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Kaldmont 1, AC 1019


Location: Town of Um-Shedu, Province of Sur, Kingdom of Nimmur, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC

Description: Before sunrise, the Sohktar pincers retreat underground as planned, guarding the warrens that allowed the Nimmurians to take the enduks by surprise. Though this reduces the Nimmurian army's size by more than a third, it seems unlikely it will affect the outcome of the battle at this point: the nighttime fighting has resulted in a clear victory for the manscorpions, and they now control most of the city and the walls, with only scattered pockets of resistance remaining. The only enemy stronghold of importance is the ziggurat block, to where most of the enduks and ee'aar have flown. The battle continues, though, the manscorpions converging inexorably toward the temple grounds and the enduks' last stand.

At noon, an untoward event happens: a large beam of light bursts from the top of the temple, instantly charring to bones part of a sting of soldiers. Such phenomenon is known to happen occasionally in Er, but never before in Um-Shedu has the power of Idu (Ixion) been borne so cruelly. This temporarily pauses the Nimmurian army, as the manscorpions behold the destructive power of Idu strike down upon them, and wonder briefly if the patron of the enduks is exacting retribution for their victory over His followers.

Officers bark orders to resume advance when three rapid bursts crisp one entire sting. The manscorpions stop moving, frozen in their tracks by their morbid fascination of the instant release from mortal life that the power of Idu can bring about. After long minutes of awaiting both expectantly and fearfully instant death in a fiery blaze, the soldiers reluctantly resume their advance. Five more bursts strike out, two of them directed at King Anupalassar and Prince Nergil, and three at various stings. Taking the cue, several soldiers break ranks and flee, quickly joined by others until it becomes a full rout.

No other bolt strikes the fleeing manscorpions, who leave the city unhindered and scatter in the countryside. King Anupalassar II is dead. (See Sv. 20, Ei. 28; Ka. 12, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Cornered, the enduks used the most deadly power of the Star Device they built for exactly that purpose in the temple of Um-Shedu. The rays of the sun, the moon and the stars charge the device, and one way to release that accumulated energy is by firing concentrated rays of light, which are deadly to manscorpions. The enduk priests played upon the (justified) fears of the manscorpions to create the sense of awe that resulted in their rout. Little did the Nimmurians know that the device was empty when they fled.

The Star Device, which had been completed at the end of Fyrmont, could not be used before now as the correct stellar alignments have only just occurred in the skies again. An earlier auspicious stellar alignment in the middle and later parts of Sviftmont could not be put to use due to torrential rains and permanent cloud cover in the area, slowing the charging efforts of the newly-created device. It was decided at this earlier time not to use the device when not fully charged so as to maximise the fear caused by its initial use.

This is a major victory for the enduks, despite the heavy losses they took early on, and they are unlikely to be challenged by the manscorpions again for the control of Um-Shedu. The city of Um-Shedu is not a mere foothold in Nimmur any more, but a city where the enduks can now come back to, the foundation of the new Nimmur.

The death of the Nimmurian King and the scope of the defeat at Um-Shedu will likely throw Nimmur into chaos.

The Battle of Gray Sorcery.

Location: Alexander Platz, City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Frau Viktoria von Drachenfels steps out onto Alexander Platz, amidst the leisurely strollers and hurrying bureaucrats and ministers. None bat an eye at the noblewoman, but the two strange figures flanking her manage to cause a stir, if not for their weird appearance glossy grey skin, body armour of metal plates, glass, and alien substances, seemingly fused with their bodies then for the threatening devices that each of them carry, odd geometric-shaped metallic objects, like various weapons fused together. The three take positions equidistant from each other on the black marble plaza, and simultaneously, their gadgets blip and hum, spark with electricity, and radiate a sickening grey energy. Then a strange triangular portal opens in between them, revealing a dark cavern of volcanic obsidian that pulses a mysterious radiance at regular intervals.

The more cautious Glantrians (especially the mundaners) quickly hail gondoliers to leave the plaza, while more curious arcaners linger around to see this flagrant display of curious magic until the arrival of no less than the Grandmaster of the Great School of Magic, Prinz Harald Haaskinz, and his powerful wizard allies: Mistress Rowan Zarovan, Sir Gerrid Rientha, Lady Danira Voshane, and even Princess Carlotina Erewan! an unmistakable cue to take cover.

Prinz Harald calls on Viktoria to stop what she is doing, but even before he finishes, Viktoria's head whirls around at an inhuman angle, her eyes glaring, and a burst of bright bluish-grey light explodes from Prinz Harald's disfigured arm. Prinz Harald crumples to the ground in excruciating pain, and Sir Gerrid and Princess Carlotina launch magical attacks at Viktoria.

Rowan rushes to Harald's side, but a mysterious stranger is already there; he hastily introduces himself as an ally and a cleric of Khoronus, sent by his patron to help stop the "half-golems." Without hesitation or waiting for approval, he heals Harald. Trusting her instincts, Rowan focuses on the offensive and summons two water elementals from the canals.

Lady Danira, who was holding back and scanning her slate of grey sorcery (a Blackmoorian device of technomantic nature), points out that their enemy is totally impervious to magic. Before Gerrid and Carlotina can change tactics, the two "half-golems" raise their weapons one, a large hollow cannon, the other, a thick rod with a glowing tip, which have emerged from their armour and body implants and launch their counterattack.

Even before the blast of fire, Gerrid instinctively casts a defensive spell; but he quickly realises his magical protections are useless against their enemy's attacks, and is engulfed in flame. Just as surprised is Danira, whose magical protections hold. She has two simultaneous thoughts: She can save her lover from a fiery death by throwing him and herself into the nearby canal; and the Blackmoorian device in her hands must somehow transmute her magic to be effective against theirs.

Carlotina is thrown to the ground, but not by the metallic canister that was launched from the arm-cannon. She allows herself to be carried to safety by her invisible ally and secret bodyguard, Tel'Erond, just as the canister explodes in a green cloud of noxious gas.

Rowan manoeuvres her water elementals towards the attack. One is instantly vaporised when the "half-golem" attacks it with a powerful electrical bolt, while the other is pummelled by fire blasts but seems incapable of inflicting damage. Rowan realises her attacks have at least distracted or drained the electrical "half-golem," as the triangular portal collapses in its corner.

Out of nowhere, the other "half-golem" is struck by a series of arrows in its fleshy parts. Unaffected by the invisibility magic shrouding Tel'Erond, it retaliates with a third blast of fire, directed with deadly accuracy; Tel'Erond barely escapes.

Viktoria emits inhuman beeps and whistles, as if commanding her distracted cohorts, who promptly resume their stands to open the triangular portal. Viktoria then raises a force field over the three of them and the portal, foiling any further physical attacks by Tel'Erond and the newly arrived Glantrian troops.

Just as Prinz Harald comes to, he sees the sky darkened by a large black shadow a mechanical dragon-shaped monstrosity, belching steam and fire and crackling with electricity. A flock of pegasi, summoned by Carlotina, fly around it, in futile attempts to damage it as much as trying to avoid being incinerated, scalded or electrocuted by it. A Glantrian military airship launches from the nearby citadel, but before it can engage the hovering mechanical dragon, the drolem rains fire and steam onto the buildings below. In a series of powerful castings, Prinz Harald summons water elementals, ice salamanders, and a marid to save the capital from burning.

Danira comes out of the canals with the fatally scorched Gerrid, but in the next instant finds him miraculously healed. Beside them, the cleric of Khoronus explains that he has sequestered Gerrid in a time loop to heal his burns.

Gerrid summons water elementals of his own, while Danira attempts to magically attack the enemy by tapping into the "grey sorcery" of her Blackmoorian device. Her magic penetrates the force field and knocks down one of the "half-golems." She manages one more strike on Viktoria before her Blackmoorian device sputters dead in her hands. The final attack is hardly enough to faze Viktoria, but it does disrupt whatever illusionary disguise she had, revealing that she too is a grey-skinned half-flesh, half-metal monstrosity!

The other "half-golem" is suddenly knocked down into the portal by the invisible Tel'Erond, but in turn, he is caught in a wave of radiating pain. Even with her allies down, the triangular portal stands open and radiant with light, with "Viktoria" standing at the edge, crackling with lethal blue-grey energy. Danira and Gerrid are next to be struck down with the deadly power "Viktoria" has tapped into.

But unexpectedly, an eerie, menacing laugh bursts from the portal. The light turns obsidian black and a skeletal hand of dark energy reaches up from the portal, plucks in "Viktoria" and crushes her. Just as suddenly, the portal is gone.

