-----------====================THE KAEZARIAN EYE====================-----------
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- PLAGUE OF DEMONS DESCENDS UPON KAEZAR 2
- RAMPAGING VECKLES STRIKE CITY18
- CELEBRATION HONORS SERENE22
- ROYAL AUDIENCE CONVENED FOR HEARING OF PETITIONS, BESTOWAL OF HONORS24
- LONG-AWAITED IMPROVEMENTS COME TO KAEZAR27
- ART SHOW AND CONTEST TO BENEFIT NEW HOSPITAL30
- NEW MERCENARY COMPANY FORMS IN KESSIA31
- KESSIAN MEDICAL SOCIETY TO TAKE ON FIRST SURGICAL PROCEDURE33
- NEWS IN BRIEFE35
- THE CRITICAL EYE: Reviews of Culture and the Arts39
- - Hylaria's Mid-Summer Review40
- - Kholer's Mid-Summer Review43
- INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN LAURDIA AND THE TALLONEAN EMPIRE, Part 345
- IN THE PUBLIC EYE: Letters and Opinion52
- FOR THE PUBLIC NOTICE55
- EYE ON KESSIA56
- NEWS OF THE WORLDE57
- AS EYE SEE IT59
- NOTE FROM THE EDITORS61
-----------====================THE KAEZARIAN EYE====================-----------
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
PLAGUE OF DEMONS DESCENDS UPON KAEZAR
It seems a matter of incontrovertible Truth, that not a single Yeare may run its course that does not bring around at least one new Bout of supernatural Menace to torment our fair City and send its Citizens into a state of Distraction, and it seems this yeare shall Meekly follow the example set by all others, and make no attempt to challenge this Rule. This latest series of Events being as replete with Complications and Confusions as nearly every other such Incident in the history of Kaezar, the Eye shall attempt to recount the Facts of the strange Affair, as best it may, for the benefit of its Readership.
~ Infernal Beginnings ~
It all seemingly began on the evening of the 6th Daye of Sune around the hour of Four bells, when a Mister Rafael Santorini and his fiancee Miss Hadira Massud were together in the Privacy of an inn-room, where they were occupied surely neither more nor less Objectionably than any other such closeted Couple in Kaezar. Local Vaenite Suede Lidrona came to the Imperial Guard with the troubling tale that she had witnessed, by means of Magic, Mister Santorini expiring upon the Floor of his inn-room in the company of Miss Massud, which doubtless would have been interesting enough information in its own right, but was turned from mere Fodder for the Pen of our dear Aunty Anony into actual News by the additional presence in the room of some kind of Demon. Having appearing in a Mist, this Demon had reportedly demanded Tribute from the surprised Couple, the which seemed to consist of things not fitting to print in a respectable Publication, but, being refused in its Request, the Demon put paid to Mister Santorini and disappeared once more.
From this first peculiar Incident, it was only a short while later that one more unusual still came to pass, this occurring within the halls of Reklar Asylum and involving a young lady who had not been long in Kaezar. Despite her limited Tenure within the City, the lady in question, Miss Leniri Nandrae, had managed to get herself Stabbed by the Head Keeper of the Asylum itself, Miss Vivien La'Faelian, and was again on this daye, for reasons we shall not even attempt to make Sense of here, back in the Reception-room of that Institution and visiting with that very same Miss La'Faelian, and also with Suede Lidrona.
Whatever the reasons underlying the visit, Miss Nandrae had far more understandably been feeling somewhat Poorly since her Stabbing, having been troubled by shortness of Breath, difficulty of Speech, and a virulent Fever, and it was in the middle of this visit, as she sat there feeling quite Ill, that a Voice spoke in her Head, and told her simply to cough. When one has arrived at the state of hearing unfamiliar disembodied Voices in one's Head it may perhaps be the case that one does not question their Demands, and likely even less so when those Demands seem so natural to one who has also been Stabbed in the Lung. In any case, Miss Nandrae did as the Voice bade her, and was more violently Ill on account of it, and from the Evidence of this there emanated a Demon.
This proved, however, to be a different Demon entirely from the one that had made a Threesome of Mister Santorini and his Fiancee, this one appearing as a quite lovely Daun whose Looks were nevertheless marred by the Sores covering her Body. The manifestation of the Demon was greeted with great startlement and Hostility by Miss La'Faelian and Lidrona, particularly after the Demon attacked one of them, and the Creature was subsequently dispatched only with some Difficulty.
At the point of its Death the Demon simply disappeared, but the two women responsible for its Demise reported seeing a second Demon suddenly standing by Miss Nandrae's side, this one appearing as a still more beautiful Il'lthye lady with elegant Antlers. Miss Nandrae once again hearing a Voice in her Mind, which inquired whether she wished to feel better, she responded that she did and it was immediately so. This Demon then vanished in turn, but it seems did not entirely leave Miss Nandrae, she and the Demon being thereafter Bound to one another.
~ The Onset of Madness ~
By this point there seemed set to be a veritable Deluge of Demons broken loose from whatever place beyond the Veil that Demons generally come from, as on the 9th of Sune yet another appeared in town, this being the first such witnessed by this reporter. Captain Ashinara De'Alera of the Royal Guard reported that he had Banished a Demon that had been after local Mad-woman Elsa Du'Val, who had fled to Jakob's Holy Temple for protection. However, the Banishment had evidently not been so successful as hoped, as Captain De'Alera was not five Minutes into his story before the very Creature in question appeared right there in the Park, giggling madly and wearing nothing more than an ornate tapestry Curtain.
[ A mazelike rack of the purest ivory antlers weave in and out of each other endlessly atop the head of the frantic-looking creature in this woodblock print, her features resembling those of an elven female of high birth. Pupilless, her black eyes have been given an unnatural, almost glowing effect by the artist. Her absurdly curvaceous torso descends to wide hips, supported by two surprisingly muscular legs which end in a pair of cloven hooves. Her entire body is tattooed with writing in countless languages, mathematical symbols, and half-formed Kenzian formulae, which are readily visible where they are not obscured by the uncertain cover of a ripped tapestry curtain. ]
The Demon did not bother with such Niceties as Introductions, for which lapse in Manners she may perhaps be forgiven due to the Distraction of being immediately pelted with all kind of Holy magicks courtesy of Captain De'Alera, but instead launched directly into a Plea for those present to surrender the aforementioned Mad-woman to her, the Demon being unable to reach her on Holy ground. She claimed that it was possible for her to help Miss Du'Val, whom she described as being all Crooked and Wiggly inside, and that by taking that woman's Madness the Demon might help herself as well. Given the entirely Hopeless nature of Du'Val's case, and the seeming impossibility of doing anything that might conceivably worsen it, this did not seem even to place among the worst Ideas ever put forth in Kaezar, but the Royal Captain having strong Objections to the very Notion, nothing came of the Suggestion aside from a heated Struggle between the Demon and De'Alera, which ended in Stalemate.
The infernal Creature being understandably wearied by the Tedium of this whole affair, she did not stay much longer, but before vanishing from sight offered the information that she and her sister Demons altogether made Six, that one of them might soon die, and that the message should be conveyed to Miss Du'Val that if she wished to be Cured, then all that woman had to do was say that she did give the Demon known as Anstuarj tribute.
[ Willow trees dip their lower branches into the dark rushing water of the Dar-Matheis in this woodcut of Kaezar's Maedin Park. To the side of the crushed seashell walkway, two wooden benches sit on either side of a wooden table set with a maedin board. Judging by the trampled grass under the spreading oak, this small gaming area spread appears to be quite popular. Lying on the lawn are a pale green porcelain teacup and a delicate porcelain mug which seem to be keeping company with a silver-edged teacup that, unlike the first two, is in possession of two pairs of legs. Also here are persons that one might recognize as Malo, Captain Ashinara of the Royal Guard, and Xiao, as well as a madness demon that has been labeled, very unambiguously, "madness demon!".
The print has been supplied with the rather more ambiguous caption "Madness in the Maedin Park." ]
~ Unexpected Developments ~
While one might naturally have assumed that Anstuarj was the name of this particular Demon, a summoning Experiment but a few Nights later dispelled this assumption, as Misters Astolpho Mandel and Malo Haithcock found to their Surprise. Having drawn a pair of Circles and pronounced the Name given by the curtain-bedecked Demon, the two were quite interested to see that in place of that Entity, who had appeared as an Il'lthye with twining maze-like Antlers, one appeared instead whose own Looks set her apart quite entirely, having the seeming of a Dwarven woman with robust hatchet-like Horns. The Demon, for her part, displayed a certain amount of vehemently expressed Anger at having been disturbed "too early," and after breaking free of the Circle and Bowling over the conveniently arrived Captain Sojourner, promptly ripped a Tear in the Air into which she vanished.
[ A demonic being wearing a form-fitting dark leather suit glares out from this woodblock print. Two massive somme horns, shaped like distorted axeblades, jut out from the head of the glowering creature, whose features resemble those of a dwarven female of high birth. Pupilless, her eyes have been given an unnatural, almost burning effect by the artist. Her muscular torso descends to angular hips, supported by two surprisingly muscular legs which end in a pair of cloven metal hooves. Large metal fangs protrude from her mouth, their tips appearing hazy with wavering lines that seem to indicate a barely constrained heat.
The picture is labeled simply, "The Rage Demon." ]
The 14th Daye of Sune brought another Manifestation of Miss Nandrae's Demon, which this Reporter had the dubious good Fortune to observe, but the Creature had little to offer in the way of useful Information aside from the fact of her being a Creature of unfufilled Desires, and as such evidently near the top of the Hierarchy relative to her Sisters, and did little of Note save for tempting Miss La'Faelian with the offer of a certain Mordant Emerald. The other Demons likewise appeared to keep themselves productively engaged during this time, as it was soon revealed that a Mister Ophilian, Sub-Keeper of Reklar's Asylum under Miss La'Faelian, had himself been possessed by that Demon of Madness who had been so determined in her Pursuit of Miss Du'Val. Mister Ophilian's Head evidently being sufficiently Vacant to allow Room for multiple Personages besides himself, he later gave Tribute to the Rage Demon as well, and thus became the only person in Town to serve two Infernal Mistresses, at least by Admission.
[ Twisting lyre-shaped antlers sprout from the forehead of the alluring creature in this illustration, her features resembling those of an il'lthye female of high birth. Pupilless, her white eyes have been given an unnatural, almost glowing effect by the artist. Her curvaceous torso descends to wide hips, supported by two surprisingly muscular legs which end in a pair of cloven hooves. A metal anklet and a pale gossamer gown that clings to every voluptuous curve are its only articles of dress.
