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Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:06 pm
Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:07 pm
After being decimated by the Mourning and fracturing into three factions, House Cannith has since regained a portion of their lost glory. In 1001YK, Baron Jorlanna d'Cannith announced the merger between Cannith West and Cannith South, under her leadership as the new Matriarch. This news posed a great surprise to the people of Khorvaire, as it was Cannith South that was undoubtedly the more powerful of the two.
Many believed that Jorlanna was merely the politically-savvy face of this renewed House Cannith, and in fact it was Merrix d'Cannith of Cannith South who truly pulled the strings from the shadows. Others believe that Jorlanna and Merrix struck a deal behind the scenes where Jorlanna would handle the day-to-day administration of running this foremost dragonmarked house, while giving Merrix the autonomy to focus on his true passion -- innovation.
The fortunes of House Cannith were further augmented in year 1000YK when Cannith West explorers from the Eldeen Reaches rediscovered the entrance to the lost Whitehearth forgehold in the Mournlands. The location remains a secret to public knowledge, but since then, several airships worth of cargo have been excavated and shipped off from the Darguun's borders. Many believe the rediscovery of Whiteheart plays an instrumental role in the merger of Cannith West and South, as prototypes from the Whitehearth facility would rank among the top in Merrix d'Cannith's list of greatest desires.
Regardless of the actual reason, the merger has brought an exponential increase in traffic between Cannith South in Breland and Cannith West in Aundaire. The most noticeable of these is the new Cannith air fleet, procured from House Lyrandar after renewed pressure and negotiations for increased compensation for Cannith's role in airship development. The new agreement limits House Cannith's fleet to House-internal transport services only. But even then, scarcely a week go by before the next Cannith air transport sets off from Sharn to Aundaire, loaded with products (mostly armaments) from Merrix's industrial workshops beneath Sharn.
Due to suspicions from the Brelish government that House Cannith is violating the Treaty of Thronehold and selling Aundaire a new generation of warforged, the King's Citadel has forced the issue upon Matriarch Jorlanna and inspected several airships flying out of Sharn. However, they were only able to find conventional magical weapons, squashing allegations that they were illegally building new warforged armies for the Aundairian military.
But as suspicious as the activities of this new House Cannith has been, it pales in comparison against the actions of Cannith East. Having rejected all proposals to merge with Cannith South and West, Cannith East has continued under the leadership of Baron Zorlan d'Cannith, who has since shed any cover of neutrality and firmly settled in as the military-industrial complex for the Karrnathi army. The actions of Cannith East are even more secretive than their cousins, and there have been rumored sightings in Southern Karrnath of a new type of 'armored undead' with construct-like limbs, battling monsters that emerge from the Mournland's mists.
The Thaliost Incident + House Orien
Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:38 pm
THE THALIOST INCIDENT + HOUSE ORIEN
In the winter of 999YK, the city of Thaliost rose up in a wave of riots against its oppressive Thrane governor. Expecting aid from the armies of Aundaire, the people of Thaliost cried out for assistance from their mother country. Meanwhile, Thrane rushed to bring sufficient forces north to squash the rebellion. Thankfully for the war-weary people of Khorvaire, Queen Aurala ir'Wynarn realized that her nation was not ready for another war. She stymied the military leadership just long enough for the Thranians to bring Thaliost back under control through brutal suppression and martial law. Her diplomatic counterattack proved her keen political acumen once again, using the civil bloodletting to tarnish Thrane's international prestige and the Church of the Silver Flame's moral authority. But what she gained in sympathy from the other nations, she lost at home as the disgruntled nationalists began to speaking of their queen as a traitor to Aundaire.
Although renew conflict had been averted, this incident only further strained the relationship between Aundaire and Thrane. Furthermore, it demonstrated to Queen Aurala that as long as Thaliost lay in Thranian hands, her attempts to court peace and buy time will only diminish her legitimacy in the eyes of Aundarians.
