Derby Evening Press/Issue 10
Derby Gaming Hall Opens
Derby is home to many institutions, great and small. Large institutes such as the healing service of the Hospitallers, the police service of the Privateers and the military arm of the Rangers, and small services such as the Tavern-Trader, education at the Academy and now, a new Hall within the Federation. A form of escapism for the doctors, teachers and policemen, the Derby Gaming Hall is open to all other Shartakians. The Gaming Hall is essentially home to games, surprisingly enough.
Invented with pencils and paper, the games are played over many weeks, depending on how work and life affects the players. The games so far have taken on a fantasy setting in a world of Rob Zombie's making with simple rules and action that tell more like a story, and a new 'Science-Fiction' game is in creation by James Barnes, one which employs weapons similar to the 'Shartak Laser' of legend.
A light hearted bit of role-playing, anyone is welcome in the Hall, to attack goblins to their heart's content.
In our last issue, we reported on the Battle of Midway, the conflict between the Derby-York alliance and the Wicksick Headhunters for possession of Midway Island. In the wake of the Wicksick expulsion from the island, a number of developments have appeared.
During the conflict, the Wicksick Headhunter Otago was captured by the Eastern Federation and carried off to Derby through unknown means. Held captive in the 1st Derby Privateers' headquarters, his imprisonment was a source of further outrage to the headhunters, adding to the insult of their defeat at Midway.
Hospitaller Accused of Unethical Experiments
In the course of Otago's imprisonment, we have heard rumors that one Norris M. Laos, a member of the Derby Hospitallers, conducted medical experiments on Otago. Word of these experiments reached the Headhunters, who undertook a campaign to free their compatriot. Ironically, Otago was eventually rescued from captivity by the Derby Privateer Guildmaster, who sent Otago back to his shaman. The Privateer Cthulhu also participated in the rescue attempt.
Wicksicks Attack Derby
Their thirst for vengeance not appeased, the Wicksicks launched a devastating strike against the Eastern Federation, killing fifteen Derbians in the space of a few hours. Most of these Derbians were members of the Privateers, which is odd, given that Otago's rescuers were Privateers. No Hospitallers were reported killed, even though one of their members was responsible for the medical experimentation.
OPME Attacks Wiksik
In retribution for the Wicksick assault on Derby, the Octavius Popesbury Memorial Expedition, the Eastern Federation's newest member, has launched an assault on Wiksik. Our sources tell us that the rest of the Eastern Federation was unaware of the OPME's plans until the eve of the assault.
There was reportedly some controversy in the Federation over the assault. An EF reprisal along the same lines had been discussed, but the proposal was rejected as many within the Federation did not want innocent natives to suffer. A high-ranking source tells us that the Federation will not be reacting to the OPME military operation, as the Federation members have always had coordinated but semi-independent foreign policies. Still, the EF has asked its new members to target only hostile natives, to the degree that is possible.
It is unclear what, if any, effect this will have on the Hospitallers' reputation. Long respected as an inoffensive humanitarian organization with a defensive military stance, news of these experiments may prove to be a severe blow to the Hospitallers' credibility. The damage may be reduced by the knowledge that the victim was a Wicksick. The Wicksick Headhunters are the most feared native group on Shartak, responsible for several hundred outsider deaths in the course of their First Annual Winter Games. This does not include the unknown, but substantial, number of deaths they caused prior to initiating the games.
Hospitaller Tribune James Barnes insists that he only became aware of these experiments after the fact, and he remains unsure on what precisely the experiments entailed. Laos is currently serving as chief surgeon at the Derby Hospital, but Barnes tells the DEP that he personally checks the patients for signs of medical experimentation. For the Privateers' part, Captain Rob Zombie informs us that he too only became aware of Otago's imprisonment after the fact. It is unclear who precisely took Otago captive.
In the interest of full disclosure, James Barnes is also chief editor of this publication.
'Spirits' In York
Though the Derby Evening Press has no opinion on the matter of so-called 'spirits' seen on the island, we do however have a duty to report the news of the people.
The town of York, recently home to a revival from the conflict that once consumed it, is engulfed in yet another battle; one against the ghosts. Ex-Eastern Federation shaman, Rincewind, enquired about receiving a post as resident York shaman, alongside master exorcists Lacuna and Tony Almeida. Old Macdonald of the CP soon told Rincewind he could have the job.
