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Fyrmont 1, AC 1019
The School Has Been Sacked.
Location: Town of Krakatos, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: The Masked One discovers that several labs, libraries, stores of magical items and components, and many other valuables have been pillaged by the Alphatians before they left the school. In addition, the Alphatian faculty is almost all gone. (See Kl. 19, Fe. 26; Fy. 13, Am. 12.)
What This Means: When they left, the Alphatian wizards took with them their valuable possessions (they generally had nothing else, as their previous possessions disappeared with Alphatia): spellbooks, scrolls and magical items they enchanted, magical components, books related to their crafts, creatures they summoned or bound, etc. Thus they took with them their possessions, like any Alphatian wizard moving his estate: in Alphatia, pretty much everything belongs to the aristocrat, or does if he or she says so; the Karameikans view it differently, though, considering that all of it (except maybe for spellbooks) was school property. To the Karameikans, the Alphatians used Karameikan resources (through the school) and stole everything; this will not help change Queen Olivia's unfavourable opinion of the Alphatians.
Polakatsikes Welcomes Everyone.
Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: Governor Wolfgang Stemmel orders parties of scouts to be sent north, up to the fringes of the Hills of Desolation themselves, to try to encourage as many of the Meghalans who fled their homes as possible to settle in the lands claimed by the Heldannic Order. He needs to increase the number of people within his lands in order to feed everyone, and to assert proper control. (See Fe. 14.)
What This Means: The scouts sent out are mainly the ones who patrolled these areas during the war. At that time, they found many small hamlets or encampments founded by the refugees fleeing the Mivosian armies. Since they were mainly farmers, they are now much needed around Polakatsikes to till the fields. Many of these refugees are still gathered at the fringes of the jungle in the north, and in northern villages such as Miletos, which were abandoned by their original inhabitants (who have since fled to the Thyatian Empire).
What the PCs Can Do: Great opportunities for adventures if sent as scouts. Many monsters to meet, some ruins to discover and explore, and people to convince to come back.
Thyatians Arrive in Robrenn.
Location: Town of Senerobriva, Barony of Uthuínn, Confederated Kingdom of Robrenn. SC
Description: After several days of uneventful sailing along the coast, the Thyatian expedition heads for the town of Senerobriva, the baronial capital of Uthuínn. The Thyatians' arrival arouses mild curiosity from the local sailors and fishermen. When the Thyatians make it clear that they are here to trade and build ties, a small group of humans and hin, representing the major merchant families in town, host the explorers in one of their halls, sharing succulent local dishes and exchanging pleasantries. Before long, various trade goods are brought before the guests, including varieties of fish, medicinal herbs, and amber. The Thyatian and Minrothaddan merchants, who have accompanied the expedition, present goods of their own, as well as suitable sums of silver. Before the day is out, several informal trading agreements have been made. (See Kl. 25, Fe. 21; Fy. 5, Fy. 13.)
What This Means: The Thyatians had heard from the various rulers of the Savage Baronies about the nations of Robrenn and Eusdria, and, owing to the apparent lack of civilisation in the lands between, headed there without delay. The Barony of Uthuínn was described by the Vilaverdans and Texeirans as being as pleasant place; hence the decision to drop anchor here for a few days. The expedition commander, Paulus Angelinus, will make a point of meeting with the baroness, Brivaela the Sagacious, to discuss local issues, and to determine whether the barony would be receptive to opening formal trading relations with Thyatis. The expedition also hopes to learn about the political situation in Robrenn the information they have obtained thus far is far too superficial to be of much use.
What the PCs Can Do: The Barony of Uthuínn is, in many ways, a land apart. Being the only island territory of Robrenn, and having been inhabited by a variety of races in relative isolation over many centuries, its culture stands out slightly. The Thyatians (and the PCs) should have ample opportunities to encounter this while they are staying here.
Fyrmont 2, AC 1019
Sweet Dreams, Bitter Dreams.
Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: Alatia von Schneiderheim wakes up very agitated after a bad dream in which she saw her former partner Brother Ignatius tortured. He cried her name in agony, then fainted. At that point she woke up in sweat. (See Kl. 20; Fy. 4, Fy. 6.)
What This Means: Brother Ignatius was captured by the "monks" of the abbey who defend the Hulean entrance through the Great Pass in the eastern Black Mountains. He has been interrogated and tortured many times since his capture, sometimes by special agents sent by the Master. The dreams Alatia received are just echoes from Ignatius's tormented mind trying to reach his former comrade in a last attempt to get her help.
What the PCs Can Do: If they were the ones undertaking the mission earlier this year, they could receive this dream instead of Alatia.
A Great Battle in the Hills.
Location: Bear Clan Lands, Atruaghin Territories. OW
Description: The Ystran House mercenary army is trying to protect the miners from bloodless hit-and-run Atruaghin attacks with deadly force, and has killed many Atruaghin warriors in the last days. Now Bear Clan chiefs and Umbarth House agents understand that there can be peace in the hills only after destroying the Ystran House force once and for all. So, a great force of Bear Clan warriors, with many shamans and some Umbarth agents, attack and destroy the mercenary camp. Georgy Ystran, son of the head of the family and head of the operations in the hills, dies in battle. Many mercenaries are killed and the remainder, defeated and scattered, escape to Darokin. (See Fe. 12, Fe. 25; Fy. 8, Am. 7.)
What This Means: By destroying the Ystran House military base in the region the Atruaghin have dealt a decisive stroke to the invaders, as suggested by Umbarth House itself. Now the miners will have no other choice but leave the area.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are Atruaghin warriors or Umbarth House agents, they should fight the Ystran House agents.
Waiting for Dusk...
Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: With no new information about the wizard known as Dusk, Millington Vonaday talks to Bastian Rodens again. Bastian has no new clues, but mentions that he did meet a secretive wizard calling himself Graylock in the wilderness south of Akorros last year. Since Graylock seemed very knowledgeable to Bastian, maybe he can be of help in Millington's quest. Bastian notes that he should then probably come along himself, since Graylock's tower is hidden from curious eyes by several powerful enchantments. (See Kl. 13, Fe. 4; Fy. 18, Am. 1.)
What This Means: While Millington is hopeful that Rezak Xygar might turn up more clues about Dusk, he does not want to wait around for it to happen, so he continues to explore alternative leads, although many of them turned out to be red herrings.
What the PCs Can Do: The mysterious Graylock is rumoured to live in the forested areas south of Akorros, which could pose some danger to Bastian and Millington.
Fyrmont 3, AC 1019
Scarlet Shadow Over Fiorenza.
Location: Town of Fiorenza, Barony of Fiorenza, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV
Description: Disturbing reports reach Baron Justinian Silvestro of outbreaks of the plague near the Fens of Lost Hope, which lie just beyond the southern borders of his dominion. Without delay, he issues an edict forbidding all citizens from venturing to that area, and he dispatches troops to police the frontier. (See Fe. 11, Fe. 27; Fy. 4, Am. 8.)
What This Means: Despite ongoing efforts to halt the spread of the plague, it is still advancing slowly. Now, it has reached as far north as Fiorenza, which understandably alarms Justinian.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs employed by Justinian could be sent south to the fringes of the fens, to investigate. If they have not been involved in this plotline yet, this would be a good insertion point.
A New Love.
Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW
Description: Luciano Saviola stumbles across a lovely ship, which he buys at once. He calls her Hurricane. She seems to be fast enough to be fit for the big race, but he is still undecided about joining the competition. (See Ya. 2, Ya. 27; Fy. 20, Fy. 24.)
What This Means: Although Luciano initially refused the challenge, this new ship may make him reconsider. Anyhow, he still has a few days to make up his mind.
Texeiras and Vilaverde Ponder.
Location: Town of Porto Preto, Dominio de Vilaverde, Savage Baronies. SC
Description: Barão Bartolomeu of Texeiras is received by Barão Jorge of Vilaverde and his Captains' Council. Although the discussion is conducted behind closed doors, there is little doubt about its subject: Terra Vermelha and Torreón. (See Ya. 28, Kl. 17; Ei. 18, Ei. 26.)
What This Means: With the failure from the Signatory Council of the Treaty of Tampicos to respond to Torreón's breaking of the treaty, Barão Bartolomeu is trying to garner support from Vilaverde, his neighbour that shares many similar interests with but is also a main competitor of his nation of Texeiras.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may act as diplomats. They may also be sent to try to win the support of the ruling families of Vilaverde, by any means at their disposal examples include bribery, blackmail, or any other form of coercion, or a favourite of the DM: gaining their favours by performing for each family a probably dangerous task (a.k.a. an adventure).
Fyrmont 4, AC 1019
Questions Answered By More Questions.
Location: Village of Lyrium, Territory of Torionensis, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV
Description: The assembled clerics summoned to help resolve the dilemma of what has become widely known as the Scarlet Death announce that their respective Immortals have spoken, after repeated attempts to seek their advice. They were told that the plague currently afflicting this region of the Hinterlands is magical in origin, and that it is not borne as mundane illnesses would be; rather, it comes from the earth itself, and poisons on a whim. The clerics go on to say that this begs the question of how to cure something that appears to afflict the land itself, and whether it can be done where the plague strikes, or whether it must be traced to its source. (See Fe. 27, Fy. 3; Am. 8, Am. 10.)
What This Means: The clerics have stumbled onto something none of them have experienced before an illness that does not strike people directly, and thus cannot be eliminated by healing the sick alone. Indeed, their attempts at healing the ill have been in many ways successful (the ill became healthy once more), but almost without fail, other people fell ill elsewhere. Furthermore, the plague required more powerful healing spells to combat, such that it would take many senior clerics to keep the plague in check, let alone push it back.
These revelations will sponsor calls within the next few days to consult the Emerondians, to determine whether or not they, with their close ties to the land and their considerable knowledge of druidic lore, might be able to help.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs might be selected to travel to Emerond (not an easy task), and seek out those who might be in a position to help.
Alatia Takes Her Leave (a.k.a. Papa Don't Preach).
Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV
Description: Alatia von Schneiderheim seems to have disappeared during the night. Yet her father does not seem overly concerned by her "escapade." He even forbids anyone to go after her, for this might not prove wise (a gentle way to threaten someone of an unpleasant fate). (See Kl. 20, Fy. 2; Fy. 6, Fy. 8.)
What This Means: Alatia has received omens during her sleep and has had confirmation by her father that Bertolucius and Ignatius are both alive and held prisoner by Hulean agents in the Black Mountains. She took upon herself to find them and try to arrange their escape. She is joined by Thraïm Skratchet of Clan Skratchet, the most adventurous gnome she brought back from Hule, and whom she needs for his knowledge of the region.
What the PCs Can Do: Once she has had confirmation that her beloved Bertolucius was still alive, nothing could have stopped Alatia from intervening. The PCs could also accompany her on her quest. Feel free to suppress this entry if Bertolucius or Ignatius have not been captured in your campaign.
Fyrmont 5, AC 1019
On to Dubrax.
Location: Town of Dubrax, Barony of Avarica, Confederated Kingdom of Robrenn. SC
Description: The Thyatian expedition, after having forged ties with the neighbouring Barony of Uthuínn, puts in at the town of Dubrax. With relatively little delay, the explorers are able to secure a meeting with the baron, Eusgetorix the Stormy, in order to discuss items of mutual interest. (See Fe. 21, Fy. 1; Fy. 13, Fy. 17.)
