The Sixth Great Maelstrom, or Having the Dead Crashing Over for Awhile
by Andrew Besuden
with contributing information by J. Edward Tremlett and BEAU

"1999: Ahh this was an… ahem… interesting time, first we have all these freaky chimera rampaging around and causing all this damage. I hear they still haven't cleaned off the stain left when the count was thrown through the wall. Then there was this loud shriek causing me to go deaf for a day. Though the last straw was when my associate, Mr. Franklin came and knocked on my door. I normally let him in but this time he came in his rotted-out old body." - Salistar Grimes, sluagh informant.

"I came home from the meeting with the duke to find my copy of Byron begin to open up and then this voice whining at me to close the door. That's when I found out that I had gained a roommate… joy." - Mildew, attaché to the duchy of Greensberry

Troubled Times in the Land of the Dead
The end of the Dark Kingdom of Iron, the 6th Great Maelstrom in the Shadowlands, the land of the dead, and the Destruction of the Ravnos Antediluvian have caused quite a commotion in the World of Darkness, like the dead rising from their graves or the rise of the Imbued. However, the sluagh have the most difficulties with recent events since they interact with dead on a daily basis.

Lexicon
Bogatyrs-
Name given by the sluagh to humans who have gained supernatural powers and using them to fight Supernatural forces. The Hunters, also known as the Imbued.
Irons- Name of a gang of wraiths fighting against the Jades, in actuality the remnants of the armies of the Dark Kingdom of Iron also known as Stygia.
Jades-
Name of a gang of wraiths fighting against the Irons, in actuality the remnants of the armies of the Dark Kingdom of Jade.
The Shroud-
Invisible barrier between the land of the living and the land of the dead.
Smertniya Boorya- Literally Death Storm, a great storm in the land of the dead causing strife for wraiths. The sluagh's name for the Sixth Great Maelstrom.
The Wailing- The name of a loud piercing shriek heard by the sluagh when the Shroud went down and many wraiths from the land of the dead were sent shrieking through to the lands of the living.

The Week of Nightmares
The topic on so many whispering lips at many High Teas is the effect the Week of Nightmares has had on the sluagh's contact the restless dead. With the raging storm going on through out the Dreaming and rampaging chimera that suddenly appeared at the time, kithain were forced to retreat to their freeholds to wait out the raging Dream Storm, and even then there were incidents of random attacks from "things" jumping out of the Balefires. What would make this worse for the sluagh? Well how about a storm wailing in the lands of the dead? And guess whose coming to dinner?

The Wailing
The sluagh took notice of the Smertniya Boorya, literally Death Storm, immediately when it began. A loud piercing shriek was heard by the entire kith when the Shroud went down and slung wraiths into the land of the living, what the wraiths call the living world. The Wailing, as the sluagh called this event, caused a large number of the dead, or wraiths, to crossover into the living world. Many of the wraiths were flung into their old bodies but others were flung into various objects giving them a new abode that shields them from a wailing storm in the lands of the dead. Unfortunately for the sluagh, a large amount of wraiths were flung into some of the sluagh's possessions during the Wailing. Worse still is some of these wraiths are coming to the kith's homes in their original corpses, and in various states of decomposition. Even though the Wailing has ended, the added weight of a ghost in the sluagh home has made some strange bedfellows with the kith and their new ghostly roommates.

 Sluagh and the Guilds
The sluagh have had contact with some of the more esoteric organizations of the dead. Two of these "Guilds," as the wraiths call them, have greater interactions with sluagh, the Sandmen and the Haunters. The sluagh have had contact (more like a rival's contest for dreamers) with Sandmen for some time, as with some other changelings who never have a good nights rest for some time, and when the 6th Great Maelstrom hit, the Sandmen begun to contact the sluagh to see if there is some way for them to enter the Dreaming in order to escape to raging winds early on during the Maelstrom, as the storm lessened they began to ask the sluagh for a room to stay until the storm dies down completely. The other Guild, the Haunters, have made recent contact with the sluagh since the majority of the guild left for the skinlands en masse. The Haunters see some use in allying with the sluagh though nothing big has happened yet. Meanwhile some Unseelie and Seelie members have struck some small deals with members of both guilds in order to further their own plans. With the Haunters, some sluagh have begun a haunted house exorcising scam in order to get rich and gain some glamour as well. More Unseelie sluagh are inclined to use Sandmen as a form of psychic rape on the nobility as well as people who rub them the wrong way. And it seems that either of the guilds don't mind these jobs, as they themselves seem to draw some sort of energy from both the victims and the sluagh.

