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The sun sets on a year of turmoil; the stage is set for the year to come.

Overview

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 in the Winds of War.

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.

Winds of Fortune

The Bird and the Child (Plenipotentiary)

  • Archmages and the Imperial Conclave; specifically invited guests including Imperial Orcs, people of Urizen and Wintermark; folk with iridescent gloaming or ambergelt who are in the market for a new scarf

A plenipotentiary is a message from one of the Imperial archmages to an eternal of their realm. The eternals are bound to respond; sometimes with a formal parley, sometimes with something more esoteric. During the Winter Solstice each of the six archmages sent a plenipotentiary message, and now six replies have been received. Now the Empire can discover how the Mistress of Blizzards, the Celestial Library, the Sovereign Lord of the City of Bridges, the Ancient One, the Conscience-of-Kings, and the Green Mother has responded. They can also learn of some... irregularities. There has been an additional request for a parley from an eternal not contacted by an archmage, and one of those who was offered parley apparently wants to bring a guest of their own...

The details of this season's plenipotentiaries can be found in The bird and the child.

The Queen's Door

  • Imperial Conclave; Imperial Summit; Summer Archmage

Eleonaris is not in a good mood, and has clearly expressed her frustrations with the Empire leading to a demand that Imperial magicians stop using her Knights of Glory. During the Autumn Equinox last year, the Imperial Conclave asked the Civil Service to look into the idea of "embassies" to the eternals - apparently as a result of conversations with representatives of the Lion of Summer. Their deliberations have taken quite some time, but they are finally ready to reveal what they have managed to uncover. The first fruit of their investigation has been the discovery of the concept of a fane - a new type of somewhat risky commission the Imperial Senate can use to allow an eternal unfettered access to the Empire. They've also been able to put together some possible locations such a fane might be built to mollify the outraged Lady of Pennants - as well as propose some other commissions that might help to soothe her troubled breast.

You can learn about the fane and the civil service proposals in The Queen's door.

To See What You Sell

  • Imperial Synod, especially the Prosperity assembly; the Imperial Senate; people of Urizen, the League, and the Brass Coast; fans of the Sand Fisher orcs; Xalvadora i Riqueza, Serge i Fijadoz i Riqueza, and Bakar i Riqueza

They may not always be popular, but few can deny that the Prosperity assembly of the Imperial Synod has been especially active in the Empire of late. Sometimes credited with single-handedly putting an end to the Bourse auctions, they've both encouraged citizens to take charge of their own wealth and to share it with those who are deserving. There are three specific topics that have been of particular interest to the prosperous: the new power of the Cardinal to encourage the people of a territory to find ways to improve their prosperity; the question raised by the Sand Fisher orcs as to how they might aid the Empire; the nature of both the exemplar Zemress and the future of a certain Freeborn festival; and the discovery of an old tomb consecrated in the name of a lost exemplar. While they are disparate topics, they all revolve around the fundamental question of what it actually means to be prosperous.

You can learn more about these three topics - one of which includes a quite surprising suggestion for how the people of Redoubt might increase their Prosperity - in To see what you sell.

A Place on a Map (Appraisal)

  • Imperial Senate; People of Urizen; potentially Imperial Master of Works

Last summit the Imperial Senate instructed the civil service to appraise the possibilities of building fortifications in Urizen on behalf of the Architects of Stone at Delving in Redoubt. A report has been prepared, and opportunities explored for all four Urizen territories - including Zenith and Spiral. Having been prepared by Mladen Escovitch, the proposals are at least in theory practical and efficient - although those proposed in Zenith are significantly more theoretical than those related to the territories that Imperial civil servants can access without being murdered by the Druj...

You can read about the details of the appraisal in A place on a map.

Making Your Mind Up

  • Imperial Synod; Imperial Senate; Imperial Orcs

During the Winter Solstice, the Varushkan storyteller Goran Sokolov Zaytsev raised a statement of principle pointing out that it is ridiculous that an orc can be recognised as an exemplar but cannot be part of the Virtue assembly that did so! The General Assembly agreed, and now the Constitutional Court has been asked to look at this peculiar paradox. They have cautiously made some recommendations about the constitutionality of changing how membership of the virtue assemblies is determined. Now the ball is back in the court of the Imperial Synod - and the Imperial Senate - because what is definitely not constitutional is any change that only affects orc citizens.

You can read about the findings of the Constitutional Court in Making your mind up.

