"I hear there was another last night," said Aitana i Riqueza.

"Mmmm. Janon." Jorgen was distracted, carefully finishing up his report about the previous evening's encounter. "It was quite loud."

"So that would be... five now then?" The Prefects of the Conclave obviously took a keen interest in which eternals had responded to plenipotentiary messages.

"Yes. Meraud, Prospero, Tharim. And Zakalwe." Jorgen twitched slightly as he remembered the peculiar ant-like myrmidons. He did not, as a rule, have anything against insects but when they were person-sized, or person shaped, it made the skin on the back of his neck crawl.

The Freeborn civil servant checked her notes, nodding thoughtfully. "I understand Janon is expecting the Conclave to grant..."

She was cut-off mid sentence as a wide-eyed young woman ran into the Hub waving her arms and shouting. A Marcher by her dress, and likely no more than a year or two out of the Academy, she seemed extremely agitated.

"I need..." she panted, "a civil... servant! At the regio! There's a thing! A thing!"

Aitana looked at Jorgen, who looked back with a blank expression for a moment then wearily stood up. "You're a Prefect, do you want to...?"

He left the question hanging but before his colleague could reply, the young woman interrupted again.

"No, no, you... it's got to be a special civil servant!" She had caught her breath now, but her eyes were still wide. "Big horrible beast it is! But they've got it cornered at the regio! But it says it has a message! For the Archmage of Spring it says!"

Jorgen groaned inwardly. He'd been privately hoping that there wasn't going to be a Spring visitor this season. Or at least that it would be one of the quiet ones.

"What kind of beast?" asked Aitana as her colleague collected some pens and parchment, and something to lean on.

"Oh, it's horrible miss! It's all horrible legs apart from the bit that's a horrible giant! It's got so many horrible eyes and each one of them black as pitch, and horrible jaws like a... like a... like a I don't know what! It's horrible! But it says it'll only give it's message to one civil servant...." She paused dramatically. Aitana gestured for her to go on.

"It'll only give it's message to the most dangerous civil servant! And I think it's getting impatient!" The young woman crossed her arms with the smug expression of someone who knows they have just made something dreadful into someone else's problem.
Back in Town.jpg
It has been some time since the Empire had formal dealings with the Shadowed Flame.
Click for audio version


  • Six eternals responded to plenipotentiary messages from the Imperial archmages.
  • Two have offered parley; one may have offered parley; one will send emissaries; two others have made other arrangements

The Empire's six archmages are each able to contact an eternal of their realm with a plenipotentiary message. The eternals they choose to address will usually respond in some fashion - but very occasionally someone else from the realm will speak on their behalf. Their emissaries might agree to a formal parley or a private meeting, decline to meet for some reason, or suggest something entirely different. During the Summer Solstice, each archmage has dispatched a plenipotentiary and as the Autumn Equinox approaches, six eternals send messengers to deliver their replies. Two of them have offered parleys, one seems to have offered parley; one has agreed to send emissaries to speak with certain Imperial citizens on matters of mutual interest, and two have made other arrangements.



  • Meraud declines a formal parley
  • The eternal has presented plans for a powerful sinecure
  • The current Archmage of Summer is Brother Luke

One long, warm evening not long after the Summer Solstice, an emerald-green being emerges from the Imperial regio. Wearing a flowing blue-green robe and a peaked hat in the Varushkan style, their body is etched with peculiar magical sigils that seem to move freely across their skin. They stride quickly down to the Hub to deliver a message from the Summer Enchanter for the attention of the Archmage of Summer. The Lord of the Lake has received the plenipotentiary, but declines parley. Their attention is currently focused elsewhere.

Flame of the Phoenix
Commission Type: Combined Sinecure and Ministry
Location: A specific regio in Astolat near the Larmallevés estate
Cost: 30 wains of mithril, 30 wains of white granite, 180 crowns, six months, ceded to Meraud
Effect: Creates the position of Tender of the Phoenix Flame who is able to harvest crystal mana from the fires
Time Limit: If the Flame of the Phoenix is not commissioned by the end of the Winter Solstice 385YE the opportunity is lost
Opportunity: This commission has required elements; if any are not all fulfilled the commission does nothing
Tender of the Phoenix Flame
Title: Imperial position
Appointment: Declaration of Candidacy
Powers: Provides 26 crystal mana each season, potentially access to a ministry
Responsibilities: Oversee the Flame of the Phoenix, ensure the mana is used in grand works of magic, explain the magic the mana was used in to Meraud if asked
Restriction: If the Tender is a Dawnish Enchanter they gain additional powers
Opportunity: This title has required elements; if any are not all fulfilled the title does not gain some or all of its powers
Songs of the Phoenix
17 crowns16 crystal mana
30 crowns25 crystal mana
46 crowns32 crystal mana
65 crowns42 crystal mana
NoteThis ministry is only available if the title holder is a Dawnish noble character with the Enchanter archetype

