Black Thorn Resistance/Free North News Issue 5

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This is a creative work set in the world of Elanthia, attributed to its original author(s). It does not necessarily represent the official lore of GemStone IV.

Title: The Free North News Issue #5

Author: Various

OOC Disclaimer: The following is about Empire, revolution, settler colonialism, and it’s many consequences. The opinions stated here are to be taken in character and should not be taken as out of character judgements. It is intended as in chracter rhetoric. Except that we should have a rolton cryptid. Oh and do not insert into any orifices. Or do, I’m just not legally responsible for it.

IC Disclaimer: The Black Thorns are more of a collective, and less of a organization with heirachy and a roster. Please do not take the perspective of one member to apply to all of us.

Children love the Free North News, generated by MidJourney, Prompt by Faerinn

In a freeport nestled amidst lush meadows and towering trees, a gathering of parents had found themselves on an eventful afternoon. As the warm breeze whispered secrets among the leaves, they gathered in a cozy tavern, their voices hushed yet filled with concern.

Mildred, a gentle-hearted woman with a twinkle in her eyes, sighed and turned to her friend Edgar, who sat beside her. "Oh, Edgar, you won't believe what I discovered yesterday," she whispered, leaning in closer. "I caught little Emily with a copy of the Free North News tucked under her pillow!"

Edgar's eyes widened, his bushy eyebrows furrowing. "You don't say, Mildred! I found the very same thing with my Samuel. These ideas of anti-imperialism seem to have taken root in our children's minds!"

Mildred nodded, her hand absentmindedly twirling the edge of her shawl. "Indeed, Edgar. It's a concerning matter. Just last week, I overheard Emily and her friends discussing how rocks are a more nutritious alternative to food! Can you imagine? Eating rocks?"

Edgar's laughter mingled with a tinge of exasperation. "Ah, the follies of childhood! But this Free North News seems to be filling their heads with peculiar notions. I fear what else it might contain, Mildred. We must act swiftly to protect our young ones from these radical ideas."

Mildred glanced around the room, making sure their conversation remained discreet. "You're right, Edgar. We cannot allow such subversive ideas to thrive in their impressionable minds. Our children deserve a childhood filled with innocence and wonder, not doctrines that advocate eating rocks!"

The other parents in the tavern, now curious about the whispered exchange, joined the conversation, their faces reflecting shared concern. "We must confiscate these copies from our children," one parent proclaimed, a steely determination in her voice. "We cannot allow this Free North News to poison their innocent minds."

The group nodded in agreement, a collective resolve solidifying among them. The task ahead was clear—to protect their children from the enticing grip of radical ideas. They would confiscate the forbidden copies, replacing them with tales of Koar and stories of brave knights that would ignite the children's imagination without leading them astray.

With renewed determination, the parents departed from the tavern, ready to face the challenge that lay before them. As the afternoon sun bathed the village in its golden hues, their hearts were filled with the hope that they could shield their beloved children from the seductive allure of anti-imperialist ideas and the notion of eating rocks.

Created in Midjourney Edited by player of Ceilia & Dendum uploaded by player of Dendum

The Faerinn Well, Notes from the Editor

The People's Envoy, generated by MidJourney, Prompt by Faerinn

OOC Disclaimer: The following are the in character views of Faerinn. While things may be embellished or exaggerated to help make a point or to entertain, the facts stated here are as far as Faerinn is aware true.

I call to those who call Wehnimer’s Landing home and thank you for once again putting up with another campaign by me.

I came here a refugee time and time again. People say I hate Imperials, but forget that I came here as one. And I went back to Talador time and time again only to be driven out by one half-human progrom after another. I thought Talador was my home, because I was born there. The Landing always took me back no questions asked. It took years after the destruction of Talador to realize that my real home was here all alone.

