Heorl Thunderspeaker listened as the witness, Harla, recounted a bone-chilling testimony of his brutal attempted execution at the hands of Theoderic Irontongue and his Waste Walkers. It was a gruesome tale, they had captured the fellow in a daring night-time raid on Iron Ram Hall. They'd dragged him off and in a grim parody of Imperial justice, passed sentence on him and ordered his execution. All while capering heralds of Agramant egged them on, heaping mockery on the victim's head.

After the "trial" had been finished, they'd taken Harla out on to the ice. They'd stripped his outer garments, chained him to four black iron rings set into the permafrost and then slit the veins in his wrists and legs. The incisions were small, but certainly fatal. Irontongue had told him that the Howler would claim his soul, and his fate would be decided by whether he froze or bled to death.

They'd left him there, but he hadn't died. He'd been rescued by a hunter, an ice-walker called Laarta Snow Feet. She'd discovered him there on the ice - and though she'd taken him for an enemy, she'd taken pity on him. She'd bound his wounds, broke the chains that held him and given him the cloak on her back. Incredibly, against all the odds, the orc had survived, and Laarta had been able to bring him back to the Hall where his wounds could be stitched properly. They'd done what they could but the Jotun was maimed for life. He'd never fight again - bitterness consumed him, but he was desperate to live despite it.

After Harla was led away, Heorl gestured to the militia that he'd heard enough for now. A full morning of listening to the Theoderic's crimes was leaving even the dour old magistrate feeling frustrated - there'd be no reckoning until they caught up with Theoderic Irontongue.

Cold Cannot Compromise.jpg
Whispering through the cracks in the world, Blood-on-the-Snow has brought some of the people of Sermersuaq to his way of thinking, and now Wintermark must deal with the consequences.


Last season the Empire was forced to contend with the difficult truth that many Winterfolk had accepted aid, the power to defend their homes, and offers of strength from the Hunter in the Wastes. The Wastewalker suffers the enmity of the Conclave - that protects citizens of the Empire from his entreaties, but the Conclave's power does not extend to those lands that the Empire does not control. The Jotun simply do not have the means to completely bar the Howler from the lands they control, allowing the Voice of Pines to whisper his promises through the countless cracks in their primitive wards. Those who remained in Sermersuaq had to endure the offers he whispered on the winds, the lures he dangled to catch the desperate.

Having reclaimed the territory, the Empire has acted decisively to counter the threat presented by the cults of the Whisperer. The orders of the Rod and Shield and the Shuttered Lantern both raised declarations of concord to call magicians of the latter to investigate and recover the boons offered by the the Harvester of Graves. The National Assembly of Wintermark enacted a mandate to try to uncover who accepted Blood-on-the-Snow's offers of aid. And the Assembly of Nine called on the Silent Bell to investigate the territory for evidence of wrongdoing in an attempt to find the Howler's allies in the vast wasteland.

The Council of Nine directs the Silent Bell to investigate the spread of Blood-on-the-Snow cults in Sermersuaq.

Gaelen Embercast, Assembly of Nine, Winter Solstice 384YE, Upheld (Greater Majority 7-0)

For Whom The Bell Tolls

  • The Silent Bell have worked closely with magistrates and the other forces to identify the ringleaders in Agramant's cults in Sermersuaq
  • Most have been arrested and executed, but three of the worst have escaped justice... for now
  • They have fled from Sermersuaq along with their most dedicated followers
  • The current Cardinal of Vigilance is Gaelen Embercast of Navarr

Members of the Silent Bell were directed to investigate the followers of He who calls the Lost to Feast in Sermersuaq by the Assembly of Nine. Normally the Silent Bell would operate in secrecy, but with so many other forces engaged in the hunt for Agramant in Sermersuaq that was impossible. Instead they have focussed their efforts on identifying the key ringleaders involved, allowing local magistrates and the priests of the Wintermark Assembly to deal with the remainder. Several of Agramant's trusted agents were caught and handed over to the magistrates for trial and execution, but unfortunately three of the most heinous have managed to flee from Imperial justice.

The three who have escaped are Kaarina White-Eye, Maarik the Golden Tongue, and Wemba the Bloody. The Silent Bell and the magistrates have provided descriptions of the three, along with a summary of their crimes. All three remain at large for now. It's entirely possible Wintermark will never hear from these three again... on the other hand... fate is rarely that kind.

