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|590: The Year of Thrones||591: The Year of Reckoning||592: Current Year|
"The Death of Kings"
And so Margrave Vrianian made his final stand against the giants of Geoff outside the gates of Thornward. He had been able to recall back to the capitol nearly five thousand troops, mostly footmen and archers. However, they were no match against the onslaught of over twenty thousand Giants, Hobgoblin Marauders, Orc Archers and Wolf Riders. The battle was brief and decisive, and all the inhabitants of Thornward were put to the sword or carried off back to Gorna either as slaves or food. Bissel/Gran March had been destroyed.
Meanwhile to the south, General Celestine of the Yeomanry and her army of twenty thousand light cavalry, Dwarven Axemen and Halfling Slingers liberated the city of Istivin from the foul clutches of Geoff. The General was horrified at the state of the city once she had managed to get through the Goblin defenders. Most lay in ruins, the skeletons of the past littering the city streets as if cast about by some gigantic hand. Those few remaining were no better than desiccated corpses, unfed, unwashed and nearly broken of spirit. Angered by this sight, Celestine ordered the complete and utter extermination of all humanoid prisoners captured in the siege. Their corpses were then left outside of the city in a massive pile for the carrion birds to feast upon.
Several leagues east of Istivin, a small army of nearly ten thousand heavy foot, longbowmen and heavy cavalry invaded the eastern tip of the lands occupied by Geoff. Led by General Casper Lindquist, the soldiers of Keoland easily captured the region despite the presence of a few thousand Goblins. It now appeared that the Lion Throne had entered the fray against the Giants.
As the capitol of Bissel/Gran March was overrun by the humanoids of Geoff, a cadre of six thousand elite light horsemen from Lopolla arrived in the Bramblewood Forest and captured the region in the name of the Beygraf. They met little resistance upon their arrival, and it is widely rumored that the locals breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of the Kettite army.
Another wave of Aerdian pikemen from Northern Aerdy marched into the northern portion of the Grandwood Forest and took control. Over fifteen thousand pikemen made their way into the forest, met by ten thousand Medegian pikemen and archers. The fighting was brutal and bloody, as Aerdian struck down Aerdian in the continuing struggle for supremacy of the Malachite Throne. When the smoke settled, sixteen thousand men and women lay dead upon the forest floor, yet the standard of Prince Grenell flew tall amidst the winter breeze.
The battle for Schwartzenbruin in Perrenland was brought to a surprising halt. Although the ferry town of Taft is still controlled by the humanoids of the Old One, they did not choose to advance against the capitol. Reports have come in stating that all access across Lake Quag has been eliminated with the destruction of the ferry boats on the previous month. However, sources say that an unnatural cold is brewing throughout the kingdom of Perrenland, and many of the refugees seeking succor against the invaders have already died from the bitter chill.
The war in the hill pass separating the Bone March and Ratik was also halted at the onset of Fireseek. Rumors abound that the Marchioness of the Bone March was brutally assassinated by another member of her inner circle, and that this new ruler of the Bone March has already been in discussion with Ratik on a cease-fire. No word yet has come out of Spinecastle, but a spokesman for Ratik stated that the hostilities between their nation and the humanoids of the south have been suspended for the present moment due to "extraordinary circumstances in diplomatic relations".
In the city of Mitrik, capitol of Veluna, a grand opening and commemorative celebration was held honoring the establishment of the new Assembly of Faiths. Reverend Father Arimarus himself presided over the celebration. Excerpts from his speech follow: "My brothers and sisters…I need not tell you that we endured many injustices under our country's former regime. Each and every one of us has known sorrow and loss. But in my own mind, one of the greatest tragedies we witnessed as a people was the persecution of those who wanted nothing more… than to share the solace and enlightenment of their own faith. Although that scar can never be erased from our history -- nor should it be, as we must never forget -- we can endeavor to accomplish deeds so great, that the atrocities of the past are but receding shadows in the light of our nation's virtue. From intolerance we can forge acceptance. From sorrow we can forge hope. From the lessons of the past, we can make a brighter future…To that end I am pleased to announce the founding of the Assembly of Faiths… a body dedicated to the cause of peace, the dignity of life, and the pursuit of progress for all rightly guided peoples of the Flanaess… a gathering of the devout of many gods, many religions, for which our beloved city will play host… now and forever. Let this great hall behind me stand as testament to Veluna's commitment to all that is just. Let it be a monument of truth for lands near and far to see. Let it be the source of good works for which we may all be proud. Blessings upon you all."
Recent reports have arrived claiming that several thousand refugees from the Felreev Forest were evacuated during the month of Fireseek. Sources state that the Demi-Human Protectorates negotiated the safe passage of these Protectorate sympathizers with the Horned Society, as a means to forestall any potential bloodshed should the Society choose to claim the forest as their own.
Once again the sea trade of Medegia took a serious blow at the hands of the Ghost Ship of the Aerdi Sea. Merchant fleets from Rel Astra were purportedly set upon by the undead ship while attempting to cross the Aerdi beneath a neutral flag. Despite the presence of warships from Asperdi in the Sea Barons, the Ghost Ship was never encountered although the wreckage of several merchant ships was found washed up on the shores of Medegia.And finally, the city of Greyhawk announced its intentions of holding the second annual Greyhawk Games at the start of Readying, heralding the beginning of spring. All nations are encouraged to send their greatest Heroes to compete in games of skill for the glory of their kingdom, and the acclamation of the world.
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"And though Giants walk the earth..."
On a blustery and icy cold Sunsebb morning, a mighty host of thirty thousand Giants, Hobgoblin Marauders, Wolf Riders and Orc Archers from Geoff marched out of the Dim Forest and invaded central Bissel/Gran March. Despite the presence of twenty-eight thousand defenders, mainly Pikemen, Archers and the mercenary company "Haralf's Heavies", they were no match against the ferocity and savagery of the humanoid army. It appears that the mysterious masters of the Giants have finally had enough of Margrave Vrianian and his stalwart soldiers, and apparently plan to teach the people of Bissel/Gran March the true use of the word "power".
Surprisingly, around the same time the monstrous force of humanoids invaded Bissel/Gran March, the Margrave ordered a small cadre of soldiers north and west into the Southern Bramblewood Forest. Their arrival caught the indigenous settlements completely by surprise, and in a matter of days the Bisselites brought the region under their control. Although no reaction has been received from the government of Ket regarding this recent event, sources close to the court in Lopolla state that the Beygraf has been quite displeased with the progress made by the humanoids in Geoff these past few months. The occupation of the Southern Bramblewood by Bissel/Gran March could be construed as an aggressive action against the Baklunish, since the southern portion of the forest comprises the entire "back door" to their lands and is the primary access point for any trade into and out of the Western Baklunish kingdoms. How this scenario will eventually pan out is anyone's guess.
Meanwhile in Sterich, an army of twenty-thousand Yeoman Axemen, light cavalry and Halfling Slingers led by the redoubtable General Celestine laid siege to the walled settlement of Istivin. The presence of a granite keep defended by twenty-thousand Goblin Spearmen, Orc Archers and Hobgoblin Marauders did not daunt the hardy soldiers of the Yeomanry. During the bloody battle to take Istivin, witnesses say that a blood-stained priest of St. Cuthbert rallied several thousand of the down-trodden people who still reside there into a militia of sorts to stand against the hated humanoids of Geoff. However even with the aid of the new militia, General Celestine was unable to capture Istivin, and by month's end both armies stared at each other across a torn battlefield littered with thousands of bodies.
To the east in Keoland, a small elite force of heavy foot and longbowmen attempted to take the northern portion of the Hool Marsh. Much to their horror, a foul Black Dragon greeted their arrival with its vitriolic venomous breath. Several hundred soldiers suffered a most horrible fate as their flesh and armor were melted by the acid of the creature. After the first rush by the Dragon, the Keoish force chose the wise course of action and withdrew from the marshlands before more of their number found their way into the belly of the beast.
The bloody campaign of the Old One continued against both the Perrenlanders and their Dwarven mercenaries in the ferry-town of Taft, and the warriors of the Wolf Nomads. Several thousand Worg Riders made their way west into the lands of the Wolf Nomads, destroying what few defenders stood in their path. Meanwhile, the Dark Lady Tamara urged her Ogre Warmasters and other fell creatures onward as they systematically destroyed seven thousand Dwarven Guard, longbowmen and heavy footmen.
In the Northern Vesve Forest, King Avras ordered twelve thousand Halfling Slingers and weakened longbowmen against the heavily fortified humanoid settlement that ruled the region. The battle was quick and decisive as the gleeful humanoids annihilated the entire force from Furyondy.
Further east, a small force of Orc Archers and pikemen from the Horned Society marched into the western Barrens and subjugated the region. The few thousand Nomads that stood against the invaders were easily bested and slaughtered to the last man.
The war between the Bone March and Ratik continued in its typical bloody fashion. Over eighteen thousand Dwarven soldiers from Marner made their way into the hill pass separating the two nations. At the same time, an equal force of Hobgoblin Marauders, Orc Archers, Wolf Riders and the dreaded Ogre Warmasters led by General Garrok of the Ironclaw clan stood in their path. After weeks of brutal fighting amidst the narrow ravines and craggy hills, neither side could claim victory.
The War for the Malachite Throne raged on between Northern Aerdy and the See of Medegia. Prince Grenell, sensing an apparent opportunity to close off the Medegians from directly accessing Rauxes, sent a force of over twenty-thousand Pikemen into the Northern Grandwood Forest to claim the region. However the Medegians were not unprepared for this, and had an equal number of Pikemen, Archers and Heavy Footmen ready to meet the oncoming wave. Without the benefit of their recently slain General Bromanov, the Northern Aerdian force was prevented from taking control of the wood, although the Medegians were unable to hurl their enemies past the borders of the trees and back into Rauxes.
Meanwhile in Rauxes, a massive earthquake struck the city, damaging dozens of structures. Hundreds of people are currently without homes as the local authorities attempt to recover and repair from the catastrophe. A local source stated that the swirling magical vortex constantly present above the city turned a violent shade of red and orange, and sent bolts of lightning into the ground causing the earth to move. So far, no one else has been able to confirm this report.
In the lands of the Pale, a horrible winter storm blanketed the region with huge amounts of snowfall and great swathes of ice and sleet. To the west, reports have been received of a debilitating famine sweeping across most of the Horned Society, claiming the lives of hundreds of peasants and livestock.
A para-military revolutionary cult calling itself "The Hand of Gore" has recently preyed upon the caravan roads of northwestern Nyrond. Claiming to be a "force for freedom from oppression", the radical group has already been cited with ten counts of national insurgence, murder and high treason by the current regime in Rel Mord.
The demi-human and human settlements of the Lorridges recently proclaimed their allegiance to the High Seat of the Opus Ratio in Mitrik. Apparently all of the local clan chiefs in the northern and southern hill ranges unanimously agreed to fall under the protective arm of the new religious leader of the Church of Rao, the enigmatic Reverend Father Arimarus. Terms of the alliance have not been disclosed at this time.
Once again the Aceldama of Spinecastle, the greatest arena known upon the Flanaess, saw the exploits of the heroic Dwarven warrior Blix Battlehammer. Amidst the blood and gore of thousands of slain Ratikan soldiers recently delivered to the Aceldama by agents of the wretched Marchioness Tammerlane, the Battlehammer engaged in mortal combat against a mammoth Umberhulk, cleaving its head with two mighty strokes of his twin axes. No sooner had he dispatched the foul creature, when a ravenous Troll, rumored to have been kept in a dank, dark cellar for weeks, was released and fell upon the weary Dwarf. Through the cat-calls and insults, as well as horrible singing talents of the assembled humanoid onlookers, Blix Battlehammer finally dispatched the creature. And while it lay twitching upon the blood-stained floor of the Aceldama, the Battlehammer drenched the dying creature with his own urine, an obvious display of disdain for the humanoids of the Bone March, and especially their vile Marchioness Tammerlane. For his troubles, the Dwarven warrior received both of the giant mandibles of the Umberhulk, dusted in silver.And finally, word has come from the east of an apparent "ghost ship" accompanied by a mystic fog marauding the waters of the Aerdi Sea. Wild descriptions of a mighty four-masted heavy warship covered in seaweed and kelpie and manned by the walking dead have been heard as far north as Marner. Travelers are urged to use caution when traversing the eastern seas for fear of encountering this strange phenomenon. Although no one has yet to lay claim to this new "Pirate-King", it is whispered among many in the wharfside taverns of Rel Astra, Asperdi and Sulward that the shade of the former High Admiral of Asperdi, the late Sencho Foy, has once more risen above the waves to wreak vengeance upon his ancient enemies.
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"The Power of Prayer and Assorted Fables"
At the onset of Ready'reat, the kingdoms of Furyondy, Nyrond, Keoland, the Iron League and Veluna performed a massive undertaking the likes of which had never been seen. The Raoites in Mitrik called it Ritus Magnus Salubris (the Rite of Great Healing), a series of rituals and prayer that would see the end of the Plague throughout the Flanaess. A spokesman for the Church of Rao explained the ceremony thusly: "Now is the time for healing throughout the kingdoms of Oerth. Too often in recent memory have the innocent men, women and children of the Flanaess seen the horrid effects of Plague and other afflictions as they run rampant and unchecked. It is the duty of those faithful to the divine to see about quashing such horrors and bring hope and courage to those in need. The ceremony itself is quite simple. Our own Reverend Father Arimarus, followed simultaneously by the religious leaders of Rao, Heironeous and Trithereon in the cities of Irongate, Chendl, Niole Dra and Rel Mord, shall call upon the strength and clarity of our faith amidst a great gathering in the plaza of Mitrik. It will be preceded by a day of fasting, a gesture of empathy and sympathy for those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, from the plague. This will hopefully also serve to deepen the meditative trance of the monks, thereby focusing the intensity of their prayers. As night falls, the ceremony will reach its apex: defiance against the dark. The monks will continue to pray throughout the night and into the morning. When dawn comes, the fast will be broken with a hearty feast, symbolizing relief from the plague." It appears, for the moment at least, that the Plague has been purged.
The ferrytown of Taft in northern Perrenland saw its share of violence this Ready'reat. The humanoids of the Old One, having secured the small town from Perrenland in a bloody battle several months previously, were attacked by an army of twenty thousand heavy foot and longbowmen, as well as a large contingent of mercenary Dwarven Guard led by a fiery Dwarf named Blix Battlehammer. However, the entrenched humanoids were not without leadership themselves. The Dark Lady Tamara, presumably a General of some repute, drove her warriors to a frenzy, hurling the twenty-two thousand Hobgoblins, Orc Archers and Ogre Warmasters against the Perrenland/Protectorate forces. By month's end, the Dark Lady still commanded the ferrytown, but not after counting over ten thousand of her own warriors slain at the hands of the humans and demi-humans. Despite horrific casualties to their own attacking force, Blix and the Perrenlanders remain within the lands surrounding Taft, presumably planning for their next assault.
Meanwhile to the east, King Avras of Furyondy ordered the reclamation of the Northern Vesve Forest. Over fifteen thousand troops were sent in to take the territory, comprised mostly of Plague-ridden Knights and a few thousand Elven Warhorse. Alas for the Furyondishmen, the day would not be theirs. The withering fire of nearly twelve thousand Orc Archers, coupled with the swarming ferocity of ten thousand Goblin Spearmen saw to the complete annihilation of Furyondy's liberating army.
