Black Thorn Resistance/Free North News Issue 1

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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 #1

Author: Various

Foot falls crunch in the snow as cloaked figures pinned with black thorns dodge the red armored Armigers to hand out their pamphlets.

generated by MidJourney

The Faerinn Well, Notes from the Editor

Everyone’s been telling me to read the hottest new treatise this season, Earl Jovery’s letter to the Landing. It’s emotionally charged and recounts all the good times we’ve had with him. As I take a sip of my Talador shandy, I wonder why he stops abruptly at 5116?

He lays out more precise guidelines of our illegal protectorate status and then goes on to dismiss one of our few civil servants actually working for the good of the Landing. When not distracted by the inside of his pants, (I am of course referring to his allegiance to the Hall), Cordarius has been our most successful regional envoy. But I agree with the new regulations. I just hope that Cordarius considers changing his citizenship and allegiances to stay with us. He could be a shining example to Elidal.

Otherwise the contents are like a regretful haint trapped in the Pale, cries of "The Empire would never" as the Empire does ad infinitum until the walls between life and death crumble.This letter does not address the Imperial overreach that trespasses deeper and deeper into the frontier. As still free frontiersfolk it is our moral obligation to do everything within our power to preserve the free will of the northern people both settlers and indigenous. This is only a solution if you believe that the autonomy of those residing in the Landing ends at our walls. But this is not a scholarly debate, but a matter of settled law. In the 5121 hearing against Marshal Thadston Andrews, Judge Renpaw decided that the powers of city officials apply to the surrounding environs as well.

Now, I am not saying that Jovery is lying to us. I whole -heartedly believe that he will sign no order to encroach further into the town. He is one of our oldest and dearest friends and allies, afterall, much like the Silver Gryphons. And now I hear the chants of "but these atrocities of the Empire upon us were enacted by individuals."

Here is the problem. There are no individuals under Imperial rule. Empire is like an infection, it will continue to grow as the status quo demands more resources, more land, and more labor to keep running. It will continue devouring and homogenizing everything around it until there is nothing left for Empire to stand on.

And you can't blame anyone for it. We don't blame blight for consuming our crops; we don't take promises from wolves to discontinue snatching livestock. No, we starve blight and build fences.

The Empire cannot stop taking, because that is its very nature. Just as you cannot expect free people to sit quietly as it does. It is in our nature to push back like thorns on the vine.

I do not speak for the Black Thorns because no one single member does just as Amos does not speak for the entire Consortium with his childish dress code enforcement. However, I do align myself with the Black Thorns just the same because in this matter they are right.

Hugs and kisses, Your Good Time Boy, Faerinn Greatsinger, ESQ, of Talador and Loenthra

Current Events

- Ta'vaalor showed great wisdom and respect for life and withdrew troops from the Icemule area! Icemule Celebrates!

- Pamphlets have been seen around the town that discuss the Talador Mines and the Rook Warren Raids [|(link)] [| (link)]

- Overtures have been made to the Reiver's to resolve recent disputes caused by imperial overreach [| (link)]

- Death in the Empire, The representative from Ta'illistim was murdered in Sol Haven under a full compliment of Guards!

Ordlyn in the Empire - by Dendum

What does it mean to be an Ordlyn in the Human Empire? Having been an Ordlyn citizen of Torre for almost full decade have some idea of the answer!

An Ordlyn citizen of the empire is one who is not a human, or an elf...or a mixture of human and something else. They have names for all of those.

Ordlyn just means not that. Ordlyn can be Gnome, or Dwarf, or Halfling, or perhaps even Erithian or Kobold….but it matters not because you are Ordlyn.

An Ordlyn citizen of the empire is allowed to own land, maybe, you have to ask first who is the current Baron or Emperor. Maybe this decade you can own land, maybe next decade you cannot and they steal it from you. Maybe you live in the time of Aurmont maybe you live in the time of Mynal'lyanna but if you are an Ordlyn you never know for sure what the future brings.

An Ordlyn citizen of the human empire can be sure he or she will not see an Ordlyn Baron, you need some human blood for that, instead you will always be at the mercy of the children of the humans. Short sighted and short lived you will likely get to try out many flavors of human children, if one of them does not order you out that is, or stick you in a mine and collapse the whole thing.

This one does not mind being called Ordlyn, in fact they can not have the name back now that they have given it away. For truly to be “not that” when that is an empire founded on the blood of others with so much blood spilled in its name it has twisted the very earth itself...being Ordlyn sounds like a very good thing indeed.

Will happily remain an Ordlyn of the Free North.

Be Prepared - By Faerinn

Greetings settlers, newly-minted frontiers folk, future Northerners.

I am Faerinn Greatsinger of Talador and Loenthra. You’re from Talador, I’m from Talador. Let’s cut to the chase and speak as fellow survivors.

