The Yorkman/Issue 014
Greetings, and welcome to the fourtheenth edition of The Yorkman - now weekly! 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. We are also currently looking to recruit more reporters and columnists.
This issue contains our latest new feature, ConchWatch, which will keep all you treasure-hunters informed as to the latest suspected whereabouts of Shartak’s most sought-after item. Remember, it’s only in the Yorkman – Shartak’s original paper and still the best!
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Thanks - The Yorkman Team
This issue originally published on 11/02/07
Exclusive Interview: Lama on the Derby Derby
As the long-awaited Derby Derby grows near, we asked Lama, the winner of the Great Durham Headhunt, to explain to us exactly what the terrified populace of Derby can expect over the next month.
Firstly, what is the purpose of the Derby Derby, and how will it differ from the Great Durham Headhunt?
- Derby Derby is the second event in the winter challenge series. We, the Headhunters, caring for the history and tradition, decided to let the ancient ritual be reborn, but in a bit more modern, sportive style. So as you can see, main purpose of both DHC and DD is to have a fair-play fun event and praise our Ancestors. You can also expect last, third event, the York Cup, closing the season.
The defending forces are likely to be smaller, but more proactive, than before. How do you expect this to affect the Derby?
- No pain, no gain! Personally I'm looking forward to meet organized defence, this spices up situation a bit - not only you have to score, also take some precautions. DHC strategy was hmmm, far too easy to decipher. I hope this event will be more challenging and gives us all a good adrenaline kick.
How enthusiastically have people been signing up to participate? Are you expecting further signups before the start of the contest, perhaps even some outsiders?
- As usual in the case of extreme sport events, we may gather public attention, but only devoted professionals will appear on the start line. Add that happenings around York are preventing some people from taking part. I don't expect more signups, and I bet by the end of the contest only 3 or 4 of us will still race for the win.
Why was Derby chosen, as opposed to York or the Shipwreck, both of which might have attracted more contestants due to their relative unpopularity?
- York, being the most active area, featuring CP forces and all their allies will be the arena of the last winter (technically, it is spring, but hey, who cares) event, as mentioned before. Shipwreck? As the pirates are highly disorganized, slaying them is no fun. Perhaps it will be featured as the warm-up exercise camp before the summer season starts. No decisions made yet.
Despite the hysterical warnings of certain outsider leaders in the run up to the Great Durham Headhunt, Durham as a whole has emerged relatively unscathed. Are you expecting Derby to survive in a similar way?
- I repeat for the 156345637'th time - we are not raiding a place, we are just taking heads with some labels, this time - derbish. As always the biggest part of hysteria is lack of understanding the situation.
Finally, where next for the roaming headhunts? Will we be seeing similar contests organised in native villages at any point?
- York, maybe shipwreck in few months. Summer series is in project phase. And we won't take the heads of our native friends, that doesn't make sense, when we have already hostile forces here. Let them serve our tradition!
Despite rumours of delays, the Derby is due to start on the 15th of February. That’s this Thursday, so lock up your daughters, sons, and any other family members you happen to like – the headhunters are coming to town!
Invasion Continues In York
The Fourth Invasion of York looks set to continue unabated for at least another week, as fierce battles rage in the jungles surrounding the town. Although the Colonial Police, Colonial Militia, and Order of Patriots have managed by and large to keep Mercenary’s Guild Forces from entering the town, and absorbed the brunt of attacks by those forces, the entry of new foes, as predicted in last week’s Yorkman, has dragged local civilians into the fray.
The Jolly Roger Gang’s long-awaited attack on York began when Pirate Defence Force leader Patch entered the offices of his York counterparts and, finding no Policemen present, slew former officer Arwedda in a brief scuffle. As he left the hut, he was spotted by CP leader Kjendlie and freelancer Captain San, returning home from a patrol. Outnumbered, the pirate fled south-west into the jungle, but his pursuers caught up with him in the diminishing twilight and hacked him to death with their machetes.
Further JRG attacks have happened sporadically, often hitting isolated York civilians far from the town itself, in a manner reminiscent of the Third Invasion. More than once, York forces have apprehended and slain JRG pirates with fresh blood on their blades; the total death toll is, as yet, unknown.
Former PDF leader Rozen, who has historically been one of the most vocal supporters of a raid on York, and who attempted to sneak past the defences in the Third Invasion by proclaiming to all and sundry that he was on “a PEACEFUL mission”, arrived in York late last week as a member of the Healers of Shartak. He went to the Colonial Police HQ, where Arwedda’s blood had barely been cleaned from the floor, and announced that he was there merely to heal those wounded by his JRG compatriots. Famous Order of Patriots operative W B Hazen, however, claiming to have access to proof of Rozen’s ill intent, attacked him and drove him from York.
The Imperial Privateers, on the other hand, have been rather less noticeable, with few reports of deaths amongst them or caused by them. Several Privateers have been executed in the area around Czechy’s Tavern, often too drunk to resist. So far, staff of the not-quite-related Imperial Bank have not been expelled from York, nor have threatened retributions against them been carried out.
