Genevaudian Espionage In the early hours of the morning, twilight dissipated as the sun rose over the Genevaudian Alps as the day went into full swing. Even as the Kreiburg administration began to disappear after the Duke's recent abdication, soldiers patrolled the borders and various fields affected by the Regalian Blight, keen on ensuring that the situation was contained. As it was previously announced, the borders into the previously Kreiburg administered region were on high lockdown with patrols stopping individuals coming and going alongside mandatory checks on imported goods. This was especially the case in the province of Mulhausen which bordered the epicenter of the blight epidemic. While patrolling the borders, a group of 7 individuals are stopped from entering the region and questioned as to their purpose. The head of the group, described as being a middle aged male with an Eriunin accent and around 6 foot tall produced documents officiated by House Cadieux authorizing the group to look over the blight in the region. Naturally the group was declined entry for two reasons: Firstly, no one was permitted in or out of the region while the Blight Border Response Act remained in effect. Secondly, House Cadieux had no authority in the region nor a Government seal permitting them to override local laws. Thus, the group turned away after giving some false names. Later that afternoon, a number of border guards were reported as being attacked, three having died as the same group was spotted trying to infiltrate. They are followed by a group of three; Yshfa Sela, Errant Hare and Lzalizali Zz’lissaav who clandestinely intercepted the group nearing some fields, but startled them into needing to flee after alerting the nearby guard patrols and pursuing them with the assistance of 12 Petrou soldiers that arrived alongside the troupe. The identity of the fleeing group was a mystery but it was deduced that they were saboteurs of some sort, possibly rogue and hired in the capital city to sabotage the anti-blight effort. Yshfa and his group are rewarded with a large sum of money (a wealth token between them to be used before the end of June) and thanked by the Dukes of Bade and Zerrick for their watchful and vigilant efforts. The Surgeons Touch In the North, a couple of carriages of medical practitioners make haste for the province of Lundenes and arrive after midday on the 19th of May. They are accompanied by Arch Duchess Tuija Viduggla and Lord Ardige Viduggla who make it known that they are present to provide aid to the local lord who was bed bound from the wound he had sustained hunting the month prior. They are naturally permitted to the Lords bedchambers where Lilly Janssen and Isabella Cadieux utilise a mixture of alchemical concoctions and precision surgery to operate on the Lord's festering wound. The operation is supervised by the Arch Duchess herself, while Lord Ardige stood by with guards outside the Lord’s bedchambers with a small number of guards. The operation itself required near half a day of the combined efforts of the three to oversee, during which the Lord’s three sons were supervised by the likes of Silver Swftfursat, Llaevvryn Beahandros and Nemocronis Mahalar, who ensured their safety from any would be assassins that were eager to upset the status quo. Leifold Viduggla and Samille kept a close watch on all three guards as they performed their duties. Nothing out of the ordinary was noted about the three, who were all equally as concerned about their father’s wellbeing and spoke of nothing else; remaining in the castle while the surgery was underway. The operation is a complete success and the Lord’s prognosis is optimal -- a full recovery expected within a couple of weeks. The ruling family rewards Lily Jannsen with a ceremonial Velheim dagger, a relatively expensive piece with a fine jeweled handle for her expertise which is expected to be worth a significant amount of wealth to the right purchaser, while Viduggla is given renewed vows of fealty for their involvement and concern. Food Concerns and Positive PR In the West, Duke Alistair Mac Conall follows the former Duke of Langthal’s lead by legislating the Highland Blight Act which established regional granaries for the long term storage of grain purchased in lieu of the Kade Monopoly, as well as establishing mandatory port checks and a full embargo on any goods entering the Mac Conall lands from known infected regions. Additionally, funds are pumped into increasing food production, such as hunting, fishing and animal husbandry, which nets a great deal more food for the population over the course of the month on top of the usual grain imports from Anglia. So much so that there's almost too much food for everyone to eat and about 40% of it spoils, primarily the fish stockpiles. Alistair Mac Conall attempts to enter a contract with the Kade House of Trade for more grain, but is denied due to the worrisome nature of the blights spread. The House of Trade representatives inform Alistair that the Highlands have more than enough to survive for the time being and Anglia is far more at risk currently than some dinky islands in the North. Lastly, there is a PR attempt by Alistair and Alesia Peirgarten when the two tour the entire Mac Conall territory, distributing what little funding was left for shelling repairs. It makes little to no impact however, as both the funding was token and the spectacle not very exciting but on the plus side, the Duke and his bride-to-be managed to spot and enjoy the sight of some