Looking back on a year of firsts for Diced Quarterly – the magazine of Miranda.
Looking back on my first year as editor-in-chief, layout guy, publishing magnate I must say it has been a bunch of work and a ton of fun. Although I got my usual level of feedback, I think that this concept might just prove to be very useful. Too often I find that plans that are running away from the PCs either get back-burnered or seem to wait in amber for the PCs to discover them. The world doesn’t revolve around the PCs and everyone else in B&W must be doing something between their visits. So, this gives me a chance to bring that to light.
Thanks for everyone that has helped contribute (Jackie and Paul) to a successful first year. That doesn’t mean that we can rest on our bums and coast for year 2. No! I have many changes in store that will hopefully make Diced Quarterly the must read fanzine for all things Miranda. Okay, so it is the only fanzine for all things Miranda — but that doesn’t mean it can’t improve upon its past rivals.
See you in three,
This time we look at the coasts to see how things are going.
Tensions rise in the Three Kingdoms
With a rising amount of aggressiveness shown once again by the Xianese the leaders of the Three Kingdoms have once again gathered to discuss the problems with the leaders of Ellendar. It is well known that the Xianese leaders want to establish a city on the western shore of the Caragan Sea so that they can work to isolate Selcaria and leave their southern border free from attack. This would allow them to shift more strength to the north where it can be deployed against the elves. With Dakar seemingly locked in the remake of its own political landscape it appears that Xian has determined the time is right to strike
Allah Abar named Court Astrologer
In a move that shocked those that watch the Turanian court, Sultan Ba’Harin named Allah Abar as his court astrologer. Long believed to be an outsider among his peers and critic of the Religious High Council, his rise to the level of court astrologer have many believing that he was only named to act as a foil against the growing strength of the council. In recent years, the council has forced the Sultan to back down from several of his most ambitious plans for extending Turan to the west. Instead the council continues to use the Turanian cavalry against the people of Karel. Once loyal to the Empire, a religious schism has led them to the mountains and away from the influence of the council. They have been branded heretics and their lives forfeit. However so few Karellians are captured each year that few take that document with any measure of belief.
Summer 1998 Events
A quick look at the happenings around the various player groups.
Clash in the North
Under the cover of a dense snowstorm the army of Brundswag attacked the Vykir villages of Greenstead, Rivercrest, and Washorn. Uninterested in holding the land, the army simply looted it valuable and took the survivors back as slaves. This same scenerio has been repeated over six times in the past year and Brundswag continues its advance. If history repeats the Brundswag army will soon move into the no-man’s land and now exists where the burned out villages once stood. Upon that spot they will build their outposts and establish their own cities.
Several Vykir chieftains have launched their own reprisals against Brund villages, but to date no single chieftain has gained enough power to unite more than a few families under their rule. Cut of the ability to rise up as one, the Vykir can do little more than burn a few outlying Brud villages in retributation.
The last time the Brund attacked the Vykir a hero rose in the one of the far northern villages to lead the charge. Under the wolfhead banner or Wilma the She-wolf the Vykir dealt the Brund such a devstating defeat that they recaptured much of the best land lost during the previous war. However, that was many years ago and to date not a single hero has stepped forward to lead the people to victory.
Hunt continues for Phoenix Throne
Turanin history points to this land as where the famed Phoneix Throne was lost. By using the few surviving maps, the prevailing currents, and charting the stars; the court astrologers have determined that the it must be somewhere in the Anor Mountains. To speed its retrieval the Sultan has placed a bounty of triple their weight in gold for the person that returns the throne to Turan.
The Phoenix Throne along with the Sun Sceptre and Al’staff are three of the most treasured holy artifacts of their people. When they were travelled to their new world a great storm rose up and drove the ship carrying these artifacts war to the west beyond the sight of even the best crewmen. The remains of the ship were found in a hidden cove on these shores just two years ago. Since then the astrologers have uncovered that each one was scattered by banditry and demonic intervention over the years. Since that joyous day the astrologers can only uncover that the throne is somewhere in the Anor mountains, but cannot find its exact location.
With the return of the Sun Sceptre by unknown means the search for the Phoenix Throne grows in intensity. Religious crusaders, treasure hunters, and rogues of all stripes have taken to the mountains in an effort to claim their prize. While many of these people fall to disasters or their competition, many more join the hunt each year.
