Kanordehil Threat from Dur Namarie Defeated
During the first week of September, 604, Squire Rorii of the Ash Forest mysteriously disappeared in a flash of blue energy. It was unknown at the time what fate had befallen him and there was great concern throughout the forest.
Several days later, Prince Gilthalion Thantellin of Imladar arrived in the town of Joram’s Woods where many of the adventurers and nobles of Ashbury had gathered. His Highness called all the elves present to him.
Through a vision ritual, Queen Celwen of Imladar had seen Rorii in a room high atop a great tower crackling with energy. After bestowing many powerful rituals upon the gathered elves in a display of magic rarely if ever seen, the prince rifted the elves to the far away tower, presumably in Dur Namarie.
It is reported that the elves then proceeded to fight their way from the base of the tower to the very top. They faced various golems of great power, wooden constructs that resembled elves and several Kanoredhil commanders. But it was in the topmost level of the tower that they met their most fearsome foe.
In a room seemingly made of magical force, they encountered the dreaded Mithrauko and his shadow mage liege, the Minyakan. Rorii was indeed also in this room and had apparently spent some time there talking with the two Kanoredhil.
The Minyakan attempted to turn Rorii to the ways of Dur Namarie, bribing him with power and other boons. All this Rorii refused. The Minyakan then sought to persuade him through fear and obliterated the amani ranger Scarn Whiteleaf, utilizing dragon magic and a seed from the Amani Spirit Tree. This ostentatious show of power and disregard for life did not sway Rorii. The Minyakan next chose Daralasia to be obliterated.
As the Minyakan began the ritual, Mithrauko attempted to intervene, using his innate ability to build a prison. The Minyakan phased out of existence for a moment and the magical energy simply whistled through the air where he had stood. He then commanded Mithrauko not to interfere.
The Minyakan began the ritual again, and this time Mithrauko used some sort of ritual spellstrike on the Minyakan. This seemed to destroy the Minyakan to his permanent death. Mithrauko then rifted the elves back to Joram’s Woods and quickly left.
Mithrauko returned on the afternoon of Sunday, September 12th, 604. He was carrying his familiar purple robes and black crown. Upon seeing him, Scarn immediately attacked. The Kanoredhil quickly went gaseous. Regent Sir Du’gaul ordered Scarn to stand down. Sir Du’gaul, Rorii and Daralasia escorted the gaseous form into a ward. The details of what transpired inside the ward are not known. But it is known that Mithrauko permanently died, seemingly of old age.
Before his death, he revealed a few things. The armies of the Kanoredhil have fallen into disarray and have abandoned the siege of Alacondras, the capital city of Imladar. The lands of Dur Namarie have been sealed off from the rest of the world by a dome of blue, celestial energy. Even the other Kanoredhil cannot get back. Also, whatever energies were sustaining the Kanoredhil long past their normal life spans have failed, causing the Kanoredhil to quickly succumb to the ravages of old age and time.
Several weeks later, Prince Gilthalion returned and took any interested to the “spirit” tree the Kanoredhil had created in Ashbury. He handed his sword “Glawar” to Scarn and gave him some instructions. Scarn then activated a powerful spellstrike ritual within the sword and smote the tree with. The tree then returned to the normal pine it had been for so long before being tainted.
It seems the Kanoredhil threat is over. Their leader and Mithrauko are permanently dead and their lands are sealed off from the rest of Fortannis.
Rifts Appear in Ashbury City
For several weeks, Galanthian prophets have been predicting a “Great Concordance” in Ashbury City. On the evening of October 1, 604 the Concordance arrived. Four rifts opened in the very center of the city, one of water, one of stone, one of order and one of death. Elementals began pouring out of each rift and mindlessly attacking passersby.
That night and over the next day, four Galanthians came to the city and were infused by the elemental power of the rifts. The first was Sintara Mox, a member of the Sabin Descry, the bureaucrats and administrators of Galanthia. She infused with the rift of stone and explained to the Ashbans that she wished to rid Galanthia of slavery, prophecy and necromancy. She said she wished to bring peace and freedom to the people.
The next day a group of Swords of Lore and undead came to Ashbury and began to attack the adventurers. During the ensuing chaos, the vampire general Lochaber snuck into town and, strangely enough, infused with the element of order.
Once this was done he called for the human Swords of Lore to retreat and he himself left town, followed by several of the nobility. Baron Morgassander, Sir Jonothan, Squires Gabriel and Rorii all spoke with him for some time.
After the parlay, His Excellency ordered the attack, but Lochaber went gaseous and continued his retreat. The Ashbans were intercepted by several undead and while fighting them, Lochaber solidified and commanded the undead to destroy themselves before fleeing into the woods.
A third Galanthian named Varlisa Tor infused with the element of water after a parlay with several Ashbans. She explained that she was from the Devorra, who judge all other Galanthians. She did not seek leadership of Galanthia, but knew she must infuse with water to fulfill the prophecies. The Ashbans present allowed her to do this and leave peacefully.
