Svaern and his closest advisers, are working to enact a four-part plan designed to stabilize the region.:
1. At home:
Svaern and Beamwalker, and the strong War Wizards Corps, along with the High Priestess Savayla, Mother to the Fist have remained in Bloodstone Village, securing their home base. Svaern is determined to provide the people of Damara with strong centralized power. To do this, he strengthens he ties to his closest allies. Brother of the Robin, a druid, has links with the centaurs and halflings of the woodland south of the village. Svaern visits the dwarves and gnomes of the mines every week. On Kane's advice, Svaern has spent some effort soliciting the goodwill of the Monastery of the Yellow Rose. He has invited Cantoule, the new Grandmaster of Flowers, to visit Bloodstone Village. If the Monastery throws its support behind the new Lord, as expected, Svaernís power will be greatly increased. Perhaps the most notable event in Bloodstone is the construction of the Gates. These two massive fortresses have secured the entrances to Bloodstone Pass and protect the mines. Whatever the future of Damara holds, now that the Gates are complete, the valley around Bloodstone Pass is secured as the mightiest region of the Bloodstone Lands, with a guaranteed source of wealth.
2. The northern provinces:
A large contingent of the Bloodstone army under the command of a good friend and High General of a full Division of the D'Rahng Battlegroup, Jerrikii Renkariiísha, a High elf, has been working to secure the northern provinces of Damara. Never free of the Witch-King, the people of this region have no self-proclaimed leaders and have readily sworn allegiance to their rescuers. Svaern is determined to get there before one of the other dukes or barons take it upon him to invade. In particular, he seeks to head off the designs of Dimian Ree of Morov. Olwen's mission is described as the five S's: ...............Squash the remaining Vaasan scum; Supply the poor people of the region; Secure the region and give it over to the people; Seed them with hints of what is to come and with news of Bloodstone; and Scout out the happenings over the borders in Vaasa and Narfell. The first report from the region indicates Olwen is having great success. He is rallying support for the instigation of the Kingdom of Bloodstone. Cries of King Svaern resound through the streets of every rescued hamlet.
3. Preparations for Vaasa:
Certainly Svaern intends to strike hard into Vaasa in the North and South into the almost ready Dukes in the southern, more civilized parts of the Vaasan landmass as a whole, and this after the situation in Damara settles down. But not until the region has been reunited in the old kingdom or the new; (Svaern has been heard to say with a sly wink.) The new Lord, and the people he rules, does not desire a return to the skirmish-filled days of the past. Formerly, Bloodstone Village and indeed all of northern Damara had to constantly seek out and destroy individual tribes of goblins or giants that had descended upon one of the farm communities, thinking them fair game. The Damarans want Vaasa put down, once and for all, and they envision a line of fortress-cities along the northern edge of the Galenas, each pulling its share of gemstones from new mines and patrolling the border. For the present, Svaern keeps a wary eye on the scattered forces of his northern neighbor. He wants to make sure that no army can organize against Damara. Moreover, he recognizes the importance of having a full understanding of what he will be up against when he commits his troops to a campaign in the hostile land. He seeks news of the gathering dragons, the bandit army, and that mysterious cloud over Suncatcher Mountain. To these ends, Svaern has commissioned Spysong, a network of scouts led by Marcus, Celadon Kearney, and Riordan Parnell. Spysong has infiltrated the Galenas and traveled far into Vaasa itself. The network relays information back to Svaern and his allies in the form of coded, bard-spun ditties understandable only by the right ears.
4. The Baronies:
Arguably, the biggest threat to Damara is the splintered spirit of Damara itself. The people of southern Damara generally aren't so supportive of the goings-on in the Barony of Bloodstone. This is particularly true in Heliogabalus and the other cities of Morov. They see the supply provinces of Arcata, Bloodstone, Brandiar, Carmathan, and Soravia are less densely populated than the city provinces. These provinces support Damara's large-scale farmers and miners, the backbone supporting the cities economies. Zhengyi could not change economics, but he shattered the ruling class that kept everything working. After the bloody night when the flower of Damaran nobility was slaughtered, Zhengyi began replacing the nobles, hand-picking his puppets, and he got some doozies indeed!
DíRahng comes mainly as a conqueror, although so far a kindly one. The southern nobles have been capitalizing on their wounded pride to keep them from falling into the King Svaern frenzy. Here is where the Twilight Riders come in. Led by Emelyn the Gray and his fellow mage, Myrddin Viligoth, this mighty group races through the southern provinces after the sun has set. Astride magically conjured steeds of light, they aid those in need and spread the truth about the happenings in the north. They take no payment from those they help, and ask for no oaths of allegiance. But their message is clear to the people. Cries of !! King D'Rahng!! Do not echo through the village streets in southern Damara, but those words are whispered door to door after the Twilight Riders have passed. Whatever their official words might say, Svaern and his friends are determined to make Damara, hopefully Bloodstone, and their home. Most agree that Svaern desires the kingship of a united nation. But even above that wish, scholars agree that the honorable Lord desires what is best for the people of Damara. He wants no further bloodshed, certainly no repeat of the Bloodstone Wars, and seeks an ascent to the throne on a wave of popular outcry so overwhelming that the other nobles won't dare oppose him. The power hungry dukes and barons can see what is happening, and they aren't happy with the way the wind is blowing. In truth, though, there is little they can do to turn the tide. It must be firmly stated that those who know Svaern D'Rahng best are fully confident that it is not overweening ambition motivating the Black Sword Master, as they have come to call him in whispered tones to each other. If the tide of opinion flowed another way; if the people opposed the formation of a Kingdom of Bloodstone; if they desired their turn of the old Kingdom of Damara with one of the blooded heirs sitting on the royal throne, then Svaern would step down. The Lord of Bloodstone and his mighty friends will put their personal desires aside and willingly, faith fully serve the new king in the establishment of his realm. Ironically, the people's faith only adds to his support. Few are those who think that Svaern and his companions act from self-serving ambition
Maps of Import