Month in Review: Sviftmont 1015
First Week in Review

SVIFTMONT 1, AC 1015: Ylari Demoralized.
Location: Ylaruam. OW

Description: The battle against the tanar'ri [D&D: fiends] is starting to go bad for the warriors of Ylaruam. At first, they succeeded simply because the fiends were separated and alone. But now, there are a sufficient number of them around that the Ylari are hard pressed to win.
Even worse, stronger fiends are arriving, and most of them are immune to the non-magical weapons of the Ylari forces. Some begin to wonder if the battle against the fiends is hopeless. (See Fy. 28, Am. 14; Sv. 10, Sv. 15.)

SVIFTMONT 3, AC 1015: Aeleris Discovers the Pits.
Location: Great Forest of Geffron, Denagoth. NW

Description: During the exploration of the southern part of the forest, the scout Aeleris of clan Grunalf discovers a vast area of woods full with elven bodies, empty common graves and dead trees. During the night many of the corpses animate and attack Aeleris and his fellow soldiers: many elves die (Aeleris among them). Fortunately, some of them manage to flee and rejoin the rest of the Crusaders. The Generals, lacking any cleric that turns undead, prohibit anyone from enter the area now called Aeleris Pits and declare it Cursed Land not to be conquered. The elves continue their march. (See Am. 1, Am. 22; Sv. 21, Sv. 28.)

What This Means: The Crusaders have just discovered the eeriest and most dangerous area of Geffron, the "reserve units" of the Shadowlord (even though they don't realize it yet). Many undead dwell in these bleak woods and some of them are powerful entities not yet submitted to the Shadowlord. One of them (a vampire) is responsible for the attack on the elves: he's trying to build up an army of his own to claim this part of the forest as his territory and to stand against the Shadowlord he needs new corpses to animate.

What The PCs Can Do: The PCs can battle against the undead if they are with Aeleris, but won't be able to save him. They will eventually flee to report the facts to the elven headquarters when the undead begin to be overwhelming.

SVIFTMONT 4, AC 1015: The Heir of the Baron.
Location: Barony of Uigmuir, Glantri. OW

Description: After decades of separation, Baroness Myra McDuff is finally reunited with her son, Angus McClintock. Adventurers hired by the Baroness were able to track down her long lost son at the Great School of Magic and return him to his mother. To the surprise of all present at the occasion, Myra McDuff is revealed as a ghost, and her spirit is finally laid to rest after the reunion. Days later, Angus McDuff (as he is formally acknowledged to be) is proclaimed the new Baron of Uigmuir.

What This Means: Angus McDuff is the illegitimate son of Myra McDuff by the orc king Thar. Many decades ago, while on a raid in Glantri, Thar kidnapped the Baroness and had a child by her. Killed shortly after giving birth to her son, she returned to her tower as a ghost, and convinced everyone she was still alive.
Angus had been raised by the teachers at the Great School of Magic, unaware of his heritage, and disappeared years ago. He had been living in the orcish city of Oenkmar, and only recently returned to his position as Professor Emeritus at the Great School in AC 1012, following the Shadow Elf takeover of Oenkmar.
Lady McDuff's one true desire was to see her son returned to her, a desire that has finally been fulfilled.

SVIFTMONT 5, AC 1015: Forts Reinforced.
Location: Eastern Verdan, Esterhold Peninsula. AS

Description: Commander Broderick sends out some of his new troops to relieve the men of the eastern forts. They are harassed by Jennite rebels along the way, but the Jennites never come out of their hidings to engage the Alphatian force. When they reach the forts they clash with the Jennite tribesmen, forcing them to retreat temporarily.

SVIFTMONT 6, AC 1015: Is Jaggar a Prince?
Location: Glantri City, Glantri. OW

Description: Princess Hillsbury asks the Council of Princes to discuss the fate of Prince Jaggar. It seems that the prince is no longer able to cast any spells now that he is missing an arm. She therefore claims that Jaggar should lose his title of wizard and prince.
The Council takes the matter seriously, but fail to arrive to a conclusion as to whether or not to strip Jaggar of his privileges of being a wizard. Finally, it is decided that Jaggar will have six months to regain his spellcasting abilities or he will irrevocably be classified as a mundane [non-spellcaster. Ed.] (See Fy. 20, Fy. 25.)

