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Cracks in the Shield Wall

Bloodoak – Sitting on his royal throne, King Dleatherus of Bordweall received alarming, unproven accusations of internal spying in the kingdom. Being indisposed, King Dleatherus had Protectorate Duke Noslim’s first act be to read the report through the chamber doors. These spying allegations centered around the Duchy of Singraven and Grand Earl [Count] Drax Baxton. It was alleged that Grand Earl Drax sent spies into all of the duchies, and guilds throughout the Kingdom of Bordweall. The allegations continued stating, “that he [Drax Baxton] demanded knowledge, subterfuge and the spread of deceit from his spies.”

Grand Earl Drax refused to comment on the allegations, instead shouting profusely, “These accusations are entirely false. Incredibly false. It is true, I do have eyes and ears everywhere, they’re great spies best of the best… but only in other kingdoms.” A fellow Grand Earl, Primus Dedumo attempted to jokingly quell the situation, “He listens because he has immense ears.” However, it has been reported that Grand Earl Drax Baxton also assisted in igniting the rebellion against the Duchy of Caeruleum, and subsequent tensions, as well as having a hand in the removal of the Brotherhood of the Fallen Blade from Singraven and much of the Kingdom of Bordweall.

blundering spy

Belived to be one of the top spies of Karrah. (Image courtesy of a concerned citizen.)

However, the validity of these allegations are doubtful at best. Grand Earl Drax is better known for his nonsensical banter, then his ability to run a clandestine spy network. If there is prominence to these claims, the Kingdoms of Elyria still need not fear. Rumors abound of the County of Karrah’s spies tripping onto their own daggers, drinking out of mislabeled vials, and accepting astonishingly small bribes; all of which, we can agree, are fine qualities of “great spies”. These instances, though ghastly comical, have caused many individuals to try and gauge the intentions of Grand Earl Drax’s “spies” and his protective cohorts. These allegations and subsequent leaks though, if proven true, may lead to cracks in King Dleatherus’ otherwise solid shield wall.

 

Grooms, Wenches and a Justicar

Rhynelands – Overseeing the Royal Rhyne Estate in the County of Penrith, a grand meeting to forge the future of the kingdom was underway to decide the fate of their centerpieces. King Adam Rhyne’s hopeful groom Duke Morbis Alabast, and wife Queen Jordyn Rhyne, accompanied by Consort Duchess Rheika Hart, bickered over the color palate of the wondrous occasion. Also, attending was Duchess Aleerayn Aritaur who refused assisting in all other matters, instead preferring to solely refine the wine selection. Amidst the confusion of which suit Duke Morbis should wear – the otter inspired single breasted or silhouetted which graces the figure. A peculiar visage appeared in the lavish room, Chief Justicar Anders Kastanjj burst into the room unsettling the fair nobles dispute. Rumbling with anger after receiving the news, and Duke Morbis unable to calm King Adam even after a relaxing, beard waxing and twirl – a war path seemed to be drawn.

Withdrawing from the planning, King Adam Rhyne and Chief Justicar Anders Kastanjj discussed improving security measures. After hours of grueling, tedious security discussions. King Adam boorishly agreed to Chief Justicar Anders security terms, if only to cease the impromptu meeting. Policies to implement identification papers, training guards to spot disguises, scribing all royal encounters, and installing ‘advisors’ in all duchies hierarchies received royal decree. With these security measures developed the Chief Justicar informed that the contracts required would be completed in the next two following generations.

With the impromptu security crisis presently averted, King Adam Rhyne returned to the disgruntled nobles. The current discussion was Duke Theophrastus Bombastus’ (nee Barnebas Bombastus). Consort Duchess Rheika Hart vehemently declared Duke Bombastus as a ‘poor leader’ and ‘a scar on the prestige of the kingdom’, that he had even ‘performed treason’. Queen Jordyn Rhyne agreeingly nodded, as Duke Morbis Alabast was taken aback by these unfounded vulgar statements. Chief Justicar Anders overhearing the accusations demanded evidence to protect the prestige of his royalty [King Adam Rhyne]. These allegations demanded a Round Table meeting which led to Duke Theophrastus Bombastus narrowly freeing himself of the charges, and protesting favoritism against King Adam Rhyne towards Consort Duchess Rheika Hart. 

With, the fate of the Freehold Duchy of Zylphania in the Kingdom of Vornair precariously edging towards disaster. So begins the consolidation of power in unions, in name, in accusations and in title.

