The First Land Herald/437-08-18

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Article Number: 51
Dateline: 437-08-18

The Nefarious Arcanist Nefis made an appearance yesterday on the gweth, purportedly to "make an offer" to the people of Ratha. Naturally, his message was instead a clear threat, one that was immediately followed by a literal storm of undead descending upon the island city from the sky.

Although his aim was clearly to cast doubt upon the noble House Moglin and Commodore Khoheke, ultimately the Necromancer laced his words with promises that the Lich Jeihrem, may his innards churn with grave worms that devour him from the inside, possessed the capability to attack in force and would indeed do so.

"It will be your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, that will suffer the consequences of these actions," Nefis promised. "I remind you of the last war with a Lich, some 40 years ago." He spoke, of course, of the Devourer Lyras, who ravaged the five provinces and cost us a full third of our people, many of whom were raised against us in her undead army. His paltry "offer" was that if Ratha would "deliver Khoheke" and refuse to fight against the Lich that Jeihrem "may have mercy."

What a generous offer, don't you think, dear reader? All we must do is lay down our arms and live under the thumb of this Lich lord. If we allow him to make all the choices and have all the power, he may choose to let us live!

As Saragos put it, "Understood. You demand that we all wait quietly for our turn to be eaten. Loud and clear, words marked."

Immediately after Nefis issued his ultimatum, the people on Ratha heard a dull droning from offshore, which began to amplify until it reached a deafening volume. A cloud was spotted, gathering, extending tendrils, appendages reaching, as it moved toward the shoreline. A wretched stench wafted from the ocean.

Suddenly, creatures resembling large locusts descended from the sky in numbers, superfluous limbs contorting at unnatural angles, fingers ending in chitinous talons. Their gazes were vacant, heads lurching unnaturally, as they made their screeching call. Other robed figures followed them, pulling away from the swarm that they came from. These terribly mutilated creatures appeared to be once humanoid, but bore additional limbs grafted onto their bodies.

After a feverish fight led by Sir Madigan of Therengia, a ship appeared in the distance bearing the standard of House Moglin, and it fired a salvo of grapeshot into the hovering cloud. A single figure could be seen on the prow, arms raised, as a brilliant disc of light coalesced in front of it, spinning rapidly. After a long moment, the disc erupted outward, streaking through the cloud and dispersing it entirely!

It is no stretch to connect the descent of this swarm with the threat delivered by the Necromancer, but the Perverse confirmed it, one of them referring to them as "our Lord's creatures."

Not to be left out, the pandering Pirate Srinoja was also heard on the gweth, at first gloating about raiding Aesry Surlaenis'a, later commenting about the "unusual out-of-towners" coming to Ratha "as dinner guests" before leaving to "count [her] earnings." She once again proved how little she cares if innocent people are felled as fodder to the Lich, so long as she gets her coin.

The people of Ratha are no fools, this I know. I am certain they will not cower in the face of these threats. But perhaps this next bit of news will hearten them nonetheless: Zoluren and Therengia have pledged to aid House Moglin against the Lich. I spoke with Seneschal Liev of Zoluren myself, who came to me as a representative of our own Prince Belirendrick. He said, "We are, of course, letting Moglin run the show. But… His Highness is offering his full support to House Moglin for whatever they require." We spoke of ships, sharing of intelligence, and potential resources for commanders.

Furthermore, I received a letter from Sir Kenamer of Therengia, Vice Speaker of the Order of the Dragon Shield. It read as follows: "In a recent meeting with Therengian Order officials, Lord Marshal Amlach stated that Baron Gyfford Theren has approved the support of House Moglin by providing naval forces to assist in the taking of the Basalt Isle. These forces will be led by House Rethlon and House Ananthor, two of the most powerful and battle hardened houses Theren has to offer."

Anyone loyal to Zoluren or Therengia, I urge you to join the effort now. Reach out to Saragos, myself, Sir Kenamer, Dantia, or Sir Erieck. It is not too late, and every sword is useful, every spell, every bandage.

Clearly, the Lich is not harmless, as his display yesterday proves. Yet another argument often made by his minions is that he would be content to sit alone on his island if not provoked. There is one further bit of news I will share with you, dear reader. I have learned from the Purified Soul, Zauldin, that when Jeihrem stormed the Crossing some years ago, he "[bound] his blood to its streets." When I pressed him on it further, he said, "I don't believe I am really able to say much more. I don't recall the details, other than Osven noting that when Jeihrem fell, he had not lost. Something about spreading his influence, or anchoring himself, or driving a wedge." I further learned directly from a Philosopher that Jeihrem sends his minions to perform dark rituals throughout the provinces in order to further this influence and, chillingly, erode the influence of the Immortals.

Your secret is out, Lich. We know that you are gathering power, and we will not allow it.

Navesi Daerthon
True Bard, Zoluren's Herald
Editor in Chief of the First Land Herald

[Some distance below the end of the article is a curious image, penned in black ink. It depicts a hideously grinning figure, face melting in a grotesque display of wilted flesh, his arms spread wide as he stands upon a miniature rocky island nestled in the Reshal Sea. Beneath him, tendrils of darkness spread like roots of ropy flesh, connecting him to each of the five provinces, one particularly fat link attached directly to the Crossing. Standing within the provinces of Zoluren and Therengia are two handsome, crowned men, each appearing to shine, depicted by striated pen lines streaking all around them. They point their swords at the Lich.]

Real Date: 04/01/21


Basalt Isle



House Ananthor

House Moglin

House Rethlon