What This Means: Jaggar will now really have to search fast for a means of regrowing his arm. He is still against using clerical magic at the moment, but maybe in a few months from now his opinion will change.

SVIFTMONT 6, AC 1015: Beastmen Discover War Party.
Location: Beastmen Wastes. HW

Description: During a calm period, a hunting party of Beastmen spots smoke from a campfire in the usually stormy region north of their territory. They come closer and discover a camp of strangers, some of whom are heavily armed. They decide to watch their movements and send word to their clan to gather a party of warriors. (See Am. 13, Am. 15; Sv. 9, Sv. 13.)


Second Week in Review

SVIFTMONT 8, AC 1015: Rockhome Invaded.
Location: Klintest Lowlands, Rockhome. OW

Description: Thar and Psa'gh's small but well-armed horde pours into the eastern half of the Klintest Lowlands. They quickly ransack and pillage the farming communities, making away with as much loot as possible.
One group, lead by Thar himself, even attacks the penal colony town of Kurdal. The attack is so well planned that it takes the defenders completely by surprise. A special unit is given the task of freeing the dwarven criminals, which causes even more chaos during the battle as some dwarves fight dwarves.
By the end of the day, Thar proudly proclaims that Kurdal is now a part of the new goblinoid Kingdom of Tharia. (See Fy. 24; Sv. 14, Sv. 20.)

What This Means: Thar knew everything about the defenders, while the dwarves had no idea there was even a goblinoid horde nearby. Still, survivors will reach Smaggeft by the end of the day and the dwarves will be able to send in their troops to take care of the problem.
Of course, Duric, Bifia, and Psa'gh might have something to say about Thar's choice of name for their kingdom.

SVIFTMONT 8, AC 1015: Vanya's Day.
Location: Freiburg, Heldannic Territories. OW

Description: Wulf von Klagendorf is brought to the Star Chamber where he is to be executed for his crimes against Vanya and the Heldannic Territories. The Oberherr grants the man last words to give to the crowd of Heldannic Knights who have come to watch the event.
Von Klagendorf makes a moving speech as to how the Knights have lost their faith in Vanya and how they can reclaim it by seeking glory and honor. He urges them to overthrow von Grber and his Inquisition which is the cause of the lost of faith. The Knights are so scared in keeping their faith in face of the Inquisition that they fail to actually worship Vanya. Wulf states that he has had a vision and can restore the glory of Vanya upon them.
With the speech over, the blade is about to come down upon Wulf von Klagendorf when a young Knight steps forward and stops it. Soon enough, about two dozen Knights move in and form a protective circle around Herr Wulf.
Oberherr von Gruber laughs at the small group. He orders the remaining Knights - over 200 of them - to kill all the traitors. The Knights move in on von Klagendorf's group when Wulf casts a spell granted to him by Vanya.
The blade barrier cuts through over a quarter of the faithless Knights. Everyone stares in amazement at von Klagendorf. Many immediately bow and pray for forgiveness to Vanya, others run away, and a few continue to attack. The Knights protecting von Klagendorf try their prayers and their spells are granted as well.
After much commotion, Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf judges all the Knights in the room as false believers in Vanya. Those who attacked him are sentenced to death. Those who surrendered upon seeing his spell are stripped of their rank among the Knights. Only the two dozen men who took his side have received their spells back, so it's easy to determine who is a true Knight and who is stripped of their rank. The few who fled (including Andreas von Gruber) are condemned as cowards and also sentenced to death. (See Fe. 2, Am. 16, Am. 25; Sv. 20, Ei. 4.)

What This Means: Wulf is back and in charge of the Heldannic Knights. After today, there will be no doubt as to who is the chosen leader of the worshippers of Vanya.
Over the next couple of weeks, spells will slowly return to all true believers of Vanya. Some, who can only cast minor spells, are giving a chance to regain her favors by performing heroic acts in stopping the rebellion.
All others, including those who fail in their heroic attempts at redemption - are banished from the ranks of the Heldannic Knights.
Of course, this bodes ill for the rebellion in the Heldann Freeholds.

