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Zol, 31 Lharvion, 999
Edgin Dowrik, Special Correspondent
Dear Readers, it is an exciting and frightening time for we devotees of the intrepid and courageous band of brethren and sistren known as Zach’s Commandos.

You will no doubt recall that at the time of this reporter’s last missive, the Commandos fended off a sudden and brutal attack by the agents of the Lord of Blades. Squad Seven, the doughty if inexperienced representatives of Rekkenmark Academy, provided valuable support, but were clearly overmatched both against and alongside our heroes. After dismantling the threat, Zach and company returned to the academy proper.

And here the real intrigue begins, dear readers! For those who have followed this band’s exploits, it cannot be far from your mind that all is not as it seems. This is certainly the case, as this reporter has discovered. After speaking with several students and faculty, it is now confirmed, gentle readers, that all is not peaceful in this academy of war! Not a fortnight hence, Dean of history and politics Alladir Tallheart was brutally murdered in his quarters. Another dean and former teacher of Zach himself, Mattasin d’Deneith, called on the commandos to assist in the murder investigation.

And it was well that he did! Yes, the conspiracy alluded to when our heroes arrived at the academy has proven more than mere whispers and shadows. Not one, but two dark cults have dwelled within these walls. One, mysterious enough that even this reporter could not yet delve its secrets, leaves death and woe in its wake. The other, far more familiar but no less terrifying, is none other than the Emerald Claw. And at this scaly hydra’s head, none other than headmaster Falkorin! Loyal readers will recall the praise so recently given to this man in these pages; please forgive this reporter, for I knew not the truth.

But let it be known now, dear readers! Calvin ir’Falkorin, headmaster of Rekkenmark, never renounced his ties to that once-legitimate organization, and turned with the Emerald Claw to terrorism and betrayal.

Upon this discovery, Zach and his team acted swiftly, reducing this criminal organization to refugee status in rapid order.

Yes, Falkorin, the decorated and once-vaunted veteran of the Last War, retired leader of the Karrnathi army, has been exposed as a traitor to his nation. And, as fits such a vile being, he has fallen to the efforts of those heroes, Zach’s Commandos!

Readers will forgive me now for indulging my quill, for the reports of students who witnessed Falkorin’s end were so awed, so astonished, that I cannot resist but to share. The Commandos were seen to approach a lecture hall where Falkorin was hidden with several of his minions, both living and undead. While some of the crew opened the doors to this villainous redoubt, Ajax, the ever-stalwart warrior-priest of the Sovereign Host, stood in the opening and, braving a hailstorm of arrows, shouted a prayer to his gods. At this benediction, a clamor arose within, and those nearby swore to me the sound was like that of stampeding cattle, the screams of the living and the clatter of the undead like desperate whispers beneath the storm of hoof and horn.

With the rank and file apparently finished, the rest of the Commandos entered the room with a clamorous shout, led by a charge from the thunderous warforged Vanguard. Zach, close behind, seemed ready to sunder the very walls with his rage. The wizardess “Z,” no doubt enraged by the traitor’s affront to her homeland, fired a volley of magical energy as she followed the troop. Holding the hall against attack from behind, the diminutive Raaksaat did not immediately join the fray, but seemed ready to put her bow to use if a foe presented itself.

At the rear of the lecture hall, Falkorin beat a hasty retreat, fleeing into a rear corridor. His escape lasted none too long, as more students witnessed the Commandos pour into the hall behind him, following despite grievous wounds clearly sustained in their battle. Falkorin, as one might expect from such a veteran, refused capture. Raising his sword in final salute, the arch-conspirator charged Zach, and was finally put down by the party.

But the ordeal did not end here! Having relieved the turncoat of his life, the commandos turned their attention to the other cult which held sway over the student population. With some unknown magic, this cult had killed several and promised to do so again. Alas, the group was too late to prevent the leader’s escape, but they did save the lives of several students—most from Squad Seven—tortured in his occult rituals.

Zach’s Commandos, somewhat the worse for wear, emerged victorious from this harrowing battle. But now they must deal with a more dangerous foe: the slippery causeway of bureaucracy. Suspected of capital crimes themselves, the heroes are besieged by officials from many quarters. At the time of this writing, representatives of House Deneith, House Sivis, and the Karrnathi Crown have descended upon Rekkenmark, and the fate, whether praise or prison, of these friends to the people remains unknown.


Wir, 1 Barrakas, 999

The past day, dear readers, has been full of revelation and import. You will recall, certainly, the harrowing battle with a powerful traitor fought by Zach’s Commandos, brought to you in fearsome detail in these very pages. And of course, the troubling conclusion, fate hanging in the balance of justice.

Although House Sivis demanded satisfaction for the attack of a Bonded Messenger, and the Karrnathi Crown was at first concerned for the destruction of one of its greatest cultural institutions, representatives of House Deneith spoke out for the Commandos. Combined with the patriotic action of expat sorceress Zinnastine, the Crown was convinced that the Heroes were not at fault, and has in fact rewarded them with a secret mission!

What this mission may be remains unknown, but it can be said the group was shown into a Deneith carriage, where they rested for some few hours and emerged miraculously healed, a miracle to make even the healers of Ghallanda jealous! No sooner had they left this clearly magical transport than the party was horsed and on their way to the south!

Although nothing is known of the Commandos’ destination or goals, this missive yet bears news! Yes, dear readers, quiet your concerns that your faithful reporter has nothing of interest to offer, for the discussions between the nobility and our heroes were none too silent, and witnesses have told all!

