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July 265 – News and Rumors

Continuing the rebuilding efforts following the war, Clan Grimward has sought to consolidate their gains. Conquered Watchwolf and Stormjarl settlements are converted into outposts and those fields are tended by honor-bound laborers. Although they have been disturbingly quiet on the world stage as of late, Clan Grimward does make sure to weigh in on the Undead scandal: they will be watching, and if it is not handled to their satisfaction, they will hold Clan Nightriver collectively responsible.

Hoping to end this conflict quickly and effectively, Clan Nightriver has opened their lands to the jurisdiction of the Order of Arnath’s Fist, who had confirmed the presence of Undead in Serai. With this concession came two publicly stated stipulations, however: the first is that Clan Nightriver be made a part of the judgment of the accused, and the second being that the information uncovered also be shared with Clan Grimward, hoping to ease tensions between the clans through transparency. Many watch with bated breath as the investigation commences, with eyes fixed on the Order and on Branthur Nightriver himself; whispers hint that a number of his senior chieftains are displeased with his some of his actions and vision of the future of Clan Nightriver, and some speculate that if the trial goes poorly, it could be the catalyst of a greater schism within Clan Nightriver.

As the world seems mired in chaos, spurred by the Mordok corruption and the heavy-handed response of Clan Axhound, the military maneuvering of Clan Stormjarl and New Aldoria, and the revelation of more Undead on Mardrun, Lord Baron Richards eagerly announces that the Colony of Newhope has found a cure to the corruption and that great progress has been made towards developing even better versions it. Fueled by the research of the scholars of Newhope, a number of reagents have been discovered that seem to actively fight the corruption and allow it to be removed from the body in a less-than-lethal manner. Word is sent immediately to the Clans and settlements and people rejoice, painting the leadership of Newhope as heroes in this dark hour. The research is far from complete, however, and a truly safe method of cleansing is desired. The push for such a method will be, by his own words, led by the Lord Baron himself, aided by the substantial library of Celestial Arragones. Rumors float around about the validity of the Lord Baron’s claims, as it was known that adventurers and members of various groups had been working on a cure or its research… the claim to have worked on and found the cure seemingly bold by the Lord Baron.

Such a glimmer of hope for a cure has inspired the nobles of Newhope to shift their focuses from petty squabbles and daily duties to instead grant their full support to the Order of Arnath’s Fist in resolving their Inquisition. As a result, the Order has been given full jurisdiction in regards to the Inquisition within the territory of Newhope, and Lictor Mary cul Tricuspis has been seen working closely with the Order to establish bounties on those summoned to trial but who refuse to attend.

Spurred by the backing of both Newhope and Clan Nightriver, the Order of Arnath’s Fist has been able to expand their investigation substantially. Those who surrendered themselves into custody have been treated surprisingly well considering the charges levied against them, though they are kept under close guard and watched heavily. The Order’s First Eagle has been coordinating with Lictor Mary cul Tricuspis to post bounties on those wanted individuals who have thus far evaded capture. Either in response to accusations and rumors or a planned response from the beginning, the Hand of Arnath has given an official statement: the Order intends to hold a Free People’s trial and invite Clans and other Colonies to assist with the passing of judgment, but will carry out the sentences to see this through. The chance to stand as jury to this trial and be involved will most likely not be missed by those able to participate.

To the east, Clan Stormjarl and New Aldoria work actively to establish themselves in their new territories. The western half, controlled by Clan Stormjarl, has been dubbed the “Stormborn Settlement”, taken by many to be a jab at the Squallborn who were forced out. The eastern half, under New Aldorian control, has named their territory “Aylin’s Reach”, a tribute to their reigning monarch. While both settlements are inundated with plans for construction and consolidation of their new lands, both Prince Aylin and the Chieftain Fulkha Stormtooth were seen in attendance on the Fire Isle to celebrate and deal together.

In the north, Clan Grimward finds many eyes turned their way, both good and bad. Their recent aid to Clan Shattered Spear has been taken as an attempt to foster the once strong bond of brotherhood between clans, while others see it as an opportunity for Grimward to gain a powerful ally in the future, should Haygreth seek to renew his assault on Mardrun. Whatever their motives, however, Clan Shattered Spear has repeatedly expressed their gratitude for the assistance.

In a somewhat surprising move, the Chieftain in charge of the remaining western Watchwolf settlement has sworn fealty to Clan Grimward after seeing their honorable actions following the war and taking into account the exceptional treatment of the conquered Watchwolves. This has caused a great deal of anger from the eastern Watchwolves, who have begun to sever all ties to their former brothers and referring to themselves simply as the Watchwolf Clan. This month officially marks the dissolution of the Watchwolves of Luna, the western settlement of the clan.

Clan Whiteoak has come forward very vocally calling for assistance against the Mordok. The continued assault on their settlements has taken a heavy toll, and many residents cannot see an end in sight. Without aid from their former ally Clan Grimward, Clan Whiteoak is hoping to muster what help they can from other clans or factions. Few of these groups have come forward quickly, however, far too vividly remembering the dishonorable actions of Clan Whiteoak over the years.

As the Mordok threat continues to apply pressure to the northern clans, a number of Chieftains have begun pushing for a meeting of the clans to discuss this threat. They say it is clear these Mordok, with their tactics favoring cunning over brutality, are different than the ancestral foe they have fought all throughout history. Dissidents argue that the threat may be greater than normal, but not worth calling the Clanleaders together to deal with as a whole. Others are unwilling to so readily forgive their many battle scars and work with those against whom they so recently fought. If such a meeting is to take place, it is likely that it will either take a great deal of time or will result in greater conflict among some clans, neither of which are ideal outcomes. On the 60th anniversary of the Grand Alliance forming in Faedrun against the undead and penitent plague, a similar challenge appears to be influencing the political structure of Mardrun as well.

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