dolphins while their carriage paused for a guard checkpoint along the Eastern coastline. So that was nice. Movement in Calderliga Following the trend around the archipelago, the ruler of the Calderliga Union sets into motion legislation barring the import of produce from blight infected provinces. Additionally, individuals who have visited blight infected provinces in the last six weeks are also barred entry, which hilariously bars anyone from the Blight Relief Association. Bi-monthly checks are initiated on crops near the border of blight affected provinces -- a process of taking ten samples, slicing them open for inspection and then if blight is found, setting the field ablaze before it can be spread. For now, this is not required but is noted as a measure to be taken in the future should such a situation arise. Lastly, representatives of the Calderliga Union are dispatched to the small offshoot Island just north of the province of Berge for zoning purposes. It is established that the regional rulers intend to begin work on a large construction project on the Island and are certain that a fairly large plot of land suitable for such is available through a compulsory acquisition order provided the owners of the land are paid adequately for it. Surveyors note the large garrisons of Tenpenny troops also on the Island, notably guarding taxation posts and trade outlets/warehouses on the Island due to its proximity to the capital city. An Unlikely Alliance Up North, House Sorenvik breaks the mold by assisting House von Falkenreich, the former Typhonus family, in regulating their income after the effects of the Pro-Anian Anti-New Regalian cultural backlash in Rumvalia wrought noticeable damage to the New Regalian trade income. The Northern House, once enemies to the Calembergers, pushed Northern Development Funding toward Trade with Calemberg to help alleviate some of the economic troubles to the Southern region, announcing that Sorenvik and Falkenreich will be entering an official trade agreement to be announced soon. This sent ripples through both the Falkenreich and Sorenvik lands. Naturally, conservatives of both cultures were absolutely fuming with the possibility of formal alliance with the other due to the bloodshed each had done to the other in the past. What's more, Kaya is publicly denounced by a number of families for using Northern Development Funds to assist their historic rival. Secondly, construction begins on yet another Skagger Lodge in Trollstigelberge, following similar plans as the lodge built the month prior. Some voiced concern that there may not even be enough skaggers to fill the new lodges, as many of the lodges were not exactly at full capacity, but the additional room did allow for more recruitment. This would take some time naturally, and there would need to be a degree of osmosis moving suitable fully fledged Skaggers into the new lodges to train prospect warriors in the future. Unsettled Waters Southbound, the de Azcoissia administration sets about establishing strict laws across their provinces to prevent the spread of the blight into their region. Naturally, trade sanctions are imposed preventing the importation of goods from all known blight affected provinces with a mandated inspection on afflicted goods, similar to the precautions put in place by the Calderliga Union. Troops take on the mantle of checkpoint inspectors as the entire region goes into lockdown. Next, a diplomatic delegation is sent by House de Azcoissia which is headed by the Duchess Violante de Azcoissia to the Westaal Council in charge of the Free Cities to the very South of the Archipelago. Accompanied by lavish gifts of spiced wines and daendroque seasonal fruits which were evidently quite expensive, the Duchess meets with the Westaal Council within the province of Porte Pirtais to discuss matters concerning regional stability. The Council graciously accepts the gifts and invites the Duchess into one of their many extravagant meeting chambers -- complete with hookahs, exotic dancers and plenty of wine. Once talks begin, Violante broached the topic of Abelhard Petrou’s recent threats to blockade the region and the bombardment of Vyzal as a cause for concern. The Council agrees but seems more interested in other matters than the threats, citing that their defensive alliance with Solisti, one of the largest, most notable Naval powers in the South is more than enough to ward off Abehard Petrou. Violante continued the talks with the seven councillors. She indicated that the de Azcoissia fleet would be dispersed across the Southern waters to combat pirates and protect against a Petrou blockade. It was interesting to note that throughout the conversation, they all spoke in a way that indicated no individual rule over any of the provinces of Westaal. True enough, they were mere Guild masters, trade tycoons and the sort, all of which co-ruled all provinces together in the interests of the people of Westaal. Attempts to inflate the issue fell on deaf ears, especially after news that Vyzal was pulling out of assisting Slumberwood earlier that month and a lack of any hostile action taken by Petrou thus far. The council seems unanimous on this and after the talks were completed, sent the Duchess on her merry way. The de Azcoissia make good their claim to disperse their fleet, only 5 vessels without mobilisation, near the Westaal waters and the Westaal Council respond in tow, also patrolling the waters with 4 Warships, looking to House Solisti to keep a watchful eye over the developments