Of particular interest is the story of that most mysterious party member, Zinnastine. Although clearly a native to Karrnath, her deep-seated patriotism was never so clear as now. Loyalty to king and country brought her back to Rekkenmark, and loyalty for her family saw her through to the end. Aleph Kraal, leader of Squad Seven, is her younger brother, and though her actions saved his life, he remains gravely wounded. For his sake, and that of her nation, Zinnastine has taken on the mission presented to the group.

At this point, one must wonder: is the grim determination of the Karrnathi mage-captain superceding the charismatic freewheeling nature of Zach’s leadership? Will this group continue to follow two leaders? And, of primary concern: what mysteries lie to the south? Find out, dear readers, as it unfolds in the pages of the Korranberg Chronicle!


Zor, 2 Barrakas, 999

Loyal readers will recall that Zach’s Commandos were exonerated of all charges in the destruction of Rekkenmark Academy, and set a prestigious, if undisclosed, mission for Karrnath. Heading south in high spirits and at high speed, the group celebrated even as they moved toward their next trial.

Their victory celebration was not lengthy, however, as only yesterday the Commandos departed the city of Rekkenmark and headed South, to destinations unknown! Before their departure, this reporter witnessed them in close consultation with the upper echelons of House Deneith, and can confirm for you that Roanne Sealock, a formidable-looking envoy of the House, has been dispatched with the Commandos – to what ends, I do not know. There is safety in numbers, but perhaps not in all cases! More information will follow as your faithful correspondent obtains it.
While I cannot tell you their aims or destination, gentle reader, I CAN tell you that their trip has already proven to be anything but peaceful! This reporter has learned to follow the Commandos at a safe distance, and I am glad that I have done so, for along the road in their wake, I came upon a scene and heard a tale that may well upset your dinner! I recommend that you set this paper aside until you may sit quietly, and process unsettling news.

A violent ambush awaited the Commandos on the road south of Rekkenmark, described to this reporter by the sole survivor, barely able to flee the scene with his life. Beset by terrifying assailants, Zach and his cohorts struggled to contain a situation literally burning down around them. Animated undead and unnatural sorcery assaulted them from all sides, but all members of the party acquitted themselves with courage and valor – even the diminutive Raaksaat, according to our witness’ report (a detail this reporter had to verify twice, in disbelief).

No reliable evidence exists regarding the exact identity of the perpetrators of this ambush, but I can report for you, dear reader, that their fervor for the destruction of Zach’s noble cadre was sufficient to justify not only pyromancy and the dark arts of necromancy, but the sacrifice of an innocent band of weary travelers, including at least one precious child. Led by a fearsome apparition claimed by our sole surviving witness to be a lich (a LICH, dear readers!), this band of brigands proved in the end to be no match for our stalwart heroes.

But we must remember, the Commandos are only on the opening steps of their latest journey! Who can say what horrors await? Whatever they may be, you will be sure to learn about them here in the pages of the Korranberg Chronicle.

Recent Events

After the “training session,” the party accompanied Mattasin to the warforged wizard’s cell. During the interrogation, Z made it clear that she has much more history with the warforged than she’s let on, and it’s left a pretty big chip on her shoulder. The wizard revealed he was working on behalf of the Lord of Blades, though not under any direct orders. The ’forged raid on the academy was made possible by a tipoff from a mysterious small person, one who sounds an awful lot like the same fellow who sent the rogues after the party in the street.

Before the party left the cell, Dean Nathalis, the spymaster, interrupted and held a brief powwow with Z which hinted at an Emerald Claw conspiracy within the academy. The party then decided to have a chat with the school’s Headmaster, Dean Calvin ir’Falkorin.

Falkorin was largely cooperative, though it was clear his sympathies lay with the Emerald Claw—or at least the original Claw, before they were disbanded by the state. He had little to say about the current state of the organization aside from that they were misguided and should know better than to act as terrorists. The interview was cut short when a student burst into the room and had a brief conversation with the headmaster. Falkorin, agitated despite his unflappable demeanor, ejected the party from his office and quickly left, himself.

During the brief interlude, Zeke was able to see a document on Falkorin’s desk, a request through House Sivis to gain access to someone’s personnel files. Where the request was sent and whose file was requested was not discovered.

Through the secret passages of the walls, Raaksaat was able to eavesdrop on much of Falkorin’s conversation, discovering that a pair of students had been killed. Later, another student and Dean ir’Kerrith (the lady-dwarf and retired Karrnathi Corporal) were dispatched to dispose of the bodies.

Revealing that she was technically a deserter, Z explained that the file request was probably for her own dossier, and that Falkorin may be seeking to execute her—and likely the rest of the party by association— for treason. With this in mind, the party split: Z, Zeke and Vanguard followed Dean ir’Kerrith on her mission to get rid of the students’ corpses while Raaksaat and Ajax stood watch to intercept the House Sivis messenger with the file.

Moving into a series of tunnels beneath the academy, the trio of PCs followed Kerrith to a disused infirmary in another wing of the school. Kerrith and her companion brought a pair of bodies from the infirmary into the tunnels, where the party moved to intercept them. Z immediately fascinated the student, moving him out of harm’s way. Kerrith proved a canny fighter, especially in the close quarters of a subterranean tunnel, and nearly incapacitated the party. She took a moment to explain that she cared little for the deaths of a traitress and her companions, and that they had no clearance to enter the notoriously unsafe tunnels anyway. With that, she began to bring the walls down around them. A series of rays from Zeke and Z took her down before any lasting damage could be done.