The civil war between Northern Aerdy and the See of Medegia continued its bloody dance in Southern Medegia. Fifteen thousand Northern Aerdy pikemen advanced upon the fertile lands just south of Rel Astra. Thinking they had the upper hand against the twenty-five thousand Medegians, most of which were hastily-trained militia, the army of Prince Grenell launched their attack. Yet the Medegians held their ground, grinding the over-confident Northern Aerdians into powder. The entirety of the Northern Aerdian force was completely destroyed, easily rebuffed by the staunch militia, pikemen, and archers of Medegia.
The hostilities continued between the Bone March and the demi-humans of Ratik. General Garrok of the Ironclaw Clan held the hill pass separating the two capitols, despite being outnumbered by the Dwarven Axemen sent to take the region. After much bloodshed, the Bone March maintained its hold slaying eight thousand of the Dwarves of Ratik, while watching five thousand of their own Hobgoblin Marauders, Kobold Slingers and Orc Archers die upon the field of battle.
In the Gnatmarsh, an allied army of eleven thousand Urnst Dwarven Axemen and Halfling Slingers along with Nyrondese heavy foot and pikemen attempted to purge the foul marsh of its evil heart. However, they were not prepared for the arrival of an ancient Green Dragon, whose poisonous breath made short work of the demoralized human army. In addition to the Wyrm were several thousand of the indigenous Lizardmen, who rushed out of the thick fog and gloom of the marsh and slaughtered the few remaining soldiers that survived the Dragon's attack.
Far to the north, a small force of Orc Archers and pikemen from the Horned Society marched into the eastern Barrens and subjugated the region. The few thousand Nomads that stood against the invaders were easily bested and slaughtered to the last man.
In an attempt to secure the capitol from the mountains that bordered it on three sides, an elite force of twelve thousand Dwarven Axemen were sent in to the Crystalmist Mountains per order of the new Freeholder Trajan of the Yeomanry. There they encountered fierce Frost Giants and Ogre Warmasters, but were somehow able to overcome the monstrous strength of the creatures and defeat them. The territory now belongs to the Yeomanry, despite losing nearly their entire force in the process.
Off the coast of the port city of Gryrax in the Protectorates, an apparent cooperative action occurred that saw the fleets of both the Protectorates and the kingdom of Nyrond attempt to destroy the mighty Kraken that occupied the sea zone. Reports of silvery gold bolts of lightning streaking from the heavens and striking the creature have been received, although no one has been truly able to confirm the sighting. What little is known is that the Nyrondese fleet led by its flagship The Damocles, was completely destroyed. The Protectorate ships, fronted by the light warship The Whitecrest, was also presumed lost in the encounter.In a shocking change of allegiance, the demi-humans of the hills east of the city of Irongate have moved away from the Iron League and thrown in their lot with the Demi-Human Protectorates. King Holgi Hirsute of the hill Dwarves of the region announced that he and his people did not wish to bear the yoke of the treacherous peoples of the Iron League any longer. Instead, they have thrown their lot in with Lord Ireton Retmor of the Protectorates, citing that the Protectorates have shown a penchant for defending their constituents and holding true to every agreement they have ever made.
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And so the kingdoms of the Flanaess tried to recover from the mortal wounds inflicted upon them by the Brotherhood of the Scarlet Sign. Across the lands, bells tolled heralding the passing of leaders great and small, as power quickly changed hands.
In the kingdom of Furyondy, hundreds gathered in the great plaza to witness the coronation of Avras the Second, also known as "The Blessed", the eldest son of King Krestaboh Drakken. An excerpt of his speech follows: "Despite war, a new city is built to our south! Despite war, our trade is stronger then ever before! Despite war, we have proven our resolve time and time again! I ask you now, in this time of loss, do NOT lose faith! Do NOT despair! Show those behind the death of our King that while they can remove the voice we had come to depend on, he was so much more then that. Show them that there are thousands upon thousands of us who will pick up where that voice was silenced! Honor the memory of our King Drakken by showing them that they may silence our king, but that what taught us by example and faith is indelibly etched into our minds, our hearts, and our wills! We shall continue to demonstrate to the whole of Oerth the lessons he taught us and the resolve he lent us!"
In the lands of Bissel/Gran March, Magnus Vrianian stepped to the fore to take command of the kingdom. The former Commandant of Gran March was bold and forthright, and spoke thusly unto the people in Thornward: "Listen to me and listen to me good. I have come back because I fear these two great kingdoms are going to fall unless we act. There is a great evil just waiting to strike and lay claim to all of these lands we call home. I have come back not because I want power or glory, but because I beleve I am the only one who has the will and the right to lead our people. I come here as a formality - to let you know that I have the backing of the Knights of the Watch and I will be leading the fight against the evil coming. You can either support me or leave."
In the kingdom of Keoland, the eldest daughter of the late King Skotti, recently returned from her sojourn in Veluna, was crowned Queen of the Lion Throne. A local story-teller had this to say regarding the event: "Amidst a grand ceremony performed with the attendance of the largest crowd in recent memory, Queen Calisse received the adulation of the people of Keoland. The grand hall was filled with people from all walks of life and status and the grounds of the Royal Complex and the streets of Niole Dra were filled with people wanting to hear and see the new Queen of Keoland. While the shock of the death of the king would remain with many for months to come, knowing the strong Princess they had watch grow was now assuming leadership brought calm and hope to many Keoish hearts. With the Church of Rao standing beside her and opening its doors to the people to mourn and deal with the emotions of the loss of a great man, the people of Keoland could now move forward with life. With full support of the Keoland Ministries and Govermental Body the Princess became Queen and a new Keoland would soon rise from the ashes of evil to strike down any that opposed her."
In the democratic state of the Yeomanry, an election was held to determine who would follow in the footsteps of the slain Freeholder. Arguably the closest election ever held in known memory, Master Trajan defeated Master Ignatius M. D'Ville by 666 votes, an inauspicious number to sure. When asked for comment regarding his loss to the Merchant Mogul of Monmurg, Master D'Ville had this to say: "It is clear to me that the Yeomanry people are in for a very long, and very arduous journey. The announcement of the relinquishing of the Shield Lands by the Horned Society to the Demi-Human Protectorates and their puppets in the Iron League and elsewhere is a merely a taste of things to come. The Demi-Human conspiracy is everywhere, and I wish to thank all of my supporters, both within the Yeomanry and without, for their unshakable loyalty. We will prevail!"
In Urnst, the former Mayor of Radigast City Reynold Braxton, assumed control of the kingdom. Claiming that there was no formal chain of command remaining in Urnst, Lord Braxton spoke before the council of nobles in Leukish and explained to them in frank, blunt terms that he was the best man for the job. "The vacuum left behind by the death of the Duchess and the loss of the Duke had to be filled," he stated to several courtiers after his declaration of command. "If allowed to linger, the fate of thousands would be at stake and all of the advances made by the Duchess in recent months would be for naught. I promise stability in the wake of chaos, and anyone be damned if they get in my way."
Crown Prince Stuart, eldest son of the late King Duncan, proclaimed Angus of Mor Lord Protector of the realm amidst a coronation ceremony on the steps of the Church of Heironeous the Invincible in Rel Mord. Prince Stuart spoke before the assembled crowd: "Citizens of Nyrond, lords and ladies, soldiers of the crown. I come to you humbled by not only the loss of my father, but by the loss of the sovereign King of our nation. I know, and have known for some time now, that I am the sole heir to the throne of Nyrond. However, if I were to take up that duty now, I would be doing us all a grave disservice. Henceforth, I have asked Angus of Mor, Lord Commander of the Knights of Nyrond and acting General of the Armies of Nyrond, to serve as Lord Protector until the day of my sixteenth birthday. With the blessing of Heironeous we have purged the skies of the foul curse of Iuz. Although the plague remains, a symbol of the vileness of that being, it too shall pass. We have also received word that the ongoing war against the forces of the sorcerer Rary, is over. Under the protector-ship of Lord Angus, we shall lead Nyrond into a grand new future. I ask you all, in the name of my father, King Duncan, in the name of his cousin, King Lynwerd, and in the name of Nyrond, to honor this decision, and join Angus and myself in rebuilding Nyrond into the proud kingdom we all know it to be."
In the city of Irongate, the High Priest of Trithereon and former ruler of the now defunct Prelacy of Almor spoke before a massive crowd in the grand plaza. He announced the establishment of a Senate, a regulatory body of men and women chosen by the late Mayor Darg as his final act before his untimely demise. Prelate Kevont recited a letter drafted by the Mayor himself, detailing the implementation of the Senate and its purpose in uniting the Iron League into a stronger, more viable nation. Excerpts from that speech included: "These men and women will represent you, the people of the Iron League. Once per month, they will meet and discuss and decide the best course of action for the Iron League as a whole. They are there to represent the interests of the people they shared their lives with, not to represent foreign powers. We are ONE nation, and will remain so, the labels of Ahlissa, Idee, Sundii, the Wild coast, no longer apply, we are ALL of the Iron League. Zelradtun will be rebuilt, by the Iron League, the driders in Pitchfield will be destroyed, by the Iron League, these lands will be protected, by the Iron League. It has been a privilege, and an honor to serve you. I hope I have done well by you, and I hope the Senate will do even better. It also brings me much joy, as the people of the Iron League can no longer be ruled by any one man, they are free people, and must lead themselves."
The lands of the Horned Society saw the end of the rule of the Hierarchs. Led by Guiliana Mortidus, proclaimed High Priestess of Nerull, the city of Molag lit thousands of torches in memory of their slaughtered leaders. The ceremony was somber and downcast, and dark clouds covered the skies above the capitol for days afterward.
But perhaps the strangest event of all occurred in Rauxes. Reports that Prince Grenell had risen from the dead by the grace of Hextor himself have been filtering in daily. Several sources state that the resurrected High Priest of Hextor walked amongst the citizens of Rauxes as well as the Northern Aerdian soldiers in the field, and wherever he tread, green grass grew. Witnesses to the event recount his sermon: "I am Prince Grenell, the true High Priest of Hextor, slain almost a month ago by the foul actions of the Scarlet Brotherhood, along with a majority of the other rulers of these lands. I have stood before Hextor, I have received His judgement and I have felt His anger. He is angry at me, you and all of our Aerdian brothers. We have been squabbling over trivial morsels and forgotten His desires and instructions to us as a people. We have not been placed on this earth to have physical pleasures, or so that we can simply enrich ourselves and our family. We exist to support Him and to do His bidding."
Despite the preachings of the resurrected Grenell, the Medegian army encamped south of Rauxes was not convinced. Preparing to march against the capitol of Northern Aerdy per order of the newly-proclaimed High Priest Scelus of Rel Astra, the army was suddenly set upon by a massive force of Northern Aerdian pikemen, numbering just over fifty-thousand strong. The twenty-one thousand pikemen, heavy foot and archers were no match for the flood of Aerdian soldiers, and were ultimately decimated to the last man. Elsewhere, Northern Aerdian soldiers swept east from Kalstrand into the western portion of Medegia, capturing the territory after a bloody battle against several thousand heavy foot soldiers set to defend the region.
Meanwhile. the war between Ratik and the Bone March escalated as the Marchioness Tammerlane hurled an enormous horde of twenty-thousand Worg and Wolf Riders, Ogre Warmasters, Orc Archers and Hobgoblin Marauders against the Dwarven Axemen of Ratik entrenched in the hill pass separating the two capitols. Led by General Garrok of the Ironclaw Clan, the Bone March warriors bested the staunch defenders of Ratik, and ground their positions into a bloody pulp. No Dwarven soldier was allowed to live, per order of the Marchioness, and whole-sale slaughter erupted throughout the region once her army had defeated their hated foe.
In the Dim Forest, the battle continued between the army of Bissel/Gran March and the humanoids of Geoff. Reinforced by over six thousand Wolf Riders, the humanoid horde pressed their attack against the human soldiers, who held their ground firmly despite their fearsome adversaries. By month's end, over twelve thousand from both sides lay dead or dying upon the forest floor. The fate of the forest remains in doubt at the present time.
With the death of King Drakken, the Old One took the opportunity to hurl a mighty host of humanoids into the Northern Vesve Forest and reclaim the territory taken from him several months earlier. Over eight thousand Elven Longbowmen and Elven Warhorse were annihilated by the superior strength and numbers of the Ogre Warmasters and Goblin Spearmen.
A large taskforce of elite heavy foot, cavalry and Paladins from Nevond Nevnend marched into the Bluff Hills and laid claim to the territory in the name of their Father of Light. Although the region was defended by five thousand of the fearsome Ogre Warmasters, they were no match against the superior armor and tactics of General Grimm-hand and his holy troops.
Reports of the Plague have recently been sighted in Niole Dra, capitol of the kingdom of Keoland. Although no official word has yet been received, it does appear that the sickness that has afflicted Chendl, Irongate and Rel Mord has spread to the southern kingdoms.
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"The Night of a Thousand Knives"
Dawn of the first day of Brewfest saw the most tragic loss in recent memory. Across the Flanaess, nobles and peasants alike awoke to the cries of "Bloody murder!" It seemed as if the Angel of Death had stalked the lands during the night, claiming the lives of the world's most notable leaders. By midday, nearly all of the ruling monarchs of the Flanaess had been found brutally slain in their personal chambers, the mark of the Scarlet Sign carved upon their head and bare breast, clearly the work of the Brotherhood. The resulting chaos at the loss of their beloved rulers caused many kingdoms to close their borders, and put a halt to most of their activities. Travelers throughout the lands were accosted by border guard and loyalist soldiers in the vain hope that the Scarlet perpetrators could be found and brought to justice. But this merely added to the confusion and apprehension of the people, and caused many to lose faith in their kingdom.
Even the free city of Greyhawk was not spared the tragedy. Mayor Nerof Gasgal was also found slain in his bedchambers. Despite his best efforts to maintain the relative neutrality of his city, the Mayor had apparently been judged, and found wanting.
Only the Baklunish nations of the west, the lands of Geoff to the southwest, the Empire of Iuz to the north, the barbarians of the northeast, the summer islands in the east and southeast, the North Province and the Bone March appeared to have come through the night untouched. Even the thirteen Hierarchs of the Horned Society and the reclusive Mayor of Irongate were brought down by the wicked knives of the Brotherhood.
However, the most remarkable tale of the evening, now dubbed "The Night of a Thousand Knives", came from the Theocracy of the Pale. Apparently the Prelate Oggon Tillut overcame his assassin and hurled him from his balcony to the cold, hard cobblestones below. Although seriously wounded in the attack, it is said that the Prelate was shielded from the worst by a halo of silver and golden illumination that sheathed his body, a sign of his favor in the eyes of his Lord of Light.
While the Prelate was battling for his life, a mighty barbarian horde rushed down from the Raker Mountains to the east and laid siege to Wintershiven, the capitol of the Theocracy of the Pale. Yet the Pale was prepared, ever vigilant against the hated heathens of Stonehold. Despite brutal fighting all along the walls of the besieged city, the Palelanders held their ground, driving back the barbarian onslaught again and again. By month's end, over fifteen thousand barbarian warriors and berzerkers lay dead or dying outside the gates of the city. The Pale's defenders were reduced to a regiment and a half of holy Paladins of Pholtus, their fists raised in triumph as they once again repulsed their hated enemy.
Ironically, at the same time the Pale defended her capitol from invasion, a small taskforce of heavy foot and archers dispatched from Wintershiven days before secured the Gamboge Forest just south and east of the Pale.
