August 269

With the heat waves rolling and receding throughout the month, most of Mardrun finds ways to cool off and relax before the busy months of harvest that are coming up quickly. However, some of the world has other plans in the works…

 

 

Clan Ironmound continues to rebuild after the devastation, and with the help from outside forces the process has expedited some. The prideful and usually prickly members of the Clan are starting to warm up to those who have come to help with the reconstruction, often ending the night drinking with the volunteers. While there is still extensive amounts of labor and work ahead, many within Clan Ironmound are starting to feel some hope after many months of desperation. 

 

 

In a Grimward outpost along The Shield of Mardrun a horrible accident befell a workman in the process of patching a section of an outpost wall that had been damaged by recent high winds. One of the legs of his scaffold gave way and he fell nearly 15 feet before landing on a jagged piece of his broken platform. The worker was quickly carried to a nearby surgeon, but by the time he arrived the wounds proved to be too great and he passed away. Not willing to accept this outcome the surgeon quickly set to work on the newly deceased body and through what can only be thought of as a miracle of medicine, she was able to bring him back from the otherworld..and bring him back from the otherworld she apparently did. The Ulven shot to his feet with a wild look in his eye, screaming at the top of his lungs. Slowly he came back to reality and told everyone around him what he’d seen. His words have spread far and wide.

“There I was, falling from a scaffold. Next thing I know I’m on my back and my vision is fading out and my lungs are filling with blood. I close my eyes. Then suddenly I feel totally fine. I open my eyes and I’m standing in a forest and off in the distance I see the hulking shadow of The Great Wolf as it stalks its way toward me. Naturally I freeze in place. Then I hear a voice, low and rumbling like a growl barely escaping the throat of the great beast, ‘I do not know you yet you intrude on my forest?’ the beast called to me, ‘Without a name, you are nothing to me. Nothing but a morsel.’ Then the Great Wolf turned and began bounding toward me, his maw open. I tell you the likes of it I have never seen. When he opened his mouth, by Gaia’s grace his mouth so large it could swallow ten warriors without thinking, I saw the stars inside. I saw the very cosmos itself, but at the center of it all, I saw something that scared me more than any of the rest of the experience. I saw nothingness; a void of pure emotionless, nothingness. I screamed…and then I was here.”

 

The laborer spread his story across the outpost to any who would listen to it and when he ran out of people to tell he packed his things, threw on a cloak and started walking south to continue to spread his word. “When he sees me next he’ll know my name!” he shouted back into the outpost as he left, “Hjalvar the Great Wolf’s Priest!”

 

 

In the City State of Newhope people enjoyed their time relaxing in the late summer days, children playing in the fields and streams, parents enjoying a bit of peace. In the manner of a single night, this peace was turned into chaos as the mass murderer struck again. A family of five were the targets it seems, their bodies all found in the barn, hanging by their legs upside down. The sight of the scene soon spread like wildfire, along with the words carved in each of the victims. “Did you miss me Newhope?”

 

 

Bandit activity in the Riverhead lands reaches an all time high this month. Caravan’s are now refusing to go any further north without significant martial support. While some packs from Clan Nightriver and Whiteoak do offer aid in this, more often than not are met with overwhelming amounts of bandits rushing the caravans. Many are pleading for higher up authority figures to do something about the situation, but many are conflicted on the proper way to handle this situation. 

August 2020 – Ironmound Reconstruction

The devastation in the eastern reaches of Clan Ironmound is more than most had expected. Sure rumors and tales of the destruction had spread across the continent, but words alone cannot truly carry the impact that one feels when seeing the damage first hand. By the time most members of this aid mission arrived in the area, Ironmound had already devoted several months of concerted effort toward clean up and yet there are still many villages that are populated more with fallen homes and collapsed mines than anything resembling a concerted rebuilding effort. This sight helps bring the breadth of the destruction into focus, even after many months of effort, Ironmound alone hasn’t been able to see to many of their own villages. The initial damage must have been beyond catastrophic.

 

Aside from the rubble and damage there are a handful of other sights that stand out to those arriving in the area. Alongside the Ironmound workers there appear to be other helping hands already elbow and shoulder deep in the reconstruction effort. A small group of colonists working under the banner of Silvers Crossing sing songs heralding from the Fire Isle home of The Phoenix while they toil, seemingly keeping their fellow labourers in good spirits. Alongside them toils an equal sized group of Ulven bearing the marks and heraldry of Pack Bloodmoon of Clan Nightriver. Both of these groups are dwarfed by the blazing red feathers of The Broken Blade Company who immediately stand out as having already spent a great deal of time and effort among the people of Ironmound. Several carts of supplies line the work areas bearing the insignia of the Broken Blade. It becomes abundantly clear that they have been here for months already and have donated much to the cause already.

