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Calendar of Events - Hot Cycle 721

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To Everything a Season

"Hot Cycle" 721
Ymiden 721

Okay, I never did a calendar for the Rebirth 721 Cycle. :oops:
Fortunately for me and my beloved player base, it was never really needed as the big fight with Sintra kept everyone busy enough for the duration.
So now we get into the Hot cycle.
But the question remains - "What other things DID follow the big fight for the remainder of the season.
Well, I summed up some political details in the closing post:
Vuda being back and running the eastern part of the region from his power base in Highbend
Parhn acknowledging his own part in the great error of inviting Sintra into the city's midst, and using it as basis for mercy towards those who fell for her manipulation.
The exiling of those loyal to Sintra who would NOT admit their mistake and reverse their stance in this regard.
The tentative welcoming back of those who did, with the open acceptance that they would be under scrutiny for an indefinite time.
The collecting of all Web Guard armor and weaponry, and the examining of all of it, under multiple magical means to ensure that no booby traps are contained within any of it before its rendering down into materials to make new Black Guard and military gear.
The offering of very affordable housing, available to anyone that wants a place where it would be very likely that some or all of an entire family perished from Lisirra's plague.

Any other likely ideas are welcome as suggestions.

Outside of that, there is only Sintra's parting shot about how Etzos will be overrun with insects now.
The remainder of the Rebirth Cycle DOES see the beginnings of that threat. The insect population, and its numerous annoyances and legitimate dangers become noticeably more prevalent. The city's population makes a clear effort in both magical, chemical and natural predatory means to stem this. And for the rest of the Cycle the rise in insect population is held back.

Now to the Hot Cycle....Most, if not all, of the critters making life tough in Etzos this cycle can be found in the Etzos Fauna Directory

83 Trials

Trial 10: Rumors come from the west of giant grey caterpillars encroaching upon the outlying farmlands. They appear to be coming down from the Sirothelle area, though it does not seem in line with anything Faldrun would have domain control over. At this early stage, they are driven back fairly easily, as they are not used to coming up against people fighting back. Normally, they ravage swaths of wilderness, only facing up against plants and animals.

Trial 20: A study of a corpse of one of these slain caterpillars shows an ominous evolutionary trait. There is a natural chemical in their blood, making them resistant to spider toxins. This leads to the conclusion that it has been large spiders that have been the natural predator of this species. Sintra's pullback of her arachnid children brings its first serious unbalancing of the food chain. There is an upside in the discovery of this chemical as it may be able to be synthesized alchemically for future protective use.

Trial 30: a few of the area farmers are found lethally maimed, the damage coming in the form of hundreds of sharp slashes and the general draining of blood. This is swiftly attributed to the natural development of the Voracious caterpillars into the Siphon Butterfly, an alarmingly sized bug with wings that have extremely sharp and structurally fortified wing edges. The Aukari are known to put these wings to use as cutting tools, but they are not strong enough to serve as weapons.

An emissary comes from Sirothelle, stating Faldrun's displeasure with Sintra's toying with the natural order. She has filled the lands around Sirothelle with more spiders than usual to create this unpleasant southern migration of these troublesome insects. It is said that he is not so much sorry to see them go as he is irritated with the presence of so many more spiders than usual. It apparently strikes him as a very presumptuous move on her part. The emissary states that if Etzos will pay a seasonal tribute to Sirothelle, Faldrun will take measures to return things to normal. His offer is declined in no uncertain terms.

Trial 40: Etzos comes under pressure to accept Faldrun's offer from Argosian dignitaries who heard from someone that the sudden upturn in insect populations is due to some fresh grudge of Sintras that is now afflicting debilitating collateral consequences on other towns. They claim they have the support of Ne'haer in this demand, as there are temples to many immortals there and the resident Champion of Sintra there heard it first hand. High Marshall Parhn expresses sardonically amused disbelief that Sintra would advertise any such willingness to submit to Faldrun's will. The dignitaries leave in a huff.

It is noted by those investigating deaths and insect aggressions outside the city that some of the victims were from among those exiled as Sintra loyalists. This information trickles down to public knowledge and is viewed with mixed reactions. Some think it shows that Sintra has truly turned her attention away from the region if she ignores the fact of her own followers being destroyed by bugs. Others simply chalk it up to her disregard for mortal life, even those loyal to her, and assume this is what she WANTS Etzos to think.

Trial 50: Hiladreth is next in line to heap scorn upon Etzos' policies for bringing insect-related depredations down upon their neighbors. Parhn angrily offers an exchange of study groups, with any town willing, to see who is truly suffering more from the current rise in insect migration. As if in answer to his ire, a wave of Arphene bring acidic misery to Etzos in a golden haze of wind-blown wing dust to scorch eyes, noses, mouths and lungs. This dust is this large moths' prime defensive mechanism. In small wafts, it is only mildly acidic. But the swarm that hits Etzos briefly turns the very air dangerously corrosive.

All these insect afflictions bring a blight to the food sources of the area. And there is no reserve to speak of after Lisirra's plagues infected it all with lethal contaminations. Perhaps surprisingly, the population turns supportive of each other during this new crisis, having learned the harsh lessons of turning on each other the arc before. A near united front backs Parhn's determination not to bend the knee to the opportunistic administrators of "Puppet" cities trying to appease their Immortal masters, while lining their pockets with Etzori nel. "We will prevail."

Trial 60: The insect attacks take on a new and ghastly form as headless, mostly eaten corpses are found in the wilds. The savaging of the bodies would be easily attributed to any number of predators in the area, were it not for the cleanly severed heads. Responsibility for this new atrocity is hesitantly placed at the feet of colonies of the "Ascended" Mantis. Enough alchemical work has been done imbuing armor with the natural defensive capability of this insect's carapace that this decapitation tendency has been well documented. But everyone knows these shy insects go out of their way to avoid people...

Don't they?

Trial 70: By this time, the population of insect-eating reptiles, amphibians and birds, as both pets and counter measures to bugs, has grown to ten times their usual number with animal trainers and sellers flooding the eager market. But none of these creatures are anywhere near as prolific as insects. Magic of all types complements these other efforts sufficiently to keep most of the swarms outside the walls, and a large portion of the outer areas are abandoned; the availability of such housing another grim upside of so many deaths at the hands of Lisirra and Sintra.

Trial 83: Unbeknownst to the public, a study by regional entomologists find that the behavior of these unnaturally present bugs have a strange trend to them. There is a "hive mind" coordination that goes beyond the usual ant-like roles of drone, worker, gatherer and such. Instead of the usual do-the-same-job-until-you-die behavior, these bugs are making surprisingly intricate responsive adjustments to their usual roles when threatened. It is almost as if they are getting instructions from somewhere that make their roles interchangeable as necessity dictates.

Is this evolution? Or something else?

Saun 721
Fanning the Flames

40 trials

Trial 5: There is much popular movement into the Underground as it is a blessed relief from the Saun heat. The fact that there are now no spiders to be seen only adds to the appeal.

Trial 10: The race is proposed, but hesitance brings some awareness that the alleged "lighting strips" from last season, were in fact what made up the very rune that caused the spiders to ignite in the big fight with Sintra. Not only is the rune now set for this single purpose, and cannot be changed to target insects instead, it is also only effective within the city walls, and most of the increasing insect problems are well outside of its effective range.

Trial 15: it becomes apparent that there are still Sintra loyalists in town, as some vandalism begins to take place on sections of the rune strips. Watches are set in hopes of finding out who these traitors are.

Trial 20: the shocking discovery that the entrance to Sintra's domain in the underground is once again cleared stirs anger. But nothing much comes of it beyond the knowledge that much of the caved in stone rubble is now firmly packed up with webbing. It is suggested that Sintra must be able to shield some spiders from the runic attack while they work in this one small area. There is no indication that any arachnids ventured any further from this location.

Trial 25: Some eager and inexperienced Fire Defiers unleash their elementals' powers to burn swaths of insect-infested ground. the tactic is effective, but also perilous, as extremely dry grass and foliage from the heat quickly cause the fires to burst forth into neighboring areas, even those claimed by other city-states. The most swiftly-progressing fires become the targets of those Defiers with mastery over the other elements in hopes of drowning, choking and smothering the flames before irrevocable provocations occur.

Trial 35: Most of the wildfires are extinguished, though flare-ups still occur now from non-magical causes. Many of those that dealt with this task bring back sicknesses or reactions to insect bites and stings. They are quarantined as memories of catastrophic infiltrations of bug-bomb carriers are still fresh in the memories of those that fought in Rhakros before Sintra's attempted takeover. None of them burst into swarms of insects capable of injecting the same egg-laying hazard into others though. But there is an odd, faint smell of decay present in all those that suffered insect attacks now. Fear that some hint of Lisirra's influence is making itself known becomes wide-spread for the rest of the season.

We will see where the threads of Ymiden put us. Maybe whole new ideas, grand and terrible, will spawn in the collective minds of players and mods alike.
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To Everything a Season

Past Events

Rebirth 716 Calendar
"Rebirth Season" 716
Trial 1: The "Lighting of the Dark" celebration is launched without incident. The 30-trial darkness of Cylus is alleviated somewhat by the burning torches and braziers. The cold is ever-present, however.

Trial 5-10: A particular run of clear skies brings the temperature to dangerous lows and there are a number of deaths from exposure. For the most part, it is the poor and the drunk that are victims, but the level of freezing to the bodies is not consistent. This leads to speculation, and suspicion towards a visiting group of Ellune, another race known to embrace Immortal worship. This is bolstered by the river being blocked by an unusual amount of ice, shutting the mill down again.

Trial 20: The Ellune bring a formal protest to the Tower about persecution. One of their number is found dead in a location where the ritual brazier had gone out. This is not supposed to be able to happen, due to the continual-feed oil system for each unit. It is found to have been blocked up by ice in spite of the presence of the oil. There is a resurgence of resentment both toward, and from, the Ellune, who are held by the general populace to have sacrificed one of their own number to gain reparation concessions from the city. There is never any evidence of this having been proposed, but the rumors persist.

Trial 35: The river is still strangely blocked by ice, even though the temperature has risen considerably with the arrival of the Ashan season. The Ellune, meanwhile have left in a huff, needing to begin their voyage back to cooler waters while the coolness of the season lasts. "Imp Press" publishes an editorial about the evils, both economic and moral, of basing actions on unsubstantiated rumors. But his suggestion that the city risks losing valuable foreign trade through such hasty actions falls mostly on deaf ears.

Trial 42: The temperature takes a sudden bitter plunge, and the "Procession of Recognition" celebration is postponed. The river, only just cleared of ice, is manned by soldiers, to break up the ice and ensure it does not freeze up again. Those chosen for this duty are primarily those in disfavor in their units as punishment. One drowns, one freezes. Both are said to have been drunk. There are rumors of some sort of cover-up in connection with this event, but details are sketchy.

Trial 50: The temperature rises to tolerable levels again, and there is a "Rule by Combat" resulting from the deaths at the river. The causes are suppressed to a large degree, but it comes out that one of the soldiers, probably the one that drowned, was accused of being a "half-breed" Elune. This appears to be based solely on the fact that he was not as bothered by the cold as the other soldiers, which is
"why he had to be drowned, and not froze..."

Trial 51: Imp Press launches a scathing condemnation of the racial prejudice connected to the "Rule by Combat". One of his workers is found beaten in an alley the next trial and covered in a half-melted pile of ice chunks. He survives with no lasting injuries, but the Black Guard launches a harsh search for the perpetrators, which only adds to the growing tension.

Trial 60: Three men are arrested as a result of the Black Guard's investigation. Under "questioning", they confess, and are publicly beaten and left naked in the cold in the center of the arena. Imp Press composes a hesitant "Thank-You" toward the Black Guard, but adds that this still falls under the subject of actions taken on questionable facts. The story peters out a few trials later.

Trial 70: A late blizzard postpones the "Procession of Recognition" again. Some begin to wonder if some sort of mystic karma is at work. People begin to whisper that Imp Press may have been right all along. As if in response, the weather clears and warms four trials later, remaining normal for the rest of the cycle. There are still occasional dips in temperature, and some sleet and hail, but this is normal. Imp Press seems to have been vindicated, but does not press the issue with any sort of published "told you so" articles.

Trial 76: The "Procession of Recognition" finally occurs, and an Ellune citizen is among those honored. She suspects that she is being honored as a politically soothing choice, but is wise enough to make no issue of it, or the recent events, and things go off with no more than the usual drunken fights and arrests.

Trial 95: It is noticed that there has been no "Trial of the Promised" thus far this cycle, but folks are willing to accept the previous hostility towards the Ellune to have filled that role. Besides, the preparation for the "Grand Hunt and Roast" are in full swing. Having been so late to begin, there is no desire to distract from it, as it is a favorite of many.

Trial 100: The Great Hunt officially begins. Some think that launching it on the 100th trial of the cycle is a nice change. The weather has warmed, more game is afoot, success of a grand catch seems more likely. This has the downside of causing some citizens to think that the whole stink earlier in the season was somehow "destiny" now, and the moral lessons are suddenly reduced. Imp Press publishes a gentle reminder of what had been learned, and what should be remembered. It has moderate acceptance.

Trial 105: The Roast is one of the best ever. Both in culinary expertise and celebratory gaming and theater.

Trial 110: Within a few trials, there begins to be an alarming number of escalating arguments over whether or not the success of the Hunt and Roast indicated that the previous hostility toward the Ellune was a destined necessity and not an immorality. Other arguments rise over the frustration that some people will not drop this subject at this late point. A strange hostility runs rampant through Etzos, all seeming to stem from this source. There are numerous brawls, deaths, feuds, Rules-by-Combat and Ten-Trial Games as a result.

Trial 130: An Empath is discovered within the city, and is found to have been responsible for the escalation of exaggerated focus on past events, and their tendency to lead to violent confrontations. Many citizens are embarrassed and infuriated to discover how they had been manipulated, and surge of anger toward anyone suspected of using magic falls over the city.

Trial 132: Imp Press launches a quick, preemptive reminder of his past articles about hasty, unsubstantiated actions, deciding to follow it up with a series of similar editorials. There are still a few incidents, but it is not as bad as it might have been.

Trial 133-on: The remainder of the cycle passes with no outlandish events.
'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
...has the following for sale this season:

IRON SHELL BUSH SEEDS: 5-dose packets that allow a brief but significant adrenaline boost, followed by a 2 or 3-break hallucinogenic "trip", for 40gn per packet.

