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News of the Hollow Worldby Frederick Weining
"What do you think happened in the Hollow World this past year? For instance, what will Eriadna do with Alphatia, what happened to the real Pharaoh of Nithia, and is the Karameikan expedition team still alive? Input is appreciated."
Since Joshuan Gallidox declared the Hollow World to be a hoax, there have been no reliable reports on the events that occurred there in the past year (1013 AC). However, this doesn't mean that there is no information at all. The members of the New Alphatian Council must still be in contact with Eriadna, but this will not be public knowledge. Only second and third hand accounts will be available and, of course, those will vary. It is possible that whatever contacts Rikard Prospero (the "Poor Wizard" of Almanac fame) had in the Hollow World are still intact, and that he still produces his little-known Secret Studies from information thus gathered.
Alphatia - The empress Eriadna seems to have accepted the new status of Alphatia. Rather than pursuing military conquest, she will use Alphatia's might to defend the Hollow World. She will also try to formalize relations with the other leading nations in the Hollow World, while remaining informed of events on the Outer World.
On a personal level, her intentions are less certain. She has, with great difficulty, managed to retrieve her son Zandor from New Alphatia. His personal and political disloyalties are plainly evident, but it is unlikely that she will have him executed. This may prove to be a great error on her part. While Zandor may be kept imprisoned, he is not without power or influence. The Empress may attempt to keep him treated with *mnemonics mineral*, but supplies will be hard to acquire. More importantly, there may be even more dangerous side-effects that only appear after chronic exposure.
Alphatia, and Zandor himself, would be also of great interest to certain parties; the Immortals of Entropy have been more active in the Hollow World in recent years, but one Immortal has been absent until now -- Alphaks. He has a special hatred of Alphatians, and will turn his attentions to them in the Hollow World. The once "Emperor" Zandor would be a perfect tool to use in his efforts if somehow he could manage to restore Zandor to Eriadna's favour.
Nithia - Ramose IV is in a dangerous position, to say the least. He must try save himself and his empire from the forces of corruption. In order to do both, he can't flee. He must remain and confront his Queen, either to be reconciled with her, or oppose her. To do either he must be in a position of strength. He is not presently in such a position, but he has gained in character since his "demise" and may be capable of forming alliances he would never have before considered. Such allies need not be solely Nithians. His own Immortal patron will certainly desire to aid him against the forces of Entropy that guide Queen Senkha. Unfortunately, even if he survives to find allies he may still be faced with civil war.
Karameikan expedition - The team of explorers from Karameikos has proved itself quite resilient, and now has found some allies (however dubious) of its own in the Hollow World. The Karameikans and the Heldann both struggle to escape from the Hollow World. Both groups are resourceful and determined, and together they may well succeed. The greatest danger to the Karameikans will probably come only if they return to the Outer World. At such point their Heldannic allies may find them embarrassing, and expendable. But what's a little treachery between friends?