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Sviftmont 1, AC 1018: Lone Beastly Dove.
Location: Great Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: The metamorphosis is now complete. Professor Dove awakens in the middle of the forest alone. All of his companions are either gone or are strewn around him, killed and maimed. He considers himself particularly lucky to have escaped with his life, but then realises something odd about himself. Peering in a nearby pond, he understands what has happened to him and to the elves. He roars desperately and begins wandering aimlessly through the woods looking for food and trying to think clearly. (See Kl. 21, Fe. 1; Ei. 9, Ei. 27.)
What This Means: The victims of the high priestess's curse have all been turned into hideous beastmen. Some have killed their former brethren in their madness. Idris's secret now appears safe.
Sviftmont 1, AC 1018: A Tangled Web of Diplomacy.
Location: City of Ierendi, Island of Ierendi, Kingdom of Ierendi. OW
Description: Millington Vonaday is unceremoniously summoned to the court of King Reston in Ierendi Castle. He arrives to meet a rather enraged king who berates him for sending people to Honor Island when his request to go there has already been denied. Reston points out that, as a fellow Darokinian, this does not put him in a very comfortable position, and finally tells him that the Honor Islander envoy is furious! Millington apologises and says that he certainly didn't intend to cause King Reston, or indeed anyone, any trouble whatsoever. However, he firmly denies that he sent people to the island-they never set foot on the island at all! King Reston rejects that argument as a technicality, but Millington asks if he can talk to the Honor Islander envoy himself. Reston is a little surprised, but makes arrangements for Millington to meet with Firdon, the Honor Islander envoy, the next day. (See Am. 18, Am. 28; Sv. 2, Sv. 3.)
What This Means: Millington's curiosity has put him in a lot of trouble. He certainly didn't consider that his actions might hurt Reston in some way, but he is willing to try and sort matters out himself. After all, he fully expected the Honor Islanders to respond somehow, since he sent people to the island to provoke just such a reaction. Still, his determination surprised Reston a little, as he fully expected Millington to try to hide behind the king. In fact, the furious Firdon has already asked to meet with this pestering diplomat who continues to defy Honor Island's desire for isolation.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs were hired by Millington and then caught on Honor Island, Firdon might bring them with him to support his claims against Millington. If wizards were sent to catch Millington and the PCs stopped them, then that would be another matter Firdon would take before King Reston.
Sviftmont 1, AC 1018: Pa-Thon Snaps Again.
Location: Town of Louknor, Delta Kingdom, Nithian Empire. HW
Description: When a hover-barge arrives with a smaller load of ore than usual, Pa-Thon lashes out at the crew, demanding that they all be brought before him. The nomarch declares them guilty of stealing from the royal mines and has them all sent back there to work as slaves. The slaves already on the barge are beaten severely, many by Pa-Thon himself. The nomarch then storms back to his chambers, twitching with rage. (See Ya. 18, Fy. 5; Ei. 10, Ka. 11.)
What This Means: Pa-Thon's atypical judgments and over-reactions to minor shortcomings have been continuing since the sentencing of Meketre, some fifty sleeps before. A close aid to the nomarch, Atenalam, is actually a potent priest of Ranivorus. Atenalam has been whispering hateful suggestions to Pa-Thon, which he has accepted as truth, making him increasingly paranoid and violent. Atenalam hopes to drive Pa-Thon to complete insanity, throwing Louknor into chaos. This is another aspect of the Tower of Soth's revival of the Cult of Ranivorus, which is also at work in other Nithian cities.
What the PCs Can Do: Astute PCs should discern that Pa-Thon has not been himself lately, and that something or someone is causing his radical behavioural shift. Atenalam will not direct attention to himself, and will try to dissuade over-investigative PCs by using the whisper ability to shift the blame to someone else, send them elsewhere, or to divide the party against itself. This is a good opportunity to send the PCs off to fight some threat in another region of Nithia, or even another Hollow World nation.
Sviftmont 1, AC 1018: Winter Solstice.
Location: Across the Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: When the members of the Brotherhood of the Radiance make contact with each other on this night, they are immediately greeted by a strange voice coming from the Radiance itself! The voice of the Radiance can only be heard in their minds, feeding directly into their consciousness, and seems to be giving some form of instructions. Some of the brothers, fearful of this inexplicable turn of events, end the meeting abruptly. Others, like Prince Harald Haaskinz, the strongest ranking member at present and Grand Master of the Great School of Magic, stay on to investigate this radiant voice.
Eventually, the Radiance becomes silent again, and Prince Harald is left the rest of the night to ponder on what has happened. (See Fl. 1, Ya. 10; Ka. 2.)
What This Means: The Radiance has indeed showed signs of sentience and is now communicating directly, though mysteriously, to the Brotherhood of the Radiance. Prince Harald Haaskinz considers that this voice might be the Immortal Rad Himself, but he believes that it might actually be his old master and the discoverer of the Radiance, the legendary Etienne d'Ambreville! Of course, Harald does not know that Rad and Etienne are one and the same!
The prince-magicien has several times before disappeared for what seemed to be for good, only to return to whatever mysterious beyond he comes from. This time, however, Prince Harald suspects that Prince Etienne is in grave trouble and might need assistance, and is thus trying to contact the Brotherhood of the Radiance. He will feverishly investigate the Radiance and the true nature of the radiant voice over the next few weeks.
Sviftmont 2, AC 1018: Diplomacy at Work!
Location: City of Ierendi, Ierendi Island, Kingdom of Ierendi. OW
Description: Firdon, the envoy from Honor Island, meets with Millington Vonaday. He intends to verbally slap this impertinent upstart around for continually bothering Honor Island, and enters the room to meet Millington with a smile of glee on his face in anticipation of what is to come. He has heard of these people from Darokin and has gained a rather low of opinion of them based on what he has heard, so he expects to have the upstart Darokinian on his knees or even grovelling, perhaps crying, begging for mercy in ten minutes or so, and he can't wait to watch it. What he faces is not what he expected, however. Millington argues well and undermines most of Firdon's arguments. While there is no denying that Millington's actions were disrespectful of Honor Island's desire for isolation, he maintains the position that their refusal to even discuss the situation left him little choice and even forced his actions, and contrary to Firdon's claims, the people he hired certainly did not violate Honor Island, as they never set foot on the island. If the Honor Islanders had at least taken the time to consider Millington's arguments, they might have been able to find a solution to their mutual satisfaction. Since they merely refused all argument, he had little choice but to find a way to get them to talk to him. In doing so he was forced to ignore their wishes, for which he apologises. He is merely curious about the place and meant no harm, and that was the purpose of his actions. No matter how much Firdon tries to undermine his position, Millington maintains that position and does it well. Worse, he continues to do it for hours on end! After nine hours of this, Firdon postpones their discussion until the next day, and leaves the room a bit uncertain of what actually happened. (See Am. 28, Sv. 1; Sv. 3, Sv. 13.)
What This Means: Firdon is no fool, but he failed to take into account that Millington is a skilled diplomat. As a skilled wizard, Firdon is a good debater and quite knowledgeable, but Millington is a full-scale diplomat, and he is quite capable of talking his way out of most situations, since that was what he was trained to do, and he is a master at debating. As such, he is both capable and willing to talk all opposition to death, and that's precisely what he did. His skills were indeed tested here, but Firdon didn't notice that and Millington caught him off guard by pointing out that the people he hired never set foot on Honor Island. As a wizard, Firdon is not used to that sort of tactical manoeuvring, but to Millington it is a common ploy. As Firdon spends hours pondering what happened, Millington prepares himself for the next day by going to bed early.
What the PCs Can Do: It could be fun to have the PCs be assigned to aid Firdon in this debate, perhaps ordered to by King Reston who wants this matter settled peacefully and fears an outburst since he knows the Honor Islander wizards can be rather angry and, unlike Firdon, he knows the debating skills of the Darokinian diplomats quite well! In that case, Firdon will be furious after about fifteen minutes and the PCs must try to keep his temper from exploding (literally!) while arguing against Millington's points. That would be an adventure in itself, and for once one where the goal is to avoid any fight at all!
Sviftmont 2, AC 1018: Dwarves Ambushed.
Location: Near Town of Landersfjord, Kingdom of Vestland. OW
Description: While travelling the last stretch of land on their way to Soderfjord, the Rockhome army and its Vestland escorts are ambushed by giants, golems, and strange monsters. In a mighty battle, the Rockhome dwarves prove victorious, but with a fair amount of losses. The Vestlanders are scattered. The dwarves decide to continue, expecting additional aid from King Ragnar. (See Am. 10, Am. 15; Sv. 5, Sv. 13.)
What This Means: The Modrigswerg dwarves saw a good chance of defeating the small Rockhome force, and, with help from their monstrous allies, almost succeeded. These dwarves are veterans of the recent wars in Rockhome, however, and managed to stand their ground and chase the monsters away. The Vestlandic forces sent to keep an eye on the dwarves are less experienced and quickly flee from the battle.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are part of either the Rockhome or the force of Vestlanders, they'll be involved in the battle, and, by heroic deeds, might cut down the losses.
Sviftmont 2, AC 1018: Favian Finds the Crimson Avengers.
Location: Countryside, Esterhold Peninsula. SK
Description: Having tracked the Crimson Avengers for some time, Favian and a few loyal adventurers finally catch up with them. Favian is furious! He tells them that they are a disgrace to his cause and that the slaughter of innocent, helpless Jennites was not what he recruited them for. The Crimson Avengers don't take kindly to this sort of abuse and respond by ridiculing Favian for his pathetic ideals and naïve beliefs that the Jennites could ever be more than savages fit for slavery. When Favian tells the Crimson Avengers that as President of the Republic of Esterhold, he is putting them under arrest for having committed horrible war crimes, they have finally had enough and attack him. After a huge battle of swordplay and magic, Favian's side is victorious and claims the feared banner of the Crimson Avengers, that of a falling eagle with a lightning bolt through its body. (See Am. 10, Am. 14; Sv. 12, Sv. 13.)