Mercenary Alternative Launches
As the Mercenary’s Guild continues its drawn-out invasion of York, many have come to question it’s effectiveness and ability to operate as a detached commercial enterprise. With offers of work being turned down because all Guild members are involved in an unpaid war, several prominent figures, including Kjendlie, leader of the Colonial Police, are refusing to even recognise them as mercenaries, let alone a guild. One such figure is Raktam entrepreneur Dave C, who was recently turned down after offering the Guild 350gc to aid him in Raktam’s (fairly disappointing) civil war.
Dave C firmly believes that mercenaries should be freelancers, not members of a central group. To promote this, he has announced the formation of the Raktam Security Consultancy. Operating in close partnership with the Imperial Bank, Dave paints the RSC as a great advance in the field of assassinations and hired thuggery. Hits, once arranged with him, can be paid for by depositing the appropriate sum in any branch of the bank. The target will then be added to a publicly accessible list – or, on request, made known only to a select group of contractors – and once the hit is completed, the contractor can collect his fee from any branch of the bank.
The benefits to the contractors will be considerable, we are assured. No longer obliged to join a centralised organisation (although MG members can still claim RSC bounties), they will be judged as individuals by our island’s various police forces, rather than by the activities of the group. Indeed, since there is no need to publicly claim the bounty, one does not need to be known as a mercenary at all – although it seems to us that one would merely be known as a psychotic killer instead.
Dave C is also keen to include the indigenous community, pointing out that mercenary work has previously been almost exclusively an outsider industry. He argues that with most bounties being offered on prominent southerners, headhunters and other raiders could earn a decent income without major changes to their lifestyles – and then simply collect their money from the bank when the get back home.
The RSC wiki page will be online in the next few days.
Bear Hunt Ends Sooner Than Expected
The eagerly awaited Shartak Bear Hunt, billed to be one of the greatest hunting events in Shartak history, ended abruptly just a few days in as Sir James Frazer slew and skinned a bear. Adding insult to injury, he then found and killed a second bear before any of his competitors had even reached the mountain. We spoke to Sir James as he prepared to head back to the wreck to claim his prize.
How does it feel to be the winner of Shartak's first bear hunt?
- Well, to be honest I do not consider myself as a winner, as it seems the coordination of this hunting event was not the best. Maybe due to the fact that I have never seen any other hunters I look at it much like a private hunting journey. The mountain is a beautiful and quiet place that allowed me to convalesce from a malaria shartakia I have been recently suffering from. Also I was able to sort some of my field notes and made contact to a very promising new informant.
And to what do you attribute your success?
- I would like to emphasize that my affinity towards natives and my expertise as an anthropologist made it very easy for me to travel safely and even to receive support.
- To lure the bears I used a very popular song that friends in Raktam taught me. The translation goes like this:
- oh bear oh he oh he oh he bear.
- Bear gone - bear come.
- You are pelty, strong and beautiful!
- I sit and wait come see my blade.
- We share your flesh and you will be new
- oh bear oh bear
- for me and for you.
- oh bear oh bear
- for you and for me"
- I sang this the whole night, and alas: when I woke up there was the bear!
Also, how would you respond to the claims of the Shartak Preservation Front that our actions are cruel, heartless, and liable to lead to the extinction of this rare and beautiful species?
- The bears that I killed where male problem bears! No normal bear would attack a human unprovoked and most of all not after hearing calming songs.
- Please take a look to the bear population curve that was compiled during the last bear census. There you can see that till today there are still many common Shartak bears up the mountain. I was taught the ways of hunting by the experienced inhabitants of this island. Therefore I assure you that all my deeds were in perfect harmony to modern biological knowledge and the way responsible natives have done ever since.
- Despite of this the ASSI fully supports all endeavours leading to environmental awareness and sustainable action.
Order Increases Uniformed Presence
In response to the high levels of fighting in York in recent weeks, the Order of Patriots has doubled its ‘open’ paramilitary wing. Traditionally operating through a small number of ‘open’ operatives and an unknown – but suspected to be high – number of undercover operatives and front groups, the Order has now increased the number of operatives bearing the mark to four.
Whether these are new recruits or previously undercover operatives in unknown, and we are unsure whether there has been a similar increase in the more secretive activities. An Order spokesperson, when asked about this, politely requested that we mind our own business.
York Forces Kill Shaman
Inspired by the WickSick Headhunters’ recent execution of a roaming shaman to prevent him from bringing invading troops back inside their village, a small group of York forces led by Order operative Mr Bungle have attacked and killed Pabkim. Although the shaman reanimated himself a few hours later, he seems shaken by the attack and is now moving eastwards, away from York. The longer trek back for mercenary forces has led directly to a decrease in attacks upon York.
Southern Infighting Is Major Cause Of Death
The latest statistics on deaths on Shartak paint a shocking picture of our society. In just over a year, natives have killed more than 6,000 outsiders – over half of these are believed to be pirates, mainly in the Dalpok area – and almost 600 natives. Outsiders, however, have killed 5,700 natives, and almost 4,500 outsiders. This level of infighting – almost eight times that in native camps – exposes the violence inherent in settler society.
Perhaps those natives could teach us something, after all.