Conclave News and Notes Turn 10
Summer Year 3 - 42 months to Armageddon.
Mages across the continent report a general increase in health after
going on a diet that excludes the common herb responsible for upsetting
their magical energies. Non-mages continue to enjoy the herb with no ill-effects.
Activity in south Bernea is drawing attention. The Taskmaster, besides
establishing an army training camp outside the city walls and recruiting
soldiers to fill it, has let it been known that he fully supports the
claim of the 'true' emperor of Cleon. This announcement must surely see
the end of the alliance between Meridar and the Brown Friars, who are
fully prepared to defend the Emperor Jad Arden against any rivals.
The 'real' emperor of Cleon - if there is such a person - has yet to
put in an appearance. Yet Rakim the Red Ravager has been actively recruiting
for a new Imperial Guard in Sher and weapons and armour production has
increased in the town. Mayor Rupar has refused to say whether or not he
will support a bid to seize the throne of Cleon.
Rupar is pleased to announce his engagement to Rachil, owner of Sher's
Magic Shop and sister to renowned adventurer, Brindan. The couple have
yet to set a date for the wedding. The Magic Shop, after a short period
of stocktaking, is now open again for business.
As part of the new treaty that binds Sher, Meridar and Squill, the BTC
have stationed a unit in Sher. The unit consists of just one hundred men,
but Master Gromicron has made it clear that any attack upon it will be
seen as a declaration of war upon the whole of the BTC and the northern
defence force who will respond with all the resources at their disposal.
The BTC fleet has already been busy stopping and impounding ships belonging
to the Brown Friars. BTC leaders say they suspect the Taskmaster of harbouring
the Jade Throne of Cleon, and besides most of the ships are carrying illegal
cargoes of slaves. The Brown Friars have temporarily suspended all shipping
but are set to resume shortly. In an announcement mirroring Gromicron's
own words, Xanthe has stated that any attack upon any Brown Friar vessel
will be taken as a declaration of war upon the whole fleet, and the whole
fleet stands ready to respond with full and deadly force.
The rift has widened between the Cleon palace and the Brown Friars. Lady
Arden, the Emperor's mother, maintains that Xanthe was behind the assassination
attempt some months ago and that she has recovered the Jade throne and
is hiding it in Meridar until she can kill Jad Arden and take power for
herself. Xanthe has challenged her to produce evidence for her claims
or to apologise and accuses the palace of working in league with the BTC
to destroy the Brown Friars movement. The Emperor's attempts to make peace
between the two factions have so far failed.
Ambar. The mayoress's adviser, Lady Terentia, escaped a fire in her home
that began when she accidentally knocked a candle over. She is unhurt
and has moved into the mayoress's residence while her own home is being
rebuilt. On the other side of the city the fabulous glass tower of AiEsha
Dalgroth is finally complete. It is especially spectacular at sunrise
and sunset when the sun's rays turn the whole structure blood red.
Yet another expedition is underway, this time to explore the frozen wastelands
of north Bernea. Captain Justin Travallion is in charge of the mission
and promises to return soon with tales of great daring and adventure.
We wish him luck.
The following message has been seen pinned to many tavern notice boards:
I was delighted to discover an answer to the hypothetical
question of who else could have built a tunnel to the Emperor's throne
room. I hope that the actions of the good dwarf Potus has given my self-satisfied
critics the opportunity to choke as they recited his deeds to the world.
Perhaps is they know now "a man who can construct a tunnel from the
outskirts of Cleon into the throne room". Perhaps they should also
know that I have constructed many items that assist in the erection of
such tunnels. And that such items have been given generously to those
involved in the repair of Herrick's Watch and the Northern watch towers.
Many explanations exist that do not involve insulting the honour of one
who has done a great deal to prevent scribes of all shades being overrun
by barbarians and flesh-eating zombies.
Still I have not been the recipient of a richly deserved
and unreserved reputation for magnaminity for nothing. Town criers all
over the land need not fear me but rather can buy me a drink by way of
apology. Let us say no more of this incident.
As ever I remain remarkably, Rakim the Raucous Red Ravager
Jad Arden of Cleon has not responded to this proclamation, but tavern
owners in several cities have offered Rakim free drinks should he care
to visit. Their sudden generosity may have been prompted by the fact that
Rakim has, so he says, become the first man ever to explore the Burnt
Lands are return alive. Flying over the Lands on a slab of magically propelled
rock, he talks of strange storms, lightning that leads to another world
and fish raining from the sky. Hmm... Maybe he's had a few of those free
Also investigating the Burnt Lands is the Hooded Man who has put together
a group of seven mages to investigate ways of healing the Lands, or at
least of stopping their spread. He goes with the blessing of the Elven
Council and Elven Conclave and, it is understood, with the blessing of
the Empress Cha'Rissa of Kalevi herself. Given that mages probably created
the Burnt Lands in the first place, it's only fair that they should now
clear up the mess. We only hope that they don't make matters worse.
