The Lerilin Breeze, 454

THE LERILIN BREEZE

Vol 16, No 6, Winter, 454
300gp

454-12-Winter


Bundling up in the warmest blanket, with a steaming mug of winterspice in hand. Looking out the ice-kissed window as the rhythms of life slow down. Spending the melancholy evenings reading before the fireplace. Taking a moment to close your eyes and listen to the gentle pitter-patter of rain on the rooftops (or the crystalline silence of snowflakes floating down from above, for our readers snowbound in the north)… all the sounds and sights and feelings of a beautiful winter nocturne. Breathe it in deeply now, and take in the warm and toasty air of The Lerilin Breeze!



((Jump to the last post to see the latest issue.))
~~~~

THE LERILIN BREEZE

Vol 16, No 1, Waking Moon, 454
75gp

454-01-Waking-Moon


Spring has sprung, and with it, the new life brought by a new year and a waking moon. Crocuses peeking out from patches of northern snow… harpies leaving their southern migratory stops to return to their nests along the Sleeping River… the acolytes of Brigobaen gathering for their annual trek… the air was simply rife with the signs of new promise. So let us take a look back: breathe in deep, and take in the invigorating air of the Lerilin Breeze!

DIGEST OF EVENTS


AT A GLANCE

THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW:
1) The Annual Dawn of the Disciples pilgrimage completed its long and treacherous odyssey around the world, departing Brigobaen at full moon and arriving at Mirith just one day before the arrival of the Growing Moon. Priests reported that donations reached an all-time high this year, and communities have already begun to see improvement as a result.
2) The dragons of the Frozen Wastes, far to the north, have begun to stir. Observers question if another ice war is imminent.
3) Another earthquake struck the northern regions, with the strongest shaking reported at the abandoned North Temple. Traveling pilgrims were quick to claim this as a sign of good favor from the Goddess.

GOOD MOON FOR:
1) Mercy, after Duldric soldiers spared the life of an intelligent frost giant named Gorn, who later came back to assist in defending passing pilgrims from the many threats of the Mountains of Duldrus.
2) Miracles, after the Statue of Elara in Mirith was reported to have moved ever so slightly, on its own volition, triggering a a spiritual revival in the city and outpourings of religious fervor among the citizenry.
3) Redemption, when a brigand and a mercenary came to that same statue and were so moved by the congregation, that they repented for their lives of crime and rededicated themselves in the service of the Goddess. Rumour has it that His Grace Lord Rengal, Duke of Duldrus, has begun training these two gentlemen to repurpose their skills to protect and guard the northern mining settlement.

BAD MOON FOR:
1) Duldrus, which was almost overrun by a legion of frost giants, frost spiders, gooeys, and gapers.
2) Hide and seek, after two Gohoran children were reported missing while the pilgrims were in town. After an extensive search, traveling adventurers managed to find the children, who had been pursued and cornered by a pack of hungry dracos.
3) Family heirlooms, after harpies in Gohoran raided the pilgrimage camp, stealing a precious copper mug from one Mother Johanna, a theologian and spiritual director at the temple, and carrying it off to their nest in the ruins at the triple headwaters. The mug, as well as various other trinkets and shiny objects, was recovered over the following days.


A CLOSER LOOK

As the moon woke, so too did the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. The wilderness was teeming with life, much to the chagrin of the pilgrims and their protectors, who fought tooth and nail to guard their wards for the entirety of the journey. The apparent leader of this year's pilgrimage, a certain Father Aldus, helped to compensate the protectors for their efforts, offering what reagents and raw materials he could from his own collections. At the pilgrimage's end, before the Statue of Elara in Mirith, the good Father was so moved that he decided to bestow even more valuable rewards to those who had lended their aid to a majority of the pilgrimage treks. We understand that four brave and courageous souls met this criteria, and so we shall list them here.

Present for a majority of the pilgrimage were: Patronus of the Rhovanion Rebels, Dame Shuab of the Mirith Vanguard, Lord Sulovir Lichslayer the Second of the Hidden Vale, and Sir Rondino of the Hidden Vale. Out of these four, Dame Shuab, Lord Sulovir, and Sir Rondino also received a precious class token each, for having assisted in a supermajority of the treks. And out of these three, Sir Rondino alone managed to assist the pilgrimage at every last step of the way - and for this, Father Aldus bestowed upon him a grandmaster robe!

Now then: to better illustrate the trials and tribulations they faced, our sketch artist took it upon herself to speak in-depth with Mother Johanna, and as a result, was able to produce a number of scenes from this year’s glorious pilgrimage. In that light, we find it best to let the pictures do the talking, and not let words get in our way!

