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Flaurmont 1, AC 1019

Wolfgang & Co. Find Clues.

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

Description: After two weeks of intense study, consulting, communions and other mystical questioning, Wolfgang's team has reached some conclusions: The item they are seeking is a powerful and legendary artifact that the Milenians are said to have used to repel the Kerendans centuries ago. It should be hidden in a ruin some 550 miles north-northeast of Polakatsikes. In the meantime, the basin can be used by a spellcaster of any sort once a day just like a crystal ball. (See Th. 15, Th. 16; Fl. 7, Fl. 24.)

What This Means: Ironically, the Heldannic Knights are now seeking the very artifact that contributed to the flight of their ancestors from Davania ages ago. If they want to secure the artifact known as the Conqueror's Heart, the Heldannic Knights will have to cross the front line, pass trough Mivosian-held territory, bypass Tyrnae and head north. Then they must enter the jungle and cross it up to the Hills of Desolation. Then they would still have to avoid the humanoids and other monstrosities which call this region home and search the ruins of the city once called Desperia (in Milenian tongue) to find the artifact and bring it back.

The basin may be a great help to survey the advance of the party that will be sent to secure the artifact. It can be used once a day, for a period of time in turns equal to half the watcher's Constitution score, rounded down. To be powered for a turn, the basin needs to have a gem worth at least 100 gold pieces plunged gently into the water before using it. The gems are consumed in the vision process (thus a user wishing to use the basin for nine turns must place no less than nine gems valued at 100 gold pieces each, or some combination worth at least 900 gold pieces). Gems worth more than 100 gold pieces will yield the same results; any extra value is lost.

The vision can change from place to place, but the point of view "flies" from one place to the other, and the feeling of acceleration is very exhausting and disorienting. Hence, when the vision fades out, the user must rest for at least twice the amount of time he or she used the basin. To see south, for example, the user simply faces in that direction with the basin in front of him or her, and pours water into it, while concentrating on the place he or she wants to see. If the place has already been visited, it only takes three rounds to have a focused image. If the user has had the place described, but has never actually been there, then the process takes 30 rounds (or five minutes). If the user has only a general idea of the location he or she wants to see, then the process is much longer and takes three turns, in which only blurred images can be seen the first time. Then the next time he tries to see that place, it is considered to be a place described by others.

This basin is linked to the pool in the burial vault three miles west of Polakatsikes. Any vision in the basin is also reflected in the water of the pool. Anyone touching the water of either the basin or the pool during a vision suffers an electric discharge and takes 6d6 points of damage (no saving throw), plus the damage is also transmitted to the user of the basin (if he or she is not already the one who touched the water), and the vision immediately fades and cannot be restored until the next day. Unknown to most, some non aggressive spells can be cast by the user through the basin to the place viewed (such as ESP, clairaudience, silence, or any detection spell) but in that case the duration of the vision is reduced by a number of turns equal to the level of the spell.

What the PCs Can Do: Pray to Vanya to be part of the quest, for glory is to be gained by those who accomplish Vanya's wishes; or if they are magic users, they can keep on studying the magical properties of the basin to try to uncover its secrets.

A New Guest at the Table.

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

Description: In the city of Adunapolis, the first ten days of Flaurmont are dedicated to the Fair of Adunapolis, the most important holiday of the Minaeans.

However, this year, an official delegation from the city of Kastelios in Davania, led by the aristocrat Lysias Andromachon, shows up during the celebration to pay homage to Minaea and its people. Lysias, a man well into his forties, is a former adventurer turned scholar and linguist. His area of expertise is ancient Milenian history and he has come to the conclusion that the Minaeans are descendants of the Empire of Milenia. Having learned more about Minaea and its traditions from the Mystaran Almanac, he arranged a visit of the lands of these distant relatives to collect geographical news, write a Minaean history, and learn and study the language. He thought that it would be a good idea and a less personally expensive one to be officially backed by his city, and that a good way to start was to visit the town of Adunapolis and bring a beautiful gift during the most important holiday in Minaea.

Naturally, the Adunapolites are crazy about the visitors from beyond the sea, coming from their old homeland. However, Minaeans of Tangor and Tarystian descent are less enthusiastic. The city of Serenia, a bitter enemy of Adunapolis, and whose main ethnicity is Tangor, is frankly irritated by the development. (See Ka. 25.)

What This Means: This is the most important holiday for the Minaeans in general, with over 15,000 visitors from all over Minaea and Tangor, coming here to buy, sell, take part in the athletic games or the philosophical debates, or to watch or perform in the public demonstrations. The holiday celebrates the AC 917 victory of the confederated cities over a green orc invasion.

What the PCs Can Do: It is an opportunity for PCs from Davania or from Skothar to learn more about the other continent, and maybe sail on a discovery adventure to far lands.

The Trial of the Black Eagle.

Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: The Karameikan trial of the Black Eagle starts. The jury is composed of thirteen landed nobles, mostly from the top-level as it is the first trial of a baron of Karameikos. Many of these nobles were barons or landed lords and ladies in the early days of the grand duchy; King Stefan presides. The trial is held behind closed doors. (See Nu. 19, Va. 1; Ei. 28.)

What This Means: It is the first trial of its kind the trial of a baron. Because the jury is composed of almost all of Karameikos's landed nobility, whose rulership is also required in their dominions, the trial will be slow-going while the numerous testimonies are presented.

What the PCs Can Do: Unless the PCs are landed nobility of Karameikos, they will not be allowed to attend except maybe as witnesses.


Location: City of Huitlaktima, Azcan Empire. HW

Description: Tlatoani Otziltipac orders a great purge to rid Huitlaktima of the lingering influence of the cult of Atzanteotl and High Priest Chupicuaro. He orders that all calpullec (elected local leaders), pochtecatloque (merchant lords), and calpixque (bureaucrats and other officials) of Huitlaktima be put to death, and replacements elected or appointed. Since the worship of Atzanteotl is already illegal, all the quacuilli (district priests) have already been dismissed and thus there is no need to include them again in this decision any that are caught will be executed as well. As a result, several fights erupt throughout the city, as powerful people marked for death resist, often with considerable means at their disposal. (See Ei. 16.)

What This Means: Although Chupicuaro left the city in late AC 1016, allowing Otziltipac to conquer that major stronghold of Atzanteotl worship and become tlatoani, Huitlaktima continued to be a major centre of unrest and opposition to the emperor's rule. In fact, despite their defeat, priests of Atzanteotl continued to make public appearances in the city, and preach the way of Atzanteotl and opposition to the new order. This situation could not be allowed to last, as it seriously undermined the power of the new tlatoani, and because it prevented effective war efforts against the Schattenalfen that occupy southern lands. The method used is not gentle, but does not come as a surprise to the Azcans who, indeed, might see less bloody solutions as further admittance of the weakness of the New Way and an invitation to further defy it and is actually rather effective in rooting out a lot of followers of Atzanteotl. The effort the tlatoani has to bring down upon his enemies in Huitlaktima and the grave turmoil it causes right at the heart of the empire worsen the situation in other parts of the Azcan Empire, however, notably in the south.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs gained power in Huitlaktima, even if it was as opponents to Atzanteotl, they may have to run for their lives like the priests of Atzanteotl did! The power vacuum created by the purge is an opportunity for the PCs to gain more power for themselves, or be hired by rising factions who vie for dominance, or to prevent followers of Atzanteotl from creating new networks.

Flaurmont 2, AC 1019

Those Kooky Kids.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Staggering home after a night of partying, a trio of Glantrian teens are confronted by a pair of werewolves. The werewolves accost and rough up the partygoers, but otherwise leave them unharmed. The noise draws the attention of the constabulary, and the werewolves flee the scene. The officials search the area, take statements, and see each of the partygoers safely home. (See Fl. 7, Fl. 15.)

What This Means: With so many lycanthropes in positions of power and Glantri's fashions, Glantrian werebeasts benefit from a degree of protection and acceptability. The condition is that they control and conceal the more brutal aspects of their affliction to preserve the carefully groomed public acceptance of lycanthropy. Several lycanthropes, the sons and daughters of several lycanthropic aristocrats and merchants, have grown bored with the restraints placed upon them. Following a night of partying, they came across the trio of fellow revellers. On a lark, they decided to assume their beast form and have some fun with them. The encounter was mostly harmless, though it escalated a bit towards the end.

The attack sends a minor stir through the lycanthrope community. Their proponents and lobbyists move quickly to downplay the harm the attack has caused. Most see it as an isolated event and the matter passes quickly.

The Wrath of the Earth Mother.

Location: Mumlyket of Gunjab, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: Maharajah Sarojun Sur is disturbed by reports that emerging from the earth and the very rock of the Kurish Massif mountains themselves are hundreds upon hundreds of large wriggling caterpillars! Sindhi sages believe that these creatures are magical and probably the cause of the recent landslides, but the rishiyas quickly declare that these are sacred to the Earth Mother and must not be harmed.

The rishiyas preach that the Earth Mother the three-faced Patroness of the Earth, with three aspects: red-skinned Prithivi (Terra), Mother of Creation, pure Jaivana (Djaea), Protectress of the Land and Ruler of the Harvest, and black Kala (Hel), the Destroyer and Mistress of Reincarnation is dissatisfied with the Sindhi, for their lack of due attention to Her worship. Impromptu ceremonies take place and the Sindhi feverishly attend. (See Th. 10, Th. 26; Fl. 21, Fl. 28.)

What This Means: The maharajah will be at a loss of what to do with the situation, as the rishiyas have taken advantage of the Sindhi religiosity and superstition for their own purposes.

Word of the "Wrath of the Earth Mother" will spread quickly to nearby mumlykets of Peshmir and Nagpuri, while rumours coming from those regions flowers not blooming, livestock dying suddenly, and other strange happenings seem to corroborate these beliefs.

A New Nation Must Choose Its Path.

Location: Town of Østmark, Jarldom of Ystmarhavn. AS

Description: At a meeting of the assembled jarls of Ystmarhavn, a great debate arises concerning the future direction the new nation is to take. Some of the leaders among them many of the minor Ostlander lords who came here in AC 1017 to render aid to their distant cousins argue that, with the Qeodharans' attention directed towards building their wall and rebuilding their eastern settlements, the remaining might of the jarldom should march across the hills north of the Qeodim Mountains, and strike the enemy from the north, where an attack is not expected. This way, they reason, Qeodhar would be crushed for good, and the Ystmarhavners could gain control over the whole island. Other jarls argue that, while the Qeodharans are occupiers to be destroyed, the people of Ystmarhavn should instead focus on rebuilding their shattered homes and lives. There will be time enough for revenge, they say.

The discussions continue well into the night, and over the following days. (See Th. 13; Fl. 5.)

What This Means: Shortly after regaining their independence, the Ystmarhavners, with the help of their Ostlander allies, have reinstated the practice of holding councils of jarls, in which major decisions affecting the nation as a whole are made. Such meetings typically last for many days, as matters great and small are debated. Although the arguments themselves can become heated, there is no bloodshed; personal rivalries are suspended while the council is in session, and all jarls in attendance are bound by honour to respect decisions made.

What the PCs Can Do: Depending on how prominent they were in Ystmarhavn's rebellion, the PCs might have one or more seats at the council, in which case there are plenty of opportunities for deal-making and roleplaying.

Free Anachronic Society of Aalban Exposed.

Location: Principality of Aalban, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Prinz Jaggar von Drachenfels makes a bold pronouncement against the Free Anachronic Society, denouncing them as criminals and insurgents. He further adds that, over the past weeks, key members of this radical group have already been arrested (some during last week's Arcanium in Glantri City); many have been tried, found guilty and imprisoned or executed.

The prince ends with the statement of a continued effort of the constabulary and House Ritterburg against such enemies of Aalban and Glantri. (See Nu. 25, Va. 7; Ei. 28.)

What This Means: The Free Anachronic Society of Aalban is a radical underground cabal of wizards (mostly disgruntled Alphatian factions of Aalbanese society) violently opposed to science, machinery, and technology of all kind. For decades they have destroyed factories, sabotaged war machines, printing presses and gnomish gadgetry, all in the name of "halting the spread of grey sorcery." Two years ago, they set fire to the skyship producers Montgolfière & Urbaal Ltd., and late last year, they were implicated in the abduction of Herr Sigmund von Drachenfels, son of Prinz Jaggar and crackpot wizard-inventor , who had created a mechanical dragon golem. Because of this, the powers-that-be of House Ritterburg decided to act against the Anachronics, swiftly and effectively.

What Prinz Jaggar does not mention in his pronouncements is that the previous leader of this secret sect was his late and much embittered Alphatian wife, Frau Gertrud von Drachenfels. Upon her death in AC 1010, leadership passed nominally to Jaggar's sister, Frau Helgar, who attempted to restrain and disband the Anachronics.