He is, however, prepared to offer a boon to Enchantress Areloe Larmallevés. There have been some truly inspiring magics worked in the Empire recently, and Meraud would be happy to see more in a similar vein. Especially when the request comes from such a puissant magician as the Enchantress Larmallevés. While the Shimmering Fox doesn't know a huge amount about architecture, he does know a lot about magic, and so in conjunction with one of his apprentices who has an interest in such things, has prepared a set of plans for the Enchantress. The Flame of the Phoenix involves a massive mithril basin atop a two-storey white granite plinth which Meraud will ignite with an eternal flame. Properly tended, large amounts of crystal mana will form on the sides of the basin. It is to be built in Astolat, at a regio not far from the Larmallavés estate, and will need a commission from the Imperial Senate of course.

As part of the commission, it must be ceded to Meraud, and the Senate must agree to create a title - Tender of the Phoenix Flame - who is responsible for gathering the mana and ensuring it is used for "grand works of magic" and may be asked by Meraud to explain what magic the mana has been used in at any time. The title will be appointed by Declaration of Candidacy. There is however an additional element; if the holder of the title is a noble Enchanter of Dawn, they will be guided by heralds of Meraud in the method of burning certain expensive woods in the flame and singing magical songs about the glory of the Summer stars, and the old Monarchs of Dawn that will enhance the flame's power, focusing it's energy to produce additional mana. The Magister of the Summer Stars is not especially patient however and if the massive brazier is not commissioned before the end of the Winter Solstice the opportunity is lost.

On other matters, however, the herald is more reticent and less helpful. Firstly, the Lord of the Lake will not be touching Knights of Glory or anything similar, whatever he might have said in an unguarded moment in the past. While he has some servants he can send to aid the Empire, he doesn't have thousands of warriors or battle-trained wizards to offer to the Empire. Also, he's confident Eleonaris will gut him like a fish if he attempts to interfere with the actual ritual itself because she has said as much. If the Empire wants an alternative, Meraud suggests they speak to Jaheris, but he warns the Archmage to be aware that whatever the Silver Prince agrees the Empire would still need to codify that boon as a new ritual before they can use it. Also it will probably annoy Eleonaris - but that's pretty much inevitable.

Marsello Givello Cellini di Sarvos should speak to the Warlocks of Otkodov or the Princes of Jarm. Or if they would rather not engage in diplomacy, they should discuss matters with the Dean of the Lyceum or the Master of Ice and Darkness, perhaps in conjunction with the Deepstone King who has a well-known interest in large structures of white granite.

The Fire Mage apologises but he is unable to provide any information on Edric de Gauvin. He would dearly love to help for the matter is a significant concern to the Gryphon-Prince and the Summer Enchanter knows full well that the Lady of Pennants would like to see that matter resolved as it is vexing her. From that he deduces that neither of them has had a hand in the disappearance of this fellow. But sadly he doesn't know what has happened to them since the encounter with the Prince-in-Exile at the feast.

Likewise the herald says that Meraud is unfamiliar with Cold Sun, and he is unsure if it is even possible to kill this being if they are an eternal as the Summer Archmage claims. According to his herald, Meraud advises the Archmage to take great care in this endeavour. Meraud is not sure it is actually possible to destroy an eternal, killing one is incredibly difficult and destroying one would be much harder than that. If such a power exists in the Summer Realm then it is not something Meraud would provide, for to do so would risk angering the other Regents of the Summer Realm. If the Summer Archmage is determined to follow that path then they might consider searching the Wasteland for what they seek but Meraud advises against it. The last time such a thing was attempted, it did not end well, and the ramifications of that are still being felt in the Empire. It is far better in his view to use magic to defeat Cold Sun's forces on the field of battle, than to hope to find some magic that can pierce this being's heart.