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The donation warehouse outside Brigobaen.

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Class in session during the earlier phases of the moon.

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Father Amalphus Vei seeing the pilgrims off under the full moon.

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The pilgrimage’s first journey - to our very own fishing village!

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Ancient threats on the road to Marali.

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The harrowing scene at the Marali portal.

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The sights seen along the little-traveled far northern roads.

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The pilgrims greeted by Lord Rengal, Duke of Duldrus.

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Lumbering stone golems on the road to Gohoran.

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A surprise guest helping to see the pilgrims safely onward - Gorn the Frost Giant!

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Many sightseers and worshippers from Mirith come to greet the pilgrims as they make their way to Foehan.

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The Foehan camp, tucked away safely behind the Gestalts. Creatures of shadow and phase serpents ambushed the pilgrims as they made their way into town..

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A fierce and horrific storm awaited the pilgrims as they crossed the Great Andris Bridge.

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Forest trolls and pixies overran the Poison Coast as the pilgrims make their penultimate trek, this one to Welif.

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Red-cloaked highwaymen and hell mages - commanded by one “Lord V” - attacked the pilgrims on their final journey to Mirith.


IN CLOSING

We thank you all for joining us on this fantastic journey. May you continue to greet the new day with the same hope and promise as this joyous spring!

- Sulovir Soryn the First

Comments

  • THE LERILIN BREEZE

    Vol 16, No 2, Growing Moon, 454
    100gp

    454-02-Growing


    The fields and forests were all abloom with the magnificence of spring. Many joined in on the frenzied search for eggs, some spent their time in quiet reflection at the Feast of Elara in Brigobaen, and some just enjoyed the spectacular sights of the green grass and blissful blossoms from their window. Whatever your fancy, we hope you have enjoyed a most prosperous and pleasant season. Warmer days are ahead, so let us linger here for just a spell longer: breathe in deep, and take in the invigorating air of the Lerilin Breeze!

    DIGEST OF EVENTS


    AT A GLANCE

    THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW:
    1) The Great Biennial Harpie Roosts of Oberin could be found once again, with hunters from all nations trekking across every last patch of wilderness in search of the coveted eggs.
    2) In a stunning victory for all those who walk in the light of the Goddess, a task force from Mirith finally managed to find a way to break into the Hell Mage Laboratory, thus putting the dastardly detachments of the Division of Diabolical Devices on the defensive. One hunter reported to us that any soul brave (or foolish) enough to enter the laboratory need simply “throw an infused pure purple crystal into the fires of Viri’s Wall”. Whatever that means, we are sure we don’t recommend it.
    3) After a successful training campaign from His Grace Lord Rengal, Duke of Duldrus, the far-flung mining town now enjoys the protection of professional guardsmen and women for the first time since the days of the Mirithian Exile.

    GOOD MOON FOR:
    1) Andrisians, who were able to appreciate the fleeting beauty of what they call the “Vernal Lotus Superbloom”, thanks to the dutiful reporting of the Andris Botanical Society. The Society noted that the rare co-occurrence of the superbloom with the harpie roost resulted in an unusually high number of tourists.
    2) Conquering ancient challenges, after hunters ventured into the darkest depths of Crausaar’s Descent – and returned alive.
    3) Waltham’s World of Wool, who struck gold again with their dazzling spring lineup (sketches to follow).

    BAD MOON FOR:
    1) Breakfast, after the famed collector Sonny allegedly assaulted a Mirithian chef for cooking an egg omelette.
    2) The lawless, after multiple reports surfaced of adventurers finding – and slaying – brigand egg collectors in the woods.
    3) The Red Battalion, whose chests were reportedly stolen and scattered to the nine winds late in the moon cycle. Thankfully, it appears all items were recovered.

    A CLOSER LOOK

    As explained to us by Sonny, who happens to be the son of the legendary egg hunter Bunny, the Great Biennial Harpie Roost represents a radical departure from the ordinary. Under normal circumstances, the birds lay their eggs in a few very specific nesting areas, and travel south for the fall and winter. But in the biennial event, the birds roost on a variety of terrains in all corners of the known world, including sandy beaches, well-traveled roads, snowy islands, and even on city walls. The eggs are often either well hidden or well guarded – the very forests seem to come alive to protect these mysterious and beautiful eggs from collectors. Hunters learn very quickly to keep both their eyes and their wits sharp! And though we’re still not exactly sure what causes the variegated egg patterning, let's take a look at a couple of the exciting scenes from the Roost of ’54 - and more!

