Season 1 (2019)
(Discord Event) January 13
A Notice to the Citizens of the Valley of Ashendael
It is hereby decreed that the Nobility granted dominion over the Valley of Ashendael and the surrounding lands are to be returned to the Capital City of Berphaunt. For their leadership and effort in establishing Ashendael as a foothold in the north, the Empress extends her utmost gratitude to, Baron Barmy, Baron Brewhill, Baron Bogatash, Baron Nafarel, Baron Westchapel and Count and Countess Ravencroft. To you the citizens, she offers special thanks; the Empire would be nothing without your hard work and dedication and you will be rewarded for your loyalty in the coming time.
Your safety and security are a great priority to the Empire and as such, Northern Talon, 1st Claw, under Command of Major Carawyn have been dispatched to oversee a smooth and orderly transition. The responsibility of restructuring and maximizing the efficiency of the Valley forthwith falls to Administrator Thaddeus Atkins. You are expected to assist these orders however you are asked and consider the word of these individuals to be lawful and made in the name of the Empire. Any individual or group found interfering with the efforts of the Empire will be dealt with expedience according to Imperial law.
The Nobility of the Valley of Ashendael have been given orders to report to Major Carawyn at the local Skien Gate with their families and retinues and whatever possessions they wish transported no later than 7 bells on the evening on the 13th of January, 2261. They will be provided an armed escort to ensure their safe return to the Capitol where they expect to receive reception which reflects the position and prestige of their name and office. Any Citizens of the Empire who wish to provide their nobles a degree of fanfare and see them off on their journey are encouraged to attend.
The Empire thanks you again and wishes all involved the best; your futures are bright.
Long Live the Empire, Long Live the Empress.
In the name of the Empress and the Empire;
RUM - FIGHT - HIDE
Autumn has not been kind to the citizens of Ashendael. A stagnation of both harvest and investment has gripped the lands, as past indiscretions have increasingly threatened the safety of the denizens of the Valley, suffocating supplies and stemming crossing travel. Curiously, the leaves of the land stayed fair and green far later than the summer season would normally allow, prompting many within Driftwood to shut in or simply leave Ashendael entirely, whispering of omens and treacherous tidings. Peasants refer to magic of an ill order while others incite discontent speculating angered Gods, Dragons or Fae. Whatever the cause or reason, Ashendael has become a husk of what it once was, while chimneys above the Lords of the land continue to smolder, doors and calls rarely answered. Silence preludes to disaster it would seem.
And yet the unmistakable sound of boots on mudded ground echo still. The silence it would seem was still loud enough to hear for tuned ears deep within the Berphauntian heartland. Countless men of steel and spear have washed over the Valley, moving with intent and resolve, saying little upon order given. As the people of the valley look on, the homes of the lands are Nobility visited and remain unmoved to act. The citizens can only wonder what will come next.
On a night like any other, two dark figures move towards the Ravencroft Manor.
EAT - PRAY - LIVE
Major Carawyn has returned to Ashendael alone and without the adventuring populace he had taken with him in pursuit of the Ravencrofts. He has secured himself within his tent for days allowing no one access. In the streets of Ashendael the Imperial Engineers have begun demolishing houses, all for the purpose of erecting a stone wall to encircle the town. The Infantry soldiers continue to conduct patrols around the area, faces dour, boots encrusted with snow.
Meanwhile, those who did not return find themselves with little to do but stare out at the open and enveloping sea around them. Supplies of food have begun to run low. Those who have been casting lines into the sea notice the fish are no longer biting at the rate they once were. With nothing but the lapping of waves against the ships hull and the continued close quartered company of the same people,
some of which you may not even like. It's easy for one's mind to drift into dire places. What a horrible way it would be to die, stuck aboard a crippled ship, starving to death. Thoughts and plans might to turn to desperation. If it came to it, who would be eaten first? Pray and hope, that is not what it comes to.
BEEF - BOND - BRAG
Days turned to weeks in Port Perdition. How many mugs of watered down Ale had been drunk at the tavern? How many plates of bland food had been consumed? How many nights spent in those small rooms? So easy it is to lose count as the monotony of time ticked by. Today was different though, the sun shines through the clouds, banks of snow begin to slowly melt into small pools of water and the sound of saws against wood and hammers banging in nails has finally ceased. The ship that you arrived on has finally been repaired its sails unfurled revealing a blue background with a red lions head. A symbol which has become all to familiar around port perdition. The Symbol of the Mercenaries who escort you aboard the ship. These soldiers and this ship had been sent to take you home, how quickly things can change. The ship plots its course to the North, looking back you can see Port Perdition disappear into the
horizon and the place you once called home gets further and further away.
A parchment is pinned to the central mast of the ship.
Our destination is the Dwarven town of Humblebrag. I have been told our arrival will coincide with a wedding, that of the High Chief of Humblebrags Daughter. This is a fortunate twist of fate for us. It is Dwarven tradition to take requests for favors and bury grudges on the day the first of their children are to be wed. If we are going to make it to our final destination, we are going to need the assistance of these dwarves.
However, moving a company of uniformed professional sellswords into the dwarven halls is likely to look like an act of aggression. This is where you come in, we will be received into the Dwarven halls as wedding guests. Here we will make a request for assistance in traversing Eastern Jormunger. Humblebrag is one of the few settlements in the area, our behaviors and actions will reflect upon us as their potential neighbours. On the positive side, there will be good food and dwarven ale.