I don’t hate the people of the Empire. I don’t even hate the Empire itself Not What I hate are the machinations of Imperialism. The systems that oppress everyone in its borders from Sun Throne to South Haven. The mechanisms that produce great heros, but rewards the greatest villains. As Jovery fought Hochstib on our behalf, the Sentinal had no issue with also accepting Hochstib’s claims for for the Sun Throne. A system that can’t but help to subjugate and expand as the top of the pyramid hoard more and more resources.

I’ve lost so much to this machine. Loss that is incalculable and incomprehensible except to Aletoi from Bre’Nere. I watch the reactions from the Reach, and I don’t think I can do it again. I don’t have it in me to lose another home.  That is how you can know I am genuine. This is my guarantee to serve you to the very best of my abilities. 

Whether it was the intentional or not, once this position came up for a vote to the citizens of the Landing the position changed from someone who reports to the Mayor, Council, and Sentinal. This is a brand new position now that, one that is beholden not only to the voters, but all the residents of the Landing.

The People's Envoy.

I will be taking your concerns abroad not that of the Elites. I’m not taking just the Consortium’s concerns abroad, nor just the Empire’s, nor just the Mayors, but EVERYONES.

If you deem to have me, I will be your Envoy. To take your concerns and issues not only to Imperial interests, but to renew our languishing relationships to the North and the East.

Faerinn Greatsinger, Esq, of Talador and Loenthra

Rumor Woods, Koaratos, 5123

News for the North!

Baron Malwind tries Rock Tending, generated by MidJourney, Prompt by Faerinn, uploaded with permission
  • Dwarven Emissaries Travel Across The Lands- Under the mountain the human empire is discussed but the dwarves decide to remain neutral for now.
  • Icemule- A Dwarven Caravan is attacked. The Mayor plans to sends condolences to the mountain.
  • Sol Haven- Rumors abound of children eating rocks after misunderstanding certain cultural oddities of Aldora.
  • Wehnimer's Landing- Envoy selection takes place the world waits in anticipation to see who will speak for the Landing.

Everything You're Dreaming

The barony of Darkstone will bring everything you're dreaming
Elidal's the greatest force of good you're ever seeing
We'd surely fall to ruin if not for his intervening
The barony of Darkstone will bring everything you're dreaming

Because of the parade of threats we've faced for many years
This Elidal is taking steps to now assuage our fears
And so one day he made a vow of some contentious prose
The biggest vow I've heard by now and this is how it goes:

The barony of Darkstone will bring everything you're dreaming
Hope and safety, wealth and wisdom, deeper inner meaning
He's the apex, he's the leadership that we've been needing
The barony of Darkstone will bring everything you're dreaming

Now, it might seem precocious, like your lives are a disgrace
Or it might seem atrocious, like your heroes die a waste
But all the blood shed by our fallen fighters need not fail
Just ally now with Elidal or it's to no avail

The barony of Darkstone will bring everything you're dreaming
Not to sound too grand or condescending or demeaning
But have you seen the trouble this frontier is always gleaning?
The barony of Darkstone will bring everything you're dreaming

(You could say it nearly backwards:
Dreaming your everything will bring Darkstone of barony...
But that's going a bit too far, don't you think?)

So as you face down yet more wars you didn't need to fight
Reflect on Eli's words and how he'll be our shining light
You'd better ponder carefully since this could change your life
For example: a permanent stability that sees the end of strife

The barony of Darkstone will bring everything you're dreaming
Lift you out of hopeless doubts and fears since they're deceiving
If you say it oft enough, you'll find yourself believing
The barony of Darkstone will bring everything you're dreaming

Ask Lithyia

generated by MidJourney, Prompt by Faerinn, uploaded with permission

Dear Lithyia

Every morning a dwarf smelling of liquor breaks into my shop and smashes all the vases claiming he is looking for “real gems”. I tried locking the doors, and barring the windows but he just passes through them like a ghost. Please advise.