At this time Meraud declines to assist in matters related to the Iron Confederacy: he made an offer to help the Suranni wizards and the Imperial Conclave chose to go a different way. Which is of course fine, but the Golden Enchanter isn't actually all that interested in the plight of the common folk of the Confederacy. Has the Archmage considered approaching the Prince with a Thousand Foes who is much more interested in that kind of thing?

Finally, on the matter of Amity, Meraud's herald expresses confusion. Either the Imperial Conclave considers the Golden Enchanter a friend or they do not. The Lord of the Lake has friends in many lands and he considers the magicians of the Empire to be among that number. If they feel likewise then they can extend amity towards him and invite him into the Empire. He won't be offended or snubbed if they chose not to, but he won't seek to buy their friendship with gifts.

After all this, the herald makes a point of reiterating that Meraud is perfectly happy with the Empire, and the Archmage, and proud to be a patron of the Eastern Sky. While the messenger does not come out and say it, reading between the lines, it may be that the Summer Mage has had his nose put slightly out of joint by the Iron Confederacy business. Not the disinterest in his plan to rain stars on Axiom Prison so much as the fact that they actually sought and took the aid of the so-called Brother of Wizards, a creature Meraud considers a personal rival. Obviously, Meraud is far too wise to be sulking about it... whatever the rather brusque tone of the heralds' message may suggest.



  • Zakalwe agrees to parley with Skywise Gralka and one other during the Autumn Equinox
  • A meeting has been arranged for 17:00 on Saturday
  • The current Archmage of Day is Skywise Gralka

Three days after the Summer Solstice, emissaries of the General of the Day arrive at Anvil. Zakalwe sends as his messengers not the familiar Agon, a regular visitor to the Empire, but a trio of the myrmidion, insect-like humanoids in crystalline armour with sleek pole-arms. The creatures appear at the Imperial regio, cordially ask for directions to the Hub, and when they arrive each delivers a portion of their patron's message.

The first indicates that Zakalwe will meet with Skywise Gralka during the Autumn Equinox, in a chamber set aside for that purpose. If they are still Archmage of Day they may bring one other; otherwise Zakalwe expects the new Archmage to accompany them. The meeting will take place at five in the afternoon, on Saturday.

The second indicates that the topic of conversation will be the strategic thinking behind the decision to contact the Cold Sun and then perform an Imperial enchantment aligning the Empire with the Day realm.

The third explains that Zakalwe will support those fighting against Cold Sun when the situation warrants, but that he cannot and will not fight the Empire's battles for it. Perhaps the crisis the Empire has brought on itself can be seen as a test of how they practice the three pillars of understanding, preparation, and commitment?

With their messages delivered, the three myrmidions do not return to the Realm of Day, but instead leave Anvil on foot, heading toward the Silent Sentinel, where they join the garrison there and support the defence of Casinea. Over the next several weeks, more myrmidons are spotted across the Empire, offering support to those fighting against the soldiers of Cold Sun. They are especially common in Urizen; when queried they explain that they feel a particular debt to the people of the mountains who helped save their people from extinction but provide no further detail.



  • Prospero declines parley, but has responded to the Archmage in private
  • In return for ten rings of ilium and a specific ritual text he will provide a schema for inclusion in the Runesmith's Law
  • The current Archmage of Autumn is Edmundo of Damakan's forge

As the power of the Autumn Realm wanes and the power of the Day realm waxes, an emissary from the City of Bridges appears at the Castle of Thorns in Astolat. A massive minotaur in robes of red and green, the herald bears a message for the Archmage of Autumn - a short response containing few details. The Sovereign Lord of the City of Bridges declines parley at this time. The Lord of the Loom recognises Archmage Edmundo's request for subtlety, and so will respond privately on the matters raised. With one exception.

Threadweaver is prepared to provide a schema to enhance the ritual the Archmage has specified, but on the understanding that it will be entered into Runesmith's Law. In return he will require two things of the Archmage: ten rings of ilium presented by Edmundo at the Imperial regio with the use of the operate portal ritual, and that the Imperial Conclave disseminate a text for the ritual in question to him during the Autumn Equinox. If both things are done, then the schema will be given over to the smiths at Runegrott.