The caption of this print declares its subject to be "The Desire Demon." ]
~ New Information Surfaces ~
There now being a rather understandable Surge of Interest in all things Demonic, Mister Astolpho Mandel, well known to be one of our most eminent local Spiritualists and an esteemed Expert in all things Supernatural, decided that this might be the ideal Occasion on which to give a Talk dealing specifically with Demons: their Nature and Character, what dark Drives motivate them, and how best to deal with them, as well as taking Questions from the Audience. This event was held on the 16th Daye of Sune in the hallowed Halls of Kemstead Abbey, and attracted a wide Audience of Kessians both curious and Anxious.
However, those who gathered for the Lecture got rather more than they might have bargained for, as among those in attendance was yet another Demon, this one decked out quite impressively in a Cassock that was nearly the Twin of that favored by Mister Mandel himself. This latest Demon was in fact rather impressive in its own right, its Features those of a high-born Il'lthye and its Brow bearing Antlers of purest Ruby, and its Manner was equally impressive, as it addressed those assembled there in far politer Terms than one might commonly expect for a Creature of Infernal origins. It was, however, too much to expect that it might confound everyone's negative Expectations and in fact turn out to be something like a Politeness Demon, as it was eventually determined to represent the character of Pride. This became far more readily apparent whenever she was witnessed to depart, as each time she did so she left trailed by her own personal ghostly Entourage, complete with Knights and Chancellors and all.
However, before leaving the scene the Pride Demon did provide to those present some amount of useful Information, such as that the Bonds formed between Mortals and these Demons could provide the former with Protection, physical Enhancement, or special Powers, that these Bonds could not be broken but could be relinquished voluntarily by the Demon involved, that offering Tribute to a Demon was a different thing from Bonding, and that this former, unlike Bonding, could be taken by Force by some but not All of the Sisters.
Over the next severall Dayes it came additionally to Light that all of these Demons were engaged in some kind of Competition with one another as to who might become the Strongest among them, which was apparently to be accomplished by receiving the most Tribute from the local Citizenry, and then fighting amongst each other until only one of their Number should be left. On the 18th Daye of Sune something of this Competition was witnessed by Mister Dalanoth Ithiel, an il'lthye Channeler and Spiritualist lately arrived from Ziguran, who was begged by the Demon associated with Disease to conceal her from one of her Sisters who was out for her Blood. Mister Ithiel received a star-ruby from this Demon as added Incentive to aid her, but the bribe gained her nothing, as she was swiftly dispatched by a second Demon who appeared there to do the Deed and then vanished again very shortly thereafter.
~ An Unusual Interlude ~
It was at this point that perhaps the least Explicable if not the Oddest incident occurred, as the Demons with which everyone was by then so regrettably Familiar had their Ranks briefly swelled in the form of two additional Demons, in Character and Behavior utterly different from all those that had gone before. These two Demons, one appearing to be some kind of needle-toothed Plague-monster, and the other a malicious Crone insufficently disguised as an innocent Maiden, appeared with no warning on the streets of Kaezar the night of the 20th of Sune, where they proceeded to menace newly-returned Bard Miss Aurorah Moonsong, issue Threats in various hideous Hisses and Bellows, and throw a Birthday-party into utter Disarray. The Creatures then either fled the Scene or simply disappeared, though Witnesses reported that they later made a brief appearance in Kemstead, before evidently vanishing into the night forever.
[ This illustration clearly owes more to the resourceful imagination of an artist than to the dull veracity of a camera obscura. Two bizarre beings stand near the doorway of a busy pub dimly recognizable as the Silver Tankard, where they are threatening a crowd of people drawn in various attitudes of shock, dismay, and panicked gibbering. The first of the ominous entities is a sinewy thing covered with pocks and oozing boils, and the horrifying number of needle-like teeth that fill its thin mouth are readily apparent as the creature appears to be bellowing something quite ominous, if the appalled expressions of the pub's patrons are any indication. The second demon seems almost to be a normal woman, but the artist has drawn her face as half lonely maiden, half wicked hag, which if not for the mad flail of her arms in the general direction of the cowering crowd would put her character and intentions in some doubt.
The picture bears no caption, the dramatically horrifying scene evidently having been deemed sufficient to speak for itself. ]
In the Chaos left in the Wake of these additional Demons, at least two of the Sisters, Madness and Rage, made an appearance of their own and proceeded to taunt the Populace over the Thought-net and to generally run Wild through the area. The Rage Demon also attempted to convince the Citizenry to turn over Mister Mandel in exchange for Knowledge or Questions answered, as this particular Sister was evidently still somewhat put out over the untimely Summoning affair, but no one present seemed inclined to take her up on the Offer at that time.
~ The Sixth Sister Appears ~
It was but a short time after this, on the 27th Daye of Sune, that the Sixth of the Sisters at last manifested. There had been speculation for some Dayes that this final Demon would emerge shortly, or perhaps had already done so but had not yet been Discovered, and in fact Captain De'Alera had even experienced some kind of Vision of a Subterreanean space in which it seemed that Demon might be found. On the daye in question both De'Alera and another Person, an Eyssan by the name of Xiao Mao, were struck by additional Visions of two women walking through Mist and Darkness, while the odor of dust and Stone hung in the air all around. Miss Nandrae and Lidrona being known to be down beneath Kaezar in the Den of the Wyrm, it seemed as Prudent as any other Option to follow those two and see whether they had found anything, and indeed the expeditionary Party had been there hardly any time at all before stumbling directly onto the vague and fluctuating Entity that was the Sixth Demon herself.
[ This large print consists of two images side by side, apparently of the same entity, though it's very difficult to say exactly what that entity is -- even though they have clearly been reproduced from a photograph, there is an oddly amorphous, piecemeal quality to the pictures that suggests that whatever the creature is, it isn't all the time.
In the first image it appears to be a gharkin with a set of vaguely gymrilike horns, but even its features, which suggest femininity, seem to capture but a single moment in a state of continual flux. At the exact instant the photograph was taken the creature appears to be short, husky, and modest, while her skin is streaked with regions of undulating colors, sigils, symbols, lesions, and scars. Legs that appear curiously delicate terminate in her only certain feature: cloven hooves of some thick metal. Her arms are wavering and twisty, her wrists appearing to float freely near grossly misshapen amputated stumps.
The second image shows a creature much more akin to an il'lthye, its brow graced with the shining lance of long horns. At the exact instant the photograph was taken the creature now appears to be short, husky, and curvy, and her skin is streaked with regions of undulating colors, sigils, symbols, lesions, and scars, none of them the same as in the previous picture. Legs that appear surprisingly muscular terminate in her only certain feature: cloven hooves of some thick metal. Her arms are wavering and twisty, her wrists appearing to float freely near grossly misshapen amputated stumps.
A short caption declares this strange entity "The Unformed Demon." ]
This final Demon seemed to be in a state of perpetual Flux as well as producing odd Perturbations of the local Reality, and Mister Mandel thought it might be helpful to attempt to stabilize the Creature in hopes that it might then prove more capable of coherent Communications. Miss Nandrae expressed some Reservations as to whether this might be a good idea or not, but provided little evidence to support her Doubts, while Captain De'Alera and the Eyssan Mao expressed the belief that Prayer must constitute the best Method of dealing with the Demon, as they felt this would Banish it back to wherever it had come from. However, Mister Mandel, Mister Haithcock, and some others being desirous of speaking with the Demon before any more Offensive action should be taken, Mister Mandel proceeded with his Binding, until suddenly the Creature began screaming in what sounded to be purest Agony, which it did not in any Voice of its own, but rather using the Voices of those around it.
It was at this point that Miss Nandrae suddenly took it into her Head to Assault the Demon despite the discussion on this topic that had gone on mere Minutes before, and before anyone could do more than gape in Shock, the pitiful Being lay in a still indefinite Heap upon the cavern Floor, which provoked a certain sense of Aggravation in Mister Mandel. However, the Demon reformed itself before more than a few Moments had passed, and then began to Speak, once again using the Voices of those present. It began to express to the Onlookers that it hurt, which Sensation it did not seem to entirely understand, and it appeared uncertain also as to why the Pain was being given to it, though it was unclear whether such Pain was the result of Mister Mandel's Binding or of the Prayers in which Captain De'Alera, Miss Anolisse Thr'eyan, and others were persistently engaging. Whatever the case, those Prayers did have the swift, and Final, effect of exploding the nascent Demon just as it had begun to express how Alone it had been, leaving nothing more of the unfortunate Creature than a Powdering of sparkling Dust upon the Floor.
[ Naturally fluted columns of stone, rounded mounds of weathered rock and great jumbles of scattered rubble form a warren in the enormous concavity dimly revealed by this camera obscura print. Deep shadows hide most details, each turn looking much the same as another. In the midst of this dusky underworld are High Sorcerer Astolpho of Duvan, Grand Surgeon Anolisse of House Pendeleu, Leniri, Healer Suede (standing near Leniri), Malo, an animated silver-edged teacup (perched on Malo's shoulder), the corpse of a diminished primal apparition (lying down), Eyssan Xiao, Dalem, Captain Ashinara of the Royal Guard, and a giant tarantula who appears to be an innocent bystander in this whole affair. ]
~ The Nature of the Source ~
The situation seemed set to get entirely out of Hand if nothing were done to prevent the Demons from doing whatever they liked, but its still being uncertain exactly what might be done to address the matter, Mister Mandel resolved to summon back the Rage Demon Anstuarj and learn whatever more from her they could that might prove of some use, this particular Demon being selected on account of hers being the only Name known. On the 5th Daye of Deatre a number of Attendees gathered at Serene's Tower of Silver Light for the summoning, this venue having been deemed a safer place than most due to the weakening effect that the Goddess's Holy place was liable to have on any Infernal Being summoned. And indeed Anstuarj seemed quite surprised to be unable to break Free of her Circle upon being Summoned to that place, though her Desire to reveal anything that might help was Erratic at best.
