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Conclave - News and Notes Turn 5
Spring Year 2 - 57 months to Armageddon.

Gershan

CIMIS

The GROSS headquarters narrowly avoided disaster when it was struck by a freak bolt of blue lightning. Reports say that one mage was killed and others injured. The resulting fire was quickly contained and there was minimal damage to property. The citizens of Cimis, however, are justifiably concerned that the lightning was the result of a spell gone wrong. Given the number of mages who have taken refuge in the city, it was only a matter of time until something of this sort happened. More worryingly, it is surely only a matter of time until the next 'accident.' Karagis has so far refused to rescind his offer of sanctuary to mages. His only action has been to order that GROSS pays reparation for any damage caused by its members.

Still on the subject of magic, there is a rumour going around Cimis that the noted, reclusive mage, Lorthian has set up residence in the GROSS complex and has even broken his silence to conduct a series of lectures on magical theory. GROSS officially denies this but, as everyone knows, mages are notorious liars. If they say Lorthian isn't there, he's probably been there for months.

LORN

No news of the mysterious Dagger over the past months. We trust that our Empress has now dealt with the felon. An increased guard on the palace has proved sufficient deterrent to keep thieves away - or maybe the rumour that the Empress has invested in a large quantity of magical traps from Taos has done the trick.

THE FORBIDDEN MOUNTAINS

Despite the warnings of the Governor of Taos, adventuring parties persist in journeying into the Forbidden Mountains. Some have been caught in traps set there by Taos citizen, Tormir Sureforge. Others turned back when they ran into difficulties. But some have not returned at all. Does this mean they have perished in the mountains, and if so, what has killed them? 'Their own stupidity' says Taos' Governor. He is well known as a narrow-minded and greedy man, and Sureforge is nothing more than his pet craftsman, impressing the locals with a set of cheap tricks. The truth is, the Forbidden Mountains contain a secret so valuable that Taos does not want to share it.

THE LYVAN CITIES

Solist forces attack Niu!

A Solist army led by Lord Fale of Tredl has surrounded Niu. Lord Fale has issued a statement saying that this attack is in response to the recent attacks against Solists in all the Lyvan cities. He has offered Niu generous terms of surrender, including a half share in the emerald mines. Solism is, by nature, a philosophy of peace. It is a terrible tragedy that its followers have been forced to such extreme measures in the cause of self-defence, indeed in the defence of the world as a whole. Lord Fale's terms are clear. That the ban on Solism should be lifted in all the Lyvan Cities. That all magic shops be closed down, and all mages ejected. That all magical items and books be publicly destroyed.

The Cities' army is moving, ready to engage the Solists in battle. But Amphion's main force, which withdrew from the mines some months ago, is likely to join forces with Lord Fale. Niu would therefore be wise to consider the surrender terms before engaging in hasty action.

The mad prophetess Matti has been strangely silent these past few months. Her 'assistant' Zerg, however, has made frequent appearances, usually at the centre of a fight. The current backlash against Solists is clearly not enough for him: he is on a crusade to do as much harm as possible. Masud has had the sense to refuse entry to the madman. It is hoped that the other Lyvan cities will follow their example.

The Gershan Business Organisation is growing in popularity having brokered a deal with at least two of the Lyvan Cities to run the emerald mines. Conditions for slaves has improved greatly and, contrary to initial fears, the improved conditions has led to a marked increase in output. The GBO, which has been noted for its Solist leanings, welcomes visitors to the mines to view the improvements for themselves.

BERNEA

MERIDAR

The City of Thieves continues building up its armed forces, adding men and women to the ranks daily. Rumour has it that the Taskmaster is planning a strike against Sher in the early summer. Given the current political situation in Sher and Squill, it may be the best chance he'll ever get.

SQUILL

Laine Forrester has been ejected from the City Council for the attempted assassination of Bailiff Phila Naal of Sher. So says the council, anyway. Forrester, himself the victim of a recent, failed assassination attempt, denies all charges and refuses to give himself up to arrest. Instead, he has barricaded himself into his home with the handful of men still loyal to him. A unit of Sher guards are camped outside. The Council has asked everyone to stay well away from the area until the matter is settled.

The position of Mayor has temporarily been filled by Jan Nanson, a long-serving member of the Council.

SHER

As for the situation in Sher, the Bailiff is by no means reassured by the impending arrest and execution of Laine Forrester. Guard patrols have increased three-fold and there have been a number of executions for crimes ranging from petty theft to murder and conspiracy. The town is currently under curfew between the hours of sunset and sunrise. All citizens are kindly requested to remain in their homes for their own safety. The town guards have the authority to arrest and interrogate anyone found wandering the streets during the hours of darkness.

