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War of Words: As the Threat of Civil War in the Highlands Dissipates, More Conflicts Come to the For

Confrontation1

Several homes in Stromgarde are set aflame as Duke Saervan's men drive out the supporters of Thane Corelas.

A meeting of the various nobles of Stromgarde this week could well resolve much of the tension and conflict wrought in these past weeks since conflict first arose between Palatine Everen Corelas and Duke Tiberius Saervan.  Duchess Hellissa Brisby, who now claims the title Regent-Lord of Stromgarde, proclaimed on March 24th, 623 K.C. that a Council of Nobles would be convened in the Highlands and, under her stewardship, would lead and guide the people of the Highlands in the stead of the presumed heir to the throne, Lord Danath Trollbane.

                The Duchess’s claim, however, is not one that has gone without contest.  On March 16th, shortly before the Duchess’s announcement, Thane Corelas was driven from Stromgarde and into exile when an attempt was made on his life by agents of Duke Tiberius Saervan during court within the Keep of Stromgarde. Saervan, with the assistance of a large cadre of soldiers, mercenaries, and what the Herald has learned through its own investigations to be elements of Stormwind’s criminal organizations, took control of the city. Direly wounded from the assassin’s blade, the Thane was taken to Stormwind by his loyal supporters and continues to reside there. Shortly after Saervan’s violent seizure of the city, Duchess Brisby interceded in the affair and, through a series of negotiations, managed to subjugate the wayward Duke, thus renouncing his own claim as Regent and proclaiming his vassalage to the Lady Brisby. In return for his loyalty, the Duchess pardoned all of Saervan’s men for their violent crimes, assassination attempts, and abuses of power in the previous days of anarchy; a sure reflection upon her populist tendencies.

                With the submission of Duke Saervan, Duchess Brisby issued a public statement on March 23rd proclaiming an end to the looming civil war between the forces and allies of the exiled Thane Corelas and those men-at-arms under the command of the Duke. Although Thane Corelas has yet to acknowledge this declaration of peace and still reportedly meets in war council with his allies, many accepted the idea that peace was to reign in Stromgarde. The peace brought on by Duchess Brisby’s magnanimous proclamation, however, seems poised to be shattered by her own progressive and populist legal reformation.

                On March 26th and March 28th pamphlets and handbills written by one Ranves Darn were distributed throughout the Eastern Kingdoms in major cities and read aloud by traveling merchantmen to local populaces. The pamphlets, whose content is decidedly populist, liberal, and socially progressive, call for a more hastily carried out versions of the Duchesses own legal reforms; to include free education to the masses, guaranteed employment, and equality for all persons. The writer claims to write at the behest of “those, whoever and wherever they may be, who are caught beneath the wheels of the juggernaut of aristocratic tyranny!”  Although the original paper’s influence was contained to the educated citizenry of the cities and country gentlemen, their influence in giving rise to a mass movement of itinerate preaching from the mouths of traveling Arathian merchantmen, merchants given free license by the Duchess’s free trade agreements. So far the merchants have experienced a remarkable degree of success in rousing the peasant populations in Argent occupied Lordaeron and the beaten lands of Khaz’Modan. The northernmost regions of Lordaeron, including the lands of the Kingdom of Lordaeron Restored, have experienced only disgruntled rumblings and have yet to play host to the wide spread riots that have erupted in other locations.

                With the widespread success of the pamphlets in rousing the populaces of the northern provinces, little in the way of words has been publically voiced by the governments of Stromgarde, Lordaeron, Khaz’Modan, or the Church of the Holy Light. House Ravenshadow, the family of the Regent-Lady Brisby did issue a short statement which read:

The freedom you seek has a price. Are you willing to pay with your life? The lives of your children? Your jobs? Homes? Are you willing to rebel now and let the Horde win? Leave the Soldiers to fight the real fight.  Return to work. Let the people who have always protected you, continue to do so. Light Bless you all.