However, in spite of her obvious anger and Contempt towards those present, she did provide further information on the Demons' Source, which was corroborated and added to by the Pride Demon, who appeared on the Tower Grounds very shortly after the Summoning. The Source, it was gathered, was nothing Exotic nor even especially Attractive, and would likely attract very little notice even were it to appear in Public. It was, however, quite Old and had been moved from one place to another for countless Yeares, the Demons being compelled to go with it wherever it went. The Source evidently was capable of providing the Demons with some amount of Power, though it was uncertain how exactly this might work, as it was also said to limit them in some way, and because of this and the necessity of being tied to it always, the Demons were desirous of breaking free of that Object using the Power gained from Bonds and Tribute. Conflicting information was presented by the Demons of Rage and Pride as to whether destroying the Source would be of any Benefit whatsoever in ridding the Town of themselves and their Sisters, as Rage implied that such would not be the case, while Pride suggested that Destruction of the Source would destroy the weaker of the six Sisters along with it, meaning all but herself.
~ Demonic Departure ~
One had just begun to think that the Infernal creatures were about to settle into Kaezar for the long Haul, setting the entire Town well on its way to becoming a Demonic Fiefdom, or at the very least a Battle-ground littered with Bodies both Demonic and Mortal, when the Creatures exited the scene as suddenly and inexplicably as they had first made their Entrance.
On the 7th of Dien, Miss Nandrae reported feeling the bond with her own Demon, which she had always been able to sense, simply fading without Warning, and when Miss Nandrae attempted to call out to that Demon, she received no Answer. Nor, she says, has she felt any return of the Demon's presence in the weeks since then, and has since that time pronounced herself quite Happy for being finally her own woman again. As for the other Possessed, in particular the over-achieving Ophilian, there has since been no word, and we are left again to Speculation as to whether the mysterious Source may have been removed or perhaps somehow destroyed, accidentally or otherwise, or whether the Demons simply grew tired of their Sport with the Locals and decided to leave them in Peace on account of Boredom rather than Mercy.
At this point it is impossible to say whether the Demons are in fact gone for good, or whether this merely represents some new and presently unfathomable Ploy on their part, the better to pull the Wool over the Eyes of the unwary Masses and thus gain new Advantage somehow. In the last Month the residents of the city have fallen back into their old Habits, neither Fearing nor Anticipating the unheralded arrival of a Demon at any given moment, yet here in Kaezar one cannot help but be aware that things are only seldom what they appear to be, and rarely does a certain amount of Vigilance go unrewarded. This being so, and indeed Supernatural threats being so common in any case that the next one is likely just around the Corner, this Publication encourages its Readers to keep a watchful Eye out and remain on Guard for whatever bizarre Threat should inevitably choose to present itself next.
In the meantime, it remains something to reflect on that, in the words of Miss Leniri Nandrae, "It is really very strange to think that Kaezar might have defeated the Demons with Temperence and Restraint." One must certainly hope that the next Test does not require any such exercise of Virtue, and that we may all return to solving our problems with Brawn, improbably good Fortune, and intemperate Explosions instead, as such a thing as quoted by Miss Nandrae is not likely to happen in any one place more than once or twice in an Age.
-----------====================THE KAEZARIAN EYE====================-----------
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
RAMPAGING VECKLES STRIKE CITY
The evening of the 8th Daye of Dien appeared set to play itself out much the same as any other tranquil summer Night in which the Mugginess of the Season seems to disincline one from acting upon or indeed even from forming any kind of Motivation, whether for Mischief or otherwise. However, around Ten bells the peace of the town was disturbed by the abrupt and unheralded appearance of a great swarming Rabble of Veckles, for whom the Heat of the night proved no such Inhibitor. Appearing to have no definite Object of any kind in mind, the raggle-taggle Band swarmed back and forth along the city Streets, all the while voicing the common run of Vecklish Imprecations involving Whacking people Good, along with expressing various Demands for Shinies, Warnings to "Stop It" that were less than clear on what exactly was to be stopped, and fervent Declarations that pronounced the would-be defenders of the city Very Bad.
[ Dressed in an assortment of patched and damaged armor, random bits of shiny trash and an occasional bright glass bauble, the mob of vaguely humanoid creatures in this print is composed of at least a score of veckles; fat, sickly, limping, feeble, emaciated, old, sallow, scab-encrusted, and squint-eyed, all milling about more or less aimlessly within the larger group. Despite their differences, all sport tremendously large noses and spiky, shorn hair that sprouts haphazardly from a multitude of armpits, scalps and ears, which the artist has thoughtfully spared no detail of.
The print bears the caption "The Mob Descends!" ]
In addition to being even more generally Agitated and Exclamatory than is the usual way of Veckles, these were evidently in a state of interregnum Strife as well, as three different Claimants to the Vecklish Crown were found at intervals among the greater Mob. If the existence of such competing Claims were among the causes underlying the sudden Hostilities of this odd Race of Creatures, then one can only hope the swift Dispatch of three such Competitors by Kaezar's defenders contributed to the judicious Pruning of the excessively well-branched royal Lineage, and will speed the Veckles towards the peaceable resolution of their Royal Succession.
[ The massive creature shown in this next print is vaguely humanoid and has a tremendously large nose and spiky, shorn hair that sprouts from its armpits, scalp and ears. Massive arms bulge on either side of its barrel chest, its dubiously impressive physique partly covered by a patchwork suit of armor. A dented copper crown rests on its brow and it grips a scratched iron sceptre in one hand. The woodblock artist has further distinguished this particular veckle from its counterparts in the previous print by instilling its eyes with a certain glint of intelligence, but this is overshadowed by the creature's obvious agony as it appears caught in the act of stumbling back, bleeding from half a dozen serious wounds.
A simple caption beneath the illustration reads "Death of the (3rd) Veckle King." ]
As peculiar as anything else was the fact that the Veckles had evidently availed themselves with gleeful Abandon of the multifarious contents of the local Midden, which they cast off and tossed about at the bemused Kaezarians with great Relish. Among the Oddities retrieved from the Rabble were numerous glass Baubles, a Bottle of Golden Manzanilla wine, and several Souvenirs recognizable as Favors from past Masques. The Veckles were not content with hurling such objects at the city defenders, however, as they seemed determined to substitute for their cast-off Belongings the Persons of various among the local Citizenry, who were repeatedly snatched up by the dirty Hands of the Mob and hauled off down the Street, only to be broken free almost immediately either by their own Efforts or those of their Comrades-in-arms.
After no small amount of time in which the Veckles swarmed up and down Streets and Thoroughfares and back Alley-ways, the Defenders meantime turning themselves in endles Circles as they attempted either to track the Mob to its Source, or to determine precisely the means of appeasing them, the Creatures were finally pressed to reveal whatever thin Motive for disturbing the Peace that Veckles possess. This was presented by one among their Number as a theretofore unsatisfied desire for "noms," which was taken to mean that the Creatures desired some kind of edible Food.
However, it turned out that the Veckles were inexplicably not only satisfied, but actually Thrilled, by receiving a quantity of that vile Substance known as Belchy which is to be found, equally inexplicably, within Skilk-bladders plundered from Treasure-boxes throughout Kessia, so that one is compelled to wonder whether the Definition of "noms" was perhaps misconstrued. No less mystifying than the initial Desire for such a noxious thing was the fact that one of the defenders present, a young Re'hari lady by the name of Bresh Bosh, had some of this repellent Liquid conveniently on her Person. Nevertheless, this young lady's Preparedness was vastly appreciated by the Veckles, who took the Belchy gleefully in Hand and then rampaged off into the Night, leaving the City once more to mud, Silence, and a sense of general Bafflement.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
CELEBRATION HONORS SERENE
By Leniri Nandrae
The Tower of Silver Light played host to a Galy'aer celebration on the first of Sune. Dressed in lunar teals, whites, and azures, the Attendees made a pretty Picture as they slowly filed in two or three hours past Sunset. They were greeted by Miss Anolisse Thr'eyan, who organized the gathering.
Fine gifts and Refreshments were generously made available to all attending, and presently Master Templar Aelonzo took a moment from his duties to greet everybody. Miss Aurorah Moonsong also made quite an Impression, having just returned from Quesalia in somewhat poor Health but lacking none of her usual Charm and Grace.
Those assembled were called up to the Roof-top to join in a Prayer led by the former Royal Bard Curan Norremitore, who stirred Hearts and Souls with his reverent Oration. There were also performances by Miss Lilt Elondriel and Mister Olbrecht Svendelson, which helped round out an altogether Enchanting evening. Presently, a flock of Doves was released from a large Dove-cote and while most flew off in a lovely Display, several remained behind, calling the Tower their Home. At this point, the guests were allowed to mingle and celebrate as they pleased.
The festivities were briefly livened when one of the doves now roosting atop the Tower became agitated due to the well-intended actions of Gulnara Ilyanova, and flew into a Frenzy, attacking the guests without concern for whom had done it any ill, though it seemed to stop short each time, owing perhaps to the appropriately Peaceful nature of Serene's Holy place. Those assembled fled downstairs, and the Animal calmed itself soon after.
The celebration proceeded until the early Hours of the morning, and was widely regarded as one of the more notable events of the Season. It remains to be seen whether such a Celebration will become a yearly event at The Tower of Silver Light.
[ This woodblock facsimile of an intricate ink drawing depicts a scene atop a tower with crenellated walls. A Bija woman with her hair pinned up with ornamental combs stands before a crowd dressed in fine attire. She makes a sweeping gesture out over the edge of the wall as a flock of doves takes flight from a large dovecote and out into the night. The artist has taken reverent care with the bold and even hatching on the rooftop, while the oversized and stylized stars glow in fantastic whorls against their black backdrop.
Below the image, a reproduction of looping script reads, "Galy'aer 649, The Tower of Silver Light," and following in small type reads the legend, "Sketch by Leniri Nandrae." ]
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
ROYAL AUDIENCE CONVENED FOR HEARING OF PETITIONS, BESTOWAL OF HONORS
It had been some time since the Populace of Kessia last had the opportunity to assemble in Malcomb Castle to hear directly from their King and to have their own Concerns heard in turn, and thus it was with great Anticipation that news of an upcoming Royal Audience was greeted this past Sune. On the 8th Daye of the month, a number of Kessian Citizens came together in the Royal Throne-room to hear King Vek speak on the present State of the Realm, and to lay before their Sovereign any Petitions they might wish to have heard. In addition to the consideration of such Petitions and Boons, it was expected that His Majesty would present his Verdict regarding the peculiar Case of Mister Jurion Tamerlaine, Outlaw of the Realm, whom our Readers will remember as wishing to Reconcile with his Monarch and be allowed peaceably to return to Kessia.