CLAM LEAF RESIN: 3-dose vial of numbing fluid, used for medical purposes, for 25gn per vial. Warning: Using all 3 doses used on the same injury may cause blood poisoning.

IGNIS BEANS: Very high-protein diet supplement. Hard to come by but an outstanding replacement for meat when game is scarce. 1 cup, in a festival-cauldron of stew, will fully replace the meat-based protein for the entire batch.
Can be dried and stored for arcs. 1 pound bags are for sale for 10gn.

"FROSTBITE" POISON: A tonic that quickly reduces body temperature to drastic degrees. Has a medical application for expert medics, but is more commonly used as a debilitating or even paralytic poison. Most commonly administered by skin contact. 4-dose medical vials sell for 80gn. 2 doses are debilitating, 3 doses are paralytic, 4 doses are lethal.

"RUBBERLEGS" POISON: A cream that quickly find its way to the skeleton, destabilizing its structure and allowing them to bend in unbelievable contortions. Those with less than expert training in acrobatics, find it utterly crippling, and can get no leverage for the simplest functions. 2-dose vials sell for 60gn.
Hot Cycle 716 Calendar
"Hot Season" 716
Trial 1: The climate settles pleasantly on light coat weather, promising a season of comfort and ease. What could go wrong?

Trial 5: The first lodging of a complaint is registered in the Guidance Office on the charge of a fraudulent tax agent bullying extra money from an elder woman trying to raise several children. People are disgusted at the thought of such cowardly victimizing, but soon forget it.

Trial 12: By this time, five more charges of tax extortion have been levied against some mysterious figures. Descriptions do not match, leading the Black Guard to believe it is an organized scam. Some citizens organize a fund drive to help the poor folks that have been cheated. The collected funds disappear from a strongbox in the Citizen's Tower, creating an unheard of level of suspicion against those in high places.

Trial 20: One of the city's legitimate tax collector's is found murdered. All signs point to a mob-beating style of death. There is much outrage, both by officials demanding investigation and punishment, on behalf of their dead fellow official, and by a group representing citizens who feel that the original defrauders still at large should be held to blame, since it was their misdeeds that led to the mob believing the tax collector was a fraud.

Trial 23: Another beating takes place. But this time, the act is interrupted by a roaming squad of regular soldiers, on leave from the garrison currently stationed in the farmlands. This being their first leave in town, they are unaware of what has transpired. Their reaction is harsh and two citizens are hospitalized as a result.

Trial 30: The Tower raises taxes to collect money for those defrauded by the criminals, vowing that when they are caught, compensations will be made. There is little belief that this will hold true, and there are several demonstrations and incidents of violence. Several people are killed; and others land in jail or the infirmary as a result. Those officials assigned to collect this tax are now escorted by trios of Black Guard or Army personnel. Even some of these men are injured in the unrest.

Trial 37: Violence continues. Martial law is declared when several are found dead in the Infirmary, including soldiers. Some of the dead do not appear to have died of their initial wounds and some of the original suspects, who were initially released, are now rounded up and jailed.

Trial 39: Marches occur in defiance of both the arrests and martial law in general. One march approaches the Hall of Rule and Reprimand, where the suspects are being held. A barrier of Tower Guard, Black Guard and soldiers bar their way. There is a moment of high tension, but the crowd disperses. Imp Press launches a campaign of leaflets calling for restraint, emphasizing that the original tax fraud was not committed by either the army, the guard or the citizenry.

Trial 53: Martial law is relaxed somewhat as two weeks pass without serious incident. But there is no less presence of armed forces walking the streets of Etzos. People begin to hope things will get back to normal. The Market of Wonders event is less flamboyant than usual. There is hushed recognition that many of the merchant booths that are usually present are absent this year due to deaths, injuries, and property damage.

Trial 55: Someone somewhere points out that there has been no further progress in the investigation of the tax fraud, and tempers begin to rise once again. The citizens that were arrested in regard to the deaths in the infirmary are found to have disappeared. No one seems to be able to give satisfactory explanation and the city is soon on the verge of exploding into riots, believing a cover-up is underway.

Trial 56: As if on cue, shadowy figures begin emerging from nooks, crannies and alleys and begin attacking citizen and guard alike. The beings are unable to be captured, as if they are incorporeal. Terror grips the town, but the recent violence shows an upside, in that it gives a constructive focus for the anger as citizens and soldiers, previously at bloody odds with each other, find common direction for their combative attitudes. The attacks continue sporadically throughout the season.

Trial 60: A small group of soldiers step forward with accounts of having faced these manifestations the season before just outside of town, and recommend Marshall Webb's host be brought back from their rotation to the north. The tactical advice of these few citizens make a noticeable change in the tide of the fighting.

Trial 68: Marshall Webb marches back into Etzos, taking immediate command of the remaining garrison troops, as well as his own Arm of the Etzori army. The other military arms in the extended central protected zones make ad hoc adjustments to see that all strategic locations within Etzos' sphere of influence upon the continent are defended. Mostly this involves pulling back from current reconnaissance fronts and regrouping in a posture of defense.

Trial 75: The shadowy figures suddenly vanish. Webb is hailed as a hero, but in closed meetings he stresses his belief that these were the same "Mist Men" he'd faced before; and that their dispersal was somehow different from the confirmed victory he had enjoyed previously. It is decided to keep this fact from public knowledge.

Trial 80: For the first time since the initial complaint about tax fraud, there is a sense of understanding between citizen and soldier. Things are looking up as the season passes into the stiflingly hot season of Saun.

Trial 85: Normally held at Ymiden's end, The Gem Festival is held at the beginning of Saun; the delay being accepted without comment. With few exceptions, gems are marked down 25%, as a gesture of reconciliation between The Tower and the streets. Good will gets a nice shot in the arm as a result.

Trial 90: Already sweltering, a heat wave settles over the region, bringing already dangerously high temperatures even higher. Many are overwhelmed with heat stroke and dehydration. A semi-serious bleeding illness becomes a concern as many citizens, trying to find relief in the river, receive odd wounds from some rare fish. A few experienced outdoorsmen swear they are slashes from the Razorfin fish, found only in The Misty Miasma. Marshall Webb confirms that he had suspected the miasma to have brought the Mist Men the cycle before. There is an upsurge in fishing as the value of these rare fish become common knowledge. Few are caught though, before the school seems to simply disappear.

Trial 95: A few scattered reports of shadowy figures attacking homeless turn up, but are soon dismissed as attempts at a new angle of begging. The Misty Miasma is now blamed for nearly everything that occurred in Ymiden, and everyone just wants to put it behind them.

Trial 100: The Underground Race is scheduled a little earlier than usual as a way of escaping the heat. The course through the cool dark tunnel maze beneath the city is extended a bit to allow more people in from above. Everyone is eager to participate.

Trial 102: The race begins. Horror and madness erupt below the streets, as the race is interrupted by large numbers of the previous shadowy figures attacking anyone and everyone. The relatively empty surface streets echo hauntingly with shrieks and cries coming up through air vents and service shafts. Many torches are extinguished in the melee below, and soon citizens are injuring themselves in the pitch blackness, not knowing who or what is before them. In the confusion, a barrel of alchemical fuel is ignited, resulting in an explosion that creates a 20-yard diameter sink hole, collapsed into the tunnel level, in the innermost luxury housing ring south of the Pillar of Society. This kills or traps many below the streets. It also presents a great opportunity for some people to infiltrate underground areas otherwise off-limits or hidden, creating whole new avenues of intrigue and adventure.

Trial 112: Hundreds die, and thousands are injured before the Underground is cleared of the monstrosities. Etzos lies in the grip of paranoia, every shadow bringing fear and harsh reactions. A rumor springs up that Rhakros is behind this great evil, rather than Sirothelle. It is reported that Etzori agents there are claiming that the Queen of Pestilence is gone from the city. The Tower is beset by militant advisers urging attack. Everyone agrees the timing will never be better.

Trial 118: Fear turns to fury. The order is given to split the forces in the field and focus on the edge of the "Witch's Wild" boundary to the south. Frontiers to the north, east and west are manned by less than a third their usual number, as a massive invasion force musters south of "the Armpit", along a latitude shared by the city of Ne'Haer. The troops know that to be seen mustering such a force will trigger warnings in Rhakros. To delay now is self-defeating.

Trial 123: The council has argued for several days now without decision. The only agreement is that Marshall Webb has been given command of the southern "Fist of Justice" force. An unknown agent of Sintra, he aches to bring smoking ruin to the Plague Lord's city. Smiths have turned from everyday goods to focusing on weapons and armor for several days now. Apothecaries have turned out field medical kits and strategic toxins by the hundreds. Farmers have been tasked to grow only produce best suited for military rations. Even such peacetime crafters as jewelers and artists are tasked to produce rank order emblems, sigils and tactical maps.

All Etzos is poised for war...
'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
...has the following for sale this season:

SPRING SLAM: 5-dose packets that allow a lengthy physically bolstering high, in which the body seems to react faster as the world goes in a slightly slowed motion, allowing impacts to seem more "bouncy" and less damaging. And while this is mostly true, it has not proven to be an effective martial boost, because the user's timing is far from efficient. There is also an elating narcotic, making the already comical effects grow to near hilarious proportions. Miss Givings is only selling this in the 5-dose packets for 40gn per packet.

SHRINK ROPES: The other beneficial asset that can be gleaned from the bush that brings us "Spring Slam. The stems and vines of the southern "Binding Climber", when doused with salt water, tighten and harden into very effective restraints. This is actually the initial use of the plant, the drug being discovered later. It sells for 2gn per yard, but it rarely grows to such lengths that unbroken vines reach more than ten yards in length. Miss Givings does not like to cut her supplies to custom lengths. Customers must pay for them "as is".

RAIN BLOW: One of the very rare and pricey drugs that lend an almost supernatural insight into the auras that become visible under the influence of this mineral-based drug. It bestows a color scheme on all that the user views, betraying the emotions of those under its scrutiny like a lie-detector. Those that wish to exploit this, will need to pay Miss Givings 40-50gn for a single potent dose. Those that simply want to view a far more colorful world, can dilute this dosage to 5 or 6 day-long doses. There is a mild visual withdrawal, making the world close to black and white for a few days.

THE KIDNAPPER'S PACK: First, there is the paralytic poison, found in the front legs of the giant "Kidnapper" spider, found in deep forest zones the world over. Fortunately(?), Etzos is one such zone, so the cost is the fairly reasonable 50gn per dose. This cost is also applied to the equally available secondary venom found in the bite of this spider, which breaks down skin, bone and muscle tissue to liquid form for easy consumption by the giant arachnid.
Also available is the silk strands, which are woven into the finest rope, selling for 20gn per 50' coil, They are treated with the spider's own glandular release enzyme, making the rope non-stick.
Cold Cycle 716 Calendar
"Cold Cycle" 716
Vhalar 716
Trial 1: The climate of martial zeal is a cover up for anxiety as those who reached what they thought was protection and security now find themselves caught up in war preparations.

Trial 10 The word goes out that the "Fist of Justice" force on the southern frontier border has began its march on Rhakros. There are celebrations heralding the retribution against the perpetrators of the Mist men attacks and the tragic Underground Race. Production efforts are even more focused on war materials and supplies.

Trial 14 An entourage accompanying an Immortal arrives, asking to speak in the arena to call for support in an effort to stop a plot by three notorious enemy Immortals. High Marshall Parhn meets them at the gate, refusing them entry. With near universal support of the citizens present, he says that Etzos will deal with their enemy Immortals in their own way. He "thanks" them with an angry sarcasm for the confirmation that Lisirra is not in Rhakros. After some debate, Parhn states that he will allow any that wish to accompany them to Oscillus to depart. He decrees that since they are ultimately fighting to stop yet another hateful Immortal plot, he will consider them faithful to the virtues that make Etzos great.

Trial 16 on- High Marshall Parhn enacts a policy of investigation, the purpose of which is to expose any with possible sympathy for Rhakros. many lose their businesses and homes. A few resist and lose their lives as well. Holidays such as The Trial of Lessons, Ten-Trial games and Trials of the Promised are specifically tailored to persecute any that are found to have a connection to Rhakros.

Trial 20 The Shrine to Lisirra is closed, though the provisions of weapon toxins for the army are continued. Patron Lerrik Calloso initiates debates on the strict new policies, citing their eventual negative effects on the culture of the city and its concepts of freedom from immortal influence. The debates continue through the season, with alternating success by both viewpoints. Eventually, those that register their connections to relatives or business associates in Rhakros, without prompting, are granted a "Measure of Tolerance" certificate to acknowledge that there is cause to consider them as victims of this latest round of Immortal conniving.

Trial 30 Word comes back to Etzos of ongoing victories and advancements against Rhakrosian defenses. Many strategies involving magic and alchemical defenses against the predictable pestilential counter attacks bear favorable results. Most do not realize that it is the influence of Marshall Webb's matron Immortal that is rendering this level of success.

Trial 40 Word reaches the city that Lisirra returned in wrath to the near-ruined city of Rhakros. Once again, the overseeing influence of Marshall Webb's protecting Immortal prevent the battle from turning in Lisirra's favor. But losses rise among the Etzos forces.

Trial 45 - on It appears that Lisirra is content for now to have simply driven the invading forces out of Rhakros. The Etzori forces step up their "scorched earth" policy as they withdraw, hoping to leave too little flora and fauna for the Rhakrosi chemists to make any weaponized toxins or infectious materials from. At times they, fortify a position, placing messenger bird cotes within, for it to become a permanent early warning station against Rhakros' return.

Trial 60 - on Vuda officially announces the thefts of arcane devices during the ambushed Underground Race disaster, along with a list of items stolen. The bounties are unclear, only offering 'considerable reward' for the safe return of each item, but many take the offer up, and enthusiastic, and often illegal, searches force the Blackguard to scramble across the city to protect private property.

Trial 70 - on Evidence of aukari incursions in the outer perimeter support rumors of aukari spies within the staffs of some highly placed Tower personnel, possibly Chief Adviser Vuda himself. Official inquiries have led nowhere, though a shady man in a shady Tavern claimed that Vuda himself was offering a reward for any such spy, should he be captured and brought to him, alive.

Trial 105 The aukari threat is confirmed beyond doubt when the Quarry is attacked. It becomes obvious that the state of the military situation has been monitored by the enemy to the north. The quarry was manned by a largely citizen-militia force. Though it is not a location that can be destroyed. It holds a strategic position and is easily defended. But a surprise attack has placed its possession in doubt.

