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Turn Three Newsfax 
(A.C. 2791-2795)

ar is cruelty. There’s no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.
     -William Tecumseh Sherman

ithout cavalry, battles are without result.
     – Napoleon Bonaparte

hen you have it in contemplation to make any enterprise on the enemy, the commissary must be ordered to get together all the beer and brandy that he can lay his hands on, that the army may not want these articles, at least for the first days. As soon as the army enters an enemy’s country, all the brewers and distillers who are in the neighborhood must immediately be put in requisition: the distillers, in particular, must be instantly set to work, that the soldier may not lose his dram, which he can very badly spare.
     – Frederick the Great


1. Don’t mix in movement AP with the AP for the next order.  Put movement on one or more lines (one line for each region or sea zone) and the eventual order (combat, diplomacy, whatever) on a separate line.  Otherwise, you won’t move, even if it made sense to you

2. The Base Rules say that if an Allied Leader successfully uses Diplomacy, the region or city gains its new status in relationship to the ally, not in relationship to your county.  There is just no way I’m going to keep track of that!  So in L54, Allies cannot conduct diplomacy, period.

3. The Have Children order can be given without costing AP any time the King, Queen or Heir is in the capital (not the homeland) and issuing the following orders: Rule, Administer, Defend, React or Govern.

4. See the FAQ for some important tips on how armies react to danger and invasions.

5. Leaders can cast (or assist) only ONE spell per turn.

6. Looks like I forgot to advance Leader ages on Turn Two.  I’m not going to fix it.  Play it where it lies.


North-Western Medarhos

The Skane Jarldoms– 
Ruler – Jarl Varaskald
Capital – Vanaheim
Dominant Race – Human
image Peace reigned in the viking kingdom.  Varaskald sat the throne of Vanaheim and ruled with justice and wisdom.  He continued to improve Skaneholme, building shipyards and granting land for new farmsteads.  Prince Otho guarded the realm’s seaways from the deck of Angrborn, his dragonship.  In Vanaheim, Varskald’s faithful friend Bjornnen Bamsndvaerder administered the capital with diligence, paving two markets in the low town and dedicating a chapel to the sea gods in thanks for Prince Otho’s success at raiding the Mahadran Islands years before.

In the winter of 2793, Jarl Varaskald became ill.  The leeches and wise women were called but all shook their heads.  Nothing could be done.  The old chief was as tough as the hills he ruled over, and fought the end until early in 2794, when he at last passed on to the halls of his ancestors.  He was laid to rest in a green barrow overlooking the city and people he loved.  Otho was acclaimed jarl by the moot in the Spring of 2794.

The Kingdom of Tirgonia –
Ruler – King Aramayne
Capital – Tirgon
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Croestar [F]

Tirgonian Knight

King Aramayne and his heir, Duke Orion, traveled on patrol with six thousand troops through the nation’s midsection, finally stationing themselves on the north bank of the Aré river in the province of the same name. New castles and redoubts were built throughout Aré and the Crown Lands, and the capital city of Tirgon grew in size to become a major city.

Since his daughter has been missing for fifteen years, King Aramayne gave permission his heir, Duke Orion, to marry another woman of his choosing.  Sadly, the dashing young Duke was drank too much in a Sirion alehouse and started a bloody brawl in the midst of a crowd of sailors. Stabbed many times, Orion managed to stagger to the street before collapsing.  He was dead by morning.  Aramayne had two of the brawlers hung from the city gates and sent Orion home for a state funeral.  Old and childless, the king was once again without an heir.

Duke Farionh visited Antiphia to conduct diplomacy, but found that Duke Marcos was not home to receive him.  Marcos was off with Duke Priacles conducting diplomacy of their own in the Bekanor city of Croestar.  These two noted speakers easily convinced the Chiefs of Croestar to fully integrate their city with the kingdom.

Meanwhile, the archmage Graalman continued to pursue the disappearance of the crown princess, and began asking many questions about a renegade knight named Sir Otto van Ewart, said once to be a noble knight of Tigelion, and now a black sellsword with links to certain diabolical cults.  The archmage suddenly disappeared in the autumn of 2792 and has not returned since.

The Iron Empire of Daerond –   
Ruler –
Bishop Morbanes
Capital – Aicherai
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Hinnom [A]


Black Duke Bishop Gethrick Morbanes

Daerond’s decade of violent relations with its neighbors came to a quiet and watchful end.  Bishop Morbanes spent the early months of 2791 preparing powerful spells whose use never became necessary.  He then spent most of the succeeding five years wooing the allegiance of orcish Chief Daesh Long-Arm of the Hinnom tribes.  Flattered (and bribed), the prickly Daesh agreed to become a full ally of the Empire.

The mysterious entity known as Duke Null raised up a few hundred troops in the Great Rift and marched them to the Iron Hills, where he watched the border and brooded on the fate of the Naxarians.

Meanwhile, the brilliant von Taurek, in command of the main Daeron force at Lycia, carefully watched the Harkorian border and the sea.  No invasions were in the offing, however.

Elsewhere, big changes were occurring in Nivaan.  The Nivaan Road became a Royal Road  and the cultivation of the region was at last complete. 

In Aicherai, construction continued on The Manticore League, an adventurer’s guild.

The Harkorian League –
Ruler –
First Councillor Alastor
Capital – Cadares
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Erzerus [F]

Alastor traveled to Morthales and Trolium, consolidating all of Harkoria’s land forces under his direct command.  Then, with nearly 10,000 men in his camps, he settled in Trolium to watch the Daeron border.  Whilst there, he married a local girl and a mere eight months later (but who’s counting?), she gave him a healthy son.  Thankfully, the Daerons kept to their hills and deserts and did not trouble the free folk of the League.

Councillor Gadaxes was made Consul of Cadares, and in that august position had the privilege of laying out vast sums of money to try to improve the capital.  In addition to several games in honor of the gods, Gadaxes designed and built6 a system of aqueducts and reservoirs to service the city, bringing honor on his house.

Councillor Clytheus traveled from Naxarius to the city of Erzerus, where he used his considerable influence with the merchant guilds and trading ship captains to convince the city fathers that they were best protected by becoming a full member of the League.  With considerable pomp, the League’s flag was raised over Erzerus’s citadel and speeches were given by many of the prominent local citizens.

First Councillor Alastor

The Edgemoor Orcs –
Ruler –
Graulor Ten Arrows
Capital – Zaramaka
Dominant Race – Orcs

Graulor Ten Arrows

Graulor transferred command of all his ogres and heavy infantry to his lieutenant Azgon the Foul and then marched north supported by his allies.  From the Northern Edgemoors, he marched into the wide plains of Aonach at the head of seven thousand troops, including eight hundred cavalry, expecting the Aonachis to be easy pickings.  He was sorely mistaken.  

The tribes of Aonach are herdsmen, nomads that graze their sheep and goats until the ground is bare, and then move on.  But they are also masters of horsemanship, closely related to the Bekanai and the Airnim.  They spat with contempt when they saw the slow orcish host. Although outnumbered nearly three to one, the Aonach troops were almost entirely mounted archers, and they rode circles around the orcs, darting in to fire their sturdy bows and darting away again before the maddened orcs could charge them.

If anything can be said to have saved Graulor’s army from annihilation, it was the indifferent generalship of the nomad leaders as much as orcish ferocity and numbers.  Surrounded and with orcish dead piling up, Graulor sounded a retreat to the safety of the mountains.  But this was not to be.  The retreating orcs panicked when the swift horse archers began to pepper their flanks with arrows, and the retreat became a rout.  Graulor’s army disintegrated as his warriors ran wailing for the cover the hills.  The king himself barely managed to extricate himself by flinging a nomad from his pony’s back and whipping the beast into a frenzied charge away from the carnage.  Months later, Graulor had managed to rally a small remnant of his army in the Northern Edgemoors and they limped ignominiously back to Zaramaka.

Azgon the Foul had much more success.  With five thousand troops (including several hundred ogres), he marched into the woods of Nurgun and overawed the local orcs.  The brief battle cost him fewer than three hundred dead, and he quickly garrisoned the new region in the name of Zaramaka.


South-Western Medarhos

The Brythnian Confederation– 
Ruler – Queen Pharsalia
Capital – Carrenthium
Dominant Race – Taurid
Diplomacy – Lloricam [F], Vadhrian [F]

 Queen Pharsalia

Queen Pharsalia continued her tour of the taurid lands by traveling to the banks of the Lyodan river and the regions of Lloricam and Vahdrian, with her daughter Princess Elianna and an honor guard of several thousand centaurs. They spent two years in each location, making important political alliances.  Queen Pharsalia married Falassion of Lloricam, making him Prince Consort.  This shrewd marriage bought the loyalty of Lloricam.  The wedding itself was a wild and boisterous three-day affair of games, contests, rough drinking bouts and invocations to the spirits of earth and sky for the fertility of the marriage.

Two years later, the queen married her daughter Elianna, widow of Highlander Clovenhoof, to Crilindar, chieftain of the Vadhrian tribes. The wedding was held in Carrenthium, where Elianna was busy acting as royal governor, with a fair amount of success.  Though not as large or wild a wedding as the queen’s, Elianna’s wedding was attended by diplomats from across the Golden Sea and beyond.

