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The Empire is a world of magic and wonder, and these are just a handful of the strange events that have happened, are happening, or will happen.
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The world is a magical place, and the Empire home to some of the most proficient magicians in the world. Each season, amid all the politics and negotiation, the religious debates and the raucous parties, Anvil hosts the Imperial Conclave where the wise and the powerful come together to discuss matters of magic. Each summit, the Imperial regio plays host to some of the mightiest covens in the Empire, weaving powerful magical effects to shift the shuttle of fate on the loom of destiny. The winds of magic blow, and they bring tales of wonder and witchery.

Frost, Forest, Shadow, Fog, and Rain

  • Magical fortifications have been raised in Kahraman, Bregasland, Ossium, and Kallavesa
  • There are shrouds over the territories of Madruga, Kahraman, Ossium, Zenith, and the Barrens

During the Spring Equinox Imperial magicians raised a total of seven magical fortifications across the Empire. One of them was drawn from the Spring realm; forging the forests of Nearweald in Ossium against the depredations of the Druj. Two great castles of ice and granite were used to fortify Kahraman and were drawn from the domain of The Breath of Winter: one in Serra Damata and the other in Serra Briante to aid the garrison of Fort Braydon against the Lasambrian Jotun. Four castles of mist were raised over the fens of the Rushes and Ottermire in Bregasland, the bogs of Drownbark Forest in Ossium, and the marsh of West Marsh in Kallavesa.

The Penumbral Veils hang over the Varushkan territory of Ossium, the Freeborn territories of Madruga and Kahraman, and the Druj territories of the Barrens and Zenith. Rituals that try to divine information about, or scy into, these territories will first need to overcome the power of the veil.

Finally, the new enchantment Regrow the Land's Heart was performed on the territory of Skarsind. Fortuitously timed, the magic helps the farms of Skarsind weather the Great Drought unharmed, with the alpine territory experiencing gentle rejuvenating rain rather than crushing heat. The magic has also helped many of the newcomers to the territory. This is most pronounced among the septs of former slaves - the newcomers from Ossium, the Mareave gladiators, and the Tamazi of Axos. Even the Ethengraw, Ilarawn and Yerende have been touched by its refreshing magic - although they had made no attempt to join the Imperial Orcs, it seems that they have at last fully accepted that they are safe from the Druj in their new homes.

Covid Restrictions
We often have players come to the make up department for help with wounds and lineage trappings when they're being the subject of Whispers Through the Black Gate. Due to covid restrictions around providing make up for players at this event we will not be able to assist with this. Players will have to do any make up themselves using their own supplies, in a space that is not our make up area.

Through the Black Gate

  • During the Summer Solstice it will be possible to perform Whispers through the Black Gate between 21:00 and 22:00
  • The current Imperial Necromancer is Enchantress Claudia Varkulova Remys

The Black Gate can be opened to allow masters of Winter magic to commune with the spirits of the dead. For reasons that have never adequately been explained, the Gate can only be opened at twilight when it is neither quite day nor quite night. Imperial magicians prognosticate that this means that during the Summer Solstice the ritual can be performed in the hour between nine and ten. This information is, of course, of particular relevance to the Imperial Necromancer given their powers and responsibilities.

The Tamazi

  • The College of Warcasting in Skarsind has been significantly expanded
  • A large number of new students have begun to study at the College, and become part of the Imperial Orcs nation

During the Spring Equinox the Imperial Senate voted to expand the College of Warcasting in Skarsind. Work was completed shortly before the Summer Solstice, and the College has been deluged with applications from members of the Tamazi sept of orcs. Even more hearteningly, the willingness of the Imperial Orcs to help the Tamazi master the arts of battle magic has gone a long way toward convincing them that they will be accepted as equals. Another wave of Tamazi speaking with the egregore and becoming part of the nation follows. Not only Tamazi wish to join the college - the expansion of the grounds also sees record numbers of young Imperial Orcs applying, as well as former Mareave gladiators who feel the call of the warcaster's art. As yet none of the bonecarvers - the elders of the Tamazi sept - have taken that step however. While polite and friendly with Skarsind orcs, and orcs of the other septs when they meet them, they remain very much insulated from the Imperial Orcs by their fellow Tamazi. They don't seem to be hostile, just cautious - seeing how bonding with the egregore effects their fellow Tamazi.

Also during the Spring Equinox, the Imperial Conclave upheld a Declaration of Concord raised by Ematius, the Archmage of Winter which invited Tamazi to speak with them about studying Winter lore. There has apparently been significant discussion about this invitation; the bonecarvers are intrigued about expanding their mastery of magical lores, but they are also cautious. They seem to believe that the Urizen in particular are close friends with their former masters, the Citadels of Axos. This tempers their enthusiasm for the Archmage's offer. However, encouraged by the successful expansion of the College of Warcasting, they have let it be known that they intend to send some of their number to Anvil during the Autumn Equinox to see the "heart of the Empire" first hand, during which there will be opportunities to speak with the Archmage, with magicians of other Imperial Nations, and to see how the humans treat the Imperial Orcs first hand.