Trial 120 It appears that the attack on the Quarry was a diversion to pull troops away from the Farmlands to the west of the city. They now come under attack, with heavy civilian casualties and disappearances. Much of the rich soil is contaminated with toxins and implanted with burrowing insects. It is uncertain if this is a coordinated effort between Sirothelle and Rhakros.

Trial 123 Once again, the tennis-match strategy of attacks alternating on the west and eastern fronts comes to a head with an attack on the mines. The Etzori were largely prepared for this and the raiding party is mostly killed, but a huge store of gems is stolen by the retreating aukari. Fear of running into an ambush prevents the slim defenders from giving chase immediately. But a sizeable bounty is placed upon the gems' return; with a bonus for the heads of the aukari agents added a few trials later.


Zi'da 716

High Marshall Parhn is unwilling to fully pull back from the advances made against Rhakros. despite hostilities arising from Sirpothelle, he embarks upon a program of establishing new border towns and supporting army strongholds south of Etzos, as a new first line of defense against that front. The logistical programs and taxes to free up the necessary funds to begin this will come into effect at the start of Zi'da, as craftsmen of all types are given commissions to generate materials suited for quickly-constructed, defendable homesteads.

Zi'da 15 - Rumors of new towns being founded near the edges of the Jungle begin to circulate, though no confirmation can be found from anyone in power yet. The craftsmen are, at this time, still sworn to silence on the subject as a means of trying to trick traitors and spies into revealing themselves.

Zi'da 20 - The rumors are confirmed when the Tower officially begins preparing groups to found small towns. Applications for this venture area available from the Guidance office. Drastically cheaper land is offered for those willing to relocate, at quarter cost. Simultaneously, the cost of any building materials quadruples. All the blacksmiths have been set to crafting basic building supplies and wagon wheels. There is heated debate over this development, but the smiths have the support of The Smith's and Mason's Guild, one of Etzos' most powerful factions.

Zi'da 35 - The first of the founding groups leaves Etzos with much celebration. Alcohol is reduced by 50% for the evening. When the party wears off, the realization of the danger this group is risking becomes a sobering subject of discussion.

Zi'da 50 - The city comes alive again to greet the returning army heroes, and the streets are flooded as citizens welcome back their loved ones. The impromptu celebration is cut short as reports of a large Aukari force marching south trickle in. Marshall Webb delivers a rousing speech, and offers the exhausted soldiers three trials to rest before they march north to meet this threat.

Zi'da 75 - The hubub begins to die down regarding the new townships to the south as the groups arrive at their destination and begin building their towns. The army has regrouped and sent support forces. They leave large garrisons at central locations to be able to aid multiple nearby towns. Prices of building goods return to normal.
'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
...has the following for sale this season:

MOUKOU BEANS: Name: Moukou Beans
The hostilities have made this normally available medicinal bean difficult to obtain.
it is both a flavorful addition to recipes, it is also a beneficial sleep aid. used in teas, it brings a calm that is very conducive to restful sleep. It can be addictive and start a pattern of lethargic behavior that can be difficult to break. but this is indicative of its medicinal use as a sleep aid and pain killer. Normally 5gn would purchase enough to see someone through the painful ordeal of treating and repeatedly binding a serious wound. But the war with Rhakros has doubled this cost to 10gn for the same amount.

THRAYBONE: The name of this paralyzing toxin demonstrates how the characteristics of different mysterious phenomenon can be confused in the relaying of knowledge from one person to the next. This chemical is actually entirely made from the paralyzing toxin found in the sting of the Scorbon Scorpion, not the mysterious stone-skinned Thray. The scorpion can be milked for a long time, providing a lucrative source of an very effective paralyzing toxin. This has the benefit of making it possible to sell Thraybone for less than one might expect. Outside of the Hotlands, the doubled price is still only about 60gn for a dose that can render a human-sized victim completely helpless.

RED DRESS: This is not a particularly powerful poison, but it's lack of a scent makes it functional for some necessities. It is primarily a knock out toxin, leaving its target in a restlessly unconscious state. This can lead the poisoner to believe he under-dosed his victim, and that he is about to awaken from its effect; which can lead to an overdose as the perpetrator continues to add to the dosage. But the overdose hazard is not death, but rather emotional trauma from the steadily increasing intensity of whatever nightmares the victim is experiencing while unconscious.
Actually, this drug is often considered a medicine, and in small, responsible doses, it serves very well as a pre-surgery knock-out drug. It's name is a mispronunciation of its original name, which was "Red Rest", indicating the unpleasant nature of its inflicted stasis. Made from the ground red flowers of the Mole Cactus, it is not readily available outside of the Hotlands, and is not even easily acquired there. The war has increased its normal dosage price to 30gn.

CLAYTOLA MONTICOLA: The berries of this plant are primarily purchased for their delicious flavoring capabilities. This is primarily due to the fact that its healing ability for those of the Yludih race, will reveal them as a member of this mistrusted shape-shifter race. A handful of these berries can go far in the kitchen, and is currently costing 10gn, due to the war. Miss Givens, however, is sympathetic to the Yludih, for her own private reasons, and will generally sell this same amount to a member of that race for half that price. of course, that amount is only sufficient to serve as a healing poultice for one or two serious wounds. And most such treatments have to be repeated several times during the course of healing. More about this plant can be found here.
Rebirth Cycle 717 calendar
"Rebirth Cycle" 717
Cylus 717
Trial 1: The "Lighting of the Dark" ceremony has a strangely funereal aura to it in light of the events in Oscillus. Anything that would be a celebration of Treid's works now brings a sadness, even to the citizens of this non-deifying city. As much as the flaring of the braziers along the tops of the city walls, many eyes are turned to the perpetual night sky in hopes of seeing more of the unusually frequent "shooting stars". It is said they are shards of the actual body of Treid himself; and that finding one can give a mortal access to spheres of knowledge beyond the ken of the Idalos-bound.

Trial 9: The horribly shriveled husk of a citizen is found in an alley, a victim of flaying. Apprehension begins to spread that there may be a recurring villain in town. Tales of past horrors, and the details of how they were stopped, or not, become more frequent topics of discussion.

Trial 13: There is a brief diversion from the grisly affair of the murders as a "shard star of Treid" is believed to account for a streak of light over the city. Numerous adventurers saddle up, or rupture out in pursuit of knowledge and/or treasure.

Trial 18: Another flayed body is found. An agent of the "Special Services Committee", Grinnley Fastwell, announces his request that citizens keep a look out for an eidisi mage that is wanted for questioning in regards to the flaying murder of a crewman from a ship that docked in Foster's Landing on the 26th of Zi'Da. The ship's Captain, Roalz, is long gone back to sea, but left a description of a slender, lighter-blue-skinned eidisi male with deep-set eyes and shoulder-length black hair, which he often kept tied back with a strip of leather. He estimated 6'4" or 5", 160+lbs., tending to wear a black fur cloak.

Trial 27: Despite the fairly precise description of the last man seen with the murdered crewman, eidisi of every shape and description begin to be hounded throughout the city and outer perimeter. This only escalates when another body is found flayed in the Citizen's Market. The Black Guard issues warnings to citizens not to take the law into their own hands, reminding them that this eidisi was only wanted for questioning.

Trial 30: These cautions fall on deaf ears as an eidisi woman is lynched in the Commercial Ring, in full view of a number of citizens. Conflicting claims that she did or did not use magic are shouted loudly when the Black Guard arrive to take several perpetrators into custody. Several eidisi-run businesses close for an indefinite period.


Ashan 717

Trial 6: Another body is found, and a student in the Academy casually mentions that these incidents have been once every nine trials. Authorities reluctantly confirm this detail and the mood of the city takes on a 'count-down' demeanor.

Trial 15: Another body turns up flayed...Panic ensues. The fact that the perpetrator had to be aware of how keyed in the population was to this crime wave, and how closely they were watching for any sign of it, makes the citizenry all the more terrified. Demands for stepped-up security and Black Guard presence are heard day and night.

Trial 24 - on: A flayed body is found every nine trials. The count-down mentality leads to a pattern of heightened reactionary violence as every ninth trial nears. There develops an odd fatalism, leading to wild revelry as well. The Black Guard is hard pressed to keep order against both extremes, and the current city garrison is called in to help. The arm stationed at garrison at this time is commanded by Marshall "Black" Slatrick Royce. Some of the ministers feel this will only add to the tension.

Trial 30: Several alchemists offer wards against flaying for exorbitant prices. While they mostly reap rich profits, there is considerable doubt that the effectiveness of these wards will be ever be confirmed. A few of their shops are broken into and looted. Three trials later, another flayed body is found. The countdown begins again.

Trial 42: The morbid carnival atmosphere of the countdown reaches its climax again as everyone awaits news of a new body being found. The mood of the city is berated severely in a special release by Imp Pressions, heaping contempt upon the change to this "lottery mentality". Garrett Langley, owner of Imp Pressions, acknowledges the need for a diversion from the fear, but feels that this seeming acceptance of it as a some kind of game is taking it too far. Eventually a body is found, and the city heaves another 8-trial sigh of bitter relief.

Trial 51: Once again, the tension rises. Garrison personnel make their presence known, accosting certain citizens off the street for harsh interrogations. Most of these are eidisi, and a spokesman for this demographic of the population goes to the tower to lodge an official complaint. Everyone is stunned when this representative is the next person found dead.

Trial 60: Tremendous pressure is now on every branch of government, guard, and military to stop this murderer. It is an unfortunate oversight that one of the garrison's mages, due to rotate to this assignment, is an eidisi. The moment he is seen using magic, the public pressure erupts into a full fledged lynching. He, of course, uses more of his magic to defend himself, which only makes things worse. The enraged citizenry fight through the magical defenses as the mage goes into overstepping, and he and the soldiers he was with are on the verge of being killed when members of The Seekers make a surprise appearance to rescue them.

Trial 65: It turns out that the eidisi mage was secretly a Seeker initiate, performing his task to earn rank within the mage guild by getting implanted in the army and reporting back to his Seeker superiors on what the army is doing. Marshall Royce is furious to learn this, and demands that The seekers turn him over for court-martial, and likely execution for treason. The Seekers are outraged to see that the Tower appears to be considering concession to this demand, and vow retaliations of their own in that event.

Trial 70: A meeting is arranged. Fearing the worst, The Seekers do not bring the eidisi mage with them. Representing the Tower, Chief Adviser Vuda orders the representatives of the Seekers to be placed under arrest for Obstruction of Justice. The attempt fails as the Seekers fight free of the gauntlet of soldiers. Vuda himself chooses not to reveal his own level of magical strength to the army by joining the fight. But he names the Seekers an outlaw organization, whose members are to be arrested on sight. In all the hostility, no one seems to take notice of the fact that no flayed body turned up on the 60th or 69th.

Trial 71 - on: A hit-and-run, ambush style guerrilla war is carried on in Etzos, as members of the garrison forces under Marshall Royce are given free reign to flush out Seekers wherever they are found, as well as interrogate suspects that may have information as to their safe houses and strongholds. Later, it is finally noted that the flaying seems to have stopped. It is proposed that the perpetrator may have been one of the alchemists, trying to drum up business for his Flaying Wards. Others wonder if the fact of the eidisi representative having been a victim might incriminate the Tower itself in some way. Either way, eidisi mages remain a subject of suspicion and fear for some time.
'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
...has the following for sale this season:

BRIMSTONE: The twin applications that result from the process of making this drug are equally sought, due to the growing unrest this cycle. The thinner layer will give moderate protection against mental magics like Empathy or Illusionism. The thicker fluid will instead give a practitioner of these magics a boost of power to their spells. This offense-based, second version is said to be more addictive than the defensive form. But most think this is simply due to the pleasure of feeling powerful. But for whatever reason, many practitioners experience a complete failure of their magic abilities for many trials after only a few trials' continued use. Rarely sold outside of Sirothelle, costing at least 150GN per dose in other locations.

NIGHT SKY: Gleaned from the fluids of the Harrow's eyes, it brings a contented state of warm gladness that is heightened by the glamor of a clear night. This mood enhancement is further enhanced by an effect which gives the user a visual capability to see great distances at night with inhuman clarity. Hunters and trackers swear by this drug. Depending on circumstances, a buyer may spend anything from 25 to 50gn for a vial that might net 4 or 5 doses. Of course, frequent use nets less and less doses from each vial, as well as making the user painfully light sensitive for increasing lengths of time after the drug wears off. There are also reports of sudden onsets of nightmares relating to being slowly devoured by the creature.

STORM BRAIN: A play on the term "Brainstorm", it has been found that, in the trail left by the Hotland's wind-funnel storms, - called "Qui'aya" - an odd blend of pulverized minerals is occasionally left, which is capable of bestowing what many people believe are glimpses of the future. Naturally, the paradoxical nature of user's reactions to these visions make it impossible to verify whether they actually received any advance notice of some future event or not. People almost universally take steps that they think will alter the future, if it appears detrimental, and usually end up bringing about the very result they sought to prevent. 40gn outside of the Hotlands.

SPOTS: Gathered by some enterprising chemists during the fight in Oscillus, this color-changing drug will be in high demand by eidisi in Etzos this cycle. It is taken from one of the dermal layers of the Oscillus Leopard, and allows people to change the color of some or all of their natural features. 50-100gn, depending on the exploitive nature of the vendor.
Hot Cycle 717 Calendar
"Hot Cycle" 717
Ymiden 717
Trial 1-8: The Grand Hunt and Roast ceremony is held late. Normally it would have been in Ashan. But many hunters were busy then, helping with the initial supplying of the new towns in the southern wilds. Then when strange mutations began transforming some of the riff-raff of the Underground into serious pubic threats, they were recalled to tackle this problem, along with the guard and the army's city garrison.

Trial 9: A bounty of 1,000 gold nel is put on the head of the Becomer known as "Padfoot". His real name is Mal "Malkin" Fjorunn, and he has been blamed for the wave of mutants bringing sudden fear and loathing to the citizenry. Many doctors of varying integrity have offered to provide operations to those seeking to regain their normal appearance. Many surgically removed body parts are sold to the Academy for study, Alchemists for experimentation, or Circus-like showmen for exploitation.

Trial 10-20: The stars spell out the words "Surrender Doran" in the night sky, and a pillar of starlight spotlights a camp several miles northwest of Etzos, where forms composed of a cloudy mist seem to endlessly replay a cowardly figure stabbing another, who is already clearly fatigued, in the back, and then running away.