What The PCs Can Do: If the PCs are Heldannic Knights, the DM should determine whether or not the PCs have been behaving and role-playing within the doctrines of Vanya. If not, the PC should not regain his spell casting abilities, unless the DM wants to give him a chance by performing a certain-death mission to regain Vanya's favor.

SVIFTMONT 9, AC 1015: Beastmen Confront War Party.
Location: Beastmen Wastes. HW

Description: The Beastmen, reinforced by warriors of their clans, decide to ambush the war party, which is obviously not used to snowy environments, before they leave the stormy region for sweeter skies. They trap them in a small depression near a crevice, giving them strategic advantage if not the best arms. They rush out to meet the trapped invaders at close range when, to their surprise, the commander of the war party greets their clan leader by his name. When he in turn recognizes Delarius, the leader of the polar expedition, he immediately calls to an end of the attack and invites them to the clan village - again. (See Am. 15, Sv. 6; Sv. 13, Ei. 13.)

What This Means: Not only did the expedition crash in the Hollow World north of the Beastmen Wastes, but they even ended up near that same tribe they met a few years ago.

SVIFTMONT 10, AC 1015: Human Reserves in Wendar?
Location: Wendar. OW

Description: The tension in Wendar has much decreased after the departure of many Alfheimers heading for Canolbarth and for Denagoth or Norwold, and the situation is now nearly back to normal, even though some rumors persist regarding Gylharen's plan for the future of the nation and of the humans.
Some voices claim he is going to make up "human reserves" just as he did for the Alfheimers' minority, or that he will recall the elves back from Denagoth to enforce a law against humans. Most people laugh at such rumors, of course. Yet others don't and begin to think about counter measures to be taken. (See Fy. 8, Fy. 15.)

What This Means: These malevolent rumors are spread by the Cultists of Idris who are stirring the humans to play them against the elves. Now that most of the Alfheimers are out of Wendar, they need to back up the hatred towards the elven race using another scapegoat, and King Gylharen (an elf) is their best choice. Many of the leaders of the humans' right party are indeed Idris followers who believe the time has come for the humans of Wendar to finally retake the rulership of their kingdom from the hands of "those pointy-eared bastards".

SVIFTMONT 10, AC 1015: Ylaruam Besieged.
Location: Ylaruam City, Ylaruam. OW

Description: A massive horde of tanar'ri [D&D: fiends] attack the city of Ylaruam. The defenders are hard pressed, especially since they can't harm the attackers with their ordinary weapons.
But then Khalid 'Tale-Teller' arrives at the battle front and starts giving orders to the warriors. First, he has the numerous fighting priests of Al-Kalim cast bless spells. But instead of casting them on the warriors, he directs the priests to cast the spells on their weapons. The spells therefore do not give the warriors a +1 to hit their opponents, but it does permit the weapons to actually harm the fiends.
Another tactic he devises is to catapult barrels of holy water unto the fiends. At first, the Ylari take him mad to want to waste precious water so foolishly. But when the results of the first shot are seen (tanar'ri melting to puddles of goo), the practice is soon taken up across the city.
By the end of the day, the Ylari are victorious. The fiends flee back into the desert. The people of Ylaruam city begin praising the honor and glory of Khalid 'Tale-Teller.'
Saddam The Aged then proclaims that Khalid is the champion foretold by the Immortals. He shall be the one who frees the Ylari from the evil threatening the land. (See Am. 14, Sv. 1;Sv. 15, Sv. 24.)

What This Means: The Ylari are regaining their courage and morale, which have been slowly fading the past couple of weeks. Now that they know the fiends can be defeated, they again begin to believe that they will win since Al-Kalim is watching over his faithful followers.