Kaarina White-Eye

Before the Jotun invasion, Kaarina White-Eye was a skilful icewalker who served her thane well and hunted the icefields between Tanikipari and Stark. She was away with a hunting party when the Jotun took her hall, when she returned she discovered that her thane was dead and her husband had taken the Choice and the Jotun had taken her three children away to the west to train them as Yegarra. Overcome with rage, she unleashed the power of Agramant on the Jotun and Wintermark alike, a terrible wasting curse that turned their blood to ice. Agramant's curse killed her husband and claimed the lives of a dozen Jotun and twice their number of Winterfolk who remained in the hall.

Kaarina has apparently sworn an oath not to rest until the Jotun have been forced to give back everything they took from Sermersuaq. She has made no secret of her alliance with Agramant, and has eagerly done the eternal's bidding. Any Jotun who fell into her hands were buried bound hand and foot in hard-packed snow, a bloody symbol of Agramant carved into their foreheads. Some were killed by the cold... some were not.

Kaarina counts a number of magicians among her supporters, mostly ice-walkers but a few mystics and runesmiths. Her expert knowledge of the icefields of Sermersuaq made her almost impossible to catch. She is believed to have fled West, towards the Jotun border, but it is unlikely she has gone far.

Maarik the Golden Tongue

Maarik was a Prosperous Suaq mediator who lived in the north of the East Floes near the Silver Peaks. She was considered to be one of the finest mediators in the area and recent years mediating trade-deals with the Thule in the Peaks, ensuring peaceful resolutions to any disagreements had made her considerably wealthy. According to eye-witness accounts, Maarik and her fellow Suaq and Steinr held the attackers off as long as possible, but somebody fired the hall and it and several other buildings were destroyed. Seeing her life's work destroyed seems to have broken her - she took the Jotun Choice and spent time serving the orcs as a thrall, before Agramant found her.

It is believed that she made three bargains with Agramant. The first is that the North Wind will come when she calls it, for as long as the Jotun have steel in their hands. In return Maarik and her followers promise to consume the blood of every Jotun they defeat. The second is that sickness and disease will follow in her footsteps, for as long as the Jotun have coin in their purses. In return Maarik and her followers promise to consume the flesh of every Jotun they kill. The final bargain is that the spirits of those who die in her service will live on, as capricious spirits inhabiting the bodies of the slain. In return Maarik and her followers promise to consume the souls of every Jotun they slay, such that none of them will ever reach the Howling Abyss.

Maarik and her followers fled north as soon as they discovered the Empire was searching for followers of Agramant. She is believed to be hiding out in the Silver Peaks, where she has several allies who will shelter her.

Wemba the Bloody

Wemba was a Steinr thane who ruled Banshail Hall near Atalaq. At the time of the invasion he was known as Wemba the Worrier, an affectionate name given him by a scop years earlier due to his habit of worrying over every last detail. He and his people fled rather than face the Choice or death, and they escaped into the frozen wastes of Northern Sermersuaq. Unfortunately, they did not fare well there, those who had fled with him became weak with hunger and one-by-one they succumbed. Those who remained were left surrounded by the bodies of those who had died, the ice and freezing conditions preventing anything from claiming the bodies.

At the point where there less than a dozen remaining, something in Wemba appears to have snapped. He succumbed to the whispers of Agramant and he and his followers consumed the flesh of those who had passed away. They gained terrible strength from these acts and in the weeks that followed they used that strength to harry and attack the Jotun, slaughtering any they could find.

Wemba and his followers have sworn to consume nothing but the flesh of the enemies they kill in battle. Allegedly, they have become one with the freezing ice, their skin whiter than snow, their teeth grown to bloody incisors and their fingers have become monstrously clawed. Agramant's blessing renders them completely immune to the cold, and they have fled into - or at least close to - Sydanjaa.


  • Any character who is associated with the Silent Bell or the investigation can have encountered a follower of one of these three
  • No character who attends Anvil has encountered the three individuals themselves at this time

Any member of the Vigilance Assembly, militia member, or other character who might have had reason to come to Sermersuaq to hunt the followers of Agramant is free to roleplay that they took part in the hunt to attempt to capture one of these three over the past season and is free to create their own stories of their escapades, within reason. You may have met one of the followers - but nobody who attends Anvil has met any of the three principles (OOC Note: we haven't cast these characters yet, so please don't ask what they look like). The followers of Kaarina are shrewd magicians seeking power at any price so that they can bring ruin on the Jotun. The followers of Maarik are mostly charming and likeable, but sickness and disaster follows in their wake wherever they go. The followers of Wemba are unbalanced fanatics who have become savage and feral. They decorate themselves with the bones of those they have killed and feasted on and are incredibly tough to kill in a fight. All of them are driven by an intense hatred of the Jotun and set no limits on the things they will do to achieve their goals. A story involving a battle with one of Wemba's followers, or a successful trick to capture one of Kaarina or Maarik's followers would be appropriate.