What This Means: The menace of the Crimson Avengers is over. But although they will no longer trouble Esterhold, their memory is likely to haunt Favian for some time since he was the one who unleashed them, and people are less likely to remember that Favian was also the one to stop them again. If Favian were a more traditional Alphatian, he might actually have used them to his advantage. Since he is not, however, their reputation is likely to cause him grief for a long time, which will hurt him politically. Even so, Favian is content, for now, that he has put out a fire that he started. However, he sees this as only the first step on his road to redemption. Next he will have to find some way to settle the war with the Jennites.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs on the Alphatian side should definitely be with Favian for the climactic encounter with the Crimson Avengers. It should be a challenging battle, but then it is a significant event in the war. The ultimate fate of the Crimson Avengers is in the DM's hands. They are not actually likely to fight to the last man, but then if some of them are captured, they will most likely face the death penalty for their crimes.
Sviftmont 2, AC 1018: The Great Council in Uproar.
Location: City of Andaire, Kingdom of Alphas'ar, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: A sizeable amount of the Grand Council become enraged when news of Stonewall's invasion in Haven reaches the imperial capital. Some-particularly members from Haven and Arkan, obviously-demand immediate imperial intervention against Stonewall's aggressive behaviour, which they claim to be a direct threat against the entire empire. As the aristocrats become more and more agitated, someone suggests that by conquering Arkan, King Koblan Dracodon of Stonewall is trying to rule two kingdoms, and is now making a move on a third. The claim quickly gains support among the vast majority of the Grand Council, and the majority hold that Stonewall's actions are unconstitutional and illegal by imperial law. As the tension begins to mount, many call for Empress Eriadna to stop Stonewall's aggression. (See Am. 9, Am. 22; Sv. 6, Ei. 14.)
What This Means: By Alphatian law, no king or queen but the emperor or empress may rule more than one kingdom. Traditionally, this has been so because a king of several kingdoms would be seen as a threat to the emperor or empress, though he or she may rule as many kingdoms as they like. Vertiloch used to be the traditional imperial kingdom where the emperor or empress is always the king or queen, a position that Alphas'ar now fills, though Eriadna remains queen of both kingdoms. Eriadna could also have been the queen of the traditional kingdom of her family, Theranderol, but chose to allow her daughter, Eldrethila, to be queen there when she became empress.
Because of this rule, no king may rule two nations, and the Grand Council is trying to put pressure on Eriadna against Stonewall with it. In truth, there is no rule in Alphatia that prevents kingdoms from conquering each other-the conquered kingdom just has to be declared a part of the victorious kingdom. This is well established in Alphatian history and law, but there are a few factors that are significant in this case. First of all, Arkan is far away from Stonewall, and the members of the Grand Council will claim there cannot be a "disjoined" Kingdom of Stonewall, i.e., King Koblan cannot simply declare that the conquered land in Arkan is part of his nation because it's too far away. Foresthome can keep the areas around Arreghi and Ambur may claim the areas around Ailpon if they take them because their nations border on those lands, but Stonewall's borders are far from Arkan. There is no specific law against what Stonewall has done, but that a kingdom is conquering territory that it does not border is unprecedented in Alphatia. And, of course, the aristocrats don't like Stonewall. They never did because Stonewall does not treat aristocrats with the traditional respect and privileges (i.e., Stonewall makes no distinction between aristocrats and commoners, and so does not discriminate), and besides, the aristocrats are beginning to fear Stonewall, since they must obviously be strong if they can conquer land with such opposition while fighting a famine at the same time, and the aristocrats don't like the idea of perhaps having to defend their own borders against Stonewall. Naturally, the aristocrats will never admit to this, least of all to themselves.
Thus, pressure will grow against Stonewall. Empress Eriadna probably cannot afford to ignore the situation for much longer. The fact that she has not interfered probably means she does not think Stonewall has broken any laws, but then again, the Grand Council has the authority to depose her if they get angry enough.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs will be involved only if they like politics, or they could be "summoned" as witnesses to "Stonewall's aggression" if they were involved in the war in Arkan (which means a powerful mage would appear and capture them with his magic, then bring them before the Grand Council).
Sviftmont 2, AC 1018: A Marooned Man Is Found.
Location: Sharkfin Sea, between Towns of Puerto Morillos and Kota-Jayang, Merry Pirate Seas. HW
Description: While passing through the Sharkfin Sea, the crew of the Butchery spots a marooned man trapped on a sand bar. The tide is rising, and soon the poor soul will be swept out into the shark-infested waters. Captain Kray orders the man to be rescued, and he is brought aboard the brigantine. Kray instructs the quartermaster to whip the man with a cat o' nine tails until he collapses; then they force the unfortunate pirate to sign the articles of the Butchery.
Once he has recovered, the pirate, one Reginald Sneed, offers to tell his story to Redbeard Kray. Kray agrees, but warns him that if he was marooned because of some treachery, they will whip him again, and throw him to the sharks. Sneed explains that he was a captain who fell out of favour with his crew in pursuit of Captain Blake's map. He has information that his agents overheard in Baraga City-that the location of the lost map is known to a cloister of clerics who live high in the mountains of eastern Baraga Island. Sneed does not know the precise location, but he does have a general idea of where to go. His crew tired of the chase after the fabled map, and coveted some good hard coin, thus they marooned him just last sleep.
Kray is intrigued by the story, and charts a course for the far side of Baraga Island. He flatly tells Sneed that, if this is some trick, the punishment will be grave indeed. (See Fl. 4, Fe. 7; Sv. 16, Sv. 22.)
What This Means: It is common for pirates to pick up marooned persons and for captains to issue some form of punishment before having them sign their ship's articles. Marooning is a cruel punishment, reserved for the worst offenders (or out of favour captains), so they are assumed to be guilty and punished immediately, so they are loath to think of betraying their new mates. Usually, no questions are asked and no stories are volunteered, the marooned person must accept his new fate. In this case, Sneed has been picked up by one of the cruellest captains in the whole Merry Pirate Seas-Redbeard Kray. Kray rules his ship with an iron fist, and his control is well established in the ship's articles. By signing the Butchery's articles, the former captain is now a common pirate, but it beats being eaten by sharks or dying of thirst. Sneed is telling the truth-his sources overheard some of the Lucky Lass's crew when they made port in Baraga. Kray has no other leads, and figures he might as well take a shot at the fabled map.
Sviftmont 3, AC 1018: Diplomatic Debate: Round Two!
Location: City of Ierendi, Island of Ierendi, Kingdom of Ierendi. OW
Description: Millington Vonaday and Firdon from Honor Island meet again to continue their debate. Firdon is a bit unsure of the situation today, but tries not to let Millington see it. They discuss the matter further for five hours, after which Firdon leaves the room and informs King Reston that the matter is settled. Then he departs for Honor Island. King Reston is a bit surprised, but doesn't ask further, as he is merely relieved that the matter is over. (See Sv. 1, Sv. 2; Sv. 13, Ei. 1.)
What This Means: Firdon's attempts to keep Millington in the dark failed miserably, and Millington took full advantage of the situation. Not only did he persuade Firdon to let the matter go, but he also convinced him to bring Millington's interest for the "Oracle of Honor Island" to his superiors with a suggestion that letting Millington approach it would both make Millington indebted to them as well as getting him out of their hair. How they respond remains to be seen.
What the PCs Can Do: There is no battle or adventure here, so the PCs won't have anything to do... unless they enjoy lengthy debates, that is.
Sviftmont 3, AC 1018: Devilfish Sightings in Underocean
Location: East of City of New Smaar, Kingdom of Underocean, Sunken Alphatia, Nayce. AS.
Description: Kelp farmers in the region have reported occasional sightings of devilfish on the outskirts of their fields. The local guard captain, a triton by the name of Casion, dismisses the reports. After all, there hasn't been a confirmed devilfish sighting in Underocean in almost three years. And if there were devilfish in the region, surely there would be some attacks! The kelp farmers, not convinced, begin to search for a band of adventurers willing to investigate. (See Fe. 8, Fe. 17.)
What This Means: Who knows? The devilfish could be survivors of the invasion force, symptoms of overactive imaginations, or anything in between. Perhaps an unusual migration of ordinary manta rays or a prank by a mischievous Alphatian mage bearing a grudge on the triton? It's up to the DM.
What the PCs Can Do: Obviously, any PCs adventuring in the region could be approached by the kelp farmers.
Sviftmont 4, AC 1018: It Couldn't Happen Here...
Location: City of Freiburg, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW
Description: The siege of Freiburg has continued largely unabated for over two months. On several occasions, Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger's forces staged concerted assaults on the city, as well as Althaven, but to no avail; Freiburg's defences were constructed far too well, and the defenders of Althaven know the importance of their duty as the gatekeepers of the river route to the city. Thus, today he has decided to focus almost all of his might on breaking through Freiburg's defences, since the city is by far the greatest prize. Leaving a token force to watch Althaven, he orders the bulk of his armies to converge on the capital.
All day an intense barrage of catapult and ballista fire rains down on Freiburg's walls, while several of the more powerful Heldannic Knights cast earthquake and transmute rock to mud spells at perceived weak points in the defences. For their part, the defenders seek to sow chaos amongst the attackers through insect swarms, hold, barrier, and cause fear spells, which work to some effect, as well as flaming projectiles fired from catapults mounted on the walls. Despite the destructive magics being cast by each side, Freiburg's defences hold out for much of the day, and Straßenburger's soldiers continue to press their attack relentlessly. Finally, however, the arrival of fresher troops from the siege of Althaven tips the balance in the favour of the attackers, and the defences give way in two portions of the wall.