SVIFTMONT 12, AC 1015: Hojah on the Attack.
Location: Berat Island, Gulf of Hule. SC

Description: Today, Hojahite ships unload troops on the shores of Berat Island and quickly take control of the island and the ruined village of Jezevo. (See Ka. 24)

What This Means: Though Hojah's ambassadors officially justify this attack as necessary in order to eradicate piracy from the area, the real purpose of Margrave Bosit Hojah is to conquer all the islands in the Gulf of Hule before attacking Slagovich.

SVIFTMONT 13, AC 1015: Secret plans in Emdur.

Location: Emdur, Gombar. SC

Description: Several powerful merchants gather together today to take action over the maps which were found thirteen months ago. They make plans to infiltrate the temple of Sumag and steal the maps. (See Am. 13.)

What this Means: Few outside the temple of Sumag have seen the maps though it is the common belief of many merchants in Emdur that these maps are of economic significance. With the lack of action regarding the maps this has caused some merchants to decide to take drastic action to procure the maps.

What The PCs Can Do: They can be the ones hired by the merchants to steal the maps.

SVIFTMONT 13, AC 1015: Geonids Ready to Strike!
Location: City of the Stars, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW

Description: Second Shadow officers report to King Telemon that Geonids are preparing for an attack on Alfmyr. King Telemon and General Garafaele decide to send more troops to Alfmyr to reinforce the local garrison. (See Sv. 25)

What This Means: This is part of Atzanteotl's big plot. Renegade Second Shadow scouts are purposefully reporting false news to King Telemon and General Garafaele in order to scatter the shadowelven army as far as possible from the City of the Stars, where the main attack will take place.

What PCs Can Do: Shadow Elves PCs particularly smart and curious may investigate on this and similar future events, thus learning that there's something wrong.

SVIFTMONT 13, AC 1015: Expedition Ponders Options.
Location: Beastmen Wastes. HW

Description: Captain Delarius, Claransa and the Alphatian and Karameikan diplomats ponder their choices. They have three options available without their skyship:

First possibility : To go back to their ship in the anti-magic zone and try and repair it with wood given by the Beastmen - though they have few trees. Then they would have to pull it out of the anti-magic zone - a hard task, even with the Beastmen's knowledge of how to move heavy stuff on snow.
Second possibility : To reach the city of Haldemar and, from there, Alphatia. They would have to make a long journey south without any means of transportation.
Third possibility : They abandon their diplomatic mission to Alphatia for now and simply try to establish contact with the different peoples that live in the Hollow World. The Alphatian diplomat is opposed to this idea and would prefer the second option instead.
They eventually decide to try to salvage the Concordia, and go to Haldemar if that turns out to be impossible. The group says goodbye to their Beastman friends, promising them to stop by the next time they come in the region, then head north. (See Sv. 6, Sv. 9; Ei. 15, Ei. 20.)

SVIFTMONT 14, AC 1015: Dwarves Retaliate.
Location: Klintest Lowlands, Rockhome. OW

Description: The dwarves of Rockhome send several of their Dwarf-Foot units to clear the goblinoids in the Klintest Lowlands. Throughout the smaller communities, the goblinoids quickly scatter upon seeing the dwarven military, fleeing back into the Makkres Mountains.
But at the town of Kurdal, Thar and his goblinoids have prepared themselves for a battle. The dwarves attack the town, but fail to reclaim it from the goblinoids. (See Fy. 24, Sv. 8; Sv. 20, Ei. 5.)

What This Means: The Rockhome dwarves were surprised to find that their secret entrances into Kurdal have all been sealed off - or worse, trapped by the goblinoids. Not only that, but the orcs and kobolds have been using the dwarven siege weapons to hold off the dwarves, and seem to be very competent in their use.


Third Week in Review

SVIFTMONT 15, AC 1015: Khalid Becomes Advisor.
Location: Ylaruam City, Ylaruam. OW

Description: Several officers and royal officials of the Sultan arrive in Ylaruam today. They speak with Khalid 'Tale- Teller,' and ask the dervish if he would accept the position of military advisor to better help combat the fiends.
Khalid accepts. The people of Ylaruam cheer. (See Sv. 1, Sv. 10; Sv. 24, Ei. 4.)