At that moment, the mechanical dragon-shaped golem loses power and plummets to the earth, threatening to crash into the airship and onto the Great School of Magic below.

Harald then finds the whole world has stopped, except for him and the cleric of Khoronus who had healed him moments before. Understanding the situation and what he must do, Harald calls upon his High Mastery of Water Elementalism and the Radiance, and turns himself into a giant water elemental.

When time starts moving again, everyone is awestruck at the giant watery being, who rises with the force of a hundred waterspouts, to catch the monstrous machine of steel and fire from the sky. Then with the power of a massive whirlpool, the watery Prinz Harald crushes the clockwork dragon into an impossibly small ball of twisted metal, and gently lays it on the black marble of Alexander Platz. (See Ei. 24, Ei. 28; Ka. 19.)

What This Means: The oards' attempt to tap into the power of the engine of the FSS Beagle (a.k.a. the Nucleus of the Spheres) almost succeeded. As part of their preparations, the oard masquerading as Viktoria had used the technological and technomantic devices from the Free Anachronic Society of Aalban to arm and upgrade herself and her fellow oards. She had also taken the drolem of Herr Sigmund von Drachenfels from last year, retrofitted it with weaponry, hover mechanisms, and remote-control capabilities. But even without these, their greatest strength was the fact that they are immune to magic.

Fortunately, Prinz Harald and his allies old, new, and unexpected (including Arand Fadon, the Vice-Patriarch of Khoronus from Darokin City) were able to stop the oard menace, for the time being. Prinz Harald will no longer be called "The Reluctant Prince." He will be celebrated as a hero in Glantri and his supremacy in magic will be unquestioned. He hopes this will deter any other sinister forces, although privately, he fears the oards are not his only hidden enemies.

This very public event raises more questions than answers especially among the powerful, magically and politically: What is this "grey sorcery?" What happened to Viktoria von Drachenfels? What was that portal and that radiant energy source she was tapping into? And who did that evil laughter and that skeletal hand belong to?

What the PCs Can Do: Numerous events and plots throughout the year and even earlier converge in this dramatic battle. In all likelihood, the PCs will be fighting against the oards, no matter how much they know about their enemy.

They may be allies of Prinz Harald, agents of the Church of Khoronus, even unwitting pawns of "Viktoria von Drachenfels" or simple bystanders. If they are not powerful enough to take on the powerhouse cast of characters in this drama, they could be in one of the buildings of the capital the Great School of Magic, the Parliament, the Citadel, for example and they still will have enough to do when the Battle of Gray Sorcery occurs.

The Mystery Deepens.

Location: Barony of Thanopolis, Davania Inferior, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: After a week of searching the excavated ruins, as well as carrying out some digging of his own, Ambrosius Docerius, of the Imperial Museum of Davanian Antiquities, informs Adrianos Kyrenos that his dominion sits on top of the site of what appears to have been an ancient port. The long buildings were warehouses he discovered seeds, remnants of sacks, and other evidence of dry goods preserved in the moist soil within the foundations and he discovered remnants of an ancient pier. His investigation also suggests that many of the ruins had been burned. Finally, he produces a fragment of papyrus, upon which can be faintly read strange symbols, which Ambrosius describes as being similar to those found by Thyatian officials in southern Ylaruam when that part of the country was a Thyatian colony. Before he begins his journey back to Raven Scarp, he tells Adrianos that he may continue his construction, only that care should be taken in digging up more of the land. (See Ei. 2, Ei. 23.)

What This Means: Adrianos and his men have discovered the ruins of a Nithian port town, which had been established on Lake Solarios as a collection point for local resources before being ferried north to the Sea of Dread. The town was burned down by Kerendan slaves in a revolt, not long before the Nithian colony in Davania collapsed utterly.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs may continue poking around the ruins in the hopes of uncovering anything else that might be interesting. DMs are encouraged to create miniature dungeons for the PCs to explore as they possibly discover partially collapsed catacombs, cellars, or other underground chambers, as more ruins are possibly discovered.

Kaldmont 2, AC 1019

Straßenburger Entrenches in Naga River.

Location: Town of Althaven and vicinity, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW

Description: Across the lands controlled by Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger, great efforts are being made to strengthen fortifications and other defences, in anticipation of the final assault on Freiburg by Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks and her followers. The most work is being done around the town of Althaven, and the banks of the Naga River as it heads out to sea. The river ice is broken, and several large vessels have their hulls reinforced. Wood salvaged from the river's sunken vessels [sunk by Anna's followers in Yarthmont of AC 1019, and long since removed. Ed.] is used to build watch towers and additional docks. Work is even commenced on a simple stone fortress at the mouth of the Naga River, along its southern bank. (See Ei. 13; Ka. 11.)

What This Means: Straßenburger hopes that, by maintaining control over all the lands downstream of Freiburg, his enemy will not be able to encircle the city entirely. He plans to keep the Naga River ice-free for as long as possible, just in case he has to flee the city, and magical transportation fails him. The new fortress on the coast will be very simple in design little more than a tower surrounded by a barricade of heavy stones but it is designed to repel any seaborne assaults, and to ensure that any fleeing vessels will be able to depart without difficulty.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs who are among Straßenburger's senior advisers might be able to draw on their combat experience to augment his initial plans. This may change future events; the DM, as always, will have to react accordingly, and alter the proposed plotline given here to suit his or her own campaign.

Kaldmont 3, AC 1019

A Small Step for an Alphatian...

Location: The Void. HW

Description: Apollo 1 and her crew, Kossan, Iris and Xanax, lands on another flying island. It is the 27th island they have landed on or at least orbited. Something is different this time. This oval island with its length of 81 miles and its width of 49 miles has a breathable atmosphere and is inhabited by plants and even some animals. It is rotating along the long axis, and this time the gravity is rotating with the island. Kossan decides to stay for a few days to take a closer look. (See Sv. 14, Sv. 27; Ka. 6, Ka. 19.)

What This Means: The island seems to be too good to be true, but a few days might be enough for a more detailed analysis.

Kaldmont 5, AC 1019

Trade Is the New Flower that Blooms in the Desert.

Location: Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: Ylaruam rebuilds and strengthens its defences, the aftermath of successful trade.

What This Means: Mujibur and the Blessed Truth have been successful in dealing with the ravenous attacks of balors in the wilds of Ylaruam. Believers in the Desert Garden have begun to make permanent roads that facilitate travel for trade and movement of forces. Large purchases of the necessary materials to build the aqueducts, canals, and cisterns have created a very hot and lively market. With the calm created with the Kin and Preceptor factions working together, and the Preceptors in control of a favourable market, many nations begin to negotiate better trade deals. The sounds from the desert have changed, not to another side of a bi-polar and splintered nation, but a newly strengthened nation of one belief. (See Am. 12, Sv. 22.)

What the PCs Can Do: PCs involved in Ylari affairs will see more and more newcomers to the desert; but they will also find a darker side to this new movement. The influxes of the newcomers are new to the faith and zealous, not tempered or baptised by the sands of the desert; many believe that the only way to truth is through the Nahmeh. This new blend is open to the outside, yet more dogmatic in its beliefs.

Old World Newcomers.

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

Description: The first freed slaves and indentured servants arrive thanks to magical transportation. Whole slave families were bought up in Thyatian and Naycese lands, and indentured servants freed in Darokin, and then teleported to Polakatsikes using the mystical transportation device. About 200 people were freed from slavery, under the single condition that they settle and farm the lands they would be assigned. Those lands will be deeded to them upon successful completion of the 7th harvest. (See Fy. 1, Am. 27; Ka. 9, Ka. 20.)

What This Means: Since the slaves and servants were very low-level people, their transportation through the mystical teleportation device was not expensive. The Heldannic Order in Polakatsikes used the money it got from Pyris, since it was decided earlier that this would be a good and decent way to use such a cursed treasure. Other arrivals are expected in the months to come.

What the PCs Can Do: They could be in charge of "recruiting" missions in the Old World, and possibly such loci of slavery as Jaibul. Yet there they could meet a warmer welcome than expected (see Ambyrmont).

In the Eye of the Storm.

Location: Jungle Coast, north of Hills of Desolation. DV

Description: The Windmeister is hit by a very intense thunderstorm. Lightning bolts flash, and hail punctures the balloon of the airship. The gusts of wind blow the ship up and down until the captain finally opts for an emergency landing. A member of the crew who ventured outside to try to repair some holes in the fabric is struck by lightning and falls to his death.

