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Nuwmont 1, AC 1019

Earthquake Shakes Glantri.

Location: Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: A major earthquake strikes southern Glantri, sending tremors as far north as Nouvelle Averoigne and as far south as Fort Lakeside in Darokin, with aftershocks lasting throughout the day. The most affected areas are Verazzano, South Monsterland, and Erewan (although the Erewan elves were somewhat prepared by the predictions of their clan oracles, Norelia and Bethys Erewan). Earth elementalists at the Great School of Magic divine that the earthquake was focused in the former Principality of Caurenze, very near the ruins of its capital Sirecchia. (See Nu. 4, Va. 27.)

What This Means: This earthquake is all that the world will know of the death of Innocenti di Malapietra, Viscount of Sirecchia and former Prince of Caurenze, by Frau Hildegarde von Drachenfels, matriarch of House Ritterburg of Aalban and Innocenti's rival for the High Mastery of the Secret Craft of Earth Elementalism.

A few days ago, Frau Hildegarde left the Prime Plane with her specially trained elite guard to travel in secret within the Elemental Plane of Earth. On this day, after the Day of Dread, under cover of darkness and in the dead of the Glantrian winter, Frau Hildegarde and her troops left the elemental plane to emerge in the ruins of Palazzo di Sirecchia in search of their target.

Innocenti di Malapietra was a formidable wizard and a powerful earth elementalist, even before he became murderously insane. But he was no match against Frau Hildegarde and her carefully planned assault. Frau Hildegarde and her Aalbanese military wizards wielded an arsenal of spells and weapons, magical and mundane, targeted specifically against Innocenti. Frau Hildegarde herself had her own magical abilities bolstered by several powerful magical items. Lastly, their forces were reinforced by stone golems, living rock statues, medusae, basilisks, elementals, and other creatures from the Plane of Earth, some trained, some conjured, but all tightly under Hildegarde's control. Even the spectres of the Malapietra family that haunt Innocenti at the palace ruins were efficiently dealt with by an in-house necromancer specialist.

Ultimately, as Hildegarde prepared her most powerful summoning to unleash a horde from the Plane of Earth, Innocenti's own magic backfired and petrified him. The only effect of Hildegarde's summoned horde which took the form of thousands of huge crawling caterpillars was shattering Innocenti's stony body and scattering the infinitesimal pieces across the Glantrian countryside.

Frau Hildegarde succeeded in killing Innocenti, but her mission was not yet over.

What the PCs Can Do: Unless the PCs have spent the last decade or so training as military wizards under the strict supervision of Frau Hildegarde, they probably would not have even heard about this secret mission, much less be able to take part in it. In the unlikelihood that the PCs were at the ruins of Palazzo di Sirecchia at the same time, surviving the harsh Glantrian winter, the undead that haunt Caurenze, and Innocenti's own insane attacks against all intruders, they would be effectively neutralised by Frau Hildegarde's men, if not the powerful magic and creatures in the attack.

A New Device.

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

Description: A council of priests of Idu (Ixion) is held in the town of Um-Shedu after the celebration of the New Year's Sun. The debate concerns the possibility of rebuilding a Star Device in the temple of Um-Shedu. After several hours of balancing the risks against the benefits, the council reaches the conclusion that a Star Device should be installed in the free city of Um-Shedu to help protect the city and make it a safer base of operations for the retaking of all Nimmur.

From atop the ziggurat, the high priest announces this decision to the assembled enduk warriors, who cheer at the news. Immediately, the priests of Ixion begin the complex process of building a new device and imbuing it with the power of Idu. (See Sv. 1, Ei. 28.)

What This Means: For years now the enduks and their ee'aar allies, with the help of some manscorpions who turned back to the worship of Idu, have been in control of the Nimmurian city of Um-Shedu, which they captured from the manscorpions. The enduks have set up defences to protect the city, and flooded the caves to deny the manscorpions access from underground passages, allowing them to hold the city despite repeated attacks by the Nimmurians. Their intelligence has revealed that King Anupalassar has been preparing a major assault upon the city in order to take it back from the enduks. Also, despite the enduks' best efforts, the manscorpions have been steadily working to reopen the tunnels and give their troops access to the occupied city.

Faced with a determined, more numerous enemy, the entrenched enduk priests have decided to take a chance, as the alternative was to lose this foothold and possibly any chance of ever regaining the lost homeland. As time permits, they will take great precautions to prevent the possibility of the Star Device ever falling into the pincers of the manscorpions, but the risk cannot be completely avoided, and also there exists a remote possibility that seeing a working device operating may tip them to restoring the incomplete one in Er. The public announcement is also a sign of the support of Idu, which significantly boosts the morale of the enduks and reformed manscorpions.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are manscorpions on either side, they can volunteer or be volunteered to infiltrate, spy and sabotage. Enduks may be assigned to guard the priests and their device against Nimmurian attempts, or help with its construction by acquiring rare components.

First Strike Is a Charm.

Location: Twenty miles north of the ruined Village of Doleria, Dominion of Polakatsikes, Heldannic Empire, Meghala Kimata Plains. DV

Description: The newly regenerated Heldannic cavalry inflicts a great toll on a Mivosian caravan coming from Parthenaeum to sustain the Mivosian troops stationed in the towns north of Polakatsikes. The Mivosian escort of 50 men, seeing no hope of surviving the charge of 150 horsemen, flees north toward Syropolis, leaving behind the caravan wagons. The Heldannic Knights seize the wagon and head south to secure their loot. (See Nu. 2, Nu. 7.)

What This Means: The Mivosians have retreated 20 miles north of the ruined village of Doleria, in which the Heldannic Knights have built a fortified watchtower to survey the surrounding lands and scan the Mivosian supply lines. Today they hit hard and stole the whole supply caravan using a newly formed regiment that was training there. The force responsible for this strike is mainly composed of Meghalan warriors, for whom hit-and-run tactics are common, and petty trainer officers of the Heldannic Knights. This is a heavy loss for the Mivosians who face growing discontent in their newly conquered lands while still having to feed their troops.

What the PCs Can Do: They can be part of the attack if they are with the knights or attempt to retreat and save as much as possible from the caravan if they are Mivosians.

Where To Begin?

Location: Southern shore of Crystal Lake, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Lady Ardana and her companions aboard the Island have waited in a small clearing in northern Foresthome until the Day of Dread was over. The group has not yet decided where they should head now in their quest for a new home. After some heated discussion the young aristocrat Kossan remarks that he has inherited a tower from an aunt, which is located somewhere in the Ugly Forest. Ardana does not really like the Kingdom of Blackheart, and therefore she has never acquired a tower of her own in that sinister realm. For a start such a secluded tower would be ideal though. The Island sets sail for Blackheart. (See Nu. 7, Nu. 9.)

What This Means: The Island is a typical Alphatian windrider, which is equipped with the power to levitate but has to rely on wind and sails to move. Therefore she could not be sailed in the void. Although the visionaries have not decided whether they will create a new island or capture an existing one in the void, Lady Ardana has already decided that she will need a ship which is at least partially capable of crossing the void. A secret base, which offers more space than the limited Island to live in, will be useful to discuss the matter more thoroughly and to do the research and work necessary to achieve their ambitious aim.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs who are part of Lady Ardana's retinue will become important by acquiring objects, material, ideas and information to support the vision. Otherwise, PCs may become aware of the group's activities. It is also possible that Ardana might hire the PCs for a special job without telling them the background.

Nuwmont 2, AC 1019

Hail Them without End!

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

Description: At dawn, a caravan of twenty wagons, escorted by Meghalan warriors and Heldannic Knights, enters the city of Polakatsikes. The crowd acclaims the troops, while the content of the wagons is inventoried. (See Nu. 1; Nu. 7, Nu. 27.)

What This Means: Governor Wolfgang Stemmel ordered his troops in Doleria and Treminios, the ruined villages north of Polakatsikes, to survey the movements of the Mivosians around Syropolis and Tyrnae. They seized an opportunity to cut the Mivosian supply lines yesterday and brought back the loot.

What the PCs Can Do: Acclaim... or be acclaimed.

Nuwmont 3, AC 1019

Escape from the Civil War.

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

Description: Wilhelm Folgen, two ships the Red Maid and the Invincible and nearly one thousand men, children and women, depart Heldannic lands under control of Heinrich Straßenburger. (See Va. 2, Th. 4.)

What This Means: A former follower of Wulf Von Klagendorf, Wilhelm nevertheless refused to side with Anna Von Hendriks, and a few months ago, claiming to have received an omen from Vanya Herself, decided to leave the Heldannic territories for Davania. Wilhelm found some colonial papers forty years old, belonging to his family. According to those papers, a small group of Heldannic Knights founded a colony in a remote land of northwestern Davania in AC 977. The colony was abandoned in AC 979, but some knights, and particularly Wilhelm's grandfather, stayed behind. The last knights were defeated by humanoids in AC 990, but some of them, like Wilhelm's father, managed to escape. Wilhelm has been hearing stories about the forgotten Davanian colony since he was a young boy, told by his father. After his father's death in the Wrath of the Immortals War, Wilhelm prayed Vanya to let him return to Davania. Now he has really received an omen from Her. Many knights who were formerly followers of Wulf Von Klagendorf follow him with their families, more out of fear of persecution than out of real faith in the Wilhelm's vision.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be among the knights who sail with Wilhelm for the southern continent, or they could be knights or adventurers sent by Straßenburger to stop him, or to spy on him (or more precisely to keep an eye on the followers of the late oberherr).

Lost at Lake.

Location: City of Akorros, Republic of Darokin. OW

Descriptions: An unusually large number of ships seem to have gone missing recently while travelling between Akorros and Akesoli across Lake Amsorak. Ships lost on Lake Amsorak are frequently considered to be victims of the "Itheldown Curse," but lately the losses have surged considerably. Due to the reputation of Itheldown Island, investigations into what is going on will be very reluctant, though. (See Th. 5, Th. 14.)

What This Means: Clearly something is going on in Lake Amsorak, but it's unclear what it might be. Though sailors typically think that a voyage is doomed if the twisted towers of Itheldown Castle are even seen on the horizon, this also means that the sailors usually steer well clear of the cursed island, which might suggest that something else could be at work here.

What the PCs Can Do: Intrepid adventurers might want to go and explore Itheldown Island, though it would be ill-advised, since they would be taking on more than they can probably handle, as Itheldown Island is indeed a terrible place. It won't be difficult keeping them away if they would be over their heads should they reach the island, however, as nobody will take them to there. Even if the PCs get their own ship, they won't be able to find sailors willing to go with them, though some might be persuaded if the PCs intend only to patrol Lake Amsorak while giving the island a wide berth. The DM could set up several random sea encounters for such adventurers and even let the PCs find a few clues to what is actually going on here.