Investigation details, and news from the Korranberg Chronicle

The party has continued their investigation into the murder of Aladir Tallheart, a half-elven dean at Rekkenmark Military Academy. The party’s contact in the academy is Dean Mattasin d’Deneith, a man most helpful in the investigation. Here’s what the PCs have discovered so far:

  • Tallheart was stabbed to death, twice in the back and twice in the front.
  • The chest wounds are evenly spaced and supernaturally clean, denoting some form of magical blade. Whether the wounds were two precisely placed thrusts with a single weapon, a single thrust with an exotic twin-bladed weapon, or two simultaneous thrusts with identical weapons is unclear.
  • The man who found the body, a maintenance worker named Kamik, didn’t know the dean well. He found him on his normal rounds.
  • The Rekkenmark City Police, helmed by Marshall Bertem Fellwake, are also investigating the murder, and seem disinclined to be particularly helpful.
  • Tallheart’s room was fairly orderly. Out of place were two used goblets (sans decanter or bottle), a chair that clearly was not where it belonged (it appears to have moved suddenly, as if someone stood up from it quickly), and several stacks of papers that had been rifled through and left on the floor.
  • One of those stacks was a manuscript. Tallheart appears to have been working on a military history of Karrnath. Z made a copy of those pages, but has yet to peruse them. The other papers were essays and other class materials. The victim had not yet graded any of them. Pursuant to this discovery, Mattasin is getting a class roster for Tallheart’s sections.
  • Although Tallheart’s door was not forced open at all (and, according to Kamik, was rarely locked), the door to the Deans’ Wing was picked recently, and by someone with a high level of skill.
  • The goblets were standard issue from the school’s kitchens. Denieth is also finding the staff on duty in the Deans’ Commissary the night of the murder.
  • The murder was not, it seems, part of a theft; Tallheart was discovered still wearing a valuable gold necklace and his belt pouch was full of coins.

After their visit to the police department and Marshall Fellwake, the PCs were ambushed in the city streets by a band of rogues. One of the brigands escaped with his life, but the party was able to capture the other two and save the life of the coach driver. No doubt the interrogation of these assailants will be the first order of business next week.

Also on the docket: the party’s much-anticipated training exhibition! Those PCs who stayed at the academy during the trip into town will have heard students discussing their presence. There is an undercurrent of great excitement as the population prepares to see the best squad of fighters at the school face off against one of Khorvaire’s most famous adventuring groups.

The following excerpts from the Korranberg Chronicle have a publishing date of 25 Lharvion, the morning following the events of the previous two sessions. The PCs will have no opportunity to see these articles until their evening has ended.

Wir, 25 Lharvion, 999
Edgin Dowrik, Special Correspondent

For the first time, Dear Readers, we have the singular opportunity to see the greatest heroes of our age at work! Yes, tomorrow, in a pitched imbroglio with the best officer candidates in the world, Zach’s Commandos will display their battle prowess before a live audience. Rekkenmark Academy, long the training grounds for our continent’s greatest generals, has called the group in as part of a series of training exercises intended to give students “real world” experience in a world at peace for the first time in over a century.

This reporter, at great personal risk and expense, has arrived in Rekkenmark to bring you, Gentle Reader, a blow-by-blow synopsis of what is sure to be an epic fight! Students at the academy are, certainly, rooting for their home team, the illustrious and well-decorated Squad Seven.
Squad Seven has a long history of victory, spanning generations of Rekkenmark students. The squad, in one form or another, has existed for nearly all of Rekkenmark’s nearly 900-year history, but first rose to the public eye during the Lycanthropic Purge. Led by a young paladin of the Silver Flame, the squad rid the northwest of Karrnath of countless wrebeasts. During the Last War, the squad saw a great deal of action as the living soldiers of Karrnath’s armies shrank in number. In 952, the squad, led by a young colonel in the Karrnathi army, defended Karrnath’s southern border while the fortress of Loren Rath awaited reinforcements. That colonel eventually became a full general; after retiring, Calvin ir’Falkorin returned to the school that forged him, now as its headmaster.

“These peacetime recruits run the risk of going soft,” Falkorin said. “These training exercises are one of the best means we have of testing their resolve under fire. I have no doubt Squad Seven will acquit themselves well against these paramilitary upstarts.”

The General’s disdain may be misplaced, as longtime readers are well aware. Zach’s Commandos have a history of their own, and one that includes military service throughout the Five Nations and Khorvaire. Aleph Kraal, the current leader of Squad Seven, has reason to be cautious.

“The Commandos have more battlefield experience individually than the entirety of the Squad, combined,” Kraal confided. “And at least one of them was trained by the Karrnathi military. They are certainly less organized than any of Rekkenmark’s squads, but that doesn’t mean they are a threat to be dismissed. Still, with the right preparation and due diligence, I’m confident Squad Seven will prevail even against this veteran force.”

Yes, Dear Readers! Tomorrow’s events promise to be full of tension and wonder! This reporter, along with the throngs of students and Karrnathi citizens, will be there to recount this conflict to you. You’ll only read it, as always, in the Korranberg Chronicle!

Wir, 25 Lharvion, 999

A group of six, male, first-year Academy students were detained, along with four male human citizens, for fighting in a public street. The cause of the fight was apparently over placing odds on the upcoming Exhibition at the Academy. The betmaster, a male citizen, was arrested for operating an unlawful gambling operation, and awaits hearing. The other offenders were released on promise of good behavior.

Special Delivery!

The Korranberg Chronicle is proud to do its part to support higher education across Khorvaire. To this end, the campuses of Rekkenmark Academy, Morgrave University, Wynarn University, The Combined Colleges of the Church of the Silver Flame, and all Orphanages, Seminaries and Academies of the Sovereign Host are each given a complimentary population-based subscription to the premiere news periodical on Khorvaire. If it happens in the Five Nations, you’ll read about it in the Korranberg Chronicle!

Zol, 24 Lharvion, 999
Edouard Kirod, Reporter

The skies over Thrane were lit by fiery blasts early this morning. Witnesses report a distant sound like thunder and a series of orange explosions.

