Living with war
"3 Rings friend. And at that price, it's a steal!" Lars cast a furtive glance left and right as he spoke. He wasn't expecting any trouble here in the baggage train, but it never hurt to stay alert.
The muscular Dawnish knight he was talking to said nothing. The vacant look on the woman's face seemingly fixed in place. One too many blows on the head perhaps thought Lars.
"It'll keep the miasma at bay - and it's good against poisons and infection!" He kept the patter up, it wasn't clear this hulking warrior had many words to insert into the conversation, but just in case. "With this talisman to protect you, your glory will be incomparable."
He'd finally hit the right phrase and the woman motioned for her squire to pay him. As he handed over the rabbits foot to the yeoman, the look of thunder on the fellow's face told him everything he needed to know.
Time to move on, before the yeoman started asking too many questions. Besides he had ten more rabbits feet to sell by nightfall.
Before each summit, the prognosticators produce lists of every conjunction that they have been able to identify based on reports compiled by the war scouts. These are not all the conjunctions, these are simply all the conjunctions that they have been able to find. Because of their focus, these conjunctions are usually very military-orientated; they are focused on the movement of the Empire's armies and the barbarian forces arrayed against them. Smaller conjunctions that allow groups to pursue their own personal agendas are only rarely discovered by the Imperial civil service.
It is important to note that the details of a conjunction are not fixed - in theory new conjunctions can appear and the destination or size of a conjunction are known to be mutable. The civil service strongly recommend that you check the size and timing of any conjunctions that interest you after you arrive at Anvil.
Depending on the number of skirmish crew available, the size of the conjunctions might be increased between now and the event. They will be fixed Friday afternoon at time-in. Please check the conjunctions early Friday evening to confirm the gate size.
|Golden Keys, Free Landing, Madruga||18:30 Friday||70 people||20 minutes|
- Brass Coast; any fleet owners that contributed towards the Dominate the Bay action
The Imperial fleet owners have bloodied the Grendel pirates that have plagued the Bay of Catazar over recent seasons. Ships have been sunk into the depths, scuttled on reefs and shoals, or captured by privateers and Freeborn corsairs. All across the Bay the corpses of Grendel marines and sailors have begun to wash ashore while sheltered coves and wide beaches are littered with the wreckage of ships.
One Grendel vessel ran aground near the Golden Keys in Free Landing. The vessel was soon smashed to pieces by the sharp rocks, but not before the crew, a toughened band of Grendel marines, were able to make it ashore. The group have launched two raids on local settlements, looting money and supplies, but retreating in the face of a concerted defence. It is likely that they are trying to avoid a major engagement while seeking a way to escape from the mainland; they appear to be a fractious and motley force, desperate to flee the island on which they are trapped.
These orcs are not a major military threat, but this is a chance for the Empire to deal with the threat these scourges posed to Imperial trade. Given time they will likely capture a small trader or fishing vessel and make good on their escape. An opportunity to strike against the bedraggled host offers a chance to kill the pirates before they can cause more mayhem in future.
|Letivius Station, Apulus, Spiral||19:00 Friday||70 people||20 minutes|
- Urizen; any fleet owners that contributed towards the Dominate the Bay action
A similar situation has taken place on the other side of the Bay of Catazar. A Grendel pirate ship has been forced ashore in the region of Apulus. The vessel is listing and battered, the sails torn and the main mast gone. It is good for little more than driftwood now; there is no way it will ever sail again.
The pirates have seized Letivius Station, a small outpost that guards the approaches to the ruined port town of Apulian. Recovering from their ordeal at sea, and now coming to terms with being stranded in Spiral, they are in a disorganised state, offering a perfect opportunity to strike before they can cross the border into Mareave. The egregore of Urizen will certainly be able to provide additional information, along with the War Scout who can be found near the Sentinel Gate.
Heroes looking to help deal with the situation are warned that the area is still under the debilitating effects of the Black Plateau miasma, so they will need to take appropriate steps to avoid the worst effects if possible.
