One breezy morning in Elysium, a dwarf wandered into the Plaza of Seasons and demanded: “Take me to your Senate!”
In Ysallyra, the Sentinel of the Woods accosted a couple of passers-by, saying: “Something is rotten along the Way of Earth.”
And in the piratical town of Baresh, a man of savage demeanour and the bearing of a knight turned upon two crafters who had approached him, one hand on his sword…
With that, groups of warriors, negotiators and scholars from every realm embarked upon separate quests that would each lead to their own city gaining new fame; new power; a new breath of life. The Elysian Senate gathered its might and rode to war in the burning sands of the Arinoch Desert. The secretive clans of Ysallyra delved deep into the caverns beneath their shadowy forest. The Masters of Golgonath turned to their city’s ancient past and reached out for powers long-forgotten, yet still as potent as the first day they awoke.
One by one, these efforts bore rich fruit. At the edge of Arinoch, Elysium’s forces routed the slavers of Lymr, freeing their erstwhile captives – prospectors of Monadh-Dach, who had been seized by the nomads as they sought out new riches in the desert sands. The High King of the dwarves rewarded their assistance with knowledge, sending his master runesmith to found a new guild in Elysium – and thus the Runesmiths came into being.
In Ysallyra, long-lost caverns came once more to the light of day, a warren of magic and mystery overtaken by monstrous beasts of shadow. As the creatures fell one by one to the blades of the clan warriors, so the original inhabitants of the caverns emerged – the Shamans whose magic had long protected Ysallyra. Recognising the need for their knowledge to be passed on rather than kept buried, the earth mages agreed to take on new pupils – and so the Shamans came at last to their rightful place among the clans.
In Golgonath, a disaffected templar approached the Masters of the city, urging them to seek greater power still than what they already wielded. The ancient pact of the demonic realm and the Underworld surged once more to the forefront: once again a gate was opened for the greatest inhabitants of Bralnok’s fiery realm to reach into this plane. One by one, the ambitious, the chaotic, the savage, grasped the power thus offered, yielding their souls in exchange with a willingness bordering on glee – and thus the Black Legion was born.
What will the future of these young and untried forces be? The hope they each represent for their realms is an inchoate thing, tangible yet formless, incandescent with the future yet overshadowed by the baggage of the past. Only time will tell, as one by one the new guilds and their members settle into place as interwoven components of the ongoing, unending story that is – Akanbar.
The night sky split with a deafening concussion. Two beams of light, one smoking red, the other icy blue, speared down from the moons overhead to strike the land. And then, as if the beams were conduits that drained the energy of the moons away, the auras around both moons began to fade and dim…
With that, a year-long period of turmoil and portent was finally brought to a close by a group of clever and persistent adventurers from the cities of Ysallyra and Elysium, and the land breathed a sigh of relief, freed from the ominous magical workings that had hung over it for so long.
In the year 283, two sorceresses sharing the same surname appeared in cities at opposite ends of the land. It quickly became clear that these two women, twins by the name of Shora and Sehalla Conforius, were on the continent for one purpose – the defeat and death of the other. To this end they bent the very laws of nature to their wills, casting spells of tremendous power that brought the two moons of Akanbar under their control. The result was the most horrendous weather since the Dragon Wars, a time of unending torrential rains, raging tides and devastating floods, while in the skies above the moons blazed with auras of fire and ice.
Eventually, seeing that their struggle was deadlocked – for the sisters were equal in power just as they were identical in appearance – the younger twin, Sehalla, fled the continent for the ancestral lands of House Conforius, which lie on the distant Carmena Isles. Shora pursued her, and the sisters passed out of sight and knowledge of man. But their work did not, and the unnatural weather raged on unchecked.
Finally, spurred onwards by prophecies that the mystics of their cities had unearthed, parties of adventurers from each realm set sail for the Carmena Isles. There, they believed, they would be able to find the sorceresses who had wreaked havoc with nature and compel them to undo their spells.
Sure enough, they found the Conforius sisters – changed to pillars of salt by each other’s magics, frozen forever in the wasteland their battles had made of their ancestral holdings. Unable to pry the secret of the weather from them, the adventurers had to set forth to find their own solution.
