Emissaries, criers, and bards across Rues have been spreading the news – the joint efforts of the churches, working in union with Fortune’s Bend, have dealt heavy blows to Ravvin’s armies! Even though hordes of monsters remain, songs heralding the defeat of Lord Wyrving, one of Ravvin’s most vicious generals, can be heard in bars and taverns across the empire and even into the Federation. Fortune’s Bend, regarded as the beacon of hope for beleaguered armies and towns, rolls cherished from tongues as the victory is celebrated.
There is no time for rest, though. No one has ever accused the Brechts of their words speaking louder than their actions. Bare days after the imperial princess was recovered from one of their estates, a number of warlords along the northeastern borders of Volbrecht have declared secession. The powerful Weinart, their known bannermen the Zweig, the Waechter, and the Mensch, along with several other weaker warlords and a large number of Krugs, proclaimed in late November that they no longer accept Imperial Rule.
At first treated as a bit of a joke, no one has cracked a smile in recent weeks as the secession remains largely unchallenged. The empire and the Warlord Regent alike are faced with pulling their troops from areas threatened by Ravvin’s armies to mount an invasion, compiled with the recent troop losses to The Reaping. The Brechtish traitors have mustered their own knights into a sizable force that is massing on the southern border of Pyredown.
Princess Bellasara has spoken out strongly against the imperial traitors and expressed gratitude for those troops who occupied Volbrecht to effect a search, and particularly to those of Fortune’s Bend who ultimately returned her to her family. In appreciation she is making an immediate second tour to bolster the overextended imperial troops, and will be making a stop in Fortune’s Bend on the evening of the 20th to show her appreciation for their work. Rumor is that she will attend the evening meal with a small retinue and after the meal will hear petitions from those who live in the neutral town. She has been outspoken against the idea of remaining within the palace for a time, stating that her duty as princess is to lead, and she will lead by example in immediately returning to doing good for the empire after her tribulations at the hands of the traitors.
On the other side of Rues, Shiara continues the slow spiral into chaos. The land traditionally known for its beauty, art, and peace has had trouble upon trouble heaped on their backs for the last few years. Many of their powerful and beloved leaders have been lost to death or sickness, and the fertile earth itself has become blighted in spots, and host to vicious creatures. Amidst these difficulties, the families have fought with each other and the armies of Ravvin have marched. Following the loss of Lord Alomaine Banrion, the young Lord Mason Atasir was often seen at the head of the Shiaran forces. Now he too has been diverted from that protection as he investigates the whereabouts of Lady Juliet Banrion, the current head of the Banrion house.Words of support have come to Shiara from all corners, but none of the regencies have much more than words to offer in these troubled times.
Not everyone is Rues is suffering, of course. In the resort city of Polazzo in Inlyrico the carnival and masquerade season is in full swing. Mid winter is the time that the wealthy and privileged classes vie with each other to hold the most festive and interesting party. Usually the attendance to these swank affairs are limited to the very elite in high society, but rumor has it that this year some messengers have been seen traveling to Fortune’s Bend with bags of invitations.