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May 265 – News and Rumors

A great deal of progress has been made over the last few weeks in regards to research on the corruption. Word has spread that an individual was actually cleansed of the corruption, and by a small child, no less, though many in the colony of Newhope have publicly denounced these rumors as a tall tale or even a hoax intended to give false hope where results are needed. Along similar lines, a handful of additional deaths have been reported from the quarantined village in Axhound territory. The bodies are burned quickly, as the corruption reportedly decays the corpse rapidly. Deep within the Great Forest, a bittersweet moment struck Clan Spiritclaw as one of their Daughters of Gaia managed to eradicate one of the more stubborn corruption sites, though reports say that she gave her life in doing so. Clan Spiritclaw has confirmed these reports and commended the Daughter for her selflessness, though they urge others to use this method only as a last resort.

To the East, a great number of ships and caravans have been seen in the lands once held by Clan Squallborn, now in the hands of New Aldoria and Clan Stormjarl. These shipments bear the unmistakable resources needed to begin construction of settlements, revealing what may well be Prince Aylin’s true motivation for the raids. This move has been met by strong political opposition, particularly from Clans Nightriver and Riverhead who have both denounced the move as dishonorable and disgraceful. Despite their vocal support of Clan Squallborn, Clan Grimward has remained fairly silent on the matter.

If the Mordok weren’t bad enough, rumors of Undead to the north in the settlement of Serai have circulated around the continent for the past few weeks, fueled by the pained memory of the famous betrayal by the May’Kar Dominion. Their presence has yet to be confirmed; the same can be said for outside assistance that Serai might have received in producing these abominations, should they exist. A number of fingers have been pointed at the Archons, considering a number of factors, including their association with Bos Mezar in the past, the Achmage’s history with the Undead, and the Spire’s affinity for magic. The Order of Arnath’s Fist, hoping to either confirm or refute these rumors, has dispatched a detachment of Lions to Serai in order to investigate. Fearful of a new plague on top of the Mordok activity recently, Clan Goldenfield has also expressed a deep concern over the possible reemergence of the Undead. The normally docile clan has pledged two warpacks, a substantial promise considering the small size of their military, to put down the undead should the rumors prove to be true.

Clan Ironmound has extended the offer to interested craftsmen and healers around Mardrun. The corruption has hit them hard, physically and economically, causing many of their forges to be shut down as smiths and their families succumb to the illness. Offering apprenticeships and contracts in exchange for service, Clan Ironmound hopes to find volunteers to keep their anvils ringing, or healers to help treat their smiths and warriors that they might do so themselves.

Word of mouth around the colony of Newhope would have listeners believe that an old form of entertainment is returning, though far from the glory of the old days. Small arenas devoted to blood sport, funded and supported by a number of nobles have been quickly erected for as many stated purposes. Duke Ventrini hopes to foster a stronger bond with the Ulven people, mimicking their honor duels in bouts of skill, reminding observers of a simpler time when combat was a noble pursuit, rather than a despicable fight for survival against monsters from the swamp. Dominet Martingale has likewise constructed an arena, though it is no doubt simply to entertain the guests at his many lavish galas with entertainment a little more exciting than music and wine. Lictor Mary cul Tricuspis has taken a radically different approach, driving disputes between unruly guards and civilians into something more brutal and allowing the public to bear witness in hopes to promote discipline among her ranks and complacency among the populace, lest they be the next one in the pits. Other nobles, most notably the Lord and Lady Al-Azarma, Baroness Catherine, and Lord Baron Richards himself have denounced the practice as barbaric and divisive at this critical juncture, though they cannot deny the silver that it brings to the colony.

Combined warpacks from Clans Shattered Spear and Grimward hold their line in the north, joined by Clan Whiteoak to the east, though their efforts have not halted the Mordok advance. Though the resources to do so would be comically considerable, the idea has been pitched on more than one occasion to simply erect a wall between the southern clans and the Dirge Swamp, hoping to deter the Mordok with less of an active presence.

Marquess Madeline d’Argent has issued a call for resources to be pledged for a full expedition into the Dirge Swamp. Previous ventures into the swamp, she claims, failed not due to a lack of determination or purpose, but a lack of supplies, of equipment, and most of all, a lack of manpower. At this time, any and all donations, including but not limited to supplies, silver, military, and economic units are being accepted for the expedition, which will depart with haste when sufficient resources are collected.

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