"The Gazette", the brainchild of it's editors, Agonides Z'hril and Loremaster Jorel, is hoped to become popular with it's readership.
"We hope that the patrons of the [Nexxus] tavern and all travelers in this area will find a need for this." said Z'hril.
"Aye, we decided that 'twas a good idea, and what better means to reach people than through the written word?", stated Jorel.
Agonides, a self-proclaimed "collector" of oddities denied that such was a scheme to merely make a few coins at a reader's expense. But at the cost of a gold coin an issue, much is yet to be seen. Jorel, an aged priest of Oghma, was quick to point out that "The Gazette" was not to become a publication to quote religious beliefs, serve any hidden agenda, or serve his deity's will.
"Indeed, 'twill become a publication by the readers for the readers, and we hope that they will shape it's future and become intrigued by what they can learn of Faerûn from it's very pages. Anything more than that is just an unexpected benefit.", quipped the Loremaster.
The third party of this unusual trio, and the most secretive, is a gnome by the name of Pasquel Lerma. A "collector and broker of information", Lerma had a few choice things to say about the publication.
"I was pleased to accumulate information from several patrons of the Nexus Tavern; their views on different subject materials, one specifically of which was the publication of a newspaper for Gulthmere Forest and Starmantle Bay residents and the outlying areas. I feel that my observations have made clear the well-deserved need for this publication. Being known to thoroughly enjoy the task of obtaining information, I was hired by Agonides Z'hril and Loremaster Jorel to further their desire to create such a thing, i.e. an informative object, namely, "The Forgotten Realms Monthly Gazette". Such is precisely for the peoples needs. I will continue to gather information as required."
When questioned about future stories, the editors merely mentioned that "such subjects would be based on Realmsian events that come to pass, articles of interest from the patrons input, and what the readership themselves wished to submit." It was unclear as to how these articles would be presented. Finally, when asked of how much influence patrons would have in the course of "The Gazette", Z'hril made only this comment, "If interest and demand asks of it, then others would be invited to assist as required."
So, in the meanwhile, since you are reading this very article, it seems that some are at least willing to part with a hard-earned piece of gold and give their support to "The Gazette". The course of it's fate is yet to be seen, but it is hoped that all travelers will learn and need the information "The Gazette" promises to provide.
of the Month
"What are ya talkin' 'bout? Ya wanna start messin' the place up and leavin' papers lyin' about 'ere. More mess to clean up ya mean. Oh, that's not it? Hmmph! Like I 'aven't 'eard that one 'fore. I swear all ya louts think I 'ave nothin' better to do 'round 'ere. Clean up and serve all o' ya drinks. A newspaper? People pay fer it? Seems like a waste o' time to me. Oh, I see. I get to promote me specials in it? Hmmph! I get to 'ave a small advice column and say me piece? Hmmph! Like I don't do that now whenev'r I can. I get to read it fer free? Hmmph! If ya keep flappin' yer mouth, you'll 'ave to pay me to read it! Hmmph! Oh, what is this? I get a percentage of the profits collected from the readership? Well, why didn't ya say so in the first place. When does the first issue come out?"
- Sot, Bartender and Proprietor of The Nexxus Tavern near Starmantle Bay, during a lengthy debate with Pasquel Lerma over support of this publication.
Cache Lost In Cormyr
Rumour became reality this month as it was indirectly confirmed by a fellow patron of the Nexxus that a lost cache of treasure; mainly gold, but in a substantial sum, was lost in a desolate area of Cormyr. Rumour had flew in recent tendays about a large treasure that was lost by a misfit band of adventurers in the Cormyrean wilderness, somewhere near Arabel. However, due to a freak winter storm (some whisper it to have been unnatural or magical in nature), it has been near impossible to substantiate such rumours. Travel in the area has become difficult and treasure seeking by those brave or foolhardy enough has been hampered by the 4 feet of snow to have fallen on a 30 mile radius over a 3 day period late last month. From a conversation overheard in the Nexxus, the following account was relayed from a male patron to a female patron (The Gazette has kept the identity of these patrons secret to maintain their anonymity and keep treasure seekers from harassing either of them.) The account was stated as follows.
