The Ashes of Time

planning for the Future
the future unfolds

Dumb. that’s all that can be said of Pelor’s steel friend, just dumb. falling for it twice?!? really. but sure enough he did. Jinx’s little trick of making a shadow just long enough for me to get one last thing done was well timed, though I think it will cost him. No matter, time is of the essence. This war, we were so unprepared and we should not have been. Didn’t we learn from the Titans?

So back Eberron and my final gambit. It looks like we are going to lose this; I don’t have the power to fight much longer, they saw to that. But while we may go down, we won’t go out. We know the secret, even if the others don’t. Gods don’t die until they are gone and forgotten. So how do we preserve ourselves when all seems like ash? Cabals, secret cults, and most importantly of all, knowledge caches. Establishing a knowledge cache of who we are and what we did, properly guarded until this unpleasantness is over, will ensure our future.

Deep in a jungle, hidden from prying eyes, Airst uses almost the last of his powers to erect the Temple of the Ancients and installs the Keepers of Ancients. Airst entrusts to these Guardians, all of the texts, artefacts and history of the Pantheon. Each room of the Temple is dedicated to one of Us, except the Traitor, and within each, Airst places the Tomes containing the Names, holy rituals, chants and prayers, and all that future worshipers would need to know to re-establish our Cults and bring about our re-birth.

With the Guardians, a sacred Compact is sealed and promises are made in the event of a Return. The Guardians take up their sacred duty and begin their own work of sealing and protecting our Future

Kronenberg Chronicle

Divine Disappearance where are we now?

It’s been one year since all the divine magic in the world disappeared. This reporter has provided an in-depth review of the effects that this has had on our world. We will also speak with several experts on what they might think is the cause of the disappearance and stay tuned for our special article High priests of the various religions what are they doing now? Continued on Page 4

Mournlands exclusive

Follow this intrepid reporter as he is imbedded with the 2nd Thranish regulars as they patrol the Mournland border. Read about the encounter with the creature with 4 eyes and 6 legs and how it almost ripped this reporter from limb to limb. Continued on page 16

Victor Saint-Demain does it again

The master inquisitor Victor Saint-Demain looked dashing in his outfit as he corned and captured yet another villain. Victor tracked down the Banshee a ½ elven woman who would strangle her victims and then leave a song of mourning for the victims. Victor was quoted as saying “she was clever and most people would never have suspected her but she made one fatal mistake. Turn to page 22 for details on what mistake that was and how she was caught.

Newly appointed Inspired Ambassador holds a gala

A who’s who of Sharn gathered at the Ambassador’s residence last night to enjoy a luxurious gala held by the Ambassador and his lovely wife. The dinner was prefect and the speeches were spicy as Sharn got to know the Ambassador Jacobson and his wife. His historic appointment as the first ambassador ever from Rieda has been for the most part been a great success. For the full gossip as to who was there and more importantly what they were wearing can be found on page 28.

New Mayor elected in the Cogs

For the first time ever a Warforged has been elected to mayor. Berg “the smith” Bagger was elected in a resounding victory largely due to his campaign to get warforges out to exercise their right to vote. Read about our interview with Berg and also follow this daring reporter as she gives you the scoop on what it’s like to work and live in the Cogs. This story and reactions from the losers of the campaign can be found on page 33.

Fight Club (Deity Edition)

The cheers of druken gods filled Odin’s mead hall next match began in the fighting pit. Gruumsh, the Orcish god was about to destroy some upstart godling.

The first punch glanced Gruumsh’s chin. He noticed too late that it was a feint, though, when the second punch doubled him over and expelled the last bit of choked air from his beer-weighted belly.

It was a heck of a shot. Outside of having the wind knocked from him, which he always hated, Gruumsh noticed a fair amount of pain with the gutshot, which was something he wasn’t used to. A hit to the face, yes, or even the kidney…but the gut shouldn’t have been much more than discomfort, if that.

