The 'Arlokek' Era (469-472)

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This article describes the The 'Arlokek' Era (469-472) pertaining to the History of Arangoth.


EVENTS OF THE YEAR 469 (1999)

January, or Morning Star, 469

THE SOUTHLAND WAR - After an unprovoked attack by an Ellurian fief on the Aslarian port of Selrose Bay, war breaks out between the recently and violently unified Elluria and the long peaceful Aslar. Drachean Dizzy 'Tashli' Longtongue, a kender, is still King of Aslar by lottery but is due to be sacrificed in a few months to make way for the randomly chosen successor. Fourteen year old Queen Laravel of Elluria does not have a great deal of control over the entirety of her nation, which has fought numerous wars in the past decade or so. Aslar is considered the more powerful nation, but has not been at war for two centuries, while most Ellurians are well-blooded. Arangoth declares its neutrality and The Raven's acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, the halfling Lord Julian Greenhill, orders Aslarian and Ellurian ships out of harbour for fear of being caught up in a conflict. The fierce Korthai, landless nation of pirates, ally themselves to Aslar and begin sinking Ellurian ships.

April, or Rain's Hand, 469

NEWS PUBLICATIONS - Drache's first newspaper, the Rumourmill begins to publish scrolls on a weekly basis using the new acid-etching printing process and modified wine presses. It contains news of somewhat questionable factuality, and frequent editorializing. This printing process is also used by Crowned Swan Press, which publishes several Arangothian classics, and a few other publishing houses.

May, or Second Seed, 469

DRACHEAN SERIAL KILLERS - Cade Lozen, known as The Spine-Ripper and one of Drache's most notorious serial killers, spree ends with his first death at a death toll of 15. Kreshak, aka The Demon Mask's record is still 40 kills. Cade would return to torment Drache as an undead creature.

KORTHAI PIRATES - The Korthai Pirates, long operating around Arangothian shores, declare war on slavers after they unwittingly raided a Korthai village. They are also on the side of Aslar in the Eastern War, sinking Ellurian ships. In the next few years, they would become closely allied with Arangoth through their leader, gaining a home port in the Transdarianian fief and city of Mhernettla, east of Drache.

ORGANIZED CRIME - 'A few months ago' Kreshak (The Demon Mask) and Coldhands, two of the city's most powerful crimelords were arrested by the first incarnation of Arangoth's secret police, of which there would be a number of incarnations. The takedown, ostensibly by 'vigilantes' coincides with a huge crackdown on crime and vampires by the Guard, the Border Patrol, and the Secret Police. Some say Drache's organized criminal underworld has never fully recovered - though crime on the whole has not reduced to any large degree. The exceptions include Ladies Oiachi and Eclipse, who would emerge in the future as crimelords. Other figures remain subtle and unidentifiable.

COUNTRYSIDE BANDITRY - The infamous Riders of the Horn, fierce Ruthmarnian bandits led by Norpovath Quar and Tarla Nixkenixe execute 12 Arangothians. Banditry is rampant in the mountainous province and local Royal Guards are helpless.

VAMPIRES - This summer appears to contain a spike in Vampire activity, possibly lending to Drache's increased political persecution of the undead. The winter, correspondingly, evidences a hike in Vampire Hunters which eventually seems to even out.

June, or Mid Year, 469

CULTS - The Silver Flame Cult begins to rise to prominence in Transdariania under the direction of The Prophet, a mysterious member of old Arangothian nobility. Preaching the dangers of the apocalypse, the Cult fanatically backs the outlawing of wealth and magic, the elimination of non-human races, and the destruction of the Blkdragon Inn. What this Prophet set in motion would have dire consequences for Arangoth. It is thought that the incorrect reports of Father Kylus Dragonsbane's death led commoners to more radical religions. Drache's extreme growth and rampant supernatural phenomena have also been blamed.

July, or Sun's Height, 469

LONG MISSING PRINCE REAWAKENS - The first rumours of the awakening of Prince Arlok reach Drache. Arlok ul-Dorn was one of the sons of King Dorn (great-grandfather of AngelSin), sovereign over Arangoth before the Interregnum and the Alysian Revival. As it turns out, Arlok had fled the city during the Civil Wars and been put into an enchanted sleep by a group of small magical folk with his wife, Melinxa, and entourage until now. Arriving in Hornath ul-Marfed, the largest northern city, he proves himself to the Northern Diet and its leader, the Palatine Perlim Larkspin, a body which has never been very keen on the Alysian reign. He is declared King-Elect, but not a true King as of yet. Arlok was very popular among the commoners of the Old Kingdom for his ruthless execution of a group of noblewomen who had conspired to kill a commoner. This earned him the nickname Arlok the Just.

THE TEMPLARS - The Templars of Menxvan, once a powerful group of Arangothian paladins but decimated during the Civil War and Interregnum, gather together their tattered remnants and begin to make their power known once more in Arangoth, one aspect of which included backing Arlok. Millabratel, former capital of Transdariania and one of the larger southern cities has always been one of their strongholds.

ARANGOTHIAN DWARVES - A band of Arangothian dwarves, long-lived and remembering Arlok's kindness to them before the Interregnum rally to his aid and swear fealty to him. At the time, he was mistakenly imprisoned in Perlim Larkspin, the Northern Palatine, or leader of the Estates. With typical dwarven aplomb, a band of the great hearted folk rescues him, on a night that becomes known as 'The Night of Bruised Shins and Broken Knees.'

LEGIONS MOBILIZE - With the Silver Flame Cult gaining followers in the countryside and hanging mages, an alleged Prince in the North with growing support, and rumours of treason against Alysia's regent, The Raven, Drache's three Legions mobilize. Their most recent action was against the illegal Dragonriders Guild.

August, or Last Seed, 469

CULTS - By this point, the Prophet of the Silver Flame has hordes of peasant followers encamped all around Drache. They begin to hang mages trying to enter the city and burn books.

September, or Hearthfire, 469

THE FIRST MIST CRISIS - The dreaded Mist, an enchanted fog, first enters Drache harbour, cutting off sea trade. This with the Silver Flame shanty town and the Eastern War seriously cuts down on Drachean imports and leads to shortages and eventual famine. Citizens become restless and the silent regent, The Raven, becomes less popular.