Off the record - for a given value of "off the record" - the minotaur rumbles that as with Urizen lore the Golden Spider greatly approves of Wintermark artisans possessing their own unique lore, because it requires others to make agreements with them if they wish to access the magic items only they can create. He is also keeping an interested eye on Thornsong House, to see what happens with the apothecary lore it potentially provides, and whether the Navarr are confident enough to keep it for themselves rather than squander it by giving it to everyone in the Empire.



  • Tharim declines a parley but will send three of his court to speak to specific groups of individuals
  • The heralds are expected to arrive at the Hall of Worlds around 22;30 on Friday evening
  • The current Archmage of Winter is Ematius of Urizen

Midway between Summer and Autumn, a courtier in ragged black robes, stark against their alabaster skin, appears at the Hub. Her manner is cool, and when she speaks, many who hear her words experience a feeling of creeping lethargy, finding their movements slow and clumsy. She is the Condesa de Cadenas and she speaks on behalf of his Most Gracious Majesty, the Bound King. Her monarch declines a formal parley at this time, although it should not be considered a slight against Archmage Ematius, who is of course a true friend of the Thrice-cursed Court. Rather, he has decided to send a few of his courtiers to speak with those individuals the Archmage has named: Cassia Silkweaver, Olyvar of Esther's Sanctum, and Alessi Navigator on the matter of burials; Casimir Pakkenovic Mislova, Mayra Doubek, Kastya, and Enchantress Armand Remys on the matter of the rulers of the land of dark forests and cursed hills; and with Ematius themselves on the matter of the orcs. While the heralds will be arriving together at the Hall of Worlds at around half-past-ten in the evening on Friday, the expectation is that they will then progress to Anvil in the company of those they are there to see, to receive suitable hospitality.

On the final issue - the question of the ritual - Tharim will be empowering one of his courtiers to bind a fragment of the monarch's power to the magic in question, although it will also attach an assurance. The ritual will lose all power should the Empire ever cease to have the title of the Throne, or split its power between more than one person. Tharim, after all, knows the woe that comes when more than one person tries to wear the same crown and would spare his friends in the Empire from ever having to experience it.



  • Janon agrees to a parley during the Autumn Equinox
  • A meeting will take place at 23:00 on Saturday during the Summit for six people including the Archmage
  • The eternal also is also preparing boons for the generals of the Green Shield and the Summer Storm
  • The current Archmage of Night is Elyssiathain of Urizen

It has been nearly four years since the Archmage of Night spoke with the Shadowed Flame directly. Yet shortly before the Autumn Equinox a messenger quietly arrives at Anvil. With skin the colour of polished ruby, and hair like charcoal, the creature is attired in a peculiar mismatch of Dawnish and Freeborn garb that it nonetheless manages to carry off. While it may have appeared with subtlety, that ends as soon as it reaches the Hub.

Flinging wide it's arms it launches into a very loud announcement, that Janon agrees to the Archmage's request for parley, and very much looks forward to speaking to them and their lieutenant Lucky at eleven at night on Saturday during the Autumn Equinox. The Blazing Blade is more than happy to discuss provision of an arcane projection to allow his passionate warriors to fight alongside Imperial heroes, although the final tedious detail-work of transforming it into a ritual text will need to be arranged by the Archmage themselves. Both the Archmage and Lieutenant Lucky are welcome to come visit the Scribe of Burning Names - it's not entirely clear if this is Janon herself or a specific servant thereof - during the Autumn Equinox to discuss the matter.

The Night Sword is also pleased that more of the Empire's warriors are learning to embrace their passions! The Scops of the Green Shield and the Warlords of the Summer Storm have all but moved Janon to tears with their fervour, and Janon would see their fires stoked to new heights. One of Torchbearer's agents will sort out the mundane logistics of how such help can be accessed and what effects it will have, but for now it is enough that they cared. As such, the Voice of Zorech would like it if the generals of the Green Shield, the Summer Storm and the Burning Falcon, or representatives thereof, could attend the plenipotentiary to speak to Janon of how passion inspires them to make war.

One other may attend the meeting, as chosen by the Archmage. Ideally someone who will benefit from the passionate discussion of martial matters and virtue that is to take place.

