In the past month, the gypsies of Ashbury made headway in their battle against Angelica and her lost clan.
The gypsies had somehow managed to arrange a ride on the necromantic S.O.L.D., driven by none other than Creepshow, who took the gypsies to Birkmire using a map the gypsies had found by decoding the notes of Prof. Archivald Gamlet from the Royal Academy. For his help in aiding the gypsies, Archivald was captured by Angelica and turned into a death wizard and forced to turn against the people he was helping.
When the gypsies arrived in the swamps of Jhivantane, they quickly saw a large stone building covered in vines in the distance. They worked their way through, fighting through a horde of lesser undead. Guildmistress Natasha led the way in the battles, accompanied by Findrago, Lithitar, Salvatore, Ariana, and Subtle.
As they entered the building, they came face to face with Archivald the death wizard and several undead guarding a bottle. Archivald, who was working under duress, tried to warn the gypsies. He offered to help them in defeating him but said that he had been given orders by Angelica and could not go against those orders. He told them what his abilities were and what his exact orders were as well as the fact that the bottle was his.
The gypsies attempted a number of things, including a charm and a Gypsy Curse, but none were effective, and an attack broke out. Lithitar finally defeated the Professor by Imprisoning him. The gypsies then retrieved his bottle and continued into the last room of the tomb, leaving him Imprisoned.
In the final chamber they found a non-corporal man encased in a crystal shell. This appeared to be the object of their quest, a man named Benevolence, Angelica's former apprentice and the true creator of the Life Spell. As they tried to remove the chrysalis from his immaterial body, they met with limited success as a voice rung out from all around them, "Only a willing sacrifice can free Benevolence."
The gypsies were unsure of what to do although they thought that it would take one of their deaths to free him. They argued over what to do until Salvatore, frustrated with their inaction, took it upon himself to commit suicide. As the blood from his wound dripped on the chrysalis it began to glow but was still unyielding. The others waited for the spirit of Salvatore to depart, assuming that this greatest of sacrifices would finally free the one they placed their hopes in.
When only seconds were left, a man with a diamond over one eye rifted in to the tomb and declared "Such willingness to die to preserve life is not to be wasted. It is the will of the Vital Senate that he live." With that, he threw a Life spell at Salvatore, bringing him back with only seconds to spare. The being rifted away and the shell around Benevolence dropped.
As this figure came to consciousness, he walked to Salvatore who was still startled to be alive and grasped his hand stating that he now bonded to him as his guardian. Everyone was startled by this and questions started coming from everyone. However, cooler heads prevailed and they decided to leave Jhivantane and return to Ashbury to continue these discussions. However, when they approached the S.O.L.D., Benevolence refused to ride on a craft based on such necromantic power. He told them that he would meet them in Ashbury traveling through the link he now had with Salvatore.
When the gypsies returned to Ashbury, they found themselves in the middle of an attack on the town in which many of the people were down and bleeding. They were aided when Benevolence appeared from within Salvatore's body. He healed many of the fallen and struck down the enemies of the town.
Benevolence then met with His Grace Duke Bryan and the gypsies and discussed their situation. He revealed many of Angelica's secrets to them. According to Benevolence, Angelica is truly a Knight of the Chaosium who sits at the right hand of the Overlord of Death himself. She rose to power over a millennia of serving the forces of death. He faced her down 1,000 years ago but was defeated and imprisoned in her tomb. He also revealed her greatest weakness: as a Death Elemental, she is vulnerable to Life spells. He warned however that one of her power may take so many Life spells to destroy that the town may be in serious trouble from using most of their Life spells to kill her.
With this knowledge and the support of Benevolence and the recovery of Archivald's bottle, the gypsies came to New Year's Eve with much joy and hope. However, as they were preparing for their annual spirit meet, Angelica sent them holiday greetings in the form of Petra and Archivald accompanied by some lesser undead. They came in and faced down the town who hesitated in fighting them. Unfortunately this hesitation led to the permanent death of Mason Sharebrook of ForestWatch, who was struck down by one of Archivald's Death spells. Archivald was finally struck down by Sir Agnar and he reformed at his bottle inside the Healer's Guild where his bottle was stored.
