News of the Kingdom
The Kingdom Of Shendenflar After the Wars
The “Year of Peace” (585 CY) saw little of the sort.
In the fall of 585 CY, King Archbold III of Nyrond was almost assassinated by his younger son, Sewarndt. Fighting erupted in the capital, but Archbold’s eldest son, Lynwerd,with assistance from agents of King Baras, won the day, taking the throne in Fireseek 586. In 587, King Lynwerd incorporated much of ruined Almor into Nyrond, but he now struggles to maintain his tottering realm in the face of staggering difficulties. Nyrond becomes increasingly dependant on Shendenflar for it’s survival. Although he is often advised against helping the failing kingdom, King Baras sees Nyrond as the last bastion of good surrounded by evil and has pledged to help at all costs.
In Coldeven 586, Canon Hazen of Veluna employed the Crook of Rao, a powerful artifact, in a special ceremony that purged the Flanaess of nearly all fiends inhabiting it. Outsiders summoned by Iuz, Ivid, or independent evils fell victim to this magical assault, which became known as the Flight of Fiends. King Belvor III of Furyondy quickly joined Canon Hazen, and King Baras of Shendenflar in declaring the Great Northern Crusade, an ambitious military action aimed at regaining land lost to Iuz during the Greyhawk Wars. By the end of 587 CY, the armies of Furyondy, Veluna and Shendenflar had restored the Kingdom of Furyondy, as well as Critwall and Scragholme Isle in the old Shield Lands. The destruction and debauchery revealed as Iuz’s agents fled sickened the crusaders. King Belvor declared eternal war upon the Old One, pledging to settle for nothing short of the complete destruction of Iuz himself. Raids against Iuz from Furyondy and the Shield Lands continue to the present. Many Shendenflarian soldiers take part in these raids supplementing Belvors’ dwindling forces. King Baras knows it is just a matter of time until Iuz regroups and attacks again and a strong Furyondy is Shendenflar’s first best defense.
Immediately after the Flight of Fiends, it was announced in Rauxes that Ivid V was no longer Overking, though it was unclear if he had actually died. Conflict engulfed the capital in a matter of hours as many of Ivid’s generals and nobles, filled with rage and ambition, marched upon Rauxes. No one can explain the events that followed, but the city itself was soon engulfed in a strange magical field. Few willingly approach Rauxes now, given the bizarre eldritch forces that prevail where the ruined city stands. King Baras is very interested in knowing what is going on in Rauxes. He is considering commissioning a expedition to the fallen city to gather information.
The provinces of the broken Great Kingdom are now reunited, but into two mutually hostile powers. In 586 CY, Grenell, Herzog of North Province, declared himself Overking of the Great Kingdom of Northern Aerdy. Overking Xavener I rules the United Kingdom of Ahlissa (also founded in 586 CY) from his new capital of Kalstrand. Both leaders would like to destroy each other, but financial problems and internal power struggles have forced them to devote their energies toward rebuilding their armies and infrastructure. Sunndi, the largest surviving member of the Iron League, became a kingdom in 587 CY. For obvious reasons,King Baras keeps a close eye on this situation. He would dearly love for the Great Kingdom to sunder itself completely and is secretly moving to make that a reality.
News In The Kingdom
The cities of Shendenflar are seeing more organized thieves than have been seen in many years. Government officials believe that two large “thieves guilds” have taken root in Riverhewn and Stormhaven. For the most part these guilds activities have been limited but they are growing. Merchants are hiring more private guards that are zealously pursuing suspected thieves and several thieves have been killed in recent weeks. This obviously troubles both the king and Colin Winterblade. Simeon finds himself under increasing pressure from the guilds and individual merchants to “clean up” this problem by providing more watch and guard patrols and allowing the summary judgement of any caught stealing. Simeon is unlikely to allow the latter as he knows it would invariably lead to summary executions in the streets.(1)
The large standing army of the kingdom is starting to be a drain on the economy. While it is true that a large number of soldiers are seconded to other nations (most notably Furyondy and Nyrond) it is still King Simeon’s responsibility to pay for these troops. (Furyondy provides a yearly stipend to Shendenflar but Nyrond is far too destitute a kingdom to do the same.) Although this is not currently a problem the Royal Treasurer has informed the king that due to falling revenues from taxes and exports as a result of the wars that most if not all of the military will need to be disbanded in a year or two at the most. There is also the growing problem of too many troops with nothing to do. While they do patrol the borders of the Kingdom and occasionally drive off Wolf Nomad incursions into Shendenflar, there is simply not enough to keep the large force occupied. Drunkenness and inappropriate behavior is an increasing problem. Recently a patrol of cavalry on the kingdom’s Eastern border was accused of assaulting a tavern-keep and burning his tavern. King Baras is very troubled about these kind of reports as the reputation of Shendenflar’s military is very good for the most part. He is also hesitant to break up a fighting force that may be needed at a moment’s notice if Iuz reasserts himself.(2)
There are rumors of people dissapearing in the capital city of Riverhewn. The city watch has been summoned to several locations in the city on reports of people “vanishing” into thin air. Although these reports cannot be substaniated it has raised a bit of an alarm to those living in the areas that the dissapearances have been reported. City Watch Commander Darmikn has said nothing about these reports as of yet. (3)