Ziri knocked on the wooden door, trying as always to combine politeness with urgency. There was no immediate answer. She took in more of the wide street. Wooden buildings always made her nervous. How did these people sleep knowing that a misplaced tongue of fire could see them all burnt to death in their beds?

The man who opened the door took in Ziri's uniform and immediately started to close it again.

"Excuse me citizen," said the Highborn investigator, speaking quickly. "I am not a Grey Pilgrim nor am I selling anything, i'd just like to ask you some questions. it's quite important."

The Navarr householder looked skeptical. Ziri smiled apologetically.

"I understand that you saw something a little out of the ordinary the other day."

The Navarr continued to look skeptical. Ziri sighed inwardly.

"I mean the Varushkan travelers. Caomidh Story-of-the-Fire told us you mentioned it when you visited their wayhouse? On Friday?"

"Us?" The Navarr frowned. "There's only one of you."

Ziri leant slightly to the side so that the householder could see Rowley leaning against the ox cart. His League companion was deep in conversation with two other Navarr.

"We're with the Silent Bell," explained Ziri. "We're looking into the Heirs of Terunael."

Whether it was the organisation or the mention of the Heirs Ziri didn't know but the Navarr immediately became more animated.

"Traitors the lot of them," he said, his lip curling in disgust. "If I can help in any way..."

"About the Varushkans," prompted Ziri gently.

"Yes, I saw them. I thought it was odd at the time. I've travelled with Varushkans before when I was younger, and they don't like to move cross-country at all. Yet here they were - a dozen or more walking single file through the trees. Singing."

"What were they singing?" This was new. Ziri tried to keep the eagerness from her voice.

"I wasn't close enough to make out the words you understand, and I was already late. Something about trees, and welcoming arms."

That was not good. Ziri asked a few more follow-up questions, then rejoined Rowley by the wagon. The Temeschwari was looking very pleased with himself.

"Two more confirmed sightings," he said without preamble. "Navarr with odd markings asking leading questions about patrols and watch rosters. Not local. Not from any familiar striding - which isn't cause for alarm by itself obviously - but we're pretty sure they were both briars. The descriptions match the ones we got in Treji. They're up to something."

"I think it might be worse than that," said Ziri looking gloomy. "Those Varushkans. From the description, the man leading them is Zvezdan Branayn Lasota. Master of the Cabal of the Green Mother. If he's here it's likely the entire cabal is in Hercynia, and that... that worries me to be honest. Especially with those two asking questions. Scouting out the defences.

"Casing the joint," said Rowley speculatively. The two of them stood in silence for a moment considering their next move.

"Remember how the Green Mother said..."

"I don't like that name," interrupted Ziri quickly. "I've told you before. Call it what it is - Yaw'nagrah. When you use names like that you make them seem normal. Comprehensible."

Rowley rolled his eyes.

"Sorry. Remember the news out of Brocéliande? That thing about going to the Mallum next if the Empire gave up on the place?"

"Yes," said Ziri. He'd been thinking the same thing.

"Well... We didn't give up on Brocéliande, did we?"

"No." Said Ziri. She shivered slightly, despite the warmth of the early afternoon sun. "No, we did not"

Rowley di Temeschwar shrugged and flashed a quick smile.

"Then I suppose we'd better hope that they were bluffing," he said.

Overview

The Silent Bell are a loose affiliation of pilgrims from every nation devoted to the virtue of Vigilance. In addition to the core membership there are supporters and affiliates in every part of the Empire. During the Summer Solstice, the Assembly of Nine sent the Silent Bell to investigate the dangerous group who call themselves the Heirs of Terunael - a timely decision as it turns out.

The so-called Heirs of Terunael appear to be humans - predominantly with briar lineage - who wish to spread the influence of the vallorn for some reason. There is some evidence that this group is just the latest iteration of a conspiracy that has been active in the Empire - especially among the Navarr - for years. Groups such as the Whispering Drays - a gathering of briars who sought some mad communion with the vallorn - may have been influenced by the Heirs of Terunael. There is some evidence that survivors of these groups, and others like them, have come together in loose alliance with the Heirs to put their various unhinged schemes into operation. They are best known for their involvement in the recent chaos in Liathaven and Brocéliande, working in collusion with the Children of Yaw'nagrah to spread the vallorns through those territories. With their defeat in Brocéliande, the assumption is that they will be forced to regroup and provide a degree of respite to the Empire... an assumption that could have been dangerously premature.