    16-2-Roost
    The sun-kissed shores of Andris.

    16-2-Superbloom
    A splash of vibrant color as biennial roost meets lotus superbloom.

    Separately, we received a few other sketches of a different, far more varied set of colors on display over at Waltham’s World of Wool - feast your eyes! (Sadly, it would seem that many of the colors fade into drab grays and slates after a number of days, and thus are not yet ready for market.)

    Screenshot-174

    Screenshot-173

    Screenshot-172


    IN CLOSING

    Looking forward, the dry season is now upon us - may all the seafarers and sailors breathe easy and enjoy their respite from the rains… and may everyone else buckle up as Bleeding Moon rises!

    - Sulovir Soryn the First
  • edited May 12

    THE LERILIN BREEZE

    Vol 16, No 3, Bleeding Moon, 454
    100gp

    454-03-Bleeding


    Fiery oranges and purples streak across the twilight sky. A slow, hot wind brushes past as you stand barefoot on the shore, sipping from a cool drink of creme ale, watching the ships roll slowly into the harbor. The sweltering heat that beat down all throughout the endless day has given way at last to the warm, muggy evening. Children laugh amidst the crashing of waves in the distance, and from afar you detect the faint aroma of bonfire-roasted gaper stalks wafting in on the breeze. It’s another midsummer’s eve in Lerilin, and that can only mean one thing… Red Moon is coming to town.

    An ancient ritual that was traditionally observed with quiet reverence, we are now coming into the fourth year that the Village of Lerilin has opened the festival to a more cosmopolitan audience, as part of a trend introduced by Mayoress Marigold, Goddess rest her, and now continued by Mayoress Kaoveth. Those unfamiliar with our traditions and wishing to learn more need only visit our library, or find themselves a traveling bard at the The Roasted Barley. For soon, the gamblers and the traders and who knows what other surprises will flock to our shores, and the excitement will begin!

    So as usual, dear readers, we have taken a break from our coverage to see to our festive responsibilities and sponsorship needs. Have fun, avoid the cemetery at all costs, and we will see you at the close!

    - Sulovir Soryn the First

  • edited June 1

    THE LERILIN BREEZE

    Vol 16, No 4, Red Moon, 454
    100gp

    454-04-Red


    Amidst the blazing days and muggy nights, our lovely fishing village was blessed with yet another wonderful sun-drenched festival full of life, merriment, and spectacle. We do sincerely hope you were able to beat the heat and enjoy your time here. And if not, never you fear - for we are here, to fill you in! So breathe in deep, and take in the invigorating air of The Lerilin Breeze!

    DIGEST OF EVENTS

    A THOUSAND WORDS’ WORTH

    Let’s dive right in with this dazzling display of sketches and paintings and commemorations, right here—a Breeze exclusive!

    16-3-RMF-11
    The ritual of the Flames of Alvestia, reenacted another year at midsummer’s eve, shining a light so bright that it is said to be visible all the way from Brigobaen.

    16-3-RMF-12
    The traditional and solemn bonfire, whose flames bring protection from shadow both literal and metaphoric. Even the ashes are prized by those in the know.

    16-3-RMF-02
    A terrifying incident in which village tinkerer Torehar was attacked by the reanimated dead at his local shop. Neighbors who wish to go unnamed claim that the fearsome undead abominations targeted the dwelling on account of its complete lack of candles or any other flames drawn from the living bonfire, as is tradition. Torehar disputes this claim, and instead claims that the attack must have been caused by meddling out-of-towners. We at the Breeze remain skeptical on the whole affair, but cannot help but note that the frequency and magnitude of such incidents in town during the Red Moon has only increased in the last four years. This does coincide with the birth of the modern, more cosmopolitan iteration of the ancient festival. What might it all mean? Only time will tell…

    16-3-RMF-05
    The dead walk at the heart of the new moon, when the spirits are said to be at their strongest.

    16-3-RMF-01
    Another fiasco at the cemetery, but perhaps of a less supernatural origin. Few reliable sources could be found beyond this sketch, and what we did manage to gather did not prove to be very useful. In the end, all we know is that a cadre of inebriated Mirithians invited a friendly dragon to the festival, and that the dragon had a very lovely time, leaving with a full belly and earnestly looking forward to next year. We can only hope everyone else’s festival experiences went half as well.

    16-3-RMF-04
    The explosive conclusion to “Mini Roulette” on the eastern beaches, a festival game pulled deep from the Gamblers’ Syndicate archives, ca. year 428.

    16-3-RMF-03
    Dicing at the docks - with a game called “Drop Dead”, which the gambler claimed to have learned from longshoremen in the southern ports.

