Good Company.jpg
Between Spring and Summer, the alliance stands together against the Jotun.

Ripples on the Lake

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The water of Sermersuaq ripples with life, again. Spring magic infuses the entire territory, running in the streams and rivers, pooling in the lakes, glittering in the snow and ice that falls in the far north even in Summer. The enchantment has been almost constant for the last few years, and the land itself is beginning to show signs of it. The tundra is thick with animals, the scrubby grass gives way in places to young trees, and the lakes are crowded with silver scaled fish and verdant water weed.

This life, this water, is in stark contrast with the death and the blood that stain the territory as Spring becomes Summer. Battle continues to rage across Sermersuaq, with the alliance of Empire and Otkodov continuing to drive the Jotun out of the lands they have stolen.

The Spring Equinox provided barely a breather to the Imperial armies here. The Bloodcloaks and the Green Shield, the Drakes and the Summer Storm continue to press the Jotun in Suaq Fount. The orcs are in retreat, but they clearly have no intention of making the liberation of Sermersuaq easy for the Empire.

In the days immediately following the equinox, two of the Thule armies - the Chasm of Thunder and Banner of the Rime Hound - suddenly withdraw toward the Silver Peaks. There is momentary consternation from the Imperials, until two new armies arrive. The White Mountain Fire and the Shard of Winter join the warlocks and battle magicians of the Jaws of Winter's Lightning fighting the orcs of Narkyst and Kalsea. These armies are subtly different to those they replace. There are notably more orcs in lighter armour - scouts, hunters, and skirmishers replace the more heavily armoured warriors of the Chasm of Thunder, and the beastmasters of the Rime Hound. These troops are further reinforced by the garrison of the Citadel of Silver and Bone, the grand Thule fortification in the Silver Peaks. Originally drawn from the Summer realm by the Thule warlocks, anchored with ilium, it has since been enhanced and expanded with white granite and mithril. The warriors who join the Thule armies from the Citadel bear silversteel armour and bloodgold weapons and each is touched in some fashion by the magic of Summer - the blessings of the Queen of Ice and Darkness.

Bloodcloaks, we have battled our way back into the heart of our Suaq homeland. I have asked much of you. I have asked for your blood, your sacrifice, your trust, your lives. Now I ask you, will you push the line for me and take back Suaq font? Force the Jotun back out of our dominion, clear a path for our pilgrims to the storm. Stain your cloaks in the Jotun's heroically spilt blood.

Lofyn Blood-cloak, General of the Bloodcloaks

The magic of these orc warriors is notable, but hardly unique. Each alliance army - human and orc alike - bears a powerful enchantment. The Green Shield remain empowered with Autumn magic that helps them share their understanding of the northern tundra with warbands from across the Empire, that binds soldiers of many different nations together in a common cause. An entire additional army worth of independent warbands fight alongside the Green Shield in Sermersuaq this season, each one contributing more than the sum of the parts thanks to this powerful Autumn enchantment.

Every other army is inspired by the clarity and foresightedness of Day magic. The soldiers of the three Imperial armies enjoy supernatural clarity, profoundly aware of their role in each engagement, wordlessly able to coordinate with those around them, and with the soldiers of other armies. The three Thule armies possess the Grace of Hinodir that grants each warrior a supernatural insight into the terrain in which they fight, and a constant subtle awareness of where both allies and enemies are located at all times.

Heroes of the Green Shield Army, hail to thee! You are the shining spear in the Empire's red right hand. We go forth in the vanguard to drive the Jotun hence. This will be a campaign to sing about. A battle for the ages. Swords will be shattered! Shields shall be splintered! We march to a red day and our foes will fall beneath your Triumphant Charge!

Iron Osric, General of the Green Shield

The Shadow of the Ice

The Jotun do not intend to give up the Pride of Ikka's Tears. They gather their forces together in the shadow of the glacier, behind barricades and fortifications established in the wake of last year's raid. There are perhaps thirty-five thousands orcs here - orcs and humans. The Yegarra of Kalsea, under the walrus banner of Eisa Winterborn, continue to support their Jotun masters, and the warbands of the Howling Bear chomp at the bit for another opportunity to face the champions of Otkodov and the Summer Sun. There is no doubt that they are determined to keep their ill-gotten gains; the hard-bitten, experienced warriors of the Shield of the Mountain.

