"These are very good," said Anushak. "Lovely."

The massive black bird turned its head from side to side, attention focused entirely on the large bowl of meat strips on Jorgen's desk. After some consideration, he selected another one and gulped it down with a great deal of jerking and head-bobbing and noises of birdy satisfaction.

"Much better than last time," he said when he'd finished.

"The Winter Archmage arranged them," said Jorgen. The civil servant hadn't taken his eyes off the bird since he arrived. "What's gone wrong?"

Anushak focused one eye on the human.


"Something's gone wrong hasn't it? The Archmage has asked to speak with the... I don't know the embodiment of fear. Or... is it Blood-on-the-Snow again? And your mistress wants to explain what a bad idea it is. Something like that? Admit it. It's something like that, isn't it? Something terrible."

The bird shook, feathers plumping up, and it took Jorgen a moment or two to realise he was laughing.

"The embodiment of fear? Blood-on-the-Snow? No no no nothing like that. Something much worse."

"Much worse?" Jorgen's voice had risen in pitch, and the blood had drained from his face.

"Yes," the bird turned back to the bowl of meaty strips. "Much worse. My mistress agrees to parley with the Archmage of Winter, and I am here to arrange it."
Three eternals have agreed to formal parley; three others have made different arrangements.
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  • Six eternals responded to plenipotentiary messages from the Imperial archmages.
  • Three have offered formal parley; three have made other arrangements

The Empire's six archmages are each able to contact an eternal of their realm with a plenipotentiary message. The eternals they address are bound to respond in some way. They might agree to a formal parley, or a private meeting, or suggest something entirely unexpected, but they will surely do something.

During the Spring Equinox, each archmage has dispatched a plenipotentiary and as the Summer Solstice approaches, six eternals send messengers (in the loosest definition of the word in one case) to deliver their replies.



  • Estavus declines a parley, preferring to devote their time to assisting the Urizeni in rebuilding Zenith as requested
  • The current Archmage of Autumn is Edmundo of Damakan's forge

Almost immediately after the Spring Equinox, a construct of brass and porcelain in the shape of an oversized child appears at Anvil with a message from the Prince of Shikal. Speaking in a disturbing off-kilter voice full of clicks and ticks, the creature indicates that rather than expend valuable time discussing matters, the Forgemistress will instead marshal her servants to visit Zenith and the Crucible of Fate, to see what improvements she may be able to suggest there. She must therefore decline the invitation to parlay with the Archmage of Autumn, as she is focussed on sending her servants across Urizen to see if and how they might aid in building up the nation.

There is one matter however in which the Archmage of Autumn appears to be labouring under a misapprehension, which the Bronze Artisan is keen to correct. Some products of the Autumn realm may be interested in procuring an opportunity to be granted a fane in the Empire. Those who have agendas of their own they wish to push, might well pay for such a thing. However the Prince of Shikal has no subtle plan that might be advanced by such a thing. Of late they have had little need to request the aid of the Empire in any matter, to the contrary it is more normally the Empire asking the Prince for aid...

Given that the cost to the Iron Forge to provide the work force needed to operate the fane would be considerable, if the Empire does wish to build a fane for the Prince of Shikal, it is they who should be suggesting things that will make it worth the while of the City of Stone and Fire to staff such a place. If that is the Empire's wish, then the Prince respectfully asks that the Autumn Archmage include details of their offer in a plenipotentiary so that Forgemistress might send servants to discuss the offer.

Having delivered the message, the herald departs the same way it came. Over the next few weeks, dozens of heralds of the Autumn Realm descend on Urizen, and on Zenith in particular. The details of their intervention can be found in the Fate and function and Inkpot gods winds of fortune.



  • The eternal Azoth has agreed to a formal parley
  • The meeting will take place in the Hall of the Contemplative Unifex on Friday night, at 22:00
  • The current Archmage of Night is Elyssiathain of Urizen

A week after the Spring Equniox, a figure very much like an orc but with curling ram horns very unlike those of an orc appears at the Imperial regio. Clad in flowing robes of many colours, they take a lazy and meandering route to the Hub, stopping along the way to chat with anyone who stands still for more than a moment. They are a herald of Azoth, who they refer to as "eldest and youngest". It's been a year since the Crucible arranged a Night Market for the people of the Empire, and once again a message has been received from the Archmage of Night. This time, Azoth agrees to formal parley, to take place in the Hall of the Compensative Unifex, a chamber between the eternal's domain and the mortal realm, reached via the Hall of Worlds. The Archmage is of course invited to attend and may bring another if they want, but there are three other people that Azoth specifically wishes to hear from.

Azoth is keen to speak to the Advisor on the Vallorn on the matter of the Last Singing Stone. It is, so Azoth understands, a unique relic of a long-forgotten age. The Rebis knows of no other remaining Singing Stone anywhere in the world. There may be a way to unlock its power so that it might be of use to the Navarr nation, something that must surely be achieved before a transformation to make it "bespoke" will be relevant. Yet nothing can be changed without transformation and the Navarr pride themselves on being adaptable; it will be interesting to test how true this is. The Great Work will also receive the Penumbral Watcher who, they understand, wishes to discuss the alchemy that takes place at the Tower of Light and Shadow. Transforming the tower is a worthy ambition and Azoth has dispatched heralds to explore the location and determine how it might be changed. The Archmage is asked to bring Skywise Gralka, to talk about these intriguing ideas they have. Not knowing anything about what these ideas are in advance means Azoth will not be in a position to make any decisions or offer aid - but they are happy to hear what the Archmage of Day has to say on the matter.

