Guen di Tassato slid a mug across the table, and took a delicate sip from her own. Unsweetened red tea, tangy and just the right side of bitter the way she liked it.

"Tell me a story about Drigo," she said, timing her words precisely for the moment just before Morgan took a drink of his own. He paused with the rim of the battered, chipped mug against his lip. Guen noted how his knuckles whitened on the handle. He put it down again.

"Which Drigo?" He said. He spoke lightly, but she'd seen the way he reacted to the name and he was not fooling her. "Tall Drigo? Drigo the Fox? Red Drigo? Which Drigo are you asking after? I know a lot of Drigo's."

"Which Drigo d'you think?" She tossed him a gentle, disarming smile, taking an other sip of tea, letting him sweat. "I'm after Red Drigo. The same Red Drigo that you were seen talking to last week"

Morgan swallowed, hard. He spread his hands out on the rough, splintered surface of the table, palms down. Licked his lips, quickly. Glanced left and right, but there was no help there.

"All right listen," he said suddenly, in a rush. "I was talking to him but only 'cause he'd been having problems with the Mestrans. That's all."

"Mestrans don't bother me Morgan," said Guen, her smile vanished like summer snow. "What bothers me is that Red Drigo was also seen talking to a close friend of Uncle Vyig. Do you understand? And if you know Drigo, and Drigo knows Uncle Vyig... well what am I supposed to make of that?"

They stared at each other for a long moment and she saw the exact moment his resolve shattered like a dropped mirror.

"I'll tell you what I know," he said, a note of pleading in his voice. "But you mustn't tell anyone what I'm telling you. Alright?"

She smiled again, but when she spoke her voice was iron.

"You're in no position to ask me for anything, Morgan. Not for one thing. You tell me everything you know, and then we'll see if you get to make a deal with me, or with Magistrate Karkovitch..."

The man across the table took a deep gulp of hot red tea, and began to spill his guts.
Lantern Wolf.png
Who knows the evil that lurks within the hearts of folk? The Lantern Wolf knows.
Click for audio version


The vyig are broken, scattered, utterly defeated. Their leaders have been arrested and executed, their agents intercepted, their illicit business enterprises exposed. The companies of bravos, bands of sell-swords and wagon raiders, the thief-takers, and the militia have spent the last six months rounding up, capturing, or putting down hundreds of the criminals. There are a few reports of groups slinking through Ossium into the Forest of Ulnak, of swift ships leaving Sarvos with suspiciously wealthy passengers aboard, but those few are no longer the Empire's problem.

Since the Spring Equinox, and the actions of those in Anvil, there have been running skirmishes throughout the territories of Miekarova, Tassato, and Temeschwar. The magistrates and the militia were initially overwhelmed, the sheer scale of the reaction from the vyig which saw widespread property damage and mayhem, but the garrisons of La Redotta Rezia, Our Lady of Pride, the Walls of Temeschwar, and the Walls of Holberg do what they can to support their cities.

Mopping Up

  • Three significant groups of vyig remain in the Empire, putting into action dangerous schemes to evade justice

As the Summer Solstice approaches, it seems that there are only three significant groups of vyig left in the Empire. They have seen the writing on the wall - anyone who hasn't is now dead. They are looking to flee the Empire, with as much wealth as they can take with them, and some of them have enacted schemes to provide themselves with an escape route. The fact that some of these escape routes also potentially harm their Imperial enemies is just a bonus to these irredeemable criminals.

Strangers (Conjunction)

  • The last vyig of Tassato are fleeing south with dangerous information stolen from the offices of the Regario Dossier
  • The Sentinel Gate will open at 20:15 on Friday to the Renewal Grove, Calvos Sound, Madruga
  • The Regario Dossier is responsible for ending the vyig of Tassato

"Uncle Tassato" and his remaining soldiers are on the run, their schemes in tatters. The wave of serendipity blanketing the Empire seems to have both aided and undermined their escape however. They had taken refuge at the abandoned Jarmish Lodge constructed for merchants from the Principalities but which had been left empty for a year since the House of Princes chose to embargo trade with the Empire. A few months after the Spring Equinox, their lair was fired, and most of the vyig congregating there slain. Uncle Tassato escaped however - but evidence was found that he had arranged an escape plan and a tidy nest egg with which to start a new life for himself outside the Empire. Specifically, he had managed to lay his hands on a copy of the 385YE Regario Dossier - the report from the Empire's international spies - and was planning to sell it to the highest bidder.

