Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Interstellar Dispatches 14

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

  • Mendicant Heresy Revealed
  • Militant Vorox Ravage Castle Sybaris
  • Supply Convoy Lost on Route to Kurga
  • A Letter from the Editor
  • Agora Notices

Mendicant Heresy Revealed
DELPHI – Veet City Region – The reclusive 'Order Of Luminous Purity', which makes its home at a monastery beyond the eastern outskirts of the Veet City Region, has recently come under close scrutiny after one of its monks was discovered in the local agora wearing a pair of so-called 'rose-tinted glasses'. These high-tech glasses conjure a fictional environment for their wearer and are proscribed by the Church.

According to Father Edwards, a spokesman for Veet's bishop Megnasi, the mendicant order – which has about 30 members and controls a small and serene fief surrounding its monastery – avoids almost all contact with outsiders to protect their own purity.

When questioned why he would wear this proscribed item the unnamed monk said that, when his order needs to buy supplies in Veet, its emissary dons the ancient pair of glasses to 'protect' himself from the sin and corruption of the city. The glasses are programmed to show everyone as pure and virtuous and thus keep the emissary’s soul-mirror clean.

Father Edwards further added that archbishop Lyander of Doloria has already stepped in and demanded a thorough investigation of this case. In an open letter to bishop Megnasi he wrote, "If these charges of technosophy are true, I trust that you will disband this deluded cult and take charge of their once holy monastery. [...] Their self-touted purity is no more real than the images of this lying pair of glasses. A deception of the most dangerous sort."

Why the archbishop himself has chosen to intervene in this local affair is a matter for speculation. It may well be that he is attempting to show strength as a possible successor to the ageing Patriarch.

Militant Vorox Ravage Castle Sybaris
MALIGNATIUS – New Jakovgrad – The so-called 'Siege of Castle Sybaris' was ended yesterday, after Kossack-led troops from Nunaat and Alakshak arrived in force to drive the Vorox invaders off and retake the castle.

Many of the Vorox are former commandos in the Li Halan military. Refusing to accept the loss of their Li Halan masters, they have been waging a guerilla war on the southern polar continent of New Tibet since House Decados conquered Malignatius during the Emperor Wars. While there are peaceful communities of civilized Vorox on the rest of Malignatius, the New Tibetan Vorox are much more militant and it is rumored that their cubs remain feral, not undertaking the declawing rite of passage that separates them from their bestial cousins on Ungavorox.

Garahagaya, a former captain in the Li Halan military, leads the largest of these militant packs and has been a threat to the human settlers in this area for several years. Now it seems Garahagaya has upped the ante by uniting many of New Tibet's packs for a coordinated strike on the continent's administrative center and capital Castle Sybaris.

The ancient castle, which is also the residence of the continent's ruler Marquis Gennady Decados, was overrun within an hour; its human defenders slain while the supposedly loyal Vorox guards treacherously switched sides.
Marquis Gennady and his small court fled into the deep air-bombardment shelters of the castle before the attacking Vorox broke through. There they were forced to spend an entire week whilst overhead the feral beasts pillaged the castle.

Much of the castle’s interior was plundered or destroyed while the personal chambers of the residing nobles were subjected to what Baronet Tamara Decados described as "acts of the basest and filthiest sort".

The nightmarish week came to a sudden end when a small flotilla appeared at the horizon. Fifty Kossacks and more than 1,000 regular soldiers arrived on the shores of New Tibet. The feral Vorox quickly fled, taking supplies and, to Marquis Gennady's chagrin, most of the castle's weaponry with them.

After surveying his ruined throne room, the Marquis swore, "These beasts have not heard the last of me! Before the year is over, their hides will hang upon my walls and their heads will be my hunting trophies!"

Supply Convoy Lost on Route to Kurga
VERA CRUZ – Los Aztecha – A supply convoy of more than a dozen freighters loaded with supplies for troops fighting on the Kurgan front has been destroyed in the Vera Cruz system. Believing the Vera Cruz system to be safe, the convoy was unprotected as it made its way to the Jumpgate, where it was to rendezvous with an escort flotilla coming from Sutek.

The supply fleet sent a distress call only hours before it was supposed to make its rendezvous and reported that it had come under attack from a Kurgan raider fleet. The privateer vessel San Paulo, captained by Anton Gonzalez de San Paulo, responded immediately. Despite burning its fuel reserves, it could not arrive in time to fight off the attackers. The San Paulo was the first vessel to arrive and rescued a number of crewmen from the stricken freighters.

This is the first time in decades that Kurgan raiders have struck beyond Kurga. Hazat military intelligence had until now assured guild and civic leaders on Vera Cruz that the Kurgans no longer possessed jumpkeys to access the route from Kurga into the heart of the Empire.

Baron Juan del Vasquez de Vera Cruz made this statement, “All military forces in the Vera Cruz system have been placed on high alert to counter the Kurgan threat. It is likely, however, that the raiders have already taken their spoils and made good their escape.”

Captain Anton Gonzales de San Paulo was not so easily convinced, “The supply ships were victims of a surgical strike, not a random act of piracy. The raiders disabled the freighters’ engines, then purposefully targeted the cargo pods and bays to destroy the contents. The raiders did not board the disabled vessels, nor steal any cargo; this was an act of war, not piracy.”

Our popular feature, the Magic Lantern Review, has been suspended by order of Archbishop Palamon, following an open letter from Bishop Haverland accusing the Town Criers Guild of promoting the soul-dimming taint of mass media:
A Letter from the Editor
Despite the popularity of our Magic Lantern Review over the past couple of months, the editor has been forced to consider his position and the suitability of this material for publication in light of an open letter from Bishop Julius Haverland, addressing his concerns that we are promoting mass media in violation of Church edicts to the contrary.

I would answer that charge by stating that the Magic Lantern Review provided reviews of holofile recordings that are produced and distributed legally for the private entertainment of those individuals with the personal wealth and lifestyle to permit them to enjoy such things. We are not promoting or even advocating the mass viewing of these shows to the greater population. Our readership is a small percentage of literates throughout the Known Worlds -principally those with noble, church or guild education, and not lowly serfs.

In answer to the good Bishop’s demand for a full investigation by the Inquisition into these charges, I would say that such a thing is wholly unnecessary and a gross overreaction. We have taken advice from our parent guild—the Guild of Reeves—and, while our position is defensible under both Church and Imperial Law, we shall respect the reservations of the Orthodox Church and suspend this popular feature forthwith for an indefinite period of time.

It is my hope that cooler heads may prevail in the future. Until such time the Guild of Town Criers will not seek to review any further Magic Lantern Productions.

With deepest regret,

The Editor

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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