Fortunately, he was used to it all. A veteran of mead hall fights in countless planes, even being out of air was something Gruumsh knew how to deal with.

He stood straight, his single eye bulging with rage, and stared at his opponent—some punk human godling—right in his shifty little eyes. The kid tried to stand tall, but he was about to pee his pants he was so scared. Gruumsh had him where he wanted him.

“You…little…” Gruumsh took a lurching step forward with each word. On the third, he swung: “Punk!”

The blow felt too sluggish. Gruumsh knew the second he launched it. The spry, smirking godling ducked under it. Before Gruumsh could even register the dodge, however, another body shot, this one to his ribs, sent fresh ripples of pain through his torso. He didn’t fall—he made absolutely sure he did not fall—but it was a lot closer than he’d have liked. Unfortunately, his reputation would have already taken a beating whether he won the fight or not.

The godling went in for another shot. Gruumsh shoved him off. Seeing the godling scoot back so far against the weight of it gave him a second wind. He covered the distance between them. Threw three more punches that did land. The muscular godling fell.

Then, he stood again.

It was unreal. Between the pain in his guts and ribs and the general confusion (some would call it being punch drunk), the sight of this godling back on his feet after the patented Gruumsh left-right-left was not something he wanted to see. He threw a haymaker that the kid ducked but didn’t parry, then another that the kid swung under again—and responded in turn with an uppercut.

Click. The sound of Gruumsh’s upper and lower rows of teeth making unplanned contact sickened him. Still, he kept his feet. He had to. Falling down was not—

Gruumsh woke up being dragged from the fighting pit with a bad ache—both in his head and his ego.

Tazrak you punk!” he said again, his throat sore from the effort of speaking those three words before losing consciousness again dreams of skewering the godling with his spear for the affront to his reputation floated through his addled mind.

Balenor's Death

End of the line. One last fight. That’s what the Pelor and the Greyhawk pantheon thought was case for our pantheon. And they would have been right except for Arist’s Chalice of Whispers preventing a complete and utter ambush.

And what an ambush it was, packed with the mightiest heralds of the Greyhawk pantheon, and behind them the Gods of Greyhawk themselves. Signaling the start of the ambush was Pelor, glittering like second sun in the sky sending deadly searing bolts of lights into the fellow gods of my Pantheon.

This was a crazy plan, Balenor thought and not for the first time, as his scimitar beheaded another one of Kord’s titan heralds. But did crazy have to mean going toe to toe with the Kord, the God of Strength?

Balenor made brief eye contact with his opponent, who only smirked at him. He didn’t want to admit the move gave his man the edge, but it had. The remaining crowd of divine heralds shied back as the huge Kord, all youth and lean muscle, leapt catlike from a ledge, waving the greatsword in figure eights multiple times before touching down on the ground again. Balenor cracked a smile and let out a laugh filled with arcane energy. For a brief moment, he could see uncertainty in his opponent’s eyes as the hex filled laugh drained some measure of Kord’s strength. Balenor felt grateful for the advantage.

Advancing. Advancing. Kord charged at him with the greatsword upheld, going to his foreswing and following it with a backswing. Balenor dodged the first and met the second with his shield spell. The weight of the greatsword and the strength behind the blow sent Balenor back.

Striking. This arcing shot sliced the plates of Balenor’s armor at the midsection. It missed the flesh behind it by perhaps a millimeter.

Kord staggered seemingly off balance. Balenor swung. His scimitar missed, though not close enough to eat the draconic scale armour worn by Kord. Kord managed another smirk, this time at the spryness of his dodge and his feint. Balenor had to admit it was impressive, but the sight only made him angrier.

Swing. Swing. Swing. The first two missed badly, but on the third, Balenor released a hex causing his hair to turn to steel and grow lashing out at Kord’s leg, pulling him off balance as the backswing of his sword Nemesis found flesh. The vorpal scimitar ate through his opponent’s neck as easily as air. Kord dropped headless to a knee, tried to stand as his divine regeneration tried to kick in, and then dropped dead.