Struggle with the Sea

  • Brass Coast; Fleet and military unit captains; Assembly of the Nine; Ambassador to the Commonwealth; Hand of Guerra; the Imperial Conclave

The Brass Coast National Assembly has urged every Freeborn who can to leave the territory, and while many have done so, many more remain trapped under Grendel rule. One of the stipulations of the recent Grendel Peace Treaty was that Imperial citizens in Morajasse and Afarjasse have six months to leave Feroz. Those six months are now up and the borders have been closed. Nobody else is getting out of Feroz. Not without help...

You can read about the opportunity to evacuate Imperial citizens from Grendel occupied territory of Feroz in Struggle with the sea.

Pebbles Drawn from a Heap

  • Urizen; General of the Citadel Guard; Imperial Senate and Conclave; Imperial Fleetmaster; people with weirwood or white granite for sale

Across the Bay of Catazar from Feroz, the territory of Spiral is also in the hands of the Grendel. Here, however, the Urizen are choosing to cooperate - albeit cautiously - with the orcs and their Salt Lord. At the urging of the National Assembly, supported by the Loyalty Assembly, the citizens of Spiral and the occupation force are carefully sounding out opportunities for both sides to prosper. Once piece of very good news is that the Salt Lord has been as good as her word, and the support of the people of Spiral has halted the decline of the Citadel Gaurd - at least for the time being. Not everything is going as smoothly as it might. During the Winter Solstice a group of Grendel traders were assaulted and robbed on the field at Anvil, and while the crime was dealt with at the time there is still a little bad feeling that might need to be addressed before the orcs of the Broken Shore are prepared to trust their trade to the fractious Imperials.

You can read about the opportunities in Spiral, and the situation with the Grendel assault, in Pebbles drawn from a heap.

Dressed in Smoke and Fire

  • The League, especially citizens of Sarvos; Mayor of Caricomare

Sarvos has become the City of Masks. The doom that threatened the city is gone, and the Hag Queen has lost. She destroyed the mirrors, hoping to mar the city's beauty, but all she has done is encourage the citizens to remake their home as a place of elegance and refinement. As the Jewelled City,Sarvos was a popular destination for visitors from foreign lands. Now, as the City of Masks, it is quickly becoming known as the the most elegant and sophisticated city in the known world.

You can learn about the changes that have taken place as Sarvos settles into its new identity in Dressed in smoke and fire.

By Fountains, By Fishes

  • The Marches; Navarr and Wintermark; Military unit captains; Imperial Synod; Imperial heroes; Grandmaster of the Shuttered Lantern, Mediator of Hyljehal, Imperial Spymaster

The Jotun have launched any number of raids against their Imperial neighbours, and now it is time for the folk of the Marches to lace up the boot on the other foot and start kicking. With the aid of Navarr and Wintermark scouts, a series of targets have been identified in the territory of Skallahn, in Kalsea. The little boats are ready; weapons are being sharpened; lunches are being packed. All that remains is to decide exactly what the point of the raid is going to be - will the main targets be military, economic, or spiritual? And then... time to see how the Jotun like having their lands invaded by enemy champions!

You can learn more about the Skallahn raid, and various related complications, in By fountains, by fishes.

Set a Twisted Thing Straight

  • Highguard, Dawn, Urizen, and Varushka; Grandmaster of the Rod and Shield and Archmage of Winter

Three Highborn armies, united in Virtue and purpose, have returned to Zenith to drive the invaders out. Heedless of the dangers, the generals have ordered their armies to demonstrate the righteous virtue of the Empire and attack with unwavering Courage. Their inspiring presence has bolstered the spirits of their entire nation, and given additional purpose to the Urizen alongside whom they fight. At the same time, alone of all the nations the Highborn National Assembly accepted the gauntlet thrown down by the Dawnish, announcing a "grand cathleon" to conquer the Barrens; the priests of those two nations have a chance to respond to that decision. Finally, there is a more unfortunate matter; the presence of some two thousand hungry Winter spirits in Zenith that fought alongside the Citadel Guard and the Iron Helms. Spirits that now freed, and appear to have no plans for leaving Zenith and its banquet of slaughter.

You can find out all about Zenith and the Barrens, and about opportunities and challenges facing Highguard, Dawn, Urizen, and Varushka, in Set a twisted thing straight.

Hard and Suspecting

  • Imperial Synod, especially the Wisdom, Loyalty, Courage, Urizen, and Varushkan assemblies

For nearly a year now, the Imperial Synod has been facing a rebellion against its authority. What began with the sword scholars quickly spread through the Wisdom assembly. With numerous mandates failing as a consequence, the General Assembly's ability to act looked like it might be heavily curtailed. In response thundering proclamations were issued denouncing first the swords scholars, their founder, and then the Wisdom Assembly itself. Nobody seemed inclined to back down and the stage was set for a showdown at the Winter Solstice. A showdown that has now taken place, and left unpredictable echoes in its wake...