 

As the first days of the month fall away more and more people spill into the area. At first the Ulven of Clan Ironmound are a bit bristly, but as the number of helpers and labourers continues to rise they soften up and welcome the newcomers with open arms before quickly directing them to areas that they could be most helpful. By mid-month the area is swarming with seemingly altruistic groups individuals and groups. Some new banners can be seen in the area emblazoned with the letters UCUM as well as some banners bearing the iconography of The Order of Arnath’s Light. All-in-all together everyone makes an impressive force.


The month toils on. Days are filled with sweat and back-breaking labor and nights are filled with song and drink. Occasionally stories drift into the villages of bandits clashing with patrols in the nearby wilds, but none of these assaults seem to be of too much note. Some of these reports tell of a bandit leader named Killy and with this comes word that she is the same bandit who’d committed infanticide during a tense hostage situation a few years back. Apparently she’s again managed to skulk away with life and limb. By the end of the month people from all parts of Mardrun find themselves surrounded by friends, new and old, tempered in the heat of labor and quenched in the soothing embrace of joy-filled nights around the fire.

Lyr Burnt-Hollow

Character: Lyr Burnt-Hollow

Played By: Kelly Guthrie

Race: Ulven

Content Warning: Assault

 

 

 

Lyr watched quietly, hidden behind the curtain as her mother struggled to hold off the Mordok that entered the caravan. She listened to the clashing of swords and dying wails outside. Another Mordok entered in through the door behind Mother. Her attention was still held by the Mordok before her, she did not expect it when the dagger was plunged down into the back of her neck. Mother became very still, her arms dropped from a defensive position, down to her sides; she released her weapon dropping it to the floor. She fell to her knees with a thud. Mother looked over at Lyr with no emotion and let out a gurgled cough, blood spattering the curtain. The Mordok who had stabbed her pulled his dagger from her neck, blood now flowing generously from the wound and she collapsed fully onto the floor. Lyr began to cry. Mother was dead.

Lyr reached past the curtain and tried to touch the hand of the Mordok as he was now looting her mother’s body. Not missing a beat he grabbed Lyr’s wrist and pulled her towards him. HARD. There was a “Clang,” and he suddenly felt resistance to his pull. The Mordok still holding onto her arm brushed the curtain aside to reveal a small, refuse covered Ulvin child with her face pressed against the small cage at the back of the caravan. With tears streaming down her face Lyr looked up to meet his eyes, and in almost a whisper she said “Thank you.”

Lyr had cuts and bruises all over her, along with being covered in what one could only assume was her own filth. Even while in pain from being held firmly against the bars of the cage, Lyr smiled. Whether it was death by this Mordok’s blade or being left here to starve to death. Lyr was free. Free of her cruel mother. There would be no more beatings, lashes or constant degrading. No more riddles, mind games and punishments. “Thank you.” she said again. He dropped her hand and turned towards the other Mordok still standing there.

A weight had lifted from Lyr. It felt good watching mother die, seeing the light fade from her eyes. Knowing mother would never have the satisfaction of killing Lyr herself. Mother would often monologue to Lyr about all the different awful ways she could kill her. Lyr was not afraid of death, in fact she had wished for it for so long.

Suddenly Lyr burst into laughter. “It’s Over.” she sobbed. Malnourished and exhausted from all the excitement Lyr blacked out to the sight of the Mordok reaching for the cage and the sound of the cage door opening.

Lyr woke up later, night had come and she could hear the Mordok and the crackling of a fire not far behind her. She was alive. But why? She wondered as she slowly opened her eyes and turned her head to see at least 14 Mordok around a blazing fire, they were cooking some kind of meat. They didn’t seem to notice Lyr moving or watching. She did not understand them so she didn’t care to listen. Her stomach growled, that food smelled so good. She scanned the area for any food that was unattended that she could grab and take off with. She saw a pile of bones not 5 feet from her, it was doable. She jumped up and bolted for them scooped up as much as she could in one swoop and turned to flee into the woods. A few of the Mordok stood up but a particularly large one yelled as if barking an order. And they sat back down and watched as Lyr stumbled into the surrounding woods with arms full of bones, tiny bits of meat still clinging on. What a feast! she thought as she ran. She heard the large Mordok yell something after her, but she didn’t understand so she didn’t bother turning to face him.

Lyr ran into the woods, and when she realized she was not being followed, sat down under a large Oak Tree, and watched as fire flies illuminated the tree from beneath. This was the most beautiful thing Lyr had ever seen. “I’m glad I lived to see this. It’s like Magic. A Glowing Oak.”

