Chapter 6 - EFU: Sands of Intrigue - Rumors, Gossip & Tales of the Desert

Started by whyemmdee, February 13, 2023, 04:13:41 PM

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Tammuz 4th, IY 7788

The Well is all activity, now. Spears are sharpened and shields tested for cracks. In homes, through toasts, in furtive embraces in the shady corners of the Well - farewells are spoken. For today is the day that Ephia's Well enters the fray.

It is said that Rennik Colmes, Warmaster of the Heron, has decreed that a force shall be dispatched to offer aid to a beleaguered fortification far to the south.

A voice, crisp and clear, resounds across the Bellows

'Those who march, gather at the Divan.'

Above the Well, the great terrace of the Sultan is awash with activity. The Water-Priests of B'aara are lively in their intonations. Their voices can be heard, deep and sonorous: 'O! B'aara! Mother Most High, weep for thy belov'd dead...'

An Ash-sail in deep Janissary green, bearing the Caliphal numeral 'VI', glides into dock above. Two tiny figures can be seen departing..

Below, about the Pyramid, all eyes look towards the leadership. Those who seek to lend their arms to the day's sport head towards the Pyramid, their countenances grim, yet tempered by a fluttering anticipation..

First Blood. Clanging Bronze.

Tammuz 4th, IY 7788.

While elections, laws and leisure continue onward in Ephia's Well, War has begun. The Office of the Legates and much of the bellows overrun with issue over the new "Accorded Governance" law which sees all those members of the accord, past or present barred from service to the government of Ephia's Well.

The Purple League has managed to secure a powerful majority headed by once more Legate Marcellus Saenus and the once Prelate for Gausim al-Marain, Nasreen Shabani. Gausim al-Marain served a short period before rumors gave way to some reason they may have vanished. Reasons range from being called back to Baz'eel in protest of the upcoming War, needing to see to a sick relative, to being abducted by the tormented below. No one really knows, and it doesn't matter.

War is here, the truth of it cemented violently as if a concussion. Prayers and rites to the Wroth are given in dark depths, in simmering agony. Four names are spread across the Well by Legate Marcellus Saenus. The details of the assault are lost in the fog of anguish. A victory traded for lives of those bright and promising. A Zenithar laments a future that was never to be. A Star Falls. War is here.

Quote from: City Whisper by Legate Marcellus SaenusHeed me, people of the Well. I bring news from the South. Both of joy and of sorrow. The Battle of the Boundary was victorious. We have won. But, four of our brave people will not return to us. Lift your cups to the heroes of the Battle of the Boundary. Apothar Cosine Mevura, Sergeant Lightdew... Legate Akna Ymir... Recluta Baako Mahmoud. May their bravery never be forgotten. Live and drink.

Quote from: City Whisper by Zenithar Oro KonthazThis is another one of your flights of fancy, isn't it boy? Well.. I don't find it amusing. Get ah- get back to the Tower, on the double. You're needed...

High atop the Eagle's Mount, just beneath the clouds, a terrible display of lights as one man begins to hurl burning fire and scalding ice into the skies.

Faint sobbing, some swear, could be heard above the incessant winds on high.


Rumors spread of the latest diplomatic mission to Il Modo.

Despite a cold welcome and an uneasy start (it is said that the long-winded Legate Gloamingdaith may have inadvertently offended the Modini with his choice of gifting an old Caliphate amulet and a certain lack of clarity regarding his view of Modini sovereignty), it is reported that the troupe of performers - the "Floating Fantasia" - were a popular & appreciated spectacle.

It is also reported that Legate Gloamingdaith and his advisors succeeded in persuading the Modini to dispatch a representative to attend the Kardesler conference.

But at what price? It is whispered - in tones of shock and amazement - that the Ephians agreed to offer a gift of One Hundred Barrels of Well Water in exchange for this attendance.

