Shared Grief.jpg
Every battle in Zenith is tinged with sorrow and loss.

Dark Disquiet

It is time for our deeds to match our words. We will aid our Urizen siblings. The Eastern Sky will make a forced march into Zenith and purge the Druj from their homes.

Vincent ''The Scorpion'' Vexille, General of the Eastern Sky
Click for audio version

Down, again, though the passes of southern Caeli. Down, again, past the mute stone gaze of the Three Watchers. Down, again, into the accursed battlefield of Zenith. Down go the Citadel Guard, and the Wolves of War, and the Iron Helms, as they did last season. This season the Towerjacks and the Northern Eagle do not go with them - they have withdrawn to Casinea to recover from the cruel wounds suffered at the hands of the orcs. In their place come the three armies of Highguard. Back into Zenith, again. Back to make war against the Druj, again. Back to the place where so many of their comrades fell, defending the people of Urizen, again.

Six armies then... but almost at the last moment, almost at the moment when the horns are sounded to mark the advance, a seventh army arrives. Moving with preternatural surety, the Dawnish arrive. The Eastern Sky, fresh from rooting out the Druj in the marshes of Holberg, bound and boosted by a most potent enchantment of Autumn magic they have marched all the way through Semmerholm, Astolat, Casinea, Bastion, and Morrow to join the liberation of Zenith. The best path indeed. A ragged cheer goes up as they arrive, showing barely any sign of tiredness.

The Eastern Sky are not the only army showing the marks of powerful Imperial enchantment. Both the Granite Pillar and the Seventh Wave fight with absolute clarity, each strategic and each tactical decision resonant with the masterful focus of the Day magic that infuses every soldier in each army. The Wolves of War are supported by nearly ten thousand troops from warbands from across the Empire, bound as always into the most efficient fighting force possible by the continuing power of their Common Cause. This season they have recruited several entire free companies from Holberg and Temeschwar whose heavy armour and black-humoured determination lead the League soldiers and their allies in a grinding advance.

I am Asenath, daughter of Esther, sister of Ruth and general of the Granite Pillar. I call upon my sisters, brothers and siblings of the First Army of the Highborn to join me in Virtuous Crusade. The Druj bring their foul stench of Miasma, but you march through the Three Watchers alongside the Miracle of Asher. With bells and swords we will Liberate land, people and souls. In Virtue, for Highguard, for Urizen and for Victory!

Asenath, General of the Granite Pillar

Beside the Citadel Guard and the Iron Helms march "allies" of a less wholesome nature. Cold, dead flesh has been quickened. Two thousand corpses, uninspired by the gaze of the Three Watchers, unmoved by the crushing Druj miasma. There is a restlessness about them, though. The Winter spirits that inhabit the corpses of dead Imperial soldiers and dead Druj warriors know that their bondage is coming to an end. Soon they will be free. Two thousand freed spirits, under the dark clouds of Zenith...

The heavens open as the Empire's fine soldiers flow down through the pass into Zenith. The rain is unseasonably warm, the thick droplets bursting with a kind of corrupt vitality. The springs and streams that pour down the mountainsides are slick with unwholesome fecundity. The whole territory is infused with the unwholesome health brought by Rivers of Life. The wicked miasma still holds the land in its crushing grip. Breeding fear and despair in any who might think to oppose the Druj. It is harsh enough for those forced to bow their heads to their orc masters; how much worse must it be for those who actively work against them, who intend to drive them back into the Sarangrave?

Dreaming Wide Awake

The first few tentative engagements with the enemy end in conclusive victory for the Empire. They reclaim the base camps abandoned last season, and begin to spread south, east, and west in earnest. Almost immediately it becomes clear the Druj are prepared to defend their territory; they must have been expecting the Empire to come again after last season. The orc forces are hunkered down, exploiting their defensive positions. No suggestion of clever traps this time; instead they focus on keeping the Imperial forces pinned up the foothills of northern Clypion, punishing them whenever they attempt to press south. The Druj strategy is clearly being set by the orcs under the ant-banner of the White Lion; their warriors appear to be everywhere. They anticipate the Empire's advance and move to stifle it. The Hidden Snake employ hit-and-run tactics, using hidden paths through the hills to strike without warning, sabotaging supply trains, blocking mountain paths, and collapsing bridges before melting away when Imperial troops try to engage them. When the Druj lose an engagement, they quickly fall back, regroup, resupply, and then return to attack again in a different place. Scouts report several well-defended camps well behind the Druj lines, marked by banners bearing a crimson lizard, where physicks and tepel exploit the Spring magic that runs wild in the territory to heal injured warriors and drive them back into the fray again.

