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The Breaking of the Despite

With the rising of the blood moon and the rain of blood, the long era of forgetfulness is over in the Compact. Or at least less consistent, with skepticism faltering now in the face of the supernatural. But with the return of superstition, with the return of things the people of Arvum cannot explain, has come terror and threats they could not dream with.

Chaos follows in its wake.

Fear has lingered over the Compact since the Blood Moon rained blood down over the streets of Arx, and violence followed in its wake.

In Arx, the Inquisition and Iron Guard respond with calm in enforcing order on the streets, finding some of those responsible for the violence, while the Shadow Court has handled its own and a gang war is averted in the Lower Boroughs. In the Oathlands, the Faith launches a tour to Sanctum, bringing the leadership of the Faith to quell the tensions of rebellious elements pushing for a crusade against the Lyceum, while in the Lyceum much of the heretical elements have been rooted out- with heretics fleeing to a handful of cities where they have found religious toleration, Ischia among them. The mirrormask calling himself Marach the Second remains uncaptured, but there's no sign of him in any major city, and rumors he fled to the wilds of the Saffron Chain.

A great many push for calm while for the first time in hundreds of years openly discussing magic and its history on the Compact. The Black Mummers hold plays, the Society of Explorers share stories, House Malespero builds a new occult academy in Nilanza, there's a propaganda campaign in the Boroughs mocking a demon that some of the people name 'Azazel, the Eater of Stories', and leaders of numerous different domains reassure the people of their regions that come what may, they'll be there for them. There's no panic or riots, and general calm, though there certainly is violence. There's a sharp uptick in murders, and numerous suspicious highly fatal accidents in the Lyceum, but the worst fears of wars breaking out appear to not be coming to pass. Numerous leaders, and tireless efforts by peacemakers such as the Whispers, are surely responsible for the Compact not coming apart by the seams. It's tense, shavs are raiding, there's violence, but most Arvani are glad the worst is over, and things will be just fine.

Though very, very, very few Arvani probably realize the significance of the hedge around an old ruined castle called Harrow Hall.

There's not much reason for scouts to visit a deserted area of the Crownlands around a ruined old castle named Harrow Hall, but still, word does make it back. A massive wall of thorns, a gigantic hedge hundreds of feet tall, seems to surround the old ruined castle, in what scouts would imagine is several miles thick. No one can explain it, but few have gotten close enough to try, as there's gigantic towering beasts sitting on the hedge that seemed to be horrifying amalgams of many faces, or warped creatures of wood and thorn. In any other time, stories such as that would be laughed off, but not since the Blood Moon. Now, most Arvani are glad such a nightmare is far from them, and they can just leave it to its own devices. If it is a problem, surely the leaders of the Compact will deal with it.