The final Galanthian to arrive was Daress Vale, a hedge prophet. After explaining that it was his destiny to find Glantri reborn and see him upon the throne of Galanthia, the Ashbans allowed him to infuse with the element of death.
The next day, a huge rift of all four elements opened and deposited all four Galanthians within a huge vortex of all four elements. Inside the circle, the four began to speak with each other. The vampire Lochaber’s demeanor was quite changed from the day before (see accompanying article) and he taunted and interrogated the others. Sintara Mox refused to give in to his demands as did Daress Vale and each was prisoned in turn. Varlisa Tor merely stated that her destiny was to remain Devorra regardless of who ruled. Lochaber then killed the two prisoned Galanthians and as the second body hit the ground, the vortex erupted in a huge explosion, knocking all present to the ground and knocking out all wards and circles of power in the area (they fortunately went back up an hour later). In addition, all four rifts disappeared at this time.
The vampiress Arienne had been watching from the Circle of Power Morganna had created the night before and was quickly surrounded by the Ashbans when her Circle went down. Battle ensued, as Lochaber, Swords of Lore and undead all began to attack the Ashbans.
The battle was fierce and it seemed the two vampires were merely playing with the Ashbans and not really fighting to win. Arienne wielded the Dagger of Morganna that can obliterate someone with the slightest touch. Both vampires seemed much more powerful than in the past and Lochaber’s once honorable and chivalrous nature now seemed quite changed as he seemed to delight in the chaos their troops were causing.
The Ashbans eventually prevailed and even took down Arienne. Squire Gabriel staked her, but to no avail. Some say delicate laughter could almost be heard mocking his attempt. The vampire Lochaber spirit recalled away. Both Sintara Mox and Varlisa Tor stayed and talked to the Ashbans for a while after the battle.
In the days since this happened, it seems the prophecies were correct in that the Great Concordance would mean great change for Galanthia. Under Lochaber, the armies of the Swords of Lore have already brought order through martial law to the nation. Rival political factions have been crushed under the iron heels of the military.
The civil war of Galanthia seems to be over, but to what end only time will tell.
Mastermind Permanently Slain
The dreaded necromantic creature called the Mastermind has met his final death on Saturday afternoon after the first of October. The events leading to his final death brought adventurers on a quest through the Unseelie Fey realm, against an army of undead in Joram’s Wood, and finally here, in Ashbury City, where his goblin forces were decimated.
In the future that many of the adventurers visited, this foul creature had risen to the power of liche, and menaced Icenia with not one, but two Goblin Wars.
When the adventurers returned to the present timeline after their year of absence they found that the Mastermind was already a being of great power and influence among the goblins, many of which were transforming from annoying but not very dangerous creatures into deadly foes as they went from green to gray.
Before the summer months, it was discovered that the Mastermind was trying to somehow summon his future self and the adventurers of Ashbury stepped in to try to stop him. He seemingly needed three magical artifacts: the Brain, Heart, and Cloak of the Future Mastermind to complete the ritual.
The adventurers managed to stop him from acquiring all but the Heart – which was not enough to stop him from transforming into a liche before their eyes and spirit recalling away.
A month ago, the adventurers traveled to Joram’s Woods to stop the Mastermind from gaining control over a mound in Rodericks’ Rest, Corheim. While there, the adventurers discovered that they could enter this mound and reverse the process that changed the green goblins gray, thus weakening his forces.
The Mastermind then surprised the gathered adventurers when he led a force of spectral undead through the town of Joram’s Wood. Brave individuals attacked the vile creature and were not only able to repel the spectral undead, but were actually able to actually bring down the creature. Scarn Whiteleaf, Sparticous, Sir Regent Du’Gal, Squire Gabriel, and Lyle Zaradan of House Black Forest were among the adventurers who cut down the creature.
The following day, the beautiful Hannah appeared in Joram’s Wood. Hannah will probably be best remembered as the mysterious mystic wood elf that travels through Ashbury City from time to time offering Ritual Scrolls as prizes in song competitions. She offered to lead those interested to the mound, and further, into the mound – to seal it, and cut off the Mastermind’s power.
The adventurers present either entertained her or offered her strange golden coins to enter the black mists seeping out of a crack in the mound. The Black Forest gave a powerfully amusing rendition of a song, and Squire Glorianna led most of the rest of those gathered in the Hokey Pokey, to the laughter of many.
Once inside the mound, the adventurers found themselves in the Unseelie Fey realm, and had to run for their lives as floating will-o-wisps tried to pull unwary adventurers off the path.
Those who were pulled off the path found themselves in what was later deemed a “penalty box” and were subjected to attacks from strange fey creatures and visits from a powerful, horned and fanged creature who resembled Lord Faust that has been seen around Ashbury as of late. The creature was animal-like and unapproachable and most certainly was not like the smooth talking witty being that the adventurers had come to expect. Whether or not this was Faust is uncertain.
