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Town Criers Report
« am: 14.05.2004 | 18:05 »
Aus den tiefen meines Rechners, werde alle reinstellen die ich habe.

TOWN CRIERS GUILD REPORTS

From Interstellar Dispatches, July 7, 5000 (Holy Terra Calendar)

NEWS

Amalthean Arsonist Claims to Cleanse Sin

BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS -- Veridian Spaceport -- Brother Kashir, Amalthean priest and ex-Muster mercenary, admitted helping raze the Square Street Infirmary and Shrine to Saint Amalthea earlier this week. His explanation was couched in dire warnings and shouted prayers. Investigators gleaned from his ranting that he believed the grounds needed purification to "cleanse the sinful stench of the arisen dead." Offering further explanation, he swore that those who had died in the sweaty and overcrowded infirmary rose from the dead to stalk the dirty streets surrounding the busiest spaceport in the Known Worlds.

Strangely enough, although the entire maxicrete building melted under what Godulphus Smid, a Crafter in the Engineer's guild reported "could only have been fusion-generated heat," no evidence of such a fuel has been found. One might be inclined to accept Brother Kashir's wild tale that the building collapsed under the weight of the sins committed inside - if he wasn't currently a resident at the Oubliette tower in the Imperial City. This is supposedly due to overexposure to Black Rain, but sources say he has not stopped screaming since his arrival.
Authorities have found no other person who played a role in this calamity. Archbishop Palamon has called in the Inquisition to ferret out the truth. Residents of Veridian spaceport can look forward to many Avestites wandering about for the next few weeks. Spacefarers will greatly miss the Infirmary, for it served the community as both emergency room and hospice.

Considering the popularity of the shrine, it is amazing that rescuers recovered no bodies in the wreckage. Brother Kashir claims that only the restless dead inhabited the building when he "exorcised the evil." Considering the heavy shower of Black Rain that fell at the time, it is doubtful that many others were near, and no witnesses have stepped forward. We pray that the Church will be able to make some sense out of this whole story. Expect a sermon on the topic in the Holy City this prayer day.


New Vau Threat Revealed

PANDEMONIUM -- The Hub -- Valiant Decados legionnaires have uncovered an ominous Vau war base on the frontiers of human space, according to our secret sources. No one knows how long ago the Vau established their presence on a moon in the Iver system. This was the first encounter with it in the five years since Iver rejoined the brotherhood of human space. Speculation runs rampant as to the purpose of this station and why the Vau concealed its existence.

"Clearly they'd hoped to hoodwink us all," said Sir Gregory Kotzwald, a Hawkwood noble residing on Pandemonium, who managed to avoid Vau (and Inquisitors) on previous trips to Iver. "I mean, did they really think we'd remain ignorant forever? It seems the Vau constantly underestimate human ingenuity!"

Others had different opinions: "We only know of the base because they want us to know," said Count Julian Dmitri Svanfeld of House Decados. "The question isn't 'why they didn't tell us,' but 'why now?'"

The guilds have remained silent as yet, perhaps waiting for further investigation of the base's capabilities. Captain Romano Cosmani of the Charioteers Guild was overheard to remark: "I have no idea what's on it yet. There are Vau there, though. I saw them with my own eyes." Successive attempts to gain more information from Captain Cosmani have been rebuffed by the guild.

One commentator on the situation (who wished to remain anonymous) offered a piercing insight: "Always ask: 'who gains?' I will tell you who: Alexius. He had no claim on the world before, but now that there is the threat of an alien empire, he can turn this into a new Stigmata."

Inquiries to the Imperial Palace have gone unanswered. Likewise, response to this discovery remains a mystery.


Summit Planned to Resolve Moon Ownership

TETHYS -- Coldrock -- A high-powered summit on Tethys may finally resolve the many tensions surrounding Coldrock, a moon orbiting its Zid gas giant. The many claimants to this habitable world agreed to resolve the issue once and for all following a request by the Emperor himself.

As many already know, Coldrock was terraformed during the Second Republic as a retreat for the wealthy corporate baron Johann Colter, and passed into the hands of his direct heirs for many years. Trouble arose in 4321 when two heirs fought for full rights to the moon, each selling portions of it off to the Merchant League and other nobles to fund their efforts. Since that time, a tangle of ownership claims has caused a number of wars on the world, some of them escalating into space conflicts and even assassination attempts on Tethys itself.

With Tethys itself and most of the rest of the system now firmly in the hands of the Imperial Throne, conflict over the last undeclared territory became even fiercer. A season ago, a delegate team representing the Throne attempted to initiate a dialogue with the three major factions: the Scravers Guild, House Justinian and Sanctuary Aeon. They perished in mysterious circumstances in the moon's deepcore mines. The Emperor himself decreed that a final decision must be made, and strongly urged all involved parties to participate in the proposed summit.

Other applicants for ownership includes the Van Gelders, the Dyrimi weaponsmiths guild, Zolo Farn (a mendicant monk who has sworn for many years that angels gifted the world to him, and has a number of followers who support this claim), and two Grimson marines (who claim that they were given estates on the world by the now-deceased Lord Galvasti Solter Justinian). The job of getting all these disparate interests to agree to a single owner falls upon Manager Jami Sud, appointed to represent the Throne and accompanied by an attachment of the Phoenix Guard. Rumors also tell of Imperial Eye involvement. (What rumors don't involve them?)

Fans of Shelby Xan's popular "Coldrock" thriller series will be disappointed to finally see a resolution to the affair. Xan's masterful plots have kept readers guessing as to the outcome for years, although most are unaware that his schemers are entirely fictional (although heavily based, some say, on real aspirants to the world). In anticipation of the summit, bookdealers in the Imperial City already report record sales of "Hard Night on Coldrock," the most recent tale. Traveling magic lantern showings of "Paranoid Planet," an adaptation of the first book in the series, are drawing many from all around the country - although it is still banned from showing in the Holy City.

Look for an interview with the famous Wordsmith soon about his new series, set on yet another distant orb beset by many schemes.


SOCIETY

Dallying with Dahahalima

Well, my dear dumplings, it looks like those wild folk in House Li Halan are at it again. Sir Cantar Decados was overheard moaning that chants at their palace on Veridian this past worship day woke him only shortly after he returned from Duchess Atea Hawkwood's grand ball for Fluffy. Yes, my little luchoochoos, Fluffy just turned two, and is absolutely the most adorable miniature Grackle Fox you ever did see. It's so cute the way she can shred a pageboy in mere seconds. And what a grand ball it was. Could you believe how beautifully Baroness Tiaha al-Malik and Sir Rufena Juandaastas danced to together? Could you believe how angrily Sir Rufena stormed out when the Baroness was found with her hands down a certain Ur-Ukar dancer's codpiece? And that's not the first baroness who's been found fishing around there, either!

Oh, my precious juvels, how could I forget to tell you about Bishop Holana??? Now, you know I'm not one to talk about the Church, but really!!! A velvet and Osala fur great coat over . . . polyester??? And just what was she doing on Madoc, escorted by several high-ranking Muster officers?

Lord Northrop von Allison finally paid Baronet Ustanza Li Halan back for that snub on Kish. I'm not saying that they were dueling, but Baronet Ustanza is sporting the latest in trendy turbans to cover one scar, and is still having problems sitting. Lord Northrop did not escape unscathed, however. Apparently after the altercation, he slipped on some newly spilled red liquid and ended up face first in a rose bush. But the ever-debonair lord quickly regained his composure and offered a rose to the baronet's own sister. Will this heal the rift?

Now for a quick fashion buzz, mon petit chous. Where am I ever going to find another stellar lux stone like the one I found on Pandemonium? Oh, the way it shone. Pooh on those spoil sports who say lux stones amplify psychic powers - I had every psychic aspirant on the planet following me, just hoping for a chance at it. I finally gave it to Count Enis Sharn just to be rid of them . . . and now I hear that Salandra Decados is wearing one just like it. Be ready for lux stones to be all the rage next season!

Did Ozul De Vatha really pay a crack crew to find a new jumproute from Leminkainen? If he did, then he's probably furious right now. I hear an especially cute Li Halan (my, that fun little house is all over this letter) beat them there. Any truth this darling Li Halan is romantically involved with Archbishop Palamon's own nephew? Inquiring minds want to know!

All right, my gorgeous gorditas, I must get ready for the Festival of Flames. Look for me - I will be the one dressed like a burning Sathraist. Maybe I'll convince Sir Rufena to dance with me :-)

Kisses,
Lady Dehahalima


AGORA NOTICES

The Town Crier's Guild takes no responsibility for Notices solicited in its reports. Dissatisfaction with product or services should be addressed to the merchant or manufacturer. If you can read these, then caveat emptor.