Highborn, we launch our crusade, united as one. We fight alongside our siblings from the Pillar & the Pegasus. We fight alongside our Urizeni neighbours, to begin the liberation of Zenith. Tear down all that the Druj have built, take their lives, and cast them & their pillars down. Look at the watchers, remember what they stand for, remember what we fight for, Death to the Druj!

Cuth of the Shattered Tower, General of the Seventh Wave

Scouts also report something potentially more worrying; the orcs of the Tainted Basilisk seem barely engaged in the defence of Zenith. Their vikad provide a little support, especially when the other armies are facing the Citadel Guard, but for the most part they seem... preoccupied. A small contingent of the Seventh Wave unconquered work with sentinels of the Citadel Guard to try and found out what they are up to; they never quite get to the bottom of it but they are able to discover that the Druj magicians are focused on gathering magical resources, especially in those regions already bound by protective Night and Spring magic. Primarily harvesting mana sites, gathering ambergelt and beggar's lye; and even securing small amounts of ilium. Why they are consolidating their arcane power in this way though... that remains to be seen.

The Spring magic in the territory preserves life, on both sides, but there are worse fates than death. Where possible, the Druj seek to capture Imperial soldiers alive rather than just kill them. Those who fall into their hands are mercilessly, cruelly tormented, as the orcs yet again employ their wicked tactic of trying to lure the soldiers' friends into unwise rescue attempts. Yet even the healing power of Rivers of Life cannot prevent those with no other recourse from embracing the oblivion offered by Kaela's Gift, and the Druj frustration that they are repeatedly denied their sport is palpable.

When the Highborn armies are of one mind, it is with Loyalty and Wisdom we three, the Seventh Wave, Granite Pillar and the Valiant Pegasus will Virtuous Crusade into Zenith to aid our Urizen allies. With the virtuous we will withstand the Poisonous Druj miasma and bring death to Druj. With virtues we march, with loyalty and our Urizen Allies. Travelling under the Gaze of the Watchers as we travel, we are bolstered and our determination is strengthened

Lucifer of the Cohort of the Winter Bear, General of the Valiant Pegasus

While most of the fighting takes place in Clypion, the centre of Druj power is in the east - in the magically defended regions of Proceris and Lustri. The marshes of central Zenith swallow the few far-ranging scouts that press that far, and there is scattered news that the forests of Lustri are alive with hungry shadows and the gleaming emerald eyes of many-legged defenders. Standard strategy for the Druj - to use Spring magic and Night magic to bring deadly forces to occupy wild wastelands.

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The armies of Highguard fought tirelessly to protect the people of Zenith; now they fight equally tirelessly to free them from the horror of the Druj.

Although Clypion itself is barely more than a wasteland, it seems that there are few intact spires remaining here; merely haunted ruins where Urizen communities once studied and worked together in pursuit of their own particular brand of enlightenment. Between Imperial liberation and Druj depredation, there are no people here to speak of. Or rather, there are no living people.

Don Heavy armour my Wolves, and hire the toughest bravos of all our cities. We drive like a wedge into the Druj, and will shrug off their arrows and spears. Listen to your priests and stay strong against the miasma. Steel will guard your bodies. Virtue will guard your souls.