ROYAL GUARD - The reptilian conservative Arms-Major Metzen Akilae becomes Captain after the celebrated Captain Jaonos Mistwinter retires. Mistwinter had declared martial law twice and seen Drache through many crises. He would later form the Border Watch, and then become Lord Protector of Arangoth, in charge of the Royal Guard and Border Watch. Akilae was known for his efficient command and his attraction of the adoration of teen girls.

BANDITRY - The Riders of the Horn take Lurintheti Netri, the Ruthmarnian capital. They claim they are acting on behalf of the South, since the town supports Arlok rather than The Raven. The Northern Arangothian Army, led personally by Perlim Larkspin moves against them and eventually drives the Riders out of Ruthmarna, but not before much damage has been done.

ASLAR - An Assi becomes King of Aslar in the lottery. Aslar is ruled by a King elected by random each year, who is then sacrificed at the end of the year to Aslar's gods. Many nations are nervous as the Assi 'savages' are the historical enemies of Arangoth, Rondis and Ethcabar-Antara.

ARLOK - Griffon's Aerie, Rondis, and Kahlahra all send tribute and congratulations to Arlok, recognizing him as King of Arangoth.

October, or Frostfall, 469

CULTISTS - The Prophet has gone north by this point to throw his support behind King Arlok. Soon after, he mysteriously disappears and has not been heard from since. Cultists around Drache begin to bleed off, lacking his induced fervour, although many remain devotees of the religion. Drache begins to burst at the seams from the sudden influx of uneducated, intolerant peasants. They become known as the 'Gessi Drekithekel' ('New Dracheans') or just the 'Gessi.'

OPIUM - Opium becomes more common in Drache. The Gessi fall prey to this addiction in astounding rates. Opium money is accused of fuelling organized crime and being controlled by demons.

SERIAL KILLERS - The Spiral Killer begins his reign of terror on Drache's Guard and the nation's Border Patrol. The murderer uses invisibility-enchanted armour to kill lone Guardsmen and Patrollers and leave them with their badge in their mouth and a spiral on their cheek. By the end of the month he's been caught twice (having escaped once) by Arms-Commander Cassidy Mistwood, later to become Captain of the Guard. He is reported to be working for the mysterious necromantic figures, Vryce and Eve.

THE FIRST MIST - The Mist recedes, but no one knows who to thank - though soon after one of the two ships that pierced it, The Arken Wynd returns. A massive trade armada leaves Drache to bring back supplies to the hungry metropolis.

THE PRODIGAL DRACHEAN SON - Kylus Dragonsbane, most respected citizen of Drache and possibly Arangoth, long reported dead, turns out to be alive. Many blame the Rumormill for misreporting the Father's death.

SERIAL KILLERS - A green beast, eventually known as the Green Killer, begins preying on citizens, who rise as zombies. It eventually disappears, but its death toll breaks all records, numbering above a hundred. Drache's overpopulation is blamed for its success.

THE NORTH - The Northern Arangothian Army retakes Lurintheti Netri from the Riders of the Horn at great civilian expense, as the Riders' human shields were ignored. The leaders of the Riders escaped. Ruthmarna is declared subject to the Northern Estates and their King-elect, Arlok ul-Dorn.

November, or Sun's Dusk, 469

THE SECOND MIST CRISIS - The dreaded Mist returns to the harbour. It also sends a tendril up the river Darian to a new, mysterious Spire in the Forest Reserve. Growth of this Spire sends tremors throughout Drache. A few weeks later, the Mist retreats from the harbour to swirl menacingly around the Spire.

STRAINS OF THOUGHT - With debate about Arlok high, the Rumourmill categorizes and lables 'factions' that are probably more accurately called strains of thought. 'Nationalism' is Ravenist, 'Monarchism' is Arlokek, and 'Popularism' is for whoever acknowledges Royal Title as an office held for its subjects, not an unassailable absolutist birthright (which the Alysian law code implies).

CORONATION IN THE NORTH - Arlok is crowned King by the Northern Estates. Heretofore he has been 'King-Elect.' A number of important figures are seen at the coronation, including an old retainer of Alysia's, Tigrah Tigrean, who is at first hostile, but soon swears fealty to the new King. There is an assassination attempt on Arlok during the ceremony, but his distant cousin, the young Templar Ultharin Sanskaranth saves the King's life. Sanskaranth is the grandson of the famous Lord Templar Illurst, a folk hero who gave his life fighting the conspirators in Dorn's assassination to buy time for Arlok and his siblings to escape Tagrana. "Illurst Stood Upon the Road" is a popular song recounting the tale of his last stand.

ASSI RAIDS - The Assi peoples begin to raid Eastern Arangoth, after 250 years of enforced peace and muted mutual hostility. The 'savages' confidence is thought to be bolstered by one of their number being King in mighty Aslar. An Assi-Aslar alliance is soon made, but comes to little. Eastern trade is, however, fully cut off from Arangoth thanks to Assi hostility and the Southland war.

FAMINE - The Drache Granaries burn down after a lightning storm, prompting widespread starvation conditions. The Raven, Lord Regent, is silent and presumed missing. Relief is carried out by local nobles, such as Tespin Lorla Daranek, merchants, and a great deal of goodwill help from King Arlok and northern Arangoth.

OPIUM - Lady Oiachi, the city's Opium Queen and a demon, cements her power in Drache. She is soon, however, arrested by licensed bounty hunter Guilbert Madraw and sent to trial. She is slain in the midst of an attack by her minions during the trial. Eventually, opium growing on Arangothian soil is outlawed, and requires licenses for opium importation. This occurs after the well-publicized link of opium to demonic crime here mentioned, as well as the Transdarianian famine, and the devastation a poisoned batch of opium does to the Drachean population. Oiachi's opium monopoly splinters, but the majority finds its way into the hands of Xiunlan immigrants (Xuinhai-La being a far eastern nation of aviators).

December, or Evening Star, 469

NATURAL DISASTER - On top of the famine and governmental confusion, a tornado hits Drache, leaving a swath of destruction - including the newly built housing district containing much of the Gessi. It, like the lightning storm, is considered natural, though out of season, and no trace of magical weather tampering can be found.