Through many tears, the gypsies continued preparing for their annual ritual. Etcetera performed the ritual in a Circle of Power created by a visiting spellcaster named Aolan who was immediately given a Sleep gas so as not to learn any gypsy secrets. No one outside of the gypsies know what was learned from the ritual although the gypsies have confirmed that they contacted the spirit of Strykna.
Last May during the insurgence by the darklings into Ashbury, an ancient group called the Knights of Virtue revealed itself to the people of Ashbury and began testing people for inclusion in their group. Only one out of the many tested for all of the eight virtues was accepted: then-Duchess Mara, who was named the new Knight Protector of Leadership. She was asked to rebuild the knighthood. Apparently with her abdication as Duchess and failure to refound the order, the Knights have again been testing for membership.
The spectral knights seem to insist on clouding their tests in secrecy. This past New Year's Eve, they once again tested the unsuspected.
Early in the evening, a dense fog rolled off Lake Hollym and covered the city. Strangers started wandering the streets asking people to go on all sorts of jobs or adventures. This is not entirely unusual in Ashbury&emdash;with such a large population of adventures, people often come to the central city to hire such help. What is unusual is what followed.
When people accepted these jobs, they would suddenly become lost in the fog and eventually find themselves alone standing outside a warehouse. From within the warehouse they would hear the cries of children for help. When the adventures entered the warehouse, they were met an endless stream of monsters who attacked them until they were either defeated or fled. Shortly later these adventures, even those who had been brought down found themselves wandering out of the fog were they had entered it. At the time they had no memory of what had happened to them, but when they met up with their companions, they all had false memories of completing the original task to which they had been hired.
About an hour past midnight, the annual New Year's party in the Dragon's Flagon was still in full swing. Suddenly some of the partygoers seemed to become disoriented as their true memories flooded back to them. Then to everyone's surprise, two spectral knights appeared in the middle of the common room. One of these spirits was a troll who was holding a magic sword and an enormous shield. The other was a dwarf who was holding an armful of tabards.
The spectral troll then addressed the stunned onlookers in a booming voice. He said that he was the Knight Protector of Bravery in the Knights of Virtue, and that he had been testing Ashbans all night to find those worthy to join the Knighthood. The Spirit then called forth several people who were at the party, including Feyd, Jonathan, Aspen, Findarth, Keldon, Ason, Silas, and Brynn. The spirit told them that he had found them worthy to join the knighthood and asked them if they were willing. After each of these people agreed, the spirit told them to kneel and he came to them one by one.
Feyd, Jonathan, Aspen, and Findarth were named Squires of Bravery in the Knights of Virtue, and each was given a green tabard. Keldon and Silas were named Knights of Bravery in the Knights of Virtue, and both were given blue tabards. Finally the spirit came to Brynn and loudly proclaimed that Brynn had performed the best out of all those tested. He then removed his own tabard, gave it to Brynn, and named her his successor as Knight Protector of Bravery.
This was met with thunderous applause from the partygoers that took several minutes to die down. Finally when the applause had ended, the spirit charged Brynn with three quests. The first was to train the new squires to be as brave as she. The second was to help Knight Protector Mara to reestablish the Knighthood. The last was to build a castle to be used as the knighthood's headquarters.
On the weekend of December 7th and 8th, lizardmen came to Ashbury in small groups asking for help. It seems that due to the unusually cold weather during the summer, the caves that he lizardmen normally hibernate in had not stored the heat necessary to sustain them through the winter. They had become desperate, and were now divided into two factions on how to best deal with their problem. The first group wanted to work with anyone that would help, but the second was very suspicious of everyone, and wanted no part in getting non-lizardmen involved.