"Bah! What's a measly 54000 gold? I can always
get more if need be, or go back and dig it up out of the snow. I did manage
to hold on to the magic items we found...but of course, that is between
and I, and my comrades shall never know. As far as they are concerned, it was all lost in the attack
Tell me, do you know anyone who has need of magical chain mail or perhaps a dwarven throwing hammer."
This statement seems to confirm the existence
of a large treasure that an unidentified party (a member of which seems
to have made the statement) had
lost during the unusual storm. Further information obtained related that
this unidentified adventuring party was attacked by a "summoned" creature,
possibly a mammoth, and was being stalked by a pair of vampires. Insistent
treasure hunters would be wise to take such possible dangers into consideration
before rushing to Cormyr. The Cormyrean authorities, and the Purple Dragons,
have yet to comment or validate anything in response to this possible event,
although they insist that "any influx of adventurers that refuse to obey
the laws of Cormyr, will be dealt with regardless of purpose". However,
it has been commented that such "lost treasures" may be a complete hoax,
a rumour driven for some unknown purpose. Given the arrogance and casual
nonchalance of the male speaker quoted above, it has been suggested that
his quote may have been nothing more than a simple attempt to impress a
lady. The Gazette will continue to look for more information on this story
as it becomes available.
We at the "The Gazette" are pleased and priveledged to have the wise wisdom and words of one of The Nexxus' foremost and most boisterous commentators, Kaylyn Fletcher. Our Ranger friend has graciously contributed his time to add an ongoing series of editorials for the pleasure of our readers and his high priced writing talents are well worth the mug of Old One Eye and bowl of pretzels he eagerly consumes in return.
View on Thornhold...
Well met again fellow patrons of the Nexus, today I talk 'bout Thornhold..... Thornhold ye ask? Aye, I know many o' ye imbeciles out there 'ave no idea what FR stands for let alone where anything on Faerun tis. For those o' ye that actually live in the Realms I apologize, though Thornhold tis a wee bit obscure anyway, so a little background.
Thornhold tis a fortress just a day or so north
of Waterdeep, previously held as a stronghold for a bunch of paladins.....
Paladins now 'ere is a topic in themselves, why the holy knights of whatever
god can put up with 'em tis little more than a pompous boys club for whatever
morons can actually afford to dress up in nice shinny armor, train a warhorse,
and go give their lives for their god.... Hmmmm makes me wonder if Kelemvor
(God of the dead for you idiots out there) tisn't runnin' the
Anyway back to Thornhold, well this particular
fortress is an example of how competent the Lord's Alliance between Waterdeep
and the other 'civilized' cities of the North tis..... A fortress full
of paladins in their own backyard tis overrun by what else, AN ENTIRE ARMY
OF ZHENTARIM SOLDIERS, MAGES, AND PRIESTS..... Yea these guys are really
on top of things all right, what next an' entire legion of the faithful
of Cyric are goin' to take up residence in Silverymoon? Anyway we can be
thankful of one thing.... The Lords Alliance may be idiots, but the Zhentarim
are even bigger idiots..... What took an' entire army to do the first time
took only 1 woman, a little girl, and a handful of 'sober' dwarves to do
a second time. I only wish I could 'ave seen the Zhentarim bein' routed......
So the great fortress of Thornhold went from being a Stronghold for Paladins,
to a Zhentarim outpost, to being a villa for a woman and a little girl
all in the span of a few days..... No
wonder why they call the area the Savage frontier.....
Well that tis all fer now, fare thee all well....
Kaylyn Fletcher, Ranger of Silvanus.
Roast Gammon Pie (Now being served at the Nexxus)
1 large ham
(Be it as large as a hog's head or greater!)