But the society is now being manipulated by the oard, Frau Viktoria von Drachenfels, who uses the Anachronics to locate and acquire artifacts of Blackmoor and specimens of "grey sorcery."

What the PCs Can Do: The Aalbanese authorities will need agents to uncover, infiltrate, and capture the Free Anachronic Society, a mission that would involve technomancy and quasi-magical gizmos and gadgets. Gnomish tinkerers would be very suited!

Heldannic Troops around Parthenaeum.

Location: Near Town of Parthenaeum, Mivosian Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: The Heldannic Knights of the plenipotentiary mission, along with the 500 Ilioloostians, have made their way through the plains and have set camp in the hills immediately southwest of Parthenaeum. There they rendezvous with two of the bands of organised guerrillas, which were formed in AC 1017 during the siege of Polakatsikes to harass the Mivosians. (See Th. 13, Th. 15; Fl. 3, Fl. 4.)

What This Means: The journey was harsh but the first goal is near. It has been clear that to be able to take on the Mivosians, the coalition has to cut their supply lines. And since the town of Parthenaeum surrendered to the Mivosians in AC 1017, its fortifications are intact, and can be held against the Mivosians, if only the gate could be opened. The assassination attempt of Klarmont 8, AC 1018, showed that it was possible for a small party to sneak inside and commit acts of sabotage. Yet this time, the party comprises 500 Ilioloostians plus two groups of 50 raiders.

Many prisoners of war are being held in the dungeons. The mission is twofold: first find a way to take the town and free the prisoners, then hold it against the Mivosians and thereby cut their supply lines.

This town is a good target because its position, so far from the battle front, means that it is defended mainly by Mivosian troops who have been placed here on a few weeks' rotation for a rest. Hence their quality is not the best. Yet the Mivosians still number about 350, not counting the 250 locals enlisted in the army mainly as city guards.

What the PCs Can Do: Prove they are worthy knights by taking the city, freeing the prisoners, and cutting the Mivosian supply lines...

There Is Gold in Atruaghin's Lands!

Location: Bear Clan Lands, Atruaghin Territories. OW

Description: A group of adventurers from Darokin finds a lot of gold in Bear Clan lands, in the hills below the World Elevator north of the village of Falcon. The adventurers mine as much gold as they can carry and then return to Akesoli, to spread the news and return with better equipment and extract more gold. (See Ya. 5, Ya. 22.)

What This Means: This discovery is bad news for the Bear Clan and the Atruaghin. The gold rush could bring thousands of foreigners to encroach upon the land and could even lead to a war between Darokin and the Bear Clan.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are the adventurers who find the gold, they have a moral dilemma between an easy road to wealth and the land rights of the Bear Clan. If they are Bear Clan warriors they should understand the danger and try to stop the Darokinian adventurers, by any means necessary.

Flaurmont 3, AC 1019

Hard Is a Pirate's Life.

Location: Open sea west of Corisa, Merry Pirates Seas. HW

Description: Two pirate ships, the Cyclone under the command of Captain Luciano Saviola and the Red Eagle under Captain Arkturus, attack a small flotilla of four Milenian galleys transporting a considerable amount of gold. The pirates try to catch the Milenians by surprise, but luck is not on their side as the winds calm down. Saviola engages the Milenian war galley while Arkturus tries to capture the gold. The resistance of the three cargo ships is better than expected, and the Red Eagle takes several hits. When the battle is over one Milenian galley is burning while another managed to escape, and the Red Eagle is sinking. Saviola and Arkturus are furious that they had to pay too high a price for the gold: only one ship and a severely beaten war galley have been seized, but one pirate's ship is lost and the other in urgent need of repair, not counting the many dead or injured hands. The captains order their remaining crew to repair the damage as quickly as possible. The three ships start limping home. (See Ya. 1, Ya. 2.)

What This Means: The Merry Pirates trusted in their legendary luck, but they were not rewarded quite as they had hoped. The captured gold is sufficient to buy new ships with a good surplus for the pirates, but the losses are not so easily replaced and will prevent the pirates from conducting further business for some time. All told, it has been one of the less successful and glorious raids in the Merry Pirates Seas.

What the PCs Can Do: Adventurers can participate on either side. Should they have sided with the Milenians they might now be captives unless they were able to escape. If there is nobody who would pay a ransom for them, their lives are in real danger now. Perhaps they could persuade the pirates to let them join the crew.

When the Knights Go Marching In.

Location: City-State of Ilioloosti, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: The second wave of reinforcements leaves Ilioloosti for Polakatsikes. (See Th. 9, Th. 12; Ya. 11, Ya. 12.)

What This Means: This is the second group of the reinforcements mentioned by the treaty. They will march south at first to avoid possible Mivosian scouts in the north, and to profit from the expected rain that should freshen the climate and make the journey easier. This 1,000-man battalion is composed of 250 foot archers, 200 archers on horse, 250 heavy cavalrymen, 50 battle mages, 50 battle engineers, 100 heavy infantrymen, 100 pikemen, and some Heldannic Knights and Meghalan riders.

What the PCs Can Do: They can be scouts or Meghalan guides. Any adventure could break the monotony of the journey.

Back from the Dungeon.

Location: City of Eagret, Kingdom of Greenspur, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: After finishing the deal that will provide them a dynamo of flying, the Island returns home to the Tower of Zynillith. (See Th. 13, Th. 22; Fl. 7, Kl. 4.)

What This Means: Both sides have what they want, and the Island can return now.

Before the Night Is Over...

Location: Town of Parthenaeum, Mivosian Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: Three dozen high-level soldiers including clerics, thieves, fighters and battle mages manage to sneak into Parthenaeum by night and lay low for the day to come. (See Th. 15, Fl. 2; Fl. 4, Fl. 5.)

What This Means: Their goal is to contact King Callicles to offer to help him free his town provided that he gives a hand in the attempt.

What the PCs Can Do: They can be the party that sneaks in.

Flaurmont 4, AC 1019

Parthenaeum Falls.

Location: Town of Parthenaeum, Mivosian Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: As a line of 50 soldiers wearing Mivosian uniforms and escorting about 30 chained prisoners of Meghalan decent is about half a mile from the city's eastern walls, it is attacked by a party of a hundred horse riders. Horns are blown, answered by others inside the town.

Soon a hundred Mivosian mounted knights rush out of the city followed by 50 pikemen and 50 archers to help the convoy repel the Meghalan riders.

In the city, the prisoners set free by the infiltrators defend their newly regained freedom at all costs. Led by King Callicles, whose only hope is to see his beloved town free from the hated Mivosians, the local Parthenaean soldiers turn against their Mivosian overlords, then shut the eastern doors and open the western ones to let in the Ilioloostians, and shoot volleys of arrows at the Mivosians trying to retreat to the city wall, pushed by the Meghalan riders. King Callicles is hard-pressed by the now surrounded and enraged Mivosians, among whom are some battle mages and elite soldiers, and he finally falls to the battle mages, who unleash fire and lightning magic at him. The fate of the Mivosians is settled when the last battle mage perishes under a rain of arrows.

The surviving Mivosians fleeing toward Deletria are pushed into the river so that no one could tell the Mivosians there (or elsewhere) that the town has been taken. Messengers are immediately sent to Polakatsikes to bring the good news.

Orders are given that the Mivosian banners should remain on display, to prevent any Mivosian patrol from reporting the loss of the town, for surely retaliation would soon follow. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 3; Fl. 5, Fl. 8.)

What This Means: The first attack was a ploy to draw as many Mivosians out of the town as possible. The real goal was to free as many prisoners as possible from the dungeons and to hold the western gates to allow the Ilioloostians into Parthenaeum while the Mivosians were occupied by the false attack outside. The attack outside the town walls was all an act since the "Mivosians" were in fact Meghalans dressed in Mivosian uniforms stolen from the bodies of soldiers ambushed in the previous weeks. Once the Mivosians drew near, both Meghalans and make-believe Mivosians turned against them, to their surprise!

The ruse was an almost complete success, with the Ilioloostians losing only about 50 men. The wounded were mostly local soldiers who were the first in line to face the wrath of the Mivosian elite soldiers.

This attack was successful because only about half the defenders were Mivosian soldiers and since it was almost certain that a good portion of them would rush to the rescue of their "brothers" outside the town.

King Callicles, who had heard news about his only son's probable death at the hands of the Mivosians, was ready to sacrifice himself for the good of his town.

What the PCs Can Do: Join the battle on either side.

Ominous Rumblings in the Mountains.

Location: City-State of Hrissopoli, Valley of Lions. DV

Description: Scouts return from their routine patrols of the foothills of the Adakkian Mountains, reporting distant, thunderous noises, blinding flashes of light, and great tremors. The disturbances emanate from the western side of the mountains, near the little-known Amalur Lowlands. Hearing this news, King Katamvos orders his armies to fortify all of the known passes against whatever threat might be brewing to the west. (See Fl. 23, Fl. 27.)

What This Means: Since the arrival of lizard man refugees in Vatermont of AC 1018, Hrissopoli has eyed the Adakkian Mountains warily. The city-state has had very little to do with the numerous tribes that live west of the mountains, primitive and diverse as they are. The refugees brought tales of an invasion by powerful armies from further west, which forced them to brave the dangerous passes and flee into the Valley of Lions. The able-bodied lizard men have since been employed as auxiliaries in the Hrissopolian army, but they will now be ordered to help man the passes, since they can communicate with the other tribes, and know their customs and battle tactics. The coming days will see increased tensions, as people begin to fear that the chaos that has engulfed the Amalur Lowlands might soon come to plague them.

What the PCs Can Do: Hrissopolian PCs, or those allied to the city-state, could find themselves sent to the mountains to serve as scouts or soldiers.

Violent Rainstorm Hits Mivosia.

Location: City-State of Mivosia, Mivosian Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: An unusually violent rainstorm occurs today. Runoff from the Meghalo Fithi River threatens to flood the fields. The rain is constant for seven days straight (up to Fl. 11). (See Fl. 24, Ya. 12.)

What This Means: Storms are not unusual in Mivosia, but they tend to happen earlier in the year (early Thaumont). This time something else was at work: Vanya had the rain clouds deflected from their usual course by a group of druids, and concentrated around Mivosia. Her plan is to render the local roads useless and so delay the reinforcements that are to be sent to the front in Polakatsikes to strike the final blow.

What the PCs Can Do: Well, if they are around Mivosia, they had better have a good umbrella!

Flaurmont 5, AC 1019

The Case of the Persecuted Populist.

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

Description: The imperial senate initiates an investigation on the popular Censor Maximus (Minister of Civic Welfare) Liberus Kliton. His ministry is in charge of, among other things, the bread dole, hospices for the indigent, aqueducts and other programs that benefit the Thyatian people. As such, he is a popular man, and an ambitious one. He has many enemies among the more traditional senators, who see him as a demagogue who wants a republic, antithetical to the empire's imperial traditions. Kliton's supporters quickly accuse them of launching a politically-motivated witch-hunt. (See Fl. 17, Ya. 10.)

What This Means: There have long been accusations of corruption on Kliton's part by many of the older senators who have long resented him. Despite the fact that he was among those who wondered whether Thyatis needed an emperor after Thincol died, he survived Eusebius's purges unscathed.

What the PCs Can Do: Kliton and his Hattian-born wife, Hildeborg, will invite the PCs to meet with them. They will find him an open, upbeat, but worried man. He tells them that he has devoted his life to improving the lot of the Thyatian people. He kept the granaries running when the Thothians poisoned the grain, to ensure that people got fed and cared for. He and his wife are among the few people who rose high within the Thyatian government from humble origins (the name Liberus, and similar ones, are often first names used by families of freed slaves; one of his ancestors was indeed a freed slave). Because they know what it is like to be poor in Thyatis, Liberus and Hildeborg are resented by the establishment senators who are trying to destroy him.

He asks for their help in thwarting this politically-motivated witch-hunt against him. He has advocates to fight the investigation in the courts, but he needs people like the adventurers to help him "fight fire with fire." He wants the adventurers to dig up dirt on his political opponents, their own involvement in corruption and their own misdeeds, and let the public know about it. He's is not as wealthy as the senators who hate him, but says he and his supporters will be able to make it worth their while if the PCs can help him defeat this plot.

Royal Funeral.

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

Description: After two days spent tending to the wounded, the knights venerate King Callicles during his funeral. He is treated as a hero of ancient times. The highest-ranking Heldannic cleric, Father Sigmund, delivers a speech in the king's honour, he who devoted and sacrificed his life for his people, like every just ruler should do. He also emphasises the promise he made to the dying king: to take care of his people, to protect and to guide them during the war in a spirit of justice.

The body is then carried by soldiers of every origin into the royal crypt, where he is to rest with his ancestors. (See Fl. 3, Fl. 4; Fl. 8, Fl. 13.)

