The Aventurian Herald, Praios 1031 BF
Temple Rocked By Generous Feud.
FERDOK. Work on the new Temple of Hesinde has progressed slowly over the last years (see page 9 and 10 of Issue 126 of the Herald) and the project has been dogged by a chronic lack of funds. The temple's Head Priest, Dorion of Kuslik, made a public appeal for donations some months ago, but the town's burghers, patricians and noble folk were careful not to open their purses all too wide. Indeed, the appeal drew a number of rather absurd donations including the scribbled travel diaries of a now deceased scholar (described by his grandson as a 'treasure trove of knowledge'). While parties of wandering adventurers, passing through the City of Ferdok, also donated a few Silver Farthings in the hope that Hesinde would watch over their travels. But the temple is now suddenly beginning to take shape as pillars rise up from the foundations to meet the temple's newly shingled roofs. In light of this progress the High Priest has now requested that no further donations be made. Instead, he has asked that the Burghers of Ferdok "share your cream with those in need: give your donations to the Badilakian refugee organizations, to the Therbunite Veteran's Association and to the Church of Rondra, which struggles so valiantly against the black host. But please, please, in the name of Our Lady, do not make any more donations in kind!" This turn of events follows the donation to the temple by well-known merchant and Patron Emmeran Stoerrebrandt of a beautifully crafted bronze doorknocker in the shape of a snake's head. Soon after, Ferdok-based merchant Ulwina Neisbeck gifted the temple a priceless lectern made of rainforest woods inlaid with agate and turquoise. "I don't want folks to think that I'm miserly, not like that farthing-pinching scrooge that calls himself 'the richest man in Aventuria' ", Neisbeck allegedly commented. Garetian merchant Stoerrebrandt was quick to reply and promptly donated the temple a golden tabernacle - presumably in the hope of trumping his rival. But Neisbeck rose to the challenge and gifted the temple the funds needed to pay for the scenic paintings that now decorate the temple's pillars. Stoerrebrandt and Neisbeck have continued their campaign of competitive generosity: mosaic floors, stained-glass windows and the magnificent main portal were all accounted for in a series of sealed letters. Scribes at both trading houses have been busy from dawn till dusk, drawing up building orders, reviewing material costs and commissioning new projects. News of this contest has also reached the ears of other potentates, many of which have begun to take an interest in Ferdok's new temple - even though many had never previously heard of the project. Angbar's esteemed Dipwidge trading house announced their intention to pay for the temple's roof, while two Garetian patricians vied for the right to donate the temple's statue of Hesinde. Emperor Selindian Hal donated a number of valuable tomes from the Punin library and Prince Blasius of Boarstock reportedly cried out: "The Altar! Is the altar still up for grabs? We'll put some snakes and some dragons and the hexagon of the six arts and elements on it!" Even the normally placid Mountain King Arombolosh dispatched three dwarven Master Engineers from Murolosh to build the temple's lavish crypt. Only Master Dorion's frantic appeal for calm halted the flood of gifts that has descended upon the temple. Work on the temple continues and the artisans are pleased with the progress made so far. But as we go to press Stoerrebrandt and Neisbeck continue to squabble over who contributed the most to this splendid temple.