1 large goose egg
1 cup dried flamefruit
1/2 cup zzar
1/2 cup brandy
3/4 cup honey
1 fist of butter
2 large onions
4 sticks celery
3 cups pecan nuts
4 cups of the juice of any fruit
3 spoons of mustard
1 finger of ground cloves
1 finger of ground coriander
The rind of any fruit
And for the pastry jacket
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
1 handful of salt
1 pinch of dried sage
Take ye the flamefruit and chop it fyne. Take also the onions and the celery and chop them. Dice also the pecans, and synge them in the hearth flames so they give off a slight smell but be not burned. Let the oven, wherein the pie be cooked, be made hot and kept that way. A brick bread oven is best for this.
When all be readie, mix the chopped ingredient's in a bowl. Stir the mustard and all liquid ingredients together in another bowl, last breaking the goose's egg and stirring it in too. Then stir into this the bowl of choppings.
Take ye the ham and bone it, and into the cavity pack the mixed ingredients. (Set aside the bone for stocks.) Sew up the ham with fyne twine, and wet the seam well. Prop upward with stones on an oven tray against spillage. Put in the oven.
Turn ye to another task, so that goodly time passes. Then take the gammon out of the oven to let stand as you prepare the pastry.
In another bowl, break in the eggs, retrieving the shells. Mix in the rest of the pastry makings and beat well. When all is a still froth, brush well over all the gammon, letting no part be uncovered, and put in the oven again. Set to warm nearby a covered roasting pan. When the pie is light brown, take it from the oven and put it in the heated pan.
Cover and hurry to the customer. Open not the
pan until you are at their table or door. The pie should then be a golden
Ruin Still Holds Secrets After One Year
It was just over a year ago that rumours began filtering out about the odd destruction of a long-avoided place of evil, otherwise known as Hellgate Keep. Not long after these reports began to spread, many would be adventurers seemingly flocked to the region - sent by many different factions from Waterdeep, Silverymoon, and the elven outposts of Evereska - all hoping to find many of the anticipated spoils of the ruins once known as the elven fortress of Ascalhorn.
For those that do not remember or have not heard the tragic history of Ascalhorn, a brief description of the details are recorded below.
Long ago in elven history, the area of the High Forest was settled and many outposts were created to protect elven lives in the secluded forest cities from the orcs whose hordes regularly swept across this frontier and the encroachment of humans from the rising nation of Netheril. The fortress of Ascal's Horn (named after it's founder Ascal Rachiilstar) was erected on a hill near a tributary of the Delimbyr (later known as the Ascalhorn River) in the Year of Owl's Watching (-372 DR). Powerful defenses were constructed - capable of turning an orc horde and powerful magics (mythals) were woven into its construction - designed to repel spells and magic form invaders, while strengthening those of it's defenders. Outliving and present to witness the fall of Netheril, the fortress eventually took pity on the downtrodden and refugees of that fell nation and some 30 years later, Ascal's Horn became Ascalhorn; a town of magic where elves and wizards learned together and lived as one. Within a century, the town grew enormously - such that only a few highly placed officials within were elves as the bulk of the populace was primarily human. Seeing the rise and the eventual fall of Myth Drannor, many changes eventually rocked Ascalhorn. The influx of elves from the fallen City of Song panicked some of the elitist and paranoid human wizards of Ascalhorn. Fearing the usurpation of their monopoly on power, they took action which lead to Ascalhorn's collapse. Baatezu and other fell fiends form the lower planes were summoned by the human wizards as protection and means to gain even more power. Slowly and covertly, more demons were brought into the fortress to serve their "human masters." and rivalry's brought about warring between many. Time and the centuries past. Eventually the Baatezu began to take over. The problem grew so great that others sought to quell the growing influx of Baatezu by summoning their own demons, those of the Tanar'ri. This lead to open destruction as the Blood War raged within the keep itself and the Tanar'ri managed to defeat the Baatezu and saving the town. Unfortunately, they managed to break the control of their masters as well and slaughtered nearly all within. Eventually none were left able to banish and send the demons home. The keep thus was renamed as Hellgate Keep and claimed territory of the demons. It wasn't long before their numbers grew. But before the raiding demons could inflict serious holds on The North, Harpers, a few of the Chosen of Mystra, and other mages of power, managed to weave a powerful ward to contain the demons within their fortress and limiting what could pass in or out of the fortress. And so things remained for decades, until almost 1 year ago. By some unknown means, unidentified powers destroyed the keep. All that is known is that a magical explosion felt for more than 100 miles. It wasn't until earlier this year, after the harsh winter retreated that investigations of the area could be launched.
