Teasers

Teaser May 1217

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.

Teaser September 1217

With a great sigh, a patch of earth on the fields of Fortune’s Bend has fallen in, and a soft purple glow emanates from the depths. The grave has opened. Professor Higginbottom, Nightingale, and other authorities on the Shade have calmed the archaeologists and other less seasoned visitors to the miracle town on the river. It is nothing sinister, they assure, it is the Open Grave. This aspect of the Pit will sometimes align his realm to the world of Rues and allow messages to be dropped into it. These messages must be to a person or thing that has passed on or he will not accept them. If he does accept them, then the words may inspire a response. Some report visits of Astral Messengers that looked and spoke exactly as a lost loved one. Others report the resurgence of forgotten memories, or the discovery of a lost letter. Some report no response at all.

All those who wish to, though, are invited to find closure by dropping their words into the Open Grave. It is a rare occurrence, beloved of Shaman, Shadewalkers, and the sentimental. The stronger the sentiment of the message, it is said, the more likely it is to inspire a response. Most of those who try to reach their dead relatives to ask where they buried the money are typically disappointed.

The Open Grave was also a welcome relief to the flood of rumors about the Exalted. Some are saying they have attacked Fortune’s Bend. Others are saying that they have added their might to protecting it. Citizens of Rues are looking to their secular and spiritual leaders for guidance, with high passion on both sides of the argument. Whispers from Fort Firetol and Paradise promise that the head of the Chappelarrie, Sister Maribeth Pargeter, has published an open letter in direct response to the emergence of the Exalted. On their part, the Exalted have fallen quiet, their queries for aid and allies tapering to silence.

As the Imperial bureaucratic presence near Fort Hawksclaw become larger and more demanding of resources. Lord Roger Baldimaar has been recognized by the emperor for the donation of his land and assets in the time of crisis, and for his continued support of the secondary site. He has been named Prime Constable, one of the highest offices in the imperial structure. The Prime Constable serves as commander-in-chief in times of war, and a Supreme Justicier in the High Court during times of peace.

News of Drakkenspar’s alliance with the empire has spread far and wide, sparking both celebration and consternation from citizens. Weisbaden, its relationship with Drakkenspar, come to an abrupt end, have been seen bolstering their fortifications. Even Otkar Weinart, the voice of Weisbaden diplomacy, has not been seen out courting the nations.

This and more has changed in the world of late, and in order to assist people in making sense of it, Sebastian Donato of the the Academy of Diplomats will be conducting one of his periodic seminars where he will discuss the people of the world and how they can be reached. Couriers in particular are encouraged to attend in order to learn how to reach and properly address the subjects of their letters, but the seminar can be of interest to anyone who wants to learn move about the people in places of power and authority in the world. If anyone has any questions about general politics or geography and recent changes to Rues Sebastian will take any questions at the end and do his best to answer them.

More news reaching Fortune’s Bend is that, with great pleasure and much gratitude to the heroes and Harriers, that the Quarantine Camp on the edge of the Byse was able to announce that the cure for the plagues from the war had been given to the most critical cases, and are no longer in short supply. Anyone who is still carrying plague from the War of Guardian’s Glory may obtain a vial of the curative potion from their local guild.

In Polazzo, the Iron Lily continues to open its doors to the citizens of Fortunes Bend. Currently their Tea House is receiving guests for the season. For a nominal fee guests can enjoy any of several varieties of tea as well as light snacks. There are also a number of boutique varieties of tea which can be purchased for a small additional fee.

Finally, the Fairly Decent Players, an acting troupe out of Shiara, will be in Fortune’s Bend on Saturday morning to delight the townsfolk with a read-through of Percy Broquerre’s infamous play, Tea for Five. Everyone is welcome to attend and provide them with feedback for their upcoming debut tour.

Teaser November 2017

Portents. Signs. Omens. From all over Rues, there are rumors.

The clerk in Braeus reports that a client opened his door on a stormy day, and the gust of wind that came in blew all the papers from his desk and shelves. They landed upon the ground in perfect sequential stacks.

