The Haven real-time campaign hasn’t had a peripheral report in over a year! An awful lot has happened in the year since. While the two year report might have caught some of it up, there are some broad strokes that need to be caught up here. Especially impactful is the fact that two players have built strongholds in the last year and another has inherited one. A lot of political activity has been going on, as well. I think it makes sense to address the last year’s events roughly in order of time, highlighting significant story elements.
Over a year ago, at the Spring Equinox, there was significant excitement in the Union of Schek, as the full moon falling on the Equinox is a rare opportunity for them to receive communications from their gods. Some Valefolk attended the festival, where orcs seemed to appear from nowhere at dawn, speaking a tongue unknown to them. Others vanished as the first had come at dusk.
Over the course of the year, they have looted all of the Lizardfolk tombs mentioned in the Schek Garim song of the lizardfolk taking over the area in what they now know to be called the Seven Kingdoms period by lizardfolk historians, the Vale being squarely in the Lake Kingdom of the period.
They helped Dargos, a powerful gnomish leader, to take command of a dwarven castle on the edge of his lands by slaying a large brown dragon there. This dragon and his acolytes trained Rovert (TrS) in earth magics before he betrayed them. They would go on to discover a teleport circle in the castle which eventually carried them to the dwarven capitol and many other places which they have yet to fully explore.
In the area surrounding the Vale, they have met a race of rabbit folk in the southwest, ratfolk in the northeast, seen the Vale families who moved south well established in Hope by the seashore, slain a mighty queen of spiders (the size of a house!), and cured a werewolf hobgoblin living to the north.
Wraecliff finished his castle, celebrating with dozens of parties and laying claim to the surrounding land, which he has been hiring adventurers to map for him after an unpleasant surprise with a fey imprisoned there. His wife, Ada. keeps a library there whose power is slowly engendering the speaking of Ensignal and Elvish by all who live nearby.
Shortly after Wraecliff’s castle completed (and the temple in Citadel as well), Rovert was able to hire a construction crew to start building him a tower far to the east of the Vale, in a wilderness are beyond where hunters from the Vale frequently go. This tower would continue to grow until recently, quickly become an enclave for wizards from the Vale to come and learn magics and languages. It would also receive ambassadors, first one from the Dragon Empire, then one from the Union of Schek. It also drew the ire of the Death’s Shadow, a necromancer cult to a black dragon. The residents of the tower would have to fend off an attack they launched against it.
In the midst of all this, they would make great progress against the Ar-a-mach, a faction of gnomes a branch of which has been determined to awaken their ancient mad king, Luath Draoidh. The would raid the headquarters of this branch, robbing their treasury. In later encounters with them they would slay many of their powerful members. Eventually, with none of the keys to Luath Draoidh’s seal left in their hands and their resources dwindling, they would make a desperate attack simultaneously against Citadel House and Dargos, hoping to find keys in either place. With these attacks thwarted, they have faded from the plot, for now.
Amid all of this, the Citadel House adventurers lent aide a few times to the satyrs. They defended their western villages against attacks by Schek Viilka, eradicated a tower of roachlings that were preying upon them, and destroyed a powerful undead that seemed to be a mound of roachling corpses.
Verdis, seen by many among the satyrs, gnomes, and the Vale as a hero, rejected invitations for him to run as a candidate for Mayor of Citadel. Not wanting too much conflict with Wraecliff and loyal to Matthias, he instead moved to Confluence, hiring a crew to build him an artificial island in the confluence of the two rivers the village is named for. On it he has built a keep that he is in the process of upgrading. He hopes for it to be a primary bastion in the defense of the Vale and he has already attracted young men to its service as full time soldiers, calling themselves Verdis’ Prickly Bois.
The old college, ruled over mostly by a powerful lich, has been the point of much investigation, and they have learned a lot about the lich’s extent of influence and the buildings on the campus, including a biosphere and an observatory. Despite being interfered with by their attacks, the lich has done little to retaliate.
New treaties have been formed, with the Union of Schek being included in the conflict-free zone surrounding the Shrine of the God of Knowledge. They have also reached an agreement with the West Hill March and their leader, the red dragon Ellizari, in which their borders were established and travel in their respective lands was allowed. With the completion of his keep, Verdis invited representatives from local powers, including the nekolyns, the Union of Schek, the gnomes, the satyrs, Matthias, Jacob Pharoe, Wraecliff, Rovert, Randall, and the Citadel House Adventurers to establish borders.
In this discussion, borders between the the Vale and the Union of Schek were established. Randall revealed his area of influence from his fey grove in the North, which he had tended all Winter. Rovert declared his independence from the Vale and he and Wraecliff agreed on splitting Moaning Hill down the middle for both of them to loot and regulate the looting thereof. Rovert has made a significant expedition into the hill since then, in addition to establishing patrols to keep dangers from escaping from his half.