Grygory Leaves Mirros.

Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: After sunset Sir Grygory, a Traladaran knight in the service of the Traladaran Baron Yuschiev, secretly sneaks out of Mirros along with several men-at-arms, disguised as merchants and other common folk travelling the roads of Karameikos. (See Nu. 4, Nu. 5.)

What This Means: This is the beginning of Grygory's mission to the Barony of Rugalov in the Mystaran novel Dark Knight of Karameikos. Grygory is on his way to stop raiders who have been destroying villages in Yuschiev's barony near the border to Thyatis. Originally another knight of Baron Yuschiev's, Sir Leonid, had been sent to deal with the matter, but the return of the Amulet of the Marches he was wearing means that he and his men have been killed, and thus the quest falls to Grygory.

Because of the current tension between Traladarans and Thyatians in Karameikos, Yuschiev and Grygory don't want the Thyatians to know what they are doing.

What the PCs Can Do: The events of the novel are obviously fixed, so the PCs shouldn't be involved unless they are actually low-level Traladaran warriors serving as men-at-arms to Baron Yuschiev or Sir Grygory. On the other hand, the PCs might also be Thyatians in the service of Queen Olivia or someone like her, sent to spy and report on the activities of any Traladarans.

Nuwmont 4, AC 1019

Lurking about Krakatos...

Location: Town of Krakatos, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: At dawn a group of about thirty cloaked strangers passes by the town of Krakatos, though they don't speak to anyone. Only one of them exchanges a few quick words with the guard on duty. After that, they quickly pass east over the bridge and disappear along the Eastron Road. (See Nu. 3; Nu. 5, Nu. 8.)

What This Means: This group is Sir Grygory and the people Baron Yuschiev has sent with him to stop the raids in the Barony of Rugalov, as described in the novel Dark Knight of Karameikos. Grygory has been pushing his men because he wants to leave Mirros and move beyond Krakatos and the bridge as quickly as possible, and with few people awake so early, not many will notice them at all. However, once they are across the bridge, Grygory will actually take them into the edge of the forest so as to throw off anyone trying to follow them.

What the PCs Can Do: Whether the PCs are with Grygory or not, there really isn't much to do here, except perhaps to report Grygory's activities to the Thyatians. Then again, Grygory has sent riders both behind and ahead, so the PCs must use stealth if they are spying on him.

A Meeting of Minds.

Location: City of Oceansend, Kingdom of Oceansend, Tranquil Coast. NW

Description: A discrete meeting takes place between the Thyatian envoy in the City, Diometian Clibaredes, and representatives of Anna von Hendriks, including Hermann Adalard, former Landmeister of Oceansend. It is put out that this is just the finalising of certain details and recognition of zones of control and borders, and reassurance that the imperial troops will not try to march into Heldland if the Heldannic Knights move forces south. After it's over, the Thyatians announce that they have agreed to respect the boundaries of Heldland, but also to use their forces to protect it from the ambitions of others, should they attack. (See Nu. 27, Va. 5.)

What This Means: Far more than meets the eye was agreed to in this event. It appears that the Thyatians have agreed to guard Heldland for von Hendriks, but they have really committed themselves far more to her cause, in a secret agreement. Eusebius is in for a copper, in for a platinum in this event, having cut a deal with von Hendriks over Oceansend last year. But if her faction loses, the Heldannic Knights will certainly try to retake the city. He also wants to revive the alliance Thyatis had with the Heldannic Knights during the Great War, after years of enmity and even warfare with them. But, again, this is only possible if a friendly faction emerges victorious from the power struggle inside the order.

Right now Anna von Hendriks is not friendly with Thyatis, however. She made a deal with the empire last year, one necessary for her faction to have a chance of winning the war, but the cost (Oceansend) was high, and she is not happy about paying it. But if the empire provides willing help without exacting additional concessions, she and Vanya might consider a renewal of the alliance possible.

The Thyatians actually offered quite a lot of help: the Antalian Guard, several imperial battle fleets, and some aerial forces. The knights surprised them by turning this down, requesting only a thematic exercitus and a tudlum unit, preferably mobilised from Hattias, instead. The Antalian Guard, they explained, was unacceptable because of the high number of Heldanners within its ranks, who left the region because of their dislike of the order's rule. Diometian Clibaredes renewed the offer, replacing the Antalian Guard with a tagmata division, saying it would be of decisive help in ending the war quickly with minimal losses. Hermann Adalard said that if the Thyatians insisted on sending such forces, they would be forced to reluctantly refuse the offer of help. Clibaredes said that the empire should at least dispatch two or three battle fleets to insure control of the seas, possibly with help from Ostland, but the knights also refused. Clibaredes sighed, saying they were only making winning more difficult and bloody than it had to be, but their wishes would be accommodated. Thyatis will mobilise a thematic exercitus and a tudlum unit from Hattias, rounding out their numbers with Hattian volunteers, and dispatch it to the Heldannic Territories, under the command of General Vanhard Heinrici. Heinrici is a famed Thyatian leader who built his reputation in defensive fighting against the Alphatians, a follower of Vanya, a member of the Order of the Grey Lady a rival to the Heldannic Order.

Adalard had several good reasons for turning down Thyatis's more generous offer. First, he does not entirely trust the empire, especially since their first offer included a unit that is not generally favourable to the order's rule in Heldann. He fears that the empire might use the war as an excuse to annex the Heldannic territories, with the dispatch of a powerful expeditionary army under the colour of paternal kinship as the means of doing so. That is the reason he insisted on keeping the imperial fleet out of Heldannic waters. But even if the Thyatians remain true to their word and act as allies rather than taking "parental" control, he knows that Anna does not want the Heldannic Order to be part of a Thyatian-dominated alliance, and does not want the war resolved primarily due to Thyatian force. This would make the Heldannic Knights a junior partner, terminating their own role as one of Mystara's rising powers. Finally, it would cripple Anna's own authority within the order if she owed her victory primarily to the help of outside forces, rather than troops loyal to her, and her own skill guided by Vanya. Insuring that the unit Thyatis sends is from Hattias consisting of reservists, and can be plausibly represented as volunteers rallying to her rather than an imperial expeditionary force, will be to her benefit.

Eusebius is more than a little annoyed when he is informed of what the knights wanted, as he has tried to avoid mobilising reserve units since the end of the Crown War. But the possibility of renewing the alliance with the Heldannic Knights is so important to him that he sets aside his irritation, and orders the unit dispatched. He does insure that even though most of its ranks will be filled with Hattians who revere Vanya and idolise the knights, he will have eyes and ears loyal to him in the unit as well, especially in key leadership positions.

What the PCs Can Do: This is one way for PCs to get involved in the Heldannic civil war. They might be hired by the imperialists as special forces to link up with Anna's forces and perform missions that will help her win the war.

The Death of Innocenti di Malapietra... Again.

Location: Former Principality of Caurenze, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: The labourers and clerics at the construction site of the Abbey of the Bleeding Rose are attacked by a single man, leading a trio of huge earth elementals. The intruder, besides being a wizard wielding power over earth and stone, appears dishevelled, disturbed, and demented, thus easily swayed by the powerful charm magics of the clerics of Valerias. But an unforeseen effect of this mental subdual of the wizard is his loss of control over the elementals who turn on him and bludgeon him mercilessly.

The man's few remains cannot be resurrected by the clerics, so the corpse and the incident is buried for the time being. (See Nu. 1, Va. 27.)

What This Means: The Abbey of the Bleeding Rose is to be a modest sanctuary of the Thyatian Temple of Valerias, dedicated to the martyrs that sacrificed their lives for their faith at the Alexander Day Massacre in AC 1017. The building of a religious structure (other than the Temples of Rad of the official philosophy of the principalities) within Glantrian borders is unprecedented and a matter quite easily jeopardised, as proven by this event.

Even the non-native workers and clerics at the site had identified their attacker as the infamous Innocenti di Malapietra, the insane Viscount of Sirecchia and former Prince of Caurenze, who was a powerful earth elementalist. More importantly, they realised that the death of a Glantrian noble at the abbey site (regardless of who was responsible) would have put the entire project and their very lives at risk with the Glantrian authorities.

The truth of the matter is that the man was simply a decoy, a common criminal disguised to appear as the mad Innocenti di Malapietra, geased to attack the settlement of clerics, and arranged to be killed by "out-of-control" elementals.

The mastermind of the charade was Frau Hildegarde von Drachenfels, the new High Mistress of Earth Elementalism after she murdered the past High Master, Innocenti. Her objective in faking Innocenti's death was to conceal his real death, knowing (correctly) that the much-despised clerics in Glantri would also attempt to conceal this fake one.

What the PCs Can Do: A simple siege situation is presented here. Most likely, PCs will have to defend the clerics and guards of the incomplete abbey, against earth elementals and possibly other earth magic. After the battle, the scenario may shift into an investigative one; what discoveries will the PCs attempt to reveal or conceal about this death of Innocenti di Malapietra?

Nuwmont 5, AC 1019

Ogres in the Woods.

Location: Forests west of Town of Krakatos, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Sir Grygory's company finds itself under attack from several boulder-throwing ogres. Initially taken off-guard, Grygory and his men-at-arms eventually manage to drive back the ogres. However, during the fight the company is scattered and as the group with Grygory kills the last ogre, they hear the sound of metal weapons. They discover to their horror that several of their own men have turned against them and violently attack anything in sight. They manage to overcome them but are forced to kill their former friends and lose several loyal men as well, and Grygory is forced to kill his own squire!

Grygory sends a group of wounded back to Mirros with the bodies of several of their fallen friends. The rest, only ten men including himself, return to Eastron Road and move toward Rugalov Village. (See Nu. 3, Nu. 4; Nu. 8, Nu. 9.)

What This Means: The events of the Dark Knight of Karameikos novel continue. One of the remaining men is a monk: Brother Mikhail, a childhood friend now dedicated to the Monks of St. Kruskiev in Mirros. He tells Grygory that a group of their men turned against them because of some foul magic that ensnared their souls. This event makes Grygory's mission to villages of the Barony of Rugalov almost impossible.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are here, they are probably among the wounded Grygory sends back to Mirros, or else he sends them to guard the wounded. Among the people still with Grygory are only three men-at-arms not essential to the story, so unless the PCs are 1st level fighters of Traladaran heritage, they won't be among Grygory's remaining men.

Nuwmont 6, AC 1019

A Bard's Tale in the Making.

