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"Oh," said Delmar as he recognised the boatman. "It's you. It's been a while."

The boatman laughed. "It has been a little while hasn't it? How are you?"

"Fine, fine. Considering..." Delmar gestured vaguely to the rain, and the floodwaters, and the boat. The two of them shared a smile, like they had back then, and Delmar felt the years fall away from him. It didn't last. Asurge of floodwater caused the little boat to rise and fall, caught in the swell, and the boatman had to jam his pole into the cobbles of the drowned street to prevent himself being swept down towards the crossroads.

"I think that goes for all of us," he said when the waters had settled down a little. "I didn't know you were in the city."

"My sister Ailma lives here," said Delmar. "I came as soon as I heard what was coming. I didn't know you were back in the city either."

"I'm working with the Aguirre." The naga looked a little uncomfortable, turned his head slightly. The Aguirre reckoners had a certain reputation in Tassato, but Delmar as an outsider was oblivious.

"You still have the Petrichor though."

The boatman smiled, face half-hidden in his sodden hood. "Of course I do," he said. "When I die they'll bury be with this boat."

"I remember you used to say that a lot." Delmar held the boatman's golden-eyed gaze, the silence stretching a little, disturbed only by the patter-patter-patter of the rain. Then from the room behind Delmar, there was a tumultuous burst of shouting and the sound of a small child refusing to put on their outdoor coat. The moment broke.

"Right now though I'm working for the Chamber of Commerce," said the boatman, all business. "We all are - anyone with a boat. They've opened up the School of Epistemology, and the Church of the Little Mother on Terpischore Street is above the floodwaters so a lot of people are gathering there. It's cramped, and loud, but it's safe and as dry a place as you'll find in Mestra or Regarrio right now. I'm just on my way back out, but I heard the shouting so I thought I'd see if someone needed help. Didn't expect it to be you."

"And when I opened the window I didn't expect it to be you either. Let me speak to Ailma. There's herself and three children, and a dog. Have you got room?"

"Always. What about you?"

"I'll be fine. I'm not scared of a little water, and there's plenty of other people who need help."

"You could come help me," said the boatman. Another timeless moment of silence and rain. For a moment it looked like Delmar might take the boatman up on his offer. In the end though he shook his head.

"It's a nice idea, Jaques, but I'd just be taking up space in the Petrichor that would be better left by someone who actually needs your help."

The boatman nodded, accepted Delmar's decision, and however he felt about it he did not let it show on his face. Between them, the lowered Ailma, the three boys, and an enthusiastically barking dog out of the window into the Petrichor. Raising his hand in farewell, the boatman began to pole expertly down the flooded street. The boys waved enthusiastically back at Delmar, but the boatman didn't look back. Delmar was sure of that because he watched them go, leaning out the window, ignoring the thundering rain, until the boat turned into Wyrmling Street and he couldn't see them any more.
A hard rain has fallen across the Empire, bringing change but promising new life.
Click for audio version


The Great Drought of 384YE has instead become the Great Storm of 384YE. During the Summer Solstice, Imperial magicians cast both Thunderous Deluge and Regrow the Land's Heart using the special resonance imparted by a conjunction of the Wanderer with the Fountain, the Stallion, and the Lock. This caused the curse and the enchantment to spread unchecked across the entire Empire - or at least to every territory that was Imperial at that time.

Due to the nature of the resonance, the rituals have had no direct effect on Bregasland, Zenith, Liathaven, Brocéliande, or the Barrens - they have simply had to endure the drought. That is not to say that there have not been indirect effects from three months of magically infused storms.

OOC Note: Players are encouraged to weave the events of the Empire-wide storms and flooding into their own stories, remembering the key details that while the rain has been atrocious the damage it has caused has been somewhat mitigated by the combination of magic used. In particular there has been little loss of life - no worse than might have happened during a particularly bad storm of natural origin.

