The Ashen Kingdom

A Distant Rumbling

What good are the efforts of man, when even the ground trembles before the Forest.
—Gildred Thorn, condemned water witch

Abridged Report: Origin of the Tremors and Subsequent Discoveries
For the Eyes of the King

Witnesses confirm the quake began four hours after sunset and lasted between four and six minutes. The motion was not continuous but came in waves. There were minimal casualties. Property damage is still being assessed, but was substantial. Initial recommendation is to send a team of engineers and call for volunteer labor from the other states.

Following immediate recovery efforts, six scouting parties were assigned to sweep the Forest. The hope was to ascertain whether the earthquake was natural or Forestmade. After one week, four teams returned and reported felled trees throughout the area and an unusual absence of fae. Two of the returning parties were badly wounded. Sane members warned that several demon war parties are currently prowling the vicinity. The missing scouting parties were presumed dead and precautions against demon attack were made.

Nine days after the earthquake, a fifth party emerged from the Forest. Only two of the three members survived, and they were so Forest shocked that they were mistaken for undead. After being treated for Forest shock and numerous injuries, the party reported an incredible series of discoveries.

They fought and defeated a revenant of the General Witch. They claim, and the priests have confirmed, that she is truly dead and will not rise again. It seems some remnants of her army still survives under her banner and sought to raise her. That attempt was the cause of the earthquake. We are uncertain what to do about the remaining army; if they managed such a spell, then they are still a credible threat.

The scouting party encountered a pack of ghouls, who intimated that there was a vein of iron nearby, explaining the sudden absence of the fae. The party journeyed over forty miles into the forest and reached the base of the Shrouded Mountains. It was here that they fought the revenant witch, and here that they found the iron vein.

Samples were collected and brought back. Preliminary investigation is limited; there was only one trained alchemist in the camp. He believes this to be iron ore. His report and several samples are attached to this document. Obviously it is up to his majesty to determine how to proceed in this matter. Secrecy is being maintained about the discovery. All persons who were witness to the debriefing have been swore to secrecy. The scouting party itself is traveling to Black Plain now, but is expected to arrive several days after this missive.

—Captain Graves



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