Fortunately, the vigilance of the Assembly of Nine has been rewarded. Far from falling back, the Heirs of Terunael appear to be doubling down on their insane schemes. They have already gathered in force in Therunin and Hercynia - perhaps explaining why they were relatively absent in the recent fight in Brocéliande. There are even reports of what appears to be activity by the Heirs in Liathaven and perhaps even further afield.

According to the Silent Bell, the Heirs have largely abandoned Brocéliande, focusing their attention elsewhere. They also appear to have changed their tactics somewhat. Rather than attempting to spread the vallorn, they are focusing their efforts on the multitude of beasts that dwell within it - the vallornspawn. If not for the foresight of the Assembly of Nine the Empire would have been taken entirely by surprise - as it is there is some chance to prepare for the imminent attacks.

One piece of good news is that while the Green Mother may be allied to the Heirs of Terunael, her ability to support their efforts directly is heavily constrained by the Conclave who have declared her to be an enemy of the Empire. Unfortunately, this does nothing to prevent her providing the Heirs of Terunael with boons and gifts they may use to pursue their goals, nor to stop those idolatrous fools who worship the Mother of Briars.

Ritual Magic

There are three specific rituals that might be relevant to those looking to protect against the vallornspawn.

The first is Rivers of Life. The Rivers Run Red curse has been raised successfully in both Hercynia and Liathaven and will double casualties suffered if Imperial armies are employed in these territories. As always, the curse could be removed by the use of Rivers of Life - which will be significantly easier in Hercynia than in Liathaven. It would also be possible to end the Autumn Equinox with Rivers of Life in effect on any one of the three threatened territories - if that were the case then casualties suffered by Imperial armies in the territory would be halved as normal.

The second are the rituals that create magical citadels in mountains, forest, or marshes. Again it will be difficult to employ these rituals in Liathaven, but both Therunin and Hercynia have regions where one of these ritual enchantments might be placed. Each such fortification will provide 2,000 effective strength to the appropriate protection action.

Finally, the ritual Wither the Seed has been extensively discussed in reference to Hercynia and Therunin. The vates in these territories are extremely concerned that the ritual curse may be employed to try and slow the vallorn. It is their opinion that the ritual would not take effect quickly enough to have any impact on the immediate threat of the vallornspawn; worse it would cripple the two populated territories in a way that would have terrible consequences for the people living there and the nation as a whole.

Fighting the Heirs

  • Characters can assign military units to defend the Navarr against the vallornspawn and Heirs of Terunael.
  • Military units assigned to these actions will suffer temporary damage from fighting the vallornspawn.

During the coming season there will be three additional options available to military units through the Independent action dropdown menu - "Protect Hercynia", "Protect Therunin", and "Protect Liathaven". The rewards - if any - for undertaking one of these actions are detailed in each individual opportunity below along with the potential outcome - which in each case depends on the total strength assigned to each action. The Quartermaster General could of course choose to supplement these rewards by adding the guerdon to any or all of these actions.

Any military unit assigned to one of these actions risks suffering serious casualties. All military units assigned to the campaign will suffer a reduction to their effective fighting strength for the next six months, representing soldiers lost or crippled in the fight against the savage vallornspawn. This penalty will be applied to the character rather than the resource; paying to change personal resource to a different resource will not clear this penalty. In the event that a character uses a ritual such as Conclave of Trees and Shadow to turn a different personal resource into a military unit, the penalty will still apply and will persist when the resource turns back - the essence of the resource has been depleted by the damage caused from fighting in the vallorn miasma.