Gabriel Barossa, General of the Wolves of War


Roughly a month after the Imperial forces enter Zenith, a contingent of the Iron Helms are securing a ruined tower in the south-western lowlands. The fifty or so Druj warriors defending the place have been shown no mercy, as is the wont of the Varushkan schlacta. Suddenly all the rangy hounds that fight alongside the Helms turn their muzzles to the sky and begin to howl a terrible warning. Minutes later, the first Urizen sentinels are seen - momentarily mistaken for allies, it becomes clear they are something else entirely. Their armour is twisted and marked with rust, their robes spattered with blood and filth, and in their eyes burns a terrible, hateful, hungry fire. Where once they were staunch defenders of Urizen, now they are twisted abominations, their tormented spirits trapped in emaciated, unliving flesh. There are perhaps thirty of them, and they sweep down on the Varushkan soldiers like wolves, wielding terrible blades and spears infused with dark magic. The Iron Helms are forced to retreat, leaving a dozen wolfhounds and half again as many soldiers behind them; if not for the benefit of the healing waters there would have been twice that many casualties.

Soldiers of the Helms! You are my Pride, I am your Wisdom. We are going back to Zenith, we match with the Magic and Sentinels of the Guard, with the crusading might of the Highborn, and the Strength and Determination of Varushkan Steel. The Beasts of the Mallum will not hold us again, drive them from the peaks and fields, and back to their holes!

Pavel Denisovich Patriciu, General of the Iron Helms

After this first engagement, these cursed sentinels appear in engagement after engagement. They seem filled with implacable hatred, especially for their former comrades in the Citadel Guard. While most are sentinels, there are a notable number of sword scholars recognisable among their number and reports of a few handfuls of former Urizen warrior-wizards who bring to bear their potent battle magic against the Imperials. There's little coordination between these groups of unliving warriors - it seems the Druj have no greater strategy than to turn them lose and let their hatred consume them. They are powerful, but they seem disinterested in using the more complex tactics common to true sentinels. Unfortunately, like the similar abominations encountered in Reikos, and the former knights of Dawn encountered in the north, they refuse to stay dead unless their spirits are freed through exorcism. Only the Highborn armies have sufficient warrior-priests among their numbers to be able to bring their ceremonial power to bear, and doing so is no simple task. Only a handful of these cursed sentinels are truly accounted for in the months before the Spring Equinox.

Yet for all their wickedness, their dark magic, their corrupted unliving abominations, and their cruelty, the Druj cannot hold against the Empire. Not this time. Slowly, step by step, the orcs are forced back. The Highborn armies in particular are a crusading storm, crushing the Druj that try to oppose them in engagement after engagement. They pay for their zeal - even with the Rivers of Life their casualties are high - but the unrelenting spite of the Druj quails before their Ambition, their Courage, and their unquenchable fury. By the time the Spring Equinox is in sight, the Empire has conquered roughly half of Clypion and is well on their way to establishing a beachead.

And with the Druj in disarray, retreating in the face of the determined invaders, withdrawing to defensive positions, digging in and forced to accept that this time the Empire will not be forced back into Morrow, the Citadel Guard strike.

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The Citadel Guard has unleashed the coiling chain, tangling the Druj armies in the Glass Labyrinth.

Temple of Thought

Soldiers of the Citadel Guard, Sentinels and Sword Scholars all, we march again with our allies, we march beneath the gaze of the 3 watchers, we march with Virtue to retake Zenith. We need to banish the Druj, we need to heal the Hate in the hearts of our people. The Highborn will terrify the Druj this season, by the power of Autumn we confound them the next. For the future of our Nation and our army. Make me Proud.

Nicassia Avicia of Phoenix Reach, General of the Citadel Guard

For three months, the magicians of the Urizen army have been pressing the Druj in ways that, to an outsider, might appear random or uncoordinated. A sudden strike against a ruined spire here. An expedition into a limestone grotto there. A risky raid to the shores of the Proceris marshes, a lightning assault against a Red Lizard hospital camp, both ending in the Urizen retreating as the defenders rally. Yet to an observer with the right viewpoint - a viewpoint high above the territory perhaps - there is a shape to these seemingly unrelated actions. A pattern that becomes clearer once one knows the significance of that spire, that grotto, that marsh ruin, and the soldiers in that camp.

