Fiona peered at the herald, Sanvar Isk, with a look of obvious disapproval. "So to recap the details, you are a representative of Callidus -" she began before she was interrupted.

"Ah no. Now I didn't say that exactly. I said I was an associate of the Prince of the Argent Tontine. I can't claim to speak for the Sovereign-Lord of the City of Chains personally".

"Right. Yes. An "associate." So you are an "associate" of Callidus, but you're here to make an offer on behalf of Prospero?" She wished Khaytanus or Aitana were here - the difficult ones always turned up when the bosses were out.

"Ah no. Again, that's not quite right." The herald seemed almost apologetic. Almost. "My offer is access to the Weaver's Loom of Spells. I'm not actually representing the Lord of the Loom. Think of me as a sort of a middle herald."

"Right. A middle herald." She made sure to write that bit down and underline it. "So you're offering access to the Loom of Spells is that right?"

"Yes! In a way you can think of me as representing the Loom of Spells I suppose. If I'm speaking for anyone then it's for the Loom itself."

Now they were getting somewhere the Prefect thought. "So - you're an associate of Callidus - but you're offering access to Prospero's Loom of Spells?" The herald nodded in agreement which was exactly what Fiona had been hoping for.

"Right - so does Prospero approve that an associate of Callidus is here offering us access to his Loom?" she demanded.

The herald's face broke into a broad and deeply unconvincing grin. "Well now that is a difficult question to answer... I'd really have to know what in the realm you meant by the idea of approve? The Sovereign Lord of the City of Bridges is a deeply ineffable being - who can really know what they do or do not sanction? Who is in favour and who is out?"

The look of skepticism on Fiona's face made clear how unconvincing she found Sanvar's response, so the herald tried again.

"The Lord of the Loom is, as his title suggests... the Lord of the Loom. So in a very real sense, anything the Loom does, must, by definition, have the approval of the Lord of the Loom. Otherwise it simply couldn't work could it? Now I can neither confirm nor deny that I have spoken with the Golden Prince about this personally - but the fact that the offer to use the Loom is there... well that couldn't really happen if the Lord of the Loom wasn't permitting that to happen. Ergo... that proves it's all completely legitimate."

"Right. Completely legitimate. I'll write that down," Aitana promised. She looked down at the pad where she'd put some very unkind words describing her guest. She went to cross them out and then thought better of it. She wrote "completely legitimate" next to his name and then put some quotes round the words to emphasize the point.

The Bee Of Prosperity Blesses You.jpg
The eternals of Autumn are transactional to a fault, although each one values a slightly different form of currency; money, raw materials, influence, ambition, desire, probity, and trickery. It's a wonder any of them are able to be in the same room together for more than a few minutes without a fight breaking out.


  • Bounty of the Brilliant Broker has been invoked in the Empire
  • You can learn about the magical effects of the Imperial enchantment in the Farewell wanderlust wind of fortune

As the Bounty of the Brilliant Broker sweeps across the Empire, it temporarily empowers weak Autumn regio, and encourages the eternals of the Autumn realm to involve themselves in Imperial affairs. These effects combine to cause Autumn eternals who are not marked as enemies of the Empire to send heralds to the Empire.

Ephisis, Estavus, the Lictors, and Prospero have all sent a number of their representatives to the Empire. Of those four the Forge Mistress has been especially enthusiastic about the magic, and scores have emerged from regio mostly in and around Zenith, apparently as a consequence of a plenipotentiary message sent by Edmundo of Damakan's Forge the Archmage of Autumn during the equinox. The rest of this wind of fortune deals with the consequences of prising open Autumn regio in the Imperial territories, and the responses of the other Autumn eternals to that.

City of Gold and Lead

The eternal Ephisis is the Sovereign Lord of the City of Gold and Lead and she is fascinated by trade in all its forms. The Bounty of the Brilliant Broker appears to have greatly appealed to her servants, many of whom belong to competing guilds that vie to control mercantile affairs across their magical realm and seek trade contacts throughout the Known World. The ambitious schemes of the Bailiffs of the Guttered Flame to trade scrip to Imperial business owners are discussed elsewhere but they are far from the only faction of the City of Gold and Lead active in the Empire since the Spring Equinox - and the eternal herself appears to be taking advantage of the situation to make some tweaks to the ritual with which she is closely associated.

Weighers of Worth

  • Ephisis will respond differently to the use of Ephisis' Scale during the Summer Solstice

One of the ways Imperial magicians have to interact with the Autumn realm is the ritual Ephisis' Scale. This allows them to trade items with the City of Gold and Lead, generally receiving a response within the hour in the form of an offer they can either accept or reject. During the Summer Solstice, heralds of Ephisis have announced that the ritual exchange will be working very differently. The heralds do not come out and say it, and avoid direct questions relating to it, but it seems that the occupants of the City of Gold and Lead are interested in experimenting with other forms of commerce and trade to see if they can prove more useful for the City.

