Campaign Background – News and Rumors
Summer has come to the Vale bringing war to the Vale. Summer has arrived with summer storms, massive electrical storms, ‘Lightning Crawlers’ or ‘Spider Lightning has ‘crawled’ out of the Giant’s Shield Mountains across the hills and passing slowing through the Vale. The lightning has turned deadly striking the ground killing the unfortunate more effectively than any sword. This ‘Summer storm’ however you describe it has been so terrifying, for weeks there had been stories of ‘demon’ sightings, this after the horrid gnoll kidnappings, and the sacrificial murders of scores of villagers.
Brutal unrest has set in. Thankfully harvest was completed so food stores are full but as raiders have appeared throughout the Vale people have been forced to flee their homes. Local leaders, struggle to organize militias to deal with the new dangers these plunderers present; Chief among these, Lord Eoffram Troyas, has marshaled a small, but well-equipped, mobile force to assist as hot-spots as they make themselves known. Still hard goods are becoming scarce and more costly as people are prevented from participating in their livelihoods as they become more concerned with the protection of their families.
There has been a new renaissance of the Church of Magnus as its followers have preached bringing force of arms against all that is evil within the Vale. There has even been talk of ‘Magnus’ sightings.
A Flying ship, a great galley has been seen navigating the clouds of thunderheads, direct lightning strikes at travelers on the roads.
The Farseers of Talar have turned traitor aiding the Elsir Vale’s attackers with their renowned foresight, and offering them shelter.
A group a wandering leprous monks have been seen traveling The Dawn Way. They enter no towns, and they should be avoided at all costs. Death follows in their wake.
- The Elders of Overlook are sponsoring new initiatives seeing to Overlook’s defense, using the slogan "Better Safe than Slaughtered."
- A red hawk was spotted flying across the most recent full moon and there are diviners who are claiming that this is a sign that another one of the moons of Klarn will fall to the earth.
- The priestess at the temple of Erathis within the Divine Knot is seeking the heroes of Brindol.
- Bram Ironfell is still missing but the Clan Ironfell has stepped up in his absence financing much of the reconstruction of the old temple of Moradin in the Divine Knot.
- The Beggars’ Guild is demanding action amid stories that the indigent have been going missing now that the Happy Beggar’s been closed down. The guild even suggests that the Council of Elders is privately pleased or maybe even responsible for the disappearances.
- Lord Nesten of Talar has past finally leaving only his daughter, the Lady Celiira Nesten, a high spirited young woman to take up her father’s title upon his death. Her impulsive ideas are tempered by Talar’s old, conservative town council, whose members are already accustomed to running things due to the old lord’s long decline.
- After spending hours in deep contemplation and prayer, Kalad has decided the time has come to rebuild the Order of the Sundered Chain.
- Lord Harrick Orenna has been making many trips to Overlook and staying in parts of the town where a married man should not be found.
- Bram Ironfell is being sought by Great Elder Morgoff Stonefirst for questioning.
- Some say Brindol’s Brigade was ambushed on the road and captured or killed by the Ghostlord of the wastes, others say the Brigade is staying clear of Overlook because they don’t want to share the Freeriders’ fate.
- Some are saying that the supplies, in particular food stuff, being brought in by the Elsir Consortium are coming from mystic lands and that they may either be granting magical benefits to the partakers or might be placing a magical curse on those who eat the food.
- Messengers from Brindol have been looking for members of Brindol’s Brigade but now the messengers have disappeared.
- Some are saying that the harsh winter is a result of a magical attack brought on by the orcs since their first invasion failed.
- The quarrel between the Freeriders and the Lost Ones has not gone well for the adventurers most of whom are believed dead. Megan Swiftblade is the only confirmed survivor.
- An outbreak of Blinding Sickness has affected the people of Shantytown.
- In the wake of Zefram Troyas’s sizable donation to the city militia his popularity has grown to the point that he is now a significant player in Brindol’s political arena. Zephram has taken his brother, Eoffram’s vacant post of the council and his popularity now rivals that of Lord Warden Harrik Orenna.
- A visitor from the Elsir Consortium, named Zephram Troyas has laid claim to the Troyas estate and given the absence of Councilman Eoffram Troyas and the obvious family resemblance of the man calling himself Zephram few doubt his claim. Still the matter is in review until Eoffram can be contacted.
- Concern is growing now that Brindol’s Brigade has gone missing after they uncovered another devious plot within Overlook. The Dwarven Council of Elders has no comment.
- Since being rescued at Riverroar, Sertanian has seen an increase in interest and donations at the Hall of Great Honor amidst stories that visitors have heard whispers and seen fresh blood dripping from the blade of the platinum longsword, Amyria. The same sword Brindol’s heroes the Brigade recovered from the hobgoblins.
