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The Olde Inn

SPRING APPROACHES
With the coming of Spring, the cold is lessening in the Hills. Though snow remains on the ground and the nights are freezing, the sun is beginning to show. Streams are thawing and the ice on the Lake is thinning. Soon, the land will turn to mud from rain and snowmelt. In a month or less, trade wagons will begin crossing the Hills by the King's Road and there will be business aplenty at the Olde Inn. In preparation, the staff is busy cleaning rooms, shoveling stalls, and emptying the pantry. Gault has gone into hiding, it seems, occupying his time with needed repairs. Temporary bartenders will be filling inn.

The visit of the army from Beregond has passed without incident. Two hundred mounted troops bivouaced at the traders' camp beyond the Lake for two days and did not trouble the Inn. They have moved on to join the King's Army in the Eastmark.

DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS
Anyone residing at the Olde Inn will sense a lightening of the mood - or at least observe that Danya is more pleasant. Though unannounced, a priestess of the Goddess, along with a single girl-servant, arrived last evening and has taken lodging. Not even her name is known yet, but word has already gone out. This can only mean good fortune, for the Temple of the Moon has stood untended and is now assaulted by evil.

Two priests of Mythas, brothers Beronius and Corwell, who have been staying at the Inn for some days, departed two mornings past with the expressed intention of investigating the rumored evil that has surrounded the House of the Moon. They have been neither seen nor heard from since, though one of their horses was found wandering along the Lake.

The Northern Ranger Sparrowhawk, one of the Inn's long-time patrons, has departed with his companion Soristlinae. The two are bound for Anglehelm and then eastward to join the King's Army at Eastinghold which is marching to meet the Varalkian invasion.

Rumor has it that an army from Beregond will be marching eastward as well, sent by Baron Kurth to join the mobilization for war. At least 200 Swords will likely reach the Olde Inn within days and anyone with reason to avoid meeting them should take note. Though the Baron has no authority in the Gondish Hills, and his soldiers pass under the King's orders, there is a history of bad blood between Beregond and the Gondsfolk.

Days ago, a priestess and her single female acolyte arrived at the Olde Inn, mounted but unescorted. Immediately recognized by Danya as votaries of the Goddess, they have been lodged in all possible comfort at the Inn. Not even the Lady's name has been announced, though word has gone out that a new High Priestess has come to restore thew House of the Moon (the assumption may ne premature). Local folk are expected to begin visiting the Inn soon, in hopes of meeting theIR new Priestess.

GATES CLOSED
For the first time in many years, the main gates of the Olde Inn have been closed. This was done by Sparrowhawk (the night after the visit by the courier from Gondaran) to prevent black wolves from entering the grounds. Gault has agreed that the gates will be closed each night and opened again each morning, despite the inconvenience to travelers. A local huntsman has been hired to man the palisade on the wall, shoot wolves, and open and shut the gates when needed during the night (Olde Inn grounds) ... The "wolf problem" is growing more severe, with travelers on the King's Road pursued and attacked at night. Most attribute this to the influence of what ever dark power is attacking the House of the Moon.

RUMOURS OF WAR
News has come from the capitol of Gondaran. Under the cover of Winter, the eastern Kingdom of Varalkia has taken advantage of the absence of baronial troops - as well as the disappearance of the magess Raven Shadowcloak - to act upon its old claim on territory in the Eastmark. In a long-standing dispute between Varalkia and Anglamar, the East Kingdom claims the forestlands between the Easting (Varya) River and Greyshadow Mountain. Baron Waldief at Eastinghold has reported to the King that Varalkian troops now occupy the town of Greymantle at the foot of the Mountain ... Royal couriers have been dispatched from Gondaran to inform the Barons - they must make ready to answer the King's call for knights and soldiers by Spring (a rider stopped to the Olde Inn on his way to Beregond).

THE LIGHT COMETH
Priests of the New Faith have arrived at the Inn. Though not unheard of, such a visit at this time of years is a rare event. Rumor has it that the pair - one Beronius of the Holy Order of Vigilants and his Missioner escort - have come to make new converts and bolster the Church's influence in the area. The vast majority of Gondish folk are adherents of the Olde Gods, especially of the Great Mother who's chief shrine is located here. However, no High Priestess has presided at the House of the Moon since the death of Namarah Silverbrow five Winters ago. The people are in dire need of spiritual counsel and the Church is hoping to fill the void left by Namarah's loss.

A NIGHT ON TRAVELERS' TOR
A giant snow troll (known as a yeti in the East) - something resembling one - has been slain on Travelers' Tor by Sparrowhawk and warrioress Soristlenae. During the venture, Sori became trapped in the monster's cave but was promptly rescued by Sparrowhawk, Thomas Lion Lord and the mage Eldane, who battled black wolves to reach the troll's lair ... Travelers are warned that dire wolves are about in the Gondish Hills and that an ancient evil has been disturbed within the Tor.

STRANGE VISITORS
Concern is growing about the recent number of otherworldly visitors appearing in the Gondish Hills, apparently through the use of intermittent gates or portals. Visitors from Elsewhere are not uncommon, due to the fact that an ancient Gate exists below the Inn, and no one has ever tried to block or close it. Gault relies upon his own defenses (including magical wards woven in to the Inn's construction and the presence of a resident mage) to protect the place from the worst type of intrusion and, in fact, strange patrons and "oddities" are part of the Inn's charm. However, the existence of rogue portals is considered by many to be a threat to Mythandar itself. The Order of the Blue Star has taken an interest, as have representatives of the Church of the New Faith. Visitors from Elsewhere can expect to be scrutinized and questioned.


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