This Month in the Broken Shards


(To keep the story rolling after the cancelled event, we'll be posting these once a month in the intervening months.)

An icefront has covered Arwyn Siti, and is marching across the continent. A state of emergency has been declared among the entirety of the Imperium as the Presidium, Caligo, Vigiles and all their reserves are called up to face this new threat. Jothi enters town, shaking off his travel-worn and snow-dusted cape to tell the citizens of New Wagonslist that the vote deciding whether to stay or go will be delayed by six months as this new threat is prioritized.
The following edict has been distributed to every corner of the Imperium, and criers have been sent to speak the edict for those who cannot read.

By direct order of the Her Majesty Empress Puerluna Dominita Esteemed Leader of the Senate and Commander of all Armed Forces of the Imperium Tarquinii, long may it stand, has called for all able bodied persons to take up arms and protect their own borders, as the full might of the Presidio Imperium, Caligo Specular, and Vigilies Urbani are called to muster at Arwyn Siti
against a threat to the Imperium as a whole.

Currently, Presidio forces are engaging creatures with ice based abilities led by an unknown elementally-attuned entity. The Caligo have been sent out to scout and and secure information as to the nature of the entity as rapidly as possible, while the Urbani are constructing fortifications to slow the assault of creatures coming from the unnatural winter.

During this time we request all settlements east of Arwyn Siti to plant fast growing or cold resistant crops, and wherever possible, use magics to assist their growth. Rationing is not required at this time, however, please do your part and consume perishables first while stockpiling non-perishables. All blacksmiths are also to begin stockpiling arms and armaments whenever possible.
New Wagonslist has been conscripted to provide backup food - so the majority of the town has been clearing fields and learning how to farm the local crops.

Where the weather should be getting warmer, instead the cold of winter does not seem to be letting up at all. Lord Jothi has enlisted the help of able bodied people to clear forests and has crops brought from across the Imperium. While unfamiliar with these hardy crops, the planting has begun in earnest. This coldrabi plant, looking like a cross between a turnip and broccoli, is supposed to weather cold growing conditions.


Local apiarists have moved near the fields and have built the hives into their very homes so the bees can stay warm and still pollinate these new plants. The local ice crow population seems to be thriving, and all citizens are encouraged not to leave shiny objects laying around.

Local trade with Kultiklasko has intensified, with their woodcutting tools being traded for the carpentry expertise brought to the Imperium from A’kh’t. Evidently the idea of a fifth-wheel had never occurred to any of the local populaces and there is some excitement, despite the looming threat, that land trade might become almost as easy as trade along the Reka Tuman.

Unless ordered otherwise, continue to keep arms at hand to deal with bandits, the local wildlife, and any horrors that stumble out of the mists until the Presidio returns. Otherwise, you’re encouraged to hunker down and weather this unusual cold.
As of late a very aged Praesidio member has been the only member of the force left at the nearby fort. As they come into town fairly regularly you find that they are basically there to “light the first torch” if enemies come in force from the North. They’re too old to fight effectively, but are in place for this vital, but simple task.
It comes as somewhat of a surprise when they come in with a dog eared letter and demand attention from those in the tavern. “Per the order of the Legates and Praetorum all those who are convicted of crimes may take time spent on the front line instead of martial punishment or jail servitude. These penal legionnaires will find hot meals, living arrangements, and enough pay to easily make their poll tax.” With that they sit down, and while still pleasant enough, state they cannot give any more information, because that’s all they got.

Not even a day later, attached to the doors of the tavern, and many of the inner homes by paste of stickiness are a set of letters in a choppy script, written in red ink on parchment.
“To the good people of New Wagonslist, we have been watching, and your success with helping the Forces of Nature to heal their past wrongs, and find their way out of these broken shards of Fortanis has been noticed. Even as we speak, another gang of beings made of unending winter approach the western edge of the Imperium. While the Imperium has not healed whatever scar led it to these lands, we have decided that there are those within that are still worthy and are staying the culling hand.

We will be heading southwest, to travel between the mists in ways that others cannot and strike against a gang that is truly beyond redemption. We will grant them a swift and merciful death as much as we are able to. This is no trade, this is no boon, this is what we do, remove those who are rotten to the core so that life may bloom healthy once more. We recommend not sending word to the Imperium about our activities, as they would simply try to interfere in their blind hatred.

Luciferase d’Fey
Death Blossom keeper of words”
[Apologies for missing a month, there were various difficulties among the plot team, but better late than never, and we'll be getting back on track]

A former soldier, with a blackened and quite frankly horrific left hand missing fingers has shown up to New Wagonslist. Anyone who has seen the damage of a person left in a bad winter can recognize late stage frostbite has taken most of this soldier’s left hand. You can only guess by her stumping limp what her feet must look like. She becomes a regular for a while telling tales of the front lines.

