Part 17: 1415-The Year of the Evil MoonThe Year of the Evil Moon
As 1415 opened, Queen Dagmaer brought the blessing of the Sagacious Counselor upon Ironbay, helping to strengthen the town. All news was not good in Ironbay, however. Various monsters had issued forth from the node of Chaos east of Ironbay, menacing the town. In order that the defenders of the town might be shielded from evil, the Queen called upon the blessing of the Righteous Queen to protect them, while the militia steeled themselves for battle.
By Secondmonth, the enemy arrived, being a towering pillar of pure flame and a pack of flaming wolves. What stood between these horrors and the town of Ironbay was a single company of volunteer swordsdwarves, cloaked in holy protection.
Even as the town watched, Queen Dagmaer stretched out with the power of the Righteous Queen, purging the pillar of flame from the world, leaving only the flaming wolves to stand against the volunteers of Ironbay. The protection of the Righteous Queen was strong upon them, and the militia smote the wolves down with their blades while suffering only few losses. Ironbay remained safe.
Meanwhile, in Arcanus, Vigny and her scouts had made a detour to the east to chart a little more of the land. There they found a settled district of halflings laying in the shadow of the despotate of Charack, with the town of Hialanth at the heart of the district. A militia of determined halfling slingers answers to the Mayor of Hialanth, helping to ward the borders of the district from orcish incursion. With this scouting completed, the entire Royal Army fell back towards the tower in order to return to Myrror.
Sixthmonth brought ominous developments, although the spread of divine blessings had come to Stonegate as well by this time. The gray moon of Myrror began to glow more brightly, lighting the nights with a strange and unnerving light. The sentinels on the tower between Dvergursheim and Arcanus reported that, at the same time, the red moon of Arcanus also glowed brighter, tinting the nights red. The astrologers of the kingdom reported this to be an ill omen, indicative of evil forces gaining power.
If there is anybody out there who uses Dark/Death magic, their shrines, temples, and such are now producing double power income.
By Seventhmonth, meanwhile, the Royal Army, having returned to Myrror, assaulted a ruined town lying on the land containing the tower they had returned from. There they confronted a great mass of living corpses, mummified by the long years and by the magic permeating them. The dead confronting the Army suffered many losses as they approached, before breaking against the unyielding wall of the dwarven front lines.
With the living dead destroyed, the ruins of the town were plundered, but little of its riches remained. All that could be recovered was an enchanted wand, half-buried amidst the ruins of the town, which was returned via magic to the palace of the Queen. The Royal Army then marched to the channel by Westerland, preparing to ferry back to Westerland to help better-secure the land about Ironbay.
By Eleventhmonth, the evil glow of the moons in the skies in Myrror and Arcanus faded, and the astrologers reported that the omens were less ill. Meanwhile, Stonehome benefited as so many other towns had from the wisdom of the Sagacious Counselor, letting it grow more wealthy and prosperous.
The charts of Myrror are ever-expanding, although it is believed that by now every important landmass on Myrror has been discovered.
The Kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim as of Twelfthmonth 1415
The four towns at the heart of the kingdom continue to grow and prosper, creating much wealth for themselves through the efforts of their people and their trade. Stonegate in particular has leaped to be much wealthier than it was a year ago, although it remains the smallest and least productive of these towns, suffering as it does from its position in the Red Desert. The former King Reinar of Stonehome now is hosted as a guest at the Royal Palace in Goldwash, where he has chosen to dedicate his time to study of the sword, exercise, and prayer, living a vigorous but somewhat austere life while relieved of power.
Sawmills ensure more and cheaper lumber in Snowy Point, fueling the town's construction and tradesfolk. With increased timbering in the district round about, replanting of trees has been on the rise, while hunters and trappers ply the woods for more meat and fur.
A militia has been mustered in Darkshore, and the farmlands in the district have been greatly improved, while the town supports the food markets, slaughterhouses, and wineries to handle the bolstered agricultural productivity of the district. A library building has been constructed, and the copying of texts from across the kingdom to fill the library is continuing apace.
Blademarsh has dug out some deeper and more extensive mines, although the productivity of its mining barely matches even a small dwarven town. Even so, this has begun to supply more raw iron and stone to the town, and more adamantine to the kingdom, helping the Queen continue her magical experiments. A major expansion of the temple of the Great Lady is very nearly completed here, bringing pride to the elves of the town. The shipbuilding industry of the town has been supplying larger, swifter, and more seaworthy roundships to the merchants and traders of the kingdom, helping to better bind together the far-spread lands of the kingdom.
