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His Royal Majesty, King August Turlain, first of his name, monarch of the free cities of the Kingdom of Rudo has aged a decade in the past year. Once spry and a valiant warrior, he is fast becoming a done old man. When the Fire Lord Fahazul took control of the city of Gaiares decades ago, the Turlains were not concerned. When Fahazul took all of the surrounding cities under it’s control by diplomacy or the sword, the citizens of Rudo became rightly worriesome.

There is a rare blue falcon nesting somewhere in Rudo. Spokesman Aemont Quint posted a reward for its carcas but no-one seems to be able to capture or fell it.

Rumors have been substantiated. Fahazul has spread his beliefs and questionable practices. Undead are used as laborers, each person of the empire serves the militia, abberants are colonizing the territories, and the cogwork of the gaiares empire is expected to be turned against it’s southern neighber (Rudo) soon.

In the Capital, things are dark as well. The whole city reeks of excriment because something has clogged the lower warrens and the “Sanitation Engineers” are mum on the subject.

The Iron mines were taken by a goblin band, when mercenaries were sent they were scattered by undead. When clerics were sent, they were scattered by trolls. The last contingent of soldiers ran at the sight of a Beholder. Lord Wizard Onrimas Mercate, amongst his resposibilities as mystic visier and grandmaster of the Rudonian College of magical studies must too find answers to these threats.

The crown prince Brahmlet Turlain is a fine figure and learning the arts of statecraft well enough. Though he does spend his leisure time in a house of worldly pursuits known as the “Wineskin’s Trumpet.” His younger brother, Jurai Turlain, is torn between being ready to assume the throne if need be and afraid of being someone’s pawn. He is given to verse and is known to avoid martial combat. Jurai is often in the company of Sir Billiam, knight protectorate of the realm.

It is Sir Billiam’s obscure responsibility to uphold the needs of the Kingdom and secure the bloodline. Billiam is a reformed mercenary who, after losing his wife to an orchish warband, and his son to the bloody battle following their raid, he won the king’s games of the Summer Solstice and upon winning a year’s use of the coveted “Rudonian blade” was offered a position at court.

An unpopular statesman, Aemon Quint, is pushing the developement of a great dam south of Rudo. His meager aspirations in magic made him realize it was possible to raise the water level, make the docks more accessable to ships of deeper hulls, and run mills to help the economy. He and Raynard Metla are working in conjunction on the project.

Baron Raynard Metla , a prominent noble figure and speaker on the king’s council is strongly advocating castle defenses and escalation of arms while other nobles, cheifly Earl Inyu of Baynock and Baroness Lyanna Fedo are strong proponents for a more expensive standing army. Metla runs many smiths and armorers as well as tanners, carpenters, masons, and some inns boasting red lanterns.

Raynard Metla and “half-lord” Inyu Baynock are in the midst of a heated debate. Brigands chased a caravan of Halflings lead by Huris Shameford into an abandoned keep on Metla’s Lands. Metla insists of removal of the squatters or compensation. Inyu, as a halfling himself, has an interest and argues that Melta’s lands are unused and suffer no harm from the shirefolk making temporary holding there. If his lands weren’t so lawless, then they wouldn’t have sought shelter.

Inyu Baynock Holds New Moon Feastings, where fifty to one hundred guests attend his masquarades. Peasants, crafters, or any man on Baynock’s good side might be invited along with local nobility, royalty, or out of town guests. These lavish affairs are a jovial affair and each person is offered a room to stay the night so that they might not need egress through a moonless night.

The “Cleftwood few” are a band of brigands waylaying wagons and travelers on their way in and out of Rudo. None of the roads are safe and these lawless men are getting more and more violent with each passing week. They are said to be well equipped and their numbers are growing. Survivors tell that some are professional soldiers, whilst others attack with a religious fervor.

Wagon Mistress Lyanna Fedo , is always on the prowl for husbands for her daughters. They are pretty enough but the eldest is near thirty, the next is married to a craftsman and the next are uncontainable and too contained, respectively. Fedo’s wagons are the ones most hurt by the cleftwood few. As a result, Arthur Kalzak of house Calisan is taking much of the secured trade at higher prices.

Someone has been filching coins from a small wayside shrine of Farlaghan, God of travel and roads.Ander Goodchild, the wandering priest thinks it may be a ghost or some spirit rather than a thief of flesh and blood.

There is a certain standing stone known as the pinestone outside of Rudo, in a sizeable copse of pine where hunters rarely find any game. There, it is known that if you put a request in writing for herbs, seeds, plants or pelts and suggested payment it will be taken care of discretely.

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