Ultimately, the jury found the Black Eagle guilty of treason and sentenced him to exile, thereby confirming his earlier decision as far as the Karameikan population is concerned, but he also realised that, with what was said behind the closed doors of the courthouse and the narrow-margin verdict, a grave political crisis was looming.