GESSI DREKITHEKEL - The Gessi are still considered a problem in the city, especially after the demolishing of their new homes by the tornado. King Arlok sends an invitation to them to populate a new city he has founded in the east, titled AngelSinHorna after his great-niece Alysia. This has the added advantages of cementing his hold on Eastern Arangoth and placing a new strategic centre for defense against the nearby Assi.

LEGIONS - Lacking a Regent in the still missing Raven, having no direction nor pay from the coffers, the three Drachean Legions disband. Many of their numbers supplement the work force, especially the Royal Guard - but the South is left with no government and no military in the face of a new, focused North. Examples of the impressive Legion plate mail, complete with black cloaks and black plumes, are still visible in museums and libraries.

RIOTS - A ship full of food arrives in the Wharves. Right to deal for its much-needed cargo is claimed by both young Nobles of the 'Popular' persuasion and the merchant Onian Fairfax, one of the chief private interests of the relief. Onian wins the bid when she produces supposedly official documentation from The Raven. Outraged, the young Nobles incite the gathering crowd to riot. They are tossed overboard by the ship's crew, and later arrested and imprisoned, but the damage is extensive.

SOUTHERN GOVERNMENT - In response to the disasters affecting Drache and the disappearance of the Lord Raven, a Council of prominent Nobles forms to take the reins of the Regency. Regent Councilors include its founder Lady Lorla Daranek, former celebrity Lady Shannon Devereux, conservative Professor and Lord Sarnem Vansippa, northern royal cousin Lord Marcion Tagran Aldenbar, 'Popular' and liberal Professor Maximilien Reizeau, Korthai Captain and Mhernettlan (a Transdarianian fief) heir Harlst Mhern-Lathvek, and renowned Father Kylus Dragonsbane. They name an empty seat for The Raven, should he choose to return and begin to tackle Drache's problems. Their chosen symbol is a fatted goose and sheaf of wheat in an unbroken circle. The King sends them congratulations and 'appoints' them in charge of Transdariania, but relations are tense.

FAMINE - Grain bought by the Council arrives from other nations by way of unassailable Korthai frigates. The Korthai, fierce nation of pirates, are led by a man with Arangothian nobility in his blood and a seat on the Regency Council, Harlst Mhern-Lathvek. A Census and corresponding Grain Dole is set up by Councilors Vansippa and Reizeau, with unmilled grain being given to each Drachean family according to size.

CENSUS - As an interesting note, the Census conducted by the Council finds the city's population at 28,513.

ROYAL GUARD - Largely stable and neutral throughout the political turmoil, the Royal Guard does experience another resignation of the Captaincy by hardline Metzen Akilae. Arms-Commander Linara Danell takes over. Danell was admired for her diplomatic and efficient administration, but suffered the embarassment of the 'Dark Elf Scandal.'

BORDER PATROL - Damaged by the resignation of their former Commander Gareth Weston and the murders of the Spiral Killer, Arangoth's Border Patrol is reorganized by noted former Captain Jaonos Mistwinter. The elven ranger creates the new Border Watch, switching its focus from mounted patrols to self-sufficient ranger cells.


EVENTS OF THE YEAR 470 (2000)

January, or Morning Star, 470

ARLOK - An assassination attempt on Arlok by Northern Arangothian merchants and noblemen is foiled. The conspirators motives are centred on Arlok's decreed policy of shipping relief grain to the South at little or no profit. Three are later executed. One of the escaped conspirators is related to southern Councilor Marcion Aldenbar.

RADICALS - The Black Fist, a terrorist guild demanding a republican revolution becomes active, committing a number of murders and graphitizing even the vaunted Castle Black itself. Ahab Whitewhale, a Northern Nobleman presents a more legitimate, if eccentric front for the democratic ideas and is hailed by many poor folk of the Red Lantern district. The young republican thinker Julius Hamilton, who would later begin his own movement, appears the following month. Political pamphlets begin to proliferate throughout Drache, though popular support for such radical movements seems muted. Hamilton lasts the longest and is the most respected, but is eventually arrested for treason.

STRAINS OF THOUGHT - Thought among Dracheans seems nowadays to be split between Arlokek, supporting the northern King, Alysian, supporting the Regency Council, Separatist, supporting a split of the nation, and Radical (explored above) rather than Monarchist, Nationalist, and Popular.

GLORIES OF THE PAST - The Rondissian-born Sir Darian 'OneStab' Taliesin-Gray, Arangoth's first Royal Knight (a now defunct title) is spotted in the city. This is the first appearance of a prominent figure from Queen AngelSin's reign in a number of years and excites the populace as to what the portent could mean.

GRUBBALL - Arangoth wins the International Grubball Championship over the Thontaran team. Representing Arangoth are the winners of the AGL, the Drachean Black Dragons, led by hinterplodder Gorben the Smooth.

THE SECOND MIST - The dreaded Mist remains in the Forest Reserve with the mysterious Spire at this point. It interferes with little save those Dracheans who enjoy or even live in the park. The Reserve becomes a dark place, into which many fear to venture. Some call for its destruction due to its tendency to act as a haven for evil.

SHARNYL - A mysterious ship arrives in the Drache harbour, later turning out to be the first vessel coming from the previously unknown southern continent of Sharnyl, here to open relationships with the northland. Not only would this partnership help Drache with her supply issues, but the expansion of Arangothian knowledge about the world experienced a drastic increase, especially as they would soon come in contact with another southerly nation, Alesia. Good relations with Sharnyl continue to this day.

SOUTHLAND - At this point it appears to most observers that Aslar had all but conquered Elluria, and mapmakers prepare to redraw their works to accord for this new change.

February, or Sun's Dawn, 470

NEW LAW CODE - Around this time the Regency Council commissions Councilor Marcion Aldenbar, Lord Chancellor Thomas Bourne, and Magistrate (later Councilor) Jetteah Asprolta to rewrite the Alysian law code. The result is celebrated by liberals for loosening the absolutism of the monarchy, even becoming susceptible to audits from the Chancellory. There is also a law celebrated by conservatives which would become the source of much debate and controversy: Edict 171 which, among other things, defined the status of undead and demonkind. Both are regarded as being without any rights and able (even obligated in the case of demons) to be destroyed with little repercussion.