The next morning Lyr looked over the bones she had gnawed at all night and in the light of day realized what they were, but now after everything she had been through; she didn’t even care. Her belly was full and they tasted good.

Lyr followed the Mordok who freed her from her mother (most likely unintentionally) since that previous night, skulking around and watching them hunt and kill. She made sure to never get too close, but she watched and learned quite a lot from them. They always seemed to know when she was close, and some of them would taunt her by hanging food just out of reach as if it was some sort of game. When she would come too close they would start shooting the ground around her feet to chase her off. However, the larger Mordok always seemed to bark something at those who played with her and they would sulk off as if they were scolded, leaving the Large one to chase her off repeatedly. Other than that, they all acted as if Lyr didn’t exist as long as she stayed her distance. She was fine with that though, Lyr liked watching them.
After about a week though Lyr became desperate for anything to eat. She waited until after dark and they all seemed to be asleep. Lyr stealthily slithered into their camp up to the campfire. She reached out to take a small chunk of meat so as to not be too noticeable, but one of the Mordok found her, took up a bone with some meat on it, and began the game with her once again. It only lasted about five minutes before the large Mordok thundered in, throwing the smaller one in a fit of rage to the ground. It then turned its bloodshot eyes upon Lyr and began to draw a bow with arrows. It didn’t take long for Lyr to recognize this Mordok was not wanting to play, but was going to kill her if she didn’t run. She dug her bare feet into the dirt and ran into the woods, darting between the trees.
“Choďte týmto spôsobom! Nevracajte sa! Nebudete znova ušetrení! Beh!” were the words roared behind her. She looked back to only see an arrow landing in the tree directly next to her. “BEH!” the large Mordok boomed. With that Lyr left to come upon a small town, if you could call it that. But there were people and FOOD.

July 269

The land begins to swelter and shimmer in the heat of the summer sun, but life on the lands of Mardrun continues on, even if a little begrudgingly.

 

To the south in the colony of Daven’s Hold, The Council of Three begin on a personal project to breathe some culture and refinement into their home by building many political buildings and public spaces. Many are excited for this direction The Council of Three have taken, and are more than happy to see more than the cobble stones and shop fronts that seem to be in every corner of the settlement. But some wonder aloud if their desire to go this way is due to the ever growing divide between Governess Catherine and Grand Duke Baron Richards.

 

In the Citystate of Newhope, the land is filled with the sounds of battle, roars of rage, cries of pain, and cheers. Duke Martingale of Westhaven’s Colosseum has finally completed and is open to the masses for only a few silver. Many peddle their wares of food and “good luck charms”, and as such find jobs within and around the colosseum. Hundreds of people, Colonists and Ulven alike, flood the stands to watch warriors fight one another either in one-on-one battles, group fights, or against powerful bears. Here is where even some of the prisoners who are to be executed are given a chance to earn their freedom, though seldom do. 

 

To the north, on a small hillock on the borders of Clan Whiteoak and Clan Axehound, a large crowd has gathered for a monumental occasion. A signing of a treaty between the two ever feuding clans, which both agreed upon. While some are wondering why it took so long for these two clans to finally come to this agreement, most understand that some tensions between the clans and their long seated rivalry have made it hard to break the distrust between them. Due to these issues many long meetings between the Clanleaders were needed, and many of them became heated. However, after a few shouting matches, four or five brawls, and almost drawn steel, the two Clanleaders came to an eventual agreement on the terms of the armistice and the rules. Many who have read the treaty were shocked to discover no loopholes and no way to manipulate the treaty to one side’s advantage, believing both made sure neither of them, or their successor’s, could weasel their way out of this honor binding treaty. When both pens signed the treaty, along with the seals of both Clanleaders, many cheered, however even more had doubts on what to expect from their neighbors actions here on out.

Kasim-Kara

CHARACTER NAME:  Kasim-Kara
PLAYED BY: Jake Segor
RACE: Half Syndar (human traits) age 52
OCCUPATION: Drifter/Bard
CLASS: Cleric

He stands upon the mound of dirt he dug up, looking down at the figure resembling a corpse below him. The hardest part was laying out all of the pieces in the hole, he found the act of making the grave almost cathartic. Tilting his head up he looks upon the grey sky hoping that it would rain, it would feel right if it did but maybe it’s more poetic that it hasn’t. Inhaling, he picks the shovel back up and throws the first scoop of dirt over it’s chest. While he shovels he takes time to give a silent obituary, recounting what brought him here upon this hill.

Long as his memory serves, he lived among the monastery. He never knew his parents, all he had been told was that his mother was a syndar and his father was not. They left him with his name and that was all. Growing up in Saresh as an orphan wouldn’t have made for a promising start to life, looking back on it he wonders how his life would have differed if he wasn’t brought in by the monastery. It was a warm place. He was brought up among the teachings of Mahsai and only knew how to believe, no matter what it was in.

