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News of the 93rd Day of the Shattering

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside... if I can find it...

'Dear Shaliq above! Look at our boat! It's stuck in the mud, and oh no, it's sinking!'

'Wow, look at the harbour... how far has the sea gone back now?'

'Well, Karak says he reckons it's about 90 feet out now.'

'By Shaliq... if things don't change soon, we are all going to die, aren't we? Shaliq save us all...'

'Oh Ambassador, you are spoiling us... so we're going to BURN YOU!'

[One day, a charge of the Shalazar citizen militia, lead by Arkan al Fesk, march to the doors ofthe Jade Embassy and demand that all leave the building as they are no longer to be sponsored by the state of Shalazar, and the building is to be destroyed. No-one answers, and after breaking down the door the group discover that the embassy is in fact deserted. The building is burnt to the ground. Some believe that the protector of the city may have overstepped his bounds, others see sense in destroying the dwellings of the enemy of the city. Opinion on the act may be mixed amongst the populace, but rumours abound from the servants in the palace that the Grand Vizier did not take the news very well at all.]

The Pass of Guise Holds

[It takes few men to defend a mountain pass against many, and for two weeks this is what was done in the mountains to the southeast of Guise. Seemingly, a small force of men camped high on the cliffsides hurled rocks and shot arrows down at any force the Jade Emperor used to retake the pass. For days this stalemate held, until finally these unknown defenders woke one morning to find an army of 5,000 approaching them. Surely there must have been some despair, as not even the valiant and near-invisible could hold such a position against that many.

As the Jadeite formations neared the pass in the mornings, the battle trumpet called. As one, every man raised his sword, or his bow, and prepared to charge. Once... twice... three calls of the trumpet, and then the swords fell--brother upon brother. Or so it seemed. At first the pass defenders must have thought the Jadeites had gone mad, until some of the 'soldiers' removed their helmets, tearing away their faces to reveal green-skinned faces and amber eyes. King Salash had been as good as his word, and that army dispersed in panic.

The pass is currently held by the men of Ghazi al Altair, who arrived to relieve the mystery 'defenders' shortly thereafter.]

Hostages Reunited!

[Accompanied by a guard of horse barbarians, a crowd of ragged Shalazarians stagger back to their homes and families, freed from captivity by their Elunsii captors. These are the prisoners taken from Gazala in the barbarian raid. They are returned unharmed and well-treated as part of the truce the city has with the horse barbarians. Many tearful reunions are made, the general consensus of the population is that the truce is a benevolent event that should be encouraged. The population are sick of war, are longing for the cessation of all combats, and all desire a return to normal for the city and its people.]

Prologue: 'We've got a dam!'

'Ahh, look at that, it's beautiful isn't it? It's a testament to the strength of the spirit of the people of Shalazar. Finally, thanks to Sahmid al Jerezad, Arkan al Fesk, and Al Phariq we have damned the river! Look at the water building up behind it, isn't it glorious? This should alay our troubles for a good long while, it might even solve them altogether! Oh, praise Shaliq! Things are starting to look up at last!'

'Oh come on you men! We need this aquaduct finished by sunset! Come on now! Do you know how lucky we are to have the resources and engineers Sahmid al Jerezad found us?! Come on, this is for the good of the city, for your families, and if you don't get it down in time you'll have Arkan to answer to! Yes, you heard me! Now get badck to work!'

'Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen, place your bets on which notable member of Shalazar society will die next!'

'Will it be Nashuk of the Order of the Fizzled Sword, whose failure to protect the Calipha is only compounded by his failure to catch her killers? He becomes ever more violent as he runs around in circles - sooner or later someone must surely put him down like the mad dog he is!'

'Or will it be the Grand Vizier? A prime target for villainous assassins from the fiendish East, the Vizier has also - if rumour is to be believed - developed something of a weakness for the ladies. Woe betide us if the devil-women of Jade try to ensnare him in their coils!'

'Perhaps it will be Ghazban, who almost single-handedly is keeping us safe in the south from the invading pygmy hordes. Ah, I forget, we have already killed the pygmy hordes. Well, I am sure he is defending us from something nasty.'

Offerings in Abib finally accepted

[For years upon years the mysterious offerings deposited at the base of the Grey Tower in the centre of Abib were ignored as mysterious folly of some unknown agent, or acts of secret heretical worship. Now, as the cracks in the Grey Tower widen every day, the offerings have begun increasing, left in amounts almost ten-fold of previous levels. As times are hard, food has been in short supply due to failing crops and drought, these offerings of fruits, flowers and berries have been set upon by the hungry citizens and devoured as they are left. Small camps of people gather every morning in anticipation around the tower ready to seize what they can of the offerings. Some stay up all night sleeping near the tower, hoping to get first pick of what appears. The concern about the tower is no longer heretical worship or the widening cracks, but rather that in competition for the few available offerings some small squabbles have broken out amongst the hungry and the waiting, and the city's steward has consequently set up a small guard around the tower to prevent any escalation of such confrontations.]

