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Sitting down to a diplomatic meeting with an eternal or their lieutenants can be a unique, and unsettling, experience.
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The eternals of the six realms engage in politics and diplomacy with the Empire just as the foreign nations do. While the archmage of each realm generally overlooks formal contact between the Empire and the eternals, those who have not been marked as enemies can still send their heralds to bring messages on their behalf. Just as the barbarians beyond the borders can impact the lives of those who should be safe within them even those who have the enmity of the Conclave, who are designated enemies of the Empire, can sometimes influence Imperial citizens.

These eternals love to meddle in Imperial affairs, sometimes via the Imperial Conclave, sometimes directly with Imperial citizens. Sometimes they offer opportunities - agreements that benefit the Empire just as much as the eternal. Sometimes they present problems, and working out a way to overcome the challenges they create can tax even the most cunning mind.

And while most interactions involve diplomacy and negotiation, some spill over into violence, and need a group of Imperial heroes to ensure a bad situation does not get worse.

Embers in the Dragonforge (Barien)

  • At the Summer Solstice the heralds of Barien will be holding court at House Geris in Wintermark between 19:00 and 21:00 on Friday
  • They have challenge scrolls for Aletheia, Daughter of Carmen and Lightning on the Ice
  • A number of challengers have been invited to a rewarding ceremony; Eadric of house du Froste, Eadric Fjellravening, Percival Tallstag, Silas Falconer, Solomon Locke, Melek GreatHeart and Veridan Silva
  • The heralds wish to speak with Skjal Bjornson & Blaidd Sinan
  • Barien owes the artisans of Wintermark a schema - they will need to decide amongst themselves what they wish to ask of the Iron Duke

As the seasons turn and the days lengthen to their peaks, flurries of letters find their way into the hands of Imperial citizens who have sought the favour and challenge of Barien, the Iron Duke. The favoured agents of the Lord of the Crossroads in the Empire - the heralds Revel, Bellows, Temper and Flute - have been busy recently as more and more folk seek to find meaning and test themselves against whatever Barien has to offer. Not that the Iron Duke is complaining - he is always happy to see the Imperials testing themselves against ever greater ambitions and has seen the monumental tasks the Empire has recently completed, though scholars of the summer realm will note a word of caution that while Barien has the amity and friendship of the Empire, he deals with all nations who wish to deal with him equally and is known to have close ties with the Empire's enemies also.

This summer, the Iron Duke invites Aletheia, Daughter of Carmen and Lightning on the Ice to come retrieve their scroll of challenge and being their tasks, while the pair of Skjal Bjornson & Blaidd Sinan should come discuss their request with Barien's servants so the Lord of the Crossroads can find them a suitable quest. At the upcoming gathering the Iron Duke's servants will be hosted in Wintermark by House Geris, between 7pm and 9pm on Friday, at the arrangement of Scarrow of the Mark, who has been cheerfully described by Revel as "admirably persistent". The heralds will be looking for a host in the Autumn also, so any interested parties should find the heralds to make inquiries.

One final matter that the Lord of the Crossroads looks to settle is the topic of the schema that he has promised to the assembled artisans of Wintermark, to be added to their collection of Runesmith's Law. Barien has decided that it would be most appropriate for the artisans to collectively decide amongst themselves what sort of item plan they would like Barien to provide and whether the schema should be for something extravagant and expensive, or more affordable and widely used. Whatever the decision, the artisans of the Mark will need to communicate this to the heralds once made so that their lord can make arrangements for the schema to be delivered.

As always, the dutiful heralds remind their Imperial hosts that they will return on Sunday afternoon around 1pm if there is any further business to conduct, or if anyone wasn't able to meet them on the Friday.


Flickers of Flame (Janon)

  • Following their heralds experience alongside the Burning Falcon this season

Janon's interest in the Empire flares and dims like a dancing flame. Following the decisive strikes against Chalonsio and Rachensgrab, his attention to Imperial affairs seems to be very much on the rise. His heralds are regularly visiting Anvil, encouraging people to embrace their passions and continue to take action to reshape their world.