The monastery offered a place for him to grow spiritually, with some help he quickly became adept at channeling divine energies. He could feel the warmth of the gods flow through him and took a great passion in growing as a conduit for their magic. His learning was not limited just to that though, as he grew he learned a great many things stretching from the basics of commerce to mending wounds. He learned to play music and appreciate art. Of all the things he learned, one thing he found particularly satisfying was sword play. The heft of a large sword in his hands felt like a calling. His talents shown and he began to dream of a day where he could learn the sacred ways of the paladin. All of his life he had known of the threat of the undead holding siege to his lands. He had seen clerics and warriors of the Ma’kar Dominion and Vandergon travel through Saresh on their way to fight, and heard of how many would not return. He would make his goal to put an end to the rising dead with his own hands.

When he came into young adulthood he found his way to the battlefield. He had not yet risen highly in rank but he held confident in his skill not only with a sword but with divine powers as well. His unit was a young group, many of them were individuals of other monasteries, some that he even called peers. The confidence that they had held then, he now recognizes was arrogance. They pushed their way against lines of undead, dropping many of them effortlessly with divine righteousness. As they were ready to call their first folly a success a second undead unit came over a hill, lead by one wielding a sword made of curved and blackened bone. They stood their ground, not ready for what was actually in store. His memories of what happened next are foggy, maybe a way of preserving his own sanity. However he can clearly remember regaining consciousness after a violent loss. Surveying the field and seeing a second May’kar unit that pushed the enemy away, but not soon enough. The majority of his unit was lost, most of the survivors had lost limbs or suffered other substantial damage. His body was gravely wounded and would take the next year to fully heal up.

The fire in his soul was not put out from that fight, if anything his will to fight was emboldened. His abilities to channel divine energy however, was weakened. It grew harder for him to call upon the gods in true earnestness. He would claim that it was due to his injuries, even believing it himself on some level, but deep down he felt resentment for his loss at that battle.

Years go by and he rejoins the battlefield, smarter and hardened. He grows to despise the undead and penitent more with each battle and lets that drive push him through to the next day. The more experience that he gains on the field trains his discipline and he learns the ways of tactics and command. Each day begins to feel like the last, pushing undead back and being pushed back upon. Then the Bishop king rose.

He was away on the front lines for some time while it happened. Word spread out about the Bishop King and he wanted nothing to do with a land full of undead. A group of like minded soldiers in his platoon made the decision to join Vandergon’s lines, it was a hard choice but he followed them. He took only what he needed, his sword and armor.

For years he continues to fight, now against what was once his own people. The first year of this endeavor was emotionally the hardest. Torn between the sadness of fighting his own, the anger that they would turn in such a way, and at the same time feeling that he was wrong to fight them. Now and again he would feel a tang of guilt, he would catch himself thinking that there had to be a good reason the May’kar would do this. He was quick to quell these thoughts, reminding himself they were his enemy. By the end of the year he numbs himself of these thoughts and just fights.

As Vandergon pushed into Saresh, he was there. Cutting down anyone he was put in front of, throwing their bodies to the side to be burned. The dry air of the desert can carry a smell quite far when there’s nothing to interfere with it, it only made the funeral pyres that much more unforgettable. He did not see the end of the campaign against the Dominion though. Two weeks into the push he took a spear to the shoulder. Later he would be told that he was lucky to still have an arm after taking such a strike. He travels south for medical attention, this was the last time he would leave the city he thought he loved.

Word travels that boats that have gone out found a new land, a land free of undead. A call is sent out for able bodies to guard caravans heading to boats off of Faedrun. Even in his injured state, he still attempts to be strong enough to guard and finds himself boarding a ship when they arrive. The seas are anything but calm but compared to the day to day horrors of a battlefield, he would have rather take the boat.

When they dock in the budding colony of New Hope he has nothing. He hears that they are looking for strong hands to fight new monsters of this land, and he wants nothing to do with them. He finds a hill near a pond, removed enough from this colony, where he builds a small camp under a willow tree. He spends the following months in solitude living off of what he can find and sorting through the remnants of thoughts he held on Faedrun. His will to fight had been extinguished, the strength he once held had left his body, and the last of his faith had been snuffed out.

He eventually attempts to rejoin society. Unable to commit himself to a trade, he travels and plays music. He had paid enough attention in his youth to know how to play most stringed instruments, but never thought it would be a lifestyle in his future. He drifts from place to place for years, living off of tips and scraps, until the settlement of Serai was founded. He rejoined his people but he never truly felt at home. If anything, the only benefit there was that people were more willing to feed one of their own without asking for much more in return. When Bos Mezar was revealed to have been handling undead, he knew Serai was no longer a safe place and returned to a life of drifting.