If he succeeds in selling the Dossier, there is enough information in the dossier for a master of espionage to deduce the identity of many of the Dossier agents. Their covers would be compromised, and in many cases their lives potentially forfeit. Apparently by chance, enough information was left behind to piece together his likely escape route. In conjunction with a fortunate eyewitness sighting by a dubious Mestran herb seller visiting the markets of Calvos in Madruga, it has allowed the vyig's likely location to be narrowed down. The prognosticators have examined the Sentinel Gate... and identified a conjunction that will allow the Tassatan vyig to be intercepted. They are apparently hiding out in the Renewal Grove, not far from the coast, ready for the final leg of their journey to Feroz.

The remaining vyig of Tassato are a desperate band of bravos and mountebank enforcers trained as battle-magicians. They have a selection of magic items, the last of the vyig armoury. Given the immediate threat the Tassatan vyig represent to the agents of the Regario Dossier, it is the responsibility of the Custodian of the Regario Dossier; Rodrigo Barossa de Tassato Regario, to end the vyig of Tassato and perhaps most importantly recover the document they have stolen. If they are able to escape with their copy of the 385YE Regario Dossier, it will massively disrupt the ability of the Empire's agents to gather information about the other powers of the Known World. How badly it will impact the 386YE report is unclear, but it will definitely reduce the amount of information the dossier contains in future.

A path chosen (Conjunction)

  • The last vyig of Varushka are on their way to attack the Butterfly Holt
  • The Sentinel Gate will open at 20:45 on Friday to the Butterfly Holt, Srodkoja, Miekarova
  • The Gloaming Sentinel is responsible for ending the vyig of Varushka

Orel the Bondbreaker, bane of Ratibor is dead. The leader of the vyig of Miekarova was brought down by a crossbow bolt during a running skirmish near the vale of Olodny. The rest of the band were able to evade their pursuers, disappearing into the deep woods near the vale. They were assumed to have been slain by wolves there. Unfortunately, it appears they have survived, regrouped, and are ready to try and escape. The chance of making it to a friendly border are low - the Thule are unlikely to offer them shelter, and the Jotun or the Druj will simply enslave them. Yet it appears they have found a patron of some kind - rumours buzz that one of the eternals of the Autumn realm has made a deal with them, empowered by the potent enchantment laid across the Empire. Other rumours say they have made an alliance with the agent of a sovereign who can shield them from the militia and sell-swords hunting them, following the inspiration of the Varushkan Assembly.

Regardless of who is helping them, the rumours agree that they have been charged with destroying the Butterfly Holt in southern Srodkoja for some reason. Nobody can say with any certainty exactly how this information has reached the ears of the wider Empire, but it appears convincing. It's unlikely that a band of vyig will be able to actually destroy the Butterfly Holt but just by wielding fire and oil they could do a significant amount of damage - and its not impossible that whatever power they are conspiring with has given them weapons to use in pursuit of their agenda. A conjunction has been identified that seems to offer the opportunity to intercept them before they can strike, and given the threat they pose, it falls to the Gloaming Sentinel; Vasilmir Radovanovna Esskivic, to gather allies and end the threat posted by what appears to be the only large group of vyig left in Varushka. If they are not able to break the vyig, then there is likely to be significant damage to the Butterfly Holt that will significantly reduce the amount of iridescent gloaming produced there until it is restored.

The remaining Miekarovan vyig are an enigma. They've lost their leader, and it's not clear what they've been doing for the last several months hiding out in the woods of Miekarova. It's notable that the Varushkan vyig are much less subtle than their League colleagues - a preference for strong-arm tactics and light wagon raiding has left them with a tendency to be cold, calculating killers. Worse, if their patron is an eternal, they may have been provided with potent enchantments; if their patron is a dark power of the Varushkan wilderness then who knows what horrific boons they might possess.