After hours of battling against the elements, the Windmeister lands heavily on a sandy beach. Two hours later, the storm dissipates and, as the sun rises, the knights assess the damage, which seems superficial except for a section of the balloon's fabric that was ripped off entirely, and must be magically restored. In the meantime, patrols are sent out to ascertain whether the place is safe. The scouts come back hours later with nothing to report, save for finding gigantic tracks not far from the encampment. The men are ordered not to venture farther than three times the range of an arrow. Sentries are posted just in case. (See Ei. 20, Ei. 27; Ka. 8, Ka. 10.)

What This Means: This is the first setback encountered by the Heldannic Knights while using the Windmeister. They are having difficulties adapting to such risky means of aerial transportation after relying for so long on the Heldannic warbirds.

The party has reached the coast, and once the repairs are finished, the knights will be able to explore the area as part of their mission.

What the PCs Can Do: It is unlikely that much will happen there. But there are indeed large beasts (mainly dinosaurs) lurking in the jungle and anyone venturing under the foliage can attract such denizens (1 or 2 on 1d6). Occasional bands of orcs, no more than 30 lightly-armed fighters, may also be encountered. Use them only to prevent the PCs from going where you do not want them to go.

Promising Island Sighted!

Location: Northeast of Lost Valley. DV

Description: After many days of following the coast, the Thyatians round a cape, and head west. The coastal regions still appear to be uninhabited at least, they bear no signs of ever having been settled in recent times. Progress is smooth, if uneventful, for a few days more, until a man in the crow's nest sights land to the northeast in his telescope! Thinking that they may at last have found the Island of Arnath described to them by the gnomes, the Thyatians head straight for the newly sighted land. By day's end, it is clear that they have found what might, in fact, be the island in question, but they will only know for sure if they circumnavigate it, but not before dropping anchor for the night, and sending small parties ashore to catch fresh game and gather recognisable herbs. (See Sv. 26, Ei. 7; Ka. 10, Ka. 27.)

What This Means: Although the gnomes know very little about Arnath, what they have said indicates to the Thyatians that it is a locus of civilisation in an otherwise uninhabited or barbaric land hence, the interest in finding it.

What the PCs Can Do: Provided they are with this contingent of the expedition, there is little for the PCs to do at this point but sail on.

Kaldmont 6, AC 1019

... A Big Step for the Empire.

Location: The Void. HW

Description: Xanax has finished his preliminary examinations, and he is convinced that the island is worth revisiting for a longer duration. As the voyage has lasted quite a while, Kossan decides to set a course back to Alphatia. Xanax would rather stay for a more complete study of the floating island and he even volunteers to do it alone, but Iris wants to leave too, and Kossan is reluctant to leave somebody behind. So Apollo 1 takes off again and heads home. (See Sv. 27, Ka. 3; Ka. 19.)

What This Means: This flying island could really be what the crew was looking for. Everything looks fine, but they have collected stones, water and plants for a closer examination in the Tower of Zynillith. Should the tests prove the samples to be non-toxic, another expedition will be sent to this place to stay for a longer time. Right now Kossan believes that it is too dangerous to leave somebody on the island alone.

Fang Returns.

Location: Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: A portion of General Lord Fang's expeditionary force returns to Ochalea. A small garrison remained behind with the general's chief lieutenant as an elite cavalry unit at the disposal of the Thyatian generals.

What This Means: Fang's force was part of the army that was sent overseas as Ochalea's participation to the imperial armies.

Abbey for the Serpent.

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

Description: During a council of the Heldannic Order in Davania, a decision is made regarding the canal project between Tyjaret and Kladanovic. Thirty to fifty young clerics will be sent there to establish a small agricultural abbey in the sparsely inhabited land between the two towns, which will serve as a centre for future surveys of the region, and as a safe house for Heldannic spies. The clerics are to buy an existing farm or homestead at a fair rate and turn it into a productive abbey in order to establish a credible front operation to hide all the other activities. In the meantime, plans and small models are to be drawn to get a better idea of the amount of work to be done. It soon appears that a flight over the region could prove to be very valuable to get a general idea of the lay of the land over the proposed route, and of the volume of earth to excavate.

The mission is to depart as soon as possible. Its members will not be made aware of the importance of their assignment, and shall be updated regularly. (See Ei. 25, Ei. 26.)

What This Means: This plan has several advantages. It allows the order to test new clerical recruits, especially those of Milenian descent, and thus to give them a chance to prove themselves. It also allows the order to gain a foothold in a region it is now coveting. Many geological studies could be conducted from there without anyone noticing anything. Finally it is a good way to spy on, and stop, foreign agents working in the area for the same goal (namely Jaibul, but also Thyatis).

What the PCs Can Do: If they are mid- to high-level members of the order they could be the sent there to rule the place and conduct the spying. If they are low-level members, they could be sent on their first big assignment.

Kaldmont 7, AC 1019

Canium to Ersenbal's Defence.

Location: Barony of Canium, Isle of the Dogs, Tranquil Coast. NW

Description: Baron Honorine Canolokarius welcomes his neighbours of Walrus Island to the Norwold League, and declares that his navy will magnanimously come to the help of Ersenbal, to protect their ships from pirate raids that have been plaguing it since the destruction of its navy. (See Fy. 10, Ei. 27.)

What This Means: The baron is no more trustful of Ersenbal and its new seneschal now than he was before, but after the county entered the league he had to make a gesture. It will not expose his navy to any danger, as he will simply ask his Ostlander allies to scale back their raids upon Ersenbal but only by the necessary amount, no more yet it will allow him to continue to monitor Ersenbal under the pretence of defending it. Besides, the baron intends to use the opportunity to infiltrate agents of his own into Ersenbal, and keep an eye on that Alphatian hotbed he does not expect anything good to come of Ersenbal.

What the PCs Can Do: Thyatian PCs may be sent as spies into Ersenbal.

Kaldmont 8, AC 1019

Flying along the Shores

Location: Jungle Coast, north of the Hills of Desolation. DV

Description: After completing the last repairs to its fabric balloon, the Windmeister takes off. It leaves a dozen Heldannic Knights with the mission to set up a permanent camp there. For some days, the ship flies over the shore several miles to the north and south to map the coast and find a proper place to establish a port. Some spots seem adequate but they lack the kind of natural protection the cave in the cliffs offered the Windmeister. After a week, the ship heads back to the camp before returning to Pyris. (See Ei. 27, Ka. 5; Ka. 10, Ka. 15.)

What This Means: This is the second part of the mission that is to find an adequate landing place for regular ships in order to provide the order with a decent port facility along the Jungle Coast.

What the PCs Can Do: Lots of adventure hooks there. Inspecting ruins of long-lost villages or even some minor harbour towns now crumbled under the jungle can offer challenges to all party levels.

Kaldmont 9, AC 1019

Saboteurs Unmasked.

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

Description: Recently-arrived people are caught attempting to poison the wells containing the water used by the army garrison of Polakatsikes. They are soon interrogated but it turns out that they were acting under a geas spell. The instigators remain unidentified, but Mivosia is suspected immediately; although there is no proof to sustain the accusation. Investigators are put on the case; in the meantime, the newcomers are discretely placed under watch and gathered outside the city. Plans are made to have every one of them be subject to a magical mind-reading spell. (See Sv. 17, Ka. 5.)

What This Means: Moray Vaco is the real culprit. He laid low for a while and then decided to reactivate his network in the region. One of his agents cast a geas spell upon a family of newcomers and had them try to poison the water, but they were caught before they could carry out their deed. As he thought, and hoped, Mivosia was suspected immediately. This may cause mayhem in the future.

What the PCs Can Do: Any other spy or outside influence could have infiltrated the newcomers. Identifying them should take a long time.

Kaldmont 10, AC 1019

A Safe Haven?

Location: Northeast of Lost Valley. DV

Description: While circumnavigating what is possibly the Island of Arnath, the Thyatian vessel becomes caught in a fierce storm. Although the crew manages to keep a steady southward course, the prevailing winds nonetheless push the ship closer and closer to the coast. When it seems that running aground, or being smashed to pieces on shore, are the only possible outcomes, the crew braces itself for impact. Just when it seems that the ship is about to be wrecked, the storms subside, but only in the waters surrounding the ship. Caught off guard by the development, the Thyatians look around in astonishment, and see a small, low-slung vessel off their bow. A solitary figure stands amidships, its arms raised. Another unseen figure is seen on the deck, and it waves at the Thyatians, urging them forward. Losing no time, the crew springs into action, and soon the vessel is underway. The crew notes that the storm is closing in behind the vessel.