The Citadel Guard are working a potent spell and with their technique enacted, their magic gathered, they unleash their power across Zenith. Autumn magic uncoils from the regio, coils around the Druj, and twists the very fabric of fortune and synchronicity in a thousand thousand little ways. Chains of command rupture; logistics begin to unravel; supplies are misassigned or mislaid; messages become garbled. The ability of the Druj armies to act is corroded and undermined, and their strategy begins to collapse. The Glass Labyrinth is raised - a potent charm that means that those orc armies that have fought in Zenith this season are trapped within walls of malign serendipity and targeted confusion. No matter what else they do, the Druj armies will struggle to marshal their forces to move out of Zenith following the imposition of this metaphorical maze. While they may be able to get out of Zenith, it will take all their limited discipline to do so, and they will certainly be able to reach no further than one of the adjacent territories.

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A rough map showing the regions of Zenith.

Last season the Empire nearly fell into a cunning Druj trap; this season the Druj have fallen afoul of a much more subtle trap laid for them by the magicians of the Citadel Guard.

Game Information

The Empire is roughly halfway towards conquering Clypion and establishing a beachhead in Zenith. if they do establish a beachead here, they will cut Iteri off from the rest of the territory and it will be harder for the Druj to defend it.

There is a Druj miasma covering Zenith that weakens the Imperial ability to claim territory. In addition to that, Zenith as a whole has now gained the Terrorized quality; the tormented spirits that the Druj have created from Sentinels and a handful of Highborn captives are using their supernatural strength to slaughter the weak and harry the beleaguered. As a consequence, while this quality is in play, any Imperial army in Zenith that drops to 1,500 strength (or 2,250 if Large) will disband. During the recent campaign season, the Druj were keeping the sentinels on a short leash - exploring their potential. Now they've unleashed them and the full effect of these supernatural horrors is being felt. The only way to permanently remove this quality would be to deal with the threat presented by the tormented souls, which will require an opportunity - most likely a battle.

The Rivers of Life curse, placed by the Druj, has been in effect this season; it is estimated that Imperial forces suffered around fifteen hundred casualties. It's difficult to say for sure how many Druj have been slain, but it is likely to be in the same rough ballpark. Both Quickening Cold Meat enchantments have ended; as with multiple previous incidents, this means there are now two thousand Winter spirits capable of possessing corpses in Zenith who hate everyone and everything.

Druj miasma
Anyone who travels to Zenith will be under the effect of the Druj miasma. This means they will be under the effect of permanent WEAKNESS and experience a feeling of hopelessness and dread as long as they are in the territory unless they:
  • Expend a hero point upon entering the area
  • Are subject to an anointing
  • Overcome the supernatural dread using their Changeling lineage by becoming extremely angry
  • Are bonded to a magical item or have a ritual enchantment that mitigates effects like these

Late Goodbye (Battle Opportunity)

One of the challenges that needs to be overcome in any territory where the Druj have been entrenched is the atmosphere of fear they cultivate. Anchored by twisted pillars, the miasma inspires fear and despair in anyone who is not a Druj. During the Winter Solstice, there was an opportunity to deal with the central pillars in Clypion, and the prognosticators indicate that there is still a conjunction that will open to that area during the Spring Equinox. Their presence has certainly impeded the Imperial advance in the hills of central Zenith over the last three months.

It's far too late to stop Karvor Eyepeel, the buruk-tepel believed to be responsible for the creation of the twisted Urizen sentinels that have been encountered in Zenith this season. There is still, however, an opportunity to deal with the clustered miasma pillars - the Bulwark of Lutum. This time, however, such an attempt receives unexpected support. Following a meeting with some Imperial generals during the Winter Solstice, the eternal Zakalwe has offered his assistance to deal with the miasma pillars in Clypion.

If the Military Council decides to go after the miasma pillars, the Master Strategist plans to send certain specialist heralds to support them. The myrmidons are insect-like creatures of the Day realm who until recently were on the verge of extinction. The Urizen helped them to recover their strength, and receive the patronage of Zakalwe, and they are keen to repay that debt if they can. That Urizen arguably faces an existential threat in the form of the Druj means this is an ideal time for them to return the favour.