He still traveled with his sword and armor, its weight serving as some type of reminder of his past. As he packs it up to leave Serai, he decides that it’s no longer a weight he can carry and makes for the camp he had made when he first arrived on Mardrun. It was makeshift camp to begin with, so he was not surprised to see that after years it was not recognizable. Time and weather had worn down most of it, save for the willow tree that stood over the pond. He decided it was time to bury the life he clung to. He dug down next to that tree and laid out a grave for the armor and sword that he once donned.

The dirt is easy to pack down. He levels off the pile, ensuring that there’s no visible mound of a grave. A bead of sweat falling down his face stings as it gets in his eye and he wipes it clear. For some time he just stands and stares at his work, almost waiting for it to do something. He throws the shovel into the pond and turns to leave, looking back one final time at where he buried the boy who dreamed of being a paladin to save the world. He needs a drink.

The Fate of Chairs

In the early days of July of 269 The Ravens of Keys Crossing held a secret meeting. This was a meeting of supreme importance, the utmost care was given as those in attendance all took separate meandering paths through the town before arriving at a predetermined, undisclosed location. Each member entered through different doors and some whispers even tell of Felix coming up through a previously unknown trapdoor in the floor. Before their meeting began, Aethulwulf made sure that area was secure and removed any unneeded personnel from the building. What then happened has remained a mystery to the people of Keys Crossing as no one was present in the room where it happened.

Some people tell tales of walking by the building and hearing shouting and the occasional breaking of furniture, but beyond that all that exists is rumor. Only one thing is known to be the truth. After several hours The Ravens emerged from the building with a scroll, sealed in shimmering blue wax bearing the mark of Viscount Alestear. Few words were overheard between the Viscount and his messenger, but a man in the vicinity swears that he heard, “Utmost importance, official unofficial, updated, chairs. Aylin’s…only”

Quicker than a rabbit over coals the messenger left the town.

Within the week a declaration came from Aylin’s Reach detailing the tournament process for the various feats of cunning and strength, finishing with the official entry protocol for this year’s Official Unofficial Chairs Street Rules Championship. Things seemed to be much the same they had been in years past, with only one notable change. This year all chairs must be turned over to the organizers three days before the championship so they may be inspected for any illegal reinforcements and kept safe from potential sabotage from rival chairs-warriors. Within time dozens of chairs poured into the testing and storage building and overall things seemed fine. Only a couple chairs were disqualified for steel reinforcements.

What happened next was, without a doubt, one of the greatest tragedies to strike Mardrun. Late one night one of the guards around the storage facility must have fallen asleep as eyewitnesses recount stories of several men wandering around the area and sometime around three in the morning reports came in of smoke pouring out of the storage building. A chain of volunteers rushed to the area and through diligent effort were able to put out the flames, but unfortunately the damage had been done; the chairs, the precious and wonderful chairs, were no more. 

With heavy hearts the news was called by the criers throughout Aylin’s Reach: This year’s Official Unofficial Chairs Street Rules Championship was cancelled. Since then rumors have swirled over how this atrocity could have come to pass. The majority of Chairs Aficionados have come to the conclusion that it was all orchestrated by one of the men who had his chair disqualified. Some claim that he must have paid off the guard to gain access. In the end, we may never know.

July 2020 – Aylin’s Reach Market Faire

As a concentrated repair and building effort comes to a close last month, the focus of Mardrun shifts over to the annual market faire in July. Many expected the faire to be held in City-State territory and there were rumors that Clan Nightriver was going to make an announcement soon about holding a festival. However, the Prince of New Aldoria seems to have beaten everyone to the punch and announced, rather brashly, that Aylin’s Reach will be hosting a market faire this month. Drawing ire from some nobles about “not maintaining etiquette” has little impact on the merchants that have quickly pledged to travel to and setup at Aylin’s Reach.

The new home to New Aldoria has seen tremendous economic and structural expansion over the last two years. Between a close partnership with Clan Stormjarl and a great opportunity to be involved in many construction and relocation contracts for the former Clan Squallborn Ulven, Aylin’s Reach has solidified itself as a strong rival to the impressive territories of the City-State. Although nowhere near as large in size, the mercantile networks of New Aldoria seem to be involved and invested in everything going on in the continent.