These characters are an active plot currently, so nobody who attends Anvil can play a follower of one of these three characters at this time.

The Fate of the Frayed

We the national assembly recognise the series of tragedies that have befallen Sermersuaq. War, destruction, meddling eternals, questions of their virtues, and the challenging of their skeins. In loyalty to our fellows we call upon the scops, mystics, and stormcrows of the Mark to help them reweave their skeins with the nation. The Suaq are one of the three people.

Maarit Suvidottir, Wintermark Assembly, Autumn 384YE, Upheld (386- 0 Greater Majority)

We urge the faithful of Wintermark to seek out the poison in our neighbours fields. We send Averil Olsen (Warsmith) with 50 doses of liao to remind everyone that cold cannot compromise. Those who have made dark bargains must be rooted out.

Maarit Suvisdottir, Wintermark Assembly, Winter Solstice 384YE, Upheld (387-0 Greater Majority)

The Loyalty assembly sends Tarquinius Ankarien with 25 liao to support the Wintermark national assembly in their efforts to oppose Blood-on-the-Snow. The effort must be Wintermark led and Loyal pilgrims should seek to support them rather than starting their own investigations. The mandate reads: We urge the faithful of Wintermark to seek out the poison in your neighbour's fields. We send our priest with 50 doses of liao to remind everyone that cold cannot compromise. Those who have made dark bargains must be rooted out.

Veikko Bondforger, Loyalty Assembly, Winter Solstice 384YE, Upheld (243-0 Greater Majority)
  • Priests and stormcrows from across Wintermark have journeyed to Sermersuaq
  • Those who have not been executed for their crimes have been given clemency
  • Blood-on-the-Snow will not be able to use Sermersuaq as an example to tempt people to follow him

During the Winter Solstice the National Assembly of Wintermark voted to enact a mandate raised by Maarit Suvisdottir, the Virtue Inquisitor of Courage, to send Averil Olsen the Warsmith to remind the Winterfolk of Sermersuaq that cold cannot compromise. The citizens of Sermersuaq have suffered much over the past three years; the Jotun invasion, the raising of the dead, the conquest of the Jotun, and the Empire's campaign to reclaim the territory have all left scars, visible or not.

The Stormcrows and Wintermark priests are ably supported in their endavours by the backing of the Assembly of Loyalty, who dispatched Tarquinius Ankarien with 25 liao to use the Eyes of Loyalty|anointing to bolster support for the approach. They identify those most inclined to support the Wintermark Assembly and bless them with a powerful aura of Loyalty that helps the recipient fully commit to the cause.

The original suggestion was that the priests would help to root out the most well-known as well as those prepared to confess their crimes to a priest. However with the help of the Loyalty Assembly and the other groups present in Sermersuaq they have been able to go much further. While the Silent Bell concentrated their efforts on hunting down the worst offenders, the priests and their supporters were able to focus their ministrations on those who showed remorse for their actions and were prepared to renounce Agramant. In this they were guided by an earlier statement issued by Maarit, that called on the scops, mystics and stormcrows of the Mark to help them reweave their skeins with the nation.

Agramant has been industrious, his heralds tempting numerous Wintermarkers who faced death by starvation or freezing in the cold wastes of Sermersuaq. Most refused, but dozens accepted the offers, some to survive, some to protect those they loved, some to get vengeance on the Jotun. The magistrates have executed the worst of them, those who refused to give up the power that Agramant gave them, even now the need has passed.

The remainder were brought to trial, those who would not confess their crimes and atone for them were executed by the magistrates. But there have been more than two score who have confessed. Sickened by their own actions, they have thrown themselves on the mercy of the Stormcrows and asked for clemency. Their deeds have been terrible, but most acted for Loyalty, to their families, to their halls and to their homes. Most of these have been saved by the Stormcrows, who pleaded their case to the magistrates. Harsh fines were levied, but in a show of support their fines were paid by the members of their halls who survived in many cases. So many have died in Sermersuaq, few are keen to see more go to the Labyrinth.

As a result of their actions, the Stormcrows have saved nearly half of those who succumbed to the whispers of the Howler. Their actions have ensured that Blood-on-the-Snow cannot claim that the Empire turned a blind eye to those who accepted his bargains - he won't be able to point to Sermersuaq to make his case the next time an opportunity like this presents itself.