-- New for sale: Amazing Undying Flame! This small device ignites and maintains a hearth fire for years without fuel. Its secret, patented technology keeps the flame alight through day and night, and warms its immediate environs, be it a goldmud hut or a bristlereed leanto! Available now at Goldmund's Glowshop, Amber Lane, Port Authority. (Manufacturer and merchant not responsible for fires caused by misuse of product. Undying Flame may be banned in certain regions, due to violation of the Earnest Humility Doctrine; use at own soul-risk.)

-- Do You Suffer From Technosophia? The excessive lust for technology can be overcome without painful means! A new process of mental discipline, developed by Doctor Holcrup, formerly of the Oubliette Guild, can show you how! Kick the habit before the Inquisition does it for you! Datalink "holcrup-pa-3rdbase" or visit the offices on Third Lane, Port Authority - look for the sign of the broken gear, your seal of victory over technology.

-- Envision a Whole New You - with Eternal Eyes, from Gravix Guild. The latest in cybernetic optical replacements not only allows superior vision but a whole new spectrum, from the ultraviolet to the infrared. They look just like the eyes you were born with - no one will know but you and your surgeon. Look into the eyes of your Confessor with confidence, knowing that the "mirrors of your soul" are as good as flesh. Contact Elbus at the Prancing Polecox, Acheon, Criticorum, between 10:00 pm and 3:00 am - come alone; groups will be turned away.

Machen
-> Projekte: PDQ# - FreeFate - PtA Zapped - Fiasko - FateCore - Durance - SRAP (mit Diary)
-> Diaries 212 (nWoD) - Cypher Suns (Fadings Suns/Cypher) - Anderland (Liminal) - Feierabendhonks (DnD 5e)

Ich sitze im Bus der Behinderten und Begabten und ich sitze gern darin.

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Re: Town Criers Report
« Antwort #1 am: 14.05.2004 | 18:06 »
TOWN CRIERS GUILD REPORTS

From Interstellar Dispatches, August 4, 5000 (Holy Terra Calendar)

NEWS

Secret Hawkwood Jumproute Scandalizes Court

BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS - Imperial City - Princess Victoria Hawkwood has conspired to keep secret a jumproute into barbarian space, one leading from Ravenna to a mysterious world known only as "Twilight." Captain Galain Darvin of the Charioteers Guild recently announced the existence of this "night road" at the Imperial Court. Sources report that knowledge of the route and its lost world was kept from the star pilots guild, and that Doge Zale Gailbreath's rage is unparalleled.

The Emperor has released no comment on the matter, strengthening Charioteer claims that Questing Knights have also visited Twilight. Rumors abound that copies of the jumpdata are already available on the black market for high firebird amounts.

The Church is also silent on the matter, perhaps due to rumors that a well-known missionary, Deacon Hestiman Hallmark, was aboard the Hawkwood frigate Captain Darvin piloted to the lost world, implying that the Church was also involved in the conspiracy to hide Twilight. Sources within the Holy City, however, hint that an official Patriarchal condemnation of Twilight's "ideological impurity" is forthcoming.

Comment on the conspiracy from House Decados was swift and condemnatory. "Who is surprised?" asked Baron Glamis de Vale Decados. "The Hawkwoods have whined for years about the Vuldrok, but now they appear to be in bed with them!"

House Hawkwood has yet to release any official comment on the affair, except a remark from Questing Knight Sir Faust Gondolo Hawkwood: "Twilight is not a Vuldrok world. It is a long-lost protectorate of House Hawkwood, as will soon be proven before the eyes of all."

(Read more on Twilight in Lost Worlds.)


Luxury Liner Destroyed by Void Kraken

LEMINKAINEN - Hakkonen -- The luxury liner "Lady Lucinda" is missing and reported destroyed in the Leminkainen system while it prepared for a jump to Ravenna. Sole survivor Count Emilio Andros Decados gave this chilling account:

 "It was horrible. We felt the ship shake, as if struck by something huge. My body servants removed me from my Reverie Tank and into my personal shuttle before I could tell them otherwise. As my shuttle flew away from the Lucinda, I saw it -- dark as night, with a cone-shaped body as big as the Lucinda. It had tentacles as long as a frigate and huge teeth, sharp as a hull rat's. It chewed its way through to the bridge and from there just ripped the entire ship apart! And there was something about it -- it made a sound. Yes, I know this was in space, but I heard it, vibrating through the ship, like the icy howl of Gehennungap! I'll never forget that sound . . ."

As of this report, the remains of the Lucinda have yet to be recovered. While some experts fear that this may be a new class of Symbiot ship, sources close to the Imperial Throne report that Questing Knights have been dispatched into Vuldrok space to search for the ship, supposedly on the belief that it was captured by raiders.

Local nobles question the Decados count's purpose for being in Hawkwood space, noting that his long time rival -- Countessa Marilinda Habrech Hawkwood -- was among those who died on the "Lady Lucinda." 


Progress on New Kordeth Mine Continues Despite Difficulties

KORDETH - Vis -- Progress on the new Merchant League-Allied Clan silver mine on Kordeth continues, despite repeated warnings and attacks from Ukar extremists. The extremists, associated with the outlawed rebel group UFM and traditionalist clans dwelling deep below the planet's surface, caused considerable monetary damage in the attacks, with some loss of life. "Production will begin in the new Praxtra Silver Mine as scheduled, despite minor delays," said Vrontha Suderik, spokesman for the Allied Clans, and Ukar Duke Borduk. The delays, caused by explosions set in strategic deep mine shafts, caused extensive damage to League equipment, and pushed back production for two months.

"It's a problem," said mining foreman Rik Katon, "but the Allied Clans are responding with increased security." Two divisions of specially trained subterranean "dark infantry" entered the lower mines, where the traditionalists have attacked with small, swift raids.

The problems began shortly after miners installed drilling equipment near the mines last year (named "Deep Mama" by the League), with the theft of valuable equipment and harassment of the miners by local Ukari. Local clans claim the area is holy to the spirits who dwell there, but the Allied Clans announced that the property was sold to them by clan elders, all of whom are currently in custody. Initial Allied Clan talks with local clan representatives kept violence at a minimum, and clan leaders were sent to meet with Duke Badoc. They remain today under the duke's protection.

"They are not in prison," said Vrontha Suderik, "but are kept at clan expense in the Clan Guest House in Vis, well provided for." Repeated calls for their release by the Nadakira, the spiritual leader of the traditional Ukari, have gone unanswered. The duke has issued a statement calling for Ukari unity, stressing that the profits from the mine will benefit both the Merchant League and the Ukari people.

Some disagreed, however. "The only monetary benefit will go to the human boot-licking traitors in the Allied Clans," said one local Ukar merchant, who requested anonymity. "The previous duke gave support to homeless refugees, but Badoc is too tight-assed to give even to his extended clan. He and his brother Gorik will split most of it. The duke acts like a human. He gives only lip service to his own clan, except when a war brews. Then he cries for clan unity."

Privately, even members of other Allied Clans agreed. "Every time I purchase something, a small percentage goes to line Badoc's golden toilet seat," said a high-ranking member of Clan Nolent.

Duke Badoc's power, however, is considerable. Despite corruption in his forces, they are thought to be the toughest Ukari soldiers outside of the al-Malik loyalists on Aylon. The mine has become a symbol of the duke's power on Kordeth, and it is thought that he needs to prove to the Merchant League that he can deliver. There are rumors that the League seeks to replace him with the head of another Allied Clan if the latest operation doesn't succeed. Since the explosion two years ago that buried League gold mines, the duke has been under considerable pressure. The alleged hiring of human mercenaries to augment his own troops is a sign of how seriously he considers security.

"These are professional miners," said his exhausted spokesman, closing the talks with a traditional Ukari wave of his left hand. Recent graffiti, found on the mine generators, however, indicates that there may be sympathizers among the Ukari mining teams. Cries of "Death to the human oppressors!" greeted a visiting League delegation.

"Our cause will win," said a deep core spokesman for the traditionalists. "They are already afraid of deep planet mining. Soon, the interior of Kordeth will be ours."

An Allied Clan delegation has reportedly been sent off-world to seek the Leaguemeister's help in the matter.


SOCIETY

Dallying with Dahahalima

Well, my dear dumplings, can you believe what we've been hearing from Criticorum of late? Sir Iffat al-Malik made a business (bleah) deal with Commander Marin of the Charioteers to help her ship a large collection of Sikkeena knife-weasels to pelt farms on Shaprut. Father Ashua of Acheon condemned the deal, claiming serfs were used as bait in rounding up the weasels. Well, somehow the cute little creatures got loose in the Charioteer guild hall. No one higher ranking than a midshipman was lost, but I'm told knife-weasels plague Marin's nightmares (and sometimes still appear in showers looking for water). I'm sure that there is no connection to the knife-weasels who infested an Avestite choral society meeting on Pyre two weeks later.