Representatives from all corners of Mardrun are expected to make an appearance, granting great opportunities for attendees to mingle with powerful people on Mardrun. The market faire will be host to all sorts of merchants and the usual tournaments and games of chance are expected to add excitement to the faire.
____________________________________________________

Following Prince Aylin’s announcement people flock quickly into the area in an attempt to set up and hock their wares and rub their elbows with any nobles who have decided to put their feelings of broken etiquette aside to revel in the joys of the yearly market faire. Within days the streets of Aylin’s Reach are filled beyond their normal levels of wine-drunk pedestrians as people from all over Mardrun take some time for themselves to feel the sun on their skin and enjoy a moment of pure ease and revelry after months of news of Mordok attacks in the north.

As the actual date of the market faire draws closer, tents and market stalls begin to spring to life in a beautiful park square in the center of town. Strategically located between several taverns and a few bakeries, it’s clear that this square was always destined for a life of city-wide public events. One half of this square has been set up to accommodate the variety of merchants, while on the other a series of raised platforms has been built around a decently sized fighting ring. Throughout the day, when not used for the tournament, the ring is populated by various bands and bards looking to make some silver from the drunken crowds.

At midday when the sun is directly overhead the tournament is called and people of all walks of life flood into the arena. Some are true and tested warriors looking to show their abilities in battle. Some have simply come to watch the spectacle. Some seem as though they are just drunk enough to think they stand a chance in a fight. The games go well. People are given a chance to show prowess with their bows; warriors fight with swords and shields; several unarmored fighters show off their skills and bravery as they swing heavy poleaxes at each other in the arena; mages take a chance to hurl spells back and forth at each other, but it’s all leading up to the final event and finally the moment all had been waiting for arrives as the small-unit battle takes to field. All of the combatants who had fought in the tournament are divided into two opposing teams, balanced by both their individual weapons as well as the relative strength of their team-members. With the blowing of a horn the two teams charge into the fray. It’s a relatively quick battle, as they often can be, as the two teams smash into each other’s lines. Arrows rain down from archers, shields smash against each other and are in turn splintered by heavy axes. Spells of all shapes and colours are hurled across the field. In the end two warriors remain standing. They circle each other for some time before eventually trading blows and before long one falls to his knees and yields. The crowd cheers at the spectacle and slowly begins to stand to leave the arena, but before they are able to file out another horn blows from outside.

The gate to the area is flung open and two men in full plate, wielding long wooden lances gallop into the arena on the backs of Aylin’s prized horses. The crowd immediately roars to life. For the colonists this will be the first joust they will have seen in many years; for the ulven this will be an entirely new spectacle. A general sense of unease can be felt from many of the ulven in attendance as their closest experience with horses comes from the infamously grumpy Mardrun ponies.

The horsemen take turns showing various skills and strengths before finally settling in for a well and proper joust. They take three passes at each other, trading blows from lances until eventually one of them is unseated from his horse. The crowd erupts with cheers and hollers and even most of the ulven seem to have come around and become swept up in the experience. There is no doubt that the story of this moment will travel far and wide over Mardrun. Colonists will tell the story of how they got to see a joust again; Ulven will tell the tale of the mad colonists who rode into battle atop enormous ponies and walloped each other with wooden sticks.

The rest of the day carries an excited energy as people flock back into the market area filled with adrenaline and amusement. Coin trades hands faster than normal and alcohol flows freely from the windows of taverns. Throughout the faire you’d be hard pressed to find someone not discussing the tournament and the joust that followed it. One thing is certain, Aylin’s Reach has made itself known as one of the places to be on Mardrun.

Hyancinthus

PLAYED BY: Ty Springer

CONTACT INFO: esprin1@saic.edu

CHARACTER NAME: Hyancinthus

GENDER: genderfluid

CLASS: Mage

AGE: 33

RACE: Syndar

OCCUPATION: fiber craftsperson for the Phoenix

KNOWN SKILLS: crochet, spinning, weaving, embroidery, archery

BIRTHPLACE: Fire Isle

APPEARANCE: long pointed ears and a mishmash of traditional May’kar clothing and more modern fashions

NOTABLE TRAITS: An outfit made of their many homemade textiles

RELATIONSHIPS: working with Finnath (Jake Segor) to get new fibers to make textiles with

BIO / BACKGROUND HISTORY: Born to the Phoenix shortly after arriving on the Fire Isle, Hyacinthus was raised with stories of the old land. Their parents were craftspeople back then, their father a woodworker and their mother a weaver. Hyacinthus was most interested in the way his mother described working with camel’s fur and showed him sketchbooks filled with intricate designs for fabric, some of which she was able to bring with her to the new world.

As she grew older, Hyacinthus picked up her parents’ trades, teaching herself to make drop spindles and looms to make textiles like her mother. With age, their desire to experiment grew. He had begun to make his own clothes and work with the goat’s wool on the island but had wanted to branch out.