    16-3-RMF-06
    The classic entertainment and one of the most universally recognized games of chance - “High Low!”

    16-3-RMF-07
    A four-person duel in one of the more recently popular games on the festival circuits, the “Foehan Fifteen”.

    16-3-RMF-08
    Trivia Night at the bank!
    Coming in third place, the previous champion from the last festival, Dame Shuab of Mirith, with 1200 points, winning a grandmaster stave of power!
    In second place, with 1300 points, our very own local hero, Budic of the Lerilin Vanguard, taking home a grandmaster ring of lesser heal!
    And our new trivia champion, with a cool 1600 points, Lord Iceane of Mirith, winning a grandmaster sandy brown robe of protection!


    16-3-RMF-09
    The Dog Race on the Sands - with a slightly longer track and expanded playbook, the races brought even more entertainment this year.

    16-3-RMF-10
    A more violent grudge match on the beach, the Sheep Wolf Contest.

    16-3-RMF-13
    And of course, the Red Moon Market, expanded onto the docks for the first time. Travelers and traders from all over came to port for the waxing half of the moon, providing countless nights of fun, mystery, and wonder. Famed explorer Sonny was there to rest up on his vessel, “The Wayfarer”. Festival fixtures Benny Diver and Jack the Knife made their returns on their respective ships, “Horizon” and “The Mist”, offering a variety of exciting trades for one-of-a-kind rarities not sold at any other time or place, such as rare leathers and weapons of finest silver. Our new favorite trader, Astrid, in “The Minuet”, was gracious enough to offer free cups of tea from her vast collection to festivalgoers each and every night. And of course, who could forget the thrilling zoo attraction from “Theo’s Menacing Menagerie”… or the bona fide fortuneteller, Two-Toed Marie, on her gaper-riddled vessel, “The Unsparing”—not for the faint of heart… or whoever that cloaked figure was that seemed to disappear whenever we tried to do an interview. All told, there was something for everyone at the Red Moon Market, and not a dull moment to be found.

    16-3-RMF-14

    16-3-RMF-15


    IN CLOSING

    Another brilliant Red Moon it was, dear readers. As always, feel free to send us any sketches or submissions of your own, and we will be happy to publish you. And lastly, we thank you for joining us in our humble village… and we simply cannot wait until next year!

    - Sulovir Soryn the First
  • edited June 19
    Thomas-Cole-Autumn-Hudson.png

    A gentle wind blows, and the falling leaves dance around you as you approach the Circle of Friends guild hall on a peaceful afternoon. There, you find a brief and elegantly-scripted notice plastered up on the walls.

    Greetings, dear readers!

    We at The Lerilin Breeze hope you are making the most of autumn as the Harvest Moon turns to Dancing. After careful consideration, we have come to the bittersweet decision to reduce the frequency of our digests from moonthly to seasonally, in order to best serve the community while still upholding our commitment to principled journalism, and working within the budget and staffing available to us. Current subscribers can thus expect the following schedule, which issues published, as always, at the end of the period.

    WINTER
    Blue + Fighting + Sleeping

    SPRING
    Waking + Growing

    SUMMER
    Bleeding + Red

    AUTUMN
    Harvest + Dancing + Lucky

    We wish to offer a deeply heartfelt thanks to every single one of you for your patronage and support, and very much look forward to seeing you at autumn’s close.

    All the best,
    Sulovir Soryn the First
  • THE LERILIN BREEZE

    Vol 16, No 5, Autumn, 454
    300gp

    454-08-Autumn


    Welcome back, dear readers, welcome back—thank you for joining us on our autumnal issue of The Lerilin Breeze! It was another beautiful fall season, marked by the heavenly aromas of pumpkin pies, the smoky and woodsy goodness of Brigobaen’s famous Pinewood Black tea, the satisfying crunch of leaves underfoot, another year of bountiful harvests… to say nothing about the abundance of blustery winds. So breathe in deep, and take in the invigorating air of The Lerilin Breeze!

    DIGEST OF EVENTS


    AT A GLANCE

    THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW:
    1) The Great Hunt of the Harvest Moon transpired in the early autumn, in response to a daring draconian offensive that left no continent untouched. Thanks to the might of the Hunters, the invaders were beaten back. The list of names of the most successful Hunters has not yet been released, but it is believed that the City of Marali is still accepting bounties.
    2) On the other hand, none of the Hunters were able to find any human agents of the Creed—a stated subgoal of the Hunt—but reports did surface of unusual concentrations of skeletal archers (which are generally associated with the Creed) in the faraway realm known as the Valley of Tribulations.
