Conclave - News and Notes Turn 3
Autumn Year 1 - 63 months to Armageddon.
The barbarian attacks intensified with twin attacks on Kalofane and Penates.
In both cases, a large force of barbarian elves carried out a swift 'hit
and run' attack by night, withdrawing before the defenders could take
a proper stand. Kalofane suffered extensive damage with barbarians looting
many shops and setting fire to other buildings. The military headquarters
was one of the buildings destroyed. A new, temporary headquarters has
been set up on the bank of the Taze. Penates fared somewhat better. Latest
reports say the city gates were breached and some of the food stores burned
but at least three hundred barbarian elves died in the attack, including
their leader who was killed by the elven mariner, Earendil. Defenders
in both cities managed to take some captives. They are now undergoing
interrogation in the hope of finding out more about the barbarian plans.
Even stranger news is that, on the morning after the attack, somebody
impersonated the Kalofane army commander and ordered the whole defence
force to march on Cleon, claiming that Cleon was behind the barbarian
attacks. If it wasn't for the quick actions of certain citizens including
Captain Vohra the Red, in finding the real commander, the army may well
have continued on to attack Cleon. A worrying notion.
More worrying is the notion that there may be widespread famine come
winter. With food stores in Penates being destroyed, the north will have
to rely on shipments from further south in order to get through the coming
months. Refugee camps have been set up to the east of Kalofane. The mage
Aris Whitewillow has been providing food at the largest one. And in Ambar,
also seeing increasing numbers of refugees, the mage AiEsha Dalgroth is
proving her worth to the local citizens by setting up a farm and gardens
where she grows healing herbs. Her prices are among the lowest in Ambar,
and there are rumours that her plants are magically enhanced. They'll
have to be to protect them from the biting cold of the north Bernean winter.
In north Bernea, at least, the Solist idea that mages are evil, is not
catching on. 'How can they be evil?' one refugee asked. 'They could have
walked away and let us starve, but they stayed to help.'
It is not all doom and gloom, however. Master Gromicron's new enterprise,
the Bernean Trading Company, has done much to safeguard trade caravans
over the past two months. The BTC now has offices in Kalofane, Penates,
Ambar, Kessel and Veluta and new recruits to join the mercenary guards
are always welcome. Traders wishing to use the caravans are asked to pay
a percentage of profit in return for the safe transport of goods. The
Company has also announced plans to build fortified outposts between cities,
which traders and travellers may use for a modest fee. See the letters
from Master Gromicron, below, for more details.
To reassure the citizens of the north, the defensive situation is this:
all four Watcher Towers are occupied, there are regular patrols. All trade
caravans are guarded. Citizens are advised that the refugee camps are
a temporary measure and that everyone should return to their homes over
the coming months. Protection will be offered. Meanwhile, anyone wishing
to volunteer for the defence force should see Captain Vohra the Red, Rakim
the Red Rover or Earendil the Mariner.
With the barbarian threat retreating, South Bernea appears to be relaxing
a little. Plans for a joint Meridar-Squill army appear to have been dropped
for the time being, much to the relief of Squill's inhabitants. Meridar
has, instead, been putting its efforts into recruiting a particularly
nasty unit of city guards - thugs and thieves, every one of them. And
in Cleon the political situation continues to deteriorate. It appears
that the Brown Friars have put their full backing behind Jad-Arden, latest
pretender to the Jade throne. There are also rumours that they have the
support of the Solist faction, though this is to be confirmed.
One further bright note in the north - the famed bard Caldicot has been
spending the past months in the village of Amos, close to Cleon. Many
of the townsfolk of Cleon have travelled to the village specially to hear
him sing - good news for the local tavern which, word has it, has all
but run out of ale.
More strange sightings of wizards. Citizens of Sher reported seeing a
'small, old man in robes' appearing suddenly on the outskirts of the city
and disappearing immediately, and a younger woman appeared for a moment
stark naked in the middle of Meridar. A number of people have offered
large rewards to anyone who can make her appear again, for longer. In
another incident, a traveller in mid-Bernea reported seeing floating trees
and rocks, hovering above the mountains to the south-east of Kalofane.
From Master Gromicron:
Founding of the Bernean Trading Company
War is threatening our lands, our lives and our businesses. To protect
and to safeguard the life bringing trade in our beloved Bernean homeland
the BTC has been founded. To guarantee safe passage of your precious goods
join a BTC caravan. Our skilled men at arms will give their lives to protect
your valuable possessions and the lives of you and your associates. For
a modest fee you can rest assured that your goods arrive safely at their
destination and that your business will be as profitable as before. If
interested, please contact the BTC office next to your local trader¹s
A second announcement from Master Gromicron appeared in taverns and shops
all over Bernea:
Skilled Soldiers Requested
The newly founded BTC is seeking skilled men at arms for immediate employment.
Applicants should be well versed in the cavalry arts but need not own
their own mounts. All equipment, uniforms and high quality armaments will
be provided. Employment is long term and many career paths are possible.
Pay will surpass that of any other armed service in Bernea or Gershan.
Only serious applicants need apply. Candidates will be required to perform
a series of demanding trials. Our standards are high and only the best
will be accepted! If interested, please contact the BTC office next to
your local trader¹s guild.