Location: Village of Guangtieu, Celestial Territories, Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: Daffyd ap Llewellyn ap Carver, a bard of indeterminate continental origin, arrives in the tiny southern village of Guangtieu, smuggled in by a Minrothaddan elven corsair along with a shipment of weapons. Guided by an Ochalean merchant he befriended years ago in Ierendi he begins a secret tour of the island dominion.

What This Means: The bard's purpose in Ochalea is unknown, though it is secretive.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may be hired by Daffyd to accompany him on his secret inspection of Ochalea. The bard will not tell them of his true intentions, rather whatever he perceives to be the most likely story they will believe: he wants to learn about Ochalea for his poetry, or to get acquainted with the island's culture and arts, or is looking for a lost epic poem or bardic artifact. During their errands, the PCs may piece together Daffyd's hidden agenda.

Nuwmont 7, AC 1019

A New Hope.

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

Description: The Heldannic Knights celebrate the completion of the reinforced fortification of the town. Everyone in Polakatsikes dances and feasts. (See Nu. 1, Nu. 2; Nu. 27, Va. 2.)

What This Means: Governor Wolfgang Stemmel ordered this day of celebration to boost his troops' morale even more. The loot they captured from the Mivosians turned out to be mainly food from Parthenaeum. The arrival of the reinforcements from Vanya's Rest [see Ei. 22, AC 1018. Ed.] has considerably strengthened the position of the knights, which has made raids such as this one possible. Yet their future here depends greatly on how they treat the local Polakatsikans. This celebration is a gesture of goodwill toward the natives, but also an attempt to rally the former Mivosian conscripts in the long term. The colony has lost many men and women, so, for the sake of the future, Wolfgang would like to invite the former Mivosian conscripts to remain in Polakatsikes, granting them land to live on, under the just watch of the Heldannic Knights of course. This feast doesn't cost him a dime since the food was stolen from the Mivosians. This is a political gesture of the cunning governor.

What the PCs Can Do: Enjoy the feast and take a day off war.

The Haunted Tower.

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

Description: The Island has finally made her way to the tower of Aunt Zynillith; Kossan had never been here before, so it took a while to locate it. The next problem is to enter it, but a group of experienced spellcasters is difficult to stop. Once inside the tower, everyone has a nagging feeling that something is wrong and that they are being observed by somebody or something. The feeling passes for most of the nobles, but somebody who cannot ignore it is the young son of Lady Ardana, Wakzun. He is the only one who is not a noble, as he has not shown the faintest talent for magic until now. Wakzun decides to remain alert for potential danger while residing in the tower. In the meantime Lady Ardana orders her team to choose rooms to live in, and to look for possible traps and threats, as well as anything useful. (See Nu. 1; Nu. 9, Nu. 10.)

What This Means: A deserted tower in the middle of the Ugly Woods is a potentially dangerous place. Nobody can tell what the former owner set up in her tower. Nobody can exclude the possibility of a danger creeping in from outside, either. On the other hand, many useful items, material components and so on, should still be there for the taking.

What the PCs Can Do: For PCs in the group, there is a nice possibility for a good old-fashioned dungeon-crawl (or, more exactly, wizard-tower-crawl) adventure.

Clan Oracles of Ellerovyn Divine Kol's Secrets.

Location: Principality of Erewan, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: On a rare occasion, Princess Carlotina Erewan visits the two clan oracles of Ellerovyn, Lady Norelia and Lady Bethys Erewan, and consults them concerning a curious mystery: the true lineage of her enemy Prince Kol XIV of New Kolland.

Greatly intrigued, the two oracles set to work, each with their distinct methods of divination and magical investigations. It takes until the next full moon for the two clan oracles to uncover Kol's secret and reveal it to Carlotina. (See Va. 18, Fy. 27.)

What This Means: Despite the fact that the clan oracles are completely loyal to the Princess of Erewan not only are they her aunts, but also members of the Secret Craft of Cryptomancy, of which Carlotina is high mistress Carlotina hardly ever seeks their counsel, until her newfound ally, the elven hero Tel'Erond, had persuaded her to pursue a spicy titbit of information.

From his campaigns in the Canolbarth Forest, since the time of the Alfheim elves to the rise of the shadow elves of Aengmor, Tel'Erond has gathered much intelligence about the humanoid enemies from the Broken Lands, including certain rumours that Prince Kol is actually a deformed shadow elf or at least, has some shadowelf ancestry to account for his exceptional magical ability. Should this be true, Carlotina knows, it can be used as leverage in dealing with the kobold prince and his belligerent humanoids.

What the PCs Can Do: Not all the methods of the clan oracles are arcane or esoteric. Lady Norelia in particular has a broad network of researchers and scholar, though few of them directly answer to her. Agents of the clan oracle may tap the PCs to uncover some information on Prince Kol, but the humanoids of New Kolland will not appreciate anyone snooping about.

Nuwmont 8, AC 1019

Grygory Reaches Rugalov Village.

Location: Village of Rugalov, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Sir Grygory and his few remaining men arrive in the village of Rugalov after a snowy day. All but Grygory and Mikhail settle into the Green Fish Inn. Meanwhile, Grygory and Mikhail go in search of some mercenaries to aid their cause. They find that there are currently a lot of mercenaries in the village. In a place called the Fish and Shark Inn and Brasserie, they meet a mercenary leader named Byrat who tells them his men have no work. Grygory considers hiring them, but as he does a brawl breaks out and several people, including Grygory and Mikhail are arrested by garrison troops and taken to Rugalov Keep for questioning. (See Nu. 4, Nu. 5; Nu. 9, Nu. 11.)

What This Means: This is yet more trouble for Sir Grygory from the Dark Knight of Karameikos novel. He desperately needs help but ends up caught in a brawl. He will get out of this situation easily since he is, after all, a knight of Karameikos, but not without revealing to the Thyatian commander of Rugalov Keep what he is doing here. Mercenaries came to the region due to the troubles that plagued the County of Vyalia since it was expanded by the cession of Karameikan land to Thyatis many of those troubles were fomented by Yuschiev's men but as they failed to engulf the whole region into chaos the mercenaries were left with nothing to do except brawling.

What the PCs Can Do: With so many mercenaries in Rugalov Village, the PCs can certainly be involved in this brawl. If they are, they might be arrested with Grygory and Mikhail, or they might elude capture. Note that since they won't be sent to the strange place Grygory and Mikhail are briefly sent to in the novel, the place is not described here.

Nuwmont 9, AC 1019

The Fangs of Jallah.

Location: Outside the Village of Rugalov, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: The Traladaran knight Sir Grygory is leaving the village of Rugalov back along the Eastron Road when he passes a large number of tents, the most prominent of which is clearly of Ylari origin. Just as they have passed by the tents, Grygory orders his men into formation and they charge back, straight toward the Ylari tent. The startled people here are a group of almost three hundred mercenaries called The Fangs of Jallah who draw their weapons, though Grygory stops in time and demands to speak to their leader. He is taken to a large Ylari man called Khalil the Lion. For the sum of some 1,000 cronas, Sir Grygory hires the services of the Fangs of Jallah for three days, beginning tomorrow. (See Nu. 5, Nu. 8; Nu. 11, Nu. 12.)

What This Means: Grygory had given up and decided to return to Mirros for more men. However, during his brief imprisonment in Rugalov Keep, he met Khalil the Lion and several of his men who were also held captive, and the two of them got into a fight, which Grygory lost. Khalil almost killed him, but guards from Rugalov Keep stopped them at the last minute (see the novel Dark Knight of Karameikos for details).

As they passed by the mercenaries' camp, Grygory saw a chance to enlist the services of Khalil and his Fangs of Jallah. He thinks Khalil is a harsh and heartless brute, which was what got them fighting in the first place, and in turn Khalil thinks of him as a cowardly weakling filled with strange ideas about honour, but then they don't have to like each other as long as Grygory pays, Khalil's mercenaries will serve, and Grygory needs help, even if he must buy it from these undisciplined mercenaries.

What the PCs Can Do: People from several nations in the Old World seem to be among the Fangs of Jallah, so there is an opportunity for the PCs to be here... If they are willing to accept the pay, that is one crona (silver piece) per day is probably not much to most PCs, but that's the price Grygory and Khalil agreed on.

About Flying.

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

Description: Wakzun has found a possibly valuable piece of information in Zynillith's library: In a very old book, he read a story that the legendary King Ar, founder of Arkan, hid at least one copy of his famous book About Flying in the dungeons of his first tower in his new kingdom. Excited, he tells his mother and the rest, but to his great disappointment Lady Ardana shrugs away the information as useless. (See Nu. 1, Nu. 7; Nu. 10, Nu. 16.)

What This Means: Despite being a commoner, and thus treated by the friends of his mother as inferior, Wakzun is an intelligent boy. He is crazy about flying too, and so it is not a miracle that he has found this clue. He is dreaming of a treasure hunt to find About Flying despite the disinterest of his mother.

At the time of the founding of the empire, the great mage-king Ar had not merely founded but literally created his own kingdom of floating islands. At some point while enchanting his kingdom, he wrote down everything he knew about floating, levitating and flying. This book would be an invaluable treasure for Ardana's group, of course. Ar's students, who helped him create the kingdom, made a few copies of this book. The exact fate of all the copies is unknown, but it can be expected that some could be found in private libraries, and the great library in Sundsvall probably once had one too. According to the legend Wakzun has found, there had been one copy in the his tower. Lady Ardana, who has memories of the surface world, believes that this tower, or the remnants of it, are still in the outer world on the floating islands, but she is wrong. Ar's first tower had been built on solid ground, and he had used it to work out the plans for the floating islands. The building was abandoned after Ar moved to an already finished island. If the book has not been taken away since then, and if the Immortals copied it when recreating Alphatia, it could still be found somewhere in Arkan.

Hopes for Oil Wealth Spread.

Location: Across the Five Shires. OW

Description: The latest popular topic being discussed in pubs and inns across the Five Shires is the widespread speculation that the Blight Swamp, until now considered a region of little importance, may in fact house vast reserves of oil much as certain regions of Darokin's Malpheggi Swamp are now known to possess. Some people humans and hin alike are now going to try to find out whether the Blight Swamp does, in fact, possess oil reserves. (See Fl. 17, Ya. 22.)

What This Means: Ever since oil (which is used for lighting lanterns, for warfare, and increasingly as a lubricant in large millworks and the like) was discovered near the Darokinian village of Norfen in AC 1017, imaginations across the shires, and in certain regions of Karameikos, have been fired up as never before. As more people flocked to Norfen, tales of fortunes made and lost added to the excitement. For many people in the Five Shires and western Karameikos, the prospect of there being oil reserves so close to home is too good to pass up. In the coming months, many young hin and some humans will head into the portions of the swamp that border the shires to seek their fortunes. The areas of the swamp that are deeper inside Karameikan territory will receive fewer visitors for now, as those regions are more remote.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could take part in the frenzy.