Much to the disappointment of much of the nobility and neighboring governments the statement did not address any of the issues presented in the pamphlets, merely circumventing the actual issues and calls to revolution within the letters. In addition, the statement was issued under the name of “House Ravenshadow” not Duchess Brisby or the office of the Regent-Lady. Combined with her continued silence on the matter, rumors abound that the Duchess herself may be behind the writings or, at the very least, be in full agreement with their revolutionary rhetoric.

                When confronted on the matter of the pamphlet’s pointed accusations against the Church of the Holy Light, Lord-Vicar of the College of Canons, Erich Manstein, the Count of Eastvale and Legate of the Bishop of Stormwind declined to comment fully upon the matter, stating only that the papers “reflect the growing sense of discord and lack of order in the Highlands.”

Monarchial Menagerie: The King of Confoundment and the Queen of Contempt Tussle Over the Bloodied Crown!

Confrontation

King-Claimant Loregarde and Queen Madelynne I exchange heated words before the altar.

The veil has been lifted from the recent rumors surrounding a potential rivalry to the crown of Lordaeron under Queen Madelynne I. As previously reported by the Herald, a former priest by the name of Arhious Loregarde recently stepped forward with his own claim to the crown of Menethil; an action that stood in marked contrast to the widely disputed claim of Lady Madelynne Albrecht. The King-Claimant, Sir Loregarde, is a former Paladin of the Silver Hand and nobleman of Lordaeron whose father once served as a Royal Guard to the much beloved King Menethil II.

For long now the Lady Albrecht, styled Queen Madelynne I of Lordaeron, has been a magnet for controversy. Many have found her efforts to reestablish order and stability admirable and worthy of praise, others have accused the Lady of unbridled ambition and tyranny in the lands of the late King Menethil II. Whatever the case may be, there is no doubt that her sensational claim has raised many eyebrows and up until recently opposition to her efforts has been limited to veracious vilifications and outrageous aspersions by her loudest detachers. Despite the generally unfounded nature of the vast majority of these counter-claimants, for a brief period it looked as if the time of verbal warfare over the crown may have come to an end.

During a cool Tuesday evening this March 19th, the twin claimants came face to face with one another before the sacred altar of the Cathedral of Light. Beginning amicably enough, Sir Loregarde attempted to introduce himself to the Queen. Although perhaps well intentioned, the former priest fumbled terribly in his greetings and gave the clear appearance of being a man hardly educated in the courtly etiquettes of the nobility of Lordaeron and the Seven Kingdoms. Clearly looking out of place before the well rehearsed Albrecht, the Queen was quick to counter Loregarde’s rival assertions with her own well-articulated claim, stating: “Let us see ourselves rid of certain misconceptions…As we do not stand as a claimant, there can be no rival to our ‘claim.’ Lordaeron is ouss by right of birth; your position appears to be little more than a shadow created by our flame.” Although the Queen did herself a disservice in allowing her now infamous penchant for open contempt and scorn for all those around her, her words did bear an air of authority and vigor that one might find befitting a monarch; a stark contrast when compared to Loregarde’s bumbling and pedestrian speech.

 It should be noted that, according to the official letters patent of  Lady Albrect, her paternal grandfather, six times removed, was married to Morgana Menethil, herself a distant cousin of the then ruling Kings of Lordaeron.

Seeming to have gained some resolve, Loregarde approached the Lady Albrecht with resolution and confronted her with a litany of accusations that he claimed the Lady rendered upon the peoples of Lordaeron. Accusing her of allowing the town of Ambermill to fall to the Forsaken, of ruling tyrannically over the peasants, and ignoring the suffering of the poor. Speaking on his claims Sir Loregarde stated that of Lady Albrecht that;

“Kings and Queens of the fatherland have empowered our people, not ruled them under a thumb of tyranny. When you remove your proverbial iron gauntlet and clothe the beggar, or share with him your bread and water, then I will rest and call you my leader. But until the day when such an unlikely thing occurs, I will stand against you, politically and by the blade, if necessary.”

                Sir Loregarde went on to assert that, in a somewhat confusing manner, that the crown of Lordaeron should be rightly decided by a council of nobles that he referred to as the United Assembly. In an earlier interview with representatives of the Herald, the former priest explained that this “United Assembly” was an organization of nobles and military representatives from organizations across the spectrum of the Alliance. The Herald is yet unsure what sort of authority such a group might have had in regards to the deciding of a the line of succession but such a discussion, however short it may have been, seems to no longer be in the cards for the no former co-claimant.