The apiary in Inlyrico thanks the genesori for record honey production, and the massive new clutches laid by the queens, thanks in no small part to the prolific and long-lasting bloom season.

Workers whisper tales of turning the corner in a dark cellar only to be confronted with a long, strange corridor, emanating a soft glow.

The weaponsmaster was quite startled to enter the armory and find the weapons gleaming clean, honed to a razor edge even though the grindstone was broken and had been for weeks.

The paupers’ wedding guests rejoiced to find the great feast that had appeared on the tables, mounds of food that no one would admit to supplying.

Acorns are sprouting as they fall from the tree, barkeep’s glasses are found arranged by height, and artists can not sleep as they follow their endless inspiration. The sick recover. The forests gleam with life. Theater troupes flee their trailers, reporting that all of their masks have glowing eyes.

The determined underdog comes out on top, match after match. Townsfolk linger in the public spaces, chatting with neighbors. The Korol rejoice as every dog in their kennel is successfully mated. Mirrors have refused to reflect, much to the alarm of those who stand before them. Seats are flopping daily along the mighty Dragon’s Tail of Shiara. The sunset shimmers with unusual hues.

Bards and friars, all of them dreaming of the same song.

It is agreed that so many strange occurrences and remarkable coincidences can not be without meaning, but what? Sages, scholars, and priests have only theories.

Within the cities, conversations about the portents are sometimes interrupted by talk of the next Convocation at Fortune’s Bend. Word has it that a meeting has been called in the neutral territory, with all of the signatory powers asked to return. Many wonder what all these nations might have to say to each other, and speculation is wild. One persistent rumor is that the nations of Rues intend to claim superiority over the churches and eradicate the jurisprudence of the ecclesiastics. No one will know for sure until the Sunday when it happens.

Those with their ear on a more local drumbeat have heard murmurings- where is Mason Atasir? After all of the help he promised, and all of those he got to rely on him, he up and disappeared. Probably on another hunting trip, his old buddies jest but the more prevalent rumble is that he’s hiding in the Shade until a less dangerous time. Whatever the reason for his absence, it is brought him to the most cardinal of Shiaran sins, that of failing to do the best for his subjects. Others have covered for him, but his seat at the Dragon’s Tail is barely within yelling distance of the head of the table, and the citizens are seeing him in a different, unreliable light.

And those with their ear on the most local of drumbeats have heard that the Blue Mushroom Noodle House will be opening in Fortune’s Bend again on Saturday the 18th, ready with hot noodles for cold, weary heroes.

Teaser Feb 1218 #4

The imperial rally to retake Pyredown met with failure. It was determined that it would be best to storm the capital from the south, through Weisbaden, while the Weisbaden troops were still engaged in sacking the smaller towns and villages. To wait longer would be to give the Exalted time to get fully entrenched and set up their own defenses.. It was a sound theory. Those troops that could be gathered in time were underprepared and underarmed due to the vast stores of their supplies behind enemy lines, but soldiers have won against even worse odds when it is their home they are fighting for.

This war was lost to the traitors. The imperial troops were significantly bolstered with a full muster of Brechtish knights, flying under the banner of Warlord Regent Volkmar. At a critical moment in the battle, four of his northern bannermen turned their blades upon him. Their knights wrought havoc among the already embattled armies of Volbrecht and Pyredown. The Warlord Regent was able to fight his way free and kill two of the four and then, injured, go on to lead the confused battlefield to a stalemate instead of a calamitous defeat.

After the fact, the two remaining warlords declared war against Volkmar and at the same time declared themselves against the traitors in Weisbaden. They cited that the warlord regent had taken their lands without besting them in battle, and then given those hereditary lands over to the ancient enemy of the Brechts, the Sparians.

On the north side of Hallowed Hills, tensions between Inlyrico and the Imba’nire forest are again on the rise. Inlyrican border towns have been raided by the tribes, and after the dead were accounted for there were still many missing. They are presumed to be prisoners of the Wild Nation, and groups from the regency, the empire, and the Federation who have been providing aid are seeking quick answers from the clans about this affront.