Straßenburger's forces begin to stream into the city, tearing into anyone who stands in their way. At first, the defenders are beaten back by the sheer ferocity of the rampage, but then they regain their bearings, and, through discipline and bless spells, they soon are able to hold the line. Morale improves for the Freiburgers wherever Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf shows himself, and on a number of occasions he personally leads counterattacks against their enemies. Soon, however, there are too many of Straßenburger's soldiers in the city, and the defenders must cover many fronts-both outside of and within the city. Herr Wulf then issues orders to his remaining trusted ordensgeneralen in Freiburg: Their forces should regroup and hold the lands around the Star Chamber, the main cathedral of Vanya, and other major public buildings as long as possible. Should that effort fail, they should seek to break out of the city, and regroup in or around Althaven, and from there proceed to Kammin.
Throughout today's battle, and in those to come, both leaders will rue the loss of the Heldannic Order's beloved warbirds; had the Star of Vanya not been damaged last year, they would still be operational, and this nightmarish siege might never have taken place, for good or ill. (See Fe. 22, Fy. 12; Sv. 6, Ei. 10.)
What This Means: Straßenburger expected the siege of Freiburg to take a long time, but not this long. The defenders were well entrenched behind the city's walls, and well supplied (supplemented by create food and water spells when necessary). Plus, they were defending nothing less than the very centre of Heldannic power in the Old World; surrendering was never an option. Even the siege of Althaven was not without its costs-Straßenburger lost a number of his ships to the town's defensive artillery, and none of his vessels could safely bypass it, effectively creating a bottleneck for his small navy and preventing him from placing too much pressure on Freiburg.
By concentrating his forces, Straßenburger could try to conquer Freiburg in one fell swoop, while at the same time remaining secure in the belief that the still formidable garrison of Althaven would not give chase, fearing to leave the strategic town unguarded. This plan worked out in his favour, as the additional force of numbers brought too much pressure on Freiburg's defenders. Now that his forces have entered the city, there will be numerous, costly street battles to determine who will have ultimate victory. Herr Wulf's strategy seems to be geared towards making every advance by Straßenburger's army a costly one, as the major public buildings he designated as holdout points-most of which have significance to the Heldannic Order-are all veritable fortresses in their own right. Clearly, Herr Wulf has listened to Anna's report of her experiences and tactics during the final battles in Helskir last year, and is using them to his advantage.
What the PCs Can Do: Regardless of which side they are on, the PCs will be in for some tough fighting. If any of the PCs served under Anna during the Helskir campaign of AC 1017, this battle may bring back some unpleasant memories, only worsened by the fact that the combatants they face are their countrymen.
Sviftmont 4, AC 1018: We'll Be Working Lake Tonight.
Location: Lake Deipan, Kingdom of Arogansa, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Realizing that Lake Deipan is unlikely to become any cleaner all by itself, various aristocrats who would like to have estates by the lake (they are missing their estates by the now-vanished sea-these estates generally still exist and are staffed, but they are not frequently visited by their owners anymore) send slaves out to clean the lake: pick up rotting dead animals and plants, chop down half submerged trees, etc. (See Fy. 17, Am. 12.)
What This Means: This is backbreaking labour for slaves (who have to walk on the none too deep lake), and it is uncertain that such efforts will have any real impact on the lake, even in localised areas. There is so much debris and decomposing matter, and the lake is so shallow and the water slow-going because of the large area that was allowed to be inundated in an uncontrolled manner, that it is doubtful whether any effort can prevent the lake from turning into a swamp. In any case, barring further magical interference, it will take years for things to settle.
Sviftmont 5, AC 1018: Fort Evekarr Falls.
Location: Fort Evekarr, Kingdom of Rockhome. OW
Description: A force of giants, trolls, golems and monsters led by Modrigswerg dwarves of King Hurkres of Makkres take Fort Evekarr, by attacking from above and below. The Modrigswerg suddenly control all access between Rockhome and Vestland. (See Am. 15, Sv. 2; Sv. 13, Sv. 19.)
What This Means: Since they managed to prevent all travel beneath the eastern mountains of Rockhome, the Modrigswerg dwarves know that the only access the Rockhome dwarves have to the Modrigswerg kingdoms goes through Fort Evekarr. The fort is practically unconquerable by foot, but the Modrigswerg have other means. By tunnelling through the rock and levitating from the mountains above the fort, the Modrigswerg manage to take Fort Evekarr by surprise. Their monstrous allies help rout the dwarves quickly, and only a few survivors manage to flee for Rockhome.
Sviftmont 6, AC 1018: A Champion Rises, Another Falls.
Location: City of Freiburg, Territory of Heldann, Heldannic Empire. OW
Description: Amidst the din of battle, Ordensgeneral Heinrich Straßenburger leads a group of his best men into the Star Chamber itself, fighting their way through the desperate, but fiercely loyal, soldiers of Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf. Ultimately, he and the remainder of his soldiers find the oberherr, who is surrounded by his own personal retinue, including Ordensgeneral Anna von Hendriks. There, hidden from the ongoing street battles outside, a more personal conflict erupts. Herr Wulf engages Straßenburger directly, angrily denouncing him as a traitor, while their followers do battle around them. The duel is hard fought, as both combatants are almost equal in skill and power, and they ignore the fighting around them. Neither man invokes the power of Vanya; this is a contest of personal strength and prowess.
Soon, it becomes clear that Herr Wulf is the more experienced swordsman of the two, and he presses his advantage aggressively, only to feel cold steel pierce his side. Drawing back in shock, he sees one of Straßenburger's men grinning with pride not far to his right, standing over the body of one of Herr Wulf's men, and bearing a bloodied sword and dagger. That split second of shock is all the time Straßenburger needs, and he lunges forward with his own sword, driving it through the oberherr's body, missing the heart by inches. Withdrawing his blade with a smirk, Straßenburger tells his foe, "Never forget the value of a good sword arm in your service... but I see that is something you have forgotten."
His gloating is short-lived, however, as Anna von Hendriks, having dispatched a number of enemies, witnesses the fateful blow, and leaps over the bodies of the fallen to slash the would-be usurper across the left side of his face. Straßenburger fails to deflect this blow, and cries in agony, but manages to parry her successive blows while calling to his remaining followers for aid. There, they manage to regroup, protecting their leader while forcing Anna and her remaining companions on the defensive. Seeing that she and her companions are now outnumbered by their foes, Anna orders a retreat from the Star Chamber; no pursuit ensues, and Straßenburger orders the oberherr's body to be burned. (See Fy. 12, Sv. 4; Ei. 10, Ka. 5.)
What This Means: While the fate of Freiburg will be decided in the streets, the battle that took place in the Star Chamber could well determine the future direction the Heldannic Order might take. Although Herr Wulf and Straßenburger did not rely on their clerical abilities to do battle (relying on their own prowess to determine who had Vanya's favour), one of Straßenburger's companions stepped in under Wulf's guard with his dagger as the oberherr pressed his attack, stabbing him in the side. The split second of shock was all the traitorous ordensgeneral needed to finish off his foe, although he will end up being blinded in one eye due to Anna's counterattack. With the oberherr dead, nothing will stand in Straßenburger's path to political power.
Now, with Wulf dead, Anna will regroup the remaining ordensgeneralen loyal to the order, and, seeing that Freiburg cannot be held, she will lead a retreat to Althaven during the evening, punching through any remaining enemy forces along the way. The ongoing watch over Althaven by Straßenburger's forces will be broken, but it is only a matter of time before the victorious usurper brings his force to heel, and seeks to eliminate the remaining opposition in the area.
What the PCs Can Do: If they are trusted advisers or companions on either side, the PCs could take part in the battle of the Star Chamber. The fighting will be fierce, and deadly, as everyone present will likely be champions of either faction.
Sviftmont 6, AC 1018: Problems in the Yezchamenid Empire.
Location: City of Darsagades, Yezchamenid Empire. WB
Description: Despite there being no conclusive evidence to support the charges of regicide being brought against the former captain of the guard and vizier of the now deceased shah-an-shah, they are both executed today. (See Am. 20.)
What This Means: Because the Yezchamenid Empire is made up of some many different nationalities and groups, each group aims to get its favoured members into the hierarchy of the government. The captain of the guard and the vizier were members of two such influential groups who now feel that they have been deprived of their voice in the government. These groups allege that other ethnic groups within the government have conspired against them, and a fractious situation begins to develop in the Yezchamenid Empire as rival groups seek to press their claims to the now vacated crown. While the executions create a considerable amount of unrest with a number of violent incidents breaking out, the empire will not yet descend into civil war. However, tensions are increasing amongst the diverse ethnic, racial and religious groups, and an almighty conflict may be looming on the horizon.
Sviftmont 6, AC 1018: My Kingdom for the Elves!
Location: Eirundrynn Castle, Kingdom of Eirundrynn, Bellissaria, Nayce. AS
Description: Still new to the administrative duties put before him, Governor Jhedryll has spent more than a year patrolling the border between Dawnrim and Eirundrynn, which used to be the western parts of Surshield. The fort built north of the town of Dubbo is called Eirundrynn Castle, though it isn't really a castle as much as it is a military fortification. Jhedryll has come to understand that it is apparently his task to make this kingdom flourish, but the people here are so different from the military structure he is used to. In fact, they possess a lot of the carefree elven traits, which has suggested to him that elves might mingle easily with the people of Eirundrynn. For that reason he makes a proclamation that elves are welcome to settle in the forests of central Eirundrynn.
What This Means: Regardless of what Jhedryll might hope, Eirundrynn will not become the Shiye-Lawr of Nayce. There are a couple of important reasons for that, and one of the primary ones is that he is far from the sort of frivolous type must people associate with elves. Another is that Eirundrynn just does not have enough forests for that. Still, calling for elves to settle in Eirundrynn might not be such a bad idea.
What the PCs Can Do: Elven PCs interested in becoming lords might what want to seek out Jhedryll on the matter... if they are spellcasters, that is! This is still an Alphatian nation, and Jhedryll hasn't abandoned the distinction between commoners and aristocrats in Eirundrynn.
Sviftmont 6, AC 1018: A Major Piece of the Puzzle Is Found... and Lost.
