383YE Summer Solstice winds of fortune
Over the past three months, several events have occurred which are of significance to the Empire and may require a response from her champions. You can also read about the progress of the Empire's military campaigns here.
In each case, we've tried to tag the Winds of Fortune entry with the nations, or political bodies, to which it is most relevant. We've done this to help people who are interested only in events that are especially relevant to them. In no way are these tags intended to be exhaustive; the Empire is a complex place and very little happens in isolation.
As always, how much or how little of this information you choose to know in character is up to you. Part of the purpose of Winds of Fortune is to maintain the illusion of the Empire as a living, breathing place where things happen - and to make players aware of things their characters 'should' know based on what their roleplaying says they have been doing for the past three months.
Many winds of fortune open with a short section of in-character text. In all cases, these pieces are intended to help create an atmosphere and provide a little entertainment. Where they contain opinions, those are the opinions of the fictional people depicted - and where they contain information or rumours the assumption is that the reader will create their own context for that information or gossip. They're mostly just a bit of fun and they tend not to contain anything vital to the understanding of the wind of Fortune.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Winds of Fortune
- 2.1 After the Gold Rush
- 2.2 Between the Lines of Ages (Plenipotentiary)
- 2.3 Birds
- 2.4 Broken Arrow
- 2.5 Comes a Time
- 2.6 A Dream That Can Last
- 2.7 Drive Back
- 2.8 Four Strong Winds
- 2.9 Heart of Gold
- 2.10 Like A Hurricane
- 2.11 Living With War (Conjunctions)
- 2.12 Long Walk Home (Orc Affairs)
- 2.13 Old Ways
- 2.14 Sun Green (Winds of Magic)
- 2.15 Through My Sails (Trade Winds)
- 2.16 Touch the Night
- 2.17 Walk On
- 2.18 Weight of the World
- 3 Other Events
- 4 Mandates
- 5 Imperial Lore
- 6 Other Media
Winds of Fortune
After the Gold Rush
- Magicians; entertainers; gamblers; potential Freeborn ship captains; would-be League military leaders
Some people come to Anvil for the politics, the festivities, and the Sentinel Gate. Other people come to trade - to buy and to sell. This season, in addition to the usual chances to buy everything form mithril to delicious cake there are some unique opportunities to buy one-of-a-kind things.
They include a silent auction in the Hall of Worlds; a peculiar invitation from a creature of the Night realm to bring it entertainment; a chance to acquire an invitation to a high-stakes card game; an opportunity to become captain of the Passion of the Flame (a renowned Freeborn ship); and an opportunity to become the new leader of the League warband of reformed bandits, the Revelry.
You can learn a little more about each of these opportunities here.
Between the Lines of Ages (Plenipotentiary)
- Archmages; Imperial Conclave; Cardinals; Brat Umbral Path; Eliza of the Guild of Ash and Embers; Sovica of Varushka; the Wisest Senator
The archmages have sent their plenipotentiary messages, each inviting an eternal of the appropriate realm to attend a parley. The denizens of the realms are bound to respond - and while their responses do not always involve a parley for the first time in some time all six eternals have agreed to meetings of one kind or another.
The Prince With a Thousand Foes at last agrees to meet the Archmage in the Hall of Worlds; the Turning Mirror will meet speak with cardinals of the Synod; the Cruel Queen will provide an audience - but only if she first receives something in return; the Queen of the Dolphin Crown wishes to hear tales; the Brother of Wizards is sulking; and the Gaolers of the Green Iron Prison have agreed to answer three very specific questions in a very formal parley.
You can learn about these plenipotentiary responses here.
- Varushka, especially the national assembly; Wisdom assembly
Zoria is an inspiring figure from Varushkan history who was recognized as a paragon of Wisdom in the early days of the Empire. As is common with some of the oldest figures from Imperial history, there are no details of her birth or background and only scant details of their life. At one time the Empire maintained a detailed collection of the more epic stories or Zoria's life and accomplishments, but much of this was lost when Nicovar burned the great libraries. Despite what little remains, Zoria endures as a popular figure in Varushka where she is something of a patron figure for many wise ones.