Those who made it down the path were allowed to turn over their golden coins to enter a mist shrouded chamber where almost everyone had to overcome challenges and puzzles, as was expected when dealing with Fey. The Faust-like creature was present there as well, menacing Hannah and causing her to visibly tremble in fear many times.
Several of the challenges were overcome with ease, while others were too difficult. In each challenge a shard of the mound could be recovered, each of which was needed to seal off the dark fey power that was changing the goblins gray.
Each shard had unique and interesting magical properties. In one challenge, adventurers had to negotiate with fire elementals, in another they had to free a dryad, while in others trying to calm down a hyper fey caused the restlessness to be inflicted on Sir Jonathan!
In one challenge the fox scavenger Sivak crawled under sticky spider webs to disarm several traps in order to free a little girl. During her disarming of the traps, a horrid spider creature descended from the ceiling and imprisoned those facing the challenge dragging them to the ‘penalty box.’
One group was faced with a blot of paint and asked to describe what was seen – only to have the very thing they described appear before their eyes! And one challenge, touted as a race, ended up being a contest of dodging binding spells and later Dragon’s Breath spells! His Excellence Baron Morgasander, known to be fleet of foot, was taken down and almost as soon as he hit the ground something rifted him out of the realm! He was only seen again a month later.
At the end of the series of challenges, the adventurers had managed to obtain seven of nine shards.
They then met a shadowy, dark robed figure that some said looked like the spirit of death itself. The being informed them that they must return to the mortal world with the shards, and cast a Destroy Celestial Magic ritual on the Galanthian sigil on top of the mound with all of the shards present and that would complete the seal and change the goblins back. The creature was later seen in town casually conversing with Squire Gabriel telling him that whosoever were to cast the Destroy Magic would suffer an Obliteration as an automatic flaw.
Adventurers went to leave the mound only to find their way blocked by those adventurers who had been trapped by the will-o-wisps. The captured adventurers were under the effect of dominate spells, but otherwise seemed unharmed.
After they were awakened, all of the gathered adventurers fought their way past hundreds of dark fey creatures, finally breaking free into the setting sun.
The following day, the being called Sylva appeared to the adventurers saying that he knew the risks and would be happy to be in the Circle to cast the ritual. He told them that the goblins were marching on the mound and that there was little time.
Little did the adventurers know that he had a trick up his sleeve. The night before, he had managed to trick the adventuring group No-Code into obtaining for him a fey crown which allowed him to become fey again upon completion of the ritual to seal the mound.
During the ritual, an army of gray goblins attacked the adventurers and things looked grim. As the ritual completed, many of the gray goblins present turned green again and were thus defeated with ease. Sylva, fey once more, rifted out promising to return to Ashbury city to offer the adventurers a favor. He informed those gathered that because some of the shards were missing, not all of the gray goblins would be turned green again.
Less than one month later, a horde of green goblins attacked Ashbury city. Leading the charge was a green goblin calling itself the Mastermind. Many looked on in wonder as he demanded “shinys.” Apparently whatever had returned him to his green state also returned him to a traditional goblin intellogence.
He led the charge against Ashban defenders blowing spell incantations for necromantic spells. Two swift blows from Councilman Zephrin of the Children of Camulous felled the goblin.
As the Mastermind lay defeated, many of his minions continued attacking. During the attack the Mastermind regenerated on the spot and was swiftly confined by visiting Caldarian Varen, who then delivered the final killing blow to the green menace. The Mastermind dissipated then, only to reform permanently dead a moment later.
Scarn was seen carrying the creature’s head, and the Sarr Tithraq was seen parading around with his nose.
Let that be the last we see of the Mastermind.
Western Border Brigade of Requin’s Maulers Joins Ashbury
When the adventurers of Ashbury answered His Grace’s call to go to Corheim and stop that which was powering the Mastermind, they didn’t realize that they’d also be negotiating with an Evendarrian knight for the rejoining of parts of three estates to Corheim.
Requin’s Maulers were looking to form an alliance with a country. With all of the turbulence in Corheim (trolls, Galanthians, Icenian expansion, and fear of the encroach of the Plane Touched) the Maulers knew that they could no longer stand alone. The prevailing feeling among them was that they wished for their ‘outlaw’ lifestyle to stop, and they wished to settle down under the protection of a country. At the time, both Galanthia and Icenia were attractive options to the Maulers. Though Galanthia has its own internal strife right now, many of the Maulers felt that joining Icenia was an insult to their fallen leader, Count Requin, and that they might have to face the consequences of following his lead.
As many know, Count Requin surrendered to Ashban forces over four years ago, and at that time many of his followers did as well. Many more of his forces surrendered over the course of the next few months due to negotiations with then (now ex-) Baron Agnar. Last year, further forces joined Icenia in the estate of Deathwatch. The Western Border Brigade (which watched Evendarr to the south, Niman to the north, and Quintari to the west) withdrew from the internal strife of Trellheim after Requin surrendered and solidified their forces. At the time of this writing, they are 3000 strong. Amidst the chaos, two great leaders arose, a Royal Knight named Sir Padrin Darius and a Master Assassin named Marcus Nescopeck.