Location: Camp of the Jennite chieftains, Esterhold Peninsula. SK
Description: Though imprisoned, Talin has not given up. Unknowingly helped by his enemies who planned his "escape," he manages to flee. However, unlike what the True Way followers assumed, he doesn't try to leave the Jennite settlement but instead hides among the Jennites for the time being.
While he does, he happens to spy on the wizard Detir as he uses his magic to communicate with Karszamon, and realises that the "Jennite wizard" is really Nicodemus using both sides of the war as his pawns. He is shocked, but unfortunately Nicodemus discovers him too, as do some guards of the Jennites. With little time to deal with Talin, Nicodemus hurries to cast a geas spell on him and tell him that if anyone ever asks him about his imprisonment, he is to forget all about his escape. Talin is then captured and severely beaten before he is put in irons. (See Am. 22, Am. 27; Sv. 12, Sv. 13.)
What This Means: Maltaen expected Talin to walk right into his trap, but Talin was aware that his escape could be a trap and besides, he still needed to expose Maltaen, and if he just ran away he would only discredit himself. So he decided to hide around within the settlement of the free Jennites. As luck would have it, he spied on "Detir" just as Nicodemus dropped his mask to talk to Karszamon. Nicodemus doesn't let Karszamon see his secret "Detir" identity because Karszamon could use it against him if their plan turned out badly for them-they may be allies, but that doesn't mean Nicodemus trusts Karszamon.
Talin grew up in Verdan where Nicodemus ruled with oppression for many years and he was a major rebel leader when he was overthrown, so he knows Nicodemus quite well from earlier encounters, even if Nicodemus may not have recognised him. Realising who this wizard really is, Talin is horrified! For a brief moment it dawns on him that by opposing Favian so strongly, the Jennites could be pushing Nayce to the point where they prefer the return of Nicodemus, for what else would he be doing here but further his own interests? Unfortunately for him, he is so surprised that he knocks over a nearby tool which reveals his presence. However, since Nicodemus doesn't really have the time to deal with the spy, his options are limited. He could disintegrate Talin, but then he would reveal that he lied about his limited magic, so he has no other choice but to silence him for now. Besides, with his brief escape, Talin is now more likely to be executed for treason, so Nicodemus really just has to shut him up for a little while.
What the PCs Can Do: This is mostly an event behind the scenes. The PCs would only be able to interfere if they are the Jennite guards looking to recapture Talin.
Sviftmont 6, AC 1018: What Desperate Times Demand.
Location: City of Draco, Kingdom of Stonewall, and Town of Ceafem, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Feeling the pressure of the Grand Council and fearing intervention by Empress Eriadna, and also because the famine is still killing many in Stonewall, King Koblan Dracodon of Stonewall contacts General Selcomad, in command of the Stonewall forces in Arkan, to let him know that the Arkan war needs to be settled now, once and for all..
Selcomad wonders what he can do and talks to his advisers, such as Amagast, a cleric of Razud from Stonewall, and several allies from Randel. They decide that the situation can be solved if they can persuade the Grand Council that things are not going to change in Arkan, and for that they need a ruler in Arkan they can control, and appease the Grand Council at the same time; in short, a figurehead they can use as a puppet. Since Arkan has essentially fallen now, they decide the best choice might actually be King Qinn of Arkan. It should be clear to him that he won't get his kingdom back now, particularly since Stonewall knows Ambur will take the regions around Ailpon shortly, so he might prefer the position of their figurehead to simply being deposed.
However, they will need to find Qinn, and since he is unlikely to come willingly, they will probably have to capture him. The problem with that premise is that Stonewall will need to send troops to Ailpon to capture Qinn, and they have already promised Ambur not to do so. Toward that end, they decide to contact Ambur to discuss the matter. (See Am. 14, Sv. 2; Sv. 17, Sv. 23.)
What This Means: By setting up a puppet king as a figurehead, Stonewall hopes to control the situation before the Grand Council forces Eriadna to intervene. The plan might just work, too, because Ambur is planning to get rid of Qinn itself, though Stonewall doesn't know that yet. However, chances are that Ambur will be extremely sceptical of allowing Stonewall to move troops to Ailpon to capture Qinn, because they would fear it as an excuse to capture those regions of Arkan now that Stonewall has conquered all the coreward regions.
Beyond that, Stonewall will halt its invasion in Haven for now. They won't give up the regions they've conquered, but they will not advance further until things calm down a little.
What the PCs Can Do: If the PCs are with Stonewall, they could be sent to contact Ambur and negotiate for Stonewall's plan. Or they could be sent to find out where Qinn is. Stonewall promised Ambur not to send troops, but they never said anything about spies...
Sviftmont 7, AC 1018: Preservation.
Location: City of Thyatis, Duchy of Thyatis, Thyatian Empire. OW
Description: The imperial government concludes an agreement with a party advocating the interests of the naturalists in Thyatis. The naturalists agree to stop attacking settlements and allow Thyatis to cultivate the lands it is most interested in. In return the government agrees to designate about half the land in the area as "nature preserves" to be left unsettled, where the naturalists can continue to reside. The area will be open to travel (and, over time, some tourism will develop), but will otherwise be left in a natural state.
At the same time Eusebius concludes an agreement with the Vyalian elves regarding human settlement and development in the westernmost part of the County of Vyalia, the area recently ceded to Thyatis by Karameikos. They agree to allow human settlement in the area nearest the eastern shores of the Lake of Lost Dreams, which is more lightly forested than the rest of the area, and which is closest to Haven Citadel. The human settlers will agree not to cut down most of the forest in the area, but only agriculturally cultivate a small section of it, and the rest will be left undisturbed, for elven habitation. The Vyalians of the area agree to accept the authority of the empire and follow the lead of the Count of Vyalia, and the strict laws of that county will apply to the region regarding the cutting of trees and poaching of animals. Transport of goods between the Haven Citadel region and the rest of the empire will be conducted by river up the Rugalov, so no road will be constructed. The elves and humans will cooperate against humanoid incursions from across the river. (See Fy. 4, Am. 9; Ka. 28.)
What This Means: Eusebius was more interested in getting the matter resolved so that the settlements that have already been founded can begin to flourish than in pressing the issue. Some of the areas in question, at least a third if not more (especially in the mountains and the depths of the forest) are not really suitable for large-scale settlement and cultivation anyhow. He is thus willing to make an agreement that gives him what he needs and ends the conflict, which has been more of a nuisance than a real threat but has been disruptive nonetheless.
As for the naturalists and the elves, they're satisfied with the outcome. The Vyalians of Karameikos are connected with the Vyalian clans of the County of Vyalia anyhow, though they are less prone to dealing with humans than they, and the naturalists know they couldn't resist the empire for long and needed some agreement to save themselves. Frictions will no doubt continue but this formal agreement ends the fighting.
What the PCs Can Do: Characters could be involved in the negotiations that result in this agreement.
Sviftmont 7, AC 1018: Through with the Concordia.
Location: North Pole. HW
Description: The Karameikan skyship Concordia flies through the North Pole. She encounters the violent storms that have been sweeping both poles for a few months, but as chance would have it she does not crash, although she is quite shaken by the ordeal. Fearing serious damage, the Concordia heads for Ionace's yards rather than directly to Karameikos. (See Ya. 5; Sv. 23, Ka. 17.)
What This Means: The weather has degraded terribly at the poles, making travel between the worlds nigh impossible. In fact, the Concordia is the first ship to make it through since the worsening in weather, as five other skyships, one from Nayce and four from Alphatia, have all been utterly lost.
Sviftmont 9, AC 1018: Shadow Lord Replaces Grumman.
Location: Enoreth Shrine, Great Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: The undead troops of the Shadow Lord reach the battlefield around Enoreth Shrine. The Shadow Lord himself confronts General Grumman for the control of the Shadow Army. The Elf Skull Units immediately swear their obedience to their first master. Grumman soon understands the Shadow Lord is not acting on behalf of the Church of Idris and opposes him, but there is not much he can do. Once it is clear the Shadow Lord will kill him eventually, Grumman quits the field and disappears, leaving the Shadow Army to the Shadow Lord. Surprisingly enough, the Shadow Lord does not press on with the siege, but calls his troops back, leaving only a few Elf Skull Units behind to cover the retreat. (See Fy. 19, Am. 6; Sv. 28, Ei. 18.)
What This Means: Grumman is no fool, he quickly realised he could not count on enough support from the beleaguered Shadow Army against the Elf Skull Units, the undead, and the charismatic leadership of the legendary Shadow Lord. The Shadow Lord has no great love for the elves, but his fight is for now against Idris. Hence the retreat to Drax Tallen.
What the PCs Can Do: Attack the remaining Elf Skull Units once the main army has retreated.
Sviftmont 9, AC 1018: Waiting Is Teaching.
Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, Nayce. AS
Description: Amid various futile meetings at the Naycese Council, in which nothing is decided to right the degrading situation and only the usual bickering takes place, Queen Asteriela privately meets Terari.
Not wanting to reveal too much about herself at once, Asteriela simply begins by noting that Terari has been present at the various council meetings for the past few months, even though he is not a councillor himself, prompting Terari to state that he is indeed interested in Naycese politics, and that he plans on taking an active part in it. Rebounding on his statement, Asteriela wonders why he has not taken yet a more active role at those council sessions he seems so willing to attend to, considering the low levels of decisiveness they have fallen to-toward which, she remarks, Terari occasionally displayed his revulsion. Terari smiles then, and answers that knowledge can be taught, but experience cannot be passed from the master to the student, so youth must make their own errors if they are to learn from them. Hearing the words of wisdom from the aged teacher, and remembering that Thyatis passed through dark times before it reformed itself and started to recover, Asteriela nods her approval, wondering how low Nayce must fall before it realises it erred-and if it will be able to rise up from such an abyss. Then Terari adds that when the student is ready to learn, the student will find its master. (See Am. 18, Am. 21; Sv. 18, Ei. 14.)
