"But how would it work? It's a Summer college isn't it?"

"Well yes, but its still a college of magic, it just happens to specialise in Summer magic. So in theory almost anyone could be a "patron" for it. Probably?"

"But how would it work?"

"Look. The fat man is the Brother of Wizards - all wizards right? Not just Night wizards? And Prospero is the go-to eternal for favours - imagine the kind of favours he might call in to help the people at a college of magic whatever realm of magic they were working on. Wise Rangara is... I'm less clear there. Very wise? Knows a lot about potions? Likes ice? Something?"

"Wait. Why Wise Rangara?"

"I assume that's who the Winter interest is from."

"Unless it's Wendigo."

"Shit. Yes. It's probably Wendigo isn't it?"

"Fucking Wendigo."

"Yeah. Fucking Wendigo"

The Stars Above

The astronomancers of Urizen are the first to notice the conjunction of the Wanderer with the Great Wyrm, the Claw, and the Hanged Man. This alignment resonates with transformation, ending, and battle. The Great Wyrm subverts the more negative elements of the Drowned Man and the Claw, but the effects are still unpredictable. The conjunction of stars is only the first sign of a shift in the winds of magic; soon runecasters across the Empire are reporting that Yoorn and Xun are appearing far too often in their castings, while dramaturgists find themselves re-shaping previously familiar scenes to include the Tomb and the Blade (which causes some very peculiar performances especially the comedies and the romances). Some suggest this influence reflects events happening in the wider Empire - the changes in Sarvos , where an ending wrought from destruction is being transformed into an opportunity to transform into something new. Others whisper that it is the end of the reign of the Imperatrix and the Imperial Magus that is reflected in the heavens.

The conjunction apparently has particular meaning to the Urizen, but it is felt across the Empire.

Violent Destruction

  • The ritual enchantments

While the Great Wyrm subverts some of the destructive elements of the Claw and the Drowned Man, their power still resonates wthrough the Winds of Magic. During the coming summit, some enchantment rituals that grant destructive abilities will draw additional power from the conjunction. If these rituals are performed during the Autumn Equinox, the effects will be heightened. The following rituals will be modified if cast during the Summit; the additional effects will last until the ritual expires naturally.

Mortal Magic

A Shadow Over Anvil

  • For the past three months a curse has hung over Bastion and Casinea
  • The effects of the curse continue to be felt at Anvil

During the Summer Solstice, someone unleashed a terrible curse of Winter magic on the Highborn territories of Bastion and Casinea. The Icy Maw Devours the Spark of Essence weakens magic and impedes the formation of crystal mana in both territories. It also causes the territories effected to be scoured with unpleasant weather, and magicians in the area begin to feel increasingly uncomfortable. In some cases they become depressed and lethargic, in others short tempered and aggressive. All mana sites in the territory provide only half as many mana crystals as they would otherwise produce in the coming season. The ritual may also damage weak regio, as well as encouraging some magical beasts to either become lethargic or dangerously aggressive.

Normally, the magic of the curse would largely have faded by the time the Autumn Equinox dawns - but thanks in part to the conjunction of baleful and transformative stars it appears part of its power lingers still. This has two effects on people visiting Anvil this season, both of which will fade by sunrise on the Saturday of the event.

Firstly, everyone with the magician skills experiences a roleplaying effect: you feel out of sorts and uncomfortable. You may become irritable, short tempered, aggressive, withdrawn, or lethargic. You may also change between these states without warning. The roleplaying effect persists until shortly before sunrise on Saturday morning.

Secondly, the residual energies of Icy Maw devour the magic of rituals that attempt to create magical chambers. This includes Chamber of Delights, Chamber of Pallas, Solace of Chimes and any similar ritual that infuses an area with magical power. These rituals may be attempted, but after about a minute or so all the energy committed to them will be drained away. Crystal mana is not expended, but any other resources used (such as potions or once-per-day abilities) are still used up. Rituals cast with ilium to make them permanent, or those already created using ilium, are not effected by the lingering power of the curse. It also has no effect on consecrations created using liao. The effect will fade shortly before sunrise on Saturday morning.

