The Yorkman/Issue 011
Greetings, and welcome to the eleventh edition of The Yorkman. As always, feel free to contact us via e-mail, especially if you have some news to share with the world. Also, feel free to discuss the articles on the talk page.
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This issue originally published on 21/01/07
Formation of National Police Force Raises Fears of Abuse
In an impressive coup that has worried many, a previously unknown York resident and self-styled “counter-terror” agent has seized control of the Colonial Police. “Special Agent” Bauer’s new organisation, the Colonial Counter-Terror Unit, has effectively absorbed both the Colonial Police and the Derby Privateers and declared itself responsible for the policing of the entire south coast.
The abrupt transfer of power, subjugating a force famed for its independence to the will of one man with little apparent experience, came as a surprise to the general populace. Suspicions were immediately raised, not just due to the obvious capacity for abuse of power but also due to the ability of one man to commandeer one of our oldest and most vital institutions.
Something is clearly amiss, and the evidence strongly suggests the influence of York’s most infamous megalomaniacs. Long rumoured to have once enjoyed control of the Colonial Police through founder and suspected member Mick R, the Order of Patriots would doubtless love to regain the helm of our island’s policing.
Officer Forced to Quit
Long-standing Colonial Police officer Zydd Soral has often been an embarrassment to the anti-pirate groups who rule York. As a pirate who contributed to the community, kept people safe and generally failed to pillage and plunder, he has repeatedly foiled attempts to portray all pirates as mindless criminals.
When Bauer seized the reins of power, however, Zydd promptly announced his resignation and intent to leave York, apparently in fear for his life. He has subsequently joined the Mercenary's Guild, archenemies of the Order, drawing condemnation from a range of York-based groups.
A paid hit on Bauer in the early hours of this morning has been blamed on Zydd, but such rumours can of course not be confirmed. Others have speculated that the shadowy York Loyalists may be involved, or the Jolly Roger Gang, eager to weaken a new foe.
Pistoleers Not Represented
In perhaps the most revealing development, responsibility for the entire Durham ‘district’ has been given to one Indianas Jones, another unknown character. Durham already has a large and effective police force, who have kept the town relatively peaceful since before the Colonial Police were even conceived. The Pistoleers have enthusiastically allied with other police forces, so their exclusion is a bizarre move for any genuine national police force.
Renowned for their pro-pirate stance and their open-arms policy to anyone who doesn’t cause trouble within the town limits, the Pistoleers have been heavily criticised by the Order in the past. Recently, the Patriots have offered support to the insurgent Durham Nationalists (who turned them down) and the Colonial Militia, who are suspected to have Order links, have called for the overthrow of the Pistoleers and the “liberation” of Durham.
Bizarre Derby Split
Derby has two police groups, the Derby Hospitallers and Derby Privateers, who are so closely entwined that the share the same meeting rooms and have formed the Eastern Federation umbrella group to incorporate them both. And yet whilst the CCTU has recruited all of the Privateers, not a single Hospitaller is represented.
The Hospitallers are a tolerant, democratic groups with a non-aggression pact with the Jolly Roger Gang (unless York is raided by them) and links to moderates in York. They have gained a reputation for even-handedness and protecting the interests of the common man, and are proudly independent.
The Privateers began as a rabidly pro-pirate group, but have made a string of concessions and retractions until they became merely another police force. All power seems to rest with their leader, Rob Zombie. Is it possible that this allowed for easier subversion, and that Patriot leaders prefer to continue managing their troops in their own autocratic style?
Watch This Space
At this point, little is certain. With the reins of power firmly in the hands of Bauer, his loyalties and motives will soon be clear for all to see. Things do not look bright for the enemies of the Patriots, and a purge of “undesirables” may be forthcoming. The CCTU has already made enemies, and we can only hope that said enemies do not strike at York to express their displeasure. Shartak rests now on a knife edge, and everyone old enough to remember the Third Invasion knows what happens when that delicate balance is lost.
