While the blog has been dead silent during my first year in law school, I've made it a priority to keep up the D&D games. That means the Ironbreakers have been plowing ahead through the 10th Age. So what is the status of the Empire of Miles?
The Fideles of Mermarch
News from the eastern edge of the empire in the realm of the ever-fractious Dynas Theolus Amvor has arrived in the city just ahead of the winter weather to close the passes through the mountains. The Emperor is restless and fears the great shipments of iron and parchment, tools and coal, portend preparations for rebellion. As danger flares in Colona with the continued rebellion, the Emperor retrenches against him.
The Ironbreakers, the Emperor's arm amongst his people, have just returned from the Fideles of Westreth and Lomere after burning out the festering evil in the Tourons countryside, the so-called Three Brothers, shadow lords of old disguised as Avaunite healers. With the defeat of a great raksha-lord and his trollish priesthood, Prens Balduen's loyalty has been secured by Hydrophis Schoolman. Though Balduen has classically been a friend and ally of Theolus, the Dynas can no longer count on the Emperor's cousin if there is a second rising.
Sieur Alain of Miles and a number of the Emperor's hand-picked knights have gone into Mermarch to bring Dynas Amvor to the capital; after all, he has been appointed Lord of the Coffers of the Empire since the passing of Dynas Darius Anarjent. His refusal to come before winter lends further credence to the Emperor's fears. But Sieur Alain has failed to bring him before the closing of the passes, and now he remains in Mermarch for the winter at the court of the traitor Duke.
The Ironbreakers have returned, laden with money. They have bolstered the masonry industry in the city, drawing good Petracaes stone from the Whitespears to rebuild the manor house granted by the Emperor to Lucanus Martel as his knight's fee. The manor is now returned to its former glory, and the Ironbreakers now inhabit the Wyrmrest. Rumor has it that they intend to spend much more gold in the city.
Recently, they have delved into the infamous ruins of the Black College to clear out the darkness that resides there. Whispers say they have destroyed an ancient clave of wights known as the Black Guard that have dwelled in the city and preyed on its inhabitants since the days of the Witch Queen. They have there also uncovered the presence of Malvolio the Mad, dwelling in the college's old Tower of Lore. What they will do with him, none can say.
Meanwhile, the Silencers have broken their contract with the Emperor. After a series of increasingly awful meetings in public court, they now flaunt his power by staying in the city after their reprimand and refusing to do his will.
The rebellion in the Coast of Scythes and Colona is worse. The Silencers strategy of executing the self-governing nobles of the Coast of Scythes as punishment has merely caused the rebellion to erupt into full flames. Three cities are openly standing against the Emperor now, having declared their own kingdom, much like the Free Fideles. Colona risks joining in the chaos, with raiders and bandits swarming through the territory.
The Emperor may yet dispatch his tagmata to deal with the situation; indeed, it grows more likely by the hour.