In the holy city of Mitrik, seat of power of the Church of Rao, a great revolution took place at the start of Brewfest. The Velunese people, noble and commoner alike, rose up against the Arch Clericy of Rao. As the nation has been largely closed off from the rest of the Flanaess, details have been sparse and slow in coming. However, if the rumors are true, Canon Hazen is dead, his regime has been deposed, and a new Raoite sect, called the Opus Ratio, has taken power in the capitol of Veluna.
To the east, the demi-human kingdom of Ratik finally moved against the humanoids of the Bone March. An army of fifteen thousand Dwarven axemen marched steadily south through the hill pass separating Ratik from the Bone March, crushing what few defenders the Marchioness deemed fit to maintain the territory. The Dwarves drove hundreds of spear shafts into the cold ground of the hills, capping their points with the heads of the humanoids they had slain, all of which faced south towards Spinecastle, an obvious message to the Marchioness of the battles yet to come.
Despite the death of Prince Grenell of Northern Aerdy, the civil war continued between Medegia and the so-called "True Church of Hextor". In Rel Astra, the remaining heavy footmen of Northern Aerdy from the previous month hoped to finish off the last defenders of the city. The fighting raged just beyond the walls of Rel Astra, and although the heavy foot were better armed, the pikemen of Medegia fought back with great fervor, stymying yet again the efforts of Northern Aerdy. The city remains free of occupation for the moment, while both governments attempt to recover from the recent assassinations of their respective heads of state.
In a related story, General Augustus Bromanov, former commander of the entirey Northern Aerdy military, was slain while out in the field inspecting his troops. Reports of a glowing spear appearing in the sky and then hurling itself unerringly through the heart of the General have been cited by several sources. With the death of Bromanov, the majority of Prince Grenell's troops scattered throughout the lands of Northern Aerdy remain in place. The lack of any direct leadership has obviously slowed any advances the armies of Prince Grenell may have made the previous months.
Further south, the siege of Pitchfield ended in a bloody massacre. General Rallaster of Onnwal, expecting reinforcements from Naerie to supplement his invasion force, was horrified to learn that the orders had never been received due to the sudden assassination of Mayor Cobb Darg. Now hopelessly outnumbered by fresh Drider monsters continuously springing up from a maze of catacombs beneath the city streets, the General gave the order to stand and fight in the hopes that somehow his more disciplined troops could outlast the ferocity of the monsters. But it was not meant to be. His entire force of fifteen thousand Dwarven Guard, pikemen and Dwarven Axemen were completely annihilated by the rapacious creatures. The siege of Pitchfield was over.
The seemingly interminable war between Urnst/Nyrond and the Empire of the Bright Lands appears to have come to an end. Two armies set out from Leukish - the first marched west into the Abbor-Alz and crushed the remaining desert warriors set to defend the region. The second, some twenty-two thousand archers, pikemen and Dwarven Axemen, were given orders to find the Bright Citadel and tear it down. They were met in the desert by nearly twenty-five thousand Golems, Dervish warriors, light horsemen and, surprisingly, a small knot of Dwarven Axemen mercenaries, purportedly from the Abbor-Alz. Without the direction of a general to lead them, the Urnst/Nyrond force was utterly destroyed by the superior armor and weapons of the Empire's defenders.
Yet rumor has it that this force was merely a diversion to allow a small, select and elite group of Heroes from Urnst and Nyrond to gain entry to the Bright Citadel and defeat the Sorceror and his bodyguard, Lord Robilar. Reports of powerful eldritch forces unleashed in the vicinity of the Citadel have been received. Perhaps they were the cause of the destruction of the Bright Citadel, or perhaps Rary the Traitor was indeed slain by the allies, but the fact remains that the entire region exploded in a massive magical storm that tore down the Bright Citadel, and sent the remnants of the Empire's forces scattering to the four corners of the desert. It appears now that the war with the desert has finally ended.
To the west, a massive humanoid army from Geoff consisting mostly of Giants and Hobgoblin Marauders, invaded the Dim Forest and prepared to march into the fertile lands of Bissel/Gran March. However, all was not lost. With his last dying breath, Margrave Larrangin was able to order his entire army currently bivouacked in the Oyt Wood, as well as several thousand of the home guard left to protect the lands, to march double-time to the Dim Forest and stop the humanoids from crossing the border. The Bissel/Gran March army proved its worth, catching the humanoids in the forest, and halting their advance. Heavy casualties were reported on both sides, and the notable mercenary companies of the Bright Hand, Dellerion's Crusaders and the Golden Eagles were all among those slain in the battle. Over twenty-one thousand lay dead upon the forest floor, yet the fighting rages on as the Bissel/Gran March troops seek to hold the humanoids at bay.
The Horned Society continued its conquests. This time, a small army made its way north and east, claiming the eastern portion of the Fellreev Forest. Reports of fighting between the soldiers of the Society and some indigenous demi-human warriors have been sparing, at best.
The monstrous Kraken that has been terrorizing the Azure Sea has struck again! Over five merchant fleets were devoured by the creature that has claimed the sea zone off the coast of the Principality and Keoland. A small war fleet from the Principality, commanded by Admiral Trotter, set out to destroy the vile creature before it claimed more victims. Alas, the creature was far too strong for the light warships of the Principality, and although it was apparently wounded in the battle, the entire fleet was sent to the bottom of the sea, their beloved Admiral claimed by the salty waves.
The Principality of Ulek has accepted the petition from Admunfort, former capitol of the now defunct Shield Lands, to join the Demi-Human Protectorates. Sir Galladane Povarian, ambassador to the lands of Holy Shielding, signed the documents proclaiming Admunfort and its environs now enjoyed the protection of the Demi-Human Protectorates.
Ironically, around the same time that Ambassador Povarian made his startling announcement, word has come from Admundfort of the abduction of the Crown Prince by unknown forces. It was well known that Lady Katarina had only one child, Edmund, who was still in his swaddling clothes. However, with the untimely death of Lady Katarina, the Knight-Commander of the Shield Lands, and the lack of an heir-apparent, the question of who shall lead the island fortress is unknown. The circumstances of the theft of the child, how the perpetrator or perpetrators infiltrated the island fort and subsequently escaped, still remains a mystery.
The Yeomanry has announced its intention to hold a democratic election to determine the next head-of-state of their nation. Although no representative from the house of the former Freeholder has been named, the primary opposition seems to be coming from the ultra-conservative, anti-demi-human coalition called "The Free Bloods". Their leader, a reclusive spice merchant named Ignatius M. d'Ville, has made several statements in the local tribunals claiming that the Yeomanry needs "a pure, unadulterated leader who understands that the future of the Flanaess lies in the hands of those unencumbered by the ways of faerie, or buried beneath mountains of ignorance."
Despite the death of King Duncan and the appearance of a hideously virulent Plague, the citizens of Rel Mord can finally breathe a momentary sigh of relief. The heinous black clouds that had been covering the city and its environs for miles have finally receded. Reports of a massive exorcism ceremony held by priests of Heironeous and assisted by hundreds of the faithful have been filtering in daily. Sunlight and blue sky can now be seen above the capitol of Rel Mord, and there is hope that this is a sign for happier times to come in Nyrond.And finally, the kingdom of Keoland has announced the sale of a variety of spiced wines from their newly established vineyards in the foothills surrounding Niole Dra. For more information regarding these very potent libations, please contact the Keoish Minister of the Vine (aka Jeff) at the embassy in the free city of Greyhawk.
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The winds of war blew strong this Goodmonth. To the east and to the west, massive armies marched to the beat of drums, bright banners upon tall standards held by the gauntleted fists of horsemen snapping in the breeze. The brazen blare of horns sounded out the order to attack, and the blood of thousands saturated the ground in thick pools of crimson. Indeed, several of these conflicts came to a head, the fate of kingdoms resting upon the weary shoulders of pikeman and axe-man alike, and only the gods knew what the outcome would be.
The city of Pitchfield, capitol of Sunndi/Idee, came under siege at the direction of General Rallaster of Onnwal and the mighty army of the Iron League. Over fifty thousand pikemen, Dwarven Guard and archers surrounded the city and proceeded to meticulously eliminate the few defenders left from the battle the previous month. Rallaster demanded the immediate capitulation of the city, to which the defenders responded by opening their gates and marching thirty-five thousand Dwarven Axe and Militia in a last ditch effort to repulse the invaders. The battle was brutal and brief, and the General had no choice but to eradicate all who opposed the Iron League.
Believing the battle to be won, the General ordered his troops towards the open gates and finally lay claim to the city. But all was not as it seemed. The ground burst asunder around the Iron League host, and horrible Drider monsters, the same creatures employed by the renegade Duke Grenowin of the Duchy of Ulek in his war against the Principality, sprang up in their midst. The army of the Iron League was taken completely unawares, and several thousand of their archer regiments were laid low in a matter of minutes. With the close quarters, the missile troops of the Iron League were unable to retaliate effectively. The superior size and strength of the Driders made short order of the Iron League archers, and prepared to do the same to the remaining troops.
General Rallaster was a seasoned fighting man, and did not break. His iron determination alone kept his troops from fleeing the field, and marshalling his fearless Dwarven Guard around the remaining pikemen, fought back against the monsters. There was great slaughter that day, and subsequent days to follow as both armies sought to destroy the other. When month end finally arrived and the body count came in, it was determined over seventy thousand lay dead or dying upon the battlefield. Despite the heavy casualties inflicted upon the Iron League host, they remained stalwart and steady, beating back the Driders from the walls of Pitchfield. The citizens of Pitchfield, realizing the Iron Leaguers were actually defending them, threw their support to Mayor Cobb Darg and their would-be rescuers and stood side-by-side upon the battlements awaiting the next wave of Driders to assail the city.
Meanwhile to the north, General Augustus Bromanov of Northern Aerdy led a hand-picked force of fifteen thousand heavy foot and pikemen into the lands surrounding the Medegian port city of Rel Astra. Although the government of Medegia remained in chaos, the military of Medegia continued to function. Over twenty thousand Medegian pike met the Northern Aerdy army at the gates of the city, backed by ten thousand Medegian Militia. Strange reports have come in stating that several thousand of the Northern Aerdy pikemen appeared to be possessed with some sort of monstrous fervor, and the hastily raised Militia fled before their onslaught. The fighting was fierce in and around the city, as Aerdian soldiers slew their own blood in a brutal civil war that saw over sixteen thousand laid low by month's end. Still, despite the best efforts of General Bromanov to gain the capitol of Medegia, he was thwarted by a determined knot of six thousand pikemen who hurled his remaining heavy foot back again and again.
On the other hand, Prince Grenell did receive the news that his northern territory recently invaded by soldiers from the Sea Barons had finally been liberated. Although the numbers were not nearly the match of the invasion of Rel Astra, the brief and bloody battles saw the lives of over five thousand pikemen brought to a sudden end.
The combined efforts of Keoland, Celene and the Principality of Ulek protected the Silverwood as the region saw its first share of the war between the renegade Duke Grenowin and Prince Thegan of the Principality of Ulek. The "Coalition Army", as it was called, was led by the Keoish General Casper Lindquist, a fierce strategist who had seen limited action during the past year. Nearly twenty five thousand archers, Elven horse, pikemen, heavy foot and longbowmen stood guard over the eldritch forest, as a horde of Driders and dusky-skinned Dwarves called Duergar marched from the mountains and into the region. The Coalition Army skillfully defended the Silverwood against the monstrous warriors of Duke Grenowin, repulsing each and every attempt to gain a stable foothold. Finally, the General personally led the strike to wipe out the remaining attackers, decimating the creatures and grinding their force into dust. Strangely enough, just as the Coalition Army was about to enjoy its victory, a massive earthquake struck the forest, centering around a small demi-human settlement, destroying several buildings and killing hundreds of innocent people.
Further west, the Margrave of Bissel ordered his army in the field south, skirting the edges of the city of Gorna and capturing the Oyt Wood. The forest was sparsely defended, and the Bisselites had little trouble routing what remained there. At the same time, a massive army of twenty thousand Giants and Hobgoblin Marauders marched from Gorna and re-took the Dim Forest, previously occupied by the army of Bissel. Which direction the humanoids might take next still remains a mystery, as they are within striking distance of the fertile lands of Bissel/Gran March, as well as the attacking force currently occupying the Oyt Wood.
Perhaps this was a coordinated maneuver with the Margrave of Bissel, or perhaps it was merely coincidence, but General Celestine of the Yeomanry took the opportunity to march from the tip of the eastern Joten Mountains and laid claim to the northern Good Hills. The Yeomanry army easily mastered the few goblin spearmen left to maintain the territory, and now the Yeomanry appears to be one step closer to Istivin, the former capitol of the March of Sterich.
The western Abbor-Alz finally had a break-through in the conflict that had been raging there for months. The desert warriors of Rary, now reinforced with Golems, the potent magical constructs crafted by the wily sorceror, and a large regiment of five thousand light cavalry, swept eastward against the combined forces of Urnst and Nyrond. General Veers still held the command of the allied army, and had been expecting reinforcements of his own from the south. Yet it was not meant to be. In an apparent mishap of poor logistics, the reinforcements never arrived in the western Abbor-Alz. And so the redoubtable General Veers stood tall against the superior numbers sent against him, his men prepared perhaps for the last time. The battle was swift and decisive, and not one soldier of Urnst or Nyrond remained to contest the territory, including the General himself.
To the north, the kingdom of Furyondy struck back against the humanoids of Iuz. King Drakken ordered the reclamation of the Northern Vesve Forest, and nine thousand Elven Warhorse and Elven Longbowmen heeded the call. Reports of silvery gold bolts of light crashing down from the heavens and smiting the Ogre Warmasters of the Old One have been pouring in. The remaining humanoids fell before the onslaught, and the Northern Vesve Forest was once again liberated in the name of those dedicated to the elimination of the Empire of Iuz.
The ferry-town of Taft just north of the capitol of Perrenland saw a fierce battle between the forces of Iuz and mercenary soldiers from Perrenland. Nearly twenty thousand heavy foot, longbowmen and an elite force of Dwarven axe mercenaries from the Principality of Ulek attacked the humanoids at dawn of the final week of Goodmonth. Over eleven thousand Ogre Warmasters and Hobgoblin Marauders were slaughtered in the conflict, which saw an equal number of heavy footmen and Dwarven axe laid low, as well. There have been several reports describing the valiant efforts of a ferocious Dwarven warrior named Blix Battlehammer and his hand-picked cadre of axemen who single-handedly held the ferry and part of the lake to allow more of the Perrenlanders to come ashore and continue the assault against the forces of the Old One. Despite the heavy casualties to both sides, the town of Taft still remains locked in conflict, the end uncertain.
The Cairn Hills have become a hotbed of brigandery! Several nations report losing their trade caravans to a large band of well-armed brigands while attempting to cross the region. Very little is known of these brigands, other than they seem to seemingly materialize out of thin air and then vanish just as quickly, leaving little behind other than the slain members of the caravan. The free city of Greyhawk has announced that they will not tolerate such activity in a territory under their sovereignty, and have subsequently dispatched over ten thousand heavy foot to guard the region and guarantee the safety of all trade that passes into and through the Cairn Hills.
Just off the coast of Gryrax, several sea captains have reported sighting a monstrous tentacled Kraken that has preyed upon merchant ships, dragging them down to a salty doom. A local sailor from the Principality was quoted as saying "The Kraken has returned from the Deep! Surely dark times are now upon us!"
The port city of Monmurg saw its share of the undead, as the Drowned Ones surged forth from the surf and attacked the unsuspecting people. Fortunately, the port was guarded by several thousand of the local militia who were able to repulse the briney horde, and avoid disaster.