Unfortunately, Crilindar was killed exactly one year later during the tournament held to celebrate the royal couple’s anniversary.  A lance shattered during a boisterous joust and the broken shaft took Crilindar full in the chest.  He lingered for two days before expiring.  Elianna was once again a widow with no children.

The lords Finrod, Artanis and Camithalion disappeared into wilds of the steppe in early 2791.  Finrod, lord of Vilayan, returned three and a half years later, bearing bodies of Generals Clovenhoof and Celbrindal, slain in the conquest of the Worldspine.  Celebrindal’s body was restored to his tribe, while Clovenhoof was interred under the great hall of the new river fortress raised in the Brythnian hills.  This new edifice was named in his honor – Clovenhoof Hold.

One day while marching between fortifications, Barakor Wildaxe, who commands the Brythnian army stationed in the Brythnian Hills was struck by a poisoned arrow that flew out of a dense wood.  Hundreds of maddened minotaurs pounded through the woods to look for the assassin, but could find nothing.  The arrow itself was of common manufacture, the sort used by the Brythnian army, and tales of treason ran rampant through the camps, causing a dangerous paranoia that was to linger for many months.  His lieutenants feared that if their general died, there might be wholesale mutiny in the ranks.  But he did not die.  Skillful shamans were able to draw out the poison and nurse him back to a semblance of health.  Days later, weak and pale, he tottered out of his tent, leaning on his axe to let his warriors see that he lived.

Aelissia –
Ruler –
King Brandobaris
Capital – The Great Delve
Dominant Race – Halfling
Diplomacy – Great Lirien [-]

King Brandobaris

The small folk looked south and saw the bloody wars of man and har’keen and shuddered.  But wise Brandobaris knew that Aelissia was certainly next on the menu if the bugs swallowed up the men of Corland, and so, despite his people’s misgivings, he marched the army south to Little Lirien.  There, he gave command of eight thousand halfling warriors, including a thousand elite Aelissian slingers, to Harcourt Bracegirdle.  Bracegirdle then marched south into Quesante and placed his troops at the disposal of Master Brutus of the Order of the Dawn. 

He was quite surprised when Kaidar Nemova, strategos of the Llyran Republic sailed up the Sarrone river and disembarked sixteen hundred heavy infantry, placing them under Bracegirdle’s command.  He barely had time to gawk at the graceful skyships attending Nemova’s fleet before Nemova departed without leaving a Llyran in command of the Republican troops.  Bracegirdle did his best to integrate them into his command, but the Llyran troops swiftly objected to being ordered about by some pint-sized general with an outrageous accent.  Ninety percent of the Llyran men-at-arms deserted within the next few months, leaving only a small body of troops known ever after as The Aelissian Foreign Legion.

Aelissia further aided the cause of the Lords of the Grail by transferring several tons of grain, salted pork and smoked fish to the Great Church of the Grail at something less than cost. 

While in Oldbarrow, King Brandobaris agreed to escort Rose Merriweather, daughter of Oldbarrow’s mayor to school in the Great Delve.  However, by the time the two reached the capital, the widowed king had fallen in love with the pretty young woman, and the two were soon wed in a small ceremony held in the glades of Valendria.  Queen Rose doted on her stepdaughter Maia and within two years presented the king with his second child, a son.

Meanwhile, Otho Longacre spent the better part of five years in Great Lirien, treating with Jarvis Kegbelly, that district’s most influential farmer and the de facto patriarch of the region.  Though jovial and a good host (he wasn’t called Kegbelly for nothing), Jarvis and the smallholders of Great Lirien remained content to be mere allies of Aelissia, still nominally independent.

Corland –
Ruler –
Queen Armallia
Capital – Khairais
Dominant Race – Human

Queen Armallia

Leaving her husband and children at home, Queen Armallia rode out at the head of her army, ten thousand strong, to retake Garromais.  She was accompanied in this by Tristan, the Duke of Tullieres.  To their surprise, the har’keen had abandoned Garromais, and they were able to invest the forested region unopposed.   They were joined there by twelve thousand troops of the Great Church under the command of Bishop Asterius.  Both armies settled in to defend the region. Serious-faced young priests spread throughout both hosts to bless the troops, and a feeling of serene hope descended among the troops.

 In 2793, Tristan died suddenly in the night, terrifying the poor camp follower who had warmed his bed.  She was closely questioned by the queen and then released – it seems that Tristan merely had a weak heart that gave out during a period of heavy exertion

At home, Prince-Consort Tancred, acting as royal governor of Khairais, dedicated a shrine to Artorius and a colonnaded amphitheater in honor of Eristemus.

Lord Beldaric spent his time tightly closeted within the Tower of the Moon in Khairais.  Rumor had it that the wizard was studying something unusual that the Company of the Black Banner had found in the swamps of the Cavadhe.  All anyone knew for sure was that the Tower of the Moon was under very heavy guard.

H’rethek –
Ruler –
The Hive Queen
Capital – Kal Primus
Dominant Race – Har’keen

Har’keen warrior

In Kal Primus, several warriors were found slain in and around the Hive Mother’s egg chamber.  Their wounds indicated some large beast must be loose in the Hive, but a careful search revaled no sign of such a beast.  Luckily, the Hive Mother was away in Dal*kor when the attack occurred.

The Hive was largely at peace.  No man knows what strange hordes were hatched in har’keen lands, nor what terrible defenses they raised for the slaughter of men, only that their alien lust for land and slaves is not abated, merely quiescent, waiting for the right moment to strike, to seize what men and elves and halflings have built with the sweat and blood of generations.

Corish scouts reported seeing a massing of har’keen across the Saronne in K’chak, but nothing more.

All was quiet.  Too quiet.

Lorraine –
Ruler –
King Aurelian
Capital – Armorica
Dominant Race – Human

Young king Artorius went once more a-reaving with about five thousand men and ships, raiding the H’rethek coast with great success and stealing away great loads of plunder.  To his shock and surprise, his men ran into stiff resistance in Dal*kor, where the Hive Mother herself commanded an army of about three thousand and was supported by several new fortifications of the weird half-alive sort favored by the har’keen. However, Artorius once more showed his battlefield brilliance and his men slipped away from the har’keen, usually managing to strike where the resistance was least.  

Only once did the ravening bug-men surprise the young king, ambushing him as his men struggled back to their long boats laden with treasure.  Artorius himself fought bravely alongside his marines as they fought their way clear to the boats.  Kz’zk proved easier to raid, and the Lorraine troops were back aboard their ships before the main har’keen army could come streaming into the province.  Q’klee proved to be poor and denuded, hardly worth the stop.  

The captains of Artorius’s fleet were dismayed when a larger fleet appeared in the Corish straits, consisting of some seventy vessels.  They were astonished to see that several large and elegant ships were in flight several hundred feet above the water.  Kaidar Nemova, strategos of the Llyran Republic, had come to raid the H’rethek coast.  Nemova was somewhat put out to find that Artorius had already picked the shore bare.  After a brief conference on the deck of the strategos’s skyship, the Llyrans continued on with their voyage.

Artorius hired two thousand mercenary cavalry, but left them sitting on the docks in Andred, where they amused themselves with the wine shops and brothels of Armorica.  They drank many a toast to the young king for the easiest duty they’d ever been paid for.

In 2793, the red dropsy spread through the sea coast towns, taking many thousands of lives.  Among them was lord Gareth of Bruenor.  In 2795, both Maximillian of Lynet and Rodgar of Meliodas died of the same plague as it swept north along the coasts.  In 2794, word came from an escaped slave that Lord Gunther had died in the mines of Kal Primus, worked to death by the har’keen like so many other thousands before him.

The Whisper Wood –
Ruler –
Queen Elevuil
Capital – Unknown
Dominant Race – Elf
Diplomacy – Huareth [-]

At last the Whisper Wood has come alive, though little that happened in that place is seen by any outsiders.  The Elven Court of Queen Elevuil the Sorceress looked to the improvement of the Sunglades and the Long Barrows, cultivating beautiful pools and ensuring the growth of the best ghostwood and nut trees.  No word came to the ears of men of the doings of Prince Fëalure, or of Vaire the Prophetess.  

Talorn, Elf-Lord of the Moonglades traveled to the land of Huareth and there took counsel with the men of that place in hopes of convincing them to swear allegiance to the elf-queen.  Tall and handsome, Talorn’s honeyed voice could coax the birds from the trees. But the Huarethi were men and mistrusted the elves, fearing the queen of the wood from long tradition and grim stories.  Moreover, they were adherents of the Aeolan religion, which taught that only those with the blood of Aeolan were fit to rule.  Talorn was seen off with rough words and not a few pelted eggs.

Men of the Crusader States went among the elves of the Sunglades, preaching the gospel of war.  By 2794, the elves were convinced, and converted to the new religion.  Artorius was acknowledged as the supreme god, and the priests of other Lords of the Grail were chased out of the province by zealous crowds.