Imperial Armies

It is also possible for Imperial armies to commit to fighting the vallorn in any or all of these territories. To do so, the general of the army would need to move to the territory and issue a defensive order. The army would then contribute its strength to the effort to defeat the vallornspawn, along with the strength of any military unit supporting them. Any army in the territory will be unable to resupply, and will in fact take casualties as if it were fighting an enemy force. The nature of the order given will determine how effective they are at turning back the vallornspawn.

  • Solid Defence: The army contributes its full strength, and will have the number of casualties reduced by a fifth.
  • Heroic Stand: The army has the strength it contributes increased by three tenths. but casualties suffered are increased by a fifth.
  • Desperate Reinforcement: The strength contributed by the army is decreased by a fifth.
  • Final Stand: The army contributes its full strength. For every 1000 points or part thereof short of a complete success the opportunity is, the army takes an additional 100 casualties and generates an additional 1000 strength.
  • None Shall Pass: The army contributes its full strength, and the order has its usual effects on casualties
  • Tend the Fallen: The strength the army contributes is reduced by a fifth, but all casualties suffered by this army are reduced by a fifth and all casualties suffered by allied armies in the same territory who are taking defensive orders are reduced by a tenth.
  • Guard the Gates: The strength the army contributes is reduced by a fifth but the general will receive a scouting report about the territory and the activities of the Heirs of Terunael.

There are many other orders that could be taken, but in this circumstance their effectiveness would be limited and they will default to solid defence. For example, an order such as Hit and Run defends territory and reduces casualties, but it also reduces the number of casualties inflicted on the enemy making it less effective at holding the vallornspawn back. As such it would default to solid defence.

Vallornspawns in the Mist.jpg
The vallornspawn of Hercynia are especially vicious.

Hercynia

The first gathering of the Heirs of Terunael that the Silent Bell have identified is in Hercynia. Initially gathering in the Treji, and in the southern woods, they have also send expeditions deep into the heart of the vallorn - into Deer's Folly. It has been some years since the vallorn of Hercynia has been active, but its infrequent excursions have been of unmatched viciousness.

Right now, the Silent Bell can confirm as many as sixty Heirs of Terunael moving around the borders of Deer's Folly, with no way to tell how many more may be in the depths of the region. The Heirs have already begun rousing the ettercaps and vallornspawn that dwell in the dark heart of Hercynia. There have been a few scattered encounters already - a steading in Summersend assaulted; a striding in the Glen of Shadows decimated while pausing on the borders of the vallorn. The Silent Bell are also concerned that there are Heirs of Terunael - or sympathisers - hiding in plain sight in the steadings of Hercynia prepared to sow chaos through acts of sabotage and murder as soon as the vallornspawn begin to move. Even more worryingly, there have been reports of at least two groups of Varushkan cabalists coming along the eastern road into Treji before disappearing. The SIlent Bell's resources are stretched, but it does appear at least one of these groups belonged to the ominously titled "Cabal of the Green Mother" from northern Volodmartz.

Shortly before the Autumn Equinox, the waters of Hercynia begin to show signs that they have been infested with malign Spring magic; it does not take long for the vates to identify that someone has laid Rivers Run Red over Hercynia, bringing with it the threat of infection and sickness - and further rousing the vallornspawn's bloodlust.

The vallorn of Hercynia is contained in a single region, but its central position means that it is a serious threat to Summersend, the Glen of Shadows, and Old Ranging. Northpines is relatively secure from the vallornspawn; there has not been a major incursion into the mountains since they were first liberated and no sign the Heirs of Terunael are active in the mountain peaks. Those same mountains present a barrier between Hercynia and Hahnmark, meaning that the Silent Bell do not believe the Winterfolk will be directly threatened - not yet at any rate. If the chaos is allowed to spread however there is every chance that vallornspawn abominations might venture as far as Kalpamark or even spill out into Skarsind.

Protect Hercynia

  • Imperial military captains can help the people of Hercynia to defend their homes against the vallornspawn threat
  • The people of Hercynia are able to offer some rewards; a military unit would receive 5 ingots of random metal, and an extra ingot for every rank of upgrade or enchantment.