Rise Drakes and have at them. The Jotun are being pushed back. We will carve a bloody path through them unless they draw forces from Bregasland, we fight the Jotun here to save Marcher land and support our allies.

Hal Talbot, General of the Drakes

There is also no doubt that the alliance plans to disappoint them. Arrayed against the Jotun are nearly fifty thousand alliance warriors. Where previously their tactics have been reasonably cautious, this season is very different. The alliance launches an overwhelming assault against the Jotun positions, seeking to sweep the outnumbered orcs away before a wave of steel and magic. The Green Shield are in the vanguard, always seeking out the strongest enemy troops and the most defended positions, prepared to stop at nothing to break the Jotun and drive them from the field. By contrast, the warlocks of the Jaws of Winter's Lightning seem almost to hang back to the rear of the alliance forces, focusing on supporting and reinforcing the other armies as needed rather than taking the fight directly to the Jotun. This is mostly a matter of perspective - they aren't being especially defensive, it is simply in comparison to the overwhelming assault by the other armies that they seem to be reticent to engage.

Empowered by Day I hear your voices. Living legends all, like ancestors in my head, and I feel your concern. Fighting alongside slaver filth was never something any of us signed up for. Before we leave this fight, let us show them what awaits them if their ways remain unchanged. Our patience can only last so long.

Zerk, General of the Summer Storm

There is one army that is being noticeably more reticent, however. The Shard of Winter do not seem especially interested in engaging the Jotun head-on. They scout the positions of the western orcs, push them where they can, but fall back in the face of concerted opposition - sometimes luring the orcs who pursue them into the blades of one of their allied armies. They give the strong impression that they are waiting for something.

If there is a weakness in the Jotun strategy, is that they must ensure they are able to maintain an avenue of retreat - not only for themselves, but for the great number of thralls who work the mithril mine. To the surprise of many Imperials, the mine is still operating even as the siege begins - the Jotun pulling the last few shipments of precious mithril from deep beneath the glacier before what they must know will be their inevitable defeat.

Sermersuaq is rich. Take what you can in the name of the Dragons. We will take the Silfurjökull in Suaq Fount, and the rich settlements of Suaq Wastes. We will replace the slaves taken by the southerners with Jotun thralls. While they will not fight us, remember that their guardians will. We will serve the purpose of the Dragons, and we will strike with the hand that grasps, rather than the fist that kills.

Keya Prityanka, General of the Shard of Winter

And inevitable it is. After a week of pushing back and forth, the Jotun line is struck by the combined might of the Summer Storm, Green Shield, and White Mountain Fire, and it begins to buckle. A great beacon suddenly blooms with crimson fire atop the glacier, and the Jotun begin to fall back. Step by step, they regroup and abandon the defences at the mine, pulling back toward Sarda, and the Grave of the Giants. Retreating toward the Suaq Wastes.

The Jotun have forgotten why they fear the high peaks of Otkodov. Remind them of their weakness, first in Suaq Fount and then in the Suaq Wastes.

Stürmherra, General of the White Mountain Fire

The tundra is churned to a morass of mud and blood as the alliance finally takes the mithril mine. Despite the power of the Spring magic - visible sometimes at night as a shimmering radiance deep within the glacial ice - nearly two thousand orcs and humans are killed or permanently maimed before the siege ends. The last Jotun defenders withdraw into the mine itself, drawing Wintermark heroes in to face them in the dark amid the galleries and tunnels that sparkle with ancient ice. They fight bravely, and they die.

The orcs are not the only ones in the mines; there are several dozen Suaq miners here. Taken as thralls by the Jotun, they barricaded themselves in the lower tunnels, refusing to leave with the orc conquerors. Those who can still fight take up their bows and spears in service of the Green Shield; those who cannot are tended to by the Bloodcloaks.