Zakalwe explains that while the myrmidons are adept warriors, it is not their battlefield acumen that will help the Empire in Clypion. Rather, it is their unique ability to communicate instantly with each other over large distances. One of the biggest tactical challenges that need to be overcome when dealing with a cluster of miasma pillars is the way the foul power that infuses them resonates back and forth. If the pillars are not dealt with roughly simultaneously, they repair themselves completely. Three mymidons will meet the Imperial heroes in Clypion, and accompany the forces sent to deal with each of the three pillars. Their ability to communicate means that the magicians performing the Chimes of Annulment can coordinate their rituals much more effectively. Furthermore, Zakalwe will equip the myrmidons with enchantments that mean they will be able to hold the note - it's not entirely clear what this means magically, but the explanation is that rather than having to complete the rituals within a minute of each other, there will be a larger window of a full five minutes between the completion of one ritual and the completion of the others. Unfortunately, to take advantage of this opportunity for a wider window, the Empire will have to use the ritual - Zakalwe seems unable to provide the same window of opportunity to groups using consecration.

While the myrmidons are competent fighters, the main advantage they bring is their ability to communicate freely with each other over distance. With their assistance the rites to destroy the three pillars can be much more easily coordinated. They are keen to repay the debt they feel to the Urizen, and accept the risks presented by this battle. Zakalwe however takes his responsibility as their protector more seriously . If they all make it back safely, then it is likely the eternal will be keen to offer their aid again in Zenith; if more than one of them is destroyed on the battlefield, then Zakalwe will not put them at further risk.

Additional Support
The people of Urizen have been exhorted by the Synod to free Zenith, and many of them have taken that seriously. If the Military Council commits to this battle, then a "care package" of twenty liao will be provided to the High Exorcist - whose responsibility it is to advise the Military Council on the use of religious ceremonies on the battlefield, and to co-ordinate volunteers using liao against malign auras and spiritual enemies such as those related to destroying the pillars.

It will still be a challenge - there are plenty of Druj defenders in the area, and they can be expected to fight to the last in order to protect the pillars - but it is possible that Zakalwe's aid might make this challenge more surmountable. Yet the eternal's aid is not the only consideration here. As part of their grand working in Zenith this season, some of the diviners of the Citadel Guard have been able to get a slightly closer look at the area. They are confident that if the pillars in Clypion are destroyed, the miasma over Iteri will also collapse. Furthermore, they're certain that if the pillars are taken down, it will be at least a year before the Druj are able to restore the miasma over the two western regions. It will endure in Proceris. Lustri, and Occursion - at least for the time being - but Clypion and Iteri will be significantly easier to conquer than they would be under a full-strength miasma of terror.

Finally, there is the matter of the tormented spirits, especially the twisted Urizen sentinels. The Highborn armies in particular seem keen to face down and free those the Druj have trapped in a tortured state between life and death and bound to their malign will. Some of these soldiers remember the battles in Reikos, and know first-hand the horror that these enslaved Urizeni are experiencing in their unspeakable state. The Unconquered of the Seventh Wave report that there are five unique tormented souls in the vicinity of the Bulwark of Lutum.

Two are cursed sentinels - Tibera and Gaiu of the Arch of the Sky were inseparable siblings in life who fell into the hands of the Druj when they conquered Proceris. Now, in death, they seem to be equally inseparable and in place of their profound loyalty to the nation of Urizen, they now seem to take twisted pleasure in slaughtering other sentinels - not that they allow their poise to slip and show that joy to anyone they do not intend to kill. Then there is Aureli Major, a respected battle mage and talented practitioner of Winter magic. Deadly with staff and spell, they have made a point of targeting healers and support magicians, and is known to make frequent use of the most powerful Winter enchantment they can acquire. Finally, there are perhaps the most tragic of all; Isaa and Bakah of High Chalcis, torn apart by the fighting in Reikos, reunited, wed, and joined the Valiant Pegasus to fight against the Druj. They were lost together during the final retreat from Zenith, believed slain, but now it seems a much more horrific fate. Now they are enslaved by the Druj they despised, their every moment an exquisite form of torture. One is a cataphract, the other an unconquered, and they will certainly fight together.

