Derby Evening Press/Issue 08
Arthur Lines, threat or menace?
Arthur Lines, once a peaceful environmentalist, turned aggressive several months ago when officers of the 1st Derby Privateers searched his home in the forest for clues in ongoing murder investigations. The Privateers were shocked to find evidence that Arthur had been killing travelers for using the roads.
This shocking discovery earned Mr. Lines 'Kill on sight' (KOS) status with the local authorities. In retaliation, Mr Lines launched a one-man guerrilla campaign against the Eastern Federation. Mr Lines was told that he could contest the decision of the Privateers by going to court. However, we now know that Mr Lines believes the Court to be corrupt, because it is lead by members of the Federation.
The Privateers' captain Rob Zombie had this to say: "Well, personally, I think he's an idiot. A few squares of rapidly growing jungle for the sake of human lives? And thinking the court is corrupt? Ha! He calls me a convicted killer, and I am. But I was convicted by that court. Surely if it was corrupt, I'd have never seen the inside of the courthouse?"
Mr Lines has continued his campaign against the Federation by founding the organization known as The Derby Protectors, or somesuch, and is trying to gain support of the local people. Our sources confirm that Mr. Lines is thus far the only member. As well as being convicted of the murders of road users, Mr. Lines is also guilty of the murder of a shaman, who earlier that same day had left his job with the Federation. Rincewind, of the Sentinels and Open Arms, was a peaceful Shaman who had exorcised over twenty seven 'spirits' from Derbian streets. Mr. Lines killed Rincewind because of his (Lines') anti-Federation views. It was known that Rincewind was preparing to leave town that very same day.
Though the Derby Evening Press has no political views, we do remind you that the DEP is funded by the Federation.
Reader's write-in: Got Rum?
Derby stands upon the edge of a knife...balancing...and if we dont do something soon, we'll all DIE! Yes, DIE! From lack of alcohol. Have you noticed how the taps in Derby Tavern have been dry for weeks? There's no beer, there's never any rum and water is a sad thing to have in a pub. So, I call to all pirates, for the sake of Derby! Please, trade us your rum! Bring us your beer!
York Invaded...Yet Again
Less than a month after the end of the Dork Cup, York is being invaded again. This time, it's not WickSick Headhunters or the Mercenary's Guild. In a move hearkening back to the Second Battle of York, pirates are attacking York. It is not clear what the pirates' motives are. Possible motivations include anger at York policies, a twisted sense of nostalgia, or pure boredom. Whatever the reason, the attack has provoked a flurry of activity in York.
In response to the threat of a pirate invasion, York's foreign allies are sending aid to their endangered sister city. The number of clans involved is the largest since the Durham Headhunt Contest rallied most of the outsider and pirate clans on Shartak. Below is a list of the clans defending York.
The de facto command center of York's defense, the York Coalition is a conglomeration of York patriots, including many former members of the CCTU (now disbanded), former members of the Colonial Police, and at least one representative of the Order of Patriots. The York Coalition was the backbone of the Dork Cup defense, accounting for 78 of the 95 headhunter deaths. If the York Coalition wishes to maintain its leadership position, it will have to do equally well this time around.
The Eastern Federation's new military unit, the Derby Rangers, has mobilized and is now moving to York. While most of the Rangers are veterans of the Derby Derby, this will be the Rangers' first combat as a unit. The unit also includes members of the Derby Privateers and the Derby Hospitallers. This will be the fifth time the Eastern Federation has participated in a major defense of an outsider town.
The Durham Pistoleers have reportedly sent two members, one Lara Croft and new recruit The Malice. The latter is a particularly surprising addition to York's defenses, since he was a leader of York's long-time enemy, the Mercenary's Guild. Nonetheless, The Malice insists he intends to help defend York, given his new allegiance to the Pistoleers.
However, it is equally surprising that the Pistoleers are involved in this conflict. Historically, the Pistoleers have not involved themselves in any conflict outside of Durham. When asked by the DEP, Pistoleer leader Dennis Kjuit explained that it was Croft's idea. The move reflects a desire on the part of the Pistoleers to forge closer ties with their sister towns. The Pistoleers also apparently approve of the changes York has undergone, though Kjuit declined to go into specifics. When asked about The Malice, Kjuit simply said that Malice was the first volunteer after Croft.