What This Means: The Thyatians hope to establish relations with a number of Robrenn's dominions while they are in the area, and Avarica was the next logical place to visit. In addition to exchanging diplomatic niceties, the Thyatians will also trade some of their goods, and try to obtain a better picture of Robrenn's strategic situation something they could not learn in Uthuínn, due to its relative isolation. Of special interest to the expedition are developments in neighbouring Eusdria, and the activities of the humanoids of the Yazak Steppes. After the Thyatians have been in town a couple of days, Paulus Angelinus will head inland to the capital city of Eyf with his most trusted advisers, plus a handful of merchants, while the remainder wait here for his return.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs will have many opportunities to do some investigating.
Fortified Shrine To Be Built.
Description: To secure the burial vault and its mystical and magical properties, orders are given to build a fortress upon the site. The gnomes are hired to devise the plans. At the bottom of the hill where the fortress will stand, a fortified town will be built, with some port facilities to navigate the Meghalo Fithi River downstream toward Deletria, Parthenaeum and Mivosia. The port will act as Polakatsikes's port, thus justifying the fortress. (See Th. 16, Fe. 14; Fy. 8, Fy. 12.)
What This Means: Since the Heldannic Knights do not want the secret of the vault to be revealed, they have to secure it in a discrete and practical way. Navigation is only possible on the river from the bottom of the hill because upstream the water is not deep enough to allow even small ships. Governor Wolfgang Stemmel wants to boost the economy to sustain his colony and have it flourish. He wants to spread the order's influence in the region by using trade between the city-states. He realised that the river had never been used to convey goods downstream and he wants this to change.
What the PCs Can Do: Secure the area from any possible monster threats. Devise some of the fortifications.
Fyrmont 6, AC 1019
Location: City of Freiburg, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW
Description: Following a lengthy meeting with his closest advisers, Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger orders a consolidation of his troops. The landmeister and garrison in Forton, as well as any town officials who swore allegiance to him, will relocate to Hockstein. Messengers will also be dispatched throughout Heldann to contact any bands of soldiers in Straßenburger's service, and order them to join the garrisons of Grauenberg and Althaven. (See Fe. 19, Fe. 22; Fy. 12, Am. 2.)
What This Means: With the losses of Landfall and Neuhafen, Straßenburger has only one remaining stronghold in the north: the town of Forton. Although Forton is well fortified, it is isolated from Straßenburger's other strongholds, and, with the fall of Altendorf to Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks, it would not take much for her to surround the town. Rather than waste several hundred men defending a town that is likely to fall anyway, Straßenburger deemed it prudent to concentrate his forces in three strongpoints in southern Heldann: Grauenberg, Hockstein, and Freiburg/Althaven. He decided to evacuate town officials loyal to him because he might still need their administrative skills, and because he does not wish them to reveal critical information, should they fall into enemy hands.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs in Straßenburger's service could be sent into the countryside as messengers a potentially dangerous task, given that they could encounter bandits, or enemy soldiers.
Breaking into the Evil Abbey.
Location: Pocket plane, then Eastern Black Mountains, Sind Desert. WB
Description: Alatia and her gnome companion Thraïm sneak into the abbey where Ignatius was captured. They wander the halls using invisibility spells and try to learn about the place and its secrets. Alatia follows the high priest in his private cell where she witnesses him speaking to a dark-robed figure on the other side of a magical mirror, informing his master that "the recently arrived agents have succeeded in their attempt. The target is now under control." (See Fy. 2, Fy. 4; Fy. 8, Fy. 13.)
What This Means: The Master of Hule is not the black-robed figure behind Bertolucius's kidnapping. Ignatius is indeed held prisoner in the abbey, but Bertolucius is actually kept prisoner halfway between the abbey and Jaibul, where the rajah wants to question him as soon as he arrives. The high priest of the abbey is a double agent who works both for Jaibul and the Master of Hule. As often with unscrupulous people, they betray each other and nothing is what it appears to be.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be accompanying Alatia, but they should remain cautious: some of the "monks" are quite powerful and the PCs will encounter many difficulties if they fool around and make too much noise.
Location: Kingdom of Jibarú, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC
Description: Accidentally, a phanaton fires a water dart at a Nimmurian archer instead of a poisoned dart. The phanaton curses at her own stupidity she has lost a valuable water dart but waits before firing again, in order to see whether he drowns in the water spell or if she will have to use another dart the right one, this time. As the exploding ball of water splashes, she sees that the manscorpion is thrashing wildly no doubt because he does not like water any more than she does, she guesses. She still holds her fire, however, and is puzzled by the fact that the manscorpion keeps thrashing and screaming even though the water is gone now, as if he was in pain from the water clinging to his skin. Finally, he collapses, and lies still. Cautiously, fearing a trap, she glides down. The manscorpion is dead, with burning marks all over his body. She then understands something the phanatons did not know about their enemies: water burns them like fire does phanatons! Ecstatic about her accidental find, she glides away to share that secret knowledge with her elders. (See Fe. 15, Fe. 25; Fy. 24, Am. 17.)
What This Means: Of course, the manscorpions are not vulnerable to water not directly, that is. In order to withstand the light of the sun, they wear protective makeup. Although that makeup can withstand some water exposure, it cannot resist massive rinsing by running water or violent downpours or the water darts. Without such protection, a manscorpion dies from exposure to sunlight, unless cover can be found quickly enough. The phanaton accidentally removed that manscorpion's protective makeup, and drew the wrong conclusion about the cause of his death but does it matter?
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs might stumble upon this discovery with their own water darts. Alternatively, the DM might turn a fumble into that same scenario: a PC who fumbles fires the wrong kind of dart. It's then up to the PCs to reach their own conclusions from the dart's unexpected effect.
Fyrmont 7, AC 1019
The Silver Princess Burns the Silver Countess.
Location: The Cosmopolitan Theatre, City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: At its gala performance, the controversial new play The Silver Countess comes under fire, figuratively and literally! The Silver Countess is a political satire about a vapid and frivolous silver-haired Countess Argenta, whose once noble house has come to dire straits. She has to choose between marrying a sinister, aquiline-nosed Aalbanese baron (who wears nothing but black), thus saving her status in life, or marrying her true love, a poor commoner and highwayman. The hapless Argenta is counselled by her quixotic uncle, who fancies himself a dragon-knight with a white dragon steed, but is later revealed to have lecherous intentions for the girl, and a mad kidnapping aunt, who nearing the end of the play, reveals that Argenta was actually not a true heiress of the noble house, but was kidnapped by her barren mother from a local peasant woman.
At a crucial climactic point of the play (when Argenta reveals she is pregnant and is about to reveal the father of her child), the lead actress playing Argenta is engulfed in a huge fireball. Shocked onlookers quickly determine the source of the blast: an infuriated Flaemish wizard in the front row. A second wizard in the audience sends another fireball at the first, while a third wizard hurls another fire spell at the stage, causing it to burst into flame.
When the audience realises that all these attacks are not part of the performance, chaos ensues. Amidst screams of terror and cries for help, are jeers, catcalls, and sloganeering, such as "Long live Juliana Vlaardoen, Princess of the Flaems!" and "Flaemish Supremacy of the Highlands!"
Within the hour, order is restored, due to the quick and combined efforts of the Glantrian constabulary, wizards from the nearby Great School of Magic, and the coolheaded supervision of the theatre manager, Lady Vilma Virayana. Damage to the Cosmopolitan Theatre turns out to be minimal, as the long-standing enchantments at the auditorium (to protect against theatre magic) prove to be more effective than expected.
Ticket sales and reservations for the play become astronomical Glantrians love a scandal but Lady Vilma prudently decides to cancel its run. However, copies of the script become available on the street the next day, though it is unconfirmed if the Cosmopolitan Theatre receives a cut from the sales. (See Fl. 18; Ei. 14.)
What This Means: Based on an ancient legend, The Silver Countess is obviously a jibe at the silver-haired Princess Juliana Vlaardoen and her rule as Princess of Bergdhoven and leader of the Flaemish people. Delicate issues such as the paternity of Princess Juliana's child (either Herr Ludwig "The Black Eagle" von Hendriks, the recently extradited Karameikan criminal, or Feldian Lehenard, a mere commoner and mundaner) are muddled in with nasty gossip, such as the incestuous affections of the royal uncle, Sir Anton Vlaardoen, towards Juliana (the truth is that the dragon-slayer Sir Anton has been replaced by the shape-changing gold dragon named Raknaar, who is truly in love with Juliana). A core matter that surfaces in the play is Juliana's legitimacy to the Flaemish throne; the old rumour that the silver-haired Juliana (all the Vlaardoens typically have flaming red hair!) was merely bought or stolen from a commoner and raised to be a Flaemish princess has not yet died out!
The portrayal of the mad kidnapping aunt in the play clearly a vicious parody of Lady Sinaria Verlien, Juliana's godmother, the former Countess of High Sonden, who kidnapped Lord Rejladan Virayana, son of Prince Jherek Virayana IV of Krondahar, and became insane from her imprisonment at the Demiplane of Nightmares is an important clue to the instigator of the scheme: Sinaria's own son, Lord Pieter Verlien, the present Count of High Sonden.
In line with his crusade to eliminate the false nobles of Glantri, Count Pieter decided to put to scrutiny Juliana Vlaardoen's rule and legitimacy. But knowing that attacking Juliana directly would earn the ire of other Flaemish nationalists, Pieter used this play instead, which not only undermined Juliana's power but also successfully pit true and loyal Flaemish patriots against the more extreme racist Flaems. Of course, the Krondaharans, such as Lady Vilma Virayana, who have no love for the Flaems, did not mind helping along in the scheme.
But all this is part of a bigger scheme that even Count Pieter (who is increasingly coming under the influence of the Crown of Halzunthram) cannot see. In his delusions, Count Pieter wishes to overthrow Juliana and himself become the Prince of Bergdhoven and ruler of the Flaems, after which he and the Flaems will rule the Highlands once more!
What the PCs Can Do: This is another multifaceted Glantrian intrigue where PCs can get involved as agents for one or more sides. Should the PCs side with Princess Juliana to preserve her honour and the honour of the Flaemish people against enemies without and extremist elements within? Should the PCs side with Count Pieter Verlien, in his ambitious crusade to wipe out the false nobles in Glantri at any cost? Should the PCs investigate the legitimacy of the business of the Cosmopolitan Theatre hidden behind the veneer of artistic creativity and expression? Or should the PCs remain neutral, and try to keep order in Glantri City, the Flaemish fiefs, and the Krondaharan rivals? Should the PCs take more than one side, as mediators or double agents?
Wilhelm Sends Adventurers.
Location: City-state of Schweidnitz, Izondian Coast. DV
Description: Wilhelm sends the adventurers who joined in Kastelios to explore the nations surrounding Schweidnitz. While none too happy to be stuck in Davania, they have been effectively aiding the new colony in the past months, acting as scouts for the army and watching the border with the half-orcs of Mogluur. (See Ya. 16, Fe. 15; Ei. 12, Ka. 21.)
