As the world of Rues begins to recover from Ravvin’s Perdition and the Night of Guardian’s Glory, there are now some days that pass without them being mentioned. Some folk, in the luckier parts of the world, can look around and not be confronted with the aftermath of war. However, most of Rues still shows the scars, the chasms in the ground, the reconstructed buildings, the piles of rubble and waste, the number of people wearing mourning tokens, and the beasts and Undead that still wander. For these folk, and for all who remember, tales of hope and humanity are welcome. The Ballad of Black Light is particularly popular, recounting the tale of Vayros Black, from whom the ray of light came during the pitched battle against Ravvin. There are also tales of the Harriers, the fearless exploration and skirmish group that has kept the quarantine camp on the northern edge of the Byse safe as cures for Heshmet’s plagues are found.
Another tentative sign of peace and normalcy is the reopening of the gate to the Iron Lily, the upscale spa and relaxation bar in Polazzo. Petra Alexander will be opening the gates to those residing in Fortune’s Bend on Saturday, with accommodations for those who prefer to relax in the finest of comforts as well as for those who just want to get drunk on boxed wine.
Of those places most affected by the wandering undead, most of the reports are heavily weighted with appearances of “shambling hordes dragging their legs behind them, brandishing weapons covered with rotting meat in their one arm.” Where these attacks are worst, survivors report seeing a man with intent, a leader with a wound in his chest who seemed to brush off the attacks of even their best warriors.
The already troubled empire was further shaken in the winter by the sudden devastation of a strong imperial family, the Giovanizzi. While those most closely tied to the imperial regime were not directly affected, around one fourth of the family suddenly died on the same day, at almost the same times. No cause has been publicly identified, though those close to the investigation have leaked that it was an arcane affliction. This has caused fear and alarm throughout, and has even spurred some groups to call for a second inquisition into the arcane and those who use it.
Those Giovanizzi who lost their lives were all living or stationed within Anbara and Inlyrico. The Giovanizzi family is deep in mourning and the emperor has issued a public statement of condolences for their great losses.
Sparians and Ereskial have both been spotted traveling to and from the Imperial Bureaucracy at Fort Hawksclaw. They have been close-mouthed about the details of these meetings, but those in the know say that there is a strong chance that Drakkenspar will join the empire. Whispers around the Ereskial meetings are less promising, including demands of sovereignty. Wholly different rumors speak of a new Ereskial City, one functioning outside the previous iron grip of the oligarchy, called Renatus. It is said to be near the underground river, accessible to small vessels. They have made it clear they are open to negotiations and on the lookout for the best trade offers.
Perhaps because of all the other things to watch, there has been little said about the movements of a group calling themselves the Exalted and operating out of the Chappelarie holdings. Members of this group typically wear white emblazoned with the image of hands bound in supplication, with a key and three red drops breaking the chain. Many of the small outlying churches display this symbol along with the symbol of their deity.
From the regency of Volbrecht comes news of a curious law recently passed by the Warlord Regent. While his focus has mostly been on the reconstruction of his Regency and the protection and reclamation of his northern territory, this law seems unrelated and specifies that no Brecht may interfere with a vested clergy of Jormic who is practicing their faith, so long as that practice does not remove bonded or indentured servants from the regularly expected tasks.
Word has spread from Inlyrico around Rues that the Wild Nation is getting their feet back under them as well, though recent council negotiations were disrupted when the Wolf tribe representative walked out, breaking council for the first time since the tribal accords.