Icky stories seem to be the theme this month, my darling droshkies. The rains in Veridian never seem to let up. Recent showers sent a mudslide hurtling down Hearpor Hill, revealing quite a collection of bones in Sir Anthony Hawkwood's backyard. At first Sir Anthony claimed they must be animal bones, but after neighbors complained about missing servants, Sir Anthony's family had him shipped off to Leminkainen to battle the Vuldrok. Of course, they had sent him to Veridian to avoid questions about that nasty Shantor incident. Ooh, shivers down my spine.

How about some good news, my tantalizing treats? Lady Ferena Li Halan has been seeing visions of the Prophet on Rampart. While that's about the last place I would expect to see the Prophet (ooh, I didn't write that!), she says he promises miracles for its people. Really, the only miracle I know of is her getting that yummy Brother Nowistika to accompany her on pilgrimage to Grail.

Pilgrimages are all the rage these days, as they should be, my sweet ciastkos (Ah, that's more like my writing. See Sister Scarleta? I can write about nice, religious things). Baron Pirozhanya Decados made the long trip from Severus to Holy Terra of late, and completely enjoyed the trip. He was, greatly saddened by the sudden demise of his aunt, Baroness Dana Decados shortly after he visited her, but pledges to administer her fiefs on Holy Terra just as she would have.

And, my lovely lollipops, I know my whisper pin has been buzzing with news about a certain Questing Knight of the male persuasion seen dallying (ooh, we like the sound of that) with a Kurgan (!) warrior lady on Hira. And the knight is Hazat, too!! Scurrilous rumors, I'm sure ;-)

Oh, speaking of scurrilous rumors, can you believe all the women to whom our dear Emperor has found himself romantically linked? We always hear stories about Theafana al-Malik and Lady Penelope Hawkwood, and of course the truly mad like to whisper about Salandra Decados (snort), but now Millansa vo Harn?? I mean, she's a sweet girl and all, and her parents are very accomplished, but really, an Ur-Obun? Those of you who have whispered about their private meetings should know that she is very accomplished in martial arts, including ones from Terra. Those who know tell me Millansa and the Emperor are merely working through an ancient art form called Tantra (or something like that). I'm sure the Emperor has far too much to do right now to go about bedding anybody. The poor dear works from dawn until well past dusk, and I'm sure the thought of such liaisons never enters his regal brain.

All right, my special scones, I must prepare for Duke Jose Alfonso Louis Eduardo de Aragon's party to welcome Duchess Elena Cindias Victoriana Castenda de Sutek. My, writing a Hazat name is almost as tiring as dancing with one of their knights. If I have to dance the Tarantella one more time . . . Look for me -- I will be the one dressed like a can of bug spray. Maybe I should dance with the duchess. At least she would never do anything tarantula-like.

Kisses,
Lady Dahahalima


Poet's Corner

By Rakai Li Halan

The poet's art in my notable family first flowered with Leonardo, but saw fruition during the Time of the Seven Sages (4100-4233). I present below a poem from this era, often overlooked in recent times by family historians, who prefer the "naturalism" of Constantine Li Halan era's (4700s). Some historians, such as Wu Duc, have tried to deny all influence between the later Orthodox Li Halan court and the earlier, Unreflective Court (pre-Cardano Li Halan). The sampling below stands as a denial to this assertion, for an aesthetic appreciation of nature was found in the poetry of the Unreflective Court, although at times this was a desire to return to the purity of the ancient Urth poets of the Two Kingdom Schools (Chi'an and Nippon).

This poem from Prince Ustirin Li Halan, written in an ancient dialect in the days before the family's conversion to the Reflective Light, has not been presented for 700 years, save for a mistranslation in "Cruel Tears," a Decados anthology published in the early 50th century. In prior periods, this poem, and much of the poetry from its period, was censored, although it possesses enough aesthetic merit to stand on its own. True, my family and the Church take a dim view of the nobles of Most Illustrious Merit from this era. However, recent discoveries pertaining to artistic purity and the conflict between members of the (then) ruling branch over the Faith of Zebulon and the Opaque Realms (witness the musings on "reflections" in the poem) have caused a cautious and gradual reconsideration of the creative arts of this period. This is best exemplified by Ustirin Li Halan and Ku, Master of the Six Peaks, whose enigmatic statements about the transitory nature of existence in his famous "Plum Diaries" are perhaps the most beautiful philosophical musings ever recorded.

The following poem, "Smoke on the Blossom," is thought to center around the prince's slaying of his favorite mistress, Yong Jiau. Yong Jiau is the "blossom" of the poem. She was reportedly beautiful and skilled in the Seven Arts, as recorded in the transmissions of Count Vergei, a Decados ambassador. The prince slew her for a singular act of unfaithfulness, reportedly with a mute servant. Utilizing the spirits from the Opaque Realms, he burned down her family estate while she was within, tutoring her little sister in the art of music. (Reportedly, they were performing "Ada's Sorrow" on the Obun flute.) Remarkably, Ustirin writes about the incident with poetic taste, pulling in his emotional distress and alchemically changing it - "I reign them in..."

Smoke on the Blossom

by Ustirin Zu Jin Li Halan

Mist rises deceptively across the valley
White flecks fall like snow
On the autumn ground
The blood harvest moon in the clear heavens
sees her image on the still pond
Reflection of a reflection of light
No thought, no ripple, no sound
My heart empties from the ache
The vast emptiness of our minds laid bare
Which god am I tonight?
One who cannot bear the thought
Of the blood harvest moon
in the still pond

Seven echoes of darkness
Want to flee me
I reign them in
A Prince's duty

A night moth, wings covered in ash,
Struggles on the ground
Food for spiders

What will be our legacy?
I collect your ashes
Mixed with the soot of the home
the spirits obliterated
All is transitory,
your eyelashes an illusion

We were to be an entwined vine
Clinging eternally

Other eyes beheld you
in your pure state
Such a gift was mine alone
Only the Prince's Vision can behold
Passing beauty, an opening blossom
for the melting desires they are

Your lips
Spoke of our moon
On my pillow
Now they are hot ash
Falling like pollen
From a forgotten Spring

A gentle breeze scatters the ash
Across the uncharted realms of night

The smoke fills the valley
And I move on
A violent wind howls against the pines
Below, in the water
A ripple distorts the moon
Far off
The sound of a temple bell
Chiming alone


AGORA NOTICES

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Don't live with the terror of Symbiots invading your body! Buy Dr. Endomar's and live with the security of a new tomorrow! Available in most markets serviced by the Charioteers Guild.

Warning: Sanctuary Aeon medics claim that Dr. Endomar's pills are not suitable for children or the elderly. Side effects may include labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and a certain amount of heavy bleeding.

Machen
-> Projekte: PDQ# - FreeFate - PtA Zapped - Fiasko - FateCore - Durance - SRAP (mit Diary)
-> Diaries 212 (nWoD) - Cypher Suns (Fadings Suns/Cypher) - Anderland (Liminal) - Feierabendhonks (DnD 5e)

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Re: Town Criers Report
« Antwort #2 am: 14.05.2004 | 18:07 »
Town Criers Report 9/15/00

From Interstellar Dispatches, September 15, 5000 (Holy Terra Calendar)

Download print version (Advisory: It is illegal to possess printed pages of these files in certain regions; consult local Church or noble law.)

NEWS

Santa Flamma Holiday Calendar

BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS -- Holy City -- Archbishop Palamon has announced a schedule of Santa Flamma celebrations throughout the Known Worlds to commemorate the day the Prophet saw the Holy Flame. Church officials on all these planets have coordinated for months with various local guilds to provide a unifying experience for all the Faithful. In addition, special rates for pilgrimage passage to any of these events from other worlds have been arranged through the Charioteers guild and Brother Battle, making it possible for many freemen to afford the journey.

The archbishop has urged that even those who cannot make the pilgrimage should celebrate this sacred day with feasts and exhibitions of joy, adding that any nobles who do not allow their serfs freedom from toil will "toil themselves unceasingly in the cold, lightless mines of Gehenne."

Holy Terra -- Rio Brasilia and Uluru. Two major sites to accommodate the vast crowds. The traditional Patriarchal Lighting of the Eternal Flame will take place just before midnight that evening in Rio Brasilia.

Byzantium Secundus -- The Holy City. 24-hour celebrations take place throughout all circles. Archbishop Palamon will lead the Luminous Choir at St. Maya's Cathedral.

Delphi -Nacado Holy State. "A Pact for Peace" is the theme of Bishop Vereen's annual address to the people. No one is allowed to work in the region on this day, but people are urged to act in charity towards others.

Malignatius -- Icahn. Bishop Erebus Toquil Decados hopes this sacred celebration will unite his fractured parish, and has commissioned a new play to premiere this night, enacted by a number of troupes in various locations across the world.

