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Felmont 1, AC 1019

Falcon Village Destroyed.

Location: Bear Clan Lands, Atruaghin Territories, and City of Akesoli, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: In a very short time Ystran House has been able to gather an army of 500 soldiers and miners with ballistae and catapults. This army attacks the village of Falcon, hurling missiles upon the plateau. The villagers must evacuate, while Falcon warriors are defeated in the field by warriors and wizards of Ystran House. News of the battle will eventually reach Akesoli, where a very preoccupied Umbarth House is trying to persuade the DDC to do anything to prevent the war. The miners' army leaves Falcon in ruins, before retiring again to Gold Creek. (See Kl. 20, Kl. 22; Fe. 12, Fe. 25.)

What This Means: Ystran House is ready to start a war. Now Umbarth House's trade will be disrupted while the young house will have the gold of the hills.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are Atruaghin they should try to evacuate the village under the catapults' fire, whereas if they are Umbarth or DDC agents they should bring the news of Ystran House activities to Akesoli as soon as possible.

Investigation in Fenside.

Location: Village of Fenside, Shire of Eastshire, Five Shires. OW

Description: The investigative expedition to the Blight Swamp reaches the tiny village of Fenside, seat of the eastern branch of the Journeyfoot Clan, northeast of Rollstone Keep, and which is the last known location of a many of the hin who have disappeared. The locals, who receive the party coolly, are questioned concerning their knowledge of the disappearances, but they are close-mouthed. (See Ya. 22, Ya. 25; Fe. 4, Fe. 8.)

What This Means: Although the locals obviously know something, nothing will make them divulge it. They will, however, tell anyone who asks where the prospectors went.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be leading the investigation, in which case this event could be part of the adventure. For staging purposes, Fenside is a small village of roughly 60 or so inhabitants. Only one, seldom-used trail leads to it from Rollstone Keep. Almost all of the buildings are in the human style (there are very few burrows), and do not appear to be well-maintained. Most of the houses sit atop extensive networks of cellars and tunnels these are used predominantly for defence and shelter, as this part of the shires is relatively unsettled. Most of the adult population of Fenside get by on woodcutting and subsistence farming. Not far from the village is a ruined tower (originally intended to be the beginning of a great fort to guard the eastern border, but which for reasons now unknown was abandoned in favour of Rollstone Keep), which, while imposing in its own right, is a red herring for any PC investigators.

A Cure for Chandbali?

Location: Village of Chandbali, Mumlyket of Nagpuri, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: Prince Javas Kalkiin, de facto ruler of Nagpuri, together with alchemical experts from the jadugerya caste, has travelled to Chandbali, in the hopes to cure the poor villagers who have long been poisoned by alchemical waste left behind at the laboratory tower of the prince's brother, Rohan.

Instead of being met by the sick and destitute of all kinds, Prince Javas is greeted by a rioting mob, incensed at the jadugeryas,and calling down curses and divine punishment from the Immortals, until inevitably, the crowd turns violent, lighting torches, throwing rocks, and wielding farm tools and makeshift weapons. A clay pot is hurled at the prince, shattering and splashing its watery contents allegedly the contaminated water that is the cause for so much disease and death.

Not wanting to harm his people, Prince Javas leads a hasty retreat to the safest structure in Chandbali ironically, Prince Rohan's abandoned wizard tower. (See Kl. 21, Kl. 25; Fe. 4, Fe. 6.)

What This Means: It was the rishiyas who riled up the otherwise weak and infirmed villagers of Chandbali against Prince Javas Kalkiin, in their bid to wrest more power from the jadugeryas, but it was Lady Kalindi Kalkiin who had suggested this opportunity for ambush.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs who have come with Prince Javas to lend aid and healing to Chandbali will find themselves in a siege situation. And while the Kalkiin tower may provide protection from an angry mob of villagers, and even an evil priest or two, there might be dangers within the tower itself traps, poisons, vermin, and monsters, mundane, magical and alchemical that could prove far more lethal.

A Maiden for Daggersting.

Location: Northern Sea of Dread, South of Kingdom of Karameikos, North of Exarchate of Minrothad. OW

Description: The hin pirate ship Daggersting heaves to alongside a Thyatian pleasure yacht, the Silvered Lord. Hin pirates swarm aboard, overwhelming the crew. The master of the ship, Lord Fredrick Pelacios, tries to resist when the hin grab his young bride, Josaca, intending to make her their ship's new "maiden." They run him through and he bleeds to death in front of her, before they drag her back to the Daggersting. The hin quickly strip the Silvered Lord of its valuables and sail on. (See Am. 3.)

What This Means: Just a typical case of piracy in the Sea of Dread.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters might be hired by the Pelacios family to get revenge and recover their scion's bride.

Felmont 2, AC 1019:

That's Judgment Day for Atzanteotl.

Location: Colony of Aengmor and Shadow Elves' Territories and Republic of Darokin and Kingdom of Karameikos and Kingdom of Wendar. OW

Description: After nearly one month of careful planning, adventurers and soldiers of Aengmor (both fair and shadow elves), Darokin, Karameikos, Wendar and the Shadow Elves' Territories are ready to hit, hard and fast, the Cult of Atzanteotl anywhere in the Old World. There will be fighting and blood in the night in many places around the world. (See Ya. 5, Kl. 11; Fe. 3, Am. 8.)

What This Means: The leaders of shadow and fair elves, Darokin, Karameikos and Wendar now understand, helped by clerics of Rafiel and Ilsundal, that the only way to get rid of the warmongering followers of Atzanteotl is to hit them everywhere during the same night, to take them by surprise with no possibility of escape for clerics and cultists.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be among those chosen to fight against the cult, or they could simply be passers-by who find themselves involved in the fighting (maybe on the evil side, if they rush wrongly to help the "assaulted" followers of Atzanteotl!). If the PCs are elves, and have to fight former friends who have become followers of the evil Immortal, this fight could place a heavy emotional burden on them, and be a major turning point in their lives.

Discontent Rises among Heldannic Ranks.

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

Description: For the second time this year the more conservative Heldannic Knights criticise the governor's tactical choices. They are not enthusiastic about entrenchment and defensive tactics; instead, they advocate riding into battle and bringing glory to Vanya. Governor Wolfgang Stemmel has no choice but to have the most outspoken soldiers arrested. (See Kl. 20, Kl. 25; Fe. 3, Fe. 5.)

What This Means: This is a setback for the Heldannic troops because morale is now plummeting. Not only are they bored with this defensive war; they cannot attack openly, or discuss what they would rather do. Wolfgang is preparing a speech to address his troops on the frontline to galvanise them.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can be sent to jail if they are among the dissident soldiers. Good luck to them if they try to defend themselves in a "fair" trial.


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

Description: While the armies besieging the fortress of Landfall prepare to mount an assault, sentries alert the main force of the arrival of six ships from the south. Unsure as to whether or not they belong to Heinrich Straßenburger, the ordensgeneral overseeing the siege orders his troops to continue their attack with renewed vigour. As catapults lob flaming pitch over the fortress's walls, and sappers go to work on the fortifications, arrows are traded both ways, killing many men on both sides. Before battering rams can be brought to the gates, new arrivals sweep into the still-smoking city from the docks, and engage the besiegers!

The new force of soldiers presses quickly into enemy lines, and manages to drive them away from the fortress before the element of surprise is lost completely. Soon, they are joined by more soldiers from the fortress, emboldened by the arrival of reinforcements, and together they advance further. Orders are given to collapse more of the city walls to hinder the enemy advance, and this is accomplished, killing many attackers, and gaining the now-embattled armies of Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks time to regroup amidst the tumbled ruins of the walls. (See Kl. 21, Kl. 25; Fe. 6, Fe. 7.)

What This Means: The ordensgeneral responsible for conquering Landfall had grown overconfident in his army's ability to overcome their foes; everything had gone according to plan until that time. He was certain that he would be able to storm the fortress, and hold it against any reinforcements loyal to Heinrich Straßenburger arriving by ship, and therefore he did not pass the information from the sentries down the line to his captains. This turned out to be a grave mistake, and the reinforcements, formerly deployed around Grauenberg, managed to break the siege.

Although the further collapse of the already weakened city walls killed many of the attackers, the forces remain roughly equal in size, with the Straßenburger faction now having fresher troops overall. The von Hendriks faction will entrench itself in and around the ruined walls, and a bloody stalemate will develop over the coming days.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs on either side can do much to affect the outcome of this event, especially if they are higher-level. A few well-placed spells could destroy or heavily damage one or more of the ships, or the fortress, and give Anna von Hendriks's forces a greater advantage, for example. Nevertheless, the ships carry a total of 420 soldiers, and if even half of them make it into the city, they could cause a lot of trouble for the besiegers.


Location: Sea of Dread, off the coast of City of Alinquin, Kingdom of Dawnrim, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: The Craek, a Naycese submersible, makes contact with the undead. Using magic, the sighting is reported and the other two submersibles arrive quickly. The vessels begin a series of strafing attack runs across the undead formations. Their attacks continue for over an hour before the submersibles withdraw with their weaponry spent. They report that the undead are marching in a south-easterly direction. (See Ya. 21, Ya. 26; Fe. 4, Fe. 9.)

Mivosia Seeks Unlikely Allies.

Location: Twenty miles east of the front lines, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: The Mivosians have received omens that they have to hurry and find unlikely allies because something is to happen in favour of the Heldannic troops and their allies. Aware that big bands of humanoids from the desert have been rampaging the region for some time, unscrupulous Mivosian officers send negotiators to bribe the humanoid chiefs. They want to forge an alliance against the Heldannic coalition. The monsters would attack and harass the Heldannic Knights to the south so as to deflect troops from the front line, allowing the Mivosians to win the field and lay siege to Polakatsikes. (See Kl. 20, Kl. 25; Fe. 5, Fe. 6.)

What This Means: War is war, and since the anticipated reinforcements from Parthenaeum and Deletria have not arrived yet (and shall never come), any potential ally is worth courting. Plus it's not very hard to promise something you don't already have or which does not belong to you. Each party thinks it has duped the other.

Unknown to the Mivosians, most war-oriented humanoids from the desert are followers of Loki, whom they worship under a different name.

What the PCs Can Do: Negotiating with fierce, untrustworthy humanoids should be a challenge even for a charismatic Mivosian PC.

Yvonne Issued

Location: Canal Construction Site, North of Town of Tirenlos, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Yvonne, the last earth-mover ordered for the construction site, is ready, but Doris needs some care and is transported back into the Kerothar Mountains. (See Fl. 17, Ya. 3; Fe. 27, Fy. 13.)

What This Means: Scheduled maintenance and a few problems with the new earth-moving constructs have delayed the completion of the order, but the crew is now relying heavily on them.

Felmont 3, AC 1019

New Kollanders at the Great School of Magic.

Location: Great School of Magic, City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The halls of the Great School of Magic resound with raised voices, angry shouts, grunts, growls, and boisterous dog-like yapping. Curious wizards and students gather to check the source of the ruckus to find the fierce Master of Admissions, Angan Forrestir, in a heated argument with the kobold-prince, Prince Kol XIV; the two are surrounded by an orc, three goblins, two hobgoblins, four kobolds, a pair of bugbears, one lumbering ogre, and what looks like an undead cross between a hobgoblin and a troll all stiffly dressed in ill-fitting but obviously pricey wizards' robes, looking rather uncomfortable, confused, but increasingly irritated.

Onlookers learn (after stepping back safely and casting appropriate comprehend languages spells) that the band of humanoids are spellcasters who came to enrol at the Great School of Magic, but were questioned by Master Angan Forrestir. Thus the argument between the master of admissions and the Prince of New Kolland ensued, with Prince Kol demanding equal treatment for his subjects, lawful citizens of the Principality of New Kolland.

Before the quarrel becomes a magical duel, in steps the Student Administrator, Mistress Marisi Viniene, accompanied by two prominent wizards from the great school: Serthos the Drake, the most famous of Glantrian progeny (persons with more-than-human lineage and often with less-than-human appearance), and Agatha Pawsburry, a formidable black rakasta from the Savage Coast (and rumoured to be a witch from the Secret Craft of Witchcraft). Mistress Marisi coolly reminds the stern master of admissions that the Great School of Magic has no official rulings against non-humans, non-elves, or even non-Glantrians; applicants need only pass the obligatory exams in general knowledge, magical knowledge, and most importantly, magical capabilities!

Incensed but duly rebuked, Master Angan allows the testing of the humanoid applicants, but gruffly warns that he will confer with Grand Master Harald Haaskinz before deciding on their admission. (See Kl. 21; Fe. 20.)

What This Means: Prince Kol is simply pushing for more visibility and acceptance of New Kolland as part of the Principalities of Glantri, in spite of the strong biases against the humanoid population. Despite the rivalry between the different humanoid tribes in the Great Crater, Prince Kol was able to recruit the most capable and magically gifted humanoid spellcasters to join his gambit, which could lead to more opportunities and greater power for humanoids in Glantri.

Grand Master Harald Haaskinz remains indisposed, and will opt to delegate the matter to his friend and ally, Professor Emeritus Angus McDuff, Baron of Uigmuir also known as Angus McClintock, who spent the better part of his life studying and living with humanoids in the city of Oenkmar.

Church of Atzanteotl Evicted?

Location: Tiger Clan Lands, Atruaghin Territories. OW

Description: The Church of Danel Tigerstripes, with the approbation of the king, purges the last followers of Atzanteotl from the army, the merchant ranks and the town governments. Often, the exposed followers of the evil Immortal are killed by angry crowds. Nevertheless Atzanteotl is not defeated, and in the next months there will be many attacks against government officials, soldiers and priests of Danel and Atruaghin, many of whom will be assassinated. (See Kl. 13, Fe. 2; Sv. 10, Ei. 22.)

What This Means: The Church of Atzanteotl has gone into hiding in Tiger Clan lands, but Eelsha Spider's Kiss is still alive and dangerous, and the evil church is far from completely defeated in Atruaghin lands.

What the PCs Can Do: Find and destroy Atzanteotl followers or to locate the hideout of Eelsha and others leaders.

An Eloquent Call to Arms.

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

Description: Governor Wolfgang Stemmel gives a speech to galvanise his troops' morale. He addresses only the officers directly but thanks to magical enhancement his speech is heard by any Heldannic or allied soldier in his or her own language. He tells them about the grandeur of the Heldannic Empire based upon the principles of Vanya: courage, valour in combat, conquest and achievement of one's goals, dedication, obedience, constancy in faith, compassion to the deserving foe, forgiveness for the valorous, justice, truth and wisdom. He tells them he is proud to be a member of this great order to which he has dedicated his whole life, and which he still hopes to serve. But he also tells them that his first duty is to keep them alive and combative, for their death in battle now, even if accomplished in glory, would not serve Vanya's purpose in Davania. Crucial aid is about to be given to them with Vanya's blessing. She is proud of Her warriors' accomplishments so far, for anyone fighting in Her name, and who promotes Her faith, is worthy of Vanya's blessing. The Mivosians are today's enemies because they represent what the order could have become without a reformation. First they must fight the Mivosians in their hearts, so that they might have a chance to be reborn as faithful servants of their beloved Immortal guide. Greater dangers are lurking and threaten the very existence of humans in the region. They can be assured that the Heldannic Order shall not leave this region except under a direct order from Vanya Herself. Now are they willing to serve this new Heldannic Order?

A great clamour is heard on the front line when all (at least almost all) Heldannic and allied Milenian soldiers answer positively to Vanya's call. The Mivosian troops are very puzzled and get ready to defend themselves, believing this is an outcry announcing a desperate charge. (See Kl. 25, Fe. 2; Fe. 5, Fe. 6.)

What This Means: Wolfgang is actually a vessel for Vanya's political reform. She talks through him and insists on the new principles of the order as She sees them. She has no need for thousands of useless deaths; She would rather see an influential Heldannic Order spreading all over the world, rather than a powerful but geographically limited one. She also wants to give up the xenophobic aspects of Her previous philosophy, hence Her announcing that anyone who is willing to embrace Her is worthy of Her blessing (thus including the local Milenians). Every faithful follower is valuable.

With this new philosophy Vanya hopes Her knights will have a better chance of facing the challenges to come and better spread Her faith around Mystara.

What the PCs Can Do: This is a historical moment for the PCs to experience.

Wreck of The Jolsten.

Location: Sea of Dread, Off the coast of the Village of Sulescu , Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: The Five Shires' trader, The Jolsten, is pushed upon a group of coastal rocks east of Sulescu Village. The hin sailors fight valiantly to save their ship but to no avail. The ship's master, Captain Shirley Kidder, orders the crew to abandon ship and make their way to the safety of the nearby shoreline. The Jolsten crew takes refuge in a coastal settlement, before making their way westward back to the Five Shires. (See Fy. 16, Ei. 14.)

What This Means: The Sea of Dread is named such for its hostile nature. The Jolsten had been on its way back to the Five Shires, from Mirros, with a return cargo of lumber. Captain Kidder had skimmed the coastline to save time on their return trip, running the vessel into a group of rocks.

Omesron Potential.