The Shadowed Flame is also a great fan of the Burning Falcon - the Brass Coast army that rose from the ashes of the past and immediately went to war with the Jotun. Indeed at the invitation of General Aracelis I Erigo heralds of the Night eternal are spotted fighting alongside the army in the recent battles to retake Kahraman. The warlike heralds are especially fond of the kohan, inspiring those who fight alongside them to fight even more enthusiastically, fanning the flames of the passion that burns within of them. They don't just restrain their support to the kohan, however. The soldiers of the Burning Falcon who take time to get to know the heralds are urged to identify what it is that drives them to fight, and to embrace it, allowing it to consume them and give them the strength they need to seize the world by the throat and make it beg for mercy. By all accounts it can be an intense experience.

Whistle And I'll Come

  • Any general can invite Janon to send his warrior-heralds to fight alongside their army

So far only General Aracelis has invited the heralds of Janon to fight alongside their army. Those heralds have told anyone that will listen that the warrior-spirits of the Shadowed Flame seek the opportunity to get to know the Empire better by fighting alongside armies from every nation. Any general who includes in their orders that they invite Janon's warriors to join them for a season will find a cadre of heralds accompany their soldiers after the Summer Solstice until the start of the Autumn Equinox. The score or so of midnight-blue warriors that fought with the Burning Flame were noticeable, but didn't have much impact on the actual outcome of the battle. They're enthusiastic fighters, burning alternately with fury at the Jotun and love for the Freeborn soldiers they fight beside, but nothing to the scale of a thousand Knights of Glory. Still, the offer is there if they wish to take advantage of it.

A Freeborn magician of the Unfettered Mind named Lecta i Telamon i Riqueza who fought with the Burning Falcon points out that while Janon's heralds are far too undisciplined to work well fighting beside an army in any great numbers, assuming the eternal can even field that many warriors, there is an interesting alternative. If the eternal could be convinced to allow it, a ritual similar to Clarion Call of Ivory and Dust might be created that would let Janon send his warriors to fight effectively alongside a smaller military force. Of course, in addition to the challenge of getting Janon to agree to such a thing, there might be an additional challenge in that the eternal is notoriously volatile - even more so than Eleonaris - and through Imperial history has regularly been the subject of the Conclave's enmity. But the innate dissonances of Night magic means it offers precious few ways for its magicians to support Imperial armies, and there are any number of Imperial captains who would appreciate a cadre of volatile, violent, furious, passionate fighters battling alongside their troops. One for the Archmage of Night to consider, perhaps.

An Unquenchable Flame

True Conviction
  • Can only use the triumphant charge or forced march order when attacking
  • Can only use the final stand or desperate reinforcement order when defending.

An army with True Conviction is filled with passionate intensity and zeal. During battle the soldiers fight to the absolute best of their ability, and while resting they embrace everything life has to offer knowing that they may die in their next battle. They are utterly committed to the act of war, able to traverse the Empire like a blazing comet, smashing into the enemies of the Freeborn people with unquenchable fury.

However, this quality means that the general is only able to issue the triumphant charge, final stand, forced march, and desperate reinforcement orders. They cannot use any of the standard orders normally available to a general. The only thing that will allow them to take a different order is a special opportunity or an enchantment that influences or temporarily changes their quality.
  • Janon's heralds have been agitating for the Burning Falcon to let their passions blaze like the sun

When the Burning Falcon were being reborn, there was some discussion of surpassing the original army in passionate commitment to the ideals of the Brass Coast. The heralds of Janon, having had wind of this from the soldiers they fought beside, have brought it the eternals attention (again). He thinks it's an excellent idea, and is genuinely puzzled why the Freeborn priests didn't embrace it with both hands when it was first suggested. Obviously, the opportunity to pass the mandate has long since passed, and the priests have made their decision... but... part of embracing your passions is never letting the past dictate your destiny. And Night magic echoes with the resonance of transformation. So perhaps the opportunity is not lost after all.