These five are by no means the only tormented souls in Zenith, but they are key figures in the Druj plan to terrorise the Imperial armies in Zenith. If at least three of them are neutralised, it will cause that scheme to falter for a season and may make it easier to secure an opportunity to deal with the situation permanently. It won't be enough merely to defeat them - they will need to be exorcised so that their spirits can be freed. Priests in Highguard and Urizen look to the High Exorcist's office for inspiration. While there's no expectation that the High Exorcist would need to accompany the Imperial heroes going into Zenith, it is part of their responsibility to advise the Military Council on dealing with spiritual threats.

Ghostlight (Battle Opportunity)

Shortly before the Spring Equinox, the scouts investigating what the vikari of the Tainted Basilisk are up to finally make their report. The magicians and warriors of the Druj army have been collecting arcane resources - especially crystal mana but also beggar's lye and ambergelt - across Zenith. They've barely been active in Clypion, with most of their efforts directed at Proceris, Lustri, and Occursion. When they have been encountered in Clypion, their raids have been particularly brutal, tearing crystals out of mana sites without any regard for the damage they might be doing to future production.

The fruits of their labour are being centralised in the heart of Proceris, in the ruins of what was once the Golden Cascade. When the Druj shattered the great terraced farms, they unleashed a torrent of waters that had been dammed for centuries, flooding the lowlands and transforming the entire region into a marsh. Years of dark magic and the kind of wicked land management at which the Druj excel have spread the marshes, tainting them, and turning them dark and malignant. The magical wards - the enchanted fortifications - the Druj raise appear much more vicious than the dripping echoes the Empire conjure and over time it is almost as if the repeated enchantment has sunk into the water and the mud, spreading a kind of slow corrupting influence. The worst essence of the Night realm, bloated lizards whose scales shift to mirror the hue of whatever they are hiding against, sneak up on unsuspecting travellers. Some of the twisted marsh trees are said to possess a kind of malign awareness, sending tendril-like roots out to trip and bind the unwary. Drifting lights of blue-green fire lure travellers to a slow and terrifying demise in the bottomless quagmires that were once fertile farmland.

The poisonous quality
"Poisonous" is a quality that can be applied to a region. Each Imperial campaign army that moves through, or fights in, one of these regions suffers 250 casualties during that season of campaigning. The ritual Why Sulemaine Walked Away From The Baker would halve this effect on an army, but orders will have no effect. Once the quality is in place, it will be challenging to remove it. Ritual magic by itself will not be sufficient.

Yet it appears things could be worse, and the Tainted Basilisk plan to ensure that they are. Using the resources they have gathered, and with the support of a cadre of tepel from the Marshlizard Clan, Druj magicians are planning a terrible working in Proceris. As near as can be ascertained from interrogating a captured vikari, the plan is to try and permanently taint the marshes by infusing them with a combination of Night magic, venomous thorns, and vengeful beasts. Instead of raising a magical fortification in the region each season, the area will become permanently hostile to enemies of the Druj.

The orcs have done something similar to this before - they once poisoned the forests of Holberg and it took a great deal of time and effort to cleanse that corruption. This does not seem to be the same technique, although the effect - poisoning the swamps - will probably be quite similar. Given that it is not possible to reach Lustri or Occursion without going through Proceris, or pulling out of Zenith entirely and approaching through a different territory (which potentially creates its own problems), poisoning Proceris potentially presents a significant strategic obstacle for the Empire. Even worse, this corruption of the marshes will likely take major effort to cleanse even if Zenith is entirely liberated from the Druj.

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As with any fight against the Druj, when the battle ends the real fight is only beginning. It will fall to the physics and healers to fight their own campaign against venom, curse, and lingering horror.