What This Means: Wilhelm has been listening to the tales of the natives about the surrounding nations. The natives tell him of strange crab-like creatures to the north and of horse-like creatures to the south. Wilhelm wants to know if those unknown creatures can become allies against the half-orcs, or if they are already enemies as the half-orcs... or their allies. Besides, he wants to know what the half-orcs are up to, because in the last months they have been far too quiet.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are the adventurers, they will visit the lands of the crabmen, to the north of Schweidnitz, and then they will have to cross the dangerous land of the half-orcs, to arrive at the human and centaur nation to the south. [See the Atlas for details about these places. Ed.]
Imperial Museum Endowed.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Flavius Nucius Justinius arrives in Thyatis City amid some fanfare with the first shipment of relics from the Hinterlands. A special showing for members of the Thyatian nobility and imperial court is arranged, a social gathering as much as a scholarly exhibit. (See Ya. 19.)
What This Means: Most of the relics are ultimately sent to the Imperial Museum, where they will be studied by scholars, and put on display. Select items are spirited off to vaults in the imperial palace as soon as they are unloaded at the docks, however, and held in the government's custody. The museum exhibits spark renewed interest in the Hinterlands, and in the Thyatians' own past.
Relics related to the exploits of Vanya will spark renewed interest in the warrior-maiden, and a revival of the Thyatian woman-warrior.
What the PCs Can Do: Thyatian characters may get themselves invited to the initial, exclusive exhibit, to rub elbows with the Thyatian elite and perhaps help one of the relics "find" their way into the hands of a patron or their own hands. They will find security tight, however, and the most interesting objects already missing: Eusebius has "procured" any such items for himself.
Marching on the Capital.
Location: Town of Ciudad Real, Baronía de Gargoña, Savage Baronies. SC
Description: Crowds of Don Marco de Rivera's supporters march through the streets of Ciudad Real, demanding that the interim government established by Barón Balthazar step down. The demonstration is peaceful, but the message is clear many Gargoñans have lost faith in their government, and want real change. (See Kl. 10, Fe. 13; Am. 1, Ka. 17.)
What This Means: Don Esteban's efforts to gain support among the common people, as well as some of the more prominent minor nobles, have borne fruit. He has decided that the time is right for him to seize power. More demonstrations of this sort will be staged across Gargoña in the following weeks, to give the illusion that Esteban commands greater support than he really does. Wishing to avoid bloodshed at all costs, the interim government will be placed under heavy pressure to acquiesce to what appears to be popular demand.
What the PCs Can Do: It is unlikely that the PCs would be involved in this event, but the governing council, or those nobles who oppose the mysterious Don Marco, might order them to investigate the demonstration and its leaders, to determine the real motives behind it.
Expedition Returns from the South.
Location: City-State of Kastelios, Serpent Strait. DV
Description: The party of explorers that had been sent out last year [Fyrmont, AC 1018. Ed.] to assess the situation in the Amalur Lowlands has returned, and delivers its report to the Kastelian Assembly without delay.
The information they provide is chilling. Everywhere they went, they found evidence of a large-scale mustering of forces, with all able-bodied lizard men marched eastwards, towards the Adakkian Mountains. They also found evidence, confirmed by allied tribes in that region, that many of the crude temples erected by the lizard men in their villages have been destroyed, and in their place strange, new temples have been built. The stone used to build them, basalt as black as night, was brought from the coast by troglodyte slaves. The investigators also found several excavation sites confirming observations made the previous year where the ruins of ancient cities appeared to be in the process of being uncovered.
In closing, the explorers mention that their lizard man sources informed them of similar activities far to the west, "across the long sea." (See Fl. 12, Fe. 9.)
What This Means: A long-dead menace, the Carnifex, has stirred once again, and they have built themselves an army to bring much of northern Davania under their sway. A great host of lizard man warriors is indeed marching to the western slopes of the Adakkian Mountains, and should they make it through, the Meghala Kimata Plains, and their war-weary inhabitants, would lie before them. Recognising the importance of this information, the Kastelian Assembly will have messengers share it with all of the city-state's allies.
The last observation, that the Carnifex are equally active on the other side of the Adakkian Sound (the "long sea"), is paid little heed for now.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could have been part of the expedition to obtain the information, in which case they would have spent the past year skulking about the Amalur Lowlands, trying to avoid detection while learning as much as they could about the activities of the lizard men. Regardless of whether or not they took part in this mission, the PCs could be employed as messengers to bring the news to those lands that have agreed to stand against the lizard man horde, should it march against them.
Fyrmont 8, AC 1019
Fortification Plans for the South.
Description: Military advisers have devised a plan to avoid future surprise invasions from the southeast: They plan to construct a series of fortified towers to reinforce the already existing patrols in the region. The towers would be made out of stone if possible, or wood. The funding will come from the hoard brought back from Pyris. (See Fe. 14; Fy. 12, Am. 9.)
What This Means: The southeastern border is the most vulnerable area, now that relations with Mivosia have been "stabilised." To avoid any unpleasant surprises, the Heldannic Knights decided that part of the treasure from Pyris should be invested in that project. Any other plans in the Heldannic-held region could be jeopardised if the humanoids can easily enter the Meghalo Fithi River Valley.
What the PCs Can Do: Secure the area against any possible monster threat, and maybe find a way to speed up the construction.
Escape at Dawn.
Location: Evil abbey, Eastern Black Mountains, Sind Desert. WB
Description: At the first light of dawn, a loud explosion blows the main gates and riders are spotted just out of long bow range. Moments later, another explosion rocks the chapel, filling it with smoke. The monks rush to the water wells to try to prevent the ensuing fire from engulfing the whole abbey.
Alatia sneaks into the abbey just seconds after the explosions, and uses the smoke screen to enter a crypt and trigger a secret passage. She swiftly sneaks into a large, damp cave, where she throws fireballs at the prisoners' guardians. Minutes later, she dimension doors out of the abbey along with Thraïm and a limp, seemingly exhausted figure. (See Fy. 4, Fy. 6; Fy. 13, Fy. 20.)
What This Means: The explosions were real but they caused more smoke and fire than real direct damage. The riders outside the fortifications were just illusions designed to attract the sentries' attention and prevent them from paying too much attention to events inside the abbey. The guards were surprised by the violence of the attack and opted to fight the spreading fire instead of trying to recapture escaped prisoners.
What the PCs Can Do: This could be a fun operation to perform for daring adventurers. Be careful to set medium-power opponents for the group. Fleeing from the abbey should not be easy.
Miners Leave the Gold Hills.
Location: Bear Clan Lands, Atruaghin Territories, and City of Akesoli, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: Without the protection of the Ystran House mercenaries and harassed by Atruaghin warriors, the last miners leave the Gold Hills, returning to Darokin. Bear Clan chiefs promise to let mining activities resume in the spring, provided they reach an acceptable agreement with the DDC. (See Fe. 25, Fy. 2; Am. 7.)
What This Means: Umbarth House has defeated Ystran House politically, and obtained the support of the Darokinian government. Now its trade with the Bear Clan lands is saved and the house will obtain most of the mining concessions next year. Ystran House will surely plot revenge.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are Atruaghin or Darokinians, they should simply make certain that the miners leave the area.
Fyrmont 10, AC 1019
Thyatis and the League.
Location: Village of Portus Canium, Barony of Canium, Tranquil Coast, Thyatian Empire. NW
Description: Baron Honorine Canolokarius of Canium rescinds his vassalage to the Empire of Thyatis, and joins the Norwold League. (See Va. 5, Kl. 19; Am. 17, Ei. 27.)
What This Means: This is a clear demonstration of the intents, or lack thereof, of the Empire of Thyatis in Norwold: like the Alphatian Empire, it has agreed not to push imperial dominion over this northern corner of Brun. Emperor Eusebius did not intend to pursue military conquest of Norwold, as Thyatis did in the past, but rather expand Thyatian trade in the region and thus economic dominance. The goals of the league are therefore very much similar to his, and he is content with letting the Thyatian colony and the other Thyatian affiliates "go native," and become the vanguard of the increasing Thyatian commercial interests in Norwold. The truth behind this event is that Canium has been granted special privileges to act in the empire's interest; much the same as an exarchate in principle but without the formal recognition as such. On paper, Canium is no longer a dominion of the empire, thus giving it the legitimacy it needs to join the Norwold League, but it is still bound to it in other ways. Eusebius still envisions Oceansend joining the empire as an exarchate someday, in which case he may join Canium to the city in order to create a stronger, more populous territory. Should that come to pass, King Olaf Yarrvikson would become the empire's voice in the north. In the meantime, Thyatian spies will use Canium as the base for their activities throughout Norwold and the same goes for Latela and other friendly dominions.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs who have become vassals of Thyatis at some point, or are close allies to the empire, will receive encouragement from the emperor to join the league and defend the empire's interests there.
Fyrmont 11, AC 1019
Location: Town of Luln, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: Residents are horrified to discover the slaughtered remains of a farmer in an outlying farm. Though humanoids are initially blamed, some local inhabitants insist that the attack was the work of werewolves. Local officials examine the area and find numerous sets of tracks, from large wolf-like creatures. Neighbours also testify of hearing howls that night. Lady Sascia increases patrols. (See Fe. 11, Fe. 17; Fy. 14, Fy. 21.)
What This Means: The attack is the work of a band of werewolves, calling themselves the Night Fangs. They are a militant band of werewolves from Glantri, organised by the Brotherhood of Wolves and Canine Protection Society to hunt Myndella down. The lycanthropes have searched for Myndella and picked up her trail in Darokin since pursuing her south into Karameikos. The Night Fangs made this attack out of bloodlust: Free of the confines of Glantri, they have found the wilderness of Karameikos liberating, allowing them to be werewolves. The Night Fangs have moved on, leaving the area by the time the farmer's corpse is found.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs involved with the hunt for Myndella may find their way to Luln, just after the attacks. If lycanthropes, they may even be discovered and blamed for them. Local PCs may be hired, or inspired, to track down the werewolves.
An Unfortunate Maiden Voyage.
Location: City of Spearpoint, Kingdom of Surshield, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS
Description: Amid much fanfare, the Seawarden, the prototype of a new, smaller class of submersible, is launched from the port of Spearpoint. As the assembled crowd watches the vessel slide smoothly into the harbour, a commanding naval officer extols the strengths of the new craft, and how its more efficient design will herald a new era of Alphatian maritime prowess. His speech is interrupted after twenty minutes by an urgent message from a patrolling skyship a large collection of debris and bodies has surfaced over one mile out to sea. Losing no time, the navy cancels the speech, and commences a rescue effort, but it is too late. The Seawarden is lost, with all but two of her 24 crewmembers reported drowned. (See Fe. 10, Fe. 14; Sv. 18, Sv. 26.)
What This Means: Another consequence of rising commodity prices has begun to rear its head some builders are beginning to cut corners in order to save money. In many cases, finished products may not look as nice as they used to, but they may also be of inferior quality, due to the use of fewer or cheaper materials. In the case of the Seawarden, the builder used lower grade wood and metal than had been called for in the designs, and reduced the number of spells cast on the structure during construction, to save even more money. The result was that, once the Seawarden submerged deep enough into the water, the pressure ruptured the hull, causing the submersible to implode suddenly. Only those crewmembers who had immediate access to magical protection managed to survive the ordeal.
