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Battleday, the 5th Day of Newgreen and of the Year 127 of this Age of Fortune
Heroes of Elmerton,
It is my pleasure to wish you a prosperous new year and to thank you once again for your help in proving the innocence, honor, and integrity of the Noble House Lav’Endros before the Noble Conclave during the month of Boneharvest last year. Our success means that we have been elevated to the status of Major Noble House and have been awarded roughly one third of House Windlock’s land and assets. While House Windlock was able to maintain jurisdiction over the City of Eddinberg and the massive expanse that is the East Farthings, Lav’Endros has gained jurisdiction of the former Windlock land that borders our land in the South Farthings, as well as an additional larger tract in the eastern Icewind Mountains and western Great Frostwood.
Most of my winter has been spent working to assimilate the acquired Winlock assets and records into our own while giving that house’s subjects the time they need to vacate the areas we have taken stewardship of. As some of you already know, House Lav’Endros had been preparing formal invitations to several of our allies, including you Heroes of Elmerton, to join a number of House officials in mapping out the northern land and giving some assurance to the locals that we will use every tool at our disposal to protect them from the War King, whose troops have been allowed by Windlock to move into the area and establish many military forts and supply routes. However, due to a very recent development, we are going to instead entreat King Adamar to lend us Irvanshirian soldiers for this purpose. Something more pressing requires the skilled and specialized attention of the reader.
Just yesterday, both the Elmerton Manor House and one of the Banta Kinswae encampments were attacked by truly strange, vicious beings, the likes of which I have never seen before. They had the faces of giant spiders but their bodies were humanoid. They carried an energy about them that seemed astral in nature, but strangely so. They were very quick and their attacks were efficient and deadly. My soldiers and wolfkin were largely ineffectual against them. The attack was only a warning, though, and after the spider creatures had made their point and returned from where they came, we discovered a ransom letter had been left behind. The letter stated that assaults such as these would continue unless House Lav’Endros began paying an immense amount of gold as a continuing “protection fee” since we had been responsible for the former “clients” halting their payments. The price was high enough that, even if we intended on paying, we would be unable to.
My wolfkin managed to track the strange creatures back to an area known as Marshall’s Landing: as the crow flies, twenty-two miles southwest of Elmerton. While this was one of the areas ceded to us by House Windlock, it was not something we had considered worth investigating until today.
Based on what I have witnessed, I can say honestly that this is not a thing that House Lav’Endros nor the Banta Kinswae can handle on their own. Therefore I am appealing to you, Heroes of Elmerton, to help us investigate and bring to justice those who would threaten our House, Pack, and Territory. Unfortunately, I know very little of what to expect from this area, save that there were many small structures built there, possibly to house soldiers, though they have been abandoned for many years. Our investigation of Marshall’s Landing should begin as soon as possible.
Calling You Back Into Service,
-Baroness Lobea Lav’Endros
Friends of House Lav’Endros,
It was two years ago this month that the Noble House of Windlock put forth the Declaration of Enmity against our House in an attempt to not only humiliate and discredit its members, but also with intent to acquire our lands and assets should the Act of Acquisition be approved. It is our understanding that at the onset of this Declaration, House Windlock was operating under the influence of a coven of Vampire Princes who have culled the bloodlines of many of Irvanshire’s Noble Houses into submission under their control. How strong this control is and how deeply it is felt within the Noble Houses is not yet determined, though it seems that House Lav’Endros and House Acciora are free from this control.
That said, though the initial Declaration of Enmity may have been influenced by these Vampire Princes, the actions of House Windlock since then against our House and the constituents under our care have been ignoble, deplorable and worth investigation.
As you may or may not know, a Conclave has been called and has been scheduled for the 4th night of Boneharvest in order to put an end to the dealings between House Lav’Endros and House Windlock. At this Conclave we will be expected, as a House, to present evidence of wrongdoing perpetrated knowingly and maliciously by house Windlock against House Lav’Endros. The Conclave will be overseen by a panel of impartial witnesses that will act as both judge and jury in the case. These are likely to be nobles knowledgeable in the Irvanshirian Noble House Code of Conduct, and possibly also an Adjudicator of The Allegiant.
There is a lot at stake in outcome of these proceedings. According to the Act of Acquisition, because House Lav’Endros is considered a minor house, if we are found to be at fault or to have misrepresented House Windlock, it could mean the end of our house entirely. It is likely that ranking nobility, primarily those at the top, would be stripped of our titles, at best, or imprisoned or executed, at worst. Our lands, assets, and all of our constituents would be absorbed into House Windlock, and those who have worked against them these long years would be punished. It is even rumored that the anger of House Windlock is so great towards Lav’Endros and particularly to the township of Elmerton, that the town itself will be disbanded and razed to the ground, its inhabitants arrested, banished, or exiled.
Alternatively, if we were to win the day with a solid display of evidence confirming Windlock’s malicious and ignoble behaviors, we would likely be promoted within Irvanshire’s Nobility to become one of the kingdom’s major houses. Additionally, we would acquire a significant portion of Windlock’s lands and assets in reparation for the damages caused to our House and its reputation. Though this would indeed be a boon to the House, it would mean that we would be stretched very thin as we attempt to provide representation for and protection to our new holdings. Should this happen, we intend to petition all of you to aid us in settling and taming our new territory.
Members of the township of Elmerton have been instrumental in gathering a solid presentation of evidence proving not only the innocence of House Lav’Endros in the crimes addressed in the Declaration of Enmity, but the wrongdoings of House Windlock as well. It is hoped that members of the town will be present during the Conclave on Gatheringday, the 4th of Boneharvest to not only present the evidence they have collected on behalf of House Lav’Endros, but to show their support for their ruling house. Observation of the proceedings will be opened to all who wish to witness them, though neither disrespect nor violence will be tolerated during this time.
