Sharn Inquisitive08/01/2005

Breland Calls for Crackdown
News for Sul, Barrakas 15th, 998

Breland Calls for Crackdown on Path of the Howl

WROAT -- Breland urged Aundair to crack down on criminals who use a secret network known as the Path of the Howl to escape into the Eldeen Reaches. "The Path of the Howl acts in contravention of justice and law, yet Aundair upholds justice and law as incorruptible virtues," the decree stated. "Breland therefore will offer what assistance it can in ending this stain on Aundair's otherwise laudable rule of law."

The palace decree was issued in response to the recent escapes of several high-profile Breland criminals, who remain at large despite the efforts of the King's Citadel to apprehend them. Jessen Theel, reputed member of a Sharn crime syndicate, escaped from the Citadel's prison on the Central Plateau four weeks ago and hasn't been seen since. A wizard known only as Fathom the Necromancer fled his tower on the southern coast last month before magistrates could question him about some mysterious disappearances in nearby villages. And Elenna ir'Vorshach, scheduled to testify under duress in the parliamentary "Thandrak Scandal," disappeared from custody last week while under house arrest in Galethspyre.

The decree mentions no specific fugitives who have used the Path of the Howl. However, it does state that the Citadel has "substantive and recent" evidence that the path remains active within Aundair's borders.

The Path of the Howl was established in the mid-800s as a safe and secret means of taking lycanthropes and other shapeshifters beyond the reach of a Church of the Silver Flame inquisition. Those fleeing the inquisition reportedly traveled via a network of safehouses and unobtrusive paths from central Galifar northwest to what is now the Eldeen Reaches. Most of the network runs through postwar Aundair.

The Church of the Silver Flame's campaign ended in the late 800s. But shortly thereafter, when the Last War began, the Path of the Howl became an escape route for political enemies of the five new sovereigns who succeeded Jarot, and eventually for deserters and war protesters.

A palace decree indicates the intent of the Brelish government, but it doesn't carry as much diplomatic weight as a crown decree personally drafted by the sovereign. However, palace insiders say that the Path of the Howl might be on the agenda for an upcoming Fairhaven Summit between King Boranel and Queen Aurala, and that the king may address the matter personally at that time.

About the Author

David Noonan is a designer/developer for Wizards of the Coast. Before coming to Wizards, he was a daily newspaper reporter in Washington state. Apparently the city hall beat is good practice for an Eberron campaign.

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