Derby Evening Press/Issue 13
Derby-Raktam Relations Expand
Not long ago, James Barnes of the Derby Hospitallers journeyed to Raktam to visit the Queen of Raktam, Blue Hummingbird. Acting as official emissary of the Eastern Federation, James Barnes acknowledged her widespread support in Raktam, noticing the leaps and bounds the village had made since her ascension. As a result, Barnes conveyed to Hummingbird the Eastern Federation's decision to recognize her court as the official government of Raktam, a first in EF history. The EF has yet to recognize the Durham government, or even open up contacts with it, possibly out of loyalty to their long-time allies, the Durham Pistoleers.
The Queen of Raktam returned the favour recently by visiting Derby and meeting with Barnes in the Hotel De Derby. Also attending were her ambassador to Derby, Tik Tok, and the Derbian Lardman, famed for being the most frequently taken head in the Derby Derby. The Queen, while somewhat suspicious of outsiders west of Mt. Shartak, expressed a desire to work with the Eastern Federation to benefit both Raktam and Derby. She offered two suggestions:
1. The EF would pay a single lump sum to provide free passage for Derbians through Greater Raktam. Innocent Derbians killed by Raktamites would be reimbursed by the court. 2. Derby would be added to Greater Raktam as a completely autonomous territory, providing free passage to Derbians and Raktamites through each other's land without a fee.
The Federation apparently had no intention of agreeing to the second. Derby Ranger commander and senior Federation member Mark D. Stroyer had this to say:
"To put itself under the name of another who has done nothing for the town of Derby would be to completely disregard the sacrifices given by Derbymen in making it the place it is today."
Stroyer also commented:
"I have always been outspoken in stating that the Eastern Federation is not the ruling force in Derby, but simply an force rotating around the well-being of Derby, enforcing and protecting, and providing other services as we see fit. As such, we have no authority to make such a decision that would affect the entirety of Derby in such a way. That would be a matter for the entire people."
The counter-proposal the Federation finally offered was an alliance between Raktam and the EF, a proposal Stroyer reportedly supported. The Queen politely but firmly rejected this option, returning immediately to Raktam without further attempts at negotiation. The Federation has not publicly commented on the Queen's actions.
New Clan Joins Eastern Federation
The Eastern Federation continues to grow in size. Another clan has joined the Federation, the EF's fifth. The new clan, the Greenwolves, is unique in the EF for not being a Derby-based clan, instead spreading throughout Shartak. While Greenwolves founder Mill Wilkinson assures his members that they will retain the trademark independence of the Greenwolves, the Federation does ask that those joining their ranks abide by its moderate ideals.
New Facilities In Derby
Derby Library Announced
On the island of Shartak there are few luxuries, save for mangos, artfully ragged clothing and the occasional native lady running through the forest. But enough of Queen Hummingbird. A new service has been announced within the town of Derby, one which builds on the reputation of culture and sophistication the town has basked in lately.
As pseudo-governments, would-be governments, sort-of governments and actual governments spring up around the island, the don't-call-us-a-government known as the Eastern Federation has established a home for literature.
The Library of Derby will host works of fiction and non-fiction for not just the common man to enjoy. It is possible that private areas for political recordings and other private memoirs will be established, but no comment as of now, has been given on this by the EF. Mill Wilkinson's unofficial standpoint is "I love this idea. Finally I can unleash my skillz with keyboard!"
Derby Pharmacy Opens
The Eastern Federation, in its effort to continue providing more services to Derbians, has announced the foundation of a new institution: the Derby Pharmacy. This unique establishment is the first of its kind on Shartak. Located at the Derby Hospital, the Pharmacy is run by the Derby Hospitallers. The Hospitaller on duty will keep a supply of first aid kits on hand for anyone who needs it. Anyone not hostile to the Eastern Federation will be able to purchase up to 10 first aid kits per visit for the price of two gold coins per kit. Eastern Federation members and allies will receive a 50% discount, with forum-active Federation members receiving the medical supplies free of charge.
Hospitaller Tribune James Barnes points out that this will allow Derbians and visitors a second option for purchasing first aid kits, should the notoriously finicky Trader Tom raise his prices due to shortages. The Hospitallers caution that the pharmacy guarantees only its prices, and cannot guarantee that it will have enough to meet demand at all times.
To request supplies, simply visit the Pharmacy, and ask the Hospitaller on duty for the desired number of first aid kits, then wait there. The Hospitallers will not track people down to provide them with their medical supplies. As Barnes said, "We're pharmacists and doctors, not deliverymen."