Fall 1998 Current Events
Darkness falls upon Dakar as the changing of the guard has everyone pensive. Meanwhile foes both ancient and new move against them in this time of crisis.
King Reiner IV of Dakar abdicates his throne
In a surprise moved that shocked rulers across the Realms, King Reiner IV has abdicated his throne in favor of his daughter, Crown Princess Aurora. It has been known that Reiner IV fell into a deep silence after the death of his only son, Corwyn, at the hands of orcish raiders. While he ordered severe attacks against those orcish tribes bordering his lands, there was nothing King Reiner IV could do to punish those responsible.
The offical ceremony to crown Princess Aurora as Queen took place several days later, but it has been believed that Aurora was Queen in all but name since the death of her brother several months earlier. All of the major lords were present at the ceremony to oversee the transition of power and swear their allegiance to their new Queen.
This marks a transition as Queen Aurora is closer to the House of Hauptmann and farther from her family’s traditional allies, the House of Ludwig. What this means for the shifting alliances of the court is still unknown, but the fortunes of Hansel the fifth Earl of Danzig are definitely on the rise. Hansel is a hawkish man that has often talked about expanding the kingdom well beyond its current borders.
Xianese on the move
Led by Arsh’mann, one of the most powerful heroes currently stationed on their northern border, the Xianese army clashed with the elven outposts at the edge of the forest. Several outposts were destroyed, allowing the Xianese army to penetrate several miles into the interior of the forest before being stopped by Javin’s Raiders, an famous band of horse archers. However, at least a dozen of their witchmen escaped and still remain somewhere in the forest.
Farrel and her watchers have undertaken the task of hunting the witchmen down before they can cause more harm to the great forest. Some are fearful that this excursion signals that the Xianese are testing the elven defenses before committing the bulk of their forces. While it did show some weaknesses; overall the elves were pleased they once against repulsed a Xianese attack.
More Giants spotted in the North
More giants have made the transition from Ice land to the Frozen Wastes than at any other time since the Winter War when the Montuk sided with the Dragonqueen to cover the realms with snow and ice. There seems to be no method to their madness as attacks upon isolated towns by giants are on the decrease. Still, this has a great many people worried as there are several legends of giants gathering only for the most important ceremonies — ceremonies that typically involve a feast of their enemy’s flesh to seal any pact.
Winter 1998 Events
This one is all about the happenings in between Ellendar, Dakar, and the Three Kingdoms.
Queen Aurora names new Grand Marshal
Lord Engrius Bruger of Drakeshold was named the new Grand Marshal of the Dakarian army upon the tragic death of Lord Washburn. Lord Washburn was killed when his horse spooked and threw him from the saddle. While Lord Washburn was counted an extremely skilled horseman, but his famed luck failed him as he hit the ground a rock cracked his skull. He was well-liked by his soldiers and had earned the deep respect of most of the knights of the realm.
Marshal Bruger is expected to bring a new vibrancy to Queen Aurora’s court. His father, Lord Reginald, was one of Dakar’s best knights and has the honor of being the only winner of the Kings Grace in sequential grand tournaments. By all accounts, his son is nearly his superior.
Marshal is a growing number of hawkish nobles that Queen Aurora has placed into her inner circle that favor Dakarian expansion. Several times Lord Engrius has been heard that Dakar must expand while her neighbors are weak and divided — for surely they covet our lands and wealth.
Three Kingdoms send famed Dragon Fangs to Ellendar
The Three Kingdoms have sent their most famous unit the Dragon Fangs to help Ellendar fend off repeated attacks by the Xianese military. This company is comprised of some of the most feared battlemages and backed by a cadre of heavy cavalry and shieldmen. With the mages providing the long range support of ten times their number in archers, the cavalry can provide a devastating charge to any survivors, while the shieldmen guard the mages from attack.
One of the few heavy cavalry units seen outside of Dakar, the Dragon Fangs are so important that this is only the third time they have operated out of the Three Kingdoms as a unit. Typically the company is broken into smaller units and lent out to their allies to provide support and advise. That they have been sent to help Ellendar says plenty about the threat the Xianese currently pose.
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