All characters on a skirmish in Sprial will be under a permanent WEAKNESS and experience heightened negative emotions unless they:
- Expend a hero point upon entering the area
- Are subject to an anointing
- Overcome the oppression using their cambion lineage
- Are bonded to a magical item or have a ritual enchantment that mitigates effects like these
|Thenga's Camp, East Floes, Sermersuaq||20:30 Friday||60 people||20 minutes|
|Hall of Crows, East Floes, Sermersuaq||21:00 Friday||60 people||20 minutes|
|Arroweye's Fast, East Floes, Sermersuaq||15:00 Saturday||70 people||20 minutes|
|Bearer's Rest, East Floes, Sermersuaq||15:30 Saturday||70 people||20 minutes|
- Wintermark; those with an interest in the plight of Jotun thralls
The armies of the Empire may have retreated from Sermersuaq, and withdrawn from the northern front against the Jotun; but there are assurances that the hosts of the Imperial nations will return. Assurances that keep the flames alive in the hearts of those Winterfolk who have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones to the western barbarians. The Green Shields and Fist of the Mountain will return, and with them salvation. Until then, the people of Sermersuaq are having to fend for themselves.
Whilst the Jotun lay claim to most of Sermersuaq, their forces cannot secure the hundreds of miles of border that stretches from the marshes of Kallavesa, through the hills of Hahnmark to the towering peaks of Skarsind. Where they can those living close to the border slip into the wild wastes to bring food, supplies and vital resources to the communities that are now under the barbarian yolk. When they return there are stories of the lives of those who are now claimed as thralls; life is not pleasant by any means, but it could be much worse, as long as a Suaq stays in line, keeps their head bowed and works hard in their craft life can be little different to it was before. But there are rumours of sporadic acts of rebellion being whispered among the communities of the East Floes.
Reports have come to the civil service from fleet-footed Suaq Icewalkers of four small defensive stockades the Jotun have established across the eastern tundra of Sermersuaq. There are signs of problems in these camps, disruptions to the supply trains and patrols that come to these redoubts, and quarrels among the Jotun stationed there. It is possible that the rumours of resistance have started at Thenga's Camp, the Hall of Crows, Arroweye's Fast, and Bearer's Rest. There are a handful of thralls present in each of these camps, under the command of the Jotun stationed there. Perhaps they know more.
Prognostications have identified four opportunities to send forces against the stockades and to strike against the Jotun defenders. It has also been suggested by the Icewalkers that attempts should be made to investigate each location and learn more about what the thralls are attempting to undertake. It is apparent that some Suaq ingenuity and cunning will greatly assist these sorties and that these are not just simple raids that require axe and steel.
|Exile Trod, Elereal, Brocéliande||17:30 Saturday||80 people||20 minutes|
A Sea of Honey
- Urizen, Navarr, Highguard; military unit commanders who supported efforts to Slow the Vallorn
A hundred and one military captains have brought their soldiers to the forests of Brocéliande over the last season. Together with magically summoned allies and the army of the Citadel Guard, they have managed to resist the growing strength of the Vallorn that has been attempting to spread into Elereal and Boar's Dell. For the third season in a row the Empire's commitment has held back a tide of verdant flora and vast waves of shambling vallornspawn husks. Hopefully, now that the military might of Urizen has arrived, this marks a turning point in the campaign and the efforts of the Navarr to prevent the spread of the vallorn in ancient Brocéliande.
The Citadel Guard are skilled in the arcane arts and have spent their time in Brocéliande locating loci of power, seeking out mana sites and discerning the flow of magic across the regions. The general will receive a bounty of crystal mana following the order to consolidate the army's hold in Brocéliande and to source magical resources for the mages that travel as part of the host. During these explorations a large amount of Vital Honey has been uncovered by several sentinels travelling along Exile Trod, Elereal. Unexpectedly cut off by a wave of husks, the warriors have become trapped in the vallorn miasma, unable to reach the rest of the army with their find.