Trial 20-30: The starlight pillar does not return, but excessively dark clouds inflict an almost endless dusk-like gloom over the whole Etzos region, accompanied by unusually heavy rains. There is the appearance of a reddish mineral in the rising Southwood River that gives the appearance of blood.

Trial 31-38: Outcries against the threats seeming to be indicated by these Xuir-related events bring some focus on Doran's presence in Etzos, though most are defiantly supportive of him. The Market of Wonders event is filled with items and theater centered on the version told to the council by Doran upon his arrival, and exaggerated by townspeople since then. Many of the acts make him out to be almost a god himself.

Trial 40: A bright streak crashes to the ground outside of town, rattling the town almost like an earthquake. A new level of fear rises in regards to the possible retribution by Xuir. But when investigators go to the site, they find a completely vaporized campsite with only bits of evidence suggesting the preparations for a disease attack by Rhakros. The obvious level of heat from the explosion leaves no doubt that nothing survived, not even the germs.

Trial 41-50: A new star message appears in the sky. It states no command for any concession, simply reading: "I am not your enemy". A stranger appears in town with a new contest of wits, the prize being either gold or magical items as prizes. The dusky gloom arises from time to time during the rest of the cycle.

Trial 53-58: A powerful windstorm thrashes the countryside, uprooting trees and sending branches spearing homes and citizens. Some smaller folk are actually lifted an flung by the wind. Dozens are killed and many blame Xuir, feeling he has targeted the city for vengeance. Imp Press prints a rebuttal against such snap judgments, citing the fact that wind is not one of his spheres of influence, and that his star power had earlier saved the city from a plague.

Trial 59-80: Due to the falling star eradicating what had been accepted to have been a Rhakrosian war plot, it is revealed that mid-to-high level wells have been being given to mages that volunteered for frontier army duty in the southern towns. The Tower then claims it was to encourage a more cooperative attitude among those who have thus far managed to hide their ether-based abilities. Many tricksters try to scam their way into possession of these items as well.

Trial 83: The season ends with a guarded but generally confident attitude that city leaders are taking steps to curb the levels of threat arising from all these new quarters.


Saun 717

Trial 6: The temperature turns surprisingly, even uncomfortably, cold for several trials. Some crops are harmed. Again Xiur is blamed. Again Imp Press publishes a rebuttal against the unlikelihood of Xiur using powers with which he has no connection.

Trial 15: A wagon comes crawling toward town with a victim suffering from extreme symptoms of exposure to cold. The wagon barely reaches the outer perimeter before it is set upon by freakish denizens of an icy nightmare that follow it out of the woods, killing everyone aboard the wagon. The figures then return to the woods and are not seen again. They are easily tracked due to the effects of freezing they leave in their wake. Many groups of scouts go into the wilds to try to find out more.

Trial 16 - on: Wild tales come from every quarter trying to explain the attack on the wagon, and the possible origins of the strange attackers. Only a few travelers and adventurers, ones that have been to the ruins of Valaris, have an explanation that is consistent. It is the fact that these persons are all strangers to each other, yet their stories are ominously similar, that gives credence to their tales. Nonetheless, they are taken no more seriously than any others. "Padfoot's Freakshow" takes an upswing in numbers. Bullying of such mutants turns steadily uglier as the season passes, resulting in some horrific retributions. Lynch mobs start to become almost common. Reprisals by groups of mutants against recognized members of these mobs become a problem as well.

Trial 20-35: A series of extreme lightning storms pass through the area, as the weather roils in confusion over the departure of the freakish cold. Magic is randomly affected by what seems to be a conductive energy lingering in the atmosphere. What may seem like a sympathetic field that increases power one trial, turns to a hindrance that blocks power the next. It is noted that the Underground race is not being planned. After the horror of the shadow ambush the previous arc, there is no real push to stage the race this arc.

Trial 30: In the midst of this odd magical disruption, some travelers from Rharne come to town. After a few trials in town, they hear lingering tales of the attack on the wagon. They are immediately alarmed until they hear that it was so many trials ago. They reassure everyone that the danger will have passed by now. But several of the scout groups did not return. They support the theories of those who'd been to Valaris, though they do not mention the city by name. The only name they do speak of is of something called a "Savage Shelf".

Trial 36 - 40: The heat now turns even a little hotter than normal for the rest of the season, but the lightning storms end.
'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
...has the following for sale this season:

Miss Giving's connections bring surprises from Scalvoris this cycle.

Yellow Dragon Sap: Brought to Etzos by traders who obtained it from intrepid arborists in Scalvoris, this is known there to be an antiseptic/healing agent for all races save the aukari. With the proximity and hostility of Sirothelle, it is figured to be a big seller in Etzos. 50GN per healing/poisoning dose in Etzos.

Jubiplunt Essence: Another product of Scalvoris gardening, this processed extract of the Jubiplant bush is a calming tonic that is known to reverse the effects of mental trauma and dementia, as well as simple stress. Many an argument was saved from escalation by the easy-going nature this plant's effects bring about. It is primarily the shipping costs that bring this product up to its Etzos' cost of 20gn per 3-dose vial.

Greensand Wrap: A cloth tube, enclosing a small amount of this mysterious sand, which is always cool to the touch. It is used for relief during the hot cycle, and comes from far-off Scalvoris, so it is a fairly exotic fashion piece as well. These scarf-like wraps sell for 20-30 gn apiece, depending on if they were purchased during the unusual cool portion of the cycle, which brought prices down temporarily.

Lightbane Powder: Gathered from the dried blossoms of the Scalvoris Ginkgo Tree, an expert poisoner can surely find the means to restrict the effects to a single target within a larger number. It brings a slowly developing, non-lethal blindness, which can cause such painful sensitivity to light, that even blind, the afflicted must still wear eye patches to avoid severe pain. Expensive in Scalvoris, where no one admits to its existence in this processed form, it is a good 200gn for enough to inflict blindness to a single individual.
Cold Cycle 717 Calendar
"Cold Cycle" 717
Vhalar 717
Trial 6: Rumors hit town of abandoned treasure lying about along the Frostbrow Peninsula and Gelid Shore (These can be found in the "Out and About" topic), as a result of last season's incursion of "Savage Shelf" monsters being triggered to attack curious pirates. Numerous impromptu "teams" of treasure hunters scramble to gear up and go after quick riches. Vendors quickly exhaust such supplies and other sources begin gouging prices for such gear.

Trial 23: A pair of Impressively outfitted Naerikk diplomats come to town by coach from Foster's Landing. They are met at the gate by a well-geared and polished diplomatic entourage, headed by High Marshall Parhn himself.

Trial 28: It is noted publicly that the Naer were never seen doing any sort of touring about town after their arrival. Some say that they left again the very next trial. This is doubted by most and speculation begins as to what became of this visit.

Trial 35: Follow-up rumors hit town of bandit teams ambushing the treasure hunters that left town weeks before. But straggling survivors of these attacks claim that the neither the bandits nor the treasure hunters ever seemed to find any treasure. Some say that the rumors were actually started by the bandits to lure suckers into the wild. But few are willing to believe this when some of these stragglers are noted to have left town again.

Trial 50: Victim's of "Padfoot's Freakshow" are still an issue, but are beginning to thin out. Rumors begin to spawn of an escape route having been established by sympathetic citizens and officials. Some of the frustrated discrimination starts to be directed at those suspected of this sympathy.

Trial 70: Fear from rumors of foiled Naerikk plots are being compounded by rumors of the visitors having been detained and questioned, possibly imprisoned or worse. This leads to exaggerated fears of Nearikk reprisals, which result in slowly increasing "preemptive" actions against naer citizens. The eidisi citizens, who have been the focus of Etzori racism the last few seasons are relieved by this development, but not terribly sympathetic to the new racial victims.

Trial 90 - 123: It is announced that all the caved-in or otherwise damaged areas of The Underground have now been cleared out, and rebuilding can begin. Any with construction skills of any kind can find work on this project. Speculation that these newly cleared areas are where the escape routes for Padfoot's mutants have been established. Confrontations between suspicious, vigilante-minded types and more open-minded citizens, as well as irritated workers become increasingly frequent as the season winds down.


Zi'da 717

Trial 6: The oncoming cold season is made clear by a frigid cold front blowing down from the Gelid Shore. Many of the remaining treasure hunting groups come shivering back to town with little to show for their effort.

Trial 10: New claims that the treasures left over by the pirates that were killed by the Savage Shelf creatures may have been left on the ships, some of whom have simply drifted off into the Meridian Main (how the Etzori usually refer to the Orm'Del Sea), where others have sunk off the coast.

Trial 20: It appears that rumors of the goings on up at Gelid Shore have found their way to Foster's Landing, as shipmates of many missing pirates come into Etzos. Mostly these criminals are granted immunity in both towns as they are viewed as potential means toward building an Etzori navy. Now however, this immunity is strained as they lay claim to any treasure procured by any of these treasure hunters. This claim is denied by Etzos and the pirates leave in a huff.

Trial 40: Rumors come back of pirate ships attacking private citizens' vessels off the Gelid Shore. There is little Etzos can do directly, without a navy. Instead, they bring some air and water Defiers up from the outlying towns to add some protection to the efforts of citizens searching for drifting vessels and diving for submerged ones.

Trial 60: Word gets back to town of strange additional effects on the spells being expended by the Defiers. This is not to say that the spells are weakened; in many cases they are more powerful than intended. It is more that, when this happens, there is almost a "personal" influence, felt by the caster, coming from the well he is using; as if the well itself has a grudge against the pirates. Other casters are said to have said similar things recently, but not in regard to pirates.

Trial 62: Stranger still is the subtle ways in which these rumors are discredited and kept quiet. Any that persist in recounting these events find themselves in just enough trouble to keep them quiet while not drawing attention to the charges and incarceration.

Trial 65: Much of the contention is rendered moot by a sudden chain of storms wracking the northern coastlines.

Trial 70- 93: The season draws to a close with ongoing verbal conflicts between citizens, government and pirates over who has the right to any lost treasure; and who, if anyone, is responsible for the odd magical effects, as well as the storms, who some feel may be partly the result of them.
'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
...has the following for sale this season:

Miss Giving's connections bring surprises from Scalvoris this cycle.

Yellow Dragon Sap: Brought to Etzos by traders who obtained it from intrepid arborists in Scalvoris, this is known there to be an antiseptic/healing agent for all races save the aukari. With the proximity and hostility of Sirothelle, it is figured to be a big seller in Etzos. 50GN per healing/poisoning dose in Etzos.

Jubiplunt Essence: Another product of Scalvoris gardening, this processed extract of the Jubiplant bush is a calming tonic that is known to reverse the effects of mental trauma and dementia, as well as simple stress. Many an argument was saved from escalation by the easy-going nature this plant's effects bring about. It is primarily the shipping costs that bring this product up to its Etzos' cost of 20gn per 3-dose vial.

Greensand Wrap: A cloth tube, enclosing a small amount of this mysterious sand, which is always cool to the touch. It is used for relief during the hot cycle, and comes from far-off Scalvoris, so it is a fairly exotic fashion piece as well. These scarf-like wraps sell for 20-30 gn apiece, depending on if they were purchased during the unusual cool portion of the cycle, which brought prices down temporarily.

Lightbane Powder: Gathered from the dried blossoms of the Scalvoris Ginkgo Tree, an expert poisoner can surely find the means to restrict the effects to a single target within a larger number. It brings a slowly developing, non-lethal blindness, which can cause such painful sensitivity to light, that even blind, the afflicted must still wear eye patches to avoid severe pain. Expensive in Scalvoris, where no one admits to its existence in this processed form, it is a good 200gn for enough to inflict blindness to a single individual.
Rebirth Cycle 718 Calendar
"Rebirth Cycle" 718
Cylus 718
Trial 1: The "Lighting of the Dark" celebration is dimmed by several murders. An investigation is launched immediately, with witnesses stepping forward to give accounts of shadowy figures being seen in the areas.

Trial 3: Rumors of shadowy figures seen at locations where the murders have occurred stir two different reactions: One is panic over an initial belief that the shadow creatures of last arc have returned. The other is the escalation of last cycles' hostilities toward anyone of Naerikk heritage.

Trial 8: A "Trial of the Promised" parade is held, focusing on the Naerikk. Even though this celebration is intended to encourage a condescending disdain for the target race, it is hoped that this "outpouring" of passive-aggressive bile toward these women will vent enough public hostility to reduce the tension.

Trial 12: Earthquakes are felt lightly in Etzos. Anyone comparing notes would quickly find that the reported severity increases as one proceeds to the southwest; with Fordwell, Southguard and Highbend receiving the worst of it.

Trial 20: A Traveling musical troupe comes to town lighten the dark mood in the city. It is an initial success, bringing joy and relief from stress in the form of a communal appreciation of fine arts. It is not until several trials after that it is discovered that a wave of burglaries struck in conjunction with the residences of the victims having been away to attend the shows. It is learned that the troupe came from the west and had passed through some of the Outlying towns first.

Trial 28: Investigations into the thefts lead to members of the army, who have deserted from the town of Muster, along with significant amounts of military gear. Fears of Rhakros' involvement, and the possibility of this enemy learning of new progress, in Etzos' weaponry, or new vulnerabilities in defenses, bring new tension to the area.


Ashan 718

"Black Guard Crackdown"

Trial 3: An announcement is given in the Crescent Arena that there will be an increase in Black Guard activity due to the increases in burglary, violence and general tension throughout the city and surrounding environs. Citizens are expected to be cooperative to squads of Black Guard troops that will be searching homes and businesses for indications of collusion in the burglary and smuggling schemes plaguing the city. The army garrison is ordered into the city, to handle the general police actions normally performed by the Black Guard.

Trial 5: The pattern of searches begins in the Southwest Housing Quarter and the Outer Crafting Zone. Resistance and repercussions slowly escalate, the jails and Black Guard cells beneath the Hall of Rule and Reprimand quickly getting crowded. (PC events may modify how these descriptions will be interpreted in threads.)

Trial 23: Being satisfied with the state of the SW Housing Quarter and The Crafting Zone, the search order moves to the Eastern Civilian Housing Quarter and the Citizen's Market. It is hoped that the asymmetrical move by the Black Guard squads will catch some criminal efforts by surprise. The move is viewed as a success, as numerous crooked vendors are discovered to be selling stolen property.

