Turn of War, Year of Death, Death's Grip 1
Today we start again, a new Year, a new Turn, though we must not forget what we are leaving behind. Today we continue to reflect upon a year which was so plagued by corruption and fear that it allowed doubt to permeate even the most hardened of hearts. What began as another year of progress and prosperity under our loyal and capable King became a year full of uncertainty and hardships. Yet I do not wish to focus on what unfortunate things have come to pass, the flaws and evil we have seen in our fellow Meliorans. I wish to encourage you all to see what we have rebuilt stronger than before. I wish to encourage you to look at the walls that Lucius traitor burned and see how they are standing again. I wish to encourage you to look at the year that swiftly approaches with hope in your hearts and progress on your minds.
We are now faced with a great opportunity- a chance to see a new year of unity and of strength. If we trust in our fellow people, be they human or elf, dwarf or drow- if we trust in our government, our crown and our gods, we may see that each day is brighter than the last. We cannot continue to cower in the face of those who fail to trust in the people and the laws which have led Meliora to become such a magnificent nation. We cannot allow injustice to cloud our sight. Now more than ever we must stand strong against the forces that wish to destroy our way of life. This is a new beginning- not an end. If we stand united, we can conquer any evil that dares to oppose our beloved Meliora.
This beginning commences with a meeting scheduled to occur here in Imperial City. It is a meeting with a great purpose which shall undeniably change the course of our lives in this city. The greatest nobility of our land and the gods who protect that land are to gather here to discuss who will be chosen to heal the wounds caused by the Lucius family. It is here, on the 5th day of Death's Grip that our leaders will give us a Duke which we can be proud to call our own and serve without fear. It is here that Adan will be born again, stronger than it has ever been in the past. The center of our country, our Meliora, will rise again to care for us all.
And so, as we approach that beautiful day that will forever light our books of history, I ask you all, for the sake of Mother Meliora, to ask yourselves what it is you must do to heal her wounds and make her better. I ask you to look inside yourselves for the answers to the questions that have puzzled your minds. I ask you to trust in those who wish to unite you under one, just government, but I ask you not to depend on that government to help those who refuse to help themselves. Meliora needs us all- not just a King or a goddess- to keep her alive and well.
May the Spirits guide the loyal to unending prosperity.
Ryel, reporting for the Loyal Lark
Turn of War, Year of Death, Death's Grip 6
Citizens of Meliora,
It is with a sad heart that I tell you that not one, but two attempts were made on the life of our beloved Air Goddess, Lady Venea Zephyrius yesterday, just outside the gates of the Imperial Palace. Joyously, however, I am able to tell you she survived both the attempts with non-life-threatening injuries.
Present at the scene were Duke Andimith, Count Velius, General Adolphus Kroeger of the 7th Corps, their Divine Majesties, the Gods Lord Valen Tyz and Lady Ty Verity, as well as various other hangers-on. Among the injured were Sir Riven Mason, Her Divinity's personal guard, winged by a ballista bolt of all things, General Kroeger with minor burns, and the Goddess herself, stabbed multiple times. Many others sustained minor injuries. There were twenty deaths, mostly sustained by the would-be assassins.
In these black times, we must stay strong, and know that we must have faith, not only in our Gods, but in our King, our Country, and ourselves.
But remember; in times of doubt, this is your Loyal Lark, and it always will be.
Excerpts from the front page:
Preliminary statements from the Palace Guard indicate that the first attempt on Her Divine Majesty, Lady Venea Zephyrius, was the work of subversive elements within the Guard themselves; General Kroeger of the 7th Corps, along with six others, personally foiled the plot by a Lieutenant Andrei Krauzer to kill her Divine Majesty. Lieutenant Krauzer was from a small village in Adan, and is now suspected of being an agent of the Lucius family. This was met with surprise from many of his barracks mates, with one saying:
|QUOTE (Sgt. Blackmore @ Death's Grip 5)|
|Lieutenant Krauzer always seemed like a loyalist; he went to all the King's speeches, volunteered to be sent to Adan when war was brewing, and fought Caius' men out on the streets when they started burning the grain stores. This took us all by surprise.|
Any evidence from the scene, however, was destroyed, along with the repeater ballista used in the attempt, by an unknown masked man who threw a massive fireball at the assassins. The second attempt was made by a someone identified by Knights of the Black Blade as Dashinay Viralli, who was wanted for prostitution, spying, and multiple murders, before her demise at the hands of the aforementioned masked man, who allegedly said a few words to the Goddess before she teleported away. (For more on the assassination attempts, see 'Horrors at the Gates' on Page 2.)