The Navarr are busy attempting to defend their homes and preparing for the potentially disastrous incursion - all except the people of Northpines. They are the ones able to offer some payment to any Imperial captain prepared to come to Hercynia and fight the vallornspawn. Hercynia is a reasonably wealthy territory, and any military unit assigned to the action will receive some payment - five ingots of random metal for a basic military unit, with an upgraded or enchanted military unit receiving an additional ingot for each rank of upgrade or enchantment. This payment would not be given to anyone supporting an imperial army in the territory - the assumption in Northpines is that the Quartermaster General will see to that through the Guerdon.

The outcome of the effort to protect Hercynia - the impact of the vallornspawn - will depend on the total strength assigned to the action.

Up to 5,000

  • The vallornspawn ravage Hercynia unchecked during the coming season.
  • The steading of Treji will be overrun, with great loss of life. Blade of Thorn will be destroyed, as will the Memorial Garden of Treji and Treji Wayhouse. Damage to, or destruction of, the Treji Wayhouse will have significant implications for the Northern Trade Route. At the very least it will disable the Western Route option for the Bonesetter of Torfast Trading Post.
  • The Heartwood of the Great Vale will also be overrun and seriously damaged, meaning it will produce no weirwood until it is repaired by the Senate (an estimated cost of 30 Thrones and one season of work).
  • Loss of life and damage to the steadings will be significant - the contribution of Hercynia to the Imperial treasury will drop by 40 Thrones but will slowly recover once the vallornspawn problem is dealt with.
  • Every forest, farm, herb garden, business, congregation, and mana site in the territory will suffer a 2 rank penalty for the next year - only the mobile fleet and military units and the mines (assumed to be on high ground unpalatable to the vallornspawn) will be spared. This penalty can be prevented if Vale of Shadows is in place on a resource before the end of the Autumn Equinox.
  • There will be significant numbers of vallornspawn rampaging across Hercynia, and the problem may spread into Hahnmark and Skarsind.

5,000 to 10,000

  • The defence will be able to hold back the worst of the vallornspawn but there will still be extensive loss of life and damage to the territory.
  • Treji will be partially overrun, with significant loss of life. The Blade of Thorn, Memorial Gardens of Treji and Treji Wayhouse will be seriously damaged requiring a Senate motion and significant outlay of funds before they will become functional again.
  • The Heartwood of the Great Vale will be damaged, halving its production until it is repaired (an estimated cost of 15 Thrones and one season of work).
  • Loss of life and damage to the steadings will be extensive - the contribution of Hercynia to the Imperial treasury will drop by 20 Thrones but will slowly recover once the vallornspawn problem is dealt with.
  • Every forest, farm, herb garden, business, congregation, and mana site in the territory will suffer a 1 rank penalty for the next year. As before, this penalty can be prevented if Vale of Shadows is in place on a resource before the end of the Autumn Equinox.
  • There will be some vallornspawn loose in Hercynia that will need to be dealt with, but the majority will be slain or driven back into Deer's Folly in the coming months by the Navarr steadings. Only the most dangerous will require the intervention of Imperial heroes.

10,001 to 20,000

  • The defence will be able to hold back the worst of the vallornspawn, and while there will be many casualties most of the steadings of Hercynia will be protected.
  • Treji will be attacked, with some loss of life. The Blade of Thorn, Memorial Gardens of Treji and Treji Wayhouse will be disrupted such that they will provide half their usual benefits for the next year or until a senate motion and funds are made available to repair them more quickly.
  • The Heartwood of the Great Vale will be disrupted, its production will be halved for the following season.
  • There will be some loss of life and damage to the steadings - the contribution of Hercynia to the Imperial treasury will drop by 10 Thrones but will begin recovering almost immediately.
  • Every forest, farm, herb garden, business, congregation, and mana site in the territory will suffer a 1 rank penalty for the next six months. As before, this penalty can be prevented if Vale of Shadows is in place on a resource before the end of the Autumn Equinox.

Over 20,000

  • The vallornspawn insurgence will be held at bay.
  • Treji will be attacked, but the attack will be driven back without breaching its defences.
  • There will be some loss of life, and some damage to steadings, but it will be greatly reduced and the long-term impacts will be muted.
  • The Heirs of Terunael will suffer a significant setback; they will be forced to abandon their plans for Hercynia for the whole of 384YE and there will be at least one opportunity to capture or kill some of their leaders.

