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Hill Cantons
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The G+ pocket universe where the Hill Cantons reside
The G+ pocket universe where the Hill Cantons reside

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And now the news...
The kozaks are at the gates! For the first time since the Golden Pronunciamiento three odd centuries ago, Ostrovo is under siege. Following the rout of the Overking's army at the Battle of Berikstvo– and the grievous wounding of Wildgraf Androj the Younger in an opening duel – the forces of the Western Horde have invested the town. Fortunately the heavy mauling at the battle has to date prevented an outright assault.  

In nearby Revoca,  the Lady Draga the Twitterlight has called the cantonal muster for all able-bodied Revocans “with penis.” “It is the rooster-coming-home price of patriarchy,” the teen-ruler said. All men are to report to the town market once a day armed and armored until the muster is called off. 

Revoca's most famous talking schizo pig has been spending an inordinate amount of time in the Sister Sow identity-- and ministering to the wild mystics of the Starry Void Lodge. She has put out feelers for local hero sorts who she will pay 500 gold suns to escort her to a meeting deep in the Stuz with the Leshy Ota. The passive-aggressive note board in the town market has been surprisingly light on the porcine cleric's recent behavior with a single tense note saying “seems legit.”

In three days time Cantoners will celebrate the 4600th birthday of alleged god Radegast, Lord of Hosts, Master of Games. By time honored tradition cantoners will spend the holiday morn locked in a room with their most grating and annoying relatives only to be ritually freed in time for early beer binge drinking. 

In other news, the Tomb of the Great Deodand is still there and the number of wizards is dwindling on the Feral Shore. 
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2015-11-24
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And now the news...
In five days time the Hill Cantons celebrates one of its most treasured and macabre holidays, Dušičky (or Lil' Souls Day).  Cantoners celebrate the night before by placing tallow-candle lanterns, white gravy jars, and blackwood-thorn wreaths on the graves of the cherished dead and telling coarse jokes of their.lives. Marlinko adds its own peculiar local tradition, undead baiting. Husk-Zombies, Tower-Wights, Zombastadons, the Qol or what have you are rounded up and herded into the town or village center, chained and baited to the good fun of all.  

The corporeal undead shortage has persisted and Marlinko Ceremonial Wraithwrangler, Hurloj Kladivo, is seeking  a local group of adventurers for a hunt in the Hyperborean tomb complex under Lumash the Tower of Bone. Hurloj will pay 100 gold suns per what he calls “hit dice” in undead wrangler jargon. (Mancatchers, weighted nets and lassos most be purchased this year.) 

Father Sow in a jeremiad from the pulpit this Sunlorday has railed against the practice of “misplacing” surplus older children in Revoca. “Suffer not your children to the vagaries of marsh-witches,” he thundered from his jowly hog cheeks. 

Thunderstorms have continued to wrack Revoca and Ostrovo cantons throughout the week. The cold black Tarn has started to flood parts of Revoca town, much to the confusion of residents who categorically deny the existence of the lake. Using the weather to its advantage the kozak main horde has been able to elude battle with the now combined army of the Overking. 
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And now the news...
It's a victory sweet and savage for Raugraf Androj the Younger at Zvoti Vody. With his advance force of Ostrovan free lancers barely 150 strong— and the bulk of his army a half-mile behind--  Androj gambled hard charging the vanguard of the kozak horde before they could pull their war-wagons out of the spring-fed muck and organize their traditional laager defense. Though taking heavy losses against the numerically-superior but dismounted and disorganized steppe-brothers he aggressively pressed the attack until reinforced the javelin-tossing Amazon jinetes and bow-armed marchwardens. Though most of his company was destroyed, Sub-Hetman Yarmek Kompaniyets survived and broke a small band out of the rout. 

Where and when the main body will strike the Hill Cantons is still unknown. Large clouds of dust have been seen by scouts along the eastern border of Ostrovo Canton. 

If the kozak incursion wasn't frightening enough, a Xam werewolf-fleecer reports seeing an enormous, great-tusked, horrifically-visaged pachyderm in the southwest backhills of Revoca Canton. The fleecer though showing the customary terseness of his people beast maintains that the beast was massive enough to support not one but three platforms on its great back. 

Father Hog/Sister Sow will be leading back-to-back services in Revoca Town today to praise both the Sun Lord and his dearest antagonist (and ex-wife) Habeka the Lady for victory over the co-religionist kozaks. Remember to bring a dish for the potluck.
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At Revoca Town Market
(This will be an ongoing weekly campaign feature, random chance that unsold items will disappear week to week) :

An unusually large (250 feet-long), pastel-died skein of wool yarn (labeled Endless Summer), 5 gold suns 

A sunstone, a flat, translucent piece of feldspar, with notches for determining the angle of the sun (and therefore direction). 200 gold suns 

The last two months of an indentured servitude contract for Radko the Rascal, convicted minor felon. 60 gold suns. 

