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September 265 – News and Rumors

Once again the calls for help from Clan Whiteoak make their rounds, their words echoing the desperate nature of their current situation. They plead for any help able to be given, be it food and supplies, tradesmen to keep their villages running, or healers and smiths to make sure their warriors stay alive. Warriors are in especially high demand, and Clanleader Lamont Whiteoak has begun offering generous compensation to any who choose to lend their aid, though specifics have not been given at this time. A number of other clanleaders, particularly those who allied with Clan Nightriver in the civil war, remember the treachery and dishonest ways of Clan Whiteoak during the early years of the war and are hesitant to involve themselves to any substantial degree. Some chieftains have also remarked that patience may be necessary to measure the true strength and skill of the Mordok, as they have never before been known to push this aggressively against a single clan. Though the call to arms put forth by Clan Whiteoak has still largely gone unanswered, many have been shocked by the response from Clan Axhound: in this time of most desperate need, Clan Axhound has sent their warriors deeper into Whiteoak territory, continuing their raids against their greatest rival. Other groups have been heard planning to join Clan Whiteoak, whether it be for the promise of payment or in the hope of saving a clan from what might be total destruction if these attacks persist.

Chieftain Holmar Bloodmoon, in his venture to shake Clan Nightriver’s faith in their Clanleader over the treatment of his cousin and former Warleader of the clan, has been gaining a noticeable following around Mardrun. Much of his rhetoric has been to discredit Branthur as a weak leader and a coward, too afraid to stand up to the enemies he had bested. Though much of Clan Nightriver has still chosen to follow the current Clanleader, Holmar has been steadily gaining the support of a number of chieftains across Nightriver’s substantial territory. The banners of Pack Bloodmoon are rumored to have been spotted in nearby clans, as well, most noticeably in the lands of Clan Axhound, Goldenfield, and Stormjarl. The Axhound chieftains seem to support his more aggressive stance on a number of issues, though some are accusing them of merely joining in hopes of using the might of Nightriver to finally crush their hated neighbors, Clan Whiteoak. Chieftains of Goldenfield have taken a liking to Holmar’s denunciation of Branthur’s tactics for handling the revelation of Undead on Mardrun, as they would have preferred to see a more unified, heavy-handed approach towards wiping out the abominations and those who harbor them. Many Stormjarls are still harboring resentment for Branthur’s decrees regarding the reparations they felt they deserved. All in all, these meetings could put Clan Nightriver in a tenuous position, both politically and martially. Branthur has stood his ground thus far, however, defending his actions and decisions as having saved countless lives in the process.

Newhope has continued with their push for more research into a cure for the corruption sweeping across Mardrun, hoping to develop a safer version of the current ritual. That being said, they have managed to stockpile a number of reagents used in the ritual and have begun to use them to cure the afflicted. The process is slow-going as the ritual takes time and the logistics of a venture of this scale are complicated to say the least. Bureaucracy and politics have bogged down the process further, and has begun to cause a deep panic to set in among the common people waiting to be healed. With the harvest season in full swing, farmers grow anxious and angry that their fields remain unattended while they stand in line for a cure. Grumblings have broken out and small fights have erupted at times, though the city watch has been able to handle such incidents quickly and peacefully. Still, with the winter fast approaching and the crowd outside of Newhope not dwindling fast enough, many families could be forced to endure a dangerous winter alone.

As the Trial in Starkhaven continues to drag on, many are beginning to wonder about what is going on inside the keep. The Hand of Arnath himself has recently issued a formal statement to the people of Mardrun, hoping to reassure them that everything is under control. In the statement, he cites the substantial charges against those involved and the grave sentences they may carry, insisting that the Order is committed to dealing justice to the guilty while sparing the innocent. This has led to a much more thorough process than may have otherwise been used, and many are starting to whisper that perhaps a number of the men and women on trial are intentionally dragging the process out to delay their own sentencing. One way or another, the issue will supposedly be put to rest very soon.

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