The Jilted Matriarch

Coronation day had come and gone, and most of Voraniss was still celebrating with loud raucous cheering, howls, and raised mugs long into the night. There was one part of the country, however, that was eerily silent. Deep within the swamps, the Degazi Tribe gathered around their matriarch with downcast eyes. Imich-Ye was angrily pacing back and forth with the torchlight casting dancing shadows across her scaly face.

“We have been insssssulted,” she hissed. “How dare the Realmssss choose the Uthi Tribe over usssss. Xale’an iss but a child. She knowsss nothing of war, nor the greatnessssss of victory.” She took the time to hold aloft her silver sword, showing it off to the others in her tribe. “How many have we sssslain? Are we not the ssstrongessst?” She cried, the red glands on her neck inflating as her temper grew.

The tribe began to get restless, hissing their agreement as they started to stand all around her. “What sssshall we do, great Imich-Ye? Tell ussssss.”

“We will sssshow the new King and the outsiderssss their folly. We ssshall attack the Uthi and prove that our sssstrength is ssssuperior!” She shook her sword a few times for emphasis, and opened her mouth to display her jagged teeth. “Our Goddesssss, the great sssserpent Kul’Mathanigalurgtha, has sssent us a sssign and all but asssssured our victory.”

The other Kul’Matha began to cheer for their matriarch, raising their spears defiantly at the night sky as though its very presence offended them. “We follow you to war, Imich-Ye! To battle! The sssswampsss ssshall be ourssss!”

“We sssshall sssend an emissssssarry to Otugu of the Troxl Tribe. Perhapsssss he sssshall be our ally in thisssss. Chasssshk, gather our warriorssss. Denzuzu, tell the hunterssss to double their effortssss. We will need the rationsssss for our march.”

“Asss you wissssh, great Imich-Ye,” came the response. These Kul’Matha were quick to obey their matriarch’s orders and depart the crowd to begin delegations. If there was one thing Imich-Ye had proven to them time and time again, it was that she knew how to win battles. Under her watch, the werewolves had never gained a single inch in the swampland, and now they wished to keep it that way.

“Assss for the ressst of you, we mussst ssssharpen our ssspearsss and build the weaponssss we sssshall need for the assssssault. Prepare yourselvessss, and you sssshall know the tasssste of triumph.” Imich-Ye nodded to her people and began to leave the gathering for her own hut where she would begin to sharpen her sword and think upon her plans. “Damn you Mathiessssss,” she whispered into the empty building. “Damn you and your meddling.”

Yes, while the rest of Voraniss continued to party and celebrate, there were some that were far more content to plot and dream of the fruits that their ambition might come to bear; and some that had no idea of the danger behind the seeds they had planted.

There’s A Party In Voraniss and You’re All Invited

The wild nation of Voraniss is opening up its doors to friends and fellow adventurers soon. There is much to celebrate and the locals are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first guests. To make sure everyone enjoys themselves we’ve put together this list of some of the tournaments and activities you can look forward to participating in at your leisure.

The Boar Pit

Think you have fortitude worthy of recognition? Test your tenacity and skill alongside other warriors of the Realms as Champion Mogar Ironblood pits you against one another. This combat tournament takes the endless battles of the classic Bear Pit and adds a new element of challenge and danger for you to overcome with each successive victory.

Magical Ritual Tournament

Can you think on your feet? Do you pride yourself on your ability to improvise under dire circumstances? If so, then this is the contest for you. Take on a role and ritual goal at random and entertain the masses to the best of your ability!

Scavenger Hunt

If you’re good at finding things or fancy yourself a tracker then you’ll certainly want to try your hand at this challenge. Be careful though, items and people can’t be used more than once even if they could work for more than one category. Keep your eyes open and do your best!

Voranian Lore Tournament

This trial is for both the adventurer that wants to learn more about the nation of Voraniss and the Loremaster that loves knowledge in general. See if you have the memory or the investigative skills to discover all the answers before your opponents do.

Best Dressed

Rumor has it that despite the nation’s love of fur and leather it still has an appreciation for craftsmanship and finery. Don your new accessories and fancy apparel and see if you can grab the attention of the Druids and win the prize!

Art Contest

Voraniss is a nation that aspires to push artistic boundaries and create beauty in its works. As such, we would love to see what the artisans of the Realms can create. Come put your talents on display to be appreciated and admired. This theme for this year’s entries is “Inner Spirit.”

The Hunter Tournament

Poachers are a continual nuisance we have to deal with in our country. They think they are being sneaky, but the wolves can smell them a mile away. Put together a 1-3 man squad to take them out and we shall reward the team that does the best work. Please see our Magistrate on the day of the feast for further details.

Rune Translation

Poor Seeker Artair seems to have gotten a bunch of our RSVP letters mixed up and he’s not sure which ones are which. Voraniss has a lot of strange languages and he’s been struggling to decipher them on his own. Lend him a hand and we’ll reward the person that gives us the most complete and accurate translation.

The “Bolla” Toss

Come practice your throwing skills with the best fetcher in Voraniss! Tulkhan will be joining you to keep track of your progress for this game. Earn points by tangling up our targets, just be careful that you don’t knock your own success down.


