"Bring more of that soft Holberg red and maybe just a few of those spice cakes from Oran" the newly noble Lord Levia de Fenchardi called to his good friend, no former good friend, Hugh Fletcher.

"Yes lord, though there're only a dozen left of the spice cakes and... we're unlikely to be getting anything from Oran any time soon." It was going to take some getting used to having to deal with Levia now that he was a noble, especially given all the celebrating that had been happening.

"With the quest for the Barrens complete nothing can stop us now Hugh! We have proven that we can accomplish anything we set our mind to. Which reminds me" a loud belch erupted from the new Lord of the de Fenchardi house "pardon! It reminds me, we are going to go and visit the newly refurbished tournament ground in Laroc. I can hardly fight against the Grendel in the same clothes I fought them in two years ago, what if one of them recognises me?"

"My lord I hardly think that is going to happen, that was basically a lifetime ago, and with those mists they probably don't even remember our house" Hugh was thinking about the expense of travelling to Astolat and then realistically on to the south, especially if Levia was thinking about fighting the Grendel. "Maybe we should go on an adventure instead my lord? I've heard that there have been sightings of dire lions in the Larrance estates. And that Earl Larrance has offered exquisite rooms for anyone willing to attend in an attempt to clear them out."
Dog days are over.jpg
Our long toil to free the Barrens is complete, now we must claim the just rewards of our labour!
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Dawn has completed one of the greatest challenges in the nation's history - the best part of five centuries in the making - the conquest of the Barrens is finally complete. It is a glorious accomplishment to rival the greatest achievements in the nation's history. The birth of the nation under Tristane the Golden, the marriage of the First Empress and Rodric the Lame, the construction of the Castle of Thorns - and now after generations of sacrifice - the Barrens are finally Dawnish. People are naturally exultant about this glorious triumph and keen to celebrate.

Thus, there is an once in a lifetime opportunity to harness the raw enthusiasm of the Dawnish people. Last season the National Assembly of Dawn voted to pass the mandate raised by the Earl of Fools and enacted by Aramis du Froste with a greater majority. This mandate encouraged the Dawnish to look inwards; to Astolat, Semmerholm, and Weirwater, for opportunities to improve the nation of Dawn. The Druj are soundly beaten, it is time for Dawn to seek love and glory within its borders.

During the same summit the covens of the Cabal of Nevezamzer, the Cabal of the Summer Sun, the Coven of Golden Wings, the Emerald Aegis, and the Sphinx's Saga came together to perform an arcane projection gifted to Dame Aurum de Castellan by Meraud as part of their challenge to receive the Fire Lord's favour. The Regents of Summer have taken great interest over the past season; supporting their allies against the forces of Cold Sun, and ensuring not a single Dawnish citizen fell beneath the blades of the soldiers of the Day realm.

During the Summer Solstice itself, the heroes of Dawn travelled through the Sentinel Gate to the depths of the Barrens, to create a lasting monument to the courage, pride, and glory of all those who had fallen. Both those who died defeating the Druj and conquering the Barrens, and those who fell on their quest for Glory, are immortalized in the chapel there - but there may still be work to be done to make it a truly inspiring place.

Our long toil to free the Barrens is complete, now we must claim the just rewards of our labours. We send Aramis du Froste with 50 doses of liao to urge our countryfolk to enjoy the fruits of our labour today.

Earl of Fools, Dawnish Assembly, 385YE Summer Solstice, Upheld (Greater Majority 237-22)

The Grand Tour

  • A series of extraordinary tourneys have been arranged across Astolat, Semmerholm and Weirwater
  • Noble houses are competing to put on the most impressive battles accompanied by feasts, performances and poetry recitals
  • Some knights are making an attempt to take part in every tourney - they have christened it the Grand Tour
  • A new adventure is available to military who wish to partake in one or more seasons of the Grand Tour
  • Dawnish yeofolk can now upgrade mines, farms, forests and herb gardens more cheaply for the next year

It's not true that the Dawnish think that a tourney is the answer to every question - there are plenty of questions that aren't worth answering. But glorious events like the conquest of the Barrens or the crowning of a new monarch are always accompanied by a series of spectacular tourneys. These events are vast affairs that offer opportunities for glory for nobles and yeofolk alike - while the main event, the melee, is usually reserved for witches and knights, every large tourney includes opportunities for yeofolk to also take the field. The most extravagant include entire mock battles, allowing knights and yeofolk to take the field together as they seek to demonstrate their martial glory in battle with each other.

