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June 271 – News and Rumors

The weather across Mardrun has been fair over the last several weeks and the people of Mardrun have been making ample use of the long days. While fields still need tending, the bulk of the planting season has passed and it’s still some months til harvest season. The month of June brings about a time of relative leisure for many citizens and the local taverns, alehouses, and meadhalls make immediate use of this. All across the continent outdoor biergartens and seating areas spring up next to drinking establishments, easily enticing passersby to stop in for a pint, a curious summer mixed-drink, or just to pass the time with friends and gossip.

 

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Many tell the story of a young Syndar woman who’d wandered into the foothills north of Starkhaven. Know one knows why she left her home or where she was going. Her mysterious disappearance has shaken her friends and family who immediately put together a small search party to head to the hills to find her. They asked around to gather any information they could and eventually found a member of the Layorder Militia who told them that he’d seen a person matching her description around the time that they claim she went missing. He tells the story that he saw her walking out of the eastern gate and turning north toward the foothills around midnight. He tried calling out to her to ask where she was going that time of night, but she seemed unable to hear him, fixated on her destination. “I assumed it was some kinda Syndar moon thing, I dunno,” he told the worried party, “But either way she walked her way right up into the hills. 

 

The party set off immediately up into the hills and luckily were able to pick up the trail of their missing. They followed the trail for hours and eventually crested a hill and found her standing in the middle of a clearing below. They called out to her but she didn’t respond; she simply stood still, holding a purple flower clasped over her heart and an empty smile on her face. One of her friends took a step toward her and immediately she vanished into the mana stream leaving behind nothing but a cascade of purple flower petals. The search party returned to Starkhaven, crestfallen and with more questions than answers.

 

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Some people in a roadside tavern between Keys Crossing and The City of Newhope have begun spreading tales of a strange occurrence. Some days ago the people of the tavern were awoken in the early morning hours to an eardrum shattering blast on the road in front of the building. People fled outside to gawk at the source of the explosion, but saw nothing more than a black-haired Syndar running about frantically, cursing and worrying, and picking up shattered bits and bobs while a human clad in a green tunic tried desperately to assure her that everything will be okay and that things can be replaced. The pair looked up and saw that they had drawn a crowd and quickly gathered what they could onto their travois and took off on the road toward Keys Crossing without acknowledging their audience.

 

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A sickness has gripped the people of a small Stormjarl village near their border with Aylin’s Reach. People report incredible fatigue and stomach pains. Some have been seen vomiting blood. No one can be certain of the cause of this disease, but luckily it hasn’t seemed to spread beyond the village. A few travelers visiting the area also fell ill, but grew better after they left the area. Only one family has managed to avoid the rapidly onsetting plague though no one can tell why. They have mingled with the rest of the village, but not contracted the illness. Some are beginning to accuse the healthy family of dark magics and claim that they have placed a curse upon the town for some unknown slight. Hopefully someone will step in and get to the bottom of the situation before it ends in bloodshed.

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The Council of Newhope has been meeting regularly over the last couple months. Such activity is to be expected after the proclamation from the Ulven leadership. What takes this from a mundane news report to a load of hot gossip that spreads over the continent is one small detail. It seems that Arragones and her stewards have been formally barred from these meetings. No one can be certain whether or not this is a calculated move that Arragones is also a party too and simply a series of political maneuvering; or a serious sign that things may be shaking up for The Council.

It does appear, at least outwardly, that the latter is the case. Small whispers have drifted out of the Libraries of Celestial Arragones that tell of her increasingly erratic behaviors and apparent genuine upset at the current turn of events. 

 

*

 

Reports start surfacing from people in coastal settlements and those living along larger waterways about small longships passing their homes with increasing regularity. These ships have been seen flying various flags, none of which are recognized as Clan flags and none of which match any Packs local to the area. While these ships haven’t made any large moves that anyone is aware of, there are still reports trickling in of some of them harassing people as they pass them on the rivers, often shouting insults and hurling refuse. The speculation is that these boats may be related to the recent raids, but others say that they could just as easily be drunken sailors blowing off steam, but then why would they be sailing the routes in the first place? Regardless of the origins of these unidentified aquatic objects, the people of the coastal and riverfront settlements are growing anxious.

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