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Jorgen held the strip of raw meat out a little gingerly. The massive black bird delicately took it in its beak and with several staccato jerks, swallowed it down. It flexed its wings, and made a happy little noise deep in its throat.

"As I was saying," it continued. "My mistress isn't doing this because she thinks it's a good idea. Quite the contrary."

"What does quite the contrary mean in the context of this parley?" asked Jorgen, pen poised over his notebook.

"It's not a parley," scoffed the bird. Jorgen wrote that down, and continued to furiously scribble as Anushak spoke. "The thing that the Archmage has called for, the... what was it? Silent One? The Ceaseless Watcher? It Knows You? The Beholding? Something like that."

The bird ruffled its feathers, twisted its head left and right, clearly interested to see if any more meat was forthcoming. It was not.

"Anyway, the thing the Archmage has called is... it's not like the others. Not like my mistress. It's a thing that... look. It's like mountains."

"In what way?" asked Jorgen.

"Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a mountain?" asked the bird. "How did that go for you?"

"So it's more powerful then?" Jorgen frowned.

"No, it's just different. Very, very different. And it doesn't give a damn about you or your bowl of delicious meat strips."

Jorgen took the hint, and flicked another strip toward the big black bird. The creature caught it out of the air like a dog with a treat, and this time made a bit of a meal of it, tearing at it with its talons.

"Look, it's like this. It's like you've gone to the edge of the wood at nightfall, and shouted into the wood for whatever lives there to come out and see you. You've no idea what it is that lives there, and it's a very big wood."

"A dark wood?" Jorgen spoke without really meaning to. He'd been to Varushka a few times, to Miekarova and Volodmartz, and as soon as he'd seen the forests he'd vowed never to go anywhere near them.

"Yes, that. The darkest. You've just called out to the wood itself to come and talk to you and... well what my mistress is doing is stepping up next to you and giving you a torch to light your way into the woods. Because she's interested to see how far you'll get before you realise it is a very bad idea."

The bird ruminated for a moment, fixing Jorgen with one unblinking eye.

"She's cruel like that," said the bird quietly. "It's a good idea never to forget that."

Jorgen felt the hair rise on the back of his neck, as he gazed into the bird's yellow eye for what seemed like a very long few seconds. A peculiar vertigo took him, and for a moment he felt like he might pitch forward into the eye, into the well-like black pupil surrounded by the shrinking ring of gold. he knew that if he did fall, he'd plummet through the darkness forever and ever and...

The sound of John of Meade raising his voice to greet someone coming into the tent brought him back to himself. Both Civil Servant and bird shook themselves, as the moment passed. Noting that the little bowl of meat strips was now empty, Anushak hopped to the edge of the desk, and spread his wings.

"See you next time!" he said in a cheery voice, and then in a mad flutter of wings was gone back out of the tent into the darkness. Jorgen looked down at his book, planning to put his notes into some kind of order while the encounter was fresh in his memory. An empty page looked back up at him. He flipped back through the notebook, frowned. He was certain he'd made a whole load of notes while talking to the herald, but there was nothing there. He picked up his pen, trying to remember what Anushak had said. He started to write, and then that strange sense of vertigo came over him again and he put his pen down, and decided to go and make himself another cup of tea. He could write his notes up again later.

As he walked away, the words he had written at the top of the page - she is cruel - gently and without fuss faded away.
The feather goes where the wind wills it.
Click for audio version


  • Sinokenon has sent its thanks to the Empire but not offered a parley
  • Four eternals responded to plenipotentiary messages from the Imperial archmages.
  • Wise Rangara seems to be responding to a plenipotentiary sent to an entity of the Winter Realm

A plenipotentiary is a message sent by one of the six archmages to an eternal of their realm. Those eternals are bound to respond, although they do not always do so in a way that the Archmage expects. Following the Summer Solstice, eternals from each of the six realms responded to invitations to parley via their emissaries - although in one case it is apparently not the eternal that was actually addressed.

Summer Children

Two of the plenipotentiaries - those for Callidus and Meraud - name Summer Children who have taken those eternals' boons described in A horn resounding Wind of Fortune. If you have accepted one of the named boons and are not mentioned, please drop an e-mail to so we can add your name.