Conjunction
WhereWhenSizeTime
Ishal, Skymark, Kallavesa21:15 FridayTBC people30 minutes
Accessibility: Combat unlikely or contained; some walking will be involved; lighting may be poor; smoke may be used

The Raven's Dream and the Mystics of Ishal

  • The mystics of Ishal invite the Kallavesi mystics to come to the marshes to partake of the Raven's Dream with them

The Aviary of Ishal has been completed, and now the mystics of Ishal reach out to the Kallavesi of the nation, inviting them to join them for the Raven's Dream - their name for the traditional Kallavesi practice of partaking of Goosewhisper Infusion together during the Solstices and Equinoxes. The egregore has confirmed that there will be a conjunction of the Sentinel Gate large enough to allow all the Kallavesi mystics to pass through on Friday night at quarter-past nine that will open in the marshes near Ishal. Everyone who is attending should remember to bring their Goosewhisper Infusion with them, of course.

The mystics of Ishal hope to meet the newly appointed Raven Seer in person at the same time, and will hand over the Parliament of Owls ritual text to them before the ceremony proper begins.

Lights in the Sky

  • Glowing lights in the sky celebrate the victory in Tamarbode

A week after the Summer Solstice, shortly after sunset, miraculous lights appear in the night sky above Reikos. People stream out of their chapterhouses - many of them interrupting their evening meal - to gaze up at the sky wondering what new threat is about to be revealed. The fantastical display is not a threat, however, but a glowing paean to the League armies who last season destroyed the Garden of Llofir and liberated Tamarbode. In addition to the armies themselves, and their generals, the lights also celebrate the courage of the independent captains who fought alongside them.

The light show lasts perhaps an hour, and then fades away with a final triumphant blaze of light. Many of the Highborn appreciate the display, acknowledging the power of whichever coven has caused it to occur, and agreeing that it is more than appropriate that those who have done such a grand service for the people of Reikos be recognised in such a Proud - albeit slightly gaudy - fashion.

The same thing happens the next night. And the next. In fact it happens every night for the next three months. By the third week, almost nobody goes outside to look at it. There is some comment that it has become a little overdone - all that was needed was one night of commemoration. Nearly a hundred nights of it... feels a little much. "We are Highborn," says one champion of a Reikos chapter. "We understood the message on the first night."

On the other hand, it proves extremely popular with many children (who in some cases insist on watching the entire show every night) and with many of the Dawnish troubadours who badger their hosts for more information about the events depicted - and in several cases pen songs and stories about the League heroes who defeated the monstrous King of Fungus.

Dreams of the Ancestors

  • Imperial Orcs experience visionary dreams

Throughout the last three months, every Imperial Orc has experienced dreams celebrating the history of the Imperial Orcs, and the items of worth they have forged. From the earliest days when the orcs could not write, to the formation of the armies, the recognition of their greater purpose, and the place they have taken alongside the other nine nations of the Empire. These dreams are not intrusive - indeed every orc who experiences them awakens refreshed, and often with a sense both of pride in the accomplishments of the past, and ambition for the things they will accomplish in the future.

It is especially helpful to the newest members of the nations - both the gladiators of Mareave and the slaves of Dubhtraig. It gives them a personal sense of things other Imperial Orcs take for granted - helping them to integrate into Imperial Orc society more easily, and encouraging those born to the Imperial Orcs to welcome them and help them understand what it means to be one of them.

The dreams fade shortly before the Autumn Equinox, but many of the Imperial Orcs will remember them for some time to come.

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Zephaniah's Lament

The Curse Zephaniah's Lament

  • The curse that settled over the chapter of Zephaniah's Lament last season has been removed.

By now, the story of how Zephaniah's Lament cursed Sarvos and Holberg - destroying mirrors and withering Holmauer Park - has spread across most of the Empire. There has been a great deal of speculation about what happened and why the Highborn chapter was involved. Apparently, they were acting as agents of Skathe, the Hag Queen - now placed under declaration of enmity by the Imperial Conclave at the urging of Solas of the Spire of the Waxing Sun. Some say they were part of a secret cult dedicated to the Thrice-cursed Court. Others that they were tricked into unleashing the curses, or that they had some virtuous motivation for doing so. Certainly the Conclave believed they were guilty of something - two of their number - Jaylus and Levi - have been declared sorcerers. There is talk that the magistrates have levied a massive fine on them, commensurate with the damage they have done to the two cities.