The navy will salvage as much as possible of the wreckage, and conduct an investigation into the matter, which could take several months. In the meantime, submersible construction will be halted.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could have the adventure of their lives if they are crewmembers of the Seawarden, in which case they must survive the catastrophe at sea. The adventure might not be over for them, however; they might feel the urge to investigate the matter on their own, in which case they might uncover a bigger problem within Nayce than cost-cutting.
Fyrmont 12, AC 1019
Location: Town of Forton, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW
Description: Having assembled the bulk of her northern army in Neuhafen, Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks leads her soldiers south, to take the neighbouring town of Forton. While advancing along the coast, the vanguard reports seeing many pillars of dense smoke to the south. Not liking this news, Anna orders her troops to quicken their pace, and before long they encounter many bands of common folk, some riding horses or pushing carts, but many walking as though in a trance. It soon becomes apparent that these people are the former townsfolk of Forton, who were driven from their homes by the authorities, and told to head north. The last thing they remember seeing was the garrison setting fire to many of the buildings.
It soon becomes apparent that this was, indeed, the case Forton has been put to the torch, and is blazing wildly. Realising that there is nothing that she can do, Anna orders her troops to cordon off the area, and dispatches orders to Neuhafen to take in as many refugees as possible. (See Fe. 22, Fy. 6; Am. 2, Am. 12.)
What This Means: When Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger ordered a withdrawal from Forton, he also instructed the garrison there to burn the town once they had pulled out. He was certain that Anna would try to use the town's resources to her advantage, and so he made sure that there was nothing of value left behind. Once the fires subside, Forton will be little more than a blackened wall containing a field of ashes. An unanticipated side benefit for Straßenburger is that the townsfolk expelled by his forces will slow down Anna's advance. Realising that she needs the support of the people against Straßenburger, Anna will try to ensure that as many refugees as possible are looked after, before resuming her march. The last thing she needs right now is a revolt. This will, in effect, grind her war machine to a halt for a couple of weeks.
Once her faction has secured the area, a similar arrangement will be concluded with Thyatis as was done for Landfall. Forton will take less time to be rebuilt, though.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs with access to clerical spells can heal the injured, or if they are proficient at building, they can construct simple shelters for the refugees. Otherwise, they can scout ahead to determine where the fleeing enemy troops have gone. If the PCs serve Straßenburger, they can be spies hidden amongst the refugees, tasked to uncover enemy plans or sow dissent.
Reward for Gang Eradication.
Location: Cao Province, Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD
Description: Governor Lord Baigou Renlin increases the bounty on the notorious (but popularly beloved) southern bandit gang known as the Cedar Ghosts to an unprecedented 5,000 teng (25,000 gp). Any confirmed, useful information is still worth 1,000 yah (1,000 gp) but no one seems able or willing to come forward. (See Nu. 11.)
What This Means: The bandit gangs have become more active throughout Ochalea, raiding settlements more boldly. This gang, however, is also quite popular with the general populace, for it does not bully the lower-class Ochaleans like other gangs (and oftentimes officials as well) do. In fact, it often protects people from other threats, and is perceived as more benevolent than many bands (including the governor's tax collectors and guardsmen). This is not the governor's opinion, however.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can try and collect the bounty. They will find it hard to gather information from the local population, though they may at first mistake this for fear from the bandits.
Plans Made for Vanyapolis.
Description: Both as a gesture toward the most conservative Heldannic Knights and to further tighten the order's grip on the region, a new town shall be founded about halfway between Polakatsikes and Parthenaeum. It shall be named after their beloved Immortal patron, Vanya, and be located on the banks of the Meghalo Fithi River, some 100 miles southeast of Deletria. It will act both as a trade centre with the Meghalese nomads and as a deterrent for the Mivosian presence in Deletria. (See Fy. 5, Fy. 8; Am. 9, Am. 27.)
What This Means: Governor Wolfgang Stemmel realised that the Heldannic Knights need to spread and tighten their grip on their newly acquired lands. He hopes trade with the Meghalese nomads will strengthen the local economy. Naming the new town after Vanya is a gesture to the most conservative Heldannic Knights, who sometimes judge his politics to be too soft.
What the PCs Can Do: Adventurers could be useful for securing the region and surveying it for natural resources.
Fyrmont 13, AC 1019
Ylari Astrologer Discovers Two Moons Around Tarastia.
Location: City of Ylaruam, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW
Description: At the Eternal University of Ylaruam, scholars and teachers assemble at the observatory for a grand presentation. Haqim ibn-Amar, a junior scholar of astrology, announces an astounding scientific discovery: The planet Manat (Tarastia to the rest of the Old World) has two new moons that are moving in retrograde orbit to the rest of its many moons!
Haqim presents his scientific findings, together with calculations and other documentation, and the amazing tale on how he first chanced upon the moons He was gazing wistfully at the planet through his speculum, hoping for some inspiration for his astrological studies, when he chanced upon the strange movements around Manat. Haqim proposes to name the two moons Amn and Anbay (two figures from ancient Ylari mythology, before the time of al-Kalim, both associated with the Immortal Ashtiru, Patron of the Moon and Trickery), and gives a thorough report on the astrological significance of the discovery.
The Ylari scholars are simply astounded. Many excitedly look upward to the sky, to sight the retrograde moons themselves, while other look downwards, at the books and papers and other records of the study. Within the week, the scientific news has spread throughout the scholarly communities of the emirates, and within a fortnight, reports of the discovery has reached the major scholarly institutions in Darokin, Thyatis, the Karameikan School of Magecraft, and even the Great School of Magic in Glantri. (See Fe. 4, Fe. 20; Fy. 25.)
What This Means: Whereas Ylari stargazing traditions at the Eternal University do not divide the scientific and mathematical study of planets and stars from the mystical interpretation of their movements and alignments, it is still an incredible feat for an astrologer, especially a young one such as Haqim ibn-Amar, to have made such an amazing astronomical discovery.
But the truth of the matter is that Haqim first learned of the retrograde moon of Tarastia from the notes he had stolen from the Mad Sage of Sulba, Karim al-Nazzer. Not wanting to rely solely on the scribblings of a madman, Haqim confirmed the discovery with his own astronomical observations, and in the process, found there was not one, but two retrograde moons on Tarastia! As a scholar in astrology, the easiest part was to find appropriate mythological names for the moons and to attach an astrological interpretation to the finding.
Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: The Alphatians who are on their way out of Karameikos are intercepted by the Guard Phorsis while approaching the city by the King's Road. The Alphatians are escorted to the Foreign Quarter where they will be held while their possessions are searched. The Alphatians are furious, but also worried about the king's intent: will they be arrested and imprisoned? (See Fe. 26, Fy. 1; Am. 12, Sv. 9.)
What This Means: King Stefan was alarmed that a large number of foreigners, many former soldiers, would cross the countryside and march to the capital. There are already several armed bands that freely cross Karameikos's borders, especially in the east, and this one was potentially even more dangerous due to its size, its destination, and the still unclear intents of its leaders. Therefore, the king sent the Guard Phorsis to meet them.
Once it was ascertained that they were not armed and marching as a military force, they were led to the Foreign Quarter. The king, alerted by the Masked One about the sacking of the Karameikan School of Magecraft, wants to search the emigrants' belongings for stolen magics, and possibly for state secrets.
What the PCs Can Do: Alphatian PCs may try to sneak by the Guard Phorsis especially if they have something to hide!
Accident at the Construction Site.
Location: Canal Construction Site, North of Town of Tirenlos, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: A severe accident occurs with the collapse of a freshly dug part of the canal, but the juggernauts react in an exemplary fashion. Annabelle and Claudia manage to hold back the avalanche of earth long enough that Yvonne is able to pick up the workers and carry them away. Only minor wounds are sustained, but the caterpillars are buried. Annabelle is only covered slightly and can free herself, but her sibling vanishes under the moving earth. Annabelle, Benjamin and Evelyn dig up Claudia, but she has sustained severe damage; the juggernauts drag her out of the trench but she appears to be destroyed. Zas Ubul sends for the transport ship. (See Fe. 2, Fe. 27; Fy. 16, Ei. 23.)
What This Means: Claudia saved the day, but it is questionable whether she will survive this accident.
A Meeting with the King.
Location: City of Eyf, Forest of Carnuilh, Confederated Kingdom of Robrenn. SC
Description: After passing through the County of Morguen, where they were entertained by Countess Onnena the Sylvan, Paulus Angelinus and his companions arrive in the city of Eyf, the capital of the confederated kingdom. Impressed by the beauty of the city, which is almost entirely constructed of wood, the Thyatians spend several hours sightseeing and enjoying the local spectacles, before presenting themselves at the king's hall.
Before long, they are ushered into the main audience chamber, where Paulus presents himself and his companions to King Edwix II, son of the Night Harrow. The king listens intently to what he has to say, and afterwards grants them leave to stay in Robrenn as long as they wish, so long as they do not enter the sacred Forest of Carnuilh, which is forbidden to all but the druids, and so long as they abide by the customs of the land. Edwix thanks Paulus for the courtesy being extended by the Thyatian Empire, and before dismissing everyone, instructs his officials to negotiate with the Thyatians in good faith. (See Fy. 1, Fy. 5; Fy. 17, Am. 21.)
What This Means: Although King Edwix wields a considerable amount of influence due to the support of the druids, each dominion within Robrenn conducts most of its affairs as it wishes, so long as the laws of the land are not violated. Thus, from a trading perspective, this meeting was little more than a formality, as most of the "real" business would be conducted with the individual dominion rulers and their officials. Nevertheless, Edwix is widely supported in Robrenn, and any affront to him would not play well in the kingdom at all. The meeting with Edwix does, however, establish formal diplomatic ties between Thyatis and Robrenn, which will be worked out in more detail in the coming days. One of Paulus's advisers, Claudia Silvestriana, will remain in Eyf to assume her duties as ambassador, and to conduct minor espionage as the opportunity arises. Paulus will also leave a couple of soldiers behind to serve as Claudia's personal guard, until a more formal embassy staff arrives from Thyatis.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can take part in the discussions, or they can explore the city of Eyf. Although Eyf is a relatively safe place, the Forest of Carnuilh which borders the city on its northern, eastern, and southern sides is inhabited by watchful forest spirits, and the mysterious druids of Robrenn. Should they enter the forest, the PCs can encounter almost any type of fantastic creature imaginable, orcish infiltrators from the north, and druids going about their business. If the latter are encountered, the PCs run the risk of being sacrificed to the patron Immortals of Robrenn unless they can escape. PCs who are interested in exploring Robrenn can remain here as Claudia's aides, in which case they can do some spying of their own. Alternatively, a higher level PC might be selected to be the ambassador, instead of Claudia.
First Night in the Desert.
Location: Eastern Black Mountains, Western Fringes of the Sind Desert. WB
Description: Alatia, Thraïm and a less diminished Brother Ignatius, after some rest on the slopes of the Black Mountains, follow the clues they have been able to gather and head down to the desert in search of the convoy that held Bertolucius. They only travel by night to avoid being spotted from afar. (See Fy. 6, Fy. 8; Fy. 20, Fy. 23.)
What This Means: After Ignatius's major wounds were healed, the trio decided to try to find the place where Bertolucius is held. Fully aware that most humanoid life forms in the desert are agents of the Master, they have opted for secrecy, even at the cost of swiftness.