Lastly I understand that there is likely much confusion, it is not my intention to keep you all in the dark, but there is much to be planned and arranged. When we have dry ground under our feet, mugs of ale in our hands and warm food in our bellies I will take time to speak to any who wish individually.
Pride of Lions
Snow Turning Back
“Winter hung in there, like an invalid refusing to die. Day after grey day the ice stayed hard; the world remained unfriendly and cold.”
- Neil Gaiman, Odd and the Frost Giants
Snow falls unrelenting and chill winds blow through day and night. Like a sharp blade the cold cuts through to the bone. Though fires are lit the warmth provided is but a fleeting respite from the inhospitable conditions of Jormunger. Dwarven wagons ladened with tents, furs, building materials and excavation tools begin to arrive in the encampment the Pride of Lions have established just outside Humblebrag. One night a young Mercenary attaches a notice to a post in a central location of the camp.
A Notice to the Pride of Lions and the accompanying adventurers.
Chief Ruth’Vik Volkmar has lived up to his word and has provided us with the supplies required to begin the establishment of the Mournfall settlement. A map has been provided by Dwarven Pathfinders detailing the most direct route to the Mournfall area. We have been given permission to access the ancient dwarven underways where they can be found. The Chief assures me that these passages will provide some respite from the horrible conditions of Jormunger.
The Pride of Lions will be the vanguard of this expedition and secure the overland route. Meanwhile the adventurers will accompany the supplies and materials the dwarves have provided. I cannot stress enough how important the preservation of these supplies will be to us. Without them there will be no means to begin the establishment of this settlement.
On April 27th I would have the adventurers formed up and my lieutenants in attendance. You will be briefed on the route and given whatever information the scouts of 2nd Platoon have returned with. Then we will begin the march to Mournfall. In the meantime prepare for the journey ahead. Those of you who are plagued by doubt or do not believe you have the strength of will or character for this may feel free to travel elsewhere with Skien gate in Humblebrag. For once we step off, there will be no turning back.
- Captain Lysander
You Can't Spell Slaughter Without Laughter
May 24 - 26
It is finally time to sink your teeth into the first event of the season, or perhaps it will sink its teeth into you!
A group of adventurers for reasons of their own have taken up with a mercenary company known as the Pride of Lions and journeyed to the far North. In the harsh and unforgiving lands of Jormunger they seek to establish a settlement. Their final destination, a mysterious place known as Mournfall. Little is known of this area except the whispered rumors that something is strange is going on there.
Through trial and tribulation they made it to Jormunger. However, their troubles are far from over. Between them and the Mournfall area a large horde of Gnolls have gathered. Attempting to fight through the Gnolls would have surely
meant death and so the group went under them by way of ancient dwarven passages.
Will they reach Mournfall? will they survive the Gnolls? If so, what awaits them and how will they build this settlement? Only you can answer these questions, because you are the adventures I speak of.
The Price Promised
June 14 - 16
"I know that I am a small, weak man, but I have amassed a large library; I dream of dangerous places."
- Terry Pratchett
The weather enveloping the newly settled Mournfall area has the appearance of an oasis in the Northern Reaches of Jormunger. With warm weather, lush greenery and fertile soil, the settlement certainly seems to have everything anyone could need to build a future. But beyond the first glance, Mournfall holds many secrets under the thin veil of it’s surfaces. Between the few buildings which stand in the area and a simulacrum of structures that stood in a town some seem to once know, there is no mistaking the bright future of promise may yet still become far cloudier.
The Mournfall area is shrouded in mystery and those within,
surrounded by danger. The Minotaur who led the Gnolls has fallen, his body dissipating. The Gnoll Horde still awaits encamped around the area, no longer as organized or coordinated. They are still a great threat, more so if someone or something can bring the packs back together.
Grand discoveries and great enemies will mean little if the people of Mournfall die of starvation, thirst or exposure. If the settlement has any chance of survival the adventurers will need to gather resources, find sources of food and begin to build more permanent shelters and defenses. All this in an area many other factions would consider their own land. What will be the price the adventurers of Mournfall are willing to pay to be successful in their endeavors?
No Rest for the Wicked
July 19 - 21
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown"
- H.P. Lovecraft
Alliances have been made and bargains struck. The people of Mournfall now count the Ice Elves of the Cold Spear Tribe and the Dwarves of Humblebrag as their allies against the Gnoll Horde. The town has elected a Council and begun to pull together and begin construction of the settlement under the rule and protection of the Mercenary Company known as the pride of Lions. Despite all of this, a feeling of unease hangs in the air.
For the settlement to flourish the people will need to continue to build, explore and defend the Mournfall area. The horde of Gnolls
have not attacked since the last battle of Mournfall, and have split into their separate packs, they seem to be waiting for something. What that is, no one is quite sure. Though some speculate it may have something to do with the dreams people are having...
In Mournfall people find themselves waking from their nights sleep unrested and unable to shake a disquieting feeling. Those who try to remember the dreams and nightmares of the night find that the memories slip from them like sand through their fingers. The feeling and impression of impending doom however, does not slip away so easily.
A Dream of Things to Come
Arthos rests easy with the once great threats annihilated, for the time being.
As the victorious adventurers Skein back to their homes, the settlers of Mournfall return to their own mysterious valley, still echoing faintly with laughter.
The Pride of Lions have broken the main line of Gnolls with help from the brave citizens, but Tokot and his two Elite packs remain a threat. The Pride works day and night to track and hunt him down, and finally end his presence in Mournfall.