                Despite them seeming passion that Loregarde held, he fell from the scene with almost as much speed as he appeared; falling strangely silent on the matter of his claim after the heated confrontation. Seemingly humbled by the Queen’s rhetoric during their chance meeting, Mr. Loregarde appears to have abandoned his outrageous claim and taken his lance to other windmills. Thus, through the force of her will, strong claim, and legitimate backing, Queen Madelynne I has deflected another would-be usurper back into the pits of obscurity and maintained her still tenuous grasp upon the slippery crown of Menethil.

Plague Doctor Responsible for Stormwind Pox Arrested

                It has recently come to the attention of the Herald that several days ago a woman, known only as Plaguebringer Shazia turned herself in to representatives of the Silver Hand Chapter under the command of Grand Master Tenevus Stromheart. Little is known of the woman but what is known is that she presented irrefutable evidence to Chapter and Church inquisitors that she was indeed responsible for the heinous plague that struck Stormwind nearly a month ago; killing thousands of civilians, soldiers, and adventurers.

Decline3

Agents of the Silver Hand Chapter arrest the murderer.

                Shazia presented herself to the Silver Hand Chapter representatives in a humble demeanor, begging for forgiveness and mercy in response to her dispeciable acts of evil committed against the city and people of Stormwind. Since her arrest nearly two weeks ago the Silver Hand Chapter has released no public information as to what they shall do with the woman, however, sources within the hand report that Grand Master Stromheart is leaning towards granting the woman mercy and allowing her to serve in his sect of murderers, criminals, and formerly genocidal Death Knights known as “The Redeemed.” Clearly such a prospect of forgiving this mass murderer is despicable and many citizens of the city are vocal in their hope that Sir Stromheart shall publically renounce this ambition to add the skilled plague doctor to his special sub-order of deviant criminals who he has personally bound to his own service.

Church Announces Annexation of the Sanctum of Stromgarde

In other recent developments, the conflict in Stromgarde has lead the College of Canons, at the direction of Bishop Johannes Moorwhelp, to announce the annexation of the Chapel of Stromgarde and the land immediately surrounding it. Issuing a public statement on the matter, church spokesman Count Erich Manstein, Lord-Vicar of the College of Canons, stated: “It has oft been the tradition of the church to annex its holdings directly into its sov

Decline

The Lord-Vicar Manstein, the acting Count of Eastvale and Baron of Faulkenburg, is a long time servant of the King and official spokesperson for the College of Canons.

ereignty during times of turmoil and unrest. His Grace has decided to move forward in this matter to ensure that any rogue elements of any faction do not feel behooved to act in rash ways that are unfortunately so common; that being the seizure of the relics within the crypts and bodies of the ancient Arathian Kings in order to gain legitimacy.”

The Lord-Vicar went on to makes assurances that once the conflict was clearly settled and the concerns over the recent rash of progressive riots were eased, that the Church would formally return the property to the proper steward of the realm.

The Word of the People: Opinions & Talk

A Letter to the Editor

It would be wise for you to gather the correct information before posting it for all of the public to see. There is no title of Queen nor King available in the Highlands at this time, nor is anyone stepping into it. Regent of the Land has long been available and stepping into that is to no harm of the Highland people. It is a Kingdom, and it requires a leader. What the council wanted was to simply puppet the Highlands as if it were a child of Stormwind. It will never be this. Correct yourself, or I shall go ahead and make my announcement rather public. Beyond that, while you claim petty civil wars are happening, the real children of Arathor continue to fight on, keeping the Forsaken from moving further. But you failed to mention that, as you'd rather focus on dramatic words to get the people in arms. If you wish to tear the Highlands to pieces, this would be the correct way.

Duchess Hellissa Brisby

House Ravenshadow

 

Editor's Response

The Herald stands by the veracity of its statements and continues to operate under condition that Lady Brisby, at the time, claimed the title of Queen.

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