    3) The Lucky Fairy made her long-awaited return to Oberin, appearing to adventurers in the most faraway stretches of the forest, fulfilling many a wish—but never without her trademark twist!

    GOOD SEASON FOR:
    1) Rock collectors, after a meteor shower struck the island in the latter moons… (tragically also leading to an increased number of forest fires).
    2) Collecting tolls, as the Lerilin Bridge was blockaded not once but twice, first by a forest dragon, and then by rambling highwaymen.
    3) Forest Trolls, who managed to avoid notice during their annual and generally peaceful Burning Golem Festival under the Dancing Moon, following a disastrous set of showings, such as last year’s Troll Palace Crisis.

    BAD SEASON FOR:
    1) Picnics, thanks to the sharply increased number of ant socials on the island, from the Volcanic Shores to the Zombie Coast. The Myrmecologist Society of Lerilin believes that careless refuse disposal is to blame for these frenzied ant parties, and encourages citizens to make healthier choices and throw away foodstuffs such as melons and berries as opposed to candies and chocolates, so that the ant socials can continue safely and sustainably.
    2) Clean freaks, after an unusually large number of gooey herds were seen in and around the island, many of them coming as close to the village as the ant hills, leaving slimy and gooey trails in their wake. The reasons for the surge are yet unknown, but we have reason to suspect a mysterious shipwreck on the South Coast is somehow involved.
    3) The sighted, after a number of attacks by night harpies—who normally do not leave their cave in Foehan—were reported to have occurred in broad daylight in the Great Marali Wilderness.

    A CLOSER LOOK

    At first glance, it was a relatively quiet autumn on our sunny isle, but many things were stirring under the surface that have given us a whole lot of things to buzz about. To say nothing of the disturbing increase in dragon sightings in the earlier season, which we shall tackle first!

    You did not have to be an avid reader of the papers to know what the talk of the town was in the earlier moons: the Great Hunt of the Harvest Moon, called up once again by the Commander of Marali, Rydelia Fayn. The thrilling affair is normally confined to the frigid northern realms, but this year, the Hunters of Marali were seen in every last town, village and hamlet, from here to Duldrus and everywhere in between. And good that they were—for the dragons they hunted were so bold as to invade our very shores! Red dragons emerging from the volcano was bad enough, but when a forest dragon bullied its way to the Lerilin Bridge and set up a blockade, it looked as if overland trade to the continent would be all but done for!

    But luck was on our side, and the Hunters of Marali set the dragons in their place. Time went on and the island quieted down once more, but as news of the Hunt slowly trickled in from the far north, we began to see just how extensive the dragons’ onslaught really was. We must count our lucky stars that the damage was not worse! Dragons were spotted in practically every corner of the world—even our outlying islands, from the Windswept Isles to Turtle Island. As for the why? It is difficult to analyze the minds of beasts as vicious as the dragons, but it is worth noting, perhaps, that the vast majority of the dragons in our fair isle were of the fiery red variety, and as such, we can only imagine that simple territorial expansion was the primary motivation of the scaly beasts. Trends elsewhere seem to support this conclusion: many ice dragons were spotted in the far north, around the Duldrus mountains they call home, but nowhere else. The sand dragons were spotted almost exclusively in and around the Andris continent, not far from their ancient tower. But thanks to the Hunters, all of that is no more.

    Let us now take a look through some of the scenes from the Hunt that was, with the following exquisitely-drawn sketches and artists’ renditions.

    16-5-Marali-01
    The Hunt Begins in the Remote City of Marali.

    16-5-Marali-02
    The Marali Guards in their official purple.

    16-5-Lerilin-Bridge-Blockade
    The shocking Lerilin Bridge Blockade.

    16-5-Marali-Bridge
    And a parallel blockade at the far away, oft-forgotten Marali Bridge.

    16-5-Lizard-Isle
    Dragons were spotted in high numbers at the isle of their scaly cousins, the lizard men.

    16-5-Lizard-Fort
    The belly of the beast—who knows what twisted and squamous machinations were being hatched inside?

    16-5-Windswept-Madness
    The frightening scene on the windswept islands to the south of Lerilin.

    16-5-South-Beach-Shipwreck
    A shipwreck on the southern beaches in the early autumn, spilling unusually large quantities of goo and slime over the beach.

    16-5-Giant-Party-of-What
    In Lerilin, even the Giants have birthday festivities, according to our sources in Brigobaen!