The citizens settle down in their bedrolls, triumphant and peaceful. However, their minds are anything but. Every night, horrors unique and traumatizing to each individual come to life,
August 9 - 11
pulling every person from slumber, causing unease and restlessness even in daylight.
The only common thread in these night terrors : the Red Bull, clawing for a way out...
Lies in the Dark
September 20 - 22
“Ah, the smell of mystery and dark doings, of skulduggery and revenge. The meat of a good tale.”
- Glen Cook, The Black Company
All has been quiet in the Mournfall settlement, one might say...to quiet.
The Mercenary Company of the Pride of Lions have been licking their wounds since the defeat of Tokot and the last remnants of the Gnoll horde. They have rebuilt the defenses around their encampment and new recruits have been filtering in over the last month. The faces of these new recruits are not those of young bright eyed men and women seeking fame and fortune, they are the faces of war weary veterans with no place left to turn.
The Ice Elves of the Cold Spears have not been seen in the area for some time now, where they are and what they may be doing remains unknown.
The Deep Dwarves who reside beneath the settlement also have not shown their faces since the removal of the spear known as ‘The Dreampiercer’. In fact the mines below appear to have been sealed again from the inside. No one can account or speak to their survival or otherwise.
The one thing everyone in the area does know however, is that the nightmares that haunted them in the previous months seem to have gone away. Though there is quiet and a certain placidness to the settlement, it is not a peaceful quiet. An unexplained tension hangs in the air a tension that seems to push upon the seems of peacefulness just waiting to burst forth into something else...
All Hallows October 11 - 13
"They've promised that dreams can come true - but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too."
- Oscar Wilde
I shall take what you hold dear, taste your memories and feast upon your fear.
You nightmares will awaken, your souls will be taken. What am I?
The architect of Mournfall’s nightmares has been revealed, a Demonic entity known on the mortal plane as ‘The Dreameater’. It is unknown how long this entity has had its tendrils in these lands, nor what its intent or true purpose may be.
Those living within the “Oasis” of Mournfall find themselves waking in cold sweats, nightmares returned. Some are even reporting injuries sustained while asleep. Others have begun to see terrifying images from the corners of their eyes, when they muster the courage to face them nothing remains. A palpable energy hangs in the air, hair stands on end, skin erupts into goosebumps and a metallic taste lingers on the tongue.
The people of Mournfall however are not without a thread of hope to cling to. The Deep Dwarves, long ago sealed away beneath the settlement, have answers. A spear they named the Dreampiercer, an artifact once used to seal the Dreameater from the mortal realm. The adventurers have gathered the required components and with help from the Deep Dwarves are ready to begin forging it anew. To do so, however, they will have to enter deeper into the mines, into the unknown, where the forge awaits.
Cold Hearts Warm Reception
Masquerade November 9
“Masks reveal. They don’t conceal. Masks reveal your cravings, your passion, your deepest most secret desires.”
- Chloe Thurlow
With the defeat of the Demon known as the Dreameater, a certain peacefulness has fallen across the Mournfall region. For the first time in a long time, the residents have found their sleep undisturbed by nightmares. This victory, however, has not been without cost or sacrifice from those looking to call Mournfall home.
Though the ‘Oasis’ of Mournfall remains, it is unable to hold back
the full brunt of oncoming winter. Clouds gather over the area, cold rain turns to flakes of snow. The animals gather their food stores and seek out burrows for hibernation. There is no doubt the winter will be harsh even within the Oasis as food supplies dwindle and the terrain becomes harder to make passage.
To the citizens of Mournfall
My name is CDR. Aayden Drach.
Many reports have reached my desk regarding your exploits here in the vast wilderness of the great north of our Empire. There is no doubt in my mind you have experienced unimaginable hardship in extreme conditions. The Empire recognizes you. The Empire recognizes where you came from and why. With both loyalty and solemn resolve, you have made your way here with His very best Lions – to chart a world both unknown and vast – occupied by a people whose very lands fill their blood. Your challenges have been recognized. Upon this very day, I have received reports of the horrors you have faced, of Nightmares, of slaughter. Each one of you are a deserving of a commendation, and I would have you all granted such if you were under my charge as a soldier of the Empire.
Given the circumstances and considering your success and losses, a festival of celebration is deemed to be held. I have sent authorization to Captain Lysander to invite all who he deems worthy, as well as to ensure Mournfall’s allies are offered attendance as well. The Empire does not turn its back on its allies or its lands. In the wake of war, we must take stock of what we have, together. Thus, a masquerade will be held to bring us as one. I look forward to inspecting Captain Lysander and his men officially and meeting all of you very soon. Your efforts and service have not been overlooked. With this invitation to you, good citizens, I have ensured others have been delivered to your neighbors. In one night we will close the curtain of distance over drink, dance and common ground. There is no doubt in my mind we all could use it. I look forward to meeting you all very soon.
CDR. Aayden Drach
VII Company. Imperial Dragoons
Season 2 (2020)
Da Bridge to Far!
"Don't feed the trolls; nothing fuels them so much."
- Oscar Wilde
A piece of what appears to be skin is pinned to the notice board, the writing on it reads:
To Da Kings Subjekts
Da King demands the presanks, presamse, pre Da King demands you come to Da Bridge!
Come to Da Bridge for Da Kings calling of ‘Feast’. ‘Feast’ being called cause King has birthed new Troll, small Troll. If King dies, small Troll become Queen. King wont die tho, thas why he Da King.
So come to Bridge bring gifts and tribute for Da King and small Troll. we fight, we eat, we drink. Then FEAST!
