War of Nations

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The War of Nations was a storyline in GemStone that took place in 5103.

In later times historians would call the year 5103 a dark year; a year fraught with chaos and strife. It began simply enough, with the arrival of a blue-tailed comet called the Blue Rider. For the Trolls, the comet was an augury that called forth half-remembered prophecies and legends. The Krolvin hailed the celestial event as a harbinger of victories to come. The Elves looked upon it with little more than mild intellectual curiosity. To the Empress of the Turamzzyrian Empire, beginning her tenth year on the throne, the comet was a sign of the blessing of the gods. But to her vassal, the Baron Hochstib... it meant war.

The War of Nations, also referred to as "WoN," involved several storylines that took place throughout Elanthia. These storylines were:

Official Summary

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War of Nations Summary is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

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"History is written with the blood of fallen heroes."

NEWS FROM THE ELVEN NATIONS: THE BLUE RIDER RETURNS

Day 20 of Volnes, 5103

The Observatory in Ta'Illistim has noted the arrival of an interesting astronomical phenomenon -- the Blue Rider, a large blue comet which returns to the northern sky once every 1,047 years. Over the next three months, the Blue Rider will continue to brighten as it travels slowly from north to south across the heavens. Amateur astronomers are invited to visit the Observatory in order to inspect the comet more closely.

NEWS FROM THE HUMAN EMPIRE: MAJESTY, GRACE AND MIRACLE

Day 20 of Volnes, 5103

To celebrate over a decade of the reign of Her Imperial Majesty the Empress Mynal'lyanna Anodheles, the king of the gods has sent a sign of His approval -- a wondrous blue comet, displayed before all eyes as a beacon of His will in the heavens above.

In humble acceptance of the will of the gods, Her Imperial Majesty will embark upon a tour of all lands in the Turamzzyrian Empire so that all citizens of the Empire may share in the blessing placed upon her. As the comet travels from north to south through the sky, Her Imperial Majesty will visit each of the duchies, earldoms, baronies, and counties in turn. Her Imperial Majesty will meet in council with the head of each of the noble families in the Empire, and She will permit Herself to be viewed by the people of each of the capital cities.

Prepare for celebration and revelry in the streets! A wondrous time of great joy and blessing has come to the Turamzzyrian Empire!

REPORTER'S INITIATIVE (OOC)

Dateline 1/17/2003

With the arrival of the War of Nations, rumors are sure to be flying. In order to keep fact straight from fiction, and to make sure everyone has access to the facts, we at Simutronics are pleased to present the Reporter's Initiative.

The GemStone News site will be hosting information about the upcoming War of Nations. To demonstrate how much we appreciate it when people give their time and effort to make other people aware of events in Elanthia, we will be rewarding people who write summaries of news events for the War of Nations with small experience awards. These awards will be very much like standard roleplaying experience awards: they will combine a small amount of experience with a temporary multiplier to enhance your experience gain. Joe Axe may be off smiting ogres while you participate in a roleplaying event, but you could gain even more experience than he does, and having twice the fun too!

Whenever something occurs related to the War of Nations, write a summary of the event within 24 hours of the occurrence and submit it through the GS3News website. The organizers of the website will search through the submissions and select the two most detailed, best-written summaries. Those two summaries will be edited for grammar and spelling and then posted on the GS3News website, and then the authors of those summaries will receive experience awards. What's not to like about it? Nothing!

So, get out there! Keep your eyes open, your ears pricked, and your pen ready, because the next War of Nations event, whether it's big or small, could be right around the corner... and then you could be the one sitting smug and happy with an experience award to boost your learning and brighten your day.

NEWS FROM THE HUMAN EMPIRE: A TIME OF CELEBRATION!

Day 29 of Lormesta, 5103

A time of wonder, marvel, and celebration has come to the Empire!

In Her Imperial Majesty's obedience to the wishes of Koar, King of the Gods, the Empress Mynal'lyanna Anodheles continues Her tour of the Turamzzyrian Empire. After receiving crowds of adoring subjects into Her presence in both Fairport and Brisker's Cove, the Empress is advancing overland toward the northern apex of her journey, from which She will travel south in alignment with the voyage of the blue comet.