The black clouds covering the poor benighted city of Rel Mord unleashed their hideous fury upon the Nyrondese citizens, pouring a foul toxic rain that drenched the countryside and destroyed hundreds of acres of formerly fertile farmland. In addition, thousands of rats welled up from the sewers beneath the city and savaged dozens of unsuspecting citizens. Reports of the plague are surfacing in several areas of the region, and many people fear for their livelihood.
Increased bandit activity in the lands formerly occupied by the city of Zelradtun have been sighted recently. The entire territory is considered by the government of the Iron League to be lawless, and to be traveled with great caution...and heavy guard...
With the untimely demise of Holy Censor Spidasa, the pandemonium in the See of Medegia is at an all-time high. The Council of Bishops has convened in the Church of Hextor, despite the presence of the Northern Aerdy military just beyond the walls. There is speculation that a new leader of the Church of Hextor (excluding the current nefarious claims of Prince Grenell) will be appointed at the start of the next month. Without a head to lead the Church, it is certain that the lands of Medegia will remain mired in chaos so long as this condition remains unchanged.
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The "Steel Prince", Olinstaad Corond of Ulek, died in his sleep the 3rd day of Goodmonth. His death came just days after launching construction throughout the port-town of Gryrax that would see the former capitol transformed into a Grand City of the Principality.
More than 250 years old, the dwarven Prince will be remembered best for his unwavering support of the Ulek States Treaty, signed between King Tavish IV of Keoland and four demihuman and human dignitaries of the Ulek States and Celene in Common Year 461. At the signing, Prince Corond represented the Peaks of Haven and their surrounding territories - now collectively known as the Principality of Ulek. He ruled those lands with a strong and just hand for 130 years, eventually seeing the release of the neighbouring Poor March or Pomarj from humanoid rule - and leading the fight against the renegade "Duke" Grenowin and his vision of a Unified Ulek.
Prince Corond was well versed in the violent ways of the region - and yet often called for diplomacy when others counseled war.
Recently, the former Prince met with the various chiefs and lesser lords of the Peaks of Haven to choose his successor - Lord Kerswick Thegan. Prince Thegan has reluctantly accepted the Principality seat in the aftermath of Olinstaad's death - the transfer of power effortless, apparently the ancient and noble Corond's one last great work.
Entrenched in a terrible war with "Duke" Grenowin (aside from Queen Yolande of Celene - one of two surviving signatories of the Ulek States Treaty) the Principality turned out in mourning - expressing their grief for the casualties of the war with Grenowin, the ravages of last month's wave of undead from the sea, the growing friction between Gryrax and Chendl, and the loss of one of the most stable voices of reason in the West.
Hail Olinstaad Corond, Lord of the Peaks of Haven, Prince of Ulek! The Prince is Dead! Long Live the Prince!
Upon the very same day, far to the east, the Holy Censor Spidasa of Medegia and the supposed Hight Priest to Hextor, was brutally assassinated by patriots of Northern Aerdy! One of the assailants, an agent of Prince Grenell named "Silk", was slain while attacking the High Priest in the sanctuary of the mighty Church to Hextor. Witnesses say that he bore the sign of the Scarlet Brotherhood boldly upon his breast, possibly indicating an unholy alliance between Prince Grenell and the Father of Obedience. Reports of widespread panic and mass hysteria in the capitol port city of Rel Astra have been pouring in by the day. There has been no mention of a successor to the seat of power. It seems as if Spidasa had been over-confident in his security and his righteous conviction that the conflict between Rauxes and Rel Astra would have had a much different ending. As a result of this vacuum in power, all traffic has ceased moving into or out of the city, and it appears that the government of Medegia is on the brink of collapse. All commerce and construction has ceased as tradesmen and laborers alike struggle with the loss of their religious and temporal leader. Merchant ships have been called to port, and Medegian military forces both afield and at home are paralyzed. The Church of Hextor has issued a formal proclamation that a successor will be named so that order can be brought back to Rel Astra and the kingdom of Medegia.
Despite the elimination of Spidasa as ruler of Medegia, hostilities continued in several territories of Northern Aerdy and the Grandwood Forest. More bloody battles were fought, and hundreds of lives lost in the ongoing campaign of supremacy for the Malachite Throne. In particular, a massive Medegian army nearly twenty five thousand strong marched out of the northern Grandwood in an attempt to lay siege to Rauxes. However, Prince Grenell was not caught unawares, and sent a small force of ten thousand pikemen to stop the invaders before they could reach his capitol. The brave Northern Aerdian foot soldiers were decimated to the last man, but were successful in preventing the invasion of Rauxes. With the loss of Spidasa, the Medegian force threatening the Northern Aerdy capitol is frozen by indecision, unable to receive orders from Rel Astra and reluctant to proceed without a general in the field.
Meanwhile, the city of Pitchfield suffered a second invasion by the forces of the Iron League. This time, the defenders were completely annihilated at the direction of General Rallaster of Onnwal who led the Iron League troops into the region. There have been reports of the systematic destruction of watchtowers, the razing of lookout posts and the slaughter of more than fifteen thousand Dwarven Axemen and Dwarven Guard. The Iron League then laid siege to the capitol city, protected by a formidable keep and nearly twenty thousand additional defenders. Not to be without mercy, General Rallaster per order of Lord Mayor Cobb Darg issued a demand for the complete and unconditional surrender of the kingdom of Sunndi. The Iron League forces were diligent in their siege of Pitchfield, surrounding the city on all sides and cutting off any access of escape or trade. The General's declaration was met with defiance as hundreds of arrows flew from the ramparts falling harmlessly short of the invaders from the Iron League.
A horde of humanoids from the Bone March led by General Garrok of the Ironclaw Clan marched into the northern Flinty Hills and waged a bloody massacre against the hobgoblin Barash and his Red Eye Clan. Not a soul was left after the Bone March warriors "cleansed" the region, putting the Red Eye Clan settlements to the torch and slaughtering thousands. There were no survivors...
Back west, the Margrave of Bissel ordered the attack upon the northern Dim Forest, pressing his way ever closer to Gorna, the black heart of Geoff and the Lost Lands. Included amongst the nearly thirty thousand strong of Bissel were the mercenary companies Dellerion's Crusaders, Paladins of Heironeous, the Sons of Grimson, heavy footmen from Perrenland, and the Bright Hand, a cadre of gleaming knights from Veluna. This massive army of pikemen, heavy foot, archers, longbowmen, knights and paladins smashed the ten thousand Goblin spearmen protecting the forest. The battle was swift and decisive, and expectations are high amongst the soldiers of Bissel of a quick ending to the threat of the Giants and their dark masters. While the warriors of Geoff were dying in the Dim Forest, thousands more poured into the Horn Wood, the Stark Mounds and the ominous Crystalmist Mountains to claim the rich resources that are rumored to be found there.
To the south, the Master Freeholder of the Yeomanry ordered the invasion of the easternmost spur of the Joten Mountains. Over twenty thousand Dwarven Axemen and Halfling Slingers led by the redoubtable General Celestine marched up the mountain paths and claimed the region in the name of the Yeomanry. The indigenous Stone Giants were no match for the seasoned tactics of the General and her fearless troops.
Once again the combined forces of Urnst and Nyrond, led by General Roland Veers, attacked the western Abbor-Alz in another attempt to wrest it free from the iron grasp of the Dread Sorceror Rary and his desert minions. Of the fifteen thousand troops assigned the bloody task of retaking the hills, only six thousand remain, most notably the mercenary company Bradlock's Brigade, an intrepid group of heavy cavalry. Despite the continuous wave of attackers from both Urnst and Nyrond, the desert warriors of the Bright Lands remain entrenched within the Abbor-Alz.
A horde of the undead rose out of the Azure Sea and ran amok throughout the southern Abbor-Alz, a protectorate of Urnst. As seen before in Gryrax, the port city of the Principality of Ulek, hundreds of the walking dead shambled their way up the shoreline and slew every living thing they encountered. Although the presence of nearly ten thousand foot soldiers and archers prevented the despicable creatures from making any headway towards the settled regions of the hills, none could deny the horror felt by the living as they burned to ash the walking dead.
The Empire of the Old One withdrew the bulk of his invasion force from Lake Quag and captured swung around and easily captured the unguarded northern Vesve Forest. The Perrenlanders took the reprieve to resupply and rebuild their defenses while trying to gather a mighty host in the hopes that they can retake Taft from the clutches of the terrible Ogre Warmasters left to despoil the lake settlement.
The Bandit Kingdoms are no more! All of the remaining bandit lords have sworn fealty to the Hierarchs of Molag. In addition, forces from Molag marched south and reclaimed the Shield Land territory formerly liberated by Furyondy. To commemorate the month of Reaping, the combined thirteen territories of the Horned Society lit massive funeral pyres, the lights of which could be seen just across the border in Wintershiven, Leukish, Rel Mord and Chendl.
In a surprise announcement, the free cities of Fax, Badwall and Elredd along the southern Wild Coast have become a protectorate of the Iron League. This move comes days after the recent annexation of the northern Wild Coast by the free city of Greyhawk. On a related note, forces from Greyhawk were reported in the southern Welkwood, merely a few miles march from the southern Wild Coast. What this means for the relationship between the cities of Irongate and Greyhawk remains to be determined, but rumors abound of possible trade sanctions and even military action on the part of Mayor Nerof Gasgal of Greyhawk.
The kingdom of Furyondy and the Yeomanry League have both announced their intentions of developing cities in their nations. The town of Willup in eastern Furyondy and Loftwick, the capitol of the Yeomanry, are both slated for immediate expansion, and are anticipated to be completed in three month's time. As noted earlier in the Gazette, the Principality of Ulek broke ground in Gryrax with a similar intention, transforming the port into a thriving trade city.
Several earthquakes struck the Flanaess during the month of Reaping. Reports of earth movement in the barrier islands off the cost of Monmurg, the collapse of several demi-human settlements in the Lortmil Mountain pass joining Celene and the Ulek states, and widescale destruction in Hookhill, the capitol of Bissel/Gran March, have been received. In addition, a debilitating heat wave and drought have struck the entire kingdoms of the Bone March and Northern Aerdy. Powerful summer storms wracked the northern Azure Sea, sending dozens of merchant ships to their doom.
Nearly a century ago the Arch-mage Iggwilv sent her evil minions to conquer the lands around her abode. So successful was she that the Marches of Perrenland were subjugated for a decade, and great indeed was the loot brought to Iggwilv's lair in answer to her insatiable demands for treasure. Legend states that the arch-mage gained much of her prowess from discovering the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, wherein was hidden magic of unsurpassed might. It is certain that Iggwilv ruled her domain from these caverns. There she also conducted arcane experiments and rituals, trying to further increase her powers. These experiments were her downfall and that Iggwilv is long dead and gone cannot be doubted -- though her vile spawn, Iuz the Old One dwells still in the middle north, ruling his Empire from Dorakaa, the City of Skulls.
Until recently, the stories of Iggwilv's secret cache of treasure in the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth were regarded as another grandfather's tale to amuse the younglings. Cartloads of tapestries and rugs, statues and rare art objects have been recovered over the years as well as chests of precious metals, sacks of coin, and coffers filled with gems and jewelry. It was believed that all her treasure had been looted, and that no magic or wealth remained. However, the sole survivor of a Perrenlander expedition has returned to Schwartzenbruin from the Yatil Mountains -- the very heart of Iggwilv's old domain -- claiming to have discovered the Lost Caverns and boldly displaying various treasures brought back from that dark place.
A mere two hours later, this adventurer vanished without a trace, leaving behind a copy of the map showing the exact location of Tsojcanth. Now it appears both Perrenland and the Empire of the Old One have dispatched expeditions of their own to root out the lost treasures of the arch-mage, for good or ill. Rumor has it that copies of this map can be had for the right price in various places throughout the north, as well as the city of Greyhawk. "Find the perilous Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth and you may gain the hidden wealth of the long-dead arch-mage -- if you live!"
And finally, in the Aceldama, the brutal gladiator pits of Spinecastle deep in the heart of the Bone March, a Dwarven warrior named Blix Battlehammer claimed bloody victory over the reigning champion, an eight foot, six-armed black Ogre. Bathed head to toe with the Ogre's vile gore, the Dwarven warrior from the Principality of Ulek was presented by the Dark Lady Tammerlane herself with the skull of the slain Ogre, plated in gleaming gold. When asked for comment regarding his mighty victory over the gigantic creature, Battlehammer replied with a guttural grunt and stomped out of the arena bearing his prize proudly upon his head, having fashioned a battle-helm from the remains.
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"Betrayal in the north!"
A massive army of Paladins, armored knights, longbowmen, Elven longbowmen and heavy footmen from Furyondy crossed the Veng River and invaded the Hierarchs' capitol of Molag. However, the Hierarchs were ready for the main thrust of Furyondy. Reports of a horrible ice storm raining chunks of ice and debris upon several thousand Furyondish troops have been pouring in. Tales of men frozen to their saddles, killed the moment the icy hand of death touched their flesh are just some of the more grisly stories coming out of the region. Still, the Furyondish army, led by the redoubtable Lord Holmer and the intrepid Sir Randal Brimfield, a local hero of some repute, marched onward hoping to finally bring fire and justice to the vile lands of the Society. They crossed into the lands surrounding Molag at dawn of the final day of Wealsun, a mighty host of nearly fifteen thousand strong. The city's defenders lined the walls, thousands of Orcish archers, their arrowheads soaked in a viscous oil. Marching out the gates to meet the invaders was a contingent of Ogre Warmasters and several thousand heavy footmen. By rights, they were no match for the well-disciplined host before them. The humanoids hurled insults and japes at the noble troops of Furyondy, apparently undaunted by the array of steel and armor the knights and Paladins bore. It was when the host of fifteen thousand arrived consisting of heavy footmen, heavy cavalry, archers and pikemen bearing the standard of Rookroost, a strutting black raven upon a field of yellow, that the humanoids showed fear. Now they were hopelessly outnumbered, and Lord Holmer gave the order to take the city. But not all was as it seemed. When the bulk of the Furyondish army stormed the walls of Molag, the soldiers of Rookroost turned upon the remaining troops guarding the supply lines. A new banner was raised then, that of the horned, grinning red skull of the Society. They fell upon the hapless Furyondishmen, overwhelming them by surprise and decimating them to the last man. It was then that the gates of Molag opened again, and leading a host of heavy cavalry was none other than General Saark himself, former commander of the armies of the now defunct Empire of the Pomarj. Wielding a blue-flaming sword that seemed to drain the life of any who felt its kiss, the General routed the remaining soldiers of Furyondy, slaying both Lord Holmer and Sir Brimfield himself, each in single combat. The shattered remnants of the Furyondish army was ground against the walls of Molag, and the bodies of both Lord Holmer and Sir Brimfield were paraded about the city as trophies of their great victory over their hated enemy.
Meanwhile, the minions of the Old One expanded his empire, striking both north and westward. Thousands of Goblinoid spearmen rushed into the Cold Marshes, claiming the region in his name. The defenders of Perrenland tried to hold the ferry port east of Lake Quag, but they were no match for the ten thousand Ogre Warmasters sent to deliver the territory into the clutches of their dark master.
To the east, the Marchioness of the Bone March reclaimed her western lands by completely annihilating the humanoids of the Red Eye Clan. Over nine thousand Warg and Wolf Riders, along with an assortment of humanoid warriors, covered the land with the blood of the Red Eye Clan, sending a message to their Clan Chief Barash that the Marchioness had laid claim to his body and his soul.