Instrumental in broaching negotiations with Sir Padrin was General Maximilian Farhil, known for his negotiations in regaining Dara’s Grace (then called “Deathwatch”). Sir Padrin is a staunch follower of the Code of Chivalry, and was unaware of Requin’s dealings with the Mal Draco and necromancers, but he felt that his loyalty to Evendarr would be defaulted should he join with Icenia. It was up to those present to convince him that his oaths would not be changed. Squire Gabriel especially was able to show Sir Padrin that an oath to Icenia was in order.
There was just one obstacle at that point: the Assassin Marcus Nescopeck. Marcus had apparently been able to enslave a large number of Padrin’s men by use of a huge alchemy lab where he had enslaved Children of Camulous making enslavement elixirs. Once the adventurers of Ashbury had aided in destroying this facility and freeing the Children of Camulous, Padrin had enough proof and enough conviction that the assassin must be stopped. Padrin at this point decided that he would join with Icenia.
Padrin had a meeting scheduled with his top lieutenants to discuss what his followers wanted. They hatched a plan wherein Padrin’s personal guards, and the personal guards of his most trusted Lt. Adrienne would be replaced with adventurers. Squires Daralassia and Rorii, along with the elves Mitchiko and Talon, accompanied Sir Padrin.
Once Padrin made his announcement, there was an attck. Padrin’s most trusted advisors turned out to be enslaved to Marcus the assassin. The fighting was fierce and Marcus showed prowess in alchemy, attacking from behind, and hurling necromancy! He also wielded a curved yellow blade with a red snake wrapped around the hilt, which when later identified showed that it was capable of storing multiple elixirs as weapon coatings on the blade. Marcus was even seen to swing his blade with an enslavement elixir upon it. Eventually it was Squire Rorii and Padrin himself who were able to defeat this powerful assassin.
Sir Padrin visited His Grace a month after these events transpired, and it is known that His Grace and Sir Padrin were going to travel to speak with King Gareth.
Red Wraiths Ravage Retreat
Throughout the duchy, red spectral forms had been seen moving about eerily in the night. On Friday, October 1, 604, they came to Ashbury City.
In voices barely above whispers, they were heard to say “The Joining is at hand” “The two lines shall be one” and “The joined shall be invincible.” The creatures were in some sort of spirit form and could not affect nor be affected by anything.
They returned the next evening and beckoned for the Ashbans to follow, and many did. They were led several miles outside of town, down an overgrown path to a decrepit warehouse.
The intrepid adventurers braved a thick fog and entered the building. Inside were three adjacent Circles of Power. In the center one was a brazier with the glow of hot coals emanating from it. Also in this Circle were two pedestals. Upon one was a Stake of Woe and the Book of the Dawn. On the other was the Cup of Morganna and some parchment.
It did not take long for several figures to materialize inside the center circle via a spirit walk ritual. The first to materialize was the vampiress Arienne, followed close behind by three dread lords dragging a beaten Lochaber. They tossed him into one of the other Circles that also had a domain of the damned upon it. Two more figures reformed in the circle, a fourth dread lord who was carrying a young, teenage girl who had been visiting Ashbury with her parents the night before and that afternoon. The dread lord quite brutally threw her into the third Circle.
Lochaber immediately began imploring Arienne not to “go through with it” and stating that it would destroy everything. She stated that the Ashbans had already destroyed everything and that she had nothing to lose.
Lochaber was also overheard telling the dread lords they were nothing but pathetic facsimiles of a true undead, that they were nothing but mounds of putrid, decaying, rotten flesh and that he would destroy them when this was over. They seemed angry at this, but did not attack him. Lochaber for once seemed to completely lose his composure and hissed and growled at the dread lords and Arienne in a feral display.
Arienne then began a bizarre ritual quite different from normal ritual magics. She threw the stake of woe and a page from the Book of the Dawn into the brazier. Large flashes of flamed leaped up each time. She then sliced the young girl’s arm and drained her blood into the Cup of Morganna.
The most horrific act then happened, as the vile Arienne obliterated the innocent girl with the dagger. Arienne then added Lochaber’s blood to the cup and then her own. She also seemed to add ashes from the brazier into the cup.
After her vile necromantic potion was concocted, she drank of it. Then she moved to Lochaber and forced it down his throat as well. Both vampires fell to the ground, seemingly in agony. Both were slow to get up.
As Lochaber rose, he was heard to repeat several times, “Arienne, what have you done?” When he received no reply, he looked up and smiled malevolantly, saying “I feel great.”
As if on some cue, the red figures materialized and began to attack the Ashbans. Undead also broke through the floorboards of the old warehouse and began their attack. Arienne and Lochaber stood in the Circle and seemed to be amicably chatting for a bit.
By the time they seemed to take an interest in the battle, all of the Ashbans were either down, had retreated, or had been infected by the red figures that are now being called “Blood Wraiths.”
