Prayer to Artura

Goddess, in my prayers today I’d like to talk about what we’ve been doing and where we’ll be going, which I think will have huge consequences for the folks of this world soon, one way or another. It seems that a lot of how that’s going to go falls on us, just a small group of people with skills that would rather not see the Dark take over the world.

Speaking of which, I had a run-in with one of those people lately, Grel, for saying “your” Goddess to me until I straightened him out to refer to you as the Goddess. I still don’t think he understands why, though. I’m aware, of course, that there are many goddesses across the heavenly planes; my objection to “your” Goddess is that it implies that you belong to me alone, when obviously you exist for the entire world, and anyone that believes in forging a better future for humanity through hard work and craftsmanship can call upon the Goddess for guidance. Ah well, Artura save the blasphemer, he just doesn’t get it.

You know by now that we have recovered the second of three parts to an artifact that we believe will come together into a weapon that we can use to destroy the Dark Ones, but what we’ve recovered is broken. I can’t thank you enough for the vision you gave me of the Wild Folk blacksmith; I believe our path is clear now, like a clean strike of the anvil without doubt or hesitation: We must go to the Wild Folk and find this blacksmith, then reforge this broken part, then find the third part of the artifact, join them together and use it to smash away the Dark Ones.

That’s our path and we’ll walk it, I just wish we didn’t have to do it alone. We spoke with a Duke, who is giving us some help, but like most nobles he seems to care more about his own affairs than anything or anyone else. There’s certainly no help to be had from the Legionnaires we ran into recently. They would be invaluable in a fight – having seen one in person now, I’ve no doubt their fearsome reputations are true – but with their lack of character and fanatical devotion to the King, I think I’m more likely to be in a scrap with them someday than to ever get their help.

I don’t know what’s waiting for us at the end of the path, I can only pray that we survive and win. I’m praying too for Heath, wherever he is out there, to free your defiled temple and restore it to glory. I hope he’s spreading the word, forging new friends, and smashing some orc heads in.

Hammer, forge, and fire eternal.

Egill’s Log for 18th of Autumn

18th of Autumn:

The orcs and goblins had followed us from our escape from the keep after we’d slain the ogre. We’d engaged them in battle amidst the thick forest. Mort casts Entangle on four of the orcs to contain them. Four more orcs appear and attempt to flank us, but Houdin and his goons quickly protect it. Mort casts Charm person on one of the orcs.

One of the orcs cursed us, saying “Molock of the one eye will eat/take you in your sleep!” I’m curious of who this Molock might be. An orcish god? A dark god they serve? Is he their leader?

We kill all of the orcs and goblins and loot 180 silver and 95 gold. Unsurprisingly, the orcs were carrying much more wealth than the goblins. Pickles backstabs and murders the charmed orc, so we lose him as a potential source of information. During the rest after the battle, I pray in thanks to Tyr of the victory and sense that He is pleased with the battle and its outcome.

We resolve to go back to the keep. Pickles heads up toward the keep to scout. We reach the gatehouse.

Letter to Jorann


Much has happened since my last letter. We finally reached Whiterun Fort. We met with the Marshal who told us that the Wildmen we were looking for were a half day away. We accompanied the Marshal’s man, who was charged with asking the Wildmen to speak with the Giants to find out why they were invading. We met them and Boraen was well received.

The brother of the Bear Tribe king and the successor to their Mother were leading their party. We agreed to accompany them to their Tribe where Boraen would be officially greeted as the King of the Wolf Tribe.

We set off on the 46th day of Autumn. We encountered one of the Giants. He seemed to be very old. He told us that the four of them were the last of their family of 10. The orcs, trolls, ogres and mountain ogres had run them off their land, and attacked them every time they tried to return. They had given up returning and claimed a new territory. Boraen asked them if they would fight with the humans against these invaders if the humans accepted this as their territory. He seemed to agree, and we left the Marshal’s man with the giant.

On the 50th day, we encountered a Manticore! To my shame, I was not up ahead when they met it, and Boraen and Pyria killed it before I got there.  We checked it’s lair, and found much treasure. Including a Magic helm of Comprehend Languages. Boraen was exceptionally gracious again, and offered it to me. We split the gold equally with all the Wildmen and celebrated through the night.