Location: "City" of Izchnizoy, Kingdom of Omegaran, Underside, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Zandor's minions report the result of their quick survey of the dark lands of the Empire of Omesro, which was more about locating subjects for their emperor than actually charting the Underside. Zandor shows the unmistakable signs of his displeasure when he is told that his empire is mostly barren of life, so they move on quickly to the more promising aspects of their investigations. (See Va. 17, Kl. 10; Sv. 15, Ei. 7.)

What This Means: Zandor can congratulate himself for his brilliant move in Limn of the Dark, crowning Bussnox King of Irsch, as the kingdom is full of potential thanks to the presence of both the vampires of Limn and the dwarves of nearby Stoutfellow, who in their eagerness to find new ore will mine their way right through into the embrace of the vampire king.

The emperor also devised a strategy based on the Randel's stubbornness and sense of duty, which, if petty King Riyankar follows his lord's guidelines, will induce Randel to send more and more people to the Underside, where they can become his subjects. The brilliant but tricky part is to stalk and harass the Randel sufficiently to goad them into sending reinforcements, but not too much that they either withdraw or come in force.

Zandor is also thinking about ways to encourage Alphatians from other surface kingdoms to come to the Underside and their true emperor. He is reluctant to travel to the surface, as he does not wish his return to Alphatia to be discovered and his condition as a Zargosian prevents him exposing himself directly to sunlight but he is not as reluctant to use the magical power at his disposal, and his subjects, to further his dreams.

Felmont 4, AC 1019

Frustrations Boil Over in Nayce.

Location: Across Nayce. AS, SD

Description: A period of sporadic rioting begins in the cities of Alinquin, Ekto, Spearpoint, Aaslin, and Blueside, as unemployed freemen and servants take to the streets to protest the current state of affairs. Shouting loudly, they demand leadership from the Naycese Council, and meaningful work. Although the protests are mainly shouting matches, in some cities they turn into full-scale riots, as masses of unemployed Alphatians rob anyone who is well dressed, and take to looting shops and vendors' stalls. In these cases, the city guard descends upon the protesters, and restores order. (See Ya. 21, Kl. 9; Fe. 5, Fe. 10.)

What This Means: Despite efforts to placate the lower classes by providing free bread, it has become apparent that more will have to be done to head off the threat of widespread revolt. The cities affected by these riots will be able to maintain order, but the atmosphere will be tense for some time to come, and outbursts of unrest will continue for many weeks. The fact that the working classes have become so restive will spur the Naycese Council to devise other solutions to the problem.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be caught up in one of the riots as innocent bystanders, or they might find themselves aiding one side or the other. If they are newcomers to Nayce, or if they are from a comparatively better off area, an event such as this could bring to their attention that all is not well in Nayce.

Search for a Wizard.

Location: Somewhere in Darokin. OW

Description: Millington Vonaday meets Rezak Xygar and asks him about this "Dusk" person. The travelling mage tells him that he indeed knew a person by that name. In fact, Dusk was once his apprentice, but he was always a very secretive person that seemed positively frightened about something. He never found out what that was, though, since Dusk was his apprentice only for a few years he disappeared almost two decades ago on a trip to Karameikos. Xygar never discovered what happened to him, but suspects he may have been captured by the infamous Iron Ring. Millington pays Rezak to look out for Dusk during his travels. (See Kl. 13, Kl. 17; Fy. 2, Fy. 18.)

What This Means: If the person in question is indeed the Dusk that Millington has been looking for, then he has been lost for a long time. Finding him would be very difficult.

What the PCs Can Do: The precise location of this event is left undetermined so that if the PCs are with Millington, the encounter can be placed wherever it is more convenient to the campaign.

An Unpleasant Answer.

Location: Blight Swamp, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: After spending a few days following one of the more recent trails, the investigative party finds itself in a clearing, on a low hill that rises out of the swamp like an island. In the midst of the clearing is a pit, around which are several stakes, to which a number of hin and humans are tied. Freeing the captives, the party is warned of a great monster that lives in the pit, which is summoned each night to feast on sacrifices by a number of robed figures who come out of the swamp each evening. The party decides to deal with the beast. (See Ya. 25, Fe. 1; Fe. 8, Fe. 22.)

What This Means: The party has indeed discovered the source of the disappearances, but the question remains: who is doing it, and why? The more immediate problem, however, is dealing with the monster.

What the PCs Can Do: Assuming the PCs wish to kill the monster, they will have to enter its lair a fairly extensive series of damp caves. The monster itself is not described here, but should the DM possess either the module B4 The Lost City, or B10 Night's Dark Terror, he or she could use Zargon or Kartoeba, respectively, as a model in terms of overall strength. The encounter should be difficult. The party might also wish to wait until nightfall to deal with the monster's worshippers. If they do, they will encounter roughly 30 people a large portion of the adult residents of Fenside. Most of them are non-combatants, but some are warriors, and there is also a medium-level priest among them (the village elder, in fact). Needless to say, they will be unhappy at the prospect of losing their "god," but if enough of them are killed or otherwise wounded, the remainder will flee.

Back on the Trail.

Location: Sea of Dread, off the coast of City of Alinquin, Kingdom of Dawnrim, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: The three Naycese submersibles return to the scene of their attack on the undead. Except for the carnage, the immediate area lacks any sign of their foe; although a stack of parchments are discovered on the remains of one of the fallen undead. The parchments include a pre-war map of southern Bellissaria, centred upon the southern coastal Kingdom of Surshield; the rest of the papers appear to be a journal. Of note is a section discussing the archmage Klarrissa and several accounts of her recovery of magical items. The discovery is quickly reported to Naycese authorities; the submersibles continue their search. (See Ya. 26, Fe. 2; Fe. 9, Fe. 11.)

Death of a Sindhi Prince.

Location: Mumlyket of Nagpuri, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: The royal palace at Mahasabad is astir at the unexpected arrival of Prince Javas Kalkiin and his aides upon a flying carpet. The de facto ruler of Nagpuri ignores the impromptu welcome of the court and his family and unceremoniously retires to his bedchamber.

The prince allows audience only to his family, his most trusted aides, and the healers from the rishiya caste, but word spreads throughout the palace that the prince is suffering from melancholia, probably due to the failure of his recent relief mission to Chandbali one of his first act as ruler of Nagpuri.

It comes to a complete shock to the populace to learn that night that Prince Javas suddenly and mysteriously died! (See Kl. 14, Fe. 1; Fe. 6, Fe. 9.)

What This Means: Rumours will abound in Mahasabad about the mysterious circumstances surrounding Prince Javas's death. The most accepted story will be that Prince Javas fell sick to some poisoned water from Chandbali, explaining his sudden return and the symptoms of depression. But there will also be rumours that he was not ill at all, and instead poisoned, perhaps by an aide, a family member, or even by the rishiya healers. There will also be some spooky stories about a vengeful spirit of a servant girl, who was rumoured to have had an affair with Prince Javas and was herself murdered in the palace not more than a month ago...

What the PCs Can Do: Will the PCs be able to solve a royal murder mystery? The suspects are many including Lady Pandita Kalkiin, the prince's wife who may have resented the alleged adultery of her husband; and Maharishi Tayib Badahur, the belligerent leader of the rishiya caste and outspoken opponent of Prince Javas's rise to power and guilty or not, they wield enough magic and political power to keep their secrets from being uncovered.

The Mad Sage Sees Things in the Sky.

Location: Emirate of Makistan, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: At dusk, the eccentric scholar and inventor Karim al-Nazzer (more commonly known as "The Mad Sage of Sulba") wakes up in his crude cavern laboratory, carved out of the northern plateaus of Ylaruam, far from human settlements and shaded from manmade lights to better observe the night sky. He climbs to his makeshift hilltop observatory and, using bizarre devices of his own invention (hollowed tubes, reflecting surfaces, and glass lenses), looks up to the sky to check and double check the strange celestial phenomenon he had seen the past fortnight.

Al-Nazzer's manservant below suddenly hears his master screaming in delight, calling out praises to al-Kalim and to a host of other Immortal Guardians no true follower of the Eternal Truth should even be heard mentioning casually, much less shouting out in the middle of the night ("Praise be to Ashtiru! Praise be to Manat!"). The boisterous exaltations are suddenly followed by a heavy thud, the clattering of those weird gadgets, and the shattering of glass.

The manservant finds the Mad Sage fallen, cut, and bruised, yet tearfully joyful, all the while muttering giddily gibbering about seeing stars and new moons in the sky. (See Fe. 20, Fy. 13.)

What This Means: Karim al-Nazzer is a true scientist and genius. He earned his reputation as the "Mad Sage of Sulba" when he made an incredible pronouncement that he could irrigate the entire Ylari basin by diverting an underground stream in the Altan Tepes to flow aboveground. Unable to realise this grand scheme, he was imprisoned and would surely have been executed, had he not claimed insanity! [Al-Kalim preaches against killing those "touched by the Immortals". Ed.] The Sultan of Ylaruam, Mohammed al-Kalim, had him released and he exiled himself to his cavern lair, northwest of the town of Deraan. Since then, al-Nazzer has invented a reflecting telescope (which brought much amazement as well as jealousy from the scholars at the Eternal University of Ylaruam) and has been religiously observing the celestial bodies above Mystara.

His particular focus of astronomical study is the planet Ashtiru, more commonly called Asterius in the Old World (and otherwise known as the doomed planet Damocles). During the Great War, he was one of the first who noted its disappearance from the sky and conjectured its destruction, and has since meticulously documented the trajectories of the planetary fragments including the new planets Alphatia and Alphaks, but mainly the asteroid belt called the Tears of Asterius. In AC 1006, he even accurately calculated the collision of one meteor fragment onto the Continent of Brun, specifically at the border of Darokin and Glantri. (Despite this amazing feat of scientific genius, his detractors at the Eternal University of Ylaruam generally underplay the significance of the Great Meteor Crash, arguing it only involved those despicable heretic Glantrians.)

For the past decade or so, he has been tracing one large outlying asteroid in from the Tears of Asterius as it was eventually drawn towards the next adjacent planet Tarastia (called Manat by the Ylari). His present astronomical discovery and the cause of his excitement and accidental injury is that the fragment has now begun orbiting the planet Tarastia! More amazingly, this new satellite revolves in a retrograde path, opposite to the rest of the giant planet's many moons!

Felmont 5, AC 1019

No Norwold Mines.

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

Description: In the wake of Alpha's declaration of independence, the Naycese Council cancels its plans to ship unemployed commoner servants to Norwold, where they were expected to establish new mining towns to supply the empire with common and precious metals. For the moment, no alternatives are found to employ those commoners, although a few ships that were leaving Notrion and other kingdoms are diverted to the islands in the New Alphatian Sea, where new settlements have been founded. (See Kl. 19, Fe. 4; Fe. 14, Ei. 14.)

What This Means: While Nayce still does not know how to employ all those servants that have become masterless in the wake of the economic disruptions that have been increasingly rocking the empire since the sinking of the mainland, sending them away to a kingdom that has rescinded its link to the Alphatian empire would now be perceived as a waste. Since the Naycese Council has become too paralysed to prevent the breaking away of one of its members, and unwilling to fight over it, this decision only confirms the abandonment of any Naycese claims on Norwold.

What the PCs Can Do: Adventurous PCs may decide to lead boatloads of servants to Norwold anyway, or to some other place, to carve out a life for themselves. Considering the state of dereliction of Nayce, and the undesirability of those commoners, they may be able to pull it off, even if they are not aristocrats.

Mivosia Strikes Hard.

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

Description: Heldannic watch posts in the south report to the governor long serpentine lines of humanoids heading straight towards Polakatsikes. They are burning and looting their way to the city. Immediately, most elements of the Ilioloostian cavalry, who have already had to fight these monsters on their way to Polakatsikes, rush out to meet the humanoids in the plains. Governor Wolfgang Stemmel then summons all the remaining officers and explains to them the dream he had, the burial vault he found, the instructions he found in the vault and finally the secret mission he sent a mission from which he has heard nothing for weeks. The officers are puzzled yet strangely some hope remains in their hearts. They express their faith in the governor, who is moved to tears.

In the meantime, Mivosian troops have received orders to dislodge their enemies from their defensive positions. As always, they use the local conscripts in the front ranks to sustain the first retaliatory strikes. Pushed by despair and fear of cruel death or retaliation against their families at the hands of their Mivosian overlords, the conscripted Milenians manage to force the Heldannic troops to withdraw to Polakatsikes. Yet the formidable willpower and dedication showed by some Heldannic and Milenian units allow most of the other troops to retreat safely to Polakatsikes. The toll is much heavier on the side of the conscripted Milenians, since they lost many men in the attack, but the Mivosians care little about them.

At the end of the day, the city is completely encircled and the cavalry on the plain is isolated, so it heads west to seek shelter for the night. Some elements of the humanoid army pursue them. (See Kl. 25, Fe. 2; Fe. 6, Fe. 8.)

What This Means: It's only when he heard the report about "serpentine" lines of enemy that Wolfgang understood fully the danger they were facing. There was no doubt that they represented the "desert snakes" of his strange dream.

The Mivosians forced their way into being able to lay a proper siege to Polakatsikes. The negotiators they sent two days ago have achieved an agreement with the humanoids chiefs: an alliance against the Milenians and Heldanners in exchange for loot, slaves and land.

Despite their strategic position, the bombing, the numerous wounded, and their new enemies, the Heldannic Knights and their allies are convinced that Vanya will not let them down. Their future now lies in the hands of a party of adventurers from which they have no proof that they are still alive or that they have found the Conqueror's Heart.

What the PCs Can Do: Covering the retreat would be a courageous deed to accomplish.

A Blade of Legend.

Location: Jarldom of Ozurfold, Kingdom of Soderfjord. OW

Description: Another raid led by Skaddri the Skald succeeds in trapping and defeating a particularly dangerous family of giants. Among the spoils is found a giantish knife, large enough to serve as a sword for a human, which radiates powerful magic.

Skaddri decides to claim this knife as his personal weapon, explaining that the irony of using a giantish weapon to defeat giants and their humanoid kin amuses him. The weapon is later identified as the Knife of Hruggr, an ancient artifact. (See Kl. 25; Sv. 8.)

What This Means: Skaddri's discovery of the Knife of Hruggr was no accident. The knife is an Entropic artifact, created by Loki and specifically placed here to be "found" by His Mortal Identity. Its power will be quite useful in furthering Loki's plot.

What the PCs Can Do: It's possible that the PCs will be able to identify the Knife of Hruggr as a tool of Entropy. If they confront Skaddri with any evidence of this, though, they won't get very far Skaddri will look shocked and dismayed, then vow to hold onto the weapon until he can safely destroy it. Which, of course, he has no intention of doing his use of the artifact's powers will simply be subtler. And as Skaddri is a mortal incarnation of Loki, stopping PC attempts to steal the knife is easy for him.

Felmont 6, AC 1019

Humanoid Host Surrounds Polakatsikes.

Location: One-mile radius around Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: During the night, hundreds of new humanoids, mainly desert orcs and goblins, have encircled Polakatsikes, as well as the Mivosian troops and their siege engines. No Mivosian soldier is allowed passage through the humanoid lines. The Mivosian officers start to worry about their isolated troops. (See Fe. 2, Fe. 5; Fe. 8, Fe. 9.)

What This Means: The humanoids number about 7,000 warriors, the Mivosians have roughly 3,000 men inside the humanoid circle and about 1,500 more outside. The Milenian and Heldannic troops inside Polakatsikes amount to about 2,000, and a portion of the Ilioloostian cavalry (about 250 horsemen) is still outside in the wild.

What the PCs Can Do: They can try to sneak through the humanoids' lines. Good luck!

Forton in Flames.

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

Description: A small fleet of vessels, led by Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks, descends upon the rebel-held town of Forton before dawn, and attacks the ships docked in the harbour. The attack surprises the garrison, and they are forced back from the docks as the ships are sunk with boulders shot from deck-mounted catapults, or are set ablaze by boarding parties and by magic. While Heinrich Straßenburger's forces regroup, and prepare to attack the invading vessels, Anna personally leads a raiding party into the town, using a travel spell to appear in the small fortress, and attack the guards stationed there. In the meantime, crossbowmen on the ships rain quarrels on the men opposing them on the docks, forcing many to withdraw behind fortifications, where they can return fire.

Soon enough, word reaches the garrison that the fortress itself is under attack, and many troops head there to deal with the latest incursion. By the time they reach it, Anna and her compatriots have travelled away, but not before setting fire to several of the rooms, and stealing a considerable sum of money from the vault. While the garrison is busy putting out the fires and tending to the wounded, Anna leads an assault on the town jail, killing many of the guards and scouring the cells for imprisoned Heldannic Knights, of which there are a few. Those willing to pledge allegiance to her are freed, and brought with her back to the ships, and upon her return with her party the vessels withdraw from Forton, sailing north. (See Kl. 25, Fe. 2; Fe. 7, Fe. 10.)

What This Means: Anna is all too aware of how draining the civil war has become, not only on the Heldannic Order, but also the nation as a whole. As the conflict drags on, merchants continue to avoid Heldannic ports and cities, which will only worsen the territories' economic situation. She is aware of the current problems facing the Alphatian lands further east, and she has no wish for such strife to spread here. Thus, Anna has decided that she has consolidated her forces enough to throw everything she has at Heinrich Straßenburger's armies, in the hopes of dislodging them from enough towns and cities that she will soon be in a position to dictate terms of surrender to him.