Perhaps a little surprisingly, not everyone condemns the Highborn of Zephaniah's Lament (although the Highborn Assembly has certainly described what they did as a tragedy). A number of Dawnish troubadours make a point of visiting the chapterhouse during their trip to Highguard with an eye toward recording their deeds in song - after all more than one Dawnish house knows that a deed can still be glorious even if it is terrible. Likewise some Winterfolk are keen to learn more - heroism comes in many forms and while they may have damaged mirrors and killed a pleasure garden they certainly don't seem to have killed any people. Finally, a couple of Varushkans point to the recent Synod mandate saying that dealing with dark forces is not automatically unvirtuous, and ponder about the nature of their deal with Skathe.

These are the same people, many remember, who challenged the Iron Confederacy to help a pilgrim of the Way and their friends escape to safety. If they cursed the League, the reasoning goes, then presumably they had good reason to do so. Or more likely - claim their detractors - they have been trying to cause problems on behalf of their sinister mistress all along.

Regardless, and perhaps ironically, shortly after the Summer Solstice, the curse that lay over the chapterhouse of Zephaniah's Lament and its grounds dissipates entirely. And not only the curse that had most recently appeared - it seems that whatever malaise has lain over the chapter for many years has also been broken. when the chapterfolk of the Lament are seen, for the first time in years they appear cheerful, happy, and as if a great weight has been lifted from them.

Castles of Mist and Frost

  • Magical fortifications have been raised in Hahnmark, Kahraman, Bregasland, and Kallavesa

During the Summer Solstice, Imperial magicians raised a total of seven magical castles in the Empire. Four of them were called from the domain of the The Breath of Winter. Three castles of ice and granite were raised up in the hills of Hahnmark - in Northspires, in Valasmark, and in Kalpamark. It seems the Voices of the Unbound Storm were taking no chances, and ensuring that should the Jotun come south they would find Hahnmark considerably more difficult to conquer than Sermersuaq. A fourth castle of white stone and black ice was raised over Serra Briante in Kahraman by Summer Dawning Relentless and would have caused serious problems for the Jotun had they not retreated from the hills above Damata.

At the same time, the Sussivari Frost Coven raised two castles of fog and water over North Fens and West Marsh. The castle in Bregasland significantly impeded the Jotun advance into the Marcher territory.

A Tally of Shrouds

The night skies over Zenith, the Barrens, Ossium, Semmerholm, and Spiral are inky black, just as they were last season. More traditional shrouds - the Penumbral Veil - are reported by Imperial merchants to still hang over Urdur in Otkodov, and there are further reports are that the same veil lies over Nithoggir, Sküld, and Verthandi.

Divination rituals such as Eyes of the Sun and Moon, Eye of the High Places, and Dreams in the Witch House performed on any of these territories are impeded. The strength of theses shrouds are not specifically known but from past experience are assumed to be around the fiftieth magnitude.

The stars have returned over Holberg - whatever darkness occluded them has now faded. Some credulous sorts suggest that this is the influence of Juha, the Cave Spider, removing the darkness that shrouded the sky above the home of his beloved wife.

Naga Influence
Any naga who have spent significant time in the Barrens, Spiral, Zenith, Holberg, Ossium or Semmerholm experiences the following roleplaying effect; your natural urge toward subtlety and secretiveness is greatly strengthened. Naga in general relish being mysterious and secretive, but while experiencing this potent roleplaying effect you may need to make a significant effort of will to answer direct questions or be honest about your intentions.

The roleplaying effect is significantly lessened at Anvil - indeed the longer one stays out of a territory where it applies the less pressing the urge to secrecy and subtlety becomes - but a naga with a strong lineage who has spent time in one of the shrouded territories will still experience the roleplaying effect at least until Saturday morning.

Eternal Magic

The Ice Giants

  • Cathan Canae sent frost giants to help protect Kallavesa and Hahnmark

Three days after the Summer Solstice, five score massive creatures of the Summer Realm appeared in Kallavesa, and a day later a further five score in Hahnmark. Each one is twice the height of a mortal warrior, with blue skin and snow-white hair, clad in mail of unmelting ice, and wielding great swords, axes, spears, and shields of silver with a sheen of frost. Accompanying each band is a herald of the Lady of the Frost who announces that they are here to help protect the land of Wintermark, and would remain until the last day of the Summer Solstice next year (384YE) or until Wintermark abandons the pursuit of heroism, whichever comes first.