On the 2nd day of winter we encountered 7 Trolls. They did not see us and we successfully avoided contact with them.

On the 9th day of winter we encountered a party of Mongrel Orc-Men. The wildmen sometimes traded with them, so we gave them some items and traded with them. They gave us a carved totem of a Trollkin. We expressed interest, and usig my helm, I heard them say that they had encountered them just the other night. I very much wanted to encounter them as they always have much information, however, the wildmen believed that whoever talks to them will die.

On the night of the 11th day of winter, the trollkin came to us.Eadwig was on watch and saw my bag being rifled through and my signal whistle flying away. He was alarmed and woke the camp. I knew immediately that this was the trollkin, and spoke friendly to them and explained that they were welcome to it, and asked them to reveal themselves.

It took a bit of convincing, but they did reveal themselves and told us much. Including some very bad news that the Bear tribe had been attacked in their camp, and many had been captured and taken to Tuluk. They told us of an deep chasm where they were taken, and perhaps that is where the sword is.

They also told us of some warriors in a big stone tower, and to look for the broken town. We might fid people who can help there.

Our path lies clear….On to Tuluk…..

May the Light of Tangadorin be with you always,

Your Friend.


Feeling the Goddess’s Pain – A tale told over the forge

It was around the time that we spent the night at the ‘Lit Lantern’, the 37th of Autumn I think, when the dreams started to get really bad. Heath was having them, too – not a great introduction to the faith for a young acolyte! The image of the goddess – pale, sickly, and slumped over an anvil covered in purple and green goo was too much to bear, and led to sleepless nights, and I’d wake up in a cold sweat.

What was especially strange was the timing of the dreams. We’d just spent days in our last stop constructing a shrine to Artura, the centerpiece of which was constructed of gold – liquefied, purified, and blessed and reforged to transform it from the monstrosity of a statue it had been into a holy symbol of all that is good – and we had adorned it with the most precious jewel that we had, a very large star rose quartz gem. I’d even given up a very finely made smithing hammer to the blacksmith who’d allowed us to upgrade his forge to a shrine – it would serve as both now – and who appeared to be a new follower of Artura. All of this would be a great boon to the goddess, we thought… and so those awful dreams came as a shock.

It was only a day or two later of travelling east when our party heard the sounds of fighting coming from the woods to our right. We headed that way, and come to find out there was a mysterious group that had a hidden tower in there, and it was under attack by orcs. By this time the dreams had grown worse and Heath and I were getting terrible headaches during the day, but we were able to do our part and help the rest of the party drive the orcs off, although Beth sadly lost her canine companion in the fight. We talked to their leader, Jon, and learned that the orcs had been staging attacks from their encampment across the river to the north. An encampment, he said, that had once been a temple for the worship of Old Gods. I was tempted to take the fight up north then and there, but the orcs’ numbers seemed to be insurmountable, and Borean was following a lead that was leading him towards possible mountain tribe allies, so we moved on.

We came to the town of Saludra, which was holding a jousting tourney, the prize for which was an enchanted blade made from a metal with outstanding properties that was being mined near there. Grel and Morgan entered the tourney, and Borean gambled heavily on it, but Heath and I of course cared little about these things and tried to gather more information from the townsfolk. We found out that there indeed was a temple to Artura right where those orcs were gathered, across the river not far from Crennex Falls. Together with the marks on the orcs that were signs of the Dark Ones’ taint, we knew that it was that evil that was causing the horrible dreams and the pain to the goddess. But what to do? Artura is pragmatic, and would want us to return with a force capable of defeating the orcs and cleansing the temple, but the wait to gather allies was maddening. We swore in our dreams and prayers to Artura that we would return to her temple in force and set her free.