In accordance with divine will, the Empress and her entourage will arrive in the Barony of Vornavis on Lormesta 31. Barring inclement weather, Her Imperial Majesty will address the assembled citizens of the Free Port of Solhaven upon the evening of Feastday, Fashanos 1.

Let there be rejoicing and celebration!

AN EMPIRE MOURNS

Day 4 of Tilamaires, 5103

The Turamzzyrian Empire was plunged into grief with the untimely death of Her Imperial Majesty, the Empress Mynal'lyanna Anodheles. The Imperial Blades, Baron Malwind's personal guard, and the Mercantile Guild of Solhaven are all engaged in the search for the assassin. It is certain that the guilty party cannot evade the eye of justice for long.

Upon the eve of Niiman, Fashanos 6, barring other developments, Baron Malwind will hold a memorial service for the fallen Empress at the site of her death. All who share in the grief of the Empire are permitted to attend, but those who show disrespect will be swiftly removed, with severe consequences.

The Empire grieves for the fallen Empress, but the Empire itself lives on, and the wrath of the Arkati shall surely befall those who would think this a time of weakness. Representatives of all appropriate parties are gathering in Tamzyrr to determine the Empress's successor, as there is no designated heir at this time.

After its use in this terrible crime, the Imperial ban against the prohibited herb Luukosian deathwort has been reinforced, and there is an extremely lucrative reward available to anyone who can offer information leading to the capture of those who deal in deathwort. A far greater reward is available to anyone who offers information leading to the capture of the assassin, so long as the assassin is alive and sensate.

TURAMZZYRIAN SUCCESSION

Day 18 of Fashanos, 5103

After a detailed and careful examination of the late Empress's lineage and all appropriate potential successors to the throne, the identity of the next Emperor has been determined. Surrounded by all appropriate ceremony, Aurmont Anodheles will accept the crown of the Turamzzyrian Empire at a date yet to be determined. Considering the circumstances surrounding the late Empress's death, the coronation will be held at a time and place fitting to the new Emperor and to all considerations of security. (Needless to say, it will not be the city of Solhaven.)

Aurmont Anodheles is the first cousin of the late Empress. Considering the circumstances of his position, it is not believed that he has any relation to the assassination of Mynal'lyanna Anodheles, and his surprise and grief over his cousin's death are widely believed to be genuine.

Aside from an appropriate respect for the Church of Koar, Aurmont's religious inclinations are unknown at this time, and he is not noted for strong views regarding Chaston's Edict. His intentions regarding the late Empress's desire to expand the reach of the Turmzzyrian Empire are also unknown. However, there is no doubt that all will become clear as the new Emperor's reign progresses.

Thy Empire hails thee, Aurmont Anodheles, and the new era marked by your reign!

PARKSHNUUM CLAN CONDEMNS THE DEAD EMPRESS

Day 21 of Fashanos, 5103

The leaders of the Parkshnuum Clan issued a statement regarding the death of the Empress Mynal'lyanna. The statement condemned regicide as a whole, but condemned the choices of Mynal'lyanna's rule as well. In part, the statement read, "While the murder of any legitimate ruler is an undeniable crime, the legitimacy of a ruler who permits and encourages the enslavement, degradation, and murder of a free people must be questioned. Her successor should learn from this example and be more intelligent in his actions. When no mercy has been offered, no mercy can be expected. We do not condone regicide, but Mynal'lyanna's death can only serve as a lesson to the rest of the world." The Parkshnuum dwarves are known to be particularly bitter toward the Turamzzyrian Empire due to the actions of Baron Hochstib of Jantalar, who enslaved the dwarves living in the province of Talador and killed hundreds of their number in 5094 as a show of his power.

TA'ILLISTIM REGRETS THE DEATH OF THE HUMAN EMPRESS

Day 22 of Fashanos, 5103

A diplomatic emissary conveyed a message from Ta'Illistim, expressing the regrets of Ta'Illistim's queen in regards to the untimely death of Mynal'lyanna Anodheles. In part, the message read, "The citizens of Ta'Illistim mourn the passing of Mynal'lyanna Anodheles, and we fear that the planned renaissance of her reign will die along with its creator. We invite Aurmont Anodheles to accept the available opportunity to usher in a more civilized way of life for his people." The emissary left as soon as the message had been delivered. No official response to the emissary's message was available, but tensions between Ta'Illistim and the Dwarven clans are expected as a result.