We are here to conquer, not to kill. Alongside the southern armies, we will drive the Jotun from Suaq Fount and Suaq Wastes, and we will trust to the design of the Five-Who-Are-One.

Tomoreh Galdramathur, General of the Jaws of Winter's Lightning

While the Jaws of Winter's Lightning secure the mine, the rest of the alliance pursues the retreating Jotun, and it is at this moment that the Shard of Winter suddenly make their move.

Throughout the campaign so far, they have been careful in how they engage; no more. They fall on the retreating Jotun with surgical precision, making the most of Hinodir's Grace, supported by the garrison of the Citadel of Silver and Bone. Their target, it seems, are the thralls - the miners and those who supported them. The thralls, and the mithril they carry. The Jotun are taken by surprise, but rally quickly, fighting off the Thule forces - but not before they have secured several hundred orc slaves - and the mithril they were carrying.

The Jotun try to get their thralls back - but the Shard of Winter falls back behind the alliance advance. To get to their stolen mithril, their stolen thralls, the Jotun will need to fight the entire Imperial and Thule army, and in the face of that strength they are forced to keep moving, keep retreating. The Howling Bears still attempt it - still try to flank the alliance force and rescue their thralls - but they are pushed back with crushing casualties.

The captured thralls and the mithril they bear are sent back east to the Silver Peaks. Many Winterfolk soldiers are outraged by this behaviour, but the warlocks of the Thule point out that they are permitted by the treaty to claim as many of the Jotun thralls as they can secure. As to the mithril - the Thule are not demanding that the Empire share their spoils of war. Why would they expect the Thule to do so?

Beneath the Northern Lights

They are not the last slaves to be taken by the Thule. Each of the Thule armies does its best to secure orc thralls wherever possible; the Shard of Winter are simply the most effective at doing so. While they fight alongside their allies to secure territory, their first consideration is always to plunder the fallen Jotun, or the abandoned settlements, taking slaves and valuables with equal enthusiasm.

The battle for Suaq Wastes is very different to that at the Pride of Ikka's Tears. A desolate tundra with few permanent Winterfolk settlements, the Jotun are ill-equipped to slow the advance of the attackers - the Day magic enchantments in particular give an advantage to the Imperials and Thule. The clarity with which they plan their strategy allows them to identify key locations to hit, and how to move their armies to ensure that they are defended against Jotun counterattacks. The western orcs are forced to retreat again and again.

There is some consternation as six weeks before the Summer Solstice, the northern lights dance and twine in the night skies over Suaq Wastes. They are visible throughout Sermersuaq, but seem especially bright over the Wastes. Suaq mystics consider this a very poor omen. Other scoff at their concerns. While the lights are most often seen, and at their brightest, during Winter, it is not unknown for them to be visible in the Summer months. The weather has been especially fine, and there is powerful Spring magic in the air, they say. It is nothing more. And yet the mystics are still nervous, and a few are perhaps surprised to learn that some of their opposite numbers among the Thule share their concerns. The orcs of Otkodov are also familiar with the gold-and-green ribbons of light, and they too view them with dread.

But obviously, there are more pressing matters than the lights in the sky. There is a war to be won.

No single engagement defines the war over the Suaq Wastes, just a series of battles as the Jotun stop to try and stem the flood of the alliance. Many of these fights take place around newly constructed Jotun villages - little communities of huts huddled together within a perfunctory palisade. Orc settlers, hunters, fishers, and farmers - thralls with a handful of Jotun protectors - who would offer little resistance if not for the presence of the armies. Each one falls to the alliance. Sometimes they fall quickly, sometimes they fall after several days, but they all fall. Those thralls who are not able to retreat with the Jotun are taken as slaves by the Thule.

The outcome is as inevitable as the fall of the Pride of Ikka's Tears. The Jotun are driven from the Wastes, and with that victory Sermersuaq is once again an Imperial territory. (Although... as some of the Winterfolk point out, if the Thule did not control the Silver Peaks, if the mountains were Imperial, then Sermersuaq would have become part of the Empire once again with the liberation of Suaq Fount...) The Jotun are forced to fall back again, to Tanikipari and Stark.