The lizardmen had had some luck in obtaining information that would help them, but not in actually getting the help. They had attempted to perform a Contact Earth ritual in order to find an artifact that they had only heard of in legend known as the Everburning Torch of Ghoss. It was said that the torch was an eternal heat source, and that any area that the torch took residence in became a tropical climate. This greatly took the lizaarmen's attention, and so they saw this as their only means of survival. The only problem they had now was the fact that the ritual had flawed, leaving in its stead a gate that would only stay open for a short while that lead to what some believed a polar cap, where the torch had been kept.
At this time, a lizardman by the name of Sovar took it upon himself and some of his clansmen to find help wherever he could. He in turn came to Ashbury, and was the one that told of large groups of fire elementals in the area that were attacking them, looking for the Torch. The lizarmen warned the citizens about these elementals, and said that they were fiercely powerful, and would lay wastew to anything in their path.
The lizardmen spoke to Baron Algar and Duke Bryan in turn, asking for their help in their time of need. Both parties listened to the lizarmen's stories and believed them. They agreed to help.
Shortly afterwards, Sovar and his group led a group of townspeople led by Baron Algar into caves outside of town that some of the lizardmen were holed up in to meet with the leader of the second faction of lizardmen. If he would agree to their help, the town would have access to the gate that was created, leading to the Torch's retrieval.
Baron Algar quickly convinced the remaining lizardmen of his sincerity in wanting to help them. They agreed after Baron Algar had firewood brought for them to last a few days as a sign of good faith. This later turned out to be a mistake. The second group of lizardmen leaders, Frazick, told the group that the next time the gate would open would be at 3 o'clock the next afternoon. He told those present that he would send for them to guide them to the gate.
Later on in the evening, a large group of fire elementals came to town and threaatened those present to not help the lizardmen. They said that if they did, they would return and destroy those present and continue to do so until they chose not to. Zatarina the biata then talked back to one of them, resulting in her being taken down and killed, requiring a resurrection. The fire elementals apparently meant business.
The next day, Sovar and Frazick returned to town with bad news. During the night they had to fight off a large amount of fire elementals that seemed to appear from the fire they had created. Too many appeared, and so the lizardmen were driven off from the area that surrounded the gate. They now needed to call on Ashbury to help them get to the gate and go through to the other side and retrieve the Torch.
When the citizens got to the site, they found nearly 50 fire elemental type beings. Most were fairly weak, but there were four elemental lords there which were the main cause of the problems. It took some time, but the citizens succeeded in getting to the gate, and eight people includine the Duke and Baron Algar, passed through the gate.
Once through, the people found themselves transported to one of Tyrra's polar caps. An ice bridge lay before them, protected by a group of Yetis. The cold was so bad that the party found that they were taking damage simply from standing. Across the bridge they could see the Torch.
What they saw was unnerving. The surrounding landscape was melting away, leaving slush and mud in its wake. Standing next to that were two water elementals, seemingly protecting their prize.
The Duke then asked to step over the bridge to speak to the two. Permission was granted and the Duke stepped forward. As his group slowly began succumbing to the cold, the Duke bargained with the beings for the torch. In return for being allowed to "borrow" the torch for the duration of the winter, the Duke traded a Control Water Elemental magic item that belonged to the Barony of the Ash Forest. The water elementals quickly agreed, and said that they would bring the torch to town at once, on the condition that the item be given at that time. The Duke agreed.
Shortly thereafter, the Duke and the rest of the party journeyed back through the gate, and returned to Ashbury. Two water elemental lords followed soon afterwards, carrying the Torch. Their names were Minos Celsius and Absero. They exchanged the Torch for the item with the Duke and Baron Algar, and decided to stay with the citizens to fight the oncoming attack of fire elementals that they sensed was coming.
Sure enough, not fifteen minutes later a group of fire elementals attacked, with the leaders being four of considerable power. Minos and absero fought alongside the citizenry without fear, and in the end fell to the onslaught of the flaming creatures.
The townsfolk kept fighting bravely, with a large number being Imprisoned in the process. Thankfully it seemed that most of the casters of the fire elementals were celestial, and Death spells were npt in abundance. With the falling of Minos and absero, the Plane of Water felt the need to send two others in order to continue the fight. No sooner than did they appear then the fight was finally over. It was hard fought, but Ashbury was victorious once again.
