Derby Evening Press/Issue 11

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Derby News

Dalpok Liberation Front Assistance Ended

The Derby Rangers, previously stationed in Dalpok, aiding the newly-formed Dalpok Liberation Front, have recently pulled out, ending their support. The month-long operation met with success, as near the end, hostile pirate targets dropped significantly.

Rangers' leader SGM Mark D. Stroyer made the following remarks: "We were there to help the DLF as it was newly-formed, just to give them an extra push. I think we did just that, and now it's time to head home. They can take it from here alone."

Eastern Federation members hope that relations with friendly natives will be strengthened as a result of the operation.

International News

Queen Ascends Raktam Throne

The former WickSick Headhunter Blue Hummingbird has declared herself the queen of Raktam. The newly crowned queen has been welcomed by the natives of Raktam, gathering over a dozen loyal courtiers. Visitors to Raktam pay their respects to the queen, and more Raktamites proclaim their to loyalty to their new monarch. The queen has already coordinated a real-time battle with pirates from the Brotherhood of the Coast, a battle that even Rozen of the BotC admits was a defeat for the pirates. The queen's headhunter contacts proved useful, as the Dalpokian headhunter Entropy assassinated Rozen before the battle.

This makes Raktam the second native village to acquire a defensive force in the past few months, following closely on the heels of the Dalpok Liberation Front. Historically, the native villages have had a difficult time forming a cohesive force, though they are far more united than their outsider counterparts. The outsider clans have a tendency to war with each other as often as their enemies. Unlike the Dalpok Liberation Front, which is strictly and explicitly a defensive militia, the Raktam Court is a genuine governmental organization. It is Raktam's second clan, finally filling the gap left by the long-defunct Raktamites.

It is unclear exactly what the new court's policies and ambitions are. However, in an encouraging sign, the Raktam Court has appointed the shaman Quest as native defense representative to the Eastern Federation's criminal tribunal, suggesting that the new queen is at least somewhat willing to work with outsiders.

Civil War in York

Once again, York is the scene of carnage and mayhem. This time, the combatants are not pirates, headhunters, or mercenaries. This time, the fighters on both sides are overwhelmingly Yorkmen. The long-established Colonial Police recently came under attack by York elements accusing its leader of corruption.

The attackers consist of the 1st Colonial Militia and the unpredictable organization known as 5punk. Both groups claim that, under the leadership of Old Macdonald, the Colonial Police clan has once again lost its way. They note that "Mac" (Old Macdonald) has required some visitors to York to pay taxes for not being killed, most notably during the recent (and overrated) pirate invasion of York (reported by this newspaper).

The alliance between 5punk and the 1CM raised eyebrows among those familiar with the two groups, as there is a history of bad blood between their members, frequently degenerating into name-calling and personal attacks. It would appear that their mutual distaste for CP leader Old Macdonald overrode their animosity for one another. The two groups now seem to be making a semi-coordinated foreign policy.

In another example of politics producing strange bedfellows, the Colonial Police have acquired allies of their own. To boost their military prowess, the CP have hired Raffles, a veteran of the now-defunct Mercenary's Guild, one of York's most hated enemies. It is unclear how much effect this has had, since both sides in the conflict are prone to hyperbole when describing their own accomplishments.

Ultimately, it would appear that the CP, even if it has not yet formally admitted defeat, at least has tired of the fighting. Old Macdonald has stepped down, allowing CP officer Lexus to take the reins of Shartak's oldest law enforcement clan. However, it is unclear if this will resolve the fighting. The York Coalition, having belatedly entered the war, and 5punk have laid out terms more moderate than those of 1CM leader Serious Sam. Even if the CP abide by those terms, the notoriously stubborn 1CM may choose to ignore them.

Mac's fall from power is a surprising turn of events. Mac rose to power in an effort to repair the immense damage done by former CP leader Kjendlie. He was hailed as a beacon of sanity in the wake of Kjendlie's madness. He rebuilt the CP's depleted ranks, recruiting new members to replace the veterans Kjendlie alienated. However, many of those members are gone now, driven off by the attacks from their fellow Yorkmen.

