Politics in a new Age
With victory over the Queen of Darkness, the Whitestone Council decreed that Ansalon had entered an Age of Rebirth. It was a time of peace and renewal, an opportunity for healing the scars of the past and re-discovering what had been lost during the Age of Despair.
Lord Gunthar, for his part, was at first reluctant to accept a position which he saw as disagreeably political, but under enormous pressure from those grateful for his fortitude during Ansalon’s darkest hour, the old warrior finally relented, moving his flag from Sancrist to the new Whitestone Keep, constructed on the ruins of the old palace at Kalaman.As Kalaman grew into a full-fledged city-state, Gunthar grew into a living legend. Together, they are the embodiment of hope and prosperity in peacetime.
Ansalon and the Fate of the Dragonarmies
In the months following events at Neraka, it was clear that the Dragonarmies were all-but defeated.
To the east, things are grim. Massive Dragonarmy migration into Khur overwhelmed what little defence the likes of Flotsam and Goodlund could muster, and the entire region of Balifor from Flotsam all the way to the southern coast, was quickly occupied. Only Kendermore, where the redoubtable population put up enough of a fight to persuade the invaders to halt their advance, saved Goodlund and the Dairly Plains from being assimilated.
The Dragons of Krynn
Although absent from the final victory at Neraka, the good dragons of Krynn, having returned from the exile forced upon them by Takhisis’ lies, were crucial to Whitestone success during engagements at Sanction and other locations across Ansalon.
D’argent, known as Silvart in her elven form, answered a summons from the Heroes of the Lance too late to make a difference at Neraka, but was both proud and saddened to hear of their success and subsequent disappearance in the final battle. Instrumental in the re-discovery of the Dragonlances, and therefore in the ultimate success of the Whitestone forces, she was quickly offered a seat as representative of all dragon-kind on the Whitestone Accord, but she declined on behalf of her race. It was not for the dragons, she said, to guide the fates of mortals in an era of peace.
The dragons stationed at Kalaman withdrew, taking a few favoured souls with them. Since then, they have played no part in Ansalonian politics, although a delegation to Kalaman did reveal the location of a new enclave in the highest peaks around the High Clerist’s Tower, and issued an open invitation to trusted ambassadors from the Whitestone Accord.
This is not to say that dragons have withdrawn from the world’s affairs in the manner of their exile before the war. Sightings are reported daily, and the thrill of seeing a great winged silhouette pass through the clouds overhead is a much more common occurrence than it was during even the time of Istar.
Rumours persist, however, of a split in the metallic ranks, a rift between those who wish to embrace draconians as true children of the wyrm, and those who wish to see these abominations simply wiped from the face of the world. This is considered dragon business, and although draconians are commonly found in the ranks of mercenary and ex-Dragonarmy forces faced during Whitestone and other related actions, there has been no concerted effort – as yet – to hunt them down. Representatives of the Accord would surely seek guidance from the dragons before embarking on such a genocide.
Meanwhile, the chromatics, freed from the yokes of the Highlords, have returned to terrorising the populace and establishing territories throughout the world. Since dragon populations were greatly reduced during the war, these would-be conquerors rarely risk the wrath of an assembled or organised foe, let alone the considerable might of a Whitestone task-force. Instead they prefer guerrilla actions against weak foes. It is of considerable shame to these embittered and arrogant beasts that the once-mighty backbone of the unstoppable Dragonarmy has been reduced to such ignominy.
Of the famed chromatics, rumours persist that Skie, once-companion of the long-dead Dragon Highlord Kitiara, has made a lair in the mountains around Pax Tharkas, plotting revenge against the Heroes of the Lance that took his beloved Kitiara from him. While there are certainly reports of a large blue living in the region, its identity remains unclear. Keeping track of such a dangerous refugee from the War of the Lance would be of great interest to the Accord, however.
Divinity in the Age of Rebirth
Lorendle of Solace, wielder of the fabled Disks of Mishakal, forged the path that is now walked by all the members of the Holy Orders of the Stars.
His protégé Elistan, having established the first new cathedral to Mishakal in the plains south-east of Palanthas, quickly became, by virtue of his power, wisdom and, it must be admitted, his previous association with that legendary mentor, one of the most famous names on Ansalon. As de-facto head of the new priesthood, he was at first stridently (and publically) reluctant for any member of the church to sit on the Whitestone Accord, believing that a similar folly was instrumental in the fall of Istar and the collapse of civilization during the Age of Despair. However, a visit to Kalaman and (by all accounts) a lengthy conversation with Lord Gunthar, eventually changed his mind.
It thus became customary for the highest ranks of the Holy Orders to choose an emissary who would sit on the Accord for a period of one year and speak on their behalf. To honour the memory of those who kept faith in the early days of the War of the Lance, this emissary was called the Seeker.