Gered Biran, a shepherd near Daskaran, saw the celestial event. “Naw, this was closer to the ground than some shardfall. I saw explosions just like that in the War. Someone tossed off a few bottles of fire, the shadows looked like they hit an airship. Poor saps. Someone on that ship was a mage, you mark that! Big ol’ fireball in the sky.”

Speculation abounds regarding the source of these explosions, but it seems likely some aerial conflict has occurred. House Deneith spokespeople have declined comment about any operations in the area, and House Lyrandar has confirmed there are no official House airships using such a route. It is also possible an adventuring group is involved. Current knowledge is that the League of the Violet Rose is in the Shadow Marches, and the paramilitary Drake Dragoon has undertaken a quest to Argonnessen. Of the groups with the resources to either charter or attack an airship, only Zack’s Commandos is known to be nearby.


Zol, 24 Lharvion, 999

A group of human males was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy against the Crown. Arrest occurred 24 minutes after Fifth Bell. Emerald Claw paraphernalia was discovered hidden among their personal effects. Four conspirators will be placed in the stocks at Center Market for three days. A fifth will be publicly executed, by hanging, this Sar, 28 Lharvion, 999. Execution will take place at the gallows at Center Market.

Five counts of stolen food were reported in Center Market. Three suspects were apprehended, identified, and punished by the lash.

A brawl was broken apart at The Phylactery. Four human males, two dwarven males and one female, and one changeling were arrested as instigators. The humans and dwarves will remain imprisoned for two days unless released to bail. The changeling will be placed in the stocks at Center Market for two days.

A skeleton was mistakenly loosed in the tanning district, injuring three human females. The necromancer responsible has been fined 250gp plus medical expenses.

Two students on leave from the Academy were arrested for public drunkenness. Custody was transferred to the Academy.


Zol, 24 Lharvion, 999
Holben Marsh, Reporter

VARNA— House Orien’s latest foray into the Reach has hit another snag, according to house spokespeople.

The House recently completed a lightning rail route from Passage, in Aundair, to the small Reach city of Varna. Orien now hopes to extend the route into the Reaches, connecting the port of Merylsward to a greater trade hub. The project has met with several problems along the way.
Yoren d’Orien, foreman for the project, explains the latest snag. “We originally hoped to bring the rail along the same path as the existing trade roads, through Redleaf and on up the Wynarn River. Unfortunately, that ground proved too rocky and steep, so we had to find an alternate path.”

The Wynarn River flows northward from Lake Galifar to Eldeen Bay, dropping in altitude through some of Khorvaire’s most spectacular waterfalls. Lightning rail coaches do not work smoothly over such sudden drops in terrain.

“We determined, after surveying the land, that a direct route to the town of Alvirad would work well, skirting the farmlands of Wolf’s Paw and avoiding forests. Then, we would have to cut a 50-foot-wide swath through the northern forest to reach Merylsward.”

And there, dear reader, do we see the problem. Aspen Softpaw, representative of the Wardens of the Wood, was on hand to discuss the issue.

“When we agreed to open the deep Reach to Orien’s ‘expeditionary taskforce,’ it was not to allow the wholesale destruction of over 60 miles of forest. The proposed route to Alvirad is difficult enough. The Wardens agree that greater trade through the Reach is necessary if we are to support our population, but this is too great a cost.”

The two factions have once again sat down to discuss the possibilities for Orien’s future in the region.

“I will say, despite the issues we’ve had, I appreciate the Wardens’ willingness to look for a solution,” said d’Orien. “The Reach is a friendlier place than many I’ve worked. I know we’ll find a way to bring the Reach’s offerings to a wider population.”


Zol, 24 Lharvion, 999
Carinna Devnan, Reporter

GHALT—Here in the southeastern fields of Aundair, the night air is often rent with the wails and cries of the tormented dead. The Crying Fields, site of innumerable battles across history, is rife with the spirits of the fallen. The Fields are often aglow with luminous wisps of spirit matter, drifting through the tall grass, moaning their torment to the world. Recently, however, it seems the souls of the dead have grown increasingly restless.

“Oh, yes. They’re much less quiet this season.” Filomena Resally is a housekeeper on the Nathis estate on the edge of the Crying Fields. “The vineyards go right up to the edge of the Fields. You can always tell the wine made from those grapes—tastes like copper and iron—Lady Nathis uses a special label for that. ‘Blood and Swords,’ she calls it. Oh, but look at me go on. I can see the Fields from my cottage. If I wait too late to bring in the laundry, and have to go out after dark, I can see ’em, floating around and wailing.”

Resally is used to the spirits now. She grew up in the area east of Ghalt, and has seen them often. “We used to go right up to the wall, there, see who could stay the longest. But now, I wouldn’t play those silly games. Recent nights, the whole field has been covered in ghostlight. I have to pull the curtains just to sleep. And the moaning keeps my little ones up!”
Experts are unsure as to why the Fields are so active at this point in time. Fergus ir’Sallasin, a local historian and self-described “planar cosmologian,” has an extensive knowledge of the Fields and their history.

“In times that Dolurrh has been coterminous to our prime material plane, the Fields have shown greater activity. But Dolurrh is deep in its declension now, and will be entirely remote next year,” Sallasin explained. “There are other possibilities, but for the kind of activity we’ve seen recently, some kind of powerful necromancy would have to be at work.”
But Sallasin doesn’t believe that’s the case, either.

“My studies show a heretofore unknown alignment of planes is about to occur. Not only that, but I have discovered a plane never before known, one which I believe connects several of the darker planes on a cosmic level. I have named the plane Salazar, and expect to publish a treatise on the plane and its properties within the next year. It is my stipulation that this upheaval in the Fields is a symptom of Salazar’s connectivity with several planes, and that when our material world melds coterminously with the realms of Salazar, we’ll see even more of this sort of activity across Eberron.”