In the wake of the chaos, Lady Reagan Xaertes has been named the new Regent of Braeus upon the official retirement of her father Riade. She was well prepared for the position and the transition was not even a hiccup in the smooth Braen bureaucracy. The lady has named the recovery and expansion of Isou University as the priority for her first years in office.

The emperor’s Arcane Advisor Katarina Musaphi, her assistant recently disappeared, is being scrutinized for the downgrade in her performance. Others in the political circles whisper about her inexperience coming into her position, and how this flailing about was inevitable. On top of her other duties, she has recently been inundated with reports from around Rues regarding a sudden surge of demonic activity. Entropy demons especially have been reported in much greater numbers and at much greater strength, coupled with Despoilers whose normally stable magic has been behaving in unexpected ways.

Among all the change and worry, the people of Rues wonder – with Fortune’s Bend caught in the heart of Hallowed Hills, will the heroes still be able to help them?

Teaser Feb 1218 #3

To: the Purposed of Rues

From: Sister Maribeth Pargeter of the Chappelarie

Beloved,

The Revelation of Ten sent shockwaves throughout Rues. I have already written to address what this means for the Faitful on a personal level. In that letter, I spoke of the danger of certainty; of how quickly our certainty in what was will blind us to the reality of what is now, of how being entrenched in old ideologies will lead the Faithful to turn on one another. I have also, in previous letters, touched on my concerns that the Exalted, in their certainty, and in promoting the false security that certainty can grant, have been turning away from the Genesori’s plans for us. But my previous words did not go far enough, and now I feel I must be as unambiguous as possible:

The Exalted are dangerous, power-hungry, opportunistic traitors. They are using faith to intimidate. They are using Faith to consolidate power. They are using faith, and abusing it, for their own gratification, and in so doing wiping away all that is pure and honorable about Belief.

Belief cannot be coerced. Faith professed with a sword to one’s throat is not true faith. It is hollow, and momentary. When the sword is removed, where is faith? They are bludgeoning the Faithful with their own fears and not bringing anyone to the truth.

Nearly immediately after the Revelation of Ten, the Exalted took to questioning the Faithful as to the number of Gods. Any answer other than “Five” resulted in violence. How much clearer can it be that the Exalted have closed their eyes, ears, and hearts to the Genesori?

Beyond this, they have allied themselves with the traitors of Weissbaden and struck at the Heart of the Empire, at the Emperor himself. Emperor Mercurio was protected by the favor of the Gods. Could there be a clearer sign of who is in the right and who is in the wrong?

I know there are those within the Exalted who began with pure and faithful intent, seeking to spread faith throughout Rues. To them I say, turn around now. Open yourself to the possibilities of change. Humble yourself enough to doubt. Come home.

To the rest, I say, beware. You have shown us who you truly are. You have shown us that you do not value belief.. You value control. True Faith is stronger than the bonds you would put on it, and it will defeat you.

And to you, my Beloved Faithful, I say again to choose your Faith with love and not fear. Find your Purpose, the Genesori’s greatest gift, within yourself. Hear it, heed it, and choose.

Yours in Faith,

Sister Maribeth

Teaser Feb 1218 #2

To: the Purposed of Rues

From: Sister Maribeth Pargeter of the Chappelarie

Brothers and Sisters,

The missive that I write to you now may be the hardest thing I have ever written. I write even as I wrestle with the Revelation of the Ten and all its myriad implications. Brother Godrick Dwyre of the Chappelarie has written of the Revelation itself, and I see no need to touch again on information that has flown – in some cases literally – on the wings of Angels across the face of Rues. Rather, I write to parse out what this means for the Faithful.

The first time I wrote to you, it was to encourage you, my brothers and sisters, not to run from Holy Doubt, and I will state again with conviction that there are doubts that are indeed Holy. Now more than ever, I believe that doubt is the way forward, and that certainty is a trap that will turn the faithful on one another in ways destructive and antithetical to the Genesori’s hopes and plans for us.

