News from the front
The latest on the war for Wyndael
May 16, 20, 6E
Troll War Heats Up Along With The Weather!
This winter has been brutal on our courageous troops as they fight a war for Independence on behalf of the Wylderkin against the Frostfang Troll Usurpers! The cold weather doesn’t affect these loathsome beasts the way it does our brave men and women of the Imperial Legion. Even still, General Argus Stratos, commander of the 2nd Imperial Legion and Governor of Wyndael, has held the line in the cold weather - giving no quarter! Despite the hard work and sacrifice of our troops the abominable Trolls are entrenched in the northern half of the province.
“My men have been holding the line like I’d expect from some of the best soldiers in the Empire,” General Stratos said. “With the thawing of spring and a larger call to adventurers that the the Emperor has authorized, I’m looking to make a much harder push this spring and drive these monsters back over the Frostbite Mountains. Or, indeed, off the map entirely!”
The general’s optimism is unquestionably warranted, as many experts from Iceforge agree that the trolls, accustomed as they are to the frigid temperatures of the Glacier, may not do as well in the warmer climates they will find in the spring and summer months. Even still, the trolls are fierce and violent monsters and anyone fighting them will have a tough time of it.
“Aye, Flame’s the way! Kill it with Fire,” said Kammerpag Forgeborn, a dwarven Troll-fighter from Wolkenstadt.
Leader of Insurgency Captured!
The Wylderkin rabble rouser called Molain was recently captured after a raid by Imperial forces. Molain has been a public figure calling for resistance to Imperial rule in Wyndael advocating general obstruction, theft of supplies, property damage, and even violence and murder as a means of protest. Under the rule of General Kellin Trupp, the former commander of the 2nd Imperial Legion, Molain was captured and then executed. Molain successfully resurrected and was given the mercy of the Empire by not facing banishment or further imprisonment, but Molain went right back to his devious attacks against the very same Imperial Troops sent to protect him. He was again captured, and again executed for crimes against the Empire. In spite paying for his crimes and getting a new chance of life in the Empire Molain continues to persist in sedition. General Trupp, a highly decorated military leader, dubbed the Kin “a menace.” It seems Trupp’s assessment may be accurate as Molain has continued his treasonous activity, including the vandalism of recruitment posters for adventurers in Wyndael.
Recent intelligence operations linked Molain to a number of thefts and arson attacks on storehouses and armories in late autumn. Even though no casualties in the incidents were reported General Argus Stratos, the governor of Wyndael and current commander of the 2nd Legion, issued an order for his immediate arrest.
“By destroying the food and weapons of the soldiers of the 2nd Legion, these malcontents are actively undermining the one force that is keeping the trolls from re-invading. I will not allow them to put my troops or the innocent civilians of Wyndael in danger with their foolish and self destructive crimes.”
Hundel, the last remaining member of the Wyndael Ruling Council issued a statement supporting Imperial efforts in the area and calling upon any members of the Resistance to stop sabotaging the efforts of the Empire in the region. “Without the Empire, the trolls would return and go back to killing and brutally enslaving us. I know our history with the Empire isn’t the greatest but they are trying to help us. Without them here it would be way, way worse.”
Dryad Citizen Status Still Unclear
Although the Dryads as a people seem to have “awoken” from various trees and other plant life nine years ago, Emperor Ernst has still not decided on their official legal status. As a result many Dryad citizens within the Empire are in something of a legal limbo and their official standing tends to depend on where they dwell. Those living in the jurisdictions of Houses Heinlein, Meer and Sterne are being afforded all rights and privileges as though they are one of the citizen races protected by Imperial law. Houses Mithril, Verger and Giefer have been slower to recognize the Dryad people as citizens, leaving many who live in their jurisdictions bereft of legal protection or recourse in many cases.
“We should consider long and carefully before granting citizenship status to a race we know nothing about,” said a spokesman for House Giefer. “What contribution can they make to our Empire to warrant such an exalted status?”
“Well of course House Giefer doesn’t want them to be citizens,” said Benith Wildwood of House Heinlein. “If they don’t have legal protection Giefer gets a nice new crop of docile slaves they can legally place into bondage.” Wildwood echoed the call of Overmagnate Sandan Haynard, also of House Heinlein, for Emperor Ernst to extend legal protection to the Dryad people. So far, however, the only official word to come from House Stratos is that the Emperor is still considering the matter.
Other Citizens have a mixed view of the inclusion of legal protections to the Dryads with opinions ranging from not thinking tham different than elves to musing how are they different from Trolls. It raises interesting questions about the idea of sentience, and what should constitute a citizen race.