Other scholars disagree. Verelain, the Chief Mentor of Planar Studies at Arcanix, had this response.

“Although it is true that Dolurrh is fading into its remote stages, Shavarath, the plane of eternal battle, will become coterminous to our plane within the next year. Daanvi recently entered the second phase of its declension, as well. Both these planes may affect the Crying Fields, and the receding power of Daanvi may allow the rising strength of Shavarath greater sway than it normally would hold.”

When Shavarath is coterminous—a state which will last nearly a full year—ancient battlefields the world over grow restless, and storms of blades and blood are known to join the spirits of the dead.

“As for Sallasin’s—I hesitate to call them, theories— regarding a new plane in the cosmos,” Verelain added, “I can assure you, no such thing has come to pass.”

Even Sallasin’s neighbors have more reason to trust the esteemed mentor of Arcanix.
“It’s not my place to speak ill of my betters,” Ms. Resally explained, “but that Sallasin’s always been a bit cracked. Running around in the Fields of a night, shouting at the skies…I’ll just keep shutting my curtains. Can’t worry myself about his snarks and gremkins, now can I?”

Events Update

The party, traveling with a House Deneieth trainee squad, found themselves in the middle of an aerial combat on their way to Karrnath. Responding just behind the Denieth soldiers, the PCs burst onto the top deck to find the airship surrounded by flying attackers, each wearing a nondescript black uniform. The PCs lent aid, eventually discovering through skill checks and common sense this was actually a training exercise. Z and Ajax bonded over jerky as they watched the carnage unfold. The trainees were clearly outmatched, though they fought well, and, due to a well-timed mass cure from Ajax eventually managed to prevail.

The rest of the trip passed uneventfully (Raaksaat played hide-and-seek, mostly by herself), and the party has now landed at a Denieth enclave in the city of Rekkenmark, a short trip away from Rekkenmark Academy. After a brief chat with Hostbrother Othin Aureonson and his friend Lafelia Kharash’kal (the overseer of the training and the sniper, respectively), the PCs met up with Mattasin and are now ready to bundle into a coach for the trip to RekAcad.

(As a side note to those who like their flavor flavorful: “Hostbrother” is a term for high-ranking priesthood in the Church of the Sovereign Host, and “Aureonson” is a surname given to one who was raised by the Church and trained as a scholar or mage. Other such orphan-names include “Boldreisdaughter,” “Korranson,” and, in the Church of the Silver Flame, “Flamechild.” Also: Lafelia’s half-orc heritage and her last name both indicate she hails originally from the Shadow Marches. I hope you found this information piquant, perhaps with a touch of oakiness.)

Before travel to RekAcad begins, does anyone need anything on the Denieth enclave? The quartermaster has cheap supplies of the mundane variety, if anyone needs to visit the army surplus store.

Once travel begins, Mattasin will begin to fill in the party. Mostly, he speaks to Zeke, but his matter-of-fact sitrep still manages to encompass you all.

“Dean Aladir Tallheart was easily the most moderate of the council. He was also very astute, with a mind well-trained by centuries of experience. My suspicion is that he knew something that made him dangerous…to whom, I don’t know, but I see no reason to believe his murder was a crime of passion. His students loved him—I think he was a bit lenient—and he was always friendly with other faculty, other than Falkorin. The other deans won’t like it that you’re here, but I suspect you can take care of yourselves well enough. Just treat them with a certain amount of courtesy; you know how puffed-up old brass can be.”

“Dean Falkorin and I were the first to hear of the murder. A groundskeeper found the body during routine morning rounds; garbage collection and the like. The man—Etson Kamik—panicked, no surprise, but came straight to us. We immediately convened the Deans, as we typically handle this sort of thing ourselves, but Falkorin suggested we hand the investigation to Karrnathi police, since it involved one of the Council itself. I opposed the measure, as did Dean Nathalis, but Colin—that’s Dean Colin d’Vadalis—and Kerrith (he spits that last name, as if it tastes bitter) fell in line.”

“I doubt any students were directly involved; the dean’s quarters are well removed and quite secure. I would start, if not with the deans themselves, with Kamik and the other maintenance staff. I also only barely saw the body before we handed it off to the Karrnathi—Marshall Fellwake, his name—so you might see if that’s an option.”

“as for the deans…Colin is an old friend; he’s gruff, but there’s no better hand with an animal. I’ve seen him soothe cockatrices. In battle! He teaches logistical support and cavalry tactics. Most students find him off-putting—his approach is somewhat …earthy, you might say—but he’s fair and even-tempered. I was surprised he went along with Falkorin’s motion, but he later told me he sees the sense in a third party, especially if I think one of the others is involved.

“Jenam ir’Nathalis is our Dean of Foppery. Man’s a twink, if you ask me. He mostly teaches courtly behavior and interpersonal politics, but—and this is a secret to most students and faculty, mind you—he’s also a former spymaster to the court of Aundair, and he teaches a small number of students those arts, as well. The poisoning and such I have no use for, but the intelligence that man must possess…the fact that he voted against Falkorin tells me he knows something, but for good or ill I can’t decide.

“Then there’s the old wall of bones himself. Calvin ir’Falkorin, although you—and you especially, captain, if you’re going to wear that coat—can just call him “General” or “Sir,” is an ancient old sot with a long history of putting other men in the ground. He retired from active duty nearly twenty years ago when he was appointed to teach here. Plenty of ribbons on his chest, could have enjoyed a pleasant pension somewhere, but confused the hell out of everyone in Karrnath by coming here. It certainly wasn’t because he enjoys teaching. Even so, there’s a reason he wore stars. Man knows the names of nearly every student here and the faces of all the rest. Knows which ones are top of the class, but also sees potential leaders in the flunks. He’s possessive, too, which is why tossing this out to the police surprised me.