Evictions in Alésia

Rhyddid – As political turmoil in the Kingdom of Alésia continues, the first political pawns have been discovered and promptly discarded. These measures initially occurred in the Duchy of Rhyddid under Duchess Zhin Khovi. The official statement from the Appointed Queen Violet Winterlynn, “These citizens were found to be consorting with rebel factions within the Kingdom [of Alésia]. These unwarranted actions by disloyal [rebel] factions will never stand in the Kingdom. We must be vigilant, in cities, on the streets and in our homes; anyone could become a victim of this menacing, rebellious mindset.” During this address, loyal citizens and aristocrats of Duchess Zhin Khovi were summoned, tied and marched to the borders of the kingdom. Surrounded by guards at the border, the citizens and aristocrats were stripped of their citizenship and rank. At the border, Marquis Vetivier declared, “We must trust in the Queen’s word. That this will all be over when the rebels are crushed, and our true leaders will stop this.” Then walking towards the Knight Jarri and Edwin of the Blue Hearts, Ernesto whispered, “How did I do, do I have security clearance now? Queen Violet said that [Duchess] Zhin Khovi’s county will be mine soon…” The rest, that attempted to return to their homeland were blockaded and bludgeoned by the Knights of the Regime [Royal Guards]. Back in Rhyddid, locked in her personal estate Duchess Zhin Khovi remained under house arrest.

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Rebel factions fighting against the crown within Rhyddid’s capital city Dileas

Throughout the Kingdom of Alésia these isolated operations against rebel factions continued into the night against Duke Jon Warren of Vitalis, as well as Duke Varuian Maulvorn of Thearyn. Both Dukes shared the same fate of Duchess Zhin Khovi, who is the alleged leader of the rebel faction – Crimson Thorns.

In the Kingdom of Alésia, there is a continued silencing of inquisitive and rebellious voices, especially as it relates to the brutality of Appointed Queen Violet Winterlynn. However, her strict actions against these voices is causing attention and there are now whispers of the Drunk King Phyllian dethroning Violet Winterlynn.

Leading the Crown

Aechena – Helgrim Enterprises has landed a stunningly, brilliant deal with the Draugr Fleet. Through this lucrative deal, Helgrim is now contracted to construct one-thousands ships for the Draugr Fleet stationed in the Duchy of the High Seas. The contract signed by King Adam Rhyne details that upon completion Helgrim will receive amount owing, plus bonuses and crafters’ will be allowed a ‘night of consultations’ with the King’s Consort Count Edwin Salle. In the contract Consort Duchess and Chief Executive Officer of Helgrim Enterprises Rheika Hart received a personal bonus, twenty coastal parcels in the County of Penrith and the removal of Lord Commander Alaric Stonehammer, true Duke of Aechena.

Many of the other guilds who auctioned their tenders were stunned at the gracious terms; except for King Rhyne’s impassioned offering of Count Edwin Salle. Who is being renowned for his community charities such as – No Clothes, No Shoes, Full Service a brothel in the County of Bhailedar, and a bestselling book called Taking a Tip: How to Earn the Trust of a King. The favorable terms of the contract has raised eyebrows, ca using questions to stir throughout the Kingdom of Vornair’s guilds and schools. With the leaders of Mercava, The Forge Bound Association and Esotericum demanding an inquiry. Chief Nathecat said that, “These [contractual] terms are favoritism through-and-through by the High Council and King Adam Rhyne. We [Mercava] have proven our quality and skills, and are still being limited by this corrupted rating scheme.”

This initially benign system, was to better facilitate kingdom-level contracts. The Guild Reputation System was led by the High Council, specifically the Maester of Resources Lexidus Havenspire. However, utilizing the relationship and leadership shared by the Duchy of Aechena and Helgrim, Helgrim’s contractual reputation soared by receiving contracts, and subsequent ratings from Aristocracy and Nobility within Helgrim. A contract review from Count Viktor Galliand stated, “Great Job. Ordered nothing, but showed up almost on time.” Another, Duke Alaric Stonehammer listed, “Excellent! I received two-hundred pairs of socks… I ordered two-hundred swords…” Both of which, along with many more gave full recommendations to future contractors. Using her influence over the High Council, and proximity to King Adam Rhyne, Consort Duchess Rheika Hart and Helgrim Enterprises thrive under this reprehensible system even after the cost of bribes, and political offerings.