    A WORD FROM OUR PARTNERS

    The Brigobaen Tea Rose Garden

    Winter is nigh, friends, and the time to stock your shelves with tea is now! Here in the Holy Temple of Brigobaen, our selections have expanded, all with the same great attention to quality that you’ve come to know and love from the Tea Rose Garden! Peruse our menu below:

    - Andrisian Chamomile: grown in the warmer climes of the south, the mellow and sweet, apple-like notes of this fine brew are sure to convey you to the restorative realm of sleep.
    - Brigobaen Black: the classic, no-nonsense leaf. Our famous Brigobaen processing methods result in a complementary blend of malty flavor and brisk astringency.
    - Gohoran Green: lighter and softer, this cup is well-loved for its vegetal, leafy, and grassy flavor.
    - Jasmine Dragon: this floral and sweet cup results from scenting Gohoran Green leaves with aromatic jasmine plucked from the other side of the Fighting River. The jasmine blossoms thrive in the land of dragons, and tradition dictates they be plucked with extreme precision. For best flavor, the flowers can only be harvested during a select few days in early summer. Of course, this is during the Bleeding Moon… and thus the “dragon” portion of the name really comes to life for the harvesters!
    - Lerilin Ginseng: long praised by the Breeze as the best in ginseng, this rich cup will ward off fatigue.
    - Lord Grey: popularized by an old nobleman of Third Age Mirith, this black tea shines with perfume-like citrus.
    - Marali Mint: This hardy mint grows slower and stronger than all others—because in the harsh northeast terrain, it has no other choice! As a result, this mint cools like no other. Also great to cure a common cold.
    - Pinewood Black: not for the faint of heart, this is our famous Brigobaen Black leaf that has been further smoked over pinewood flames. Intense and woodsy!
    - Winterspice: a popular winter cup, this melange of Brigobaen Black and a hearty array of baking spices—including festive allspice, cozy cinnamon, and fragrant ginger—creates a warm, spicy-sweet experience.

    Heal body, mind, and soul with the gift of tea, for yourself and all your loved ones, and support the temple in doing so! Visit today!

    Prayers and love from The Brigobaen Tea Rose Garden.


    IN CLOSING

    The moon grows blue and cold, which can only mean one thing—winter is upon us once again! Already, the first winter storms have been reported, with an intense cyclone from the windswept isles striking late in the Lucky Moon. May this serve as a reminder to watch the skies, to all you seafarers out there… you don’t want to be caught unprepared! (Thankfully, if you’re a Breeze subscriber, then you won’t be.)

    Enjoy the season of rest and festivities, dear readers, and we will see you in the new year!

    - Sulovir Soryn the First
  • edited September 30

    THE LERILIN BREEZE

    Vol 16, No 6, Winter, 454
    300gp

    454-12-Winter


    Bundling up in the warmest blanket, with a steaming mug of winterspice in hand. Looking out the ice-kissed window as the rhythms of life slow down. Spending the melancholy evenings reading before the fireplace. Taking a moment to close your eyes and listen to the gentle pitter-patter of rain on the rooftops (or the crystalline silence of snowflakes floating down from above, for our readers snowbound in the north)… all the sounds and sights and feelings of a beautiful winter nocturne. Breathe it in deeply now, and take in the warm and toasty air of The Lerilin Breeze!

    DIGEST OF EVENTS


    AT A GLANCE

    THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW:
    1) Mirith was the target of a full-scale invasion by the forces of the “Servants Three”, a putatively ancient trio of sister sorcerers who only come out under the Sleeping Moon. The three sisters were hellbent on destruction, and appeared to be attacking the city out of revenge for past grievances. Thankfully, their attack was rebuffed - though all three sisters escaped.
    2) The Blue Moon Festival was beleaguered by a ravenous band of pirates known as The Brotherhood of Lonely Thieves, who struck from a seemingly impenetrable fortress that spanned multiple islands near the Andris Bridge. Intrepid festivalgoers and scouts eventually discovered the way in, on an uncharted island in the southwestern seas, allowing the Andrisians to strike back. The City of Andris was unable to apprehend the B.L.T.’s presumed leader, Captain Walleye Reuben, but did manage to make short work of his revolting henchman, Ol’ Sloppy Joe. Despite the attacks, reports suggest that the city still enjoyed a merry festival.
    3) Residents have started to notice a slew of unusual monster attacks occurring around the Brigobaen forests lately, seemingly unconnected by anything beyond their location, and the poisonous nature of the creatures involved. The mood in the temple is tense, answers are few… and the questions, none seem willing to ask.

    GOOD SEASON FOR:
    1) Fashionistas, after three bold new colors were debuted at festival this year.
    2) Teamakers, many of whom reported their busiest winter season of all time.