What the PCs Can Do: Finding the right path out of the Black Mountains and away from the evil abbey might be fun. Remember that the patrols have been ordered to watch for intruders, and not to look for the escaped prisoner.
Fyrmont 14, AC 1019
The Exposed Fangs.
Location: City of Halag, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: An armed patrol from Halag is alerted to sounds of battle. Investigating, they find a solitary figure, a woman, surrounded by a group of werewolves. The arriving soldiers witness the woman take down one of the creatures, fairly easily. The werewolves quickly disperse, fleeing into the surrounding woods. The woman looks briefly at the fallen werewolf writhing in agony at her feet, then turns to flee into the woods as well.
The soldiers search the immediate area but find no signs of the woman or the werewolves. Turning to the fallen werewolf, the troops try to finish it off, but find their weapons of little use. They quickly bind the creature and ferry it back to the fort. The dying creature is questioned by the fort's head priest. He gets little from the werewolf, before the creature breaks from its bonds and is put down by the attending guards armed with silver weaponry. Dead, the creature returns to its human form. No one knows his identity and he does not appear to be a local.
The cleric summons the castellan to report his findings. He tells his superior that the werewolf was part of a hunting pack, called the Night Fangs, looking for someone they called "the slayer." The cleric assumes that this target was the woman, but could not get an answer from the creature before it broke free. He does note that the werewolf seemed terrified by this "slayer." The castellan files the information and forwards it to his superiors in Mirros. As a precaution, he strengthens the guard and, when possible, outfits them with silver and magical weaponry. (See Fe. 17, Fy. 11; Fy. 21, Fy. 23.)
What This Means: The patrol interrupted a battle between Myndella and the Night Fangs. The Night Fangs' leader, a man named Lucas Pétain, challenged her to a duel. Myndella struck him down in a nearly casual manner, using a weapon coated with silver powder. The wound imbedded with silver dust would not heal, even with the werewolf's natural healing abilities. The ease with which Myndella dispatched Pétain shook the confidence of his underlings, who fled from her as much as they fled from the patrol. It will take some time before they regain their composure to continue their pursuit.
The interrogation was lacking of information, though the castellan discovered that the Night Fangs are from Glantri and are hunting "the slayer," who has been killing their kind. In that, their efforts have failed as "the slayer" has lived up to her name. More information might have been forthcoming were it not for a precautionary geas spell cast on each werewolf before they left Glantri.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs involved with the hunt for Myndella may find their way to Halag, just after the attacks. If lycanthropes, they may even be discovered and blamed for them. Local PCs may be hired, or inspired, to track down the werewolves who may be in the area for a few days before continuing after Myndella.
Apollo 1 Ready for Takeoff.
Location: Tower of Zynillith, Kingdom of Blackheart, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: The new voidship is finished, and Lady Ardana proposes to name her Wakzun. The rest of the team agrees, and the ship is named properly. With the exception of Ardana nobody uses this name though, calling the ship Apollo 1 instead, and she has to bear with this nickname. Kossan, Iris, Olanth and Xanax are ordered to conduct some test flights near the tower, including at least one penetration of the skyshield. Those flights will serve as the basis for the decision on who will board Apollo 1 for the real mission into the void. The crew cannot consist of more than three persons. After a few days' rest Ardana will start repairing the dynamo of flying. (See Fl. 7, Kl. 4; Fy. 15, Fy. 24.)
What This Means: After long months of hard work the team is now able to fly into the void, or at least after the ship has proven her worth.
What the PCs Can Do: Courageous as PCs always should be, they might become crewmen of the Apollo 1. There is still time to qualify for the mission.
Fyrmont 15, AC 1019
Location: Tower of Zynillith, Kingdom of Blackheart, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Kossan and Olanth are the crew of the first test flight. It only lasts two hours, and does not go far away from the tower. Apollo 1 works as designed. (See Kl. 4, Fy. 14; Fy. 24, Fy. 27.)
What This Means: Testing a new vessel is often boring and sometimes dangerous, but it is necessary nonetheless. Everybody hopes that there are no significant design errors.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are part of the gang, it might be their job to test the voidship and detect any issues with her without crashing her, if possible. Manoeuvring difficulties, technical problems, and even in-flight encounters (with a dragon for example) are among the hazards that the DM may throw at them.
Fyrmont 16, AC 1019
Loss of The Fancy Dancer.
Location: Sea of Dread, off the coast of the Village of Sulescu, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: The Five Shires' merchantman, The Kholn, comes across wreckage off the coast of Karameikos near the village of Sulescu. Items recovered indicate that it was a Minrothaddan vessel, The Fancy Dancer, a fleet vessel of Merchant Prince Horace Delmist of Harbortown. The wreck is immediately blamed upon the rocky coastline and demands for a lighthouse are heard from the region's seafaring nations. It will be discovered soon that The Fancy Dancer was actually a victim of pirates from Fire Island, Minrothad Guilds. (See Fe. 3; Ei. 14.)
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can become involved in several ways. The first way is for them to be on The Fancy Dancer when it is attacked, and be captured. Their survival and escape could be vital to discovering the truth. Other options include the PCs being hired by Merchant Prince Delmist to investigate and exact revenge. The attack could also be part of a plot against Delmist by a rival merchant prince. Bolstering his fleet's defences could earn the PCs a bit of coin. Conversely, the PCs could be pirates or work to hamper Delmist's investigation and retributions.
Claudia Leaves for Hospital.
Location: Canal Construction Site, North of Town of Tirenlos, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: In a bleak mood the canal workers watch how Wilhelm, Xaver and Benjamin move the paralysed Claudia aboard the huge transport ship. The manoeuvre proves that the ship is not very well equipped for loading a motionless juggernaut, and the task is lengthy and dangerous. Finally Claudia is fastened and the ship can set sail. (See Fe. 27, Fy. 13; Ei. 23.)
What This Means: Claudia, despite being a construct designed for heavy work, is viewed as a kind of hero and everybody is heavy-hearted to see her leave, and the best wishes of the crew are travelling with her.
Fyrmont 17, AC 1019
An Elusive Quarry.
Location: Imperial Territories, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: Soldiers from the County of Vyalia, the Barony of Biazzan, and the Duchies of Kerendas and Machetos march against the most recently reported goblin positions in the Kerendas Hills. Expecting pitched battles and sieges, the Thyatians are surprised to find only token resistance many of the goblin lairs that are discovered are lightly garrisoned, and only a handful of patrols are encountered. Puzzled, the Thyatian commanders press on, and secure a number of strategic locations that will be turned into temporary bases while the campaign continues. (See Fe. 15, Fe. 21; Am. 6, Am. 27.)
What This Means: The rulers of the Thyatian dominions most concerned about the recent surge in goblin raiding decided that a joint military campaign was the best way to deal with the problem. Each territory contributed a small force with its own commander, supported by a handful of adventuring parties, for a total force of roughly 375 soldiers.
The Thyatians encountered little resistance because the goblins have withdrawn from the lands they were using as staging areas for their raids; they left behind enough warriors to make it look like the goblins were still active in the region, but the vast majority have already retreated northwards, to their original strongholds in the Altan Tepes Mountains. Over the course of their campaign, the goblins managed to secure a considerable amount of loot (which was their initial goal), and as a side benefit they diverted the attention of the Thyatians to their northwestern frontier, which allowed some of their cousins further east (in Halathius and Buhrohur) to raid other settlements. It will take some time before the Thyatians conclude that the two raiding campaigns are not related.
Over the coming weeks, scattered goblin patrols will attack the Thyatians to delay pursuit, and to let them think that there is still a sizeable goblin presence in the region. By the end of Fyrmont, however, the goblins will have managed to escape. The Kerendas Hills, in the meantime, will calm down, and more settlers will arrive in the coming years; although a pall of fear will still hang over the region.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can, and probably should, take part in this campaign. Although only a token goblin presence in the Kerendas Hills remains, they still pose a threat to settlers, and there is always a chance that stolen treasure can be recovered. Plus, the goblins are still disciplined foes. The Thyatians will continue their pursuit into the mountains themselves, where they will secure good locations to establish camps. During this time, goblin attacks will continue (the Thyatians are fairly close to the goblins' main strongholds, after all), but warriors will avoid capture at all costs. The goblins know that a pitched battle against the Thyatians in their own strongholds could very well go against them, and if not, any survivors could bring back more soldiers later. The PCs could be tasked with hunting down goblin patrols, and taking prisoners.
Humanoid Student Dies in Laboratory Accident.
Location: Great School of Magic, City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Descriptions: A careless human student makes a fatal mistake with a concoction involving grey ooze acid, gargantuan blood, and diamond dust, producing a giant prismatic ooze, which expands rapidly and traps all living creatures within its weird substance, while dissolving all nonliving physical matter. Half a dozen students and the teacher are absorbed into the growing multicoloured blob, which dissolves the walls of the adjoining rooms and melts through the floors to the lower levels. Other wizards and apprentices attempt to stop the thing, but quickly find that it is immune to their magic.
Fortunately, a powerful elven wizardess (who was conducting some private research in the Wizard Warrens below) discovers a peculiar characteristic of the ooze: that, like a prismatic wall or prismatic sphere, it is affected only by certain spells cast in a certain order. The wizardess successfully keeps the creature at bay, until the other masters of the Great School of Magic arrive to finally dispel it and free its captives.
Seventeen persons are injured and three are killed, including one of the humanoid students from New Kolland. Another humanoid, who is thought to have been killed, turns out to be the thoul, and eventually regenerates and rises from the dead. (See Fe. 3, Fe. 20; Fy. 27.)
What This Means: While laboratory accidents are hardly uncommon at the Great School of Magic, this particular episode is newsworthy because it involves some of the new humanoid spellcasters from New Kolland. While the humanoids are not at fault, the focus of the reports and rumours will be on them. Was it sabotage or simply a prank that got out of hand? Were they targets of a racist attacks or just incidental victims of an accident? Was the accident a result of their incompetence, and are humanoids really qualified for wizardry at the Great School of Magic? Some folks will even suspect the wizard-rogue Robin Moorkroft!
The elven wizardess is no less than Princess Carlotina Erewan, come to the Great School of Magic to investigate the Radiance and hopefully discuss it with Grand Master Harald Haaskinz. And while racial hatreds between elves and humanoids run deep, Carlotina is truly a good person and did the right thing in saving the students, whatever their race. Prince Kol XIV, who has a tenuous truce with Princess Carlotina, will learn of her heroic efforts, and thus not direct his antipathy towards Erewan in this matter.
What the PCs Can Do: Even with Princess Carlotina Erewan involved, the PCs can be kept busy dealing with a new magical monster in a highly dangerous situation. They must figure out what sequence of spells the creature responds to (refer to the descriptions of the prismatic spells for ideas), and they must also deal with crowd control, collapsing buildings, and maybe even wizard apprentices with mischievous or even malevolent intentions!
On the Edge of Civilisation.