Nuwmont 10, AC 1019

Dreams of Flying.

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

Description: Wakzun awakens suddenly, and he remembers that he was dreaming about flying in every possible fashion: flying, flapping wings, riding a flying horse, travelling aboard a flying ship, and, finally, standing on a flying island and seeing the ground moving underneath. Merrily he closes his eyes to take a little extra nap. (See Nu. 7, Nu. 9; Nu. 16, Nu. 27.)

What This Means: Wakzun is crazy about flying, and such dreams are quite normal for a boy of his age and interests. The dream has been more vivid than ever before, though.

Nuwmont 11, AC 1019

A Declaration of Brotherhood.

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

Description: A small group of Vanya worshippers who are travelling from throughout Thyatis, and happen to be in Hattias City at the same time, meet quietly in a hospice run by the Church of Vanya for what seems like a regular conclave of the faithful, bound together by fellowship. They then go their separate ways, as members of a new bruderschaft, vowing that "helping those in need is helping us all." (See Va. 8, Ei. 23.)

What This Means: This is the initiation of a Plot by Vanya, who is annoyed by the growing presence of Milenians in Thyatis. Several of Her followers, none with overt ties to Her church, found the bruderschaft, an anti-Milenian organisation. It is less rabid than the chaotic Storm Soldiers, and plans on being subtler in achieving its aims, working to turn the Thyatian population in general against Milenians.

Banditry on the Rise.

Location: Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: Human and non-human banditry escalates in some of the outlying provinces. Bands of ogres start to skirmish with the regional militias. (See Nu. 17, Nu. 26.)

What This Means: Bandits are a common recurrence in the fringes of the exarchate and pretty much everywhere in the world, for that matter. Ogre and ogre magi are traditional non-human predators in Ochalea.

What the PCs Can Do: This a standard call for adventurers: Looking for sellswords to bring bandits to justice (or bring justice to bandits).

A Day of Challenges.

Location: Farmlands of the Barony of Rugalov, north of Dymrak Forest, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Having marched through Dymrak Forest and into the farmlands for more than a day, the differences between the Fangs of Jallah and Sir Grygory's men-at-arms have been obvious, but today the army finds itself ambushed by a large number of hobgoblins. Khalil orders his Fangs of Jallah to meet the attack and they all charge into the battle, at great loss. Grygory and his men-at-arms must fight hard to hold off the hobgoblins and organise the mercenaries into formations, yet once they succeed the hobgoblins are easily defeated.

Grygory is furious at Khalil for abandoning the formations he ordered and the two begin a fierce duel! Grygory eventually wins and with his sword at Khalil's throat, he forces the Ylari to yield to him. However, Khalil then declares that Grygory is now the new leader of the Fangs of Jallah and demands that they are loyal to him. Khalil then departs, leaving an uncertain Grygory in charge of the mercenaries. Initially the mercenaries are about to leave as well, until they discover royals (gold pieces) on the hobgoblins, and Grygory assures them that all such coins will be distributed fairly among them.

At night the camp is assaulted by a new army of more than three hundred skeletons, and Grygory seems to have disappeared. However, he returns in time to organise a defence and they are eventually able to repel all the skeletons as well. (See Nu. 8, Nu. 9; Nu. 12, Nu. 13.)

What This Means: These are major events of the Dark Knight of Karameikos novel. Grygory's men-at-arms and Khalil's troop leaders had been disagreeing almost constantly, and Grygory was furious at Khalil's defiance after he agreed to follow his orders and maintain the formations into which his troops had been organised. When the skeletons attacked, Grygory was missing because he had been magically lured off into the wilderness. However, he eventually regained his senses and managed to return in time to fight the skeletons.

What the PCs Can Do: An army of hobgoblins and another of skeletons in the same day? Sounds like a busy day for most adventurers...

Nuwmont 12, AC 1019

Survey Resumes.

Location: Town of Arreghi, Foresthome Occupation Zone, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Lieutenant Nargan of the Navy of the Lakes leads a new survey mission into the border region between the kingdoms of Arkan, Foresthome and Frisland. With the reports of last circle's progress, the team will be able to pick up where work stopped previously. Most team members participated in the survey of the routes between Tirenlos and the Roaring River last circle. (See Nu. 18, Nu. 19.)

What This Means: Nargan was a simple team member last circle, but he asked to command this mission. He disagrees with his organisation's decision to sell rights to the canal project to other private groups.

What the PCs Can Do: Experienced PCs will be useful against the perils of the northern wilderness. Diplomatic skills might prove useful as well in preventing a repeat of the sad events last circle when scouting soldiers of the Stonewall Expeditionary Force captured one of the survey teams.

The Orcish Hordes of the Dark Knight.

Location: Farmlands of the Barony of Rugalov, north of Dymrak Forest, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: While marching north Sir Grygory and the Fangs of Jallah find what is left of a village sacked by orcs. There are a few survivors, but most buildings are burned down and the villagers killed in a scene of carnage...

As they question the villagers, a large army of orcs suddenly approaches, led by a knight in black plate armour riding a skeletal horse, and a fierce battle begins. The orcs are initially successful in their savage charge, but as the battle continues the more organised formations of the humans cut most of them down. Sir Grygory approaches the dark knight who is killing several people, yet as he is about to attack Grygory's friend, Brother Mikhail, raises his holy symbol towards him, which shatters the dark knight's skeletal steed. Seeing that the battle is lost, the dark knight disappears into the woods with Grygory and several of his men in pursuit.

The remaining mercenaries quickly kill or drive off the remaining orcs, then go about tending the wounded and the dead. (See Nu. 9, Nu. 11; Nu. 13, Nu. 27.)

What This Means: This is an important battle in the Dark Knight of Karameikos novel. Since the hunt Grygory and his men-at-arms embark on to catch the dark knight is specific to the characters of the novel, it is not described here. However, the raids on the villages of the Barony of Rugalov are essentially over now, although there may be some orcs who escaped the battle roaming the countryside.

What the PCs Can Do: Fight the orcs, obviously! However, the PCs probably shouldn't be able to join Grygory's hunt for the black knight. Besides, if they did they might not like what they find... After all, Grygory certainly didn't!

Nuwmont 13, AC 1019

Eagle's Flight.

Location: City of Edairo, Kingdom of Thothia, Nayce, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: The skyship Eagle takes flight, heading west over the Great Escarpment, destination unknown. (See Nu. 21, Va. 2.)

What This Means: The Eagle was built for the Thyatians during their brief occupation of Aeria, and captured by their enemies during the war for control of the Isle of Dawn. It is not known what is going on here, but some would be interested in finding out. Perhaps the Thothians are out to explore the Great Escarpment.

What the PCs Can Do: Characters interested in a voyage over the Great Escarpment might find a place as guards.

Facing the Music.

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

Description: Favian Vern, President of Esterhold, brings the Naycese Council up to date on how things are going in his republic. He gives an impassioned speech, in which he explains how many former slaves among the Jennites have a genuine need to prove to themselves that they can be free now, and how that was a major reason why he settled the matter of the recent war and agreed to a truce that will leave the borders where they are now.

The council is not pleased, and the traditionalists immediately move to have Favian removed from his position as president. The reformists protest the decision, but Commander Karszamon argues that obviously Favian's democratic ideals have failed utterly the Jennites rebelled against him, as it was obvious they would unless treated with proper force, and he has just signed away most of the empire's holdings on the Esterhold Peninsula with his agreements with the insurgent Jennites. His misguided idealism has cost Nayce important resources, particularly from the mines of Southrock, the lack of which are now hurting the entire empire. Though Karszamon does not get a vote as commander, he suggests that the council should remove not only Favian, but also his remaining governors, Kalin of Blackrock and Alinda of Marlin, who have supported him in his irresponsible alliance with the Jennites.

There is much discussion, and it is clear that the vote will be a close one with the odds slightly against Favian. With a tired look on his face, Favian speaks again and says that he will offer his resignation if his governors are confirmed in their positions and the council supports the truce with the Jennites. This raises yet more debate, but in the end the council accepts his terms, and Favian steps down as president. (See Th. 6, Th. 15.)

What This Means: The Republic of Esterhold is no more. Favian knew that the traditionalists might outnumber him, especially after Thothia grew stronger in the council a little over a year ago, but he suspected that even the reformists might not support him, since he has lost Nayce essential resources just when the empire needs them the most. He also knows, however, that there may come another day, when things turn to his advantage again, so he will wait and bide his time. More importantly, he is not willing to see the truce that was won with blood and sweat last year go to pieces, so he opts to sacrifice himself as an offer of appeasement to the traditionalists. While this may hurt the reformists in the Naycese Council, it will at least allow Kalin and Alinda to retain their positions, and as it is, the reformists are in the minority anyway. Blackrock and Marlin will now each have the effective status of an individual kingdom with Kalin and Alinda being the respective rulers. They will retain only the titles of governors (like Jhedryll of Eirundrynn), however, since the council is uncertain that these kingdoms will flourish and (more importantly) since the traditionalists do not want to acknowledge these rulers as their equals. The titles don't matter so much, however, since Kalin and Alinda will still have a seat on the Naycese Council each, though they will have less combined voting power than the Esterhold Republic did, since Favian has lost Southrock, Anchorage, and Verdan. Favian will end up remaining at the council, however, as Kalin and Alinda decide to appoint him as their joint representative in the Naycese Council. So while Karszamon has succeeded in removing Favian from his position, he hasn't gotten rid of him altogether. But obviously he will no longer be the effective leader of the reformists.

Let's Hunt Some Orc!

Location: Farmlands of the Barony of Rugalov, north of Dymrak Forest, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: The dark knight and his orcish horde defeated, Sir Grygory and his men-at-arms have returned to the camp of the Fangs of Jallah. Grygory promises the mercenaries they will hunt down every last goblinoid or undead here, and will be rewarded for it as long as he has money to pay them.

Some people note that he is now wearing imposing mail of black plate and wields a large broadsword instead of his usual long sword. He explains that this is treasure he has taken from the dark knight after he killed him, which is his right. Most accept that explanation. (See Nu. 11, Nu. 12; Nu. 27, Va. 9.)

What This Means: Grygory is beginning a fierce quest to hunt down every single orc still in the area, and he is being rather aggressive about it. Still, since few people like orcs, nobody is likely to object. However, some of the mercenaries are already leaving, as they are certain there will be little reward from now on. The Fangs of Jallah will gradually fall apart and Grygory's mercenaries will slowly but certainly depart.