The Neldorean Wood –

Ruler –Queen Nereil
Capital – Elenuil
Dominant Race – Elf
Diplomacy – Elenuil [F], Manariye [A]
In the wake of King Edroessë’s death, his daughter Nereil worked swiftly to establish a new capital for Neldorea at the havens of Elenuil.  She spent five years amidst its coral walls and blue-tiled courtyards getting to know the city and its people.  By the end of this time, she was well-liked and accepted – Neldorea had its new capital.  At the same time, her uncle Taralóm moved to the Ianthe border and made common cause with lord Denoriel, convincing him to make Manariye a full ally of the crown.

Senelra raised twenty-five hundred elven archers for her army, and then she and her army of six thousand melted into the woods of the Leossë Glades.  No outside could say where they went.

In Neldorea, the dragon Urugall slept and dreamed of wrath and destruction.


The Holy Empire of Ianthe –
Ruler –
Chief Archon Ulolis
Capital – Narranthus
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Mocarre [F]

Chief Archon Ulolis spent his days directing the activities of his people, determining who should farm, and where, and who should become a mason or a cobbler.  He added a new unit of elite Crystal Knights to the army.  He oversaw the expansion of the new city of Jarlhaven and the building of a new castle along the Rift because of rumors that certain things were crawling out of the Rift at unguarded places.  Archon Kendorian was dispatched to the Rift with a small army to guard against the same danger.

Meanwhile, Archon Athusian, the brilliant Ianthan scholar, warrior and diplomat, traveled to Mocarre and gave such stirring lectures and harangues on the principles of Aeolan that the Archons of Mocarre agreed to submit to the rule of the Empire.  Indeed, many muttered that he should be the Chief Archon.  They did not say so out loud, however, for Ulolis’s spies were known to be everywhere.

In the narrow streets of Narranthus, a street preacher caused crowds to gather when he began to preach a coming Age of Awakening for the Ianthan people, an age in which the aureas would be the birthright of all the children of Aeolan, and the power of the Archons would be no more.  This nameless wretch was swiftly reported to the Archons and just as swiftly dragged off to the Little Fortress.  

A Crystal Knight

The Exarchate of the Great Crusade –
Ruler –
King Bleobaris
Capital – Pontezium
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Regaldros [F]

  King Bleobaris

Under King Bleobaris’s watchful eye, the rich valleys of the Akasian Hills were cleared, plowed and planted.  Once the site of horrific battles during the Mage Wars, the hills were now the breadbasket of the Crusader States.  Bleobaris himself remained in Pontezium, ruling over his growing domains.  In 2794, Queen Aurora presented him with a second daughter, a chubby reservoir of pee with the lungs of a bagpiper.  Bleobaris spent much of his time outside the royal apartments.

Sir Galahant the Bold visited the city of Regaldros and after winning both the joust and the melee at the city’s tournament, talked late into the knight with the lords of that place, convincing them to bend the knee to King Bleobaris in Pontezium.

Galahant had less success with the independent nobles of Thyestes.  They had been free of Conorrian rule for two generations and had known only peace.  They were not eager to pay higher taxes to a distant king when there seemed to be no identifiable threat to them now.  They listened politely to the great knight, but sent him away with only promises to consider the proposal.

Sir Maradoc, a sorcerer, traveled to Querenia where he summoned a horde of eledroi, a gnomish race of clever-handed engineers who expanded the region’s irrigation before suddenly disappearing.  The poor eledroi were shortly thereafter summoned by Sir Vincent of the Pomarche to clear and drain certain troublesome swamps.  Sir Vincent died in his bed on the night of the following new moon.

In 2792, Calvin, Duke of South Akasia, swallowed a bee while riding at the lists.  The unfortunate duke swelled up rapidly and choked to death surrounded by his startled retainers.


The Holy Order of the Dawn –
Ruler –
Grand Master Marcus Sagitus
Capital – The Akasian Hills
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Eatris [OH], Niance [OH]

A Knight of the Dawn

This was a rare calm period in the Order’s tempestuous history, marked more by investment and expansion than by war.  Feeling the strain of coordinating its far-flung chapters, the Order called upon the Great Church for aid, and was allowed access to many of the churches and church lands throughout Medahros.  

The Order also benefited from the largesse of the Conorrian Emperor, who sent a large chest of newly-minted gold coins as well as several tons of fish, wine, beef and grain each year to the Order’s fortress in the Akasian Hills.

Grand Master Sagitus and his thousand cavalry returned from the expedition to the Worldspine Mountains.  The Grand Master, finding the Order in need of a guiding hand, began to write letters to each of his captains across Medahros, guiding them in matters both worldly and spiritual.  He also dispatched a few brothers to establish an Order house in the rich Conorrian province of Eatris.

Master Tiberius Moestes raised a thousand mounted men-at-arms and set out west across the Lyodan.  After passing through Maenadia, several of his men abandoned the sigil of Erdhon and took up the crossed swords of the Way of the Sword.  Tiberius and his men sojourned in Niance for three years, constructing an Order house there.  In 2795, they slipped through the silent woods of Andelais to join up with Master Brutus at Quesante.

In Corland, Master Brutus Aurilius was given overall command of the allies in Quesante.  His own forces were nine thousand strong, including two thousand elite Knights of the Golden Dawn.  In addition, he assumed command of the eight thousand Aelissian halflings.  The men of the Order were under strict orders to make no jokes about the prowess of their diminutive allies.  Brutus himself tried to imagine fighting the har’keen if they were twice as big as they already were and shuddered, impressed at the halfling bravery.


The Airnim Horde – 
Ruler – Tarl Wolf’s Paw
Capital – The Gathering
Dominant Race – Human

    Tarl Wolf’s Paw and Maggen

More bloody-minded conquest and looting was the order of the day for the lords of the steppe. But first, the flirtations with civilization.  Tarl invested heavily in such hallmarks of civilized life as scribes and the beginnings of a governmental bureaucracy – procurators who rode among the tribes to be sure that each had its allotted land and its allotted share of any loot.  More importantly, he caused one of the seven tribes to settle on the fertile soil where the Smokestone river flows into the Hammersea, and called the resulting village in the river delta “The Gathering”.

But then, as if to remind the tribes of who and what they were, the carnage began anew.  Tarl rode north into Dhurkun with fifteen thousand cavalry and 

began systematically to loot the entire region of valuables and foodstuffs. They easily overran the twenty-five hundred Dhurkun infantry that turned out to oppose them.  After this, Tarl turned south, crossing the Smokestone river into Lorricar and proceeded to do the same thing with that fair province and its valiant but doomed defenders.

Meanwhile, Tarl’s protegé, Maggen moved west into Mahant with twelve thousand cavalry.  These swept through the defenders like a cold north wind and every stalk of grain in Mahant was burned to the ground.  The Airnim garrison of Mahant swelled the ranks of Maggen’s army.  Maggen then also crossed the Smokestone into the woods of Silvator, then turned southeast and marched into lightly-defended Galati, which he put to the torch after stealing everything not nailed down.  By the time the two Airnim armies met in Lorricar in the autumn of 2792, they numbered nearly thirty thousand cavalry and had easily shattered and looted four rich provinces.





The Airnim Horde

It was during the evening meal in Tarl’s tent one dark winter’s eve that the great chief was nearly murdered.  Tarl and Maggen were dining with some of the officers of the mercenary ships the Airnim had hired for their planned siege of Denavine.  One of the officers, a tall, sallow fellow who may have had some hobgoblin blood, suddenly lunged at Tarl, trying to bury his newly-revealed fangs into the chief’s neck.  After a dangerous struggle, this vampire was quickly dispatched.  The next morning Tarl led his combined army into Orodea.  See The Fate of Ascarlon, below.

The Shadowed Realm of Ascarlon –
Ruler –
Baron Gauros the Arisen
Capital – Denavine
Dominant Race – Human

While the barbarians were busy with conquest, the civilized men of Ascarlon were hard at work themselves.  Fortifications were built in Orodea and new walls were hastily thrown up around the capital at Denavine.  Baron Gauros animated thousands of skeletal warriors to strengthen his army.

In Denavine, Vilkhar the Hammer was given the governorship, but he spent his time in his laboratory, seeking to understand the secrets of death.  Vachik traveled to the Hammersea port of Turlag and with threats and persuasion, convinced the free city to send tribute to Ascarlon. But in Orodea, Gauros plotted a defense against the massive army of the Airnim.   See The Fate of Ascarlon, below.

As if the invasion of the Airnim horde was not enough, the ground began to tremble in Tirgu, and the tremors increased in strength until late 2791, when the land itself seemed to rebel, quaking so hard that it was felt as far away as Carcaroth.  The city of Caer Thorne lay in partial ruins, its walls shattered and many thousands of its citizens dead or buried alive.

The Fate of Ascarlon

Tarl and Maggen plunged into Orodea, riding at the head of thirty thousand superbly-trained cavalry.  Against them rode Gauros the Arisen and a force of seven thousand, including one thousand cavalry and fifteen-hundred of the shambling dead.  The two armies met in the Goshonim valley, forty miles south of Orodea.  A natural highway to the north, it was the logical axis of advance for the invaders, and it had been prepared by the Ascar troops to support their defense. 