- Wrote for Da King of Da Trolls
Another parchment is pinned below this one and it reads:
To any citizens of Mournfall who wish to heed this so called ‘Kings’ call you are free to do so. While there it is encouraged you gather what information you can on this Bridge, the King and whatever forces he may have. If possible diplomacy would be ideal, though I would not hold out much hope when dealing with Trolls.
- Captain Lysander of the Pride of Lions
Jonesing for Adventure
“The process of delving into the black abyss is to me the keenest form of fascination.”
- H.P. Lovecraft
To the would be adventurers of Mournfall.
Your aid is requested in the excavation and exploration of a pecular set of ruins that I have uncovered. Within it, hints of the past and possible answers for the mysterious oasis may be found.
It will be dangerous, perilous even. All matter of traps and monsters may lurk beneath the surface, along with the answer to questions we may not have even asked yet.
Are you brave enough?
Are you curious enough?
Are you sick of Trolls?
Do crave adventure and near certain death?
If so, I beseach you! Dawn your best spelunking attire, tighten your armor straps, dust off your spell books, sharpen your blades. Prepare your spirits and kiss your loved ones farewell, and let us together adventure once more into the depths.
Any and all loss of life, limb and property is your sole responsibility. Your compensation will be gleaned from whatever treasures await us beneath the surface.
I will arrive on the 8th day of the coming month, so be prepared.
The Friends We've Made
“I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
To the Citizens of Mournfall,
Much time has passed since the unfortunate incidents that occurred last summer. We do however believe in second chances and we believe that it is time to offer that chance to you all. Let us not forget the past as we should never forget the lessons it taught us, but let us move beyond it and attempt to bridge the chasm that has formed between us.
On March 7th 2262, we will be hosting our annual Free Trade Festival on the coast of Dragonfang Bay. Many friends from across Jormunger and beyond the sea are expected to attend. We would like to extend an invitation to your town and the new settlers you are expecting from Berphaunt any day now.
There will be copious amounts of drinking, dancing, and music! There will be games of skill, games of chance, and plenty of prizes to be won! There will be entertainment for those thirsty for combat and those thirsty for something else~
But of course, most importantly, there will be endless opportunity for TRADE! All individuals, whether you consider yourself a merchant or not, are encouraged to come trade and sell their wares or spoils of battle. There will be no laws nor levies placed upon goods that are traded at this gathering. (It is your responsibility to ensure the goods you are purchasing are legal where you bring them).
We are offering you another chance to prove you are not a roving band of bloodthirsty marauders. There is an etiquette to maintain in business and murder has no place in it. We will be observing your conduct at the festival, and, in the event that you all behave yourselves, show the proper respect, and do not break any of the festival rules, we will officially lift the trade embargo against Mournfall. In the event your town spits in the face of our hospitality....
You will quickly discover just how important it is to keep good friends in the north.
The Snow Traders Merchant Guild
Traders, Bargains and Deals
All Hallows (Discord Event) October 30 - November 1
Sage of the Snow Traders has heard about the Fog that has taken hold of the land of Mournfall. She has come to Mournfall the week before hallows to investigate. She has discovered that a large Magical force has extended across the land of Mournfall. It’s source is still unknown, however, it’s extremely powerful. Not only has it permeated through this plane, it has transversed through to the Deadlands.
To be able to reduce this magical field, Sage has derived a plan to seek guidance from a Shaman in the area. There is a way to suppress powerful magic, though it is quite dangerous and prone to backlash if not done perfectly.
The brave citizens of Mournfall bartered with four spirits of the Oasis. Each representing a cardinal direction and element required. A price to be paid later in time.
Season 3 (2021)
Somethings Better Off
(Discord Event) August 7
The story thus far…
Mournfall as a town has been quiet since last fall. The fog has been pushed back and creatures rarely pass the barrier threshold. Some of the citizens still suffer from exploring the dreaded labyrinth that has been talked about around town. Rumors of large construct creatures that capture people and a crazy doctor that performs weird and strange experiments on living subjects.
Thanks to the help of Morrigan, the Fae Shaman and the snow leopard savar, Sage of the Snow Traders, the people of Mournfall have known a brief sense of peace in one way or another. Though peace is a delicate balance, and nothing lasts forever.
Some citizens have discovered that the water sources close by have become laden with mist and give off a noxious odor. The forest creatures have grown scarce and distant. Save for a lone white snowy owl that flies the skies at night.
Some Things Never Change
August 20 - 22
“A person who is used to acting in one way never changes; he must come to ruin when the times, in changing, no longer are in harmony with his ways.”
- Machiavelli Niccolo, The Prince
The once temperate climate of the Mournfall Oasis has begun to heat up to unbearable temperatures. As the borders of the Oasis expand and the snow melts the creatures of the area, both predator and prey, seek refuge elsewhere. The crops recently planted begin to wither, and the native inhabitants of the area, the Ice Elves, have some questions for the new settlers as to why this is happening.
A parchment bearing the seal of the Pride of Lions is pinned to the town's notice board.
To the adventuring population of Mournfall…
I have received a missive from Behlor of the Cold Spears, requesting an armed and able contingent from Mournfall to be deployed to an encampment outside of the Cold Spears fort. He informs us that his people are not in great condition with this damnable heat and expressed some concerns on what is causing it. Myself and my Lieutenants have not been able to gather any intel on just why this area is becoming so warm. If there are any amongst the adventuring population who do have any idea, please be ready to present your findings to the Cold Spears. There is also some concern amongst the cold spears, given their current state, regarding the problem of Shattered Elves and the horror they bring with them. I have been advised to not speak its name, as names have power. On top of these issues there have been initial reports from our own scouts regarding movement of the Lofoten and Malarskaw Einher.