When you wish upon a star... run

[One night, an unexpected streak of flame is seen streaming across the dark night sky. The streak disappears and a tremendous crashing sound is heard, followed by earth tremors for miles around. Astrologists observing the stars all gather their horses and camels and race all over the city to raise the alarm with their comrades.

The next morning the news gets out that a star has fallen from the sky. The armies around the city have prevented further investigation, but it is believed that the crash site was the ruins of the city of Muna. For the next few anxious nights thousands of citizens spend all night heads tilted upwards, praying not to witness another such event.

Unfortunately their prayers were not answered. Five days later, on the stroke of dawn, another streaking line of flame tears downward through the morning sky. Over the next few hours it is revealed that the star landed in the desert outside Shalazar, and also that the star landed on the tent of Fered al Hagi, a prominent astrologist of the city, who had been camping out of the city to observe the changes to the night sky. Astrologists all over the city mourn their fallen comrade, but take heart in that he died doing what he loved.

It is noted that recently night-life around the city has declined somewhat, most people generally preferring to stay indoors whenever they can, though the risk of being star-crushed is probably greatly exaggerated.]

Gawd bless you, ma'am!

[Many attend the presentation of the proceeds of the charity banquet thrown by Atiya al Jerezad to the Fesk Blind Priestess and Temple Relief Fund. The end sum topped all previous charity banquets of the house reaching beyond 30,000 dinar. 10,000 of that sum was donated by the recently appointed Regent of the Jerezad, Qasim, on behalf of his family. The generosity of all involved, especially the family of the Jerezad is highly praised as a source of inspiration to all.]

Epilogue: 'Oh, dam it!'

'Ahh, look at that, it's beautiful isn't it? It's a testament to the strength of the spirit of the people of Shalazar. Finally, thanks to Sahmid al Jerezad and Arkan al Fesk we have damned the river! Look at the water building up behind it, isn't it glorious? Hang on, isn't that river flowing awfully fast? What's that rumbling?! Oh no! Oh by Shaliq! RUN! Tidal wave! The dam has broken! Run! (Glub!)'

[As a result of a freak wave preceeding unprecedented water flows in the Shalazar river, the newly constructed dam in the city bursts, and several riverside residential areas of the city are now part of the newly enlarged river. It is noted joyously that some clouds have begun appearing, though rain has been sadly lacking. However, every spring in Shalazar has now developed into a bubbling fountain, and water is now a plentiful resource in the city, though some are beginning to see the downside of this turn of events.

Gradually reports come in from all over Shalazar that the cities on the great river Huzuz, Amarat, Huda, Asalah, Rashad, Takhbad, have experienced flooding. There have been flash floods, crops have been destroyed, and riverside dwellings flooded completely. Notably the great Ash-Kenz library in Amarat was also flooded and there was immediately launched a rescue operation by the city's steward to transport all the books safely to higher ground and other dry locations.]

Wisdom of the Thirteenth Tome

On the walls throughout the city the following verse has been appearing:

When the shadows grow long,

And the nest grows cold,

Look not at your feet my children,

And let your mind soar on the wind.


[After Arkan al Fesk declares that the Order of Kal'Nayak may not operate within the confines of 'his' city, a wave of unease shakes the populace. Surely Arkan was the salvation of the city when the Horse Barbarians attacked? But surely it was the Kal'Nayak who stalwartly defended the throne, and begged other less pious heads not to replace the memory of Amlatta with a foreign fakir? These debates course loudly through the body politic, and at first the Kal'Nayak refuse to move. Finally, armed guards are sent to disperse them from their headquarters--but they encounter a mob of peasants supporting the Kal'Nayak. Two days of rioting between pro- and anti-Kal'Nayak forces follows, finally quelled by a rather brutal 'policing' action by Arkan's forces. The Kal'Nayak no longer walk quite so openly in the streets, but they have not renounced their commission: rather, they seem to be lying low to allow tensions to cool somewhat.

'Who is that rude man?'

'That's still investigating the death of the Calipha.'

'A worthy aim.'

'Yes, but he's not making much progress. And last night he flew into a rage at a private party, and attacked one of the guests.'

'What a duel?'

'No, he attacked an unarmed man, from behind, without warning.'