Trial 42: The Northeastern and Southern Housing Quarters are now targeted for searches, and a number of units currently held to be unoccupied are found to be surprisingly "furnished" with stolen property. *Miss Givings is arrested, so no merchandise can be had from her for the remainder of the season. Numerous reports are received by the Citizen's Committee, telling of abuses of authority by the occupying Garrison forces. The Tower is torn and contentious over whose Rules of Engagement should take precedence; the Black Guard, who is not the force currently doing this city police duty; or the army, whose Rules are designed for wartime situations, not civilian interactions.

Trial 62: It is decided to split this search agenda between Black Guard and army personnel. Long-present animosities between the Black Guard and the army explode into violence as the Black Guard naturally insists upon taking the lead in the search of the Home Garrison Barracks. The army rightfully considers this an accusation of corruption, and a suggestion that the army will not do an honest job of policing their own personnel. The Black Guard responds with the now-confirmed evidence of the military town of Muster having been a major staging point in property stolen and smuggled from the citizens of Etzos. Marshall Royce takes out the garrison's anger at the insult on the last unsearched section in the outer perimeter, the Northwestern Housing Quarter.

Trial 70: After numerous reports of beatings, rapings and outright murders, the army is pulled out of the NW Housing Quarter. Lady Terris, of the Citizens Committee, backed by flyers printed by Imp Pressions, gives an impassioned speech at the Arena, pleading for both increased calm and cooperation by the collective citizenry, and for investigations "by unbiased personnel" into the reports of army brutality. The search of the remaining section of the NW Housing Quarter is handled by the Black Guard. A number of stashes of stolen materiele is found in the army barracks by the Black Guard. The army claims it was planted there by Black Guard sympathizers. The goods are returned as fairly as possible.

Trial 85: The searches now move to the Commercial Sector, and are taken slowly, as the Black Guard squads are frequently undermanned as violent incidents increase inexplicably, requiring their responses. It is rumored that off-duty garrison personnel are behind these incidents, maliciously getting back at what they perceive as favoritism against them by the Citizen's Committee and Black Guard. Incidents of what appear to be aukari arsons increase as well. This is also attributed to army vengeance.

Trial 123: The Season ends with no convictions against any military suspects.
'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
...has the following for sale this season:

Miss Giving's connections with The Fence bring deals on military gear.
One can only wonder where they got hold of them...
Note that Miss Givings is arrested on Ashan 42 and these things are now unavailable at these prices

She does not have them on her person, you will need to rp a meeting with very shady characters who will, nonetheless, sell you weapons and armor at prices one step below their normal level:
Masterwork for Extravagant cost.
Extravagant for Good cost.

There will be a limit on how many you can get.

Not surprisingly, jewelry will be half priced as well.
If you have some other household item in mind and are uncertain, ask me.
No guarantees, but...
Don't worry about a piece being recognized by its original owner; The Fence does not sell goods in the same town where they were stolen.
If, on the other hand, you'd LIKE it to be noticed, for rp purposes, feel free. Mistakes happen.
Hot Cycle 718 Calendar
"Hot Cycle" 718
Ymiden 718
Trial 1: The season begins with a disappointing extension of the colder weather of Ashan. There is tension from the previous crackdown by the Black Guard. Many however, realize they were not the real cause of the brutality that occured in some parts of the city. Citizens that go out of their way to show some appreciation to the guard are likely to enjoy some reciprocal leniency.

Trial 9: Storms roll in at the front of a heat wave. There is thunder and lightning for several days, and then the humidity kicks in as the soaked ground is heated during the day. The withdrawal of amnesty for the pirates in Foster's Landing is announced to be enforced at the end of the season. Angry reprisals from the buccaneer crews hanging out there begin immediately. The memory of the riot from the jailbreak and Oberan's Shenanigans fuel the escalation of hostilities.

Trial 15: The pirate contingent elects a spokesman, Capt. Hullcarver, to represent their interests. Things calm down, as crews find uniform cause to allow the proceedings to be handled by one of their own.

Trial 20: A sudden surprise melt raises the Southwood river over its banks to flood the Etzos farmlands and wash debris into Foster's Landing to do damage to several vessels and the docks. Emergency efforts, and a release of stored goods, forestall a crisis, reducing it to only a "difficult" level.

Trial 30: A shipment of tainted meat from Middlecleft brings a new level of crisis to the situation, as suspicions of collusion and favoritism are heightened. The pirate element is drawn into the contention as Middlelcleft makes claims of raids against them, saying that as a coastal town, they had been subject to pirate incursions which resulted in damage to the storage facility for the meat. Food rationing is initiated in Etzos.

Trial 40: The arrival of a squad of investigators, sent from Etzos to check out the story, becomes suspiciously late. Accusations abound from every quarter, as some gain or another could be made by just about everyone involved. The army sends additional troops into Middlecleft to ensure stability. They find damage as claimed, but note that it looks to have been done quite recently.

Trial 45: Capt. Hullcarver is found dead. All deals are off. Repercussions are an every trial occurrence. Many crews conclude that the "free ride" amnesty is over and take to the high seas once again. A few remain, in hopes that the departure of troublemakers will possibly allow them to reconnect with the administration to strike a deal for naval concessions.

Trial 50: Raids up and down the coast bring outcries in Etzos. The army now sends troops into Foster's Landing as well. This leaves the "arm" of the army normally on rotation in the south to guard against incursions from Rhakros woefully undermanned. The pirates still hoping to come to terms with Etzos/Foster's are now battling the raiders. Army and Black Guard mages are placed in these pirate crews to give them an edge.

Trial 55: The Market of Wonders is held in the Crescent Arena. It helps to offset the tension over the dearth of foodstuffs. Vendors that focus on sales of food exploit this lack with price gouging. In the Citizens Market, no food sales are allowed due to the inability to keep as close a guard as is possible in the arena. The docks in Foster's Landing are fully restored.

Trial 60: An invasion from Rhakros lays siege to both Darington and Fordwell, capitalizing on this absence of military forces in the south. What troops there are march on these sieges, leaving the central towns virtually unprotected.

Trial 70: a small squad of Rhakros agents take advantage of this clear going to meet with someone that they have met in the past. They have hopes of gaining covert passage inside the walls of Etzos to unleash Lisirra's revenge upon those that besieged her city when she was in Oscillus.

Trial 75: The Gem Festival is held as usual, with reenactments of the founders' heroic efforts to break free of the Immortal that had pursued them to the cite of the city. Extravagance is indulged in wherever the food rationing does not prevent it. Every form of art and material tribute to Etzos' glorious history is to be found with ease.

Trial 80: The sieges of Darington and Fordwell are broken more easily than expected. many of the pirates that left Foster's Landing in anger find refuge in Rhakros. The Etzos-aligned crews break off pursuit and return to Foster's to find that they are no longer welcome and the amnesty has been withdrawn, as previously announced.


Saun 718

Trial 3: Miss Givings, the wandering vendor, is released from the hall of Rule and Reprimand. Her Saun season is spent primarily reestablishing her contacts and the worth of her word again. She also finds the need to collect a few debts. Some of these incidents are likely to end up getting a bit ugly.

Trial 7: The Etzos Museum of Art and History gets a major shipment of sculptures, statues, busts and other statuary items. One of them is made of a stone that is difficult to identify. Granite, Marble, Alabaster, Sandstone, even Limestone and Soapstone are all recognized. Many have wood or metal fittings and ornamentation. But many others are pure stone, including the one made of the "mystery" stone.

Trial 15: The new employee at the Museum notices one of the items being out of place frequently. She reports it to head Curator Percival Tabard,who helps her return it to its spot, but doesn't seem to pay much attention to the oddity of the incidents.

Trial 20: Some of the other exhibits suddenly fall or are knocked over, getting broken in the process. Once again, the one "mystery" item is out of place and seems to be in exactly the right position to have edged these other items out of their holds or off-balance, causing the falls. Some visitors at the museum take note of hidden trinkets that are revealed when the items break. Tabard tries to collect them from these visitors, claiming proprietary ownership over the trinkets. Not all of the visitors come forth with the items they have picked up.

Trial 30: Similar incidents occur, and Tabard decides to have this one "mystery" item stashed away, fearing it may be cursed. By this time, a number of these hidden trinkets have found their way into visiting pockets. Word gets out that a few of these people have found that their items appear to be seperate parts of a single piece. When fit together, they provide clues that suggest the means of locating valuable items long since buried or hidden away.

Trial 35: Others that had visited the museum begin to find cold, numb spots on their hands where they touched the statuary items. Further investigation narrows down the the one common item touched by these people. It is the one item that had frequently been mysteriously out of place. A report is filed. It immediately disappears and the story is quashed. "Experts" in odd combinations of fields begin to interview some of these afflicted people. They are immediately quarantined, but some scoff at it, and do not adhere to the restrictions.

Trial 40: Somehow, the mystery statue suddenly appears right in the street. News of hidden trinkets found in other similar items, that may lead to treasure, inspire a greedy crowd to topple the item and shatter it. They begin rifling through the chunks in hopes of finding treasure maps. They find no treasure, but what they DO find will cause a city-wide panic next season.
'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
...has the following for sale this season:

Miss Givings is scheduled to be released on Saun 3.
She will not have anything for sale until next season, but she will be free to interact with players for other reasons.
Cold Cycle 718 Calendar
"Cold Cycle" 718
Vhalar 718
Trial 1: The season rolls in with excellent sunny and warm weather. The tension from the crowd scene in front of the museum the trial before does not entirely dissipate. Many more reports of curious numbness in hands, feet and limbs come in. The more the authorities try to downplay the seriousness of this, the more the tavern talk begins to escalate it.

Trial 8: Rain comes through, bringing the start of a cooling trend, both meteorologically and socially, as a few of those initially affected by the numb spots are noted to be absent from their usual haunts.

Trial 15: High winds rush clouds across the sky, bringing frequent changes in the weather. A worker at the orphanage comes down with numb spots. The usual disregard for the plight of such children is replaced by sudden alarm for their welfare. A surge of adoptions bring the threat of "numb spots" into somewhat wealthier circles.

Trial 25: Fears begin to spark mob incidents as someone known to have complained about numb spots is chased through the streets. The Black Guard intervene, but noticeably avoid touching him. The man claims the numb spot was only glue, and had been peeled off. No one believes him. A tentative quarantine is imposed. It is not sanctioned by the Tower, but the populace is more then willing to stalk the gates with an absence of tolerance.

Trial 30: Several similar incidents prompt some doctors to speculate that it is The Still that has come to Etzos. There is very little confirmed knowledge about this malady and rumors quickly abound. It is said to be spread by touch, but the considerable limits on when it is able to be passed from person to person are left to the terrified imagination of the populace. The Quarantine is intensified.

Trial 50: A heavy rain inundates the city. A single remark is all it takes to bring the fear the the water could carry the infection from one person to another. This quickly escalates into actual reports of this happening. Others try to calm these outlandish fears. Their efforts are countered by the suggestion that this is one of Lisirra's diseases, and can not be expected to follow the patterns of normal ones. The city now becomes like a ghost town anytime the rain falls.

Trial 60: The Tower calls for an assembly in the Arena, where a few more details about The Still are relayed to the populace. There is both relief at the news, and anger that it was not announced sooner. The response is that it simply took this long to confirm and that they feared a panic if they released such an announcement prematurely.

Trial 65: Almost as if in response to the announcements, the weather turns beautiful, sunny and warm, but not hot. Doctors begin a campaign of amputations to remove infected body parts. One doctor is accused of overdoing it by removing arms up to the elbow when it is only a finger that shows the effects.The quarantine is lifted with a doctor's endorsement for anyone leaving or entering. Few are able to meet this requirement, and are, in effect, still quarantined.

Trial 75: A new problem arises in the outer cities - a rumor of a mysterious doom that will befall the city is growing, fueled by artifacts that seem to support the claim that Etzos will fall to usurpers and eventually become a foothold state for the Eternal Empire of Raskalarn. Those that decry this as foolishness are invited to come and prove the falsity of the artifacts.

Trial 80: The doctor accused of excessive amputation explains that The Still stays beneath the skin surface and moves along the bone first. That joints and organs are next, and that it only then moves out to the skin to complete the petrification of the body. He tries to be heard while stating that the infection can not be passed on until that full body conversion has occurred, but all that seems to sink into nearby brains is that the initial infection point does not indicate how extensive the infection may actually be. Amputations increase city-wide.

Trial 90: A new round of panic is launched by the clarification that any part of that shattered statue at the museum might have been capable of passing on the infection, since it is believed now that it was a fully transformed body. Simple rocks in the street become objects of dread. Some clarification removes this from natural-looking stones, but anything like a chunk of concrete or worked stone is cause for mass hysteria.

Trial 100: A group of experts, sent to disprove the claim of Etzos' future, return with assurances that it all nonsense. A few "rabble-rousers" demand details on what specifically disprove the claim. They are arrested, but all those nearby begin muttering about the lack of anything substantial said in response by these so-called experts.

Trial 110: Again, almost as if in response to the mood change of the city, a cold front moves in for remainder of the season. It seems as if numb spots become more noticeable as a result, and a new wave of infections are detected. A contingent from a second outer city come to formally declare their belief in the Raskalarn future of Etzos. Their hope is to raise spirits in the projection that the future is not to be feared, but embraced for its inherent glory. But this new wave of infections prompt a new, spontaneous quarantine, and this contingent is turned away at the gate. They do not believe in this claim of "Still" infection, and return to their outer city all the more convinced that Etzos culture and society is on a downward turn.

Trial 125: The Tower begins to put out bounties on leading figures in the outlying towns.


Zi'da 718

Trial 3: We will see what happens in this first season... :twisted:

I will get to Miss Givings soon.
'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
...has the following for sale this season:

Miss Givings is scheduled to be released on Saun 3.
She will not have anything for sale until next season, but she will be free to interact with players for other reasons.
Rebirth cycle 719 calendar
"Rebirth Cycle" 719

Cylus 719

Trial 1: The season begins with more of the same. Snow is off and on all season. Ice is a constant. Increasing darkness from the end of Zi'da finally achieves completion. The cold aggravates many other numbing conditions to bring mob scenes and mutilations to many victims NOT suffering from the petrification of The Still. But the numbing cold of Cylus brings accusations to desparate new levels. Frostbite becomes a perilous hazard, as the relatively small sacrifice of a finger to Frostbite escalates to the removal of an entire arm in fear of The Still. But there is still no sure means of disposing of the amputated extremities.