Destructive Tempest

  • There have been torrential downpours and devastating storms across the Empire
  • Every farm and business has suffered the loss of half its production. Every mine has lost a rank of production due to flooding or stopping mines being flooded

The Great Storm of 384YE begins gently, with soft rain that refreshes the body and the spirit. Infused with renewing Spring magic by the Regrow the Land's Heart enchantment, the magic breaks the effects of the drought across the Empire. It also encourages growth of plants and trees damaged by war or natural disaster. If it simply stopped there, then this season would have been remembered as one of hope and renewal. Unfortunately it does not stop there.

Within a week or so of the Summer Solstice the first peals of thunder roar out across the Empire and the gentle rains become considerably less gentle. Torrential downpours accompanied by bolts of deadly lightning and howling winds sweep across the Empire. If anyone were in a position to track them on a map, a knot of black clouds would seem to emanate from Casinea. Yet that is not the only place these fulgurous stormclouds are gathering. They also surge inwards from the borders of the Empire, rushing to meet the expanding tempest emanating from the Imperial regio.

The storms then proceed to batter the Empire for the better part of three months. There are occasional breaks in the cloud cover but they do not last long. Occasionally, the power of the gentle enchantment breaks through and the rains become renewing, rather than destructive, but this interlude also fails to last for more than a few hours. Crops are pummelled flat, rivers burst their banks, earth is transformed into sucking mud. It takes all the efforts of farmers to preserve even a portion of their crops; the rising waters mean businesses across the Empire are flooded, or drowned, or simply find it increasingly difficult to ply their trades. Mine owners spend weeks ensuring that the water does not cause their mines to flood, or dealing with the repercussions where they are unable to do so.

Some places are better prepared than others. The people of Sarvos, for example, had been taking precautions against a potential doom striking the city since Skathe laid her curse on them. Fortunately, those same precautions helped them endure the effects of the terrible storms with minimal lasting damage. Not everywhere has been as lucky, however.

A fortnight before the Autumn Equinox, the rain begins to slacken off. Thunder is less frequent, lightning strikes more intermittent. The rain turns gentle again. And then, one fine morning. the sun comes out over Anvil and just like that, the weather returns to normal.


Feel free to tell tales of the terrible storm and how it affected you, especially if you own a farm, business (resources that have had their production halved), or mine (resources that have lost a rank of production to the threat of flooding). Raised by magic, the damage the storms have caused has primarily been property damage - while a few people have lost their lives they are a tiny fraction of those that might have been killed if the tempest was entirely natural in origin.

Remember that the storms have not hit territories that were not part of the Empire during the Autumn Equinox - which means Bregasland, Zenith, Liathaven, Brocéliande, and the Barrens.

Gentle Renewal

  • Regrow the Land's Heart was targeted at Casinea, but the effect spreads to effect all Imperial territories
  • This enchantment will mitigate the effects of the drought, but will also lead to extensive flooding

The storms have faded, but the Spring magic does not go with them. It remains in every puddle, in every new stream, in the floodwaters themselves. Where the storms brought destruction, they have also promoted new life. Over the next several months, that magic will bring rejuvenation wherever it brought destruction. During the downtime following the Autumn Equinox, every herb garden in the Empire will produce an additional 4 random herbs in the wake of the storms. Likewise, every forest and farm owner will be able to claim 2 random herbs produced as a consequence of the Spring-infused rains. Businesses and mines, however, will receive nothing.

It is also noticeable that where the rains have touched, fresh new life has begin to flourish. In the wake of the terrible storms, many people find it easier to abandon grudges, or find old bitterness seems less appealing than it once did. While the storms have caused a lot of damage, it is much less than it might have been. As the waters begin to recede, it is more often a case of cleaning out the mud and filth and the last few puddles, and throwing away damp carpets, than it is rebuilding from the ground up. In all these cases, the quiet enchantment of Regrow the Land's Heart has served to renew and restore, where the Thunderous Deluge would have simply destroyed.


Any player can decide that exposure to the gentler rains has washed away any grudge, bitterness, prejudice, lingering pain, or bad memory their character was holding on to. In the case of memories they are not gone - the rain has had no effect on anyone's recollection - but any emotional pain associated with them has been washed way. Likewise, you can decide that any or all of your character's vengeful thoughts, bitterness, aggrieved feelings, or memory of upsetting events has been lessened by the rains and they are able to find peace with the past.

