Winter arrives, passes and departs. The year of 338, a year of much event and adventure in the recent history of Qairn, officially draws to a close with the celebration of Earthentide, a traditionally dwarven holiday celebrating solitude, meditation and tranquility. All across the world, families lock their doors, businesses remain shuttered and the citizens of Qairn enjoy a day devoid of care or concern as, from the reclusive island compound of Harbor Abbey, the scholars of House Garnet, at midnight on Earthentide Day, declare the “339th Year Since the Fall of Imald” begun.
In the small city of Belltower, the smoke from Calexzar’s Brineday attack is a hundred days cleared, but the wounds are hardly full-healed. Dockside District remains much burnt, but the industrious townsfolk are hard at work repairing and rebuilding their homes. The city’s fleet of merchant ships were also grievously depleted, not to mention its beloved namesake; Belltower Collegium. During the dragon’s brief but vicious attack on the university, a full third of the faculty were slain or wounded, including Headmaster Risztian. The collegium temporarily lacking sufficient majority to elect a new Headmaster, Professor Kajetan, the most experienced faculty member, was named Acting Headmaster in his stead.
The famous Nameless Company, who so bravely defended the city of Belltower against the draconic aggressor, are also nowhere to be found on its streets, with one exception. Lord Vaca L’oy Dakursa, current Alpha of the Silverback Coven, oversees construction on a new orphanage on the city’s outskirts, in partnership with both House Jasper and the Church of Hroma, hoping to provide the displaced and infected shifter cubs in his protection a new home.
Meanwhile, Althoren Zencaré, free from Palune’s curse, departs the city with his daughter Lunoré in tow – off to visit the great libraries of the world, to better educate them both. Chogaruk hatches a plan to return to the Purple Moon, a squad of Ra’kee’zo’é goliaths in tow, to see about a potential cure for his whitesight on the testimony of Yinzel. Thistle promptly vanishes again, presumably off to pursue those mysterious studies she engages in, another step on the lifelong trek to reclaiming her throne. Zanna, meanwhile, ventures off to the sleepy island of Nirme, where the Haggard Host languishes in exile, with visions of founding her own mercenary company dancing in her mind.
Elsewhere, in the greater world, forces continue to move in opposition to the great work of the heroes. In Irmina, the Raborox Rebellion is concluded, the city sacked and the remnants of its fighting forces scattered, though a sizable bounty remains on the head of the rebellious Baron Gwanc. In Cantilever, House Topaz officially swears loyalty to the Arkhosian Crown, Craftmistress Ûbolya pledging the support of the city’s warforged levies to the unfurling banner of Metarkh Ptolomos Phyrenos. In Colcambria, King Mycrete VI, in one fell swoop, officially legalizes the capture, detaining and employment of goliath slaves for the first time in three hundred years, sending a shockwave of outrage through the goliath communities of the Scarlet Sea.
It is into this shifting climate, with a reinvigoration Arkhosian Kingdom, a weakened Tojezen and a scattered Nameless Company that the new year comes. As the spring of 339 F.I. passes and the festival of Windmoot approaches, an urgent summons – a threat to their overlooked stronghold of Bluffguard – may prove exactly the catalyst required to reunite the disparate band of adventurers.
One question remains: will they answer the call?