Hanweir Chronicle Recap

Posted in Feature on May 31, 2016

By Alison Luhrs

Alison Luhrs is a game designer for Magic: The Gathering. She is also a playwright, improviser, and tweet farmer.

Through the story of Shadows over Innistrad, we can see how the madness of Innistrad has affected its most prominent residents, but how are the average citizens of Innistrad affected by the creep of delirium? How does one town in particular cope with the changes in the world around them?

Throughout Shadows over Innistrad block, the Hanweir Chronicle uses social media as a medium for storytelling. We've learned of recent developments in Hanweir through fictional newspaper articles posted to our social media channels as well as through physical artifacts mailed to Magic fans around the world. These mailed items have encouraged fans to work across language barriers to put the pieces together. The following is a collection of every entry so far in the Hanweir Chronicle.

I'd also like to give a special shout-out to Dan Mumford, who did all of the illustrations for the Hanweir Chronicle.

February 29:

Town of Hanweir Declares Itself Sovereign Province

By Oliver Hayfield

After an evening of intense debate, the Council of Hanweir has decided to secede from Gavony and become a sovereign province of Innistrad. The town hall meeting began with a harsh warning from Elder Mikus, who feared isolation from the rest of Videns Parish if Hanweir were to break with Gavony, but the members of the Council remained steadfast in their ruling.

"As a community we must come together," Head Councilman Reade asserted in his closing statement. "If we are to survive as a safe haven, we must separate ourselves from the dangers inside and outside Thraben with an effective deterrence."

Opposing Councilfolk incited rabble with their own evidence. "The Bishop has asserted we need not worry," cried Councilwoman Larssen. "Our faith has been tested before, and we shall endure the test once more!"

The councilwoman's statement was trumped by a testimony from recent attack-survivor Hettiene Millard. "When they went for the Krallenhorde, I thought I was safe," she recounted through tears, "but my one remaining arm says otherwise. We have all been betrayed."

Millard's town hall theatrics proved the nail in the coffin for the Council majority's cause. The vote was five to four in favor of seceding from Gavony.

A rider has been sent to Thraben to report the hamlet's departure from the province. After further debate, the Council decided to call this new province "Hanweir" to avoid additional confusion.

When approached for comment Councilwoman Larssen refused to speak to the Hanweir Chronicle, instead remaining blank-faced and motionless in her seat. Sources told the Chronicle she stayed in that same state for hours after the town hall meeting ended.

March 2:



Note attached reads "For the smith —Oliver Hayfield"

Decree attached reads "By order of the town of Hanweir, all silver munitions must be moved to the top of the village wall."

March 3:

Clue Token | Art by Noah Bradley

Irregular Activity Continues Outside the Walls of Hanweir

By Oliver Hayfield

The lush farmland and autumnal gloom of the province of Videns have recently become home to much queerness and curiosity. Usually the simple tomfoolery of incorrigible youths or the occasional geist, residents of the province-town of Hanweir are reporting trespassing in remarkable numbers.

The distinctive liths we have all grown to appreciate (both for aesthetic appeal and unquestionable intrigue) have become a meeting place for many of our local residents. When approached for comment, yours truly was met with crude responses and immature hand gestures. It did not seem plausible to investigate further into this matter.

More fortune was found speaking with the owners of said farmland. Farmers reported burning sigils in crops on the far end of town. "I chased three people off my orchards last night. True weirdos, the lot of them," recounted popular pear farmer Hadwin Dodd. "Truth is, I try not to go near them. Seems the folks doing the burning is on their way to Nephalia."

Dodd also noted that he had seen Avacyn pass over his orchard, "Flying more swiftly than any fleet-winged griff." She was reported to be flying quickly towards the direction of Thraben. Dodd added he intends to move inside the township of Hanweir shortly. "I don't want to twist facts to suit theories," he said, "but from what I can make of it, if I want to survive I need to move into town."

The reason for Avacyn's resolute quickness is unknown.

March 7:

Strangely Productive Town Hall Meeting

By Oliver Hayfield

After an eventful meeting last week, the Council reached speedy agreement on several minor town issues.

The Council voted eight in favor to one to replace the town bell. The bell (locally known as "Richard the Ringer") is in need of care after near-constant use. After being repeatedly beaten upon by an angel during last week's raid the Council agreed it would be best to commission a new bell. Councilman Carl Murray, the only councilmember to vote against replacing the bell, did so after no other councilmembers agreed to name the new bell "Carl's Clang-a-ranger."