With the retrieval of the Torch of Ghoss, the lizardmen felt new life and hope. Sovar and Frazick promised to do what they could in the coming year to try to help with relations of their people and Ashbury. The Duke simply asked for that, and the return of the Torch to himself when winter was over so that he may return it to the water elementals as he had promised. There have been no unusual sightings of water elementals, nor Fire elementals, since then.
Since November and the apparent death of Baron Konrad at the hands of the being known as Father Defile, the Defenders of Tyrra, whom Defile threatened when he took Konrad's spirit, have been actively seeking information about Father Defile. To such ends, they sent Olin and Caleb to seek information about this creature and have tested Lord Hanson for membership and accepted him as a warrior under Ironwood's arm of the Defenders.
Squire Olin, Champion to the Earth Spirit Ironwood, was sent to the Dryad Wood in Kitheria to the former headquarters of the Defenders to seek any tomes that may have been left behind when the keep was sacked by Cadmus' forces a year and a half ago.
He took with him Baron Algar, Dame Kittery, Guildmistress Natasha, Lord Zachary and Thena. Within the castle they fought Cadmus' corrupted dryads and some strange non-corporeal creature, and eventually worked their way past guarding runes set by Chandor.
In the center of the keep they came face to face with human servants of Father Defile including one who was identified as Banthus, a former apprentice of Cadmus'.
These men who called themselves the Defilers of Tyrra were burning the few tomes left behind, other than one which was in the center of a permanent circle of power in the keep. In the ashes, Olin's group found some unburned pages which indicated that Father Defile is the being which stands opposite Mother Tyrra and represents the force of necromancy.
Meanwhile, Squire Caleb, one of the Defenders in Mother Tyrra's arm of the group, was sent to Quentari to try and contact King Branchwalker, the King of the Dryads of Avalon. Here he and his companions Lord Governor Radric, Lord Hanson, Squire Morlox, Modi, Enoch, Lithitar, and Morgan also found evidences of Cadmus' invasions.
Within the wood they found corrupted dryads making their way inward from the borders. After defeating these guards, they also fought very powerful wood golems obviously created by Cadmus and several of the strange non-corporeal creatures also encountered by Olin's group. Finally they reached an area where a human was casting a ritual called the ritual of defilement which would corrupt the area in which it was cast, giving Cadmus an inroad into Quentari. The group defeated the ritual caster and its chaos elementals but were unable to stop him from completing the ritual. From this caster's notes the group learned that Cadmus and Father Defile have together created something called a "chaos battery" which apparently has in some manner continued the connection between our plane and that of chaos which was first started when the chaos rift opened in Ashbury last November.
By far the most astounding of the missions accomplished by the Defenders was Hanson's test of membership. Wishing to join under the martial branch of Ironwood, the Defenders gave him a truly difficult task. Within the Mishrak Fens, some force was creating hordes of extremely powerful undead. When investigated, the group, which was identical to Caleb's with the absence of Lithitar but the addition of Squire Doron, found that the undead were being created by a creature called the "Spiritless Tree" which was apparently created by Father Defile to be the oppostie of the Elven Spirit Tree.
When they finally came face to face with the tree, they fought hard to destroy it, with Morlox reportedly killing it in single combat. All of the information brought back by these groups shows one thing: Cadmus and Father Defile are working together and moving in our area once more.
On December 7th, the vampire known as Dantur entered the town once again. Again he brought his two Spirit Warriors with him, and with them the fear that the and the two would lay waste to the citizens who had already had to deal with forces that had dwindled their resources and greatly fatigued them. However, this did not happen.
After numerous attempts by the citizens and nobles present alike to get Dantur to leave, they instead allowed his presence. He did not attack, nor did he truly threaten to attack that night. Instead, he wished to tell the story of his being and to try once again to gain the citizens support in his plight. This was not an easy task, as many present knew of Dantur's capture of Baron Tristan's wife T'laynia and two children. The children's names are Renee, who was adopted by Dame Kittery, and Timothy who was adopted by Sir Ivan.