During the Summer Solstice, Ephisis Scale can only be cast on Friday and Saturday. Rather than receiving a response within the hour, the box and the contents will be kept in the City of Gold and Lead until Sunday afternoon. The coven performing the ritual will be given a token which marks them as the owner of the box and its contents. Beginning at 1pm on Sunday, representatives of the City of Gold and Lead will come to the Hall of Worlds and meet with the covens who have submitted boxes via the ritual. They will have used the additional time, and the peculiar temporal mechanics of the Autumn realm, to seek the best possible offers for the contents of each box, and will present them to the magicians who cast the ritual. There may even be some leeway for negotiation depending on the nature of the offer. If an agreement can be reached, the heralds will return the box and the agreed on price for its contents. If an agreement cannot be reached, the box will be returned along with whatever the magicians had put in it. Obviously, the magicians will need to bring the token that marks them as the owner of the box. If they do not, the heralds will not deal with them.

In the event a box is not claimed for whatever reason (the token has been lost, or nobody arrives to bargain with the heralds), the heralds will claim the items sent and arrange for payment to be sent to the caster of the ritual later. (OOC Note: In this case, payment will be added to the caster's inventory and the box and any props will be put in lost property.)

These changes will not alter any specific trades agreed on in advance. For example, taking advantage of the Bailiffs of the Guttered Flame offer, or the various offers by Autumn assassins for the heads and hearts of Imperial citizens, will work as normal.

A Market of Gold

Golden Market of Aggido
Commission Type: Ministry
Location: Ashbrook, Anozel, or Gildenheim
Cost: 30 mithril, 60 crowns, three months to construct
Effect: Creates the position of Agent of the Golden Consortium who is able to purchase quantities of vis from heralds of Ephisis.
Time Limit: If the Golden Market of Aggido is not commissioned by the end of the Autumn Equinox 385YE the opportunity is lost
Restriction: The Golden Market of Aggido can only be commissioned by a Bearer of an Imperial Wayleave
Opportunity: This commission has required elements; if any are not all fulfilled the commission does nothing
Agent of the Golden Consortium
Type: National position
Appointment: Annual appointment; Tally of the Votes
Powers: Control of a ministry allowing purchase of set quantities of vis
Responsibilities: Oversee the Golden Market of Aggido and ensure that ritualists are paid for their work
Restriction: If the Conclave declared enmity against Ephisis, the title loses access to the ministries.
Warm ashes
10 tempest jade5 warm ashes
24 tempest jade10 warm ashes
40 tempest jade15 warm ashes
68 tempest jade20 warm ashes
Random vis
9 crowns5 random vis
22 crowns10 random vis
36 crowns 15 random vis
62 crowns20 random vis
  • The Empire could construct a market to purchase vis from the Golden Consortium of Aggido
  • The Golden Market of Aggido would need to be announced by a Bearer of an Imperial Wayleave, would require a commission, cost 30 wains of mithril, 60 crowns, and would take three months
  • The Golden Consortium of Aggido have indicated they are willing to trade in any one of Anozel, Ashill, or Gildenheim

Agents of the Golden Consortium of Aggido have been active in Segura, Upwold, and Skarsind over the past three months discussing the application of magic, the demand in the Empire for mana crystals, and the supply of vis available. The Golden Consortium of Aggido are a large group of traders from the City of Gold and Lead who have extensive trading contracts with mortals across the Known World and who, in recent years, have made the trade of quintessence from across the realms their primary focus. As such these denizens of the fifth ring are looking to offer their wares to citizens of the Empire in either Anozel, Ashill, or Gildenheim

The town of Anozel has struggled in recent years; serving as an armed camp in the Freeborn defence of the territory it has since been eclipsed by the settlements Anduz, Cerevado, and Sobral. One abandoned parador is exactly what the agents of the Golden Consortium of Aggido are looking for in their search for a location in Segura for the Golden Market of Aggido; an expansive warehouse that can be reinforced with mithril struts, an open and pleasant meeting room, and enough rooms to be able to host visiting merchants from other Imperial nations.

The industrious village of Ashill is perpetually covered in soot from the charcoal burning that provides its main industry. The Grosvenor household used to be centred around a well known and prosperous family, but after decades there is just a single member left; Quick Alice, who is very interested in selling the family home to the Golden Consortium which would allow her to journey to Leerdam. The Grosvenor family home is excellently situated in the village and there are sufficient repairs needed that the necessary tie beams of mithril could be added with minimal work necessary.

The bustling settlement of Gildenheim has experienced a resurgence under the Imperial Orcs; it is difficult to find any area that is well suited to the needs of the Golden Consortium whilst still being within the boundaries of the town. There are some suggestions of trying to force the civil servants out of the town but those hints are met with the half-hearted chuckles they deserve. Instead Needa's Hall, a once proud meadery that was mostly destroyed in the fall of Skarsind, is offered by a visiting relative. According to Needa's grandson she actually managed to escape a debt owed to a herald of Ephisis, so this kind of all works out. The mead hall would need quite extensive work to repair and make habitable but there are holes where the mithril pillars can be sunk without too much difficulty.

The Golden Consortium will only cooperate with the Empire if their market is built in one of these three locations. Since it can only be in one location, they have decided that the best way to ensure that the Empire benefits from this is to let the market decide. For this reason, the Golden Market can only be built with a wayleave.

City of Chains

The eternal Callidus is the Sovereign Lord of the City of Chains and he is captivated by greed, viewing it as the motivating force of all living things. He is said to be able to locate highly desired items in the material world with sufficient inducement, especially those that are unique or exotic.