Sodden Ground

  • As a result of the tempest, several regions across the Empire have gained the marsh quality
  • The destructive nature of the rains has made marshes much more treacherous and dangerous than they have been previously; building in regions with the marsh quality is more difficult

The rains have had a marked effect in areas where the ground is naturally wet. Several regions across the Empire have permanently gained the marsh quality.

The region of Utterlund in Holberg, is now a marsh as well as a forest. The rains in Holberg have meant that the Great Pits of Ennerlund have seen some of the worst flooding since Ennerlund first reverted to being part of the Morass, but the Bourse seat has weathered the worst of it without permanent damage. Unexpected aid comes to the League in the shape of the Sand Fisher orcs. Once it becomes clear what is happening, they enthusiastically pitch in, working hard under directions from their neighbours to shore up flood defences and dig channels for the water to drain away helping to ensure that any flooding of the city itself, or any of the smaller estates scattered around the territory, is minimized.

Further south in Therunin the region of East Ring has likewise gained the marsh quality as the waters of the Feverwater rise. The Navarr and Great Forest Orcs are able to mitigate the worst of the rain in the rest of the territory, but it is no easy task. It seems tha the forests of Lustri and the Nesustak Forest endure the storm better but are significantly more swampy than they used to be where they border the lake.

Price of the Marshes

  • For at least the next year, any commission built in a region with the marsh quality will have its labour costs increased by a fifth

Even where the rains have not fallen themselves, the impact of the storms has been felt. Marshes across the Empire, and in neighbouring territories, have become deeper, and more dangerous. There is a lot more ground water pooling in these regions than ever before, and it shows little sign of abating. Indeed, water from neighbouring regions drains slowly into the marshy areas - generally low lying areas to start with - and compounds the issue.

For at least the next year, any commission built in a region with the marsh quality will see an additional fifth added to the labour cost to construct it. This is in addition to any other extra costs, such as those inflicted by the under-developed quality in parts of Ossium. Right now the Civil Service cannot say for certain, but it is possible that this change may well take significantly longer than a year to fade away, and might be permanent without extensive draining and building of levees and dams.

While the conjunction meant that the rituals used didn't directly effect territories outside the Empire, the additional water has broadly ignored territorial boundaries. As such, this change to the labour costs of commissions in marshy areas does apply to Bregasland, Zenith, Liathaven, Brocéliande, and the Barrens.

Flooded Tassato

We, the priests of the League, understand that flooding is coming to Tassato. We encourage all citizens to make preparations as quickly as they can and work with their neighbours to protect their property. Families and guilds, vigilance calls us to be prepared for threats, and through our Vigilance we can protect the prosperity of Tassato.

Ophelia Sanguinero Rezia di Tassato, League Assembly, Summer Solstice 384YE, (Greater Majority 252-0)
  • The Vassa breaks its banks
  • The Imperial Mint sustains significant water damage
  • A new ilium resource has been uncovered

With advance warning from the League assembly, and the urging of the bishops, Tassato is as prepared for the coming floods as it can possibly be. The waters rise inexorably - not only from the rain that falls on the city itself but from the accumulated effect of the rain falling on the hills to the north. Sandbags are deployed - but the defences Tassato maintains against the risk of flooding in the spring are insufficient to deal with the sheer volume of water pouring through the city. The warning issued by Ophelia Sanguinero Rezia di Tassato gives the people of Mestra and Regario precious little time to prepare, but they use it as best they can. The words of the League Assembly doubtless prevent significant damage to the locks of the Sapphire Stair at least - the locks are opened and the waters of the angry river allowed to flow freely rather than attempting to hold them back.

In the end the preparations only delay the inevitable - as the waters rise they eventually break over the makeshift dams and flood out into the city, indiscriminately washing away anything that falls into their grasp. For a few weeks, the people on both sides of the river are united by shared adversity. Food and especially fresh water untainted by the sewers and the filth of the streets are very much in demand as are simple things so often taken for granted like dry clothes. The streets become reminiscent of the canals of Sarvos - but narrower and with many more drowned rats. Most travel through the flooded city is by boat - the flat bottomed skiffs and gondolas that once ferried citizens back and forth across the river are now the main means of moving everything. Water and food tainted with floodwater brings with it the threat of sickness - physicks and healers versed in the purify spell have their work cut out for them.

