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Turn Twenty-Two Newsfax 
(A.C. 2886-2890)
 O Fortuna

O Fortuna
velut luna
statu variabilis,
semper crescis
aut decrescis;
vita detestabilis
nunc obdurat
et tunc curat
ludo mentis aciem,
dissolvit ut glaciem.
Sors immanis
et inanis,
rota tu volubilis,
status malus,
vana salus
semper dissolubilis,
et velata
michi quoque niteris;
nunc per ludum
dorsum nudum
fero tui sceleris.
Sors salutis
et virtutis
michi nunc contraria,
est affectus
et defectus
semper in angaria.
Hac in hora
sine mora
corde pulsum tangite;
quod per sortem
sternit fortem,
mecum omnes plangite!

O Fortuna, Imperatrix Mundi
from the Carmina Burana,
c. 1230 A.D.

imageEnglish Translation

O Fortune,
like the moon
you are constantly changing,
ever waxing
and waning;
hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
and power
it melts them like ice.
Fate – monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,       
shadowed                                              (Click on Manuscript, above)
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.
Fate is against me
in health
and virtue,
driven on
and weighted down,
always enslaved.
So at this hour
without delay
pluck the vibrating strings;
since Fate
strikes down the strong man,
everyone weep with me!


1. Note a change to House Rule 3.3.8, The Govern Order.  It is now possible to actually -lose- PWB with this order.

2. No matter how relentlessly you try to mix adventurers with armies, the GM will continue to ignore the presence of one or the other.  Armies cannot protect or assist adventurers and adventurers cannot kill enemy leaders or give a combat bonus to an army.  Period.

3. You must issue an HA order in the city where your adventuring guild is in order to get your adventurers to follow your orders. Hey, they’re adventurers.  Ever try to get those guys to do things your way?





North-Western Medarhos

The Skane Jarldoms – 
Ruler – King Gustav
Capital – Vanaheim
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Medahros Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – The Crown Lands [+7YfC]


The last of Skaneholme’s great temples to the spirits was built, along with several sheep byres and a stout stockade.

King Gustav sat the throne.  In 2886 he fathered a second daughter, but the following year his wife Syra died in childbirth at the age of thirty-nine.

Fergus Brightmantle died in 2886, before he could carry out any of his orders.

Rasmus Whitewing summoned the spirits to bless the Crown Lands, then continued his lifelong quest to improve the relations between the Skane and the city of Tirgon.

The Edgemoor Orcs –
Ruler –
King Tello
Capital – Zaramaka
Dominant Race – Orcs
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Dakhash [F]

image King Tallo reflected that while no orc has a friend, it was good to have allies.  He sent his servants Dak and Ragnar to meet with representatives of the Shadowed Realm of Ascarlon, who presented the orcs with the freshly-cultivated region of region of Dakhash for their very own.  Dak and Ragnar, after the usual round of boasting and preening, went off to find king Tallo a bride.  Even the orcs of Dakhash saw this as such a victory that they agreed to do whatever it was the Tallo wanted them to do.

Dak also raided the Ormswood and found some surprisingly stiff opposition.  The woodsmen inflicted some losses on his orcs and sent them packing.

Back at his throne room in Zaramaka, Tallo counted his new-found wealth and laughed uproariously at the tales from the Ormswood.

The Kingdom of Harkoria-
Ruler –
King Mikos
Capital – Cadares
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail

King Mikos named his twin brother Halen as his heir and his other twin Gares as a prince of the realm. He recruited three thousand light infantry and gave them into the care of general Aeneas. Mikos married a pretty young woman of good family in 2886, but she died in childbirth in 2887.

General Aeneas took command of five thousand light cavalry and crossed the Narglaurith river into Landegol.  From there, he marched up the north bank of the river into Lycia where he surprised the local militia and overcame it in a textbook battle of maneuver. He lost some two hundred troopers in the process, routing or killing nearly three thousand Lycians.

All that bloodshed was merely for benefit of Aurora, eight-year old daughter of old king Agathokles, who rode with Aeneas and learned from him.  When the lesson was done, the Harkorians marched back out of Lycia, leaving the locals to their own devices.



South-Western Medarhos

The Brythnian Confederation – 
Ruler – King Ankole Clovenhoof
Capital – Carrenthium
Dominant Race – Taurid
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Vadhrian [-], Bodhria [F]
image The taurids contented themselves with building up their lands and armies.  Gyr Fourhorn, the world’s ugliest minotaur, with breath and temperament to match, recruited four thousand centaur cavalry largely because he liked to kill things.  For reasons unfathomable outside of Carrenthium, King Ankole then sent this boorish monster to Vadhrian to negotiate an alliance.  The centaur clans were aghast, and nearly threw him out.  But after enduring his taunts and threats for several years were contented by the look of rage on Gyr’s bovine face when they simply refused to join his Confederation.

King Ankole moved the main Brythnian army down the via brythnia to Bodhria from where he could quickly react against any invasion of the realm.  Ankole named his younger sister Immilia Clovenhoof a princess of the realm and also oversaw the paying-off of Brythnia’s wartime loans.

Kallos Twospot, a far better diplomat than general Gyr, negotiated the full accession of Bodhria into the Confederation via the mechanism of a marriage between the leading chief’s daughter and King Ankole.

Eutropios Greymare governed the port city of Aploia.  With the aid of the fabled

Ring of Andrevar, he was successful at making the small port into a wealthy, populous city.

Small caravans from the Crusader States brought gold to the Confederation each year as a gift.

Aelissia –
Ruler –
King Clem Plowhorse
Capital – The Great Delve
Dominant Race – Halfling
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
The Aelissians were shocked and angered by the brutal assault of the Stoneheart giants and the deaths of so many of their countrymen in Larcogne.  But small though they might be in stature, the halflings of the Little Kingdom were both determined and ready to fight again. 

Halflings gathered into two main armies.  King Clem recruited five thousand soldiers and marched a total of seven thousand to the defense of Aelissia’s southern approaches at the Gate of Bells, where he was joined by his friend Crowley Ratcatcher. 

Meanwhile, an equal number of mixed infantry gathered under Iva Blackkettle in Corland and marched out to block any northward movements by the giants in the wilds of Garromais (still wild since destroyed by the H’rethek a century before).

Corland –
Ruler –
King Bertrand
Capital – Khairais
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
image King Bertrand and his knights prepared to defend Quesante with what little strength of arms they had (consisting almost entirely of the region’s many castles and their garrisons.  But the giants never attempted to cross the Sarrone river or attack. 

In fact, a lone giant emissary met the Corish king at the river and delivered to him the body of Sir Karrick, who had died while a prisoner in their hands.  The emissary then delivered to the king the demands of the Stoneheart giants and rowed away.

In 2889, Bertrand’s maiden sister Agnes died of the dropsy.

The Sea Empire of Lorraine –
Ruler –
Sir Anton, Regent
Capital – Armorica
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
As famine gripped the Sea Empire, Empress Ysolde opened up the lands of Andred for settlement by any able-bodied farmer who would till the soil.

Then she and Sir Bryce set to sea with a fleet of twenty ships, mostly transports laden with infantry.  These stormed ashore at Bruyenne, only to find that the giants had already stripped the region bare, and that a Grail army was gathering at Brandobaris.  Moving on to Votois, Ysolde found that the giants had also stripped that land.  She died at sea in 2887.

Upon the return of the fleet to Armorica, the Empress’s only son, one year old Arthur was recognized as the rightful heir.  His father Sir Anton was recognized as regent until his son should attain the majority.


Sir Stavros died in Roldeinsport in 2889 at the age of fifty five.  Sir Oliver of Lothian died the same year.


The Whisper Wood –
Ruler –
Queen Elevuil
Capital – Menelcandara
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Menelcandara [F]
image Queen Elevuil succeeded in bringing the capital fully back under her control (it had rebelled during the brief blossoming of the Way of the Sword).

Lord Dranuel returned from the Stoneheart wars to assume command of the Whisper Wood army at the Sunglades.

The Neldorean Wood –
Ruler –
Queen Nereil
Capital – Elenuil
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Tarwood [T], Manariye [F]
The elves of Elenuil invoked a giant, living wall of hard, thorny trees and twisting, grasping vines along the border between Belfirth and Triyara.  This formidable barrier died away after five years, but would have given great difficulties to any army attempting to cross that border.

launched an intense and secretive campaign to free their queen from the clutches of the wicked Stoneheart giants.  Details of the operation are sketchy, but Rumil Ancalime led an elite force of rangers into occupied Corland to seek out the queen’s location.  Somehow they managed to discover where she was being held and spirited her away from the giants under cover of darkness.  ‘

Though none of the elves are discussing the details, Queen Nereil’s sudden reappearance in Elenuil was cause for wild celebrations and huge crowds thronging her palace, loudly demanding to see the queen, and then much cheering and singing of old songs followed.


Meanwhile, the elves spent much of the embarrassingly large sums they had received from their allies on training.  The small elvish army, destined to form the cadre of a future force, trained relentlessly, forging an excellent infantry force. They received yet more gold from the Great Church and the Llyran Republic.

Lord Lossëhelin returned to the Tarwood, convincing its few elves in their shattered homes to send a nominal tribute to the queen.  Meanwhile, Manariyë happily re-invoked its allegiance to the queen.

The Exarchate of the Great Crusade –
Ruler –
Exarch Rehme
Capital – Pontezium
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Exarch Maros sent his allies in Brythnia, Neldorea and the Order of the Dawn large sums of gold to aid their causes.  Maros died in the summer of 2886, leaving his son Rehme in his place.

Sir Beau moved his army of seven thousand from Regaldros to South Akasia. 

The Holy Order of the Dawn –
Ruler –
Grand Mistress Praeclaria
Capital – The Akasian Hills
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Callistus [OP], Mynos [-], Calodunum [-]
Grand Mistress Praeclaria gave command of her army to Master Magnus and rode east to once again attempt to purchase estates in Calodunum.  With her rode Master Turpis.  Despite her best and most charismatic efforts, the nobility of Calodunum resisted her efforts to expand the Order’s holdings in the region.  Very annoyed, the Grand Mistress rode to Callistus, assumed command of the eight thousand troops there and marched them back to Calodunum…just to gain the nobility’s attention.

Meanwhile, Masters Benedictus and Magnus rode west with more than seventeen thousand troops, many of them elite Knights of the Golden Dawn.  Benedictus died in Ianthis in 2886, and Magnus inherited his command.  He watched Leana and the Riftmarch for several years, expecting but never encountering any giant attacks.  In 2890, he retired his army to the woods of Ferrense in the north.

As in past years, the Crusader States, the Conorrian Empire and the Llyran Republic all sent gold to support the Order.



The Shadowed Realm of Ascarlon –
Ruler –
Baron Gauros the Arisen
Capital – Denavine
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Gromon [T]
Baron Gauros and his army boarded their transports and set sail down the Little Wolf River, stopping long enough to drop off his heir Bezhral and his ally, Mezger of Hildreth, in Gromon.  The Baron then returned his army to the defense of Denavine and Orodea, recruiting fifteen hundred infantry in the summer of that year. His acolytes intoned the awful and eldritch phrases that assured the continued animation of the necrotic element of the Baron’s army.

Meanhile, Bezhral and Mezger applied their reputations as the heroes of the Bug Wars to convince the clans of Gromon to pay tribute to the rising power of Ascarlon. In the midst of negotiations, Lord Prakatt of Carhallas arrived as diplomat from that nation.  He remained for a year, just long enough to ruin the economic alliance that Bezhral and Mezger had arranged. Prakatt then died a spectacular death, choking on a leg of roast mutton during a state dinner.

Ascar missionaries preached their gospel of Righteous Power in Averni, last of the Hammersea regions to hold to the old ways of the spirits.  The Avernii refused to give up their traditional ways, but  the priests did not go away. The east was more


receptive to the seduction of the dark gods.  The nomads of Tomyris gave up their spirit cults for the worship of Malbor, Andobulos, Caravok and the rest.