Vaseless in Vornavis

Dear Vaseless in Vornavis,

Something I have learned over the years is that the fastest way to many dwarve’s hearts is through freshly made brew. I recommend you get your hands on a still and begin leaving “gifts” outside your shop for this dwarf. You should notice you no longer need to lock the doors or bar the windows because you will find them passed out drunk in front of your shop. You can then haul them off yourself or pay some youngin who needs a few silvers to do it for you. If you do not have access to a still, seek me out. I am a brewmaster and would be happy to craft some specialities just for you and this…situation.

Fresh brew is best brew! Miss Lithy

Dear Lithyia,

I find myself in a most peculiar predicament—one that has left me pondering the ethics of my choices. You see, I have become entangled in an intriguing, yet probably evil, cult. The allure of their secret rituals and promises of enlightenment initially drew me in, but now I'm plagued with doubts. Should I stay in this malevolent cult, embracing its dark path, or should I break free from its clutches and seek a more morally upright existence? Please help me navigate this moral maze, Lithyia, for I fear I'm teetering on the edge of eternal damnation.


Torn Between Enlightenment and Ethics

Dear Torn Between Enlightenment and Ethics,

Having never been involved in a cult myself or having any experience related to them I must ponder on this a bit. Have they threatened you or someone you love? If so, I would suggest removing yourself from them as soon as possible. I might also recommend some new wrist, arm and ankle sheaths to carry additional…implements. One can never be too careful. As for whether you should seek a more morally upright existence, I don’t think you need to fully sacrifice who you may be as a person just because things didn’t work out the way you hoped with this group.

Regards, Miss Lithy

Turamzyrrian Empire's Dark Legacy Unveiled: Evil Cult Hiding in Solhaven Sends Assassins into the Free North

generated by MidJourney, Prompt by Dendum

Byline: Dorper Eweherder

A dark cloud of treachery looms over the realm of Elanthia as the infamous Turamzyrrian Empire's troubled past comes to light once again. Known for its historical deeply ingrained racist policies and discriminatory practices, the empire now stands accused of shielding an insidious cult that has unleashed assassins into the once tranquil lands of the Free North. The revelation has sent shockwaves throughout the realm, exposing the Empire's complicity in this heinous plot.

For centuries, the Turamzyrrian Empire has held a notorious reputation for its divisive policies, fostering an environment of inequality and prejudice. Its discriminatory practices, targeting non-human races, have sown discord and resentment among the diverse populations of Elanthia. These issues have been made more troublesome when coupled with its militaristic campaigns of subjegation towards its neighbours.

Now, as the truth unravels, it has come to light that the empire has been sheltering and aiding an evil cult known as the Order of Eternal Light. This secretive and malevolent organization has dispatched assassins into the unsuspecting lands of the Free North, destabilizing the region and trying to strike fear and chaos among its inhabitants.

The Order of Eternal Light, notorious for their questionable membership and history of promoting the Lornon agenda, has found refuge within the empire's borders, shielded by its militaristic policies, authoritarian rule, and willful blindness. Their nefarious activities, supported by the Empire's resources and protection, have targeted key figures and leaders in the Free North, plunging the region into a state of wariness.

A group of courageous adventurers, driven by a relentless pursuit of justice, managed to peel back the layers of secrecy surrounding the Empire's unholy alliance with the Order of Eternal Light. Through their tenacious efforts, evidence linking high-ranking Empire Sympathizer to the cult's activities came to light, exposing the empire's complicity in this sinister plot.

We thank those brave souls who were former and current members of the Order who risked their lives helping expose the corruption.

The revelation has ignited a firestorm of outrage and condemnation throughout the Free North and beyond. Leaders and communities have united in their denouncement of the empire's aggressive stance in the sovereign territory of other people and its collaboration with an evil cult. Calls for justice and swift action reverberate through the halls of free people everywhere, demanding accountability for those responsible.

In response to mounting accusations, the Turamzyrrian Empire's representatives will scramble to distance themselves from the scandal, issuing statements condemning the cult's actions and denying any knowledge of their collaboration. However, the people of the Free North and the realm at large will remain skeptical, seeing these claims as a feeble attempt to salvage the empire's past reputation in light of recent efforts to rebrand itself.