Though Windlock seems confident in their claims against us and has said that they have sufficient evidence to back their accusations, we are confident that we have enough evidence to present a case that will keep House Lav’Endros and all who fall under our purview safe. We ask for your support and faith during these trying times. However things turn out, it has been an honor to have you with us since the first of your travellers accepted Lord Renwar’s Harvest Festival invitation oh so long ago, and we sincerely hope to be able to work alongside you in the future.
Yours Under the Tree and Wolf,
Baroness Lobea Lav’Endros
Lord Renwar Lav’Endros
Sir Xanthos Lav’Endros
A chorus of wild howls mixing with the pounding of drums echoed throughout the barely thawing forests and told wanderers that the Banta Kinswae- a tribal organization of wolfkin led by High Chieftess Lynsara Wolfstone- were in the midst of a ritual to welcome the New Year. As the ritual came to its climax, a single figure strode into the center of the ring of frenzied wolfkin. Her blazing eyes, white and grey fur, and bared teeth glinted in the firelight. She threw back her head and howled in a tone that expressed defiance, commanded attention, and ended in a low growl. The drums ceased and the wolfkin stopped the celebrations, chests heaving and mouths open in stunned anticipation, or perhaps rage, at the interruption.
After a few heartbeats of tense silence, a wolfkin dressed in robes of blood red and spring green stepped forward and faced the fearless white wolfkin. He raised his chin slightly in a sort of greeting, and spoke loudly enough that his voice could be heard by all.
“Huntress! What do you mean by this interruption?” His tail swished to the side in a gesture of annoyance and he flattened his ears.
Huntress growled again and showed her teeth as well, “I mean to challenge the High Chieftess Lynsara. I MEAN to take her place.” She moved forward, eyes narrowed and every muscle tense and ready. “And I mean to take out every person who stands in my way, Marrok.”
The robed wolfkin bared his teeth and growled as she moved within inches of his face, only the slight lowering of his tail giving any indication of fear. Finally, he snorted loudly and stepped backward, almost dismissively. “Do you have the tribute necessary to issue such a challenge?”
Huntress straightened up and, keeping her eyes on the man in front of her, gestured to her right. The crowd of Banta Kinswae parted and four young wolfkin entered, dragging behind them the largest hobgoblin that anyone present had ever seen. There was a sugared apple in its mouth.
Huntress pointed at the tribute and bellowed in a ringing voice, “I, Huntress, Baroness Lobea Lav’Endros, hereby challenge the authority and capability of Lynsara Wolfstone as High Chieftess to lead the Banta Kinswae. I declare my intent, here in front of my healed brethren, to take her place whether by force… or by her submission.” She paused here and looked at the robed man in front of her. “I have declared my intent, Marrok, and offered my tribute. The Chieftess will send me her Challengers, as is dictated by tradition.”
“It is not up to you to decide what the Chieftess will do,” Marrok snarled angrily. Then, composing himself, he gave what could have passed as a wry smile.”And besides, you’ve forgotten about the Affirmations, Huntress. I see no one here to offer testament to your ability to protect and provide for your pack.”
Huntress, too, offered an attempt at a smile and reached into a pack at her side. “Here,” she growled, thrusting several sealed scrolls into a surprised Marrok’s arms.
“Affirmations from members of House Lav’Endros and from several other nobles around Irvanshire. I have commonfolk on their way to give personal testimony and several other letters that should be finding you through the Messengers’ guild within a day.” She crossed her arms and glared confidently at the scowling man, a sarcastic sneer coming her to lips. “I will be back in a day’s time with the rest of my affirmations and to make sure you have finished your… paperwork.”
Smirking, she turned to leave the fire, but before she had taken five steps, a savage snarl erupted from the robed wolf-kin and he dropped the armful of scrolls he carried as he dove on top of the retreating figure. A brief, but brutal fight ensued, and within minutes Huntress had pinned a struggling Marrok to the ground.
“You have one job, Marrok, and it is not to challenge me,” she whispered fiercely. “Killing you would not prove enough to be worth the inconvenience of stripping the pack of your secretarial services, but challenge me again and your life will be forfeit.”
Huntress shoved the cowed Marrok into the dirt and looked down at him, disgust etched on her face. “Now, get up, pup, and let the High Chieftess know her time has come.”
With a final look of contempt, Huntress left the gathering.
It is official, then. A Challenge has been issued to the High Chieftess of the Banta Kinswae by the chieftess of the local pack, Baroness Lobea Lav’Endros (known to her pack as Huntress). If it is accepted, then over the course of a few weeks, several Challengers will be sent to test the ability and prowess of the Baroness in order to prove that she is capable and worthy enough to challenge Lynsara herself. A group of commonfolk from the Elmerton area has indeed left to give personal affirmations, despite the workload that accompanies the approach of Spring and the planting Season. Though a challenge of this sort is not unheard of, it is certainly uncommon. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Dozens of people and pets and livestock have gone missing, with no witnesses. The only clues are some large paw-prints (similar to that of a cat) left in the mud. House Lav’Endros has taken a special interest in the disappearances, suspecting some new sort of were-creature. But some of the people investigating believe that to be a false lead, since while there are occasionally signs of a struggle, there is rarely any sign of violence. Normally, a werewolf attack will leave behind blood and body parts of the victims. This has proven to not be the case.
The Purifiers, werewolf-hunters and experts of the unnatural, have committed to investigating the town. They will try and find out who may be afflicted with this disease, so they may be cured or slain. Anyone with any information should contact Baroness Lobea Lav’Endros or Derrick Firsthand, of the Purifiers.