March, or First Seed, 470

THE REGENCY COUNCIL - Rising Magistrate, law expert, and Aranian Lady Jetteah Asprolta, heiress to the famous Asprolta trading empire, is co-opted into the Council after it receives a number of applicants. She would be instrumental in solidifying the loyalty of Arania to the Southern regime. Sresar Vale, upset at the lack of a Sresarian Councilor, turns to King Arlok and make a binding deal giving a great deal of power to the Elders of Sresar Vale, similar to that of the Estates of Northern Arangoth. Arlok now holds sovereignty over all provinces save Arania and Transdariania.

SERIAL KILLERS - The Eye-Thief killings begin, marked by the removal of blue eyes from the victims, and the butcher-like precision. Gatho Tessi, the guilty party, would later be arrested after a grisly tally by Armswoman Kellan Mistwood-Von Stahl in concert with independent information broker Lex Kaisa.

CRIME - A new goblinoid crime guild emerges, known as the Green Talon. It does not last long before its infamy draws the concerted efforts of the Royal Guard.

RADICALS - The Black Fist terrorist guild is destroyed by the Royal Guard this month as well. Its members are all incarcerated, killed, or dispersed. Its legacy is the slang term 'Black Fisted' for anything republican or radical.

FRIVOLITY - Regent Councilor Marcion Aldenbar is voted Drache's Most Eligible Bachelor by the Rumourmill for 470. The runner-up is former Captain of the Guard, the reptilian Metzen Akilae.

April, or Rain's Hand, 470

ALYSIAN ERA ENDS - Sir OneStab testifies before the Council that AngelSin and Blkdragon had never intended to return and formally abdicated a few years ago, the records of which were inexplicably lost. Though The Raven was named as King, there is some question as to the appointment's legal validity, especially with the appearance of a candidate of royal blood. King and Council enter negotiations on reconciliation of the divided country.

ASSI SITUATION - At this point there are still problems with Assi raids, hostility, and trade blockades in Eastern Arangoth. However, Arlok's creation of AngelSinhorna, a city in Eastern Arangoth populated by Drachean 'gessi,' and the institution of the Border Watch seem to be working quite well at containing the threat.

THE ROYAL GUARD - In what becomes known as 'The Dark Elf Scandal,' a dark elf who had been controversially accepted as a Guardsman, Shiante Ousttyll, goes rogue and tries to assassinate Regent Councilor Shannon Devereux. He is captured and imprisoned, but public sentiment, none too tolerant before hand, begins to rise against Dark Elves.

SERIAL KILLERS - Spine-Ripping murders start again, the modus operandi of the deceased Cade Lozen. Although a copycat is suspected, it is eventually discovered that the Spine Ripper has returned as an undead creature and is continuing his grisly work.

May, or Second Seed, 470

ASSASSINATION - Councilor Shannon Devereux, founding member of the Regency Council, Arangothian noblewoman, and former dancing celebrity is killed following Cade the Spine-Ripper's style of murder. Her severed fingers are sent to the other members of the Council. A 'Skull Preacher' takes credit, threatening the Regency Council and City, but does not follow up.

ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION - Father Kylus Dragonsbane, another Councilor and Drache's most respected citizen, is attacked by an assassin shouting 'For Arlok!' Arlok denies involvement.

REGENCY COUNCIL - The Council distributes free land in family-sized tillages in an attempt to repopulate Transdariania's countryside, left sparsely populated by the Silver Flame Cult and the migration to Drache. The Council also sets up work crews to repair neglected structures.

THE LAW CODE - The Council announces this month that despite the Dark Elf Scandal and the crimes of the goblinoid Green Talon guild, it will not be changing the laws to discriminate against Dark Elves and goblinoids as it does against undead and vampires. Such creatures are still accorded 'subject' rights, and, in some cases, citizenship - though, of course, prejudice runs high.

BAD WEATHER - After a record harsh winter, heavy rains buffet Arangoth in spring.

SOUTHLAND WAR - King Arlok offers to settle many Ellurian refugees in Eastern Arangoth. This community further bolsters Arangoth's defenses against the Assi and gains Arlok loyal new citizens and international acclaim for his actions. Ellurian refugees have also found their way to El-Ekki, where they have set up an Ellurian government in exile.

June, or Mid Year, 470

ILLEGITIMATE HEIR? - Throughout the land unknown heralds announce the birth of 'Prince Alathar Dorn ul-Arlok Tagran Aldenbar,' the (bastard) son of Arlok by the mysterious Lady Elysiad, NOT by his wife the Queen Melinxa Swanneck. Arlok protests his innocence helplessly, helping to earn him the nickname Arlok the Innocent as well as the far less respectful Arlok the Unbuttoned. Prince Alathar and Lady Elysiad have not been heard from since, but many still fear their reappearance.

NEWS PUBLICATIONS - The Weekly Gem, a respectable and culturally rich publication begins its Sunday editions. It is joined by the unscrupulous and lewd Drache Tabloid, which often skewers popular Drachean figures in outlandish but entertaining tales of vice and corruption.

THE ASSI - Assi are said to have destroyed a whole town in Eastern Arangoth, but this may be a misreport by recently established news source The Daily Gem, as it is disputed later. Arangoth prepares itself for a North-South joint push in the east, which seems to quiet the Assi, though skirmishes continue to this day.

KORTHAI - Citizens of Drache are scandalized as Korthai mariners harass a Caern Rhian princess in the Blkdragon Inn shamelessly. Their valuable status as allies and privateers however, seem to outweigh any minor moral lapses. As the principal Korth and Princess in question marry a few months later, the incident is swiftly forgotten.

ASLAR & ZUL KIRAS - To the astonishment of the international community, a Zul Kiran orc, Karad Darkelfslayer, is chosen King of Aslar by lottery. The previous King, an Assi, is ritually sacrificed, which, with the Arangothian push leads to the drastic reduction of Assi raids. This also marks the warlike Zul Kiras' re-entry into the world stage after the mutually debilitating Fourth Zul Kiran-Elvendeepish war of 441-459. It coincides closely with the election of a new War-King, Vazhak Bloodhammer in the nation itself, an act historically associated with the preparation for a new war.