A conjunction to the area has been identified on the second day of the solstice. War scouts operating alongside the Urizen have noted that the husks here are part of a larger movement of vallorn in the area and that striking against, and destroying a portion of, the horde will be of benefit in the season ahead. Eliminating the shambling corpses and killing any of the vallorn aberrations that travel with the spawn will make it easier for new forces to arrive in, and deploy across the territory in the coming season. By thinning the numbers of the husks, the Empire will be able to focus their attention on more important objectives, freeing soldiers to consolidate ground better and lead strikes against key target, rather than becoming mired in endless waves of husks. This will provide the equivalent 1000 fighting strength to hold back the vallorn in the coming season. The war scouts will no doubt have more thorough briefings by the time of the solstice.
|Deep Weaver Wood, Boar's Dell, Broceliande||18:00 Saturday||80 people||20 minutes|
Somewhere in Between
- Dawn, Navarr, Highguard; military unit commanders who supported efforts to Slow the Vallorn
The Houses of Dawn have continued to contribute to the efforts to defend Broceliande over the last three months. By all accounts the questing knights, powerful war witches and dogged yeofolk conducted themselves well against their supernatural foes, gaining glory and renown for their houses and the nation. Troubadours tell of knights errant defeating insects the size of hounds, enchanters unleashing powerful rituals to destroy swathes of husks, and yeofolk hunters taking down heralds from the Spring realm with their bows. Yet there are accounts of a monstrous lumbering insect that was encountered in the Deep Weaver Wood in Boar's Dell. Said to stand the height of two stout yeofolk, with a carapace as thick as an oak wine barrel, they could shatter lances and cast aside a fully armed knight with ease.
Following information from the Dawn egregore, the prognosticators of the civil service have discovered a chance for the glorious fighters of Dawn to use the Sentinel Gate to travel to the depths of the forest in Boar's Dell and counter this monster. Further research in various libraries and through consultations with naturalists at Holberg University, it has been theorised that this prodigious insect is a dire canthon, a normally small and unassuming beetle found among the fallen debris of temperate forests. Infused with the power of Spring, and growing in size within the verdant miasma of Terunael, this monster provides a great threat to those fighting in Boar's Dell. As many troubadours have already noted, it is also a vile creature most befitting of a place in a glorious tale of triumph and beast-slaying!
Whilst these might have been simple engagements in other circumstances, the nature of the foe and the environment in which they will be fought makes them all especially deadly. Preparations to combat the vallorn miasma, to procure vital blade venoms, and to source bladeroot for the treatment of those exposed to green lung will all likely prove useful. The Spring ritual Vitality of Rushing Water and the Abraxus Stone magical item will protect a warrior from the debilitating effects of the miasma.
You will be playing Vallorn husks of either dead humans or orcs. Simple base layers will be sufficient, but any Navarr, Highguard, or Dawn kit you have will make for a better looking encounter. We have a number of small latex domino masks to wear, along with shredded shrouds. A simple effect can also be achieved with face paint and our makeup team can help apply it at the Battle Prep Tent. We also have plastic vines that you can accessorise your costume with.
Vallorn husks are predominantly shambling corpses animated by vegetation, and there will be limited need to run about but combat is highly likely. We do not require water carriers or low-combatant support forces. Please do not bring the following equipment:
- Bows and Crossbows
- Throwing weapons
|Lomaa Spoils, Galath Fields, Ossium||20:00 Saturday||60 people||20 minutes|
|Tanglethorn Glade, Near Weald, Ossium||21:00 Saturday||60 people||20 minutes|
- Varushka, Dawn; priests, Day ritualists
The newest addition to the Empire, Ossium is a land of dark forests, where the deep woodlands are relatively unexplored. This has made the exploration of the new land very difficult and many unexpected surprises still await those eager to settle in this rich land. The lingering presence of the Druj's miasma pillars across the territory blankets most of the territory in an oppressive gloom and continual sense of dread. Only the area around the terminus of the Golden Causeway is free of this fearful taint, and in scattered regions of the Bittershore where one of the pillars was destroyed last year.
In response to a judgement in the Dawnish National Assembly bands of questing knights and troubadours of Dawn led by Ser Ancél Watcher have begun scouring Ossium to search for the source of this magical pillars, so that the pillars can be located and destroyed. These intrepid adventurers have managed to locate two pillars; one at Lomaa Spoils close to the subterranean mithril mine in the Galath Fields, and a second in the centre of the Tanglethorn Glade, in Near Weald.