The Thyatians follow the strange vessel, whose enigmatic occupant seems to be maintaining an eerie zone of calm around the two ships, which keeps the storm at bay. The journey continues in silence for many hours, until the voyagers reach a rocky promontory, upon which is built a great lighthouse. The strange vessel rounds the headland, and the Thyatians follow, conscious still of the storm that rages just beyond their vessel. Sailing round the lighthouse, the Thyatians see before them a narrow bay, at the end of which is a small port town, above which a wide river winds its way inland. They note that the waters of the bay are also strangely calm, despite the storm.

Before long, the expedition is guided into port, where they encounter the locals dog-faced, human-sized creatures vaguely reminiscent of gnolls. One of the strange creatures approaches the vessel, and, with a sweep of its arms, takes in everything the Thyatians see. After doing so, it heads into the town, followed by the other creatures. After a brief discussion, a small party is sent ashore to follow the locals. (See Ei. 7, Ei. 22; Ka. 27.)

What This Means: Good fortune, and chance intervention, saved the Thyatians from being shipwrecked. Now they are curious about their strange, yet powerful, benefactors, and wish to know more. The voyagers will weather the storm in the port, and then try to learn as much as they can about their new surroundings, and their enigmatic hosts.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be among those sent ashore to initiate formal contact with the locals, in which case their linguistic skills, or their proficiency with magic, may go a long way towards fostering good relations with these enigmatic folk.

Sacred Land

Location: Valley of Lost Honour, Jungle Coast. DV

Description: The dozen Heldannic Knights left at their emergency landing place have ventured several miles along the coast. Not far from their camp they discover centuries-old ruins of walls and docks completely overgrown with vegetation. After exploring the site, they discover some interesting pottery shards and old coins. (See Ka. 5, Ka. 8; Ka. 15, Ka. 19.)

What This Means: The Heldannic Knights have stumbled upon the ruins of the place known as the Valley of Lost Honour. Legends identify this valley as the last place inhabited by the Thyatian tribes before they fled Davania and its Milenian armies. Caves filled with treasure the wealth of an entire people may well be hidden here, but they will probably be guarded in some fashion.

What the PCs Can Do: This dark valley is surrounded by the thickest, most impenetrable jungle foliage in all of northern Davania. Predatory dinosaurs seem to thrive in the lands surrounding it; characters travelling within five miles encounter wandering monsters on a roll of 1, 2, or 3 on 1d6.

Kaldmont 11, AC 1019

The Conqueror Becomes the Besieged.

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

Description: The long awaited confrontation has drawn nigh; the assembled armies of Ordensmeisterin Anna von Hendriks numbering more than 3,000 Heldannic Knights, Thyatian legionnaires, Kildorkak dwarves, and common soldiers have converged upon Freiburg. Advancing before her host, its banners whipping in the early winter breeze, Anna calls out to Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger, and offers him the chance to withdraw from Freiburg, and choose exile from Heldann, if that is his wish. Straßenburger, standing atop the city's battlements, thanks Anna for her offer, but refuses to acquiesce, stating that he had heard the word of Vanya, and that She has entrusted the future of the Heldannic Order to him.

Upon hearing his response, Anna salutes his courage, and, just before returning to her troops, asks her patron Immortal to judge her enemy fairly. (See Ei. 13, Ka. 2.)

What This Means: Straßenburger has refused to surrender Freiburg to his enemy; he fully intends to make Anna and her followers pay dearly for any future victories. The siege of Freiburg will now begin. Although the bulk of Anna's forces will be concentrated around Freiburg itself, some of them will also scout the area around Althaven, to see if it can be taken fairly quickly. Almost all of Straßenburger's forces are concentrated in Freiburg and Althaven; a couple hundred soldiers, mainly remnants of the garrison of Hockstein, are basing themselves around the Naga River downstream of Althaven. The first few weeks of the siege will vary in intensity, with a few probing attacks being made by both sides to determine the other's weaknesses.

What the PCs Can Do: Take part in what will be the final battle of the civil war!

Agreement on Norwold Settlers.

Location: City of Vaisalian, Imperial Territory, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: The Naycese Council accepts King Ericall's proposition to send unemployed commoners to Alpha, with Alpha paying for their transportation costs. The council sets fixed a per capita fee, based on the cost of commissioning new ships for the task, and transporting people from the farthest reaches of the empire yet it appears more likely the empire will overcrowd old ships, and many of them will travel much less than the whole Spearpoint-Alpha distance. King Ericall agrees to this outrageous price. (See Sv. 26, Ei. 14.)

What This Means: The Alphatians are basically selling their excess population into slavery or rather, into freedom, since Alpha does not follow the Alphatian laws of class and the former servants will become free men in Ericall's kingdom, although their lives will be harsh in the frontier settlements of cold, wild Norwold, but at least they will have a chance at a future. The operation will be taxing on Alpha's coffers, but Ericall's goal is not to amass riches, or even to gain power to prove his worth as he did in his youth, but indeed to build a nation, and notably one in which Alphatian commoners could thrive.

What the PCs Can Do: Years after CM1 Test of the Warlords, Norwold is a land of opportunities again. Alphatian commoners are not the only emigrants to this dangerous land, either, so PCs can come from any land to build a community, or explore the possibilities of Norwold in any other number of ways. Noble PCs of Norwold will also benefit from the increased numbers of settlers, especially if they remained loyal to Ericall, although they will be expected to help finance the effort; it is, however, a good opportunity for them to expand their dominions, as there will be a steady stream of Alphatian commoner settlers available as long as the PCs can pay for them.

Kaldmont 12, AC 1019

The Quest Begins

Location: Village of Bom Jardim, Colony of the Horn, Estado de Texeiras, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC

Description: Whilst in Bom Jardim, under the guise of one Don Vincente de Ramiro, Pyre, an ancient, huge, vermilion dragon who rules over the orcs of the Dark Jungle, encounters a group of adventurers and convinces them to accept "him" as their guide as part of a quest into Jibarú. (See Sv. 11, Ka. 1; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Pyre has decided to attempt to give control, temporarily, of the Star Device in Er to the manscorpions. She has become slightly unnerved by the more recent developments with the enduks' retaking of Um-Shedu and the subsequent inability of the Nimmurians to regain it. She sees the involvement of the enduks and ee'aar in her region as a potentially unsettling intrusion. Combined with this the lack of success that the Nimmurians have had in any recent attacks on her orcs, Jibarú, or even in removing the Vilaverdans, has shown them to be a weak force and now there are attacks from the Low Realm of Apsur. Pyre has not decided who she would like to see rule Nimmur if it should fall; she would like some time to see how events unfold misleading some pathetic adventurers whilst getting them to do her dirty work should provide her with just the time she needs.

What the PCs Can Do: This may be a perfect opportunity to involve the PCs with the adventure Savage Steel that is a part of the Orc's Head Peninsula campaign book.

Kaldmont 15, AC 1019

Dinosaur Safari!

Location: Valley of Lost Honour, Jungle Coast. DV

Description: The dozen Heldannic Knights left to set a permanent camp are attacked by a group of highly mobile dinosaurs, acting intelligently. The knights retreat to the large cave they used to repair the Windmeister, and do their best to contain the enraged carnivorous dinosaurs. After an hour of savage assault, half the knights lie dead or injured. As the beasts launch an assault that would surely overwhelm the knights, the Windmeister appears out of the clouds, dives down and enters the fray. Its occupants fire projectiles at the dinosaurs. Two of them, already wounded, fall dead. The others retreat under the cover of the jungle.

The captain picks up the troops still there, orders his crew to get some altitude, and heads south to Pyris. (See Ka. 10, Ka. 15; Ka. 19, Ka. 21.)

What This Means: The presence of humans could not remain unnoticed by the dinosaurs. They are led by a very intelligent and vicious green dragon who manages to control them mentally from a safe distance. This dragon can pose a real threat in the future, for it is a powerful spellcaster and has dozens of fully-grown dinosaurs in his thrall.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are member of the ground party, they will have to fight for their lives until the Windmeister arrives and rescues them. If they are Windmeister crewmen, they can do their best to save as many troops as possible.

Kaldmont 17, AC 1019

"Barón Marco" Strengthens His Position.