ROYAL GUARD - Drache's Royal Guard is accused of brutality against interfering bystander Aieshia Daskaline, a popular upper-class clothing designer, in the carrying out of an arrest. Although they withstand the accusation admirably, it marks a greater ruthlessness in the Guard in performing their duty.

CRIME - At this time an arsonist had been burning a number of temples down, but was caught by Rekera The Githzerai, one of the city's licensed Bounty Hunters.

THE END OF THE SECOND MIST CRISIS - The Spire and what was left of the Mist disappear. The Mist had previously blocked Drache's harbour and inspired starvation conditions, but had retreated to the mysterious Spire, which is reported to have melted and the dragon that sat atop it destroyed. The bounty for the mysterious 'Eve' disappears. Sroken the Redeemed, reformed demonic priest of goodly Lathander, undertakes and accomplishes the difficult task of restoring the corrupted Forest to its previous state as an idyllic marvel of nature within the city boundaries.

GRUBBALL - The Dracheans win the Arlok Cup, the championship of the Arangothian Grubball League, which has been renamed since Arlok's ascendance in the north. Though not always victorious, the Drache grubball team, the Black Dragons, has dominated the sport in recent years.

THE SOUTHLAND WAR - Rumours start to flow about mysterious foreign involvement in the Aslari-Ellurian war.

September, or Hearthfire, 470

ROYAL GUARD - Around this time, Captain Linara Danell steps down from her Captaincy of the Royal Guard, handing the reigns to her Arms-Commander Eric LeCarde. LeCarde's Captaincy was short, but highly stressful considering the crises that rocked the city. Because of his handling of these crises, however, he has been much praised for his competency. He would later become a Magistrate for a short time, and then be lamentably killed.

THE PLAGUE - Plague erupts in the 'old city,' that part of Drache containing the lower-class Wharf, Red Lantern and newly created Gessi Districts. The Iron Gate, only entrance or egress from the old city is shut, quarantining the infected districts from the newer, wealthier parts of the city. The Council also blockades the Wharf harbour with the help of their Korthai allies. Some Guards are trapped inside the Quarantine area. They set up around the new Grain Silos and try to enforce some order on the chaos. The Plague is incurable by magical or holy means, something never encountered before and which baffles healers. Councilor Sarnem Vansippa, aged and dying of sickness already, and Father Kylus Dragonsbane, immune thanks to his faith, enter the Wharf to try and reassure the populace.

FAMINE SUBSIDES - Grain begins to flow in again from the countryside as the first harvests of Transdariania's repopulated countryside are shipped to the city.

THE ALESIANS - Confirmed word arrives of the Alesian Imperium, a previously unknown nation of men from the South Pole, involved in the war on the side of the all-but-vanquished Elluria. These fierce and disciplined warriors are said to have burned their boats on arrival in the Southland, sending a message that they were here to stay. With their aid, the giant army of Aslar is actually thrown back from Elluria. Alesia is an imperial nation and is interested in gaining a foothold on this continent. The Southland appears to be their only military interest at the moment, however, and an embassy of Alesians arrives in Drache and is welcomed warily by the Council. Drache becomes a favourite vacation spot for Alesian 'varnin' on leave.

October, or Frostfall, 470

UNITED ARANGOTH - The negotiations of the Regency Council and King Arlok end with a reunified Arangoth. Arlok is acknowledged as King over the nation, but signs agreements limiting his power with the Council, mirroring those with the Elders of Sresar Vale and the Northern Estates. The Council retains provincial level control over Transdariania and Arania and jurisdiction over maritime matters, and the south is allowed to keep its distinctive law code. Drache and Hornath ul-Marfed are named as co-capitals, between which Arlok must split his time.

PLAGUE - The disastrous plague ends as winter sets in and the cold seems to kill the disease. The quarantine is lifted but damage is great. Coffers are taxed heavily in the rebuilding and it is believed that Old City resentment at being quarantined has never fully faded.

MASS ARRESTS - Using the end of the Plague as an excuse, Councilors Harlst Mhern-Lathvek and Maximilien Reizeau spearhead a ship-by-ship harbour search conducted by the Royal Guard, Port Authority, and Korthai. Scores of arrests are made and several ships seized for smuggling and contraband.

ELVENDEEP - The Confederacy of Elvendeep breaks out in its first Civil War, as rogue generals attempt to secede. A peace is negotiated only to allow Elvendeep to participate in the 470 International Grubball championships for the honour of the nation as a whole. The peace doesn't seem to last and a second civil war will soon break out.

December, or Evening Star, 470

GRUBBALL - The much anticipated Arangoth-Elvendeep International Grubball championship ends in turmoil. Arangoth's Dracheans are delayed by snow, and citing the rules, the officials give Elvendeep victory by forfeit. International uproar ensues as Arlok enacts taxes against the IGA and Elvendeep refuses the victory. The uproar would luckily be solved in time for the next season.

VAMPIRE CITIZENSHIP - Erik Dovestar, vampire and suspect in the 'Silver Fang' murders applies for citizenship. Although two liches have attained citizenship, vampires are the target of much more discrimination as they must commit unconscionable acts to survive. Royal Guard Spell-Commander Alistair 'Solace' Courrant, one of the aforementioned liches, and the Lord Chancellor Thomas Bourne oppose this vehemently. Bourne even informs his magistrates that the undead are all to be refused citizenship and destroyed as public enemies on sight, even though the official law is much more passive. Bourne discovers that two famous Guards, sisters Kellan and Cassidy Mistwood are friends of the vampire. He and Solace urge action against Dovestar, and Captain LeCarde bounties him.

ROYAL GUARD - Spell-Commander Alistair 'Solace' Courrant, a lich, replaces Eric LeCarde as Captain of the Royal Guard. On Courrant's accession, a good number of Guardsmen resign, rather than serve under the living dead. However, Courrant's administration would see an expansion of the Guard in numbers and jurisdiction and the Captain himself would successfully petition the Council for higher wages and more funding.

EVENTS OF THE YEAR 471 (2001)

January, or Morning Star, 471

NEWS PUBLICATIONS - The Dire Sheep's Roar, a respectable news source, begins publishing.