In 2889, violence suddenly and unexpectedly erupted in the streets and back alleys of Denavine and Turlag, almost simultaneously.  The magistrates, called out of town to handle sudden disturbances in the provinces, returned to find that a wave of grisly murders had left dozens dead in both cities.  In a typical example, men in black burst into the Stormcrow, a waterside tavern and boarding house in Denavine and held all there at swordpoint while they sought out a man named Burleth.  Finding him hiding under his bed, they dragged him out, stabbed him repeatedly and left, saying that this was the fate of traitors. 

In Turlag, a far grislier sight greeted the returning magistrates.  A dead and mangled corpse was pinned to the door of a brothel by cruel spikes.  Whenever any person approached, this undead thing bestirred itself and through its ruined mouth shouted “Beware the price of treason!”  The magistrates summoned necromancers who rebuked the unclean spirits within the corpse and buried it at a crossroads.

The Worldspine Orcs –
Ruler –
King Wargest
Capital – Mount Kauroth
Dominant Race – Orc
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Napoca [T], Cendarinnes [NT]

King Wargest continued to recruit troops into his army, forming units of three thousand goblins and hundreds of huge and vicious ogres. Wargest, a wise and temperate leader, especially for an orc, ruled the kingdom from Mount Kauroth and rewarded himself with a selection of mates drawn from the less hideous females of the city.  He fathered a daughter in 2888 and a son in 2889.

Turath the Undefeated marched north with two thousand goblin troops and raided the hobgoblins of Torok.  Their lust for violence sated, they returned home to the capital.

Sneech, an oily yet persuasive orc convinced the men of Napoca that, abandoned by Ascarlon as they were, they had little choice but to pay tribute to the orc king. Sneech died in Napoca, apparently of natural causes.

Blatharg the Emissary moved south into the Cendarinne mountains and convinced the orcs of the Blackspikes to acknowledge Wargest as their overlord.

The Empire of Carhallas –
Ruler –
Emperor Maugroth III
Capital – Carcaroth
Dominant Race – Hobgoblin
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Gromon [-]

The Imperial Flag

image The Empire trained hundreds of hobgoblin “Fists” to operate as the Emperor’s magistrates and servants, in the hopes that these bureaucrats would extend the reach of the Iron Throne. Other servants of the throne were sent to Adumar to extend the post road to Lauroth and to build a fortress on the banks of the Esharias in Lauroth.

Crown Prince Maugroth led twelve thousand troops south from Gothmaur into the human-dominated plains of Drokoth and Yrineth, where he systematically reduced the populations to slavery and looted their goods.  But not without great difficulty.  Despite his overwhelming numbers, the three thousand light cavalry of Drokoth fought with a skill and ferocity that astonished  the hobgoblins and cost them nearly a thousand troops over six months of hit-and-run warfare.

In the spring of 2888, Lord Prakatt marched into Gromon with a thousand elite carhallas emperor’s own infantry, and supporting troops from Mendhaur.  Once there, he demanded the attention of the leaders of Gromon, only to discover them already deep in diplomatic discussions with representatives of Ascarlon for the last two years. Prakatt attempted to counter the Ascar diplomacy, but died in the fall, choking on a leg of roast mutton.  His troops marched back to Pukkalid with his body.

The Great Kingdom of Annvar –
Ruler –
Emperor Puchoniax
Capital – Varthane
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
 The Standard of Annvar
The victorious armies of the Great Kingdom ranged over the breadth of the H’rethek lands, destroying all resistance.  Agents of the Council sought fervently for the Hive Queen and investigated whether the har’keen could be made into mounts (they couldn’t).

First Councillor Alfajoriax died in 2886 at the age of sixty-nine.  After a brief vote, the Council elected Meconiax to be their new leader. 

Councillor Puchoniax’s army conquered Kajd Tudun and Olos after meeting only token resistance.

In 2888, however, Meconiax also died, leaving Puchoniax the only nationally-known leader, and in overall command of the Annvarite army. But clever maneuvering in the Council by his clients and paid agents brought the First Councillorship to a little-known Councillor named Truchoniax, who was currently experimenting with har’keen cavalry in Airnim.

This was too much for Puchoniax’s troops to bear, and they proclaimed him Emperor of Annvar, raising him up on their shields and demanding the head of Truchoniax.  Puchoniax “allowed” himself to be convinced that Annvar needed him.  He immediately moved to Airnim and arrested Truchoniax, allowing the First Councillor to save his honor by committing suicide with a ceremonial sword left in his tent.

Puchoniax then marched on Varthane to establish control of the newly-proclaimed empire. He was welcomed by ecstatic crowds in both the capital and the homeland, and marched into Varthane


as a national hero, with full honors and parades and loud proclamations of the citizens love.  But the love did not extend so very far past the borders of Asep.  Most of the steppe tribes of Annvar viewed themselves as partners with Varthane, not its subjects, and there was widespread rebellion.  The tribes in Argininkai, Arvamak, Gastos, Gurvolynas, Kala, Sharu and Torava all rebelled, as did the city of Bellias in Vartai.  The elven tribes of the Thuidhel nation threw off all vestiges of Annvarite control and declared their own nation.

A horrid spectacle was reported by an Annvarite hunting party in Balga.  They found a rotting corpse walking across the plain in the general direction of Varthane.  They destroyed it with lances.  As it burst into putrefaction it continued to mutter a single phrase over and over: “The west is not for you!”  This pattern was repeated at least twice, in Sharu and Varhan.

The Elven Realm of Celendor –
Ruler –
Regent Voromë 
Capital – Ennilas
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – The Lords of the Grail

The elves of Celendor saw clearly their future if they should remain passive.  Their temples thrown down, their very essence leeched away by the vile lies of Eldareth Hammerhand and his toadying priests of Malbor.  No more!

The word went out through silent ways to rise up and once again take back what had belonged to Celendor since the world was young!

The Thuidhel and Annathel tribes rose up. The elves of Nimbreth wished them luck, but refused to join in the rebellion.  Meledrian agents crushed the uprising in Imlarond and in the city of Minnuin, but elsewhere the tribes were wholly united in their rebellion.

A makeshift capital was raised in the ruins of old Ennilas and Regent Voromë proclaimed the return of the elvish nation, refusing the crown of Elorian Mistmantle and ruling in his name “until the king shall come again.”


The Forest Realm of Meledrian –
Ruler –
King Eldareth Hammerhand
Capital – Laurelindë
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Nimbreth [+18 YfC]

image King Eldareth commanded a vast and even prodigal outlay on the abilities of his troops and agents.  The finest weapons, mounts, armor and training went without stint to his armies, navies and his Nightrunner Scouts.

As usual, Ascar sailors arrived in 2886 to cart away f grain and livestock, though whither it went then, none can say.

The many sorcerers and dark priests of the Forest Realm invoked the bonds between Meledrian and the Underworld, thus bringing forth several hopping, flopping hosts of servitor deamons that delved down and built up works for the elves in Lossarhir, Mithelan and Mallorin.

Dark Court missionaries continued to make converts in the Grail-dominated regions of Nimbreth and Rainas.

A deputation of the royal court, led by Lord Aelavel Tyrnealyth and including Rhias of Tirielinan,

Voronhad of Finrothel and Killkrantor, the Bishop of Dalariadh, descended on the elves of Nimbreth, granting lands and titles to the nobility, easing the taxation of the commoners, and generally attempting to improve relations with that conquered province.

The nation was taken by surprise when the Annathel and Thuidhel elves rose up in rebellion and proclaimed the kingdom of Celendor reborn.  Meledrian’s agents put down the uprising in Imlarond and the city of Minnuin, but were slain in Annathel, Bregil and Ithancelos.

The Duskwood Reavers of Azhran –
Ruler –
Grand Master Nath-Imperator Melenchlaenith the Archdisrupter
Order Fortress – Silithos
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Varthane [-], Belaira [OO], Celebdilas [OH], Sarion [OP]

The founders of the Duskwood Reavers worked feverishly to expand their order’s influence among the folk of Meledrian and Annvar.

Priests and knights of the Order tried to expand the Order’s holdings in Varthane, the capital of Annvar, but the humans of the region proved resistant to the idea.

The Order’s leaders had far better luck in the deep woods of Meledrian, where Nath-Imperator Melenchlaenith the Archdisruptor founded an Order Oratory in the alders of Belaira. Archon Carbonelor founded an Order House in Celebdilas, and Archon Vortek founded an Order Preceptory in Sarion.



The Kingdom of Tiringol –
Ruler –
King Keriadoc Stormwing
Capital – The Underhalls
Dominant Race – Halfling
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Elrothas [F]

image King Keriadoc took a wife, a young lass from a good Underhalls family named Leriope. In 2889, Leriope bore Keriadoc a daughter named Lily.

Sheriff Geraint arranged a marriage between Keriadoc’s twin sister Mooncloud to William Shroud, necromancer of Elrothas. Shroud was also named a prince of the realm.

Tiringol missionaries succeeded where Tiringol arms had failed. They preached the doctrines of self-interest and the dominion of the quick-witted to the hobgoblins of Uhtidme. The orderly goblinoids quickly took to the teachings of the Dark Court, for it appealed to their sense both of order and of violence.


The Conorrian Heartland –

The Conorrian Empire –
Ruler –
Emperor Kaius
Capital – Echoriath
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Flavium [EA], Medensus [+9YfC], Lenicum [NT], Calodunum [A], Kildaruensis [-]
image The Empire encouraged the study of Conjurative magic within its boundaries, particularly within the Domus Illuminati, the imperial school of wizardry. He also reconstituted the Imperator Aquilae, his personal adventuring company.

The Emperor added a thousand Conorrian Eagle Riders and two thousand cavalry to his armies.  The region of Autricum received particular attention with the addition of ten forts and castles as well as a post road running the length of the province.

The province of Anicium gained many excellent canals and villages, while the city of Echoriath hosted new cargo warehouses on its capacious wharves.

The city of Conorr grew so enormous as to rival Echoriath itself for the title of the largest city in Theeurth!  Its growth at an end, the Emperor ordered that the holy city be girded around with strong walls to protect the ancient precincts of Empire.

The Emperor did not forget his allies, sending a shipment of livestock to the Grail Primate in Conorr, and a shipment of gold to the Order of the Dawn.

In a move designed to reassert more control over his own population, Emperor Kaius ordered the ecclesiastical courts closed down.  There was great opposition to this among the fanatically devout Conorrian peasantry, who rioted in the streets of Echoriath for three days before order was restored.

There were many diplomatic initiatives by the Imperial court.

Solon,  Logothetes per Imperium, traveled to the city of Flavium and negotiated a favorable treaty with the merchants of the city to factor the Empire’s western trade. Senator Maecinus continued to reduce the tension in the still-restive province of Medensus. Senator Apionikos, after a brief trip to Autricum to transfer command of his army to princeps Arcalas, tried to win over the difficult desert tribes of Kildaruensis, across the Esharias river, but they would have none of it.

Bishop Linden, Pontifex Echoriath, sailed upstream to Lenicum and reasserted the Empire’s right to base troops in the hills. The elvish mercenary Melial traveled to the wealthy western province of Calodunum and concluded an alliance as his last act on behalf of the Emperor.

The Great Church of the Lords of the Grail –
Ruler –
Patriarch Henrikos
Holy City – Conorr
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Iqbazir [CH], Belfirth [-], Vahdin [AB], Rantes [CH], Armorica [MN]
image image
The Patriarch’s Standard
The Great Church spent lavishly to train its infantry, and the investment paid off, giving the Church the best-trained infantry on the Vatherian Sea. It also trained its priests and wizards in expensive, lavishly-supported schools.

The Great Church sent gold to Neldorea, but it also sent information – rutters to Roldein’s Gate were printed and presented to the Conorrian Empire.  Rutters to the Phaedon River and Sea of Serpents were slavishly copied and presented to the King of Dhûnazhar. Meanwhile, the Church built a closed-pipe drainage system in Conorr and Thariyya’s first church-run school in Uls Fakhar.

