Conclave News and Notes Turn 8
Winter Year 2 - 48 months to Armageddon.
The renowned bard, Caldicot, has left Penates, much to the disappointment
of the people there. But one man's loss is another man's gain, and he
has been performing at villages along the south of the great forest, travelling,
it appears in the direction of Ambar. A rumour that he had already arrived
in Ambar resulted in guard having to disperse crowds of screaming women
- elven and human, even a few dwarves among them.
A major breakthrough in the cause of peace in northern Bernea has happened
with the opening of peace talks between the barbarian tribes, the forest
elves and the northern defence force. Among those meeting in a secret,
protected location were the Empress of Kalevi, representatives from Kalofane,
Penates and Ambar, leaders of the defence force, including Vohra the Red,
Rakim the Raucous Red Ravager, barbarian leaders and The Hooded Man, who
was instrumental in bringing the warring parties together.
Talks are still continuing, but it is thought that provisional agreements
have been made for the following:
- An elven council, to include a representative from each barbarian
tribe and each elven city. This council would be responsible for the
reintegration of the barbarian elves and would discuss matters of culture
as well as politics.
- An elven magical conclave, with representative from each magical
- Agreements to be made for the setting aside of land for the sole
use of the barbarian tribes.
- A ceasefire agreement to come into force immediately.
- Barbarian elves to be included in the northern defence force.
A strange plague appears to be affecting the mages of Bernea. Many of
them are reporting feeling weak and ill, and many are hallucinating flowers,
butterflies and other brightly coloured objects in their latrines. We
always knew that magic affected the brain, and now we have proof. Maybe
now mages will realise the dangers inherent in their craft and will stop
their vile practices before it's too late.
Rumours of humanoid tigers roaming the forest around Cleon are completely
unfounded say local residents. The story was dreamed up by village children
in an attempt to scare travellers. Tigers are large, striped cats that
live in hot climes. They would not survive a winter in north Bernea.
There has been no news yet from Earendil and his intrepid band of explorers
who left Bernean shores to seek out a new continent. If there is a lost
continent out there, they must surely have reached it by now. Either that
or they have sailed so far that they have gone right over the edge of
The emerald throne has been stolen! Palace guards entered the Cleon throne
room to find the throne missing and a tunnel coming up into the middle
of the room. The theft is obviously the work of a mage, and the earth
mage Rakim the Raucous Red Ravager, well known for his skill at constructing
tunnels, had been residing in Cleon for some time before the theft. The
emperor has issued a warrant for his arrest, offering a reward of 400
gold crowns. The mage has so far evaded capture.
The War in the South
"Valiant Soldiers, we see now the task before us. The forces of
Squill are using magic against us, bring us ever closer to the end of
the world. The fires we have suffered and the stolen food is the work
of Mages. We shall unite against this and prove the stronger force."
Thus spake the Taskmaster, making one of his rare public appearances.
The hooded and cloaked figure was greeted with loud cheering from all
And what of Squill? After a series of lengthy council meetings, Mayor
Jan Nanson issued the following statement.
"Citizens of Squill, the Taskmaster is a liar and a thief. In these
past months he has invaded Sher, which was under our protection. He now
claims to have made Sher independent and he claims we are hastening this
world's destruction by using magic against him. I am fully aware of the
dangers of magic, but the Taskmaster seeks to replace magic with force
of arms and thus become the sole ruler of all Bernea. At least the Solist
prophet has the best interests of the world at heart. The Taskmaster has
only his own interests at heart and he doesn't care if he destroys everything
if he gets what he wants. Yes, if we do not stand firm against Meridar,
the end of the world is nigh, and we will only have ourselves to blame."
Laine Forrester, former mayor of Squill, was executed for the attempted
assassination of Phila Naal, Bailiff of Sher (who was successfully assassinated,
you'll remember, by Vohra the Red six months ago.) The Squill Council
cited new evidence that Forrester had been working as an agent of Meridar
for some time. No one seemed to care much whether he was guilty or not.
Standing in front of the public gallows, he made a speech protesting his
innocence but only a handful of people turned up to listen.
While Squill mustered its forces, the Taskmaster prepared for the defence
of Sher and the two sides finally met in battle south of Kaden Wood. The
outcome is still uncertain, however it is thought that Squill is prepared
to enter into peace negotiations. Bernean Trading Company soldiers have
kept out of the dispute so far, on the orders of Master Gromicron. Veluta
and Kessel, however, have stated their readiness to defend Squill should
the Taskmaster attempt to take the city.