Further east we went, and I was happy to learn that the time they’d spent on the tourney had not been a waste, as Grel (with Borean’s help) had gotten the enchanted blade from the winner. The pain of the headaches was becoming less, which confirmed that it was the corrupted lost temple that was the source of our pain and the goddess’s. It was soon after that we had a very strange night – the dead seemed to rise to do battle near the village we were staying, and Borean took on aspects of the wolf to go join them! We managed to get Borean safely away from the ghosts, but this was a new problem we knew we’d have to contend with.

So with Borean now clearly suffering from the effects of a curse, the fact that we hadn’t found any of his potential allies and our travels taking us further away from the temple, things were looking pretty grim. Two things gave me hope, however. First, we were able to make contact with a group of mercenaries known as the Crossed Sabers, whose commander, Houe Gordan, laid out the rates for a much-needed boost to our numbers we’d need if we were to take on those orcs. Secondly, and most importantly, the warrior Morgan had come to me and said, “Wikton, I want to learn the ways of Artura.”

I was overjoyed. I knew that from at least since the time of the Doom that Priests of Artura had only been wandering priests, spreading the word as they travelled from town to town and at times taking on an acolyte, as my mentor Yereso had done with me. But always only one. Was this a sign that the goddess’s religion was destined to grow, to have a full priesthood as in the stories of days long past? Or perhaps Morgan was destined to become a Champion of Artura, just as Grel was a Tangadorin’s champion? Only time would tell…

Letter to Jorann

Jorann, time is short and much is happening, so I will be brief.

A great battle has been won. We found a town that had been controlled by the orcs. Apparently they had kidnapped the whole town’s women and children, and were forcing them to help the orcs with their raids. We uncovered their duplicity and promised to help them free their people.  We crossed back into Irecia while the townsfolk prepared to follow.

We attacked some scouts, but one got away and warned them we were coming. They were prepared and quite numerous. Things looked bleak, but just in the nick of time, the townsfolk caught up with us, and with the reinforcements we defeated the orcs and freed the townsfolk. Much plunder was taken. We took some gold to pay for our expenses and vowed to turn the rest over to the Marshal.

A glorious battle! I will report again soon.

May Tangadorin’s light shine upon you always,

Your servant in His Light,


The Siege of Hamarholde

As the hammer fell upon the metal with a resounding clang, Wikton smiled.  He’d missed doing this regularly over the long days of travel, so he was fully enjoying his time working here at the forge in this small village of Hallisworth. It would be just a simple horseshoe when it was completed, but what was being created mattered little. The act of creation, of molding the iron with anvil and tongs and hammer, was its own reward. It energized him even as it calmed and stabilized him, bringing him to a state that others achieved only through deep meditation.

Idly, he wondered if those men they had caught kidnapping hippogriffs earlier would consider a new vocation and take up blacksmithing. The one that was hammering away at the lock with the rock they had left him, at least – would he feel the joy and fulfillment that came with landing that last hammer-like blow that gave him his freedom so strongly that it would set him on the path? Wikton knew that it was unlikely, but he also knew that miracles sometimes happened, and they certainly couldn’t return to what they had been doing after what he’d done to their hippogriff-calling machine!

His host, the blacksmith that owned this forge sat nearby, resting. Torrin was a follower of the Light, but he had been good enough to let Wikton work at the forge on some of the simple items that were needed in the village, and he had been curious enough to ask about the iron holy symbol hanging from Wikton’s neck, and the Goddess Artura. As the blacksmith wiped the last of the sweat from his brow, he leaned back with a heavy sigh. Was boredom setting in? Wikton wasn’t much for idle chit-chat, but maybe he’d like to hear a story? Wikton asked him as much.

“What have you got?” said Torrin.

“Have you ever heard the tale of the Siege of Hamarholde?”

“Do tell.”

Wikton paused, thinking back to all the times when his old mentor Culver had told him the tale. He tried to recall all the details, and as he began, he went back to hammering. He tried to match the tone that Culver had used, the intriguing way he had of drawing listeners in to his stories. He used the hammer to keep pace as he told the tale, and to punctuate a sentence when necessary.


“In an age long past, at a time before Artura and Vanir had risen to godhood, there stood a city far to the east. Today, that city is known simply as Femo, but back then it had another name: Hamarholde.”