The damage is extensive, and nowhere more so than the Imperial mint that stands in the middle of the Vassa. In the past the walls have been proven capable of dealing with the occasional flood but this is something different. The gates present a weak-spot, allowing the water to stream in. Supplies must be shipped in and lifted up to the walls with ropes and baskets - opening the gates would let the Vassa pour in and do incalculable damage. As the flood continues, it becomes more and more likely the walls may actually be breached by the questing river fingers.

Eventually the rain stops, and the waters begin to recede... but they are taking their time about it. As the Autumn Equinox begins, the streets near the river are still flooded to a depth of around three feet. Where the waters have receded, they have left extensive damage. The Tassato chamber of commerce takes charge as best it can, working to deal with the worst of the damage and, with help of the Church of the Little Mother they set about making sure the disease, hunger, and thirst are kept in check.

Taming the Vassa

  • Tassato is still suffering the after effects of the flood
  • Repairing the extensive damage to the city will require 50 Thrones and take three months
  • Until the damage is repaired, or until the start of the Autumn Equinox 385YE, every business in Tassato will continue to suffer a -1 rank penalty to production

The damage to the city is extensive, and while individual buildings can be cleaned and repaired the city as a whole has suffered greatly under the flood waters. The Imperial Senate can instruct the Civil Service to divert resources to aiding the clean-up effort, and reinforcing the flood defences of the city. This will cost the Senate 50 Thrones, but will restore the city sufficiently to remove the penalty to businesses. Alternatively, if the Senate refuses to pay, it will take a year for the damage inflicted on Tassato to be fully repaired.

Regrow the Land's Heart can help, but only so far. If the enchantment is placed on Tassato, it will reduce the amount of time required for the city to recover naturally by a single season.

The Imperial Mint

  • Hidden underground chambers have been located at the Imperial mint

The waters of the Vassa are slowly receding, but the Imperial Mint is still sealed against the river. During the course of dealing with the floods, a series of additional chambers and passages were located under the Mint itself. These "secret chambers" are actually more like forgotten rooms - accessed through a door hidden behind a weirwood cabinet in a small office on the first floor, a flight of narrow stairs give access to a series of cellar rooms. Neither the staircase nor the lower rooms appear on any plan of the Imperial Mint.

The rooms are, predictably, completely flooded. A couple of merrow members of staff engage in a basic exploration of the revealed area and indicate that it is reasonably extensive - some of the rooms are below the bottom of the Vassa. There's also signs that they were built to withstand river water - there are watertight doors down there that may actually open into air-filled rooms. For the time being they're impossible to get at, unfortunately, without risking whatever is in there being destroyed by the flood water. Given these rooms almost certainly date back at least to the time of Emperor Giovanni, nobody is keen to risk damaging anything that might be down there.

Even as the Vassa subsides, access to whatever is down there will not be easy. One of the Civil Servants - an engineer from Holberg university - suggests that some of the pumps used in the mines might be sufficient to clear enough water to do a proper exploration of what is down there. They estimate that if the Master of the Imperial Mint can provide 5 Thrones, the rooms can be drained at least temporarily. It will be important to move quickly however - there is no telling how long any valuables will survive exposure to river water.

One other detail raises some concern. One of the merrow explorers was quite affected by their time in the flooded cellars and refused to return to them. She claimed that the place had an unpleasant aspect - a resonance that reminded her very much of the dramaturgical Tomb.

OOC Note: If the Master of the Mint wishes to authorise this expenditure, they will need to ensure the money is in their inventory and e-mail Profound Decisions at after the event.