Healing will still be available for the wounded, free of charge, in the hospital.
Derby Tavern Reopens
The Derby Tavern was first founded by the Derby Privateers. However, the bar foundered from lack of use. Now, since the inhabitants of the island have mysteriously realized that they can hand things to each other, rather than going through a trader or dropping things in holes, an ambitious member of the Eastern Federation has decided to reopen it.
RoadWorkBob has recently begun accumulating drinks for his new venture, and the EF has suggested several huts for him to use.
The tavern, renamed the Hanged Misfit, will be set up near the beachfront for many reasons quite obvious to drinkers (e.g. Drunken swims under the moon), also to mention that saltwater is a very good cure for hangovers.
The bar will serve a variety of drinks, but right now it only has beer, rum and water. For food, a number fruits will be provided. Poisons will be available for retail just for that special someone that you want to bump off.
Accommodation is provided in the form of table with a pillow thrown on it for that weary traveller or trader. Gag buckets are held in the store room. Feel free to take one, but the tavern staff insists they be returned.
No killing, bounty collecting or fighting (except for the occasional fistfight) will be permitted. The sole exception is a recognised law enforcement agency (the EF) hunting down wanted criminals. The bartender and owner (RoadWorkBob) is part of the EF; if any aggressive behaviour takes place RWB will take note of the events for the EF or take action on behalf of the EF.
Native Newspaper Enters Circulation
Natives have long been Shartak's most neglected group, with few clans and fewer active programs. Some natives have tired of this, and they have stepped forward to print a native newspaper. This newspaper, known as Jungle Drums, was long in coming.
After reading the articles, this reviewer is somewhat concerned by the tone taken by the journalists involved. While the DEP is delighted to see natives taking an increasingly active role, we wonder if perhaps the paper's editors are observing journalistic objectivity.
Hatred and contempt for outsiders in general drip from most of the articles, whereas many outsider publications differentiate between hostile natives, such as the WickSick Headhunters, and most peaceful natives. The Derby Evening Press hopes such bigotry is limited to the natives' newspaper, and not shared by natives as a whole.
Spotlight: Durham Utility
The Durham Utility has been quietly developing for months now. Founded after Derby's own Hospitallers, the Utility followed a similar, but independent, path by providing services to the people of Durham.
The Utility has founded the Durham Academe, with Edward Grey acting as headmaster. Interestingly, his sister, Janet Grey, founded the Derby Academy, and retains the position of headmistress there.
In addition, the Utility provides financial services via its banking arm. Utility Bank has recently begun negotiating with the wealthier Templar Bank to provide unified financial capabilities to all of Shartak.
The profits reaped from the bank finance the academy and one of the Utility's other projects: road building. The Utility is working to connect Durham to its southern sister cities via a trans-jungle roadway. The Utility also probes the market with several minor projects, such as delivery, brought on by "the eradication of finger sickness on Shartak" (Editor's note: The DEP is not entirely sure where this Durhamite phrase comes from, but it appears to be a reference to the sudden Shartakian ability to hand over possessions to others).
If the Utility succeeds, Durham might take its place among its more powerful sister cities, Derby and York.
French Casino Opens
The French have landed on Shartak. Almost immediately, the French began claiming territories, most of which has been ignored by the larger Shartak community. The only significant land grab was the island of Midway, the scene of the bloody battle between the WickSick Headhunters and a Derby-York alliance. The French claimed the island, converting its ruined tower into a casino.
While the wisdom of using a crumbling tower to host a casino is questionable, the French seem to have had success. They offer a game called "Two-Up." Involving coin tosses, participants can gamble their money for a chance to multiply it...or lose it.
1st Colonial Militia leader Serious Sam initially opposed the casino's location, considering the island York territory. In the wake of the Eastern Federation's reminder that Derby had helped liberate the island, and an announcement that the Federation supported the island's use, Sam backed off from his claims.
Santa Claus Visits Shartak
The jolly old elf known as Santa Claus visited Shartak recently. Mr. Claus, alias Kris Kringle, Saint Nicholas, Papa Noel, and Father Christmas, came to Shartak with two elves to keep him company. Our reports indicate he arrived in the company of flying reindeer (Editor's note: the Derby Evening Press believes the witnesses were smoking the natives' dried herbs at the time).
Claus provided gifts to any who asked for them, the amount varying on his opinion of whether they had been good that year. Over sixty people gathered to receive these gifts, with pirates, natives, and outsiders largely co-existing in a Christmas truce.
