Wherever people congregate, live, and communicate, rumors are inevitable. People of all races, beliefs, and cultures seem inexorably drawn to gossip and sharing tidbits of “news” with perfect strangers. Although the people of Anderland are, for the most part, industrious and down-to-earth, they are just as vulnerable to spreading rumors as any city dweller.

What follows is a collection (and an abbreviated one at that) of the current stories, news, gossip, rumors, and opinions floating around the Duchy, especially around the ducal palace and in the capital city of Andersgate.

Gossip, like anything else, goes from fresh to stale all too quickly. Today’s news is tomorrow’s trash. Thus, the rumors on this page will change frequently, especially with the progression of time and as the player characters begin truly influencing the setting. Likewise, new events inevitably push aside older news and force their way to front stage.

Finally, keep in mind that the information below represents rumor and not fact. These bits of gossip may include nuggets of fact, but just as often they are wildly misinterpreted, poorly communicated, and they almost always change with every retelling. Be careful in falling too hard for any tidbit of rumor!

The Rumor Mill

The Duke has fallen to the seduction from that Bane priestess; she’s cast some spell on him – he’s not right in the head!

The Banites are getting uppity these days. They don’t like your shrine, or if they catch you without your symbol, they slap you with a huge fine. If’n you can’t pay, they can take away your home and sell your children into slavery.

My cousin just came from the south. He said someone’s been catching Wardens and burnin’ them alive to send a message. Can’t say what that message might be, but I always found paper and ink work just fine.

I hear we’re getting a gladiatorial arena right here in Andersgate! The Duke don’t like it, but he’s going to have to offer the games twice a year in honor of Bane and the Emperor.

How many more children have to disappear before someone’s going to do something? The rich can hire bodyguards and hide behind stone walls, but what about us poor folk? Who will protect us, who will save our children?

I saw Marta Crowe in the market square yesterday and she looked pale as snow. I think that husband of hers, that nasty Mr. Crowe, is poisoning her off so he can marry someone prettier and younger.

Why does the Duke put up with that Maldaran shrew in the palace? I heard she speaks to him like she would a servant. Simply disgraceful.

I hear the Alcott’s boy disappeared last week. Apparently he went diving off near where “Old Night” sank. They’ll never even find his body, you ask me.

Not sure how anyone thinks we can afford to eat with these prices. From what my cousin told me, the Maldarans are restricting trade into the Duchy.

I don’t trust wizards of any color, and that’s a fact. Still, I don’t mind admitting I like that Kyman fellow. He’s a bit of a crackpot, but I suppose all wizards are. Still, he’s always polite and pleasant to me. I don’t like that lad of his, the funny lookin’ one. I swear that boy is a devil’s spawn.

I still can’t believe those stories. Nobody can just turn into an animal! It’s absurd! And I’ve seen her in the flesh before; she’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but she didn’t look like no wolf to me!

Bella is the fourth person who’s come down with the fever and ague this week. Looks like Old Man Mason is about to be carried off by it, that’s how bad it’s gotten. I just can’t stand the thought of plague coming here.

Mark my words, there’s war with Maldar coming and that’s no joke. My brother’s sister’s cousin told me the Duke wants to raise an army in secret. ‘Course, I can’t think of anyone who could stand up to those Death Titans.

Elim is right; there’s something funny tasting about the well in Old Town. Come to think of it, Emma got sick last week too, and she gets all her water from that well.

From what people tell me, the Duke’s daughter is as good as married already. How he can bear to marry her off to some fat, drunken Maldaran noble is beyond me. I don’t need to tell you what those filthy Maldarans do to their women, do I?


Stormfell MarkDMHart