The siege of Nevond Nevnend ended in a glorious victory for the Theocracy of the Pale! General Benjamin Grimm-hand, leading the Forces of the Light against the hated heathens of the barbaric northlands, crushed an army of nearly equivalent size and drove the barbarians back into Thunder Pass from whence they came. More than ten thousand barbarians and berzerkers were slain by the Palelanders, and peace was brought to the region once more.
The conflict in Aerdy rages on! Prince Grenell, in an attempt to forestall the Medegians from surrounding Rauxes, ordered attacks against the southern Grandwood Forest and southwestern Medegia. Despite the small size of the force count, these battles were bloody and fierce, with neither side giving nor granting quarter. By month's end, Northern Aerdy had taken the southern Grandwood, but fighting continues in both the northernmost portion of Northern Aerdy and the southwestern lands of the See of Medegia.
For the second time in as many months, a combined host of Urnst-men and Nyrondese pikemen was sent north and west to attempt the reclamation of the Western Abbor-Alz. Over twenty thousand soldiers, consisting mostly of Urnst pike, marched west into the Abbor-Alz under the command of the Nyrondese General Roland Veers. The entrenched desert dwellers met the invaders led by a large contingent of Golems, powerful magical constructs impervious to most mundane weapons. But the Urnst-men had been expecting this, and unleashed a powerful spell that drew away the potent magical energies that fed the creatures, making them inert and useless. Heartened by the success of their anti-magic spell, General Veers prepared his men for a surface attack. The desert warriors of the Bright Lands were equal to the task, and kept the combined Urnst/Nyrond force from claiming the hills yet again.
The city of Pitchfield suffered its first invasion of the known era. A moderate force of fifteen thousand pikemen and archers from the Iron League marched into the lands surrounding the city and attacked the outlying watchtowers and garrisons. A host of twenty thousand Dwarven axemen met them in the field, and after a brief and grisly battle, destroyed the bulk of the Iron League army. However, new reports of the eldritch spear sightings have been pouring in, as several individuals fleeing Pitchfield recounted tales of this strange phenomena hovering near the city's Tree of Life, the center of the demi-human civilization. They continued by stating the spear flew into the ground by the Tree where the new excavation of the crypt for Olvenking Hazendel was situated, blasting the earth and killing many of the Dwarven workers housed there. Without their king or the Crown Prince, the city is in complete chaos, and some whisper that the spectre of the Olvenking will rise again to reclaim his lost throne and bring vengeance down upon those responsible for his untimely death.
Once again, the city of Greyhawk expanded its sphere of control, gobbling up the free city of Safeton. A spokesman for the city announced that it was time for the wild and unruly free cities of the Wild Coast to be brought into the fold, for the greater protection of both free trade and the kingdom of Celene, who was still recovering from the recent invasion by Duke Grenowin of Ulek.
A massive earthquake struck the lands surrounding the city of Rauxes, burying hundreds of people. To make matters worse, reports of drought have been received throughout the kingdom of Northern Aerdy, as well as portions of Onnwal and the city of Irongate to the southwest.
A horde of the undead rose out of the Azure Sea and ran amok throughout the port city of Gryrax in the Principality of Ulek. Hundreds of the walking dead were seen shambling their way up the shoreline and slaying any living thing they encountered. A large contingent of archers and longbowmen were dispatched to deal with the threat, but not before several dozen buildings were aflame and more than three score people brutally savaged by the creatures.And finally, a great celebration was held in both the city of Mitrik and Niole Dra, commemorating the new Church to Rao recently constructed in Keoland. Hundreds of people danced in the streets and sang hymns of praise and prayer, establishing the connection that faith would always overcome distance, and that the light of reason and serenity would shine upon everyone willing to bask in the glory that is Rao.
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of the Horned Society have been invaded! A mighty host of thirteen
thousand Furyondish heavy foot, longbowmen and archers led by Lord
Holmer and one thousand of the vaunted Paladins of Heironeous marched
into the Southern tip of the Horned Society and liberated it from their
dark clutches. A small force of four thousand assorted Goblin Spearmen
and Orc Archers were no match for the power and strength of the Furyondy
army. King Drakken announced that the lands would be immediately
restored to Lady Katarina of Walworth, the Knight-Commander of the
Shield Lands. Meanwhile, to the north a sizable force of nearly ten
thousand heavy foot, cavalry and archers from Rookroost took the
opportunity to attack and retake a portion of their lands that had been
previously conquered by the Society several months previously. And to
make matters even worse, a wildfire raged throughout the northern
portions of the Horned Society, burning farmsteads and killing hundreds
public ceremony that shocked the entire kingdom, Gorehand of Nyrond has
formally renounced his crown to the throne. His regent, the Lord
Donnacheidh, was named successor. Despite initial skepticism, Lord
Donnacheidh has been heralded with many of the great works that has
brought about the resurgence of Nyrond as one of the premier powers in
the Flanaess. The new king, now known as Duncan the First, is a direct
descendant of Lynwerd, the previous monarch of Nyrond slain by Gorehand
when he first "arrived" upon Oerth. The majority of the great
houses of Rel Mord have sworn allegiance to the new human king, and much
of the unrest that seems to have ailed the kingdom appear to have
settled down. As for the former king himself, little is known of his
whereabouts. There have been varying reports stating that Gorehand
strode out of the main keep in Rel Mord armed only with a sword and a
small satchel, claiming he wished to "see the world" and find
adventure wherever he could. What is certain is that the change in
rulership in Nyrond will certainly have great repurcussions throughout
the Flanaess, as nations try to determine what this means for their
relationships with the new king.
Margrave of Bissel announced that the war with the giants in Geoff has
begun! Flush from their recent victory in the Southern Dim Forest, the
Margrave ordered his legions north to claim the remaining portion of the
wood. However, they met stiff resistance as an army of fifteen thousand
humanoids led by five thousand Hill Giants met the stalwart soldiers at
the border. Yet the Bisselites were up to the task, cleaving through the
morass of humanoid scum and destroying every last Giant. Although the
battle was left in a draw, the Margrave is confident that his superior
troops will outmatch the remaining Goblin Spearmen set to defend the
of Nevond Nevnend is under siege! The Rhelt of Stonehold launched an
attack against the hated Palelanders, sending thirteen thousand
barbarians and berzerkers crashing down Thunder Pass and towards the
former capitol of Tenh. Although fewer in numbers, the Palelanders bore
the grace of their Lord of Light upon their strong shoulders and met the
rush at the walls of the city. With steel and prayer, General Grimm-hand
ordered the defense of the city and hurled the barbarian horde back, but
not without cost. Over six thousand heavy foot and militia were left for
dead behind their crenelated walls, while eight thousand of the hated
barbarians lay dying upon the earth without ever achieving a breach of
of Kalstrand has been liberated! Prince Grenell ordered the complete
annihilation of the Medegian forces holding the city. General Bromanov
of Rauxes led the way, bringing a host of over fifty-two thousand
soldiers, consisting mostly of pikemen with a scattering of heavy
footmen. Despite raising a militia of twenty thousand peasants to
supplement the twenty-seven thousand cavalry, it was not enough to stem
the tide. Reports abound of an unnatural fierceness displayed by several
thousand of the Northern Aerdian soldiers, akin to almost an animalistic
hatred and fervor of the Medegians. Hundreds of witnesses state that the
militia broke and ran before the army ever reached the walls of the
city, leaving the outnumbered Medegian defenders to make their stand
alone. The battle was swift and decisive, and not a single Medegian was
left standing when the dust cleared. Over forty thousand men died during
the attack upon the city, and land surrounding Kalstrand was awash in
the blood of the dying and the slain. Meanwhile, a small force of heavy
footmen from the Sea Barons continued an attack against Northern Aerdy
in their northernmost shire. Although Prince Grenell ordered five
thousand additional pikemen to reinforce the territory, the battle was
undecided as both sides broke from the combat to renew their aggressions
in the ensuing months. In addition, the lands just outside of the
Grandwood and south of the capitol of Rauxes were overrun by Medegian
cavalry, easily besting the few defenders left by Prince Grenell to
guard the region.
host of Urnst-men and Nyrondese pikemen was sent north and west to
attempt the reclamation of the Western Abbor-Alz. Reports abound of a
horrible fiery rain that fell upon the soldiers before they marched from
the Southern Abbor-Alz. There have been several gruesome tales of men
burnt to ash while seeking cover from the withering rain. However, this
did not deter the army from seeking vengeance against the desert
warriors in the Wester Abbor-Alz. Led by General Veers of Rel Mord, the
allied army met the warriors of Rary the Traitor in the rocky hills of
the territory. A great bloody melee ensued between the two forces, and
thousands died on both sides throughout the course of the month. Despite
heavy casualties, the desert soldiers of the Empire still hold the
territory against the intrepid General.
of the Principality of Ulek continued their march against the hated
drider monsters of Duke Grenowin. Leaving newly liberated Enstad behind,
a host of twenty-seven thousand Dwarven axemen, human archers, heavy
foot and longbowmen sought the complete destruction of the driders from
the hill pass that separated the Lortmil Mountain range. Over six
thousand of the foul creatures were put to the sword by the enraged demi-humans
of the Principality, and order was restored to the region.
east, the Bone March suffered its first losses, but from an unexpected
source. A small horde of humanoids from the Northern Flinty Hills
rampaged into the Western Bone March and easily subdued the few warriors
left to guard the territory. Claiming it in the name of Barash and the
Red Eye Clan, it appears there is a new nation of humanoids vying for
power in the eastern realms.
Far to the north, the Empire of the Old One expanded its borders by capturing the rolling plains of the Wolf Nomads. In addition, a sizable expeditionary force led by five thousand Ogre Warmasters marched into the Sepia Uplands and took the territory from Perrenland. Despite the presence of over ten thousand heavy footsoldiers, the Perrenlanders were no match for the strength and ferocity of the larger troops. Reports of citizens desperately packing their things and fleeing the city of Schwartzenbruin have been pouring in daily. A formal statement from the Voormann was made where he decreed the Perrenlanders would not easily give up their homeland to the foul clutches of the Old One and his dark minions.
In a show
of nearly unparalleled good will, the free city of Greyhawk returned to
the Queen of Celene the lands they had taken on the previous month. The
Lord Mayor of Greyhawk was quoted as saying "It is in all of our
best interests to see that the eldritch beauty of the lands of the Elves
remains unblemished by those who would merely wish to capitolize upon
the strategic importance of the region."
great plaza of Monmurg, the former ruler of the Hold of the Sea Princes
was hung before a great crowd. Brother Hammadaturian was sentenced to
death by decree of the Master Freeholder of the Yeomanry for crimes
against the free peoples of the Hold of the Sea Princes. The ceremony
was brief, and several of the local citizenry proclaimed their undying
gratitutde once again to the people of the Yeomanry for removing the
yoke of tyranny from them.
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The kingdom of Celene has been liberated! General Zerafind Steelheart of the Principality of Ulek led a mighty host of over thirty thousand Dwarven Axemen and archers, including the vaunted mercenary companies Digger's Dragoons and Rayndar's Sureshots, into the city of Enstad. There, they matched the ferocity and strength of the Drider creatures of Grenowin with superior skill and tactics, destroying the occupying force and burning the monsters where they fell. In the aftermath of the battle, Queen Yolande of Celene and her personal retinue returned to their place as rightful rulers of the Elven nation, and have already begun the massive cleanup effort to purge whatever remained of the Duke Grenowin's treachery from the realm.
Meanwhile to the north, a bloody battle ensued in the Northern Vesve Forest between elite soldiers of the kingdom of Furyondy and the entrenched humanoid defenders of the Empire of Iuz. Led by a heretofore unknown knight named Sir Randal Brimfield, a small but highly trained army consisting of over ten thousand Elven Longbowmen, heavy cavalry and the vaunted Knights of the Hart raced into the the forest and fell upon the humanoids commanded to hold the territory. Over seventeen thousand Goblin Spearmen, Hobgoblin Marauders and even the powerful Ogre Warmasters met their end at the hands of the Furyondish army, moving King Drakken one step closer to his apparent ultimate goal - the destruction of Dorakaa, City of Skulls.
The bloody battle for Aerdy continues in the east! The See of Medegia sent several sorties against the embattled Prince Grenell, reclaiming both the Grandwood Forest and western Medegia, as well as invading northeastern Aerdy. Despite these losses to kingdom, Prince Grenell ordered General Bromanov to march into Kalstrand and liberate the city, a critical economic and trade center for all of Northern Aerdy. With the General came over forty-five thousand soldiers, mostly pike and heavy foot, and the General resolved to crush the invaders from Medegia. More than thirty-thousand Medegians were slain over the course of a two week struggle, yet despite the heavy casualties, the Medegians still control the city and its environs.
Margrave Larrangin had seen enough. Marshalling his captains together, he ordered the troops of Bissel/Gran March, along with the mercenary band The Sons of Grimson, south into the Dim Forest to deal with the humanoids of Geoff that had taken residence there several months previously. The battle was brief and decisive, and it appears that the Margrave has taken his first step towards war with the mysterious lords of the Lost Lands of Geoff.
In the Southern Abbor-Alz, a combined taskforce of nearly fifteen thousand Urnst-men and Nyrondese soldiers, coupled with the mercenary group Hornwell's Harriers, reinforced the embattled troops left from the previous month to exterminate the desert nomads of Rary the Sorceror. After days of intense fighting along the foothills of the Abbor-Alz, the Urnst/Nyrond armies finally destroyed the stout Dervish and their magical Golem allies. Once again, the balance of power in the region shifted, but how long would that last?
The hostilities between the Iron League and Sunndi/Idee continued in the Rieuwood as the Dwarven Axemen of the League met the Dwarven Axemen of Crown Prince Ellandar. Perhaps it was the fierce intensity of their cause, or mayhap it was due to their superior tactics, but the army of the League cut through the defenders of the Rieuwood as if they were not even present, decimating over ten thousand demi-human warriors in under a week's time. The strategic position of the Rieuwood, in addition to their hold on the port city of Naerie, gives Lord Mayor Darg several avenues to conduct a proper invasion of Pitchfield, capitol to Sunndi/Idee.
In a small, yet brutal battle in the western Bandit Kingdoms, forces from the Horned Society marched quickly to claim the territory for the mysterious Hierarchs, the enigmatic rulers of the Society. Six thousand heavy foot and pikemen met their end at the hands of the humanoid and human soldiers of the Society, which were nearly double their number. Reports from the region of horrible, dark sacrifices and large pyres of angry red flames have slowly filtered out to the public. Yet despite this attack upon the Bandit Kingdoms, it does not currently appear as if the region has rallied to any single banner to fight the invaders from the Horned Society. What this means for the futures of the dozen or so bandit lords and their small holdfasts scattered throughout the territory is anyone's guess, as the Horned Society has shown in their past conflicts a penchant for slow, calculating strikes...
While the armies of the Principality of Ulek marched into Enstad to liberate the kingdom, the free city of Greyhawk sent several thousand soldiers west to lay claim to the remainder of the Gnarley Forest as well as the northern portion of the Welkwood. A spokesman from the city stated that the territories were taken in order "to protect those trade interests that utilize the treacherous caravan routes that pass through the unsafe regions. This is strictly a matter of economics, and is in no way an indicator of a thirst for conquest by the city or its leaders."
