From Interstellar Dispatches, Horach 6th, 5001 (Holy Terra Calendar)
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.
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).
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.)