Seeking to Advance? Go to Wyndael!
With the thaw in winter snows Houses Sterne and Heinlein are opening up their recruitment campaigns to entice adventuresome spirits and entrepreneurs to the province of Wyndael. Recruitment so far has been slow, in part because of ill timing. The Imperial Army forced the trolls out of the southern part of the country and took Stormbreak Keep in late autumn last year, leaving little time for the houses to get their affairs in order before an unusually devastating winter hit. This, coupled with the danger of trolls and frontier living, has resulted in limited enthusiasm for many people to travel to Wyndael in spite of unprecedented advancement opportunities.
Many believe that the end of the winter means many bold individuals will travel to the region to stake their claim. Emperor Ernst has also recently passed the Piracy Forgiveness Act. It states that anyone guilty of a past crimes of Piracy will have those crimes expunged on a case by case basis as long as they register with a proper representative of House Stratos and vow to join and serve Houses Stratos or Heinlein for no less than a year. Naturally the former criminals will need to refrain from further criminal activity or their old crimes will be charged along with any new ones.
The passage of the Act is controversial, however. Brenn Hammertoe, a senior spokesman for House Mithril was wary of trusting criminals. “They’ve already proven themselves to be criminal miscreants, why would we possibly trust them now?” he asked.
House Heinlein offered a counterpoint, however. Stating that some who get caught up with such criminals seek a way out but have few alternatives. “If you want to quit being a pirate and get a respectable vocation it’s pretty tough because no one will trust you,” said Maloria Vinila of that house. “This is a second chance for people who’ve made a mistake in their life to prove they can be a productive member of society.”
Guilds in Wyndael Show Burgeoning Promise
Though there are hundreds of guilds in the Empire, few are willing to invest the resources in a volatile war zone such as Wyndael at this time, in spite of the promising opportunities. Those who have taken that plunge have committed in a very limited fashion. As a result most of the Guild branches in Wyndael are in their infancy and have not committed the funds or resources to an established foothold. However, they are welcoming to interested parties who are willing to put forth the effort to establish a guildhall and get a branch going in the new Imperial province. Among such guilds are:
Alchemist Guild: Sponsored by House Alamesch, this guild is interested in establishing a presence in the region to determine if there is any unique fauna in the region and, if so, if it can be used in the science of alchemy.
Healer’s Guild: Run by House Heinlein, they are primarily interested in tending to the health of the people of Wyndael and the warriors fighting the monsters in the area. Due to being controlled and directly funded by House Heinlein, they have a larger presence in Wyndael than most other guilds but the local branch is still looking to expand.
Hunter’s Guild: Sponsored by House Stratos, this is a guild dedicated to keeping local animal and monster populations down so they do not create issues for the locals. Like many guilds thus far local interest has been limited, as the Wylderkin citizens prefer to handle their own hunting and animal population control.
Mage’s Guild: Controlled by House Sterne, the Mage’s Guild handles the majority of scholastic pursuits in Wyndael as well the creation of magical scrolls and identification of magic items. They do not limit their numbers to Celestial mages, however. Earth mages more interested in using their magic to defeat their enemies and expanding research and battle applications of Earth magic (rather than simply healing) are welcome to join as well. Because they are controlled by House Sterne, they have a larger presence in Wyndael than most other guilds but the local branch is still looking to expand.
Miner’s Guild: Run by House Cavestone, this guild is trying to make inroads and discover any underground metal and gem resources in Wyndael. An agreement with House Steelarm allows them to also forge weapons and armor and manage commercial forges in the province but local interest has thus far been limited as the agreement does not include sales to the Legion.
Merchant’s Guild: The merchant’s Guild is mostly looking to invest in buying/selling goods in the area. Overall the Guild’s Charter was absorbed by House Stratos when House Goldpipe left the Empire and while this creates some uncertainty there are also a number of opportunities.
Prominent People in Wyndael
With the recruitment effort heating up in Wyndael we felt it was important that any new travelers to the area be aware of the prominent figures in the region so proper respect can be paid as applicable. This includes showing proper etiquette to any nobles in the region.
Commoners are not required to salute, bow or show any special deference to Cabinet Members, however it is often a good idea to be respectful as they are highly connected to the nobility by virtue of their position on a noble’s cabinet.
Citizens are not required to salute or bow to those with the rank of Eda/Edel/Edela, nor to address them in any special way. Commoners are required to be generally respectful to an Eda in honor of the noble they are related to.