Her experimentation began with the various plants on the Isle, but as she ran out of material she learned about mana weaving. They studied and observed the weavers amongst the Phoenix and translated the techniques to fiber weaving, melding the skills. But even mana weaving let him wanting more.

It was when she had heard of Finnath’s rabbit farm that she felt that feeling of excitement. Hyacinthus dropped by his tent to collect some fur which, to their surprise, spun beautifully. While there, Hyacinthus had heard stories about the new continent north of his island home. Tales of diverse merchants and swamp camels piqued their curiosity and filled them with a desire to see outside their now seemingly tiny island. With the motivation of exploration and discovery, she’s decided to explore Mardrun to find more materials to make her art.

SKILLS:

Trade Skill Weaver

Arcane

Improved Arcane

Trade Skill Merchant

Greater Arcane

Meditation

Ranged

Two Handed

Mana Reserves

Rowan son of Brom

Player Name: Joe Hamblin
Name: Rowan son of Brom “Battle-Born”
Gender: Male
Race: Human
Class: Warrior
Occupation: Mercenary
Skills​: Armor Proficiency, Improved Armor Proficiency,
Thrusting Weapons
Character traits​: Enjoys drinking, gambling, war, and luxurious living. Spends money quickly to enjoy the moment rather than the future. Slight prejudice against Ulven since the Ulven Civil War. Worships the Elder deities of Richtcrag.

History​:
Rowan was born to Brom “Battle-Born” and Helena in the year 236 in a small village on the mountainous border between Richtcraig and Aldoria during their flight from Richtcrag in its fall.
Brom “Battle-Born” served as a Battle-Rager in the Broken Blade Union. Helena accompanied Brom as a camp follower – Shortly after birth, Brom “Battle-Born” and Helena fled to Aldoria to escape the Penitent and the undead as they laid waste to Richtcraig.

Once across the mountains and safely in Aldoria, Brom and Helena roam the countryside, raising Rowan to the best of their abilities. Thankfully, their life out in the wilderness is a brief one as Brom hears rumor of his company further south. The quickly made haste and rejoined the company, resuming their previous rolls.

Once Rowan was old enough, Brom started training him in the ways of both spear fighting and swordplay. Making sure that the child drilled daily and trained at every opportunity. While this went on, the camp lifestyle slowly became part of Rowan’s identity: drinking, enjoying finer things, and gambling. While he may have been too young to join in on such things, it was the aesthetic that sold him on the idea of this is how a mercenary should be.

However, life like this eventually ended in a cruel and abrupt manner. One day while training with his father, Rowan heard the screams and then saw people feeling as the Penitent started to attack the camp. Brom and many others from the company grabbed arms and armor and stormed to chase off the raiders, leaving Rowan behind. When the Penitent was driven off, among those that were found dead was Helena. To this day the image of her body being burned on the pyre is seared into Rowan’s mind, along with that feeling of loss.

From then on, Rowan worked as a squire for the company and trained daily. This was his routine for years. However, one day the company commander came back with a grim look in his eyes. The Broken Blade Union, a mercenary Union headed by the Broken Blade Company was disbanded by majority vote. The Commander states he is confident that they will be able to survive without the safety net that the Union provided, but will understand if others wished to split from the company. Brom “Battle-Born” was one of the few that decided to go on out on their own, taking Rowan with him. It was some time, but eventually they made it to the capital city of Aldoria and began to take up work for caravans and guarding minor nobles.

That life was what Rowan then knew for four years, living and enjoying the lifestyle along with this father. Then one day the blood red banner of a silver hand grasping a broken sword entered the main gates, followed by around two-hundred-forty-eight hardened Íoclaochra of the Broken Blade Company itself. Both Brom and Rowan watched from the crowd as the lines of pikes, great swords, shields, and countless other weapons came into the city, making its way towards the Royal Palace of the King of Aldoria. Brom then told Rowan to stay home, and came back late that night that he was able to get both Rowan himself passage to the new world on one of the boats leaving in the next two days.
However, on the second day at evening, the Army of the Undead marched upon the gates of the city of Aldoria, just as Rowan was boarding the boat. When he turned around the wooden plank was raised and his father was on the other side.
“In order to get you passage, I had to stay and fight with the rest of my fellow mercenaries… Good luck son! I know you will do well!” Yelled Brom “Battle-Born” as Rowan started to sail away.