What This Means: The Heldannic Knights are well aware that Callicles surrendered his city to the Mivosian armies in AC 1017, which allowed more troops to hit Polakatsikes in the following weeks. But now the Heldannic Knights need Parthenaeum's population to stay faithful to them in the war to come. Underlining the great courage of their rulers and their soldiers could win many more people to their cause than spite and resentment for a past deed. Whether there was an actual promise or not is unclear, but Father Sigmund has been divinely inspired during his speech and the results are very satisfying for both sides. Anyway, the sole rightful heir to the throne had been sent as a hostage to Mivosia to ensure his father's cooperation, so there is no one here with a right to contest the "promise." Parthenaeum is now de facto a protectorate of the Heldannic Empire.

Heldannic and Ilioloostian officers are sure now that when Mivosia hears of the taking of Parthenaeum, their first strike will surely be for them and they better be prepared and united for it.

Vanya is satisfied to have such resourceful followers. Taking a town such as Parthenaeum, using both weapons and political skills, is a victory for Her. It is conquest by other means than simple bloodshed, and it is conquest done for more than just glory of battle.

What the PCs Can Do: Not much, except if they like to make moving speeches.

The Northmen Rest... for Now.

Location: Town of Østmark, Jarldom of Ystmarhavn. AS

Description: After much heated debate, the assembled jarls of Ystmarhavn decide that their warriors will not march on Qeodhar this year; instead, they will return to their homes, but be watchful of King Norlan and his men. With this decision made, each jarl in attendance swears on his family's honour that his household will follow the decision of the council. (See Fl. 2.)

What This Means: Cooler heads have prevailed, and now no war will plague Qeodhar this year, unless Norlan decides to mount an invasion a highly unlikely prospect, given the current state of his kingdom. The only complication is that not all of Ystmarhavn's jarls were in attendance: Ystmarhavn is sparsely inhabited, and for some people a journey to Østmark can be quite arduous. Some jarls also decided not to attend the meeting because they knew they would be bound by any decisions made there, although they would never admit this openly.

What the PCs Can Do: There is not much for individual PCs to do here, aside from following any decisions made at the meeting. If the jarls council was role-played, other issues could well have been raised, which could in turn give PCs something to do. Qeodharan or Alphatian PCs with a taste for danger might try to spy on this meeting, too.

Flaurmont 6, AC 1019

Recalled from Retirement.

Location: Town of Treptow, Territory of Heldland, Heldannic Empire. NW

Description: Karl Hundkopf, Freiherr of Treptow and former Governor of Oostdok, receives a summons, penned by Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks, to appear in Kammin within a week. (See Th. 4, Th. 27; Fl. 13, Fl. 15.)

What This Means: Following the popular, Alphatian-aided revolt that resulted in the loss of Heldannic control over the floating continent of Oostdok [AC 1010. Ed.], Karl Hundkopf was ordered by Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf to serve as a sentry on the Ethengar border considered, perhaps rightly so, to be a form of punishment by many Heldannic Knights. His service was exemplary over the following years, and Herr Wulf gave Karl the title of freiherr in early AC 1018, along with the task of establishing a lasting Heldannic presence in this part of Heldland. This, it was thought, would be a politically expedient way of disposing of someone who had made a colossal blunder, yet remained loyal make them governor over a remote colonial village and forget about them.

Those aware of Karl Hundkopf's less than stellar reputation within the Heldannic Order, and of this summons, will begin to wonder what is afoot.

What the PCs Can Do: Although there is little the PCs can do directly (unless they are high-ranking members of the Heldannic Order, and therefore might have political interests that might be affected by this event), those who know of Karl Hundkopf and catch wind of this development may wish to do some investigating. This would be a very difficult, and dangerous, task; Anna is leaving nothing to chance by drafting all relevant correspondence herself, and using only those messengers and aides who have served with her for many years. The PCs might also be in Karl's employ, in which case they might be selected as his guards for his journey. If this is the case, many interesting things can happen on the road to Kammin.

Flaurmont 7, AC 1019

Back to the Tower.

Location: Tower of Zynillith, Kingdom of Blackheart, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: The Island is back. The ingredients in the cargo bay have been expected urgently. Lady Ardana takes a quick look at the dynamo of flying and decides that the item was worth the effort, but the repair will have to wait until the new voidship is ready. (See Th. 22, Fl. 3; Kl. 4, Fy. 14.)

What This Means: Ardana believes that they will be able to repair the damage, and that they will be able to brew enough potions of flying to provide the dynamo with the necessary magical energy. The time is not yet ripe to do this work though.

Fake Expedition to Emerond.

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

Description: Following the discoveries made in the burial vault, and the dream Governor Wolfgang Stemmel had, an expedition is organised to recover the artifact known as the Conqueror's Heart, which supposedly lies in ancient ruins in the Hills of Desolation, north of Polakatsikes. Wolfgang salutes them, and asks them openly to hurry in their diplomatic mission to Emerond, for the colony is in dire need of reinforcements and no news has been received from the previous missions sent away. (See Th. 16, Fl. 1; Fl. 24, Ya. 9.)

What This Means: Wolfgang does not want the true nature of this quest to be made public, to prevent the Mivosians from hearing about it and trying to have it fail utterly or worse, get the artifact for themselves. So he officially announces that these men and women have embarked on a diplomatic mission to the Kingdom of Emerond.

He personally commissions the men who are to embark on the quest. Alatia, a sorceress of no mean repute and the daughter of his personal magist and friend Clenarius, will lead the magical and scientific aspects of the mission. Military matters will be placed in the hands of Sister Magdalena and Brother Ignatius, both very efficient officers from elite Heldannic units. Stalking missions and other delicate matters are to be held by a clever Milenian-born thief going by the name of Bertolucius, who is called Bert by everyone, and who has been until now chief of special operations for the governor's secret services. The other eight members are trusted soldiers and faithful Heldannic servants who have already proved their loyalty to the governor.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are between 5th and 10th level, the PCs could be part of the quest.

Youth Gone Wild.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: A group of werewolves accost a gondolier driver and commandeer his boat. They force him to pole them around parts of Glantri for nearly an hour before departing. The werewolves then accost several pedestrians, throwing one of them into a canal. The disturbances finally draw the constabulary, but not before the werewolves flee. The constables make a quick search of the area, take statements, and escort the victims to their homes. (See Fl. 2; Fl. 15, Ya. 3.)

What This Means: Emboldened by their antics, the young werewolves have taken to the streets again, without causing any great harm. Lycanthropic proponents and lobbyists will move in and smooth things over as best as they can. Still, the news of the incident spreads quickly. The public's opinion of lycanthropes worsens, though most still see them as only a possible nuisance.

Flaurmont 8, AC 1019

Fortifications and Defences Strengthened.

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

Description: Father Sigmund confirms most of the former Parthenaeum officials in their functions but also appoints some Heldannic officers to key posts, and urges everyone to do their best to strengthen the town's defences and fortifications. Food is also to be stockpiled in the granaries of the citadel, in preparation for an eventual siege. The work should take at least three weeks. (See Fl. 4, Fl. 5; Fl. 13, Ya. 11.)

What This Means: Father Sigmund is a fine strategist and he knows that in a siege any man inside a good line of defence counts as two. That's why he wants as good a line of defence, and as much food, as possible.

What the PCs Can Do: Mid- to high-level PCs could be appointed to key posts. It is a good time to show their talents in war strategy.

Flaurmont 9, AC 1019

Texeiran Border.

Location: Town of Boa Mansão, Estado de Texeiras, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: Barão Bartolomeu dispatches spare troops to his northern border, across O Grande Escarpamento, to the limits of Terra Vermelha, which purportedly has been invaded by the armies of Torreón. They soon discover the extent of the Torreóner move, as they encounter units from Baronesa Isabel's army quite close to home indeed.

With such blatant confirmation of early reports from Texeiran prospectors returning from Terra Vermelha, whose recounts the baron initially dismissed as wild exaggerations, the barão has to decide on a course of action. Forcing a confrontation with Torreón so soon is risky, both because Torreón is battle-ready while Texeiras is not, and because his country relies heavily on Torreóner mercenaries for its land-based defence. The barão decides to see how the Signatory Council deals with this violation of the Treaty of Tampicos before committing to any decision, except for reinforcing his northern border. (See Va. 26, Th. 16; Ya. 28, Kl. 17.)

What This Means: The threat is very close to home for Texeiras, as in addition to its takeover of Terra Vermelha, Torreón is moving freely from Bastión de los Caballeros to its new conquest by crossing grasslands that are nominally part of Texeiras. The fact that Torreón is ignoring national borders is making Barão Bartolomeu even more nervous about the situation, as it suggests that Baronesa Isabel has not ignored only the part of the Treaty of Tampicos about Terra Vermelha, but all of it, and thus may have further territorial ambitions in mind. While the red land's cinnabryl is important to Texeiras's economy, the baron prefers to wait and see if the situation can be defused diplomatically before rushing to a military confrontation on terms set by the enemy.

What the PCs Can Do: All Signatory States, especially Texeiras, are recruiting spies and scouts to report on Terra Vermelha and Torreón. Also, the baronies are gearing up for a possible conflict over the disintegration of the Treaty of Tampicos, so PCs can find employment (including involuntarily employment from press-gangs) in the baronial armies.

Back in the Wild.

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

Description: One hundred Heldannic Knights and Meghalan raiders leave Parthenaeum to resume their hit-and-run tactics. They are not to go further than a 72-mile radius from Parthenaeum. (See Fl. 4, Fl. 8.)

What This Means: In order not to attract Mivosia's attention, it is better for the harassment tactics to continue as usual. Plus, Mivosian officials might interpret it as the reason why messengers can't bring news to and from Parthenaeum.

What the PCs Can Do: They could be part or join the raiders to ride the wild plains looking for enemies.

Flaurmont 10, AC 1019

Annabelle's Stampede.

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

Description: The oldest caterpillar, Annabelle, runs amok and devastates the construction site. A lot of material is damaged, some beyond any repair, two dozen workers are injured, some of them severely, and three are dead. Annabelle has to be taken down. (See Th. 6, Th. 25; Fl. 17, Ya. 3.)

What This Means: This was a well-known risk to using the untested golem caterpillars in construction work. The project will go on, though.

What the PCs Can Do: Given that there is still some opposition to the project, Zas Ubul may secretly wonder whether Annabelle was sabotaged somehow the wizard Dentarthadint, who is still trying to seek compensation for the loss of his petunias in court, may be a prime suspect. The PCs could be hired to determine whether the wizard had anything to do with it. The DM should decide whether Dentarthadint was responsible; this plotline assumes he was not.

Flaurmont 12, AC 1019

Veroth Opens Its Doors.

Location: Kingdom of Veroth, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: King Verothrics of Veroth announces that his kingdom will accept as many migrants as it can, to alleviate the worsening unemployment problem among the working classes. The Naycese Council praises this gesture of goodwill, and offers a small amount of money to assist the young kingdom in addressing any infrastructure needs that might arise from the relocations. (See Th. 20, Th. 22; Ya. 9, Ya. 21.)

What This Means: The Kingdom of Veroth is heavily militarised for its size, and has relatively few people to occupy the various niches in society that would support its army, such as craftsmen, general labourers, farmers, and the like. Veroth also has many aristocrats who are in need of mundaners to serve them, and a large amount of empty land waiting for development. Over the coming months, several thousand unemployed servants and freemen will migrate to Veroth in search of work, and many will find it. This will be a boon to the kingdom, because it needs a larger population base in order to hasten development efforts. In the years to come, several new towns and villages will be established throughout the kingdom.

The solution will not work out for everyone, however; some of the unemployed will find that they no longer like working for aristocrats, and some former freemen will resent their new servant status. Other migrants will find that they preferred living in established coastal cities to the comparatively isolated interior of Bellissaria, where there is much less in the way of amenities. These people will head back to the cities they left, and rejoin the thousands of people who never took Verothrics up on his offer.

Veroth's development will also be watched closely by the Kingdom of Notrion, whose southern territories were given to King Verothrics in AC 1016 by the Naycese Council. Although the territories ceded to create Veroth were largely uninhabited, the Verothians had been occupying the land secretly for several years, and King Corydon of Notrion felt slighted by the council's decision. Since then, relations between the two kingdoms have been cordial, but cool. Corydon will take note of anything even remotely resembling favouritism directed towards Veroth.

What the PCs Can Do: PC aristocrats might be able to petition Verothrics to grant them land, upon which they can establish dominions. The services of adventurers might also be called upon to clear lands designated for settlement of monsters and other perils that the Verothian army cannot handle.

Isles of Steam Discovered!

See map of Isles of Steam.

Location: Isles of Steam, Sea of Steam. DV

Description: After a couple of weeks of sailing, the Thyatian expedition enters a region of dense, humid mist that reduces visibility to 500 feet or less. Holding to their course, as advised by the elves, the expedition presses on, and soon notes the presence of sandbars and islets, which soon give way to small, swampy islands. Realising that they have reached the Isles of Steam, the Thyatians sail carefully onwards for a few hours longer, until they find a larger, drier island by which they can drop anchor. (See Th. 23, Th. 24; Fl. 23, Fl. 27.)