You can learn about those echoes, and what they mean for various assemblies, in Hard and suspecting.

Equivocate the Past

  • Highguard and their national assembly; people interested in true liao; people with an interest in a particular paragon or exemplar; Loyalty Assembly; Giuseppe Sanguineo von Temeschwar, Veikko Bondforger, and possibly Anastasiya Volkov

Work on the Lepidean University in Bastion has finally been completed. The first Lepidean Librarian is due to be appointed by the Highborn National Assembly during the coming summit. There will also be a dose of true liao available to the General Assembly of the Synod to assign for the first time since the reign of Empress Teleri, which has caused a buzz of excitement. Furthermore, the renewal of the Lepidean Library has prompted an increase in interest in the lives of paragons and exemplars, especially those more obscure or about whom there is little Imperial consensus. Talk of a particular exemplar (?) of Loyalty has lead to discussion of the meaning of the virtue and all of that has lead indirectly to a kidnapping, a ransom demand, and a death threat. Who knew theologic scholarship could be so exciting!

You can learn about the meandering thread that connects the Lepidean Library to a death threat against the Cardinal of Loyalty in Equivocate the past.

Fixing What is Broken

  • Threshers; the Marches; the Imperial Conclave; the Vigilance Assembly

Three years ago the Mournwold was devastated by curses, cast by Imperial magicians. Ever since then the people of the Mourn, and many of their neighbours in other parts of the Empire, have been adamant that such things are unacceptable. The Conclave agreed at the time, but there is constant worry that they will "lose their nerve", relent, and allow Imperial citizens to be killed by the magic of other Imperial citizens. At the Winter Solstice, the Marcher Assembly upheld two statements of principle relating to the threshers - the hunters of wicked magicians and sorcerers. Not everyone is impressed, however. Now there are two opportunities; one for the Marcher assembly to "put its money on the table" with regard to Imperial Law, and one for the Assembly of Vigilance to take a much rougher stance.

You can learn about the situation with the threshers in Fixing What is Broken.

Tired of Sleeping

  • Imperial Orcs; Varushkans; people who went to Axos to liberate orcs

When the Citadels of Axos became signatories of the Liberty Pact, they freed all their slaves. Most of the slaves were swallowed up by the seething melting pot of the lowest classes and that might have been that... if not for the fact that a significant number of the Axou slaves were orcs. Fearing that they might foment rebellion, or seek revenge, the rulers of Axos imposed draconian laws on them. While still technically recognise as citizens, they were treated as an unwanted underclass. During the Winter Solstice, the General Assembly endorsed a mandate urging Imperial fleet captains to go to Axos and offer the orcs a new life in the Empire - whether the Axou liked it or not.

You can learn about how that mission of mercy turned out in Tired of sleeping.

Watches from the Wall

  • Citizens of Holberg; General of the Towerjacks; Wisdom Assembly; Imperial Senate

Holberg is one of the four great cities of the League, and thus the Empire, and perhaps even the world.. Renowned for the ingenuity and education of its people, the first Imperial university was built here, serving as a template for all the great places of learning cross the Empire. It is recognised across the known world for its scholars, engineers, and doctors. Yet with the recent disappearance of one of its great scions, and the maledictions hurled against the city by the Hag Queen, some residents have again begun to wonder if the rumour their great city is cursed may have some basis. So perhaps now is the ideal time for Severin Teyhard von Holberg, a close associate of the Imperatrix, to come to Holberg with true liao in his pocket and remind everyone of the things that make Holberg a city of wonders.

You can learn about the consecration of the Holmauer Gate, and the powerful spiritual events that accompany it, in Watches from the Wall.

Blood Makes Noise

  • Varushka, Dawn, and the Imperial Orcs; Imperial Senate; military unit captains; Imperial Spymaster

A sea of sell swords, wagon raiders, wardens, Dawnish knights (both errant and questing), Navarr scouts, and Imperial Orc preachers flow into Ossium. They are supported by two entire Imperial armies, both offering enthusiastic support to the task of helping carve out new vales across the territory. Ossium is now indelibly Varushkan, with settlements stretching across the territory (except into the Bonewood and the Webwood, both ceded to the allied Thule orcs by the Senate). There is still work to be done - but securing the territory has provided more opportunities to get that work done. Provided the Varushkans can deal with the canker lurking in the nearby territory of Karsk...

You can learn all about the extensive opportunities in Ossium in Blood makes noise.

