Friday, 13 July 2012

interstellar Dispatches 12

Originally posted by Town Criers Guild on April 30, 2008
Featured articles in this issue:

  • Al-Malik Fleet Blockades Jumpgate
  • Tragedy strikes at Summer's End
  • Preceptor Pirate Glimmer-cast
  • Magic Lantern Review: Night Stalker: the Deadly Hunt
  • Agora Notices

Al-Malik Fleet Blockades Jumpgate
STIGMATA – Darmak Station – After last month’s conspiracy theory concerning the rediscovery of the legendary Masseri treasure on Daishan, a rising number of treasure hunters have been reported gathering in the Stigmata system. Contacts within the underworld and black markets on that world and neighboring Istakhr and Shaprut have reported a massive demand for jumpkeys rumored to give access to the Daishan system.

In a surprise action, House al-Malik has dispatched a heavily armed fleet to the Jumpgate in the Stigmata system with orders to apprehend any vessel attempting to open a passage to the Symbiot world.

Baron Arman Hazred al-Malik made this statement of intent: “House al-Malik will not allow blatant profiteering to undermine the security of the House and Empire. To disturb this world is to invite a counterattack which will endanger our worlds and our people. House al-Malik stands ready to use deadly force should anyone try to access the Daishan system.”

In response to this statement from House al-Malik, Sir Kalen Decados of the Order of the Mantis responded, “So it looks like the al-Malik rogues want a cut of the action, without taking the risk for themselves. I’ll lay a wager that they are bought off within a fortnight. Firebirds can buy anything if you have enough of them.”

Brother Battle and Imperial Forces operating in the system welcomed the additional presence of the fleet, indicating that it could only help the everyday situation to have additional reinforcements covering their backs.

Tragedy strikes at Summer's End
GWYNNETH – Llanfyrth – Visitors both local and off-planet were shocked to witness the death of Sir Davide Juandaastas during the annual Summer's End Battle hosted by Gwynneth's governor, Duke Erasmus Hawkwood.

The 'battle', a week-long series of tournaments ranging from fencing duels to full-blown jousts, is held in the middle of fall, a holdover from pre-reflective times when local pagans tried to stave off the coming of winter with a series of ritualized battles. Nowadays, Summer's End has a more worldly character, where noble and commoner alike remember the Pancreator-given bounty of the summer and prepare for the winter to come.

Nobles traditionally join either the Summer Host or the Winter Host, and the winners of the duels and the jousts are tallied for each side. The Host that has won the most duels at the end of the week garners much prestige, but is obliged to finance the great Summer's End feast from their own pockets. The planetary governor is traditionally the leader of the Summer Host.

It was during one of these jousts that Sir Davide Juandaastas met his untimely end. The nephew of Count Philippe of Rangor, he was beloved by the commoners and a champion of the Summer Host for the past four years since his coming of age. He was one of the few nobles to partake in the so-called 'jetbike jousts', which are only for the most skilled and brave. Only three such jousts were fought this year.

Thousands of spectators witnessed how Sir Davide was thrown from his jetbike by the lance of Baronet Rufus Henning-Hawkwood and smashed into the ground. His energy shield, the only protection in such a duel, shorted out and failed to protect him. Amalthean healers on the scene were unable to save him and could only perform his last rites.

Baronet Rufus, who was not only Sir Davide's long-time rival but also his childhood friend, had to be led from the field in shock by his retainers. Sir Davide's death, as well as the overall victory of the Winter Host, are seen as bad omens for the coming winter by the peasantry.

Preceptor Pirate Glimmer-cast
AYLON – Sunval – The discovery of a large cache of Glimmer Cards on Aylon has fuelled black market demand for these devices. The pocket-sized devices, with their miniature magic lantern displays, can be used to receive broadcasts bounced over short distances between cards. These communications are dubbed ‘glimmer-casts’.

While the Church views the technology itself as suspect, it is the content of one of these glimmer-casts that has the Inquisition up in arms. The rogue priest Father Joshua Erwin Garman has already caused embarrassment by escaping from Inquisition custody, and now the heretical preceptor is broadcasting a regular glimmer-cast to educate the listeners in the principles of science and theology.