Trial 8: Some of the bounty hunters and military operatives return from efforts to eliminate those Outlying City leaders that are said to be spreading insurrectionist rhetoric to the detriment of the Tower's rule. Some come back citing inability to find them. Some come back stating that these named individuals categorically deny having said any such thing, attributing it to rivals taking advantage of the rumors. Some of them never do return. But in all cases, the darkness and the cold bring them back for respite from the elements.

Trial 15: The darkness takes a sudden turn of reversal to the west. Nothing bright enough to light the sky like a moon or sun, just a single spot in the darkness overhead. Investigation places it about twenty miles west by two miles south. Those that track it down find that it really doesn't even light the ground below; it is simply a somewhat brighter spot in the sky. They think it is possible that cloud cover may have prevented it from being noticed earlier.

Trial 20: For a change, the oppressively reactionary attitude of the average Etzori mob does not embark on any pogroms of hate based on race or Immortal worship this season. The threat of such a non-racially-based peril as The Still actually brings the citizenry together to a noteworthy degree. No, this time, a casual remark in a bar unleashes a new dimension of "Still Fear", as the possibility that the totems of Becomers could possibly be infected as well. The rest of Cylus and a good portion of the upcoming Ashan find Becomers taking the brunt of Etzori persecution. Naturally, the predictable backlash brings those that are attacked by these cornered Becomers, who most often attack with tooth and claw, under the same persecution, as bites and scratches are held to be ways that the infection might be spread. Those that have been crying for restraint call it poetic justice. There is little enough credible expertise on this hazard to counter this fear. The death and dismemberment continues unabated.

Trial 25: A number of "enhanced" investigators and researchers go to study the light in the sky. Their efforts to divine any of the properties of this phenomenon are stymied by some way in which magic is negated as it comes close to it. It seems that only those that can fly without use of magic effects can come close enough to see what it is. They are naturally hesitant to approach something with the power to disrupt magic as there is nothing to guarantee that it won't disrupt natural balance as well. The only thing that has been consistently established is that it is actually no more than 500 feet above the ground.

Trial 30: Thus far, it has only been Rupturing, Abrogation, Attunement and Defiance that have been used, and negated, in attempts to research the light in the sky. Perhaps other domains will have more success....perhaps not.


Ashan 719

We only need Cylus right now.
It's entirely possible some of you may come up with plot lines requiring calendar support.
I am always willing to hear your ideas, and try to work them in.
If they encompass something that could impact the whole city, all the better.

'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
...has the following for sale this season:

Ha Ha...PM me with your ideas.
I will try to accommodate you, but I am in the midst of trying to get this wealth point system down and it will definitely impact "prices".
I will be going case-by-case for now, But Miss Givings will have many hard-to-find, and potentially illegal items.
It kills me that of ALL the cycles' calendars I had to lose, it was Hot Cycle 719, :cry: the one where magic fails and Lisirra attacks Etzos, discovers that the ghosts of all the victims are as immune to her form of attack as the un-magicked living are vulnerable to it. With Sintra's unexpected aid, Etzos goes on a rampage of vengeance, ridding the world of Lisirra and sacking Rhakros, her seat of power.
Cold Cycle 719 Calendar
"Cold Cycle" 719
Vhalar 719
The Intermission?

Trial 7: All is celebration and welcome, as the victorious, but wounded and ravaged army returns from the sack of Rhakros. Effigies of Lisirra are hung to burn on every corner, just one of the many varieties of decorations festooning the city. A new party device becomes popular; a hollowed miniature of Lisirra, stuffed with sweets and toys, which is hung and allowed to be beaten until it ruptures, for the tasty benefit of the party goers.

There are, of course, traumatic emotional breakdowns, which are entirely sympathized with, but still swept quickly under the rug. "The Rhakros Stomp", the new dance taken from the necessity of stomping swarms of insects that have had their wings seared by Etzori Fire Defiers, sweeps the taverns. While understanding of its origins, it is considered too "rustic" for the more sophisticated venues.

Trial 15: The first public appearance of Sintra is met with more than Lukewarm reaction. But there is still a definite hesitance to embrace ANY Immortal after the last season's events. In truest skill, Sintra plays upon this hesitance, calling it entirely justified and acknowledging that no city has ever had a better cause to "Hate my kind". She cites numerous depredations, by a number of Immortals, against mortals the world over. She allows that her own past actions were often not to be excused, and can only cite the arrogance of her kind as reason for her faults in this regard. This display of apparent humility is well received.

She offers to give a series of appearances for citizens to ask whatever questions they would of her. Playing at her Silken Tongue tendency, and employing the "Hateful Web", those who express that they would rather she leave now, and not return, become the very motivation for the majority to see this request as reasonable and indicative of a possible benevolent joint future.

Trial 20: The next appearance of Sintra - The Immortal follows up her last appearance, stating her regrets that there is probably going to be a more hostile attitude among her kind toward noble Etzos. Most prepared questions are replaced now by questions regarding the possibility of imminent threats by other Immortals and their pawns. She regretfully confesses to a misinterpretation of her words "hostile attitude", insisting that she did not mean to suggest any actual immediate threat. Though she acknowledges that Etzos has always borne the focus of Immortal anger, she also expertly drops the unspoken hint that with her presence, such things would be far less likely to come to fruition.

Trial 25: The next appearance of Sintra - In a feast of patriotic fervor, previous Braxton Hinda Velora, given a field commission of Shieldarm, followed by an additional field commission of Under-Marshall, has this last rank made official with all pomp and ritual. The crowd is then regaled with past tales of glorious advancements that only the most worthy have accomplished in Etzos' ranks. Under-Marshall Velora is acknowledged to have made a jump higher and faster than any before her. Sintra does nothing more than to stand mostly in the background, clapping and cheering along with the rest. Her supposed willingness to have her own assembly upstaged by a mortal's advancement is seen to be to her credit.

Trial 30: The next appearance of Sintra - Several citizens approach the stage with regretful insistence that they have an inordinate fear of spiders, and express genuine sadness that it is bad enough that they feel they would have to leave Etzos if it was to become a city teeming with spiders. They ask if there is anything "Her Glory" could do to assuage this concern.

At first, the Immortal shows some surprise that anyone would not find the symmetrical efficiency of arachnid design to be beautiful, but she waves off this concern, stating that if she failed to clarify that she had intended right from the outset to confine herself and her 'children' to the Underground, then she must apologize for this oversight. She states that no one need ever see them unless they find a need for them. She offers to have shrines erected all over town where citizens can come and make requests for the services of her children to rid the upper levels of bothersome insects.

There is a small outcry from those who have taken up "residence" in the Underground, asking where they are to go if this is taken from them. Sintra is the picture of puzzlement for a moment before turning to High Marshall Pahrn. The two of them point out that most of the Underground element is criminal in nature. They go on to say that housing costs are naturally at an all-time low, and concessions will gladly be made to ease any such transition. This also is well-received.

Trial 40: Sintra's next public appearance.

Trial 45: A delightful shock seizes the city at the news that another full arm of the military has survived and is returning to town. This is not a force comprised mostly of ghosts, whose numbers have dropped into the mere thousands with the satisfaction of victory and the feeling of having achieved safety for their city. This force had been assumed to have been destroyed by plague from the first. The joy is muted somewhat by the additional detail that it is primarily Slattrick "The Black" Royce's arm that is returning.

His reputation has always been dark, and the added fact that he has absorbed what remained of his fellow Marshalls, Brann and Hallard's forces into his own gives rise to uncomplimentary suspicions of maneuvering and possible betrayals. This point is driven home further by the segregation of the other two's survivors from his own, and a poorly veiled hostility between them. But none of this is noticed right away amid the parade and welcoming celebration.

Trial 50: Sintra's next public appearance.

Trial 55: A first hint that all may not be well in the ranks of the army occurs. It is not so much that a brawl breaks out between troops of Royce-loyal soldiers and Brann-loyal troops, as such incidents are fairly commonplace in the bravado-laced ranks of such military warriors. It is more that the follow-up hearing begins to reveal the suspicions of favoritism and turn-coat sacrifices of those that had already had issue with Royce's methods in the field. The accusation is plainly voiced that Royce saw to it that any who opposed him were cast into the worst of the fighting, and losses were very convenient for him. Pahrn steps in to ensure that those expressing these indictments are safeguarded from reprisals while the charges are investigated.

Royce claims there was word, right as they were within trials of the city, that a force of aukari had chosen to capitalize on the situation, assuming all Etzos' military would be dealing with Lisirra. Faldrun made the same mistake she did; not considering the unprecedented backlash of ghosts against the Plague Mother. It freed up their forces to counter this aukari incursion before it was even truly coordinated. Still there were many casualties, and Royce acknowledges the unsavory appearance of his own troops having apparently gotten off so easy. But with Marshalls Brann and Hallard both killed, it was only sensible for them to be absorbed into his ranks.

Trial 60: Sintra's next public appearance - The crowd is getting more and more comfortable with their new Immortal guardian. But of course, she even goes so far as to encourage folks to express their doubts. For no one should take the word of a stranger. And she readily acknowledges that her actions served herself as well. This acknowledgement of her own gain eases remaining suspicions to some degree, but questions are still welcomed and offered.

Trial 65: There is sudden turmoil in the ranks of the army. As feared, the troops in custody are found murdered in their cells, the Black Guard members assigned to this duty as well. The initial investigation turns up nothing concrete. A new investigation is launched, and the long-existing hostility between the army and the Black Guard ratchets up several notches.

Trial 70: The next appearance of Sintra - The Immortal of Manipulation brings a suddenly-realized concern to public attention. In Desnind, far to the south across the sea, exists the Obavi faction of the Temple of Cazav. They are maniacal devotees of Lisirra, despite the horror "my sister" inflicted upon their people. Such insanity can not be predicted, and she counsels all to be particularly watchful of Sev'ryn strangers. Even though she makes some effort to assure the public that those already living in Etzos are not likely to be of such lean, it can not hurt to be careful. Eyes begin to narrow throughout the city, where cast in a sevir's direction.

As usual, more questions are voiced.

Trial 75: Several more "incidents" inspire members of both the Royce and non-Royce factions, as well as the Black Guard, to stay in larger groups as they roam the streets, or relax in bars. It seems that all parties are making an effort not to escalate things, but it will not take much to set off a brawl; and several deadly ones occur throughout the season.

Trial 80: The next appearance of Sintra - Among other questions asked of her, is one regarding her position on the proposed future of Raskalarn's conquest, as stated and strongly supported by the artifacts presented by the Prince of Eternal Mercies and confirmed genuine by the curator of Etzos' prestigious Museum, Perzival Tabard. Many look to see the Immortal cringe at the mention of a rival who defeated her long ago on the eastern continent. But she is the picture of composure, stating that this is, in fact, one the goals of her presence here.

Seeing the favorable lean of the crowd toward a future none of them will see, but seem hopeful of nonetheless, she once again apologizes for the oversight of having not mentioned this before. Caught up in the need to put down her destructive younger sister once and for all, she forgot to mention that she fully endorses the future under Raskalarn. She blames her detractors, Lisirra chief among them, for spreading tales of her bearing some grudge against Raskalarn. She sees that all those who had already embraced this future vision have now bought fully into her own permanent presence in Etzos.

And promises of a possible future hundreds of arcs away are easily made...

Trial 85: A brief skirmish breaks out in the Garrison grounds. But this time, rather than being between Royce troops and those of the "absorbed" troops of Brann and Hallard, it is with Webb's troops, those held in highest esteem as the ones that actually fought in Rhakros. Webb had apparently sent some loyalists to scour the land to the north for signs of some great battle against the aukari, which would surely leave swaths of scorched earth. having found nothing of note, he confronted Royce, asking for proof. It would seem that Royce did not take kindly to being called a coward and a liar. A metaphorical slap led to a genuine punch which led to drawn weapons which led to bloodshed and the quick arrival of High-Marshall Pahrn, who demands a mutual lowering of weapons.

Royce then submits his own accusation that spiders have been far more prevalent in his command centers and bivouacs than he can ever recall, and that Webb and Sintra are spying on him, looking for ways to drive a wedge between the other factions of the army, to ensure Webb's control. He cannot account for the lack of scorched earth, citing some hostile magic at work to discredit him. Royce has always been the least popular among non-military citizens, and this accusation is largely discounted....but not entirely.

Trial 90: The next appearance of Sintra -

Trial 95: An emissary from Sirothelle makes a timely appearance, denying that any attack was ever made, or even planned, against Etzos. He goes on to shower syrupy condolences on all those who lost loved ones in Lisirra's reprehensible attack. Marshall Royce explodes from his seat in a rage, needing to be restrained while shouting down the phony rhetoric of liars. He cites the well known fact that Faldrun has been angry with Lisirra ever since 716 in Oscillus. He roars that creating animosity and instability in a city's defense forces is the first step in conquering them. There is cold civility granted the diplomat for his stay. He leaves 4 trials later.

Trial 100: The emissary and his aukari escort are found brutally murdered outside of town. Pahrn demands to know what became of the equal number of Etzori troops assigned to this same escort. But no record of such an order being given is ever found. A few suspiciously behaved clerks, aides and secretaries are detained for questioning. They unanimously cite Royce as having threatened them into destroying the orders. As one might expect, Royce vehemently denies any such thing. He is nonetheless arrested and heavily guarded.

Trial 105: Sintra's last appearance was sadly postponed, due to the murder. But she reschedules for this trial -

Trial 110: Imp Pressions releases a scathing rebuttal against anyone that feels that the picture of what is going on within the ranks of the military is obvious either way. It gives many accounts of incidents supporting the claim that none of the accusations against Royce are far-fetched. But then turns around and shows how easily the situation could be manipulated, as Royce contends., as well as who would gain from it. The ultimate goal of this flier is to simply counsel patience. It finishes with: "Go ahead and jump to your conclusions, if you must. But do not ACT on them!"

Trial 115: Garret Langley's 'Imp Pressions' is targeted by vandals. The Black Guard, however, was anticipating just such a move and arrest the perpetrators. They are held in detention in the Hall of Rule and Reprimand, as much as bait to see who might make a play to either rescue or kill them, as to give them time to consider the foolishness of their acts when questioning comes.

Sintra makes a last appearance -

The rest of the season passes somewhat tensely.

