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March 266 – News and Rumors

Silver begins to flow through Newhope as merchants and laborers grow excited about the Great Highway. Patrols of Newhope guards have kept the roads relatively safe while hamlets and roadside inns spring up like weeds to tend to the needs of weary travelers. As the project progresses, however, it seems that the nobles who did not endorse it have not given up on their own prospects: Celestial Arragones continues to push for support to return to Faedrun just as Marquess Madeline d’Argent garners resources for another Dirge Swamp expedition.

Most notable is Baroness Catherine, who has been reaching out to various groups, eager to use Newhope’s new authority to reclaim Daven’s Reach from the bandits and thugs who now inhabit it. This has caused no small amount of discourse among the people of Newhope and of Mardrun: Do the current inhabitants of the Reach have the right to be there? They took the land by force but many have made a point to make a legitimate living since that time. Is the zeal shown by the Baroness justified in taking back what is legally her property? The nobility of Newhope is questionable about the precedence set by the Baroness’ actions one way or another: Marching upon subjected lands with military units could paint Newhope as tyrannical to those less concerned with the letter of the law, although allowing the squatters to remain on her property could lead to issues down the road if organized bandit groups were to get the idea that such an act is acceptable. Either way, the Baroness has announced that she will offer silver to any who help her successfully retake her property, with a portion of the spoils of conquest to be divided amongst those who help as well.

Thanks in large part to the combined efforts of Clans Shattered Spear and Goldenfield in addition to the warriors of Pack Longfang, the Riverhead militia were able to hold back the massive Mordok assaults deep into their homes long enough to evacuate most of the clan’s refugees. The tide of the battles began to turn soon after, however, as the Mordok descended again with greater fervor than previously seen and pushed the defenders back. They continue to call for aid from their allies to the south, hoping to stand firm against the Mordok before their homes are destroyed.

Clan Riverhead is not alone in facing increased aggression from the Mordok: Clan Grimward has noted a shocking number of attacks coming from the Great Wolf’s Hackles. The leadership of the clan remains unsure as to how such large numbers of Mordok were able to move so far south undetected, though the true priority now is organizing an effective defense. This means that many of the Grimward warpacks in Shattered Spear territory have been called home to defend their families instead.

Clan Whiteoak saw a small glimmer of hope this month. Though they have been fighting battles on two fronts, the aid sent from various allies and neighbors has allowed them to focus their own resources on pushing back against the Mordok and for the first time in months, they did not lose ground. Though their situation is still dire, it would seem that if current trends continue, Clan Whiteoak will survive to see the summer, though the unpredictable string of attacks on various clans do not leave much room for optimism.

Finally, Clan Shattered Spear has announced that they have had a great deal of luck pushing the Mordok back along their border, though the fight is not over yet. More than ever they are focusing their efforts on fighting the expansion of the swamp, a phenomenon that has been documented over the last several months. They are asking for help in this endeavor, preferably in the form of casters able to research and fight the corruption or warriors to prevent the Mordok from pressing in any further.

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