By confessing their crimes and receiving clemency, they have had to acknowledge that their skeins are twisted and frayed. While they are few in number, there are countless more who took the choice in Sermersuaq. They are free now, but there are those among them who regret their decision, and likewise count themselves among the Frayed. They include many warriors among their number - as well as mystics, icewalkers, mediators and a surprising number of grimnirs. All of them are earnestly and passionately seeking redemption for their failings, having committed themselves to restoring their skein to the heroic path.

Those who are warriors - and those who serve with them - are looking for opportunities to prove themselves in battle. As Wintermark is currently raising a new army - they could make the Frayed of Sermersuaq the core of this new fighting force. It is not clear what effects that might have beyond helping these heroes atone for their sins, but it would be bound to affect the fighting character of the force if Wintermark chose to take that route. This would of course not be possible if the fourth army was raised to draw on the traditions of the Suaq, as presented last season.


  • Any member of the Wintermark Assembly or the Loyalty Assembly may roleplay that they helped save the Frayed of Sermersuaq
  • Any player creating a new character can make a Wintermark hero who is Frayed as a result of their bargains with Agramant during the Jotun conquest of Sermersuaq

Any members of the National Assembly of Wintermark or the Virtue Assembly of Loyalty are free to roleplay that they were in the territory of Sermersuaq over the past season and they are free to create stories of their experiences, within reason. The two recurring elements in these stories are either atonement or in rare cases a lack of remorse. The people you have dealt with have faced terrible ordeals, they have accepted the bargains of Agramant because all the other choices seemed worse. Your story might involve a tearful restating of oaths made, a firm embrace of the traditions of Wintermark where someone came to realise they were frayed and resolved to fix their skein - or potentially an encounter with someone who has been left so embittered that they were not prepared to renounce the aid of Blood-on-the-Snow.

Any player who is creating a new character can make a Steinr, Kallavesi or Suaq hero who begins play Frayed as a result of the bargain they made with Agramant. Your background should include the fact that you have been tried, confessed your crimes, pleaded clemency and are now striving to make amends for your mistakes so that you can untwist your skein.

I swear it's the truth (Conjunction)

  • Theodric Irontongue is delivering a sermon to the Walkers of the Wastes
  • If they are not stopped then the Walkers of the Wastes will remain a threat in Suaq Wastes
  • The Sentinel Gate will open at 20:45 on Saturday to Ardith's Rest in Suaq Wastes
  • Averil Olsen is responsible for killing Theodric Irontongue and delivering justice to the cult
  • Theodric and the Walker of the Wastes have all renounced their oath to the egregore and are no longer considered Imperial citizens

Not every group has chosen to recant. The actions of the priests and stormcrows were able to identify one group made up of people who had bought into the lies of Dream of Famine, but were unable to convince any followers of Theodric Irontongue to recant or give further information. The Walkers of the Wastes have each received a blessing from one of the heralds; indeed there are expected to be a number of heralds among their number.

Given that this cult was identified as a result of the mandate passed by the National Assembly of Wintermark it is the responsibility of the person who enacted it: Averil Olsen the Warsmith.

What Lies In The Shadow

Tyburn Weaver, Grandmaster of the Shuttered Lantern, seeks to tear the veil on activities of Voice in the Pines within Sermersuaq. I ask for the support of the Conclave

Declaration of Concord, Raised by Tyburn Weaver, Order of the Shuttered Lantern, Autumn Equinox 384YE

The Winterfolk request that Conclave agrees that the Shuttered Lantern investigate blood on the snow cultists in Sermersuaq

Declaration of Concord, Raised by Aethalstan Korping, Order of the Rod and Shield, Autumn Equinox 384YE
  • The Shuttered Lantern were able to recover a number of items gifted to cultists in Sermersuaq
  • These items will be delivered to the Grandmaster of the Shuttered Lantern
  • The current Grandmaster of the Shuttered Lantern is Tyburn of House De Rondell of Dawn

During the Winter Solstice the Conclave voted to pass two declarations pertaining to the actions of the Whisperer in Sermersuaq. The Order of the Shuttered Lantern stated their intent to tear the veil on activities in Sermersuaq, likewise the Order of the Rod and Shield raised a declaration of concord in support of Grandmaster Tyburn Weaver and their declaration. A large number of magicians ventured to the frozen north to try to uncover more about the boons offered by the Horned Manticore.

The magicians who journeyed to Sermersuaq were able to uncover a veritable smorgasbord of "boons" offered by the Howler; blessings, a mask made of human skin stitched together, and a "votive dagger". One small cabal was able to uncover a small cache of winter vis buried near Lake Sarda whilst an expedition of magisters managed to infiltrate a cult long enough to find the location of a small hoard of Decoctions of the Hungry Moon.