Along the way with over to the land called Mardrun, a terrible storm wracked the small fleet of ships. This very storm caused Rowan’s ship to become separated from the rest, but thankfully beached right near the budding settlement of Newhope. During that time Rowan went straight to work and joined the Newhope Militia, with which he stayed a part of, even when it became a standing army during the First Contact War between the refugees and the Ulven. He stayed even longer and fought for years in the Ulven Civil War against Clan Grimward. During his time he earned many notes of commendation, and even was promoted to the rank of Sergeant within the Newhope Army. He stayed only a few years after that though, feeling the pull to go out and adventure like he once did with his company, father, and mother. So one day he turned in his paperwork stating his retirement, took what money he was owed, sold the rest of his belongings, and bought himself some new armor, weapons, camp gear, and fine wine.

He was traveling through the settlement of Davin’s Hold, slowly making his way north when he heard tell of the Broken Blade Company and its growing settlement called Balie Onoir. He quickly made sure to join with a passing caravan as a guard and slowly made his way towards Aylin’s Reach, to seek out the company that once marched through the streets of Aldoria’s capital.

When Rowan arrived in Baile Onoir he made his way into the Drunken Cardinal as he was desperately in need of some good ale. Upon entering the tavern, Rowan noticed a big red bearded man. This man was a boisterous fellow, who appeared to hold the attention of most of the tavern’s patrons. After a few stiff drinks Rowan challenged the red bearded man to a game of dice. When challenged the man appeared excited at the chance to best this cocky traveler. During the game, however, there arose a dispute over the rules. A brawl quickly ensued between the two. After getting a few hits in Rowan exclaimed,“Is that all you got ya red bearded bastard!” The man smiled and swung with a quick right hook. The force of the punch was so strong that it was like getting hit by a boulder hurled by a catapult. Rowan dropped to the ground dazed and confused. The red bearded man began to roar with mirth, then Rowan began to laugh, and then the entire tavern began to laugh. The red bearded man then reached down to help Rowan up, and stated, “That’s what we call a Broken Blade hello.”
“What a coincidence.” Rowan exclaimed, “I’m looking to join the Broken Blade’s!”
“Then you have come to the right place. I’m Volrok ‘Battle-Born’, commander of the Broken Blade Company.” said the Man. Rowan, realizing his mistake, dropped to a knee, and begged Volrok to accept his apology, and requested an opportunity to join the Company. Volrok chuckled and said,“You’re going to have to learn to fight better than that if you want to survive in my Company, but I’ll give you a shot to prove what you’re really made of.”

June 269

Summer is in full swing, the land is lively with farmers tending crops, herds of sheep are getting their first shearing for the summer, and many are out and about enjoying the mild summer for the month. 

In Clan Steinjottun packs are beginning their annual hawking tournaments, showing off both their skills at breeding and training of the birds so many depend on in Mardrun. While some trainers are showing exceptional skill there are a few that are standing above and beyond the rising stars. One of the favourites for getting to the final rounds is a young woman from Pack Bloodhawk who has shown exceptional skill at training more advanced commands to her partner in the tournament. 

Off in Clan Ironmound, repairs and recovery is slow but steady. Some villages are already returning to normal day-to-day routines while others are getting closer towards that goal. The production of arms and armor is also slowly returning to its former ability to meet the high demand for quality arms and armor. However, villages that don’t focus on production of some sort still are in dire need of attention and aid, and while they are receiving support from the clan, it will take more of an effort to help repair and return those villages back to normal.

In Newhope, life is busy at the merchant guilds as they trade and exchange goods at high prices within the city walls. Many smaller trading companies are making bags over bags of silver with the current demand for charcoal. Some others are cashing in on the higher demand for brocade and fine fabrics. Whatever the item is, it is apparent that there is a large economic boom going on in the City State, and no clear idea when it will end. 

In the Riverhead lands, small villages of humans and ulven have sprouted up. However, none of these small communities are tied to any major pack, clan, or city state, but are rather controlled by either wealthy merchants, bandit lords, or warlords. Thus turning the once ancestral home of Riverhead into lawless lands where every individual has to fend for themself. This of course is an outrage to Pack Riverhead, who were making plans to start resettling their ancestral homes. Some groups of Riverhead even started to lead  raids and fights against these new settlers. Which just adds more to the chaos in these now unforgiving lands in the middle of Mardrun’s northern clans. 

There is an odd rumor floating around this month, a rumor that seems to border on that of folktale and spans between Balie Onair and Starkhaven. This past month two individuals, one Human and one Ulven, travelled from tavern to tavern issuing drinking challenges to any who would dare. Those who have said to witness these challenges are baffled by the sheer amount of liquor the individuals would drink. Even more unbelievable is that these two individuals won against all challengers, except against themselves. Towards the end of every story, the two would challenge themselves to drink, shot per shot, bottles of Lunashine. They would then finish their bottles and then match off into the night cheering and laughing. Leaving those who said to have been there, baffled as to who they were and how they were even still alive.