A statement released from the offices of Archbishop Taraleng clearly stated the Church’s opposition to this type of irresponsible use of technology and the harm that can be done by education without holy reflection.

The Town Criers’ Guild is proud to present a new feature: “Magic Lantern Review” aims to give you all the information you need to make an informed choice about which of the most recent productions you need to see.

Night Stalker: the Deadly Hunt
Severan survival drama exploring bonds between grandfather and grandson
Follow the exploits of an aging and bitter Hazat noble and his hotheaded grandson as they hunt an immensely dangerous and maliciously cunning predator in the jungles of Severus. Their expedition loses people by the hour while riled up Ascorbites attack them by day and the predator stalks them at night. But through all this, the old Hazat regains some joy in his life while the young one learns some wisdom to temper his anger. Finally, through cunning, patience and the famous will to win at all costs, they bring the beast down and return triumphant.

Gorambor, the Vorox: "A must see for all true hunters! Old Hazat and Hazat cub stumble through forest in true comedic fashion, going for more hilarious pitfalls than one can imagine while hunting for skinny beast. Great laughs guaranteed! Gorambor needed all six paws to hold belly!"

Master Engineer Edric Shurak: “From where did the constructor of this HoloFile take his technical references? The noble main characters are using awfully antiquated projectile arms in ways simply impossible. The frequently displayed weapon (13 times, exact timetable can be downloaded over EngineerLocalAuthorityNetNode 456275647489 - cc) is a bad replica of the old Mitchau M-99 AruHunter Big Game Rifle, coupled with a thermical scanner (ShuunVoor Technologies Model SDF-K88) mounted the wrong way between the fluctuator ports and without the necessary K87/88 - Energy releasing package!

“And never did the user of this illogical projectile monstrosity change magazines (the M-99 can only hold 20 rounds), even when shooting thirty times or more. Besides the M-99 NEVER had a full-Autofire option, that would require a modification so massive (exact blueprints can be downloaded over EngineerLocalAuthorityNetNode 456275647489 - cc), it would be a waste of resources and time.

“And this crass disregard for technological possibilities is a main theme in the whole Entertainment File, which is much more chaotic if you consider the technical brilliance of the presentation itself! High-Definition-Zooms, stable recording positions of the camera even in radical unstable physical conditions and molecule-sharp close ups show at least mastery of the used recording and processing equipment.

“But the content so professionally presented stays into a mess of illogic, so my person had no emotionally positive reaction from watching the video. Others watching it seemed to find positive input from disturbing illogical behavior patterns shown by the protagonists, so if you tend to perform your analytical processes with your non-brain-organs, it may be affecting and stimulating you in a positive way. But it is nonsense, and as the Pancreator gave us the Gift of Reason, my person considers it blasphemical to ignore this gift.”

Provost Emilio Desotro of the Eskatonic Order: “As subtle as a Criticorum lamik, this eminently predictable plot began with the usual dire warnings and dramatic irony popular among the easily amused. The film's originality decreases from that point; with caricature representations of Ascorbite culture rivaled only by the monodimensionality of the Hazat protagonists themselves. I question the sanity of the casting director in using former child star Henri Foytya of the Masque for the role of the grandson--in all my long decades of wandering, I have never once met a Hazat so brash, stupid, and self-assured, and I am not given to hyperbole. Even the scenes of supposed dramatic tension are disrupted every time Foytya opens his mouth, and the character realization at the end is as forced as a Decados-Hawkwood marriage. I cannot help but think that the Patriarch's last weekly sermon, in which he inveighed against the moral dangers of the entertainment industry, was motivated in part by this atrocious debacle of a film.”

Sir Hercules Erastes Xanthippe: “At least this story does not include a female token character, so it can - and should - be read entirely as an epic about male bonding and the initiation into the duties and responsibilities of adulthood. The folly of men who lack the calm guidance of their betters becomes apparent, as well as their overblown egocentric personalities. However, as they are made to suffer for it, this seems forgivable.”

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

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