Missionaries continued to debate and cajole in Halianis, slowly converting the heathen from their worship of the strange ancestor-god Aeolan.

Patriarch Galetus and his nephew Henrikos assembled an army of sixteen thousand soldiers, including five thousand paladins of the Grail at Elenuil in the Neldorean Wood and shipped them via its huge fleet of cogs and warships across Roldein’s Gate to the Aelissian outpost of Brandobaris.  Even with the Grail fleet, it was necessary to make two trips to ferry the entire army. He was joined at Brandobaris by forces of the Llyran Republic, Har’akir and the Valesian Empire. 

Llyran Bishop Amonte commanded an aerial force of one Llyran Skyship and four Llyran Skyskiffs. Prince Kiley Groucutt of Har’akir commanded eight thousand turbaned soldiers from Vales. Theolus of Valesia commanded twenty-five hundred Valesian hoplites and a thousand siege engineers.


The combined Grail / Akir / Llyran / Valesian army then marched into and liberated Votois, Bruyenne, Couronnais and Serry.  They found that while they were assembling at Elenuil and Brandobaris, the Stoneheart giants had systematically stripped the cultivated regions of all valuables and had simply returned home to the mountains with all their loot. These lands

 were returned to Corland and Lorraine. The mercenary Sir Haden and five thousand troops were left to defend Neldorea’s capital.

Patriarch Galetus was killed by an unknown assassin in Serry in 2887.  The crown of the Great Church fell to his nephew Henrikos (who was also the brother of the Conorrian Emperor.)  Henrikos felt the need to hurry back to Conorr to secure his patrimony and so withdrew his army and navy back to the Holy City.

Bishop Photius established a monastery in Thariyya’s Iqbazir before succumbing to heat stroke in 2887. Bishop Darisus established a church in the Crusader city of Rantes, while Bishop Altair sailed west and established a monastery in the Lorraine city of Armorica.

The church in Valdori in the Whisper Wood repudiated the control of Conorr while the abbey in Aelissia’s Greensward faded in importance to that of a mere church.

The Dwarven Realm of Dhûnazhar – 
Ruler – King Thorin

Capital – Khelem Vala
Dominant Race – Dwarf
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Oeres [F]
image Ever defense-minded, to an extent that would seem paranoid to non-dwarf, the dwarves of Dhûnazhar built up the walls of Koros and built yet more fortifications in Kiril Zelen and Jaelitus. In addition, King Thorin recruited five hundred more Dhûnazhar King’s Elite guardsmen. Meanwhile, the slow cultivation of the hills of Phaedon creeped ever closer to completion.

Thorin named his son, Valand, as his successor and heir, despite his and Thorin’s relative youth.  His daughter Valandra he named a princess of the realm.

Princess Thorinna, the king’s twin sister, traveled south through the Empire with a Conorrian guide to the Holy City of Conorr, where she marveled at the beauty of the architecture and clucked to herself over the state of the defenses. There she received a wagonload of rutters, precious maps to the Phaedon River and Sea of Serpents, permitting the ships of the dwarves to trade down river as far as Uls Fakhar.

Lord Balin moved his army, thirty-five hundred strong, from Oeres to the home mountains at Dhûnazhar.  Meanwhile, Turok the Wise and a team of dwarven diplomats and noblemen convinced Lord Kyril of Oeres to accept the king’s generous offer of citizenship for all his people.

The Warded Realm of Pelendur –
Ruler –
Queen Hermione
Capital – Vigilum
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Veromito [-]

The Banner of Pelendur

The Shield of Pelendur

The men of the Warded Realm began to connect their cities to the capital with roads.  The first step was to connect Eidolon and Keldior Hall with a post road.

Lord Argent continued his campaign to woo the elves of Veromito, but found that he was competing with the agents of the hobgoblins of Lederata.  The elves easily played the two camps against each other and nothing was accomplished.

King Gregor ruled from Vigilum and fathered a second son. He died in 2888 during a powerful fever.  His daughter and heir Hermione was crowned queen of Pelendur by the bishop of Vigilum.

The Free State of Lederata –
Ruler –
King Naudrath
Capital – Magrod
Dominant Race – Hobgoblin
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Veromito [-HS]
King Naudrath and his vassal Mezger traveled to the elvish land of Veromito in order to try their hand at diplomacy.  Whether they would have overcome the natural hatred between their races is unknown, for Lord Argent of Pelendur also vied for control of the wealthy region.  The elves would have none of either and remained independent, but mutual antipathy between elves and hobgoblins became heated and tense, forcing the two Lederatans to return to Magrod.






North-Western Vales –

The Llyran Republic –
Ruler –
Constans Pip Topkapi
Capital – Tarrentica
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Maidhan [FA], Ryoril [NT], Coelis [-]

image Safe in their island fastnesses, protected by a fleet dwarfing all others in the Valesian Sea, the Llyrans were free to follow a familiar pattern of development.  They indulged the national obsession with fortress-building by erecting Fortress Llyr in Maidhan and Fortress Erichalcum in Coelis.

Generous as always, they sent gold to the Order of the Dawn and the Neldorean Elves.  Bishop Amonte took a Llyran Skyship and four Llyran Skyskiffs to Brandobaris to join the Patriarch’s crusade against the giants. (See The Great Church of the Lords of the Grail, above).

The Constans reordered the nation’s merchant shipping, shifting much of the burden of Vastium harbor to Tarrentica. He then sailed the main Llyran fleet of one hundred warships to Maidhan where he spent many years enjoying the dense forests and excellent hunting.

Strategos Tarsa delivered the materials for the new fortresses to the outlying islands, and then patrolled the seas around the Republic on behalf of the Red Pact of Vales.

Vicentae Marova traveled among the islands, improving relations.  In Maidhan, he negotiated a feudal alliance, while in Ryoril, the natives agreed to recognize the Republic’s sovereignty.  The natives of Coelis remained unimpressed with their powerful neighbor.


The Holy Matriarchy of Ahuran– 
Ruler –
Queen Margaret Sommerville
Capital – Sedeskan
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Maddari
Diplomacy – Naidhan [A], Sandrettos [-]
image image
The wealth and trade of Ilduskan continued to attract merchants, knights and peasants alike to its rainy shores.  Because of this, Queen Joyce ordered the walls of the city repositioned to encompass the newer regions.

Jessica Dawnflower headed a large company of colonists who settled on the north shore of Sandrettos and founded the city of Sirengar.  Then she and Margaret Sommerville unsuccessfully attempted to convince the folk of Sandrettos to increase their association with the Matriarchy.

Queen Joyce and Katelyn Sparhawk traveled to the elvish region of Naidhan with the intention of arranging an alliance.  Queen Joyce died in Naidhan in 2886 at the age of sixty-one.  The elves concluded the treaty with Katelyn, who then returned to govern the city of Southscape.

On Queen Joyce’s death, Jesse Holly was crowned queen in an elaborate ceremony.  But Jesse died in 2889 during childbirth.  The girl child died with her.  Princess Karyn Moonshadow was next in line to the throne and was crowned in a solemn ceremony.  But Karyn sat the throne for only six months before she, too, passed away of a fever in 2890.

The position of queen then fell to Queen Joyce’s twelve-year old daughter Deirdre. Her tutor Margaret Sommerville was to be her regent.  But Margaret had had enough of the weaknesses of House Thistledown.  She imprisoned

the child queen along with all her relatives.  In a few weeks, the men were all tried and found guilty of treason, while Deirdre was found to have hung herself in her cell.  Out of shame, no doubt.  The nation was shocked by Margaret’s bloody-minded coup, but was in no mood for more rebellions, either.  Ahuran sullenly swallowed the grave insult to Parmaadan.

Har’akir –
Ruler –
Sultan Qadir Alouda
Capital – Mar Awas
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Khars [EA], Dikhil [EA]
image   image


The Akirs built a city in the east, on the sandy shores of Dikhil.  They named it “Mica” for the many birds that inhabited the forests there.

Sultan Qadir ruled the realm from the luxurious palaces of Mar Awas, fathering three daughters  in between royal audiences.

He joined in marriage his younger sister Rukan, lately widowed, to Kiley Groucutt, raising the general to a prince of the Akirs. Kiley then raised twenty-five hundred light infantry and nearly thirty cogs.  Joining

Sultan Qadir

 these with troops he took over from Prince Saahir, he then sailed to the Aelissian outpost of Brandobaris with eight thousand troops to aid the Grail Patriarch against the giants (See The Great Church of the Lords of the Grail, above).

Admiral Bev Bevan swept the seas around Muzir on behalf of the Red Pact of Vales.

Lord Haseeb, Prince Saahr and Ridwa of Gon Bahar met with representatives of Dikhil and Gon Bahar.  In 2890, they signed an alliance permitting Har’akir to tax the eastern regions and purchase their goods exclusively from Har’akir.

The Valesian Empire –
Ruler –
Primarch Valerius
Capital – Centauris
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Phalces [-], Laedos [EA]
image The Valesians built their nation through investments in public works, both in the cities and in the provinces. But warfare was not forgotten as the Valesians trained relentlessly to hone their skills at siegecraft. 

Primarch Valerius continued to work his personal charm with Lord Phalcien of Phalces. The two wrestled and hunted and talked, but came to no agreement. Phalcian was a close ally of the Primarch’s but had no desire to unify his region with the Empire.

Lord Tyborg had more luck in Laedos, where he convinced the landholders to agree to an economic alliance.

Lord Theolus led his army in a joint Grail effort to rid southwestern Medahros of the Stoneheart giants.  He died in 2889 and his army and navy returned home with his body.  Seeing the chaos in the capital, they sailed on to Carres.

Lord Decius disappeared when visiting the western forests of Alcmedes.  His companions said that they had encamped for the night near a pleasant spring and that they heard voices in his tent.  The next morning he was gone and there was no trace of where he had gone.

In 2886, Ionnes, the so-called “Holy Man of the Kherouf” was murdered by one of his own followers.  The rest of his followers claimed they’d received a vision of their master being greeted by the Lord of The Underworld and returning with armies of the dead to cleanse the world.  His electrifying doctrines soon spread throughout the regions north and west of the Kherouf, gaining speed and potency with the passing of years. 

By 2890, the entire region had converted to the worship of the Dark Court (particularly Drauluin, god of death and the undead).  The waves of hysterical conversions swept through the southern Empire, reaching as far north as Areon and as far south as the Artaxes River and as far east as the Mulgaunt River. New converts flooded into the cities of Vales, Sirtis and Korrek. 

The crowds in Centauris demanded that Valerius and his court convert to the Dark Court, threatening to crush his bones with the stones of his palace if he failed to do so.

Luxur –
Ruler –
General Vuluk
Capital – Thedelos
Dominant Race – Sathla
Dominant Religion – Autumna
The mighty sathla empire continued to grow in wealth and power, its violent past seemingly asleep beneath a veneer of contentment and quiet. But this did not mean inactivity.  Far from it.

While only a thousand soldiers (elite sathran archers) were recruited, armies of laborers constructed buildings or dug irrigation ditches in the blindingly hot sun of Sekhem and Shenth. Moreover, small forts and castles rose from the bluffs above the Artaxes river in Sekhem, Shenth and in holy Habu. Further upriver, the land of Keferis once more blossomed under cultivation, only this time the humans who once owned the land served sathla masters and tended sathla tables.

Luxurite missionaries to the east were stymied by a lack of subjects for conversion.  In Likasal, the missionaries were suprised to find that the swamps had been denuded long before.  In Ardaxin and Itura, they arrived to find a storm of Drormtish saurus warriors enslaving everyone in sight.

General Vuluk concentrated much of his army in Thedelos.  He also married a favorite concubine and fathered a daughter. For convenience’s sake he married Hussinys, widow of Vykso, to Lord Emarak and made Emarak a prince.  Alas for Hussinys, she was widowed again before the year was out.  She might be well into her fifties, but she was too much sathla for poor old Emarak.