“Oh. And the dwarf. Eanna ir’Kerrith. A colonel, captain, although she doesn’t care to be reminded of it. And if you call her “sir,” she’ll take it as a racial slur on account of the beard. She’s prickly, and angry, and disagreeable even when it hurts her’ and she’s the best damn sapper I’ve ever bloody seen. The bitch knows how to build, and even better how to bring things down. If it comes down to it, she’ll usually side with Falkorin—war buddies, and all—but if she can manage, she’ll just tell us all to fuck ourselves."

More News From the Chronicle

Wir, 4 Lharvion, 999
Pellith Jorseed, Reporter

The bizarre theft of several tons of merchandise delivered to the fifty-seventh level of historic Morik Tower came to an end last night, as a group of Sharn Watchmen discovered the stockpile of product on an abandoned warehouse level.

“All the stolen items have been accounted for, including several crates discovered at a separate location,” said Watch Captain Jarrik Dolom, the officer in charge of the task force. When asked to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the thefts, Dolom declined comment.
The bulk of the stolen material was discovered two levels below the thief’s hunting grounds, in a long-abandoned section of Marik Tower. Locals typically stay clear of the level, knowing many of the floors are rotten through.

“I wouldn’t go up there. Most of us on five-four have spent the money to reinforce our ceilings, that’s how bad it is!” Kelben Farth, a warehouse foreman in Morik Tower, has worked there for 34 years. “Someone would have to be really stupid to store that much up there. Stupid, or weightless!”

Other witnesses to the Watch’s activities have confirmed a small pallet of Talenta merchandise was found near the entrance to a disused warehouse owned by House Cannith on level 57. Though Dolom again declined comment, area workers confirm that windows and a door to that warehouse were broken open, indicating the thief was likely surprised in his work and forced to flee. Charred crates and a splintered cargo hatch point to a likely battle, although no witnesses were present to confirm such speculation. Some, however, gave insight into the nature of the thief. Fellerick Drist is a caretaker for a nearby warehouse on level 57.

“I saw somethin’, sure! A floating metal face, almost as high as my window! Like a warforged, but flying, and no body! And not long after, there was this great bird, looked made of rock. Strange theft, strange people…I know they’re connected!”

Besides a floating head and a bird-construct, Drist saw little. " I just put my head back down on my pillow, though, and rolled right back over. Too much magic there for me. And if those warforged can run around without a body now, I want no part! But you believe it, I called that Dolom first thing the morn."

Possible motives to the theft are still unknown; aside from their Talenta origins, the stolen goods were disparate in nature, ranging from textiles to herbal remedies and dinosaur hides. All the items have been returned, and shoppers throughout Sharn can rest easy knowing there will be no shortage of halfling-made product this season.


Wir, 4 Lhavion, 999
Edgin Dowrik, Special Correspondent

SHARN—Although the officers of Sharn’s City Watch recovered the stolen goods in Morik Tower, they were unable to capture any wrongdoers. Events last night suggest that not only are there criminals still at work, but the intrepid inquisitorial force of Zack’s Commandos is in the forefront of the investigation!

Only days after their exploits in Xen’drik, the group of adventuring heroes has already resurfaced in Sharn, leaving no time for your servant of the scribe to rest! Never one to shirk his duties, this reporter is already on the trail of this breaking story, speaking to those closest to Zack and his team.

“Brother Ajax is simply the best man for most jobs,” piped Salliwether Fairgood, a novice in the Church of the Sovereign Host. “I was so honored to be part of a small group selected to go with him into Morik Tower.” The diminutive neophyte, clearly overcome by the experience of working with so great a man, paused in her morning training to give you, Gentle Readers, the latest stories surrounding Ajax the warrior priest and the other Commandos. “We went late at night, me and a few other novices, Brother Ajax, and his companions. There was the wizardess—she’s a grim one, she is—and a giant stone man, I suppose he must have been warforged. While we watched the elevators, he turned into a great bird and patrolled the alleys from the sky!”

And here we have the crux of the matter, Dear Readers: yet another new addition to the roster. With the skilled bow of Elgon nowhere in evidence, and the untimely disappearance of the Kalashtar Maellana Lashtari, Zach has refilled his ranks with another spell-slinger, the sour-faced Karrnathi known only as Z, and a shapeshifting warforged, apparently of considerable size! Ms. Fairgood’s narrative describes the night before Captain Dolom of the Watch recovered the stolen goods:

“We novices spotted a floating arm moving down a road near the elevators. Brother Ajax, the warforged and I found a trail; it appeared there was a creature of some sort moving invisibly. It must have stepped out of the bounds of the spell just enough for us to see its limb. We followed it to a warehouse, where the door flew open and the chase was on in earnest! As the invisibility wore off, a pallet of crates dropped from about three feet in the air to block the doorway. The wizardess and Ajax both took to the air, and the warforged too! As I climbed past the makeshift barricade, they flew over it or through windows. Inside, there was a large warforged-looking creature trying to break through the floor hatch, and the wizardess and I began to take care of him while Brother Ajax and our warforged went after a still-invisible attacker. At one point, there was a huge explosion, much like the fireballs they hurl during our military training, and then a crazy glow like that of a dragonmark—”

At this point, Dear Readers, Ms. Fairgood was pulled back to her studies by a stern acolyte. But it is now clear to us, Zack’s Commandos are behind the actions which brought the thief to justice! The unexpected presence of a warforged beast, invisibly stalking the roads of Sharn and stealing apparently with little reason, causes us to wonder: what other atrocities has Cannith created, causing crime rates to catastrophically climb in our communities? For who else could be behind such a robotic terror? And the presence of a dragonmark, powerful enough to resonate so vividly in a young novice’s memory, points clearly to one of the Great Houses. Merrix d’Cannith, the populace demands to know what you do within your sanctum mechanum! What other fearful things have you wrought?