Arienne and Lochaber seemingly had the ability to control the possessed people, which they referred to as blood thralls. They began sending them back to Ashbury City “to show Ashbury what we are capable of.”
Lochaber did indeed keep his word and destroyed two of the dread lords. When Arienne asked him why he had done so, he casually remarked, “I can’t stand the way they smell.” The two vampires eventually strolled to Ashbury City, laughing and observing. They soon seemed to grow bored of the spectacle and left.
After what seemed to be several hours with many adventurers being forced to hide behind Wards while their fellows wandered outside, the remaining blood wraiths left and the remaining blood thralls were subdued.
Sadly, there were at least nine resurrections from this ordeal, including Bosh, Alexander, Wildescent, Ahurak, Cassandra, Zephrin, Squire Daralassia and Ket.
It seems like it could have been even worse had the vampires been intent on more than an ostentatious display of power.
Loscarnos de Morganna Defeated
The evil vampire Loscarnos de Morganna has apparently been defeated.
On the night before the creature’s defeat, High Lord Gilthalion approached the nobles of Ashbury with a gift. In the defeat of the Kanoridhil, he was able to retrieve an item he called the “crystal blossom ambuscade,” an inescapable prison by which Loscarnos de Morganna could be trapped.
After much discussion during a secret meeting at the Sage’s Guild, it was the consensus of the nobles that Squire Gabriel Bruce be the one to use this weapon due to his long history with the creature and the vampire’s tendency to make non-violent efforts to recruit Gabriel into his “family.”
The following day, that Saturday, the creature himself did indeed enter into town to examine the four planar gates that had opened. He wasted no time in creating another circle of power in the city and investing several of his minions. The adventurers of Ashbury bravely battled his minions, while Morganna strolled about examining the rifts and commenting on each one to his followers.
The adventurers of Ashbury discerned the pattern by which he was examining these gates and moved ahead of him to set an ambush at Death’s gate. “I thought this to be a fitting place for the creature that had escaped death for so long,” said Squire Gabriel later.
Several people, including Baron Morgassander, Cedric and Scarn, distracted Morganna while Gabriel armed the device. Once Loscarnos de Morganna was within range, Gabriel used the crystal blossom to capture Morganna and shatter his spirit, sending fragments across the planes, one piece getting sucked into each rift.
A scream of dismay was heard from the vampiress Arienne as she spirit recalled away. This was soon followed by a loud cheer from the group that sprung the trap. Others battling in the area did not seem to realize the momentous event that had just happened. The rest of Morganna’s minions were quickly dispatched.
However, many still wonder whether Morganna is gone for good. “I don’t recall Sir Gilthalion saying anything about the item blowing up like it did,” said Sir Eros later.
Sylva Becomes Fey Again, Offers Adventurers Favor
Sylva, once a minion of the Unseelie Fey Queen, appeared in the Greater Earth Circle in Ashbury city over a year ago to all appearances mortal. He claimed to have been kicked off of the Unseelie Fey court and also claimed that he wanted to help Ashbury.
Previously Sylva had appeared a number of times to help Ashbury (most notably against Panselore’s Darklings) but always at great cost.
Though some adventurers claimed that he should be slain on site, others thought that he should be given a chance. He was executed for his past crimes against Ashbury and afterwards assisted the adventurers of Ashbury in banishing the Crix (a horrible cloud of death) some months ago.
Sylva apparently had ulterior motives when he came into town to assist against the Gray Goblin menace that were revealed when he tricked the inexperienced group No-Code into obtaining the method for his transformation back into his former fey power.
He arrived at the beginning of the month in Ashbury city to offer his thanks for harboring him and keeping him alive, offering the gathered adventurers a boon. The nobles of Ashbury argued extensively about what the boon should be and at one point seemed to agree that they should require Sylva to follow the Code of Chivalry.
However, eventually they agreed that it would be best to ask for help in lifting the Curse of the Lempur, a task that Sylva himself had hinted that he might be able to assist with.
One is left to wonder with the lifting of the Curse, what price will be to pay, and who in the end will pay it.
Strange Visitor from an Unknown Foreign Land visits College
A strange human named Sarnak from beyond the Plains of Rage visited the Bardic College. He said that he was sent there by the gypsy Ket, Daedric, and several others whom he met in Joram’s Wood. He wore yellow, and had around his eye a strange red symbol. He was interviewed by several students there.
The man referred to the Plains of Rage as “The Wild Lands” and stated that he was an explorer. He told college interviewers that he is from a desert land from the other side of the wild lands called Slythe – and has been sent because his people do not think that there are sentient creatures in the world other than the wild men in the wild lands (who are so barbaric and destructive that they are scarcely considered sentient by his people).
He said that his Lord, the Lord Eyefang, had theorized that there were other beings – a theory which seems to have outcast the Slythe Lord.
Now that Sarnak has arrived here, he can bring news to his Lord that indeed there is civilization on the other side of the wild lands. He mentioned several times that his Lord is seeking to find black creatures, with pointed ears, wearing black and maroon. He explained that the people in Joram’s Wood had said that these creatures were called Dark Elves.