At the most recent summit two separate judgements were passed both claiming that the final resting place of the paragon lay in the Vale of Gniejezdo. This claim has inspired a great deal of interest, and brought to light at least one location with a competing claim - but if the Varushkans and the assembly of Wisdom wish to create an inspirational tomb for Zoria, all they will need is a dose of true liao.
You can learn more about this potential opportunity here.
During the spring Equinox, the Stormcrows of Wintermark reminded their people that the Jotun notion of "honour" is not the same as the heroic ideal that has inspired the three people since before the Empire was forged. Heroism takes many forms, a clever Suaq who outwits an Eternal in a battle of riddles or a wise Kallavesi surgeon whose herb-lore saves a dozen lives are both heroes. Other statements urged folk to look beyond the battlefield for heroes and to seek tales of their ancestors to better understand the many forms that heroism can take. At the same time, they made clear their belief that those Suaq who have become thralls of the Jotun are Frayed, implying that the heroic path would have been to fight to the bitter end, even to certain death.
The celebration of heroism has lead to opportunities; a daring raid; a mystical rookery; a chronicle of heroes. The talk of Fraying, and of the people of Sermersuaq, however, has produced a very different reaction...
You can learn about both these reactions here.
Comes a Time
- Navarr; Imperial Conclave
The Navarr presented two very different statements of principle during the Spring Equinox. One outlined the need for an army trained and equipped to face the vallorn, and was wholeheartedly supported by the National assembly. The other, more amibitiously, was presented in the General assembly and called for Seren to be recognised as one of the great cities of the Empire. This second judgement was not so unanimously received - but the people of the Empire are keen to hear of proposals that might strengthen their nation. And few Navarr would argue that Seren is at least as worthy of respect as Meade, Siroc, or Kalpaheim.
These very different judgements have lead to very different responses. Some Navarr focus on the immediate future. With the aid of the Queen of Scorpions a powerful new army may be raised - or the Navarr could eschew that aid and attempt to achieve the same feat themselves. Other Navarr focus on the future farther ahead, when the vallorn is gone and the Navarr must find new purpose. They have laid out proposals for three very different forms that Seren, the Navarr forest city, might take.
Spirits are high following the defeat of the vallorn in Liathaven; how best might the Navarr celebrate that victory? You can find out about the various opportunities for armies and cities here.
A Dream That Can Last
- Citizens of Holberg; Imperial Orc and General assemblies
During the Spring Equinox the Imperial Senate ceded the region of Misericorde in Holberg to the Sand Fishers of Ossium. With the assistance of the civil service, the orcs abandoned Bittershore and have crossed the Semmerlak to claim the region for their own. They have quickly established a number of small villages, taking advantage of the abundance of natural wildlife and venturing far afield to explore their new homes.
As the Senate has recognised the Sand Fishers as foreigners, there is a blossoming trade with League citizens in rare herbs, rare delicacies, and exotic hides. Yet there are also a few problems - the orcs do not much care for the city of Holberg itself, preferring to explore the marshes of Ennerlund, Rebeshof, and the Morass. They are leery of the deep woods of Utterlund fearing the bandits that dwell there - and perhaps reminded all-too-keenly of the Druj who once ruled them.
Still, it seems the addition of the orcs to Holberg has been a positive step - one ripe with opportunity for the burghers of the League. You can read more about this situation here.
- Navarr; Highguard; Dawn; Imperial Conclave; Military Unit Captains; Imperial Military Council; Imperial Senate
The Navarr and their allies have faced down the latest wave of horror spawned in the green heart of Brocéliande. The force of the attacks has been growing each season for the last nine months, and if the vates are to be believed will shortly reach a crescendo. A tidal wave of vegetative malice seeks to sweep away the vestige of civilisation that has taken root in Elerael and Boar's Dell. If the Empire can resist for three more months, that should be an end of it - at least for the time being. yet it is possible that new opportunity may come out of the chaos - if the forces of civilisation can just endure on more season of horror...
In contrast, on the other side of the Empire victorious Imperial forces have won a decisive victory over the vallorn of Liathaven out of the West Wood and claimed not only the region but also an unlooked for treasure - a pristine weirwood forest ripe for development.
You can learn about the situation in Brocéliande and Liathaven here.