Location: Town of Morrigamna, Barony of Nemausa, Confederated Kingdom of Robrenn. SC
Description: The Thyatian expedition reaches the baronial capital of Morrigamna, the first stage of its tour of Robrenn's northern frontier. Word of their arrival precedes them, as representatives of Baron Calturix the Bloodthirsty meet Paulus Angelinus and his companions, and escort them to the baronial hall. After arriving, the visitors are treated to music, and a splendid feast, and Paulus is asked by Baron Calturix to share his opinions on what he has seen of Robrenn so far. Paulus responds tactfully, but is honest in his view that the people of Robrenn are very generous hosts. Following the meal, the Thyatians share tales of their exploits thus far, and items of mutual interest (such as trade) are discussed. (See Fy. 5, Fy. 13; Am. 21, Am. 26.)
What This Means: Paulus is making a point of visiting as many dominions of the larger nations as he can, to minimise the risk of slighting some local lord Thyatis might want something from one or more of these nations in the future, and anything that might provoke hostility is to be avoided. With the king's blessing, Paulus and his entourage will tour the northern frontier of the kingdom, both to view the fortifications, and to give the Thyatians an idea of Robrenn's importance as a country that is holding back the goblinoid tide. On the way, official visits will be made to the Barony of Sedhuen, the County of Suerba, and the Duchy of Avernos before returning to Dubrax to resume the voyage. During each visit, the Thyatians will meet with the local ruler, and discuss issues of trade and other matters, with a view to establishing ties.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can poke about in town if they like, or, if they have a death wish, they can descend the escarpment and hunt goblinoids in the lowlands to the north.
Fyrmont 18, AC 1019
The Typhoon Returns.
Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, Nayce. AS
Description: The skyship Typhoon returns from its deployment to support Master Terari's expeditions. The vessel's cargo, both human and material, is offloaded and moved to Terari's facilities. It will take time for the expedition's findings to be studied. (See Fe. 20, Fe. 26; Am. 5.)
What the PCs Can Do: PCs serving Terari will find themselves spending a few days being debriefed. In the meantime, they might as well rest and recover from their ordeal.
Meeting the Wizard's Wrath.
Location: South of City of Akorros, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: For several days Bastian Rodens and Millington Vonaday have been searching for the tower of the wizard Graylock. Millington is beginning to wonder if this mysterious wizard even exists, and Bastian is getting frustrated that he cannot find his tower again. As they are about to leave the forests south of Akorros, they meet a robed figure, who indeed turns out to be the very wizard they were looking for. He is not pleased, however, and expresses disappointment with Bastian for bringing the priest to his abode after he promised not to reveal its location.
Surprised, Bastian begins to apologise when Millington tries to join the conversation and explain his presence. In response the wizard coldly comments that he has nothing to talk about with a priest. He then turns to leave as Millington mentions that he came to find out whether he is correct in believing that he needs to bring Dawn Henry, the thief known as Shadow, together with someone, or something, called "Dusk" to fulfil a prophecy concerning Itheldown Island. Graylock pauses for a moment, but doesn't turn around as he asks why Millington's Immortal has put him on such a quest. Millington briefly explains how he learned of the prophecy last year on Honour Island in Ierendi, but wasn't actually charged with the matter by his Immortal. With his back still turned, Graylock seems to ponder this for a moment, then calmly comments that they need to discuss this further. Without further comment he simply walks onward with the others following, and within a few minutes they arrive at his hidden tower that Bastian and Millington have tried in vain to find for days.
Inside the tower Graylock produces food for his guests, but warns them to stay on the ground floor of his tower. He then begins questioning Millington about what he has discovered concerning Itheldown Island and its curse. Millington gets the impression that the wizard is quite well informed on the subject already, but he doesn't learn much new information from the wizard, who clearly prefers to keep his knowledge to himself. After discussing it well into the night, Graylock states that he will provide assistance, but first he wants to see the thief, Shadow, alone. (See Fe. 4, Fy. 2; Am. 1, Am. 12.)
What This Means: It would appear that Graylock harbours animosity towards Immortals in general, and his disgust seems to extend to their mortal servants. No clue is revealed for the reason behind this feeling, but it is quite obvious to those present, particularly to Millington. Whether Graylock indeed knows more about the Itheldown curse is not clear, but Millington has little choice but to agree to his terms and see where they lead him, as he has no other clues to explore.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are with Millington and Bastian, they should take care not to be hostile towards Graylock. Even if he isn't exactly friendly to the group, it should be clear that they came here looking for an ally and not to make an enemy. Inside Graylock's tower, they should also heed his warning to stay on the ground floor, as there are dangerous wards and guarding constructs who will take them for thieves and attack them if they decide to explore the tower beyond their invitation. Of course, that's not counting Graylock himself, who will scarcely be pleased that they ignored his request in his house. Rather than being subjected to harmful magic, however, impolite guests will quickly find themselves teleported to a random location outside in the forest with no hope of finding the tower again.
Fyrmont 19, AC 1019
From the Depths It Came...
Location: City of Ionace, Island of Ionace, Nayce. AS
Description: Just as the defenders on Ionace seem to have the dusanu infestation under moderate control, a gargantuan dusanu more than 20 feet tall crawls up from below and marches on the city. Hearing of this, some sages speculate that this might be an example of a Gargantua specimen of the monster currently attacking Ionace, but soon after the large creature reaches the city itself and penetrates all defences with not only monstrous strength, but also the ability to cast lightning spells at the defenders, when it's not throwing huge rocks or similar. Eventually it forces most of the aristocrats and other leaders and bureaucrats to flee the island before they become its victims too. (See Th. 7, Ya. 5; Sv. 4.)
What This Means: The huge dusanu is actually not a Gargantua creature, though it does explain the large concentration of rot fiends. The monster is the body of a storm giant infected by the dusanu spores, one among a number of storm giants who lived on the peaks of the Kerothar Mountains and found their way underground to escape the falling of the mountains when Alphatia sank a decade ago. Unfortunately they met and were infected by the dwarves, who had themselves been infected by the dusanu. However, a humanoid as large as a storm giant obviously requires a great number of spores to animate, and so the resulting colony forms a collective group mind far more intelligent than that typical of dusanu. The storm giant dusanu is able to telepathically contact common dusanu and even retains some of the abilities of the storm giant, which explains why it can cast lighting spells. The other dusanu naturally see this monster as their leader and follow its directions blindly. Though Nayce may be able to keep the monster at bay, few aristocrats will want to return to Ionace after this, and Nayce will have to look for a new seat of imperial power.
What the PCs Can Do: Plenty of fighting for adventurers here. Just be careful not to become part of the dusanu invasion...
Fyrmont 20, AC 1019
The Champion Joins the Race.
Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW
Description: Captain Saviola has decided to participate in the big race. After all, he is the champion from the last circle. There are now five ships in the race. (See Ya. 27, Fy. 3; Fy. 24, Fy. 27.)
What This Means: Late, but not too late, Saviola made up his mind. Nearly every pirate is happy about the decision, even his old rival Theodor Merryweather.
Location: Town of Norfen, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: The constabulary has been receiving the odd report of claim jumping [the theft of another prospector's claim. Ed.] for several months, but the number of incidents has spiked over the past couple of weeks, particularly in a newly explored area a few miles south of town where rich deposits are thought to exist. Although increasingly stretched thin by the general surge in crime, the chief constable decides to investigate the matter himself. (See Kl. 17; Fy. 22, Am. 5.)
What This Means: With the influx of so many people over such a short time, Norfen's constabulary has become overwhelmed, dealing with much more crime than has ever happened here before. As a result, criminals of every sort are operating much more freely than they would in a comparably-sized, established town elsewhere in the country. The power vacuum that exists here for the moment has also allowed organised crime to move into the area, and some families are employing thugs to gain control over the richest claims.
What the PCs Can Do: Criminally-minded PCs might be ones tasked with forcing the prospectors out, but more likely they might be on the receiving end of such treatment.
Deep Under Cover.
Location: Western Sind Desert. OW
Description: The last few days have been very harsh on the three desert voyagers. It was all the more difficult as Alatia discovered that Ignatius was no longer able to use his clerical powers. Their water supplies had to be used with great care. Today, while approaching a rocky mountain rising from the desert, Alatia and her comrades venture into the rocky ravines in search of any water source, for their situation could rapidly worsen. They soon stumble upon a large party of gnolls accompanied by elves. The three friends, seeing no way out, surrender to the elves. Although well treated, they are led underground and imprisoned for later questioning. (See Fy. 8, Fy. 13; Fy. 23, Fy. 24.)
What This Means: The party has stumbled upon Graakhalians, the local underground inhabitants of the Plain of Fire. This encounter is indeed very fortunate for them because the Graakhalians control the few water springs in the region.
What the PCs Can Do: It is important to start this encounter with a very exhausted party. They should have no chance to escape the Graakhalians on their own territory. The best way would be to negotiate. Brute force can only lead to the party being decimated. Role-playing is the only way out (or in).
You can also have the party venture into tunnels and caves and only stumble upon the Graakhalians later or under different circumstances.
Fyrmont 21, AC 1019
Exploration Program Launched.
Description: For the last month and a half, speculations have been made about the other mystical spots in Davania. In an effort to better know the places (and people) they are linked to, special teams are to be sent through the gate to explore them.
The first mission is launched in the general direction of Vanya's Rest to try to have a better way to move troops from one place to the other. The party discovers that the mystical spot is located on an island in the middle of the great lake some 900 miles northwest of Vanya's Rest. (See Kl. 16; Sv. 14, Ei. 3.)
What This Means: This mission was ordered by Lord Clenarius von Schneiderheim.
What the PCs Can Do: The possibilities for adventure are endless. Just remember that two "gates" cannot be closer than 600 miles from each other. Any party would need a spellcaster of Name level to cast the spell needed to activate the gate.
Ambushing the Ambushers.
Location: Thyatian Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV
Description: The Order of the Crimson Guard conducts another strike against a Thratian resistance encampment, hitting it from above in a furious aerial assault. But this time, the Nightstalkers are ready. The encampment was set up to bait just such an attack, and while the members of the Crimson Guard are invisible to divination and scrying, the Nightstalkers' druid, Brien daughter of Maeve, was able to use a crystal ball to scry the encampment itself. She could see when the attack began from the impact on the Thratians in the camp itself as the spells and arrows hit their targets.
The Nightstalkers teleport in en masse to fight the Crimson Guard's strike team. The two forces seem evenly matched, but the Nightstalkers have the support of the Thratians in the encampment. After a long battle, the Crimson Guard members escape with relatively few casualties. (See Th. 3, Fe. 14; Am. 9, Ei. 28.)
What This Means: The Nightstalkers had the Thratian tribes set up several encampments that they watched via divination, setting out bait for the Order of the Crimson Guard. Over the following days they will be able to ambush the Thyatians in similar ways; they want to make good use of their new tactics. Today they gained an important victory, and the presence of these fake encampments will make the Thyatian generals scratch their head in search not only of a military solution, but also of a way to understand which camps are occupied and which are not in order to avoid wasting precious time, beyond the already preoccupying waste of precious lives.
What the PCs Can Do: Take part in the battle, on either side.
The Fangs Draw More Blood.