The man had much interest in the simplist of things, such as detailed maps, and questions about all of the races of Fortanis. Where he comes from, he was heard to say, the Healer’s Guild is called “The Order of the White Serpent” and only those born to it may heal. He went on to explain that healing magic is so rare as to be nearly unheard of in his lands.
When asked he described his lands as a desert area near the far coast, beyond the great mountain chain. His discription includes great spires of yellow rock jutting out of the desert like fangs and ruled by the Slythe. He explained that most of the people were involved in farming or trading.
When more information about his lands are available, the Ashbury Times will be happy to report it.
Career Criminal Gilwing Banished from Ashbury
In a decision derided by a few and cheered by many, Duke Sir Frost Vardik has banished the dwarf Gilwing from the lands of Ashbury and Icenia.
Gilwing, from the mercenary group Black Forest, had once been Kelanor IV’s champion and wielder of the blade Moonshadow, an ancient gift to the dwarves from the elves long ago.
He had been executed several years ago for the murder of Robert Oakwood and had also been found guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the death of a carnival worker. Since at the time he was a noble from Trollsgate, he was banished for that offense and sent to King Kelanor for punishment, who removed his title. Gilwing was also a suspect in crimes involving the treasonous theft of the Vessel of Vapors.
The current and second banishment followed Gilwing’s comments mocking Sir Eros Clearbrook, whom he was known to have a long standing dislike for.
His Grace levied a fine upon Gilwing, who then proceeded to show disrespect for Duke Frost. Duke Frost then raised the fine and stated that continued insolence would result in banishment. More comments from Gilwing followed, and the announcement of the banishment was made soon after.
His Grace did not say whether this banishment was permanent.
Investigation Launched within Ducal Army
Word has reached His Grace of alleged corruption within the Untiring phalanx of the Griffon’s Ire legion, stationed at the border of the contested lands. According to rumor and unconfirmed reports, several soldiers were involved in underpaying craftsmen and farmers from local villages for the army’s supplies.
A cobbler from Joram’s Wood told Ashbury Times reporters that the army representatives cited cutbacks in their phalanx’s funds as the reason for decreased payments. Commander Argo Genault of the Untiring has denied any such loss of funds and vows to root out all involved parties in this scheme.
“It’s a disgrace to honor, and a violation of the trust and good relations we have established with the villages of Dara’s Grace,” the commander has stated. “We’ll get to the bottom of this, and I’ll see to it that anyone in on this scheme is justly punished. And kicked out of my phalanx!”
Commander Genault is requesting that anyone with any information that might help this investigation to contact him directly.
Undead Wild Elves Found Near Joram’s Woods
A group of several wild elves were in Joram’s Woods. They were searching for a gift of life ritual. They would not say what they needed it for, only that their elders required it. They were in and out of town several times.
Early one Sunday afternoon, the wild elves were finally convinced to bring some of the Ashbans to meet with their elders. At the same time, another group of adventurers stumbled upon several undead wild elves. These abominations attacked the small group, including Ezri and Lentis of the Crimson Star. Help was sought back in town and several adventurers including Squire Gabriel, Lhasa Skamar, Lord Kuwo of the Three Kingdoms and Drake Nevermore were able to dispatch the undead. The wild elves were very upset, as it was the very spot where they were supposed to meet their elders. Concern for their elders was apparent on their faces as they fled into the woods to search for them.
Sage’s Guild Report
by Guildmaster Cedric Fruvous
It has come to my attention that some of the newer adventurers in Ashbury may believe that we in the Sage’s Guild restrict information on cases that are of interest to the duchy to members. I would simply like to state that this is not the case. For the most part any information that the Sage’s Guild receives is free for public perusal.
Since I have taken over leadership of the Sage’s Guild, the only book that I have restricted access to is the copy of the Manual of the Brotherhood we have acquired from His Grace, and the reasons for this should be fairly obvious.
The Sage’s Guild exists to gather information about the past so that we can use it to solve puzzles that threaten the duchy in the present. If you have any questions or information on any of these issues feel free to stop by. You do not have to be a member of the Sage’s Guild for us to share our information with you. I hope that this has cleared up any confusion.
The Sage’s Guild sells Wards at the price of one gold crown and Wizard’s Locks at the price of five silver nobles and we guarantee discretion as to which you get. If you wish to reserve a Ward, speak to Guildmaster Cedric. Wards and Wizard’s Locks are reserved on a first come first served basis. The Sage’s Guild also sells potions, weapons, armor, alchemy and wine when we have some available.
The Sage’s Guild also can teach skills to newer adventurers for a nominal fee. If you find yourself without your spell or recipe book, the Sage’s Guild can rent you ours. And, of course, we offer the use of our library for research.
The Sage’s Guild is looking to purchase Lore, Vision, Circle of Power, and Investiture ritual scrolls.
To All Citizens and Visitors to Ashbury and Icenia,
I am pleased to announce the fealty of Sir Padrin Darrius to the Duchy of Ashbury and the Kingdom of Icenia. Sir Padrin shall become a ducal knight of Ashbury, serving under myself.