Lexus will once again have to rebuild the CP. The other clans involved in the war have largely expressed a desire to see the CP remain active. However, they insist that the Colonial Police focus on its police duties alone, noting that any time the CP moves beyond those boundaries, it begins to act unacceptably. If Lexus accepts the YC's and 5punk's terms, the war may end. If not, the Colonial Police may die for good.

CP Espionage Provokes York Coalition

When the war between the Colonial Police, 5punk, and the 1st Colonial Militia began, the York Coalition took a neutral stance. The Coalition disliked the CP's policies, but decided that it was uninterested in attacking fellow Yorkers.

The YC, for those unfamiliar with it, was founded by a group of experienced Yorkish defenders, drawing from disillusioned veterans of the Colonial Police, refugees from the defunct-but-well-respected CCTU, and the shadowy Order of Patriots. The Coalition was respected for its leadership in defending York during the Dork Cup and its critical role in clearing Midway Island of WickSick Headhunters during the Battle of Midway. The Coalition has focused its attentions largely on defending York from outside threats, though they kill the occasional murderer as well.

The Coalition's moderate stance has been a source of friction during the York Civil War. The Coalition has offered shelter to some refugees from the Colonial Police, most notably Sgt. Nicolas Angel. This annoyed 1CM leader (and YC ally) Serious Sam, who insisted that all CP members must officially surrender. Ultimately, Angel was the only CP member accepted into the YC.

It is therefore ironic that Angel is responsible for bringing the YC into the war. 1CM founder Serious Sam and senior YC member Nighter became suspicious of the sudden effectiveness of the CP, believing a spy had infiltrated the ranks of the Coalition. The two cooperated to set up a trap to expose the mole. The trap was sprung, and Nighter and Sam identified the mole as Sgt. Angel. Stung by this perceived betrayal, the Coalition declared war against the Colonial Police. The CP leadership denies involvement, and Angel has not spoken on the matter one way or another.

Whatever the reasoning, the entrance of the York Coalition bodes ill for the CP. The Coalition's members are veterans of multiple conflicts, and they have faced far more experienced opponents than the Colonial Police. This may be the final nail in the coffin of the Colonial Police.

Property Values Fall in York

As the York Coalition enters the war in York, a far more insidious threat to York than mere warfare lurks behind the scenes: falling property values.

Says local veteran Nighter, "I've been watching things for a while, and they're getting worse. 5punk bought the rights to the old Colonial Police HQ for well over a hundred gold coins, three gems, and a blunt machete. Now they couldn't sell it for a mango."

Former Colonial Police and informal York Coalition member Javier Sortani attributes the problem to York's unstable history. "Really, I don't blame people for moving out. I was actually thinking of settling down in York--buying a condo, meeting someone, raising a whole new generation of crazy firebrands. But York's a battlefield. We don't even need the Mercs' Guild any more. We do it to ourselves. I don't want my kids having that mentality."

Oddly, though, Nighter is ultimately optimistic about the falling property values. "This may devalue the Yorkian gold coin. If that happens, we might pick up foreign investment, strengthening our economy overall."

Sortani is less positive about the future. "I don't think the question in York, long-term, is how much the buildings are worth. I think it's whether they're even still standing."

Brotherhood of the Coast Targets York

The shipwreck's largest clan, the Brotherhood of the Coast, just recently completed its raid on Dalpok. Now, the Brotherhood has selected a new victim: York. Long a target of pirate and native raids, York is only now putting an end to its civil war. While the defenders of York are extremely experienced, having fended off more attacks than any other town, the wounds created by the civil war are still fresh. At this point, the Yorkmen have not requested aid from their allies, counting on their own strength to stand. The Eastern Federation leadership has not expressed a stance on the matter. The pirates seem particularly interested in attacking 1st Colonial Militia leader Serious Sam, who seems unimpressed by the pirate threat.