On this occasion rather than try to organise a single event, scores of different households have announced their intention to host their own tourney, with each competing to make their event more grand than the others. This soon leads to problems as people begin arguing over dates - people want to attend as many of the epic spectacles as possible - so there is soon a strong pressure on earls to avoid clashing with their neighbours. To help resolve the matter, Lady Griffinsbain proposes that the tourney season should begin in the Barrens, and then proceed each season to Semmerholm, then Weirwater and finally to culminate in Astolat. She further encourages the noble houses of each territory to spread their dates out, so that everyone will have the most opportunities to celebrate Dawn's glorious triumph.

No sooner have people agreed that this is a good idea than an aspiring knight-errant finds himself challenged to compete in every tourney for their test of mettle. Thus begins the idea of the Grand Tour - Dawnish knights, witches and other battle-hardened nobles and their yeofolk entourages touring the entire nation, travelling from one region to another, going from one celebration to the next, Competing with each other for prizes and more than anything for glory. For the following year it is possible for any military unit in the Empire to be assigned to take part in the Grand Tour, seeking recognition of their glory. It's far from the most profitable way for a military unit to spend their time, but the troubadours are already preparing the rolls of honour to record the names of those who take part - to see who manages to complete the entire Tour.

The tourneys are not just an opportunity for feasting and celebration. They bring Dawnish people together, encouraging them to cooperate and poor their skills and resources to create lasting monuments to Dawn's glory so that the triumph in the Barrens has a lasting impact. As a result of this year-long celebration, some Dawnish characters will find it easier to upgrade their personal resources - by capitalising on the desire to to build up Dawn following their defeat of the Druj. For the next year, any Dawnish yeofolk will be able to upgrade their farm, forest, mine, or herb garden for one fewer wain.

A Shortage of Songwrights

School of Music and Poetry
Commission Type: Ministry
Location: Culwich, Weirwater
Cost: 16 white granite, 8 weirwood, 72 crowns, three months
Effect: Creates the position of Reader of Music and Poetry with access to ministries to purchase magic items
Reader of Music and Poetry
Type: Dawn Assembly
Appointment: Judgement of Appointment
Powers: Receives access to a ministry to purchase musical instruments
Responsibilities: To run the school, curate the creative endeavours of Dawn's troubadours and support the recruitment, training and instruction of new troubadours.
Culwich Instruments
22 crowns1 Celebrant's Fiddle
20 crowns1 Goldwood Pipes
16 crowns1 Heroes' Horn
16 crowns1 Horn Resounding
17 crowns1 Silver Gate
18 crowns1 Thundering Drum
19 crowns1 Watchers' Flute
NoteThis ministry will only function if the title holder is a troubadour
  • Troubadours are in great demand in Dawn at the moment
  • Every current troubadour will receive an additional four crowns each downtime for the coming year starting after the Autumn Equinox 385YE
  • There is an opportunity to build a school of music in Weirwater
  • The National Assembly is charged with finding the greatest piece of new music or art in the nation over the next twelve months

There is one unfortunate drawback to the Grand Tour. No celebration is complete with out troubadours to perform ballads and lays, to recite poetry and play music. Unfortunately there simply aren't enough troubadours to meet the extraordinary demand for their services. Earls are growing desperate to hire the services of the best and offering ever heavier purses to ensure that their festivities are accompanied by appropriate festivities. As a result of this extraordinary competition, every troubadour with an established reputation will receive an additional four crowns income for each event they attend over the next year, to reflect the eager demand for their services. These benefits only apply to current troubadours, characters that newly embrace that path won't gain this benefit because their reputation and renown as a troubadour is not yet established enough.