What This Means: Even the Sultan himself has heard the prophecies of Saddam The Aged by now. Being a religious man in the ways of Al-Kalim, the Sultan completely believes the words of the holy dervish; Khalid is indeed the only one who can save Ylaruam (after all, Al-Kalim himself said so!). He has therefore decided to place the famous Khalid in charge of the military, so he has everything he needs at his disposal to defeat the tanar'ri [D&D: fiends].

SVIFTMONT 17, AC 1015 : Lighthouse Recruits in Alphatia.
Location: Various cities in Alphatia. HW

Description: Some sages are contacted by the Lighthouse to become members. Some of those sages are the same that those investigating on the timeline inconsistency on behalf of Empress Eriadna. (See Nu. 26.)

What This Means: Members from the Lighthouse, after investigation, have concluded that Alphatia is an advanced nation with many sages and specialists, who have already accumulated great knowledge they would be interested to add to their library. So they contact would-be fellow members, as they always do with new nations. This is endorsed by Ka, who sees this as a good way to greatly increase the amount of knowledge stored at the Lighthouse.

SVIFTMONT 17, AC 1015: Celebration Time in Rafielton.
Location: Rafielton, Aengmor. OW
Description: Today, 5 King according to the Shadow Elves' calendar, is a fasti day for Shadow Elves, especially for those in Aengmor, because it commemorates the conquest of Alfheim and crowning of Princess Tanadaleyo as Governor of Aengmor. (See Am. 1.)

What This Means: This is the 8th time that the Shadow Elves celebrate the conquest of Alfheim (Sviftmont 17, AC 1007), but today the holiday causes a certain degree of tension between the Shadow Elves and the former inhabitants of the forest that recently resettled here.
Despite the intervention of shamans, treekeepers and leaders of both sides, tempers run hot today and a few brawls break out here and there in Rafielton.

What PCs Can Do: PCs from both races can either try to prevent scuffles, or put a fight against the "enemies".

SVIFTMONT 20, AC 1015: Dwarves Reclaim Kurdal.
Location: Kurdal, Rockhome. OW

Description: After several days of fighting, the dwarves of Rockhome finally manage to reclaim Kurdal. Unfortunately, most of the goblinoids occupying the town managed to flee to safety. (See Sv. 8, Sv. 14; Ei. 5, Ei. 8.)

What This Means: Although they have reclaimed Kurdal, the goblinoids are still out there. The dwarves will have to increase the number of soldiers patrolling the area to keep things safe.
Meanwhile, the goblinoids continue to raid dwarven farming communities, stealing food (and what little gold they can find) and retreating back into the mountains before the dwarves arrive. Since the Makkres are jagged and rather inhospitable, following their enemies is not very easy for a unit of dwarves. Of course, some dwarven units were stubborn enough to follow the goblinoids back into the difficult mountain passes and wipe them out there, but these were only minor losses on the side of the goblinoids.

SVIFTMONT 20, AC 1015: Hockstein in Trouble.
Location: Hockstein, Heldannic Territories. OW

Description: With the return of the Knights' clerical magic, the Heldannic Knights are beginning to cause much trouble to the rebels within the town of Hockstein. The arrival of two Heldannic Warbirds has even put the use of Reinhard Madelhari's Warbird a very risky proposition. (See Am. 25, Sv. 8; Ei. 4, Ei. 10.)

SVIFTMONT 21, AC 1015: Siege of Drax Tallen Begins.
Location: Drax Tallen, Denagoth. NW

Description: The Crusaders have finally reached and surrounded Drax Tallen. The enemy troops cannot escape anymore, and thus they lay siege to the fortress after repelling a few squadrons of spearmen sent to give them a "warm welcome" by the Shadowlord. The Generals begin to draw the plans to assault and conquer the keep. (See Am. 22, Sv. 3; Sv. 28, Ei 3.)

What This Means: Even though they have suffered many losses in this war, the Crusaders have reached their destination and are determined to avenge the death of their brethren and to free those elves who are held captives in Drax Tallen's dungeons.
The Shadowlord has decided that he will play a little bit with the elves before letting them have Drax Tallen. He wants to limit the casualties on his side to the minimum and to leave his keep without destroying too much of it (he plans using it again in the future).