Unfortunately, magical communications with her forces in Landfall indicate that Straßenburger's armies will not be pushed out so easily. She had initially planned to sail from Kammin to Landfall, and lead an assault to relieve her northern army, but instead decided to hit her enemy elsewhere, in the hopes that some of his troops would be drawn there. Through the use of hit and run tactics and magic, Anna was able to lead a force of less than a score of skilled knights into Forton, and wreak havoc. Luckily, she and her soldiers completed their mission with only moderate injuries, and they managed to steal over 3,000 gelder and several confidential documents outlining scheduled troop movements. They also managed to free eleven knights of varying ranks some of whom had been imprisoned for refusing to serve Straßenburger.

While little structural damage resulted from the raid, a considerable sum of money was stolen, the entire fleet based in Forton has been destroyed, and enough chaos was sown to keep the town garrison busy for the next week searching for saboteurs within town. Some of Straßenburger's troops, who are based in Forton, will become demoralised once they hear of the raid, and troops stationed in Neuhafen will be reassigned to Forton, to bolster its garrison.

What the PCs Can Do: Take part in a daring raid! Although many of the soldiers in the garrison are fairly low level no more than 3rd some of their officers are competent veterans. The latter opponents should present the PCs with a few tough fights, especially those who can cast clerical magic.

Maharishi Tayib, in the Bedroom, with the Poison.

Location: Mumlyket of Nagpuri, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: It is late evening when the ladies of the court are abuzz that Lady Kalindi Kalkiin, the second wife of the missing Rajah Salmahlin, has fallen ill, and fetched for Maharishi Tayib Badahur, leader of the rishiya caste in Nagpuri. The priest arrives post-haste to answer the summons and spends an hour within Lady Kalindi's private chambers. With the recent deaths at the royal palace and fears of poisoning and assassinations, the court is greatly relieved when the maharishi emerges, announcing that all is well with the Lady Kalindi.

Nevertheless, the most loyal servants of Lady Kalindi and the rest of the royal family, remain vigilant throughout the night. (See Fe. 1, Fe. 4; Fe. 9, Fe. 14.)

What This Means: This entire event is a charade, arranged by Lady Kalindi as an excuse to meet with the maharishi with utmost privacy and feigned urgency. Behind closed doors, Lady Kalindi falsely informs Maharishi Tayib that the followers of Gareth have found proof of the maharishi's complicity in the assassination of Prince Javas Kalkiin.

The maharishi denies the false accusations, pointing out the well-known enmity between the rishiyas and the followers of Gareth. But Lady Kalindi also points out his well-known opposition to Prince Javas and the convenience of the maharishi being the scapegoat in the murder, whether true or not, considering how unpopular the rishiya caste is presently.

Lady Kalindi makes a deal with her unwitting pawn, that she will make the (non-existent) evidence go away, for certain favours from the rishiyas...

Felmont 7, AC 1019

Neuhafen Raided!

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

Description: The garrison of Neuhafen, shocked at the news of the attack on Forton the previous day, is dismayed to see several warships, brimming with troops, sailing towards the town. As soldiers are dispatched to meet the assault, there are reports of sudden attacks in the streets! Fearing that Neuhafen will suffer the same fate as Forton, many soldiers spread out to guard locations considered to be strategic. Where they encounter the attackers, however, they are too few in number to defeat them. Before long, several sections of the town are in flames, which take time to extinguish. While this is happening, cries of alarm erupt from the docks several ships have been commandeered! The town garrison rushes back to the docks, but they are too late; half a dozen ships have been taken, and many others have been scuttled. (See Fe. 2, Fe. 6; Fe. 10, Fe. 11.)

What This Means: Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks knew that news of her successful raid on Forton would reach Neuhafen before her small fleet could reach it. Therefore, she changed her tactics accordingly, and gambled that the garrison would expect a similar attack on their town. Predictably, the troops spread out to protect the most important sites, but in doing so, each group of solders was too small to guard against a concerted attack. Anna directed her troops to a few locations, attacked them, and then escaped using travel spells a feat that can be accomplished with fairly small groups of people, and a few powerful clerics, such as Anna herself. Anna's true intent was to steal some ships for future use, and this was accomplished.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs, if they are of fairly high level, can take part in this raid. Quick thinking, and the ability to overpower a foe quickly, are crucial skills here.

Village of the Dead.

Location: Village of Gloomy Shade, Turmoil Territories, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: As local traders pass through the village of Gloomy Shade on the edge of the Spectre Woods, they are forced to ride for their lives when they are suddenly attacked and pursued by a great number of zombies. As they flee, they realise that the entire village has been turned into zombies down to the last man, woman, child, dog, horse, cat, etc. (See Nu. 25; Ei. 22, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The dark forest known as the Spectre Woods has always been a scary place, but this actually has nothing to do with it. Indeed, the zombies were all animated as servants to an invading necromancer who killed a number of the villagers when they objected to his arrival. Seeing the dead bodies before him, it dawned on him that he'd like the idea of an entire village of loyal undead servants, and so he proceeded to kill every last villager and their pets and livestock before turning them into undead under his command. Clearly the wizard problem in Turmoil is getting worse, and the commoners are busy discussing what they can do and exchanging stories about the wizards' activities. Many describe how they've heard screams and other unusual noises from some of the towers recently.

What the PCs Can Do: This village is badly in need of the cleansing powers of a cleric if the zombie problem is to be stopped before it spreads beyond the village itself. There are probably also helpless, hiding villagers to rescue from the undead.

Home Sweet Home.

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

Description: Alatia manages to bring the party of Heldannic Knights and gnomes safely into the pocket plane then into the burial vault some miles from Polakatsikes. They all emerge from the water in the chamber of visions, yet they are trapped inside since the vault was sealed the last time it was visited. No spell can be cast to open the seals or locks, since the entrance is protected by an anti-magic shield. The gnomes offer to dig a tunnel to get them all out. In a matter of hours, one of the gnomes gets out and meets a Heldannic sentinel who is surprised to see other knights getting out of the tomb.

Alatia is informed that Polakatsikes is surrounded on all sides by thousands of humanoids, who have allied with the Mivosians. There is no way the entire party can reach Polakatsikes unnoticed. She decides to wait for nightfall, turn herself invisible and fly to Polakatsikes to bring the artifact to the governor and her father, who is the only one who can cast the spell needed to trigger some of the magics contained inside the artifact.

She manages to cross the enemy lines in the air and reach the buildings where the defenders are assembled. She turns herself visible again and calls for her father, the magist Clenarius. She is led immediately to the governor's office, where Clenarius can be found. She delivers a quick account of the mission and proudly hands the artifact to Wolfgang, and informs him of the known procedure for activating the artifact. She also instructs her father on the spell (of 9th level) he has to memorise and cast for the artifact to be activated. (See Kl. 23, Kl. 25; Fe. 8.)

What This Means: The journey was uneventful. Alatia realises that this means of transportation is very convenient, but tends to become expensive when a large group wishes to travel, or if the members are of high level.

What the PCs Can Do: If they have the resources, they can accompany Alatia in her flight to Polakatsikes. If they were the ones who retrieved the artifact, then they will be the ones making the journey, anyway. DMs are free to place as many obstacles as they wish.

Felmont 8, AC 1019

A Massive Humanoid Attack!

Location: One-mile radius around Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: In the early pre-dawn hours, the humanoid host makes a move toward Polakatsikes, bombarding the Mivosian lines with rocks, arrows, and tree trunks. The Mivosians have entrenched themselves in the first hours of the night so the damage and casualties are minor. Yet they are now under attack by their own allies. Outside the humanoid lines, the Mivosian troops rally under their banners and prepare to launch a counterattack, so as to allow their encircled comrades to escape. The Mivosians are repelled easily the humanoids have concentrated some of their best units to prevent such a move despite some significant humanoid losses. The Mivosian officers on the outer fringes agree not to attempt another attack that same day, because the more numerous humanoids can afford to lose more of their troops in resisting another counterattack, while crushing the Mivosians inside their lines.

In Polakatsikes, feelings are mixed. The orders are not to attack the Mivosians (who are out of range anyway) for the moment. The Milenians and Meghalans of Polakatsikes are very sad to see the conscripted Milenians taken between the devil and the deep blue sea. Some officers ask Governor Wolfgang Stemmel to allow the entrapped Mivosian conscripts in. He refuses, thinking it might be a trick (the Mivosians have never been concerned about their conscripts being killed before).

Later that morning, the trapped Mivosians set fire to the tar-filled ditches that had been dug by the Heldannic forces in preparation for a siege. Irony has these defences protecting the very men they were supposed to keep at bay. Fearing fire more than anything, even the trolls refuse to attack. But the tar won't burn forever...

In his tower, Wolfgang prays to be inspired by Vanya's wisdom. (See Fe. 5, Fe. 6; Fe. 8, Fe. 8.)

What This Means: The humanoids never really intended to ally with the Mivosians. They pretended to help them to win their trust, and then took advantage of the night to surround them in order to easily crush them, maybe with involuntary help from the Heldannic Knights and their allies. Their plan was very well executed and the desperate Mivosians, who needed allies at all costs, have learned the hard way about trusting Loki-worshipping humanoids in times of war.

What the PCs Can Do: Try to limit the losses.

Corruption in Our Midst!

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

Description: The survivors of the investigative expedition to the Blight Swamp have returned, bearing evidence that the people of Fenside have been serving dark forces! The rescued prospectors recount the details of their captivity to the assembled sheriffs, including the gruesome sacrifices that some of them had witnessed. Shock and horror spread rapidly throughout the hall, as the sheriffs begin to wonder openly whether anything similar might reside in their own shires. Order prevails, however, and a decision is reached quickly: a second expedition will be mounted, this time to root out the evil in and around Fenside once and for all. (See Fe. 1, Fe. 4; Fe. 22.)

What This Means: The prospect that such practices might exist in other shires is too sickening for the sheriffs to contemplate; they hope that decisive action will dissuade other unsavoury groups from acting up.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were not involved in the first mission, they could certainly be involved in the second. Such a mission would involve going to Fenside and rooting out anyone who might be involved all of the villagers would be considered suspect. This will not be as easy as it seems, for the villagers will put up a fight as long as their opponents do not outnumber them, and Fenside is riddled with burrows and cellars, all connected by tunnels. In effect, the PCs, and anyone fighting alongside them, will have to flush their enemies out of a veritable maze.

A Dragon Rider Enters the Fray.

Location: One-mile radius around Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: At two o'clock in the afternoon a huge red dragon flies over the city. It is ridden by a robed figure, who unleashes deadly spells both at the Mivosians and the Heldannic Knights and all their allies. The people of Polakatsikes shoot volleys of arrows at it, but it stays out of range. After an hour of such harassment, it flies away and lands unharmed behind the humanoid lines. Apparently, the humanoid troops are invigorated by its presence. (See Fe. 7, Fe. 8; Fe. 8, Fe. 9.)

What This Means: The mind behind the attack is indeed the robed figure who was riding the red dragon. But he is just an agent of a very powerful and wicked archmage going by the name of Moray Vaco, who has his abode in a secret valley in the heart of the desert. His long-term motives are unknown to most of his troops and only his most trusted advisers who are also his apprentices (of whom the dark robed figure is one) are aware that he has embarked upon the path of the Paragon. Thus, the presence of high-level spellcasters is felt as a challenge for him. A challenge he has to win, at any cost. He thought that his time had come to sweep the puny Milenians from the eastern Meghala Kimata Plains, hence his military move. He took advantage of the already raging war to try to kill two birds with one stone.

What the PCs Can Do: Not much at the moment. Resourceful, higher-level PCs might have means at their disposal to attack the dragon rider before he inflicts too much damage. If they manage to do this, both rider and dragon will retreat quickly, and conserve their strength for another attack later on. If this latter option is possible, the DM should try to keep the dragon and rider alive for later events, but he or she should be prepared to alter the plot accordingly if the PCs manage to eliminate one or both of them.

Kill Them All, the Immortals Shall Know Their Own!

Location: One-mile radius around Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: In the late afternoon, a savage attack is launched on all sides by the humanoids. Their intention is obviously to dislodge the Mivosians from their positions and launch an assault on the town itself. The Mivosians and their Milenian conscripts resist bravely.

Amid the chaos, Milenian horns are heard in the west. The town's defenders are surprised to see a host of Milenian infantry fighting the humanoids, joined in the fray by the previously missing Ilioloostian cavalry, who charge the units of trolls, while the Milenians [from Parthenaeum and Deletria. Ed.] attack the orcs, gnolls and ogres. Yet another unit, seeming to be desert nomads, fights alongside the Milenians. The nomads plunge deep into the enemy lines, but in their haste they venture too far from their allies. The orcs regroup and concentrate their attacks on the nomads, whom they seem to hate more than any other group. The allies rally and push the orcs toward the river, after which they stop and contemplate their ravaged surroundings.

At the same time, the apparent leader of the humanoid army, a robed figure riding a huge red dragon, takes wing and looses the fiery breath of his mount at the Mivosians entrenched before the city gate. The city magist, Clenarius, manages to deflect the second fiery breath back at the rider. Clenarius then takes flight to meet his foe in the air, and hurls lightning bolts at him, and soon the scorched body of the robed figure falls from the sky like a shooting star. The wyrm soon joins him.

Despite the loss of their leader, the humanoids keep harassing the entrenched Mivosians. One after another, the humanoid waves draw closer to the main gates, while some of the conscripts, and even some Mivosians, beg the Polakatsikans to let them in. The Mivosian general finally offers to surrender to the Heldannic Knights if they allow his troops in, the Milenian conscripts first. Clenarius assents, and the conscripts enter the town, covered by the archers on the walls and on the ground by the Mivosians, led by their general. The gates are closed and barred just in time, but the Mivosian general and his closest soldiers are overcome by the humanoids.

The final assault against the walls and the gates is countered by the newly arrived Milenians and Mivosians, who push back siege ladders and pour boiling oil on the besiegers. For two more hours the humanoid waves crash against the walls, before retreating to a safe distance from the archers and spellcasters.

A booming laugh shakes the air and the foundations of the gates shiver. A 100-foot tall colossus appears to the south, his steps like earthquakes, and all the while he is cheered by the humanoids massed beyond the walls. Governor Wolfgang Stemmel, wearing a strange and beautiful jewel around his neck and bearing an old book, appears on top of the barbican. He throws his blade and hits the beast in the eye, cursing it and calling upon Vanya to cleanse the world of these savage beasts. Clenarius, standing next to the governor, reads an arcane formula from the book, and the strange jewel emits a blast that consumes both the colossus and Wolfgang. A booming female voice addresses everyone within the town walls, ordering them to cease their hostilities, for a greater peril looms over them all. It praises Wolfgang as a faithful servant, and restores him to life to continue his mission. A strange, elegant fountain also appears in the centre of the marketplace, upon which, like a warning, the mysterious message is engraved.

The humanoid host, seeing their champion destroyed and their enemies still unbroken, take the opportunity to flee. (See Fe. 8, Fe. 8; Fe. 9, Fe. 10.)

What This Means: This is a great day for Vanya because she countered a stroke planned by entropic Immortals. Not only have Her knights vanquished the humanoids, but a workable solution (for Her) is now possible for the region. A new order has arisen, with new members such as the nomads. Mivosia will probably withdraw from the vicinity of Polakatsikes, and direct its imperial ambitions elsewhere. The local independent Milenian city-states will need time to recover from their losses. The big question is what the next move of the Heldannic Knights will be.

What the PCs Can Do: Fight for their lives, and accomplish feats worthy of being turned into songs. They could be the ones charged by Vanya to use the artifact and later become Her champions, instead of Wolfgang.

Felmont 9, AC 1019

Covert Expeditions.

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

Description: With news of the undead sightings near Bellissaria, as well as the recovered parchments, Master Terari makes an odd request. Speaking to the Naycese Council, he says that the recovered documents offer possible insight to the goals of the undead. He requests that an expedition be authorised to journey to Bellissaria.

Several members of the council ask about the expedition's objectives as well as Terari's findings. The archmage refuses to divulge any further information, explaining that the matter may be of a highly sensitive nature. He suspects that whatever is behind the undead may have its own means of spying upon the Naycese leadership. Terari sees little need in tempting fate with Alphatian arrogance.

Terari's argument does little to dissuade further inquiries. However, he finds assistance from an unlikely source: Karszamon supports Terari's expedition, authorising the expedition. Though Terari would prefer to use adventurers, Karszamon insists upon using members of the Ionace garrison. (See Fe. 2, Fe. 4; Fe. 11, Fe. 20.)

What This Means: Terari's suspicions have a degree of justification. However, it is in the ability of the council to keep their mouths shut that he has little faith. In addition, he has his own interests in this expedition. The recovered documents included references to an old friend of his, whom he knew well when he was known as Tylion IV. He fears for her safety, believing that the undead may have targeted her.

More Land Grants in Mykonos.

See map of Island of Mykonos..

Location: Island of Mykonos, City-State of Kastelios, Sea of Dread. OW

Description: Surveyors descend upon the eastern shores of the island of Mykonos to mark the boundaries of new land grants. Unlike the activity on the western shore, no village is to be founded here; instead, the individual plots are large, and spread out. (See Fl. 12; Fy. 7.)