Location: Village of Vandevicsny, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: Shortly after dusk, a small trade caravan travelling from Darokin through Luln is attacked by a band of werewolves. The werewolves kill one horse and two caravan members before slinking off into the surrounding darkness. The merchant caravan makes haste to Vandevicsny and reports the incident. Lord Gustav Vandevic dispatches patrols, but to no avail. The village ruler initially posts a 100-royal bounty on all werewolves and a 10-royal bounty on all wolf pelts. It is quickly pointed out by the local clergy that determining the identity of a werewolf after its death is difficult as it returns to human form, and mistaken werewolf deaths could be a problem. The baron quickly retracts the bounties. (See Fy. 11, Fy. 14; Fy. 23, Am. 3.)
What This Means: The caravan encountered the Night Fangs', who attacked out of need for food as well as a bit of carnage, at the wrong time. Baron Vandevic's reaction demonstrates the difficulty in identifying a werewolf once killed. The bounties are pointless as the Night Fangs will quickly move on in their hunt, leaving "innocent" local werewolves to bear the blame.
Fyrmont 22, AC 1019
Oil Boom Gets Bloody.
Location: Town of Norfen, Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: Many of the residents of Norfen are shocked when they learn of the murder of the town's chief constable, who had been investigating the recent string of claim jumping in the area. A note, reading "Stay out of our way," was found on his body, which had been dumped in a well just outside of town. Some townsfolk blame the oil boom for the murder, and others decry the lack of law and order, but almost everyone agrees that someone should step in and set things right. (See Kl. 17, Fy. 20; Am. 5.)
What This Means: Not wishing anyone to discover its involvement in the claim jumping, and to warn others away, one of the crime families arranged to have the chief constable executed while he was investigating. Many of the original residents of Norfen are horrified at what has happened not least because many of them knew the chief constable personally and some will move away as a result. Word of the murder will spread to neighbouring villages, and an aura of fear will descend on the area.
What the PCs Can Do: Unless they are in the area, news of this event will not reach the PCs murder is not uncommon in larger towns and cities, after all. If they are in the area, the PCs could be contacted by the Norfen town council, and hired to track down the constable's murderer and bring him or her to justice. Alternatively, they can be hired by the Darokin Council to perform the same task. Of course, during their investigations the PCs are likely to find out about the involvement of organised crime, which may lead to a larger campaign to bring order to the region, or at least to keep things from getting any worse.
Fyrmont 23, AC 1019
Location: East of Village of Vandevicsny, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: A group of woodcutters from Vandevicsny, returning to town after weeks of logging, comes across a grisly sight: in a small clearing lie the naked bodies of nine men and women, all dead and bearing the signs of battle. Some bear wounds caused by arrows, and several corpses still hold broken-off silver arrowheads. Others bear signs of spellfire and sword slashes. Most disturbing are the corpses bearing vicious tears, in particular at their throats. The woodcutters bind up the bodies and load them onto their carts and return to Vandevicsny, where they report their encounter and turn the bodies over to the baron's men.
After a quick examination, the dead are identified as being possible werewolves. In gratitude, the baron gives each woodcutter 50 royals for bringing the corpses to town. He then has the corpses attended to and officially closes the matter. He does write up a report, sending it to Halag, to be forwarded to Mirros. (See Fy. 14, Fy. 21; Am. 3, Am. 7.)
What This Means: The Night Fangs had come under attack once again, this time not having the benefit of soldiers to intervene. Myndella lived up to her "slayer" reputation, butchering the werewolves. One did escape, a man named Zabba Kael, who fled towards Sulescu. Baron Vandevic does not care who killed the werewolves, as long as they no longer pose a threat.
Battle in the Caves.
Location: Beneath western Sind Desert. OW
Description: A mighty earthquake shakes the caves where the three prisoners are held. Soon after, orcs and giant worms spring out of the crumbled cave walls. The remaining Graakhalians are soon outnumbered and are forced to retreat and gather around their prisoners. Alatia and Thraïm, who have escaped from the ropes binding them, launch a fierce attack and plunge deep into the monsters' ranks. There, Alatia releases several bolts of lightning from her concealed wand and scorches the biggest creatures. The Graakhalians, seeing the tide turning to their advantage, counterattack and pursue the remaining attackers, who flee in terror.
Later, the Graakhalians, who have decided to free the party, supply them with water skins. During the long conversation that ensues, they explain to Alatia that a well-armed convoy passed through the region several days ago, heading southeast and apparently guarding something or someone important. (See Fy. 13, Fy. 20; Fy. 24, Am. 6.)
What This Means: This attack had nothing to do with the presence of the Heldannic party. It was an attack devised a long time ago to free an important member of an orcish clan who was held in the same caves used to detain the Heldannic party. The earthquake that shook the caves also caused many cave ceilings to collapse and bury their occupants. Very few escaped alive.
What the PCs Can Do: This is a good opportunity for the Heldannic party members to shine and show their valour in combat against very fierce and savage orcish attackers. Some other mightier opponents should be added to spice up the combat. Plus, some high-level shamans are present and can trigger some nasty spells.
Fyrmont 24, AC 1019
Location: Tower of Zynillith, Kingdom of Blackheart, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Kossan writes down a report about his worries about the air condition. During the last flight he observed a temperature increase inside the ship. The flight was only a few hundred yards below the skyshield, and he is concerned by the way magic will work in the void (or, more to the point, how it may not work). Olanth and Xanax, who were part of the crew during that flight, shrug away these concerns as insignificant, as do the designers. (See Fy. 14, Fy. 15; Fy. 27, Am. 5.)
What This Means: The ship's design is quite new, and some minor faults are inevitable. Should there ever be another ship, the known faults would be addressed. Anyhow, the majority thinks that Kossan is worrying about nothing, and that the ship is fit to cross the void. The test flights will continue, but Kossan's chance of participating in the mission has decreased.
The Race Starts.
Location: City of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW
Description: Five ships sail out into the Sound of Baraga for the race around the island. The question of who will return first seems to be the most important gossip (and gambling) issue in the Merry Pirates Seas at the moment. Participating are Captain Saviola's Hurricane, Captain Merryweather's Fast Food, Captain Liu's Tsingtao, Captain Hawthorne's Defiant and Captain Cato's Res Publica. (See Fy. 3, Fy. 20; Fy. 27, Fy. 28.)
What This Means: The pirates love all kind of games and competitions, and most are betting on one ship. Some are even betting on who will be sunk by whom.
Farewell to Graakhalia.
Location: Beneath western Sind Desert. OW
Description: The Heldannic party bids farewell to their newly-made Graakhalian friends. They are blindfolded and led out of the cave network. Then, they hurry and hope to be able to make up for lost time. They are told that they should find an oasis where the previous convoy would have stopped. (See Fy. 20, Fy. 23; Am. 6, Am. 9.)
What This Means: Most Graakhalians are happy to see the Heldannic party leave for they all fear that they are bad luck.
Water Burn Trials.
Location: Village of Arai, Kingdom of Jibarú, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC
Description: Clan chiefs and shamans convene in this major tribal settlement to spread the news: A direct hit by a water dart can burn a manscorpion to death! Phanaton warriors are dispatched with batches of water darts, with instructions to fire them at manscorpions rather than at fires. Gliders are sent south to Ji-Tapará to convey that knowledge to the southern phanatons, so they can use the tactic also. (See Fe. 25, Fy. 6; Am. 17, Am. 22.)
What This Means: More trials with water darts have had the same result: manscorpions die as a result of being soaked by the water. A direct hit from a water dart is required, though, as splash damage is not effective enough (in fact, it does not suffice to remove enough protective makeup to cause lethal sunburns). Also, weather control has proved ineffective, as the manscorpions then take cover from the magical rain as they do natural rain. Only the fast, direct hit of a blowgun with water darts (or directly with a water spell) leaves them no chance. The fact that the method is not particularly more effective than poisoned darts does not strike the phanatons.
The phanatons will now stop fighting the fires, and strike at their source: the Nimmurians.
What the PCs Can Do: The hunt for manscorpions is open!
Fyrmont 25, AC 1019
The Mad Sage Contests the Eternal University.
Location: City of Ylaruam, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW
Description: An uproar occurs at the Eternal University of Ylaruam as Karim al-Nazzer, The Mad Sage of Sulba, emerges from his exile, demanding an audience with the High Master of Stargazing and Astrology. When detained by the routine ceremonies and academic bureaucracy, al-Nazzer flies into a rage, claiming that his astronomical discovery was stolen by the scholars of the Eternal University, and that credit for the discovery of the retrograde moons of the planet Manat (Tarastia) should go to him!
As the scholars of astronomy and astrology delay their audience with al-Nazzer, the Mad Sage begins casting threats and curses, but no one, not even the school guards, make any move against him. [The Ylari fear violence against the insane, as they are "touched by the Immortals" and harming them even accidentally would mete out "the curses of a thousand demons!" Ed.] One alert senior scholar has the sense of mind to usher al-Nazzer into one of several private guest rooms and lock him up to keep him out of trouble, while the masters and elders ponder the situation. (See Fe. 20, Fy. 13.)
What This Means: Karim al-Nazzer is in the right about the one moon of the planet Tarastia, and of the plagiarism of his discovery; but the young scholar Haqim ibn-Amar is the one who discovered the second moon using al-Nazzer's calculations. Moreover, al-Nazzer does have his detractors and academic rivals still powerfully ensconced in the Eternal University. At worst, they can have him imprisoned, maybe even executed if the matter is twisted enough; at the least, the credit for the astronomical discovery will be shared by both the Mad Sage of Sulba and the young astrologer. Ultimately, this is merely an academic matter riddled with controversy, religious factions, and political power-play that has grown out of proportion.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are friends of al-Nazzer's, they may have accompanied him from his exile out of the deserts of Sulba, or they may have to protect him when he arrives in Ylaruam. Perhaps they may have to rescue him from prison, or even unlawful imprisonment at the university. On the other hand, the PCs may be working for the welfare of the Eternal University, one of Karim's old enemies at the school, or even religious fanatics of the Immortal al-Kalim or even Manat (Tarastia), and they will be tasked to rid Ylaruam once and for all of the threat of the Mad Sage of Sulba. (It would be easy to blow the situation out of hand to introduce more conflict and danger to the adventure.)
More Ruins Found!
Location: Northern shore of Vulcanian Peninsula. DV
Description: After almost a month of sailing along the coast, the Thyatian expedition is almost despairing of finding anything even remotely interesting. They have mapped the mouths of numerous rivers, and, aside from having sailed along the fringes of a large swamp, nothing has broken the seemingly endless stretches of forested coastline. Early today, the sentry on watch reports the presence of strange rock formations, in the form of two pillars, rising from the waters just off shore up ahead.
Before long, everyone on board can see the pillars, and, as the vessel draws nearer, it becomes apparent that they are not natural rock formations, for they bear the faint marks of having been carved, and they are too similar to each other. Between the two pillars, which seem to frame a wide bay, the crew can see a shoreline covered with low, grassy ridges, which extend outwards into the bay in some places.
After dropping anchor, some of the expedition members scout the area, and within moments, they reach an exciting conclusion: the regular patterns of the ridges, and the gullies between them, appear to denote old walls and streets. The expedition has discovered the ruins of yet another city, this one apparently much larger than the previous one. (See Fe. 21, Fe. 28; Sv. 17, Sv. 24.)