Casualties

The vallornspawn of Hercynia are especially vicious. Any Imperial armies in Hercynia will suffer 3000 casualties split between them and then mitigated by their orders. If Rivers Run Red has not been removed, these casualties will be doubled. As detailed above, military unit assigned to Protect Therunin will suffer damage. In this case, a reduction of 40 to their effective fighting strength for the next six months.

Defending the Gates.jpg
The defenders of Therunin must contend with giant insects and deadly marshwalkers.

Therunin

If the Heirs of Terunael were only active in Hercynia, it would be bad enough... but the Silent Bell report that they are also gathering in Therunin. There are fewer Heirs here as far as the Silent Bell can ascertain - perhaps no more than fifty - but the vallorn of Therunin is considerably larger. In addition to the vallornspawn, the Heirs are riling up the great insects and there are reports of at least one vallorn-infected marshwalker along the shores of the Feverwater. Messengers were quickly dispatched to the Great Forest Orcs in Lower Tarn Valley to warn them of the coming danger.

Worse, while the Heirs themselves are not as concentrated here it appears that they are receiving additional support from the Children of Yaw'nagrah. A Urizeni coven of briar magicians and sentinels from Peregro have come down out of the mountains and launched a precipitous attack against Peakedge Stead. Their assault was supported by lesser heralds of Yaw'nagrah no doubt called up with their ritual magic. The attack was repulsed - and went some way toward tipping the hand of the Heirs in Therunin - but most of them were able to escape back into Sweetglades. One of the captured sentinels was questioned and while they were extremely uncooperative they provided ample evidence that the magi of Greenfountain Spire have been idolatrous worshippers of the Mother of Briars - Yaw'nagrah - for generations. Before falling silent, he raved about the Green Mother's message - that now was the time to cover the Empire in blessed trees once again and the vallorn was the tool with which to do it.

As in Hercynia, shortly before the Autumn Equinox someone raised the potent curse Rivers Run Red in Therunin. Three days after the first taint was spotted in the water, however, the magic sustaining the curse broke apart. News quickly came from the Lower Tarn Valley that the magicians of the Great Forest tribe had taken immediate action using one of the rituals the Empire shared with them after their arrival - casting Rivers of Life to neutralise the threat posed by the pestilent Spring magic. The orcs are making their further preparations - the Spears of the Pine will protect their settlements and the building site of the Holt of the Oak.

Protect Therunin

  • Imperial military captains can help the people of Therunin to defend their homes against the vallornspawn threat
  • The people of Therunin are able to offer some rewards; a basic military unit would receive 5 random herbs, and an extra herb for every rank of upgrade or enchantment.

The people of Therunin will do their best to weather the storm, and are able to offer some reward to anyone prepared to come and fight beside them. A standard military unit will receive five random herbs, and an additional random herb for every rank of upgrade or enchantment. It is not much, but there is some hope the Quartermaster of the Imperial Armies may also apply the Imperial Guerdon to the defence of Therunin.

The Great Forest Orcs will work with the defenders of Therunin to the best of their abilities; the numbers here assume they are already doing everything they can to defend their settlements and those of their allies.

Up to 5,000

  • The defence will not be strong enough to prevent the vallornspawn ravaging Therunin in the coming season.
  • The Docks at Feverwater will be destroyed.
  • The Great Forest Orcs will be overrun - significant numbers will be slain and the partially completed Holt of the Oak will be destroyed.
  • Peakedge Stead would be overrun with significant loss of life, and the offices of the Eastern Broker destroyed.
  • The Thimble will be severely damaged, and produce no weirwood until it is repaired by the Senate (an estimated cost of 30 Thrones and three months work).
  • Loss of life and damage to the steadings will be significant - the contribution of Hercynia to the Imperial treasury will drop by 50 Thrones but will slowly recover once the vallornspawn problem is dealt with.
  • Every forest, farm, herb garden, business, congregation, mine, and mana site in the territory will suffer a 2 rank penalty for the next year - only the mobile fleet and military units will be spared. The Vale of Shadows will prevent this happening to any resource protected by it, provided the shroud is in place by the end of the Autumn Equinox.
  • There would be significant numbers of vallornspawn in Therunin which would continue to represent a problem until dealt with and may threaten the people of Peregro and Chalcis Mount.