What This Means: Terari expected this visit from Asteriela, after his earlier meeting with her confidante, Galatia, a former student of his. It is, indeed, the first meeting he has with one of the rulers of Nayce, and thus marks a new step in his involvement in Naycese politics.
Terari's hints lead Asteriela to believe that the teacher will be a supporter of the necessary reforms, when the time comes. Still, she wonders what exact role he intends to play, seeing as to how he is not a counsellor, and to her knowledge not even an adviser to any ruler.
Sviftmont 10, AC 1018: A Poor Harvest.
Location: Duchy of Vyolstagrad, Final Range. NW
Description: Throughout Vyolstagrad, the crops have failed to produce a bountiful harvest. Many crops have withered entirely, or else have been blighted with various rots and moulds. The potato crop has been hit particularly hard. Additionally, many animals have been sickened due to malnutrition, or other, more virulent diseases. Overall, it is one of the worst harvests that anyone can remember. Starvation is a very real possibility for some Vyolstagradans. Although some grain is imported from Bellissaria (where demand is waning), it is not nearly enough. (See Fe. 6, Fy. 22; Ei. 17, Ei. 28.)
What This Means: The spells of Talitha's clerics have taken their toll on the foodstuffs and livestock of Vyolstagrad. Unless significant aid is received, a fair number of people, especially the young and the elderly, will perish from starvation. Some people will pack up and head for Stamtral, Moonland, or some other part of Norwold where food is more readily available. Duke Nevik will be forced to import more food rations, straining his already meagre treasury.
What the PCs Can Do: Help bring food to the populace. Duke Nevik may hire the PCs to guard incoming shipments of food, to protect them from bandits or other marauders.
Sviftmont 11, AC 1018: Randel Line of Subjects.
Location: "Kingdom" of Iochnyx, Underside, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: A party of Zandor's minions, on a mission to gather subjects for their emperor, encounters a group of Randel soldiers patrolling this area of the Underside. It is the first group of humans they encounter, so the undead avidly attack the men, who are destined to be the first of Zandor's subjects. In their natural environment, the undead easily overcomes the scouting patrol, which is unable to retreat to its base camp. (See Nu. 19, Fl. 8; Ei. 18, Ka. 20.)
What This Means: Randel has sent men to explore the Underside, and to establish a military base below Randel. Conditions there are not ideal, as the place is dark and damp, and covered by steamy mists that make the easiest mode of travelling its surface, skyships, very dangerous-the normal means, by foot, is complex as gravity points toward the Hollow World and not toward Alphatia's surface, so you cannot walk on the Underside except with magical help (though you can walk in caves and tunnels). The Randel military base is located at the edge below the frontier town of Dmireton near the border with Bettellyn. Those Randel that were captured were only a scouting party, and it would require a great effort to capture the whole Randel base-but it is something that Zandor will certainly want to do, eventually.
What the PCs Can Do: Undead PCs may be the first to encounter those living subjects, whom they will capture for Zandor, before they continue in their efforts to subdue all humans in Iochnyx as well as those that must have spilled into the northern "Kingdom" of Omsburyrch. Randel soldiers might encounter the first minions of Zandor that are about to harass their military base-a not-so-welcome change from the monsters they might have encountered so far in their exploration of the Underside.
Sviftmont 12, AC 1018: An Unlikely Call for Help.
Location: City of Skyfyr, Province of Blackrock, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK
Description: A single Jennite nears the still besieged city of Skyfyr under a flag of truce, asking to see Kalin. He is brought to Kalin who immediately recognises him as Grath, a Jennite wizard loyal to Talin. Dubious at first, Kalin soon thinks differently once Grath tells him that Talin may be executed by the Jennites for speaking out against the warriors of Maltaen's True Way tribe. (See Am. 27, Sv. 6; Sv. 13, Sv. 27.)
What This Means: Since Talin was imprisoned, the rebel Jennites have been torn apart. Some are loyal to Talin while others are satisfied that he is traitor, particularly after his attempted escape, and some simply see an opportunity to gain more power for themselves once he is gone. Finding few allies among their own, Talin's loyal followers could do very little about the situation, so Grath decided to seek out Talin's brother. Although Kalin is an Alphatian ally, he did seem to be the most reasonable man at the meeting they had during the siege of Skyfyr, so Grath thinks he might still want to help his brother. Besides, Grath has nowhere else to turn.
Kalin is doubtful of what Grath says at first, but then he knows that Grath is an ally of Talin since he saw them together during their meeting during the brief truce, and he knows of the harshness of the True Way, having recently faced (and defeated) the Champions of the True Way.
What the PCs Can Do: Jennite PCs could be Talin's allies who help Grath get to Skyfyr. Perhaps they even want to enter and talk with Kalin themselves, which is all right. They might have trouble with Jennites still besieging Skyfyr, though. They can either bluff their way through, hoping the news of the alleged treachery of their leader has not reached the besiegers yet, or they can sneak past the camps. If they are on the Alphatian side, they might have been sent to sneak past the camp of the besiegers and gather intelligence on the Jennite positions, then encounter Grath by chance and then sneak him back to Skyfyr.
Sviftmont 13, AC 1018: A Surprising Invitation.
Location: City of Ierendi, Island of Ierendi, Kingdom of Ierendi. OW
Description: King Reston is surprised in the extreme to receive a letter from Honor Island, which grants one Millington Vonaday permission to visit the island. He brings the letter to Millington and asks at length just what he told that envoy from the island, Firdon. Millington tells him, yet claims as much surprise as King Reston at their decision. Although Millington was able to best Firdon in their debate, it is still rather surprising that his superiors would have listened to the proposal Millington sent him back with. (See Sv. 2, Sv. 3; Ei. 1, Ei. 2.)
What This Means: Millington's claims of surprise are genuine. He didn't expect this invitation, nor did he expect to get near the Oracle he is interested after Honor Island turned his request down. He merely decided to pursue the matter because he felt his professional pride as a diplomat was hurt by his request being refused out of hand, so he did what he did because there was little for him to lose.
What has happened, however, is that Firdon has made a full report about Millington Vonaday, and his superiors on Honor Island are both amused and curious about this persistent foreigner. Though the Honor Islanders guard the Oracle fiercely, it still isn't a major secret of theirs (or Millington never would have learned about it in the first place), nor will it reveal any of their secrets, so letting him go there is not a major problem, and having him owe them a favour in return is not something they mind, particularly not after he demonstrated his skills so well to Firdon.
What the PCs Can Do: It's off to Honor Island for Millington and he might want to have a few bodyguards with him on the trip. If the PCs sign up for such a duty, the DM should prepare a few encounters at sea as Millington sails to Honor Island.
Sviftmont 13, AC 1018: King Bergthor Demands Explanation.
Location: Kingdom of Vestland. OW
Description: King Bergthor Haraldson sends an emissary demanding an explanation for the attack on the Rockhome dwarves and his own men. King Buhrest of Thrabol informs King Bergthor that while the Modrigswerg did not condone the attack by the giants, the Rockhome dwarves were travelling through their territory, and the giants were free to drive them from their lands. King Bergthor is furious: The Modrigswerg have just laid claim to the lands containing the trade route to Soderfjord. (See Sv. 2, Sv. 5; Sv. 19, Ei. 4.)
What This Means: King Bergthor gambled that he could be friends with both the Rockhome dwarves and the Modrigswerg. He also took a chance, thinking that the Modrigswerg would not make good on their claim to independent territory within Vestland. Unfortunately for King Haraldson, the Modrigswerg saw a perfect opportunity for striking at the Rockhome dwarves, and convinced a clan of frost giants to attack them. Now the Modrigswerg are planning to further enforce control of their lands.
Sviftmont 13, AC 1018: Thicker than Water, Stronger than War.
Location: City of Skyfyr, Province of Blackrock, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK
Description: Having considered the matter, Kalin decides to mount a rescue of his brother, Talin. He puts Lyriander in charge of Skyfyr, then assembles a group of experienced people to sneak into the Jennite area and bring Talin out. He sends word to his various sources, including Favian, that he will need information on Talin's whereabouts, then prepares for their group to leave. (See Sv. 6, Sv. 12; Sv. 27, Ei. 1.)
What This Means: The two brothers may have been on opposite sides of the war, but they are still brothers. Apart from that, Kalin realises the potential to end the war here; if Talin will consider the other side, then they could work to bridge the differences between the enemies before too many are lost on both sides. After all, all Favian and Kalin ever wanted was a peaceful existence for everybody. So Kalin is determined to save his brother, and since Alphatians would immediately be recognised among the hostile Jennites, he gathers a group of loyal Jennites to sneak into the enemy camp, guided by Grath, and free Talin.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs should definitely be involved, but this is a mission for Jennites only. However, those Jennites can be both Jennites allied with Talin's rebels or Kalin's Alphatian allies. But because Kalin and Grath plan to sneak into Jennite settlements, no Alphatians should go on this mission, since they would be recognised as such.
Sviftmont 15, AC 1018: The Great Reckoning Begins.
Location: Throughout the Republic of Darokin. OW
Description: The evaluation of the increase or decrease of every income in Darokin begins. Anyone who has increased Total Worth from the previous Great Reckoning (in AC 1013) owes five percent taxes of the gain.
What This Means: This is a regular event that takes place every five years.
What the PCs Can Do: There is not much adventure here... unless the PCs are desperate to avoid the taxman, that is!
Sviftmont 15, AC 1018: New Kolland Under Siege?
Location: The Great Crater, Principality of New Kolland, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: A humanoid patrol of New Kolland, under the command of the kobold Prince Kol XIV, chances upon a small organized force coming from the southeastern border of Glantri. A confrontation ensues, and the orcs, goblins and gnolls are routed when the intruders begin attacking with magic. Frantic news of this attack spreads throughout the humanoid tribes in the Great Crater, and the news to a panicky Prince Kol in Glantri City are that New Kolland is under siege! Prince Kol is ready to leave the capital with one banner of the Glantrian army, when reports to the all-too-eager warden of the marches, Prince Malachie du Marais, confirm that previous accounts of the attacks were quite overstated. (See Th. 7, Ya. 10; Sv. 20.)
