St John's College, Johannesburg, South Africa: eSports, boardgaming, wargaming & all mindsports. Affiliated to Mind Sports South Africa
The Three Kingdoms
The Empire of Jhal’Khaz, a massive and overpowering empire that once spanned almost the entire Eastern Tethyrian region, has now officially split into three kingdoms, all part of the Jhalli Confederacy centred in Shanak’Khaz. The north-most kingdom, known as the Desert Alliance, is now ruled by Pharaoh Solikho Eh-ret, along with his council of Qemeri, Khevaki and Djunisi tribesmen. The central empire, named the Middle Kingdom, has the most ties to Morgh Khaz and is ruled by Khan Guyan, along with his council of Taidj, Qad and Nevnu nomads. Finally, the southern kingdom, known as the Lower Kingdom, is ruled by Khan Rhemo along with his council of Mei and Kuzhe Nomads. On all councils also sit a number of Jhalli Religious officials and a number of rationalists from across the former empire. Each kingdom in the confederacy owes allegiance to Morgh Khaz and gives up half of its income to Shanak’Khaz. All military forces within the confederacy will also be commanded exclusively by Morgh Khaz and his appointed generals.
Donira falls to the Druids
Donira, the recently conquered and only port of the Empire of the Serpents, was taken late last month by the Druids of Kia’Salla. Although Myra denies involvement, claiming it was a Zasprovian plot, and is prepared to provide evidence supporting her case, all evidence at Donira shows clearly that Myra was behind the attack. Donira had next to no defences and no garrison and fell without the attackers taking a single casualty. Becket will no doubt be furious at this surprise attack on his empire, although whether his anger will be directed at Myra or at Zasprov, will depend on who’s story he believes.
Desert Alliance on the warpath
The recently autonomous Desert Alliance, member of the Jhalli Confederacy, has gone on the warpath. Morgh Khaz has offered the desert tribes control of Qadesh’Kai, knowing full well that the blood of thousands of innocents will be spilt. As of yet, the tribes have not yet attacked, but are making preparations, and the desperate city of Qadesh’Kai has called on anybody to rescue them, promising them alliances and a great monetary reward which would otherwise fall into the hands of the savage Desert Alliance. The Nevnu and Taid hordes have also tried to take Qanesh and Alaq respectively, but have failed, lacking siege weapons, and have suffered many casualties against the relatively well positioned Qaneshi and Alaqi. The siege on these cities has begun. Also, in Modek’Kai, the Jhalli Legion and the Qad Horde has successfully captured the city, claiming a second port for the Jhalli Confederacy. The desperate cities of Qanesh, Alaq and Qadesh’Kai require help, and will doubtless be grateful for any assistance given against Morgh Khaz.
The Serpent battles with the Moon
Meanwhile, in the mountain city of Umique, the Shuul Mai and Beast hordes of the Viper Citadel have been massacring and pillaging to their hearts’ delights. The remaining cities of the Moon Tribes have sent out pleas to all the nations of the world. If any of these nations come to the aid of the Moon Tribes, a vast sum of money and a very powerful magykal and religious artefact will be the reward. The Moon tribes have also begged Becket to stop his attack, offering an alliance. How he will respond, only time will tell.
Peace with Zakos
Morgh Khaz and the Shah of Kahalak have struck a peace treaty together in the last month. The terms of this peace agreement are as follows:
Zasprovian pirates have begun raiding trade routes in the Tethyrian Sea, greatly affecting the trade income of the Druidic Nation, Iria, Zakos and the Centaur Alliance, threatening the Desert Alliance and the Tama Eera as well. Many trade ships have burned and costs to keep the trade routes going are becoming more and more expensive. If this continues, these nations may have to call off the trade routes or risk poverty. Calls have been made throughout the area to deal with these pirates. Whether anyone is brave, or stupid, enough to heed them is something else entirely.
The Tama Eera have launched a massive invading party and, without a single casualty, have taken the Mahaka city of Qo. And so, in accordance with the Tama prophecy relating to Tanahera, the conquering of the world has officially begun. But many, sceptical of the Tama Eera superstitions, choose instead to wait and see whether Tanahera is indeed a warmongering warlord bent on world domination, or merely a leader defending his homeland against the Mahaka pirates.