What This Means: The elves of Everfeed know very little about the Isles of Steam, aside from their general location, and what supposedly lies hidden here. As the name implies, the Isles of Steam are blanketed with dense mists, a product of the surrounding wind and ocean currents. This great ring of mist reduces visibility greatly, except during the daily rainfalls. The islands are generally swampy and humid, with dense jungles further inland, but there are also hundreds of sandbars scattered throughout the archipelago, which could pose a threat to ships. This region is unknown to all but the most knowledgeable scholars in the Old World, and therefore could be considered a "lost world" area.

What the PCs Can Do: Julius Ambrosius will likely call upon the PCs to join any landing parties to help scout various islands. DMs are encouraged to throw any type of encounter at the PCs strange animals, carnivorous plants, or other things. The DM's Guide to Davania contains information about the Isles of Steam that might give DMs ideas, but they are not obligated to use the information if they have other ideas that suit their campaigns better.

Thyatians Reach Narvaez.

Location: City of Puerto Morillos, Baronía de Narvaez, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: Resuming its mission to explore the Savage Coast region, the Thyatian expedition commanded by Paulus Angelinus reaches the capital city of Narvaez, Puerto Morillos. The tension in the air is palpable as customs officials demand to see Paulus's documentation, including his imperial charter, signed by Emperor Eusebius himself. Grudgingly, the officials let Paulus and a handful of Thyatians disembark "for official business only;" the remainder of the crew is instructed to remain on board, unless they can prove their devotion to Ixion. (See Th. 2, Th. 27; Fl. 13, Fl. 23.)

What This Means: Through his charter, Paulus has the authority to speak for the emperor on matters relating to trade and forging diplomatic relations, and as such, he and his personal retinue must be treated with respect, wherever they go. This document does not protect the marines and other crewmembers, although they are indicated in the document as being answerable to Paulus and therefore his responsibility while serving on the mission. Normally, this is not a problem, but in a nation as strongly gripped by paranoia as Narvaez, incidents might happen. Paulus suspected that the Narvaezans would be suspicious of any foreigners, and so he briefed the crew beforehand about what might happen. Most of the crew will remain on board the vessels count as Thyatian soil for diplomatic purposes while a handful will go ashore to do some exploring. Paulus and his personal associates will meet with the prominent mercantile interests in the city while they wait for an audience with Barón Hugo.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs should be part of Paulus's personal retinue, but they could opt to do some exploring on their own, instead. If they do, they could run afoul of the inquisitors if they are not careful, but they could also have a unique opportunity to make contacts of their own.

Ruins Found in Mykonos.

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

Description: An astonishing discovery is made by workers while clearing away trees and underbrush from the eastern fringes of the growing village of Mykonos. They stumble upon what appears to be an ancient stone tower, nearly overgrown with vines! The authorities are notified of the find, and Adonai Stephanos, who is here on business, arrives at the scene soon afterwards.

Accompanied by bodyguards, he enters the tower, and finds a large chamber, open to the sky, whose walls are covered with numerous carvings and crumbling mosaics. The workers show him the strange artifacts that they found inside the tower a pair of broken coral statuettes, carved to resemble a vaguely hideous creature with three long tails, clawed arms, and a large, bulbous head. Adonai pays the men for their treasures on the spot, and arranges to have them sent to his home on the island immediately. (See Fe. 9, Fy. 7.)

What This Means: The tower could have been built by any number of now-extinct cultures of the Sea of Dread, including ancient Makai tribal folk, lizard men, or even Taymorans. The statuettes were carved to resemble kopru. Adonai, who recently returned to Mykonos to supervise the continued growth of the colony, recognised at once that the statuettes were valuable, and now he will try to sell them to collectors.

What the PCs Can Do: Interested PCs can explore the jungles around the ruins in the hopes of finding more archaeological treasures.

Ceremony of Reconciliation.

Location: Canolbarth Forest, Colony of Aengmor, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW

Description: This day is Youngfire, the Winter's End festival for the fair elves and eve to the month of Crystals for the shadow elves. Another blessed day for Aengmor and the elven races, as a great ceremony is held at Rafielton among fair and shadow elves, to remember their common origins and forgive the past grudges, with the blessing of the elven Immortals. Fairies are continuing to return to the forest, and more fair elves will return to Alfheim in the next months. (See Th. 1, Th. 7; Ya. 5, Kl. 11.)

What This Means: The ceremony is held jointly by Princess Tanadaleyo and King Doriath, and blessed by Ilsundal, Mealiden and Rafiel Themselves. The elven Immortals have realised the folly of continuing to drive wedges between elven communities, and plan to unite the two races against common enemies, beginning with the cult of Atzanteotl.

What the PCs Can Do: For the elves who work against the peace from both sides this is an ideal time to prepare an attack against the pacifist leaders of the elves in Rafielton. But elsewhere in Canolbarth Forest evil is also at work: some of the Bad Magic Points become active and saboteurs will try everything to ruin the new friendship between fair and shadow elves, especially followers of Atzanteotl among the Alfheim Avengers and the shadow elves out of the subterranean city of Aengmor.

Flaurmont 13, AC 1019

I Have a Plan...

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

Description: Freiherr Karl Hundkopf, having arrived in Kammin the previous evening, is escorted to the chambers of Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks first thing in the morning. Seeing her guest enter, Anna greets him, and, pulling out a sheaf of papers, invites him to sit down and tell her everything he remembers about the Oostdokian gnomes and their construction techniques. (See Th. 27, Fl. 6; Fl. 15, Ya. 7.)

What This Means: Although the Heldannic Order lost control of Oostdok in AC 1010, some of those who escaped managed to spirit away the designs of a number of gnomish flying devices, and bring them back to Heldann. Unfortunately, the Heldannic Knights did not know enough about the techniques used by the gnomes to build them; therefore, the information was not of much use, and was shelved in the face of more pressing needs. Also, as long as the warbirds were in service, there was very little incentive to investigate new methods of maintaining air superiority. Since last year [Kaldmont, AC 1018. Ed.], Anna has been searching for a new weapon, one that will aid her in her faction's drive to overpower Heinrich Straßenburger's forces.

Since the beginning of the year, Anna has been secretly locating those people who had extensive contact with the Oostdokian gnomes. Karl is among the last of these people.

What the PCs Can Do: If they served in Oostdok between AC 978-1010, the PCs might be among those contacted by Anna's most trusted agents. Alternatively, if they have served for several years with Anna, they might be among those dispatched across the Heldannic Territories to find anyone who served in Oostdok.

Good News, Bad News.

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

Description: Heldannic messengers from Parthenaeum bring the good news that Ilioloosti will send troops and that Parthenaeum has fallen and is now in Heldannic hands.

Later in the day, reports from the south indicate that troops have been spotted coming from the Meghales Amosses Desert for the past five days some of whom are mounted on huge and strange animals. (See Fl. 4, Fl. 8; Ya. 11, Ya. 12.)

What This Means: First, it's good to know that you are not alone in a war and that your efforts to forge alliances have proved successful. Now the real question is to know when the rest of the expeditionary troops from Ilioloosti will arrive and if they will be here before the expected spring Mivosian reinforcements.

What the PCs Can Do: They can be the messengers sent from Parthenaeum to bring the good news, or the ones from the southern borders bringing the bad news. DMs might have them experience any possible threat before getting to Polakatsikes.

Davania (Incognita) at Long Last!

Location: Former Heldannic Colony of Schweidnitz, western coast of the continent of Davania, beyond the Adakkian Sound, Izondian Coast. DV

Description: At last the two Heldannic ships of the Folgen expedition to Davania arrive to the location of the forgotten colony of Schweidnitz, according to Wilhelm's grandfather's maps. The Heldanners find the old fort half-destroyed and burned, fifteen miles south of the coast. In a matter of a few hours after their landing, the Heldanners encounter red-skinned men half-naked and armed only with stone and wooden weapons. The red men are peaceful and seem to welcome the newly-arrived Heldanners. With a spell of comprehend languages Wilhelm is able to speak with them, and they say that they were awaiting the return of "the Knights of the Warrior Maiden." (See Va. 2, Th. 4; Fl. 16, Fl. 27.)

What This Means: The native inhabitants of the old Heldannic colony are humans of Oltec descent, and they remember well the Heldannic Knights who came many years ago. The natives now are in great danger of being wiped out by hostile half-orcs to the southeast, and they hope that the returned knights will help them. In a few days, the Heldanners will learn of the great menace to the south, and Wilhelm will order his followers to rebuild the fort as quickly as possible. In the meantime the natives are happy to offer them fresh food and help them with their limited resources.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are Heldanners, they could be sent to find the old fort and to speak with the natives. If they are the adventurers who boarded in Kastelios they have two options now: aiding the Heldanners, or escaping in the dangerous wilderness of Davania.

An Unforgettable Evening in Narvaez!

Location: City of Puerto Morillos, Baronía de Narvaez, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: Paulus Angelinus and his closest advisers meet Barón Hugo de Narvaez y Montoya, ruler of Narvaez. Casual matters are discussed during the light meal, and the Thyatian ambassador to Narvaez, career diplomat August von Hendriks (a distant relation of his better-known cousins, Ludwig and Anna), is presented to the barón, after which more serious issues relating to formal ties between the baronía and the Thyatian Empire are raised. Just as everyone is getting into a particularly serious part of the negotiations, a loud crash halts the proceedings! A figure dressed in black stands perched on the windowsill amid shattered glass. Before anyone can react, the figure leaps into the room, vaults onto the dinner table, and grabs an assortment of valuable silverware, as well as a whole roast.

Barón Hugo orders his guards to seize the intruder, as the Thyatians assume defensive positions. The black-clad individual evades its would-be captors easily while holding onto the stolen items. Leaping with grace onto the windowsill, it turns back to its erstwhile hosts, and, in a deep, rich voice, thanks the barón for his gift of silver and dinner, on behalf of the free peoples of Narvaez and Gargoña. The mysterious man then leaps to the courtyard below, and vanishes into the night. (See Th. 7, Fl. 12; Fl. 23, Fl. 24.)

What This Means: Throughout AC 1017, the Narvaezan regime was humiliated by the exploits of a masked man, a swashbuckler who freed political prisoners, robbed Barón Hugo, and generally thumbed his nose at the Inquisition in general. It seems the masked man has struck once again, after a year of relative quiet. Afterwards, Barón Hugo will reflect on the attack, and conclude that the man in black must have known that the Thyatians would be present that evening, and mounted a production to ensure that the Thyatians would have a story to take home with them. Although he does not care about bad press, Barón Hugo would nonetheless like to avoid unwanted attention especially if it attracts more vigilantes of the man in black's ilk. In response, Barón Hugo will increase the number of patrols in and around the city, in order to crack down on dissidents.

The Thyatians will remember the surprise encounter with the man in black, and Paulus will send instructions to his spies already in the city to find out as much as they can about the activities of the Inquisitors, and those who oppose them. As for the man in black... his daring move will mean that a number of poor families in Puerto Morillos will receive a surprise gift of silver to help them through tough times, and the meat will find its way into a communal cooking pot.

The intrusion, however, only delays business. The next day will be taken up by discussions between the barón (who has taken a personal interest in building diplomatic relations with the empire) and the Thyatians. Barón Hugo will try to secure official imperial recognition of Narvaez as the only "true" barony, but Paulus will only promise to raise the matter with the emperor. Thyatian policy will focus on building good relations with as many baronies as possible; giving Narvaez precedence over the others could ruin that plan. Nevertheless, promising to raise the issue later on will probably ensure that Barón Hugo remains hopeful of a positive response, which could make him more cooperative later on. In terms of trade, Narvaez will import wood from the Thyatian Hinterlands, in exchange for textiles.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were present at the dinner, they would have been witnesses to the surprise visit. Alternatively, one of the PCs might even be the mysterious man in black, instructed to crash Barón Hugo's party, and to let the Thyatians know that the barón does not rule uncontested. As with similar events, should one of the PCs be of appropriate level, he or she might be designated ambassador in August's place. In the case of Narvaez, however, diplomatic sensitivities would demand such a representative be more senior than those posted to the other baronies, given that Narvaez was the first true barony in the region, and Barón Hugo would consider the appointment of a junior diplomat to be an insult.

Flaurmont 14, AC 1019

Alphatians Harassed.

Location: Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: There is some unrest among the Alphatians of Karameikos, as their activities are closely monitored by agents of the king. They feel harassed by various bureaucrats, who question them about their travels, their relatives in Alphatian lands, and so on. The wizards, who are the most closely watched of the Alphatians, are infuriated by this infringement upon their freedoms while they understand the need to keep an eye on commoners, they cannot tolerate such treatment for themselves. (See Th. 5, Th. 15; Ya. 28, Kl. 1.)

