Town Criers 07-5000

From Interstellar Dispatches, September 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 NEWS

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 their 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.

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