Finally, Azoth is ruminating on what the Empire might do to improve, grow, and transform the relationship it has with the eternal. It is still considering, but there is one thing the Empire - or at least the Conclave - could do right now. The ritual Mark the Flesh Incorruptible is offensive to Azoth; placing it and the products of its performance under interdiction would demonstrate the Conclave understands the importance of productive change over cold stagnancy.



  • The eternal Eleonaris has responded, in place of Hayaak, to the Archmage of Summer's plenipotentiary
  • They have let the Archmage know that Hayaak declines a parley
  • The current Archmage of Summer is Brother Luke
  • The Lion of Summer has provided a token of her authority for Brother Luke to give to Blaze Dunning, and arranged a meeting with one of her heralds at 19:00 on Saturday

At the midpoint between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice, a herald appears at the Imperial regio; a lion-maned individual in bloodgold chain. They sound their spindly trumpet three times, and announce in a booming voice that the Lady of the Pennants sends greetings to their good friend and ally the Archmage of Summer. They regretfully inform the Archmage that they have passed his missive to the Knight of the Hawks but her knight refuses all requests for parlay at this time. He will not meet with the Empire again until the stain upon his honour is removed. Ser Gryphon has no desire to speak with the Archmage or his lackeys until restitution is made.

Although she currently favours the Empire, the Lady of Pennants cannot intervene in this matter. As his liege, the Sovereign in Scarlet and Gold, is obligated to respect her vassals lawful right to pursue his vengeance against the Empire given the humiliation he has suffered at their hands. She will offer him no aid in this matter, he cannot call on her armies of elfin knights. However she will not forbid him from ordering those hounds and heralds whose loyalty he still commands from entering the fray.

She will offer what help she can. She has passed the Archmage's message to the herald, and she will continue to do so in the future. Talk alone can not resolve this matter, the slight to Ser Gryphon's honour is too deep for that. The Prince of Talons has stated his demands and his fury will not abate until he is given his due. But at the point where the Empire do find a way to bandage the knight's wounds, then it is best that that is communicated to him quickly. Moreover, she can also offer some advice...

The herald pauses for a moment and clears its throat a little awkwardly before continuing. The idea that the Knight might select any Imperial citizen as his "champion" is not acceptable; the attempt to reframe this situation as being about the Silver Prince comes close to being insulting. The Lady of Pennants is sure her good friend the Archmage means no slight by it, but perhaps he has forgotten why the Knight of Hawks is an exile in the Court of Ruby and Gold? How they came to be weakened to the point that the Silver Prince was able to usurp the Forest of Arden? How serious the studied insult of the Dawnish deGauvin was? The Knight of Hawks has sworn that he will support the Jotun on every battlefield where they fight the Empire until his enemy Edric deGauvin is executed and his decapitated head delivered to him. Such a thing cannot be made right with an honour duel between champions - a show of arms "to the defeat (not death)" will not suffice to quell the fury of the wronged Knight.

While she will not interfere in the vengeance of the Knight of Hawks, Eleonaris urges the Archmage to consider very carefully how to proceed on this matter. The feud between the Silver Prince and the Knight is not something the Archmage of Summer need concern themselves with. Rather, the Lady of Pennants strongly advises the Archmage to instead spend their time considering how they might make amends for the role the Empire played in causing the Gryphon-King to be dethroned in the first place.

On the matter of Blaze Dunning, the aspiring hero of Wintermark. They cannot become a champion of Hayaak, not unless they renounce Wintermark and the Empire and fight with the Jotun and that would seem like a twisted path to take. However the Queen of the Fields of Glory is interested to test the mettle of this warrior of the Mark. Hayaak cannot accept her offer to be a champion, but the Sovereign in Scarlet and Gold, could be persuaded to find a space for Blaze in her service. Her herald presents a token of the Lion of Summer's authority and asks for it to be given to Brother Luke so that he can present it to Blaze Dunning.

If Blaze wishes to pursue this quest, she should present herself, alone, in the Hall of Worlds just before 7pm on the Saturday of the forthcoming solstice. Her majesties heralds will meet with them there to convey them into the presence of one who can accept their pledge on her behalf, should they chose to go through with their offer. There they will face three tests, a test of Wisdom to see how well they know the patron they seek to serve, a test of the soul to see how well they know themselves, and a test of the skein to see how well she knows her future. The Lion of Summer is aware that Blaze Dunning is not a magician and cannot reach the Hall of Worlds - so finding someone who can enable her to do that will be the first challenge.