The eternal has a very real interest in the Imperial Synod, and makes no secret of the fact that he loves to see people burn with Virtuous passion, especially Courage, Ambition, Loyalty, and Pride. If the Freeborn national assembly raises a well-worded statement of principle that passes with a greater majority, urging the kohan of their nation to support the Burning Falcon and make it a beacon of unquenchable flame, they might be able to fill the new-fledged army with True Conviction. Especially if their statement invites Janon to help do it.

Alternatively, if General Aracelis has passion burning in their heart, they could cut out the middle man. The current destructive conjunction allows a small window of opportunity to spark a dramatic transformation in the army. Janon plans to gift the General with a token that will channel some of the Shadowed Flame's love of the Freeborn people. If this token is used as a focus during a performance of Transmogrification of the Soul's Echo targeting the general of the army, during which they focus on identifying and embracing their true passions, the magic will spread through the entire army. For the next season the soldiers and any Freeborn military unit that supports them will find it easier to embrace the passions that drive them. This would count as an enchantment on the army, however, replacing any other enchantment and in turn being replaced if a more warlike magic were embraced.

However if that performance also includes 25 rings of ilium, the change will echo back and forth between the soldiers, their standards, and the general. The effect will grow with each reverberation, and by the start of the Winter Solstice, the army will have been so inspired its quality will permanently change to True Conviction (assuming the enchantment is not removed prematurely). Janon's herald is quick to point out that while the transformation will start with Janon, he seeks no dominion over the army. It will not place the soldiers or the general in his thrall, and it won't be lost if the eternal is placed under enmity. He would, however, encourage his heralds to support the army and pay particular attention to its fortunes, in a similar vein to which the Spider King supports and watches over some of the Navarr armies.

Fire in the Grass

  • Some of Janon's heralds will be visiting Anvil during the coming summit
  • They are probably arriving around seven in the evening on the Saturday of the summit

Last summit, a group of heralds came to Anvil and things did not go as well as the eternal might have liked. There was some misunderstanding about when exactly they were arriving, and so they missed their chance to talk to speak to some of those they were keen to meet. So during the Summer another small group of Janon's heralds are planning to visit Anvil during the coming summit. They want to speak to the shatterers of chains (especially Ashborn Pakt) about their desire to burn out the cancer of slavery from this world forever. The Flame of Virtue intends to repeat their visit to Anvil at seven in the evening on Saturday. They will arrive via the Hall of Worlds, and intend to adjourn from there to the camp of the Imperial Orcs. There they will give the Orcs their undivided attention.

That last statement is slightly undercut by the Herald also asking whether Kahendrin Wordsmith of Dawn might meet them there, as they have some markers of Janon's favour for him. There are a few others of interest - Vanja Oddsbreaker and "those Dawnish, you know, the ones who want to kill all the Druj." When asked if there is anyone else to add to the list, the Herald gives the same answer as they did last season: anyone who cares enough will show up, anyone who doesn't can be ignored.

Obviously the heralds will have limited ability to negotiate on behalf of the Shadowed Flame of course - but the Empire already knows how to do that.


A Shadow on the Glass (Kimus)

  • Observers from the realm of Kimus will be arriving in the Hall of Worlds, keen to attend the Anvil summit at 17:00 on Saturday
  • Kimus has also challenged the Imperial Synod to present what they believe, and what they know, about what actually happens to humans and orcs after they die

Much like Janon, the interest of the eternal Kimus brightens and dims. At the moment it seems the Glass of the Heavens has its attention focused on the Empire. For the last several summits, many-eyed heralds have appeared at Anvil, observing events and making quiet enquiries about the matter that their mistress is currently most interested in: the way that mortals die. During the coming Summit, some of her observers will be attending. They anticipate arriving in the Hall of Worlds at five in the evening on Saturday, and would appreciate it if there is a magician present who can help them pass through and reach Anvil (as an eternal without amity, Kimus' heralds are subject to the ban of Tharim and so cannot even cross the Hall of Worlds without assistance). They are keen to continue to discuss matters relating to the end of mortal life, and what comes after, with especial regard to the nature of the Labyrinth and the use of liao. There's also a talk of a possible experiment that Kimus believes could theoretically be undertaken to discover more actual facts about the Labyrinth should anyone be interested.