So let us reflect briefly on something I believed with complete certainty, a thing that has been turned on its head in the past season’s revelations, as well as what this thing will mean for our faith. I am speaking of the Blasphemy of Sabira Venopoulous and her recent elevation to Sainthood.

My friends, I will be completely honest. When I learned that the reawakened Lady of Mystery had chosen Professor Venopoulos for Her Saint, I was beyond incredulous. I was furious. Here was a woman who was regarded unanimously as a blasphemer. She shattered a holy relic of Jormic. Surely nothing could be more unambiguously sinful and deserving of swift retribution. How, how, how could she now be elevated to Sainthood?

It has taken me long hours of prayer and meditation to make peace with this. In making my peace, I have come to accept the following: first, that I could allow myself time to feel angry, betrayed, and confused. Is this not what I have been counseling Church and Chappelarie to do with their parishioners? I needed to give myself the same grace. Second, that I need to recognize that in matters of faith, there will always be things outside my ken. My certainty could quickly become willful ignorance and arrogance. Did I really think I knew better than a God? Now that there are ten Gods, do I really expect everything to be as it was? As I have counseled my brothers and sisters through their own struggles with the Revelation of the Ten, a recurring theme has been that a mortal cannot ever fully understand the motivations of the Divine. I must approach the new churches and their teachings with an open mind and an open heart. Third, that because this is a time of change, I should feel no shame in my past certainty; I was not wrong at the time. This is precisely what we must be open to — a Blasphemy against Jormic can be an act of great faith to Thiacris. Our churches will have to come together to recalibrate how we deal with such contradictions, and also remember that the Genesori, in their wisdom, have already created an arbiter far more impartial than any ecclesiastical body, Lady Death.

In the course of these reflections, I found myself surprised at how life may give you the tools you need to get through difficult times, often long before you need those tools. My first conversation with Brother Dwyre touched on Death as the Genesori’s arbiter. This conversation happened over five years ago, but my recollection of it brought clarity and comfort as I thought through the challenges before me. In the conversation we had, we posited that should the need arise, if, for example, Garioch felt it a person’s time to depart life, but Severrin felt their presence was still needed, Death’s judgement would be necessary, and her decision binding.

I wish to be extremely clear that I believe asking Death to settle disputes should be the Churches’ last recourse in any internecine disagreements. Among the many fears I have wrestled with over the past few months is that some differences between faiths may be irreconcilable. When that anxiety creeps in, I recall that the five gods we knew held the mantles of the five gods we will come to learn for centuries. If our gods could protect these aspects — so different from their primary purviews for so long, surely the churches can find ways to respect the practices of each god, even when conflicts arise, and I would offer the Chappelarie’s assistance in negotiating agreements between the churches as they move to new understandings of ecclesiastical law.

More than ever, beloved, we must be flexible in our faith, both as individuals and institutions; saplings who sway in the storm and are nourished by the rain, rather than stauch old trees uprooted in the gale. The True Chappelarie is with you.

Yours in Faith,

Sister Maribeth

Teaser May 1218

In a great blinding explosion, the Prayer of Revelation toppled in the middle of the stolen city of Pyredown. It burns there still, they say, a constant monument to the defeat suffered by the oppressors who still rule the city. Following the fall of the tower, a new resistance effort made itself known as Phoenix Fyre, formed from imperial loyalists trapped within the city, working against the Exalted from the inside.

Southward, the imperial city of Fort Hawksclaw has become the hub of the displaced empire, relying on Vascoll and Sparian ships to get communication and trade through and around Rues. The most daring of these captains will brave the guarded coasts of Hallowed Hills to rescue the lucky few who are able to flee the occupied territory. The pyredonian people emerge with tales of constant fear, institutionalized oppression, and brutal consequences. These stories have only enhanced the anger and distrust leveled at the Exalted and by association Weisbaden, and are passed on at the docks along with condemnations and tales of horror from the two “worst of the worst.”