What The PCs Can Do: The PCs will probably take part in reconnaissance missions to map the surroundings of Drax Tallen and to get a view at the inner parts of the keep, trying to assess the enemy's strength and location of troops. Stealth tactics are required.


Fourth Week in Review

SVIFTMONT 23, AC 1015: Orcs Amok in Ethengar!
Location: Ethengar Khanates. OW

Description: Hordes of Yellow Orcs spill out onto the steppes of Ethengar, raiding and looting. The largely unorganized Ethengarians, having lost their Great Khan, are unable to effectively combat this threat, and the orcs return home with much treasure and food for the winter.

SVIFTMONT 24, AC 1015: Ylari Holding Their Ground.
Location: Ylaruam. OW

Description: Under the leadership of Khalid 'Tale-Teller,' the warriors of Ylaruam are actually able to hold their ground against the invading tanar'ri [D&D: fiends]. They are unable to win back any ground, however. So far, they've just prevented the fiends from conquering anything. (See Sv. 10, Sv. 15; Ei. 4, Ei. 7.)

SVIFTMONT 25, AC 1015: Goznuk Flees New Kolland.
Location: New Kolland, Glantri. OW

Description: The hobgoblin Goznuk flees the Great Crater and seeks sanctuary in Glantri City. He states that someone back in the crater is trying to kill him but refuses to comment any more. He is eventually taken in by the Fellowship of the Pouch, who promised to protect him if he joins their group. (See Fy. 20, Fy. 25.)

What This Means: Goznuk is fleeing from none other than Ludwig von Hendriks because he has knowledge that might ruin the new hero of Glantri. It seems that von Hendriks wasn't the one to kill Moglai, but rather an unknown orc who was killed by an arrow the moment he stabbed the Golden Khan. Ludwig von Hendriks, who was nearby, was disarmed and looking for a weapon, so he grabbed one from the first fallen body with a sword sticking out of its back. It was a coincidence that it was the Golden Khan. A wounded Jaggar saw him draw the sword and assumed the warrior slew the Khan.
Now that Ludwig is enjoying the prestige and power, he doesn't want anyone to take the credit from him. Goznuk is the only one left who knows the truth and has wisely chosen to flee. Although it is unlikely anyone will believe the hobgoblin, his life is still in danger.

SVIFTMONT 25, AC 1015: Rockhome Seeks Revenge?
Location: City of the Stars, Shadow Elves' Territories. OW

Description: The Radiant General receives bad news from spies in Rockhome. According to their reports the dwarves are gathering forces and building tunnels to launch an underground attack on the shadow elves as revenge of the defeat they suffered in Oenkmar a few years ago.
The attack should take place in the north-eastern area of the Shadow Elves' Territories, so General Garafaele decides to send more troops there. (See Sv. 13; Ei. 24)

What This Means: This is, again, a false news. Xatapechtli, the Second Shadow mastermind, is instructing his agents to feed the army with false, but plausible, reports in order to scatter the shadowelven army as far as possible from the City of the Stars, thus furthering Atzanteotl's plans.

SVIFTMONT 28, AC 1015: The Shadow and the Beast(hunter).
Location: Drax Tallen, Denagoth. NW

Description: During the moonless night, a group of the Elf Skull Unit humanoids manage to enter the elves' camp and sneak into Beasthunter's quarters. After casting a Silence 15' radiuson the zone, they incapacitate Coolhands and Beasthunter. The prisoners are gagged and dragged out of the camp unseen. They return inside Drax Tallen and bring the captives to the dungeons, where the Shadowlord awaits. (See Sv. 3, Sv. 21; Ei. 3, Ei. 5.)

What This Means: The kidnappers have been able to infiltrate and exit the elves' camp using secret tunnels known only to them. The Shadowlord plans to interrogate one of the elven Generals to uncover their military strategy and to estimate the real strength of the elven army. Afterwards, he will play a bit with the two important captives.


TOPIC OF THE MONTH:
Heldann Regains It Former Glory