The Siege of Olgafsdottirshal

Igya Olgafsdottir is a champion of the Jotun. Eldest child of the Jarl of Tromsa, she is widely considered one of the finest siege engineers of the Jotun, and a respected advisor of Yrsa Jansdóttir, Queen of Kalsea. She built Olgafsdottirshal herself, among the hot springs of Tanikipari, and she built the Fortress of Kalant for the Jarl of Kierheim. Now her work will be put to the test. The alliance continues to pursue the retreating Jotun, but in Tanikipari the situation changes. Rather than makeshift barricades, or wooden palisades, the Jotun have walls, and towers, and beacons, and the garrisons that maintain them. The settlements in Tanikipari - both repurposed Winterfolk halls and new-built Jotun halls - are significantly easier to defend than scattered Suaq campsites beneath the cruel serpents of the northern lights.

The Imperial and Thule advance slows when it reaches Tanikipari. They are able to lay claim to outlying parts of the region, but once they begin to encounter the Jotun settlements, it is a different matter. Many of the warriors who garrison the defences here are Summer-touched champions of Cathan Canae - indeed it is believed that Igya Olgafsdottir herself is highly favoured by the Queen of Ice and Darkness. The stones of Tanikipari are garlanded with ice, despite the advancing heat of Summer, in spite of the steam from the hot springs. The Jotun will not give up Tanikipari as easily as they did the Suaq Wastes.

As the Summer Solstice draws near, it looks as if a siege is inevitable. Alliance forces make camp in the north and east of the region, regrouping after the campaign across the Suaq Wastes, carefully probing the defences of Olgafsdottirshal and the Fortress of Kalant. Sermersuaq is once again in Imperial hands, but the war is not over. The Jotun are in highly defensible positions; indeed there are signs that they are actively engaged in expanding the defences of both castles when the Imperial troops draw near. Furthermore, there are reports from the front lines that some kind of Summer magic is being brought to bear on the two forts. There are sightings of ice giants and some whispered rumours of even larger creatures, neither of which bode well for the coming season.

For Summer is coming, and in spite of the magic of Spring, more than four thousand orcs and humans have died in the campaign to drive the Jotun from Sermersuaq. More than four thousands lives ended - and between the Jotun, the Summer Storm, and the Thule armies, a significant proportion of those dead were orcs, condemned to one chance to cross the Howling Abyss. It is a sobering thought, perhaps. Yet even without knowing precisely what is going on with these fortifications, it will take significant force to drive the Jotun out of Sermersuaq. Leaving them to hold Stark and Tanikipari is risky - with the Silver Peaks belonging to the Thule, it would only need a single region to be conquered by the Jotun and the territory would be lost to the Empire again.

Game Information

The Empire has conquered Suaq Fount and Suaq Wastes, and made significant headway into Tanikipari. The presence of the three Thule armies and the massive garrison of the Citadel of Silver and Bone has been the deciding factor here; if the Imperial forces had engaged the Jotun alone, they would most likely have been defeated.

Sermersuaq is once again an Imperial territory. This does not, however, mean it is a part of Wintermark. As with any conquered or liberated territory, the Imperial Senate must use the power of assignment to determine which Imperial nation Sermersuaq will become part of. It is almost unthinkable that the Senate will not assign the territory to Wintermark, but they are under no legal requirement to do so. It could be assigned to any Imperial nation.

Likewise, the Empire has reclaimed the Pride of Ikka's Tears, and the Senate will need to use the power of allocation to decide whether the mithril mine will be Imperial or national in nature. Before it was captured, custodianship of the Pride of Ikka's Tears was a national position determined by the military unit owners of Wintermark. Again, the Senate is under no obligation to leave the Pride of Ikka's Tears as national (belonging to whichever nation it assigns Sermersuaq to), and could easily declare it an Imperial position that will be auctioned to the highest bidder and raise money for the Imperial treasury. Regardless of what happens, the seat would not be appointed until the summit after it was assigned at the very earliest - not least because there is currently no mithril in the mine thanks to the Jotun.