But the overwhelming Airnim numbers and their superior training meant that the Ascars had no real chance in the fight.  The Airnim darkened the plain with their horses and rode charge after charge towards the Ascar line.  At one point, Gauros sent forth his shambling dead, and the terror of those corpses did indeed cause the Airnim to withdraw temporarily.  But their numbers were too few, and when the undead had advanced far enough from the Ascar defenses, the nomads rode them down, slashing about them with their short, curved blades until the dead were quiet once more.  

In the end, the Airnim swept the Ascar forces from the field.  Gauros and a few bodyguards managed to straggle back to the safety of Denavine.  In the celebration that followed, Maggen drank far too much kumiss, the fiery drink of fermented mare’s milk.  He stumbled over one of the dead in the dark, slipped down a grassy slope and into a dark lake, where he drowned to the sound of wild celebrations.  Tarl turned his back on Orodea and Denavine, foregoing the planned siege and returned to The Gathering with the body of his friend.  A few thousand horse archers were left as a garrison.

Seeing clearly the writing on the wall, the lords of Galati revolted from the rule of Ascarlon and declared themselves willing to submit to the rule of the Airnim.

The Worldspine Orcs –
Ruler –
Vaurog Breakspear
Capital – Mount Kauroth
Dominant Race – Orc

Vaurog Breakspear was terrible when he was angry.  Trained soldiers trembled under his gaze and goblin slaves were known to faint dead away.  But that was nothing compared to Vaurog when he was cold and quiet.  All who knew him well knew that the lives of those near him hung by a slender thread when the steely silence fell over their king.  As it did now.  

“Form up,” he said, very quietly.  “Marching order in the passes now.  I will flay the skin from any laggards and drape it bleeding from my standard.”

“My lord,” squeaked a very brave goblin.  “The larders are empty.  Many warriors will starve.”

“No one will starve,” replied the king evenly.  “There are over two thousand prisoners from our raids.  Butcher them.”

Orcs and goblins fled before him, seizing up weapons and making haste for the mountain passes.  Nearly four thousand warriors had been added to the army and that army now numbered more than eight thousand. That night, they marched south, a dozen bloody pelts flying from the royal standard.  Vaurog pushed his orcs as hard as they could go, marching them for nearly eighteen hours a day, and leaving to die beside the road those that could not keep up.  Vaurog meant to catch the damned dwarves and break them.  The men had fled beyond his reach, at least for now, but those oh-so arrogant dwarves – they would pay for Ophialum.  They would pay for the slaughter of the southern Worldspines.  They would pay with their screaming and crying.  Perhaps he might even take a few as his slaves.  Blinded and beardless, they could still serve as pets until he grew bored with them.

Still, following dwarves in the mountains is no easy task, even for orcs.  The hardy folk do not tire, nor do they lag.  But Valand Dragonsbane was approaching Dhûnazhar with caution, not expecting trouble at his back…  (See The War of the Worldspines, below).

The Empire of Carhallas –
Ruler –
Emperor Reor
Capital – Carcaroth
Dominant Race – Hobgoblin

The Imperial Flag


Emperor Reor’s Personal Standard 

First Spear of the Flayed Man Legion
The Emperor ordered that the rebel slaves seized years before be put to work in the slave farms of Sauthor, enriching the land with their labor as they had failed to do with their loyalty.  Several castles and forts were also built along the Manndaran. 

The winter of 2790-2791 was cruel for the Empire.  General Akratush, master of all the Imperial Armies, choked to death on a chicken bone while alone in his spartan tent on the Plains of War.  While many competent officers abounded in the army, none had the political connections to secure the command.  Two sons of noble houses vied for the command, Sharvlork and Garanadal.  The first was an accomplished wizard and spy master, the second a noted diplomat.  Both were completely hopeless as field commanders, and the family of either would be furious if someone of lesser stature were placed in command.

Emperor Reor was furious himself.  The Empire needed him on the throne, but the Borokothi rebels had proven themselves both aggressive and resilient.  The edges of the Empire would crumble if he did not rule, but the center might well fall if he did. In the end, the Emperor gambled for all the stakes.  He himself, though by far the better general, would remain on the throne at Carcaroth.  Sharvlork would be made general of the armies.

Reor gave Sharvlork explicit orders to defend only Sauthor, to build his defenses facing the river, and to fall back on Carcaroth if defeated.  Sharvlork, tall and thin for a hobgoblin, with a widow’s peak and tusks capped with gold, lavished promises upon the Emperor that he would crush the Borokothi scum. 

With a sigh and a prayer to the strength of Malbor, Reor settled in to rule.  In 2793, his wife gave Reor twins, a boy and a girl, and the halls of the Red Fort rang with the cries of infants.

Surprisingly, the Borokothi blow never came.  Instead, an unlooked-for stroke of good luck came upon the Empire.  (See The Reformed Empire of Borokoth, below)


The Reformed Empire of Borokoth –
Ruler –
Emperor Daureg I
Capital – Ilkmaor
Dominant Race – Hobgoblin


Alas, Daureg’s dreams of glory came to naught.  Unable to pay his troops or sustain his modest court, his empire crumbled beneath him.  Furious at the lack of pay, his troops packed up and went home.  Some of the legions decided that they wanted a chance to return to Carhallas, so they seized Daureg and impaled him on the same shield which had been used to raise him to emperor only ten years before.  Then with his corpse as a present for Reor, they marched to the Manndaran river and reported for duty.  General Sharvlork accepted their fealty and gift on behalf of a grateful emperor.

The Great Kingdom of Annvar –
Ruler –
King Udoin IV
Capital – Varthane
Dominant Race – Human

Sir Poddicar the Fey

As King Udoin sat the throne in icy Varthane, his son Sir Poddicar the Fey trained two thousand elite Annvar Jaegers (riders upon the vicious snow dragons) and a further two thousand cavalry to add to his father’s army. 

 Then, calling upon his father’s bannermen to gather at Varthane, he took command of the entire seventeen thousand-man force.  He rode into Arvamark, laying down the law of Annvar for the cowed tribes, and leaving fourteen hundred light cavalry to enforce the new peace.  While there, he also opened trade with the hobgoblins.

From there, the force rode to Marvald, where they easily overthrew the few hundred villagers who rode out to oppose them, and after placing their heads on stakes all along the river’s edge, Poddicar’s force moved on, leaving several hundred light infantry to garrison the province.  

In Enkkia and Aalto, they were less gentle.  Poddicar was a dedicated champion of the Gods of Woe, and despised the pagan woodsmen of these provinces.  After crushing their sad armies and crucifying their leaders, his men looted and enslaved the entire regions, whipping the captives before them until they reached Asep, where they were put to work in collective work farms, which was better than they deserved, to Sir Poddicar’s way of thinking.

The Conorrian Heartland –

The Conorrian Empire –

Ruler –Emperor Varantius II
Capital – Echoriath
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Lidhinos [A]

The Empire was abuzz with activity.  In Adoria, a vast array of manpower dug an intricate system of waterways and drainage, creating the Empire’s first intensively cultivated region.  In Echoriath, the Emperor decreed a navy, and the immense naval yards of the city produced many fine imperial dromonds and transports.  Four thousand marines were recruited to crew those ships. In the province of Faloricum, vast sums of gold and many thousands of laborers resulted in hundreds of cleared fields, dozens of new towns and ten shrines to the gods.

Nor was the wealth of the Conorrians used to the benefit of the Empire alone.  Gold, wine, grain and cattle were sent in large quantities to the Great Church, The Holy Order of the Dawn and the Dhûnazhar dwarves.

The Emperor, still hale and hearty at the age of seventy-five, spent all of 2791 enacting trade laws and reorganizing the trade routes of the Empire.  He cut off all Imperial trade with Accolon, Thariyya and the Worldspine Orcs (Varantius, known as keloicrator, or “Hammer of the Goblins”, was disgusted and astonished to find that any of his subjects would trade with the very same orcs who had nearly smashed the Empire in his youth.  He hung several merchants for treason, and confiscated the wealth of many others.  For the next several years, the Emperor was in seclusion, seen only on his daily walks in the Imperial Gardens.  None could say how he spent the rest of his days.

The governance of the realm and generalship of the armies was left to his son, the augustus Arcalas.  The nobility held its collective breath, but gave thanks to Thandor (god of the air and of kingship) that the son took after the father.  Arcalas acquitted himself well in the administration of the Empire.  Varantius was heard to say “Of course!  He is my son.”  While the Empire breathed a sigh of relief, there was grief in the house of Arcalas, for in 2792, his wife and unborn son died in childbirth.  Arcalas, noble Conorrian that he was, grieved publicly, but ceased in his rule of the armies and empire for only the required three days.  For the next year, the eagle of his personal legion was draped in black and attended by the haruspexes of Agaleus.

Prince Selanus spent his time aiding his brother Arcalas with the Empire’s administration. He was elected Consul of Echoriath for the years 2794 and 2795, and managed to acquit himself well, clearing away some of the worst slums in the city’s southern littoral.