What This Means: Queen Olivia, suspicious of the Alphatians' true intents since the unclear departure of Master Terari, has convinced King Stefan to step up security regarding the Alphatian refugees who settled in large numbers in Karameikos. She also has her spy network do some more in-depth investigation of the Alphatian elite, who, after all, were also the commanders of the Alphatian army.

What the PCs Can Do: Alphatian PCs who took refuge in Karameikos, the apparently open-minded nation that was then welcoming them, may find themselves beset by bureaucrats (or more shady characters) investigating every time they ride out of town (much less out of the country), checking their income and whether their taxes have been properly collected (making it hard not to declare the spoils of their adventures), etc. Alphatian spellcasters used to the freedom given them by their chaotic empire may not be able to stand the intrusion.

The Scarlet Death.

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

Description: While passing through one of the more settled regions of this territory while en route to Castra Alexandras in Thratia, a small merchant caravan decides to stop in the village of Eburacum for some quick trading. Upon arrival, they find the village to be oddly quiet; no one comes out to meet them. Passing it off as nervousness in unsettled times enemy Hinterlanders infiltrate Torionensis on occasion the merchants enter the village anyway, to be confronted by a scene of utter horror! Everywhere they look, they see rotting corpses, their festering skin riddled with red pox marks. The caravan master orders a quick search of the nearest buildings to determine if anyone is alive, but no one finds any survivors.

Recognizing the peril of remaining in Eburacum, the caravan decides to make for Castra Alexandras, almost 50 miles to the south, with all due haste. (See Ya. 4, Ya. 22.)

What This Means: Although the wilderness regions of the Hinterlands are rife with all sorts of exotic diseases, it is still unnatural for an entire village to be apparently wiped out in this manner. Clearly, something strange is afoot.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are employed by the caravan as guards, they could have been the ones to make the discovery. DMs may wish to play up the paranoia of the situation, and have the PCs become afraid that they might have caught whatever disease killed the villagers, in order to add an element of drama.

Flaurmont 15, AC 1019

We Are in Deep Mud!

Location: City-State of Mivosia, Mivosian Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: The triumvirate is forced to delay the departure of the new troops to be sent to Polakatsikes, because the roads and trails are not fit for the army to march on. (See Fl. 4; Ya. 12, Ya. 21.)

What This Means: After more than a week of heavy rain, the fields are flooded, and irrigation canals are obstructed by branches, rocks and mud. Even paved roads are unstable, especially the ones next to the river banks which are now overflowing in many places. The reinforcements, who were assembling and ready to depart, will have to wait for the weather to be more favourable and for the trails and roads to be fixed or drained. The troops have been ordered to help clean up the muddy mess before they go.

What the PCs Can Do: Mivosians with a natural talent for shovelling, this is your day of glory.

Grauenberg's Time of Greatest Need.

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

Description: Messengers from the besieged city of Grauenberg arrive in Kammin, and provide the latest reports on the situation there. They also inform Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks of the positions of troops loyal to Heinrich Straßenburger. (See Fl. 6, Fl. 13; Ya. 7, Ya. 16.)

What This Means: Although magical communication with Grauenberg is possible, messages have become increasingly sporadic, as spellcasters in the city have turned their energies to repelling enemy assaults and tending to the wounded. Thus, the information is quite valuable to Anna especially the reported enemy positions. She will have the messengers healed, and send them back with fresh supplies magical and mundane as well as a few clerics she can afford to spare, to help the city hold out against the siege.

The strength of Grauenberg is critical to Anna's plans. As long as its garrison holds out, a significant number of Straßenburger's troops will be tied down in maintaining the siege, allowing her to consolidate her troops in preparation for the next stage of her campaign.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were the messengers, they will have crossed many miles of hostile territory to complete their mission, and could conceivably have had many wilderness encounters. If this is the case, it is quite possible that they will be in bad shape by the time they reach Kammin. Alternatively, the PC clerics could be sent to Grauenberg with the messengers, in which case they will have to brave a potentially dangerous cross-country trip, sneak through enemy lines to get into Grauenberg, and contribute their magical energies to holding off the enemy.

It Is All Fun and Games, Until Someone Gets Hurt.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The young werewolves strike again. This night they decide to harass a small group of pedestrians walking through the Nobles' Quarter. Things go awry as one of the group, a young man, stands up to the werewolves when his date is verbally abused and issues a series of challenges and insults. Most of the werewolves draw back, uncertain exactly what to do, but one of them steps forward to face the young man.

Werewolf and pedestrian begin a long exchange of insults. Several of the young man's taunts even draw laughs from the other werewolves. Enraged, the werewolf lunges at the young man, who quickly sidesteps the attack. Drawing a silver dagger from the folds of his clothing, the man buries the blade into the back of the charging beast, then he produces a wand; pointing it at the wounded werewolf, he begins casting a spell.

As their comrade howls in pain, the other lycanthropes rush in to aid him. One sends him sprawling to the ground, disrupting his casting. The two wrestle, the young man holding his own against the werewolf. More werewolves join the fray and before long they have the young man disarmed and restrained. The werewolves begin beating the helpless man, stopping only after he loses consciousness. The werewolves flee before the constabulary arrives.

The constables arrive and take charge of the situation. The area is secured and searched, though no sign of the werewolf attackers is found. The wounded man is identified as Valachi Sulescu, the son of Baron Zemiros Sulescu of the Kingdom of Karameikos. The constables tend to the wounded man as best as they can before carrying him to his residence and sending for doctors to tend to his wounds. The young is gravely wounded, though expected to make a recovery in time.

Word of the attacks spreads quickly throughout the city. Combined with previous attacks, public sentiment turns against the werewolves. Allies of the lycanthropes quickly rally to try to reduce the damage done. Chief Constable Tianis Nicom assigns several of her constables to stand guard at the recovering man's residence. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 7; Ya. 3, Ya. 13.)

What This Means: The juvenile antics of the hooligan werewolves have turned deadly serious. The Sulescu family has a tradition of sending its children abroad to study, usually in Glantri or Thyatis. Glantri cares little for Karameikos; however, when one of its nobles chooses to send his sons to study in Glantri, as opposed to the rival school in Karameikos, it becomes a matter of national pride and prestige for the Glantrians. Likewise, the fateful attack on a student could undermine the faith that other foreigners may have in studying in Glantri.

The Canine Protection Society is primarily a lobbying and proponent group, established to protect and promote the acceptance of lycanthropes within Glantri, and the attacks have created some serious setbacks for the lycanthropic cause. With limited authority, the society threatens to call in the Wolves' Tribunal to enforce acceptable behaviour. Glantri City's lycanthropes order their subordinates to use caution. While public opinion is a concern, the matter is now a serious criminal matter. The families of the involved werewolves move to restrict the activities of their kin and avoid drawing suspicion.

Flaurmont 16, AC 1019

The Lost City.

Location: Tang Hills, Ta'ang Province, Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: Explorers and militia investigating a rumour of goblinoid bandits in the northern foothills stumble upon ancient city ruins submerged in a valley lake. Caves in the hills, currently occupied by monsters, indicate the city people inhabited the hills at some point. (See Nu. 11, Nu. 17; Fe. 15.)

What the PCs Can Do: Submerged ruins of an ancient city surrounded by caves full of monsters, is there anything to add?

Jibarú Plans.

Location: Town of Ankesh, Province of Ankesh, Kingdom of Nimmur, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC

Description: Prince Sheneser agrees to a joint military venture with Suneveh into the forests of Jibarú. (See Nu. 17; Ya. 28, Fe. 15.)

What This Means: Ankesh has long been plagued by raids from the phanatons of Jibarú, and has been unable to put a stop to this recurrent nuisance, as the forests and hills in the north constitute a difficult environment for the manscorpions and their war chariots. Never before has any such operation against the primitive phanatons been planned, but with Suneveh forces now operating out of the Wind Flats Prince Enshurnasirpal has been eager to use them for something else than swatting killer flies the operation was too tempting. If his incursion in the phanatons' preferred environment turns into a disaster, Sheneser will not hesitate to withdraw he is eager to end the phanaton nuisance, but only at a reasonable cost.

What the PCs Can Do: Scouts and fighters experienced in combat in a forested environment would be appreciated.

A Warm Welcome in Schweidnitz.

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

Description: Just a few days after the arrival of the Heldannic expedition in the old colony of Schweidnitz, they are attacked by strange warriors, who seem to be black men with orcish or ogrish blood. The Heldannic Knights, aided by the adventurers from Kastelios, and by a few of the native warriors, are able to defeat the aggressors. Wilhelm Folgen questions the natives, and discovers that the aggressors are their bitter enemies, known as Mogluurs. (See Va. 2, Fl. 13; Fl. 27, Ya. 16.)

What This Means: Mogluur is a half-orcish nation southeast of the territories inhabited by copper-skinned men. The half-orcs have always raided their western neighbours, but now they have discovered a new, stronger enemy. Half-orc chiefs and shamans remember the "strange warriors arrived from the north sea" from histories of many years ago, and they will begin to make plans to wipe them out, as they did once before, in the times of the Wilhelm's grandfather.

What the PCs Can Do: Whether knights or adventurers, probably will have to do the same thing: fight for their lives!

Flaurmont 17, AC 1019

The Trial of Liberus Kliton.

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

Description: After a drawn-out investigation, Liberus Kliton, the censor maximus, is officially charged with misappropriation of imperial funds, and the trial against him begins. Kliton's advocates do their best to ensure that the trial is long, while he and Hildeborg work to mobilise popular opinion on his behalf. (See Fl. 5; Ya. 10.)

What This Means: It quickly becomes clear that Kliton is guilty as charged. He has used his office to enrich his friends and relatives, giving them sweetheart contracts and receiving kickbacks in return. He has also used his position to punish opponents, discretely, by denying them and their clients access and directing projects in ways that interfered with or hampered their commerce for example, denying building permits, seizing land in the name of civic health, and the like. All this was at the expense of the very people Kliton claimed to be helping, who needed limited resources to be spent efficiently on their welfare rather than diverted to serve his personal ambitions. It is also revealed that funds that were intended to keep the granaries secure were among those Kliton diverted; because of this, Thothian agents were able to poison the grain supply. Thus, Kliton is probably the main corrupt politician in Thyatis responsible for the resulting thousands of deaths.

Kliton's defence is that this is standard practice within the government and the real reason he is being pursued is because he sided with the common people against the powerful. He is sorry that some of his underlings got out of hand in their efforts to fight on behalf of the poor of Thyatis, and wants to get back to work for the good of the people. He did all he could to secure the grain and feed the poor, he says, but was denied what he really needed by an obstructionist senate. Men working on his behalf go on the tavern circuit in the Heart, telling stories that cast him in a favourable light as the victim, and the trial authorities as power-mad villains out to destroy a man who made a few mistakes while trying to do his best under difficult circumstances. Every day outside the courthouse, mobs of downtrodden Thyatians assemble to protest on his behalf. Soon there are clashes with the Civic Guard, and many fear a riot should Kliton be convicted. Others want such a riot, as the only way to hold the establishment accountable to "the people."

What the PCs Can Do: Characters may still be working on behalf of Kliton and his wife. Given the nature of Thyatian politics, it is very believable that Kliton is being accused of doing what other politicians (possibly his very accusers) do, but is only being persecuted because of his populist ideals.

Disturbing News from the Swamp.

Location: Shire of Eastshire, Five Shires. OW

Description: Ever since scores of young hin entered the Blight Swamp in search of oil, disturbing tales have begun to spread. While many would-be oil tycoons return home after a few weeks empty-handed, others have not returned at all, nor have they sent any word. While many clan elders blame monsters or bandits, others particularly those living in the portions of Eastshire that border the swamp believe that something more ominous may be afoot. (See Nu. 9; Ya. 22, Ya. 25.)

What This Means: Although the Five Shires is generally considered a peaceful land, it has its share of dangers. The Blight Swamp, and the lands immediately surrounding it, is one such area; it is known to be the haunt of lizard men and bandits, and some even claim that a dragon lives somewhere deep in the swamp. For the folk of Eastshire, however, the swamp is a land to be avoided, for reasons more terrifying than brigands and their ilk. There are Eastshire legends concerning haunted ruins, paths that appear and vanish to trap the unwary, and horrible monsters said to roam the swamp in search of prey.

Despite the news of the disappearances, the flow of prospectors will continue.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs, if they are trying to find oil, could easily run into lizard men and bandits though the latter are more common in the eastern regions of the swamp, for they are often people who have escaped the king's justice. At the DM's discretion, the PCs may run across ruins, which could be Taymoran, Traldar, or Hutaakan; they may be haunted or otherwise inhabited, and of course the DM is encouraged to drop in an interesting treasure or two.

If the DM wishes, the PCs could encounter the swamp's secret, but this will change the rest of this plot thread, and subsequent events may have to be modified accordingly. The rest of this plot thread assumes that the PCs will be hired later on to investigate the disappearances.