  • Sadogua will attend an open parley in the Hall of Worlds at 14:00 on Saturday afternoon
  • A second meeting is planned for 22:30 in the evening, for which there are only six spaces available and will involve a contest
  • He has requested several specific individuals attend as well as the Archmage of Night, including anyone who has received boons from him whose power has expired.
  • The current Archmage of Night is Elyssiathain of Urizen

Four days after the Summer Solstice, a dozen heralds of the Brother of Wizards arrive at Anvil. They all head down to the Hub and cause significant disruption with a barrage of questions, and suggestions for ways the Civil Service could integrate more magic into their processes. The apparent leader - Joy - indicates that the Globbersnotch has received the Archmage's unexpected invitation to parley, and obviously accepts. He also bows to the request that the parley not take place during Conclave. As a consequence he will be arriving in the Hall of Worlds around two o'clock in the afternoon on Saturday on the understanding Friday conclave will probably be over by then. As well as himself he will be bringing a few heralds - including (as a favour) a herald of Azoth who is keen to offer a unique experience to Imperial wizards.

Joy indicates that the Toad King is in a good mood, and is looking forward to a chance to renew his acquaintance with the magicians of the Empire (rather than a round of "grubbing for boons" as he apparently refers to it). As the Archmage has enquired as to what he wants from a parley, however, he has given it some thought and made three requests.

First, anyone who has received a boon from Sadogua and wishes its power to be restored should bring it along, and be prepared to explain how they've used that boon to improve their own power and prestige. He will restore the power of three such items, and plans to reclaim the others. He is particularly keen to hear from the Happy Toad - what it has been up to, what kind of rituals it has been involved in, what it thinks of its current companions - and urges the wizard who currently has it in their possession to bring it along to the parley if possible.

Second, he would like to talk to the magicians of Navarr who apparently are unhappy with him. He assumes this is nothing to do with the "whole Terunael thing" as the Conclave has declared it doesn't blame him for "that whole business" and has agreed that their ancestors were wrong to do so. He requests that his friend Brat Umbral Path perhaps speak to Morwenna Winterbuilt and encourage them to come along to the parley to explain what the problem is so it can "all get sorted out."

The contest to become Scholar in the Well will take place in an encounter tent, and will be explicitly a player-versus-player card game which will involve deception and manipulation.

Finally, he will be bringing along several of his heralds including one called Shuck o'the Norn, Steward of the Well. He asks that the Archmage grant Shuck freedom to speak freely; while Sadogua is chatting with the Archmage and their friends, Shuck has the tedious but important task of sorting out who will be this year's Scholar in the Well - who will be able to use the Well of Shadows to work on their arcane projections for the next year in return for serving as Sadogua's representative to the Empire in political matters. There's a little consternation at this last, but Joy waves it away blithely and suggests that anyone who wants to know more talk to the Circle of Zulgan-Tash in Varushka, or the Sussivari in Wintermark.

Currently Ahzrukhal of Highguard, Spyridonakes of Urizen, Clèrabela Vicente de Metri of the League, and Bærywyn of the Sussivari all have spots at the table if they want them (for themselves or their chosen representative). However, they will still need to come along (or send someone on their behalf), to confirm their interest, secure their seat, and pick up their "keys". At least two other seats are also available, but the Father of Bats is leaving the question of who fills them to the discretion of Shuck. The contest itself begins at half past ten on Saturday night and ends when it ends.

If anyone wants anything specific from him, the Wyrm in the Shadows suggests that there is a perfectly functional ritual for making such requests.


