vol. 89 - January 7, 2013
Highlights in this issue:
We've got two events coming up soon!
- On January 26: Winds of Change. The Yamamotoans have extended an offer to join the Crusade; what could happen at the treaty summit with the Crusader nations?
- On February 23: Keep Your Friends Close. People are disappearing from a Steinlands town near Bilgosh; will you help end the villagers' plight?
There are still open event slots for the rest of the year, starting in March. If you’re interested, contact the Events Committee.
Bring a friend
And don't forget the "bring a friend" discount — bring a new player to any game and get the same discount they do!
There are no rules changes for 2013, so the 2012 handbook remains the most current one. You can read it online, or download it at the Downloads page.
Want your own spellbook? Don;t forget about our “print-and-go" spellbooks! Just print them out on a double-sided printer, fold in half, and you're good to go -- no binder, hole-punching or page-formatting necessary. You'll also find them on the Downloads page.
Continuing Game News:
December 31, 1012:
Erkesal, necromancer and Dark Lord of Rhonovia, used ships he captured from crusaders to harass coastal traffic and prevent crusader ships from using sea lanes to support allied armies on land.
After a failed attack on his island fortress, Erkesal's undead warriors took control of the captured ships. The necromancer appears to have put the more intelligent undead in command, leaving the relatively mindless ones to handle the sails and rigging.
Crusader ships that have tried to engage with Erkesal's say that it has been difficult to outrun the unholy ships, since their “sailors” need no sleep and the ships never need to re-provision.
After last autumn's disastrous siege of Gri, in which the crusader armies had hired dwarves to tunnel beneath Castle Gri but were discovered and repelled, the Chardrois army returned in full to Gri and surrounded the castle for a prolonged, traditional siege.
The crusader armies had surrounded Gri in the summer of 1011, setting a hired company of dwarves to tunnel beneath the castle walls. Somehow, the unholy forces seemed to know of the secret tunnel, and made a counter-tunnel of their own, bursting through the rock walls and slaughtering the mostly-defenseless miners. Simultaneously, werewolves attacked the crusaders out of the nearby forest, and the Chardrois and their allies were routed.
Queen Catherine of Chardreau, stating that Gri was of strategic importance, sent Lady Aurelie Pernaine to set siege once more, this time with a larger army and with siege engines. The crusaders found their old tunnel flooded and heavy trapped.
King Harold VI turned eighteen in July, officially taking over the reigns of his kingdom (and command of the Allondine armies) from his uncle, Prince Edmund, who had been acting as regent since the young king took the throne when his mother was deposed in 1011.
In the Allondine camps, many of the younger knights and nobles are said to be pleased that the king now heads the armies, finding the strategies of Prince Edmund and his inner circle to be too slow and lacking in the bold moves that they feel the crusade needs to reach victory. By contrast, the older knights and nobles who prefer the former Regent fear that the young king may be too hasty, attempting reckless strategies that have been proven to fail.
In the Allondine capital of Tolbury, the royal officials running the government remained largely unchanged, which is to say, they are largely Prince Edmund's allies.
Lord Peter, the first Baron of Arregal, died in his sleep on August 7 at the age of 86.
Lord Peter was the last to survive of the original barons and baronesses created by King Hrungar after Ragnorack was settled by humans. During the chaos and turbulence that marked the end of King Hrothgar's reign in 992, Lord Peter was widely respected for keeping his lands free of bandits and largely spared from trouble. His passing was marked by a sorrowful announcement from King Dmitri, who called Lord Peter “the last of the original, great wolves of Ragnorack.”
Lord Peter is survived by his son Franklin, now the second Baron of Arregal, who had been ruling Arregal in all but name for the last several years as his father's infirmities had worsened.
After months of siege, the Chardrois crusaders took Castle Gri on September 26, raising the Bilgosh standard (with its churchbells emblems) from the parapet.
Rather than risk another disaster with tunneling, the crusaders opted for a traditional long siege, hoping to starve out the defenders. Scouts and rangers patrolled the fringes of the nearby woods, lighting bonfires to guard against any werewolf attacks from the woods. Meanwhile, chaplains and novitiates blessed holy water and sanctified simple carved wooden holy symbols, which the crusaders lobbed over the castle walls with catapults. The crusaders did not know whether these items would weaken the defenders, but they at least hoped to demoralize them.
After five months of waiting, the defenders' supplies -- or their spirits -- broke. Where a mortal defender might have raised the flag of truce and handed over the castle peacefully, Dark Lord Beryx and his minions instead burst worth from the castle walls, heading for the forest and the hills and hoping to make a break past the crusaders. Some of the werewolves are believed to have loped past the Chardrois and escaped, but the vampire's thralls and soldiers did not, nor did Beryx, who slew seven knights before being felled with lightning bolts. He was subsequently staked and burned, and his ashes left to wither in the sunlight.
Much of the Chardrois army remains camped around Gri for the winter.
Crusaders, led by the Allondines, advanced into the hills near Vidujevo in October and captured the mines whose iron supplied many of the nearby Dark Lords.
Newly-minted novices of religious orders held aloft candles as the crusaders approached the mines, forming a protective semi-circle around the entrance, while armored knights, proceeding on foot, braved the mine entrance. The miners were a mix of ghouls and (mortal) humans; the latter quickly surrendered, leaving the knights to fight narrow tunnel battles against the ghouls, the knights' metal armor and shields protecting them from the bites and scratches of the ghouls. The fighting was slow and lengthy, with the knights needing nearly ten hours to reach the bottom of the mine and flush out the last of the undead.
The Allondine armies are now camped for the winter at the river junction, prepared to block any enemy river trade that might attempt to pass, hoping to form a small wedge between the adjacent Dark Lords.
On November 20, Venezan port officials reported that a ship of unknown provenance sunk off the coast of the Yamamotoan-held island of Nicolia during a bad storm. Yamamotoan ships had already converged on the wreckage, claiming the ship was abandoned and without legal claimant and therefore open to retrieval operations.
The Venezans ordered that the owner of the vessel to report in person with sufficient documentation to establish ownership over any cargo that might be recovered, and that action would thereafter “be undertaken by the Agency to ensure the Return of all Salvage in Accordance with the Law”. The notification added that “Private Action is not recommended by the Agency.”
On December 14, his Excellence Rinaldo Caiazzo, Kytan Bishop of Trenzano, announced that documents from the unholy were found in the unclaimed ship that wrecked off the coast of Nicolia in November.
Authorities had sought to identify the ship's owner, but were unsuccessful, thus allowing the Yamamotoans in Seiguntou to salvage the ship's remains. The bishop announced that the Yamamotoans had reported that “the ship, when recovered, contained a vampire in a temporary quiscent state”, and that while the Traladosian clergy had since disposed of the vampire, “documents were also recovered from the wreck outlining plans for a darkling invasion of Yamamoto”. The bishop warned that it was likely that “other vampires or their servitors may remain in the Delonan region”, and that ships were advised to exercise extreme caution when interacting with other vessels.
The bishop further urged that anyone witnessing suspicious behavior indicative of darkling activity should notify their local temple immediately.
Gameworld news comes from GMs, story authors, and other Quest participants, not from the Game World Committee. If you have material to contribute, please email it to cg-chair.