Senator Gaius Calos traveled to Lidhinos and convinced Dominus, comes per Lidhinos, to become the ally of the Empire. Meanwhile, in Scythnus, governor Phaeseus took command of the local garrison and readied himself for any Thariyyan invasion.  At Arcalas’s order, Nichous of Aquae Albenesis and Callas of Boenia, two feudal bannermen of the Empire, marched their thousand troops north across the Phaedon river and into Lenicum and the Blue Peaks, intending to meet up with King Durokor Thundershield of Dhûnazhar. (See The War of the Worldspines, below)

The Great Church of the Lords of the Grail –

Ruler –Patriarch Flavius Vares Mentaurus
Holy City – Conorr
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Phalces [CH], Maelon [-], Vales [-], Laedos [CH], Orcholus [-], Mons Llyrae [-], Vorogrod [CH]

Stretched to the breaking point, the Great Church had to make some hard decisions.  Patriarch Flavius ordered that the wealth of the Church be used to create a great number of new shrines and churches, as well as send out new priests to many older churches, but he also reduced the direct control of the Primacy over many of the greater churches in Medahros.  Abbeys in Anicium, Annathael, Elpedium, Faucrion and Little Lirien, the monatery in Danum and the Cathedral in Mynos were all reduced to Churches.  

The Great Church purchased foodstuffs from Aelissia and gratefully accepted shipments of food from the Conorrian Empire.  It established trade with the Holy Order of the Dawn and laid the groundwork for a future academy of wizardry in Conorr.

The Patriarch left the defense of Garromais to Bishops Iacobus and Asterius and returned to Conorr to see to the spiritual needs of his flock.  In a statement circulated in 2792, he said “In this challenging time, the Church is reallocating its resources to help better serve its adherents.  We are cheered by the recent strength of faith shown by the Valesian people.  The Church has dispatched a couple of Bishops to upgrade the Grail Church facilities in the country.”

In Garromais, Asterius assumed command and ordered that both the Church troops and the Corlanders receive the benefits of a holy blessing. Bishops Palladius and Alecius traveled to the Valesian City States and the Llyran Republic, respectively, to establish churches.  Their whirlwind tour of the cities and regions had mixed success.


The Dwarven Realm of Dhûnazhar– 
Ruler – King Durokor Thundershield
Capital – Khelem Vala
Dominant Race – Dwarf

See The War of the Worldspines, below.

The DwarvenRebels of Nazarauk – 
Ruler – King Valand Dragonsbane
Capital – Worldspine South
Dominant Race – Dwarf

See The War of the Worldspines, below.


Agaleon, 2791 –Vaurog Breakspear and his orcs begin to force march from the Northern Worldspines into the Blue Peaks.

Strynod, 2791– Valand Dragonsbane and his dwarves begin to march from the Southern Worldspines.  King Durukor Thundershield moves from Khelem Vala to Dhûnazhar. Conorrian governor Nichous begins to march from Aquae Albanesis.  Governor Callas begins to march from Boenia.  Vaurog and his orcs arrive in Lenicum and look for Valand’s trail, not realizing they are already ahead of him.

Maravis, 2791 – King Durukor begins to march north from Dhûnazhar.  He bravely declares that dwarf shall not fight dwarf and that if Valand wishes the crown, Durukor will give it to him, if only Valand will go and slay orcs.  Ironically, at that very moment…

Vaurog’s eight thousand orcs ambush Valand’s eight thousand dwarves in a nameless valley in Lenicum.  Screaming and rushing down the sides of the narrow defile through which the dwarves were maching, the orcs’ rush caught the stout dwarves by complete surprise, driving them back and shattering their formations.  Three of the greatest orc commanders alive (Vaurog, Maghor and Azog) led the reckless charge.

But not for nothing are the Dhûnazhar King’s Elite renowned as some of the finest soldiers in Theeurth, nor the dwarves said to be born of the hills.  Valand’s army fought on, despite being broken and isolated into small bands of a few hundred each.  The dwarves were superb soldiers (for the dwarves of the Kingdom Under the Mountain despise the term “warrior”) and their discipline was iron hard.  Though they had suffered terribly in the early rush, the dwarves held on until well into the dark of the night, when at last the orcs relented in their attacks.  More than one thousand orcs and two thousand dwarves lay dead or dying in the night.

Cleon, 2791 –Nichous and Callas meet and combine their forces in Acaris and begin to bridge the Phaedon River.  Vaurog’s orcs and Valand’s dwarves meet in Lenicum again.  This time, the dwarves are ready for their antagonists and bring to bear the full might of their prowess.  Axes flashing and ancient war-songs ringing from thousands of throats, the dwarves systematically butcher and drive back the larger, wilder orcs and ogres.  Though both sides suffer heavy losses and retire unpursued from the field, the orcs have fared far worse.  Their simple warriors are no match for the elite forces of the dwarves.  Vaurog limps back towards the Worldspines with fewer than three thousand warriors, while Valand marches on towards Endorwaith with more than six thousand.

Daarlem, 2791 –King Durukor’s forces enter Azhan Madhor.  

Northhale, 2791 – Valand’s forces enter Endorwaith.  Vaurog’s enter the Worldspine South.

Berlas, 2791 –King Durukor’s forces enter Mar Kheland and defeat a native orcish army of sixteen hundred.  Nichous and Callas enter Lenicum.

Branaeor, 2791 –Vaurog’s orcs return to the Worldspine North.

Strynod, 2792 – King Durukor’s forces begin the systematic extermination of all orcs in Mar Kheland.  Valand Dragonsbane enters Dhûnazhar.

Maravis, 2792 –Valand Dragonsbane seizes Dhûnazhar after sacking several castles.

Cleon, 2792 –Nichous and Callas enter Endorwaith.  Valand Dragonsbane lays siege to Khelem Vala.

Berlas, 2792 –Nichous and Callas enter Mar Kheland, catching up with King Durukor.  They place their troops at his disposal.  Khelem Vala falls to Valand Dragonsbane.  Durukor’s son and heir prince Karrok Silverbeard surrenders the citadel and is placed in chains and imprisoned. Valand Dragonsbane is crowned king of Dhûnazhar and decalres Durukor Thundershield an outlaw.

Strynod, 2793 –Durukor, Nichous and Callas complete the extermination of the Mar Kheland orcs.  King Valand leaves a garrison in Dhûnazhar and Khelem Vala, and marches east.

Maravis, 2793 –Durukor, Nichous and Callas march west.

Daarlem, 2793 –Valand arrives in Kiril Zelen and demands its surrender.  The lords of Kiril Zelen defy him as a traitor and he defeats them in a three-day battle.  

Northhale, 2793 –Durukor, Nichous and Callas arrive in Orod Dhorn and are badly defeated by the waiting orcs.  Only a few hundred survivors return to their homes.  Durukon Thundershield, displaced as king by the usurper Valand, becomes a wanderer and vanishes into the Rhanalorian hinterlands.  Nichous and Callas straggle home with lessened hosts.

His army badly battered, Valand garrisons it in Kiril Zelen and enters the city of Bregor to woo the city’s allegiance.  They agree to become allies of Valand’s new reign.  A smaller kingdom of Dhûnazhar emerges from the ashes.


North-Western Vales –

The Llyran Republic –
Ruler –
Constans Harko Marova
Capital – Tarrentica
Dominant Race – Human

The Republic invested large sums in certain eldritch towers spread throughout the region of Camistella designed to summon storm elementals, thus allowing a predictable schedule of rain throughout the southern part of the island.  The Council expanded the army by adding twelve hundred heavy infantry and the transports to carry them.

Harko Marova, the magister and Kaidar Nemova, the Republic’s strategos sailed out of Vastium’s harbors and swept north towards the H’rethek coast.  After meeting Artorius’s Lorrainish fleet and abandoning the idea of raids, they  transferred several hundred troops to general Harcourt Bracegirdle of Aelissia.  Nemova then spent the next two years on the Saronne River, enacting a ritual to enhance the halfling general’s command abilities.  The fleet then returned to Vastium.

Caelan Bolusova, the joraidan, commanded the Republic’s home guard, watching the shores for invaders.  In later years, he crafted a spell that caused all the acorns in the Magister’s palace to become brilliant gems.  These fabulous lifestones were harvested and added to the Republic’s coffers. 

In Tarrentica, governor Caliban Mistova oversaw the creation of the city’s postal system, whereby certain lesser and invisible spirits were summoned and constrained to make regular deliveries between the various great houses and certain public stations.  The sight of packages and letters floating quickly through the streets soon became commonplace, though a wonder to all foreign visitors. 


The Holy Matriarchy of Ahuran– 

Ruler –Queen Beolann
Capital – Sedeskan
Dominant Race – Human

Queen Beolaan

Vast tracts of Ilmultorn were placed under cultivation, while several small towns were built.