Aragon -- Castle Furias. One of the most lavish celebrations, Prince Juan Jacobi Nelson Eduardo de Aragon will invite commoners into this legendary castle for the final Ceremony of the Hundred-fold Flame, where a massive crystal everlight is ignited, casting multicolored rays throughout a cavernous ballroom.

Kish -Escoral. The Prophet's Cathedral will host a great ribbon toss, whereby a lucky group chosen from the crowd ascends to the heights and releases a slew of red and orange strips of cloth, representing the descent of the Holy Flame into the hearts of humankind.

Istakhr -Samarkand. The city and market are open to all this day, and a roving band of merrymakers ensures through ducal decree that no merchant charges more than a firebird for his wares. (Locals commented that the amount and diversity of items for sale diminished on this day last year.)

Leagueheim -Kesparate. Upon sunset, every single light in this massive city will be lit in a show of appreciation for the Holy Flame, despite Bishop Bibrox's declaration of this as a "giant act of hubris, an attempt to rival the Flame itself with technology."In addition, no less than five new magic lantern productions of the Prophet's story will premiere this day.



Sinister Silence Shocks Town

BANNOCKBURN -- Lockminster -- The town of Lockminster on Bannockburn was recently plagued by a week-long, mysterious silence. This complete absence of sound, which locals blame on the excavation of an Anunnaki ruin, affected both residents and local wildlife alike. Several Brutes were driven to violent assaults by the unnerving lack of noise and had to be slaughtered by the local constabulary. Several crimes were blamed on the silence as well, including a rape and two brutal assaults. Avestites responding to the crisis came into conflict with local Scraver xeno-archaeologists, but a strong Muster presence prevented any untoward actions from either side.

Boss Hogan, leader of the Scraver team, could not be reached for comment. Father Payne, the Avestite deacon in charge, was vocal in his condemnation: "Once again the guilds have gone too far! Their reckless exposure of ancient mysteries endangers the souls of these townspeople!"

Once sound returned to the region, rumors ran rampant that a single person from the excavation site had spread the silence like a disease. Fearful townspeople assaulted a number of strangers, including an influential householder of the nearby Devane estate, ruled by Gladius Devane Hawkwood.

Father Payne announced an outreach program whereby missionaries would teach the townspeople lessons in tolerance for the innocent and the proper applications of justice. The Scravers have continued their excavations, despite repeated requests from Payne to cease the "ungodly works."


Purgers Strike Enters Second Week

BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS -- Port Authority -- The labor strike of Harmony's Purgers Guild entered into its second week due to the Port Authority's refusal to meet its demands. The guild declared a strike after seven guildsmembers of a sewer work crew were torn apart by what is believed to be an outlaw angerak (pack) of feral Vorox. The Purgers Guild has refused to resume its sewage duties until the Port Authority guarantees its crews greater protection.

As yet, no evidence as to how such proscribed animals arrived on Byzantium Secundus has been found. House Cameton has threatened to interfere in the negotiations if the Purgers do not return to work soon, but a group of Amalthean missionaries has pled the case for the guild to Church officials in the Holy City, describing gruesome work conditions as sufficient conditions for mercy and Church support of the strike. Court insiders hint that the vendetta between Bishop Halforic and Baron Patrick Cameton over the infamous "Muddy Robes" incident from a few months ago may lead to an extension of strike negotiations. Readers may remember the Purgers' role in cleaning up that mess, and the baron's recalcitrance in admitting responsibility.

SOCIETY

Dallying with Dahahalima

Well, my dear dumplings, what if someone held a synod and nobody came? That wasn't the case with Archbishop Helios Atera Loman de Amani's synod on Vera Cruz. Called to discuss the Kurgan question, Vera Cruz turned into a veritable who's who of knights, explorers, inquisitors, and everyone else with an interest in those dirty ol' barbarians -- and that basically means everyone. Duke William Rochfort Hawkwood caused the greatest stir with his call for a crusade against all pagans. Still, I think most people will remember Baroness Alatara Seline al-Malik riding into Duke Marlin Haserta Iliona Bursandra's opening night party on a gorgeous Hiran Chervin, carrying a battleflag she herself had wrested from a Kurgan warrior.

Other memorable moments? How about when Baroness Lucinda Dulcinea made her surprise appearance at the opening ceremonies wearing that beautiful Stigmata minx coat? Or when Captain Bartomo Greiveson of the Charioteers displayed all those fantastic sculptures he said came from Kurgan worlds like Khayyam and Al Fashir? Perhaps the biggest laughs came when Director Tarsimin Gustus of the Reeves read that hilarious letter from the Kurgan ambassador on Byzantium Secundus. You know, the one where he called on us to resolve our disputes peacefully, and to consider the best interests of Hira's natives!

Of course, my angelic antipastos, your pious Dahahalima has not been spending all her time at these religious conclaves. You know I don't have the temperament for the religious life. I leave that to my betters, like Canon Buchanan of Shaprut, whose running commentaries on the sins of the nobility have made for popular reading. I understand that more than a few nobles have contributed heavily to his ministry. They're only doing what's right, my darling delicacies. Shut your ears to anything you hear about them doing this to avoid having their names appear in Buchanan's missives -- or to ensure that their enemies' names are there.

Thankfully, my cuddly cupcakes, your loving Dahahalima doesn't have any enemies -- not like Baronet Livanakov Decados has in Lady Atricia Li Halan. Rumor has it that the foul punch served at Livankov's last Harvest Day celebration came straight from Lady Atricia's cesspool, much to the consternation of the serfs gathered to drink it. Livanakov had to roll out plenty of barrels of beer to make up for that one. Could this rivalry really date back to their childhood days, when they both studied with Countess Jasmine Juandaastas? All I know is that Livanakov's serfs are too drunk to tell (but what else is new?).

Speaking of alcohol, my precious ports, a certain Questing Knight too deep in his cups recently told me of an unnerving encounter he had with a Vau mandarin. It seems that this dashing young Questing Knight had been investigating rumors of a break in at the Vau embassy on Byzantium Secundus when the visitation occurred. The Vau apparently told him a fable about a serpent and a peacock who argued over their merits. The peacock could aspire to heaven but fell low due to its vanity. The serpent found itself tied to the earth, forced to make its way through dirt, but its natural sheen showed an inherent beauty less vain than that of the peacock. Somehow, this was supposed to be a great lesson for humanity. If only the Vau had taught this knight not to spit when he speaks!

All right, my charming cheesecakes, I must make ready for the christening of Baroness Morgein Hawkwood's first child, Dermrod Malkovich Hawkwood. Named for both his grandfather and great-grandfather, we can but hope that he most resembles Morgein's latest husband, Baronet Desoto Hawkwood. After all, before Desoto moved to Ravenna to join his bride, he had a reputation across Gwynneth for open-mindedness, generosity and good will. I always preferred his reputation for throwing a good party, myself. Look for me. I'll be wearing my latest purchase, a set of Delphian wine sapphires said to glow around innocence. At least they'll shine when I kiss the baby.

Kisses,
Lady Dahahalima


AGORA NOTICES

The Town Crier's Guild takes no responsibility for Notices solicited in its reports. Dissatisfaction with product or services should be addressed to the merchant or manufacturer. If you can read these, then caveat emptor.

-- Own A Unique Heretical Relic -- Completely Harmless!

Actual Kurgan religious relics brought from the battlefields of Hira. A variety of odd baubles meant for any number of mischievous purposes, now rendered inert by Church-sponsored cleansings. These include: Fingerbones of Kurgan "saints" (demons), clay idols for inflicting harm on enemies from a distance, curved daggers for drawing sacrificial blood, golden teeth to aid in lying charms, turbans to hide sinful thoughts from theurgic scrutiny, books of strange glyphs, amulets depicting monsters, and more! Visit Sir Seville de Pleroma's Traveling Tricks Display when it lands on your world this season!

-- For sale: Copies of Stan and Stultzy

Episodes LXIV to CXV, mint condition. Must unload quickly. Contact Lamorak Public Relations Board, Arden Starport, Byzantium Secundus.

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Re: Town Criers Report
« Antwort #3 am: 14.05.2004 | 18:10 »
Town Criers Report

From Interstellar Dispatches, October 20, 5000 (Holy Terra Calendar)

Download print version (Advisory: It is illegal to possess printed pages of these files in certain regions; consult local Church or noble law.)


NEWS

Pagans Targeted For Mortos Diablos Roundup

GWYNNETH -- Londynium -- Authorities have declared a massive roundup of pagans -- those self-named "Gee-ar Tins" -- in and around the city of Londynium in the province of Tolth, set to commence on the Mortos Diablos holidays. "Loyal citizens have been plagued by these pagans' witchy ways for years," expounded Earl Robert Rochfort of House Hawkwood, cousin to the ruling Duke William Rochfort. "It's time to root out and abolish their subversive practices."