5,000 to 15,000

  • The defence will be able to hold back the worst of the vallornspawn but there will still be extensive loss of life and damage to the territory.
  • The Great Forest Orcs will suffer significant casualties. Work on the Holt of the Oak will be put back significantly - it will require an investment of another 20 Thrones to complete the project and take an additional six months.
  • The Docks at Feverwater will be seriously damaged requiring a Senate motion and outlay of funds before they will become functional again.
  • Peakedge Stead would be attacked with some loss of life. The offices of the Eastern Broker would be seriously damaged, requiring a Senate motion and outlay of funds before they could be used again.
  • The Thimble will be damaged, halving its production until it is repaired (an estimated 15 Thrones and three months of work).
  • Loss of life and damage to the steadings will be significant - the contribution of Hercynia to the Imperial treasury will drop by 25 Thrones but will slowly recover once the vallornspawn problem is dealt with.
  • Every forest, farm, herb garden, business, congregation, mine, and mana site in the territory will suffer a 1 rank penalty for the next year. As before, the Vale of Shadows will prevent this happening to any resource protected by it, provided the shroud is in place by the end of the Autumn Equinox.

Over 15,000

  • The vallornspawn insurgence will be held at bay.
  • While the Docks at Feverwater will be threatened, the damage will not be extensive.
  • Peakedge Stead will repulse the vallornspawn with minimal loss of life. As a result the offices of the Eastern Broker will be undamaged.
  • The Thimble will have its production halved for the coming season but will not require any additional repairs.
  • The Great Forest Orcs will fight to protect their settlements, and the Holt of the Oak will be completed on time.
  • There will be some loss of life, and some damage to steadings, but it will be greatly reduced. Every forest, farm, herb garden, business, congregation, mine, and mana site in the territory will suffer a 1 rank penalty to their production but the results will be cleared by the start of the Winter solstice. The Vale of Shadows will prevent this happening to any resource protected by it.
  • The Heirs of Terunael and their allies will suffer a significant setback; they will be forced to abandon their plans for Therunin for the whole of 384YE and there will be at least one opportunity to capture or kill some of their leaders.

Casualties

The vallornspawn of Therunin are dangerous, but not as vicious as those of Hercynia. Any Imperial armies in Therunin will suffer 1,500 casualties split between them and then mitigated by their orders. As detailed above, military unit assigned to Protect Therunin will suffer damage. In this case, a reduction of 20 to their effective fighting strength for the next six months.

Liathaven

The Silent Bell have limited resources in Liathaven, but as soon as they became aware of the threat posed in Hercynia and Therunin they were quick to send some of their agents west to check on Liathaven. They were able to confirm that there are a number of Heirs of Terunael here although its difficult to gauge how many. As Liathaven is outside the Empire, they are able to receive significant assistance from the Children of Yaw'nagrah. According to the Silent Bell, both the Heirs and the Children are operating more openly here - although they must still exercise some caution lest they attract the ire of the Jotun orcs who control the territory.

Liathaven labours under the effect of the powerful Winter magic curse laid by the Navarr themselves - but while Wither the Seed makes the vallorn and its spawn sluggish it does not prevent the Heirs and their allies from rousing the creatures. Worse, in a pattern that is now becoming predictable, as the Autumn Equinox approaches there are signs that the Heirs have raised Rivers Run Red in Liathaven as well. With nobody there to remove the ritual, and with the territory unreachable from the Imperial regio, it is likely that its full effects will be felt once the vallornspawn begin to move.

There are very few Imperial citizens left in Liathaven which is perhaps a small mercy. Those that remain will do their best to fight the vallornspawn, but they are outclassed and outnumbered and must be careful not to attract the attention of the Jotun. For their part, the orcs appear largely unaware of the threat gathering under the eaves of Liath's Heart.