The King attended first to those who had personally requested an Audience with him, the first among these being a Mister Olbrecht Svendelson, who expressed his desire to swear Fealty to His Majesty and was granted leave to do so, solemnly promising to be Faithful to his King, never to cause Harm to the Crown, and to observe his Homage completely against all Persons, in good Faith and without Deceit. Miss Miriel Re'Ghat, formerly of Rhe'Yubla, then came forward to request that she might cast off all Ties to her Homeland and likewise swear Fealty to the Crown of Kessia, for now and Ever, binding herself in Honor and Service, as one Nobly born, and King Vek accepted her Pledge also, adding that she must reject any Allegiances to false Gods and Heresies, and Miss Re'Ghat did so swear.
An additional Petition was then introduced by one Rafael Salvatore Hosae Antonio Joseppe Ricardo Juan Santilio Santorini son of Lord Ricardo Santorini of Santorini Island, who had not scheduled an Address to the King before-hand. Between his Name and his Petition, the Petition turned out to be the shorter of the two, as it happened that the Gentleman in question had no true Concern to bring forth, but rather in the manner of Royalty himself, extended his Regards to King Vek and offered to serve His Majesty in any way desired so long as it did not interfere with the Purpose of the Gentleman's being in Kessia to begin with, that being to conduct business for the Profit of his foreign Family.
All Petitions having then been presented, King Vek called forth Captain Elli Sojourner of his own Royal Guard, whom he commended for her many Yeares of faithful, tireless, and utterly devoted Service to the Crown. Captain Sojourner was then stripped of her Rank and Insignia, and all her various Accoutrements of the Royal Guard, and in their place was given a striking new Ensemble of Lanakin and Damask Maille, with gold Accessories to signify her new Rank. Being then dubbed Dame Elli Sojourner, the former Captain and her good Fortune were greeted by the room with much Applause.
As to the matter of Mister Jurion Tamerlaine, whose Predicament was the subject of a number of words in this past Edition of the Eye, the King declined to extend a final Decision on the Outlaw's fate at that time, Mister Tamerlaine being granted Leave to stay in the City for another seven Dayes, until the King's Deliberations should be finished. It therefore came quite unexpectedly when, but a Daye later, it was learned that His Majesty had in fact revoked Mister Tamerlaine's status of Outlaw later that very night, and restored all of that man's Rights as one of His Majesty's loyal Subjects.
What might have brought about this sudden Decision is impossible to say with any certainty, and one may only speculate whether a private Audience with Miss Vivien La'Faelian following the public Assembly may have done aught to influence the King's Judgment. Whatever the reason, the generosity of our Sovereign's Decree is a thing much to be Admired, and we are sure that our Readership is pleased, as ever, to see the workings of Justice done.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
LONG-AWAITED IMPROVEMENTS COME TO KAEZAR
It has been a sad yet familiar Refrain for yeares beyond counting, the cry whereby the melancholy Populace of Kaezar bewails the obdurate Lack of Seating at Myldred's Spice Shop. This Shop, long known by those of more discerning Palate to be the Venue offering some of the very best Coffees, Teas, and Sweat-meats in the City, has yet never received the Popularity and Acclaim that its fine Stock perhaps deserves, the fact of which must provoke a sense of deepest Puzzlement when one considers the great teeming Flocks of Patrons that may consistently be found even in such an Establishment as Breen's, where few ever seem actually to partake of the Offerings on the Menu, for reasons no one questions.
However, the explanation for this odd Phenomenon swiftly becomes clear when one considers the nature of one's physical Surroundings in these respective Establishments. Does the Crossroads offer less Mud, fewer pungent Smells, lovelier Sights, or more cultivated Company than can be found at Myldred's? -- the answer to this, as everyone knows, being a resounding No. What the Crossroads has ever possessed that Myldred's has long lacked is that one thing only, to wit, the Furnishings whereby the blobbish Masses may slide the weary World from off their Shoulders, put up their Feet, and sit in lumpish Comfort such as they may at any other Inn, Public-room, or Eatery in Kaezar.
On the 7th Daye of Dien, however, it was discovered quite by Chance that Myldred had at last heeded her Patrons' plaintive Pleas, and had added seating both to the interior of her Shop, in the form of some quite comfortable Stools, and outside as well, with a set of serviceable Table and Benches set beneath an Awning to shelter her Customers from the Sun and inevitable inclement weather of Kaezar. Already the effect of this simple yet long-awaited change has been extremely Striking, with a number of Persons that before one rarely witnessed to venture beyond the safely familiar Environs of Breen's or the Tankard, now slouching about the Spice Shop with a lack of initiative and Ambition quite equal to that which they had exhibited in their former Haunts.
It is also of note that Myldred has extended her offerings beyond those Treats and Beverages prepared to order from the menu, as she now additionally offers an array of Herbs and Spices that customers may purchase for their own culinary Pursuits.
Perhaps even less expected, and more Mysterious, than the Shop-keeper Myldred's improvements are the heaps of Cobble-stones that suddenly sprang up all across Kaezar on the same daye. According to a local Eye-witness (or perhaps, more accurately, Ear-witness) the arrival of the Cobbles was heralded in the afternoon of that daye by a veritable Cacophony of Clattering as of a great number of heavy objects falling off a Cart, the din of which could be readily heard by the Patrons within the Silver Tankard. Upon leaving the place to investigate the source of the Noise, it was discovered that these Cobbles had been left all up and down the major Thoroughfares of the City, and even along some less-traveled streets as well.
While one may hope that the appearance of such Materials presages public Works on an unprecedented Scale and that our fair City, however improbable it may seem, may one daye boast paving-stones to rival anything in Penthras, one cannot help but wonder instead whether this may be a clever Scheme by which the more troublesome Elements of Society may be induced to thin their Ranks, if the propensity of local Citizens to ply these Stones against the Heads of their Fellow-men be any indication. However, one may continue to hold out some tenuous Hope that, the Cobbles not all disappearing into the Skulls of the Populace, many of us may yet survive to see the Daye that the Streets of Kaezar at last relinquish their mud-slogged hold upon the residents' weary Feet.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
ART SHOW AND CONTEST TO BENEFIT NEW HOSPITAL
By Leniri Nandrae
There arose a great Commotion on Deatre the twenty-first at Kaezar's own Ghent Center as the Kessian Medical Society's Art Show began in earnest. Twelve pieces were exhibited, and these were divided into two groups of six. The first group was shown in the Common Room alongside an extravagant Buffet, and the second was just across the courtyard in the Golden Quill Cafe. The great preponderance of Artists afforded those in attendence the Opportunity to see work by some very familiar local Artists, and a few who were perhaps lesser-known, but no less talented.
After only a short time, the Kessian Medical Society's Head Chirurgeon, Marian Quinnley, produced a small Envelope, inside of which was a sheet of vellum marked with a half-dozen Names. These were the three Winners. Taking third was Vivien Faelien, with a macabre but stirring juxtaposition of Life and Death rendered in her piece Vanitas. Second place went to Gladston Forsythe for his piece, Galleon, which is a painstaking and evocative depiction of a Ship heading into a Storm. Lastly, Miss Aurorah Moonsong won first place for A Still Life of Herbs, which, as the Reader might imagine, is a still life of herbs; a painting which was executed with simple Style and practiced Discipline. Named also in Honorable Mentions were Lady Tomoe Otomo for Vashan Calligraphy, Captain Merow Ghurak for How to Pray for Healing, and the Author herself for The Mother, The Maker, The Martyr.
Whereupon the Winners had been named, they were awarded Prizes and took a short while longer to mingle with the Guests before the majority of the group dispersed. The pieces were put away for safe Storage, where they will remain until the Kessian Medical Society's Hospital has been constructed. At such time, they intend to permanently hang all of the Submissions for the enjoyment of the Public.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
NEW MERCENARY COMPANY FORMS IN KESSIA
A brand-new Company of Mercenaries has been established in Kaezar in these last severall weeks, the inspiration of Kuthgard native Gulnara Ilyanova. The Company, which for the present bears no formal Name, intends to make its Services available to all those in Kessia who might wish to hire them. These Services are to consist not only of the purely protective Functions that one expects of any such Company as a matter of Course, but may encompass any Task or Responsibility requiring a sword-arm of Strength and Skill, at the Discretion of its Commander.
The Company is commanded by the aforementioned Miss Ilyanova, who hit upon the Notion of founding such an Organization soon after her arrival in the city, as she was casting about for some meaningful Pursuit in which to usefully occupy her Time. Inspired by the words of another Ryt'Tzar gentleman of her Acquaintance, and with Encouragement from the newly-pardoned Jurion Tamerlaine, Miss Ilyanova began to lay the Foundations of her Company, which swiftly recruited its first member, local Thief-taker Demens Urtellik. Their ranks soon afterwards swelled by the addition of Gladston Forsythe, Bariinco Lino'ka, and Gale di'Costa-Arendson, it was also not long before the Company received its first Contract from Captain of the Royal Guard Ashinara De'Alera, who wished to ensure the Safety of his Fiancee, Miss Anolisse Thr'eyan, for so long as his Duties kept him apart from her.
As of mid-Dien the Company was engaged in three different Contracts, with a possible Fourth pending. Each contract is assigned to an individual member of the Company, as coordinated with their Commander. The Company considers all Offers, but shall not take on any Contract that might put them into Conflict with the Terms of any other pre-existing Agreement. If two Parties should come to the Company whose interests are Opposed to one another, such that different members of the Company might be set at Odds if both Contracts were accepted, then the two Parties may engage in a bidding War to determine which Contract the Company shall take on.
In addition to accepting further Assignments for personal Protection, Miss Ilyanova has Ambitions to expand the Company's role to supply a wide variety of possible Services, from Courier service, to providing Security for establishments such as the planned Hospital, to perhaps one daye even working to protect the City, or on retainer for a noble House in Kessia. It will doubtless prove interesting to see the Path down which Miss Ilyanova chooses to take her Company, and we anticipate hearing more of this Band of seasoned Warriors and their Exploits in the Months to come.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
KESSIAN MEDICAL SOCIETY TO TAKE ON FIRST SURGICAL PROCEDURE
It seems that the march of Progress moves double-time of late, with numerous Break-throughs in the Magickal and Mechanical Sciences occurring in only the last few Yeares. In these next Weeks the practice of Medicine will attempt to make its own Contribution to Progress, as the Kessian Medical Society expects to take on a Patient on whom it will perform its very first intensive Surgery.