Unlike many conjunctions, this encounter is not intended to feature fighting and is classed combat unlikely. Local attempts to deal with the problem by force or rites of exorcism have proven unsuccessful. This is an opportunity for scops and Wintermark performers, including those who do not fight, to pass through the Sentinel Gate and face an atmospheric challenge of art, courage and wits. It will take place in a fixed spot on the field a short distance from the Sentinel Gate, and will take place on flat ground, with players being welcome to bring seating with them.

Ghosts in Wintermark

  • The people of Turelva in Hahnmark tell of restless Suaq spirits in the area.
  • A group of scops and performers may be able to lay the anguished spirits to rest.
  • Civil Service prognosticators have identified a conjunction to the area for 50 people, at 11pm on Saturday night.

The settlement of Turelva in Bruckland, Hahnmark tells of a recent influx of restless spirits in nearby lands. They do not yet seem to pose a direct threat to anyone - nobody has been hurt - but their anguished wails and terrible countenance are disturbing and many fear for these souls trapped outside the Labyrinth. They have discovered that the ghosts seem to fall quiet during gatherings of singing and story-telling, but only briefly.

A bold icewalker named Topi the Swift has spent some time among the spirits, and believes they are the ghosts of a group of Frayed last seen preparing to meet with a scop. After several years questing to restore their skeins, they were hoping to be bestowed with new heroic deed-names. It is thought that the whole group was swallowed up by the ice, either poor fortune or foul play, just before the ceremony began. Their lingering souls have presumably linked with anchors that prevent exorcism - and these too have been swallowed by the ice. Topi believes however that there is no need for exorcism. Beneath their anguished wails, the ghosts simply crave the approval of scops. Music and poetry silences their wails, and a group of performers bold enough to drown out their cries might begin to calm them. If this could grant them enough respite to come forth and speak of their deeds, recognising them might just be enough to allow them to pass on.

A conjunction of the Sentinel Gate has been identified at 23:00 on Saturday evening that will allow a large group to reach the woodland near Turelva, should any scops be brave enough to test out Topi's theory.


Reeve of the Summer Lands

  • Barien invites a number of those who have Challenged the Iron Duke to meet him in Causse, in Semmerholm
  • A conjunction of the Sentinel Gate will lead to the Semmerstones at 2pm Saturday afternoon and allow audience with the Lord of the Crossroads
  • Barien's heralds will be at Lumi's of Wintermark from 7pm on Friday night and anyone currently involved in a challenge can speak to them there

Barien, the Lord of the Crossroads, invites the icewalkers of Wintermark and several other challengers to join him at the Semmerstones in Causse at two-o-clock on Saturday afternoon of the coming Solstice. Those who believe they have completed their challenge and stand ready to claim their reward will find the way is open for them to travel to the Grove of Thousands. This place is favoured by the Lords of the Summer Lands, a grove that lies halfway between the Empire and the Summer Realm, there the Lord of the Crossroads will conduct a ceremony of rewarding.

Barien will meet with all the challengers there. He is expecting two of them to present a performance as the culmination of their challenge, the remainder need only present themselves to receive their rewards. The known challengers are:

  • The Icewalkers of Wintermark - who will be expected to perform a Suaq painting ceremony detailing their quest to gain storied items from across the realms
  • Ozren of House Orzel - will perform his work composed according to the challenge investigations on the theme of love
  • Podine Halfthorn
  • Odelia Nelda

Barien also plans to meet with William Guildenstern and Gemma Brightsmith at a separate ceremony at the Autumn Equinox.

In addition, as is now common, heralds of Barien will be abroad in Anvil to seek out those who are engaged in a challenge, to find out how they are progressing and to offer what aid they can. Revel and his fellow herald Temper will be in Lumi's of Wintermark on Friday evening from around 7pm. In particular, they hope to meet with a number of citizens.

  • Members of the House of Gilded Vine and House Tallstag about the challenges cast in their name at the Spring Equinox
  • Rin Geirsgokull who is being offered a chance to discuss the terms for the final stages of their challenge
  • Anyone who has recently completed their challenge or whose challenge completes this Solstice - especially if they need to ask any questions about the rewarding ceremony that Barien is holding in Semmerholm
  • Temper is particularly keen to hear how the challenges of House Aurelius and Eadric Fjellrevening are progressing

Patron of the Spires

  • The Autumn eternal Prospero has become the patron of the Doyen of the Spires
  • Golden spiders have been dispatched to support and enhance the heliopticon towers across Urizen
  • The Doyen can now speed the codification of a ritual in return for a payment of orichalcum ingots

Last season Prospero met with Edmundo of Damakan's Forge, Archmage of Autumn, in parley. The meeting led to an agreement being made between the Autumn archmage and the Weaver setting in place the patronage of the College of the Spires. The Imperial Conclave recognised Prospero as a friend of the Empire, and almost immediately after the Spring Equinox, dozens of golden spiders from the Autumn realm descended on Urizen.

