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September 264 – News & Rumors

Worry spreads in hushed tones across the continent this month as both sides in the Civil War see a dramatic increase in aggression, especially near the Pass through the Great Wolf’s Hackles. In a large-scale push to wound their opponent before the chill of winter forces them to stay their hand, Branthur Nightriver has once again put out the call for any and all who reside on his land to do their part to ensure a swift victory. Several of his warpacks, accompanied by those of his allies and the units sent by the Coalition and Colony armies have been able to make a solid push into Grimward territory this month, though the offensive has left them less able to defend some key positions, an opportunity that Grimward has seized with haste. Momentum has built on both sides, each refusing to back down. Even a handful of Lions from the Order of Arnath’s Fist, along with a unit of militiamen bearing the mark of Starkhaven have come forward offering their skills both on and off the battlefield, their resolve strengthened by the support gathered by the Coalition. The entire border that Clan Grimward shares with Clans Ironmound and Shattered Spear has become a war zone, often erupting into small hit-and-run attacks. Full-scale decisive battles have yet to rage, though the pressure building in the region surely means that it will not be long before they do. Several villages are raided on both sides of the war, each side eager to lash out at their enemy. The fighting is not confined to the Ironmound, Shattered Spear, and Grimward borders, however: Increased aggression from both Clan Whiteoak and Clan Axhound has been reported, both seizing an opportunity to harm their ancestral foe. Ships bearing the emblem of Clan Squallborn have been spotted in increasing number along the coasts, though the small clan’s territory itself has remained mostly quiet. By order of Graytir, Stormjarl warpacks have begun to retake their homeland in a bold maneuver, opting to burn the buildings and crops to the ground rather than attempt to weather the storm of Grimward invasion. This has led to a long swath of land being rendered unusable in the hopes that Grimward will be unable to use the land they have conquered. The massive movement spurred by the war is unrivaled in Ulven recorded history, both of warriors marching to the front lines and civilians evacuating their homes, which are no longer safe. Clans Grimward and Ironmound (along with their Longfang allies) released a number of documents recovered from a Lorespeaker cache deep in the Dirge Swamp recently, turning the concept of Ulven honor on its head. The documents – which seem to indicate that not only was it not taboo for Ulven to kill each other generations ago, it was not even uncommon – have helped to justify the bloodshed to some of the more eager warriors, no longer fearful of the dishonor they may face in the next life. Many, however, still cling to the ways they were taught, ready to defend their homes to the death, but uneasy about killing their own kind. The killing of their brothers and sisters was bad enough when it was kept to small border skirmishes, but now clans march to a war the likes of which has not been seen in generations, if these documents are to be trusted.

Without a solid effort to remove the invaders from the coastal Nightriver villages, warriors from Clan Whiteoak have been able to establish a foothold in unfriendly territory. With the bulk of Nightriver’s forces focusing on the front lines of the war, the berserkers have been able to raid and pillage virtually unopposed. A number of Chieftains in the area have urged Branthur to either help them or find someone who will. Such a task will surely not be as easy as it may sound, however, as reports have surfaced that the Squallborn ships, which originally deposited the troops on Nightriver soil, have remained in the area as well.

A number of Lorespeakers has already been captured and turned over to Cahal Spiritclaw and Branthur Nightriver, who have set about the delicate task of learning the truth from those who have proven themselves liars. The will of the Lorespeakers already captured seems to be stronger than anticipated, however, and efforts to extract information from them have proven relatively futile thus far. Threats of violence, shame, and even death seem not to faze the captives as they would a normal Ulven. Branthur has continued to offer rewards for the capture of any living Lorespeakers, however, hoping that one of them will reveal the true depths of their deception in due time. Many Ulven feel betrayed by these supposed historians, who appear to have willfully deceived the Ulven people for generations about their true history. As a result, vigilante justice continues to pop up in some of the more remote locations of Mardrun, the perpetrators eager to have their sense of vengeance appeased. This anger, justified or otherwise, has begun to spill over into other groups, however: A handful of reports indicate that a number of Truthseekers have gone missing in the past weeks, with others voicing their disapproval of the group’s inability to discover a lie of these proportions.

Newhope continues to struggle to maintain their level of involvement in the war, eager to not be outdone by New Aldoria. While they have communicated with Branthur and respectfully scaled back their shipments of food and supplies, many in the colony fear it will not be enough. Lord Baron Richards has swallowed his pride and put out a call for help, asking other settlements to pledge supplies for Newhope so the colony can survive the winter. If insufficient resources are gathered or promised, the colony will need to drastically reduce their involvement at this critical point in time.

Reports of Mordok acting strangely around the Great Forest continue, drawing the attention of several packs among the nearby clans. Ever the cunning predators, the Mordok have been eschewing their normal ways and completely avoiding all combat with the Ulven, focusing instead on their task at hand. Almost as if with a singular mind, the Mordok continue their exodus with relentless drive towards their goal: North.

A letter, hand delivered by a young Ulven dressed in brown with accents of the blue and black of Nightriver, arrives at each of the major settlements inside Nightriver territory. Others in more distant locales receive a hawk bearing the same message.

“To my allies, friends, and brothers among the Coalition,

The time has come for us to end this war. Recently I made it known that if you were to continue to live on my land, you would contribute to the fight, and you have done well in that regard. Now I must ask you once again to dig deep into your stores, your coffers, and your barracks for one final assault before the winter comes.

This coming month will be the most crucial to date. We must strike as deep as we are able into the Grimward war machine before the winter sets in. In doing so, Grimward will be forced to retreat and lick their many wounds while trying to survive the colder months. With any luck, they will soon realize the error of their ways and sue for peace, an outcome we can all revel in.

If you have troops, send them. If you have food, send it. If you can afford mercenaries and sellswords, send them as well. Any and all resources can be used, and your involvement will be rewarded once the day is ours.

The Ulven way is to run towards our problems, not away from them. That is precisely what we will do, and may the Great Wolf’s ears ring with our names before the day is through.

Fight with honor, brothers!

Branthur Nightriver,
Clanleader of Clan Nightriver”

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