In summary, it is time to hold up to your end of the alliance that was forged with the Ice Elves. They stood with us against Tokot and the Gnoll hordes now you shall stand with them against their enemies.
As Regent of Mournfall, under the authority of Imperial Commander Drach, by the will of the Emperor of Berphaunt I hereby order the adventuring population of Mournfall to make preparations to withdraw from Mournfall and relocate and encamp with the Cold Spear Ice Elves until such a time as deemed by Belor that the threat against them has passed. While you are staying with the Cold Spears you will fall under their laws, follow any orders that would not cause detriment to the settlement or peoples of Mournfall, and conduct yourselves with respect and pride.
- Captain-Regent Lysander of the Pride of Lions
Digging Up the Past
September 17 - 19
"The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn't look like there's a light at the end of the tunnel, he's going to keep digging, he's going to keep trying to do right and make up for what's gone before, just because that's who he is."
- Joss Whedon
Adventurer’s of Mournfall,
In the past few weeks we have been extensively researching the current issues affecting these lands. Magos Naexi Perydark has managed to narrow down the most likely source to be the Nexus Point that sits below
your town proper. While we have been able to tap into the Leylines which lead to this Nexus Point, something is preventing our investigation and rituals from penetrating through to the heart of the issue.
We do not know the nature of what is protecting this area below your town but we do know we must infiltrate it in order to unravel this mystery. Physical entry seems to be out of the question. Standard forms of ritual magic seem to be equally ineffective. However, after discussing our findings with the Spher’Etude, they have given us a theoretical means to slip inside.
They have suggested entering by cutting through the fabric of the mortal plane and traversing through the Astral Void. A feat such as this is not an easy task and would not be suggested if there were any easier means to penetrate this barrier. The specifics of how to do this are experimental at best, but we do know that we will require four artifacts of great power.
An item that can pierce the fabric of reality.
A source of great planar energy.
A device which can contain vast amounts of magic and control it.
An item that can cut a way through the Astral Void.
We will be required to seek out and find items or devices which match these descriptions and hopefully in doing so, can find out more about how to perform this feat successfully.
And by we, I mean you.
Arch Scion of the Syth’Algor
Dreadknight of Pandora
The Cost of Ambition
All Hallows October 15 - 17
“Soldiers live. He dies and not you, and you feel guilty, because you’re glad he died, and not you. Soldiers live, and wonder why.”
- Glen Cook
Removed from the Cold Spears Fort, the adventurers of Mournfall find themselves back in the Mournfall settlement. Where they once pitched tents and set up their camps, there now stands a convoy of Berphauntian caravans. Labourers have just begun to unload supplies and building materials. The Mercenary Soldiers of the Pride of Lions seem to be on high alert, guards are
doubled and scouting parties can be seen leaving the encampment frequently.
An odd quietness hangs in the air, as well as the continued and persistently increasing heat. As if the raising temperatures where not enough to make one concerned, every now and then a person can feel slight tremors under their feet. A keen eyes person might even see the stones, leaves and sticks on the ground shake with these tremors.
A parchment is pinned to the Notice board bearing the seal of the ‘Pride of Lions’.
But a few weeks ago I received word from the Brother Behlor of the Cold Spears on exactly why the adventurers tasked with helping his people would be returning early. In this missive he also made it clear that the Alliance that was made with the Cold Spears is now forfeit due to their actions. What this will mean in the long run only time will tell. For now I have gone to Berphaunt to speak with Commander Drach on this new development and to explain why it is that the Alliance Berphaunt was working on, through the actions of the adventurers, will no longer be continuing.
Upon my return from Berphaunt on the 15th of the month of October I expect the adventuring population to be assembled to be addressed. That is all.
- Captain-Regent Lysander of the Pride of Lions
Season 4 (2022)
Know One Needs To No
May 20 - 22
“One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”
- Niccolo Machiavelli
She comes for you… Not words spoken for the first time in Mournfall.
Supplies are in short order after Garrick Trophy-Taker and his vanguard deployment from Nightfrost captured or destroyed much of the resources acquired from Berphaunt previously. Along with the relations between Mournfall and the Ice Elves growing cold, things are looking dire as the people of these lands
prepare for what’s to come.
Fortunately, all hope is not lost. The builders and laborers from town were able to be relocated safely and have already begun construction on new projects and infrastructure. The spire, while still extremely dangerous in its proximity, has ceased all major activity. The threat thankfully remains dormant, for now.
Rumors have been circulating among the mercenary company overseeing the settlement of Mournfall known as the Pride of Lions, that due to the current situation and all that has happened in the past year, Berphaunt is sending a Commander to the settlement. It is said he is coming by way of Humblebrag. What this means for the future of the settlement remains to be seen.
As of yet, there has been no sign of Nightfrost since the traitor Aevar left Garrick to die and fell back with the vanguard. Tensions remain high within the Pride of Lions and outward patrols have increased sevenfold. No one seems to be speaking of it but one truth seems to remain clearly in the back of everyone’s minds.
Blood, Sweat and Terror!
June 17 - 19
"The pressure never concerned me or had any affect on what I did or how I did it. It just happened to be there. You either handle it or don't handle it."
- Rene A. Henry
Since the destruction wrought by the ‘Widow's Wail’ the Settlement of Mournfall has reeled from the devastation it has wrought. Rebounding from the havoc and debris, the people press onward.