While it deals mostly in facts, Kimus' messenger also mentions that their mistress is very interested in hearing what exactly the Imperial Synod believes happens after a human, and an orc, die. The Doctrine of the Labyrinth, Reincarnation, and Howling Abyss are clear enough statements of belief but how does any of it work in a concrete, practical sense? Where are the Labyrinth, the Howling Abyss, and the place that is across the Howling Abyss? How does a dead person actually get there? How do they get back, in the case of humans, when they reincarnate? How does virtue actually help "traverse the Labyrinth? If any of the assemblies are interested in presenting statements about the matter Kimus would very interested to learn what they believe, and more importantly what they think, is true.


Beacon in the Storm (Lashonar)

  • The eternal Lashonar has sent messengers to deliver replies to the letters they solicited last season

Last season, the Gibbering One arranged a peculiar exchange of letters. In the last days before the Summer Solstice, the herald Litany, Listkeeper for the Speaker in Dreams again turns up to harass the civil servants at the hub, although this time she has brought three more child-sized birds (who look like a wood-dove, a nightingale, and a magpie but significantly larger), who have heard good things about the seedcake found at the Hub. With a lot of back and forth and bickering, the four heralds take eight times as long to deliver their message in the end they manage to communicate the words of their master Conscience-of-Kings.

The Keeper of the Gates of Wisdom has been greatly heartened by the response of Imperial citizens to their offer to facilitate an exchange of letters with spiritually minded philosophers around the Known World. The number of people who took advantage of it has made his hearts swell two sizes - it speaks well of the Empire that its people are so keen to speak to strangers about the matters that weigh on their souls. In fact, the four heralds are charged to go and start delivering the replies as soon as the seed cake runs out. OOC Note: The chance to exchange letters via Lashonar has now ended; it was a single event opportunity.

Finally, on a more serious and more cryptic note, the Guardian of the Southern Skies wants the Empire to know that it has delivered the message they were asked to deliver. After due consideration, they have sent the vision of the hound and the snake to the people of the Mallum, because they felt they were the beings most in need of hearing it. Most will dismiss it as nothing more than a wistful dream, but some will heed its message and draw hope for the future from it. Without explaining any further what this is about, the four heralds finish the last of the seedcake and depart, presumably to deliver the many letters written by foreign philosophers.

Strangers and friends (Conjunction)

Druj Miasma
  • This encounter takes place in Sarangrave and is affected by Druj miasma
  • The miasma weakens anyone exposed to it who does not have the ability to overcome it
The miasma weakens anyone exposed to it who does not have the ability to overcome it. The easiest method to overcome the miasma is to receive an anointing, but particularly heroic individuals, or those in possession of certain enchantments or magic items may also be able to counteract the effect. In particular, those of the changeling lineage are able to fight the effects of the miasma, but at the expense of becoming extremely angry - which can cause problems all its own.
  • Decius Frostspire is being pursued by a force of Druj
  • Lashonar has asked for aid in stopping the Druj hunting their herald
  • The Sentinel Gate will open at 20:30 on Saturday to the Thicket of Thorns, Nesustak Forest, Sarangrave
  • The magician Eliza of Sarvos has been asked by Lashonar to find a way of stopping the Druj