The Good News

  • A supply of ilium has been uncovered in the hills about Tassato Mestra

The Vassa may have burst it's banks, and flooded the city, but there is a glitter of gold in the waters. Or more specifically, the sparkle of ilium. Several small ingots of ilium are recovered from the Vassa over the course of the last few months. The Civil Service have confirmed that the torrential rain has washed through the largely played out mines of the northern hills and uncovered deposits of ilium in the abandoned caves. The guilds that own most of the mines in the hills above Tassato Mestra are old, traditional, and a little set in their ways, but they recognise an opportunity when they see it. The Forge and Furnace Fellowship led by the ambitious Gemma Stewart of Tassato, are one of the richest mining guilds in the city. Since she took her place in Tassatan politics, Gemma has publicly committed herself to changing the fortunes of Tassato and tapping into the rich veins of ore she is convinced still lie beneath the hills above the city. She is quick to offer the aid of her guild - both in exploiting the new resource and in convincing the merchant-princes of the other mining guilds to support the city.

The Civil Service believe that if the Tassatan Hills were properly exploited, they would provide 6 rings of ilium each season as a Bourse seat. Gemma Stewart claims that much of the infrastructure needed to get at the ilium is already in place, and what is not there can be secured relatively easily from Holberg or Temeschwar. Getting the ilium seat up-and-running would cost only 75 Thrones... provided that the Civil Service was assured of the cooperation of the League guilds. If they were required to do all the work via the Civil Service, it would require 250 Thrones to exploit the ilium resources of the Tassatan Hills.

Gemma is not too proud to engage in blackmail. If the Imperial Senate wants the aid of the Tassatan mining guilds, they must assign the Tassato Hills as a League national position, appointed each year by the Tally of the Votes. If they would prefer to make it an Imperial position, appointed by the Auction of the Seats, then they will have to pay through the nose to purchase the mines, and the equipment, and employ workers to actually extract the precious star metal.

A single Senate motion can be used to create the new Bourse resource, and allocate it as Imperial or National. There is no particular time limit here - the mining guilds, the ilium, and the hills are not going anywhere.

Semmerlak Flotsam

The torrential rains have caused the waters of the Semmerlak - prone to terrible storms at the best of time - to rise dramatically. The worst of the resulting flooding is felt in the town of Culwich in Weirwater, but none of the settlements along the shores of the lake are spared. In Culwich, the drowned bells are heard in Summer for the first time ever (as near as anyone can tell), and it is seen as something of an ill-omen by many of the yeofolk. The flooding in Lacre, Ivarsgard, Korotny, and the vales along Bittershore has been less pronounced but has still left many people forced to move to upper storeys, or seek safety on higher ground.

The waters recede slowly, but they do recede. In their wake, they leave... well it wouldn't be right to call it treasure as such. Most of it is rubbish - broken pots, bits of weirdly shaped wood, corroded hunks of metal. Occasionally, however, something of actual value is discovered. Old coins, metalwork that has not corroded, beautifully painted bowls, carved pieces of wood that show no sign of water damage, little figurines, and the like. For some people - especially children - this combination of junk-and-treasure presents an almost irresistible lure. They brave the slippery mud and treacherous waters looking for loot they can show off to their friends or barter to collectors. Not only children, either - once it becomes clear that there are a few interesting items among the dross it begins to attract the curious, and those prepared to take risks in the hope of finding something valuable.

As a result of these strange treasures, every business in a territory bordering the Semmerlak will receive either an additional 2 crowns and two random ingots of rare metal during the Winter Solstice. The affected territories are Semmerholm, Weirwater, Karsk, Karov, and Ossium. Holberg will not benefit from this unlooked for bounty as the city itself does not border the lake.

There is some speculation that this peculiar bounty from the Semmerlak might be connected to the strange dreams experienced by the people of Weirwater following the Summer Solstice. A few urchins report finding strange hoofmarks in the wet sand along the shore - but these reports have so far not been substantiated by anyone over the age of ten.

Dho'uala's Gifts

  • Some Varushkan wise ones are concerned about the provenance of this unexpected "treasure", as are some Dawnish troubadours

Not everyone is intrigued by this bounty from the depths of the Semmerlak. Some Varushkan wise ones and Dawnish troubadours raise a note of caution. The Varushkans speak of Dho'uala, the dreadful lake monsters that lures anyone who takes the lake's bounty for granted to their death. Troubadours tell the story of Sedaret, the cursed Dawnish town that apparently lies beneath the waves east of Culwich. Both groups urge people to leave the treasures where they are, and keep their children away from the banks of the Semmerlak until the waters of the lake can reclaim these shiny lures.