Captain Boronyx re-equipped six thousand medium infantry as light infantry.  He tried to train them as sathran archers but died in 2888 before he could complete their training.


Lieutenant Selaz traveled to the holy city of Merwal and delivered to the Pysus the infamous Censer of the Void, a powerful religious implement which tends to increase religious fervor whenever used in a ceremony. He then took command of the Luxurite navy and patrolled the Artaxes River.

Captain Lossyn, a noted sorcerer, summoned all his magical power and put it forth on the commercial health of the nation with a Master of Coin spell.  The free flow of wealth in Luxur was testament to his power.

However, all the faith and sorcery of Luxur could not stop the terrible drought which settled over the nation.  The Artaxes dropped to the lowest levels ever recorded and in some places the mighty river could barely float a barge.  Irrigation canals were mere dry ditches and wells produced either dust or a murky, barely potable liquid.  Animals died by the hundreds of thousands and crops withered in the fields year after year.  The people demanded action, blaming the impiety of the nation’s leaders for the disaster.

The Holy See of Udjo –
Ruler –
Pysus Holzilz
Holy City – Merwal
Dominant Race – Sathla
Dominant Religion – Autumna


The Holy See saw to an obscure five-year Autumna religious holiday.

The Serpentine of Mykele –
Ruler –
Sauressh Isskor II
Capital – Oroyon
Dominant Race – Sathla
Dominant Religion – Autumna
Diplomacy – Naszgiri [-], Diumevet [FA], Kuzsu [A], Vaaltoth [EA]

Sauressh Isskor commanded that many merchant ships be built to carry trade out of Mikkulizim, and it was done. The trade in bananas, figs, pears and most scrumptious of all, tree rats, was booming and the city population demanded an ever-growing supply.

Chief among those cities was Oroyon.  Still small compared to the great Luxurite metropolises, it was nonetheless a great city in its own right, and drew ambitious sathla from all over the great Mykelean jungle. Its expanding population forced the Serpentine to tear down its walls and rebuild them a quarter mile further inland to encompass them all.

The watchword for the Serpentine was diplomacy.  Every member of the court, including the Sauressh himself took part in expanding the power of the Serpentine.  Isskor spent only a year and a half in Naszgiri, not long enough to impress the natives.  But Lord Misshka took up residence in Diumevet and convinced the locals to pledge troops to defend the Serpentine.  Tanner only spent three years in Kuzsu before his death, but his adventurous spirit was infectious, and the Kuzsans agreed to an alliance with Oroyon.  Finally, Lord Nagel died after only a year of negotiating with the sathla of Vaaltoth, but had nonetheless secured their close economic cooperation for the future.


North-Eastern Vales –

The Kingdom of Thariyya –
Ruler –
King Shadazar Vahdin
Capital – Uls Fakhar
Dominant Race – Halfling
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Al Muhd [EA…then T]
image Admiral Lycidas Heliozend and the Thariyyan navy patrolled the Gulf of Thariyya on behalf of the Red Pact of Vales until the admiral’s death in 2888.  Thereafter, the fleet returned to Uls Fakhar for the funeral and an extended leave.

Kasad Vahdin and Zuiya Zendowan traveled to Al-Muhd to secure the further cooperation of the province.  Lord Kasad had been granted magically enhanced powers of persuasion by the Uls Fakhar wizards, and in the end Al Muhd agreed to closer economic cooperation…for a brief moment.

What had previously been billed as terracing for a cultivation project in Shood soon became something else entirely.  Reports reached the outside world that the halflings of Thariyya were doing something no other nation had ever done.  They had built an immense wall running across the Shood Narrows, one hundred fifty miles from the Gulf of Thariyya to the Sea of Serpents.  It was an engineering marvel unparalleled in military history.

It was also highly controversial.  Nearly one third of the nation had just been told that in the event of war, they would be outside Thariyya’s main line of defense.  Anger rose in the stolid hearts of Zendowan halflings in Al Muhd, Hassar and Naushqa. There were no outright rebellions, for that is rarely the halfling way.  Al Muhd rescinded its new agreement with Uls Fakhar, while halflings in Hassar and Naushqa renounced their citizenship.


The Warlocks of Accolon –
Ruler –
Emperor Jubal Cuu
Capital – Dammarask
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Carru [T]
The Warlocks continued to expend a great deal of energy and money educating the far eastern populations of Carru and Eumana in the proper use of the Valesian language, slowly marginalizing the native Nurad language in its own homeland.  Valesian became popular in the towns and villages along the Ashen Road, but remained only an official language in the fields and farms and in the regional capital of Nuradeem.

Emperor Jubal took a company of swift desert horses and returned to the Spider Throne in Dammarask, where he took up the difficult administration of the nation.  He married a noblewoman of the powerful Cartholan family, ritually deflowering her in a ceremony overseen by the High Priestess of Evaless.  This loveless yet fertile marriage of convenience resulted in the birth of two royal sons and a royal daughter.

Bloody Lady Leora marched her three-thousand man mobile army down the Ashen Road to Carru, keeping peace in the eastern Empire. Meanwhile Erikur Even-Handed extracted an agreement to pay an annual tribute from the farmers and local lords of Carru. No doubt Leora’s penchant for slaughter contributed to the local’s sense of cooperation.

Ezra the Bold of Dursarc patrolled the Ashen Way, keeping the desert road clear of interlopers, spies and monsters out of the deserts.

The Shadowed Primacy of the Dark Court –  
Ruler –
High Priest Gezz Half-Shadow
Holy City – Dammarask
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Gateway [-]


image The Shadowed Primacy built up its priestly bureaucracy and its religious schools.  It built a temple complex in Dammarask, complete with housing, a forum and a well. The Primacy recruited five hundred desert horsemen to act as bodyguards for its important bishops.

Gezz Halfshadow rode south with bishop Dar els Azelku along the Mulgaunt river in 2886, but they were not seen again for many years.

Prince Drel Dorath attempted to establish an abbey in the city of Gateway, then sailed south to Shenthalass in the Valraj.  Priests of the Dark Court had been working there to strengthen the worship of their patron gods in the Valraj.

The Shadowguard of Marador –  
Ruler –
Queen Madariel Shadowfoot
Capital – Lantar
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Kalrondo [NT]

Queen Madariel

The queen of the Shadowguard recruited twenty-five hundred elite soldiers, cavalry and archers for the most part, and distributed these troops to her subordinate generals.  Meanwhile, she continued to command the main army herself at Lantar.

Her court governed Marador’s cities or searched them for signs of the Shadowmasters, who seemed to have gone entirely to ground.

Meanwhile, Evarear Darkblow took a ferry across the Mulgaunt and trekked into the dark pine-studded hills of Kalrondo.  There, he forced the chieftains of the province to acknowledge the suzerainty of Queen Madariel

South-Western Vales –

The Steaming Kingdom of Drormt –
Ruler –
King Mudorpt
Capital – Breeka
Dominant Race – Saurus
Dominant Religion – Autumna
Diplomacy – Arran [F]

image Regent Mudorpt gathered his armies together with the allied armies of Ezikita and marched north at the head of seven thousand scaly sauruses to boil out of the swamps of Erlet and storm the jungles of Ardaxin and Itura.  With both swiftness and cruelty, Mudorpt’s troops enslaved the folk of both lands regardless of race, leaving the regions nothing but howling wildernesses.  With thousands of slaves thus seized, they marched triumphantly back to Arran, where the slaves were put to work cultivating the forests on the muddy banks of the Lethes river.

At home, shamans summoned elementals of mud and water to dredge the trackless fens of Ezikita and drag the detritus to the shores of Arran as fertilizer.

In 2883, while Mudorpt was campaigning, the five year old king Odro and his six year old sister Aaaka both drowned while playing in the Ulailai river before their guards could save them.  Shedding large crocodile tears, Mudorpt took the position of king far away in Itura.

Lord Gadampt convinced the sauruses of Arran that it was better to own slaves than to be slaves, and they warily joined the kingdom as full citizens.


Sendahl –
Ruler –
King V*ko
Capital – Nyange
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Valesian Spirit Cult
The Sendahlese trained relentlessly in cavalry tactics, riding their swift horses up and down the plains and along the rocky shores of the dark Vine Sea.

King V*ko named his son Gomo*ko as his heir in a ceremony that dazzled the town of Nyange and broke up the monotony of ruling the unruly Sendahlese tribes.

Most important of all, V*ko sent north thousands of tribesmen, some in small wagon-trains, others in great convoys, complete with all the materials necessary to forge a new life on the northern plains.  The wealthy farms and ranches of Durudin bustled with new activity and new wealth.




The Grand Empire of Mekebele –
Ruler –
Emperor Selassie
Capital – Awayal
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Valesian Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – Itubarratu [T], Eusobre [T]
image Emperor Selassie cast his eyes on trade from distant lands and determined to build a city on the shores of the Vacani Sea. He summoned his army to him and marched south through Eusobre and Itubarratu, where his court arranged tribute from the N’krome tribes.  On the shores of the great salt sea he drew a line in the earth with his spear, delineating the future walls, plazas and temples of the city that was to make his nation wealthy: Jaidar.

Within just a few years ships from as far away as the dwarves of Aurdukar were calling at Jaidar.  As yet the Mekebeleans had no rutters for the great sea, and so could not return the voyages.  But that would change.

In order to maintain a firmer control over the centers of population, the Emperor gave autonomy to the jungle regions of Abaste, Eura, Garmazt and Itulawi.

With less fanfare, the folk of Mekebele founded another city as well, Mahada in Menrat.

South-Eastern Vales –

A STRANGE PHENOMENONFor several years, the nations of Southeastern Vales region suffer from a decreased magical flow, reducing the power and range of all their spells.

The Dwarven Realm of Aurdrukar –
Ruler –
King Dorin
Capital – The Brass Tower
Dominant Race – Dwarf
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Onu [T]
Banner of Aurdrukar

Banner of Khor-Naland

image King Dorin ordered his small capital expanded, and the dwarves built new buildings above and carved new galleries below the Brass Tower.  To be safe, they also built new and massive walls about the whole of the place. King Dorin centralized the army under his own command at the capital.

Dwarven missionaries went west and north to Shtekkten and Vri’Inu, but failed to win many converts among the heathen.

Lord Blorin gave up on the orcs of Zhutetl and exacted tribute from the dwarves of the Onu hills instead.

Lord Rignus went adventuring among the hills of Shtekkten and came away as empty-handed as his priests.  But in Yekrunale, Lord Durn made an amazing discovery – a large city high in the mountains, probably of dwarven origin and swarming with monsters. Soon, adventurers from across Vales were eager to try their hand in the lost metropolis.

The Elven Empire of Sengkar –
Ruler –
Emperor Valoril Greenshield
Capital – Ezrand
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Makidot [F], Baseshu [A]
Like every other nation in the region, the Empire of Sengkar suffered from a strange but temporary reduction in the flow of magical essence, causing a large number of spells, both major and minor to fail or result in odd circumstances.  Coins tossed in Xantotun mostly stood on their edges, while every single child born in Ghelfal in 2887 was female and possessed of the same beauty mark on their left cheek.

The elves were ancient.  All this had happened before and would no doubt happen again.  They were more amused by such circumstances than the shorter-lived races who experienced them with awe.

What most possessed the elves of Sengkar was pirates.  Or at least, the threat of pirates.  The fleet of Kerendis became the national obsession.  The Emperor ordered a nation-wide investment in warships. Crews trained every day in the shallows off the coast, but far more effort was put into the  


construction of new vessels.  More than twenty new warships were built at Jarende, Xantotun and Valoralondë. 

The Emperor’s other new diversion was road-building.  A new road was carved from Ezrand east to Valoralondë and then south along the coast to Dhal Sandhar.  The road was dotted with post inns every twenty miles so that the Emperor’s couriers could eat a hot meal and change horses before riding on, often making the entire trek in less than a fortnight.