Over the next couple of weeks, Grygory's dwindling army will chase every orc, hobgoblin, skeleton, and other creature they don't like down and kill them.

Obviously there are reasons for Grygory's aggressiveness, but those are better left to the Dark Knight of Karameikos novel.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can go orc-hunting along with those who remain until they tire of it. PCs who don't accept Grygory's explanation for his new choice of weapon and armoury will find that he is very confrontational about it they had better not press the issue, or he might accuse them of defying his orders and then decide to use his weapon on!

Nuwmont 15, AC 1019

Al-Kalim's Scabbard Is Discovered.

Location: Emirate of Nithia, Emirates of Ylaruam. OW

Description: A faris, Mujibur al-Jaboor, who has been on a pilgrimage for the last twenty years, has returned with riches, and stories of a valley of diamonds and the fabled City of Brass. (See Va. 11, Th. 2.)

What This Means: Mujibur al-Jaboor was a staunch supporter of the Preceptor Faction in his service as a faris in the Desert Rose. Around AC 998 he retired as Head of the Order of the Lance to follow the journeys of al-Kalim. He has been questing for Immortality, and has recently taken a break to see to affairs at home.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are near the Emirate of Nithia, they may see the grand procession Mujibur's triumphant return. If involved with the new emir, they may be asked to escort the faris or verify the legitimacy of his fabulous claims. PCs could also be hired to determine the intent of this returning hero of the Desert Rose.

Nuwmont 16, AC 1019

A Grand Tour Comes to an End.

Location: Town of Boyâzka, Kingdom of Yozgulak, Hagiarchy of Hule. SC

Description: The Thyatian expedition to the Savage Coast departs the nation of Hule, after having been feted for over a year by the Master's own officials. (See Nu. 18, Nu. 28.)

What This Means: The Thyatian Empire sent out three expeditions in AC 1017 westward to the Savage Coast, southward to Davania, and eastward to Skothar to push back the frontiers of the known world, to build alliances with new foreign powers, and to open new trade routes for the Thyatian and Minrothaddan merchants who will one day follow them. Hule, being a regional power, was the logical first stop for this expedition, and, unexpectedly, the Master took a personal interest in the Thyatians. He tasked a small army of officials with ferrying the Thyatians all over the country, for the purpose of showing them important landmarks, castles, and other spectacles that, he hoped, would both impress his guests, and convey to them that Hule is not to be trifled with.

In many ways his plan was successful; the Thyatians saw largely what he wanted them to see: bustling cities and towns, well-trained armies, and above all, disparate ethnic groups coexisting peacefully. Over the course of the year, however, news of ongoing troubles in the disputed, ore-rich Bylot Hills, as well as strife among the various ethnic groups living on the fringes of the hagiarchy, reached the Thyatians; although they did not let their hosts know that they were aware of such things.

In the meantime, the Thyatians secured a Hulean market for exports of Davanian spices from the Hinterlands, as well as pottery, wine and spider silk from the Thyatian heartland. Boyâzka will become a major port of call for Thyatian and Minrothaddan merchants in the years to come, and other eastern nations may very well follow suit. The expedition will now visit other ports along the western shores of the Gulf of Hule, while an ambassador, respected businessman Darius Argentius, and his staff busy themselves with establishing an embassy in Greatrealm, and a consulate in Boyâzka. Other consulates may be established in the other Hulean kingdoms in the future.

What the PCs Can Do: Higher-level PCs could take part in negotiations, but most likely they would be assigned the task of identifying Hulean spies, and ensuring that they do not obtain any trade secrets. The PCs could also be contacted by members of opposition groups, who would then tell the visitors their side of Hule. Whether the PCs believe the tales of woe is another question entirely, and might involve sneaking away from the expedition for a time to see the other side of Hulean society.

A Strange Item.

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

Description: The young Wakzun is still searching for interesting things in the tower. His latest discovery is a small amulet that does not seem to be overly special. He does not know if it is magical, but he is strangely reluctant to show it to the nobles. For unknown reasons it feels right to keep it a secret. (See Nu. 9, Nu. 10; Nu. 27, Va. 5.)

What This Means: In the abandoned tower of an old wizard one is bound to find a lot of weird magical items. Wakzun will have to learn the secret of this special one.

What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs' are part of Ardana's group, one of them may find the amulet and experience the dreams that Wakzun is about to have.

Nuwmont 17, AC 1019

Plans for the Wind Flats.

Location: City of Suneveh, Province of Suneveh, Kingdom of Nimmur, Orc's Head Peninsula. SC

Description: Prince Enshurnasirpal orders two pincers and twice that many civilians to march north into the Wind Flats, where they are to take control of the desert land in the name of Suneveh. The civilians are settlers. (See Fl. 16, Ya. 28.)

What This Means: For years now the Prince of Suneveh has been trying to acquire reliable medicine to negate the effects of killer flies on the Wind Flats. Trials have resulted in the death of several manscorpions, but it was not in vain as the medicine is now reliable enough that the prince is willing to use it on his soldiers in order to add the Wind Flats to Suneveh.

Prince Enshurnasirpal's goal is threefold. Firstly, he intends to send settlers in the Wind Flats and start a major northern territorial expansion that will increase the status of Suneveh and his own. The Wind Flats are of little value unto themselves, although it may be possible to eventually turn them into sheep pasturage, but having a base there will make it easier to flank the phanatons; thus, a coordinated attack with Ankesh should then be possible. Finally, once Suneveh and its prince have demonstrated their excellence by annexing the Wind Flats and crushing Jibarú, Enshurnasirpal would not mind seizing the Texeiran Colony of the Horn further north.

What the PCs Can Do: Scouts and settlers will be hired immediately! The medicine is relatively safe and effective, though the DM may want to add secondary effects. Manscorpions PCs of Name level may see this as an opportunity to establish their own dominions.

Underground Complex Uncovered.

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

Description: A group of adventurers, some from the continent and some local to Ochalea, pursue bandits into the northern mountains. After weeks of hunting, pitched battles and guerrilla warfare the group discovers the mixed human and nonhuman bandits camped in the hidden gatehouse of an underground complex. (See Nu. 11; Nu. 26, Fe. 15.)

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs may want to explore this foreboding complex they have just found.

Nuwmont 18, AC 1019

A Visit to the Baronies.

Location: Town of Porto Preto, Dominio de Vilaverde, Savage Baronies. SC

Description: The Thyatian expedition to the Savage Coast docks at Porto Preto, the first of (hopefully) many visits along the Savage Coast. The local officials receive the Thyatians with courtesy once their peaceful aims are made plain, and before long Paulus Angelinus and his closest aides secure an audience with BarãoJorge de Vilaverde. At that meeting, BarãoJorge enquires politely about Thyatian interests in the Gulf of Hule region, and whether they learned anything interesting during their tour of Hule. He also asks Paulus about the empire's plans for Tyjaret and Kladanovic, and in the Savage Coast generally.

Paulus thanks the barão for his hospitality, and informs his host that, although the empire first came to the region as a colonising power over a century ago, Thyatis no longer harbours imperialistic ambitions in the Savage Coast region. Emperor Eusebius directed him to explore the area west of the Serpent Peninsula, both to update imperial knowledge of the region and to forge diplomatic and trade ties with any and all friendly nations. He goes on to say that Tyjaret is an ally of the Thyatian Empire, free to conduct its own affairs, and is benefiting from its new relationship. Thyatis is making considerable investments in both towns' ports, with the intent of enlarging them, and therefore making them more desirable ports of call. The eventual completion of a paved trade road linking the two towns, as well as the establishment of a fortified town midway between them, will speed commerce immensely, and may one day eliminate the need to sail around the Serpent Peninsula.

The following days will be spent in negotiations, with Thyatis hoping to secure reliable sources of cinnabryl an essential commodity if the empire wishes to develop a presence in the region and red steel. Paulus appoints a Thyatian ambassador, Diana Kytherastina (former bard and currently businesswoman with extensive mercantile interests in the Hinterlands) to represent the empire this appointment will be confirmed later this year by Eusebius. (See Nu. 16; Nu. 28, Va. 7.)

What This Means: The Vilaverdans are well aware of recent Thyatian inroads into the Savage Coast region. Vilaverde's main concerns, from a strategic standpoint, are Hule, Torreón, and Narvaez the arrival of Thyatis complicates matters greatly because it is a powerful empire, but this is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if Thyatis becomes an ally. BarãoJorge suspects that Paulus's answer is genuine or at least, as genuine as such statements can be in diplomatic circles but he remains a little wary, given what he knows of the empire's strength. He suspects that Tyjaret and Kladanovic could become the core of a Thyatian trading empire in the Savage Coast that could present stiff competition. For now, however, he will trust that Thyatis will not try to take over Vilaverde's trading network or its colonies, but he will share his impressions with his fellow barons.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be part of Paulus's retinue; otherwise, they could be assigned the task of investigating Porto Preto and the surrounding countryside while diplomatic and trade talks get underway. A PC of high enough level could be appointed as ambassador in Diana's place, as well.


Location: Territory of Fang Cave Clan, Lands of the Brute-Men. HW

Description: Ka-ro is too young to hunt with the men, so he scouts the wilderness in search of game to flush out toward the hunters. Hidden among the leaves of a tree, he is watching a group of woolly mammoths drinking from a small spring in a clearing when a large shape looms overhead. Thinking it may be a pterosaur, or perhaps a fabled dragon, Ka-ro remains absolutely still. The mammoths have also spotted the hovering form, but they do not seem alarmed by it. Suddenly, one of the mammoths bellows in pain, and the group stampedes away into the forest. The shadow overhead follows the pack, but as the injured mammoth also reaches the cover of the trees the flyer abandons its prey and disappears swiftly. After a moment, Ka-ro risks a movement to scan the skies, but the strange bird has left. After waiting to ensure that it will not come back to claim its prey, Ka-ro descends from his tree and, using his smell and tracking capabilities, follows the trail of the injured mammoth.

The mammoth lies dead not very far away, a small, strange spear stuck through its throat. Ka-ro uses his precious stone knife to carve up the fallen beast and carry as much as he can he knows that everything left behind will be lost, as scavengers will feast upon anything he does not remove immediately. As an afterthought, Ka-ro also takes the spear. (See Nu. 22, Nu. 26.)