Meanwhile in Sher, the garrison has been replaced by a contingent of
the Taskmaster's men and a nightly curfew is in place. Hardly the actions
of a free, independent town.
Countess Grimsby has announced that the mage Magnus Thorne has been traced
and will be brought to trial soon. In the meantime, she has been questioning
diverse groups of people about the recent assassinations of town leaders.
She's even questioned one or two Solists. She has refused to confirm or
deny the rumour that the attacks were the result of a collusion between
the Taskmaster and the Brown Friars. Xanthe of the Brown Friars has denied
any such collusion, yet a small fleet of ships was seen leaving Cleon
and heading southwards at the beginning of winter, allegedly carrying
reinforcements for the Taskmaster's army.
While the Taskmaster wages war, a group of villagers have arrived at
the gates of Meridar seeking help. They claim they come from a village
close to the borders of the Burnt Lands and that one night the border
shifted suddenly so that half their village was consumed. Their claim
has yet to be verified, but since their arrival in Meridar, other refugees
have followed them. Their homes are unaffected, but they are unwilling
to remain in them under the threat of the Burnt Lands expanding.
The Forbidden Mountains are still off limits, although Aodhagen has relaxed
restrictions somewhat, and removed some of the magical traps. It is understood
that mages, including Potus the Pompous, Kareena and Tormir Sureforge
are protecting the mountains against unwanted intrusion.
Was the Empress responsible for the ritual killing that took place on
our streets some months ago? Some people are saying yes, and that she
is also involved in many other murders. The Empress has denied all rumours
and has threatened to arrest agitators. With a Solist army threatening
south Gershan, all people must work together, said a palace spokesman.
It is true that the Solists pose a serious threat, but what of the palace?
There are tales of hidden rooms and dark goings-on. Some of the palace
servants have left, others have vanished without trace. Is the Empress
in league with mages and other dark powers? Is Crazy Matti really living
in the palace, and if so why? There are far too many rumours in the city.
Some of them must be true.
News from GROSS
The magic organisation has been thankfully quiet these past months. Maybe
the violent storm that nearly sank their ships frightened them a little.
Maybe, with a bit of luck, they'll disappear altogether soon. We can but
Shu is at war. The Solist army, led by the Prophet Amphion and Lord Fale
reached the city four days ago. Waiting for them was the massed forces
of the Cities' army, led by the elf nomad, Loren. So far, the battle could
go either way. There have been heavy losses on either side, and one direct
attack on Amphion himself. An illusion appeared over the battlefield of
Amphion's dead body and, when the Prophet rode forward to confront it,
a bolt of light shot from the city walls. The attacker should know that
nothing magical can harm the Prophet. The bolt killed one of his men but
faded away before it could touch Amphion himself.
Shu is relying on its Gershan priests for protection. In that, it is
sadly mistaken. There is no god coming to save them and they have already
learned they cannot use the forces of magic against the prophet. All spells
lose their power in his presence. Bishop Ubel Thais would be well advised
to surrender now.
Our thoughts are with the Prophet. We wish him a speedy victory.
The mines are one of the few safe places in South Gershan at the moment.
This may explain the sudden influx of workers, although the GBO's reforms
must also play a part, having vastly improved conditions there. Anyone
seeking work at the mines is asked to report to the GBO office for details
of vacancies. All kinds of workers may apply - manual labourers, skilled
miners, guards, cooks, blacksmiths, sales and support staff.
Reports from the Silver Desert Traders state that their exploratory team
has located and mapped two of the three lost cities in the desert and
is now exploring the third. King Akenhaten cites their achievement as
a great triumph for Masud, which sponsored the journey.
In the face of Solist and Gershan fanaticism, there has been a surprising
increase in the worship of the goddess Tadewi across Bernea and Gershan.
Many villagers have been seen visiting roadside shrines, leaving offerings
of feathers and praying for guidance and protection. Some people are even
praying for her to return to the world in person. We hope they won't be
too disappointed when she doesn't answer their prayers.
Conclave Turn 8 Subsidiary News
Magnus Thorne cleared of murder
A Veluta Court formally cleared Magnus Thorne of murder today, declaring
he had nothing to do with the recent assassination attacks on prominent
personages in the area. As part of the same trial, four Solist agents
confessed to being part of a cell network who organised the attacks. After
refusing to give the name of their leader, they were sentenced to immediate
execution. Sentence has already been carried out.
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