Upon review of the sheer number of violent angel attacks in the last few months, it was decided the Hanweir Market will be closed until safety can be ensured. Although it seemed to sadden the Council to reach this decision, it was agreed shortly thereafter that there are other, more permanent ways to solidify as a community. "We must act before our village becomes like those others far away—grotesque and full of stark desolation," noted Councilman Reade. "I refuse to let our province-town become a roost for these heinous killers."

Yours truly wishes to note that after the Council had concluded their minutes, a brief discussion was held as to whether to leave the symbol of Avacyn above our church. The Bishop asserted it must stay, citing Avacyn's will as a star our moral compasses must always point towards. Councilwoman Seikes disagreed, marking that it made little sense to continue praising a being that has turned so violently on those she is meant to protect. The bygone Bishop refused to recant his position, and the symbol was decided to remain as a reminder of what once was.

March 8:

A lone vampire was spotted outside the wall last evening. She called to be let inside, but guards warned her to turn around lest she face impalement. The vampire was disheveled and travel-worn—not rabid as others have been, but clearly losing grip on maintaining her composure. She stood still in the cold rain awaiting entrance for quite some time. When she offered to trade her jewelry over the wall out of desperate thirst, it became clear she was not accustomed to the life of more nomadic vampires.

I attempted to interview her from atop the Hanweir wall.

Me: What is your name, villain?

V: My name is not important! Please! I have gold and pearls to trade!

Me: What is your lineage?

V: My lineage doesn't matter anymore.

Me: Why doesn't it matter?

V: It simply doesn't! Please, I am so thirsty...

Me: All residents of Hanweir are locked within our walls.

The vampire, upon hearing this, dissolved into a fit of manic laughter.

V: Locked within the walls! Even here, they are locked within the walls!

The vampire continued to laugh while violently kicking the stone of our walls, swearing incoherently. It became clear that the creature was mad due to starvation. I retreated to my chamber and obtained a rat from under the floorboards to throw to her.

I did so, and our interview continued.

Me: Why have you travelled so far from home if you are unaccustomed to hunting in the wild?

V: How dare you deliberately insult me! I can't eat this, you idiot!

By now the biting rain had become irritating and my patience waned. I needed answers. I sliced a small cut into my finger and dribbled it down the side of the wall. The vampire snapped its jaws and lapped it up quickly. Her glamer became weak, and her vicious hands began trying to climb up the walls. The nearby Militia Captain decided to take action and shot her with an arrow, whence she fell to her death.

Taking into consideration the immediate reprimand I received from the councilmembers, I will no longer conduct interviews with non-human beings.

I am left confused. Where did this vampire come from? Why was she so poorly dressed for the wilds? I am most upset that this was probably my last opportunity to speak with an outsider. Regardless, I must try to rest. These are terrible times.


March 15:

Construction of the Hanweir Wall Finished

By Oliver Hayfield

The Hanweir Chronicle is most proud to share the joyous news of the finalization of the structural improvements to Hanweir's wall! The massive additions were product of much diligent work, and our safety will be ensured by its might and stability. Head Councilman Reade praised its height and barricaded doors, claiming no unimpeded trespasser or uninvited geist will be able to enter our fair province-town. There is much reason to praise both this lovely doorless creation and the brave workers who so diligently constructed it.

A celebration is to be held in the town square at sundown tonight, with performances from local musicians and various acts of revelry.

With the construction completed, the Council wanted to assert that no man or woman may exit the town of Hanweir once inside its walls. All trade with the outside may be conducted via the dumbwaiter on the north end of town. Although the Market may be downsized as an unfortunate side effect of the wall, our community will surely be strengthened and more effectively united against the various evils that plague our new and modern world.

May our wall safely guard us from the blood-drenched tyrant Avacyn and her magnificent betrayals.

March 21:

Turmoil at Town Hall
By Oliver Hayfield

The town hall meeting turned into a brawl this morning, as Councilwoman Blackwell took it upon herself to castigate the rest of the Council for their decision to construct the Hanweir wall.

