Derby Evening Press/Issue 05
Due to a proliferation of news stories, and the lack of competition from rival news outlets, the Derby Evening Press is expanding its coverage.
People throughout the island were awakened by an earthquake a week ago. Our sources indicate that the earthquake was strongest between Wiksik and Derby. Derby is reportedly intact, though the Derby Hospitallers' Tribune James Barnes announced that the Hospitallers were standing by to provide relief to anyone in need.
This turned out to be unnecessary. Word soon leaked out that explorer Simeon Carter had discovered a small island, previously uncharted, southeast of Wiksik and west of Derby. In the wake of this discovery, various groups raced to reach the island and discover what, if any, secrets it might hold. The Eastern Federation sent out an expeditionary force, joined by several members of the Mercenary's Guild. Various independents, both native and outsider, joined them. Heavy casualties are expected, but that is only normal for large gatherings on Shartak.
Thus far, the only point of interest on the island are the ruins of a tower. There have been eager (if somewhat wishful) hopes that the tower contains a trove of heavy swords and gold coins. As of yet, neither of these rumors have been substantiated.
Derby Lecture Series Begins
As York becomes the unwilling host to yet another bloodbath, Derby continues to progress. The Derby Hospitallers wish us to announce the beginning of the Derby Lecture Series. These events are to be held in the Derby Academy Lecture Hall, and the Hospitallers hope they will cover a variety of topics. The first lecture is scheduled for May 4th; the lecturer will be Hospitaller Tribune James Barnes. His topic will be "Law and Order: The Case for Codified Law in Derby."
Derby Court Opens
The Derby Court began its first case this week, with Blue Hummingbird (a member of the WickSick Headhunters standing trial for her acts of violence during the Derby Derby. Our informants indicate that Hummingbird adapted quickly to settler legal proceedings, presenting a strong case for her own defense. The DEP takes no stance in this case, but whatever the outcome, we hope it will prove the Court's independence and honesty.
Interview with an Ambassador
Last week, the DEP ran an article about the beginning of the Derby Hospitallers' ambassador program. This week, we have an interview with the Hospitaller Ambassador to Durham, Fester Shinetop.
- What are your duties as Ambassador?
My duties? Well, when James Barnes asked me if I would be interested in joining the Hospitallers, he suggested, rather than my having to commute to Derby every time I was killed, I could represent the Hospitallers in Durham. My personal interpretation of that is that I will simply do what the Hospitallers are already doing in Derby - trying to be useful without treading on anyone else's toes.
I shall, of course, try and heal anyone I see who needs it, although, in a town, I'm not sure exactly how many times people are particularly desperate for a healer. I saw a doctor on the road to Durham, however, and it occurs to me that it might be more useful if I could periodically load up with FAKs and deliver them to locations where people might need them (the fort, for example), although I don't think that I'd be able to do that for a while at least.
- Can you see any problems arising from this?
Problems? I can't, offhand, think of any that might arise from my presence in Durham - I am, after all, a representative only of the Hospitallers, and not the whole of Derby, and since, as far as I can see, they are not usually involved much, as a group, in politics or the executive side of the law, I can't imagine that I will have many intertown diplomatic incidents to deal with.
- Do you think the people of Durham want some form of union with Derby?
Do people in Durham want a connection with Derby? I'm not entirely sure. I suspect that people in organised clans are always going to be at least passingly interested in knowing how they stand in relation to other clans (and Derby seems to have the most publicly active clans at the moment), but the rest of Durham? I don't think that they will be overly concerned either way, to be honest.
The Colonial Counter Terrorist Unit was once one of the largest clans on Shartak. Dedicated to making the entire southern coast unsafe for criminals, the CCTU played an important role in defending York during its fourth invasion. Additionally, the CCTU was the only entity with a presence across the southern coast.
All was not well, however. The CCTU's founder and reluctant leader was an idealistic youth known only as Bauer. Bauer quickly found himself on the receiving end of York's suspicions. The Yorkman newspaper accused him of being a puppet for the York-based secret society, the Order of Patriots, and attempting to absorb the Colonial Police and our own 1st Derby Privateers on the Order's behalf.
Though the Yorkman dropped its suspicion reasonably quickly, Colonial Police leader Kjendlie grew increasingly hostile to the CCTU. Kjendlie accused Bauer of sabotaging the Colonial Police, also claiming that Bauer had been behind long-time policeman Nighter's decision to resign. Bauer and Nighter both denied this, but Kjendlie's opposition remained.
Regardless of what actually did or did not occur, Bauer apparently accepted that he would not be accepted by the island's first police force. In response, he disbanded the CCTU. The Eastern Federation, for its part, has opened its doors (figuratively speaking) to the former members of the CCTU, offering them shelter in Derby, should they desire it. The Derby Evening Press would like to encourage these fine citizens to continue serving settler civilization by joining the Eastern Federation and its component clans.
What has happened to the Colonial Police?
In the past few months, the Colonial Police have suffered the loss of several key personnel, while one ally after another has terminated their ties to the CP. Most disturbingly, the CP have been kicked out of their long-time headquarters. A mysterious organization inexplicably known as "5punk" has taken up residence in the CP's HQ.