Furthermore, it seems there is a more mystical component to what the Tainted Basilisk are doing in Proceris. If they are successful, then the magical fortresses they raise there will be even more potent and more vicious. It's hard to nail down specifics, but the vikari was of the opinion that the taint on the marsh and its ruins would allow them to weave wards that were twice as effective as the ones they had previously been using, and would inflict ruinous casualties on anyone who attempted to fight in Proceris.

The Gift of Kaela
As with any battle against the Druj, any Imperial citizen can choose to embrace oblivion via the Gift of Kaela if they fall into the hands of the Mallum orcs. Rather than face torture and slow death, they may die quickly and painlessly, dissolving into dust.

The Civil Service prognosticators indicate that there is no conjunction of the Sentinel Gate that opens near the site of the magical working itself... but they have discovered something else. The battle magicians of the Citadel Guard and the scouts of the Seventh Wave mentioned that the vikari spoke of "specialists" or "experts" travelling to Proceris through the woods of Lustri. The prognosticators have identified a conjunction to the former Fields of Resplendent Twilight in northern Proceris. After further investigation, it seems that there is a caravan of Druj warriors and ghulai from the Sarangrave - from the Palace of the Sleepers - moving to join the Tainted Basilisk in the heart of Proceris. They are apparently bringing with them three unique and mysterious components that are in some way key to the magic the Druj are trying in the tainted marshes. If they can be intercepted, then it will disrupt the Druj magic.

Each of the ghulai intercepted, and their precious cargo (whatever it is) prevented from reaching the Druj, will reduce the enhancement their magical fortifications will receive when cast in Proceris. If all three are dealt with, that element of their magic will be unsuccessful.

At the same time, the Druj are bringing a tainted marshwalker - apparently in the form of a cluster of marshlings - that serve a similar purpose to the poison beast used to poison the forests of Misericorde and Utterlund some years ago. If they are all intercepted and destroyed, the Druj will be unsuccessful in this attempt to poison the marshes of Proceris.

The vikari let slip that these resources represent more than a year of work in the hidden caverns beneath the Palace of the Sleepers; it will be no easy matter for the ghulai to replace them if they are destroyed.

The information presented here details the background and objectives for one or more conjunctions of the Sentinel Gate. Details relating to the day, timing, gate size, and any additional information will be summarised on the Wind of Fortune conjunction page for the event, usually one of the last of the winds to be released.

For most conjunctions we've suggested Imperial titles that might be most fitting to take overall responsibility for ensuring that an opportunity is organised. Whilst the named individual has been deemed the most appropriate by the Civil Service, there is no legal requirement for them to coordinate a response or travel on the conjunction. They may delegate oversight to another individual of their choosing. As always, Imperial war scouts will be on hand at the muster point by the Sentinel Gate to provide further information to any citizens wanting to know more.

Sometimes it is necessary to make small adjustments to the timing or size of skirmishes, owing to delays or availability of crew that arise between the time of publication and when an encounter runs at the event. Details will be finalised on Friday afternoon of the event before time-in. Please do check the details of a conjunction you are interested in before using the gate to ensure that you have the full and up to date information. You can check a conjunction by casting Detect Magic (Discover Conjunction) on the Sentinel Gate in the presence of a ref.

Choice Millionaire (Conjunctions)

Click for audio version

In addition to the major conjunctions described above, two conjunctions have been identified by the civil service that allow opportunities to engage tortured souls enslaved by the Druj. Both opportunities involve dealing with orc forces, and provide a chance to free at least one Imperial whose spirit has been trapped by the Druj. Defeating the tormented Imperial is not enough; success will need priests skilled in the arts of exorcism to permanently release them from their servitude

In both cases, appeals have been made to two Imperial titles - the Highborn Master of the School of Exorcism and the Imperial Necromancer - to ensure these tormented spirits are laid to rest before they can inflict more harm on their fellow soldiers.

