Meanwhile... 5:8 A Letter from Coreon
The Beginning of Things

With Respect, to Monique d’Ambreville, Prince-Magician of Glantri,

I write to you in full acknowledgement of both our friendship and our mutual loyalties, and of your exceptional devotion to the causes of justice and peace. I understand that your goals and those of She Who Sits on the Throne coincide, and that you and your family fought bravely at the Eye.

Long have the Principalities of Glantri tolerated – and openly encouraged – an institution that we both recognize the evils of. I refer, of course, to the institution of serfdom – of keeping persons bound to land in labor for a master they do not choose. That institution is weakening; however, a slow dismantling is not sufficient – it never has been. The only acceptable outcome is that serfdom and all other forms of slavery within the lands which call themselves civilized be dismantled with all haste. I understand, from our last meeting, that you agree with the Empress in this matter, and that you avoid acting openly on that agreement out of worry of revolt by the nobles.

You can inform the nobles that you have the Empress’s support.

-Li Coreon
Voice of the Throne in Bastion

Meanwhile... 5:3 A Sudden Raid
A Moment in Threshold

The stench of the creatures filled the air. Tyler Palintus struggled to hold what calm he had. He was a barman, not a soldier, but tonight, it seemed, every able-bodied man and half the women in Threshold were playing the part.

They’d come from the east, as best Tyler could tell, from the direction of that cursed swamp in double-cursed Gullavia. Scaly hides, strange eyes that seemed not to hold souls, and that awful, gut-wrenching stench.

The elf – Sellion, he’d said his name was, the last time he’d stayed – stood beside him, saber even with Tyler’s own spear. The spear had belonged to Tyler’s grandfather, and he hadn’t been sure when he grabbed it from the mantle that the rusty head would stand up to a fight, that the old haft wouldn’t crack on the first blow he dealt with it, but so far the old weapon had stood up well. Better than its old wielder.

“What are they?” He called out, voice muffled by the cloth that filtered just enough of the stench away that he could stand to breathe at all.

“I’ve not seen them before,” the elf murmured, his quiet voice still plainly audible over the din of a dozen skirmishes. Tyler drove another creature to the side, barely avoiding being disemboweled by the heavy saber it carried, and Sellion ran it through with his rapier. “But they match the stories of the troglodytes.”

“Humbug,” Tyler growled, then dashed forward, winding himself but wounding a creature armed with a bow before it could fire at Dietrich Durgan, who was with his wife fighting another of the monsters near his shop. “No such thing!” He called out, catching the creature’s blade on the haft of his spear. An arrow from Sellion to its forehead downed it, and Tyler reached for its sword.

“Touch that not!” Sellion said, suddenly there, his hand on Tylers. “Troglodytes may indeed be but stories, but if stories are made flesh tonight… their steel is the poison of Laogzed.”
Tyler nodded, withdrawing his hand from the sword. “Good point,” he admitted.

“They strike the mill,” Sellion said, his head lifting quickly.

“I have to hold the inn. My wife and daughter…”

“Will suffocate in the smoke, or fall to poverty, should the town’s mill fall. In a day like this, the fate of one is linked to all.” The elf’s voice made Tyler believe he knew that from experience.

“Dietrich! Lanna!” Tyler called out to the smiths. “The mill!”

Together, the four charged.

Meanwhile... 5:1 The Pax Thyatis
A Declaration by the Emperor of Thyatia

Let it be declared, in every town and keep within the Empire, and her Holdings and Allied Lands within the Grand Duchy and the Emirates, and let it be heard throughout the Known World and lands beyond where His Imperial Majesty’s Divine Writ shall reach, and posted in every tavern, the words of Manfried Tolkien IV, Emperor by the Will of the Eight and by the Word of Vanya, Supreme Lord of Thyatia:

Whereas the Eye has fallen and the God of Tyranny been slain on this day by the efforts of the glorious hero and Cleric of Mighty Vanya Viatrix Reichart, and

Whereas King Deidrich Koertig, Hand of the Emperor and Commander of His Vast Legions, has already met with Li-Coreon, Voice of the Diamond Throne, in the ruins of the fallen Eye, and begun the process of making peace between our Great Peoples, and

Whereas the Imperial Calendar rests now on the year 302 of the Age of Steel, the Fourth and Longest of the Ages on the Calendar, now,

Therefore, let the Age of Steel be ended. Let the Long Celebration begin. Let the work in the fields be only to keep them fertile; let the granaries be opened, and a Season of Rest come upon the lands within the Empire. Let the Calendar begin again, and today be the first day of the first year of the Age of Ramparts. Let the walls of our cities never stand under Orcish threat again. Let this be remembered, in Ages to come, as the Pax Thyatis.


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