  • A Spirit Market is being prepared by Callidus to take place between 15:00 and 16:00 on Saturday afternoon
  • Access to the market, and the ability to bid on the lots, depends on possession of a special ticket provided by Callidus
  • Winning bids will be announced shortly after the market closes
  • The Archmage, Grandmaster of the Golden Pyramid, Catellus di Tassato Regario of the Cat's Curiosities, and Izaac von Temeschwar should all have tickets in their player packs; if they are not present please query at GOD
  • The current Archmage of Autumn is Edmundo

Seven weeks after the Summer Solstice, a woman with curving horns arrives at the Hub. Obviously a Herald - her skin is completely covered in tiny writing - she bears an invitation from the Prince of the Argent Tontine. The Archmage has apparently requested an Autumn market from Callidus, to trade for items of spiritual significance. The Sovereign Lord of the City of Chains has agreed to provide such a thing. He will open a small marketplace reachable via the Hall of Worlds, between the hours of three and four on Saturday afternoon. Imperial magicians will be able to enter and place bids for items of spiritual or religious significance. However, not only Imperial citizens will be bidding - Callidus is also inviting bids from a group of Sumaah magicians, and from Grendel collectors, although that will be happening separately.

The event will follow what the herald refers to as T'ganyan Auction Rules. This works in a similar manner to a blind auction, but the prospective bidders have limited access to the items that are to be sold. In this case, over the course of the hour, six groups of prospective bidders from the Empire will be allowed to view the merchandise for a short period and invited to place written bids. As is traditional with a T'ganyan Auction, each participant may place only one bid, using the ticket that allows them to examine the lots. Access to the market will be granted to groups of people who hold a specially prepared ticket. This also represents their ability to bid on lots - the reverse containing a space for the bid to be made - and is handed over to the heralds in the marketplace before leaving.

The tickets will be distributed in a number of ways, with each ticket providing membership of a specific group of seven. Note that if the Archmage or Grandmaster wish to attend the auction, they will need to keep one of their tickets for themselves - access will not be automatic.

The auction is a player versus player contest in which only the highest acceptable bid will receive the lot, and takes place under some time pressure. Several of the auction items will be presented with written provenances, but it will also be possible to ask the heralds operating the market about the objects.

It's important to be as clear as possible about how much is being offered; if they can't read your bid the heralds may have to discard it
  • The first group will be selected by the Autumn Archmage
  • The second group will be chosen by the Grandmaster of the Golden Pyramid
  • The third group will be made up of the holders of seven tickets which will be provided to the Cat's Curiosities auction house on the assumption they can be auctioned before Callidus' parley begins.
  • Tickets for the fourth and fifth groups will be auctioned for Imperial coinage in the Hall of Worlds by the heralds of Callidus while the other groups are examining the merchandise.
  • The final group will be made up of people who bid the largest amount of liao to the herald for access, with the auction taking place immediately after the money auctions are completed.
  • Finally the so-called Summer Children who accepted Callidus' boon will also receive a special ticket allowing them to visit the market as an additional member of any group, as often as they like. They can still only make a single bid however, and once they have done so, they can no longer visit the market (as they will have to surrender their ticket to make the bid). Currently only one of these tokens is being given out, to the entrepreneurial Izaac von Temeschwar who has already impressed the Coincounter with their acumen. OOC Note: These special tickets allow a parent or guardian to accompany a younger live role-player if needed, but the adult is expected to act only as an observer.

Members must have the correct ticket with them or they will be turned away. Bids are written on the read of the ticket, and must be turned over to the heralds at the market before leaving. Bids may be placed in any combination of Imperial coinage, liao (each dose is valued at 1 Crown), and true liao (each dose valued at 70 Thrones).

After the auction is over, the winners will be announced in the Hall of Worlds shortly after the auction closes. Payment must be made immediately when the winner is announced or the bid is forfeited to the next highest.

Irra Harah

  • Irra Harah has agreed to a parley with Elienne of Dawn and maybe the Archmage of Spring if they insist on coming along
  • The parley will not take place in or via the Hall of Worlds, but through the Sentinel Gate
  • The Civil Service have identified a conjunction at 18:30 on Saturday that allows a brief window of opportunity for the parley
  • The current Archmage of Spring is Ser Fabienne De Miel of Dawn

The willowy thin, large-eyed herald that delivers the message of the Prince with a Thousand Foes appears in the Hub with neither fanfare nor warning. It is obvious they are a herald, but none marked their emergence from the regio or their arrival at Anvil. They deliver their message quickly, words tumbling out in a rush. The Guard of the Young agrees to a meeting with Elienne of Dawn. They won't be coming through the Hall of Worlds. Rather they should look for a conjunction of the Sentinel Gate that leads to Halver's Dip. They can bring no more than two other people, although the stuffy old Archmage can tag along if he has to (that is to say, Elienne can bring any two people they want, and the archmage can also come along without counting as one of those two people). Guard of the Young has friends near there, and there'll be someone to talk to Elienne and his friends once they arrive. If they can find them.

