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Relovia's Letter


It has been six weeks since I returned to the Blessed Isle. As we discussed, I shattered two of my own ribs and both legs, cut open my veins, and bruised my face, then arranged for a group of travellers to find me in a clearing with several charred bodies. With several eyewitnesses clearly believing I had slain several wicked anathema at great cost to myself, the local Immaculate temple was rapidly contacted, and an elaborate escort arranged to return me to the Realm.

Upon my return, I was warmly greeted by my former friends and comrades amongst the Order. I told the tragic tale of how the other Terrifying Dragons and I hunted down the vicious pack of Anathema who had destroyed the village, slowly picking away at their numbers -- and how a treacherous ambush had slain my fellows and left only me alive. I concluded with the story of how, through careful planning and rigorous discipline, I ambushed the surviving Anathema and, though I nearly died myself, slew all of them. It was not an utterly unbelievable story, as you well know.

Once I had been mended by the Order's greatest healers, I was approached by several high-ranking monks to discuss my future position within the order. I had been offered easier, more prestigious positions within the Order before, but I had always rejected them in favor of continuing the noble fight against the wicked Anathema. Now, however, after my telling victory, I wished to turn to more gentle pursuits in the Dragon's name. Happily, the other monks offered me a position at the Palace Sublime, in an advisory role.

In the weeks since, I have been carefully studying my superiors. The Mouth of Peace cuts an excellent figure, but now that I open my eyes I see that she speaks with uncertainty -- the pronouncements she speaks come not from her, though I do not know their true source. Her other advisors are honest, though none has the willpower to resist whatever force is manipulating the Mouth, I suspect. I am working to prepare a full report on how we can best turn the Order to our needs.

You should know that the Realm -- no, the world -- is in chaos. Something seems to have snapped while I was gone -- it is as if the populace has suddenly come to realize for good that the Empress will not return. At the moment, the embarassment Fokuf still holds the throne, though that will not last -- the eldest scions of Houses Mnemon, Cathak, and Ragara are all vying strongly for the throne, with their political maneuvers having increasingly negative consequences for the Realm's citizens. In addition, I hear rumors that Tepet Ejava has raised an army of her own and plans to return and seize the Scarlet Throne by force.

The news from the rest of Creation is similarly grim. In the West, a new island has arisen from the depths, a hundred times the size of the biggest previously known isle. The Realm has gathered no further information on it -- two ships of Dragon-Bloods, each sent to explore the island and discover its secret, were each lost with all hands. Witnesses of the second incident, watching through Charm-enhanced vision from a distant vessel, saw winged beasts rain shards of vicious metal down upon the ship until it sank. It is also said that the depradations of the Lintha family have grown stronger by threefold than they were just one year ago.

In the North, the Haslanti League have begun to move against the states to the south. Many Dynasts grow concerned that they will begin to directly attack Realm satrapies, which there are currently insufficient Legions to retaliate against. In addition, a Circle of Anathema have been growing more active of late, making bolder and bolder attacks on Realm soldiers.

In the South, vocanoes have begun to erupt far north from where volcanic activity was previously expected. Several villages and towns have already been destroyed, and the problem appears to only be getting worse. To make matters worse, at least two elemental fire courts have severed ties with locals altogether, and ceased their management of local fires -- allowing them to grow rapidly out of control. All efforts by Immaculate priests to even gain access to these courts have failed, and no one has any information whatsoever as to what the spirits' purpose in this matter is.

Finally, in the East, fae activity has increased beyond anything Creation has seen since the Contagion. Those invasions which the Sunlands have moved to address are only the tip of the iceberg -- a great force has moved upon the Hundred Kingdoms and begun to tear through the resistance offered by mortal armies. The Realm's agents in Lookshy say that the Seventh Legion is unsure whether to respond immediately to this threat, given the risk of leaving their back exposed to the Mask of Winters.

As you can see, the world grows more dangerous by the moment. For the moment, I will continue my efforts to compromise the Order here; please contact me by our usual channels if there is any superior use for my skills.

-- Relovia

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