The settlers who have gathered in Fangrock have now left to seek their fortunes elsewhere, while, in Fangrock itself, the monastery for the priests of the town is being expanded and gaining new decoration. The priests of Fangrock continue their meditations, confident that soon they shall be better-honored for their efforts.
Like Blademarsh, Bloodrock has seen the mines round about it be expanded, helping better provide iron, copper, and stone, although, once again, its mines hardly match the productivity of dwarven mines. With the prosperity and security of the town, a flowering of learning is beginning to take place, with many savants beginning to achieve deeper insights into various questions of learning and magic. Bloodrock remains the single greatest exporter of food in the kingdom, relying on the Nature magic wielded by its priests to keep its fields abundant and productive.
The forestry and hunting around Leer prospers greatly, and the town is better-supplied than ever with meat and timber. The continued exposure of Leer to dwarven travellers and traders by sea has encouraged the spread of veneration of the other three Bright Gods amongst some of its people, and a scattering of shrines and minor temples to the gods other than the Great Lady are beginning to rise up in various places throughout the town, while the temple to the Great Lady continues to grow more magnificent in its decoration.
I will tend to interpret the Parthenon as beginning to mark the expansion of temples from a single central temple of whatever magnificence to a complex of several temples in a town. The Parthenon is the next step in religious structures after the Shrine and Temple, and the largest that Dark Elves can build. Dwarves cannot build the Parthenon, being limited only to the Temple.
The construction on the new wings of the temple of the Great Lady in Darkhold has been completed, and an expansion of stud farms and horse ranches in the fields round about Darkhold has allowed for a better supply of fine horses. A number of the priests in the town are studying and training in Nature magic under tutors from Bloodrock, that they may better-ensure the harvests in Darkhold's district.
Easthold grows and prospers, enjoying its position as a trade center and the wealth of its newly-expanded mines. With steam power now used to expand the possibility of mining and transport heavier loads of raw ore, Easthold has access to a great store of mineral wealth. Much of the mithril and coal the town produces are traded to bring coin to purchase other goods for the town. With its mining now bustling and productive, local townsfolk are looking to take advantage of the forests of Easthold's district, and sawmills to better process lumber are under construction.
Ironbay weathered the attack by monsters essentially unscathed, and, over the past year, the town has prospered as never before. The wisdom of the Sagacious Counselor ensures that the people of the town work skillfully and wisely, while expanded mining operations and steam pumps ensure the great wealth of metal available to the town is available for work and trade. Sawmills to process the timber of the great forests of its district into lumber more efficiently are under construction, and the town enjoys regular visits from roundships linking it to the rest of the kingdom.
Stonehome enjoys the new abundance of its well-cultivated district, and the supply of food to the town is secure. It further has had a library built and stocked with texts from across the kingdom, while the texts that were preserved by its people have been copied and spread to other towns. It has nearly been connected to the rest of Westerland by road, but, as of yet, there is still a lengthy hike across open ground to reach the road from Stonehome. Settlers from Stonehome have been gathering supplies, planning to establish new homes further northeast, taking advantage of the rich gold deposits in some of the western hills of Westerland.
Njallshold and the spread of homesteads and villages about it continue to struggle, and the district about the mouth of the Salmon River remains a largely untamed frontier region.
The finances of the royal treasury continue to flourish, bolstered by the great prosperity and success of the kingdom. This wealth of gold has been spent on alchemical materials or on various improvements across the kingdom, helping assure the prosperity of Greater Dvergursheim. Although much magical power is being used to support the enchantment of cities, the flow of magical power for Queen Dagmaer's work has declined only modestly, as the kingdom provides ever more power for her use. The Royal Engineers have nearly completed the road to Stonehome, while the Royal Army is in the process of crossing the channel back onto Westerland.
Off the eastern shores of Westerland, a great caravan of dragonkin and their flying beasts glides in across the Great Sea, approaching Westerland that they might settle its northern shores.
1415 perishes, and 1416 approaches. We can only hope that the evil omens of 1415 presage no disaster for Greater Dvergursheim, but rather that the kingdom will continue to prosper in wealth and happiness.