The Semmerlak is not to be trusted; Dho'uala waits in its depths to claim those who foolishly come too close. We send (named priest) with 25 doses of liao to discourage any Varushkan from foolishly claiming the trinkets left behind by the receding waters.

Synod Mandate, Varushkan National Assembly

Within the depths of the Semmerlak is the cursed town of Sederat, and while the waters are rich not every gift they offer is meant to be taken. We send (named priest) with 50 doses of liao to discourage the people of Dawn from meddling with these apparent treasures - let the waters reclaim them.

Synod Mandate, Dawnish National Assembly

If one of these mandates is upheld, it will remove the additional production of businesses in territories belonging to that nation. All save the most foolish or desperate will leave the trinkets alone and let them sink into the mud or be reclaimed by the Semmerlak. it is entirely possible that one nation will enact their mandate and the other does not - in this case businesses in the other nation will gain an additional 2 crowns as collectors focus their efforts in that nation.

Meade and the Marches

The Marchers are no strangers to bad weather,, but the torrential rain hits the Marches very hard indeed. The rains pummel their crops, drown their animals, and flood the market towns. The River Meade bursts its banks, flooding parts of Mitwold, Upwold, and the Mourn. The people endure but they are hardly happy about it. There is a great deal of grumbling about the fact that the Empire has done this to its own people, and this raises serious questions about the recent mandates regarding the threshers.


  • The Marcher threshers are concerned about the wisdom of unleashing a magical storm to deal with a drought when other methods are available

Those threshers who pay more attention to the words of Gaelen Embercast are all for heading to Anvil and engaging in a little rough justice against whoever it was decided it was a good idea to unleash torrential rain as a response to a drought when they had the option of gentle rain instead. Those who favour the words of Jenny Arbor argue that the Conclave would surely have not taken such extreme action lightly, and that it is not only the Marches that have been affected. The two groups do not reach any kind of consensus but at the end of the day it seems that most threshers are adopting a "wait and see" policy. While crops have been ruined, actual loss of life is limited to the foolish and the unlucky - but if this turns out to be the start of a trend for using destructive magic on Imperial citizens then all bets are off.

In their response to the drought and conjunction the Empire have exchanged life-threatening drought with disadvantages for life-threatening floods with advantages. If they rest at Regrow the Land's Heart then this is not malign.

Nicholas Reaper, Marches Assembly, Summer Solstice 384YE, (Greater Majority 120-0)

The other thing the threshers agree on is that, as a sign of good faith, they would like the Marcher Assembly to investigate and determine the names of the magicians involved in performing the Thunderous Deluge curse at Anvil. Presumably, given this was done with the approval of the Conclave, there should be no reason to need to keep those names secret. Both groups would like the Assembly to raise a statement of principle including those names. There's no hint of anyone doing anything precipitous with this information - both groups of threshers want the names so they can keep an eye on them as is entirely within their remit.

If the Assembly is able to determine the names and raises the statement of principle, it will do much to take the wind out of the sails of those critical of the decision to curse the Empire with storms. If they do not, it will make it easier for those already critical of the Assembly to paint them as being complicit in the destructive curse that has ravaged the Marches farms.

River Roads

Great Western Canal
Commission Type:Great Work
Location: River Meade (Mitwold and Mournwold)
Cost: 60 wains of white granite, 40 wains weirwood, 200 Crowns, nine months
Special: Mournwold Thralls will provide half labour costs if commissioned before the end of the Spring Equinox 385YE
  • The flooding of the Meade has reignited interest in the Great Western Canal
  • The Mournwold orcs are also interested in the project
  • The project requires 60 wains of white granite and 40 wains of weirwood, cost 200 crowns in labour, and take nine months to complete
  • When complete it would function as a series of great works, as well as reducing the impact of any future floods