What This Means: The Brute-Men hunt animals, including large beasts like woolly mammoths, with their stone and bone weapons. Ka-Ro was watching potential game for a hunting party when an Alphatian skyship flew overhead. A marksman fired a bolt +1 from his crossbow, and neatly hit a mammoth in the neck. The large beast was resistant, though, and did not die on the spot. The Alphatians, however, have been attacked before when they ventured deep into the dangerous lands of the world below, so, as much as they would have liked to acquire a new specimen of native wildlife, they dared not walk into the forest, and just flew away. Ka-ro did not see the Alphatians (his instincts urged him to freeze when a huge bird was preying), nor would he have understood had he glimpsed the flying ship.

What the PCs Can Do: Brute-Men PCs could be thusly surprised by a sweep of an Alphatian skyship surveying the surface of the Hollow World. Their reaction could vary from Ka-ro's, and lead to an encounter with the much more advanced Alphatians. Alphatian explorer PCs could be less frightened of the large world than their countrymen, and volunteer to follow the dying mammoth, possibly resulting in an encounter with the primitive Brute-Men.

On the March.

Location: Marine Training Camp, Town of Lakim, Lakim Island, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Major Sarond leads the 1st Marine Squadron to waiting ships in the harbour of Lakim, leaving only a few recruits and a training crew behind. Their destination is the town of Tirenlos, where the workers and soldiers of the canal-building project will assemble. (See Nu. 12; Nu. 19, Nu. 21.)

What This Means: The organisation has sold its project to a group of Foresthome nobles, but is still in charge of advancing the construction and protecting the workers.

Nuwmont 19, AC 1019

Black Petition.

Location: City of Mirros, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Ludwig von Hendriks, imprisoned in a prison in Mirros, petitions his cousin, King Stefan Karameikos, for a fair trial according to Karameikan law. He states that a country that waged war against him could not conduct a fair trial, and that he will accept the decision of a Karameikan court. King Stefan takes the petition under advisement. (See Va. 1, Fl. 1.)

What This Means: King Stefan thought he was rid of the Black Eagle when he broke the vassalage of his barony. Unfortunately, his cousin came back into his custody when he was expelled from Glantri, and the king was reluctant to send him to the Five Shires for execution. Ludwig von Hendriks was a baron in Karameikos before King Stefan cut him loose, so there is some validity to his petition though it is the king who ultimately decides how law applies. Not deporting his cousin to the Five Shires would ease the king's conscience, but the trial can only worsen the situation at home (and also with the hin). The Black Eagle has nothing to lose from a trial in Karameikos, as he has a death sentence pending if he is extradited, even though the charges that can be brought against him in Karameikos could lead to the same sentence.

Waiting for the Beginning.

Location: Town of Tirenlos, Kingdom of Foresthome, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: With the arrival of two more crew ships, Zas Ubul has assembled his canal-building workforce. He is still waiting for the protective force and the caterpillars. (See Nu. 12, Nu. 18; Nu. 21, Nu. 22.)

What This Means: The work is to be started soon. The soldiers are on their way, and Bleek and Daker have promised to send the first caterpillar via airship in a few days.

Nuwmont 21, AC 1019

Eagle Flies On.

Location: Western edge of the Great Escarpment, Isle of Dawn. SD

Description: Having flown over the entire Great Escarpment, making contact (wanted and unwanted) with some of the local inhabitants, including the baronies now controlled by Thothia, the Eagle continues her flight, entering Thyatian territory to the west. (See Nu. 13; Va. 2, Va. 9.)

What This Means: It is still unclear what is going on. The ship will fly over the northern Shadow Coast, then over the Western Sea of Dawn. She will not encounter Thyatian patrols over the Isle of Dawn, but she may run into other threats.

What the PCs Can Do: Meet strange creatures the ship encounters, and fight off anything that attacks her.

A Wave of Desperation.

To understand the origins of this wave of desperation, see map depicting the Alphatian lands following the Great War.

Location: Throughout Nayce. AS, SD

Description: Cities and towns across Nayce witness the beginnings of a phenomenon unheard of in recent history masses of people migrating across the land in search of work. Traffic at major Naycese ports increases noticeably, but instead of consumer and trade goods, the vessels' cargoes consist of unemployed artisans, master tradesmen, and other people who would normally lead comfortable lives often with their families in tow. (See Va. 1, Va. 11.)

What This Means: Since the fall of the previous year [Sviftmont, AC 1018. Ed.], declining stocks of metal and other basic resources have made the cost of doing business in the Naycese territories more expensive than before so much so that many craftspeople found themselves no longer able to pursue their vocations. Although the Naycese Council took steps to address the problem by reopening old mines on the islands of the New Alphatian Sea, until the various kingdoms could begin to exploit their own mineral resources on a larger scale, the response was too late to make much of a difference in the short term. Even when those mines are operating at full capacity, the amount of ore they will be able to produce will not be nearly as great as the mines of Esterhold and Denwarf-Hurgon, both of which are now lost to Nayce.

Since the vast majority of craftspeople were freemen, they retained their social status through their ability to maintain a balance of at least 10,000 crowns in an Alphatian bank. With their businesses in tatters, many of these people were forced to draw upon their savings to feed their families in the weeks that followed. Unfortunately, under Alphatian law any mundaner with less than 10,000 crowns to his or her name cannot be a freeman, and must therefore be a member of the servant class, in which case they must find a master. Many craftspeople despaired of their change of social status, yet accepted it; others committed suicide. However, a growing number of these desperate people are trying to take matters into their own hands. The coming weeks will see the displacement of thousands, all of whom are desperate to retain their status as freemen.

What the PCs Can Do: PCs who practice a trade, and who otherwise maintain themselves as freemen, would have been hit the same way as everyone else by the increased costs for basic goods. Although they can use their adventuring skills to earn more money, the PCs may have relatives who are not so lucky.

Construction Crew Assembled.

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

Description: The soldiers of the 1st Marine Squadron leave their ships and march to the construction site. The workers follow immediately to erect their camp. (See Nu. 18, Nu. 19; Nu. 22, Nu. 25.)

What This Means: The construction personnel are gathered and ready to begin work.

What the PCs Can Do: Experienced PCs are welcomed as scouts or officers.

Nuwmont 22, AC 1019


Location: Territory of Fang Cave Clan, Lands of the Brute-Men. HW

Description: Ka-ro is quickly growing tired of trotting with the weight of most of a woolly mammoth he is only a young boy, after all. While resting he grunts furiously as he realises he may have to abandon parts of the beast, and begins reflecting what a hunter would abandon first: the food-meat, the tool-bones, the leather-skin, or the cloth-fur the Brute-Men put everything to use. An idea comes to Ka-ro's mind as he tries to sort the mammoth parts into two piles, one for keeping and one for discarding: he will assemble a litter to carry everything. Ka-ro is thrilled by his own ingenuity, though he soon realises that it easier thought than done Brute-Men are normally creatures of action and not reflection. After a lot of effort, he manages to assemble something that is barely adequate to the task. (See Nu. 18; Nu. 26, Nu. 27.)

What This Means: Brute-Men are primitives who rely primarily on their own skills and strength, or the simplest of tools. Conceptualising a way of transporting his load is evidence that Ka-ro is a very intelligent Brute-Man indeed.

Annabelle Arrives.

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

Description: Daker arrives with an airship transporting the first caterpillar, Annabelle. After disembarking she merrily rolls around and stomps down two workers' huts before Daker can calm her down and begin training her crew.

Later, Daker sits down with Zas Ubul to make a proposal for another type of working juggernaut. After all, he argues, there will be a lot of earth to be moved, but the caterpillars of the Annabelle class are made for digging, not for moving earth. Zas Ubul is not quite convinced, but he agrees to accompany Daker and take a closer look. (See Nu. 19, Nu. 21; Nu. 25, Nu. 28.)

What This Means: When working with the inventions of siblings Bleek and Daker, you must expect such occurrences. After all, the caterpillars are magical constructs that are sentient (admittedly with a low intelligence), and have personalities. Zas Ubul's older employees knew what could happen, and they were able to warn their younger comrades in time, thus preventing any injuries. This, of course, does not preclude future accidents, whether caused by Annabelle and her siblings or not.

After instructing the workers in the nursing of Annabelle, Daker will take Zas Ubul with him to his estate in the Kerothar Mountains to present him the new Wilhelm-class earth-mover.

What the PCs Can Do: Although the canal project has the support of the crown, there are those who would like to see it fail for various reasons. The arrival of Annabelle, and the other construction golems that will follow her, is a very visible symbol of the project's progress, and thus could encourage some opponents to strike. The PCs, especially if they are higher-level, could be asked to help guard the golems, and ensure that no unauthorised personnel get too close to them.

Nuwmont 24, AC 1019

Next Stop, Cittanova!

Location: Town of Fiorenza, Barony of Fiorenza, Hinterlands, Thyatian Empire. DV

Description: After many months of stabilising, widening, and enhancing the existing trail from Raven Scarp, Thyatian engineers and labourers have completed the first segment of the Raven Scarp-Cittanova Road. Now, a wide, fully paved road connects the exarchate's capital city with Fiorenza a total distance of roughly 130 miles. (See Am. 27.)

What This Means: Last year [Flaurmont, AC 1018. Ed.], Exarcha Leilah ben Nadir ordered the construction of a paved road along the northern coast of Davania Superior, which would link the various coastal settlements and facilitate the movement of trade and people. Although there was already a good trail along this route, considerable engineering was required in order to ensure that the paved road would not sag due to the prevalence of swamps in this region. Also, the labourers were attacked a few times by bands of rogue Hinterlanders stragglers from Maeve's army who did not retreat to the south following the failure of the siege of Raven Scarp in AC 1017. After a day of celebration, presided over by Baron Justinian Silvestro of Fiorenza, work will resume to extend the road to Cittanova, 170 miles further along the coast.

What the PCs Can Do: If they were already serving as guards, the PCs can continue this line of work. Otherwise, there will be a need for scouts to forge ahead of the construction parties to ensure that no lairs of any sort lie in the way. If any do exist, the PCs will be expected to clear them out.

Nuwmont 25, AC 1019

Annabelle Starts Working.

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

Description: Daker and Zas Ubul watch how the caterpillar Annabelle is directed to the correct place and starts digging. Everything looks fine, and the men depart with the ship that dropped Annabelle three sleeps ago. (See Nu. 21, Nu. 22; Nu. 28, Va. 15.)

What This Means: The crew is ready to begin work. Being a golem Annabelle does not need sleep or food. The workers, including her crew, do need recreation, and therefore Zas Ubul has organised them into three shifts.

Gray Sorcery in Aalban.