Talador is not coming back. The Sun Throne’s failure to uphold its sacred vow to protect us from its own Prelate has guaranteed that. Now rather than fairly compensate you the Sun Throne wishes all traces of their failure gone. They have resigned you to die of exposure in their Darkstone con, it’s validity as paper thin as the walls of your tents and as tangible as the Obelisk-tender’s illusions.

But in this is an opportunity. Not the hollow Imperial promises that have already failed you, but in something truly once in a lifetime. The Sun Throne has already broken their contract with you.

You could live truly free in a United North.

Birds are a common metaphor for freedom. To be free as a bird. However flight comes with the constraints of finding one’s own food, shelter, and water. Find out how before the Empire pushes you from the nest to better the chances of survival for its more favorable sons.

How to Not Die of Exposure

The most likely thing to kill you within the first eight hours is the cold. Layer up, one under to whick sweat from your skin, one to insulate, and a fat or wax treated outer layer to keep the wet out. The most effective ways to stay warm are to build a fire and shelter.

Take a bundle of sticks and bind them at the top with a belt to make your foundation. Add more sticks and leaves and debris for insulation. For fire, well, we have a saying in the Landing, it’s like a pyramid. The logs are the foundation blocks, the sticks are the bricks up top, and the tinder is the burnt offering. I have included diagrams as well as knitting patterns below.

How to Not Die of Thirst and Hunger

It rains blood more than once per year in the Landing so I would heartily advise boiling all water even rain and snow before use. Alcohol is probably the safer drink really and has so many utilities as fuel and cleanser. Thoroughly cook any fish that come out of there (an untapped source of food!)

You wanna know a filthy secret? Something so tantalizing Ivas would blush, Oleani would swoon, and Imaera would cover her eyes? Don’t till the soil first, that breaks up little colonies of fungus plants needed for food. Put the compost and manure on top then grow. If you grow turnips first you enrich the soil and prepare it for the next crop with enough time in the season for another. The Landing imports it’s grains like corn, sounds like a good niche to fill to me.

How to not bleed out when an Empath is not around

Take a belt and wrap it above the bleed. Insert a stick between the belt and skin. Turn the stick until the bleeding stops. Make sure to boil everything you use or apply very strong alcohol to keep infection away. And break the shaft of the arrow, don't pull it out. A person can live years with an arrow in them, the priority should be to stop the bleeding.

With these tools you are now equipped to begin life away from the Empire. Communities helping communities are the building blocks of a free and united North. Do not seek the old times. Nostalgia is a powerful poison that we all imbibe from willingly.

[As you read handwritten words begin to fill in the margins:

How to Break Mind Control

Blare a noise maker at the person you suspect is controlling your mind. Failing that shout obscenities at them. Strike them in the throat. Do not give them an opportunity to utter a command word.]

Help Wanted/Classifieds

Ask Lithyia!

Ever wondered how to navigate a crowded ball room?
Need help chosing between two suitors?
Ask the questions you are afraid to ask and get expert advice!
Mail your questions to Lithyia! Confidentiality guaranteed!

Fisher-people needed!

Need someone with experience with boat fishing for teaching job
Experience starting new crew a plus!
Pay is in silvers! Need is urgent!
See Dendum for details

Nails by Yardie

Manicures done by the Blade of the Faendryl!
Multiple Colors to choose from, it's not just nails it's an experience!
See Yardie for Details!

Single Human Female

Looking for someone to spend some quality time with!
No elven politics or Oleani worshippers please!
Looking for someone who likes to knit, travel, and possibly avoid authorities
Wear a red lilly in Helga's if you are interested!

Escort Needed

Dwarven dignitary in need of escort to Icemule
Looking fer sum help on gettin up to da mule!
Seek out the Adventure Guild for more Details

Bow for Sale

Mighty bow for sale! It summons powerful animals to take down your prey!
Will sell for 350,000,000 silvers, coins on delivery
Seek out Leff for details

Join The Resistance!

Do you have the courage to stand up and tell them no?
Do you honor the history of the town with action?
Do you long to do more than stand to the side and talk while your lands are taken?
Join the Resistance! For Freedom! For the Free North!


various sketchy sketches of the Manrolt generated by MidJourney

Times of great change provide fertile grounds for all manner of new mythologies, lores, and stories. Whether chaos provides the seeds for budding legends or upstart cults fashioned by peoples’ imaginations, or whether the gods themselves see it fit to directly stir the pot of upheaval with a dash of their own spices, the line on what is a real demon ravaging through the countryside and a local famer’s legend is often blurry until one comes face to face with the horror itself.

In these current times of upheaval in the north, rumours swirl like unchecked tornados, leading to myriad tales told in taverns. Is the Blood God out there preying on every lost child to feed his power? Has the Empire grabbed another bit of land and turned farmer Yeornik’s pastures into a secret portal to a mystical tropical island full of beautiful attendants that serve you day and night? All this and more are discussed over ales in the dark dingy corners of places like Helga’s Tavern in Wehnimer's Landing.