The Pirate-King has been defeated! In a surprise move by the Principality of Ulek, a small fleet of warships were sent into the Northern Azure Sea and the Sea of Gearnat for the express purpose of rooting out the elusive pirate and sending him and his cronies to the bottom of the sea. Reports are sketchy at best, as the survivors of the naval battle were few and far between, but what can be confirmed is that both the entire fleets of the Principality and the Pirate-King sustained heavy damage, with the flagship of the Pirate-King taking a sufficient amount to sink her off the coast of Onnwal. After several days of salvage operations, the Principality officially announced that the body of the Pirate-King, now confirmed as Turrosh Mak the former dictator of the Empire of the Pomarj, could not be found and is presumed to have been taken by the deep currents of the Azure.
Horrible weather conditions plagued the Flanaess during the month of Planting. In Urnst, a heat wave unlike any other the Urnst-men had experienced in over one hundred years burned crops and slew several dozen farmers and townsfolk. To the west, a fire in the Dreadwood, presumably caused by dry lightning strikes due to the extreme heat and lack of rainfall, spread throughout the forest and even spilled into eastern Keoland. Meanwhile to the east, another earthquake struck various portions of Zelradtun, former capitol of Ahlissa and current protectorate of the Iron League. Reports of widescale damage have poured in, with descriptions of buildings toppled over and hundreds of people crushed under tons of stone and masonry.
And finally, great festival was held in Monmurg in
honor of the recent liberation of the Hold of the Sea Princes. Hundreds
of people thronged the city streets, garbed in bright colors and singing
the praises of the brave people of the Yeomanry.
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"Darkness settles on the town as the children
start to scream..."
The kingdom of Celene has fallen! The once verdant
grasslands and the eldritch beauty of their forests has been put to the
torch by the invaders from the Lortmil Mountains. The Drider monsters of
Duke Grenowin the renegade rampaged into the city of Enstad, capitol of
Celene, and crushed the defenders set to stand against them. Over ten
thousand Elven light horsemen and Halfling Slingers were marshalled
together in the hopes of staving off destruction, but to no avail. The
ferocious monsters spared no one, tearing down the buildings and gardens
of the Elven city, and laying everything to waste. There has been no
report of the whereabouts of Queen Yolande and her personal retinue, and
it is feared that she may have been taken back to the mountain holdfast
of the vile Duke Grenowin.
Meanwhile to the east, General Bromanov led a
massive army of Northern Aerdian heavy foot and pikemen, some forty-six
thousand strong, against the Medegian defenders of the Southern
Grandwood Forest. The fifteen thousand pikemen and archers of Medegia
could not hold the territory, and were ultimately swept under by the
greater numbers of the Northern Aerdians.
As General Bromanov marched into the Southern
Grandwood, the city of Kalstrand was captured by a mighty host sent from
the See of Medegia. Crossing the Flanmi River in the cover of blackest
night, the Medegians caught the soldiers of Northern Aerdy completely
unawares. After a brief and nearly insignificant resistance, the city
was taken by nearly thirty thousand heavy foot, pikemen, archers and
longbowmen. The Holy Censor Spidasa himself was heard quoted "And
now Prince Grenell understands the price for his failure to swear fealty
to the one, true Church of Hextor. Perhaps I shall offer him a small
grace of mercy by granting him a swift death once I am properly seated
upon the Malachite Throne!"
The armies of Urnst marched once again to attempt
the liberation of both portions of the Abbor-Alz. With the sudden and
near miraculous return of former Duke Kalbur Debelioruk to Leukish, the
citizens of Urnst became hell-bent upon retaking the hills from the
desert nomads. Leading one of the armies himself accompanied by the
venerated General Wellbard, the Duke and fifteen thousand loyal Urnstmen
made their way into the northern portion of the Abbor-Alz. At the same
time, a second wave of fourteen thousand pikemen, archers and light
horse, supplemented by five thousand Nyrondese pikemen and an assortment
of longbowmen, marched into the Southern Abbor-Alz. Alas, it was not the
great victory the people of Urnst had hoped. The entirety of the Duke's
army was destroyed by the entrenched desert warriors. General Wellbard
fell to the fierce Dervishmen of the Empire of the Bright Lands, and it
is rumored that the Duke himself was captured and is now a prisoner of
Rary the Sorceror deep in the heart of the Bright Desert. The secondary
force sent against the Southern Abbor-Alz remains locked in heated
battle, the territory contested.
In the region still supposedly held by the former
Prelacy of Almor, an elite strikeforce of fourteen thousand Nyrondese
heavy foot and hobgoblin marauders led by General Veers of Rel Mord were
sent to cleanse the territory. Rumors abounded previously that the
territory was haunted by monsters and witches, and that an enormous
inverted ziggurat had been built to honor the Old One with horrible
rites of sacrifice and evil supplication. The Nyrondese sought to
eradicate whatever dwelled within the region, and brought with them
sword and fire. There have been several unconfirmed reports of skeleton
warriors rising from the earth to battle the invaders from Nyrond, as
well as the appearance of several of the mysterious Death Knights.
Still, what is known is that the territory has been taken by General
Veers, and things appear to have quieted down...for now...
While the Nyrondese sought to quell the dark
magicks to the east, a horrible black rain fell upon the city of Rel
Mord, capitol of Nyrond. The toxic rain slew hundreds of townsfolk and
farm animals, and it is said that the Plague now holds sway within the
city. Some claim that the black rain was the vengeance of the three
witches who were once the close confidants of King Gorehand before they
mysteriously disappeared from his court nearly half a year ago. Others
believe it is a sign from the gods that the rightful rulers of Nyrond
should be returned to their former seat of power before the usurper slew
King Lynwerd and claimed the throne for himself.
Once more the barbarians rushed down from Thunder
Pass in the hopes of slaughtering the Palelanders protecting the city of
Nevond Nevnend. Yet the Palelanders were more than equal to the task,
crushing the ten thousand berzerkers and barbarian warriors sent against
them. General Grimm-hand of the Pale vowed on that very day that the
barbarians would never hold Nevond Nevnend, or any territory south of
Thunder Pass, ever again.
Flush from their recent capture of Naerie, the
armies of the Iron League continued their assault against Sunndi/Idee. A
force of nearly twenty thousand Dwarven axemen and archers marched into
Pitchfield, the capitol of Sunndi, in the hopes of breaking the alliance
once and for all. But the invaders were not prepared to face the
enormous army that awaited them. The entirety of the attacking from the
Iron League was routed by well over fifty thousand defenders, including
Dwarven axemen, Dwarven guard and Elven longbowmen. The battle was swift
and decisive. The Iron League also attempted to capture a portion of the
Rieuwood, sending in ten thousand Dwarven axemen and a scattering of
archers. However, the soldiers of Sunndi/Idee were ready for the attack,
and maintain their hold upon the region despite the presence of the Iron
In the lands of the Northern Bone March, a bloody
campaign has begun against any peasants bearing Ratikan citizenry. All
those assessed of such lineage, or purported to possess such in any
quantity or kind, have been put to the sword, including every member of
their family found within the region. The great cleansing of the three
territories by order of the Marchioness is an attempt to eliminate any
presence of their neighbor Ratik, supplant the demi-humans and humans
found there, and allow for the re-population of the region by those
loyal to the Bone March.
The Principality of Ulek has made the following proclamation:
"The Principality of Ulek has relocated
its capitol to our new town center of Mârilgost in the southern Lortmil
Mountains (POU04). We have summoned our ambassadors from around the
Flanaess to our new capitol to participate in a ceremony and to discuss
Principality affairs both at home and abroad. We would ask your patient
understanding in their absence. Further, we have found it necessary to
return all foreign ambassadors residing in our former capitol of Gryrax
(POU01) to their home nations until such time as construction of the
Foreign Embassy area in Mârilgost is complete. We would ask that you
kindly resubmit your request to admit your ambassador to the
Principality of Ulek. Existing foreign Trade Posts in Gryrax will not
currently be affected by this action. Should it become necessary to
alter any existing trade agreements, notice shall be given. -- Prince
Ironically, coinciding with this proclamation, was
a massive earthquake that struck the mountainous regions of the
Principality, causing widescale destruction of life and livelihood, and
sending a general panic throughout the kingdom of Ulek. Whether the
earthquake was a natural phenomenon, or caused by a more insidious
reason, has yet to be determined...
At the same time that the black rain fell from the
skies in Rel Mord, there have been several reports from the city of
Irongate of the presence of plague spreading like wildfire across the
eastern kingdoms. Several sources have indicated that a Nyrondese
merchantship moored in the harbor of Irongate contained several dozen
plague-ridden corpses from Northern Aerdy. The priests of Trithereon
supposedly were treating the plague victims while the ship remained in
quarantine for the past several months. However, it appears that the
plague could not be contained and has now affected the city and its
surrounding environs killing farm animals and people alike.
Once again the dead walk amidst the city of Rauxes in Northern Aerdy. Hundreds of the undead rose from their graves to strike fear and terror in the hearts of the citizens of Rauxes. Although the Church of Hextor was dispatched to deal with the threat, there is an undercurrent of unease within the city. Many feel that the continued fighting between their kingdom and that of the Holy See of Medegia is at the heart of the troubles, and the sight of the walking dead is merely a sign of the disfavor from Hextor, the god of war.
And finally, the members of the Assembly of Greyhawk were taken completely by surprise when the delegates from the Yeomanry, accompanied by several of Mayor Nerof Gasgal's personal guard, presented Brother Hammadaturian to them for questioning and review. The reports of the demise of former ruler of the Hold of the Sea Princes apparently were greatly exaggerated, as the man himself stood in the center of the Assembly in chains, still wearing his red robe of office. In addition, the spokesman for the Yeomanry, Telesphorus of Loftwick, denounced the "false" claims of Sunndi/Idee that the Iron League and Keoland ambassadors were involved in the assassination of Olvenking Hazendel. He went on to state to the Assembly (and specifically, to the emissary from Sunndi/Idee), that the government of the Yeomanry wished to bargain the life of Hammadaturian for the lives of the two accused ambassadors. As a result, a stay of execution was made by the kingdom of Sunndi/Idee to further evaluate the findings of the Yeomanry and to see the results of the questioning of Hammadaturian by the Assembly of Greyhawk. There has been no comment made by the representative of the Scarlet Brotherhood at this time, and fighting still continues between the Iron League and Sunndi/Idee despite this revelation.
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The War for the Malachite Throne between Prince Grenell of Northern Aerdy and the Holy Censor Spidasa of the See of Medegia continues in the east! General Augustus Bromanov of Northern Aerdy marched his massive army of nearly twenty thousand strong into the province separating Kalstrand and Rauxes. There, he engaged the Medegians, a solid force of heavy cavalry, archers and pikemen. For days they battled across the flat plains of Aerdy, both sides unrelenting in their hatred of each other. Finally, General Bromanov seized the upper hand and drove his seasoned pikemen and militia through the Medegians, decimating them to the last man. Despite heavy casualties, the province remains in the hands of Prince Grenell. Rauxes remains safe...for the moment...
To the south, the war that would finally break the Iron League once and for all commenced in the hills just east of Irongate. Fearing the territory to be at risk, Lord Mayor Darg ordered his most decorated general, Rallaster of Onnwal, to defend the province from a possible attack. At midmonth, a massive army from Sunndi/Idee consisting of nearly twenty thousand Dwarven Axemen, Gnome Crossbowmen and Halfling Slingers crossed the border into the lands of the Iron League. They were met by an equal amount of Irongate Axemen, led by the redoubtable general. True to their word, the army from the Iron League destroyed the invaders from Sunndi/Idee, thus maintaining the security of the region.
The Margrave of Bissel had finally seen enough. Marshalling a combined force of over eleven thousand heavy footmen, longbowmen and light cavalry, the Margrave ordered his highly trained soldiers against humanoids of Geoff and south into the Dim Forest. After a brief encounter with a few thousand humanoid spearmen, the Bissel army claimed the southern portion of the forest in the name of the free kingdoms of the west.
In the former capitol of the County of Ulek, General Zerafind Steelheart of the Principality of Ulek led an elite force of Dwarven Axemen, Elven Longbowmen and Halfling Slingers against a horde of spider monsters. The creatures, a hideous amalgamation of demi-humans and purple spiders, met the force with such ferocity and madness that the troops of the Principality nearly broke if not for the presence of the inestimable general. Yet the army of the Principality prevailed, driving the fell creatures deep into the heart of the city where the battle continued into the new month.
Flush from their victory over the hated Temple of Elemental Evil, a large contingent of Elven cavalry and Halfling slingers from Celene marched south into the pass between the Lortmil Mountains. There they encountered several thousand Dwarven Axemen defenders of the former Duke of Ulek. After a fierce battle that saw demi-humans pitted against allies of old, the army of Celene routed the Dwarves and planted the standard of The Tree of Life in the hills for all to see.
Pirating continues along the Sea of Gearnat and the Azure Sea. Several dozen merchant vessels have been seized by the so-called "Pirate King", who apparently has declared war upon all shipping in those waters.
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"Tales of Twilight Falling"
Dark times befell the lands of the Flanaess as winter's grasp reached out with icy fingers to clutch at the hearts of men and demi-humans alike. Reports have poured out of the Theocracy of Veluna, claiming that the mystical artifact, The Crook of Rao, has been stolen! No one has as of yet claimed responsibility for this heinous act, but all nations should fear what might come to pass should the Crook's power be removed and the denizens of the Abyss allowed to walk unmolested across the lands.
Perhaps it was the theft of the Crook that prompted the action, or perhaps it was merely an unfortunate occurrence. Either way, the Old One upon his throne of bone called to his dark minions, urging them to strike against the hated foe that was the kingdom of Furyondy. The strange earthquakes and other phenomena that occurred in northern Furyondy could now be explained. The Old One had spent an entire year, using thousands upon thousands of slaves to dig a tunnel from the City of Skulls underneath Whyestil Lake until finally it had reached Chendl itself! Large pits pockmarked the landscape both within and without the city and its environs, and thousands of goblin spearmen clawed their way into the light to wreak havoc against the hapless people of Furyondy. No one was spared their vicious attack, and reports of several trade caravans having been siezed by the invaders while traveling through the kingdom have been received.
The creatures stormed through the city streets, slaughtering everyone they encountered, regardless of nationality or origin. Led by a spirit calling itself the "Witch-King", and from the butchered and slain it summoned skeletons to fight alongside the goblins. Yet all was not lost.
And when all seemed hopeless, there rose a hero amidst the ashes and debris of the wounded city. Lord Holmer himself, astride a magnificent white stallion, and bearing the holy symbol of the Invincible One about his neck, led the charge against the hated enemy. Surrounded by one thousand of his brothers who had been captives of the Old One before, they smashed into the enemy and brought light and justice back to the city.
It was Lord Holmer, aided by the Ulek Hero Barlon A-Dun, who smote the "Witch-King" in a titanic battle deep in the heart of the city. While Barlon A-Dun held off several goblin assailants, Lord Holmer drove his glowing blade through the spirit, shattering its hold upon the undead loose throughout the streets, and breaking the will of the attackers. By then, most of the Furyondish troops had gained the upper hand, their superior armor and weaponry making quick work of the smaller goblin spearmen.
The humanoids and skeletons were finally destroyed. What few that could escape down through the tunnels were killed when a massive tremor shook the entire province, destroying dozens of farmsteads and burying the tunnels under tons of earth and stone. Although Chendl had survived the attack, more than three quarters of her defenders were laid low.