The earl fervently denied claims from the Church that the witch hunt was targeted not at pagans but at political insurgents resisting oppressive taxes. "The Earl fears what the Day of the Dead will bring," said Bishop Roswell of the Moshala bishopric, "Families will remember the frequent purges and oppressive taxes brought upon them by the duke!"

Certain League commentators claim that the pagans, most of whom purportedly live deep in the Tolthan forests, will remain untouched by the sweeps, since no patrols plan to enter the woods. There was no response from the Earl or his staff.


Church Denies 'Jack Headless' Sightings

BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS -- Port Authority -- The legendary 'Jack Headless' has been roaming the lowlands of Aldaia, according to witnesses and rumormongers. Worthy Philpot Slaum, a local member of the Rumormongers Guild, says that many of his contacts and sources confirm the reports. "He's out there, all right. Hunting for the soul who done somebody wrong." Panicked locals fear to leave their hovels, and commerce in the region has suffered -- except for the increased traffic in luck charms and ward hexes, peddled by a traveling group of Zuranists.

The sightings have been firmly denied by Chartophylax Pulsford of the nearby Great Library of Horace. At a local town meeting, the aging librarian spoke eloquently and soothingly to the concerned public: "Such stories as these that terrified us as children tend to rise within our minds at this time of year, further goaded by merchants seeking to profit from fear and spookery. Instead of giving credence to such myths, lend your prayers to the strength of the Church and let us all work towards cleansing fear from our hearts."

For those few readers who were not put to bed when young with frightening tales of this legend, 'Jack Headless' is an unholy demon summoned with the help of a witch to wreak vengeance on an enemy. Once the claimant is avenged, his soul, as well the victim's, is forfeit to the fiend. Stories of the demon, also known as Guteater, Hickory-Neck, and a dozen other names, have existed for centuries, though there has never been verified evidence of its existence or an official statement from the Church concerning its reality.

(Read more on Jack Headless in The Dark Between the Stars.)


Ill-Omened Comet Seen in Southern Skies

BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS -- Holy City -- Hesychasts of the St. Hombor Monastery in Tarsus have traveled to the Imperial City to report a new stellar object sighted in the southern skies. According to Brother Theodosius, a new comet, seen in conjunction with the Vor-hound constellation and the Sibilant Three star cluster, indicates coming turbulent times for the empire.

So far, the Charioteer's guild has not confirmed this sighting or the existence of any new stellar phenomena in the Byzantium Secundus system.


SOCIETY

Dallying with Dahahalima

Well, my dear dumplings, it's that time of year again. Mortos Diablos. The Day of the Dead. La Veille de la Toussaint. Halloween. Anybody who reads my letters on a regular basis (and that would include anybody who is anybody) knows how much fun I have on this most holy of days. Like all good believers, I start the day with morning mass -- but who could have imagined a mass like the one at Saint Cleese Cathedral on Delphi? Not usually the most noteworthy of churches, this past worship day Bishop Megnasi arrived to conduct mass. A number of prominent Charioteers, Muster and Reeves attend the cathedral, and Megnasi led them all to the cathedral's ancient cemetery for his service. He stressed the deaths brought on by the strife of the Second Republic, and gave communion to the elegantly dressed merchants as they knelt in the grave dirt. It's a good thing they didn't know who had been kneeling in that dirt the night before, or a certain baronet and priestess would have had a great deal of explaining to do.

What Baroness Alala Serena al-Malik would have given for the presence of a stalwart cleric like Bishop Megnasi last month. Her daughter, Dame Terzena Talasid al-Malik, came home from her travels around the Known Worlds determined to uncover the mysteries of the family's palace on Aylon. Accompanied by Sir Emanuel Decados, Lady Hannah Justinian, and their entourage, she set to work tracking down all the ancient legends of the hauntings that had long afflicted the manor. According to my sources, after a month of fruitless searching, the investigation had turned into an extended vacation, with other nobles coming to visit. Then, almost exactly one month ago, horror filled the house. First, personal keepsakes went missing. Next, their servants began reporting odd sightings around the estates -- sightings of people who were not there. Finally, the nobles themselves came under attack in a whirlwind of energy that left Dame Terzena dangling upside down in a willow tree. The attack left the house in a dreadful state, though of course now all of the Baroness' friends want to visit! I just think they want to see poor Terzena upside down in her nightgown again.

This all helps us realize that the life of a noble is not an easy one, my precocious pirogies. Why, just last week poor Marquise Kiwhan Li Halan had to give up her plans for a new swimming pool when workers discovered a lost Xanthippe burial crypt on her property. Despite the fact that the Marquise accidentally ordered the workers to destroy the bones, several Xanthippe nobles showed up that night, insisting that the discovery proved the land was theirs. They're still arguing over who owns what, but at least this way humanity is spared the sight of Marquis Kiwhan in his too-tight swimsuit.

Speaking of sights one should be spared, my somnolent somosas, who made it to David Redstone's performance on Severus? The Masque impresario made another fabulous performance at Prince Hyram's court, astounding us all with his feats of prestidigitation and illusion. Baron Duronamous Sebastian, however, challenged the magician to duplicate any of his tricks off the stage and away from his props. After much arguing, Redstone finally agreed when the Prince himself promised him a ruby ring once worn by the fabled sorcerer Nicolai Houdini. Redstone lead the nobles deep into the palace and had one of his assistants (those famous and gorgeous identical triplets) stand in front of a door. With a whirl of his cape and a tap of his wand, Redstone's assistant disappeared, leaving behind only an open door -- and the shocked (and naked) forms of Baroness Sebastian and the assistant (or one of his two brothers). Once Prince Hyram recovered from his laughing fit, he gladly gave Redstone the ring, as well as run of the castle for the night. You never saw so many nobles disappear as then.

Well, Baroness Sebastian and a magician's assistant aren't the only couples causing raised eyebrows this month (or acting like a magician's rabbits), my ravishing raviolis. Could it be that Elondra Solace, one of Dean Solace's own nieces, has been seen constantly with Sheb Mokria, that yummy Amalthean miracle worker on Byzantium Secundus. I hear that Dean Solace has sent one of her most trusted lieutenants, Black Gut Karlson, to reign in her errant relative. Let's hope Deacon Mokria doesn't end up on Stigmata as a result of this.

All right, my quaint quail eggs, it's time I began preparing my own Mortos Diablos costume. Oh, the parties, the dances, the toasts ... and the scandals that always come out of this day. Why, I could write for a year all that happens on this day. Well, I'll start with mass at Saint Maya's cathedral. I do hope that I think of a good costume this year. I really don't want to go as a bloody mess again.

Kisses,
Lady Dahahalima


AGORA NOTICES

The Town Crier's Guild takes no responsibility for Notices solicited in its reports. Dissatisfaction with product or services should be addressed to the merchant or manufacturer. If you can read these, then caveat emptor.


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Re: Town Criers Report
« Antwort #4 am: 14.05.2004 | 18:11 »
Town Criers Report

From Interstellar Dispatches, December 8, 5000 (Holy Terra Calendar)

Download print version (Advisory: It is illegal to possess printed pages of these files in certain regions; consult local Church or noble law.)


SPECIAL HOLIDAY ADDRESS

With Light Shall You Be Free

A Lux Splendor Address from Emperor Alexius, Lord of the Phoenix Throne, Heir and Sword of Vladimir, Vassal of Zebulon, Seer of the Realm, Light Against the Dark, Steward of Human Destiny and Mentor to All Sentients

Greetings Citizens,

I address to you a message of goodwill and fortune in this most auspicious time, as we await the 2151st anniversary of Lux Splendor, the Radiance of Light, the miraculous transmutation and cleansing of the jumpweb by the Prophet's soul after his untimely death. In but a matter of weeks, we will all don our dark shrouds or black bands and mourn for Zebulon as we do every Dies Lamentum. I urge you to remember his death in the spirit of his teachings, which were ever messages of love and good health, and act as he would have you, walking ever in the Light, in the glare of which no sin can long hide.

Although we mourn his death, we have cause for joy thereafter, for his legacy was Light, spread through all the universe, reflecting from star to star and soul to soul, traveling even through the mysterious spaces between jumps, illuminating the dark reaches and delivering grace unto the open hearts of all sentients.

And so we celebrate Lux Splendor as a time of joy, throwing off our shrouds and lighting all manner of lamp and flame, banishing shadows from our homes as the Prophet banished evil from the roads between the stars.

In this year as in perhaps no other before we have deep cause to celebrate, for new worlds have been found and lost kin rediscovered. Although these worlds orbit far away beyond many gates, still they are known once more. As we exchange gifts this year to represent the reflection of light from one to another, the Prophet's Word spreads outward to lost habitats through the works of the Questing Knights. Thus is the Empyrean Flame ignited in places long cold and hungry for heat.

Patriarch Hezekiah has requested through his Patriarchal address on Holy Terra that, on this coming holiday, the Faithful should bend their prayers toward these lost souls, and so bring them spiritual radiance if not light that eyes can see.