The builders cut away and clear fallen debris in an attempt to make the town once again operational. Though it is hard work for them, it is not without benefit.
Fresh fallen timber has been gathered and brought to the Lumbermill. There remains substantial work to be done.
The Mercenary company governing Mournfall, The Pride of Lions, has scrambled to organise and has begun to deploy defensive operations. Patrols of scouts have been seen operating in the blasted woodlands surrounding the settlement. The Mercenaries stride about the town with grim determination, oddly without purpose or direction. Anticipation of an encroaching force is imminent.
A tension looms, the cracking of bone, the beating of wings and a breath just behind you can be heard in the deep of the woods.
Sins Not Long Forgotten
July 22 - 24
"The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."
- Ezekiel 18:20
With a precision strike into the camp of ‘The Surgeon’, the Settlement of Mournfall has bought itself precious little time from the proverbial noose that is The Army of Nightfrost. Intelligence from the frontlines indicate that there are at least three to four other generals, and that ‘The Surgeon’ has begun to regroup. They come for you.
However, all hope is not lost. Commander Drach of the 7th Imperial Dragoons has arrived on scene with a small entourage of specialists. With the restoration of the Skien gate, dwarves bearing supplies and aid from Humblebrag have begun to come through. Lastly, though it remains to be seen if it will be of help or hindrance, a large Goblin population has been relocated to a ruin near the Settlement.
Despite all of this, the world turns. The drums of war sound and the Einher of Mjoll marshal their forces beneath the banners of Orin the Bastards and the Hunhills. They seek to unite their people once more, through war and bloodshed. The chosen battleground, the lands outside the settlement of Mournfall. Revna Mothersblood, Chieftan of Clan Oslo and leader of the Shield Maidens has come forth with knowledge to rebuild The Horn of Einherjar and it is said one of those very pieces lies within the boundaries of the Settlement of Mournfall.
Rumors circulate that Prince Leopauld of Tiefanue is in the region and has begun to rally forces and aid to take on the Church of Light and reclaim his throne. A missive said to be written by the Prince's own hand has begun to circulate in the North, a message of hope and resistance that is quickly spreading across the lands.
What does all of this mean for the people of Mournfall? Only time will tell. What is known is that the adventurers of this Oasis will shape what is to come.
August 19 - 21
“Such is the condition of organic nature! Whose first law might be expressed in the words ‘Eat or be eaten!’ and which would seem to be one great slaughterhouse, one universal sense of rapacity and injustice!”
- Erasmus Darwin
For aiding the Einher of Mjoll in recovering a piece of the ‘Horn of the Einherjar’, the people of Mournfall have been repaid by the assistance of the Lofoten Berzerkers against ‘The Crag Surgeons’ forces. A combined assault against these weakened forces has truly put them on their back foot, it's time to deliver the final strike.
Three other groups that comprise the army of Nightfrost still remain around the Oasis, however. What exactly their plans are, or why they have not yet attacked, remains unknown. What is known is that ‘The Impaler’ , a leader of one of these forces has left the field leaving his three Vampiric spawn in command. This presents a unique opportunity and window for attack. If Mournfall is to survive this large force it will need its allies, wits and courage.
Commander Drach and Captain Lysander have been preoccupied spending their days marshalling defences and their evenings in the briefing tent. Rumours amongst the mercenaries circulate; some say they are trying to hold out until Berphauntian reinforcements can arrive. Others, less optimistic, believe the two officers are conducting a plan of attack in an attempt to break the encirclement and whatever this plan is sounds like adventurers will be needed to pull it off.
All the while the air seems to waft with the occasional scent of rot and wet wood. Trees groak and creek, from the corners of your eye you may catch a root or vine that seems to slowly move towards you. Along the path the ground beneath one's feet seems to be made of worms one second and then sturdy again the next. It is clear that something is wrong.
Second Closer to Death
September 16 - 18
“Only Evil and Greater Evil exist and beyond them, in the shadows, lurks True Evil. True Evil, is something you can barely imagine, even if you believe nothing can still surprise you. And sometimes True Evil seizes you by the throat and demands that you choose between it and another, slightly lesser, Evil.”
- Andrzej Sapkowski, The Last Wish
‘The Surgeons’ forces are in disarray and scattered to the winds, her laboratories and vile experiments have been purged, yet, she still remains at large. Intel and evidence has been collected from her outposts however and Mournfall narrows in on her final location, at this point her time is measured in days.
As is the way with fate while one hand gives the other takes away. ‘The Impaler’ has returned and his forces have begun to push back hard against the Pride of Lions. Captain Lysander returns from the field not with victory but valuable intelligence. It has been learned that ‘The Impaler’ is not only a blood sucking creature of the night, but also seems to be beset by compulsion. He seems to NEED to have three ‘children’ at any given time. The path forward becomes clear, take out the lesser vampires around him and he will be compelled to give his power to others, thus weakening him.
How does one successfully hunt a Vampire, let alone four of them? You call in an expert, and the 7th Imperial Dragoons have done just that. Reaching out to a secretive subsidiary of the Exterminators Guild of Berphaunt they have hired an expert hunter to come and aid Mournfall with this particularly deadly vermin problem. So break a broom in half, put on your garlic and pray to your gods or dragons. It is time to hunt the hunters.
Those venturing too far from the settlement and into the woods have reported the trees and wildlife feeling…unnatural. The smell of rot and wet leaves burns the nostrils, branches move as if coming towards one but only from the corner of the eye, and worms, to many worms there one moment and gone the next.