Rewards of Virtue

  • Callidus wishes to purchase liao from Imperial citizens and will offer a crown a dose for any included in an Ephisis' Scale ritual
  • He is also keen to get his hands on true liao; he offers several boons in return for doses of the precious substance
  • It is illegal for anyone other than the Gatekeepers to trade true liao to Callidus

Callidus has let it be known that he is interested in acquiring a significant amount of liao. He provides no information as to why. First of all, he lets it be known that his agents will make an offer on any box delivered via Ephisis Scale that contains liao, offering a full crown for each dose of the spiritually empowered material. Any casting of the ritual that only has doses of liao and a piece of paper bearing the Lann will see money returned in the standard way. This does not remove the restriction of the ritual only being able to be cast on Friday or Saturday of this summit.

What he's really after however is true liao. If anyone provides him with a dose he is prepared to offer them the choice of either 75 thrones, or he will send his best trackers to locate any one of the missing Pilgrim's Shields about whose location the Empire is uncertain. If possible, he will put the person contributing the liao in touch with the current owner, assuming there is one. It is of course illegal to trade true liao to anyone who is not an Imperial citizen, but Callidus is profoundly unconcerned about this, operating as he does from outside the Empire.

His secretary Zand has pointed out that there is a loophole in the trade of true liao anyway: the Gatekeepers of the Imperial Synod may do as they wish. If they are prepared to allocate doses of true liao to him at the Summer Solstice, he will find a way to recompense them. He could provide 75 thrones for them to do with as they wish assuming they were comfortable with breaking the law. Alternatively, if they wanted to stay within the law, they could request that he tracks down the location of any lost artefact of religious significance that still exists in the mortal world and he will send his best trackers to find it; or they may ask that he contributes 25 thrones to the Virtue Fund every season for the next year for each dose of true liao provided (a total of 100 thrones over the course of four seasons for each dose).

Depending on the Gatekeeper's needs he can either send a herald at the Autumn Equinox to discuss the boons they have purchased, or any one of them can contribute the liao directly by placing it in a bag with a note detailing which of the three boons they want, and performing operate portal while at the Imperial regio (he is confident at least one of the Gatekeepers is a magician). The appropriate reward will be delivered in time for the start of the Autumn Equinox.

Stolen Seeds

Total Money SpentAdditional Crystals
45 rings1 crystal mana
85 rings2 crystal mana
120 rings3 crystal mana
150 rings4 crystal mana
  • Callidus has offered to supply Jarmish beloye zerno to one nation of the Empire
  • The Prince of the Argent Tontine asks the General Assembly to use a judgement to indicate which nation should benefit from the trade

A pair of small-time heralds of Callidus, called Piper and Float claim to have come by a supply of beloye zerno, the white seed that can be used to make a mana site more productive. The seed is expensive, and their supply is limited, but they are happy to sell it to the magicians of the Empire for a tidy profit.

White seed is scare in the Empire currently, so quite how these two chancers have managed to acquire so much of it is not clear. Although they are happy to admit that they are getting the seed from Jarm, neither of them are prepared to say how they have come by it. It is likely the House of Princes is unaware of what is going on, given they have passed laws making it illegal to trade with Imperial citizens. If that is the case, and they become aware of whatever is happening at their end, it's likely they could end the trade themselves in a suitably punitive fashion for whichever Jarmish citizens are currently supplying Piper and Float.

The two heralds only have enough white seed for a single nation in the Empire. The Prince of the Argent Tontine has decided that the recipients of this beneficence will be determined by the Imperial Synod. A statement of principle can be presented to the General Assembly indicating which of the ten nations should receive the seed. Whichever statement gets the most votes in favour (Callidus has told his heralds to ignore all votes against) will win. The judgement will take effect, even if the judgement does not pass, Callidus is only looking for an indication of which nation has the most backing from the Synod.

The Prince has provided specific wording for the statement, to ensure clarity.

The General Assembly of the Imperial Synod believes that {nation} is most worthy of their support and beseeches the Sovereign-Lord of the City of Chains to instruct his heralds to provide them with white seed.

Statement of Principle, General Assembly

Given that this wording has been provided by an agent of Callidus after careful negotiation it is not possible to submit an alternate wording for this opportunity.

The Loom of Spells

  • A herald named Sanvar Isk has an intriguing offer to the ritual magicians of the Empire
  • The herald of Callidus can provide access to the Loom of Spells - a powerful location belonging to the eternal Prospero
  • Sanvar Isk will visit the Hall of Worlds at 16:45 on the Saturday of the Summer Solstice, and potentially again at 14:00 on Sunday

Sanvar Isk does not appear to represent any of the great guilds or carta of the Autumn Realm. In the patois of some parts of Tassato, they would be considered "a bit of a chancer". Yet somehow they claim to have laid hands on a contract allowing them to provide limited access to the Loom of Spells in the City of Bridges. The Loom apparently "stabilises magic" - it allows the codification of arcane projections into ritual texts in the same manner as a college of magic. For reasons the herald does not elaborate on, it will only be possible to use the Loom to codify rituals with a magnitude of 10 or less - which some arcane scholars find a little surprising given it's apparently the size of a city block and imbued with a fragment of the essence of Prospero himself. Sanvar Isk is certain it will be able to codify such a ritual in a single season (as mortals reckon time), but it won't be possible to speed that up with expenditure of money or resources. The Loom exists in the Autumn realm so cannot be enchanted to speed the process of codification either.