'I wonder that anyone invites him anywhere...'

'They don't. He claims the right to go where he wants. Noone actually invites him. Increasingly he's just a violent brute. More people would probably be helping the investigation if he weren't a part of it.'

'Maybe some truth in it. I can see why he's frustrated, but I didn't know he was a coward as well.'

Go, go, the Greens! Go, go, the Purples! Arghh, stop hitting my city!

And first across the line and into the lead is the Djinn of the air bouncing a large balloon, look at it go! And following on hard behind is the Djinn of the earth rolling that huge boulder, a slow start but it's really rolling now and shows no sign of stopping! And the crowd seems to be going wild - in the newly erected stands Djinn of all kinds are reaching states of high excitement as the race continues!...

Now the tag team competition - and the teams are off! Djinn of the air pass quickly and leave the Djinn of the earth in their dust... And the earth Djinn are looking upset, and there is rumbling beneath the earth, what's this? Oh no, remember the spirit of the game, please, everyone! Oh no, the crowd is joining in, and the game has turned into a rolling enormous - um - altercation, and it's moving off into the desert, but not before the North wall of Huzuz has suffered a little - I hope no-one was under there!

[The Djinn, after an arguement over rules, are continuing to argue and fight in an ever escalating whirlwind of destruction that is moving faster and faster over the desert towards Abib]

Assassins stalk the Bookwala

In their new city of Elmiyah the Bookwala rest uneasily. An assassin has killed four of them in the past month. The first one was thought to be a natural death, but after two more bodies were found it was realised that someone had smothered them with their pillows. More guards had been arranged, and it was thought that their palace was secure, but a week later another body was found, knifed while leaving a coffee house. Now they huddle behind their guards, wondering who will be next.

The 'Tache is Back!

Look what's back...back again...the tache is back...slay demons...look its back, look its back, look its back...hahaha. Didya Hear? Vizier Kayam has got his body and his old 'tache back! Glory be to Shaliq!!!!

Guise retaken

Is the tide finally turning? The armies of Shalazaar, backed up by Yildun militia, have retaken Guise in a short and bloody battle, with 50,000 of the heathen Jadaite dogs slain. The once ghost town is now home to a defence force led by the Yildun who are refortifying its battered walls. The Jadaite heathen scum have had their route back home cut off, glory be!

Peace in the North

The lands to the North of Shalazar are at peace at last. Troops of barbarians still ride the lands, but now they pass by the patrols of Shalazar peacefully. What is more, a steady stream of released prisoners flows into the city, captured when the horse barbarians took the cities of the north, and now freed as part of the peace. The refugees further swell the shanty towns around Shalazar, but food is more plentiful now, especially as the barbarian cattle traders now sell their stock at the city gates.

Huzuz shattered by Dark Magics!

The invaders and the citizens of Husuz overcame their differences in desprate flight from the center of the city, as a black robed sorceror brought down bloody lightnings on the building appropriated by the Servants of Those Who Have Gone Before. His first stroke shattered the roof, and scattered blue robed bodies in all directions. From within the temple came a counterstroke, a whirling wind of blood sucked from the bodies of all bystanders that leapt towards the carpet rider. As they traded blasts of power, waves of death slashed out from the conflict, striking down the weak and the infirm. After 1/2 an hour of battle the conflict calmed, and the survivers crept from the rubble. Reports have reached Shalazar from spies within the city, announcing nearly 100,000 deaths. The weak and the infirm were first-affected by the raging battle of dark magic, and thus most of those slain were citizens of Shalazar, although Jadeite losses are estimated at 25,000 soldiers.

Holy Apparition

'She appeared to them, She appeared to them! When Jhezt al Gharizme and Sahmid al Jerezad were standing at the front of the prayer meeting, She appeared again! It was magnificent, She was clad in pure shimmering light and she said, 'Bow down before me, for I am your creator!' Bless them and their piety, they are turning her face back to the world!

influence chart

Standing is a measure of the relative strength of the Great Families of Shalazar. The Standing of a great family determines how useful it is to spend points of Influence on your actions each turn.

The Jerezad may have lost territory, but are quickly gaining a reputation for piety thanks to the work of the prayer meetings.

The Bookwala are still...mistrusted. But they have Elmiyah, and what's more important than that?

The Yildun have been hurt by the flooding of most of their cities this month, but not seriously so. In the meantime, they have taken over the ruins of Guise--though this may be contested later, no one is in the mood to challenge them now.

The Hadar have accomplished much, and grow stronger.

The Fesk, despite their losses from the Horse Barbarians, are showing signs of regained influence, and some of their number are showing significant wealth--particularly in food.