“Warlord Vanir ruled the city, but for years its people had been suffering through attacks from orcs descending upon them from the Sithasten Mountains. Vanir wanted to put an end to this for good, so he gathered an army of the finest warriors in the land and planned an expedition into the heart of the mountains to break the orc tribes and scatter them to the winds.”

“His wife, Artura, was a master blacksmith. She shared her techniques with the other smiths of the city and under her guidance they forged new weapons for their army, and when that army was ready to ascend into the mountains they were armed with some of the sharpest battleaxes ever created.”

“Artura remained in Hamarholde to rule in Vanir’s stead. The army charged into the mountains fearlessly in the hopes of a decisive victory. All seemed well in Hamarholde until word from scouts arrived to tell Artura in the city’s longhall: Their former ally Warlord Osgar had betrayed them, and was marching on them from the south with a huge army of his own, to take the city while it was defenseless.”

“What could be done? The enemy would arrive soon. There was no army left to defend the city, and no allies nearby to summon. But Artura showed no fear. She instructed all the smiths of the city to begin crafting, and rallied the entire city in support of that effort. Inspired smithing apprentices worked as hard as full smiths, so that every forge available was used. Artura’s inspiration was so strong that every man, woman and child assisted the smiths, anything from simply speeding resources to where they needed to be, to working closely to help at the forge, even those who had never swung a hammer before. The townspeople brought everything made of metal that they could to be melted down and reforged, and the work continued straight through the night. It is said that even as Artura led the effort, the sound of her hammer never stopped ringing out as she worked through the night.”

“And so it was that when Warlord Osgar’s army approached the gates of Hamarholde, 10,000 shields had been forged by the townsfolk within. Osgar ordered his archers to fire a barrage of arrows into the city, hoping to force a quick surrender, but the shields protected the people and animals from harm. When no surrender came, Osgar tried to have his army ram through the front gates, but a barricade created by linking steel shields was reinforcing the gates, and they held. The army tried to scale the walls with ladders, but the guardians at the top of the wall, protected by people carrying steel shields to block arrows and spears, were easily able to push the ladders aside.”

“Frustrated but determined to take the city, Osgar lay siege to Hamarholde. Inside, Artura organized the people to work their crafts so that every morsel of food and drop of water could be stretched as far as possible. Day after day, Warlord Osgar’s army tried to penetrate the gates and walls, even as they were trying to starve them out, but the barriers held strong.”

“Finally, just as the last of the food stores were running out, Vanir and his army of warriors returned. Warlord Osgar’s forces were crushed between the hammer of that army, and the anvil of the walls of Hamarholde. When Vanir learned what Artura had accomplished, he ordered the skalds to spread the tale, and her deed became known as the First Miracle of Artura.”


After the tale, Wikton completed the work on the horseshoe and spoke with Torrin a bit more. As it was reaching the time to part, the blacksmith said, “You know, I wouldn’t mind having a blessing of Artura on the forge if you think it would help with business.” Wikton smiled slightly and nodded. He went to stand near the anvil, turning to face the hearth and as much of the forge area as he could. Holding his hammer-shaped holy symbol in his right hand, and touching the forge with the palm of his left, he said solemnly:

“I give thanks to She Who Guides the Hands of Blacksmiths. The Hammer builds, the Hammer defends, the Hammer breaks the chains of oppression. Through her guidance, the warrior is equipped for battle, the traveller fears no road, and the artisan builds wonders. The goddess greets the wicked and wrongful with Justice, the oppressed and downtrodden with Freedom, and the community and family with Love. May She bless this forge and all who work it, forever.”

Letters Home: The Quest for Caleb

Dear Mum,

Your letter found its way to me in Enonia. I am glad you found solace with your family as you grieve Dad’s passing. And, yes, you definitely should go to sea again – I know how much you missed it, living so long inland. River rafts are all very well, but a proper elven ship on the high seas! Just make sure my uncle the captain pays you fair, the same as the rest of the crew.