It was on a recent visit to Helga’s where I became privy to the freshest folk tale gripping the wild northlands. To describe it based on the numerous accounts would be nearly impossible, but join me in the Landing peoples’ captivating depictions to their brethren. Are these simply the tales of drunk farmers passing the night before a hard new day or does something terrifying lurking out there in the wilds beyond the walls of Wehnimer's Landing? Join me as we go in search of the Landing Manrolt.

I sat down in a grimy, lantern-lit table at Helga’s and was immediately handed a mug of grog, where an assorted collection of weathered farmers, dockworkers, and other bar regulars regaled me with most-recent sighting of this newly emergent regional cryptid.They were eager to tell their side of this emerging tale.

The first man added his two silvers before I’d even sat down.

“Aye, I saw it some months back in me fields. The herd was in a tizzy over something in their midst, woke me up in the dead of night they did. That’s when I seen it. In the corner of the pen. It be look’n like any rolton, eh, but it had the face of a man it did! Just a rolton body, but a face just like a man, all stoic and serene like, but them rolts knew it to be some demonry, aye, and were all cluttered at the opposite end of the paddock. I gave chase, but damn thing lifted off the ground all slow-like as if by magic and shot off into the sky, never saying a word or even giving me a wink.”

His nearest drinking buddy queried him further. “Whose face it be?”

“It looked like that upstart baron from the Empire, that Eyedill? Eliedoll? What’is name again? Anyways, he was just looking at me rolts, creep’n em out, yeah? Maybe that baron got some magics and he’s look’n to take me farm and scope’n it out as the Manrolt, or he gots himself the rolt fever, eh?”

His friend across the table, more of a dockworker than a farmer, shook his head.

“Oi, that’s a bunch of dung dat tale der. Manrolt ain’t no levytattering rolt with the babyface of some wayward arse of a baron, it’s much ‘orse than dat der. I seen it round the docks at night. He gots dem wings like a demon, but walks on twos like us, with a rolt’s head and giant horns, mean and angry like.”

The original speaker across the table shook his head. “Nah, that ain’t the same, that be some other rolton man, not the Manrolt. You ain’t seen a damn thing, ya arse.

“You shut your trap. I see ‘im at the docks at night. I seen him flying between that Imperial camp out the gates and Amos’s Imperial ships at the docks. Doing their secret business he is. Bet he stops by the Mayor’s window too, gotta drop off dem sacks of gold, you know?”

Some of the others at the table nodded and another spoke up.

“Aye, I seen that one fly’n cross the sky, yeah. You can hear his ghastly bleats in the dead’a night. I heard he be the spawn of one of them mountain roltons and one of them southron knights that caught the fever.” All looked on knowingly.

“The rolton fever” All assembled said, nodding in unison.

“Aye, indeed, they all be mucking around out there with our roltons herds me heards. That’s what those camps be for, rolton mucking. Gonna be a lot of dem thing fly’n dis and dat way soon, doing them demon business with all that mucking go’n on.”

Another interjected. “Ain’t like that at all, ya arses. There be some portal in that old castle there. Them barons and magisters awakened a rolton god me thinks. A portal to the rolton god’s realm.”

Another farm at the table’s end disagreed.

“Nah, it’s all just a Burghal that put on some horns and got a wee bit drunk I heard, causing problems all over town. He bleats and rams his head into urchins claiming to be the Manrolt. Just a lot of piss and vinegar.”

It was at that time where I had to depart, though their tales likely continued for some hours afterward. So I said goodbye to my new friends with few answers but a multitude of new leads. Was this Manrolt the spawn of man and rolton? This new baron’s magics? A summoned dark god of old? A drunk gnome? As chaotic forces pull at the Landing, more and more of these tales emerge in bars across the town. Are they the ramblings of drunks, or does some devious new force of chaos lurk in the shadows ready to destroy these salt-of-the-earth peoples? Only time will tell as we go in search of these strange oddities of the realm. So be on the lookout for the Manrolt, and beware.

-Meonard Meemoy

None Are Blameless - By Tikba

In this month, nine years ago, Chaston Griffin was named Prelate of Talador.

None would deny that Chaston Griffin was a devoted man. Truly, he was famed for his faith in Koar and his service to the King of the Gods.

But Chaston Griffin forgot the truth, which we have all long known, that there is not one arkati, but many arkati, each with their own truths to tell, each with their own garden to tend.

In his pride he sought to break divine law and forbid the worship of the arkati he did not favor.

We all know the price of that pride.

Today we must honor those who paid that price. We must together say that all of us must be free to worship as we wish; each to their own arkati, each to their own conscience, each to their own garden.

No lord who seeks to forbid or discourage the worship of any arkati can rule justly. Talador is the shadow cast behind any such ruler. Each of us must remember that shadow, and stand together against those who wish to claim judgement over the arkati, and over all of us.

Elidal's Feast

generated by MidJourney

OOC Note

I'd like to thank those on the Black Thorn Resistance Discord for their help in putting this together.