What This Means: The concessions are too large for urban development, but they would be the right size for someone wishing to start farming, or build a country estate. Many of the people who obtained these land grants are prominent Kastelian merchants, all of whom share Adonai Stephanos's enthusiasm for increasing ties with the Old World.

What the PCs Can Do: Although nothing seems out of place at first glance, Kastelians who did not receive these land grants (no matter how hard they tried to get them) might send the PCs to Mykonos to investigate. If they look into the matter, the PCs might learn that the men who obtained these land grants have all backed Adonai politically or financially at some time.

Honour Your Heroes.

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

Description: General Diamanes Thesakkrus's body is found among the corpses at the main gates of Polakatsikes. He fell covering the retreat of his last men when he was swarmed and mortally wounded. His body is carried with respect to the main temple of Vanya, where he will be mourned by his soldiers. (See Fe. 6, Fe. 8; Fe. 10, Fe. 11.)

What This Means: General Diamanes Thesakkrus indeed fell heroically. His past deeds were not so much heroic, especially his attitude and cruelty toward enlisted Milenians from Tyrnae and Deletria, but in death he paid his debt.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are Mivosian, they will probably mourn their beloved general.

The New Rajah of Nagpuri.

Location: Mumlyket of Nagpuri, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: At the palace at Mahasabad, a large uneasy crowd is assembled to hear an important royal proclamation. Appearing before the people of Nagpuri are Maharishi Tayib Badahur, Lady Kalindi Kalkiin, and her son, Prince Lais Kalkiin, recently returned from his magical quest to Jaibul. Maharishi Tayib, the highest ranking priest of the rishiya caste, announces that following the disappearance of Rajah Salmahlin Kalkiin, the unfortunate death of the heir apparent Prince Javas, and the most recent news of the death of Prince Rohan in Jaibul a revelation that shocks the crowd! the rishiyas have confirmed Prince Almiron, the third and eldest surviving son of Rajah Salmahlin, as the new Rajah of Nagpuri.

The supporters of Prince Javas and his brother Prince Rohan are too stunned at the quick turn of events, while the supporters of Lady Kalindi and her sons do not wish to appear too celebratory amidst the other tragedies. But the magical arrival of Prince Almiron, astride an elephant, together with his entourage, and a caravan filled with trade goods from Darokin, using a mass teleportation spell, breaks the hesitance of the crowd and pushes the amazed populace into festivity and celebration. (See Fe. 4, Fe. 6; Fe. 14, Am. 10.)

What This Means: This event is actually the culmination of Lady Kalindi's intricate scheme to establish herself in power in Nagpuri. It began with the perfect opportunity: the disappearance of her husband Rajah Salmahlin Kalkiin. She then arranged for the removal of the other legitimate heirs: the assassination of Prince Javas and the imprisonment of Prince Rohan by the Black Rajah of Jaibul, a kinsman and an ally. Lady Kalindi also manipulated Maharishi Tayib to support her son Almiron's ascension to the throne, in exchange for clearing his name from false accusations about Prince Javas's murder. All the while, she had also managed to sully the reputations of the rival branch of the Kalkiin family.

What the PCs Can Do: Despite her well-executed plans, Lady Kalindi's plot is far from perfect, as there are many lose ends which a cunning enough PC may be able to pursue and exploit. There are the followers of Gareth who may be privy to the truth of Prince Javas's death. Prince Rohan remains alive albeit imprisoned in Jaibul, and Rani Nipa Kalkiin may yet be saved from her petrified state. There also remains the chance that Rajah Salmahlin can be returned to the Prime Plane and his throne in Nagpuri...

Strange Ruins Discovered.

Location: Northern shore of Vulcanian Peninsula. DV

Description: After exploring its initial landfall for a few days, and then sailing westwards, the Thyatian expedition comes upon the mouth of a broad river. Although they cannot sail far upstream, the Thyatians note that the mouth of the river is quite deep deep enough to accommodate larger vessels, and the shoreline slopes gently as it recedes from the water. In other words, this location would make an ideal port. Julius Ambrosius makes a special note of this place, intending to recommend it to the emperor as an ideal location for a colony, when he is interrupted by a remark from one of his observers: they are not the first people to think of this place as being a good location for a port. Barely visible amid the bushes and other growth are the crumbling remnants of carved stone blocks, some of which are visible in the shallower waters, too. Intrigued, Julius leads a landing party to investigate.

After several hours spent combing the ruins, Julius concludes that there was, many centuries ago, a port located on this very spot. He issues the order for the site to be explored in more detail. (See Kl. 3, Kl. 26; Fe. 11, Fe. 12.)

What This Means: The Thyatians have discovered the ruins of a port city, so ancient that very little remains of it above ground today. The following days will be spent digging around the visible ruins, and scouting the surrounding forests for additional clues as to the original inhabitants of the area. It is up to the DM to determine who, or what, originally lived here.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can take part in the actual exploration, or they can serve as guards.

Bite the Hand that Feeds.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The night air echoes with feral screams and the sounds of battle coming from one of the West Side Quarter's dilapidated buildings. Constables mobilise from the nearby constabulary headquarters and surround the building, before they enter and secure it, methodically checking each room and floor. Inside lay twelve dead and six wounded. Of those slain, six show the signs of lycanthropy. The rest are inhabitants that had been unfortunate enough to be caught up in the battle.

Witnesses report that a woman, named Sadie, had recently moved into one of the rooms and had been assaulted by a group of werewolves. The woman had fought back and killed several of the beasts before fleeing. The constables find that the rooms reported to be Sadie's appear to have been ransacked and emptied. Searches of the apartments and adjacent streets offer no further clues. (See Ya. 3, Ya. 13; Fe. 11, Fe. 17.)

What This Means: The Canine Protection Society has been busy investigating the slaying of Lorne Hart and making some progress. Notably, reports of a woman rumoured to be Hart's killer have leaked to the society's younger and more militant members, mainly friends of Hart, who have decided to take action for themselves. The group of werewolves followed the rumours to a boarding house within the city's West Side District. There they found the woman waiting for them. The battle was short and brutal, with the lycanthropes faring badly. As the constables arrived, both the werewolves and the woman halted their battle and fled.

On the surface, this battle is a disaster for the Canine Protection Society. Aside from the losses, the unauthorised attack shows the weakened control of the society over its members. Likewise, the brutality of the attack undermines the acceptability of lycanthropes, even in its fashionable form. Almost immediately, elements of the lycanthropic society begin the difficult public relations task of damage control. The bright side is that the werewolves have managed to grasp a rucksack owned by the woman; they have learned that her name is Sadie, and they have gotten a good look at her.

This attack also marks a change in the investigations. The lycanthropic powers in Glantri were prepared to allow Lorne Hart's death to be ignored since it was he who attacked the woman: a case of self -defence. However, the lack of control and a lack of progress in the investigation have given cause for the intervention of La Confrérie des Loups (Brotherhood of Wolves) and Le Tribunal des Loups (Wolves' Tribunal) to assume command of the matter. Though the Canine Protection Society is officially in charge, mostly for public propaganda purposes, the Brotherhood of Wolves and the Wolves' Tribunal are keeping them on a short leash. The message is made clear to the area's lycanthropes that unauthorised investigations or retribution will be severely punished.

What the PCs Can Do: After the battle in the West Side Quarter, the constabulary will intensify its own investigation. The werewolves could also use the PCs, either directly or by hiring them by a third party. PCs may find themselves hired by the Canine Protection Society to calm public fears concerning lycanthropes or perhaps to take part in the investigations. Lycanthropic PCs, or PCs affiliated with either group or Prince Malachie, may be brought in to help. Likewise, PCs deemed friendly may prove themselves worthy for membership in any of the societies.

If at First You Don't Succeed...

Location: Village of Dyrrachium, Imperial Territories, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: The first band of adventurers arrives in Dyrrachium, and after a brief discussion with the locals, rides into the Kerendas Hills in search of the goblins. Hours later, a lone, injured horse gallops back into the village, wild-eyed and foaming at the mouth, and bearing no rider. (See Kl. 4, Kl. 28; Fe. 15, Fe. 21.)

What This Means: The adventuring party located a likely goblin stronghold, but was caught in a well-planned ambush before it could investigate. The goblins will eat well tonight.

What the PCs Can Do: This event is most likely something the PCs will have heard about, but if they are the first adventuring party to reach Dyrrachium, the DM may wish to alter the encounter to give the party a better chance of survival.

Felmont 10, AC 1019

A Controversial Suggestion.

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

Description: The Naycese Council discusses what can be done to halt the current economic decline. As speculation falls on the areas where expenses might be reduced, King Corydon of Notrion suggests that they should cut down on the high wages spellcasters enjoy for the relatively simple job of casting a few spells. The comment is met with furious outcries from the more traditional Alphatians present such as Karszamon and the representatives from Floating Arkan or Aquas. King Qissling of Floating Arkan bitterly comments that this sort of "suggestion" might be expected from a commoner ruler of a lazy nation unwilling to pay aristocrats for their services. The sarcastic comments prompt the furious King Corydon to defiantly argue for his suggestion, as he sarcastically responds with a comment of his own about how this is typical for Nayce in that the commoners must pay the price for the economic decline while the aristocracy must contribute nothing. His suggestion never comes to a vote as the discussion is reduced to an angry match of insults between the traditionalists and the reformists. The bitter end comes when a silent Terari simply rises and leaves the room, while shaking his head... After that, the council quietly ends the discussion for the day and retires. (See Ya. 21, Fe. 4; Fe. 14, Fy. 11.)

What This Means: Corydon's suggestion was meant just as that, a suggestion. He was not really adamant about it, but he thought it was something the council should at least be open to discuss. When the traditionalists angrily responded with condescending remarks, he stood his ground more out of defiance against them than in determined defence of his suggestion. That is not to say that he does not believe in his suggestion, but he also knew that his ideas would not go over well with the aristocrats, and that they would have to think long and hard about it, before they would truly consider it. He only raised the matter now, so that it could be decided on later, since he feels Nayce simply cannot afford to support the high wages of spellcasters anymore. Unfortunately he was unable to control his anger when subjected to scorn and ridicule, and this has earned him some enemies among the traditionalists.

Grauenberg Falls.

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

Description: After being under siege for over a year, withstanding surprise attacks, disease, and starvation, the garrison of Grauenberg succumbs to a concerted assault on the part of the rebel army that surrounds it. The attack is precipitated by an intense barrage of boulders and ballista bolts, followed by a massive charge against the city walls while the defenders are busy getting the wounded to safety. The walls are scaled in short order, but the attack is blunted for a time by the determination of the garrison, who manage to take at least one life for every soldier they lose. Within the hour, the garrison is forced to withdraw and regroup, and stages a fighting withdrawal to two locations: the temple of Vanya, and the Spike, the needle-like fortress of Grauenberg. There they manage to make a stand, but the temple is soon overrun, and the Spike is battered by magic and siege weaponry; although the city's remaining archers manage to kill some of the mages employed by Heinrich Straßenburger. Before midday, the battle is over, and rebel troops enter the Spike and dispatch those who try to stop them.

After his army gains full control over the city, the ordensgeneral in charge of the siege of Grauenberg gathers the surviving members of the garrison, gives them each a few days' worth of rations, and allows them to march out of the city, telling them, "Your valour and courage has earned you the right to live, and for that you have my respect. Go in peace while you may, and never return." Full of anger, and silently vowing revenge, the remaining defenders begin their long march east, under the tattered banner of Grauenberg. (See Fe. 6, Fe. 7; Fe. 11, Fe. 17.)

What This Means: The garrison of Grauenberg managed to endure the siege as long as it did because of the skill of its clerics, and the presence of a couple of mages who were living in the city when the siege commenced. This magical assistance helped the defenders greatly, and as long as they and the city folk were healthy, their enemies could not try to storm the city, for fear of sustaining too many casualties to occupy it later. Thus an uneasy stalemate developed, but it was one that favoured the besiegers, as they were greater in number, and were resupplied regularly. Even when a large part of their army headed north to Landfall, the defenders could not take advantage of the situation because they were, by that time, weakened by sickness and hunger, and had suffered many casualties from raids. By the time of the final assault, many of the city's spellcasters had died, thus removing another danger to the attackers. The surviving city folk will be fed and healed, once the army's needs are satisfied the ordensgeneral knows that a dead city is of no use to Straßenburger, especially one that cost more than 300 lives to take.

All told, only 43 defenders survived the attack, and they will head to Kammin, to join their fellows.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are helping to defend the city, the PCs could be instrumental in helping fellow soldiers escape immediate harm, especially if they can cast offensive magic. If they are captured, they will likely be released along with the other survivors, in which case they will have an arduous trek across Heldann ahead of them.

Miracle in Vanya Temple.

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

Description: During the night, a party of black-robed men breaks into the temple of Vanya, seeking to loot as much as possible while the place is being used to honour the illustrious dead of the last battle. They are very shocked to be stopped by a resurrected General Diamanes Thesakkrus! He not only manages to have them flee in terror, but he also knocks out one of the would-be thieves. (See Fe. 8, Fe. 9; Fe. 11, Fe. 14.)

What This Means: The looters are agents of Moray Vaco, on a special mission to try to steal as many relics of Vanya as possible for future dark rituals. Unfortunately for them, Vanya had decided that General Diamanes Thesakkrus could be of better use alive. So She prevented the desecration of Her holy place by bringing him back to life and having him know who was his saviour. She hopes to ultimately convert him to Her faith, and in time to use him as Her main agent in Mivosia.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can be among the looters (good luck to them!), or they can be the first to arrive on the spot to witness the general's resurrection, and try to track down and capture the other looters for further interrogation.

Felmont 11, AC 1019

The General Is Back.

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

Description: General Diamanes Thesakkrus gathers all his men in the central marketplace of Polakatsikes, and tells them that their lives were spared because the Immortals had other battles for them to fight in the future. He solemnly declares that the Heldannic Knights are no longer enemies of Mivosia, provided that they respect the future agreements that are to be reached in the next few days. The Mivosian troops are to prepare themselves to return home, proud of their valour in the battle against the humanoid hordes. The fate of the annexed city-states is also to be discussed during the next council, but the conscripted troops from these city-states are already authorised to leave freely. (See Fe. 9, Fe. 10; Fe. 14, Fe. 15.)

What This Means: Vanya does not want to act too swiftly or too bluntly. So She preferred to inspire the general to give a patriotic yet empty speech, one that could deflate the pressure between the two powers in the region and allow the Mivosian troops to go back home in honour.

What the PCs Can Do: Listen quietly, and obey.

A Covert Deployment.

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

Description: Master Terari quickly organises a squad of troops to form his covert expedition, led by Captain Keranus. The squad is given a packet of documents and their instructions. With little delay, they are teleported out by Captain Karloss Mayic, an assistant of Master Terari's. (See Fe. 4, Fe. 9; Fe. 20, Fe. 26.)

Gentle Orcs?

Location: Northern shore of Vulcanian Peninsula. DV

Description: Having spent a couple of days searching the ruins, the Thyatian expedition sends a small party upstream, to explore the area further. After marching for several hours, the party hears the sounds of splashing and loud conversation, and comes upon a group of orcs, fishing in the river. Upon seeing the humans, one of the orcs shouts in an unknown language, and points at the Thyatians. Anticipating a fight, the party begins to ready its weapons, only to notice that, not only are the orcs unarmed, they are running away in fright.

Not wishing to let the orcs escape, and possibly alert a nearby village or stronghold, the Thyatians pursue their quarry along twisting forested paths, and almost lose sight of them a number of times. Eventually, the party catches up with the orcs, only to find themselves near a village, surrounded by a wooden palisade and cultivated fields. They also see a small band of lightly armed orcs heading out of the village, bearing strange banners.

The Thyatians, never having seen orcs behave in this way before, remain wary and hold their ground, prepared to fight if necessary. One of the orcs addresses the party in an unfamiliar language, and one of the Thyatians asks, in Orcish, the name of the village and the clan name of its inhabitants. This gives the orcs pause, and one of them responds, in barely intelligible Orcish, that the village's name is Aradkhûl, in the Kingdom of Varadghír; he is confused by the Orcish word for "clan." He then demands to know why the humans attacked them, which chieftain sent them, and how they came to learn the "old tongue." The Thyatians are perplexed, and respond that they do not report to any chieftain their homeland lies far to the north and that where they come from, orcs speak the old tongue, and are the bane of civilised folk.

Nodding slowly to himself, the orc enters a heated discussion with his colleagues, and then, in Orcish once more, demands to know more of the Thyatians' homeland, and of these "savage orcs." (See Kl. 26, Fe. 9; Fe. 12, Fe. 21.)

What This Means: To those in the Old World, Davania is a mysterious land, home to fantastic monsters and strange peoples. It turns out that some of those tales might be true after all few of the Thyatians could have guessed they might one day meet orcs who behave in a decidedly "un-orcish" manner! The party is excited at the turn of events, once the orc's message is translated for the benefit of the others; word will be sent via magical means to Julius Ambrosius and the remainder of the expedition that contact has been made with some of the locals.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are part of the party, the PCs' actions could very well determine the outcome of this encounter.