As tensions escalate between the Free North and the Turamzyrrian Empire, Elanthia stands on the brink of an epic confrontation. The Free North, known for its resilience and commitment to justice, rallies its forces in a united front against the empire's tyranny. With swords raised and magic at their disposal, they stand ready to face the combined might of the empire and the Order of Eternal Light, vowing to restore peace and expose the truth.

The fate of Elanthia hangs in the balance as the forces of darkness threaten to engulf the realm. Will the Free North succeed in reclaiming its autonomy and defeating the evil that has been nurtured by the empire's feudal policies? Only time will tell, as the realm braces itself for an epic clash between justice and oppression.

The Ord An Dragan: Guardians of Unity and Honor

Advertisement, generated by MidJourney, prompt by Dendum

The Ord An Dragan: Guardians of Unity and Honor

Deep in the heart of Wehnimer's Landing, an organization flourishes, embodying the principles of unity, strength, and honor. They are the Ord An Dragan, a revered clan that has etched its name in the annals of history as stalwart protectors of the realm.

Forged in the fires of chaos, the Ord An Dragan emerged during the Age of Chaos, when a battle raged at Shadow Guard. In an unprecedented display of unity, a diverse alliance formed, consisting of Dwarves, Giantmen, Elven Houses, Humans, Sylvans, Halflings, and many others. This union, a testament to the power of collaboration, turned the tide of war, forever changing the course of the realm's destiny.

Witnessing the transformative impact of this alliance, the members of the Ord An Dragan clan embraced their role as custodians of unity. They understood that strength lay not in isolation, but in the harmonious integration of different races and creeds. Their numbers and influence grew, establishing them as the last line of defense for the survival of Elanthia.

Through the ages, the Ord An Dragan clan quietly and steadfastly fulfilled their sacred duty. They became the watchful eyes, the meticulous record keepers, and the nurturing force behind the values they held dear. From the discovery of the Gnomes to the arrivals of the Erithians and Aelotoi, the Ord An Dragan clan stood witness to these pivotal events, safeguarding the fragile balance of the realm.

When the Aelotoi were attacked by the Kiramon, it was the Ord An Dragan clan who joined forces with the Ta’Illistim guards to defend them. This marked the first official record of their presence in the environs of Ta’Illistim. However, it was in Wehnimer's Landing that they found their true home—a haven for diversity due to its status as a port city and its proximity to various lands.

Embodying the creed established by the Drakes, the Ord An Dragan clan became arbiters of justice and cultivators of honor. Within their ranks, individuals found a sanctuary where their potentials were nurtured and protected. The unity of their powers, akin to the might of a dragon, fortified their resolve to safeguard the realm.

In the face of waning dragon numbers, the Ord An Dragan took up the mantle of guardianship. They pledged to honor the strength in unity, working tirelessly to ensure the coexistence of all races and the triumph of righteousness. Monthly meetings, though sometimes dismissed as "borin'" by a few immature members, serve as a testament to the clan's commitment to fostering unity, sharing wisdom, and upholding their cherished values.

Today, the Ord An Dragan stands as a shining beacon in Wehnimer's Landing, a symbol of unity and honor. They have dedicated themselves to the well-being of the realm, protecting it from the encroachment of darkness. In their footsteps, new generations are guided and inspired to carry forward the legacy of the Ord An Dragan, preserving the realm's harmony and safeguarding its future.

May their noble endeavors continue to inspire all who seek a world built upon unity, strength, and honor.

Advertisement, generated by MidJourney, prompt by Dendum

"Sheep's Wool: A Flock Too Far in Courtly Fashion"

Rolton Fashion, generated by MidJourney, prompt by Dendum

By Madam Maedat

In an age where courtly fashion knows no bounds, one cannot help but marvel at the relentless obsession with sheep's wool. It seems that every nobleman and noblewoman, from the grandest castle to the lowliest manor, must drape themselves in the fluffy fabric of these humble farm creatures. Verily, we have reached a point where sheep's wool has become the cornerstone of court couture, and I am compelled to raise my quill in mock astonishment at this woolly madness.

