The first quarter political meetings took place at an estate in the colony of Newhope, as delegates and representatives from all over attended to discuss numerous details. Although talks of security contracts and trade took place, the matter of the civil war was much less of a topic to some of the Council. The colonies and their allies seem content in staying a bit removed from the civil war, which could be seen as a burden to the alliance made with their allies and hosts, Clan Nightriver, but unless the civil war pushes into Nightriver territory then some say the colonies are much less likely to get involved without a unified rally to do so.
A letter read during the recent Newhope Colony political dinner informed the colonies that the Lions of Arnath’s Fist would be leaving the Pass through the Wolf’s Hackles at the end of the month. The lack of supplies and support they received from their allies, in addition to their political support from within Newhope being pulled a matter of months ago led to the decision to return to Starkhaven to harvest food and supplies for the families. They encouraged the coalition to find someone to replace them in the Pass soon, before Grimward takes notice of their absence and overruns the Pass. Talk was made to send support, but it seems to be too little too late to keep the Order involved in the fight any longer.
Banditry has plateaued in the area around Daven’s Reach. Some speculate that this means the bandits in the town have left, while most assume it is because the bandits are settling in and getting comfortable in their new home, which has many nearby civilians concerned. Rumors that Baroness Catherine will be making a push to take the settlement back have emerged, although no troops have been moved as of yet, and it is speculated that she is seeking a contract without outside help to deal with her lost investment.
The colonies and settlements are abuzz with rumors of Baron Richards’ bid for control spreading like wildfire. Word of the other interactions among council members and faction leaders have trickled through as well, though none have struck such a chord as Richards’ proclamation. The city seems to have started dividing itself between the two main contenders for the position of Leader of Newhope: Baron Richards and Baroness Catherine. Arguments have emerged over what Catherine’s appearance at the dinner signifies, either a show of power or a sign of desperation. For now, that is up to speculation.
Clan Ironmound continues to be torn in their decision in the war. Clan Grimward has presented a much stronger case thus far, although their brutality when dealing with neutral clans in the past serves as a detriment to their case. With their hand being forced by the end of the month, Clan Ironmound hopes for assistance in making their decision, and possibly in dealing with the repercussions. Clan Nightriver has been sending representatives (and recently Clan Spiritclaw has as well) to discuss with their leaders, but without some sort of backing or a plan to support Ironmound, should they choose to oppose Grimward, they fear the answer is clear.
The blockade of Clan Stormjarl continues, hindering the movement of supplies and troops in the war. A handful of Viknar longships have taken to the sea in hopes to push through and break the blockade, opening up trade lines by sea again, but no real direct action against either side has yet to take place besides a few smaller skirmishes at sea. For the remainder of the winter, Clan Stormjarl seems to be waiting out the blockade for potential ally support in the Spring. Clan Squallborn has been strangely aloof to any kind of contact with the other Clans, but it is suspected that sailing that many ships in the winter must be a major drain to their supplies.
Clan Watchwolf begins to evacuate civilians from their border villages after much persuasion from neighboring clans and allies, but pressure from their own leadership and ambassadors urges them to stay and maintain their sacred charge. Their warriors, stalwart in defense of this purpose, are preparing for a bloody stand against the Grimward war machine. Clan Shattered Spear and Clan Nightriver have expressed concern about this situation and attempt to urge the Watchwolf Clan leaders to see reason and coordinate a mass exodus of its people to their Eastern settlement. Several Coalition units and allies traveling near their settlement report a dire situation, as food is running out and most of the settlement is being forced into war parties.
Mordok activity in numerous territories continue to be reported as rumors of still odd happenings going on in the Great Forest along with other sightings. A large group of mordok emerged from the Dirge recently and struck the nearby village of Onsallas before being repelled and disappearing into the swamp. This amount of aggression and coordination is uncommon for the dead of winter.
Numerous clans seem to be amidst an escalation in arming warriors, more training, and coordination of supply lines all across the continent. Clan Whiteoak and Clan Axhound seem poised to strike at each other come the spring thaw, and Clan Stormjarl has made their intent known to retaliate again against their Grimward conquerors and break the Clan Squallborn blockade separating them from their allies. Clan Nightriver has secured allies to defend their waters and control the Pass. Clan Grimward’s mobilization of a large army to be unleashed on the remaining Watchwolf defenders looms in the near future. With the spring comes the impending threat and promise of battle all across Mardrun.