Meanwhile, to the north, the Old One attacked both the western lands of the Wolf Nomads and the Northern Vesve Forest. The humanoids easily retook the forest that was apparently bereft of defenders. The battle against the Wolf Nomads was fierce and decisive, with six thousand of the fearsome Ogre Warriors leading the way. The defenders quickly fell to the superior numbers hurled at them from the Empire. By month's end, the western lands of the nomads had been brought under the heel of Iuz and his foul empire.
Olvenking Hazendel of the kingdom of Sunndi was assassinated! Apparently, Rath Stonefist, emissary from the Iron League and Lord Killian, emissary from the kingdom of Keoland slew the Olvenking in his council chambers. In addition, Rath Stonefist and Lord Killian have both confessed to the crime, claiming they struck down the Olvenking in the names of both Lord Mayor Cobb Darg of the Iron League and King Skotti of Keoland, and their supposed fellowship with the Brothers of the Scarlet Sign. The ambassador from the Principality of Ulek, one Mykag Vorst, found the body of the Olvenking and claims that both ambassadors were in the chamber with his body each bearing a bloodied dagger. Lord Calimdel of Pitchfield, the heir to the throne of Sunndi, has incarcerated the two assassins and announced that a public execution will be held during the midwinter festival of Needfest. He also proclaimed that a state of war now existed between the sovereign state of Sunndi/Idee and both the Iron League and the kingdom of Keoland for their obvious treachery and foul murder of the Olvenking.
The city of Rel Mord and its surrounding environs have been thrown into rebellion! Led by Lady Astra Callistor, the only living cousin to slain King Lynwerd I, a large contingent of pikemen, archers and heavy cavalry entered the city and attacked several key positions throughout the city. Chief among them was the mercenary band "Boram's Bastards", who displayed great treachery by slaughtering the guardsmen at the eastern gates allowing the troops of Lady Callistor into the city. In addition, the Lady laid claim to a portion of Eastern Nyrond, using it as a staging area for her continued insurgence against the king she has named "The Usurper." Meanwhile, a second horde of lizard-men from the Gnatmarsh rampaged into Southern Nyrond at the start of Sunsebb pillaging everything and driving hundreds of peasants out of the region. Unlike the previous raid, this appeared to be a full-blown invasion of thousands of the fell creatures. And finally, a thick and pervasive darkness has settled upon the city of Rel Mord. Billowing black clouds collect over the city, and the region has been plunged into a cold and ominous shadow. A pall has spread throughout the land, and there is great uncertainty and apprehension throughout the kingdom of Nyrond.
In Wintershiven, capitol of the Theocracy of the Pale, monsters from the Raker Mountains poured down into the countryside surrounding the city. Thousands of the fell creatures attacked the city and its environs at the end of Sunsebb. They came en masse, a horde of gibbering monsters and armored warriors, all bent on the complete destruction of the Pale. The outlying farms had already been overrun when the horns sounded throughout the city. The soldiers of the Pale met the wave of humanoids at the gates of Wintershiven armed with fire, steel and fanatical determination. There were nearly ten thousand of the malevolent creatures, shouting oaths and shaking their spears in their crude and coarse language. Were it not for the staunch defense of the city as well as the reports of the heavens bursting with a brilliant golden-white light that cascaded down all around both attacker and defender alike, the city might have been lost.
Armies from the See of Medegia and the Sea Barons marched into the lands of Prince Grenell and Northern Aerdy at the start of Sunsebb. Claiming both the northern and eastern portions of Northern Aerdy, the Holy Censor Spidasa declared formal war against his hated rival Grenell. Nearly nineteen thousand troops crossed the borders from the Gull Cliffs and the Grandwood Forest, a mighty host bent on the reclamation of the former seat of power for the Great Kingdom and the Malachite Throne. The Holy Censor was quoted as stating "There is only one true church to the god of war, and I am his voice. Prince Grenell knew the price for his past transgressions, and now he must shed the blood of the innocent for his own pride and arrogance."
The city of Jurnre was conquered! Spider monsters, one half demi-human and one half spider, poured across the borders from the abandoned city of Tringlee and invaded the capitol of the County of Ulek. The small standing militia was no match for these fell creatures, and they have easily overtaken the city. Those who escaped their rampage say that they are capturing anyone they can find and dragging them away in silken cocoons.
Further north, the Temple of Elemental Evil was finally laid low. Led by General Zerafind Steelheart of the Principality of Ulek, the combined forces of the Elves of Celene and a small cadre of Dwarven Axemen from Ulek smashed the vaunted defenses of the Temple, and broke their strength. Rumors of elemental creatures summoned to fight the allied attackers were numerous, and reports of monsters the height of trees have poured in from several sources. A small victory for the kingdoms of the west, but a victory nonetheless.
The demolition of the former seat of power for the Empire of the Pomarj at Highport concluded by month's end. In its place, the Dwarves of the Principality erected a new settlement, using fresh stones and materials from the surrounding countryside. Calling it Drachensport, the town was a monument to the efforts shown by the Dwarves in their centuries of struggle against the foul humanoids of the Flanaess.
The city of Greyhawk expanded its borders! Lord Mayor Nerof Gasgal annexed the eastern Gnarley Forest, ostensibly as a means to ensure safe travel and trade into, through and beyond the city of Greyhawk. Citing the increased pressures of protecting the economic interests of not only the city, but of all her trading partners, the Mayor ordered more than seven thousand heavy footmen and longbowmen into the region. There were no reports of any fighting or casualties.
The fell humanoids of Geoff made their presence felt once again. A sizeable host of goblins and giants attacked the walled city of Hookhill in northern Gran March. Despite heavy casualties, the Bisselites hurled back the invaders, completely decimating the attacking force. Meanwhile to the south, the last vestiges of the former Earldom of Sterich were finally consumed by the growing threat of the humanoids of Geoff and the Lost Lands. Several thousand heavily armored humanoids accompanied by hill giants marched into both eastern Sterich and the western Good Hills, subjugating the region and devouring it of all of its resources.
There were great rumblings to the north as the Theocracy of Veluna took the field, sending a small host of heavy knights and cavalry into the northern Lorridges and claimed the region in the name of the Shepherd of the Faithful. The soldiers of distant Perrenland also laid hold to the Sepia Uplands, stating their need to create a firm buffer between themselves and any actions that occurred within the lands of the nomads or the Vesve Forest.
Severe weather continues to thrive across the Flanaess. In the eastern province of the Iron League, intermittent freezing rain and gale-force winds wracked the region. Enormous snowfalls continue to harass Niole Dra, the capitol of Keoland, burying the countryside and bringing travel almost to a complete halt. The ferocious weather has even caused an outbreak of famine throughout parts of the Bone March and Ratik. Mariners reported choppy seas and severe storms in the Azure Sea and the Woolly Bay.News of pirating have been received from mariners playing the Azure Seas. Tall, black ships bearing the skull and crossbones have been sighted along the coasts of Keoland, the Hold of the Sea Princes, the Iron League and Idee. Rumors of a so-called "Pirate King" have been surfacing in taverns along waterfronts in several large cities, and merchants are urged to increase the size of their guard when traveling across the waters.
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Once again the Abbor-Alz became a hotbed of contention as the forces of Urnst waged war against the desert nomads of the Empire of the Bright Lands. The Urnst army, comprised of eight thousand pikemen, four thousand archers and a scattering of light cavalry, marched into the Western Abbor-Alz in an attempt to remove the nomad presence from the region. Nearly seven thousand men and women of Urnst met their maker in the subsequent battle. The entrenched defenders, despite suffering the complete obliteration of their light cavalry, held their ground by virtue of their ferocious skill and unbending will and repulsed the attack by Urnst.
Meanwhile, the Southern Abbor-Alz also had its share of conflict. In an attempt to bolster the region, reports of Nyrondese cavalry filtered out of the territory. Ostensibly presenting a defensive posture, the Nyrondese hoped to prevent any further encroachment by the desert nomads. By mid month, a sizable force of light cavalry invaded the territory. The Nyrondese, maintaining their defensive stance, prepared to face the foe with steel and honor when golden hammers fell from a cloudless sky smashing into their ranks and slaying nearly two thousand horsemen. Undaunted by this show of mystical might, the Nyrondese charged the minions of Rary, attacking them with gusto. The tide seemed to turn in favor of the Nyrondese then, when suddenly a force of four thousand Dwarven Axe-men, bearing neither insignia nor banner, crashed into their flank and broke through their ranks. There was little the Nyrondese could do, and thus were slaughtered to the last man.
The Yeomanry, led by their highly decorated General Celestine, invaded the Hool Marshes and subjugated the region. Despite heavy casualties inflicted by the indigenous lizardmen tribes, the brave Yeoman finally put an end to the threat of the fetid and foul marsh once and for all. Rumors abound regarding a heroic battle fought between several Yeoman heroes and a black dragon, but none of these as yet have been confirmed.
General Garrok of the Bone March completed the invasion of the Ratik-held Southern Raker mountains from the previous month. The light resistance presented by the remaining Ratikan defenders were no match for the rapacious humanoid army. As a show of strength and obvious disdain for all demi-humans, Lady Tammerlane of the Bone March ordered stakes planted throughout the regions of the former lands of Ratik and attached the heads of their slain warriors to them. This constant reminder of the price for those who seek to sow unrest and dissension within the conquered lands was met with cheers of adulation for their dark lady of the northlands.
The demolition of the former seat of power for the Empire of the Pomarj at Highport continued as the Dwarves of the Principality of Ulek systematically rooted out all humanoids and put them to the sword. Neither female, child nor the aged were spared the blade of vengeance wielded by the stone-cold Dwarves. Centuries of frustration, anger and hatred were meted out upon the carcasses of the slain humanoids, numbering in the tens of thousands. Large pyres were erected across the region, and the enormous black, inky cloud of filth could be seen for miles around, a testament to the work of the demi-humans of Ulek. The city of Highport had been nearly erased, and by the end of Sunsebb on the following month, there would not be a stone left standing to mark where the port city had once stood.
An army from the Horned Society attempted to lay siege to Rookroost, the supposed capitol of the Bandit Kingdoms. Comprised of a motley assortment of heavy footmen, humanoid archers and even a small contingent of Ogre Warmasters, the Society attacked the city without warning. However, the citizens of Rookroost were equal to the task, completely decimating the invaders and sending a clear message to the Hierarchs that not all of the people of the Bandit Kingdoms would go down quietly.
Demi-human troops from Celene, bolstered by nearly four thousand Dwarven Axe-men from the Principality of Ulek, continued their siege of the Temple of Elemental Evil. Several thousand Elven Horsemen entered the fray, and between the constant barrage of slinger missile fire and the doughty strength of the axe-men, the demi-human forces inflicted over seven thousand humanoid casualties, including two full regiments of the fearsome Ogre Warmasters. However, the Temple still remains intact, for the demi-humans were unable to penetrate the thick walls of the main keep.
Severe weather was reported across the Flanaess. At Spinecastle, freezing rain and gale-force winds wracked the territory. An enormous snowfall buried parts of Keoland and Southern Ulek, and blizzard-like conditions affected Northern Urnst and the Eastern Bandit Kingdoms. Mariners reported choppy seas and severe storms in the Azure Sea and the Woolly Bay.
A three day festival was held in Chendl as King Krestaboh Drakken celebrated the victory in the Northern Vesve, the establishment of a new church devoted to Heironeous the Invincible, and the re-institution of the venerated Knights of the Hart. In attendance were Sir Tavin Ersteader of Highfolk, Lord Kashafen Tamarel of Flameflower and Lord Holmer of the Shield Lands. Despite freezing temperatures, hundreds of citizens showed their patriotism by dancing in the streets and engaging in merry-making throughout the territory.News of pirate ships plying the Azure Sea have put several nations on high alert. Although no shipping lanes have reported being taken, travelers are urged to be careful when making voyages across the water.
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Highport has fallen! The Principality army, led by General Zerafind Steelheart, consisted of over thirteen thousand Dwarven Axemen and several thousand Elven Longbowmen and Halfling Slingers, smashed through the massed humanoid Militia defenders and laid waste to the entire port city. Several thousand humanoids were butchered by the vengeful Dwarves of Ulek, and not a single building was left standing when the month was through. Reports have poured in from Highport claiming that the Despot Turrosh Mak himself escaped the destruction, stating that he was spirited away at the last minute by an unknown benefactor. Authorities from the Principality have issued a doctrine of zero tolerance for the entire region. The Empire of the Pomarj is no more.
Far to the
east, the humanoids of the Bone March attacked three separate targets in
the demi-human lands of Ratik. General Garrok of the Ironclaw Clan led
the main vanguard into the hills just north of Spinecastle. There, they
waged war against the entrenched demi-humans of Ratik who had
successfully held the region from the depradations of the Bone March for
several decades before. However, they were no match for the massed
strength of Worg Riders, Wolf Riders, Hobgoblin Marauders and humanoid
missile troops. Over eleven thousand Dwarven Axemen and Halfling
Slingers were butchered by the invaders, and the General laid claim to
the territory in the name of Marchioness Tammerlane of the Bone March.
In addition, the eastern Raker Mountains also fell to a smaller humanoid
force from the Bone March, and reports of continued fighting in the
Loftwood have trickled out of the region.
Northern Vesve has finally been taken by the allied forces of Furyondy
and Highfolk. An enormous host of three thousand heavy cavalry and Elven
horse, along with an equal number of Elven Longbowmen and archers,
smashed into the humanoid settlement and slew over sixteen thousand
humanoid spearmen and marauders. It is rumored that a small contingent
of Wolf barbarians was seen amidst the allied fighters, but no
confirmation of this has been yet been received.
been reunited! The people of Tenh, chafing at the cowardice of their
former lord Duke Ehyeh, gratefully embraced the teachings of Pholtus and
have pledged their unswerving allegiance to High Prelate Ogon Tillut in
Southern Abbor-Alz was liberated by the brave soldiers of Urnst! Led by
Duke Kalbur Debelioruk himself, the Urnstmen attacked the Southern hills
with valor and bravery. Over nine thousand pikemen, archers and light
horsemen pressed their attack against the whirling dervishes of the
desert and the agile light horsemen. In a last ditch effort, the Duke
himself led the charge that broke through the line of desert warriors.
Although the day was won by Urnst, all of the light cavalry were killed
in the final battle. The Duke himself was counted amongst the large
number slain, and the entire kingdom of Urnst is in solemn mourning.
Society continued its relentless acquisition of territory in the Shield
Lands and the Bandit Kingdoms. The remaining defenders of the Shield
Lands outside of Admundfort tried to hold the massed armies of the
Horned Society at bay, but were slaughtered to the last man. Over seven
thousand pikemen met their maker by months end, and only the island fort
of Admundfort remains intact. In addition, a small army from the Society
conquered a portion of the western Bandit Kingdoms. It is said that a
proclamation demanding their immediate surrender was issued by the
Society, and they subsequently claimed a portion of the Bandit Kingdoms
troops continue to harass the Temple of Elemental Evil in the Kron
Hills. Despite inflicting several thousands of casaulties against the
Temple, the Queen and her troops have been unable to break through the
mighty defenses of the keep. Sightings of Earth Elementals being used to
fight the demi-humans have been confirmed, as well as rumors of dark
sorceries and fell magicks.
A horde of
lizardmen poured out of the Gnatmarsh and rampaged through southern
Nyrond towards the end of Patchwall. Hundreds of farmers and peasantfolk
were either slain or eaten by the raiders, and several communities were
burned to the ground. Before the military of Nyrond could respond, the
lizardmen raced back to the relative safety of their homeland, bringing
with them loot and booty.
