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November 265 – News and Rumors

Shattered Spear Daughters have focused their efforts recently on investigating the edge of the Dirge Swamp. What is causing it to expand? What does this mean for the civilized half of the continent? How can it be stopped? So far their research has only produced more questions. They have invited any knowledgeable in the ways of magic to come forth and assist them in their research, impressing upon you all the dangers this could pose to life on Mardrun.

Traders have mentioned the walls of Daven’s Reach, long ago a welcome sight to weary merchants and travelers, have become less welcoming in recent weeks. Though trade continues, it would appear security inside the town has been heightened and the people within the walls seem to be on edge. Though many remain tight-lipped on the matter, a local a few drinks deep has made it known that a pair of murders has taken place within the town. One guard and a blacksmith were slain about a week apart inside the walls, though no connection, motive, or suspects have been named at this time. The guards have taken additional measures to dissuade acts of violence such as these in the future, including limiting visitors to the town.

With the end of harvest season upon us, the crowd outside of Newhope has swelled substantially, leading to growing concerns among the city guard. Lord Baron Richards and Marquess Madeline d’Argent both remain adamant about not involving the Newhope army, fearing the potential rapid escalation of fears and violence that could erupt. They have begun asking for help in keeping the peace outside of their gates, hoping that outside groups can help quell the fears of riot or rebellion. Whether this is through dissuading action through martial presence, appeasement through mercantile donations, supplies to keep the sick fed and sheltered in the coming months, or a friendly or familiar presence to calm the fears of the crowd, Newhope is asking for all the help they can get.

Growing increasingly desperate and frustrated with the lack of a response from the other clans and colonies, Clan Whiteoak continues to call for aid. With the Mordok aggression to the north drawing most of their attention and leading to a great number of casualties in the clan, their enemies to the south, Clan Axhound, has been able to push further than ever into Whiteoak lands, sacking and raiding small villages. Rumors and reports also seem to hint at a shift in power within clan Whiteoak, though neither the cause nor the effects of this supposed shift have come to light.

Though the corruption remains in the foreground of most conversations across Mardrun, a number of colonial nobles have taken to thinking about longer-term goals, encouraged by their colleagues across the colonies. Aides and assistances have dropped casual remarks in conversations about powerful individuals, including members of the former Council of Ten and within New Aldoria, seeking to establish for themselves a legacy to live on beyond their own lives. What these great works would entail has yet to be decided, as has the loyalty and willingness of Mardrun to assist them in their plans, though surely soon enough, ideas will begin to filter out into the public to drum up popular support for these movers and shakers.

One such campaign that has regained momentum following the talks of legacies is Marquess Madeline and her efforts to push through the Dirge Swamp. She has already commended those responsible for the information gained in August, and has held memorial services for those who did not return. Now she has renewed her push to return, this time in the winter. As the ground freezes, once muddy stretches should become firm ground over which carts and wagons can easily be pulled. The Mordok have been known to retreat from civilization during the colder months, and their lack of activity could lead to a safer voyage north. This will, of course, be an extensive undertaking, requiring a great deal of time and resources to pursue, and will likely not be a safe journey regardless of the conditions, as the winter will present an array of new issues to be overcome.

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