Across the sands from Hawksclaw, the once-hero of Shiara, Mason Atasir, has in his absence been revealed as only a power-hungry pretender with a cold, angry heart. Stories have surface from those under his care in the Rojeur province as well as the lands that he rode across of arrogance, cruelty, and rank ambition. Bradley Lansdowne, Ereya Atasir, and the newly chosen Scion Wirth Banrion have been at the forefront of the outspoken outrage and condemnation of his actions. Mason Atasir himself, however, has not been seen in over a year.

Inlyrico, now free from the looming danger of the Prayer of Revelation, have turned their eyes to other matters. The Blessed Land and its legendary fertile soil will not receive the Blessing of Duron this year, a denial which has greatly upset the leadership of the regency. They have reached out to the Church of Terra Anima, the official name of the newly formed joint church of Eilona and Koreel, but have received no explanation.

While troubles have continued on the border of the Imba’nire forest, Endreago Ellegere has come forward as a spokesman for Lady Regent Onnathea on the matter. The attack of Inlyrican citizens and towns on the forest’s edge have been perpetrated by those who have given taken on the mark of Corruption, and cast aside their other beliefs. The Wild Nation reviles them, and so too does Inlyrico, and so they are considered a part of neither, and an enemy of both. The unification of efforts against them is hoped to bring relief to the towns along the edge that are seeing the most of these foul beings.

Teaser Feb 1218 #1

In port taverns and bars, devil-may-care bards with quirked smiles have been heard singing a haunting tune. The verse, it is whispered, has not been approved by the Review Boards and that only makes it more delicious. After the fall of Pyredown in the late autumn to the Exalted, aided by the traitors in Weisbaden, the song has spread across Rues like wildfire. Some use it to terrify their rapt audiences, others as a dirge for the fallen city, still others as a galvanizing anthem to rally in the aftermath of such a great loss.

“Who can find safety

when any day may be

the one when she takes you

the Lady of Keys

you pray most devoutly

each day on your knees

it won’t stop the Exalted

to accuse blasphemy

they’ll torture you slowly

saying pain sets you free

until you, truly pious

do admit blasphemy

she is proud of her actions

though evil they be

she betrays all that’s holy

the Lady of Keys

28 has she captured

so from death she may flee

they are trapped in the tower

of the Lady of Keys

if she truly were pious

if she truly believed

she would not fear her own death

the Coward of Keys”

Spreading more slowly is any news from within the sacked city or its environs. A declaration from Celinda Reeve identified the former imperial seat as “Hallowed Hills” in the same sentence that she elevated herself to Grand Illustrada. The simple people of Pyredown and the residents of Fort Firetol are assumed to be under the oppression of their new leaders.

The most concrete answers to any of the great upheavals thus far have come from the Chappelarie, who have sent criers to distribute a response to the revelation of five unknown gods.

Faithful of Rues,

From the lips of Angels and mortal Agents of the Gods, there are ten Genesori. This has caused many to reevaluate their place in the world, and question what they have known all of their lives in their faiths. This has not changed the duty the Chapellarie has taken to help any who have questions of faith without judgement. For some, the Revelation has brought answers, especially to those who felt much more connected to one aspect of their faith than another. For others, the Revelation has brought doubt for their faith was strong in the duality of worship. There is nothing wrong with these things. The Purposed Races of Rues have been granted a great gift, for the Genesori have felt we are ready to receive it. As we have grown in our faith out of the Shrouded Age, we have now stepped into what could very well become known as the Age of Revelation.

Any such great step forward shall always be met with those that wish to take advantage through fear of change. These people will roam the land and demand others remain embedded in their old ways. They will use fear and violence to try to prevent the progress the Genesori have granted us. Most do not do such out of hate, but for a love of their faith that has been a truth for their entire lives and guided them. They will see anything that is different as opposing their love, and thus must be a bad thing. In doing such, they are also denying the Genesori’s wisdom in bestowing this Revelation upon us, most likely because to accept the Truth makes them question something that they have always known. As a people we can cling to the ways of the past, or we can step upon the new path that Genesori have put in front of us.