What This Means: Because of the increasingly frequent and audacious assaults of the various clerical groups throughout the principalities (such as the Followers of the Claymore and the Thousand Fists of the Khan), most Glantrians are on edge with attacks and acts of aggression. When this magic-wielding force defeated the local troops, the humanoid fears and panic reactions were highly exaggerated, to the point that they could not recognise the enemy for what they truly were: a cohort of elven warriors travelling from Aengmor to the Principality of Erewan, under the leadership of the elven hero, Tel'Erond.
Sviftmont 15, AC 1018: Mission Accomplished.
Location: Town of Sasdil, Kingdom of Vertiloch, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Captain Ichar has finished his work of surveying the route of the Bigos-Sasdil Canal. He and his men return to Bigos to take a boat downstream to Errolyn. Colonel Woron and Lieutenant Commander Bartan, who have visited Sasdil, now return to Andaire to make report to their queen and empress. (See Fl. 7, Fl. 28; Ei. 25.)
What This Means: The route is known, and now Brigadier Okano can send his engineers to the construction site. The liaison officers will later travel to Errolyn, and they will accompany the construction crew.
Sviftmont 15, AC 1018: Jennite Aggression on the Decline.
Location: Plains of Marlin, Province of Marlin, Republic of Esterhold, Nayce. SK
Description: The Jennite invasion in Marlin is not going well. Initially they were stopped, but managed to harass the woods and plains of Marlin. Now, however, Governor Alinda has managed to organise many of the people who have fled to Marlin from Southrock, most notably the remaining Verothian mercenaries, and from Anchorage, as well as the natives, and the Alphatians are taking the fight back to the Jennites.
Slowly the Jennites are driven back by determined forces, unable to receive reinforcements in time themselves due to the escarpment. (See Am. 1, Am. 12; Ka. 3, Ka. 14.)
What This Means: Unless the Jennites decide to devote massive amounts of troops to attack Marlin, it actually looks as if Marlin will not only push out the invaders but actually grow as a result of the war. The refugees from Southrock still expect to return to their land around Rock Harbour, however.
After underestimating the Jennites in Southrock, the Verothian mercenaries have learned their lesson, and they have their revenge against the Jennites by forcing them back.
What the PCs Can Do: Plenty of both major and minor skirmishes to participate in here for PCs hungry for combat. Jennite PCs will find that the Verothian mercenaries are both harsh and determined opponents who push forward without mercy, while PCs on the Alphatian side will have the opportunity for victories over the Jennites.
Sviftmont 16, AC 1018: A Way Home?
Location: Somewhere in World Spine Mountains. HW
Description: After many months of wandering, Friedrich von Dreiburg and his party have found a cave entrance that, according to information gained from nearby Neathar tribesmen, leads deep into the earth. Von Dreiburg announces his intention to enter the cave, in the hopes of eventually returning to Heldann, and asks his followers to do the same. The other two Heldannic Knights say they will follow him, as do eight of his Antalian followers. The remainder baulk at the prospect, saying they will return home, and try to spread the faith of Vanya in their homeland. Once the other men are out of sight, von Dreiburg leads his men into the depths. (See Fl. 8, Fl. 9.)
What This Means: After their close brush with death in Milenia, von Dreiburg decided that he and his group should expend every effort towards finding a way out of the Hollow World. He has come to realise that some powerful force has prevented him from spreading the faith of Vanya to the natives here, and that any nation he might attempt to build here would have to be held together by force, and would likely not long outlast him. Thus, any attempt by the Heldannic Order to expand its dominion into the Hollow World is likely to end in failure. Knowing this, he feels his chances are much better back in the surface world. Most of his Antalian followers have decided to stay with him because they have become curious about von Dreiburg's homeland, and they have become certain that there might be great glory to be won in strange nations previously unknown to them. As von Dreiburg has led them well so far, they are willing to follow him still.
What the PCs Can Do: Assuming the PCs are still with von Dreiburg after all this time, and they elect to remain with him, there will be adventure and peril aplenty in the labyrinthine tunnels that wind their way through Mystara's crust.
Sviftmont 16, AC 1018: Butchers Pay a Visit.
Location: Island of Baraga, Merry Pirate Seas. HW
Description: Redbeard Kray, following the advice of the marooned pirate, Reginald Sneed, has led a group of men into the mountains, and found an isolated abbey. When the abbot comes forth, the pirates seize him, and storm the place, slaying clerics who resist and even some who do not. Redbeard demands the map of Captain Blake, but the abbot calmly states that he will never gain it by these methods. Enraged, Redbeard orders the place burned and turns to the torture and interrogation of the surviving clerics. None will reveal much, but a few crack under Kray's brutal techniques-they learn that Captain R. Morgan is seeking a darkened reef where the map lies. Kray puts the clerics to the sword, but drags the abbot with him back to the Butchery, where he hopes he can force him into leading them to the map. (See Fe. 7, Sv. 2; Sv. 22, Ei. 17.)
What This Means: Kray is a harsh pirate, but is also a crafty fellow, fully capable of passing the clerics' tests-however, he let his violent temper get the best of him as he wasn't about to kow-tow to a bunch of land-lubber clerics. He did not gain the detailed knowledge given to Morgan, but he has learned enough-if he can find Morgan, he can find the hidden reef. He still hopes that the abducted abbot will be of some use.
What the PCs Can Do: Hopefully, PCs are not involved with the ruthless Redbeard. If they are, perhaps they can calm the fierce pirate's temper and stem the carnage of the cloister, leading to the tests that the clerics of Korotiku have prepared. Other scenarios include rescuing the captured abbot, or even a mutiny against the repressive, but still popular, Redbeard.
Sviftmont 17, AC 1018: Conspiracies and Counterproposals.
Location: City of Starpoint, Kingdom of Ambur, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: The representatives sent north to negotiate Stonewall's plan with Ambur arrive in Starpoint and meet with representatives of Queen Elshethara. They explain their plan to place King Qinn of Arkan as the figurehead in Arkan, then argue that troops will be needed to go to Ailpon to capture him for that purpose, though they will need Ambur's approval due to the agreement between the two kingdoms. The Amburians flatly refuse. However, the negotiations continue and the Amburians make a counterproposal: Since they want Qinn out of their way as well, they suggest Stonewall and Ambur cooperate to capture him, though not by military means. They tell Stonewall that they have good contacts in Ailpon, and instead of a frontal assault to capture the king, they would select a group of experienced experts to sneak into Ailpon. There they would meet with trustworthy allies of Ambur and capture Qinn and smuggle him back to Ceafem. Stonewall could then do whatever it wants with Qinn, but must also take full responsibility for the operation. Ambur will deny all knowledge of the plan after the fact. And once Qinn is gone, Ambur will make its move to add the regions around Ailpon to Ambur. The Stonewall representatives agree, though they will need General Selcomad and King Koblan to approve the final plan. If they do, a group can be selected for the operation, though its members must be approved by both Ambur and Stonewall. (See Sv. 2, Sv. 6; Sv. 23, Sv. 24.)
What This Means: As chance would have it, Stonewall and Ambur have mutual interests here. However, Ambur's refusal to allow Stonewall troops to enter Ailpon is a clear signal that they don't think highly of Stonewall. They also want Stonewall to take any blame for this operation because they don't want to be suspected of open treachery against Arkan. They may have abandoned Arkan, but that was to avoid a risk to themselves; actually stabbing Qinn in the back is a different matter. Since Ambur already has an uneasy ally in Lord Beremtol, the most powerful aristocrat in the Ailpon region and now an enemy of Qinn, it plans to have him "invite" Ambur to claim those regions, because Beremtol will retain all his influence there, perhaps even gain more, as a part of Ambur, while Ambur gains a border with Foresthome instead of being surrounded by land conquered by Stonewall.
What the PCs Can Do: A group of experienced experts to capture King Qinn sounds like the perfect job description for a group of adventurers.
Sviftmont 18, AC 1018: If You See Bargle on the Road, Kill Him.
Location: Village of Wereskalot, Shire of Eastshire, Five Shires. OW
Description: Rumours begin to circulate, saying that Bargle the Infamous is in the area, albeit trapped in the form of a hin and deprived of both his memory and powers.
What This Means: Eastshire will become a difficult region to travel through for hin on private business for some weeks and months to come.
Sviftmont 18, AC 1018: Livelihoods on the Line.
Location: Across Nayce. AS, SD, NW, SK
Description: In the months following the sharp decline in metal stocks, many Naycese crafters are beginning to run short of materials with which to ply their trades, or they are finding it increasingly difficult to pay for them. Many of these people have already cut back on their production, making fewer goods in order to conserve their supplies of raw metals and other basic goods, while others have raised their prices in order to defray the increased costs of doing business. Unfortunately, a growing number of them have been forced into a third option-going out of business, and losing their livelihoods; many freemen are reduced to servant status as a result. (See Am. 9, Sv. 9; Ei. 21, Ka. 1.)
What This Means: The loss of the rich mines of Esterhold in AC 1017, as well as the operations around Denwarf-Hurgon following the sinking of Alphatia in AC 1009, have hit the mining sector very hard, with the predictable result being reduced supplies of metal. Prices of consumer goods are already going up as a result. The Naycese Council lost no time in directing exploration of the various islands in the New Alphatian Sea, but the mineral resources to be gained from that activity will still not be enough to offset the loss of Esterhold. Until the various Naycese kingdoms can better develop their own mining operations, metals will be in short supply.