I spent a few weeks in Yew, helping rebuild. There was little game in the area, with the orc armies and then the refugees. The forest nearby was better, and I took what I hunted to the Temple of the Light. I know, religion! But they are the ones organizing the relief, and they gladly took venison, boar, conies – whatever I could snare or shoot.

They could not pay me much, with so many needing help, but they did make sure I was healthy – and healed if I needed it. Once, they even cured me of a blood poison from a nasty goblin arrow. The Marshal will need to clear out those woodland goblins; they are cutting off trade which Yew desperately needs.

I escorted a few clerics and merchants to Enonia, then cast around for another job. Drinking at the Fox’s Flagon – not the best tavern, but inexpensive – I was recruited into a band of adventurers looking for a wandering husband. We were all promised a share in the bounty on the man by our new leader, Vincenzo, another half-elf. (The others in my party were all human: a magic-user, Conn; a very drunk human fighter, Cropper; and Milfred, a cleric. )

We found that the man we were after, Caleb, had run off with the Enonia Eagles and their lovely leader, Deesky. The Eagles had a lead on treasures in the old dwarven mines a half-day’s walk to the south of Enonia – near where the old elven fort was built to keep in the monsters.

As we neared the mine, we were ambushed by goblins. Each time we pursued, they took off, trying to lure us into another trap. We ran on, avoiding the bait (and more injuries !) and came upon a camp in disarray. I thought this may be the Eagles’ camp, though it was empty. We continued on, looking for the mine entrance, and were attacked by goblins. We were ready this time, though, and made short work of them.

Right inside the mines, we found the remains of a recent campfire. The ashes were cool, but undisturbed, so the fire had been laid that morning. We were still on the trail of the Eagles – and of Caleb.

Directly across this first room from the mine entrance, I followed the trail of the other party into a tunnel to the west. The others in my party made an exploratory probe into a tunnel to the north. They were surprised by a quartet of goblins, one riding a great wolf. I heard the noise of the battle and rushed back. We killed the wolf and its rider, captured two goblins, but the last fled screaming down the halls. We found little on these goblins – nuggets of copper, silver, and gold, plus a crowbar, an iron rod, a glass bar – but some intelligence was gathered from our captives.

They confirmed that another adventuring party had moved through the water door, which was the direction I’d been going. We also learned the goblin leader, name of Lugi, was trying to set up a new base in this area, and the mines would be a likely spot. Also, the mines were infested with insects. We took our captives back to the fort – some humans are holding it now for the Duke – and from there we rode to the Marshal’s keep and were rewarded for our service.

The next day, we rode South again, returned our horses, and walked back into the mine. As the Eagle’s trail was at least a day and a half old, we went again down the north tunnel. Most of the party went back to the room where they’d fought the goblins, but I walked down another tunnel. They stirred something up, and I heard the sounds of battle again – but the noise came from ahead of me. I reasoned this tunnel must bend around and come out on the other side of the battle, so I ran ahead to catch the foe from behind.

Insects, indeed! There were two huge beetles, and a hard fight it was, despite my flanking maneuver. We killed one beetle, and the wounded were dragged back to the mine entrance. I was stunned but Cropper ran back to pull me out.

We camped in the mines that night, between the water door and the way out. I helped Conn lay out some caltrops just outside the mine entrance, then we set up watches and tried to rest and recuperate. A couple of cavemen wandered out from the depths of the mine and joined us for drinks and a little food. As the night wore on, they grew irritable and left, leaving behind the corpse of a giant rat. Not sure how they killed that rat, but it looked like parts of the body were melted.

Later that night, Deesky and Caleb and the rest of the Eagles came out through the tunnels, high-spirited and loud. They’d been trapped by a falling block, but made their way out through a secret door and back around to the entrance.

Vincenzo told Caleb to come back to his wife. Caleb refused and was indignant Marge had put a bounty on him. Vincenzo offered – for a price – to let Caleb and the Eagles move to another area, and he would tell Caleb’s wife he was dead. Deesky jumped in here, told Vincenzo to butt out. The upshot: The Eagles are based in Enonia and they have no intention of moving. Caleb is not going back to his wife. Vincenzo will not collect the bounty. Deesky tried to recruit others from our party into the Eagles, but we all turned her down – I tried to do so with grace.