Zi'da 719

Alright, I realize this may come off as a fairly extensive cop-out on my part, and perhaps it is. But the fact is, Sintra is going to be using a great deal of her resources preventing any major incidents from occurring.

Generally, this allows both that there can be immediate responses to most anything city-wide, due to the surveillance of millions of spiders seeing and relaying information back to their matron Immortal, OR due to her being so taxed by such a tide of input and stimuli that she allows much of it to slide by as unimportant to her agenda.

Feel free to treat it whichever way serves your thread. 8-)

Crime goes down noticeably with the surveillance of these critters. Street crime at first. But soon, even white-collar crime is greatly curtailed, at first by the actual deeds being caught in the act by guardsmen tipped off by Sintra-loyalists who have received word of spider visions heralding these crimes, but soon there is simply less incident, borne of the fear of being caught out by these same critters.

Shortcuts in manufacturing are discovered by the little eyes-and-ears, with penalties for public endangerment being weighed against the perpetrators. it leads to an upswing in the quality of most every kind of product or produce. The homes of many poor are insulated by webbing for no charge against the coming cold. Sintra is happy to provide it.

The season starts with the official declaration that the last week of Saun will henceforth be a time of celebration for "The Liberation of the Southlands". There will be a number of theater presentations, to provide glorification of this triumph, and dramatic recounts of heroic events to the populace, staged at The Lamont.

Over the course of the season, the lessons of the series of Lamont Theater dramas might be noted to send a message of acceptance that the preconceptions that are often wrongfully inflicted on mortals can just as easily be wrongfully inflicted on IMmortals as well. Sintra acts as if she had no idea that the culture was beginning to lean in this direction, and comes off as genuinely touched by this kindness.

At first, it is simply neutral subjects in these plays, going about their business and staying out of others', but being drawn into drama and reprisals and having to win free with resourcefulness and the compromise of their ideals. It goes on in stages until it is quite completely presenting a genuinely benevolent possessor of powers, that could either be a powerful mage or an Immortal, being the target of a metaphorical witch hunt, with the mob having no intent of hearing them out.

The victim of this mob mentality must eventually, and reluctantly, use their dread powers to save themselves, but the use of this power just becomes the basis of the ensuing indictment against them as threats to mortals everywhere. It is difficult, for some reason, for most citizens to see how it plays into the hands of Sintra, resulting more often in cultivating a trust, and feelings bordering on guilt for the bad opinion most have had of her up until now.

Not ALL plays at the Lamont follow this vein, of course. That would be far too blatant for the Queen of Manipulation.

There is an almost imperceptible rise in the severity of punishment inflicted upon those that berate Sintra's name or slander her character with rabble rousing and/or graffiti. Sintra herself is of course the first to demand clemency or acquittal for those that are incarcerated on such charges.

Late in the season, there are is a slight rise in the incident of reports of missing children. At this time, it is mostly young homeless victims of the wartime loss of parents or guardians. One or two orphans that had been troublesome with rampant disobedience are also noted to have gone missing.

Sintra insists that any accusation of duplicity against her be voiced publicly, so she can just as publicly denounce the absurdity of suggesting that she would do something so self-damning as to commit the very sort of horrors that her name has historically been slandered with for so many ages.

Before long, an investigation turns up a perpetrator, who readily admits he did it to bring the city back to the realization of what a monster she is, claiming that while he did commit THESE crimes, it is only a matter of time before she takes up her old ways. Most can only shake their head at such misguided actions, noting how it completely proves the very accusations Sintra has claimed herself to be vilified by.

These events are always offset by new causes for celebration. None can deny the quality of life has boomed in most regards for the citizens of Etzos since Sintra's arrival. And the fact of tiny surveillance everywhere is dismissed as most come to soon forget that it is even there. Sintra displays no interest in intruding on simple eccentricities, conducted in the privacy of one's own home. This leaves the bulk of the population feeling that the surveillance that is stopping crime outside the home is then worth having its presence inside as well, since no trouble has come from it thus far.

Sintra is finding it easier every trial to turn events in her own favor. Especially with the forewarning she receives from the millions of eyes she has all around the city. The number of missing children has begun to increase slowly once again by the end of Zi'da. No fingers are pointed in her direction.

Hushed voices begin to actually propose a that a temple to Sintra be erected. Regardless of the changing of perceptions toward her, this is still too radical of a proposal for Etzos. Sintra does not respond overtly when news of this gets back to her. It is no more or less than she expected at this point, and she has time...
Rebirth Cycle 720 Calendar
"Rebirth Cycle" 720

Cylus 720
Warning Signs

Trial 1:The "Lighting of the Dark" ceremony welcomes in the dark season of Cylus with special arrows soaked in special color-generating fuels to make the soaring arcs of their trajectories light like rainbows as they fall to ignite the braziers that keep the city lit to a comfortable degree throughout the cold season. Sintra comes forth to enjoy the spectacle. Her usual dark attire is somewhat at odds with the traditional light clothing most citizens wear to catch the colors. But no one is offended.

Trial 5: Where "Sintra's children" have provided some insulation in the form of webbing on a number of units housing poor families, a fairly heavy fall of snow does not seem to inflict the usual frigid temperatures as the spiders generate numerous tent-like sanctuaries for those that would otherwise have suffered. As the cold begins to set in in earnest, more such sites spring up. They often become "safe" bases for snowball fights and various winter races among the rowdy children of the city.

Trial 8: There is a mention of a "Trial of the Promised" being long overdue. There is quick backlash over such an event being staged with an immortal now present. As one might anticipate, Sintra dismisses any concern over such sensitivity, pointing out that she never resurrected dead humans to form a race of her own. Her confession to having created the webspinners is naturally spun to insist that it has always been misunderstood as something evil. And though she acknowledges that many members did go overboard at times, she has already publicly confessed to past sins and hopes they will soon be put permanently in the past.

Trial 11: A full-on blizzard strikes the city, much of which is now cozy within its webbed cocoon; particularly the poorer sections. A mob mentality of swiftly escalating, defensive reaction by the simple folks is becoming a very useful tool indeed for the Queen of the Web.

Trial 15: Sintra comes forth with a very public inspiration, stemming from the subject of her having made no "resurrected races". With all the ghosts in town, she offers a restoration of life to any that will offer devotion to her. There is some skepticism at this being an obvious ploy to form ranks of loyalists; a personal army of sorts. She acts entirely surprised and embarrassed to realize how truly it could look this way and explains that it is only out of concern that she not subject herself to undue strain.

With that in mind, she clarifies further that she felt it was only fair that she have some basis to limit the initial numbers. And since she had freely and openly admitted that devotion was really all that she'd ever hoped to gain from the city, she'd hastily presumed that there would be no concern over it. She states that naturally, it was only to be very few at a time, but she can understand the concern and offers to withdraw the proposal. Many ghosts grow quickly furious with those that they see as robbing them of potential reincarnation. This very subtly and effectively creates a gap between the living and the ghostly, into which she can drive an ever-widening wedge. Not all ghosts, however, have anything left of life to have such a desire to be restored. Most of these have already passed on to judgement and rebirth.

Trial 20: The first incident of violent reaction to assemblies by those opposed to Sintra's presence occurs. The Black Guard is shown to be slightly leaning toward this same opposing viewpoint as they interpose themselves noticeably on the 'Anti' group's behalf. They show a swifter willingness to incarcerate the pro-Sintra presence than the opposition, citing the sanctity of free speech. Even though it should technically extend to the Pro group as well, it is essentially justified under the umbrella ruling of which bunch were being bigger assholes.

Trial 23: 15 ghosts are realized to have been restored to life. All have been marked with Sintra's blessing. There is some disquiet over this, and Sintra, of course, insists that she took her proposal to have ultimately been approved, despite initial "hesitance". She promises not to perform this act again without High Marshall Parhn's sanction. The long line of ghosts in line for this restoration display clear anger at any that look to interfere with this promise of life.

Trial 27: "Imp Pressions" releases a flyer listing the names of the 15 ghostly citizens restored to life. He cites the official source of this list, and then goes on to list another 6 that others have brought to his attention. His flyer is not worded as a demand for the Immortal to account for this discrepancy, but reading between the lines shows it to be just that. Sintra bats not one eye as she explains that she never said she'd only brought back 15 that first time, and that journalists ought to fully research their subject matter before publishing such irresponsible tripe. There is no backlash committed against "Imp Pressions".

Trial 30: The Festival of Independence and Light brings a moment of calm and unity to the people of Etzos. Many wonder how things got so hostile, when all want the same thing. Does it really matter if it's a committee of powerful unassailable mortals that rule us, rather than a single powerful unassailable Immortal? Isn't the potential for oppression essentially the same?

....Two dozen more street children disappear unnoticed over the course of the season.

Ashan 720

Okay, I acknowledge some degree of copping-out this season.

The fact is, Sintra is doing her best to keep things running smoothly, the better to gain the support of the citizenry in general. There will still be those holidays that occur in Ashan (which can be found here), as well as the ones that occur at times throughout the arc (which are also found in the above link.)

Nonetheless, there are stirrings of rebellion against Etzos' newfound 'Savior-ess". There is a definite rise in the spider population, but Sintra does not take any issue with the usual degree of folks stomping the little buggers out on impulses of revulsion. She has already publicly stated her understanding of this. Besides, she has plenty more where they came from. She is really only concerned about the ones she has strategically located to listen in on those she feels might become troublesome.

There are plots in the works that may very well bring about major events during this season, and I am certainly open to ideas for such developments that you, my beloved player base, may bring forward for consideration. Make no mistake, regardless of her smiling, benevolent, and seemingly transparent facade, Sintra is not going to tolerate any open resistance to her slow takeover of this city...You know, that takeover that she fully denies....

Trial 5: But for now, the Procession of Recognition is making things busy in the otherwise-more-empty-than-usual streets as preparations are being made. Even though a good 2/3 of the The general-Etzos-area population was killed, many refugees from ravaged outer towns are now huddling within Etzos proper, dealing with various PTS's. While most folks want to put the war behind them, this Procession is going to focus primarily on the brave soldiers, living and dead, that marched on Rhakros to bring justice and final retribution to Lisirra. Who would not cheer such brave sacrifices?

Trial 10: In concert with the Procession, and recognition of military duty and sacrifice, the body of Marshall Webb is formally interred in a newly-constructed tomb for those most recognized for outstanding acts of courage in the Rhakros campaign. Some muttering is heard along the lines of him "having not even been there". These also bring about muttering regarding the conflicts between he and Marshall Royce, who is now the only surviving holdover from the four most recent Marshalls. Hinda Velora is also promoted in grand style to the same position of Marshall. There is NO muttering about this; she was HUGE in the Rhakros campaign. Even Sintra shows great deference to the new Marshall, though none can over know if it is genuine.

It is the first time in the lives of any Etzos citizen that there have been less than four Marshalls, but the sheer numbers of lost soldiers make it sadly and grimly appropriate. There are still a good hundred thousand ghosts whose unorthodox anchors, formed by dying during the block of Emea, make them able to march with the army in a mood of justified defense, preemptive or not. But many of them are now crossing over every trial for judgement and rebirth, and their numbers steadily diminish.

Trial 35: It was acknowledged that the Market of Wonders did not occur last mid-Ymiden. In an effort to distract from the still-remaining evidence of near-genocidal levels of death at the hands of the now-hopefully-destroyed Lisirra, the Etzori are diving into making up for it with an Ashan version. It may well be a bit toned down from the usual Ymiden extravaganzas, as there had not been nearly the time available to come up with new wonders, what with plague, war, Sintra and all that, but we will make do now as best we can.

Trial 60 - 75: The Great Hunt and Roast will be held as usual, and is expected to be a great diversion from the memories of recent events. Any and all may participate, and there can certainly be exotic-but-non-edible trophies brought back to the cheers of the crowd. But there is also going to be a grand feast featuring the culinary skills of any and all that would like to show off their talents, PC and NPC alike.

Trial 100: Like the Market of Wonders, the Gem Festival, normally held at the end of Ymiden, was missed. This omission of tradition will also be atoned for with an Ashan version. Gems and many other exotic and rare materials will be at discounts to those that attend. (And by that, I mean no popping-in-and-out for a single afternoon to exploit wp discounts. :roll: I will want to see a thread or two from you if you want to take advantage of this.)

Trial 101 - : We will see what results from the "insurrectionist" actions of those that resist Sintra, as far as filling in blanks in this season's calendar. It may well be that it even takes considerably more time than that to unseat the Matron of Manipulation. And who knows who may bring unexpected support...
Hot Cycle 720 Calendar
"Hot Cycle" 720

Ymiden 720
A Shimmer in the Facade

Once again, I am hesitant to establish absolute dates where crucial developments occur. But the brawl from last season shook people up more than they are willing to admit. There is now growing distrust between those that embrace Sintra as one who was instrumental in defeating Lisirra, and those that feel it was just a part of a major plot that will lead ultimately to ruin. Both sides are coming to feel that the other is a stubborn, ignorant, mob-minded bunch of idiots that fail to realize how their point of view can only prevent or undo the benefits of Lisirra's defeat.

A third group begins to preach the idea that the two opposing viewpoints have no reason to clash; that there is nothing about their differences that MUST bring them to violence; that there is no reason they can't wait and see, or that their conflict will only weaken Etzos further. They say that if Sintra is innocent, then all is well and good; and if she is guilty then they will need to be united and trustful of each other to stand against her. Of course, the two polarized factions only grab onto this as just one more way in which their opposition is to blame.

Until something comes up to truly prove that there is reason to believe that Sintra was behind the whole catastrophe, this is the mood of the city for this cycle. But there is also the possible fallout from the inevitable "I told you so" backlash of such a development that could just end up leading to more blame and hostility....

(You will surely note that many entries are of generalized dates. If there is need for a slight tweaking, let me know.)

Trial 1: Following the events of the Trankley Brawl, A demand is made to Sintra that she formally acknowledge that the Web Guard is subordinate to the Black Guard. It takes this long for her to come to terms with The Tower on the specifics of this, with 120-some trials of behind-the-scenes debating, encompassing most of the last cycle. Of course, the bulk of the population is not aware of anything but rumors of such a development.

All season long, with few breaks, the ten-trial games are more brutal than usual, with new Sintra-based grudges spawning reprisals in and out of the arena.There is also a steadily growing unease stemming from the inability to verify that the children truly escaped the Trankley Brawl. No one can say with certainty that they have seen them since. But any new accusations against Sintra, regarding further disappearances that have occurred, come almost immediately to defensive anger by her supporters and the threat of erupting into violence anew.