A breakthrough as the scholars of the Imperium believe they have figured out the source of the frost - a Breaker Gang of Ice trolls powerful enough to warp the weather. With the knowledge of the source, the development of more powerful magical barriers can arrive. Until then it’s a slow and difficult defensive war, whittling down the entrenched defenses across the west of the Imperium. These trolls summon swarms of smaller ice elementals who have been pushing in a near constant withering storm against the barricades built by the people of Arwyn Siti in defense of the Imperium. These elementals are individually easy to kill, but “Just like snow, one flake is easy to deal with. A blizzard will break roofs under the weight of accumulated snow.

She talks about seeing one of the trolls, claiming that they don’t even seem to summon these creatures intentionally, they just seem to form around them. She smiles and exclaims with some pride that she managed to hit one with a crossbow bolt, before it turned and unleashed a torrent of unnatural elemental ice at her whole position.

She also talks of a greater danger that has presented itself as an unknown troupe of fey have been seen near the front. The only good part of the development is that these monstrous creatures seem to hate these trolls of winter more than the freedoms of the Imperium. Every time Imperium forces leave their trenches to engage the fey, these cowards flee deeper into the mists. It seems to be how they’re operating in general. Quick lightning raids to hit one of the trolls and then fading.

After a few weeks where she spends freely, gossiping and gambling, she wishes the town good luck, stating drunkenly that she’s going to head north. Knowing that all that lies north is the mists, many members of the town talk her down and take her to the fort. The elderly Presidio member there is thankful for the company, and explains that now they can have both day and night watches. Realizing she can still offer protection for her homeland, she takes up residence there, one or the other of them coming into town for supplies, wine, or just some social gambling.
Just the other night the pair of soldiers from the nearby fort come in together to the tavern in an unusual case of leaving it unguarded. Questions about this are shrugged off with statements that they can just as easily warn the capitol from the town as from the fort, since anything really threatening, they couldn’t fight off anyways.

They appear to have come to town to run a small game of cards with whoever is available to gamble for coppers. During the game they explain that a remarkably young runner came by the fort for the monthly reports, and shared some scuttlebutt. The elderly gentleman reminds whoever will listen that it’s just rumors and not to take it too seriously, but there’s a hard glint in his eyes and a sharpness to his words that shows he’s actually quite concerned.

The younger soldier’s limp seems better, but she is still bundled up at the just above freezing temperatures. She recounts the rumors that the Empress herself has taken the field on the Western Front. It seems that wherever she takes the field the line holds, and even gains ground on the trolls. The war itself however is going badly, with food and forces being pulled from all of the major areas. There’s even a rumor that the Ruka Tuman has frozen over at the western edges of the Imperium.

One of the town members note, and spread, a detail that the injured Presidio says in passing. Wherever the Empress is, the raiding fey seem to be making a concerted effort not to be there, though the Empress searches after any rumors of their attacks. Some townsfolk conjecture that the Empress’s successes are due to the forces being weakened by the fey first. Some wonder if the Empress’s tactics are attempting to kill two birds with one stone.

The big news though is that a collection of ritual casters, working closely with the Senate, have an idea on how to counter the unnatural winter and rob these trolls of their primary advantage. The details aren’t known but many wild theories are thrown about. At the end of the evening though, folks notice that the young Presidio member has about what they started with, but the elderly one seems to have taken the vast majority of pots through the games before heading back to the fort.
After a particularly stormy night, rumors circulate of two cloaked figures seen at the Tavern in New Wagonslist. Both arrived by carriage, both in heavy cloaks. The one in gray with bright red embroidery appeared to be a Stone Elf. The other in rich indigo, the edges embroidered with a deep purple, remained hidden from view. “I gotta peek under the hood when they came in. Seems they needed a room for the night, but were gone before daybreak.” Said one of the late-night tavern-goers.

No one quite knows where the carriage came in from, but the tracks leaving the tavern suggest it joined what few wagons there were heading to and from Kultiklasko. When pressed for details the barkeep that had been on duty for the night shrugs. “They paid triple the going rate for a quiet room for three days stay. I don’t get paid for rumors, and besides Edoc’Sil might have my head if I go around blabbing about their customers.”

A week later, an Imperial messenger tacks a notice to the Tavern:

“Thanks to the efforts of Her Glorious Majesty Empress Puerluna Dominita – the front lines have been stabilized just east of Ackerland, sparing the city from war!

In her wisdom, She has made a pact with a Flame Elemental which protects the Capital from the vantage of the Senate!

Citizens are to continue to fortify their homes and land against the cold, and to aid the war efforts by lending their skills in blacksmithing, woodworking, and growing coldrabi.”

A tradesman from Kultiklasko can be heard grumbling to anyone in earshot in the tavern shortly after the notice goes up, “Made a pact my arse – word has it the thing is in bright purple chains tied to the Senate building. And what of the people who’ve already gone to the front? There’s not enough strong backs to keep up the work.” He quiets down after a hot toddy and some stew, but the questions linger.