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The Empire is one of six great powers who wield influence over the known world. Two of those other nations, the Commonwealth and the Sumaah Republic are allied to the Empire via the Liberty Pact. Two others - the Asavean Archipelago and the Principalities of Jarm are slaving nations, targeted with sanctions by the Pact members. The last nation, the Sarcophan Delves, neither uses slaves nor upholds the Liberty Pact, cherishing the freedom to trade where it wills. There are countless smaller nations in the Known World, but those that neighbour the Empire are of particular importance to Imperial citizens. Faraden, Axos, the Iron Confederacy, Otkodov, and the Broken Shore are all home to nations whose proximity grants them an unexpected level of influence over the much larger Empire they surround.

Each nation has their own agenda, and the waters of international diplomacy can be choppy indeed.

Grendel Countdown Crab 7.png
The Peace Treaty with the Grendel expires at the end of the Autumn Equinox 385YE


  • The treaty with the Grendel is due to end after the Autumn Equinox 385YE
  • The positions of Broker of the Broken Shore and Spiral Envoy have lost access to their ministries and are no longer active
  • The Ambassador to the Grendel is Abel of Urizen

The Salt Lords Council that rules the Grendel abruptly stopped responding to missives from the Civil Service shortly after the Spring Equinox, around the same time the Wolves of War crossed the border into Spiral. There was an ominous silence for three days, with nobody entering or leaving the Grendel embassy in Cargo during this time. Orc merchants from the Broken Shore continued to trade in Imperial ports along the Bay of Catzar, apparently unaware that anything was wrong. Then, just as abruptly as communication ceased, it resumed as if nothing had happened.

There's no doubt that this sudden cessation and resumption of diplomatic affairs coincided with the Salt Lords discovering the treachery of Salt Lord Kaliact of Apulian. So far there has been nothing approaching an official response to the fact Spiral is now a League territory, "conquered" by a single army in a single season. Unofficially, the merchants who visit Imperial shores hint darkly that the Salt Lords are furious; completely blindsided by the conspiracy to defect to the Empire and the "theft" of the Legacy. Opinion among the orcs is divided between those aghast at her treachery and those who grudgingly acknowledge the Audacity of the Salt Lord, her allies, and the Imperial Senate. Everyone, though, knows that there must be Retribution for what has happened.

After this temporary hiccup, everything continues more or less as normal, at least on the surface. Governor Rahab continues his work in Feroz, and merchants of the Broken Shore are regular sights across the Bay of Catazar, especially at the embassy in Cargo. The navies continue to remain moored off the coast of Necropolis and Madruga. In Necropolis Broken Shore Orc traders are welcomed thanks to the mandate enacted by Brother Wildfyre. The hostels, businesses, and inns open their doors to the visiting Grendel sailors and marines from the Golden Winds. Unfortunately, they may be opening their doors to more than simple sailors and traders, as the Seventh Wave has recently confirmed.

There are two places where traders have been conspicuously absent however. With the induction of Spiral into the Empire, the Spiral Envoy title has effectively ceased to exist. The Apulian Orc traders have turned their efforts elsewhere, focusing on building connections with their "fellow" League citizens. The Broken Shore Market stands empty; the Grendel are no longer trading their valuable mithril for precious weirwood.

A Breakaway Enclave

  • A representative of the North Mareave Trading Consortium is visiting Anvil at 13:00 on Sunday

Not all the orcs in Spiral are allied with the Apulian rebels. As recounted by the Wolves of War, a breakaway group have set up a base of operations in southern Apstrus near the border with Mareave. They are lead by Paymaster Muireall, a Grendel of some renown despite her recent setbacks. She has declared that she has no intention of joining The Empire. Just because the Salt Lord has chosen the losing side, she argues, does not mean all should suffer. Although Paymaster Muireall has gathered together a large number of Grendel orcs of a similar mind, they do not control enough military strength to contest the region, and indeed they have studiously refrained from violence either against the local population or the Wolves of War, no doubt to avoid sanctions under the still ongoing peace treaty. They are however refusing to be recognise the new status of Spiral, be governed by Imperial Law, or pay Imperial taxes. They claim they are Grendel, and that Spiral is rightfully Grendel, and that if the Empire takes any aggressive action against them, the treaty will have been violated.

Muireall's position is tenuous, especially since the failed raid on Tsark, but what that endeavour has left her with is a large cache of mountaineering equipment, and several experts in navigating military forces through steep mountains. If she is left to cement her position, it is likely that she will be able to establish a route through the normally impassable mountains of Apstrus, from Maraeve, which might allow Grendel forces to attack directly there rather than be forced to take the Apulian Way and deal with the Palace of Apulian.