Location: Barony of Egorn, Principalities of Glantri. OW

Description: Lady Danira Voshane, Baroness of Egorn, teleports to her faraway fief after receiving an urgent message from her son, Henry Voshane. Apparently, one of her many Blackmoorian artifacts, the Gray Mushroom of Blackmoor (a concave dish with a central rod, which, inverted, resembles a mushroom) has come to life and now blips and sparks with some unknown energy.

Using the Gray Mushroom with an ancient Blackmoorian scrying device, the Slate of Gray Sorcery, she is able to determine that a powerful new source of "grey sorcery" (an archaic Glantrian term for technology and science, and by extension, technomancy) has appeared and is moving somewhere in the area of Aalban.

Lady Danira cancels all her other commitments for the day, and the next few weeks, indefinitely. (See Va. 7, Fl. 2.)

What This Means: Lady Danira Voshane is an expert on ancient Blackmoor and a collector of artifacts of grey sorcery from that age. She is also a member of the Brotherhood of the Radiance and has the peculiar notion that the Radiance itself is derived from some powerful Blackmoorian device. (This actually is somewhat correct, as the Nucleus of the Spheres was originally the engine of the FFS Beagle starship.)

The Gray Mushroom was once a satellite dish, but was suddenly reactivated by the energy signals from the oard agents, an alien race of time-travelling cyborgs who are in search of the Beagle. They are hiding in the hills of Aalban, and one is disguised as Frau Viktoria von Drachenfels, cousin to the Prince of Aalban and the estranged wife of Herr Rolf Löwenroth of Adlerturm.

What the PCs Can Do: This could be a hook for a sci-fi or technomantic adventure, set in the high magic world of Glantri, as the baroness will need agents to investigate the grey sorcery in Aalban, and will probably come face to metallic, flesh-implanted face with the oard!

Wizard Menace Rising.

Location: The Turmoil Territories, Continent of Bellissaria, Nayce. AS

Description: Ever since the Turmoil Territories acquired their status as an effective anarchy, the area has had trouble. For a time rivalling thieves' guilds and minor warlords fought for power, but last year a wizard calling himself Darkcloak built his tower here and then used his magic to destroy anyone who got in his way. Since then other wizards have followed, and it seems the idea has caught on, as people all over Turmoil are being forced out of their homes by wizards looking to carve out an estate for themselves. In one instance the local powers united to challenge the invading wizard, with disastrous results, since the wizard didn't hesitate to use his meteor swarm and chain lightning spells against the general population. In other cases, entire graveyards have been found excavated, no doubt by some necromancer seeking to create undead servants or just to explore his necromantic arts. Some people have also gone missing, captured by wizards for various vile purposes. The locals are beginning to discuss what they can do to stop the influx of wizards, but there is much disagreement about it, as some areas are not as hard hit by the problem yet and so don't much care whether wizards settle in Turmoil. (See Va. 1, Fe. 7.)

What This Means: Turmoil used to be a very anarchic part of Surshield that became independent a few years ago as an experiment. It was hoped that a local ruler would eventually rise from Turmoil, but now it seems foreign wizards are in control. While this is a severe problem, it has at least brought the people of Turmoil itself a bit closer together. What they can do about the invading wizards is speculation, though, as the wizards tend to be fairly powerful. The wizards care nothing for the locals and some have excavated bodies to animate dead, or captured locals for experiments or to study human anatomy. Generally most of the wizards see the locals as simple livestock to do with whatever they please. Since there are no imperial laws or regulations here, it has attracted all the worst wizards who felt restrained by rules elsewhere.

What the PCs Can Do: There are more than enough wizards to go after here, though the locals won't have much incentive for mercenary PCs. The wizards themselves might have some valuables in the form of magical gear, spellbooks, and general wealth. They are powerful, however, and the PCs had better be prepared. The DM would have to supply a good reason why the PCs might have heard of the invading wizards, however, as the independent, chaotic nature of Turmoil means that news does not travel much into or out of the kingdom.

Nuwmont 26, AC 1019

Fang Cave.

Location: Caves of Fang Cave Clan, Lands of the Brute-Men. HW

Description: Ka-ro arrives at the caverns where his clan lives. It took him some time to trot back, dragging his crude litter behind him. His clansmen are surprised to see such a carriage approach, and grunt many questions at the exhausted Ka-ro. Ka-ro is too tired, however, and rests while the Fang Cave clansmen sort through his litter's contents, and prepare a successful hunt's feast. (See Nu. 18, Nu. 22; Nu. 27, Th. 6.)

Garrison Slaughtered.

Location: Bohan Province, Exarchate of Ochalea, Thyatian Empire. SD

Description: A fort with stockade and barracks in an outlying province is destroyed and the skeleton force stationed there massacred to a man. A royal commission is unable to determine whether it is bandits or monsters. (See Nu. 11, Nu. 17; Va. 1, Fl. 16.)

What This Means: The increase in banditry and monstrous raids is reaching a fever pitch as fortified settlements are now targeted, with success. Despite the royal commission's helplessness (not to mention that of the local garrison and the governor), measures will certainly be taken to reassert authority and stability.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can be hired by the commission, or by local officials or the governor himself, to track the attackers so they put an end to their violent actions.

Nuwmont 27, AC 1019

Contest Oceansend.

Location: City of Oceansend, Kingdom of Oceansend, Tranquil Coast. NW

Description: Several squadrons of Thyatis's imperial navy arrive in Oceansend's port transporting a cohort of the Antalian Guard, a tuldum regiment, and thematic exercitii. Thyatian troops land in Oceansend, intending to use the city as a base from which to launch their forces into the Heldannic fight.

Along came an imperial envoy, Diometian Clibaredes, who meets with King Olaf Yarrvikson. He presents Yarrvikson with an offer to join the empire as an exarch. Clibaredes says that he understands independence is dear to Oceansend, but that true independence is an impossibility for the city, as its recent history demonstrates. The only result of Oceansend's efforts to remain on its own has been that it had no choice in determining whose dependency the city-state would be, nor on what terms.

King Yarrvikson is taken aback by these blunt words, and his face becomes red. He says that Oceansenders fight hard, and no conqueror has enjoyed ruling the kingdom, nor will the Thyatians if they are here to take away the independence they claim to have given back to Oceansend. Clibaredes reassures Yarrvikson that no, the Thyatian forces did not arrive to occupy Oceansend by force, and that all your majesty says is true. But neither have the Oceansenders enjoyed the last several years, which have despoiled their city and seen the death of too many.

Diometian Clibaredes goes on to say that the empire has sent an envoy not to take control of Oceansend's destiny, but to give it a say in determining that destiny. Oceansend is offered three choices. The Thyatians can withdraw completely from the city, leaving it to its independence and its own resources and devices in keeping that independence. Or the city can continue as an imperial client-state, a protectorate. Thyatis will defend the city, so long as Yarrvikson agrees to have the same friends and the same enemies as Thyatis, adheres to Thyatian trade policy, and continues to pay tribute to defer the cost Thyatis is spending on its defence. They will also have to respect the final border negotiated with the Heldannic Knights. Furthermore, the Thyatians are to be granted a Thyatian Quarter like that on Aegos, with a gate of its own, port access, and extraterritoriality. Thyatian citizenship will be offered to all Oceansenders who want it, and no Thyatians in Oceansend will pay taxes to the kingdom they will only owe taxes to the empire. Oceansend will be independent and self-governing, though.

Or, Oceansend can voluntarily join the empire as an exarchate, with Yarrvikson as its exarch. Clibaredes indicates that the closer Oceansend's ties to the empire, the more it is willing to invest on its behalf not only its defence, but reconstruction and rebuilding. All of Yarrvikson's subjects will be given Thyatian citizenship. As an exarchate, Oceansend will still be able to determine its own internal policies and laws, having home rule. It will have to conform to imperial foreign policy, including on trade, but it would have to do that as a protectorate. It will, however, have something that a protectorate does not: a role in shaping that policy, due to its right to send two representatives to the imperial senate. As an exarchate, Oceansend's own traders will benefit from Thyatis's growing trade network, lower tariffs (being inside the Commercia zone) and trade agreements. They will not have that if they remain independent. Indeed, Clibaredes implies that if Oceansend chooses to remain independent, Thyatis will invest the money that it otherwise would put into rebuilding Oceansend into building the Thyatian Quarter and its colony on the Isle of the Dogs as ports, diverting trade from Oceansend's own harbour to ones under Thyatian control. But if Oceansend is part of the empire, then the Barony of Canium will be developed to complement and supply Oceansend, rather than compete with it. Indeed, if Yarrvikson accepts, then the empire will make the Barony of Canium part of the Exarchate of Oceansend, with its baron reporting to Yarrvikson. As an exarchate, Clibaredes concludes, Oceansend loses little of substance, but gains much. There is no real reason why Oceansend should reject the offer to rejoin the empire that founded the city, and from which the Imperial House ruling the empire originated.

King Yarrvikson says that he has listened to the empire's proposal, but a matter of such grave import needs consideration. He will consult with prominent Oceansenders, and give his decision when it is reached. Clibaredes bows, saying he completely understands. In the meantime, Oceansend will remain a Thyatian protectorate. (See Nu. 4; Va. 5, Fl. 21.)

What This Means: In Fyrmont 12, AC 1018, Oceansend was freed from Heldannic occupation due to the intercession of Thyatis, with its final status to be determined later. Since then, Thyatian troops have garrisoned the city, and Oceansend has paid the equivalent of imperial tribute to cover the cost, and Thyatian representatives have guided King Olaf Yarrvikson's policies. All along, Eusebius has wanted to convince Oceansend to join the empire. He could have simply seized the city, occupying it with his own forces indeed, the Heldannic Knights were surprised when the Thyatians did not do so. As were many in Oceansend.

But Eusebius was convinced by the debacle of his father's campaign of conquest on the Isle of Dawn that simply seizing Oceansend would result in short-term gain, a restive population that had to be constantly garrisoned, and ultimately its loss. Oceansend is the last key to Eusebius's vision for the Thyatian Empire, and he wants it tied to the empire in the long term. Therefore, the Thyatians are attempting to convince Oceansend of the benefits of voluntary incorporation into the empire.

Olaf Yarrvikson's ideal outcome would be complete independence for Oceansend. But events of the last decade have shown that possibility lead only to outside forces seeing the kingdom as ripe for the plucking. Oceansend is too weak to stand on its own. He knows that if the Thyatians withdraw, the Heldannic Knights will probably return as soon as one faction wins the war. There are really only three viable alternatives for the city. It could be controlled by the Heldannic Knights, join the Norwold Confederacy, or league with Thyatis. The confederacy seems too unstable to offer much, while the Heldannic Knights are seen as conquerors by the population. Eusebius's two alternatives are the only realistic ones. Thyatis could have seized the city by force when it wanted, especially as their troops are already present, but it did not. Acceptance of exarchate status seems like the better deal, but independence is dear to Yarrvikson, and he trusts Eusebius's sincerity because Thyatian troops have been present for several months without forcibly incorporating it into the empire. Eusebius has kept his promise to the Pearl Islands and Ochalea after they rejoined the empire under terms identical to the ones being offered to Oceansend. There is much for him to ponder.


