The Rumor Mill - Late September, Early October 609
After the defeat of the Orcish Hordes in the Sutherlands at the mandibles and stingers of the swarms of locusts that annihilated them, the amassed Sutherlands’ Army is still in disarray. Each barony's troops suffered significant losses from the onslaught of the Orcs as well as the swarms that followed. In the aftermath, their numbers have been slow to reorganize and begin their trek home.
Outside of the barren, wintery lands of southern La Rochelle, it seems as though the still-abandoned countryside and forests are bidding a final farewell before turning to autumn--with a sudden spurt of flora growth. The already overgrown fields and grasslands are lush with shrubbery, as well as some out-of-season flowers and wild fruit. The edges of the forest seem to be sprawling as saplings and undergrowth sprout outwards onto unclaimed earth.
In contrast, there is a noticeable lack of the purple-and-gold flowers that had bloomed just a month earlier. Indeed, these flowers are nowhere to be seen, seemingly all wilted and blown away. Nevertheless, in their place the colors of the Kingdom fly proudly.
Animals such and deer, boar, and bears are seen nigh-uncomfortably close to population centers in every barony--in some cases even digging up and raiding the small farm plots that have themselves been sprouting up outside the city walls. Even more peculiar, at night, from the deep woods, strange echoing sounds of unknown creatures are being heard and reported by the night patrols. These patrols and militiamen also swear to have seen eerie lights floating along the woodline, though none have mustered the bravery (or foolishness) to investigate.
Although the masses of the Orcish Horde have been annihilated and scattered, small remnants of the green menace still roam the countryside. Even though the swarms of locusts and insects have disappeared as suddenly as they appeared, the orcs still seem to be running away from something.
The bone spires that were under construction along the border of Darkholme are being dismantled after they reopened their borders following the Dracoliche's disappearance. Nevertheless, rumor has it that an immense bone spire is located where the Knights D’Eit Library stood and no one will go near it.
Before the previous gather, some word spread of a massive zombie horde that was seen departing the lands of Sahde, traveling through Sudbyr, and stationing themselves to the south of Darkholme. Though the borders to Sahde are still closed, some speculate on what may have happened while they were there, as their path seems to have taken the zombies directly through Parc Foret
Flights of large bronze drakes have been spotted flying over parts of the Sutherlands, circling in some sort of search pattern, relentlessly.
Some Darkholme troops stationed in the northern areas of the Barony have begun to report back on the sight of the crashed Fendari city only miles from Absynthium. While the causalities from the ensuing debris were low, any information on the ruins themselves is unknown, as any patrols sent to the area do not return. Patrols to the south report of large contingents of Minotaurs being seen traveling in the grasslands near the large mountain known as the Maw.
Also spotted in the area are a variety of people from across the face of Tyrra, heading in the direction of the same great mountain. Scouts have reported seeing a small contingent in Carpathian regalia amongst the sightings.
A large-scale immigration of Mountain Dwarves has been experienced at Rossile in Rossanoe and of Shadow Dwarves at Verfel in Sudbyr. Both sets of Dwarves are reclaiming their ancestral fortresses built there many generations ago. It is clear there is some sort of agreement between these Dwarves and the respective Baronies as the immigration has been entirely peaceful. Some of the populace of those cities is upset about the heavily fortified keeps being given away in a time when the Sutherlands has seen untold strife and violence.
With the looming threat of Orcish invasion and Whisper seemingly both gone, many common folk, sick of the cramped and sometimes squalid city life, are attempting to start new farms and settlements once more. Many have began building villages beyond the line of sight of the cities themselves. However many commoners report that upon attempting to go join these new communities they find them abandoned. They report only half built structures and with the rotting corpses remain of the would be settlers. Some first hand accounts claim these bodies have been gnawed upon.
Those who are less prone to adventure out, their bellies full of food and with basic needs being supplied by their baronies, many former tradesmen seem to have no interest in reopening their shop doors. This is only further reinforced by the fact that the raw materials they need are in short supply as trade with the Merchant King seems to still be sparse at best.
This economic malaise is exacerbated by the continued prevalence of organized crime in which price gouging & fixing, extortion, and collusion are the norm. Political corruption has also been uncovered and no one is sure how high up it goes. The baronies most drastically affected: Sudbyr, Rossanoe, and Isles have implemented various strategies to combat this seemingly highly organized group. Their efforts have stemmed the rampant corruption but stopping it seems hopeless.