"We have sealed ourselves in with the devils and demons among us!" Councilwoman Blackwell announced to her peers. "We have no easy access to food, the river, or any sort of trade! You thoughtless idiots have doomed us to an inhumane demise!"

This dissension in the ranks was only met with flat disagreement. The councilwoman proceeded to throw punches at a confused Councilman Reade to her left. Councilman Reade did not attempt to fight, but instead began singing a Gavony lullaby as loudly as he could. Other councilmembers—and soon, all in attendance—joined in. Councilwoman Blackwell stood bloody-knuckled and dumbfounded, grabbing her overcoat and leaving immediately. Still singing, the Council, observant body, and yours truly found ourselves grasping each other, singing our lullaby in sweet comfort.

Councilwoman Blackwell, alarmed with broken concentration, absconded and was reported lowering herself over Hanweir's wall. Left on her front door was this hand-written notice: "Look for me in Nephalia, for I depart you errant fools to serve the righteous and splendid Queen of Vengeance!"

March 24:

I write this entry from atop the Hanweir wall. I find it amusing and self-congratulatory that not only did my village secede from Videns Parish and Gavony, but we felt arrogant enough to name our (one-town) province Hanweir. I reside now in Hanweir, within the province of Hanweir. If we used a currency, would it be called the Hanweir? Are our individual streets to be renamed Hanweir? Am I Hanweir??

I have come to love and fear this wall. Councilwoman Blackwell, in her anger, seems to have been a bearer of overwhelming truths. By enclosing ourselves we have ensured that anything sealed with us behind the walls of Hanweir cannot get out. This truth became far too clear last night with the unfortunate discovery that former popular pear farmer, Hadwin Dodd, was a lycanthrope. He was killed last night in front of his own house after a most disturbing public transformation and moonlight hunt. He died only after slaughtering two children in his lupine state.

Perhaps we, the makers of our cage, deserve this. We have sinned, and our punishment is raining in blood from the sky and tearing transformed flesh behind our doors.

I find myself praying to no one in particular. Avacyn and her vultures will certainly not help me. Instead I whisper desperate prayers to the void of the night—to the cold witch-hour when only the moon can hear me. It feels pointless. I'm not sure if the moon can do me much good.

Perhaps all I can do is turn to those around me.

Perhaps the only solution is to join with the rest of the sinners and wayward souls here in this hapless box we made.

Our salvation is not in the skies or in the hymns or in books. It is closeness with our neighbors, embracing each other and embracing our humanity.

As I write with my pen, the truth becomes manifest.

Coming together is the only option.


March 28:


Grain (barley, spelt, oats)
Candle oil
Coat for 8
Fruit (any)
Vegetables (any)
Milk (any other than goat)


Haunted cloak
Ballista arrows
Books (mundane, secular)
Quill (singular)
Urn (decorative)
Leather goods
Used children's shoes
Preserved pears
Magnifying glass (singular)

April 1:

Rem Karolus,

I write to you from the Hanweir Province (formerly the town of Hanweir). I understand that recently you have been hunting angels, but we found something that might still be of interest to you.

Our captain of the wall recently killed a werewolf within the perimeter of our town and was startled to find that the creature did not transform back to human form when he died. I have included part of the skin and the tip of the arrow that killed him as evidence. Please answer as soon as possible – my town grows in apprehension and concern about the condition of the world beyond our walls.

Thank you,

Oliver Hayfield

April 8:

Decree Passed for Mandatory Communal Meals

By Oliver Hayfield

The Council of the province-town of Hanweir decrees that all meals must be consumed communally. Bishop Dunlap has generously offered to use his church as venue for thrice-daily meal consumption. All food must be supplied by individuals, and all human residents of Hanweir must be present for each meal. Attendance will be recorded by Bishop Dunlap. Those who fail to be present for all meals will be banished to the outside of village walls.

The fortified village of Hanweir has, for the past month, triumphantly banded in response to the evils of our time. Head Councilman Reade praised the Council's decision to move forward with the decree, citing a desire to welcome his constituents to the fold.


Aubrey and Abigail Pietro, born to Catherine and Peter this past waxing crescent

Osten and Timothy Mikus, born to Deborah and Elder this past first quarter.

Karl and Rudy Havisham, born to Edith this past waning gibbous.

Elleanor and Bear Garrensun, born to Gillian last full.

May 18:

This hat does not fit us anymore...

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