Derby Evening Press/Issue 15
In Memory of a Hero
For several weeks now, the Eastern Federation has missed one of its most crucial members, the Hospitaller James Barnes.
After James had failed to establish any form of communication with the Federation, they commissioned a ranger to try and track down James and find out where he had gone.
But the trail was several days old already. For more than a week, the tracking proved futile. Until the ranger found a patch of forest cleared and a familiar looking thing - a hat. The same hat that James Barnes wore.
Apparently, James Barnes had gone out to sea for some reason and didn't tell anyone. And the ranger tried to follow this as best he could.
After several hours on a makeshift raft, the ranger came across a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. He found something familiar there as well, an empty medicine box and a length of broken rope. It was all clear, and the ranger returned the Derby and related what he had seen.
As the ranger related all he has seen in his tracking, tears were shed by the men and women present. Apparently, James Barnes was not just the leader of the Hospitallers, he was a trusted friend by the entire federation.
Several Members of the Eastern Federation related some words and stories concerning James.
Cthulhu, a Derby Privateer James Barnes. A friend and a leader. A voice of reason and a man of intelligence. An example to all and will be sorely missed. You have my best wishes my friend.
Kilshrek, a member of the Derby Hospitallers related his story about working with James:
I wouldn't be in the Hospitallers, the Federation, the largest organisation in Derby if it weren't for him. I have to admit, I started my journey on this island in much the same way as many others would, alone and scared. When I first heard of the Hospitallers, it had just started up and was still relatively small. Apart from James, there was only Janet Grey and MajesticNinja.
Inspired by the ideals of the Hospitallers, to serve the people of Derby and be a force of good, I joined up... It also beat the hell out of walking out into the jungle and killing things, then getting killed out there and doing it all again of course, but thats beside the point.
When I joined, James greeted me as warmly as anyone could, and he wanted to put up a little guide to help new players survive more than just a few days on the island. I helped him where I could, being fairly new to the island myself.
In the months that followed, we evolved from a small group of individuals to one of the larger clans on the island. I have no doubt that this was due to James' charismatic leadership and smooth handling of diplomatic issues.
The man had some broad shoulders, to handle the burden of being the public face of the Hospitallers, and the leading diplomat of the EF. But he carried out his duties without a word of complaint, and steered us true when times may have led us astray.
I'm sure he will be sorely missed, and though I hope he finds his way back home, I'm also hoping that his path leads him back here, to this island, for it is also home to him.. in a sense..
Javier Sortani, a pirate who has found a home in Derby and in the Hospitallers shared this with us: When I was a CP member, embroiled in the 4th Invasion mess, it was James who invited me to the Hospitallers and got me out of there. That's the greatest debt I owe him; everything else is just an offshoot of that.
He did incredible work for the DEP without complaining. He was an active politician, and though canny and willing to concede points, he knew when to stand firm.
He always had a new idea, something we could do to make Derby just a little bit better. He had a sense of wit and charm. He let his Hospitallers to be more than just Hospitallers; he let us go off and do our own thing, such as Fester Shinetop opening an Academy in Derby, or my retaining York ties.
It's a shame we've lost him; he's the best thing that's ever happened to Derby, and quite possibly to Shartak as well. It's an honor and a terror to step into his shoes. If I am ever half of what he was, I will account myself a rare man.
Rob Zombie, the captain of the 1st Derby Privateers, had this to say about James:
James was a good man, a top bloke, a dude, an all-round mister nice guy. But that's not to say he was nice. He was nice, you know, but it's not like he wasn't politically minded, yeah. He had his ear to the ground and always knew which way the wind was blowing, what the best path to take was, and who the right man from the job was. He did most of the work for the Evening Press too, which was really where he put a tonne of work in. I dont know how this is going to be published without him really, Derby's going to slip a little from it's Land of Cool status, but hopefully we'll muddle through without him. Oh, and if you're a new James Barnes reading this, come and fill his boots, there's an opportunity open for an enthusiastic leader with leadership skills who can lead well.
James Barnes, the man who helped bring peace and order to the eastern edge of the island. May his journey bring him back to us soon.
Derby Swamp Claimed, Passed Off
Recently, Christian Fletcher, a reformed killer and noted squid killer, declared himself Lord of the Derby Swamp. There was some initial friction with the Eastern Federation, but after a short while the Federation leadership agreed to give him relative sovereignty over the swamp, including the ability to raise minor taxes.
Fletcher soon, however, grew bored with his holdings and was offered a chance to act. He passed his land on to Warboss Brazkhul, a wanted killer in Derby. The Eastern Federation has stated that it will not give Brazkhul the same power it gave to Fletcher unless Brazkhul reforms.