TA'NALFEIN OFFERS AID TO THE HUMAN EMPIRE

Day 23 of Fashanos, 5103

A diplomatic emissary from Ta'Nalfein arrived in Vornavis yesterday and presented herself to Baron Malwind. With all appropriate ceremony, the emissary expressed her regret at the assassination of Mynal'lyanna and offered the aid of Ta'Nalfein in the search for the assassin. Baron Malwind thanked the emissary for this offer and invited her to enjoy the hospitality of Vornavis for the interim, but the diplomat declined, saying that her responsibilities in Ta'Nalfein would not permit her to remain. She thanked Baron Malwind for his civility and hospitality before departing early this morning.

THE EMPRESS IS DEAD -- LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!

Day 3 of Charlatos, 5103

On Charlatos 3, thousands of people knelt in Tamzyrr to honor His Imperial Majesty, Aurmont Anodheles, as the imperial crown first graced his head. The time-honored rites of the coronation were completed without any mishap, and Phoen's golden orb shone down from a cloudless sky as His Imperial Majesty swore to lead and guide the united Turamzzyrian Empire for all the days of his life. May the blessings of Koar be forever upon him!

The only son of Turallos Anodheles and Ayibma Chandrennin, Aurmont Anodheles was born in the city of Elstreth on Imaerasta 27, 5070. Despite being born beneath the Trident, Aurmont has shown little predisposition toward violence. As an adolescent, he served as a squire on the Demonwall, but his position was largely the product of his family influence, and a few years were ample time to demonstrate to young Aurmont that he was not destined for a martial vocation. He has spent the last ten years of his life within the walls of Chantry College in Nydds, studying the histories and tomes describing the Turamzzyrian Empire's past.

At this time, His Imperial Majesty is unmarried, leaving the line of succession in doubt if anything should happen to the new Emperor. While many young noblewomen hope to remedy this situation shortly, His Imperial Majesty's attention clearly lies far more with determining why he is Emperor than determining who else will be Emperor next -- the issue of Mynal'lyanna's death and the responsibilities of his new position lie at the forefront of the Emperor's attention, and more personal matters will simply have to wait.

As chroniclers race to search the histories for information about His Imperial Majesty's heritage, the nobility of the Empire studies the record of his life for indications of his political leanings, but little is to be found. Despite Aurmont's distaste for his environment, he served nobly and well in his time as a squire. His best-known essays from his time in Chantry College are strictly limited to examinations of the motivations and effects of actions taken in Turamzzyrian history; they contain none of his own views upon political matters, and so they serve very poorly as fodder for those who seek to know him better.

Between his upbringing in Aldora, his maturity in South Hendor, and his mother's own worship, it is understood that His Imperial Majesty holds an accustomed respect for the temples and monasteries of Voln, but his private religious feelings are unknown. Some have speculatively noted that the cities of Elstretch and Nydds share a similar attitude of acceptance toward ordlyn and hathlyn, accepting them as near-equals, which is rare among the southern territories. Others dismiss this as coincidence, pointing out that any wealthy scholar would seek out the scholastic center of the Empire regardless of personal views on foreigners and half-breeds.

The comet still glimmers in day and night sky alike, just as it shone over Emperor Aurmont's coronation. Some secretly whisper that heavenly grace has left the Empire with the death of Koar's chosen, but others say that Mynal'lyanna's death was guided by the will of the gods. At this time, Aurmont himself seems to be setting the question of Koar's will aside in favor of uncovering the secular answers to his cousin's death.

Some of the more superstitious citizens of the Empire have taken to wearing lockets containing the Emperor's miniature as a way to ward off any curse the comet may bring. Others have taken to wearing all black as they live "in mourning for the Empire," or marking themselves with tattooed or painted blue patterns in order to "draw the comet's blessing into their minds." The lockets are generally approved-of by lawmakers and authorities, but the tattoos and the mourning garb are not. Several of the black-robed mourners have killed themselves or others, and at least three blue-painted citizens of the Empire have gone mad.