Location: Town of Ciudad Real, Baronía de Gargoña, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: Amid much fanfare, Barón Marco de Rivera announces that the Baronía de Saragón will withdraw from the Gargoñan lands it currently occupies in the far west of the country, and that freshly trained troops will reoccupy the Castillo de Pardalupe. He also declares that his forces will claim new lands in the Sierra Borgosa hills to better secure the southwestern frontier against the gnolls of El Grande Carrascal, and to settle the fertile valleys in the region. The declaration is met with widespread approval. (See Fy. 7, Am. 1; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Esteban is publicising an agreement he had made with Barón Balthazar to resume control over the Gargoñan border region with Saragón; he simply portrayed it as a show of power on his part, to appear once again as a strong leader. Balthazar was only too happy to let the Gargoñans guard their own territory once more; his realm is still being threatened by the occasional evil arising from the Bosque de las Sombras, and he would rather place those troops along his own border with Narvaez.

The declaration to settle a portion of the Sierra Borgosa hills is another of Esteban's ploys to boost his own prestige. While he will establish rudimentary fortifications against the gnolls, and resettle some of the former refugees from the Narvaezan-occupied lands to some of the larger valleys, Esteban's true purpose for extending Gargoña's southwestern frontier is to gain control of enough territory to open a second front against Almarrón when he eventually invades the country. He thinks that Barón Maximiliano will place the bulk of his army along the frontier closest to Ciudad Real, leaving the northwestern reaches relatively undefended. Thus, a large enough force could sweep down to the southeast, cutting Almarrón in two and conquering Ciudad Tejillas while Maximiliano is busy in the north.

What the PCs Can Do: There is little the PCs can do at this point, but if they are employed by any opponents to Esteban's rule, they might be ordered to investigate the barón, to find out what he is really planning to do.

Kaldmont 19, AC 1019

Back to Pyris.

Location: North of Hills of Desolation, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire. DV

Description: The Windmeister is back in Pyris after its successful mission along the Jungle Coast. The crew conducts some repairs and the technicians and engineers check every part of the ship to see how it withstood the wear and tear of the trip and other damage. (See Ka. 10, Ka. 15; Ka. 21, Ka. 27.)

What the PCs Can Do: Feel free to add any side adventure on the trip back to Pyris, for the region is very wild and hosts many dangers.

Synn Learns About the Radiance.

Location: Principality of Fenswick, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Princess Dolores Hillsbury makes an unexpected homecoming at Fenswick Keep. She spends the better part of the day rifling through the books and documents of her mother, Duchess Margaret, and grandfather, Duke Edward. The laboratory and secret hiding places are ransacked.

After a few hours of incessant rummaging, not stopping once to eat or have tea, she finally departs triumphantly for Glantri City, leaving her servants to clean up the mess. (See Ei. 28, Ka. 1.)

What This Means: The Queen of the Night Dragons, Synn, who has insinuated herself into the most powerful circles of Glantrian society as the Princess Dolores Hillsbury of Fenswick, in order to spread chaos and darkness in the land, has long heard of a mysterious and legendary source of magic beneath Glantri City, which even Immortals fear to meddle with. Despite numerous hints and unconfirmed rumours, she had not been able to piece anything together until the Battle of Gray Sorcery at Alexander Platz two weeks ago.

Her most recent and most exasperating discovery is that her "mother" (the alleged mother of the human identity she assumed) had known about this best-kept Glantrian secret all along, that her "grandfather" was even a member of the secret cabal who wielded its power, and that finally, their notes and documents had been sitting in her "home" fief, which she has never bothered to search.

What Synn does with this information is unknown, but surely bodes ill for Glantri...

Home, Sweet Home.

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

Description: Apollo 1 is finally back again. The crew is pressed to tell everything they have experienced, but Kossan demands that they have a good rest before doing so. Instead, they hand over the samples they brought back from the island, and their friends start studying them at once. Kossan, Iris and even Xanax say a "Good sleep!" and retire. (See Ka. 3, Ka. 6.)

What This Means: Another phase of the project has been completed now. The new voidship has returned undamaged, and the crew has even found a promising island. The Island is on her way to becoming a voidship as well. Not bad for less than one circle of work.

Kaldmont 20, AC 1019

Future World.

See map of Meghala Kimata Plains (also includes Jungle Coast).

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

Description: The highest-ranking officers of the Heldannic Knights and some Meghalan officers (former masters of Polakatsikes) who have joined the Heldannic Order discuss the future expansion of Heldannic influence around Polakatsikes. All aspects are considered and discussed late in the night, and on the following days. (See Am. 27, Ka. 5; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: This is part of the changes the Heldannic Order will undergo in the years to come in the Meghala Kimata Plains region. More cooperation will be sought between the different ethnic groups, who will have to work together to reach a common goal, but still be under one unique leadership, the enlightened Governor Wolfgang Stemmel's.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are now heroes of the war and/or officers, they can participate in the meetings and share their opinions.

Treaty of Marino.

Location: Village of Vila Franca, Estado de Texeiras, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: Torreón, Texeiras and Vilaverde sign the Treaty of Marino, which was penned by Baronesa Isabel and by the former barons of the sea powers, Bartolomeu and Jorge after nearly a month of negotiation. The treaty recognises Terra Vermelha as a protectorate of Torreón. However, a production tax must be paid for all cinnabryl mined in the Protectorado da Terra Vermelha, in the form of a percentage of the cinnabryl produced, to all signatory states; the tax also applies to red steel or any other by-product of cinnabryl. This tax is set at ten percent for each founding signatory state (Vilaverde, Texeiras, Torreón in the latter case, this tax only makes sense for cinnabryl mines that are not government-operated and comes in addition to any other tax Torreón might set), five percent for non-founding signatory states that had ratified the Treaty of Tampicos before Kaldmont 19, AC 1019, and nothing for any further signatory state. The treaty also states that no nation that has ratified it can conquer lands belonging to another signatory state; each signatory state's boundaries are drawn at the yearly Signatory Council meeting on Kaldmont 28. (See Ei. 18, Ei. 26; Ka. 24, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: This is the successor to the defunct Treaty of Tampicos. If all countries ratify it, sixty percent of all cinnabryl extracted will have to be handed over to various governments, plus any additional Torreóner taxes, which might well result in a lot of illegal mining operations (i.e. without mining rights granted by Torreón) even though the high value of cinnabryl makes it profitable despite all the taxes. The last part of the treaty should help stabilise the borders of the signatory states, but also may trigger a new phase of colonial expansion.

Kaldmont 20, AC 1019: The Death March of the Krondaharan Children.

Location: Principality of Krondahar and the Colossus Mounts, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: At Singhabad, mothers and fathers are awakened from their sleep by a disturbing nightmare: a horrifying figure named Jherek was warning them that their children were being kidnapped. Moments later, the silence of night turns into wails of terror, when they discover that all their children are truly missing, including every one of the young scions of the royal Virayana family!

Numerous tracks are found in the snow. Magical divinations reveal that the adults of Singhabad have been affected by a powerful sleep curse, though whether or not the dream omen and its deliverer (the late Prince Jherek Virayana IV or the legendary Jherek, "the Walker of Dreams" ) was involved or responsible remains uncertain. In the dead of night, military troops, royal guards, and panicked parents launch haphazard search parties, but all trails lead towards the towering Colossus Mounts to the east.

The Krondaharans finally encounter a gruesome sight: a slow procession of their children, barefoot and shivering, trudging their way up the snowy peaks. Some of the youngest have already collapsed in exhaustion or frozen to death, while the rest, despite their cries and futile attempts to stay warm, are compelled to move on. Rescuers who attempt to touch the children collapse to the ground-asleep, enfeebled, or dead?-neutralised by the magic that ensorcelled the children. All the while, an eerie melody haunts the air...

Lady Rina Virayana, wife of Prince Ralindi of Krondahar is the first to reach the head of the procession and the originator of this terror: Robin Moorkroft, who was recently exposed to have been that noble dilettante Sir Sean McAllister! The wizard-rogue plays a fearsome bagpipe, made of nightwing leather and dragon bone, emitting the spine-chilling tune that is the source of the deadly magic.

The rescuers focus their efforts on Sir Sean, though the bagpipe's magical music shields him from all attacks. The attempt continues for over an hour, the children's death march unceasing, until the first crack of dawn shows the mountain path leading to a cliff.

But just before reaching the edge, reinforcements arrive on magically hastened horseback, led by Prince Ralindi Virayana himself (who has come all the way from Glantri City). Upon the suggestion of his wife, Prince Ralindi's troops have brought Ethengar war drums, whose percussive rhythms negate the dark bagpipe music just enough for a direct attack on Sir Sean McAllister.

At the final moment, Sir Sean is whisked away by a trio of screaming banshees. But the children of Singhabad are saved. (See Sv. 23, Ei. 5.)

What This Means: The exploits of Robin Moorkroft have never been murderous or involved so much deadly necromantic magic as this. This is because Sir Sean McAllister is also a victim in this plot, while the true perpetrator is the evil necromancer Prince Angus McGregor of Klantyre.