The Loom of Spells is part of the Autumn realm, but apparently Sanvar Isk will be able to attach it to a suitable Autumn regio in the Empire, taking advantage of the lingering traces of the Imperial enchantment. Doing so will require extensive preparations. The herald has located a location in Tassato Mestra that will serve as an anchor, allowing access to the Loom, but actually connecting the regio there to the Loom of Spells will require one hundred ingots or measures. it doesn't matter what kind of ingots or measures are provided - but the quantity is non-negotiable. The herald themselves intends to visit the Hall of Worlds straight after the Arcane Colloquium on Saturday afternoon (at around 16:45), and will meet with wizards interested in access to the Loom. There are apparently a few other details that will need to be discussed, that Sanvar Isk has not discussed in public, but the herald is confident they are only minor matters and will be quickly dealt with.

Once the Loom is linked to a regio in the Empire, they will be able to provide a full year of access... but they will also have to pay "rent". As such they will auction access each season, with the opportunity to codify an arcane projection going to the highest bidder. Assuming Imperial magicians are able to provide the resources needed to secure access, Sanvar Isk will return on Sunday afternoon at 2pm to auction the first season of access to the highest bidder. Whoever gets the thing will be able to provide an arcane projection, and will receive a ritual text in return at the start of the next Anvil summit.

The civil service who have spoken with Sanvar Isk say the deal appears to be legitimate, although one of them privately describes the herald as "a greasy little shite" when questioned about it after the fact. Control of the Loom of Spells would not be an Imperial title, and could be held by anyone chosen by Sanvar Isk. The Imperial Synod would not be able to revoke the holder, nor would a Writ of Excommunication remove their ability to use it. It's even unlikely that declaring enmity against Callidus or Prospero would impede the Loom's ability to codify although in that situation Isk may need to make other arrangements to receive the arcane projection and deliver the ritual text.

The opportunity is only available during the Summer Solstice; after that the regio Sanvar Isk has secured will lose power again and the chance to access the Loom of Spells will be lost.

City of Fire and Stone

Of late the Prince of Shikal seems to have become a firm ally of the Jotun providing them with weapons and warriors in their fight against the Empire. Despite this, the Bronze Artisan seems to have no compunctions against providing the Empire with a range of help and assistance.

The Forgemistress appears to have a near limitless desire for ingots and measures, presumably to feed the countless artisans who toil in her service creating magical items. Her heralds have asked the Civil Service to distribute information on three offers that many be of interest. The first is for all Imperial magicians, the second is only available to the artisans of Wintermark and the final offer is to the people of Zenith.

ItemNumber AvailableCost
Amberglass Chain99 Ambergelt
Biting Blade175 Orichalcum
Butcher's Bill1510 Orichalcum
Circlet of Command1339 Weltsilver
Bloodamber Hauberk117 Weltsilver
Neophyte's Aid1512 Tempest Jade
Opaline Coat1614 Iridescent Gloaming
Reaving Mattock125 Tempest Jade
Redsteel Chisel158 Orichalcum
Soldier's Harness147 Ambergelt
Sunfire Pectoral814 Green Iron
Warmage's Belt1110 Weltsilver
Warrior's Plate185 Beggar's Lye
Winterborn Warmail1329 Orichalcum
Winternight Lifestealer1230 Tempest Jade

Fire Sale

  • A herald of Estavus offers magical items for purchase by Imperial magicians at the Summer Solstice
  • Imperial magicians can purchase these items by performing the ritual Before the Throne of Estavus
  • The exchange can only be performed at the Anvil regio
  • There are a limited number of each item available, once they are gone, warm ashes will be supplied in their place

A herald of Estavus, Illia, Master of the Thousand Hammers, has in her possession a large number of magical items of the kind that are relatively common throughout the Empire. The Bronze Artisan has instructed their herald to dispose of these items quickly, eager to obtain more ingots and measures to feed the ever hungry forges of the City of Stone and Fire.

To enable the trade, Illia has made arrangements to allow Imperial Magicians to purchase the excess stock by casting the ritual Before the Throne of Estavus. To request a purchase, the magician must include a note that lists all the items they wish to buy and enough materials to pay for them all. Illia has provided the Civil Service with a list of prices for her wares.

The magnitude of the ritual will depend how many measures are sent to Estavus to pay for the goods. The ritual can affect up to five ingots. Each additional five ingots included in the ritual increases the magnitude by 2. For example, if a ritualist wishes to purchase two Biting Blades and a Soldier's Harness then that would need to send 10 orichalcum and 7 ambergelt to pay for the purchase - so the ritual would need to be magnitude 10 to transport that many resources to Estavus.

The ritual exchange can only be carried out if the ritual is performed at the Anvil regio. Illia will have heralds near the regio to provide the purchased goods - attempting to purchase crafted items by casting the ritual elsewhere will fail. OOC Note: Please ensure you have suitable phys-reps on hand when casting the ritual, so that the ref can ribbon them for you.

Illia's fire sale has limited stocks, once they're gone they're gone. From that point on, any requests for an item that is out of stock will result in the materials being returned unless the casters specifically request that spare materials be exchanged for warm ashes (one pouch for each five full ingots or measures sent to Estavus). Any excess measure will be returned to the caster.