Prince Namaril gave up command of the sixteen thousand cavalry of the Empire’s main army, ceding command of the elite forces to his father, while the rest were garrisoned in the city.  Namaril then rode to Makidot in the south and convinced Lord Wisthan to join his realm with the Empire.

Lord Talan meanwhile gathered together the scattered infantry garrisons of the Empire into a single powerful force more than ten thousand strong at Sengkar.

Lady Elvadriadnë visited the southern forests of Baseshu and so charmed Lord Noldar with tales of Ezrand and the court that he came to see the Emperor as a close friend and not merely as his liegelord.

The Kingdom of Weshtayo –
Ruler –
King Terbish, Red-Feathered Lord
Capital – Khulank
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Valesian Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – Bedraku [-1 YfC]
image Mad King Terbish continued to pour the nation’s wealth into the only true and legitimate purpose: the building of his great tomb at Khulank.  When he died and ascended as a god, the people would take meaning for their miserable existences from the fact that Terbish had walked among them!  He confidentially informed more than one ashen-faced courtier that he was fairly certain that he was already a god, but that he would continue the charade of mortality for a few more years…just because it was amusing.

The plans of the court to fertilize fields and move labor to the cultivation of Tresalet came to nought, for Terbish diverted every available man and every last speck of gold to the completion of his tomb.

Lord Kelmek marched his two thousand guards north to Tresalet, where he patrolled the northern frontier until his death at the age of forty-six in 2889.

Lord Qorchi tried to reason with the intractable men of Bedraku, but they refused to hear his arguments or his complaints, instead conceiving an insult in some obscure comment he made in an unguarded moment, thus setting relations back further than they had before his arrival.

The Imperial Realm of Zikuyu –
Ruler –
Emperor Kwame
Capital – Ivallkyu
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Valesian Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – Triyara [A], Zhayku [C], Zalu [F]

After a decade of hedonistic indolence, the folk of Zikuyu leapt once more into frenetic activity.

King Kwame ordered the walls of Ivallku demolished and ordered the stone used to build large new quarters of the capital.  Stone was then brought down the Mogolla river to make a new, better wall around the city. The capital’s sister city, Mogollyu, also expanded as many who came to Ivallkyu crossed the great bridge and settled on the south side.

Into those cities Kwame sent the finest architects, artisans and planners, filling the city with fine plazas, wide avenues, theaters, temples and taverns. Even though they were tiny by the standards of the north or east, Ivallkyu and Mogolla were gems of culture and wealth.

Nor were they ill-defended.  Forts dotted the plains


of Qash and Urrides. General Vanwee collected the strength of Zikuyu at Qash, an army more than fifteen thousand strong. Vanwee died in 2890 and King Kwame took over personal command of the army.

With the aid of spies who knew the secrets of the nobility and shamans who could uncover yet more of the weaknesses of men, King Kwame prepared to travel north to Triyara.  There, he negotiated an alliance with chief Umaltis.  The treaty included Kwame’s marriage to Umaltis’s duaghter Beera.  Delighted with the deal, Kwame returned home and in the waning months of 2890, fathered two sons on his new queen. He also named his brother Tabansi as a prince of the realm.

Lord Sakhile traveled to Zhayku and attempted to negotiate a treaty with the wild men of the jungle.  Though the chieftain took Kwame’s sister Lwandle to wife, he refused to recognize Kwame’s authority in more than words.

Lord Yeeqon traveled to Zalu and arranged a marriage to King Kwame’s second sister, Sibongile.  The Zaluans were given full citizenship in the Empire.

The Valraj –
Ruler –
Sultan Ayoob
Capital – Muddakir
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Tanoxus [NT]

image Scrambling to deal with the aftermath of the national conversion to the Dark Court, Sultan Azaad recruited fifteen hundred light infantry, putting them under the capable command of Jemadhar the Beautiful.

The preaching of the Dark Court priests continued and the faith of the Valrajis slowly began to improve as they came to better understand the doctrines of their new religion.

Sultan Azaad died peacefully at the age of fifty-five in 2888. He was succeeded by his son Ayoob to the acclimations of the populace. Ayoob, already ruling during his father’s life, continued on after his father’s death, managing to father a single girl in the first year of his reign.

Prince Daruun traveled to the forests of Tanoxus and reestablished the Sultan’s nominal rule over the region. 

Jamahdar the Beautiful and Amr Ghaas marched into Jadjas with forty-five hundred troops.  In campaign that took several long weeks they overawed all opposition to the sultan’s rule and began the forcible conversion of the populace to the Lords of the Dark Court. The peasants hid their spirit-related charms and disguised their ancient ceremonies, becoming Dark Court worshipers to all appearances.


The Grand Duchy of Meneen –
Ruler –
Grand Duke Salene
Capital – Yaz Meneen
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – Valesian Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – Ivralit [EA]

The Grand Duchy is unusually blessed with powerful sorcerers. However, affected by the strange depletion in the flow of magic, few of Meneen’s many invocations succeeded.  The one that did brought sea sprites to carve out a fine harbor along the shores of Chodaru.

The elves dragged down the walls of Yaz Meneen, using the stone to build a broad plaza and a statuary garden in the new and expanding portion of the city.

Lord Habnar continued his work among the Quellende elves, creating strong mercantile ties with the elves of Ivralit.

In 2887, Admiral Feantë failed to invite a little-known and rustic elf chieftain from the Sandor mountains to a fine masque he was giving in honor of the Maidens of Spring.  The chieftain responded by shouting in the great lawn of Yaz Meneen that Feantë was a foppish fool.  The feud between the two grew heated and ended in a duel which lasted just seven seconds.  Feantë slew the braggart and considered his honor satisfied.  The Khovars tribes did not agree. 

Infuriated, they demanded that the Grand Duke turn over Feantë to their justice.  When the Grand Duke refused, the Khovars tribes jointly declared their enmity to the Grand Duchy.


The Kingdom of Ukanve –
Ruler –
Queen Edova
Capital – Ukanve
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Valesian Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – Acclimea [-], Yugolon [-]

image Queen Edovah ordered the building of a series of public kitchens in Ukanve where families might cook their meals together and avoid making their houses hotter in the sweltering southern heat.

Various spells cast by the nation’s wizards and leaders fizzled and sputtered, leaving bad smells and weirdly deformed walls, doors, floors and laboratories nearby.

Lord Retzak traveled to Acclimea, where the elves had little interest in what he had to say, preferring their own company. Lord Karltone’s stay in Yugolon was so brief that it was only later that the natives realized he was trying to conduct diplomacy.





The Kingdom of Nikitya –
Ruler –
Queen Olga
Capital – Vikitana
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Serriku Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – Uttaini [NT]

image The Nikityan raiders under Wuldan remained closer to home, launching forays out into the seas around Vikitana and generally watching the coasts. In 2886 the learned of an expedition by the Amantai navy and moved to intercept, smashing that five-ship fleet in the waters off of Point Muha.  Wulfdan sank two ships and captured a third.

Queen Dowager Olga raised a thousand light cavalry for her personal guard.  She also named severaltysiatskiisor “thousandmen” to control local militias and administer justice in the provinces.

Her sons Ragnar and Loki traveled east along the coast to Uttaini, where they forced the locals to recognize the power and terror of Nikitya’s rule.

The Principalities of Korondor –
Ruler –
King Vorin
Capital – Nikkildûn
Dominant Race – Dwarf
Dominant Religion – The Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Aniatak [C], Orodask [A]

The defense-minded dwarves built stout forts and towers in the wind-swept hills of Pupukta, built a mighty fortress in Innikuch and strengthened the walls of Orodask’s port fortress.

The dwarves moving down from the hills into the fertile plain of Kyuinachka, as well as the movement of goods from the hills to the seaport, brought new growth and wealth to the human towns and villages of the region.

King Vorin and Lord Talon attempted once again to attain the allegiance of the stiff-necked dwarves of Aniatak.  The dwarves’ reception, though warm in hospitality, was cool in result – Aniatak would continue to take its own counsel.

Lord Bolan, meanwhile, convinced Mayor Marion of Orodask to become a close ally of the dwarves.

Prince Tolon fathered a son in 2886, but his wife Nora died the following year at the young age of seventy-two.


The Shanatar Empire –
Ruler –
God-Emperor Talena
Capital – Feroe
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – The God-Emperor
Diplomacy – Fakkhrem [F]

image The Empire continued its enormous program of cultivation and road-building.  Sourinn and Fakkhrem were brought under cultivation, leaving no uncultivated territory within the Empire.  Shanat work gangs built royal roads between Nimaht and Rachif, between Balasir and Soqand and between An’Hirz and Malil.  Parts of the network were still just the smaller postal roads, however.

The armies of the Empire, under the commands of the God Emperor, her son Maarius and General Ullaran all encamped in the fields of Chamir.

Migdala, the Royal Consort, rode to Fakkhrem to arrange the marriage of his son Maarius to the daughter of an important local family, cementing the marriage with the gift of full citizenship to the residents of the region.

In 2889, Uria, sister of the God-Emperor died in childbirth at the age of forty-one.

Priests of the God-Emperor continued to spread her faith within the hearts and minds of the people of Farmuz.

The Farmuz Emirates –
Ruler –
Sultan Iskander al Zahmer
Capital – Azhkatûm
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Lords of the Grail
Diplomacy – Navilok [A], Azmani [EA]
Farmuz began to concentrate its fabulous wealth in the fertile fields of Forecen, where temples, roads, post inns, theaters and even hospitals began to appear.

The city of Mukatir, so recently a ruin, remained an important cause to the emirs who funded its continued rebuilding.

Reacting to the recent inroads made by the priests of the God-Emperor, sultan Iskander passed strict mandatory religious laws intended to promote morality among the population.  Unfortunately, the people resented the stringent new regulations, particularly the always-independent urban populations of Azhkatûm and Amakhar.  This, combined with the preachings of a growing number of the adherents of the God-Emperor, caused a precipitous fall in the strength of the Grail faith.

Sultan Iskander named his son Baroun as his heir and successor, and also permitted his daughter Majia to take part in his councils.

The emirs Azzizi ben Amakhar and Darmok al Azkhatum convinced the emir of Navilok, a powerful sorcerer, to ally himself with the sultan.  Meanwhile, Princess Alia and emir Rabin ben Shiraz convinced the emir of Azmani to return to the fold after the recent troubles. The emir swore an alliance to Azhkatûm.

The Kingdom of Vaudan –
Ruler –
King Kavan
Capital – Chegamum
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Orithia
Diplomacy – Yezdarna [F, then UN]
image King Afshar had a problem.  The problem had a name: Rostam.  His eldest son and heir had proved to be a terrible disappointment.  An indolent fop with a penchant for gambling, criminals and Shanatar fashions, the man who would be king was not fit for the position.  And so one day Afshar set his son a test.  Rostam was to travel alone or with a few companions into the hills of Ul’il and return with head of the goblin chief who plagued those lands.  Rostam quailed at the prospect and pleaded with his father to reconsider.  Perhaps the captain of the guard could… But Afshar was unmoved and Rostam went to avoid imprisonment and disgrace.  He went, and never returned. 

The men and elves of Vaudan lived in contentment until 2889, when King Afshar died at the end of a long illness.  Before his death, he named his son Kavan as his heir, but the elves of Vaklatos and Parkora knew only his father, and did not like this strange boy wizard who now took the throne.  They revolted against his rule.  Seeing an opportunity for political advancement, so did the khan of Jadh who declared his wealthy and central province to be independent of Chegamum.

The leaders of the court, including Kavan’s immensely powerful uncle Afshin, all supported the young king, however, and there was no war. Afshin collected the various army garrisons under his own command and placed them at Kavan’s disposal in Chegamum.

The United Clans of Mainos –
Ruler –
King Kaedhrol Greyfeather
Capital – Badmira
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – Orithia
Diplomacy – Mamaku [FA], Vizhios [-], Vazdik [HS]

Trade was on the mind of the Mainans.  From the Kheleni bluffs above the river of the same name, they wrought a fair port town they named Jagda.  In the cities of Badmira and Erekosh, small river barges were built to carry the trade of the growing nation.

