Winds of war: salt and glass

Shortly after the WInter Solstice work begins in Bocche on the College of the Liberated. There are rumours that the decision to build the college near Trivento, rather than in Sarvos proper, is due to some desire to help “revitalise” the fading town. Others suggest more cynically that it is an attempt to prevent too many incomprehensible orc slaves arriving in Sarvos.

A little over six weeks ago, the first ships arrived on the shores of Sarvos bearing orcs.

Unfortunately, they were not the orcs everyone was expecting …

Out of the blue, the Grendel launch a naval invasion of the island of Cigno. Their ships disgorge thousands of orc troops into the streets of the city. There is almost no warning - the ships are cloaked by the sinister fog that has covered the bay of Catazaar for the last six months, and they seem to have little difficulty avoiding - or sinking - any Imperial ships between them and their destination. They strike with absolute confidence, and it is clear that they seem to know that there are no significant forces in a position to prevent their conquest of the islands.

Chaos ensues. The city of Sarvos itself falls to the overwhelming force of the barbarians within a little less than a week - although scattered resistance continues. The citizens fear the worst. Some try to flee to the mainland … and the Grendel make little effort to prevent them from doing so.

An anticipated wave of murder and destruction does not materialise. Indeed, those Grendel captains who come ashore seem almost cordial.

Not so their savage troops, especially those fighting under the banner of the snarling dog. Having secured the city, they ruthlessly set about plundering the riches of Sarvos. The libraries of Diora University are not spared, nor are the treasures of the Capodomus cathedral, nor the businesses of the rebuilt Caricomare. Galleries are raided, museums looted, banks stripped of their valuables. Special care is taken to pillage the remains of the Alvetti estates, and the tomb of Empress Giselle. Observers (which includes a few magicians) are certain that the Grendel looters are under the effect of a potent spell, most likely a day magic enchantment, that allows them to effortlessly coordinate their merciless looting. No treasure, it seems, is safe from their avaricious gaze.

Only the embassies are left alone. The Suranni barricade their gates but the Grendel make no effort to breach them. The Asaveans are much more sanguine. Their ambassador meets one of the Grendel captains in the formal gardens and makes it clear that any attack against the embassy will be considered an act of war. The ambassador and the orc discuss the matter politely over iced tea while outside the walls the orc warriors help themselves to the riches of the jewelled city.

Anyone who tries to resist the Grendel is either executed and their bodies left where they fall, or clapped in irons and dragged away to languish in the hold of a slave ship. Those who do not try to get in the way of the orcs are largely left unmolested. The Grendel appear much more interested in securing as much of the wealth of Sarvos as possible, than in slaughtering its people or burning its buildings.

With their control of the island of Cigno secured, some of the Grendel forces expand their interest to the isles of Uccelini. They avoid many of the fortified estates and go straight for the docks of Glass Point. There are pitched battles in the streets, but the smugglers and captains are no match for the disciplined Grendel forces.

As the Spring Equinox draws clear, the sea-serpent banners of the Grendel snap and dance above the bejewelled spires of Sarvos.


The Grendel have attacked Sarvos, conquering the island of Cigno - where the jewelled city stands - and claiming it for their own. They have also made significant headway towards conquering Uccelini, although most of their attention there has been focused on controlling Glass Point.

This unexpected attack has taken everyone by surprise; it is likely to have a profound impact not only on the League but on the entire Empire. Further information about the implications of the Grendel occupation will be revealed in Winds of Fortune.

Just to clarify for the non-Leaguers: Cigno is the name of the island that Sarvos city proper is built on, in the territory that shares it’s name. The Grendel control Cigno/Sarvos city - which includes the docks of Caricomare among other things. The orcs have also made inroads into the region of Uccelini which include capturing the town of Glass Point.

The Grendel have used naval vessels to transport ground troops into the city, and supported the attack with those vessels. They are not going out of their way to kill people … but they are doing a remarkable impression of people who intend to see how much of the League’s valuables they can fit into the holds of their ships.

We know people who live in Sarvos (or worry about Imperial budgets) are going to be excited and keen to know what this means for them, but we will absolutely be providing more information during Winds of Fortune, so please don’t e-mail in asking for further details right now!

This is the last Winds of War. Plenty of surprises, I hope you’ll agree. The Roll of Honour should go up shortly, and as I said during the brief Intermission our plan is to roll into Winds of Fortune in the next few days and try and get as much as possible up before the late booking deadline on the 20th.

The photo is by Stefan Thiesen (Own work) [GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

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