The Mediators Bargain

  • Estavus offers an opportunity for the mediators of Wintermark to purchase one or more schema
  • Her offer is conditional on the schema being added to Runesmith's Law

The Prince of Shikal is pleased by Wintermark's decision to embrace Runesmith's Law and wishes to assist the people of the Mark in the acquisition of new items to expand their repertoire. To that end she has taken a set of schema from her personal library that she is prepared to offer for sale, on the condition that the purchaser agrees to add the knowledge to the body of lore kept at Runegrott. The representatives of the Prince are utterly inflexible on this point - if the purchased schema are not added to Runesmith's Law, then this will be a flagrant breach of contract and the Bronze Artisan will be forced to invoke the Lictors to deal with the matter.

The heralds of the Hammer of Fire and Stone intend to make the schema available using the same method as previously employed to provide the Empire with ritual scrolls. To obtain one of the offered schemas, a magician must first obtain the necessary materials. In each case, the bargain is sealed using the Ephisis' Scale ritual; along with the materials the magicians must include a Lann rune to indicate they wish to trade with Estavus. In return, Estavus will provide the first ritual magician to send the materials with the chosen schema.

There are five schema available - they are.

ItemPowerFormCrafting CostPurchase Cost
Dripping RingOnce per day you can use one personal mana as if it were crystal mana when casting a ritual.Ritual focus4 tempest jade, 3 iridescent gloaming180 weltsilver
Eagles TalonTwice per day you may call STRIKEDOWN with this one-handed spear.One handed spear12 green iron, 8 ambergelt, 7 tempest jade, 3 orichalcum210 tempest jade
Grimnir's BalmWhen you use the Stay With Me skill to restore a single hit, the target instead regains three hits.Tool7 green iron, 11 weltsilver, 7 ambergelt, 5 dragonbone230 beggars lye
Heroes AnciliaWhenever you spend a hero point you may remove the venom condition from yourself.Shield11 beggar's lye, 9 weltsilver190 orichalcum
Ring of FlameOnce per day you may use this ring to gain one additional rank of Autumn lore for the purposes of performing a single ritual, subject to the normal rules for effective skill.Ritual focus3 dragonbone, 3 weltsilver, 5 green iron, 7 tempest jade170 orichalcum

The Towers of Calx and Coom anticipate that the artisans of Wintermark will decide which, if any, of these schema they wish to purchase collectively. There is only one of each however, so if another Imperial magician purchases the schema first, then that is the end of the matter. If Estavus receives a second request for a schema that has already been sold then she will be forced to return the materials.

All the schema offered under the Mediators Bargain are available only during the Summer Solstice. Once that ends, the Bronze Artisan will return the schema to her library, they will not be offered for sale again.

The Fane in the Dark

  • The Autumn Archmage asked Estavus to aid in the reconstruction of Zenith and offered a fane
  • In response the Forgemistress has suggested that the Empire might construct a fane in Proceris
  • The commission would require 10 wains of mithril, 10 rings of ilium, 20 crowns and take a season to build
  • Once complete it would create an Imperial title, the Architect of the Fane of Shadows
  • The Architect could purchase magical items from Estavus - and could ask the eternal to change the items on offer
Fane of Shadows
Commission Type: Fane
Location: Proceris, Zenith
Cost: 10 wains of mithril, 10 rings of ilium, 20 crowns, three months
Effect: Creates the position of Architect of the Fane of Shadows who has access to a ministry
Time Limit: If the Fane is not commissioned by the end of the Autumn Equinox 385YE the opportunity is lost
Architect of the Fane of Shadows
Type: National position
Appointment: Annual appointment; Tally of the Votes
Powers: Purchase equipment from the heralds of Estavus
Responsibilities: The security of the Fane and the safety of the heralds who work there
Restrictions: If the Conclave declared enmity against Estavus, the title would lose access to its ministries.
10 crowns1 Jack of Irons
11 crowns1 Scrivener's Guard
11 crowns1 Goldentide Mail
32 crowns1 Runeplate
14 crowns1 Vorpal Sword
14 crowns1 Landsknecht's Zweihander
30 crowns1 Bullroarer's Shout
7 crowns1 Bondring
11 crowns1 Greensteel Bracelets
11 crowns1 Alder's Edge

In their plenipotentiary, the Autumn Archmage asked Estavus to support the rebuilding of Zenith and put up the prospect of the Empire constructing a fane for the eternal. In response the Forgemistress suggested that she sees little need to commission a fane, but she was open to discussing the option if the Empire provided appropriate incentive.

It seems however that the heralds that she has sent to Zenith to investigate the territory have found something that interests the Towers of Calx and Coom. The nightwoven magics that infest the region of Proceris fascinate the Hammer of Fire and Stone. She is intrigued by the strange auras. Provided that the Empire were happy to give The Prince of Shikal access to the dark marshes then she would be prepared to accept an offer of a fane there.

The face would require 10 wains of mithril, 10 rings of ilium, 20 crowns and take a season to build. It would need to be ceded to Estavus, as all such buildings must be to work. That would allow the Forgemistress to take ownership of the fane which so that her heralds could dwell there. The Prince of Shikal wishes to be absolutely clear that she will only do this on the proviso that the Empire is content for her heralds to study the nightwoven marshes to see if there is some way those enchantments might be of use to the Bronze Artisan. Access to the marshes would be her payment for staffing the fane.