Literally descended. The golden spiders - each one around the size of sheep - drifted down out of the night sky wherever functioning heliopticon towers are located across Morrow, Redoubt, and even Spiral. There is some consternation, but the spiders are entirely peaceful, and present themselves politely to the Urizen operating the towers. They speak in soft, breathy voices, and are fascinated by the mechanisms that control the lanterns. Their presence allows messages to be sent faster and more efficiently, reducing breakage and errors. They are also excellent sounding boards, more than happy to chat with any Scholar who is stumped by a magical problem. Within a few weeks they have apparently internalised a register of every magician in Urizen who contributes to the College of the Spires, and have an uncanny ability to bring together scholars whose expertise is complementary. All they ask in return are gifts of orichalcum which are carefully wrapped in golden silk and apparently sent back to the City of Bridges.

As long as the spiders are free to operate in Urizen, whenever they are codifying a ritual the Doyen of the Spires can call on the assistance of the spiders to speed up the process. Doing so requires payment in the form of orichalcum. The first five ranks of additional research in a season cost 20 ingots of orichalcum. The next five ranks will cost a further 42 ingots (for a total of 62 ingots). The next five ranks will cost another 86 ingots, and so on doubling the cost and adding two ingots for each further additional five ranks of research within the same season. Unlike the additional benefits provided a college of magic by a specialisation, this additional research speed is not restricted to any one magical realm - the Prince of Ties may favour Autumn magic but his spiders are able to assist in codification in all six magical lores.

Working with the golden spiders is not possible if the Sovereign Lord of the City of Bridges is under the enmity of the Imperial Conclave, however. They will not necessarily depart if the Conclave turns against Prospero, but they will not offer their aid. There is one further restriction on this agreement; any ritual codified in whole or in part with the aid of the golden spiders may not be entered into Imperial lore. It may be used freely by Imperial magicians, or entered into Urizen lore, but if it is made part of Imperial lore that will break the agreement with Prospero to serve as patron and he will be very angry. It is presumed that by ensuring the rituals created with his aid are not readily available to every Imperial magician, this will promote the kinds of negotiation and favour-trading between the Empire's wizards that the City of Bridges relishes.


Some Urizen comment that it is surprisingly serendipitous that the spiders have appeared when they have - given that the current Doyen, Marcus, was chosen to oversee work on the ritual Quick Study which will enchant a College of Magic to work even more effectively.

No Surrender

  • Cathan Canae has laid down an ultimatum to the Empire

Last season Volstann, raucous herald of Cathan Canae, met with Exarch Luke of the Navigators of Virtue, Archmage of Summer (among others) in a parley held in the Hall of Worlds. A number of matters were discussed including who would represent the Lady of the Frost in the upcoming tournament for patronage of the Icy Crag of the Eternal Sun. Volstann also delivered a message regarding the Immovable One's opinion of the recent treaties conceding Imperial land to foreign enemies. Specifically, if the Imperial Senate cedes any more regions or territories to foreign powers then she will cease offering her support to the Empire. Apparently, the Lady of the Glacial Keep considers ceding Imperial territory tantamount to surrender - something the Immovable One has no patience for, and cannot respect.

This Conclave thanks Zakalwe for all the opportunities provided to us and appreciate them even though we are logistically unable to pursue them and hope that we can continue to work together in future

Ariadne of the Auric Horizon, Spring Equinox 384YE

Civil Exchange

  • Agon, Polemarch of Clarity has acknowledged the declaration by Ariadne of Auric Horizon
  • The opportunity to expand the Citadel of Highwatch has been extended until the the end of the upcoming summit

Valeria of the Citadel of Highwatch offered a chance for the nation of Urizen to receive the support of Zakalwe following a mandate raised by Maximillian Ankarien to encourage cooperation with eternals in support of virtuous endeavours. The chance to expand the Citadel of Highwatch to gain support in the war against the Druj was due to have ended at the end of last summit but the declaration from Ariadne of Auric Horizon has further encouraged Agon the Polemarch of Clarity, and so the opportunity remains until the end of the Summer Solstice 384YE.