The alliance with the Thule continues, and will last for two more seasons. The Thule have indicated that further discussion of strategy will take place via the Ambassador to Otkodov - currently Yevgeni Katzev. Likewise, any concerns that the Empire may have about the tactics of the Thule will need to go via the ambassador.

The Jotun castles in Tanikpari and Stark are both rank one fortifications, but it is clear that they possess - or are in the process of receiving - some kind of enchantment. Fighting to conquer a region with a fortification can be especially challenging, even without the presence of large numbers of Jotun warriors. There are also signs that one or both of the fortifications are on the verge of being raised to rank two - which will make driving the Jotun from Sermersuaq even more challenging.

Push and Shove (Battle)

  • A major conjunction has been identified in Sermersuaq

There is a major conjunction of the Sentinel Gate during the Summer Solstice that will allow Imperial heroes to travel to Tanikipari. Details of what they will be able to achieve there are still being put together, but it appears that at the very least it will present a chance to delay the completion of the work on Olgafsdottirshal, preventing the full fortification of Tanikipari and presenting the possibility that the Empire might be able to capture the Jotun citadel and complete it themselves potentially gaining a potent fortification in a single season.

Key Objective

  • Destroy at least two of the Stonetoothed Obelisks in Tanikipari to delay the expansion of the Jotun fortification at Tanikipari by one season
  • Destroy three of the obelisks to delay the expansion by two seasons
  • Destroy all four of the obelisks to nullify all the work carried out on the expansion and damage buildings throughout the area

The advance of the Imperial armies has forced the Jotun to try desperately to complete the expansion of their two fortifications in Tanikipari and Stark before they come under direct attack. The architect of these giant citadels is Igya Olgafsdottir; a champion of the Jotun, the eldest child of the Jarl of Tromsa, and one of the finest siege engineers of the Jotun. She is allegedly a respected advisor and friend of Yrsa Jansdóttir, Queen of Kalsea. The expansion she has overseen represents a significant problem for the Empire - a single fortification of this size is nearly the equal of an Imperial army - or two Imperial armies when it is being directly attacked.

The work on the fortress of Kalant in Stark is further on and there is nothing the Empire can now do to prevent it being completed. However there is still a chance to delay completion of Olgafsdottirshal in Tanikipari. What's more, if successful, it would create a brief opening for the Imperial armies to try to seize the castle and turn the Jotun's siege engineering against them.

The opportunity depends on the hot springs of Tanikipari, the pools and lakes of naturally heated water that are well known across the Empire. The source of that heat lies deep underground and in the past it was the source of semi-regular earth tremors in western Sermersuaq. During the reign of Empress Richilde, the wily Senator for Sermersuaq Annike Stonetoothed convinced the Senate to let her build a series of stone obelisks that helped to subdue the chaotic earthpower of Tanikipari. For over three hundred years the earth in Tanikipari has been quiescent, bound in slumber by white granite obelisks marked with the rune of dominion, the rune of disaster, and the rune of strength.

Battlefield Rituals
Both Rising Roots that Rend Stone and Inevitable Collapse into Ruin are challenging rituals to perform on the battlefield. The opportunity would require one or more Imperial covens to pass through the Sentinel Gate and perform the rituals on the battlefield. Tools such as retraining and Infant Starts with a Blank Slate can both be used to help ensure that a coven can perform one of these rituals, and the way the rituals work means that they can be performed behind the front lines and a single contributor sent out to attack the stones.

Only a magician who contributed to the ritual can use the implement that holds the charge - it's not possible for a bystander to wield the implement. The most reliable way to do this would be to capture the obelisk and perform the ritual there - but each ritual requires ten minutes to complete. The Military Council might also want to bear in mind that a typical coven can perform only two rituals a day.

Both these rituals require assistance from a referee, so any coven taking the battlefield that intends to do perform one of these rituals must let the ref team know by 10am on the morning of the battle at the latest.