Such a huge quantity of sacred waters (representing nearly an entire month's worth of discretionary production) being handed over to slimy eel-merchants and strange Sage-worshippers is widely considered to have been a colossal gamble. Many of the faithful of Ephia's Well are particularly angered by the decision and consider it a huge scandal, whereas others urge caution.... after all, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Perhaps the Legate is right and this distant naval power could in some way be persuaded to offer its help against the threat of the Thousand Clans...?


Except from the Maribeh Edition of Sublime Parchment, Baz'eeli Paper of Record


With the signing of the so-called Union of Kardesler (signatories Baz'eel & her minor Satrapies, Kha'esh, Banafsi and the Hold of Got Valdhazr) inagurates a moment not beheld since Uspek abdicated the Caliphal throne: the peoples of the Great Ash Desert united together, in common cause, beneath the suzerainty of Baz'eel.

While the Sultan at present sits de facto as the symbolic head of this new Union, wise heads in the Sublime Garden note that Marib himself was noted as the symbolic head of the people at Kardesler before he was invested with the White Spear.

What chance, then, that this new Union heralds the inauguration of a new golden age beneath our beloved sovereign, Osman VI?


The City of Arslan, which, as regular readers shall know, is a hive of unsettling Izdur heterodoxy, has surrendered to the forces of the Thousand Clans. Refugees fleeing the city report that the Grand Tutors (the so-called 'Council of Old Men') were publicly executed by the Thousand Clans. Unverified reports speak of a general massacre of the civilian population.

Our reporters suggest that Arslan has now been re-fashioned into a formidable outpost of enemy power.
The faithful note that such events tend to befall the heretrodox, and that all right-thinking people should tend to their prayers, and heed the theology of the Temples.


Tughril Yataghan, the so-called 'Great Serdar' of Kha'esh, has begun a punitive campaign against recalcitrant allies in the eastern mountains. It is said that the Serdar and his 'Wild Brothers' have fatally undermined Orcish gains in the eastern territories, leading to a vast expansion in the city's sphere of influence.

One eye witness said: "The Kha'eshi hate two things: tabbouleh and cowardice. Thank god no parsley grows in the mountains."


The dwarven hold of Got Valdhazr, a previously unknown settlement, has been besieged by a grievous host. It is said they are heavy with refugees from the southlands, and that food supplies remain scarce.

It is reported that a delegation from the hold has arrived at Ephia's Well, led by a member of the royal line.


The so-called outpost of Fort Ephia continues its resistance against the armies of the Eater of Eyes. A journalist who visited the Boundrymen Mercenary Company, spoke to their commander - a rather brusque man who referred to himself only as 'Duck'.

He said: "Thank the Gods for [the Epicrasis]! We'd be [defeated] if it weren't for [the Sixth Legion]."


The so-called 'White Spears', that notorious company of Orentid exiles, have reportedly conducted a brutal massacre of civilians amidst the civil war in Banafsi. Survivors described their leader, the self-styled 'Komes', as a blood-soaked butcher who delights in slaughter.


Po Meats! Kababforush to the al-Maribid! Enjoy our succulent meat, which has no peer.

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FOR SALE: The Mummified Corpse of John Syter. Enquire with Silhan & Silhan, Esq.
i walked one morning to the fair


More refugees come in, ever more. Slaves that have escaped from bondage. People who have trudged, alone or in convoy, through the great desert.

All bearing tales of woe, all with one refrain upon their lips:

"We are from Arslan, which opened the gates to The Eater of Eyes, and was rendered a ruin by his command."
i walked one morning to the fair


Trouble with refugees, it seems. More filter from the camps at the peripheries into the Plaza and Souk proper. There they make trouble, protesting loudly at the cost of grain and the paucity of their water rations.

They stand darkly in the cool corners, and spit curses as harsh as wicked Tabbah itself.

Everywhere the stones sizzle, in discontent. The Ashfolk have retreated inside, and are rarely seen except for under the blessed respite of the Celestial Disc.
i walked one morning to the fair