Sharn Inquisitive Archive

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.”

15th Sul, Zarantyr 998

Local Heroes Save Statue by Thalia Penn
SHARN-A statue belonging to local sculptor Marcel Markel was found missing from his studio warehouse on 16 Far, Zarantyr. There was damage to the door of the studio, indicating a break-in. Gale Ebinor, a clerk employed by a nearby warehouse, mentioned she heard the sound of a cart and several footsteps near the 23rd bell. She did not immediately contact the Watch because nighttime traffic is not uncommon in the warehouse district. The only item missing from the studio was a glass statue dipicting a pink-orange flame. The statue was the last in a series of five similar pieces and was the most valuable item in the warehouse. Markel is known for his work in glass and is considered well-versed in the Flamic style of his homeland Thrane.

In addition to contacting the Watch, Markel hired a group of private adventurers to locate the lost statue. The members of this group are Vinney “The Shark” Aggan, Nordranor Nelview, Bara Urp, and our very own Saal Carnage. The group successfully tracked the location of the statue and apprehended it while it was being escorted to a ship in Precarious. Through further investigation, it was found that the statue had been sold to a local merchant who intended to sell the statue in Thrane, where the Flamic style is more popular. It is not believed that the merchant or ship’s captain were involved in the theft.

The actual theives are still at large, but this brave group of local heroes will not give up! They have vowed to track and apprehend the group of thieves who terrorize the district.

Last of ‘Echequer Conspirators’ to be Hanged Tomorrow by Giles Sunglow
SHARN-Disgraced scribe Anastro Lavatri, convicted last year of treason in the wake of the “Exchequer Scandal,” will be hanged tomorrow in front of Andith Tower in the Ambassador Towers district.

Lavatri’s barrister, Bandaran Urnash, said last week that he’d exhausted his legal appeals, and that the writ of commutation which would have spared his life has languished in the Breland Parliament.

Lavatri’s execution will bring to a close an embarrassing scandal at the vaunted King’s Citadel. Three staff officers and two scribes, including Lavatri, were convicted last Olarune of embezzling funds for the city’s defense, and building themselves opulent towers on the Upper Central plateau.

The conspiracy was uncovered only after a routine crown audit noticed some discrepancies in the Citadel’s books. At trial, some witnesses expressed doubt as to whether Lavatri realized the ledger entries he made were fraudulent.

Although she wasn’t implicated in wrongdoing, the scandal led Knight-Marshal Chanarri Yewn to resign her commission. Her crown-appointed replacement, Knight-Marshal Banarak Tithon, holds the post to this day. He is expected to oversee Lavatri’s execution.

Aundair Ambassador Calls for End to ‘Provocative’ Fortress Moves by Saal Carnage
FAIRHAVEN—Aundair’s ambassador to Breland, Landrihl ir’Charbaux, said on Sol he plans to travel to Wroat next week and petition the Brelish crown to end “provocative” maneuvers that put “Breland’s floating city-fortresses a stone’s throw from Aundair’s borders.”

“In this time of peace, it’s galling that Breland persists in such aggressive posturing on what should be one of the most peaceful borders in all of Khorvaire,” ir’Charbaux said. “Such provocative, militaristic displays don’t advance the cause of peace. Instead, they’re ugly reminders that perhaps we shouldn’t trust our neighbors to the south.”

The ambassador also plans to address the issue of wine and other luxury goods tariffs assessed by local provinces in northern Breland. Preliminary discussions about a united effort to win the release of “cultural relics” held by Thrane are also on the diplomatic agenda.

But the matter of the floating city-fortress Argonth is expected to generate the most discussion when the Aundairian delegation arrives in Wroat. Argonth, which boasts more than a thousand soldiers, recently completed a journey along the Breland-Aundair border—a route it takes four times a year.

Breland diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity said that Queen Aurala may be trying to take advantage of domestic Breland politics to win Argonth’s withdrawal or even decommissioning. Breland Parliament members hailing from eastern Breland have been agitating to have Argonth patrol the border with the Mournland exclusively, responding to frequent monstrous incursions. Argonth currently patrols Breland’s western, northern, and eastern borders in a vast circuit.

“It’s a sure bet that Aundair is listening to our Parliament, and Queen Aurala is trying to give more ammunition to anyone who wants Argonth somewhere other than right on her doorstep,” one diplomat said.

Among Fairhaven’s diplomatic corps, ir’Charbaux’s reference to “floating city-fortresses,” rather than mentioning Argonth by name, launched a round of speculation. Breland’s second active city-fortress, Dejarn, is rarely seen and never discussed by either the crown or the Brelish Army. Some diplomats assembled at Fairhaven suggest that ir’Charbaux might obliquely be referring to a sighting of Dejarn, not Argonth, near Aundair.

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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