Four Strong Winds
- Brass Coast citizens; Freeborn assembly; Military unit captains; Imperial Senate
At the Spring Equinox the Freeborn Assembly passed clear statements about securing the future prosperity of their people; likewise the Imperial Senate sent a message that they do not intent to abandon Segura to the western invaders. Despite the troubles blighting the Brass Coast, with barbarians threatening every territory except Madruga, the Freeborn continue to look to the future, refusing to be bowed by orc barbarians.
The words of the Synod and the Senate have created a wealth of opportunities. A mithril exchange that may help raise the materials to restore the Burning Falcon; proposals by the talented architect Angelina i Duarte i Riqueza to strengthen Segura; an offer to pay a bounty to any Imperial who will come to fight the Lasambrian Jotun; the chance to build a salvage port in Madruga; of arguments over the idea of theft versus the idea of taking from a defeated foe; and of a chance to secure the Broken Shore Bounty.
If nothing else, the people of the Brass Coast will be busy during the Summer Solstice... You can learn the details of these opportunities - and arguments - here.
Heart of Gold
- The Marches; Imperial Synod; Imperial Orcs
For thirty years the Jotun orcs occupied the Mournwold. When they retreated west, they evacuated as many thralls - humans as well as orcs - as they could. However many chose to remain behind preferring to stubbornly cling to their land rather than flee.
For three decades, those Marchers who were forced to become thralls have worked alongside the orc thralls that the invaders brought with them. Some of these people have more in common, more shared experience of hard work in fields and mines, than they do with the people across the border in Tassato, or Kahraman. In some places that bond has grown surprisingly strong; they are not friends, by any stretch, what they are, however, is neighbours.
Due in part to the closeness that has developed between the Marchers in the Mournwold and the Jotun thralls, the Marcher Assembly passed a statement of principle calling on the Marcher egregore to bring the thralls into the Marcher nation. At the same simmit the Imperial Senate passed a motion to appraise the situation in the Mournwold to see what could be done to integrate the Mournwold orcs.
You can learn about the outcome of this appraisal and this statement of principle, which has profound implications for the Marchers, here.
Like A Hurricane
- Loyalty Assembly
The Assembly of Loyalty passed two judgements with resounding support giving clear direction on the nature of the Virtue. To be truly virtuous Loyalty must stem from personal conviction and neither be presumed nor coerced.
Whatever reason has caused the Assembly to pass these statements, they have been positively received by pilgrims and priests alike across the Empire. There is relief that the Assembly has taken a stance against unscrupulous priests and politicians abusing the Virtue by trying to punish others for not sharing their loyalty. They are pleased to see such a clear statement from the leaders of the Assembly making plain that loyalty must come from within.
As a result of the moral clarity put forward by the Assembly, there is a singular opportunity for the Assembly to reinforce the statement they have just passed with a far-reaching mandate. Such opportunities are not common, the effects of the mandate are not easy to predict and the Assembly will need to consider whether to proceed with great care.
You can learn about the mandate, and its likely effect here.
Living With War (Conjunctions)
- Imperial heroes
Each summit the Sentinel Gate opens, allowing the heroes of the Empire to pass through. With its powerful magic, they can intercede in fateful events in any corner of the Empire - and even sometimes beyond its borders if there is significant Imperial presence. Each season, the prognosticators examine the Gate with their spells and converse with egregores and astronomancers, and do their best to compile information about where the gate will open and the opportunities that may represent. The Gate always opens where something is happening, but it is not always clear what role the heroes can play in mastering those events and turning them to their own ends.
Not every conjunction is easily identified by the prognosticators; not every fate is set. There may be other doors to other places, but these are the ones that the Empire knows about now.
You can learn about the Spring Equinox conjunctions of the Sentinel Gate here.
Long Walk Home (Orc Affairs)
- Imperial orcs; Imperial Senate; Navarr; Ambassador to Otkodov; Wintermark; Imperial Fleet Master; Imperial Consul
The Empire is bounded by four large orc nations - the Thule, the Jotun, the Grendel, and the Druj. There are also plenty of orcs within their borders - not only the Imperial Orcs but also the Orcs of the Great Forest, the Mournwold thralls, the Sand Fishers, and the many orc slaves recently rescued from the Grendel. Some are at war with the Empire, others exist in a state of people, or uneasy truce. Relations with these orc nations are no less significant than relations with the human nations that border the Empire, or lie across distant seas.