But those people present knew Dantur's power and chose not to fight. One of those present had not heard Dantur's story and was very intrigued. This person was the Duke himself. He spoke with Dantur publicly, stating that the King himself has granted the power to the nobles to work with undead for the purpose of bringing them back from their cursed state and return them to the living. This in turn interested Dantur, so he told his story.
While Dantur told his story of how he was created by a backlashed Obliterate ritual five hundred years ago, the Duke listened intently. He then asked why Dantur felt the need to kill Baron Tristan, Sir Ivan, Ta'wané the gypsy, and the late Baron Konrad. To this Dantur once again told of the betrayal he felt that the four had done to him. He stated that due to the promises made and the words given by themselves as nobles, and in the case of Ta'wané, her blood, the two beings whose spirits reside within his own were forever cursed to walk until their condition could be corrected. The only way that Dantur knew of correcting the situation was the deaths of those involved in the promises.
The condition of Lady T'laynia's and the children's well being was on everyone's mind. When asked about them, Dantur explained that he had done the same with the children that he had done to Lady T'laynia. That is, he had created them into some form of undead. He said that when the respective guardian (he believed Konrad to be a legal guardian of Renee) was dead, he would release his hostage.
The Duke then took matters into his own hands, promising Dantur that he would look into the matters of his nobles not staying true to their word, but that Dantur would have to give something in return. Dantur agreed to release Renee the next day, in living and for the most part unharmed.
The Duke also told Dantur of the Destroy Magic Improved ritual, and that if it would work in this situation he would have it done to Dantur to release him from his state. Dantur has repeatedly stated that should the spirits in him be freed and he should remain a vampire, he would Stake of Woe himself to end his existence.
The Duke did not believe that this would happen, but did think that the ritual would free him from the effects of the backlash. This in turn would free the two within him. Dantur explained to those that asked him why he had not tried this before that the ritual they spoke of was not known to him. Until recently he did not know of the Gift of Life/Curse of Undeath ritual either. When he first heard about that he tried to find a source to get that ritual, but could not. His lines of supply for knew rituals did not exist.
Dantur allowed himself to be placed in the Mages' Guild Circle of Power to be identified by Dame Kittery, as long as she held the Ward key with her so no one could trap him within to wait for the day. This was agreed to, and he was identified.
When Dame Kittery identified Dantur she was shocked and horrified by her find. It seems that Dantur did not trust anyone with his hostage's bottles, and had placed them within himself. That is, he had cut himself open and placed the bottles physically within himself.
After the identification, Dantur said that he would return soon, but not until he had taken care of some business. The Duke wanted to do the ritual then and there, but Dantur stated that should he be "cured," he did not want any of his creations to survive. It seems that he had been able to create a small army of undead, many of which were vampires that he had created. He said he also needed time to gather the last of the components he needed to return his hostages to normal. The Duke readily agreed to this, as long as Dantur kept in contact with him about his progress. Dantur agreed, and left town once again, without any casualties suffered to either party.
Several groups of townspeople mysteriously disappeared recently. Apparently groups of "drone" spiders were kidnapping prospective mates, presumably for Charlotte, the human-spider being that had encountered Ashbury's citizens before, and her daughters.
The groups, which at different times included Duke Bryan, Baron Algar, Squire Jaret, Noble, and Garnaralf, were deposited in underground "dwellings" where, once awake, they had to find their way back out, as well as deal with a Black Widow bent on starting a family.
Each of the three daughters apparently gave the group presented to them the chance to sacrifice one of their own to mate with her, while the others could go free. Olin Redbeard, the only one with the misfortune to be captured all three times, ended taking one of the daughters up on her bargain, in order to save the rest of the party. Whether or not Olin died in "exquisite pleasure" for his bravery and self-sacrificing act is unknown.