And, as always, Dear Readers, this reporter will not rest until you know all there is to know about these goings-on. Did Ajax and his team capture the mysterious villain? These pages, and nowhere else, will illuminate the truth!


Zor, 5 Lharvion, 999
Edgin Dowrik, Special Correspondent

SHARN—Two nights running, the streets of Morik Tower have been witness to the pursuit of truth by none other than that band of quick-thinking stalwarts, Zack’s Commandos!

After their explosive encounter with a shrouded assailant Wir evening which resulted in the recovery of all stolen goods, this fighting force returned to Morik tower to continue their search for the thwarted criminal. Workers on level 54, already terrified by the city’s inability to maintain the levels above their heads, were startled by the sudden collapse of the ceiling above them.

“Yeah, there was that warforged they always have with them, Valence or summat, and that woman with the witch-streak. Plus a goblin, I think, and of course Zedd himself!” Alfie Melmac was working late last night, inventorying his uncle’s textiles warehouse. “They just come on crashing down, all surprised-like, well, except for that lady. She just come right on down, all floatin’ like nothin’s goin’ on, her coat all billowed out. Woulda been pretty if she didn’t look right peeved. Then they all look around, like they’s searchin’ somethin’ up, and run off outta there, back to the lift.”

A cave-in, Gentle Readers! Perhaps a dastardly trap left by their nefarious quarry. Undaunted, our heroes returned whence they came, still in determined pursuit of the master criminal. Information now grows scarce, but this reporter will not fail! For those of you less inoculated against the unsavory nature of the world, suffice to say stubborn memories will tumble forth, if the questioner shows the right “mettle.” A sky-truck operator, who remains nameless, told me this:

“Yeah, I ferried a group like that last night. Had an odd lump with them in a handcart, mighta been man-sized.”

Unsurprising, then, that Zack’s Commandos have once again prevailed! Their quarry caught, the team returned to their headquarters. Our hats are off to you, Zack’s Commandos! And time will tell what adventures you may next undertake!


Far, 6 Lharvion, 999

A dwarven citizen reported being drugged and robbed by a goblin, female and less than four feet in height. Suspect may have had human accomplice, female and nondescript. Reporting citizen visibly inebriated at time of report. Incident occurred evening of 5 Lharvion or early morning of 6 Lharvion. Report filed and descriptions of suspect given to all watch patrols.


Sar, 7 Lharvion, 999
Pellith Jorseed, Reporter

SHARN—The southern branch of House Cannith has disavowed any connection to the apparent production of a new type of warforged, a House spokesman said in a news conference last night.
Recent thefts in Sharn’s warehouse district were, according to eyewitness accounts (Wir, “Zack’s Commandos Back in Sharn”), perpetrated by a large warforged, of a type previously unknown, aided by a dragonmarked individual. House Cannith South has denied the warforged nature of the thief and admits no connection to the dragonmarked person.

“Cannith South has examined the golem involved in the Morik thefts, and found nothing approaching the level of complexity or intelligence required to successfully animate a sentient construct,” said Fennick d’Cannith, close aide to Baron Merrix d’Cannith. “The golem was, in fact, a construct developed recently by Cannith South and stolen from its testing grounds. The golem was apparently modified before its use as a thieving aid.” The spokesman continued, “As to the rumor of a dragonmarked entity involved in the thefts, I can personally assure you that all dragonmarked scions of House Cannith known to Cannith South are accounted for and had no involvement in the Morik incident.”

The Cannith aide also touched on other rumors tangential to the thefts: “Cannith South continues to state, and I cannot be clear enough about this, there are no working creation forges in Sharn or any Cannith South holdings. Although we are concerned for the eventual decline in warforged population, Cannith South has no desire, nor do we possess the means, to break the Thronehold Treaty through the resumption of warforged production.”

Special to the Korranberg Chronicle
Edgin Dowrik, Independent Correspondent

STORMREACH—Only days after their triumphant return from up the Rachi River, Zach’s Commandos have vanished once more! The doughty adventurers arrived with little fanfare, debarking from the cagey Chinxero’s modest and unassuming craft. From there, they quickly approached the Morgrave expedition headed by Provost Baris Kaven. Never one to shirk his responsibilities to you, Dear Readers, this reporter quickly approached the good captain.

“Dunno what they wanted, don’t care either,” Chinxero was good enough to say. Undaunted, this reporter applied his powers of persuasion to further loosen the river-dog’s tongue. “Took ‘em upriver a few days, then waited while they went inland. Was surprised they came back, but I brought ’em home. The rest is their business, so I’ll be on my way.”

Before he’d gone too far, Chinxero was persuaded to share this information: “It’s known well enough the river is dangerous. We were attacked on the way, by a few of those filthy Yuan-ti. Took one of my crew. Damn fools, those adventurers…but they know how to fight. Now quit follerin’ me!”

So there it is, Dear Readers! Bloodshed on the river, and an epic battle between the civilization of Khorvaire and the wild savages of Xen’drik! One can only imagine the clash of steel and claw, the darkly imposing reptilian bulk of a Yuan-ti Abomination emerging from the muddy depths of the river, only to be cut down by the efficient marriage of spell and steel, the forces of night repelled by the flash of spellfire off the brightly forged steel of the Sovereign Host!