Balenor scanned the battle field. Tazrak was the easiest to spot, as nothing stood within reach of his axe. Berond and Kalio were still up but bloodied. Airst was almost in position next to Heironius. Airst just needed a couple of seconds of shadow. Something that Pelor’s aura of light was preventing. Time to buy a couple of seconds, Balenor quickly chanted a Hex encasing Pelor, the Sun God in a tomb of black ice. Shadows returned to the battlefield for mere seconds as Pelor’s superheated body melted its way through the block of ice encasing him.

Airst acted and disappeared into the shadow of Heironeius’ shield, travelling into the mortal realm to set his part of the plan into motion. Unfortunately seconds of shadows was also all the time needed for Nerull to position himself behind Tazrak.

Unlike Airst, Balenor had already planted the seeds of his resurrection. A small spark of divine essence was transferred to the wings Pazuzu stole from Balenor and grafted to himself long ago. That and the thirst for revenge against Balenor so deeply ingrained in Pazuzu’s heart should be enough catalyst to eventually resurrect Balenor, the God of Revenge.

Pelor, greatest of the Greyhawk pantheon, now freed of the icy tomb turned his attention toward Balenor. Balenor smiled as rays of deadly searing light came ripping through his shields of darkness. Eventually Balenor would have his vengeance!

Falling but not yet Fallen

As Airst plummeted into the blessed shadows cast by Heironeius’ shield, he knew that he and his group were in serious trouble. The plan spelled out in the trap was clever and the Traitor was instrumental. But my falling into the trap was the catalyst for the beginning of the end. Even as he fell, the wheels of war were turning.

“We are not going to win this, but maybe we don’t have to lose.” thought Airst. “However we act, they will defeat us, but defeat does not mean destruction and maybe we can survive. I shall take a chance and throw the dice as mortals are fond of saying.”

So thinking, Airst directed his fall to the mortal Plane.

“I don’t have much time but I have time for this. I shall establish 2 power caches that I can use to recover or recharge when the time is right. Now, where can I find appropriate tools to house my divine might? Hmmm, that dragon shard looks promising and so too does that Shield. And both thoughtfully protected by those two Shining PIGS!”

Airst stole the 2 items, the shard from a silver dragon of great might but poor perception and the Shield from a forgotten Heironeian paladin’s tomb.

After Investing the two relics with portions of his power, AIrst quickly established a history for each and then returned the Shield to it’s ‘owner’ and the shard to a Cleric of Pelor in an Abbey about to be overrun by orcs and goblins.

With his caches secure, Airst returned to the immortal realm where battle raged.

Memories In A Bottle

“Tazrak’s fiery balls! I’ve got this tune in my head and I just can’t remember the lyrics.” Kalio said, frustration evident in his voice.

It was something we were all feeling. Former Gods, now just a pale imitation of what we were.

Kalio started humming the tune again.

The words sprang to Balenor lips as his eyes fell upon a bottle littering the area.

The spirit in the bottle
Go softly where ye treade
The lady is a cunning one
Disturb ye not the wicked dead

Never tarry on a restless night
Lest ye finde what darkness means
For she will trouble thee until in sleep
And steal thy soul through dreams

Memories came flooding back from just before the Pantheon War.

Things had been heating up between the pantheons lately. Most disturbing was Balenor’s new Herald of Vengeance had gone missing and his Herald wasn’t the only one.

Balenor could feel the presence of Airst in his head, a signal that his former master desired to speak telepathically with him.

“Balenor, my Chalice has filled with a most interesting tale. It is a new tale being told by a bard of Pelor. It goes as follows:

You might have heard of a ship in a bottle – but have you ever heard of a witch in a bottle? This is the tale of one very troublesome witch.