Location: Caves of Fang Cave Clan, Lands of the Brute-Men. HW

Description: The Fang Cave Clan feasts upon the woolly mammoth that young Ka-ro single-handedly killed. While everyone is eating roasted mammoth around the clan fire, Ka-ro receives praise from his peers for his bravery and skill, and is pressed for a tale of his exploit. It seems that the young Ka-ro has proved that he is a man! Ka-ro recounts his tracking and watching the mammoths, his mission as a scout. The Brute-Men become fearfully silent at the telling of the apparition of the awesome flying beast, and shudder at the thought that a legendary dra-co has maybe come to the Fang Cave territory. The Brute-Men are disappointed to hear that Ka-ro did not see the creature, but the hunters commend his stance. Everyone is awed again at the description of the slaying of the woolly mammoth, and gasps at the sight of the "dragon's claw." Ka-ro handles it like an artifact (especially since his clansmen have suggested that it was a dragon he saw he never gave too much thought until then as to what the creature might be), and shows it around the gathered clansmen, who apprehensively touch it. The rest of Ka-ro's tale does not receive much attention from his kinsmen, as they focus on the artifact instead (it is hard to keep a Brute-Man's attention on any subject, as they are easily distracted by immediate concerns in that case, a dragon), so the story of his bringing back the mammoth, and his ingenuity in doing so, go mostly unnoticed. (See Nu. 22, Nu. 26; Th. 6, Th. 11.)

What This Means: The Brute-Men live in a hostile environment, and a report that a mythical dragon is hunting in their territory is terrible news for the clan. In truth, the Alphatians who are the cause of the scare are unlikely to ever come back.

What the PCs Can Do: Na-do, the clan chief, may ask a group of fearless clansmen that's the PCs to look for the dragon. Though there is no dragon, that mission may take the PCs on a dangerous quest anyway, as the Brute-Men's lands are dangerous on their own.

Dream or Vision?

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

Description: Wakzun dreams of standing on a kind of balcony that is part of a huge tower or palace. He is looking down upon the surrounding area, and somehow he knows that he is standing on a flying island. As he watches it the sun vanishes below the edge of the island. Suddenly he notices an old man standing beside him. The grinning old man points to the sun and says something, but Wakzun is not able to understand it. He desperately tries to listen, but the efforts only lead to waking him up. (See Nu. 10, Nu. 16; Va. 5, Va. 19.)

What This Means: Wakzun is not sure how to deal with the dream. He has dreamed about flying before but this dream was different. The old man remains a secret for him, a secret that has to be solved somehow, sometime.

I'm Not That Kind of Knight!

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

Description: While conducting a review of his troops, Governor Wolfgang Stemmel is booed. The booing soldiers are not identified. Irate, Wolfgang has everyone dismissed and orders a thorough investigation. (See Nu. 2, Nu. 7; Va. 2, Va. 6.)

What This Means: Discontent is rising among the more zealous Heldannic officers who arrived from Vanya's Rest last year. They dislike the way the war is now conducted, using mainly hit and run tactics. Being true Heldannic Knights, they want to prove themselves worthy of Vanya's grace by accomplishing great deeds on the battlefield. They judge the Meghalan warriors inferior, and cowardly in their way of conducting war upon the Mivosians.

What the PCs Can Do: If they are close to Governor Wolfgang Stemmel and have proved themselves trustworthy, they can be the ones conducting the investigation.

Sir Grygory Goes Mad.

Location: Farmlands of the Barony of Rugalov, north of Dymrak Forest, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW

Description: Sir Grygory apparently goes mad! Having killed all opposition in the Barony of Rugalov, he tells his advisers they must now hunt down collaborators in the villages! When his shocked companions try to convince him otherwise, he goes mad and attacks them, but disappears into the forest before hurting anyone. His old friend Brother Mikhail rides after him. Mikhail's horse eventually returns, and Mikhail himself is later found slightly wounded in the forest, but there is no sign of Sir Grygory.

Nursed back to health in the camp, Mikhail explains that he met Grygory, who attacked and thereby unhorsed him. However, as the knight was about to swing his broadsword at him, Mikhail clutched his holy symbol and prayed, and as Grygory struck a flash of light or a force seemed to explode between them, knocking them both over. Mikhail is uncertain what happened, but claims to recall Grygory being momentarily concerned about the monk, and then the knight was suddenly gone.

They search the forests for Grygory, but he cannot be found. (See Nu. 12, Nu. 13; Va. 9, Va. 13.)

What This Means: This is yet more peculiar behaviour from Grygory in the Dark Knight of Karameikos novel. Grygory's companions will look for him for several days, but eventually they will have to give up and return to Mirros.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could help in the search for Grygory. They won't find him, but then they might find something else the DM would care to introduce...

Nuwmont 28, AC 1019

Thyatians Open Ties with Texeiras.

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

Description: Continuing its exploration of the Savage Baronies, the Thyatian expedition reaches the town of Boa Mansão. Within hours, Paulus Angelinus secures a meeting with Barão Bartolomeu, and diplomatic and trade ties between Thyatis and Texeiras are discussed. Of particular interest to the barão is what the expedition hopes to achieve, and what the Thyatian viewpoint is on the status of Terra Vermelha, an often-disputed land that is rich in cinnabar. Paulus informs Barão Bartolomeu that Thyatis is interested primarily in trade, and that it will purchase cinnabryl and red steel from whomever is selling it at a reasonable price. The empire has no official position on the territorial disposition of Terra Vermelha at the moment.

The barão seems to be satisfied with the answer, and, before inviting Paulus and his senior aides to a banquet later that day, extends a personal welcome to Texeiras. (See Nu. 16, Nu. 18; Va. 7, Va. 22.)

What This Means: As with many other baronies in the region, Texeiras reacted cautiously to news of growing Thyatian influence over the free towns of Tyjaret (which is now a Thyatian client-state) and Kladanovic (which is now, de facto, Thyatian territory) which brought Thyatian interests into the region and could, in the opinions of some rulers, either provide a counterbalancing effect to the Hulean presence, or pave the way for another period of imperial involvement in the region Hule being the other great power. When it became apparent that Hule had taken the initiative and escorted the expedition throughout its territory, many leaders including Barão Bartolomeu feared that Thyatis might be swayed to support Hule.

Texeiras and Vilaverde both decided to confront Thyatis directly as to its disposition, as both baronies have a great deal at stake they are both in close proximity to Hule, and both have extensive colonial holdings that could be affected by a Thyatian presence in the region. Although the barão realizes that Paulus will not reveal everything that he knows, he read enough between the lines to note that Thyatis has no apparent territorial ambitions against Texeiras or Vilaverde. Nevertheless, the prospect of another empire establishing itself in the region will lead the barão to consider his options.

The next few days will be spent negotiating trade deals with the mercantile interests of Texeiras, as well as acquiring information about the other nations of the Savage Coast region. Paulus will also appoint, pending the emperor's final approval, Alexius Comnenius (an experienced merchant) as ambassador. Afterwards, Paulus and his closest advisers (including the PCs, possibly) will head inland to Torreón, to make official contact with that nation.

What the PCs Can Do: The PCs can spend some investigating the town, and perhaps taking a short trip into the countryside to look around while negotiations are underway. As with the event for Vilaverde, a high-level PC could also be placed as ambassador, opening the possibility of many adventures with a decidedly diplomatic flair.

Wilhelm Makes a Fine Show.

Location: Estate of Bleek and Daker, Kerothar Mountains, Kingdom of Frisland, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW

Description: Bleek, Daker and Zas Ubul watch as the Annabelle-class caterpillars Benjamin and Claudia are putting tons of earth onto the back of their cousin Wilhelm, the prototype of a new earth-mover golem. The efficiency Wilhelm demonstrates in transporting the earth convinces Zas Ubul to acquire him. Additionally he signs options for one more caterpillar and two more earth-movers.

Bleek and Daker then set up Benjamin for his haul to the construction site near Tirenlos. He will arrive in early Vatermont. (See Nu. 22, Nu. 25; Va. 15, Va. 27.)

What This Means: The engineer is convinced that he will need the earth-moving capacities of the new golem, and he foresees an even greater need in the future. Benjamin and Claudia are two of the four caterpillars the three have agreed to use, and they are ready for transport. A fourth one, Doris, is not quite ready yet.

Topic of the Month

Mujibur al-Jaboor

Mujibur al-Jaboor is a 36th level faris, a follower of the Dream of the Desert Garden, and a worshipper of 'Udnan (Odin). Mujibur was born the second son of a sheik, in AC 913. Not being able to inherit any title, he struck out on his own and became an accomplished desert warrior. He was a captain in the Order of the Lance, and eventually came to lead the order in AC 980. When Mujibur set out in his quest for Immortality, he met a dwarf, Torcreft, of equal compassion and honour and has kept him at his side for 18 years now. An imposing figure, with many battle wounds and scars, Mujibur was severely burned by a fire-wielding mage, rumoured to have laired under Ylaruam itself. He is missing half of his right leg, and so rides his mount everywhere across the sands. Colourful to say the least, he is missing his left eye from a battle with a troll in Vestland. On one of his journeys, he recited a story of al-Kalim so marvellously that a Sindhi prince gave him a star ruby that bestows on him a true seeing effect, and Mujibur uses it as a glass eye. He also received as a gift for his storytelling a marvellously crafted robe of many embroidered roses, rumoured to be from Hule. Mujibur lost another beloved friend to a vampire near the border of Glantri and Ethengar, and so despises any undead with a passion. Mujibur has converted many non-Ylari in his travels. The strongest followings are in Sind and the Pearl Islands, with little pockets in the Savage Coast and in Yavdlom. Mujibur has been following the path of the Epic Hero. He currently is looking for an Entropic artifact known to him to be in the possession of Barimoor. His scion was recently killed by the balor in Barimoor's underground realm; he is now looking for a new hero to continue this part of his trials, and bring vengeance on all the balors let loose to his precious desert. Mujibur has prolonged his life by several bottles of a potion of longevity, and has circumvented the effects of the Day of Dread by using his artifact to skip a day ahead in time, at the expense of aging him a decade or two when using this power.