"Gregora," called the overseer. "Gregora!"

"What?" asked the surly miner, wrestling her cart full of orichalcum ore to a halt.

"Weren't you meant to be reinforcing the tunnels down in the north-west shaft?"

"Maybe?" she replied, insolently. "What's the bloody point, though? The orcs can reinforce it their bloody selves when they get here."

"Not if it falls down next week, they can't."

"Look," she snapped. "Do you want to leave this all in the ground for them - or do you want to take what we're owed for all our hard work before we're forced to give it up?"

The overseer mulled this over for a moment.

"A good point, well made." he said, and left her to get on with her job.


The auras spread to remind them of the Miracle at Hahnmark may have faded, but the miners of Skarsind are still deeply concerned with their Prosperity. They are also concerned about the message - apparently originating from Anvil - that they have been sold down the river by the rest of Wintermark. It may be virtuous to give a homeland to the Imperial Orcs, but is it virtuous for strangers to benefit from their hard work?

No-one is really holding a grudge against the Imperial Orcs, many of the people of Skarsind have a lot of sympathy for the orcs. The Winterfolk have been displaced, or struggled under the tyranny of the Thule, and the Imperial Orcs were instrumental in liberating their home after all. Their actions do not grow out of dislike for the Imperial Orcs, but out of the belief that they deserve to enjoy the rewards of their hard work - that the people of Skarsind should get as much fruit out of their labours as possible before they have to hand off the orchard, as it were.


At present the impact of the dissatisfaction are limited to Skarsind's mines. The miners are enjoying a windfall as a result, but storing up problems for the future. If this rampant consumption of natural resources is left to continue unchecked, by the Winter Solstice the mountains and hills will be littered with unsafe tunnels. This will make it increasingly difficult to get anything out of the ground without a serious clean-up effort - probably involving a Senate commission and weirwood-and-mithril supports for the broken sections.

The foresters, gardeners, and mana producers of Skarsind are also looking at the miners' activities with interest and may be persuaded to follow suit. If they do, they will clear-cut forest, pulling up immature plants, and over-harvest their mana sites - assuming it continues to appear to be virtuous so to do.

As this is a Wintermark matter, motions in the Wintermark National Assembly are likely to carry more weight with the people than in the Virtue Assemblies, especially if it is clear that the stormcrows of Skarsind have participated - although the Prosperity and Loyalty assemblies may also hold some sway, and the General Assembly is rarely ignored entirely.

A judgement in support of the Winterfolk claiming the wealth they have invested in will encourage the foresters, herb gardens, and mana sites to join the scramble for production. A judgement decrying it will discourage them from doing so and will most likely slow the speed of strip-mining. It is possible, however, that such a judgement may be received poorly and damage the morale of the people of Skarsind even further.

Hands Full of Dust

In the south, the marshes of Kallavesi continue to suffer under the effect of a potent curse. The slow draining of the mana flows has not worsened, but it also has not got any better. Crystal mana is in some demand now, after several seasons of shortage and after recent events in the League and Urizen. A few mystics have reported seeing eerie dancing lights over the Kallavesa Marsh, and mutter grimly about what they portend.


The Wintermark assembly made not one but two judgements criticizing the strip-mining of Skarsind; the Assembly of Loyalty passed a judgement of its own to the same effect. All three judgements described the practice - and those who undertake it - as 'unvirtuous". The wide-spread practice of over production has declined as a consequence, but the morale of the remaining hard-liners in Skarsind has been lowered even further.