all the while. Lastly, the House funds the construction of another smaller Magical Academy in Reguengos de Mourao. Construction begins immediately with very little issue. The Witch of Hoogberge and a Prophecy most foul. In the Bancroft Anglian lands, the Duke Jared Bancroft alongside Florence and Rowena venture deep into the swamplands in search of the Haeksen that are known to inhabit the swampy areas in the North that border the Anglian Morass. The three search for a couple of days, spending the nights at random inns along the way before finally happening upon the hut of one of these mysterious folk within the province of Hoogberge. Apprehensive at first, the Haeksen agrees to answer a few questions for the Duke. She explains after inquiry that the people need solidarity and protection with isolationism foretold to bring about a dark era if the Dragon family does not look outside its borders. She warns the Duke about the Blight and the effects it will have on the entire Empire if the Anglian grain is contaminated; bringing about another, far worse famine in a time of already dire strife and that the common folk are already antsy about such. When asked about farming practices, she elaborates that Anglian grain feeds the world because the cogs in the Anglian clockwork are already well oiled. The Duke then offers support to the Haeksen who smiles kindly in return. She wasn't old by any means, only a woman in her late thirties but it was obvious her sort were not living lavish lifestyles. She only requests that the Duke uphold Anglian and Dragon worship traditions by keeping the Haeksen safe and if possible, well fed. Knowing this, the group goes to depart. However, before Florence leaves, the Haeksen grabs at her wrist, pulling her in close to mutter something into her ear, “It shall be on the day that the Hydra sails North for events more sore, the Dragon King that sits high upon his gilded roost will be no more. Beware the child clad in blue and green who will cause the rise of the downtrodden, who’ll bring about an age of darkness with Regalian standard long forgotten.” The Haeksen speaks no more on the subject, thanking the Duke and his family for coming before letting Florence go and closing her hut door. Wedding Bells in the Distance The Courts of both the Duke de Paaj and Duke of Drieupunte receive correspondence from the Duke Markus Delmotte in an attempt to explain away the letters that both had received the month before with salacious intent. Both are invited to peruse the Dukes travel logs that are said to illustrate that Markus hasn't visited Marrle before nor does he own a ‘pleasure estate’ there. A representative is sent from both Courts to peruse the province for word of any estate Markus owned there to no avail. Furthermore, the Duke makes the claim that the letters that were sent were forgeries of his handwriting and not truly correspondence from him. Markus received no letter back from the Duke of Drieupunte but does receive notice from the Duke de Paaj that hes willing to allow Markus to enter courtship with his daughter with an appropriate dowry that will compensate for the inconvenience caused but also desires the marriage to occur within the month of July, if not earlier. Non, Non, Non, NON. The Duke Valentino Solisti heads out to attend the completion of the airship research/construction facility in Vila Sines alongside his palest Ser Carano. He dubs the facility the “Henrique de Gaviz Institute of the Sky” and some funding is pumped into the institute to begin construction on airships immediately. The Duke is however warned that if the airships are to be rushed, they may very well have some detrimental defects, but construction begins regardless with each Airship requiring almost a quarter of the House’s income for each Airship. They aren't cheap. Furthermore, Marissa Solisti meets with the Solisti feudal council to request fleet mobilisation to meet the defensive pact with Westaal. The Feudal Council remarks that they’ll give House Solisti 5 Warships for now and more when there is actually combat occuring, citing de Azcoissia’s fleet in the region as a cause for concern and worry. The ships head to the border of House Vyzals waters, keeping a watchful eye on movements there; notably on the defensive against pirates or would-be aggressors. Lastly, and interestingly, pamphlets are dispersed across the Solisti lands promoting the fashion design company owned by Sebasien Solisti ‘Solisti Styles’. The pamphlets promote Solisti fashion as the latest and trendiest fashion wear, even though up until now no one had even heard of Solisti Styles. Local leaders get a minor tax credit for sporting the clothing in public, which the vast majority do, but it still doesnt particularly start a trend just yet. The real drama started when a smear campaign begins against the Ithanian Fashionista Stefan du Stefan, claiming that Sebastien himself had created the designs that Stefan used and that Stefan du Stefan himself was a ‘fake Ithanian’. Naturally, this is utter balderdash and everyone knows it. The Local Lords begin to laugh behind closed doors at the attempt to defame such a highly respected, renowned and royally backed fashion designer, who has operated for decades before this Sebastien ever came into the scene and, primarily, created /Ithanian/ fashion. So while the smear campaign has no effect in Solisti lands, it does serve the purpose of pissing off a great deal of people, local lords included, in the lands of Villeroi, Cadieux, Coutanz and Delmotte.