The League of Free Merchants continues to grow, with offices opening
across Bernea and Gershan. It's a good opportunity for non-affiliated
merchants to band together to share information and contacts and the range
of benefits offered by the League is very attractive so any traders tired
of the constant fighting between the BTC and the Brown Friars should take
a look at what's on offer.
More huge dogs have been spotted prowling the Larkwood. Travellers are
advised to avoid the area, or at least to take some large pieces of meat
with them to feed to the animals.
Crazy Matti is dead, and that's official.
On a dark night, a bizarre column of creatures left Lorn, heading for
the ranks of the besieging army. At the forefront was the mad prophetess,
carried aloft on a wooden platform lit by torches made from severed heads
dipped in pitch. She was dressed in the flayed skin of the commander who
led the failed attack on Lorn not long ago. Ghouls attended her. Madness
was upon her and she called down curses on those who surrounded the city
of Lorn, claiming victory in the name of someone called the Tongmeister.
The ranks of the defending army stood ready to intercept their grisly
foe, yet before the ghoul army had crossed half the distance, a pack of
wild animals rushed upon the front of their column. Matti fell to the
ground, staggering up only to be set upon by wild dogs and an eagle that
screamed in rage as it tore at her with bloodied talons. In the end, even
her own ghouls turned upon her, tearing the strewn pieces of her body
into even smaller pieces before rushing upon the waiting army.
The fight was short and fierce. Many zombies dropped lifeless before
reaching their enemies, others were cut down by the valiant ranks of soldiers
or torn apart by animals. At the climax of the battle, a light shone on
the walls of Lorn and the body of Zerg, Matti's evil companion, appeared,
dangling on the end of a rope. The action of faithful Solists within the
city, maybe? No one knows.
The next day the animals had vanished and all was quiet. The body of
Zerg was cut down and burned outside the city walls. On the advise of
mages, army commanders are burning or decapitating all bodies to prevent
them being raised again as zombies.
The War Council are holding back from ordering an all-out assault on
Lorn. Their forces are now surrounding the city. Meanwhile, in Ottah,
Potus the Pompous and the mages who escaped Lorn last month have joined
the war effort. Any other mages who wish to co-ordinate in an assault
against Lorn should report to Potus.
Other matters. Once again, Aodhagen of Taos has had to step in to squash
rumours that there are dragons in the Forbidden Mountains.
'It's true,' one farmer said. 'I saw it with my own eyes and it stole
Aodhagen responded by saying that, if there were any sheep-stealers about,
Taos would deal with them. But there are definitely, absolutely, beyond
a shadow of a doubt, no dragons.
There have, however, been a number of landslides in the mountains, some
of them quite serious. On at least two occasions, explosions were heard
and clouds of dust were seen, rising up like mushroom-shaped clouds. The
finger of blame points at Tormir Sureforge, who was seen staggering into
Taos, burned and blackened and grinning broadly. Aodhagen has taken no
action against him, nor does he intend to do so. Add to this the large
bag of gold that found its way from the city coffers into Tormir's hands
and you begin to wonder how the mage has managed to gain so much influence
over the city ruler in such a short space of time.
There's more to worry about in the area of Bale Beacon. Reliable reports
have it that an eruption of the volcano is imminent. Thankfully, there
are few people living in the area. The few that do live there have been
offered homes in Tredl until the crisis is over.
A reward is being offered for information on the whereabouts of a pair
of children who vanished some weeks ago. Shasha and Devin Whitebrook,
brother and sister, are aged seven and four respectively. Human, with
blonde hair, they were last seen in the Masud marketplace. Their parents
have offered 30 gold crowns for their return.
Travellers in the Silver Desert have reported seeing strange, flickering
lights in the sky far to the south. 'Far brighter than any lightning,'
Vormil Stortanis and his party of explorers have now been missing in
the Silver Desert for six months. The last news from them was that they'd
discovered the location of a fourth lost city, supposedly full of treasure.
Their supplies must surely have run out by now so we fear the worst. With
the current troubles in south Gershan, King Akenhaten of Masud, who funded
the expedition, has no plans to send a search party after them.
On a happier note, several people have sighted the mage Latcho Drom who
vanished in the Silver Desert almost a year ago. He refuses to say where
he has been. It is understood that the War Council wish to talk with him
as soon as possible.
Turn 10 subsidiary news
GROSS mages reappeared briefly in Gershan and Bernean to make an appeal
for human blood. After hearing that it was needed for researching anti-demon
wards, some people even donated a pint or two. No further donations are
The mage, Latcho Drom has returned to the River Cities, spending several
weeks looking through the Gershan church libraries in Shu. The War Council
and Armaggedon Council have repeated their request for him to report to
them as soon as possible.
In north Bernea, attempts to set up a barbarian elf homeland are progressing.
The elf leader, Carlos, is in charge of establishing a patrol system,
combining mounted soldiers and mages, to defend the new settlements against
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