And, Dear Reader, it did not slip this reporters’ notice that Chinxero let fall a new piece of knowledge, hidden in this melee: for leagues down the Rachi, the Yuan-ti menace has been pushed back, all but eradicated. For a group to boldly attack even Chinxero’s modest vessel is nearly unheard of. Is it possible Zach’s Commandos have traveled farther than thought possible? What jungle depths have they delved in these brief weeks? Ever questing for the truth, this reporter followed the group.

Provost Kaven’s “assistant,” a brightly-attired student, refused access to the Provost, claiming he was in a private meeting. Thinking only of you, Dear Readers, this reporter objected strenuously to this obstruction of the Press and was most brutally restrained by the more strapping individuals in the camp. After enduring their collegial hazing for some hours, I saw the Provost emerge from his tent, escorting none other than Zach’s Commandos to the perimeter! The odd Karrnathi woman, who you will recall arrived in Stormreach with Kaven, left with the group after companionably shaking hands with her former paramour. What ache must have twisted the provost’s heart, losing his companion to the siren call of adventure and glory!

What, you say? That there is no evidence of their love? I approached the Provost then, to discern what I could.

“What, Z? Ha! That’s a tree you shouldn’t climb, I assure you!” Clearly the armored response of a broken heart, the poor man.

But, Dear Readers, we have discovered this newcomer’s nom de guerre, “Z,” a most enigmatic sobriquet, indeed. But what of the party’s purpose? Why the protracted powwow in the provost’s pavilion? Where did they go, and with what have they returned? Kaven was more interested in diving into his academic studies once more, burying his lovelorn heart in his work, than in speaking to the press. Sympathetic to his loss, this reporter prepared to leave. But serendipity struck, Dear Reader, in the form of the very assistant who so rudely rebuffed our inquiries before. Emerging from the Provost’s tent with a shiny object in hand, the lad seemed unable to restrain his fervor.

“Provost! Where did these coins come from,” the youth exclaimed. “They are so clearly struck, and obviously from the sixth dynasty! These can tell us so much than this excava—” The Provost stopped the student with a sudden shove and a stifled shout, but already the sense of the matter had slipped.

Ancient coins from Xen’drik, unexpectedly discovered on the Provost’s desk. Clearly Zach has led his team deep into the continent, exploring the cyclopean ruins of the long-dead giants! These coins, a parting gift from his lady, have given us, Dear Reader, the final clues to the mystery of this expedition. We can only guess what artifacts the adventurers have discovered, and where they will take them now. But fear not, Dear Readers! This reporter remains alert, as ever!

Edgin Dowrik, Independent Correspondent

STORMREACH— Normally home to stodgy old archaeologists and self-styled “prehistoric anthropologists,” Stormreach may actually see some action in the near future. Late last night, this correspondent witnessed the entrance to the city of a group readers of the Chronicle have come to know quite well in recent months: Zach’s Commandos! This mercenary adventuring group out of Sharn was last seen, less than a week ago, cleaning up a group of Karrnathi zombies loose in the City of Tower’s middle district. How did they get to Stormreach so quickly, and why? Only time will tell, but this correspondent suspects a clandestine operation at the behest of a rich patron! What could they need in the dense jungles of Xen’drik?

We may find some clues among Stormreach’s other recent arrivals. Frequent readers may recall last week’s arrival of Morgrave University’s Provost Baris Kaven and his teaching expedition. Though this is a fairly routine expedition, Kaven’s class includes an unusual companion in the form of a mysterious, but apparently quite capable, woman. All attempts by this correspondent to speak with her have been firmly rebuffed, but keen observation provides a few suggestions.Shewalks slowly, but dresses in the no-nonsense style of a Karrnathi soldier and views everything with a cold, tactical gaze, so it is likely she is a veteran of that nation’s army (and perhaps connected to the Commandos’ recent imbroglio in Sharn!). She seems friendly with the Provost, and set up a potent arcane perimeter around the Morgrave encampment outside town, so she may be protecting something hidden amongst this apparently commonplace expedition’s supplies. Something, perhaps, the Commandos are here to collect!

There’s also the small matter of an unnamed privateer airship that passed through two days ago, resupplying before flying deeper into the continent. The Commandos may already be days behind in a race to some mysterious treasure! That unmarked vessel clearly had urgent business, as it docked only long enough to take on supplies. This correspondent can report the captain—an ugly character with a scarred face—paid well, speaking briefly to the dockmaster before departing. When interviewed shortly afterward, the dockmaster’s silence reeked of gold. If these privateers are the Commandos’ target, our heroes will need all their resources and cunning to catch them.

Whatever the reason for their sudden and speedy trip to Xen’drik, the journey has taken its toll on the adventurers. Party leader Zach Erim showed signs of recently healed injuries, and his loyal second, the warrior priest Ajax of the Sovereign Host, seemed somewhat bruised as they entered the city, although the elven archer Elgon seemed unflappable as ever. The Warforged Vanguard, however, had clearly sustained heavy damage, though it had been hastily repaired. Nowhere in evidence was the lovely and brash Kalashtar, Maellana Lashtari, her absence a noticeable shadow amongst the group. Is her absence sign of a covert mission, or has something more sinister befallen the psionic vixen? This correspondent will do his best to find out!

EDITOR’S NOTE—Readers will recall Chronicle coverage of the previous exploits of Zach’s Commandos. Most recently, the aforementioned battle in Sharn’s middle district, and shortly prior to that the salvation of a group of passengers aboard an Orien Lightning Rail coach. In that incident, frequent readers will recall, forces loyal to the Lord of Blades and a band of mercenary halflings attacked the Rail coach. Although the Orien operators did not survive, the fearless action of the Commandos ensured the service crew and all passengers aboard were well protected. Passengers especially lauded the quick thinking of Ms. Lashtari as she brought down several of the halflings single-handed. The group rose to recognition after their help in taking down an organized crime ring in Sharn.


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