Miss Gulnara Ilyanova, who has long suffered the pain of an old Injury earned in Battle against the orcish Foe, plans shortly to go under the Knife, or perhaps the finely-wielded Hammer and Chisel, of Aldan Talvir of the Kessian Medical Society. It is Mister Talvir's intention to remove some portions of the Bone in Miss Ilyanova's Hip, the ill Healing of which it seems has been responsible for giving the woman no small Grief these many Yeares since the Injury was incurred. This being a delicate Procedure involving a very old Wound, the successful Completion of the Surgery would surely be a Triumph for the Society, and would be very suggestive of the sorts of advanced Operations one might hope to see in Kessia in future Yeares if the Society persists in its Endeavors. Certain other medical Practitioners, on the other Hand, have expressed some Reservations over whether the Procedure should work at all, and it shall thus be a very interesting thing to see the Outcome of the Operation.
However, there have been at the same time Reports that some attempt has been made to throw a metaphorical Wrench into the Operation along with the Chisel, and this by the very Head of the Society itself. It seems that, though Miss Ilyanova arranged her Operation in sole Consultation with Mister Talvir and was assured that he alone would be responsible for carrying it out, once word of the planned Procedure reached Mister Marian Quinnley this latter became all up in Arms at the Notion of such a thing occurring without his Presence and Participation. Miss Ilyanova, for her part, was determined that Quinnley should not be involved in any way, as she had experienced no small measure of Harrassment from the man in weeks previous, during which time he had foisted unwelcome Attentions upon the woman and claimed that he had bought her on account of his having gifted her with a Horse in the time before she knew what Manner of man he was, and in spite of the fact that he had assured Miss Ilyanova that the Gift had no meaning beyond being an expression of his Generosity.
With this unpleasant Memory still fresh in her Mind, it is small wonder that Miss Ilyanova was most dismayed when Quinnley began to insist upon being involved in the Surgery, though the woman had no reason to trust him in such a delicate Capacity. He began even to Scry her upon multiple Occasions, with the Excuse that he was only checking up on her, though a date had not even been set for the Operation to take place, and continued very Irate when his Participation was still rejected. He was at last, however, persuaded to see the light of Reason by the efforts of another Gentleman, who took Pains to remind Quinnley that the Completion of such a wonderfully progressive Procedure, should it be a Success, would be of great Benefit to his Organization and its Reputation, and that it was hardly Fitting that he should allow some personal Grudge to interfere with the Society's meritorious Pursuits. However, it remains to be seen whether any such faint Glimmering of Reason should persist within Mister Quinnley's mind through the Completion of the Operation, past events leaving the matter in some Doubt.
Nevertheless, neither Mister Talvir nor the Patient herself have allowed such Histrionics to put them off, being determined to push the Bounds of medickal Science and, with Luck, to bring Miss Ilyanova relief from such chronick Suffering. The Eye looks forward to reporting on Mister Talvir's bold attempt and relaying the results of this interesting Procedure to its Readership.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
NEWS IN BRIEFE
Kaezar having a well-nigh endless Attraction to those of deeply uncertain Humors and tenuous mental Balance, the Parade of Mad-men and -women through our fair City seems never fairly to let up. The latest in a long and venerable line of Lunatics to make her erratic way here was a deeply disturbed young lady by the name of Elsa Du'Val, who in the company of a tame Wubwuv proceeded to run Amok all about Town and Country-side this past Sune, having Hallucinations, spawning rogue Illusions, bleeding to Death in inconvenient Locales, and generally making a screaming Nuisance of herself throughout the area. Having been the subject of lengthy Consultation and baffled Speculation on the part of resident Spiritualist Astolpho Mandel and noted Vedic Malo Haithcock, Miss Du'Val was at last with some Consternation remitted to the care of Reklar's Asylum, the girl's care and Treatment being deemed too Troublesome to deal with beyond the helpfully confining Walls of that Institution.
However, it seems the Patient proved too much even for those battle-hardened Practitioners at the Asylum, as word has it that Miss Du'Val managed to get herself expelled from even those most exalted Ranks of the Mad. What fate the unfortunate woman ultimately suffered is not entirely clear, though Rumors tell of certain pitiable Corpses lying sprawled upon the ground before the Doors of the Asylum for some hours, if not Dayes. Whether such Tales have any real Merit cannot be said with surety, but what one can be certain of is that both the woman herself and the rest of the City must be significantly more at peace with her Demise.
Mister Astolpho Mandel being an enterprising as well as an erudite Soul, the esteemed Duvanite put on a Sale and Auction on the Town Green this past 9th of Deatre. The goods of the Sale consisted of various Weapons, Knick-knacks, Articles of Dress, Novelties, and other interesting Items that had made their way into Mister Mandel's hands in the last severall months. A goodly Crowd was on hand to avail themselves of Mister Mandel's generosity, or in some cases to give voice to the Complaint that he was perhaps not anywhere near generous enough; nevertheless, this did not prevent those assembled from willingly parting with large Sums of money with only the most nominal Pretense towards Bargaining.
At ten bells the regular Sale ended and the Auction began, as Mister Mandel offered up to the bidding of the Crowd a number of rare and valuable Gemstones, including Dyadite, Isolan Sapphire, Pyre-Diamond, and various rare varieties of Emerald. A particularly Fierce bidding War was struck up over the Mordant Emerald, which eventually Mandel gave over to Miss Vivien La'Faelian for the sum of four Fasuls. The residents of Kaezar must surely look forward with great Anticipation to that daye that Mister Mandel should next choose to divest himself of his superfluous Possessions.
Not to be outdone by the celebratory Zeal of the Serenites, Kaezar's local Jakob-worshipers held their own Ceremony for that God and his Faithful on Cha'Solas, Jakob's Holy Day. The event took place at ten bells in the evening of the 21st Daye of Deatre -- or the Eye presumes that it did, but its being open only to those professed in deepest Devotion to Jakob, and this reporter not counting herself among that exclusive Number, she was compelled to find other Occupation and to spend the night in Speculation if not Regret.
~ * ~
An enchantress of quite unusual Talents has come to Kaezar in only the last severall Dayes, providing Enchantments of Weapons and Armor to those desirous of such Improvements. A young lady known by the name of Myl, she has caused quite a Stir by the peculiar nature of her Work, whereby Armor may be made to give off seemingly infinite quantities of Smoke, and Swords are given to speak in sighing Tones of their Longing for a far-off land. The Enchantments are provided at the very reasonable Price of one-thousand Sovereigns, though certain among the young woman's Clients might be inclined to spend ten times that much to have them removed again.
A peculiar Prank was perpetrated upon the Imperial Guard on the occasion of a Meeting of their Ranks on the 28th Daye of Dien. Though the exact details remain Hazy, the atrocious Misdeed evidently involved some quantity of that most sinister Fish known as the Eel, whose appearance within some very uncharacteristically Eel-like Confines has occasioned a Flurry among the Imperials thusly targeted. A search has been initated by the Guard to track down the Perpetrator of the Deed, the Results of which, we hear, have been to gather the quite interesting information that Eels come from the Sea. If any Person should have further information as to the Origins and Whereabouts of Eels, or the pernicious Uses and Habits of such Creatures, they are encouraged to contact the Imperial Keep at their earliest Convenience.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
THE CRITICAL EYE: Reviews of Culture and the Arts
Acting Manager's Note: Seeing that the Arts have been brought back into a state of at least temporary Revival, as a weak and fainting woman is brought back to her Senses with a sharp infusion of Smelling-salts, before possibly succumbing to the Inevitable and lapsing back into a despairing Swoon once more, we at the Eye staged an intensive Man-hunt for the purpose of tracking down our one-time Arts Critics and hauling them back to Kaezar to serve out their full Sentence as Columnists for the paper. For those new to Town and unfamiliar with the long-vanished Critics, they shall merely be introduced here as Hylaria, a nymph with a predilection for fine masculine Eyes and untimely Disappearances to Indrejan, and Kholer, a Gharkin of uncertain origins and equally uncertain Temper.
~ Hylaria's Mid-summer Review ~
My goodness, it has been so very long since I last had the pleasure of partaking of the Arts in Kaezar that I hardly know where to begin! It was quite the year for opera in Mee-aux-Vieve and I had intended to return there to enjoy the infinite pleasures of the summer season in that city, but when I heard from a very slightly irate and dark-visag'd lady whom I stumbled upon in Penthras that there was soon to be a new and quite DRAMATIC play produced in Kaezar, it took not half the persuasion that this nameless lady was set to offer to send me winging off to that place on feathers aquiver with nothing more than pure anticipation! And tho' even our fine city may not boast quite the never-ending panoply of cultural wonders that my lovely homeland of Indrejan may lay claim to, still I never cease to be AMAZED and DELIGHTED by all that the wonderfully inventive people of my new country have to offer!
Upon my return to Kaezar I was most excessively saddened to learn that I had only just missed one of those lovely recitals by which our talented Royal Bards are so successful at drawing forth the very best of the creative talent which our city has to offer, but I feel quite confident in saying that our citizens must have made exactly as impressive a showing as they always do, or indeed may well have surpassed all previous efforts, as they do on nearly every occasion! But oh my! The play!
I have no doubt that my readers have heard much of The Wolf and the Pine, which is the very first dramatic effort of the young Miss Leniri Nandrae, by all accounts a very sweet-natured sylvan girl with a wealth of youthful ability -- the which is more than amply demonstrated in her play, I may assure you! While it is surely a very GRIM sort of affair for a young girl to have written as her first play, nevertheless it is filled with touching ROMANCE, rousing SPEECHES, and a plethora of fascinating characters whom it was absolutely thrilling to see brought to life upon the stage!
Indeed, I simply cannot imagine a finer troupe of Actors and Actresses than those assembled for this production, though like my DEAR gharkin colleague I must confess a certain SORROW that such a great number of leading roles, which ought admirably to have showcased the talents of some one or another of Kaezar's most dashing and gifted young men, instead had to make do with being filled by members of the fairer sex. Naturally this is not to say that the women did not give it their all and do quite as fine a job as one might expect! and indeed in some cases surely finer because one generally does not expect to find thespian talents among newspaper editors or wild Kuthgardians, does one, but it must be a certain character of theirs, which we shall call here STRENGTH of MIND, that leads them over all seemingly insurmountable hurdles to triumph in the end!