The flooding of the River Meade, coupled with the statement of principle by Henry Fletcher raises talk of an opportunity however. A couple of years ago there was some idle talk about a Great Western Canal running through Mitwold and Mournwold and linking Meade to Sarcombe. The project never seemed to go anywhere, but the recent flooding has caused some people to take another look at the project. One of the advantages of dredging out the River Meade, of turning it into a more navigable waterway, would be that steps could also be taken to head off any future catastrophic flooding. It would be an excellent way to invest in the prosperity of the Mournwold, and in Sarcombe in particular. A sardonic alderman points out that it might even go some way toward making up for the wealth lost to the nation with the abrogation of Moonwater Hall in Upwold. "instead of trading with religious fanatics from outside the Empire," she suggests, "'we could focus on trading with our Imperial neighbours for a little while."

Mournwold was once among the most prosperous jewels of the Empire and by our best efforts is well on its way to being so again. Opportunities are ready and waiting to be acted upon particularly with offers made in Sarcombe since being granted a charter by the late Imperatrix. Construction of the Sarcombe register and the Bounders Hall are a testament to this. We encourage all those looking to investing in the Mournwold, investing in Sarcombe.

Henry Fletcher, Marches Assembly, Summer Solstice 384YE, (Greater Majority 120-0)

The canal is not a cheap project, and will take some time to complete. The benefits would primarily be felt in Mitwold and Mournwold. Every business in each territory would receive a share of 560 rings; every farm in Mitwold would receive a share of 220 rings (on top of that provided by the Breadbasket); and every mine in the Mournwold would share additional production equal to 50 ingots of metal. It would also link the two most prosperous settlements in the Marches - Sarcombe and Meade.

One additional opportunity has been presented by the Mournwold thralls who are fascinated by the idea - they've never heard of anything on this scale - and also very happy with the Bounder's Hall being constructed in Sarcombe. If the project is commissioned within the next six months (before the end of the Spring Equinox 385YE), they will throw their support behind it. Between donations of money and food, and actual physical labour, the orcs can contribute half the labour costs (100 crowns). The presence of the orcs - working alongside the human Marchers on the riverways - would also cause them to become more familiar to the people of the northern Marches. At the moment, they are still a rare sight outside of the Mournwold. Any Marcher knows how effective sharing punishing physical labour can be for breaking down barriers between people - and the gruelling work of widening and shoring up a river would be no exception. It's not clear what effect this might have - but it is likely to be positive. Should the Marchers still have any interest in bringing the orcs into their nation as neighbours in spirit as well as simple geography, making the Marchers more familiar with them cannot hurt.


  • Thanks to the Silver Chalice, Syrene's Wisdom has been protected from the floods and much of the damage from the previous season has been addressed
  • The grateful populace offer to share some of their stock of magically prepared water with the Conclave order
  • Some visitors from Syrene are intending to visit Anvil during the Autumn Equinox: you can read about them here

Almost as if foreshadowing the storms that were to come, last season the mine of Syrene's Wisdom in Syrene was hit by catastrophic floods. Many miners died or were lost - all the bodies are still to be recovered - and the Winter magic tainted waters flooded the streets of the town. The people of Syrene reached out to the Silver Chalice for help, and with the support of the Conclave, the order responded. While the storms battered the rest of the Empire, the healers of the Silver Chalice worked to protect the people of Syrene from further tragedy, treating wounds that resisted mundane attempts to heal them, and helping to disperse the cursed waters that had flown from the mineworkings. People who might otherwise have slipped away into death have recovered from exposure to the tainted water, while the worst of the damage to animals and crops has been undone.

The Silver Chalice rallied without thought of reward, and the people of Syrene are grateful for that. In recognition of the aid they have been offered, the chapters of Syrene have come together to pledge their support for the Silver Chalice - they have made a bequest to the order of two vials of properly prepared water from the Pool of Syrene. Carefully bottled in glass vials silvered with weltsilver, the waters enhance the capabilities of magicians practising certain Winter magic rituals relating to preservation and survival, although their precise capabilities are not common knowledge.