All the while, the ground itself begins to heat up and a feeling of foreboding lingers in the air. In the distance the Astygian Spire pulses with dull red veins of energy, easy to miss and infrequently…for now.
The Price of a Mile
All Hallows October 14 - 16
“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.
Or you don't.”
- Stephen King, The Stand
The forces of the Crag Surgeon in the region have all but dispersed with their Magister in the custody of Mournfall, this has done little to impede the army of Nightfrost as a whole. The Impaler and his spawn encroach further into the Oasis. Night by night they gain footholds and strategic encampments.
Those neither soldiers nor adventurers have begun to flock into central Mournfall, as if being herded. Many seeking protection claim the same thing. From one side, death on eight legs, those who were not webbed and taken away reported swift moving groups clad in white following behind the initial wave of spiders. From another side, Ogres slowly crush their way through the woods. Though their Magisters identities have yet to be uncovered, it is clear that the remainder of the Army of Nightfrost has engaged.
The Pride of Lions, their encampment in shambles, mount a grim defensive. Small skirmishes have resulted in heavy casualties. Resources have run thin if not fully depleted. Scouting missions have been pulled back entirely. Patrols go with farmers and non combat personnel to harvest what crops remain left untouched by Nightfrost, others risk life and limb to salvage from the fields left in the wake of their assault. It seems Groundnuts provided by the Chin family and honey from Talias apiary will be all there is to eat through the winter.
All the while not too far away in the distance, the black spire pulses brighter and brighter with glowing red veins of energy…
Season 5 (2023)
Misgivings of Misrule
Masquerade February 25
“Tragedy teaches us things about ourselves and about others. Sometimes we do not like what we see, but we have to look anyway. We have to know.”
- Heather Walter
After a year of resistance and fending off the invading armies of Nightfrost, Mournfall has been forced to acquiesce to their enemies. It did not happen through a bloody and brutal final stand, nor through cloak and dagger assassination. The surrender of Mournfall was realized by the stroke of a quill. Nicholas De Monteau, a Civil Minister of the Empire of Berphaunt, came with terms that would end the conflict between Nightfrost and Mournfall while keeping the territory of Mournfall still Berphauntian, ostensibly so it would seem. Commander Drach was placed under arrest by Berphauntian authorities and the Pride of Lions mercenary company was told that their contract had been nullified.
Over the harsh winter months in the Oasis all Berphauntian personnel within
the town were given command to pull back from the area and to return to the capital city of Berphaunt. Meanwhile the Pride of Lions packed up and left in a hurry, though, unlike the Berphauntians they did not use the Skien Gate for travel. The adventuring population, locals and non-official Berphauntians had been given no such command however. Leaving them under the bloody claws of Nightfrosts armies and a Magister whose name is spoken in fearful whispers, even amongst his own peers. Lord Misrule.
New soldiers wearing White and Red reinforce the area, rebuilding the devastated encampment of the Pride of Lions and adding a new feature. A large and impractical circus tent erected in the very center of the encampment, around its edges are jolly bells that ring obnoxiously as the winter winds blow. A slender man emerges from the tent; he wears a red coat with a dapper vest and on his head a golden crown sits askew. Accompanied by a cadre of scarred and brutish Ogres he trots through the settlement and to the notice board. An Ogre holds up a piece of parchment and the strange fellow produces three darts and begins to throw them. The third dart hits the parchment and pins it to the board, the other two find themselves lodged in an Ogres forearm.
The Parchment reads,
This invitation is to the subjects of Lord Misrule, yes, that would be you if you are reading this, and also you if someone is reading this to you, illiterate idiot.
With our hostilities coming to a close, the pillaging and plundering done, the tears wiped from your eyes. Let us look to a new dawn, let us put our geese under the bridge and let our bygones be bygones but not gone or forgotten.
Your Magister and ruler, but you will refer to him as LORD, Lord Misrule formally, informally and any formally’s inbetwixt invites you all to come to his new home for a masquerade. Come eat, drink, and dance off the toils of a war hard fought. Your Lord appreciates entertainment above all else, so bring your instruments, games and jolly attitudes in hand. This will be an opportunity to move forward from your dreary lives previous and into a new shiny era of your lives, there is no need to contain your joy and excitement.
Your Lord expects to see his subjects dressed in their best, traditionally masks are worn at a Masquerade, your Lord will be wearing his, but he understands if you are too dull to get your own.
Your Lord will be expecting your arrival on the 25th day of this month at 4 bells in the evening. Your Lord does not like when people dont come to his parties, so do attend, for all of our sakes.
The Turning of the Leaves
June 9 - 11
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
- Anne Bradstreet, The Works of Anne Bradstreet [Meditations Divine and Moral]
Rumors are abundant through every conversation. Whether it be farmers, guards or wandering traders. Word spreads like wildfire through the Oasis and beyond.
Misrule’s henchmen walk the paths and trails of the Oasis, their heads held high in arrogance. The bodies of traitors, deserters and the unwanted, being strung from the trees.
Snow Traders have returned to their regular routes with added muscle within their ranks. Mistrustful sharp glances to passersby. Prices offered to the people of Mournfall have increased due to ‘Reconciliation Debt Repayment’ installed by Sage of the Snow Traders. Merchants are taking orders from the farmers and the adventuring populace with the promise of delivery in a month's time.
The Goblins have been busy breeding and digging in their new home they seem to be calling ‘Undermine’. They emerge from their hovel briefly to hunt and forage, ever growing numbers need to be fed.