In return the Forgemistress asks that Urizen appoint an architect from amongst their number to be responsible for the safety of the fane and the heralds who dwell there. The Architect of the Fane of Shadows would need to be appointed by Tally of the Votes but once in position they would be able to buy one or more of the magical items produced by the heralds working at the fane each season. Once a year, the Prince of Shikal would provide the Architect with the means to contact them directly, for the sole purpose of suggesting what items the Fane should make available for purchase.

This benefit would require the Empire to enjoy reasonable relations with Estavus. If the Conclave chose to put enmity in place, then the denizens of the fane would no longer sell their wares to the Architect.

City of Bridges

The eternal Prospero is the Sovereign Lord of the City of Bridges, a powerful magician and reputedly the most influential figure in the entire Autumn realm. He strives constantly to build a network of favours and patronage - always looking for new ways to bring people into his web of influence. He is unusual in the Autumn realm for his disdain of money and wealth - he prefers to trade in favours, regarding coin as a poor substitute.

The Prince of Ties has announced that he will be hosting a meeting with a number of Imperial citizens in a chamber adjacent to the Hall of Worlds, however it appears to be a private matter, with a very strict guest list. Melissa or one of her representatives will be looking for permission to enter further into the Hall of Worlds at 13:45 on the second day of the summit ready to take the guests, and their tokens of entry, through to a chamber at 14:00.

In addition to arranging a soiree for the net of his potential friends, he has a pair of favours to offer the Empire.

The Arch and The Web

  • Prospero will arrange a physical meeting between the Empire and representatives of any one nation in the world if the Celestial Arch agrees to owe him a favour
  • The Order would need to submit a declaration of concord this season and include details of which nation they would like to meet with, in order to accept the offer

The Golden Prince has contacts in every nation in the world. He has friends, or friends of friends, everywhere, even in places like the Iron Confederacy where so many minds are closed to the pleasures of magic. As a gesture of goodwill he is prepared to draw on these contacts to better aid the Empire's diplomacy. The Prince of Ties, is proposing to arrange a physical meeting to take place in the Empire at the Autumn Equinox, between Imperial diplomats and one or more representatives of a foreign power. chosen by the Order of the Celestial Arch. Obviously Polymitarius cannot say whether that meeting will help or hinder the Empire's cause - that would come down to the skill of the Empire's negotiators - but he hopes the opportunity might be valuable.

There are some caveats of course. The Subtle Spider has friends everywhere, but even he needs to work at scale. Thus the Order would need to select an actual bona fide nation - if they chose some small band or grouping then he can't promise anything. Likewise the Order should feel free to ask for a specific individual if there is someone, provided they understand that the Golden Prince can make no promises in that regard. He counts many important people as his friends, but he also has many enemies, so there are plenty of people who won't come to the Empire no matter what importunities Threadweaver spins. And finally, the Golden Prince expects any guests he brings to the Empire to be protected and respected - their wellbeing should be sacrosanct and they should be accorded the proper dignities due to their station.

Of course there is also the matter of the cost... The Golden Prince is more than happy to extend this favour for the Order of the Celestial Arch, provided the Grandmaster is happy to promise that his Order will return the favour at some point in the future. That would mean that at some point in the near future, Threadweaver would call on the Order to do him a favour in return. Obviously it would need to be reciprocal on some level - the nature of a favour is that the other party knows that they can ask for something of similar magnitude and importance in the future.

If the Celestial Arch agrees to the arrangement, then the Golden Prince asks them to use a declaration of concord to let the Conclave know they have agreed to his offer and acknowledge that they will owe the eternal a favour. The text of the declaration would need to include the name of whichever nation the Order would like the Golden Prince to contact. The offer is good for this season only.

The Shield and the Staff

  • Prospero is offering to use his influence to ensure that Jarm avoids offering concrete aid to the Grendel in their coming war with the Empire
  • The Rod and Shield would need to submit a declaration of concord at this summit, in order to accept the offer

The Empire once enjoyed a close friendship with the Principalities of Jarm, but relations have continued to worsen in recent years. That process accelerated when the Empire formed the Liberty Pact, to the point that the Jarmish are now openly hostile towards the Empire. They haven't explicitly declared war on the Empire (as the Asaveans have), but they have made little attempt to hide the fact that they are aiding the Grendel as they prepare for war with the Empire.

It is beyond the influence of the Subtle Spider to repair the Empire's diplomatic relations with Jarm - that ship has sailed. But Jarm is run by the Magician-Princes and that means Prospero is well-respected and well-liked in Jarm. He would be happy to expend some of his influence on the Empire's behalf - if the Order of the Rod and Shield would like him to.

What that would mean is that the Jarmish stop actively aiding the Grendel. They wouldn't oppose or attack them, such a drastic change of status can only come about naturally. But the Subtle Spider can whisper in the right ears, and call in favours from those who consider him an ally. Doing so would be enough to ensure that Jarm stayed out of the coming war, staying neutral and providing neither side with aid.

Like his other offer, the Golden Prince is happy to help the Empire in this way, provided the Grandmaster of the Rod and Shield is content to promise that his Order will return the favour at some point in the future. The Reckoner of Ebony and Bone would be well pleased to be owed favours by two of the Conclave orders.

If the Rod and Shield wish to accept to the arrangement, then they can use a declaration of concord to let the Conclave know they have agreed to his offer and acknowledge that they will owe the eternal a favour. The offer is good for this season only.