Aventurian Herald, Efferd 1030 BF
Hearth of Splendid Treasures Grows
Work on Ferdok's Temple of Hesinde continues
FERDOK. "It is almost as though the Goddess of Wisdom herself was guiding my hand. I can sense her presence every time I set to work with my hammer and chisel or take up my scraper and sander." Thus spoke a dusty stonemason working on the reliefs that will decorate the pillars at Ferdok's newest temple. Numerous workshops and workshacks have sprung up around the building site in the city's southeastern district. The walls of Ferdok's Temple of Hesinde gradually grow skywards. Dorion of Kuslik, Head Instructor and future High Priest at the temple, calls the laborers to prayer each day and appeals to Hesinde and her saints to shower their blessings on the temple's building site. Much is yet to be done if the temple is to find favor in the halls of Alveran, and the Head Instructor has requested that the Aventurian Herald publish an appeal for donations for this notoriously under funded project. For two years now, laborers have toiled to raise the temple walls stone by stone. The Church of Hesinde hopes that with the completion of the new temple, the light of truth and learning will shine brighter than ever in the land of Kosh. To this end the church now plans to establish a Hesinde School in Ferdok, which will open its doors to all of the town's citizens. Hesinde's new temple renews the Goddesses ties with the City of Ferdok: an ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess Hesinde stood on this exact spot for centuries until it was destroyed by fire 80 years ago. The fire allegedly broke out during an altercation between temple guardians and a group of heretics from a dragon-worshipping cult. This cancerous heresy exists even today and finds many a weak soul among the Church of Hesinde's less steadfast disciples. The new temple is based on a harmonic octagonal design: A combination of clear-standing pillars, arches and massive timber struts will support a gigantic central hall, which will feature numerous light shafts. The earlier temple's foundations were laid bare during excavations for the cellar and crypt. It seems that the earlier temple's catacombs may have survived the blaze of 80 years ago! Dorion of Kuslik hopes that ancient relicts and treasures might be retrieved from these catacombs once an entranceway has been found. The Head Instructor is an eminent authority on ancient languages and scripts, and an expert in historical matters and hesindian theology. Kuslik has returned to Ferdok with the Temple of Hesinde's most prized artifact: Not only does the shield born by the might Dragonslayer Fendral protect its bearer from dragonspawn, it also harbors an ancient mystery that has never been solved. There can be no doubt that the Church of Hesinde has its very own reasons for rebuilding the temple at this particular time. Rumors have spread of a great quest that is announced every one hundred years in the halls of Ferdok's Temple of Hesinde - a quest that is somehow related to the dragonslayer's shield. According to these rumors the time for this quest draws near and the temple is expected to open its doors soon... The Aventurian Herald will continue to follow this story...
Aventurian Herald, Peraine 1031 BF
Discord Among Ferdok's Leading Merchants
FERDOK. As always the bustling harbor of Ferdok is alive with the rattling chains of the cargo cranes and cries of the dockers as they go about their business. But the harbor's industrious atmosphere has recently been disturbed by a series of altercations and bitter disputes between wagoners, seafarers, captains and clerks of rival trading houses. More often than not one of the parties involved is in the pay of Ferdok's esteemed Neisbeck trading house, while the other party bears the falcon insignia of the House of Stoerrebrandt. These two families have battled to control the dockside cargo-handling for years now. The conflict recently came to a head when Stoerrebrandt erected a new warehouse at the harbor. While the Garetian merchant captain continues to expand his influence in the City Council, Ulwina Neisbeck has publicly attacked Stoerrebrandt as a "cheap and shoddy braggart" and has successfully thwarted her rival's attempts to join the local Merchant's Guild. Not long ago one of Stoerrebrandt's caravans suffered significant losses when it was tricked into entering the Moorbridge Marshes after following false signposts. A second caravan was hindered from attending an important market in Ferdok by phony customs officers - needless to say, Neisbeck's wares were a sensational success at that market... It is not difficult to guess who the mastermind behind these unfortunate events was. But Stoerrebrandt soon exacted his revenge. With help of a gaggle of legal advocates and clerks he successfully hindered a ship from Havena laden with wares for the Neisbeck family from unloading its cargo in Ferdok. The advocates based their case on a decree issued decades ago during an outbreak of Zorgan Pox in Havena. Soon after this, a company of local guards, not usually known for their intelligence or success, discovered a smuggler's hideout on the banks of the Great River. Allegedly an informant paid by none other than Stoerrebrandt himself supplied the information leading to the raid. It will not surprise our readers to learn that the Neisbeck family is allegedly involved in many of the region's smuggling operations. It is difficult to say which of the two families is set to win this bitter feud. The Aventurian Herald will continue to report on this story as it develops.