The Queen and most of her court were searching very diligently throughout Laan and Mahaaran for…something. One rainy night in the late spring of 2792, a covered wagon left Mahaaran for Sedeskan flanked by several royal guards. Two nights later, Jakartha Windworn, Stewardess Royal, was found dead in her apartments in Mahaaran. Rumors abound that the body had shriveled and begun to putrefy in the two hours that the Stewardess had been alone.

In Veij, the hackles of the Landress and her many bannerwomen are raised by a band of armed men carrying the Queen’s sigil and letter of passage.  These are Xuku’s Band, an elite group of adventurers led by

 the huge ebony-skinned Mekebelan warrior Xuku.  Armed men are outlaws in Ahuran, and so the Band carries the Royal Sigil and letter of passage to avoid being hung at every castle they pass.  Xuku and his company search every village and steading in Veij, looking for…something.

In 2794, a strange yellowish fog drifted through the streets of the port of Ilduskan. All who came in contact with it were driven mad, their jaws dripping spittle and their eyes red with blood.  Riots spread throughout the city and many important buildings were burned.  Though the madness passed in a single night, the fires raged for three nights, and more than two hundred people lay dead in the streets. Fear and anger spread throughout the Matriarchy.

Har’akir –
Ruler –
Sultan Mavoud Alouda
Capital – Mar Awas
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Galim [F]

Prince Sacheem

The sultan decreed that the walls of Agazier and Muzir should be torn down and not rebuilt.  Thousands of landless Akirs were enticed to brave the Adramagdus mountains and settle in the remote port city of Muzir on the Sea of Bells.

Sultan Mavoud left his son Sacheem on the throne and accompanied the Adramagdus and Khedit exiles to the port of Agazier, where they were met by Admiral Feldar and the Har’akir fleet.  The sultan went on to the city of Galim where he aided Emir Beldar in wooing the Galimites, who agreed to submit to the will of the sultan.

Sacheem ruled the kingdom in his father’s name from Mar Awas, and fathered yet another child, this one a son.  Sadly, although the son survived, his mother did not, dying only a few hours after the delivery.

Meanwhile, Feldar set sail with the exiles, taking them on a year-long voyage around Har’akir, across the Pale Sea and the Straits of Sandrettos, landing them at Socphares and Kumrat.  There, the mountain people of Adramagdus and Khedit were unceremoniously dumped amid the steaming rain forests and wished the best of luck.  Feldar and his fleet then sailed away. 

The Valesian City-States –
Ruler –
Primarch Centorius I
Capital – Orcholus
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Euristi [A]

The vogue in Vales of eliminating one’s city walls continued in the Valesian City States as the walls of the capital were torn down and replaced with siege engineers. Orcholus was also expanded by the addition of several hundred refugees, becoming a moderately-sized city.  During all the building, a new complex was built in the capital, an adventuring guild known as the House of Blades.  Within a very few years, the secretive and spartan maze of buildings acquired an unsavory reputation and neighbors learned to pretend that it did not exist.

Refugees from the fall of Khafour in Keferis were allowed to settle in a new city in Areon, which they named Khafour in remembrance of their lost home.  With its meager port and wooden buildings hidden among the trees which descend all the way to the shoreline, Khafour is really more of a hamlet than a city, but it sits upon the site of an ancient city, once known as Aurora Solaris

Primarch Centorius traveled to Euristi, where over the course of three years, he convinced the citizens of that region to become allied client states of Orcholus.                                      

Valesian Hoplite

His brother and heir, Anaxes, acted as governor of Ventas.  Anaxes was a warrior, however, and the duties of governor bored him.  He spent most of his time hunting, hawking and keeping his wife Verita well occupied of a night.  In 2791, she gave him a son, Calidonus.  

General Percelsus moved troops around the peninsula, but died of pneumonia after marching through a late autumn rainstorn in 2793, and was unable to seek out more Keferis refugees as he planned.  Grand Admiral Antigonus moved the Valesian fleet to the Gulf of Thariyya and patrolled the waters there for the Red Pact of Vales.

Luxur –
Ruler –
General Zsalvi
Capital – Thedelos
Dominant Race – Sathla
Diplomacy – Naqada [F]

Zsalvi returned once again to Naqada, convincing his father-in-law Nostria to grant him full lordship over Naqada. His bribes and devilishly smooth tongue won over the old Sathla, who made Zsalvi his heir and retired.

In the east, Ksonyos returned to Habu, supported from the Artaxes by a small riverine fleet commanded by Captain Ystuv and by more than two thousand sathla mercenaries, so that his total forces numbered more than eleven thousand.  Despite the powerful defenses erected by the Keferis, the Luxurites swept through the region again, capturing it with minimal losses.  But once again, the massive walls of Merwal proved far too much for the rudimentary siege skills of the sathla, even the better-trained mercenaries.  Ksonyos simply did not have the power to lay siege to the city.  Once again, Ksonyos could do little more than shout threats at the city garrison.

The reconquest of Habu, combined with the frequent contact with foreign traders and human slaves has sparked an intense interest in religion among the sathla of Luxur.  Donations and offerings flooded into the ancient temples of Autumna as the sathla once more sought answers in the dogmas of the past.  The priests held a convocation at Thedelos and elected Kyassthi as their new Grand Priest.  A new primacy was born!

The Autumna Primacy
Ruler –
Grand Priest Kyassthi
Great Cathedral – Thedelos
Dominant Race – Sathla

From the ancient, vine-covered Temple of the Egg at Thedelos, Grand Priest Kyassthi called for a resurgence in sathla piety and the urgent recapture of the Holy City of Merwal.

Keferis –
Ruler –
General Proclides
Capital – Merwal
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Osaru [F]

General Proclides continued to defy the sathla at Merwal, while his men continued to train at siegecraft.  There was nothing Proclides could do, however, about the sathla seizure of the rich fields of Habu.  The garrison continued to hope for rescue.

Meanwhile, Varathinus traveled to Osaru, where he convinced the brave inhabitants to become full citizens of Keferis (Varathinus convinced them that the sathla were far away and that Osaru would remain out of the fighting.

Mykele –
Ruler –
Sauressh Vaastassh I
Capital – Oroyon
Dominant Race – Sathla

The sathla sunned themselves on large, flat rocks.  One or two peeled open a slit-irised eye at the call of the Primacy, but then went back to dozing.

North-Eastern Vales –

The Exarchate of Thariyya –
Ruler –
Exarch Al-Kadem Vahdin
Capital – Uls Fakhar
Dominant Race – Halfling

Al-Beliryn Bezyron on 
an Exarchate Denarius

There being no adult of the Bezyron family still alive, Al-Kadem Vahdin, a Bezyron cousin, was next in line to the throne. The Exarch ruled from Uls Fakhar, struggling to bring good governance to his troubled land.  Having conscripted all available hands five years ago, he had little to work with now.

Although Tole Albrin, his lieutenant, moved quietly and carefully to arrive at Cyclados, the Cycladians themselves became quite loud when the popular little diplomat disappeared from their streets in 2792.  Suspicion naturally fell on the Empire, but no one was claiming responsibility and no body was found.

Accolon –
Ruler –
Warlock Vardan the Necromancer
Capital – Dammarask
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Korrek [T], Eumana [Hostile]

A Warlock of Accolon

The rebellion of Eumana was the hottest topic on the streets of Dammarask.  Cries of “Death to the Heretics!” and “War!” rang through the alleys and markets, and a riot on the Plaza of the Mighty had to be broken up by the Spider Guard.  Many quieter demands for a resolution were also to be heard among the nobility, the warlocks and the priesthood.  This “divine theocracy” in Nuradeem was an affront to the gods, not to mention a knife held to the throat of Accolon trade.

In Merisri, the last effects of the storm were cleared away, and the region cultivated. Also, foundations were laid for a bridge over the Mulgaunt from Merisri to Hamsh, connecting the halves of The Ashen Way, the road from Dammarask to Nuradeem.

Vardan ruled the realm from Dammarask, while Epiphetes acted as governor of that city.  Jordanes the Transmuter, accompanied by an honor guard of a few hundred light horsemen, loaded up a fat wagonload of gold and headed for Nuradeem, where he wheedled, cajoled and threatened the rebels for the better part of three years.  Unfortunately, even laden with spells to sharpen his skills, Jordanes is a better wizard than diplomat, and his importuning enraged the Eumana faithful, turning the rebels hostile.  Jordanes mounted his magical stone horse and rode up the Ashen Way as fast as he could, curses ringing behind him. 

Nightstalker the Abjurer had marginally more success in the free city of Korrek. His threats of force and his displays of magical prowess convinced the locals that they had best not defy the might of Accolon.  They agreed to pay an annual tribute to Dammarask in gold, livestock and slaves.

Bishop Marakin Trollkin girded himself for a journey into one of the most inhospitable places in all of Vatheria.  He and two hundred hardened horsemen rode into the Anvil of the Gods, though for what purpose he did not say.  Two years later, he emerged into the deserts of Balbane, tanned, hardened and accompanied by a mere handful of men.