When addressing a Magnate/Lord/Lady, commoners must salute them and refer to them as “Magnate,” or “Your Lordship” or “Your Ladyship.” A proper Imperial salute is made by taking one’s right hand, with fist closed, and crossing their chest to hold it to their left shoulder. The citizen is to hold their fist on their left shoulder until acknowledged before returning it to it’s natural position.
Though there are currently none in the area, should commoners and those of lower rank encounter a High Magnate/High Lord/ High Lady are required to salute to a High Magnate and incline at the waist to show respect and address them as “High Magnate,” or “Your Lordship” or “Your Ladyship.”
Though one would not be expected to travel to the region, should anyone find themselves in the presence of an Overmagnate/Overlord/Overlady they would be required to fall to a knee before them and remain on their knee until told to rise. When addressing an Overlord or Overlady it is proper to call them “Your Excellency.”
Should anyone find themselves blessed with the incalculable honor of being in the presence of Emperor Ernst they would be required to bow and avert their eyes from him until told that they can rise. Should they be so honored as to actually address him they should call him “Your Eminence” or “Your Imperial Eminence.”
Last, but certainly not least, is the case of General Argus Stratos. Though technically not a magnate in his own right (though he is a member of the Imperial Family) those not within the military are not required to salute to him or show him an specific deference because of his rank. However, because of his position as the Governor of Wyndael, he speaks and acts with the voice of the Emperor. This means that his word is law within the province and as such his decisions must be obeyed even by nobles while in the region and proper respect must be paid to him as an extension of the Emperor’s will. As his position was bestowed by Emperor Ernst himself, only he can countermand or give orders to the general in matters relating to the governance of Wyndael. General Stratos has publicly said that he considers a salute when addressing him sufficient to show proper respect to him and the Emperor.
The Imperial House has a presence in the area and has overall command of the region. General Argus Stratos, the Emperor's cousin, has been named as Governor-General of Wyndael. He is regarded as a competent military officer who has also studied fields other than war and is well versed in politics and statecraft. He does not have a cabinet, per se, however he is in command of the 2nd Imperial Legion and thus has a number of senior officers and staff advising him.
General Stratos’ second in command in the legion is Senior Kommander Seph Bandoris, a strongly capable military commander. Bandoris’ career is spotless but some criticize the Getregan soldier as being inflexible and highly bound to following the letter of the law and military regulations.
Offizer Kennil Yardis is the general’s Aide de Camp. He is an eager young military officer who is regarded as a capable warrior who enjoys working to help and protect the people of the Empire.
There are two non military figures in General Stratos’ circle as well. The first is his personal healer, Pelian Blach, a straightforward speaking elder healer reputed to know his business quite well. Blach is said to regularly eschew bedside manner and polite speech in favor of bluntness and getting straight to the point. He has served the Imperial family for generations, and was assigned as General Stratos’ personal healer for the duration of the time in Wyndael.
The other non military figure is known simply as Barilise and there is scant information available on her. Some say she acts as the general’s intelligencer but those reports are not confirmed.
House Sterne’s efforts in Wyndael are led by Lady Elizabeth Keenan. Lady Keenan is a close friend of Overlady Elmary Sterne, the ruler of House Sterne. Kennan was personally chosen by the Overlady to lead House Sterne’s efforts in Wyndael and promoted to her noble status. She is a well known mage who has taught at the Imperial Wizard’s College in Bergholten.
Lady Keenan is joined by her wife, Edela Jessenith Stoben, who was the Lady’s former protege. Though skilled in swordplay as well as magic, Stoben is reported to prefer the city and the comforts of the heart of the Empire. In spite of this she has publicly stated that she is excited at the opportunities at Stormbreak Keep.
The captain of Lady Keenan’s guard is Jaylin Barrol. He is a human reported to be so cool, collected and professional that it’s sometimes joked that he is part Stone Elf. Captain Barrol is a veteran of the Imperial Army and uses those skills to ensure that Lady Keenan’s troops are well trained and that her safety is secured.
House Heinlein’s efforts are being led by Lord Izikiel Ryatt, though he tends to use the newer gender neutral title of Magnate instead of Lord. Though he’s a Child of Storm, Magnate Ryatt is a descendant of the famous human Isabella Ryatt and is the nephew of Overmagnate Sanden Haynard. An adherent of the Code of Chivalry, Magnate Ryatt is a big proponent of nobility and honor. Before being promoted to a magnate, he was an avid sailor. Many view Ovemagnate Sanden’s appointment of Ryatt as a good choice as strict morals and friendly personality could do much to win over the rebellious Wylderkin of Wyndael.
