Conclave - News and Notes
With the destruction of the Watcher Lords, northern Bernea is preparing
for war. The Barbarian Elves are said to be scattered following their
attack on the Watcher Towers, but it is only a matter of time until they
regroup. Already Kalofane and Penates are struggling to cope with a stream
of refuges as people leave their villages to seek safety in the cities.
Defence of the area has now fallen to Cha'Rissa, leader of the ancient
elven capital of Kalevi. While not actively seeking recruits for a defence
force, she has said that any volunteers may report to the Council at Kalofane.
Meanwhile, Cleon has problems of its own with Jan Arden, latest pretender
to the Imperial throne, reputedly in talks with the Brown Friar movement.
The Friars have yet to say whether they will be supporting or opposing
his claim. Tse-Kurak, leader of the Temple of Pax Everstill in the city
is calling for peace. There are far greater issues at stake than who should
or should not be on the throne of Cleon, he says.
Veluta, Kessel and Squill are to form an alliance, it is rumoured. If
this is true then Squill could abandon its interest in Sher and leave
it at the mercy of the Taskmaster should he decide to extend his rule
northwards. Sher's current Bailiff, Phila Naal is building up a militia
force, although, as everyone in the city knows, he will be the first to
leave should Squill decide to remove its support.
The Bunt Lands: rumours continue to come from this strange area of the
continent. The last group of explorers have not been seen since entering
the area two months ago. Their families are proposing funding a second
group to go in and look for them, but so far no volunteers have come forward.
And no wonder - of the scores of adventurers entering the Burnt Lands,
not one has ever come out.
Rumblings in the Forbidden Mountains are not an uncommon occurrence.
As usual, there is no explanation for them. Possibly an Earth tremor.
Possibly something else entirely, but with Taos forbidding anyone to investigate
(they don't call them the Forbidden Mountains for nothing), the mystery
will probably remain unsolved.
In Lorn, rumours abound of a mystery thief who breaks into the homes
of the rich and famous by night and leaves them no less famous, but quite
a bit less rich. The official story is that the thefts are being carried
out by an organised group, but the common people of the city are intent
on believing in a lone hero who is robbing the rich and will no doubt
begin passing on his ill-gotten gains to the poor any day now.
The latest news from Tredl is that the Solist leader, Amphion, has indeed
left the city to sojourn in the wilderness. No one knows when he will
return, but his followers do appear to be heeding his recent calls for
calm. Apart from the ongoing teaching programmes at Tredl's universities,
the Solists appear to be keeping a low profile.
Rivalry between the river cities continues with the theft of a consignment
of emeralds bound for Masud. The city's rulers are blaming bandits from
Shu for the attack. Shu deny it and, in turn, blame Masud workers for
a recent cave-in at the mines which killed fifty people.
Further south, the nomad camps are open for trading as usual. And, as
usual, they refuse to have anything to do with the mines. One would-be
emerald trader has already been ejected from the Near Camp. And two thieves
have been ejected minus their right hands - a warning to all others who
seek to abuse the nomads' legendary hospitality.
Welcome to Conclave. This first turn is intended to set the scene, give
a few details of what's happening in the world and to generally get things
off to a flying start.
Conclave Turn 1
Spring Year 1 - 69 months to Armageddon.
The news comes first through an associate, but within hours rumours are
circulating the cities. Archmage Skah, the semi-mythical leader of the
mages' Conclave has been killed by a Solist assassin wielding a magical
weapon. All four Watcher Lords have fallen in a mass attack by barbarian
elves. The barbarian forces have withdrawn but, with no one protecting
North Bernea, they are expected to push forward again very soon. Across
the two continents, other mages are coming under attack, being refused
entry to inns and taverns and sometimes being forcibly ejected from the
villages and towns where they were staying.
More than one report comes in of mages killing people in a series of
Then comes another rumour: that the Conclave has declared war upon all
the races, that, not content with destroying the world, they want to destroy
every person on it before the end comes. It is said that the mage Andas
has seized what is left of the Conclave in an attempt to become the next
archmage. It is said that all birds belong to him, that he sees everything,
hears everything. In some towns people are making a point of killing birds
- just in case.
Of Amphion, the leader of the Solist faith, there has been no word for
several weeks. Those closest to him (or, at least, claiming to be closest
to him) say that he is planning a journey into the Silver Desert to meditate
and study. Or that he has already left on such a journey. Whether he has
any connection with the Solist who killed Skah is unknown. Certainly,
he has not called for all-out war against mages, and surely he would not
strike against the head of the Conclave unless he intended to start a
war. Others say he is not the true head of the Solist faith at all, that
his benefactor Jan Fale is really in control, or some mysterious third
party, who is using them both.
Yet others say that everything is a lie, that the world itself is an
illusion, that we are all figments of some higher being's imagination,
or puppets of an evil race of alien lizards, or pieces in a game played
for the entertainment of the gods. Most people know better than to listen
to such ramblings, which does nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of those
who do listen, of course.
Amid all the lies and half-truths, one thought keeps returning again
and again. If the archmage himself can be killed, then any mage can die.
Ordinary people working together can defeat them.
It is a thought that makes ordinary people very happy.
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