Prince Angus had kidnapped his cousin, geased him to commit the atrocity with Brannart's Baleful Bagpipe, which was torture to Sean, who is deathly afraid of young children, in order to break his spirit-and use his body for sinister necromantic purposes in the future.

And what of the Krondaharan children? They are merely incidental to Prince of Klantyre's evil scheme.

What the PCs Can Do: Instead o f the troops of Prince Ralindi and Lady Rina, the PCs may be the rescuers of the children from their deadly march through the harsh Glantrian winter, earning them the undying gratitude of the Virayana family and the whole of Krondahar. Should the PCs save Robin Moorkroft as well from the evil enchantment, they will discover his true identity, and undoubtedly earn the wrath of Prince Angus McGregor!

Kaldmont 21, AC 1019

Der Windmeister Departs for Polakatsikes.

Location: Ruined city of Pyris, Hills of Desolation, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire. DV

Description: The Governor of Pyris receives orders to send the Windmeister to Polakatsikes. There, the ship shall be properly commissioned. (See Ka. 15, Ka. 19; Ka. 27, Ka. 28.)

What This Means: This is intended to be a glorious event for the Heldannic Knights in the Polakatsikes region. It is also a good way to show off to the Mivosians, but also to all of the knights' allies.

What the PCs Can Do: It is a great honour to be a member of the crew of the first new kind of Heldannic airships in Davania. It is also a good way to travel and to experience rich and varied adventures along the way.

Now the World Knows of Schweidnitz.

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

Description: Wilhelm discovers that the Ierendi adventurers who aided him and his colony in the past months had a scroll of communication in their possession all along, which they used to send some reports to their home nation about the new Heldannic colony. Even if Wilhelm is very angry because the adventurers didn't tell him about the scroll, he cannot bring himself to punish them, because they have been of great utility to his people. Instead, he takes the scroll from them. (See Fy. 7, Ei. 12.)

What This Means: Discovering the scroll, Wilhelm feared that his enemies in Heldannic lands may try to send an army to bring the colony under their rule, but, after some pondering, Wilhelm concluded that he could use the scroll to know what has become of the Heldannic lands caught in the civil war. Besides, if the world knows of Schweidnitz, new colonists and merchants might arrive next year, and Schweidnitz badly needs manpower and goods.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are the adventurers, Wilhelm will be very angry with them, but only for a few hours. If they are Heldannic Knights, they could discover the adventurers' scroll and bring it to Wilhelm.

Kaldmont 24, AC 1019

Imperial Concerns.

Location: Ilha do Corvo, Estado de Texeiras, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: The rulers of Vilaverde, Texeiras, Torreón, Narvaez, Saragón, Almarrón, and Cimarron County meet in a secluded manor on this tiny Texeiran island near the town of Velha Navalha to discuss the recent arrival of the Thyatian Empire in the Savage Coast, and what it could mean for them. All present agree that the presence of another great power will probably affect the balance of power in the region, as conflicts with Hule are likely to arise at some point. Baronesa Dominíca da Solidão, as host, steers the meeting towards a discussion of what the Thyatians have been doing in each of the baronies. All present report that the Thyatians appear to be interested in forging commercial ties with their baronies, as well as securing sources of cinnabryl and red steel. The rulers of Texeiras and Vilaverde also note that the expedition's representatives downplayed the significance of Tyjaret and Kladanovic falling into the Thyatian sphere, even though the strategic significance of the two port towns must have been readily apparent.

All present agree by the end of the day to share any intelligence gathered pertaining to Thyatian activities in the region, until the baronies can determine with certainty what the Thyatians plan to do. Given that those baronies that agreed to trade with the empire stand to benefit from their new commercial ties, it is agreed that such relationships should continue. In the meantime, the barons will watch the empire. (See Fe. 21, Ka. 20; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The arrival of the Thyatian expedition to the Savage Coast is seen by all present as a very important development sufficiently so that a number of them are willing to set aside their differences long enough to discuss the matter. The barons all agree that the Thyatian expedition is probably focused predominantly on trade, but there are, no doubt, other reasons for them to be here. Given that the Thyatians spurred the initial modern colonisation of the region, some barons wonder if the empire might be planning to bring some or all of them into the imperial fold. Also looming in the backs of many of their minds is the prospect of a conflict between Thyatis and Hule for dominance in the region a development to be feared.

The decision to share information is significant in that regular diplomatic channels will be established for that purpose, and some baronies will actively seek more opportunities to cooperate. This will increase the level of contact between the baronies, and following the newly established Treaty of Marino, may lead, one day, to a reduction in the level of strife in the Savage Coast.

What the PCs Can Do: Unless one or more of the PCs is a dominion ruler, or is closely associated with one of them (e.g., high-level player characters), it is unlikely that they will be involved in this event, much less know that it took place. The island of Corvo is owned by the baronesa, and serves as her secret retreat. It is small enough, and far enough away from major shipping lanes that it does not appear on most maps; finding it would almost be a feat in itself for the PCs. Thus, the island is an ideal place for a secret meeting.

Kaldmont 25, AC 1019

Thyatian Expedition Enters Minaea.

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

Description: After spending the better part of the year sailing (and charting) the western coast of Skothar down from Esterhold, and encountering only nomadic, primitive and rather hostile Jennite tribesmen while avoiding Alphatian ships, the Thyatian expedition finally reaches the northernmost extent of the Minaean territories. (See Fl. 1.)

What This Means: The Thyatians are delighted to have the opportunity to establish contact with the Minaeans, who have long been inaccessible to them due to the presence of the Alphatian Empire between the continents of Brun and Skothar. They believe that the Minaeans, who were dismissed by the Alphatians as barbaric pirates (a description that they also used for the Thyatians, as a matter of fact), are probably a strong people, if they were able to resist the Alphatians for so long, and very capable sailors. Thus, they might prove invaluable to the expansion of the Thyatian commercial empire, and key to further trade with the mysterious east. The Thyatians expect to spend about a year in Minaea, provided it proves to be as great an empire as they expect, to investigate its culture, enter commercial agreements, and plot their course further east.

For Minaea, this contact with the western lands beyond Alphatia, after the impromptu arrival of a delegation from Kastelios in Davania earlier this year, might be a turning point in their relations with the rest of the world. If the new Alphatia does not corner them like the old empire did, this might herald a new era for the Minaeans.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs from the Thyatian expedition are probably by now used to this kind of mission: Make contact with the locals, both officials and opponents if any, with aristocrats and traders and common people; gather intelligence; spy and infiltrate as opportunity arises. Beyond that, of particular interest to the empire would be any evidence as to the reason why the Alphatians kept the eastern continent under a tight lid, and what might lie beyond Minaea information about Tangor should not be too hard to gather, the real difficulty is gaining knowledge about the far east and the vast inland territories.

Minaean PCs could try to discover what these foreigners want, and could be sent as diplomats/informants back west, or hired to open trade routes past Alphatia, or just decide to go adventuring to those lands that Minaea now comes to be aware of.

Alphatian PCs may be sent after the Thyatian expedition in order to prevent them from uncovering Alphatian secrets, and to oppose the Thyatians' efforts at bypassing Nayce and keeping it a minor power in the region, as it has tried to do frequently ever since the sinking of Alphatia.

Happy Midwinter Festival and Year's End.

Location: City of Rafielton, Colony of Aengmor, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW

Description: By Princess Tanadaleyo's decree, Rafielton will once more be called Alfheim Town, and to better celebrate the peace between shadow and fair elves a four-day festival is declared in all Aengmor, from the Midwinter festival of the fair elves to the feasts of the Promised Bounty of the shadow elves. (See Am. 8, Ei. 22.)

What This Means: Just another sign of goodwill from Princess Tanadaleyo to promote peace between the two races of elves. The change of name could further encourage fair elves to return to the forest.

What the PCs Can Do: Have fun with the elves and the many representatives of other races and nations from around the world (even dwarves, who send a small and wary group). Or maybe stop some isolated follower of Atzanteotl who plans to create havoc or cause some diplomatic incident.

Kaldmont 26, AC 1019

First Flight of the Silver Star.

Location: City of Corunglain, Republic of Darokin. OW

Description: From the magical factories of Montgolfière & Urbaal Ltd. in Leenz, the newly built airship Silver Star lands in Corunglain amidst ceremony and festivity of merchants and peasants alike. The Silver Star is a merchant ship commissioned by Corun House and will fly an aerial trade route from Corunglain and Glantri City.

