Following a declaration by Alba Leocadio d'Allacasta, Empress of The Empire of Orrium, the Royalty of Esharia is now in a state of war. As justification for the war, the Empress cites unprovoked attacks on Orrin armies in Ikoss, as well as the Esharian shelter of the heretics known as the Reparationals, and the torture and murder of an unnamed Orrin subject. Skirmishes have begun on the lands of Esharian clients, as well as at sea, but military campaigns are yet to begin in earnest.
Nobody is quite sure how it happened, but a host of black, human-sized objects have been sighted in the Heights, turning everything they encounter - including members of the Fleet - into piles of dust. In response to this, the vessels of the Fleet have scattered far and wide, apparently reluctant to engage these foes. Something will have to be done soon - the Morelli stronghold of Stormhalt is very close to these entities, promising an increase to an already substantial death toll. No attempts to parley or communicate with the attackers have been successful.
Following a number of dramatic incidents at the recent Council of Priests, culminating with the Priest of the Southern Oxbow, Irina Kal being accused of bewitching the minds of those who agree with her, a great number of priests have officially announced their split from the greater church in Esharia. The Esharian Reformers, as they now call themselves, look to constitute somewhere between a fifth and a third of all Esharian priests, though a smaller number of gods as a number of larger parishes split away. The Reformers are largely concentrated in the wetlands, but have supporting parishes throughout the Royalty; it looks as if a number of reticent priests received support (or coercion) to declare their position.
The small client state of Necrouque, just to the south of Ikoss, has reportedly been invaded by the visitors known as the Bloom. Those in the area report that the Bloom insisted that their occupation had been legally approved by 'Lorenzo of Esharia'. The Bloom forces are currently making a very effective blockade against Orrin aggression from Ikoss, but that's probably not much comfort for the inhabitants of Necrouque.
It turns out that a perfect candidate for the new Diite heir was within the Grand Magnate's household all along. Their son Georgio is reported to be very happy with his appointment to this role.
Everybody everywhere is singing that song from Prospero Fontana's The Lion's Share! It slanders the Morelli for their treatment of the miners - they're awfully angry about its popularity. And an anti-Diite version has cropped up that has them huffing too!
The gossip about what “The Fixer” did to Jaco has spread far and wide. And surely grown in the telling. No one would seriously torture someone that much, right?
A new shipyard has been built in the Wetlands. The word on the street says it was funded by Lorenzo Diite. From context, its probably the one that's not the Waterlily. Regardless, its rumored to be bigger and better stocked than any shipyard has been before.
Word has spread that something called “The Mobile College of Alchemical Identification” has been travelling across Esharia. Word has also spread that the credit for the discovery of how to identify alchemy belongs to Valerio Diite, Mada Avdali, Generva Diite and Professor Aidi. The college seems to be a philanthropic endeavour, with people who wish to learnmerely being asked to pay what they can.
Other news from the Council of Priests. Two people have been assigned to tend to the bioship near Perano, as they would to a god. These are Daieni Morelli, Priest of the God of the Wilderness, Skanaster; and Soren Diite, Priest of Lake Hali. We wish them well on their new duty!
An impressive new advance in muskets has been discovered. The minds behind this discovery appear to be Nicolo Brekshama and Grand Designer Riccardo Diite. Their new firing mechanism works in damp conditions, but is far easier to use and produce than the wheel-locks. This will surely revolutionise warfare.
Rumours of espionage and assassination pervade the Heights, with many whispering that the Diites are not playing fair. For their part, the Diites blame the Morelli for much the same thing.