- There is increasing trouble upon the roads. Now the involvement of larger more dangerous threats then the hobgoblins are stifling trade and increasing the scarcity of price of goods. The Halflings are believed to be responsible.
- Thorfin Ironhammer has dropped prices to compete with the weapons being hawked by Snare Drum at the Brindol Market.
- Brindol’s Brigade of heroes delivered a deathblow to the orcs attempts to attack Bordrin’s Watch by sealing the tunnels beneath the Giant’s Shield Mountains ; after 5 days of fighting the orcs were crushed by the defenders of the Watch and sent scurrying back to the badlands once more.
- Lord Jarmaath may be putting one of his rental properties up for sale. Lady Mesha has moved to Dennovar. Some say the loss of one of his mistresses has caused the maintenance of the other one (Lady Trellend) to go up.
- Recent widower, Jefro Brown, dedicated his only daughter, Edaley, to the Moondust Temple. He says he was visited by his wife, Anna, alive and well for a day, who was able to say a proper goodbye. Anna Brown perished in a drowning accident three weeks ago.
- Thorfin Ironhammer (local smith) is boasting a new technique for tempering steel. He says his blades are now stronger, more durable and hold a better edge. No doubt they cost more too.
Determined to protect the Elsir Vale, the Troyas family, represented by Councilman Eoffram and his brother Zefam is hiring a private ‘Vale’ militia.
- Brindol is increasing the ranks of the City Guard, members of the militia are given first consideration.
- House Troyas is hiring foresters to guard trade routes, a fool’s errand but the pay’s good.
- Oswald’s Orchard needs strong backs to dig ditches and haul gravel.
- The Hammerfist mines need hard workers. Benefits include shade.
- Drellin’s Ferry has started construction of a stone bridge. So much for the ferry.
- The Golden Lions are offering a free two-week training camp to members of the militia, both to better the current members and boost their numbers.
- Even the (wanted) Bandit Lord Lucien is hiring. Skilled professionals are needed for some mildly dangerous work. Working for Lucien earns a trip to the stockades or even possibly the gallows, but some folks whose scruples take a back seat to their interests, it beats baking in the sun all day working a field.
The Wicked Tinkers, have been traveling the Vale recruiting volunteers and aid for the embattled dwarven city.
- The Dennovar Spring Fair has been cancelled for the first time since the war of the Red Hand.
- The Midsummer Day festival was a bust this year. The clergy of Pelor tried to promote the celebration of the sun, but apparently it was too damn hot.
- The Halfling bard, Vericho Nindleton, is playing at the Blue Parrot. There’s a small door fee, but it’s worth it.
- Diamond League Day is coming up next week. Every day, more merchant caravans and entertainment troupes show up, as this is the biggest economic event in the Vale all year round.
News from Abroad
Palanthas, the Overlord’s City has embarked on a new wave of conquest bringing war to the world at large, not only here within the Elsir Vale! All the great cities are under eminent threat of war or currently under attack prefacing the ‘Conclave of Lords’ within Sayre.
Giants of different types have been raiding lands occupied by humans.
- For several weeks now gnolls have been pillaging, plundering and seizing travelers throughout the outskirts of the Elsir Vale and lately they have become increasingly bold.
- A royal party was sighted traveling along the Old North Road.
- Red Rock reports a lot of Giant Owls moving between Witchwood & Marth Forest . The Elves must be up to something.
- A band of 9 adventurers from Dennovar came through Brindol a few days ago. They’re headed to Rhest for some “cleanup and salvage.
Crime & Danger
An evil religious cult, calling ‘The Cult of Exquisite Agony’ was implicitly involved in the attack that destroyed the Freeriders, and the assissination attempt of Elder Cadrick. This cult has been driven out of Overlook.
- The Council of Elders of Overlook have encouraged a crackdown on cults operating within the city.
- The has been a number of high profile thefts targeting alchemists, ritualists and even wizards. Some of the victims were murdered and others have gone missing.
- There are reports of ghost activity in the Southwood again. Travel there after dark at your own risk.
- Bandit activity in the area is higher than normal, especially south of town. Several Blacksmiths’ shipments from Hammerfist have completely disappeared.
- A report of a gang of youth disappearing from Dennovar has been made. Missing are sisters Ashley and Kailey, lovers Jakra and Kiren, and Damin “the wolf” – all were involved in shady activities so it is probably nothing to take note of.
- Kip Fargrim was arrested for larcenous activities. Fargrim’s whole gang is suspected of having connections to Andreg. This gang, the Lost Ones has been a nuisance for years. They are bullies and thieves. The gang of six is lead by the Thompson twins, Corvin & Ivan.