The giants are powerful combatants, but they are also talkative, competitive, and prone to feasting and drinking. They seem to very much enjoy engaging in contests with Winterfolk who seek them out, and on occasions where their prowess is displayed their great strength and immense stamina seems easily a match for any ten veteran warriors. They cheerfully explain that their mistress has sent them to Wintermark in honour of Osric of Sigehold Hall, Odelia Nelda, and Jag of the Embers of Ashenhall who impressed her with their cleverness, courage, and insight. They are charged with protecting the Beacons of Wintermark, and they will spill out their life's blood before they will allow them to fall.

OOC Note: Each of the two bands of giants is the equivalent of 1,000 force assigned to the Beacons of Kallavesa and Hahnmark.

Challenge of the College

During the Summer Solstice, Brother Luke of the Shattered Tower - the Archmage of Summer - announced that a new tourney would be held to determine who will serve as patron for the Icy Crag of the Eternal Sun. Eleonaris has withdrawn her patronage as a result of the declaration - which is not unexpected - although it is not clear at this time whether she intends to present champions for the tourney to try and reclaim her position.

Barien intends to send one of his favoured courtiers - Revel who comes in robes the colour of skies and snows - who has become familiar with Anvil over the last several months. The Keeper of the Crossroads makes it clear that all decisions relating to the tournament should, of course, fall upon the citizens of the Empire, and ultimately the Archmage of Summer, but emphasises the centuries of experience the Host of Hosts has had dealing with competition between the rulers of Summer, and gently recommends that Revel should be called upon to hear the plans and ensure they are clearly and fairly disseminated across the Realm. While details of the challenge are yet to be determined, the previous challenge involved a grand martial combat.

However, information percolating from the Summer Realm via heralds is that the eternals favour a contest of magicians rather than warriors - this is a college of magic after all not a college of war. Still, that does not mean it should necessarily be any less martial only that it be fought with mage armour and staff rather than plate and sword. They look to Barien to help the Archmage organise the challenge, and lay out the requirements, with the intention that the tourney take place during the Summer Solstice 384YE - giving them time to gather and equip their chosen champions.

Revel would also be glad to hear from winners of the recent challenge set to the Jotun, and the Knight Protectors of Dawn as well as the Archmage and current head of the College. The message concludes confirming that Revel will head to Anvil at two o'clock on Sunday of the Equinox and expects the Archmage to have organised discussions.

Potential Patrons

So far, three Summer eternals have let it be known that they intend to seek champions for the coming tourney. Cathan Canae and Meraud alike have an interest in the college - and an interest in ensuring their champions prove their prowess by beating the champions of the other eternal. Meraud has let it be known that anyone with interest in representing him in the coming challenge may make their intention known using the ritual he provided to allow Imperial magicians to speak to him. Cathan Canae has not indicated how she will choose her champions, but her herald has intimated that she will be looking for champions who have proved their prowess on the battlefield against the Jotun (regardless, apparently, of whether the challenge has a martial quality).

Adamant has also announced that he intends his koboldi to begin seeking for suitable champions as soon as he knows what the details of the challenge will be. He apparently has a great deal of interest in helping the Empire to create rituals that will help them shape their world and defend themselves - especially to build and reinforce things made of stone. The koboldi intimate that the statement of principle proposed by Mordred during the Summer Solstice has mollified his injured feelings, and it is likely he will be seeking champions from among the people of both Dawn and Urizen.

Finally, there is something of a surprise candidate. The Brother of Wizards has also thrown his hat into the ring. He intends to present champions of his own for this tourney, whatever it is going to be, and asks that anyone interested in representing him use the Missive to Sadogua to let him know of their intentions and why they would make good candidates - and ideally how they intend to defeat whatever champions it is Meraud may choose. There is some confusion about Sadogua's intentions but the herald who delivers the news breezily reminds the Empire that the Brother-of-Wizards is a friend and supporter of all wizards not merely masters of Night lore - and is as capable of providing magical cider brewed from Summer apples as he is providing elixirs that empower Night magic.