But within days of work, Rincewind soon documented his record for most ghosts exorcised in one day - a total of six! It's unclear as to whether these so-called 'exorcisms' are a simple hoax, or something more sinister? Is York placed on, as some suspect, a lay-line of mystical energy which draws spirits towards it? Or are the ghosts from previous conflicts coming back to haunt the town? Or is the whole thing made up by clever shamans and men in bedsheets?
Tragically, the evidence for a supernatural occurrence only mounts up. Rincewind was mauled to death in the night by what witnesses confirm to be 'a zombie'. This startling new development in the world of the supernatural only leads to worry in Derby, as Derbian authorities attempt to assemble Preternatural-Kinetic-Energy meters, or PKE for short, to try and detect these spirits.
We urge readers in York to put rock-salt around all their doors and windows as a precaution.
Tensions Rise on Shartak
For a time, Shartak enjoyed a period of peace, as intra-outsider relations became unusually placid. At the same time, the disintegration of the various pirate clans resulted in a lull in pirate attacks. Simultaneously, the consistent lack of active native clans meant a decline in native attacks on outsider settlements. Other than the Battle of Midway and its aftermath, Shartak has been at peace.
Brotherhood of the Coast Raids Dalpok
In recognition of the absence of organized piracy on Shartak, pirates from a number of defunct clans, including the Jolly Roger Gang and the 1st Imperial Privateers Regiment, have banded together in a new clan known as the Brotherhood of the Coast. In its first action, the pirate band decided to enhance its reputation by raiding Dalpok. This is nothing unusual, as the residents of the shipwreck and Dalpok have been in a state of undeclared war with one another since the pirates' arrival. However, for unknown reasons, this seems to be the figurative straw that broke the camel's back.
Dalpok Liberation Front Founded
Dalpok residents, infuriated by the continual pirate raids, have banded together and founded a defense force. Explicitly not a police organization, the fledgling Dalpok Liberation Front is dedicated to defending Dalpok from external threats.
The Front immediately amassed an impressive if small roster of elite warriors. Between them, the eight members of the DLF have killed over 500 outsiders. This becomes even more impressive when one considers that two of these eight people are non-violent shamans.
The roster includes 5 participants in the WickSick Winter Games, most notably the feared Wicksick Headhunters Lama and Entropy. These two warriors alone account for more than 275 outsider deaths. With headhunters like these in the DLF's ranks, the Brotherhood pirates would be wise to sleep with one eye open.
Derby Sides With DLF
The Eastern Federation, in a surprising turn of events, has sided with the Dalpok Liberation Front. The DLF has officially accepted the Federation's help, in what may be the first time that outsiders have sided with natives. Relations between the two groups have never been better than neutral, with outright hostility being much more frequent. The two groups have already begun to coordinate their activities. Natives in Dalpok are urged to avoid killing the Derbian relief force, and a safe haven has been established for them in Dalpok.
Reportedly, the EF's decision was based on sympathy for the repeated attacks Dalpok has suffered from its neighbors. The EF has decided to tilt the scales in Dalpok's favor.
1CM Declares War on CP
The 1st Colonial Militia has declared war on the Colonial Police. Serious Sam, the fiery leader of the 1CM, is apparently infuriated at the attitude of Colonial Police leader Old MacDonald. He seems to be personally insulted by what he considers MacDonald's presumption towards him. Sam has been vocally critical of MacDonald for some time, considering the revived CP weak and incompetent. Sam has accused the CP of corruption. The exact nature of this corruption is unclear, but seems to involve the CP allegedly taking or extorting "contributions" from non-combatants.
There was initial tension between the York Coalition and the 1CM over the war. The YC was uncomfortable with the thought of their allies fighting one another, especially given their opinion that that Sam had made neither his terms nor his reasoning clear to the CP. Ultimately, the YC has apparently decided not to intervene, provided neither side attacks innocent Yorkmen.
The Eastern Federation likewise seems to have decided that it has no dog in this fight and is focusing its efforts elsewhere. Upon Serious Sam's declaration of the "glorious" war, Derby Hospitaller Consul (and former Colonial Policeman) Javier Sortani said, "And this is why I live in Derby."