Indeed, as brave adventurers dared push into the
remains of the keep this past spring, they were able to bring forth many
of the elven wonders and magical artifacts found deep within the ruin.
It was noted that Treants had sealed most of the vale and that nature was quickly
reclaiming what had been lost long ago. In addition, it was also claimed
that while most of the evil denizens that once ruled the keep were destroyed
in the mysterious destruction, though it is apparent that some still lurk
within it's depths. Now, as winter again approaches, new reports are beginning
to surface over this still hotly contested area. Reports of growing legions
of undead and other minor demons continue to filter out from the area.
To make matters seemingly worse, increased activity has also been reported
of groups such as those from The Hosttower Arcane and the Zhentarim. The
elves of Evereska and agents of the Harpers have also stationed positions
in and about the ruins to monitor and maintain a watchful eye on any that
would seek it's deep dungeons as well as to keep any of the evil denizens
within from launching forays into The North. It is quite apparent
that the area is still a hotbed of intrigue and dangers, and some time
will be required to pass before anymore secrets can be unveiled.
Call for Heroes Echoes From Athkatla
A call for great adventurers and heroes echoed out from Athkatla this last tenday, raising questions as to the nature and purpose of this mysterious summons. Athkatla, within the nation of Amn, far to the south along the Sword Coast, normally does not allow adventurers within it's borders, thus raising suspicion and questions to the purpose of a "Call of Heroes". In addition, making this event even more unusual is the fact that the summons, or plea for aid, originated from the temple of Lliira in Athkatla itself. Athkatla, once the foremost center of worship for the church of Waukeen, has since been incorporated into the church of Lliira over the last few years.
For those unfamiliar, after the Times of Trouble, Waukeen, the Goddess of Money, Trade and Merchants failed to reclaim her divinity and was presumed dead. (The Times of Trouble, a period that few can forget, and which occurred only a mere 12 years ago, was the fearful time when the gods walked Toril amongst us and great magical instability rocked the lands). Chaos reigned within the ranks of that Waukeen's clergy until 5 years ago, in 1365 DR, when a prophet of the goddess Lliira appeared before each of Waukeen's temples in turn. This mysterious prophet announced that Lliira, Goddess of Joy and Mistress of Revels, would be assuming the duties of Waukeen. No information was ever discerned of Waukeen's fate or the reason for this "new" revelation, and, after a minor amount of resistance, the two churches became one and were merged.
What makes this of interest, again, seems to apply to this mysterious summons for "Heroes" from Athkatla. An insider sent to investigate this summons, working on behalf of "The Gazette", has informed us that there is indeed a relation between all of these events. Through unofficial channels, it has been discovered that an up-and-coming priestess of the church of Lliira within Athkatla has been plagued by visions and nightmares for the last few months. It has been discerned that these "visions" have revealed knowledge on the whereabouts and state of the goddess' location. Due to this fact, many who were once faithful to Waukeen have grown hopeful that she may indeed reclaim what was once hers. It has also been speculated that this "call for heroes" may well be a would-be rescue attempt to aid the Goddess from whatever has prevented her from assuming her portfolio and position within the heavens. However, the church of Lliira has officially been closed-mouthed over the details of the summons, and has stated that "such matters will only be discussed with interested parties...those who desire to lead an expedition of utmost importance." This seemingly confirms suspicions that a rescue attempt is indeed the nature of this call for aid. Rumours abound over what could possibly have happened to Waukeen, given this new information, and it has been noted that something "exceptionally powerful" would be required to hold or detain a goddess - even one weakened to an avatar form as all the gods were during the Time of Troubles. Whispers of fiends and worse from the lower planes are unsubstantiated, though possibly accurate. "The Gazette" will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.