A representative of Paymaster Muireall, Secretary Frangan of the North Maraeve Trading Consortium, will be attending Anvil on Sunday at one in the afternoon. He intends to speak with the Ambassador to the Grendel, and perhaps the generals of the Wolves of War and the Citadel Guard if they are interested, about sorting this whole mess out before it goes any further.

Iron Confederacy

The Iron Confederacy continues to maintain cordial but cool relations with the Empire. Though both nations have applied sanctions on trade with the other the port of Robec continues to be open to Imperial traders. While some Suranni merchants still trade overland into Segura, by far the most common travellers crossing the border between the Brass Coast and Arbonne are the detachments of lawkeepers moving into the Empire in search of cultists of the Hand of Dumon.

Imperial Merchants visiting Robec bring back a few disturbing tales. Asavean ships are a common sight on the docks here, and the number of Grendel vessels trading with the Iron Confederacy appears to have increased slightly in recent months. There's also stories that the Suranni have "noticed" that all their criminal wizards appear to have vanished. Opinion is divided on this. The common folk appear to see it as a positive thing - good riddance to bad rubbish. Some of the priests are preaching that it is a sign that Dumon the Liar has finally betrayed his foolish followers, consuming them in a cannibalistic frenzy. The Lawkeepers are less sure; they're continuing to look for signs that the wizards are gathering in secret preparing to ignite a civil war. The Dukes, though, are said to be looking northward - towards the borders with Faraden and the Empire - and wondering exactly where so many magicians might have disappeared to. For now though it is apparently being treated as a mystery, which doesn't concern outsiders thank you very much.


  • Relations with the Faraden continue to improve
  • A diplomatic envoy to the Tchemetzi, and cooperation around the port of Caitun, are seen as heralding a new era in relations with the Empire
  • The Ambassador to Faraden is Erasmo di Tassato of the League

Relations with the Faraden continue to improve. Trade remains robust across the borders into the Brass Coast. Faraden merchant caravans can be encountered in all corners of the Empire (or at least those corners that can be reached without getting on a ship). The potent Autumn enchantment at work in the Empire encouraging trade has seen a number of lucrative new deals struck between Faraden and Imperial entrepreneurs. The formal delegation from the Conclave to the Tchemetzi magician family has gone over very well indeed, seen as a positive move not only by the magician families but also the merchants and even the priests. Faraden priests who favour Pride in particular see the envoy as a sign that the Empire is finally ready to start treating their western neighbours as equals. Likewise, Imperial investment in the port of Caitun, along with the lifting of sanctions, is going a long way towards softening Faraden attitudes to the Empire.

There is a little concern when a contingent of Imperial priests associated with the Pride assembly make the long journey across the Sea of Snow to Faraden to learn more about their faith. Some of the priest families denounce the move, claiming it is nothing short of a cover for espionage, or a cover for the Empire to exact retribution for the actions of the Modnos zealots. The other priest families, however, dismiss these worries, and extend a cautious welcome. As one Imperial priest points out, half joking, it is obvious that the Faraden really don't see any value in Vigilance. Nobody laughs. The delegation is ongoing, the priests of the Pride assembly have learned a great deal more about Faraden religion and intend to share what they know when they return to the Empire. It seems that while superficially the Farden religion is similar to the Way, and some of the same language is used, there are actually some significant differences.

While they're not involved in espionage, the emissaries from the Pride assembly uncover a fact that may be of relevance to the Empire. A magister uses an Autumn ritual to dispatch information back to their chapterhouse. Apparently, the Spring Equinox will see a significant meeting between the Faraden and the Jotun orcs. While the peace treaty between the two nations is still holding, the matter of travel through the Lasambrian Hills is due to be renegotiated. Currently Faraden merchants pay a toll to the Jotun to pass overland into the Empire. A number of priests, and the Faraden priests dedicated to the path of Prosperity, are very concerned about the potential outcome of this meeting. It appears that the Lasambrian Jotun in particular are keen for the arrangement to end - for the Faraden to trade only with them and not with their Imperial counterparts. This might have significant implications for Faraden and Imperial trade, given that if the Hills are closed, it will mean the end not only of the Gloaming Road, but of all overland trade between the two nations - and even with the expansion of the port at Caitun, the Faraden are very much not mariners.