MYSTERIOUS PLAGUE SWEEPS DWARVEN CITY

Day 17 of Charlatos, 5103

Zul Logoth has been devastated by a fierce plague blazing through their ancient home. At this time, no cure is known, though herbalists and scholars of all kinds are frantically searching for a way to help the afflicted. Neither herbs nor empathic treatments have proven useful, nor has any spell, including the old empathic standby of Cure Disease. Rumors of many kinds regarding the plague have spread through dwarven lands, and there is great concern among dwarves and non-dwarves alike regarding the matter.

No confirmed cases have been recorded among non-dwarves, although there have been several false scares. Among dwarves, however, the plague is both swift in dealing death and highly contagious before death arrives -- and it is no longer limited to Zul Logoth: victims of this mystery plague have been found in Wehnimer's Landing and Ta'Illistim, and at least one person has traveled as far south as River's Rest before succumbing.

The symptoms of this disease are harmless enough at first: the victims sneeze and cough, often experiencing a sore throat as well, but they suffer no more than they would when afflicted with a common cold. As time goes by, the symptoms grow more severe, and victims develop small sores on their skin that will not heal properly. As the sores develop into greyish pustules and boils, the coughing grows worse and worse until the victims begin to cough up blood. At this point, it is difficult for the victims to speak or to breathe, and death follows not long after.

Dwarven healers agree that instituting a quarantine would be futile as well as cruel at this point. Prince Borthuum of Kharam Dzu has expressed his sincere sympathy to the victims and offered to send aid in researching a cure, but hopes are not high at this point.

In darker corners and despondent moments, some dwarves whisper that the incurable Red Rot of Despana's age has returned, and that this will be the end of the dwarven race...

BY THESE THINGS EMPIRES RISE...AND EMPIRES FALL

The Defeat of the Sea Wolves

The cruel pirates known as the Sea Wolves have long been feared and hated in the area around Solhaven Bay for their cruelly imposed blockade. Upon the evening of Olaesta 12, the Sea Wolves sent a massive invasion force to loot the port city of Solhaven, but the town was prepared for their onslaught -- powerful magic users becalmed their seven troop ships within the harbor, trebuchets bombarded the Sea Wolf vessels, and a trireme laden with enraged volunteers set sail to fight the pirates face to face. Within minutes, three of the ships were sunk, and the remainder were successfully captured by residents of Solhaven and assisting adventurers from surrounding cities.

The surviving Sea Wolves have retreated to lick their wounds and regroup, for this colossal failure has left the pirates with barely enough crew to sail their ships, let alone attack again. Merchant vessels still avoid the area, not willing to risk their livelihoods so swiftly, but, by and large, the citizens of Solhaven are relieved to foresee the end of the pirate dominion.

This evidence of Solhaven's strength has, perhaps, finally earned the respect of Baron Hochstib of Jantalar. Despite his long-standing record of war with Baron Malwind of Vornavis, Hochstib has turned his attention elsewhere. Hochstib's troops have begun to repair the roads leading northwest from Mestanir...

...which prepares a path for war that leads directly to Wehnimer's Landing.

The Struggle of the Dwarves

The dwarves of Zul Logoth are dying, and many of their kin abroad have been stricken as well. Terrible earthquakes released a strange red dust into their ancestral homes, and a virulent plague has followed. The plague causes coughing, sneezing, pustules and boils, and unavoidable death in those who contract it. At this time, most dwarves accept that the plague is indistinguishable from the Red Rot of Despana's age. In the Age of Chaos, over half the population of the great dwarven city Kalaza died to the Rot, and the gates of Kalaza were hidden and sealed forever to contain the foul disease. Quarantine is impossible, now -- innumerable cases of the disease have been recorded outside Zul Logoth. If this is the Rot, it will not be contained a second time.

Yet, the gods often grant a shining ray of hope to pierce the stormclouds of despair, and such a ray has come now. An alchemical lab has been established in Zul Logoth, and dwarves and non-dwarves alike have volunteered countless hours of work to search for a cure to the disease. Further hope comes with the arrival of several hooded strangers, who have indicated great knowledge of botany and healing, and some people believe their aid can conquer in this modern age what could not be conquered in the past.