Ceramic Meander

  • A cadre of tormented Highborn souls led by a fallen exarch are active in Zenith
  • If the Master of the School of Exorcism is able to lay the spirits to rest, their chapter pledges to offer support to the School in Tabernacle

Two years ago the Highborn armies were forced back out of Iteri into Redoubt as the Druj swept into Zenith. The barbarians established several encampments where they gathered captured citizens. These poor people were subjected to torture and cruel experimentation by Druj tepel. Through the intervention of heroes from Anvil, a raid was made at Ceramic Meander to free prisoners and return them to the Empire. Reports from those exploring the area indicate that the former encampment is no longer in use as prisons, but there are still Druj using it as base of operations. The Mallum orcs are accompanied by a small cadre of tortured souls, including a fallen exarch - Benedictian of the Children of The Elms - who fell during the retreat. They stood fast against the advancing orcs to allow fellow soldiers of the Valiant Pegasus to escape westward, and their reward for their Courage and Loyalty ought to have been swift passage through the Labyrinth to reincarnation. Instead, they and the Children of the Elms guardians who fell fighting alongside them, have been denied their rest and forced into service by the Druj.

Children of the Elms PledgeProduction
7 crowns3 doses of Usher's Decoction, 1 dose of Waywalker's Suffusion
16 crowns6 doses of Usher's Decoction, 2 doses of Waywalker's Suffusion
30 crowns9 doses of Usher's Decoction, 3 dose of Waywalker's Suffusion

Success or Failure: The new exarch of the Children of the Elms has reached out to the Master of the School of Exorcism and begged them to free Benedictian and the guardians that are enslaved alongside him. If they can be laid to rest, the Sybella-based chapter has sworn to show their appreciation by joining the Leaden Toll in supporting the school. The chapter has many skilled practitioners of the apothecary arts among them, and they have pledged to provide the master with potions from the Tisanes of the Labyrinth to the Master in return for token payment (this will add a ministry for the Master's use).

If the tortured souls are not dealt with, they will continue to be a threat to the people of Zenith, denied the surcease of death and forced to continue serving the Druj.

Eridemia's Isolation

  • Yoland of Heavenwatch Spire, a powerful seer has been enslaved by the Druj as a tormented soul
  • Several Urizen seers are proposing an attempt to make contact with the seer and break their bond to the Druj or lay them to rest
  • They have reached out to the Imperial Necromancer and asked them to organise a mission to try and speak with Yoland

Hidden away among the forested foothills of Clypion lies Eridemia's Isolation a tranquil and quiet mountain valley, filled with verdant trees and ferns, it has long served as a refuge for Urizeni stargazers and mystics wanting solitude and peace to work. Since the arrival of the Druj, it has been used as a base for patrols to warn of the Empire's return to the area. A former resident of the valley was the reclusive seer Yoland of Heavenwatch Spire and it transpires that this venerable researcher of the Net of the Heavens was captured and transformed alongside many sentinels into one of the Druj's more powerful and twisted creations.

Some of the researcher's former peers have requested that an effort be made to reach out to them, to see if there is any chance at all that their control by the Druj could be broken. They refer to some of the stories of the tormented souls freed from Druj control during the liberation of Reikos. There is some hope that, given Yoland's commitment to reason and legendary poise, one or more fellow seers might be able to reach Yoland and help them break free. They have asked the Imperial Necromancer to put together a group with some volunteer seers to kill the Druj supporting Yoland, and convince them to either turn against the Druj or at least consent to their own exorcism.

Success and failure: The ultimate goal is to see Yoland either laid to rest or returned to Urizen - just making the attempt could provide useful information about the nature of the tortured souls. If one of these two resolutions is reached, the seers of Urizen will recognise the difficult task by providing the Imperial Necromancer with a ritual text of the Mantle of the Ashen Spider - a ritual similar to Chasuble of Majesty that uses Winter magic to enchant a priest with the ability to wield significantly more liao during a ceremony of exorcism. While they had been considering placing this ritual in Urizen lore, they believe the Imperial Necromancer might be in a better position to determine what should be done with it.

if Yoland of Heavenwatch Spire is left to aid the Druj, their mastery of divination will provide valuable insight to the Druj. It's not easy to predict what this might mean - and Yoland is operating without the support of a coven - but their magical skills handily fill a gap in the Druj's traditional magical lore. At the very least their aid would be of great use to the Tainted Basilisk.

Further Reading