One Side Stone, One Side Fire

  • Master of the Koboldi; Delver of the Depths; the League, Navarr, the Marches, Wintermark; Dawn

The koboldi of Adamant have warned the Empire that there is trouble brewing in Lorenzo's Deep Pockets. The great sinkhole opened up in the north-western Empire a couple of years ago, and swallowed parts of Hahnmark, Upwold, Temeschwar, and Miaren. Luckily, the disaster was foreseen by the seers at the Pool of Silver Clouds and loss of life was minimal. Now, though, it looks as if the sinkhole was just biding its time. A great boiling mess of trogoni are apparently swarming in its depths, and could come pouring out to devastate the surrounding territories at any moment. At least according to the koboldi. But never fear! The first thing the new Master of the Koboldi did was commission the creation of a Red Iron Door that can seal the trogoni tunnels away and make the sinkhole safe! The only problem is that the door is quite large and it is going to take quite a bit of effort to get it into position...

You can learn about the Expedition to the Depths needed to install the Red Iron Door in One side stone, one side fire.

Some Kind of Fight

  • Navarr; General of the Towerjacks; Advisor on the Vallorn; Imperial heroes, militia, and people who don't like Yaw'nagrah

The Imperial Senate have instructed the magistrates to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of the Yaw'nagah cultists that have plagued the Empire. The pursuit is not without price, production at mana sites all over the Empire has been disrupted by the activities of the militia - disruption that is due to continue for at least another season. The investigation has been as effective as it has been disruptive however; dozens of low-level idolators have been caught by the militia and dealt with by the magistrates. Crucially the constant pursuit is preventing Yaw'nagrah from being able to re-establish a presence anywhere, making it harder for them to cause further problems. To settle the matter though, the Empire needs to find the leaders of the cults and deal with them. In the meantime, a large force of Navarr have volunteered to go to Liathaven, to see if there is any truth to the theory that the Heirs of Terunael are based here.

You can read about the Empire's continuing struggle with the Heirs of Terunael and the servants of the Green Mother in Some kind of fight.

On the Outside Looking Inside (Trade Winds)

  • Ambassadors; fleet captains; Imperial Senate, Imperial Conclave, Imperial Military Council; Imperial Consul and Imperial Fleet Master; Voice of Liberty and Lady of the Proffered Hand; Cardinals; Quaymaster of the Black Sails; Militia (especially Freeborn); people who read the international pages in the newspapers

The trade winds. A roundup of foreign relations, international trade, and opportunities to do with other nations both nearby and distant. A grab bag might include arranging rituals from the Commonwealth; kidnapped magistrates; smugglers; and the hilariously disastrous journey of the one Sumaah Cardinal.

You can read all about international affairs in On the outside looking inside.

Some Kind of Trouble (Conjunctions)

  • Imperial heroes, among a number of other people

The Sentinel Gate allows Imperial heroes to travel all over the Empire - and occasionally beyond - during the Solstices and Equnoxes. They can travel instantly to distant locations, and then return just as instantly, having intervened in a fateful situation. A number of those opportunities have already been described, but here you can find the details of when exactly those conjunctions will be available, and how many people can take advantage of them.

You can find out about the conjunctions of the Sentinel Gate this summit in Some kind of trouble.

Night is the Cathedral

  • People who like Zemress; Cat's Curiosities auction house; psychonauts; Basilisk of the Bourse and Prosperity dedicates

Grendel claiming to have relics of the exemplar Zemress; emissaries of the City of Gold and lead with lots for Cat's Curiosities to auction on their behalf; apothecaries from Faraden and Axos with unique narcotics to offer to the jaded appetites of the great and the good of the Empire; and of all things a Navarr who wants to discuss what exactly the economy is with the Basilisk of the Bourse. These are just some of the people coming to Anvil this Spring Equinox, looking for opportunities to improve their wealth.

You can find out about these people, their stories, and when they are arriving in Night is the Cathedral.

With a Flower, With a Flame (Winds of Magic)

  • Imperial magicians, among a great many other people

Sometimes magic is subtle, like a gently enchantment or an insidious curse, like a strain of music half-heard, like a flower. Other times it is anything but, ostentatious like a crack of thunder, a bolt of lightning, a falling star, or a flame. Here we find details of magic events, and the machinations of the eternals.

You can read about the winds of magic in With a flower, with a flame.

Other Events

There are a number of other events and situations which are noteworthy, but which for whatever reason have not led to a full Wind of Fortune in their own right.