In early December, some unusual fey merchants appeared to sell their wares. Problems started when one of the drae in town purchased a pair of enchanted shoes which caused him to continually dance. The dark elves chased the fey out of the tavern and were contemplating harming her when she used her own shoes to run away as fast as her feet could take her. The others continued to sell their goods until they were killed by half orcs out to kill all fae because of the fey-caused tuskblight epidemic.
The Ashbury Healers Guild will be submitting a report to The Ashbury Times on a monthly basis to keep the populace informed of the goings-on within the Guild here in the capital city.
This is the complete list of all unpaid resurrections as of December 596. Note that every resurrection requires actual silver pieces to perform. Every unpaid resurrection represents money that the Guild does not have to buy potions, perform future resurrections, and assist the citizens of Ashbury in times of need. Paying for your resurrection today will help yourself, as well as others, tomorrow.
From the Year 595 (owing one gold): Tika, Velvrin Wendala, Ciat Fian, Ebenezer Gideon Delmore, Garrett.
From the Year 596: (owing one gold): Ryval Korombos, Raja Kataan, Sshran Kataan, Rahvin, Loga, Saerth, Yorik, Varag Ghoulchewer, Tarquin, Trom Blayston, Rake Sharoud, Brakus Foehammer, Naramis Dreamslayer, Gar, Lord Agnar, Tolyn Merik, Robert Oakwood, Ian McEwan, Raclin, Alderbaron, Tirilorn, Feyd, Jonathan Dragonhart, Alex, Zatarina, (owing two gold): Graak, (owing 4 silver 5 copper) Shayloree.
The Healers' Guild is proud to announce the newest Intitiates to the Guild:
Initiate Tirilorn of Blythedale; Initiate Brighthawk of Blythedale; Initiate Javier deSouza Servenka; Initiate Grunt; Initiate Morgan Sunstar of the Military District of Trellheim
The Healers' Guild is proud to announce the promotion from Initiate within the Guild: Clement Chip of ForestWatch; Clement Ivanna of ForestWatch
Interviews are ongoing for membership to the Guild. Thank you to all who have interviewed in the past, and thanks to those of you who have expressed your interest but have not yet received an interview. I apologize for any inconvenience. The following people are to contact me in regards to scheduling an interview: Velvrin Wendala; Zatarina Norvick; Kelial Vardik; Drakonus
If you have inquired as to an interview and are not listed above, please see me personally or contact me via messenger. I regret that I do not remember all those who have spoken to me, but would like to have every opportunity to speak with you.
Approximately twenty gold in potions and elixirs from the Guilds' supply were expended during the Faire in early December due to the attacks of spiders, undead, goblins, and fire elementals upon the Dragon's Flagon. This Guild performs a needed service for the citizens of Ashbury, from the commoner to the Noble. Donations are gladly accepted by the Guild to recompensate what supplies are freely expended in support of the people of the City of Ashbury. Remember that to support the Healers' Guild is to support the people of Ashbury.
The Guild would like to thank at this time Governor Radric and the representatives of the Military District of Trellheim here in Ashbury for their many donations in November 596, which allowed the Guild to purchase these supplies, most of all of which were used during the December Faire.
Necromantic potions and Ritual scrolls can be brought to the Guild for proper disposal. If you are in the possession of any Earth Destroy Magic Ritual components, the Guild would be interested in purchasing them.
Services offered by the Ashbury Healers Guild are the following:
Ritual Component Identification
Potion Buying and Selling
Ritual Scroll Purchasing
Spell Ink Sales
Training in Earth Magics
Register yourself with the Guild! Prepaid Resurrection Insurance for yourself, friends, and loved ones avoids distractions during a trying time. Put yourself on file for your preferences during Resurrection, including method and performer to make the process as comfortable as possible.
Comments and suggestions for improving the Guild are always welcomed! The Guild is in place to work for you, so please do not hesitate to express your opinions, preferences, and ideas. This will make the Guild tailored to the particular needs of the people it assists. A suggestion box will soon be posted within the Guild for this purpose.
Thank you to all who have assisted the Guild in its time of change. It is my hopes that by the spring all will again be in order and running smoothly. Remember that it is Death that is our enemy, and not those beings who would seek to harm us.