The meeting will be a parley, with Elienne taking the role of Archmage given that they are the one who called it. The main topic of conversation will be helping the people of Sarangrave, the Barrens, and maybe other places. There might be a chance to talk about Imperial refugees as well, but to be honest Papa Otec thinks the Empire is more than capable of looking after its own people within its own borders. There's one other thing - Thorn of the Ancestors sent a thing to the Imperial Orcs during the Winter Solstice, so they could maybe do a thing. They didn't do that thing. So Shackle Smasher would like the Hewn Hare returned, and expects Elienne or the Archmage can probably sort that out.

Before leaving as suddenly as they arrived, the herald leans forward and speaks earnestly and as near as the Civil Servants can tell, off-the-record. "We're mostly only doing this because of Chalonsio," they say. "Most of the time your Empire is part of the problem but at least some of you have your hearts in the right place."

Following the visit, the Civil Service have indeed identified a conjunction of the Sentinel Gate to Halver's Dip, a village in Stock March, in Upwold. It opens at half past six on Saturday evening and closes again half an hour later. This is presumably the conjunction the herald was referring to.


  • Meraud, the Summer Enchanter, will attend parley in the Hall of Worlds at 17:00 on Saturday evening
  • He has specifically invited Leo the Rainbow Sage and Catrina the Unbelievably Magical to visit him
  • The current Archmage of Summer is Exarch Luke of Highguard

One evening not long after the Summer Solstice, an emerald-green creature appears at the Imperial regio. They wear a flowing blue-green robe and a hat in the Varushkan style, and eerie magical sigils that seem to move freely across their skin. They seem quite animated, and stride quickly down to the Hub to deliver a message from the Summer Enchanter for the attention of the Archmage of Summer. The Lord of the Lake has received the plenipotentiary, and will attend parley in the Hall of Worlds during the coming Equinox to discuss Several Matters of Import.

Among these Matters of Import will be maps of the Summer Realm and the Citadel of tempest jade. Meraud also wishes to meet the Summer Children who invoked his boon - Leo the Rainbow Sage and Catrina the Unbelievably Magical.

However, what Meraud really wants to talk about is the plight of the magicians of the Iron Confederacy, and what the Imperial Conclave can do to help them reach safety in the Empire. According to his agents, the Suranni purge of the Hand of Dumon is also catching many innocent magicians who just want to be left alone. While Meraud is unfortunately unable to help the Summer Archmage "split the Bay of Catazar, creating a walkway across the bay, which the Suranni wizards and their family can use to flee persecution", he has a proposal of his own. His herald Vortigan the Seacharmer has been working with the Hand of Dumon who have a plan to break open Axiom Prison. In doing so they will free both their compatriots and any number of innocent magicians (as well as quite a few mundane so-called criminals, but Meraud's green-skinned herald seems breezily unconcerned about this). Unfortunately they lack the resources needed to do so. With the aid of the Conclave, however, this plan can be brought to fruition and the freed wizards helped to reach the safety of Imperial shores.

The Conclave has already made an offer of sanctuary. The Summer Mage is apparently unconcerned by the proviso regarding conversion to the Way as it is clearly something that can be dealt with once the Suranni wizards are safely in the Empire. If the Conclave is sincere about their offer, he asks that they provide him with 250 crystal mana to pass on to the wizards of the Iron Confederacy. Some of the mana will be used to help independent covens flee to Arbonne, and across the border into Segura, but the majority will be given to the Hand of Dumon to stage the Axiom Prison breakout.