Nevertheless, the council's actions were not taken in time to avoid the closure of many businesses, along with the consequences. Many of the business owners were freemen and gentry, who maintained their social status through their ability to maintain the minimum required balances (of 10,000 crowns for freemen and 50,000 crowns for gentry) in an Alphatian bank. With their businesses gone, these people no longer have any income, and creditors may very well take what is owed to them from the debtors' accounts. As their accounts dwindle in the coming weeks, many of these people will find themselves reduced to servant status under Alphatian law-a horrifying experience for many of them, as they are then told that they must find a master. Some of them, broken by the experience, obtain employment in this fashion; others commit suicide, unable to stand the thought of losing their freedom. Still more begin wandering the streets, unwilling to degrade themselves by finding a master, yet seeking any way they can to survive.
What the PCs Can Do: One or more of the PCs may have a relative who is in a predicament similar to that portrayed by this event. In this case, the situation might not only be because of hard times; a rival might be stealing all the metal stocks he or she can, in order to drive the PC's relative out of business. If this is the case, the PCs will have to race against time to prove the individual's wrongdoing (which could be difficult if he or she is an aristocrat), before the relative's business goes under. In other respects, this event is intended to provide further information to the DM about the impact of the economic turmoil in Nayce.
Sviftmont 19, AC 1018: King Bergthor Mobilises Army.
Location: City of Norrvik, Kingdom of Vestland. OW
Description: King Bergthor Haraldson sends word to his jarls that they must send men to his command, since he will drive the Modrigswerg dwarves and their giant allies near Landersfjord away from Vestland's rightful lands. (See Sv. 5, Sv. 13; Ei. 4, Ei. 6.)
What This Means: Seeing that the Modrigswerg will be impossible to control, King Haraldson chooses to drive them from the lands containing the trade route to Soderfjord. This will be his first military campaign since his crowning, and he is actually eager to see Vestland's famous warriors in action.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs wishing to fight for king, country or gold have the perfect opportunity for signing up with the army of Vestland.
Sviftmont 19, AC 1018: Political Pressure Against Favian on the Rise.
Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, Nayce. AS
Description: After initially being laughed at, Noral Alska's campaign to replace Favian Vern with Nicodemus is beginning to have some impact on Ionace as more refugees arrive to tell of the horrible brutality of the Jennites. By playing upon the sentiment of natural superiority of Alphatians and inferiority of Jennites, Noral has gradually managed to slowly stir up anti-Jennite sentiments. The news of how Favian has just stopped the Crimson Avengers is used against him, as to the Alphatians the Crimson Avengers were actually doing something about the Jennite insurgents, so Favian has just ruined the only thing he did right in this war.
As the pressure mounts, Karszamon takes it before the Council of Nayce. He expresses concern over the way things have been going and how Favian Vern has been dealing with a situation that has steadily grown worse. More and more Alphatians are in fear of their lives in Esterhold, and while Favian's dream of peace may be worthy of praise, the world is just too hard a place for his naïve idealism. For example, the Jennites seem to be far better equipped than one would think, yet Favian apparently has no idea where they came by weapons, nor has he even brought the matter before the council. (See Ya. 5, Sv. 2; Sv. 22, Ei. 5.)
What This Means: Naturally, the Alphatians in Nayce haven't witnessed the atrocities committed by the Crimson Avengers, so it is rather easy to sympathise with what they have done. It is something Noral Alska can use to his advantage, though. As Favian Vern becomes aware of this campaign, he will be forced to return to Ionace to stop the political pressure, since military success or failure matters little if he loses the support of Nayce.
The weapons Karszamon mentions to the council were sold to them by Thyatians on an expedition in Skothar last year in response to how Alphatians had brought weapons to the Twaelar during their war with Thyatis. Favian is well aware of these weapons, but they really aren't anywhere near as big a problem as Karszamon would have the council believe, just something he can use to discredit Favian politically of course.
What the PCs Can Do: This is a political event. The PCs can speak their mind if they are in Ionace, but there will be no adventure here.
Sviftmont 20, AC 1018: Howl of the Wolf King.
Location: Eastern edge of the Radlebb Forest, Kingdom of Karameikos. OW
Description: Werewolves attack villages and travellers on the edges of Radlebb Forest in Karameikos. Reportedly under the command of a would-be "Wolf King," the attacks are meant to infect their victims as much as they are to kill them. The attacks continue throughout the winter.
What This Means: After years of slowly accumulating followers and slaying rivals, one werewolf is now strong enough to consider conquering the northern Radlebb Forest for his own personal domain, and crowning himself the Wolf King.
What the PCs Can Do: The villagers are badly frightened, and the call goes out for PCs to investigate the root of these attacks, and put an end to them.
Sviftmont 20, AC 1018: Tel'Erond Meets Carlotina.
Location: Town of Erendyl, Principality of Erewan, Principalities of Glantri. OW
Description: A small mixed army of pale-skinned shadow elves and fair-coloured forest elves arrive in the capital of Erewan, led by none other than the legendary Tel'Erond. The elven hero is met properly and ceremoniously by Princess Carlotina Erewan, and then the two confer privately about urgent matters of elven concern. That night, a modest ceremony to welcome the hero and the warriors is held, although the mood is decidedly uncomfortable having the uneasy mix of Erewan elves, Alfheim elves, and Aengmor shadow elves, all under the same tree canopy. (See Sv. 15.)
What This Means: Tel'Erond had arrived from Aengmor, where he was embroiled in the Shadow Over Mystara plot: He and his elven followers were captured and his shadowelf brethren enticed into an evil scheme by the mysterious human sorceress Synn, to use the Magic Points in Canolbarth Forest to summon fiends into this realm. Tel'Erond has come to Glantri to meet with an elven ally, Princess Carlotina Erewan, and to investigate his suspicions that the human sorceress Synn might actually be in Glantri under another guise. Though not officially sanctioned by the shadowelf nation of Aengmor, Tel'Erond did allow some shadow elves to join his troops (though most of them did so out of the desire for vengeance against Synn).
The good Princess Carlotina sees in Tel'Erond a valuable ally, particularly knowing full well that they are a minority as a force of good and lawfulness in Glantri. But her previous alliances with the Alfheim elves (which was proven by harbouring Alfheim refugees from Canolbarth when the shadow elves took over), and her present alliance with the shadow elves (with whom she has exchanged magical secrets to aid Aengmor), is put to the test as the warring elven clans are still too aware of recent injuries against each other. Nevertheless, Princess Carlotina believes that if anyone can find their way to work out an intricate labyrinth of diplomacies and alliances, it's a Glantrian!
Sviftmont 22, AC 1018: Favian Responds to Critics.
Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, Nayce. AS
Description: Favian Vern, President of the Republic of Esterhold, addresses the recent criticism against him before the Council of Nayce. Though the war has not gone well, he brings the fact that he has already asked for military intervention to the attention of the council, then continues to speculate why Commander Karszamon has opposed this intervention if he is so concerned about the Jennites. Karszamon is obviously insulted, but the council merely tells Favian that he must produce evidence for Karszamon's subterfuge before the council will accept such accusations.
Favian also addresses the matter of the weapons the Jennites have by saying that while he knew of it, it wasn't a major issue in the conflict. Unfortunately the council does not seem satisfied by that explanation. (See Sv. 2, Sv. 19; Ei. 5, Ei. 7.)
What This Means: Favian has come to realise that Karszamon supports the critics, and so begin to wonder whether he has ulterior motives for hesitating to intervene in the Esterhold war. However, by bringing up the subject of the weapons, Karszamon has managed to put Favian at a disadvantage. These weapons did have some impact on the early parts of the war, but were never a decisive factor and remain all but inconsequential next to the weapons the Jennites have since captured from the Alphatians themselves. So although the weapons were never really that important, it is difficult for Favian to claim that he can do much about it, and because of that Karszamon has managed to convince the council that they are a much bigger problem than they are for now. Because of that, the council is also able to more easily dismiss Favian's own suspicions about Karszamon. Karszamon and Favian do realise what is going on behind the scene, though, and where they stand.
What the PCs Can Do: Unless the PCs have influence at the Council of Nayce, they are unlikely to have any effect on this at all.
Sviftmont 22, AC 1018: The Wrath of Korotiku.
Location: Open sea east of Baraga Island, Merry Pirate Seas. HW
Description: After several sleeps at sea, and numerous failed attempts to extract information from the captured abbot, Redbeard Kray gives him one more severe beating with a belaying pin and tosses him overboard, to be claimed by the sea. Within minutes, the sky darkens with cloud cover and the wind begins to gust. What seems to be a passing squall intensifies into a torrential downpour with gale-force winds. Kray attempts to ride the storm out. Some of his crew think he has gone mad; others are sure that the Immortals are angry for what they did to the clerics. Despite their feelings, the crew is forced to focus on the hard task of keeping the Butchery afloat. The fierce gale blows for over four sleeps, threatening to run the ship aground or sink it outright, but Kray somehow manages to keep his ship from foundering. When the storm finally blows itself out, Kray finds himself in the uncharted waters of the Atlass Ocean, many sleeps from the Merry Pirate Seas. The ship has lost the main mast, the sails have been torn to shreds, the hull has taken substantial wave damage, and numerous crewmen have been swept out to sea.
The storm tears through the Merry Pirate Seas, heading northwest across the Island of Baraga and the northern archipelago, before losing strength in the Northern Atlass Ocean. Throughout the region, numerous ships are sunk or lost at sea, and substantial damage is caused along the coastal regions and low-lying islands. (See Sv. 2, Sv. 16; Ei. 17, Ei. 28.)
What This Means: The storm is a hurricane, to be remembered as the Wrath of Korotiku in circles to come. Indeed, the Immortal was angered at Kray for mocking Him by slaying His clerics and tossing the abbot to sea without fear. Severe storms such as this will strike the Merry Pirate Seas from time to time, and Korotiku merely accelerated the process. In spite of this, however, Redbeard Kray emerges with his ship battered, but is otherwise undaunted. In fact, now he feels that he has beaten the Immortals themselves (and this in fact, may become his undoing).
What the PCs Can Do: Try to weather the storm! Whether they are with Redbeard's crew, or onboard some other ship, PCs will have their work cut out for them to keep their ships afloat.