CLEON

The coastal areas south of the city suffered minor flooding, thanks to Mage Pock'H who saw fit to take his mountain retreat from its rightful place and drop it forcefully into the sea just off the coast. A localised storm has been raging around the new island ever since - this is probably the doing of the mage as well. We must excuse him this error - being a mage he's probably got no idea how the real world works and did not foresee the havoc he would cause. This was after he threatened to kill a number of harmless villages by dropping them from a great height. Their crime? Wandering too close to his mountain. We would like to remind mages that they do not own the world, they inhabit it the same as lesser mortals. And they damn well ought to show a little consideration before they go rearranging the scenery.

A new political party made a bid for power too late. The so-called Cleon Democrats, whose symbol is a white clover, made the mistake of appealing to the common people of the city. Everyone knows that the common people do not understand politics. This new party was, in any case, overshadowed by the unveiling of a new throne of Cleon. Made of emerald, it is a fitting replacement for the lost Jade Throne. The Brown Friars, who donated the throne to the city, have pubic ally announced their support for nobleman Jad-Arden as the next Emperor of Cleon. Many of the noble families have since pledged him their support. Jad-Arden has already proclaimed himself emperor and it seems we could be expecting an official coronation within the next few months.

AMBAR

The mage AiEsha Dalgroth has announced plans for a 200 foot high tower made of glass. Local people are watching eagerly to see if the delicate construction will survive more than five minutes. AiEsha, brandishing a glass staff in the shape of entwined cobras, assures the townsfolk that it will.

THE NORTH

There has been no word from Justin Trevalion or The Hooded Man since they travelled north in separate missions to seek out the barbarian tribes. Another great victory has been gained over the barbarian hordes, however, this time at sea. A fleet led by Earendil the Mariner and Rakim the Red Ravager intercepted a barbarian attack fleet just north of Herrick's Watch. The returning victors paid tribute to Cleon's new emperor, Jad-Arden, clearly giving him their full support. A rash move, maybe, but one that will strengthen their position at the forefront of the military campaign.

Earendil may have more trouble dealing with the latest threat - an army of drowned warriors climbing out of the sea to attack Herrick's Watch. Reports on this are vague at present, and probably exaggerated. We suspect a barbarian trick. Not even mages have the power to bring dead men back to life.

A piece of good news: the barbarian werewolf, Carlos has been captured by Vohra the Red and her forces. He is currently being held at the former tower of the Watcher Lord Scale, now inhabited by Rakim the Raucous Red Ravager.

Large crowds have been flocking to hear Caldicot the Minstrel perform in North Bernea. The famed singer is travelling towards Penates, where it is hoped he will make further appearances. He has already been asked to sing at the coronation of Jad-Arden of Cleon, whenever that may happen.

A public announcement from Vohra the Red

"It has been insinuated that I am some kind of duplicitous knave with intentions towards destroying the world. Apparently this is based of the fact that I have not overtly advertised my extremely modest magical talents. I would hope that wiser heads would instead base their opinions of me upon my actions and proven dedication to the defence of the ordinary peoples of the North and the rebuilding of our way of life there.

As I have said my own abilities are negligible and until I am shown unbiased and incontrovertible proof that mages do indeed "drain the life-force of the world" I will continue to use whatever means are at my disposal to defend those under my protection. The deranged ravings of a mad man do not in my opinion count as such proof!"

(Note: Whether the word of a self-confessed mage can be believed is debatable. However, we have printed Vohra's words here so she cannot accuse us of bias.)

Subsidary News - Turn 5

Gershan

The Silver Desert Traders continue to expand their trade network from Cimis across the whole of Gershan. There are rumours that the famous Cimean wine will soon be appearing on Bernea. Given the transportation costs involved, prices are likely to be high.

In Cimis itself, the mage research facility, GROSS, continues its dubious work. Following a narrowly-averted disaster involving a botched experiment, the organisation has built a new research lab outside the city. This dome-shaped glass building has, for some obscure reason, been dubbed the Millennium Dome by locals.

Bernea

No further news on the barbarian raids or whether a peace settlement can be reached. But in the villages of north Bernea, children are playing once again. The latest game, which originated in Amos, apparently, involves them jumping from a great height with a pair of silver-painted wooden wings strapped to their arms. It's a welcome sign that, in some places at least, things are returning to normal.


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