Sharkblades retake Port Gullas
North of the recent Tama Eera conquest, the Sharkblade pirates have finally made a move against Zasprov and have retaken their city with a large navy, supported by an internal revolt. While the Sharkblades have generally been viewed as one of the more docile pirate nations, it is entirely possible that they may seek further revenge on Zasprov and may begin conquering northwards. If so, Zasprov may call back his raiding ships and give the Tethyrian nations a much-wanted break from piracy.
Tanahera denies attack on Saelas Misana
Tanahera, king of the Tama Eera, has officially denied involvement in the attack on Saelas Misana in October. Although much evidence claims shows that the Tama Eera were behind the attack, both Tanahera and Myra, ruler over Saelas Misana, deny his involvement. Myra claims the attack, along with the more recent attack on Donira, was a Zasprovian army in disguise. Myra has backed this evidence up with prisoner interrogation, which clearly places Zasprov as the true attacker of Saelas Misana. Whether anybody chooses to accept this claim is a different matter. With the recent attack on Donira evidently by the Druidic Nation, Myra pleads to Becket to understand that she did not order an attack on his city, and that her friendship with him should remain strong as ever.
Revolution in Nato’Erech
Nato’Erech, a Desert Alliance city long on the brink of civil revolution, has finally broken out in revolt, albeit a minor one. Despite recent fishing programs and a massive mime show (evidence enough that Morgh Khaz does not understand happiness), a number of former slave owners have holed themselves up in the merchants’ quarter of the city and have threatened violence and destruction of property (namely by fire) unless their demand, complete autonomy and the right to deal in slaves, is met. Morgh Khaz has three options: a) to fight and massacre them all, b) to try a negotiate peace and c) to surrender to their terms. Knowing Morgh, we are preparing for a bloodbath. Nato’Erech, which means ‘Born from fire” in the Jhalli tongue, was once the city of Al’Ash until it was burnt to the ground and rebuilt. With this recent revolt, it seems as if yet another revolt may occour.
Armies of the Serpent
More and more orcs, mercenaries and beasts have poured out of the Viper Citadel and has left us with one major question: how will Becket pay for all of this? Armies must be maintained and that maintenance costs money. If troops keep being recruited at the current rate, it looks as if the Empire of the Serpents may just become bankrupt or be forced to disband an army. Indeed, all nations require army maintenance and are all warned that the larger the army, the more expensive it is to maintain. Army maintenance taxes will begin in the new year and each nation should assess their current army and fleet and see whether or not they can actually pay for their maintenance.
Slave Trade comes to Zasprov
Since the slave trade was banned in Kahalak, the Empire of Zenothar, far to the north of the Desert Alliance, has approached Zasprov, offering a deal in slavery. If Zasprov agrees, he will have to provide fresh slaves from raided ships and conquered cities and, in exchange, will receive cold hard cash. Has everything Morgh Khaz fought for in the Desert only led to more suffering in the east? Find out next month.
Last month, an alliance was struck between Becket and Lyrian Lovac. This alliance has now been made void by Becket, who stated that the relationship between Castle Pax and the Empire of the Serpents is a non-aggression pact, nothing more.
In other news, Becket has continued sending gifts to the people of Castle Pax, this time in the form of gems. The people of Castle Pax are hailing Becket as their hero and many have begged the question whether or not Becket is trying to turn the people of Castle Pax against Lyrian Lovac. If so, he will have a hard time doing so, as the people, despite hailing Becket as their hero, are fiercly loyal to their Councillor, Lyrian Lovac. Still, there are many out in the world who see magyk-users as freaks, abominations who must be destroyed. Any potential invader will seek help in these people.
Industry in the Druidic Nation
The Druidic Nation has always been known as a utopia of parties and culture. What few know is that it is now also a champion in industry, with multiple mines and factories springing up in Gzonhenim and Divaaj Mandu. This seemingly paradoxical nation is a major exporter of iron, silver, gold, glass, perfume and gems. Enviromentally friendly people will be happy to note that, despite these seemingly damaging operations, the ecological welfare of the nation is carefully monitored by druids and, now that forests have grown alarmingly quickly around the cities of Gzonhenim, Saelas Misana, Kia’Salla and Saelas Falarsus, the Druidic Nation is a hippie paradise.