Ghost Wars
Some sluagh are lucky enough to avoid having a wraith as a new roommate, but just because you don't have a ghost in your house, doesn't mean the neighborhood is going to be safe. In the big cities on coasts, many of the sluagh have noticed street fights going on in Chinatowns with the ghosts. Several members of the kith have been called in by their ghostly contacts to mediate between these groups of Jades and Irons. The wraiths that have risen out of their graves present a more dangerous problem as when theses Jades and Irons begin to duke it out endangering civilians and getting the attention of the local nobility as well as the Imbued. The sluagh only know a little concerning these skirmishes. It seems that these Jades and Irons were in some sort of battle before the Smertniya Boorya had hit, for what reason the sluagh have no idea why. When the Smertniya Boorya hit the fighting stopped for a while, but as it lessened the fighting began to resume once more. Some things never change, not even after death.

Smertniya Boorya
Sluagh who have communicated with the wraiths that were shot into the living lands have heard of a great storm raging in the land of the dead. This Smertniya Boorya, as the sluagh named this storm, making travel in the lands of the dead for Wraiths nigh impossible. The Sluagh believe that what happened in the Dreaming might have started over in the lands of the dead when the Wailing began. Sluagh have also noticed that their ability to see or hear the wraiths still in the land of the dead was being severely effected. Those who try to hear the wraith during the beginning of the Smertniya Boorya nearly went deaf from the raging winds. Those who use the sight see their wraith companions have bared witness to seeing wraiths huddled and many being pulled down to Dán knows where. Only recently, the storm has gone down to a less severe level (See Maelstrom Levels) allowing a semblance of a previous relation between the sluagh and wraiths.

 Maelstrom Levels
For those who do not own Ends of the Empires or Wraith: the Great War, we provide you with a quick run down of the Maelstrom levels as provided by J. Edward Tremlett.

Level 1- you get piddled on by squirming things and have bad winds that bring odd and stinky things with it. Winds can run up to 40 mph, and there are not so many specters. You can go out in this storm with reasonable protection.

Level 2- you have worse debris to deal with, faster winds (80 mph) and more specters. It's harder to maneuver outside (+1 diff) and the storm winds might leak into poorly secured buildings. More specters are on the prowl.

Level 3- it starts getting nasty. 120 mph winds filled with rains that carry squirming, dangerous things and specters that jump anyone within minutes of poking their heads outside. The damage from debris is aggravated about half the time. Difficulty for outside activities is +2 and if you're in a flimsy place, you're gonna take damage.

Level 4- winds of 200 or more, +3 diff, haunts don't provide the normal protection and specters eat your ass the moment you step outside.

Level 5- obscene and only happens when the storm first breaks out, thank fate. There's really no way to compare it to anything in the skinlands other than a combination storm front/tidal wave with the flattening power of a nuclear detonation.

At the Beginning of the 6th Great Maelstrom, the storm was at level 5 all over the Shadowlands. For a while the storm winds were at level 4. Currently, the Maelstrom is on a level 1-3 depending on the location. If you wish for a more definite description of the Maelstrom, you should pick up a copy of Wraith: the Oblivion 2nd Ed. and Ends of Empire before they disappear.

Bogatyrs and the Walking Dead
With wraiths possessing sluagh possessions and this Smertniya Boorya going on. You'd think the sluagh would have only these things to worry about. Wrong. It seems some of the humans have gained weird powers, one of which is being able to recognize sluagh as not humans. The sluagh have no idea how this came about, much to the annoyance of the local nobility and even more to the sluagh themselves, but these hunters do remind some of the older sluagh of the Bogatyrs, the ancient heroes of Russia who had powers and fought against many of the monsters of the night. The term has stuck to classify this new breed of humans. The Bogatyrs seem to be battling ghosts who have been slung into dead bodies at various states of decomposition. Some of these Walking Dead end up meeting the sluagh, whether told by the wraiths that were slung into objects or they knew the sluagh before crossing over to the lands of the living before hand. This also means that the Bogatyrs have also killed sluagh who had too many of the dead over at their place.

 Sluagh views on the Bogatyrs
"Well I come back to my abode near the cemetery to find the place ransacked, and these weird gang symbols spray-painted on the walls. Next thing I know I'm frozen in place and being given twenty questions from this ... no I don't know, there you happy I said it. Now screw off." -Maurice, royal torturer for the Kingdom of Apples

It seems that these Bogatyrs will attack us if we bother with certain people. Be more careful with your business, and you can avoid these righteous morons. If that doesn't work, give a night they'll never forget.

 Sluagh Views on the Walking Dead
"When did my house become a cheap zombie flik?" - Teeksa, cynic

"You'd think that after encountering dragons, fighting my way out of an insane asylum, and surviving three separate attacks by a damned nocnista I'd be ready for anything. Then here comes this rotting corpse trying to ring my neck for a reason I don't even want to know about." Baldur, survivor and regular at O'Mallery's Pub Freehold

In matters of business, do a small favor for them, but don't let them into your house, or let too many people see you. It's not good to have the local baron breathing down your neck when the corpse "accidentally" walks through his house. Other than that, these zombies take all the fun of having a wraith as a friend. What else can he do but stand there and rot?