Wicker basket of dead snakes, 2 gold suns

Crude map scribbled on silk napkin, 10 gold suns 

Dowsing stick, 5 gold suns 

At the Forest Goblin stall:
Crystal Vial of Man-Child Tears, 10 gold suns 

 A two-headed goat, apparently deaf, 10 gold suns 
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Riders from Ostrovo Canton bring news that the vanguard of the great kozak incursion has been met in the field by the hurriedly-raised forces of cherub-faced Raugraf Androj the Younger.  With banners snapping in the wind Androj's mounted company of lancers, Amazon jinetes and pressed-ganged march-wardens swung around the main kozak column and descended on the numerically-larger kozak column as it tried to unmire its stuck war-wagons in the muck around the foul-tasting spring Zovti Vody.  The kozaks are captained by Sub-Hetman Yarmek Kompaniyets, doubly famous as both commander and “mamai” (folk balladeer and pictured below). The battle's outcome is still unknown. A real nail-biter.

Note appended to the Pikra-Svar board in Revoca: “Re: the visitors from Downhill [Revocans slang for other Cantoners]. While entertaining at first, this gaggle has become increasingly hard to share space with inside the embracing comfort of a stout towerhouse. To be sure it's not them—though a company composed of a fly-kicking self-love aficionado, a barbarian entirely without drawers, a nameless hunter, a pagan priest smelling of the vine, two wizards of the benign persuasion (and faultless), a Kozak (the enemy!) overly fond of his equine companion, a pious if overbearing devotee of our most blessed Sun Lord and an Eld (an ELD) would probably give one pause even in the Big City slicker life of Marlinko—it has to be us, the Prochaska clan, who has grown apart emotionally in this past couple weeks. The Mulka clan is welcome to entertain them as they themselves have a certain Downhill charm to their clan. 

PS to the person who ate the pound of donkey-butter from the larder clearly marked in magical glyph 'FOR CLAN CEREMONIAL USE ONLY' I REALLY hope you are happy with yourself.”

Best-selling author, Son of Mulmak, has followed up his hit A Brief Relation of the World-Dungeon Unitary, As it Was Delivered to the Folk of Marlinko with the newly-released Life, Heat, Joy: One Tunnel to Rule Them All, a pamphlet lavishly (and gratuitously) illustrated by the Kezmaroki “shock jock” woodcut-artist Lakureci. The booklet bizarrely hypothesizes that a single mile-deep and mind-dizzingly-long service corridor unifies all so-called dungeons in Zem. Marlinko playboy Jarek the Nagsman says of the book, “in a single word: padded.” 


  
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And now the News and Hireling Report...
The kozaks are over the border! Driving their great war wagons before the swarms of shaggy pony-riding zeks, the western horde has crossed into the Hill Cantons on the orders of the Grand Hetboy. Unlike past chevauchees the horde has split into bands to hit different cantons and seems to be moving at a (perhaps suspiciously) leisurely pace. The Overking has called the muster for all able-bodied men from 12-60 (unable to provide their substitute and pay their remittance, naturally). 

In Marlinko good news, the codpiece is back. In a ruling from yesterday's cantonal Sumptuary Court, the male enhancement is deemed socially acceptable for most classes—and now genders. In a surprise turn ghostlark-feather “man-breast” pads for doublets, a popular summertime trend in Sullen Apiarian contrada, have also been given the Golden Seal. The Lord-Tailor reminds buyers that the new doublets “while costing a hefty 200 gold suns allow the bearer half as much experience (redeemable in 'points').”

In now overshadowed news, Revoca town will host again its great contribution to backhills oral tradition: the Zhvat, an annual gathering of sonorous epic-poem-chanting elders. This year's theme is centered on harmonizing local divergences of the six-hour-long ballad “The Shivving of Angraband.”

Noting a recent uptick in murderhole exploration in that obscure canton, the Guild of Condotierre, Linkboys and Stevedores has opened a sub-branch house (temporarily-housed in the back room of the colonic-healer Uldegind the Perfunctory's tower-house).  

On the local listing for hire is (on a  20 gold suns “per session” basis):
Stonk, veteran-porter, hp: 4. Formerly apprenticed to the Moral Panicists, offers for an additional 3 gold suns to “publicly self-aggrandize his exploits both adventuresome and amorous, thus rendering your own puffery subtle and sublime.” He will also “carry your shit.” Club and skinning knife. 

Vac, journeyman-valet, hp: 6. Strong as a bull, but such delicate, girl-like hands. Ceramic pot of hand-lotion and javelin. 

“Again With the” Pavol, hp: 2. Claims to be a “karzel” (dwarf) trapped in a tall man's body. Leather jack, heavy crossbow, 3 bolts. 