Liberty Pact

Ambassador to the CommonwealthLucia Sanguineo Rezia di Tassato of the League
Ambassador to the Sumaah RepublicAccalon of Felix's Watch of Highguard
Ambassador to AxosFintan Nighthaven of Navarr
Voice of LibertyEska Crowspeaker of Wintermark
  • The Liberty Pact will meet twice at the upcoming summit - 22:00 on Friday and 19:00 on Saturday
  • The Citadels of Axos, the Commonwealth, and the Sumaah Republic are all sending representatives to Anvil
  • All members of the Liberty Pact enjoy free trade with each other
  • Additional trade goods from the Commonwealth are no longer available
  • Trade with the Sumaah Republic is being blockaded by the Asavean Archipelago; Imperial fleets trading with Zemeh do so with a -2 penalty

Representatives of the Liberty Pact will meet in Anvil at the upcoming summit. The Sumaah Republic have requested that Accalon of Felix's Watch arrange a place suitable for the meetings. The Commonwealth at least are believed to be bringing a number of items to the agenda, at least according to the whispers of a certain Patron of Spies and Traitors. Last season saw the Axou boycott the proposed meeting over trade disputes; while they have confirmed they will attend this season's gathering it is likely to make the Liberty Pact meeting a little tense.

Visitors to the Commonwealth ports of Volkavaar and Leerdam report that while there is still a great deal of enthusiasm for trade with the Empire, the increasing likelihood of war against the Principalities of Jarm has seen the General's Council buying up truly epic amounts of herbs and materials. As a consequence, the additional goods Imperial traders received from visiting these ports are unfortunately no longer available.

As previously mentioned, the Asavean Archipelago has begun using its superior naval strength to blockade access to Sumaah ports. Vessels attempting to reach Zemeh are being forced to run the blockade, turn back, or risk being captured by the Asaveans. As a consequence, any fleet captain trading with Sumaah does so with a -2 rank penalty to their production.

Freedom Accord

Ambassador to AsaveaPakt of the Imperial Orcs
Ambassador to JarmAriadne of Urizen
  • The Asavean Plenum declared war on the Empire during the Autumn Equinox 384YE
  • The Imperial Senate responded with a declaration of war during the Spring Equinox 385YE
  • The Imperial Senate has embargoed the Principalities of Jarm
  • The Principalities of Jarm have severed ties with the Empire

There has been no public contact from anyone from the Asavean Archipelago or the Principalities of Jarm over the past three months. The merchants of both nations have ceased trading with the Empire; indeed the Jarmish House of Princes has made it illegal for their citizens to sell to Imperials. Beyond that, there has been little overt sign of Jarmish activity in the Bay of Catazar. The same cannot be said for the Asaveans.


  • Asavean war ships attacked and destroyed the Sanctuary of the Justicars and the corsair town of Shantarim
  • The Cavabianca Docks have been destroyed by Asavean saboteurs

What began as rumour and speculation has slowly become incontrovertible fact. The Plenum has sent three massive warships, and several smaller vessels, to Grendel waters. Shortly before the Spring Equinox, these vessels raided the Isle of the Osseini, destroying the Sanctuary of the Justicars and murdering everyone there. They then swept west to Shantarim, and razed the town, killing every corsair they could find. Nobody will confirm it directly, but it seems that they did this at the behest of Governor Rahab of Feroz, finally driven beyond the point of reason by slap after slap from the people of the Empire.

Then, during the Spring Equinox Summit, information reached Anvil that the Cavabianca Docks in Sarvos had also been attacked. According to eyewitnesses, a number of Asavean "merchant" ships visited the docks. As the Senate had not declared war on Asavea, there was no reason to prevent them docking in Sarvos. Then, less than half an hour later, they set fire to the quays and warehouses, and fled the scene. Some Sarvosan vessels tried to give chase but they were too slow to respond. Meanwhile the people of Sarvos fought to prevent the flames spreading beyond the former white granite docks into the city proper. Thankfully, in no small part due to the Sweetwater Springs, the blaze was brought under control. The Cavabianca Docks, however, have been destroyed. No more Asavean white granite will come to Sarvos, and there is no chance that the docks can now be repurposed to allow the merchant ships of other nations to visit.

Speaker Morna, the Grendel Ambassador to the Empire, issued a terse statement from their offices in Cargo, saying only that no Grendel ships were involved in these attacks and that it is a matter between the Empire and the Asavean Archipelago.