On the subject of the orcs of the Mallum... a bizarre request has come from the Conscience-of-Kings that relates to the orcs of the Sarangrave. One of their heralds, Decius Frostspire has been active in the Sarangrave for some time and was one of those responsible for delivering this vision of hounds and serpents. The last communication from Decius mentioned that a het sent him a message to request a meeting. The meeting turned out to be a trap - perhaps predictably. Decius fled, pursued by the Druj and also for some reason by heralds of Surut. Lashonar has requested that a League magician-thespian named Eliza of Sarvos, "they who called the little birds", help the fleeting herald reach safety. Decius has taken refuge in the Thicket of Thorns, somewhere in the Nesustak Forest, and fortunately a conjunction of the Sentinel Gate has been identified that will allow a group to get to the vicinity and hopefully offer succour to the herald.

If the Druj and heralds closing in on Decius are killed or forced to rout then Lashonar will grant Eliza the choice of arranging a meeting with anyone she wishes to speak to via the Caucus Forum at the Autumn Equinox 385YE. While they could pick anyone at all, Lashonar is keen to arrange a meeting between the Empire and a representative from one of the Bloodwater Spears, the Water Walkers, or the Grynbor. Lashonar is quick to reassure Eliza that whoever they choose, the eternal will do their best to arrange a meeting regardless. Assuming Decius is saved, they'll be able to provide a suitable piece of parchment that, when used in conjunction with operate portal at the Imperial regio, will allow Eliza to let Lashonar know who she wishes to meet with.

The Druj force is apparently made up of warriors from across the Arkad along with a number of heralds of the Ashen Knight. Given Lashonar has specifically requested Eliza of Sarvos deal with this matter, the civil service agree that they have responsibility to oversee the use of the conjunction. They may wish to seek out the assistance of whoever is appointed as Imperial Consul, given the obvious diplomatic implications of the situation, or perhaps seek the advice of the Archmage of Night in gathering a suitable force of warriors.


Ominous Clouds (Siakha)

  • The enmity against the eternal Siakha has been removed
  • Heralds of the Mother of Wrecks have been visiting the Empire

During the Spring Equinox, the Archmage of Spring raised a declaration of Alignment to remove the enmity from the Mother of Wrecks - the dangerous and destructive eternal of Spring Siakha.This followed an agreement to send no more than a half-dozen of her children into the Empire to see what they are about, and to consider whether there might be hope for Imperial pirates after all. A parley is forthcoming; the Archmage is due to meet with her representatives during the coming Summit.

Over the last three months, however, it seems questionable whether Siakha has in fact restricted herself to half a dozen of her children in the Empire. At the very least, she has restricted herself to half a dozen at a time because frighteningly wide-mouthed heralds have been spotted across the entire Empire. Not all of them have shark-like aspects, but there is invariably something that suggests the water about them. For the most part they just observe, watching sullenly from bodies of water, exploring the docks and quays at night, and sometimes startling folk who come upon them unawares as they examine a boat or a pile or nets. They don't retreat when challenged, and they never initiate combat, but if anyone is foolish enough to attack them they immediately retaliate with killing force. For the most part, Spring magicians and briars in particular are able to ensure there are no more than a minimum of violent engagements.

Some of them do cause trouble however. When the heralds encounter someone who strikes them as particularly bloodthirsty, or with a jealously guarded grudge, they waste no time encouraging that person to act and in some cases cheerfully provide that person with a minor boon. The most common are weapons that cleave through light armour and flesh, or unleash destructive energies or repel hurl people around when they strike. They then egg the people they've given these boons on until they do something foolish. There have been several incidents in Dawn, Varushka, the Marches, and the League in which people have tried to settle old scores, or take things that did not belong to them, under the approving gaze of these dreadful heralds.

There's not a lot to be done about this; as long as Siakha is not under enmity, the heralds are free to visit the Empire as they wish.

