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January 270

As the initial rumors of the Wolf Priest quiet down, it is still unknown to the larger Ulven people what kind of impact this person will have on their people. It is certain that there are ears eager to listen to this new voice. Life continues on Mardrun as clans and colonies focus their attention on various tasks. Expansion continues in City-State territory, rumors abound about merchants claiming that Aldorian soldiers were on the move through Clan Nigthriver territory and headed towards the Great Wolf’s Hackles, and the defenders stationed on the Shield of Mardrun saw much needed rotation of fresh warriors ad volunteers.

Winter Harvest: Part 1
Just south of the Shield of Mardrun is a fairly significant area of land and settlements in Clan Shattered Spear territory led by Gertrud Speartusk, Chieftain of Pack Speartusk. Gertrud is also Jarl, overseeing this territory and coordinating with its families and smaller packs that call it home. After several harvests in the area were less than what was predicted, Jarl Gertrud has sent out a summons to hunters and warriors to visit their lands. The home settlement of Pack Speartusk will be the center of a large hunting competition. With a boast of promising fame, fortune, or favor to the best hunter or hunting group bringing in the most boastful game, renowned hunters are expected to travel to compete. By stoking the competitive fires of eager word-fame focused Ulven, this is sure to be quite an occasion. The Jarl has made it clear that all are welcome to compete, including Human and Syndar. However, at the heart of this is an effort to feed and stockpile food supplies of numerous settlements in the area in preparation for winter. Who knows what strategy will award a hunter this prize? Will it be a brave and mighty warrior facing the dangerous wild boars of the land? Cunning hunters tracking the largest elk herd? Or crafty hunters going after rare and unique small game?

UPDATE: Winter snows fall, the cold sets in, and the land becomes still. Perfect weather for a hunt in the wilds around Clan Shattered Spear. However, there seems that very few took up Gertrud Speartusk’s invitation to join in on the prime hunting weather. But that did little to deter those who did show up from hunting wild game of all kinds. While only a few came back with anything of significant splendor or size, there was some success in getting a few boar. However, two hunters were gored on the hunt rather badly. 

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The Looming Winter: Part 2
After a significant effort that took place across most of City-State territory last month, it is safe to say that the current atmosphere of Newhope is one of stability and expansion. Even in winter, new construction continues and new roads are created easing trade and travel. Craftsmen and those with trades are still sought after to help on various projects. One major change that is worth noting is the formerly named Colony of Starkhaven. Rumors say that the colony is being called a city, with expansion and new construction, and the territory being called the Arnathian March. Pledging fealty to the City-State of Newhope and being overseen by the Marchioness appointed by the City-State, this territory expansion is considerable and raises the overall influence of the larger City-State. Smaller settlements are expanded on, territories strengthened, and trade routes stabilized. As always, there is plenty of work to do… and plenty of rumors to hear based on what is spoken of at the taverns once work-shifts are complete for the day.

UPDATE: Many Volunteers came to help throughout the City State of Newhope. Merchants, construction crews, general laborers, and many more joined to help continue the previous months endeavor.  With the overwhelming amount of aid many villages were expanded, new housing around the city of Starkhaven was built, roads shoveled and plowed, and much more.
Due to the large amount of effort poured in by many groups and individuals, those who were organizing the expansion expressed their sincere gratitude at both the progress and speed of the task completed.  However, there still some tasks left over to finish before the Political meeting in February and those in charge express their hope of the continued support.

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Life Doesn’t Stop: Part 2
From the South marched a considerable caravan of volunteers and fresh warriors for the Shield of Mardrun. The banners and heraldry of various groups could be seen as Chieftains supervising the defense of The Shield assigned posts and rotations. Veteran warriors, serving many months at The Shield, were alight with appreciation for the chance to go back home and help their families and packs tend to their hearth’s before the coldest part of winter truly set in. Once rotated, daily life set in. Quartermasters were always busy, trying to keep food and supplies orderly and plenty of firewood stocked for the fires to warm the outposts. A few small skirmishes with mordok and patrols with close calls with hunting mordok dotted the month, but nothing substantial took place. Around the campfire, stories of previous battles and heroic efforts were common. Some Ulven would remember the bloody War in the Dirge, many forgetting the cost of the campaign that took place only a few short years ago. Some of the most experienced Ulven and Chieftains who have spent time on The Shield seem uneasy, rumors say that there are signs of something bigger going on with the Mordok in the swamp… things have been a bit too quiet. Regardless, the considerable number of volunteers to help on the Shield do set some of their minds at ease, knowing that manpower is not found lacking at this time.

UPDATE: The month see’s a small increase of Mordok activity, which isn’t anything too abnormal. However, the abnormal part of this month is the effectiveness of their tactics. Throughout the month, raids against outposts and their patrols persisted. Then during these raids some of those working on the Shield were captured and found strung up in trees, often mutilated and tortured not too far from the outpost they were taken from, their screams of agony echoing through the trees being heard by the defenders nearby. These tactics of fighting from the shadows and torturing known allies have left those defending against the Dirge Swamp shaken to their core and weary of going into the wilds.
Thankfully, the raids seem to slow down towards the end of the month and while physical damage seems to have been minimal, the trauma and fear instilled into the warriors along the shield has left its mark. Many are now fearful that this is the start of something more to come.

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