ROYAL GUARD - Under Captain Courrant, the Royal Guard expands into the previously lawless Old City. The new Guard outpost is situated at the granaries in the Wharf District, where the Wharfer Guards were based during the Plague quarantine. The expansion and Solace's vow to clean up Drache leads to increased clashes between guards and crime gangs, and the residents of the Back Alley vow to fight any guard interference. Many Old City residents are welcoming to the Guard, who enter on an intelligent program of winning public support with gifts of food and strict instructions for Guardsmen on protocol.

ELVENDEEP - An attack on Elven Governor Topaz Silverbow in Sresar Vale seems to be perpetrated by the Royal Guard. The public worries about tension between nations, which proves largely unfounded thanks to the efforts of King Arlok and Governor Silverbow and a long friendship between the two nations. Border guards on both sides pull back to ensure no there are no clashes.

CRIME - The guild known as the Smiting Hand, a group advocating human supremacy over all other races begins assaulting non-humans about Drache.

ARANGOTH ARCHERY TOURNAMENT - The first Arangothean Archery contest is held in Drache, sponsored by Deepish Governor Topaz Silverbow, a former Drachean. Guardsman Karyn Redfeather, Danya, the infamous Shyne Blake Kurakolis, Teucer Ravenlock, the young Tallasia Casiatin, the half-darkelf Laerdra Ang`elice (the current Deepish champion), Audens Rinia, and Arms-Commander Cassidy Mistwood (the former Deepish champion) are contestants. There is some consternation among fans and bookies that famed Border Watch Commander Jaonos Mistwinter and noted bounty hunter Jinnai Halfmoor, considered two of Arangoth's top archers, are both missing from the contest. Ange'lice wins the tournament and is popularly applauded (overcoming prejudice against her parentage) as the finest archer in two lands. Tallasia Casiatin is runner-up.

VAMPIRES - Erik Dovestar, vampire and advocate of vampire rights, is captured by the Lord Chancellor Thomas Bourne himself after a duel and imprisoned. Guardswoman Kellan Mistwood-Von Stahl is complicit in Dovestar's later escape, and is subsequently dishonourably discharged from the Royal Guard by Bourne. Dovestar is recaptured but escapes once more under mysterious circumstances. Bourne, and his office's feelings against the undead are made abundantly clear during this often physical and philosophical clash, which would become known as 'The Dovestar Affair.'

AN AIRSHIP - Although a few airships had flown through Drachean skies previously, they had always been extremely rare and had not been seen for years. The arrival of The Black Sheep, airship of House of Maessen and Sons, marks the first long-lived such specimen, used in 'Taipan' Resque Maessen's often morally questionable (but especially lucrative) economic dealings. This has included privateering for the Alesian-Ellurian side in the Southlands war, slaving, and increased contact with Xiunhai-La and Nipangu. His airship, as are almost all the world's, is of Xiunlan design. Xiunhai-la is an eastern nation of aviators, which with Nipangu, whence come the katana blades, make up what is known of this world's Far East.

February, or Sun's Dawn, 471

ROYAL GUARD - Captain Alistair 'Solace' Courrant retires from public life, naming young elven Arms-Commander Cassidy Mistwood, sister of the disgraced Kellan, as his successor. The young Cassidy's meteoric career was marked by the arrest of the Spiral Killer and good service as the right hand of LeCarde and Courrant. Under her direction the Guard begins to diversify its ranks, starting up small squads of specialists. Mistwood's administration is praised for diplomacy and good public relations, but marred by a few criticisms, including an illegal house-to-house search in West Drache.

COUNCIL DEATH - Councilor Sarnem Vansippa, Transdarianian Lord, Grand Loreknower of the University, and staunch conservative dies of a long illness. His will leaves much of his estate to his daughter-in-law Bryanna Vansippa, widowed by the eldest Vansippa son's death in the Assi war of this past year. The Lady Vansippa, a Caern Rhian by birth, creates a soon-famous foundation for charitable works in the Vansippa family name.

MAGISTRATES - Around this time the Chancellory creates a new kind of Magistrate. Previously, such men and women simply acted as representatives for the crown and citizens in court, or presided over such courts. Although such Magistrates still exist, a number now take to the streets, often accompanying Royal Guards, and ware empowered to hold trials anywhere, and at any time. They are often aided by Rings of Truth. Abraxas ul-Bralk Caros is the first of these.

March, or First Seed, 471

THE CHANCELLORY - At an attempt of Captain Cassidy Mistwood to reinstate the discharged Kellan, the outraged Lord Chancellor Thomas Bourne gains permission from King Arlok to audit the Royal Guard. He finds that Kellan is indeed negligent and responsible for the escape of Dovestar, but she is reinstated on the proviso that she never rise above the rank of Armsman. This unorthodox action by Bourne would later have the Royal Guard try to remove its susceptibility to outside authority.

CULTS - The Knights of Takhisis, disciplined paladins of a dark goddess, arrive in Drache and begin a front of legitimacy and missionary work. Their mask slips when one of their number lances a carter in the Back Alley and becomes the target of an investigation by the Guard and Magistracy. After a number of instances of back-and-forth between the two sides, the Knights burn their temple and retreat underground. Armsman Triolus Pyrder and Magistrate Abraxas ul-Caros urinate on the ruins.

ELVENDEEP - Negotiations between elven Governor Topaz Silverbow and King Arlok ul-Dorn result in proud Elvendeep becoming a crown province of Arangoth, guaranteed rights but ultimately under the authority of the Arangothian crown. Observers suspect the decision to swear fealty to Arlok might have been the result of fear at the quick revival and deadly threat of their old foe, the orcish nation of Zul Kiras. Whatever the reasons, this move seemed to foment displeasure at Silverbow's regime, as a second Civil War would soon occur.

April, or Rain's Hand, 471

DARK ELVES - A number of Dark Elves attempt to assassinate King Arlok, but are prevented by the actions of the Royal Guard. The assassins and conspirators are quickly tried and executed, their heads set on display in the Market Square. Public sentiment is roused even further against the dark elves.