Skirmish in Derby
A recent period of fighting in Derby saw the reintroduction of the Eastern Federation's patrol system. Derby was under attack from gradually increasing numbers of natives and pirates, although they never identified as a single large group, simply as several independents who decided to make life difficult for the Eastern Federation.
With no clear way to identify combatants, the battle seems to have ultimately been more or less even, with both sides giving as well as they got. Local killers such as Arthur Lines were left comparatively unmolested during the fighting, however, which may have increased the overall toll on the Eastern Federation and Derby.
The fighting seems to have wound down recently.
Court Case Aborted
A native, Black Fang, began to kill Federation members after ReikoLJ killed him, reputedly with help from Javier Sortani. Although there was evidence that ReikoLJ had killed Fang, Sortani claimed no memory of the incident.
The Eastern Federation defended itself, claiming that, although Fang was not actively wanted by the Privateers, he had stated an active intent to harm outsiders, and thus could not be trusted. Fang took the Federation to court nonetheless, crying for ReikoLJ to be herself marked as wanted.
The Federation stated in the leadup to the case that, although it certainly would not mark ReikoLJ as wanted, since her crime was at worst a bad judgment call, it would seriously consider forcing her to do community service and revoking Fang's wanted status.
However, the case was never decided; before it ever began, Black Fang, who took the prosecution upon himself, apparently found something better to do. The Federation left the case open for some time, in the event that Fang returned, but recently closed it.
Fang remains kill on sight for the Eastern Federation, although he has not been seen recently.
Just when Durham seemed to have calmed down in the wake of the recent political struggle, Creedy has hit a patch of rough times. Serious Sam, in the area since the end days of the Durham Crisis, has declared war on Creedy and the Viet Cong, a small native group that has been active around Creedy and had volunteered its services to help defend the tiny nation.
Serious Sam and the First Colonial Militia entered Creedy for unclear purpose. After they had spent a short while, the Viet Cong, in a surprise strike, slaughtered them. Oktavius immediately apologized, but Sam was not satisfied, demanding the death of the Viet Cong members and an apology from Tracer, a Creedy citizen who participated in the attack. Tracer apologized, but once again, this was not sufficient.
It quickly emerged that Sam had come to Creedy under the banner of York imperialism; he had sent a note to Tracer declaring Creedy a Yorkish territory, safe from native possession, and adding that Creedy would be punished if it attempted to rebel. Sam and the Militia have now declared war on Creedy and the Viet Cong, particularly Eptavian, whom they seem to see as an especial example of Creedian intransigence.
Most responses from the island have been supportive of Creedy's right to self-governance and advocated Sam and the Militia's standing down, which Sam has unsurprisingly refused to do. Some of Lukas Alexander's remarks have also sparked cries of racism. Sam has defended his longtime friend, although Lukas has, when pressed, been noncommital on his opinions of natives. The Eastern Federation is sending a neutral observer to watch events progress.
The Derby Evening Press would like to send its hope for a quick and relatively bloodless resolution to the conflict.
Durham Elections Stagnate
As election season in Durham comes around again, tensions barely concealed after the Durham Crisis appear to be reemerging. Of particular contention is the Durham citizenship project and the question of nativism vs. immigration.
The two major candidates for governor are presently Armadox and Ron Burgundy. Armadox's candidacy sparked concerns over whether a non-Durhamite could legitimately govern Durham. Eventually it was decided by a vote of the Durham citizenry that Armadox could be granted temporary citizenship, which would be maintained if he won and revoked if he lost. He has been killed by pirates several times in his stay in Durham, which is unusual, considering that pirates would go out of their way to be on good behavior in the one town that tolerates them almost unconditionally.
The citizenship project has also come under fire. Consul Ron Burgundy alone has the gates to official citizenry in Durham, which he insists is necessary to vote in the coming elections. Many of his opponents have argued that, by controlling who has the power to vote, Burgundy is attempting to ensure that he will win the coming election. Burgundy has answered the cries to disassemble the citizenship system by insisting that it is the law, and since he is only one Consul out of three (with two required to ratify law), he does not have the power to change it.
Recently, ex-Consul Tomn has returned and decried Burgundy as essentially incompetent. He has called for free and fair elections and asked that each candidate draft a fledgling Durham Constitution, so that voters might vote for the constitutions rather than candidates.
Blue Hummingbird, Queen of Raktam and often featured in these pages, has vanished recently. Speculation range from a shargle attack to a vision quest to a hidden tryst.
In her absence, the Commonwealth of Greater Raktam has discussed establishing a democracy. They have opened talks with noted political activist AlexanderRM.
The establishment of a figurehead monarch and a powerful parliament has been presented as one option. Others advocated return to the old days or full democracies. Overall, however, the discussion appears to have stagnated, and mostly runs in circles. Some accuse others of being rebels and kin-killers, while others accuse the some of loving outsiders too much, or both at once.