A number of the boons, including two ritual texts recognisable to any Urizen who might have taken time to study the Ceremonies of the Black Drop Society, will be delivered to the Grandmaster Tyburn of House De Rondell before the Friday session of Conclave.

The Bleeding Ice

  • The Shuttered Lantern have discovered a source of 4 pawns of winter vis close to the Hot Springs of Tanikipari
  • The Bleeding Ice is a massive boulder of ice from which tears of warm blood slowly drip
  • The Conclave will need to decide if the site should be destroyed or endowed to one of the Conclave orders

While investigating the Agramant cults, the magicians of the Shuttered Lantern have uncovered a strange phenomena. They have found a massive boulder of ice, in an isolated, rocky area Tanikipari, which appears to have ties to Agramant. The site is believed to be connected to Wemba the Bloody, in the sense that one of his entourage was apprehended nearby with several vials of Heart's Blood on them. The blood comes from the nearby ice boulder, named The Bleeding Ice by the magicians who discovered it.

Winter vis in the form of Heart's Blood slowly oozes from a pair of narrow openings near the top, nearly twenty feet up. The droplets slowly slide down the ice, without ever freezing, but collecting in a little stone basin that has been prepared at the base of the ice. For whatever reason, some wicked parody of life perhaps, the droplets look for all the world like tears. As a result the whole thing is more than a little disturbing to behold.

On the face of it, it seems like the best thing to do would be to destroy the ice boulder. However it's not possible to be certain that the bloody tears are definitely associated with Agramant. It seems highly likely, given the motifs involved, but there's no magic in Imperial lore that can confirm that. Even if it were true, one magician suggests that it might not be necessary to destroy the site. The viscous red tears are a little unpleasant it can't be denied, but at the end of the day they are just Heart's Blood.

What's more - if the Heart's Blood was created by Agramant, then he must have made it to provide the vis to his followers. Agramant can't reach Sermersuaq now, now that it is part of the Conclave's dominion once again - not unless the Empire removes enmity. The suggestion is then, that taking the vis is tantamount to stealing it from Agramant, since he surely didn't mean the Empire to have it? The boons and items made by Agramant are interdicted for as long as he has the enmity of the Conclave. But this is just Heart's Blood at the end of the day. Is it wrong to steal it from Agramant?

The Conclave could decide the matter using a Declaration of Endowment, granting the 4 Hearts Blood that the Bleeding Ice produces each season to an Imperial title. The Shuttered Lantern might have the best claim to it, but they can't legally take ownership without the approval of the Conclave. The Conclave could interdict the Bleeding Ice, but they could simply chose not to endow it to anyone. If that happens, the magistrates will take that as a sign that no order should be the beneficiary and will take steps to destroy the site.


  • Any member of the Shuttered Lantern is free to roleplay that some or all the regular income they receive this season has come from valuables recovered from the cultists of Agramant in Sermersuaq

Any member of the Shuttered Lantern is free to roleplay that they took part in the actions of the order over the past season in Sermersuaq and is free to create their own stories of their escapades, within reason. A recurring element in these stories are being close to a knife-edge. A story involving tense moments where you are close to being discovered as a member of the Shuttered Lantern necessitating careful actions, or a very careful and strained negotiation with someone who has accepted a "blessing" from the Cold North Wind would be appropriate.

If your character has regular income (mana, money, ingots, measures, or herbs) then you are free to roleplay that some or all of these valuables were taken from the cultists you have been battling in Sermersuaq.

I owe it all (Conjunction)

  • There is an opportunity to recover one of the boons carried by Ender of Virtue in Sermersuaq
  • The Sentinel Gate will open at 20:45 on Friday to Nestori's Lament in Stark
  • The Grandmaster of the Shuttered Lantern is responsible for recovering the relic from the Ender of Virtue

The magisters of James' Holding were able to uncover the location of one of the most prominent heralds active in the territory; Ender of Virtue. The herald, along with a small following of misguided cultists and lesser servants of the Voice of the Pines is in Stark making for the border with Kallavesa. Naomi, the magister able to get closest to the group, is certain that Ender of Virtue is carrying something twisted in the depths of the Winter realm that will unleash a blight across the many herb gardens of the Kallavesi.

Given that this represents a chance to acquire secrets and knowledge from hostile forces it is the responsibility of the Grandmaster of the Shuttered Lantern: Tyburn of House De Rondell.