Sadogua's interest has apparently sparked other interest as well - nothing concrete has been said but heralds of the Autumn and Winter realms have also been asking questions about the nature of the challenge, and what being patron would entail. It seems that this second Tourney of Sun and Ice may have a significantly more diverse set of contestants than the first one did.

Eleonaris

  • Eleonaris has prevented the other rulers of Summer from using her ritual Knights of Glory
  • Boons that allow magicians to summon their troops with the ritual will no longer function.

Last summit Nezha, herald of Eleonaris, addressed the assembled the magicians of the Empire just before the Conclave met on the first night of the summit. The Herald of the Lady of Pennants delivered a proclamation to the members of the Conclave, laying down her concerns and ultimately ending with a promise that further castings of the ritual Knights of Glory by the Empire may incur serious consequences.

Two months ago Nezha returned once again to the Castle of Thorns. There he spoke to the civil servants attached to the Conclave to inform them that his queen, the Lion of Summer, has taken steps to prevent any eternal of the Summer realm from offering boons to imperial magicians in order for them to summon forth their own troops using her ritual. The ritual was crafted with her power, and it has only been through her grace that other eternals have been able to use its magic to bring their servants from the Summer realm to the mortal realm. That grace is now withdrawn, as is her right. The ritual will now only bring forth knights from the Fields of Glory. Let other eternals create their own magical rituals if they wish to aid the Empire.

Threadweaver.jpg
Threadweaver is some sort of card game played for favours.

Prospero

  • A herald of Prospero will be in the Hall of Worlds at 19:00 on Saturday to escort people to a chamber
  • An agent of Estavus will visit the Artisans Guild on Saturday to deliver their invitation

The Sovereign Lord of the City of Bridges is hosting a game of Threadweaver at the upcoming Autumn Equinox. Invitations have been scattered across the Autumn realm, and some have made their way to Imperials.

Three invitations are to be delivered over the coming summit; one, from the Prince of Shikal, is going to the Artisans Guild for the guildmaster to do with as they see fit. One will be going to the Archmage of Autumn, Edmundo of Damakan's Forge. The last, from the Golden Prince himself, is going to the Grandmaster of the Celestial Arch, Laelius of the Waxing Sun.

As of yet the unaccounted-for invitations have apparently been sent to the Chainbound, the Prince of the Black Vaults, and the Prince of the Argent Tontine.

In the interest of openness and a good game, the Reckoner of Ebony and Bone wishes to inform the attendees that the game will run for four rounds, with a short break between the second and third rounds. Each participant should bring six favours with them, a mix of minor (such as five thrones, or a dagger), and at least one major (such as twenty thrones, the raising of a motion in the Senate, or use of an Archmage's power of plenipotentiary). The Weaver notes that a herald of the Brass Magistrates will be present, and as such the favours offered will be considered binding.

Callidus

  • The Sovereign Lord of the City of Chains offers three opportunities to the Empire.

Many of those who attended the Autumn Market last year took part in one of Callidus' two Tontines. This Equinox, the Prince of the Argent Tontine grants audience to those who have been playing his game – audience and opportunity. And like the three points of the Fleur de Lys, the Sovereign Lord offers three opportunities this season all on the first evening of the summit.

To the entrants in the High Tontine - those who bought their places at a Throne each - he issues an invitation to visit, and discuss whether they think it is more prosperous to call in the Tontine now or to play on. They will be informed of the time of the meeting by private notice.

To those who have bought or acquired tokens of the Low Tontine - the book and fleur de lys symbols – he indicates that they must present their collection to the Secretaries of the Counting House, who will set up stall by the Imperial regio at eight o'clock on the first evening of the Conclave. They will then receive a token allowing them entry to the Sovereign Lord's chamber at ten o'clock, where they can receive their Tontine prizes. They will also be able to decide whether to stay and enter a further game of risk with even richer rewards.

To those of the Brass Coast who will know who they are (apparently), the time has come to honour their bargain and honour the memory of the Sovereign Lord of the City of Chains' friendship with the great Badir i Durr i Riqueza. Their invitation is also to attend the chamber at ten o'clock on the first evening via the Hall of Worlds.

Accessibility Note: These are encounter tent experiences with good seating, wheelchair accessibility, combat no more likely to break out than in Anvil and good levels of lighting. Some elements will require manual dexterity but assistance will be available.