Kaja Boronvica, hp: 1. Tutor of slyph phrenology, sub-linguistic hermetics and Mid-Latter Hyperborean. She is, too her great and everlasting embarrassment, sure she is at the wrong guild hiring hall. Oh dear me. Bardiche, chalkboard, abacus. 
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High Summer is being celebrated next week on the shortest night of the year, Altnoc. Traditionally a turtle shell (symbolizing the World-Turtle, naturally) is placed inside a wagon wheel and rolled into an enormous bonfire while celebrants plait wreaths of nightshade and jump across the blazing logs in defiance of the demons who dwell Beyond the Veil. There is a standing offer from Jarek the Nagsman of 3000 gold suns for a turtle shell massive enough to fit the extravagant three-story wheel he had built on a whim last year. 

Jaromil of Dvec, a journeyman in the Schrimpschongers and Whittlers Guild in Marlinko and descendant of the great hero Adalfuns, was found dead, from apparent suicide, on the Black Altar of Expediency more than two years ago. Without descendants his famous map that shows the location of the lost Great Aviary of Komius Otmar, the crazed Master of Horse of Overking Raginmud XXXII, has become a matter of public record. Interestingly the location is revealed to be in the wilds in the far eastern side of Marlinko Canton. Surely enterprising souls could interest Hurloj Kladivo of the Guild of Accipitaries, Drovers, etc. in some captured specimens. 

Other Little Pavol, chief litigator and debt-collector for One-Armed Jiri is seeking brave hands for an unusual mission: “unstealing” the fabulous precious stone-covered Secondary War-Harness of the Great Deodand. Apparently misfortune has plagued the League topman since it was lifted from the tomb of said ancient deodand near the Mountain Hall of the Hyperboreans four months ago. 2000 golds suns are offered for the return to the inner complex sarcophagus. 

Rumors have it that Golden Swine contrada is offering a license for a sanctioned crime: namely a revenge run on the Sullen Appiarian contrada hall after their sponsoring of a murderous spree on GS’s hall last year. Discrete inquiries welcome. 
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And now the News...
Whiffs of heresy most foul have been again in the air of the Cantons. Apparently the stiff clampdown by the ecclesiastical authorities of our most dear Sun Lord—all of the floggings and public lampooning with low humor (the strictest of pun-ishments)--that squashed the last eruption of the Ludics (a vile sect that maintains that life in Zem is but part of a great game) was not sufficiently draconian.  A new and even more extreme off-shoot of that cult has been seen in Marlinko, the Chatterers, who maintain that not only is that life a game but one controlled by extra-planar demons who impersonate transient bit players at the low end of society. Sun Lord protect us all. 

A surprise announcement from Kezmarok today, the Monarch Formerly Known as the Decade King, has declared that the 10-year rule system will return and that he will henceforth be renamed the Decade King. Significant amendments to the succession where also declared namely that (1) the outgoing monarch will not be blinded, (2) that the lengthy competition for a successor will be replaced by the simple and elegant system of the monarch picking his heir, (3) that he will (reasonably) hold absolute power unbounded by human ambition or knowledge. The Decade King has chosen his twin brother as his successor and claimed in his speech from the High Palace that he is confident that the new system will maintain itself for “eternity.”

A salty sea captianess who refers to herself only as the Daughter of Ondrj is outfitting a galley for an expedition to the so-called “Misty Isles.” The ship will leave in 1-2 weeks and she will pay 100 gold suns to “any murderhobo of rank less than five” to accompany her.

In other news the Patriarch of Kezmarok is still batshit crazy. 
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And now the News...
The old ways return. Out of the dust-bin of the World-Dialectic arises again a grand temple of the Old Pahr pagan religion--a grand sprawling gaily-painted affair dedicated to the whole ailing pantheon and sponsored by the, the Nefarious Nine, the presumptive new lords of that howling wilderness called the Feral Shore. Temple devotees have been busy crafting little manikins made up of twisted deer jerky and bread with blood apricot kolaches for eyes. The tiny confectionary men will be placed inside of a wicker mammoth and burned on sundown of the temple dedication as Pahr women and war bears spit beer on the rising flames. Vilem the Archdruid of Svat the Four-Faced praised the Nine and made a half-hearted apology for his lack of presence at the site, saying “I've been a long time in leaving, but really I am going to be a long time gone.”  

Steelpike the Younger, commercial purveyor of secrets, has announced to interested parties of homicidal transients and treasure gleaners that he is in possession of a nautical chart that shows the clear safe channels in the bewitching fog that surrounds the so-called Misty Isles. He will sell the map for the low, low price of 800 gold suns to any party composed of “members of at least the second rank but not higher than of the fifth.” 

In fever-dreaming Marlinko blue dress pantaloons remain as blue dresse pantaloons as they always have been and always will. 
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A big ole hex map of most of the places the various parties have explored in the campaign. Scale is 5 miles to a hex. 
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