Ravens (Conjunction)

  • The last vyig of Temeschwar are cornered in one of the glades of Vardstein Vale
  • The Sentinel Gate will open at 21:15 on Friday to the Broken Wilds, Vardstein Vale, Temeschwar
  • The Custodian of the Assayer's Guild is responsible for ending the vyig of Temeschwar

What are believed to be the last of the Temeschwari vyig have set up in an abandoned fort and the only sign of a company of bravos - the Green Torch - who sought to bring them to justice is their tattered banner left nailed to a tree in warning. Micha di Holberg, the only surviving bravo and a runner for the garrison of the city walls, reported that the vyig appear sickly and wan but fought with deceptive strength and brutality, ruthlessly butchering even those bravos who tried to flee.

Aunt Alina and the last of her criminal family have taken shelter deep in the Vardstein Vale. One of the last crimes they committed before abandoning Temeschwar was an attempted heist at the Assayer's Guild which went disastrously wrong, taking several members of the Assayer's Guild prisoner and brutally slaying several others. Unfortunately, at the time of the attack the Assayers Guild was hosting a group of merchants from House de Courcey, one of the Ducal houses of the Iron Confederacy. The de Courcey's have been trading with the Assayer's Guild for some years now, and were taken entirely by surprise by the attack. One of the survivors, a nephew of Duke de Courcey is, perhaps understandably, very unhappy indeed. On behalf of his uncle he has demanded that the Custodian of the Assayer's Guild exact immediate vengeance on the malefactors who slew their kin. The Duke will accept nothing less than the head of Aunt Alina, and the hands of as many of her soldiers as possible.

Those remaining vyig of Temeschwar under the command of Aunt Alina are a hardened gang of warriors and a small number of battle-mages. They are reported to be equipped with a surprising array of magic items, which rumours suggest were given to them by a shadowy Varushkan patron - allegedly the immortal artisan known as Shadowsmith. Given the attack on the Assayer's Guild it is the responsibility of the Custodian of the Assayer's Guild; Marcus Von Temeschwar, to end the vyig of Temeschwar. It is very unlikely that any of the clerks from the Assayer's Guild taken prisoner are still alive, but if by some miracle they have been spared then rescuing them would be a priority.

If the Custodian is able to kill Aunt Alina, and take her head, that particular grisly trophy and any hands taken from her dead soldiers can be delivered to the surviving member of the Duke's house with the aid of the League egregore. If this is done, the de Courcey's will continue to trade with the Assayer's Guild, if not, they will take their business elsewhere. It may only be eight ingots a season that the Assayer receives, but those ingots quickly add up.

Recognition of a Hard Job

  • The Break the Vyig adventure is now complete and no longer available
  • The Silver Rook Carta have made a list of everyone who has helped take down the vyig over the last six months
  • They look for advice from the National Assembly of the League on whether they should publish it or not
  • Anastasia von Temeschwar has provided the civil service with the wording for a mandate

The vyig have been in part broken by the captains of League, the Imperial Orcs, and Varushka who directly opposed them. At the moment, their Courage and Vigilance is not being celebrated; their identities are not common knowledge. One carta have been keeping track of all the Imperial citizens who have helped take the fight to the vyig. The Silver Rook Carta would dearly love to publish the list of names across the Empire, but they worry that this might paint a target on the backs of those individuals. They're looking for guidance from the National assembly. One of their members, a bishop with a small following in Temeschwar, has provided the civil service with wording for a mandate that would clearly state that the National Assembly supports the action.

All citizens should know the names of those who helped end the vyig. We send {named priest} with 25 doses of liao to encourage citizens who have prospered from their actions to reward these people for their work.

Synod Mandate, The League National Assembly

If this mandate is enacted then the Silver Rook Carta will publish their list of the folk who - in their eyes - have worked to decisively bring an end to the legacy of the vyig. This will prompt a call for further rewards for these brave captains in the League, especially from the business owners whose establishments they have helped protect from the extortion of the vying.

Despise the thieving bandit

  • The magistrates have confiscated the deeds for two prominent businesses in Tassato, a business in Sarvos, and a large mine and expanded business in Karov
  • Any citizen of the League who wishes to exchange their resource for a business in Tassato or Sarvos can do so without having to pay two crowns

As part of their investigation the magistrates have uncovered a number of establishments that were being used as fronts for vyig activity. Those that were used purely to sell bite and as the bases for other illegal activities have been closed down, but many were legitimate businesses that were simply used to launder their criminal proceeds. Where it is clear that the owners were working with the vyig, these businesses have been confiscated and would benefit from new ownership.