While lives have been saved, the damage to the town caused by the Summer floods has been compounded by the magical storms. People have lost their homes, and several of the buildings will need to be rebuilt. There is also a great deal of sorrow in Syrene - lives lost, lives ruined - that will linger for a generation. A performance of Regrow the Land's Heart focused on Casinea will help to mitigate some of the damage to buildings, bodies, and spirits. It will help the people rebuild, certainly, but it will not restore the dead to life nor empty the mines of their life-draining waters.

Syrene's Wisdom

  • Syrene's Wisdom remains flooded, and its upkeep has increased to 15 Thrones

The mines of Syrene's Wisdom remain flooded. For the time being the Imperial Senate has chosen not to invest in the mine nor to order minimum repairs. The mine is still producing ilium, but only because the Civil Service has offered very high wages to the miners. The good news is that this means it has already begin producing ilium again. Obviously, there is nothing to stop the Senate taking one of the other options up either during the Autumn Equinox or in the future.

Furthermore, since the Thunderous Deluge swept through the Empire, the waters have washed down even more ilium from the mountains, permanently increasing the production of Syrene's Wisdom by an additional ring of ilium each season, starting after the Autumn Equinox.

Madruga and Missing Liao

  • The secure location used to store Civil Service cargo being taken to Anvil has been flooded
  • In the commotion of moving goods to a drier location, a dose of true liao has been stolen

Flash flooding has disrupted the usually well-oiled systems transporting Civil Service goods to Anvil for the summit. A Madruga-based vault which held precious items awaiting transit, including a dose of true liao, had to be hastily emptied when guards discovered it was already submerged a foot under water.

In the commotion of salvaging as much of the water-damaged cargo as possible, the dose of true liao was never recovered. Considering all other items have been accounted for, the Civil Service have been forced to conclude that the dose was stolen by an opportunist taking advantage of the chaos caused by the flooding.

There has been plenty of speculation as to where the dose has ended up. Many point to the vyig as obvious culprits, suggesting that perhaps they planted agents among dockworkers along the Madruga coast in the hopes of a chance to grab whatever they could from the Civil Service and blackmail the Senate for its return. Others have suggested this is retaliation for the raid on Asavea, perhaps conducted by a member of the Plenum hidden amongst Maracossans. There are also those who have previously expressed their desire for a dose of true liao: Jarmish Princes have previously bothered the Civil Service about buying a dose, but have been unable to legally do so; and Sadogua has previously schemed his way into acquiring a dose of true liao and could perhaps have further use for it. Frankly, there are countless individuals and organisations both within and without the Empire who could have a motive for acquiring true liao.

Leonardo i Del'Toro i Riqueza, Secretary General of the Civil Service will deliver further briefing to the Gatekeepers during the summit once a full report of the situation has been gathered.

The Thirsty Grasses

  • The Great Grasses in Madruga appear to have experienced no ill effects from the rain and recovered very quickly

This last point is most likely only a curiosity. The Great Grasses in Madruga are a vast fertile plain known for herds of animals (representing rich farms), and for a populace that keep themselves to themselves. The tumultuous Scorrero River runs along the south-western borders, until it empties into the sea near Siroc. In other parts of the Empire, the grasslands have been badly affected by the storms - vegetation washed away, the soil left sodden for weeks. Not so in the Great Grasses. Within a week of the last rain, the plains are as dry as a bone. If anything, they are drier than they were before the rains started - something that has begun to worry the citizens there more than the storms did. No explanation is currently forthcoming, and there is no sign of a Sentinel Gate conjunction leading to the area, at least not at the Autumn Equinox.

Lingering Effects

  • The rains have stopped, and the floods are receding, but the full extent of the damage remains to be seen

While the rains have stopped, and new life is coming from the destruction they caused, the Empire is still taking stock of the full extent of the damage. While the Vassa is the most obviously affected - and the damage it has inflicted on Tassato the most extreme - nowhere in the Empire have the waters receded entirely. There are some concerns about the Scorrero in particular, as well as the potential for damage to bridges such as the Spider's Dream. As such the Civil Service warn their fellow citizens that the full cost of the storms may yet to be paid.