Tipping the Balance.

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

Description: The ongoing battle for the city of Landfall intensifies greatly with the arrival of several sailing ships from the south, flying the flag of Neuhafen. The defenders take heart, and attack their enemies with renewed vigour, confident that, with the fresh reinforcements, they can push the supporters of Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks out of the region. The joyous mood quickly gives way to alarm, as the troops disembarking from the ships, led by Anna herself, join in the fray.

Faced with a fresh assault to the rear, the defences of Landfall begin to crumble, as pockets of resistance near the docks are wiped out, and the remnants of Anna's northern army regroup. Within six hours, Anna's faction has gained control over what is left of Landfall, and those soldiers loyal to Heinrich Straßenburger who did not flee are taken prisoner. (See Fe. 7, Fe. 10; Fe. 17, Fe. 19.)

What This Means: A bloody stalemate arose between the two factions since the initial assault by Anna's forces was repulsed. Combatants from both sides were scattered all over the ruined city and in the surrounding forests, and since that time the conflict had degenerated into a large collection of skirmishes. Unfortunately for both sides, neither was able to seize a numerical or strategic advantage, and drive the other away. With the arrival of Anna, and another 150 fresh troops, the scales were tipped, and Straßenburger lost the city.

It will become readily apparent that this victory is a pretty empty one. Landfall has essential been razed; about one-tenth of the buildings remain standing, and those city folk who were not killed in the battle have long since fled. Some of them may return, but they will be few. All told, Anna lost about half of her northern army, while three-quarters of the defenders died. Thomas Stilldorfer, the Landmeister of Landfall who sided with Straßenburger, was among the dead. Nevertheless, the loss of Landfall, thought to be a well-defended stronghold in the north, will affect the morale of troops stationed in Neuhafen and Forton, who will begin to worry that they will be next.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs on either side can be involved in this battle.

Scarlet Death Strikes Again!

Location: Village of Lyrium, Territory of Torionensis, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: Panic spreads throughout the normally quiet village of Lyrium when a young family of five is found dead in its home all of the bodies have the same red pox marks that covered the dead of Eburacum! Many villagers grab what they can and flee north to Fiorenza, in the hopes of finding a refuge there. The less scrupulous, taking advantage of the chaos, proceed to loot the homes of those who fled, but many of these are apprehended by the army. (See Ya. 4, Ya. 22; Fe. 27, Fy. 3.)

What This Means: It seems the Scarlet Death plague has not been contained, after all. This will prompt some colonial administrators to urge the expansion of the quarantined zone, while others recommend that the top clerics of the Hinterlands be called to commune with their Immortals to determine the cause, and possible cure, to this plague. Some officials, few in number, even go as far as to claim that this mysterious plague might be connected with the strange goings-on reported in the Amalur Lowlands recently [AC 1017-18. Ed.]. Few people will pay them much heed, though.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs have spent a lot of time in the Hinterlands, they might be commissioned by the authorities to investigate the plague specifically, they may be asked to venture into the quarantined zone to search the abandoned settlements in more detail.

A Killer Unmasked.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The Canine Protection Society's officers make a startling discovery while poring over the items recovered from the West District attack. Combined with the descriptions of her appearance, they have determined the woman's real identity: Her name is Myndella, Sadie being one of her aliases. She is a nosferatu, skilled in magecraft and in martial combat. In addition, she has a history as a werewolf hunter, having once served the Executioners of Werewolves back when it was anti-lycanthropic in nature. She has been known to be a guest of Prince Morphail's hospitality, though she is not one of his minions.

The Brotherhood of Wolves offers its support to the Canine Protection Society and petitions the Wolves' Tribunal for permission to track down and slay Myndella the werewolf huntress has slain many of their fellows over the years. The Wolves' Tribunal quickly approves the matter, though the need for subtlety and avoiding collateral damage is stressed.

The society begins a marathon of politicking, in particular with the camp of House Igorov. Prince Malachie personally meets with Morphail to try to secure Myndella's arrest. Failing that, he tries to limit Morphail's interference in their pursuit of the woman. Though Morphail objects, citing that his friend was attacked twice by werewolves and acted in self-defence, he suggests that the werewolves simply allow the matter to rest. As far as Myndella's current whereabouts are concerned, Morphail is stubbornly silent and openly cites his amusement at what carnage "little Myndella has unleashed upon your puppies," as well as what further damage she will cause.

In the end, Morphail agrees that there will be no retribution by his camp upon the werewolves should Myndella be slain. In exchange, the werewolves will recant their bounty upon Myndella after three months. With Morphail's assets in check, the lycanthropes' agents begin scouring the city looking for any sign of Myndella. Several teams of werewolves are kept at the ready to move against her should she be found. (See Ya. 13, Fe. 9; Fe. 17, Fy. 11.)

What the PCs Can Do: PCs serving the lycanthropes may find their skills added to the hunt for Myndella.

Felmont 12, AC 1019

Talks of War in Rattlesnake Village.

Location: Bear Clan Lands, Atruaghin Territories. OW

Description: Elders and chiefs from all the Bear Clan tribes, with Falcon Tribe refugees, and even representatives from Elk and Horse Clans, meet in Rattlesnake Village. All agree to destroy the miners' villages, Gold Creek especially, by burning them to the ground and chasing the Darokinians to the border. Envoys from Umbarth House and the DDC ask for the right to talk in the council and implore the elders and chiefs to let them speak with the miners to persuade them to leave Atruaghin territories and avoid the war. The elders agree. (See Kl. 22, Fe. 1; Fe. 25, Fy. 2.)

What This Means: Atruaghin have had enough of miners trespassing and killing in their territories, and plan to drive away the invaders once and for all. The Darokinian government now understands the danger and will try to avert the war, to avoid bloodshed and resentment against Atruaghin in Akesoli.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are DDC or Umbarth representatives they should try everything to persuade the miners to return to Darokin, at least until an acceptable mining agreement can be reached with Atruaghin chiefs. That should be possible only if Ystran House representatives are verbally defeated or silenced. If the PCs are Atruaghin, they should prepare for war.

An Unexpected Welcome in a Foreign Land.

Location: Village of Aradkhûl, Kingdom of Varadghír, Vulcanian Peninsula. DV

Description: The Thyatian party is formally welcomed today by the village elder, after a long discussion the previous evening about their journey, and the nature of orcs in the Old World. The human visitors are fed local delicacies, and local dancers and musicians put on a show for the occasion. During the feast, pleasantries are exchanged between the senior Thyatians and the elder, aided by an interpreter who speaks Orcish. At the conclusion of the feast, the elder, who is known as Maraghûl, announces that the humans are welcome to stay in the village as long as they wish; and they are free to explore the surrounding lands in peace. The party leader thanks Maraghûl for his generosity, and says that he and his companions would like to explore the countryside, as well as visit the kingdom's capital city. (See Fe. 9, Fe. 11; Fe. 21, Fe. 28.)

What This Means: Fortunately for everyone concerned, both parties understood enough Orcish to avoid a fight the previous day. Once it became clear that the Thyatians were not intent on invading, the orcs opened up a little, and, at the insistence of the village elder, a welcoming feast was laid out. Soon enough, it became apparent why the orcs were suspicious of the Thyatians: In a bizarre role reversal, the orcs are frequently plagued by tribes of human barbarians, who inhabit the forested hills to the west. The Kingdom of Varadghír is small, but its armies have always been able to fend off the worst of the barbarian invasions. Aradkhûl is among the more isolated villages of the kingdom, and so it has faced more than its share of attacks. Never in living memory have foreigners visited the village in peace.

The Thyatians will spend the next week touring the surrounding area, while messengers are sent to the capital city of Orodkhuur, to advise the king of the foreigners' arrival, to make arrangements for them to be escorted about the city in safety and to ensure that they do not cause trouble.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can be part of the Thyatian party, in which case they could very well be astounded at the sight of civilised orcs. Another option is for the PCs to be from Aradkhûl, or someplace nearby, and to introduce them to strangers from far-off lands.

Felmont 13, AC 1019

And the Land Shall Rise against Them.

Location: Around City of Az'Azhat, Carnifex Empire, Valley of Lions. DV

Description: For the past several weeks, all across the Valley of Lions, lizard man and troglodyte patrols have been falling under attack. None of the larger patrols have been molested. In response, patrols are increased in size and frequency. (See Ya. 8, Ya. 11; Am. 7.)

What This Means: Some of the Hrissopolian soldiers who escaped the fall of their city managed to make it into the hills and mountains of the valley, where they have begun to conduct a guerrilla campaign against their enemies. Although their main aim is to wipe out as many patrols as they can find, they realise that they are too few in number (less than 200 men) to make much of a dent in the Carnifex army. As a result, they are trying to occupy their enemies' attention, so that an organised response to the invasion, if it ever comes, will have more time to develop. They have managed to interrogate some lizard man soldiers, but so far have found little in the way of useful information.

DMs should note that, If King Katamvos survived the fall of Hrissopoli, he will probably be leading the rebels, who will fight with even greater vigour.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are with the freedom fighters, the PCs can help coordinate raids, and possibly use their unique talents to infiltrate the city or defeat larger, more powerful, patrols.

Declarations for Don Marco.

Location: Baronía de Gargoña, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: In the weeks since his initial appearance, Don Marco de Rivera has entranced many Gargoñans with his promises of protection, justice, and the restoration of the baronía to its former glory. Across the country, people begin to turn their anger against the interim government, and some nobles declare their support for the enigmatic Don Marco. (See Ya. 14, Kl. 10; Fy. 7, Am. 1.)

What This Means: Don Esteban is telling the Gargoñans what they want to hear most of all that their country will be restored, and that he has the ambition and the power to do it. He can do so because he is not actually governing the baronía, and is therefore free to criticise the provisional government without having to prove that he could do a better job, or keep the promises that he is making. At the same time, Esteban is meeting with nobles that his spies have identified as being potential allies, offering to support them in their struggles against rivals in exchange for supporting his bid to become barón.

What the PCs Can Do: Noble PCs might have been among those approached by Esteban's representatives, or by Esteban himself if they are powerful enough. In either case, they will be promised support in any ongoing rivalries in exchange for future support, and Esteban is capable of loaning a company of men (loyal soldiers from Almarrón) for this purpose.

Felmont 14, AC 1019

Council of Polakatsikes.

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

Description: For the last three days, the commanding officers of the Heldannic Knights, the Mivosians, the Meghalese nomads and the Ilioloostian expeditionary force have been meeting to discuss a peace treaty. The Mivosians and the Heldannic Knights have spent too much energy and shed too much blood in this war and hope that their valour in battle will bring them the greatest dividends. The nomads are granted three vast regions on the desert fringes for them to live according to their customs, as long as they do not attack or ally against any of the other three members of the council.

The Mivosians are granted the towns of Deletria and Syropolis, which were both largely depopulated of their original inhabitants, who have since been replaced by Mivosian colonists. Parthenaeum and Tyrnae will remain free, but both have agreed to Heldannic troops stationed there to ensure their independence. The Ilioloostians receive lands previously in dispute with Mivosia, and will station troops alongside their Heldannic counterparts in Parthenaeum.

The new border runs along the Meghalo Fithi River. Up to Parthenaeum, the northern banks belong to Mivosia, while the southern banks are under Heldannic sway. However it is impossible for either nation to really control and patrol all this land. Embassies shall be set up in Mivosia, Polakatsikes, and Ilioloosti to allow better communication and to defuse any future tensions. (See Fe. 8, Fe. 11; Fe. 15, Fe. 16.)

What This Means: The combatant armies were exhausted, and treasuries almost drained: The time had come for them to cease hostilities and agree on a peace treaty. Now comes the time to rebuild and this will likely not occur without tensions.

The negotiations were tense but proved beneficial for all parties. The Meghalese nomads now have lands upon which to live, and they will guard the southern marches against any future humanoid incursions. In exchange for their help in the war, they will also receive clerical and technological help to find water and use it to grow crops and raise cattle.

The Heldannic Knights were determined to retain as many of the gains they had made over the past year as possible, both as a measure of pride, but also as a means of strengthening the position of their order in this part of the world. For their part, the Ilioloostians made considerable sacrifices over the course of the war, and, at this point, they have no interest in returning home without having any say in the political realignment of the region, or obtaining assurances that their long-standing rival, Mivosia, will not have any military advantage over them.

The Mivosians also wanted to remain in the region that cost them so much to conquer, and to learn more about the magical talisman, the Conqueror's Heart, that proved to be such a dreadful weapon: its origin, current location, and modus operandi. General Diamanes Thesakkrus desperately wanted to return home with new lands under Mivosian control for him to salvage his pride and honour.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs could be among the top negotiators in charge of defining the treaty.

New Rule under New Rajah.

Location: Mumlyket of Nagpuri, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: The new Rajah Almiron Kalkiin proclaims two new royal commands. The first is that a large portion of arable land, previously used only for producing silk, spices, and tea, will be allocated for the growing of rice and wheat, in order to compensate for the destruction caused by the Sacred Larvae of the Earth Mother (a ravaging elemental horde earlier this year). The crops to be planted come from magically fast-growing seeds, brought back by Prince Lais, the rajah's brother, from his recent quest to Jaibul.

The second is that a party of alchemists from the jadugerya caste will be working together with healers of the rishiya caste, in order to provide a cure from the alchemical poisoning caused by his predecessors.

The proclamations are received with much joy and agreement by all parties involved and all the castes in Nagpuri. (See Fe. 6, Fe. 9; Am. 10.)

What This Means: Not only do these proclamations aim to heal the rift between the jadugerya and rishiya castes, but they also subtly point out the mistakes of the previous rulers (Rajah Salmahlin and Prince Javas Kalkiin), thereby increasing the popularity of the new rajah.

In truth, the new policies are not the ideas of Rajah Almiron but rather his mother, Lady Kalindi Kalkiin, who had thought up and deliberated these plans since the time of her husband, the former Rajah Salmahlin, but had no power to implement them.

What the PCs Can Do: The fact of the matter is that, despite her scheming and sinister ways, Lady Kalindi is a shrewd and effective ruler for Nagpuri. PCs who want to bring her reign down for her past manipulations may have to rethink what will actually be best for Nagpuri. In the meantime, they can just work along with their ruler in her many ambitious projects.

Back to the Land.

Location: Across Nayce. AS, SD

Description: Acting upon the advice of a select group of advisers, the Naycese Council directs the aristocrats of the various Naycese kingdoms to establish new farms in wilderness regions of their lands. Servants who are unable to find masters will be paid, for a token wage, to make those lands productive. In return for their efforts, the aristocrats will be faced with fewer pressures from the growing number of unemployed, and they will be able to reap the benefits of having more land under cultivation. (See Fe. 4, Fe. 5; Fy. 11, Sv. 18.)

What This Means: In many Naycese kingdoms, aristocrats are beginning to fear the increasing numbers of unemployed freemen and servants wandering the streets. Vandalism, theft, and violence are on the rise in most major cities, and in some regions travellers have been attacked by bandits. While some kingdoms have responded by imprisoning or enslaving troublemakers, the Naycese Council realises that this is not a long-term solution. At the same time, large stretches of Naycese territory remain unused.

Unfortunately, many of the unemployed come from urban backgrounds, and therefore know very little about farming. While some of them could prosper and thereby be self-sufficient over time, many would likely fare poorly. Nevertheless, the council is determined to resolve the problem of unemployment, and so it will press on in any way it can.

What the PCs Can Do: PC aristocrats will be approached by council representatives on this subject, and be instructed to carry out the directive in any way they can. Whether or not they choose to do so is another matter entirely.

Operation Take Back the Night.

Location: Thyatian Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: After several months of ambushes by the Nightstalkers, the Thyatians mount a concerted response. A series of precisely targeted strikes hit Thratian resistance bands and encampments in the jungles of Davania, always at night and almost always from the air. The strikes are swift, ruthless, and bloody, over almost as soon as they begin, but leaving a swath of destruction and death in their wake. No one is quite sure what organisation is conducting the attacks, though, because they do not involve imperial forces in Davania. (See Th. 3; Fy. 21, Am. 9.)

What This Means: These strikes are conducted not by the Thyatian army itself, but by the Order of the Crimson Guard. They are coordinated from the Isle of Dread, with powerful magic being used to scout out the location of Thratian resistance groups and conduct the attacks. Though the attacks are bloody and involve the use of destructive magic, the aim is to target only resistance groups never striking non-combatant Thratians. Nonetheless, some innocent bystanders will be killed. The war between the Thyatians and the Thratians has reached a new level of bloodshed.

What the PCs Can Do: Pro-Thratian PCs might find themselves suddenly assaulted from above by one such strike team. This should be a difficult fight for them, one they will be lucky to escape from without losses which might draw their interest in finding out who is conducting the attacks so they can put an end to them. Thyatian PCs in the Hinterlands might find themselves being aided by members of the order when they find themselves outmatched by a Thratian group, or competing with them in locating and "liberating" some important relic in Davania. On the other hand, PCs interested in finding a way to end the bloodshed between the Thratians and the Thyatians will now have to convince the Crimson Guard and its leader, the Lady Knight of the Isle of Dread, of the need for peaceful co-existence and, more importantly, a practical means of achieving it.