Claudia and Benjamin Come Back.

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

Description: Claudia has been repaired and returns to her work, while Annabelle is removed. Zas Ubul wants answers concerning the reliability of the caterpillars and he wants to know whether Bleek and Daker can fix her or not. Also, Benjamin is back from evaluation. Fortunately no other juggernaut has to be rotated for maintenance at this time. (See Th. 25, Fl. 10; Ya. 3, Fe. 2.)

What This Means: If Annabelle cannot be repaired a replacement will have to be constructed unless it turns out the caterpillars are not safe enough as a whole and cannot be used on construction sites at this stage. Work can return to full speed.

Flaurmont 18, AC 1019

A Count Against Counterfeits.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The Count of High Sonden, Lord Pieter Verlien, addresses the parliament to declare his campaign against fraudulence amongst the Glantrian nobles.

His announcement invokes immediate reactions from the nobles, representatives, politicians and bureaucrats present from scoffing laughter to howls of dissent, from surreptitious suspicious looks to fingers of accusations. The Chancellor of Princes, Prince Urmahid Krinagar of Bramyra, calls for order at the session, but the chaos is only ended when Pieter magically summons an enormous pile of heavy tomes, scroll cases stuffed with parchments, and leather satchels of legal documents.

Count Pieter calls forth for one thick scroll (a large white wolf is seen on the coat-of-arms when the scrolls magically unfurls) and begins to read from it, but Prince Urmahid stops the zealous count, declaring the evidence must first be examined and authenticated by the Supreme Judge of the Council, Princess Dolores Hillsbury. Dolores gives a decorous nod at Prince Chancellor Urmahid, and Lord Pieter gives a restrained nod of obeisance to his liege, Princess Dolores.

The parliamentary session ends, with many secret thoughts, unspoken words, and unfinished matters left up in the air, like so many levitating volumes and papers trailing the discontented Count of High Sonden. (See Va. 27; Ya. 12, Kl. 12.)

What This Means: This new Glantrian plot was hatched by Princess Dolores Hillsbury (the human guise of the evil Queen of the Night Dragons, Synn) and Count Pieter Verlien, a notoriously racist Flaemish nobleman feeling increasingly discontented with the ineffectual rule of Glantrian nobles. While Princess Dolores mainly wants to wreak havoc with the Glantrian political system, and perhaps strike some blows against her enemies such as Prince Malachie du Marais, the White Wolf of Morlay Lord Pieter's intentions actually run much deeper...

Since Pieter Verlien took the title of Count of High Sonden in AC 1016 (after deposing his insane mother Sinaria Verlien), he has fallen under the power of a malevolent artifact once in Lady Sinaria's possession, the Crown of Halzunthram. Already a proud and racist Flaemish patriot, Pieter has become more megalomaniacal under the crown's sway, and fervently believes that the Flaemish race should once again dominate the Highlands, with him as the supreme ruler!

Prince Urmahid (Dolores's present ally and alleged lover) plays the voice of reason in this otherwise extreme and dangerous political plot, although the extent of his complicity is unknown, since the primary target of Flaemish racism has often been those of Ethengar descent.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may be tasked to safeguard the documents presented by Pieter Verlien, or even the Count of High Sonden himself, until the evidence is brought to the proper authorities. On the other hand, the PCs may have to steal or alter the evidence, attempt an assassination on Pieter, or uncover the true motives behind his campaign. Pieter is a powerful pyromancer, hailing from a long and proud tradition of Flaemish fire wizards.

Flaurmont 21, AC 1019

A Plague of Caterpillars!

Location: Mumlyket of Gunjab, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: For weeks now, the rishiyas have allowed the Sacred Larvae of the Earth Mother free reign in the land, but this only results in Gunjab being overrun by caterpillars! With the hills eroded, crops destroyed, and homes infested by hundreds of large crawling caterpillars, the people have sought refuge in the city of Raneshwar, while others have fled to the mountains, or to other settlements, to Mahasabad to the south or Chandbali to the east.

The priests gather at the outskirts of Raneshwar, saying prayers and holding rites, in the hopes of staving off the Sacred Larvae. Meanwhile, Maharajah Sarojun Sur orders his soldiers to stand ready for an invasion, and secretly sends agents to ask aid from the followers of Gareth, as starvation and disease are imminent in the overcrowded city. (See Th. 26, Fl. 2; Fl. 28, Ya. 4.)

What This Means: The situation at Gunjab has reached a crisis point. Whether through arrogant self-delusion or manipulation by the evil devotees of Kala, the rishiyas have come to believe in their own fabrications that the caterpillars were sent by the Immortals, and are not the extraplanar elemental creatures that they are!

Though Maharajah Sarojun Sur is willing to let the rishiyas prove themselves (if only as failures), he calls for more realistic solutions, and with the Hulean occupation of Sind not too long ago, his warriors are not unfamiliar with nor unprepared for a siege.

What the PCs Can Do: At this point, the maharajah will be willing to call on any able-bodied hero to aid Gunjab, especially foreigners who are not under the sway of the rishiyas. The PCs may be secretly assigned to the followers of Gareth, on a dangerous mission that may lead to the Monastery of Gareth, high in the Kurish Massif. Besides the usual encounters in the mountain wilderness, PCs may have to face the horde itself, and the rishiyas, especially the followers of Kala and other chaotic Immortals.

Skaddri the Skald.

Location: City of Soderfjord, Kingdom of Soderfjord. OW

Description: Skaddri the Skald, a Soderfjorder adventurer, returns home after several years' adventuring in Norwold. He quickly charms the local populace with his songs and tales of faraway lands. His willingness to spend gold in large quantities doesn't hurt, either. (See Ya. 10.)

What This Means: Skaddri is actually a Mortal Identity of Loki, here to create chaos and advance the cause of Entropy in the Northern Reaches. His arrival in Soderfjord City is merely the first step in an intricate plan. With the removal of the king from power, Soderfjord is fertile ground for Loki's plots.

Land Grants.

Location: Kingdom of Oceansend, Tranquil Coast. NW

Description: King Olaf Yarrvikson announces a number of land grants to Ostlander settlers, principally along the new border with the Heldannic Empire. Over the coming months, land will be cleared for the construction of a series of fortified villages. (See Va. 5, Th. 3; Ya. 10.)

What This Means: Although Ostland is allied to Thyatis, the empire often assures the kingdom's continuing allegiance by granting plundering rights against hostile territories, as well as land grants in acquired lands. Ostland is a country where good land is scarce; therefore, there is no shortage of Ostlander warlords eager to make a name for themselves, and many of these younger Northmen pledge fealty to the empire in exchange for a chance to see the world, and possibly be granted lands to govern someday. This is exactly what happened here four younger sons of prominent jarls undertook service with the empire several years ago (knowing that they would never rule in Ostland). Each man, also a leader of his own clan and retainers, will rule the equivalent of an 8-mile hex. In addition to clearing land for farming and paying taxes to the king, the settlers will be given the responsibility of watching the Heldannic Knights to the west. In all respects, they will follow Olaf's orders.

Shortly after it fell for the second time to the Heldannic Knights [AC 1016. Ed.], former Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf tried to ensure that it would be far more difficult for the city-state to rebel in the future. One means of doing so was by transferring large swaths of territory previously controlled by the kingdom to Heldland proper, and colonising them. Many of these territories were strategic in that a relatively small force could use them to hold off a much larger foe; thus, a potentially rebellious Oceansend would be that much weaker because it would not have access to those lands. Following the deal between the Thyatian and Heldannic Empires concerning the fate of Oceansend, some of the ceded lands were restored to the city-state, and their Heldannic populations resettled elsewhere in Heldland. The Heldannic Empire, however, retained a number of key territories, some of which are now fortified. It would not be difficult for the Heldannic Knights to increase their military presence in these areas, and use them as launching points for another invasion. Association with Thyatis, however, gives Oceansend access to resources it would not otherwise have including additional settlers to help defend the realm.

The settlements, however, are not on as large a scale as those taking place in the Barony of Canium and the new thanedoms off Oceansend; many more Ostlanders have been granted lands there to make productive for the empire. Again, Oceansend is benefiting, but not quite as much as it might were it part of the empire this is another facet of Eusebius's efforts to make his case.

What the PCs Can Do: Ostlander PCs of Name level, who have served Thyatis well for several years, could be among those granted a dominion. The land gained is untamed, and will require thorough investigation, and there may even be a monster lair or two to clear out. An additional peril could come in the form of Heldannic spies, who will observe the establishment of the border dominions with interest (knowing full well what they are for). More than likely, such spies will be of native Heldanner stock (i.e. Antalian), the better to blend in.

Flaurmont 22, AC 1019

The Death of Innocenti di Malapietra!

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Two months have passed since the first rumours sprang up about the death of the former Prince of Caurenze and Viscount of Sirecchia, the mad Signor Innocenti di Malapietra "He was burrowing a tunnel into the centre of the earth with his magic and found an entire underworld beneath a red sun!" is the latest and most fantastic of such rumours and his sister, La Signora Lucrecia di Malapietra, officially announces the matter of his death at parliament.

Seemingly distraught with grief, she declares that her brother died at the hands of the clerics of Valerias, who are constructing their temple in the Caurenzan region. The parliament immediately explodes, denouncing the clerics and the "unprecedented, idiotic, treasonous, and un-Glantrian" sanction of their religious structures last year most of which are aimed at its author, the former Alphatian Prince of Blackhill, Sir Volospin Aendyr.

Signora Lucrecia adds that the Valerian clerics are not entirely to blame, as Innocenti was murderously insane and trespassing on their property. But in the same breath, she emphasises the importance of monitoring clerics' activities, and thus the vital role that Sirecchia plays, despite being a fief in a ruined wasteland. To conclude her impassioned address, Lucrecia implores the parliament to acknowledge her claim for the rulership of House Sirecchia and the title of Viscountess of Sirecchia.

Prince Ralindi Virayana of Krondahar raises the matter of Bartolomeo di Malapietra, the scholarly son and presumed heir to Signor Innocenti, but Supreme Judge of the Council Dolores Hillsbury states that despite his legitimacy to the throne of Sirecchia, Signor Bartolomeo has hardly been seen outside of the Great School of Magic and has thus far manifested no political intentions. A second contender, introduced by Visconte Griseo Fulvina di Verazzano, comes as a shock to all in attendance. Signor Agostino di Malapietra, brother to Innocenti and Lucrecia and recently thought killed by the latter during an alleged attempt at her life, makes an appearance to accuse Lucrecia of murder and to stake his claim on Sirecchia.

All at once, the parliament breaks into chaos, with various nobles and politicians rallying to one rival Malapietra or another. The session ends abruptly with the matter left undecided. (See Th. 4, Fl. 18; Fl. 26, Ya. 2.)

What This Means: As a consequence of Count Pieter Verlien's personal investigation to expose fraudulence in the ranks of the Glantrian nobility, Lucrecia di Malapietra decided to reveal the truth of her brother's death or at least, her version of the truth. In a masterful display of political skill, Lucrecia managed to pin the blame of Innocenti's murder on the hated clerics of Valerias (thereby gaining the support of anti-clerical factions), quelling any questions about the viability of Sirecchia, and eluding the issue of her keeping Innocenti's murder a secret, all in one speech! Lucrecia even insinuated a jibe against Volospin Aendyr, a long-time rival of Caurenze. But most importantly, she elegantly established herself as the sole and rightful heir for the noble title of Sirecchia or so she thought.

Though the more scholarly nobles, such as Prince Ralindi and Prinz Harald Haaskinz of Sablestone, would prefer a more intelligent, more sane Sirecchia and a loyalty to the Great School of Magic rather than Glantrian politics Lucrecia has thus far eliminated her nephew Bartolomeo from the running, with threats that have kept him virtually exiled in the Great School of Magic. But Agostino's second and sudden appearance was totally unexpected.

Lucrecia will learn that the person she killed was not Agostino, but Cesare Fulvina (magically disguised as Agostino); though confident she can find a way to get away with his murder, legally, she will fear reprisals from the Fulvinas (their Caurenzan allegiance is tenuous at best) will jeopardise her bid for the viscountcy.

Flaurmont 23, AC 1019

Expedition Encounters Kara Kara.

Location: Isles of Steam, Sea of Steam. DV

Description: While exploring one of the larger islands, a Thyatian landing party encounters a slightly larger group of kara kara, an offshoot of the orcish race that inhabits many of Mystara's more remote tropical islands. With a loud bellow, the natives charge, thrusting their stone spears and swinging their clubs. Although a few blows find their marks, tempered Thyatian steel slices through the kara kara warriors, felling a number of them before the initial attack is complete. Undaunted, the kara kara continue to fight with ferocity, utilising their great strength in bashing enemy skulls and crushing limbs.