But on this trial, Sintra does come forth to give word that her restored guard will abide by commands from any Black Guard accompanying them while on duty. She, of course, gives off an aura of being wronged and misunderstood, but still being willing to bow to this pressure for the sake of the city and people she hopes to someday join with in full partnership.

Trial 10: The first testing of this rule comes to questionable success as a bar fight escalates to a point that the guard is called. Two Black Guard and four Web Guard come to restore order. Witnesses later insist that some of the tavern patrons specifically took steps to ensure that the Black Guard died in the fight, thereby releasing the Web Guard from their command. There are numerous injuries, but the only confirmable deaths of citizens are, coincidentally, ones known to have spoken out publicly against Sintra. Mention is made of this detail, then later recanted without explanation.

Trial 20:A second such tavern fight erupts. This time witnesses make mention of how a few select individuals slipped out before they got involved. They also mention that the Web Guard responders, held back by Black Guard superiors that did NOT manage to get killed, asked about the presence of those same individuals, showing some level of frustration over their absence.

Trial 30: A thunderstorm keeps folks inside for a trial and a half. There are lightning strikes on the Hall of Rule and Reprimand which temporarily overload the warding system that prevents imprisoned magic users from using their magic. Not only does magical chaos result, as many of these threats make a spontaneous bid to escape, it is remarked upon later as odd, in that generally, lightning would strike the highest points, and that the Hall is the shortest of the five towers.

Order is eventually restored, requiring a great deal of reinforcement to overwhelmed Detention personnel by both Black Guard and Web Guard, and even some part of the army's Home garrison troops. In the process, the necessary thinning of ranks on the streets results in some looting, making many already desperately strained businesses flounder anew.

A few of these magic users, and a few non-magical, but still deadly perilous, criminals escape. Bounties are immediately posted for their capture or elimination. It is rumored that they were headed east when last seen. Very few people know that this could mean they are bound for the Forbidden Post.

Trial 34 - 47: A series of freakish weather disasters hits on a near trial-by-trial basis. Military and civilian magic users are taxed with their collective efforts to counter the forces of nature that seem to have targeted Etzos with some inexplicable ire. It is assumed that these forces are being maliciously guided by some of the recent escapees. The lightning during the thunderstorm of the 31st is now universally assumed to have been guided by hostile motives.

Trial 50: A series of horrific murders of women is confirmed. At first it was taken to be random acts by men who'd reached some snapping point from the stress of the last couple cycles, and their insistence of innocence landed on deaf ears. But new evidence exonerated them, and the no-less-horrible fact that a serial killer is on the loose is acknowledged. Some of the Hall's recent escapees fit the bill, but some of the first crimes were committed prior to the escape. Naturally, a sizeable bounty is placed on this man person.

Trial 60: A troupe of musicians and acrobats come to town, embraced by a citizenry desperate for anything new with a positive ring to it. They hold an exhibition in the Crescent Arena, stalling the ongoing stream of Ten-trial games that have dominated the arena this cycle as a result of the general mood of the city.

A number of homes and businesses are burglarized as those owners and residents attend these shows. Finger-pointing and rage explode as some connection to Sintra is immediately implied and provokes counter argument. Escalation ensues and the entertainers are encouraged to leave amidst a martial-law lockdown.

Trial 65:Imp Press releases a flyer comprised entirely of a statement by none other then High Marshall Parhn himself, berating the entire population for their shameful behavior this cycle. He acknowledges the stresses that have led to this breakdown of civility, but in true mother-like style, expresses not anger, but bitter disappointment, in a citizenry that has always met with adversity in the past with united discipline and belief in itself. Wondering what their ancestors would think if they could see what their progeny has come to this trial, he expresses hope that they will rise above such ill-conduct and live up to the honorable name of Etzori once again. He asks them to consider where they were last arc at this time. Martial law is maintained for a further five trials as a precaution. Over this time a marked improvement is undeniably attained. But hostility can still be perceived simmering below the surface.

Trial 75: It is announced that reconstruction of the damaged areas of the Underground is now sufficiently completed to allow a renewal of the popular Underground Race this coming Saun. Sintra seems strangely displeased about this for a moment, but the moment passes just as quickly, leaving folks to wonder if they'd imagined it. The rest of the season goes on with nothing more than the usual disruptions and distractions.

Saun 720

Trial 5: There are reports made by crews known to have ties to the Pro-Sintra faction that odd diggings have occurred in the Farmlands. Nothing destructive to the fertility of the land, no stripping of vast tracks of topsoil, no contaminants corrupting the soil, nothing preventing the land from being worked as expected in the upcoming planting schedules, just a strange case of numerous small holes being dug.

Crews are seen laying down some sort of marker strips in the Underground. When asked, they give the reason that the Race course has been changed and these are alchemical "glow strips" that will light the route. The reason being stated to help avoid previous arcs' competitors from getting caught up in memory of the old route and getting off track. Anyone going into the Underground is likely to come across such a crew at some point during the season.

Trial 7-10: There is a half-hearted investigation that easily confirms the report of the Farmlands diggings, but not much concern grows as a result. The only curiosity is that there is now additional evidence that diggings since the report have been covered over, as if in attempt to hide it. No one conducting the report can see any reason why a few diggings are any big deal, though they admit that the apparent intent to hide it is puzzling.

Further perplexity comes from the fact that those Pro-Sintra folks who filed the report are resistant to any further digging being done to see if there was something overlooked that might have prompted this odd endeavor. They ask instead for permission to station guards to watch for any further encroachment. This request is met with puzzled shrugs and an insistence that they do not themselves encroach on private property without permission from the owner.

During the next twenty trials, a few incidents do occur where diggers are seen. In one case, one of them is caught and dies. The watch crews insist that the man killed himself. It is further stated that, looking back, he had made a decoy of himself, probably to allow others to escape, and then killed himself to avoid interrogation. The very insanity of being that concerned over what appears to be nothing more than minor vandalism troubles a number of people, and suspicion is plain. But nothing ever comes of it. The statement by the watch crew can not be Dis-proven.

Trial 15: The first of several questions arise as to why the crews laying the strips in the Underground are often up to 10 members. Mr. Mead at the Employment Office gives a blank stare and asks if there is some reason why higher UN-employment should be a goal at ANY time, let alone a time like this. The questions stop coming before long.

However, the next question comes in the form of accusations that these jobs are wholly given to Anti-Sintra personnel alone. Mead sighs again and allows that there is truth to that accusation. He contends that it was done to avoid likely conflicts if pro and con members were thrust together in close quarters, that arguments and violence would be likely. The Pro-Sintra contingent declares that half the crews could be entirely "Pro" and the other half "Con" and that they could be directed along routes that would prevent them from running into each other.

Trial 17-25: This works for some time. But soon enough, wagers and excesses of pride lead to competitive attitudes that result in run-ins from crews working beyond the routes they were assigned to for that trial. Fights break out, arrests are made, fingers are pointed, work slows down, guards are appointed, work resumes. Those who had these jobs realize that working in the cool Underground is considerably preferable to working out in the Saun heat, and make genuine efforts to get along.

Trial 30: Some note is taken that in some cases, the strips were not of sufficient length to connect where logic would suggest. Heavy sighs result and extra stripping is brought in to complete the connection. Some say the supplementary strips do not look quite the same. This is attributed to it being newly made, where the old strips were made the season before. Many people start to complain of headaches, even those out of the heat in the Underground. It is not noticed that it is entirely Pro-Sintra loyalists that truly suffer these pains, as a number of known anti-Sintra folks make similar complaint. But who can truly prove the existence of a headache?

Trial 35: High Marshall Pahrn calls a public assembly where he cites unanticipated delays in the laying of the race course stripping as cause for the race itself to be held in early Vhalar. There is a disappointed "Awww..." from the assembled crowd, but he assures them that it will not a long delay, and that the heat will not have changed much. There is less finger-pointing and confrontation than one might expect, given the short tempers the last several seasons have displayed. There is even some laughter and competitive camaraderie between Pro and Con individuals.

Perhaps it is because the headaches have begun to wane...
Cold Cycle 720 Calendar
"Cold Cycle" 720

Vhalar 720
On Your Mark....Get Set....

A number of players have plot lines going that could impact the dates of those things leading up to "The Big Event". But for the rest of you....

There is a noticeable unravelling of Sintra's calm facade. Her public appearances are rare now, and often are cut short by an obvious difficulty in keeping her temper. Some comments and questions bring an almost accusatory demeanor to her responses. And while those comments were calling for explanations of certain incidents, they were not pointing any finger at Her exclusively. Something seems to have set her off....

Trial 10: In keeping with Sintra's growing breakdown of civility, Her Web Guard begin, once again, to display no recognition of any authority, other than her, that they are bound to submit to. Incidents of excessive force are on the rise where Her Guard confront citizens with openly opposing points of view.

Trial 20: There is an upside to this increase in oppression, in that a significant number of Web Guard personnel, not a majority, but still noteworthy, reject their positions and throw off their armor in protest of the extremes to which they find themselves being ordered. Some realization of the pressure they are under becomes clear to the population when many of them, once restored ghosts, are suddenly stripped of the restorative energy and simply vaporize in full view of those nearby. It's possible that few may come back as ghosts again, but many are weary of the situation and do not remain as ghosts.

Trial 30:The Trial of Lessons festival is held, a bit later in the season than normal. High Marshall Pahrn had considered cancelling it altogether, but given that it is focused on crafts and not combat prowess or political debate, he decides to give it a chance. There is a marked presence of guards, to ensure that the adversarial nature of the contests remain good-natured.

As feared, too many "agitators" on both sides go to great efforts to wrench every crafting contest into a political face-off, as if agreeing with one particular crafting method somehow "proves" one to be of a specific stance on entirely unrelated political issues; and somehow always a hostile one. The belligerent tactic usually outrages the one accused, which leads to genuine hostility, making the agitator feel as if he has been "proven right". All of these lead to a number of arrests and Ten-Trial Games to settle the newly established grudges.

Trial 40: The Underground Race!! There is still enough seasonal heat to bring folks below in droves to follow the race through the lit tunnels. It is seen that the stripping put down does effectively light the route, though the number of feet does some damage. Crews are on hand to make quick repairs.

Trial 50: A rumor suddenly appears that the reason some of the Web Guards who recently rejected Sintra were NOT "re-ghosted" corresponds to a previous rumor, that unwilling victims were used to empower the restoration of the ghosts to living form. This NEW rumor is said to come from a number of ex Web Guard who realized that one thing they had in common was that they had all "come to terms" to the lingering entity of the person that had given their life for their restoration. They still try to shield Sintra from accusations by saying that they never saw anything during their restoration process to suggest that anyone was an unwilling participant.

It is figured by the anti-Sintra crowd to be far more likely that they are protecting themselves from assassination, already being on very thin ice for having quit Her Guard. But at this time there is no proof to the contrary, as none of those "re-ghosted" have yet come back as ghosts to give testimony, one way or the other. There is also the assumption that the restoration process probably involved drugs or magic, so the "restored" would not really know.

Sintra simply scoffs at the whole thing, no longer feeling inclined to give answer to "such nonsense". In fact, she seems to be more and more distracted as the season goes on, as though there is something more important to her than a slow waning of her popularity. The anti-Sintra faction cites this as proof of her evil intent, in that a tyrant does not care what the people think.

Trial 60: The repair work on the stripping in the Underground gives inspiration to put down a transparent protective layer of resin over the strips, so those simply walking around below do not do any further damage. There is some shrugging over whether this is really necessary, given that it was only for purposes of the race. A few voices ask again about the presence of some strips that did not even follow the track. The response is that they were initial proposals for course variations.

The protective resin layer is cited as something for future races. It is an effort begun right away. Some wonder why it is begun so soon, but most shrug it off, as do they shrug off the fact that even the "course variation" sections are undergoing the same protection.

Trial 75: The Founder's Trial Celebration is held, as has become somewhat expected, a little later in the season than usual. Sintra tries some subtle means to get herself included as a featured name on the list of those who are being celebrated. It backfires to enough of a degree to ruin the festive mood to an extent, as the Anti crowd become outraged at the suggestion of ANY Immortal citing themselves as having helped found the anti-Immortal city of Etzos. The Pro crowd respond with the view that this has become an outdated attitude. The counter by the Anti crowd is that even IF there is ever to become a policy change in the level of acceptance given to Immortals, it does not change the concept of Founder's Trial being exclusively pro-mortal. The Pro crowd state their intent to begin to work toward that change.

Trial 85: A cold spell runs through the region, giving word of the upcoming Zi'da. Sintra renews her promise to provide web insulation to any that request it. This becomes a call sign for persecution and counter-persecution, as having this insulation is taken as proof of being pro-Sintra, and not having it proof of being opposed to Her. This webbing burns easily and sticks horribly to victims, as a number of incidents show. Counter incidents bring Marshall Parhn to impose Martial Law for a second cycle.

Numerous arrests are made and despite an obvious growing tension between Pahrn and Sintra, those found guilty of these arsons are severely punished, including a number of executions. Martial law is maintained for a further fifteen trials as a precaution. Over this time a marked improvement is undeniably attained. But hostility can still be perceived simmering below the surface.

Trial 95: Prior to the end of the Martial Law period, a second cold spell hits. It is late enough in the season that no one is surprised. Slowly, a few webbing insulations appear. There is no hostile action taken, so a few more appear. When Martial Law is rescinded, the presence of the Guard is temporarily doubled. Overtime is mandatory.

The rest of the season is overshadowed by a tension that is palpable to everyone. Everyone feels that there is something in the works, but most do not know who is going to make whatever play is being prepped. There is an odd result in the Pro and Anti crowds staying close to each other - keep your friends close, and your enemies closer - both sides being so sure that they will be manipulated somehow that, fortunately, no one starts anything big.

Zi'da 720

93 trials
Same overriding cop-out on the part of your moderator - oh, I'm so ashamed. :oops: Doubly so, in that I am keeping the same text for this cop-out as I did last cycle.
Actually, it is honestly a sense that I would be hindering the freedom of plot development more by narrowing all your time frames with concrete dates where this or that occurs, than by leaving things open to have their time frames established by events in your threads. Yes, there is the potential drawback of a development being "claimed", and then lacking follow-through. In such cases, I might step in.

We will see where the threads of Vhalar put us. Maybe whole new ideas, grand and terrible, will spawn in the collective minds of players and mods alike.
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