All of these goals will eventually draw PCs to the Isle of Dread.

Felmont 15, AC 1019

Ardelphia Founded Again.

Location: Camp Ardelphia, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: The tunnels that run below the ruins of Ardelphia have finally been sealed and the last humanoid attack has been repelled. Now, Ardelphia is again poised to become a true city, and many new buildings stand within the raised city walls. There is still a lot to fix up, search for, and fight against, and surely Ardelphia will remain an outpost for pioneers and adventurers for many years to come, but at least the city is officially part of Darokin again and is humanoid territory no longer. A great festival is proclaimed in the city and throughout Darokin by decree of the Darokinian Council. (See Va. 12.)

What This Means: Ardelphia is alive again, even if it will remain a true frontier town for the time being. Soldiers, dwarven engineers and adventurers still form the greatest part of the population of the reborn city.

What the PCs Can Do: Ardelphia is really a city of adventures now, and the PCs living there should have a lot of work ahead, from fighting critters, humanoids and undead, to searching for ancient treasures, or being the first to enter long--abandoned and dangerous buildings.

Schweidnitz Grows and Prospers.

Location: City-state of Schweidnitz, Izondian Coast. DV

Description: The new Heldannic colony of Schweidnitz is growing. The original fort, and new capitol of the colony, has been rebuilt on its previous location, 15 miles from the coast. Another little fort, with some houses and a port, has been built on the coast, where the Heldannic ships arrived some months ago. And a third village has been built upon the hills, rich in minerals, 20 miles south of the new capitol, to protect the miners and watch the close jungle of the half-orcs. Relations with the native population are quite good, for now, thanks to Wilhelm's diplomatic efforts. Unfortunately, not all the Heldannic Knights are as diplomatic as Wilhelm. Little fights (sometimes leading to injuries) happen from time to time between Heldanners and natives. (See Fl. 27, Ya. 16; Fy. 7, Ei. 12.)

What This Means: Many Heldanners think they are the new masters of this land, while the native population sees them only as guests. Furthermore, sometime Heldannic farmers try to compel the natives to work for them, and Heldannic clerics try to convert them to the faith of Vanya. Wilhelm knows better, and he knows that the colony cannot survive without the natives' aid, so he tries to avoid clashes anytime it is possible. But even Wilhelm cannot be everywhere all the time.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are Wilhelm's agents they'll be very busy thwarting fighting between natives and Heldanners, exposing (and preventing) mistreatments of natives by Heldannic colonists, and fighting patrols of half-orcs near the border. If they are against the Heldanners but still in the territory of the new colony, they could aid the natives against the knights, or even try to unite them to force the Heldanners to return home.

Mivosian Troops Depart.

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

Description: The surviving Mivosian troops depart at dawn; they will check on their newly acquired cities on their way home. Only General Diamanes Thesakkrus and his top advisers go straight to Mivosia to report to the triumvirate. (See Fe. 8, Fe. 14; Fe. 16.)

What This Means: Since war is over the general will count on his officers to establish control over the recently added city-states. Yet orders have been given to treat the local population fairly as they are now full citizens of the emerging Mivosian "Empire."

What the PCs Can Do: If they have proven worthy, the PCs (Mivosian of course) could be appointed governors of a city-state or of a small town or village. This is a good opportunity to introduce them to ruling a dominion.

Complex Discovered.

Location: Dragon Spine Mountains, Shun Province, Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: Master Wu Phong Zhin of Celestial Mountain Harmony Temple declares in public the discovery of massive underground complexes in the northern mountains, which bear striking architectural resemblance to the most ancient Ochalean temples. (See Nu. 17; Ei. 3, Ei. 19.)

What This Means: The underground complexes, discovered accidentally by bandit- and monster-chasing bands, may be an archaeological treasure. They may also shed some light about Ochalea's past, which remains shrouded in mystery and myth and possible disinformation by the Alphatians.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs usually love to explore ancient ruins. They may be filled with all sorts of treasures, both monetary and magical and lost lore, but also with all kinds of dangers: monsters, traps, and forgotten evils.

Forest Fires.

Location: Kingdom of Jibarú, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC

Description: The forest fires continue to rage in Jibarú, as the phanatons have been unable to find a way to put an end to them: Whatever they do, the manscorpions start new fires quicker than they can hope to stop them. Rain, rivers, magic nothing can stop them totally as long as the manscorpions keep starting new ones. Some manscorpions are felled by poisoned darts, when the phanatons can get a shot at them from the trees with their blowguns, but mostly the Nimmurians remain out of range. The chiefs and shamans try to find ways to stop the destruction of their forest, but so far unsuccessfully, and for the most part they keep on fleeing before the inferno. (See Fl. 16, Ya. 28; Fe. 25, Fy. 6.)

What the PCs Can Do: PCs could find a way to stop the fire, or to stop the manscorpions, as it is them who cause the fires.

More Attacks in Kerendas Hills!

Location: Imperial Territories, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Panic spreads anew amid reports of goblin attacks against the settlements of Chonae and Castoria, as well as homesteads throughout the Kerendas Hills. Some settlers, no longer willing to risk their lives in what is becoming a dangerous land, head south and east to more civilised regions, but many people stay. Even so, new calls for concerted action against the goblin menace spread throughout the region. (See Kl. 28, Fe. 9; Fe. 21, Fy. 17.)

What This Means: The goblins are hungry for more loot and easy victories. Knowing that the Thyatians will have directed their attention towards Dyrrachium by now, and guessing that the more remote settlements will also be under watch, the tribes strike at other settlements along the fringes of the hill country and in the Imperial Territories, near the more settled regions. In this instance, they guessed correctly. Even so, the goblins are cautious, and avoid settlements that are close to any known military encampments or outposts. Nevertheless, the far-flung raids reap great rewards.

In response to this development, local rulers will begin mobilising their garrisons for potential action (since it is clear that the goblins are a much greater threat than previously thought), while at the same time issuing another call for adventurers they still hope to avoid having to commit their own troops if an adventuring party or two can clean up the mess for them.

What the PCs Can Do: Unless they are in one of the affected regions, the PCs will likely hear of this development in passing. Nevertheless, if they are not already involved in this plotline, this event provides the DM with a convenient means of embroiling them in the conflict.

Felmont 16, AC 1019

Ilioloostian Troops Leave Polakatsikes.

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

Description: The surviving Ilioloostians that allied with the Heldannic Knights of Polakatsikes leave the region and follow the Meghalo Fithi River Valley. They bring back treasures given them by the Heldannic Governor as a gesture of gratitude and compensation for their losses (many rubies brought back from Pyris were given that way). They are to stop in Parthenaeum and leave a small contingent there. (See Fe. 14, Fe. 15.)

What This Means: The Heldannic Knights surely made a good deal here for they paid Ilioloostian troops with the cursed treasure of Pyris. They are not sure whether the rubies will remain precious stones for long so they decided to give some away as a goodwill gesture. The Ilioloostians have not made a bad deal either since they are now protected from a possible Mivosia frontal assault by the recently signed treaty. They also have a written agreement that, should they need military assistance to defend their city, the Heldannic Knights, their new nomad allies, and Mivosia would be compelled to send troops.

What the PCs Can Do: Not much except if they were part of the Ilioloostian forces.

Felmont 17, AC 1019

Next Stop... Altendorf!

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

Description: The town of Altendorf, until now a loyal stronghold of Heinrich Straßenburger, is attacked by a force of over 500 soldiers loyal to Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks, as well as a significant portion of the Thyatian thematic exercitii. The initial assault is furious, as the town's walls are battered in several locations. The defenders muster a force of heavy cavalry to ride out and meet the vanguard of the opposing force, which has already taken up position outside the main gates for an attempt to smash them. The gates open, and the cavalry rides forth, trampling many soldiers in their path. They are followed by a force of 100 foot soldiers, armed with axes and swords, who engage the nearest enemies, and push them back from the gates.

The cavalry's charge is eventually blunted by a line of pikemen en route to the town, and they regroup to attack the remaining enemy troops near the gate, who are on the verge of breaking under the ferocity of the counterattack. Although crossbowmen manage to down a few riders, they cannot save their compatriots from being cut down by the cavalry and the foot soldiers. While this battle unfolds in front of the main gates, the thematic exercitii, plus 200 of the remaining Heldannic soldiers, attack two of the minor gates, overwhelming their defenders and entering the town. Crossbowmen take over the taller buildings nearby, providing covering fire for the foot soldiers as they advance further. So rapid is the advance that the temple of Vanya is occupied, and the jail houses as well. Those imprisoned within are offered full pardons if they pledge allegiance to Anna von Hendriks, and fight her opponents few refuse the offer of freedom.

The well-coordinated assault on Altendorf surprises the remaining defenders inside the town there are so many battles in the streets, and the attackers have seized so many strategic buildings, that Landmeister Hans-Joachim Kaltstetter cannot dislodge his enemies easily. Before long, Anna's forces have effectively taken control of Altendorf, and some of Kaltstetter's soldiers begin to surrender. Fighting continues sporadically for another few hours, but by day's end, the town has fallen to the invaders, and Kaltstetter is captured while trying to escape. (See Fe. 7, Fe. 10; Fe. 19, Fe. 22.)

What This Means: This is the third prong of Anna von Hendriks's campaign against Heinrich Straßenburger, the other two being the assault on Landfall, and the raiding campaign along the coasts of the Bay of Kammin. The entire campaign required the vast majority of her soldiers. The reason for the assault on Altendorf was fairly simple: aside from Freiburg, it is the closest major settlement to Kammin, Anna's current seat of power. A direct assault on Freiburg, even with all of her forces gathered for the task, would probably be suicidal; Altendorf is much smaller and less fortified, and neutralising it would deprive Straßenburger of a stronghold for his troops. Even with Thyatian assistance, the attack was costly over 100 of Anna's soldiers died, and at least 80 more were injured. The Thyatian force suffered about 60 casualties, whereas the defenders lost about 200 men.

Over the next few days, the remaining rebel soldiers in the region will be ferreted out, and all enemy knights and higher-ranking soldiers will be imprisoned. Lower-ranking soldiers who surrendered will be disarmed and confined to barracks, pending a final decision on their fate. For his active support of Straßenburger, and his open rebellion against the dictates of the late Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf, Hans-Joachim Kaltstetter is stripped of his titles, pronounced guilty of treason, and hung publicly the day after Altendorf's fall.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs on either side of the civil war can take part in this battle, and can perhaps alter the outcome, depending on their power levels and strategies, but ultimately Altendorf will not be able to repel the invaders. If they are supporters of Straßenburger, the PCs would do well to escape, possibly leading like-minded individuals, regrouping, and seeking shelter in Hockstein or other rebel strongholds. A higher-level PC who has supported Anna von Hendriks for a long time, and who fought well, might be given the opportunity to become the new Landmeister of Altendorf.

Unleash the Hounds.

Location: South of Town of Braastar, Principality of Krondahar, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: A trade caravan from Glantri City is attacked by werewolves just as it crosses over into the Principality of Krondahar. With the arrival of a Krondaharan patrol, the attacking werewolves flee, leaving behind two dead and several wounded. The dead and wounded are taken to Braastar and attended to. The attack renews a sense of outrage over the werewolf attacks, especially as they appear to have left the confines of Glantri City. (See Fe. 9, Fe. 11; Fy. 11, Fy. 14.)

What This Means: The Canine Protection Society's agents had found information that Myndella was being smuggled out of Glantri City within a caravan bound for Boldavia. The lycanthropes mobilised quickly, hoping to catch the caravan before it crossed into Krondahar, which could be politically difficult. Myndella was not with the caravan; the misinformation was a diversion to her real means of escape. Being a mage, she simply teleported out of Glantri in a series of stages, making her way to a safe area in Darokin. This diversion was aided by the influence of Prince Morphail, who utilised his own agents to spread rumours and false cover stories about Myndella's flight. The society had expected Morphail to aid Myndella, making a rumoured dash to Boldavia easily acceptable. Morphail's role in the ruse does not break the agreement forged with Malachie.

Undaunted, the lycanthropes will continue their pursuit of Myndella. Given the damage done to their organisations, the Brotherhood of Wolves and Canine Protection Society begin organising a hunting party to follow after Myndella and destroy her, and begin looking for adventurers to aid them. These teams are reminded that they have only a few months to hunt down Myndella, as agreed upon with Prince Morphail.

What the PCs Can Do: Depending on the PCs' involvement, they may see their role in the matter escalate and expand beyond Glantri's borders. These will be separate from the official hunting party, though sanctioned by the Wolves' Tribunal.

Felmont 19, AC 1019

A Careful Decision.

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

Description: The Bürgermeister of Neuhafen issues a declaration in favour of Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks, and pledges the service of the town's garrison to her cause. (See Fe. 11, Fe. 17; Fe. 22, Fy. 6.)

What This Means: Neuhafen remained neutral when Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger rebelled against the late Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf its residents hoped that any conflict that might arise would pass them by, allowing them to quietly develop their region of the Heldannic Territories. At any rate, its garrison and fleet were too small to contribute meaningfully, or so the people of this town thought. Straßenburger wanted Neuhafen's developing shipbuilding industry, and access to its deepwater port. With news of the fall of Landfall to Anna's armies, the bürgermeister decided to pledge his support accordingly; Neuhafen is the closest settlement to Landfall, and he had no interest in having his town attacked.

Over the following days, once Landfall has been secured, and reconstruction efforts are underway, elements of Anna's armies will march and sail southwest to Neuhafen, to garrison it.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs employed by Anna might be sent to Neuhafen as spies, and as messengers to encourage the bürgermeister to side with the ordensmeisterin.

Felmont 20, AC 1019

A Second Group.

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

Description: Several of Terari's trusted servants begin seeking out reputable adventurers looking for work. Others are summoned to appear before Terari. (See Fe. 9, Fe. 11; Fe. 26, Fy. 18.)

What This Means: Several days have passed with no word from Captain Keranus's squad. Master Terari is openly troubled. He begins organising a second expedition, this time utilising adventurers, but with time running out, he has been forced to rush matters.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs deemed loyal to Nayce may find themselves recruited by Terari to form the second party. This expedition will find itself involved in the adventure "Ghosts of the Past."

Great School of Magic Admits Humanoids.

Location: Great School of Magic, City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: A private yet well-publicised session at the Tower of Admissions at the Great School of Magic is held to decide the admissions of humanoid spellcasters from New Kolland.

In attendance are Master Angan Forrestir, the highly antagonistic master of admissions; Mistress Marisi Viniene, the broadminded student administrator; and Master Bertok Garn, the kindly master of necromancy, who serves as examiner for the applicants, as Master Angan was loathe to even interact with the humanoids. The last person to arrive at the meeting is Professor Emeritus Angus McDuff, Baron of Uigmuir, whose expertise is humanoid lore, and is serving as representative for the indisposed Grand Master Harald Haaskinz.

Prince Kol, the kobold-prince of New Kolland, not being a wizard from the Great School of Magic, is denied admittance to the meeting, and has to wait for the final decision with the gathered crowd of curious onlookers, gossiping students, and power-hungry wizards. (See Fe. 3; Fy. 17.)

What This Means: Despite the great odds working against the humanoid population in Glantri, Prince Kol will meet with a modest but unprecedented success in this matter, as eight of the humanoid spellcasters of New Kolland (including a thoul) will actually pass and be admitted to the Great School of Magic!

Of special note would be two goblins: Bruun Halfwit, son of Kano Arrow's Whisper, and his cousin, Throng Cracktooth, son of Udan Axe-Thrower, grandson of Doth, King of Goblinia. These goblin princelings are possessed by the souls of the Blood Brethren, Simm of the Grasping Dark and Koresh Teyd, evil servants of the Immortal Thanatos who tried to destroy the Hollow World, both of whom wield powerful and dark magic. Despite the fact that Simm is a cleric of Thanatos and not a magic-user, Bruun passed the spellcasting exams, since the all-too-trusting Bertok Garn misunderstood the priestly spells as simply some humanoid variation of magic, but was otherwise greatly intrigued by both Bruun's and Throng's strange necromantic magic! The Blood Brethren, particularly the necromancer Koresh Teyd, have now turned their attentions on the magocracy of Glantri, to unleash the evil influence of their Immortal.

What the PCs Can Do: Even for ordinary students, the Great School of Magic can pose many dangers: bullies, nasty teachers, magical pranks, miscast spells, secret traps, uncontrolled monsters, laboratory accidents... The danger is even greater for the humanoid minority, who will be facing many challenges along the way. Prince Kol may hire the PCs as bodyguards, or if the PCs have affiliations with the Great School of Magic, Mistress Marisi or Professor Angus may ask the PCs to look out for these humanoid students.

Then again, Bruun and Throng, being possessed by the Blood Brethren, will themselves be a source of danger at the Great School of Magic...

Broken Bones and Betrayal.

Location: Emirate of Makistan, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: Two unexpected visitors arrive at the cavern laboratory of Karim al-Nazzer, the Mad Sage of Sulba. The first is a healer and cleric of the Eternal Truth, who checks out the physical and mental well-being of the scholar. He finds al-Nazzer with a sprained ankle, a broken collar bone, and a few scrapes and bruises nothing a simple elixir of health cannot cure. He also learns that his manic mutterings about Ashtiru and Manat have nothing to do with the Immortal Guardians, but instead involve the planets and some astronomical discovery.