The rest of the night is a blur – I remember fighting off cave rats, and some cries from outside the mines as someone or something walked into the caltrops. We barely made it back to the fort alive, but the whole party survived.

Anyhow, I now have some money from this adventure – though not as much as I’d hoped. I should be able to get by for a little while, and perhaps I’ll be more successful in my next outing. Or maybe I can get hired on as a tracker – a fellow I supped with last week told me he’d made good coin at that, and had great tales of how he’d saved the Heroes of the Duchy from certain death, too.

Please give my love to grandfather and all my cousins. Should any of my kin be passing through Enonia, have them look me up!

Love you, Mum.


Songs of the Bards, Summer 55, 59AD

The bards sign their songs and tell of news that they’ve heard from around the region and lands. This is what they’re singing of currently:

Littleling city of Cheddon experiences a Night of Terror

A horror has befallen the littleling city of Cheddon, which lies to the north of the Duchy of Irecia. Black Brotherhood troublemakers brought cages of Damned into the city in the dead of night to the city cemetery. They unleashed these horrors on an unsuspecting population and a Night of Terror broke out. Many littlelings succumbed to the affliction, and parts of the city were burned from the chaos. Indeed, far worse might have happened, had it not been for a brave band of adventurers who secured the docks from an attack of Crab-Men and fixed the water pumps so that fire crews could extinguish the flames. Many ships in the harbor were lost to the Crab-Men and town officials are worried that the Black Brotherhood may have stirred them up.

The Rebellion to the South Takes a Turn

The Duke of Irecia is facing rebellion and an outside threat! His commander, Marshal Roehm, marched a regiment of militia and mercenaries to the southern reaches of the Duchy, to confront the rebellious Dame Oriolt and Marshal Kevlin. Both fled to their respective demesnes and it looked as if a siege was to begin. The surprise came in the form of several regiments of partisan Southron soldiers!

It seems that the Duke-in-waiting Heber Felix (son of King Julian Felix, may the Light keep him safe) is angry at his father for having the Church of the Light annul his marriage to a common woman. Seeing the split between the Church and rebellious Lightbringers, Heber has sent men to support Oriolt and Kevlin! The Marshal has retreated to a line just north of Steltin and is said to be raising militias and calling for more mercenaries to launch a full scale war.

Marshal Ynivax has an old problem come anew to his fledgling holds. He has summoned militias and mercenaries to guard against Notchland Keep. It had been relatively deserted in the Spring and early Summer but in the past ten-days, Orcs have come there in force once again to fortify the old keep. So far, they have not attacked further, but Ynivax fears raids and a renewed assault.

Strange Creatures Arise

All across the lands and Duchies, strange creatures of myth and legend have suddenly appeared! Wyrms, Wyverns, strange monstrous things, Stirges, Winged creatures of great size and more have been seen, or have attacked! What were once safe roads and peaceful fields have become places of fear and worry. The nobles, clergy and rulers have been gathering in discussion with little to say. Elders and sages are wagging their tongues that this can’t be a coincidence when it has occurred right after the Day of Darkness.

Pagan Feast in Ulichton

The leader of a cult worshiping the pagan goddess known as Meesha has declared a day of celebration and feast on the 58th day of Summer, right before the Harvest Feast of the first day of Autumn. It will be held in the town of Steltin. It is said that Kjeld, the priest of the cult of Vanir will also be attending. There will be food, song, dancing and prayers to the pagan gods for help and protection from the strange things that have been happening recently.

Songs of the Bards, Summer 15, 59AD

Exciting times in the lands of the Midlands of the Duchy of Irecia! The Duke himself, Duke Archanis Reynald, is visiting the town of Enonia to hold a war council with Marshal Roehm, Marshal Kevlin and Marshal Ynivax. Several other nobles will be attending, and some of the higher priests of the area will be joining them. It is said that the Duke’s advance retinue are already in Enonia, busy with planning for the visit. The Duke’s personal secretary, Collin Vilcin, has been seen staying in the Mug & Pot Inn.