Suddenly, one of the Thyatians unleashes a blinding flash of light, which disorients the natives long enough for the party members to extricate themselves from the situation, and stage a fighting withdrawal. The kara kara give up pursuit before long. (See Th. 24, Fl. 12; Fl. 27, Ya. 2.)

What This Means: The Thyatians have encountered one of the more common races in this part of the world the kara kara. The expedition had found no indication that anything intelligent lived on these islands, thereby leaving them unprepared for the encounter. Despite the element of surprise, the Thyatians' better weapons and armour prevented the encounter from turning into a rout, and the judicious casting of a light spell dissuaded the natives from pursuing the humans too closely. Once Julius Ambrosius receives word of the encounter, he will order landing parties to include at least one spellcaster. Nevertheless, three men were killed, and several more sustained serious injuries.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are present, they can reduce the number of casualties, and, depending on their spells and skills, they might be able to detect the kara kara before they can obtain any element of surprise.

The Shadow Spreads Eastward.

Location: Eastern passes of the Adakkian Mountains, Valley of Lions. DV

Description: Makeshift Hrissopolian forts across the Adakkian Mountains receive frantic reports from fleeing scouts the enemy has arrived! Within the hour, observers report seeing columns of armed lizard men marching along the mountain trails leading to their positions. The vanguard of the foe is dispatched easily enough by archers and spearmen, as the narrow confines of the passes provide little cover, but the lizard men simply surge over the bodies of their fallen to continue their advance. Soon, melee combat erupts along the mountain range, and for a time it seems the line will hold, but, one after another, the scattered garrisons are overwhelmed, and the Hrissopolian army retreats to the foothills to regroup. They are not pursued, but are dismayed to see their enemy blacken the mountainsides, like a festering wound, as more of their number enter the valley unopposed. (See Fl. 4; Fl. 27, Ya. 1.)

What This Means: Although they had a tactical advantage, the Hrissopolians were too few in number to man all of the passes that lead to the Amalur Lowlands adequately. That, combined with the fanatical resolve of the lizard men who surged onwards regardless of how many of their own were killed almost guaranteed a lizard man victory. At best, the Hrissopolians delayed their enemy's advance by a few hours, although they will have enough time to re-establish defensive positions for the next strike.

What the PCs Can Do: Powerful PCs have the chance to make a real difference here. A few well-placed, high-level spells could destroy hundreds of lizard men, and buy valuable time for the Hrissopolians. Skilled PC warriors can also lead brave sorties against the enemy, and perhaps beat them back for a while. Ultimately, the lizard man army will still push the Hrissopolians eastwards there are too many mountain passes to defend but the PCs' actions could save many lives.


Location: Off coast of Baronía de Gargoña, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: While sailing south towards Almarrón, the lead ship of the Thyatian expedition is intercepted by four smaller vessels as they sail past the Isla del Cayo. Bolts from light ballistae mounted on the foreign ships rake the Thyatian vessel. Return fire from the other three Thyatian ships make short work of two of the enemy ships, which are light-hulled by comparison. All but one of the attacking ships change course and head straight for the mainland. The remaining vessel, surrounded by the Thyatians, lowers its Gargoñan colours as a gesture of surrender, and is boarded. The ships then proceed to the Isla del Cayo which is nominally Gargoñan territory, but has been under the control of its few inhabitants since the baronía was invaded by Narvaez where they dock for the rest of the day to regroup, and interrogate their prisoners. (See Fl. 12, Fl. 13; Fl. 24, Ya. 2.)

What This Means: From their discussions with the Narvaezans, the Thyatians felt that they had no reason to expect an ambush; since the collapse of Gargoña following the Narvaezan invasion of AC 1017, and the subsequent disruption of trade in the region, traffic along the coast has fallen off considerably, and therefore there would be very little for pirates and other raiders to attack. This encounter has proven this belief to be wrong, although the attackers underestimated the strength of the Thyatian ships. In the meantime, the Thyatians will question their erstwhile attackers.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be present during the ambush, in which case they could take part in a short battle.

Flaurmont 24, AC 1019

Men Support Women's Rights.

Location: Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: Upon hearing of the exarch's decision to limit polygamy (no one hears that he is only considering it) many poor and lower middle class young men spontaneously demonstrate in support of the exarch since historically finding a bride has been quite difficult when the higher classes have taken more than their proportion of women. Secretly, many clerics and monastic masters mourn for the potential loss of so many poor and lower class men who, unable to wed, traditionally entered into religious service. (See Th. 13, Th. 26; Kl. 7, Ei. 3.)

What This Means: The winds of change have their supporters as well as their opponents. In such a tight and slowly moving culture as Ochalea's, abrupt changes can shake the society all the harder for better or worse. Oddly enough, many Ochalean men favour the emancipation of females, at least in the lower circles of the society.

Raiders... or Freedom Fighters?

Location: Isla del Cayo, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: Cursory questioning of the enemy sailors captured during the previous day's skirmish has revealed that the men are all Gargoñans, and they all claim to be fighting the "Narvaezan occupiers" they all state that they thought the Thyatians were merchants, and had hoped to raid the vessels to secure resources for their cause. Intrigued, Paulus Angelinus, the leader of the Thyatian expedition, asks the prisoners why they oppose the Narvaezans, and he is told about the imposition of the inquisition on the people of Narvaezan-occupied Gargoña, and that those who voice support for the old regime often disappear. They explain that they were declared heretics by the Narvaezans, and were driven from their homes. (See Fl. 13, Fl. 23; Ya. 2, Ya. 18.)

What This Means: Obviously, Narvaez's plans to expand are not unopposed. Eager to strengthen his country's hold on northern Gargoña, Barón Hugo de Narvaez y Montoya directed his armies to sweep the countryside for any and all potential sources of dissent. Clerics of Immortals other than Ixion were arrested, and their temples were confiscated by the Narvaezan Church of Ixion the same punishment was meted to Gargoñans who refused to convert to the worship of Ixion, as well. A system of informants (some of them willing) has been established in the region, and as a result opponents of the Narvaezan regime are tracked down ruthlessly.

Some of the rebels see the Thyatians as potential allies, however, and hope that, by telling their side of the story, they might be able to gain some support.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could take part in the interrogations, or they could provide Paulus with additional information, if they have adventured in this part of the world before. Either way, if they are well known to Paulus, he may call on them to provide advice, as he is loath to involve his empire in what could turn into a very nasty insurrection.

Edge of the Jungle Ahead!

Location: 200 miles north of Town of Tyrnae, edge of the Davanian Jungle. DV

Description: The Heldannic party has ridden for the last 17 days and has reached the edge of the jungle. Up to now, they have been observed every day if possible by Governor Wolfgang Stemmel, who has learned to use the magical basin. Their progress will now become very slow since travelling through a jungle is never as easy as it seems on the map. They hope they can trek 12 miles a day, but from now on nothing is sure. They enter the jungle with donkeys to carry their packs and leave a small party at the jungle's edge to build a camp and look after the horses.

The region has been visited a while ago. They find abandoned encampments but the tracks are months or years old. (See Fl. 1, Fl. 7; Ya. 12, Ya. 13.)

What This Means: The first part of the journey went well since they circumvented Tyrnae's eastern hills and thus avoided most of the Mivosian patrols. It took a few more days than going straight north, but the governor's instructions were clear about how careful they should be regarding the possibility of being spotted by the Mivosians.

The tracks they found were those of the Milenians who fled the region when Mivosia invaded the region in AC 1017 and later entered the jungle.

What the PCs Can Do: They can hunt to improve the daily menu.

Flaurmont 25, AC 1019

1,001 Tales Told.

Location: City of Ylaruam, Emirate of Alasiya, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: Mujibur and the Khalid "Tale-Teller" have been telling stories for seventy days. Today, the university faculty declares a winner, Mujibur al-Jaboor. (See Va. 11, Th. 20; Ya. 5, Kl. 12.)

What This Means: The decisive end came when the faculty realised many stories of Khalid "Tale-Teller" were extremely good accounts of the Nahmeh, whereas Mujibur's stories were not only personal accounts of his travels; they all compared the Nahmeh to real life, with a few surprising twists. In all, it is said 1,001 stories were told. The word spread so quickly that even the sultan made an appearance to hear the last tales of the battle. The sultan is impressed by the last story recounted by Mujibur, as it answers his main question about his loyalties. Mujibur states that all men of the desert are like sand in an hourglass: if one blocks the others, they only block the progress of time. If they all run smooth, then they all progress to the end, only to start again; it is for the sultan to decide in which direction the sand flows, and he can only determine this by the sounds in the desert. When questioned about Mujibur's travels abroad and telling of stories to non-Ylari, Mujibur answers that those who do not accept the truths of al-Kalim are seen as animals possessing the virtues of courage and fighting, but nothing else; just as animals have only the virtues of strength and carrying loads. At the end of the day, it is overheard that Mujibur told Khalid "Tale-Teller" he would have only done better by having Farid tell his stories, thus confirming many other people's beliefs in Khalid "Tale-Teller" being al-Kalim.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may actually hear Mujibur's last comment, and may have to report it to the sultan as an affirmation or a very well deserved compliment. PCs in attendance should be left with a feeling of unity between all who believe in al-Kalim, Kin or Preceptor; and that Mujibur will always be a staunch ally of the emirates as a whole, and to anyone that can repeat from memory the Nahmeh. Foreigners and non-believers alike can also fear the sword and tongue of Mujibur.

Flaurmont 26, AC 1019

The Death of Lucrecia di Malapietra.

Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: At the Silver Tower Inn, the most fashionable haunt of the Glantrian elite, the controversial Signora Lucrecia di Malapietra is seen at luncheon with Princess Dolores Hillsbury of Fenswick, her ally and strongest political backer. But when the princess shares news to Lucrecia that Signor Agostino di Malapietra, her brother and primary contender for the rulership of Sirecchia has just declared Bartolomeo di Malapietra, Innocenti's son, as the official heir, Lucrecia leaves in a huff!

At the parliamentary session later that afternoon, where the succession of Sirecchia is to be settled by voting, Princess Dolores makes a sad announcement that La Signora Lucrecia has suddenly passed away. According to the reports of the Glantrian constabulary (under the authority of Princess Dolores, as the Supreme Judge of the Council), Signora Lucrecia took her own life with poison, leaving a note where she confessed her guilt over the death of Signor Cesare Fulvina (whom she murdered when he was magically disguised as Agostino) and admitted to conspiring to hide the fact of Innocenti's death.

With Lucrecia's fortuitous and all too suspicious suicide, Signor Agostino di Malapietra is confirmed as the new Viscount of Sirecchia. (See Th. 4, Fl. 22; Ya. 2.)

What This Means: This is a classic Glantrian plot where the behind-the-scenes moves are much more important than any of the aboveboard action. Agostino di Malapietra was well aware that, on his own merit, he would not have been able to defeat Lucrecia in the political arena. He thus made two crucial moves to gain enough political support to back his bid for Sirecchia.

Agostino's first move was to visit the Great School of Magic to see his nephew Bartolomeo. They forged an alliance, which earned Agostino the votes of the nobles who support the scholarly Bartolomeo; this includes Prince Harald Haaskinz of Sablestone, the Grandmaster of the Great School of Magic, and his protégé, Prince Ralindi Virayana of Krondahar.

The second, and much riskier, move of Agostino was to offer Princess Dolores Hillsbury his allegiance, should he become Viscount of Sirecchia. Agostino cunningly deduced that Dolores cared only for the vote of Sirecchia, not so much which Malapietra ruled it. In the light of Lucrecia's recent overtures to Frau Hildegarde von Drachenfels of the rival House Ritterburg, and considering that Agostino is indebted to Dolores's other adherent, Antonio di Tarento Antonio harboured an exiled Agostino in AC 1007, when Lucrecia had first attempted to assassinate him Princess Dolores decided that the less treacherous Malapietra to deal with would be Agostino.

Together with the support from Agostino's present allies, Signor Griseo Fulvina and House Igorov, Agostino would have garnered an overwhelming margin over Lucrecia at the parliament, if the matter had come to a vote.

What the PCs Can Do: There is still the matter of the Signora Lucrecia's death to investigate. Did she really commit suicide? Was she perhaps murdered by Agostino? Was she killed by Griseo to avenge the death of his son Cesare? Did Princess Dolores perhaps decide to tie up loose ends and have her eliminated? Was Signor Antonio di Tarento, the secret leader of the Unseen Hand, involved in such an assassination by order of Dolores, Agostino, or maybe even Bartolomeo? Or did Lucrecia stage her own death, knowing her loss of power would bring about reprisals from Agostino, Dolores, and the Glantrian law?

Whatever the scenario, the PCs may be called to investigate. But they must keep in mind that the supreme judge of the council is Princess Dolores Hillsbury, and what the PCs discover may not be to her liking...

Flaurmont 27, AC 1019

Battle of Claw River.