The duality of the Genesori we have known have been revealed to have been the mantles of two Gods. The five we knew took up these mantles to preserve them for Rues until such time as they could be returned to the Genesori from whence they came. This time has finally come and we have been deemed worthy and strong enough of faith to receive this Revelation. The Genesori have anointed High Matriarchs and High Patriarchs. These people have heard the call and the Angels themselves have recognized them. They are working to spread the Revelation to all, and embody their faith as they always have. The Angels themselves have stated that it is known that some people will now find themselves drawn to different Genesori than before and that is part of our growth. The Chapellarie will help answer the questions that arise and make finding your path or reaffirming your faith as smooth and rewarding spiritually as possible. While we know the Revelation will create questions for many, we want this gift of the Genesori known to all. As such, below you will find the names of all ten Genesori, an incredibly basic, one word description of their Mantle, their Angel, and their High Patriarch or High Matriarch..

In Faith,

Godrick Dwyre

Brother of the Chapellarie

METIOCH : Order

Angel – Cosima

Patriarch – Themothy Wald

GARIOCH : Chaos

Angel – Varys

Patriarch – Torvinius Char

SEVERRIN : Entropy

Angel – VACANT

Patriarch – Owen Benham

GWENNARA : Essence

Angel – Amar

Patriarch – Liam Orselli

KOREEL : Spirit

Angel – Alise

Matriarch – Phyllida Vondran

EILONA : Nature

Angel – Riel

Patriarch – Heyman Krassus

ISTARUM : Tranquility

Angel – Seifer

Matriarch – Alandra Nemethial

BAHADUR : Resolve

Angel – Aeron

Matriarch – Kiera Soshana

JORMIC : Knowledge

Angel – Vinita

Patriarch – Durante Scipio

THIACRIS : Mystery

Angel – Laylia

Matriarch – Dakota LeRange

Teaser 1216 November

Rescue and recovery efforts in the wake of Ravvin’s Perdition have slowed as hope of finding additional survivors has dwindled. Shaman from all around Rues have plied their arts toward confirming the dead to provide answers for family and friends of the missing. Losses were greatest in the Federation and the Sarachutte, with survivors numbering only in the dozens. There remains some hope at Isou University, as a large number of the faculty and students reported missing have not been confirmed dead by the Shaman, indicating that they have not entered the Void or been subsumed into Ravvin’s forces.

It is a small comfort though, as bells across Rues toll again and again for the names of those who were lost, and then some of those are encountered in monstrous transfiguration on the battlefield. Different names have greater meaning in different places, and to the people of Fortune’s Bend the Shaman have offered many names of those connected to that place and its people. They offer their sympathies as well, and a gentle warning that the list may not be complete.

From the Sarachutte Cloister
Isaacar Onnathea, Heir to the Regency of Inlyrico
Helene Luthgardis, High Matriarch of Garioch
Father Parvell Keane, husband of Lady Regent Miria Onnathea
Brother Oliver Arawny, Head Counselor of the Chappelarie
Dame Bastira Halliday, Red Rose Knight and Peacebringer

From the Shiaran Bardic College
The entirety of the Traveling Troupe Trouveau
Nicholas Drakeson

From the Federation Shipyards
Killira Filliander, Oros Voice of Her Radiant Majesty
Lady Protector Mythandros, Sister to Her Radiant Majesty
Piedro Martin, Captain of the Rattlesnake
Gavrilo Scipio, Former Head of the Ordo Flagellus
Yulia Nosko
Luzia Zarcone, Voice of the Vascoll on the Council of Regents, is currently missing

From Isou University
Lord Anton Damiano, Dean of Isou Annex, Master of Ritual Studies
Sister Isi Farraday, Follower of Jormic
Callaway Martin, Department of Anthropology
Head Archaeologist Linnaeus, Director of the Fortune’s Bend dig
Field Marshal Janelle Orisan, Ambassador to Fortune’s Bend

Though the candle has burned out for many, the great flame keeps burning and time does move on. Other news has begun to move across Rues as well. People whisper that Brother James Morlander, a trusted hunter for the church, is truly a Blasphemer and a heretic. They say that he has abused his place in the unsavory Order of Iron and Blood to keep his secret, making those who learn it disappear. The Chappelarie has promised a full investigation.