To resolve this terrible shortcoming, Earl Eoric du Borne proposes to construct a school of music and poetry at Culwich. He has made an agreement in principle with some of the weavers circles in Culwich to support the school with magical instruments in return for payment for materials and the promise of a dozen free tickets to every performance. The school is a small but significant construction which would require a suitable commission as a ministry and need 16 wains of white granite and 8 wains of weirwood and 72 crowns in labour and take a single season to build. The Earl's design cleverly includes chambers for both the High Bard (which Eoric maintains is really a Dawnish position), as well as a new title, the Reader of Music and Poetry, who whose responsibilities would be to run the school, curate the creative endeavours of Dawn's troubadours and support the recruitment, training and instruction of new troubadours.

Once the commission was complete a suitable troubadour would need to be elected by judgement of appointment by the Dawnish Assembly. Provided that happened, the weavers of Culwich would provide an opportunity for the Reader of Music and Poetry to buy a single magical musical instrument each season. The weavers will only support a recognised and renown troubadour - the ministry will not function if the character appointed to the title is not a troubadour on the database.

Although the Weavers of Culwich want payment for any musical instrument they make for the Reader they are not so cold-hearted that they have not been swept up by the joy of their fellow Dawnish at the conquest of the Barrens. In particular they would like to see an entirely new piece of work commissioned to celebrate Dawn's triumph and are prepared to support this with a grand prize. They offer to make a single musical instrument for whichever troubadour (or would be troubadour) the Dawnish Assembly identifies as having authored the greatest piece of new music or art in the next twelve months. As a result the Dawnish Assembly can use a statement of principle to identify a single Dawnish character who they believe has won the Culwich's weaver contest and created a beautiful new work - ideally something that celebrates the triumph in the Barrens. The judgement should name the artist and indicate which instrument would serve them best. If the judgement gets a greater majority then the weavers of Culwich will fashion one of the instruments for the artist.

One word of warning, many of the magical items created by the weavers of Culwich use strange techniques or very old ways of fashioning them that predate more widely accepted Imperial methods. As a result the recipient should anticipate that though the instrument's enchantment will have a year to run like any newly made item, it will also have an unusual aura of its own.

The Throne of Glory

Restore the Throne Room
Commission Type: Fortification
Location: Withy, Astolat
Cost: 15 white granite, 45 crowns, three months
Effect: Reduce the cost to upgrade Dawnish congregations by one white granite for a year and generate a historical research on Dawn's monarchs
  • There is an opportunity to restore the throne room of the Castle of Thorns and then consecrate it with true liao
  • It requires 15 wains of white granite, 45 crowns and a senate commission for a fortification and take three months to complete
  • Once complete the refurbished throne room would reduce the cost to upgrade Dawnish congregations by one white granite for a year
  • The work will also generate a historical research into the early monarchs of Dawn

The Castle of Thorns is not the largest fortification in the Empire - that honour belongs to the wealthy merchants of Holberg. It is not the strongest fortification, that laurel is arguably claimed by the Adamant Gate, that extraordinary construction which is fused with the magic of summer to make it literally unbreakable. Dawn's alliance with the Summer realm has made it unbreakable. It could be captured, no fortification is unconquerable, but it would require extraordinary magic to destroy it. The Adamant Gate will still be standing when all else is dust.

But the Dawnish claim the Castle of Thorns is the most beautiful fortification anywhere in the world, the white walls gleam in the sun, picturesque turrets stir the blood of even the most cold-hearted lovers who walk the battlements. The Castle reverberates with Dawnish history - it was once the seat of the Dawnish monarchy. While many of the rooms are now occupied by civil servants, the chambers of state remain untouched. The gilded throne of Tristane the Golden was brought here by Queen Igraine when the Castle was raised. The Rod of the Sun may have been missing since the reign of Empress Brannan, but the throne still surmounts the dais in the royal audience chamber, inspiring awe in any that gaze upon it.

Sadly the years have not been kind and the throne room is now dilapidated and in urgent need of remedial work. To commemorate the glory of Dawn's triumph in the Barrens, Hugh de Veran, a noble historian and troubadour who works in the Castle proposes the idea of restoring the throne room to its former splendour. This is no small effort, it would require 15 wains of white granite to restore the room to its former glory, along with 45 crowns, and take a season to complete. It would constitute a change to a fortification (since it involves work on the Castle of Thrones), so it would need to be authorised by the Imperial Senate or by a title with the explicit power to commission a fortification. It would count against the limited number of commissions available each season.

