Thursday, 5 July 2012

Interstellar Dispatches 8

Originally posted by Town Criers Guild on December 30, 2007
Featured articles in this issue:
  • Inquisition Impounds Starship
  • Archbishop Leads Remembrance
  • Psi-Witches Coven Destroys Itself
  • Three Men on a Hill
  • Agora Notices
Inquisition Impounds Starship
GRAIL – Sangreal – Sangreal Port Authorities expressed their dismay recently at the impounding of an apparently abandoned starship that recently set down at the port. Within 24 hours of the ship touching down, inquisitors under the guidance of Deacon Ulbretch Vogg surrounded the hangar where the ship had been parked.

The Deacon initially refused to make comment on his actions and ordered the gathering crowd to remain at bay lest they endanger their very souls. He further claimed that the ship was manned by dangerous heretics who must be returned to the grace of the Pancreator. The siege of the hangar lasted a further day until the Deacon demanded heavy cutting equipment to open the airlock of the ship.
Through our contacts we have been able to identify the starship as the Travelers Tear, a League explorer-class ship registered to a Captain Mir Aldan. It seemed that the crew disembarked well before the inquisitors breached the hull.

The inquisitors then went on to search number of hostels and flophouses throughout the spaceport district of Sangreal, to the protest of both House Keddah and Sanctuary Aeon. Though a Church investigation is ongoing to determine what fate has befallen the crew of the Travelers Tear, so far no member of the crew has been apprehended.

It is understood that the Charioteers Guild is preparing a formal complaint regarding the treatment of its property and damage to a valuable starship. Officials of House Keddah have offered only condemnation for the Deacon’s heavy-handed response to the situation.

Archbishop Leads Remembrance
BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS -- Holy City -- The Cathedral of Saint Maya was the site of a service of remembrance for those who fell in battle during the bitter years of the Emperor Wars. Some of the Known Worlds best-loved religious orators led the assembled worshippers in hymns and prayers for the souls of the departed. White-robed children, the sons and daughters of the leading noble families, scattered red flowers along the main concourse outside Saint Maya's. They placed one petal for each life lost, a carpet of red to represent the blood and loss of life from that deadly time.

Archbishop Palamon led the service in the absence of the Patriarch. His Eminence had been scheduled to lead the service, but his office gave no announcement or reason for this change of plan. A Church spokesperson later commented that the Patriarch had had to attend to other church business on a matter of some priority and that Archbishop Palamon had stepped in to ensure that all went smoothly.

This is the second time this month that the Patriarch has been forced to change his scheduled appointments as a result of other urgent matters. The Church has dismissed as unwarranted speculation amongst observers as to what might actually be occurring behind closed doors.

Psi-Witches Coven Destroys Itself
MANITOU -- Armstrong -- Manitou has a well-deserved reputation amongst the rest of the Known Worlds as a haven for all manner of heathens and heretics. The openly permissive atmosphere that allows the legitimized practice of psychic covens can only serve as a grim reminder of what could happen if our own law and order were to crumble.

Bitter rivalry between covens has seen much violence over the last years until rumors of a truce spread in 4999. However, these warlocks have proved their inability to live without conflict. It would seem that if they are not fighting between rival covens they must fight amongst themselves.

Thirteen innocent bystanders were killed and seven others injured as members of the supposedly peaceful Favyana coven proceeded to demolish their own coven house in an orgy of violence and fighting. Bodies littered the streets as enraged psychics used every means at their disposal to destroy each other and anyone who came between them and their intended victims.

The local constabulary was forced to call for military assistance when its own riot pacification methods proved insufficient. The local governor declared a temporary state of emergency and martial law remained in place for several days.

Of the coven, only three members of former seventeen strong group are thought to have survived and are currently in custody, awaiting the governor’s pleasure.

In the absence of Lady Dahalima this month we are unable to bring you the most recent gossip from across the courts of the Known Worlds. We are assured that the lady will return from her health spa resort in time for next month’s installment.

Instead we being you 'Three Men on a Hill', the Known Worlds Conspiracy Special.