Sorin

  • Sorin offers the trials of the Pallid Charm once more.

A notice has been received at the Castle of Thorns, delivered by the red headed draughir, Ania of Necropolis, known agent of Sorin in the Empire. Acting swiftly upon the fact that the Tomb King was granted amity at the Summer Solstice on the urging of Syn Truthwalker Returned, Archmage of Winter, the bone masked Herald known as Exquy is opening "the new trials of the Pallid Charm".

The instructions, though simple, are different than before.

A box will be placed in the Hall of Worlds for all of the first evening of the Autumn Equinox. Unlike previous times, however, only certain people may access it. It will be under a binding, which requires a magician with at least one rank of Winter lore to cast the Operate portal incantation to bypass. Only those familiar with Winter magic will be able to put anything in the box. To register as a candidate for the Trials of the Pallid Charm, they must put into the box one crystal mana securely attached to a piece of paper that bears the following information:

  • Their name
  • The name of their chosen partner for this trial, who may not be a magician versed in Winter lore, and should be one who understands what it is to learn through suffering
  • At least one place where they can often be found, or where messages can be left for them during the rest of the Autumn Equinox. Yaroslav and Amaruq will visit entrants to speak about the trials starting on Saturday morning and if they cannot find the petitioner, they will lose their place.

Before she leaves Ania explains that though the format of the trial has changed - both here at the beginning, and later in how the Trial will play out - what the Hungry Wolf offers has not. There will be an opportunity to test your own edges, to find out what you are prepared to sacrifice and what you are prepared to suffer. And for one, eventually there will be a great boon.

Ania adds that the physicks have not been forgotten. Desiccation is preparing a new opportunity for them at the Winter Solstice.

Accessibility Notes: There should be no accessibility barriers to participation in this stage of the Trials as the human agents of Sorin will be visiting you in a place of your choosing and will be available at many different times over the weekend. Future stages do not involve combat, will be physically accessible and we can make changes to the Sorin Herald masks if participants who need to lip-read progress in the Trials and will be encountering Heralds. We'll provide information on levels of tension at each stage so those with anxiety or similar considerations can make a judgement on their involvement.

Lashonar

  • Heralds of Lashonar will be visiting Anvil looking for candidates for … something... to take place at the Winter Solstice.

Lashonar, always a fan of wordplay, has announced that they wish to embark upon a great game - a game with many players. The rules are... uncertain - they seem to change each time they are recounted. Indeed, every herald that appears to eagerly share this amazing opportunity seems to have a different opinion on what it is.

A single constant is that Lashonar seeks those with passion - those willing and able to converse energetically, at length and with the vigor of true belief (or perhaps the appearance of true belief) - but possessing the capacity to be transformed by the passions of others.

The zealous, the pig-headed and the belligerent need not apply - heralds quickly turn away to converse with local fauna when their effervescent pitch is met with orthodoxy of thought and rigid convictions.

A flock of Lashonar heralds will be taking to Anvil to spread word of this game over the Autumn Equinox. They will be collecting names of those willing to venture into a space especially created by Lashonar during the Winter Equinox next year to engage in... whatever it is that is going on.

Lashonar places one restriction on this opportunity, game, or whatever it is. For this particular... experience? … the Chatterer will not accept players (or participants perhaps?) who have Imperial titles. In the opinion of the Conscience-of-Kings, they have already demonstrated their ability to converse, convince others, and express their beliefs (true or otherwise).

Sung's Riddles

  • Sung wishes Maya of the Brass Coast to send her a message

The eternal Sung has a great deal of interest in riddles. Shortly before the Autumn Equinox she sends a herald to the Empire with a message for "Maya of the Brass Coast". The message is straightforward enough. She knows that Maya is a master of riddles and clever wordplay. She places a challenge before the Freeborn magician. The changeling must compose three clever riddles and use the ritual Clear Counsel of the Everflowing River to send them to the eternal along with the answers.

Sung will not seek to answer them herself - but during the Winter solstice, she will choose three Imperial citizens who are considered clever and wise by the Conclave. Together, her herald and Maya will put one riddle to each of these three people. For each riddle, a prize will be offered. if the challenger answers the riddle, they will receive the boon. If the challenger cannot answer the riddle, then Maya will receive the boon.