The hut, long a symbol of CP power, has been redecorated and renamed the Waugh Arms. Proclaiming the Arms a safe zone, the tavern now competes with Czechy's Tavern, Shartak's first alehouse, for prominence. Interactions between the taverns' proprietors quickly degenerated into obscenities and personal insults. In all fairness, this particular conflict seems to have calmed down now.
Meanwhile, former Colonial Policeman Nighter and 1st Colonial Militia leader Serious Sam began a two-man guerrilla war against the much larger 5punk forces, attempting to drive them out of the former CP HQ. However, in a stunning turnabout, CP leader Kjendlie declared the 5punk forces' occupation of the former CP HQ legitimate and declared his long-time friend Nighter a criminal. No one knows how this saga will end.
York Cup Begins
As of April 15, our unfortunate sister city of York is experiencing yet another blood-letting. The "Dork Cup" is the third event in the WickSick Headhunters' First (and, we hope, only) Annual Winter Games. Once again, the headhunters will attempt to seize as many Yorkish as possible. The defenders include the 1st Colonial Militia, the Order of Patriots, former Colonial Policeman Nighter, and the remnants of the now-defunct CCTU. Also participating are Derby Academy close combat instructor Javier Sortani and the Hospitallers' Ambassador to York, Broderick.
Interestingly, our sources tell us that Colonial Police Kjendlie has refused to work with the defenders, due to his suspicion of former CCTU leader Bauer. This distrust has led to a rift between long-time allies Serious Sam and Kjendlie, two of the most conservative voices in York politics. The Colonial Police are presumably defending York, but they must be doing so independently of the main effort.
The contest thus far appears to be brutal, with both sides sustaining significant casualties. At this point, it is impossible to know who will win the contest between the two factions, but we suspect neither side will find it a walk in the park.
The South - Serious Sam
This article is part of an ongoing series examining the politics of southern Shartak
When Serious Sam first appeared on Shartak, he did so as third in command of the Pirate Hunters. After serving under the eccentric Pirate Hunter leadership, Sam left the Hunters amicably. He struck out on his own, founding the nationalist 1st Colonial Militia, largely operating out of York. While the Militia never rivaled the size of the major police clans, it became a significant player in York politics, and the Militia was accepted into an alliance with the Colonial Police. Kjendlie and Sam got along quite well in this alliance, Sam being welcomed quickly into the fabled Backroom of Czechy's Tavern.
Sources fail us on this point, because the Backroom is now locked to Derbian access. However, it is likely Sam showed his reservations about allowing the 1st Derby Privateers into the Backroom, where York's secret dealings were done. At the time, the Privateers were a smaller, less mainstream clan, with many issues with York. Whether or not this is the case, the Privateers eventually joined the Alliance, brought in by their allies, the Derby Hospitallers.
When the now more moderate Privateers left the York Alliance (more on the York Alliance next issue), Serious Sam developed a loathing for them. Calling them "two-faced", "traitors" and "liars" for not aiding them with the fourth invasion. The Hospitallers soon followed their Derbian allies, departing the Alliance as well. Sam once again condemned the Derbian action.
Yet, with the approach of the Dork Cup, Serious Sam has shown a tendency towards pragmatism. He has made peace with the remnants of the CCTU, joining them in their attempt to defend York from the WickSick Headhunters. There were initial reports of friction within the alliance, but repeated appeals for unity in the face of the WickSick threat seem to have had their desired effect.
The South Shartak Trading Company has long held the monopoly on organized trade on Shartak. However, the SSTC now has competition. Long-time SSTC member Songa has departed the Company, forming his own trade guild, the Shartak Merchants' Association. This group has quickly risen to prominence, attracting some of the richest people on Shartak. With this increased competition, perhaps we will see prices on valuable commodities fall. We can only hope.
Strange Behavior Reported Across Shartak
There are have long been strange, unexplained activities on Shartak. The dead revive at the feet of a shaman, somewhat winded but otherwise unharmed. Strange whispers, wails, and shrieks are heard in the night. Now, there have been reports of strange behavior across Shartak, with people saying things they would never ordinarily say, or attacking their friends. Our more superstitious sources suggest that all of these are the results of the angry dead, those who have not been revived by their shaman. We at the Derby Evening Press scoff at such rumors, and we call upon the settlers' scientific population to come up with a rational explanation. Ghost stories serve no good purpose, as they only frighten the young and weak-minded.
Fort Creedy Declares Independence
Founded by Shartak's foremost lawyer, Justice Hart of York, Derby Privateer (and Derby Evening Press photographer) Elegost, and previously unknown pirate Eptavian, the Independent Republic of Fort Creedy was founded this week. The fort has long been rumored as a source of heavy swords, though this has never been proven. Creedist leadership has announced an open citizenship policy, and the Durham Pistoleers have welcomed the Creedists to Shartak politics. Derbian leadership has yet to express an opinion but, given that one of their own holds a position in the Creedist government, the Federation is unlikely to object too loudly. More on this as the story develops.