Colfen, a city of change
Colfen, once a desolate battleground between the Shuul Mai and the Amyni, is now a thriving trade centre. The city, complete with markets, Merchant Guilds, a university and even an Orc Rugby stadium, is a now a tourist hotspot, definitely increasing the spread of Serpent culture.
Religious Celebrations in New Seiryu
In the city of New Seiryu, four shrines exist. One honours Seiryu, the azure dragon of the east, after whom the city is named. The other three honour Byakko, white tiger of the west; Suzaku, vermillion bird of the south; and Genbu, black tortoise of the north. Upon the completion of all four shrines, religious celebrations and blessing ceremonies broke out across the city. This truly happy moment in the lives of the Seiryu was celebrated through the newly researched fireworks. These alchemical wonders, capable of sending coloured flames many metres into the sky, have quickly become a favourite in the city. Should a firework factory be built, these may even be exported across the world, greatly increasing the influence and culture spread of the Seiryu.
The portal connecting Castle Pax and Tama-gok has been built, greatly increasing tourism in both cities. Originally, three portals were to be built connecting the two empires, but Lyrian quickly stopped the construction of two of them, labelling them “unnecessary” and limiting Tanahera to only one. Lyrian Lovac has also introduced a toll, exclusively for the newly constructed portal, known as P-Toll. This toll will further increase the wealth of Castle Pax should trade commence between the two empires via the portal, at the slight cost of Tanahera’s gain from any future trade agreement.
A Call for Knowledge
Becket has called upon the scholars and priests of New Seiryu to come to the Empire of the Serpents and spread their knowledge of the eastern script, as well as the Seiryu faith. Becket has also offered an alliance to Hogane. Should he accept, the cultural influence of the Seiryu will grow immensely and the intellectuals and the pious of Becket’s empire shall benefit hugely. New Seiryu is indeed the centre of science and education in the area, and many consider it wise for Becket to realise the Seiryu dominance in this field and, instead of fighting it, accept it warmly. This offer also endangers the Jhalli religious dominance in the Viper Citadel, as the possible influx of Seiryu priests would undoubtedly displace the Jhalli faith.
The Grand Bakery of Palandro
The Centaur Alliance is known as a home of prosperity and 1st Tribune Cobalt Crimsonhoof is widely regarded as a good leader. He has, however, worked on some rather preposterous projects, such as a large ranger’s tower for centaur rangers, and many un-acted-upon schemes of a vast scientific nature. Once again, another of his hair brained schemes has come into effect. In the city of Palandro, recent famine spurred Cobalt into building farms, mills and…a bakery? Not just any bakery, but the Grand Bakery of Palandro, offering sumptuous pastries and exquisite treats to any who can afford it. Unfortunately, not many can, as Palandro is a rather poor city. Only a select few nobles attend the bakery and, unless efforts are made into either making the pastries more affordable (at a possible risk of loss of quality) or exporting the pastries, it seems as though the bakery may become more of a liability than a help.
Myra thanks Lyrian Lovac
Myra has officially thanked Lyrian Lovac for the sending of her Banay Horde and her Arcane Legion to assist in the battle of Saelas Misana…with a muffin basket. The muffin basket, filled with the greatest and most worthy of muffins (far greater than even those produced at the Grand Bakery of Palandro), was delivered personally to Lyrian Lovac by a high ranking Druidic official earlier last month. It is unknown whether Lyrian enjoyed the muffins or not but, as usual, our team of expert reporters will be keenly observing her, reporting on any further development in this breaking story.
Orcish spies uncovered
Dead spies in Shanak’Khaz were revived earlier last month for interrogation. Although interrogation, as one can imagine with the undead, revealed little, it is now strongly suspected that the spy was hired by an Orcish tribe. Whether or not this tribe was the Shuul Mai tribe, under the rule of Becket, is another thing entirely.
Bloodshed in Tama-gok
Last week witnessed the opening of the Grand Coliseum in Tama-gok, where hundreds of slaves, mentally disabled people and midgets were ‘sacrificed’ in gladiatorial combat in honour of the Tama gods. These brutal sports have shocked many of us, but what may shock Morgh Khaz even more is the use of slaves, banned in his confederacy. There has been talk amongst some about a religious crusade against the Tama Eera for this brutality, but these are mere rumours and should not be counted upon.