Gone are the days of intricate embroidery and fine silks that adorned the aristocracy. Now, one can hardly tell a lord from a shepherd at first glance, for they are all swathed in wool from head to toe. It is as if they have declared a silent allegiance to the noble sheep, or are suffering in a secret love affair with some rolton, forsaking all other materials in favor of their cozy, albeit predictable, charm.

Rolton Fashion, generated by MidJourney, prompt by Dendum

Let us take a moment to ponder the origins of this fashion frenzy. Sheep, creatures blessed with abundant fleece, have long been cherished for their warmth and versatility. Their wool has provided countless garments throughout history, but today it seems the demand has reached unprecedented heights. It is as if our courtly denizens, from Allace to Trauntor, have entered into a pact with the sheep, vying to outdo one another in their excessive display of ovine devotion.

Behold, the ladies parading in their woolen gowns, each step accompanied by the sound of gentle baas. Their dressmakers laboriously sculpt these garments, ensuring no inch of their noble forms remains untouched by the woolly embrace. Layers upon layers of the stuff are piled on, transforming them into walking clouds of fluff. It is a wonder they do not float away, carried off by a strong gust of wind or a playful ram.

Rolton Fashion, generated by MidJourney, prompt by Dendum

The gentlemen fare no better, donning woolen doublets, cloaks, and even leggings. They walk with a perpetual itch, for who among them can withstand the tickling sensation that accompanies an entire outfit fashioned from wool? Yet, they persist, prancing about in their woolly attire as if they have forgotten the existence of other fabrics entirely.

Alas, even the knights who once gleamed in shining armor have succumbed to the pull of sheep's wool. No longer do they ride into battle, clad in protective steel; instead, they charge forth covered head to toe in woolen armor. One wonders if their adversaries will die from laughter before they can even draw their swords.

I implore the courtly elite to reconsider their devotion to sheep's wool. Surely there are other fabrics worthy of their attention? Let us not forget the delicate touch of velvet, the shimmer of satin, or the regal flow of brocade. Our forefathers would turn in their graves if they witnessed such a woolly takeover of fashion.

Rolton Fashion, generated by MidJourney, prompt by Dendum

In conclusion, dear readers, let us remember the time-honored lesson of moderation. While sheep's wool undeniably has its place in courtly fashion, its ubiquity threatens to transform our noble courts into pastures. Let us reclaim the elegance and diversity that once graced our wardrobes, lest we become a flock of fashion sheep, forever caught in the woolly embrace of mediocrity.

All Enemies Can Not Change by Dendum

Advertisement, generated by MidJourney, prompt by Dendum

Great disturbances occur in the Free North. The ground itself shakes under Icemule and fire reaches out willingly to the waters. Visions stalk the minds of the unwary and the path forward is not clear. The mountains around the Landing have become unstable. In this dark time there are some in Icemule and even some in the Landing who seek peaceful accord with ancient foes, seek to tame that which has stalked us, killed our brethren, sacrificed our friends for their own glory.

The enemy’s fleet has terrorized our waters for many years, Talbot Dabbings kin saw them for what they were, they have proven themselves untrustworthy time and time again but still there are voices in the North that claim we can make peace with them. Even in the Landing, which has suffered attacks from this enemy more than any other, there is talk of working out an accord despite the past.

Why would anyone think that such a foe will change behavior overnight just because they need land? When we have seen their dark magic and all its corruption, we have felt the bit of their blade and heard their useless barking? They are mighty now, this is true, but that does not make them an ally worth inviting in it just makes them a threat worth holding back.

Some say we must seek an accord because failure to treat with them will cause them to migrate against our will. Did we become so meek that we bow to any threat no matter how vile the forces behind the threat? Is this not the North that has held up against impossible odds before? The birth place of Black Wolves that held off Ta’vaalor in ancient days? The place where Krolvin Armadas break, not against the rocky shore, but against the iron will of the defenders? They may be strong but that has never been a barrier in the past.