Fins in the Water

  • A group of Siakha heralds is making the journey to Anvil on foot
  • Characters may have spotted them anywhere on the route from Semmerholm

One group of heralds might be more worrying. For the past couple of seasons, there have been whisperings of strange goings on in the waters of Axmure: bodies found in rivers with large chunks gouged out of them, stories of dire beasts lurking in the woods. Now, a posse of misshapen creatures has emerged from Semmerholm, on their way to Anvil by foot. The group is a surreal-looking mix of heavily armed shark creatures, and what at first glance almost appear to be changelings with brightly coloured markings on their skin that glow softly in the night. Most of those encountering them on the roads have given them a wide berth, but a few who have ventured closer report that the group have identified themselves as heralds of Siakha, following the trail of their prey. So far they've not attacked anyone, but they're likely to reach Anvil during the Summer Summit. It isn't clear when exactly they will arrive, or what their business is beyond seeking "their prey".

An Empty Road (Conjunction)

  • A small group of Siakha heralds are challenging civilians to fights to the death
  • The Sentinel Gate will open at 16:15 on Saturday to the Long Road, Golden Downs, Mitwold
  • Sally, a prominent local thresher, is responsible for dealing with the heralds

There is a long, winding track in Mitwold that leads from Odd's End all the way to Hay. Not many people take it; it's much better to take the well beaten path that goes straight or to go by ship along the coast to Meade and then travel along the river. The ones who do need to use it are those whose farms are not on any of the good paths, whose families have been working the same land for generations. And since the Spring Equinox it seems they're the ones who have been encountering a problem with heralds of the Mother of Wrecks.

Steely Charlie, a beater on their bounds, brings news of the problem creatures. They're explicitly not initiating attacks on any Imperial citizens; but they are challenging anyone that passes them to fight to the death. If they continue then eventually someone is going to step up to them and likely die. They're being held in check by the leash of the Maelstrom herself, but what if that stopped? What if the heralds of destruction and savagery are unleashed upon Marcher yeomen?

There's also the question of why this is happening. The heralds of Siakha - and there's more than half a dozen of them here incidentally - are mostly just poking around and talking to people. Which perhaps explains what's happening here. Who have they been talking to? Who has persuaded them they can serve their mistress by vandalising and destroying along this unbeaten path? Steely Charlie and their fellow beaters would very much like to know who has made this deal with heralds of Siakha so that they - perhaps with aid from some friendly threshers - can explain why they think it's a very bad idea.

The group of Siakha heralds are clearly desperate for a fight, but are held tight by the command of their mistress. Local Marchers are clear this is exactly the sort of thing they'd expect the threshers to sort out, so the civil service have asked Sally Thresher of House Talbot, a prominent thresher to take responsibility for resolving the problem. If they're not available, then John Grindecobbe of House Balston or Sebastian Shaw of House Talbot, both well-respected threshers, will hopefully step in. Whatever happens, someone is going to have to deal with the heralds, by providing them with the fight they are clearly desperate for. If they can find out in the process why they're doing this, so much the better. But either way, they can't be left to harass the people of Mitwold, and it's not as if their mistress has amity.


Winter's Grasping Chains (Tharim)

  • The Ban against Heralds on the Hall of Worlds continues to operate
  • Tharim has expressed interest in certain cursed curios sold on behalf of the Alders-Baart family of Sarcophan
  • A counter-proposal has been presented that would help the Sarcophan escape their curse

Tharim of the Thrice-cursed Court continues to ward the Hall of Worlds from intrusion by heralds. As long as the Bound King continues to be a friend of the Empire, and an image of the eternal is displayed during Conclave sessions that is visible throughout the Hall of Worlds, the ward will persist. Unless they are responding to a parley, heralds will be unable to enter the Hall if their master is under enmity, and those whose master is neutral will not be able to cross the hall without an invitation from an Imperial magician.