&endash; Guildmistress Natasha Roskaya Ioki, Royal Healers Guild of Ashbury City, Ashbury
by Sue D'Onym
Hello, dearies, it's time for the latest News They Don't Want You To Know.
Solemn Judgement was seen recently spending a lot of time with a pretty blonde gypsy, and they were acting and talking like old friends&emdash; very close old friends if you catch my drift.
Speaking of "old friends," the gypsy Javier was seen spending a good hour speaking to a group of undead abominations who crashed Duke Bryan's "fudge faire." The undead never attacked anyone, constantly saying "healers have nothing to fear from us." I love a mystery!
Some of the other gypsies in town said that they are surprised that Guildmistress Natasha has yet to adopt the killers of Petra. After all, she adopted Modi after he killed a fellow gypsy in the tavern; they just assumed she would continue the trend.
By the way, I hereby nominate the former gypsy Petra as "Best Dressed Undead in Ashbury" (since Mourna is no longer around to hold the title).
After mourning Mason's death, his gypsy fiance Kinya went to her varda where she was "consoled" by Kylara who had been heard to say she was "sick of men." The two cuddled, snuggled, and sniffed through the night. No news as to whether any pudding was used.
Believe it or not, I also have News about nongypsies as well.
In nongypsy news, a rather young sarr named Shayloree, a member of Ambassador Aravis' entourage, happened to cast necromancy in the presence of Sir Agnar who immediately killed her. After being hounded by the gorbe who whined and complained that it was unfair because she was only a child (what, are there separate laws for children?), the good knight relented and allowed her to be Lifed. Of course, because the Life spell was used on the necromancer, it was not available later to save Mason.
Aravis, by the way, was heard to order the doors to the embassy widened so that "Silas' head can fit through." The so-called "Knight of Virtue" was so proud of his new tabard and position that he vowed to be even braver in his attacks on kobolds.
The barbarian Shaoud spent all her time at the New Year's party bad-mouthing the Duke! "He allows undead to come and kill his people! And he doesn't keep his word!" she said angrily. She wasn't arrested however, since she was referring to "Duke" Pansolore.
Madam Boboinka, proprietor of the infamous House of Pleasure, meanwhile was doing some major recruiting at the party. No one seemed to bite however, but we're not sure the Madam is into that sort of thing.
That damned Dragon's Flagon poltergeist was there causing trouble as well. A few times at the party we heard Salvatore exclaim "The poltergeist! There it is again! It is grabbing at everyone!"&emdash;but we noticed how the poltergeist amazingly tended to only appear when the sly gypsy was nearby, and then the only thing the "poltergeist" ever did was goose Zatarina. Oops! Sorry. Another gypsy just snuck into the column.
Baron Algar spent much of New Year's trying to escape from thankful farmers who kept trying to polish his boots, refill his drink, and show their appreciation for the work he had done against the slavers. The quiet elf finally had to find an excuse to go kill some monsters or something, and he took off quickly. (By the way, Calis was also treated to this embarrassment by the farmers&emdash;at least until a barbarian woman came in and accused Calis of being a murderer. It seemed like it could be a serious charge, so the Baron said he'd look into this.)
And speaking of nobles, we're now in Month Four of the Sir Radric Promise Watch! That's right, it's been four months now since Radric gave his word to the biata that he would turn over the magic weapon Slavetamer with its anti-biata runes. Hey, give the guy a break&emdash;he never said when he was going to complete his promise! I'm going to try this approach with all of my bill collectors: "Look, I promised to pay you over four months ago! That's good enough for Sir Radric and it should be good enough for you!"
Big congrats go to Jaret Delair who has now been promoted to a Lord but has yet to be knighted. My sources tell me that Dame Mara is bugging her husband to name him as Sir Faustus' replacement. Faustus, in case you haven't heard, has accepted a position in the Royal House in Evendarr, where he is certain to start a brewery in the basement. We wish King Mykel the best and hope he knows what he's getting into.