City of Locks

According to common gossip, Basileus Flint, the current incarnation of the ruler of the City of Locks was once an Imperial citizen. If so he likely achieved his position by overthrowing the previous incumbent, Basileus Kade. Such turmoil is apparently considered quite normal in a City that is obsessed with treachery and betrayal. Since then Flint has had relatively little contact with the Empire, at least until very recently.

Perhaps his decision to approach the Empire is linked to the current burst of Autumn magic - or maybe it is a result of dramatic developments in the City of Locks. Either way

The Whiff of Betrayal

  • Basileus Flint has discovered that the Empire has been asked to betray the interests of Axos by their allies in the Liberty Pact
  • If the Empire cut Axos from the Pact, the eternal will arrange for a single region in a neighbouring territory to come under threat this season
  • This would allow the Empire to launch a surprise attack on that region this season only without the normal beachhead penalties

The Sovereign Lord of the City of Locks collects secrets the way fresh jam collects wasps on a hot day. He is not interested in the mystical garbage the eternals of Night are fascinated by - it is professional espionage, the secrets gathered by spies that interest him. It seems that he has many sources of such information, which might explain how he has discovered what is afoot. It is also possible that the eternal is simply spying on the Empire in some way - his heralds assure the Empire that this is not the case, but of course they would say that.

Regardless of where the information has come from, Flint has learned that both the Commonwealth and Sumaah are eager to discuss the role of Axos in the Liberty Pact. It seems that both of these powerful nations are interested in rewriting the Liberty Pact. Their express goal is to make the Pact a three way arrangement between the Empire, Sumaah and the Commonwealth - three great powers in the world of similar size and prominence. Of course, what that would actually mean is that the fourth signatory, the vastly smaller nation of Axos, would no longer be a signatory to the Pact. This would suit both the Commonwealth and Sumaah since it would mean that Axos could no longer veto any changes to the Pact. Axos is aware of this proposal and perhaps unsurprisingly they are distinctly unhappy about it. They view any moves to remove them from the pact as a betrayal by the Empire - which is exactly where Flint's interest comes in.

Since Flint took over from Kade, the Empire has turned over a new leaf, disavowing treachery in favour of a largely unwavering determination to stick to its word. Probity has been put ahead of advancement in ways that the eternal has found distinctly disappointing. His heralds spoke with members of the Military Council recently about a proposal to launch a surprise attack on the Grendel in Feroz last season, which was declined. According to the Patron of Spies and Traitors such an attack would have caught the Grendel unprepared allowing the Empire to make major gains. The Keeper of the Weir claims his advice is about pragmatism over dogma. Breaking the treaty with the Grendel might damage the Empire's reputation - but so what? If it saves thousands of Imperial lives and shortens the coming war with the Grendel surely it's worth it? And it would do the Grendel good to be a little more fearful of the Empire he argues - claiming they are taking their deal with the Empire for granted.

That opportunity is gone now, but the negotiations with their partners in the Liberty Pact present the Empire with an opportunity to act in the best interests of the Empire. If the Empire has the will to be a little more ruthless in their dealings with their neighbours, then they stand to make significant gains. To that end, the Prince of the Black Vaults offers to sweeten the deal. If the Empire is prepared to side with their allies in the Commonwealth and Sumaah, over Axos, then the Sovereign Lord of Locks will arrange for a betrayal that benefits the Empire. His heralds point to the recent example of Kaliact's betrayal of the Grendel in Spiral as an example of how profitable such a thing can be. While the Prince of the Black Vaults can't offer something on that scale - such things take time - he can arrange for a single region that neighbours a single territory of the Empire to come under threat this season.

If the Empire agree with Sumaah and the Commonwealth to cut Axos from the Liberty Pact, then the Sovereign Lord of Locks will make good on his offer. To take advantage of his support for his old allies in the Empire, the Autumn archmage could simply name a region in a neighbouring territory in a plenipotentiary to Basileus Flint and the eternal would do the rest. He assumes that the archmage can liaise with the Warmage and the Military Council to identify where would be best. Technically the plenipotentiary would not even need to be City of Locks, it could be to any Autumn eternal and Flint would still find out and be able to act. But it would be wise to be careful if they opt for that route, since such an action could annoy the other eternal. Not that Prince of the Black Vaults gives a damn about that, but the Empire might...

The offer is good for a single season only. The negotiations will the Liberty Pact will take place at Anvil this season - if the outcome of those talks is that Axos no longer have the ability to vote or veto the decisions of the Liberty Pact then the Autumn archmage could request a single region in a single territory that neighbours the Empire to come under threat for the coming military season. The Military Council would need to capitalise on that benefit with the orders they submit this session, otherwise the benefits will be lost.

All That's Fit To Read

  • Heralds of the Autumn Realm are full of news about events in the City of Locks
  • Boons created by or relating to Mazen have ceased working
  • Agents of the Lictors are seeking evidence of Flint's hand in the attack

The Sovereign Lord of the City of Locks is not the only eternal to have had little to do with the Empire in recent times. Mazen of the Many Faces has not been seen by Imperial citizens in many years. When asked about this, however, heralds from the other cities can barely contain their excitement. It appears that the Gull Catcher has been unmade. Murdered, in fact. Many are sceptical at first, but the story is the same no matter who is spoken to. The Lord of Masks is no more; they have enacted their final scheme. There is also, surprisingly, little doubt as to what has actually happened. Almost everyone is of the opinion that it is Basileus Flint, who has struck against the masked one, presumably exploiting some fatal weakness. The two were known to be rivals, but nobody was expecting Flint to act so aggressively.