But who are these strangers? Where are they from, and what is the meaning behind their timely arrival? Secretive and seemingly shy, they divulge no personal information, leaving even their very appearance unknown...

...and perhaps their mission is not one of peace, after all.

The Fury of the Krolvin

Upon Teras Isle, doors are locked and windows barred against the incursions of the fearsome krolvin. Led by the Czag Dubra, the bloodthirsty slavers have assaulted the dwarven city of Kharam Dzu in a rampage of torture and slaughter. The krolvin fight with savage skill, and they claim to draw their power from the blue comet blazing through the sky, calling upon it as they summon magical energy. Distracted from the troubles of their kin in the east, dwarves and visitors have joined forces in order to protect their homes and the famous glaes mines of Kharam Dzu.

Upon Ivastaen 18, the good ship Glaesen Star was attacked by krolvin raiders during a routine voyage between Wehnimer's Landing and Kharam Dzu. The passengers rallied under the leadership of the dwarven prince Eregrek Borthuum, and they succeeded in repelling the invaders, but the Glaesen Star suffered structural damage as a result. For most of a week, travel between the isle and the mainland had to be suspended for repairs. Some say that Borthuum's intent was to set an ambush for the krolvin, but this ambush resulted in the five-day estrangement of Borthuum and the brave defenders of the Glaesen Star from Teras Isle.

The krolvin kill for the joy of killing, torture for the pleasure of hearing the screams, and take slaves indiscriminately, working them cruelly until they die. They are noted for their skill upon the sea, and, before the Sea Wolves were vanquished, only the krolvin were feared more. With the blockade of the Sea Wolves scattered to the winds, perhaps there is a vacancy in power...

...and, with the Red Rot crippling the strength of the dwarves, perhaps it is time for a new master upon Teras Isle.


While the fate of nations hangs suspended in the balance, and while thousands wonder whether the next day will bring life or death, a blue light still shines in the heavens. Aurmont sits newly crowned on the Turamzzyrian throne, the trolls of Elanith march in the name of G'bruk, Borthuum worries for the fate of his people, a giantwoman in River's Rest warns of an ice-filled apocalypse, and astrologers stare up at the sky -- ignorant, for once, of the future...

...for the comet has not left Elanith's skies, and the worst is yet to come.

In fact, it is only beginning.

A SCHISM AMONG KROLVIN

Day 14 of Olaesta, 5103

For months now, Teras Isle has struggled against the force of an invading krolvin army. Led by the Czag Dubra Moragda, backed by the weight of the krolvin nation, and guided by the power of the blue comet overhead, the brutal krolvin slavers died by the dozens -- for Teras had assembled an army of its own, an army of brave, steadfast adventurers who could hold the city of Kharam Dzu against the attackers. It seemed that, despite all odds, Kharam Dzu would survive the onslaught.

Then, an emissary from the krolvin nation arrived to give new instructions to Bloodfist Sankir, second-in-command to the Czag. The emissary informed Sankir that Moradga had been put to the question over her failing to secure the island with sufficient speed, and, as a result, she would not be returning to Kharam Dzu. In appreciation for her reports about the failings of Moradga, Stormcrow Akhri was designated temporary Czag -- an act that infuriated Sankir, because Sankir believed Akhri to be traitorous to the krolvin people. The emissary commanded Sankir to return with him to the war council and undergo the question as well, for Sankir had been accused of dealings in black magic forbidden to the krolvin.

Angered by the fate of Moradga, and outraged by the appointment of the traitor, Sankir went berserk. He murdered the emissary and slaughtered Czag Dubra Akhri, whereupon the krolvin fell to battling themselves -- the council loyalists versus the followers of the Bloodfist. The accusations of the krolvin war council were shown true when Sankir used Akhri's corpse and the corpse of a council loyalist in some perverse, soul-tearing ritual. The body of the emissary was dismembered beyond repair, and none of the council loyalists survived the massacre.

Krolvin troops still hold the western half of Kharam Dzu, but Sankir and his troops have abandoned Teras Isle. Sankir swore after he slew Akhri that he would lead those loyal to him off to the mainland, there to establish a new krolvin domain.