Calendar of Harptos
Upcoming Holidays and Events for the month of Uktar:
• Auril's clergy are expected to begin celebrated rituals which my carry forth through this month in various regions. Known as the Coming Storm, howling ice storms brought about by these clergy mark the onset of winter.
• Kelemvorites should be about in full force to help celebrate one of their holy days at the end of the month which falls on The Feast of the Moon.
• Caution should be made as Sharran faithful will be out in force to celebrate their Holy Day of the Rising of the Dark, which also falls upon The Feast of the Moon.
• Followers of Tempus are expected to be about as usual as they also herald and praise fallen warriors and great battles in the traditions of The Feast of the Moon, one of their Holy Days as well.
• As is tradition every month by the faithful of Tyr, Tyrrans will be celebrating their 3 high rituals; Seeing Justice on the 1st, The Maiming on the 13th, and finally the Blinding on the 22nd.
• Followers of Waukeen will be observing their ritual of Tehennteahan on the 10th of this month. Known as the Night of Hammers and Nails, it is a day-long feast in which Waukeenar salute the inventions of simple folk - smiths, crafters, and those who work with their hands and not magic - and how their works benefit us all.
• Garagauth's clergy will be celebrating The Binding on The feast of the Moon. It is a personal ritual where priests of that god renew their eternal contract with Garagauth - trading fealty for increased power.
• Worshipers of Lurue pay homage to the observances of The Feast of the Moon through a quiet ceremony. Many great works of art and epic song are unveiled during the Feast of the Moon to quiet applause, particularly in the city of Silverymoon, which celebrates its founding on this day.
• The Feast of the Moon will also be celebrated by the followers of Savras as the Vision. This Holy Day is observed by every devout follower of Savras with 24 hours of continuous meditation. Each worshiper who participates in the day long ceremony is rewarded with a vision from the All-Seeing One.
• The Feast of the Moon occurs at the end of this month. This festival, also called Moonfest, is the last great festival of the year. It marks the arrival of winter and is also the day when the dead are honoured. Graves are blessed, the Ritual of Remembrance is performed, and tales of the doings of those now gone are told far into the night. Much is said of heroes and treasure and lost cities underground.
Bottom of the Keg
Need Advice? Or just have a question? Ask Sot!
Now ya wanna know what I find most likable 'bout me job 'ere at me tavern?. Hmmph! It's the folk who go askin' me fer advice. Now ya say, why do ya put up with that balderdash an' just keep rubbin' the tankards clean fer the next customer....well I say it's due to the fact that I len' a good ear an' 'ave experienced some o' the pains of lover's quarrels, problems with co-adventurers and just an all 'round good ear...has 'nuff hair in it. Hmmph!
Why just yon a few eve's ago I met a young man troubled by women. Alkion...poor lad. He was spewin' forth words 'bout a one-sided love. Seemed to be askin' the other patrons fer advice within' 'is own words so to speak. So, I lent my ear and did me 'earin' of the words of this young lad. Seems 'e was besmitten by a young lass, or two. Seems their names were Alpha and Calantha. Also seems Calantha was a wee bit fond o' Alkion, but she didn' return the same favors as the young courtier. Hmmph! Someone shake that lad to 'is senses! There's plenty o' samplin's out there.
Now, since this is the first time fer me doin' things like this, here's some helpful hints to ye brazened young warriors and lovers out there:
• Sot what is the secret to loving a woman?