Regardless of the topics to be considered, Meraud's parley will commence at five o'clock on Saturday afternoon in the Hall of Worlds. The Civil Service note that this may well clash with the end of the auction/market proposed by Callidus, but presume that the relevant Archmages can sort this out between themselves.


  • Wise Rangara has responded on behalf of an unknown entity
  • A meeting that is not a parley has been arranged for 23:00 Friday
  • The meeting is arranged on the understanding Wise Rangara will not be held responsible for anything that happens during it
  • The current Archmage of Winter is Ematius of Urizen

Barely a week before the Autumn Equinox, a large black bird emerges from the Imperial regio and flies straight to the Hub. This is Anushak, a herald of Wise Rangara, and it is not the first time they have visited Anvil this year. While its previous visit had been marked by a certain playful evasiveness, it is all business this time. According to the bird, the Archmage of Winter has requested a parley with an entity of the Winter realm not well known in the Empire. The Archmage has called them the Silent Witness. Wise Rangara warns that this is an extremely bad idea, but that in the interests of helping Imperial citizens gain Wisdom, Wise Rangara will arrange an opportunity for the Winter Archmage and up to three other individuals to gain an audience with the being - "much good may it do them."

This encounter will involve some walking, and will involve elements of darkness and isolation.

According to Anushak, the Archmage and their companions will be collected from the Hall of Worlds at eleven o'clock on Friday night. The meeting will not be a parley - Wise Rangara doesn't believe such a thing is even possible - and Grandmother Winter is only arranging this meeting on the understanding that she will not be held responsible for any harm that befalls the Archmage or their guests.

"This isn't a test," says Anushak as he finishes delivering his message. "There's nothing here for the Empire, and it would be a very bad idea indeed to try contacting this entity again. My mistress is interceding for the same reason she lets a child stick their fingers in the fire, because experience is an excellent teacher. Please don't take that as a challenge."



  • Sinokenon thanks the Archmage and the Empire for the timely warning of the attack on the Mountains of the Moon
  • The Archmage of Day is currently Skywise Gralka

A month before the Autumn Equinox, several little balls of glowing light appear from the Imperial regio just as the sun is setting. They drift unhurriedly through Anvil, politely greeting and engaging in conversation with anyone who stops to speak to them. Eventually they arrive at the Hub. Once there, they release peals of triumphant music that causes some consternation. The largest of the spheres then speaks in ringing tones praising both the Archmage of Day and the magicians of the Empire.

Thanks to the Archmage's message, a warning has been delivered to the people of the Mountains of the Moon. Due to its timely nature, the Celestial Apex was able to send several of its myrmidons to help the Tsark people defend their homes against the Grendel and Axou invaders. "It speaks well of the Archmage and their Empire," the sphere concludes. "They have helped to protect the order of Tsark from the chaos of Attar and Axos, without thought for reward or recompense. The Throne of the Sun acknowledges the deed, and its messengers have made certain the elders of Tsark know from whence the warning came."

And with that the spheres unleash another peal of music, and then depart as unhurriedly as they arrived.


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 23:00 Silent Witness Winter Not a parley; Chamber between worlds
Saturday 14:00 Sadogua Night Parley; Hall of Worlds
Saturday 15:00 Callidus Autumn Parley; Chamber between worlds
Saturday 17:00 Meraud Summer Parley; Hall of Worlds
Saturday 18:30 Irra Harah Spring Parley; Market place
Saturday 22:30 Sadogua Night Uncertain; Chamber between worlds

About Plenipotentiary

We are changing how plenipotentiary messages are delivered. Going forward, the message will be delivered by casting operate portal at the Imperial Regio while clearly naming the eternal who is the intended recipient. The physical message can then be handed to the referee at the regio. This should reduce the amount of walking around needed to perform a plenipotentiary.

We also want to remind the archmages that the plenipotentiary message has a hard limit of 313 words. This is intentional, because it encourages an Archmage to write clearly and succinctly. In the past we've allowed messages that exceeded this limit, but going forward we intend to strictly enforce it. Any plenipotentiary that is longer than 313 words will be cut off once the world limit is reached and the rest of the message ignored.