The brutality and bloodlust of the krolvin are recorded at length by legions of dead citizens from every existing nation. The krolvin are so vicious that they will put their own people beneath the question, a process only mindless hulks survive. What manner of magics are so evil that the krolvin forbid them?

If reports from River's Rest are correct, and blue-skinned scouts have been seen in the vicinity, then the human empire may soon find out.

RED ROT CURED!

Day 31 of Ivastaen, 5103

Dwarves everywhere rejoice! After months of study and labor, dwarven alchemists have triumphed over the lethal disease plaguing their people.

The cure is a magical potion that augments the soul and strength of the dwarven people, so powerful in its qualities that the rot cannot keep its grasp. Not only does the curative potion immediately heal a victim of the disease, but it apparently prevents the victim from ever contracting the disease again -- once gone, the Rot stays gone.

Stores and shops in the dwarven city of Zul Logoth have reopened, now that the threat of contamination is gone. The elves of Ta'Illistim and Prince Borthuum of Kharam Dzu have also expressed their congratulations (and their relief) at dwarven victory over the plague.

THE JANTALARIAN PERSPECTIVE

Safety and Freedom for a Small Frontier Town

Day 26 of Lumnea, 5103

The battle to tame the wilds surrounding the small port of Wehnimer's Landing is under way. Several weeks ago, the Noble Jantalarian Army, under the direction of the Loyal Baron Lerep Hochstib himself, began an assault on the region, seeking to wipe out fierce beasts and clans of murderous humanoids that make life there so dangerous. Wehnimer's Landing, a small, relatively unknown port town in the wilds west of Jantalar, has recently undergone repeated invasions and incursions by all manner of humanoids, beasts, and even undead creatures. The town has been repeatedly sacked, with high loss of life and property. It is for this reason that Baron Hochstib decided to intervene and bring peace to the beleaguered region.

"The region has been war-torn for too long. The peoples of the region deserve better treatment, more opportunities, and the right to live out their lives in peace, should they so wish it," stated Baron Hochstib in a court address on the subject. "We will bring peace to the region, and give the people the correct environment in which to prosper."

The Jantalarian Army has seen heavy resistance from humanoids in the region, but has been welcomed by the townsfolk of the surrounding areas, many of whom had been forced into the wilds and are now under the care of our forces. They are now enjoying Jantalarian foods, medicines, and protection.

In spite of the resistance encountered, casualties have been very light due to the expert training of the Jantalarian forces. The humanoids, on the other hand, have fallen in droves, and the work of clearing their corpses has become a major undertaking. "It's hard to find a place to get your evening meal," claimed one Jantalarian Armiger. "There's so many of them, they seem to just keep coming without regard for their lives or the lives of others. This is what makes me sure that what we're doing is right and is the will of Kai. For Jantalar!"

Nothing has slowed the steady advance of Jantalarian forces into the area. Combat with the humanoids of the wilds has been constant, but has not deterred the mission. Early problems with supply lines and logistics were quickly overcome, and supplies from the citizens of the Landing themselves will soon be available to our troops. With the current rate of advancement, the liberation of the Landing could take several more weeks, but would still be one of the shortest engagements ever for the Jantalarian Army.

With the objective in sight, planning turns toward the eventual maintenance and security of the region over time. Jantalarian troops will be stationed in the area long enough for the local citizens to recuperate and eventually establish sufficient defenses to keep their town safe by themselves. "We have no interest in a continued presence in the region," stated the Herald of Jantalar, Lord Holswort Niffelheim. "We seek only to make the area safer for those who live there, and to ensure that they are capable of fending off incursions of the type they have been plagued with in recent years. We feel deeply for those caught in the middle of this struggle, and have high hopes for the most positive of outcomes."

Lord Holswort has undertaken several missions of aid and diplomacy to the region over the last decade. His knowledge of the region and its inhabitants has been core to the success of the efforts there. Lord Holswort seemed exuberant about the entire operation. "Soon, the wilds surrounding Wehnimer's Landing will be safe for all! The day of true freedom for all citizens of the Landing is fast approaching, due to the diligent efforts of our noble fighting forces."