I give now a gift this year, and it is this: By Imperial Decree, any slave who delivers light to an Imperial embassy on Lux Splendor - be it a candle flame or a mighty everlight - shall be freed. His servitude price shall be paid by the Phoenix Throne, and he shall be a freeman from that day hence.

Let any who doubt this, ponder the words of Saint Maya as she heard of the Prophet's death: "Woe! Woe to the worlds of Man forever unto the final cinder of light from the last star, for slavery shall be their fate hence forth. Enslaved to false passions and ignorance, but for those who carry a lamp in their hearts, and bear it unto the kings of men, no matter the lashes they receive from the blind. They alone shall be free." (Omega Gospels, Lamentations 2:17)

So go you forth, shining vassals of the Phoenix Fiefdom, and carry lamps into the dark.


NEWS

Muster Troops Ready For Freedom Run

BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS - Port Authority -In response to Emperor Alexius's declaration of freedom for slaves who can bring lamps to Imperial embassies on Lux Splendor day, a representative of the Muster guild announced today that his guild will be "ready and eager" to "defend the interests of our clientele." Director Sabot Karlson made these remarks and others before a gathered crowd of nobles and merchants who had come to hear the Emperor's address, broadcast by holovid in various local pubs. He further declared that the guild would be out in force on the holiday to "keep our clients' property in their places come Lux Splendor, and not out and about on the streets where they pose a threat to good, honest folk."

His comments were cheered by some, but jeered by others. Within the hour, Town Criers representatives were approached by Muster Captain Jake Wilkenson who rebutted Karlson's assertions. "I applaud the Emperor's gift," the veteran soldier said. "My unit will also be out in force, ensuring that no one is denied the opportunity to partake of it. If ol' Black Gut doesn't like it, he can take it up with me." When asked to further describe this apparent split in Muster policy, Wilkenson passionately declared: "Slaver scum like Karlson have been a bane on our reputation for centuries. Honest, honorable soldiers risk their lives daily for our clients, only to be spat upon by common folk and lectured at by priests. It's time to show everyone what we're really about: Protection, not slavery."

Director Karlson could not be reached for rebuttal.

The Church, in response to numerous requests for comment on the Emperor's address, responded with a simple statement from Archbishop Palamon: "The Known Worlds shall surely benefit knowing that the Emperor celebrates this most sacred and holy holiday in like manner to all the Faithful throughout the stars. His magnanimous gift will surely prove a true test of faith for him and others."

As yet, no noble houses have released statements.


Church to Reveal Holy Relic

HOLY TERRA - Rio Brasilia - The Holy See of Urth recently announced that it plans to unveil a holy relic of Saint Lextius at an upcoming Archbishopric Council. The news, coming at the time when all celebrate the sanctification of the jumproads, has ignited the imagination of the Known Worlds.

Rumors about the nature of this relic have been rampant, since details from the Church have been scant. Some claim it is a sword, others say it is Lextius's armor. The most hopeful speculate that it may be the lost jumpkey to Lextius's homeworld of Dogen. If this is so, it could usher in a whole new era of fervor among the faithful, for Lextius's return has long been prophesied to bring a new age of peace and just rule, the fabled theocracy long dreamed of by the Church.

The Town Criers will continue to report on this story as more is heard.


SOCIETY

Dallying with Dahahalima

A lovely Lux Splendor to you, my dear dumplings. I do so adore this time of the year, because this is when wonderful little people give your wonderful little Dahahalima wonderful little gifts. Why, I just opened a little package to find a not-so-little opulent opal brooch from a secret admirer. I love secret admirers! The suspense! The mystery! The presents for which I never have to reciprocate! I keep secret admirers far better than I keep secrets.

Well, my quiescent curries, let's hope that the Saint Maya's Cathedral Chorus manages to keep its own shining jewel. Those angelic singers have just been worried sick that their renowned tenor, Santradro Elohem of the Chorali may leave for Prince Hyram Decados' famed choir on Severus. Santradro's current accompanists believe he has been unhappy since the Avestites forced Saint Maya's previous choral director to step down. That followed a most intriguing performance last year that included several Obun works. Prince Hyram has been making overtures to Santradro for the past year, and some say he has uncovered a long-lost Chorali work for his choir to perform. The Decados Lux Splendor festivities have always been especially majestic affairs. With Santradro added to the performance, this may well be one for the ages.

Not all gifts work as well as Santradro's musical ones. A lady at Baroness' Nudara al-Malik court told me that Bishop Dasi Cositor gave the baroness a fine Aylon water sapphire ring, only to have it turn out to be one that once belonged to the baroness' mother! Thieves had absconded with it years ago, and the bishop was hard-pressed to explain how it came into his possession. He attributed it to a donation from an anonymous benefactor, but my informant tells me that the court wants to know what other stolen objects he might have - especially if one of these objects might be a family think machine with the location of a lost space station!
 
Of course, some gifts are always expected, my savory sobremesas. The Charioteers spent the past week giving such thoughtful trinkets to the many helpful people in their lives - especially the trustworthy customs officers throughout the Known Worlds. I hear that Dean Dustin Gailbreath even gave a shirt of rarest Ungavoroxian thorns to Archbishop Dolmen of Pyre, and the gift was much appreciated.

And other surprises just leave us nervous, my grinning grits. For instance, I don't believe that I've heard of as many Vau sightings in my entire life than I've heard this past month. Why, Lady Tekina Li Halan claims they gave her a truly curious mantle that she has been wearing everywhere I've been recently. Just in case any Vau are reading this, I would look much better in such a mantle than Lady Tekina. Just teasing, dear.

Well, who would have thought that our dear Emperor Alexius' holiday greeting would throw so much into an uproar. I hear that more than a few members of House Hawkwood were put out, especially those on Leminkainen who have been making Vuldrok prisoners work their fiefs. Of course, many of these Vuldrok would never set foot in an Imperial embassy, so these slaves are likely safe.

Well, we can all be grateful that Zebulon's sacrifice made the jumproutes safe for the Vau, the Vuldrok and us. We all now share in his grace, and hope that the Pancreator will bring us to a new year of peace and contentment. Look for me at Duchess Salandra Decados' annual New Year's gala. I'll be one of the many beyond content - far beyond.

Kisses,
Lady Dahahalima


AGORA

The Town Crier's Guild takes no responsibility for Notices solicited in its reports. Dissatisfaction with product or services should be addressed to the merchant or manufacturer. If you can read these, then caveat emptor.

€ Inflammable Flame - The Perfect Gift! This tiny holovid protector is shaped like a candle and projects an image of a flame so real you'll want to warm your hands by it! Unlike a real candle, this one burns for weeks (fusion cell sold separately) and will not ignite curtains, tunics or manuscripts. Available from most Charioteer merchants for this Lux Splendor.

€ A Ticket Home - It's a sad fact of modern interstellar life that people travel to other worlds and become down on their luck, and soon can't afford the trip home. These unfortunate wayfarers, far from friends, family and anyone who knows them, often become beggars or drunks, hanging out on street corners and poisoning polite discourse instead of seeking honest labor. Now you can give them the perfect holiday gift - a ticket home. For a special low price, passage contracts can now be purchased on Dargo's Wagon to the Stars, a freighter specially fitted to handle human cargo. It's coming to most worlds this holiday season, and bound for homes all over. Just contact your local Musters guild office and ask for Dargo's Discount. Tell them who you want to send home and they'll do the awkward work of informing the lucky soul about his gift and anonymous benefactor, and ensure that he gets a place on the wagon when it comes. They will also light a special candle for that person and place it in the guildhall window with others, to show how many far travelers they've returned home this season. Don't miss this chance to give others a return ticket home.

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Re: Town Criers Report
« Antwort #5 am: 14.05.2004 | 18:12 »
From Interstellar Dispatches, February 6th, 5001 (Holy Terra Calendar)

Download print version (Advisory: It is illegal to possess printed pages of these files in certain regions; consult local Church or noble law.)


NEWS

Town Crier Service Disrupted by Malicious Terrorists

BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS -- Port Authority -- Town Criers Guild interstellar services were disrupted through a misinformation campaign waged by mysterious individuals identified only as Mercurians. Mysterious agents of this terrorist cell impersonated guild couriers, delivering false reports to certain localities throughout the Known Worlds designed to humiliate respected officials. Rather than risk the interstellar dissemination of the Mercurians' twisted lies, Town Criers guild offices chose to temporarily shut down service until its ranks could be purged of false agents.

Rest assured, reader, that the pernicious plot has now been halted, and your trusted guild is once more in control of news coverage. Dean Predator Fitzthomas, head of the guild's interstellar operations, announced that the "reprobates have been chased off. If they show their ugly faces again, they'll be shot."

The Towns Criers Guild offers its sincere apologies for any personage harmed by accidental news leaks that occurred before the plot was uncovered. Correction notices have been placed in affected localities.