To the disillusionment of guilds and schools across the Kingdom of Vornair these reputation systems remain. Helgrim Enterprises seems to be the embodiment of favoritism, and monopolization in the Kingdom of Vornair. Benefiting from the near familial ties to the King and Queen, these systems and policies of bias and limited oversight will surely continue. This influence has also festered in the High Council as well, with Duchess Rheika Hart spreading whispers of treasonous deceit against the Dukes and Duchesses of Vornair.

The whispers of a ones peasant trader have amassed to falter the foundation of a kingdom.  

Turmoil in King Richfort’s Reign

Kairos In the midst of a financial crisis, the streets of Val’Praem were lined with thousands of people marching in protest to the cuts of public dental care. Chants raged through the streets exclaiming, “We need a crown, funding is down.” The tribe centered in this controversy are the To’resk. A tribe plagued with horrendous pain that could occur from simple acts, such as: eating, talking and singing.

These political qualms aren’t foreign to the To’resk having had public displays of affection known as ‘nibbling’ banned by royal decree only months ago by King Thared Richfort. During the dentistry protests Reja Tuth-ak stated, “This is a kingdom-wide travesty our taxes or medical infrastructure is swamped by these people.” While, at another dental protest Mikel Rutn’tof declared, “This is a basic right. We are the work force of this kingdom, and we demand rights for our health [dental care].” In protest against these tribal laws To’resk around the kingdom celebrated in mass public nibbling.

Unable to suppress and imprison all the To’resk local authorities pulled their forces. With looming debt and tribal tensions flaring the Kingdom of Kairos was inundated with flyers and banners from foreign entities.From the Kingdom of Bordweall, “Have an unnatural love of walls? Come to Bordweall! Because that’s all we have!” and Duchy of Artiaur, “Lonely, single male wanted! Duchess Aleerayn Aritaur Harem Recruitng. Most be obedient, provide own restraints and always talk back.”

It is unsure how King Thared Richfort will respond to such overwhelming controversy and unrest within Kairos.

The Pauper Queen

SaorsaSitting in a tower of great opulence a Queen ponders. Her name is Queen Violet Winterlynn from the Kingdom of Alésia. Titled through vanity and holding a weak power, only granted by King Phyllian, over her citizens; whispers of revolt emerged in the cracks of her falling crown. Rejecting the wise counsel of her citizens. Queen Violet Winterlynn demanded more from her people, she demanded taxes for castles and cathedrals; land for baths and parks; titles for betrayal and defiance; and the lives of those who stood against her reign.

The demand for personal luxury and grandeur went too far. Soon, citizens would notice their taxes being hauled off to the palace and held in Queen Violet Winterlynn’s coffers. Remembering a raid Owen Porma’an stated, “Knights of the regime [Queen Violet’s Guards] came and stole it all… Even the crumbs of a loaf… even our undergarments…”

Even zealots for her reign weakened, turning against her due to whispers that became thunderous voices of rebellion. Inciting swift punishment from the Queen. Recalling a haunting night Count Jaxiel Astris stated, “My lovely [Countess] Gorawyn was taken by the regime [Queen Violet]. I pray to Virtori that I may see her again….” Rumors swirled about the disappearance of Countess Gorawyn Ashla at the hands of Queen Violet Winterlynn. Some reporting it was brought on by Gorawyn’s rival beauty and heart for the people, others thought Violet simply wanted Count Jaxiel’s obedience for herself, another rumored that this was Houses Ashla and Astris’ punishment for wanting the Duchy of Saorsa.

Riots at the gate

Riots at the gates of Saorsa

Soon the iron-fist which Queen Violet rose against her people, betrayed even her. As nobles refused to pay taxes, and citizens rioted. It was the beginning of the end of the now infamous Pauper Queen.

Honeyed promises from Virtori Queen

Duchy of Thearyn – We have just received confirmation from multiple anonymous sources that the Church of Thaeryn is but a front for a dastardly organization bent on the subjugation of all Mannkind! I your humble correspondent Dominic Bumgardner have been informed that a nefarious organization made up entirely of the newly released cardinal bees have secretly been whispering to their puppet Duke Varuian Maulvorn enticing him with sweet promises so that he could spread their influence. If these incoming reports are true, we are truly looking at the end of the freedom of all the major kingdoms and leadership being replaced by Varuian Maulvorn and our new Overqueen. May the gods have mercy on our souls.

Bee-the-Mann-Beard-Wax

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