Sviftmont 23, AC 1018: King Qinn Abducted.
Location: Town of Ceafem, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: People in Ailpon find that King Qinn is missing and there are signs of struggle in his private chambers. It quickly becomes clear that he must have been captured, perhaps even killed, though the lack of a body might suggest otherwise.
People in Ailpon are worried. General Lotaran tries to calm people, but it isn't until Lord Beremtol makes an announcement that things calm down a little. He tells them that although he had his differences with Qinn, he is still their king, and that they must carry on as Arkan always has. For now, he, Lord Beremtol, will assume control of Ailpon and the lands around it and try to find out what is happening. (See Sv. 6, Sv. 17; Sv. 24, Sv. 25.)
What This Means: Naturally, Ambur and Stonewall have carried out their plan to capture Qinn, who is now on his way to Ceafem by ship, bound and gagged. Beremtol knows all of this quite well, having helped the abductors capture Qinn and smuggle him out of Ailpon. Obviously Lotaran is suspicious of what is going on, but he remains quiet for now. People didn't listen much to Lotaran because he is not an aristocrat. Lord Beremtol is, and one they have known for a long time. Because of that his appearance stabilises the situation for now.
What the PCs Can Do: Ideally the PCs should be the ones to capture Qinn and bring him back to Ceafem. If not, they could investigate the matter of his disappearance, which will definitely suggest foul play. They might not be too good at this, though, or they could attract some rather unhealthy attention from Lord Beremtol!
Sviftmont 23, AC 1018: Heavy Repairs at Ionace.
Location: City of Ionace, Ionace Island, Nayce. AS
Description: The Karameikan Concordia undergoes heavy (and expensive) repairs at the skyshipyards of Ionace. The damage is even more extensive than Captain Nikolai Delarius feared. (See Sv. 7, Sv. 18; Ka. 17.)
What This Means: The Concordia made it, but she did not go unscathed. Those repairs will cost a lot to the Karameikan treasury, and Nayce, with all its economic troubles, isn't about to waive the bill. Delarius is particularly worried because he realises that Karameikos does not have skyshipyards to make such repairs (its yards can only handle seagoing ships), and that only the wizards at the Karameikan School of Magecraft, who originally enchanted the ship, can repair her.
Sviftmont 23, AC 1018: Call for the Use of the Elvenstar.
Location: Town of Oakwall, Kingdom of Wendar. OW
Description: The situation in Oakwall grows worse when swarms of manticores arrive from the Wendarian Ranges and fight alongside the giants, apparently forging an alliance. The aerial raids put a strain on the town as well as its defenders, both inside and outside the town walls. With the royal army still about three weeks' march from the besieged town, the populace, influenced by the priests of Idris, demands that Bensarian come to Oakwall and use the Elvenstar to drive off their enemies. (See Am. 2, Am. 25; Ei. 9, Ei. 15.)
What This Means: Thanks to the efforts of the priests of Idris, support for Bensarian hinges on the old sage using the Elvenstar to save Oakwall. When Bensarian hears of the request he will refuse, dismissing it as a plot by Idris to capture the Elvenstar and eliminate him.
Sviftmont 24, AC 1018: A Very Special Cargo.
Location: Town of Ailpon, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Hidden in a barrel of fresh water, King Qinn is brought aboard a ship, the Anja. The commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Ralf from the Navy of the Lakes, takes over the responsibility for this valuable cargo from the kidnappers and gives the order to leave.
The destination of the Anja is a hidden bay on the eastern shore of Crystal Lake. A rendezvous manoeuvre with a Stonewall ship is planned in this bay. Commodore Orlov has considered overseeing this delicate mission himself, but finally he has decided not to do it. (See Sv. 17, Sv. 23; Sv. 25, Sv. 26.)
What This Means: The Anja is one of the ships belonging to the Navy of the Lakes. From time to time it has fulfilled special tasks for the Kingdom of Ambur, though her normal purpose is trade. For this assignment the crew is reduced, and there is no armament aboard. Orlov has chosen this ship to deliver Qinn to Stonewall as he thinks that she will move around unnoticed, unlike a fully equipped warship.
What the PCs Can Do: PCs aboard the ship will be the best weapon the Anja has. In these chaotic times nobody can tell what might happen.
Sviftmont 24, AC 1018: Allies in the South.
Location: Southern jungles of the Amalur Lowlands. DV
Description: After many weeks of exploration, some of the Kastelian explorers make contact with a tribe of lizard men in the remote uplands of the Amalur region. Accompanied by Sassteh, who acts as an interpreter, the humans manage to communicate who they are and why they are in the area. Once they understand that the foreigners are not enemies, the lizard men take them in. (See Kl. 25, Fy. 8.)
What This Means: One part of the Kastelian expedition has managed to make contact with a tribe of lizard men that have, thus far, been able to avoid the attention of the western tribes that have overrun much of the Amalur Lowlands. Over the coming weeks, the Kastelians will learn a little more about what is going on, and they will gain a good geographic overview of this region. After several weeks, this group will make their way back to Kastelios next year.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs could be part of the group that meets this tribe.
Sviftmont 25, AC 1018: First Ship Leaves Harbour.
Location: Town of Ceafem, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: A ship, the Seagull, leaves the harbour of Ceafem. Her mission is to meet the Anja and bring back Qinn. Besides Captain Dandor nobody aboard knows anything about the secret mission. (See Sv. 23, Sv. 24; Sv. 26, Sv. 27.)
What This Means: The Seagull is the first ship Stonewall has been able to muster. More precisely, she is a ship of the Free City of Ceafem. Whether she is a military or a civilian ship cannot be told exactly. Anyhow there are no assault weapons, but her mission-fetching King Qinn-is not exactly a civilian one.
Sviftmont 26, AC 1018: The Seagull Has Landed.
Location: Eastern shore of Crystal Lake, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: The Seagull is the first ship to arrive. Captain Dandor is not surprised as he had the shorter way to go. He decides to wait. The crew still does not know anything about the mission. (See Sv. 24, Sv. 25; Sv. 27, Sv. 28.)
What This Means: There is no exact date for the rendezvous, only a time window. The Seagull had the shorter passage and must wait now for the Anja.
What the PCs Can Do: The PCs might be sent ashore to prevent observation by anybody.
Sviftmont 27, AC 1018: Talin Escapes.
Location: Countryside, Esterhold Peninsula. SK
Description: Awaiting what is now almost certainly an execution after his attempted escape, Talin is rescued by a group of Jennites led by his brother Kalin. The group is an odd alliance of rebel Jennites, like Grath, and Jennites loyal to the Alphatians.
The rescuers sneak into the Jennite camp and free a rather confused and mistreated Talin, then make good their escape.
As they escape, Kalin notices several marks from physical punishment on Talin's body, yet when Kalin asks him about them, Talin doesn't seem to understand his questions. Kalin is confused, but doesn't have time to wonder about it. (See Sv. 12, Sv. 13; Ei. 1, Ei. 3.)
What This Means: Talin and Kalin, the two brothers, are now reunited, but they are scarcely friends, even though Talin owes Kalin his life. Circumstances have forced them together, though.
The wounds Kalin has noted, yet can gain no information on from Talin, frustrate him. Why won't Talin tell him about them?
What the PCs Can Do: Jennite PCs allied with either side should definitely help Kalin free his brother. They will have to sneak into a Jennite camp to free him, though, and will probably be forced to fight some of their brethren.
Sviftmont 27, AC 1018: A Stormy Day.
Location: Crystal Lake, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: A heavy storm appears over the lake and forces the Anja to seek shelter. Captain Ralf gives the order to hide behind a small, nameless island. The Anja will not leave before the storm is over. (See Sv. 25, Sv. 26; Sv. 28, Ei. 1.)
What This Means: Since the sinking the weather in Alphatia has been slightly different. Storms are magical phenomena set up by the Immortals in the Hollow World, Alphatia being no exception. Due to their magical nature they are unpredictable and a rare but dangerous menace for naval traffic.
What the PCs Can Do: Most likely there will be no need for adventurers, only for sailors. The only exception might be monsters who are cast adrift or even attracted by the storm.
Sviftmont 28, AC 1018: Mass Desertion of the Shadow Army.
Location: Keep of Drax Tallen, Great Forest of Geffron, Kingdom of Denagoth. NW
Description: Back in Drax Tallen, the Shadow Lord informs the Shadow Army under his command that they won't be obeying the Church of Idris anymore and that they will now drive any followers of Idris out of Denagoth once and for all. Scared by the dark cloud over Drax Tallen and by the presence of many undead creatures lurking nearby, the human soldiers remain silent at this announcement. Later, many of them head into the dungeons of Drax Tallen and exit via the tunnels. The remaining human commanders then discover that horrible rites are being performed on humans in the dungeons where they are replaced by death leeches. They quickly round up their men and flee Drax Tallen and head into the Avien Plains to escape the Shadow Lord's folly. (See Am. 6, Sv. 9; Ei. 18, Ka. 27.)
What This Means: The majority of the Shadow Army are followers of Idris and are horrified at the Shadow Lord's goal.
Sviftmont 28, AC 1018: The Rendezvous.
Location: Eastern shore of Crystal Lake, Kingdom of Arkan, Floating Continent of Alphatia, Alphatian Empire. HW
Description: Finally the Anja arrives. The captains meet, accompanied only by a few men. Ralf delivers his captive to Dandor and orders his ship to leave. Dandor sets sail likewise. (See Sv. 26, Sv. 27; Ei. 1, Ei. 5.)
What This Means: Commodore Orlov can be content with this mission: The delivery has been handled without problems. There was no squabble and no fight, and Ambur has kept its part of the agreement. The Seagull will deliver the captured king to the Stonewall army.
What the PCs Can Do: After all it is a surprisingly uneventful event. PCs might be charged with scouting the surroundings to keep possible trouble at bay. Perhaps they are there to find out the whereabouts of this mysterious rendezvous or to free the royal prisoner.