Whatever the outcome in the region, the efforts of our army have already benefited the peoples there immeasurably. In support of the new Sentinel of the North, Earl Jovery, Jantalar continues to make the northern borders of the Empire secure against external threats. And in support of our new Emperor Aurmont, the taming of the region will serve as a sparkling jewel in the crown, an example for all Territories of the Empire, and a source of Jantalarian pride for many years to come.

Early Successes in the West

Day 9 of Koaratos, 5103

As the battle to free Wehnimer's Landing continues, immediate positive results are visible. In an earlier report, we described the effort to free Wehnimer's Landing, a small port town to the west. Now, after only a few weeks of fighting, the efforts of our soldiers are already being evidenced in the region. The use of our special tactics and the presence of our troops have greatly improved the safety of the surrounding areas. People can now walk freely and safely through the area known as "Danger Land" by the local inhabitants. Our forces have cut short the abilities of many of the indigenous population, making the paths safer for merchants and townsfolk alike.

Another benefit of the noble Jantalarian effort has been the driving of Trolls from the region. As is well known in the Empire, the humanoids classified as Trolls have long been a plague on intelligent peoples everywhere. They are summarily murderous, dishonest, and self-interested. Due to the efforts of the unstoppable Jantalarian forces, the Trolls in the vicinity have abandoned their decades-old siege of the town of Wehnimer's Landing, and have journeyed to parts unknown.

"I can really feel proud of what we're doing here," remarked one of our halberdiers. "We're making the world a better place. I know the fighting has been hard, and there have been times when my faith in our mission has been all that has kept me going, but when I see a child playing in safety in a stream that was once overrun by Trolls, then I know we're doing the greatest works of our time. For Jantalar!"

The battle is close to being over. The local citizens were ready to welcome our troops into their town when the humanoids laying siege to the town employed large numbers of mercenaries to attack our troops. "The rescue of the town has been delayed due to this influx of mercenaries, but is still inevitable," remarked Baron Lerep Hochstib, who is personally leading the efforts. "We are even now erecting special barriers and siege machines which will allow us to reach and rescue the town in relative safety. I will not abandon the people of the region to the harsh cruelties of their oppressors."

Jantalar is now on the verge of victory in the west, and will immediately use the port in this town to transfer several artifacts to the south in support of the Throne and the new Sentinel of the North, Earl Eddric Jovery. "Making the northern border safe and secure is the duty of everyone in the Empire," remarked Lord Holswort Niffelheim. "We in Jantalar happen to be lucky enough to be in the direct vicinity and are therefore able to lend more aid. Some of the citizens of the Landing have also expressed concerns regarding the safety of their town. To them I say, rest assured, we will be there soon, and all will be secured. Hold on to your faith that has brought you so far, and we will deliver you from your current plight."

Once Wehnimer's Landing is secure, Jantalar will turn its attention to the north and the ice dwellers that live there. Recent excursions have uncovered a small town called Icemule where once again, a poorly defended town is under siege by the brutal denizens of the area. "We will not rest until the north is secure and safe for all to live in the light of freedom," said Lord Holswort. "The day of peace and freedom is at hand, and, as usual, the people of Jantalar are ready, willing, and able to pay the price."

TROLLS KIDNAP PRINCE EREGREK BORTHUUM

Day 12 of Koaratos, 5103

While on a diplomatic mission to Ta'Illistim, Prince Eregrek Borthuum and his Dwarven Honor Guard were attacked by a large party of trolls. During the attack a large grey troll slugged Prince Eregrek in the face with a blackjack, picked him up, slung him across his shoulders and carried him off. As of this time it is not known if the Prince is dead or alive. Searchers are combing the hills and forests outside the city, but large parties of trolls hinder the search.

TENSIONS RISE BETWEEN HUMANS AND ELVES

V'reen Morphs Continue To Ravage Continent
Day 22 of Koaratos, 5103

It is every parent's worst nightmare. Calling her child in from the darkening yard, a mother spies not one, but two children racing to greet her... both with subtly distorted forms, and both utterly silent except for the strange, high-pitched keening they emit. She cannot bring herself to slam and bar the door, because her true child is still outside somewhere, but these creatures have no knowledge of motherly love, and they are only here to consume the parent as they have already consumed the child.