Prince Auvo had the administration of the kingdom while King Khaedrol rode north into the forests of Mamaku and there so impressed the local chieftains with his wisdom and majesty that they swore to be his vassals and join his wars with many archers.

Tarja Elsila had less luck in the woods of Vizhios, where the elves rejected the call of Empire, preferring to walk their woods in solitude from the outside world.

General Aila Torni assembled a force of six thousand archers, and was joined by the lords of Prukos, Stokumuk and Krinra with another three thousand.  They planned to extend Mainos’s realm all the way to the Gardagos River. But fate intervened.

On the way to conquest, Aila Torni first stopped at the elven steppe of Vazdik and peremptorily demanded the elves join the United Clans.  They refused and he insulted both their intelligence and heritage.  A lordling of the Vazdik slew Torni with an arrow to the throat.

Their leader slain, the joint army lacked any national commander and retreated in disarray to Narebe.


The Dragon’s Reach

The Kingdom of Uheju –
Ruler –
King Kaidan
Capital – Shkomyemri
Dominant Race – Hobgoblin
Dominant Religion – Orithia

image The hobgoblin kingdom entered its darkest days. King Gansukh took command of his army, ten thousand strong, including nearly three thousand Kardaur Elite infantry, and marched to Berat to guard against Nikityan raids.

Meanwhile, the true danger to his realm was unknown and unseen.  In the vast steppes of Serikku, an old enemy had once again emerged to scourge the lands of civilization.  Orcs.

An orcish horde, some ten thousand mixed infantry marched into Inni from Fikir and devastated it. After plundering the sparse plains, they marched into Amak, where Gansukh first became aware of them.  Responding to a desperate plea for help from his vassal Lord Bayan of Amak, he marched his army through Kannguheju to assault the orcs.

The beast who ruled the orcish horde was both a mighty general and an experienced soldier.  Angrdol was his name, and his sire was rumored to be an ogre, so huge and bestial was he.  Moreover, his infantry was simply harder and better trained than the disorganized Uhejan mob (save for the Kardaur Elite). Both sides used magic to sharpen their blades.

Neither the horde nor the Uheju army was well-equipped to fight in the open steppe, for the orcs had no cavalry and the hobgoblin cavalry was very poor in quality. Wily Angrdol laid a trap for Gansukh, and the Uhejans marched straight into it, allowing their cavalry scouts to be separated from the main body of the infantry, where the orcs were free to come to grips with the shaky hobgoblins. 

The result was not so disastrous as it might have been, for the hobgoblins fought hard and well, giving ground grudgingly and only at a dear cost in

blood.  But far too much of that blood was their own, and soon they were forced into a general retreat that only the great energy of King Gansukh was able to save from becoming a complete rout.

The hobgoblins fell back to the cultivated fields of Kannguheju and nursed their wounds, calling in all the reinforcements they could.  The orcs did likewise in Amak.  In the spring of 2888, the orcs again advanced on the hobgoblin position, but this time the advantages were with the hobgoblins.  They knew every inch of the terrain and were fighting in cultivated land, as civilized troops should.  Most importantly, they could use Kannguheju’s five castles to bolster their lines of defense.  Though Angrdol was still the far better commander, and was supported by the sorcery of his lieutenant Magra, and even though even here he inflicted greater wounds on the defenders than they on him, it was the orcs who broke first, streaming back to Amak in great mobs and small.  Uhejan heralds suppose that some seven thousand orcs still survive in the horde.

The Kingdom of Kasadir –
Ruler –
King Eddard
Capital – Tamiyot
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Orithia
King Maejith died in the winter of 2886 at the age of fifty-two.  This left his daughter Kimmissa the Sorceress as queen of Kasadir.  She took a husband in 2885 from a noble clan of Laina.

Kimmissa had two daughters before dying in 2888 of a failed pregnancy, leaving her two year old daughter Raya as the legitimate monarch. Kimmissa’s uncle Prince Eddard was appointed regent until Raya’s majority.

However, the heart of Eddard of Tanuan was as black as pitch.  Within ten months both Raya and her infant sister were found strangled in their cribs.  The incident was blamed on a hobgoblin serving maid said to be under the instructions of Uheju.  The poor maid was drawn and quartered. Meanwhile, Eddard “reluctantly” became king of Kasadir.

The Kingdom of Ahandu –
Ruler –
King Quetza
Capital – Zathurrin
Dominant Race – Saurus
Dominant Religion – Orithia
image image

The sauruses of Ahandu began to cultivate the human-held forests of Chojde on the Xiangyun Sea.  Closer to home, a terrible fire broke out in the small city of Mihagga.  It was widely believed that sparks from a forge had carried into a nearby sawmill and ignited the dust.  But whatever the cause, the results were horrifying.  The entire city burned to ashes in just three days.

Lord Xichicc of Manjarmun died of consumption in 2887.  Concerned about the encroaching elves on his western border, he had already donated the whole of his realm to King Quetza in his will.  The king now took possession of Manjarmun as a province of Ahandu.

The Empire of Mogodor –
Ruler –
Queen Lysistrana
Capital – Aone
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Orithia

The men of Mogodor trained in the arts of war and planted the fields of Kolempmun.

Queen Lysistrana was crowned in 2887 shortly after her sixteenth birthday.  Regent Torek died just months after handing over his office.

The rest of the land was blessedly quiet and peaceful.


The Kingdom of Suhanir –
Ruler –
King Valiel Sunlord
Capital – Kaonayu
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – Orithia
Diplomacy – Anbarako [A]

image The quiet elven realm on the southeast shores of the Dragon Reach continued to improve the cultivated lands of Sunahm and Menmanga, allowing a large number of elves to live there and swell the general population.

The various wizards and priests of Suhanir worked together to bless the fertility of Menmanga, while king Valiel Sunlord single-handedly brought the blessings of elvenkind to the region of Sunahm.

Lady Halath remained in Anbarako, convincing Lord Lir to become the full ally of the king. Her great charm and grace convinced that powerful lord that the kingdom of Suhanir was worth his allegiance.

Meanwhile, lord Cerelindor was building a strong force of elven archers at the capital, eventually concentrating four thousand elven archers into a cohesive force that patrolled the streets of Kaonayu.

The Kingdom of Amantai –
Ruler –
King Mardule
Capital – Mahlish
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Orithia
Diplomacy – Jutuh [A]

In the wake of the Nikityan raids a few years before, King Mardule and his court looked to their defenses, building warships and recruiting cavalry and infantry.

The king himself took command of the defenses of Haga, creating a light, fast reaction force of infantry and cavlalry while giving command of the heavier elements of the army to Gerald the Chaste.

Mardule’s daughter princess Sara set sail with five warships into the west, hugging coastlines and fogbanks in an effort to avoid detection by enemy fleets.  But alas it was in vain.  By the time Sara’s fleet was moving from the Denyema Sea to the Sea Dragon Reach, the ships of Nikitya were upon them.

Four small warships (not the larger Nikityan Dragonships) commanded by Wulfdan the Fierce sliced through the waters and chased down the fleeing Amantai ships.  The Nikityans were far better sailors and although two Amantai ships escaped,


two more were hulled and sunk while a third was captured in a boarding action.

Princess Sara returned to Mahlish where she became queen two years later when her father collapsed and died in 2888.

Better news was had from the south.  Despite his dour reputation, Gerald the Chaste was an excellent diplomat and he convinced the men of Jutuh to ally with Mahlish.

The Kingdom of Nuitai –
Ruler –
King Ghevrit
Capital – Temanom
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Orithia

image Nuitai hired two thousand Serikku mercenaries and ferried them to Basirzos to help protect the region, though as it happened, the lich never turned its armies northward.

King Ghevrit (now calling himself The Avenger, though most still knew him as The Usurper), took command of the national army and sent Lord Qathos to Basirzos with the mercenaries.

Qathos quickly disappeared from the knowledge of the Basirzos garrison, where it was widely assumed he had gone on a mission to Erdiyek.


The Lichdom of Erdiyek –
Ruler –
Kuan Li Jiang
Capital – The Necropolis
Dominant Race – The Undead
Dominant Religion – None

The evil lich Kuan Li Jiang lingered lovingly over the vats that spewed forth more slaves to form his its evil armies and the delicate spell complexes that caused Erdiyek to burst forth lodgings and defenses of bone and stone.

Meanwhile, its ancient lieutenant, the undead lord Zhi Kwan Li marched out of the Necropolis with four thousand troops, half of them shambling dead and swiftly conquered both Ethegadu and Hosa.

In 2887, several Nuitai assassins were caught and flayed alive.  They then went into the shambling vats


The Kingdom of Choran –
Ruler –
  King Kerian
Capital – Choran
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Serikku Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – Entemal [T], Narvalos [C]

In the wake of the disaster at the Godfall Deep, King Kerian sought out the giants and concluded a non-aggression treaty with Tekume.

A crash program of shipbuilding was instituted to replace the Godfall Deep losses, with twelve warship keels laid down in Choran harbor. The army raised a further fifteen hundred infantry in Kaou and built fortifications in far southeastern Yukamoc.

King Kerian ruled the Captain’s Council from Choran and assigned a large number of new merchant hulls to the Wayahapta route based out of Tolnek.

Lord Shakiru marched into orcish-held Entamal with a thousand infantry and bellowed a challenge to any who would not speak with him.  Impressed, the orcs came out to hear what the human had to say.  Shakiru offered the orcs protection in exchange for annual tribute.  An honest shakedown was something they could understand and they reluctantly agreed.

Phalen the Proud sailed across the Gulf of Hu’ru-Chi


to the forests of Narvalos and claimed the land in the name of the kingdom of Choran.  The scant human population regarded the mainlanders with mild amusement.

Lord Chausian sailed south to the Azure Sea and double-checked his charts.  He then returned to base at Tolnek.

Admiral Nagurii of the Green Pang assembled a fleet of six fast warships and watched the Soldu Seas for invaders. He was joined in that sea by the much larger Shen’xi navy.

The Empire of Tekume –
Ruler –
Emperor Vo-Laareth
Capital – Suru’or
Dominant Race – Giants
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Kumi [-]

image The giants of Tekume once more raided the high seas.  After building fifteen new warships, Emperor Vo-Laareth sailed into the Kamako sea and descended on the wealthy but lightly-defended Shen’xi region of Zindeng. His sailors stripped the region bare, avoiding the castles and defenders and hauling away a huge treasure.

Their next target was Shanbao, where they were just as proficient at slaughter and looting.

At this time, lord Xan Chow of Shen’xi sailed out with thirty warships to challenge the Emperor.  Evenly matche in number of hulls, the battle was nonetheless almost entirely a Tekume victory.  The giants were far more proficient in naval warfare and the Emperor was a naval genius.  The ships clashed off Point Fulan in Baochai, and the giants shattered the Shen’xi navy, sinking six ships and seizing two.  Xan Chow and his fleet managed to sink only two Tekume vessels.

After the Battle of Fulan, Vo-Laareth returned to raiding the Kamako coast, pillaging Baochai, Senomur and Dehui before sailing home with his loot.

Lor Mi-Tarnak failed to convince the lord of Kumi to join the Empire.

Allied lords Ka-Rhud of Taikime and Ha-Lukko of Tauntum patrolled the Godfall Deep and the Amaku Maru with their warships.




The Kolyut Isthmus

The Sylvan Realm of Hecadia –
Ruler –
Regent Jasil
Capital – Belgramma
Dominant Race – Halfling
Dominant Religion – Orithia
Diplomacy – Kebe [NT], Maviran [C]

image The halflings of Hecadia trained hard to master the arts of cavalry on their small, stout warponies.  The recruiters beat the bushes and enlisted thirty-five hundred infantry to add to the ranks of the Hecadian army.

The popularity of the old gods was in serious decline in Hecadia, as across nations of the Ymarian Sea. Temples fell into disrepair and the Regents men publicly questioned the power of the old spirits to aid the destiny of the folk of Hecadia.