The herald goes on to speak of other matters, of how there are several individuals who have Janon's friendship, but perhaps something a little more formal might be helpful to the Empire. A formal emissary between Janon and the Empire recognised by the Conclave and the Senate - an Imperial title to which the flame would grant its patronage - might be appealing. The Favoured of Janon, perhaps? Or the Friend of the Flame? The exact name is not important right now; what's important is that the Conclave let Janon know they would welcome a closer relationship between it's wild court and the Empire. Such a title would be appointed by the Conclave, who would hopefully find an Imperial citizen happy to spread the fires of passion wherever they could. The details would be worked out over the coming Winter, ready to be presented to the Imperial Senate, if the Empire is interested. A Declaration of Concord accepting the offer would be fine, as would a suitable bit of wording in a Declaration of Alignment.

Most of all, it is apparently the talk of friendship in the Archmage's missive that most enthuses Firebrand. They are touched that the Imperial Conclave has recognised their recent contributions and shares their passion for the uncompromising pursuit of that which inspires the heart. They are very much looking forward to seeing their relationship formalised - especially if it takes place before the parley. Then, joined together in amity, the Muse of Fire can really get to work on the vital task of inspiring the people of the Empire! It is possible that Janon has misunderstood something in the Archmage's plenipotentiary...



  • Arhallogen has arranged a meeting for 21:00 on the Saturday of the upcoming Summit
  • Only Navarr vates are welcome to attend - no more than five of them
  • The current Archmage of Spring is Ibiss Briarheart

The night after Janon's emissary appears in Anvil, a creature of an altogether more terrifying mien appears at the Imperial regio. A massive beast with the lower body of a many-legged centipede to which has been attached the torso of an ogre-like being, with a face that is quite frankly the stuff of nightmares, emerges unexpected from the darkness to the absolute horror of a group of passing travellers. It bears a massive staff surmounted with the image of a crowned scorpion and in a grating shout, announces itself to be a child of the Spider King with a message for the Archmage of Spring. It wants to speak to a civil servant - but only to the most dangerous civil servant in Anvil. There is a great deal of discussion among the civil servants, while the chitinous horror lurks at the regio glaring at people and clashing its venom-dripping mandibles together in a very unsettling fashion. In the end, despite some compelling argument that it should be Karkovitch because magistrates regularly order people to be killed, it is Ekaterijna Nadyovna Gremani the Herald of the Council who presents themselves to the monstrous herald. After some consideration, it clearly accepts the Varushkan and begins to deliver its message.

Firstly, the herald cautions that the Archmage might wish to remember who they are dealing with. Plain speech is good, and the arrogant flavour of the plenipotentiary was entertaining, but Arhallogen won't tolerate that kind of disrespect for long. Yes, he continues to aid the Druj. But he also aids the Navarr, and without his involvement in their peace treaty with the orcs of the Mallum, Therunin would likely have faced the same despoilment as Zenith - especially given the cowards of the Great Forest who shelter there.

Make no mistake, Arhallogen is happy to be the enemy of the Empire if the Archmage wishes that to be the case. The Skittering Dark would rather see things continue as they are, but it will not be dictated to. There will be no talk of colleges of magic. There is nothing at the Heart of the Tempest any more that is of interest to any eternal of the Endless Forest. There may be a way to convince Arhallogen to take its blessing off the shield Ajax, but the Spring Archmage's disrespect hardly inclines Barbed Stinger to be helpful.

So with that in mind, the King of Poison invites a small group of vates to speak with his lieutenant during the Equinox. Only Navarr vates mind; no members of other nations will be made welcome, not even the Archmage themselves. No more than five of them, and hopefully with a more respectful tone that the Lord of Imperial Spring has chosen to employ. If that leads to the Empire choosing to abandon their friendship with Arhallogen and embrace this Janon instead then so be it. The Centipede General is just as happy to see Imperial citizens die as it is to help them fight.

With that the massive emissary coils in on itself in a way that is pretty much impossible to describe, and is gone. Unfortunately, it departs before the civil servant can get confirmation that this meeting with vates is intended to be a parley or not.


These meetings are taking place in a number of places; in chambers reached via the Hall of Worlds. The times, and the eternals involved, are summarized here.

Day Time Eternal Realm Note
Friday 22:30 Tharim Winter Not a Parley; some heralds will visit Anvil to speak to specific people
Saturday 17:00 Zakalwe Day Parley; Chamber reached via the Hall of Worlds
Saturday 21:00 Arhallogen Spring Uncertain; Navarr vates only; Chamber reached via the Hall of Worlds
Saturday 23:00 Janon Night Parley; Chamber reached via the Hall of Worlds