These are the closest areas to the Golden Causeway, and therefore the first pillars to be discovered by the people of Dawn. The remains of the Bittershore pillar can be found at Scarred Bay on the shores of the Semmerlak, whilst the pillar in Webwood is known to be at Fang Tree. The breaking of the misma pillars is normally undertaken through the Day ritual Chimes of Annulment, but it is also possible for priests to break the aura if they were to consecrate the pillar should they be able to discern the strength of the miasma aura upon the pillar. If the two pillars that Ser Ancél has discovered can be dealt with then this just leaves pillars in the Bonewood, Drownbark Forest and the Echofell still to be discovered.
|Korlack Marsh, Drownbark Forest, Ossium||21:30 Saturday||60 people||20 minutes|
- Dawn; priests skilled at exorcism
Whilst the Druj have been comprehensively routed from Ossium, and their armies have retreated from the territory, there are still numerous small bands of orcs that blight the deep forests. These Druj skirmishes continue to make attacks upon settlers from the west, and some Varushkans have likened them to the wolves of their homelands that prey on the unwary traveller. Precautions are already common, stout fences and vigilant night watches are seen in each new settlement to guard against attacks.
One month before the solstice a new threat comes against the pioneers and settlers of Varushka as they make their new homes in Ossium. A terrifying band of shadowy knights accompanying a force of Druj Chikad warriors has destroyed several hamlets and farms around Korlack Marsh in the Drownbark Forest. The garbled first accounts speak of treachery and deceit by the nobles of Dawn, a devious plan to thwart the awarding of the new land to the people of Varushka, and outright calls of treason and collusion with the enemy. Yet as the situation becomes clearer, it is evident that the Druj have unleashed a number of their Tortured Souls upon the settlers. Mere shades of people, created using mystic herblore, torture and hearth magic, these wights are likely former Dawnish citizens who were captured when Dawnguard fell, and slowly turned over time into hideous monsters of spite and malice.
A conjunction to the marsh has been escryed on the Saturday evening by the civil service. To combat these foes a force of fighters will be required to engage the Druj, allowing priests to determine the strength of the exorcisms required to dispatch the tortured souls and prevent them from returning. The war scouts by the Sentinel Gate can provide additional advice in how to prepare for the opportunity, and how to work together to defeat the enemy.
All characters on a skirmish in Ossium will be under a permanent WEAKNESS and experience a feeling of hopelessness and dread unless they:
- Expend a hero point upon entering the area
- Are subject to an anointing
- Overcome the supernatural dread using their Changeling lineage by becoming extremely angry
- Are bonded to a magical item or have a ritual enchantment that mitigates effects like these
|Semmerpine Shore, Misericorde, Holberg||20:30 Saturday||60 people||20 minutes|
- The League; those with an interest in the Sand Fisher orcs
The armies of Dawn and Varushka left Ossium in a triumphal procession, heading down to the Bittershore where they were carried across the wide Barrens River in a flotilla of flat bottomed fishing barges. Landing in Misericorde, they made their way through the dark and seldom visited forests of the region into Utterland and then through to gates of Holberg itself. Much pomp and celebration were had as soldiers forgot the dark sights and dispiriting experiences they had witnessed in the brutal conquest of Ossium. Many were glad to be free of the Druj's miasma, despite knowing the orders the armies been assigned would see them march once more against the vicious eastern barbarians. Yet, it appears that some part of Ossium followed them across the river...
Messengers from the scattered woodcutters and forest foragers that brave the wilds of Misericorde suggest that the victorious conquerors were followed from Ossium. Collated with tales from the Sand Fisher orcs that have begun settling in the forests across the Semmerlak from their former homes, it transpires that a band of Druj raiders has crept in the footsteps of the knights and schlacta into the dark of Holberg's wilderness. A war scout missive has confirmed that the barbarians have made camp on the shores of the Semmerlak, at Semmerpine Shore in the week before the solstice. They have travelled light and it appears they are keen to avoid detection, skulking through the thickest woods by day, and lighting no fires at night, ever watchful for the locals, or their former orc subjugates.
It is understood that the camp is guarded by a number of pickets, making it hard to close unseen, or launch a surprise assault without the camp being alerted. Should the Druj force not be overcome or comprehensively dealt with it is likely that the orcs will be able to continue exploring the territory of Holberg over the coming season; learning about the new home of the Sand Fishers, or potentially discovering the recent work that has been undertaken to strengthen the defences of the city of Holberg.
The prognosticators have determined that a conjunction can be used to travel near to the camp on the Saturday of the Summer Solstice. The war scout representatives in Anvil will have additional information about the mission and how best the attack should be led.