    3) Extreme gardening, after two festivalgoers in Andris helped to transplant an unusually friendly bracken named “Match the Stick” from the festival grounds to a colony of trees in the Windswept Islands. The perilous journey is said to have involved three difficult trials, of wisdom, strength, and courage.

    BAD SEASON FOR:
    1) All other Brackens, after rumors arose that the first Bracken Fest in several years was being planned by the Rhovanion Rebels.
    2) Raiders of the lost Shrine, as the ancient dungeon’s guardians seemed to grow in strength and numbers.
    3) The Mirith Guardforce, who endured a great number of critical injuries during the Sleeping Invasion, and whose numbers have since dwindled.

    A CLOSER LOOK

    It behooves us now to focus our attentions on the mysterious and maniacal “Servants Three”, for this winter marks the third in a row in which they have wrought sleep-inducing havoc on the lands, with each winter more terrible than the last. We will first attempt to answer some important questions about their identity, with the help of our scholar friends in the west, and then segue into a more chronological outline of their activities, to alleviate any confusion. So let us begin!

    IDENTITY

    Just who are these Servants Three, you ask? Well, the question has proven to be a most difficult one, indeed. But we might gain further insight by asking it in a slightly different way: who do they claim to be?

    Sopor, Languor, and Torpor. Three old sorcerers who, if nothing else, must actually be sisters, given the various reports of their remarkably similar appearances. On the few occasions they have been spotted together, they kept finishing each other’s sentences and speaking in rhymes. They have demonstrated an alarming level of skill in magics relating to paralysis, sleep, and dreams. But the trio also make a far bolder claim – that they are the same Servants Three out of the historical mythology of the bygone Third Era, centuries and centuries ago. To have lived such a long life is extremely improbable, though not entirely unheard of. For example, the greatest of the archmages, such as Seth and Avesne, have lived for far longer. But if these sisters three have lived so long, why have they just shown up now, in 452? If indeed their claims are true, then where have they been dozing off for all this time? And why do they only seem to rear their rat-like faces while the moon is sleeping?

    To answer these questions and more, we turned to the best resource for questions on historical mythology - the Brigobaen Library. The kind librarians directed us to The Cycle of Elara—a famous compilation of poetry written about the Third Era, the Era of Elara and her Disciples. This compilation is still taught in the temple to this day, and is believed to have been written in the earliest days of our present Fourth Era. One section in particular stood out to us, titled the “The Ballade of Eternal Sleep”, author unknown. With the blessings of our gracious friends and subscribers in Brigobaen, we reprint the Ballade in its entirety below.

    “The Ballade of Eternal Sleep”

    The sky blue moon began to cow’r,
    And faded to familiar gray.
    Valdonna cried, “Now comes the hour!”
    “For us to rest and drift away.”
    And so she asked three protégés,
    To lead while the Disciples slept.
    But soon their masters they’d betray,
    And thus the nations wail’d and wept.

    The servants, in their lust for pow’r,
    Let circumspection fade away.
    In Nystral’s rooms, atop the tow’r,
    Forbidden tomes led them astray:
    At spells of slumber and decay
    And death and dreams they grew adept.
    Their magic strengthened day by day,
    And thus the nations wail’d and wept.

    Torpor, held victims with her glow'r.
    Sopor, did make them spin and sway.
    Languor, their spirits she’d devour.
    The Three, as one, brought disarray.
    With newfound strength, these birds of prey
    Cast spells that ‘cross the nations swept.
    Great armies withered, passed away,
    And thus the nations wail’d and wept.

    But Nystral woke again one day;
    The servants’ crimes she’d not accept.
    She banished them where they yet stay—
    Inside the void they wail’d and wept!


    Yes, dear readers, a most terrifying historical account this is! Now—whether the three sisters of our present day are indeed the same as those from the past, we cannot say, but one thing is clear: the Servants Three of our present day do not seem to hold as much power as those from ancient history. Why, if the present three sisters had the power to send entire armies to the “eternal sleep”, there would surely not be a Mirith standing today!

    But the detail we find most interesting comes right at the very end, in the final refrain, which suggests that the Servants Three of old were banished for their crimes, to an unspeakably horrific domain known as the Void Realm. That’s all very fine and well, until one remembers that this same realm was re-opened and explored in the events of very recent history, in the so-called “Void Campaign” of the early 450’s. This campaign consisted of an international alliance of brave adventurers, who defeated many of the fearsome void beasts that were found inside. In doing so, the campaign infamously and unwittingly cleared the way for the villainous Lord Fiadoryx to enter the Void and work his foul machinations. But what if, in that very same stroke, the campaign also cleared the way for the Servants Three to escape? Did the Void Campaign delve so deeply within that shadowy place that they awoke this ancient threat?