But there was a winner to the Thaliost Incident. Baron Kwanti d'Orien, recognizing an opportunity in Thrane's fears that Aundaire could take Thaliost in a decisive surprise attack before enough troops could be sent north, brought a proposal to the rulers of Flamekeep. He offered to construct a new road, bridge, and lightning rail between the cities of Flamekeep and Thaliost, guarded by Silvercliff Castle, which would allow the armies of Thrane to rapidly reinforce their lands in the north. In return, he wants Thranian support to rebuild the White Arch Bridge over Scions Sounds. He argued that by reconnecting Thaliost and Rekkenmark, the people of Thaliost would be pacified and distracted by renewed economic opportunities, while the same link with Flamekeep would allow the Thrane to properly bring Thaliost into its cultural, economic, and political sphere of control. Of course, his true interest was in reconnect the lightning rail system between western and eastern Khorvaire. This, combined with the new linkage between Vedykar and Vulyar in Karrnath, would once more bring the lightning rail system fully connected and operational.
Persuaded by the vocal support of Keeper Jaela Daran, the Cardinals of Flamekeep reluctantly agreed, though rumors have it that they only did after key votes had been bribed by Orien-hired House Phiarlan agents. King Kaius of Karrnath supported the project as well, but struck a deal that the security of the rebuilt bridge be entirely run by the paramilitary forces of House Orien and House Deneith, as no love had been lost between the armies of Thrane and Karrnath. Construction went underway in 1000YK, and while the bridge itself has yet to completely finish, the first lightning rail car in over a hundred years has already crossed the Scions Sound.
Security for the White Arch Bridge is provided by the new White Arch Company of the House Deneith Blademarks Guild, operating out of the eastern bridge towers in Rekkenmark, and the formally organized Blades of Orien, who control the western bridge towers in Thaliost. Thanks to this double-buffer, the White Arch Bridge is generally considered the most secure border link between the four nations and one of the least likely places to start the next war (in sharp contrast to Thaliost itself).
The Talenta Confederacy
Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:39 am
THE TALENTA CONFEDERACY
The Treaty of Thronehold represented a historical milestone for the halflings of the Talenta Plains. Lathon Halpum, the halflings' representative to Thronehold, had returned triumphant. For the first time, the halflings were recognized not just as a nation, but as a united entity. Of course, the truth could not be more different. Halpum soon returned to leading his own group, and the halfling clans continued their tribal, nomadic ways, disagreeing over everything from political alliances to the future of their cultural way of life.
He had thought the dangers of the Last War to be over. He was wrong.
In the south, the Valenar elves have steadily up their raids over the past few years. With Cyre no longer in existence and mercenary contracts dwindling, the martial elves sought new ways to prove their valor and mettle. In the east, the influence of Riedra over Q'barra grows steadily, and Inspired expeditions have began to frequent the eastern plains near Krezent and the (Dragon) Boneyard, disturbing forces that would better lay buried. In the west, the fragile peace of the Thronehold Treaty was highlighted by the Thaliost Incident, leaving Halpum fearful for when his beloved plains would once more become a battleground for its neighbors.
Resolved to unite the halflings in policy if not in lifestyle, Halpum set about to gather the various tribal chiefs and negotiate a new structure that would tie all halflings together. They might continue to live, move, and hunt based on their ancient tribal structure, but to the rest of the world, they would form a united front. With the help of the two halfling dragonmarked houses and the gnomes of House Sivis, Halpum announced the birth of the Talenta Confederacy in 1001YK. From that point on, any foreign power who wish to negotiate with one tribe of the confederacy must deal with ALL of its tribes. No longer will they allow outside actors to pit one halfling group against another, in commerce or in war.
In less than a year's time, nearly 70% of all the Talenta tribes have already joined the Confederacy. Even Halpum's most vocal opponent, the halfling cleric known as 'Holy Uldra', had been silenced when her clan ran afoul of a Valenar raid (although rumors circulate that Karrnathi agents or even the Royal Eyes of Aundaire were involved).
Apart from their partnership with various dragonmarked houses, the Talenta Confederacy's first alliance came within days as King Kaius leaped at the opportunity to formalize an alliance. Karrnath already had agreements with various tribal leaders to maintain forts near the Talenta-Valenar border, and the new Tribal Council signed it in the name of mutual interest: Karrnathi forts would help bolster Talenta's defenses against Valenar incursions, while the Karrnathi themselves could sleep at ease, knowing their southern border lies secure behind their 'buffer state' ally.