Three Men on a Hill
Of course the Known Worlds is a hotbed of political intrigue with backbiting and double deals. We intend to help you pierce the vale of obscurity and misdirection employed by those who fear the truth, so that you might see the honest reality behind the many and mysterious occurrences in our worlds.

As an innocent starting point, let us make a review of the first news heading in this august journal, 'Inquisition Impounds Starship’. The Inquisition impounds starships all the time, so what is so special about this one? What is it that the authorities want you to see and simultaneously are trying to obscure?

We at 'Three Men on a Hill' can reveal, but only after an exhaustive (and risk-filled) investigation of our own, that the Travellers Tear forms part of a Church cover-up into Luxian research and the metamorphic transition of physical matter into a higher order space in a direct attempt to connect the physical realm with that of the Empyrean. Using a jump engine modified under the direction of Eskatonic engineers, this starship was in fact able to pass through the Jumpgate briefly connecting with the luminous place of the Pancreator, and did so carrying Church envoys.

Upon return to real space, the human crew had been transformed by the luxian energies into a glorious altered state of light. How do we know this? Note that no crewmember was observed as having debarked and none were onboard when the Inquisition forced entry. Ground crew and stevedores at the Sangreal spaceport remarked on the strange nimbus of light that surrounded the ship when it arrived, the afterglow of the Ephemeral realm.

We predict that you haven't heard the last of the Travellers Tear. It is only a matter of time until Holy Terra announces the sainthood of captain and crew in their new blessed state and the starship itself will be recognized as a holy relic. Remember, you read it here first!

Of course a heady mix of misinformation has already been circulating. One informant initially claimed to have observed two men debark the ship when it landed, though he later rescinded his claim when asked if he would like to make this information known to the Deacon in person.

Once the inquisition had relinquished their hold upon the vessel, the Charioteers moved in swiftly to examine the damage to the ship. A member of the ground crew we spoke to claimed that the flight logs had been expertly erased before the ship was placed back into guild hands.

This, of course, leads nicely to the reason behind the Patriarch’s absence at the recent remembrance service. He was, in fact, in closed session discussing the importance of this holy starship, which will become the flagship of the Church when the call for a Kurgan crusade is announced later this year. The return of the Luxian envoys is a mark of the Pancreator’s favor upon the crusade.

When we tried to interview a member of the Hazat court about Luxian approval for a crusade against the godless and barbaric Kurga, we were, of course rebuffed, which again proves that the Hazat are in fact aware of the truth of these assertions but cannot reveal them until such time as the Patriarch deems most suitable.

This is not the first time that the Patriarch has changed plans with little or no warning over the past month. One can only wonder about how advanced and sophisticated the plans are for a Kurgan strike. But with diplomatic overtures between representatives of his Imperial majesty and the barbarians of Vuldrok moving in to a critical phase this would free Imperial and Hawkwood forces together for a strike on Kurga without leaving the door open for a Vuldrok incursion. Remember you read it here first; expect an immanent announcement of a diplomatic solution the Vuldrok question.

So how does a coven of Psi-witches fit in to this equation? These were not only psi-witches and warlocks and alien-lovers, why else would they live so close to the Vau. There is rampant speculation about their connections with the barbarian Kurgans. Some whisper that they were part of a Kurgan diplomatic effort to contact the Vau for aid in the face of a crusade by our great Empire. But in fact we can reveal that this is an untruth. The Kurgans as we know a bloodthirsty heathens with no love for the Pancreator, they seek only to expand their realm through bloodshed and violence.

Information (obtained at great personal risk) indicates a deeper truth that these warlocks were in the employ of our own government—sanctioned by the Imperial throne to contact psychic examinations of the Vau. Moreover, they succeeded in establishing contact with Vau intelligence and the inscrutable nature of the alien mindset drove them over the brink of sanity.

There were street whispers in Armstrong that this may have been the end of the ceasefire between the previously warring covens of the Favyana and the Invisible Path. We can, of course, completely discredit this assertion given that only members of the Favyana were involved in the destruction of their own coven house, although one source claimed that this was a new type of warfare and the deployment of some type of psychic bomb. I think we can all see the fanciful misdirection in that one.
Until next time, remember: nothing is as it appears.

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