The Church of Severrin reports that a large company of Ravvin’s forces are mustering just outside the warded walls of the lost city of Helios in the Federation, and another large force near the ruined Sarachutte in Inlyrico. Smaller forces still occupy the Inlyrico-Braeus border and move in roving groups through Shiara and Volbrecht. There has been no word from the Underholme to suggest that the situation has changed.

Teaser 1216 December (End of war with Ravin)

Attacking forces of Mangled, Anguished, Ravenous, and Smothered stopped their assault suddenly, midswing, late on the Night of Guardian’s Glory. Towns that had been about to fall suddenly were not. A great hum of power lifted particles of soil from the ground and raised the hairs on humans and animal alike. The rivers and seas tumbled and tossed. In Fortune’s Bend, at the Great Cathedral in Paradise, at the Guardian’s temple in Fort Firetol, beyond the wall of Helios, a great spiraled hand blazed in victory, proclaiming the triumph of Severrin.

Ravvin was defeated, stripped of his divine blessing, and cast out of the heavens. Without the touch of Severrin’s merciful hand, he lost all control of the Entropic Transfer and the Undead still attached to it. Those ravaged bodies, robbed of all impulses save their own hunger, fled the battlefield or were slaughtered by the rallying populace. Soon after, the Bled and Plagued withdrew as well, disappearing into the night or crawling into the deep fissures in the land.

While much remains to be seen in the aftermath of the titanic fight, the celebration, the relief, the joy can not be denied. Imperial soldiers who were certain that the night would bring the final swing of their swords were, at the sign of the Hand of Mercy, suddenly able to win the day. Beleaguered towns were liberated, and the families whose only hope previously was to remain undiscovered in their cellars were led out to see the great beacons. The Valar stemming the tide of enemy forces from Helios were, at last, able to lower their spears with the knowledge that Tor Mythra was saved.

No one wants to compare who sacrificed the most, or whose loss was greatest. With the great Hand of Severrin lighting the earth, there were only tears of relief and gratitude for those who brought the need for such sacrifices to an end. Before the shaking of the realms dealt a shocking blow to easy travel and the sending of word, one final offering made it through, a poem of victory for the Heroes of Fortune’s Bend.

I am the soldier holding the line,
Standing but seeing my death.
I’ll stay the fight, the bloody fight,
And when I fall, rise without soul,
To fell all I love with my might.

I shout to my comrades and wonder,
Will we live the new day?

I am the parent hiding their child,
Sitting in dark and in dread.
I am afraid of the light, the precious light,
The nightmare’s foe, the child’s haven,
But now would reveal us to monster’s sight.

I sing to them now, and wonder,
Will we live the new day?

I am the leader that cares for my people,
Now seeing them suffer and die.
I can not find the right, none of it right,
No exit, no rally, no bolstering words,
So instead we join hands and hold tight.

Together we we ask of the heavens,
Will we live the new day?

I am the hero of Fortune’s Bend,
Miracle town, hope of the world.
I stand on the edge of the night, the ultimate night,
At the boundary of heaven and earth,
I am the soldier’s fight, the child’s light,
I am the one who makes right.

By my hand it is decided,
Will we live the new day?

The dark, it speaks,
And thunder breaks,
Waves boil on the sea,
Rues all shudders
Sister and brothers,
What will become of me?

For a moment all is quiet,
The Sacred grips us all,
The heroes fight is over,
Will Severrin rise or fall?

And from out the darkened sky and over the black sea,
Let all rejoice,
Let all cry praise
Into every living soul shines the Guardian’s Hand of Mercy!

I am the simple soul that lived,
Through the Guardian’s Glory,
To see the sight, the most holy sight,
Of victory, of peace, of life,
To see another day dawning clean and bright.

To those of Fortune’s Bend we say,
Heroes, live this new day.