Location: A few miles west of the City-State of Hrissopoli, Valley of Lions. DV

Description: The lizard man host has resumed its march eastwards, sweeping down the Adakkian Mountains into the Valley of Lions itself. All the while, the Hrissopolian army has been giving ground, until both forces reach the Claw River, the largest and fastest-flowing river in the valley. Here, the force of humans and rakasta, plus a handful of their lizard man auxiliaries, form a defensive line at the western end of the only bridge that crosses the river, while archers form up on the other side.

They do not have to wait long before their enemy is upon them. At the forefront of the assault are tall, dark-skinned lizard men wielding great spears, who crash into the Hrissopolian phalanxes. As arrows sing overhead, the lizard men are forced o retreat, their momentum dissipated. The defenders are heartened, and the rakasta general unleashes his light cavalry to turn the enemy's retreat into a rout, but as the dark lizard men begin to flee, they are reinforced by sword-wielding, armoured troglodytes, who rush the defenders once more, and press them back. Cut off from the main body of the Hrissopolian army, the light cavalry regroups and tries to rejoin their own lines, but many are taken down by enemy spearmen, or pulled off their horses by the throng.

It soon becomes apparent that the line cannot hold, and the Hrissopolian general orders a withdrawal to the eastern shore under the cover of arrow fire. This is accomplished in good order, while engineers attack the bridge itself in an effort to collapse it. Enough cover fire is provided that the lizard men do not approach the bridge too closely, allowing the Hrissopolians to destroy it. A general retreat to Hrissopoli is then ordered, and the remainder of the army pulls back. (See Fl. 4, Fl. 23; Ya. 1, Ya. 7.)

What This Means: The Hrissopolians knew that their enemy would have to cross the Claw River bridge. The only alternatives are to march many miles north, to circle around the river's source in the mountains, or to circle around a small lake at its southern end. Either way, such a move would take days to accomplish for such a large force. The Hrissopolians have bought themselves more time.

Unfortunately, even though their strategic situation was still advantageous, the defenders could not prevail against the lizard men; there were simply too many of them. As it stands, Hrissopoli has lost almost all of its light cavalry, and roughly a third of its pikemen. The army will now retreat to the city itself, and prepare for the final battle.

What the PCs Can Do: As with the battle in the mountain passes, skilled PCs can make a difference here by killing large numbers of the foe, and possibly saving more lives on their own side. They will not be able to defeat the enemy army in its entirety, though.

A Shadow Caught.

Location: City of Athenos, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: Shadow is caught and the stolen necklace of Allana Mauntea recovered. In another attempt to fence her stolen goods, the guards step in to catch her in the act. This time they are prepared and prevent her escape. She is sent to Darokin City in chains to face justice for her crimes. Rumours circulate that agents of Linton House were instrumental in her capture. (See Va. 13, Th. 10; Ya. 19, Ya. 26.)

What This Means: There is more going on here than meets the eye. Indeed, Shadow has bargained to save herself from her fate. It has not escaped her notice that her theft has hurt Mauntea House, and her subsequent investigations have revealed that Linton House is the main opposing power. To redeem herself, she made an agreement for leniency with Mauntea House, by returning the necklace and discrediting Linton House at the same time. Then she offered to sell the necklace to agents of Linton House, so that they could gain prestige by finding his wife's lost trinket for the poor chancellor. Linton House agreed, although with the intent of catching both Shadow and the necklace, but Shadow was actually counting on that and had agents of Mauntea House on hand to witness her shady dealings with the Lintons. None of this is likely to ever become official, since it's not in anybody's interest Linton House doesn't want it be known that they were dealing with a criminal to conspire against the chancellor, and Mauntea doesn't want to admit that they struck a deal with a notorious thief to discredit their opponents. And naturally Shadow will say nothing, since her fate depends on her silence. Shadow is eventually revealed to be Dawn Henry, a former merchant in the Toney House, though only a select few people, primarily important members of the DDC, will be made aware of this.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can be agents of the Linton or Mauntea Houses in the plot. For the Lintons they would have to meet Shadow to get the necklace and then catch her. Once the agents of Mauntea House step in, however, they had better claim immediately that the whole matter was an attempt to recover the necklace and catch the thief for the chancellor, or else their lives could become very difficult, as Linton House would wash its hands of the whole matter and deny any association with the PCs, then hire someone to quietly have them silenced. If they claim to work for Linton House in the interests of the chancellor, however, Linton House could still claim some glory from the whole matter, and so would reward the PCs for quick thinking. If the PCs are with Mauntea House, however, they could be sought out by Shadow, who wishes to propose the idea to discredit Linton House. They would have to carry all the risks themselves, though, as Mauntea House will insist on maintaining distance from the matter in case anything goes wrong.

First Signs of Drought.

Location: Meghales Amosses Desert, south of Mivosian Empire. DV

Description: The light rains, which normally water the fringes of the Meghales Amosses Desert, have not come this year. Cattle and other livestock are dying, slowly but surely. (See Fl. 4, Fl. 15; Ya. 12, Ya. 21.)

What This Means: This event has its cause in the intervention of Vanya, who managed to deflect the rain clouds from their regular course in order to flood Mivosia and its surroundings. The rains normally follow a three-year cycle and fall in early Flaurmont. This year should have been the one with rain, but it shall not be anymore and is going to be the fourth year without rain instead. Most of the natural springs are now dry and the future shall be hard for the nomads, known by the people of the plains as the Meghalese, who make their homes in this hard land. An exodus is considered.

What the PCs Can Do: If they have clerical or magical powers, they can assist the shepherds who also suffer from the drought.

An Alliance against a Common Enemy.

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

Description: After the courageous resistance of the Heldannic Knights against the half-orcs, two great delegations of natives come before Wilhelm Folgen to offer an alliance against the common enemy. Wilhelm gladly accepts, and begins to prepare with the native chiefs two united armies to fight the half-orcs. (See Fl. 13, Fl. 16; Ya. 18, Fe. 15.)

What This Means: The natives, two great tribes called Tikul and Makal, know that they can defeat their ogre-kin enemies with the aid of the Heldannic Knights. They know of the battle prowess of the knights from the time of Wilhelm's grandfather.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are on the Heldanners' side they could be very useful to Wilhelm as scouts for the army. If they are on their own side only, they could try to escape the new colony avoiding patrols of half-orcs, who seem to be everywhere.

A Fervently Hoped-for Discovery?

Location: Isles of Steam, Sea of Steam. DV

Description: After many more days of sailing and exploring the nearest islands, the Thyatian expedition notices a very large island due west quite possibly the largest island in the entire chain. A sizeable landing party is sent ashore that afternoon. (See Fl. 12, Fl. 23; Ya. 2, Ya. 3.)

What This Means: Aside from the initial encounter with the kara kara, and a subsequent sighting of lizard men (who promptly vanished into the jungle once they realised they had been seen), the Thyatians have not encountered any indigenous civilisations. At the same time, however, most of the islands they have charted are fairly small large enough to sustain a few villages at most, and little else. Julius Ambrosius is beginning to despair that the elves misled him when they told him that these islands would give him insight into this part of the world, but the sighting of such a large island has renewed his hopes that something besides plant and animal specimens might be awaiting discovery.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are participating in this expedition, it is probably a given that they will be part of most landing parties.

Flaurmont 28, AC 1019

Rishiyas Repel the Horde.

Location: Mumlyket of Gunjab, Kingdom of Sind. OW

Description: The elemental horde of caterpillars plaguing Gunjab, declared Sacred Larvae of the Earth Mother, creep southward past Raneshwar. The rishiyas proudly claim it was their faith and clerical magic that diverted the "Wrath of the Earth Mother" and saved Raneshwar from devastation. They are met with lukewarm reception from the people of Gunjab. (See Fl. 2, Fl. 21; Ya. 4, Am. 10.)

What This Means: The inscrutable movement of the horde, and coincidental deliverance of Raneshwar, was not the work of the rishiyas and the Gunjabi known this. The religious pronouncements of the rishiyas will do little to restore the faith of the populace, and some might even say that their interfering only caused more destruction and loss.

The people are now faced with the arduous task of restoring the livelihoods and industries of Gunjab, and Maharajah Sarojun Sur has concerns about the horde, which relentlessly follows a path towards the fertile agricultural lands of Nagpuri.

Topic of the Month

Minutes from the Black Eagle's Trial

The following magically-recorded closing argument of the Black Eagle can only be read by the landed nobility of the Kingdom of Karameikos, or after one century and one day after the verdict of the trial.

"The hin claim that I was constantly attacking them. Well, I don't deny that there were skirmishes, small and large, between forces from the Black Eagle Barony and the Five Shires. But do not make any mistakes: It is the hin that were harassing the barony, and I defended Karameikos from their encroachments. It is well known that the hin practice piracy, and they especially like to target Thyatian shipping; when we came to the lands of Traladara with Stefan Karameikos, they viewed us as more Thyatians and they raided the Karameikan ships in the Gulf of Halav as if they were Thyatian, and they raided the Black Eagle Barony. I did my duty of protecting the western border against their incursions, and in so doing I helped Karameikos maintain its border and become a strong nation, whereas it would certainly have fallen to outside forces otherwise. The hin branded me as their enemy then and never changed their opinion since then, but it is not the truth: I was keeping Karameikos's border safe, and with it the whole grand duchy.

"I renamed the barony's main city Fort Doom. It does not mean I was an evil ruler bent on bringing doom to the people, as some would have you believe. But at the beginnings of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos, the Traladaran population was hostile, and every one of the new Thyatian lords had to take measures to prevent uprisings, and even the duke had to put down a rebellion in Marilenev. Duke Stefan renamed the capital Specularum to emphasise the change of rulership, and so did I. Fort Doom was a name that, hopefully, would make rebellious Traladarans and hostile hin think twice.

"There was no slavery in the Black Eagle Barony, nor servitude. The Black Eagle Barony was a law-abiding Karameikan dominion. The misconception arose from the fact that, unlike in the rest of Karameikos, local law did not grant freedom to slaves who managed to escape supervision. While it may seem like the barony was acting barbarously and against the duke's wishes, it was an economic necessity for the barony in order to keep the business of the slave ships from the west on their way to the Thyatian Empire or further east. Thus, within the barony, slavers could recapture their escaped slaves, and sometimes even with the help of the local authorities. People who did not know the law assumed that slavery was authorised, and even practiced by the baron's men; but it was in fact the rounding up of escaped slaves, not the enslaving of freemen and freewomen.

"The Black Eagle Barony employed humanoid mercenaries. They were led by humans, though, and behaved as a well-disciplined force, much like that of New Kolland or the Orclands. They were not rogue warriors bent on raiding, slaying, plundering, enslaving, torturing, or any other purported villainy, but professional soldiers in the service of the barony. Orcs have a bad reputation as a whole, but the Black Eagle orcs were under strict supervision and behaved in a civilised manner, like any other Karameikan subject.

"The Black Eagle Barony was plagued by slavers from the Iron Ring like the rest of the kingdom. As some people were thus enslaved within the barony's borders, and as the orcish guard occasionally helped slavers recapture their escaped slaves, the two were mixed up in the minds of some people who thought I condoned slavery. It was a totally unfair assumption. I naturally opposed the slaver rings and tried to root them out, but was not any more successful at it than any of you. I suppose the Iron Ring was more prevalent in the Black Eagle Barony than in the rest of Karameikos, due to the fact that the barony was a stop between Jaibul and Thyatis, but its activities were of course illicit and stopped whenever discovered. Even suggesting that I was leading the Iron Ring is preposterous.

"My cousin King Stefan was abducted by foreign hin a grave crime for which they were not even prosecuted and shown the seediest parts of the Black Eagle Barony. Was there injustice in the Black Eagle Barony? Certainly, but no more than in other parts of the kingdom, I am afraid. What would fair King Stefan do, were he forced to witness the darker goings-on in some quarters of the city of Mirros? Based solely on what he was shown a biased tour of my dominion by my foes and without giving me the opportunity to show him what was working fine in the barony, he convicted me without the benefit of a trial, to which every Karameikan subject is entitled according to the very King's Law except when the king wishes otherwise, and then abandoned his vassal to his fate at the hand of a foreign power. What is this trial about, then, when the king already found me guilty and applied the sentence on a whim? Could you oppose your king's decision and reinstate me as ruler of my former barony? Even if you did, how could I rule this dominion again, after I was made destitute and abandoned by the king, and consequently could not defend it against invasion? The king used his self-bestowed regal power to eliminate one of his faithful vassals, and would you, my former peers, have approved his decision a posteriori but then, it would mean he could do it again, to any of you, and that the kingdom is not ruled by right of law but by its ruler's whims like an Alphatian kingdom. No, you must rebuke the king's reckless ruling, even though it is rather pointless as far as my ruling the Black Eagle Barony is concerned, since the king's whim undermined my authority beyond recovery. In fact, I believe it is time King Stefan step down from the throne of Karameikos."