The Lost Year
Much happened during the year that the party was trapped in the Plane of Air, playing Zypharaoh's game of chance. Below is a brief overview of events important or interesting.
Age of Godsfall 1277
Death of Haradis Mahl (29 Winter Dawning) - The ex-Emperor of Bones, the liche Haradis Mahl, was finally cornered by Zalk Dak'akat in the Court of Harps. His backup not responding to his summons, the liche was forced to employ dark magic in his attempts to defeat the Coffin Man. Included in his arsenal was a spell to strip the life from victims and reanimate them as undead servants. With no other recourse, he used the spell against the city itself, slaying thousands there in the heart of the Court. Even that proved insufficient to the task and Haradis Mahl was slain. The whereabouts of both the Ardrua artifact Truth in Stone and the creature Melthagond are unknown.
The Winter Solstice War (15 Winter Glory) - The Second Xaini Civil War, the War of Sword and Scepter, the True Reconquest, the Throneshattering...it is known by many names, but they all speak of the same event. As much of the nobility of Xain was gathering for a great religious ceremony in Gyrehorn, an attack was launched by force or forces unknown. It was a chaotic time, with Xain's armies fighting themselves or else legions of devils pouring out of portals. Some fled but many died, including the High Lord of Garadan Valdus Entmar--the closest thing to an heir to the throne--Naruk Hazard, the Warden of the East, and Commander-in-Arms of the Spire, Purtha Sandeej. Though scholars still debate why it started and how it happened, there can be no doubt about how it ended: with a flash of light visible as far away as Sthalafar, rising hundreds of miles into the night sky. It tore the heart from Xain, vaporizing the major metropolii of Gyrehorn, Garadan, and South Malha and consuming the royal fortress of S'k'zac Dün.
Disturbance at the Tower (15 Winter Glory) - A brief, exceptionally violent disturbance occured at the Tower of Godsfall, perplexing the guards and alarming the Ascendancy government. No one is sure what, exactly, happened, but it appears as if there were a battle involving several dozen combatants with incredible power. Despite blood, damaged equipment, and even bits of anatomy being found scattered over an area of several hundred feet, no actual bodies were recovered and the Iron Peace remains at a loss to explain what happened.
Age of Godsfall 1278
Isfalkar rejects new government (early spring) - With the long absence of Dekne Thurin-Forgemaster, the guild leaders begin agitating for a new ruler, someone who will take an active interest in the city's recovery. They are stymied by the de facto prime minister Déhézon, who is able to leverage both his immense popularity amongst the citizens and the threat of finding Dekne's father to fill the throne to keep the seat of Forgemistress from being filled by the guild leaders.
The Sylat Offensive (19 to 28 Spring Dusking) - As part of a calculated attempt to keep diplomatic relations from warming between the Ascendancy and the Empyrean Alliance, the Republic of Sylat launched a series of border skirmishes agianst neighboring Empyrean Darminia. Most of their attacks were pushed back, but the assault on the village of Lynds say the village burned and most of the population slaughtered. The Ascendancy steps in and tries to mediate, but proves itself ultimately insufficient to the task. They are able to stop Sylat's open aggression, but the Empyreans come away dissatissfied and guerilla actions on both sides of the border increase. War seems inevitable.
Sline Finery: Thahtmahan (1 Summer Glory) - Riding a wave of unprecedented success, Sline Finery opens its second store: a branch in the capital of the Empire of the Sun, Thahtmahan. Proprieter Lucien Sline is quoted as saying he targets the opening of a third store within the year in adventuring capital Elding.
The Queen Returns (24 Summer Dusking) - Unessa Myrnétlarn, Witch-Queen of the Elven Ascendancy, returns to the throne after an extended good-will tour across her kingdom.
The New Xain (Map) - As the dust settled over the decimated Xain, three new powers have emerged from the corpse. Mightiest of them, controlling Xain's northern and eastern holdings, is Xain, ruled by Karakalla Vonostre. To the west is Griefholme, ruled through an uneasy alliance by Exadohl Nakremoth--the old Commander-in-Arms of Fortress Grief--and the necromancy/alchemist Amarakis Varradon, High Lord of Varra. The southest is beocme Vystus Gol under the rule of Fulth Golia with the aid of High Lady Taleel Hiranthus of Gorgan Dûl. All three claim to be the true "heirs" to Xain and war between them seems imminent, as soon as the storms of raw, chaotic magic die down in the wasted badlands between them.
A strange disturbance (early Autumn Glory) - There were reports of loud sounds like battle in the forests east of Crimson Dusk where the witch Red Jenny was said to live. A large area of the forest was found destroyed and since then, there has been no sign of the infamous half-elf.
Border troubles (last part of the year) - With growing unrest in Natha Harada and Skazkull, there have been reports of increasingly frequent and violent clashes along their border with the Empire of the Sun. Neither government has yet made a formal statement about the events--the orcs out of unconcern and the Empire out of a desire to not re-ignite the wars--but behind the scenes, the Empire is increasing its border forces and moving the more vulnerable citizens to the lands opening up east as the old Sepulcrhal Tithe is reclaimed. Most worrying for the Empire is the rare report of hobgoblins attacking from the north, though the veracity of these reports is questionable, at best.
Lir Walhai recovers - Following the freak tsunami, the port city of Lir Walhai is well on its way to recovering. It has become the permanent seat of the Empyrean Alliance's Lictor Council, with the damaged Far Vahandir being reduced to military staging point and housing the monasteries and libraries of the Academy. It is also home to the Alaris Memorial Embassy--where Ascendancy representatives can meet with the Empyreans and discuss their two nations working more closely together--and the Tide of Heroes, a massive statue of bronze and glass displaying seven heroes: Tomas Rayne, Dekne Thurin-Forgemaster, Rhovanthoron-Faerlain Meduivegil, Alaris Nossëlóra, Flann Pisch, Chloe Brooks, and Lucien Sline. Only Lucien was present at its unveiling and it has become a major tourist attraction.
Haradis Mahl: Slain by the Coffin Man in the Court of Harps.
Queen Omala Vindicar: Slain during the Winter Solstice War.
Vennin Stonesthrow: Slain during the Winter Solstice War.
Mechael Vomamoth: Slain during the Winter Solstice War.
Mammon, Lord of the Court of Gold: Slain during the Disturbance at the Tower.
Salthaz the Titan: Slain during the Disturbance at the Tower.