The people of Tolman Head haven't been too happy lately. It seems that their liege Sir Ivan hasn't been seen in months and it appears that they have been all but forgotten. A few riots have broken out. There have also been demonstrations and protests recently against Sir Hanson in Deathwatch where attacks are common, Sir Balynthalis in Barrowdowns where there are town guards on every corner but no jobs for anyone else, and Sir Angus in Port Frederick where crime is rampant. These common folk are never satisfied!
In good noble news, parties and celebrations were held for Baron Kirath in Shadowkeep (they built a statue of him!), Dame Mara in Bristol, Sorceress Shalizar in Diron, and the McEwans in Peppercorn.
Well, that's all the room I have for this month. Keep those cards and letters coming in (I always protect my sources)! Until next month, remember&emdash;If you can't say something nice about someone, come sit by me.
Mason Sharebrook of ForestWatch fell to the minions of Angelica just after midnight on New Year's Day, 597. He will be deeply missed by his friends and new family. Mason is survived by his wife, Kinya, and their unborn child.
ASHBURY CITIZENS: Two very good Friends to ForestWatch as well as the Duchy of Ashbury have passed. One being Petra Varados, after mercifully being released from her Undead bondage, and the other Mason Sharebrook, killed by one of Angelica's minions. The members of ForestWatch, as well as those dear to those who have passed, would ask that anyone possessing the Ritual Component of an Assassin's Dagger would bring it to the Healers Guild for discussion of purchase. As soon as these Primary components are gathered, I will be performing Spirit Farewell Rituals for both Petra and Mason in the Guild Circle. Those who are interested in attending either Spirit Farewell, please speak to me in the Guild and I will discuss it with the parties involved for approval. Thank you all for you consideration, and may this be a testimony to the fragility and preciousness of life. We all have lost not only good friends, but excellent people. &endash; Guildmistress Natasha Roskaya Ioki, Royal Healers Guild of Ashbury
FREE DETECT MAGICS cast at the Ashbury Mages Guild every hour on the half hour during Guild hours. (Listen for the bell.) Hours are noon-6pm and 8pm-midnight. Also: Magic items identified, Ritual Components researched, scrolls bought and sold, Rituals cast. From now until stated otherwise, Senior Guildsman Kittery Ann Holindarn will be acting as Guildmistress. Please see her for your Celestial needs.
SADYA: You've made enough enemies already. You asked for it. If you ever hurt any of my family or friends in Ashbury, Myrr, or anywhere else you will wish your madar arghex had dard of tavallod. &endash; Khatar Saket Budan, Brynn Anhur Ravenchild
SADYA: It's time to come home now. The one you tarsidan has sworn to do no harm to you, as has his family. You have nothing tarsidan any longer. Don't make me pay for the ritual to find you. You know I'll do it. I need you here challa. The pain has gotten to be too much to bear. Osheh katam &endash; Gar
ASHBURY REGISTRY OF TEACHERS. Referrals for a wide range of skills. Discretion assured. Teachers: get students without spending all your time recruiting. See Prof. Turlough Kuranes.
TO THOSE WHOM I WAS IN THE SPIDER CAVERNS with: I would like to say that I'm very impressed with the way in which we made a good team, considering we were all tossed together into the place. If you ever need a celestial caster, just ask me. I would glady join you if I have no duties to take care of first. &endash; Khalynhi Vandewalker MacMorna
ATTENTION ASHBANS! Has all the recent necromancer activity got you more than a bit frightened? Are worried that someday, either your relatives or your eternal rest may one day be disturbed by someone using the forces of Chaos? Be afraid no longer! We at the Ashbury Undertaker Guild shall make sure you're protected! Arrange in advance for yourself to make sure your wishes are fulfilled! And be sure to remember your loved ones when, enivitably, their time comes. &endash; Aerryl, Undertaker Guildmaster.
JONATHAN DRAGONHART: My friendship and thanks are yours. You helped us survive. &endash; Brynn Anhur Ravenchild
AFFORDABLE PROPERTY PROTECTION is now provided by Perplexed Productions. Speak to Perplexicaticus Asplundh.