The head of Corun House, Nathalie Kalimi, presides over a formal ceremony, which includes a blessing by the Archbishop of Corunglain from the Church of Darokin. Among the distinguished guests are Mithras Lorenson, senior merchant of Corun House; Messieurs Jean-Louis Montgolfière and Yarov Urbaal; and Sir Lathan Aendyr, Glantrian nobleman of House Aendyr-Hillsbury. Most notable in attendance is Elissa Pennydown, head of Pennydown House and personal friend of Nathalie Kalimi. And the most notable absence is that of Aldon Kalimi, Nathalie's son and her presumed successor of Corun House leadership. (See Ya. 9, Kl. 14.)

What This Means: Despite the fact that Aldon Kalimi was the principal negotiator in this deal, he did not attend the ceremony. Aldon was blissfully idling at his home under the influence of the magical drug called zzonga. Ever since the Glantrian airships started coming into Corunglain last year, Aldon had been the primary purchaser of a curious (and rather expensive) snuff powder from Glantri (said to "calm the nerves and while away daily trifles"). And the primary purveyor of zzonga in Glantri is Sir Lathan Aendyr, who wishes to corrupt Glantrian society with it (as historically happened in Old Alphatia), and does not mind earning some coin from the Darokinians through the budding airship trade.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are involved in Corun House, or even one of its rivals, they may be tasked to learn what the matter is with Aldon Kalimi and they may discover the beginnings of a zzonga drug network in Darokin!

Kaldmont 27, AC 1019

Triumphant Arrival of the Windmeister.

Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire. DV

Description: At dawn, the Windmeister makes a triumphant landing in Polakatsikes's main square. The Heldannic colours brightly reflect the sunrise and enhance the effect the airship has over the stunned population. The Windmeister's captain is warmly welcomed by Governor Wolfgang Stemmel and all the other high-ranking Heldannic officers. (See Ka. 19, Ka. 21; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: The captain knew perfectly well that he had to be in Polakatsikes before the Day Without Magic if he wanted to be able to use its spell engine to manoeuvre the ship, so he made sure to be there on time. In fact he hastened so much that he arrived earlier and had to wait several miles away until the sun was about to rise. His magist enchanted the Heldannic heraldry markings on the balloon with some spells to make them shine and reflect the sun's rays to make the biggest effect.

Clenarius von Schneiderheim, high magist of Polakatsikes, hopes the Day Without Magic won't affect the spell engine, and will see it unchanged on Nuwmont 1, AC 1020.

Conference of Izmira.

Location: City of Izmira, Kingdom of Emerond. DV

Description: After meeting with the Thratian and Emerondian emissaries, the Thyatian Senate passed a resolution agreeing to negotiate a perpetual peace with the Thratians. For their own reasons, the Thratians wanted the negotiations to take place on neutral ground. The Emerondians offered to host the conference in their capital, and the Thyatians agreed to dispatch an imperial delegation there. It travelled from Raven Scarp downriver to Emerond, arriving in Izmira today. (See Am. 9, Ei. 28.)

What This Means: Emerond is traditionally an isolationist land, but they see a need to curb Thyatian expansion in their neighbourhood. The Emerondians are willing to host the conference because they believe that if it takes place on their home turf, they will be better able to influence the outcome to their advantage. The Thratians agreed all along to this, because their goals are not that different from Emerond's. The Thyatians would rather have continued the negotiations in Thyatis City, but they accepted this condition mainly because they are trying to curry goodwill with Emerond for trade purposes, and to have a friendlier neighbour in Davania.

What the PCs Can Do: The Thyatian envoy must travel through some savage, untamed Davanian wilderness to reach Izmira, and could use extra security. In addition, exploration-minded PCs might like the opportunity to visit Emerond, which they probably have not done before, and PCs into political adventures and intrigues will find plenty of both in Izmira relating to the conference.

Julius and Company Reach Niscosenia.

Location: Southern fringes of Kingdom of Niscosenia, Lost Valley. DV

Description: After riding with the gnomes of a friendly earthshaker for thirteen days, the contingent of the Thyatian expedition led by Julius Ambrosius headed northwards from the River Latus. They had been told by the gnomes to keep east of the forests if they wished to reach Niscosenia safely, and this they did, during a trek that lasted 43 days.

While marching along the rolling plains, enjoying the summer climate of the Lost Valley, Julius and his companions notice a series of tiny dots on the northern horizon, moving rapidly from west to east. They pause and watch them for a time, wondering what they might be. As they watch, they notice the dots slow down, pause, and resume movement, apparently heading towards the expedition. Some of Julius's companions become concerned, and urge everyone to take cover in the nearby forest, but Julius stands calmly, and holds aloft the strange glowing star that he acquired on the Mountain of Bones. As soon as he raises the star, its glow intensifies, and begins to pulse rapidly.

Concerned for their own safety, yet strangely curious about what will happen next, the rest of the party waits, weapons ready. Before too much time passes, the dots resolve themselves into horse-drawn chariots, bearing men wearing what appears to be bronze armour. The lead chariot draws up in front of Julius, and one of the men disembarks, proffering his hands in a circular motion and uttering something unintelligible. He gestures at Julius's star, and then points to an image on his breastplate a star very similar in appearance, and utters another word. By this time the other chariots four in number arrive, and the armoured man turns to his companions, pointing to the star and speaking excitedly in his language. He then turns to the Thyatians, and gestures to the chariots. Not understanding what has been said, but comprehending full well the stranger's instructions, Julius assures his companions that they have nothing to fear from the charioteers. He and his party then board the chariots, and are carried off to the next stage of their journey. (See Ei. 22, Ka. 10.)

What This Means: The Thyatians have finally reached the Kingdom of Niscosenia, towards which Julius has striven with almost the same intensity as with the island that rose from the sea. Julius only feels on an instinctual level, conveyed in some way by the mysterious star that he carries, that the charioteers mean no harm to those who bear such relics. He and his companions will be taken to the kingdom proper, and to new adventures undreamed-of at present. All Julius knows for certain is that he is about to learn something extremely important, though in what way he cannot tell.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are accompanying Julius, there is little they can do at this moment, although they should be intrigued, as is Julius, at the prospect of meeting a people that is in some way familiar with the ancient magical star.

Preparation for the Day of Dread.

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

Description: The most precious artifacts are gathered and brought to the pocket plane by a party of very high-level and trusted adventurers. There they wait for the Day of Dread to pass on Mystara. (See Ka. 19, Ka. 21; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: Governor Wolfgang Stemmel followed his magist's advice to hide the most precious artifacts during the Day of Dread.

What the PCs Can Do: They can be entrusted with the mission to guard some artifacts. Some spies can try to steal some of these precious artifacts: good luck catching them without any magic!

Kaldmont 28, AC 1019

Cleaning Day.

Location: All over the Turmoil Territories, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: With magic gone on the Day of Dread, a sizeable number of the population in the Turmoil Territories takes the opportunity to get rid of the hated wizards while their magic doesn't work. They march on several of the wizards' towers, where they confront and kill some of them. This only happens in a few instances, however, as they are surprised to find many of the towers empty. Most of these show signs of struggle, and in many of them they find the bodies of the wizards they came to confront. Surprised, the lynch mobs set the empty towers on fire and move on. The wizard-hunters go on all day and then return home. In a few cases the towers turn out to be impenetrable, as there seem to be no doors or windows by which to enter or exit the tower, and since they are made of stone, they obviously cannot be set on fire. In those cases, the lynch mobs try all day and well into the night to set the towers on fire or to enter them, but when magic is about to return they decide to return home, where they await the next day, and the return of magic, with a sense of fear of the wizards' vengeance. The fear is particularly great because the tower of the wizard known as Darkcloak is one that the locals could not penetrate. Since he is considered the most powerful of all the Turmoil wizards, the locals are concerned about what he might do in response to their wizard-hunt. (See Nu. 25, Fe. 7; Ka. 28.)

What This Means: It seems clear that some of the wizards have been fighting each other, though it's unclear why. Maybe some of them didn't like the competition or maybe they just saw some lesser wizards as a resource just as they did the common population. Stories will go back and forth about the strange events and what might have happened, and there will be many tall tales. One old man in South Harbour will recall meeting an ominous black-robed stranger who asked for directions to a wizard's tower a few months back. Taking the stranger for another invading wizard, he says, he was about to say something nasty, when he noted that the skin of the stranger's hand was unusually pale, so he immediately walked away, fearing that he might be a vampire or some other undead monster. There will be several stories like this, but what really happened will remain unclear.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can participate in the wizard-hunt if they like, though spellcasters will probably prefer to spend the day quietly away from all sorts of adventure or at least reduce their participation to that of an adviser on wizardly routines and such.