Magnate Ryatt is aided by Galen Weathergreen, his first cabinet member. Weathergreen is related to Ryatt as an extended member of his family (the specifics get rather convoluted with Storm’Ren.) The two are said to be as close as siblings and trust one another implicitly. Weathergreen has a good reputation but reportedly considers it his duty to look out for Magnate Ryatt’s, and House Heinlein’s, interests.
The commander of Magnate Ryatt’s guard is Captain Drata Fortingard. He is fiercely loyal to Ryatt and reportedly believes that the changes that have taken place in House Heinlein over the years should be adopted Empire wide.
Under the jurisdiction of House Sterne, the Mage’s Guild participates in magical research and identification of magic items within the province of Wyndael. House Sterne has also tasked them with mundane research, specifically the investigation into the history of Stormbreak Keep.
The guild is led by High Sorcerer Alvyn Tiendell, a well known figure within the Mage’s Guilds of the Empire. Known for his scholarly work and magical research, it is rumored that Tiendell would rather have stayed in the libraries of Bergholten rather than serving in the wilderness, but that a promotion to Mage’s Guildmaster was too tempting to pass up.
Guildmaster Tiendell is aided by High Mage Rett Syllas. Syllas is considered something of an adventurer scholar. He is skilled in archaeology and has spent as much time searching through ruins as he has in libraries. It’s generally believed that he was assigned to Wyndael because of that background and he is keenly excited about studying the ruins of Stormbreak Keep.
The Healer’s Guild is under the command and Jurisdiction of House Heinlein and is responsible for the healing and resurrection services of the people of Wyndael. It is led by a sloth Wylderkin named Loray, a trusted local healer in Wyndael. When the Empire took over, House Heinlein decided to keep her in her position and bestowed the position of Guildmaster upon her since the locals all know her. She has been in Wyndael since she and her mother were freed from bondage 20 years ago and has grown up near Stormbreak Keep. Slow and sweet like molasses, she welcomes all into her abode and cares for the ill and wounded.
Loray is aided by Assistant Guildmaster Accara Firth, a snow leopard Wylderkin. With Guildmaster Loray being something of an unknown quantity the Empire wanted to install someone they knew was capable as her assistant. Accara was a perfect choice. Loyal to House Heinlein, a skilled healer and capable warrior, and a Wylderkin so locals would not be enraged that she was installed to assist Loray. Accara is thankful to House Heinlein for their inclusivity and tireless work to free her people from bondage and is proud to serve them as an equal.
Other Prominent Figures:
Lord Yuldus Passerholm, the cousin of Overlady Ludella Passerholm, is the representative of House Giefer in Wyndael. He was originally in charge of Imperial Security of Wyndael when it was still ruled by the Wyndael Ruling Council. He is seeking businesses opportunities to help invigorate the devastated economics of his house. Lord Passerholm is known to be a proud man who is inclined to insist on proper noble etiquette.
Hundel is the lone remaining member of the Wyndael Ruling Council. As the elder of the Scavenger Clan, Hundel had a chair on the Wyndael Ruling Council, though the clan never took part in the government of Wyndael. Nevertheless, when the rest of the Council went missing after the Troll invasion, Hundel became the sole remaining member and thus leader of Wyndael by default. Hundel approves of the Empire’s annexation of Wyndael to drive out the trolls and continues to work with them to try to help the populace recover from the troll invasion and flourish under Imperial rule.
Houses Sterne and Heinlein Invite Adventurers to Breakfast
Thanks to the Emperor’s renewed call to action for any adventurous spirits to travel to Wyndael Houses Heinlein and Sterne have announced that they expect a new crop of potential recruits for their efforts there. To that end Magnate Izikiel Ryatt and Lady Elizabeth Keenan have invited any mercenaries or men at arms with an interest in joining their houses to have breakfast with them at Stormbreak Keep.
Anyone interested in meeting or joining Magnate Ryatt’s cabinet can join him on the 20th day of May and while anyone wishing to meet Lady Keenan or join her cabinet can dine with her the following morning. “These social engagements need not be either/or,” stressed Edela Jessenith Stoben, Lady Kennan’s wife. “We’d love to meet all the new adventurers who come to Stormbreak.” Galen Weathergreen, Magnate Ryatt’s right hand man, echoed this sentiment stating that all were welcome to attend House Heinlein's breakfast as well and that they were eager to meet potential new recruits to the House.