Al-Nazzer is given a sleeping draught to calm his nerves, and thus fails to meet the second visitor, Haqim ibn-Amar, a young scholar from the Eternal University of Ylaruam, who merely inspects the hermit's observatory, and orders the servants to tidy up the broken glass, damaged instruments, and scattered papers from al-Nazzer's accident. (See Fe. 4; Fy. 13, Fy. 25.)

What This Means: News of al-Nazzer's fall a few nights ago has reached the ears of the Sultan of Ylaruam, Hassam al-Kalim, and the scholars at the Eternal University, neither of which has al-Nazzer's best interests in mind. The sultan remains uneasy about the Mad Sage's supposed madness (as judged by his Preceptor predecessor), and thus has sent the cleric of al-Kalim to prove or disprove his insanity, or even entrap al-Nazzer for blasphemy against the Eternal Truth.

The scholars at the Eternal University of Ylaruam would gladly see the Mad Sage's demise, though not by their hands. Upon the event of his passing, the university scholars would immediately descend and scavenge through his inventions and his research, with the aim to augment their own studies which is exactly what one of them did, when the young scholar investigated al-Nazzer's observatory.

What the PCs Can Do: The emissaries to the Mad Sage will probably need hardy adventurers to accompany them from Ylaruam across the Alasiyan Desert and through the plateaus and hills of the north. Dervishes and clerics of al-Kalim or Farath (Protius) would be particularly suited for this adventure.

Felmont 21, AC 1019

Goblin Resistance Much Stronger than Anticipated.

Location: Imperial Territories, Thyatian Empire. OW

Description: Following the latest rash of goblin raids, a number of adventuring parties have answered the call of local rulers to help eliminate the threat. Although a few of them managed to locate and clear out a couple of lairs with minimal loss of life, overall, the toll was very heavy. The various dominion rulers in the region meet once again to discuss strategies and options. (See Fe. 9, Fe. 15; Fy. 17, Am. 6.)

What This Means: The goblins have proven themselves to be very well organised, indeed. Almost half of the adventuring parties [many of which were of medium level. Ed.] were completely annihilated, while many of the remainder suffered great losses. In almost every instance, the parties were defeated by tactics, strategic use of terrain, and surprisingly skilled goblin warriors. Clearly, relying on adventurers to eliminate the goblin problem will prove costly over the longer term, as many parties operating in the region have begun demanding large payments up front, as "insurance," before agreeing to hunt any goblins.

What the PCs Can Do: This event is likely something the PCs will have heard about, rather than experienced. Nevertheless, DMs may decide to arrange things, such that the PCs could be one of those fortunate parties who managed to avoid being completely destroyed. In this case, the PCs could well have personal reasons for striking back at the goblins, thus ensuring that they will participate in the military activities that are to follow.

Thyatians Reach Orodkhuur.

Location: City of Orodkhuur, Kingdom of Varadghír, Vulcanian Peninsula. DV

Description: The Thyatian party, after touring the lands surrounding Aradkhûl, is escorted to the kingdom's capital city of Orodkhuur. There, they are met by a brightly dressed ceremonial guard, as well as a number of royal officials, who extend their king's greetings, as well as an invitation to an audience that evening, so that he might learn more of the Thyatian homeland, and of affairs in the Old World. The Thyatians accept the invitation graciously, on behalf of their emperor.

After spending many hours seeing Orodkhuur's major sights, the visitors meet King Graghaal, who extends a personal welcome to his guests. Carefully watched by a retinue of advisers and other palace officials, the Thyatians answer the king's many questions about Thyatis and its neighbours, as well as the doings of the orcs of Brun. In turn, the king and his advisers tell the Thyatians all about local affairs, including the recent campaigns staged by the neighbouring human barbarian clans, and developments in other nations known to the orcs. After the king concludes the audience, the Thyatian party is invited to a formal banquet, where they are wined and dined into the night. (See Fe. 11, Fe. 12; Fe. 28, Fy. 25.)

What This Means: After the Thyatians proved themselves to be peaceful, Maraghûl, the elder of Aradkhûl, decided that word of the encounter should be sent to the capital, as he felt this was truly a noteworthy development. In this he was correct; King Graghaal and his advisers were at first alarmed at the arrival of unknown humans in their lands, fearing that they might be allied in some way with the neighbouring barbarian clans. When this proved not to be the case, word was sent quickly to Aradkhûl that the Thyatians would be welcome to visit Orodkhuur, where the king could meet them personally, and where they could be observed. The Thyatians will spend the next few days touring the city and being observed before heading back to their ship.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are part of the party, the PCs will be allowed to venture wherever they wish in Orodkhuur's Palace District, which contains the primary temples, the royal residences, and the largest markets. Once they leave this area, however, they must be accompanied by guides, who will provide a great deal of information about the city and kingdom if asked, and who will keep an eye on the visitors, as well. Although they should not encounter too much trouble, the PCs may very well run afoul of the locals, some of whom are not pleased at the prospect of humans considered a threat to civilisation in this part of the world running around in their city.

Back on the High Seas!

Location: Town of Smokestone City, Cimarron County, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: After spending several weeks helping Cimarron County lay out a route for a new road to Fort Whitestone, and pacify some of the nearby countryside, the majority of the Thyatian expedition resumes its voyage, now heading westwards around the Claw Peninsula, leaving behind Nikos Dimetrion, a distinguished army veteran, as ambassador. (See Kl. 9, Kl. 25; Fy. 1, Fy. 5.)

What This Means: The time spent in Cimarron County was reasonably profitable. A good start was made on the new road work will progress due to the continued presence of a number of Thyatian engineers left behind, who will be picked up when the expedition returns to the east. Barring any disasters, a new road will extend a couple of miles west from Smokestone City by year's end; the whole road will likely take another year or two to complete. The Thyatians also negotiated a deal to purchase cinnabryl from the LB Trading Company at a reasonable price. Cimarron County, which cannot currently produce enough food to feed itself, will purchase grain from the Hinterlands, as well as textiles such as cotton.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are well known to Paulus, and so inclined, the PCs could take part in the trade negotiations, or they could have spent the past few weeks hunting goblinoids. As with similar events, a high-level PC could also serve as ambassador in place of Nikos.

Felmont 22, AC 1019

The Sheriffs Speak.

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

Description: A proclamation is issued by all five sheriffs, denouncing the inhabitants of the village of Fenside. They are condemned, in abstentia, for venerating dark forces, and acting in such ways that they have offended the principles of the High Heroes [the patron Immortals of the Five Shires. Ed.], and ashamed their Journeyfoot cousins living in Rollstone Keep. To punish their heinous deeds, the remaining Journeyfoots of Fenside, and their descendants, are to be treated to silence, and banished from the Five Shires forever. The sheriffs go further, and announce that their protection will no longer extend to the former residents of Fenside, and that the village itself will be razed. (See Fe. 4, Fe. 8.)

What This Means: The mission to root out the evil in Fenside was a success, but the sheriffs want to ensure that it does not take root there again. Although several Fenside Journeyfoots were captured, several managed to flee to the bleak hill country to the north. Being banished is one of the worst punishments that can be meted out in the shires, and even then it is often only for a period of a few years, or maybe a few decades. The fact that the surviving Jounreyfoots of Fenside, and all of their descendants, have been banished forever will tell everyone who hears of the pronouncement (and it will spread all over the shires during the coming weeks) that something truly terrible has been committed by that branch of the clan. The sheriffs will back their words with actions: what remains of Fenside will be destroyed within a few weeks, and its extensive tunnel system will be flooded and sealed. The name of every former resident of the village will be posted in public places throughout the shires, as well as the nature of their punishment. For those Fenside Journeyfoots who have not yet fled the country, life will be very hard and probably quite short, if the sheriffs, the krondar, or vigilantes find them. By year's end, there will be only a couple of clan members remaining in the Five Shires, hiding in the northern wilderness; the remainder will have long since fled north to Darokin, or east to Karameikos.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may have taken part in the final raid on Fenside, but there is more than enough work for them here the sheriffs may pay them to ensure that the Fenside Journeyfoots leave the shires, by whatever means necessary.

Landfall To Be Rebuilt.

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

Description: Landmeisterin Julia von Kolmburg, on behalf of Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks, concludes an agreement with visiting Thyatian officials concerning the reconstruction of Landfall, and any other ports damaged during the campaign against the armies of Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger. Essentially, Thyatis will supply technical expertise and investment in exchange for its traders receiving exemptions from paying any customs tariffs, and for concessions in the form of parcels of land upon which warehouses and docks may be built. The reconstruction of Landfall will commence before the year's end. (See Fe. 17, Fe. 19; Fy. 6, Fy. 12.)

What This Means: Landfall was devastated following the vicious fighting that took place in and around it about nine-tenths of the city lies in ruin. The city's original layout a veritable maze of winding, narrow streets will be replaced by a Thyatian-inspired grid pattern, with wider streets, public sanitation, and buildings organised into blocks. This will reduce street congestion, and make the city safer overall. Buildings will also be constructed according to an established code; the city will no longer have a ramshackle appearance. In some places, the remnants of the original city wall will be stabilised and preserved, as a memorial to the civil war. It will take well over two years for Landfall to be restored, and in the meantime its former residents are being resettled in Neuhafen, Klevermund, Kammin, and, for those who want it, new lands in Heldland.

Thyatis's exemption from paying tariffs is a relatively minor demand few Thyatian vessels will dock in Landfall but to them such a gesture recognises their financial stake in the city. Likewise, the land concession being requested is actually quite small, but it does provide Thyatian traders with guaranteed docking and warehousing, and it reminds the Heldannic Order who came to its aid.

What the PCs Can Do: Although it is unlikely that the PCs will be involved in this event, they may be present at the meeting between Julia and the Thyatians.

Felmont 25, AC 1019:

Atruaghin Halt Mining.

Location: Bear Clan Lands, Atruaghin Territories. OW

Description: The Umbarth and DDC attempts to persuade the miners to leave Atruaghin villages have been mostly ineffective; however, Umbarth House managed to persuade the Bear Clan not to slaughter the miners but merely disrupt their activities in the hills. Atruaghin warriors assault miners in the hills without killing them, effectively halting mining operations in the territories. (See Fe. 1, Fe. 12; Fy. 2, Fy. 8.)

What This Means: If the miners cannot work, they will be forced to leave the area in a couple of weeks. Umbarth House and the Darokinian government hope to use this plan to avoid bloodshed and disrupt the plot of Ystran House.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are Atruaghin they should try to frighten the miners away without killing them.

Water Blowguns.

Location: Kingdom of Jibarú, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC

Description: An ingenious group of phanatons devises a new type of dart that explodes into water on impact the reverse of flaming arrows, really. These darts are hard to manufacture, as they require a shaman enchanting the dart before it is fired it is the spell that actually produces the watery explosion, the blowgun being only a means to propel the spell into the blaze where it can be most effective. The darts allow the phanatons to fight the fire more effectively, but still is not the ultimate solution as the Nimmurians simply start more fires. (See Ya. 28, Fe. 15; Fy. 6, Fy. 24.)

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can use such darts to fight the forest fires maybe they are the ones who come up with the idea in the first place. The darts remain thus enchanted only for 2d6 days before exploding if they are not fired before then.

Felmont 26, AC 1019

Alphatians Leave Karameikos.

Location: Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Three thousand Alphatians leave Karameikos, bound for various Naycese territories. Almost all of the refugees who previously were officers in the Alphatian army leave, the rest being mostly their aides and retinues, plus a few commoners. The high-level wizards simply teleport to their destinations and disappear overnight, but the bulk of the emigrants put their belongings in carts and head south, toward the port of Mirros. (See Kl. 7, Kl. 19; Fy. 1, Fy. 13.)

What This Means: A decade ago, the Alphatian armies were left stranded on the surface world while Alphatia sank beneath the waves only to be reborn in the Hollow World. Many went home, but those who came from Alphatia had no home to return to. Several went to the various Alphatian colonies, while some who had no family left but the army became mercenaries or rogues. King Stefan, however, saw an opportunity to strengthen his small nation, which was already multiethnic, and invited Alphatians to peacefully settle in Karameikos. Nearly 90,000 Alphatians settled in Karameikos, becoming the second-largest group after the native Traladarans.

The Alphatians became subjects of Karameikos, and did not pose any particular problem, despite their numbers and traditional enmity toward the Thyatians, even helping in the creation of the Karameikan School of Magecraft. Neither the rumours, later confirmed, of the survival of Alphatia in the Hollow World, nor the building of Zandor's empire, and later the Nayce, prompted many departures among the Alphatian population. A singular event led to this exodus: the departure of Master Terari who, to continue in his quest for immortality, left Karameikos for the Nayce. This sole event cast a shadow of suspicion upon the whole Alphatian community, with the unease toward this minority probably bolstered by the tension between the Thyatian and Traladaran communities. To prevent an uprising in his troubled kingdom, King Stefan's men watched the rebellious Traladarans closely, but also the Alphatians. While most Alphatians could put up with the security measures they were used to worse the "aristocrats," who were particularly targeted as potential troublemakers, could not.

What the PCs Can Do: Alphatian PCs may decide to return to fabled Alphatia.

Martial Demonstrations.

Location: Celestial Domains, Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: Grand Master Lingkai Arimaximian Songli of the Order of Perpetual Harmony (of Beitung) announces a ten-day of martial demonstrations by the monks and paladins of the order in celebration of 500 years of service to Koryieu-Tsi and the Celestial Throne since the formation of the order. (See Va. 1, Kl. 7; Am. 14, Sv. 1.)

What This Means: Such celebrations honour the Immortals, but they also display the power of the religious orders. In those times where recruitment into the orders is expected to fall, it also serves as an incentive for young men to join.

A Skyship Redeployed.

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

Description: Landing at a berth in Ionace, the Naycese skyship Typhoon is ordered to stand by for further orders. The captain is met by Master Terari, who tells her that her vessel is to be resupplied and redeployed. Captain Lenora argues that her crew is overdue for shore leave, but Terari informs her that the Typhoon is the only skyship available, and the mission is of great importance. Though obviously unhappy, Captain Lenora accepts the change of orders and storms off to inform her crew. (See Fe. 11, Fe. 20; Fy. 18, Am. 5.)

What This Means: The skyship has been chosen to provide the return transportation for Terari's expeditions. For security reasons, the vessel's orders will be withheld until they leave.

Felmont 27, AC 1019

A Divine Solution?

Location: Village of Lyrium, Territory of Torionensis, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: Heeding calls from the colonial authorities in Torionensis concerning the deadly plague that has struck the southeastern regions of the territory, a small group of senior clerics arrive from Raven Scarp today. Having been briefed beforehand of the situation, they examine a number of bodies that have not yet been burned, treat the sick (with some success) and interview the remaining villagers who observed the onset of the disease. Finally, they seclude themselves in an abandoned home, and proceed to commune with their respective Immortals for further guidance. (See Ya. 22, Fe. 11; Fy. 3, Fy. 4.)

What This Means: Local herbal remedies have long proven themselves to be ineffective against the plague; it is hoped that the Immortals might shed some light as to the nature of this ailment, and how it can be cured.

What the PCs Can Do: High-level PC clerics might be summoned to Lyrium to help in the effort to combat the plague.

Enters Evelyn.

Location: Canal Construction Site, North of Town of Tirenlos, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Evelyn is the fifth caterpillar. Zas Ubul now has four of them at work. (See Ya. 3, Fe. 2; Fy. 13, Fy. 16.)

Joint Studies.

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

Description: Lord Clenarius, the high magist of Polakatsikes, and his daughter Alatia have studied the documents she brought back from Pyris. They even journeyed there for a couple of days using the mystical conveyor spell and met Pharias and Oblivion the great wyrm. They have brought back many relics and artifacts to help them in their studies. The gnomes have been settled in Polakatsikes, and have helped appraise the treasure. The gems are worth hundreds of thousands gold pieces, not counting the collection of rare books. (See Kl. 25, Fe. 7.)

What This Means: This is a logical aftermath of the expedition to Pyris. Lord Clenarius is now fully aware of the ways to use the new means of instantaneous transportation.

What the PCs Can Do: Help them study the rare books and lost artifacts from Pyris. Some might be cursed or trapped.

Felmont 28, AC 1019

Tel Akbir Detains Dwarves and Elves.

Location: City of Tel Akbir, Duchy of Tel Akbir, Thyatian Empire. KW

Description: Four ships from Minrothad, with 150 dwarves and 60 elves, are detained as they make a stop for supplies on a trip to Surra-Man-Raa. (See Ya. 5, Kl. 12; Am. 2, Sv. 22.)