The Shadowed Primacy of the Dark Court –  
Ruler –
High Priest Gezz Half-Shadow
Holy City – Dammarask
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Esagal [CH], Elamen [AB], Teush [CH], Dursarc [CH], Sin [CH]

If the riots in Accolon were unsettling, those amongs the dark priesthood were downright mutinous. There were calls (particularly from the priesthood of Caravok the Destroyer) for immediate action to end the independence of the Eumana churches by any means necessary.  

Lord Gezz, realizing that the barren Ashen Road would not sustain the church’s influence, ordered that new temples and shrines be built along the Mulgaunt and the Ymarian coast.  More priests were called from the Holy City of Dammarask to the new city of Unaagh. He raised no troops, however, and paid little heed to the foaming controversy of his priesthood.

While Gezz ruled from the new city of Unaagh, Xodast traveled to the northeast.  After founding an abbey in Elamen and moving on to Zamash, the dark priest (an adherant of Caravok himself) died in brutal brawl with local tribesmen that may or may not have been intended as a ritual melee.

Yagrax the Unclean traveled down the Mulgaunt, establishing churches in Teush, Dursarc and in Sin on the coast.

Gezz Half-Shadow

The Divine Theocracy of Eumana –  

Ruler –Theocrat Kandoz
Capital – Nuradeem
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Had [NT]

Defense was the order of the day, as fortifications were built throughout Eumana and several hundred siege engineers trained in Nuradeem.  All feared the hammerblow that did not come.

Theocrat Kandoz traveled to the region of Had and entered into long negotiation with the chieftains there.  But in the end, all he won from them was the right to transit their land  Margrave Vestaan governed the city of Nuradeem, proving himself an exceptionally able administrator.  A temple to the gods of Woe was erected and those priests who would not submit to the authority of the Theocrat were bound in chains and set to work cleaning the city sewers.

The Shadowguard of Marador –  
Ruler –
Queen Madariel Shadowfoot
Capital – Lantar
Dominant Race – Elf
Diplomacy – Jebelem [F], Gaja [FA], Laikwalambe [NT]

Royal Armor of Marador

A new port village was founded on the muddy banks of the Mulgaunt in Jebelam, a tiny place named Annuminas.  Though its docks were rudimentary, trade began almost immediately, flowing down the Mulgaunt and out into the Gulf of Thariyya.  For this privilege, the elves swallowed their pride (a sizeable meal!) and paid a tiny token impost to the Warlocks in Accolon.

The Queen sat the throne in Lantar, administering to the needs of her realm by day and trying unsuccessfully to create more heirs by night.  The elves are a long-lived people, but as if to make up for this, they are famously infertile.  Many remain childless for millennia.

Prince Ilwendil Swiftbow was made governor of Lantar, but proved ill-suited to the task, prefering to hunt and gamble and duel with the foreign bravos and sailors in the streets of Lantar.  It was well-known that the prince sometimes went among the fighters in disguise, thus hoping not to scare off the real competition.

Vaeril Fallingwater traveled to the northern realm of Gaja, where he convinced the lord of that land to swear oaths of feudal loyalty to Queen Madariel.  From there, she ventured to Jebelam and convinced the lords there to become a full part of the Shadowguard.

Glorfindel of Beduina, bolstered by magic, spent most of four years wooing the lords of Laikwalambe, who agreed in the end to allow the Shadowguard to cross their  lands, but no more.

South-Western Vales –

The Steaming Kingdom of Drormt –
Ruler –
King Zhee’ka
Capital – Breeka
Dominant Race – Saurus
Diplomacy – Narvan [T]

Eels!  The Sauruses of Drormt always admired eels as a delicacy, but King Zhee’ka was particularly fond of the slimy predator. As this became known throughout the swamps, the common saurus became mad for eels. Vast eel farms were set up in Ululor and Drormt to sate the public demand for them, and various merchants touted the epicurean qualities of this or that variety of eel.

King Zhee’ka, accompanied by three thousand saurus warriors, traveled through the moors and swamps of his boyhood home in Drormt and visited the region of Narvan, where he convinced the Narvan chieftains to allow his trade (mostly eels) to flow through their region to the Weshtayo garrison at Tresalet.  He then returned to Breeka for a large feast and several seasons of mating, which produced a daughter in the year 2795.

Lord Rurrga was given the governorship of Breeka, but


choked to death on an obstreperous eel in 2791 and was unable to fulfull his office.

Lord Aroshk and the allied commanders Riursh of Erlet and Keekrish of Munampt gathered together on a surprisingly misty morning in 2791 and disappeared into the swamps of Ululor.  The returned in 2793 with several hundred surly saurus slaves, whom they put to work in the eel farms of Haashmet, then promptly disappeared, still surrounded by the weird mist.  They returned again with more eel farm slaves in 2795.

Sendahl –
Ruler –
King T*ko
Capital – Nyange
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Durudin [+5]

T*ko and his allies once more lead his people on a rampage, this time enslaving the populations of Uszudar, Gingu and Kurgal, and driving all of those slaves back to work the fields of Desiket or to build small villages in that region.

T*ko’s cousin Ba’keng attempted to mollify the conquered sathla of Durudin and Ser Medhele, but the alienness of their race, religion and tongue made this almost impossible.


King T*ko

Mekebele –
Ruler –
Emperor F’denge
Capital – Awayal
Dominant Race – Human
Diplomacy – Kjo [-]

The period started off poorly for Mekebele, when both the Emperor Kobuto and his ally prince Armon of Garmazt were killed during an aerial melee at the festival of the Green Woman.  Armon, by far the superior rider, struck a blow on Kobuto’s shield that somehow loosed the emperor from his saddle.  The tragedy was compounded when the Emperor’s leatherwing crashed heavily into Armon’s steed, and both men and their mounts slammed into the falls of Madakoro. Their bodies were recovere and buried only days later.

The Emperor’s last gift to the Empire was a series of stone temples and grain silos for the region of Jokari.  He had hoped that this gift to the empire’s shamans would increase the sense of spirituality among his practical-minded people, but the plan backfired.  The close association of farming and the temples simply caused the people to look upon the gods with little or no regard.  Mekebele is among the most godless of nations.

The newly-crowned Emperor F’denge had plans of his own.  For reasons unknown to his people, F’denge desired the lands of Kjo, which had been conquered by the Sendhalese some thirty years before.  Barely habitable scrublands, the Mekebele had never before shown a regard for Kjo, but the Emperor traveled there with only a single young page for company or protection.  In Kjo, he fearlessly ignored the large Sendhalese garrison and agitated among the local chiefs, encouraging them to rise up against their nomadic oppressors.  Nomads themselves, and barely understanding the thick accent of the jungle king, the chiefs of Kjo treated F’denge as if he were mad.  Fearing the reprisals of the Sendhalese garrison, they sent F’denge home with some pleasant gifts and a request that he not return.

Warleader Bor’ufan, governor of Awayal, reorganized the priesthoods that controlled the flow of grain in the city, somewhat improving conditions in the capital.

South-Eastern Vales –

The Dwarven Realm of Aurdrukar –
Ruler –
King Norrim Forgemaster
Capital – The Brass Tower
Dominant Race – Dwarf
Diplomacy – Zaghoqla [F], Hruma’ru [-]
Banner of Aurdrukar

Banner of Khor-Naland

imageKing Norrim ruled amid the Thundering Halls, keeping up a steady stream of correspondence with the various regions of his mighty realm. The aged king sent forth smiths, carpenters and engineers to build a new port village on the shores of the Gulf of Qiya, called Dürn.  A few small trading vessels manned by dusky sailors from the Weshtayo port of Rendulha visited out of curiosity.

Prince Belak went forth to treat with the lords of Zaghoqla, following a circuitous and difficult route.  When he emerged from the hills, there were four dwarves 

Prince Belak

with him who looked enough like him to confuse an outsider.  Each of these bore a large steel sphere similar to the Iron Orb of Oaths and were dispersed about his small camp.  Nonetheless, Belak used the Iron Orb to good effect in the presence of the lords of Zaghoqla, who swore fealty to Aurdrukar and the Brass Tower.  Belak then returned to Ulhiya.

Lord Balkin traveled to the hills of Hruma’ru and spent long years in the halls of the dwarf-lords there.  But they refused to give up their ancient freedoms and spurned the offers of the Brass Tower – Hruma’ru would remain allied to Aurdrukar, but would not bend the knee to King Norrim.

The Lord of the Thundering Halls sent a wagon train of gold to Zikuyu, which sent back several wagon trains of grain and foodstuffs.


The Elven Empire of Sengkar –
Ruler –
Emperor Valoril Greenshield
Capital – Ezrand
Dominant Race – Elf

War was on the mind of the elves. Though Sengkar’s rule had never extended to the wild lands of Phoreya and Kulahan, those elves who dwelt there were a related people, sundered in the past so long ago.  Yet the elves remembered, and when the orcs of Torquas cut their bloody swathe through those green lands, the people of Sengkar demanded that the emperor’s response be swift.  Thus did Valoril raise two thousand elite elven archers and give to his son the command of the hosts of Sengkar.  Brave Namaril the Hunter rode out of the gates of Ezrand at the head of an army twelve thousand strong.  Nearly two thirds of this force were elven archers, wise in the ways of woodcraft.  (See The War of Elves and Orcs, below).