It is in part because of this most tragical lack of leading men that I simply must enthuse upon the RIVETING performance of Mister Curan Norremitore, who brought to life the role of the soldier Ruslan with such dashing EDGE and VERVE! Even when that scoundrelly fellow was in the midst of causing the poor maiden Rosalyra such vexation, one simply could not help but be ENTHRALLED by the keen look in the man's eyes, whose quality is such that eagles might be sent into a raging fit of jealousy over them, especially seeing as how no eagle has ever boasted orbs of such an enchantingly deep blue poetically melancholy hue as Mister Norremitore does! I know that I am not alone in bemoaning the sad circumstances that must have led dear Mister Norremitore to quit Kaezar these past many months and to spend so much time apart from those of us who follow his career with such absolute DEVOTION, and indeed this has been all the more cause for sorrow when we were so looking forward to working side by side with a Personage of such quality as this publication may well never see again!
But to return to the play! Did not one feel simply CHILLED all the way to one's very marrow in hearing the dramatic monologues, whose message was so deep and moving that one could very nearly put aside the disappointments of casting and simply lose oneself in the bleakness of the moment? As for the plot itself, it was so absolutely TRAGICAL that this humble writer was quite beside herself all through the play, especially when the roguish but ever-so-handsome Ruslan fell to the stunningly wielded sabre of the grim-faced Illarion. I do not believe I have ever been so absolutely beside myself as I was at this moment, nor when the innocent Rosalyra gasped out her last sweet breath, and her actress the stunning Miss Moonsong fell with such convincing pallor and insensibility that I was very nearly ready to leap from my seat and call for the nearest cleric!
And tho' there is but scant space left for me to mention those several others among the cast who made the characters live and breathe, I cannot express too strongly how brightly their talents shone forth: the heartfelt loyalty of Caelum as played by Mister Quinnley, Miss Ilyanova's stern but steadfast Yury, the fatherly Artur of Miss Elondriel, Miss Nandrae's own fiery little Galina, even the stolid nameless soldier played by that handsomely brooding Mister Blackthorne! It was indeed a night that I shall never forget, so long as ever I shall live!
TWO WINGS UP for the play and the gifted denizens of Kaezar!
~ Kholer's Mid-summer Review ~
I was a little skeptical about what I would find coming back to a place whose highest cultural ideals the last few years have consisted largely of elves in tutus and oylets, but I allowed myself to be persuaded. I'm half-glad I did.
I got back to Kaezar in time to witness something called The Wolf and the Pine, which is a series of pointless disasters passing itself off as a play. The piece was written by -- that's right -- yet another elf girl. This Leniri Nandrae doesn't look like anything more than your usual piece of sylvan fluff, but her impressions must have been favorably influenced by all the Ryt'Tzar in town because her play was filled with all the swords and guns and fatalistic monologues you would expect from a true Kuthgard native. Half the play is drivel and the other half is people dying because they're too stupid to live, so altogether this makes it about fifty percent better than any other play I've suffered through in Kessia.
As for the dying, you couldn't have found a more deserving cast. Apparently Kaezar is even more lacking in real men than usual, since all of the male roles in the play were filled either by women or by men who might as well be. Notable examples include two former Royal Bards (apparently prospects for success as a Bard Emeritus in the real world aren't good), one token real Ryt'Tzar, and for some reason I haven't figured out yet and maybe don't want to, our own managing editor.
Oh, I take it back -- one of the soldier parts was filled by a mercenary captain turned set designer to fill in for the notorious convict who was set to play the role to begin with. If this is the kind of crowd that makes up the King's Players these days, I think I may go join the court of the veckle king instead. And speaking of royalty, it seems this will be the one and only production of the piece, as King Vek apparently has had enough of tedious speeches and meaningless death just from living in Kaezar to need to see any more on stage.
The only other event of any note the past two months was the Sune recital at the Ghent Center, sponsored by former (and maybe again, gods help us) Royal Bard Lilt Elondriel. And when I say "note," I mean something like the kind that bards sing at their mortal enemies to make them bleed out through the ears. I've survived some pretty terrible ordeals in my time -- not least of them every similar event put on by outstandingly abysmal Royal Bard Beckah Lotheniel -- but this one made me wonder why I'd even bothered.
I'm not going to relive all the terrible memories by recounting them here, but especially low points were some gypsy putting his instrument through an agonizing seizure and just about doing the same to the audience, and the Elondriel woman singing something about how all the men she sleeps with aren't good enough. Not enough real men in Kaezar? Really? And this is a surprise after how many years?
All in all, one tusk up for the last few months on account of the play. If everyone had died, I might have given two.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN LAURDIA AND THE TALLONEAN EMPIRE
~*~ Being an Account of the Journey to the Hostile Frontier of Civilized Lands,
~*~ And Beyond it into the Very Heart of Orcish Savagery;
~*~ Describing Also the Extraordinary Sights, Remarkable Creatures,
~*~ And Unusual Encounters Had Therein.
Part the Third: The Crumbled Country -- Unusual Tombs -- The Troglodytes of Tak Mneir -- The Watchers in the Cave -- Interrogation and Dissuasion -- Parting Gifts
As Mister Haithcock and I wove our steady way through the varied country of the vast Laurdian frontier, the mellow sunlight of late summer brought out every hue both subtle and bold with which the buttes around us were so vividly painted, and it was impossible to tire of the magnificent scene for as long as it lasted. But as one moves further north these buttes eventually disappear, not gradually shrinking in size before at last dwindling out, but rather vanishing quite suddenly -- all at once one realizes that the bluff one has just passed is not reproduced in kind upon the horizon, and instead there is only a great empty space before one's eyes. The once patchy grass becomes progressively thicker as one goes on, and in fact this thin strip of verdant land, whose lush greenery so swiftly replaces the rainbow tones of the so-called Badlands, is valued by the few remaining Valek tribes of the region who periodically graze their rabus and horses upon its bounty.
More closely approaching the Fenwyllen Mountains, however, the grass rapidly thins again as the terrain becomes rougher, and small stony eminences begin to dot the landscape. The whole area starts to be filled with a profusion of small knobbly rocks, sometimes lying bold-faced atop the dusty surface of the ground, sometimes hidden within the thin grass, but all of them given to roll and twist unexpectedly beneath one's feet such that making one's way steadily across the deceptively bare landscape becomes quite a challenge at times. Even the knolls themselves tend towards a certain insolidity, most of them being formed not of a single monolithic heap of dirt or column of stone, but instead of heaps of tumbled boulders all crushed together haphazardly into a precarious seeming pile. Looking out at this jumbled landscape one receives the impression that this whole country had originally been made by taking a great solid handful of rock and crushing it all within a giant hand, which then proceeded to scatter the fragmented bits in uneven piles and crumbs across the landscape.
One peculiar artificial feature of this area (and indeed, one of the only features shaped by a mortal hand at all) is the preponderance of rock-cut tombs, carved into the native stone with what must have been enormous exertion on the part of the builders. These tombs are necessarily limited to the long ridgelines of more solid rock that intermittently splay across the knobbly plain like spindly fingers, but in these specific locales many of the rock faces are positively riddled with holes, to the point that some of the ridges begin to resemble a somewhat shabby lacework more than they do a solid wall. In their basic conception some of these tombs are not dissimilar to ones that may be found in certain parts of the deserts of Ziguran, but the style of the architecture -- if such it may be termed -- differs somewhat from their southerly counterparts in being less massive in form, their surfaces carved with a wealth of delicate traceries and graceful fluted pilasters of the sort one would far more expect to find gracing some classical Indrejani villa rather than a barren hill-crag in the nowhere-land of the orcish frontier.
While most of these tombs occupied the stony ridgelines as described above, the most distinctive among all of those that we saw was one carved from a solitary protrusion of rock in the midst of the broad plain itself, such that the entire boulder-like projection had been shaped in the form of a building with its foundations sunk deep into the soil. This particular rock-cut structure, like many of its counterparts up in the hills, bore multiple inscriptions in a blocky looking script across the carven lintels and beneath the eaves, and in fact this same script could be found scrawled all across the rock walls even apart from the tombs, and occasionally even upon fragments of stone found heaped on the ground (these last usually being discovered by the entirely fortuitous method of hitting one's toe very forcefully against one of the upraised corners of these blocks, which were almost invariably concealed within highly malicious clumps of grass). But despite the prominence of these writings across the landscape, none of the local people were able to tell us anything of their meaning, nor of the origins of the tombs. It must be assumed that these relics represent the remnants of an ancient civilization whose descendants have either vanished utterly from the locale, or whose posterity have become so far distanced from their forebears that no trace of those long-ago people remains within their collective memory.
Speaking of those inhabitants who still remain in the area, they are an unusual but strangely peaceable people, if extraordinarily wary in their initial charity towards travelers. Perhaps "peaceable" is in fact the wrong term, as they are peaceable in something of the manner of a scattered band of rabbits surrounded on all sides by starving wolves, and clearly have little energy or interest to spare in expending hostility towards travelers, especially such harmless lunatics as they evidently judged Mister Haithcock and myself to be. In fact, they seemed to extend their meagre gifts of food and shelter as one might offer some last small kindnesses to a man imminently condemned to death, and responded to the explanation of our travel plans with the gentle affirmation with which the sane speak soothing words in response to the inane babbling of their mentally troubled brethren. Nevertheless, they were a kindly if unimaginative race, and I do believe they would have given the last paltry lentil in their pantries to any passer-by who asked for it.
In direct contrast to their long-forgotten ancestors, these people spend their lives rather than their deaths in homes carved into the stone of those many rocky ridges that sweep the scrubby plain, though these are seldom within any kind of proximity of the tombs. Many of these dwelling places are almost painfully stark, boasting little in the way of ornamentation or furnishings, and again one must draw the conclusion that both the physical and psychological strain of living such a precarious existence discourages any impulse towards creativity or extraneous comforts. But these caves had certain wonders of their own which the inhabitants were touchingly eager to show to us, as if painfully aware of the dull impression made by their own living spaces and wishing to compensate for their deficiencies.
I would say that we obtained a guide to show us through the rest of the caves, but in fact it was more a matter of a guide obtaining us, as we had hardly gotten through our first meal before being approached and practically hauled bodily away by a man for whom we seemed to be an object worthy of greater joy and coveting than any chest of jewels. The man, called by the disconcertingly poetical sounding name of Llenellen Rilunyel (which we were informed translated into Kivian as something like the entirely improbable epithet of "Song of the Innermost Caverns"), was a daun of middling years with thinning dust-colored hair, but whose eyes shone with the eager glint of a much younger man.
