The State of Braelin
Though much of the full-scale fighting between Braelin and Seren has dissolved into skirmishing, Éras remains engulfed in turmoil. Thousands of people are on the move, some riding or marching to the aid of others, others fleeing homes that have been razed, still others seeking their own profit amid the general chaos.
Beyond the Caxton Wall, the combined Braelinese-Rebel Coalition forces occupy a swathe of land extending from Úllo in the north all the way to Zála in the south. The Free Nation of Zála, as it is now known, is rumored to be forming its own system of governance predicated on the idea of merit—an interesting experiment, though many feel it is destined to fail in time. Braelin has announced its recognition of Zála as a nation, though cynics are quick to point out that Braelin still maintains an occupying force of approximately ten-thousand soldiers there… though of course the Braelinese nobility insist on calling them “supporting troops.”
Word of High General Knight Iolanthe la Hale’s triumph against the Serenite emperor has spread like wildfire throughout Seren and beyond. Even now the knight travels homeward. And though Emperor Rósza has thus far retained his seat, the line of challengers is substantial—the provincial council tasked with vetting potential claimants seems disinclined to deny anyone. While the emperor remains bogged down in defending his seat, political opponents in the so-called Bloodline Faction clamor for change that would guarantee a more reliable system of succession. And word has begun to trickle back from Braelinese soldiers posted in Seren: apparently there is a somewhat significant portion of the Coalition who oppose the practice of slavery in their homeland…
Yet all is not well in Braelin either. The capital city of Esos, once one of the greatest cities in the world, lies in charred ruins. Its residents have lost everything and many people have been lost or killed in the mayhem—among them, most troublingly, King Darien Odell. Though the Order of the Silver Fern will neither confirm nor deny the rumors, information has leaked that no one knows the king’s current status or whereabouts. Nevertheless the Fern retains control of the government, now running out of Glasscourt in western Stemma.
Violence plagues the north as the Beast-people continue to run rampant. Part of the army that had been stationed in Esos is rallying to march north, but is it already too late? By all accounts, Icemont has crumbled with the destruction of House Erewaker; a few bloodied messengers have stumbled southward with tales of utter carnage in Silvervale, which has been sacked; Pinemont is under martial law after widespread bread riots; and no one can get relief supplies into the affected territories because of the myriad dangers. To date, sixteen different merchant caravans—including two bands of Travelers, who usually enjoy full range of the road—have simply vanished from the map since the incursions began in mid-Summerrise. Hawksworth and Blacknall have now opened their borders to any Xirosi willing to help—and the Xirosi have responded, hurrying to ride in force against the marauding invaders.
In Gavell, the so-called patriots have taken advantage of the general disarray to push back against Braelin, recovering territory throughout Fleet and into Fonteyn. The southern regions of the duchy and much of Rondel are still under Braelinese control, but it is considered a major loss among strategists. More and more frequently, rising numbers of non-Gavellese are beginning to question why the kingdom does not merely let the revolutionists secede—an opinion echoed by the Xirosi government, who is urging a general cease-fire between all nations.
Finally, and perhaps most strangely of all, is the news coming out of Zikari. The islanders describe a massive meeting called a Moot and state their intention to seek full duchy status for Zikari. And of course, they speak of two strangers from Caprina, one named Jintaru Riga, who apparently bears the Purple God’s light of succession—and who is said to be sailing to the mainland even now to claim her new throne…