Some say the enemy’s problem are a result of their own making...and this surely can be true because they have sewn a field of evil seeds and now must deal with the consequences. It is not for us to give them a new field to plant and destroy with their wicked ways.

If kind hearts demand refuge be given to the ancient foe then let them change their ways and THEN be accepted. Do not let them bring the rites and rituals of their homeland into the North to continue to spread darkness. Do not give them a new patch of dirt from which to lash out against more innocent lives and cause more destruction. Only in changing can they become more than a threat to the North.

A Guide to Cooking Rolton: A Delightful Compendium of Recipes from the Free North

Master Chef Howlen, generated by MidJourney, prompt by Draelor, uploaded with permission

By: Master Howlen

Preface: In this esteemed compendium, we shall embark upon a gastronomic journey through the art of preparing and savoring rolton, a noble and tasty creature that graces our tables with its delicate flesh. Drawing inspiration from the culinary wisdom of northern chefs, we shall unravel the secrets of transforming rolton meat into delectable dishes fit for the discerning palate of the gentry. Let us delve into the techniques and recipes that shall transport you to the kitchens of yore.

Cooking Rolton, generated by MidJourney, prompt by Dendum

Chapter 1: Selecting and Preparing the Rolton Choosing the Rolton: To commence this culinary endeavor, select a young and tender rolton, preferably between six months and one year old. Seek an animal that has been reared on a diet of fresh pasture, as this shall impart a superior flavor to the meat. Older roltons may be harder to eat and may try and kill you.

Dressing the Rolton: Begin by skillfully dressing the rolton, ensuring a thorough removal of the hide while preserving the purity of the meat. With expert precision, separate the limbs, ribs, and loins, readying them for the sublime culinary creations to come.

Traditional Cooking Techniques Roasting and Spit-Roasting: In the noble tradition of the north, roasting is a preferred method for cooking rolton. Secure the meat upon a spit, skillfully turning it over the fire until the outer layer crisps to a golden hue, while the inner succulence remains intact. Basting with a delectable concoction of melted butter, herbs, and aromatic spices shall elevate the flavors to unparalleled heights.

Stewing and Braising: To tame the tougher cuts and infuse the meat with a symphony of flavors, the art of stewing and braising shall be employed. With great care, place the marinated meat into a vessel with aromatic vegetables, herbs, and a carefully measured amount of stock or wine. Allow the concoction to simmer gently, tenderizing the rolton and imbuing it with the essence of the ingredients.

A Selection of Traditional Recipes Rolton Ragout with Herbs and Root Vegetables: Begin by marinating the rolton meat in a delicate blend of wine, herbs, and spices for several hours. In a cauldron over a gentle fire, combine the marinated meat with a medley of root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and turnips. Allow the flavors to meld together as they slowly simmer. Serve this fragrant ragout as a centerpiece to grace the tables of esteemed guests.

Grilled Rolton Chops with Rosemary and Garlic: Prepare the rolton chops by marinating them with crushed garlic, fresh rosemary, and a drizzle of fine olive oil. Place the marinated chops upon a grill over a bed of glowing coals, allowing the flames to kiss the meat, while retaining its tenderness. Turn the chops with care, ensuring an even char, and present them with pride, their flavors enhanced by the simplicity of the ingredients.

Slow-Roasted Leg of Rolton with Juniper and Thyme: Marinate the leg of rolton in a heady blend of juniper berries, thyme, red wine, and vinegar. Place it in a roasting pan, adorning it with fragrant sprigs of thyme. Roast it slowly in a well-regulated oven until the flesh yields effortlessly to the fork

In Conclusion: From rustic dish to flavorful journeys that soothe the soul Rolton is famous on the tables of the North, perhaps it can be famous on your table as well!

Cooking Rolton, generated by MidJourney, prompt by Dendum