Whether it is a tale of lost orcs found and brought home, of misplaced treasures reclaimed, of diplomacy and murder, of challenges and reparations, of doors closed, or doors opened just a crack, the affairs of the orc people are every bit as complex and changeable as the affairs of the foreign nations with which the Empire trades.
You can learn more about orc affairs here.
- League, Wintermark, Marcher, and Varushkan assembly
During the Spring Equinox, the long-discussed refurbishment of the Basilica of Seven Doors in Bastion was commissioned by the Imperial Senate. With the assistance of the Custodes Clavium, the restoration was quickly completed, and the previously-lapsed position of Speaker of the Highborn Assembly reinstated.
As anticipated, with the Speaker for the Highborn Assembly restored to prominence, other national assemblies are taking time to consider improving their own organisation. The bishops of the League propose that Capodomus Cathedral be reinvigorated; the Crows of Wintermark point to the parlous state of the Hall of Rund; and Varushkan wise ones consider the role of the Tender of the Hearth. Some ecclesiastical scholars, especially among the Highborn, imagine that a little more organisation in the national assemblies could only be for the good of the Synod as a whole.
Meanwhile Abbot Matilda of Becktunn, a Marcher - a people with a reputation for going their own way - refutes the idea that their assembly needs any more direction but embraces the idea that the Empire would probably benefit from a little of the common sense only her peeople can provide - and from the example of a long lost exemplar of Ambition.
You can read about these proposals here.
Sun Green (Winds of Magic)
- Magicians; Imperial Conclave; Highguard; Zephaniah's Lament; citizens of the League especially Tassato; the Archmage of Summer, the Warmage, the Master of Ice and Darkness, and the Grandmaster of the Rod and Shield; Wintermark; the Marchers
The Empire is a magical place even without the sweeping power of the Wondrous Forests of the Night. There is always something going on. The winds of magic blow and the stars flicker and go out; mountains become memorials; Imperial Necromancers are appointed and discussions of life and death ensue; a curse falls on an old chapterhouse to the surprise of few; eternals angry, disappointed, wheedling, enthused, scheming... all this emerges from the background chaos.
What will the magicians of the Empire make of these peculiar events?
You can read about various magical effects here.
Through My Sails (Trade Winds)
- Fleet captains; Ambassadors; Imperial Senate
There is little constancy in international politics, and the complex interplay of politics and diplomacy can change the relations between nations in an instant. The Empire is one of six great powers who wield great influence over the known world. Two of those other nations, the Commonwealth and the Sumaah Republic are allied to the Empire via the Liberty Pact. Two others - the Asavean Archipelago and the Principalities of Jarm are slaving nations, targeted by sanctions by the Pact members. The last nation, the Sarcophan Delves, neither uses slaves nor upholds the Liberty Pact, cherishing the freedom to trade where it wills. There are also countless smaller human nations, three of whom are close enough to the Empire to have an impact on its politics - Faraden, Axos, and the Iron Confederacy.
For those who look beyond their borders, to the Bigger Picture, the world is a great sea of alliances, rivalries, and hidden threats - one the Empire must navigate carefully if it is not to founder on the treacherous reefs that lie just below the surface. You can learn about recent developments on the international stage here.
Touch the Night
- Naga, Magicians, especially adepts of the lore of night; forest and herb garden owners; Imperial conclave
At the Spring Equinox a coven of night magicians used the regio at Anvil to perform the potent ritual Wondrous Forests of the Night. One of the most powerful enchantments in Imperial lore settled over the entire Empire as magical energies drawn from the Night Realm flooded out of every regio. The effects of performing such a momentous ritual are wide and far-reaching - they are also not entirely predictable.
The immediate effects - that forests swell with a harvest of magical materials - are well known but each time a spell of this potency is performed the outcome is different. This time, there are ripples that seem to rearrange the effects and even magnitude of certain rituals of the lore of Night. The eternals of the Realm are stirred to action, often in startling ways. The nature of magic itself tingles and shifts subtly under the influence of the Wondrous Forests.