At the Priory of Pelor in Dunstable, on a cold winter’s morning, a local elven woman called Naerdiel was condemned of witchcraft by the Priory monks. She was slowly burned at the stake. Her cat and broomstick suffered the same fate.

But Naerdiel did not choose to go quietly as some did. She died loudly, screaming and cursing to her last breath. She threatened a terrible revenge on the monks who had condemned her. A curse of revenge Balenor heard and began to grant.

The monks quickly found out that Naerdiel was far more trouble dead than when she had been alive! Mysterious things began to happen. Invisible hands boxed the monk’s ears; the church altar candles flickered and spat with an evil green glow.

Where Naerdiel’s ghostly fingers touched the prayer books, the covers were burnt. The monks could not pray in peace or sleep at night. It was driving them mad!

An exorcist was finally called to exorcise Naerdiel’s ghost, in a special church service but the troublesome witch would still not go quietly.

When the exorcist began the service, he was struck round the head with a mighty force that threw him to the ground. As the dazed exorcist struggled to his feet, the congregation froze in fear as the witch’s menacing laughter rang from the rafters above.

But the exorcist himself was cunning and he finally outwitted the witch by putting a witch’s lure in a bottle. The lure was a secret mixture, known only to a few people, of herbs and potions. It was very like a witch’s spell itself!

The lure was so strong, it soon attracted the attention of the witch and when Naerdiel’s curious ghost went to investigate, the exorcist rammed the cork into the bottle tight! He gave a warning that the bottle must never be broken or the witch would escape and take terrible revenge on everyone.

The bottle was buried in a secret place in the priory grounds, just to make sure any friends of the witch could not retrieve it. However, as nobody knew where it was buried, it was said there were no more burials in the priory churchyard, just in case the buried bottle was accidentally broken, releasing the ghost of the wicked witch of Dunstable.

As far as we know, no strange bottles have ever been dug up near the site of the old priory but, if you should find yourself in the area, just remember to tread very, very carefully."

Almost as well known as Balenor were his divine heralds, the Furies. Three divine servants who each best represented one of his divine aspects. If the bard’s story from just before the war was true, Naerdiel may still exists trapped within a bottle. Depending on the about of time that had passed, Ascalara or one of her descendants may still be alive and still hold to the vow given to Balenor. The Darkling Stalker Scintilla most likely had perished of old age unless Balenor had only been imprisoned for a couple mortal years. Regardless, Balenor would need to rebuild his Furies and a place to start would be finding this former Priory of Pelor.


As Airst fell through the universe on his way to wherever, I single thought pervaded his mind – “What am I?”
I was the God of Intrigue and Secret plots, hidden knowledge and subterfuge. I was tall, handsome, in a Roguish fashion. I was Misery’s Companion, drinking away the sorrows of a failed plot, or on bitter nights, the successful one. Maiden’s prayed to me to keep their trysts secret, merchants to keep their deals silent, kings to know the plots before the dagger. All had in mind the Laughing Fool, the Keeper of Secrets, the Bitter Truth.
But now? What am I now? My Chalice reveals no secrets, my Blade barely scratches stone, my Eyes, my once flashing Cobalt eyes, now bent copper coins. My faithful pray yet to whom? I know not even my Name!?! Airst I am called, First of the Fallen, but who was I before? Who is being prayed to and who is answering in My NAME!

Dropping in

Murg of House Tharashk gazed in astonishment as the 6 figures came plummeting out of the sky right into the marsh in front of him. Right into the Marsh that he was currently guarding as his clan Wyvern had recently won the rights to plumb its depths for Dragon Shards! Murg quickly headed back to the village as Yageth would most certainly want to know about the intruders…. Yageth was seated in his skull encrusted chair. The huge 1/2 orc gazed at Murg his one eye searing with intensity as he scratched his empty eye socket. “There are intruders in my marsh” he growled with anger. Fetch the boys and lets teach them a lesson. Murg grinned, the intruders were going to get it!. He hurried past the skeletal remains of their former shaman. Murg had never liked the simpering fool and once his powers had deserted him it was not long before Yageth decided his existence was “optional”. Murg yelled out to the large huts “Intruders boys lets go play” The first Ogre poked his head out and grinned revealing 4 broken teeth covered in yellow skum, Heh Heh lets go PLAY! With that the various members of Clan Wyvern, human. 1/2 orc and Ogre gathered up their weapons and headed out to have a chat with their visitors….