The Regent traveled to rebellious Kebe (with six thousand troops in tow) and demanded that the halflings of the region cease their foolish obstructions.  Cowed, they agreed to recognize the authority of the Regent.  In practice, however, local councils continued to control all that happened beyond the immediate reach of the soldiers.

Lord Lorne traveled north to Maviran, negotiating the nominal return of the region to the realm.  In actual fact this meant that he convinced the local barons not to allow their men to shut the post road to travelers. To ensure that this was the case, Lord Rhett marched into Maviran with two thousand troops and set up an encampment beside the road.  The locals got the point and the way to Amoka and Chamir remained unobstructed.

The great swathe of wilderness between them and the capital at Belgramma convinced the humans of Papan that the halfling power meant little to them.  When Lord Quickfoot died, his troops went home and none came to replace them.


The Kingdom of Kerendis –
Ruler –
King Lochilann Makkure
Capital – Orbelain
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
A large number of landless folk moved east across the forests of Emparar and Utarmik, hoping to settle in the newly-cleared eastern province of Chemada, where they could stake a claim and farm a small plot of land. Eager to encourage this migration, King Lochilann sent thousands of laborers to Chemada to dig wells, build fences, establish small villages and raise up a temple to Evaless, Mother of Monsters.

King Lochilann married the plump but wealthy daughter of a local nobleman.  Her named was Chrodoarand.  Chrodoarand presided over a wedding feast at the mouth of Orbelain harbor, where sacrifices were made to Evaless.

Prince Cormac cruised the Ymarian Sea with more than thirty warships, including ten huge Kerend Battle Galleys, the sight of whose black-and-orange sails filled any sailor’s blood to ice.

Meanwhile, Lord Búadachán fared eastward with five warships and attempted to chart the treacherous narrow waters of the Ruan Straits.  Instead, he was met by the Ruan fleet under Lord Markand.  The Ruan admiral politely but firmly


turned back the Kerend exploration. Seeing Markand’s fifteen Ruanach Blacksails, Búadachán agreed to return home.

Bishop Shaeloth the Shadowed marched the Chemada garrison to Argus on the west coast.  He died in Argus in 2886, with no apparent cause.  Several soldiers swore that Shaeloth appeared to them five days after his death and told them that the goddess Evaless had revealed to him that she was the true mistress of all Theeurth and that Malbor was her son and consort.  The local priests quickly put a stop to this talk by sacrificing the soldiers publicly. 

However, in 2887, a book appeared in the deep forest villages of Awibiat, apparently written by Shaeloth himself.  It explained the “truth” of the supremacy of Evaless above all the other gods. It called on all worshipers of the Dark Court to place the goddess at the center of their worship and above that of Malbor.  The priests of the Dark Court who opposed this heresy in Awibiat were soon killed, but many more embraced the worship of Kerendis’s patroness.  The heresy spread from there like wildfire.  Soon the worship of the Mother of Monsters had replaced that of the Dark Court in Awibiat, Chnuraj, Emparar, Epirvur and Tharses.  All those regions saw the court at Orbelain as heretics and their connections to the central government waned.

The Kingdom of Threns –
Ruler –
King Arcanon
Capital – Vaayil
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Inrikor [T]

image “There is no zealot like a convert.”

The newly-converted men of Threns threw themselves into the study of the Dark Arts of necromancy.  Scholars in Vaayil studied the dead, and how to make them walk again.  Researchers sought for scrolls and tablets man was never meant to read.  The “Seekers of Truth and Power” adventuring group was set the task of finding necromantic artifacts.  Temples to Drauluin, lord of the undead rose up on the Vaayil skyline to overawe the citizenry with dread and wonder.

Princess Regent Marietta was the truest of converts.  When her charge, young king Arcanon, was old enough to take the throne, she set sail for Nuradeem, traveling across the dusty Road of Ashes to Dammarask, where she became a princess of the Dark Court Primacy, High Priestess of Drauluin.

Lord Mulostrium rode into the high mountains seeking his fortune.  Just in case, he rode with a thousand followers and a lot of wagons.  However, he chose to ride into the forbidding snow-capped mountains of Sanoon, where lives some of the most vicious orcs anywhere in Theeurth.  On a narrow track high above a precipice, the orcs attacked, cascading boulders down upon the hapless, helpless expedition until the few survivors managed to edge their way back into the mountains of Ramudev.

Lord Perejilium rode into Inrikor, demanding and getting a tribute from the terrified peasantry, most of whom were convinced that their fellows in Vaayil had gone mad or were possessed by the demons they worshiped.

Lord Cromotium traveled to Sepapan, where he met with Lord Vasil of Ruanach.  Once Vasil turned over several chests of shiny gold, Cromotium

officially turned over the rule of the province to the Ruans.  They signed a treaty, promising among other things that payments would continue over the next forty years and that Ruanach recognized Threns’s right to control Artisva, Madarah, Emesini and Depoken.  The two then rode north into Bendraj and repeated the ceremony there.

As a complete surprise to the Threnish court, the hobgoblins of the Kolyut Hegemony seized the region of Patsuma, cutting Vaayil off from its northern colonies.

The Kolyut Hegemony –
Ruler –
Hegemon Moodor Sharptongue
Capital – Ketarid
Dominant Race – Hobgoblin
Dominant Religion – The Dark Court
Diplomacy – Kumajr [T], Kebeliha [NT], Muktikan [FA]

Regent Megar the Bull reoranized the Kolyut armies, placing himself at the command of eight thousand troops in Asatyen.

Dinguw the Shrewd and Lord Graybar of Nistha visited several Kolyut neighbors to arrange diplomatic contacts.  The arranged a tribute in Kumajr, official recognition of the Hegemony in Kebeliha and the feudal allegiance of Muktikan.

Lord Rowl Thump marched west with four thousand light infantry and invaded the region of Patsuma, so recently a part of Threns.  The battle for Patsuma was no simple fight, as the locals fought hard for their freedom.  Once they were pacified, Thump ordered them all forcibly converted to the worship of the Dark Court, at which many rebelled and were again forcibly pacified.  These twin campaigns cost the hobgoblins hundreds of casualties, but in the end the Patsumans accepted their new gods, at least publicly.


The Rajahdan Peninsula

A STRANGE PHENOMENONFor several years, the nations of the Rajahdan Peninsula region enjoy an increased magical flow, Increasing the power and range of all their spells.

The Free Cities of Ruanach –
Ruler –
King Histro
Capital – Fashanru
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Changshai Spirit Cult
image The Ruans continued to build small villages in Daal and Angkon. Meanwhile, the sounds of axes and saws rang through the forests of Angkon as more and more land was cleared for cultivation.

King Histro married Herenna, a distant cousin and noted beauty.  She soon gave birth to a son, Edmor. Histro named his twin sister Neva and his younger brother Kolyu as princess and prince.  His other brother Illya died during cavalry training in 2888.

Lord Vasil and Kimon of Sankama returned from the east to support King Histro in Fashanru. Vasil quickly moved out on his new mission – concluding a treaty with the land of Threns. The public elements of the treaty included Threns’s cession of Sepapan and Bendraj to Ruanach in exchange for payments over

the next forty years and Ruanach’s public recognition of Threns’s right to control Artisva, Madarah, Emesini and Depoken. 

Vasil met with Threns’s Lord Cromotium for the turnover ceremony in Sepapan, and then the two rode together to Bendraj and repeated the ceremony.  There was much discontent amidst the Bendraji natives, who were Threnish loyalists and Dark Court fanatics, but Vasil assured them of good treatment and there was no rebellion.  Just to be sure, however, King HIstro landed the next day with two thousand light infantry to keep the peace. In the months that followed, the Ruans hauled materials and sent men to the western tip of Bendraj and founded the port of Maskand from which they were able to trade with the wealthy nations of west and north.

Admiral Markand patrolled the Ruan Straits with fifteen Ruanach Blacksails.  In 2886 he encountered a small fleet of five warships from Kerendis under the command of Lord Búadachán.  Markand’s fleet quickly sailed and up and turned back the Kerend fleet, which returned to northern waters.

The Delves of Ahum –
Ruler –
King Tolman Redbelly
Capital – Saumya
Dominant Race – Halfling
Dominant Religion – Nuree
Diplomacy – Ajendi [FA],
In the absence of sufficient magistrates to hold the nation together, the regions of Panka, Pulkit and Sauryas each forewent their feudal obligations, giving only lip service to the sovereignty of Saumyas.

The enhanced flow of magic meant that the spirits of wood and stream summoned to aid the halflings were stronger and more responsive.  They cut deep channels for irrigation and tore up the roots of trees to make way for roads and wells.

Baris Dustybrook and Wiseman Silverspring traveled to Ajendi where they convinced the humans of the region to ally with King Tolman for his strong support of Nuree.  Baris died in Ajendi, but Wiseman carried on his work to the end.

Turuk Daggermaster and James Roberts of Dhal continued the slow conversion of Sauryas to the worship of the three-faced god of Nuree.


The Orcish Raj of Virityal –
Ruler –
Raj Algoz
Capital – Chharit
Dominant Race – Orc
Dominant Religion – Nuree

image Ancient even by human standard, Raj Algoz showed no signs of letting go of power any time soon.

The orcs of Virityal continued to build up their forces, adding nearly fifteen hundred troops to their ranks, including several hundred elite Maghada Lancers. With a force of more than three thousand, Lord Porg and Prince Jausor raided the northern orcish region of Amudeya, garnering a few trinkets and old iron weapons for their troubles.

In Aballak, the orcs raised a walled port city named Abellia (it’s name in the speech of Ahum; it’s orcish name was far harsher.)

Meanwhile, steady investment in training scribes and sheriffs finally paid off, allowing the Raj greater flexibility and growth.

The Empire of Rajahdan-
Ruler –
Emperor Zlathex of the Jungles
Capital – Jalahl
Dominant Race – Sathla
Dominant Religion – Autumna
Diplomacy – Ammanit [A], Virunir [EA]

The wily sathla of Rajahdan spent a large amount to improve their bureaucracy and university.  They also spent lavishly on hiring four thousand combat engineers for the Emperor’s army.

Avid sailors, the Empire bought sailing rutters from its neighbors in the Valraj and Lulipayat. They also started several projects, including an aqueduct in Jalahl and the intensive cultivation of Rajahdan and Balrava.

Rajad missionaries in Viraben found that they were stymied in their efforts to further convert the orcs to Autumna.

Emperor Zlathex ruled from Jalahl and fathered two more sons to add to his enormous brood.  Speaking of which, Zlathex gave the hand of Huanli, his eldest daughter to Sylisss of Sankail making him a prince and causing Sankail to enter completely into the Empire.

Lord Adoichii traveled to Ammanit and concluded a


treaty of alliance with the hill sathla.  Lord Zon concluded an economic treaty with the folk of Virunir before his death in 2890.

Prince Ankhac traveled to the fabled lost city of Zethakant, buried under the capital…and never returned.

General Oatlchicc remained stationed with the northern army in Gattapal, watching the orcs of Virityal.

Eastern Changshai

Anku Elevya –
Ruler –
Emperor Vesileth V
Capital – Jinguir
Dominant Race – Saurus
Dominant Religion – Changshai Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – Ayat [A], Kumparru [T], Takawan [EA], Apadatu [T]

image The sauruses of Anku Elevya built two sacrificial temples along either side of a steep gorge that pierces inland from the Nhodras River into Kerapang. During the night, the South Temple is alight with sacrfiicial fires, during the day the North Temple harbors the sounds of sacrificial blades. Blood and Ashes stain the sides of each gorge, red and black swaths streaking down to the riverbed.

Emperor Vesileth V and his twin Ghorik came to dedicate the vast new monument (one of four that make up the immense dragon temple complex). The Co-Emperors performed the first rituals at Wyrm’s Maw. During the night, Ghorik burned an offering of spices and exotic flowers. The next morning, Vesileth sacrifices oxen and prized jungle cats. Both then returned to the capital to begin families and governmental tasks. 