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The Setting Suns of Couros

  • Kaela has expressed her anger at the Highborn coven of the Suns of Couros
  • Whenever the Suns of Couros cast the Clarion Call of Ivory and Dust Kaela will provide three times as many of her undying soldiers to armies fighting against the Highborn

Under normal circumstances, the eternal Kaela is relatively neutral to the Empire. She offers her boons, or withdraws them, as she sees fit. She is happy to aid the Empire or parley with the Winter Archmage when it suits her. Shortly before the Summer Solstice, however, she shows a different side to her personality. Specifically, she declares a bounty on the coven of the Suns of Couros. The source of her displeasure is not made clear but her heralds claim that a few years ago she warned the Suns of Couros not to use her ritual Clarion Call of Ivory and Dust: "Those who disrespect the Queen of Silence should not seek to steal her boons".

During the Spring Equinox, the Suns of Couros stole three of her grim legions. They will fight when summoned - that is the agreement she made when she allowed the ritual to first be created. But for every cadre of her warriors stolen in this fashion, she will provide three to barbarians opposing the Highborn armies. As a consequence, nine cadres of grim legionnaries will fight alongside the Druj during the coming season. Her herald appears to believe that their mistress warned Imperial Magicians this would happen, and coldly points out that by testing the End-of-Stars they have arguably used magic to aid the enemies of the Empire. Perhaps the Conclave might wish to use the tools available to it to reflect their displeasure? Each time the Suns of Couros steal her grim legionaries, she will do the same. She will do so not only when they perform the ritual as part of their own coven, but also when they contribute to other performances of the ritual.

She is not merciless however - at least not in this regard. There is a ritual that allows the dying to pass through the "final portal" to Kaela's realm and be judged by her. Those she deems worthy join her grim legion, while those who are not ready are reduced to dust. At least one copy of this ritual - Abandon the Mortal Shackles - was given to Imperial magicians since the death of Empress Britta. If a copy of this ritual - by any name - is located and one of the Suns of Couros raises a successful Declaration of Imperial Lore for it, then she will forgive the Highborn for their slight and end her grievance with them.



  • Wise Rangara will serve as patron of Marshstand Skerry if the Conclave asks

During the meeting with Wise Rangara's representative at the last summit, it was agreed that she would displace Agramant as the patron of the Marshstand Skerry in Ossium. One final step is neccessary; the Imperial Conclave must politely ask her to take up residence as patron of the stone itself. A Declaration of Concord will be sufficient as long as it passes - there is no need to give her amity - merely to ensure she is not under enmity. She makes it clear, however, that she will expect the sacrifices to continue.

Some query is raised as to whether Arhallogen - the other patron of Marshstand Skerry - would need to agree. Wise Rangara's herald apparently laughed for a full minute before retorting that nobody in the Winter realm - and certainly not Wise Rangara - gives two rotten figs for what the Spider King does or does not agree to.



  • The Childer of the Black Drop, a sorcerous cabal, have been found dead in Temeschwar

And finally ... Forty years ago a cabal of magicians from the League calling themselves the Childer of the Black Drop, apparently inspired by the (possibly fictional) character Esconius of Highguard set out to learn everything they could about the hateful eternal Agramant. They committed themselves to collecting every scrap of lore they could find about the eternal, apparently hoping to find some kind of weakness that could be exploited to protect the Empire completely from his depredations. According to dusty records, all thirteen members of the cabal were - perhaps inevitably - declared sorcerers by the Imperial Conclave in Summer 354YE. In pursuit of their quest they had apparently used magic in very unwise ways - mastering rituals that drew on the power of Blood-on-the-Snow to "better understand his dark temptations". They were unrepentant, and eight of their members were killed in the resulting fracas. Five of them - Johann Perivale von Sarvos, Wilhelm Ecaso di Temeschwar, Padik Tarvin of Tassato Mestra, Tomazi duPain de Holberg, and Jodeya Watiker di Tassato Mestra - were unaccounted for. They were assumed to have fled the Empire.

A month ago, the bodies of four of them were discovered in a cottage in the Vardstein Vale by scouts exploring the area around Lorenzo's Deep Pockets. They had been dead for at least a month, perhaps longer, and as near as could be ascertained Johann had been poisoned with the Crimson Gate. Tomazi duPain had fallen out of a window, and hanged by his own splendid cloak. Padik Tarvin was discovered with five vicious daggers embedded in his back, but with no sign of a struggle. Wilhelm was found at the dinner table, a half-full glass of Dawnish wine still in one hand, with no sign of how he died - his body transformed to stone through use of Mark the Flesh Incorruptible, concealing the cause of death. There were place settings for five, but only four bodies. A mystery that has baffled the magistrates. Even more mysterious is the presence in the cottage of a large trunk, inlaid with weltsilver runes of Aesh, Sular, and Ophis. The trunk itself was empty.

Of Jodeya Watiker di Tassato Mestra there was no sign; nor was there any sign of the Childer of the Black Drop's library (assuming it still exists).