Cliffs far to the east became a hotbed of contention as a small platoon
of Northern Aerdian pikemen were met by several thousand troops from the
Sea Barons. Claiming the territory in the name of Admiral Asperdi of the
Barony, the entire Northern Aerdian strike force was completely
decimated. No word yet as to whether a formal declaration of war will be
forthcoming from Prince Grenell.
Hallow's Eve, the city of Greyhawk exploded with a rash of undead
attacks throughout the region. Several buildings were destroyed by fire
as the local constabulary aided by foreign Heroes tried to stop the
walking dead from massacring hundreds of the local citizenry. Reports of
the dead marching through Rauxes in Northern Aerdy were also cited,
although the accounts of destruction and murder were not nearly as
widespread. It appears that the priests of Hextor in Rauxes were
prepared for the undead assault, and stemmed the tide with unholy water
and righteous fire.
northern Furyondy, sinkholes were reported throughout the region,
claiming the lives of over a dozen farmers, and destroying several
buildings. No word as yet for the cause of these sinkholes.
first time in nearly a century, public burnings were held in the Great
Plaza in Mitrik. The Canon of Rao himself presided over the burnings,
claiming that the dozen people sentenced to death for heresy and the
spread of insurrection would be purged by the holy flame of their
deity's righteous wrath. Among those burned was the Plar of Veluna
himself, as well as his immediate family and closest advisors.
Mild weather was reported throughout many territories across the Flanaess, and farmers are hopeful that the next few months will bring a mild winter.
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Pomarj has been invaded! More than twelve thousand Dwarven Axemen,
Halfling Slingers and Elven Longbowmen crossed the border between the
Principality of Ulek and the Empire of the Pomarj and laid siege to the
city of Highport. Although the fighting was fierce and deadly, both
sides remain at a stalemate.
heavy tread of armored feet was heard in the northern Shield Lands as an
enormous army of human soldiers and humanoid archers from the Horned
Society laid claim to the region. Despite a force of ten thousand
defenders, the stalwart Shield Landers were routed from the field, with
a few survivors retreating to the east.
to the east, a horde of barbarian warriors and fierce berzerkers rushed
down from Thunder Pass in the hopes of taking the Palelanders of Nevond
Nevnend unawares. But the Palelander General Grimm-hand was equal to the
task, having the foresight to prepare breastworks and other stout
defenses. The Pale repelled the invaders, decimating over six thousand
barbarians before the month was through.
Southern Abbor-Alz was finally taken by the desert warriors of the
Empire of the Bright Lands! Despite the staunch resistance of over seven
thousand Militia troops, the whirling Dervishes and light horsemen of
the desert overwhelmed the defenders and laid claim to the territory.
Queen of Celene pressed her siege against the vaunted Temple of
Elemental Evil! Brave Halfling Slingers continued their barrage of the
entrenched Temple forces, slaying several thousand heavy infantry before
being rebuffed by a large contingent of the fearsome Ogre Warriors.
Although the siege continues, it is feared that the Celene army is no
match against the ferocious might of the Ogres and the dark magicks of
small contingent of five thousand Goblin Spearmen were slaughtered in
the Southern Vesve Forest by Elven Longbowmen and cavalry. Tensions
continue to mount in the region as the allied forces of Furyondy and
Highfolk harass the humanoids of the Northern Vesve.
Theocracy of Veluna announced that all of their borders would be closed
to all of the "unclean and unwashed heathens of this sad and
decrepit world." The Canon proclaimed publicly that as the one,
true faith on Oerth, it was their solemn duty to prevent any "unfavorables"
from entering the holy city of Mitrik for fear of contamination. All
trade caravans were halted at the borders and their goods confiscated.
In addition, the Theocracy announced its formal removal from the
Assembly of Greyhawk, as such a "heretical and nefarious body of
so-called world leaders has clearly shown its ineptitude in dealing with
the righteous affairs of Rao and His cause."
mass exodus occurred in the city of Zelradtun, former capitol of Ahlissa.
Thousands of Aerdian refugees fled the city and crossed the border into
Northern Aerdy held Kalstrand. Several sources reported that the reason
for this leave-taking was due to the general consensus of the Aerdian
populace that they had no intention of being ruled by non-Aerdian
Bone March announced that the epidemic that swept throughout the region
had been successfully purged. All current trade partners are encouraged
to return to Spinecastle and resume normal mercantile activities.
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Nevond Nevnend has fallen! At the start of Goodmonth, a second wave of Barbarian invaders rushed through Thunder Pass on their way to the sacking of the capitol of Tenh. Although the Tenhas rallied more Militia and half-trained Archers to stem the tide, they were not enough to overcome the might and ferocity of Sevvord Redbeard's warriors. Duke Eh'yeh and his retinue managed to escape the destruction of the capitol, but their whereabouts are as yet unknown.
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In a stunning display of courage and fortitude that saw Dwarven Axemen and Human Pikemen rushing from their trenches to engage the more fleet and agile horsemen of the desert, Duke Kalbur Debelioruk and the forces of Urnst finally pushed the desert warriors of Rary the Sorceror back into the Bright Lands. At month's end, the doughty Dwarves and stalwart Pikemen and Archers of Urnst stood tall amongst the foothills of the southern Abbor-Alz. It was reported many warriors fell to their knees and wept in thanksgiving for the well-deserved respite in hostilities between the Empire of the Bright Lands and the people of Urnst. Once again, Duke Debelioruk proved why he was also known as "The Warden of the Abbor-Alz." Meanwhile, fighting continued in the northern Abbor-Alz between the desert warriors and the indigenous Dwarven clans.
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The brief cease-fire between the Iron League and Sunndi/Idee ended suddenly with the invasion of Naerie, the port capitol of Idee. General Rallaster of Onnwall, leading a seasoned army of over twenty-six thousand Dwarven Axemen, Archers and the mercenary company Gaxby's Gallants, marched into Naerie at dawn of the fifteenth day of Readying. The invasion took the city's defenders completely by surprise, and despite the presence of a stout stone keep, they were routed and destroyed by the Iron Leaguers. At the same time, in the hotly contested hill region east of Irongate, the Iron League made its wishes known by slaughtering the small taskforce of Sunndi/Idee soldiers that had invaded the territory on the previous months.
Meanwhile in the city of Irongate, Lord Mayor Cobb Darg issued an address to the people, claiming it to be a "religious summons" to all those faithful to the Church of Trithereon amongst the lands of the Iron League.
He spoke thusly: "People of the Iron League, I come to you now to ask for your support. To ask you to pray to Trithereon to protect our men on the fields of battle, and for the salvation of those that have already fallen in defense of our lands. At noon there will be a national time of prayer. Lend your voices, hearts and minds to the prayer for our men. We are just in our conflict with Sunndi/Idee. We have tried time and again for peace with them, and they have in turn cast false accusations against us, and invaded our lands. We cannot and will not tolerate this attack upon us. This is why I ask for your support. Not for me. Not for the farmers in the field. Not for the butcher on the corner. Do this for all of us and for our way of life. For our men and women that stand ready to defend us against the injustice that others would do, and for retribution against those that threaten all we believe in. For this I ask you to pray. For this I ask for a short time in one day of your lives to ask Trithereon to guide us with His strength and wisdom to ensure that Justice is done."
Having had their fill of lizard-men, the kingdom of Nyrond called upon its military once again to smite their foes. Over ten-thousand Pikemen and a scattering of heavy foot and longbowmen, along with a large contingent of Urnst soldiers numbering some twelve thousand strong, attacked the lizard-men currently rampaging throughout Southern Nyrond. Not a single creature was left standing when the slaughter was through, as six thousand of the foul monsters were laid low by the combined strength of Urnst and Nyrond. Reports from the field regarding the whereabouts of the green dragon that had also been present in the previous battle have been scarce. One thing was certain - the dragon did not participate in the subsequent retaking of the territory...
The Yeomanry consolidated its grip upon the Hold of the Sea Princes by annexing both the western regions and the islands surrounding Port Toli. The people of the Hold are lauding the Lord Freeholder as a champion of the region, and there have been several reports of townsfolk dancing in the streets of Monmurg and Port Toli. It seems as if the "Night of a Thousand Knives" had become a distant memory...
Meanwhile to the east, Prince Grenell restored several of his territories back into the vice-like clutches of Northern Aerdy. The two most recent battles between Medegia and Northern Aerdy had apparently crippled the main vanguard of the Medegian strength, thus allowing Prince Grenell to regain his customary strangle-hold upon his lands.
In the hill region separating the two portions of the Lortmil Mountains, the Elves of Celene marched against the monstrous spider creatures of the renegade Duke Grenowin of the former Duchy of Ulek. Undaunted, the Elven cavalry, some ten-thousand strong, rode into the hills with the intent of routing the monsters and send them back to whatever pits that had spawned them. But the creatures, called "Driders", were much stronger than the Elven cavalry realized. Nearly twelve-thousand of the creatures were present in the region, having been recently reinforced by the strongholds of Grenowin in the Northern Lortmil Mountains. The Elven cavalry were no match against the ferocity and poison of the Driders, and the entire taskforce was completely decimated.
Reports have recently poured in regarding an encounter between a small fleet of Principality of Ulek warships and the Pirate-King somewhere off the coast of Idee in the Eastern Azure Sea. Although the details are vague, it appears that the Ulekite fleet damaged the flagship of the Pirate-King before their own fleet was swept under by the swifter attack vessels of the Pirate-King. The Pirate-King still remains at large.
An official announcement from the Yeomanry was issued on the final day of Readying. Brother Hammadaturian, former ruler of the Hold of the Sea Princes and current captive of the Yeomanry army, was slain while trying to escape confinement in Monmurg. The body has been placed in state in his former villa awaiting burial.
At the same time, the nation of Sunndi/Idee has announced that a public execution will be held for the ambassadors of Keoland and Iron League. Crown Prince Ellandar was quoted as saying "It is obvious to me that between the murder of my beloved father and this uncalled for and senseless invasion of Naerie has proven yet again how easily the greed of nations destroys the fabric of diplomacy and peace. The war that the Iron League wished shall now be a reality, and history will remember Cobb Darg as the scheming and conniving blackguard of a power-hungry kingdom bent on the domination of the weak and oppressed."
The Church of Rao has issued a summons to all of its priests to return to Mitrik, the City of Light, capitol of Veluna. Even in the free city of Greyhawk, the large edifice devoted to the worship of the god of peace and reason was now empty and lifeless, the once open and welcoming halls of the Church barred, its doors bound with heavy iron chains.The first annual "World's Fair" was held in the free city of Greyhawk. Participants from all across the Flanaess vied for the honor and glory of their nations in competitions such as the joust, the melee, archery, wrestling and the maze. The results of this competition will appear in a future version of the Gazette, at newstands soon.
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The Hold of the Sea Princes has been liberated!
At dawn of the last day of Fireseek, nearly twenty thousand Dwarven
Axemen and light horse from the Yeomanry led by their vaunted General
Celestine fell upon the unsuspecting forces of the Scarlet Brotherhood
and broke their sway over the poor benighted kingdom. Fifteen thousand
heavy cavalry and archers met their fate upon the rolling green fields
just outside the city of Monmurg, capital of the Hold. The people of the
Hold rejoiced at their sudden release from captivity, with dancing in
the streets heralding the new year and joyous songs of praise for the
valor of the Yeomanry soldiers. In addition, it is rumored that Brother
Hammandaturian himself was captured in the invasion and is being held at
an undisclosed location somewhere between Monmurg and Loftwick.
A mighty host of thirty three thousand Medegian soldiers swept into the region surrounding Rauxes, capitol of Northern Aerdy. At their head was the most feared general to have ever held command in Aerdy - Field Marshall Flesch von Suiciddddddde. Thinking their superior armor and weaponry would be sufficient enough strength to take the city in the name of the Holy Censor Spidasa of Rel Astra, the Field Marshall ordered the advance. But Northern Aerdy was prepared, sending forth over fifty six thousand Aerdian soldiers loyal to Prince Grenell I, comprised mostly of pikemen, heavy foot and militia armed with pitchforks and grim determination. The highly-decorated General Bromanov met the Field Marshall's advance before the gates of the city, and a pitched battle commenced that would see over sixty seven thousand men and women fall in a sea of blood, smoke and grit. At battle's end, Rauxes remained intact with the entirety of the Medegian force either slain or wounded. Claiming victory in the name of the one, true Church to Hextor, General Bromanov strode back into the city leading a defeated Field Marshall von Suiciddddddde before him as a symbol of their superiority over the Medegians.
To the north, King Gorehand of Nyrond finally put an end to the insignificant rebellion that wracked his kingdom. Personally leading the army of over thirty thousand pikemen, heavy foot and longbowmen that would eventually smite the forces of Lady Astra Callistor, King Gorehand marched against his wayward eastern province and brought it to heel. More than twenty thousand defenders for the cause of Lady Callistor stood against the Troll-King of Nyrond, most notable amongst them Boram's Bastards. In a battle that saw Nyrondese soldiers fighting their cousins and friends, the rebels were completely routed by the superior numbers of King Gorehand. Although Lady Astra Callistor was not among the prisoners taken in the battle, King Gorehand personally captured the mercenary captain Boram himself. Perhaps there would finally be peace in Nyrond...perhaps...
Meanwhile, in Southern Nyrond, a small task force of Nyrondese soldiers mixed with Urnst-men attempted to retake the territory recently invaded by the lizard-men of the Gnatmarsh. As they moved into the region, a second wave of lizard-men rushed out of the marsh to engage the Nyrondese/Urnst troops. In addition, an enormous green dragon accompanied the lizard-men, devouring the hapless troops in its massive jaws and spraying poisonous gas upon the battlefield. Hundreds of soldiers were either killed by the poison or swept away by the wave of lizard-men and the dragon. The territory remains in the clutches of the lizard-men, but the dragon apparently disappeared before the end of the battle. Its whereabouts are unknown.
Once again, General Zerafind Steelheart of the Principality of Ulek led an elite force of Dwarven Axemen, Elven Longbowmen and Halfling Slingers against a horde of spider monsters in Jurnre, the former capital of the County of Ulek. This time, General Steelheart was better prepared to deal with the threat, using her ranged attackers to slay the more powerful creatures before they could reach her lines of defense. After several days of intense fighting, the Principality finally liberated the city from the clutches of the vile creatures. Reports from the battle claim that the province was completely gutted of its resources by the minions of the renegade Duke Grenowin of the Duchy, leaving behind only an empty husk.
As General Steelheart destroyed the spider monsters in Jurnre, a second force of these creatures fell upon the Elven contingent from Celene who had recently taken the pass between the Lortmil Mountains. All of the defenders left behind by Celene were destroyed by the monsters.
In obvious retaliation for the attack against the Dim Forest by Margrave Larrangin of Bissel/Gran March, the forces of Geoff returned the favor and took back the territory. Several reports of Giants marching with the invading army have been cited from different sources. The few defenders left to maintain watch over the Southern Dim Forest were no match for the humanoids, and by week's end, over four thousand Bisselite troops lay dead amongst the roots of the forest.
An apparent cease-fire has been issued between the armies of the Iron League and those of Sunndi/Idee. Why this cease-fire has been called is unknown at the present time. However, both forces remain within the contested hill region east of Irongate, eyeing each other warily across approximately one hundred yard's worth of blood-stained ground.The City of Greyhawk has announced it will hold the first annual "World's Fair" at the start of the new season. All kingdoms are urged to send a representative to the city to compete in various games of skill for the honor of their nation.
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All original graphics and artwork (unless otherwise noted) is Copyright © 2003 Christopher Magee and Scratch Productions