The elvish mercenary Alandeth led the famed Anku Elevya diplomatic corps (also including Korjon Rruuch, Klon Voidoon, Oliund Arzol and Wano of

Pekesedun) on a tour of the upper Nhodras River. The crack team concluded an alliance with the forest sauruses of Ayat, concluded an economic treaty with the hill sauruses of Takawan and extracted promises of tribute from Kumparru and Apadatu.

The Celestial Empire of Shen’xi
Ruler –
Emperor Lou Tan
Capital – Wu Lan
Dominant Race – Human
Dominant Religion – Kifan
Diplomacy – Baoyu [F]

The somnambulant empire of Shen’xi awoke at last to flex its muscles.  Vast fortunes were spent to improve the homeland of Lian with villages, cultivation, irrigation, hay markets, roads, post inns and courts.

The Shen’xi began the long process of intensive cultivation in Lian, Erjie and Xiluan.

Lord Han Ao Ri and Lian Fuchow traveled to Baoyu and extended full citizenship to the the people of that region.

Admiral Xan Chow gathered together a fleet of thirty warships and patrolled the Soldu Sea, where he encountered a Choran fleet of five warships. The Chorans wisely chose to give Xan Chow’s fleet a wide berth.

In 2887, the Tekume giants began to raid the coast along the Kamako Sea, pillaging and raping the wealthy region of Zindeng.  Xan Chow quickly sailed to give battle to the giants, but was defeated and forced to retreat at the battle of Fulan (See The Tekume Giants, above).  He returned to station in the Soldu Sea.

Thereafter, he heard of raiders on the far side of Shen’xi, raiding the Sea of Shen’xi, and raced there to confront them.  He encountered a small fleet flying


the colors of Choran and soundly defeated them, sinking four and capturing one of their ships.

The Lulipayat Empire
Ruler –
Khathros X
Capital – Kelakuan
Dominant Race – Sathla
Dominant Religion – Autumna
Diplomacy – Banyak [F]

image The scribes of Khathros X labored to produce a large quantity of rutters for the Nhodras River and Peluruju Sea.  They then sent these to their allies in Rajahdan via the trade routes to Hadeerem and Thu Mulan.

King Khathros traveled to the city of Banyak, where he married the lovely (and scaly) Ssilvi, a magistrate’s daughter a few years older than the king.  As a wedding present, he granted full citizenship to all the residents of Banyak.

Lord Chan Tao returned to the manor houses of Mukarma, where he worked to convert the nobility to Autumna while the common priests worked to convert the peasantry.  A large number of the humans harkened to the words of Udjo over that of the three-faced god.

Darlak of Mersemb left Tasarwi in three fine cogs the king had sent him and sailed to the capital to await his liege’s orders.

The Serenity of Wayahapta
Ruler –
King Alycor
Capital – Keluan
Dominant Race – Halfling
Dominant Religion – Changshai Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – Azuika [UN]

The halflings of Wayahapta invested heavily in their new and professional civil service.  It has yet to result in any improvements to the efficacy of the government, but all have high hopes for it as the new classes of magistrates and judges begin to enter the populace.

The region of Tappta continued to ring to the sound of axes and saws as the jungle is slowly cleared for farmland and meadows.

While King Alycor ruled from Keluan, Lord Mendrassu traveled to the devil-worshiping region of Azuika, armed with information about the noble houses from sources both clandestine and sorcerous.  But even after five years and an embarrassingly large set of bribes, the best that Mendrassu could accomplish was to assuage the local hostility against halflings brought about by his predecessor.  “Oh well,” he cheerily wrote to Alycor in 2890, “That’s what tomorrows are for!”


The Dwarven Realm of Khudukan
Ruler –
King Kodor
Capital – Nodo-Xan
Dominant Race – Dwarf
Dominant Religion – Kifan

image The dwarves of Khudukan continued to build villages, farms, wells and fences in Makomoe.  A strong new wall was built around the tiny city of Ungin to keep out the wolves.

King Kodor Glitterdelve remarried at the age of one hundred fifty.  Most dwarves disapproved of such eccentricity, but Kodor was in love.

So too did Kodor’s son, Crown Prince Xang.  He married a local girl of good family from Nodo-Xan and set himself to governing the capital. No issue was had from the marriage in the first several years, but that is to be expected of dwarves.

The Empire of the Pearl
Ruler –
Regent Sakurako Hideyoshi
Capital – Hitotome
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – Kifan

His punishment of the rogue Akagekku Republic at a a just and satisfying end, the Pearl Emperor Saito Shimane announced that he would cease his attacks on Akagekku and permitted General Findarwin to leave Komotsu.  The price for this was that the Akagekku heir, Edorel, was to become his hostage.  Well-treated and with honor, but a hostage nonetheless.

With peace at hand, the Empire planted heartrees in Inoe, ran a postal road from Sayasae to Tsuko and also improved the postal road in Hanaze to a Royal Road.

Now supreme in the east, he also announced his protection of the Khudukan dwarves, saying: “The Empire of the Pearl hereby announces that any harm to Khudukan is an affront to the Empire of the Pearl and will be dealt accordingly. Any attack on the dwarves of eastern Changsai will result in a swift
and brutal retaliation by elven forces.”

However, it was the Empire itself which was soon to need aid.  (See The Fall of Hitotome, below)

The elves of Shanbao appealed to the Emperor for protection from the giants of Tekume.


The Jade Republic of Akagekku
Ruler –
King Edorel
Capital – Akagekku
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – Kifan

image The Emperor of the Pearl dared to dictate terms after his bloody and premeditated slaughter of the elves of Akagekku?  Dared to demand as prisoner the son of the king?  Truly, he was as mad as the stories say if he believed that!

The Jade Republic agreed to all of the Pearl Empire’s terms…and prepared for revenge. King Koram collected all his troops at Akagekku and hired seven thousand highly competent Changshai mercenaries.  His total force numbered more than twenty-six thousand.

General Findarwin had snuck out of Komotsu under cover of darkness and joined the king as his second-in-command.

Koram IV and his Republic marched to war (See The Fall of Hitotome, below)


As King Koram IV of Akagekku was assembling his army in his capital, the first stroke of his revenge fell.  Princess Saito Kaoku, daughter of the Pearl Emperor, was kidnapped in Kumidor while her troops celebrated their victory. When they found she was missing, they marched quickly to the capital.

While Akagekku’s army was united, the Pearl Empire boasted four armies.  The two in Komotsu numbered more than ten thousand elves, while the two in Hitotome numbered just less than ten thousand, plus a small navy. Had the armies been alert to the danger posed by the Jade Republic, they might have met the invader on nearly equal terms.  Instead, Hitomi Miazaku governed Komotsu and Sakurako Hideyoshi dug in strongly around the region of Kumidor. In Hitotome, the Emperor cast spells of fertility, oblivious to the coming storm.

Consequently, when Koram’s twenty-six thousand soldiers marched into Masugin, they found no one to oppose them but the garrisons of a few castles.  Subduing the region cost Koram only a few hundred soldiers, but the delay did finally alert the Pearl Elf commanders in the two cities to their danger. 

Now suddenly whispers spread through the armies at Komotsu that the Emperor was mad and would needlessly take them into war against their fellow elves. This foolish talk was soon subdued by strict reprimands before morale was threatened.  Hitomi Miazaku urged that the two commanders should swiftly march to the aid of the Emperor, but Sakurako Hideyoshi was a creature of order, and he followed his orders to remain and defend Kumidor to the letter.  Exasperated, General Hitomi marched swiftly on the trail of Koram’s army. Hitomi’s army overcame the Akagekku garrison left to hold Masugin, cutting off Koram’s line of supply back to Akagekku and dogging his rearguard.

Koram was in the process of subduing Hanaze (for the Pearl armies in the region had fallen back behind the walls of Hitotome), when Hitomi and his five thousand soldiers marched up from their rear.  Seeing the signals from afar, Emperor Shimane also issued forth from his capital to catch the Akagekku army in a pincer between the two Pearl armies.

In total, the Akagekku forces now numbered twenty-four thousand, while the total number of the Pearl armies was some fourteen thousand. In nearly every way, Koram’s Jade Elf force was superior.  It had the initiative, the numbers, more mounted troops and more scouts.  But coordination with the mercenary commanders was difficult and the Akagekku force suffered from the severance of its supply lines.

The three forces met on the broad plains of Hanaze, the large Akagekku force arranged in two lines standing with their backs to each other, Koram’s facing north towards Shimane’s force and the other under Findarwin facing south towards Hitomi’s force.  At a signal, all sides unleashed the considerable power of their elven archers and a cloud of death descended across the plain, indiscriminate in its horror.  The Emperor Shimane supported his archers with sorcerous power, distracting Koram and Findarwin from putting full attention to their tactics. 

Then the four lines crashed, each against its opponent, some breaking through here and there until the battle became a general melee, with little coherence. In the end, tactics and fortune slightly favored the Pearl Empire, which inflicted more casualties on the enemy than it received, but it could ill afford any losses in the face of the Akagekku juggernaut.  Nonetheless, the Pearl elves were fighting for their homeland and capital and stubbornly refused to retreat.  The Jade elves, on the other hand, felt they had their fill of revenge and retired in good order back to Masugin. Once in Masugin, Koram’s army spent the summer of 2886 recovering from its wounds and losses, while Shimane’s army did the same in Hanaze.

In the spring of 2887, the war continued.  King Koram drove his army of twenty-thousand Jade elves back to confront Shimane’s army of twelve thousand Pearl elves. Now alerted to the dangers, the Pearl elves had dug defenses and repaired the damaged field forts from the year before.  But the situation of the Jade elves had also improved, for they had secured their lines of supply through Masugin. The second battle of Hanaze was less subtle than before, more brutal.  The two kindreds burned with hatred of the other and threw themselves at each other with an abandon that chilled the blood of the mercenaries who led the Akagekku assaults. In this kind of fighting, numbers counted as much or more than bravery or skill, and the Jade elves slowly drove back their enemies from line after line of defense until the Pearl elves were forced to retreat within the walls of Hitotome and give up their homeland completely.

Then both armies tended to their wounded throughout the summer.  In the fall began the long and bloody siege of Hitotome.  The Jade elves were not equipped nor content to simply starve out their enemies and so began months of bombardment, boring and counterboring, starvation, disease and atrocity.  In Northhale, 2887, Hitomi was badly wounded when struck by a well-aimed Akagekku arrow. In Berlas, an archer of the Pearl Empire fared even better when he killed king Koram of Akagekku with an extremely long shot that took the king in the throat. It was two months later that General Findarwin led his heavy infantry in an assault on the shattered western gate of the city, clambering over rubble to force a passage into the city.  Opposing him was Emperor Shimane himself, bearing the sword of his ancestors and leading the battered remnants of his defenders.  The duel lasted only a few minutes, but stands large in the hearts of both elven kindred, for it ended when Findarwin clove the Emperor’s helm in two and led his attackers on a murderous rampage through the streets of the city.

Hitotome was utterly destroyed.  Its attackers slew all within its walls, leaving alive only those within the sacred precincts of the Kifan temples, which structures they also left intact.  After three days of rapine and pillage, they fired the city and pulled down its remaining walls. Hitomi escaped on a small boat, but his army was utterly destroyed.


The Emerald Realm of Lekandi –
Ruler –
King Galens Eagleheart
Capital – Suwelho
Dominant Race – Elf
Dominant Religion – Ukele Spirit Cult
Diplomacy – Kiakamba [FA]

image The Emerald Realm sailed on in isolated peace and prosperity.

The elves built powerful walls around the capital of Suwelho and increased the height and power of the walls around New Gyanlay. No unimagined outsider from beyond the sea would catch them at unawares!

King Galens Eagleheart traveled to the jungles of Kiakamba and impressed the chiefs of that jungle province with his wisdom and power.  They agreed to become his vassals, providing troops at need.

Page Completed 4 February 2008