Excerpts from the Sharn Inquisitive

22nd Sul, Zarantyr 998

Confused Warforged Wander Cogs by Saal Carnage
SHARN-Many factory workers and local residents were startled the evening of Zol 17 when about one hundred and fifty Warforged climbed out of one of the underground manufacturing facilities located in the Cogs. Most of the Warforged had no particular destination in mind, and several seemed confused.

“One told me that he had quit his job” reported Ty Garble, the owner of a local bar. “He didn’t know what he was going to do next, but he was very adament that he would never fit another pipe again.”

After the Sharn Watch questioned some of the Warforged, it was discovered that they were all former employees of Fennel’s Fine Fixtures, a manufacturer of plumbing hardware and fixtures. The Warforged testify that they quit because they had been told to work all day, every day. They claim that they had been unaware of their rights specified under the Treaty of Thronehold until a number of leaflets came raining down from the ventilation ducts in the factory – no doubt the work of adventurous Warforged Rights advocates.

The work hours enforced by the company were in direct violation of the Treaty of Thronehold, which specifies that Warforged are sentient beings with the same rights as all other humanoids. It is illegal to require a twenty-four hour shift, despite the worker’s ability to work continuously. Fennel’s Fine Fixtures had recently passed an inspection to ensure they were complying with such regulations. An investigation is currently underway as to how the company passed the inspection. Although no allegations have yet been made, it is suspected that the factory bribed the inspector.

A search is also being conducted for the activists who distributed the leaflets. Although they essentially freed over a hundred Warforged from hard labor and captivity, the authorities claim their actions were also illegal. “They should have come to the authorities with the information” says Watchman Ida Moore, “We could have gotten a warrant to legally investigate the facility.”

However, it is questionable whether an official search would have uncovered the violation, since the company had passed many such inpections in the past.

Prince Halix Enrolls at Rekkenmark Academy by Giles Sunglow
REKKENMARK, KARRNATH-Prince Halix ir’Wynarn, youngest of King Borumel’s sons, enrolled on Wir at Karrnath’s prestigious Rekkenmark Military Academy. Halix, who has resided in the Karrnath capital of Korth since 997, will take a historical course on the military campaigns of Karrn the Conqueror (-2049 to -1992). The reason for the prince’s choice is clear – Rekkenmark possesses one of only four surviving originals of Karrn’s Analects of War, considered by most military commanders to be the seminal text on military strategy.

By virtue of his noble title, Halix also holds the rank of colonel in the Army of Breland. He is thus the highest-ranking Brelish officer to attend Rekkenmark since the start of the Last War.

The prince’s course of study was announced on Sul by Syra ir’Tarrn, Karrnath’s ambassador in Sharn. “We’re delighted to have someone so capable at Rekkenmark,” ir’Tarrn said. “But beyond that, Prince Halix’s decision to study at the academy shows how far we’ve come since the Treaty of Thronehold. Just a few years ago, a Brelish prince studying war at a Karrnathi academy would have been unthinkable.”

Breland military commanders, speaking on condition of anonymity, had mixed views on the prince’s decision.

“Make no mistake, I’d lay down my life for the crown,” said one high-ranking general. “But it’s a shame that our prince can’t learn Brelish tactics from Brelish veterans, rather than seeking some kind of Karrnathi pedigree. Those Rekkenmark blades killed a lot of fine Brelish soldiers.”

Another army general, however, was more sanguine about the situation. “As long as he brings back some understanding of Karrnathi integrated polearm tactics, I’m in favor of his decision. That sort of knowledge might become quite useful someday, if you take my meaning,” she said.

“Mad Mapmaker” on Exhibit at Moregrave by Ren Waller
SHARN-Was Valtreaux the Mad a lunatic prospector or visionary arcanist? Visitors to Morgrave University will have the chance to answer that question for themselves when his maps go on display next week in the Dezina Museum of Antiquities.

Valtreaux is the nom de plume of a dwarf wizard and prospector who traveled the length and breadth of Khorvaire in search of dragonshards some five hundred years ago. His maps are marvels of the mapmaker’s art, but their painstaking detail is often obscured by coded references and magical obfuscations.

Several oddities are common to all of Valtreaux’s maps. For example, north and south are always reversed, and tiny script around each map compass reads, “Every needle points south as well.” In addition, many of his maps include seemingly unnecessary details, such as astronomical charts superimposed on maps of underground caverns.

But these maps are more than just oddities – they have artistic value as well. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Valtreaux used rare pigments to color his maps, and those hues remain vibrant five centuries later.

Aurak Janirra, Cartography Professor Emeritus at the university, has offered several maps from his private collection for the showing next week. The professor freely admits to a long-standing interest in these maps and their maker.

According to Janirra, Valtreaux earned his “Mad” appellation long after he created his maps. “When Valtreaux retired from prospecting,” the professor explained, “he arranged to have his journals published. Because readers found them difficult to comprehend, they began calling him Valtreaux the Mad.”

Valtreaux’s journals are full of cryptic historical references, allegorical tales, and numerical ciphers. Readers report that the most striking quality of his journals is the simplicity of their language – in fact, many claim that Valtreaux’s writing resembles poems and rhymes written for children.

“Compilations of Journeys of Valtreaux the Mad are still popular among rare book collectors,” Janirra said. “The fact that some volumes have been lost to history makes the narrative even more difficult to follow.

“Calling Valtreaux mad is a bit cruel, really,” continued Janirra. “Just because we don’t fully understand his writings is no reason to assume that his mind was not in full working order. As I have often told my students, it might be more accurate to call us dullards for not understanding his wonderful writing and cartography.”

Some of these excerpts are written by me, but most of the content comes from the Sharn Inquisitive Archive provided by Wizards of the Coast.

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Excerpts from the Sharn Inquisitive

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