Sir Padrin brings with him many years of experience as a knight. He formerly served in my homeland of Evendarr under King Mykell as a royal knight. He had been stationed primarily in the estate of Kurash, guarding the border of Ashbury, Niman and Quentari. He and his troops were brought to Fortannis by the Black Maw that transported all of Ashbury.
Sir Padrin shall receive the newly liberated estates of Kurash and Bristol. His troops shall be designated as Legion E of the Ducal Armies. This legion shall be known as “The Western Border Brigade.” The addition of these troops will allow us to utilize Phalanx D, “The Griffin’s Ire” in other areas of the duchy and abroad.
Please join me in welcoming Sir Padrin and his courageous troopers to the Duchy of Ashbury and Icenia.
Duke Sir Frost Vardik
I write again to thank the brave adventurers of Ashbury for assisting me on several dangerous expeditions.
I am happy to report a primary success with the recovery of a greater werewolf’s tooth. I had hoped to collect the essence from one of the will o’ wisps that appeared on the outskirts of Joram’s Wood, but regrettably that has eluded me. Should any of you adventurers have come into possession of a will o’ wisp’s essence, I would gladly offer the extensive services of the Bardic College, and whatever funds I can arrange, for its exchange.
I am also in search of a Gift of Life ritual scroll, and would likewise offer the above for it. Please feel free to contact me via messenger, or just stop by when you’re looking up the next incredibly obscure tidbit at the Bardic College.
Dean Calwan Graem, Bardic College
To the people of Ashbury,
I must apologize for the many deaths and resurrections that took place that terrible night when the bloodlines were joined. I am told that, upon being taken by the creatures, I caused a number of deaths. I am also aware that many other deaths were caused by the two vampires, as well as by their crimson minions, whose concern lies not with the people of Ashbury, but with me alone.
My sincere thanks go to all those who stood with me, and bled with me, through dark times. My understanding goes to all those who choose not to do so if we see a night like that one again.
To whomever set me up to be ambushed recently:
You missed. Oh, and the sword is spirit linked.
Start wishing that I never find out who you are....
To the good people of Ashbury,
There is every reason to believe that one of our own adventuring population is working along side the bandits responsible for several ambushes and thefts of magical items these past months. I will personally pay highly for information on this issue.
Anyone with information on the attack of Scarn, please come forward and speak with me in Ashbury City or in Dockside, or send me a letter detailing what you know. Your confidentiality is ensured.
Sheriff Sir Harrison Ryatt
Letters may be edited for grammar, spelling, and space considerations
A Little Birdie Told Me
by Sue D’Onym
Thers is much to report this issue, but based on my mail, it seems that all anyone wants to talk about is Gilwing!
It seems that a lot of started when Gilwing ordered Dominic to cast necromancy in the lands of Moria and then showed little remorse for the act. Tempers then flared between members of Black Forest and the courts of Blythedale and Ash Forest because the nobles of Ashbury refused to trust a group that follows a necromancer who is “Voice” of their House. Lira Soulsfire retorted that the nobles of Ashbury seem to only recognize the nobility of the Arandin Empire when they order choas to be summoned, but ignore Arandin titles any other time. After Squire Darlassia called the Black Forest a “bunch of necromancers,” Michiko, a twilight elf from the lands of Caldaria, committed suicide in order to regain her honor, which only added to the tension. (It seems that although members of Black Forest are willing to sacrifice their lives to regain their House’s honor, Gilwing will not offer the same.)
Later, Gilwing had claimed he would “regain his honor,” to which Sir Eros replied that you “can’t regain what you never had.” His Grace Sir Frost was none too pleased with his paladin’s sharp tongue concerning Gilwing and had quite a bit to say to him about appropriate appearances and decorum.
Besides his legal problems, it seems Gilwing’s “Informal House of Moria” is falling apart as well. Were they ever really any more than a mercenary company anyway? But after Gilwing’s basnishment, they’re leaving like rats from a sinking ship. Alexander, Kheritana, Air Raaksa, Braveroar, Mugg, Lira and Auric have all distanced themselves from their former house and some have been seeking advice from Duke Frost himself. A few have even asked Barons Morgasander and Baroness Glen to be considered for their noble houses, but their reputation by association seems to standing in the way (although Baroness Glen had many of them over for breakfast).
However, it has been reported to me that Olivia Delrune and Lyle Zaradan have apparently not joined the rest of the retreating rats and have resigned from the Ashbury Town Guard after Sheriff Harrison made them choose between wearing the town guard colors or that of Black Forest. Olivia, winner of the Duchess’ favor at this year’s tournament, was heard suggesting that Black Forest just go bad rather than try to be good with a soiled reputation.