One wonders if they will actually manage to establish a new system before the Queen comes back and restores the old one. However, if the Queen returns, will the people who have had a taste of democracy accept her?
Durham Model Army Forms
Ex-Consul Tomn of Durham is attempting to start a Durham army, broken down into groups of soldiers and suppliers. The structure of the army is fairly strict so far, although Tomn has stated that he may relax standards if recruitment is slow.
Members of the army will be required to swear an oath of allegiance to Durham, although they will refuse to acknowledge any Durham government that is not supported by a constitution ratified by the people.
Play nice, kids
By Javier Sortani
(This article was written some time ago. However, recent events have made it relevent again, much to the author's distress.)
If I were writing this about any other two people, I wouldn’t be writing this at all. It would just be another little personal squabble in some remote corner of Shartak. Unfortunately, this has come in the middle of a tense situation, between noteworthy public figures, and its implications could be serious for the rest of the island.
Like many of you, I’m beginning to get the impression that Serious Sam and the Malice don’t like each other.
For those of you who don’t know who these two are, well, what rock, precisely, have you been hiding under? Sam is the founder and leader of the Colonial Militia, and the island’s most notorious hardliner. The Malice was a flagship member of the Mercenaries’ Guild, and if he wasn’t quite public enemy number one in York, he was up there. Are we beginning to see where an issue might arise?
Let’s fast forward a bit. The Mercenaries’ Guild collapses shortly before the Dork Cup. Malice joins the Pistoleers. The Pistoleers pledge their aid to York in the Dork Cup. Malice starts to trek over to York, with the stated purpose of helping the Coalition (at that time still including the Militia) defend York. He asks the Coalition first if we’ll repeal his kill on sight status. We do.
And then Lukas Alexander, Militia member, kills Malice. Shouting, eye-rolling, theatrics, and such ensue. Sam defends Lukas because the kill was for “personal reasons.” Long story short, the Militia withdraws from the Coalition.
Let’s fast forward again. The Durham situation. Malice revives the Pistoleers. Sam declares he’s going over to support the Pistoleers. Now, this is a bit of a surprise. Sam doesn’t like the Pistoleers. He put up a sign in his yard for Nathan Hale back in the day. But apparently he likes a hostile takeover by Raktam even less.
Sam, en route to Durham, gets killed by Malice.
And things get hostile again. Sam, proving himself the better man as usual, declares each and every Pistoleer kill on sight. Now, at present, it’s not an issue, because heck, there are no Pistoleers any more to kill on sight, but still, it's an absurd move. If Sam's right and Malice is a troublemaker, then the Pistoleers shouldn't be responsible; and if all the Pistoleers are troublemakers, why was he defending them in the first place?
With that in mind, I’d like to end this little history lesson with a shoutout to each of the players involved.
Sam: look, we all know that you were going to rip Malice a new one as soon as you saw him. Don’t act like it was completely unexpected. You’re just mad he got to you before you got to him. Besides, if Lukas’s killing Malice was okay because it was for “personal reasons,” why should Malice’s killing you be any different? It really looks like you were looking for an excuse here, and personally I’m just sad that Malice gave it to you.
Malice: what were you thinking? If Sam went for you first, you’d be the victim. By getting him before he got you, you’re playing right into his hands. Honestly. Did forethought even cross your mind? You never kill Sam if he doesn’t kill you first. You know that. He and his boys in the Militia will declare you, your allies, and your dear Auntie Em kill on sight. And your little dog too.
I wrote this article some time ago. But recently, some people decided to make it relevant for me again.
I speak, of course, of the killing of the Militia at Creedy.
Now, maybe they were there to take over. Maybe they were there to protect the place.
But now? They're the victims, and they're angry. They're back on the attack.
Please, people. Think before you machete.
Thanks for your attention, readers. Now go back to the senseless killing and impotent power politics. More material is never a bad thing.
Brotherhood of the Coast Reemerges
By Rob Zombie
A long time ago, on the other side of the island so far-far away, mighty pirate factions controled the shipwreck and brought a tidal wave of fear crashing down on the native villages and, more famously, on York. The Hell-Born Strumpet, Jolly Roger Gang and countless other pirate crews were at the height of thier power aproximately two years ago.
Months later, the captains and officers leading these corsairs began to disapear from the island, some sailing home and some just simply fading away into the jungle like the characters in that movie, 'Life', where the cons are getting older and they fade away while the main characters....yeah, like that.
Last year a new clan emerged and promised to bring back the golden age of piracy. With rather dismal results, the new Brotherhood of the Coast (BOTC) only really succeeded in bringing on a trend of real-time battles, and did little to restore the wreck to its former, but still shipwrecked, glory. Gradually this clan became another obscure group too, until sort-of-captain Rozen announced his departure from sort-of-Brotherhood leadership for family reasons.
