Setting the Record Straight

As posted in late 1998, prior to the Road to Solhaven, to the public of Wehnimer's Landing.

Titaniia's Missive

Honorable People,

Tis obvious that you all care deeply for our town, and have invested a good deal of time and effort in your research regarding Baron Hochstib and the Mandis Crystal.

However, I am hearing a lot of misinformation when my scribe reads this board to me, and have asked her to post this reply without my usual accent that I might make myself perfectly clear.

I have also heard many of these "rumors" about Hochstib and the Crystal. I'm not sure where they come from, but I can guarantee they are not coming from Vornavis or any of our known "sources". ( I cannot speak more intimately of our sources, for fear of putting their lives in danger. ) Instead, I have found that many of these "facts" are indeed made up by young adventurers looking to make a name for themselves. While these young people mean well, they tend to confuse everyone in general, and have a poor effect on overall morale.

Here are the facts as I know them to be:

Baron Hochstib of Jantalar (a barony to the southeast of us) has his eyes on the barony of Vornavis, which is ruled by Baron Malwind. (Baron Malwind is our ally.) Part of his strategy for conquering Vornavis is to shut off trade to the major city there, Solhaven. In order to do that, he must shut down the trade filtering through their port. We do much trade with Solhaven in the Landing. Thus, to stop a large portion of Solhaven's economy, Hochstib would wish to shut down the trade originating from our port.

The conflict between Vornavis and Jantalar is not yet an all out war. Indeed, recent news has it downgraded to border skirmishes and a very loose blockade of the port. As far as we know, the Mandis Crystal has not been used in Solhaven or Vornavis.

The Mandis Crystal is a living being that literally sucks the mana from the very air around it. It performs mass dispells on people within its range as well as preventing the casting of new magic. It exists in a dormant state until awoken, at which time a prisoner is sacrificed in order to give it consciousness.

Baron Hochstib's troops retreated from their position in the mountains after their Mandis Crystal was injured. The Empress has promised him a new one and his troops have gone south to retrieve and escort it, thus allowing the Landing a long period of time in which to plan and prepare. The invasion *will* occur, but we will certainly have a good deal of notice before it happens. Large troop movements on the order of Hochstib's forces are not going to go unnoticed.

My knowledge on this subject is limited when compared to that of Sir Welan, Sir Cemb, or Lord Errick. I will ask them to read through the various posts and help to clear up some of the misconceptions here. Again, I applaud the vigor with which people have maintained this discussion. It shows a true concern for our town and an unwilting determination to uphold the cause of freedom. Lady Titaniia Lightfooted

Errick's Addendum

Howdy all,

Lady Titaniia as she posted earlier, did in fact bring my attention to this topic, and I'm rather bemused at all the information contained herein. I apologize for not knowing of its presence earlier than this, but so it goes.

For those of you who do not know me, and I would suppose that is the vast majority as it is not my habit of announcing myself, nor posting very often, I am Lord Errick Dyfedd, scribe of the Order of the Silver Gryphon. I take the notes at the meetings, and in the past I have visited Jantalar as a spy, and have a rather unique position in knowing those folks that do give us information rather well, as one of them stuffed me in an apple barrel one time, and saved my life.

All right, that being said, there have been some misinterpretations and misinformation posted here, which we're going to do our best to rectify. Please understand I am not here to cast aspersions on any previous poster nor member of the militia or the Order, but simply to assist Lady Titaniia in listing the facts as we know them, and also post one small caveat. Nothing posted here is set in stone. All we can post are the facts as they are today which are subject to changing tomorrow most likely.

Is this invasion going to happen? It is very likely so.

WHEN is this invasion going to happen? NOBODY and that is a HUGE NOBODY knows for sure. Not me. Not the militia. No one. There are some factors that are currently involved that make it clear that until A and B happen there will be no C. These facts I don't feel comfortable in sharing at the moment, because as was previously mentioned there are spies everywhere. Some of our own Landing mates are looking forward to this invasion with glee, and I am not much inclined to help them destroy MY home.

What about the Mandis Crystal? The crystal is big. How big? Big enough that it requires a very large and ponderous wagon to carry it around--and requires a large group of people to guard it. It is a rare thing, mined from an area only the Empress knows where, and it is very expensive. It can be damaged. We're not quite sure how the one the Baron used to own was damaged, but it was. The Order is currently working on a plan to cause it damage when and if a second one comes to the Landing. I won't say more than that. It sucks mana. It WILL dispell you if you are close enough. The "estimate" we were given was a radius of several miles. We do not know for certain how much area this encompasses. It MAY be from Landing to the Abandoned Inn, or it may be only around the Landing area itself if it was at the North Gate. We simply do not know. We have examined a very tiny active piece of the crystal and it dispelled all of us, and did some of us physical damage when touched. It got hot. It also drained us of mana. It is currently "dead". We have heard that the crystal is activated by sacrifice of people and that it is alive somehow. The Baron is currently waiting for a new crystal. The last crystal took many months to arrive from the Empress to Jantalar. I do not expect that this one will arrive more quickly. We do not possess any information currently about the new crystal's whereabouts.

What will happen when the Invasion arrives? I can assume we will have copious warning that they are coming. I do not presume to announce what will happen after that, whether the militia will take down the Baron's army, or everyone will fight together or what. We do not know that yet.

How many troops does the Baron have? We have been told that the Baron has an army of 800,000. We were told that 350,000 or so of the army were heading our way. We were also given information that the army was partly comprised of soldiers altered by Luukosian priests to be "soulless" but not "undead." The result of this soul removal left the soldiers immune to every-day emotions like fear and probably immune to needing food and such. We don't know for sure. We do know that when the crystal was damaged, so were the Luukosian soldiers. Apparently the two did not mix very well, but again we're not sure what happened there. How many soldiers does the Baron have left and how many will be coming here? We don't know.

You can be sure that when the Order finds out anything relevant, it will be filtered down to the militia and out to the public as well.

Please do ask more questions, and I will be checking here every so often, hopefully I will be able to answer them for you in a more concise manner in future. Thank you for reading this far.

Lord Errick Dyfedd
Scribe of the Order of the Silver Gryphon