They say that in the old days a person could sing for their supper. To that end, Voraniss wants to reward the Bards of the Realms and give them the floor to do what they do best. If you are a story-teller, singer, musician, dancer or entertainer of any kind then we would love to enjoy your talent in our hall. We have a limited number of thank you gifts to share with you for your efforts, so please be sure to sign up with Magistrate Evie early upon your arrival.

That is all for now, but keep a look out for more announcements. Lavendoris is taking her duty as a hostess very seriously and will probably want to show off the bounty of our land as often as she is able. Stay warm out there, and remember that Spring is almost upon us!

Den Day Report: by Adrian “Cronin” Cronin

In the Month of the Owl, usually shortly before the Snow Moon, the Wolves of Voraniss celebrate Den Day. Gifts are exchanged and grand gestures are made in an effort to court potential mates for the spring. The Elves and Humans of Voraniss, because of recent cultural exchanges, have also begun celebrating the day in their own special ways.

Calandian Elves have been filling the forest with enchanting music. Songs of love, loss, and hope have been magically carried from Voraniss proper all the way to halls of Kenkilit. Woven gifts of the forest, featuring out of season flowers and other promises of spring have been a very popular gift this season.

Kenkilit, the town which houses Voraniss’ highest human population, has been using the cold as an excuse for more… private exchanges of love and affection. The saying, “There are finer ways to stay warm in Kenkilit,” has become a common one. It has been my policy within my halls to, “always cast Aura of Protection.”

The Werewolves have celebrated as they always have; bringing gifts of hunted game to potential mates within their dens, or starting fights with other wolves to show off their combat prowess. Most of the fights are superficial at best, with no real danger involved. Lust can be a powerful motivator but next to the love of the pack, there is no equal.

Where it gets interesting for myself and the other Druids is observing the unlikely pairings within our more prominent members and how they are celebrating. Tulkhan brought Evie to hysterics when he brought her the carcass of a rabbit. He was very confused. Evie is renowned for her love of rabbits and jackalopes. He later made it up to her with a beautiful necklace that he handmade and the two seem more in love than ever. Elowen, my own daughter, has been courted by Asher, one of my most loyal warriors. His efforts to shower her with gifts of flowers and sweets seems to at least humor the Wood Elf, though her people are known for being a bit more direct about their desires, especially the women.

Abounding jokes about who the mayor of a town made of bones is have been running rampant… strong cases were made for both Helkias Blackraven and, the fairest of them all, High Druid Gavin the Green. This particular humor often escapes me for I know of no such place.

Yes, love is in the air in Voraniss. Mogar has even been witnessed tied to a tree with that strange look in his eye. My only fear is Tree-ents with tusks…

05. New Beginnings: By Edward (Helkias) Hanscom

The kingdom of Corbach stretched cross many lands. Where once stood independent nations, there now was simply Corbach. The tribes to the north with their Frozen Ways. The wanderers to the South, the origin of magic. To the West, Forest-wide and unknown. Into the east simple farmland and on it simple people made their homes. And in the Center of it all, the royal family built their fortress, and from there they ruled.

In the east, Helkias sat near his mother’s grave, or rather the place they’d chosen to honor her. His father stood only yards away leaning at the entryway to his home. Nurem’s mug steamed in the cool winter air. The wine had warmed them both. Until Helkias had come to the conclusion that Alis should be brought up to date on their lives.

The Blackraven rose.

“I must know father, with everything that’s passed. With all I’ve told you. How can you welcome me so?”

“Easy, my boy,” he chuckled, “Long ago your mother and I chose this place to make our home. And we agreed then that no matter what came to pass here we would always find respite and love here. And when you came to us it became even more important to us.”

Helkias accepted the mug from his father’s outstretched hand.

“I promised her no matter what, you would have a place here. No matter what came to be, who you came to be, you could always come home again.”

Nurem held his son. Tears welled in both their eyes. And Helkias sobbed, embracing his father someone whom he had never dared hope to see again.

“The wine has done its job then,” Nurem said stoically. Helk pushed himself away and let both his hands rest on Nurem’s shoulders. He chuckled and wiped the tears away.

“Clearly it has,” Helk threw one arm around his father’s shoulders and led him back inside, “Does not mean we should stop it from its task.”

They drank long into the night and the morning sun found them asleep at the kitchen table. Nurem rose first and groaned as he stretched. He looked at his son. He had not thought to see his boy again. The rumors from the capital were too outrageous, too slanderous to be anything but propaganda. He chuckled. His boy, the one he had told when and how to shovel horse shit was the stuff of royal propaganda. It was absurd. And yet, the way Helkias looked at him across the fire. Nurem wondered what else had happened to his son those many months away.

“Helkias,” Nurem shook his son awake.

“Err whassat?” Helk turned away and shrugged his feathery cloak over his head.

“Boy, you have to ride to meet whosit’s, the girl,” Nurem set the cook fire to burn and hung a pot above it.

Helk pushed his hands through his hair. And glared at the sun.

“Figures I’d come and start a durned revolution hungover and with wine shits,” Helk groaned in a familiar fashion as he rose, “Well, does nothing to complain about it.”

The Blackraven’s shadowy form stalked. To the Outhouse.

When magical creatures and their allies unite in defense of their freedom and the forest they love, there is no telling what kinds of shenanigans might ensue.