Church Relic a Hoax?

LEAGUEHEIM -- Kesparate -- Scravers Guild experts have offered evidence that the so-called holy relic announced recently by the Holy See of Urth is a hoax. Following this claim, the Church responded by releasing certain details of the highly guarded relic. It revealed that it is The Martyr's Sword, the starship that Saint Lextius once captained before leaving for the planet Dogen, whose jumpgate he then barred from the Known Worlds to protect it from corruption.

The badly damaged hull of the starship was recently uncovered on an undisclosed moon. The Church hopes the ship's think machines can provide clues to legendary Dogen's jumpcodes.

Recent examinations by the Scravers, however, hint that the ship is newer than originally thought, believed now to date to the Second Republic, later than Lextius' era. If true, then the ship is perhaps a replica and not the genuine holy ship. In this case, its value is less spiritual and more technological.

"We have scarcely had enough time to examine all the evidence presented," stated Archbishop Simeon of Leagueheim. "I find it irresponsible that the guild should make such allegations at this time when they themselves admit that dating techniques are inexact. The guilds should have more faith in the exhaustive research the Church brings to this project."

"Jumpkeys are the province of the Charioteers," said Charioteer Captain Julianne Farthing in response. "The Church must surely recognize old jumpcodes are highly prone to data drift, especially if not handled properly. Only experts should be allowed to access whatever data is on board that ship."

The Holy See of Urth has been surprisingly quiet on the matter, leaving the less-involved Archbishop Simeon to comment for it. It has not halted its investigation even though the League has formally protested its infringement on guild matters to the Emperor.


Incarnate Murder Plot Uncovered

RAMPART -- Avaneir -- A plot by Incarnate heretics to kill Archbishop Su Tung Li Halan was recently uncovered and halted by Yuan Men investigators. House Li Halan's intelligence service arrested all members of the conspiratorial cell, who claim to be members of a revolutionary group called the Sons of Iver, which seeks the religious freedom of Iver from Orthodoxy. The Church has interdicted the world for its people's heresy of Incarnatism. The Li Halan sentenced the conspirators, all natives of Pandemonium, to undergo spiritual correction before being executed. 

Monks of the Brother Battle order have petitioned Archbishop Marcion Li Halan, Metropolitan for the Li Halan worlds, to allow them to purge Pandemonium of the heresy before it takes further root and threatens more priests. So far, the Holy See has not responded.


SOCIETY

Dallying with Dahahalima

Oh, my dear dumplings, can you believe the vicious gossip those nasty little Mercurians spread under my name? Implying that priests and nobles were violating their marriage and celibacy vows, having wanton sex in courts across the Known Worlds! The idea! You know that your Auntie Dahahalima would never say such things. But speaking of courts across the Known Worlds, can you believe what Sir Juan Kerressa de Castile is being accused of? Such indiscretions -- and on at least five different worlds! I certainly wasn't there when he met Priestess Sondra Nightman of the Avestites six months ago, but I understand that she will be in seclusion for another three months.

Well, it's winter here on Byzantium Secundus, my pretty pepperonis. This is the time when the city comes alive with that most wonderful of colors -- gray. Yes, for a change your loving Dahahalima is being facetious. As you know, I live for colors. The brighter the rainbow, the more mesmerized I become. However, I must admit that I was not one of those caught up in the frenzy when Captain Garantie of the Charioteers guild arrived with his shipment of Star-Petal clothing. Even without your devoted Dahahalima involved, the excitement was a site to see. Nobles from across the planet had heard what a commotion these caused on Criticorum, and they turned out in droves when Garantie opened his stall at the Port Authority.

Oh, my tangy tangerines, his gowns and suits were wonders to behold. Made of specially grown flowers from Istakhr and the recently no-longer Lost World of Sargasso, these gorgeous garments shone like the grandest gardenias yet felt as soft as silk to the skin. What made them most desirable, however, was that the flowers still took in moisture. They could absorb a person's sweat before the stink had time to form. Instead of reeking like a brute farm, a wearer could smell like the Emperor's own gardens. And on a world as humid as Byzantium Secundus, that really means something. Well, that meant something until one week after Garantie left the planet. Then the reports began coming in. Rashes, lesions, external bleeding -- no, it wasn't an outbreak of stigmata. It's just that the flowers burrow into their wearers' flesh, trying to establish roots, if left on too long. A few people don't change their garb often enough. Well, after the Avestites tried to burn Bishop Archedes as a Symbiot, the Emperor ordered all the clothing burned. And I thought that he had a greater appreciation for fashion than that.

Speaking of fashion, my intrepid injera, all the better people of Artemis (what few there are) have taken to kettle fox hunting as the sport of the season. A number of Amaltheans immediately objected, claiming that the kettle fox was rare and that the sport was inhumane. And just because the best way to get a kettle fox out of its rocky burrow is with slender shockers! Well, these Amaltheans began showing up at kettle fox hunts, silently protesting the sport. When that had no effect, they began doing their best to disrupt the hunts and free the kettle foxes. The worst moment must have been when they filled an empty kettle fox burrow with water, so that when Dame Terena Burke Hakwood put her shocker in, it exploded. If that was not bad enough, Dame Terena's hair sculptor said it took ten sessions before he could repair the damage to her wig.

But we all love the thrill of the hunt, don't we, my cherished chickpeas? Of course, I do most of my hunting in our best bazaars and agoras, but even I sometimes miss the best goodies. Only two weeks ago, Director Mazburton Seminyel of the Reeves found a gorgeous holovid by that most blessed of artists, Herald Morb. We've all gazed with wonder at Morb's wonderful religious holovids of cathedral's throughout Decados space, but this one apparently came from Morb's earliest period -- before the Inquisition helped him find the Pancreator's light. I won't say much about this holovid, but if that many people could really contort themselves into that many positions, Sanctuary Aeon would be fixing backs from now until the Final Radiance!

Now I must bid all my cherished charpuddings good day. I've been invited to Jonin Jofor Brill's birthday party. While we won't be twisting ourselves into those lovely nude shapes of a Morb holovid, people will be twisting themselves into pretzels to give this Scraver the best birthday present. No one wants to be on his bad side -- because his bad side has five of the biggest kneebreakers standing by it (I'm kidding Jofor -- we all know that they are just there for our protection).

Kisses,
Lady Dahahalima


AGORA

The Town Crier's Guild takes no responsibility for Notices solicited in its reports. Dissatisfaction with product or services should be addressed to the merchant or manufacturer. If you can read these, then caveat emptor.

¥ Rare Wushang Swords

We have recently uncovered a cache of swords forged by the legendary swordsmith, Wushang I-ming, expert swordmaker to House Li Halan. Fine rapiers and katanas are among the weapons in the cache, in addition to knives and talismans. These rare and valuable swords are sure to instill envy at court and on the dueling fields. Remember, it was Wushang who forged the famed Jade Heaven Fist, wielded by Baron Chou Si Liu Li Halan in the Emperor Wars. Perhaps these other blades host powers of their own?

Contact Shu Family Weaponsellers, Escoral, Kish. We sell only to customers refined in noble arts; proof of heritage required. These items are one of a kind and can no longer be manufactured; please do not insult our salespeople with requests to haggle.

¥ Discipline for Sale

Having trouble with serfs? Is disrespect or sloth a part of your household? Now you can return order to your house by outfitting the noisome wretches with the Pantheon Largo Strangleweed Collar. In the past, such restraint devices were made from loathsome technologies. However, natural underwater plants recently discovered on Madoc now allow for a revolutionary new way to quell dissent.

The secret to the Pantheon Collar is the Largo Strangleweed, a rubbery, resilient plant that naturally entwines itself around a stationery object (in this case a recalcitrant neck), adhering its sticky fronds together, forming a lasting bond. When exposed to the chemical scent of the sei-me flower, the collar constricts, while exposure to the dwel-ma flower causes it to relax and release its prisoner.

The benefits of such negative therapy are immediately apparent. Under the threat of slow suffocation, the disrespectful learn respect and the slothful gain energy. Never again will you have to worry about the hardships of rebellion. Order a case today and you'll have an investment that lasts generations! Each kit includes special growth liquid and genuine Madoc brine.

(Disclaimer: Largo Strangleweed is to be grown in authorized Pantheon vats only. The introduction of Strangleweed into other waters may prove disastrous for local ecosystems and peasantry.)


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Re: Town Criers Report
« Antwort #6 am: 14.05.2004 | 18:14 »
From Interstellar Dispatches, May 11, 5001 (Holy Terra Calendar)

Download print version. (Advisory: It is illegal to possess printed pages of these files in certain regions; consult local Church or noble law.)