The Derby Rangers are not the only newly-founded group coming to York's aid. The Spartans, a group that has far been uninvolved in Shartak politics, have decided to lend their aid to York. Spartan leader Leonidas tells the DEP that one of his men, tiring of the constant attacks on York, decided to lend his aid to the York Coalition. In keeping with the Spartans' philosophy of loyalty to their fellow Spartans, Leonidas has journeyed from Derby to assist as well. The Spartans have contacted the York Coalition in order to coordinate the defense.
Once York's greatest protectors, this clan has fallen on hard times. Two wars with the Mercenary's Guild, questionable command decisions, and international isolation badly weakened the Colonial Police. The CP was then nearly destroyed by a war with the 5punk-affiliated group, the Colon Police. Now, with new leadership, the CP appear to be on their way to recovery. However, with the York Coalition now in the leadership position, it is unclear if the CP will be taken seriously in the upcoming conflict.
1st Colonial Militia Leaves York Coalition
The 1st Colonial Militia, the hardline outsider group led by the fiery Serious Sam, has officially left the York Coalition. The rupture was reportedly caused by an incident between 1CM member Lukas Alexander and former mercenary (currently Durham Pistoleer) The Malice. Malice, reportedly on his way to assist in the defense of York, was killed by Alexander on the road.
The York Coalition was reportedly furious, given that the Coalition had voted overwhelmingly to give Malice another chance. Serious Sam, in a display of loyalty that was either admirable or terribly misguided, sided with his fellow militia member, Alexander. The resulting exchange of recriminations ended when Sam announced that the 1CM would be leaving the York Coalition. With the expected pirate invasion of York to begin any day, it is unclear if the 1CM's departure will affect the defense of York.
Colonial Police Registration Sparks Controversy
In the days leading up to the most recent invasion of York, both the York Coalition and the Colonial Police asked all friendly pirates and natives to stop in and say “Hi” to ensure that they would not be mistaken for the enemy. The York Coalition simply asked for the individual in question’s name The Colonial Police, however, asked that registering pirates or natives pay a fee of two gold in addition to giving their names and reasons for any recorded York kills. Former hostiles were required to pay four gold instead of two. Reactions were decidedly mixed.
The first three to register were Tom Failur, Zydd Soral, and Javier Sortani, the first two of whom were previously considered infamous criminals in York and the latter of whom formerly was Colonial Police member and currently serves actively in the Eastern Federation. Said Soral: "I think it's reasonable. paying so little for less people to worry about killing you is actually quite fair." Tom apparently also happily paid his fee.
Sortani's reaction, however, was unfortunately unprintable. When he calmed down, though, he gave a more thorough answer, saying, "It's not the gold I begrudge. I've got over a hundred and I'm not doing much with it. It's the thought that a guy who's coming over for the express purpose of defending, whose criminal record is cleaner than the buttons on his dress uniform's coat, has to pay two gold just so they won't kill him. If they want to kill me, they're welcome to. Not my town I'm defending." First Colonial Militia leader Serious Sam was also heard to voice uncomplimentary opinions of the Colonial Police's registration process.
WickSick Headhunters Hold Ritual
The WickSick Headhunters are a mysterious organization. They are an exclusively native organization. Their members seek to collect the heads of any outsiders and pirates in retribution for the perceived crimes committed by those groups. However, they have no political agenda or real goals. They seem to merely seek to gain honor for themselves by inflicting suffering. Many of the headhunters seem to be at least somewhat mentally ill, suffering from what they call "WickSickness", a strange but powerful compulsion to kill non-natives and take their heads as souvenirs.
While emphatic in their insistence that they are not a clan and have no leader, their name nonetheless instills terror across the southern coasts. They sponsored the now-infamous Annual Winter Games, a series of headhunts across the south coast. Two of these contests are now the most bloody conflicts in Shartak history, surpassing even the Fourth Battle of York in loss of life.
So what do the headhunters do when not terrorizing outsiders in barbaric contests? For starters, they terrorize outsiders some more. They take a cheerful attitude towards their grisly work, bragging about their new heads publicly. However, occasionally, the headhunters disappear. Now seems to be one of those times. Headhunter kills have dropped precipitously. The usual areas dedicated to WickSick bragging rights have been curiously silent. Why?
The answer is that they are conducting a ritual. The exact procedures of this barbaric ceremony are unclear, but our sources tell us that multiple animals and at least one outsider have died for the WickSick ceremony. We are not sure exactly what the ceremony is intended to do, but we can predict the result. Once the ceremony ends, the WickSick Headhunters' fervor will boil over into a cataclysm of blood and terror, and we, the people of the south coast, will be the first to suffer.