York – Derby Trail Reaches Derby
After weeks of work, the first half of the Shartak Preservation Front’s eco-friendly jungle trail has reached Derby today. Subcommandante Marco has personally placed the first signpost in Derby town center, completing a chain of similar signs leading halfway (so far) to York. Made from reclaimed driftwood, the signs lead travellers through the jungle towards York by the quickest route without the need for destructive clear-cutting.
“Travelling through the jungle is just as fast as across clearcut for an experienced traveller” explains Marco. “By avoiding overgrown areas and encouraging preventative pruning, these trails will provide a reliable alternative to the current decaying road system without the horrific environment impact.”
The trail represents a great victory for the Front, who fought with loggers to prevent the completion of a highway along a similar route last year. In a protracted campaign that left dozens dead, the environmentalists managed to slow construction work significantly, then close the completed road for several weeks. Although the Civilized Highway Society drove them back and reopened the highway, following renewed guerrilla action and an extensive public awareness campaign the road fell into disuse and disappeared beneath the jungle last autumn.
The York end of the trail is expected to be completed in the next few weeks, connecting the two towns for the first time in months. Following this, the SPF will begin to campaign for the replacement of the Southern Coastal Boulevard, the road connecting York and Durham.
Scavengers Face Raktam Revolt
In recent weeks the criminal gang known as the Scavengers have laid claim to the native township of Raktam. After a long-running campaign of terror and random violence against the Raktamites, head scavenger Armadox has declared the area his personal fiefdom, ruling by intimidation and fear.
The Scavenger’s conversion from roaming bandits to criminal cartel began when local tavern owner Dave C negotiated ‘protection’ for his establishment and clientele for a small weekly fee. This money was then invested in the local branch of the Imperial Bank, and thus the bank gained their protection as well. The paved the way for further business ventures, including a tavern where guests could spend a night in safety for a 1gc fee.
Once the citizens of Raktam became a valuable resource, the Scavengers became more targeted in their violence. Regarding the general populace as their livestock, they began targeting those who objected to their rule. Unfortunately for Armadox, this discontent has exploded, with a group calling themselves the Raktam Police calling for the liberation of their town and encouraging the citizens to rise up in armed struggle. Tavern owner and Native Resistance Front veteran Dave C has renounced the Scavengers and is calling for all Raktamites to join him in a “unremitting guerrilla war” against them and their collaborators.
Long troubled by violence, it seems Raktam now hovers on the verge of civil war, with a myriad of small groups and individuals determined to drive Shartak’s most infamous murderers from their town.
A Letter From Durham
Hi Yorkman Crew
We would love to reply to all the slander and nonsense said about our group.
The main purpose of the Durham Pistoleers is to keep Durham safe. But as with Durham in general, we are a liberal bunch. We don't believe in heavy policing and running around telling people off and shooting them for every little offence. I think this is why Durham has been such a popular town with for example the pirates. In both York and Derby there has been conflict and confrontation in the air, as soon as a pirate has entered town. In Durham we greeted them, asked them to behave, and everything's been going dandy. Also, it has given Durham a steady supply of rum, so in that way we also promote free trade.
It's true that we during the Durham Headhunt made a deal with the Mercenary's Guild, and I must say they to my knowledge behaved far better than their reputation would suggest. I think it's all about giving people the benefit of doubt, and I would welcome the Mercs back any day.
The Durham Nationalists - what can I say? A bunch of demagogues and troublemakers. Instead of trying to talk with us, they just started their slanderous campaign, about us being puppets on a string, dancing to the tune of the pirates and the Mercs. Luckily people don't seem to pay attention to their crazy ramblings, and more than one groups has come to our defence, not wanting the last liberal stand on Shartak to fall.
When I walk around Durham, the Nationalists aren't there; all I meet is happy Durhamites, and the occasional pirate trader. Maybe The Durham Nationalists are nothing more than one angry street preacher, screaming from his soapbox somewhere in the jungle.