Once work was complete it would prove a huge inspiration to historians and especially to troubadours who celebrate Dawn's glorious past. For one year following the completion of the work upgrading any congregation in Dawn would cost one white granite fewer than normal. In addition Hugh de Veran promises that he will finally complete and publish the historical research that he has been working on for many years, concerning the pre-Imperial monarchs of Dawn. That might take a while, depending when the work gets completed, as Hugh only has time to work on his pet project in the period following the Autumn Equinox each year, but that would mean it would be done quickly if the work on the throne room was begun now.

Unless there are significant changes, interest in refurbishing the throne room would remain strong until the end of the Summer Solstice 386YE. After that the work could still be done, but it is not guaranteed that it would provide a benefit to the congregations of the nation.

Great Deeds are Eternal

Church at Hope's Rest
Commission Type: Folly
Location: Hope's Rest, The Barrens
Cost: 20 white granite, 60 crowns, three months
Option: Include any number of statues of Anvil heroes for 3 wains of mithril and 9 crowns each
Effect:Boosts all Dawnish military units undertaking quests and adventures by one rank
  • The Shrine of Hope at Hope's Rest has been consecrated with true liao
  • If the Dawnish commission a small church on the site then the shrine will provide a permanent benefit of one rank to every Dawnish military unit undertaking an adventure
  • The church would require 20 wains of white granite and 60 crowns and take three months to build
  • The sculptor, Blasine du Ravell, proposes to create beautiful mithril statues of the heroes who led Dawn to glory to immortalise their accomplishments
  • The statues can be part of the require a commission but cost 3 wains of mithril and 9 crowns per general and take three months to complete

Last season the Dawnish heroes at Anvil took advantage of a conjunction to travel to Hope's Rest in the Barrens to consecrate the area with true liao. The area once contained a small shrine to Ser Guineve who was the first questing knight to seek glory in the Barrens, but that fell into ruin when the territory was conquered by the Druj. Now that the area has become an inspirational location thanks to the true aura, scores of Dawnish folk are making a pilgrimage to the site, and the lack of any shrine or other memorial has been raised.

To remedy this defect, Blasine Carver, a prominent architect and sculptor who is seeking to create a glorious work to pass their test of mettle proposes to create a small but beautiful church that encloses the true aura alongside an elegant garden that she hopes to decorate with statues of the heroes who led Dawn to glory and the ultimate triumph over the Druj in the Barrens. The minimum needed for the work to progress is a senate commission to build a folly at Hope's Rest, that would need 20 wains of white granite and cost 60 crowns and take three months to complete.

Once the commission was complete it will create an inspirational location, the Church of Ser Guineve at Hope's Rest. The aura will have a powerful effect on every questing knight, knight errant, and similar who visits the church. Such visits will become common place for those setting out on adventure - as a result all Dawnish military units will gain a permanent one rank boost when undertaking any independent military action that is defined as an adventure.

In addition to the chapel, Blasine would like sculpt a set of giant silver statues of Dawn's heroes - those who led Dawn to glory in the Barrens. This would be a little more expensive however, each statue would require 3 wains of mithril and 9 crowns per hero. Obviously that begs the question of which heroes should be immortalised. General Tancred du Coeurdefer seems like the obvious candidate and Blasine proposes to put his statue in pride of place at the centre, in reflection of the glorious sacrifice of the Hounds of Glory. But it's inconceivable that General Tancred achieved this triumph alone - so there ought to be a statue for each of the principle actors? Blasine doesn't know how many statues are appropriate, nor who should be granted the honour, they leave that decision to the Heroes of Anvil who surely know better than they do.

Clearly it would be lovely to include everyone - but mithril doesn't grow on trees - so some judicious consideration is going to be needed if Blasine is instructed to go ahead. The ideal way to commission the statues would be as part of the motion that comes before the Senate, but whoever raises it could specify how many statues and of whom as part of the necessary details if they wish. Whoever brings the matter before the Senate will legally be the patron of the work, determining whose likeness will be immortalised and which figure will take the central position in any diorama. There are no restrictions on how many statues can be made - the only issue is cost - it will require 3 wains of mithril and 9 crowns for each statue.