Namaril’s sister, Princess Gahaliel traveled to the wide Radhrost valley at the headwaters of the Mulgaunt, there to treat with the lords of Radhrost and convince them to swear oaths of fealty to her father.  But war had never come to Radhrost in all the long years of the dwelling of the elves, and they cared little for the doings of the larger world.  Courteous and kind were they, but no oaths would they swear. 

Prince Bisaril, Valoril nephew, traveled to the land of Mita, where he tended to the crops and talked with spirits of rain and earth and sun, encouraging the growth of all living things so that the region blossomed and poured forth many more fruits and grains than ever before.

The Valraj –
Ruler –
Sultan Valoon of the White Knives
Capital – Muddakir
Dominant Race – Human

Sultan Gulor passed away peacefully in his sleep in the Spring of 2791.  His son Valoon of the White Knives was crowned sultan after a proper seven days of mourning.  Moosa, Emir of Tanoxus, drank so heavily at the Sultan’s wake that he lost his balance while leaning over a castle parapet and fell to his death.

After that grim start, the next few years were quite peaceful for the Valraji, despite the war that raged to the west. Valoon’s wife gave birth to two healthy sons, one in 2793 and one in 2795.  Lord Jameel was governor of Shenthelass from 2792-2795, but managed very little improvement in the port city.

The Kingdom of Weshtayo –

Ruler –King Okoumo II, Red-Feathered Lord
Capital – Khulank
Dominant Race – Human

Okoumo sweltered in the summer heat of Khulank, but was glad of what he saw.  Everywhere, his kingom flourished and he, the Red-Feathered Lord, saw no enemies.  Truly, it was a golden age for the Weshts.  The King raised more than a thousad infantry, which he dispersed to armies in Tresalet, Bedraku and Siruvay.  He ordered that the muddy dike around Khulank be leveled and proper stone walls be set in its place.  Also, he received word that the sauruses of Drormt had begun trade at Tresalet (though really, who could eat that many eels?) and that the Emperor of Aurdrukar had built a trading port at Qiya.

Oukoumo’s son and heir Nokrome played governor to Khulank in 2792 and 2795, where he performed splendidly.  But from 2793 through 2794, he was governor of Rendulha and failed to reform or improve the city in any way.  Perhaps he merely was a better administrator when under his father’s watchful eye?

The Imperial Realm of Zikuyu –
Ruler –
Queen Huwarra the Resplendent
Capital – Ivallkyu
Dominant Race – Human

Peace and security reigned in Zikuyu.  A great wagon train of fish, grain, beef and poultry made its way through the jungles of Triyara to the dwarven garrison at Urhodel, while several chests of gold and silver were transferred to the Zikuyu in exchange.  Vast amounts were spent on wells, shrines and roadside inns in both Qash and Thikyni, and both began to take on a somewhat “dwarvish” quality of organization and permanence.

Queen Huwarra (the chroniclers were severely chastised for calling her “king” last time around) ruled serenely from her palace at Ivallkyu while her cousin Qeemoy governed in the city below.  Qeemoy seemed to be developing a talent for governance, but unfortunately died of a sudden heart attack in 2792.

Tales of a war to the east came down the Mogolla river as mere echoes, as of stories of a bygone age, though they made many a bard and singer a pretty penny in the inns and brothels of Ivallkyu.

The Despotism of Torquas –
Ruler –
Despot Maugh the Wise
Capital – Torquas
Dominant Race – Orc
Diplomacy – Sagis [C]

War and slaves were uppermost in the mind of the Despot.  And religion.  He set out to enslave the regions of Alat and Ilhand, and to extinguish the perverted worship of the Dark Court in Zhume’la.  Almost four thousand orc warriors were conscripted for the armies, half for that of Maugh’s main army and half for that of his ally, the warlord of Zhutetl.  Together these two forces marched into Alat and began to exterminate village elders and round up all the able bodied natives for slaves.  Maugh’s lieutenant Regaul the Brown traveled to Sagis, but was pointedly ignored by the orc chieftains there.  He was able to do no more than claim the land in the name of Torquas.

See The War of Orcs and Elves, below.


Namaril the Hunter lead his twelve thousand Sengkari elves into the region of Phoreya, and then crashed into the undefended fields and farmsteads of Kaidola, quickly forcing the region’s leaders to acknowledge his conquest.  Then, although Torquas lay undefended before him, he paused.  He might even have dug in, preparing the fields for the looked-for counterstroke, but so contemptuous of orcish might was Namaril that he refused to do even that much.  His elves simply waited.

It took several months for word of the invasion to reach the ears of the Despot, for he had by this time enslaved Alat and was marching on Ilhand.  But when the word did reach him, he turned and considered.  His host was smaller, just under eight thousand.  But when else would he get to fight elves who were not surrounded by their precious forests?  Maugh couldn’t resist, and he whipped his army (and the slaves with it) back towards Torquas.  At Torquas, they dropped off the slaves and turned towards the waiting battle in Kaidola.

The two sides met in early winter of 2793, as a curtain of freezing rain turned the fences and farmhouses slick with a coating of ice. Namaril’s banners were drawn up along a gentle ridge, and his host rippled with polished steel even in the sodden rain.  The orcs were a dark and brutish lot, though they formed up neatly and pounded their shields in ominous unison.  No sign was given, for none was needed.  In a moment, the orcs charged the elvish line, and thousands of elvish arrows darkened the already leaden sky.

The elves had the advantage in nearly every way.  They had the numbers, the elite troops, the greater weight of outriders and skirmishers.  But the orcs had brute strength and a dumb refusal to fall back before the onslaught of arrows.  The elven line bent, but did not break.  The orcs fell by the thousands, but did not run.  By nightfall, the outcome was still very much in doubt.  But Namaril’s lieutenants urged him to fall back and regroup, and he heeded them.  The elves retired towards Phoreya in the night, and the exhausted orcs did not pursue.

The Kingdom of Tas Dar –
Ruler –
King Jharen
Capital – Lhoren Dar
Dominant Race – Human

King Jharen observed the wars and larger nations around him, and invested heavily in defense. New castles were built in Tas Dar alongside several new wells.  Lord Miakil governed Lhoren Dar and proved to be an exceptional (or lucky!) administrator.  Under his governorship many streets were paved and a new public plaza was built with shrines to each of the hundred and one gods.

Tas Dari explorers discovered a lost city in the forests of Tithand, and hope to return to discover more!

Rumors from Elsewhere –

Rumors speak of a vast people on the move on the shores of the Garagos river beyond Shanatar.  Others deny that there is anything beyond Shanatar.

The singer’s tales say that a titan out of legend marches at the head of the army of Changhshai.  It is as tall as ten men and as strong as fifty!

GM’s Tip #3 – 

Each turn, I will use this space to present a useful rules hint.  Eventually, all of you will know what LOTE GM’s and experienced players know.

Factors Affecting Diplomacy –

1) The correct way to write a Diplomacy Order is as follows: 

(DP +36 AP +9GP +Assist +Intel + Dynastic Marriage)
Note SD Intel Op, Assist from Leader 03 and the offered marriage to the Heir.

2) The basic mechanic for a Diplomacy is check is to subtract the region’s (or city’s) resistance value from the Diplomacy rating of the Leader, giving a Target Number  Then, the GM rolls a d10.  If the roll is equal to or less than the Target Number, the Diplomacy is successful.  The higher the result (without going over the Target Number), the better.

From this we can see that sending a “5” Diplomacy Leader to woo a region with a “6” resistance value is automatically doomed to failure unless positive modifiers are added to the roll. Particularly bad rolls can lead to Hostile relations or even war.

The single most important factor is the Diplomacy rating of the Leader sent.  Followed by the clarity of the written order!

3) Positive Modifiers include:

  • The use of additional Action Points (AP) (One Diplomacy action is much more likely to succeed than two or three.)
  • The use of bribes (GP)
  • Additional Leaders.  Each additional leader will add half his Diplomacy rating to the attempt.
  • Support Diplomacy (SD) Intelligence Operations adds a variable bonus.
  • Many spells will add a bonus.
  • You receive a bonus to diplomacy in a region if you control a city in that region, and vice-versa.
  • Dynastic Marriages offer sizeable bonuses (Kings and Heirs are worth significant bonuses; princes are less so).

4) Negative Modifiers include:

  • Range.  Diplomacy on distant regions is difficult. 
  • Terrain. Diplomacy is conducted at a disadvantage is certain terrains (see the CHARTS page)
  • Differing Languages
  • Differing Religions 
  • Differing Races
  • Wounded Leaders are slightly less effective diplomats.
  • War makes diplomacy quite difficult.

Secret Diplomacy is also possible.  This will keep your successes out of the newsfax and off the maps (at least for awhile.)

It is possible to conduct diplomacy against an enemy leader in order to convince him to revolt.

It is possible to conduct diplomacy against an enemy region.  In this case, you must first reduce the enemy’s control to Uncontrolled before being able to work it up in your favor.


Page Created 19 February 2006