Magic's Collapse.

Location: All over Nayce. AS

Description: On the Day of Dread, the group known as The Collapse performs a number of attacks on aristocrats' estates over much of Nayce. Unable to protect themselves on the day when magic fails, several targeted wizards and priests are killed in the attacks. One such attack is made against Commander Karszamon, who is one of the more hated aristocrats, though he ironically survives as a result of possessing the body of a powerful warrior (Broderick). Even so, Karszamon does not have the skill of a warrior, and before the guard can deal with the assailants, one strikes him and severs his left hand. Blinded by pain and unable to receive magical healing until the next morning, Karszamon retires in agony for the remainder of the day, closely protected by his personal guards. (See Sv. 26, Ei. 22.)

What This Means: In the years after Alphatia sank at the end of the Great War, what remained of the empire in the outer world has been struggling for survival, and the continued arrogance and indifference of the aristocracy toward the lower classes has taken a heavy toll on how the Alphatian society has functioned for centuries. With the hardships the current economic crisis has imposed on the commoners most of the difficulties were made to bear solely on the commoner population it was bound to provoke a reaction at some point. Even if this event cannot be attributed to all commoners, it is still an indication of how many among them feel. Needless to say, the aristocracy will be furious and react in ways that can only further escalate the gap in Naycese society.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are around, they might be able to foil some of the attacks, though they won't be able to save Karszamon from losing his hand. Of course, it is also possible that they are themselves assailants trying to strike a blow against the arrogant aristocracy. That would require them to be trusted members of The Collapse, however, as the group does not trust mercenaries, meaning that the PCs would have to make the attacks out of conviction, because there is no paycheck waiting at the end. They better be careful, however, because the Naycese guards obviously won't hesitate to kill them, and even if they are caught alive, they will undoubtedly be facing the death penalty later. Indeed, many of the assailants will die in their attempts, even if they are successful.

New Signatory Council.

Location: Town of Ciudad Huelca, Estado de Guadalante, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: The Signatory Council of the Treaty of Tampicos meets again in Guadalante, with Torreón, Vilaverde and Texeiras presenting to the other countries the content of the Treaty of Marino. Saragón, Almarrón, Guadalante and Cimarron ratify the new treaty. Gargoña does not ratify the new treaty, owing to the fact that it is partially occupied by Narvaez, and neither does Hule, which refuses to recognise the Treaty of Marino and declares that Hule will only recognise the Treaty of Tampicos as valid. (See Ka. 17, Ka. 20.)

What This Means: The borders between the signatory states are set for the year to come, and each nation has one year to claim new lands and hold them by next year's meeting to have them acknowledged by the others as belonging to them. The new "Barón Marco" of Gargoña claimed he could not ratify the treaty and abandon half of his country, though in fact what Don Esteban wants is to be able to attack and annex Almarrón.

The fact that the former barons of the sea powers act as representatives of their nations is an interesting development, as for the first time the Signatory Council has a strong leadership and may become an actual power within the Savage Baronies, whereas the old council never was.

Hule's motivation for not signing the Treaty of Marino is that it wishes to maintain its influence more through subterfuge and diplomacy than actual conflict over the baronies by sowing discord. The Huleans know that, with increasingly stable borders at home, and the rise of severacentresrs of power (notably in Narvaez, Torreón, and Texeiras-Vilaverde), the more ambitious barons will begin to turn their attentions outwards, perhaps to Davania and regions further to the west, to found new colonies and expand. This will increase frictions between the more powerful baronies, but also provide new opportunities for Hule to assert itself indirectly over the region. Thus, Hule has no intention of interfering with what is going on, so long as it benefits materially and politically. By refusing to sign the treaty, and through selective meddling in the city-states, Hule will cast a large enough shadow over the region to ensure that the baronies fear it, while driving them to seek whatever advantages they can.

The King Is Dead, Long Live the Queen.

Location: City of Er, Low Realm of Apsur in the Province of Er, Kingdom of Nimmur, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC

Description: Queen Tigurta proclaims the independence of the Kingdom of Apsur. She orders all tunnels from the low realm to the surface sealed, the Sohktars forbidden from travelling to the surface world, and the Nimmurians banned from the dark realm. The Sohktar kingdom is under the patronage of Nin-Hurabi (Nyx), and worship of Menlil (Atzanteotl) and Idu (Ixion) are declared heretical. Nimmurians who renounce Menlil and embrace Nin-Hurabi as their true Immortal can spend one moon (one month) fasting in the utter darkness of one of Her temples praying for atonement, after which they become Sohktars.

Although the Sohktars do not attack their surface brethren or persecute them, turning their backs on them in such a way is resented by the Nimmurians as an abandonment, if not outright betrayal, and increases the state of chaos in Nimmur, which is close to collapse already. The priesthood of Menlil tries to keep the country from collapsing, but its authority has been seriously compromised. The regional princes keep their provinces under a firm pincer, although enmities are heightened by the lack of central authority and the lure of a royal throne left empty. Prince Enshurnasirpal of Suneveh, the populous and recently expanded northeastern province, is the most serious contender for a coup, although kingship has returned by default to King Dargon as he had retained his title of king, albeit honourifically, after he abdicated in favour of his son. (See Ei. 28, Ka. 1.)

What This Means: The Sohktars are traditionalists who have always resented the ways of the surface Nimmurians, which they consider aberrant and blasphemous. To walking under the deadly rays of the sun wearing protective makeup they prefer living in their dark, welcoming warrens that constitute the normal habitat of the manscorpions.

The underground kingdom was a subject kingdom to Nimmur, but always at risk of breaking away both for religious and political reasons. Queen Tigurta had previously increased her kingdom's autonomy by negotiating with King Anupalassar an exemption from taxes (a main ingredient of vassalisation) in exchange for a decisive cooperation in the campaign against the enduks occupying Um-Shedu. However, major events have precipitated Apsur's emancipation. The persistent rumours about the phanatons from the northern Kingdom of Jibarú discovering the truth about the curse of Idu and the gift of Menlil, and devising a way to remove the makeup to burn daylight-walking manscorpions to death, has joined another rumour that the orcs in the south also know about the curse, and has thus been the cause of a serious religious upheaval, with the Sohktar priests speaking in even more virulent terms against Menlil and advocating a return to the proper ways. But the major catalyst has been the catastrophic result of the Um-Shedu campaign, with the defeat of the Nimmurian army, the enduk use of a terrible weapon, and the definitive loss of the town to the enduks who will certainly now use it as a staging point to reconquer their lost homeland. This monumental failure was a shock to the Nimmurians, and a confirmation of the worst fears and warnings of the Sohktars. The death of the king in Um-Shedu has further thrown the Nimmurians into disarray and chaos; an excellent opportunity for Apsur to declare its independence and affirm the superiority of its ways over the twisted ways of the Nimmurians. Since Nimmur exists more as an underground nation than a surface one, with a large part of its cities having underground extensions and using tunnels more than roads for transportation, this is a serious blow indeed.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs can be torn between Nimmur and Apsur, and their loyalties and faith put to the test; also, PCs caught on the wrong side of the fence when the Sohktars close the tunnels can be in a lot of trouble. With the volatile state of affairs in Nimmur, the PCs may decide to do some damage control, or work for one of the contenders to the throne, or maybe try to grab power for themselves.

Demonstration of Force for the Day Without Magic.

Location: Town of Polakatsikes, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire. DV

Description: While any other culture is sadly witnessing magic not working today, Governor Wolfgang Stemmel orders his newly-made flying ship to manoeuvre in the open around Polakatsikes, while the knights drill below. His plan is to show his magical might and air superiority while only using the technical air-lift capabilities of his airship. Despite Clenarius von Schneiderheim's opinion that this is only showing off, the population (among whom are foreign spies) gathers in the ravaged outskirts of the city and observes the demonstration. (See Ka. 20, Ka. 27.)

What This Means: This is a communications coup by Wolfgang to inform his neighbours that the Heldannic Knights have regained their aerial capabilities (even if it is not the case). Surely any force intending to strike Polakatsikes would have to think twice before doing so. On the other side, this could attract even more spies and foreign agents, thus increasing their chance of seeing through the deception or even uncovering other secrets.

What the PCs Can Do: Not much but look up and enjoy. This is a great opportunity for the locals to feel proud of their belonging to the Heldannic Empire. Some sabotage attempts can be thwarted too by careful adventurers.