With this interesting gentleman leading the way, Mister Haithcock and I passed through seemingly endless dark passages cut straight through the rock, our curiously muffled footsteps the only sound. After what seemed an interminable time of this, with the enthusiastic but cagey Mister Rilunyel evading our every question concerning what lay at the end of these labyrinthine tunnels, I was almost ready to believe that the gentle humility of these people had been only an act, and was really meant to lure us as unwitting victims for some exotic Laurdian ritual meant to appease hostile orcs, or perhaps that we were to become a welcome addition to their sparse larder. Indeed the already narrow corridor had by this time begun to constrict alarmingly, and as our guide stepped lightly behind the last blind corner I braced myself for some kind of assault -- only to turn the corner myself, and be stunningly greeted by a sudden wash of rich jewel-like tones and the glimmer of silver and gold, and from the midst of this sudden burst of color, a multitude of solemn faces gazing at us with large pale eyes, waiting.
There was, as one might expect, an initial moment of shock, which unfortunately for our hapless guide also involved a few minutes of lying limply at the base of one of the cavern walls and the sudden onslaught of a rather severe headache, as Mister Haithcock acted with the force of all the suspicion and ill-feeling that one might naturally expect to feel at having been led into some sinister ambush. More fortunately for Mister Rilunyel's continued good health, however, it quickly became apparent that these were not in fact the faces of real people, living in dark seclusion deep beneath the earth and watching the arrival of newcomers with inscrutable eyes, but rather merely paintings upon the smooth rock walls of the chamber.
But such paintings as they were can hardly be described, nor can I really do justice to the way in which one felt a certain subtle sense of vitality and character residing somewhere under the surface of the pigments. What lent the entire scene an even more surreal air, and had made the first sighting of all those painted faces so oddly convincing, was a strangely wavering and shimmering quality to the air in this chamber, which made the figures on the walls seem almost to shift and slide their gaze about, producing an effect of not-quite-liveliness. However, this effect became much more muted when one stayed still, at least until one remained staring at any point for too long, at which point the shimmering would paradoxically become more pronounced again.
As for the paintings themselves -- and in fact those in this chamber were not the only ones, as our guide later showed us two similar such spaces -- there was not among them, so far as I ever saw, a single scene of people going about the usual course of their lives, whether tending flocks or engaging in ceremonies or exchanging blows in battle. Instead, it was always line after line and row upon row of persons simply standing and looking out at the viewer, as if they were an audience awaiting our arrival, or, perhaps more in keeping with their knowing visages, as if we were supplicants come before them to receive their judgment.
In fact, it turned out that the people who presently lived in the outermost sections of these caves would sometimes bring to these chambers certain persons among them who were felt by themselves or others to be in need of judgment, or else of very serious advice or guidance, and that these persons would then be left alone here among the watchers for a day and a night. At the end of this time some appointed member of the rest of the tribe (as it seemed Mister Rilunyel himself was) would return to fetch this person, and it was generally agreed that it was impossible to know beforehand whether the party in question would emerge enlightened, chastened, or stark raving mad.
The possibilities of this experience seemed to greatly pique the interest of Mister Haithcock, who proceeded to subject our poor beleagured guide to a good half-hour's worth of interrogation concerning how long the Watchers had been known to exist, what was the longest Mister Rilunyel himself had spent here and to what effect, whether anyone were allowed to spend the allotted time in the Watchers' company, how one was prepared for the experience, what sort of madness was suffered and by what proportion of persons, what was the cause of the wavering effect of the air, and if anyone had performed in that chamber certain magickal tests whose nature Mister Rilunyel was utterly baffled by, even when the explanation was accompanied by certain mathematical formulae scribbled on the floor -- these and a host of other such questions our guide was peppered with, too numerous for recounting.
I had at first felt a certain stirring of intrigue myself at hearing of this peculiar phenomenon, but upon observing my companion's sudden fascination with the idea it dawned on me with swift certitude that this could not possibly be the most prudent course of action for any of us to take, and so I found myself taking sides with our guide in attempting to persuade Mister Haithcock against this particular experiment. Despite all appeals to good sense and pleas to listen one's better nature, it proved impossible to convince my companion until finally Mister Haithcock was given the very insistent reminder that if any of us were to remain here for the requisite day and night we would never have time to reach our actual destination, this argument being strengthened by the additional suggestion that if anyone were to insist on going through with this course of action it could not be considered the fault of anyone else if a plague of overly friendly cave-weasels (quite prominent and tame in several of the upper caverns) were to suddenly choose to avail themselves of this space. And so eventually all three of us made our way out of this unusual chamber and back to the inhabited caves once again, if in somewhat poorer temper than we had first passed that way.
The rest of the cave-dwellers seemed sad but resigned to see us go so soon, though indeed this seemed to be the demeanor with which they generally went about their lives in this harsh and uncertain land. However, they refused to allow us to depart without another demonstration of selfless hospitality, and treated us to a feast of dried lentils, a few wan-looking leeks, and the very savory flank of a freshly-killed rabu -- perhaps a somewhat less hearty repast than the one we had had previously at the border garrison, but surely no less heartfelt. When we finally reached the outermost chamber of the caves and prepared to exchange this dim twilight netherworld for a softly sunlit dawn, we were stopped by a startlingly violet-eyed little girl of perhaps some seven years of age, who solemnly insisted on garlanding our brows with flowers before we should go forth to meet our uncertain fate -- to my great delight, if not to Mister Haithcock's.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
IN THE PUBLIC EYE: Letters, Essayes, and Opynion
Friend or Menace: Concerning the Wubwuv
By Leniri Nandrae
The Wubwuv is well known across Kessia, though it remains a poorly understood and oft-maligned creature. Should any reader bear the curiosity and compassion to endeavor to understand these animals, the writer shall here make the sincerest effort to share what she has learned through both inquiry and experience.
The wubwuv is a large rodent, in most cases bigger than a hare (though this is sometimes a trick of their prodigious and quite voluminous fur!) and colored a modest sort of gray with black stripes down the length of its back. These are dull in immaturity and become more pronounced as the creatures age. They have got small ears with points, long tails with tufts, and sharp teeth and claws for burrowing, foraging, and defending themselves from their many predators.
[ Nibbling on a blackberry bush, the long-tailed fuzzball in this woodblock print could only be a wubwuv. Its beady black eyes are absolutely expressionless, but her hunched posture and raised snout suggest a twitchy sort of apprehension. Care has been taken to detail the creature's soft fur and clawed forepaws as it struggles to reach the cluster of berries it is focused so intently upon.
In ornate script reproduced at the bottom edge of the print, "The Wubwuv" is written. ]
For his part, the wubwuv is content to dig his burrows and hop about with surprising agility. He is cautious and timid, feeding chiefly on shoots and berries, and uses his powerful nose and ears to detect threats. When threatened, however, he will not hesitate to fight back, and it is because of this that many strange stories have come to this reporter's attention.
One need not search long to uncover tales of wubwuvs causing even seasoned adventurers grievous injury, tearing with exacting precision at eyes and throats. Had these tales not come from the mouths of certain associates of this reporter, then they might have been dismissed outright. One must wonder however at the extraordinary capriciousness of The Nameless One to have granted such a fearsome and undeserved reputation to these gentle and timid creatures.
For a pet, it is difficult to imagine any creature more suitable. They easily weather the outdoors in all seasons, and are content to feed on garden trimmings, wild grass, and any such fruit or greens as might be discarded from the kitchen. They possess a humble and tractable disposition and are content to rest in one's arms or (if acquired young and properly trained) to follow a trusted owner along without the aid of a leash.
There are indeed concerns that any potential wubwuv owner ought to take into consideration. For the first, these creatures will indiscriminately attempt to eat anything that bears the slightest resemblance to food. This reporter has observed her own pet eating: paint (wet and dry), table scraps (fresh and old), paper (printed and clean), tobacco (packed and lit), gunpowder (in horn or pistol), and in one quite unfortunate and regrettable incident, the wing of a bramble who, upon recollection, might have resembled some sort of exotic flower.
One might gather that wubwuv ownership is not for everybody, but it can be a very rewarding undertaking to any who have got a mind to attempt it. At the very least, it is the opinion of the writer that these lovely creatures do deserve a second look from a public by which they have been perhaps unfairly misjudged.
~ * ~
A certain incident upon the Streets of Kaezar provoked an Exchange of vehement Words between one Miss Gulnara Ilyanova and a Mister Johnathan Graves, when the latter was discovered casting Insult upon a certain lady who was present. Mister Graves had on this Occasion referred to the lady as a man, and on being corrected as to her actual Sex, admitted no Remorse for his Error, instead compounding his Offense by saying that the woman was Ugly enough to be a man. After further harsh Terms were bandied about, including reference to Miss Ilyanova as a female of the Canine persuasion, she demanded Apology for the Insult he had dealt to herself and this other unfortunate lady to whose Defense she had sprung, and within a few dayes received this Vellum:
I apologise, m'lady, for insulting your friend by calling her a man. I apologize for insulting you to your face, despite your numerous insults to my own.
I apologize for demanding anything of you. I apologize for believing the worst of you due to my previous witness to your interactions with myself and others with whom I am acquainted.
I bid thee good day, and good life, and shall endeavour to simply ignore your presence whenever possible, if only so that I do not cause insult to you again.
-J. J. Graves.
The Eye wishes further to note that the above evidently being deemed sufficient Apology to allow one elevation the Ranks of Kessia's Finest, Mister Graves has since been recruited to the local Imperial Guard as a Junior Guardsman.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
FOR THE PUBLIC NOTICE:
The Eye wishes it to be known to All and Sundry that:
until lately an Outlaw of the Realm,
forbidden even to enter within its Borders,
HAS RECEIV'D OFFICAL REPRIEVE
from our good King Vek,
as of this 8th Daye of Sune, 649 AoD.
Having been granted the King's Mercy in this matter, Mister Tamerlaine is once again at Liberty to pass through and habitate within the Borders of Kessia, and may henceforth do as he pleases there without fear of Persecution, so long as his Conduct shalle remain within the Bounds of Law.