One of Annike Stonetoothed's distant descendants proposes to harness the natural volatility of the hot springs. By destroying carefully selected Stonetoothed Obelisks, a series of mild earth tremors will be triggered that will seriously disrupt all construction work in Tanikipari. There is no risk of anything catastrophic - as long as the rest of the obelisks are left unharmed. Unfortunately the obelisks were built to last - Verys renders them resistant to the elements and almost impossible to damage by mundane means. To actually disrupt one of the obelisks will need ritual magic - the rituals Rising Roots that Rend Stone and Inevitable Collapse into Ruin would both be just as effective on the obelisks as they are on the walls of a fortification.

Destroying one of the obelisks won't be enough - at least two will need to be destroyed to ensure the resulting tremors are potent enough. If two are ruined, it will delay completion of Olgafsdottishal for an entire season. It will count as only a basic fortification for the coming campaign season. If the Empire and Thule alliance are able to capture Tanikipari during that time they will be able to complete the fortification following the Autumn Equinox and gain control of an improved fortification with which to secure their own dominion of Sermersuaq. If three of the obelisks are destroyed, the prognosticators predicts that the resulting tremors will be powerful enough that work will have to be halted and some of the half-complete construction will be damaged and have to be redone. As a result, it will take the Jotun until the Winter Solstice to complete Olgafsdottirshal.

The war scouts are confident that work is so far advanced on the fortification that even if the Empire goes all out they will definitely be able to capture the fortification while it is still intact - and with the use of magic such as Hammers of the Brilliant Shore any damage can be quickly repaired.

Completing Olgafsdottirshal
Completion of Olgafsdottirshal will need the Empire to control the entire region of Tanikipari; it will cost 25 wains of white granite, 50 crowns, and require either a Senate motion or an announcement by a suitable title with the ability to improve fortifications (such as the Imperial Master of Works). It will count as one of the Empire's limited number of commissions for that season.

Finally, if the Empire takes the decision that it is better to try and destroy all four of the Stonetooth Obelisks - the resulting tremors will be felt not only in Tanikipari but also in northern Stark and southern Suaq Wastes. The tremors will continue for several days, and will be potent enough to destroy all the improvements currently being made to Olgafsdottirshal. The fortification will still be a basic fortification, but the work to upgrade it will need to be started again from scratch. While the tremors are unlikely to cause significant loss of life, they will disrupt fishing in the Atkonartok and will likely damage vulnerable halls and buildings throughout the regions.

Champions of the West

  • Killing Eisa Winterborn or Yanya Uranduln's will cause their elite unit to withdraw from the campaign in Sermersuaq. They will not return to fighting the Empire for two seasons

There is a complication presented by the presence of two large warbands of Jotun in the vicinity of the destination. The Yegarra of Eisa Winterborn and the aggressive orc warriors of Yanya Uranduln's Howling Bears have both been very active in the Sermersuaq campaign. Indeed the Howling Bears helped conquer the hot springs of Taniki in the first place. A complex rivalry exists between the two warbands and both were involved in the destruction of the western end of Pakanaan's Pass.

Their presence is a significant threat but they also represent an opportunity. Both Eisa Winterborn and Yanya Uranduln are renowned heroes of the Jotun - between them their warbands are the equivalent of nearly half an Imperial army and they represent a major obstacle for the Empire for as long as they campaign here. Killing either or both of them will deal a major blow to their respective warbands - both are held together by the heroic charisma of their leaders as much as anything else. In time, new Jotun champions will arise to replace them - but it will take at least six months and there is no guarantee that these new warbands will be as effective as those who fight under the Walrus Banner or the Banner of the Howling Bear, nor that they will be motived to fight in Sermersuaq.

The Suaq scouts will try to provide the muster with the best description available of the two Jotun champions. Neither hero will be in the area when the Empire arrive, but they will both head for the battlefield as soon as the alarm is raised. The Empire can expect them to announce their presence on the battlefield shortly after they arrive.