Shortly before the Solstice, a grim-faced emissary in black-and-gold robes appears in the Hall of Worlds, one arm bound tightly to their body by bloody ropes. They bring a message from the Bound King's court. Apparently, over the last several seasons representatives of a Sarcophan Delves family called the Alders-Baart have been visiting Anvil to sell accursed relics to Imperial collectors. This isn't a secret; they attended during Autumn and Winter last year, and again during the Spring Equinox. Innkeepers and hostelers all along the route between Crown's Quay and Anvil still mutter their name darkly, given the vague aura of misfortune that followed in their wake, and Sarcophan merchants often now encounter a cold welcome as a consequence.

Tharim views this trade as a craven attempt by the Alders-Baart to avoid the consequences of their actions and slip the bonds they wound around themselves. The emissary won't go into detail - the Sarcophan family knows what they did. Obviously, the ritual Tribute to the Thrice-Cursed Court is currently illegal to perform in the Empire, thanks to the Conclave's entirely understandable anger at the regrettable actions of the Hag Queen. However, were any of the accursèd curios to find their way to Tharim via this ritual, he would be able to untangle the magic of the curse the object bore, and ensure it is returned to where it belongs - in Sarcophan, at the estates of the Alders-Baart. Some of the objects are not actually magic items, or their dweomer may have faded, but no matter. Tharim wants the items anyway, and the ritual will work on them, he is sure. Again, not that any Imperial citizen would want to cast it, but if the bulk of the curios slipped to Imperial collectors are found and dealt with in this fashion, Tharim would be grateful.

There has been no word of the Alders-Baart family themselves since their visit to Anvil in Spring. However the Winter coven Irremais Frost, believed to be on good terms with the Bedelaar Huisbaas, have let it be known that there may be a counter opportunity here. They believe the ritual Words of Ending could be used on the cursed curios, shattering the curse in its entirety, denying the power to the Thrice-cursed Court, and potentially liberating the Sarcophan merchant family from their misfortunes. As long as the ritual were performed far from the Sarcophan Delves, or from any citizen of the Delves, the maledictions would simply dissipate. The Alders-Baart would no doubt be at least as grateful as Tharim if they were freed of their curse.

One ritual alone is unlikely to swing the pendulum in either direction, but if a sufficient number of items are either destroyed or offered as tribute, either the Court or the Alders-Baart are sure to show their gratitude to those involved.


A Star at Twilight (Ylenwe)

  • After meeting with the Archmage of Day, the eternal Ylenwe, once known as Ylenrith, has made offers of restitution for past poor behaviour

Ylenwe has been considered an enemy of the Empire by the Imperial Conclave for some time now. During the Spring Equinox, the Archmage of Day Skywise Gralka met with the eternal to discuss the situation. Shortly after the Spring Equinox, a Sarcophan magician named Pia Diijksma who works at the Alivetti estates enclave in Caricomare delivers a message on behalf of the Dove which lays out several proposals to end the breach between the Empire and the Perfect Morning. Of the four ways that the Archmage suggested the situation might be resolved, Ylenwe believes zie can do something concrete with half of them.