DISASTROUS FIRE - A presumably natural fire rages in the Old City and destroys much of the Red Lantern District. The Regency Council starts to rebuild with work crews returned from the countryside, but near empty coffers are strained heavily. A number of buildings are renamed in honour of deceased Councilors Shannon Devereux and Sarnem Vansippa.

SOUTHLAND WAR - Truce and parley are called in the Southlands war between Aslar and the Alesian backed Ellurians. Some Aslarian soldiers, however, reignite the conflict.

June, or Mid Year, 471

CULTS - The Knights of Takhisis, recently driven out of Drache, appear in the lawless countryside of Outer Arangoth and, aided by dark magic, raise up a city in honour of Takhisis, their evil dragon god. From here the powerful Knights move against Caern Rhia, a free and peace-loving nation. Arangoth and other nations' careful neutrality in such a strange conflict lead Caern Rhian Prince Tarion to turn to Zul Kiras for aid.

MYST - Janessa Molentia is crowned Queen of the Isles of Myst in a ceremony attended by a number of important continental Nobles, including representatives of Arangoth (Councilors Marcion Aldenbar and Jetteah Asprolta) and Alesia (Prince and Heir Etaudus Paralor and General Larold Vertonthen).

July, or Sun's Height, 471

ZUL KIRAS - Responding to the appeal for aid from Caern Rhia, Zul Kiras drives out the Knights of Takhisis, making the liberated country a virtual vassal state. They also push on into Outer Arangoth, destroying the Dark City, taking over Kamhorna, and occupying almost a half of this no man's land - dangerously close to Arangoth and Elvendeep. During the Interregnum, the orcish nation pushed into Outer Arangoth twice but was driven back both times.

THE SOUTHLAND WAR -The Alesians, under the leadership of General Larold Vertonthen and Prince Etaudus Paralor, finally and decisively push the Aslarians out of Elluria and force a treaty after Aslarian defeats at Dulsi and Dashlirak. Middle Elluria becomes an Alesian protectorate with Etaudus Paralor as its governor. Tollor, a former nation in the northwest of Elluria, is re-created as a free buffer state between Aslar and the new Alesian Ellurian state. Eastern Emil is also granted its independence. This effectively undoes the unification of the late 460s.

October, or Frostfall, 471

ROYAL HEIR - Prince Emereth ul-Arlok, Royal Heir, and Grand Duke of Ruthmarna is revealed as having been born the previous spring. The Royal Family had employed a forgotten Crown Policy for protection of susceptible infant heirs from magical attack. Illusionists and Royal agents were utilized to hide the pregnancy and first several months of Emereth's life. Nothing has since been heard of his bastard brother, Alathar by the mysterious Lady Elysiad, leading many to believe the claim of Alathar's birth was a hoax.

ROYAL GUARD - Captain Cassidy Mistwood steps down for family reasons, being replaced as per custom by Arms-Commander Lucius Von Stahl, her brother-in-law by disgraced Armsman Kellan Mistwood-Von Stahl. Captain Von Stahl's fame stem from his good organizational skills and reputation from years of hard work. He dispenses with all the Mistwood specialist divisions and only retains the Aerial division. Guards themselves recognize a small distinction between 'New City' Guards and 'Wharf' Guards. Triolus Pyrder, wharfer and Guardsman decorated by the King himself, is made Arms-Commander in charge of the Wharf while a second Arms-Commander in the elf Ilthanas Lanthalasa is also promoted.

ELVENDEEP - The Second Elvendeepish Civil War begins. Its roots are traced to the unresolved issues of the first: Governor Silverbow's controversial acceptance of Dark Elven refugees; and his placing the nation under the sovereignty of Arangoth. Rogue Deepish Governing Council members, apparently aided by Dark Elves, take the capital and sole city, Elfspire. Many Drachean elves return to their homeland to fight. Asking their new sovereign King Arlok ul-Dorn to not interfere with his province's troubles, the liberal Silverbow/Mistwood faction, representing the chosen government, is eventually victorious after months of warfare. Governor Topaz Silverbow resigns afterwards.

GRAIN DOLE - The Grain Dole, Drache's saviour from famine, is altered by Council law. State grain is now offered at a responsible price, prompting private businesses to meet or beat that price to keep business. The famine is over, but Transdarianian production is not completely up to pre-Cult levels, especially with poor weather the last few years.

THE LORD PROTECTOR - In response to Drache's troubles and the unfortunate high turnover rate for overworked Royal Guard Captains, the Council creates the office of Lord Protector, a director in charge of the Border Watch and Royal Guard, as well as the dungeon system of Drache. Former Guard Captain and Watch Commander Jaonos Mistwinter is bestowed this title. He moves to make both institutions more insular and self-policing, disapproving of Lord Chancellor Bourne's audit of last year. As Captain Von Stahl is still in possession of the Captaincy today, the stress seems to have been relieved.


EVENTS OF THE YEAR 472 (2002)

February, or Sun's Dawn, 472

DARK ELVES - To mixed public reaction, a Dark Elf Professor is accepted at the Royal University in Drache. Tarrquinn Rilynt'tar is installed as an instructor in the School of Wizardry.

April, or Rain's Hand, 472

CULTS - Furyion, a Draconian and founder of the purportedly benevolent Drache Church of the Twin Queens, Takhisis and Tiamat, sends a letter of complaint to the Royal Guard. The draconic priest, who had accused the previously seen Knights of Takhisis as blasphemers for their evil, claims that his religion is good and noble and also that the Cult of Menxruk have been threatening him. Lord Protector Jaonos Mistwinter writes back professing his hope that the two religions wipe each other out. The Cult later dies out when Furyion abandons his faith.

May, or Second Seed, 472

CULTS - Followers of the Arangothian god Menxruk (lit. All-Evil), native duotheistic counterpart to Menxvan (lit. All-Good) begin to appear in the city. Like the Knights of Takhisis before them, they appear benevolent at first, founding a Church and helping the sick and poor. However, suspicions rise at the including of a ritual drinking of blood at their feasts, and a number of professed Menxrukians attack the Royal Church unsuccessfully. They seem to be searching for a mysterious Book.

