Thursday, 5 July 2012

Interstellar Dispatches 9

Orginally posted by Town Criers Guild on January 30, 2008
Featured articles in this issue:

  • New Embassy for Vuldrok
  • Stigmata Reinforcements Lost
  • Curfew on Pandemonium
  • Memories from Admiral Henry Winston Hawkwood
  • Agora Notices

New Embassy for Vuldrok
BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS -- Imperial City -- By decree of his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Alexius, the Empire of the Phoenix Throne invited House Ramakrishna of Vuldrok to establish permanent diplomatic relations with the Phoenix Empire. The embassy is part of a reciprocal agreement that will see the Empire establish a formal and permanent presence in the barbarian city of Achiharta, Vuldrok.
Prince Sapan Ramakrishna, who had traveled from the barbarian world to establish diplomatic talks with the Empire, is appointed as the first Vuldrok ambassador, once his new residence has been prepared.

However, feelings are mixed about the news as we discovered when we spoke with local people and political commentators.

"What's the world coming to when you start letting the Vuldrok in through the front door? I think the Emperor’s new policy of open diplomatic relations with the barbarians is a mistake." said Sir Quentin Masarin Hawkwood, but others were more optimistic.

"It’s the right thing to do. You know, keep your friends close and your enemies closer." said Baron Alexander Decados.

Most of the common people in the Imperial City were unaware of these new diplomatic ties or unconcerned.

"Can't say it bothers me one way or other", said one merchant.

Admiral Tobias Gregory Hawkwood set the record straight, "Let us be clear what this means, this is the opening of diplomatic relations with a minor noble house on Vuldrok, not the Vuldrok themselves. The Ramakrishna are pressed hard by the Vuldrok and they represent an opportunity to establish a strategic Imperial presence inside Vuldrok space."

Stigmata Reinforcements Lost
STIGMATA -- Darmak Station -- Relief soldiers en route to Stigmata failed to arrive as scheduled. A small fleet of transport vessels carrying 1,000 Brothers Battle from De Moley to the Symbiot front arrived in the Istakhr system only to discover that one of their transports had failed to make the jump.

The fleet held station at the Istakhr Jumpgate while one of the escort ships was sent back to Aylon to investigate. After a delay of almost a week the fleet resumed its journey and completed the jump to Stigmata with no further losses.

The mysterious loss of a Benediction class troopship and its complement of 50 Brother Battle personnel and their combat equipment is a serious blow to the garrison commander, who was not available for comment at this time. Adept Cassius Blane announced that an investigation and search for the missing ship and Brothers was now underway. He added, “These Brothers are part of the normal rotation of combat troops and there is no immediate concern that we might lose ground to the Symbiot because they failed to arrive. We are of course concerned to learn what fate has befallen our brothers in arms.”

The Symbiot front has been very quiet for the past six months and there are rumors of an ‘unofficial ceasefire’. At least one junior officer suggested that the Symbiots have given up the fight, while others believed that they are simply rebuilding their forces after the last offensive. Everyone agrees that this is unusual or a new tactical approach by the Symbiot forces.

As yet uncorroborated reports suggest that a starship matching the profile of a Benediction class vessel was briefly sighted in the Leminkainen System, but its current whereabouts are unknown.

Curfew on Pandemonium
PANDEMONIUM - The Hub - Court Enis Sharn was forced to take drastic measures after a crime wave struck the Hub. The Count ordered the Knights of the Mantis onto the streets to maintain order after a series of violent assaults was targeting young nobles. A nighttime curfew was enacted and rigorously enforced while all available manpower was mobilized to uncover the perpetrators.

So far authorities have not identified the victims of this crime spree, but stated that all were of noble blood. We have, however, learned that at least two of the victims were Hazat and a third is believed to be a scion of House Decados. Though the victims were grievously assaulted and robbed, each had been lured away from companions prior to the incident.

The Muster also responded to Count Sharn’s call to restore order and immediately set to work rounding up the usual suspects with raids on the alien ghettos, which are regularly blamed for the rising tide of violence on Pandemonium. A number of hard labor camps in the badlands serve as a repository for troublemakers of all kinds.

Not everyone is convinced by the quick actions of House Decados or the Muster, and some whisper that both use these incidents to further their own agendas, rather than deal with the actual problem. With the curfew due to be lifted in two days’ time, we can only wait and see if more attacks follow.

"This is a disproportionate reaction. Muggings are an everyday fact of life in the Hub, I can only speculate about who it was that got assaulted. Though I believe that one of the nephews of the Duchess Salandra Decados is visiting our little corner of the Known Worlds just now", said Sir Martel Gilgar.

Palan Tirse of the Pathfinders Guild had this advice, "Safety first, don't be put off by a few unfortunate occurrences, but do hire a trustworthy local guide to see you safely about the Hub and beyond. Our rates are very reasonable."

Unfortunately the Lady Dahahalima still has not yet returned from her extended spa treatment on Leminkainen. We did receive a hastily penned letter of apology stating that the lady remains indisposed for the time being. In the meantime we are seeking to inject a little variety by inviting a different celebrity to record their memories in each issue.
This issue’s memories come from the Admiral Henry Winston Hawkwood:

There comes a time in life when you reach that certain age and parties are not what they used to be. When I was a young man, I was quite the socialite, attending celebrations, balls, banquets, and parties, always escorting at least one lovely young thing on my arm. Of course we would indulge in the finest wines and foods that the royal houses had to offer, and usually needed the next day or two to recover.
I remember one time when a lady friend and I were attending a grand celebration. A feast followed by a grand ball, you know the sort of thing. It was to celebrate the coming of age of Lady Erica Hansu Li Halan, and she turned out to be quite a handful I can tell you. She was a prize worth catching, looked glorious in that dress and out of it.
I wonder whatever happened to her? Convent, I should expect after that night, and I don’t think I was the only one to assist the girl in her coming of age. That was fifty years ago, or more? Before those Emperor Wars got started, bit of a mess that turned into.
I mean, we got fifty years of warfare and death to put our man on the throne and what happens? The thanks we get is he turns his back upon us! He may bear the Hawkwood name but it is not House Hawkwood that sits upon the throne, no. We won that war and didn’t get the spoils—that’s not the way it always was. Look at Vladimir I, when he became Emperor he didn’t turn his back upon House Alecto, no, they got their spoils, as was only right and fair.
I served my house as my oath demanded and he should have served it as his demanded. Not that I listen to such things, but gossip says that he’s in bed with the Decados. We’ve been played if you ask me.

-- Admiral Henry Winston Hawkwood served with distinction in the Hawkwood House Star Navy for over fifty years. He received no fewer than five medals for bravery in action and recently retired from service.

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