Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Interstellar Dispatches 17

Originally posted by Town Crier's Guild on September 30, 2008
Featured articles in this issue:

  • Town Crier’s Guild Recognized!
  • ‘Last Rites Killer’ Strikes Again
  • Object Discovered in Urth’s Oort Cloud
  • Courtly Gossip
  • Agora Notices

Town Crier’s Guild Recognized!
LEAGUEHEIM – Kesparate – The Town Criers Guild is proud to announce that it has formally been awarded an interstellar patent of exclusivity on our recently established communications network. The system is based upon redeemed technology that uses think machines to send, receive and store communications between a guild house and Charioteer starships equipped with the new ‘Criers Box’. Messages are also transmitted between starships, permitting faster transfer of messages to different star systems.

While the Town Criers have long been a part of the Reeves Guild, it is not possible for a guild to hold multiple patents and it was for this reason that Dean Yoster formally declared the separation of the two Guilds. Both Dean Yoster and the newly appointed Dean Gus McLean met for the formal signing of the declaration that would legally separate their respective Guilds.

The new patent was issued with the blessing of his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Alexius and formally bestowed upon the newly appointed Dean of the Town Criers Guild by his emissary Marquis Godfrey Winsor Hawkwood.
Some commentators were not so impressed with the new Guild and its Interstellar status. Justin Crude of the Muster said, “This is a cheap shot by the Reeves to control a second patent, does anyone seriously believe that they would agree to hand over their communications interests to another guild? They might be separate in name but they are still the same guild, it’s just one of those sneaky legal things that Reeves do so well.”
Captain Haldan Blayfort was more positive: “I’ve recently had my ship, Clippers Grace, upgraded to carry one of those boxes. I get paid a small commission each time I jump into a system, something I was going to be doing anyway, money for nothing if you ask me. I think we Charioteers made a good deal and sound investment by signing up for this.”

Rumor has it that this deal has taken years to broker with contracts exchanged between the Charioteers, Engineers, Reeves and Town Criers Guilds and additional backing coming from the Imperial Eye. The Church has been conspicuous in their exclusion. No statement has yet been issued from the Patriarch or the College of Ethicals concerning the use of technology for faster communications.

‘Last Rites Killer’ Strikes Again
GRAIL – New Lahore – The Imperial Eye has dispatched an agent to Grail to investigate the ritualistic murder of a young noblewoman. The body of the victim was discovered in the basement of a rented tenement in Keela District of New Lahore last month and has been connected to two other murders.
The victim has been identified as Lady Alicia Silvers Hawkwood, the daughter of the late Baroness Suzanne Silvers, one of the heroes of Jericho. As with the previous two murders, her body was arranged in a serene pose beneath a shroud awaiting last rites. A hallmark of these killings is the removal of the victim’s eyes and a single precise stab wound that cuts downward from behind the collarbone to the heart. Local Physicks claim it was most likely delivered with a long thin-bladed stiletto.

This is the first time that the so-called ‘Last Rites Killer’ has struck beyond Byzantium Secundus. So far there is no discernable pattern in the attacks; the victims are apparently selected at random. Authorities are at a loss to explain the sudden shift the killer has made from the throne world. Some have speculated that this might be the work of a copycat killer.
House Hawkwood is believed to have dispatched Baron Carsdale Montgomery Hawkwood, a prominent member of Princess Victoria’s court on Delphi to conduct an investigation on behalf of the house. Agent Grenfield, of the Imperial Eye is expected to arrive imminently on Grail to take over the investigation from the local constabulary.

Object Discovered in Urth’s Oort Cloud
HOLY TERRA – Rio Brasilia – Astronomy has been a long overlooked science, a curiosity of academics based at the Academy Interatta. Three years ago the Faculty of Physical Sciences launched an ambitious project to catalogue and re-examine the distant stars visible in the skies across the Known Worlds. With four active observatory field teams, the Engineers were examining visible stellar clusters in the skies over Leagueheim, Byzantium Secundus, Tethys and Urth.

The Urth team led by Engineer August Rumpling as made a startling observation. While examining the motion of stellar bodies using the ancient lore of time-lapse imagery, the team discovered a bright reflective object much closer than the background stars they were attempting to observe.

“It piqued our interest”, said Engineer Rumpling, “simply because it was so much closer than anything we expected.”

A few calculations and the team had estimated that the bright star visible in their imagery could not be much bigger than a kilometer across and no more that 1,000 AU from Sol.

“The distance computations placed the object within the Urth’s Oort Cloud and, judging from subsequent observations and spectrographic analysis, we believe that it is artificial, possibly man made, perhaps a space station of some type. But its distance past the jumpgate would make reaching it a highly risky proposition. Whatever it is, it will likely remain a mystery for a considerable time to come.”

Speculation amongst Rumpling’s peers has generated a host of conjecture about stellar object BS43-Urth-684724539-23085008, some proposing that it is a metal comet, while others claim that this could be an ancient spacecraft from the pre-jumpgate era. Without sending a mission to investigate it will be impossible to determine the exact nature of this object.

It has been sometime since the Lady Dahahalima left for her spa treatment never to return and we have been without the latest courtly gossip ever since. All is not lost however; we have a new courtly correspondent in the shapely form of Sir Doyle Lexford Camton.

"The politics, intrigues and fashions of the imperial court are no place for the faint hearted. A seemly veneer of orderly conduct and etiquette conceal the baser instincts that are often at work. For those who take pleasure in such things, a little gossip, enjoy.
“There is simply so much to tell. Only last week, the Emperor drove the biggest wedge yet between himself and his former house. A recent arrival from Delphi brought trouble in the form of this mother, brother and supposed betrothed down upon our noble ruler. As if family visits are not stressful enough, and without the added pressures of running an empire and keeping the peace between the two ladies that—shall we say it?—have their own eyes upon the dynastic throne. Without giving away too much, an associate of mine assures me that she overheard raised voices when the four met for a private dinner.
While I cannot give a precise rendition of the conversation, to say that it concerned our noble Emperor’s currently heirless status and need for an imperial marriage to assure the line of succession, would be close on the mark. The dowager lady had long promised the hand of Lady Penelope to her son, but our Emperor was not to be persuaded. In the words of my confidant “politeness became strained”, as others will attest, voices were raised in emphasis and finally the Emperor stormed out of the meal before the third course had been served.
Now this is where our little tale becomes more interesting, for my ears in proxy overheard, and can clearly recall the words to which the Emperor gave voice as he exited the chamber, “You marry her, then!”
Of course this week has seen some other rather ugly rumors surfacing. After an absence from the court of only a few short months, a certain notable Decados Duchess has made her return. This Duchess was resplendent as always in the most tantalizing of outfits. To my surprise I noted that the garment seemed ill fitting around the middle. Now I would never accuse a lady of putting on a little weight, but if I am not mistaken I would say that the Duchess Salandra has gained a potbelly.
Known for her physical fitness and worth in the dueling ring, this small bulge immediately fired up speculation that the lady was in fact with child rather than attending too many banquet dinners. I will leave you to imagine for yourselves who the father of such a child might possibly be…”
--Sir Doyle Lexford Camton

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