Mercenary companies are already returning to the lands around Enonia, eager to be a part of any war plans developed in this council.

The Eagle’s Alehouse has opened again and is back in business. Following the untimely death of Avael Guntin in the Winter, the inn had been closed, but it has opened recently under new management – a gentleman named Divos Senos-son. He is reputed to cook quite well and attracts many craftsmen and merchants, unlike the previous management that had a more shady clientele.

Rumors are thick that one of the Heroes of the Duchy, Canon Mazlor, might be elevated to High Canon and become the Priest of the temple in Yew! His reputation throughout the Midlands is well known, most recently participating in the Battle of Upland Hold which broke the back of the Black Brotherhood to the north.

A pagan festival is slated to take place on the 20th day of Summer! Encouraged, perhaps, by the tolerance of the Marshal and Temple, two pagan priests by name of Kjeld and Turgon have proposed a festival to take place – a procession to the Marketplace and special booths and craftsmen who are members of these cults. It is not known if Jorann of the Tangadorin cult will take part, but considering the prominence of herself, along with the cult protector Grel, it’s not likely they’ll miss this celebration. This announcement is not without controversy, as the bills posted around town about the festival have been defaced or torn down.

Songs of the Bards – Winter 58, 59AD

Despite the weather outside which continues to be frightful, the bards in the Inns and taverns have quite a tale to tell! Crowds have been gathering to hear of an amazing story that has come from beleaguered Duchy of Dawn!

The Duchy’s remaining two cities, Reach and Ancturin, knew that the Orcs would come ravening at their doorsteps, and in the Summer of 58AD, that is exactly what happened. As the remaining armies of the Duchy fled to the harbor city of Reach, the orcs pursued them relentlessly. Faced with the prospect of a long siege against a huge orc invasion, without hope of help, the City Council reached an astonishing decision – evacuate the ENTIRE city!

The population of Reach fled up the road towards Ancturin for nearly thirty days as the remaining armies followed behind to protect them. Couriers were sent to Ancturin to warn of them of what was coming. Every available ship was sent to the Bay of Ancturin, as those who would want to flee the Duchy would take the sea merchant’s route down the coast to the Duchy of Pisces and safety. A small force was left in Reach to serve as a rear guard and keep the Orcs delayed.

The plan worked! The small human contingent managed to keep the Orcs off-balance with bravery and luck, while the remainder of the forces and population made it to the Bay of Ancturin. Faced with a similar decision, the leaders of Ancturin, which is one of the original cities of humanity, made a similar decision. Evacuate! There were enough ships to hold the vast majority of both populations. Every available sea-worth vessel was used, from large merchant carrocks, to military ships, to small fishing vessels. The armies of Reach, Ancturin and the Ducal forces set up to fight to the last man to allow the common folks to escape.

The first ships have made it safely to Amfrey’s Point with this news (which came by way of merchant ships from that harbor town to Orleans and then through the Southron Duchy to Enonia.) so none know yet if all of the populations were evacuated… and who survived of the brave armies that faced to Bestial hordes.

The story is so popular that several songs have been sung over and over about it, but there is more news from closer to home…

  • The village of Penkurth has fallen, with the remaining survivors making their way to Yew. A large force of the Black Brotherhood raided the village and managed to destroy or drive out the defenders. Priest Girout, the leader of the village, survived the attack, but was wounded. Astonishingly, some of the survivors claim that Marshal Roehm’s daughter, Anastasia, was seen with the raiders!
  • Sir Reynald has been injured! As part of the feasting days during Winter, he and his company were performing a winter’s joust, and he was severely injured in a fall from his horse. Sir Reynald will recover and should be back in the saddle by Spring time.
  • In a surprise announcement and visit, Marshal Roehm has visited Yew with wonderful news – Sir Yinivax has been exalted to the highest rank and honor that the Duke can bestow and made him the Marshal of the lands around Yew! Marshal Ynivax will need to free Notchland Keep from the orcs in order to assume the traditional seat of the Marshal of Yew, but in the meantime, he continues to oversee the rebuilding of Yew and protection of its citizens.