Speculation has arisen of a split in the Veritoim in recent months, thanks to the almost complete shutdown of operations in the Docks area. The fact that a man appearing almost exactly alike by all accounts of the Sultan of the Veritoim then killed one of his own this morning adds fuel to the fires of speculation. However, a Templar of the Knights of the Black Blade, when asked to comment, were quick to point out that Ms. Viralli had never been positively identified as a Veritoim agent. (For more on the division in the Veritoim, see 'A Criminal Divide?' on page 4.)
Your Loyal Lark was able to interview His Divine Majesty, Valen Tyz, before he teleported back to Talafen. He stated that:
|QUOTE (Valen Tyz @ Death's Grip 5)|
|I would simply like to thank our masked friend; if it hadn't been for him, either of the two attempts on my beloved peer's life might have succeeded. I would like to point out that there is no indication that there may be another Rebellion on our hands, or that the old one is brewing up again; this is simply the work of disaffected individuals, or madmen, as demonstrated by that demon-woman Viralli.|
Also, Damien, if you're reading this when it comes out, high five, drinks as usual.
That was all our Earth God had to say on the matter; questions as to the identity of 'Damien' bore no fruit, save for promises that 'bad things would occur' if that was not printed in this edition of the Loyal Lark. It was decided that attempts to disagree with the 'mad god of earth' were probably pointless. (Further speculation on the identity of 'Damien' can be seen on page 3.)
The Elven Plague which is currently devastating Elven settlements in Urath and across the border is today seeing hope of resolution; Duke Harel Andimith has dispatched an agent with unlimited powers to see to the resolution of this event. The Plague has progressed unchecked for over ten years now, largely ignored due to being a largely outside-the-country problem. Recently, however, events have conspired to make this a major event; Elven rights groups have protested, Elven citizens have complained bitterly, and the spread from outside Meliora to within it has only amplified this. True measures were only taken, however, when cases of it were confirmed in some humans in Drasilgaard, a border town in Urath; the Duke immediately quarantined the town, and sent his agent, the maverick witch hunter Vhailor Koros, to deal with the problem. (For more on the Elven Plague, please see 'Resolution' on page 5, and for an editorial, please see 'No Cure? No Problem!" and 'Man's Burden', both on page 6.)
Duke Heinrich van Hal today announced that his daughter, Countess Isolde van Hal, had exhibited signs of magic ability where none was previously shown. Her abilities seem confined to the area of Night, and are vastly more powerful then any mage has ever been. He states that she is, almost without question, the new Goddess of Night, and has announced that he will throw a massive ball, to which 'all the great and good of Meliora are invited.'
This announcement brings relief to many Night worshippers, who have had to survive without a god for over four months, after the disappearance of His Divine Majesty, Koen Taylor. Sir Blake van Hal, her half-brother, and the man slated to marry the Countess, could not be reached for comment.
Priests of the Night God are headed to Whitecliff today via teleport to determine her status. (For more on Duke van Hal's announcement, see 'Moonrise' on page 3.)
His Divine Majesty, Lord Kelrian Alther, the former God of Day, has resurfaced in Uuranor, still in full possession of his powers, and stating no loss. This has raised numerous suspicions on the identity of the God who took his place, Lord Garga, as well as queries as to just how Gods come about, if there could be two avatars of the Spirits at the same time. Your Loyal Lark could not reach Lord Alther for comment. (For more on the Gods of Day, and a retrospective on all past ones, see 'Daylight' on page 4.)
Dak, reporting for the Loyal Lark