There have been no sightings of Ice Elves within the Oasis.
Farmers have reported random tremors while working in their fields. Some sinkholes have eroded small portions of harvestable land. They are now seeking alternative farming locations. Some livestock have also gone missing at this time. The coalition of ranchers have put out a notice for retrieval.
The Dwarves, Minotaurs, Hoblings and others who have settled in the Oasis remain, for now. Though their trepidations for what is to come in the following months are clear in any conversations they may have had.
The claws of Nightfrost are around the settlement's throat, but how secure is the grip? Only time will tell what that means for those who have settled here.
Send in the Clowns
June 30 - July 2
“Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.”
- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
A notice on the board reads.
By command of the Gracious Steward of Mournfall, The Benevolent
The Boy is directed to invite:
All citizens of the city-state of Nightfrost and it’s protectorate,
the settlement of Mournfall,
To be present at the Town Center of Mournfall On June 30th 2265 to celebrate the first ever birthday of Lord Misrule himself and those others of the Faceless race who have hitherto remained birthdayless.
The Settlement of Mournfall is abuzz, though it’s hard to say if it’s with excitement or fear. Perhaps both. Last month the Tallyman came to collect Mournfalls Tithe to Zsiera, and they were found wanting, five was what the tally was missing and so five would be the price.
On a much more cheerful note Lord Misrule has declared that the turning of this month is his birthday, not only that but the birthday of all Faceless everywhere. A festival of celebration and games has been organized for this most auspicious of occasions. Caravans have been arriving in the Oasis day and night in preparation for the extravaganza. Entertainers from all over Jormunger are rumored to be arriving. Much fun is not just expected but demanded to be had.
The height of summer is now upon us as the harvests of several crops and growths are being provided to the citizens and occupants. Honey from the Talia’s apiary, Groundnuts from The Chin’s fumble farm and an assortment of vegetables and fruits from the various families in the surrounding area.
Miners have been either going missing or quitting their posts. Murmuring about monsters and crazy dwarves aren’t worth the trouble. Foehammer of Humblebrag has begun to get frustrated with the stifled efforts of the mines shared between his people and Mournfall.
The hours tick by until the fun begins, see you there, with bells on.
Dead Man's Hand
July 21 - 23
“My father once told me that it’s not enough for a man to be lucky; that a guy has to know when that streak is on for him.”
- Henry Mosquera, Sleeper's Run
It feels like we’ve been fighting for so very, very long; Months; Years.
The earth beneath our feet sits stained with our pride, our kin and our loved ones. So still is the night now, you can cut it open with just a whisper. With just one word.
Your oppressors would subject you to mistruths and obfuscated lies in the name of loyalty to coral you into docility.
Your enemies curb you through mania and absurdity to suppress your freedom and deny you hope.
While they feast in your homes, there are packs of lions prowling their lines. Marking their prey.
While they make mockery of your values and your right to life and liberty, loyal men and women of Berphaunt close the coming noose around them.
Whether unlikely allies or uncommon bedfellows, you have friends among you. Seek them out.
Our enemies have the numbers and the equipment; But most of all they have the perception of our Empire’s support propping up their crooked house of cards. They are strongest when faced head on, but we will fight them at their backs. We will blow them apart from beneath. The moment draws close.
Remember, you are not alone, and you are so very, very important for what is to come. When it happens, be ready – do not waste this moment with rashness or impatience.
We sit at a table, you and I, playing a game of chance against an opportunist and a lunatic with a river of blood and the highest of stakes between us.
Who dares enter first for this one, last, Deadman’s hand?
My name is Aayden Drach. If you are reading this, let these words be your whispers.
If you are reading this, you are the resistance.
Mercy to Nightfrost.
We’ll offer none.
August 25 - 27
“The ancient feud between cat and dog is not forgotten in the north, for the Lynx is the deadly foe of the Fox and habitually kills it when there is soft snow and scarcity of easier prey.”
- Ernest Thompson Seton
In still silence shadows whisper; resistance, betrayal, ambition…
The stage has been set and the curtains drawn many moons ago. Bishop takes Knight, Knight takes Rook. The pieces have no colors, the board is red and white. The marionettes dance, their strings held too tight.
On another board, playing another game a new actor enters, stage right. In its hand a Queen to play, a boon or a blight. The foil is clear, his motivations satire or truth?
Quiet, now a new act is about to begin, the troupe of pawns have yet to make their move.
As a wall comes down, my Soliloquy comes to an end.
Until the Curtains Call.
September 15 - 17
“What makes a family is neither the absence of tragedy nor the ability to hide from misfortune, but the courage to overcome it and, from that broken past, write a new beginning.”
- Steve Pemberton
The tensions around Mournfall can be cut with a knife. Within the darkness of the forest's shadow words of resistance rise. How long can a man hold on to power. When those who stand behind him cast eyes upon his back like knives and upon his holdings with ambition. Those under him squirm and seek to resist. She whose name he toils under hungers. Yet, not all cards are on the table, the hand is not played and that's not to speak of what hides up a sleeve.
Lysander, the former Captain of the Pride of Lions has been freed from his torturous captivity. He revealed what information they sought from him. He was the sole person who held the mage Obyron's notes and secrets for entering the spire. The Spire, which in the distance of Mournfall begins to glow with soft red veins of light, barely visible for now.
Blood will be spilt before the ice comes, let those who strive survive. For soon it will be curtains call, and where will that leave you overall. A mummer observes all.
Races and Creatures