Returning to the island at just the right time, former Jolly Roger Gang (JRG) captain Michael Edwards has agreed to lead the BOTC to what the pirates hope will be a new age of prosperity. In a private interview with Cap'n Edwards, he revealed that he intends to focus on recruitment, policing (the Yorkman once cited the JRG's Pirate Defence Force as the most effective law enforcement on the island) and trading. Ex-cap Rozen is interested in pursuing his old JRG role as a trader, as well as pursuing a career as a researcher of Shartak charms.
If you are a pirate and looking to join BOTC, then contact them on thier forum, their 'under construction' wiki page, or speak directly to any of the pirate members at the shipwreck.
Animals in Shartak
By Mill Wilkinson
We often hear the tales of "rampaging wild animals" told by wild-eyed survivors coming from the woods. In this article I try to clear out some facts and root some fiction away wishing the information will prove useful when one goes out in the rainforest.
It is often that one finds himself in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by unknown trees and plants and without proper equipment to cope with the hostile environment. Unlike the tell-tales told by settlers and soldiers alike, it is not the native population that should be afraid of rather than the fauna.
One, quite persistent, rumour tells that every animal is dangerous here. It most certainly isn't so. Most of the time animals are quite peaceful, and on many occasions I have been able to walk past a fearsome tiger without being attacked or scared of, unlike in India, where one must always take caution by the constant threat of a tiger. It seems that tigers have a common awareness towards the two-legged species, forged into them by the natives. Of course the tigers should be taken seriously. Never sleep near a tiger, for they are very aware of the lack of resistance a sleeping man can do. My first-hand experiences with tigers support this.
I am still a bit ashamed of the first time when I met a shartakian tiger: I was exploring the jungles north of York when I met a tiger. I was dead afraid, for I had no bullets, and waited it to attack me. I can still remember the eyes of the wild beast when it looked straight at me for a second. Then it laid down and yawned, like it didn't care of my presence. I became curious and watched it for several hours, finally falling asleep among the undergrowth, certain that the tiger wouldn't cause any danger to me. Next thing I remember was that I felt severe pain in my neck and had to contact the shaman.
Another rather interesting species is the alligator. I am most certain that it is hungrier than in the other parts of the world. I have met many an alligator, but I can repeat the same advice as with the tiger: never sleep near one. Or better still: don't sleep in the swamp, for the alligators here seem to be territorial animals, keeping the swamps as their empire not to be soiled by humans. One can run through and spend quite a lot of time in the swamp, without being afraid of an alligator, but eventually the gamble ends and you are eaten. Newcomers should avoid the swamp at all costs, even if you can find interesting treasures from there.
Third animal that should be mentioned here is the boar. It isn't the pink cutie we know as the pig, even if it has a common background and taste. Shartakian boar tends to hate humans, and sleeping near one is, yet again, a fool's business. Most of the time you can walk past them and not to be notified, but when you are after their meat you should prepare yourself against a fierce counterattack. I have yet to die from one of these attacks, but the battle must be taken to the end, one falling dead at the feet of the other. Boar's tusks hurt, mind you.
It is quite surprising that one can find these animals among the more "exotic" species: the bear. It was quite an interesting moment for me when I first encountered these animals.
Resembling more of the dreaded grizzly than a brown bear, these animals are truly to be avoided. They have the "common sense" as any other carnivore does in here, but sleeping near one is a certain way to get yourself "spirited". Their pelts are very warm, though, and some natives are said to be using them in the harsh climate of the mountain.
Shargle is the only species that I haven't met in any other part of the world. It is respected and feared among the native tribes, and I think us outsiders should follow the example. They are to be described as very large eagles with fierce nature, and I think shargle is one of the most dangerous animals in Shartak, for you can't hear it fly and when it grabs you it is too late. Most of the time shargles leave humans alone, but one rifle blast later you have their full attention. Yet again, you should take care to be armed to teeth when trying to slay one of these graces of the Shartakian sky, because they endure far more than your run-of-the-mill eagle.
For the rest of the animals, deer, stag, monkey, elephant and parrot, goes one principal rule: you leave them alone, they leave you alone. They are rather easy to hunt down, but, quite nastily, they defend themselves rather than running away, as is the custom in the rest of the world. Sleeping near them doesn't invite them to attack you, unlike with the beasts, so they don't pose as much of a threat as the beasts.
One warning with the elephant, though: If you are new to the island, leave the elephants alone. They are very luring prey, but they put up a fierce fight. Very fierce fight. More than once I have been trampled, pierced with a tusk or my head has been popped off when I haven't been ready. Nowadays I don't attack them unless very, very certain that I can cope with the animal.
I hope the advice I have brought up helps you to cope with the fauna of Shartak.