What This Means: The dwarves are clan members of Torcreft who have left their homes to help this elder build his dream: a canal and aqueduct system to bring water to the desert. The elves are a strange group called Siswa. They are coming to help repay their debt to the master builder (Torcreft) of their temple on North Island. They are detained because the local officials have never heard of dwarves travelling on ships with elves. The leader is none other than Torcreft's great-grandson, Clovefist. A master storyteller himself, while he is detained he recites some of the epic adventures of Torcreft on his pilgrimages following in the footsteps of al-Kalim. So enthralling is the storytelling that many leaders fear that if they keep the dwarves here any longer, then many citizens might be inspired to convert.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs may be sent by Torcreft or Mahmud-ibn-Rachid to help in the release of these ships and their passengers. PCs that have adventured in module B7 (Rahasia) may be asked to help Rahasia once again, but be forewarned, these are not the strictly pacifistic elves of that adventure and they are adherents to the Nahmeh. Or the PCs could be the ones who report the strange association and cause the detention of the ships. Some leaders may fear Clovefist's stories so much that they want him assassinated; the PCs could be hired, or thwart the attempt.

The Journey Resumes.

Location: North of Kingdom of Varadghír, Vulcanian Peninsula. DV

Description: After having spent the better part of a week touring the city of Orodkhuur, the Thyatian party returns once more to its companions. The party leader briefs Julius Ambrosius for several hours concerning the highlights of the visit, adding to reports already sent via magical means. Julius is happy to learn that King Graghaal has consented to open formal diplomatic relations with the Thyatian Empire, and that his kingdom is amenable to trade the party was sent back with gifts of strange spices, jewellery, and other goods to present to Emperor Eusebius upon the expedition's return. Once the report has been delivered, Julius informs the party of the discoveries made in the meantime in the ruins, and the expedition resumes its westward journey. (See Fe. 12, Fe. 21; Fy. 25, Sv. 17.)

What This Means: The chance encounter with the Varadghíri has turned out to be beneficial, but more questions have been raised. The information provided by their hosts has led the Thyatians to believe that there is a powerful, and civilised, human nation further to the east, and Julius cannot help but wonder whether this nation has influenced the orcs of Varadghír. The Thyatians have learned a great deal, but they know there is much that their strange hosts did not tell them, for they have not yet earned their trust; the orcs' suspicion of humans appears to be too deeply entrenched. Julius will recommend that the empire make it a priority to deepen ties with Varadghír, and cultivate the orcs as a potential ally in the region.

What the PCs Can Do: Although it is conceivable that the PCs might opt to stay in Varadghír, perhaps as envoys if they are of high enough level, it is more than likely that they will continue their journey as well. Orcish PCs from Varadghír, who might perhaps have become enamoured with the prospect of visiting strange new lands, might be introduced at this point.

Topic of the Month

Battle Royale Over Polakatsikes

Felmont 8, AC 1019

Later accounts from different sources among which are: Clenarius (High Magist of Polakatsikes and close friend of the governor), Father Sigmund (Commander of the Brigades of Parthenaeum and Deletria), Governor Wolfgang Stemmel (Commander in Chief of the Heldannic Knights in Polakatsikes), General Diamanes Thesakkrus (Commander of the Mivosian Army in the Meghala Kimata Plains and member of the Triumvirate).

The story as reported by Father Sigmund

We ran for hours before seeing the dark smoke in the horizon. We knew what was happening. Our beloved town of Polakatsikes was burning and we probably would not reach it in time to save it. We were about three miles west of the city when a strange glowing hill caught my gaze. In fact, only the top of the hill was glowing; the light was pulsing like a living heart! Then suddenly a beam of light darted toward us and exploded in our midst yet no one was hurt! On the contrary, we even felt more alive and rested than we ever did before. I addressed my troops in plain Milenian, yet I could swear every nomad understood my words too, and my voice echoed in the valley so that any living creature could hear my words:

"Hear the message of this most holy light. We come to kill, and kill again! Our arrows shall fall like hail! Run berserk spreading fear and pain! None can harm us not their fire, their iron, or their steel, for we have Her will to strengthen our hands, and with that power we will kill. To Vanya we pray! On the blood of all our brothers and fathers, on their weapons, we now swear to avenge, not lament. Give the wicked ones death."

And my words were answered by a terrible outcry that shook the earth! I ordered my troops to prepare to charge, and we ran as if Thanatos was on our tail. For the last couple of miles it seemed to me that our feet were not even touching the ground. It was as if we were flying over the final fields before reaching the battleground. Then we saw them, orcs and goblins and trolls, manoeuvring catapults and other siege weapons. Huge cauldrons were filled with burning tar that they were about to throw at the city using their siege weapons. On our left flank, following almost the same course as we were, we saw 200 horsemen charging the trollish units. They were Ilioloostian cavalrymen; we had not noticed them before since they were hidden in a small depression. We cut through the orcish lines like a hot knife through butter. The nomads, who were supposed to stay behind, had so much hatred for the orcs that they did not bother to cover their right flank, so they soon got caught between the orcs and the trolls who had regrouped. Their situation was dire. We could not let them die, for we had learned to know many of them, and friendship had been born between us.

We needed the help of the cavalry, which was still fighting its way through the trolls. It was impossible in this mayhem and chaos to call the horsemen directly because they would not have heard us. So I urged my men to sing a well-known fighting song at the top of their lungs, altering just some words to have the horsemen understand that they were needed on our right flank to help our brothers, the desert nomads. It went something like this:

"Darkness all around us

We don' close our eyes

No one's gonna ground us

We were born to die

"Be my brother nomad and fight to stay alive

All the world can't change us.

Death we're waiting, come get us

We won't run or hide

"Now we're all together

Let's sing a fighting song

Two hundreds riders

On our right flank cannot be all wrong"

And we repeated the last two verses until they got our message.

At that moment, the last troll fell and a hundred of the cavalrymen commenced their attack on the right, went through our ranks and crushed the orcs like a hammer smiting an anvil. The humanoids were pushed away. After that, the nomads rallied with us and we stood for a moment, unengaged, about half a mile from the city walls. Then a cry came down from the clouds above; a lightning bolt flashed and a robed man in flame fell from the sky into one of the cauldrons filled with burning tar. His body certainly had some magic components in its clothes for it exploded, splashing everyone around with blood and gore.

The story as seen by Clenarius, High Magist of Polakatsikes

I could sense the malice of my opponent around me. His art was strong and his intelligence was high, for he managed to raise a storm and had the clouds so low that our gate tower watches were no longer able to see the ground below. Thus, his taking off went unnoticed to all but me. He first flew high then dived toward the marketplace where his mount breathed fire like hell on the cavalrymen assembled there. He immediately ordered his dragon to regain some altitude to avoid any retaliatory volley of arrows. He was still above us, preparing his next attack. If I had been him, I would have tried to burn the city gates to ashes to allow his troops to enter the city after they passed by the entrenched Mivosians. So I stationed myself on the city walls, next to the gates, and waited. It did not take long for him to launch his second breath attack where I thought it would take place. As his mount was slowing its dive and focusing its attention on the gates, a torrent of flames spurted out and shook the very foundations of the barbican. I almost fell to the ground because of the shock, yet I had time to unleash a vicious spell of my devising, which had the flames hit the gates then backfire at their source. Our dragon rider pulled hard on the reins of the beast to have it regain some height again, but the poor beast was surprised and did not react as swiftly as its rider would have wanted it to. Enraged by the turn of events, he angrily and thus awkwardly aimed a wand at me and a lightning bolt hit the crenels and the parapet next to me, darkening the beautiful white limestone we extracted from our quarries in the hills, but I digress...

I knew I had to take off too. Racing to the battle in the sky, beneath a cloak of magic, I met them in the air. I was invisible and moved without a sound. They looked but could not find me; they thought that I was not there, so with a spell I sent them crashing to the ground. The rider, his robe burning, fell to the ground below and I sensed his essence dissipate in an explosion, but the dragon was able to break its fall and shouted to me:

"Wait for me, wizard, we'll meet again in the sky! By fire and magic I am sworn!"

Hell was calling! This could not be denied. We flew into the blackness of the storm. Unknown to him I wore a sacred talisman and made a secret sign which triggered wicked icy winds and acid rain. Not at home in this whirlwind of doom, the wyrm tried one last time to breathe at me, only to see its own fire coming back at it once again thanks to my talisman, and burn what was remaining of its wings. Gravity did the rest. The Gates of Hell opened to let him in.

Really, sometimes it's good to be a wizard!

The storm took some time to dissipate, and at last, two hours before sunset, we could still embrace the landscape. The sun was hidden by high and deep clouds. Fire was burning in our ditches. The orcs were still trying to climb our walls with ladders. Most of the Mivosians were safe inside the city walls, and many of them were already on the walls, pushing back the ladders with clusters of orcs and goblins on them. Their efforts seemed vain, but they were not, for our defenders high on the walls were easy targets for their elite archers. They were few in numbers but they were able to shoot an arrow in the eye of a flying sparrow at a hundred feet of distance. So our soldiers pushing back the ladders were easy targets for them.

Then I heard a laugh; at first it was faint, but it grew louder and soon everyone in the city could hear it. Someone was maniacally laughing at us:

"Ah, poor mortals. You have no idea how vain your resistance is! Now fear the wrath of Moray the Great, Moray the Immortal. What will you do against Moray's Titan?"

The ground shook as a colossus approached the city. It was 100-feet high and was humanoid in shape. It was very muscular and its crushing capabilities would certainly be formidable. Despite its apparent lack of flexibility and the slowness in its movements, I was no match for him. Then Wolfgang appeared next to me I mean the governor, because I call him Wolfgang; you see, we had some adventures when we were younger. I remember this one time when... but I digress.

Sorry, where was I? Ah yes, the colossus was approaching and the governor joined me on the barbican, above the city gates. He was wearing a beautiful necklace, with a green emerald of gigantic proportions. A light was pulsing inside the gem. He was also carrying an old dusty leather-bound tome, which he opened and handed to me.

"Here my friend, take this and assume your role. Be ready to cast this spell!"

He threw his sword at the beast, hundreds of feet away, like a javelin champion, at hit the colossus's right eye dead-on. Then, shouting at the approaching giant, he said:

"Taste your blood which showers from my blade! I'll burn your heart, from evil it was made! With heart-felt hatred your black blood shall run through our plains! I call upon you, powers of the Ancient One who reigns, allow us to conquer evil, let evil know Thy name!

"Vanya, I look up to Thee and heed Thy call. I live Thy dream, now passed on to me, and I now await my fate like the dusk awaiting dawn."

Then in a voice different from his own, as though he was possessed by a female entity with a thunderous voice, he yelled at the beast again:

"Come forth, ye wicked, and know great pain. I am the omen, the one who cannot die, I am the flame, justice burns inside my heart. I will crush your bones, I will smash your face, I will rend your flesh. Face me, and be filled with terror!"

Then with his own voice again he addressed me:

"So wizard, cast your spell, with no heart to do me well, so it is written, and so it shall be."

And as I uttered the arcane words written on the tome, I heard him say in an almost imperceptible voice:

"Maybe You too had to do it ages ago, to help those who looked up to You, and to defend them until the end."

And when he said that very last word, his body glowed with a menacing emerald-green hue. All men present on the walls ducked as though they were warned by a premonition. The gem on the governor's chest emitted a blast of energy of unequalled proportions. It radiated from the gem in all directions in the blink of an eye. The colossus was consumed on its feet in a matter of seconds; much of the humanoid armies were blasted into oblivion at the same time, with the remainder thrown to the ground, or burned horribly. Yet none of our troops were hit by this gigantic wave of magical energy; it was as if it had selected its targets. Few of our enemies remained alive, and those who could, broke ranks and ran.

I rose to my feet and turned around to see the body of my friend consumed also, the necklace lying on the ground. Yet we could discern a ghostly image of Wolfgang, hovering just above his ashes. He seemed not scared, but surprised and pleased. He, too rose to his ghostly feet well, to a vertical position and contemplated the battleground below.

Suddenly a beam of light pierced the clouds and hit him. It kind of dragged him upwards, as a magnet draws iron. The ghostly image of our governor disappeared from our sight into the blinding light in the sky. Then a gentle female voice came down to us all and spoke in a way that anyone in the city or in the surrounding countryside understood as if it was speaking in his or her mother tongue:

"Above the wreckage of your mortal world I stand,

Judgment passed, as delivered by My hand.

Now clear the smoke, where the fire ran;

There build a fitting tribute to mortality and to man.

"What was written, foretold in dreams,

In visions of apocalypse, were not just My whims.

"Honour your dead and all who fell.

May every self-righteous knight

Who lived and fought well

Drink one day to the source of My might.

"He is honoured now in the clouds, for in him greatness I found.

See my champion, hear his trumpet sound."

A concert of trumpets echoed, and the ghostly image grew as it came back on a beam of golden light. It was solidifying again, and still floating in mid air, up to the point where it landed gently in the centre of the market square.

The female voice added:

"The days of anger are over, warrior. Go back to your home.

Soon shall the stars fall from the sky,

The moon turn bloody, the day turn night.

Heed these signs; know then the end might come.

"United you may prevail,

Divided you shall fail."

The story as told by Governor Wolfgang Stemmel

Last thing I remembered was that, as the last word of the arcane formula was uttered, I felt my being disintegrate. Yet I was still there, slowly floating and crossing the city walls as the river ran below, one last time looking back; I saw my home, for She was awaiting me, reaching down for my soul. She called my name, and waved me onward. The life that She had given, full of riches and successes, had a price that I made good in blood to pay. The light She now showed to guide my every footstep was to ensure I would not falter on my way. Unto the bridge of death, I was crossing it, giving Her my soul.

When I joined Her in the skies I had a glimpse of Her full glory. She thanked me for my act of self-sacrifice. It all came clear that channelling my vital energy into the artifact I was wearing triggered a magical blast of unseen proportions. And because my act was only motivated by my love for my brethren, She managed to select the targets to the detriment of the general range of the power blast.

I was so moved that my soul was crying. She comforted me with a stroke on my head while saying:

"Riding hard, breaking bone

With steel or with stone,

"To wield eternal might I was born.

Your deeds I will protect, be not forlorn.

"Let us drink to the battles we fought and won,

Our enemy is defeated; the task is done.

"Great heroes I will always have to lead into the fight

From the north to the south, in the black of night.

"Never join evil, nor trust its hordes,

For evil's minions shall feel the power of my swords."

Then mentally She added as I felt I was floating again: "Bring back My words to My people."

And now I am among you all, alive and proud, bringing back to you the unfathomable wisdom of our Immortal Patron. I still doubt I was worthy of Her talking to me. I just hope I will be a good and faithful servant of the Lady.

The story as told by General Diamanes Thesakkrus, Commander of the Mivosian Army in the Meghala Kimata Plains and member of the Triumvirate

The battle was raging around us and our men were standing despite the intense hatred we had to face. Never before had I seen such malevolent creatures, whose only goal is to bring misery and pain to people they have never seen before. Untrustworthy they are, that I learned. I was ashamed that my folly had caused so many deaths.

But the most surprising thing to me was that the Heldannic Knights were not taking advantage of the situation to shoot us in the back. I was told they were as treacherous as Loki Himself. Yet they did not harm us. I even saw them cover our soldiers who had ventured into the open to bring back wounded members of their units. Our Milenian conscripts started to lose morale when the dragon dove onto them, burning them alive with its fiery breath. They begged their brethren inside the city to let them in, that they would be of better use inside fighting the monsters than burying themselves in those trenches waiting for death to claim them.

The Heldanners were not favourable to this solution because they suspected trickery. I felt offended because deep inside my heart I knew I would never have been able to hatch such a devilish plan.

For an hour I pondered their words, struggling against my heart, which told me to surrender to the Heldanners so that I might have a chance to stay alive along with my men. Many men tried to flee in terror toward the city gates, among whom were true Mivosians, who were using Milenian conscripts as human shields. Then I understood.

I ordered my most trusted men into a turtle to approach the city walls safely. Then I presented myself to the Heldanners and pleaded the cause of my men. I offered to surrender myself and my men if they let the Milenians inside the city walls. I promised we Mivosians would cover the Milenian conscripts while they retreated to the gates, that we would be the last to enter the city and that we would give up our weapons as soon as the gates were closed behind us.

The Heldannic officer at the gate asked us to wait for him to come back with orders from the governor. But the magist of the city, surely someone of great importance and authority, heard our plea and agreed on the terms, only if we all swore in Halav's name to honour our word. We all did.

Minutes later the city walls were shooting rains of arrows at the humanoids to cover our retreat. Our conscripts could not believe what was happening. We were actually covering their backs. Then, when our turn came to enter the city, I stayed behind to redeem myself and try to protect my men as best I could. Those evil monsters, at first repelled by the volleys of arrows coming from the wall, soon approached under the cover of gallery sheds, mantlets, and a belfry. I shouted to the Heldanners to close the gates before the humanoids could prevent it. And they did so. Then I recommended my soul to Halav:

"Oh Halav I call You, my sword is by my side.

I now seek a death in honour, free from all false pride.

Cover me with shame if I should now fail.

Glory, Majesty, Unity Hail, Hail, Hail."

And I charged the orcs. And then I felt iron in my guts and the world around me went black. But a light was there, at the end of a tunnel and it spoke to me:

"Diamanes I awaited thee

My true son thou art

I hail thee now as thou shalt die

Thou hast pledged Me thy sword and to no one else wouldst thou kneel

Follow thy heart here and far

For Mine is the kingdom in the sky."

And now I lay in this bed, among wounded Milenians, tended by Heldannic Knights. Who could have guessed that such a thing would ever happen to me?