  • Asavean privateers are attacking vessels belonging to the Liberty Pact in the Bay of Catazar

Following the Spring equinox, a number of Asavean ships have been spotted in the Bay of Catazar, preying on vessels belonging to nations signatory to the Liberty Pact. These privateers board and rob ships, and make a point of throwing the captain and officers overboard. The ships are taken, and the crews enslaved. So far there are believed to be only a relatively small number of these opportunists at work in the Bay, but the number is increasing. At the moment, the Freeborn corsairs and other Imperial captains operating from Sarvos, Redoubt, and Necropolis are containing the problem, but a few unlucky ships have still been lost. It's not certain what will happen if the situation continues to escalate.

It isn't just Imperial vessels that are targeted; Commonwealth, Sumaah Republic, and Axou merchants are being attacked. Indeed, some Axou captains are reporting that Asavean ships have been spotted as far east as the waters near the Towers of Kantor, and there is significant concern among the Illarchs and Grand Illarchs that the Plenum may be planning a similar attack to that launched against the Empire last season. Axos is not a naval power; while its inconceivable that the Asaveans could actually threaten one of the citadels with their ships, a concerted raid by their warships could still do a lot of damage to Kantor or Issyk. With no land trade route to the Empire, it's conceivable that Asavean disruption of Axou shipping could well cut the nation off from the Empire entirely.

There is some evidence that these Asavean ships are docking in Grendel ports, including Oran.


Any fleet captain that has engaged in independent action of privateering is free to roleplay that they have been protecting Liberty Pact ships from Asavean marauders and that the profits they have made have come from raiding Asavean ships. Likewise, any captain of a fleet from one of the nations bordering the Bay of Catazar - the Brass Coast, the League, Highguard, and Urizen - is encouraged to create stories of their own run-in with Asavean pirates. There is one constant however through all these stories; no Grendel orcs are involved in any of these incidents.

Balo's Guests

  • A Freeborn family trapped in Feroz have returned to the Empire
  • They sheltered from the wrath of Governor Rahab in the Asavean Temple of Balo and the Black Bull
  • During the spring equinox, heroes from Anvil led by Tono Shartha Riqueza ventured into Feroz to extract them, with the help of the temple's priests

Some disruption has taken place around the Temple of Balo and the Black Bull in Feroz. Firstly, the temple delegate, El oficial de enlace Grendel con los sacerdotes de Balo y el toro negro Marsail Cailc has gone missing. Shortly after his disappearance, a Freeborn Family which had been sheltering in the temple were rescued and brought to Anvil.

The Kanza family are now settling into a new life in Madruga, and have been quite vocal about the brave Freeborn fighters and Asavean priests who organised their rescue. They say that Governor Rahab had taken a personal interest in the family's destruction, and they would have been captured long ago if it hadn't been for the Temple of Balo and the Black Bull offering them shelter and as comfortable a life as possible given they couldn't safely leave the compound. There's unfortunately a few rumours that some of the family may actually have converted to the Asavean faith while they were effectively prisoners in Oran. Allegedly one of the younger members claimed in an unguarded moment that they were able to escape only with Balo's blessing, and that the Black Bull guided the brave Imperials who fought back Grendel troops to allow their safe passage to Anvil.

While there's no other evidence of blasphemy, the Kanzas clearly have mixed feelings about the war with Asavea. Without the Asaveans' protection, they say, they would never have been able to return home and would have likely ended up in a Grendel salt mine. They were offered protection despite the declining relations between Asavea and the Empire, and they were not abandoned when the Plenum declared war on the Senate. Their hosts actively conspired to get them to safety when it was clear Rahab wanted them destroyed. They wonder if the Empire would be so quick to help an Asavean family in danger?

Diplomatic Endeavours

  • Vito Danierri de Sarvos continues to the ambassadors of the Empire

As mentioned during the Spring Equinox, the merchant-prince Vito Danierri de Sarvos of the Golden Sugar cartel wants to help support the Imperial ambassadors. The offer is straightforward; they can send him a letter to pass on to their counterparts in the various nations of the known world and he will arrange for it to reach its destination. Obviously there might have been some issues with getting letters to nations the Empire is currently at war with (or that have declared war on the Empire) but de Sarvos has made an oath that the letters he is given by ambassadors will make it to their counterparts unread.

Vito Danierri de Sarvos cannot offer the same to other Imperial citizens, or other titles. He offers condolences to the Imperial Consul that he cannot offer help but as the Golden Sugar cartel's motto goes "The only bad drink is one without sugar".

OOC Note:
Players whose characters are an ambassador can email a letter after each event but before downtime ends. The letter must follow the same restrictions as those for a single Call Winged Messenger. This is something that we are trialling as a quality of life improvement for the roles of ambassadors, who face an expectation that they have to discuss matters with their counterparts via letter.

Further Reading