From Xanthe of the Brown Friars, Cleon
The Bernean Trading Company is an aberration, set up by an opportunist
who has no real interest in the safety of north Bernea. Master Gromicron
is interested in one thing only: profit and, if any parts of his trading
empire become unprofitable, he will cut them off. The Brown Friars have
been supervising the free trade of the north for decades. Our fees are
lower than the BTC's and our guards have been working with us for many
years, unlike the mercenaries Gromicron has seen fit to hire.
In the past months we have seen more attacks on our caravans than ever
before. Some at the hands of barbarian elves, others by common thieves
and bandits. In every case we have fought them off and we will continue
to do so. We will not allow the BTC to put us out of business. If Master
Gromicron thinks he can set up a trade monopoly across the whole of Bernea,
as is no doubt his aim, he is in for an unpleasant surprise.
People of Gershan, do not think you are safe because the barbarian elves
cannot reach your shores. The Solist army, under the command of the Prophet
Amphion and his disciple Sheik Omar of the nomad tribes, have moved on
the Emerald Mines and, to use the Prophet's own words, has 'liberated'
them. The mine slaves are now under the direct command of the Solists.
Whether their lives are any better remains to be seen, but the mines are
still operational. It is rumoured that Amphion has allies among the Gershan
traders who are establishing new buyers for the emeralds and returning
much of the profit to the Solist faction.
In response to this, the Lyvan cities have issued a joint proclamation
outlawing Solism in any form. In Niu and Ottah, general warrants have
been issued for the arrest of any Solist supporters. Following the removal
of Mayor Padriac Takeri in Shu, that city has yet to follow the lead of
the others, but defence forces are gathering at Masud. These include an
army composed of nomads and others, lead by the nomad elf, Loren, and,
so it is rumoured, a group of special troops under the guidance of the
mysterious Saran Rist and Kep Hail.
Amphion, now camped with his army at the Emerald Mines, has offered a
real amnesty on magical items, as opposed to the fake amnesty that was
set up by certain thieves in the summer. Needless to say, no one has yet
taken the Prophet up on his offer. The Gershan church, too, is still asking
people to hand over any magical artefacts they possess, however unimportant.
It doesn't appear that their appeal has been any more successful than
the Solists', however.
The emerald mines are operating as normal, so our reports say, presided
over by a new company which calls itself the 'Gershan Business Organisation.'
Nothing is known about this organisation except that it has grown from
nothing to a sizeable company seemingly overnight.
From a shopkeeper in Shu - These magical amnesties are becoming a joke.
Last night my Magick Shop was broken into and several items stolen, but
because of the amnesty the city guard did nothing. The Captain of the
Guard even suggested that I should have handed in all my stock to the
Gershan church months ago and switched to trading in food or clothes.
No doubt we all need food and clothes. But we also need magic. It is part
of our world and it will not go away. Neither will it destroy the world
as some say. Why do the authorities want to collect magical artefacts
anyway? Is it really so they can dispose of them. Or do they want to use
them for themselves? I appeal to the new Mayor, Cantius, to revoke this
amnesty immediately and allow mages to turn their full efforts to the
defence of the city.
Masud. The city leaders conference passed by relatively peacefully, with
the exception of the arrival of Crazy Matti the dwarf, accompanied by
an equally deranged elf. Stark naked except for a dead mouse hung around
her neck, covered in white ash with mystic symbols drawn all over her
body, the mad prophetess stood on a box in the middle of the city and
spoke while her elf servant alternately banged a drum and blew a ram's
horn. "The godless one in silvery sandy sandals, speaketh of spurning
the staff yet seeks its protection still. Seek him not staff bearers through
the paths of your wisdom, lest you face your treacherous brother."
Pointing at the palace she shouted, "Black emeralds shall be your
The cult of Mad Matti, it must be said, is gaining some popularity. A
couple of copycat prophets have appeared in various cities, all dressed
in rags and ashes, all proclaiming doom. Copies of 'Sayings of Mad Matti'
are being offered for sale, though as no two of these copies are alike,
would be prophets are advised to save their money and forge their own
News from Cimis is that the new GROSS library and research centre is
attracting mages from all over the continent, some of them fleeing from
the south and the Solist-controlled Tredl. The Magick Shop is lending
its full support as is, reportedly, the city leader, Karagis, himself.
A board of directors has been duly appointed, representing all three races
- two humans, two dwarves and an elf. Any mages interested in furthering
magical research are encouraged to get in touch with Kinnon, Chief Administrative
Dictator for Life of GROSS.
In addition to the establishment of GROSS, Cimis is pleased to announce
not one but two new trade routes to the city. Gromicron's trade route
will handle general supplies while Vormil of the Silver Desert Traders
are said to have an exclusive contract for distributing the city's wine,
including the famous Cimian Red.
Lorn - Two large bags of gold were left in the main Gershan church, fuelling
rumours that the Lorn thief has returned and is now giving to the poor
what he has stolen from the rich merchants of the city. The Empress has
increased her reward to 200 gold pieces for any information leading to
his capture. A further reward of 20 gold pieces is offered by the merchant's
guild for information on the whereabouts of one of its members who disappeared
last month. Information is available from the Guild headquarters.
The Forbidden Mountains - No cause for the mysterious disturbances has
yet been found. Master Tormir Sureforge, Taos' top metal smith is conducting
an investigation of the area on the orders of the Taos governor. No doubt
he will be reporting his findings shortly. Meanwhile, the Governor of
Taos warns that anyone injured in the mountains, by whatever means, has
only themselves to blame for going there in the first place.
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