June, or Mid Year, 472

CULTS & THE KING - The Menxrukians, who had kidnapped their foe bouncer Jald Fohan the previous month, kidnap King Arlok just north of Drache. Arlok, who had been searching without an escort for word of the mysterious fate of his mother, is later liberated from a ship at Alesian-controlled Bahija, a tropical island midway between Arangoth and Sharnyl. Arlok sets sail for his home continent, but takes the time to tour many of Arangoth's neighbouring nations with great diplomatic success before returning home. Fohan, meanwhile, escapes in a particularly bloody fashion from the Menxruk temple. After these incidents, the Menxrukians become much more subtle and appear to be biding their time. Their temple is still open, having successfully evaded blame for any illegal activities.

July, or Sun's Height, 472

THE THIRD MIST CRISIS - Once again, a mysterious mist rolls unseasonably into Drache's harbour. Simultaneously, a tower of mist begins to rise in the Forest Reserve. Ships are unable to navigate or escape, the Council closes the port. Soon afterwards, undead begin emerging from the mist to prey on citizens and fight with the Guard.

August, or Last Seed, 472

THE THIRD MIST CRISIS - The mist moves to encircle the city entirely, though it no longer impedes transportation except by fear alone.

ALESIA & MYST - Queen Janessa Molentia of Myst and Lord Corvarath Paralor, prince (though not heir) of the Alesian Imperium wed. A political marriage, it appears to cement new relations between the Imperium and the Isles and concerns continental folk as to Alesian ambitions beyond the Southland. Queen Janessa had previously toured the Imperium, upon which occasion she had first met Corvarath. The tour was an attempt to smooth things over between the nations, since Prince and Heir Etaudus Paralor (also Governor of Alesian Elluria) had received a slight at the Queen's coronation and the Queen's inveterate enemy, Resque Maessen, is a frequent employee of the Alesians.

September, or Hearthfire, 472

REBUILDING OF TAGRANA - Two years previous, The Northern Estates had approved a plan to rebuild this former Capital of Arangoth, abandoned during the fifty year Interregnum. In this month Tagrana is near completely rebuilt, including the royal palaces and other buildings (One such building is a giant Grubball arena, new home to the grubball team Tagrana Memorial, which of necessity had been based out of Hornath-ul-Marfed for years). The Council funds a memorial garden there for Alysia and Blkdragon. Tagrana becomes the co-capital of Arangoth with Drache, replacing Hornath ul-Marfed.

THE MIST/THIRD UNDEAD HORDE - A ghostly ship docks in Drache shortly after lightning hits the mist, unleashing a horde of zombie warriors on the city. They attack the Iron Gate and the Forest Reserve, defended by the Royal Guard and various sundry heroes. This first attack prompts the Lord Protector to declare Martial Law in Drache for the duration of the crisis. Several units of militia are raised, mercenaries hired, and the Alesian soldiers in the city organized on its behalf. It should be noted this is the third (!) horde of undead to threaten Drache since its founding.

DARK ELVES - In an unexpected and generous move, Sabrae Vlondril Mw'Zlynn, Dark Elven proprietor of The Emerald Eye, selflessly donates a number of magical items to the Royal Guard in recognition of their struggles against the Mist and Undead. However, some anti-Darkelf Guardsmen conscientiously abstain from their use.

THE COUNCIL - By this point, the Regency Council of Southern Arangoth has been reduced to four members: Marcion ul-Fenduth Tagran Aldenbar, Jetteah ul-Morden Asprolta, Harlst Mhern-Lathvek, and Maximilien ul-Julaire Reizeau. The other surviving members, Father Kylus Dragonsbane and Lady Lorla Daranek, have retired with the new noble title of Lord Overseer, or Vorfon Aptentrod. This title includes a pension and the legal ability to step in and fill vacant Council positions should the need arise.

October, or Frostfall, 472

MIST CRISIS AND UNDEAD INVASION - Led by the Royal Guard, the militia, mercenaries and Alesians combat the menace of the mist-spawned undead forces, while various heroes secretly find and use an artifact to kill Astyrum (aka Vk'Alsayr), the Sharnylian lich behind the entire plot. On his death and the Drachean victory, the Mist dissipates and the undead do not return. In recognition of their aid, the Alesians are allowed to build a permanent embassy off Market Square.

CHARITY AUCTION - Organized by Syren Wyssholt, an auction of local men and women for a night of courting is held at the Blkdragon Inn. This well-attended gala eventually raises 8,640 Bank Crowns over two nights for the Drache Mist Relief fund.

NEW TAXES - Faced with rebuilding after the Third Mist/Undead affair, and finding the coffers near empty after three or four years of continuous crises, the Council gains the consent of the King to raise taxes and maritime tariffs steeply but temporarily. The King does, however, exert his authority and opinion in altering the structure of the increases, to the irritation of the plan's architect, Councilor Reizeau. The raise and coffer levels will be reviewed for possible renewal in a year's time.

GRUBBALL - The annual North vs. South AGA grubball game is won by the Southern team (made up of players from a number of Transdarianian and Aranian clubs).

November, or Sun's Dusk, 472

PLAGUE - A severe flu begins to appear, which later develops a more serious strain in which the victim becomes very pale and craves cold. Many sleep outside in the middle of winter in only their underwear. Unknown to most, a demigoddess named Blight has set loose the plague through the city's wells.

SERIAL KILLERS - A new serial killer, dubbed 'The Crusader' emerges, targeting mainly Red Lantern prostitutes and killing in a manner brutal even for Drache. After a small rash of killings that include a young Guardsman (a prostitute's son) the killer is confronted and killed by Guardsmen including Preston LeCarde, nephew of the former Captain. The Crusader turns out to be the split personality of Brother Christoph, a goodly man.

December, or Evening Star, 472

PLAGUE - The Blight plague continues. Some of the sickness victims, including healer Lillith Bisque (an important hero of the Third Mist), become her slaves. Father Kylus Dragonsbane, the most respected man in Drache, is kidnapped and 'blighted' by these slaves. Professor Caius Stygian and bouncer Jald Fohan travel to the enchanted Aran Forest and barter with Blight's rival demigoddess for a cure. With many sick, but not a great number of fatalities, the plague is ended. After being freed, however, Father Kylus disappears and has not been heard from since.