However, it was not a merry Christmas for all. Several people killed Santa, the first being the notorious Tom Failur. Those interested in preserving the peace collected a donation to place bounties on the killers' heads, with the Durham Utility volunteering to act as broker for the bounties.
Queen Blue Hummingbird of the Royal Court of Greater Raktam attempted to tax those present, claiming Santa's Grotto (as the hut hosting Santa is known) as part of Raktam's territory. In this, the otherwise popular and successful monarch seems to have overreached, as a few disputed her claim, and the rest of those present simply ignored her.
Shortly before Christmas, the informal truce broke down, with countless people dying for little or no provocation. Observers were generally only surprised that it lasted as long as it did.
In the wake of her failed bid to incorporate Derby into her dominion, the Queen of Raktam, Blue Hummingbird, negotiated with the Independent Republic of Fort Creedy. Unlike Derby, which rejected annexation immediately, the Creedists accepted her proposal. Outsider mercenaries on the Queen's payroll and native warriors in her service have moved to garrison Creedy.
Meanwhile, ominous rumours within the court have been circulating about Durham's intentions to conquer Creedy. Such rumours have been circulating since shortly after Creedy's foundation, when a miscommunication between Durhamite Tomn and Creedist leader Eptavian led to similar accusations. Now, however, Creedy has the backing of the island's most powerful clan.
Oddly, nothing has been heard from Durham. No public declarations of hostility have been made. Is the Durham government using an insidious plot to take over its neighbour? Or is the Queen of Raktam looking for an excuse to attack the weakest of the outsider towns? Only time will tell.
Durham Consul Matt Wilkinson vigorously denied any knowledge of any of these accusations. He claimed he had no hostile intentions whatsoever towards Creedy, saying, "Durham has zero military strength." He attributed this quote to a senior Derbian, but the DEP was unable to confirm whether or not said Derbian ever made this comment.
Ron Burgundy disputed the accusations as well. He alleged that, rather than Creedy being afraid of Durham, Durham needed to defend itself from Creedy. Apparently concerned by the rising number of mercenaries taking up residence in Creedy, Burgundy wishes to either negotiate a cap on their numbers or set up a Durhamite defence.
Burgundy did acknowledge suggesting taking out contracts on unspecified targets, but he said that the idea received no support in Durham. Thus, it, as he put it, "never got off the drawing board." Burgundy added, "That's how our system works, one of us says an idea and if it gets enough support we do it. This idea received no support so we aren't doing it."
Durham to Hold Elections
The city of Durham will apparently be holding its third set of elections. Edward "Darkferret" Grey (Editor's note: don't ask us about the nickname, we don't know where it came from, neither does he), leader of the Durham Utility, announced the election.
In his announcement, Grey accused the current government of "barbershop policy", saying that the Durham Consulature has suffocated the Durham Pistoleers, Durham's long-time protectors, while doing nothing to actually govern the town.
The current Durham Government did not object to the election, Consul Matt Wilkinson replying, "I happily give up my consulature. I know I sucked at it, but you'll never know when I'm coming back! Just kidding. I think we consuls agreed to release the handle when a new election is called. Just do it proper this time, okay?"
A date has not been set, but Grey's target is some time in January. Currently, discussions are being held to decide who will count the votes.
York Coalition Suffers Losses
Nighter, the group's founder, spokesperson, and semi-official leader, has left the Coalition. His reasons were not publicly posted, but we do know that relations between the Coalition and the Colonial Police (reviving under its latest leader Lexus) have been increasingly tense, represented by several arguments between Nighter and Lexus.
The other loss is Javier Sortani. A pirate and former Colonial Policeman, Sortani left York in disgust at former CP leader Kjendlie's policies. Sortani joined the Derby Hospitallers and the Eastern Federation, occassionally writing articles for this newspaper. With the foundation of the York Coalition, Sortani returned to York, though he retained his Derbian affiliations.
Sortani, like Nighter, did not publicize his reasons for leaving. However, he had been acting as mediator in the tense CP-Coalition relationship.
It is unclear what, if any, effects these departures will have on the Coalition and York in general.
Scavengers Contest Ends
The Scavengers, Shartak's most violent group of psychopaths, finished its first contest: The Trial of the Seven Swords. This contest asked participants to amass as many shargle kills as possible. Shargles, for those unfamiliar with them, are the notoriously foul-tempered, flightless birds that live atop Mt. Shartak.