With help from the people of Carmena, the party managed to unearth the secret of nullification magic. They created an orb of nullification, which when invoked absorbed the greater part of the weather spells – draining away much of the unnatural aura around Akanbar’s moons, and allowing the natural balance to slowly restore itself.
Thus the crisis was averted, and the land set safe once more. But on the far Carmena Isles two pillars of salt still stand, memorial to the violence that blood siblings may do upon each other in the name of power.
In recent developments, travellers from the city of Elysium were stranded in a Travanok establishment by the prevalent heavy rains. They found themselves sharing a table with a one-legged sea captain, who in turn shared his tale with them over a mug of ale. So enthralling were his accounts of adventure on the high seas, that the travellers found themselves drawn to follow in his footsteps. Learning the ways of the sea from him, they set about acquiring a ship of their own, and shortly were afloat.
In the course of exploring the coastline, they came across an inlet leading up to Baresh, an old outpost of Golgonath which was lost during the Dragon Wars. Now a town of piracy and slavery, Baresh is independent, but still open to alliance with its old masters.
Word of even more distant lands followed suit on the rediscovery of Baresh: hidden rivers, secret coves and even isles clear across the Great Western Ocean. These tales inspired many other adventurers, and before long a veritable armada of privately-owned sailing ships was quartering the high seas in the search for new places, new faces and, of course, new gold. What lands will be unearthed by our intrepid explorers? Keep an eye on the tides for the news!
A closed-door conference between the major banks of Akanbar has led to a very significant change in the Akanbarian currency. From using a system based on gold coins alone, the economy of the land will now turn on three different values of coin: copper, silver and gold, ten copper being equivalent to one silver and ten silver being equivalent to one gold.
To the great annoyance of many people, the old gold currency was deemed to have only the worth of the new copper. But there are no free lunches where gold is concerned, and because prices were adjusted to have copper as a base, no one’s assets were really devalued. The new currency has certainly made buying and selling a more attractive process, what with three different colours of money now available for the pocket-conscious to admire.
In other news, the weather is persistently foul, a phenomenon which scholars and diviners have linked to the magically-created auras around the two moons. There is word of apocalyptic prophecies in the Elysium Observatory, strange visions in the Demon Tower of Golgonath and unrest among the spirits in the Grove of the Druids in Ysallyra. Will any intrepid adventurer find a solution to this situation? Stay tuned for more news!
In recent days, the Ischla’Os Repertory Troupe built a theatre in their hometown, the better to hold operatic and theatrical shows, and to encourage those interested in the performing arts to have a go at it themselves. Next, the skill of Painting was introduced, allowing aspiring artists to create true-to-life portraits, landscapes and even still life images. And now there are rumours that travellers through the Girdilion Mountains have found a strange library hidden amidst the crags, a repository of history, fiction and all the accumulated lore of Akanbar….
For some time now, old scrolls have circulated through the land, bearing what appear to be instructions for an unknown ritual of worship. Today, devotees of Anath, Goddess of the Wilds and Zycandos, God of Creation managed to separately complete these rituals before the altars of their gods. The ritual summoned forth angels of both these gods, which have taken up station behind the altars. They do not speak, but only watch: it is hinted that they will offer succour to followers of the gods they serve.
What is the purpose of these beings? What form of succour will they offer? And will the other Gods of Akanbar also send forth angels to aid their worshippers? This is a mystery that only time will be able to solve…
The mining skillset has received a small upgrade, with dormant skills being activated or replaced and a few new ones added. Smaller miners in particular will now find it easier to finance their activities, while larger ones may find certain of their products in greater demand. Enjoy!
Raiding has taken on a new face recently with the introduction of outposts and the strengthening of city guards. Each city has been provided with three outposts, which will form a valuable part of their defenses in days to come. When manned, the outposts will be fair targets for small groups of raiders.
In comparison, though, assaults on cities can be expected to take on a new level of difficulty. Raiders will find that city guards of various types have acquired the ability to block both physical and magical movement. As such, live guards can no longer be bypassed – though dead guards are, as ever, easy to walk past.
Those who prefer less confrontational methods of entry need not fear, however. Guards may be more formidable, but with a little skill and ingenuity, one may slip past them in disguise and prowl the city in relative safety. But do remember that even the best ruses only work so many times, and those who try to sneak into a city too often may well find themselves hauled up by the short hairs…
In days to come this new system will be refined and added to. Look out for more updates!