Tattle Tale

Xxith the Babau watched from his hiding place in the shadows as the eight headed hydra roared one last time and then fell to the ground. The Godlings that defeated the guardian looked briefly elated until the entire prison started to shake and the massive doors started to crack. Xxith waited until just the right moment and slipped past everyone into the swirling multi-coloured tunnel that appeared. This was his chance and he felt himself being plunged back to home, the Abyss of Hell. He appeared sprawling in Pazuzu’s massive sky city known as the iron spire. 1000s of feet high this city floated in the smoggy sulphuric clouds of the Abyss. Xxith rubbed his hands with glee, all he needed to do now was get an audience with the demon lord and report to him that his rival Balenor Jinx was back. Pazuzu would surely reward him for this information and maybe even let him watch as he hunted down Balenor and pinned him to the top of one of the many cold iron spikes that adorned the city. There former enemies of Pazuzu would squirm in pain impaled on the spikes, still alive never dying but unable to free themselves. Distracted by the thoughts of rewards and the pleasure of torture Xxith did not watch where he was travelling until the green ray struck him on the chest. Immediately alert and alarmed he tried to scale the alley wall and flee but a massive clawed hand grabbed and pinned him down. The corpulent face of a Nalfesnee loomed close to his and leered with pleasure. “Got one throw him in the cage with the others!”. He tossed Xxith into a cage covered in arcane runes along with a bunch of other lesser demons. The Mercane near the cage rubbed his hands in glee and smiled at Xxith “You will certainly fetch a nice price where i am going”. Xxith seething with frustration blurted out “But I have a valuable secret you cant catch me!” He immediatley realized his mistake and clamped his mouth shut, but much latter when they finally brought out the cold iron knives he knew that all was lost and that his secret was his no longer.

Kalio and the Ogre

“Tell us another story of the gods Priestess Anya!” the children asked.

“Very well children, let me share with you the story of when Kalio’s first adventure before he was a god.”

Kalio was a giant of a man. As a child, he ate as much as five ordinary men could in one sitting and, by the time he was ten years old, he was already six feet tall!

Kalio was well known for having supernatural strength but boy, was he lazy. He wasn’t that smart either – until one day, when he came face to face with the Ogre of the Smeeth.

“Kalio, Kalio,” yelled the old lady. “Get your lazy self out of there. I need some straw fetching.” Reluctantly, the young man hauled himself out of his favourite spot in the chimney corner, and, bent nearly double, he crawled out of the cottage. “Look at the size of you,” his mother scolded up at him as he stretched, towering above her, “yet all you do is laze around in there, whilst I am out here, trying to make a few coppers to keep your enormous bulk in food!”

“What do you want me to do?” he stood, staring vacantly around him.

“Can’t you remember what I said, you great oaf? I need some straw fetching – for the animals.”

“Where do I get that?” Kalio looked bewildered.

“Try farmer Walton, at the end of the lane. He usually has plenty to spare. Here, take this rope with you to tie it together.”

“I wish you’d been granted brains as well as brawn,” she muttered as she watched the young giant lumber away. “I worry what’s going to become of you.”

“Hey, Mister Walton, my mam wants some straw,” Kalio called.

“Plenty here, lad,” the farmer replied. “Just take her what you can carry.”

Kalio gathered and roped some straw bales into a huge pile.

“’e must ’ave more than 20 hundredweight there!” commented one amazed farmhand.

The farmer laughed and called Kalio a fool. “Do you really think you can carry such a heavy load?” he jeered.