There's no proof of course. Flint hasn't exactly denied it, but neither has he or anyone from the City of Locks confirmed it. One reason for this might well be that by all accounts the Lictors have become involved. They have let it be known that they will reward anyone who can provide evidence relating to the destruction of Mazen, depending on how significant that evidence turns out to be. This is unprecedented, apparently, but the assumption is that there is some kind of breach of contract involved in the eternal's death. Those who have evidence are encouraged to place it in an Ephisis' Scale along with a parchment marked with the rune Queros. The Lictors will claim that evidence, and if it proves to be relevant to Mazen's destruction they will contact the magicians involved to arrange a reward.

Needless to say, many Imperial magicians are unconvinced. It's not even very clear what the death of Mazen really means or entails. Mazen is a spirit of manipulation, deception, misdirection, and lies. Is the Sovereign Lord of Locks now possessed of those matters that once concerned Gull-Catcher? The Price of Folly was noted for their interest in misdirection; conspiracy, and the the use of lies, deception and misdirection to advance your goals, which are hardly divorced from the concerns of the Patron of Spies and Traitors.

Mazen was commonly believed to be a resident somewhere in the City of Locks. There are a few Imperial magicians who argue that the Autumn eternals are not in fact lords of their domain, rather the ciy is the eternal and the beings the Empire interacts with are simply residents there. Does that imply that Mazen was actually just a herald of the City of Locks all along? Whatever it means, nobody imagines that lies, deception and conspiracy will suddenly cease to be part of the fabric of the Autumn realm. After-all it wasn't that long ago that Basileus Flint replaced Basileus Kade through murder and treachery.

Yet it cant be denied that what few boons Mazen is known to have provided seem to be slowly losing their potency. In particular, the ritual known as Net of the Gull-Catchers that previously allowed limited communication with the eternal appears to have lost its power. Likewise, any minor boons allowing the user to speak with or send offerings to Mazen are not being responded to.

City of Bars

  • No emissaries of the Lictors have been seen over the past season

On the subject of the Lictors... apart from their statement of interest in the destruction of Mazen, they have not been active anywhere in the Empire. The Lictors are rarely seen except when pursuing prisoners or oathbreakers anyway, but it is seen as a little odd that none of their emissaries have interacted with the Empire during the Bounty of the Brilliant Broker. When queried about it, heralds who report to the other eternals are a little evasive and try to change the subject. When pressed, however, they admit that nobody seems to know what is going on at the immense green iron citadel where the Lictors hold their prisoners. In fact, it's been some time since anyone or anything was seen going in or out and communications from the prison have been sporadic at best.

Apparently none of the Autumn eternals have invoked the Lictors to oversee an agreement or deal in a year or more. Those who give the matter any thought are on edge; the Lictors' ability to enforce agreements is one of the things that underpins the ability of disparate entities such as Basileus Flint and Prospero to be confident that their agreements, oaths, and promises will be upheld. Without them, diplomatic relations within the Autumn Realm might get a little bit tense, and there are questions about what this means for the various mundane arrangements endorsed by the Lictors. And, for that matter, what is going on with their many, many prisoners, some of whom are pretty awful entities by all accounts.

Vermin of the Cities

  • A peculiar kind of Autumn boggart has been spotted in the Empire

Not all the creatures emerging from the Autumn realm via the empowered regio are heralds. A large number of boggarts have also appeared in the Empire. Boggart is a scholarly term used to describe a kind of magical creature found in all six of the eternal realms. Unlike heralds, boggarts are often akin to vermin; cunning and perhaps even capable of speech but also driven by powerful instincts that often make them destructive or threatening to mortals around them. When the tide of Autumn magic is at its height hundreds of the creatures slip into the Empire and though many retreat back toward their Autumn regio when the enchantment begins to wane, some take up residence in those areas - apparently fearful to return to the Autumn realm - and, though they cause no physical threat to Imperial citizens, they do present a possible danger if someone falls for one of their tricks or bare-faced schemes.

There is some potential benefit to going along with their schemes and deals though; the creatures carry tokens which they are keen to hand over in exchange for goods and services. These tokens depict a fragment of an image of a mask. The Charter House of the Locked Blades have offered to pay handsomely for full sets of tokens that are sent to them. The Charter House has arranged with a broker of Merchant Queen that if a full set of five tokens are sent in a casting of Ephisis' Scale then they send eight pouches of warm ashes in return.

As the Autumn enchantment has taken effect, strange happenings are reported near Autumn regios - including the Imperial Regio - all across the nation. In the forests of Madeiras - mobs of silver-skinned realm-creatures have been demanding pay for work nobody asked them to do such as patrolling empty roads or guarding abandoned lumber. They've even taken to 'seizing' their owed pay from homesteaders - carting off empty crates, nails, tools and other simple worked goods for goodness knows what. Elsewhere, bat-faced boggarts have caused disruption at construction sites, markets and anywhere else people work in concert to a shared end: irritable and pugnacious, these creatures seem to disrupt collaboration and industry wherever they go.

Finally, strangers with wiry-brass fur, bearing odd contracts have been encountered on the road to Anvil and those who haven't had the Wisdom to chase them off have reported a host of strange consequences of placing their marks on the dotted line.