And speaking of people being banished, His Grace has also banished two obnoxious gypsies named Derek and Kerjal from some other land I’ve never heard of who apparently believe that they know more about what is going on here through the mists than those who live here in Ashbury. It’s amazing how brave some people can be when they send messages through the mists, hm? Anyway, apparently some important gypsy cup has been sitting in the Sage’s Guild for years until Glorianna and others took it back for her people, but then the Duke ordered it identified or something...well, I don’t know all the details but some gypsies think that whatever they want is more important than what His Grace wants!
But enough about that! Let’s move on. Tithraq was seen playing games with Lord Faust, self proclaimed ruler of the Unseelie. Tithraq’s purple nose now joins the purple ears of Bosh, the purple hair of Garuda and the purple lips of Raven. With the return of the purple tabards of the Black Unicorns, the purple tabards of Nordenn and the purple robes of Cedric, are there any adventurers left that are not purple?
Squire Daralassia has been seen cozying up to Prince Gilthalion of Imladar lately. Perhaps she has changed her goal from becoming knight to becoming princess.
The vampiress Arienne seems to go through men faster than a mystic wood elf. Her relationship with Squire Gabriel has become stone cold dead (or is that undead?). Then mere hours after the demise of her sire Loscarnos de Morganna, she has a new man, the Galanthian vampire Matros Lochaber. Lochaber seemed to spurn Arienne’s advances at first, but her wiles (and four dread lord preceptors) proved too persuasive for even the strong willed general. This is one relationship I hope ends with irreconcilable differences.
Rock has apparently a thing for hats! A while ago he was seen sporting around Braveroar’s helmet and saluting all those who passed by. He was heard asking Morgan to stroke his helmet, to which he looked at Gabriel and said, “you only wish you had a helmet like mine.”
Even though Paythin has left the court of Blythedale, it hasn’t stopped him from trying to attain squireship. He was seen speaking to Lord Jonathan and couseling him on several matters of the adventuring populace as well as discussing tatics with Squire Rorii of the court of the Ash Forest.
Dragon’s Flagon owner Zatarina Norvick has hired a hobling businessman named Tommi Tumbledown to manage the place, and he has already announced a fine menu for all meals and is even bringing in some rare wines and ales from various lands. Tommi also plans on buying and selling adventuring supplies such as potions, scrolls, weapons, armor, and the like.
Although it has not yet been confirmed, I have it on the highest authority that Shya has resigned from being head of the Healer’s Guild and that Lhasa has been appointed to take her place. Lhasa was plenty busy a few weeks ago with all those resurrections to do, but she handled it well. Shya has made no public comment about her decision, but it is well known that she ran the Guild well and was liked by the people of Ashbury, so there doesn’t seem to be any scandal involved, much to my dismay. (Scandals sell more papers!)
Well, that’s all the News They Don’t Want You To Know for this month. Keep those cards and letters coming and remember: If you can’t say something nice about someone, come sit by me.
IN NEED OF A WEAPON or armor, but you haven’t the coin? Speak with Sparticous or Paythin of the “Order of the Black Unicorn”. Also seeking many and various ritual scrolls and components.
ATTENTION ALL BIATA: To those interested in furthering their understanding of the abilities inherent to our race, please join with your fellows andteach while you learn. All biata are welcome, whether well schooled in the mental arts or those who have not had the fortune of having access to a competant teacher. For further details please speak with Tieran or Shya.
GABRIEL: you had your chance. It could have been you at my side. But lucky for me, I found someone better. All that is left for you is…nothing. – Arienne
DRAGON’S FLAGON HELP WANTED. I would be most interested in purchasing hard liquers as I haven’t been able to find a good fermented corn liquer. I will pay a fair price for any stock that is brought to the tavern. Also preserved meats, cheeses, pickled and hard boiled eggs and special breads are of interest.I will hire entertainment for Friday evening/Night Saturday Day and evening. If you play an instrument/sing/act/dance/juggle/perform slight of hand/read poetry/draw sketches, please see me by Friday evening so I can schedule you. – Tommi Tumbledown
CEDRIC: Thank you for the fine wine and the hospitality. I look forward to visiting again. – Prince Gilthalion Thantellin
LOOKING TO TRADE for the following scrolls: Arcane Armor, Bane, Cloak, Channel, Spell Parry, Expanded Enchantment, Regeneration, Permanent Duration. Will trade gold, permanent magic items and other scrolls and catalysts. – Lord Find’rth T’Varian
INFORMATION WANTED. If anyone in Ashbury has ever heard of an elven necromancer named Escobar, please contact Sheriff Tungar of Hagarath. Reward for useful information.
UNCLE TITHRAQ: What happened to your NOSE!?!?! – Braq
ARE YOU AWARE that there are Imladari squires now on the Court of the Ash Forest?JOIN F.O.I.L.! (Free Our contamInated Land). Prevent the Ash Forest from being taken over by nonAmani! Ward the Wold! Join the society of freethinking, civilized beings who will work to effect a better culture, unfettered by adulteration and horrid admixture. Send your names, requests for membership cards, contributions and letters of support to: Teril Belayson, President and Treasurer, Belayson’s Honey Farm, Elindil, Ash Forest.