And everywhere, there is a touch of magic. In the heart of the artist, bringing inspiration. In the eyes of the philosopher, bringing wonder. On the brow of the sleeping child, bringing the light dusting of scales that bespeaks the twist of enchantment in their blood.
You can learn about the effects of the ritual here.
- Priests of every nation; Grey Pilgrims; General assembly; Marcher and Dawnish national assemblies
The grey pilgrims traverse the trods as they seek to weaken the vallorn. They are guided by the statements passed by the Highborn Assembly and act with the support of the Assembly of the Nine. While they walk, they speak with those they meet - to question them about their faith.
The goal of their inquiry is to encourage the faithful to consider their beliefs, to think about their faith and to ask themselves if any part of what they are doing is contradicted by doctrine. Such conversations are often challenging. Many find it difficult to answer the questions the pilgrims provoke. Priests across the Empire have noticed absences from their congregations as citizens sought answers elsewhere.
With the Synod about to convene at Anvil for the Summer Solstice, the chance has arrived to provide answers to the questions raised by the grey pilgrims - presuming such answers exist of course.
You can read about potential answers to the grey pilgrims' questions here.
Weight of the World
- Varushka; Military Council; Imperial Senate; Ser Ancél Watcher
The Empire has conquered the territory of Ossium and assigned it to the nation of Varushka. During the Spring Equinox the Imperial Synod passed a number of important statements and mandates, including judgements intended to welcome the people of Ossium to Varushka, to encourage the residents of the newest Imperial territory to embrace the Way, and a call to arms to deal with the most immediate threat to new settlers - the miasma left behind by the Druj.
The work of making Ossium part of the Empire is hindered in part by the presence of the Druj miasma that still lingers, threatening to suffocate the life from the people of the land. Fortunately thanks to the virtuous work of Ser Ancél Watcher, the Empire has managed to find the first two of the pillars that anchor the miasma. From experience there is likely to be one in each region in the territory, so this is only the beginning - but it is an important step forward none-the-less.
Yet even without the miasma pillars there are still problems that need to be addressed; the territory is currently defended only by the Thule and few of the people living in Ossium have any reason to trust them. Then there is the increasingly pressing question of what is to be done with the many, many orcs that live there - not all of them are as tractable as the Sand Fishers. The details of the situation can be found here.
- The Senate and the Synod both voted to deal with the structures created by Almodin Oktístis
- Further details of this opportunity can be found here
- We will update the details of the commissions after the Summer Solstice event
- Any player is welcome to roleplay that they were part of the mobs that descended on Almodin's works
During the Spring Equinox, the Senate voted to alter the works of Almodin Oktístis, paying a considerable amount of money to remove the idolatrous decorations from half a dozen commissions. At the same time, the General Assembly empowers Rafael Barossa di Tassato to enact a mandate that inspired architects, masons, and builders to force their way into the buildings designed by the Asavean priest, carefully and meticulously remove the images of the false gods, and then repurposed in such a way as to provide a lasting symbol of opposition for the Asaveans and their faith.
There was some confusion intermediately following the Spring Equinox as the League bishop's mandate riled up many of the very same people the Senate intended to employ to remodel the statues. In the month following the summit, mobs descended on the Pallas Docks, the Spiral Sword runeforge, Lorenzo's legacies of Loyalty, Ambition, and Vigilance, and the Lorenzo's Great Game casino. They removed every piece of statuary, every mosaic, every carving of an Asavean god or spirit, and transformed them into something useful - they ground them underfoot to make roadways in the fashion set by the Varushkans at Aleksandra's Watch; they turned them into decorative rockeries; and in one case built a stone privy out of the remains. More importantly, they made very sure that Asavean visitors were aware of what was happening.
This, needless to say, ruined the commissions. Or rather, made them inoperable until after the Senate-employed stonemasons, architects, and builders had repaired the damage done. By the start of the Summer Solstice, the various structures have been stripped of their idolatrous decoration, and remodeled by the Empire. Their normal functions are restored, but every trace of their former blasphemies are gone.