Lady Cyra wishes the Patrons of her Establishment to be reminded of the Policies regarding Pets and other Creatures, which are not to be left in the Public Areas of the Silver Plum under any circumstances, and indeed should not be found upon her Premises at all, save in being taken through those areas to the private inn rooms located Up-Stairs. The Proprietor recognizes the Necessity of these Companions being let occasionally out of the private rooms into the Up-Stairs Corridor to allow for the unimpeded Cleaning of the rooms by the Maids, but in no cases can allow them to Roam freely and Unattended or to be brought into any of the Parlors, Gaming Rooms, or indeed the Dining-Room. Any such found Unattended will be brought to the Attention of the city's Pinder, who will Remove them and levy a Fine against their owners for their Return.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
EYE ON KESSIA
Views of Our Fair Province
Through the Lens of a Camera-Obscura
[ The photograph reproduced in this nearly full-page print has been taken outside a domed temple made from polished granite, which is situated upon a wide green that is not only charred and thoroughly burnt, but has still-smoldering arrows imbedded deeply in the ground. A stone well sits at its center, being largely uninteresting. Buildings surround the smoking square, and pathways and roads lead off in every direction. Scattered in gory prominence across the grass are the corpse of a black orc (lying down), the corpse of an orc shaman (lying down), the corpse of an orc shaman (lying down), the corpse of an orc shaman (lying down), the corpse of an orc shaman (lying down), the corpse of an orc shaman (lying down), the corpse of a black orc (lying down), and the corpse of an orc shaman (lying down), along with two living persons who might be recognizable as Ariano and Beckah, the latter holding aloft a white rose that she gazes on in cheerful disregard for the corpse-strewn ground surrounding her.
The print is cheerily labeled, "Yule-Tide at Seton Village, 648 AoD" ]
Do you have a Photograph that you wish to share with your fellow Readers? Submit one to the offices of the Kaezarian Eye, along with a brief Explanation of the Shot, and our talented woodcut Artists will turn it into a Print for the next Edition of the News! All Photographs shall be returned as promptly as the Creative Process permits.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
NEWS OF THE WORLDE
By Minerva Sartchilde, Owner and Chief Editor
Oure first itym of interyste is a reporte on the mysterious Master Healer Alquillio, who haf been sightyd in d'Anjour in Mercuette, Indrejan, where due to hys miraculous and unknown methods of Healing haf restored the missing leg of thee cryppled aide to the Ambassador from Madrajakore, who was run over by a cart some six weeks past and lost thee appendyge in question as a consequence. Thee Master Healyr haf since departyd the region for parts unknown, and none can say where hee might reappear.
In related newes, thys reportyr is assured that thee troubles in nearby Sault-Vencion which thee Eye reported upon in Morde of thys year haf been soundly put down by thee local authorities, with no fewyr than a score of Boggans put to hard labor and their ryngleader decapitayted upon that nation's notorious head-removing device known as thee "guillotine" (whych historicallie-mynded readers will recall was once importyd to our very own Kaezar and used as an instrument of terror by the infamous Usurper, but was speedily replayced by the traditonal axe and gibbet upon hys ouster by our belovyd King Vek). Thee miscreant's head haf been mounted on a post upon thee corner of thee Place du Fousseret, much to the consternation of thee business establyshments located thereon.
The Eye haf finally had official confirmation of thee orcish troubles on thee Wessumbrian frontier from representatives of the Imperial Guarde, who haf stepped up recruiting efforts throughout that country as well as inne neighboring Baetana and Malakvia. It is said that Kesmuthe is worst hit by the invayding forces, wyth reports of strong forays nearly reaching Osh'Wydde. Thus far there haf been no repeat of thee catastrophic Nellwynian invasions staged during thee zu'wrathe war, and indeed the Nassendanian states haf bolstyered their owne northern bordyrs with levies upon theyr own citizens and also wyth two mercenary companies composed primarily of Inosmerti druim'dwer. We haf heard that an ambassador from Wessumbria will be arrivinge in our owne faire Kingdom to speak to His Royal Majesty and then will head to Penthras to begge additional forces from thee Emperor himselfe.
It was with astonishmente that thys reporter learnede of the extent of thee troubles in the Empire of Vash, for although the Eye haf been reportyng upon them for some time it is only now that we haf learnt the full truthe of the matter. Historicallie-mynded readers will recall the visit to Kaezar by thee Lord Kurisu Ishada, former Daimyo of the Seven Northern Provinces, General of the Shogun's Armies, Protector of Thee Great Emperor and thee Throne of Vash some yeares past, when his sister Lady Gohime Ishada was to wedde our own King Vek and was subsequentlie abducted, held for ransome and drivyn mad by her abuctor (who some even whisperyd was none other than a facette of the devious Taqe). Though the Lady was rescued and returned to her home country, the loss of honor and face was such that both the Daimyo and his father, the Shogun Tomokatsu Ishada, were driven to commit suicide over thee affaire, the father being replaced by thee present Shogun, Yutaka Kizashi, who immediately called for a sworde hunte and gathered up all of thee arms from rivalle clans, enemies and thee commoners, locking away or burning all existing firearmes and restricting what armes and armors could be used by the citizens of thee Vashan Empyre.
It is now knowne to the Eye that a major source of thee unreste plaguing Koje can be laid at the feete of the Ishada familie, for a persistent rumor that Lady Gohime herself haf recovered from her madnys and gathered those Daimyos yet loyalle to the memories of her fathyr and her brother to make war with thee Shogun is now known to be confyrmed. Though thee coastal flooding reported upon by the Eye in our Morde edition of thys year was a true evente, it is now apparent that thee countrie stands on the brynk of civil war, and that numerous smugglers, bandits and "ronin" haf taken advantage of thee chaos to heighten thee troubles even further. At thys time it does not appear as if thee city of Koje has been much affected, and as all these reportyrs are wholeheartedly denyed by Ambassador Suwa, it is the position of the Eye that foreigners travelling to Koje should bee warned of the situation and take caution therein. We will keep our readeres updated as we learn more.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
AS EYE SEE IT
By Aunty Anony
Hello Hello Hello - Hafe you hearde!
So much to Tell!
Aunty is thrilled beyond words to tell her readers about the lovely weddings coming up! First of all, Aunty needs to congratulate the lovely Gale di'Costa-Arendsen on finally catching that slippery Thief-Taker and making an honest man of him. Next up, we hear the rakish Imperial Guardsman Kedeamos Xe'Shexas has given Miss Kasandri Sharas his mother's heirloom ring as a token of his love and a promise of wedding bells. The mysterious Dalanoth Ithiel, known for his assistance to Mr. Mandel in dealing with those horrid demons, has proposed (or is about to propose - oh no, don't say we spoiled it!) to the gracious Eyssan priestess Xiao Mao. Did we hear a rumor about Chirurgeon Consiller Aldan Talvir of the KMS asking for the hand of Miss Amsha Aranthi? Confirm the happy news for us, dearies. Notably absent from the roster of the engaged is Mr. Shadowlight, who would leave ruts in the street if he dragged his feet any harder... can't you give that poor flame-haired girl a ring, or is that just one step too far after you already saved her from certain death?
And of course we can't go on without officially announcing the happy engagement of our own Commander de'Alera (who earned a well-deserved promotion after His Majesty finally gave Dame Elli a long-overdue dubbing) to the gentle Anolisse Thr'eyan, Serenite and healer of renown. A little birdie tells Auntie they're looking for authentic Muir wedding rings to formalize their union, and that a highly-placed personage might be pulling some strings to help them out. You didn't read it here!
Now we come to our triangles, and as they say, "More sides, more fun!" Is Miss Aurorah seeing Mr. Shadowlight or Mr. Forsythe, and which one of them painted her "in the pristine" with Miss--no, wait, it's Mrs. Ilyanova, who eloped with a mysterious gentleman we only know as "Alexei." We heard a most scandalous rumor about that "gentleman" giving his pet goat a mean-spirited name, but fear not! The Captain of the Imperial Guard has stepped up to put a stop to this petty bullying and is considering a duel with the aforementioned Alexei, saying, "If any of that group wishes to insult friends of mine for no reason I would be more than happy to show them there are repercussions for their actions. I am, after all, far larger and more experienced with combat then they are. It wouldn't be much of a duel."
Until next issue, Aunty sees all and tells moste!
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
@@@@@ WANTED @@@@@ - Men and Women of the Empire in good standing with the law who are interested in serving their fellow Citizenry by joining the ranks of the Imperial Guard. All applicants must be at least 16 years of age, not have any major crimes on the record within the last two years, and be willing to swear their allegiance to His Imperial Majesty.
- policing the cities and kingdoms of the Empire and upholding its Laws and Ordinances
- defending its Officials, and
- defending its Lands and Holdings against all enemies, both Foreign and Domestic.
A 5000 Sovereign signing bonus is authorized, and a generous monthly stipend included. All applicants should either leave notice at the Imperial Keep, or contact one of the 8th Regiment's officers directly.
Locks opened fer cheep! Approved by the Society fer prevention of Cruelty ta Veckles! Ratsi's Lock Shop, Greys Ramble, City of Kaezar
Seamstress Wanted! Muste be Handy wyth all manner of Laces as well as Dexteroys wyth silken fabrycs. Spinnyng Knowledge would Be Apprecyated. - Inquyre at Madame deSharlet
Horses Bought! We Pay Gud Pryces for Olde Horse and Mule Flesh. Get Ryd of Dobbyn Here! See Beil at Beil's Meat Market
EYES PRESERVED * VISION GUARDED * BLINDNESS PREVENTED * In Cooperation with Local Empaths and Glassworks * The Royal Scrivener Fills All Your Spectacle Needs * APERTURE SPECTACLES * BOW SPECTACLES * TINTED SPECTACLES * MONOCLES
Magrel the Tailor is offering great deals on sturdy clothing for the gentlemen. Located in Paran Alley 2 blocks west of Harrow Road.
Against all Odds and in the face of utter implacable Indifference on all sides, the Kaezarian Eye is still seeking talented, inquisitive, and DEDICATED writers! The Eye currently has Openings for General Reporters, as well as positions of a more Specialized nature, including Food Critic, Astrologer, and Out-of-Town Correspondent. Any Person hired by the Eye must be willing and able to produce at least one Article per Edition, and will receive a generous Salary from the timely completion of their Duties. All Persons interested in Applying for these positions, or having ideas for other Topics on which they might wish to write, are encouraged to speak with Siovanhe Starsong, acting manager.
Ghust Edition, Age Of Dreams, 649
NOTE FROM THE EDITORS:
Thanke you for purchasing, or Otherwyse obtaining, our newspaper.
Until the streets of Kaezar are paved, May the Publick Be Wary.
Minerva Sartchilde, Owner and Chief Editor.
Siovanhe Starsong, Head Reporter and Acting Manager.