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March 265 – News and Rumors

The sudden reemergence of Mordok activity near the Great Forest has long heralded the coming of spring to the Ulven people, a sign that the air has begun to warm itself as the snow begins to recede. Warpacks are traditionally organized to help patrol major routes between settlements, armed and ready for combat against their ancestral foe. Their presence alone is often enough to deter all but the most zealous of the beasts, who instead choose to pick off the occasional lone hunter or wandering merchant. The battered bodies, shredded armor, and gruesome tales told by an increasing number of warriors from Clans Shattered Spear and Ironmound, however, paint a different picture, one of organized attacks on heavily armed warpacks, far from the normal character of the Mordok. Numerous versions of each story have sprung into existence over the past few weeks, each more fantastical than the last. Local chieftains have done their best to dispel or silence these accounts, touting them as the fanciful tales spun by wound-weary minds, though the seeds of fear have been sewn.

Word of the new corruption and highly-coordinated Mordok attacks have spread throughout the continent, stirring up fears among many and a sense of duty in others. These alarming new developments have many eyes turned to the larger clans, who are scrambling to calm the rising concerns and contain the threat. Others have taken a more desperate stance on the matter, allowing their fear to guide their actions. Production in some areas of Clan Ironmound has slowed to a trickle as workers either fall to the Mordok or leave their posts to return home and protect their families. Many in Clan Riverhead have taken to blaming the corruption on Clan Ironmound, believing it to be divine retribution from Gaia for their generations of desecration through their mines and profiteering. Clan Axhound, on the other hand, has taken perhaps the most drastic action: an entire village has been evacuated and refilled by those afflicted with corruption, tended to by woefully understaffed healers and herbalists. Warpacks patrol this village, claiming to be watching for Mordok to protect the inhabitants, although many have started to whisper that the warriors are there instead to enforce the quarantine through any means necessary.

Reports from numerous Truthseekers of Clan Spiritclaw have emerged, detailing the eruption of a number of new corruption sites inside the Great Forest. They are calling for action and allies, doing their best to keep this vile plague at bay, but know that their efforts could very well be quickly overwhelmed if there is not a concentrated effort to eradicate these hubs of corruption.

Trouble begins to brew in Nightriver territory as protests break out in a handful of small settlements. Though they have yet to devolve into full riots, the honor-bound Whiteoak and Grimward populations are demanding action after a disproportionate number of their groups seem to be disappearing in these Mordok raids. Branthur has reassured them that once the threat is subdued and the resources are available, he will fund an investigation into the matter, but many feel he is trying to cover something up, spreading stories of the strange movement of the Mordok attacking their villages; they show an intelligence, posture, and coordination out of character with their usual nature during these nighttime raids.

Amidst this chaos, Marquess Madeline d’Argent of Newhope has revealed that she is in the process of planning an expedition into the Dirge Swamp, possibly to take place sometime this year. She has made it clear that the trips made in the past, while vital for research and historical purposes, were woefully underfunded, understaffed, and under-equipped. In the coming months she has invited factions and individuals interested in pursuing this lead to donate their time, silver, supplies, and voice to the expedition, hoping to push through the swamp for the first time in recorded history.

Despite the turmoil facing the rest of the continent, Prince Aylin has continued to instead push for more allies to commit to his contract, though the details of which have remained elusive at best. His secrecy and timing in this matter have drawn the ire and the denunciation of Lord Baron Richards, who has criticized the prince for being opportunistic and selfish in the face of the hardships facing the continent, requiring unification on all sides, rather than political maneuvering. References to Aylin’s father have been made, as well as connections drawn to The Fall of Faedrun, much to the infuriation of the Prince and his subjects. Still, he has remained silent about the details of the contract, simply noting the wealth and glory that will come to those who sign on. He has shown no signs of going back on his word to reveal the contract at the beginning of April.

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