News tumbles from Fort Firetol like the first rocks of an avalanche. The princess Bellasara, the emperor’s sister, has gone missing while on her charity tour through Volbrecht. In the imperial capital, those who are tired of Volbrecht’s “incessant bellyaching” are calling for the emperor to put an end to the long-time coddling of the empire’s troubled son. In Volbrecht, the well-known anti-imperial Weinart and Zweig have been joined by heretofore silent bannermen such as the Waechter and the Mensch.
On the coattails of that tragedy, the age-old plague of Pyredown has returned. giant scorpions have emerged from caves and forgotten valleys to attack travelers and small towns. Their poison and pincers have already claimed lives and maimed others. The calls for help from the outlying settlements have received the imperial army is already heavily taxed fighting Ravvin’s forces and mobilizing inside Volbrecht in the search for the princess.
The burglary of sanctums and mausoleums has continued, mainly in Shiara and Braeus, with the principal target of the thieves being the revered bones held within the tombs. Many families have increased the guards on their family property and subsequently found the watchmen stricken with disease or starvation and the mausoleums raided.
Also mysterious, there have been rumors of missing children and lost parents returning home after many weeks away. Those who return speak of a great sea battle, and their freedom being granted by a beautiful woman, “The Maiden Savior” they call her as they speak tales of what horrible fates may have awaited them if not for their rescue. No one seems to know who this person is, or why she did what she did, they only know their chains were cut and they were freed, spared a life of servitude by this heroine.
Even more than before, eyes turn toward the heroes at Fortune’s Bend to contend with the terrible news and increasing odds.