Mestanir's Strike for Freedom!

The Infiltration and Destruction of the Mandis Crystal in Mestanir (7/23/2003)

(All names of Mestanir citizens have been removed to protect them from potential reprisal by Jantalarian forces.)

Freedom from Jantalarian expansionism may be a step closer for the former barony of Mestanir. This week, in a daring display of bravado, inspired tactical performance, and an insatiable demand for freedom, forces in Mestanir destroyed the Mandis Crystal perched atop Koar's Hill amidst the Crown of Koar. Freedom fighters infiltrated the Jantalarian command in Mestanir and launched an attack that resulted in the utter destruction of the crystal. Residual Mandis effects remain in the region. It is unknown at this time whether the Mandis pollution in the region will be permanent, or will pass with time. It is hoped that the region will return to normal soon.

In the attack, the Fist of Koar itself was toppled as it smashed the Mandis Crystal with the anger of a righteous god. The monument may have been damaged, but reports on damage vary. Some local citizens are dismayed at what this may mean. One citizen of Mestanir remarked, " is the guilt of bringing Mestanir's end on the wings of freedom that makes the pain so unbearable to me. Mestanir's new freedom will be a hollow victory, for the Fist of Koar is now naught but rubble. The pilgrimages will slow, the lives of the citizens will be changed, and the Mestanir of old will cease to be."

But the regional clergy, mystics, and clerics are more positive in their outlook, claiming the event is a clear sign of support from their god. "The Fist of Koar has smashed the evil Mandis Crystal, and brought magic back to our people. How much clearer can a portent be?" Indeed, word has spread that the Fist of Koar is now being referred to as "a living shrine" since the visible remains of the demolished wagon provide a graphic testimony to the power of Koar's anger in a town that is close to his heart.

Also expressed are fears that destruction of the Crystal will not be seen as the result of the negligence of Baron Hochstib, but instead due to the peoples of Mestanir, and a high price extracted by the Empire. Other, more optimistic citizens see it as a sure sign that Hochstib's days are numbered. "We'll have a picnic at his hangin', we will," remarked one widow in Mestanir. "That bastard has cost me my husband and four sons in his wars o' greed. We seen enough killin' and dyin' to last five lifetimes. Down with Hochstib! A pox upon him!" One certainty is that the destruction of the Crystal will force the hand of the Throne. The destruction of such a rare, powerful, and valuable artifact cannot be ignored.

While the immediate effects of the removal of the Crystal may be the return of magic to the area, the far greater effect is that it has become clear that the Crystals are not indestructible, and the soldiers guarding them are not infallible. This will doubtlessly inspire acts of resistance or even revolts in Mestanir, and perhaps even in Talador. In the west, Wehnimer's Landing is beset with Jantalarian troops bearing yet another Mandis Crystal. This event will do much to bolster their spirits, and perhaps give them ideas of how to throw down their oppressors before they have gained a sufficient foothold.

Perhaps coincidentally, at about the time the Crystal was destroyed, a visible dimming of the Comet overhead was observed. It is not known whether this effect was linked to the destruction of the Crystal or of the Fist. However, the timing of the dimming of the comet coinciding with the destruction event cannot easily be dismissed as happenstance. Some mystics believe that the dimming of the comet is a sign that Koar himself assisted in the strikes, diminishing the effects of the comet so that the raid could succeed. Other theories will no doubt surface in the coming weeks, months, and even years.

What is clear is that after this event, Mestanir will be forever changed. Some think the change will be for the better, as magic hopefully returns to the region, renewing a chance for the decade-old siege of the barony to end. Return of self-rule to Mestanir could signal a new age of magical research for the region famed for powerful and unconventional mages. Will Mestanir find ways to work in line with House Kestrel and under the Northern Sentinel to forward magic study within the Empire? Some think the change is for the worse, with political repercussions for the Empire and religious repercussions for the followers of Koar.