And such might the story have since been written, except for the tragedy of Vitari Kuyan, whose strange powers brought her to the attention of the priesthood at a young age. A mystery even to her teachers, who never felt they could adequately explain the girl’s abilities, she showed peerless wisdom, grace and strength of heart, and at the age of 21 was, by some margin, the youngest Seeker voted into the position by the Order.
However, after setting out on the long and dangerous journey from Ergoth to Kalaman, a rite of passage required of all Seekers, she simply disappeared. No sign of Vitari, her entourage, or the caravan in which she had been travelling was ever found. Elistan, distraught at the news, retreated into isolation before simply disappearing from Palanthas a week later. No-one has seen him since, and both his fate, and why he would feel her loss so keenly, remains unclear.
With the restoration of the Holy Order of the Stars, most of the heathen religions which sprang up during the Age of Despair have been revealed for the lie they always were. Some, however, have proved to be more tenacious than others. The Seed Witches out of Abanasinia have moved up into Southlund, where their followers now spread towards Solamnia. In Lemish, the Last Breath ritualists have attracted followers of Chemosh and spread insidious propaganda about the doomed fate of mortal souls. And from its core in Krelland, the strange preachings of the Sundered Wyrm, are gaining voice across Ansalon.
The three moons have been a constant throughout Krynn’s history, and so they remain today.
Lord Gunthar’s decree that only a representative of the Conclave of Wizards can ever sit on the Whitestone Accord has left the robes in the political wilderness since the end of the war. The Conclave was disbanded long before the War of the Lance even started, with exponents of High Sorcery scattered far and wide, concerned more with their own betterment – and survival — than with the greater good. Today, even with a White-Robe having been instrumental in the defeat of Takhisis, the organization has still not found the breadth of common ground needed to formally re-establish High Sorcery in the new world.
Some small progress has been made, however. The Tower of High Sorcery at Palanthas was finally reclaimed from the spirits which had haunted it, and subsequently re-opened under master Red-Robe Dalamar Nightson, a silvanesti exiled from his homeland for the study of forbidden magics. Canny and politically-minded, Dalamar has been careful not to make any claims that a new Red Order has been established under his leadership, but his influence nevertheless spreads far across the north. Dalamar also regularly reports to the Accord on the known movements of wizards throughout Ansalon, making him a figure of suspicion to those wizards who treasure memories of older times when the Orders answered mostly to themselves.
More significantly, the new Master has re-opened the tower gates and built an Academy of High Sorcery from the war-shattered ruins of the Shoikan Grove. There is some debate over many of the wizards emerging from Dalamar’s Academy, so-called “Cold Moon Wizards” whose skills often exceed the known limits of wizardly magic while falling short in critical areas and, more sensationally, stand apart from the Moons of Magic. This talk is downplayed by the Master of Palanthas, who speculates, persuasively, that moon magic is as mysterious as any other divinely-granted discipline, and should be expected to change shape as ages pass.
This lack of structure poses some problems for young wizards hoping to take the Test of High Sorcery and gain access to the Moons, but in the absence of an over-arching authority, many talented arcanists loyal to the old Orders still do what they can to expand their ranks. Itinerant cabals of wizards known as “Processions” travel in large wagon trains across the world, seeking out talented wizards, guiding their progress, and even, in some cases, administering the Test of High Sorcery.
These roaming centres of magic, assembled in a spirit of co-operation between all the orders, Black Robes included, are as close as High Sorcery has yet come to recovering its former glory, and in the spirit of rebirth which seems to have galvanized people everywhere, are generally well-received by Ansalon’s populace.
The Knights of Solamnia
The Solamnic order recovered quickly from its banishment during the Age of Despair.
The houses of Crownguard and Tallbow were quick to capitalise on reports that their sons not only stood with the Heroes of the Lance, but might well have fought by their sides at Neraka, and used this information as a clarion call for others to submit stories of knightly valour during the war. “Oath’s Account”, as the movement came to be called, gained momentum, and tales of extreme bravery and courage in the best traditions of the Oath and the Measure flooded in.
Stories from the Account were transcribed into a series of tomes which are now venerated almost as much as the Oath and the Measure themselves, a model for virtuous deeds during testing times. Soon, candidates from all over Ansalon were presenting themselves for consideration as squires of the Crown; less than a year later, at the High Clerist’s Tower, Grand Master Uric Gustan called to order the first Knightly Council of the new era.
Solanthus was painstakingly rebuilt after being ravaged by the Dragonarmies during the war, and re-incorporated as the region’s capital. In 356 AC, Uric finally returned the Knighthood’s flag to its ancestral home in Solamnia.
From there, the Order dutifully executes its mandate: defend the Whitestone Accord, advance its interests at the behest of its representatives, and purge all evil from the Plains of Solamnia and surrounding lands.