Wise Rangara

  • The Kind One has agreed to a parley during the Summer Solstice
  • The parley will take place in a chamber on Friday evening at 23:00
  • The current Archmage of Winter is Ematius of Urizen

Wise Rangara is minded to attend a parley with the Winter Archmage, if only because they seem to be labouring under a misapprehension. Surely if the Empire is convinced the Druj know more about herb lore than they do... they should continue to fight the Druj and take that lore for themselves? Or perhaps build a college dedicated to expanding their lore of apothecary? Or embrace a sept of orcs known for their herb lore? Why would Wise Rangara be so desperate for the friendship of the Conclave that she should buy it as if it were fresh fish from a market stall? Some eternals want it certainly, but does the Archmage think all eternals are the same? Likewise, does the Empire think she is desperate to embrace all the additional annoyances a fane would bring?

She consents to a parley that will involve the Archmage and no more than five others. She demands the number include a Varushkan, but suggests that in addition, the Archmage might find it enlightening to ensure their party includes an old child, a young upstart, a lost guide, a wealthy beggar, a humble prince, and a silent storyteller. This will ensure that there is ample things to chat about should discussions run dry, and the first order of business will be for the Archmage to explain which of Wise Rangara's guests is which. However the Archmage should be warned that providing additional knowledge of herbs and potions will not be something Grandmother Winter will be discussing. Rather a good place to start will be why the Conclave accepted the protection of the Bound King in preference to the protection Wise Rangara offered them several years previously?

Either way, the parley will take place in a chamber between the Hall of Worlds and the Winter Realm at eleven in the evening, on Friday night.


Siakha (Conjunction)

  • Siakha has sent a herald to accept the invitation of the Spring Archmage, but to decline a parley
  • The meeting will take place at Azcara's Field, near the ruins of the corsair town of Shantarim, in Feroz
  • A conjunction of the Sentinel Gate allows access for twenty people to the location at 15:45 on Saturday
  • The Empire must take the Spring Archmage's regalia - staff, belt, and chain - with them
  • The current Archmage of Spring is Ibiss Briarheart

The broad-mouthed horrors that appear in Anvil three weeks before the Summer Solstice are not the first heralds of the Mother of Wrecks to be abroad in the Empire this season. There are unreliable reports that representatives of the Maelstrom have been seen in places as disparate as Sermersuaq, Sarvos, and Zenith, although what they've been doing is not clear. They are apparently observing the Empire, seeing if claims that Imperial citizens are worthy of the attentions of the Salt-Born Devourer.

The meeting with Sikha's representatives is a combat possible situation, will involve some walking, and there will be minimal seating.

The aim of these four heralds, however, is much more apparent. They make their surly way to the Hub, attracting considerable attention with their rusted armour and hooked halberds. These servants of Siakha are responding to the invitation of the Archmage of Spring. After their mistress made an offer via her high priestess, the Conclave rescinded her enmity, and these heralds are in Anvil to respond to the Archmage's invitation to a parley.

The messengers do little to hide their disdain for Imperial citizens, pushing their way to the front of the queue and demanding to speak to whoever is in charge. The civil service show admirable restraint in the face of such rudeness. The Maelstrom is prepared to send chosen emissaries to meet the Archmage of Spring and their associates at Azcara's Field, near the ruins of Shantarim in Feroz. This will not be a formal parley; the servants of Siakha require no such arbitrary protection and do not approve of the silencing of any who dare to speak. Yet the Empress of Sharks has no particular interest in testing the martial strength of the Archmage this time, and declares that any who remain within the circle of safety will be unharmed. Anyone who chooses to stray outside that circle, however, will be fair game. Regardless of who attends, one of them must bear the regalia of the Spring Archmage - the staff, the chain, and the belt - or else all bets are off. She also requires the Archmage to bring along at least one member of every Imperial nation; if they claim to speak on behalf of the Empire they should back that up.

Examination of the Sentinel Gate indicates that there is a conjunction that can be used to reach Azcara's Field, in Cazar, during the coming summit.



  • An unknown eternal appears to have agreed to a formal parley
  • The meeting will take place on 23:00 in the Hall of Worlds on Saturday Night
  • The current Archmage of Day is Skywise Gralka

At dawn, a week before the Summer Solstice, a peculiar monolith appears at the Imperial regio in Anvil. It is eight-sided, seven feet tall, and composed of an unknown, translucent stone. Engraved on each of the faces is the same message: "A formal parley is agreed at eleven hours after noon, on Saturday during the Summer Solstice, in the Hall of the Worlds, with the Archmage of Day."

The monolith excites a lot of interest. At sunset of the same day however, the stone pillar detonates with a thundering sound and is completely consumed in colourless flame, leaving behind no sign of its presence, not even a depression in the grass.

Presumably, the Archmage of Day knows what this is about.


These meetings are taking place in a number of places; in the Hall of Worlds, in encounter tents reached via the Hall of Worlds, and even one in the woods reached via the Sentinel Gate. The times, and the eternals involved, are summarized here.

Day Time Eternal Realm Note
Friday 22:00 Azoth Night Parley; Chamber;
Friday 23:00 Wise Rangara Winter Parley; Chamber;
Saturday 15:45 Siakha Spring Not a parley; Sentinel Gate conjunction
Saturday 23:00 Unknown Day Parley; Hall of Worlds