Battlefield Situation

  • The Jotun have been alerted to the Imperial interest in the area
  • Jotun troops have formed a defensive picket protecting one of the obelisks
  • Eisa Winterborn and her Yegarra and Yanya Uranduln's and her Howling Bears will arrive after the battle begins

Somehow the Jotun have got wind of a potential Imperial attack. As a result Jotun troops have secured the field and set up a multi-layered defensive perimeter near the Stonetoothed obelisks. The prognosticators believe it is possible that the Jotun's rune casters, their magicians, may have used magic to alert them to the risks. They are unlikely to know precisely what the Empire plans, but they have obviously alerted somehow.

According to the reports, there are two obelisks located in the field, one in the centre of the open ground and one further back behind the defensive line. The remaining pair of obelisks are located somewhere in the adjacent woods.

The warscouts expect that Eisa Winterborn, her Yegarra and Yanya Uranduln and her Howling Bears will arrive some time after the battle begins.


  • The artisans of Runegrott have arranged for six ritual staffs to be made available to the Empire if the Military Council chose to take the battle in Sermersuaq
  • The Military Council can choose either Sanguine Staffs or Phlegmatic Staffs
  • The staffs are a gift from Wintermark to help any ritual team that commits to attempting the rituals on the battlefield

The success of the military campaign in Sermersuaq this season, has raised hope in Wintermark that the Empire may soon drive the Jotun from the territory completely. Keen to support the effort, the artisans of Runegrott have rallied the people of Hahnmark to gather the resources needed to create up to six powerful ritual staves. Depending on the advice received from the Military Council, they plan to use Timeless Hammer Rhythm to create either Sanguine Staffs or Phlegmatic Staffs. (The Military Council should let the Herald know if they would like six of one or the other, or three of each). The magical staffs will be delivered to the Herald of the Council, and available for the military council to distribute after the Saturday afternoon council session - a grateful gift from Wintermark to thank them for their bravery and heroism - assuming the military council chooses to attempt this battle.

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 War page for the event.

The Missing Warlock (Conjunction)

  • One of the Thule warlocks has become trapped behind enemy lines
  • The Thule need the Empire to retrieve the warlock, otherwise they will be unable to enchant their armies this season
  • They have asked the Ambassador to Otkodov to ensure he is recovered

Enchanted with powerful ritual magic, the Thule armies have been effective allies in the campaign to drive the Jotun out of Sermersuaq. There is little love between the two orc nations and even less trust, and that has not been helped by the antics of one particular army, the Shard of Winter. With explicit orders to loot enemy settlements, they have reaved and enslaved their way across Sermersuaq even as they drove the Jotun back.

Now it seems that one of theirs has been caught behind enemy lines. An advance raiding party has apparently forged too far ahead of the Imperial-Thule lines, been cut-off, and been captured by the Jotun. The Dragons would accept the loss of twenty or so of their foot-soldiers, but the group apparently includes an important figure - a Thule warlock called Hustavok, the White Raven.

Rak Who-Speaks-For-The-Dragons-Undivided has let the Empire know that the Thule will be unable to enchant their armies in Sermersuaq this season unless Hustavok is recovered. The Thule do not have the means to reach the White Raven themselves, but they know the Sentinel Gate would allow the Empire to make the attempt. They have asked the Ambassador to Otkodov to arrange to recapture Hustavok and either bring him back through the Sentinel Gate or kill him to ensure the Jotun are not able to force him to reveal Thule secrets.

Hustavok is not an Imperial citizen, so he cannot be brought back via the Sentinel Gate unless he consents to have a ritual such as The Cuckoo's Egg cast on him first. The prognosticators have confirmed there is a large conjunction that leads to the Flat Hills in Stark, the last known location of Hustavok and his party, though of course they have not let the Thule know that.

Success and Failure: Rescuing or killing Hustavok before he can reveal Thule secrets will ensure the Thule are able to enchant their armies in Sermersuaq this season. If Hustavok is not rescued and remains in Jotun hands, the Thule will not be able to enchant any armies - although they will still be able to maintain the Rivers of Life in Sermersuaq as they have done for the past several years.