Fortunately for the Empire, it seems that while the Heirs of Terunael may be able to rouse the vallornspawn, the sluggishness caused by Wither the Seed means that even if the territory is left entirely to its own devices they are unlikely to spread beyond the borders of the forests - meaning that Kahraman, Mournwold, Bregasland, and Hordalant are probably safe at least for the moment.

Protect Liathaven

  • Imperial military captains can help the remaining citizens of Liathaven to defend their homes against the vallornspawn threat
  • There are no additional rewards for characters assigning their military unit to Liathaven

During the coming season, there will be an additional scouting option accessible through the Independent action dropdown menu - Defend Liathaven. The few remaining Navarr are busy attempting to defend their homes and preparing for the potentially disastrous incursion - they are in no position to offer payment to those who might come to their aid. The Quartermaster General could choose to supplement by adding the guerdon to the action.

The outcome of the defence will be determined by the total military strength allocated to it. Any military unit that supports the spy network in Liathaven is also assumed to be contributing force toward this opportunity.

Up to 5,000

  • There is insufficient defence to prevent the vallornspawn ravaging Liathaven in the coming season.
  • The bulk of the casualties are likely to be among the Jotun orcs, but those few Navarr left in the territory will also suffer.
  • A further 10 Thrones each season will be diverted from the Imperial Treasury to support those Imperial citizens still in Liathaven.
  • The vallornspawn would overrun the territory and continue to represent a significant threat until they are dealt with.
  • Every forest, farm, herb garden, business, congregation, mine, and mana site in the territory will suffer a 1 rank penalty for the next year. The Vale of Shadows will prevent this happening to any resource protected by it at the end of the Autumn Equinox.

5,000 to 10,000

  • The defence will be able to hold back the worst of the vallornspawn from the few remaining Navarr steadings, but there would still be some loss of life. Again, the bulk of the losses would be suffered by the Jotun.
  • A further 5 Thrones each season will be diverted from the Imperial Treasury to support the few Imperial citizens still in Liathaven.
  • Every forest, farm, herb garden, business, congregation, mine, and mana site in the territory will suffer a 1 rank penalty for the next six months. The Vale of Shadows will prevent this happening to any resource protected by as above.

Over 10,000

  • The defence will be able to hold the vallornspawn at bay, protecting Navarr steadings.
  • The Jotun would suffer significantly fewer casualties, but would still be taken by surprise.
  • The Heirs of Terunael and Children of Yaw'nagrah plans to rile the vallornspawn would fail, and an opportunity would exist to attempt to capture or kill some of their leaders.

Casualties

The vallornspawn of Therunin are dangerous, but have recently suffered significant losses. The Wither the Seed curse makes them sluggish and slow to react. The presence of Rivers Run Red however means that any casualties will be doubled. Even if it is removed then armies in Therunin will suffer 1,000 casualties split between them and then mitigated by their orders. Due to the recent developments in Bregasland it is challenging for an Imperial army to enter Liathaven on a defensive order - the regions that the Empire can easily reach are all held by the Jotun and so would require an attacking order to enter meaning the army will contribute nothing to the Protect Liathaven action.

As detailed above, military units assigned to Protect Liathaven will suffer damage. In this case, a reduction of 20 to their effective fighting strength for the next six months.

The Jotun in Liathaven

Most of Liathaven is still under control of the Jotun. It is not clear if they have any armies there at the moment, but they certainly have some presence. The Silent Bell believe that they are entirely unaware of the threat of the Heirs of Terunael. It may be possible to get a message to the Jotun and alert them to the threat. One obvious way to do this would be to use the Call Winged Messenger ritual - provided the caster has sufficient information to ensure such a message reached its destination of course. There may be other ways, but ideally such a message would be communicated to a Jotun with some influence - it will be no use sending a random orc warrior as a messenger.

Given their commitment to their thralls it is likely that with some warning the Jotun might mobilise their own troops in defence of the territory. On the other hand, if the vallornspawn butcher large numbers of their thralls and warriors in a surprise attack, they might pull out of Liathaven completely, potentially making it easier for the Empire to conquer the regions they currently control.