This image of horror has been played out hundreds of times through human and elven lands alike as the v'reen morphs savage innocent citizens. Halfling settlements, giantman villages, and dwarven cities have reported attacks as well, some seen, some only suspected -- people vanish overnight and are never seen again, but v'reen morphs taking on their likenesses flow up from the ground to terrorize people hours or days later. Preying upon isolated, unsuspecting victims, the morphs sow fear wherever they manifest.

Some insight into their origin has come from Lord Morgult of the House of Kestrel. The Hall of Mages dispatched Lord Morgult to investigate a disturbance in the flows of mana that occurred in the area of River's Rest, a backwater village in Torre long known to harbor smugglers and pirates. According to Lord Morgult, an elven mage known as Lirou inhabited this region for some time prior to the first appearance of the morphs. According to local inhabitants, Lirou claimed that his presence was sanctioned by Emperor Aurmont, and that he was researching the Mandis Crystal to aid the Emperor in case Baron Hochstib of Jantalar should turn rogue and attack the Empire. Supposedly, this was sanctioned by his home city of Ta'Illistim as well. Lord Morgult confirmed that there was a crystal within the elven mage's destroyed workshop that outwardly resembled the Mandis Crystal, but reported as well that the artifact was obviously flawed, as its incredibly weak anti-magical effect encompassed only a space of ten feet or so, and as the crystal did not display any of the Mandis Crystal's other known properties. After discovering that the crystal could not be moved from its location, Lord Morgult erected a protective shield over the area and left to report to his superiors. Apparently, the morphs were created or released in a magical accident related to the crystal's creation.

Lord Morgult's report has been of great concern to the nobility of the Turamzzyrian Empire, and, some whisper, to the newly coronated Emperor, Aurmont Anodheles. Ever since the magical catastrophe that created the Wizardwaste, the use of magic has been strictly regulated within the Empire by the Hall of Mages. Since the Mandis Crystal is technically a possession of the Emperor, having been loaned to Baron Hochstib by the late Empress Mynal'lyanna Anodheles, then elven research into the artifact's workings would suggest that the elves meant to destroy or replicate the Mandis Crystal. Neither option suggests peaceful intentions. If Lord Morgult's report is accurate, and if Ta'Illistim supported Lirou's illegal experimentation, then this may be taken as an act of war.

Thus far, Ta'Illistim has denied all knowledge of the elven mage Lirou. Although elven diplomats have expressed their desire to settle this matter peacefully, they have also implied that "Lirou" may be a fiction concocted by the House of Kestrel in order to redirect blame from its proper position, and expressed their distaste at being used as a scapegoat. Alternately, they point out that Lord Morgult is a junior investigator and may have misunderstood the evidence, or may have been misled by the scurrilous natives. Unsurprisingly, the Hall of Mages is most displeased with these accusations.

Determining the truth of the matter is particularly difficult because River's Rest is currently occupied by a powerful krolvin force. For representatives of the Turamzzyrian Empire, dealing with the marauding v'reen morphs is more important than fighting off krolvin, and any evidence suggesting elven involvement may already have been destroyed by the invaders. Although the Imperial Navy has engaged and destroyed much of the krolvin fleet, a portion of the group is firmly entrenched upon the isle, representing a serious danger to anyone who would investigate Lirou's destroyed workshop.

While nations wait breathlessly to see how this crisis will unwind, some of those who are least involved with the diplomatic situation are suffering the most heavily beneath the brunt of the threat. Barely an hour passes in Icemule Trace without the report of another v'reen morph materializing from the snow. While the forces of Jantalar storm the gates without, the morphs steal people away from within, and the cost to this small halfling town has been terrible. An aura of gloom seems to shadow this normally-joyous gambling retreat on even the most sunlit of summer days.

For the safety and protection of Icemule's residents, a voluntary sunset curfew has been suggested, and the mayor has also advised that no one travel alone even on city streets so long as this threat continues. The outpost of Pinefar has also suffered grievously, and there is even talk of closing the buildings in Pinefar and abandoning the place entirely until some way is found to deal with this devastating menace.

See Also