To help the dispose of the assets, the magistrates have asked Irada von Temeschwar to deal with the seized resources in the League. There are four in total, a level three business and a level two business in Tassato, as well as a level four business in Sarvos. As the priest who carried out the mandate, the deeds of ownership have been given to Irada - they may deal with them as they see fit at the coming summit. Any citizen who receives one of the deeds can register it with the Civil Service to take ownership of the business without paying the normal two crowns fee.

In addition to these businesses, the magistrates have recovered a level three mine and a level three business, both in Karov. These were entirely legitimate enterprises but both were vyig owned until the law stepped in. As the priest who carried out the mandate, the deeds of ownership have been given to Vaclav Mladenovich Kosti - to deal with at the coming summit.

There were countless of these minor businesses that were either owned by the vyig or being used by their members as fronts for other crimes. With the vyig definitely out of the picture, any law-abiding citizen could request to take over one of these businesses. As a result, any citizen of the League can chose to request a new business in Tassato without the normal two crown cost.

Power Vacuum

With the vyig gone, we encourage all citizens of the League to extend the hand of loyalty to those abandoned or left behind by expunging of vyig. Orphans, surviving spouses, legitimate business folk and more. those who played no part in their crimes but suffer regardless. The egregores of our nation hear their heartbeats as strongly as any other League citizen, as so should be aided to take their place in League society and not forced to the margins by crime. Let us re-instil the light of pride in their souls and remind them that they are of the League.

Pius Cleymont, Spring Equinox 385YE, Upheld (Greater Majority 450-0)
  • The destruction of the vyig has ended the bite trade, but left a power vacuum

The vyig are broken - for good this time. This is a good thing for the League and Varushka in particular, but potentially for the entire Empire. The bite trade has been rolled up; those vyig who escaped the magistrates' stern gaze have fled into the Mallum and almost certainly discovered how little the Druj can be trusted. Plenty of evidence has emerged to mark the deep blue drug as a product of the Druj, but there's also a few hints that some of the vyig were very close to determining the formula to make it themselves. If they'd actually discovered how to use it, no sign of it has been uncovered by the forces of law and order. For now at least, the problems related to the drug seem to have subsided; the magistrates no longer need additional funds to deal with them at any rate.

During the Spring Equinox, the national assembly upheld a statement of principle proposed by Pius Cleymont, urging the people of the League not to punish the innocent families and associates of the vyig. There's very little opposition to this idea; guilt by association has no appeal to the civilised folk of the League. A few scores may be settled, and the probity of those businesses who were "unknowingly" dealing in stolen goods will be carefully assessed, but the truly innocent have least to fear. If Ratibor was alive today no doubt he'd consider mercy a weakness, but the exemplar of Ambition is long dead and the League of today is very different to the savage world in which he lived.

But in spite of this victory, there's one nagging worry in some quarters of the League. The vyig may have been criminals but they were organised criminals. Their code may have been corrupt, but they did have a code. By some accounts they were more merciless toward freelance criminals than they were to their enemies on the other side of the law. Now they're gone. Whatever crime remains in the Empire is now definitely disorganised, and there are a few people worried about what that might mean for everyone. The destruction of the vyig does not mean the end of crime, or the end of people exploiting one another for profit. For now though, perhaps it's best to focus on the triumph over the forces of corruption and raise a glass to a more law-abiding future.


If you were an ally of the vyig, or a criminal who was outside their organised network, you're encouraged to come up with a story of your own as to how you've managed to avoid the attentions of those hunting the syndicate down. Your vyig contacts are now gone; any Call Winged Messenger addresses are now non-functional and any agreements or deals made with the vyig are at an end. From here on in, the criminals of the Empire are on their own.