Boons of the Summer Children

Just as in Winter, the so-called "Summer Children" have an ongoing opportunity to claim boons from certain interested eternals for themselves. Some young citizens have already claimed these boons; those who have yet to do so may choose to do so during the Spring Equinox. The procedure for doing so, and the boons available, are outlined in the A horn resounding wind of fortune from the Winter Solstice.

Freeborn fleet holders are not tied to one track, but flit between them as rapidly as the wind. In the context of the current truce with the Grendel and the dissolution of the Broken Shore Bounty, we believe that the tally of the votes should control fleets regardless of action.

Franco i Erigo, Winter Solstice 383YE, Upheld (Primacy (178-0))

Sails of Fire

  • The Tally of the Votes for the Brass Coast will change to all fleets rather than only fleets that have engaged in privateering

During the Winter Solstice, Franco i Erigo raised a statement of principle in the Brass Coast National Assembly that was upheld not only with a Greater Majority but with Primacy. In it they pointed out that for many Freeborn ship captains, there was very little difference between the role of trader, explorer, and privateer. The Assembly believed that the Tally of the Votes should be open to all those who captain a fleet, rather than only those who engage in privateering. It seems they are not alone in this belief. As news of the statement spreads among the priests of the Brass Coast, there is a great deal of approval and support. A number of prominent dhomiro and hakima speak with the egregores and shortly before the Spring Equinox a petition is placed before the Civil Service to make a permanent change to the way the Tally is counted up.

As a consequence, any Freeborn title appointed by the Tally of the Votes will now be appointed by vote of fleet owners regardless of what actions they have made. There will be no change to incumbents, but next time a title is appointed the new method of determining who can vote will be used. Currently this only effects the Dhomiro of the Cinnabar Hills, the Mistress of the Glass Parador, and the Mistress of the Dust Parador, but would certainly be relevant to any future Imperial title that was a Freeborn national position appointed through the Bourse.

WingedMessenger.png
Lord Rahab, the governor of Feroz, has established a palace for himself in Oran. While he has not specifically solicited communications from Imperial citizens, a Winged Messenger can be sent to him in Oran, Oranseri, Feroz.

Wealth from the Sea

  • Feroz and Spiral remain in Grendel hands

While there are significant implications for the territory if the Empire is successful at evacuating the population of Feroz, for the time being Governor Rahab appears content to deal with Imperial merchants and traders. A number of opportunities were detailed during the Winter Solstice, some of which have been taken advantage of. and some of which are still on the table. For example, the formerly Imperial port of Oran, now completely under Grendel control, remains open to fleets from the Empire. The port has proved a moderately popular destination - especially with fleets from Wintermark for some reason.

On the other side of the bay, in the Urizen town of Cargo, work has just been completed on the Broken Shore Mithril Market. At the last summit, Octavius of Damakan's Forge used an Imperial Wayleave to commission the construction,and the Grendel who proposed the market - Wind Speaker Gwindhon - has provided all the required materials. The first Broker of the Broken Shores is due to be appointed during the upcoming Equinox. Octavius specified that the market would be built in Redoubt, and that it would be an Urizen national title appointed through the Imperial Bourse. As such, the broker will be elected by the Tally of the Votes in accordance with Urizen's traditional method - vote of all those in Urizen who own a mana site. The huge double treadwheel crane specified as part of the plans by the Grendel is now ready to lift supplies of mithril and weirwood from the top of Cargo to the river below.

There is still no embassy for the Broken Shore; the plans the Grendel provided are still available, at least until the situation significantly changes. The orcs of the Bay are still keen, apparently, to see a grand edifice built to house their diplomats when they are dealing with the civil service.

During the Winter Solstice, the Legion Engineer Ka'bal of the Imperial Orcs instructed that work begin on a specialised spy network in Feroz, built with the aid of the corsair families of Shantarim. This provides the perfect opportunity to evacuate Imperial citizens from under the noses of the Grendel. With the assistance of corsair families in the territory, messages can be passed in relative secrecy and arrangements made to pick up fleeing Imperials with the Grendel none the wiser.

Finally, the Grendel are still repatriating Imperial slaves, one a day, in small groups, as described in the Winter Solstice Wind of Fortune.

Mandates

A number of mandates were upheld at the Winter Solstice and enacted in the months that followed. You can find a complete list here.

Some mandates were upheld by their respective assemblies but without the support of the pilgrimage of revelation might otherwise have failed due to the intervention of the Wisdom assembly and the sword scholars. They include (TBC).

Imperial Lore

Three new rituals were added to Imperial lore by the Conclave during the Winter Solstice.

Urizen Lore

A large number of new rituals became part of Urizen lore during the Autumn Equinox: during the Winter Solstice thanks to a number of spires. They include:

Other Media

TBC