To be 'onest with ya...ya 'ave to know when to duck a cold, iron kettle bein' flung at yer 'ead, learn to flower yer words to that weapon wieldin' woman whom ya love and tell 'er that amidst all the bumps and bruises on yer head that ya love her til yer dyin' days...An' most important, ya won't be stayin' out with the boys so long the next eve.
• Sot what is the secret to loving a man?
Well, I was 'opin' to be avoidin' this topic, cuz I don' know personal-like, nor do I be wantin' to, but I will give ya what I think is the best advice...learn to yeild to a man when 'e wants to dominate and pretend he's the true ruler of yer home...ya can find it in yer best interests to tell yer man that 'e is the most handsomest male ye've e'er seen and that 'e 'as the finest muscle and prowess in all the realms...ya can also cook up a good meal and sit on 'is lap and give 'im a good dessert after that meal...Ahh, that be a real woman.
• Sot what is the best weapon you've ever weilded?
I 'ave weilded a Great Battle Axe forged by a fellow adventurer named Gilhorn Greatkegs. Now, the expense o' one of these weapons is menial compared to a crossbow or mancatcher...but ya see....after a few rounds or two at me inn...the best weapon ya can find is an uppercut and kidney punch....what are ya a dolt or somethin'? Either elbow smash yer opponent...or give 'im a drink...settles the quarrel right there and ya find the best weapon right there in yer hands.
• Where's the finest blacksmith in all the
The finest blacksmith is Gilhorn Greatkegs...'e makes fine iron ties to band around me kegs....what, ya don't know where yer local blacksmith is? Get off yer arse then and get lookin'!
• Why do women act the way they do?
They 'ave different appendages than we do ya dolt! Hmmph!
• Why do men act the way they do?
Ah, easy one. We 'ave our minds on more serious business....the drink, merriment and other legs to take a peak at. Ah, but we don't touch 'em...not unless yer not lookin'!
Now, that's the end of me advice fer this month...pass
on yer questions and I'll give ya my thoughts an' answers in me next column.
Oh yeah, there's a special at the Nexxus Tavern for all women who walk
in with a lad in tow this month. Ya get one free round. And if a
lad comes in with two women, I'm closin' down and goin' 'ome cuz I'll be
all jealous like.
In need of magical chain mail or perhaps a dwarven throwing hammer?
Contact --=Name Deleted, see Story: Treasure Cache Lost In Cormyr=--
One single human female looking fer companionship with male. Race does not matter as well as marital status. Lookin' fer a non-piper and one who is fit enuff to handle this bundle of 250 pound joy. Contact Lovina Greatgall at The Friendly Arm, near Candlekeep.
Wanted: Lucern hammer for my Auntie Hatesfire. Will negotiate on price as this is a birth year gift. Leave missive with The Mage's Inn at Warlock's Crypt, near the crypt with the most dust in the Troll Hills, Troll Hatesfire.
Two male elves would like to festive on some late eve with one woman. The experience would be mostly conversation (AT FIRST). Bring extra linens. Missives should be sent along with quick description to The Way Inn near the Misty Forest, Dandolin Swiftsong and Tathar Seesfarinwood.
For sale or trade: Joustin' lance. My Order has now proclaimed that misuse of a Joustin' lance outside of joustin' is not of the paladin's code. Seekin' replacement item or will meet to joust to regain favour with Capn' o' The Order. Send word to Sir Grohort Kinghouns, Formerly of Thornhold. Forward missives to Mulmaster.
Any feminines interested in luxurious items to adorn your bodies? Well stop by the Starmantle Mercantile. I have every item, color, scent and weapon a woman could use. New catalogs are provided monthly by a our traveling sales gnomes. Please stop by. Proprietor, Guthrie Starmantle, of Starmantle Bay, near Gulthmere Forest.
Wanting to write articles for "The Gazette"?
Contact the editors
None currently. This is our first Issue!! In subsequent publications, information and access to past issues will be found here.