Second Skin (Conjunction)

  • The Jotun have taken one of the Hylje people hostage, Koskinen, the son of one of the Hylje's leaders
  • The Hylje will be unable to provide the Empire with any more assistance in Sermersuaq if he is not recovered
  • They have asked the Mediator of Hyljehal to try to arrange a rescue for Koskinen

In recent years, the hylje have proved themselves to be dependable allies of Wintermark. Most of the seal-shifters are a peaceful people by nature and they dislike the warlike Jotun. They prefer to avoid open battle but they have provided invaluable help on more than one occasion, most recently when they helped the Imperial military units who took part in the raid on Skallahn escape back to Imperial lines.

Now one of their number has paid the price for that aid. Koskinen, a hylje scout helping to lead Wintermark heroes out of Greenwall and back through Jotun lines, has been captured by the orcs. Somehow the Jotun have discovered that the prisoner is the son of a Palliko, a respected leader among the hylje, and sent word to them that Koskinen will be held as hostage by the Jotun for two years to ensure that the hylje stay out of the war. Provided the hylje play no further role in the conflict in Sermersuaq, Koskinen will be released. Otherwise he will be executed.

Unless Koskinen be rescued, the hylje will withdraw back to their hidden homes and avoid any further involvement in the retaking of Sermersuaq. The aid the hylje have provided thus far has been sporadic but useful and has definitely saved Imperial lives. They know the hostage is being held at White Plume Rocks in Stark and have asked the Mediator of Hyljehal to try to arrange a rescue for him if at all possible.

Success and failure: If Koskinen is rescued from the Jotun and escorted to a safe place from which they can make their way back to the people, the hylje will continue to offer aid to the people of Wintermark in Sermersuaq. If Koskinen cannot be rescued, or is killed by the Jotun, then the hylje will not be prepared to risk further reprisals and will offer further aid until the Jotun have been completely driven out of the territory.

Old Bones (Conjunction)

  • A Jotun party have recovered a spear from the The Grave of the Giants which they intend to gift to Hayaak
  • Hayaak will reward the Jotun with his help if the spear is returned to him
  • Heralds of Jaheris have sent word of what is occurring to the Empire. They have asked the Weigher of Worth to arrange a group to intercept the group and recover the spear

A group of Jotun champions, led by the ghodi, Allok Surefoot have made the dangerous journey to the the The Grave of the Giants, a great ice-cavern lies by the edge of the waters of Nutjuitoq in Tsirku. They are pursuing a quest set for them by the Brother of Lions, a journey to claim the Spear of Bounty, an ancient relic of the Jotun that was lost in battle with a terrible sea monster a century ago. Hayaak let the ghodi know that the spear had washed ashore at the Grave of the Giants and charged him to recover it. He has promised to support the Jotun in their war against the Empire if the ghodi can return with the weapon.

Such support could give the Jotun an edge in their battle to keep control of Stark and Tanikipari. Cathan Canae's aid has been invaluable to the Jotun, with her giants taking the field against the Empire. There is some evidence to suggest that Hayaak is a much-diminished figure in recent years, so it seems unlikely he could provide the kind of aid that the Queen of Ice and Darkness can offer, but it still represents a significant threat.

All this information arrives courtesy of one of the Hawk Lord's chief rivals, Jaheris, the Unicorn Price, Lord of the Forests of Arden. His heralds profess to favour the Empire over the "churlish" Jotun. Certainly, they make no secret of their hatred for the Brother of Lions and are eager to see Hayaak's plan thwarted. They claim that the Spear of Bounty is an ancient Jotun spear, an item with great worth, and asked the Weigher of Worth of the Imperial Orcs to arrange a group to intercept and recover the Spear before the ghodi and his champions can reach the safety of Jotun lines. The group are apparently camped in Spirax woods, a small wooden area a few days south of Nutjuitoq.

Success and failure: If the Empire is able to capture the spear, they will cause the ghodi's quest to fail and deny the support of Hayaak to the Jotun. The Empire will also have claimed a valuable item of worth apparently connected to both a Jotun hero and the Brother of Lions. If they do not manage to recover the spear, Hayaak will offer his aid to the Jotun in the coming season most likely in the form of an enchantment for one of their armies.