The Rise of the Maleficarum
Year of the Lighting Storm
Dale Reckoning 1374
- The Zhentarim are consolidating their hold on the collection of independent city states in the Moonsea region and once again reaching southward threatening the peaceful Dalelands. Rumors speak of Randal Morn sending emissaries as far south as Cormyr requesting assistance.
- Drow emerging from the Underdark have returned to the surface world claiming portions of Myth Drannor and the Cormanthor woods launching raids on across the Dalelands. Incursions into the Dalelands are becoming more frequent and bold with outbreaks occurring in Battledale and Mistledale within the last month.
- Sembia, a prosperous nation of merchants and trading companies, is divided rumored to be wrecked by corruption, marked by avarice, and plagued by noble families and merchant cabals vying for economic and political dominance. Rumors speak of trade guilds influencing politics are starting to control some of the state’s decisions.
- Rumors are circulating that the Steel Regent in Cormyr is losing her grip on the realm. Nobles who were once loyal to Azoun are in some cases questioning and in other cases working against the crown claiming that the Obarskyr monarchy is at an end.
- Bands of Orcs and Goblins are more organized than ever gathering in the Stonelands, Storm Horns and the Thunderpeaks bolstered by their recent successes in the Goblin Wars against Cormyr. Scouts speak of thousands massing in the peaks preparing to strike the heartlands at any moment. Rumors speak of a dark network organizing activities once again.
- Severe drought throughout the summer has caused food shortages throughout the heartland. Prices have nearly doubled for foodstock causing severe pressure on the people and rulers of the land. The drought could not have come at a worse time severely exacerbating political tensions between nation states as trade has nearly halted in the heartlands with Sembia reducing shipments to Cormyr stating the dangers on the overland routes are too great. Sembia claims that two caravans of goods and supplies have been way laid in the passes of the Thunder Peaks. Limited goods are now reaching market causing fears of additional shortages during what could be the harshest winter in years. Townsfolk are beginning to take the street with riots breaking out in Arabel, Marsember, and Immersea.
- Caravans and traders making the trek have reported that the roads between Cormyr and the Dales have become very treacherous. Large numbers of goods destined for Cormyr have reportedly been attacked by orcs and goblins in greater frequency. Trading coasters are offering double the pay to escort goods across the heartlands. A contingent of Purple Dragons Castle Craig are reportedly in route to secure Gnoll Pass and Tilver’s Gap.
- The leader of Sembia — the Overmaster Selkirk – struck recently by a powerful illness has passed leaving Sembia’s state affairs in chaos. Rumors abound of foul play between the fractious noble merchants and the cousin of the current Overmaster Mirabetta Selkirk has stepped in as the new regent. Nobles and merchants alike are vying for position and favor of the new Sembian Overmaster (regent) in the city of Ordulin, while others speak of succession from Sembia which could plummet the nation state into an all out war.
- Rumors have been heard of a bloody skirmish around Castle Craig in which orcs and goblins out of the mountains and the Stonelands were beaten back by a large force of Purple Dragons. A large amount of orcs were killed but so too were a large group of Cormyrian soldiers.
- Rumors are spreading concerning some sort of merchant’s or noble’s war that has erupted in Arabel. Nothing definite is known, beyond residents’ reports of armed skirmishes in the streets at night and many bloodstains on the cobbles and floating corpses in the river by day.
- Purple Dragon contingents have begun showing up in force in the smaller towns to calm locals and help the local lords keep the populace under control. Rumors suggest the recent riots in Arabel and Waymont were organized by nobles who are not supportive of the current regent and are using the current crisis to undermine the people’s confidence in the Obarskyrs.