Dennis Kuijt, sort of leader of the Durham Pistoleers.
Interview: James Barnes
Firstly, although you're well known in Derby and some parts of York, would you like to introduce yourself for our readers?
- My name is James Barnes. I founded the Derby Hospitallers, and I currently serve as the Hospitallers' Tribune.
Why did you decide to found the Derby Hospitallers? What were your aims, and how have these changed over time?
- When I came to Shartak, Derby was simply not a factor in island politics. It was at the mercy of attacks from the Wicksick headhunters and any other group that cared to attack the town. I wanted to change that by enabling Derby to defend itself. I also wanted to make Derby a better place to live by developing services for Derbians. At the time, I'd intended to establish a police force. However, as events progressed, we moved away from serving a police force, focusing more on our public works projects.
How has the clan developed? What are your main achievements and setbacks so far?
- The clan has grown to approximately ten members, making it one of the larger individual clans on Shartak. We've started both the Derby Hospital and the Derby Academy, which are both milestone achievements in my opinion. Another major milestone is our increasingly close alliance with the 1st Derby Privateers, which has recently led to the foundation of the Eastern Federation, a umbrella group for both of our clans. Our biggest setback...I have to say that was the loss of Majestic Ninja. He was a staunch supporter of the Hospitallers from the start. It was a sad day when he left Shartak.
You received island-wide acclaim when you announced the founding of the Derby Academy. Would you like to explain how the Academy was conceived and how it works?
- The Derby Academy is the brainchild of Hospitaller Consul Janet Grey. She still serves as the Academy's headmistress. She developed the idea, and she continues to run the fencing classes. The fencing classes allow students to practice their fencing skills with Consul Grey, and practice their first aid skills by healing any wounds inflicted. Jack Molay runs the lecture hall classes. Anyone who waits in the lecture hall receives free advice on surviving on the island. Consul Molay will also answer any questions asked of him. He can usually be found next door in the fencing hall.
When the Derby Privateers were formed, many worried that the different aims and allegiances of your clans would cause a civil war in Derby. How have your relations with them progressed recently?
- I'll admit to sharing some of the same worries myself. However, the Consuls took a more levelheaded stance, and it's worked out well. We confer with the Privateers constantly, and Rob Zombie and I regularly coordinate Derby's foreign policy. Again, the Eastern Federation is a sign of our increased cooperation.
The Derby Derby is now less than a month away. Following the Great Durham Headhunt, which resulted in over a hundred deaths, are you worried? What plans have you made?
- I'm not worried about the Hospitallers and Privateers. Both clans have, if anything, been made stronger by the preparations. I feel we can defend Derby quite effectively. However, the Headhunters will probably murder some Derbians who are outside of our ability to protect them. I only wish that we could protect those Derbians as well. As for our plans, I can't offer details. However, I do think our plans will be effective.
In the long term, how do you see the Derby affecting Derby? As the first major international event to occur in what has until recently been a backwater town, will this shape the attitude and outlook of Derbians for some time to come?
- The Derby has served to bring the Privateers and Hospitallers even closer together. A couple of unaligned Derbians have even come forward to assist in Derby's defence. I hope that, by defending Derby, it will increase our domestic credibility and Derby's prestige in other towns. I do hope that this won't turn Derbians against natives, however. I've seen the anti-pirate feelings that have taken root in York, and I worry that Derby will take a similarly anti-native stance. In reality, the natives are increasingly peaceful, and any attacks on their villages will only hurt us in the long run.
And finally, what other plans do you have for the future of Derby and your clan?
- I hope to increase the size, visibility, and public support of the Hospitallers. There has been some anti-Hospitaller graffiti, which concerns me; however, I'm heartened by the sizeable monetary donations that some unaligned Derbians have made to the Hospitallers. I hope that Derby will become the model city of Shartak. I want to make it safe and prosperous for all who live there. To that extent, we Hospitallers, with our Privateer allies, will continue to find new ways to improve the quality of Derbian life.