  • The Swan's Chalice still exists, and Ylenwe would dearly like it to be back in the hands of an Imperial magician. Unfortunately, it is currently in the possession of a Druj ghulai of the Sarangrave, who takes great pleasure in befouling it, yet the eternal is bound by covenant to renew its power each year. The Chalice is due to be renewed during the Autumn Equinox, but there may be a way for the Empire to recapture the item at that time. If the Imperial Conclave use a declaration of Concord to assign one of the conclave orders to serve as an escort for the herald zie sends, then once the item is renewed they could take it from the disgusting ghulai. Zie cannot assure an opening of the Sentinel Gate but believes if the connection was made, fate would do the rest. It would, however, be necessary to remove the enmity before the Chalice was returned to Anvil lest the magistrates (rightly) immediately seize and destroy it. What happened to the Chalice after that would be a matter for the Conclave to discuss.
  • The Archmage mentioned the grand project to build a beacon of the Way in the White City. Zie is interested, especially in the possibility of including beautiful belltowers that would celebrate the faith of the people visiting the city. Ylenwe is cautious however; would the aid zie offers even be acceptable to the priests of the Empire? If the Conclave removes the enmity, and the General Assembly or the Highborn National Assembly use a statement of principle to invite Ylenwe to offer support to the project, zie will gladly take part.
  • The shield, Ajax, borne by the Champion of Pride is cursed by the Druj. There are two obvious ways to remove the curse. One could ask the eternal responsible for the curse directly, which zie believes is most likely Arhallogen. Alternatively, as analysis of the shield reveals, the waters of a certain spring, precious to an eternal the Empire placed under enmity many years ago, will wash it away. Zie warns however that in the process of cleansing the shield, the waters will become fouled by the curse, potentially permanently. Whoever undertakes this task must consider carefully how to avoid destroying the precious spring - unless their goal is to infuriate the eternal who oversees it. Ylenwe cannot in good conscience help the Empire trespass on the spring in question, and urges the appropriate Archmage to request access directly from the one who owns it.
  • On the matter of the shards of music being sought by Imperial citizens Ylenwe is unable to offer much concrete support. Zie knows that each fragment was somewhere in Anvil during the Spring Equinox, and believes the same will be true at the Summer Solstice. Zie also knows that someone has the capacity to make contact with the unpredictable mage of forgotten days who took the power of the stars and wove a prison from it who can almost certainly provide any missing pieces, but unfortunately not who they are or how they might be contacted. Zie does know one thing though which zie hopes may be of use to Imperial magicians; while the music might be found and reassembled, as resonances of the constellations themselves, the Lock and the Key must be in agreement to their power being drawn through the playing of that music. Such agreement is likely to coincide to when events or actions in the world below resonate with their nature. All statements which may mean more to astronomancers, or those involved in pursuing the musical shards.

Pia Diijksma can't elaborate on any of these matters herself. While she is on reasonable terms with de Duif, she is merely a messenger. She hints obliquely that it is good for her if the Empire doesn't rebuild their bridges with Ylenwe, because then she will continue to be paid to serve as a go between.


A Steady-burning Light (Zakalwe)

  • Zakalwe will be sending his heralds, Agon and the Opening Gambit to Dawn at 7:30pm on Friday to reward the members of the Dawnish team that participated in the Great Game
  • Agon and the Opening Gambit will then travel to Wintermark to offer up the next stage in the Challenge of the Great Game to the Strategists of Wintermark
  • A second Herald named Asp is planning to visit the Imperial Orcs at 13:00 on Saturday as a result of a request from the Archmage of Day

During the Spring Equinox, a team of carefully selected strategists from Dawn took part in a complex simulation crafted by Zakalwe, testing their acumen and resolve as they refought one of the campaigns from the reign of Empress Brannan. The Weapon-wise is apparently pleased with how well they acquitted themselves, and has instructed his lieutenant Agon to show his appreciation. He's also charged with finding a team of Wintermark tacticians to take part in the next stage of the Great Game, to take place at the Autumn Equinox. Agon and the Opening Gambit will be visiting Anvil at half seven on Friday to speak to the Dawnish, and then proceeding to Wintermark, and anyone who wishes to speak with them should be able to find them in one camp or the other.

While Agon is busy with one matter of games, a second herald named Asp is expected to visit the Imperial Orcs to talk on a slightly different matter. During the Spring Equinox the Archmage of Day asked that Zakalwe help the Imperial Orcs to devise a new strategy game for the nation to play. Asp, another lieutenant of the General of the Day has expressed an interest in the request, and Zakalwe has given them leave to visit the Imperial Orcs to discuss the matter. They expect to arrive around 13:00 on Saturday.

Further Reading

  • Three and three - 385YE Summer Solstice plenipotentiary wind of fortune
  • Inkpot gods - 385YE Summer Solstice wind of fortune about the Autumn Eternals