What This Means: The Thyatians have discovered the ruins of the Lhomarrian city of Erkalion, which was an island of civilisation in an increasingly chaotic land following the sinking of Lhomarr. It survived the collapse of the Lhomarrian Empire by almost 1,000 years. In its heyday, Erkalion was home to more than 200,000 people, and was a provincial capital in the old empire. It was also famous for the great statue of Xeron [an ancient name for Ixion. Ed.] that straddled the entrance to the city's bay, the weathered legs of which still remain. Even during its slow decline over the thousand years following the sinking, Erkalion remained a powerful city.
Julius will lead excavations here, which will last for a couple of weeks Erkalion will turn out to be a treasure trove of fragmentary relics of the past. During that time, expedition members will uncover many items of interest, including jewellery fragments, coins (which match those found in the catacombs of the Mountain of Bones), and stones bearing inscriptions. The writing will also match samples found in the Isles of Steam, and it is from this information that they will deduce the city's name. Aside from the discoveries, another noteworthy aspect of Erkalion is its location; it is a natural port, with defensible hills surrounding the ruins. The members of the expedition will pay special attention to this, and Julius will recommend claiming the site for settlement, should a Thyatian outpost ever be planned for the region.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs of a more archaeological bent might undertake a few excavations of their own, or they might explore the forests surrounding the ruins, which contain the crumbling remains of even more buildings and the like Erkalion was a large city, after all. If any forgotten sewers or catacombs are discovered, the PCs can likewise be called upon to explore them, or to act as guards.
Fyrmont 27, AC 1019
Final Test Aborted!
Location: Void outside the skyshield of the Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Iris, Olanth and Xanax are manning the Apollo 1 during the final test. The penetration of the skyshield does not pose a problem and the Apollo 1 can manoeuvre in the void as predicted, but atmospheric conditions become problematic. Inside the voidship it becomes too hot, and the flight has to be aborted. Iris manages to remain conscious, but her crewmates are knocked out. The ship returns to the Tower of Zynillith. Obviously the problem has to be addressed. (See Fy. 15, Fy. 24; Am. 5, Am. 26.)
What This Means: The ship is designed to keep the crew alive in the airless void, but due to insufficient knowledge about this strange environment Lady Polint has made a mistake that might require redesigning the ship. Kossan had warned the team before, but it had been shrugged away.
Race into the Fog.
Location: Open Sea south of the Island of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW
Description: The five ships are not too far away from each other, and so all of them are caught by the same mysterious fog. The crews are unable to explain it, because fogs are quite uncommon in the Merry Pirates Seas. Time will tell which captain can handle the situation better. Some more superstitious sailors call this weather phenomenon "Protius's pea-souper" or "Protius's laundry." The more enlightened pirate officers discard this theory as nonsense. (See Fy. 20, Fy. 24; Fy. 28, Am. 1.)
What This Means: Of course Protius is neither cooking pea-soup nor cleaning His clothes, but He is indeed responsible for this incident. For unknown reasons He is toying with a submarine volcano that produces this mass of mist. As usual His fellow Immortals overlook it.
What the PCs Can Do: A prayer might be helpful, but perhaps not. Only really experienced PCs could quell the volcano, but only if Protius will not hinder them. It would be more effective to negate the cloaking effects of the fog.
Carlotina Escapes Aerial Assassination.
Location: Above the Glantrian Alps, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: Unable to have an audience with Prinz Harald Haaskinz at the parliament or the Great School of Magic for the past two months, Princess Carlotina Erewan finally learns that the grand master is indisposed at his fief, the border Principality of Sablestone. Princess Carlotina quickly arranges for a contingent of elven griffon-knights (an order first founded by her ally, the late Countess Aliana Nyraviel of Soth-Kabree) to escort her to westernmost frontier of Sablestone.
While flying over the Glantrian Alps, the entourage is beset by a pair of blue dragons, one mounted by a humanoid. The dragons attack the griffon-knights with claw, tooth, nail, and lightning breath, while the humanoid dragon-rider opens fire at the princess with crossbow quarrels and magical attacks.
Fortunately, trailing the princess from below is the elven hero Tel'Erond, who takes to the sky on a wyvern mount and saves Carlotina from sure death. Tel'Erond, the griffon-riders, and Princess Carlotina's powerful magic eventually manage to chase away the heavily-wounded dragons, but not before the rider is knocked off and plummets to the earth. Tel'Erond's followers search the grounds below and eventually recover the crushed body of the assassin, who turns out to be a dark-haired elf, disguised as an orc. (See Va. 18, Fy. 17; Am. 2.)
What This Means: With an attempt at Princess Carlotina's life, one would usually think of Prince Kol XIV of New Kolland, the Free Armed Elven Resistant Youth (F.A.E.R.Y.) from Belcadiz, or even Princesa Carnelia de Belcadiz herself! But this strange, fearless, and almost successful attempt came from another quarter the assassin's guild known as the Unseen Hand, secretly lead by Signor Antonio di Tarento, Marquis of Dunvegan and ally to Princess Dolores Hillsbury of Fenswick.
Princess Dolores (secretly the evil night dragon Synn) was greatly disturbed by the loss of her pawns last year, particularly Prince Kol XIV of New Kolland and his humanoid hordes. In order to test the loyalty of her remaining ally Signor Antonio, as well as to embroil Prince Kol in an assassination scandal and generally cause more trouble between the prevailing factions of Belcadizan and Erewan elves, Princess Dolores chose the goody-goody Princess Carlotina Erewan as an easy mark for an assassination. It was then easy for the Unseen Hand to find a disgruntled Belcadizan elf to be the magically-disguised assassin and command the rogue blue dragons (subdued by Synn in a recent hunt as a night dragon) to attack Carlotina.
However, what Princess Dolores and Signor Antonio do not know is the uneasy truce between Princess Carlotina and Prince Kol, and that the elven hero Tel'Erond (of "Shadow Over Mystara" fame) has come to serve and protect Carlotina!
What the PCs Can Do: This event can provide exciting aerial combat, riding griffons, wyverns, dragons, or with any other magical methods! If the PCs do not have their own flying mounts or flying magic, then they could become retainers of Princess Carlotina or allies of Tel'Erond, both of whom could provide some means of flight.
On the other hand, PCs can be hired to investigate the assassination attempt, which would likely lead them to humanoids of New Kolland, the belligerent Belcadizans of F.A.E.R.Y., or maybe even the ruling family of Belcadiz itself! Don Miguelito de Belcadiz is, after all, a dracologist of the second circle!
Fyrmont 28, AC 1019
Fatal Encounters in the Fog.
Location: Open Sea south of the Island of Baraga, Merry Pirates Seas. HW
Description: The pirate ships participating in the big race are still crossing in the misty region in their desperate search for clear sky. Until now the ships have not met in the fog, but this changes dramatically as the Tsingtao rams the Res Publica, yet is able to break free without too much damage. The Res Publica's crew faces the much bigger problem of sinking.
Not long afterwards the Hurricane and the Fast Food meet, and both captains give orders to prepare ships for battle. When the crews report readiness, both captains open fire. Unfortunately in the meantime the Tsingtao drew near from astern, and the first shots hit the poor ship and her surprised crew. Saviola and Merryweather recognise their mistake at once, but continue their attacks nonetheless. Due to the fog the Tsingtao is able to break away after being hit a second time. The battle then comes to an abrupt halt as the attackers those who wanted to fire at each other in the first place lose each other in the fog. Both Barbarossa and Merryweather continue the search for quite a while, but they are not successful in finding each other. (See Fy. 24, Fy. 27; Am. 1, Am. 2.)
What This Means: Navigating is a difficult thing in such a fog, and this is the simple explanation for the crash between Tsingtao and Res Publica. That the ramming ship runs into the middle of a battle between the old archfoes is plain bad luck. Saviola and Merryweather have had to learn the difficulties of navigating and fighting in a thick fog the hard way though it was mostly hard on the Tsingtao, really: none of the two rivals has taken any damage.
What the PCs Can Do: The biggest problem is still the fog, and it would be a good idea if the PCs could do something to counter its effects. Otherwise they will have to do their very best in the aftermath of those incidents.
Topic of the Month
Our sources have managed to obtain yet another extract from the journals of Julius Ambrosius, who leads the Thyatian expedition to Davania. We trust that the readership of the Mystaran Almanac continues to find these rare insights into the doings of the notable personalities of our world to be interesting, and entertaining.
Fyrmont 1, AC 1019
As we resume our journey, I must reflect upon the most interesting experiences I have had in the Kingdom of Varadghír. Before seeing the wonders of this small kingdom in what is, perhaps, the most remote part of our world I would never have thought that the orcish race would have been capable of anything approximating what we call "civilisation." In this, as with many experiences I have had thus far, I have been proven wrong. Along with my companions, I have seen cultivated fields, roads, bridges, towers, and walled towns in short, the hallmarks of an established culture.
Our surprise at being surrounded by such comforting amenities was, I think, reflected by our hosts, who seemed surprised at seeing civilised humans. Throughout our time in Varadghír, I have tried to learn more about these barbarian tribes who harass the orcs with such ferocity, but the Varadghíri are a closed-mouthed folk especially with outsiders, it seems. Everywhere we walked in their country, the locals stared at us, and many sought to avoid our presence whenever they could; even in their capital city this was the case. Upon asking our guides about this, we were told simply that, in this land, humans were always associated with destruction and savagery. It was only after our audience with King Graghaal that we learned the full extent of the barbarian menace: Varadghír was once a vast kingdom, it seems, but the orcs have steadily lost ground over the years. The only other nations known to the Varadghíri are the enigmatic Three Kingdoms, which lie far to the east along the so-called "Rim of the World," and the reclusive sea traders from a place known as Arath, whose small vessels are said to ply all the known seas. Neither of these folk have visited Varadghír in living memory, which in many ways explains the reluctance of the Varadghíri to trust outsiders, but there must be more to the story than that.
The Varadghíri, despite their aloofness towards us, were nonetheless quite curious about events in our part of the world, and the doings of their distant cousins. The fact that we spoke Orcish known to the Varadghíri as the Old Tongue put us in good stead, but they were uniformly dismayed that the orcs of Brun are a savage lot. Obviously, they have not been in contact with other orcs, even the jungle orcs of other regions of Davania, for many, many years. Our hosts were also quite interested about the doings of the Immortals, as well more specifically, which Immortals were revered by our people above others. We were quite taken aback by the directness of such a question, but ascribed it to the quirks of a foreign culture. We answered as fully as diplomacy and tact demanded, but our hosts seemed somehow pleased. Clearly, the Varadghíri are a spiritual people, as evidenced by respectful references to various Immortals that pepper their speech. From what I was able to glean from our discussions, the Varadghíri believe that their destiny is tied closely with the fortunes of a pantheon of Immortals, and so long as they are venerated widely, Varadghír will endure.
What more can I write at this point? I must discuss the events of the past few days with my companions, and from that, I will furnish a more extensive report to the emperor. Given their level of civilisation, the Varadghíri could prove to be very dependable allies in this part of the world.
Fyrmont 2, AC 1019
We just held a meeting in my cabin concerning what we had seen in Varadghír. Clearly, the emperor will be most interested in what we have found particularly those matters relating to the trading potential of the kingdom, as well as...
[More follows, but our sources were unable to obtain the rest. It seems we may have to send a correspondent of our own down to Varadghír, if we wish to learn more about this strange kingdom on the far side of the world. Ed.]