Technically of course offering aid to the Jotun could be considered treason - "Aiding barbarians, eternals or foreign powers to act against the interests of the Empire" - so it might be advisable to speak to Chief Magistrate Karkovitch before doing so.

Sküld

The Silent Bell have reports of one final group of Heirs of Terunael taking action following the Summer Solstice, but they believe they are no longer in the Empire. There are unverified reports of what seem to be a score or so Heirs of Terunael heading north-east out of Suvretz into Otkodov - specifically into southern Sküld where a vallorn is believed to lie in uneasy slumber. The easternmost territory of the Thule is beyond the remit of the Silent Bell, but they believe their information is reliable.

As with Liathaven, Sküld is not protected by the declarations of the Imperial Conclave so it is likely the Heirs would be able to secure the assistance of Yaw'nagrah with whatever scheme they are hatching in the north. It is also difficult to know whether the Thule are aware of the threat or not - or how they would respond. There is a small chance of danger to the Empire - in theory any vallornspawn raised in Sküld are as likely to come west into Volodmartz as they are to press north further into Otkodov. After all, it is believed that the vallorn does not much care for the frigid climate of the far north. Still, for the moment at least, the threat of whatever the Heirs are doing in Otkodov seems confined the the Thule lands.

Further Vigilance

  • The Silent Bell propose further investigations
  • The Assembly of Nine could ask the Grey Pilgrims to focus their efforts on Yaw'nagrah idolators
  • The Vigilance assembly could encourage the virtuous to identify hidden idolators and Heirs of Terunael

While the agents of the Silent Bell will offer what aid they can in the defence of the Navarr territories, they are investigators not fighters. They have suggested however that they may be able to identify Heirs of Terunael sympathisers, or could refocus their efforts on identifying any remaining cells of Green Mother idolators within the Empire. Of course the Assembly of Nine may have other concerns they wish the Silent Bell to look into - and the Bell are not the only people the Synod might call on to help investigate the Heirs and their allies.

The Grey pilgrims are committed to the idea of identifying those who damage their souls by practising idolatry. Having endorsed the Grey Pilgrimage, the Assembly of Nine could use a suitably worded Statement of Principle to ask the Grey Pilgrims to focus their efforts on finding idolators supporting Yaw'nagrah in the coming months, either on their own or in tandem with the Silent Bell. If the statement receives a greater majority there is every chance they may be able to locate at least some of the "cults" dedicated to the Green Mother within the Empire.

Finally, in response to the information discovered so far by the Silent Bell, the Vigilance Virtue assembly might urge virtuous citizens to look for signs of deep cover Yaw'nagrah idolators and Heirs of Terunael active in their communities and inform local priests of their suspicions.

Vigilance teaches us to seek out the poison in our neighbour’s fields, lest your own crops be blighted. We send {named priest} with 50 liao to urge every vigilant citizen to remain alert for signs of idolatrous worship of Yaw'nagrah, or reverence of the monstrous vallorn and bring their suspicions to the attention of their priests.

Synod Mandate, Vigilance assembly


If this mandate were enacted - which would of course require a greater majority due to the influence of the Wisdom assembly and the sword scholars - virtuous citizens would actively seek out followers of Yaw'nagrah or those they suspect might have connections to the Heirs of Terunael. While there are likely to be a number of false accusations made, it is likely that at least some of the leads generated would pay off and expose enemies of the Empire.

Other Concerns

  • There is an opportunity to remove the vallorn from Dark Ranging in Brocéliande, and several proposals about improving the territory: you can learn more about then here.
  • Brocéliande and Liathaven are under the effect of Wither the Seed: you can learn more about this here.

There are two other Winds of Fortune of particular interest to the Navarr nation. One concerns the effect of a potent Winter magic curse with tragic long-term effects that hangs over Brocéliande and Liathaven, and can be found here. The other concerns the wider situation in Brocéliande - the opportunity to clear Dark Ranging and proposals for ways to prepare for future conflict in the territory which you can find here.