    A wretched twist of fate that would be, dear readers. But a quick turn to the chronologies will tell us that it is, indeed, a plausible theory. And thus we segue quite neatly into the second portion of this discussion: a more thorough overview of recent chronologies.

    16-6-Sleepy-Invasion-01
    A sketch artist’s impression of the Mirithians’ desperate stand at the castle entrance, Sleeping Moon Year 454.

    CHRONOLOGY

    Those chronologies tell us that three years ago, on Day 51 of the Sleeping Moon of Year 451, the Void Campaign began in earnest. Adventurers from far and wide built a large campsite surrounding the Voidgate of Foehan, and from there, embarked on numerous expeditions inside the Void Realm, defeating many of the fell beasts within. Beasts which had guarded that realm for as long as the Voidgate was first opened. Only a short while later, on Day 153, the first modern-day sighting of Sopor was reported… just outside the Voidgate. Coincidence? We think not.

    But this brief sighting was all that Year 451 had in store, and it was nothing particularly daunting. Those members of the Void Campaign we managed to interview described the event as a mere distraction from their expeditions, a barely troubling nuisance that drew little attention. We suspect that it was at this time that all three sisters first emerged, very weak, but still conscious. (As an aside, many of the camp followers reported hearing ghastly voices on the wind whenever they slept too near the Voidgate at night—voices of vengeful spirits seeking to possess their souls. But whose voices these were, was never determined.)

    Whatever the case was, no more was heard of Sopor or any of her sisters until the Sleeping Moon of next year, in 452. By then, the Void Campaign had concluded, and the Voidgate had been destroyed. And somehow, at some unknown juncture, Sopor had perished. The surviving two sisters built a great barrier of dead trees there in Foehan, atop the ruins of the Voidgate, to protect what appeared to be a memorial service for their fallen sister. But in reality, they were completing a ritual designed to resurrect her. Mirith grew wise to the scheme, and the Royal City’s armies attacked. At the memorial’s center, the Mirithians found a tombstone with a curious inscription: “Here lies Sopor, who drunk too deeply from the arcane magic of mind and dreams.” Standing nearby were the remaining sisters two: Torpor, and Languor. Languor stalled the invaders, getting herself killed in the process, but allowing Torpor to flee.

    Much of these details we know from the events of the following year: 453. It was then that Torpor, now the sole survivor, would try her ritual once more: one last desperate stand to resurrect not just Sopor, but Languor now as well. She built much more formidable defenses around the Voidgate this time, complete with an advanced portal system that rendered the area completely inaccessible. From her place of safety, Torpor traded barbs with many of the adventurers who had come to investigate the area. It is from these exchanges that we gathered much of our information. Here is a record of one of those exchanges, as chanted by Torpor in earshot of a passing ranger:

    "Sopor, Torpor, and Languor too. Thee Servants Three shall rise anew!"
    "While the Disciples slept, the Servants crept!
    "They worked dark magic, and mankind wept!"
    "Silence, loss, calmness, death! Pity Sopor, who draws no breath!"
    "Bleak, icy, winter's heart! Grieve Languor, who's fallen apart!"

    The adventurers, of course, tried to stop Torpor, but were repelled at every turn—her powers had seemingly grown. Even strange forms of undead now counted themselves amongst Torpor’s army, when previously they were nowhere to be seen. Skeletal archers learned new magical tricks, aided by the powers of the moon. Eventually, a larger force from Mirith gathered to stop her, but even they failed to do so in time. And so the ritual concluded with the full moon, and the Sisters Three awoke once more. Their task complete, they abandoned the scene, with a promise to exact revenge.

    Which brings us, at last, to this year: 454, the events of which have been dutifully reported by other chroniclers. The bold invasion is still fresh in the minds of many, and it is clear that the Servants Three of today—whether they are truly spirits from the past or just a trio of highly dedicated admirers—are more powerful than ever before. But in this matter, we can offer no further insight than that which we have already gleaned, and thus concludes our closer look.

    16-6-Sleepy-Invasion-02
    A depiction of one of the “nodes” from which the Servants Three conducted their assault. Once the headstones were demolished, the attacking ceased.


    IN CLOSING

    We thank you all for joining us again, at home and abroad. As we leave Year 454 behind, and go boldly into the spring of new beginnings, let us leave you with a benediction from our brothers and sisters in the temple:

    May the Goddess who gave us this year and from whom hope springs eternal, bless the coming year with love, joy, and peace!

    - Sulovir Soryn the First
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