The heavy sword given to the winner was once the possession of a great warrior, according to Scavenger lore (the existence of this lore is news to the rest of the island's inhabitants, who typically consider Scavengers to simply be crazy).
The top contestants are as follows:
Jesus 32 Leaky Bocks 24 Star god Tinxiweewee 22
Congratulations to all who participated. Kudos also go to the Scavengers, for doing something that didn't involve widespread death and mutilation.
In Memory of a Hero
By Javier Sortani
I miss Kjendlie.
Now, say what you will. Inflexible? Always. Xenophobic? Yeah. Irrational? Usually. Mildly deranged? More often than not. But, as I’ve thought about this, he actually became one of the greatest forces for good on all of Shartak.
Let’s look at this. From a personal standpoint, he brought me, a lonely wandering pirate, into politics, and I owe him one for that. Heck, I wouldn’t be writing this column if not for him.
Of more general interest, he’s really half the reason the York Coalition was established. After all, if not for his insane hatred for Bauer and, well, general insanity, Nighter and Broderick would never have left the Colonial Police in disgust, and the CCTU might not have disbanded. There would have been no need for the York Coalition; everybody would’ve gotten along fine in the first place, but probably would’ve stayed a bit on the ineffective side, like we were in the Fourth Invasion. Instead, we have the York Coalition, which is probably the most successful and veteran groups of Shartakian soldiers. Let’s look at the list: the Coalition has (with allies) repelled a pirate invasion, taken Midway, and proportionately given pretty much as good as it got in the Dork Cup.
It’s a little-known fact that when the Coalition was founded, Kjendlie was supposed to be one of the four executive members. But, great guy that he is, he decided to stay out of it and leave the politics to the competent.
Also, Hospitallers recruiting has never been so good as during the death throes of Kjendlie’s reign. Norris, Broderick, and I all became Hospitallers members in the midst of Kjendlie’s burgeoning madness.
Back to the Coalition for a moment. My live-and-let-live style of politics hadn’t usually played well in York; advocating that the Malice or Endzone be given a green card, as it were, got me shot down immediately as a weak trusting pacifist or an anti-York activist. However, after the fall of Kjendlie’s Colonial Police, most of the Coalition was so sick of the era of McKjendlieism that things played out precisely how I wanted them to.
He also contributed to Shartak culture; for example, thanks to him, the word “Soral” is now synonymous in the Shartak edition of Merriam-Webster with “traitor.” Additionally, that fine establishment, the Waugh Arms, formed more than anything else to annoy him. Two more pieces of Shartak history, both attributable to Kjendlie.
Let’s not let the man’s glory obscure the bad parts of his era. He was a pathologically illogical madman who managed to make the Malice’s brand of obnoxious jokesterism look good by comparison. He alienated every one of his closest allies; he even managed to alienate Sammo. He supported Nathan Hale. (These days, does anyone not laugh when that name is mentioned? Anyone? I thought not.)
I believe that Kjendlie is in a better place now. He’s off in some perfect York, where the Mercenary’s Guild never was and the First Imperial Privateers are laughable. Well, more laughable. But in any case, I hope that, some day, he’ll come back to say hello and do something absurd.
Really. Could ya, buddy? Hospitaller recruiting hasn’t been so hot lately.
Have you ever wished to contact the members of your clan? Did you want to give someone a message, but you don't know where they are? Do you want to find a buyer for a heavy sword, but no one in your town can meet your price? Visionaries have long sought ways to contact others on the island. Beginning next issue, the Derby Evening Press will help by offering classified ad space for purchase.
The cost is one gold coin for 50 words. To pay, simply go to any bank and explain that the money is pay for a classified ad. Then contact James Barnes or Black Joe in-game, at the official forums, or at the Derby forums, and give him the text of your message.
There are certain exceptions. The Derby Evening Press is a family newspaper, and will not publish any obscene or otherwise controversial material. Similarly, we will not publish diatribes, provocations, insults, or propanda.
The Derby Evening Press has partnered with the following banks:
Durham Utility Bank - Durham: [-70.650,+26.346]
Durham Utility Bank - Derby: [-70.092,+26.349]
Durham Utility Bank - Shipwreck: Shipwreck Galley
Durham Utility Bank - Dalpok: [-70.436,+26.441]
Durham Utility Bank - Wiksik: [-70.236,+26.404]
Raktam Bank: [-70.319,+26.473]
Templar Bank - York: [-70.319,+26.473]