A Lantern for Wolves

Office of the Lantern Wolf
Commission Type: Sinecure
Location: Within the walls of either Holberg, Sarvos, Tassato, or Temeschwar
Cost: 10 wains of weirwood, 10 wains of white granite, 40 crowns, three months
Effect: Creates the position of Lantern Wolf charged with opposing criminal forces in the League
Time Limit: If the Offices of the Lantern Wold are not commissioned before the end of the Winter Solstice 385YE, the opportunity will be lost
Opportunity: This commission has required elements; if any are not all fulfilled the commission does nothing
Lantern Wolf
Type: National League position
Appointment: Annual appointment; League National Assembly
Powers: Receives 20 crowns each season income; additional support based on the location of the offices
Responsibilities: Ensure that criminals and rules-breakers in the League are identified and brought to book; work with the magistrates to bring criminals operating in or threatening the League cities to justice; cooperate with the League assembly to help them use the power of inquisition against those suspected of breaking the rules; generally poke their nose into everyone's business; recruit trustworthy allies would help them secretly keep tabs on potential lawbreakers.
Opportunity: This title has required elements; if any are not all fulfilled the title does not gain some or all of its powers
  • Some League citizens are concerned about the future and the threat of another vyig emerging
  • The Lantern Wolf would be a title appointed to investigate potential criminals in the League
  • Building a set of offices would require 10 wains of weirwood, 10 wains of white granite, 40 crowns, and take three months
  • The city where the offices were built would determine the kind of support the title received

It's easy to forget that the vyig have their roots in pre-Imperial times. They've been with the League and Varushka, since long before those nations joined the Empire. Rooting them out has taken literally years, and even now could easily have faltered. Without the cooperation between the League and Varushka, the vyig might have been able to find safe places to hide, and without the commitment of the Imperial captains to seek out the malefactors, the process might have taken considerably longer and caused much more disruption.

With the fight more-or-less over, bar the mopping up, the League in particular are questioning what they can do to make sure nothing similar to the vyig emerges again. "The rules of the game are not to be broken," as they say. With that in mind, and with an eye on the recent successes of both the League assembly and the Bailiff of the Downs in the Marches, there is a tide of support for the idea of taking precautions against a criminal syndicate being created in the power vacuum created by the vyig. Now that Ratibor's inspiration of Ambition has been achieved, perhaps now is the time for Vigilance? Someone to keep an eye on the League and draw attention to rules-breakers before they can put down roots.

It's not clear who first coins the name "Lantern Wolf" for this position but it catches on quickly, with graffiti popping up in all four cities of a wolf-headed figure with a lantern, or a glaring wolf-head with fiery red eyes. The general responsibilities of the Lantern Wolf would be to informally police the League, keep an eye on its citizens, follow rumours, confront criminals and rules breakers, work with the magistrates to bring criminals in the League cities to justice, cooperate with the League assembly to help them use the power of inquisition against those suspected of breaking the rules, and generally poke their nose into everyone's business. They'd not be expected to do this alone; indeed recruiting a small number of trustworthy allies would help them secretly keep tabs on potential lawbreakers. In return they would receive a small stipend, paid for by various guilds and cartas across the League. This would amount to a sinecure with an income of 20 crowns each season, with the money assumed to go on bribing informants, buying gear, and paying associates.

They would need to be independent, free to pursue their investigations wherever the leads take them, and so the expectation is that they would be appointed annually by the League National assembly.

The Lantern Wolf would need an office, somewhere for informants to bring information and to serve as a base of operation for themselves and their allies. It could be built in any of the cities, and the choice of where to build it would influence the attitudes of the League citizens towards the title. If it is built in Sarvos, the assumption will be that the Lantern Wolf will be an elegant and sophisticated investigator, cultured and refined, and will recruit suave agents to aid them. If the offices are built in Tassato, the people of the League will expect a diplomatic, Machiavellian, persuasive and articulate detective, capable of moving through the League without ruffling feathers, building a web of informants to ensure any attempt to build another syndicate is nipped in the bud. If the offices are built in Temeschwar, the League will expect a ruthless, relentless, cold and hard-nosed officer of the law who will know how to use fear and intimidation to get what they want. Finally, if the offices are built in Holberg the assumption will be that the Lantern Wolf will approach their role with pragmatism, ingenuity, innovation and enlightenment, a cunning and clever observer who will spot the signs of criminality and put a stop to them before they become a problem.

Wherever the offices are built, it is likely the title would receive further support from the citizens of the League, most likely in the form of a few magic items, access to a ministry, or the like providing them with materials to help them pursue their responsibilities.

The opportunity is available until the end of the Winter Solstice 385YE after which enthusiasm will have faded.

Further Reading

  • Vyig
  • Fade out again - 385YE Spring Wind of Fortune about the war against the vyig
  • Don't blame me - 384YE Winter Wind of Fortune initiating conflict with the vyig