NEWS

Unknown Plague Threatens Istakhr

ISTAKHR - Najran -- Lady Shiao Li Halan, companion to Amir al-Malik, ruler of Najran, recently issued an urgent call for interstellar medical aid. Amir himself was unavailable for comment, stirring concern that he has been stricken with the plague that currently inflicts his province.

Sources report that a virulent plague called the "Fools Cap" has broken out all over the province. Symptoms include a yellowish cast to the skin and a ring of pustulent lesions that crown the brow. Other symptoms include high fever, malaise and occasional seizures. Although the survival rate is high, victims suffer severe brain and liver damage, in addition to excesses of bile and other humours. Standard cures for fever and seizures are ineffective and may even prolong the illness.

The disease was originally feared to be of Symbiot origin, sparking the panicked evacuations of many fiefs. To quell fears, the Apothecaries Guild hurriedly issued a joint statement with the Supreme Order of Engineers stating that the strain was "artificially manufactured, within an 93% degree of certainty." It is unknown as to who created the disease or why, although evidence points toward an unearthed Second Republic biotoxin or a deliberately engineered weapon intended for use against Symbiots. Supporters of the latter theory suggest that the plague's virulence and formidable resistance to known medications is a key to overcoming Symbiot biology.

The political ramifications of this plague have been dramatic. A quarantine has been enforced by the Charioteers and military intervention is being considered to protect the profitable Samarkand market from infection. There also seems to be a loss of faith in the province, despite the frequent sermons of the local Orthodox clergy, as practitioners witness their afflicted loved ones being reduced to mere shells of their former selves.

At this time, any and all potential cures for this plague are being sought. Amaltheans from Artemis and Engineers from Leagueheim are expected to arrive any day now, with the hope that there will soon be an end to this crisis.


Strange Flashes Reported in Ghost City

ICON - Nueventina -- Monks of the Chou-Lu sect of hesychasts at the Stability Mountain monastery on the western shores of the Icon Sea recently reported increased supernatural activity in the region of the Twerrid Mountains. Immense spectral lights have lit up the sky for miles and unearthly screams have occasionally been heard as well. These phenomena are believed to be associated with a local myth: Ustirin the Unspeakable's Ghost City, a forbidden region formed centuries ago by antinomist deeds. According to legend, the city contains "dark doors" that lead to places linked to the Dark.

After the disappearance of several monks who attempted to investigate these phenomena, the abbot of Chou-Lu officially petitioned for aid from the court of Countess Melissa Shu Miao. Sources within the court say that the countess disbelieves the legends, attributing them to peasant nightmares, and assumes the trouble to be technological in nature. She has thus refused to officially involve the Church, and plans to send her own investigators. Anonymous sources claim, however, that she is seeking exorcists and other occult experts to join the investigation.


Human Vorox Cult Uncovered on Manitou

MANITOU - Shazan -- A band of Questing Knights recently discovered a bizarre cult of humans worshipping pagan Vorox spirits in the jungle regions of Manitou. According to the testimony of Sir Reginald Vladimus Hawkwood, this odd mix of freemen and excommunicated priests believe that the Vorox's homeworld of Ungavorax was created by dark entities known as the "Unbound Exiles." They hatched a plot to summon these entities with human sacrifices, using Vorox as the means by which to enact their dark rites.

Towards this end, the cult illegally smuggled feral Vorox from Malignatius and intentionally starved them in deep pits. They would then throw their captured sacrifices - usually serfs from nearby fiefs - into the pits, chanting as the hunger-mad Vorox tore the hapless victims to pieces and devoured their flesh. The priests claimed to be able to augur prophecy from the manner in which the Vorox wounded its prey.

Bazadadan, a Vorox cohort to the Questing Knight band that made the discovery, announced his disgust at the practice: "Vorox have never worshipped evil, and we have no legends about these so-called Unbound Exiles. It is a human fiction. What's more, even feral Vorox have more honor than to kill innocent life. Most of the cult's captives chose to starve to death rather than kill for these twisted humans."

A local Eskatonic priest, Philosophus Dwelman, claims that if one examines Manitou's strange bevy of cults deeply enough, one finds elements of Vau beliefs. "This cult's concept of the Unbound Exiles has no precedent in known Vorox culture. However, there is something similar spoken of in the 'Annals of Yestermorrows,' a local work compiled by renegade Vau - considered to be thought criminals in Vau  culture. In it, they claim much of Vau history was influenced by a desperate need to withstand the manipulations of beings called the Ungoverned, who seem to be different from the Anunnaki yet somehow related."

The Church, which has little sway on Manitou, nonetheless has announced that it will send Inquisitors to wipe out all remnants of the cult.


SOCIETY

Dallying with Dahahalima

Well, my dear dumplings, the great Santradro Elohem did indeed perform with Prince Hyram Decados' wonderful choir for Lux Splendor, and the event was everything for which we could possibly have hoped. Music lovers from across the Known Worlds arrived on Severus for the concert, and I don't believe that I have ever seen Hy's court so resplendent. Walking into the concert hall before Santradro performed El Shaddai Shekinah, the highlight of the holidays, was like walking into a beautiful jeweled cavern. Brilliance flashed everywhere, and the dignitaries in attendance included everyone from Lady Penelope Hawkwood to Duchess Elena Cinidias Victoriana Castenda de Sutek to Crafter Philius Mordela to Theafana al-Malik. Really, the only person missing from this wonderful event was Salandra Decados, but I understand she was busy on Pandemonium over the holidays.

Oh, did I say, "music lovers from across the Known Worlds," my tasty tostadas. Kurgan ambassador Ali ben Havizz attended the concert as a guest of Duchess Elena, only to have Elohem's singing entrance him even more than does the duchess. He immediately offered the great singer a chance to sing before the Caliph, an offer Elohem immediately accepted. While Prince Hyram offered him immense sums to stay, our favorite choralist ordered his entourage to begin packing his bags at once. Cardinal Gwen Dei, that most beloved of Amaltheans, called this an excellent chance to bring light and peace to the Caliphate -- but she was more than a bit in her cups at the time.

Oh, my beautiful baklavas, I know that Countess Tianta Oosla Li Halan wishes that she had more cups at her last party. The gala affair on Icon, held to commemorate her house's conversion to the Universal Church, featured some of the best entertainers in Li Halan space. They gave dramatic readings from the Omega Gospels, sang wonderful hymns and chants, and engaged in fantastic acts of derring-do. Fiery Phlogiston was one of the highlights of the night, spitting out balls of fire as large as the countess' own air yachts. His performance became even more interesting when Mother Aryana of the Avestites realized that the entertainer used no fuel for his act. Mother Aryana is a formidable woman even without her flamer, and her battle with Phlogiston (later determined to be one of the Changed -- brrrr!) left Countess Tianta's ballroom in ashes, and most of the guests with minor (and major) burns. Baroness Ginger Xanthippe lost her clothes in the blaze, as did the servant who said he rushed into the guest bedroom to save her.

Everyone has heard about the collapse of St. Defranco Cathedral on Gwynneth last month, haven't they, my simmering soufflés? Who could have missed the holovid that has been passed around of Cardinal Altus Reahkus looking up in disbelief as the roof and rain fell all about him? Well, at first people blamed the cardinal, since he designed the cathedral himself as the crowning achievement of his life as priest and architect. However, the good cardinal left the actual construction up to his underlings, including Canon Barcaphlax. A Church investigation (carried out by the cardinal's good friend, Father Devon of the Synecullum) found that assistants decided the job could be done for less than the cardinal had allotted. They brought in workers from nearby Bannockburn. You know the type of worker -- the ones who have no choice in where they go, and get resold when the job is done. Well, the cardinal has long led opposition to certain Muster activities, so this caused even greater consternation than it normally would have. Barcaphlax has disappeared, and the Muster denies ever having dealt with him, so the situation grows more and more interesting.

Speaking of interesting events, my charming croissants, did you see who attended the funeral for Chief Marharkura, a former member of the Li Halan Vorox Commandos, and the only Vorox initiated into the Reeves during the Emperor Wars? Humans from across the Known Worlds attended his last rites, including Li Halan nobles, several Brother Battle monks who he fought beside, leading Reeves (including Darrell Barrows), and even some of the nobles and guildmembers against whom Marharkura had handled debt collections. Most praised the giant Vorox, but at least one Charioteer at the funeral said he came to make sure Marharkura was really dead, and that his constant nightmares of a furred whirlwind might finally stop.

Well, my patient pitas, I have to begin a whirlwind of my own. Criticorum is just entering its most intense party period, and I have at least eleven events to attend tonight -- and at least one affair. But, that is my own affair. So maybe I'll tell you about it next time.
 
Kisses,
Lady Dahahalima


AGORA

The Town Crier's Guild takes no responsibility for Notices solicited in its reports. Dissatisfaction with product or services should be addressed to the merchant or manufacturer. If you can read these, then caveat emptor.

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Ich sitze im Bus der Behinderten und Begabten und ich sitze gern darin.