Kalio flung the load over his shoulder, as if it was as light as a feather. The farmer and his men stood by, speechless.

Once his incredible strength became known, Kalio’s lazy days were over. No more could he sit in the chimney corner doing as little as possible, as everyone wanted to hire him for work. Kalio soon found that work brought its own reward and he became very merry, taking delight in company, going to fairs and most of all dances.

Kalio‘s fame soon spread to a wealthy brewer at Highwater. Wanting a good strong man to carry his beer to Wisbech, he hired Kalio. The brewer was very careful to tell Kalio the route he must take around the Smeeth, an area of boggy marshland between the two towns, for a fearsome and terrible Ogre lived in a cave there.

Ogres in general are not very pleasant and this one was worse than most. He had a monstrous appetite for eating passers-by!

Unfortunately, avoiding the Ogre meant taking the long route – over twenty miles – around the great common, which belonged to the seven villages of the marshland; a very long detour for one so naturally lazy.

It was a scorching hot summer’s day, as Kalio wearily hauled his cart of beer barrels along the winding path. Weary of the long trek and the wearing tread of his shoes, he foolishly decided to take a short cut through the Smeeth – into the Ogre’s territory.

The first sign that this was a mistake was the sight of human skulls hanging from every tree along his path. The second sign was even more obvious, the Ogre stood silently on the path before him!

If you thought Kalio was big, you should have seen the Ogre! He was twelve feet tall and six feet around the waist, a large Ogre indeed.

“Who gave you authority to come this way?” he roared. “I’ll make an example of you – see how many heads hang on yonder tree? Yours shall hang higher than all the rest.”

Suddenly, Kalio realised he had no weapon! For once in his life, Kalio thought quickly and, without hesitation, he ripped an axle and a wheel off his cart. He bravely faced the slavering Ogre with these for sword and shield.

The fight was long and terrible, the sound of the mighty blows echoed across the marshland. The Ogre was strong and rained down heavy blows on Kalio, but Kalio danced away from the blows gaving far better than he got. As he danced he became quicker, more cunning and all fear left him. A well-aimed blow to the side of the Ogre’s head sent him reeling.

Knowing that he was weakening, the Ogre tried a trick and asked Kalio for a drink. Kalio would have none of it; his dim days were behind him, at least while he danced.

“Oh no,” he said, “my mother taught me better than that; who’d be a fool then?”

Using all his strength, Kalio felled the Ogre with one last crushing blow. The severed head rolled and stopped at Kalio’s feet. The Ogre was dead.

Exhausted, Kalio rested on a rock and looked around. Nearby, he spotted a cave. The ogre’s? He rose, curious, and cautiously looked inside.

Imagine his amazement as a glittering hoard of treasure met his gaze. Piles of gold and silver coins and glittering jewels lay everywhere! Dazzling crowns, ruby necklaces, diamonds as large as his fist sparkled in the gloom. But what drew Kalio’s eyes most was a pair of large dancing boots. Putting them on his footsteps felt light as a feather and infact he floated on air. Not only that, but he felt even stronger than ever before. “I shall call these boots Mighty Flighty!” Kalio declared to himself. Eventually, he pulled himself away from experimenting with his new boots, rapidly repaired his cart and hurried home.

The next day, Kalio took the brewer and some villagers to see the Ogre’s head and the treasure.

The news of the Ogre’s death spread quickly. The local people leapt for joy and lit bonfires, for the Ogre was an enemy to all.

Kalio had earned the respect of the people and they decided he should have the land and treasure. Kalio was rich for life and he built a great house on the site of the cave. He gave half the Ogre’s marshland to the poor, for their common land, and farmed the rest to keep himself and his mother.

He took, as his family crest, a circle with a line over it, symbolising the axle and wheel that he had used to defeat the ogre. He was no longer plain Kalio, but Kalio, Hero of HighWater, the one person smart enough to defeat the dreaded Ogre.


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