"For now, I sit on the boulder staring at the Cascade of Tears. Remembering old losses and old gains, and things that are gone and will never be again," lamented one citizen. But almost all agree, nearly any fate is better than remaining under the hobnailed boot of Jantalarian oppression and the restriction of the freedom of self-determination that accompanies enemy occupation. The general consensus is that Mestanir may soon become free from Jantalarian occupation and returned to barony status within the Empire."

What will be the role of the new Mestanir in the Empire? What will she do with her freedom?

The Unofficial Report...

In a daring raid last night, a large contingent of people from the armed services and independents disguised themselves as Jantalarian soldiers. Gurbah, captain of the Vornavis troops, brought tabards for us with the emblem of Jantalar, and we were to meet a young gnome who knew the workings of a magical glyph in the Tower in the Outlands near the Freeport of Solhaven.

After dressing appropriately, we made our way to the top of the Tower, stealthy as only a hundred strong can be. We waited a brief time until Leafblade appeared and after a moment's composure, she began to recite magical words and make gestures at the symbols upon the wall, and soon thereafter we were standing upon the roof of a hostel in Mestanir.

There we were met by a man named Orthen, who was a Mystic of Koar, and part of the resistance in Mestanir against the rule of Jantalar. Orther directed us to Koar's Hill, whereupon stands an old cart with a Mandis Crystal that affects the entire region.

Guarding the Crystal was a Jantalarian knight-banneret, and though it was difficult to persuade him away, we finally did. After we made sure he was gone, the entire force began to shove the cart down Koar's Crown. The region looked much like this:

[Mestanir, Koar's Crown]
Forming a circle that fills the center of the hilltop, huge granite blocks stand in a circle, linked by horizontal blocks lying tightly between each pair. Only at the cardinal points are the lateral stones missing and the standing stones tied together by lintel stones. An inexplicable sense of peace fills the air. You also see a huge double-wide wagon with a huge black crystal on it.

Using our combined strength, we shoved and pushed against the cart until finally the cart began to roll down the hill!

Suddenly, the wagon rolls down the hill and wheels out of control, descending in a sharp downward arc!

We chased after it, not wanting it to get too far away, but before long it had reached the bottom of the hill and collided with an ancient relic called the Fist of Koar.

The wagon continues its steep descent and it quickly becomes apparent it's on a collision course with the mighty granite Fist of Koar at the base of the hill!

A sharp *SNAP* of wood and the resulting *SCREECH* of twisted metal echoes across the area as the wagon crashes into the Fist!

A deep groaning rumbles up from the ground as the Fist of Koar teeters from the massive blow. With a final might creak, the ancient, huge relic topples over right onto the crystal! A shrill piercing note echoes across the air as the black crystal explodes in a blaze of blue-black fire! Thousands of shards are thrown up in the air as the shockwave rapidly approaches you!

The force of the blast knocks you off your feet!

Shards rained down among us as we scrambled to our feet. We could hear the approach of Jantalarian troops so we gathered up as many pieces of the Crystal that we could and high-tailed it back to where Orthen waited for us. Reversing the magic, he reopened the circle for us to travel back to the Outlands, but before we left, he thanked us for we all could feel and use magic once again in Mestanir. Saying farewell, we hurried back through and into the Outlands..

Since then, bane weapons have been forged from the pieces of the Crystal.
You are holding a Mandis Crystal shard in your right hand.
Pale veins are still faintly visible within this piece of dull grey crystal.

My own Mandis Bane was crafted by Sir Cryheart, and appears as such:
Cryheart shows you his vultite longsword. The surface of this longsword is a dull and lifeless grey, with pale vein-like lines faintly visible when light is played across it.

After all the weapons have been constructed, we will free the Landing from the tyrranical rule of Jantalar. Many thanks to Hobbs, Leafblade, Kimrella, Gurbah and Orthen for all their help.

-Shikel, Protectors of the Citadel (Unofficial Report)