Needless to say, the Asaveans are less than amused. For that matter, the Imperial magistrates are not precisely jumping for joy - they appear to be treating the mob-action as criminal damage, and will be investigating with an eye to prosecuting those responsible for inciting the vandalism.
"Aye, and I'm not going to tell you again, they're not real Feni if they don't take pigs!" Francis was certain his loving spouse had just seen some children playing, or maybe some of them kohan from the army, they painted their faces.
"I know what I saw love. Please do-" Mack was interrupted by their Dee entering."It's the Caves, the bastards hit the Caves."
- Abbott Thomas Arch of the Marches will only receive 7 wains of mithril this season
- The Feni quickly dispersed after the attack and the Singing Caves will be back to full production next season
During the Spring Equinox, two groups of Feni attacked the Marches. A small copse near to the Old Pig is reported to be brimming with the savage warriors - nearly a gross of painted killers. From the copse they split, half moving northeast, half travelling southwest. The half plaguing the Silver Chase are dealt with in quick fashion by a band of Marcher heroes travelling from Anvil via the Sentinel Gate. The remainder - those heading southwest - make it to their destination unimpeded. Moving quickly through Ore Hills, these Feni seem different, entirely focused on the task at hand. They do not stray from their direct path; this is not a raid for supplies this is a raid for vengeance.
They come upon the Singing Caves at dusk. With shouts of vengeance and hate they attack the guards - who are certainly sufficient to protect the mine from any attempts by bandits but quickly fall before this strange force of uncharacteristically violent Feni. Many of the miners are slaughtered as they attempt to flee; those who manage to escape tell bizarre tales that even death was not enough to slow these Feni down. Those struck down by the guards and the tragically brave miners rose back up twice as bloodthirsty as before. Some of the survivors describe them as being more like mad dogs than humans - even savage humans - howling and snarling, and biting at their fallen foes.
The attack on the Singing Caves greatly interfered with the mining of the mithril. The aldermen of the nearby market town of Sarcombe are able to fund an interim foreman who organises a temporary group of miners once it is clear that the Feni have fled. The custodian of the Singing Caves, Abbot Thomas Arch of the Mourn, will receive some mithril, but only a fraction of what they would normally have expected to receive.
A little more worryingly, none of the mithril that had already been mined is accounted for. It's not entirely clear but perhaps as many as fourteen wains are missing,. Presumably stolen by the Feni, but transporting that much mithril away from the Singing Caves would be no minor undertaking.
The Damage Done
- Frederick di Sarvos attended his inquisition during the Spring Equinox.
- He will not work on any project until the outcome of the inquisition is revealed.
During the Autumn Equinox, Frederick di Sarvos offered an opportunity to the Cardinal of Ambition, Viviane de Coeurdefer of Dawn. The talented architect offered to design something impressive under the guidance of the Cardinal and present his proposals at the Winter Solstice. He duly presented proposals for four ambitious centres of learning. Also during the Winter Solstice, Ranae de Rondell raised a call to Inquisition, passed by the Ambition assembly, requiring that Frederick attend the Spring Equinox to answer questions about the virtue of his actions.
The Inquisition duly took place. Before and during, Frederick made it absolutely clear that he will not work on any project for the Empire until after the resolution of that judgement has taken place - and only if he is absolutely and unequivocally vindicated by the Ambition assembly. If such a vindication is not forthcoming at the Summer Solstice, not only will he remove his offer to create a unique place of learning, but he will in fact quit the Empire for the Commonwealth - "a nation who know how to treat people of great Ambition without questioning their virtue".
Even if he is vindicated, he reminds the Senate that he had agreed to wait on their deliberations only until the start of the Winter Solstice 384YE; if work has not begun on one of his projects by then he will move on. He might have been minded to extend that deadline had the Senate requested but given his dissatisfaction with the Ambition assembly he is no longer intending to do so. Furthermore, it is very unlikely now that he will offer the Synod another "Statement of Endeavour" unless he receives some sort of apology from the Ambition assembly.
Following our new rules about mandates, the majority have already begun to have their effect.
One ritual was entered into Imperial lore following the Spring Equinox.
- Tithe of Bats raised by Brat Umbral Path
The ritual is now available to be mastered by Imperial magicians.
Insert other media here.